Descendents • Jimmy Eat World • Comic Expo • Timber Timbre • dBridge • 420 Fest • Father John Misty
Editor’s Note/Pulse 4
Bedroom Eyes 7
Edmonton Extra 26
Book Of Bridge 28
Letters From Winnipeg 29
This Month in Metal 49
Calgary Comic Expo, Juggalos, Midtown,
Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Spoken Word
Fest, World Town, Golden Penis, Make It,
Places Please, Wrongs Today
CUFF: Fubar 15th Anniversary, Hounds Of
Love, Space Between
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Descendants, Jimmy Eat World,
Fashionism, Close Talker, Tommy
Grimes, Menace, Sum 41, Forbidden
Dimension, Bad Animal, Dane
dBridge, Chuurch, Troyboi, Snakehips,
Timber Timbre, Leeroy Stagger, Matt
Patershuk, Braden Gates
420 Music And Arts Festival, Languid,
Father John Misty and much more...
Managing Editor/Web Producer
City :: Brad Simm
Film :: Jonathan Lawrence
Calgary Beat :: Willow Grier
Edmonton Extra :: Levi Manchak
Book of (Leth)Bridge :: Courtney Faulkner
Letters From Winnipeg :: Julijana Capone
Jucy :: Paul Rodgers
Roots :: Liam Prost
Shrapnel :: Sarah Kitteringham
Reviews :: Jamie McNamara
This Month’s Contributing Writers
Christine Leonard • Arielle Lessard • Sarah Mac • Amber McLinden • Kennedy Enns •
Jennie Orton • Michael Grondin • Mathew Silver • Kevin Bailey • Jackie Klapak •
Hayley Pukanski • Nicholas Laugher • Arnaud Sparks • Brittney Rousten •
Breanna Whipple • Alex Meyer • Jay King • Alec Warkentin • Paul McAleer • Mike Dunn •
Shane Sellar • Kaje Annihilatrix • Dan Savage • Claire Miglionico
This Month’s Contributing Photographers & Illustrators
Michael Grondin • Hayley Pukanski • Jim Agaptio • My-An Nguyen
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Descendents - page 16
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BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 3
30 BANDS – 3 STAGES – 10 HOURS
Greta Marofke was born a happy, healthy energetic baby, but was soon
diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a very rare liver cancer found in fewer
than one in a million children. Greta started her first chemo treatment
on her second birthday. That was followed by several more treatments
including surgery for a liver resection. Great news followed one year ago
when her tests showed “no evidence of disease.” Then on a routine doctor’s
visit in August 2016 a blood test confirmed the cancer had come
back, and this time she would require a full liver transplant.
Her family reached out extensively to doctors in Calgary, Toronto, and
Cincinnati to determine the best way to treat Greta. Canadian doctors
have done everything they can for Greta, but our health system is not
as advanced as other medical centres in this particular area. Dr. Geller, a
pediatric oncologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who has a special
interest and extensive experience in the field of hepatoblastoma has
been working closely with Canadian doctors, but is convinced he can do
more to help Greta in the US than is possible to do so here. He has been
involved with nine rescue liver transplants (transplant after resection)
and eight of these children are doing well.
AB Health Care will not be covering the cost of Greta’s transplant
surgery estimated to be 1.2 million.
In January, a “Go Fund Me” campaign (.gofundme.com/gretasguardians)
was started and to date $193,000 has been raised, but Greta and
her family still need more money.
On Sat., April 29, The Cave and Getto Boys will present 30 Bands on
3 Stages (indoors and out) for 10 hours. The event, 30-3-10, is aimed
solely to help raise funds for Greta’s surgery. 100% of ticket revenues,
beverage sales, festival merchandise sales and a silent auction will be
donated along with 100% of artists’ performances, stage set-up, fencing,
promotions, event management and production services. Location
720 - 16 Ave. NW. Doors open at 11:00 am. $20.00 General Admission
tickets available at Eventbrite.
• Lindsay Chadderton
THE AMAZING VELVET EXPERIENCE
For one night only, witness the most black velvet paintings you may ever
see in one place. One Glenbow gallery will be filled from floor to ceiling
with 200 velvet paintings - the best of the collection of Rick Smith, one
of the world’s premiere velvet collectors. Rick has a history of sharing his
collection with the world - for years he hosted annual Cinco de Mayo
parties to show off his collection. Now, Rick has decided to set his collection
free, and is giving his paintings away to benefit Glenbow.
