Americans who haven't heard The Tragically Hip don't know what they are missing. In Canada, the release of a new Hip album is almost a religious experience - for Henhouse, people lined up at midnight to buy copies. One music store I go to said they sell more copies of a new Hip album than they do of anything else except Pink Floyd - about 450 copies per week. I didn't think much of the Hip until I thought I should give them a listen because they are from my hometown. But from the first words of "Blow at High Dough", I was hooked: They made a movie once / In my hometown / Out at the speedway / Some kind of Elvis (eighties?) thing / Everyone was in it, for miles around / Oh, I ain't no movie star / But I can get behind anything" - blam, amazing guitar sound and they are off. The key to the Hip IMHO is Gord Downie. He is a poet, rocker, mystic in the tradition of Jim Morrison. The Hip's songs just aren't like other rock bands - musically a little maybe! ! but the lyrics are so cool. From New Orleans is Sinking: "I've got my hands in the river, my feet up on the banks, look up at the lord above and say Hey, Man, thanks" In a world of corporate rock and people who still get away with moon-June-spoon lyrics, Gord Downie comes across as a man possessed, a rock 'n roll visionary. I just hope he doesn't have any suicidal tendencies, because the world needs more Hip!