The Weakerthans
Reunion Tour
Anti-
Four damn years after Reconstruction Site, Winnipeg’s favourite sons return with their most robust effort since Fallow. Thank returning producer Ian Blurton for the crunch but credit Canada’s best lyricist, John K. Samson, for the spellbinding story-songs that have made this band so beloved. (Shove off, Hip!) In them Samson reveals tiny details only the keenest observer would notice: in the great opener “Civil Twilight,” a bus driver laments a lost love and talks of riders who “bite their mitts off to show me transfers, deposit change” and of ways he passes the time: “recite the names of provinces and Hollywood actors/oh Ontario, oh Jennifer Jason Leigh.” In the longtime live staple “Night Windows,” about a death, he sings, “the full moon makes our faces shine/like over-ironed polyester.” Sort of oddly for a dude with roots in politics and punk, the best song is a sequel, (“whore’s movies,” William Goldman calls them), to Site’s “Plea from a Cat Named Virtute,” in which a cat wanted her owner to sack up and get on with life. In “Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure,” things aren’t going much better, and so Virtute takes off (the explanation: “I can’t remember the sound that you found for me”). A musical equivalent to Alice Munro, Samson finds broken beauty in daily life and makes it extraordinary, just like the band he leads.
Tara Thorne
categories: Coast pick,Canadian artist

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