Saturday, June 10, 2006

Television! .... Teacher, mother, secret lover.

Sheena was first exposed to Television a couple of years back when her houseguest came running back from Birdman Sound in Ottawa... legs akimbo, spittle flying, eyes crazy. The occasion was the re-release of proto-punk classic Marquee Moon. And he had one in his hot little hand. Played it over and over that evening. And I liked it. I liked it a lot. Since that fateful day it has been a gradual introduction to the limited but revered discography.

So when a reunion show was announced as part of Toronto's NXNE festival, there was no question we'd shell out the $39.50 + tax + ticket handling fee per person to visit my all time least favourite live music venue. In order to make way for Friday Nite Disco or whatever, the doors opened at 6pm. I think this contributed to an oddness of atmosphere. I don't know about the rest of the crowd, but it meant rushing back from work, fighting traffic and not having time to change my shoes.

Sheena's rating: Wow. Wow for the most amazing guitar performance ever seen. Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd are in a league of their own. Brilliant symphonic harmonies. A rare treat to see live.

El Chaperone agreed that it took a couple of songs for them to find their feet. Sound at the Phoenix has always bordered on shit, and while the band is not noted for their vocals, would have been nice to at least get a sense of the lyrics. The mellowish start meant the crowd couldn't shut the fuck up and it was quite annoying. Why the guy standing behind me thought I had any interest in his dormant-after-six-month-chequing account and his tribulations with the bank teller during the improv part of Little Johnny Jewel compelled me to do a beer run and pee break before I turned around and kneed him in his own little jewels.

Sheena blames it on the early start. Most people hadn't had a chance to chill, get out of work-mode, smoke a doobie, and leave the whining at the door.


At 10:06 PM, Blogger Leatherhands said...

The Phoenix...I still think of it as The good ol' Diamond...fucked everything up when they moved the stage from East facing (width of the room...great sight lines from all vantage points, and tolerable acoustics) the current South facing (length of the room, bat-cave acoustic swirling vortex from hell sound, excacerbated by the high ceiling and unforgiving concrete motif.)
Had a great experience being part of the first ever MuchMusic Big Ticket filmed live to air there. Then they renovated, and "improved". Stupid fucks. Saw one of my heroes there (John Paul Jones) and couldn't even make it to the end of the set. Couldn't get a good view, and the sound was intolerable. Boo, Hiss, Catcalls.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Sheena said...

Never was there when it was the Diamond. But I get a weird vibe from the Phoenix like it's another Great White just waiting to happen.


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