Rick Smith has been collecting black velvet paintings since 2001,
amassing over 400 from garage sales and pawn shops around Alberta,
starting with a velvet Elvis. The collection began as a hobby to distract
him from a personal health crisis, and became an obsession that led to
Rick “rescuing” as many of the painting as he could find.
Starting with a feature presentation about the history of black velvet
art, followed by live music, a nacho station, churros, cocktails and art
adventures, this party will be a celebration of retro kitsch. Whether you
wear your latest high-fashion ensemble or break out the velour and
bellbottoms, dress to impress.
Party favours: every ticket buyer will go home with a velvety treasure!
Party guests will be randomly matched with their very own black velvet
painting, to be taken home at the end of the night. Which one will be
yours? Some might be considered velvet masterpieces, all are guaranteed
to be a hilarious keepsake from an excellent night out.
Tickets $75 (on sale April 1)
6.30pm: Doors Friday May 5, 2017
7.00pm: Feature presentation - an exploration of the history of black
7.45pm: The party begins - live music/DJ/nacho station/churros/
9.30pm: Painting pick up opens - meet your art match
11:00pm: Event ends
Sled Island is back in Calgary with L.A. renegade Flying Lotus acting as
guest curator, plenty of heavy (Converge, Wolves in the Throne Room,
King Woman) and everything else you’d expect from our hometown,
Indie rock enthusiasts are covered with prominent slots by Cloud
Nothings, Low, Waxahatchee, Land of Talk and Mothers, among others.
If experimentalism and innovation are your game (a field Sled always
nails), look no further than Silver Apples, Hailu Mergia, Thor & Friends,
EX EYE and New Fries.
New this year are the Sled Island podcast (where they unveil ‘sclusies
absent from press releases and public announcements), and the gritty
work of illustrator Josh Holinaty (an ACAD grad and prominent artist in
Roughly 200 bands are still to be announced, including FlyLo’s curator
picks, headliners from around Canada and the world, and the best
emerging talent juried from nearly 1000 music submissions received by
Still to come are announcements regarding visual art, comedy, film
and special events that put industry and interactive moments into
focus. As a multi-disciplinary festival, these programming choices are
likely to tilt the conversation about Sled Island from what bands they’ve
announced to what overall experience they offer attendees –whether
that be pass purchasers, participating performers, delegates, or our own
In the meantime, Sled has made neither its second wave nor full lineup
announcements yet. We’ll be reporting again as soon as they do.
4 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE
100% OF THE PROCEEDS WILL SUPPORT
720 16 AVE NW, CALGARY
GETTO BOYS bar & grill • the cave
TWINBAT STICKER CO.
your one stop, premier rock ‘n’ roll merch shop
Who’s that wasically wabbit anyway? It’s
none other than Cory Martens,
well-known, well-respected, bad-ass
drummer and punk guitarist who’s
played many stages, many times across
Standing outside his new biz, Twinbat
Sticker Co., Martens is putting the power
of rock ‘n’ roll into his print shop that
specializes in premium vinyl decals,
one-inch buttons, t-shirts, vinyl-cut
lettering, custom signage, vinyl banners,
wall decals, window decals, custom
license plates and guitar picks.
Your one stop, premier rock ‘n’ roll
merch shop? “Yes it is,” says Mr. Martens.
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 7
northern gathering promising is gonna bust a big move
“It takes a special motherfucker to listen ICP and love it,
After almost 30 years of rocking the Insane Clown Posse
moniker, Joseph Utsler aka Shaggy 2 Dope is as keenly aware as
ever of the stigma surrounding one of the world’s most notorious
and resilient subcultures.
“Most of the fuckin’ world hates our guts. So being a Juggalo,
automatically, you’re gonna be hated on by pretty much
anything. And people think that Juggalos are scumbag thieving
pieces of shit, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,”
Juggalos have served as an easy target for the rest of the
world since the term’s official inception in the late ‘90s.
Whether the movement’s resilience is an evolved adaptation
to decades of hate, or a testament to the Insane Clown Posse’s
staying power, is anyone’s guess.
But what exactly is a Juggalo? What brings them up north of
Despite the movement itself existing for two decades, it
doesn’t seem like a concrete answer has ever revealed itself. But
it’s clear that the Insane Clown Posse has a certain allure to a
certain type of person.
