BeatRoute Magazine Alberta print e-edition - October 2016

beatroute

BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics.

OCTOBER 2016

FREE

• Wordfest 2016 • Tokyo Police Club • Sum 41 • Diamond Mind • Duotang • • Bon Iver •


Editor’s Note/Pulse 4

Bedroom Eyes 7

Edmonton Extra 34-35

SaskTell 35

Book of Bridge 36

Letters from Winnipeg 37

Live Reviews 57

Savage Love 58

FEATURES

Burlesque Fest 12-13

CITY 8-15

Wordfest, MST Festival

FILM 16-19

Torrey Pines, Herland, Donnie Darko

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MUSIC

rockpile 21-37

Tokyo Police Club, Sum 41, Slow Down

Molasses, Benjamin Stevie, JPNSGRLS,

FOONYAP, Port Juvee, Boreal Sons,

Northwest Passage, Miesha & the Spanks

jucy 39-41

Sorrow, Librarian, Sinistarr

roots 43-45

Wide Cut Weekend, Del Barber, CS

Stoneking, Picture the Ocean, Lauren

Mann, Terra Lightfoot, Cam Penner

shrapnel 46-49

Ghost, Black Mourning Light Festival,

UADA

REVIEWS

cds 51-56

Bon Iver and much, much more ...

BEATROUTE

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Brad Simm

Marketing Manager

Glenn Alderson

Advertising Manager

Ron Goldberger

Production Coordinator

Hayley Muir

Content Coordinator

Masha Scheele

Managing Editor/Web Producer

Shane Flug

Music Editor

Colin Gallant

Section Editors

City :: Brad Simm

Film :: Jonathan Lawrence

Calgary Beat :: Willow Grier

Edmonton Extra :: Levi Manchak

Book of (Leth)Bridge :: Courtney Faulkner

SaskTell :: The Riz

Letters From Winnipeg :: Julijana Capone

Jucy :: Paul Rodgers

Roots :: Liam Prost

Shrapnel :: Sarah Kitteringham

Reviews :: Jamie McNamara

This Month’s Contributing Writers

Christine Leonard • Gareth Watkins • Sarah Mac • Kennedy Enns • Michaela Ritchie •

Jennie Orton • Sasha Semenoff • Sara Elizabeth Taylor • Brittany Rudyck • Morgan Cairns

• Jamie Goyman • Yasmine Shemesh • Maya-Roisin Slater • Claire Miglionico • Tyler Stewart

• Max Foley • Hannah Many Guns • Arielle Lessard • Devon Dubetz • Mike Dunn •

Amber McLinden • Andrew R. Mott • Alec Warkentin • James Olson • Shane Sellar • Paul

McAleer • Trent Warner • Cole Parker • Brett Sandford • Andrea Hunter • Dan Savage

This Month’s Contributing Photographers & Illustrators

Sebastian Buzzalino • Michaela Ritchie • Greg Doble • Jason Halsted • Joseph Visser •

Rachel Pick • Anastasia Moody • Brieanne Mikuska • Meghan MacWhirter • Jon Martin

Tokyo Police Club - page 21

Advertising

Tel: 403.607-4948 • e-mail: ron@beatroute.ca

Distribution

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

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

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

E-Edition

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

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 3


pulse

THEATRE JUNCTION GRAND OPENS ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

SEASON BY WELCOMING BACK HIROAKI UMEDA (JAPAN) WITH

INTENSIONAL PARTICLE + SPLIT FLOW FROM OCT. 12-15.

“Hiroaki Umeda is one of those singular artists who over many years of

research, collaborationand technical innovation, has developed a live-art

form that he can callhis own,” says Artistic Director Mark Lawes. “The combination

of high-tech video, laserlights and electronic music that merges

with the body creates a visual and sonic landscapenot easily forgotten.

Visceral, immersive and beautiful.”

In Intensional Particle, Umeda visualizes the energy created by

movement. Using sensors to track his motions, Umeda creates a digital

universe where the audience is devoured by sight and sound. In split flow,

speed is expressed through deliberate movements and strobes of light.

A high luminance laser projects three primary colours –red, green and

blue – in split-second velocity. First appearing white to the human eye, as

the dancer moves through it, the white light splits into numerous colours

creating different realities.

ARTS COMMONS PRESENTS: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE

SPEAKER AND PHOTOGRAPHER CHARLIE HAMILTON JAMES

WITH I BOUGHT A RAINFOREST ON OCTOBER 23 & 24, 2016.

In a spur of the moment decision, Charlie Hamilton James bought a

100 acre section of the Peruvian rainforest in an attempt to save it.

What he found when he started living there, was that the diversity and

complexity of stories of the people was as great as the biodiversity he is

trying to protect.

Discover what it’s like to live in—not just visit—two of the world’s

great wildlife parks from the point of view of this critically acclaimed

photojournalist.

“I am constantly staggered and inspired by nature both in its design

and its beauty; it’s led to a lifelong obsession to understand, document,

and save it.” — Charlie Hamilton James

MEDIA DARLING’S AWARD WINNING FILM VIOLENT TO

SCREEN AT KNOX UNITED CHURCH AS PART OF CALGARY

CINEMATHEQUE’S TENTH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

SCREENING ON THURS., OCT 13.

Acclaimed Norwegian language film produced by Calgary’s Media Darling

makes its homecoming debut. VIOLENT, the audacious, award-winning

Norwegian-language Canadian film created byVancouver-based production

company Amazing Factory, produced in conjunction with Calgary’s

own boutique filmcompany MEDIA DARLING, will finally screen in

Calgary as part of the Calgary Cinematheque’s tenth anniversary season.

The debut feature from director Andrew Huculiak, drummer for innovative

Vancouver indie group We Are The City, Violent was shortlisted

for competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and screened in the festival’s

Perspective Canadaindustry sidebar. Violent was one of a select few films

considered for Canada’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Filmcategory

at the 2016 Academy Awards.

4 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE


WARHOL RETURNS The Factory Party: Centennial Planetarium Oct. 22

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 7


CITY

WORDFEST 2016

illuminates the modern manuscript

It wouldn’t be autumn

in Calgary without a

little leafing through,

and Wordfest 2016 is

the perfect occasion to

pick up a new tome or

two. An inspiring and

informative whirlwind

that whips the city’s literary

circles into a frenzy

of activity this annual

gathering of readers and

writers has exceeded

its original scope and

now extends to events

staged throughout

the year. The locus of

Wordfest’s focus, their

10-day “main event”

festival in October, has

become both a valued

proving-ground and a

hallowed institution of

cultural exchange for

audiences. According

to general director Shelley Youngblut, this year’s

festival will be one of enlightening encounters with

some 70 writers who are actively plotting-out the

shape of Canadian literature to come.

“We’re now in the 21st year of Wordfest and it’s

my second year and first full year of programming,”

says Youngblut. “I’m really emphasizing the idea

that we’re connecting Calgarians with life-changing

ideas. We have brought in this second-tier of

Canadian writers; people who are writing with

such brazen originality. There’s one writer named

Andrew Sullivan his book is as if the Coen Brothers

had given up on the lightness. He’s got a book

called Waste where his main characters are Skinheads.

There’s another author Jay Hosking ‘Three

Years with a Rat’ that’s deeply original. And Affinity

Konar ‘Mischling,’ so watch out for those.”

Building showcases around the festival’s roster

of award-winning and emergent authors, who are

considered “Ones to Watch,” Youngblut hopes to

draw eyes and attention to the works of cutting-edge

writers from across North America and

beyond. Designed to dive between the lines and

dig beneath the surface, Wordfest manipulates the

template of literary workshopping by facilitating

provocative and interactive presentations that illustrate

the written word by engaging audiences with

potent doses of live performance and, more often

than not, contagious laughter.

“We’ve also got fantastic late-night events at the

Big Secret Theatre. The first one is Literary Death

Match, anybody who’s been to Wordfest in the last

four years knows that you have to go to it. We’ve

got this guy Adrian Zuniga from Los Angeles who

does them all over the world, it’s a must-see thing.

Friday night it’s The Naughty Bits Read-a-Thon, in

which our Festival writers are going to read aloud

not-safe-for-work passages from either their books,

or other people’s books, from a bed on the stage.

And then on Saturday it’s the Adult Spelling Bee!

We staged it last year for 50 people and there were

no pictures allowed because of a certain amount of

by Christine Leonard

Shelley Youngblut

nudity. People loved it. So, we’re bringing it to the

Big Secret Theatre where we can have the potential

for full-nudity and, of course, the bar. It’s not your

Mother’s literary festival and that’s part of what

makes Wordfest in Calgary so special!”

Food for thought will not be in short supply as

Wordfest strives to shed light on the inspirational

storytelling of novelists such as Madeleine Thien,

who will be conversing on her trade during a

private Breakfast Talk at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery

in the Simmons Building. Likewise, author Mark

Leiren-Young will be anchoring the Curiosity

Showcase, providing insight into his humourous

approach to history and the penning his CBC

Ideas documentary “Moby Doll: The Whale that

Changed the World.” The celebration of creativity

claims its space with a retinue of envelope-pushing

artists such as Karen Hines, a two-time nominee for

the General Governor’s Award for her avant-garde

dramatic works, and a powerhouse line-up of

female authors who translate their experiences to

text without trepidation.

“I hope everybody checks out Karen Hines,”

says Youngblut. “Her alter-ego, Pochsy, is really big

on the alternative theatre scene. Anybody who’s

been to Fringe plays, or has seen her collaborations

with Canadian clowns of horror Mump & Smoot,

will recognize her. We’ve got her for five nights in

the Arts Commons’ Motel Theatre, performing a

staged-reading called ‘Crawlspace’ for 30 people,

where Karen starts talking to you about her

experience with a real estate horror story. We also

have a panel called the Bionic Women Writers,”

she continues. “I’m really big on the idea of women

with strong voices, the Festival is filled with them.

I think for anybody’s who’s a part of Femme Wave,

this is your literary version of Femme Wave. I think

it’s going to be a real talker.”

An articulate answer to Calgary’s increasing

demand for reliance and sustenance, Wordfest’s

decision to engineer life-changing opportunities for

readers is to be applauded. There’s no denying that

a timely exploration of non-fictional topics that address

an array of practical concerns and concepts,

without setting foot in a waiting-room, is just what

the doctor ordered.

“Canada’s leading psychiatrist, Dr. David Goldbloom

M.D., is coming on Saturday October 8th.

He’s written a book called ‘How Can I Help?’ I think

all of us have some mental health concerns right

now, and so for 15 bucks you can come and actually

listen to someone who knows what he’s talking

about. We also have a couple of panels coming up

in the area life-changing ideas; the first one specifically

deals with inclusivity, it’s a really diverse panel.

And then the following week we have a provocateur’s

Uncivic Politics panel that is perfect in terms

of Calgary’s upcoming civic election (when nobody

seems to be able to listen), which features James

Hoggan, the author of ‘I’m right and you’re an idiot’

and Board Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation.”

Add to this reckoning a massive Wordfest Youth

Program that attracts some 11,000 student-attendees

and you have the makings of a literary happening

capable of rivaling the most prestigious writers’

festivals in the world. As an annual occasion that has

bloomed into a perennial platform for the exchange

of ideas, Wordfest has come to represent the consumer’s

thirst for knowledge as much as the creator’s

impetus to share their innermost thoughts.

“It’s absolutely necessary to stress that the most

important person in all of this is the reader,” Youngblut

asserts. “This year in particular, if you come to

any of the showcases you’re going to be hearing

from, and getting a sense of, the writers who are

going to be setting the agenda nationally and

internationally. These are the authors people are

going to be talking about and you will have heard

of them first. So, it’s also a festival of discovery. It’s

really diverse and really electric and kind of like

the equivalent of having the New Yorker Magazine

come alive but in Calgary.”

Wordfest 2016 runs Oct. 7-16 at various locations in

Calgary. For a detailed schedule of events and complete

list of artists appearing go to wordfest.com.

8 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE CITY


Lives of Poets (with Guitars)

Canadian author uncovers 13 treasures

On North American shores, writing about

music and its cultural spin-offs has largely

been defined by the snarky authority

of Pitchfork and trash-talkin’ teardowns of VICE

giving birth to the new, new cool. Whereas those

writing for music publications in Britain, although

still cheeky, offer far more in the way of literary

craft, storytelling and historical insight compared

to the brash Americans.

Ray Robertson, a Canadian novelist, aligns himself

closer to the British tradition reinforcing that smart,

lively prose and a bit of wit goes a long, marvelous

way. In his recent book, Lives of the Poets (with Guitars),

Robertson wades into the world of musicians

who weren’t chart-bustin’ household names, but still

possessed remarkable talents turning out genuine

gold-nugget recordings. One part of Lives of the

Poets is a record guide revealing these undiscovered

treasures, the other is Robertson’s gift of spewing out

stories that simply shame most rock ‘n’ roll writers

into the hacks they really are. We caught up with

Robertson to take us on a tour of his journey writing

the book.

BeatRoute: Obviously you're a avid music fan,

listener and collector of records. You make

the all too correct observation that "our

favourite musicians are as close to real-life

magicians as most of us will ever know." What

were some of the first records you owned and

ones that you have kept listening to (in addition

to those artists you wrote about) that

had that magic?

Ray Robertson: I grew up in a small town in Southwestern

Ontario in the ‘70s and ‘80s, so unless you

were lucky enough to have a cool older sister or

brother with a great record collection, finding out

where the world kept all of the good stuff was no

easy task. The first record I bought with my own

money was Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the

Brown Dirt Cowboy. The coolest I ever felt while

buying a record was handing a copy of The Velvet

Underground’s first album over the counter to the

store clerk. Neil Young is about the only survivor from

my teenage record pile.

BR: The tagline to the book is "Thirteen Outsiders

Who Changed Modern Music"... The Ramones certainly

reinvented and revolutionized rock 'n' roll,

but most of the other artists you selected their

music is steeped in the tradition of blues, country,

gospel and folk. In what ways, then, did some of

these individuals alter and shape modern music?

RR: A guy like John Hartford was, yes, playing bluegrass

when he recorded his Areo-Plain L.P., but it was

bluegrass mixed up with, among other things, the

Beatles, pot, and Beatnik poetry. Absolutely singular.

Ronnie Lane created his own kind of music, too, as

did Sister Rosetta Tharpe and her very loud electric

guitar. The list goes on.

BR: When discussing the context of these particular

artists and their contributions, on a few

occasions you take a shot at some famous artists

bringing up some actual details (e.g., David

Crosby: the pushy, bratty rich kid; The Sex Pistols’

recording budget in the hundreds of thousands

was hardly DIY punk). In doing, when you call

these artists "outsiders" they're really unsung

heroes. Was that an impetus for writing the book

as well: to help foster the recognition and credit

they deserve?

RR: Exactly. What I mostly do is write novels, and all

you can hope for when you publish one is that it’s

Ray Robertson

the best possible book it could be. With Lives of the

Poets, there was definitely an additional, proselytizing

element: to expose the music of the artists in the

book to more people. These musicians are all heroes

of mine, so it felt almost like a duty to get their stories

“right.”

BR: How much do you weigh in on the notion that

the lives of these artists lived are largely responsible

for art they produced? Is that primarily why

you deemed them to be significant, because they

had rich, intense, tragic, eccentric or weird lives in

some fashion and, in turn, produced great art?

RR: You can’t separate the life from the work, ever.

That’s very often the academic approach, but it’s

by B. Simm

a falsification of the artistic process, as any creator,

whatever their field, knows. I vowed not to write

about an artist unless they created a very special,

unique body of work and their life story was not only

fascinating but illustrative of some interesting theme.

Like Little Richard: his music was exemplary, his

artistic influence vast, his life and his music shaped to

a great degree by his life-long inability to reconcile his

homosexuality and his love of rock and roll with his

fundamentalist Christian beliefs.

BR: When doing your research, did you unearth

anything about an artist's personal life, their work

or professional history that was totally unexpected

or you thought was profoundly unusual?

RR: Several people in the book came to understand

what they wanted to do with their lives in same way:

for the older ones, it was by seeing Elvis Presley on

The Ed Sullivan Show; for the younger, it was going to

the movies to watch A Hard Day’s Night.

BR: Outside these 13 chosen artists, is there

anyone else you could have or wanted to add but

didn't make the cut? Who would they be, and for

what main contribution?

RR: Well, there’ll eventually be a Lives of the Poets

(with Guitars): Volume Two, but I’ve got a novel coming

out next fall first, and then there’s another book

of non-fiction, this time on death, that’ll be published

after that. So I’ve got plenty of time to decide who to

write about next. It’ll definitely include James Booker,

Duster Bennett, and Mary McCaslin, though. I get

excited just talking about it.

Wordfest presents Roots Poets and Heroes with Guitars:

Ray Robertson with Holger Petersen Oct. 8 from

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the Glenbow Museum Theatre.

Is feminism for sale?

Bitch Media co-founder doesn’t buy it

As Andi Zeisler puts it, she didn’t “set out to writing a book

about the commodification of feminism.” But as co-founder

and creative director of Bitch Media, observing and steering

the pop-culture imagination of a nation, she found that she had accrued

more than enough material to pen We Were Feminists Once:

From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political

Movement, a unique tome on the subject at the heart of her two

decades of experience as an independent journalist and advocate for

women’s rights.

“Is it a more dangerous time to be a feminist? Maybe,” says Zeisler.

“It’s unfortunate that the advent of new technologies and forms of

communication means that there are now more ways for anti-feminists

to attack individuals and the ideas that they’re trying to put forward,

but at the same time the rise of social media has made it easier than ever

for likeminded people to come together and find solidarity around the

issues that matter to them.”

Finding common ground while sharing divergent opinions, and

gathering knowledge from grassroots sources of expertise, is the ultimate

expression of cultural community-building; and something Calgary’s

Wordfest annual literary festival has ingrained in their organizational

architecture. As a forum whose audience appreciates spirited debates

and discussions on the juiciest of social topics, Wordfest has set out a

cerebral buffet of events that will provoke and satisfy the rebel reader in

us all. Zeisler a.k.a. Andi Z is slated to engage in a Literary Death Match

opposite fellow print-jockeys Jillian Christmas, C.C. Humphreys, Kenneth

Oppel, Alissa York, Aaron Paquette and Mark Leiren-Young. Cajoled into

performance-mode by jet-setting host Adrian Todd Zuniga, a variety of

CITY

Andi Zeisler

authors will read selections from their most eyebrow-raising passages

before a cocktail-lubricated jury of their peers. The following evening

Andi Z will return to flex her intellectual muscle alongside a panel

comprised of women word-bombers including cultural anthologist Lynn

Coady, graphic memoir creator Teva Harrison, and novelist Lisa Moore.

This much-anticipated gathering of Bionic Women Writers is exactly the

kind of real-world activism Zeisler has identified as the true catalyst to

social progress.

“I think that over time feminism as a concept has shifted from being

a collective purpose to a source of individual identity. When we say that

feminism has been sold out, that doesn’t mean running down Miley

by Christine Leonard

Cyrus for twerking and calling it empowerment. There are many versions

of sexual empowerment. What we’re talking about is the selling of an

image of what it means to be a feminist on a much larger scale. For

example, that Secret commercial that tries to convince young women

that if they want to do their part towards closing the wage gap that they

should be wearing a certain brand of deodorant. It’s absurd.”

Given that she has written on activism for the likes of the Washington

Post, Salon, Ms., and the Los Angeles Review of Books it’s not surprising

that the Oregon-based Zeisler has encountered more than her fair share

of armchair critics. The winds of discontent swirling around the issues

she examines in her latest book have only gained momentum with gong

show that is the current U.S. election. And as those currents have grown

so have her concerns about the blatantly racist and sexist attitudes that

have been exposed in the midst of the tensions that are gripping her

country. In the end, Zeisler is more concerned with actions than words.

A position any advocate for Team Human can surely appreciate.

“I think the question that people need to be asking themselves in the

face of these massive and complex social problems is, ‘What am I willing

to do to make a difference in the world?’ Rather than just applauding

celebrities and calling them ‘brave’ for identifying themselves as ‘a feminist’

in an interview, we should be asking them how they are going to use

their fame, and their influence, and their money to really change things

for the better.”

Andi Zeisler is appearing at Wordfest on Oct. 12 from 9:15-10:45 p.m. and

Oct. 13 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on both occasions in Art Commons, Big Secret

Theatre.

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 9


M:ST 8

(non) standard – M:ST returns

by Sasha Semenoff

Destabilizing viewers through performance art.

It would be an understatement to say that some

works of contemporary art can be challenging

to the casual viewer; walking into a gallery these

days can mean coming up against any number of

puzzling projects – works that to the uninitiated

can come across as dense and even overwhelmingly

difficult to comprehend. Gone are the days of easily

digestible landscapes and portraiture, and according

to many, it’s for the better.

A similar comparison can be made between traditional

forms of performance art such as plays, ballets,

and musicals, and more experimental artistic works

such as those that will be occurring over the course of

the M:ST 8, the eighth biennial Southern Alberta Performative

Arts Festival, during the month of October

in Lethbridge and Calgary.

M:ST–the abbreviation for Mountain Standard

Time, the time zone in which Alberta is located–is a

perfomative arts festival, meaning that featured works

are defined by, first and foremost, the live presence

of the artist, but can also comprise elements of visual

media such as video and film, live web-streaming, as

well as spoken word and site-specific interventions.

While many of these works can initially be a bit

intimidating to engage with, according to festival artistic

director Tomas Jonsson, it can be a very positive

experience once you immerse yourself in it.

“I think it’s a really destabilizing experience but

in a very generative and positive way. Any kind of

discipline of performance art is trying to shift and

open up new ways of experiencing work, so a lot of

familiar conventions you would have in theatrical art

experiences won’t be there,” says Jonsson.

Because of the lack of familiarity and conventionality,

the experiences of encountering works of

performative art can be surprising and unexpected:

no two works are alike and anything goes. But the

aim of the festival is not to intimidate but to engage,

and once one does that, the possibilities of experience

really open up.

“Once you dive into the water, you acclimatize to it.

There is that initial step that needs to take place, but

once that happens the intimidation washes away very

quickly. So that’s really what we want to do, to provide

that opening for people to come into it and to really

make it their own,” says Jonsson.

The name of the festival is an allusion to the amalgamation

of time and space, and according to Jonsson,

the festival itself is an ongoing exploration of what it

means to occupy the space that we do; through a variety

of performative works, artist explore the notion of

presence and place.

“I think presence is the most important aspect of

the festival and that goes for the audience as well as

the performers. It’s really cultivating the space of presence

of where we are, where we are together, where

we come from – and there’s quite a trajectory as well,

so where we go from this,” says Jonsson.

There is no shortage of diverse works for viewers

to engage with at the festival, including everything

from Calgary artist Alana Bartol walking the entire

city limits of the city in an endurance performance

exploring the arbitrary nature of borders, to the

presence of echo + seashells, a duo from Finland and

the Netherlands, who will be performing songs they

have written during their tour of Western Canada, to a

collaboration at Fort Calgary between local indigenous

artist Terrance Houle and Nathalie Mba Bikoro

that will challenge cultural assumptions rooted in

colonization – and much more.

These various performances will be complemented

by a series of artist talks, lectures, and public conversations

occurring throughout both Lethbridge and Calgary

in a variety of partner galleries and institutions.

Asked if there is any one single thing that attendees

and participants can expect from the festival,

Jonsson says, “Many of the works will require direct

engagement, not just passive receiving. To be prepared

for the festival I’d say, get ready to get your

hands dirty.”

M:ST 8 Southern Alberta Performative Arts Festival

runs from October 1-2 in Lethbridge and October 21-26

in Calgary at various locations. See website for details.

10 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE CITY


It’s SHOW TIME!

CALGARY INTERNATIONAL BURLESQUE FESTIVAL

One of the big upgrades this year to the Calgary International

Burlesque Festival is that they will be occupying and enjoying the

extravagance of Flames Central. What a glorious place to have a

burlesques show.

“I know!” says CIBF president, Ruby Demure, squeezing out

bursts of joy. “That’s our big Saturday night show. On Friday we’re at the Chinese

Cultural Center. Under the big dome inside, it’s so lovely.”

In the past Demure says the festival was constrained because there were a

wide range of rules set by the AGLC that put everyone on edge, including venue

owners who could be fined up to $10,000 for certain violations. But this year, a

recent AGLC ruling change, which doesn’t discriminate between exposed breasts

for male and females, allows for full frontal nudity making things far more relaxed

and exciting.

Asked whether they plan to take full advantage of the topless opportunity,

Demure quietly says, “Noooo, we’re going keep those boundaries tucked in a nice

little box for now. But it makes it so much easier. I can’t tell you how many times

a pastie flies off and a venue could get fined ten grand. And we just never knew

about some of these rules because they were so vague and it could vary how each

(AGLC ) officer interpreted things. You never really knew you were safe.”

Demure notes that the pressure relief is not just for the festival, but also for the

burlesque community. There’s a number of venues that feel more comfortable

welcoming shows, such as Flames Central and the Chinese Cultural Centre opening

up their doors and all the splendor inside. Demure adds that with the ruling

change burlesque is getting more exposure in the city because of existing patrons

in the new locations. As a result, there’s a better understanding and appreciation

for burlesque.

“Within the last year there’s been a big growth of people watching, taking it in,

and also the in number of performers. It’s so amazing because you’re now seeing

people come watch the shows that weren’t in the community already. A whole new

audience is opening up, enjoying performances and becoming regulars.”

The relaxation of laws, bigger and more promising venues has allowed burlesque

not only to gain a wider audience, but it has also helped the art form develop to

become more enticing and entertaining.

“When the burlesque revival first started in Calgary, we felt all we needed was a

stage. We just wanted to be on stage. The women who started this movement just

wanted to be able to perform. There was a time you just do what you gotta do.

And now that it’s matured and there’s more community support, and the people

performing have honed their art, they know to ask and expect and demand a little bit

more as well. It’s nice to go to a venue and say, ‘These are our requirements. We need

lights, we need space for this, that and the other thing.’ So it’s become a production.

