BeatRoute Magazine Alberta print e-edition - April 2016

beatroute

BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper based in Western Canada with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise.

Calgary Comic Expo • Santigold • Lab Coast • Sloan • Sanctums • Jason Collett • WAKE • Taco Cat


Editor’s Note/Pulse 4

Bedroom Eyes 7

Places Please 12

Vidiot 18

Letters from Winnipeg 33

Edmonton Extra 34-35

Let’s Get Jucy! 37

This Month in Metal 47

FEATURES

CUFF 15

CITY 9-13

Calgary Comic Expo, Singles Night,

Comedy Monday Night, School of

Thought, Black Diamond Tattoo,

Grey Eagle

FILM 15-18

Calgary Underground Film Festival, Wreck

City: An Epilogue, Netflix and Kill, The Art of

the Prank

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MUSIC

rockpile 20-35

Sntigold, Death From Above 1979,

Sloan, Scratch Buffalo, The Collapse,

Anti-Flag, The Reckless Heroes, Lab

Coast, The Black Mamba Tales,

Cale Michael, The Zorgs, The Small

Glories, Cayley Thomas, Van Halst,

Latcho Drom

jucy 37-38

Sanctums, Souljaberta Party, Kytami

roots 41-42

Jason Collett, Shuyler Jansen,

Aidan Knight, David Miles

shrapnel 45-47

Begrime Exemious, WAKE, Gorod

REVIEWS

cds 49-55

Taco Cat and much, much more ...

live 56

BEATROUTE

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Brad Simm

Marketing Manager

Glenn Alderson

Advertising Manager

Ron Goldberger

Production Coordinator

Hayley Muir

Managing Editor/Web Producer

Shane Flug

Music Editor/Social Media Consultant

Colin Gallant

Section Editors

City :: Brad Simm

Film :: Joel Dryden

Calgary Beat :: Willow Grier

Edmonton Extra :: Jenna Lee Williams

Book of (Leth)Bridge :: Courtney Creator

Letters From Winnipeg :: Julijana Capone

Jucy :: Paul Rodgers

Roots :: Liam Prost

Shrapnel :: Sarah Kitteringham

COVER ART: Suzen Statz; photo by Diane + Mike Photography

This Month’s Contributing Writers

Gareth Watkins • Christine Leonard • Jennie Orton • Sarah Mac • Claire Miglionico •

Michael Grondin • Kyle Lovstrom • Sara Elizabeth Taylor • Alison Musial • Hannah Many

Guns • Haley Pukanski • Foster Modesette • Benjamin Pearson • Robyn Welsh • Trent Warner

• Breanna Whipple • Thalia Stopa • Emily MacDonald • Michael Dunn • Lisa Marklinger

• Shane Sellar • Brittany Rudyck • Jamie McNamara • Rob Pearson • Jonathan Lawrence •

Dan Savage

This Month’s Contributing Photographers & Illustrators

Haley Pukanski • Syd Danger • Cody Oliver • Brian Van Wyk • Isis Essery •

Jill Kinaschuk • Riley Smith • Shane Houser • Renee Robyn • Stefanie Atkinson •

Ripley Hoogstraten Morden

Advertising

Tel: 403.451.7628 • e-mail: sales@beatroute.ca

Distribution

We distribute our publication in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, Canmore, and Lethbridge.

SARGE Distribution in Edmonton – Shane Bennett (780) 953-8423

Connect with BeatRoute.ca

Facebook.com/BeatRouteAB :: Twitter.com/BeatRouteAB :: Instagram.com/BeatRouteAB

e-mail: editor@beatroute.ca • website: www.beatroute.ca

Copyright © BEATROUTE Magazine 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the contents is prohibited.

Death from Above 1979 - page 22

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 3


OBJECT

CITIES

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4 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE


COBRA J. COLLINS

slam jammin’... “our words can change us”

What first attracted you to poetry?

I’m pretentious, but beyond that, my draw

to Spoken Word specifically stems from

a deep love of stories and the idea that

our words have an auditory history. The

concept of leaving your audience or reader

with a story that they can retell or carry

with them is pretty spectacular.

Do you have a favourite poet or writer?

As pedestrian as it sounds, Bukowski. I’ve

always been drawn to art that manages to

capture the profound beauty within the

mundane. With that said, he was for sure

still an asshole.

What type of subjects do you like to

tackle?

What I would ‘Like’ to tackle, would no

doubt end up being just a series of dirty

limericks...Have you heard about the man

from Nantuckett? It’s more about the

stories I need to tell. For me those subjects

can range anywhere from family and love

to our missing and murdered Aboriginal

women. It’s about speaking your truth,

whatever that might be.

What do you like or need to get you into

a creative writing mode?

Staring at a blank page and recognizing

that, regardless of what you type, the sun

will rise without you, has been surprisingly

inspirational, that and a few glasses

of wine.

What do you like best about performing?

That people are listening. I used to joke

that Slam Poetry was just ‘Yelling at

Strangers’ but the last few years in this

community have really shown me the

difference our words can make. You’ve got

people who hear you speak and it strikes

something in them that encourages them

to find their voice and take the stage, it’s

pretty beautiful.

If you could live the artist’s life without

the day job, where would that take you?

I think it would be more or less the same.

Maybe more scarves and less mornings? I’d

probably try and craft an unrecognizable,

but alluring accent.

What does the J stand for in your name?

Jo, short for Josephine, after my great

grandmother. (Shockingly not the portion

of my name most people are curious

about.)

Favourite alcoholic beverage?

The tears of my enemies... or Lucky Lager

because it’s cheap. I’m a poet and I’ll take

luck wherever I can find it.

XO

Cobra J. Collins is a Calgary based Metis poet of significant height. She was a member of the 2015 Calgary

Slam team, representing our city on a national level at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and is a

member of Calgary’s Inkspot Collective. She is the co-host of Expressions, a poetry open mic night at Cafe

Koi, an evening which focuses on creating a space to showcase new artists while building a connected

spoken word community. Cobra puts the “free” in freelance writing for several publications locally, most

notably BeatRoute Magazine. She is an avid fan of beauty and firmly believes our words can change us.

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 7


CITY

COMIC EXPO

Marvel mastermind, Stan Lee, makes one more cameo appearance; Archie is rejuvenated at 75 by Christine Leonard

PLACES

Stan Lee stalked by his friendly-neighbour creation.

It’s no secret. The whole universe loves a parade.

And when you’re the fastest growing pop-culture

convention in North America, commanding

an audience of over 100,000 participants, you not

only get to take over the Stampede Grounds, but

you get to throw your own freakin’ parade through

the heart of the city. Reflecting on the evolution of

The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, from

a gathering of 3,000 people in the first year to a

massive media mecca that rings up numbers that

equal a daily gate-count for The Calgary Stampede,

official spokeswoman Emily Expo is impressed,

but not entirely surprised, by the four-day event’s

enduring popularity.

“Last year was simply amazing,” says Emily Expo

(aka Lindsay Thomas). “It was really exciting to witness

just how much the Expo has grown and to be

able to celebrate that avid fan-base all together with

so many people. We always do our very best to listen

to the fans, and always be friendly and personable.

Because we do approach this from the standpoint

that this is a community. You could label the Expo as

many other things—a business, a corporation—but

number one more than anything, we’re a community

and we feel very passionate about maintaining that.”

A colourful snapshot of what the Expo has on

tap, the annual POW, or Parade of Wonders, is the

perfect excuse to step outside your downtown office

building and take in the supernatural personalities

who infuse the entire weekend with fun and fantasy.

Set for 10 a.m. on April 29, the POW will find a virtual

legion of Imperial Stormtroopers, heroes, villains,

minions, cosplay warrior princesses, and assorted

luminaries marching, gliding and riding from Eau

Claire Market Outdoor Square to Olympic Plaza at

the doorstep of City Hall.

“We are looking forward to the Friday morning

POW, Parade of Wonders, which Downtown Calgary

presents with us. Last year over 1,800 cosplayers

showed up. And, it’s still getting bigger! It is tremendously

popular and a great spectacle to watch and a

CITY

good activity for families.”

Accommodating a galaxy of different tastes and

interests has always been a mandate and a challenge

for the Expo. As they strive to include as many genres

and art forms as possible they have learned to go with

the flow and expect the unexpected. Social media has

been an essential tool for Expo organizers, who are

constantly updating schedules and posting announcements

to keep attendees up-to-speed with ongoing

adjustments to the Expo’s many moving parts.

“It’s definitely a trend every organization is experiencing

as social media snowballs,” she acknowledges.

“There are so many great guests on the line-up. Personally,

I’m really excited about Lea DeLaria (Big Boo)

and Jackie Cruz (Flaca) from Orange is the New Black.

Not only is that a favourite of mine, I love that show,

but also it’s different. It’s something you don’t see at

a lot of conventions. I’m thrilled to welcome these

ladies to Calgary. I’m also really happy about hosting

Jason Isaac (a.k.a. Lucius Malfoy). I’m a big fan of his

across the board. He does amazing work; particularly

within the world of Harry Potter for the ‘HP’ people

in our crowd. There are a couple of guests that we’ve

not announced yet. Our team is always working right

up until the last minute to make additions. So, you

never know what’s going to happen. For example, a

big highlight for me in 2015 was Neil Patrick Harris

dropping by. I think we announced him the Thursday

before last year’s show. It’s something I will be talking

about for a very long time.”

While even the most coveted of merchandise can

be found on the Expo’s sprawling show-floor, and connecting

with fellow fans a big draw, in-person appearances

are the height of the Expo experience for many

event-goers. Indeed, as the loquacious Emily Expo is

quick to point out that the opportunity to explore

new worlds (and civilizations) is its own reward.

“Absolutely, this is what it’s all about. You can

engage with like-minded people, but who also have

different interests, and you get to learn about things

you’ve never discovered or tried before. And, that’s

always really fun too.”

Speaking of collecting memories, elder statesman

of the comic book industry, the venerable Stan Lee

is undoubtedly going to be a huge draw for fans of

graphic art and all-things Marvel. A superhuman in

his own right, the 93 year old comic creator will share

his “Excelsior!” catch-phrase, industry insights and

winning grin with yet another generation of acolytes.

“This is Stan Lee’s final foray in to the Canadian

convention scene,” confirms Emily Expo. “For those

who have not yet had a chance to meet him, or see

what he has to say at a panel, I would highly recommend

that they take advantage of this opportunity.

Because I don’t think he’ll becoming up here in the

future. And, he’s a peach. He’s a really great guy.”

“Apart from Stan, obviously. We’re proud to be

welcoming back the amazing artist Ray Fawkes (Constantine).

It’s always a pleasure to see him at shows,”

she continues. “We’ve also got Mike Sass (BioWare)

coming, Katie Cook (MLP: Friendship is Magic) is

coming, Dean Yeagle (Playboy’s Mandy), Jim Zub

(Samurai Jack) who writes a comic called “Wayward”,

which I love and that’s a comic I follow closely. For

those who are into Archie comics we have a lot of

Archie stuff coming this year. It’s the 75th anniversary,

so people should definitely check out the Riverdale

Lane that we’re having with some of the Archie artists

and whatnot. Lots of really great stuff going on that

we’re excited about. It’s great on a lot of levels, even for

people who aren’t super into comic books, if they want

a place to start. Archie’s a pretty good way to go.”

Morphing the skyline of Stampede Park into Gotham

for a long weekend may seem like a dream come

true to some and a nerdish nightmare to others. But

that’s the beauty of the thing. As the Vulcan philosophers

tell us, enlightenment lies in embracing “Infinite

Diversity in Infinite Combinations.” LLAP, my friends.

The Calgary Comic Expo takes place from April 28 to

May 1 at Stampede Park. For more information about

this year’s extravaganza go to calgaryexpo.com.

The all-new, adult-contemporary Archie.

PLEASE

It might be getting nicer outside, but April’s theatre

offerings are so exciting that you’ll be happy to

sacrifice a few hours of sunshine. Here are my picks

for must-see theatre this month.

King Kirby

Sage Theatre

Victor Mitchell Theatre at Pumphouse Theatres

April 15-23

You’ve probably heard of the Fantastic Four, the

X-Men, and the Hulk… but have you heard of Jack

Kirby, the man who brought them all to life? King Kirby

explores how the comic book artist, writer and editor

poured his life into his comics, and the fateful mistake

he made that sent him into obscurity.

Concord Floral

Theatre Junction

Theatre Junction GRAND

April 13-16

When a plague descends on a surreal and gothic

suburbia, ten teens flee to Concord Floral, a

long-abandoned greenhouse seen by parents as a

scourge, and by their kids as an escape. Together,

they keep each other company while they wait for

the mysterious plague to pass. Concord Floral was

written by the 2014 Governor General’s Award

winner Jordan Tannahill, who, at only 26 years

old, has been described as “one of Canada’s most

promising young independent theatre artists.”

Benefit

Downstage

Motel Theatre at Arts Commons

April 13-30

Greg sits in a dark room while his wife Srey, a Cambodian

immigrant, prepares to speak at a glittering

gala in support of the foundation that saved her life.

Greg has just discovered an explosive secret that

threatens to destroy not only his marriage, but also

the thousands who benefit from the foundation’s

work supporting education for girls around the

world. This world premiere production asks the

question: what would you be willing to sacrifice for

the greater good?

oblivion

Third Street Theatre

Various Venues

April 15, 16, 29 and May 15

Tim’s life is at a crossroads. Behind him: his paralyzing

past in the conservative church and reparative

therapy to try to “cure” his homosexuality. Before

him: a crucial decision about the future of his faith

and the role it will play in his life. This semi-autobiographical

play is presented in two acts; act

one is a 60-minute staged reading, and act two

is a conversation with the audience, allowing for

reflection, feedback and dialogue.

• Sara Elizabeth Taylor

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 9


ADULTS ONLY NIGHT

light up your love life at TELUS Spark

Humanity faces a horrifying range of existential hazards these days. How would you fare if the

unthinkable happened?

Between the bombs, the radiation, drone blitzes, climate change, Donald Trump, ISIS, and

dinosaur cloning, we seem to be hell-bent on inventing our own demise. Seeing as how a post-apocalyptic

wasteland seems to be the only future we are capable of orchestrating, better have a bead on

how to acclimatize when the soup burns with the scorch of a thousand suns.

As with every second Thursday of the month, the Telus Spark Science Centre hosted its hotly

anticipated Adults Only Night (AON), an evening of exhibits open exclusively to grown folk. This

month’s theme was Urban Survival. Could you start a fire without first pocketing a friend’s lighter?

by Kyle Lovstrom

How long would you last if the supermarket shelves were devoid of stock? Around 2,500 people paid

the $20 to pit themselves up against a variety of survival challenges and to visit the hundreds of

exhibits Telus Spark offers.

Left Overs Calgary, a non-profit, volunteer group specializing in food waste reduction within the

service industry, was on-site giving attendees a few ideas on how to keep your belly full in this hypothetical

land beyond time. Left Overs Calgary provides food for such charitable organizations as the

Drop-In Centre, the Food Bank, Alpha House Society and the Boys and Girls Club.

“France, U.K, and Denmark have championed the eliminating food waste movement,” says Left

Overs founder Lourdes Juan. “Grocery stores in France are zero waste. They’ve worked on it from a policy

level, which is what I’d like to see in Calgary. We don’t want to be just a Band-Aid solution.”

Alternate Root was there as well, teaching methods of maximizing the nourishment from foods

that aren’t exactly fresh. Apparently, old pumpkins can be used to beautify your face, and not just by

sticking an old jack-o-lantern over your head either.

“Tonight we’re putting on a workshop on how to prevent waste on a household level,” says Alternate

Root volunteer, Deborah Wong. “Right now we’re doing facials using cucumbers and pumpkins.

Why spend $100 on something you can get for $3?”

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) brought supplies and ran relay races, while a faction of the U

of C dedicated to understanding the mechanics of human relationships known as, The Love Lab, was

there theorizing on the namesake subject. Would love and repopulating the planet be a walk in a

nuclear winter wonderland?

“We always try to incorporate innovative third party organizations into Adults Only Night,” says

AON event planner Erin Christensen. “They’re absolutely fantastic. Third party collaborators really help

make the different themes cool and exciting. They play a huge part getting the crowd to come out.”

AON starts at 6 p.m. They’ve got beer. AON is wildly popular, easily one of the most enjoyable

evenings all month.

“I’m excited for Stampede Scientist. Future Humans, in May, is sold out,” says Christensen. “That

will be the last AON to take a look at the Body Worlds exhibit. We’ve got Blood coming in Oct.

which ties in nicely with Halloween.”

AON takes place every second Thursday at Telus Spark, the Calgary Science Centre. Buy tickets online. Visit

www.sparkscience.ca for details.

COMEDY MONDAY NIGHT

the fun-filled, fail-safe, open-mic experience

Witnessing the cringe-worthy slow death of a

nerve-busted, cherry-popper bungling Jack Johnson

covers, while the audience looks sincerely unappreciative

as though frozen in a hedge-maze outside the Overlook

Hotel, is enough to generate the perfect storm of empathy and

anxiety in me… I’m forced to flee. Like salted cinnamon to

somebody lost at sea, calling a comedy night an “open mic” is a

tough sell. The potential for disaster is too real.

“When I started doing comedy 10 years ago, open mic

meant playing in bars where nobody wanted you there,” says

Comedy Monday Night (CMN) performer Jeremy Furlong.

“People are talking over you. You can hear pool balls dropping

in the background.”

But there wasn’t five minutes of amateur hour during CMN,

aside from one intoxicated fella slightly unaccustomed to an

evening of listening and laughing rather than contributing at full

volume (Furlong quickly put him in his place), where attendees

got full value for their $5 cover charge.

Every Monday at 8 p.m., Calgary’s quintessential stand-up

comedy open mic night kicks off at Broken City. The show runs

until about 10 p.m.; being in bed by 11 p.m. is easy for early-risers.

Arrive prior to show time to secure a seat.

CMN, Western Canada’s longest running comedy open mic, began

with the man who launched 1,000 comedians’ careers over the

past 10 years—producer, promoter, and comedian James Moore.

“It was born out of a need for stage time,” says Moore. “Back

then, there wasn’t an open mic room anywhere in the city. If you

visit the Yuk Yuk’s website, there’s probably six or eight kids on

that roster that got their start here. I’m proud to have been able

to play a part.”

Every week features no less than two first-timers and a few

lotto spots are available, drawn between comedians in the room

on the night. If stand-up comedy is calling to be crossed off your

bucket list, visit comedymondaynight.com and make contact.

Also, take in the beginner’s guide for useful hints—i.e., don’t

drop the microphone believing you’re Chris Rock when finished

performing (that flashy little number unfortunately breaks

microphones, and subsequent voices are lost).

Mr. Moore meticulously curates each show to satisfy, mixing

just the right amount of juvenile jokesters cutting their teeth,

developing comics harnessing gold, and professional grade

funnymen/women.

“I got up there in 2014,” says Matt Foster, a punchy and hilarious

up-and-comer. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever

done. But everyone’s got to start somewhere and this is the place

to find your legs.”

Even comedy royals from beyond Canadian borders recognize

what a special night Mondays have turned into.

“Bob Odenkirk has been here. Zack Galifianakis has been

through those doors. Comedy in Calgary wouldn’t be where it

is without a trendsetter, and a pioneer, like James Moore,” says

CMN performer and host of his own show, Kris LaBelle. “James

provides consistency.”

Moore’s mission to incite opportunity and construct a

thriving Calgary scene continues to expand with the creation

of his brand-new TV show, After Birth Alley, hosted by veteran

comedian Daryl Makk. After Birth Alley goes in-depth, post

game, sideline interview with performers to discuss the process

of developing material, what their lifestyles entail, and whatever

generally twisted thoughts lurk inside the mind space of a standup

comedian.

CMN takes place at Broken City every, you guessed it, Monday night

at 8 p.m. Also look for CMN on Vulcan Television at www.vulcantv.ca.

by Kyle Lovstrom

10 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE CITY



WHERE DO

YOUR CHILDREN

GO AT NIGHT? ”

THEATRE

BY Jordan TannahillA Theatre Junction Production

DIRECTED BY Raphaële Thiriet in collaboration with Erin Brubacher and

the members of Theatre Junction’s 2015-16 Mentorship program

APRIL 13 – 16 2016

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW! THEATREJUNCTION.COM | 403.205.2922

Public Partners:

Marquee Sponsors:

CITY

Media Sponsors: Follow us: TheatreJunction // TheatreJunctionGRAND

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 11


SCHOOL OF THOUGHT

an investigation of languages past, present and future

by B. Simm

School of Thought… “The presentation will be unique, experimental

and cutting edge. It will be a circle of possibility—and the process will

be interactive.” Taken from schoolofthought.ca

Sheri-D Wilson, renown spoken word artist, published poet and

veteran festival organizer, points out that School of Thought

is an event that works on a different structure than a typical

festival.

“It’s basically run by donation,” says Wilson. “We will have funding,

but it’s not from any funding bodies. Rather, it’s for the people by the

people. It’s about people who want to be part of something. They

want to be part of the dialogue, to be part of the story. Instead of

it being someone wrote the story and you go and listen to it, this is

about creating the story with everyone who’s in attendance.”

The participatory focus of School of Thought is organized and

set up in two parts. The first is a series of readings that takes places

over three nights at Wine-Ohs in which presenters have been asked

to write a poem that is at least seven minutes long dealing with the

theme of languages lost and found. The event, or “gathering” as Wilson

prefers to call it, then moves to Festival Hall where the audience

is invited to discuss the previous readings along with interactive

conversations with “people who know a lot about languages, lost

and found.”

One of these informed individuals on lost and found languages is

Marc Okrand, author of The Klingon Dictionary that hobbyists and

Star Trek fans are largely familiar with. Another language specialist in

attendance is Bob Holman, an American poet, professor and activist

of promoting poetry whose 2015 PBS program, Language Matters,

addresses the rapid extinction of many human languages.

Within the context of languages lost and found, Wilson notes:

“The importance of such a gathering is that it’s about communication,

it’s about culture and all these languages being lost. And

therefore about the ways of seeing, and the ways of being are lost.

Everything is being centered into one mono-culture, one mono-language

and one mono way of seeing. It’s homogenized, without any

past. It’s limited in its perspective and ways of seeing the earth. A

lot of the old languages that are going extinct are connected to the

earth, survival and how we have a relationship with the earth.”

In contrast to discussing languages that have been lost, Christine

Schreyer, a linguistic anthropologist who created Superman’s

Kryptonian language, will facilitate a discussion on how to create a

new language that presents new possibilities and new ways of seeing

ourselves and the world.

School of Thought: Languages Lost and Found takes place April 19-24.

Go to schoolofthought.ca for complete details.

Black Diamond Tattoo

bare bones is beautiful

After tattooing for nine years at other shops, Luke van Wyk decided

step out on his own. Preferring to work in American and Japanese

traditional styles, he claims “those are the arteries of tattooing, it’s what

tattooing has been built from. It the best medium, I think. It will look

best over time and holds their own. There’s no gimmicks, it’s just good

tattooing.” With that van Wyk chuckles, “But I would say I specialize in

good tattoos. And with this new space I’m hoping to settle into a style

that’s more personable.”

Located in the historic Grain Exchange Bldg., van Wyk is looking

forward to having a “small, laid-back, bare-bones operation” that he can

get to know his clients and work closely with one on one.

Black Diamond Tattoo is located at #401-815 1st SW. Ph: 403-667-5557.

Website: blackdiamondtattoostudio.com

• B. Simm

12 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE CITY


GREY EAGLE EVENTS

one casino is not like the others

There may be those who, when they think of casino entertainment,

jump to washed-up, ‘80s one-hit-wonders in their mind. However,

at the Grey Eagle Casino, this misconception could not be further

from the mark; their bookings include Wu Tang Clan, M-83, The Offspring,

Megadeth, Diana Ross and much more. BeatRoute spoke to their

Event Centre Entertainment Director Russ Giroux to find out what sets

them apart from other similar establishments.

“I don’t think we ever subscribed to that model I don’t think it’s

sustainable, it may work in other parts of the country and the world but

it won’t work in Calgary,” says Giroux, speaking on traditional casino programming.

“Calgary is a town full of music lovers and they want quality

talent, so you gotta bring what people want to see and what they want

to spend good money on.”

When asked if, like in other casinos, their events experience a lot of

walk-in traffic, Giroux explained that, “we’re very much a hard ticket

venue which is a different model than a lot of typical casino venues especially

compared to the US. That’s why our shows, when you look at our

calendars it’s not a-typical casino entertainment. It runs the gamut.”

Giroux himself used to be a tour manager for bands like Matthew

Good and Joe Satriani and personally loves getting to see some of his

favourite groups and bands that he’s worked with come through.

With Calgary experiencing the closure of venues like Ten Nightclub or

The Republik in recent months, music fans may be experiencing some

dread about the state of the music scene. While Giroux explains that

clubs like these are not in their “competitive set” (which would be venues

in the 2500-3000 capacity like Mac Hall or Jubilee) he does not like to see

places close down.

“Anything that exposes people to live music is good for the industry

so I hate to see venues closing down,” he says. “It’s bad for patrons, it’s

bad for bands and it’s obviously bad for the people who are employed by

those venues.”

• Paul Rodgers

CITY

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 13


FILM

CALGARY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

annual indie cinema showcase keeps on growing

by Jonathan Lawrence

This year’s CUFF will feature a retrospective on “indie cinema godfather” Richard Linklater.

FILM

a city beneath the streets,” writes

Robert E. Sullivan, author of Underneath

“There’s

New York. Sullivan may have been merely

referencing pipes and cables, but the metaphor applies

perfectly to Calgary, Alberta - to many, a corporate,

cowboy-obsessed city, but it’s proven to have a

thriving and growing artistic community. This is no

more evident than in the Calgary Underground Film

Festival (CUFF), now entering its 13th year. From

April 11th to 17th, there will be over 30 short and

feature films screened from every genre - all weird,

fascinating, and not shown at your local Cineplex.

Brennan Tilley, lead programmer for the festival

since 2008, is committed to fulfilling the city’s demand

for original films.

“We know the audience here and what they want,”

he says. “We’ve been doing this [for] 13 years.”

Many of this year’s films - such as Honey Buddies, a

Lewis and Clark-inspired adventure comedy or Wreck

City, a documentary on an elaborate Calgary art

project - might not find a home in mainstream film

festivals, but that’s where CUFF comes in.

Tilley assures, however, that this doesn’t suggest they

are of lesser quality or are too inaccessible.

“[These are] films that just fall under the radar,” he

says. “We know what the sensibilities are of the filmgoer

that is interested in our festival.”

While the festival prides itself on its challenging and

thought-provoking content, there is plenty to see and

do for those who may not be interested in arthouse

media. One such event is CUFFcade, a demonstration

of five Canadian-made independent video games, free

to play and open to the public (so save your quarters

for another arcade). Each title features unique gameplay

and boasts names like “3.2.1. Grenades” and “Paradise

Perfect Boat Rescue.” This year, each game, which

can’t be played anywhere else, has been designed exclusively

by Calgary developers, whom will be available to

meet at the launch reception on April 10th.

If free video games aren’t enough, be sure to throw

on your favourite pyjamas and head down to the Saturday

Morning All-You-Can-Eat Cereal Cartoon Party, an

annual tradition featuring three hours of random cartoons,

PSAs and commercials from the 1940s to 1980s

- bound to be an interesting history lesson in itself. And

I can’t think of a better combination than learning and

a bottomless bowl of Cap’n Crunch.

CUFF focuses on indie cinema, so to celebrate its

history and those who pioneered the low-budget

field, the festival is proud to present a retrospective

of esteemed writer/director Richard Linklater, whose

upcoming film Everybody Wants Some!! will see its

Canadian premiere at the festival. Furthermore, the

festival has chosen to showcase two of Linklater’s

earlier works, Slacker (1990) and Dazed and Confused

(1993), the former of which being the main inspiration

for Kevin Smith’s Clerks (1994), another indie film

pioneer. Lead programmer Cameron Macgowan referred

to Linklater as the “godfather of indie cinema,”

and for good reason.

With festivals like Sled Island and CUFF growing

each year, Calgary is being recognized as a city with a

proven arts scene. That said, the organizers couldn’t be

more proud - or shocked - by what they’ve achieved

in the last seven years, particularly in attendance rates.

Tilley notes that the festival was “seeing numbers that I

originally thought were mistakes.”

Despite the staggering audience sizes - roughly doubling

each year - the organizers remain grounded about

CUFF’s success, passing the credit along to the “strong

artistic sensibility” of Calgarians, as Tilley puts it. So put

down that suitcase, boys and girls, you don’t need to

go to Montreal anymore to see anything beyond the

newest Marvel flick.

The Calgary Underground Film Festival will run April 11

to 17 at the Globe Cinema. For more information, visit

calgaryundergroundfilm.org

Meathead Goes Hog Wild

Meathead Goes Hog Wild is the unsettling

wild ride of filmmakers Kevin Cline, Zach

Harris and Sean Pierce. Friends since high

school, the trio found themselves in Chicago

shooting the weirdly comic yet very dark

low-budget depiction of a low-life slacker

who spirals out of control.

When the unnamed protagonist gets

fired from the local butcher shop for his

pervy customer service, he loses control

of the last bit of his functioning emotions.

He is set on getting his job back, but first,

he raids the meat shop and goes on a

goodwill meat distribution mission around

town in the middle of the night. He finds

trouble with a gang who steals his meat,

cellphone and wallet and eventually reaches

the ultimate breaking point in an abandoned

warehouse where inhuman grunts,

disturbing screams and overall erratic behaviour

take place. The ride starts out slow

but reaches a point of no return. Random

sexual encounters, humping, streaking, gun

duels, blood and more deadly screams and

grunts take the whole concept of a night

gone bad -similarly to The Hangover and

yet completely dissimilar to the popular

comedy - to a completely new level of shit

gone wrong, this time, psychotically.

Meathead Goes Hog Wild plays April 15 at

10 p.m. at the Globe Cinema.

• Claire Miglionico

Other highlights at CUFF 2016

Lace Crater - Western Canadian premiere.

After a bad breakup, Ruth makes a connection

with a stranger, Michael, who shows up

in her room. The one problem? He’s a ghost.

Plays April 16 at 9:30 p.m.

Everybody Wants Some!! - Opening film at

this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Richard Linklater

returns with a “spiritual successor” to

Dazed and Confused (1993), set in the world

of 1980 college life. Plays April 13 at 7 p.m.

The Dwarvenaut - International premiere.

This film follows Stefan Pokorny, a man

obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons

from a young age who launches a multimillion-dollar

Kickstarter campaign to bring his

miniature sculpture project to life. Plays April

17 at 7 p.m.

Patchwork - Calgary Premiere. Directed by

Tyler MacIntyre, Patchwork follows three

murdered women who have been reassembled

into one. It’s a “dark, gory horror

comedy.” Plays April 16 at 11:59 p.m.

For full listings, visit calgaryundergroundfilm.org

• Joel Dryden

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 15


WRECK CITY: AN EPILOGUE FOR 809

documentary follows Calgary-based curatorial collective

Wreck City is a “collage documentary,” collecting mixed media from a variety of local artists.

In the spring of 2013, an unassuming street in

Calgary’s Sunnyside neighbourhood sentenced

to certain death by a condo development

company. Among the casualties were nine homes,

three garages and a greenhouse.

It’s not an uncommon story in the frenzy of

demolition seen in Calgary over the last few years.

However, included in this set of buildings was 809

Gallery, a DIY garage gallery space that was at the

heart of Calgary’s emerging art scene.

With hopes to do one last show, 809 Gallery

– along with eight curators and more than 100

artists – set out to make an installation piece out

of each building, and WRECK CITY was born.

Now, almost three years after WRECK CITY bit

NETFLIX AND KILL

what’s streaming and slaying this month?

First, an apology. In my last column I implied

that the new season of House of Cards (Netflix)

would be boring. Turns out I was wrong:

although it doesn’t quite measure up to the first

season, its portrayal of a U.S. election cycle where

everybody is 20 IQ points smarter was refreshing,

and not even an embarrassingly bad mid-season

dream sequence could slow it down. I was slightly

less right than usual.

In happier news, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

(Netflix) is back so that Ellie Kemper can be that one

character she plays in everything. The first season was

far better than it had any right to be, and even got

a nod from the Emmys. The second looks to be one

of those “binge it on the night it’s out so nobody on

Twitter can spoil it for you” things.

You can’t get Hulu north of the wall, so unless

you want to spend eight seconds Googling how to

get around that restriction you’ll have to stream

the new episodes of The Mindy Project through

CityTV’s website. My initial enthusiasm for this show

was dulled by the eponymous OBGYN’s chemistry-vacuum

of a relationship and my horrifying

discovery that Mindy Kaling is a libertarian. I eagerly

await the episode where she argues that having to

pay taxes and not being allowed to own nerve gas

are against the Constitution.

the dust, a documentary following the installation

and the artists who created it is set to debut at

the Calgary Underground Film Festival. Directed

by Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi of Nur Films, WRECK

CITY: AN EPILOGUE FOR 809 will make its world

premiere on April 15th.

The doc utilizes hundreds of hours of footage

shot by artists, curators and Eshraghi-Yazdi

himself on a variety of technology, including

cellphones, DSLR cameras and professional

equipment.

In this way, much like the installation, WRECK

CITY emerges as a film of many parts. Eshraghi-Yazdi

says the documentary was shot by just

about anyone who was on site.

House of Cards’ (Netflix) latest season follows the U.S. election cycle.

by Meaghan Lawrence

“There were a handful of people shooting stuff

throughout, before it was open to the public and

during,” he says.

Eshraghi-Yazdi said sifting through all of the

content was a monumental task – much of the

submitted footage was shot by amateur videographers,

and often would consist of long stretches of

cameras pointed at the ground.

“This documentary didn’t have a plan,” Eshraghi-Yazdi

says, adding the footage didn’t lend itself

to any traditional narrative format. “We just tried

to film as much as we could and piece together

what we had after the fact. The stories we had

were all we had to work with.”

The chaotic, mixed-media style in which the

documentary came together - a “collage documentary,”

as Eshraghi-Yazdi puts it - “captured the

piecemeal-style of the whole event.”

Eshraghi-Yazdi says he believes WRECK CITY

was unique to Calgary as it speaks to the entrepreneurial

spirit of the city.

“[It was the] unlikely story of a group of DIY

artists approaching a developer…and turning it

into an artist village.

“There have been a lot of projects before and

since, the same type of milieu, but this was a

pretty significant thing for Calgary. It was very

significant because it was a very DIY [and]

entrepreneurial type thing, and I think maybe it

couldn’t have happened in any other city other

than Calgary.”

WRECK CITY: AN EPILOGUE FOR 809 plays April 15

at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Calgary Underground Film

Festival. An afterparty at the Palomino will follow,

with live music by Kenna Burima (who will recreate

the score from the documentary), Sleep Kit, Purple

Ryan & the Beautiful Ones and Ghostkeeper.

by Gareth Watkins

16 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE FILM


THE ART OF THE PRANK

CUFF presents the chronicles of Joey Skaggs’ career

by Breanna Whipple

The Art of the Prank follows “the Godfather of the Media Hoax,” Joey Skaggs.

This format in which you’re consuming serves

as an exemplary component of iconic media

prankster Joey Skaggs’ life mission. For

Skaggs, reality became a malleable subject at a very

young age. One of Skaggs’ teachers painted the

largest picture of all, diminishing each individual to

a single molecule in this vast universe. That is when

Skaggs changed forever.

Initially pursuing a career in fine art, he found

himself bored by the dull process and lack of immediacy.

With so much emotional turmoil fuelled

by the Vietnam War, Skaggs decided to combine

political commentary with art, resulting in a well

thought-out protest. Curating a Vietnamese nativity

scene, which he and a band of hippies obliterated

later by flames, the media twisted the events and

spawned a story full of fallacies. This aftermath,

like his experience with that teacher so many years

ago, worked as a catalyst for self-discovery - he

realized that he could use his unique form of art to

challenge the system.

Becoming “The Godfather of the Media Hoax”

did not occur overnight. It was a lengthy, ingenious

process that expanded from the late 1960s continuing

to the present day. One of his earliest, most

legendary hoaxes began in 1976. Skaggs managed

to publish an ad for a dog brothel in the alternative

weekly newspaper The Village Voice. Expanding on

the fib in the same ways he would for several years

to come, he hired actors to play along to receive

airtime on various news outlets, in this instance

ABC News. Gaining attention from both the APSCA

and the Bureau of Animal Affairs, Skaggs was finally

FILM

moved to reveal the truth in order to avoid a court

hearing. Did this stop him from executing episodes

of culture jamming? Not a chance in hell.

The Art of the Prank is an aesthetically striking

documentary that chronicles Skaggs’ fascinating

career as a professional anti-establishment prankster.

Having pulled off truly unbelievable stories over a

large magnitude of decades, his mission to expose

media bias in such a tongue-in-cheek manner is

unlike anything that has yet to be offered. Instilling

belief of the existence of things such as a celebrity

sperm bank auction or a fat squad that chains up

refrigerators to impulsive reporters is only the tip of

the iceberg of his extensive lists of accomplishments.

Though obviously humorous on the surface,

Skaggs’ life mission is also a very important one.

Skaggs warns us that we must all be skeptical of

the media-dominated world. We are currently in a

time where an endless amount of information is a

mere click away, allowing irresponsible words to be

believed by those who are quick to accept opinion

for fact. Skaggs set the groundwork for future

generations to continue the art of exposing the

bloodhounds of mainstream media. It is all too easy

to swallow words and ignore the facts. This film

demonstrates the importance of taking risks, specifically

opening your eyes and thinking for yourself.

Don’t be submissive – question everything.

The Art of the Prank makes its Canadian premiere

at the Calgary Underground Film Festival, with two

shows scheduled April 16 (at 6:30 p.m.) and April 17

(at 1:30 p.m.).

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 17


THE VIDIOT

rewind to the future

by Shane Sellar

The Big Short

Carol

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Room

Sisters

The Big Short

The best part of homeownership in the early

2000s was if your house ever burnt down, you still

had two left over.

While no one saw this as a problem, the suits in

this dramedy did…and made millions.

When rogue hedge fund manager Michael

Burry (Christian Bale) uncovers what will eventually

become the housing bubble, he predicts its

eventual collapse, and despite ridicule from every

bank he meets with, he bets against it.

His credit default swap scheme, however, ends

up intriguing a trader (Ryan Gosling), an investor

(Finn Wittrock), another hedge fund manager

(Steve Carell) and an ex-banker (Brad Pitt), all of

who want in.

Clarifying the complexities of the financial crisis

and defining the convoluted terminology involved

with elucidatory side vignettes, this layperson

adaptation of the non-fiction novel is frightening,

facetious, and keenly insightful.

Incidentally, with all those subsequent foreclosures,

smart traders would’ve invested in cans of

squatter spray.

Carol

The toughest part of being in a same-sex relationship

is deciding who has to sleep on the couch

after an argument.

Fortunately, the Sapphic socialite in this drama

is likely to have a really comfy one.

Manhattan shop girl Therese (Rooney Mara)

becomes smitten with a sophisticated older

woman, Carol (Cate Blanchett), who invites her to

spend the holidays with her.

But Carol’s ex-husband (Kyle Chandler) and

Therese’s boyfriend (Jake Lacy) are adamant

against their forbidden affair.

So much so, that now the court is threatening

to take Carol’s daughter from her because of her

alternative lifestyle.

An unexpectedly optimistic lesbian love story

set in the ridged 1950s, this handsomely shot

arthouse adaptation of the gay-lit novel from

the same era honours its iconic backdrop with

sets and costumes as alluring and nuanced as its

May-December leads.

Thankfully, nowadays, society would only have a

problem with the lesbians’ noticeable age difference.

Creed

The reason why retired boxers don’t do colour

commentary is because their concussed brains see

four fighters instead of two.

Surprisingly, the archaic pugilist in this drama

has contracted a non-boxing ailment.

Determined to make a name for himself in the

ring, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), the son of Apollo

Creed, seeks out his father’s old rival and friend,

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), to train him.

When the media gets wind of Adonis legacy, he

quickly lands a landmark bout.

But his shot at the light heavyweight championship

is endangered when his mentor is diagnosed

with cancer.

A refreshing addition to the Rocky anthology,

Creed is as much homage to the original as it is an

update of the mythos, with knockout performances,

kinetic direction, and rapid-fire editing

all aiding in its inspirational yet unconventional

sports movie trajectory.

Conversely, retired ringside cutman can always

get seasonal stitch-work with the NHL.


Daddy’s Home

The upside to being a stepparent is that you can

ditch out right before the kids’ college tuition is due.

Fortunately, the replacement dad in this comedy

has lots of time to decide.

The unabashed stepfather to his wife’s (Linda

Cardellini) two children, Brad (Will Ferrell) is living

out his paternal dreams. But his ongoing bonding

with his new kids is interrupted by the arrival of

their bad-boy birth father: Dusty (Mark Wahlberg).

Initially welcoming, Brad’s hospitality quickly

turns to hostility when he feels Dusty encroaching

on his territory. But can the bumbling Brad outwit

the alpha male interloper?

While its progressive plot could have been

playful, this re-teaming of Ferrell and Wahlberg in

familiar comedic archetypes struggles to make the

awkward family situation seem all that humorous,

original, or even somewhat realistic.

Incidentally, the best way to get rid of the birth

father is to bring up child support.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Ironically, the tweens who grew up with the Hunger

Games are now young adults struggling with

their own eating disorders.

Mind you, the titular famishment in this sci-fi

movie is more of a metaphor.

Determined to overthrow the Capitol and

kill its president (Donald Sutherland), Katniss

(Jennifer Lawrence) aligns herself with an all-star

squadron (Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin) that also

includes her boyfriend Gale (Liam Hemsworth)

and ex-partner Peeta (Josh Hutcherson).

Behind enemy lines, the team trots through

booby-trapped and mutant infested sewers, losing

friends along the way.

Meanwhile, the love triangle between Katniss,

Gale and Peeta comes to a head.

The fourth and final chapter of this dystopian

series, Part 2 is a satisfying conclusion to this

respectable franchise. Peppered with plenty of

surprises and noteworthy performances, this dark

and dire instalment is likely its best.

Furthermore, this finale means archery-related

injuries amongst girls are sure to decline.


The Peanuts Movie

The reason behind Peanuts’ long-running success

is that fans always felt sorry for that kid with

leukemia.

However, this animated adaptation affirms that

Charlie Brown’s baldness is not from chemotherapy.

The eternal milksop Charlie Brown must put

aside his insecurities if he hopes to get the new Little

Red-Haired Girl at school to take notice of him.

To catch her eye, he enlists the aid of his beagle

Snoopy to help him win her over using talents he

does not posses, in academics, choreography and

stage magic.

In between Chuck’s failed attempt, Snoopy

bangs out a book about his alter ego the Red

Baron.

With its psychoanalytical take on childhood,

familiar score and even more memorable supporting

cast, this keenly animated adaption of Charles

Schulz’ beloved comic strip pays respect to its

origins by sticking to its innocuous formula.

Furthermore, Charlie Brown’s soulmate will

forever be fellow comic-strip loser Cathy.

Room

To catch child abductors, the police should be staking

out Home Depot’s sex-dungeon department.

Unfortunately, the captor’s enclosure in this

drama was preexisting.

Raised by his mother, Joy (Brie Larson), in a

backyard shed belonging to the man who abducted

her when she was a teenager, five-year-old Jack

(Jacob Tremblay) is completely unaware of life beyond

the room where she and he are imprisoned.

After a successful escape, the two try to acclimate

to outside life. This includes reconciling with

Joy’s now-divorced parents (Joan Allen, William H.

Macy) and dealing with the media’s victim shaming.

One of the most frightening yet life-affirming

films in years, this character-driven adaption of the

novel will resonate with viewers, not only for its

brave performances, but also for Jack’s alien-like

viewpoint of the world we take for granted.

Ironically, the shut-ins discovered that everyone

in the outside world was being held captive in a

virtual prison.


Sisters

The easiest way to tell which sister is the crazy one

is by asking who the oldest is.

And while this comedy doesn’t analyze the lucidity

of birth order, it is about siblings going crazy.

When their parents (Dianne Wiest, James

Brolin) sell their family home, reckless Kate (Tina

Fey) and responsible Maura (Amy Poehler) host

one last house party.

Inviting their friends from high school (John

Leguizamo, Bobby Moynihan, Samantha Bee) and

their new neighbour (Ike Barinholtz), they try to

recreate their glory days with booze, drugs and

debauchery.

But a conflict concerning Kate’s daughter drives

a wedge between them.

Despite the zany premise and comedic talent

of both leads, Sisters is an unfunny foray into

the sad-sack realm of female adulthood that’s

unceremoniously seasoned with unsavoury dick

and fart jokes.

And just because your parents move out,

doesn’t mean the new homeowners don’t want a

40-year-old in their basement.


He Flies Under the Gaydar. He’s the…

Vidiot

18 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE FILM


ROCKPILE

SANTIGOLD

searching for the meaning of pop culture in the discount bin

Santigold has subverted the viral marketing machine on latest album 99cents.

On the phone cozied up in the bunk of

her tour bus, Santi White has spent the

fourth day of spring traversing a Colorado

blizzard. At one point stranded on the side of the

road for nearly eight hours, the bus happened to

be pulled over next to a truck-stop diner that was

in the midst of a power outage. White wandered

into what she compares to the set of a film: a dark

room full of truckers with “tumbleweeds blowing

by us... A moose head on the wall... The door

almost blows off... It’s amazing!” It’s the 39-year-old

musician’s self-described gift to be able to find

inspiration in the most unlikely things that makes

Santigold’s music its own exceptionally interesting

and varied landscape. It’s also what makes White

herself a remarkable force of nature.

Nearly eight years have passed since the release of

Santigold’s debut LP, Santogold, and she’s no longer

surprised by what inspires her. White’s youthful ability

to get excited and find the fun in the mundane is

balanced by her wisdom, introspect and a cultural

awareness that verges at times on jadedness. Both

sides of her personality are equally evident on this

year’s album, 99cents, released in February. White’s

voice noticeably drops an octave when she starts

talking about the motivation behind her third album

release — our current consumerist culture. While

making this album, White was confronted with the

unavoidable reality of this issue’s impact on her life

and career as a musician. “[Y]ou’re making products

that are basically being given away for free. And that

puts us in this weird situation now where there’s an

insane amount of marketing and pushing of your

brand that’s going on just to try to make a living

photo: Christelle de Castro

at what you’re doing. So the experience of being a

musician has changed so drastically because of it, and

it’s in my face.”

Not one to be easily daunted or to back down

from a challenge, she decided to tackle the monstrous

issue head on and full-force by utilizing every

social media tool at her disposal - no matter how foreign

or challenging it may be. From Tumblr Q&As to

Instagram interviews, her intentions went far beyond

typical self-promotion or simply playing along with

the game. “[I]t’s... kind of a conflict that I have to deal

with and come to terms with and I think this album

is my way of coming to terms with [social media]...

Pretty much to embrace it, highlight it and make sort

of a satire out of it. And at the same time just making

it a very accurate portrayal of the time and culture for

people to view and reflect on, because... you know,

by Thalia Stopa

technology is moving so fast and it’s kind of like sending

us skidding out of control in this one direction...

and we’re not steering. And I think that’s dangerous.”

In a playful, visual commentary on this issue

of control, White took the opportunity to utilize

webcam technology to project the viewer’s own face

onto media like posters, ads and a Jumbotron in her

video for “Can’t Get Enough of Myself.”

For all of its weightiness, 99cents is still an upbeat,

sometimes candy-sweet and ultimately danceable

pop production riddled with influences from rock to

reggae. White’s range of influences come from being

raised in a family of music lovers, and seeing artists

like James Brown and Fela Kuti perform in her youth.

These days, White is clearly frustrated by the unrealistic

expectations that the proliferance of what she

refers to as “corporation artists” puts on the average

musician. For instance, recently the last-minute expectation

for Santigold to orchestrate a three-storeyhigh

video projection for a private gig is the perfect

example of what White and her peers are up against.

“It’s honestly almost undoable for a human being.

The technology dictates the pace and it’s hard to

keep up with, and I’m just watching artists all around

me burn out. And it’s sad because I don’t think that

people realize what they’re asking of the artists.”

White is still just one person, despite what she

may lead us to believe: from the literal multiplication

of her likeness in performances of single “Can’t

Get Enough of Myself” - printed on T-shirts for her

performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy

Fallon and plastered on the set’s walls during her

recent daytime television debut on The Ellen DeGeneres

Show. From the album work of 2012’s Master

of My Make-Believe to her hands-on approach to

everything from video and art direction to music

production and post-production. Santigold truly

plays up the woman or superwoman duality as

an artist. Santigold the artist seems to possess an

almost super-hero-like confidence and strength

exponential to her actual singular existence. In spite

of the endlessly shifting obstacles, it’s not unlikely

that White will be able to summon the energy to

face many more battles in the realm of pop culture

going forward.

Santigold plays Flames Central in Calgary on April 13th.

Quality Traditional Tattooing

#402 815 1 st Street S.W. Calgary, Alberta

403-667-5557

Black Diamond Tattoo Studio

www.blackdiamondtattoostudio.com

20 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


SCRATCH BUFFALO

alt-rock group debut EP ‘Wanna Know The Secret?’

Songwriter and frontman Chris Naish says the

name of his alternative-rock band Scratch

Buffalo is a secret. “Even the other guys in the

band don’t know the meaning of the name.” What

we do know about Scratch Buffalo is that they’ve

been playing gigs since 2014. The group consists of

Naish on guitar and vocals, Mark Straub on drums,

and Scott Wildeman on bass. Each of them are

music aficionados who have spent a good sum of

their years scouring a selection of albums, from

rock-n-roll to post-hardcore to good ol’ guitar

driven blues. Their music brings all of these genres

to Calgary’s indie-garage-rock scene, and after two

years of fiddling with tunes and jamming them out

at this venue and that venue, they’ve finally come

out with the culmination of those efforts: debut EP

Wanna Know The Secret?

While the debut doesn’t unveil the secret behind

the band’s name, it grinds and grooves through six

tracks, which are thoughtful in lyricism and lively

in composition. “To me, I always think that we’re

like sort of ‘60s garage meets ‘70s glam rock with

singer-songwriter-y lyrics,” explains Naish. In this vein,

opening track “Kick It Out” kicks the EP off with the

steady beat of Straum’s drums, swells with Wildeman’s

bass groove, and comes to life with Naish’s pronounced

guitar and escalating vocals. It’s gonna be a

rock ‘n’ roll record, that’s no secret, and as the second

DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979

making the Canadian Tuxedo a peacekeeper’s uniform

It’s not every day that Death From Above 1979 puts out a new

album. In fact, 10 years elapsed between the release of You’re a

Woman, I’m a Machine (2004) and the Toronto two-piece’s most

recent LP The Physical World (2014). Disbanded between 2006 and

2011, guitarist/keyboardist Jesse F. Keeler and drummer/vocalist

Sebastien Grainger had plenty of time to work out their individual

ambitions, including Keeler’s side-project MSTRKRFT, before

returning to the drawing board to draft up the adolescent fervor and

streetwise charisma of The Physical World. Somewhat daunted by

a spate of cancelled dates last summer, “Due to some super unsexy

bureaucratic immigration/visa issues,” the pair was more determined

than ever to bring their long-awaited album to the people.

“We knew we wanted to come across Canada again in support of

Scratch Buffalo takes cues from different corners of rock on new release.

track “Why D’Ya Leave” hits your ears, it is impossible

to keep your head from bobbin’ up-and-down. The

distinct, and instantly catchy chorus exemplifies

Scratch Buffalo’s ability to create danceable tunes,

and it wasn’t even their only hook in the book.

“When we were recording, we had three or four

different melodies kickin’ around for the chorus of

‘Why D’Ya Leave,’” notes Naish, “and so we were like

‘which one is the best one? That one. Okay, let’s just

do that.’” That’s what distinguishes their groove. Their

music lives in the essence of their own instantaneity.

DFA’s Sebastien Grainger reflects on Paris tragedy while prepping for co-headlining tour.

our latest record. We also wanted to do it bigger, something a bit more

exciting. So, when the opportunity came up to go out on tour with the

Eagles of Death Metal, we jumped at it right away!”

Although accustomed to the unpredictable nature of stringing

together an international run of live shows, the DFA (as they are affectionately

called) was left speechless when, on November 13th, 2015,

their potential tour mates Eagles of Death Metal were caught up in the

horrific ISIL terrorist attacks on Paris’s legendary Bataclan Theatre.

“We had actually confirmed all of the dates and the venues the day

before the Paris attacks. So, you can imagine the kind of absurdity and

abstractness of that situation. The insanity that was that event, that is

still that event, is hard to digest,” says Grainger. “It’s so much bigger than

real life in a sense. When it occurred, my initial feeling was like everything

photo: Janelle Wildeman

“We’re kind of crazy about that sort of thing – trial

and error,” asserts Naish. “Not having a finished, 100

per cent perfected piece, but more like a ‘this is what’s

happening right now, this is what’s going on, this is

what we sound like now’ piece.”

Having caught the ear of the listener within their

first two tracks, third, fourth, and fifth track come

together as a triad of compositions that exhibit the

trio’s musical ability. “Funeral In The Streets” is poignant

in its surreal lyricism; “Get Sick” is characterized

by a distinct surf-melody; and “I Know Your Name”

by Hannah Many Guns

embodies the group’s foundation of rock ‘n’ roll.

Finishing off strong, the album’s standout track “Black

Water” brings us back to the early ‘70s blues revival.

The hard-hitting arrangement will have your head

nodding along with their bashing guitar, smashing

cymbals, dashing solos, and Naish’s impassioned

vocal stylings.

If you really want to get a good idea of what the

group has to offer, check out one of their live shows.

“I’m a big fan of Iggy & The Stooges,” says Naish. “I

heard that when they were first starting out they

would write two minutes of a song and then they

could go for 45 minutes because the last whatever

amount of the song was all just improvised. I thought

that was a cool idea, and I put that into my songs. So

when we play live, we’ve got chunks that are improvised.

It goes verse, chorus, verse, chorus, that’s always

the same. But then we’ve got this one chunk right

here, and that could go on for three minutes or 10

minutes, whatever we want. There’s chunks that we

can just go crazy in. But it isn’t a jam band sorta thing,

there’s always somewhere we can go back to.”

Learn Scratch Buffalo’s secrets at their album release

party April 7th with openers Highwind and All Hands On

Jane. They’ll be rockin’ it on Broken City’s intimate stage,

so be sure to come out and listen to the trio the way

they’re meant to be heard: live.

by Christine Leonard

was a bit futile. Like, ‘Well, what’s the point of doing this?’ was one of the

emotions I went through. Because it seemed so banal. It was a rock show.

And, rock and roll hasn’t been a dangerous medium for a long time. It’s

very absurd that this kind of event would bring danger back to rock and

roll, but in the worst sense.”

Undeterred by the lingering threat of violence, DFA and EODM

remain committed to taking their rightful place onstage and giving

audiences the entertainment experience of a lifetime. Sharing a mutual

appreciation for the outpouring of support they’ve received from friends

and fans around the globe, the two bands hope to bring peace and the

joy of boogieing down to whoever needs an injection of positivity in

their life. As Grainger sings on The Physical World track “Always On,” “I’ve

been losin’ sleep; Just keepin’ up with what’s become; Reachin’ out for

something else; When all I want is love.”

“It’s a very weird and difficult thing for me to talk about; I’m not

fearful. I really don’t think there should be any concern. It didn’t change

anything. I don’t think it can or should. You also can’t live your life that

way. Without going into any of the feelings that the Eagles of Death Metal

have about it and their experience, which is unfathomable, it’s almost

too much to talk about. I hope this tour is a good experience for them,

I can’t imagine it’s very easy – even on the flipside of the fallout of the

whole event there’s also the high positive emotion that they experience

at shows now must be overwhelming.”

Noting that Arcade Fire once issued a benediction that their fans

should dress up, in formal attire or costumes, for their Reflektor arena

tour, Grainger portends that an all-denim choice of attire might be the

uniform that sweeps the audience at their upcoming fêtes. As he put it

in DFA 1979’s official press release, “Canada, get ready for real rock and

roll and wear your tuxedos.”

“I’m wearing one right now, actually. A Canadian Tuxedo dress code

might not a bad idea, maybe I’ll try to tweet that out. That’d be incredible.

Wow, imagine that.”

Death From Above 1979 perform alongside Eagles of Death Metal at, at

the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton on April 28th, at the Grey Eagle

Casino in Calgary on April 29th, at O’Brian’s Event Centre in Saskatoon on

April 30th and at the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg on May 1st.

22 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


SLOAN

Canadian power pop vets reissue ‘One Chord To Another’

by Mike Dunn

Sloan looks back on decades of power pop ahead of One Chord To Another anniversary tour.

ROCKPILE

With the inherent challenges of touring

in Canada, the long drives between

destinations and the often unpredictable

weather that can accompany those drives, a

Canadian band that can claim an uninterrupted

history of 25+ years is a rare one indeed, and as

Sloan head out on an extensive Western Canada

tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their

album One Chord To Another, guitar player Jay

Ferguson remarks that, while some fans have come

and gone over their two-and-a-half decades, some

are just finding the band now.

“Even when we were starting out, our audiences

were really young. So we see some familiar faces when

we’re on tour, though some people have kids or jobs

really early in the morning and don’t go see shows at

all anymore, but when we supporting our last record

[2014’s Commonwealth], there were these young kids,

like 14, 15, coming up and telling us they’d recently

heard us for the first time, and were really into seeing

us play. It’s kind of cool to see the audience come

around full circle like that.”

One Chord to Another, which included the hits

“The Good in Everyone” and “Everything You’ve Done

Wrong” is getting the deluxe reissue treatment for

its 20th anniversary, a three-disc vinyl box set that

includes the album, a second disc that includes studio

outtakes, demos, and B-sides from the sessions, a 7”

of demos, a 32-page book, and a third full-length disc

Ferguson describes as “The Sloan Party Album.”

“It’s like an homage to The Beach Boys Party Album

they put out in 1966. At the time, our label wanted to

offer a U.S.-only bonus disc with the CD, so we had a

bunch of friends come into the studio, and we played

a bunch of songs we loved, some bands like The

Modern Lovers, Stereolab, Roxy Music. We’re adding

it to the reissue, because it was only available in the

States before.”

One Chord To Another got a big part of its distinctive,

White Album-like sound more out of necessity

than anything. “We didn’t have a lot of money, even

with the success of Twice Removed,” Ferguson recalls.

“What we ended up doing was recording all the

drums to a cassette four-track in our rehearsal space

back in Halifax, and took those tracks to the studio to

lay the rest of the parts down on them. Our producer

and engineer, Lawrence Currie, specifically told us that

the liner notes had to read ‘Drums recorded by Sloan’,

because at the time, he wasn’t keen on that sound,

and thought we should just lay them down again

in the studio. I imagine he’s alright with them at this

point though.”

The album features all the Sloan hallmarks: clever,

idiosyncratic songwriting, tight harmonies with nods

to The Everly Brothers, Jayhawks, and Beach Boys, and

propulsive guitar jangle suggesting not only the strong

influence of Lennon and Harrison, but some Exile-era

Keith Richards, and the gritty glam lines of Mick

Ronson as well.

The band plans to feature One Chord To Another

from start to finish in the first set of their shows,

after which they’ll take a small break before coming

out for a second set featuring many of the hits from

their catalogue, as well as fan favourites. “It’s interesting

to have been around such a long time,” says

Ferguson. “A lot of the bands we came up with are

gone, and we’ve been really lucky to be able to stay

together and make a living being in this band. We’ve

been fortunate, and we’re grateful to have been

together this long.”

Sloan makes extensive stops in Western Canada

including the Pyramid Cabaret in Winnipeg on April

9th, the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon on April 10th,

the Needle Vinyl Tavern in Edmonton on April 15th,

Marquee in Calgary on April 16th and the Imperial

Theatre in Vancouver on April 20th. Many more dates

can be found online.

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 23


THE BLACK MAMBA TALES

drumming up ‘Beluga Droid’ from the smoky void

The Black Mamba Tales send fuzzy vibrations with Beluga Droid.

Beluga Droid was once an inside joke that

became a strangely appropriate album title

for prairie fuzz rockers The Black Mamba

Tales (TBMT). Their raw and rugged style was

birthed in smoke-filled garages many moons ago,

first in the form of band Dirty Zane, then Broken

Therapy, and now as the dangerous and deadly

snake-inspired duo.

photo: Darrel Richards

Cam James and Mark Peters recorded, produced,

and engineered Beluga Droid, their third

album, all on their own, and are proud of what

came about in the process. James describes being

inspired by everything from “time and space in

relative dimension,” to “historical events like the

war of 1812,” as well as “weed, electronics, bigotry

and politics,” and as with most musicians, “the

by Willow Grier

deaths of Lemmy and Bowie.”

“I tried to be a bit more poetic and graceful

with my lyrics compared to our other works,” he

explains. “It also describes a more hectic time in

our lives as we grow older and realize the everyday

hurdles of modern life,” he continues.

The hands-on duo has plans to release the album

“fully independently, and plan to expose the

record to as many college radio stations, music

blogs, newspapers, arcades, bowling alleys and

music directors as possible.”

Their grassroots, no-frills approach to “fuzzy,

faded rock and roll” is mirrored by their live show,

which changes night to night with “different

instrumentation and changing tempos.” Creating

as they go, TBMT are partially motivated by the

scene that bore them. “There is a certain vibe

around the summer months in Calgary that is

unbeatable,” says James. “Sled Island, Folk Fest and

Lilac Festival...it’s all so amazing.”

While this inspired evolution of sound may

include a “completely random [album] name that

was brought to us by the smoky muse and we

were only its humble medium,” as James describes

the birth of Beluga Droid, the sonic stew had

been brewing for some time. Robotic sea-dwellers

or not, TBMT “hope to make people dance.” As

James concludes, “We want to send these vibrations

throughout the cosmos.”

Catch The Black Mamba Tales’ album release with

The Silkstones and The Archaics on Friday, May 6th

at Broken City.

CALE MICHAEL

ex-Risky Endeavor member finds Melody in Memory

The breakup of a band can be a pretty traumatic time. Much like a

romantic partnership, musical relationships have deep roots within the

lives of those involved. And for a conclusion to be reached, there is a

sizeable amount of emotional reorganizing and coping to be done before one

can move on. For Cale Michael, that reorganizing came in the form of a road

trip to the West Coast, where he not only was able to put things into perspective

after the ending of a musical project, but add fuel to a new one.

Michael used to front Calgary punk outfit Risky Endeavor, before the group’s

mutual breakup in May of last year. While the decision took some time to get used

to, it did allow Michael to pay more attention to what he labeled “back burner

songs.” He elaborates, “I had been writing a bunch of songs near the end that just

didn’t fit our sound so I’d just play them at home.” Moving more towards alt-country,

Michael’s new direction is quite a departure from Risky Endeavor’s style. “Before

it was all about being as wild as possible onstage and screaming at the absolute top

of my lungs,” he recalls. “[Now,] being the sole songwriter, I am able to explore each

song idea to its full potential and make the most out of what I have.”

Melody in Memory is the title of Michael’s first solo release, and he describes

it as “a concept album….and pretty much a love letter to Vancouver, where [he]

had travelled after Risky broke up as sort of a recovery process for [his] soul.” After

writing the song “Coastline” on the ferry from Vancouver Island back to the mainland,

Michael came to the realization that he had to stop “running away from [his]

problems and face them head on.”

Inspired by crossover acts like Frank Turner and The Constantines, as well as

local folk punk talent and friends Bryan Michael and Sean Hamilton, Michael

honed his brand of “roots driven alt country mixed with raucous folk punk” weekly

at Calgary event Rockin’ 4 Dollar$.

Then Michael enlisted the help of friends Jason Bradley (Flowshine, Hopethorns,

Trevor Algurie) on drums, Dylan S. Keating (The Nix Dicksons, Tanner James) on

pedal steel, and co-producer Wil Moralda who contributed “lots of ear candy with

keys and lead parts,” to round out his sound.

With a completed album, Cale Michael hopes to share his revelations with the

Calgary scene he feels has welcomed him with open arms, and reach the rest of

Cale Michael finds his happy place with a new solo project.

by Willow Grier

photo: Keith Skrastins

Western Canada with a summer tour. “It gives me the ability to express myself in

ways that I never could before. When I’m in the zone on stage where everything

just locks in, I feel at peace inside. It’s my form of Zen.”

Melody in Memory will be released online on April 8th. Catch Cale Michael performing

the songs live with The Statistics and Fear the Mammoth in Edmonton at Cafe

Blackbird on April 9th. A limited run of physical copies will also be available.

24 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


LAB COAST

local basement-recorders contribute to Calgary’s music scene

Lab Coast has been on the radar of many

local music lovers since 2008. Their free-spirited

sound has been honed through their

inventive home-recorded method. Recording in

their own space gives them the control and the

ease to follow their own process. When recording,

the band members often write and record

parts on the spot, seeing no necessity for demos.

Inspired by the local music scene, the band tends

to collaborate and socialize with Calgary artists.

Multi-instrumentalist Chris Dadge, in speaking

to BeatRoute, says that he and the band tend to

enjoy listening to and gain inspiration from musicians

who utilize similar recording equipment

and technology to them.

Remember the Moon, the band’s fourth LP,

which is set to be released April 29th, utilizes the

plethora of instruments left in their recording

space by other local musicians and friends. While

David Laing, lead vocalist for the band, experiments

with saxophone and keyboard, Dadge creates

riffs with string instruments and fabricates

unique sounds with effect sodden percussion.

Since they always have weird instruments laying

around, it is easy and tempting to include an array

of them in their music, which they did in their

latest LP. For Dadge, screwing around with all of

the different instruments is, “a great time, it’s one

of the things that makes [being a musician] a lot

of fun for me.”

Laing and Dadge are the songwriting virtuosos

behind the Lab Coast albums. Dadge speaks

Lab Coast are hitting the road in support of new album Remember The Moon.

about the importance of objective listening after

completing songs in order to see whether or not

the product is worth listening to. He hopes that

to some, the band’s music will feel like an addictive,

irresistible drug. In talking to BeatRoute, he

photo: Cody Oliver

says he “would like if [listeners] would feel like

playing it again and again and again, to be something

that becomes almost like you need a hit of

it or something.” Whether the need to replay the

music is driven by melody or something textural,

by Robyn Welsh

Dadge believes that an important aspect of music

is the ability of something within it to speak to

the listener. Lab Coast has achieved this through

their wistful and melancholic musical aspects

that often evoke a visceral response in listeners -

making them want to replay the songs.

Lab Coast’s recently released music video for

‘Bored Again’ treads new water. In the video, the

band plays on the deck of an indoor pool while

lane swimmers complete their lessons. The video

was directed by Sara Jean Hughes, lead vocalist

for Calgary band Pre Nup, in which Dadge plays

in the live incarnation. According to Noisey, Sara

Jean Hughes said, “I’ve always been obsessed with

the dim lighting of old, rundown swimming pools

and have been looking for the right project to

film in one. The song ‘Bored Again’ complements

this perfectly - it’s a fun pop song with a tinge of

sadness.” The video features underwater shots of

swimmers gliding through water and is the first

Lab Coast music video that the band was directly

involved in making.

Lab Coast has been refining their sound for

years, and Remember the Moon is a welcome

addition to their nuanced catalogue.

Lab Coast are touring in support of the release, with

stops in Edmonton at 9910 on May 5th, Calgary at

The Palomino on May 6th, Lethbridge as part of Electric

Eye on May 12th, Regina at O’Hanlons Pub on

May 13th and Winnipeg at The Handsome Daughter

on May 14th.


ANTI-FLAG

talking punk rock and politics

First off, let’s get one thing straight: Anti-Flag isn’t

anti-government, they’re simply anti-war.

Hailing from Pittsburgh and banding together

in the early ‘90s, Anti-Flag have become militants in

the punk rock community. The quick, upbeat tempos

draw you in and the loud, scratchy vocals keep you

coming back. But Anti-Flag’s lyrics are what really pack

the punch – blunt, and only interested in facts. Since

the start and over a dozen albums later, they’re still

spreading their message of empathy and unity. All while

lending their support to many worthy human rights

causes along the way.

Although Anti-Flag has been busy, they haven’t

toured Western Canada in almost a decade. We decided

to catch up with the band and enlisted the insight of

long-time bassist, Chris Barker (affectionately dubbed

Chris #2), to discuss anniversaries, their Canadian tour

and of course, politics.

Let’s look back. 2016 marks the anniversary of three

massive Anti-Flag albums: 20 years for Die for Your

Government, 15 years for Underground Network, and

10 years for Blood & Empire.

“Those anniversaries come and go for us as a band,

but we are curating the set lists to be really heavy on

those three records,” says Barker. “We’re also playing

a ton of covers to kind of demonstrate that everyone

in the room found punk rock somehow. Kind of like,

‘here are a few songs that inspired us to pick up these

instruments in the first place.’”

Canadian fans are heavily anticipating this tour, but

why did it take so long for Anti-Flag to return?

“For a while we were trying consistently to find as

many new places to tour as possible. But with the last

record, American Spring (2015), we felt like it was the

most important Anti-Flag record released in a really

long time. So we made a conscious effort to go back

to places that we’ve toured in the past. It was really

by Sarah Mac

important to us, we really wanted to make sure we got

back to those places that we really cut our teeth on,”

he explains.

Since this is Anti-Flag, it was inevitable that we’d

have some discussion about politics. “It’s a tumultuous

time in the world right now, not just for America,” says

Barker. “But we’ve always felt it’s our band’s job and

duty to go out there and share ideas of empathy and

compassion and let people know that we [Americans]

aren’t all gun-toting Texans like George W. Bush, and

we all aren’t immigrant-hating, blind nationalists like

Donald Trump,” he continues.

This is not an easy message to spread - especially as

of late – but Anti-Flag’s determination and enthusiasm

remains optimistic.

“Recently it’s been interesting because of the divisiveness

of politics globally, there’s one extreme to another,

which is a good thing. Things tend to stay the same

whenever the decision-making process seems safe and

people are apathetic and not engaged on both sides.

Lately, you find more people paying attention to ideas

of activism and leaving things better than how they

found them.”

While this may be true from a broader perspective,

when it comes to his home soil, Barker is aware of the

political turbulence his country’s going through.

“I do keep coming back to the idea that we [Americans]

get the presidents that we deserve. So if Donald

Trump gets elected then perhaps that’s what America

deserves in this point in time in history.

“But I’m an optimist. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be in a

shitty punk rock band.”

THE RECKLESS HEROES

cutting ties to reach the highs

The Reckless Heroes release their long overdue album this month.

by Jonathan Lawrence

photo: Jonathan Lawrence

After two years of vague answers and In 2016 the band was able to cut ties with

unfulfilled promises from their independent

label, The Reckless Heroes pressing and distribution of the album. Now

the label and completely self-finance the

have finally released their aptly-named third that the worst is behind them, they are collectively

album, Losing Faith in Everything.

determined to remain positive and

I sat down with the guys at the eclectic Palomino

can finally make light of the situation.

Smokehouse, a favourite venue among “There were, complications,” Semenoff

Calgary music lovers, and one of the many bars quips, pausing for comedic effect, and everyone

and clubs around the city where the punk-andmetal

laughs at the dramatic understatement.

Anti-Flag are touring nearly ever corner of Western

influenced band has made their mark. “Musically, we’re getting better,” Towill

Canada in April and May. Select dates include April 18th We ordered beer and the guys related several says, sipping his pint. “Things are always going

at Venue in Vancouver, May 4th at the Starlite Room in humourous tour stories over poutine; laughter

up for us.” The Reckless Heroes have a lot

Edmonton and May 6th at The Gateway in Calgary. erupts when they recall an incident with a missing

to be proud of: they’ve toured throughout

pillow. “We did a cross-country tour and Canada several times, made a professional

didn’t kill each other,” Kevin Towill, the band’s music video, and opened for the Cancer

frontman, says with a grin.

Bats in 2015, one of their biggest influences.

The group formed in 2009 by existing members

Additionally, the guys book their own

Kevin Towill (guitar/vocals) and Chris tours and do their own promotion, and are

Saunders (guitar), yet several line-up changes currently working on a split album with hardcore

kept the band on its toes until 2012 when

punk band Western Death set for a July

Danny Daigle (bassist/co-vocalist) and Nolan release. Now without a label, they are happily

Semenoff (drums/the “sass”), who had joined independent and only work for each other.

a year prior, completed the final picture.

“It’s still a struggle,” Saunders jokes.

Taking their collective influences of Propagandhi,

For all their success, the Heroes know

Rise Against and early AFI, the band who they are and what they want. “Being in

began writing music seriously and crafting a band doesn’t pay,” Towill says. They each

their iconic look: striped ties and bullet belts; agree, knowing that, either way, they are

an emblem of their professional-meets-punk pursuing their passion - or as Semenoff puts

attitude. Determined to set themselves apart it, hopefully “not having to work a day job”.

from static rock bands, they put their focus For now, it’s clear that they are having a blast

into entertaining and having a memorable drinking beer and eating poutine, ribbing

stage presence. “We want to put on a show,” each other and swapping old tour stories.

Daigle says in earnest.

Chris Saunders dryly remarks: “We’re just

However, it hasn’t been all sunshine for everyday, normal guys who are crazy enough

the band. The guys share the grief they to pay to be in a band.”

experienced for nearly two years from

The Reckless Heroes new album, which

their now-former independent label that was intended to be released in the summer

they say essentially stripped them of their of 2014, will finally be available in April with

investments and left them without answers an official CD release show alongside other

or a final product, despite having finished punk acts Me Three and Foul English. Sorry

recording at the studio. The band also had Axl, this might just be the most overdue

to deal with hype surrounding the album album of all time.

and constant questions from fans on its

whereabouts, but the guys were just as in the Catch The Reckless Heroes album release show

dark as their supporters. Daigle recalled the at Broken City with Me Three and Foul English

photo: Megan Thompson

awkwardness they experienced from having on April 21st. They’ll also perform in Lethbridge

to tour without a physical album to promote. at Moose Hall on April 22nd.

26 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE

Anti-Flag are set to embark on the cheekily titled Make Canada Great Again Tour this spring.


THE COLLAPSE

living in a small town world

Parks over by Craigie Dam and turns off the ignition

Turns on the radio and chews a plug of Copenhagen

From here the city looks like a star that fell across the horizon

Doesn’t seem to know, and just keeps on shining

by B. Simm

Listening to the wistful, country-sweet voice of Jenny Kost, lead vocalist

for The Collapse, it’s hard to imagine that she sings stories not far

removed from the crown jewel of karaoke hits, “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Then again, the tale of small town girls living in a lonely world has some

deep underpinnings that we all recognize on and off the karaoke stand.

The original lineup of The Collapse, drafted by good pals John Hadley

and Ken Price, featured vocals from all four members, one of which was a

better vocalist than the others. But when that particular person gave up

the band, Hadley says they were left with “three mediocre singers, that

had various orders of ability who weren’t super interested in getting good

at singing.” Faced with a mediocre outlook they were open to suggestions

and other options.

“Jenny had a theatre background,” says Hadley. “She sang in musicals,

she was in the Martyr Index for awhile. We’d go to karaoke and she’d get

up on stage and get a standing ovation singing Pat Benatar, Meat Loaf or

something like that.”

Once recruited, she took the songs Hadley and Price had written and

generated a fresh, new feel and interpretation. Although the intention

wasn’t to reinvent The Collapse, with Kost as lead vocalist it definitely

propelled them into being a superior alt-country outfit.

ROCKSLIDIN’

We’ve finally crossed the finish line: Spring is officially upon

us and it’s time to end our hibernation and see some goddamn

shows. The first weekend of the month is chock full

of emergent Canadian talent thanks to JUNOfest, but if you’re reading

this, it’s too late. That sentence is the closest thing you’ll get to Drake

at the JUNOs. Regardless, you have no excuse to stay home this month.

Let’s start it off with a little hip hop — RIP Phife Dawg! Perhaps the

most influential local platform for developing hip-hop and R&B artists,

10@10 turns 55 this month. Damn, they must be doing something

right if they’ve put on this many showcases of up-and-coming artists.

Take a little time to embrace community on April 6th at Commonwealth.

Another milestone on our list is Hang The DJ’s sixth anniversary. If

you like to keep it O.G. goth and weird as can be, you must have been

to at least one instance of Calgary’s dankest DJ night. Acquaint yourself

with the darker side of dance tunes both new and old on April 9th at

Dickens.

If it seems like there’s a disproportionate amount of folk punk going

on this month, chalk it up to three sets by Edmonton’s screamingly

sincere Old Towns. He’s got a show at The Palomino on April 15th and

two sets on the 16th at the Ship and Pizza Bob’s.

April 17th is for you, pop-punk fans. The Story So Far and Comeback

Kid are gonna be filling with you angst at Marquee. Not a bad

excuse to break out the cargo shorts and teenage hormones.

April 19th might be this columnist’s birthday, but much more

importantly is the day that the inexplicable Fefe Dobson plays Flames

SHRAPNEL

Hadley grew up in Olds, Alberta, a cozy little community, population

8,000, 45 minutes north of Calgary on Highway 2. He moved to Calgary,

completed a degree in English and began writing songs with The Collapse

that drew heavily from his rural roots.

“We were really into the Drive-By Truckers. They influenced us writing

about the South as a complicated place. We were trying to write

about Alberta as complicated place with that similarity.”

Who Knows How It All Happens, recently released by The Collapse, is

a small town, soul-searching, existential-probing collection of songs that

move free and easy on the surface, but are far more complex when you

latch onto the lyrics. Both Hadley and Price tap into self-reflective moods

where their characters gaze into the wilderness and wonderment of reality

and then struggle with what they can’t grasp about all that wonder.

In “Distant Craigie Dam” a husband spends some alone time watching

big city lights blaze away, while his wife knows where he’s wondered off

and why.

From her bed Sarah hears him throw a rope over the towing winch

And drag the fence post driver back into the shed

Fires up old Gus and sneaks out the driveway

She know where he goes every now and then

photo: Andrew Arthur

M83 performs in Calgary in support of his weird new album Junk.

Is everything that people feel happening inside that little light

What would happen if that light went out

Do they do the things they do every day

It all looks so small from this far away

All it takes is time, for restless minds

All it times is time, to ease those troubled eyes

Tries to wash the taste out of his mouth with Listerine

Crawls into bed and Sarah asks him where he’s been

“Honey do you think it’s funny we’re trapped in flesh and bone?”

She kisses him on the cheek and says, “Baby go to sleep”

“That’s a straight up Ken song,” notes Hadley. It’s about grabbling with

the meaning of life, what’s the purpose?” While subtle, the song also

peels back layers of self-identity questioning what we do and don’t know

about ourselves.

“I really like the idea that this guy doesn’t have a name, but his wife

does,” says Hadley pointing out the wife’s confidence and reassurance.

“And there’s so many ways you can interpret that last line of the song

where she says, ‘Baby go to sleep.’ It’s a simple loving, comforting gesture.

But it’s also something that’s she’s seen with him a thousand times before.

She knows what he’s thinking, where he’s been and tells him, ‘It’s okay,

baby. Just go to sleep.’”

The songs and circumstances on Who Knows How It All Happens are

something that Hadley envisioned as happening in the same place, the

same region, the same small town. Although reflective and thematic,

it’s not an album full of quiet ballads. On the contrary. In addition to

the sprawling soundscapes shaped by big country chords, The Collapse

churn out no-holds-barred rockers, shoe-gazing walls of feedback, some

broken-down Dixieland with a sophisticated horn-section along with

their very own fifth Beatle, Lorrie Matheson, who provides layers of soulful

keyboards to what is perhaps one of the most intelligent, articulate and

captivating records to come out of this neck of the woods for quite some

time. The Collapse have risen.

Catch The Collapse at Pizza Bobs with Liquor Mountain Sat., April 30.

Central. I don’t really remember what her mid-2000s hit was called,

but I definitely know she’s representative of what the Canadian music

industry will tolerate.

4/20 is the international day of blazing all of your reefer. Drugs are

cool! So counter-cultural. There are plenty of places for Caucasians to

display their dreads with the indignant pride that can only come from

privilege on this day. I’d suggest seeing the Body of Light show at The

Palomino, but you could also head to the Grey Eagle for Collective

Soul or keep it casual at the (BeatRoute staff-affiliated) edition of

Rockin’ 4 Dollar$ at Broken City.

Did y’all know that Calgary has a big old link to Broken Social Scene?

One of our own, Lisa Lobsinger, became a touring and recording

vocalist for them shortly after their self-titled came out. She’s been in

Toronto for a minute, but she’s going to be back in town her amazingly

named new project Laser. It doesn’t hurt that Calgarian JUNO

nominees AM Static will be there too. Stop by The Palomino on the

22nd to check it out.

I feel like it’s a been a while since we saw Vancouver’s Tough Age. If

I were you, I’d take the opportunity to see them at the Palomino with

the always good Napalmpom, Blü Shorts and Power Buddies on the

29th.

Also that night is a huge show at the Grey Eagle on the 30th. Weirdo

French-pop phenom M83 is in town to support his vaguely vaporwave

album Junk. He made the soundtracks for a Tom Cruise

movie and slayed the festival circuit, so expect it to be a time.

• Colin Gallant

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 27


BOOK OF BRIDGE

YQL

the scene exists, and it wants you

by Courtney Creator

AN ANT AND AN ATOM

Lethbridge scene is here. It exists, and

people don't realize it exists," says Sean

"The

Warkentine, music director of CKXU 88.3

FM, Lethbridge's community/campus radio station.

"I've only been discovering how here it is."

The scene may seem small, but it's strong, and

full of creators who are constantly contributing to

the growing culture of Lethbridge.

A pinnacle in the Lethbridge music scene is the

Electric Eye Music Festival, taking place this May

11-15. Coordinators James Phelan and Eric Sharp

started the festival in 2014, inspired by festivals

they admire, such as Sled Island.

"The vision of the festival has always been to

highlight the emerging acts and showcase artists

within the region," says Sharp. "This year we'll

expand it across five days, and bring in more artists

that we love, that we want to see here."

What began as a one day, by donation event, has

grown to 50 bands, playing at 6 different venues

across the city, for "the ridiculously affordable"

price of $60, which will also get you an Electric Eye

compilation tape of 2015's live recordings.

Last year Viet Cong and Chad VanGaalen opened

the festival on Thursday night, setting up music

lovers for a weekend of melodious bliss. This year's

highlights include:

Wednesday, be sure to catch Striker, well-established

hair metal tongue-in-cheek fun time party

band. Thursday will be nostalgic with David Bowie's

incarnate, Johnny de Courcy, as well as Vancouver

garage pop band Painted Fruit. Friday you can party

with Napalmpom, righteous riff-rock from Calgary,

and Saturday it gets hot with the Freak Heat Waves.

To see the full list of bands, and to purchase

tickets, go to eemusicfest.com.

This year's festival is expanding beyond musical

acts to include 'Castrati: An Electro Drag Opera'

hosted by Theatre Outré, a pop-up art gallery at

the city's newest venue Attainable Records and the

first ever YQL Anarchist Book Fair.

Emmy MacDonald, the initial organizer of the

Anarchist Book Fair, is excited to bring her favourite

parts of anarchism to Lethbridge, such as information

about free press and co-housing, while taking

an intersectional, feminist approach to make the

event more accessible.

"I wanted to do it, but do it differently, and Lethbridge

is a good place to do that," says MacDonald.

"I feel like the community here is really supportive

about new ideas and really willing to get excited

about things."

Anarchy workshops, a comic panel with Eric

Dyck and Stacey Bru, and keynote speaker Michael

Truscello, associate professor at Mount Royal University,

will take place on Saturday, May 14. " I hope

that it will really get people connected more than

anything," says MacDonald. "We're all doing our

own things, and maybe we could join together."

Collaboration is key in our intimate community.

Mechaela Marr, art director at Attainable Records,

is hosting an art exhibit for Electric Eye, asking people

to interpret what the festival and music means

to them. To submit artwork, email attainablegallery@gmail.com

by April 30.

Attainable Records is a non-profit, artist run,

volunteer led art and music venue initiated by University

of Lethbridge Digital Audio Arts students

Owen Campeau, Duncan Metcalfe, and Connor

HD, who were later joined by art history major

Mechaela Marr.

"Whatever we can do for the betterment of arts

and culture in Lethbridge," says Campeau, "is exactly

what we want the end goal to be."

"[We're just] building on top of the community

that already exists here," says Marr.

Electric Eye is an annual multi-venue arts and music

fest that takes place May 11-15. For more information

go to eemusicfest.com.

Weird Distro Tour

Attainable Records (Lethbridge, AB)

February 20, 2016

Rolling through the cold darkness on my long board to the street with music underground.

It's not really winter in the south, a snowless February. This venue is new to the city and to

me, but I know I've reached my obscure destination by the trio of silver boots and glittery

faces crossing the empty pavement to 314, 'Attainable Records' printed on the glowing

glass door between a bridal shop and a couch store.

Downstairs. Vibrations inviting. The weirdos are here. Weird Canada, on tour, moving

their headquarters from Ontario to Victoria, is visiting communities along the way, sharing

sounds of eclectic Canadian artists encapsulated in revived formats of records and tapes.

The melody of keys and smooth bluesy vocals juxtaposed with moody electric strings

of a hungry guitar flows into my eardrums and I'm feeling gold. Saint St., a newly emerged

four-piece local band sets the opening tone for the evening with class.

Energy rises as Divorce Court, pop-punk darlings, also fresh to the scene, scream and

sweat their set out. The intimate crowd of people, friends and familiar faces, groove with

the infectious bass line, a song sure to be replaying in heads this week.

And as promised, it gets weirder.

Experimental, drone, mystic act Postnamers graces the red-curtained stage with his

disconnecting dance moves and haunting voice, echoing over a looped electronic mystery.

I soak the sounds into my sketchbook, sinking to the floor, a view of twinkling lights

between swaying leg silhouettes.

The energy curves closer as An Ant and an Atom finalizes the night, with the remaining

attendees joining me on the concrete floor to sit in silence to absorb the otherworldly

noises made by a man, a guitar and a computer.

And that's just the opening act to a night of music in YQL. From there your silver boots

walk around the corner to join the rest of your glitter-faced clan in a tribute cover night for

David Bowie. The night is full when you find the music.

• Courtney Creator

28 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


ART OF THE PRANK

BASKIN

CHEVALIER

DIRECTOR’S CUT

DIRECTOR ANDREA MARINI, UNITED

STATES/ITALY/UNITED KINGDOM, 2015

DIRECTOR CAN EVRENOL, TURKEY,

2015

DIRECTOR ATHINA RACHEL

TSANGARI, GREECE, 2015

DIRECTOR ADAM RIFKIN, UNITED

STATES, 2016

An emotional and humorous documentary

following the evolution of artist Joey Skaggs.

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 6:30 PM (18+)

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 1:30 PM (ALL AGES)

A squad of unsuspecting cops go through a

trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a

Black Mass in an abandoned building.

FRIDAY APRIL 15, 11:59 PM (18+)

In the middle of the Aegean Sea, on a luxury

yacht, six men decide to play an absurdist

game rooted in measuring male antagonism.

THURSDAY APRIL 14, 7:30 PM (18+)

An insane genre-bending cinematic sleight

of hand trick about a cineaste stalker who

kidnaps his favourite actress.

THURSDAY APRIL 14, 7 PM (18+)

THE DWARVENAUT

DIRECTOR JOSH BISHOP, UNITED

STATES, 2016

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!

DIRECTOR RICHARD LINKLATER,

UNITED STATES, 2016

FIRST GIRL I LOVED

DIRECTOR KEREM SANGA, UNITED

STATES, 2016

THE HEXECUTIONERS

DIRECTOR JESSE THOMAS COOK,

CANADA, 2015

A Dungeons & Dragons DM goes on a

quest to bring his most ambitious miniature

sculpture project to life through Kickstarter.

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 7 PM (18+)

A “spiritual sequel” to DAZED AND

CONFUSED set in the world of 1980s

college life.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 7 PM (18+)

Anne falls in love with the popular Sasha,

creating a love traingle with her best friend.

TUESDAY APRIL 12, 9:30 PM (18+)

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 2 PM (ALL AGES)

A chilling horror thriller about two young

women who unwittingly summon a Death

Cult while performing an assisted-suicide.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 10:15 PM (18+)

HIGH-RISE

HONEY BUDDIES

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE

JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE

DIRECTOR BEN WHEATLEY, UNITED

KINGDOM, 2015

DIRECTOR ALEX SIMMONS, UNITED

STATES, 2016

DIRECTOR TAIKA WAITITI, NEW

ZEALAND, 2016

DIRECTOR AMY J. BERG, UNITED

STATES, 2015

A modern skyscraper is a battlefield as the

Two best friends go on a seven-day

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS director

Oscar® nominated Amy J. Berg presents

social strata crumbles and a literal class war

backpacking trip through Oregon in this

Taika Waititi’s latest follows a defiant city kid

a stunning, insightful portrait of the original

begins.

comedic buddy film.

who finds himself on the run in the wild.

“Rock Chick” Janis Joplin.

FRIDAY APRIL 15, 7 PM (18+)

TUESDAY APRIL 12, 7 PM (18+)

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 4:15 PM (18+)

OPENING NIGHT FILM!

MONDAY APRIL 11, 7 PM (18+)

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 6:30 PM (18+)

LACE CRATER

DIRECTOR HARRISON ATKINS, UNITED

STATES, 2015

During a drug-fueled weekend with friends,

Ruth has a one-night stand with a ghost.

Soon after, she begins to feel a bit... strange.

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 9:30 PM (18+)

LOVE & PEACE

DIRECTOR SION SONO, JAPAN, 2015

A surreal musical comedy, by acclaimed

Japanese Director Sion Sono, about a man,

his newly found pet turtle and the fate of the

world.

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 9:15 PM (18+)

THE LURE

DIRECTOR AGNIESZKA SMOCZYNSKA,

POLAND, 2015

A Polish 1980s-set musical horror fantasy

about two mermaid sisters.

FRIDAY APRIL 15, 9:45 PM (18+)

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 9 PM (18+)

MAD

DIRECTOR ROBERT G. PUTKA, UNITED

STATES, 2016

A sharp witted family drama about three

women coping with effects of mental illness

on their family.

THURSDAY APRIL 14, 9:30 PM (18+)


PARADISE PERFECT BOAT RESCUE

by KITTY LAMBDA GAMES - CALGARY

MAN VS SNAKE

MEATHEAD GOES HOG WILD

MEN & CHICKEN

NUTS!

DIRECTORS TIM KINZY & ANDREW

SEKLIR, UNITED STATES/CANADA/

ITALY/JAPAN, 2015

A competition doc about the man who set

the record for the highest number of points

ever recorded on an arcade game.

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 3:30 PM (18+)

DIRECTORS KEVIN CLINE, ZACH

HARRIS & SEAN PIERCE, UNITED

STATES, 2015

A microbudget indie about a 20-something

slacker spiraling out of control.

FRIDAY APRIL 15, 10 PM (18+)

DIRECTOR ANDERS THOMAS JENSEN,

DENMARK, 2015

An absurdist Danish comedy starring Mads

Mikkelsen about two misfit brothers.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 7:30 PM (18+)

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 9:30 PM (18+)

DIRECTOR PENNY LANE, UNITED

STATES, 2016

The story of a doctor who cures impotence

by transplanting goat testicles into men.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 9:45 PM (18+)

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 1:45 PM (ALL AGES)

PATCHWORK

DIRECTOR TYLER MACINTYRE, UNITED

STATES/CANADA, 2015

A dark gory horror comedy about three

women who have been murdered, dissected,

and reassembled into a single person.

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 11:59 PM (18+)

RETROSPECTIVE – LINKLATER: DAZED

AND CONFUSED

DIRECTOR RICHARD LINKLATER,

UNITED STATES, 1993

Richard Linklater’s cult classic about the last

day of school in 1976.

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 4 PM (18+)

RETROSPECTIVE – LINKLATER: SLACKER

DIRECTOR RICHARD LINKLATER,

UNITED STATES, 1991

One of the key films of the American

independent film movement of the 1990s,

directed by Richard Linklater.

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 2 PM (ALL AGES

THE SATURDAY MORNING ALL-YOU-

CAN-EAT-CEREAL CARTOON PARTY!

CURATOR KIER-LA JANISSE, 1940s-

1980s

A three-hour trip down memory lane with

a tribute to Saturday morning cartoons,

complete with sugary cereals.

SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 10 AM (ALL AGES)

SHORTS: DARK AND DELICIOUS

SHORTS: STRANGE THINGS ARE AFOOT

UNCLE HOWARD

UNDER THE SHADOW

VARIOUS COUNTRIES, 2015/16

A wildly dark, fun, disturbing, and gore-ific

mix of horror shorts in a variety of styles,

and sub genres.

THURSDAY APRIL 14, 10 PM (18+)

VARIOUS COUNTRIES, 2015/16

A fun/strange/hilarious mixture of short films

from around the world and in a variety of

genres.

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 3:45 PM (18+)

DIRECTOR AARON BROOKNER, UNITED

STATES/UNITED KINGDOM, 2016

The story of filmmaker Howard Brookner

whose portrait of William Burroughs

captured the 1970s/80s cultural revolution.

TUESDAY APRIL 12, 7:30 PM (18+)

DIRECTOR BABAK ANVARI, UNITED

KINGDOM/JORDAN/QATAR, 2016

Only at

As a mother and daughter struggle to cope

with the terrors of the post-revolution, war

torn Tehran, evil begins to haunt their home.

TUESDAY APRIL 12, 10 PM (18+)

WRECK CITY: AN EPILOGUE FOR 809

DIRECTOR RAMIN ESHRAGHI-YAZDI,

CANADA, 2016

A doc about a ground breaking experiment

where 150 DIY artists turned a block of

houses slated for demolition into art.

FRIDAY APRIL 15, 7:30 PM (18+)

ZOOM

DIRECTOR PEDRO MORELLI, CANADA/

BRAZIL, 2015

Part animation, part live action, ZOOM is

a fast-paced, pop-art inspired, multi-plot

contemporary comedy.

SATURDAY APRIL 16, 7 PM (18+)

Calgary’s first independent video game arcade. Play games created by

CUFFCADE

Canadian indie developers, completely free of charge!

Each year CUFFcade showcases a newly curated selection of the best in new local, and

Canadian independent videogames. We have five custom 3.2.1. made GRENADES cabinets located on the

mezzanine level of the Globe Cinema. CUFFcade runs by throughout BANYANGO - CALGARY the festival, and is free and

open to the public. This year all five games are from A snowball Calgary fight developers. with high explosives.

Go up against a friend and blast them away.

CUFFCADE LAUNCH: SUNDAY APRIL 10, 1-4 PM AT GLOBE CINEMA

OPEN THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVAL: APRIL 11-17, 2016

ASTERVOID 2000

by MAD CAPACITY - CALGARY

Head to head dogfight through a sea of asteroids

to be the first to rack up your kills.


MONDAY, APRIL 11

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13

THURSDAY, APRIL 14

FRIDAY, APRIL 15

SATURDAY, APRIL 16

SUNDAY, APRIL 17

7:00 PM

OPENING NIGHT FILM!

HUNT FOR THE

WILDERPEOPLE

New Zealand, 2016,

101 min

TUESDAY, APRIL 12

7:00 PM

HONEY BUDDIES

U.S., 2016, 80 min

7:30 PM

UNCLE HOWARD

U.S./UK, 2016, 96 min

9:30 PM

FIRST GIRL I LOVED

U.S., 2016, 91 min

10:00 PM

UNDER THE SHADOW

UK/Jordan/Qatar, 2016,

84 min

7:00 PM

EVERYBODY WANTS

SOME!!

U.S., 2016, 114 min

7:30 PM

MEN & CHICKEN

Denmark, 2015, 107 min

9:45 PM

NUTS!

U.S., 2016, 79 min

10:15 PM

THE HEXECUTIONERS

Canada, 2015, 95 min

7:00 PM

DIRECTOR’S CUT

U.S., 2016, 83 min

7:30 PM

CHEVALIER

Greece, 2015, 99 min

9:30 PM

MAD

U.S., 2016, 83 min

10:00 PM

SHORTS: DARK AND

DELICIOUS

Mixed Short Films

Various, 2015/16, 98 min

7:00 PM

HIGH-RISE

UK, 2015, 119 min

7:30 PM

WRECK CITY: AN

EPILOGUE FOR 809

Canada, 2016, 60 min

9:45 PM

THE LURE

Poland, 2016, 92 min

10:00 PM

MEATHEAD GOES HOG

WILD

U.S., 2015, 102 min

11:59 PM

BASKIN

Turkey, 2015, 97 min

10:00 AM

THE SATURDAY

MORNING ALL- YOU-CAN-

EAT-CEREAL CARTOON

PARTY!

1940s-1980s, 180 min

1:45 PM

NUTS!

Encore Screening

U.S., 2016, 79 min

2:00 PM

SLACKER

Linklater Retrospective

U.S., 1991, 97 min

3:45 PM

SHORTS: STRANGE

THINGS ARE AFOOT

Mixed Short Films

Various, 2015/16, 95 min

4:00 PM

DAZED AND CONFUSED

Linklater Retrospective

U.S., 1993. 102 min

6:30 PM

ART OF THE PRANK

U.S., 2015, 84 min

7:00 PM

ZOOM

Canada/Brazil, 2015,

96 min

9:15 PM

LOVE & PEACE

1:30 PM

ART OF THE PRANK

Encore Screening

U.S., 2015, 84 min

2:00 PM

FIRST GIRL I LOVED

Encore Screening

U.S., 2016, 91 min

3:30 PM

MAN VS SNAKE

U.S./Canada/Italy/Japan

2015, 92 min

4:15 PM

HONEY BUDDIES

Encore Screening

U.S., 2016, 80 min

6:30 PM

JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE

U.S., 2015, 107 min

7:00 PM

THE DWARVENAUT

U.S., 2016, 84 min

9:00 PM

THE LURE

Encore Screening

Poland, 2016, 92 min

9:30 PM

MEN & CHICKEN

Encore Screening

Denmark, 2015, 107 min

Japan, 2015, 117 min

9:30 PM

LACE CRATER

U.S., 2015, 91 min

11:59 PM

PATCHWORK

U.S., 2015, 83 min

Tickets and more information at

calgaryundergroundfilm.com

LICENSED EVENT – SCREENINGS AFTER 3PM 18+

$10 REGULAR SCREENINGS – $8 CUFF MEMBERS / STUDENTS / SENIORS | $40 5 FILM PUNCH PASS


letters from winnipeg

THE ZORGS

defying classification with new record ‘Chew On It’

The Zorgs are Taylor Burgess, Steph Kolbuck, and Dave Skene.

When we last heard from Winnipeg slack

punks The Zorgs, they were readying

to make their live debut at the 2015

instalment of Sled Island, and still in the midst of

promoting a three-track cassette, called Stop The

World. Now, the trio’s first full-length, Chew On It, is

ready for release through Transistor 66, and they’re

hitting the road with dates across Western Canada.

“It’s our first real tour and third unreal tour,” says

bassist/vocalist Dave Skene, referring to the house

shows and impromptu gigs they’ve hooked up in

the past while travelling.

Recorded at Collector Studio (The Thrashers,

Surprise Party), the new album picks up

where 2014’s Stop The World left off, featuring

nine snotty, hip-shaking punk cuts drenched in

surf instrumentals, spy film-inspired vibes, and

LOL-inducing lyricism.

Take for instance, the track “Uptight Rhythm,”

where the spastic vocal stutters of guitarist/vocalist

Taylor Burgess are interspersed with vomiting guitar

wigouts and some amusing call and response lines

between him and drummer/vocalist Steph Kolbuck

that ask, “What’s up your butt?” to the reply,

“Victorian Era.”

“That was sort of inspired by The Courtneys

song ‘Manion,’ but it’s also a nod to The Fall,” says

Burgess. “It’s kind of absurd. The song is about

being in your own head and doing whatever you

can to get out of it.”

The record’s first single, “I’m Sick,” is another

standout that Skene describes as “a blues song

that isn’t played like a blues song,” and a tune

that quite literally became a self-fulfilling prophecy

for Burgess.

“I would get sick after writing the song,” he says.

“It’s like I wrote myself into bed.”

Kolbuck, the shyer member of The Zorgs—whose

onstage persona is a stark contrast—puts her own

mark on tracks, like the garage-pop gem “Cruisin,’”

and James Bond-inflected “Moneypenny,” adding a

little sexuality and sass with her vocal coos.

“She always threatens us when we’re not working

hard enough that she’s going to leave us and join

a band called the McGillivray Boys—a solo band,

btw—and tells us how popular they’re gonna be,”

says Skene.

by Julijana Capone

Skene, the thespian Zorg, inserts a bit of his

acting chops on the closing rock ‘n’ roll monologue,

“Prophesies,” inspired by the on-air personalities

of Winnipeg’s extremely bizarro cable

access shows of the ‘80s and ‘90s (See: Survival!).

“It’s an eye-witness account of an experience that

hasn’t happened yet,” Skene says. “It’s like the apocalypse

has already come and I’m giving tips on how

to survive the cataclysm…that’s more of an acting

performance than a real song.”

With their pogo-worthy rhythms, in-jokes and

absurd humour, the threesome’s approach to songwriting

is built around a desire to defy classification.

“We’ll take a certain semantic or stylistic direction

on a song and then look elsewhere for inspiration,”

says Burgess about their process.

“This album’s recipe is to take a little bit of postpunk,

take a little bit of punk rock, put a little bit

of surf in the pot and then finish in the oven,” says

Skene.

“The next album might be a little bit different,

maybe a little bit of country music and you mix it

with a little bit of polka or whatever.”

We can’t wait to hear that.

The Zorgs perform at the West End Cultural Centre on

April 2 (Winnipeg), Broken City on April 15 (Calgary)

and Bohemia on April 16 (Edmonton). Chew On It is

out now at transistor66.com

THE SMALL GLORIES

veteran roots singer-songwriters find harmony in new duo

You don’t have to listen for very long to hear the musical

chemistry between roots dynamos Cara Luft and JD Edwards

of super-duo The Small Glories.

Both artists have found success for their varied projects over the

years—Luft with The Wailin’ Jennys and as a solo artist, and Edwards

with his five-piece folk-rock band the JD Edwards Band, along with folk

unit Dry Bones. Since banding together a few years ago, the two have

toured steadily and are now unleashing their anticipated debut LP,

Wondrous Traveler.

It includes new co-writes and several tracks from each artist’s own

arsenal, re-worked with a Small Glories stamp, such as “Had I Paid,” written

by Edwards and showered with Luft’s uplifting clawhammer banjo

strums and the duo’s full-bodied vocal harmonies.

First paired together to perform during the West End Cultural Centre’s

25th Anniversary Concert in 2012, it was then that the two singer-songwriters

realized that they were onto something special. A cover of Greg

MacPherson’s song, “1,000 Stars,” which they performed that first night

also appears on the new album.

A year went by before the two would reunite onstage again—but a

spark was lit. And when a spot opened up for Edwards to join Luft on

tour, he happily volunteered.

“We were playing to Cara’s audience,” says Edwards. “They had seen

her in many different combinations and variations onstage and people

really enjoyed this duo… By the end of that first tour, we decided that we

were going to be a band.”

“I’ve been wanting to sing harmony with someone for a really long

time, especially a guy,” Luft adds. “I had done the female harmony thing,

and that was really beautiful, but I felt like I just needed a sonic shift.

Singing with JD was like, ‘Holy crap! This is phenomenal. This guy is the

best singer I’ve ever sung with.’”

Indeed, both artists have excellent sets of pipes. On a spirited,

foot-stompin’ cover of Woody Guthrie’s classic, “Way Over Yonder in the

Minor Key,” the two powerhouse singers fittingly chant the chorus, “Ain’t

ROCKPILE

Cara Luft and JD Edwards of Winnipeg powerhouse roots duo The Small Glories.

nobody who can sing like me,” with a celebratory conviction.

Produced by Neil Osborne and recorded live to tape at Bottega

Studios in Kelowna, B.C., new co-written originals include the road-worn

folk tune, “Home,” a collaboration between Luft, Edwards, and multi-instrumentalist/producer

Lewis Melville; and the mellow acoustic-laced

balladry of “Fast Turning World” (co-written with Belly Hardy).

Musically, The Small Glories feels like a turning point for both of the

veteran musicians, a period of reinvigoration, and a creative boost that

couldn’t have come at a better time for Luft, especially.

“Singing with JD helped me fall in love with music again,” says Luft.

“I’ve been slogging it out for a very long time…When The Small Glories

started it happened at a time when I needed a shift and I needed a

partner in crime. I needed to have that other voice and that other energy

by Julijana Capone

onstage. I didn’t realize I needed it until it started.”

The collaboration has had a similar effect on Edwards with old songs

feeling new again, including the aforementioned “Had I Paid,” a version

of which also appears on the JD Edwards Band’s 2011 album, Roads and

Roads.

“I’ve played that song for many years and I think with The Small

Glories it’s found its place,” says Edwards. “I’m really happy with where it

is these days.”

The Small Glories perform at the Ironwood on April 28 (Calgary), The

Almanac on April 29 (Edmonton) and Communitea Café on April 30

(Canmore). For more information on The Small Glories, visit thesmallglories.com

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 33


EDMONTON EXTRA

CAYLEY THOMAS

Edmontonian returns from tumultuous hiatus with debut album Weird Love

Edmonton based musician Cayley Thomas

is debuting her first LP Weird Love April

16th, after a long recording process that has

been interrupted by an unexpected loss of her

voice, surgery and recovery (including a month

in silence to recover her instrument). She has

picked up where she left off when she started

the process in late 2014. Thomas is an active

supporter in Edmonton’s arts scene and has a

large following within the community that has

expanded since touring Western Canada in the

fall of 2014 and early winter of 2015. This will

be the first project she has released since her

five-song EP Ash Mountains in August of 2013,

dedicated to the memory of her brother Alex

Thomas-Haug.

Much of Thomas’ songs are personal and

about specific experiences. This album promises

further complexity and honesty that goes beyond

linear story telling. “My best friend and I wandered

around Asia for about six months in 2014

and quite a few song ideas materialized during

that time,” says Thomas about her song writing

process, “but this album is honestly just a big vast

treasure hunt of experience. The things I saw, music

I heard, people I got to know – it is all there.”

The recording was a long process: “14 months

to be exact,” Thomas says, “life got in the way a

couple times. And as time passes you grow, you

get older, you start to second-guess everything

but then you remember it’s all just a snap shot in

time. You can revise it until the end of time but

Cayley Thomas’s new album Weird Love faced plenty of challenges.

you have to acknowledge that they exist in a time

and place and try not to fall too far down the

rabbit hole of instrumentation and arrangement.

It’s important not to lose sight of simplicity.”

Before she started pursuing music, Thomas

completed a BFA in Acting at the University of

Alberta a few years ago. “It’s a cool program — it

requires you to be a pretty multifaceted performer,”

Thomas says, and it translates into her

shows. There is vulnerability and sincerity in her

live performances whether Thomas is playing a

solo set or with a full band. “I hadn’t really written

an original song up until that point. But you

can’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring,

you know? You gotta make your own work.”

For the release in Edmonton, Thomas will be

by Emily MacDonald

playing with a full band but also has some solo

sets booked in Calgary and Victoria leading up to

the release date. “I’ve collaborated with a lot of

really amazing musicians over the last few years,”

Thomas says, “But these days I’m pretty focused

on establishing myself as a solo artist. Consistency

is difficult without a steady crew of players and

the economic challenge of traveling with a full

band is tricky. So I’ve been reimagining the full

band sound into a solo performance with a synth

and a sampler. It’s fun exploring new sonic possibilities,

and liberating to be self-sufficient.”

Exclaim! premiered the music video for lead

single “What If/I Wish” and if you haven’t seen

it already, it’s a moving celebration of people

in Edmonton’s arts community doing what

they love, shot by Dylan Howard and edited by

Thomas. “For some people it’s more clear than

for others and for some people it’s a bit more

vague, but that love is people doing things they

really enjoy, and being engaged in what they’re

doing and dedicating their time to,” Thomas

says. And for Cayley Thomas that is making music.

“You always hear people say, ‘do what makes

you happy,’ but really, if you don’t, then things

might not turn out so well. It’s about what we

are all working towards, what makes it worth it

for people.”

Check out Cayley Thomas’s album release on April

16th at The Needle Vinyl Tavern in Edmonton with

Bud Frasier and the Electric Razors & The Archaics.

VAN HALST

goth rock takes on feminism, body image and more with impressive debut

Van Halst returns to Alberta after a mission out east.

Kami Van Halst knew she was passionate

about singing from a very young age.

“My earliest memory of wanting to sing professionally

was kindergarten when they couldn’t get

me off the stage at a school performance. I was the

loudest kid in the Christmas tree, that’s for sure,” she

laughs. “I really liked being onstage and I have such a

vivid memory of that. My mom has it on tape, and

photo: Renee Robyn

that’s when my parents started noticing my affinity

for the stage.”

BeatRoute could easily hear the smile in her voice

when we chatted on the phone about the debut

album, World of Make Believe, an impressive effort

from the goth rock quintet sharing her last name.

What began as a solo project quickly evolved into

a full band concept, loudly sharing their notion of

social justice with the world.

As a collaborative creative, Van Halst has been

working with guitarist Scott Greene in the music

world from an early age. It was Greene who opened

her eyes to this music.

“While I was in university I was in a couple of

bands. Cover bands, bands that went nowhere and

I was frustrated. I was taking guitar lessons from

Scott at the time and he suggested we write some

music. We started writing songs that were intended

for me as a solo, hard rock, alternative rock project.

The songs turned out to be really good, but we were

missing something. After a few voice lessons in New

York and Los Angeles, I began sprinkling screamo into

our music. That’s when we felt this would be a better

fit as a full band as opposed to a solo artist. It’s been a

long journey.”

Growing up in Edmonton and experiencing prairie

culture has no doubt served Van Halst well since her

recent move to Toronto to help further the band. Especially

when it comes to writing about social justice

issues like mental health, religion, domestic abuse and

more. She even partnered up with her sister, Brittney

Grabills, to write two tracks on the new album.

“Questions” is one of the two co-written by Grabills

and seeks to address the issue of victim blaming.

“A few years ago, there were a bunch of women

who were getting assaulted in an alleyway on the

south side. We got the idea for the song when a

person in a prominent position (I can’t remember

by Brittany Rudyck

who it was in this moment) basically said, ‘Well, what

were they doing there in the first place?’ They were,

in my opinion, putting the onus on the women and

that they shouldn’t have been there. We wanted to

song to literally be questions to get people thinking

about victim blaming. ‘What was she wearing?’ ‘Was

she by herself?’”

The song is a haunting and pretty ballad, but darkly

confronts the issue at hand with a husky whisper

before crashing into heavier riffs and louder, angrier

yelling. A beautiful exploration of an ugly subject.

The rest of the album stays on a similar track, with

chaotic, yet articulate howls, and sombre, moody

guitar. They seem to be compared to Evanescence a

fair bit, but with an added layer of crispness with Ms.

Van Halst’s screamo vocals and obvious stabs into

social justice.

Van Halst are taking the album on the road across

Canada beginning April with an album release party

in their hometown of Edmonton, which they haven’t

visited since moving east last summer.

“I noticed once we stepped into the Edmonton

metal scene, we were recognized right away. So, it’s

small, but it’s a closer community.”

Don’t miss the album release party for World of

Make Believe on April 2nd at Filthy McNasty’s in

Edmonton. Canadian Extreme Metal Radio has them

headlining MetalFest at Overtime Sport’s Bar in

Calgary on April 29th!

34 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


LATCHO DROM

post punk quintet releases a seething new tape

After years of playing musical chairs with their

members, Latcho Drom seem to finally have

a line-up cemented. For now, that is.

Longest-standing members, guitarist and vocalist

Elliot Schelske and bassist Matthew Gooding, sat down

with BeatRoute to talk about their tape release for

Don’t Measure, Cut Yourself. The conversation took

turns toward Star Trek, Valentine’s Day proposals on the

High Level Bridge and Edmonton’s developing Ice District.

Outrageous topics not unlike their eclectic sound.

Think lots of screaming and spoken word style vocals,

eccentric guitar work and balancing keyboards.

Since their inception somewhere around 2013, Latcho

Drom have been writing and recording, but never

really seemed to get anything off the ground.

“We got together as a band and members

changed, then members changed again,” Schelske

explains. “About a year ago, the band kind of fell

apart after we recorded an album that we never

got to release. Then, at the end of the summer,

the original drummer got back in touch with me.

I wasn’t doing anything with Latcho Drom, and it

all went from there. In the fall we started jamming

regularly and came up with a bunch of songs and

recorded in January.”

Don’t Measure, Cut Yourself is the fruit of their

labours, and is ripe with references to falling in love and

various social commentaries. Their first single, “Shit

District” reflects on the evolution of the downtown Edmonton

core. A punk rock spoken word commentary

with scratchy guitar and frantic work on the high hat,

“Shit District” articulates a point of contention for some

since the City of Edmonton’s decision to move forward

with Rogers Place.

“The song is about the Ice District,” divulges

Schelske, who goes on to claim, “Moneyed interests

push around their influence at the expense of

democracy and the people who live in certain communities.”

While expanding that “It’s also about how

by Brittany Rudyck

just because you market something doesn’t mean it

actually has any personality or meaning. Things that

become cool and awesome aren’t built to become

that way. The community will latch on to those

things that represent it.”

The rest of the album follows suit, with catchy guitar

hooks, honest vocal delivery and no filters. While there

is certain imagery used within the album, there isn’t

necessarily a unifying theme.

“One of the goals with Latcho Drom when I started

was I didn’t want to create cohesive albums. I just

wanted to write songs that were good to listen to on

their own. When I had enough songs to put together an

album, I released them that way. But there are certain

themes that come up on the album. Being in love and

drug addiction come up a couple times. But so does

reading Wikipedia,” says Schelske.

As for the new line-up making everything possible?

Schelske reconnected with Gooding and drummer

Aaron de Leon after their time away from the project.

With the addition of Corey Polo on keyboards and

David Letersky as the second guitarist, they’ve found

their band.

When asked about their unique band name, Gooding

and Schelske both encouraged people to pronounce

it however they choose.

Says Schelske: “Originally it was a film I saw about

gypsy musicians in Europe by a French fellow. The

visuals were so stunning, I just never really forgot them.

When we got the band together, we needed a name.

You can’t apply to festivals without a name. So it was

the 11th hour and I suggested that one. I liked it because

it didn’t have any associations for English people,

more or less. As far as I know, it means ‘safe journey’ in

the language of the gypsies.”

They don’t play a lot of shows, so catch Latcho Drom

April 1st at the Alley in Edmonton for their tape release

with Counterfeit Jeans, I Hate Sex and Surf Dads.

However you want to say it, Latcho Drom is finally ready for their proper debut.

photo: Shane Hauser

Shout Out Out Out, Teledrome, BOOSH

The Needle

March 12, 2016

Do you feel electrical? After a two-year hiatus

of performing live shows in Edmonton, Shout

Out Out Out Out came back with a bang

in celebration of Edmonton’s newest venue,

The Needle. Accompanied by Calgary’s

Teledrome, and Edmonton’s own BOOSH, the

show was a long-awaited mega dream.

No other venue could have housed the

show better than The Needle. For one, the

size of the party was unsurprisingly gigantic.

The sound was phenomenal, with every

instrument perfectly mixed. In the case of the

opening act BOOSH, this came as a major

advantage. Frontman Brett Klein engaged the

audience with his live chip-tunes as his two

drummers kept the rhythm. The high notes

were never drowned out by not only one, but

two drummers. This show had a lot of drum

sets. Headliners Shout Out Out Out Out also

featured the use of two transparent drum kits.

Along with a plethora of drums, there was

a plethora of energy. Between the combined

stage presence of the bands, and dancing,

shouting fans, there wasn’t a quiet moment.

Band members were jumping around as

much as (if not more than) the crowd. The

atmosphere was a happy, sweaty bliss of

sorts. Every band had charisma that was

emphasized by this atmosphere. The stage

became less of a stage, and rather bands

and fans became one hyper energy, gaining

momentum as the show went on.

Teledrome got the crowd super stoked,

pre-headliner, with their short, intense pop

songs. Keyboard player Jamie Fooks-Sadler

truly thrived from the bright lights and

intense drum beat. They moved around the

stage, played keys phenomenally, and eventually

introduced a well-coordinated head bob

during their hit “Boyfriend.”

After Teledrome, Shout Out Out Out Out

really brought the noise. Immediately as

frontman Nik Kozub started introducing the

band, the crowd followed by chanting “Shout

Out Out Out Out!” Saxophonist Brett Miles

jumped onstage to play along on “Never the

Same Way Twice.”

The highly anticipated party didn’t fail to

be a great one, a dream come true for any fan

of 2000s Canadian electronic dance punk. It

was well-deserved payoff for Clint Frazier, the

drummer of Shout, and his crew of painters

who finished work on the venue just days

before. Although it is new, the Needle will

house an important part in Edmonton’s

musical development, just as Shout Out Out

Out Out has.

• review and photo: Haley Pukanski

ROCKPILE

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 35


JUCY

SANCTUMS

pioneering electronic duo returns with unlikely LP by Colin Gallant

LET’S

Electronic music in Calgary is suddenly a recognizable conversation

piece again. Apologies to be the millionth writer

to say so, but we’ve attracted some press in the last year

or so. THUMP did an in-depth overview of the scene, Beatport

called us one of the 13 cities to watch, and isn’t it Tourism Calgary’s

Year of Music right now?

Sanctums are in the distinct company of being used to this. Not

that they take their position for granted—Dan Solo and Evangelos

Lambrinoudis were nothing but generous and without pretence

during the interviews conducted for this story—but any Calgarian

whose first meaningful encounter with electronic music in Calgary

wasn’t at Chasing Summer probably shared a life-affirming night out

with one of its members.

Over nearly 10 years working together, — “[Evangelos] was

probably 17… He booked me for my first ever show in Calgary,”

remembers Solo — the two have been known by many an alias and

have been progenitors for events, even entire sub-cultures. A lightning

round version reads like this: both fostered bass culture in the

city with their DIY Modern Math club nights and label. Solo has appeared

regularly throughout Western Canada both under his name

and as Slope. Lambrinoudis has thrived as Corinthian and runs Deep

Sea Mining Syndicate, a cassette label and boutique booking fancy.

Their work as Sanctums came from a rejection of the mainstreaming

of a culture than had been nurtured at Modern Math.

“We’re going to make anti-club music, and we’re just going to do

something totally different — for us,” Lambrinoudis remembers

saying. A few MIDI controllers and releases later, Sanctums found

themselves on the cover of now-defunct FFWD Weekly, and with a

prestigious spot at Red Bull Music Academy’s MUTEK event in 2014.

Not a small news event that year in Calgary, it was also the year that

Sanctums stopped performing and releasing music.

Until now, at least. New LP Migrant Workers began almost by

chance when Solo had to come to Calgary on business and had offtime

that coincided with Lambrinoudis’s schedule.

The record is a nearly inscrutable, dystopian melting pot of

personal, political and fantastical sonic bodies that bear no resemblance

to other music in Calgary, or anywhere else.

Dan Solo and Evangelos Lambrinoudis return as Sanctums with Migrant Workers

JUICY

“I was going through one experience and he was going through

another. We started building up this fantasy, almost sci-fi, cyberpunk

storyline – as a metaphor to tell the story of our relations to each

other, and our relations to our family and what was going on in

our lives. So we had this idea of a movie that we wanted to write,

and instead of writing the movie we just wrote the soundtrack,”

remembers Solo.

Adds Lambrinous, “When we were able to channel that into this

album, that was the ultimate catharsis of the feelings we had, and

feeling so far away from the things that we love.”

The reasons for the break in Sanctums’ activity are a paradox of

complicated simplicity. The two have an instantaneous dynamic

that escapes time and place. Both the problem of making, and the

inspiration for, Migrant Workers comes from the fact that the two

have rarely been in the same place at the same time.

Imagine the greyest, coldest place in the world. Solo and Lambrounidis

have both been there. Though never at the same time or

at the exact same place, both understand the loneliness of being

a worker in Alberta’s brutally isolating oilpatch environment —

hence, the title. They decided on it well ahead of the album’s actual

creation, when Lambrinoudis spent a few days visiting Solo en route

to China.

This thematic groundwork later became something more nuanced.

The recording process of Migrant Workers came much later

and saw the two working in new fields of equipment, fidelity and

physicality. Expansive in mood and sudden in its release, the album

is both a culmination of Sanctums’ past and a subtle question of its

future.

Solo has announced plans to return to Calgary where Lambrinoudis

resides on a full-time basis. No live plans have been detailed.

Migrant Workers is as much a question of what Sanctums will do

next as it as an answer to where they’ve been, and that question is as

tantalizing as its unpredictable answer.

Sanctums’ new album Migrant Workers comes out on April 8th via

Modern Math. Get a taste with single “All Around Us,” available the

same day on BeatRoute.ca

photo: Bryce Maruk

GET JUCY

Bear Mountain

Ah, April. Summer festivals dropping their lineups, the collective joy

of thousands of forest ravers approaching and the university school

year rapidly coming to an end. It’s your first taste of the prospect of

summer, with all of its outdoor shows and Bow River floats to come. Use it

as your opportunity to spend a little more time out and about in our fair

city. Here’s everything you need to know to keep it Jucy this month.

The beginning of April coincides with the onset of JUNOfest. One way to

enjoy it is with a set from Merkules, who makes a prompt return after his March

show with a set at Broken City alongside Snak the Ripper and Rich Aucoin on

April 2nd.

There’s another JUNOfest event worth your time that night at the Hifi,

featuring Humans, Willa, and a DJ set from k-os. If you’re unsure what that will

be like, you’ll just have to go and see it for yourself.

One last choice that day is Toronto’s Digital Soundboy and junglist warrior

Marcus Visionary. Give them some signal at the Nite Owl.

The Hifi, as always, has an absolutely stellar and diverse bevy of shows for our

enjoyment this month. For those unfamiliar, their A-Trak booking is kind of a

big deal. Perhaps one of Canada’s most prolific DJs, he is known for being the

first to win all three major DJ titles. He was the youngest and the first Canadian

winner to take the coveted DMC World Championship at only 15 years old. He

was also a member of the legend status DJ crew Invisibl Skratch Piklz with Qbert

and Mix Master Mike. He is also the owner of Fool’s Gold Records and was none

other than Yeezus’s personal tour DJ. All that and more at the Hifi on April 7th.

A very exciting up-and-coming, mysterious musician is playing an early

show at the—you guessed it—Hifi on April 9th. Allan Rayman’s combination

of deeply soulful vocals sung over tasteful, down-tempo, electronic

beats are not to be missed, and are sure to skyrocket him to success. Not to

be missed, seriously.

Another very special show this month is London’s Quantic, bringing his

Tropical Elevation World Tour to the beautiful Banff Centre on the 10th. He

combines multiple musical elements including a healthy dose of jazz into a

very danceable concoction. The Jucy team just got back from the Convergence

Residency at The Banff Centre and we can assure you that it’s worth the trip.

Boston’s smooth house producers, mixers and re-interpreters Soul Clap

make a very rare appearance at the Hifi on the 14th. Call it a master class on the

evolution of disco.

On the 16th, again at the Hifi, Dirtybird Records’ rising star Ardalan will be

throwing down his particular brand of bouncy house beats.

At the Commonwealth on the 16th, Vancouver’s electro/indie band Bear

Mountain will be showcasing their charming live sounds.

Legendary U.K. breaks outfit The Freestylers will be rocking Wild Bill’s Legendary

Saloon in Banff on the 18th. Push up!

Dark dubstep dons Truth will be doing their best to hit the mythical

brown note alongside super hype bad-gyal Whipped Cream for Bassface

2016 at the Marquee.

• Paul Rodgers

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 37


SOULJABERTA PARTY

province-wide network of producers team up for good times

Last month BeatRoute premiered something

weird and wonderful. Edmonton’s Hood Joplin

and Calgary’s Barnaby Bennett rounded up

some other Albertan producers and each produced

a beat made from the Soulja Boy sample pack in

under 30 minutes. It was half joke, half a way to

strengthen ties between the often-isolated scenes

in the province. Now, in the same spirit of bringing

musicians together, the pair has organized a club

night at Good Luck Bar on Friday, April 22nd, which

BeatRoute will be proud to co-present. We called

up Hood Joplin to enquire further on both silly and

serious subjects.

“I take everything very seriously,” she says. By the

time the SOULJALBERTA compilation had reached

its apex and was cited in a scholarly article, she worried

that it had gone too far and that the humourous

nature of the project would overshadow the

artistry of the musicians involved. The forthcoming

party is partly an opportunity to flex the muscle

behind the memes.

Hood Joplin has made many efforts to unite artists.

From her early days at the Rude Haus DIY venue

to her slot on Manicure Records, starting an inclusive,

multi-disciplinary series called carepackage and

often driving back and forth between Edmonton

and Calgary in under a day to check out music.

You may be wondering why we haven’t disclosed

her name. “It’s not a branding thing. I like my name,

it’s who I am, but I’d like prefer it not out there,“ she

says. It’s a sad fact that electronic music still carries

a stigma of being drug-fuelled and hedonist. HJ is

quick to note that “I spend 90 per cent of my time

in my house by myself making music to post online.

I’m not some party monster who’s out all the time.”

Another issue she’s faced in the electronic music

world is a lack of comfortable, safe spaces for women,

queer folks and anyone else who isn’t a white,

male heterosexual. The recent carepackage party

aimed to provide an alternative to this, and “had like

400 people there and there wasn’t a single fight, not

a single incident. I didn’t see a single unhappy face.

It turned out exactly how we wanted it to.“

HJ is always working, and already has a new

release since the SOULJALBERTA comp. Her Masala

EP touches on some of her Pakistani heritage and is

something of an ode to her father for instilling that

culture in her. It’s a dreamy blend of footwork beats

and Bollywood samples that soothes as much as it

titillates. HJ is a first generation immigrant of blended

ancestry, and the range of influences she’s been

exposed to is apparent in her ever changing output.

“I just do what I feel. I can’t really force it. Like

I try to like flip out and be like ‘ok, make a fuckin’

Future type beat,’ and I can’t just like sit there and

do that — it just has to come out.”

As for next month’s party, it’s partly about showcasing

up-and-coming Albertan talent, partly about

no-bullshit good times and partly about presenting

an array of musical styles as equally valid and

important.

Check out Hood Joplin, Barnaby Bennett, Bob Dylan,

Sven K and Tendencies at Good Luck Bar on April 22nd.

The SOULJALBERTA compilation is streaming now at

BeatRoute.ca.

by Colin Gallant

KYTAMI

showcasing the versatility of dance music

photo: Sandy Rossignol

One of the greatest things about dance music is its seemingly

infinite diversity. When it comes to producing electronic

sounds for people to dance to, who’s to say what you

can or cannot incorporate? Vancouver-born, Victoria-based Kyla

Tamiko LeBlanc, who blended her first and middle names to form

her stage name Kytami, also blended her extensive training in the

violin/fiddle with her love of electronic music into a very unique

and invigorating sound.

Trained from the ages of three to 17 at the Vancouver Academy

of Music in classical violin, LeBlanc further honed her skills and developed

a talent on the fiddle playing in a Celtic pub called the Dubh

Linn Gate. She got her taste for the festival circuit and playing to ravebased

audiences when she co-founded Delhi 2 Dublin. In 2006, she

decided that she needed to branch out, and left the group to pursue

her solo career.

“We don’t speak,” she states flatly. When asked if we can delve a

little deeper, she exclaims through playful laughter, “You can try!” She

manages to diplomatically sum it up as follows:

“Artistic differences…” she recalls. “I felt like it was weird - there

were these four guys and me, and being the only girl in a group

with quite strong opinions that started to not really gel and I think

just looking back on it now they were really headed in a different

direction than what I wanted to do or what I want to accomplish.

They’re sort of more on this funk, East Indian vibe and I come from

a punk-rock, drum and bass, hip-hop background and that was

awesome for a time, but I guess I just needed to go explore the

potential of my own vision.”

Kytami’s live shows are a torrential outburst of energy. The show

consists of her on her fiddle, Deriek “Dirty” Simon (of Victoria’s

rock band SpaceBoots) as the MC or “hype man” and producer/DJ

Phonik Ops.

“I think people really react to us because our set is like a DJ set,”

by Paul Rodgers

LeBlanc explains. “All the songs are mixed together, we don’t stop

in between tracks. It’s a seamless DJ set, yet we’re bringing a totally

live energy and an experience to the stage, so I think people are

digging that. “

She has also been working with Phonik Ops on an album for over a

year now and describes the process as “very challenging.” As a group

that straddles the realms of electronic producers and live bands, they

know the struggles of keeping up with the immense flow of production

that electronic producers are able to release, while battling with

the complexities of the musical composition that goes into their work.

“I don’t want to rush it. I don’t want to just chuck stuff out there

that I’m not 100 per cent happy with,” states LeBlanc. She explains that

a big progression in her production process came with getting her

own studio space in Victoria and having Phonik Ops come in and help

get it set up. While they do butt heads, “constantly,” LeBlanc cheekily

explains that, “we have a common goal, and that’s what keeps us going,

really. We both have the same vision that we want to accomplish.”

True to her varied musical background, the album will be an amalgamation

of multiple genres and tempos that LeBlanc is into including

drum and bass, breaks and hip hop.

“I still draw on all of them today,” states LeBlanc speaking on her

musical influences. “They all come from an authentic and meaningful

place to me, and I never set out to be like, ‘this is what my music’s

going to sound like.’”

While the release date for the album is still uncertain, Kytami’s

enthusiastic and deeply skilled approach to her craft, combined with

the dynamic musicians she has working with her at the moment, will

no doubt continue her on an upwards trajectory.

You can experience Kytami firsthand on her Alberta mini-tour in Calgary

on April 27th at Dickens, Edmonton on April 28th at the Mercury Room,

Red Deer on April 29 at the Vat Pub in Lethbridge on April 30 at TBA.

38 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE JUICY


ROOTS

JASON COLLETT

latest album like ‘letting go on a rollercoaster’

Jason Collett doesn’t mind a few beautiful happy accidents in his artist process.

On embarking on his first Western Canada

tour in three years, Jason Collett says he

took his time with his new record, Song

And Dance Man, in part because he “had a certain

ambivalence about tossing something else into the

gaping maw of the new masters.”

photo: Isis Essery

“We used to tour to support records, it seems

now that we’re making records to support the

endless touring,” says Collett from his home in

Toronto, the happy noise of little kids in the background.

“I haven’t been out on the road in a few

years, and that’s okay with me, I like being home.

I’ve been really fortunate with licensing deals in

that I’m able to stay home and work. I like that. I

get to be home with my kids, and concentrate on

writing songs.”

Collett’s break from touring has given him some

perspective on the things younger artists need to

do to get the word out. The title track on Song

And Dance Man cleverly addresses some of the

issues and demands facing artists today, making

“light-hearted jabs” at the contemporary music

machine, streaming services, and social media,

“but jabs nonetheless.”

Collett finds himself “too antiquated for social

media. I feel phony doing it; like a used car salesman.

No one needs to see what I had for breakfast.

You see young artists, and they’re good at the

whole thing, but mostly to me, it feels like they’re

obligated to participate in creating their own

mythology.”

Song And Dance Man is a departure from his

past output, the barroom swagger of his earlier

releases replaced by a certain lightness, a laid back

funky vibe he attributes to a certain playfulness

in the studio among the band. Produced by Afie

Jurvanen, (best known as Bahamas), Song And

Dance Man found Collett letting the band dictate

the groove, which took the songs to places he

hadn’t imagined.

“There was a lack of pre-production this time. I

started with about three albums’ worth of songs,

and Afie and I went through them, each picking

by Michael Dunn

the ones we wanted to do for sure, and the ones

we didn’t agree on, we had to push to have included.

So when we went in, I’d play the basic idea of

the song twice, that was enough for the band to

pick it up. Then when we’d count it off, I’d play up

until the vocal came in, and then I’d stop playing,

and let the back lead it. It’s a different dynamic,

the band usually follows the vocalist, but with me

letting go, it’s like, I become more a part of the

band and just let it go wherever it decided. It’s like

a roller coaster, there are dramatic changes and

twists, and you have no choice but to go with it.”

The decision to let the band lead the way can be

mostly credited to what Collett calls, “a confluence

of relationships, long in the making.” Including

Jurvanen on bass, Rheostatics drummer Don Kerr,

and “secret weapon” Christine Bougie on lap steel

and guitar. This band of heavy hitters inspired

Collett to let the unpredictability of recording just

happen.

“When you go in, if you haven’t thought about

the result too much, you’re more prepared for the

beautiful happy accidents of making music.”

Jason Collett plays an onslaught of Western Canada

dates in April and May. Catch him at the Fox Cabaret

in Vancouver on April 26th, at Festival Hall in Calgary

on May 2nd, at the Mercury Room in Edmonton on

May 3rd, at Amigo’s in Saskatoon on May 4th or in

at The Good Will in Winnipeg on May 5th. His many

other dates are available online.

SHUYLER JANSEN

singer-songwriter coming home to Alberta in support of ‘The Long Shadow’

There’s a lot to be said for having a record on the shelf. Young

people start hanging out at shows, and eventually make

friends with the older scenesters, “who were there, back in

the day,” and glean some pointers on the history of the scenes they

live in. Everyone in Alberta alt-country circles knows about Corb

Lund, and we’re currently seeing a reborn and rejuvenated Jr. Gone

Wild hitting clubs and festivals throughout the west. Certainly as

noteworthy and highly regarded are the albums of Old Reliable,

and the current work of that band’s two main songwriters, Mark

Davis and Shuyler Jansen.

Davis has kept busy making records of his own and with Edmonton

“heavy wave” duo Concealer, Jansen has been crossing the west

as a family man, from Edmonton to Saskatoon, and finally to North

Vancouver, while continuing to make records, such as 2007’s Today’s

Remains, produced by Steve Dawson, and 2011’s Voice From The Lake,

which found Jansen’s proclivity for experimentation welcomed more

strongly by Vancouver producers David Carswell and John Collins.

Never the type to stick to one source of inspiration, Jansen enlisted

a formidable lineup of Western Canadian roots musicians to make his

latest record, The Long Shadow, in order to bring to life his dramatic

alchemy of country-folk, synth pop, and spacey stoner rock. Having

players like Kacy & Clayton, Ryan Boldt and Chris Mason of The Deep

Dark Woods, Old Reliable drummer Mike Silverman, and Calgary expat

Paul Rigby on steel made Jansen’s mixture all the more potent, and

The Long Shadow has earned high marks from critics across Canada.

“I had the bare bones of this record when we set up in Wakaw,”

says Jansen, referring to a cabin in the rural Saskatchewan town

where a lot of the album was recorded. “It was a nice setting, we

set up all the gear and played as much as we wanted, we cooked

big meals together. When we finished there, David (Carswell) and I

ROOTS

took it to Vancouver to put the finishing touches on it and mix it.”

With making and producing records their foremost concern, Jansen

and Boldt, along with Kacy & Clayton and a few other close friends

and artists have banded together to start Big White Cloud Records,

a small label they hope will allow them to always have an outlet with

which to create and produce music, outside of the larger independents

they find themselves working with more and more often these

days. “Well, say we write some songs, and it doesn’t exactly fit with

what the label’s working on with the Woods, or with Kacy & Clayton,

or with Jayne Trimble, we can record that stuff, together, and put it

out with Big White Cloud. It’s nice for us, artistically, to have a home

we can come back to.”

While certainly not as busy on the road as he was back in the days

when Old Reliable was one of Western Canada’s hardest working

bands, Jansen has kept busy, producing Kacy & Clayton’s album

Strange Country, and last appearing in Alberta in December, backing

up Ryan Boldt on bass, as well as Kacy & Clayton, with Silverman

on drums. “It’s pretty cool you know?” Jansen says. “Mike and I have

been playing together since we were 14 years old, trying to sound like

Danko and Levon. Now that we’re a bit older, we get a lot closer to

that than we did back then.”

For this short run through Alberta, Jansen promises, along with the

rhythm section of Silverman and Chris Mason, and Edmonton singer

and multi-instrumentalist Amy Van Keeken, to stretch the songs out

live, with “the possibility of exploding My Bloody Valentine volume

and ruminations on a single squalling chord.”

Shuyler Jansen plays a CKUA live taping on April 29th at The Oilsands

Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray, and in Calgary, May 1st, at Nite

Owl (downstairs).

by Mike Dunn

photo: Jill Kinaschuk

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 41


AIDAN KNIGHT

talking through his anxieties and embracing his creative output

Fresh off of the release of his album Each Other,

Aidan Knight is on tour in Europe and getting

ready to return to North America for its second

leg, but despite rave reviews and having released two

records prior, he’s still learning to keep his anxiety

and doubt at bay.

“…It hasn’t gotten easier. That will most likely be

the thing that makes me stop releasing [music],” says

Knight. The fear of sharing something you created is

something everyone experiences in life, but few of us

make art as intricate and deliberate as Aidan Knight.

Knight revealed to Exclaim earlier this year that he nearly

gave up Each Other before its completion. Releasing

the album was an exercise in letting go for Knight, but

his perfectionism runs through every track.

Despite the chaos of the album’s formation, he shows

no signs of stopping. Overseas, he has found something

he didn’t know he was missing and losing what he

describes as his own “self-importance.”

Each Other is a record about reaching out to others,

and it’s a theme that Knight is still exploring in his personal

life. The record comes from the lens of personal

reflectivity, but demonstrates an inherent longing for

personal connection therein. Fortunately, his tour mates

perform these introspective songs with a “touchy feely”

approach and explore the songs to “take it all in.”

Knight hopes listeners are able to connect to the

music in the same way. To him, reviews and discussion

of the album might be insightful, but ultimately the

success or failure is in listening to and experiencing the

by Trent Warner

music. He wants people to move to the music both

literally and figuratively. To him, that means, “[shaking]

their ass” or “[changing] their perspective.” It’s about

Each Other.

“I am hoping for that perfect marriage of a show that

feels great but you walk away not understanding every

single thing that happened onstage,” says Knight.

It’s interesting for a person who seems so concerned

with meticulous craftsmanship to be even more concerned

audience reception, but for Knight the music is a

medium for connection and communication.

On Each Other standout “The Arp” he writes: “What

a life that we have lived/ And we’ll live it again.” While

the creation of this album might have been tumultuous,

the experience seems to have provided Knight with a

quiet confidence and a yearning to push himself and his

music in bold new directions. Having now seen Germany,

Norway, Denmark, France, Italy and Spain, Knight

notes that he finding himself increasingly more capable

of fitting himself into a worldwide musical context.

Aidan Knight has a strong, eye on his releases and

this is clear throughout his body of work. On Each Other,

he trades in previous investment in atmosphere and

raw emotion for faithful indie rock that ties in strong

instrumentation and the rugged pursuit of theme.

Aidan Knight plays Winnipeg’s Good Will Social Club

on April 22, Calgary’s Palomino Smokehouse and Social

Club on April 27, and Vancouver’s Biltmore Cabaret on

April 29.

DAVID MYLES

on his new style and sharing his music

David Myles used “The Big Share” to get his music out in an unconventional way.

by Robyn Welsh

photo: Riley Smith

Aidan Knight reveals how his record Each Other almost didn’t happen.

photo: Brian Van Wyk

David Myles has explored the world of

music through listening to different

genres and making records spontaneously,

amalgamating whatever music he

surrounds himself with at any given time. His

new EP, Here Now, is fittingly how he feels both

here and now. A take on contemporary pop

music sewn together with Motown, Smokey

Robinson, and classic soul, Here Now, is the

musical offspring of Myles with frequent

collaborator, Halifax based hip-hop artist and

producer, Classified.

When Myles declined a job offer in the early

2000s in order to pursue music professionally, he

started by attending every open mic in every bar

or coffee shop that would have him. From there,

he gained enough traction and confidence to go

on tour. He kept rolling, and hasn’t stopped since.

But that’s just the kind of musician David Myles is

— fueled with a dedication and passion for music

off all styles and origins.

Now an established folk artist, Myles is a consummate

professional. When he is not listening to

music, he is puzzling the backbones of new songs.

Once Myles develops a compelling new idea, he

takes it to Classified, and together they bring it to

life. In speaking to BeatRoute, Myles says that he

and Classified gain a lot from each other. “We kind

of build on each other’s energy and we are both

real music fans and enthusiastic and like to work

hard but we come from totally different musical

worlds.” Their differences come together in the EP

to break new ground for both artists.

Here Now will be formally released on

April 8th, but Myles wanted a creative and

contemporary way to release the EP, and thus,

gave birth to “The Big Share.” This modern

album launch has roots in his exploration of

the historical movements of pop. The ultimate

purpose of “The Big Share” is for people to

share music and the way that it makes them

feel with others. In March, the album was given

to five super-fans who have since shared it with

their friends, who shared it with their friends,

eventually sending the EP all across the world.

It’s an exercise in six degrees of separation,

demonstrating how connected we are, but

also how music connects and brings people

together. Until the official release on April 8th,

anyone can go online and track the progress of

the EP as it floods new ears around the world,

and perhaps if you are keenly connected you

can scope it out for yourself and put yourself

on Myles’ neon-coloured map on his website.

Myles hopes that listeners can find optimism

and hope within his music. “In the ideal world, it

probably sounds cliché or idealistic, but I really

want people to feel connected to one another,” he

says, “what’s so beautiful about music is that it can

really pull people together.” And if readers ever

need proof of that, David Myles has empirically

proven it with an ambitious sharing project. Oh,

and the music is pretty good as well.

David Myles plays several rural Albertan theatres

from April 7th to 16th including TransCanada

Theatre in Olds on the 13th, Horizon Stage on the

15th, and Bert Church on the 16th.

42 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE ROOTS


SHRAPNEL

BEGRIME EXEMIOUS

Edmonton death squad

by Sarah Kitteringham

Begrime released The Enslavement Conquest on March 4th via Dark Descent.

photo: Riley Hoogstraten Morden

The first time BeatRoute interviewed Edmonton’s Begrime

Exemious in July 2013, it was shortly after being introduced to

the band’s venomous style of crusty death metal. At the time,

their release pace was impressive; they were on the verge of releasing

yet another 7-inch via the now defunct Fuel Injected Records and

touring.

To this day, the mantra of work hard, play harder has remained unchanged,

meaning their sound has been honed for the better and their

notoriety has increased dramatically.

This is particularly evident on their third full-length; the Dark Descent

Records release The Enslavement Conquest. Released in March of this

year, the 10-track rager has groovy interludes and effortless jackhammer

fills alongside dramatically variant pacing, and features considerably

better production than previous efforts. In addition, there is a decreased

emphasis on their black metal roots, giving it a (dare I say) melodic death

metal edge.

Unlike on their previous full-length Visions of the Scourge, Enslavement…

features guitarist Derek Orthner on double duty as provider of

growls and howls. Alongside second guitarist F. Thibaudeau, the two

provide a dual vocal assault “much like Carcass.”

Given that our first conversation went swimmingly – resulting in Orthner

hilariously and infamously declaring, “everyone is an asshole” – we

figured we should let his words be printed as is again this time around,

only editing for length.

BeatRoute: To start, it sounds like a voice box or some sort

of distortion voice effect in the beginning of “Conscription

Woes,” the fifth track on the album. What the heck is that?

Derek Orthner: Those are actually guitar leads with some heavy wah

pedal.

BR: In terms of an effect, were you attempting to create some

SHRAPNEL

atmosphere, or was it something you were just trying out?

DO: It just felt natural to put some sort of Bolt Thrower-esque lead there,

and to me it feels like the impending fate of being conscripted for war as

it squeezes onto your mental awareness.

BR: In terms of that being a lyrical choice, why? That’s not a

reality we know anymore... and by “we” I mean us as privileged

Canadians.

DO: I based it off of the novel The Forever War (1974) by Joe Haldeman.

In it, Earth is engaging in a war with alien species, deep in the universe.

They draft all the strongest and most intelligent humans for the battle,

who become prime war machines. However, because the best human resources

have all been devoted to war, civilization on Earth regresses as a

whole, and when the soldiers return, they feel like they no longer belong,

and thus are forever committed to war.

BR: Are much of your lyrics based on science fiction on this

album?

DO: This is the first [full-length] album that I’ve been the vocalist on

[after he sang on the January 2015 split release with Flash Out], and of

course with that I had to think of lyrical themes I wanted to write about.

Our lyrics have always been rooted in horror, but coming more from

morbid viewpoint. I wanted to keep that theme of horror, but since I

read a lot of sci-fi novels, they took on topics like warfare and dystopian

societies. For example, [the third track] “Transcendence” is based off of

[the 1974 novel] Flow My Tears, the Police Man Said by Philip K. Dick,

and it’s about a drug-induced reality in a police state. [Track six] “Subconscious

Nemesis” was influenced by the Foundation series by Isaac

Asimov, and is about mind control.

BR: Aside from that, the production on this album is just WAY

better than on previous material - is that something you guys

were consciously working towards?

DO: Absolutely. When I mixed [the band’s 2012 full-length] Visions of

the Scourge, I was very inexperienced. In the four years between, I spent

as much time as possible recording my friends’ bands, side projects, and

of course, the handful of shorter Begrime releases we did. We’re DIY

guys, so it’s never going to sound over-produced and sterile. That being

said, we’re always learning and trying new things to make our sound

leave a heavier mark.

BR: Musically, you guys seem to have had a vision since day

one - even the music on your debut Impending Funeral of Man

feels cohesive. You’ve got a similar approach, but as discussed

your production and tones have cleaned up nicely. In terms of

your musical approach, you guys have always felt focused. Do

you see things as having changed? If so, where are you at with

musical evolution this late in the game?

DO: There are definitely changes present in our music, but much of the

approach is the same. We’ve always worked together as a unit when it

comes to songwriting, so that helps maintain a sense of cohesiveness

throughout our material, but at the same time, things have evolved.

[Lineup changes] have had their impact, and often leads to other members

stepping up their contributions to the creative process. I feel we’ve

shed a lot of our black metal influences (but not quite all of them) and

emphasized early ‘90s death metal with a healthy dose of thrash on this

latest record. Our core sound is understood, but at the same time, we

want to keep things fresh and exciting.

Begrime plays Manitoba Metalfest on Friday, April 15th alongside

Terrorizer, Immortal Possession, Flash Out and Plague. You can also see

Begrime Exemious in Edmonton on Friday, April 22 at Mama’s Pizza with

MessiahLator and AHNA. The next evening, Begrime plays Calgary with

AHNA, BlackRat, and Mortality Rate at Lord Nelson’s Pub and Grill.

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 45


WAKE

grindcore with a capital W-A-K-E

Where would we be without grindcore?

Probably still a species of mostly hairless,

soon to be extinct murder-apes

listlessly orbiting an unremarkable G-type star.

That, or the Guinness Book of Records wouldn’t

have a single reference to Napalm Death, who

continues to hold the prestigious ‘shortest song’

crown, 27 years after the release of the 1.316

second epic “You Suffer.” Despite this undeniable

boon to mankind, coupled with Calgary vibrant

metal and punk scenes, Cowtown hasn’t really

embraced grind like it could – or should. At least

Alberta’s most prominent name in the genre more

than makes up the lack in quantity with… ‘quality.’

Quality is the wrong word. Not that WAKE isn’t an

incredible band. They are, but you wouldn’t take a

quality beating.

WAKE doesn’t do the micro-song thing. Their

shortest recording is “Smolder,” from their 2013 album

False, which clocking in at a stately 53 seconds

is practically an epic for the genre. Their take on the

genre hews closer to the metallic sounds of Virginia’s

Pig Destroyer and Sweden’s Nasum but with a

vicious twist of black metal at its most chaotic, as

opposed to the more punk-orientated sound of

Scum-era Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror and

the obscure proto-grind band Siege. There’s little to

no political content in WAKE’s music, except of the

personal-is-political kind, and although the subject

matter is definitely dark we’re not talking Goregrind,

the sub-genre defined by Carcass’s focus on

medical and scatological imagery. We’re definitely

WAKE unleashed their third full length LP this past month.

not talking the avant-garde grind of Agoraphobic

Nosebleed, The Locust or Discordance Axis.

Like their music, the band didn’t take long to get

up to full speed, says guitarist Rob Strawberry.

“The band started in 2009. I guess we were kind of

going for that metallic grindcore or grindcore crossed

with ‘90s metallic hardcore kind of thing. We started

touring right away, released a 7-inch right away, released

(the 2011 album) Leeches not long after that.

The rest is downhill from there.”

Their impending third release Sowing the Seeds

of a Worthless Tomorrow is not just downhill at

this point, but drilling deep into the earth. Metallic

hardcore will always be there as a backbone, but

they’ve added a dizzying array of influences into the

mix that create a kind of all-purpose omni-Metal, a

possible answer to what you’d play if you had one

track to explain the whole of extreme music as it

exists in the early 20th century. The band themselves

listen to “everything,” says Strawberry, “and it shows”

(especially since their vocalist Kyle Ball makes Trap

beats on the side).

FALSE, their last full-length, was released in 2013,

though the years in between releases have seen them

by Joel Dryden

tour extensively and play festivals that have included

the renowned Maryland Death Fest (they crashed

with Blake from Pig Destroyer afterwards). Following

tours, the writing for Sowing… was delayed courtesy

of drummer Brian Serzynski being in Milwaukee,

which, despite plentiful beer, wasn’t proving conducive

to recording.

“Most of the writing’s done by myself. I’ll write a

bunch of riffs and structure a skeleton around it. I’d

send riffs and ideas back and forth, sometimes by

something as primitive as video chat. He’d write parts

in Milwaukee and come back for week-long writing

sessions to make stronger, better songs.”

Although you can name the grindcore bands

that have come out of Calgary in the time it takes

Agoraphobic Nosebleed to play “Fuck Your Soccer

Jesus” (approximately five seconds), WAKE is content

being an anomaly.

“Funky death metal has been big for a long time,”

observes Strawberry of the local scene.

“There’s been a few grindcore bands that have

been around Calgary but they never last, they don’t

have any longevity.”

And why have WAKE lasted?

“We just haven’t gotten bored of it yet. It’s something

we love doing, and that’s it.”

WAKE’s Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow

is now available. The band will perform at their

album release party in Calgary on May 13th at the

Palomino Smokehouse and Bar alongside Numenorean

and Spurn.

GOROD

death metal masterminds step into uncharted territory

Gorod embarks on an extensive cross-Canada tour this April.

Through a fusion of death metal and experimental elements

such as Latin jazz and ‘70s groove, French quintet Gorod has

developed a dynamic soundscape that is entirely unique.

The compositions are complex and melodically intricate, yet they

progress holistically. Herein, you can feel the architect at work.

Gorod’s music crashes over their listeners with a wave of acutely

timed, chugging rhythmic progressions, intricate melodic hooks and

commanding guttural vocals. The lower register of drums, bass and

rhythm guitar provide the perfect framework for a steady flow of

crisp neo-classical riffs to accent and complete the compositions.

The result is some of the most engaging and melodically interesting

listening available in modern death metal.

“The point is to be constantly looking back to the songs entirety, not

focusing on only one part of it and just filling out the rest of the song

with gratuitous technical stuff,” explains guitarist Mathieu Pascal, who

caught up with BeatRoute via email.

“I think the listeners don’t like and don’t need to be constantly surprised

and brutalized, musically. On the contrary, maybe they prefer to

‘ride’ the music, following the flow more than fighting it.”

Continues Pascal: “It’s actually the structure of the song that’s memorable,

not the details or the individual sections inside. There are some

basic structures used in popular and mainstream music that can work

by Benjamin Pearson

for any style, even death metal. And oddly, you can stay surprising and

original when following one of these basic song structures.”

Gorod continues to lead the way in the world of extreme music

with the release of their fifth studio album, A Maze of Recycled Creeds.

Released in October 2015, the album continues their consistent lineage

of innovation.

“There are some influences in this album I never use that much,

like old school thrash metal, groove elements from the ‘70s, and odd

chord progressions that I picked up from Erik Satie, a French piano

composer and a character in the lyrics, that I really dig. Another

thing is that we did this album all by ourselves, from the writing to

the production, only helped by some close friends, like Pierre Yves

Marani for the mastering or Eric Liberge for the artwork. The result

is that we had all the necessary time to achieve and refine all sides

of the album, looking for the perfect note, drum groove, but also

perfect sound and balance,” offers Pascal.

This genre melding and integration has long been a notable and prevalent

aspect of Gorod, but it some time for the band to be comfortable

with the process.

“These influences are more and more noticeable now, but they were

included in the music from the beginning,” agrees Pascal.

“I always wanted to mix these exotic vibes with metal, so I had to learn

the good way of making it musically cohesive and relevant.”

He concludes, “It’s a challenge to find something fresh and new on

each album, always being surprising and unexpected. But it’s also what

motivates us the most in making music.”

Gorod plays at Vangelis Tavern in Saskatoon on April 6th, in Calgary at

Dickens on April 7th, at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on April 8th, at

the Brixx in Edmonton on April 11th, at the Exchange in Regina April 12th,

and at the Windsor Hotel in Winnipeg on April 13th. All dates include

Bokakee; Beyond Creation will also perform on select dates.

46 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE SHRAPNEL


This Month

In METAL

Start your April off in style! On Friday, April

1st, head to Distortion to celebrate everyone’s

favourite metal supporter, Mrs. Nancy

Barnes. She’s having a progtastic birthday party

featuring the recently reunited Caveat (who now

boast new bassist Amanda Marie), alongside Illuminated

Minerva, Tylor Dory Trio, and Subsume.

Tickets are $10, partying with Nancy…. Priceless!

On Saturday, April 2nd, JUNOfest 2016, the

metal edition, is taking place at Dickens in Calgary.

Head down to see nominees Cancer Bats,

KEN mode, and Diemonds, along with Calgary

rockers Chron Goblin. Tickets are $20 for the

show. If you prefer dad rock and wicked beards,

that same evening the one and only sharp

dressed men known as ZZ Top are playing at the

Grey Eagle Resort and Casino.

The following Friday night on April 8th, you

can catch Intronaut with Scale the Summit

and Northlane at Dickens in Calgary. If you live

330(+/-) kilometres north in Edmonton, head to

Rendezvous Pub for an evening of ugly, hateful

noise featuring Körperlose Stimme, Traer, Hive,

and Wraith Risen. That same show hits Calgary

on Saturday, April 9th, with Wacken Metal

Battle Calgary winners Sentient on the lineup,

along with Gales of Avalon. If you’re a dork who

will stay at home, make sure you check out the

lengthy list of rad new releases and spend some

cash: Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas will be releasing

their collaborative album Mariner, Ihsahn

has a new album dubbed Arktis via Candlelight,

and the almighty sludge monsters Sourvein are

back with Aquatic Occult via Metal Blade.

Although the release date seems a bit murky,

On Tuesday, April 19th, head to Edmonton for

Finland’s own swamp metal band Kalmah, who will

be playing Alberta for the first time ever alongside

Vesperia, Trollband, and Mongol. If you dig melodic

death metal with epic flourishes, this gig is sure to

make you mosh “to the grave.”

Apparently we are all weekend warriors because

most of the gigs this month are on weekends

(thank Satan, amirite?). True to form, on Friday,

April 22nd, Edmonton death metallers Begrime

Exemious will perform at Mama’s Pizza with AHNA

and MessiahLator. The following evening they play

Calgary at Lord Nelson’s Pub and Grill – be sure to

read our interview with guitarist and vocalist Derek

Orthner in the section.

That same evening on Saturday, April 23rd simply

features too many show options. You can head

to Overtime Sports Bar in Calgary for Revenger

with The Cadavor Dog, Thrashadactyl, Ripper Alley,

and Hazzerd. Calgary Beer Core is having a sexy

Grindhouse party over at Distortion, while the

Mercury Room in Edmonton is hosting a gig with

performances by Red Skull Ritual, Tides of Kharon,

Screaming Radio, and Dayshift Strippers.

On Monday, April 25th, Ottawa’s own Occult

Burial will release their full-length debut, Hideous

Obscure. Following up on a handful of vicious

tapes, the nine-track record is made by a band

who lives and breathes ‘80s metal, parlaying a

vicious blend of thrash and speed metal that

would fit nicely sandwiched on your record shelf

between Exciter and Sodom. Be sure to check out

www.beatroute.ca in the month for an exclusive

premiere and interview with the three members

of the project.

If you dig thrash, be sure to check out Distortion

in Calgary on Thursday, April 28th for Montreal’s

own Reanimator. They’re playing with W.M.D.,

Illyrian, and False Flag.

Enjoy your spring!

• Sarah Kitteringham

Occult Burial release Hideous Obscure on April 25th.

SHRAPNEL

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 47


musicreviews

Tacocat

Lost Time

Hardly Art

The city of Seattle is having somewhat of a cultural

renaissance as of late. The riot grrrl movement has

made a significant mark on the younger generation

and bands like Chastity Belt, La Luz and Boyfriend

are leading the charge with politically motivated,

but not overtly political, pop-leaning guitar music

that reflects changing attitudes about feminism.

Arguably the most important band to the

new scene in Seattle is Tacocat and their breezy,

bubblegum brand of pop music. Like many of their

peers, Tacocat’s music is sarcastic and sonically

simplistic, but that simplicity serves a purpose.

Tacocat’s third album, Lost Time, succeeds in its

ability to make feminist ideas the main focus of

their music in an unapologetic and down-to-earth

manner.

Tacocat’s musical formula has stayed largely

similar since 2014’s NVM. Vocalist Emily Nokes

sings about Plan B, Internet trolls, and mansplaining

with the inflection of a jaded 20-something.

Bolstering her are fellow bandmates Bree McKenna,

Eric Randall and Lelah Maupin who play a melodic

blend of surf-infused rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a simple

formula, but it serves the band well.

The album’s title comes from a phenomenon

experienced by those who’ve had close encounters

of the third kind, specifically sourced from

The X-Files. The reference is more than just a nod

to a cult favourite: the show’s counter-cultural

commentary and all-too-rare presentation of a

strong female lead fit perfectly with Tacocat’s own

aesthetic. They even named a track in honour of

Agent Dana Scully.

On that song and the rest of the album, producer

Erik Blood’s presence pays off in full. Lost Time

sounds cleaner, with less emphasis on fuzz and

more focus on keeping things lean. The songs never

over stay their welcome; in fact, only one song

on the album actually cracks the three-minute

mark. They are brief and to-the-point, the product

of a band that knows exactly what it wants to say.

It’s that laser focus for displeasure that makes

Lost Time such a treat to listen to. “The Internet” is

a rollicking attack of Internet trolls, a simple topic

executed expertly. “Your place is so low, human

mosquito,” Nokes sings with a melodic yowl not

unlike Corrine Tucker, but with less palpable rage

and more apathetic disappointment.

That cultural disappointment reappears on the

album’s second single “Talk.” It’s a taut, moody ballad

that sounds like a cross between Blondie and

Sleater-Kinney. The chorus features Nokes’ voice

blown out to its emotional zenith as she laments

the death of face-to-face interaction. It’s the most

serious song on the album, but it doesn’t feel out

of place sandwiched between Tacocat’s jauntier

work.

Lost Time often has a ragged energy, never is it

more audible than the melodic blast “You Can’t

Fire Me, I Quit.” It’s a no-nonsense send off to a

lover who tried to make the first step in ending a

relationship. It’s full of ingenuous putdowns, the

kind that sting under the surface and attack a

person’s character directly. Tacocat are masters of

talking people down in an unpretentious manner.

It makes their lyrical arguments sound so convincing

and common sense.

The next time you hear someone disparaging

feminism for being a collective of bra-burning,

man-hating women, give them a copy of Lost Time.

If they can’t find something to enjoy, you can be

sure they’re a lost cause.

• Jamie McNamara

illustration: Syd Danger

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 49


Woodpidgeon

T R O U B L E

Boompa Records

It’s hard not to consider Woodpidgeon a Calgary band, even if any semblance

of locality has been ironed out after years of writing, recording,

and touring in exotic places. Coming from anyone else, a track titled

“Canada,” would either carry nationalistic weight, or cynical self-loathing.

Mark Hamilton however, can write about Canada in the abstract genuinely

as a bona fide citizen of the world, and that has lead to some of the

best Woodpidgeon material yet.

Woodpidgeon has historically been described as a “collective,”

featuring a rotating cast of some of Calgary’s most interesting players,

but with the release of T R O U B L E, I think it might be finally safe to call

Woodpidgeon a solo project.

The record opens with “Fence.” A sprightly guitar stands alone with

Sanctums

Migrant Workers

Modern Math

Art is a product of the environment it was created in. For Dan Solo and

Evangelos Lambrinoudis, that environment was the grey, bleak reality of

working on the oil patch to make a livable income. Their surroundings led

them to start thinking about conditions faced by migrant workers and a

dystopian industrial future. Solo and Lambrinoudis used that experience as

inspiration for Migrant Workers, their second album together as Sanctums.

Sanctums earn their keep with an atmospheric blend of ambient techno

and other paradoxically linked genres. Some of their past work could

sit next to Burial, with a focus on cinematic sounding, beat-oriented tracks.

The duo are more interested in ways to compel than they are with the use

of beats, leading to an album that rarely feels like it belongs anywhere else

than near a nightclub. Instead, Migrant Workers unfolds much like a movie

score. It is a heavily moody record that can be compared to a hypothetical

midway between Junior Boys and John Carpenter.

Lambrinoudis’ work as Corinthian is abrasive and nerve-wracking. A

toned-down version of that overblown aesthetic appears on this album,

but it feels as if the producers are unafraid to make their music beautiful.

Standout track “All Around Us” is a warm, lush synthscape that brings

to mind Tycho’s sun-soaked electronica. Not to mention, it is one of few

songs on the album that embraces melody and genuinely feels upbeat. It

is a well-deserved break for the listener, a moment where the perpetual

dreariness subsides and some brightness shines through. That’s not to say

that the bleak qualities of the record are any less enjoyable. “A Thousand

Mile Stare” is a beautifully minimal track that is coated in a dense brain fog.

Its darkness is hypnotic and enticing, its synths pulsing slowly drawing you

in deeper and deeper into its grasp.

It isn’t until halfway through the album’s runtime that “Sentinel” finally

embraces the duo’s dance-floor tendencies. The track is a seven-minute

stunner that features swirling atmosphere that slowly builds itself into a

brooding 4/4 techno slow burn. It’s amongst the best work either of the

producers have ever released, separately or together.

Migrant Workers is a downright impressive record. It’s the product of

two veteran producers who know exactly what mood they are trying to

achieve with their records. It isn’t as accessible listen as Sanctums previous

works, but instead it rewards repeat listens that reveal something new to

enjoy every time.

• Jamie McNamara

a subtle roughness that leads into a moody minor key arrangement.

The inherent harshness is quickly mitigated by a soft flute, but the song

denies us the usual Woodpidgeon prettiness. Hamilton’s vocals come in

with characteristic fragility, but the lyrics runs dark, and no outlets are

provided.

The record stays this dour almost all the way through, only coming

up for air in brief moments, such as the chorus-laden guitar intro of the

aforementioned “Canada.”

The record is hardly flat however, and picks up tempo-wise in the second

half, while delivering some of the more distinct tracks including the

honest and earnest “Faithful,” whose video perfectly executes the track’s

introspective and forlorn atmosphere, featuring Hamilton meandering

through a pink haze in a preternaturally green forest.

Many of the tracks on the record, although this song in particular, feel

so direct that it makes older Woodpidgeon material almost elusive by

comparison.

The album concludes with it’s strongest material, the more conventionally

beautiful track “The Accident” unfolds powerfully in a devastating

and relatable narrative about a traffic collision. Having been recycled

from collaborative project EMBASSYLIGHTS, the effect of T R O U B L E’s

soft arrangements and darker production become even more clear on

this track. Hamilton himself is more sonically visible than on its previous

recording, and thus, even more vulnerable. The more delicately washed

instrumental as well dampens the rhythms, slowing the track down.

Having wiped away the tears from “The Accident,” the record crescendos

into “Rooftops,” which features one of the livelier instrumentals on

the record, but held back until after a silence; half of a secret song, teasing

the playfulness so absent from the rest of the release. Woodpidgeon has

always tugged firmly at the heartstrings, but never with quite as much

force as on T R O U B L E.

• Liam Prost

Occult Burial

Hideous Obscure

Invictus Productions

It’s no secret that “metal that sounds like it was made in the ‘80s” is

swelling forth from the underground like incessant and wretched hell

spawn at this very moment. Call it a reaction to the hyper processed

production of the 2000s, call it a bunch of kids/adults trying to be

TRVE (with the V, not the U, because that’s how she goes, boys), or

call it the great poser elimination… It don’t matter. Murky production,

non-triggered drums, and basement-quality recordings are spewing

forth both deliberately and organically from bands around the world,

to polarizing results.

If you sit on the side of the fence that looks back at Exciter and Sodom’s

classic early material with glee, then Occult Burial’s debut full-length

will pass your lofty expectations. The Ottawa trio lives and breathes that

period; hell, they’ve only released cassette and vinyl demos and splits;

their live performances are ritualistic and deliberate. For their debut

full length Hideous Obscure, released via taste making label Invictus

Productions, you can expect blackened speed metal with a specific

template: that is Obsessed by Cruelty era Sodom mixed in with some

Torment in Fire era Sacrifice. Hell, one of the band members even sports

an Angelripper bowl haircut in a promo photo. These guys aren’t fucking

around with their homage worship, although the uninitiated might be

inclined to suggest otherwise.

Hideous Obscure is a whole-package-deal: it’s nine songs of a

raspy blackened screech over punk/traditional metal riffs, sped up

and stripped down raw. From the atmospheric instrumental opener

(creatively dubbed “Intro”) to the Inquisition style Popeye/frog vocals

opening up “A Witch Shall Be Born (Daughter of Darkness)” which is

peppered with the jackhammer snare, the music is fist pumping and

simple-in-the-right-ways. “Blasted Death” has the perfect intro with a

ripping solo and aggressive backbeat; later on, the title track is all raw

grooves and malignant growls.

Of course, such a sound is accompanied by a strong visual aesthetic,

including a highly stylized name and smoky cover art, complete with

skulls and gauntlets. This is a package deal, and Occult Burial knows the

crowd they are catering to. Here, living and practicing a certain musical

style resulted in a highly pleasing package, sure to inspire worship from a

deliberate and specific crowd.

• Sarah Kitteringham

The Heavy

Hurt & the Merciless

Counter Records

Even though Amy Winehouse, and now Adele, kicked the door wide open

in the U.K. with their spin on blue-eyed soul, that genre has always been a

steady force in Britain. Turn back the clock to the early days of The Who

when Roger Daltry was still impersonating his favourite black R&B singers,

when Steve Marriot fronted The Small Faces with his scorching, souldrenched

vocals, when Eric Burdon single-handedly redefined soul for the

young and restless with The Animals’ painfully beautiful version of “The

House of the Rising Sun,” or when Joe Cocker’s tormented breakdowns

were simply soul-driven exorcisms of the highest power. All those lads

had the fire in their fingertips and easily set the house, the heavens ablaze.

There’s a long list of singers from that burst of British blues-makers in the

‘60s that made their mark in similar ways. Soul, fiery soul, made in the U.K.,

is a cultural trademark, deeply embedded.

When The Heavy emerged from Bath, England in 2007 with their debut

Great Vengeance and Furious Fire, it was all too clear that a splendid blend

of Massive Attack’s scratchy, seductive trip-hop and the Black Keys’ dirty

garage blues led by Kelvin Swaby’s resurrection of Otis Redding that another

U.K. tour de soul-force had been launched. Surprisingly, The Heavy,

even with profound critical acclaim and a string of brain-exploding singles,

hardly register on the pop-culture radar—nowhere near Amy and Adele’s

bleeps screaming off the screen. Perhaps that’s because while the band can

snap out infectious soul-stingers, they’re still far too steeped in street swagger

and experimentation to be properly groomed for the upper echelon of

pop stardom. We can thank our lucky stars for that.

The lead off track, “Since You’ve Been Gone,” from their fourth album,

Hurt & The Merciless, is yet another true testament that this band is

incapable of releasing a bad track that strives to dominate the dance floor

for three-and-a-half minutes. The rhythm section digs in with breakdowns

so deep the Public Enemy influence can’t go unnoticed. Yet the only

politicization found here are those that also run through Amy and Adele’s

music—the torn, heartbreak fabric of domestic life. The Heavy are full of

strife, full of stories of unpretentious accounts of everyday life that lends to

both a vulnerability and an extremely attractive authenticity. It’s a curious,

but wonderful thing, when one of the best rock-steady bands in the world

plays into the anti-thesis of the spotlight and would rather shine on the

sidelines and in the shadows than be yet another beast of celebrity.

What also makes The Heavy such a rich experience, is their deviation

away from trying to make a repetitive cluster of slinky-smooth, in-thepocket,

feel-good, soul-spinners. While Memphis-driven horns anchor

“The Apology” with a sweet, melodic hook, Dan Taylor’s crackling fuzz

guitar and Swaby’s distorted vocals steer that sweet sound into a darker

tunnel of love. Similarly the dub-infused “Miss California,” the sorry demise

of a beauty queen, also detours from its primal groove and pulls in a

mariachi horn cameo. “Slave To Your Love” is a good old-fashioned, raveup,

garage stomper that shows no restraint with its wall of wailing horns,

guitar flurries and female backup vocals in full flight. Ending the record,

Swaby tears a page from the Percy Sledge songbook with the barroom,

gospel-tinged ballad “Goodbye Baby.”

The Heavy amplify British soul and R&B. Expect tradition. Expect them

to fuck with it, and do it well.

• B. Simm

50 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE


Antwon

Double Ecstasy EP

Anticon Records

Los Angeles via San Jose rapper Antwon is known

as an artist that could easily be called “post-genre.”

In the past, the rapper has tipped his hat to such

disparate influences as rapper Biz Markie, Cocteau

Twins and Biohazard. On his new Double Hazard

EP, it’s easy to hear elements from all of them.

The five-track EP is a collaboration with producer

Lars Stalfors, whose presence adds a cohesiveness

that was missing from Antwon’s previous

work. His productions are dark and grimy, focused

on punishing low end and disorienting melodies.

“Club” features a constant 16th note sub-bass

assault that is unrelenting. It functions as a perfect

backdrop for Antwon’s often over-the-top lyricism.

Antwon’s sexual appetite is as strong as ever, evidenced

by sex-centered songs like “Girl, Flex.” The

track finds Antwon doling out a healthy helping of

confident cunnilingus raps a la Danny Brown at his

most hedonistic. Its effectiveness is dampened with

a lazy hook, “Girl, flex. We bout’ to have sex.”

More often than not, it’s hard to justify Antwon’s

appearance on otherwise stellar beats. It

doesn’t seem like he has anything important to say,

and his raps meander and suffer because of it.

• Jamie McNamara

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop

Love Letter for Fire

Sub Pop

Sam Beam is no stranger to collaboration. From the

excellent EP recorded with Calexico to the covers

album he released last year with Ben Bridwell from

Band of Horses, it hasn’t been a shock to see an

ampersand stuck next to the name Iron and Wine.

Love Letter to Fire however, does not include his

typical stage name. Sam Beam nakedly shares the

namesake of this record with Manchester singer-songwriter

Jesca Hoop and they have produced

an album 13 entirely collaborative tracks. Iron and

Wine fans are catered to a little bit more strongly

here than Jesca Hoop fans however, although

their voices interplay very well, Sam Beam is more

strongly present in the vocal mixes on most tracks,

even though Jesca Hoop probably nets more time

singing. The songs as well are more straightforward

than either songwriter’s recent solo material, and

as a result the record tonally skews in the direction

of Iron and Wine’s Kiss Each Other Clean (2011).

On tracks like “Kiss Me Quick” and “Valley Clouds”

in particular, Hoop does not quite get her due

behind Sam Beams percussive guitar and humid

vocals. Both are obviously experts at crafting beautiful

songs and together they elevate each other’s

work, a strong step in the right direction for both

songwriters.

• Liam Prost

Boris with Merzbow

Gensho

Relapse Records

You know how The Wizard of Oz and Dark Side

of the Moon sync up? The Boris parts and the

Merzbow parts of Gensho sync up too, in the way

that if you were to play The Shaggs’ Philosophy

of The World at the wrong speed while watching

a badly-damaged VHS of Meet The Feebles they

would sync up, in that you’ll actually just end up

insane and insanity, as Philip K Dick reminds us, is

sometimes an appropriate response to reality.

You’re supposed to play both halves of Gensho

on different media players, adjusting the volume

until you strike a balance between Boris’ post-rock

epic “Farewell” (still Boris’s best song) or their

sultry jam “Rainbow” and Merzbow’s irredeemably

harsh noise. Boris may be palatable to anyone with

a taste for alternative music, and the re-recordings

of fan-favourite songs here are as close as they’ll

get to a best-of, but Merzbow is the alternative to

music itself, and here he doesn’t even make the

minimal concessions to rhythm that had his fans

crying “Judas!” in the early two-thousands.

If you have time to put into mixing your own

noise album then go right ahead, otherwise enjoy

an introduction to one of the world’s most consistently

fascinating guitar bands.

• Gareth Watkins

The Dandy Warhols

Distortland

Dine Alone Records

Everyone’s favourite Urban Bohemians have hit a

milestone with their 10th album Distortland. The

result is an aptly named album full of infectious

distortion, focused, crafty hooks and more than a

few salty bits of wisdom. The Dandies have always

brought poppy fun and a little edge of darkness

to their musical poetry about trying to portray

oneself as unaffected while being plugged right in.

Amongst the reverb heavy synth, the plucky hooks,

the strummy catching riffs, the mean ol’ distortion

and the surfy grabs that string together the tracklist

of this album, there are almost smug, world

weary bits of advice that land whether you want

them to or not. In “Catcher in the Rye,” amongst

the bass groove leading you through it, you hear:

“Don’t you know anything can get you down if you

let it. Some days more than others this is how I’ve

lived and learned to divide them.” What follows is

a series of advice for disillusioned youth, the kind

just like Holden Caulfield, the main character of

the titular book the song is named after: “Keep

your head down and let the worst of it pass on by

you,” “If its not fun then it’s funny for sure.” The

Dandies are most notably not one of those bands

trying to hold on to who they were two decades

ago. This is an album that marries a much more

settled production style, a much more tempered

sonic approach, and a much more established

voice. Which is what makes the big finish that

much more intriguing. “The Grow Up Song” is the

final track and a true bummer of a tune. Perhaps

intending to be ironic, perhaps very much not,

Courtney Taylor-Taylor wearily confesses to being

past his prime and weary of the game, finishing

with the cop movie trope of “I’m too old for this

shit”. With true hipster cynicism, he rewards the

listener for ingesting all his well-formed and catchy

advice by telling them he is over it all. Quite a jarring

slap from a guy who once cordially invited you

to come to his vegan work so he could get them to

cook you something that you’ll really like. Getting

old appears to still suck.

• Jennie Orton

Dinner

Psychic Lovers

Captured Tracks

Dinner is Danish singer/producer Anders Rhedin.

Rhedin has been making glossy, late night synthpop

over the course of three EPs and one guided

hypnosis (!) cassette. Psychic Lovers, his debut

album for Captured Tracks, finds success often

because of its ability to channel those synth-pop

hypnotics.

His take on synth-pop is slightly off-kilter, mostly

due to awkward vocal performances that sound

as if The Count decided to go on a coke bender in

‘80s LA. Rhedin’s voice is low and his pronunciation

of words is oddly wide-mouthed. His vocal deliveries

tend to sound like dopey yowls that never really

work in an entirely pleasing way. Still, the effect is

slightly endearing at moments and songs like “Cool

as Ice” manage to overcome.

Fortunately, Rhedin’s hyper-glossy productions

restore some of the emotion taken away by his

voice. The production work on songs like “Turn Me

On” is good enough that the songs beg for repeat

listens. It’s a slinky, confident mix of ‘80s synth dramatics

and ‘90s euro house euphoria that would be

better enjoyed best without vocal accompaniment.

• Jamie McNamara

Explosions in the Sky

The Wilderness

Temporary Residence Ltd.

The mark of a great album is how much it enhances.

From studying, to chores, to road trips, to

daydreaming, to love-makin’, a great album will

always be applicable and will always elevate. With

Explosions in the Sky’s seventh studio album, they

tap into our natural world in an astonishing way,

and are able to take listeners on mind-expanding

journeys within minutes. Lying in bed with nothing

else but the music, it is possible to explore the

galaxy, the imagination spilling forth like paint on a

canvas. In “Losing the Light,” shadows begin growing

across a sun soaked landscape, reflected in the

increasing, droning lows, ever placating beautiful

chiming highs. Dappled flecks of golden light can

be called to mind, flickering like dying embers,

slowly overcome by a darkening landscape. One of

EITS’s best songs to date. Also of immediate note

is “Logic of a Dream,” with its waving intensity that

crests and falls, almost like the beating of a gong.

The trance builds as if some mystic battle march,

with dreamy Siren-like tones coaxing listeners

from fear. The song then devolves into the bright

trademark sound the band is known for. Pleasant,

soothing tones pull the listener from the sweaty

recesses of a fever dream into a sunlit, morning of

rolling over and falling into sweet sleep. This album

is equally cathartic, effervescent, and transcendent.

Like putting the perfect filter on your camera for

a photograph, The Wilderness will highlight every

ounce of beauty from the moments in your life.

• Willow Grier

Hit Bargain

Hit Bargain

Independent

Hit Bargain have a song about Die Hard. They have

won at music. Goodnight everybody.

Okay, if you want a more “review” style review,

then here it goes: they are a four-piece from L.A

whose members have previously played with

These Are Powers and The Pains of Being Pure At

Heart. They are, apparently, the “progenitors of

Queencore,” “the intersection of queer, queening

and hardcore.” Google “Queening.” Their hardcore

is faster, sloppier, shoutier indie-rock rather

than less-than-heavy metal; the vocals are mostly

audible, the guitars are generally clean. That leaves

the songwriting, which is on the whole solid. In

fact, and I hate myself for saying this, the song

about Die Hard, “The Circuits That Cannot Be Cut”

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 51


might actually be the worst song here, in that the

hook is that vocalist Nora Singh is deadpanning

that “Alexander wept” line and not an actual hook.

Elsewhere, on the shorter and choppier “Cheap

Death” for instance, they prove that they can go

without a conceptual crutch.

In conclusion, on the scale of “sprechen ze talk?”

to “Yippe-ki-yay motherfucker” I give them a “so

he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life.”

• Gareth Watkins

Holy Wave

Freaks of Nurture

The Reverberation Appreciation Society

This album is the aural equivalent of the beige

foam that collects in the surf on bad beaches.

It’s the 2015 Point Break remake of music. It’s the

opposite of Pet Sounds.

Holy Wave’s music is mostly equal parts psych

and surf with some garage rock creeping in at the

edges. It’s also a slow, lifeless, colourless, joyless slog

through 44 minutes (subjectively, eight hours) of

tepid jams. Every one of their five-minute songs feels

six minutes too long and the two quickier, punkier

sub three-minute songs here, while definitely highlights,

aren’t worth staying for. If you’ve been paying

attention to North American guitar music since

Chillwave was a thing then you’ve heard better.

According to a recent interview on this album

Holy Wave are experimenting with “traditional

pop elements.” Hate to be the one to tell you this,

but you have made the least pop album possible.

This is music that offers the listener nothing but

the hope that a power outage might cut it short.

• Gareth Watkins

ILoveMakonnen

Drink More Water 6

Warner Bros. Records

Drink More Water 6 arrives at a strange point in

rapper ILoveMakonnen’s career. Now three years

removed from the breakout fame of infectious hit

“Tuesday,” Makonnen doesn’t seem like such an

oddball rapper anymore. In fact, he’s one of the

less outlandish personas in today’s rap landscape.

He doesn’t have the charm and curiosity of fellow

cityman Young Thug, but he isn’t as vocally talented

as Ty Dolla $ign.

Drink More Water 6 seems to find Makonnen

trying to solidify his lane as the king of psychedelic

southern rap. He specializes in a more upbeat,

goofball perspective of The Weeknd’s depressed

hedonism.

Lyrical subjects are fairly on par with Makonnen’s

established image; there’s the banger

about selling drugs (the aptly titled “Sellin”), the

banger about being on psychedelics with that

special someone (“I Only Trip With U”), and the

banger about ignoring haters (“UWONTEVA”).

Interspersed amongst the high points are oddball

tracks like the woozy, ketamine-induced ballad

“Back Again.” Still, ILoveMakonnen has a hard

time putting nuance into his vocal deliveries. His

flows have an inherent ability to drift from melody

to melody, but they all smash into the listener

at varying levels of shouting. Ultimately, Drink

More Water 6 is a good well of playlist-ready

bangers that work better separately than consumed

in one sitting.

• Jamie McNamara

Lab Coast

Remember the Moon

Wyatt Records

Lab Coast’s fourth LP Remember the Moon

encompasses the band’s well established sound

through the combination of stirring pop guitar

melodies and at-home recording methods. The

album has a patchwork quality, sewing together

catchy guitar riffs, notes of chilling synth-pop,

and altered percussion sounds. Many of the songs

toy with the lightness of being in love and the

small observations of daily life with a slight sense

of innocence in the lyrics and melodies. Some of

the songs on the LP were finished a few years ago,

while some are brand new. Although the album

content does not follow a specific arc, the songs

work well as a collection and all elicit similar

feelings within the listener. The album starts strong

with “Hanging Flowers,” which begins with heavy,

full drums and builds to reveal elements reminiscent

of ‘60s pop music. The song, and much

of the album, makes the listener feel like they are

swimming in the music. The first single off of the

album, “Bored Again,” embodies the wistful and

melancholic sound that much of their music possesses.

The combination of the extremely catchy

guitar riff, distant sounding vocals, and lively lyrics,

gives the song a light and airy feel. The quasi-title

track “Remember the Moon Jr,” has repetitive,

pulsing guitar notes, fast drums throughout and

ghostly, echoing vocals. Remember the Moon

utilizes more instruments than any of the band’s

previous records. Along with effect-ridden guitar

parts, swelling bass, and a mix between sampled

and hybrid drum parts, the album contains the

unexpected: cello, violin, pitched percussion,

saxophone, banjo, and organ. Not only are these

atypical instruments included, the band’s choice to

record them in interesting ways makes their sound

unusual but compelling. Lab Coast has created a

name for themselves locally and with their reputation

comes a specific sound - one that can be

noticed in past albums and has been built upon in

Remember the Moon.

• Robyn Welsh

M83

Junk

Mute Records

As news of the release of M83’s first album in

almost four years started to trickle out, it became

harder and harder to take it seriously. Junk is an album

inspired by ‘80s TV shows like Punky Brewster

and Who’s the Boss, featuring guest appearances

from guitar icon Steve Vai and Beck. The lead

single “Do it, Try it” was a sincere throwback to

‘90s euro house.

In recent interviews, M83 mastermind Anthony

Gonzales seemed to be lamenting the death of

artistic originality. If being original was his only

goal, then Junk succeeds in full. It’s an absolutely

bizarre record that bounces from ‘80s era balladry,

to ‘90s dance music with relative ease. It sounds

like electronic dance music taken to monolithic

heights, and is the next logical evolution for a band

that seems to feed off of nostalgia.

Gonzales has noted his desire to step back

from his role in the limelight in recent interviews.

The result is a more diverse range of vocalists

and collaborators to usually amazing outcome.

52 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE


Moderat

“Walkaway Blues” features touring guitarist Jordan

Lawlor on vocals to stunning effect. Norwegian

pop star Susanne Sundfør lends her warm baritone

to the emotionally charged, retro-futuristic ballad

“For the Kids.”

The downside comes when Gonzales loses sight

of his grander ambitions. Songs like the jokey, ‘70s

TV interstitial song “Moon Crystal” feel out of

place, the rare M83 song that sounds emotionless

and fake.

• Jamie McNamara

Moderat

III

Monkeytown Records

Moderat’s tumultuous path to maturity embodies

the archetypal hero’s journey, brought to life

by the genre-bending earworms of Modeselektor

and the aurally conscious crooning of Apparat.

The trio’s illustrious catalogue has only grown

more refined and dialed-in with the passage of

time, defying a creative process rife with conflict.

III represents Moderat’s crossing over into adulthood.

After a history of creative competition,

III is arguably what they’ve been striving for this

whole time.

The unlikely ubergroup’s latest offering is the

most elegant pairing of their respective talents

yet, a multi-genre Saharan dreamscape. Apparat’s

uniquely hypnotizing vocals are no longer conspicuously

absent from more complex instrumental

works; he is featured on all of the album’s offerings

except two – the wonderfully haunting, urgent

combination of footwork and glitch that is “Animal

Trails” and the comparatively bouncy and optimistic

“Finder.”

Modeselektor’s eloquently stripped-back, yet

complex, sonic panorama paves the way for Apparat’s

most loquacious lamentations yet. “Eating

Hooks” enraptures the listener early with enticing,

buttery garage cuts and soul-soothing vocals; flagship

single “Reminder” serves as a microcosm of

the creative process behind III; the monkish intonations

of “Intruder” are punctuated by crystalline

synths and tantalizing drum work.

III is an incredibly approachable foray into electronic

music; passing it by because ‘electronic isn’t

your thing’ would be a big mistake. Do yourself a

favour.

• Max Foley

Kim Myhr + Jenny Hval with the Trondheim Jazz

Orchestra

In the End His Voice Will Be the Sound of Paper

Hubro

Contemporary Nordic artists Kim Myhr and Jenny

Hval conceived an experimental and largely improvised

album rooted in Bob Dylan’s aging voice. On

the album, composer Kim Myhr strips his instrumentation

down strictly to acoustic guitar, creating an

effect that can be both effervescent (as on “Mass”)

and ominous (as on “Something New”). Regardless of

the effect, the guitar pervades through the music and

its natural sound is often skewed and unrecognizable.

The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra is present too,

adding depth to the music where the guitar can’t.

Myhr and the orchestra have collaborated before,

and the ease with which they play off of each other

is apparent.

Hval is new to the mix, but brings emotional

punches that accentuate the music through her soft

and airy vocals. While her voice may sound drained,

it’s an exasperation that allows the music to remain

at the forefront of each song. On track “Me, you,

me, you,” her vocal coos echo, mimic, and taunt a

slight horn sound before the lamentation: “Yes you,

you are close/ until things are no longer heavy.” Her

voice erupts with what sounds like a kettle boiling as

accompaniment, the tension rising and relinquished

with the sounds of horns and clarinets offering

resolution. It’s an exciting new turn for Hval, whose

most recent albums are impeccable, and it’s a chance

for her to embrace the more experimental sound of

her early work.

• Trent Warner

Night Moves

Pennied Days

Domino

Night Moves’ new release, titled Pennied Days, is

a nine-track album with psychedelic vibes, ‘80s

synth-pop effects, and a modern indie-rock sound.

Just under 40 minutes in length, the album is an easy

listen. The first track, “Carl Sagan,” is a hit. Hauntingly

catchy, it’s simple beat is clothed in beautiful vocals

and electronic guitar licks. The song “Kind Luck”

sounds almost like country hard rock, while others

like “Border on Border” are reminiscent of the Electric

Light Orchestra and Bowie. The final track, “Only to

Live in Your Memories,” is a momentous finale to the

album: crashing and falling like an electronic orchestra,

leaving you satisfied and full. Overall the album

feels good, calming at times, but uplifting and engaging

at others. The middle of the album does seem to

blend together but there is still enough uniqueness in

songs to make this album stand out. Powerful guitar

with space age effects, wavy background noise and

soothing vocals make Pennied Days a worthwhile

listen.

• Foster Modesette

Operators

Blue Wave

Last Gang Records

Pomegranate and cellophane, a perfect visual pairing

to suit the lush, analog charm of Montréal-based

Operators and their new debut album Blue Wave.

Operators formed in 2013, releasing EP1 a year

later to showcase a quick taste of the project’s sound

and vision. Composed of Canadian indie veteran Dan

Boeckner (of the acclaimed and recently reunited

Wolf Parade), as well as American indie-rocker Sam

Brown on drums and the diversely talented Devojka,

Operators create punchy, textured jams.

With an immense focus on synthesizers and a

plethora of other synthetic elements blending with

the driving indie-rock themes, Blue Wave manages

to capture natural uplifting emotions, while instantly

summoning a desire to dance along.

Produced by Graham Walsh of Toronto-based

Holy Fuck, Blue Wave’s 10 songs go over smoothly,

layering bouncy analog arpeggios, swooning pads

with saxophone and driving drums, creating a fertile

visual environment navigated by Boeckner’s heartfelt

words.

And the tracks on this album aren’t short, which is

what you’d expect from minimal, synthy pop songs.

However, Operators use a pointed, well-thought out

strategy to make each second, and each direction

count: placing everything meticulously, with a result

of masterfully produced and all-the -hile catchy

dance tracks.

• Michael Grondin

Plants and Animals

Waltzed In From The Rumbling

Secret City Records

The midsummer campfire light is glowing away to

embers; Fanny has taken her load off, the pebbles

have all been tossed, the winds have ceased their

blowin.’ The night appears to be winding down to its

sleepy conclusion, and that’s when the acid kicks in.

The last, ill-remembered lines of whatever classic singalong

meander a bit, someone finds a glockenspiel —

before you know it the sun is rising like a sunflower

locomotive, and the whole gang is chanting “look

inside your heart” with the sincerity of a rural youth

group being slain in the spirit.

The End of That was one of the most cathartic

break-up albums of all time, and returned Plants

and Animals to a more straightforward approach to

songwriting, aesthetically and thematically echoing

The Band’s The Last Waltz. Luckily for us, that was far

from the end of that, and Waltzed in From the Rumbling

keeps pace with Plants and Animals’ rambling,

rose-smelling career. Orchestral, but not over-produced,

this album explores new ground sonically

by taking familiar folk-rock clichés like a strumming

acoustic guitar, or a catchy singable hook, and forcing

them to the background. This has allowed them to

build on the foundation they’ve worked hard to construct,

without repeating themselves. The band has

become masterful at guiding the listener’s emotions

by using the common musical language of midcentury

American rock and roll as the raw material to

express a vision, which is enormously more complex.

In an age of profound egotism and instantaneity, this

album makes lasting progress in art while still paying

tribute to its ancestry - lighting fireworks with Rolling

Stone magazines.

• Rob Pearson

Poliça

United Crushers

Mom+Pop

At their core, Poliça has always been an intensely personal

band. Give You The Ghost and Shulamith were

personal to the point of being claustrophobic, lead

singer Channy Leaneagh and company writing electronic

ballads that were suffocating and intoxicating.

United Crushers is the third full-length from

the Minneapolis synth-pop group, and it builds on

Poliça’s ability to make atmospheric synth-pop with

political teeth. United Crushers is a bleak, dour record

that manages to be a joy to listen to.

Poliça continue to hone their fairly distinct formula

that has heavy emphasis on percussion and bass.

Drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson

weave together syncopated drum beats that sound

as if they were coming from one drum set. Bassist

Chris Bierden and band leader/producer Ryan Olson

do an amazing job to build a dour atmosphere that

doesn’t suffocate the listener.

In an interview with DIY Magazine, Leaneagh says

that she “saw this record as my last chance.” Indeed,

this record feels more urgent than past work. Songs

like “Wedding” feature political territory like police

brutality that the band didn’t deal with in the past. It

feels like the logical next step for a band that continues

to excel.

• Jamie McNamara

Poor Nameless Boy

Bravery

Chronograph Records

Despite what most people will tell you, there

is a lot you can tell about a record by its cover.

Poor Nameless Boy does himself an incredible

disservice by including his baseball capped self

on the cover, looking disinterestedly off into the

distance in greyscale, the boring title of Bravery

slapped on with digitally eroded letters. The

problem inherent isn’t that Poor Nameless Boy’s

music doesn’t match the sad-boy bro-country

aesthetic the cover connotes, the slow-burn

country tracks inside fit that description eerily

well, but rather that the actual product is so

finely polished and pretty that Poor Nameless

Boy might as well be wearing a suit on the cover.

The title track and opener introduces a strong,

earthy guitar tone that permeates the entire record

satisfyingly. The instrumentation introduces

itself slowly without drawing attention to itself

with massive bass drones and brushed drums

laying the groundwork for a distant violin to

play around in. The record opens with a one-two

punch of the charming “Bravery” and hooky “Atlantic

Ocean,” demonstrating its tonal range very

quickly. It runs out of steam soon after however,

when the electric guitar of “River & Trees” is unplugged,

the rest if the record is mostly drab slow

songs, with an especially uninspiring cheesey piano

closer. Regardless, nuanced production and

a strong first half make Bravery a commendable

exercise in bro country.

• Liam Prost

54 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE


SUUNS

Hold/Still

Secret City Records

Mental breaks, realizations, anxiety attacks, and sedation:

these are the kind of cognitive atmospheres that

inhabit SUUNS’ new album Hold/Still. Opening track

“Fall” begins with loud gnarls of guitars at unease, and

from here the remaining ten arrangements juxtapose

one another by zig-zagging from heavy bevies of bass

to beating bits of synth to shrill squeals of strings to

swells of swirling sound. It’s all over the place, yet it

is extremely concentrated. In its entirety, listening to

the album makes you feel as if you’re in the inside

of a mind that is going every which way, ultimately

finding itself lost within its own confliction. But that’s

exactly how the mind can be, and this is what makes

Hold/Still a complete fixation, the fact that it identifies

and hones in on the nature of such conflictions

in order to make it an audible speculation. This is an

album that makes you really think, and even after

you’ve taken your headphones off, you might just

notice that the sounds of SUUNS has tilted your

perspective in one way or another.

• Hannah Many Guns

Tancred

Out of the Garden

Polyvinyl Record Co.

Listeners have grown accustomed to Jess Abbott’s

shiny and rhythmic guitar leads on the more driving

moments from Minneapolis’ Now, Now. Hiding

behind a thinline telecaster and a pair of clubmaster

glasses, Abbott helped elevate the indie outfit

beyond their emo haircuts and sentimental lyrics. Her

debut as Tancred however, thrust Abbott into the

front, bare-faced on the self-titled release, delivering

stark folk-rock songs almost totally devoid of the

intricate guitar-work so emblematic of Now, Now’s

most recent release Threads (2012). Out of the

Garden continues this trend, ignoring opportunities

for clean hooks and instead, turning up the fuzz

wherever possible. The songs are concise and the sentiments

are tight, resulting in a release that’s stronger

and more confident, edging into punk in moments,

softened at the corners by Abbott’s warm vocal delivery.

This contrast pays off during the moments where

Abbott juxtaposes the emotional vulnerability of her

lyrics with the confidence inherent to her garage rock

apparatus, most notably on tracks like “Pens,” which

follows the ironic lyric ‘it’s crazy how stable I am’ with

a series of saccharine ‘oohs.’ Out of the Garden turns

it up for Tancred, but loses none of the definition. A

fast, hooky record with little room for criticism.

• Liam Prost

Tokyo Police Club

Melancholy and the Infinite Radness (Part 1)

Dine Alone Records

Tokyo Police Club probably write hooks on the cold

sides of their pillows while they sleep. 2014’s Forcefield

was such an effortless exercise in perfect indiedance-rock

that moments of it actually started to feel

like they weren’t trying. Regardless, three records of

infinitely fist-bumpable music under their belt and a

couple solo projects underway from its membership,

what exactly Tokyo Police Club was going to become

was a bit of a mystery. Melancholy and the Infinite

Radness (Part 1) is the awkward stepsister to Forcefield

that I’m not sure anyone was asking for, but it

rocks no less than Tokyo Police Club fans should expect.

It opens strong with “Not My Girl,” whose clean

hooks and mumblecore lyrics tickle the teenager in

us all. The only awkward moment comes from “The

Ocean” which goes headfirst into contemporary pop

far enough to include a half-hearted beat drop. The

cheesey keys and synths on this song are the only serious

missteps on an otherwise charming EP. Whatever

Part 2 of this project brings, it may not be unprecedented,

but it is certainly more than welcome.

• Liam Prost

Van Damsel

Van Damsel

Independent

Sunlit and glazy indie-electro-pop, bubbling with a

razzy, mouth-filling micro-froth. A quagmire, perhaps,

Van Damsel presents their debut LP, Van Damsel,

full of wiggles and sniggers primed on reflective

tranquillity. Perpendicular in its parallels, lax as an

intense mineral bath, yet explosive like being tickled

by fireworks, the jams are snappishly sweet, the

hooks smartly sticky, and harmonics tightly knotted.

Literally. Van Damsel fucks the fuck out of finicky

forced fun, flips you over and heaves you into a

furious, fevered, naked, pancake breakfast dance

party in a government-subsidized cafeteria with

cinnamon buns to die for. Of course, this sounds

kind of preposterous. There’s an outside chance

that what you just read might look like unabridged

jibber-jabber, but what else can a person say when

an album sounds like the memory of a spectacular

feeling and you didn’t even need to snort a bunch of

blow to get there?

Lowering the volume on this (while that’s never

really an option, ever) would be a forfeiture, both for

the senses and the perceptions, as the crescendos ascend;

the cadences fuss happily into vast, wide open

spaces; escaping the drudgery and drifting on, to the

next dimension.

• Lisa Marklinger

WODE

WODE

Broken Limbs

First comes the thesis: the first great wave of

corpse-painted, church-burning, actually Satan-worshipping

black metal. Then, its antithesis: guys and

some girls dressed like regular guys and girls who

esteem Loveless as highly as Hvis Lyset Tar Oss. Then

comes the synthesis of the two, and that’s WODE.

Their take on the genre is to run its history in reverse,

starting with clarity both emotional and aural and

using the limitless musical palette that Krallice and

the late lamented Altar of Plagues draw from to make

something bleak and cold, hitting that point beyond

all the bullet-belts and medieval weaponry where

black metal becomes both majestic and terrifying.

I would like to think that WODE will step up their

release schedule after receiving the overwhelmingly

positive feedback they’ve got coming. This is only

their second release in five years, and this side of

the Atlantic will only get 300 vinyl copies. Maybe it

takes half a decade to create black metal as perfect

as this, maybe this band can stay in blackened

hearts and warped minds for long enough to get to

where they deserve to be, and the good news is that

you can help: if you like extreme music of any kind,

at all, you’ll definitely need this album.

• Gareth Watkins

BEATROUTE • APRIL 2016 | 55


livereviews

Slayer, Testament, Carcass

MacEwan Hall Ballroom

March 14, 2016

Topless, sweaty dudebros really love yelling “SLAYER” at ear splitting volumes, particularly before,

during, and after Slayer shows. So that’s how Slayer at MacEwan Hall Ballroom was on Monday,

March 14th. It was a whole heck of a lot of people yelling in-between a riveting, ferocious set by

Carcass, an energetic later-era set by Testament, and a discography spanning set by the current

incarnation of Slayer, comprised of only half its original members. Overall, the set by the legends was

rather by the numbers, and let’s be honest: without Hanneman and Lombardo, we all know what

this circus ring is about.

• Sarah Kitteringham

Bombargo

The Palomino

March 25, 2016

Partway through their set, Bombargo’s frontman, Nathan Thoen, oozing with conviction, took a

break from the action to ask the small but captive crowd if they wanted a “chill tune, or to funk

it up?” Ah, funk-rock, or more precisely white funk-rock is a precarious thing in hands of an ambitious

bar band tooling with jazz. Shades of mid-70s Deep Purple (sans Blackmore) with Thoen

injecting an uncanny Lionel Richie vocal delivery and guitarist Spencer Chilliak shredding like Pat

Metheny on a bender, Bombargo turned up the funk right up. With all their steamy, gimme-allyour-lovin’

grooves it still took a bit of coaxing to get those hips shaking, but the dam eventually

burst with a chorus line of ladies front and centre taking it all in and throwing it all back. Even

though Thoen bellowed a bluesy “pour me another” into the mic, “play that funky music white

boy, play that music right” was the hook everyone was hanging on.

• B. SImm

56 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE


SAVAGE LOVE

Dan takes a kick at the one-liners can

Are you incapable of concision? Your answers are too long! You blather

on, often rehashing the problem (unnecessary!) before giving four

words (at most!) of (rarely!) useful advice. I’ve heard you say you have

to edit letters down for space. Try this instead: Edit yourself! I want

more of the letters—more from the people asking questions—and less

of YOU.

—Keep It Short, Savage, Expressed Sincerely

Feedback is always appreciated, KISSES.

I’m 30, happily married, with my husband since I was 17. First boyfriend,

kiss, etc. I never had sex with anyone else. This never bothered me

because I wasn’t really into sex—but there have been big changes in the

last year. I guess I am having a sexual awakening. My sex drive increased,

and I’ve started reading erotica and fantasizing about getting kinky. I’ve

also been having very strong urges to fuck someone else. As someone

who always had strong values and opinions when it comes to sex and

marriage and cheating, these feelings really confused me! So I found a

safe and harmless outlet: Second Life. I created a hot avatar and have

been role-playing, talking dirty, and banging people across the world for

six months. I love it. I get to experience scenarios I fantasize about but

would never do in real life. Before your readers start pulling the cheater

card: I have talked about this with my husband, and I have his blessing.

He knows I have an SL account and I’m having cybersex. Here’s where it

gets murky. Most of my SL friends haven’t asked if I’m taken in RL, and

I haven’t told them that I am. I flirt as if I’m single, though, because I’m

worried people will treat me differently if they know I’m married. I do not

wish to meet or have RL sex with anyone I meet on SL, and I make that

clear to everyone. I don’t do photos/voice chat/Skype. But if someone

asks me if I’m married in RL, I always tell the truth. I’m writing because

I’m worried about this one guy. The cybersex is super hot, and he’s sweet.

He’s my go-to guy, and I’m his go-to girl. He knows I have cybersex with

other people in SL, and I have told him he is obviously allowed to have

sex with others too. But I’m worried our SL relationship has become a bit

more. He leaves me messages when I’m not online, telling me he misses

me and “loves being with me,” and I’ve said the same to him. I’ve also

made it clear I have no intention of meeting anyone from SL in RL, ever.

Regardless of my intentions, I’m worried that I’m crossing the line and

being unfair to my husband. I’m also worried that I’m being unfair to my

guy in SL, because I’m sure he must think I’m single, even though he has

never asked. Am I crossing the line and at risk of hurting my husband/

SL guy? Or am I just having some harmless fun that helps me satisfy this

strange new itch that’s driving me crazy?

—Second Lifer And Spouse Haver

P.S. It’s important to note that SL has not negatively impacted my RL

sex life and, if anything, has made it better. It has also made me happier

and less cranky at home.

You’re doing nothing wrong, SLASH.

My husband and I met our “soul-mate parents” at our daughter’s

preschool a few years ago, i.e., that rare couple with a kid the same age

and the same artistic interests and political values. Our kids instantly

bonded and are now BFFs. They have sleepovers, go trick-or-treating

together, sled together—little girl heaven. Early on, the guy called my

husband and they had a hard-drinking lunch. The guy spilled his guts

about a painful previous relationship. It was weird, but we wrote it off.

Three years of normal interactions and a kid later, we’re really good

friends with the wife, while the guy stays in the background. I decided

to start up a FetLife profile for fun—my husband and I are monogamish,

and this is with his okay—and I find the guy’s profile, which

clearly states that his wife does not know he’s on this site. What do I

do? Pretend I never saw it? What if the wife finds out I knew? Do I tell

him that I know? Most of all, I worry about the strain this would place

on my daughter’s friendship. Her heart would be broken.

—Has Evidence Louse Parent Making Arrangements

Mind your own business, HELPMA.

II am a kinkster. I have been since I can remember (I am now 21 years

old), and I’ve never told anyone about my deep dark desires until the

last year. During my time at university, I made good friends with a guy

who I was able to open up to about my preferences, as he had similar

desires. We created a beneficial arrangement. I suddenly no longer

felt like I needed to suppress my “fucked up” masochistic needs and

became extremely happy and more comfortable with them. I keep a

journal, and naturally I wrote about this arrangement and a lot of the

explicit details. Last summer, my mother read my entire journal and

was horrified. After she read it, I received a very nasty text message

from her about how our relationship was over, she couldn’t believe

what I had done, and she was no longer going to help pay for my

postgraduate courses, etc. She was deeply disturbed to learn that some

money she had given me for my 21st birthday was spent on a hotel

room where I met up with my kinky friend. (It wasn’t like we could

meet in my family home!) I never wanted my mother to know about

any of this, and I feel bad for how it upset her, but this was also a huge

violation of my privacy. The only way to resolve the situation was for

by Dan Savage

me to pretend that I deeply regretted everything, tell her I can see now

how messed up those “weird” sex practices are, and say that I’m cured

and will never engage in them again. Months have passed and I’m still

angry with her for having read my diary. I feel sad about the lies I told

and having to pretend—still—that I regret what I did. Because the

truth is I’ve never felt more like myself than when I am doing BDSM. It’s

not my entire world, but it is an important part of who I am. How do

you think I should take things from here? She’ll never understand, so

telling her isn’t an option, but that means suppressing my deep upset

at her as well.

—Mother Unfairly Destroyed Daughter’s Libido Entirely

Fuck mom; be you, MUDDLE.*

* Shit, I really can’t do this one in four words. Confront your fucking

mother, MUDDLE, once you’re out of grad school (priorities!), about

the awful, shitty things she did to you: reading your journal; shaming

you for your sexual interests and your private, consensual, respectful,

and healthy sexual explorations; and her unforgivable acts of

emotional and financial blackmail. And you should wave the results

of this study under her nose when you confront her: livescience.

com/34832-bdsm-healthy-psychology.html. It’s just one of several

studies showing that people who practice BDSM—not just fantasize

about it but actually practice it—are psychologically healthier than

vanilla people.

Listen to Dan at

savagelovecast.com

Email Dan at

mail@savagelove.net

Follow Dan

@fakedansavage on Twitter

58 | APRIL 2016 • BEATROUTE

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