Petunia Friday and Sunday
Not many yodeling cowboys in this here town, and the chances to see them perform with a singing saw player, a Theremin player, a washtub bass and a violin are few and far between. There's only about one guy that I know of who offers that. Before Petunia "takes to the tracks" on his train tour with the Minimalist Jug Band, thereby ending his tenure at Cafe Montmartre - at least for the summer, which he plans to spend on the road and on the rails - you have only a couple of chances to see him perform. Friday, May 7th, he'll be performing at Little Mountain Studios (195 E. 26th/Main) with his regular band The Vipers (no Theremin there - it's a different band from the one over which I am drooling). The special lineup plays on May 9th at Cafe Montmartre (Main/28th), dubbed Petunia's Valentine Glisse Orchestra - making "slippy, slidy, glissy" music with Fiona Salon on Theremin, Bronwen Jones on singing saw, and Marc L'Esperance on fiddle. Oh, and you-know-who on washtub bass.
Since at least a few of Al Mader's songs will feature during these gigs, I asked Petunia what his favourite song by Al ("so far") is. He says it's "Go, Boy" off the last album, Naive Ville (which I reviewed here). "I thought it was about me. And I talked to other musicians, and I talked to Al, and he said he's had the same - like, people come up to him and say, 'is that about me?' He starts off the song, 'Kicking Horse or Crow's Nest Pass - it's neither here nor there, you wanna be gone fast. Comin' back was a big mistake, this town don't give, it only takes." He's talking about what it's like to be a musician in Vancouver, or anywhere, as an artist. It always seems like you gotta get out of town and go. But you can't - where you gonna go, in Canada? It costs so much money, and it's difficult to get around..."
So the song wasn't actually about Petunia then? "It falls into a lot of people's pockets," Petunia tells me. I think I know what he means...