Crash Test Dummies:
Canadian rock band Crash Test Dummies will reunite for the first time in 17-years to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their seminal sophomore album God shuffled His Feet. The north American tour will launch November 23 and will feature the original line-up of Brad Roberts, Ellen Reid, Dan Roberts, and Mitch Dorge.
"After a huge hit in Canada with our folksier debut album, our next effort was dubbed ‘too new a sound’ by our Canadian compatriots. In America however, it managed to pique the interest of a new and frankly much larger group of listeners and soon 'MMM MMM MMM MMM became a bonafide hit south of our border, and eventually all over the world,” says Brad Roberts. “It was a wild ride for us that year. Now we're celebrating the 25th anniversary reuniting with our original line-up and dusting off our old set lists. It will be the first time we've toured with the full band since 2001, and we're very excited about it."
The 1993 platinum selling and Grammy-nominated album God Shuffled His Feet hit number-one in Austria and New Zealand and also reached the top five in the national albums charts of numerous countries including Australia, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The album reached number six in the Netherlands national albums chart, number 2 in the UK and broke the top ten landing at number 9 in the United States Billboard 200 albums chart. God Shuffled His Feet features their most unusual and highly popular single, "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" as well as other fan favorites XX and XXX. The memorable cover artwork featured the superimposed the faces of the band atop figures in the Titian painting “Bacchus and Ariadne.”
In 2008 Consequence of Sound featured GSHF in their Guilty Pleasure column stating:
God Shuffled His Feet made the Dummies famous worldwide with a handful of folk-rock songs that shattered the perception of what rock radio could play. “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”-yeah, the humming song about blue hair and birthmarks-had everyone from soccer moms to metal heads singing along and tapping their toes. “Afternoons and Coffeespoons,” a hypochondria and T.S. Elliot-inspired romp, soars with gorgeous acoustic strumming, the trademark quirky harmonica playing of Ben Darvill, and the angelic backup vocals of keyboardist Ellen Reid. Songs like the album’s title track, “Here I Stand Before Me,” and “How Does a Duck Know?” are odd philosophical rockers, taking on everything from theism to Descartes. I credit these particular tunes for making my college philosophy courses bearable.
Jill Sobule belongs to a rare breed of artists. Her work is at once deeply personal and socially conscious, seriously funny and derisively tragic. Over five albums and a decade of recording, the Denver-born songwriter/guitarist/singer has tackled such topics as the death penalty, anorexia, shoplifting, reproduction, the French resistance movement, adolescence, and the Christian right. Did we mention love? Love found, love lost, love wished for and love taken away.
While her songs cover a huge amount of ground, they all have benefit greatly from Jill's subtle intelligence and skillful light-handedness. No sloganeering flag-and-fist waving here, but rather story songs about human beings, real and imagined, which allow us to step back from the issue, be it personal or social, and relate to it as we would a close friend.
To see Jill live and in concert is a rare treat. It is on stage that she is most comfortable, most powerful, and where the delicacy and range of her work can be best appreciated. She entertains, amuses, provokes, and more often then not, takes her audiences on an emotional roller coaster, from comedy to pathos in a few bars of music.
Jill began playing guitar when she joined the Junior High School band. She never learned to read music, though, and faked her way through rehearsals and performances by playing by ear. As she began writing songs, it was very clear to Jill this was becoming more than a teenage hobby. Music was serious stuff. She played in a variety of funk and rock bands in Colorado, and eventually made her first, Todd Rundgren-produced, album for MCA, Things Here Are Different.
But success did not knock on her door until three years later, when Atlantic Records released her MTV staple and national top 20 hit, I Kissed A Girl. "That song was a double-edged sword for me," Jill Says. "It was perceived as a novelty hit, but on the other hand it was the first song with an overtly gay topic to be aired on Top 40 radio. I am quite proud of that." The self-titled album also yielded another hit song, Supermodel, included in the Clueless soundtrack.
The song also jumpstarted her live music career in a big way, and since then she's had the honor to induct Neil Diamond in the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, to share the stage with the likes of Neil Young (at his yearly Bridge School benefit concerts), fellow activists Billy Bragg & Steve Earle, and Waren Zevon. Quite the serious guitar player, she even toured the world as lead guitarist in Lloyd Cole's band a few years back.
Since then, she has made four more critically acclaimed albums, Happy Town, Pink Pearl, Underdog Victorious, and 2009's California Years, which Jill released on her own record label, Pinko Records, after collecting over $85,000 from fans who funded the project.
A veritable gypsy, Jill divides her time between a busy touring schedule and a variety of other projects. She has played the role of political troubadour for NPR stations across the country and for Air America Radio. She also served as songwriter/composer for the hit Nickelodeon network show Unfabulous during that show's three-season run. She composed the music for the off-Broadway show Prozak and the Platypus and co-starred in the Eric Schaeffer film Mind the Gap.
In the words of New York Times pop music critic Jon Pareles, "Jill Sobule can claim her place among the stellar New York singer-songwriters of the last decade. Topical, funny and more than a little poignant ... grown-up music for an adolescent age."
About this venue:
Originally built in 1914 as a mortuary, the beautiful Chapel with its 40-foot high arched ceiling has been converted to a music venue with mezzanine, while the rest of the building has been remodeled to hold our sister restaurant and bar, Curio, which includes an outdoor dining patio.