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Static Journey Volume 7: The Stories Of Harmelodia



Following the two earlier left turns of the Whale Music OST and Music Inspired by The Group of Seven, we arrive at 1997. This set starts off with a Green Xmas which was retooled as The Music Room for The Story of Harmelodia. This is followed by a nod to the Double Live album with a short interview clip and Good Canadian which appeared on the album. It is followed by Record Body Count which is what actually followed it at The Bathurst Street Theatre show. I have included it here as it is the slowed down version which the band played for a few years around this time. Double Live is considered by many (myself included) to be one of the best live albums by any band. I voted it number 3 in my all time Canadian Albums for Bob Mersereau's Top 100 Canadian Albums book.

Next up is left turn number 3 after Whale Music OST and Music Inspired By The Group of Seven. The Nightlines Session was actually the final Nightlines session and was recorded the night that Princess Diana died. It is a strange assortment of bizarre songs which I can't really explain. If you ever saw the band open up for themselves at one of the Green Sprout Music Week shows - dressed up like wizards and other crazy characters playing crazy songs - it is kind of like the soundtrack to one of those shows. It starts with This Is Nightlines which features Dave spewing out the obscenities. There are 3 live songs from the album. The gem of the album is Stolen Car. It would become one of the band's most popular live songs. I have put it at the end as it was often a set closer. Majorca was played quite a bit during this time but seldom after. The Pooby Song, I have never heard live apart from the version included here. Frank from the album is also included as it leads thematically into Harmelodia. If you never noticed, the bridge of the song was reworked into I Am Drumstein. I'm not sure if Baby, I Love You is serious or not but there is an element to it which makes it quite a nice song, while from a different perspective it could by totally corny. Finally is Bees which is a Harmelodia song that didn't make the album.

The Story Of Harmelodia was created as a reaction to the big rock shows the band were playing, opening up for The Tragically Hip on the Canadian Trouble At The Henhouse Tour in 1996. The Rheos were supporting The Blue Hysteria and they would release Double Live after this tour.

I have bookended Harmelodia with live versions of The Harmelodian Anthem and Song Of The Garden from the band's performance with the Centennial Secondary School Choir/Band. The Harmelodian Anthem I don't think I ever heard played live and Song Of The Garden, never using the album arrangement. I think it is important to note that at the request of Dave Reed, the teacher from the school who was putting together a stage production of the album, that the band went to the school and played a full show with the performers. The full show can be heard here. It speaks volumes of the bands ethos.

They really were the most approachable group of professional musicians I have ever met. Often they could be found wandering in the crowd before shows, they would invite people up on stage during shows (as can be heard on the version of Home Again included here with Julia Pietrus who I believe was also the girl who would always show up to shows with a stuffed, mounted chicken) and play from the audience at the end. It always seemed that the audience, for the band, was as important to the performance as the band were. That in itself is a big part of why they were loved by so many. When you went to a Rheos show you were a participant, not just an observer. You felt like you were at an event, not just a rock show. They were masters of breaking through the fourth wall.

Apart from the live versions of the album cuts, there are also a few Harmelodia demos provided by Rob Pingle, including the Drumstein Speaks track which was cut from the final album.

Lastly, there are three criminal aspects to The Story Of Harmelodia. First is the fact that the album was not nominated for Best Children's Album at the 2001 Juno Awards. Second is that the album lost the Juno for Best Album Design to The Tea Party's Tangents album. The artwork/presentation of the album is one of the best I have ever seen for any album with its painted book format. The third most criminal aspect of the album is that as of right now it is not available for purchase - it is $99.57 from Amazon.com ... Used!

This fourth "left turn" for the band would lead them back into rock n' roll territory with their next album Night Of The Shooting Stars.

Static Journey Volume 7: One Night Only, Nightlines and The Stories Of Harmelodia
  1. Green XMas - Greensprouts Meet Delilah
  2. CFNY Intro - Edge 102 Double Live Launch Interview with Dave Bookman
  3. Good Canadian/Record Body Count - Bathurst Street Theatre Toronto ON - April 5 1997
  4. This Is Nightlines - The Nightlines Session
  5. The Pooby Song - The Icehouse Victoria BC - July 18 2001
  6. Frank - The Nightlines Session
  7. Majorca - Club Vertigo Victoria BC - January 22 2000
  8. Baby, I Love You - The Nightlines Session
  9. Bees - The Music Hall Toronto ON - May 2 1998
  10. Edge 102 Interview - Harmelodia Launch Interview with George Strombolopolis
  11. The Harmelodia Anthem - Centennial Secondary School - November 30 2000
  12. I Fab Thee Intro - Ted's Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON - March 25 2000
  13. I Fab Thee - Club Vertigo Victoria BC - January 22 2000
  14. Easy To Be With You Radiosonic In Session - November 18 2000
  15. Monkeybird - Ted's Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON - March 25 2000
  16. Radiosonic Interview - Radiosonic In Session - November 18 2000
  17. Invisible Stairs - Boo Radley's Guelph ON - December 3 1999
  18. I Am Drumstein - Call The Office London ON - November 8 2000
  19. Drumstein Speaks - Harmelodia Demo
  20. The Music Room - Harmelodia Demo
  21. Edge 102 Interview - Harmelodia Launch Interview with George Strombolopolis
  22. Wingophone - Ted's Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON - March 25 2000
  23. The Sky Dreamed - Club Vertigo Victoria BC - January 22 2000
  24. Loving Arms - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON - November 8 2001
  25. The Bee Sky Opus In Magenta - The Story Of Harmelodia
  26. Father's Sad Song - Harmelodia Demo
  27. Home Again (w/ Julia Pietrus) - Ted's Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON - March 25 2000
  28. Song Of The Garden - Centennial Secondary School - November 30 2000
  29. Edge 102 Interview - Harmelodia Launch Interview with George Strombolopolis
  30. Stolen Car - Ted's Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON - March 25 2000
Running time 1:37:32

Download Volume 7
Artwork

Thanks again to Noah Campbell for critical evaluation.

Here is a live version of Song Of The Garden:


Here is is a live version of Easy To Be With You:


Here is the video for Stolen Car:


Here is a live version of Stolen Car:


Here is another live version of Stolen Car:


Next - Static Journey Volume 8: Night Of The Shooting Stars