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The Sadies
In Concert, Vol. 1
Yep Roc Records

Dear Dallas and Travis Good,
You had me at "Ladies and gentlemen, we're called The Sadies."
Two hours, 41 songs and 21 guest appearances later, I was convinced. You wacky Canadians are a fine, rockin' band. I'm sorry for calling you Neko Case's backup band in the past. It's her fault, you know. The hair. The face. The voice. I just block everything else out.

You had me wanting to dance around the living room like a big dork by the second track, a sweet, two-minute nugget of Dick Dale-channeling surf rock. Surf rock? You're from Toronto.

Then you played some of your great y'all-ternative rock and songs, 30 seconds of speed bluegrass and an unreleased piece of Carter Family-inspired country, "Taller Than the Pines." Nice work.

Then you really get going at about the 10th track, with the gospel-grass classic "Higher Power" (take that, Radiohead, with your "8 songs is a live album" stinginess) featuring your brothers Brian, Bruce and Larry, and your sister Margaret.

Not to diss your siblings, but the big guns come out even later. Garth Hudson jumps on board for about 10 songs, including a fun cover of The Band's "Evangeline" (yeah, we get it, this is supposed to be our generation's "The Last Waltz").

In fact, many of the standouts throughout the record are the covers, including Flat Duo Jets' "Lonely Guy," Robbie Robertson's "Leave Me Alone" and the Jayhawks' "Tailspin," featuring Gary Louris, of course.

Guest spots (and performances of songs) by Case just made sense but as the second disc starts trotting out Mekons' founder Jon Langford, singer-songwriter Kelly Hogan and both main Blue Rodeo members, you're just showing off.

It's no coincidence this album is coming out the same summer as a fine documentary about a tribute concert to Leonard Cohen. Both Cohen and the Sadies are underappreciated south of the Canadian border. We promise to start paying attention to you guys from the Great White North if you cut back the gloating about everyone wanting to move there after Bush's election (by the way, is there still room?).

Finally, while we're talking about underappreciated Canadians, can you tell the Weakerthans to put out another album and please tour the United States?

- Steve Graham

Track listing:
Disc 1
1. Show Intro
2. Cheat
3. Why Be So Curious?
4. 1000 Cities Falling Apart (Pt.1)
5. Rat Creek
6. Song Of The Chief Musician (Pt.2)
7. 16 Mile Creek
8. Taller Than The Pines
9. Lay Down Your Arms
10. Higher Power
11. Uncle Larry's Breakdown
12. Eastern Winds
13. Stay A Little Longer
14. Nothumberland West
15. Lonely Guy
16. Snow Squad
17. Leave Me Alone
18. Ridge Runner Reel
19. 1,000,002 Songs
20. Dying Is Easy
21. Tiger Tiger

Disc 2
1. Back Off
2. Justine Alright
3. Talking Down
4. American Pageant
5. Strange Birds
6. Home
7. Hold On, Hold On
8. Evangeline
9. Tailspin
10. A Good Flying Day
11. Lucifer Sam
12. Another Day
13. All Passed Away
14. Story's Often Told
15. You're Everywhere
16. Within A Stone
17. Food, Water, Etc.
18. Jason Fleming
19. Her Love Made Me
20. Memphis, Egypt

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