A&E » Arts

Anything but static

Rheostatics grace Boot Pub



Who: Rheostatics

Where: Boot Pub

When: Saturday, Nov. 19

Tickets: $20

The Canadian heroes The Rheostatics bring their two-decade-wise prog-rock music journalism to the Boot Pub Saturday, Nov. 19.

"People have painted us as being iconoclasts although more often than not lately, I hear us described as Canadian icons," said guitarist Dave Bidini in a written release. "I think it’s great to be iconoclastic icons. It means that people acknowledge you as being this force that represents constant change and constant challenge. Canada is recognized as being a cavalier place, culturally, always trying to push it harder – certainly in the audacity of Canadian film and literature. There’s no reason music can’t have the same reputation."

The band, originally manned with a full horn section, have always pushed the frustrating limits of language with their music which has been described as a loosely organized cacophony of sound. Buffoonery one minute, profound lyrics the next, one of Canada’s greatest musical treasures remains complex and in a constant state of change and challenge.

Their accolades and accomplishments are as all encompassing as its orchestral psychedelic sound. The Rheostatics were honoured with a Genie award and multiple Juno nominations as well as inducted into the Casby Awards Hall of Fame. Two of the band’s albums, Melville and Whale Music , were heralded as being among the top 10 Canadian records of all time – a feat only duplicated by legends Guess Who. The band was also commissioned to compose an original album inspired by The Group of Seven by The National Art Gallery of Canada.

Many band members’ talents extend beyond the stage into print and production. Bidini is Toronto Star columnist and CBC radio sports personality. He’s written a book about the NHL’s original six hockey teams.

The newest member of the band, drummer Michael Phillip-Wojewoda, who joined in 2002, is one of Canada’s most prolific producers in alternative and indie rock genres with credits on albums for Spirit of the West, Barenaked Ladies, The Waltons and Change of Heart, and now Rheostatics.

The indie band boasts 11 albums to their credit, with only one on a major label: 2067 on True North Records.

The master road warriors are infamous for their legendary spontaneous shows born out of free jazz traditions where band members switch up instruments and vacate stage and amplification for an acoustic sing-a-long on the dance floor with Rheofanatics, reinventing old favourites and discovering new ones.

The Rheos music has begun to shift to a new generation of listeners. Kids whose Rheo fan parents aren’t looking like middle-aged know-nothings anymore.

Doors at 9 p.m. Show at 10 p.m. Advanced tickets are $20 and are available at the Shoestring Lodge or via Ticketmaster at 604-280-4444.