Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Men Who Listen listening party

Men Who Listen, (not to be confused with a Chicago based group of the same name) are one of the more popular participants of Prince Rupert's always lively music scene these days, and as we welcome in 2010 the group has offered up a New Year's present to Podunkians, in the form of a just released single called Prince Rumours.

The song was the group's contribution to the upcoming centennial commemoration album for the city's 100th birthday later this year, a collection of songs which will be unveiled on January 23rd at the Lester Centre of the Arts.
The Men apparently didn't make the final cut with the album's selection committee, perhaps a nod at the satirical nature of the single, which pokes fun at Prince Rupert's reputation for the wildfire spreading of rumours on any topic at any time.
No doubt researched at the city's many coffee shops, watering holes and through its online forums, Men Who Listen provided a pretty striking reflection of the ability of Podunkians to take that story and play that ages old game of "I've got a secret" which of course usually ends with any number of variables, from scandal and malfeasance, to no doubt Black Helicopters and alien abductions if given the chance.

We gather that the selection committee was searching for something along the lines of a chest thumping Pavarotti like epic portrayal of our communities growth from muskeg to er, potash, maybe huh, maybe? Songs that tug at your heart and leave you misty eyed at our passages through time.

What they weren't apparently looking for was something akin to the genius of Weird Al Yankovic, who has made a career out of popping the balloons of the rich, the famous or the fads and foibles of us all.

It's unfortunate that the lads didn't make the cut for the big celebration recording, but for us the committees loss is our New Year's gain, the song was originally posted on line as music file available for download appearing on the htmf forum's Garage sale section (one wonders if they are at heart a garage band).

We were so taken by the release, that we hailed its arrival as a topic of a forum post on htmf (which most likely provided for much of the research for the song itself), where locals have been quick to offer up their salute to the hard driving beat and the spot on portrayal of the city's always churning cauldron of rumour and speculation.

From the audio file and forum salutes we now have a video interpretation of the single, posted on the website Prince Rumour, it takes what appear to be rather helpful portions of Sahar Nassimdoost's reports for CFTK TV News and puts them to the big MWL beat. Making for a pretty impressive video portrayal of the topic matter, (watch the flowers, it's our belief they provide from some form of hallucinogenic powers that have made us amenable to any political offering).

The band of course is available for any occasion as those in the business say, though perhaps their real calling may be in the composition of a satirical revue (and review) of the city's colourful history, perhaps the next offering of the city's talented musical and acting ensembles (last seen at the Wall) could be to offer us up a Men Who Listen soundtrack, outlining the events, scandals, personalities and rumours that have charted this city's 100 year history.

It could be the groups seminal work, the always cherished concept album that all groups have (albums for those too young are what your parents used to listen to music on, archaic as it seems, they had to place a disc on a turntable and lower a sharp needle on the petroleum based disc to make music) the definitive piece of work which all others are forever compared.

Until that moment of artistic evolution arrives, we'll just sit back, check out the Men Who Listen website and take a listen and watch along to the video interpretation, dedicated to Prince Rumour.

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