How did we escape so long without a Weakerthans thread?

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Recontruction Site, so very good.
So Im still kinda pissed off at them for a long winding reason that I probably shouldn't hold against them but this album is still great.
Best power pop band since Change of Heart?

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 12:56 (sixteen years ago) link

must. get. pc. working.

They're one of my favourite obscure bands, ever since Penny Arcade, of all sites, linked to an mp3 of Aside. I heard that and Watermark, then was disappointed when I got Left and Leaving that there weren't any other songs as straightahead on the album. In time I've come to love the rest of it.

A common view, I'm sure, but the steal from Temptation on Wellington's Wednesdays is pure beauty.

Sean C to thread?

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 13:20 (sixteen years ago) link

must. get. home. pc. working.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 13:21 (sixteen years ago) link

There not so obscure in Canada, at least the left half of the land though they have some brave fans out east.
I picked up Sloan, Weakerthans and The Constatines on Friday and I'm finding myself putting on Reconstruction Site over the others.
It follows the vien like you Andrew, I hoping that Left and Leaving would take. And it once again reconfirms my faith in Ian Blurton as producer.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 14:03 (sixteen years ago) link

I've been listening to this one non-stop for the last week and a half, alternating with the new Sloan, and I'm seriously tempted to do a major write-up on both of these new albums. The initial thoughts on Reconstruction Site was that it was very very good but not quite as good as Left or Leaving, which was like a bomb going off in my brain--an album that was simultaneously loud, gentle, angry and completely delicate emotionally, the type of album that could make you cry under the right circumstances.

The new one isn't quite as melancholy as that one, to me anyhow. I think I really identified with Left or Leaving because of that album's overarcing theme of simultaneously hating and loving a place, wanting to get away but feeling the need to go back; since I'm also from Manitoba and recognize a lot of the landmarks they sing about (specifically on L&L but also on Reconstruction Site) it makes it all the more profound to me.

I actually chatted with someone else about a section of the lyrics from "One Great City" the other day...that's the song with the refrain at the end of every section that claims "I hate Winnipeg". There are a lot of specific references to Winnipeg places and things in that song, but the band has cleverly made the lyrics meaningful even for those who don't know the city. Specifically:

"And up above us all, reaching into sky
A golden business boy will watch the North End die"

To people in Winnipeg this has very very specific meaning, namely the golden goy statue on top of the legislature, which has a birds-eye view of the decaying north end of the city; on the other hand, it also could easily refer to any corporate fatcat sitting on top of a skyscraper looking out at the rest of the city, watching it fall apart from his golden tower. Maybe this ability to write specific lyrics that actually mean something to the rest of the people who don't get them as intended is a small thing, but it's one of the things about John K Samson that I really admire: even when he's getting very specific about his targets, he's poetic enough about it for it to be meaningful to anyone who looks, regardless of their experience or perspective.

It's definitely an amazing album, though it has a much more upbeat feel this time out (how could it not when the key song is about an Antarctic explorer meeting with Michel Foucault, and another song is told from the perspective of a cat...even if that cat is watching its owner fuck their life up?). Definitely in the running for #1 this year.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 14:13 (sixteen years ago) link

And yes, the Ian Blurton thing...I love Ian as a producer almost as much as I love him as a musician, though admittedly there are a couple of places on this new album where it y'know sounds like Change of Heart more than the Weakerthans.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 14:15 (sixteen years ago) link

Sounding like Change of Heart really suits The Weakerthans though. The lyrics and songs are different enough that they aren't interchangeable. Specially with a strong writer such as Samson.
With all this gushing though, "False Alarm" is best song I've heard off the three albums I mentioned buying.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 14:26 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah that single note guitar thing Ian does. I love that guy. I may be wearing my Blurtonia t-shirt today. (checks) Nope. Maybe tomorrow.

I love "One Great City" possibly the best song about the Prairies since the Minor Thirds!

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 14:39 (sixteen years ago) link

though really, for the most part, this is pretty much the same record as the last one, which isn't necessarily a bad thing (since the last one was very good).

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Tuesday, 2 September 2003 14:39 (sixteen years ago) link

From AMG:
"Like the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, whose intelligence and wit seep into every corner of his work, the odd, sometimes grandiose song titles of Reconstruction Site are headings for lyrics that revisit pet Samson topics "

Really now? Later on it seems the reviewer took some very literal readings of the lyrics.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Monday, 8 September 2003 14:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Ha! The last Propagandhi album, while still excellent, suffered from a lack of Samson's melodic gifts IMO

Still, Propagandhi > the Weakerthans in my experience so far, though I haven't listened to Reconstruction Site's over there by the stereo right now, actually

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 8 September 2003 15:00 (sixteen years ago) link

Wow, I'm interested in why you think that, John. I always found Propagandi, even though I'm sympathetic to their viewpoint, to be much like a brick in the face. I mean, sometimes you need that, but I just find the Weakerthans so much more satisfying in virtually every way (except for the brick in the face portion, obviously).