In Utsler’s opinion, the most important quality is
open-mindedness. “But on the top end of the list, there’s[…]
keeping it real. [And] Juggalos are actually some of the most
big-hearted people I know. If you’re broken down on the side of
the road, chances of a Juggalo helping you out are a thousand
times greater than some asshole on his way to work,” he clarified,
with a tinge of passion in his voice.
“I’d rather have a hundred Juggalos at a show over 10,000 just
normal motherfuckers at a show. Juggalos have the heart of a
hundred people each.”
The Posse’s creative well seems pretty far from running dry,
too; after their famed First Deck of Joker Cards wrapped up in
2004, a second Deck was rolled out in 2009 – to the surprise
(and elation) of many Juggalos. Not to mention the complementary
‘Sideshow’ EPs which bridged each EP’s release.
Throw in another half-dozen solo albums, a plethora of
supergroup memberships, and a variety of appearances and
Insane Clown Posse: Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent bringing on their A++ game.
by Max Foley
directorial roles in film and television, and one can’t help but
wonder: what is it about the Insane Clown Posse that makes
them so prolific? Is it because they’re the end-all, be-all when it
comes to doing horrorcore/murder rap the way it’s meant to
Whatever the case, Calgary’s slated for a hell of a wakeup call
– Juggalos from all around the country will be rallying at the
Stampede Corral for a two-day gathering featuring guests like
Ice-T and Merkules. Utsler’s proprietary blend of understated
enthusiasm and time-tested wisdom bleeds through the phone
as he articulates the ICP’s love for Canada.
“Canada’s a little different – we feel more accepted there
than in America. The general populace doesn’t look at the ICP
the same way Americans do,” Utsler explains.
“There’s more casual listeners up there, and that affects the
energy of the show. We love throwing down for Juggalos, and
they make us bring out our A game; but those other people
watching make you wanna murder the show and really blow
their wigs off. They make us bring our A++ game.”
There’s another key reason why Canada’s earned the affections
of the Posse: the relative ease of obtaining Faygo, a budget
soft drink from the ICP’s backyard of Michigan. Faygo is what
Utsler describes as “the lifeblood of an ICP show.”
“We can actually get it delivered to our shows, whereas in
Europe or Australia we gotta use their off-brand soda, and we’ll
put fake-ass fake logos on them or peel them off. We throw so
much Faygo during shows that sometimes it’s just not practical.
That’s another important part of Canada is that you’re able to
get that precious Faygo. None of that knockoff shit.”
In short, while visits from Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J only
happen every few years, absence does make the heart grow
“We fuckin’ love Canada. I’ma eat the fuck out of some of
those motherfuckin’ poontang fries.” Utsler finished. We’re gonna
hold you to that, Shaggy.
The Insane Clown Posse and their friends are hosting Canadian
Juggalo Weekend at the Stampede Corral on April 7-8. Find more
information at juggaloweekend.ca.
calling all space cowboys… saddle up!
Comic book culture’s middle-aged poster boy, Kevin Smith.
by Christine Leonard
If the old adage is to be believed, you should “never meet your heroes.” But for fans
of the fastest growing comic convention in North America, that saying could not be
further from the truth. Attracting over 100,000 people in 2016, Calgary’s annual Comic
& Entertainment Expo (AKA Calgary Expo) engulfs Stampede Park and transmogrifies
those hallowed stomping grounds into a multimedia playground that is truly a spectacle
to behold. It’s not the first space rodeo for Calgary Expo’s spokeswoman and mascot, Emily
Expo, but she promises that 2017’s four day run of fandom will offer up a star-studded
affair that will be the highlight of your terrestrial orbit.
“The last couple of years have been huge for us and we keep trying to present an even
better experience for our attendees,” says Emily Expo. “At the moment the focus isn’t
so much on size as improving the quality of the event for all. Making sure that there is
something for everyone and trying to make sure that everything is well organized and
goes smoothly from an operational perspective.”
Engaging with a public that has so embraced all of its colourful components, Calgary
Expo has swelled beyond the scope of a self-contained entity and has extended its tendrils
into the very core of the City.
“I am quite proud of us as an organization for putting on the Parade of Wonders!,
which happens on the Friday morning of each Expo,” she explains. “To have all these cosplayers,
and the nerds, and the geeks, and the fans parading through downtown Calgary,
and showing their pride in this show that started with 3,000 people in 2006, is really quite
an accomplishment! The route is a little bit different year. We start at 8th and 8th and we
still wind-up at Olympic Plaza, but due to the growth of the event and how big it is it has
become a little too disruptive and we don’t want to annoy people with what we’re doing.
