Updates: September 2002 - April 2003
April 13, 2003 - Indeed, it was time to have fun, as Monteforte took to the Gash-slicked stage at Healey's suited up in Motorhead t-shirts and bandana headbands (the latter particularly flattering on Brad From Halifax, considering the size of his forehead). And nothing says Motorhead-t-shirt-and-bandana-headband like not just one but TWO Bon Jovi songs. "You Give Love a Bad Name" has been added to the MF songbook, as "Livin' On a Prayer" (oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-oo-oo-ah..) rocked the encore. But the other new song was even more earth-shaking: the Canadian disco classic, Patsy Gallant's "From N.Y. to L.A." (a fave for any purveyor of the MuchMoreMusic Retro Boogie Dance Party). Other highlights included the three people who slow-danced back-to-back to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Bobby "the Crunch" Dupont disavows all knowledge of these people), the guy trying to get a girl to join him in the men's washroom somewhere around "Video Killed the Radio Star" and the welcome returns of "Working For the Weekend" and "Unskinny Bop."
April 10, 2003 - Here's your helpful reminder from Vikki Sleaze:
Monteforte live at Healey's April 12/03 w/GASH.
Time to have fun again.
March 23, 2003 (the day after Moe's birthday!) - In part to celebrate the upcoming Juno Awards, the April issue of Toronto Life magazine talks about particular bands and artists of the '80's who "represented, if not a golden age, then a gilded era in Toronto rock excess, for which they earned a place in our hearts." Andre Mayer goes on to list the then-and-now accomplishments of folks like Platinum Blonde, Glass Tiger, the Spoons and Gowan. In comparison, the Pursuits come off looking pretty good. To wit:
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS - In a nutshell: Moe Berg and his eclectic crew emerged from indie obscurity with the flippant rock anthem "I'm An Adult Now." Genre: Literate, sex-obsessed guitar rock. Chart-toppers: "I'm An Adult Now," "Hard to Laugh," "Cigarette Dangles." The look: With his shoulder-length tresses, immense glasses and a body with no contours, Berg became a most unlikely rock icon. Juno highlight: Nominated most promising group, 1989. Recent gigs: Berg has produced numerous local bands (including Robin Black and the International Rock Stars) and played guitar in the Toronto stage production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch; he's also a short story writer ("The Green Room") and a regular book reviewer for the Edmonton Journal. Prophetic lyric: "He feels like he's falling, falling / Out of grace and into knowledge" ("Tree of Knowledge").By the way, if you'd like to catch up more properly with the "recent gigs" of everyone else, remember our "In Review" section updated last fall.
March 9, 2003 - You may recall there was a chance that a March date for Monteforte would have to be rescheduled. Indeed, it has been. According to Vikki, the boys and girl will be at Healey's April 12th, once the proprietors have cleared out from that day's Zepfest - a whole lotta Zeppelin swag auctioned off to raise money for the Brazil Children's Fund. So if you're coming from out of town, you may want to pop by early (noon-4pm) and see if any plaster casts are available. (ahem!)
February 27, 2003 - Okay, some photos from the Spin Event are now up! Enjoy the swinging hair and sweating stage spinners on a new page of the Reunion Gallery.
February 23, 2003 - The Gears 24-Hour Spin Event is history, and it was every bit as odd as you may have thought it would be, but a great time was had by all - at least it was great once everyone got through the muck of snow and rain to get out there. Picture if you will the floor of a hockey arena dominated by more than 200 stationary bikes lined up a facing a huge stage with huge video monitors on either side. Then picture The Pursuit of Happiness on that stage with full-on rock lighting and sound...and a pair of lead spinners chugging away at each end of the stage. Well, soon you won't have to picture it, because the photos are on their way for later this week. But for the moment, here's the setlist: Hard To Laugh, Food, Consciousness Raising as a Social Tool, Beautiful White, She's So Young, Kalendar, Shave Your Legs, Young and In Love, Hate Engine, Pressing Lips, Let My People Go (no, they didn't play that at last summer's reunion shows; they went over it twice in the one rehearsal they did last week), Ten Fingers, Terrified, Two Girls In One, Looking For Girls, Cigarette Dangles and I'm An Adult Now. We (and the band) learned at the last minute that the show was evidently broadcast live on Rogers Television Mississauga, which would only have been available for people with Rogers Cable in Mississauga. If you're one of those people, check your listings to see if there's a repeat (this hasn't been easy for downtowners to find out, so let us know!). More on this matter and lots of other Spin stuff still to come.
