Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rheostatics & Bourbon Tabernacle Choir - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (nonstones)

Rheostatics & Bourbon Tabernacle Choir
Borrowed Tunes: A Tribute to Neil Young
"Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (Neil Young) – 3:52

1994 saw the release of Borrowed Tunes: A Tribute to Neil Young, a 2 CD set featuring several dozen mostly alternative Canadian acts of the era. Most of the artists were probably unknown to anyone but fans of the Canadian college circuit (some you may have heard of: Jeff Healey, Blue Rodeo, Cowboy Junkies). But the best performance came from a collaboration between two of the bigger Canadian club acts of the day, the Rheostatics and the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, performing "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere", that weird little tune with the great title from Neil Young's second album.

These two bands made up a big part of my musical life during the 90s, particularly the Bourbons (who will probably get their own post at some point), and a chance mention of this track by a friend today unleashed a flood of nostalgia for the days when I dressed exclusively in jeans and white t-shirts and went to clubs three times a week to check out new bands. I cannot count how many times I saw the Rheostatics at Lee's Palace or the Horseshoe, or checked out the Bourbons at the El Macombo or Clinton's. Good times.

I am not a fan of nostalgia, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this recording doesn't need the crutch of making you remember the good old days – it stands up very nicely on its own. I am also not a fan of Neil Young, and am not afraid to say that this recording leaves his in the dust. I am particularly fond of the banjo interlude, which leads to Kate Fenner's husky contralto.