Show Recap: Live as Batman & Robin at The Central

Dog Is Blue live at The Central as Batman & Robin on 03-12-11

    Set List:

  • Tortoise
  • Dusty Bones
  • Batman Theme*
  • The Way It Goes
  • People
  • Song Written Upon Getting Cut By the Argos (CLF Sessions cover) w/Henry Adam Svec
  • Stan & Georgie
  • Jingle Bells, Batman Smells*
  • Till the End of the Day (Kinks cover)*
  • Young Enough
  • Laura’s Song
  • Southern Ontario
  • Raise Your Dead
  • She Said
  • *First time

Years from now it won’t matter what songs we played at the 100 Days of Batman show last weekend, or even how hampered we were by technical difficulties for the first half of the set (check your cables, kids), because the above photo* will still exist in the ether of the internet as proof that we actually performed in full Batman & Robin costumes.

In fact, there was apparently some higher power at work (the spirit of Batman, maybe?) making sure that there was no further evidence, as BOTH video cameras we brought mysteriously didn’t capture a single shot and our audio recorder was never even turned on.

All told it was a fun, if sloppy, change of pace and we figured out the technical difficulties just in time to crank up the distortion for a rendition of The Kinks’ “Till the End of the Day” (using the latest of my Saturn electric guitars live for the first time…and promptly breaking a guitar cable at the end). Pulling out some Batman related tunes was also a hoot (we’ll probably record the three new songs listed to the left for a fun EP).

Henry Adam Svec and WL Altman put on a great opening set, as expected. I can never get enough of the subtle humour and great songwriting in Henry’s projects.

*Taken by our stalwart supporter/friend Justin Heldsinger

New Video: Psychedelic Raise Your Dead Live

Here’s another live video from our CD release at the Tranzac last month. This time around it’s for a tune from our first album called “Raise Your Dead.”* We busted out the light-rings for this one too, so I had fun messing with the colours in post-production to give it some psychedelic flair (or even flare, in this case…take your pick).

Got to love that old Saturn guitar too…

*Our handful of die-hard fans will point out that “Raise Your Dead” was actually 2 songs on the album. However, it’s always been played as one at shows…

No Will Power: Another Vintage Saturn Guitar

Two Vintage Japanese Solid-body Saturn Guitars

It’s no secret that I have zero will power when it comes to buying new gear. In fact, some might even say the band exists simply because I had to justify owning so many instruments. Case in point, if you follow the band on Twitter you likely saw me agonizing over the decision of whether or not to buy yet another vintage Japanese Saturn electric guitar. Surprise, surprise—I bought it (it’s the small one on the left). What can I say? I love these wacky axes.

Some say they were built in Japan by Kawai, others say Guyatone, but everyone seems to agree that Saturns first appeared in a 1968 Eaton’s department store catalogue. Personally, I don’t know how I’ve ended up with three of these (all different, mind you), as I’d never even heard of them before I saw the first one on Craigslist last year. However, I was instantly enamoured with their wonky shapes and mystique.

They also get a pretty bad rap, as they were cheap entry level imports for kids who couldn’t afford a Fender or Gibson. In my humble opinion, that negativity isn’t entirely deserved, as with a good setup these bad boys play very well (I wouldn’t have three if they were garbage…). Guys like Hound Dog Taylor and Ry Cooder championed this notion with cheap Japanese guitars of their own (just check out the cover of Hound Dog Taylor & The Houserockers for a multi-pickup beast).

Of course, I don’t have a lot of “high end” axes kicking around to compare these to, as I’m still a kid who can’t afford a Gibson or Fender, but there’s a reason the rest of my electric guitars have ended up on Craigslist. Actually, price is another beautiful thing about these mysterious relics—I paid a total $350 for all three of them (not including setups and a little work here and there by my amazing guitar tech*)! As for how they sound, I’m by no means a “tone aficionado,” but I know what I like and these are fine by me (especially through my homemade Fender Princeton).

They also get a lot of comments when we play live and suit the rest of our homemade gear very well.

Hmm…it just occurred to me that this entire post is pretty much self-aggrandizing piece of effort-justification so that I don’t feel bad about buying another piece of gear…yep.

Oh well. Guitars is purty.

Small Scale Vintage Japanese Saturn Electric Guitar
Small Scale Vintage Japanese Saturn Electric Guitar
Small Scale Vintage Japanese Saturn Electric Guitar
Small Scale Vintage Japanese Saturn Electric Guitar
Small Scale Vintage Japanese Saturn Electric Guitar

*The hollowbody needed the most work (it as also the cheapest), as a bridge inside had collapsed, but now it plays very well and might just be my favourite of the bunch.