John K Samson – Provincial Road 222 7”
Acquired: Kings Road Merch, New, 2010
The price is a guesstimate, since it came with a really beautiful T-Shirt of the cover in a bundle for $20. Being the diehard Weakerthans fan that I am and having missed a chance at picking up the first 7” in the series Samson is doing about Manitoba roads, City Route 85, I figured I had to make up for it. And totally worth it, I should say, because this is an amazing little 7”. The Weakerthans latest LP, Reunion Tour, took a while to grow on me but once it finally did I understood I loved it because the character's Samson creates are the devastating kind you find tucked away in underappreciated novels and underseen small-run arthouse films. The songs on Provincial Road 222 are about about a school teacher who needs to end her affair with the principal, hockey star Reggie Leach and his deserving a spot in the hockey hall of fame, and a teenager with a broken computer, full of sorrow at his inability to keep playing Call of Duty 4. Pretty straightforward, everyday stuff, but the details that Samson packs into each of these songs is what makes him one of the best songwriters of the present time (or ever, since I've always assumed that time would be kinder to the Weakerthans than the head-up-ass critics who dare write them off). “Petition” (which takes the form of a well, petition...in song form) and “Stop Error” (which is set to I believe a Bach chorale) are fun little song experiments, but the A-Side's “The Last And” is the real killer. Heartbreaking and beautiful, sad and relatable.
"The idea probably came from the Simpsons."