1/27/09: The Rural Alberta Advantage @ Pianos (5/100)

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It’s day #5 and I’m already tired and my stomach’s a mess from going out, drinking beer and eating shitty food for four nights in a row. Honestly, what have I gotten myself into? Two weeks ago I was on a pretty solid diet – counting calories, low carbs, barely any drinking, working out – but I have fallen off that wagon pretty hard, and fast. And if I keep drinking beer at every show, I’ll need to change the URL to 100 days of rehab. I have to give myself some rules, like immediately. Here’s one: I can only drink beer at shows on the weekend. I’ll start…um, next Monday. 

I’m guess I’m just feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole thing. Plus, I’ve spent a bunch of money so far. Which is why I am going to be adding a Paypal donation function to the blog soon. I’m sure my mom will donate a few bucks. You should too – if you value karma.

So I worked until about 10pm tonight and then went straight to the show. From advertising to binge gigging – this will be my life for the next 95 days. I’m really looking forward to tonight’s show. It’s the Rural Alberta Advantage @ Pianos. A great little Canadian band playing their first show anywhere outside of Canada. Technically they’re from Toronto, but Nils (vox/guitar/keys) originally hails from Alberta – hence the name.

I get to Pianos, pay my $8 and head into the backroom, where it’s super packed because the band The Loom is playing their last show of a residency there. Lucky for the RAA, most of the crowd stayed to see them. And they’re great right from the first note. They seem happy, excited, humble and genuine – basically, like every other Canadian I’ve ever known. Their music is honest without being sappy or whiney (and the comparison to Neutral Milk Hotel is impossible to ignore). Nils (vox/guitars/keys) tells the stories behind some of the songs and thanks the crowd about a million times.

And then chimes in with, “Man, you guys are intense…” Then shyly turned away to his bandmates as if to say, “Let’s start, fast, please…” But he’s right. NY crowds don’t aim to intimidate, we’ve just seen it all before, and want you to show us what you’ve got. So we sit and stare and wait. The great bands are able to use that energy to pull out their best.

The RAA did just that, because as they could see, NY loved them tonight. So they returned the sentiment and treated us to something special. Following the final song of the set, they walked into the middle of the crowd and sang us a quiet, sweet goodnight song.

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6 Responses to “1/27/09: The Rural Alberta Advantage @ Pianos (5/100)”

  1. Anything reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel makes me happy. I’ll give ‘em a listen.

    Get yourself a cheap ticket ($12) for next Wednesday’s Doveman concert (2/4 at Joe’s Pub) and join our group if you’d like for his “Footloose” covers. Also, there’s a free “winter jam” session in LES next Saturday (2/7) for that Red Bull Snowscraper installation. Not sure if it’s DJs or what but should be a pretty awesome backdrop and it’s no cost… (featured artists: Apollo Run, Jenda White and Dujeous).

  2. Nick, hang in there!

  3. Payday is Fri and Monday next week—I will put a little ticket money in your accout

  4. I knew I could count on you, Mom

  5. Lol

  6. [...] they really bring it live. I had the chance to see them on day 5 of the 100 Bands project in the tiny back room at Pianos. It was The RAA’s first gig anywhere outside of Canada and [...]

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