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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
With the Vogue’s stage fill with nine of the finest musicians you’ll find, it’s hard to imagine a better band. Opening the show with the slow burn of Myriad Harbour (whose opening lyric I took a plane I took train / Who cares you always end up in the city seemed like a reference to Neko’s travel problems yesterday) the first song the band played from the brilliant new album Together was the pop masterpiece Crash Years. The show was a nice mix of new material (Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk, My Shepherd) songs and old (My Rights Versus Yours, All The Old Showstoppers) and the normally quiet Vogue crowd was on its feet for the entire time.
There wasn’t much stage banter—this was definitely about the music—but after spotting a male audience member in the balcony with no shirt on, Neko started riffing on references to the infamous incident at the Ryman Auditorium when she removed her shirt, apparently resulting in a performance ban. Joking about her boobs being offensive but this guy’s “man boobs” being OK, she was in fine form with comments like “I can make milk with my fuckin’ boobs” and, perhaps the night’s funniest moment, “I’m gonna go home to my hotel room and just take of my shirt and go ‘look at those useful things.” This last, naturally, led to a reaction from the men of the crowd. So predictable.
The New Pornographer’s Together is the most obvious omission from this year’s Polaris Prize Short List. It’s a brilliant album that reminds me of why I fell in love with this band in the first place, the equal of the much earlier and brilliant Challengers and—frankly—a stronger album than Broken Social Scene’s Forgiveness Rock Record and certainly strong than Tegan & Sara’s newest. It’s not going to matter anyway since the prize is going to go to Dan Mangan’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice but it’s an oversight nonetheless.
This show kicked off what I’m expecting to be a music saturated weekend with the next three days of my life being spent at the Vancouver International Folk Fest. I’ll be back to the real world on Monday.
More photos from the show are on Flickr. I wasn’t able to take my “real” camera, and with assigned seating my mobility was limited. The photos are unashamedly Neko heavy—she was directly in front of me on the stage and the other side was somewhat obstructed. Yeah. That’s my excuse…we’ll go with it.