Tuesday, September 06, 2005

E-Town Pride

After the last post on Alberta's centennial, I was inspired to throw out some tunes with an Edmonton connection (a couple covers for good measure too).

The Arrogant Worms - We Are the Beaver
A couple years ago, the folk-comedy group The Arrogant Worms came to town to perform a show at the Winspear Centre with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. All dressed up in tuxes, they unleashed their comedic stylings on the crowd with an epic orchestral oomph. Being a long-time Worms fan, I was lucky enough to get to go to this concert, which was also recorded for a TV special on Bravo I think. In their words: the US is the eagle, Russia is the bear, and Canada.... well, we are the beaver.

Captain Tractor - London Calling [originally by The Clash]
My favourite Edmonton band who just had their 10th anniversary party gig a few months back. This Clash cover is off their 2nd East of Edson album and is my favourite version of the song.

Captain Tractor - The Last Saskatchewan Pirate
[originally by the Arrogant Worms]
At the Arrogant Worms symphonic gig, they were jokingly resentful of Captain Tractor's success with this cover.

The Arrogant Worms - The Last Saskatchewan Pirate
Another one accompanied by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Painting Daisies - Don't Leave Me Here
This all-girl bluesy rock band hails from mighty E-Town and won CBC's The Great Canadian Music Dream, a television series that was sort of like Canadian/American Idol but with real bands.

The Corb Lund Band - Mora (Blackberry)
The first time I heard of Corb Lund was when I was working at the downtown library and he was playing a gig in the library's basement theatre, which was odd since there aren't a lot of gigs down there. Now he's got a few albums out and his band was a double winner at the 2004 Canadian Country Music Association Awards. Plus, he got a Juno nomination in 2003 as well. He's about the closest thing to country that I enjoy.

King Letus - It's Still Rock and Roll to Me [originally by Billy Joel]
I found this at the library on an Alberta punk compilation.

Procol Harum - Conquistador (Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra)
This band is probably most famous for the oft-covered A Whiter Shade of Pale. In 1971, they recorded a concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at the Jubilee Auditorium.

U2 - With or Without You (Live from Edmonton)
On their 1997 PopMart tour, U2 played two shows at Commonwealth stadium here in Edmonton. I got to go to one of the shows, which is odd since this was years before I started actively going to concerts. This track was recorded at one of the shows and featured on their Please EP.

Pixies - In Heaven / Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)
[originally from David Lynch's Eraserhead]
When the Pixies reunited last year, Edmonton was in the first wave of gigs they had played in 10 or more years. In fact, almost all of the shows were small venues across Western Canada, thus frustrating many fans south of the border and abroad. I was able to buy 4 tickets for an unbelievable price of $30 per ticket (scalpers were getting $200-300 from rabid fans!). I was right up there just couple metres away from the stage as the Pixies blew us away. And with some fancy DiscLive technology, we were able to purchase a "professional" bootleg of our show just minutes after it ended. Probably the best souvenir one could get from a concert... more bands should be doing this. Trivia: Pixies opened for U2 on the 1992 Zooropa tour.

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