February 17th @ Free Times Café

I remember the first time I saw the word ‘stomach’ in print. I was six or seven years old and I was reading a comic book – I can’t remember the comic but I think it was a western. Now I knew the word stomach, although I probably used the word tummy more often. Still, even though I know what the word stomach meant it was odd to see it in print. I mean stomach is just a weird looking word – look at it – really look at it – if you didn’t know that this is how stomach was spelled you wouldn’t think this was the word for stomach.

Recently I’ve noticed that the word stomach is falling out of favour. More and more I see the word gut used when people are referring to what was formerly referred to as the stomach. Gut is a word I have always understood – and on top of that gut in print is pretty much the way you say gut. If I saw the word gut in a comic when I was six or seven I would not have been puzzled at all – not like seeing stomach.

A snapshot of tunes from this month’s stripped-down performance.

I think gut is around so much now because gut health is a really big thing. A little while ago it would have been stomach health but I guess gut is the more accurate term. Anyway I’ve seen lots of ads and articles about things that improve your gut health. The big thing apparently is bacteria and if you want bacteria you’ll want probiotics – whatever they are. Antibiotics I know – they’re good for you because they attack bacteria. But probiotics are good for you because they give you bacteria. So how can that be? How can things that are anti-biotic and pro-biotic both be good for you?

From what I can tell from doing absolutely no research and just the most cursory looking on the internet (don’t judge me) is that there is good bacteria and there is bad bacteria. If you’re looking for probiotic bacteria you seem to be able to find it in things like yogurt – or at least certain kinds of yogurt. These yogurt brands advertise that they contain millions and millions (maybe even billions) of good bacteria. But how do they know that they have millions of bacteria in little plastic cup of yogurt? Those are pretty small cups. I would think it would be hard to get millions of anything in them. And what if a little plastic yogurt cup has only 850,000 good bacteria in it – is that enough to make a difference or is it just a waste of 850,000 bacteria.

Even more importantly, how do we know all the bacteria in the little plastic cup are good bacteria? Do good bacteria wear white hats and bad bacteria black hats? Do good bacteria have haloes around their bacterial heads and bad bacteria have tiny little horns? Do good bacteria have both white hats and haloes? And even if they do, wouldn’t that mean that someone would have to take a microscope and look at what was going into every plastic cup of yogurt and carefully throw away the ones with the black hats or horns or both? I would think that would be very time consuming work and would significantly raise the price of little plastic cup of yogurt.

And so this takes me, as it inevitably does, to Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room’s upcoming show on Sunday, February 17 at the Free Times Café on College, just west of Spadina. This show will mark the beginning of our 16th year of music making. Sixteen years of playing hundreds and hundreds of songs in a multitude of musical styles and played on many different instruments. Ten people united under the banner of Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room (a metaphorical banner, as we can’t afford a real banner) to bring joy to those in attendance (and those who watch our videos on YouTube). This month, as in previous months, the show will start at 8 pm. And in honour of our starting our 16th year – can you believe it – 16 years – there will be no cover (that explains why we have no banner). And for those wondering how this gig relates to the discussion earlier about good and bad bacteria, well I thought the connection was obvious, but let me spell it out – to play together for 16 years in the same place month after month and year after year takes – you guessed it – guts.

Hope to see you there.


P.S. Because Monday February 18 is Family Day and a holiday for most folks it won’t take guts to stay up late to be at the show – it will take guts to listen to the bagpipes though.

February 17th Set List:
Set #1:Set #2:
Calypso Piper
It’s All Your Fault
Dirty Old Town
Drifting Away
Someday Soon
Night Rider’s Lament
Chemical Workers Song
Darkest Hour
Reason I Left Mullingar
Love Hurts
I Shall Be Released
Higher And Higher
Get Us A Billion
Handle With Care
Dead Skunk
Golden Ring
Tranquility Bound
Lake of the Cagoma / Butterfly
Trois Corbeils
Roddy McCorley
He’ll Have To Go
Cheap Whiskey
What The Hell I Got
Streams of Whiskey