Review – Trampled by Turtles at the West End Cultural Centre, Sept. 10 2009

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-photos by Ailsa Dyson

ultra,mega
high,speed
hard,core
blue;
grass?

speed/grass
the paper says.

speed,metal,born
grass?

punk,grass
spunk,grass.

during their wonderful
opening set,
Pepper Laing
says,
Trampled By Turtles
may be as fast as a cheetah.

maybe.
could be.

okay.
they are.

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www.myspace.com/trampledbyturtles

now, choose
Truck
or White Noise
and then imagine
these tunes played,

Harder
Faster
Louder,

live!

every song
begins
with a tuning
up,
mandolin
fiddle
guitar
banjo
acoustic bass
and then,
in a breath
in a nod
in a wink,

lightning!

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storm,hail,
tornado
hurricane
typhoon

White Noise!

and it’s Usain Bolt

it’s a race
of instruments
and voices
to the end
of the song.

and yet
the integrity
of the melody
is present
in every song.

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the words
are clearly
syllabled
yes!
there are bells
resounding
in your heart
tingles and shivers
racing
up and down
your
rocky spine

and, i tell everyone,

“i haven’t danced this hard
in two weeks”

not since
the Ridley Bent
show at The Times,

my pick
for best
show of August.

from 90 or so
full
live sets of music
in August.

ah, but for Ridley
i danced beautifully
not nearly
so hard
so fast
as
Thursday
night at the WECC.

my feet moved
as fast
as i could
i propel them
i lifted
off the floor
and soared.

100 lucky
music lovers
experienced
something so
nearly not
possible
to capture

in the moment
of this
now.

there was this
fan(atic)
screaming and yelping
and howling
after (and during)
every song.

that was me.

i was on fire.

these songs
these performances
of these songs,
enraptured me,
in the power
of music.

live music.
it’s religion.
it’s beautiful.

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the set,

November
The Darkness and The Light
White Noise
Trouble
Risk
Valley
Nobody Else
Richardson
Newson(g)?/Burnt
Empire
Wait So Long
Wrong Way
Arming of Infants
Methodism in Middle America
Hammock Swinging
Stranger
Duluth
Truck
Codeine

encore,
Spontaneous
Howling
Raging
Standing
Ovation

Whiskey
Drinkin’ in the Morning(?)

Trampled By Turtles are,
Dave Simonett, lead vocals, guitar.
Tim Saxhaug, bass.
Dave Carroll, banjo.
Erik Barry, mandolin.
Ryan Young, fiddle.

November
sets the table.
gorgeous.

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requests come
out of the darkness
from the 100,
“Whiskey!”
(i clearly hear)

Dave says,
“You guys keep yelling
substances. Maybe we’ve
given the wrong impression…
maybe not.” and then the
Turtles launch
full-on
The Darkness and The Light.

White Noise explodes.
i can hardly keep up,
dancing in the back.
in the dark.
ah, the cheetahs
are at it.

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Trouble is
a gorgeous ballad
played live
it hummmmmms
deep inside
my (heart),aching
soul.

Risk is a throbbing,
driving, energetic
instrumental
and a new song.

“Any Regrets!”
another voice asks.
Dave says,
“It’s all in the next song.”
Valley.

“F#cking amazing.
They’re F#cking Amazing!
Can you write that?”

and i do.

Nobody Else
is a blast
and Richardson
a beautiful ballad.
i’m shivering.

Erik writes the next song
is it, New Son?
or an untitled song?
whatever it is
i’m in Love
with the mandolin
(player’s)
tune
and then, an explosion,
Burnt
an eruption
of my dancing need,
movement into
something akin to
suffocation dancing.
that’s what i write.
air, air, oxygen.
i’m breathing,
hard fast
loud.

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Empire.
soulfully
expanding
vocals
and words
and i’m tingling
now, listening
to it
on myspace.
mandolin picking.

Wait So Long
punk,
grass
get up
and fly your feet
for a while.

Wrong Way,
pure
XTC
in music
in spirit
in dance
unfathomable! faster than
anything
humanly
alive
and yet,
still discernible
the melody is
no grunting
no roar/screaming vocals
listen and learn hard,core
posers.
listen.
learn.
practice.
and,
dance.

and now,

i’m in a panic
(so i’ll share)
suddenly writing this,
i don’t know if the songs
were kept
in order
from the set list.
so who knows
if any of this makes
sense!

this is what i know
to be accurate,

the last 5 songs
the accelerator
is slammed full,on
no brakes
we’re turning
out of control
(just like most of the set!)
the speedway
hot,soul
burning
feet dancing
blazing synthetics
this is
g-spot,grass
volcanic
joyfully
orgasmic.

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there is a ballad tossed in.
and then Truck
races
across the finish line
and we stand and howl!

so, Codeine
or Drinkin’ in the Morning
couldn’
t possibly be the last
song of the set!
oh well.

75 minutes
feels like a blur
i’m soaked
in slur(ring) sweat
caked in salt

i danced
Hard.
Fast.
i
danced,
like i only
sometimes
do.
and i always dance
this was something else.

Whiskey,
if Dave’s voice
was whiskey shredded
i’d be listening
to a Paul Westerberg song.
beautiful.

2 songs,
8 more minutes.

it’s not just passion,

it’s not even Passion,

or PasSiOn, this is,

PASSION!

yell it to the world!

these Turtles.
these songs.
this experience.

is PASSION.

next time,
400 need
to be at the WECC
for Trampled By Turtles.
and we need to dance.
to celebrate
this poetic
now.

this enlightenment.

i talked to Kevin
his 4th time seeing
the Turtles. i asked
if every show was this intensely
f*cking amazing!

he told me,
yes! only,
people
get up and Move!
and there is PASSION
everywhere,shared
and bounced around
back and forth.
.
i don’t understand why
i was one of the few
on my feet
moving and dancing.
i don’t know why.
people are afraid
to express
themselves.

to let go.
inhibitions.

Andy of the Mag7s
says, he wants to practice
more
after seeing Trampled By Turtles.
the 7s Matt and Andy agree
they’d never be able
to play that hard,
that fast
as these cheetahs,
as Trampled By
Turtles
play.
no matter how much they practice.
and practice.

this desire to play
more and more
to inspire
speaks of the Turtle’s
power.

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and for playing
sitting down,
Elliott Brood
Agnostic Gospel Mountain Choir
by far,
Trampled By Turtles
exceeds their massively combined power.

Pepper Laing and The Lonestar
Killers
opened the show
setting the bar
high for Trampled By Turtles.

their set.

Suspicious Minds
Tow Truck
4104
The Weatherman
Photograph
Goodbye Tires, Hello Breadmaker
Orange Blossom Special
Prairie God Special

35 minutes.

a beautiful set.
every time
I see them play,
they’re better.
a wonderful
thing.
and yes,
i danced.
a warm up
for what was
to come.

a f#cking
amazing,
PASSIONate
performance,

at the WECC
Thursday night
September 10.

Trampled By Turtles.
Pepper Laing and The Lonestar Killers.

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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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