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Monday, 8 September 2003 15:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Just hearing the band name makes me want to kick every member. But when I heard 2 songs on a free comp I found . . . boy did I want to kick every member.

David Allen, Monday, 8 September 2003 15:23 (sixteen years ago) link

sometimes I think the Weakerthans might just be a really really good crappy emo band.
othertimes, I don't know, maybe they're working something. I've been sorta back and forth between indifference and like, "THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BAND IN CANADA RIGHT NOW!!!" hysteria. It's tiring.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 8 September 2003 15:33 (sixteen years ago) link

reconstruction site is the only thing i've heard by them, and their lyrics are really, really good. nice packaging too. but the music is boring boring boring. sounds like the old 97s or some shit. propaghandi was way better; their hooks were actually hooks.

i've only listened to the album like 3 times, but i don't really plan on listening to it again.

Tom Breihan (Tom Breihan), Monday, 8 September 2003 16:01 (sixteen years ago) link

Sean, I love Propagandhi to bits - I think there's a lot more going on underneath the brick-to-the-face surface of things, and I also enjoy the brick itself, so to speak. I like plenty of low-key stuff, but the Weakerthans have always bored me, which disappointed me a lot because "Anchorless" (the obligatory J.K. Samson song on "Less Talk, More Rock") was one of my favorite Propagandhi numbers.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 8 September 2003 17:26 (sixteen years ago) link

also, Tom OTM about Propagandhi's hooks

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 8 September 2003 17:27 (sixteen years ago) link

j0hn and tom OTM (particularly j0hn's 1st comment, propagandhi just aint the same without samson)

Felcher (Felcher), Monday, 8 September 2003 21:08 (sixteen years ago) link

OK so my wife was listening to "Reconstruction Site" tonight & having heard & liked a song from it on the radio earlier this week I leaned my ear in and yes! everybody who hearts the Weakerthans is right about this being pretty great. Samson's awareness that he's essentially writing variations on the same meldoy is WONDERFUL (he delineates which songs are basically the same song with color-change in text on the sleeve) - there's some fairly ad-con points to some of the album (which seems not-uncommon in Canadindie) & charges of "boring & staid!" seem fair, but at its best this is a terrific record. I still think a Samson-richer Propagandhi would have been a better thing because Propagandhi, as a band, is just WAY better than the Weakerthans.

For that to happen, though, Propagandhi would have had to envision some pretty radical change, which isn't something they're really equipped to do, as much as I love them.

"Our Retired Explorer" stuck v. heavily in my head. good stuff that

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 22 September 2003 02:07 (sixteen years ago) link

The north end is not decaying that badly. I wish it was possible to get into one of their damned shows when they play here!

Bryan (Bryan), Monday, 22 September 2003 05:43 (sixteen years ago) link

The only happy emo band. I love this, "Rely a bit too heavily, on alcohol and irony... in love wit love and lousy poetry."

Speedy Gonzalas (Speedy Gonzalas), Tuesday, 23 September 2003 05:32 (sixteen years ago) link

I think sometimes they confuse wordiness with good.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Tuesday, 23 September 2003 14:41 (sixteen years ago) link

They're emo now?

Goddamm next you'll wonder about their color coded riddims as John pointed out above.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Tuesday, 23 September 2003 14:50 (sixteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Mr. Noodles, care to enlighten me re: Change of Heart? I'm finding myself v. tempted to put Reconstruction Site at the top of my 2003's best list, so something in the same vein would obviously be of interest...

Baked Bean Teeth (Baked Bean Teeth), Friday, 5 December 2003 21:00 (sixteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
I've had a Change of Heart (S&D)
Change of Heart were a long running Toronto band starting sometime in the 80s and going 15+ years. Sean C knows more about them than I. Ian Blurton their leader was the producer for Reconstruction Site and Sean is correct that he makes them sound eeriely like his old band at times.
If your going to put some effort into a search for Change of Heart, look for Smile. The sound is a bit off production wise but its an incredibly good album. Sadly it was a Cargo record and since they went belly up its been lost in the shuffle.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Wednesday, 4 August 2004 12:15 (fifteen years ago) link

eight months pass... apparently all of the Constantines/Weakerthans shows at Lee's Palace were sold out, but we got our tickets for the Thursday (last night) show just in time. I don't really go out for bands all that often because I need my beauty rest, but this one we made an exception for.

