April 22, 2007

Rock Plaza Central, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa, 13 January 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 6:29 pm by rgsc

photo taken by Some Call Me…Tim? at SxSW, 16 March 2007

Yesterday I went to a wedding reception where they played JT’s “SexyBack.” I think it may have been the first time I had actually heard the song in its entirety in its original form. After objectively weighing its merits, I decided that it is ok for what it is, but I much preferred the cover by Rock Plaza Central. They turn this slick, arrogant, highly produced song and turn it into a slouching, lumbering, and rather sinister, beast.

While I am perhaps the least qualified person on earth to be dispensing advice to bands, I have a pearl of wisdom for you. No matter how seriously you take yourself and your music, figure out at least one song by someone else, make it your own – really put your own stamp on it – and play it in your set. Audiences (really, I am speaking for myself, but I think others feel the same way) love that. RPC really killed “SexyBack” and it seems to have brought them quite a bit of attention – all well deserved.

Their latest record, “Are We Not Horses?”, which was just released last week in the US by Yep Roc, is an amazing concept album based on a fully formed- but not entirely divulged – narrative featuring a post-apocalyptic future following an epic battle between robotic horses and angels. While this sounds a shade bizarre, you don’t have to be a sci-fi nerd to enjoy it. Live, the songs become even more urgent and powerful. They are filled with strings, horns, plaintive vocals, and thunderous drumming. When I saw RPC in Ottawa this past January, Chris Eaton and company played passionately and seriously, but in between songs the seriousness dropped and they were personable and funny. It seemed they really enjoyed performing with each other and that they were having a good time being onstage, particularly in front of an appreciative audience. The combination of fantastic music and really warm performance made for a great show (my thanks to Calum at Mocking Music for hooking me up with tickets).

Rock Plaza Central are back at Zaphods this Friday, part of a little tour where they are hitting five cities in as many days. Be sure to check them out if you find yourself even remotely near the following places this week:

-Apr 25, 2007 – Hamilton at the Casbah
-Apr 26, 2007 – Toronto at Sneaky Dee’s
-Apr 27, 2007 – Ottawa at Zaphod’s
-Apr 28, 2007 – Montreal at The Main Hall
-Apr 29, 2007 – Boston at The Great Scott
-Apr 30, 2007 – NYC at The Mercury Lounge

Rock Plaza Central, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa, 13 January 2007

1. Fifteen Hands/Sexy Back
2. How Shall I to Heaven Aspire?
3. speaking of hot (talk)
4. A Town at the Bottom of the Ocean
5. that really wasn’t sucking up (talk)
6. Are We Not Horses?
7. it’s like The Chrysalids (talk)
8. We’ve Got a Lot To Be Glad For
9. he’s the man (talk)
10. I Am an Excellent Steel Horse
11. My Children, Be Joyful
12. gotta bring in dance music (talk)
13. Gutterdance
14. I think we know one more (talk)
15. When We Go, How We Go (Part II)
16. this is about having sex in a tent (talk)
17. Mount Up and Ride

If you don’t have it already, buy “Are We Not Horses” from Outside (Canada) or Yep Rock (USA, only $10! Plus you get three bonus tracks!) or get it along with two other RPC albums digitally from Zunior.


  1. saudade said,

    Thanks so much for this!

    I completely agree with your shining pearl for bands, BTW. SexyBack by RPC has been on constant rotation at my house, and for the very reasons you listed. They redefined that song. Another couple of good ones that come to mind are Xiu Xiu’s “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” (Bauhaus), and Laibach’s “Sympathy for the Devil” (Rolling Stones).

  2. rgsc said,

    Hey Saudade – you are very welcome. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    I have some Xiu Xiu covers – i’ll have to get that one if i don’t have it already (he *REALLY* redefines anything and everything he touches) but I’m not familiar with the Laibach – i’ll have to track it down on your recommendation. Thanks for the tip.

  3. mike said,

    Thanks for this. Can’t wait to check it out. You should check out the RPC Daytrotter session. Only 4 songs but pretty sweet (including a Rheostatics cover)

  4. rgsc said,

    Thanks Mike – yesterday I saw that RPC was up on Daytrotter. I haven’t listened to it yet but the descriptions are pretty great so I’m looking forward to it.

  5. […] To Us” to give to you. As you know, we here at B(oot)log HQ are big RPC fans, featuring them here and here. Folks, let me tell you, Rock Plaza Central is the perfect soundtrack to your May 2-4 […]

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