June 23rd @ Free Times Café

I have noticed a disturbing trend recently of people holding up their opinions as articles of faith and refusing to engage with those who hold differing opinions. I try my best not to fall into this trap. Let me give you an example…

Performance samples from the June 23rd live show at the Free Times Café

It is my firmly held opinion (as some of you know) that the song ‘Piano Man’ by Billy Joel is the worst song ever written. If I could condemn one song to the pits of hell and ban it from ever being played it would be Piano Man. I do understand, however, that this is just my opinion. Other folks might have a different song that they think is the worst ever (take a minute to give this some thought – if your answer is something other than Piano Man, feel free to email me). There are even some people, who quite like Piano Man. And while I don’t understand how this can be, I recognize that people are entitled to their opinions and it’s not as if I refuse to socialize with someone who likes Piano Man because, after all, reasonable people can differ in their opinions.

On the other hand, we must avoid a world that is so relativistic that there is no such thing as truth. There are things that are true and that are not matters of opinion. And let me give you an example of this; Poppy seed bagels are truly better than sesame seed bagels. This is not a matter of opinion it is the truth. Similarly, Montreal style bagels are objectively the best bagels in the world and thus superior to New York and Toronto style bagels (I realize that bagels can be purchased in places other than Montreal, New York and Toronto, but if for example you go to a bakery in Saskatoon they will not say they are selling Saskatoon style bagels, but rather Montreal or New York style bagels – and no one outside of Toronto talks about Toronto style bagels).

So, to review, Piano Man is the worst song ever written, but that is a matter of opinion, and your opinion is as valid as mine. On the other hand, Montreal style poppy seed bagels are objectively, truthfully and absolutely the best bagels in the world.

What relevance, you may wonder, does any of this have to Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room, the band of which I am a member, and who will be playing at the Free Times Café (on College just west of Spadina), on Sunday June 23rd starting at 8 pm. And the answer is, everything.

If you have seen the band live (or watched our videos on YouTube) you’ll know we are an ensemble of 8 – 10 musicians. During a show most of us will take turns singing songs that we like. As a result, we have a wildly eclectic mix of music, stretching from the 1940s (and earlier) to the present day. Some of the songs are originals, some covers, some well-known, some obscure.

During the course of a gig some members of the audience will like certain songs more than others, that’s a matter of opinion – and that’s fine because everyone has their own opinion. At the end of the evening, however, everyone will agree that they had a great time – and that is objectively true.

We’re going to be taking most of the summer off so this is your only chance to see us before our next show in September (on the 15th if you want to make a note) and so there will be no cover, just bring your opinions. Hope to see you there.


PS. Although it hardly needs to be said, it is objectively true that the bagpipes are the Piano Man of instruments.

June 23rd Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Mist Covered Mountains/Conundrum
First We Take Manhattan
Comes a Time (clip clop)
Carefree Highway
Wheel’s on Fire
Down Where the Drunkards Roll
A Dollar Short and a Day Late
What the Hell I Got
Glenora Ferry
5 Days in May
The Wanderer
Phone Company Rag
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Mary Said…
Mission San Miguel
Keep Me From Blowing Away
Try a Little Tenderness
Sucks to Be Me
Lay Down Sally
Someday We’ll Be Together