Jim Bryson, and “our” album. (Warning: sappy ahead.)
Back in early 2011 when I was hanging out with Adam & getting to know him, we talked about music, as budding friends often do. I knew he was from Winnipeg, so naturally the Weakerthans came up in conversation. They’re one of my favourite bands, and had collaborated with Ontario artist Jim Bryson on his album The Falcon Lake Incident. When one of your favourite bands collaborates with another musician it’s like the real life equivalent of a streaming radio service going “you listened to [x artist], so you may enjoy [y artist]!” so I’d planned on going to see Jim play with the Weakerthans band at Lee’s Palace on their promo tour.
I mentioned the show to Adam to see if he was interested, as he liked the Weakerthans. (I was oblivious at this point to the fact I effectively asked him out on a date.) The show was terrific, and the album was something we really latched onto, listening a lot together as we hung out in the beginning of our relationship. Even to this day as I hear the opening notes of the album I get a rush of emotion. Super sappy, eh?
When I saw Jim would be playing a support slot to Jenn Grant at Lee’s Palace this month, it was pretty much a given that we’d go to the show and celebrate a proxy anniversary. I even won tickets to the show by sharing my heartwarming little story with the promotions company! We stopped by the merch table to buy a CD before the gig started and introduced ourselves to JIm, and thanked him for being the reason for us getting together, effectively. He asked if there was anything we wanted to hear specifically, and before he played it during the show gave us a little shoutout. N’awww.
It was a really terrific show. Low-key and intimate, with a little audience singalong for Metal Girls (our request), some non-Falcon Lake stuff that was lovely, including a song about Ontario and a bizarrely amazing sounding cover of Kanye West’s Holy Grail. (Bryson had seen the lyrics and never heard the song, and just penned some music to fit some of the lyrics and it’s wild.) There was a lot of wry stage banter and little stories about the tour so far and his family which was just such a nice and familiar way to have him be between songs. A thoroughly enjoyable show, and a super romantic and wonderful way to spend an evening celebrating the fact that as a couple we don’t just have “our song”, but we have a whole beautiful album.
I encourage you all to check it out, starting with Constellation (with the most – and i’m not being sarcastic here) mournful and gorgeous trumpet riff ever: