by carl wilson

So Long, It's Been Good to Know You
Plus: The 'Shoe Fits

The Horseshoe on Queen St, Toronto, as it looked back in the Stompin' Tom/early-punk era.

This just in: RIP Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The Guardian's "Readers Recommend..." Friday feature of themed song playlists is always a pleasure, and for me today's "... Songs About Other Songs" is crystal meta, although I think they miss a beat by naming "Sweet Home Alabama" itself (more answer song than song-about-a-song) when they could mention the Drive-By Truckers' "Ronnie and Neil," or nearly anything else off of Southern Rock Opera, which is basically music history/criticism set to music. Nick Hornby was amiss in not including the entire 'libretto' in the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2001 book. Does the Guardian have a page where you can see the full list of suggestions for the category? Can't seem to find it. I wonder if there were any Destroyer entries. And for some reason as soon as I saw the topic, perhaps my favourite Randy Newman verse from a not-so-great Randy Newman song began running through my head, from "Old Man on the Farm" (Little Criminals, 1977, the album with "Short People" on it):

Goodnight, ladies.
Sorry if I stayed too long -
So long, it's been good to know you ...
I love the way I sing that song.

Elsewhere, both Eye and Now (in several different articles, timelines, etc) toast the 60th anniversary of Toronto's Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, which opened in 1947 and is celebrating this month. Tonight the Waco Bros. (Mekon Jon Langford's country-rock-rave-up band) play, and next week, a six-night stand by the Joel Plaskett Emergency. Joel's going to showcase a different album each night - so Monday it's In Need of Medical Attention, Tuesday it's Down at the Khyber (probably my favourite), Wednesday it's Truthfully Truthfully, Thursday La De Dah and Friday Ashtray Rock. Then on Saturday he plays a whatever-the-hell-he-feels-like setlist. I'd go every night if I could, but it's not exactly a quiet time of year.

Whenever I visited Toronto in the '90s and for the first couple of years after I moved back here, a visit to the Horseshoe was practically obligatory - it was high times for "alt-country" and there were weeks I felt like it was a second home. Since then I've been more of a nomad, having Boat and Lee's Palace and Sneaky Dee's and Tranzac and Silver Dollar phases that have come and gone and come again, and the 'Shoe, for some reason, has become a less frequent stop on my rounds. Yet even this year, when I've been a less rabid concertgoer, there have been memorable 'Shoe occasions such as the show by The Blow and Republic of Safety this summer. I'm not always fond of the sightlines/crowd configuration in the room, but the sound is usually first-rate and the booking is consistent and strong, and above all the place carries a historical whiff (from Stompin' Tom to the Last Pogo to the secret Stones show etc, as Now's articles detail) that you can't overlook. So happy birthday, you dirty old 'Shoe. And keep an eye out for those surprise birthday shows, Torontonians.

General | Posted by zoilus on Friday, December 07 at 3:21 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)



Just to tie the 33 1/3 and Horseshoe strands together: the best selling 33 1/3 book is about Neutral Milk Hotel, who played their only Toronto show ever at the Shoe.

Posted by Ryan M on December 13, 2007 1:34 PM



Here's the blog entry where Dorian accepted suggestions from readers for Songs about Songs:

No Destroyer... Except for the Kinks' song Destroyer, which includes the line "Met a girl called Lola and I took her back to my place..."

Posted by JKelly on December 7, 2007 9:37 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson