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Pemberton Day 2: Hometown Heroes Black Mountain Tempt Fates

July 27, 2008 11:00 AM ET

It was Black Mountain's singular fate to have the least distance to travel and the most to prove at Pemberton. This may be why the heralded Vancouver band waited to start their side stage set until they were certain their mainstage neighbors (fellow Maple Leafers the Tragically Hip) were finished. As having the most to prove goes, playing up against Canada's most-loved band is about as undesirable as it gets. Still, a sizeable crowd of hipsters gathered (many of whom have probably served Stephen McBean coffee back in the city) to hear Black Mountain's In the Future served up loud and in its near entirety, with "Stormy High" and "Angels" at the forefront of a very speedy set. For all McBean's strategizing, he neglected one thing: starting late means ending late, and he was forced to thrash his way through the last few songs as the hip kids wandered off to see the Flaming Lips.

For complete coverage of the Pemberton Festival, check out rocknrolldiary.com.

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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