November 27th @ Free Times Café

It will come as no surprise to those who know me, even casually, that I am not the person to approach for fashion advice. I think the last time I gave any fashion advice was in university when I told my friend Stan, before we went into class, that he should zip up his fly (I realize that this might not count as fashion advice, but I think we can all agree that it was good advice).

It’s not that I can’t dress myself, I can, but understanding fashion means understanding (or caring) about trends and also having some colour sense. I do know the basic colours – red, green, black, yellow, blue (are there more?) – but with fashion those colours aren’t enough, not even close. For example just this week I was talking to a friend (yes I have more than one friend) and she told me that her soccer team was considering cyan for their uniform. I could have pretended that I had the faintest idea what she was talking about but I couldn’t even try. Cyan, really? I’m still struggling with taupe.

Nevertheless, despite acknowledging that I have little in the way of fashion sense, I nevertheless feel I must address a growing fashion trend – that is the Steve Jobs approach to fashion. Steve Jobs, the Apple genius, apparently always wore a black turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers (fashion tip – not recommend for beachwear). This approach is being lauded as a way people should approach their own fashion decisions. It’s not necessary that we all wear black turtlenecks, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers (thank God) but rather, we are encouraged to adopt our own unique uniform dress code. Two reasons are given for this, first, it helps establish your personal brand, and second it frees up your time from having to worry about what to wear and allows you to concentrate on the things that really matter.

First of all ‘personal brand?’ Really. Now I need to wear the same clothes every day to establish something called my ‘personal brand’? And what type of brand are you establishing if you wear the same things every day. It’s sort of cute when a four year old only wears their Batman pyjamas or princess dress every day but it’s only cute for a few days then it’s just weird. And while parents are encouraged to humour this obsession until it passes, the idea is that it will pass. So if you want your ‘personal brand’ to be ‘I’m a grown up acting like I’m four years old,’ then by all means, go for it.

And as for the ‘I need to my focus my time on the things that matter’ argument let me respond with this, ‘Who are you kidding?’ And I exempt from this response Barack Obama who apparently has simplified his wardrobe so that he has more time to think about the affairs of state and I’ll give him that, he is after all, the President of the United States. On the other hand, I would encourage the incoming President of the United States to spend all of his time thinking about what to wear because I really don’t want him to think about the world around him as that can only make matters worse. But back to you and me, it’s not like we need every minute we have to concentrate on weighty matters. The time we save not thinking about what to wear (which is what – five minutes, ten tops) we end up blowing standing in line to order some fancy coffee, or reading emails with links to YouTube videos featuring animals doing cute stuff, or playing solitaire on our phones or binge watching some crap on TV.

Let me tell you that the fine folks in Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room aren’t concerned about all wearing the same clothes to establish a personal band brand. No way. We’re focused on giving our audience a new musical experience every time they come to see us because we never do the same set twice. Watching us is like hearing all the music in the world on shuffle on one of Steve Jobs’ thingamajigs (OK, perhaps all the music in the world is a bit of an overstatement, actually it’s not a bit of an overstatement, it’s really a huge overstatement, but nevertheless we do have a very eclectic mix of tunes).

This month you can hear the Living Room at our usual place, the Free Times Café (on College west of Spadina), at the usual time, 8 pm, with the usual lack of a cover charge, but on the fourth Sunday of the month as opposed to our usual third Sunday. That’s right, this month we’ll be playing on November 27th. So throw on that turtleneck, slip into those blue jeans and sneaker your way over to see us.


P.S.: In response to three questions I have received multiple times this month: 1) Yes, we will be playing Leonard Cohen songs; 2) Yes, there will be bagpipe tunes; and 3) No, we will not be playing bagpipes on any of the Lenard Cohen songs so, while I understand the concern, don’t worry about that at all.

November 27th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Waly Waly
First We Take Manhattan
Excuse Me…
Down In Belize
Ain’t It Funny
So Long Marianne
Joan Of Arc
One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong
Wedding Dress
Hollow Man
Have I The Right
Unchain My Heart
Five Days In May
I Don’t Look Good Naked
Famous Blue Raincoat
Ain’t No Cure For Love
Everybody Knows
Old Paint
Good Jobs In Alberta
Someone I Used To Know
Come Together
Tower Of Song
Song For A Winter’s Night
Lay Down Sally