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The Tragically Hip – In Between Evolution (2004)

August 12, 2016


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…


hipThe Hip Tour/My Post Schedule

Jul 22 2016 The Hip played: Victoria, BC. I played: The Tragically Hip (1987)
Check out these TTH (1987) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Jul 24 2016 The Hip plays: Vancouver, BC. I played: Up to Here (1989)
Check out these Up to Here (1989) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Jul 26 2016 The Hip plays: Vancouver, BC. I played: Road Apples (1991)
Check out these Road Apples (1991) reviews by: Brian, Aaron, Deke

Jul 28 2016 The Hip plays: Edmonton, AB. I played: Fully Completely (1992)
Check out these Fully Completely (1992) reviews by: Brian, Aaron, Sarca

Jul 30 2016 The Hip plays: Edmonton, AB. I played: Day for Night (1994)
Check out these Day for Night (1994) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 1 2016 The Hip plays: Calgary, AB. I played: Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)
Check out these Trouble at the Henhouse (1996) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 3 2016 The Hip plays: Calgary, AB. I played: Live Between Us (1997)
Check out these Live Between Us (1997) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 5 2016 The Hip plays: Winnipeg, MB. I played: Phantom Power (1998)
Check out these Phantom Power (1998) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 8 2016 The Hip plays: London, ON. I play: Music @ Work (2000)
Check out these Music @ Work (2000) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 10 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: In Violet Light (2002)
Check out these In Violet Light (2002) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 12 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: In Between Evolution (2004)
Check out these In Between Evolution (2004) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

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)

From → Uncategorized

  1. Gus! Like you’re story about how you had lost momentum with this stuff. At some point it does happen to all bands but as fans we wander back round

  2. I’m afraid this is all a little over my head Geoff, but through your video I have discovered a small world of Geoff Stephens videos on YouTube – this fella is all over the net.

    • I think there’s a ‘Geoff Stephen’ marketing guy on YouTube – so I suppose you learn something regardless of the video you click!

      • Oh no, I bet he’s one of those forthright, successful, pro-active dudes that drive sportscars and own only Phil Collins CDs.

      • One of the Geoff Stephens has to!

  3. I agree with commenter above. Even if I’m going to get 0 out of 6 in the test (I promise to improve in future!), can we still get a link to the Stephen1001 youtube channel for more videos?

  4. Jenn permalink

    I do believe I hear some Ahead by a Century and Nautical Disaster in there.
    That Ahead by a Century opening chord progression is one of my favourites in their catalogue.

  5. I’m late to this party, having been away a week and trying like crazy to play catch-up with all of everyone’s posts… can I still submit my track list guesses?

    Ahead By A Century
    Last Of The Unplucked Gems
    Yer Not The Ocean
    So Hard Done By
    Are We Family

    Nice playing, dude!

    • 6 out of 6 – awesome Aaron!

      • A winner is me!

        I hope my No Prize is in the mail! 🙂

      • You bet – once I figure out the postage for ‘eternal bragging rights,’ consider it in the mail!

      • I was just surprised no one had beaten me to it!

        As for bragging rights, they go to you for knowing how to play all of that stuff on the guitar. That’s really cool.

      • Thanks Aaron – though Rob & Paul make it look so much more effortless, they’re amazing!

      • They really do. I hope they keep playing, no matter what happens. Even if (heaven-as-a-concept forbid!) the Hip ends, I hope the players start new groups and keep playing. They’re too good to just stop.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Tragically Hip – World Container (2006) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. The Tragically Hip – We are the Same (2009) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. The Tragically Hip – Now for Plan A (2012) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem (2016) | 1001albumsin10years
  5. Top 5 “I’m Grateful For…” | 1001albumsin10years

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