Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sweet sunlight! I can see it in my mind's eye!

Howdy, I'm really excited right now. Just signed up for ITunes and heard the first single from Sam Roberts upcoming album, Chemical City - due in Canadian record stores on April 11th. Song is called "The Gate" it's a nonstop 4 minutes of tight uptempo rock with some meaty hooks. I will come right out and say it - I haven't been this excited for a new album in a LONG fucking time - even new releases by longtime faves like Oasis, Pearl Jam or The Tea Party haven't had me this pumped! If you have the ole ITunes - go - get it now! Do not hesitate.

I know what yer thinking: "Who the hell is Sam Roberts?" Only about the best goddamn singer/songwriter to hit the music scene since the 70's. First real album was a Canadian only EP called "The Inhuman Condition", which drew some attention. He really hit the Canadian mainstream with 2003's "We Were Born in a Flame", which generated a number of Canadian rock and top 40 crossover hits. He even made a small impact in America, where one of the singles, a catchy little tune called "Brother Down" was featured on the SWAT soundtrack, and in the film (it's playing in the bar when Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez share a brew.). It also helps that Sam is a down to earth hippie of a guy - great story I've heard. A summer house party in downtown St. John's, few guys show up, a scraggly haired mellow guy tagging along. The guy immediately spots an acoustic guitar in the corner of the room, goes "ooh!" in that stoner voice, and proceeds to sit down and play all night, while beers and leaf are passed about. When the party is breaking up someone asks who that hippie was, a guy answers, "Oh that was Sammy... You know... Sam Roberts" Turns out the band was in town and had played a pretty large gig a few nights previous. This was when "Don't Walk Away Eileen" was tearing up Canadian Radio and Muchmusic. People were awestruck that this guy just walked in, said a few hellos, and proceeded to sit on the floor in the corner and just strum away all night for the sheer joy of playing a bit of music.

"We Were Born in a Flame" scored #1 album of 2003 on my old
website. I said:


1. Sam Roberts - We Were Born in a Flame - There's something about this singer/songwriter that just grabs hold of the listener and beats him into submission! Sam Roberts writes about the single catchiest tunes imaginable, and plays them out with a surgeon's precision, and yet there's this garage band feel, this "just jamming around" feel that soaks the entire album in some kind of a magic vibe that just has you stomping your feet in unison. This is not radio rock as many would have you believe, though it has certainly infiltrated the airwaves... This is Bob Dylan by way of John Lennon singer songwriter groove at it's best, and brought to the next phase of evolution. Sam is an innovator, and this album (his first full length effort) is one of those discs that comes along once in a while and just makes you its bitch! It's easily in my eyes the album of 2003, and has actually taken up a high spot in my "best of all time" list...
So go look for this cover: or perhaps this one:
And check out the bios on Sammy's official website for a few solid laughs! These guys are truly brilliant entertainers, the absolute pinnacle of what Canada has to offer these days in the rock n roll scene - they come with the highest possible recommendation!

And as if that weren't enough - Pearl Jam has officially announced their new album will be released on May 2nd in North America! A little later than the rumored April date, but I'll live - The first single, "World-wide Suicide" is due at radio on March 14th! Also, for those who care, former Tea Party frontman Jeff Martin's first solo album, entitled Exile and the Kingdom, is also due on April 11th, the first single can be listened to here, it's damn solid stuff - despite the fact I feel no Canadian artist has the right to criticize Bushy, the song itself is a beautiful Rock-World music hybrid, the sort of tune that made me fall in love with The Tea Party back in the day, best thing I've heard from Martin in years! Sammy and (Sorta) Tea Party in one day - it must be Christmas in April for Steve!

In other news, finally managed to sit back and watch
Gallipoli today, after having bought it quite some time ago. I must say, between this, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Master & Commander, Peter Wier has convinced me he is amazing! Beautifully photographed, wonderfully acted, and perfectly staged. It's both endearing and heartwrenching. Mel Gibson, fresh off of Mad max, plays one of the leads, and does so exquisitely. It makes me that much sadder that post-Payback Mel has been so mediocre in the acting department. Visually speaking, the film at times brought thoughts of "Kubrick shooting in scope" or perhaps the lesser visually encapsulating works of Ridley Scott - Wier's eye, his control of the Camera, is fantastic.The film centers on two very different Australian boys, both sprinters, and spends a great deal of it's runtime developing their friendship, until eventually they wind up serving together in the campaign against the Turks in Gallipoli. Story structure wise it was very much in the same vein of Kevin Major's No Man's Land, and tells a virtually identical story of colonists rousted to fight for their Queen, only to be shat upon and discarded by the British powers-that-be. Truth be told, the Australian and Newfoundland forces (The Newfoundland Regiment was decimated due to mis-management by British officers at the battle of the Somme in Beaumont Hamel a scant 4 years later) trained together in Egypt, and developed a close bond, and both had reputations amongst the British command as being un-disciplined ruffians, as well as the toughest sort of human beings. This gives the story told in Gallipoli a little extra resonance with me, as, even though they weren't seen on screen in Wier's film, the Newfs were there as well, and it gives me a clearer picture of not only what went down there, but in Beaumont Hamel as well.(Ironically enough, the Aussies were first over the top in Beaumont Hamel as well - and like in Gallipoli, were decimated). It's been a little pipe dream of mine to someday bring the story told in No Man's Land to the screen, it's a long shot for sure - but if nothing else - I'll always have Wier's Gallipoli, which is the next best thing - Newfoundlanders or no.

Cheers,

Steve.

"Where there's smoke... There's Steve's CD player combusting due to overplay of the new Sam Roberts single"


15 comments:

Mitch said...

Aw, shit, the day I badmouth S.W.A.T. you go and post a link to your best of '03. :)

With you all the way on Gallipoli. As I stated in my review over at MovieFreak, I think it's Weir's best film. Absolutely beautiful piece of work.

SteveTP said...

Master and Commander beats it in my book - god i love every second of that flick - every goddamn second! But Gallipoli is right up there, maybe tied for second with The Year of Living Dangerously (which i really need to snap up on DVD).

That was a great review by the way - forgot to mention it because i'm stupid - how's that for accountability ;)

Mitch said...

I think they mentioned in that Warner Chat that they are looking into taking another shot at the DVD of The Year of Living Dangerously (you're right--that's another great movie), so you might want to hold off.

I think Weir did a better balancing act between the intimate and the epic in Gallipoli than he did in Master and Commander. I think I would put Master at third, behind Gallipoli and The Mosquito Coast (part of which, by the way, was filmed where I went to college).

Thanks for the kind words about the review. And at least you didn't blame Sarah this time. ;)

SteveTP said...

Yeah i have to stop passing the buck to Sarah at some point :)

SteveTP said...

The Mosquito Coast was a decent enough, didn't enjoy it on the same level as Year, Gallipoli, or M&C... I'd rank it with Picnic... enjoyable for sure.

Debate - i been dyin to see Year lately - maybe i'll actually hit blockbuster, or this new place we have... videoself or something...

kevin said...

dude how many times do i have to correct this story...it wasn't Sam Roberts at the party it was me. argh...this happens far too often. i thought the fact that i was playing Peter was a Floating Head would have been a clue. ah well...

oh and dude I have a blog man, check it out.

SteveTP said...

Kev you magnificent bastard - get on MSN now - we're actually online at the same time and all!

Jon The Uncool said...

Man, I heard that it wasn't Sam Roberts either. I had heard that is was Christ jesus, descended from the heavens in a burst of sunlight and inner rapture. he touched down in his blue jeans and his flowing white 'Moby' shirt, snapped up an acoustic guitar, and rid St. John's forever of leprosy by simply playing the opening riff of Ziggy Stardust.

However this rumour was found to be false as well when Jesus posted in his own blog, that he was actually at the mall, wondering why there were no Street Fighter II machines to be seen. In actual fact, it was Kevin Woolridge, with screwed up eyes and screwed down hair, like some cat from Japan. And it wasn't leprosy he cured, Kevin instead scazred off an encrouching army of Frenchmen by playing Peter Was A Floating Head.

That's cool though, I'd probably watch kevin over jesus anyday of the week.

Mitch said...

Is Jon now huffing industrial grade glue?

SteveTP said...

He's moved on to the crazy shit man - that stuff that comes in a paint can - the stuff they use to bond carpet to cement - that "touch this shit and we'll see you at the emergency room - i can't even breathe let alone think!" shit.

That was pretty damn funny though ;)

Mitch said...

Yeah it was funny, but that motherfucker's still crazy. :)

JD said...

I'm going to check Sam out on your recommendation STP. I need music for my road trip anyway.

SteveTP said...

Sam's good road tunes...

For a long sunny drive i'd also recommend Matt Mays and El Torpedo

Jeff said...

I think a Canadian has EVERY right to criticize Bushy. The man and his crew are the worse thing to happen to this world, with a lot more bad shit up their sleeves to come.

SteveTP said...

Hell, i don't disagree... but i don't live in the bastard's country ;) And more often than not, these Canadian artists don't have a goddamn clue what they're taalking about. They're just jumping on the "celebrity causes" bandwagon - kind of like the complete and utter total ignorance Paul and Heather have re: the seal hunt - but i won't get into that one ;)