January 18th @ Free Times Café

I was watching TV over the holidays and noticed that the networks were heavily promoting their winter season. One of the terms used to describe episodes of current series that were being broadcast in the New Year was “all new.”

Initially I misheard the announcer and thought he said the episodes were “all nude.” I did think that was certainly a reason to watch the shows, if only for a few minutes. Not all the shows mind you, but some of them. I did think that Masterchef Canada probably shouldn’t be done in the nude because you know, cooking, hot grease, knives, etc., nudity sounds like a risky strategy, although perhaps fans of NASCAR racing where you’re just waiting for disaster to strike might have a reason to watch.

When I realized that these were “all new” episodes I was a bit confused. I’ve watched a lot of TV in my life and I understand the difference between a new episode and a rerun, but what is an “all new” episode. Would all my favourite characters be gone and replaced by others? Would the there be no reference at all to any past episodes? Would a cop show set in Washington suddenly be set in Prague (which would give new meaning to the phrase “Czech your listings”).

Then I realized that this was yet again simply marketing hype. Somehow the word ‘new’ wasn’t good enough – things had to be all new, when of course they weren’t all new, they were just your run of the mill new, which you would think should be good enough.

I wondered about this phenomenon as Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room gets ready to start our 12th year of shows at the Free Times Café (College just west of Spadina, where it’s always been). All of our shows are, to some extent, all-new, because our set list always changes. Some songs we’ve done before but we’ve never done the same show twice. If we do three new songs in a show and a bunch of songs we’ve done before, but never together in one show, does that make the show all-new – I suppose in one way it does, and in another way it doesn’t.

What about if I sing a song in a forest and no one hears me – then is it a new song when I play it at the Free Times? What if a tree falls in the forest while I’m singing that song and I have my eyes closed and I don’t actually see the tree fall? Sorry to get so philosophical, it’s just the kind of guy I am.

After much thought I have concluded that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the band is playing a show and people come to see it and what happens at the show is a one of a kind, one time only, for better or for worse experience. This month however, you have two chances to experience the Living Room.

On Sunday, January 18th, we play our regular, third Sunday of the month show, starting at 8pm, with no cover charge and a wide and eclectic range of music. Then, the next Sunday, January 25th, we play our annual Robbie Burns show. Like our other shows this one is also free. But unlike the other shows this one starts at 9pm, and there will be lots and lots and lots of songs with bagpipes and lots of Scottish references, and there will be haggis.

Hope to see you at one or both of the shows.

Jonathan

P.S. Not only will there be haggis, but because it’s Robbie Burns Day we’re going to tell you where the haggis lives!

P.P.S. Sorry, my mistake, I thought we were going to be giving the address OF the haggis, but apparently someone will be doing an address TO the haggis, which is something completely different, if not all-new.


January 18th Set List
Set #1 Set #2
Waly Waly
Alabama Jubilee
Hasn’t Hit Me Yet
Old Paint
Pale Blue Eyes
Wedding Dress Lament
Deportee
Sloop John B
Ashokan Farewell
Reason I Left Mullingar
I Really Don’t Want To Know
I Mean It When I Say “I Do”
Happy Together
Witchdoctor
Hector The Hero
Silver Wings
Wichita Lineman
I Saw Her Standing There
You Don’t Know Me
I’ll Take The Blame
A Prayer
I Shall Be Released
Sisters Of Mercy
Volcanig Jig
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Dead Skunk
That’ll Be The Day
When The Night
Come Together (encore)