The Constantines


(also titled: Holy Shit, EZArchive works again!) 

We cats have been on a little break ever since our filehost, EZArchive, decided that having a Web site that worked wasn’t that important. Well, it works now. Hoozah!

How often do three of your favorite bands’ favorite songs all have the same name? The correct answer is once. If you said anything else, go back to stupid camp because you are stupid. And stop by fat camp next door, because seriously, you’ve let yourself go a little.

So here we have the second Cat Fight! Three songs enter, one song leave. The theme? They’re all named “Shine a Light.” The downloads are all live-ish, and the actual individual performance was not taken into account. This is about the song at its core…it’s heart…it’s entrails…it’s tasty, tasty entrails. So please, when listening take that into account.

The Contestants

Wolf Parade – Shine a Light  wolfparade.jpg

Wolf Parade are from Canada, and they love to entertain. This is one of Dan’s tunes, meaning it rocks a bit more and has less yodeling than Spencer’s songs. This is a CBC Radio 3 Session version of the song, so it sounds pretty studio-ish. I know what you are thinking… they have radio in Canada? Yes, they do.

Best part of the song: It may sound contradictory to what I wrote before, but Spencer yelping in the background while Dan grinds out lyrics sounds particularly badass.

Worst part of the song: The end… I just don’t get it.

Best lyric: The second time he says, “I keep my head uptight, I make my plans at night, and I don’t sleep I don’t sleep I don’t sleep til it’s light.” Cuz that’s how I roll too.

Spiritualized – Shine a Light jason-pierce-spiritualized.jpg

Okay, this contest really isn’t fair. I mean, who is going to beat Spiritualized? The answer is no one. If you answered anything other than no one then you are stupid and should go back to stupid camp. This version is from 1997, at the Garage in Highbury, London. 1997 was pretty much a peak for the band, when they had three amazing albums to choose material from–Ladies and Gentleman, Pure Phase, and my favorite, Lazer Guided Melodies. I swear to fucking god that this song will be played at my funeral.

Best part of the song: The entry into chaos. You’d understand if you were a heroin addict. What’s that? You are? Sweet.

Worst part of the song: n/a

Best lyric: “When I’m tired and all alone, Lord, shine a light on me.” Well, that’s about all he says actually.

The Constantines – Shine a Light constantines.jpg

The finest rock ‘n roll band in America (North, that is) turns out another insanely good rock ‘n roll tune. I don’t know what this song is about, all I know is while listening to it I want to scratch up the curtains, piss on the rug, and slit the dog’s throat. Any song that makes me want to do that and makes me feel like I have a right to do that is A-OK in my book. They’re so fucking blue-collar that your fingernails get dirty just listening to the song. I’d say they belong in Pittsburgh if I didn’t hate Pittsburgh so much. You and me both, Sienna Miller.

Best part of the song: The intro. It’s a great hook that leads into a mellow beginning. Kind of like someone punching someone else in the face and then cooing, “Now I told you not to do that. Okay?”

Worst part of the song: The abrupt ending. Bry Webb just tears it up and then takes off. It’s not awful, but it’s not the best part of the song. In fact, I don’t even know why I included “Worst part of the song” in this post anyway. What a jerk I am.

Best lyric: “Don’t talk to me about simple things. There is no such thing. All a man can build is his vision, and I love my man for trying.” Blue-fucking-collar.

The Winner

They’re all winners! Just kidding, this isn’t the Special Olympics and I’m not taking that gutless route. The clear winner here is Spiritualized, in fact it was never a contest. I tricked you. All of you. Except for you, you knew what I was doing.

Second place is a tie! Just kidding, I’m not taking that gutless route. The Constantines wrap up second place, because if I don’t, I know the Buffalo Pipefitters Union #243 will kick myass. Blue-fucking-collar.

Flopping in third place, or as I like to call it, last place, is Wolf Parade. Now don’t get me wrong, I love their Shine a Light. I really do. But as in life, someone has to finish first, and someone has to finish last. Except in basketball tryouts. I wasn’t last on the depth chart, I was first to leave. Now give me another glass of delusion, please.



Few bands make quality rock n' roll like Toronto's The Constantines. Even though they're stupid sick dope musicians, it seems they are still always overlooked as one of those proverbial "bands that will save rock n' roll." I honestly don't get it.

The Constantines…duh.

However, I'm not without blame. I've listened to them off and on for a while, and always say to myself, "Hot Damn! These canucks are fucking great!" And then I forget about them.

So when I noticed they were playing Cafe du Nord, the show called to me like a can opener… played at 11! It was high time I got my shit together and became a fan of The Constantines, and not just in passing.

They have the same sort of indie-rockinness feel that the Wrens do, and at times sound like Fugazi, without the budget-priced shows or CDs. But they're considerably better. I guess one of the problems I've always had is that I don't know anyone else who likes The Constantines. Hell, I don't even know anyone else who has heard of The Constantines.

But I was determined to say "fuck all" and go with my gut. So on that, I decided to give the show a shot.

I told you they were from Toronto!

Holy shit am I glad I went.

The band has a knack for writing some seriously amazing blue-collar "we can overcome" songs. It's the kind of shit you would expect to hear on the way to a Pittsburgh Steelers game, except for that fact that Steelers fans are idiots and should all be shot. Seriously, they suck.

But suck not do The Constantines do. (That was possibly the best ever sentence ever written right there.) Frontman Steve Lambke Bry Webb (thanks Jen for straightening me out) should not have the voice he does. But he does. It's as if he summons some sort of gruff rock god from the past with some eeeerie Canadian ouija board before each performance and just lets it floooooooow.

Not only was their show more than solid from top to bottom, but they did one of the best covers ever.

Spencer Davis – a honky!

The last song was a cover of "I'm a Man" by The Spencer Davis Group. I became a big fan of that song from hearing it on "The Document"–a superb mix by DJ Andy Smith of Portishead. And get this–Spencer Davis is white. Daaaaaaaaamn!  I had no idea! A few members of the opening band came on to help, and it was raaaaaaaaaaaaaad. (see last pic below) 

Anyway, here are some more bad pictures as is trademark to the Web site.

img_3074.JPG img_3075.JPG
img_3070.JPG img_3077.JPG
The Constantines – Young Lions (Live from Lee's Palace)
The Constantines – On to You (Live from Lee's Palace)
The Constantines – Young Offenders
The Constantines – Working Full Time

Update! You can check out the original Spencer Davis Group song here, in this link… to the FUTURE!

For the entire Lee's Palace show, head over to Captain's Dead. Thanks Cap'n!