Any song that contains the phrase “Regina, Saskatchewan” is a winner in my book. I saw Rah Rah live a while ago and this was my favorite song they played, but they hadn’t recorded it yet. Thanks for the reminder.
With a name like this, it’s got to be good. And while this song isn’t quite Gram Parsons great, but it’s pretty good.
This is from their album “Going Steady,” which is reasonably solid. They wear a good deal of influences on their sleeve throughout the album. Influences that, for a song or two, are so overwhelming it would seem as if Arcade Fire was actually in the studio with them. Then Broken Social Scene seemingly comes through to record some demo tracks with toy Casio keyboards and twangy guitars.
Let’s just get the debate out of the way by us saying The Last Waltz is the best concert film ever, and you saying, no, Stop Making Sense is the best concert film ever, and us saying, no, The Last Waltz is what made Stop Making Sense possible, kind of like how without Richard Pryor there would be no Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock, so shut up with your nonsense. Let’s also set aside the whole discussion about how the movie shows an era when it was about the music, man, and not about the slick, corporate packaging. Instead, let’s focus on a couple of other things, like Van Morrison joining them for “Caravan,” during which even the notoriously grumpy Van the Man can’t help but grin as the sound absorbs him. Let’s reflect on how, when Eric Clapton’s guitar comes de-strapped, Robbie Robertson jumps in and solos like a motherfucker. Let’s talk about how Levon Helm had one of the top five singing voices of all time. And, finally, let’s remember a guy many of you have never heard of, a guy named Rick Danko, the bass player and one of the singers, and how it’s so apparent that he put every ounce of himself, every ounce of—dare we say it?—his soul, into playing and singing with that band. There’s a scene in the movie where Danko and Scorsese are sitting at a mixing board in the Band’s hangout and Scorsese asks Danko what he’s going to do now that the last waltz is over, now that the Band is done, and Danko just kind of stares into the middle distance and barely answers, mumbling something about just making music, and it becomes apparent that this fucker is doomed, that this beautiful, talented fucker is not going to make it. (And he didn’t.) But there’s a shot in the movie, during the performance of “Stagefright,” of Danko, from behind, the single spotlight outlining his form, and when you see that shot you realize that Scorsese has never done anything better.
I love this song (especially this version). I want to second Marco’s point. This is the go-to Christmas gift for parents. I know this from personal experience, there will be flash of recognition and your parents telling you about when they first saw the movie, and oh that must have been how many years ago, and how they had completely forgotten about it and wow this is just so great, I’m going to put it in right now and watch/listen to it this Christmas morning. It’s one of those rare things that will be even better than they remembered.
If you like classic rock, you need to see this concert. If you might like classic rock, this will make you like it. If your parents like classic rock, it’s a great gift.
What I really love about this is that it’s a bunch of musicians. Not pop stars, not marketing creations, and not “performers”. Just musicians with real talent and real soul. That’s too rare in today’s mainstream music.
My point is more that I wish that I’d had an idea of the fact that my screw-ups in high school were pretty insignificant. And the shit days were not so shitty because I was fifteen and nothing was ever muddled permanently; also, you can get arrested, and you probably won’t have to go to jail. Unless you’re a serial killer. Or do something really horrible. Like throw a frozen turkey off an overpass.