Naked is as naked does.
Apostle of Hustle
The Naked and Alone
This is Part II of my look at Apostle of Hustle featuring Tanya Tagaq doing a CBC Radio 2 Concert on Demand. Part I is here. I guess as we roll into Jimmy Scott is the Answer Tanya is long gone. I should listen to her set at some point and write more about it. This song has something to do with feeling better at someone else’s expense. I didn’t quite catch the whole story. This is a discernible pattern to their songs, mainly that there is always a chance for soaring guitar work at somepoint in the song. The current track is no exception, and in fact contains the most defineable guitar solo in the concert.
Folkloric Feel is one of my favourite Apostle of Hustle songs, and I doubt I’m alone in this. From the outset I highly enjoy this version. It opens with a fun jam session featuring lovely guitar work which suits the instrumental nature of the song. For a three piece they create a broad sound due to some fine guitar work, the use of effects, and the arrangement of the songs. The atmosphere of Folkloric Feel is indescribable. Perhaps it is reminiscent of the foggiest independent movie you’ve ever seen.
Next up we get The Naked and Alone. The drums are heavy in this song and it sounds like a cross between 70’s hard rock and more recent music. In fact, this song seems more theatrical than the ones that were specifically written for the stage. The middle of the song features a sample of two people talking over delayed guitar, followed by more meandering along the fretboard. In the 13 tracks in this performance the band covers both of their main albums, new material, and some side experiements. That is somewhat remakrable given the brevity of the set.
Haul Away, another track from National Anthem of Nowhere, starts with some latin inspired drums and more guitar meandering. The lyrics start out like a fisherman calling to his underlings about the nets. That is the actual image I had in my brain. Deep in my memory, an emptiness waits. This is a dark song, but would probably be right at home in a latin club somewhere. Tanya is definitely back. It sounds like she is laughing, but she is actually singing in her distinctive style. It mus have been a fascinating experience to blend together the sounds of the two groups. The resulting music is almost indescribable. It is certainly cinematic in a way. The sound coming from Tanya’s mouth almost seems supernatural.
Encore time! Time for another oldie, Song for Lorca comes from the debut album Folkloric Feel. This song has a dream like feeling to it. Almost like floating in the air with a fuzzy view of the world. Apostle of Hustle definitely succeeds in putting their listeners into a different headspace. The drums here sounds almost missing, but still in the track. Poetry came through this time.
The final song is Sleepwalking Ballad. Again, like most fans, this is a favourite. Apostle of Hustle, for me, falls into the same musical realm as later Tragically Hip albums. Although I prefer the formers music to the latter, they do share some tonal tendencies, if not an actual songwriting style or goals. I had all my fun in this world all I’ve got left is me.
Overall, this concert is entertaining and contains an otherworldly atmosphere. From the opening Improvisation to the last notes of Sleepwalking Ballad the audience is transported to another place for an hour or so. It’s a shame to come back.