Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sloan: 20th Anniversary

Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, Jay Ferguson, and Andrew Scott of Sloan perform at Sonic Boom on May 14th, 2011.

Twenty years ago, Brian Mulroney was the Prime Minister of Canada, James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgement Day was the highest grossing film, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their first NBA Championship, the GST was introduced in Canada, and the price of gas was about 29 cents per litre. Twenty years was a long time ago, but don't tell that to Canadian rock band, Sloan.

Starting in an era where Nirvana was taking the world by storm with grunge music (along with Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains), Sloan has since "survived" many musical eras and have made their mark in the Canadian music scene as Canada's rock band. Their music never went mainstream, and they never really tried to break into America's music scene either, but perhaps they never needed to. With twenty years in the music industry, the Halifax-based band (now re-located to Toronto) has produced twelve studio albums (two EPs), including Juno award winning album One Chord to Another (Best Alternative Album in 1997). Sloan's popular hits include Everything You've Done Wrong, Money City Maniacs, The Good in Everyone, Underwhelmed, and Coax Me - among many others.

As part of their 20th anniversary celebration and the release of their new album, The Double Cross, Sloan played a free live show at Sonic Boom, in front of a packed basement. Tres sweaty, but it was definitely fun. They played many songs from their new album, as well as some classics. (They also played three songs for their encore!)

In a recent interview on CBC Radio Q, Sloan discussed their comments in a magazine stating, "Twenty years was notable for a band barely making a living". Patrick Pentland commented, "We could be touring more, potentially bringing in a lot more money... three of us have young kids, we have other priorities as well." And Chris Murphy added, "All of my friends and peers are broke. None of the people came up making music with us are making any money, not much... but we hung together." Also asked if they see themselves around in ten years, for a 30th anniversary - and in short, affirmative.

Twenty years. All possible only because of the love for music.

A few songs I filmed while balancing and dancing on one leg on the staircase. Good times.

I first caught Sloan live at CBC Culture Days last September, and I'm glad I did.

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