Colour Commentary: Reminder to everyone that athletes aren’t superhuman

We always think of athletes as superhuman. Kobe Bryant’s death was a reminder that they are just as human as you and I.

Last Tuesday night, unfortunately we had another reminder.

In a game between the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues, defenceman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench from what is called a cardiac episode.

After an extended shift on the ice, Bouwmeester lost consciousness on the bench during a commercial break. Players from both teams were hollering at the training staff to tend to Bouwmeester.

The game was postponed to a later date and Bouwmeester was transported in a conscious and stable condition to hospital.

To make matters even more traumatic, Bouwmeester’s father was in attendance at the Honda Center as it was the Blues’ annual father/son road trip. Now, I’m not a parent but I can only imagine what was going through Bouwmeester’s father’s mind as his son laid motionless on the floor next to the bench.

However, if his father was back wherever he lived, there would most likely be a time difference and there can’t be anything scarier than waking up to a million phone calls from people saying “Oh my god, is your son ok? Did you see what happened?”

These horrifying events are brutal reminders that athletes are not superhuman. They have families and friends just like the rest of us.

I have to tip my cap to the training staff of the Blues and Ducks for how they handled the situation.

Bob McKenzie joined TSN 690’s Morning Show on Wednesday and said: “there was no better place for that, as unfortunate of an event as it is, than at an NHL rink.”

McKenzie is 100 per cent correct. The problem was identified right away and Bouwmeester had expert help by his side within 30 seconds of his collapse. Since the episode, Bouwmeester has undergone successful heart surgery to put an implant to help regulate his heart rhythm and is resting at home.

This is yet another reminder to us to hug your loved ones and tell them you love them.


Witness the rebirth of real southern rock ‘n’ roll

Photo by Andrew McNeill

Honest-to-God rock ‘n’ roll is long gone, kaput, defunct; it crumbled alongside Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, dried up, and floated away in the 1970s.
Wrong. And no, it’s not hiding.
The Bright Light Social Hour doesn’t want to be Austin’s little rock saviour secret, but when they roll into Montreal’s Club Lambi to a crowd of about twenty, we’re pushing them into that corner.
It’s a terrible shame, because these four southern boys bring more talent to the stage than this and last year’s crop of emerging indie bands combined.
This is hard, gyrating, blues/funk rock that oozes simple and unabashed sexual desire, gratification, and invincible optimism.
Curtis Roush, Jack O’Brien, Joseph Mirasole and A.J. Vincent began playing together as an art-rock collective  just under five years ago at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. They spent the past year and a half touring around the states, building a reputation as a real high energy, mustachioed, dance floor-arousing live rock band.
These guys know what they’re doing. They’re as proud of their long luscious manes as of their musical ability, and each is unafraid to gloat their solo skills on drums, bass, guitar and even keyboard. Have you ever seen a rock organ-keyboard solo? Didn’t think so.
Mirasole’s drumming alone whips feet into a confused frenzy, while O’Brien, Roush and Vincent’s three-part vocal harmonies echo the yearning of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and AC/DC’s Bon Scott.

Photo by Andrew McNeill

After the release of their self-titled debut album, The Bright Light Social Hour swept SXSW’s 2011 Austin Music Awards and immediately hit the road for their first North American tour.
Now, their shows sell out to thousands in the south, and after clenching hot ticket status at last year’s SXSW, you’d think this group of gentlemen would have SOB egos to boot.
Over a year later, and still touring strong, their live show is polished, polite, yet confidently dirty—even when playing to a handful of people.
Montreal, you really missed out.


Belgian band serves up its ‘best burger’ yet

Belgium is often associated with praline chocolates, waffles, beer and the unassuming cartoon hero recently rejuvenated in 3D, Tintin, closely followed by the Smurfs. Crazy experimental jazz musicians don’t usually come anywhere near the top of the “Best of Belgium” list.
But that’s all about to change when The Experimental Tropic Blues Band, born in Liège about a decade ago, bring their “best burger” attitude to L’Astral during Montréal en Lumière on Feb. 18.
“We just want people to have fun, express themselves, party with us,” explained guitarist and lead vocalist J.J. Thomsin, who goes by the stage name “Boogie Snake.”
Their most recent album, Liquid Love, is somewhere between a dance party, a mosh pit and a jam session and, while it’s sometimes physically confusing—you won’t know whether to dance, jump or just shake erratically—its high energy, hard rocking, experimental sounds will eradicate those doubts and fears as quickly as they came.
The album, which was largely influenced by the band’s time in the United States during 2010-2011, packs punch after punch of loud, homage-paying bluesy goodness into a mere 34 and a half minutes. Songs like “T.E.T.B.B. Eat Sushi,” written about the first time they ate sushi in New York City, and “The Best Burger” aren’t just about the differences in cuisine the band members experienced during their travels, they’re also about an attitude.
“We wrote [“The Best Burger”] after SXSW [Festival] in Austin, Texas,” said Thomsin, laughing. “It was funny. Everywhere we went people had this energy like, ‘we have the best bugers!’ They’ve got the mojo!”
Jon Spencer, who lives in New York City where he produced and mixed the band’s latest LP at NY Hed studio, helped to incorporate that attitude into Liquid Love, adding “cool instruments and ideas,” like the double bass featured on the album.
“It was the best experience we’ve had in a recording studio,” Thomsin added.
But our neighbours to the south aren’t the only ones with mojo. The gusto of Thomsin and his bandmates, Jeremy Alonzi (Dirty Coq, guitar/vocals) and David Dinverno (Devil D’Inferno, drums), comes through in their music and their nicknames.
“When we were kids—when we were 20—we came up with these stage names when we would play because our real names were not very fun, they were too serious,” said Thomsin. “Plus, in blues everyone has a nickname.”
Despite their leaning toward the “experimental” part of their name, T.E.T.B.B. carry the traditions of classic blues throughout their album. With sharp guitar licks, gruff vocals and hilarious anecdotal voice-overs about boners and partying, there’s more mojo in this album than you ever thought was possible.
And it’s that same mojo that’s fuelling their touring fire. They’re spending the majority of this year headlining dates all over Europe, Canada and parts of the U.S. Between jet-setting across the globe, the trio are writing new music for an upcoming self-produced EP along with creating acoustic sets too.
“People want acoustic songs for showcases, but our songs aren’t really made to be acoustic, so we really have to reinvent them,” Thomsin said, adding that touring is when they have the most fun.
“We just want to have fun and maybe the people who were there last year will come back and we’ll make more friends,” Thomsin said. “We want to meet new people, new bands and make new fans so we can come back. We just want to have fun, that’s all.”

The Experimental Tropic Blues Band play during Montréal en Lumière at L’Astral (305 Ste-Catherine St. W.) on Feb. 18.

Exit mobile version