February 15, 2003 - Hey, who's that fabulous and focused man in black behind Melanie Doane? It's our favourite jazz radio personality Brad Barker backing up his other ol' boss as she played her new single at the Genie Awards last Thursday night (btw, the Genies are the Canadian Oscars, and the show was on national tv...both facts may be news to most Canadians). She was introduced by her new benefactor, actor Gary Sinise, who's joined forces with Mel's husband/actor Ted Dykstra (Hedwig to Moe's Sksp in Hedwig and the Angry Inch) to form Actorboy Records to release You Are What You Love, now available on melaniedoane.com.
- Back to the Gears 24-Hour Spin Event, now a week away (see the poster down there, where you can find the earlier event updates?). The "entertainment schedule" on Gears' site lists the Pursuits as playing Saturday night 9pm-10pm, but be wary of that because the set was originally slated for 8 and the current slot leaves an open hour between Kulas and them while leaving no setup time between them and 54-40, who are supposed to start at 10. Better safe than sorry. [Feb.22: that skepticism was warranted - the set now looks it'll start somewhere between 8 and 8:30.] (btw, the "illusionist with 5 LARGE cats!" is slated for 6pm) Also, please note that because of the larger venue and the various people in charge of the event, there are no plans to record and mp3 the show for the site. We might get lucky, but just don't count on it. If you're coming and perhaps have a nice little MD player/recorder, by all means take your best shot and let us know. And remember to take your cameras and send us your photos! After all, the 22nd is the webmaster's birthday....
February 3, 2003 - On an NHL All-Star Weekend, it was Hockey Night in Canada at Saturday's Monteforte extravaganza at the Horseshoe, where the boys dressed in hockey sweaters and Roxy suited up as a referee (she later swore she'd never wear that stuffy polyester again - what she suffers for her art...). Again they shook up the setlist bringing in even more new tunes with Toronto's "Your Daddy Don't Know" the Paul Anka / Odia Coates chestnut "One Man Woman / One Woman Man" and a long-overdue Quebecois injection with Mitsou's "Bye Bye Mon Cowboy"! They also offered up new favourites like "Wannabe," "Talking In Your Sleep" and an especially well-received "Total Eclipse of the Heart." In fact, the crowd just couldn't get enough, clamouring for the most encores ever; and MF delivered with "Papa Don't Preach," "99 Red Balloons," "Sweet Caroline" and "My Sharona." There's a tiny chance a scheduling conflict could postpone the next show in March, so stay tuned.
- Also, fresh info on the Gears 24-Hour Spin Event from the Gears Racing kids who put on the wing-ding marking the Pursuit Reunion Sequel Feb. 22. Indeed, the charities involved are Casey House and the Trillium Breast Cancer Fund. (Actually, the Hershey Centre is located on Rose Cherry Way, which is named after Canadian hockey icon/character Don Cherry's wife, who passed away from breast cancer a few years ago.) The current ticket price of $21.50 is good until Feb. 16, when it goes up to $25, and that covers "non-spinners" to be in the house from 6pm to midnight. Gears is really pushing ticket sales now, so this would be a good time to snag yours. Oh, and they say the night will also include "an illusionist with 5 LARGE cats!" If you'd like to see what else they say - and check that in fact they did say "an illusionist with 5 LARGE cats!" - head to the info page here. And to download the event's poster (why the hell did they make it a .pdf?), click the little poster over there on the left.
January 24, 2003 - Finally, tickets are on sale for the reunion show as part of the Gears 24-Hour Spin Event on February 22nd. According to the Hershey Centre website (hmm, could that band photo have come from us?), 54-40 appears to be headlining, preceded by our Pursuits, with the night kicked off by Kulas. Doors open for the non-spinners at 6pm, with the first set at 7 (remember, TPOH are supposed to go on at 8). Tickets are $21.50 Cdn. and general admission. Oh, and the Hershey Centre is making a big deal that they have 2000 spaces of free parking, so we're guessing plenty of tickets are available. You can get them in person at the Hershey Centre box office (directions here) and from Ticketmaster online here and by phone at 416-870-8000. The main charity benefiting is the Trillium Breast Cancer Fund. If you're a spinner or just want to support the cause further and you'd like to get a team together for the 24 hours, you can download the pdf of the registration/pledge form here.
- Oh, and this from the cluttered
desk of our friend Vikki Sleaze...
Sorry for the mass email but I have so many fans that it would
be impossible to write everyone and do my hair in the same week. Saturday, Feb.
1st marks the triumphant return of the legendary Monteforte
to the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. There will some new and unusual additions
to the already-loaded-with-hits set list. Come prepared to lose all control
of your organs.
