Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy new year.

I suppose that's the obvious post heading. So there it is.

I am now back in the big city, thankfully. Suburban life was getting to me. Too much fatty, salty, sugary food was making me ill. And sulfur-tasting water that I absolutely did not want to drink wasn't helping matters either. Ick. Took the train back yesterday afternoon, and then went out the Tranzac to celebrate the New Year in indie style. A bunch of people I know from around---ok, through PB---were there, so that was good. It was the best place to go by myself. The only place, actually. I saw three great acts, one good one, and one passable (but fun) one. I drank a big glass of wine and some champagne, bought an EP, and got home at 3:30am. All told the night cost me $25. Not bad, considering.

I've seen Laura Barrett perform on four different occasions, but never have I seen her do a proper Laura Barrett set. Last night, she did. And, holy cow, the woman is amazing. If you've seen her, I know you don't need me to tell you this. She has crazy amounts of charm and charisma, and it's all totally genuine and lovely. I think most of us in the room were totally enchanted with her. I bought an EP and look forward to another one coming out in February. She followed a great set by Gentleman Reg. His show a few weeks back got cancelled at the last minute, so I was happy to have another occasion to catch him. I had high expectations, having heard good things about him from people who know good music. And he did not disappoint. His album will come out "eventually" this year. Yipee!

On in the Southern Cross Lounge---where I spent most of my evening---before Gentleman Reg was The Rural Alberta Advantage. The trio was fantastic as usual. The setting really suited them, and they are just such an attractive, cheerful bunch that's hard not to like them. Forest City Lovers played a good set before them which I enjoyed, but the RAA was just so much better. Enthusiasm, give-it-your-all attitude, confidence, professionalism, and experience clearly pay off for these guys. They're playing at the Drake on Thursday with lovely LLIONS and The Golden Hands Before God. I will be there.

Other happenings include the countdown that speed up and slowed down, and then just stopped counting down at all. I heard told that the projected digital clock never did hit midnight. The people I was with and I gave up a few minutes past the hour and drank our (free) champaign. It was funny, and I think it must have been a technical error. Steve didn't seem overly perturbed, though. The Phonemes played a happy set in the Main Hall. I tried to ignore the young, shiny girls dancing (drunkenly) at the front, and the couple making out the entire time right in front of me. Please, people: go to the back, or, better yet, go home! Wayne Petti (of Cuff the Duke) was in the audience, but I didn't get a chance to tell him that "Sidelines of the City" is my favourite album at the moment. Once the evening was over, I spotted historian MS at the back of the lounge; we chatted amongst ourselves and with other people until it was time to go. A good way to bring in the new year.

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