After blowing people's minds and faces off at a Hillside Festival workshop this past July, the Sadies and Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet will once again perform all of Alice Cooper's 1971 LP, Love It to Death, this time at the Garrison in Toronto on September 21.
The two bands were brought together at Hillside because they share a kinship and, notably, a member: Sadies' Dallas Good plays bass in Shadowy Men, filling in for the dearly departed Reid Diamond. Good was in a band with Shadowy Men's Don Pyle and Diamond called Phono-Comb, so their history is rich and deep.
As it happens, Love It to Death was one of Diamond's all-time favourite records, and in paying tribute to him, this explains why they chose to devote their workshop to playing the album from start to finish. Well, it partially explains it.
"For the pure avoidance of 'workshop' nightmares such as extended jams of 'Cinnamon Girl' and 'I Wanna Be Your Dog,'" Pyle tells Exclaim!, with a litany at the ready. "It was a dare gone too far, Stravinsky's 'The Rites of Spring' was already taken, and [Cooper's] Killer was too hard."
"As for why Toronto," Pyle continues, "because it was a lot of work to learn and over far too quickly, and it entertained us quite immensely to play it. And at least one of us feels they need an excuse to wear makeup."
Beyond Diamond's devotion to Love It to Death, the album also made a strong impression on Pyle himself.
"Personally, it was the first 'real' album — as opposed to K-Tel or sound effect albums — I owned, bought for my birthday by my mother," he recalls. "In Shadowy Men world, Alice was the overlap point of our individual venn diagrams of taste. The songwriting and playing in the trilogy of perfect Alice Cooper Group albums — Love It to Death, Killer, School's Out — is still quite astonishing and powerful. They're a monumental sordid mix of darkness and vaudeville that can no longer be achieved in the current perpetually bored world.
"It's important to make the distinction that Love It to Death is by the group named Alice Cooper, not the cornball Republican golfing individual of the same name."
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet play the Dakota Tavern every Thursday in September, and you can see them and the Sadies perform Love It to Death at the Garrison in Toronto on September 21.