We want to create a community thing that everybody can come and enjoy, so we worked
with the City to develop a new route.”
Back on the grounds, where the Calgary Expo occupies 450,000 square feet dedicated
to the arts of gaming, shopping, and celebrity-worship, it’s all too easy to lose all sense of
direction and monetary prudence. But thanks to the Expo’s handy phone app, Calgary
cadets are less likely to miss their window of opportunity to land amongst the stars.
“We had an app last year and we revamp it every year, as things change and develop.
So, we’ll have that again this year for people who want it. It is really useful for keeping
track of your schedule, especially if you’re into panels and photo ops.”
Aside from a one-off concert appearance by James Marsters at the Expo’s official After
Party, the lynchpin in this year’s special programing is an appearance by the comic book
culture’s middle-aged poster boy, Kevin Smith. Known for his directorial triumphs (and
flops) as well as his podcasting career, and television show “Comic Book Men,” Smith will
be joined by his partner in rhyme, Jay Mewes (AKA Jay), for a separately-ticked event
called “Jay & Silent Bob Get Old” on April 29 at the Stampede Corral.
“I’m also super excited for Kevin Smith, because I’ve seen every movie he’s ever done
and I’m a huge Jay and Silent Bob fan. I’m looking forward to hearing his stories and seeing
him on stage with Jason Mewes. I think that’ll be a fantastic event. Although, definitely for
a more mature audience, and not recommended for the kids. I am sure most people are
aware. If you’re at all familiar with Kevin’s brand of humour, you’ll know what to expect.”
Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo runs from April 27-30 at Stampede Park.
8 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY
MIDTOWN KITCHEN & BAR
defining Kensington’s new breed
Creating a difference is the key. And in a city flush with new boutique bars and
restaurants, many that are conceptually fresh and smart, Midtown Kitchen & Bar,
located in the cozy hub of Kensington, creates a difference by overhauling the idea
of a neighbourhood pub and stamping it with quality and contemporary character.
Originally from Vancouver, Ric Cutillo, is a chef by trade, a career he started in Spain
and honed in Europe. Stylish and down to earth himself, Cutillo says he wanted “a cool
comfortable space, where it didn’t matter if you were in a pair of shorts, work boots or
a suit, you were at ease and nothing offensive to deal with.”
He also conceived Midtown to be a “North American bistro” that avoided basic,
run-of-the-mill pub food and “all that deep fried madness.” On excursions to Portland
and Seattle with his wife, he was impressed with bars that focused on menus that didn’t
cheap out in any areas. “There’s a lot of great little watering holes that make the most of
everything there. I wanted good steaks, sandwiches and pastas. Good wines, spirits and
good beer. Not just whatever beer and wine out of a cardboard box.”
While Cutillo is proud to promote Midtown’s burgers made from “one hundred
ground chuck, with no mystery meat” as one of their big sellers, the menu has rich variety
of items ranging from small plates of oysters, surf tacos and spiced Brussels sprouts,
to a Cubano sandwich and the Winter Farm pizza topped with mushroom béchamel,
roasted butternut squash, caramelized turnips, roasted walnuts, mozzarella, balsamic
glaze and beet mirco greens. Definitely not pub grub. Keeping it farm fresh, Midtown
gets all of its ingredients from local suppliers and everything except the breads are
Early on Midtown decided to only serve craft beers with 40 different brands from our
“backyard and beyond” to select from. The wine list has a distinct North American focus
on it, and every Wednesday they offer a remarkable 50 percent off all their bottles.
Big changes have swept through Kensington, as 10th Street transitions from a relatively
quiet enclave to a bustling strip of commerce and new developments. Cutillo notes that it’s been a
battle to cultivate change while retaining Kensignton’s character, as the community continuously fights
not to be destroyed by 30 story condo units and big box retailers. He feels Midtown belongs to the neighhourhood’s
new breed. “Almost all of our clientele are locals from the area. That’s who we serve. And I
think that we’re part of the preservation, and part of the change.”
While the bar brought in DJs to play vinyl on the occasional night, they’ve now “jumped in” and switched to
having local bands and musicians every Saturday that lean towards folk rock. “Kensington is very much about
arts and music. It’s that kind of culture. Why not showcase it?” says Cutillo tipping his pint.
