Mark E. Smith has died. The Fall’s frontman was as prolific as he was uncompromising. He recorded 30+ studio albums since the late 70s and was incredibly influential to the ever-growing, ever-shifting alternative music scene. Bands such as Pavement, LCD Soundsystem, Sonic Youth, and countless others have named The Fall as influences on their music. Need just one song to pay your respects? Listen to “Totally Wired” or “Hip Priest.” Want to dig in even more, but feeling overwhelmed with the band’s output? Check out The Fall’s career spanning greatest hits album with a more than subtle nod to Elvis: 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong: 39 Golden Greats.
On “Frightened,” the first song of The Fall’s 1979 debut album, Live at the Witch Trials, Mark E. Smith spouts “Someone’s always on my tracks… ” I doubt Smith knew just how much of an influence he would be on post-punk that early in his career, considered he dismissed every band that named him as one. But that prophetic line, even if it is meant to be taken literally, will stick with me and Smith’s irreverent, raw, unpolished music for sometime. Rest in peace Mr. Smith.
Choir! Choir! Choir! are returning to downtown St. Catharines! The excitable Toronto-based duo made up of Nobu Adilman (Food Jammers) and Daveed Goldman lead the audience on a performative night of your life! (last exclamation mark, I promise) Back in December, at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s Robertson Theatre the pair lead a couple hundred people in singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.’” It was joyful, inspiring, and the kind of fun you can only have with a room full of people (sometimes strangers) belting out your soon to be favourite song. After performing in NYC with Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, they return to the PAC for another spectacular night on Friday February 16 at 8pm.
Choir x3 are known for their impromptu, last minute public gatherings to celebrate (and sing) the life of a famous musician who may recently passed. Their videos paying tribute to Gord Downie, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty and David Bowie have gone viral. Most recently, they paid tribute to Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan with a group session of “Linger” that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Whether or not they sing a song by The Fall is up for debate (probably not). This month’s St. Catharines song is TBA – watch the PAC’s social media for the announcement.