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STORIES OFTEN TOLD (YepRoc) • The Sadies

Oh Canada. Golden Age Country Surf, and psychedelic spaghettia.

I saw these guys some months ago at the Exit/In in Nashville, and had a blast. They were opening for the Jayhawks (who were good, and about half as entertaining--I think they forgot to take their ego deflation medicine) and I was right up front, walking from one side of the stage to the other. I'll explain. Along with the excellent and rather harebrained rhythm section of Sean Dean on bass and Mike Belitsky on vocals and drums, The Sadies are the unbelievable Good Brothers, Dallas and Travis. They stand like beanpole undertakers on either side of the stage, jet-black hair hanging down in their faces. And they are playing the crap out of their guitars the entire time. Well, when Travis isn't playing the fiddle, that is.

When Dallas sang that night, he rarely opened his eyes. He sometimes sang really low, with a spooky sonority. At points, Travis would be singing the same part, an octave higher, frequently this would be when they were singing along with the surf instrumentals, at breakneck speed. I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to throw up, and my stomach was hurting, but I couldn't stop. When Dallas sang the high parts, he would open his mouth real wide and project his teeth like he was trying to chew his way out of something. It was insanely funny to me. If they weren't such monstrous players I would probably think this was stupid, but that's what's funny. Also their completely deadpan facial expressions, like Lurch on The Addams Family.

We first heard the Good Brothers on the Neko Case record, Furnace Room Lullaby (see our review). But the cast of boyfriends was too dense to realize how amazing these two characters are. They come from a line of famous Canadian musicians, their dad and uncle are The Good Brothers. When they're playing Country, either traditional or alternative, they're top shelf. But add to that their psychedelic bent, their surf instrumentals, and their spaghetti western theatrics, not to mention their funereal look, well…these cats are world class, they should be huge. They are very big in Canada, and are starting to crack the States and Europe. Stories Often Told is from 2002 on the infamous YepRoc label. When their next record comes out, we'll get them on the horn for an interview. In the meantime, check out the clips and get this record by The Sadies, they're amazing. • FG

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