The Tragically Hip – Up to Here (1989)
When I was young enough to know everything, I despised the song Boots or Hearts.
Country? Hip? To borrow the opening line from the despised song, “Well I think that there’s a problem here!”
Come on guys, I only have the Up to Here cassette, I have to fast forward the side B opener in an attempt to skip it…and fast forward to 2016, it’s now my favourite Up to Here track of course.
Not to mention the finest side B opener in The Hip catalogue.
Also a lovely choice for the opener at the tour-opening Victoria concert on Friday night.
If you’re a cover band in Canada, you play The Hip.
Or you’re simply not a cover band in Canada.
Up to Here features a few staples to have in the rotation:
–New Orleans is Sinking, preferably with a paraphrased Killer Whale Tank rant
–38 Years Old, to demonstrate some acoustic versatility
–Blow at High Dough, ideally changing the “Elvis” name-check to something topical/another celebrity/someone in the audience. Like these young lads did in this remarkably Hi-def clip from 2002, sometime between hating & loving Boots or Hearts:
“He was a coal miner in the spring…”
– TTH, Another Midnight
When I think about it, no other quote has had a bigger impact on my teaching career.
As a grade 12 student, I was in an American History class one morning, singing that line to myself, likely over and over again. Not unlike that scene in Tommy Boy, where Chris Farley & David Spade keep up with Michael Stipe for “6 O’ Clock TV hour” and then trail off dramatically.
Perhaps on my 3rd rendition or so (I really should have learned the next line), our Teacher Candidate, Mrs. Hall, turned to me and said, “A little Tragically Hip this morning?”
I was flabbergasted.
This was in ‘98/’99, she did not have convenient access to a search engine (Netscape Navigator?) to look up what lyrics I was singing.
She was however able to identify this obscure album track based solely on my wandering, incomplete-at-best mumbling. She wisely avoided the perils of trying to appear cool; she merely played an impromptu game of name that tune, hit it out of the park, and moved on with life.
That’s how it’s done.
Needless to say, Mrs. Hall had my undivided attention and enthusiastic participation for the remainder of the course.
Almost two decades later, when the 11 tracks on Up To Here were playing this week, my attention was equally undivided, my sing-a-long participation equally enthusiastic.
As a personal bonus, I’ve also finally memorized the follow-up Another Midnight line to mumble:
“He was a coal miner in the spring…blinded with its dusty resolutions”
The Hip Tour/My Post Schedule
Jul 26 2016 The Hip plays: Vancouver, BC. I play: Road Apples (1991)
Jul 28 2016 The Hip plays: Edmonton, AB. I play: Fully Completely (1992)
Jul 30 2016 The Hip plays: Edmonton, AB. I play: Day for Night (1994)
Aug 1 2016 The Hip plays: Calgary, AB. I play: Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)
Aug 3 2016 The Hip plays: Calgary, AB. I play: Live Between Us (1997)
Aug 5 2016 The Hip plays: Winnipeg, MB. I play: Phantom Power (1998)
Aug 8 2016 The Hip plays: London, ON. I play: Music at Work (2000)
Aug 10 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: In Violet Light (2002)
Aug 12 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: In Between Evolution (2004)
Aug 14 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: World Container (2006)
Aug 16 2016 The Hip plays: Hamilton, ON. I play: We are the Same (2009)
Aug 18 2016 The Hip plays: Ottawa, ON. I play: Now for Plan A (2011)
Aug 20 2016 The Hip plays: Kingston, ON. I play: Man Machine Poem (2016)