And I think there’s value in that and obviously Calgary is responding.”

The evolution of the local burlesque community spills over into bringing

respected performers from other parts of the globe and raising the bar for the

CIBF. One of the headliners this year is Perle Noire. Originally from Texas, Noire

gravitated to that showgirl capital, glitzy ole Las Vegas, then was drawn to the

rich, exotic tapestry of New Orleans. There she become fascinated with Josephine

Baker, whose star rose rapidly in the 1920s and ‘30s as one of the world’s most

celebrated silver screen beauty and burlesque dancer, then later on an outspoken

activist who raged against racism. Known as “The Black Pearl,” Baker was the

inspiration for Perle Noire’s stage name.

On Cosmopolitan’s website, Noire spoke at length discussing her love of burlesque

and its importance to her as a performer, artist and black woman under the

gaze of diverse and growing audience. Boldly expressing her sexuality that ranges

from jazzy to tribal, Noire basks in a dazzling display of silk, feathers, grace and

elegance. The Mahogany Queen of Burlesque is unquestionable one of the world’s

most compelling burlesque dancers intent on breaking all kinds of boundaries.

Burlesque as Art

Burlesque, to me, is the epitome of artistry. There’s comedy, there’s people dancing,

there’s opulence. Growing up, I loved ballet, I loved ballroom, I loved opera — and

burlesque was all of that in one.

Burlesque is Bold

Society has always had a negative attitude about women who are free, whether they’re

free with their bodies or free with their minds. Strong, outspoken, unapologetic women

are not celebrated. And burlesque is the epitome of a bold and uninhibited woman.

Perle Noire: The Mahogany Queen of Burlesque

Burlesque as Beautiful Imperfection

My mission is to help women in burlesque who don’t have traditional bodies or

conventional beauty. I want to help heal the audience member who feels like

she’s alone. Burlesque makes me feel powerful instead of powerless, and I want

to make the audience feel that way too. I’m making a choice with my body,

embodying strength and happiness with the beauty of my imperfections, and

sharing that with the world.

12 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE CITY


Highlights and Headliners

FRIDAY NIGHT CABARET

Calgary Chinese Cultural Center

Oct. 14, 8 PM

Traditional burlesque, a glamour spectacular,

headlined by the divine Miss

Judith Stein, with honored guest Maggie

McMuffin, and hosted by Vancouver’s

Mister Nickel.

SATURDAY NIGHT SHOWCASE

Flames Central

Oct. 15, 9 PM

Diverse, dark, funny, sexy, silly; a little

different from conventional styles. Headliner

Perle Noire the Mahogany Queen of

Burlesque (NY) takes the stage along with

emcee Blanche DeBris (LV) followed by

the official CIBF After Party with Molly Fi

from Girls On Decks and DJ Dopamine.

MISTER NICKEL

Vanocouver emcee, he owns a suit,

has grown his very own beard, and is

packing up a quick-wit and toothy grin

as he travels across the Rockies to share

himself with you.

BLANCE DEBRIS

Sporting a sparkly, skintight evening

gown and two pounds of bright blue eye

shadow, her stage presence marries Phyllis

Diller with Miss Piggy.

SUNDAY BURLESQUE BRUNCH

Sheraton Eau Claire Grand Ballroom

Oct. 16, 12 PM

What better way to wrap up the festival

than with some bacon and legs? This

year’s ticketed admission includes a

brunch buffet in the beautiful Sheraton

Eau Claire Grand Ballroom, headliner

Sizzle Dizzle Burlesque (NY) along with

Alberta’s own The Dirrty Show.

MAGGIE MCMUFFIN

After years of combining nudity with other theatrical genres such

as rock musicals and cabarets, Maggie started burlesquing in 2010.

Initially a stage kitten for Montana’s premiere troupe The Cigarette

Girls Burlesque​, she quickly began work as an emcee and performer.

Drawing inspiration from past and present pop culture, Maggie

combines comedic flair with the gritty dance moves of 1970’s strip

clubs. Known as The Pelvis of Justice, she’s here to hip-thrust her way

into your heart.

SIZZLE DIZZLE

Brooklyn-based magic maker, known for her “audacious amount of personality” Sizzle

Dizzle’s versatile chameleon skills allow her to shift from neo to classic to comedic in the

blink of a glitter-dosed eyelash.

CITY

THE DIRRTY SHOW

Gliding your mind into the gutter one soaring harmony at a time, two sexually empowered women (Kayla Williams and Melody Stang)

sing of ‘Double R-rated’ topics that are rarely brought to light and transform them into catchy morsels of melodic hilarity. The duo’s live

synergy explodes with inappropriate banter, hilarious comedic spin on sexuality, ridiculous faces and alluring dance moves.

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 13


PLACES PLEASE

by Sara Elizabeth Taylor

With Calgary’s theatre season in full swing, there are lots of

reasons to head indoors this month to catch a play. Here are

the top picks for must-see theatre in October.

INTENSIOANL PARTICLE + SPLIT FLOW

THeatre Junction, Oct. 12-15

Minimal, radical, subtle and violent, Japanese artist Hiroaki Umeda is a

multi-disciplinary choreographer, dancer, sound, image and lighting designer.

In Intensional Particle, Hiroaki Umeda visualizes the energetic power of

movement using motion sensors creating digital universes that develop a

life of their own in which a body is seemly devoured by sight and sound.

In Split Flow, speed is expressed through strokes of light and a slow moving

body. A high luminance laser projects three primary colors – red, green and

blue – in split-second velocity, which appear white to the human eye. But

when the dancer moves through them, the white light splits into the three

colors and different realities come into existence.

ONE MAN STAR WARS TRILOGY AND ONE MAN LORD OF THE RINGS

Pumphouse Theatre

Victor Mitchell Theatre at Pumphouse Theatre

Oct.18-29

Two childhood favourites will be coming to life at breakneck speed on the

stages of the Pumphouse Theatre this month. Charles Ross -- Canadian

actor, one-man storytelling machine, uber geek -- will be playing all the

characters, fighting all the battles and bringing back all the memories as

he acts out the original Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogies in just

one mind-bending, 60-minute act each.

FORTUNE FALLS

Alberta Theatre Projects and Catalyst Theatre

Martha Cohen Theatre

Oct.18 - Nov. 5

The wonderful, inventive, darkly whimsical Catalyst Theatre from Edmonton

brings their story of the town of Fortune Falls to Calgary this month

in partnership with ATP. One young security guard wanders the halls of

Mercey Candy Factory, its doors long closed and the sweet joys it brought

to the town a distant memory. That is, until a new owner arrives and

changes everything. If their past productions are any indication of what’s

in store, Fortune Falls is definitely not to be missed.

LEST WE FORGET

Forte Musical Theatre Guild and Lunchbox Theatre

Lunchbox Theatre

Oct. 24 - Nov .12

War changes us all: those who fight, those who wait at home, those who

weren’t even alive but who live with the consequences; we are all forever

altered. These lasting effects are examined in this world-premiere production

that uses music and song to journey from WWI to the present day

sharing the stories of the lives of soldiers and their families.

SPLENDOUR

University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts

University Theatre

Oct. 28 - Nov. 5

Four women sit in a palace, awaiting the return of the dictator. As the

explosions in the distance grow slowly closer, the tension grows, and,

unknown to them, the fragments of their lives become part of the

mosaic of history.

14 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE CITY


MONTHLY

MOUTHFUL

Broken City Brunchtober Feast!

It’s alway been a mystery why people insist on

waiting in long lineups for their breakfast experience

on a Saturday and Sunday at a few select

eateries when there’s other high-five, easy access

options. Pub food doesn’t always translate to a

boutique breakfast, but then Broken City doesn’t

offer standard pub fare. A grilled cheese sandwich

with bacon and pickles or cornflake and coconut

French toast is a perky fix, along with the venue’s

focus on “vegan friendly” plates that includes

cinnamon pancakes and their hearty breakfast

bowl filled with chili, salsa, scrambled eggs,

melted cheese and hashbrowns. There’s also

plenty of fruit and big juicy slabs of steak, go

either way. Post a pic of your meal online, and

get 50% off during the month of October. Yeah!

• B. Simm

THE WET SECRETS / CURTIS GLAS / THE VELVETEINS

PAIGE WOODBURY / GHOST FACTORY / TANNER JAMES

DANE / THE WELLS

SHHHH IT , S A SECRET

THE BIG REVEAL IS A PARTY LIKE NO OTHER PARTY

JUMP ON THE BIG REVEAL PARTY BUS AND WE , LL CELEBRATE OUR MUSIC

COMMUNITY AND SHARE A FEW TASTY HEADLINERS COMING AT YA FOR

BIG WINTER CLASSIC 2017.

COME TO BROKEN CITY SOCIAL CLUB ONLY TO BE WHISKED AWAY TO A

NEARBY SECRET LOCATION FOR THE BIG REVEAL.

OCTOBER 13, 2016

boarding 6:00PM

bus to a party at

a SECRET LOCATION

THIS WILL BE AN INTIMATE SHOW. LIMITED CAPACITY.

BUSES WILL RETURN TO BROKEN CITY SOCIAL CLUB.

BECAUSE WE LOVE YOU THIS IS A , PAY WHAT YOU CAN , EVENT.

CITY

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 15


FILM

TORREY PINES

GIRAF announces 2016 at screening of queer punk animated feature

by Claire Miglionico

Filmmaker Clyde Petersen will be in attendance for the film, performing live with his band Your Heart Breaks.

Clyde Petersen likes punk rock and

two-stepping to live country music. He

is a self-proclaimed night owl who never

wants to have to wake up before noon or before

the mail arrives.

For those who are unfamiliar, Petersen is a

Seattle-based multimedia artist. He is an active

member of the transgender and queer communities

in Seattle and works in film, animation,

music and installation. His work has been

featured around the world but he may be best

recognized for his music videos for indie artists

Kimya Dawson, Laura Veirs, The Thermals and

Deerhoof, to name a few.

Torrey Pines, Petersen’s first feature-length

stop-motion animation is based on his childhood

growing up queer in the ‘90s to a schizophrenic

single mother in the San Diego area. It

is currently a touring theatrical show with a live

score provided by Your Heart Breaks, Petersen’s

own indie punk-rock band.

The film is a “queer punk coming-of-age tale”

that unfolds in a “series of baffling and hallucinated

events.” At the age of 12, Petersen is

kidnapped by his own mother who, at the time,

suffered from untreated paranoid schizophrenia.

She takes him on a cross-country road trip that

alters his family life forever.

The concept for Torrey Pines was fueled by

the song of the same name Petersen wrote and

recorded back in 2007 with singer-songwriter

friend Kimya Dawson. The name refers to the

Torrey Pines State Park where Petersen spent

much of his time as a child by the beach it

overlooks.

Petersen and Dawson toured the world with

the song and people started responding to it

favourably. “After the shows, [people] would

come tell us stories about their lives; growing

FILM

up with members of their family experiencing

mental health issues, growing up queer, feeling

lonely. These were all topics that came through

in discussions around the original song,” shares

Petersen.

Petersen, who studied ASL (American Sign

Language) during the post-production phase

of Torrey Pines, decided to focus on the visual

“language” of the story rather than having it be

driven by dialogue.

“It was important for me to make a film that

could cross both geographical borders without

a language boundary and tell the story to

someone who might be deaf or hard of hearing,”

he says.

As a visually-oriented individual himself,

Petersen says he wanted the underlying familial

tension to be “what is felt most” when it came

to the communication portrayed in the film.

Although Torrey Pines comes from a deeply

personal period in Petersen’s life, Petersen says

he is able to separate himself from his past.

“It’s been a long time since I struggled with

identity in such a teenage manner and dealt

with familiar struggles in such a way,” he says.

Petersen also believes that, with the Internet,

the present-day youth has already been exposed

to similar personal stories. “It feels like the

topics in Torrey Pines are nothing compared to

what’s out in the world for people to find,” he

says.

What makes Torrey Pines extra special is the

live music Petersen provides with Your Heart

Breaks, which is sure to make for a memorable

experience.

“I just love when people play live music to a

film. My favourite memories of festival events

include [2006’s] Guy Maddin’s Brand upon the

Brain! being performed with a live Foley team*

and narrator,” he says.

Petersen liked it so much that he hired a

member of Maddin’s Foley team – soundscape

artist Susie Kozawa – to work on Torrey Pines.

All the sounds for Torrey Pines were built

by hand. The same goes for the back to basics

nature of the overall production. It was shot on

a homemade multiplane animation stand. “The

camera is mounted on top of a wire frame and

shoots down several layers of glass,” says Petersen.

Everything is handmade and hand-painted.

Glitter, paint and paper were used and very little

computer was used to animate.

On his thoughts on what makes animation

still relevant to this day, Petersen feels that it is

a beautiful and accessible way to tell stories that

may be better told without living creatures and

a ton of resources.

“Here in Seattle, we have a very strong

independent animation scene. There is an

organization I help run called SEAT (the Seattle

Experimental Animation Team). We put on

group shows, make collective films and share

resources,” he says.

Petersen’s hope is to take Torrey Pines to

Europe, Australia and Japan next.

Torrey Pines with live score by Your Hearts Breaks

will be playing at The Globe Cinema on Thursday,

October 20. This event doubles up as the lineup

announcement for this year’s GIRAF animation festival.

GIRAF 2016 will take place November 24-27.

* Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects

that are added to film, video, and other media in

post-production to enhance audio quality. These

reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing

of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and

breaking glass. (source: Wikipedia)

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 17


HERLAND

this land is Herland

For the last five months, the five female directors

of the Herland Video Production Mentorship

have been diligently working on the development

and production of short films. With mentors

from the local film community to help guide them,

the directors each created shorts, and now they are

finally ready for us to see. Screening on October 7th

at Theatre Junction GRAND, it will be a night that

not only celebrates five emerging talents, but the

fostering nature of Calgary’s film community. We sat

down with one of the workshops participants, Paige

Boudreau, to talk about the workshop and the upcoming

screening, where she will premiere her short

film, Mallory Memphis.

Boudreau, who had been working in the industry

as a producer, was thrilled to be part of the mentorship.

“I really love the Calgary community, so being

mentored by other people the community was really

big for me,” says Boudreau. “I feel like this is a Calgary

thing, but when people get on board, they’re on board

110 per cent.”

One of Herland’s goals is to foster female filmmakers

who, in the midst of the cinematic boys-club, often

find themselves overlooked when it comes to funding

and mentorship. Boudreau, who was initially hesitant

to take part in a female-focused program, now appreciates

its significance. “For a long time I was really upset

and didn’t apply to women-centric things, because

I wanted my work to stand toe-to-toe with anybody,

I didn’t want to feel like there was this handicap,” says

Boudreau. “And what I realized is, it’s not a handicap,

by Morgan Cairns

it’s leveling the playing field.” When asked what would

be the most significant thing she takes away from

the mentorship experience, Boudreau mentions how,

through the program, she has become an advocate

for women in film. “It really opened my eyes to how

the odds are stacked against us as women, but it also

made me really passionate and a real advocate for

showing the world that we are just as capable and we

have beautiful stories to tell.”

And while Boudreau has gained invaluable experience

through the Herland mentorship, she says the

community stands to benefit as well. “When Calgary

supports Calgary filmmakers, were creating a better

culture for everyone. I think we have world class talent

here, and we are able to elevate it to a city-wide, province-wide,

nation-wide and global scale.”

Encouraged to create films based on a personal story

or experience, you can expect an engaging and diverse

lineup of films. From Paige Boudreau’s black comedy

Mallory Memphis, the story of a girl who is unable

to hold her breath, to Taouba Khelifa’s poetic documentary

Enough, that asks four women the forthright

question of “When did we start believing we weren’t

enough?,” to Gillian McKercher’s Family Photo, Vicki

Van Chau’s The Perfect Man and Jessie Short’s Sweet

Night, the thematic impetus of the program is evident

in its resulting works.

Herland participants screen their films at Theatre Junction

GRAND on October 7th. Free tickets can be claimed

via the venue’s box office.

Paige Boudreau is one of five female filmmakers put in focus this October 7th at Theatre Junction GRAND.

photo: Tiffany Leung

DONNIE DARKO

The Fifth Reel trick-or-treats us to 2001 cult classic

October 1, 2016. Twenty days left. Not

until the end of the world, but rather

the Donnie Darko showing at the Plaza

Theatre, courtesy of The Fifth Reel. It’ll be playing

just in time for the Halloween season, which

is suitable given the significance of the holiday

in the film. Or was it? No one knows what’s going

on in this film spare a few eager fans who’ve

dissected the ins and outs of the film’s ideas in

extensive essays online, throwing around such

terms as “Primary and Tangent Universe,” “Artifact”,

and “Living Receiver.” Hell, even star Jake

Gyllenhaal has admitted his confusion over the

plot, and director Richard Kelly has suggested

a supplementary Cliff Notes is needed to make

sense of it all. That said, logical or not, Donnie

Darko is chilling, deeply atmospheric, funny,

brilliantly written and wholly original.

Trying to summarize the complex plot of

Donnie Darko would be a fool’s errand, but here

goes: a young man by the name of Donnie Darko

(Jake Gyllenhaal) attempts to find atonement for

his wrongdoings via the powers of time travel, a

detached jet engine and a six-foot-tall menacing

rabbit, all while discovering love, dealing with

his family, and questioning the sexuality of the

Smurfs. Not necessarily in that order.

Although the first viewing (or three) will likely

leave you scratching your head, the themes in the

film are more palatable than the plot, which focus

on choosing your own path in life and the consequences

of those choices. The film tackles the

idea that every minor choice triggers a different

scenario, which affects another scenario, and so

on. The science of endless parallel universes and

control over time will interest many, but the basic

theme of being accountable for your actions and

making amends is poignant and can be appreciated

by anyone.

The characters are also memorable and easy to

like. Donnie boldly stands in the face of authority

and questions the complexity of our choices

throughout the film. His audaciousness and

intelligence results in one of the most inspiring

by Jonathan Lawrence

Reunite with Donnie, Frank and Ricky at the Plaza Theatre this Halloween season.

characters in modern film - aside from Seth Rogen’s

character, of course, as Ricky the Bully. And

let’s not forget Frank the Rabbit, otherwise known

as the most horrifying man in an animal costume

next to the bear guy in The Shining.

The film has a distinctly ‘80s visual and thematic

feel, despite being released in 2001. All the

elements are there: moody, alienated characters,

edgy dialogue, family dynamics, cliquey highschool

kids, and a vintage soundtrack (you can’t

beat Tears for Fears). If Steven Spielberg, John

Hughes and John Carpenter somehow had a kid

together, Donnie Darko would be their strange

little child.

Director Richard Kelly was only 26 when he

wrote and directed the film, which only rivals

Spielberg’s age of 27 during the making of Jaws,

and John Singleton directing Boyz in the Hood at

23 in terms of “how-the-hell-did-they-do-that.”

It is also his first feature-length film, which only

worsens the amateur wannabe filmmaker’s frustration.

However, the film’s unfortunate release

shortly after 9/11 (especially revolving around

a falling piece of airplane) likely hurt initial box

office sales.

In the 15 years since its release, however, the

film has become a cult classic, shown at midnight

screenings everywhere, and for good reason;

it’s a film that stays with you. It’s clever blend of

cinematic, literary and musical influences create

a truly iconic film that few others can match.

Everyone remembers that rabbit. Keep the lights

on afterward, folks.

The Fifth Reel’s showings are always a blast and

are unlike your run-of-the-mill theatre screenings.

Shouting, commenting, and quote-alongs are

part of the package, and the Plaza always serves

themed drinks to add to the experience. If you

miss out on this event, I can’t promise there’s a

wormhole to give you a second chance to make it,

but, hey, I’m no expert on tangent universes.

The Fifth Reel screens Donnie Darko Oct. 21 at the

Plaza Theatre.

18 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE FILM


THE VIDIOT

rewind to the future

by Shane Sellar

The Conjouring 2

Money Monster

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Nina

The Shallows

FILM

Captain America: Civil War

The good thing about being resuscitated today is

Captain America and Bucky no longer have to hide

their gay relationship.

Mind you, this action/fantasy still plays it as a

brotherly bond.

When someone gains access to the Winter

Soldier’s (Sebastian Stan) trigger words, they order

him to attack a UN conference on the registration

of enhanced humans.

Now Cap (Chris Evans) and some like-minded

Avengers (Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie,

Jeremy Renner) are opposing Iron Man (Robert

Downey, Jr.) and the rest (Scarlett Johansson,

Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle) in order to protect

Bucky, and their right to fight ungoverned.

While it’s the third entry in the Cap franchise,

Civil War feels like a mini-Avengers movie considering

the number of cameos in it. Fortunately, Cap

remains at the forefront of this multifaceted and

masterfully crafted chapter.

However, unlike America’s other Civil War, this

version has a serious lack of mutton chops.

The Conjuring 2

The biggest difference between American and British

ghosts is the latter stops haunting you at teatime.

However, this horror movie doesn’t divulge if its

phantoms take one lump or two.

Amityville experts Ed and Lorraine Warren

(Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are dispatched

by the Vatican to investigate a demonic possession

across the pond.

However, Lorraine is hesitant in helping a mum

(Frances O’Connor) rid her daughter (Madison

Wolfe) of a demon due to a prophetic dream she

had involving Ed’s death.

While she eventually agrees to participant,

the case itself may not be as supernatural as

they first thought.

Based on one of Britain’s most notorious

hauntings, this somewhat factual sequel is

enhanced by the ambiguity of the Enfield occurrences

themselves. Meanwhile, the reprising

leads remain magnetic, and the scares are more

mature than most.

Furthermore, once Brexit kicks in most all of

England’s ghosts are going to emigrate. ​

Love & Friendship

A best friend during Victorian times was someone

who could write copious letters without

hand cramps.

Fortunately, the friends in this romantic-comedy

meet face-to-face on occasion.

Unable to obtain her deceased husband’s

fortunes due to previous liaisons, Lady Susan (Kate

Beckinsale) must find her daughter (Morfydd

Clark) a prosperous suitor to keep their high

society standings.

Her plan plays out at her brother’s country

estate – and through correspondence with her

American friend (Chloë Sevigny) – where she

hopes to pawn off her first-born on dimwitted

Sir James (Tom Bennett), and claim her brother’s

friend (Xavier Samuel) for herself.

Her past indiscretions and an unplanned pregnancy,

however, threaten her plot.

One of the very few period comedies around,

this adaptation of communiqués composed by

Jane Austen is quite cheeky, whilst remaining rather

proper. More surprising is Beckinsale’s performance

as the coquettish countess.

Thankfully, nowadays, daughters can pick their

own rich husband to marry.

Money Monster

First-time investors feel more comfortable with an

in-your-face financial advisor.

Case in in point: the abrasive on-air expert in

this thriller.

Known for his unorthodox delivery, Money

Monster host Lee Gates (George Clooney) is no

stranger to audience uproar. It’s not until an incensed

investor (Jack O’Connell) enters his studio

with a bomb, however, does Lee feel the effect of

his advice firsthand.

Now, it’s up to him and his producer (Julia Roberts)

to defuse the situation live, whilst authenticating

the strapped stakeholder’s claim that a CEO

(Dominic West) manipulated their company’s

stock, costing shareholders millions.

Ripped from today’s headlines and featuring a

seasoned cast of actors, this Jodie Foster helmed

hostage situation is ripe with potential. Unfortunately,

the zealous bomber and evil capitalist

characters come off as stock, while the script is

overly convoluted.

Meanwhile, this constant corporate corruption

is proof you should buy stock in cushy

white-collar prisons.

Nina

The worst part about being a talented vocalist

is you’re the only one who has to sing Happy

Birthday solo.

However, the songstress in this biography would

likely charge for that performance.

Financially-strapped jazz singer Nina

Simone (Zoe Saldana) is committed after

threatening her lawyer with a firearm. Under

observation she befriends an orderly, Clifton

Henderson (David Oyelowo), who she later

employs as her aide.

Servitude under Simone, however, is more

torturous than expected; Clifton is put in charge of

obtaining the booze and the boys needed to keep

Nina entertained. When she does perform, her

songs always end under duress.

Strictly focused on the soloist’s lowlights, this

unauthorized and unflattering interpretation

of the radical artist offers little in the way of

sympathy or exposition on Miss. Simone’s cultural

contributions, or career high notes.

Besides, everyone already knows that playing

jazz music is just a gradual form of suicide.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

The worst thing about living next to a frat house is

hearing rape whistles all night.

Fortunately, the home in this comedy is adjunct

to an innocuous sorority.

A freshman (Chloë Grace Moretz) is so disenchanted

with her sorority’s rules on partying

that she and a small contingent rent out their

own house.

New parents (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) are

looking to sell their home so they can move to the

‘burbs, yet are unable to because a sorority has

just moved in next door.

With the help of a former frat boy (Zac Efron),

the couple hopes to oust the co-eds.

While advertised as a sequel, Sorority Rising is

simply the original retold in an improved format,

with female leads instead of males and funny

jokes in lieu of a fusillade of phallic ones.

Incidentally, with the amount of pervs around

you should have no trouble selling a house next to

a sorority.

The Shallows

For some unknown reason sharks always get the

munchies after eating a surfer.

However, it’s hard to tell if the great white shark

in this thriller has bloodshot eyes or not.

Determined to surf the same isolated inlet that

her recently-deceased mother surfed when she

was younger, Nancy (Blake Lively) drops out of

medical school and heads to Mexico.

Her memorial quickly turns into a struggle for

survival, though, as she finds herself stalked by the

same shark that laid waste to the humpback whale

she sits atop.

Injured, Nancy eventually makes it over to a

cluster of rocks, and later a buoy where she makes

her last stand.

A novel cat-and-mouse concept that falls

apart on execution, this idiotic one-woman show

is not only implausible, but its special effects are

as laughable as Lively’s deadpan performance.

Incidentally, sharks are more corporative if you

tell them you’re with the Discovery Channel.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the

Shadows

If society ever found out that mutated turtles dressed

as ninjas actually existed, it would shame them for

cultural appropriation.

Surprisingly, this action-adventure ignores their

exploitation of feudal Japan.

When the turtles and friends (Megan Fox,

Stephen Amell, Will Arnett) learn of Baxter Stockman’s

(Tyler Perry) mutagen that turns humans

into animals, they hope it works in reverse.

Elsewhere, an alien overlord from another

dimension needs Shredder’s (Brian Tee) help in acquiring

three components that will open a portal,

allowing him to invade Earth.

Although the character designs still come

off more gecko than turtle, this superior

follow-up to the irritating original film finally

embraces its middle-aged fan-base - and its

animated origins - by adding beloved backup

characters into the mix, as well as amping up

the effects-laden action to Saturday morning

cartoon proportions.

Furthermore, it’s easy to tell if someone used to

be a turtle because all they wear are turtlenecks.

He’s an After-Mathematician. He’s the…

Vidiot

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 19


ROCKPILE

SUM 41

Deryck Whibley learns to live again

Sum 41 are back and finding inspiration in a second chance.

About a year into Deryck Whibley’s recovery

from kidney and liver failure, an alcohol-related

collapse that put him in a medically-induced

coma and left him unable to walk, the

Sum 41 frontman reached a tipping point. The

process was at a halt – hours of daily physiotherapy

didn’t seem to be working and he could barely

stand without excruciating pain. Whibley, nor his

doctors, didn’t know if he was ever going to get

TOKYO POLICE CLUB

Toronto rockers gamble on the long game

“I

think to be a musician you have to have a

reckless abandon and really believe in your pipedreams

and ignore all of the nay-say,” parses Tokyo

Police Club keyboardist/guitarist Graham Wright.

With two EP releases and a 10-year anniversary

under their belt in 2016, the Toronto four-piece have

made sure listeners have kept up with April and September

releases Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness:

PT I and Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness: PT

II. Scattered between Toronto, Los Angeles and New

York City, the band has shifted into what seems to be

a more honed-in yet sporadic dynamic. “We [didn’t

record] the EPs the way we usually do. There might

be two songs that were recorded in the same session

otherwise it was months apart,” explains Wright. With

the majority of the recording done separately, the unchartered

territory not only kept the creativity flowing

overtime, it also gave the band the opportunity to

ensure that each song really did its own thing.

“With each new release, when we were working on a

song we really were thinking about what specifically that

song was going to do, how it came across, what it said for

itself, how it behaved. I think each song could stand on its

own as a single.”

The new two-part EP gives a refreshing new take on

what makes Tokyo Police Club tracks so memorable. The

bright, guitar driven first single “Not My Girl” reminds

those who needed it just why they loved Tokyo Police

Club. On “PCH,” vocalist/bassist David Monks’ pleading

voice pulls the lyrics to the foreground. Both PT I and

ROCKPILE

photo: JW Hopeless

better. It was no way to live; death by drink was

even a more appealing fate. Then, one night, at

four in the morning, amidst swirling thoughts, a

lyric suddenly surfaced. “What am I fighting for?

Everything back and more.” He wrote it down.

Then another. “Some days it just gets so hard.” The

lines kept coming, flowing. He had a song – something

to work towards. Words to live up to.

“And then that moment, it sort of gave me that

PT II are the resurgence fans have been waiting for since

2014’s Forcefield.

With a less polished vibe coming off the two EPs, and

trickles of singles in-between have put the spotlight back

on Tokyo Police Club, but it hasn’t all been realized as they

imagined it would be.

“The idea is that instead of making one record, one

splash, and have everyone react with ‘that was great,

what’s next?’ we thought it would make more of an

impact for a longer period of time. Although… Our genius

plan didn’t pan out exactly how we wanted,” says Wright

of some streaming service unpredictabilities.

Essentially growing up with each other and their music,

since the ages of 19 and 21, the unity and rapport the four

have is easily heard in their songs and witnessed live.

“Every single tour we’ve ever done is a fairly straight line

graph, I think we like it more and more and just get better

at playing live… There’s a lot of beaming from the stage or

whispering a joke in the other guys ear, trying to get him

to fuck up when he’s trying to play. We have reached a level

where it’s just muscle memory now and it always feels

like we’ve reached a destination. I just hope the radiance

we feel inside comes through… Honestly, if you see us on

stage joking and laughing with each other you basically

got the picture, we’re just dorky guys.”

Tokyo Police Club perform at Alix Goolden Hall October

4th in Victoria, the Commodore Ballroom October 5th in

Vancouver, Flames Central in Calgary October 7th, and as

part of UP + DT Music Festival in Edmonton October 8th.

realization of what it means to actually have faith in

something,” Whibley reflects. “To believe that you

will get better. You don’t know how, you don’t know

why, you don’t know when; as long as you push and

you fight harder – if you think you’ve been fighting

hard already, you gotta fight even harder and you just

gotta believe. And that’s what I told myself. And a

year later, I was finally able to step out onstage and go

out on tour, and now here I am.”

Today, Whibley is happy and healthy — a state

he credits to his journey to sobriety. “Even if I

would have quit drinking before, it wouldn’t be

what it is now,” he maintains. Booze had simply

become part of his lifestyle, reaching its most

excessive after Sum 41 wrapped a three-year-long

tour in support of 2011’s Screaming Bloody Murder.

Whibley then decided to detach: no music,

no responsibilities, and therein lay the problem. “I

mean, obviously this band has always been heavy

drinkers, heavy partiers, and, you know, I was

probably an alcoholic a long time ago, but really

functioning,” he continues. “It’s when I lost the

function was when I had no more work to do.”

The aforementioned lyrics would make up the

song “War,” a hopeful track off Sum 41’s new album,

13 Voices. The project, the pop punks’ first in five

years, proved to be the key for Whibley to push

forward as he determinedly re-learned how to play

guitar, while slowly becoming comfortable in his own

skin again. As a result, his songwriting is reflective of a

man piecing his life back together.

Tokyo Police Club revel in the sunny glory of reckless abandon with two-part EP.

by Yasmine Shemesh

Musically, 13 Voices administers a tremendous

punch, which partly comes from the

reemergence of original guitarist Dave “Brownsound”

Baksh. Baksh, who left the band a

decade ago, reconnected with Whibley before

his hospitalization and stayed with his old friend

after he returned home. Baksh’s presence now

adds three guitarists to the lineup, alongside

Tom Thacker and Whibley.

“You really notice it live,” Whibley says of the

dynamic, which also includes bassist Cone McCaslin

and drummer Frank Zummo. “I think that’s where

we sound different than we’ve ever been able to

sound before, because we can play a lot of stuff that

is on the record that we couldn’t do before. It’s a

much bigger sound… It’s just a really full sound. Just

being a five piece, it’s so fun. I never thought I’d like

being a five piece, but now I couldn’t imagine it any

other way.”

Indeed, it’s certainly scary, Whibley admits,

to release music that was written from such a

vulnerable place – but getting personal isn’t

something new. He’s always written from his

soul and 13 Voices is just, in many ways, a new

chapter. The past may have been great – but

now, Whibley says, “it’s time to take it into a

whole other world.”

Sum 41 performs at Union Hall (Edmonton) October

25th, MacEwan Hall in Calgary October 26th, and the

Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver Oct. 28.

by Jamie Goyman

photo: Nicole Fara Silver

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 21


SLOW DOWN MOLASSES

crystallizes their melancholy jam with 100% Sunshine

by Christine Leonard

Slow Down Molasses bottle lightning in a jar.

photo: Lindsay Rewuski

Celebrating a decade of rolling the haze and rocking

watering holes across the Great Plains, Saskatoon’s

Slow Down Molasses is slightly bemused by their own

longevity. Long dark winters and hot dusty summers have left

their mark on the melodious and moody ensemble, prompting

pragmatic lead guitarist/vocalist Tyson McShane to take

stock of all that has been accomplished and that is still left to

be done.

“It has been a long while and I’m actually somewhat amazed

that we’re still doing stuff,” says McShane, the band’s principal

songwriter.

With a barrel-full of enduring releases to their credit, including;

I’m An Old Believer (2008), Walk Into the Sea (2011), Bodies of

Water: Remixes (2012), and Burnt Black Cars (2015) McShane and

company are now poised to step into the sunlight, and maybe

even show off their rumoured farmer-tans, with the release of

their latest LP, 100% Sunshine (2016).

“This album is the first time we’ve recorded with the same lineup

that we toured the previous album with,” reports McShane,

who pioneered Slow Down Molasses’ last two albums with bandmates

keyboardist/guitarist Aaron Scholz, guitarist Levi Soulodre,

bassist Chris Morin, and drummer Jordan Kurtz. “Previously, it

was always a very solid group of people, but there were a lot more

that we’d bring in for recording sessions and we definitely weren’t

playing the same arrangements all the time. Now it’s the same five

people playing all the time and it has definitely made things a lot

more concise and a lot more exciting in ways. It was very wonderful

to be very collaborative in the past and get to play with a lot of

local people I was a fan of, but it’s kind of amazing to have a good

idea of what everybody else is going to do when we’re writing and

performing live.”

Just because they’ve reigned in the guest list doesn’t mean

Slow Down Molasses has turned off the tap when it comes to

creating multifaceted pieces of recording studio pop-art. On

the contrary, the quintet’s fantastically communal compositions

have blossomed and grown in ways that are equally unexpected

and consistent with their reputation for generating melodious

melancholia.

“I think its quite funny how this new album is similar to how

we used to indulge a lot of layers, except this time we were much

more deliberate with what we were doing. That laid the foundation

and now it’s a really exciting album to play live, because we

can improvise around those more focused dimensions.”

As deceptively loose sounding as the cold-plagued McShane’s

stogy sinuses, the album’s first single, “Moon Queen,” embodies

the super smooth fulsomeness and echoing vibrancy that

we’ve come to expect from this post-punk synth and sawdust

ensemble. Intertwining the esprit of modern electronica within a

traditional wire and wood framework, Slow Down Molasses crystalizes

the momentum and portent of a civilization teetering on

the edge of tomorrow. Toeing that barbed line between a fleeting

fad and a steady fade.

“It’s really a key thing in what we do,” McShane acknowledges.

“A least of couple of us are into drone and free-noise type

stuff, while half the band came-up through playing in punk

rock bands. So, there’s always a bit of desire, especially in a live

situation, to tend to be more energetic. My songs are relatively

simple and I tend to nail them, so we decided to be fairly

chaotic on stage.”

Wise enough to know when a semblance of order is merited,

Slow Down Molasses recorded 100% Sunshine’s eleven lugubrious

tracks with Barrett Ross and Chad Munson at Ghetto Box Studios

in their hometown before entrusting to Glasgow-based producer

Tony Doogan (Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub)

with putting a platinum-polish on the final mixes. According

to McShane working alongside Doogan, at his infamous Castle

of Doom Studios, was an invigorating experience. One which

provided him with a valuable new perspective on something he’s

been so close to for so many years.

“We were so incredibly excited to get to work with Mr. Tony

Doogan on this album. He definitely challenged our preconceived

notions of ourselves,” McShane recalls. “All of the records he’s

done sound like big rock albums, but with a lot of chaotic stuff

going on around them. He’s known for being able to balance

those moments and he definitely delivered. It was above and

beyond anything we expected. It was a fantastic experience and

nice way to wrap up this album.”

Slow Down Molasses perform October 7th as part of UP+DT

Music Festival in Edmonton, October 9th at Nite Owl in Calgary,

October 14th at O’Hanlon’s in Regina. They then head out to Reykjavik

for Iceland Airwaves next month.

22 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


JPNSGRLS

hitting the right opportunity at the right time

JPNSGRLS aren’t ready to divorce from touring for their latest album just yet.

Vancouver’s JPNSGRLS have momentum

on their side. Last year was especially big

for the eclectic alternative rock unit as

photo: David Tenniswood

Charlie Kerr (vocals), Colton Lauro (guitar), Chris

McClelland (bass), and Graham Seri (drums) took

the stage at Liverpool Sound City, SXSW, and BC’s

own Pemberton Valley Music Festival. For Kerr,

performing at Western Canada’s premier open air

festival was a life changing experience. “Not only

did we get to play this huge show for tons of people,

it was a great opportunity. As we go across the

country we find so many people who tell us that

they saw us at Pemberton and after that became

fans,” Kerr says. “Sometimes it takes one of those

instances where the stars align. Sometimes all it

takes is people seeing you at the right show.”

This past summer, JPNSGRLS dropped their

long awaited sophomore LP Divorce. Enlisting the

efforts of David Schiffman (Red Hot Chili Peppers,

The Mars Volta), Tom Dobrzanski (The Zolas), and

Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat, Mounties) to co-produce

a handful of tracks apiece, Divorce has shaped

up to be a significant step forward for the band.

The band has matured in many respects; Kerr

remarks that McClelland, Seri, and Lauro have become

more inventive players. Kerr feels that his skill

set as a vocalist and lyricist has improved in many

respects. “As a singer, I’m pound for pound better.

There are more ambitious vocals [on the album],”

Kerr says, “As a lyricist, it was really important to

me to get more personal and write something that

only I could write, write something with my sense

of humour and my politics and my life experiences,

as mundane as they might seem to me. I met

somebody who was really terrific and they inspired

me to think that I was worth writing about without

having to stand behind a cliché or sound like all the

by James Olson

musicians and artists that I grew up on.”

The emphasis that Kerr places on personal reflection

and exploration manifests itself in an intriguing

deconstruction of the album title. “The album title

is a reference to in ‘Oh My God’ when I say ‘I was

conceived in New York/ Two strangers planted a

seed/ And that was four years before the divorce/ I

think it had an affect on me.’ I kind of started looking

at myself as if I was a character in a movie, as if my

life was a film” Kerr explains. “I was looking at what

my glaring flaws were and one of them was a very

warped experience and a warped point of view of

what love is, kind of an all or nothing sensibility and

idealism. I was trying to dissect that and get to the

bottom of it. A hypothesis of mine was that perhaps

love is such a weird, twisted thing because I never got

to see it between my parents. The origin story of the

songwriter Charlie Kerr is that divorce.”

Along promoting and touring to support the

new album, Kerr already expresses anticipation at

returning to the studio to begin working on the next

song cycle. “I think we’ll be busier than we ever have

been and we’re really excited about that. Now I’m

in a place where I don’t quite recognize the guy who

wrote and sang all the Divorce material,” Kerr says.

“That seems foreign to me so I’m excited to move on

to the next set of songs that I’m writing.”

JPNSGRLS play Dickens Oct. 7 (Calgary), Brixx Bar as

part of UP+DT festival Oct. 8 (Edmonton), and Light

Organ Records Oct. 13 (Vancouver).

PORT JUVEE

the golden impermanence of sun-soaked hours

The best music has the power to transport

the listener anywhere in the world in a few

notes. As the first bars of Port Juvee’s new

Crimewave EP play out, the listener is overcome

with a sense of irrepressible nostalgia. Memories of

sun-soaked beaches, abandoned skate parks, and

maybe a so-secret-that-everyone-knows-about-it

warehouse party or two. Bike cruising along river

paths, backpacks loaded with boxed wine and

cheap beer. Even if these memories are not your

own, somehow you find yourself tapping into the

collective consciousness to unravel these surf-laden

California vibes.

Crimewave is filled with memorable as hell pop

hooks, a lo-fi punk treatment, and decidedly sunny

vibes. One would expect nothing less from a band

who originally caught the ear of Justin Gerrish

(producer behind Vampire Weekend, The Strokes,

Weezer) via a demo floating around a New York

house party. But since their first album as Port Juvee

(the band also spent some time under the Bleachers

moniker) was released in 2014 with Gerrish in tow,

there has been a considerable amount of growth

that has occurred. With the addition of drummer

Distance Bullock and re-addition of former guitarist

Jourdan Cunningham, Port Juvee’s sound has been

getting some new life.

“I think with this EP we completely changed directions

sound-wise. For one, we were trying to soundscape

a lot of different pedals to create new sounds,”

explains guitarist Lauchlin Toms. “As Distance joined

the band I felt like we were a little bit more free to

experiment drum-wise. We wanted to change the

Port Juvee’s latest EP sounds just like the good times.

sound tone-wise so we really let loose on our normal

writing procedure and experimented a ton.”

Bassist Logan Jukes adds: “In the process of this one

we tried to be as authentic to ourselves as possible.

We didn’t stay within the same sound. If someone

came to the table with a really bizarre riff, it wasn’t

written off. We took it to see where it went and

reinvented what we sound like. [The album] captures

photo: Brieanna Mikuska

by Willow Grier

a youthful energy. Being out with your friends in a big

city, roaming around, and coming home with ‘Double

Vision.’ It’s the soundtrack to a night on the town.”

Lead singles “Crimewave” and “Double Vision”

speak to Justin Gerrish’s treatment, while the rest of

the tracks on the album were very hands-on for the

band. After the two new members had been brought

on in time for their last tour, Port Juvee found themselves

work-shopping, writing, and in some cases

performing live the songs that would become this EP.

“We were really lucky to have the experience of

that tour,” recalls vocalist Brett Sandford. “We wrote

a lot of songs really quickly and then spent a lot of

time really fine tuning the small details. It was something

we haven’t really done before.” Cunningham

adds, “When we talk about the creative process, it’s

mostly subconscious. It’s not like we wrote a concept

album about some big thing that happened.

Honestly, we’re just pretty lucky that we have the

group of dudes playing together where things just

come to fruition. We have these skeletons and they

actually become things.”

Port Juvee’s sound has evolved to be more fleshed

out, effected with more complexity, and more

moodily experimental. The sound is bigger, and more

robust, but still falls into their easy-to-love signature

style. Not only memorable for the nostalgic quality,

but memorable too because of the obvious synchronicity

of the band.

“We’ve gotten into a place where we can be truly

happy with what we have,” Sandford describes.

“Everything from the songwriting to production to

the finished product we are happy with. I think that

definitely speaks to the value of the new people in

the band.”

Port Juvee release Crimewave and head out on tour

with Sticky Fingers in October. Catch them Oct 7th in

Vancouver, Oct 12th in Calgary at The Gateway, then

on to Edmonton, Winnipeg and beyond. Full dates on

their Bandcamp page.

24 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


FOONYAP

new album ‘Palimpsest’ sensitive, colorful and irrepressible

by Arielle Lessard

Calgary resident Foon Yap possesses a particular blend of

raw talent, poise and creative drive. Together with her

violin and seamless ear for composition she is able to

carefully wind through high and low tones, combining stimulating

elements that elevate her work and help to navigate the

purest form of self-exploration. Unafraid to pitch her sweet

voice to anxious cashes in Bjork-inspired dynamism, her work

as FOONYAP is unlike anything else. Palimpsest, the artist’s

latest endeavour, is a project that expels and reflects all at once.

Songs range from two to eight minutes, with every composition

at a necessary length, building on themes at the inner core.

“Gabriel Moody,” a song sang in French, uses careful plucks like

the beginnings of a slow rain and is overlaid by beautifully rich

strings. Other songs incorporate lullabies, synth, bass, and a

range of delicate features.

An artist that has managed to collaborate on indie folk rock

with Woodpidgeon, and explored “vampire sex metal disco” on

FOONYAP and The Roar, Foon’s first independently released solo

album is a further extension of self; a detailed blend of Asian folk

electronica. Foon says, “genres can be really limiting, and I don’t

like to make music to fit in a certain genre or appeal to a certain

audience. Now that I’m looking back [on FOONYAP and The

Roar], now that I’m older, I know what I was doing in that band.

I was reacting to the male gaze, I was kind of putting on a show,

I was making it as disgusting and sexual as possible so that you

[couldn’t] look away, that was the energy behind that band and it

was a very outward looking project, very loud and brash.”

She continues, “On Palimpsest, I [was] thinking deeply. In

between that time and the release of this album I went through

some major health issues and other events, and realized that I had

to turn inwards.” Taking over a year to record and produce, and

three years to idea and create a solid business plan to self-release

the album and prepare for a Canada-wide tour with European

dates to follow, Palimpsest is the product of discipline, patience

and thorough growth.

“After FOONYAP and the Roar,” she says, “I knew very consciously

that I’d missed a lot of opportunities because I hadn’t

set myself up to capitalize on them. I never viewed it from the

business perspective, so I knew that my next album I’d approach

as a business. Palimpsest has existed for about two years, but it’s

only now that my ‘business’ is where it needs to be that I’m able

to release it. I spent the last three years saving to invest in this and

took the last year to market the album.”

In a very conscious decision, Foon created a character for

the front cover of Palimpsest, “I wanted to convey softness and

sensuality as well as an idea of gentle movement that meant to

reflect the kind of self-growth I’ve experienced over the last five

years. [As] a person of contrast, the album is full of contrast [and],

while I have this personality that’s extremely outgoing, assertive

and aggressive, I’m also overwhelmingly fragile,” she reveals with a

sweet laugh.

“If you take your time and are patient and really learn about the

industry it is possible to do it. You really have to see it as a five, 10,

15-year thing. I would encourage people who are serious about

becoming artist entrepreneurs to take that perspective, be patient

and especially learn the legalities and be fluid, willing to change

with the times.”

FOONYAP will release the stunning Palimpsest at The Ironwood on

October 20th with support from the Hermitess. She has additional

tour dates in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Fernie, and Montreal, and

will be playing Femme Wave festival November 17-20th in Calgary.

FOONYAP’s latest considers the seriousness of past and future.

photo: Anastasia Moody

26 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


BOREAL SONS

limitations set you free

The songs of Boreal Sons are a certain type of magic.

They are earthly but angelic, grounded but lofty,

and the trio is soaring to new heights with their upcoming

release, You and Everyone. The album is full to the

brim with vigor and vitality, and a natural evolution from

Threadbare their 2013 release. The songs are layered with

a large array of keys and synth, while their iconic melodies

float polyphonically overtop.

After their 2014 European tour as a four-piece, 2015

was spent soul searching and restructuring the band. Evan

Acheson (keyboards, synth, vocals), Reagan Cole McLean

(bass, vocals, synth), and Zach Schultz (drums, vocals) decided

to trust in their experience and vision, and try their hand as

a trio. Acheson explains, “This to us was a challenge we were

slightly tentative about but also trying to throw ourselves

into.” He continues, “In a way… limitations set you free. If

you’re working within certain requirements or boundaries,

you need to be more creative, need to be smarter in order to

create the same quality of an album.”

Boreal Sons are using this lineup change as an opportunity

to expand upon their potential, exploring what the absence

of guitar could mean musically. Acheson describes how this

has led to an evolution of their sound. “We tried to create

textures within the spaces that would have previously been

filled by a guitar, whether it’s more background ambiance or

leading melodic arrangements.” He elaborates, “In other cases

we’ve treated the space left behind by the absence of guitar

as another instrument, and we’ve tried to use that negative

space artistically,”

“What Becomes” opens the album by kicking the door

down. A burst of rippling, spacey synth leads into Acheson’s

honeyed vocals and heartfelt lyrics. The song evokes a feeling

of disarray, of grasping to understand what life is left after loss

burns through our foundation. The song smolders on, and the

vocal refrain keeps floating like ashes gently falling. “Where are

you? Where are you?”

“The song explores our inability to grasp that a loved one

is gone,” Acheson explains. “It explores how weird that something

as familiar as death can feel so shocking.”

“Strangers,” the third song on You and Everyone, is a

stripped-down song reminiscent of Boreal Sons’ classic

euphonious ballads. This song explores the album’s second

theme: love. Love and death are parallels, in the way that

they are both so universal yet so surprising. “Deep down, we

know our flaws and shortcomings so well, we’re pretty hard

on ourselves.” Acheson says. “And when we truly believe that

someone loves us in spite of those things, it’s liberating, it’s

completely shocking because it flies in the face of what you

think to be true about yourself.”

You and Everyone contains the essence of previous

Boreal Sons records, but emboldened through time and

experience. There is a bigger range of styles, from grandiose

and commanding art-rock to vulnerable introspections set

to soft piano. Acheson explores some fundamental truths

in life, powerful experiences that happen to all of us. The

universality of these experiences gave him the inspiration for

the title. “It’s sort of us participating in a shared experience,

of death and love.”

Boreal Sons are heading on a 14-date cross-country tour in October

to support the album. Catch Boreal Sons at the Gateway

in Calgary on October 22nd, or find a show in your city online.

Boreal Sons work on both musical and thematic elements of their sound.

by Andrea Hunter

photo: Rachel Pick

ROCKPILE

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 27


COMING TO TOWN...

BASIA BULAT W/ OH PEP!

KNOX UNITED CHURCH, OCT. 8

A few months on from the release

of her fourth studio album (the

Polaris-nominated Good Advice),

autoharp enthusiast Basia Bulat

returns to Calgary for a show at

the gorgeous Knox United Church.

Her indie-folk songwriting chops

and one-of-a-kind voice have won

her much favour in Calgary’s hearts

in the past, and the addition of

Calgary Folk Fest 2016 favourite Oh

Pep! as openers only sweetens the

deal.

by Colin Gallant

WILD NIGHTS

Wild Rose Artist Residency

by B. Simm

ZIGGY MARLEY

BELLA UNION HALL, OCT. 13

Ever heard of those lazy kids, born to

talented, wealthy parents? Ziggy Marley

isn’t one of ‘em. Between his outfit

Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers

and solo work under simply his own

name, Marley has released more than

10 albums of reggae and related styles

in four different decades. Lately, Marley

may have benefitted from a pinch

more attention from the success of

Arthur memes in the last few months

– Marley composed the show’s

theme. The more you know!

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS

MARQUEE BEER MARKET, OCT. 21

Having been members of punk’s first

wave alongside contemporaries The

Buzzcocks, The Clash and Sex Pistols,

it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that

Stiff Little Fingers are living legends.

Using fast, loud guitars and infectious

hooks to contrast heavy lyrical subject

matter about the violent Troubles

of Northern Ireland and depression,

Stiff Little Finger’s greatest asset is that

they allow the listener to engage in

serious topics in a musically inviting

setting. This year marks the band’s

40th anniversary, so see them on stage

while you still have the chance.

Josh and Drew, brewing up a storm.

