Friday, 31 December 2021

The Weakerthans

The Weakerthans were a four-piece punk/indie band from Winnipeg, Manitoba that began in 1997 and went on a Fugazi-style hiatus in 2014. The band was formed by singer/guitarist John K. Samson, who had previously been the bassist in legendary Canadian punk band Propaghandi. Joined by bassist John Sutton and drummer Jason Tait, they released their debut album Fallow in 1997. Following its release, Stephan Carroll was added as a second guitarist, and this line-up stayed throughout their two classic releases, Left and Leaving and Reconstruction Site. Greg Smith took over on bass duties prior to their last album, the also-incredible Reunion Tour.

The Weakerthans crafted a unique sound, where John K. Samson's sung-spoken vocal delivery and poetic yet personable lyrical storytelling really took the forefront. Backing them was a blend of punk, indie rock, and folk influence, with energetic and honest deliveries. They released four virtually perfect albums, all more than worth your time to check out, and have been a big influence on tons of artists, including Frank Turner and Modern Baseball. On a side note, "One Great City!" soundtracked one of the most personal moments in my life, which I won't get into, but it came to me at the exact perfect time, and for that alone I owe this band everything. Additionally, the Virtute the Cat saga is one of the most emotionally affecting things I've ever heard, with the two tracks from The Weakerthans that touch upon this being two of their best, but also the follow-up conclusion explored on two tracks from John K. Sampson's 2016 solo record Winter Wheat, which did also feature production and collaborations from other Weakerthans members (namely Greg Smith and Jason Tait). You can find the whole thing on YouTube here. Happy New Year, and enjoy!

1. Illustrated Bible Stories For Children
2. Diagnosis
3. Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist
4. None Of The Above
5. Letter Of Resignation
6. Leash
7. Wellington's Wednesdays
8. The Last Last One
9. Greatest Hits Collection
10. Sounds Familiar
11. Anchorless
12. Fallow

1. Everything Must Go!
2. Aside
3. Watermark
4. Pamphleteer
5. This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open
6. Without Mythologies
7. Left And Leaving
8. Elegy For Elsabet
9. History To The Defeated
10. Exiles Among You
11. My Favourite Chords
12. Slips And Tangles

1. (Manifest)
2. The Reasons
3. Reconstruction Site
4. Psalm From The Elk's Lodge Last Call
5. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
6. Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michael Foucault In Paris, 1961)
7. Time's Arrow
8. (Hospital Vespers)
9. Uncorrected Proofs
10. A New Name For Everything
11. One Great City!
12. Benediction
13. The Prescience Of Dawn
14. (Past-Due)

1. Civil Twilight
2. Hymn of the Medical Oddity
3. Relative Surplus Value
4. Tournament Of Hearts
5. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure
6. Elegy For Gump Worsley
7. Sun In An Empty Room
8. Night Windows
9. Bigfoot!
10. Reunion Tour
11. Utilities

1. Night Window (Live)
2. Anchorless (Live)
3. Civil Twilight (Live)
4. Fallow (Live)
5. Reunion Tour (Live)

1. Everything Must Go
2. Tournament Of Hearts
3. Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michael Foucault In Paris In 1969)
4. Night Windows
5. Reconstruction Site
6. Aside
7. Civil Twilight
8. Bigfoot
9. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
10. The Reasons
11. Sun In An Empty Room
12. Left and Leaving
13. Wellington's Wednesdays
14. Benediction
15. Manifest
16. One Great City!
17. This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open
18. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure

1. My Favourite Power Chords
2. Ringing of Revolution [Phil Ochs cover]
3. Bad Time To Be Poor [Rheostatics cover]
4. Past Due [Alternate Version]
5. Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist (Country Style)
5. Everything Must Go [Alternate Version]
7. Utilities [Alternate Version]
8. Illustrated Bible Stories For Children [Live on CKUW]
9. The Last Last One [Live on CKUW]
10. Left and Leaving [CBC Version]
11. The Reasons [CBC Version]
12. Psalms For The Elk's Lodge Last Call [CBC Version]
13. One Great City [CBC Version}
14. Reconstruction Site [CBC Version}
15. Utlities [CBC Version]
16. Judge G [Sarah Hammer cover] (Live)
17. Swingin' Party [The Replacements cover] (Live)

Note: All credit for this unoffical compilation goes to Besides Asides


  1. Took so long, you might as well should've not bothered. When is the Propagandhi stuff gonna show up? 2035?

    1. Be greatful for what you get not what you dont get.

    2. Can't be grateful for things that will eventually be gone. No guarantee was for good quality and plenty of links that are defunct. If @Kevin would re-up the links a bit more or he had worked with some else (i.e have a a few contributors/collaborators for the site), maybe I'd be grateful. But it's not that good. Plus all the releases that he (Kevin) doesn't even include.

    3. You might want to learn how to be grateful for things that will eventually be gone -- that being a category which includes everything, life being ephemeral and all that :P

      Hard to take seriously such criticisms of a blog run for free as a hobby; countless are the blogspots with less (and often worse) bands, that never re-up any links, or have stopped updating entirely.. I can't say I'm much into the Weakerthans, but it seems to me Kevin's doing a far better job on this site than just about any other music blog around :)

    4. Definitely should be grateful. Or maybe you should get your wallet out and buy this brilliant music. Much thanks to good people who help spread great music, no matter what quality.

  2. The Hold Steady would be nice and Propagandhi would be a bonus when you got the time.

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  4. Weakerthans related - The Forecast did a commission cover for a newlywed couple of song The Reasons. Pretty tough to find, song was only given on disc to attendees of the wedding. TY to whoever threw this one up -