Cellar DoorCLEEventsGiveawayMusicVideo

TEN: Reasons You Should See Hayden On Sunday

By Eddie Fleisher

It was 1996 and I was up late as usual on a Sunday night watching MTV’s 120 Minutes. I may have been forced to go to a Catholic high school, but that show was my real idea of church. I was there in front of the screen to worship, and alternative rock was God.

On this particular evening, I had quite the spiritual awakening. “Girl of my dreams, things are as bad as they seem,” a young man in gravely voice sang. The connection was instant. For my lonely teenage heart, things were indeed pretty bad. He lured me in further with the simple, yet earnest lines: “someone to make me laugh / someone to be my better half / keep me warm under the sack / share with me my midnight snack.” I wanted those qualities in a girl too. That sounded nice.

The video was for “Bad As They Seem,” from Canadian singer-songwriter, Hayden. Later that week, I went out and purchased a copy of his debut LP,Everything I Long For. I didn’t listen to anything else for months. I didn’t need to. It was this unique blend of grunge and folk that seemed to touch on all the things I was feeling at that time. The songs were dark and brooding, but yet exploding with short bursts of hope. When I listen to it now, all those old emotions come rushing back. It’s as if that record is some sort of time capsule of who I was then.

Hayden’s music matured over time and seemed to parallel my own life experiences. His records got me through some pretty hard times. I’m forever indebted to him for that. I met him once outside his gig at the old Grog Shop back in 1998. I don’t usually care about that kind of thing, but I just had to tell him what his music meant to me. He graciously accepted a CD of awful music I was making at the time and posed for a photo. It remains one of my all-time favorite musical memories.

Hayden has always remained popular in Canada. In the States, however, his success was short-lived. He was the subject of a major label bidding war, but the Geffen subsidiary he chose, folded after the release of his 1998 album, The Closer I Get. After that, his international distribution got wonky. It also never helped that he’s a bit reclusive, rarely did interviews, and took lengthy breaks between records. Half the time you didn’t even know the newest one was out – a lack of promotion and a tiny internet presence didn’t exactly help either. There was even an online rumor that he died in 2010.

Recently, he signed with Arts & Crafts, a popular Canadian label with strong U.S. distribution. They’ve pushed his terrific new album, Us Alone, pretty hard, and have finally created a better web identity for him. He’s also done more press, opening up about his son, who was born with a rare chromosome deletion syndrome, which almost caused him to quit music. Thankfully, the key word there is almost.

In honor of his show this weekend, I’ve dedicated this week’s column to the most underrated artist ever. Here’s ten reasons why you need to come see Hayden at the Beachland on Sunday.

Bad As They Seem
Bad As They Seem

Bad As They Seem

From the album, Everything I Long For (1996).

In September
In September

In September

From the album, Everything I Long For (1996).

Tragedy
Tragedy

Tragedy

From the album, Everything I Long For (1996).

Trees Lounge
Trees Lounge

Trees Lounge

From the Trees Lounge soundtrack (1996).

The Hazards of Sitting Beneath Palm Trees
The Hazards of Sitting Beneath Palm Trees

The Hazards of Sitting Beneath Palm Trees

From the album, The Closer I Get (1998).

Bass Song
Bass Song

Bass Song

From the album, Skyscraper National Park (2001).

Holster
Holster

Holster

From the album, Live From Convocation Hall (2002).

Damn This Feeling
Damn This Feeling

Damn This Feeling

From the album, In Field & Town (2008).

Let It Last
Let It Last

Let It Last

From the album, The Place Where We Lived (2009).

Blurry Nights
Blurry Nights

Blurry Nights

From the new album, Us Alone (2013).

Hayden is playing at the Beachland Tavern on Sunday, November 10th. Doors open at 7:00pm. Show starts at 8:00pm. Tickets are $15. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit beachlandballroom.com.

We’re giving a free pair of tickets away for the show! Simply comment on this article with why you think you should win, and then “like” Cellar Door on Facebook here and we’ll choose a winner on Friday at Noon!

 

Comments

comments

Share:

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *