The Sloan Problem

Yeah, I’ll get back to telling you about the Russlaender train yet. I’m not done. I guess I’m not done a lot of the stuff I’ve said I’d tell you about and then just… haven’t. Yet. (But I promise I’ll get back to it. It’s too important not to.)

Consider this an interlude.

This past year or so, my mind has been associating Morden, Manitoba with indie rock/music/et al.

This past weekend I saw Sloan at the Morden Corn & Apple Festival and first of all, I want to thank/congratulate the committee re: their excellent decision to secure these Canadian indie rock darlings whose work speaks deeply to those of us that loved them in the 1900s. (Ahem. I mean the ’90s specifically, kids.) For about a decade now I’ve been lamenting the fact that the beloved summer festival of the little Manitoba city I live in, Steinbach, thus far has not booked Sloan. (There’s still hope, right?) BUT I DIGRESS.

Sloan, my friend Angelle, and moi. (Yeah, we were at the front!)

I think I’ve seen Sloan about four times now. (Remember their epic Twice Removed show at the Pyramid? SO GOOD.)

And no I will not explain this band for those who do not know. If you wanna know more you’ll google ’em, probably. They seem to be really popular with those of us in the 35-50 age range (is that a normal range? eh, who cares, IT IS NOW).

I first remember falling in love with their song “Coax Me” but then the lyric “It’s not the band I hate / It’s their fans” gutted me because, well… I felt chastised by them. Because to be honest I didn’t feel a huge need to be in the majority what with liking them. And then I remember also being mad when their popularity grew. “You wouldn’t get it,” et cetera, right? Sentiments like that. That feeling of not wanting a band you really liked to reach peak popularity and actually do well financially with the art they’re creating. It’s stupid. I’ve been thinking about that tendency of mine, off and on, for years. (Every time I listen to the song. Which is kind of a lot. I guess I don’t mind being confronted with my foibles.)

So it felt really neat to sing/yell the lyric back at them the other night in the heart of Morden.

Also, I felt like it was really healing to hear “The Good in Everyone” being belted out from the heart of Morden… considering what we here in southern Manitoba/Mennoland all went through these past few years. (And no I will not name the Thing. Not here. Not now. Not… yet.)

I will say, I wonder about their relationship with their older albums. I mean, this stellar lineup has been consistently creating great work the whole time, but what’s stayed in my head? Their stuff from the ’90s. That’s a very long time ago. Yet that’s the stuff everyone wants to hear. Reminds me of a time when I had like zero physical ailments (alongside zero accomplishments, hahaha… WAIT, that’s actually still true) and that felt pretty good.

(Speaking of which, I tripped and fell as I was trying to keep up with Angelle as she made her way to the stage after Econoline Crush was finished their set. I knew my knee was bleeding right through my ripped jeans. There was nothing I was going to do about it in that moment. And then we were right in front of the stage. If Chris Murphy and Patrick Pentland could see us at all… they’d have seen my bright and bloody knee. How very badass/hardcore of me.)

So, that’s the Sloan problem, I guess. It’s hard to know what I was thinking when I wrote out that title, but it might be something like this: we’re old now. They kept making music and I haven’t kept up with listening. What am I listening to right now? Smeared. It was released in 1993. But, I wasn’t that cool in 1993 (even if judged only by my own standards, ha). I only got into it in the late ’90s. (Gotta be honest about that.)

Anyway. I’m admiring the Corn & Apple Festival organizers for securing Sloan as their 2023 headliner.

And hey. Another reason I associate Morden with pretty good indie music? (Do people even say “indie” anymore? Oh, whatever, I was born in 1978 and it shows, I’m fine with that.) Because of LEGION OF DOOM.

Sounds sinister, I know.

But it was a humane society fundraiser at the Morden Legion in October 2022. Which I planned to tell you about but I guess I didn’t.

arrived at my destination

Andrew was speaking at a hospital gala in Morden that night, and I drove out with him, and told him I’d just occupy myself until he was free. I knew this show was happening at the Legion and I was curious. And I don’t mind a little solo wandering.

solo table, solo beer, show’s just getting started

So I wandered into the Legion, fully aware I was a fish out of water, pretty old and also not from ’round here (but probably related to several attendees, honestly) and weirdly by myself, which I enjoy for a few hours before reuniting with my husband to catch up and compare our adventures.

paul bergman was performing! (two different links there)

I’d be so embarrassed if I’d learn that I’d already written a blog about it and had forgotten! I swear I remember writing about it but I cannot for the life of me locate what I had written. I was only there for the first half of the evening but it was awesome! I loved all the random energy of the different artists performing, it felt a little chaotic to me and I don’t think I’d been to anything like this for a very long time. I had more to say about it in the moment but cannot remember and I’m sorry about that. My only regret of the evening was leaving too early!

I think this post is long enough so I’ll stop now even though I wouldn’t mind displaying what a nerd I am for the music of Sloan, it just might take some more time and I want to hit PUBLISH