Everyone seems to have a story about The City Streets, a three-piece rock band from Edmonton who currently calls Montreal home. Most of those stories are amazing – that is unless it was your house they party crashed or your girlfriend they eye banged.
Then again, most people really seem to enjoy hearing about my story about the near-threesome in the men’s bathroom at Walker’s with City Streets bassist Matt Donald.
There is a reason that all of the greatest bands are tailed by legend, rumour, conjecture and hearsay. Any chud with a guitar can make pretty sounding music, but give me a beer and one hell of a back-story and I am in histrionic nerd rock heaven.
Case in point, despite attending the CD release show in Montreal in the summer of 2010, I had spent all my money at the sketchy dépanneur behind Barfly on pocket beer and not buying the album when I had the chance.
Since then The Jazz Age became my most listened to album of 2011. It is the go-to LP when I need to throw on some headphones and march off to work or out for drinks with the editor.
In fact, I can make it from my apartment on 9th Street and Dufferin to the front door’s of Winston’s Pub downtown just in time to hear singer Rick Reid howl “baby, baby where the fuck are you?” from the third track “Irish Rose”. Similarly, when I get back home I’m only halfway through “If I Go Back To Paris” which usually precipitates a couple of jaunts around the block to finish the song.
Thankfully The City Streets made the CD available on their website as a free download.
And in the spring of 2012, The City Streets are dropping two new records – sort of like 1991-era Guns ‘n’ Roses.
Musically, the band are a drunken, careening tour van that skips and slides through genres with the grace of a folding chair. Their two newest songs, “How I Pray” from Winter Lightning and “Nothing Can Be Planned” from Sawdust and Rum, while both as good as anything they have ever done in the past, are completely impossible to pin down.
Absurdity has always been my favourite past time, and these songs similarly rule.