January 3, 2006

Music of the Heartland

I am from Winnipeg. I am at least a quarter prairie boy (the other parts being city boy, northern boy, book boy and mall boy). If you are from Winnipeg and at all cool, you will be a fan of the Weakerthans. They represent so much that is endemic to boys from prairie cities: sweet, angst-ridden, creative, sensitive, leftist, aimless, and ineffectual. Their three albums are filled with lost boy anthems and contain lyrics with a flair for the poetic. "We write the only songs we know how to write: songs that reflect the place we come from, musically and geographically, the community we live in, and the struggle for any one person to connect with another in a meaningful way," says lyricist John Samson. Comprised of Stephen Carroll (guitar, backing vocals), John K. Samson (guitar, lead vocals), John Sutton (bass, backing vocals), and Jason Tait (drums, saw, etc.) The Weakerthans began playing together in 1997 in Winnipeg, Canada.

My favourite line is from “Aside” on Left and leaving: “And I'm leaning on a broken fence between Past and Present tense.” Here is some lyrics from “The Reconstruction Site” from their last album: “I'm lost. I'm afraid. A frayed rope tying down a leaky boat to the roof of a car on the road in the dark, and it's snowing . . . I broke like a bad joke somebody's uncle told at a wedding reception in 1972, where a little boy under a table with cake in his hair stared at the grown-up feet as they danced and swayed.” John Samson is an accomplished poet aside from his song lyrics.

Visit their user-friendly website and help me bring them to Prince George!


Jill said...

I'm a big weakerthans fan, too. Funny how they're not superfamous when they're that good! Samson's an incredible lyricist.


Darren said...

I'm a huge Weakerthans fan, and a big fan of the band Samson was previously in (Propgandhi... political punk also from Manitoba). If there was some way to get them into Prince George, I'd help out in any way possible.

-Darren McLeod