It was actually four bands altogether, including one band with a slightly Buckley-esque lead singer, but whose name I never caught because their sound mix was so bad that you couldn't ever understand a word he said when he was talking. The second band was called Black Knights, and it's hard to say whether the band was a joke or whether they were serious...anyhow, bullet belts and heavy metal t-shirts = stupid revved up fun, and songs about eating shit. Yum.

Constantines were very good. Was a bit blah on their last album, but the show was pretty good. Of course, the Weakerthans smoked, even after a slightly shaky vocal start. Once warmed up it was fantastic, and it even included the steel guitar bits! (Not enough rock bands use steel guitar.) At the end the Weakerthans and Constantines played a song together for the encore...I know the song, but can't put my finger on who did it originally. It'll come to me soon.

Going back to the car after the show, an asshole backed right into my front bumper right in front of us, while parallel parking on a block that was pretty much vacant behind our car...motherfucker! But even that wasn't enough to spoil the evening. Good show.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Friday, 8 April 2005 19:54 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...
i've been told i would like this band. i downloaded a few tracks and so far so good... the MGs comparison seems fitting, but i'll leave it to the experts to tell me why that's not true.

even cathy berberian's nose (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 25 April 2006 11:55 (thirteen years ago) link

(and reconstruction site is in the d/l queue this morning.)

even cathy berberian's nose (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 25 April 2006 11:57 (thirteen years ago) link

Funny this thread should get revived. i was just thinking they kind of remind me of Death Cab For Cutie.

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 25 April 2006 13:39 (thirteen years ago) link

I still think they sound more like Change Of Heart would 10~15 years down the road then MGs. I suppose John in front of full band could end up sounding similar though.

Rufus 3000 (Mr Noodles), Tuesday, 25 April 2006 13:46 (thirteen years ago) link

Ya, it's more the singing than anything else that I find compairable.

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 25 April 2006 15:10 (thirteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
It's going on four years since Reconstruction Site. New album. Stat. (Please.)

Roy Kasten (Roy Kasten), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 03:56 (thirteen years ago) link

sometimes I think the Weakerthans might just be a really really good crappy emo band.

I had a friend who played the Weakerthans non-stop in his car about 4 years ago, specifically Left and Leaving, and I usually veered toward this thought.

Zachary S (Zach S), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 05:11 (thirteen years ago) link

seven months pass...

Seems like there is barely any Weakerthans love on ILM, which is a shame. The new album Reunion Tour is out on 25 September and a few new tracks are scattered around music blogs. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure (below) is probably the loveliest song I've heard this year.

Bill A, Friday, 24 August 2007 13:02 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

First listen in, "Relative Surplus Value" followed by "Tournament of Hearts", and I'm a grinning, happy monkey.

scampering alpaca, Wednesday, 26 September 2007 19:15 (twelve years ago) link

i hear it is good

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 26 September 2007 20:17 (twelve years ago) link

nine months pass...

i love teh weakerthans

dylannn, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 04:26 (eleven years ago) link

I've been listening to them a ton lately.

kate78, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 05:39 (eleven years ago) link

I forgot how much I really loved "Aside" until I re-heard it the other night when The Wedding Crashers was on cable. I still don't like any of their albums, or really any of their other songs even.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 06:38 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

^^^ hope this dude got punched in the face in the last fifteen months

damn but every song on left & leaving is just a fucking -#- EXPERIENCE -#- had itunes on shuffle and "there is a fire door..." came on and i had to listen 2 the whole album after that and i could sing every single word~~~~~

^ poll it (Lamp), Sunday, 11 October 2009 07:09 (ten years ago) link

Right here, chump. Take a swing.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 11 October 2009 08:03 (ten years ago) link

eleven months pass...

.: September 21, 2010 :.
The Falcon Lake Incident

The Falcon Lake Incident: October 19th, 2010.

We are all so very very pleased and relieved to finally announce the release date for the Jim Bryson and the Weakerthans The Falcon Lake Incident. Thanks to our good friends at Maple Music, Kelp Records and iTunes, we are happy to announce The Falcon Lake Incident will see it's Canadian release on Tuesday October 19th. Tour dates, pre-sale info and release day antics are also about to be announced. There will much more to tell you in the coming days so please check back in here . As well, wander on over to our Band Camp page people & have a sneak peek at what this all sounds like

Thanks so much to everyone for making this all happen and to Manitoba Film and Music for helping us all make this a reality. More to follow

Bee OK, Friday, 24 September 2010 02:05 (nine years ago) link

three weeks pass...

so what exactly went down at Falcon Lake, anyway? is everyone OK? I can't wait til the 19th.

del griffith, Saturday, 16 October 2010 22:45 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...


mookieproof, Saturday, 4 December 2010 04:33 (nine years ago) link

eight months pass...

but i cant remember the sound/that you found for me

game of pwns (Lamp), Sunday, 28 August 2011 23:55 (eight years ago) link

four months pass...

