Description 18 - Valerie Takes the Streetcar

(Note: this blog post has an update at the end.)

Dubber, Spoons and Queen Victoria: three members of the Commonwealth worth a tribute, and that's what I give while riding a Red Rocket. May include a possibly illegal amount of music from The Supers, a sting-y little wasp, and the Mystery of the Missing Golf Course.

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Associated links:
Victoria Day!
Dubber and Spoons Take the Bus
Dubber's blog, The Wireless
Spoons' photoblog
Spoons at DeviantART
The Supers
Graham Powell of The Supers on tour in Europe
Graham's myspace (with amazing solo demos!)
The Spadina Streetcar in Transit Toronto
Harbourfront Centre

Yes, we Canadians have the sense to start summer with a three-day weekend a whole week earlier than the Americans. For those new to Canadian culture, it's known as the "2-4 weekend" for three basic reasons: 1) while we celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday on the fourth Monday in May, her actual birthday was May 24, 2) Victoria Day weekend often includes the 24th anyway, 3) a "2-4" is a case of 24 beers, and taking those cases up to the cottage is as much a part of this holiday weekend as...well, as blowing up fireworks you bought off the back of a truck in the local Dominion parking lot. I still haven't figured that part out yet.

Y'know, The Supers is not all about Graham, although I played two songs he wrote and sings lead on. It's actually the collaboration of him and Maury LaFoy, who I first knew from playing bass in Danny Michel's band in those unforgettable gigs at C'est What. In fact, I had gone to see Danny play at the Hillside Festival a few years ago, and after his set, I wandered to another pavilion, which was where The Supers played, and I just fell in love with their stuff. Maury writes some of the songs, which he sings, and Graham writes some, which he sings. Maury's kind of the Lennon (rocky, sardonic) to Graham's McCartney (smart, but pretty). And I guess I'm just in more of a McCartney mood these days... Btw, the guys are finally putting out a new album soon, so keep checking that gorgeous official site of theirs, with designs by local art/music hero Kurt Swinghammer.

When I first moved to Toronto, there was no Spadina streetcar, but a Spadina bus. So beloved (or reviled by some) was it, The Shuffle Demons did a song about it. You can hear a sample of it on CDBaby, and I highly recommend you do. Where it cuts off, they're singing "77B, on the TTC / Now 77A, well I guess that's okay / give me 77B / on the T-T-T-T-T-T-C!" Those were the different routes. The streetcar line I ride in the episode has only been around since 1997 (the Queen and King Red Rockets are way older), but it's MY streetcar line.

Update Dec. 4, 2006: Hey, look! It's the "Spadina Bus" video! I found it on the Shuffle Demons' myspace page when they asked to be my friend! Thanks, guys! Isn't Web 2.0 awesome? :-)

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