Friday, July 09, 2010

I Am Superman

It was nearly twenty five years ago that I came down the highway to Toronto to come to school. Just a kid. One of the many eyeopeners for me was an exposure to music that I had never dreamed of. This was before the interweb where a band could play in a basement in Cornerbrook and be viewed by millions of folks from around the world within a week. There were not a thousand channels, no Youtube, no Satellite radio, Muchmusic (Muchmusic!) was in its infancy.

Many nights my roommate Hacksaw, another Sudbury boy, and I would go visit another Sudbury fellow who was living with his artist uncle in an illegal loft on Richmond. We'd drink beer and smoke and listen to his uncle's records - the Velvet Underground and a thousand other bands I had never heard of. Later we'd make our way back to res and head to the basement where a fourth year man by the name of Treek had the best room in the house. A part time DJ, he had walls of vinyl and so we'd sit up late into the night with him and an American from Boston named Matt, talking and listening to music.

One of those bands was REM. They had just released Life's Rich Pageant (a wonderful title, no?) and my favourite track was a short catchy driving song at the very end, I Am Superman. Quick, to the point, very unlike most of their work to that point, which was terrific but also often unintelligible, what with Michael Stipe's mumbled verse.

(Funny that Stipe and Gord Downie, two of my favourite singers, share that bent, although Downie wandered more down that path later in his career with his vague murmuring musing).

I Am Superman is a simple singalong song, a throw together I suspect, but everytime I hear it I get a spring in my step and a smile on my face and that's what music should be about, no?

Feeling like Superman these days, its been a great year and this summer has been astounding in its brilliance. The only dark blot was the loss of our dear old Ben and even that sorrow has been leavened by memories of all of those wonderful years and all that dear friend brought to us. A few nights ago we braved the heat and sat on a patio and drank pints of Keiths, the glasses sweating, talked through the evening, smoking cigarettes and laughing at the times we have had. We walked home and had some fun in the cool dark of the living room. One of those nights you live for. We met thirteen years ago in une, married four years after that in July. Damn I love her. I'm the luckiest guy in the world.


The Oilers are going to be poor again this season but this summer has been, for the first time in four summers, an encouraging time for their fans. The management team has a ton of work to do to win back our support, our belief in them, but their work this June and July has been strong. I still want to see what happens with Souray and what remaining moves are to be made and how they handle the contracts but signing Ondrus has added to the nice stable of vets who will shepherd the kids down on the farm and a number of those kids were on display for the mobs of fans this week and while its a long way to go I am certainly heartened by the reports on Hall and Paajarvi and Eberle. Others like Hartkinen and Pitlick have shown well also and most importantly for a team bereft at the back end is the glimpses of Jeff Petry's talent. If he and Plante prove to be the real deal and Peckham can emerge as a solid 5 or 6 then a couple of years ago all of these kids may be alright after all.

Perhaps the most reassuring item - the quotes from Tom Renney on doing this thing right and making sure these kids don't drown.

Lets hope that a few of these kids turn into Superman for the Oilers.

I am I am I am Superman and I know what's happening.
I am I am I am Superman and I can do anything.

You don't really love that guy you make it with now do you?
I know you don't love that guy cause I can see right through you.

I am I am I am Superman and I know what's happening.
I am I am I am Superman and I can do anything.

If you go a million miles away I'll track you down girl.
Trust me when I say I know the pathway to your heart.

If you go a million miles away I'll track you down girl.
Trust me when I say I know the pathway to your heart.

I am I am Superman and I know what's happening.
I am I am I am Superman and I can do anything.

I am I am I am Superman and I know what's happening.
I am I am I am Superman and I can do anything.


Anonymous said...

Sweetest blog post ever. You modern men are so awesome.

Smith said...

Great song indeed - as to not sounding very REM-ish, it's a cover of a Gary Zekely tune originally recorded by The Clique.

And hey, while I'm being a weird creep: I recently read "Five Skies" by Ron Carlson and was reminded of your writing throughout - ever read it ?

Black Dog said...

Thanks anon.

Smith - that would explain it then. I'll have to see if I can find that somewhere.

I have not read Five Skies. Is it any good?

GF said...

Here's the Clique version:

REM really added something to it, I'd say.

Showerhead said...

Had the chance to catch REM at Sasquatch a couple years back. They wore suits barefoot and rocked pretty hard in the rain while a firefighter from Chicago poured me full of tequila and two 30something women from Utah kept me fully attentive.

Now I love this "REM" band you speak of. For some reason :)

Ribs said...

If no one has turned you on to Grooveshark yet, it's a great site for music. Pretty much anything you want is on there.

It looks like they don't have the Clique version but there's a nice cover from The Acadamy Is...

Anonymous said...

I've been very pleased with how the summer is going, Oiler-wise. Wish I could've been down at Clareview just to see these young fellas skate.
And I've been wondering if I'm the only one thinking drafting Lander (with Paajarvi) was a brilliant idea. I really think this will help Paajarvi to be his very best.

Black Dog said...

Showerhead - yeah they're amongst the greats, even without the personal concert experience you had that would lift them into the stratosphere

Checked out the original and the cover by The Academy is. All well done, the REM version still my favourite but the other ones are very cool, especially neat to hear the original.

anon number two - yeah I think Lander might end up being a steal; a lot to like about the kid