Friday, December 01, 2006


Everyone has two favourite bands/artists. The first is their all-time favourite. It can be contemporary, such as arguably the world's biggest Coldplay, or else it tends to be some universally recognized band of extreme awesomeness, say, The Beatles or Bob Dylan. The second tends to be a (relatively) local band. They play one of your favourite haunts regularly enough that you get your dose often. You might pass them in the street on your way to work atleast once a week. They put out excellent records and kill live. Your connection with them is pretty deep due to their immediacy to you. You see them grow and develop and hopefully see them achieve the level of success that you feel their talent accords.

If I were asked band # 1 I'm sure I'd emphatically state Dylan. Band #2, equally emphatic, would be The Constantines. The Cons include Bry Webb(vocals), Steve Lambke(guitar), Dallas Wehrle(bass), Wil Kidman(keyboard), and Doug Macgregor(drums). They found each other in the hardcore scene of London/Kitchener-Waterloo/Guelph. Part of the Three Gut Records clan, they inevitably settled in Toronto. Under their belt are three albums of intensely high calibre, '01's self-titled, '03's Shine A Light, and '05's Tournament of Hearts. From the beginning to now, they've graduated from their Fugazi reminiscent beginnings to a more emblematic Neil Young.

They are still plagued with the "Springsteen meets Fugazi" comparisons. Their latest album drew the Neil comparisons which I think is apt(kinda). Both have lyrics that are incredibly poetic. Both are at home reaching deep within themslelves to come up with a song that hits at the heart. Both can also knock out vicious rockers that break in the front door of your mouth and leave you gasping. It is no surprise that the Cons started a Neil Young cover band a few years back called Horsey Craze. They even released a split record with the indie rock "supergroup" The Unintended (Travis and Dallas Good of the Sadies, Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo, and Rick White of Eric's Trip and later, Elevator) . The Constantines/Horsey craze contributed four Neil Young covers with the Unintended doing four Gordon Lightfoot songs. Music critics (and bloggers) are lazy. The Neil Young (and Fugazi and Bruce Springsteen before this) references are easy ones. While they may share the same bolt of cloth, the Cons are very much their own band. At war with the heart, they are brilliantly sincere. "Dont talk to me about simple things," Webb sings, "there are no such things."

The Constantines play tonight at Call the Office. The rest of their dates are as follows:

December 1 - Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON w/ Shotgun and Jaybird & Lullabye Arkestra
December 2 - Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON Canada Care benefit w/ Jason Collett
December 2 - Underground, Hamilton, ON w/ Shotgun and Jaybird & Lullabye Arkestra
December 8 - Townehouse Tavern, Sudbury, ON w/ The Creeping Nobodies
December 9 - Ford Plant, Brantford, ON w/ The Creeping Nobodies
January 29 - Memorial Centre, Peterborough, ON support for the Tragically Hip
January 31 - General Motors, Oshawa, On support for the Tragically Hip
Febuary 2 - Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, ON support for the Tragically Hip

I love you all with a big heart...

From self-titled
Saint You
Young Offenders

From Shine A Light
Tank Commander (hung up in a warehouse town)
Sub-domestic

From Tournament of Hearts
Draw Us Lines
Good Nurse

1 comment:

Wayne said...

i think the constantines are truly great, a band i definitely want to see one day