Midtown Kitchen & Bar is located at 302- 10st NW in Kensington. www.midtownkitchen.ca
by B. Simm
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 9
DJD: Modern Vaudevillians
This spring, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks brings a
multi-disciplinary variety show to its stage. It’s an
unprecedented level of collaboration even for Artistic
Director Kimberley Cooper.
DJD usually fills all the roles for a show with in-house personal.
For Modern Vaudevillians, however, Cooper says they
had “a short rehearsal process, so I thought it would be fun
to include some artists from the community to contribute
to the production to take a little pressure off us. And I have a
genuine desire to collaborate.”
To name all the gifted artists (including an aerialist, two
clowns, a magician, a singer/actor, a band, and of course DJD’s
own company dancers) would take twice the space here.
And to coordinate the show, Cooper is putting a twist on the
traditional role of a vaudeville emcee to wrangle the acts together,
although she couldn’t speak about the specific details.
“I know how it starts and I know how it ends. I know there’s
an intermission. It’s just figuring out how everything else falls
into place. It’s definitely a puzzle, but it’s a very fun puzzle to
put together,” she says fondly.
This is one of the several ways Vaudevillians pays tribute to
its saucy theatrical inspiration, which was at an apex from the
late 1880s to the 1930s – a frame of time that also encompasses
the beginnings of jazz.
With the short rehearsal time, some artists will be meeting
just days ahead of their debut together on stage, which is also
very much part of vaudevillian tradition – spontaneity. Cooper
sees this as exciting, noting it lends to a good chemistry
and artistic development. “I’m really excited for this show. I
think it’s going to really change and grow through the process
of the performances. I think it’ll be a really fun.”
Modern Vaudevillians runs April 20th – May 6th at DJD’s
theatre space on 12th Ave. SE. Matinees at 2pm and evening
shows at 8pm.
BOOKS: All Our Wrong Todays
sci-fi novel mixes haha with reflection
Tom Barren, the central
character in Elan
Mastai’s first novel, All
Our Wrong Todays, lives in
a futuristic 2016 that is very
much unlike the reality of 2016.
Instead of the crime-infested,
time-bomb we are familiar
with , Tom lives in an utopian
paradise, a gleaming sci-fi vision
of the 1950s where flying cars,
moving sidewalks and robot
maids shape an everyday pleasant
This great utopian was
created by the invention of the
Goettreider Engine in 1965,
a prototype radiation device that had “miraculous energy-generating
capacities expanded to power the whole world.” With its development,
the globe was much safer and clean, equality and consumerism abound,
a comfort zone full of mod-cons.
Tom should be happy, right? Everyone should be happy. But
when an unexpected pregnancy presents the opportunity for Tom
to hopscotch around the universe, he lands (via a good ole time
machine) in a parallel universe in 2016 that is today’s world. There
he discovers that the beautiful futuristic world he comes from,
filled with happy and shiny people and machinery, may actually be
the source of his discontentment.
photo: Trudie Lee
by Colin Gallant
“For my lead character, and the others in his life,” says Mastai, “it’s
about stripping the essentials away and leaving them with less. And
that’s how they, and also the reader, finds out who they are. And hopefully
getting people to think about themselves.
“We spend a lot of time being distracted technology,” adds Mastai.
“It’s insidious in our lives. But the book is not luddite harangue, at all. I’m
not anti-technology, I’m pro-complexity. I like to think about what can
be taken away from their lives, and who they still are, and what can be
taken away and they’d be a different person if they lost it. Whether that’s
society, technology or the people in their lives.”
Because the book is punchy and funny, it’s easy to tag it with a Back
To The Future theme. But Mastai, who grew up Vancouver, references a
combination of Douglas Copeland and William Gibson, two of that city’s
notable writers, as a closer comparison. In addition, Mastai, who’s a successful
screenwriter gaining international recognition with the romantic
comedy, The F-Word, says he simply set out to marry different genres.
“I have a lot of restless interests, and childhood love of science fiction
but never really a chance to write in the genre. I had this idea. Rather
than a movie I thought the book would be the best way to tell the story.
I wanted to do something that had a big science fiction concept, but
also very much about family, love and human connections that give our
All Our Wrong Todays was also scripted to have a three-act structure
that could be adapted to film, which Mastai recently sold the rights to
a studio for. The book is a fun, fast-paced romp (chapters average two
pages), dealing at times with sci-fi explanations and the meaningfulness
of life, but also the endearing misadventures of Tom Barren whose penis
changed everything about the world he once knew.
