Posts Tagged ‘It Was Warm and Sunny When We First Set Out’

Ash Poon is a guy I went to college with.  Ash Poon is also the man that taught me not to judge a book by its cover.

The first time I took a crack at the wonderful world of radio broadcasting I was at BCIT in Burnaby and I jammed out a weekly indie rocker radio show on the Vancouver community radio station CiTR.

The class was full of media wannabe hopefuls. Some I knew better than others.  Some just kids I went to school with.  Ash was for sure, one of the latter.  I knew him, good guy.  I don’t think we were in too many of the same classes, just same program.  The radio class is split into two… A and B.  I think Ash was an A and I was a B… But its all kinda fuzzy.

I worked part-time at CFUN as a board op/slash/infomercial-kinda-producer type.  Ash applied there as well and got hired on.  So we worked together.

I also had a shitty band and was into rock and roll so Ash invited me to check out his band, In Medias Res, sometime.

Ash was this geeky, Asian kid and to be honest… I thought, “hmmm?  I guess.”  Most the Vancouver rockers I knew at the time had nipple piercings, a jam studio in New West, bitchin’ T-shirt logos, and smoked a ton of pot.  Ash showed up to work everyday and I think he is a Christian.  He gave me a burned CD of their first ep and I brought it to my radio show.

In Media Res – “Best Kept Secret”

That song changed my world and remains an all-time favourite of mine.  If I ever made a Morning After Show best of record, that song would need to be on it.

I saw In Medias Res play a show at the Purple Onion in Gastown and the man blew me away.  His band was fantastic and Ash was a rock and roll demon on stage.  Not at all how I had stereotyped him.  Lesson learned… stop being a snobby minger.

I quit working at CFUN in… 2001? to go work at Telus and would eventually move to Victoria in 2003.  I stayed in contact with Ash and In Medias Res through the power of the internets and loved their first full-length LP Of What Was (2004).

In Medias Res – “Shakeher”

In Medias Res played a ton of shows in the mid-2000s and then… you know, people get older, they get married, life, work.  Didn’t really hear too much from them until just the other day I got a Facebook message from Ash.

New record.

On January 4th, 2011 you can point your mouse over to http://imr.ca and download It Was Warm and Sunny When We First Set Out.  Also being pressed on vinyl?  OK Ash… I guess I’ll owe that much and buy that too.

The cover is great.  Nice vintage family shot that speaks to the themes and title of the record.  I like how the title also appears to be a nod to the band, and their journey.  Nothing like getting older and reflecting on what it was like back in the late 90s/early 00s when you first starting thinking about future and how rosey it would/should/might be.  What is that saying, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step?” awwww.  Maybe their journey begins now?  And it is filled with optimism?  As they’ll say later on the record, “tonight I am new.”

First listen and immediately I like it.  The record feels warm and recognizable as soon as it pops in.  Their first album in almost 7 years and if you know and love Of What Was, you can grab on to this collection of music.

In Medias Res creates an atmospheric, sweeping brand of rock music.  Great slow dirges that build into cascading guitars, fuzz and howling vocals before settling back down into lullabies and echo.

The record is broken up with some spazzy rockers and begins with the ferocious “The Final Flight of the Bees.”  The distortion and reverb are also turned on and up on the aptly named “Fight Song.” Noises….  “Bears” is another savage jam that I hope really is about BEARS!

I like In Medias Res best when the slow it down and then build it up. “Come Back Down” or the most excellent “Tonight I am New.”  “Tonight” is an older song as I know I’ve heard it before.  I think they recorded it as a one off or it was finished sooner in the album recording process so they shared it. I asked my friend Alix what her favourite song on the record is so far, and she said “Tonight I Am New.”  It must have been released before.

What a great song and a stand out on the album so far during my first listen.

In Medias Res – “Tonight I am New”

I don’t really know what Andrew Lee is singing about with this song… but it sounds romantic.  If Coral and I get married again, and we had a first dance song, this one would need to be short-listed.  So Pretty.

Ash Poon is a great guy, we don’t send each other Christmas cards or anything (but damn, we should!) but blessed be the internet and I am thankful he took 4 seconds to write me a message.

I love In Medias Res and maybe you will too.

Go with yourself.

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