Nestled in the heart of Currie Barrack, Wild Rose Tap Room is a beloved watering hole for many folks in

southwest Calgary and beyond. Wanting to reach out to the music community a little more, employees

Josh Thorp-Vallis and Drew Jones

set out to create their Artist Residency Program.

“Not a lot of people are doing it in Calgary. It’s a chance for artists to take control, it’s a chance for us to be

more engaged in the community,” says Josh Thorp-Vallis.

The residency extends over nine months. Three bands have been chosen so far: the female-fronted,

spicy R&B Torchettes, rousing folk-rockers The Frontiers and the electro-soul groove machine Sargeant

and Comrade.

Wild Rose is housed in an old World War II Quonset. In the back of the Tap Room, there’s a large expanse

with a makeshift bar and stage. A touch grassroots, folksy and fun. Here “community” can easily connect. Given

that most of the entire SW area, once out of downtown and the Beltline is a disastrous wasteland when it

comes to neighbour bars and live venues, the Tap Room’s performance hall is a godsend with terrific sounding

walls. Shows are booked every two weeks starting Oct. 11.

“The artists curate the evening. They can opt to play solo, or bring on a younger, new band giving them

some exposure, promote a record release, whatever. It’s their night, their schedule to do what they want.

Jones says that one of the ideas behind creating a residency is to not only allowing the artist freedom, but to

create a go-to space where exposure to particular audiences can open doors to their careers.

“In bigger cities like Toronto, New York, LA, Chicago, if you play at certain venues, ‘Wow, you’re making it.’

And it’s not the venue itself,” stresses Jones, “it’s the people that go to that venue. It’s the industry people who

hang out there. What if on a Tuesday night you made an impression or got recognized by people who could

make a difference. That’s what we’re looking at. We don’t have that in Calgary, yet.”

THE 1975

GREY EAGLE, OCT. 23

Anthemic indie-pop heartthrobs

The 1975 are heading to Calgary for

the first time – hot on the heels of a

string of number one singles and a

Mercury Prize nomination. Indeed

2016 was a big one for the band, with

a shift in sounds towards electronic

influences like synth-pop and house.

It also marked a switch-up in aesthetic

for the visually-minded group:

black and white abstraction replaced

with brilliant neons and pastels, a

suitable pairing for their musical

development. Their show at the Grey

Eagle Event Centre is open to all ages,

so consider taking your kid sister.

28 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE

A_WAKE while still dreaming by Mike Ryan

MIESHA

There’s a whiff of irony in the title of the latest

offering from The Northwest Passage. Paul

van Kampen and company have crafted

A_WAKE, a collection of tracks, many of which

feel at peace in the dreamy and exploratory task of

confronting the past.

That’s not to say the entirety of the band’s effort is

steeped in the ambient. Quite contrary to that statement,

these talented artists espouse great moments

of frenetic, yet melodic builds, prompting catharsis to

rain down.

The band’s piano-driven melodies are bolstered

with violin, bass and guitar punctuating van Kampen’s

musings on tragedy and loss, love, hope, and atonement

for possible mistakes. Originally, he’d had songs

ready to go, while the formation of the band allowed

further ideas to flourish.

“Some of the songs existed even before the band did.

‘Lorelei’ was the first song we tackled, and actually, in

some ways the lineup was formed around the song and

the vision I had for it,” van Kampen recalls. “Originally it

was just Daniel Wilson and I, but I asked Darren Young

to join on upright bass at the time, and once we got

working with that song and a couple more, we knew we

needed a violinist. Darren knew Laura Reid and knew

that she was ideal for the song, so yeah, the song actually

formed the band I guess you could say.”

“Lorelei,” a standout from the album, starts out

ambient with distant wailing and squealing guitar giving

way to an active bass line and punchy piano. While the

components build, a driving kick drum and skittering

snare hits propel the song to a steady groove, before it

finally takes off with it’s dissonant ambience and swirling

dual violin tracks.

Opening track, “Reignite,” has a vibe not dissimilar

to Patrick Watson in its own nostalgic and

mournful way. It’s a song of loss and not being

The Northwest Passage gear up for lush new album.

able to go back to a remembered place.

“‘Reignite’ is about a childhood friend of mine who

passed away a short while ago, but it’s not really a sad

song. It’s more about wanting to be back in that place

that we were as kids. It takes a bit of a sad turn when

I reflect on our friendship falling apart as we went to

different social circles later on, but it’s hopeful as well,”

van Kampen reflects.

Title track “A_WAKE” is a slow burn that rides

cathartic waves of brief intensity into moments of

introspection. “Negative Space” depicts a snowedin

family as fear sets in against an unseen enemy.

Its claustrophobic theme butts up against the large

production of bowed strings, layered electric guitar

and lush harmonies. Fellow Albertan Clinton St. John

appears by way of a beautifully-played cover track.

“I think my favourite track on the album is actually

a song that I’ve always adored. Even though I tend

to lean away from doing covers whenever possible, I

really wanted to take a crack at his song, ‘In Corners

We Grow.’ Clinton and I have been pals for a long

time, and this song is always getting in my head.

He released the song a couple of times on different

albums with different takes on it, both of them

gorgeous. My wife and I both really fell in love with

this song on road trips, and so it brings super positive

feelings to me all the time. I’m also really proud of

our interpretation because while it’s quite a different

take from Clinton’s version. I really think it does

justice to the song.”

The depth and breadth of the band’s efforts is on full

display with this release, and is a perfect way to tune out

the world on a grey winter day.

A_WAKE will be released at The Ship & Anchor with

accompaniment from SAvK, and Clinton St. John on

October 5th.

& THE SPANKS

getting stranger on new 7”

Miesha Louie gets her spanks in formation with new release.

“I beer,” laughs Miesha Louie of her first

first met Danny at Sled Island 2011 by

sneaking backstage and drinking his

meeting with Danny Farrant, current drummer

of The Buzzcocks. “I ended up being his tour

guide for the rest of the festival.” Now, five years

later the U.K.-based Farrant is returning the

favour, this time as Louie’s tour guide. The guy

who’s been travelling the world playing “What

Do I Get” and “Ever Fallen in Love,” along with

frequent collaborator Paul Rawson, has landed

double duty in the producer chair and behind

the mixing board of Miesha & the Spanks’

upcoming 7”: Stranger.

Farrant and Rawson aren’t the only new blood

answering the call for the Spanks’ first vinyl release

since 2013’s Girls, Like Wolves. Drummer Sean

Hamilton (Jenny, Julius Sumner Miller), who

originally planned to round out the two-piece

in a short-term auxiliary role, felt an immediate

connection with both Louie’s previous catalogue

and the songs poised to become Stranger. “I was

really nervous when I started. I learned probably

12 songs in two days for a show to cover, then

when I showed up, Miesha was just like, ‘Play

them however you feel it.’ The style that Miesha

plays makes me feel like I’m 15 years old again,

just pounding my drums in the basement,” beams

Hamilton of his beats that swirl between driving

Queens of the Stone Age-style rhythms and ‘60s

pop familiarity. “I try to either accent the hell out

of the parts or stay perfectly flat so they can just

live on their own. There’s no middle ground.”

It’s this natural feeling resonating through

the title track and B-side “Motorin’” that makes

the 7” such a step forward for the band. “I feel

really re-energized about the whole thing,”

by Brett Sandford

photo: Sebastian Buzzalino

smiles Louie of the finished product. Stranger

sees the band making confident adjustments

from the head-on rock-and-roll stylings of past

Spanks releases, with some calculated moves

into mid-oughts Josh Homme-ian style territory.

“We worked with Danny a lot on co-writes,”

continues Louie of the process, “he rearranged

the songs a lot and really cleaned them up.

It’s big. It’s cool. Sean is also a songwriter, and

he does some really interesting things. I have

someone here that I can bounce not only drum

ideas off of, but also song ideas.”

Recorded at Calgary’s OCL studios with

engineer Josh Gwilliam over three days, Louie

and Hamilton batted the tracks across the pond

nightly with Farrant, taking full advantage of the

8-hour time change across the Atlantic to keep

the momentum going. “Working long distance

was funny, recording all day, sending it to Danny

at night, then he’d get us his notes before we woke

up and we’d keep recording with his changes the

next day,” explains Louie of exploring the right

tones and dialing the arrangements of the songs.

Throughout the changes and new team behind

the project, Louie’s scrappy rock-and-roll beating

heart still remains the distinct centerpiece of the

sound. Stranger not only serves as an exciting

sample size of what to expect from the upcoming

Girls, Girls, Girls full-length that the Spanks are

expecting deeper into 2017, it also lives on its own

as their best work to date.

Miesha & the Spanks release Stranger October 4th,

with shows at Edmonton’s UP+DT Fest on October

7th at The Starlite Room, and in Calgary with two

shows: 18+ at The Palomino on October 8th and

all-ages at Broken City on October 9th.

32 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


EDMONTON EXTRA

DIAMOND MIND

heavy metal mining in the sunshine

words and photo by Levi Manchak

you noodle around to find riffs, or do you approach writing

with a more defined idea?

LT: Practically every single one of my songs - or at least the ones

I like best - were written without an instrument in sight. They’re

formed in the shower, at the office, walking around eavesdropping.

A phrase or an image or the squeaky break of a rusty Tercel

will leap out at me as unimpeachably mellifluous and I’ll have the

nucleus of a song then and there.

BR: Besides the core members of Diamond Mind (Liam, Aidan,

Matthew) are there any guest musicians appearing on Heavy

Metal Sunshine?

LT: In addition to the core members, the album features some local

Edmonton flavour. Cantoo’s Aaron Parker, Mitchmatic, then-member

Ian’s brother Andrew and our very own Aidan made up the Last

Minute Brass Ensemble (“Tijuana give that another go or should we

auto-tune it?”) heard on the title track. Also, in addition to engineering

and arranging, Jesse Northey stepped up to play synthesizer here

and there. Finally, and most importantly, we coerced our best pal

Samantha Savage Smith into singing with me on the sad, millennial

duet “Webster’s,” making for what is probably my favourite moment

on the album.

BR: Some of the lyrics on Heavy Metal Sunshine are playfully

literate. Are you a big reader? Have books or poetry found

their way into the thematic content on the album?

LT: I initially want to answer “no” but scanning back through the songs

I realize there are a few literary influences tucked here and there. American

lit’s favorite gasbag Jonathan Franzen taught me the term “anhedonia,”

which, in addition to fuelling album track “The Janks,” provided me

with a catch-all excuse for all my maladies on the order of fibromyalgia.

Album track “Hades Proper” is a pretty ham-fisted dilution of the myth

of Persephone. Finally - and this is my favourite - the album contains a

Lord of the Rings reference so blatant you’ll miss it your first few times

through. I haven’t decided whether I’m embarrassed about that yet.

BR: How long did Heavy Metal Sunshine take to finish?

LT: One year and one month.

After mining a few EP nuggets, Diamond Mind unearths their first full-length.

BR: How did you connect with Wyatt Records for the release?

LT: Our relationship with Wyatt Records grew right out of our friendship

with Samantha Savage Smith. She’s been our biggest supporter, and an

incredible compass since the beginning and when Wyatt was conceived I

feel like it was a pretty natural step to stumble into their beckoning arms.

Even the title of their first LP Heavy Metal Sunshine shines a

spotlight bright enough to leave a sunburn on Diamond Mind’s

ability to craft clever irreverence into a graceful statement.

The music of Heavy Metal Sunshine takes a similar path, navigating

baroque-pop sensibilities with a compass and map aiming toward

classic indie rock. When BeatRoute asked primary songwriter Liam

Trimble about the group and their new LP, he enlisted his narrative

skills transforming our questions into this charming, quixotic interview.

BeatRoute: How was Diamond Mind formed?

Liam Trimble: We were formed about one billion years ago in

the Earth’s mantle, as carbon-bearing minerals were subjected to

unthinkable pressure and heat forming a cubic crystal lattice that

would, many, many years later, be excavated from a shitty Edmonton

bungalow basement jam space.

BR: How did Heavy Metal Sunshine come to be?

LT: After a run of fun-sized EPs, we decided to append a couple of extra

songs to the end of the next one and call it a long player. The previous

releases were quick and easy cassettes that just barely let us stretch our

musical legs. With Heavy Metal Sunshine we went into a studio proper

(Edmontone, under the supervision of Jesse Northey) and spent a much,

much longer time layering and tamping down sounds.

BR: Are the songs on Heavy Metal Sunshine written as a band

or are you the main songwriter?

LT: In terms of songwriting, let’s just say that the majority of the time

I, Liam, am bringing in the slab of angel food and then we all have a bit

of fun with the icing guns. And the result is an off-putting, off-brand

Minions cake.

BR: I recall you mentioning that you’d started playing guitar

in your teenage years, had you played other instruments or

sung earlier? Did you take lessons?

LT: I still have the synthesizer my sister and I received for Christmas when

I was maybe eight years old but it wasn’t until the summer of Edgefest,

‘90s Alt, and blue camo bucket hats that the spark really took and

the guitar became my life. It would be about another decade before I

opened my mouth to sing.

Concerning the guitar, I only had the privilege of going to lessons twice

and they were with a man who was as equally in love with Steve Ray

Vaughan as I was so we were quite a match before the plug was pulled.

BR: There’s a distinct refinement to the songs on Heavy Metal

Sunshine. Where do you cultivate your inspiration from? Do

BR:Has living as an artist in Edmonton had any effect on the

songs or creation of Heavy Metal Sunshine?

LT: Edmonton is in absolutely every crevice and pore of this album.

In spite of the title, recording sessions would start in the pitch black 6

p.m. of an Edmonton winter evening and I feel like that’s tangible in the

creaks of our voices and our stiff little digits trying to hammer out the

songs. Less tangibly (far less tangibly), these songs and the images they

fire in my brain as the songwriter - they all represent a row of sad little

snow globes lined up on a windowsill. Each one is a moment of my life in

this city, trapped in a little bubble, moments in our dim bars, weird little

parks, on our pockmarked streets.

BR: Any general thoughts on the Edmonton music scene?

LT: I’ve spent the past 20 minutes trying to patch together a Miller

analogy describing how Edmonton produces the champagne of weirdo

bullshit music but it sucked. Edmonton is beautiful and warped and will

always be my home.

BR: What’s next for Diamond Mind?

LT: Two words: the moon.

Diamond Minds’ Heavy Metal Sunshine is out via Wyatt Records on

October 7th.

34 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


BILLIE ZIZI

jazzy songstress exposes vulnerability on sophomore album

Without a doubt it’s been a long and

winding road to Billie Zizi’s burgeoning

career in “gypsy jazz.” Zizi’s initial

flirtation with music transformed into dedicated

commitment over the last seven years leading to

her sophomore album, Moon of Honey.

Initially Zizi planned to work in international

development and set out to travel and volunteer

with the Canada World Youth program in her

late teens. Upon returning home she discovered

her dad had booked them a gig at an art gallery

opening.

“When I came back to Canada, I had no idea

what I was doing,” she laughs. “My dad was

like, ‘Oh, I got us a gig!’ I told him I wasn’t really

good at guitar and he basically said that it didn’t

matter. So we did this gig playing background jazz

music and I really liked it. I practiced really hard

and then I got into the Grant MacEwan music

program.”

Nearly eight years later, Zizi has toured the

country by rail, has put out one full-length album

and is set to release her second. Moon of Honey

marks a very important shift artistically for Zizi

who wrote the album from a much different place

than the first.

“I was very devastated during the recording of

this album. I guess I’m proud I did a thing when I

was sad,” says Zizi.

The results speak for themselves. The new

record is a dreamy meander through Zizi’s heart,

taking the listener places they may have been

SASKTELL

WENCHES & ROUGUES

Celtic romp cranked right up

The adage “you can never trust a book buy its cover” can be

applied to many aspects of one’s life including movie watching,

cookbook buying, and cd listening. With cover art depicting

traditional Irish iconography, a ghostly pirate ship tossed to the torrent

of a savage sea on a planet that looks like it is ruled with an iron fist by

a group of helmet wearing, unpronounceable named, super powered

deities, your record better deliver.

With their self-titled debut full-length album, Wenches & Rogues

bandmates Kristen Ratzlaff (vocals, oboe, whistle), Pierre Bazin (bagpipes,

whistles, vocals), Trevor Merrigan (lead guitar), Booker Blakely

(fiddle), Carmela Brockman (accordion, Keys), Austin Heagy (bass),

and Brady Kirwan (drums) bring their unique musical influences, artistic

backgrounds, and personal histories to create an album exuding

an energetic musical joy, an album to draw-in musicians, fans, and

enthusiasts alike.

Opening with “Scotland the Brave”, listeners are immediately hit the

big, familiar sound of a bag pipe playing one of the most recognizable bag

pipe songs in history. From tradition to fusion, big electric guitars kick in

with Scotland leading a charge in rusty El Caminos and polished Mustangs

with metal heads, kilt wearing patriots, and muscle bound rough necks

hanging out the windows, pelting neighboring countries with haggis and

thumb worn copies of Trainspotting.

“Surrender” is a mix of metal, traditional tin whistle, soaring lead vocals

with a grindcore background vocal line coalescing in a tightly arranged,

and played, track. The multi-influenced track is seamless in drawing

upon each members’ musical influences. “Twisted” starts with a RHCP

influenced bass line before Kim Wilde comes in and kicks Anthony Kiedis

off the mic.

“Mud Hardy’s” is a cleanly played traditional tune proving Wenches and

Rogues multi-genre approach comes from a place of true musicianship

ROCKPILE

Billie Zizi embraces vulnerability in her sophomore effort.

unwilling to explore within themselves. Hopeless

romantics will love the subtle loneliness in her

voice, while guitar nerds will love her dirty solos,

dripping with hints of Wilco and soaked in reverb.

A huge fan of music since she was a kid, she

isn’t afraid to take cues from artists she admires,

including one Icelandic icon. “When I was writing

this album I listened to so much Björk,” Zizi reveals.

“I made myself listen to more Björk than I

thought I could stand. It was kind of an experiment.

I would go on a run and listen to her last

album, Vulnicura. I listened to that album so

much that I was sick of it and almost hated it,” she

laughs. “But I feel like I got a deeper understanding

of it listening to the whole thing every day.”

Not only does she draw inspiration from

and sound musical choices. Combining other traditional tunes like “Mist

Covered Mountains”, “Paddy’s Leather Breeches” with originals, there is an

over-all love, and appreciation, of music, a tone of comradeship and joy, of

sharing musical gifts and passing them to a family member, your neighbor,

or new audience member. It is the sense of being in a song circle with John

McDermott, Lorenna McKennitt, the Pogues, Pat Benatar, Evanescence,

Dropkick Murphys, and Veil of Maya.

The Rosetta Stone to this record is how well-blended and balanced the

musical influences work in the arrangements. At no point does this album

seem self-aware, tongue-and-cheek or other hyphenated phrases; it is an

by Brittany Rudyck

artists like Björk, she also draws deeply from

the family well. Her father, Cam Neufeld, is a respected

musician in Edmonton and around the

world. He played a huge part in both of Zizi’s

albums as well as educated her in the plight of

the professional artist.

“I think I’m really lucky because I had a healthy

perspective on what it is to be a working musician

right off the bat. I didn’t have any misconceptions

about how glamorous it was or if there was any

sort of money or fame. I grew up going to a lot of

music festivals and I was exposed to a lot of music.

I think that helped create my musical roots,

my palette and my artistic propensity, in a way.”

Neufeld will be joining her onstage for her

upcoming album release show, which she assures

will be magical.

“I have a little bit of synesthesia, so sound

comes across as shapes to me,” she muses. “So,

when we’re onstage and everything is connected, I

get this music bubble that’s all over me. I don’t really

see it. I just feel it. It’s like this light halo and at

the risk of sounding new-agey, I think the music is

really something you can meditate in and ascend

to be connected to something that’s bigger and so

much more important than the sound.”

Catch the groove at Billie Zizi’s album release at the

Needle Vinyl Tavern in Edmonton on October 21st

with the Sumner Brothers and Karimah. Stay tuned

for confirmed dates on her cross-Canada tour later

this month!.

honest, heart-felt, successful attempt at melding diverse musical cultures.

With cover art that needs to be painted on as many 1970s beige vans as

humanly possible, Wenches and Rogues is a tribute to music lovers of all

tribes and banners to come together, to celebrate, and to rejoice in music’s

transformative experiences.

Check out Wenches and Rogues son Soundcloud ( soundcloud.com/

wenchesandrogues), Reverbnation (https://www.reverbnation.com/

wenchesandrogues) and the usual social media suspects.

• The Riz

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 35


BOOK OF BRIDGE

THE LAST SLICE

a final farewell to a local favourite

by Tyler Stewart

On August 27th, the longest-running music

venue in Lethbridge permanently closed its

doors. After 11 years of operations under

brothers Jesse and Tyler Freed, The Slice was not just

the most consistent place to see live music in town,

but a breeding ground for the local music scene, and

to many, a second home.

“I discovered The Slice because of a Sun-Rype juice

commercial, actually,” explains Jesse Northey, namesake

of the art-pop group Jesse and the Dandelions, and a

Lethbridge-raised musician now living in Edmonton. “I

searched out the song from the commercial to discover

it was Said The Whale, and weirdly enough, they were

actually playing The Slice the next day.”

As an 18-year-old just starting out in the music

scene, that concert made a huge impact on Northey

as he began playing shows, hosting jam nights and

promoting concerts himself at The Slice.

“It’s really a testament to the community of Lethbridge,

how The Slice brought people together for

music and developed friendships,” Northey says. “It

gave me an opportunity to get up and play with people

that were way beyond my skill level, but in a way I

could learn and grow. I haven’t found another place

that’s been that supportive.”

Local songwriter and occasional bartender Shaela

Miller can testify to receiving the same support – even

having her face chosen for the iconic mural that graces

the outside of the building.

“My very first show at The Slice was the night the

mural was completed,” Miller says. “The Slice was like

home to me and to so many other local musicians and

music lovers alike.”

While The Slice nurtured the local music scene, it

also played a role in developing more of a pan-Albertan

music community, offering a consistent place for touring

bands to route through. From hosting the kick-off

to the Swig of Alberta travelling festival, to providing

guarantees to touring acts that would otherwise

never stop in Lethbridge, The Slice went out on a limb

night after night to help musicians connect with local

audiences.

“There were plenty of bands like July Talk, Hollerado,

Said the Whale, and others that chose to spend

valuable time there,” Northey says. “It was The Slice

making these types of shows happen. Without them

taking that risk, the Lethbridge music scene would not

be what it is today.”

While the scene will soldier on, thanks to newer

venues like The Owl and Attainable Records, Lethbridge

has not only lost the best thin crust pizza in

the province (if you ate there, you’ll know), but a place

where friends were made, passions were encouraged,

and community was built.

“The Slice closing almost feels like a painful breakup,”

Miller laments. “The kind of breakup where you are

both still deeply in love, but know in your heart it is

over and there is no turning back.”

The end of an era is Lethbridge arrives with the closing of hub The Slice.

photo: Jon Martin

POSTNAMERS

music to consume you by Courtney Faulkner

J

Being hypnotized into a trance by the

delicately haunting, unearthly electronic

sounds that build into a great body bursting

climax is a common symptom of immersing

yourself into a Postnamers live performance. To

gain the full effect of this musical magic your

presence really is necessary.

“I’d say with Postnamers it’s 75 per cent

pre-planned and 25 per cent just feeling it,” says

Matthew Wilkinson, the creative front of Postnamers

who encapsulates your attention with

resounding vocals accompanied by disjointed

dance moves. “The songs are structured in a way

where even within the structure that does exist

there’s so much room for members of the band

to just do their own thing on top of it.”

“The improvisation is built into the song,”

says harpist Mary Wood, who also plays with

Wilkinson in her band Feverfew. “There are

times that everyone knows they can explode.”

“I like crescendos,” says Wilkinson, “And the

way we reach the crescendo will be different

every time.”

These improvisational interludes are the

highlight of a Postnamers show, where all chaos

is released into a fury and you find yourself

completely present in your existence.

On October 15th you can fully enter your

body, as Postnamers plays with Melted Mirror

and Physical Copies at Attainable Records.

“Melted Mirror plays really clever synth-driven

pop,” says Wilkinson. “Their singer is really

charismatic, they’re a really fun band. And

photo: Levi Manchak

you can always dance your ass off to Physical

Copies.”

Keep tuned to a Postnamers album being

released in 2017.

“I’ve got a full record that’s full orchestration,

it’s huge sounding,” says Wilkinson. “It was four

years where all my spare moments were put into

music making or masturbation.”

Postnamers play with Melted Mirror and Physical

copies at Attainable Records October 15th.

BLISSETTE

tropical glam in a 12-string guitar

is a lot of strangeness that’s beautiful

and needs to be celebrated, which is

“There

a lot of what J Blissette is rooted in,” says

Jackson Tiefenbach of their current musical project

and adopted artistic persona. “This is the opportunity

to do something that is uniquely my own.”

“Music is an avenue that allows me to be the

kind of person that I want to be, and to have the

freedom even just to be walking around wearing

as many scarves as I am at any given moment,”

says Blissette. “There’s some real self-expression

and honesty to the life of an artist.”

With a flair for floral shirts, black lipstick,

leather jackets and a quintessential light up

pink flamingo as the fifth band mate on stage, J

photo: Meghan MacWhirter

by Courtney Faulkner

Blissette “plays songs that sound like what Marc

Bolan would write if he spent three years getting

drunk in Havana, and had more of an interest in

government conspiracies and serial killers.”

A little bit dark, and a lot of fun, they’re one of

the new bands that arose from the ashes of what’s

been dubbed “The Great Band Death of 2016,”

a time where the Lethbridge scene experienced

numerous band breakups, and the closing of a

beloved music venue, The Slice.

Blissette, formerly The Ruby Plumes, experienced

a monumental shift in the past six months

after he quit drinking and his band broke up.

“Leading up to that point I had two consistencies

in my life,” says Blissette, “And that was drinking

and The Ruby Plumes, and those both left.”

