November 03, 2005

The Hip, Eponymous

This past Tuesday was a momentous occasion in terms of Canadian music. The unapologetically Canadian darlings, The Tragically Hip, released their first ever box set, 'HipEponymous'. If you were to ever to buy one release from the Hip, this has to be it. Included in the box set is two CDs made up of the top fan favourite songs, which essentially includes their greatest and most memorable tracks. The set also has two DVDs. The first is a filmed concert from November 2004 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The second is the Hip's music video library and two Hip inspired films - 'Macromedia' and 'The Right Whale'. So far I have watched the concert and the music video library. And while the music videos are great to have (and they provide a great timeline for the shrinking of Downies's hair length), the real gem, by far, is the concert. If anyone has ever been to a live Hip concert then they would most likely understand how it's hard to be disappointed by the footage. Say what you want about the Hip and their albums, to see them live is a whole other experience all together. I've been to four or five Hip shows and never once have I ever walked away less then blown away. Every performance they give contains energy, passion and presence. Enough cannot be said about the band's treatment of their live shows and Gord Downies ability to grab the audience's attention. The concert footage, which is a real time account of the show, captures everything that makes the Hip so amazing live almost flawlessly. The box set's price is worth that first DVD alone. After being treated to the HipEponymous it leaves you with no doubt as to why the Hip are still around, still popular and most important of all, still relevant. On Tuesday the Hip were at The Edge studio in Toronto doing an interview and taking calls from fans. They promised that their best was still to come. While Hipeponymous may create some doubters because the band has done so much already, for me and many others it creates a new excitement and anticipation for the releases yet to come and the future of the band. We are a very fortunate country to have a band such as the Hip.

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Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)