There’s a distinct difference in loving music and loving playing music.
Bands love music which is why they play their hearts out, but that’s not the only thing that they love about it. A huge part is the exhilaration of striking that chord perfectly on your guitar or acing that unevenly measured syncopated beat on your drum kit. It’s not just making the music, it’s the act of playing music itself. What you get out from it isn’t just great sounds, but wonderful music that fellow musicians can identify with as well.
Broken Social Scene is just that. If there’s such a thing as a musician’s musician, this group is a band’s band. Known for taking the stage with a lineup of 17 or more band members – their live shows are a surefire burst of musical energy.
If you’re new to listening to Broken Social Scene, ‘Almost Crimes’ is one great song you can start with. What I love about this band that they go all out with the instrument playing. Here’s an instrument tally with just the album version of ‘Almost Crimes’ (the running tally is in parenthesis):
Intro : keyboard/keyboard programming (1), guitars (2)
20 seconds into the song : drums (3)
25 seconds into the song : another guitar (4), yet another guitar (5) and a bass guitar (6)
35 seconds into the song : a squeak of the saxophone (7) then… a male vocal (8) and a female vocal (9) – yes, that’s Feist there, long before she hit mainstream.
That’s 9 musical instruments including lead vocals.
‘Almost Crimes’ live is another matter – just double everything up (even the drums – they perform this song with 2 drum kits on stage!) and that’s the song fleshed out in live form. An extra treat is having musicians from other bands jamming along, with Leslie Feist, Amy Millan (Stars) and Emily Haines (Metric) alternating on the female vocals.
The video below features Kevin Drew and Feist’s silhouettes rocking out to the song. If you like the quirky way Leslie Feist dances (which I definitely do), you’ll probably want to add this to your favorite video list.