Best-of ’11:: Shotgun Jimmie Transistor Sister

On the surface, Transistor Sister is a guitar record. A Bryan Adams, first six-string like tribute to seemingly insignificant, but ultimately defining moments in Jim’s life. While nostalgia laced albums aren’t unique, Jim makes the wise (and crucial) decision to never let time obscure his recollections. Each sepia toned snapshot on this monster of a record maintains the purity of the browns and yellows that date the images and resists the temptation to add a rose-colored filter that would only tarnish the honest admissions.


No, even as Jim looks back on first loves, travel and anything else that’s all too often dubbed “the best days of our lives”, he never embellishes. These aren’t a collection of Hold Steady drunken rehashes, or even a Plaskett-like retelling of Ashtray Rock proportions. Awkward glances, missed opportunities and insecurities aren’t made out to be life and death, just simply how life played out. Most importantly, it’s quite obvious that Jim is happy with where this “sweet life” has taken him and won’t spend the next thirty years looking backwards asking “what if?” Small shows are his life, but they are free of shitty bands and surrounded by heartfelt moments of love (like his huge sounding fireside Sappyfest singalong, “Swamp Magic”) that mean more to him than stadiums and larger cheques.


Musically, this record is delightfull chunky; fuzz laden guitar riffs, chugging bass and drums dominate the sound, occassionally lightened by synths, flutes and whimsy (borderline cheese horns and saying “walk it out” before launching into a solo), or saddened by reflective piano and harmonies. Jim and his band - with talented members of Ladyhawk, Do Say Make Think and Feist all helping him reach the level he envisioned - get everything out of every hook before abandoning the melody before it overstays it’s welcome. Sixteen songs fly by in the blink of an eye, learning from the best moments of his other musical incarnations. It’s not a greatest hits record, but when you listen to Transistor Sister, it certainly feels like it was years in the making.

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MP3:: Shotgun Jimmie - Late Last Year




This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 9:13 am and is filed under 2011, Canada, Music, Reviews, shotgun jimmie. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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One Response to “Best-of ’11:: Shotgun Jimmie Transistor Sister”

Mostly The Coast :: Photography by John McCarthy » Shotgun Jimmie May 8th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

[...] out this review of his latest album which was recorded down the road from here in Riverport. I’ll be picking [...]

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