“You have these things in your life, and they

keep you stable, they hold you down... that went

away,” says Blissette. “I no longer have getting

black out drunk to look forward to, so I have to

find actual things that make me happy, or make

me a better person, to look forward to.”

“I got sober, and with that came, ‘There went

your last excuse to be doing anything other than

great things.’ So let’s really focus and try really hard,

and learn to sing, and learn to be a bit more of a

frontman, and make better music,” says Blissette.

“Now I’m in a group of the best musicians available

who are just great people working very hard, and

putting more work into the music than ever.”

J Blissette plays with Flatbed and Blü Shorts October

28th at the Lethbridge Fish and Game Hut.

36 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


letters from winnipeg

DUOTANG

embrace nostalgia as vice by Julijana Capone

MICAH

Duotang are back with a new album after a 15-year hiatus.

Winnipeg bass-and-drum combo Duotang have a new

record, called New Occupation, their first full-length

since 2001. Considering the band’s demise began in

Calgary (during an argument-turned-fist-fight over ordering

chicken or pizza), it only makes sense then that the reformed

duo should launch a Western Canadian tour in support of

the album from the same city where, over a decade ago, it all

imploded.

After a string of successful reunion shows in 2014 and 2015,

which led to some new material surfacing, all signs had been

pointing to a new album. While Duotang’s sound has always

been informed by a number of sources, on New Occupation they

haven’t lost sight of those garage-infused touches. With 15 more

years in, it’s confident, minimalist rock ‘n’ roll fuzz ornamented

with vox and self-aware lyrics. Not of one particular time, and still

best served live.

“I was ready to be done after our first reunion show in Winnipeg

at The Good Will,” says drummer Sean Allum. “It was like

this perfect night. We played great. Everybody loved it. I was the

one pushing to do that show. Rod didn’t really want to do it. Then

Rod brought in these new songs… This is by far our best album.

Duotang 2016 is what Duotang 2001 always wanted to be.”

“We have nothing to worry about and nothing to prove,” adds

vocalist/bassist Rod Slaughter. “That’s a nice feeling. We’re just

making music that feels right.”

The album’s tongue-in-cheek lead track sets the tone with the

repeating refrain “nostalgia’s a vice and I lack self-restraint,” a jab at

those who’re stuck in the past. “We all know people like that, who

are like, ‘It’s not good if it’s not from 1966,’” says Slaughter. “By the

end of the song, I realize I’m the exact same way. I’m that person

that I’m complaining about.”

While two-thirds of the album’s content is new, some of the

material was written at different times. “Friends,” for instance,

originally appeared on the band’s first 7-inch. Even still, it all comes

together into a cohesive narrative, commenting on the struggle

to balance work and responsibilities (“New Occupation”) while

fulfilling other passions (“That’s What Keeps Us Alive”).

“I think the main theme is poking fun at people like us

that are working a 9-to-5, and are still focused on doing

the right thing to keep the roof over our heads,” explains

ROCKPILE

photo: Jason Halstead

Slaughter. “But we’re not whole, we don’t feel right. We

need to fill our lives with other things—whether they’re

creative or destructive.”

In the decade or so following their split, both members have

settled into careers, and Allum now has two children (his 11-yearold

daughter, Abby, appears in the mods-versus-rockers-themed

video for “Karma Needs to Come Around”).

Despite the fact that Duotang never did achieve any substantial

level of notoriety, they still managed to make a permanent mark

on many within the Canadian indie-rock scene of the late-‘90s and

early 2000s.

“If there was ever anything to say about Duotang, it’s what this

guy once told me in Calgary,” says Allum. “He said: ‘You’re never

gonna make it, but you’ll influence some bands.’ At the time it

was kind of a knock on us, but you talk about Duotang now with

people that were in the music scene, and they really liked us. We

never had a huge audience. The small following of fans that really

dug us, a lot of them were musicians.”

Now many of the musicians that got behind them in their heyday

are showing their support once again. Stomp Records founder

and Planet Smashers frontman Matt Collyer is releasing New

Occupation on his label. Vancouver power-pop act Uptights will

be joining Duotang on all of their Western Canadian tour dates.

Apparently, Uptights organist Jesse Gander (also a well-known

record producer) reached out to Slaughter after hearing the band

was putting out a new album. As well, Brent Oliver (Duotang’s

manager) will be resurrecting his long dismantled outfit, Slow

Fresh Oil, with Lyle Bell (of The Wet Secrets) for Duotang’s Edmonton

date.

“Admittedly, we were never very big, and now most people

have no idea who we are,” says Slaughter. “But the fact that some

people who we really admire and respect are saying it’s great that

you’re doing this, that means the world to us.”

“It’s all coming back full circle,” says Allum.

Duotang perform at The Palomino on October 28 (Calgary), 9910

on October 29 (Edmonton), Canmore Hotel on November 2 (Canmore),

The Biltmore on November 3 (Vancouver) Copper Owl on

November 4 (Victoria) and The Good Will on November 12 (Winnipeg).

To purchase New Occupation, head to stomprecords.com.

VISSER

indie-pop newcomer takes a leap forward

by Julijana Capone

20. All of my friends are 20. We’re all just so dysfunctional,” says Winnipeg

indie-pop wunderkind Micah Visser. “You can’t expect to have

“I’m

your shit together at this age.”

The up-and-coming singer-songwriter is talking about the inspiration behind

his new EP, Forward, a document of “the strange, fearful step into adulthood,”

according to his bio, where the future is so exciting yet so uncertain.

“It’s a very strange time, because everything just feels so up in the air,” he

says. “A lot of things change really fast.”

The album’s second track, “Keeping Up,” about dysfunctional relationships,

adds to the premise, shimmering with sunny synth-pop sounds and Visser’s

endearing vocal awkwardness. “The idea of two dysfunctional people trying to

help each other seems like a good idea in theory, but a lot of the time it just

perpetuates the cycle of dysfunction,” he says. “You don’t know why you’re

keeping up with this person, but you just keep on doing it.”

Before he was out of high school, Visser had released a handful of folk-inspired

bedroom recordings, culminating into his first full-length, ok night,

in 2015. While Visser’s previous works have been self-produced solo efforts,

Forward is his first record with the inclusion of a full band—which happens to

include his brother and long-time collaborator, Joseph, on guitar.

“My brother has been huge every step of the way,” says Visser. “It’s been

really exciting for me to take these parts that I’ve written that are fairly simple

and take them to people that are so great at their instruments. They just take

it that much further.”

The album, as Visser notes, was not just about moving forward personally,

but also musically, and allowing himself to be more open to collaboration.

“I felt like I had gone as far as I could go with the sound on ok night, especially

live,” says Visser. “I wanted to give people something that was a little

more fun live without detracting from the emotion of the music.

“Part of me, before especially, just wanted music to be about me,” he

continues. “I just wanted it to be my little thing… I think of music more as a

shared thing now.”

Micah Visser performs at Swing Machine Factory on October 6 (Edmonton), Broken

City on October 7 (Calgary), and Vangelis Tavern on October 13 (Saskatoon). For

more information, head to micahvisser.com

Indie-pop wunderkind Micah Visser keeps moving forward.

photo: Joseph Visser

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 37


JUCY

SORROW

far from sombre – everchanging and effervescent

Sorrow is focusing on the chill.

It was 2012. Peak dubstep was right around the

corner, and every bedroom producer wanted a

piece of the pie. YouTube was replete with scores

of channels promoting all sorts of bare-bones

140bpm noise that blended into itself. SoundCloud

wasn’t much better. But amongst the chatter a few

names kept popping up, stubbornly refusing to go

quietly into this formulaic howling abyss.

THE LIBRARIAN

fostering community and honing her craft

Bass Coast festival has been making increasingly

far-reaching and eye-catching waves

in its past few years. This year they sold out

of tickets before the lineup dropped, and they

continually strive to cultivate an atmosphere of inclusivity

and acceptance in a setting teaming with

incredible art and stage installations with a world

class lineup of international and regional talent.

The festival was founded by two women: Liz

Thompson and Andrea Graham. Graham’s life largely

is dominated by two things: Bass Coast, and her

work as a DJ/producer under her alias The Librarian.

BeatRoute had the opportunity to catch up with her

during her long drive back to her home in Squamish,

B.C. from Symbiosis festival in California, which was

her last festival performance of a very busy summer.

“I’ve been away almost every week since June,”

Graham says. “I am looking forward to getting home

and spending some time getting creative and making

music. And we’re already well under way working

away on Bass Coast 2017 as well, so it’s kind of my

plan for the next two months – to stick a little closer

to home and work on music and Bass Coast.”

Graham has a multi-tiered past which includes

schooling for jazz piano, hotel management and a

nearly completed B-COMM which she left in order to

start a coffee shop, which is what she did right before

she started Bass Coast.

After returning home from California, Graham

says she will be taking two weeks off from shows in

JUCY

photo:Kasper Ploughman

Sorrow was one of the good ones. He spent years

building enough momentum to escape a purely online

presence, culminating in his first North American

appearance this past summer, as well as a headlining

slot at Shambhala.

Unwilling to confine himself to one genre, Sorrow’s

endlessly versatile and bold style translates into a

challenging but rewarding presence in the realm of

early October for some much needed down time,

that will however include a lot of work on Bass Coast

2017. Then, in November, she plans to dedicate the

whole month to making music.

“I feel like my creative process has changed a lot

over the years because as Bass Coast is demanding

more of my time it actually creates a lot less time for

making music,” Graham explains. “So only in the past

year have I been trying to dedicate more of my day or

my week towards that and also try to learn as much

from my friends and the people that are around me.”

That sense of community and channeling inspiration

from those around you is a huge component of

what makes Bass Coast so special. Everyone from the

artists and organizers to the volunteers and attendees

are encouraged to dive in headfirst.

“We want everyone to be able to participate

whether that is through an official way or even just

by participating in the theme or going to a workshop

or meeting your neighbours – it’s all about everyone

really getting involved in whatever way they can.”

Shambhala, (another festival Graham headlined

this summer) selling out in one day is yet another

indication that these types of festivals are only getting

more and more popular. Bass Coast tickets go on sale

mid October and Graham states they are “preparing

for a rush.” The unprecedented sellout of tickets for

2016’s festival presented one of the biggest hurdles

for Graham and the other organizers; they had to

work even harder to preserve the intimate, consistent

electronic music. “I think I’m known for spontaneously

switching up my style over the years now, for better

or worse. I’ve always found it very hard to stick to

one style and it’s almost as if I just get bored with my

sound palette.” he explains.

“I make electronic music which is predominantly

mellow [and] chilled out, but I dabble in all sorts

of sounds ranging from aggressive grime to purely

ambient pieces.”

This explorative attitude stems from a palette

of influences as broad as it is deep. Not only does

Sorrow draw ideas from acts such as Oxide & Neutrino,

Wiley, Loefah and Skream, but also from his surroundings.

“I actually grew up in Birmingham, which

played a huge role as a city during the Industrial

Revolution. It’s filled with old factories and buildings

from the late 19th and early 20th century, which isn’t

the nicest to look at day in day out, so it has a very

derelict and destitute vibe to it.”

Throw in a U.K. upbringing in the heyday of

garage, grime and dubstep, and it’s no small wonder

that the soundscapes he crafts elicit so much

emotion. His collaborations with Asa, Culprate and

KOAN Sound (born out of a charitable effort for

Movember) are an interesting exploration of blissful

melancholy, an elegant epitome of each artist’s

palette and commonalities.

Moving forward, Sorrow aims to continue blazing

that bold trail of genre-busting brilliance – a

mission motivated by the stream-once-and-forget

nature of music nowadays. “I have always thought

Bass Coast, making music, and something you may not know about The Librarian.

vibe and maintain a space that “fosters community.”

Listening to her speak about her craft or her festival,

the two primary things that demand the most of

her time and energy, or hearing one of her painstakingly

crafted – yet seemingly effortlessly executed

– live sets, her passion and dedication are unmistakable.

When asked what one thing about herself that

readers may not know might be, unrelated to her role

with Bass Coast or The Librarian, she responded:

“Outside of music and Bass Coast, I live in the

mountains and I love mountain biking, and that’s

by Max Foley

that it’s very important for music to be memorable,

especially in this day and age with the constant

stream of new music online, so I try to make uncomplicated

but catchy music with just the right

amount of variation throughout. I think humans

by their very nature are attracted to repetitive

music at least to an extent, so I try to incorporate

that into my music [too.]”

The man’s passion is palpable, matching his

knack for pumping out quality content. Sorrow

has a grime EP releasing soon; he’s also in the midst

of working on another EP that’s on the other end

of the spectrum – what he describes excitedly as,

paradoxically, “more chilled out music.” Surely,

attendees at his Calgary show will be regaled with

tasters from both.

What else does Sorrow have planned for the

future?

“I’m hoping to work with more singers and MCs

in the future, so you can expect some featured artists

on future tunes. I’m in a place now where I feel that

focusing on my chilled out music is the right thing for

me, so I’m getting back in touch with that emotional

side of my music.” he explains.

He closes with a promise: if you catch him on one

of his North American dates, you won’t regret it.

“Good music will be played across the spectrum!” he

declares. If the past is anything to go off of, it’s hard

not to believe him.

Sorrow plays Nite Owl in Calgary on October 14th.

by Paul Rodgers

photo: Third Eye Arts

why I call Squamish home… It’s close enough to the

city to be able to travel and have that sort of music

and urban fix, but I’m also in the mountains and I get

a lot of inspiration for music and Bass Coast as well

while I’m riding my mountain bike.”

These are the things she lives for, and her fans and

festival attendees remain forever grateful and in awe

of that fact.

Catch the Librarian at work on October 29th at the

Hifi Club.

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 39


SINISTARR

footwork mastery and the history of Jeremy Howard’s music

Jeremy Howard suggested Local 510’s video game

night as the spot to meet up for his interview

with BeatRoute; an appropriate setting given

that he based his musical moniker Sinistarr off of the

1982, Asteroids-esque arcade game Sinistar.

Howard was born in Detroit and has been hard at

work developing an extensive back catalogue since

around 2007. He first heard of Calgary in 2013 through

Sheena Jardine-Olade when she interviewed him for a

piece FREQ Magazine wrote on the Movement festival

where Sinistarr performed.

He met some of her friends and, after some conversing,

was convinced to come check out festivals like Bass

Coast and Shambhala in the summer of 2014. And then

in early 2015 played a show in Calgary.

“I played Habitat March 2015 and then it kind of fell

into place there,” Howard explains. “I kind of fell in love

with the city.”

“I think [the city] has heart and they have their ear

to the ground properly on what’s going on around here,

or what’s going on outside of Calgary and outside of

Canada in general – as opposed to other cities where

they have a small scene and they’re kind of fighting back

against the bigger scene, people [in Calgary] are going

out on Fridays and Saturdays you go to the clubs and

people are going to check out stuff.”

Detroit still holds a place deep within Howard. He

has family and friends there, and the city’s sounds still

influence the music he makes.

“It would be nice to see them again, because I haven’t

been back since I moved,” Howard says. “I’d like

to go back and see them and just see old friends and

things like that. The scene’s nice; everyone’s still kind

of vibing. We have this saying that’s like, we’re still

here if you’re not, we’ll still be here. So I know they’re

still gonna be there.”

From Detroit to Calgary, Sinistarr continues being prolific in releases.

by Paul Rodgers

Howard’s influences, of course, are not limited to his

city of origin alone. Going through his mammoth list of

original tunes, remixes and collaborations is staggering.

He has released drum and bass for legendary and varied

labels like Hospital, Renegade Hardware and Goldie’s

Metalheadz. He gained a great deal of notoriety as a

DNB producer and then moved forward and started

making footwork, which gained him even more attention.

He has also produced house and techno and seen

releases on labels like Juke Trax, Tectonic and Human Elements,

as well as joining up with Urban Tribe, an outfit

founded by Stingray313 that has hosted Carl Craig and

Moodyman among others.

Most recently, he made a five-track EP for

D.Bridge’s Exit Records; an imprint Howard would

feel quite at home with. The new tracks all hover

around the 165 BPM mark and showcase his talents

at crafting footwork.

“I feel like they’ve been on it, ‘cause I did that BBC

mix recently and I was actually talking to the press guy

for Exit and I was like, ‘yeah, I’m actually really happy

I did this mix because there’s a lot of stuff in the 160

range, 160-165 range that I was able to play and most of

it was on Exit’ and he said, ‘Yeah that means we’re on to

something good.’ Sure enough they had like at least four

or five releases out that I was able to play that were just

solid like that so I think their programming is changing

[the] game anyway.”

While diversity in the content he produces has never

been an issue, Howard states he is happy with where

he is currently at and wants to just continue honing his

skills, and seeking out the perfect home for his eventual

full-length album.

Sinistarr plays alongside J:Kenzo at Sub Chakra’s five year

anniversary at Habitat on October 28th.

photo: Michael Benz

LET’S GET JUCY!

Hatcha will be at Habitat on October 20.

With September dispensed with we

can now settle in to the month of

October, with its last remaining

moderately nice days, pumpkin spice saturation

and every raver’s favourite holiday: Halloween!

This month, and especially the weekend of All

Hallow’s Eve, is outrageously jam-packed with

shows.

Noctilux has returned from a brief summer

sabbatical with a couple sterling bookings. First

off, on October 6th, they have Croydon’s Deft representing

20/20 LDN that also hosts such forward

thinking artists as Halogenix and Ivy Lab. This will

be a versatile night of genre bending tunes taking

place at Habitat.

Next up, on the 7th, an artist with a complicated

and captivating life story, and equally engaging

music, MNDSGN will bring his unique sounds to

The Hifi. Check him out online!

On the 8th, this time at Nite Owl, Manchester’s

big bossman Chimpo will perform what is sure to

be an unforgettable night. From his widely varied

production work that features collaborations with

recent supergroup Richie Brains, to his always

impressive DJ sets, to his booming, baritone voice

which he has lent as an MC to countless tunes this

may be one of the shows of the year.

There is a CJSW funding drive taking place on

the 9th at Commonwealth presented by Dirty

Needles and Shaolin Sundays featuring, among

others DJ Cosm. Get down there and show some

support one of the world’s greatest independent

radio stations!

Noctilux gang come correct yet again with

their immense booking of Hatcha, a man largely

responsible for helping to forge and maintain the

sound of proper dubstep. Deep heads don’t sleep!

This goes down on the 20th at Habitat.

On the 22nd you can walk the line between

hipster indie pop and Real Trap Shit with a victory

lap performance by Purity Ring at Mac Hall.

They’re stopping by midway between the release

of 2015 album Another Eternity and whatever the

heck they’ll get up to next. Why here? Why now?

Is the truth really out there? This show likely won’t

answer those questions, but it’s hard to imagine it

won’t deliver aesthetically and offer dedicated fans

a night out to remember.

October 27th marks the return of one of

Canada’s hottest bass music sensations: Ekali. With

support from one of Calgary’s finest producers

OAKK, you can safely wager you’re in for some big

sounds.

Then again, you could choose to head to

everyone-under-18’s favourite venue, MacEwan

Hall, to see white rapper tour-de-force/Justin

Bieber acquaintance Post Malone on the 27th as

well. This major-label rapper is stopping in Calgary

between… Something, and another thing, maybe.

Enjoy the show, and study up with the online

story we likely lost after this column entry.

October 28th is a big one. Sub Chakra, who

began with humble origins at Sal’s on 17th turns

five and celebrates their incredible accomplishments

and growth over the years with one of the

best in the bass biz, J:Kenzo alongside Sinistarr and

founder Metafloor in addition to a massive lineup

of local talent.

That same day, Australia’s Mr. Bill brings his

mind bending production skills to Distortion.

The 29th has two gargantuan shows next

door to one another: Bass Coast founder and

extraordinary DJ/producer The Librarian performs

at the Hifi, while at Nite Owl 403DNB presents the

21st year of Fright Nite. This long-running Calgary

tradition this year features London heavyweights

Mob Tactics and The Prototypes with yours truly

warming things up at 9:00. (I’m allowed to mention

myself now and then, right?)

Phew. That’s a lot of music. Stay safe, stay

spooky and I’ll see you all again next month!

• Paul Rodgers (with antagonistic contributions

from Colin Gallant)

40 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE JUCY


ROOTS

WIDE CUT WEEKEND

the first cut isn’t always the deepest

Alberta’s own roots artists are put on display during autumn multi-venue fest.

Last year was the year of the winter festival in

Calgary. Not only did we have a beautifully

mild season, but we had several new winter

music festivals come onto the scene. As the last

leaves fall off the trees, it’s time to bust out some

layers, put some thick tires on your bikes, and prepare

for round two of the winter festival circuit.

Wide Cut Weekend is back again after a wildly successful

first fest last fall. The multi-venue roots outing

features largely the same format as before, albeit with

a few new venues, a few new faces, and a drive to

smooth out a few of the rough edges.

“We really hit a nerve,” artistic director and host of

CKUA’s Wide Cut Country tells BeatRoute, “there is a

huge community that wants this kind of music.”

ROOTS

“From the launch party” of the festival, Brock and

the other Wide Cut organizers knew they wanted

to do it annually, but with an undertaking this large,

“you hope but you don’t know.”

Wide Cut Weekend operates as a non-profit society,

and thus relies on sponsorships, donations, and

grants to keep the doors open and the tunes rolling.

Given the increased availability for grants after a full

year of operation as a society, Brock and her crew had

their work cut out for them raking in enough support

to become sustainable.

Having a year under their belt also allowed them

to overhaul their volunteer program. “We knew

we had to take a more methodic approach,” Brock

attests, in order to get more “support” for the

photo: Peter Seale

organizers. As of writing time for this article, Wide

Cut Weekend is no longer accepting applications for

volunteers, so we anticipate that this year there be

plenty more friendly faces to usher and support your

journey from venue to venue.

The Wide Cut roster is severely stacked with

southern-souled song writing savants, but the key

trend between them is their place of origin. Most

of the strummers and singers lay their heads here in

cow country, and there is both a practical and artistic

reason for it. The initial vision for the festival involved

more touring artists, but when the organizers (almost

all of whom had never run a festival before) began

crunching the numbers associated with out-of-town

acts, they decided to look a little closer to home. All

by Liam Prost

involved are happy with the decision, and Wide Cut is

now proudly an Albertan artist-driven festival, with a

few exceptions for its second year.

Alberta doesn’t just mean Calgary, however. “We

have bands from all across the province and we have

audience members from all across the province,”

Brock tells us, “there is such a great crossover from

people from Calgary who had never seen that band

from Edmonton or Medicine Hat or whatever, and

vice versa.”

Even as the festival grows and money for hotel

rooms becomes more available, Brock adamantly

proclaims, “I will always want to keep the heart of the

festival being Albertan.”

And grow the festival has, expanding to the

new (mostly) renovated King Eddy in the East

Village, both floors of the #1 Legion, the Oak

Tree in Kensington, The Blues Can in addition to

Mikey’s Juke Joint, and the Ironwood Stage and

Grill. Don’t fret the travel time between the Blues

Can and Oak Tree though, Wide Cut has crafted

a beautiful union with local party aficionados

BassBus to get patrons from venue to venue on

their titular music-mobile.

Wide Cut Weekend carries its namesake from

Allison Brock’s CKUA radio program Wide Cut

Country, but we’d advise you to scrub any negative

associations you might have with the twangy C-word.

Wide Cut Weekend prefers the term ‘roots,’ and has

booked acts that encompass the entire range of that

wonderfully vague qualifier.

“The name of the show was more geographical

than genre,” Brock argues, “the show launched in

2000” when the term “alt-country” was common

vernacular whereas now the term roots is a the

more-often quoted catch-all term for Americana,

folk, bluegrass, etc. Take a look around this section of

BeatRoute, for example.

“What commercial country does is very different

from what my show has done and what the festival

has done,” Brock attests. “The audiences are different.”

The acts are certainly different too, with artists ranging

from folk crooners to blues rockers.

Highlights include traditional-banjo songstress

Amy Nelson, whose turn-of-the-century (the 20th for

clarity) styling is second to none. Braden Gates will

be bringing some pretty finger picking to strike your

folk fancy. Del Barber will be fresh off a tour with the

hockey-song troubadours the No Regretzkys (check

out our full story on him later in the section). Up on

Cripple Creek will be waltzing like it’s their last time

to the songs from Big Pink and beyond, an act that

Allison Brock tells us will “rock your socks off.” Lucas

Chaisson will be bringing his rocking new tunes (and

rugged new beard). ‘90s Alberta super group Beautiful

Joe will be reuniting for the weekend featuring

Jane Hawley, Tim Leacock, Danny Patton, Steve Pineo

(who will also be performing under his own name at

the festival), and Ross Watson. Dave McGann will be

rustling up his heartfelt roots rock tunes. Kimberly

MacGregor will be singing her sweet and sultry songs.

And who can get enough of Justine Vandergrift’s clear

and relatable Americana?

Wide Cut Weekend runs October 13th-15th at several

venues across Calgary with transportation between

venues provided by BassBus. Day and weekend passes

are currently available.

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 43


C.W. STONEKING

Aussie blues unrefined, undefined

by B. Simm

Dressed completely in white

cotton, which is CW Stoneking’s trademark

style, he looks every bit the Southern Gentleman,

a ‘30s troubadour, roaming from house parlour

to hotel lounge. Sipping lemonade in the heat, then a

beer, a shot of whiskey. Playing for nickels and dimes,

not making much of anything, but manages to stay

fed, keep the grin on his face and somehow his jacket,

pants and shoes remain immaculate white.

Stoneking probably doesn’t roam from house

parlor to hotel lounge, although he may have the odd

beer and shot of whiskey. And the Australian native

isn’t really a Southern Gentleman. But the white suit

is indicative of one thing certain: he’s a purist committed

to jazz, blues and ragtime steeped in the raw,

untamed sounds of a distance past.

Jungle Blues was released in 2008 and while

Stoneking liked a lot of the ideas generated on that

recording, he wasn’t happy with the recording’s

mixing process.

“To mix the damn thing was just a nightmare.

