Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Video Primer on The Rural Alberta Advantage

It feels like it has been a minute since I last reminded you about the awesome show scheduled for this Saturday at the Beachland Tavern featuring The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Octagon, and The Buried Wires. While lots of folks could give you plenty of reasons why the latter two acts should get you excited, I'm particularly stoked for the RAA portion of the set. Although they don't have a huge discography to their name, the Toronto-based band possesses a range of sonic skills destined to tickle the fancy of everyone from the dance-happy indie popster to the mellow smart rock dude to the emo kid who may or may not have forgotten their eyeliner at home. I'm partial to the more bombastic and straightforward songs (like "The Dethbridge in Lethbridge" and "Luciana" and "Frank AB"), though I'll also willingly admit that the dancier tracks have set my toes a-tappin' a time or two. However, should the visual of a dancing Bachelor set you against the idea of attending Sunday's show, let me assure you, I will keep my shit on lockdown for the night.

Promises of non-dancing aside, you and I both know that while going to just about any kind of show can be fun (OK - any kind except screamo and rockabilly), the best ones are when you know the band's work reasonably well, when you can sing along (or at least nod along kind of in beat) and laugh at the inside jokes like the other kids in the skinny jeans and button-up plaid shirts. Problem is, that takes time, and unless you went out and bought or otherwise illicitly obtained the band's album when I first mentioned the show, we only have a few more days to get you up to speed.

Which is where today's post comes in. The way I figure, there are two ways to learn a band. One is to listen to the music. The second, which we'll indulge here, is to learn about the individual people who make the music. So, what I've assembled below is a series of video clips showing the band in various setting, being themselves.

First up is a cool session filmed in NYC's Central Park, which showcases a couple live tunes and a conversation about things like how Alberta as a place shapes the art on the band's record and feeling like the "hot girl in school" during the band's much-ballyhooed set of performances at the 2009 SXSW festival.

Next, check out the video the trio made during a visit to hipster t-shirt company Threadless HQ. In it, the band talks about the genesis of its name, the role Canadian indie rock played in their development, the benefit of the band's small size, and the role music bloggers played in breaking the band.

Buoyed by the band's love for music bloggers, I've decided to throw down one more of these get-to-know-you videos. This one finds the band chatting with some Toronto dude in his kitchen, shooting the shit about things like transitioning away from a DIY only band into a band with label support, getting paid to not do art, and the secret importance of jousting on the band's album.

Finally, because I just can't not post this clip, and because listening to a band's music is probably the best way to get to know them after all, check out this nice version of the band's single, "Edmonton," as performed in a Chicago studio for, of all companies, Beer Nuts. (Funny story: the town where I went to college was home to the Beer Nuts factory and it became a key landmark on my regular stumbles home from a night of conviviality.) As you watch this video, think about this: These dudes are pretty cool right now, but think how cool they are gonna be in a warm Tavern, with a beverage in your hand, your friends by your side, and a room full of happy folks throwing energy up on stage for the RAA trio to feed upon. Nice, huh?

See you there.

No comments: