Sound Check

One day, one of your online orders will go M.I.A. Like a pair of LPs I bought directly from a label back in November.

Normally, I love buying directly from labels. The prices are good. You can suss out the oddities in their catalogue. And sometimes you’ll get a personal touch. Like, if you ever have to ask You’ve Changed Records a question, it’ll probably be Steve Lambke — one-time member of the Constantines and now performing as Dylan-turned-guitar-hero Baby Eagle — who’ll get back to you. Quickly, too.

I’m getting no response whatsoever about my problem order, though. I won’t mention the label here, although if the record of our correspondence is any indication, they aren’t listening anyways. Do I need to hit a dozen e-mails to the four different addresses I’ve found on their site before I get a response? Do my subjects lines –– “Re: Order”, “Order Inquiry! Please!”, “Please Respond!”, “Wondering About Order” –– need to sound even more desperate?

I’ve pretty much given up on getting these records now. All that’s left is transferring my resentment  to the label’s bands. That’s the problem with musicians running their own business: no wants to hear songs from the dude who’s screwing up their orders. /James Brotheridge

Leonard Cohen
Brandt Centre
Saturday 9

“Hallelujah” is a song that’s been so thoroughly covered — by Jeff Buckley, k.d. lang, Willie Nelson and innumerable others — that not only is covering it tired, so is even mentioning how much it gets covered. So as not to risk exhausting you any more than I already have, I’ll point you to what should be the final word on the topic: The Holy or the Broken, a book by Alan Light about Leonard Cohen writing and recording the song followed by it flowering as a song for others. “A song like this, you witness just how important it can be for huge swaths of people,” says Light, speaking to NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Not to be outdone, Cohen’s no slouch performing it himself. I saw him a few years back, early in the Canadian folk artist’s new era of touring. He did two sets and, even in his 70s, killed both of them.

If you haven’t seen the man before, go see him. You won’t be seeing the shadow of Leonard Cohen past but instead an indomitable performer somehow still in or near his prime.

No Sinner
O’Hanlon’s
March 15

Rock tour. Starring in a Katherine Heigl-produced movie. Rock tour. Starring in a Katherine Heigl-produced movie. That’s not a choice many people can be confronted with, but Colleen Rennison, front person for Vancouver’s No Sinner, was, if the press release for the band’s current tour is to be believed. Judging from their last effort, last April’s Boo Hoo Hoo EP, she might not be on the wrong track. In seven tracks, Rennison and the other three members of the band run through barebones blues-rock, mean country solos and blistering R&B. Forget the movies: if they stick with the music this good they should be fine.