So with 4 left turns we end up at The Night Of The Shooting Stars, the most straightforward album in the entire Rheostatics catalogue. It was in some ways a reaction to the complexity of putting together Harmelodia which took several years to complete. Ironically that album itself was a reaction to the rock showcase of touring with The Tragically Hip which is detailed in Dave’s excellent book On A Cold Road.
The band initially started working with Ian Blurton, formerly of Change Of Heart and Blurtonia, to try to get a straight up rock album sound. After a few weeks of working together the two parties returned to their respective benches. Alun Piggins and Michael Phillip Wojewoda took over and aided in helping the band achieve the sound they were looking for but hadn’t yet achieved with the recordings they had done.
Many of these songs had been played live for several years during the recording and promotion of the Harmelodia album. The album included a rocked up version of Song Of The Garden which originally appeared as the final song on the previous album as well as a new version of Junction Foil Ball which saw first light on The Nightlines Sessions. It also contained one of Martin’s most simple and accessible songs, PIN, which was criminally ignored by radio. The video for the song was an amazing XTC/Beatles technicolour wonder. Mumbletypeg and The Fire are other standout tracks from the album.
This volume features a few live curios including the all acoustic take on Song Of The Garden from the Vickie Gabereau show, a Canada Day version of We Went West with extra verses that would not make the final album, and a somewhat rare live airing of Remain Calm.
In the words of Dave Bidini from a 2001 NOW magazine interview “I think you have to have a record where you throw together a group of songs every now and then. If only so that it will lead you to more complicated or challenging places.
“In a way, this record being a bit more straight-ahead might be a bridge to doing something wilder than Harmelodia.”
Those words would prove to be prophetic with the release of their final studio album 3 years later. In hindsight NOTSS kind of straddles the “simplicity” of Harmelodia and the more diverse aspects of 2067. That being said, however, it could never reach completely normal territory with lines such as “I chipped my eyetooth on the back of a urinal” and “there’s a Lenny in my Kravitz that must be removed”.
This would also turn out to be the final album with Don Kerr who had joined after the departure of Dave Clark following the Introducing Happiness disc. The version of The Fire from The Commodore Ballroom show is a curious foreshaddowing of events which saw both Don and Michael Phillip Wojewoda playing double drums when their schedules happened to cross in Vancouver. Michael had previously played with the band the month before, adding keyboards and effects to their Canada Day 2000 show at The Toronto Harbourfront outdoor stage.
Here is a review from Chart Magazine documenting Don’s final show at Ted’s Wrecking Yard on May 30 2001, nine months after that show.
Static Journey Volume 8: Night Of The Shooting Stars
179. Radiosonic Interview - Radiosonic In Session – November 18 2000
180. CCYPA - Toronto Harbourfront Stage – July 1 2000
181. Song Of The Garden - Vickie Gabereau show – November 18 2000
182. Mumbletypeg - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
183. P.I.N. - Night Of The Shooting Stars
184. Super Difficult - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
185. Banter JFB - Mrs.Robinson’s Kitchener ON – December 20 1997
186. Junction Foil Ball Club Vertigo Victoria BC – January 21 2000
187. GO7 Interview - CBC The National
188. We Went West - Toronto Harbourfront Stage – July 1 2000
189. The Fire - The Commodore Ballroom Vancouver BC – August 17 2000
190. In It Now - Centennial Square Victoria BC – July 18 2001
191. Here To There To You - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
192. The Reward - Boo Radley’s Guelph ON – December 3 1999
193. Radiosonic Interview - Radiosonic In Session – November 18 2000
194. Remain Calm - Centennial Square Victoria BC – July 18 2001
195. Intro To Satan - Call The Office London ON – November 8 2000
196. Satan Is The Whistler - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
Download Volume 8
Running time 1:05:44
Thanks again to Noah Campbell for his assistance in refining this volume.
Here is a the Video for PIN:
Here is the Making of PIN video:
Here is is a live version of PIN from Massey Hall:
Here is a live version of Song Of The Garden:
Next Week - Static Journey Volume 9: 2067, Covers and The Last Whale