The Weakerthans

Two young boys + looming festival = little time for writing…

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There are a lot of things I love about my job, but perhaps the best part is the “homework”. I need to study up on a whole bunch of artists – watching videos from dance companies, reading scripts, or bouncing from MySpace page to MySpace page.

While I’ve been focusing on artists from British Columbia for the past 18 months, I’m beginning to think about the Prairie Scene in 2011.  I’ve started a mental list of interesting artists from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. At the top of my list of favourites is Winnipeg’s The Weakerthans, so I was eager to hear them in concert on Saturday night.

To me, The Weakerthans are a perfect band. They have great musical chops, they can totally rock out, and yet they also have an introspective, intimate side. John Samson has an instantly-identifiable voice, and pens lyrics that actually mean something.  Some say it’s punk meets folk, with a bit of alt country thrown in, but I’m not sure you can easily categorize what they do.

I knew I was going to love the show when I heard some glockenspiel in the first tune – I defy you to find a song with glock that doesn’t rock. Aside from one false start (which cost John a $20 fine paid to a girl in the front row), it was a polished performance. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t play Hymn of the Medical Oddity, but hey, it’s not my playlist.

The Weakerthans are currently on a cross-Canada tour with The Constantines.  Visit www.theweakerthans.org for Rolling Tundra dates.

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