The Tragically Hip – In Between Evolution (2004)
During the school year, I like to start my classes with a semi-relevant Name that Tune (e.g. Whitney Houston’s It’s Not Right, But it’s OK when introducing the Sine Law for non-right angle triangles).
So why not kick off today’s post with a round!
Today’s challenge: “Name that Hip song in the key of D”
Can you name all 6 songs with only the help of a semi-accurate acoustic guitar…Pencils ready? Go!
I read a great article last year by Bryan Reeves titled, Choose Her Every Day (or leave her).
It raised the important question, “why am I choosing my partner today?”
This was a question I’d never really considered but I’ve since turned it into a daily exercise, writing my reason of the day on my wonderful wife’s calendar (granted, as her relationship-to-me title of ‘wife’ is inevitably preceded by ‘wonderful,’ my daily task is pretty easy).
But I now see an important distinction between loving something/someone and continuously Choosing to love something/someone.
In 2004, for the first time, I wasn’t choosing The Hip.
Sure I still loved them, I still bought In Between Evolution, I still enjoyed playing their music with friends/bands.
But I wasn’t choosing them every day. I didn’t choose to go see all their shows anymore. I was no longer praising them as my undisputed favourite.
So if someone asked me in 2004, ‘What do you think of the new Hip?’
Well, I wouldn’t have much negative to say, but my relative lack of ebullience might have caught people by surprise.
Obviously, in 2016, I’m choosing The Hip in a personally unprecedented way.
And if I’m asked about In Between Evolution (IBE) in 2016, or even if I’m not asked, I’m considerably more ebullient!
IBE is a something-for-everyone kind of record. Old school hip fans will likely approve of the groove-driven Gus: The Polar Bear from Central Park; Rob Baker adds some delicious slide work to the somewhat less-appetizingly titled Vaccination Scar; and few bands have written guitar lines as pretty as those found on Are We Family.
As they always do, The Hip lead with strength. This time, in the form of one of their most moving tracks, Heaven is a Better Place Today.
“If and when you get into the end zone
Act like you’ve been there a thousand times before”
This is my core sportsmanship belief. Before handing back the first test of the year, I show this clip to my classes. If you get a great mark, skate back to centre ice. Act like you’ve been there. As perfectly exemplified by a Gord Downie favourite, Parry Sound’s Bobby Orr.
“Don’t blame, don’t say people lose people all the time any more”
The song was recorded in honour of Dan Snyder, an NHL player who died in a car accident. The story of Dan Snyder’s family, how they responded to the loss of their son, immediately forgiving the driver (a teammate) and asking the judge for mercy, is truly inspiring.
“Because of this it’s just not the same”
The deeper I immerse in this catalogue re-visitation, the more I wonder how things would be different if I hadn’t seen Locked in the Trunk of the Car on that fateful Friday afternoon in 1992. Would I have eventually become a fan? Would I prefer this album over that one? Would I have drifted away from the band as I did in 2004?
While I may have drifted away from the band around In Between Evolution, I wouldn’t be gone too long.
In fact, instead of “loosening my grip on Bobby Orr,” I have the person I continue to choose every day to thank for bringing me back to The Hip…
The Hip Tour/My Post Schedule
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 (2012)
Aug 20 2016 The Hip plays: Kingston, ON. I play: Man Machine Poem (2016)