The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre Winnipeg

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Dec 18 2010

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Sierra Sawatsky

he says
he’ll never do it again
(never ever never?)
he says
he’ll understand
if we leave
(4 albums of music
in just one night)
he asks us
how we’re doing
(periodically)

all 4 Weakerthans
albums

played in this order,

Reunion Tour
Reconstruction Site

an intermission

Left and Leaving
Fallow

49 songs

185 minutes

The Weakerthans

(plus, a truly wonderful
opening set
by Imaginary Cities)

nearly 4 hours of live music!

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

in the historic
Burton Cummings Theatre
more than 100 years old
the theatre that marvels
(that awes)
bands/musicians
(like The Flaming Lips)

(O Winnipeg,
how this beauty shines
all around us)

Winnipeg’s own,

John K Samson
our city’s compassionate
poet
(disguised as a
high school teacher)

our beautiful
warts and blemishes
(“watch the North End die”)
our beautiful
glories and stories
(St. Boniface, The Exchange District,
Louis Riel)

Winnipeg

“The Guess Who sucked,
the Jets were lousy anyway”

One Great City!

the greatest song
(capturing the feeling
and spirit
in the city)
ever
written
about our Winnipeg

of course,
The Mag 7s
This City
(Shall Rise To Heaven)
always has us joining
in, singing! hoping!
praying!
and Greg MacPherson
writes beautiful
odes to Winnipeg,
too.

these songs and history lessons
passion and c(alm)passion
poetry and prose
short stories
in every song
chapters unfolding
his heart holding
the longing
the love
the grieving
for buildings lost
wrecking balls
and de/construction
sites
and resurrection
lights

the places we walk
together
Winnipeggers
in the bitter, muttering
(teeth-chattering)
cursing
the cold

John K Samson’s idea
for a Christmas
gift to our great city.

John K Samson with The Weakerthans concert photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

4 nights
4 concerts
in a row.
each night
one Weakerthans
album,
with some extras!
3 nights in smaller
venues.

The first night, Fallow
at the legendary punk bar
The Royal Albert Arms
(where i saw The Nils
but didn’
t see Husker Du,
where was I?
where i saw The Rheostatics,
so many times)

and you know,
when i’m listening
to The Weakerthans
to the poetry
and the punk rock
glories

i hear those
beautiful Rheos
dave and martin and tim

hearts of gold
hearts of compassion
and stories
told
just like a poet
sees it
breathes it
feels it
writes it

truth.

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

truth told,
this is the most beautiful
Christmas gift
a poet son
could give
his city.

his lovers.

his (faith/full) fans.

because
you know
not all Winnipeggers
love
The Weakerthans
or
John K Samson

jealousy?
envy?

likely.

sadly.

John K Samson
is
Our
Poet
son.

(and please, dear detractors,
get over your bitterness,
you wear it sadly
for all to see and feel.)

the second night,
at The WECC
Left and Leaving.
an old church
resurrected.
where i’ve seen
every imaginable band
and musician play,
Haydamaky
to
Fucked Up
to
Ben Lee
to
Olof Arnalds.

the third night,
The Pyramid
and Reconstruction Site
performed.

3 small venues,
sold out in minutes.

The final night
at The Burton
(Reunion Tour)
formerly The Walker,
John K decided
to give an extra special
present
for people who couldn’t
possibly buy one of those
200 tickets to The Albert
to hear Fallow
or the 380 tickets to The WECC
or the 400 to The Pyramid

the gift of all 4 albums
in 1 night.

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

and no encores
“for obvious reasons”
John tells the audience.

and so
we danced
and celebrated
with our Poet,
with Our
Weakerthans.

the songs that moved me,

(and with these titles
and the lyrics!
one could use
William S Burroughs
cut up method
and construct
gorgeous poetry)

(i’m just saying,
i’m just inviting…)

Civil Twilight
hymn of the medical oddity
relative surplus value
tournament of hearts (the greatest song
ever! never ever! about curling)
virtute the cat explains her departure
elegy for gump worsley (the greatest song poem
for Gump Worsley, that beautiful face!)
sun in an empty room
night windows (inspired by the paintings of edward hopper
in our library)
Bigfoot!
reunion tour (this boom/boom, climbing/marching poem!)
utilities (the guitar solo! John tells us he’s practiced a few
more in his room, they’re not quite ready for prime time)

(most every song from)
Reunion Tour
translates beautifully
live
in its entirety
its fullness and rich
imagery of our
poet’s
visions.

(manifest)
the reasons
reconstruction site
plea from a cat named virtute
our retired explorer (dines with michel foucault in paris, 1961)
(hospital vespers)
uncorrected proofs
a new name for everything
one great city!
benediction (harmonizing with his partner/poet, Christine Fellows)

again most every song
from Reconstruction Site.
and me dancing!
with 4 beautiful women
and 1 beautiful man
in our loge area
watching the illimitable
Robbie Rousseau dancing
in his balcony loge
all night long!
with celebrants!
dancing and ! dancing!

the courageous
characters
in our glorious
Winnipeg.

after the intermission,
John returns in his
bright blue
Judy for mayor
t/shirt,

the best, most compassionate,
caring
passionate
mayor this city
never Ever will have.

and so begins
left and leaving,
in the dance!

the highlights,

everything must go!
aside
watermark
pamphleteer (beautiful)
this is a fire door never leave open
left & leaving
my favorite chords

it’s that second half
of left and leaving
where i begin
to fall away,

to move to the back
and listening
(respectfully)
but those are the hardest
songs of the night
dirges
of sadness/es
and madness/es
laments to our city
and a leaving
and
the return.

Fallow,

illustrated bible stories for children
diagnosis
confessions of a futon-revolutionist
none of the above
letter of resignation
Wellington’s Wednesdays (another legendary punk venue, where i saw
Crucifucks and Tupelo Chain Sex)
greatest hits collection (for Nettie and Jennie, two beautiful and
generous Winnipeggers!)
anchorless
fallow

“a lovely end”
is written in my journal.

a lovely Christmas
gift
(truly)
to Winnipeggers
and those far
ranging
fans,

who travelled here
in the middle of our
winter
from hot climates
like Georgia
to see
The Weakerthans
at home
for Christmas

giving
loving
being

Beautiful./

Merry Christmas,
Winnipeg!

from John K
Jason
Greg
Stephen
Rusty (who also co-fronts Imaginary Cities)

Julie (violin)
Christine

Cam
Shawn
The Folk Festival
Nettie and Jennie,
Robbie and
Eugene (that’s me) too!

The Weakerthans
Burton Cummings Theatre
December 18.

The Weakerthans concert photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

John K Samson with The Weakerthans concert photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

The Weakerthans at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Dec 18 2010. Sierra Sawatsky photo

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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