It was recorded on Pro Tools, there were so many

tracks, and instruments and sound effects.”

In response to wrestling endlessly with the digital

process, Stoneking stripped the sessions down to a

single room on the next record with two mics connected

to a two-track tape machine that recorded a

set of drums, a bass, four female back-up singers and

Stoneking’s guitar amp. On his bandcamp page, the

making of Gon’ Boogloo is summed up by, “How it

arrived on the tape, is how it stayed.”

“Yeah,” says Stoneking on the phone from Nashville,

where he played the Americanafest the night

before, “I wasn’t intending to go as so simple as I did. I

sort of just happened.”

DEL BARBER

Hey, hey... start the season scrappin’

by B. Simm

a song,” admits Del Barber, “that I made fun of

in my youth. I thought it was lame and I was never

“It’s

a Tom Cochrane fan. But the more I listented to

his stuff and his band, I saw them live, the more I thought

‘Man, this is the kind of song I wish I could write.’ It’s got

a huge chorus, it’s got a great story, it’s got substance, it’s

true. So I thought it was a ballsy thing to do and something

I wouldn’t get to do any other time.”

Barber manages to belt out Tom Cochrane’s “Big

League,” the iconic Canadian hockey hit, like Barber himself

was in the big league. He also manages to make the

song his own, along with handful of other quintessential

tracks like Stompin’ Tom’s “The Hockey Song,” and “Clear

The Track Here Comes Shack,” but also, surprisingly,

Garry Glitter’s “The Hey Song – Rock And Roll Pt. 2.”

Released last spring at the tail end of the hockey season,

Del Barber’s and the No Regretzky’s The Puck Drops Here

is a tough and tumble collection of covers and orginals

that Barber literally bashes through with wild abandon —

it’s a scrappy, but a thoroughly enjoyable game.

He says, “The record was an excuse to experiment and

use different templates and genres. It’s really fun music,

and the most fun record I’ve ever made. There were no

rules and we didn’t have time to think about it, we just

did what came naturally.”

Gon’ Boogaloo also happens to be fine document of

music made in its undistilled, excited dangerous state.

In addition to Stoneking’s blues purity, Boogaloo springs

off in different directions and happily dovetails into

calypso, reggae and bouncy feel-good dance hall. The

four backup singers comprised of two sets of sisters has

undeniable traces of ‘60s doo-wop, gospel and girl pop

lending to the record’s buoyancy and freshness.

It would seem that with his soul firmly planted

deep in the roots of America, Stoneking would have

toured that country from one end to the other by

now. Not the case. Securing a band has always been

a problem. Fortunately he’s found all that he needs

on this current trek with three females playing bass,

drums and sax along with providing back-up vocals.

“It’s a condensed version of what I had on the

record, and it’s been working out real well.”

C.W. Stoneking brings his blues purity and handsome

white suit to the Palomino, Monday, Oct. 10.

Del Barber might pull a Big League during Wide Cut Weekend.

He plays the Blues Can Fri., Oct. 14 and The Legion #1

Upstairs Sat., Oct. 15.

44 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE ROOTS


PICTURE THE OCEAN

five years of hard touring brings duo back to Edmonton

The touring life can be exhilarating; every

day a new locale, some place your eyes have

never seen and may never see again, or the

familiar faces of friends you made the last time

you passed through. For Jesse Dee and Jacquie

Boisvert of Edmonton’s Picture the Ocean, their

five-year run as self-funded touring musicians

took them across Canada several times, through

Europe, America, and as far as India, giving them a

new perspective of their Prairie home.

“It took a bit of getting used to,” says Dee (pronounced

Dah-min-yoo), “I think we were looking for

that ‘sameness’ of day-to-day life for a while, rather

than just show-to-show-to-show. I still love driving,

checking out the little spots that we’ve come to

know, we love that, but we have a lot of good friends

in Edmonton that we never got to see very often,

and it’s been great to reconnect with them, and

start some new projects.” In addition to Picture the

Ocean, Dee purchased a live production company,

Listen Louder Productions, and holds down guitar

duties in Joe Nolan’s band, The Dogs. He and Boisvert

continue to maintain their long-held tenures in Scott

Cook’s band, The Long Weekends.

That sense of home is palpable on Something

Real, their new album recorded live to tape in a cabin

in Edmonton’s river valley, with engineer Scott Franchuk.

The warm and spare acoustic feel of the record

is enhanced by Dee and Boisvert’s personal intimacy,

their voices swirling in intricate harmony.

“I’d been reading a Neil Young biography, Shakey,

and it really made me want to do something

LAUREN MANN

stretching beyond her former fairly odd folk

ROOTS

photo: Kristy-Anne Swart

Lauren Mann proclaims that the “world is a

beautiful place,” and on the Calgary native’s

latest release Dearestly, we broker a tinge of

her optimism through effortlessly catchy songs

as well as stripped down, natural ballads. Mann

found herself Inspired by the glean of the ‘40s as

well as the earnestness of “old Disney movies,”

entranced by the whimsy and beauty present in

both. Dearestly features tight harmonies that are

easy to enjoy and each song is filled with heartfelt

and sentimental lyrics. Whether the focus of the

by Mike Dunn

photo: Erin Walker

unadorned, really raw,” says Dee. “I don’t think it’s

the kind of record we can take into the bar circuit,

where, you know, you have the volume to make

sure the crowd will hear it. For a record like this, we’d

like to concentrate on house concerts, theatres, and

festivals.”

Picture The Ocean will release their second album,

Something Real, at The Aviary in Edmonton, Wednesday,

October 5th.

by Kennedy Enns

song is fun or covers some of the darker themes

across the album, she demonstrates her songwriting

talent.

Standout album cut “St. Lawrence” was inspired by

an exploration of a small island off the coast of Quebec

while on tour. The song’s chorus was written in

English, but translated into French in order for Mann

to pay homage to the idyllic island that helped inspire

the sultry anthem.

Dearestly is meant to be experienced all at once, as

Mann guides the listener through each of her songs,

bookending each of its five distinct movements with

an instrumental track, “Idyll” I through IV. Perfectly

paced, she’ll have your foot tapping before you even

notice in between her deeper, more introspective

moments, which contrast and complement Dearestly’s

overarching sensibilities.

After winning the CBC Searchlight contest in

2014, Lauren Mann is continually thankful for the

exposure the contest has brought her even after

she has re-invented her image. Having dropped the

mantle “The Fairly Odd Folk,” Mann now has more

freedom to explore her voice as a solo artist, as well as

invite different artists to join as her back-up band, she

promises fans that she’ll “always have a band playing

with [her] and they’ll always be fairly odd folk.”

Lauren Mann performs October 5th in Edmonton at

The Buckingham, October 7th at the The Slice in Lethbridge,

and October 9th in Calgary at the Ironwood

Grill and Stage. More tour dates across the prairies

can be found online.

TERRA LIGHTFOOT

Hamilton folkie’s meteoric rise just keeps on going

photo: Lisa Mcintosh

It would be simple enough to describe Hamilton-based

Terra Lightfoot’s rise through

the Canadian music scene in the past year as

“meteoric,” given her relentless touring schedule

this year and having opened several dates for Blue

Rodeo last winter after a well-received club tour

to promote her latest album, 2015’s Every Time

My Mind Runs Wild. Lightfoot’s showing no signs

of slowing down though, as she prepares to tour

the U.K. and Europe before beginning a Western

Canadian tour in October.

“There’ve been a lot of people that have come

around that I really respect, who’ve become like,

mentors,” says Lightfoot, talking to BeatRoute while

she takes a break from packing for her European

tour. “I’ve had lunch, or talked through email

threads, or just met up with people to listen to their

CAM PENNER

new album a work of amorphous, experimental folk

Cam Penner’s music is raw, uninhibited,

and more than anything, diverse. Having

recorded a grand total of eight albums

over the course of 14 years, Penner has spent a

lot of time honing his musical style and creating

what you see today.

“I don’t listen to the music I write. I listen to hip

hop, soul, some Motown, and stuff like that,” Penner

says. “I think the biggest thing is I’ve been doing this

for quite a while, so how do you keep on making it

interesting? I want it to change all the time.”

Incorporating folk, rock ‘n’ roll, and even electronic

elements, Penner’s newest album, Sex & Politics,

is an album produced without a rigid structure. The

album has “a sinisterness, a darkness, and a light to

it.” It’s cohesive, and its intimacy is a reflection of

Penner’s recording studio tucked away in the woods

in British Columbia.

“It sounds like an album to me. It doesn’t sound

like a bunch of songs from here and there, it sounds

like an album.”

Penner began touring with Jon Wood 10 years

ago and the duo hasn’t slowed down since. Touring,

much like songwriting, has been an experiential

process that has grown into something amazing.

“The album is one piece of art, and then you take

those songs on tour and it’s a different kind of art,”

Penner says. “It’s even more uninhibited when you

get onstage and you try and pull the rug from under

yourself and your audience’s feet.”

Touring, songwriting, and producing albums have

been a continual process of learning, and Penner’s

by Mike Dunn

records, people that I never would have pictured

myself getting to talk to in a social way, and they’re

all lending their ears. It’s really inspiring.”

With plans to head back into the studio in

January, Lightfoot is showing no signs of letting up

on the momentum that has brought her to where

she is now. “We also have a live record with an

orchestra coming out in the spring,” says Lightfoot.

“We recorded it live in Hamilton. So many artists

wait until later in their careers to do a live record,

and I thought as a younger artist, I’d like to challenge

myself.”

Lightfoot also found tremendous inspiration in

a writing excursion to Nashville, recording demos

for a new record with Steve Dawson, and taking in

day trips throughout the American South with her

father, who she certainly did not expect to join her

in the South.

“You know how you invite your parents out, and

you don’t expect them to come?” says Lightfoot

with a chuckle. “I said, ‘Dad, you should come down

on this trip with me,’ not expecting him to actually

do it, but he got on a plane, and we just had a really

nice time, travelling together. We saw Bishop Al

Green leading the services at his church, and it was

so mind blowing, it was just amazing to experience.”

Terra Lightfoot plays extensive dates throughout

Western Canada this fall. Catch her in Calgary on October

13th at Festival Hall, in Vancouver on October

19th at The Media Club, or one of her many other

dates listed online.

by Amber McLinden

picked up on quite a few things throughout his

career. Over time, you come to understand the best

way to approach music, he explains.

“Not being afraid of any idea. Not being afraid

of trying anything out. Not being afraid of things.

Challenging yourself. I think as you get older, you

just don’t worry about shit as much as you used to.

You go, ‘Fuck it, let’s just lay down whatever we want

on the canvas and we’ll sort it out.’”

Catch Cam Penner at the Almanac in Edmonton on

September 28th, and the Ironwood Stage and Grill in

Calgary on September 29th and 30th.

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 45


SHRAPNEL

GHOST

they who cannot be named by Christine Leonard

BLACK

Swedish goth rockers Ghost conjure the unholy spirit.

“I

have an assigned task and that’s to speak to you,” flatly iterates

the Nameless Ghoul on the other end of the line.

After all, as contradictory as it may seem, anonymity

is at the aesthetic coeur of his band’s identity. Emanating from

Linköping, Sweden in 2008, Ghost (known as Ghost B.C. in the

United States) is a gothic-rock outfit that draws their dramatic and

visually stimulating persona from dark religious imagery that is

typically associated with the realms of heavy metal.

Recipients of multiple Swedish Grammis Awards, for their albums Infestissumam

in 2014 and Meliora in 2015, the six-member ensemble paraded

down the aisle and into the international spotlight this past February

when they accepted the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance

for the Meliora single “Cirice.” Led by their highly-decorated anti-papal

overlord, Papa Emeritus III (two previous Papas have already been retired -

to the South of France, one would presume), Ghost’s five Nameless Ghoul

instrumentalists drew stares of Los Angelian disbelief as they mounted the

dais in mouthless Minotaur masks.

“Whether or not this is a comment or rock stardom, initially the

whole image was just something that suited the music. We never

counted on being popular,” the customarily mute minion explains.

“Even though we had achieved some success in Europe beforehand,

America has always been the growing ground for us. This is by far where

we have played the most and where we spend most of the touring cycle.

We’ve come to a level now, which I really enjoy, where we want to play

everywhere. We’ve always been very insistent that we weren’t really doing

the work unless we were playing Medicine Hat and Kamloops.”

Proving that humour is never far removed from tragedy, Ghost has

rendered the imposing genres of hard rock and metal more accessible to

general audiences thanks to projects like their EP, If You Have Ghost, which

included cover songs produced by Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters. The faithful

masses have also responded favourably to Ghost’s most recent EP, the September

released Popestar, which features covers of Eurythmics and Echo &

the Bunnymen alongside the anthemic band’s “strongest concert-opener”

to date, “Square Hammer.”

“I don’t think that anything would have been successful had we not

done the tours. We would never have been nominated for or received a

SHRAPNEL

Grammy. We would never have been signed to our American label. Had

we not done the tours I don’t think Dave Grohl would have known who

we are; so, I am a firm believer in touring. I think that that is the shit.”

And now that they’ve rocked a million faces, Ghost has some very

pragmatic reasons for not revealing their own.

“It’s a hard one,” says he-who-cannot-be-named. “Some of us get

recognized to a certain degree; there’s always someone in a record

store or guitar shop coming up and whispering ‘I love your band.

Thank you!’ Whereas for more normal bands they are not subjected to

that level of respect. Because if you are an artist and you put yourself

out there, and you have an Instagram account and you’re photographing

everything you’re about to consume, I think people, more or less,

will regard you as some sort of public domain. And, you are also sort

of expected to be your onstage persona to a much further degree

than we ever are. I must say that any wishes that you might have had

as a younger person of wanting to be recognized, to the point where

we are recognized in our street clothes, I don’t feel I’d like that to be

happening on an everyday basis. It feels being very comfortable being

able to step in and out of that recognition.”

Able to reconcile the oppositional forces of fame and freedom, Ghost’s

avoidance of celebrity status while exploiting cultural iconography is perhaps

their greatest artistic achievement. Relying on archetypal constructs

to elicit an emotional reaction is nothing new in the world of agent provocateurs,

but Papa Emeritus III and his entourage of elemental familiars

have brought a burgeoning generation of fans into their demon-strative

fold with a flair for creating musical rituals that leave a lasting impression.

“Our thing has always been look bigger than you are and you will

become bigger! If you’re going to take it to the arenas, you’d better

look like an arena band. Otherwise why would they believe you?”

He continues. “Now we’ve swum out way too far. That’s why we’re

doing this tour with all of the new pyro and production and all of the

staging stuff, because no one is going to applaud if we don’t show up with

big things.”

Ghost perform with Marissa Nadler at MacEwan Hall in Calgary on October

11th and at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on October 13th.

MOURNING

LIGHT FESTIVAL

Edmonton extreme metal

event bigger and better by Sarah Kitteringham

Following the success of Halloween 2015’s first ever Black

Mourning Light Festival, the Edmonton event is returning

in a bigger and better capacity for round two. With two

concerts (rather than one) and 16 bands (rather than 11), this

year’s rendition will run from October 21st to 23rd, capped off

by a Sunday VIP “mourning after” breakfast with all the bands.

Dustin Ekman, the mastermind behind the webzine Crown

of Viserys and record label Funeral Rain, is the curator and

organizer of the festival, which highlights black and doom

metal in particular. Its expansion was courtesy of chance, he

explains.

“To be honest, I didn’t plan on two days. It’s simply the fact

that the Panzerfaust/ Erimha/ Idolatry tour was coming in,

and I had a chance to snag it for Friday. If I didn’t, someone

else would have, and so it just made it natural to expand the

fest,” says Ekman. Given that the event expanded naturally, he

figured to cap it off with an unusually intimate ending.

“The breakfast is ultimately my way to make Black Mourning

Light truly stand apart from many other festivals. It’s a way

for fans and bands to connect in a unique way, and it’s also

just a good way to send a band home or to their next tour

stop, with a belly full of food and newly made friends,” he says.

The VIP breakfast will also take place at Rendezvous on

Sunday morning, after two band-packed nights. On Friday,

it will be a Canadian band only affair, featuring Panzerfaust,

Erimha, Idolatry, Display of Decay, Vile Insignia, and Hive;

Saturday will feature American bands UADA and Helleborous,

alongside Wormwitch, Norilsk, Cell, Holocaust Lord, Nachtterror,

Dethgod, and Ye Goat-Herd Gods. On both nights,

the venue will screen independent filmmakers work amidst

the cavalcade of bands. Keeping with tradition, prizes will be

awarded to the best of the best of those who wear costumes,

given the festival’s “proximity to Samhain.”

Black Mourning Light festival takes place from October 21st

to 23rd at Rendezvous Pub in Edmonton, Alberta. Individual

day tickets or festival passes are available online from http://

crownofviserys.bigcartel.com/product/black-mourning-light-metal-festival-tickets.

For more information, visit blackmourninglight.

wordpress.com

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 47


UADA

American black metal quartet casually drop one of 2016’s most vicious offerings

by Sarah Kitteringham

UADA tours Alberta in October with enigmatic Colorado black metal band Helleborous.

2016 has hardly been a banner year for black

metal. While a handful of long-running

entities like Rotting Christ, Ulver, Darkthrone,

Inquisition, and Destroyer 666 have released

albums, next to no bands have broken into popular

consciousness on the strength of their debut. Like

it was in 2015, when longstanding outfit MGLA

dropped their third release Exercises in Futility and

suddenly gained tens of thousands of new fans,

2016 saw Finnish outfit Oranssi Pazuzu’s psychedelic

and offbeat fourth full-length Värähtelijä

break through after years of experience. That said,

the album hardly fits within any of black metal’s

parameters, instead offering entrancing and hypnotic

syncopation and bizarre chord progressions

amidst vast spacey sections and croaking vocals.

Despite few bands truly becoming known to

metal aficionados worldwide, the underground

has been awash with surprisingly strong offerings

that should push their creators into the spotlight.

Among them are releases by Predatory Light, Sorcier

Des Glaces, RID, Bog of the Infidel, Nox Formulae,

Gevurah, Illithid, and UADA; the latter of whom

dropped Devoid of Light in April via Eisenwald, a

German record label that specializes in black metal.

It is likely the biggest break-out in the genre this year,

and deservedly so; its five tracks are awash with cold,

howling vocals, vicious tremolo picking, and massive

instrumental freakouts. Indeed, if you’re a fan of the

one-two punch sell, UADA’s would be “RIYL: MGLA,

Dissection. It’s a throwback to the second wave of

black metal that emerged from Scandinavia, with all

the melody, atmosphere, and massive hooks you’ve

been yearning for.”

According to guitarist and vocalist Jake Superchi,

who helped form the band in 2014, it’s hardly

deliberate that their cumulative efforts resulted in

such a specific sound. Instead, he and his band mates

Robb Bockman (bass), Trevor Matthews (drums),

and James Sloan (guitars) got to this point following

years of experience in other projects, and are breaking

through courtesy of their drive.

“All of us do have some decent experience, of

course gaining even more with UADA. James, Trevor,

[and] Robb were the picks when I thought of starting

a new band. All of our previous bands have been

playing together for years. I have personally booked

many festivals and shows in town and I knew these

three would be right for the next move,” he explains

during a brief e-mail interview.

“It may sound a little arrogant to say we are not

surprised but as said earlier we came out blazing and

hungry with goals and visions. We are careful with our

booking and presentation.”

Partially inspired by a global resurgence in the

underground of the genre (Superchi says “black metal

in 2016 is the best it’s been in 20 years”), UADA has

already shared the stage with Mortuary Drape and

Inquisition, and have upcoming performances scheduled

with Rotting Christ and Marduk.

“We as people are not competitive types, but starting

this band we made it our mission to be one of the

best black metal bands out there. We will continue to

push forward in that direction, we have a mission and

music is what drives our lives,” he writes.

“There is a second album in the works, nothing

I can speak of yet. We have had some other labels

write us recently but our second album will again be

released through Eisenwald.”

With a namesake that translates to “Haunted”

in Latin, UADA’s thematic presentation is strong.

Devoid of Light’s artwork features the skeleton of an

adult clutching their skeleton child amidst a volcanic,

scorched earth. The lyrics are awash with references

to chaos and darkness; live, the band performs back

lit, obscured by a curtain of fog.

“It is a very important part to our show. We back

light ourselves and add fog to create a wall and we

become shadows in it,” explains Superchi.

“That was how we wanted to present ourselves

and our live setting. It was meant to be the anti-image,

which has become something in itself.”

He concludes, “We are looking forward to sharing

our craft with everyone in Alberta soon.”

UADA perform at Distortion in Calgary with

Helleborous, Numenorean, Cell, and Traer on Friday,

October 21st. They perform in Edmonton as a part

of Black Mourning Light Metal Festival on Saturday,

October 22nd.

48 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE SHRAPNEL


THIS MONTH IN METAL

are $25 in advance. The next evening, Kataklysm will play the

by Sarah Kitteringham

This Month

Starlite Room in Edmonton with Display of Decay; tickets are

$26 in advance.

Lots of shows are going down this month, and several heavy On Friday, October 7th, head to Vern’s to have a Thanksclinting

Calgary bands are releasing albums. Onwards, to the listings! Fest, a.k.a. beer for supper to the soundtrack of Edmonton and

First up: on Tuesday, October

In

4th, “Northern hyperblast”

METAL

death Calgary metal. Crust punks Mass Distraction will be performing

alongside Kataplexis, Bestir, Sigil, and False Flag. The next

metal band Kataklysm will be touching down at Dickens in

Calgary. The recent winners of the JUNO Award for Heavy evening, head to Distortion to celebrate the 10th annual Calgary

Metal Album of the Year will be joined by Carach Angren and Beer Core Awards. As per usual, bands will play, drinks will be

local metallers Statue of Demur. Tickers for the Calgary show drank, and awards will be awarded to local heavy metal, punk,

Lots of shows are going down this month, and Tool with a malicious edge. The band will play

and several heavy Calgary bands are releasing

albums. Onwards, to the listings!

Tickets are $20 in advance; the same lineup will

alongside Earthside, Binary Code, and Dissona.

First up: on Tuesday, October 4th, “Northern perform in Vancouver the following evening at the

hyperblast” death metal band Kataklysm will be Red Room Ultra Bar.

touching down at Dickens in Calgary. The recent Celebrate a decade of heavy punk with Calgary

winners of the JUNO Award for Heavy Metal institution The Press Gang, who will be releasing

Album of the Year will be joined by Carach Angren their fifth studio album Medusa 6 on Saturday,

and local metallers Statue of Demur. Tickets for October 29th. To learn more about the 10-song,

the Calgary show are $25 in advance. The next nearly 30-minute record, we chatted with Colin

evening, Kataklysm will play the Starlite Room in McCulloch, who’s been spearheading the project

Edmonton with Display of Decay; tickets are $26 since their inception in 2006.

in advance.

“Musically, those who know the band, I think

On Friday, October 7th, head to Vern’s to have will actually not be expecting this at all. We’ve

a Thanksclinting Fest, a.k.a. beer for supper to progressed exponentially in a short amount of

the soundtrack of Edmonton and Calgary metal. time due to a few factors. One of those being the

Crust punks Mass Distraction will be performing

alongside Kataplexis, Bestir, Sigil, and False Hammer) into the fold on bass guitar. Her style of

inclusion of Lindsay Arnold (formerly of Orphan

Flag. The next evening, head to Distortion to playing rounds out the sound of the band which

celebrate the 10th annual Calgary Beer Core makes us sound more cohesive...definitely more

Awards. As per usual, bands will play, drinks will tighter,” explains McCulloch.

be drank, and awards will be awarded to local “When we learned of Ronnie’s departure

heavy metal, punk, rockabilly, and rock bands. from the band (the amazing Ronnie Keats), I

Head over to calgarybeercore.com/2016votes to personally sought out Lindsay. I’ve been a fan

vote in advance.

of her playing for many years, and she has an

The former backing band for Ihsahn of Emperor impeccable work ethic which fits in quite nicely

are performing in Calgary on Tuesday, October with what we are trying to achieve as band.

11th at Distortion. Leprous play an amorphous Sonically, we are much more present.... The

style of progressive metal, evoking King Crimson new material is not so much of a departure,

but a sweet progression into different modes

of heavy. Far more focused... All very riff-based.

This album was written differently than others

as well. I saved certain songs till the very last to

take advantage of the studio, and to keep material

fresh. I didn’t write lyrics for certain songs

until I was forced to. The results are very incredible

to say the least... I think we all surprised

ourselves with the output. We’re quite excited

about unleashing this new material and a new

revitalized band dynamic and presentation.”

In addition to the Calgary release show, the band

will embark on a three week cross Canada tour

that begins on October 13th in Regina. They play

the Cavern in Winnipeg on October 15th, at Liquid

Nightclub in Medicine Hat on October 27th, and

at the Vat in Red Deer on October 28th before

returning home for the release.

If you’ve got some extra cash and a vehicle to get

you there, don’t miss out on the bill of the month

at Red Room Ultra Bar in Vancouver. Finnish death

metal titans Demilich will be performing with

death doomsters Hooded Menace, American

upstarts Vastum, and Vancouver based act Temple

of Abandonment. Tickets are $20 in advance or

$25 at the door. Don’t. Miss. That. Gig.

Finally, on Sunday, October 30th, there

will be a huge all-ages event dubbed Days of

the Dead in Red Deer at Scott Block Theatre.

The all-day event features Without Mercy,

Leave the Living, KYOKTYS, Planet Eater,

Tyrants Demise, stab.twist.pull, Train Bigger

Monkeys, Trær, and more. Tickets are $10 in

advance or $15 at the door.

Happy Halloweening!

photo: Liisa Bastard

• Sarah Kitteringham

The Press Gang release Medusa 6 in October!

SHRAPNEL

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 49


musicreviews

Bon Iver

22, A Million

Jagjaguwar Records

Justin Vernon, or Bon Iver, is an endlessly memeable

cultural character. From the now self-parody

narrative of Justin Vernon retreating to an isolated

cabin in the woods to record For Emma Forever

Ago (2009), to his upset Grammy win and the

resultant “who the heck is Bonny Bear?” backlash.

