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From coast to coast to coast with The Motorleague

Nah, these don't look like guys that would appreciate Taco Thursdays.
Nah, these don't look like guys that would appreciate Taco Thursdays.
Photo by Ryan Ritchie

Creativity takes many forms, and who are we to judge the outlets that it demands of it’s participants? Take for example, what happens when a musical troupe is driving itself all over the continent spending most days travelling from one gig to the next?

“A lot of the time you get in the van, and you’ve got a 4 to 5 hour drive everyday, so sometimes you get a little silly, and your mind wanders. You come up with wacky ideas… . . .

“The guys in my band, y’know, I think the first time I was coming up with these ideas, they used to roll their eyes a lot, but with the process of attrition, they kind of gave up and said ‘Okay, we’ll do anything you want to do.’

Don Levandier, the vocalist/guitarist with 
The Motorleague, then says he came up with the idea for Taco Thursdaysand wanted to put it online, and the band’s response was ‘Oh my God: what are you on?” Having said that though, there it is on their website, the product of a wandering, creative mind. Check out some very different ways to construct tacos from non-taco, travel-diner accessible ingredients.

Musically, The Motorleague isn’t quite this quirky, though they have their moments. With the release of their second album, Acknowledge, Acknowledge,The Motorleague is touring nearly coast-to-coast-to-coast.

“We’ve only been to B.C. the one time (before): normally, we get as far as Alberta, play there a little while, and turn around. Regarding the Fort MacMurray thing (which they drive to after the west coast loop), you know there’s a lot of east-coasters (up) there, and we played there once, and it was one of our best shows because we got out there and there’s lots of guys from our home town who are out there working.”

I ask, after noticing that there’s a fair number of prairie shows compared to the outer edges of Canada, if there’s been particular interest in the prairies to draw them here.

“Oh yeah, especially Alberta. It’s the place where we were able to get a fair bit of interest when we were first out, . . . Calgary has always been very good to us. We always play at the Palamino (Smokehouse & Grill), and have never had a bad show there: it’s always been awesome.. . . . We kind of have a second home base in Alberta,”

Don mentions they have 5 or 6 shows in the province this time through, and here in Calgary, on Saturday night, November 9th at the Ship & Anchor, they’ll be cranking up the drums and guitars in a manner not entirely in line with our stereotype of the politeness of Canadians.

To that end, he gives the province and it’s musical aficionados one of the highest acclamations I can imagine:

“Alberta’s just rock & roll. From what I’ve seen, (Calgary’s) just an awesome, straight-up rock & roll city. We’ve been on both sides of the fence, and played with Grady (their first tour out of New Brunswick), who’s a very bluesy Southern rock & roll, and that was awesome, and then we played with a straight-up punk rock band, and that was awesome as well. In Alberta, there’s an appreciation for live music where the genre doesn’t matter as much. Once people hit 19-25, they really aren’t as focussed on what kind of music it is: they’re just like ‘Is it good or not?’”

When asked if ‘The Jesus & Mary Chain’ would be an appropriate comparison to The Motorleague, Don is momentarily stumped, but says that sure, there would be elements, and he mentions Superchunk, Nirvana and Jesus Lizard as influences. Subsequently, Green Day has come to mind, but Don finishes up by saying “Just call us hard rock: no-one will deny that.”

In any event, if you’d like to hear the jams get kicked out with the occasional curiously wacky aside, see The Motorleague when they drive in on Saturday at 9:00 (with The Balconies and Miesha the Spanks), tacos or not.

Where The Motorleague is Goin’:
Nov 9th, Calgary, AB @ Ship & Anchor, 10th, Golden, BC @ The Rockwater Grill and Bar, 12th, Red Deer, AB @ The Vat, 13th, Grande Prairie, AB @ Better Than Fred’s,, 14th, Fort McMurray, AB @ Bailey’s Pub, 15th, Edmonton, AB @ The Pawn Shop, 16th, Saskatoon, SK @ Vangelis Tavern, 17th, Regina, SK @ The Club at The Exchange, 18th, Winnipeg, MB @ Union Sound Hall, 21st, Hamilton, ON @ Club Absinthe, 22nd, Toronto, ON @ The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, 23rd, Montreal, QC @ Underworld, 24th, Quebec, QC @ L’Autre Zone, 28th, Charlottetown, PEI @ Baba’s, 29th, Halifax, NS @ The Seahorse, 30th, Fredericton, NB @ The Cellar
Dec 1st, Moncton, NB @ Le Caveau (The O.C.)

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