Friday, November 24, 2006

Tonight sees the return of Joel Plaskett to a London stage. The last 2 or 3 shows he was slated to play were inexplicably cancelled at variations of the last minute. Support is fellow east coast rockers Two Hours Traffic and the tepid emo/core stylings of local act Machete Avenue.

A bit excited about this show to be honest. It has been a good 2/3 years since I last saw Joel Plaskett. I went through a mega fan phase when I was 20, seeing him live a good 6 times in the same number of months.

Joel started things young when he formed Thrush Hermit as a tender teen circa 1992. Around '95 halifax became appointed by the international press(well American really) as the "New Seattle". A bidding war for Sloan ensued and high expectations turned to rap rock and teen pop. Easily one of the most important bands of this so-called "Halifax pop explosion" were Thrush Hermit. Signed to Sloan's Murder Records imprint, the band released 3 great EP's, along with the full-lengths Sweet Homewrecker (1997) and Clayton Park (1999). They disbanded amicably in '99 leaving behind a still vibrant east coast scene.

Joel released his solo debut In Need of Medical Attention the same year. By the time of 2001's Down at the Khyber Joel had formed the tight backing band The Emergency and the rest was pop history. 2003's Truthfully, Truthfully cemented Joel's place as an important Canadian songwriter, garnering him his greatest critical and commercial success to date.

Joel's songs veer towards a pop styling. Expansive and heartfelt his songs explore the modern Canada. While nationalistic at times he touches upon universal themes of the heart and mind. After releasing solo effort La De Da in 2005, Joel has been busy touring as always. You may have heard his "Nowhere With You" gracing K-Mart commercials throughout the summer. Surprising at first, repeated listens ensure that Joel is still creating the same heartfelt songs that endear us to him.

Joel plays London tonight with The Emergency. He'll be in Toronto on Saturday for the annual Festival of the Lights Christmas tree lighting at Nathan Phillips Square, wrappin up the mini tour in Hamilton on Monday night.

Thrush Hermit - Hated It
Joel Plaskett - Down at the Khyber

"Nowhere With You" can be found on the bonus disc that accompanies this year's live Joel DVD Make A Little Noise. It may very well be worth it for the track "Million Dollars" which is included on said bonus disc and is also streaming over at Joel Plaskett's website.

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