Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Small world, about the size of a poppy seed

Last night I watched Greg and Gentillon, an admirable little film that finally brings some much-deserved glory to Aylmer, Quebec. It's a mockumentary about a small town comedy duo that sets out to conquer the Big City. My jaw nearly dropped when Gentillon went for a guitar lesson and was met by none other than Keith Carman! If you've ever spent any amount of time in the shallow pool that is the Canadian music press (and I think I mean that in a good way), you've probably crossed paths with Carman. His writing has appeared in notable mags like Exclaim! and Chart!, and probably lots of other places as well. He also plays guitar for a kick-ass rock and roll outfit called Maximum RNR. Mostly I knew Max RNR's other guitar playing Keith, Keith Maurik, who was at one time (and maybe still is?) a publicist for Epitaph Records. Despite the fact that they look like total scuzzbags, the two Keiths of Maximum RNR are actually some of the nicest folks you'll ever want to meet.
Keith Maurik is in a few scenes in Greg and Gentillon, but Keith Carman has a pretty large role, in which he not only shines, but gets across the exact impression I got of him the one time I met him face to face (when Max RNR played the Gaslight Saloon in Regina a few years ago): a sincerely nice guy who plays really loud music.

mp3: "I Hate the Cold" by Maximum RNR

Aside from making Keith Carman look good, and providing lots of laffs (especially the fight in the alley), Greg and Gentillon also, surprisingly, made Toronto look really good. Not as good as the Scott Pilgrim books make it look, but, hmmm, Toronto. It's a city that looks not bad. Of all the outdoor scenes in Hogtown, it only rained once. Something to think about.

In the meantime, Vancouver's not so awful. Unless you count the staggering housing costs and consequential epidemic of homelessness (an aside, Frances Bula's City States blog at the Vancouver Sun website is pretty great). But the Black Angels are coming on June 10, and they're bringing the Warlocks! The Black Angels' new album Directions To See A Ghost is out today for your digital downloading, and will be in finer record stores on May 13. If you liked Passover...

mp3: "Science Killer" by the Black Angels

finally, an update on some bands we've previously covered here at ABWAWBA:

Jesse Matheson and the Midnight Snacks will be releasing their brand new CD Pleasure Pounds this Saturday, April 19 at Rime in Vancouver.

The Fake Fictions will be releasing their brand new CD Krakatoa this Friday, April 18 at the Empty Bottle in Chicago.

If you can make it to both shows, you are well on your way to awesomeness.

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