What do you think of these: "Fighter Fighter, Josephine, Ballroom, Forget, Beat, Makeshift, Paint, What's Up With Gus?, You, Cook, Dancer." Random words just tossed together for the sake of making up space in this post? Not this time! Actually these are the names of a bunch of new songs that The Tragically Hip performed at the end of October in a tiny, tiny bar in Whistler B.C according to the fantastic fan site Hipbase.
And what you are hearing above the din of The Hip's original style of rock and roll is the collective exhalation of a rock and roll nation who had been holding their breath wondering what the boys from Kingston, Ontario have been up to these past months. After touring behind In Violet Light for the better part of last year and a smattering of shows this summer, some fans of Canada's The Tragically Hip were wondering whether The Hip would be back for another kick at the rock 'n' roll can. In light of the band releasing long time manager Jake Gold (now of Canadian Idol fame. Aacck!) and some off hand comments from drummer Johnny Fay wondering if they were still even a band, coupled with Gord Downie's string of amazing shows behind his solo CD Battle of the Nudes, fans were getting a little nervous about whether they would hear from The Hip again.
Well fear not. After contributing to the excellent Gordon Lightfoot tribute CD Beautiful: Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot, the boys are in the process of writing for their next album in beautiful British Columbia and they should be ready to hit the stage sometime next year. If you are not too familiar with The Hip (yes I'm talking to you our American neighbors to the South), you must check out these guys at the next available opportunity. I'm not going to saddle them with a "they sound like..." tag but if bizarre lyrics about Canada, hockey and being locked in the trunk of a car coupled to primal, snarling rock and roll with the odd psychedelic interlude appeal to you then you will most probably like The Tragically Hip.