Last week the Canadian iconic rock group The Tragically Hip released their 12th studio album, Now For Plan A. I thought to myself, I thought, “what a fantastic album for me, Eric Taylor, to review. I am Canadian, The Tragically Hip are Canadian. It just seems to fit so well.” So that was the plan. I listened to the album a few times and I was supremely impressed. The Tragically Hip have returned to form and have produced a record worthy of their name – the same name that brought you the legendary Trouble At The Henhouse. I was super excited to share this news with you, except I will not be doing that anymore (although you simply must get your hands on Now For Plan A, it is really worth it).
You see, another record has recently been released and is receiving quite the buzz all over the Internet by a Scottish trio, Chvrches (pronounced Churches; I am not entirely sure Scots know how to spell). I have explained this before, but electro-pop does something to me, it touches me deep inside and I like it. And Chvrches’ The Mother We Share is one of the finest electro-pop songs I have heard in a very long while. This song gives The Knife’s Heartbeats or Purity Ring’s Fineshrine a run for their money (whatever meager, indie-pop, money they may have). And as much as I would love to write a satirical review of this great record, I ultimately cannot. As I was preparing myself to write this review I bought Tig Notaro Live from Louis C.K.’s website for $5 and gave the 30 minute paradigm shifting set a listen. I was floored. Although it was not the funniest or goofiest set I have heard from Tig it was the rawest, realest comedy show I have ever heard.
Only a few days prior to doing this show at Largo Tig had found out that she had (past tense is important here) stage 2 breast cancer, which is bad news merely on its own. However, when grouped with equally bad news like loosing her mother the week before, just barely surviving a rare digestive track disease and breaking up with her girlfriend Tig’s bad news quickly became tragic news. Naturally she did not feel like coming on stage and being whacky with jokes about bees taking the freeway. Instead she opened the set with “Good evening, hello. I have cancer. How are you?” This is the tone of the rest of the show. Being one of the funniest people I have heard she still managed to bring comedy to her tragedy and in doing so took me on a wild and adventurous emotional rollercoaster ride.
Now, I am a man, a man with a fully formed set of shallow emotions. So imagine my surprise when I had to feel joy and melancholy, laughter and empathy all at once. I was confused in a wonderful way. I was being confronted with my fears of death as well as exploring uncharted emotional territories. At parts I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be laughing and at other parts I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be crying. Tig, in a very honest and real way, dismantled the idea of performing comedy and the generally accepted comedic structure. Just as Louis C.K. does, I also feel that Tig Notaro Live is an important piece of comedic genius – something that simply should not be missed.