October 15th @ Free Times Café

I am sometimes asked whether I have a list of possible topics for my missives, rants, and pensees, or do I think up a new one every month. The answer to this is – a bit of both. I do keep a small unlined notebook covered in a fine leather (or faux leather for vegetarians) and once an idea comes to me I stop, unscrew the top from my exquisite fountain pen, and in an impeccable script, jot down a line or two that will help me recall the topic later. Or at least that’s what I’d like to do but instead I scribble something on a piece of paper that I can’t read five minutes later or just type a note in my phone. Some topics can sit there for a while and are ready for the world to see at some later point but others are time sensitive – they don’t make much sense if they’re not discussed in the appropriate month. Such is the case with this month’s topic, which could only be the topic in October. Why? Because the subject is pumpkins.

A field of pumpkins in the fall sunlight is a lovely thing to behold, but as we know from great works of literature the pumpkin patch at night can be a very scary place (I am here referring of course to the much lauded and esteemed author Charles Schultz who gave us the incredibly complex and richly detailed lives of the Peanuts crew over many decades). Essentially Linus was right (but you knew that all along).

I learned this lesson when we tried to grow a pumpkin – one solitary pumpkin – in our back yard. The pumpkin itself was fine, but the tendrils that it sent out grew by leaps and bounds every evening. In the morning when I went out the back to the car (we have laneways) I had to bring a machete to cut the tendrils from pulling me into the pumpkin patch and then I had to free the car from the tendrils that had encircled it in the night.

But today I want to focus not on pumpkins but rather on pumpkin spice. Now I fancy myself a bit of a musical trivia expert and I have to say I don’t remember Pumpkin Spice at all. I remember there was Sporty and Scary and Baby Spice (and then I think there was Sleepy and Grumpy Spice and finally, near the end, Spicy Spice, who was a Latina but that was just piling stereotypes on stereotypes). I think I would have remembered Pumpkin Spice – she would have had orange hair and probably a few teeth missing as well.

The other pumpkin spice is the thing that is found in lattes and muffins and pretty much anything you can consume at Tim’s or Starbucks or any of those sort of places. The thing is, the one ingredient that isn’t found in pumpkin spice, is pumpkin. That’s right, there is no pumpkin in your extra-long skinny gluten free mochachino espresso grande with double whipped cream pumpkin spiced coffee flavoured thing (there might not be coffee either but that’s not my concern today). In addition to being pumpkin free – pumpkin spice can be a hazardous and noxious substance. Just a few days ago a pumpkin spice air freshener (really when will the madness end) caused the evacuation of a Baltimore school after a number of people fell ill inhaling the clearly toxic material (and I’m not making this up).

Unlike pumpkin spice, or as I refer to it ‘the lying spice,’ Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room (the band not the air freshener) does not pretend to be anything other than it is. First, there is a Gordon. Second, we play largely acoustic instruments and third we started out, with those acoustic instruments, in Gordon’s living room. So even in a world where something calling itself pumpkin spice (but without a hint of real pumpkin) is infiltrating your entire life – and leading to the evacuation of schools – you can trust Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room to be 100% Gordon and Acoustic (well 75 or 80% acoustic) and kind of like the living room where it all began.

If you want to see us in action this is your lucky month (as is January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, November and December) as we play the Free Times Café (on College, just west of Spadina) on Sunday, October 15. As always the show will start at 8 and there is no cover. There is lots to eat and drink and if we’re lucky the pumpkin spice mafia will not have infiltrated the Free Times (if I’m wrong on this please stay away from the pumpkin spice beer – trust me on this).

Hope to see you there.


P.S. It is true that if you want to scare off people hanging around in the pumpkin patch at night – as well as scaring off Great Pumpkin herself – all you need is someone playing the bagpipes – they are the scarecrow of the pumpkin patch – but why anyone would want to drive away poor sweet Linus is impossible for me to fathom.

October 15th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Pipe Tunes
Stronger Beer
Door #3
(Little) Rocket Man
He’ll Have To Go
Pop A Top
Invitation To The Blues
I Don’t Look Good Naked
Phone Company Rag
First We Take Manhattan
I Won’t Back Down
Glenora Ferry
It’s All Your Fault
Miss The Mississippi
New Speedway Boogie
Roddy McCorley
Magic Of Belize
Linda Put The Coffee On
It’s Not Love
Yankee Lady
Hank Williams Tonight
I Go To Pieces
Saskatchewan Sky
All You Need Is Love