January 12, 2003 - It looks like another TPOH reunion show is on the way! Plans are just about settled (enough that Moe said we can announce it) that The Pursuit of Happiness and 54-40 will play this year's Gears 24-Hour Spin Event at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga (that's the western suburb of Toronto) on Saturday February 22nd. The Spin Event is essentially a marathon done on spinning machines, with dozens of teams getting pledges for charity. The organisations that benefited last year were the Trillium Breast Cancer Fund and the great Toronto HIV/AIDS hospice Casey House. (For more about last year's event, to give you a better idea about this year's, check here.) While the event goes from 2pm the 22nd to 2pm the next day (hence the 24 hours), the bands will play Saturday night, with the Pursuits currently slated to go on at 8pm. Final decisions are now being made regarding individual tickets, but they will range from $20-$25 and will be available from Ticketmaster. That should be hammered out this week, and we'll let you know the minute it is.
January 1. 2003 - Our friends at MapleMusic asked around for faves in music for 2002, and one of those people they asked was good ol' Moe Berg. He had a fair bit to say about the Mark Kleiner Power Trio, the Strokes and Interpol. Check it out here.
-And didja know we now have lyrics available from the Album Reviews page?!?
December 22, 2002 - So you may have been wondering, "Aren't there any super-festive Monteforte shows for the holiday season?" The answer is "Yes, if you work for a big-ass corporation that shelled out to have them play their Christmas party." Hey, all the big stars do it...they just don't have the balls to tell ya. However, the Monts will be back playing for the unwashed masses of Toronto just when you've shaken off your post-holiday blues. They'll be back at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern on February 1st and at Healey's March 29th.
December 2, 2002 - Moe's done producing two demos for those Rude Mechanicals, and the boys have been proud (well they should be - they're excellent tracks) and kind enough to share them with everyone as mp3s on their website. So head on over here, enjoy, and if you're in Toronto this weekend, check them out live at the Horseshoe Saturday night.
November 17, 2002 - A week ago last Thursday, the very cool charity Rethink Breast Cancer had a wacky fundraiser built around all-star kick-ass punk/hard rock karaoke, and the backing band was none other than Moe Berg, Dave Gilby (except for one song when he'd gone out for a smoke), Craig Browne from Pursuit Pals Memory Bank (fresh from being heard on the season premiere of 24) and John Borra. Highlights included Damhnait Doyle wailing AC/DC with lyric sheet in tow, a guy breakdancing on "Crazy Train" and Toronto radio legend/patron of the indies Dave Bookman singing classic Nirvana.
- Also from the world of Moe: he's back frequenting the studios working on demos for spunky East Coast transplants The Rude Mechanicals and our old Pal (but no less spunky) Robin Black.
October 27, 2002 - Now there are more ways to get your hands on Grunt and Groan. Along with being available at Amazon.ca (link below), you can also order the book from our old friends at Maplemusic... who you should visit every once in a while anyway. Otherwise, check in Toronto at great bookstores like Pages on Queen West and Book City in the Annex.
October 6, 2002 - Over there is the cover (which we blithely ripped off from Michael Bryson's site) of Grunt and Groan: The New Fiction Anthology of Work and Sex, in which Moe has a short story [Oct. 20: it's about an office worker who's mastered the art of jerking off under his desk.]. Published by the small but mighty Boheme Press, it should be on Canadian bookstore shelves now (most likely indie or otherwise enlightened stores), and is available to order at Amazon.ca. The public shindigs where Moe will be reading have now been set for October 15th starting at 7pm with readings at 8 at Toronto's Bar Italia (582 College Street, fabled in story and song) and the next night in Hamilton at Gallery 435 (435 Barton Street East, hence the name).
September 22, 2002 - Moe Berg the writer is at it again. He's contributed a short story to Grunt and Groan, an anthology about sex in the workplace. We're not sure what Moe's story is about specifically, but you can figure from the anthology's theme he's dealing with some stuff for which we know and love him. Grunt and Groan will be in all your snazzy Canadian bookstores (like at universities, etc) October 4th, but you're welcome to hear some live grunting and groaning at a reading/party at Bar Italia in Toronto October 15th. At least one other such party is in the works, and we'll let you know about it when it's...ahem...tied down.
September 16, 2002 - The big film festival has come and gone from Toronto, but the real glamour on the 7th was at Healey's for the Monteforte show, where the crowd sang along so loud, it was a little scary. Wearing the snazzy ninja shirts, Roxy and the gang ripped through great perennials like "Our Lips Are Sealed," "I Touch Myself" and "99 Luftballons"; they debuted new classics "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Talking in Your Sleep" (now they have two Romantics songs!); and they brought out some classics not played in ages like "Sweet Caroline" and Anne Murray's "What About Me". And the rock was heightened all the more with the magic of echo-echo-echo-echo..
5-11/03 / Updates: 6-8/02 / Updates: 2-5/02 / Updates: 9/01-1/02
Updates: 4-8/01 / Updates: 1-3/01
Updates: 8-12/00 / Updates: 4-7/00 / Updates: 12/99 - 03/00