Friday, February 3, 2012

Of course music has the ability to instantly flood our brains with memories. Whether it be those few, radical years with black hair and other emo sensibilities (Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World), or earlier still when hemp necklaces found themselves, inexplicably, around your neck, the ladies of the Lilith Fair school playing incessantly. It can be overwhelming, this time travel, and sometimes, (if we're lucky), quite pleasant.

Back at the turn of the century (into the 21st) Canadian post-punk-turned-warm-and-fuzzy outfit The Weakerthans were big for me. While the music often sounds light and buoyant, the lyrics can be otherwise, a favourite sort of opposite for me. 

Lead singer John K. Samson recently released his first official solo album, so got me to thinking back on The Weakerthans' discography. And so I offer clever Canadian wistfulness, the essentials.

"How I don't know what I should do with my hands when I talk to you. How you don't know where you should look, so you look at my hands." - Pamphleteer, Left and Leaving (2000)

(Image from Wikipedia, no further credit available.)

Essentially, The Weakerthans

  1. Sun in an Empty Room
  2. Left and Leaving
  3. Fallow
  4. Everything Must Go
  5. Pamphleteer
  6. One Great City!
  7. Utilities
  8. Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call
  9. (Hospital Vespers)
10. Night Windows

(To keep these files in this order - please do! - create a new playlist in iTunes and drag the files into the list.)

EDIT: Ugh, John Kiggins is so right. "My Favourite Chords" is essential. BONUS DOWNLOAD HERE.

The Essential Kathleen Edwards (January 23, 2012)


  1. Love the Weakerthans... thanks Hudson.

  2. I've never heard of this band, but loving it so far... thanks!

    I made a playlist in Grooveshark instead of downloading (can't download to this computer) - if anyone's interested you can stream it here:

  3. I have loved The Weakerthans for many years. I'm so excited for Samson's book!

  4. Sun in an empty room is a dynamite song. And the drum fill at the 3min 3sec mark is one of my favourite moments ever recorded. I was a late-comer to the Weakerthans and I'm sorry I didn't dig their stuff when they were more active. It was John's appearance on CBC's Canada Reads that got me interested.

  5. You're spoiling us with all your posts!
    I have never heard of the Weakerthans before but am looking forward to discovering more Canadian artists now.
    Thank you!

  6. Oh, wow I love the Weakerthans. They're actually one of the few bands my husband and I can agree on, so they're in pretty heavy rotation around here. Anyways, we got to see them play at the Grog Shop in Cleveland about 4 or 5 years ago. It was an amazing show. We'd love to see them again. Also - I'd like to say that you have such a nice blog. I've been following you on Instagram for a while, but this is my first time on the blog. (I followed someone's link here from a post about the Alt Summit. )