Dan Burke vs The Pauls

The Pauls Dan Burke
Poor Alex Cabaret
February 10, 2005
Using the shallow stage at the Poor Alex as his soapbox, Dan Burke was quick to clear up some false conjecture that had been circulating: he is NOT, in fact, dead.

Burke, who can currently be found booking shows at the Silver Dollar Room, opened this latest installment of "Pitter Patter Nights", the super terrific music series headed by scene stirrer Keith Hamilton. And he did so with his typical flare for the schematic. I guess you could call this spoken word but then again, it didn't exactly reek of the same old-cheese wank wank wank you'd encounter with a Rollins or a Biafra. Burke said he was "performing" tonight because he was asked. Simple. Sporting a baseball cap and crooked smile, and oozing 'tude from every pore, Burke engaged in a 10-minute dismissive missive about his legendary status within the Toronto music community and pointed out that he was very much alive. He plugged an upcoming three-night stand Japan's Zoobombs have coming up at the Silver Dollar (÷ and having witnessed these guys defile the El Mocambo during their "let's re-light the sign" concert many years ago, I would seriously suggest checking them out). Burke closed out with a karaoke version of the David Essex chestnut "Rock On" that I think scared more than one of the kiddies in attendance.

The Pauls played next and they were pretty titled. Don't know a whole lot about these guys but we can only assume that both halves of this two-piece are named Paul. Or maybe not. Paul #1 plucked his way through a number of originals that seemed heavily under the influence of Frank Black's "The Dream is Over" bootleg÷ if you've ever heard that one. Shuffling across stage like a cross between Dave Matthews and Doris Day, Paul #1 seemed an apt performer and amused the crowd with his tunes. Paul #2 only joined in at random intervals, whether it be to do a little drumming, blow the harmonica or play call-and-response during a lumpy version of "Mr Sandman". Also presented was a rushed take on "Heard It Through the Grapevine", proving once and for all that a Paul divided amongst itself can still enjoy an independent and meaningful life.

Writer: Cameron Gordon

Photo:Paul Wanstall

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