Martin Tielli - 9/27/08
Posted: 09.30.08 | Category: [Rheostatics]
Martin Tielli @ Hugh's Room, Toronto - The self-described “tragically ambitious” 1 year / 4 record solo project that Martin Tielli began back in 2003 and stalled out (see: gobbled up its budget) after 2 releases has finally taken steps toward fruition. The recording is complete, the artwork sinister & foreboding - the eerie howl of "The Ghost of Danny Gross, Parts I & II" will seriously...really this time...no joke...creep from Martin’s crazy genius and into our ears before the end of 2008. I’ve seen & heard bits and peices, all wails & whispers, dark roads and skeleton trees; it’s for real. He’s even cautiously left his lair to venture onstage, just finishing 5 dates in & around Ontario. The new ensemble features Weakerthan Greg Smith on bass, classically-trained Monica Guenter on viola & keys, Ryan Granville Martin on drums and other percussive things, and Selina Martin on nearly everything else - guitar, keytar, saw, reed whip (I'm quite serious). The female backing harmonies compliment Martin’s fragile falsetto, and the group fits together like only old friends would.
At his Hugh’s Room show on Saturday, somewhat rusty songs resurrected from the somewhat dusty corners of Martin’s brain meant a few stumbles and the need for lyrical reminders, but there were more than enough moments of pure amazement. When Martin loses himself in a song (as he often does) or in the supernatural sounds he coaxes from his Steinberger ... it’s just a beautiful, bewildering thing. You could hear a pin drop after some, like in the seconds following the brilliant take on Saskatchewan. Not because the audience wasn’t inspired to applaud, but because we had to wrestle back from the dream of astonished disbelief at what we’d just heard.
The 2-part set included a scattering of new songs, some from side project Nick Buzz, and some of his solo + Rheostatic best. Here they are to the best of my absentminded memory, not in correct order and excluding the new songs that I don't yet know the names of. Email me if I’ve screwed up any (note - sorry, comments disabled due to spam):
The ‘Shake off that stage fright’ set:
· Dead is the Drunkest That You Can Get
· Love Streams
· She Said, We’re On Our Way Down (or, I love my neighborhood part 1)
· That’s How They Do It In Warsaw (or, I love my neighborhood part 2)
· That’s What You Get For Having Fun
· I’ll Never Tear You Apart
· Voices From The Wilderness
· Andy By The Lake
· Beauty On
· My Sweet Relief
· Merry Christmas, Sgt Kraulis
· Shaved Head into Ship of Fire (really & truly awesome, despite my vain attempt to get “Baby, I Love You” out of him).
EDIT to add: Thank you to the reader who reminded me of a few more: A Hymn to the Situation, Take me in your Hand and Sleek Red Canoe (which was wonderful done solo acoustic, shame on me for forgetting it).
Whispers have it that the CD release show(s?) will be in early December, but since things in Martin World tend to be tentative, just pencil off the rest of the year on your calendar. Not even kidding. He plays just once in a blue moon (what does that really even mean?), so cross my heart and slather me in kapusta - don’t miss the rare chance.
Exifs:Canon EOS 30D