John K. Samson solo record out January 17!

Paste has a song up, "When I Write My Master's Thesis" (heh):

Who wants to see the great Pavarotti sit on a pie? (jer.fairall), Monday, 9 January 2012 01:15 (eight years ago) link

pretty sweet to a great band like the weakerthans to back him up oh wait

shaane, Monday, 9 January 2012 01:46 (eight years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Anyone heard John K's record yet? Basically a quieter Weakerthans record. I thought it was nice the first few times though til it finally clicked in a big way on the fourth or fifth spin.

Who wants to see the great Pavarotti sit on a pie? (jer.fairall), Sunday, 29 January 2012 00:59 (eight years ago) link

Yeah I'm liking it quite a bit though it's a bit disappointing that a big chunk of it has already been released on some of his earlier singles...feels a bit less like a new album that way but it still holds together nicely I think. Need to listen to it a few more times before I truly feel the love for it in great waves, but pretty sure that's coming.

BTW Falcon Lake Incident is a-okay too, even though it's my least fave of the Weakerthans-related projects. And I like Jim Bryson too, fwiw. It's just maybe a bit too casual for it to hit the same level, but it's a nice enough listen from time to time.

Sean Carruthers, Sunday, 29 January 2012 05:23 (eight years ago) link

True about so much of it being previously released, but it's cool to hear, for instance "cruise night" (my fave of the ep tracks) getting somewhat fuller arrangements.

Who wants to see the great Pavarotti sit on a pie? (jer.fairall), Sunday, 29 January 2012 05:53 (eight years ago) link

True enough - it's more like it slightly diminishes the fun of hearing a full album of all new material for the first time. I hadn't noticed that the songs from the singles were on here at first and my gut reaction was "this sounds like he's repeating himself"! Then I looked closer at the tracklist.

Sean Carruthers, Sunday, 29 January 2012 16:42 (eight years ago) link

four months pass...

been listening to that john k samson album a lot. i guess i never followed closely enough to have heard too much of it before.

oh. i just wanted to put oka everywhere here too.

dylannn, Tuesday, 19 June 2012 07:53 (seven years ago) link

four months pass...

Ok so the year ain't over yet, and there's still lots of stuff that is already out that I haven't gotten around to yet, but I'm thinking that Provincial may be my AOTY.

Room 227 (cryptosicko), Saturday, 27 October 2012 01:35 (seven years ago) link

<3 this guy + his wife + his band + his fellow nationals

but what does the k stand for

mookieproof, Saturday, 27 October 2012 01:59 (seven years ago) link

do not <3 reggie leach tho

mookieproof, Saturday, 27 October 2012 02:03 (seven years ago) link

eleven months pass...

annual reminder of <3

mookieproof, Saturday, 26 October 2013 04:16 (six years ago) link

I wore my Weakerthans shirt to school the other day and got complimented on it.

a fifth of misty beethoven (cryptosicko), Saturday, 26 October 2013 04:50 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

Kind of figured this was the case already, but here's the official(ish?) word:

The New Gay Sadness (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 13:09 (four years ago) link

Would never be able to listen to Left and Leaving again but def a formative record, for me and many others I'm sure

the naive cockney chorus (Simon H.), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 13:24 (four years ago) link

now that i have cats i cannot listen to the virtute songs

anyway incredible band, saw them do all of reunion tour three (?) years ago and it was a v emotional show on its own

all of their records sound so good

now that i have cats i cannot listen to the virtute songs

haha so otm

mookieproof, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 23:57 (four years ago) link

I can't remember the sound that you found for me no I can't remember the sound that you found for meeeee.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 16 July 2015 23:35 (four years ago) link

i wish i could find the edit i made that combined the two virtue tracks

always loved the part in 'plea...' where the instruments fall away and he sings all you ever wanna do is drink and watch tv

affluent white (Lamp), Thursday, 16 July 2015 23:40 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

New John K. solo record (that's really a new 3/4 of the Weakerthans record) out October 21

rhymes with "blondie blast" (cryptosicko), Monday, 15 August 2016 15:16 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

For the most part, I think about golfing
and constantly calculate
all the seconds left and the minutes and so on, etc.
Oh, Ontario. Oh, Jennifer Jason Leigh.
This part of the day bewilders me.

Hoping we see another album from him this year. Or even a reformation.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 17:34 (two weeks ago) link

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