The weight of expectation plays heavily into a

major music release, but few artists with as much

mainstream success seem to be as dedicated to

move beyond what has driven their success, as

Bon Iver.

Folks who pine for the passionate guitar-folk of

tracks like “Skinny Love” and “Lump Sum” were

somewhat left in the dust for the misty and layered

second record, the sultry, Bon Iver, Bon Iver (2011),

but it’s hard to lament the change too much. That

said, the more low-tempo, atmosphere-centric

tonality that characterizes Bon Iver, Bon Iver, and

carries on into 22, A Million doesn’t come entirely

out of left field. Vernon has released two records

under his own name, the second of which, the wispy

Hazeltons (2006) features some of the same vocal

doubling that would go on to characterize Bon

Iver. The long-winded, post-rock inspired Volcano

Choir, and specifically their 2013 record Repave, also

pushed Vernon’s penchant for experimentation.

What seems to separate Bon Iver from Vernon’s

catalogue is one thing: Vernon’s voice. Falsetto

vocals, creative auto-tune, and beautiful, but

obfuscatory lyrics permeate all stages of Bon Iver’s

discography, and true-to-form, on this new release,

vocals are somehow even more prescient.

The lead up to the release of 22, A Million

has done the record a palpable disservice. The

unpronounceable tracklist, ambiguous title, and

Vernon’s obnoxiously public bromance with hiphop

Godhead Kanye West manifested a disingenuous

narrative of ‘Bon Iver goes electronic.’ But that

is not what 22, A Million sounds like.

Instrumentally, the record is divergent from its

predecessors, especially in its earlier tracks, but it

never strays tonally from what has been established.

Opening cut and early release “22 (OVER

S∞∞N),” opens with what sounds like a lo-fi vocal

loop, with a cute auto-tune sample suggesting ‘it

might be over soon.’ It’s a unique and gripping

introduction, but as soon as Vernon’s falsetto

vocals begin spewing pleasant, but incomprehensible

lyrics and a disaffected electric guitar accented

by floating horns enter the soundscape, the track

reveals itself unapologetically Bon Iver.

This cut, and the rhythmic, compressed, “10 d E

A T h b R E a s T” that follows are among the most

sample-driven songs. The latter’s squelchy drum

loop is possibly the most ostentatious movement

for the entire duration.

Not to say that the smaller movements are boring,

but there are moments that are staged a bit

like adult contemporary. There is a softness and

a smoothness that ques accessibility. “8 (circle)”

is perhaps the best example, a track that opens

with an airy ‘90s vintage synth, flute, and some

delay-heavy snare rims. It borders on cheesy, but

holds onto a horn-fronted swagger as it builds.

The track also holds a tonal and melodic similarity

to Frank Ocean’s perfect “Thinking About You,”

which serves as a reminder of Vernon’s hip hop

connections, without ever getting his feet too wet.

The closest Bon Iver gets to stepping out of his

own skin is the strangely affecting “715 – CREEKS.”

Vernon’s vocals are multiplied and pitched up and

down to create robotic harmonies with himself. It

works to such great effect, that the relatively clean

piano that opens

“33 “GOD” immediately thereafter feels a little

awkward, especially when the cringe-worthy lyric

“I’d be happy as hell if you stayed for tea” jumps

out early in the song. This track eventually redeems

itself when a fast and complex drum track

breaks the rhythm, but this transition, and several

others like it, hurt the flow of the record.

22, A Million starts and stops frequently in this

manner all the way through its first half, but after

“29 #Strafford APTS” kicks in with its familiar

acoustic guitar picking and distant pianos, the record

settles into a flow that is much more reminiscent

of Bon Iver, Bon Iver. The closing track “00000

Million” bookends the record as only Bon Iver can,

with a sparkly major key piano ballad intercut with

a fitting Fion Regan sample. Once again, the lyrics

feel subservient to the soaring vocal melody, but

in doing so it removes any inherent cliché in the

song’s otherwise pop-standard structure.

It’s hard to tell if 22, A Million is the record we

wanted from Bon Iver. The production is strange,

and often disjointed, but the songwriting is familiar

in all the right ways. The textural horns, frequent

pianos and hazy synthesizers that permeate

the record all feel like Bon Iver at this point, and

the few acoustic guitar and banjo features are similarly

comforting in their familiarity. The moments

where Bon Iver commits the hardest to his new

electronic aesthetic and lets samples and modulation

define the tone are the most successful, if

only because they come the closest to fulfilling the

promise of the “Bon Iver goes electronic” narrative.

22, A Million is listenable from front to back,

an album through and through, and although not

without its awkward moments, is one that should

help make your winter another good one.

• Liam Prost

illustration: Greg Doble

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 51


À La Mode

Perfection Salad

Independent

In keeping with the cuisine-centric image portrayed

by À La Mode, Winnipeg’s self-described “heart-pop”

band, Perfection Salad is a delicious recipe of synthpop,

slacker-rock, and millennial melancholy spread

over 27 minutes and two languages.

The band’s debut full-length features a sublime mix

of sleepy, oneiric melodies and louder, more upbeat

indie-rock jams all complemented by the skill of

vocalist Dominique Lemoine’s occasionally-accented

storytelling.

Parallels can be drawn between À La Mode and

Baltimore’s dream-pop-darlings Beach House, especially

on tracks like the ironically-titled “Never Sleep

Again,” which features a hazy, almost nursery-rhyme

atmosphere, complete with softly twinkling chimes,

and a beautiful string section.

“Ce sentiment,” the albums attention-grabbing third

track, follows a quiet-loud-quiet format that showcases

the power and maturity of Lemoine’s voice in a way

that isn’t necessarily prevalent on many of the albums

simpler pieces.

Even a track like “Total Doom”, which is ‘cutesy’ almost

to a fault, doesn’t detract from what is ultimately

a strong release.

Overall, Perfection Salad isn’t perfect, but it is a

delectable slice of indie-pop that is sure to leave you

satisfied.

• Alec Warkentin

American Football

American Football

Polyvinyl Records

Even in a year of high-profile reunions, American Football’s

comeback album still manages to surprise. The

Urbana, Illinois emo progenitors released their debut

self-titled album in 1999 to critical and commercial

silence, only to disband amicably one year later.

Still, that first record somehow survived. As if it was

some sort of group therapy, the record spread through

the lonely bedrooms and insular headphones of

listeners worldwide.

The record’s Midwestern minimalism, hypnotic,

mixed metre time signatures, and unflinchingly

honest lyricism offered an empathetic escape to the

emotionally distraught. Songs like “Never Meant,”

with its interlocking guitar lines from Mike Kinsella

and Steve Holmes, and slyly-syncopated drumming

from multi-instrumentalist Steve Lamos, provided the

bedrock for a deeply-affecting rumination on a dying

relationship.

Eventually, the so-called “emo revival” of 2013 and

2014 would set the stage for American Football to play

once again, first live, and finally on record with their

sophomore album, American Football.

The album’s cover art is representative of its overall

tone. Where American Football’s debut S/T found

them on the outside looking in, the cover featuring a

voyeuristic picture of the exterior of a simple Urbana

home, American Football finds them inside the house,

but ultimately still reeling from relationships that have

fractured and atrophied.

Compositionally, the band’s polyrhythmic

pitter-patter returns, but it’s somehow even gentler

than before. Luckily, the songs themselves are full of

nuanced introspection, instead of “nice guy” self-pity

that often plagues emo. Lead off track, “Where Are

We Now,” opens with familiar, wistful guitar haze as

Kinsella offers up the album’s first lyric: “Where are we

now? Both home alone, in the same house.”

That line works as a sort of thesis statement

for American Football, an album full of grown-up

examinations of interpersonal relationships that have

only grown more complicated in the 17 years since the

band’s debut.

Elsewhere, the angst-ridden “Give Me The Gun,”

features Kinsella attempting to talk down a lover from

their emotional edge.

On “Home is Where the Haunt Is,” Kinsella uses his

more mature world-view, not to mention his audibly

more mature croon, to lament the way that “some

things never change.” Fortunately for listeners, that

sentiment rings true with this long-awaited sophomore

album.

• Jamie McNamara

Banks

The Altar

Harvest

A subdued but gorgeous voice, alone in a room with

nothing but a piano and her frustrations of failed

romances. This is how Banks’ sophomore release

The Altar opens, and it is one of the album’s best

moments. The singer thrives when her vulnerability is

accentuated by the bevy of vocal effects, Wonky-influenced

beats and the occasional stripped-back

ballad that make up her music. “Fuck With Myself,”

with its piercing string-pluck synths, hits this mark

wonderfully, covering the topics of self-acceptance,

self-love and self-destruction that the title suggests.

Self-acceptance is a running theme of the The Altar.

The title evokes Banks herself as a Goddess, the title

of her debut, that she herself is praying to. Standouts

“Gemini Feed” and “Mother Earth” also hit on this

topic effectively.

Unfortunately, The Altar faces the same general

problems that her debut did with an overstuffed

tracklist that hides its gems in between a lot of filler.

“Trainwreck” is a suitably titled track, and dulls the

listener’s impression of the entire album with its overly

trendy, EDM-focused sing-rapping which doesn’t play

to any of Banks’ strengths. “This is Not About Us,”

“Weaker Girl” and “Judas,” while not as overtly bad, are

dull and do nothing to either impress or interest the listener.

As a soulful crooner writing confessionals about

the trappings of relationships, Banks is an extremely

talented lyricist with a knack for ear-catching melody.

It’s just too bad she only shows up for half of The Altar.

• Cole Parker

Crying

Beyond the Fleeting Gales

Run For Cover

Crying is a charming New York trio that got their

start doing genre fusions of twee pop and chiptune,

somehow managing to make the blend sound good.

This was mostly thanks to an exceptional sense of

melody and remarkably earnest lyrics from lead singer

Elaiza Santos. That was only two years ago, when they

released two EPs, Get Olde and Second Wind.

Beyond the Fleeting Gales is their first full-length

record. Despite that, the record already serves as a bit

of a departure from the group’s stylistic roots, which

might seem obvious from the admittedly awful

album cover. Despite the album art’s gaelic typeface

and plain images of blue skies and green fields, the

album has more in common with Irish rockers Thin

Lizzy than with the hypothetical Celtic gospel album

it seems to hearken back to. Moving away from the

8-bit and sliding closer to the ‘70s and ‘80s, their

debut is chock-full of hair metal shreds and Yes-like

arpeggiated synth leads. Impressively, they never

seem to fall into the corny clichés that plague the

rock music of those decades.

The Game Boys are gone, replaced almost entirely

by boss-battle-adjacent synths. They provide atmosphere

for the LP’s slower forays into prog-ish power

ballads, and harmonize with Santos’s voice in a way

that still sounds unique.

Beyond the Fleeting Gales is Crying ditching their

gimmick, while still managing to carve out their own

distinctive niche.

• Cole Parker

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Pretty Years

Sinderlyn

Even in a year filled with stranger things and get

downs, Cymbals Eat Guitars’ Pretty Years turns out to

be the most impressive throwback to a wistful time

period more invigorating than our own. Although

Pretty Years is an album that is heavily influenced by

the golden eras of Springsteen, Bowie, and the Cure, it

is, against all odds, entirely unique; the band’s very own

masterpiece.

Pretty Years is heavy on warm, catchy synths and

vibrant bass lines, contributing to the overall nostalgic

sound of the album.

As with all Cymbals Eat Guitars work, the guitar

work is something to be admired, but the lyrics are

what transcend the album into something iconic and

unforgettable.

“Goodbye to my dancing days/Goodbye to the

friends who fell away/Goodbye to my pretty years,”

wails Joseph D’Agostino, the band’s founder and

frontman, on the chorus of standout track “Dancing

Days.” It’s hard to imagine that D’Agostino only started

writing choruses with 2014’s excellent LOSE.

Even though the album was recorded and cut in

under a week, you wouldn’t be able to tell. Lyrically and

musically, Pretty Years is the product of passion. Each

band member had a volcano of inspiration brewing

inside of their souls—suddenly overflowing, ready to

explode at any moment. So rather than letting the

energy go to waste, they went to the studio.

• Paul McAleer

D.D Dumbo

Utopia Defeated

4AD

Twenty-seven-year-old Oliver Perry lives a relatively

simple life in Castlemaine, Australia. He lives in a small

shed attached to some horse stables, an idyllic rural

lifestyle that Perry uses to make his auteurist pop music

as D.D Dumbo. His self-recorded EP, 2013’s Tropical

Oceans, is a looping, lo-fi adventure into the head of

a musically-meditative madman. Utopia Defeated,

D.D Dumbo’s debut album for 4AD, continues that

trend, but strips away the lo-fi and pushes it into a

professional studio. The result is a wild, whimsical trip

into the mind of one of indie music’s most underrated

songwriters.

Dumbo uses a 12-string guitar, and instruments

from around the world, to create a rich textural

background for each of his creations to chug along

within. Album opener “Walrus,” is a head-bopping

pop tune akin to a subdued Vampire Weekend.

Dumbo’s voice is restlessly expressive, always searching

for groove amongst the kinetic rhythm. The funky,

imaginative “Satan” is further proof of this, showing off

Dumbo’s confident tenor that can reach into falsetto

with unpredictable ease. Overall, Utopia Defeated is

a rhythmically dense debut that marks Dumbo as a

major talent to follow both now, and hopefully well

into the future.

• Jamie McNamara

Gal Gracen

The Hard Part Begins

DISNY Records

The Hard Part Begins with a goodbye, the scent of cologne,

leaving a humid crowded concert hall and stepping

into the crisp night air, snow crunching beneath

your feet. The nods to this experience in the first song’s

beginning lines act as Scene One in a collection of musical

anecdotes dedicated to the plight of a wallflower

and his surreal take on what occurs around him.

Patrick Geraghty describes his project, Gal Gracen,

as “Devotional Voyeurism,” which even more than his

initial release, Blue Hearts in Exile, it is. This follow-up

EP of self-recorded songs is the story and well-stewed

over observations of someone looking from the

outside in, desperately trying to make sense of what

they see. All this is set to Geraghty’s signature dallying

guitar riffs, some janky synths and the occasional wisp

of flute. The anxiety, the poetry, the ’60s-gone-wrongsounds,

all works together to create a new genre, a

sort-of neurotic psychedelia.

Like slacker rock’s jumpier and more apprehensive

little brother, Gal Gracen’s The Hard Part Begins should

play in the background of all your fever dreams

• Maya-Roisin Slater

Green Day

Revolution Radio

Reprise

When you use the term “Revolution” in your album

title, you set an expectation for something earth shattering

in its importance. What Green Day has instead

provided with Revolution Radio is a mashup of social

justice keyword pop punk ditties with bratty, throwback

Green Day three-chord thrashers. The result is

a mixture of emotions: you feel glad to hear them

being brats again, but you keep getting hit with the

same misguided attempt at topical moral fabric that

brought us that tragic, poser cover of John Lennon’s

“Working Class Hero” in 2007. That’s not to say the album

doesn’t have its fun bits; debut single “Bang Bang,”

is as mean, messy and relentless as a Green Day track

should be. “Say Goodbye,” which owes its backbone to

Jack White, is a catchy rabble-rouser, and “Too Dumb

to Die” has some neato feedback to it.

Unfortunately, there are just as many flaccid entries

to match: “Revolution Radio” sounds more like

Blink-182 whining about how no one listens to them,

“Still Breathing” is trite and full of long-road rhymes like

coupling “horizon” with “siren,” and “Youngblood” is

a song that should just not be written by someone in

their mid-40s. Green Day has always been striving to be

more impactful on a social scale than they are, and for

that they deserve to be commended, but ultimately

what would be a more honest record is one about

what it feels like to weather that storm and come up

short. ‘Cause that is the real modern activism: being

angry and frustrated and unable to find a way to make

a difference.

• Jennie Orton

John Guliak

Fluke Or Flounder

Independent

On his third full-length release, Fluke Or Flounder, Edmonton

singer-songwriter John Guliak adds a natural

touch of British folk to his dark, Western Prairie sound,

while his evocative, narrative lyrical style brings to life

the heartrending tales of the hard living and the hard

done by.

Leading off with “Dust,” Guliak conjures the imagery

of rural living so familiar on the prairies, railway crews

52 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE


and empty family farms, and both the currency and

nostalgia of times and places where “their spit shined

Chevys looked like highway clowns…trucks were made

for working, not for polishing and driving around.”

The classy and forward-thinking alt-country

production by Paul Rigby is always present on Fluke Or

Flounder, though he wisely never lets excess get in the

way of Guliak’s lyrics, like the story of a First Nations

woman, a victim of the residential schools on “Emily;”

“Who are you Emily? Where’s your family, among the

dead and wasted? The hated and raped and tossed

aside?” These are hard questions, and Guliak asks them

with both sensitivity for the victim, and a subtle anger

toward the system that cuts through. “It’s Not Me” and

“Triptych” are also excellent cuts on a welcome return

from a stalwart contributor to the Edmonton roots

community.

• Mike Dunn

Kayla Howran

Spare Parts

Cameron House Records

The transition from a classic honky tonk groove to a

more streamlined and evocative country rock sound

is evident on Kayla Howran’s sophomore release,

Spare Parts. Howran’s vocal chops and ease with

melodies rise quickly to the top of the mix, a tender yet

confident timbre set to highway-paced grooves, giving

Spare Parts that cruising, open road feeling.

The title cut features some excellent steel and

12-string electric guitar, while “Your Next Song” feels

like a seething kiss-off, even through its elegant folk

sonics, while Howran sings fearlessly, “…you’ve been a

stain on every dream I’ve had, the grit in the sand, the

foot over the line. So why don’t you tell me about your

next song?”

While trashing the commercialism of mainstream

country is as rote as any bar band covering “Folsom

Prison,” Howran brings fresh and empathetic reasons

for not being able to hear it on “Country Radio,” and

“Liner Notes” burns with a dark, haunting Lera Lynn

feel. The churchy soul of “Thanks For The Good Times”

closes out the album on a high note, again showcasing

Howran’s vocals in among a classic Stax groove

complete with horns and Hammond. Spare Parts is a

great effort from Kayla Howran, and is a standout in

this year’s crop of Canadian country releases.

• Mike Dunn

Mick Jenkins

The Healing Component

Free Nation Records

Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins has always been fascinated

with water. The way it functions as a life force, but

also the ways it can take life away. His breakthrough

mixtape, 2014’s The Water[s], used this fascination

to cement the 25-year-old as a Chicago rapper that

favours intimate introspection over belligerent bangers.

His debut album, The Healing Component, finds

him fixating on love, often using water as a metaphor

for an all-consuming love. On “Strange Love,”

Jenkins talks about drowning underwater, the beat

flowing like a babbling brook complementing his

baritone voice and easy-going cadence perfectly. Two

tracks later he takes this metaphor to an even more

powerful place with “Drowning,” his collaboration

with BADBADNOTGOOD. The band barely makes

themselves known in the first two minutes of the song,

using sparse instrumentation while Jenkins’ brings his

voice to a falsetto register with vulnerable veracity. He

repeats Eric Garner’s final words, now a rallying cry for

the Black Lives Matter movement, “I can’t breathe,” like

an incantation, dwelling on the words until he finally

gives in and drops a rapid fire flow that ruminates on

the American political landscape.

Elsewhere, Jenkins enlists newly-minted, Polaris

Prize 2016 winner Kaytranada to pick up the pace on

two tracks. The first, the celebratory “Communicate,”

features Kaytra’s trademark bobbing bass lines and

buoyant, constantly oscillating synths that propel the

track into bona fide mainstream radio territory. It’s a

fitting celebration for a young rapper that deserves all

the praise he’s about to get.

• Jamie McNamara

Jimmy Eat World

Integrity Blues

Dine Alone Records

Integrity Blues is the ninth studio album from Arizona’s

Jimmy Eat World, following 2013’s Damage, an album

that saw the band stray away from the studio and

record straight-to-tape from home and which drew a

mostly positive critical reception.

The band worked with producer Justin Meldal-

Johnsen (M83, Nine Inch Nails) and crafted a more polished

sound than their preceding release’s rawer sound.

Perhaps Meldal-Johnsen’s most notable influence

comes through on the track “Pass The Baby,” which has

an automated, electro-pop/alternative feel to it. Dark

and moody to begin with, somewhat reminiscent of

acts like Imagine Dragons or AWOLNATION. The track

seems a little out of place, but its atmosphere actually

transitions quite nicely into the following track “Get

Right,” which is a lot more charged up and energetic,

proof that the group still has preserved and maintained

some of the youthful spirit responsible for their

work on albums like 2001’s Bleed American.

Overall this is a solid effort from a band who has

been working for over two decades. Expect lots of

cheery, bright and jangly guitar lines carrying Jim Adkins’

signature vocal style, with a few heartfelt ballads

such as the title track of the record intermingled.

• Paul Rodgers

JoJo

Mad Love

Atlantic

JoJo had a lot to fight for with this album. It’s her first

official full-length with Atlantic Records since her

drawn out split with her previous labels who caused

“Irreparable damages to her professional career.”

For those who remember her 2004 hit “Leave (Get

Out),” you’re late to the party. JoJo has released a series

of brilliant, unpolished mixtapes in the past few years

while fighting to be released from said labels.

Title track “Mad Love,” is reminiscent of Rihanna’s

“Love on the Brain.” JoJo flexes her entire vocal register

while contemplating the universal questions that come

up when you’re in a relationship so bad it’s good. It

pulls in classic elements of big, orchestral R&B in a way

that still feels fresh. “Vibe” tacks on to the dancehall

riddim becoming all too common in pop music right

now, but where her music leans on what’s popular, her

lyricism and fierce independence make it seem new.

Unexpected appearances from Remy Ma (on “FAB.”)

and Alessia Cara (on “I Can Only”) show the link

between JoJo as a hard b*tch and her roots as a pop

princess.

It’s clear JoJo has poured a lot of heart and soul

into Mad Love. It’s a successful R&B album, if you

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 53


can work past the formulaic moments and see the

depth of musical knowledge JoJo’s utilized to get to

this point.

• Trent Warner

Joyce Manor

Cody

Epitaph

Instead of relishing in the emo-rock revival and

tracing its roots around, we should just acknowledge

that Joyce Manor is lovable because they write

tight, snappy pop-punk songs that never overstay

their welcome. Cody even has the outfit writing

some of their longest songs to date. Long, of course,

is relative: the longest track on the record is still a

paltry four minutes.

As opening tracks go, rarely do you get one as precise

and barn-raising as “Fake ID.” An anthemic guitar

line cuts into focus leading into a perfectly pitched

narrative about an attractive underage girl and her

adoration of hip-hop iconoclast Kanye West. The track

is hilarious, sharp, and so listenable, you might even

forget there is a whole record left to adore.

And adore you shall, track after track, Cody is infectious

and dynamic. “Angel in the Snow” and “Make Me

Dumb,” in particular, both have rhythmic circularities

and enticing sing-along choruses.

The record ebbs and flows strongly with a nice

acoustic cut in “Do You Really Want to get Better” and

a few well-earned down tempo movements throughout.

Cody is almost too squeaky clean in its song and

album structure, but that’s a pretty minor criticism

of an otherwise punchy and fully realized outing. It’s

quick, snappy, and we can’t stop listening to it.

• Liam Prost

Merchandise

A Corpse Wired for Sound

4AD

Merchandise’s latest album A Corpse Wired for

Sound isn’t quite sure what it’s trying to be.

A dash of post-punk, a smattering of shoegaze,

and a whole lot of synth, Corpse is an odd mishmash

of tracks that manages to hold itself together through

loud, echoing drum beats, pulsating basslines, and

frontman Carson Cox’s brooding-yet-catchy vocal

delivery.

With a title lifted from a short story by sci-fi author

JG Ballard, A Corpse Wired for Sound keeps with

the theme by burying some of it’s more technical

instrumentation underneath the rubble of dystopian

dissonance.

Stand-out tracks like sonic opener “Flower Of Sex,”

and the deceptively cool “Shadow Of The Truth” have

an infectious energy, but A Corpse Wired for Sound

suffers from a tendency to aim for highs it can’t

always seem to find.

Still, the album is a welcomed change of direction

from the Tampa three-piece, following 2014’s

underwhelming After the End, and the peaks it does

manage to hit are worth committing to the slightly

over 40-minute runtime.

A Corpse Wired for Sound is undoubtedly a stronger

record than Merchandise’s debut effort for 4AD,

but ultimately leaves the listener wishing they had

pushed this new transition a little further.

• Alec Warkentin

M.I.A.

AIM

Interscope

As a self-proclaimed final album, M.I.A.’s fifth studio

effort, AIM, is off the mark if the 41-year-old rapper

wants to go out on a high note. The album opens with

“Borders,” a track that has that classic M.I.A. style: a

dance groove juxtaposed against a simplified-to-abstraction

narrative. Unfortunately, the record wanes

into a scheme of abrasive repetitiveness after that, with

just a few moments of undeniable strength, artistry

and spot on production. There’s a great willingness to

experiment on the record that has to be admired, but

M.I.A.’s show of vocal tone-deafness and lack of clarity

is untoward and doesn’t do her justice. “Foreign Friend”

is a prime example of this failing on the album, with

its melodic pops of strength and singular moment of

clever lyricism wasted by stale timing and consistent

pitchiness. “Visa,” “Fly Pirate,” and the Diplo remix of

“Bird Song” are saving graces on the record and better

demonstrate M.I.A.’s ability to push repetitiveness in

a track without going over the line. While the album

fails as a last dance to remember, it does have some

moments that will stand out in the full body of M.I.A’s

work, leaving listeners hoping that she’ll come back

again with another effort.

• Andrew R. Mott

Mac Miller

The Divine Feminine

REMember Music

From a high school rapper selling CDs out of his backpack

to telling introspective love stories, Mac Miller’s

progression has been nothing short of spectacular.

Miller’s fourth studio album, The Divine Feminine,

boasts production from I.D. Labs, DJ Dahi, and Tae

Beast amongst others.

