Monday, May 08, 2006
i've been drinking, but drinking doesn't make me feel alright

This post is both praise and a plea. The praise is for one of Vancouver's most legendary acts. The plea is for anyone who has their lone EP in digital format to please send me the .mp3s (I tracked down the vinyl last year, which is also way too hard to find). It was sparked by Andrew from Red Cat's Music Pix for the Tyee this week. With that, let's talk about Slow.

I was too young to be around during the bands very brief heyday, but there is no escaping their importance within the canon of Canadian independent music. You can hear their influence locally in bands like the Nasty On. When Christian Thorvaldson joined Matthew Good's touring band, I remember Good describing him as "the best guitarist [he'd] ever heard." "Have Not Been the Same" was pinched for the title of a book on "the CanRock Renaissance". The same tune was named the 10th best Canadian single of all time by Chart ("I Broke the Circle" was number 40). And, when MuchWest signed off for the very last time, Chris Nelson did it by throwing to the song, saying something along the lines of, "it's the quintissential West Coast video."

Slow have a scant two singles and one EP to their credit, but their brand of gritty, Stooges inspired, punk still stands up along side their forebarers and contemporary bands making music of a similar style. It was their live show, though, that was legendary. Again, I was about five or so when they were playing, but the stories live on, and the stories are amazing. The Slow live story has to be how they managed to get the Expo 86 Independent Bands Showcase shut down on its opening night. The story goes, a couple of Expo patrons who stumbled onto the bands set were so disgusted by the band's antics that they immediately went to complain to Expo officials, who responded by cutting the power to the stage, bringing their set to a premature end. Stephen Hamm (of Canned Hamm, and formerly Tankhog) responded by mooning the audience, while Tom Anselmi (who would later front Copyright) dropped his pants and gave the audience a frontal perspective of the male anatomy. A riot ensued, BCTV's onsite studio was stormed, and the rest of the festival was cancelled. The VPD detained the band and were thinking of charging them. The band eventually broke up on Expo's closing day.

If anyone has the full album in a digital format, it would be much appreciated.

download: Slow - Have Not Been The Same
download: Slow - Have Not Been The Same (Ipod Video)

Or stream the video here.

now playing: Sonic Youth - Touch Me, I'm Sick (Mudhoney Cover)

9 Comments:

YEAH Lily Allen down there.

Gina

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 p.m.  

I am old enough to have seen them.

They were the best I've seen in terms of local bands. The first show I saw at the Commodore was the Zulu Review: Fastbacks, GoFour3, Enigmas and Slow closed it. It was a very formative experience for me. Also saw them opening for the Cramps at Thunderbird Arena and what I believe was their last show at the Town Pump.

Got the vinyl but sorry no digital (except Have Not Been the Same which you already have). Also have their 7" on vinyl.

Really wish I'd seen them more. Just thought they'd be around much longer.

By Anonymous g, at 2:02 p.m.  

stunned by the lack of comments on Slow I'm back to say I'm almost positive they didn't break up after the Expo show. I'm sure I saw them at the Town Pump around October 86, well after the Expo debacle.

A guy who worked in Zulu told me a few years back that Against the Glass copies were going for $50.

By Anonymous g, at 9:25 p.m.  

I have the ep taped on cassette, but that doesn't really help. i bought against the glass for 40 or 50 a couple years ago.

If you are interested in stories about slow and other stuff, you should pick up 'love story' by copyright. you might not like the music, but check out the enhanced disc. its hours worth of fun...

quinn, have you ever listened to © (circle c)?? it was the recording between slow and copyright. the whole situation surrounding that release is quite the tale, ultimately it didn't break big like it should have. i think its a great album. i only have a burnt copy of that as it is probably just as hard to find as the slow material.

another interesting fact as far as the whole slow at expo show goes, the day after the riot, the daily mirror (which was syndicated across the world) ran a cover story about the incident complete with a picture of the band, incinuating (sp?) that they were responsible for the riot.

according to the aforementioned enhanced disc, slow pretty much broke up after a show went awry in seattle. tom got too drunk to sing (imagine that!) and stephen hamm had to step in on vocals. after that things went downhill apparently. they had a write up in the subpop column at the time as well.

By Anonymous jordan, at 10:29 p.m.  

i've got the first copyright (circle c)cd. for me it's average at best and nothing like slow. from memory it was on Geffen and they dropped them soon after it came out.

i know the last Slow show was actually recorded (well) by Co-op radio. I had a taped copy (they played it several times).

By Anonymous g, at 3:20 p.m.  

i got the last show info from Andrew's Tyee post...

I can't recall if I've heard the circle c album... I really wasn't too enamoured with Copyright though.

I remember attending SnowJam one year at the Indy Grounds, and their set was certainly memorable, though. Molson was sponsoring so there was beer. But they were also giving away shitload of promo crap. Greg Nori from Treble Charger got hit in the chest with a full bottle of Mountain Dew Red Alert, if I recall.

They were also giving away women's razors. Beer + free Razors = stupid idea. During Copyright's set people were winging them up on stage, and Tom was just picking them up and winging them back into the crowd.

By Blogger Quinn, at 4:38 p.m.  

nardwuar told me on his msg board a couple years back that zulu was planning on reissuing the lp and ep on cd, as well as a live recording from the commodore. i guess that never took shape though.

when i get the time i'll upload circle c and send a track or two. although its not like slow, its not really like 'love story' either. geffen signed them with a huge advance and sent them to the uk to record the album. promo department didn't know how to market the thing, and according to legend, tom pissed off david so much that he pretty much screwed them over in anyway possible. i heard that DGC shipped thousands of copies of the album to the philipines in order to legally keep their end of the deal, but the band ended up being stuck under the contract and couldn't move on for years.

the most memorable moment from the snowjam show was when someone chucked a water bottle on stage... it was during an instrumental jam, so tom picked up the bottle, gave this look at the crowd, and just threw it right back.

By Anonymous jordan, at 6:54 p.m.  

You can download the EP from here:
http://sonofspam.wordpress.com/2006/12/07/sl-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-w-w-w-w-aka-%C2%A9aka-circle-caka-copyright/

Everybody enjoy. I've worked backwords from The Hidden World (I had Into The Light as a CD Single which compelled me to get the CD) to Slow and sideways to Tankhog. Excellent stuff.

By Anonymous Wednesday Keller, at 10:26 a.m.  

Tom talks Slow and Expo etc...
interview sound bites at the end of article

http://www.nowtoronto.com/music/story.cfm?content=166681

By Blogger Kegger, at 12:55 p.m.  

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mp3s are for preview purposes, if you like what you hear, buy it at your favourite indie record store. please don't direct link to photos. click for more.

writing by Quinn
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