In the spirit of true gonzo journalism, it was with great pleasure and much difficulty the generic men set out on their first road trip. yes on one stormy, well actually it was quite nice out , afternoon  we descended on Calgary for the purpose of seeing those gods of the abnormal, ``Bob's Your Uncle.''  With pen in hand and music on mind we set off in the generic rent a car, which in perfect order was none other than a 1991 Toyota Tercel, color white. 
    The day began early and after working an eight hour shift we stopped for the compulsory double cafe mocha and set out in earnest on our quest.  As usual the highway was rather boring but seeing as we had to stop at the university, we decided to take the Cocharane turnoff and enter the city via the 1a.  Now normally this is a superior route but on this happy occasion the road was being repaved.  Needless to say the going was a little slower than hoped.[ this is a gross understatement]  However we still managed to arrive in time to do our errands and purchase a Sony pressman, a necessary addition to the generic family if ever there was one.  After a truly horrid meal at a Calgary eatery we made our way to the Republik. 
    It is now time to point out that the gods of time were not on our side, meaning that the opening band ``The Smugglers'' pulled a no show forcing the show to be two hours late.  This delay also axed our plan to get an interview with ``BOB''.   But all was not lost because a last minute replacement was found to open the show.  This was the previously unheard of now infamous ``Church of the Hard Boiled Egg'', which turned out was ``BOB'' without the lead singer.  They were good, not quite rockin' but entirely acceptable none the less.  We must add that the two generic men were disappointed not to see the ``Wingnut Men'' perhaps next time.  Highlights of the opening act were the tunes ``Drugs'' and ``National Hotel'', the latter being a scathing instrumental that definitely had something to say but nobody knew what it was. Now on with the show. 
    Lights dim, anticipation peaks when out of the darkness a sound eclipses the silence, mayhem erupts and ``Bob's Your Uncle'' takes the stage!  Slowly, with grins from ear to ear the masses begin to sway.  All are enthralled with the bouquet of music emanating from the sound system.  It must be said this is a band with a truly unique sound.  with harmonic eerily drifting in and out, producing a mystic retreat from the boredom of reality. Prefect examples of this were the songs ``Incandescent Lightbulb'' and ``Tale of Two Legs. 
    It was nice to see ``BOB'' still performing material from their first album including our personal favorite ``Talk to the Birds'' with its diverse use of children's instruments.  Another of the instruments used consisted of a long tube, believed by many to be of an ancient Chinese origin. thankfully the singer Sook Lin Yee, put a stop to these rumors explaining it was nothing more than pcv pipe from Canada Tire.  This cylinder lends a haunting voice to ``Broadway Mango''.  The best song of the evening was ``Iceberg'' a radical tune from the new album.  Of course no ``BOB'' show would be complete without the plea for people to buy T-shirts, in the past its been to fix the bus, but this time it was to pay for studio time to complete the new album.  Thankfully many shirts were sold.  After the obligatory encore of the wildest cover of ``Spiderman'', the show wound to a close, leaving throngs of people licking the wounds of moshin'. 
    In all it was an entertaining as well as productive day for the generic men.  It was now time to return to Banff, and after coffee, cabbies on drugs and a road from hell, we safely if not sanely arrived in town. 
   While in Banff, I had the pleasure of talking with Gary Edwards of the Hopping Penguins.  The band was playing at Silver City from April 15 to 21, while on there 1991 Spring Ski Tour.     Now a little history, the Hopping Penguins were formed 9 years ago in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  However the didn't really get going till they relocated to Toronto, their present residence.  The founders of the band, Andrew Lordly and Gary Edwards have been with the H.P. since their conception in 1982. The Hopping Penguins feel that they are a Canadian band having crossed the country 12 times, playing in every province, and experiencing the people and culture of our country.   They are currently in the process of finding a record contract, fortheir Trombone Chromosome recording. This 12 track record contains 11 original tunes and a Penguin version of "Hey Joe" by Billy Roberts. The songs on the album varied from Ska & reggae to blues and beyond. The band plays music because that,s what they want to do. And maintain an apolitical out look on their work, preferring not to play politically motivated music in favor of other material.  Their messageis to get up and dance and have a good time.  
   However they have played benefits for  Amnesty International, Oxfam and some local fund raisers.    Seeing the Penguins in action proves their approach as an "apolitical platform of celebration and dance" works.    The crowd was up and dancing while the Hopping Penguins jammed out their particular brand of ska, reggae, blues, rock and jazz.  Gary mentioned how Banff was like a third home to them.  They have had their picture in the Crag and Canyon, while they were busking.  They have had good luck in Banff and enjoy playing here, packing the bar every night.  Yet the music industry doesn't seem to be taking  the Penguins seriously. We do and we hope the rest of you do to.  Do yourself a favor and check them out the next time they are in town.    
      - Nil
SNFU;  The Spectrum, Wpg 
    I have to say that I personally do not like this band. Chi Pig, the singer, is an asshole. Despite my attitude towards the band they did have a good show; the crowd did not know much about Chi's demeanor, and it showed. The energy at the show reached a pretty high level, and the stage divers even took out Chi a couple times. Hell the band even did two encores, one of which was the only SNFU tune I like--``She's not the menu''. Overall I was impressed, all they need now is a better attitude (or did they lose it when they reached ``rock stardom''?) 
    At the Banff Center about a month back, Michel Lemieux performed his style of visual and musical magic.  The internationally acclaimed performer put up with a few technical difficulties to bring those present a vast array of musical ideas.  The  former set designer for "La La La Human Steps" used intelligent visual artistry to instill the audience with bewilderment an awe.  A "Door" was opened for all to journey into the eyes and mind of the artist.  The tension created during the "Door", and also the surrealism of "Data Junkie" proved that what you see isn't always the truth.  Marred only by a slight problem with the lighting, Michel Lemieux proved he is a strong singer repeatedly using the full extent of his diverse vocals.  Mister Lemieux runs where others fear to walk and in so doing is worth watching.  
    On Sept. 13 Machall on the U. of C. campus played host to one of the hottest bands from England, Jesus Jones.  While attending this show I happened to notice the presence of several Banffites in the crowd.  These were the fortunate few who managed to get tickets for one of the best concerts of the last six months. 
    Opening act Ned's Atomic Dustbin proved entertaining even though all their music began to sound the same after the third song.  This might be caused by the use of double bass guitars as opposed to the more familiar two guitars one bass arrangement.  Although this gives the music a deep throaty growl, it limited the dynamics.  But something sticks in your mind for days afterward including the satirical "Kill your Television".  All in all they weren't bad but could use some more material. 
    Once the opening band had finished and Jesus Jones took the stage, the emotion level in the sold out auditorium began to boil.  It appeared as if the entire crowed were hovering in front of the stage writhing in musical ecstasy.  Everywhere you looked there were bodies bouncing, young girls screaming, and people having a generically good time.  Lead singer, sang with emotion and the tonal quality of the performance was perfect, especially on the numbers,"Right Here Right Now", and "International Bright Young Thing".  Staging was definitely as strong point of the show, with the lights inducing near epileptic spasms in many of the youngsters in the crowd.  One thing that was not lacking was energy, From the keyboard player whom refused to stay still.  He continued to insight the crowd with his frenzy of motion. 
    In the end when all was done, I was delighted and impressed with these musicians from across the sea.  If in the future you have the option of taking in Jesus Jones, do so. 
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