Moviola No. 1: The Band was Canadian.
No. 2: The musicians all wore beards and frumpled suits, forever inspiring street musicians to dress -- and smell -- likewise.
No. 3: "Up on Cripple Creek" and all the Band"s crap tunes were lite rock for the boomer set, full of wimpy melodies and moronic lyrics. At least the Grateful Dead liked jazz.
No. 4: Canadian!
All right, so the Band sucked. Does that mean Moviola sucks? No way, Moviola rules! Having been around since 1992, the group has evolved from playing scruffy y"altrock -- sort of a lo-fi version of Uncle Tupelo -- to wonderful back-porch country-pop. On 2001"s deliriously good Rumors of the Faithful and this year"s only slightly less fantastic East of Eager, Moviola cultivates a summertime vibe, fostered by languid horns, brushed drums, plucked guitar, and plunked piano. These aren"t the kind of country songs that Toby Keith rides to the top of the charts. Rather, they"re made up of small moments -- reading a morning paper, returning from a wedding, crashing on a friend"s couch -- told with poetic wonder and heartfelt subtlety.
One final reason the Band sucked: During the filming of The Last Waltz, the backstage area was allegedly overflowing with cocaine. If the boys in Moviola ever hang it up, they"ll probably settle for a couple sixers of Labatt"s. Now that"s class.