teddy thompson, october 23
The triumphant Toronto return of Brit-folk great Linda Thompson turned out to be a family affair. Musically gifted son Teddy Thompson did double duty accompanying his mother on guitar and bass as well as opening the show with some enjoyably cynical new tunes concerning long-time pal Rufus Wainwright and Los Angeles.
Now 25, the gifted singer/songwriter is looking more like Fairport Convention producer Joe Boyd than ever, at least enough to make father Richard Thompson uneasy.
However, the younger Thompson's self-deprecating sense of humour comes directly from Linda, who chuckled while telling the seated Phoenix crowd how she'd been dubbed "Shozzy" by the road crew "for looking like Sharon and being confused like Ozzy."
After Teddy joked about the club aspirations of Brit-mope rockers like Travis (whom he called "effeminate"), he had the soundman light up the disco ball for his own dubious dance-floor stab. Frightfully droll.
upcoming, veda hille
West Coast piano-basher Veda Hille's on a cross-Canada tour to celebrate her first decade as a fully fledged art-rock dynamo. She's got commissions from the Yukon Arts Council and various Vancouver folk fests under her belt along with a slew of art-slash-musical projects geared toward educating and appreciating Canadian culture. Plus a new indie disc, Auditorium (a comprehensive Hille primer recorded live in BC last May that showcases 10 years' worth of compositions, available through her distributor, www.festival.bc.ca). Hille's clearly been keeping busy, so heaven only knows how she has time for this whirlwind tour with her Skilled and Devoted Band. She's full of surprises. Four years ago I caught a gig in Montreal, expecting a vaguely catatonic ivory-tinkler à la Cat Power. Instead, Hille exploded onstage, a seething spitfire who ended her set with an over-the-top disco piano version of the Jackson 5's I Want You Back. Who knows what she'll pull out at the Rivoli Friday (November 1)?
it's ryan, not bryan
Evidently, alt-country wiseacre Robbie Fulks was so tickled by the recent Ryan Adams kerfuffle at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium -- where Elton John's humourless protege asked to have a patron ejected for shouting a request for a tune by Bryan Adams -- he doesn't want the fun to end. Fulks just announced a special offer on his Web site (http://robbiefulks.com) asking anyone who disrupts a Ryan Adams show with a request for a Bryan Adams song to e-mail him with details about the hilarious fallout. In return, Fulks promises to repay the budding shit-disturbers for the cost of their tickets with online merchandise. Too bad the testy Adams won't be back to Toronto before 2003. Check Fulks's site for entertaining updates.