May 25, 2008

Great Lake Swimmers, Dawson City Music Festival, Dawson City, 12 July 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 9:10 pm by rgsc

Great Lake Swimmers photo by DoneWaiting, taken at HighFive, Columbus, OH, 7 April 2006

The last time I talked about Old Man Leudecke I was featuring Great Lake Swimmers, who were coming through town the next day and the last Time Tony Dekker came to the Grad Club he was accompanied by Julie Fader who will also be opening for and playing with Dekker when Great Lake Swimmers return on Wednesday, May 28th (I don’t know why but I find this repetition interesting). Its an early show (9pm) and as incentive for you to get there (very) early they will be a McAuslan Brewery Beer Tasting (only $5) starting at 7. That is my kinda double-bill.

Because I’m feeling a little lazy – and because I think it is still accurate (and because I imagine everyone skips the text entirely and goes for the mp3s so won’t notice anyway) – I’m going to recycle what I said before about GLS. “[The] sound is extraordinary. It is subtle but affecting. The atmosphere created evokes indistinct memories, faces faded with time, and the specters of events that are all but forgotten. Great Lake Swimmers are melancholic but are not bleak. With their musicianship they draw you closer, where Tony Dekker’s exquisitely crafted lyrics ensnare you. They will haunt you for day after hearing them.” Not to shabby for a hack, eh?

Other than the Grad Club show, GLS don’t have much in the way of tour dates until the festival season kicks off in July. The one exception is the The Blue Review, June 19, 2008 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto where they will be playing with Sarah Harmer, Serena Ryder, Hawksley Workman, Danny Michel and special guests to help raise awareness and funds for the Blue Marble Music Fund. I have no doubt that its going to be a fantastic show and I have my tickets. To get yours, and for more info on the concert and the charity click here.

I haven’t seen Great Lake Swimmers live yet so, as with last time (the links are still active so go there to get more great live GLS) I am going to post a few songs which were provided by the generous, the wonderful, the always surprising, entertaining, and enlightening CBC (my new favourite show, in case you’re wondering is The Age of Persuasion. Check it out. It’s rad). These are just my three favourites from the show and you can find the full set at CBCRadio3. Enjoy.

Great Lake Swimmers, Dawson City Music Festival, Dawson City, 12 July 2007

* Various Stages
* Moving Pictures, Silent Films
* Your Rocky Spine

You can get even more live Great Lake Swimmers courtesy of Nettwerk who are sharing a Live EP (recorded at the Church of the Redeemer in Toronto). While you’re there, you can buy GLS’ albums or you can get them from Zunior (digital) and/or Weewerk.


  1. craig said,

    I heard about the Blue Review, sounds like a fantastic show. Unfortunately it’s at the Phoenix, a venue I hate for various reasons…have to see if I convince myself to go there one last time. Thanks for the post!

  2. craig said,

    It looks like links for ‘Various Stages’ and ‘Your Rocky Spine’ are the same. I think the link for ‘Your Rocky Spine’ should be

    thanks again

  3. rgsc said,

    Thanks for spotting that Craig – link is all fixed. Man that is such a great song. If GLS come out, play Your Rocky Spine and leave I think i would be content (not that there is anything wrong with the rest of their/his music but I lovelovelove that song).

    I’m curious to know why you hate the phoenix – i’ve only seen a few shows there (Decemberists and NewPornographers) and I thought it was pretty good – not bad sound, decent sight lines, and the crowds were pretty good both times.

  4. craig said,

    NP on the link.

    Agreed, I’d like to hear Final Fantasy cover ‘Your Rocky Spine’ of course if he did I might never listen to another song ever again.

    I hate the Phoenix for a couple reasons, the last time we were there my fiancee wound up paying $18 for a bottle of water because the waitress refused to believe she had given her a 20 instead of a 5. The sight lines are good as I am 6ft but my fiancee is shorter so its hard for her to see from a lot of the floor – those college kids are damn tall now a days. Lineups are the other hitch with the doors (understandable), coatcheck to drop off and pick up (seriously two people for the whole venue), and if it’s an all ages show people seem to get stupid and don’t fill up the venue properly (in my not humble at all opinion).

    Now that I think of it, I mostly hate it is worried about making sure the fiancee is having a good time, when it’s the venue or her, it’s an easy choice 😉

    I love the sound there, the NPs and Weakerthans were really good, which is probably the only reason I have gone back.

    As a side note, the NPs tour kickoff had lots of lighting issues (lighting A.C. while he was tuning his guitar instead of Neko Case when she was singing).

  5. Mark said,

    I was debating whether to go to this show because of work the next day, but maybe I should make the sacrifice.

    Agreed, the Age of Persuasion is a very good show on the CBC. Not as good as Wiretap, but strong nonetheless.

  6. rgsc said,

    Hey Craig – woooooo. FF doing that song could quite possibly blow my mind. There is a “what song should Owen cover” thread on the FF forum. I think I might just throw that out there just to see.

    Interesting to hear your Phoenix experience – that is complete bull about the water charges – isn’t that why most servers leave what you give them on the tray/register so there is no dispute. And you really have no recourse in that situation. Jerks. Yeah – I’m over 6′ so I guess I have the luxury of seeing over most people’s heads but no everyone is so fortunate. I never use coatcheck – I would rather be saddled with my parka than deal with lines for just those reasons. I don’t see many big shows (by which i mean small/midsize in toronto terms) – i saw NP with Belle&Sebastian at the Docks and that was one of my worst concert experiences ever. Other than that I seem to go to a fair amount of shows at Lees Palace which…i have mixed feelings about in many ways. Weird about the lighting issue – but I have to figure they have their own lighting guy and are not relying on the venue’s staff to figure it out. Maybe the person manning the spots has a crush on AC? i dunno that sounds weird. Probably went for a smoke or was sleeping or something.

    Mark – It will be an early(ish) show – i’m in the same boat work-wise and think it might be worth staying out late on a “school night”. I have rather recently come around to Wiretap in a big way. I was not so sure about it when I first heard it (i distinctly remember the first time i heard it and having a distinct WTF?!?! moment). Now, I dig it. I like the stories at the start a great deal and the phone conversations just suck you in. (Samsa/Suess correspondence (re)played this week was fantastic).

  7. purf said,

    Hey There

    Age of Persuasion is awesome.
    By the way, Ive been to a million shows at the Grad Club and fascinated that I have never met the person who runs this page.
    what is your name, thanks for the site!


  8. Mark said,


    Didn’t end up going to the concert, had to work late. Would have loved to hit up the beer tasting. I am glad they are finally back at the Grad Club. Love that! How was the show, by the way?

    I think a lot of people have the same reaction with wiretap. I was definitely confused and apprehensive at the beginning, but I have come around and now love the show.



  9. oliverx12 said,

    Great site guys!


  10. rgsc said,

    Hey Mark – sadly I didn’t make it either (came down with something and was rather ill). I was looking forward to it too since i seem to consistently miss GLS when they come to town. Oh well, I WILL see them at the Blue Revue…i hope.

    Hey Oliver – thanks & right back at ya.

  11. mike said,

    GLS will be playing a few sets during the upcoming NXNE.

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