The Crooked Brothers at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg

Crooked Brothers photo

The Crooked Brothers with the Magnificent 7s at WECC, Winnipeg, Nov 5 2009. Dallas Ludwick photo

The Crooked Brothers with the Magnificent 7s and Kari Latimer at WECC, Winnipeg, Nov 5 2009

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Dallas Ludwick

you have permission
to be crazy
to be childlike
to be free

to be reckless
to
be

a fool

a joker
a jester

a dancer

a fire
starter

a Holy F#ck(er)

250
people
(at least)
at the West End Cultural
Center
on Thursday night
for
The Crooked Brothers
The Magnificent 7s
and Keri Latimer
of Nathan

John Hak
was there
he’s always
a
fire
starter

he was the only one
by the stage
moving it
shaking it
for Keri Latimer’s
solo set.

my photographer friend
Lisa Varga
asked me recently
don’t you feel sorry
for these kids
who won’t dance
who don’t dance…

is youth wasted on the youth?
youngsters?

courage

brave captains

courage

now
and
forever

to be

The One.

The Dancer.

and there I was
(suddenly)
The One
hooting and hollering
as
The Magnificent Sevens
took the stage

Matt Magura
Chris Bodnarchuk
TJ Blaire
Ida Sawabe
David Nishikawa
Andy Bart

Ida in layers
of sexiness
and a toy
squeezee rat
hanging from her belt
which she offers
me
to squeeze
(and)
i squeeze it

it wheezes
and sneezes
its squeaks

i’m right up
against
the stage

the
gap
breaker

and i know

i’m going to dance

the test

my first real
dancing
since hurting my back
three weeks ago

i need to dance
it’s been,
aching
(me)
not to dance,

to see people

not dancing
at shows

empty dance space
and gaps

because
they lack
courage/

Brave Captains

dance.

be free.

www.myspace.com/themagnificent7s

i danced most
of their magnificent
38 minute set

All Kinds of Mean
Dirty Road
Pills I Took
Whiskey Song
There’s a Time
The Wolf
Rise To Heaven (This City)
Empire!
Darling Corey
Yodel Song

and here’s
what happened,
after the soulfully
gritty
All Kinds of Mean,

Dirty Road
kicked in,
to,
high,
gear

i danced

the only dancer

my eyes
on the players
The Magnificent Sevens

because
yes
i’m shy
and
afraid

i fear

being watched
because i dance
i celebrate

these musicians

every passionate musician

every set
every night
is potentially
the best set
(the best band)
on this planet
anywhere

You
are.

if you participate
in the making of a glorious
night

so some(any)where
after
Pills I Took
i chanced
looking behind me
to see the state of the gap

only
the gap
had
disappeared

there were a hundred
near
and scores of
beautiful women
dancing

The Fire Starter

and that’s all you need

an Arsonist

one Brave Captain

(who really struggles
with every set
i dance to
to be that one
up front
or
next to the stage

dancing)

and by the time

www.myspace.com/crookedbrothers

Darwin, Jesse and Matt
Crooked

walked on stage
augmented
by
an incredibly talented
rhythm section
two wayward brothers
Julian Crooked on upright bass
and
Alain Crooked on drums

there was no gap

Rusty Old Scars
Standing Still
Sweet Lemons
Rocking Chair
Buried Alive
Rupa’s Waltz
She Only
Won’t Be Sunday
You Can’t Tell
Windsor Beer

encores,

Mean Mean Baby
17 Horses
Another Sun
Good Man

65 minutes

the highlights,

mando
banjo and
dobro, too
harmonica
sweetness,
soft, sensual
brushes,
light skin
caresses,
smooth upright
bass strolls
sweet and sour
hard/frolicking
songs

a lotta Tom Waits
growl, a little
jagged and
crooked slant
on a world
whirling too
fast,

Matt’s Rusty Old Scars,

“you’re tearing out my heart
and selling it for scrap
i’ve got these rusted
old scars
on a worn out map
the river’s running dry,
i used to swim
in that creek
now i’m drowning
in debt and it’s plenty deep”

a white knuckle, driving
the endless black
of the Rockies
touring song,

Darwin sings Standing Still,

“it’s blacker than a cave
as we’re spinning round
these curves
eight feet to my right
is an endless abyss
it’s hard to believe
that those galvanized
rails
could keep this behemoth
from falling in
well i think i’m going slow
but i really don’t know
cause that arrow always
says
we’re standing still.”

Darwin squeezes
the (bitter)sweet
juice from Sweet
Lemons,

“my honey said don’t you drink
that carefree wine
cause i know that you got
rollin’ on your mind
if i could see you
i know that i gone blind
we got sweet lemons in kind.”

and a quiet,
sad song
a Rocking Chair Waltz,

“coming home to your arms
i sink into you
run my hand
along the length
of your ribs
like i used to do
now things aren’t the same,
my love i know
but when we rock
back and forth
it’s pretty close.”

and this is when
me ‘n’ other
good music
listeners
noticed
a whole lotta
very
rude
chattering
overpowering
a sadly
beautiful
song

go,go,go
to the lobby
to the back

don’t be killing
a sadly beautiful
performance
of a song

and, i love to dance
but when a song
is so poignant

i want hear it
feel it
be into it
fully

not hear
your cell
phone
conversation,
your lame dick
52 card pick
up lines

Matt sings a
swinging
folk country
death song
that breaks me,
and, yes, buries me
alive

Buried Alive,

“i don’t remember
much of last night
except that brown dress
the look in her eyes
a country waltz
the dew on her thighs
and how good it felt
to love
another man’s wife.”

flows into Rupa’s
Waltz, instrumental
dance song

Matt sings
a rol(licking)
beauty,

“let’s get all done up
in our Sunday best
we don’t go to church
but god damn
you look good
in that Sunday dress
and as they sing
them worn out hymns
they never give a rest
we’ll go roll
in the fields
and i will kiss
your breasts
On the Lord’s day.”

and a little more
and more sexiness,
(amore)

You Can’t Tell Me

“you can’t tell me
you’ve never seen dusk
blush red
and slowly
lift her dress
oh peel away
the day until
nothing’s left
and one by one
show you her stars
dancing slow
and melting
your heart
you can’t look me
in the eyes and
tell me
with a straight face
that you don’t see her too.”

a punchy
drunk
Tom Waits
hammer and bang,
Windsor Beer
and
we’re dancing
roaring for
the encores
17 Horses
Tom Waits
stylings
Darwin wails
harmonica
on Mean,
Mean
Baby

4 hot songs

and a beautiful
evening, with some
sour notes
(i’m talking
rude
chattering
boys)

with the Crookeds
The Sevens
and Keri Latimer

November 5
WECC.

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene

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