Features on the album come from Anderson .Paak,

CeeLo Green, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande and

more. “Dang!” featuring Anderson .Paak was the first

of three singles released before the album, and was

followed by “We” featuring CeeLo Green, and “My

Favorite Part” featuring Ariana Grande.

Miller’s jazz influence is much more evident on The

Divine Feminine than any of his other albums through

his use of piano, horns, and a mood he sets like a fine

red wine. The first track, “Congratulations” featuring

Bilal, has Ariana Grande introduce the album before

Miller sets the tone by calmly rhyming about a girl he

loves, and the vivid memories he still has of her over

a piano-riddled track produced by Miller (as Larry

Fisherman) and Aja Grant.

Throughout the album Miller focuses his rhymes

on a lover, begging them not to leave on tracks like

“Dang!” and “Stay,” and shows off both vocal improvement

and lyrical maturity on “God Is Fair, Sexy Nasty”

featuring Kendrick Lamar.

• Dalton Dubetz

Mr. Oizo

All Wet

Ed Banger Records

Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr. Oizo, has a knack for breaking

molds. The producer’s constant innovation over

the last 20 years has cemented him as a closely-guarded

secret – one that has started to leak into mainstream

electronic consciousness.

All Wet is but another morceau of psychedelic

chirping in Mr. Oizo’s arsenal. Starting strong with “OK

Then” and “Sea Horses,” Dupieux opens his oeuvre

with a sleazy seminar on the archetypal funk-laden

French house sound. “Freezing Out,” featuring

54 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE


Canadian sex-siren Peaches, is a jarring departure from

convention, a footwork-accented dubstep ode to

vaginas. From then onward, Dupieux takes listeners on

a veritable rollercoaster of sonic exploration. Standout

dancefloor-ready tracks like “Ruhe,” “All Wet” and “Low

Ink” clash with the bare noise of “Chairs” and “Useless”

in a beautiful chaos best consumed as an album, not a

shuffled mess of singles.

Where Mr. Oizo’s sound was once too-future, votes

of confidence from creative luminaries like Boys Noize,

Charli XCX, and even Skrillex, are a resonating “fuck

you” to the pandering, safe trend that electronic music

has been invaded by as of late. Ultimately, Dupieux’s

latest work is an unapologetic tapestry of intriguing

tidbits. While few of its tracks fit the conventional definition

of music, the impression is that Mr. Oizo never

intended for them to be. All Wet, then, is a challenging,

but rewarding listen for the open-minded.

• Max Foley

NOFX

First Ditch Effort

Fat Wreck Chords

First Ditch Effort is the latest release from punk legends,

NOFX. In anticipation of this album, two teaser songs

were released: “Six Years on Dope,” which dropped in

late August, and “Sid and Nancy,” released on Record

Store Day. Both of these songs are great examples of

the array of music on First Ditch Effort, both genuine

and the ridiculous that is NOFX. Recently the band

published their first book, The Hepatitis Bathtub and

Other Stories, where they shared experiences on a very

personal level. This album is almost a continuation of

the same open honesty. Lyrically, First Ditch Effort has

more depth, both personal and emotional, which is

a far cry from their earlier albums. There are slightly

more harmonies and little less political aggression, but

this is NOFX; naturally the lyrics are smart and equally

smartass, with cleverly camouflaged sarcasm and angst.

Melodically, it’s as most NOFX albums are: infectiously

upbeat, fast, and easily addictive. Short quick tempos

are reminiscent of older albums, but they’ve also added

slightly more complex and experimental elements to

this album. From rhythm patterns, to the use of a piano

and audio clips. Overall, First Ditch Effort is a great

addition to the ever-growing NOFX discography.

• Sarah Mac

Conor Oberst

Ruminations

Nonesuch Records

Conor Oberst, for as long as modern memory serves,

has been a voice of fragility and yet brazenly earnest

confessionals. At first, the patron saint of the broken

hearted, leading Bright Eyes to fame with a swath of

sweetly sad and oddly compelling tales. This time

around, when Oberst sat down to write, the intention

to make an album was not there. But what poured out

as he holed up in his hometown of Omaha, with snow

piling up outside, and wood fire ashes piling up on the

hearth, became a glowing and honest collection of stories

that is the perfect soundtrack to the drawing cold

of the season. Decidedly unpolished, with little effect,

and warmth instilled by gloriously imperfect harmonica

parts, the album dances between the stirring piano and

guitar styles the songwriter is known for, with the air

of a train hopping transient, looking to escape some

unknown history. The highlight of the album is “Barbary

Coast (Later),” a perfect Jack Kerouac-ian example of the

aforementioned feeling. There are moments that make

the listener think of Jeff Buckley (“You All Loved Him

Once”) and Andy Shauf (the dark and uniquely human

stories of the album, including “Mamah Borthwick”),

and yet it all comes together so undeniably Conor

Oberst.

• Willow Grier

Opeth

Sorceress

Nuclear Blast

Sweden’s Opeth have been in the game a long time,

going all the way back to 1990. Releasing 12 albums

along the way, becoming known the world over as one

of the most diverse groups working in metal and refusing

to get tied down by one individual set of stylistic

constraints. Sorceress is the group’s first release on the

mighty Nuclear Blast record company, one of the most

reputable in the industry.

Album standout “The Wilde Flowers,” has a sort of

Mike Patton-era Faith No More operatic quality to it.

The next tune, “Will O The Wisp,” calls to mind Jethro

Tull with a very gentle minstrel nature with just acoustic

guitar and clean story telling vocals. Opeth’s last record,

2014’s Pale Communion, saw the group flirt with the

sonic realms of the ‘60 and ‘70s, and the prog rock

sound has remained a continually prevailing influence.

Now on Sorceress, frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt

states an influx of jazz into his already bursting record

collection provided new creative elements from which

to work with.

The album is a real journey and perhaps the group’s

most adventurous work yet. Moments of tranquility

are interspersed with great high points, shredding solos

and soaring ranges of vocality. Opeth remain steadfast

in their pursuit of forging onwards into new musical

territory for themselves.

• Paul Rodgers

Picture The Ocean

Something Real

Independent

The path of artists is rarely a straight line, and the art

they create is often reflective of their chosen avenues.

On their new LP, Something Real, Edmonton’s Picture

The Ocean have delivered a subtle and close knit set of

songs that shines a soft light on their transition from

road weary to finding the nearness that can only come

from having a place to call home.

The warm, opening strains of “Anywhere,” with only

an acoustic guitar and tambourine to accompany the

matrimonial harmony of Jesse Dee and Jacquie B, finds a

sweet melancholy in the end of a long road, the refrain,

“You can’t call me here, I could be anywhere,” at once

letting the ones you love know you’re safe, even if they

can’t hear you say it.

“Excalibur” takes the returning home narrative a bit

further, and puts a new spin on the conversations bands

have about making plans for the future, at once hopeful,

and disconsolate at the ways the world can change

the plans you cared so much for, with or without your

input.

Picture The Ocean may not be putting on the miles

they used to, but their seams feel as tight knit as ever,

and Something Real offers a smartly composed and

performed heartfelt proximity to the dreams of youth

and the realities of age.

• Mike Dunn

Powell

Sport

XL Recordings

There are plenty of SEO-oriented ways of discussing

electronic enfant terrible Powell’s music, many of which

were engineered by Oscar Powell himself. Having

published personal email correspondence everywhere

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 55


56 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE

from Twitter to YouTube online, swerving into IRL with

oppressive billboards, and finally back to email with a

P2P album announcement directly to a fan, Powell’s

craftily-won breakthrough on XL suspiciously scans as a

case of wagging the dog.

Just before listening to Sport for the first time, this

reviewer was worried that Powell had missed his calling

as a marketing executive and wrongly stumbled upon

music. Boy, was he wrong.

Sport is a lo-fi feeling work made up of hiss, fraudulent-sounding

drums, perverted digitizations of rock,

fraught basslines and weird electro-clash parodies. That

shouldn’t seem to make much sense on the surface, but

Sport is also a case of being happily proved wrong. It’s

a debut album that has enough imaginable narrative

cohesion between online/offline life, business/art

mechanics, and cool/corny power roles to halt the

hurried listener’s quickness to assess, and convinces one

to ease up and listen for a while. Its highest value is that

it doesn’t ask to be liked but instead can’t be looked

away from.

There are enough sonic plot points found along the

noise, groove, rawkishness and club-informed phases to

solidify its haphazard construction as a deconstructive

device. Jarring the listener between outright abrasion,

slick delight and crispy uncool, Powell shows he’s

not just agitating us out of sadism. Instead, the tonal

disagreement and cast of desperate, screeching vocal

characters sampled along the way remind us of the

turbulent, intrusive ways that we tune out the parts of

life that we don’t want to see. Hints and nods towards

social issues, raw ugliness, actual dance-worthy parts

and crass rehashings somehow make sense together

and offer an alternative to doing just one thing particularly

well. Powell’s ability to scream into the void and

actually draw attention is ostentatious and impossible

not to think about.

• Colin Gallant

Tanya Tagaq

Retribution

Six Shooter Records

It is refreshing to come across an album that utilizes

musicianship as a medium to enlighten. I mean, getting

jiggy to a riff is great and all, but feeling heavy from a

rhyme is something else entirely. Polaris Prize-winning,

Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq’s newest album, Retribution,

makes you feel this something else. “We turned

money into God/ and salivate over opportunities to/

crumple and crinkle our souls/ over that paper – that

gold/ Money has spent us.”

It really has, don’t you realize it? We strain, we suffer.

Our Mother Earth, she’s in pain, she suffers. She knows

the patterns of time. She knows those coming generations

of humankind will strain, suffer, too. Money – it’s

a tool, yes, we all know that. Its presence really messes

with our minds, though. Blurs our perception into

thinking we need more and more of it and insists upon

materialistic gain until we can’t see anymore. Our vision

fails and we blindly consume. This vicious greed seeps, it

prevails. We should resist.

Tagaq thinks so, too. Throughout Retribution, she

speculates upon the travesty of inclining towards

Western thought, touches upon quantum theory, and

laments upon rape concerning women, the land, and

our souls. Furthermore, Tagaq’s powerful gutturals,

shrieks, and hysteric vocal stretches in-and-of-themselves,

voicing her realizations. You really have to listen,

though. Meditate upon this album. You must. Every

sound you hear, whether it be vocalization, synthetic

swirls, strumming and sliding strings, or any spit of

rhyme, it’s all purposeful. It really makes you think.

Music ought to do that from time-to-time, eh? Awaken

the currents of your thoughts rather than numb your

circuitry. Make you swift rather than drift. Strays you

from delusion, thus becoming the ultimate retribution.

If that’s what your ears are desirous to hear, this is an

album for you.

• Hannah Many Guns

Yann Tiersen

EUSA

Mute

Yann Tiersen may not be the biggest name in North

America, but in his home of France, he’s renowned

for his heartfelt, cinematically-inclined compositions.

Most famously, his work formed the soundtrack for the

2001 film Amelie, eventually going platinum in Canada.

That’s the peak of Tiersen’s career in the mainstream,

but he’s steadily been amassing an impressively experimental

discography without the spotlight shining on

him. Recorded at Abbey Road, EUSA, Tiersen’s latest

album – and first composed solely for piano – may just

be his crown jewel.

EUSA is the Breton name for the French island

Ushant, the place Tiersen hides away to write most of

his works. A so-called “musical map,” EUSA is filled with

evocative, entrancing piano work, accompanied only by

a field recording taken from the exact spot each song

was named after. Songs like “Pern,” and the waltzing

“Porz Goret,” offer an escape into the near-desolate

island. The compositions are almost hypnotic in nature;

Tiersen’s performance is full of artful arpeggios and

human tempo shifts while birds chirp gently in the

background

EUSA isn’t a glitzy affair, but it is an utterly arresting

record that manages to be musically minimalist, but still

emotionally maximalist.

• Jamie McNamara

Touché Amoré

Stage Four

Epitaph

Burbank’s Touché Amoré have always been known for

their intellectual brand of emotional post-hardcore, but

on Stage Four, their first album for major label Epitaph,

the group manages to progress yet again. The result

is a mature masterwork that is easily the group’s best

album, a statement that is quite a compliment after

2013’s bracingly stunning Is Survived By, an album that

laid bare lead-singer Jeremy Bolm’s personal shortcomings

and neurosis for all to see.

That trademark unvarnished honesty returns again on

Stage Four, but this time Bolm’s neuroses are tragically

validated by the passing of his mother from cancer just

two years ago. Stage Four offers an unflinching look into

Bolm’s psyche as he processes the loss of his 69-year-old

mother.

More often than not, Bolm finds himself unmoored,

drifting in a gorgeous cacophony led by guitarist Nick

Steinhardt and anchored rhythmically by drummer

Eliot Babin. Sonically, the group sounds stadium ready,

finding visceral catharsis in blown-out atmospherics

and thundering tempos. It goes without saying that

Stage Four is an emotionally heavy album, but the band

does well to keep from veering into melodrama. Instead,

the album offers a hauntingly human examination into

the process of grief. It’s easily one of the best albums of

the year, a crushing gut punch that feels all too familiar

for anyone who has ever lost a loved one to cancer.

• Jamie McNamara

Various Artists

Taking It To Heart, Volume 1

Treeline Records

If you needed proof that Calgary’s music scene is a hotbed

of talent, look no further than the new compilation

Taking It To Heart, Vol. 1 from fresh-faced label Treeline

Records. The comp, which will see any proceeds

donated directly to the Heart and Stroke foundation, is

packed full of local talent and familiar faces from across

the country.

The compilation starts off on a great note with

“Shape Of Things To Come,” an already amazing Operators

record with Perfect Pussy frontwoman Meredith

Graves joining Dan Boeckner on vocal duties. It’s a rapid

fire, electro assault that is demonically danceable and

raw. In addition, tracks from Canadian favourites like

Kevin Drew, Woodpigeon, and Winnipeg’s Duotang

lend a friendly hand to the cause.

Calgarian acts Melted Mirror, Chad VanGaalen, and

Pre Nup, hold down the local contingent, making Taking

It To Heart, Vol. 1 a rare compilation that warrants

a full listen.

• Jamie McNamara

Warpaint

Heads Up

Rough Trade

Warpaint’s latest album, Heads Up, is a seductive

and mature third album. Since their self-titled album

released in 2014, Warpaint has evolved and created a

cohesive, polished sound. The band cites artists such as

Janet Jackson, Kendrick Lamar and OutKast as inspiration,

and the presence of both R&B and rap influences

are clear on the album.

Heads Up feels like more of an expansion of their

previous work instead of a concrete shift in direction.

Standouts from the album include the single they

released, the fittingly titled “New Song,” which feels the

most unique from previous releases. “New Song” has

a strong pop influence and is a song you could easily

hear blasting out of any car radio. As well as “So Good”

which features a steady, dance ready beat. Heads Up is

a moody and sensual album that moves at a faster pace

than previous albums, and is a welcomed change of

pace for Warpaint.

• Kennedy Enns

Wilco

Schmilco

dBpm Records

The most infamous moment of Wilco’s career is their

famous firing from Reprise Records. This came after it

was determined that their magnum opus, Yankee Hotel

Foxtrot, was too inaccessible for wide release. As if the

irony wasn’t great enough that Yankee Hotel would

go onto become a bestseller, with last year’s Star Wars,

Wilco put out the least accessible music of their career.

If Schmilco is any indication, Wilco is going to continue

doing whatever they want.

Schmilco is the quirky fuzz folk record I don’t

think any of us knew we wanted. It’s lean, earthy,

and entirely strange. It opens with an oscillating

guitar line behind a raw acoustic line with all of the

imperfections left intact. Fingers sliding from fret

to fret, the buzz of muted strings permeate several

tracks on the record. Behind frontman Jeff Tweedy’s

youthful pessimism on “Normal American Kids,” the

bedroom folk aesthetic feels naturalistic, even for

such a marquee artist.

The record is a palpable 13 tracks, but they mostly

run around three minutes. Even with the glean of professional

production and major label mastering, some of

the record feels strangely, but intentionally, unfinished.

After the weirdo glory of Star Wars, Wilco keep the

crazy train rolling with an alt-folk extravaganza. It’s

beautifully strange.

• Liam Prost


livereviews

photo: Jamie McNamara

Junior Boys, Borys, Egyptrixx

Commonwealth

September 18, 2016

Junior Boys played a career-spanning set of favourites to a modest crowd on Sunday night in Calgary.

Maybe one would guess (though this reviewer didn’t) that a romantic electro-pop act with a real daddy of

a lead singer would attract a noticeably 30-something audience of gay men. Not your average demographic

at Commonwealth, and a refreshing break from the heteronormativity of nightlife in Calgary.

We’re here to talk about music, though. Openers Borys (who does the Boys’ live sound) and Egyptrixx

were solid picks; each playing abrasive, exhilarating electronic sounds with real-time live playing.

The Boys themselves leaned heavier on mid-tempo, dark-tinged balladry. As far as a Sunday night goes, it

certainly seemed a smart move. There was, however, one drawback: there was almost no detectable energy

coming from the people onstage. It’s not that you’d expect Greenspan to do a backflip in the middle of “So

This Is Goodbye,” but cradling a mic and shifting slightly on rhythm doesn’t grab the viewer’s eye.

Ultimately, seven years since their last show in Calgary, Junior Boys provided what people wanted most

from them: suave, tender brooding with silky basslines, prickly beats and heaping helpings of synth.

• Colin Gallant

One Love Festival

September 10-11, 2016

Elliston Park

Now a two-day, two-stage endeavour, it was debated

whether Calgary had the scene to hold up One

Love’s growth from its inaugural year in 2015. The

amount of people who won tickets days before the

event perhaps hinted at less than ideal ticket sales,

but all weekend the venue felt full and energized, at

least for the big ticket acts.

This time around rap weirdoes like Atmosphere,

Action Bronson, Tyler, The Creator, and Logic

performed. Atmosphere played a set filled with

throwbacks and b-sides, with Slug free-styling much

of the lyrics. Sadly, this set did get less love than it

deserved from the young crowd. With following acts

Jhene Aiko, who won over the crowd early with a

2Pac cover, and Saturday’s headliner Big Sean closing

out the night, the festival was off to a strong start.

Sunday saw Earl Sweatshirt and A$AP Ferg get

things bumping, and by the time Tyler was set to go

on, the crowd was so riled up that photographers

were (at first) barred from the photo pit. To close

out the festival, the speed-spitting Logic (who was

replacing Lil Wayne) took to stage and wowed the

crowd with his incredible technical ability. He took

the time to celebrate young fans in the front row and

even talked about his own experiences with anxiety.

As the day began to get colder, some chose to call

it a night. But those who stayed were blessed with a

demonstration of Logic’s songcraft. He truly proved

why he deserved to be there by creating a beat, adding

samples, and freestyling an entire song. This left

the freezing crowd with huge smiles and wide eyes as

they departed from the park and towards a massive

line of cabs and party busses outside.

• Willow Grier

Tyler, the Creator

photo: Willow Grier

BEATROUTE • OCTOBER 2016 | 57


SAVAGE LOVE

Milk money?

My husband left the picture recently, and I’m now a single mom supporting

an infant in Toronto. I work a retail job and am drowning financially. I

hooked up with a guy I met on Tinder, and I didn’t warn him that I’m still

nursing because I didn’t even think of it. Luckily, he really got off on it—so

I was spared the awkwardness of “Eww, what is coming out of your tits?!”

Afterward, he joked about there being a market for lactating women in the

kink world. My questions: If I find someone who will pay me to suckle my

milk, is that prostitution? And if I advertise that I’m willing to be paid, can I

get into trouble for that? The possibility of making some money this way is

more appealing every day.

—Truly In Trouble

“Allowing clients to suckle her breasts is, of course, sex work,” said Angela

Chaisson, a partner at Toronto’s Paradigm Law Group. “But sex work is

legal for everyone in Canada, new moms included. The new sex work

laws here—the 2014 ‘Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons

Act,’ an Orwellian title for a draconian piece of legislation—prohibit sex

work close to where minors might be. So if she’s engaging in sex work

close to kids, she is risking criminal charges.”

No one wants sex work going on around minors, of course—on or

around minors—so that’s not what makes the ‘Protection of Communities

and Exploited Persons Act’ an Orwellian piece of bullshit.

Laws regulating sex work in Canada were rewritten after Terri-Jean

Bedford, a retired dominatrix and madam, took her case to the courts.

The Supreme Court of Canada ultimately ruled—unanimously—that

criminalizing sex work made it more dangerous, not less, and consequently

the laws on the books against sex work violated the Canadian

Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But instead of decriminalizing sex work,

Parliament made it legal to sell sex in Canada but illegal to buy it, aka the

“end demand” approach to stamping out sex work.

“By making a sex worker’s body the scene of a crime,” writes sex

worker and sex-workers-rights activist Mike Crawford, “the ‘end demand’

approach gives cops full license to investigate sex workers, leaving sex

workers vulnerable to abuse, extortion, and even rape at the hands of

the police.”

Chaisson, who helped bring down Canada’s laws against sex work,

doesn’t think selling suckling will get you in trouble, TIT. “But Children’s

Aid Society (CAS) would investigate if they felt there was a child in

need of protection,” said Chaisson. “So the safest thing would be for

her to stick to out calls only and to keep the work away from kids and

anywhere they might be.”

To avoid having to worry about CAS or exactly where every kid in

Canada is when you see a client while still making some money off your

current superpower, TIT, you could look into the emerging online market

for human breast milk. There are more ads from breast milk fetishists

(204) at OnlyTheBreast.com (“Buy, sell, or donate breast milk with our

discreet classifieds system”) than there are from new parents seeking

breast milk for their infants (159). Good luck!

I’m a 27-year-old straight male and a high-school teacher held to a strict

code. I left my fiancée in June and haven’t had sex since. Needless to say, I’m

really horny. I’m also in that weird in-between age where I’m not comfortable

hanging out at college bars but I’m also a bit younger than most of the

women in other bars. But when I scour dating apps, I see profiles of women

ages 18 to 22—women who, for all I know, could have been students at my

school. I would never fuck a former student, of course, but I’m worried that I

could get my license revoked if my supervisors discovered I was online trolling

for sex. So what am I supposed to do? My cock is making sad faces at me

right now.

— Teacher Evidently Needs Sexual Encounter

If you live in a college town, TENSE, there’s at least one bar where grad

students hang out—look for the bar where women are grading papers,

not pounding shots, and hang out there. And with more than one in three

new marriages beginning with an online meeting these days, and with Pew

Research telling us that 60 percent of Americans approve of online dating,

I don’t see how your supervisors could possibly object to staffers scouring

dating apps and the interwebs for age-appropriate partners. Unless we’re

talking about a Catholic school staffed entirely by nuns, which isn’t what

we’re talking about.

My boyfriend of five years is a sweet, smart, handsome, loving, supportive,

middle-aged, chubby white guy. We have a fulfilling sex life. When we first

met, he shared a fantasy he had about watching me get fucked by a black

guy. (He knows it’s not something I’m interested in IRL.) I’ve caught him

several times posing online as a young, buff, handsome black guy looking for

a “snowbunny.” I call him out on it every time, and it causes huge fights. He

says he’ll stop, but he never does. Weighed against all his other good qualities,

this isn’t that big of a deal. Clearly he’s not going to meet up with the women

he’s chatting with. What makes me sad is that I adore him as he is—I love his

big white belly, his bald head, and his rosy cheeks. I think I do a good job of

communicating this to him. I guess I’m writing to you for some reassurance

that I’m doing the right thing by letting this behavior go and also for some

insight into why he’s doing it in the first place.

—Upset Girlfriend Hates Eroticized Racial Secrets

If this isn’t that big of a deal, UGHERS, why are you calling him out on it? Why

are you monitoring his online activities/fantasies at all?

What your boyfriend is doing sounds relatively harmless—he’s pretending

to be someone he’s not while flirting with other people online who are

most likely pretending to be someone they’re not. (I promise you most of

the “snowbunnies” he’s chatted with were other men.) The world is full of

by Dan Savage

people who enjoy pretending to be someone they’re not, from cosplayers

pretending to be Captain America or Poison Ivy to creative anachronists

pretending to be knights and ladies to Donald Trump Jr. pretending to be

a human being.

We can’t gloss over the racial/racist cultural forces that shaped your

boyfriend’s kinks, of course, but it’s possible to explore those kinds of

fantasies online or IRL without being a racist piece of shit. And a person

can pretend to be someone of another race online—because it turns them

on—without injecting racial hate into online spaces and/or thoughtlessly

reinforcing damaging stereotypes about people of other races. You’ve

seen your boyfriend’s online chats, UGHERS, so you’re in a better position

to judge whether he’s exploring his fantasies without making the world a

worse place than it already is for actual black men.

If he’s being a racist piece of shit online, UGHERS, call him out on that. If

he isn’t, stop policing his fantasies.

Mid-20s female here, ready to date after a period of difficulty in my personal

life. I have started taking an antidepressant, which has allowed me to regain

control over my life, but one side effect is difficulty having orgasms. People

can be judgey when it comes to antidepressants, and it’s not something that’s

easy to share. It’s frustrating because this medication allows me to be in a

place mentally where I can pursue healthy adult relationships, but it affects

sex, which for me is something that is key for a healthy relationship. How do I

have a conversation about this with a potential partner?

—Hopeful About Potential Partners, Yay

You can put off the convo about your meds with a white lie, HAPPY, by

telling your potential partner you never come the first few times you’re

with someone new—no pressure on you to come (or come clean just yet),

no pressure on them to make you come. Then level with them about the

real reason you’re having difficultly coming—new to antidepressants, still

adjusting, but grateful for the other benefits—after you’ve gotten to know

them better. It’s a harmless, understandable white lie, not a major betrayal.

If they react like it is one, HAPPY, then you’ll have to DTMFA.

Listen to Dan at

savagelovecast.com

Email Dan at

mail@savagelove.net

Follow Dan

@fakedansavage on Twitter

58 | OCTOBER 2016 • BEATROUTE

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