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Light Enough to Travel - the Be Good Tanyas




The Be Good Tanyas are arguably the best group to come out of Vancouver. While many other more famous bands and performers have moved to Canada's warmest city over the years, the BGT's actually formed there in 1999 when Samantha Parton and Frazey Ford hitched up with Trish Klein and Jolie Holland, while working as tree planters. One of their first gigs was at the official opening of a gift shop, and they subsequently made a small name for themselves as gift shop specialists, often receiving payment in second hand clothes, before the release of their first album "Blue Horse" in 2000 brought them wider acclaim. As well as their irresistable harmonies, their folk / rock mix is underpinned by an authentic, edgy backwoods feel that keeps them (and you, the listener) honest. Here, on the final track off the album, "Light Enough to Travel" they turn composer and fellow Vancouverite Geoff Berner's plaintive bachelor moan into a woman-of-attitude on a night out's refusal to be seen as just another piece of meat:


"I wound up drunk again on Robson St.

strange 'cause we always agreed

at the start of every evening

that's the last place I wanna be.


Coffee drinkers dressed in black with no sugar

they don't give me no respect -

they say look here comes another one

and I don't know what they mean yet...."


and there are some sharp observations about nightlife the world over:


"....Promise me we won't go into the nightclub

I feel so fucked up when I'm in there

can't tell the bouncers from the customers

and I don't know which ones I prefer.


Promise me we won't go into the nightclub

I really think that it's obscene

what kind of people go to meet people

someplace they can't be heard or seen?....."


and finally, understandably,


"I broke the windows of the logging company

just to get a little release -

I had to throw down my accordion

to get away from the police


and I say

keep it light enough to travel

keep it light enough to travel

don't let it all unravel

keep it light enough to travel......"


by which she means, don't let it, them, whoever, get you down. Be strong and be yourself. Two things the Be Good Tanyas definitely are. This needs to be played loud for best effect. Vancouver or not, wherever you're from, this song's what's known as a banger.

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