Melissa McClelland at WECC, Winnipeg

Melissa McClelland at the West End Cultural Centre photo

Melissa McClelland at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Nov 10. Ailsa Dyson photo

Review and photos—Melissa McClelland at WECC, Winnipeg, Nov 10 2009

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Ailsa Dyson

www.myspace.com/melissamcclelland

i love her voice
i love her songs
i love her words
i love her smile

jaine loves her “girly songs”
like Skyway Bridge
more than the Tom Waits,
Big Easy
stylin’
songs

that
piano’s
been
drinking!
on the Cds

i Really Love
the jagged
edged
New Orleans
street poems

“I’m as good as dead.”
Glenrio

jeff wouldn’t say

newer/older
gritty/silky

we love her
songs

oh,
the love,

it’s in her
voice
and the crafting
of the words
and melodies
the syllables
and rhythmic
beats
fitting in
purr
fec
tly
with
the spirit
of
The Beats

“don’t you ever fall in love
with a girl who works the clock
if you dare to carry on
she’ll leave you howling
in the light”
God Loves Me

Victoria Day
Thumbelina’s One Night Stand
the CDs

the vibrancy
of the styles
the immediacy
of the tunes,
words,
Voice

like the folds
in her vintage
dresses

bright
red
PoWer

“blood on my knuckles”
Glenrio
“She asked for it!”

shimmering
glitter
soul

tingling
music

heartache
dance

that’s

Melissa McClelland

jeff and jaine
prefer Melissa
performing live
without Luke
on guitar

i don’t

she shines on her own
and was better this time,
reason, when Luke’s
there
you watch him
they agree

i don’t

as soon as she
breathes in and
opens her mouth
to sing

as her lips part
and she utters
the first syllables
the first hummables
the first oooo’s
and aaaahhhhhh’s

i was lost
yet again

i keep
writing it
feeling it

g
o
r
g
e
o
u
s

it’s in her voice
i’m

f
a
l
l
i
n
g

in love
all over again

and then the words
fall
into my hands
like petals
like leaves
like stars
like heaven
like nails
(hammered
in)

i like Melissa and Luke
playing it live
but i’ll take
what i can get

11 songs
one hour

(just right
for the just about
200 at the WECC)

Hogtown
Go Down Matthew
Glenrio
Skyway
Goodbye To You
God Loves Me
A Girl Can Dream
Passenger 24
Victoria Day
Money Shot
Brake

“shit-faced Cinderella”
did i hear her right?
beautiful
haunting
harmonies,
Go Down Matthew

“i got a rubber band
a pitchfork stick
i got a stone
the size of my father’s
fist
i got a mean dog
with a bone to pick
Glenrio
got me seeing red.”

“i’ve been doing
lots of window
shopping.”
A Girl Can Dream

first show
of the tour
a little ragged
mostly glorious

it took the Money Shot
for the extra musicians
to hit that tight
band
stride

that’s alright
she’s always
shining

Loved the jazzy
hot drumming
on Passenger
24.

Justin Rutledge/

a tale of two sets

or

What Is This Shit?

14 songs
80 minutes

the first 35 minutes
he’s playing it solo
acoustic
and it’s really,
um,
soothing

jaine warned me,
you may need a couple cups
of coffee

jaine and jeff
Love
Justin Rutledge

jeff calls him one
of the best songwriters
around

now,
i don’t drink coffee

i drink tea.
sweet and milky
i Love chai.
train stops
in India
chai
street stall chai
Crawford Market.
Mumbai.

so, i’m thinking
how is this happening
Neil Young
Bill Bourne
Ben Lee
they smoke it
solo or with a band

by the third song
i’m sitting down
and i’m yawning
out of control

and i’m thinking
maybe i need a cup of
coffee
like michelle’s drinking

so, Justin tells us a story
about having an itunes
single of the week
and reading the comments
and one of them said,

“what is this shit?”

and he tells
us he just
made some
mistakes
in the song
he just played

first show

when i don’t like
somebody
i don’t write anything
i just let it go

so, then why am i writing this?

because i…

he’s just finished singing
Be A Man
and i’ve written
in my journal,

“The Perry Como of Canadian
singer
song
writers.”

so i’m not going
to write anything
about Justin Rutledge

because i…

and then the band comes
on

and it all changes
on a dime
ooops,

on the Penny
that’s the song
the 6th song

the turning point!

and so
what unfolds

is 55 minutes
of wonder!
after 35 minutes
of, blunder?

like he needs the band’s
adrenaline
rush
to kick start

to energize

and take those
songs
those words
into a different,
reverent
place

the solo songs,

Wire
Emily R
Everyone
Diamonds
Be A Man

the band songs,

Penny
Jesus
St. Peter
Robin
Sober
War
Greenwich
Johnny B Good
Jelly Bean

I Love the big sound
guitar solo lines
of David Baxter

truly,
two different sets
two completely
different
Justin
s

there’s juice and power
and passion with the band

alone
he spaces
into a sleepwalking
singing
zone, giving us
lullabies
to yawn to

so, i wrote about
Justin Rutledge
because i
Loved the last
55 minutes

and the last song
Jelly Bean

he went off mike
to the edge
of the stage

he had us

all singing

feeding us
all the lines

what a lovely
nonsensical
song

pure whimsy

and the choir sang,
200 singers
at the West End Cultural
Center,
beautifully.

Fin.

ps. what if Melissa and Luke did the Chuck Berry songbook?

Melissa McClelland
Justin Rutledge
WECC
November 10

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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One response to “Melissa McClelland at WECC, Winnipeg

  1. 8 years ago  

    Ailsa –

    Your photos are genius. The one of the folds of her dress, swathed in the red light – stunning.

    Good girl.

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