A&E » Arts

Get Nude with Gordon Downie


Who: Gordon Downie and the Country of Miracles with special guests

The Cash Brothers

Where: Garfinkel’s

When: Friday, Aug. 29, 9 p.m.

While the occupation that the Tragically Hip’s lead singer, Gord Downie, lists on his passport is "musician", he could just as easily have cited "songwriter" or "poet".

When songwriting is in your blood, it's impossible to stop the flow. For Battle of the Nudes , his second solo album, Downie channels a waterfall of ideas into an almost 40 minute sonic cauldron that swirls with roughage and delicacy.

The album title's duplicitous nature fits in with The Tragically Hip frontman's multifaceted oeuvre.

"I saw the title in a newspaper I was reading while on tour in Cleveland last year," he said. "I was looking at the gallery and museum section, and one of the upcoming exhibits was called 'Battle of the Nudes'. It didn't say much else, so I can only presume that it was an exploration of the nude in painting. The constant layers of the title stayed with me, and the idea of transparency, of fighting with no clothes on – literally, figuratively, and spiritually – very much held an appeal. So much about 'The Battle' is in perception."

Performing with Downie as The Country of Miracles will be: Dale Morningstar (guitar, pump organ, and other various kitchen-sink music-making items), Dave Clark (drums, percussion, tuba, et al), and Dr. Pee (keyboards) from The Dinner Is Ruined. Josh Finlayson (bass, acoustic and electric guitars, background vocals) of The Skydiggers and Julie Doiron (bass and background vocals) from Eric's Trip and Wooden Stars also join the merry melee.

Battle of the Nudes is the next evolutionary step for the restless creative force that is Gord Downie.

"I'm interested in doing anything that teaches me something," he said. "As a result, I've found that I'm writing more than ever. In fact, the day after I mastered this record, I was already back to writing with The Hip. Ultimately, what I want to do is more. I want to get better."

A limited supply of advance tickets are on sale now for $35 from Garfinkel's and Daisy Internet. Please be advised this special performance will be an early show with doors opening at 8 p.m. and show starting at 9 p.m. See www.mountainpromotions.com or www.gordondownie.com for more details.