The Carnations with By Divine Right at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina), Saturday (November 29). $9. 416-763-9139. Rating: NNNNN
The Carnations have pulled into a Burger King "somewhere near Regina" to call me for an interview, assuring me they hate the place. It's the last day of their tour, and soon they'll be heading home. I ask bassist Thomas D'Arcy about tour highlights.
"I met Wesley Snipes!" he immediately announces without missing a beat.
"Ooh! Did he come to your show?" I ask.
"No! But I met him and that's good enough for me. It was on the set of Blade 3. But, well, I'm almost lying, my whole meeting with Wesley Snipes was his kind of looking at me and going, 'Eeh,' and then me going, 'Aah! I love you!'
"I'm not ashamed to admit it any more. I think he's fucking cool. It all came out last night in Saskatoon. I was really drunk and I admitted to everyone that I do actually love him. Now it's all I have to say. I want to tell the whole world. I'm in love!"
Everything's coming up roses for the local foursome.
Not only does D'Arcy have a new super-hot vampire-slaying boyfriend, but their latest disc, In Good Time, is getting all kinds of awesome reviews.
"We haven't actually gotten any bad reviews, except for the one that you guys did two weeks ago."
Someone's a bit touchy. D'Arcy is referring to NOW's live review, which suggested that the band couldn't quite decide how to define itself. It was not a bad review.
Besides, the new disc got a 4-N rating in last week's Record Guide. The reviewer likened them to Hot Hot Heat.
Others make mention of the early-to-mid-90s Halifax scene that gave us bands like Sloan and Thrush Hermit, and that rings really true for me. Put your ear real close to the CD player while In Good Time plays and you practically hear the ocean.
"You're absolutely right," agrees D'Arcy when I observe the 24-year-old would have been at a most tender and easily influenced age when Halifax was happening. "I was indie rock Thom, 17 years old and lovin' the Thrush Hermit, but I still don't understand why people are drawing that comparison."
There's all sorts of other stuff in there, too, from the Beatles - D'Arcy's favourite band - to the Beach Boys to Britpop. The disc opens with over-the-top a cappella harmonies, but the tempo proceeds to range from totally mellow to full-out kick.
While on tour the band shot a video for the song Kick It Out.
"We're walking along a beach in Prince Edward Island skipping stones."
For the whole song?
"Yeah, for the whole song it's just the four of us walking along the beach trying to look cute."
This will be the second video from the record. They've already made one for I've Got Spies, a punchy, posturing power pop number. Lyric-wise, it's one of those Every Breath You Take, I Can See For Miles And Miles-style paranoid love tunes. The record, D'Arcy explains is supposed to have a song for every part of a relationship.
"So you start off with songs like I Need Someone and Pleased To Meet You. You meet someone, she's pretty cool, you're hangin' out. Hey, actually, she's kinda weird, this is gettin' a little freaky (Your Love Comes In Waves). You're paranoid that she's cheating on you (I've Got Spies). Jeez, she's a fuckin' bitch, you want to fuckin' end this thing, she sucks, she sucks so bad! But you end it and now this is kind of a bummer so you need someone again."
So, it's a concept album.
"It is. I understand that a lot of the songs are different and there's quite a bit of variety on this record, but that's because there's quite a bit of variety in a relationship.
"See, we're not totally random."