SPOKEN WORD FEST
wild women and song!
by Victoria Banner
Calgary poetry slam team captain Cobra Collins.
ince 2003, the Calgary Spoken Word Festival, founded and directed
by multi-award winning poet Sheri-D Wilson, has gained an
international reputation for its progressive and innovative programming.
Keeping the festival fresh, alive and in the spotlight, this year’s
theme is Poetry + Music.
Asked why she picked that particular route, Wilson channels her
inner beatnik and says, “I always want the theme to be an expression of
what I’m jazzed by.” As such, the artists are encouraged to bring music
with their work or to work with musicians.
Leading off the festival, the renowned Western Canadian poet Lorna
Crozier will conduct a workshop that investigates the literary power of
the metaphor and how to work its magic.
Following that is an event called Wild Women and Friends. “Calgary is
a town of spoken word,” says Wilson. “We descend from Aboriginals and
cowboys, the original story tellers, and the new city is always looking for
something cutting edge.” In that tradition, the feisty and prolific Aretha
Van Herk will host a stellar line-up that includes Lorna Crozier, Calgary
poetry slam team captain Cobra Collins, the vibrant writer and filmmaker
Julie Trimingham, along with a fine cast of fierce poets who aim on
getting loud and feminine. As part of the evening, the collective Woolf’s
Voices “will gather us all up as the evening’s Mistress to howl together
in a space of our own.” Wilson will also share the stage with her band,
the ambitious Orbiting Ouroborus, who will be releasing a collaborative
album with Wilson shortly.
Night three features Mighty Mike McGee, America slam poetry
superstar who’s no stranger to the world of rock ‘n’ roll. Calgary native
Andre Prefontaine (now based in Toronto) and Edmontonian Mary
Pinkoski will deliver and delight with their individual brand of hip, rich,
colourful and contemporary Canadian storytelling. The evening at
Festival Hall will heat up with rock-a-billy flair thanks to performances by
the Sadlier-Brown Band.
Wrapping up the festival is Spoken Word’s tradition of community
building with the open-mic poetry slam at the Unicorn Super
Pub, downstairs in the Celtic Cellar. Wilson encourages festival-goers,
curiousity seekers and literary fans to come share their poetry, inspire
and forge ahead to the following year. Even though it’s fresh, progressive
and pushing boundaries, Wilson assures the festival is accessible for the
general public: “Poetry is by the people for the people” done loud and
proud with a musical mash-up.
The Calgary Spoken Word Festival runs from April 22-25. Fror more details
on performers, events and venues visit www.calgaryspokenwordfestival.com
• B. Simm
10 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY
this town really is your town
Nicky Speer: Personalized service is key in this industry.
Shimmering in a cozy corner of the downstairs level of Calgary’s
Fashion Central, a spot of bright teal tempts enchantresses of all
walks to step inside the sparkly cosmos of WorldTown Cosmetics.
Established in the latter part of 2015, shop owner and makeup artist
Nicky Speer had diversity through individuality in mind as she opened
her doors to a new class of celebrities: Everybody. Whether she is on-set
at an off-site fashion shoot, creating your look for a special event, or
ringing through an item you need but never knew existed, Nicky’s characteristic
effervescence is the personal touch we can all appreciate.
Until July 30
Made up of three components, curated respectively by Noa
Bronstein, Lisa Baldissera & Nate McLeod, and Marco Polo & Colin
Ripley, Utopia Factory is an examination of state- and community-building
in Canada. Involving architecture, research, finished and
developing works, this exhibition asks “What is the political life of a
building, place or historic marker?”
Until May 7
Sculptor Shary Boyle has organized a group exhibition that explores
the political and personal implications of space and how it
is occupied. With a multitude of mediums showcased by artists,
Boyle sourced her co-exhibitors based on their intimate, personal,
and physical connections to their subject matter. Having been a
popular exhibition since January, time is quickly running out to
see Earthlings for yourself.
by Lisa Marklinger
“I feature eight product lines, and I know
almost everything there is to know about them.
Personalized service is key in this industry,”
Nicky smiles, fluttering her faux lashes. “I want
everyone who walks into my store to feel at
home. I love welcoming people, and I love making
people feel beautiful.”
With ten years of experience in make-up, she’s
done it all, from stage make-up to weddings and
everything in between. You want a day of the dead,
alien-inspired, slightly gothic, pin-up girl look? Call
Nicky. Maybe you want something flawless yet
totally natural? Wonderful! That’s her favourite.
“It takes a lot more technique than you’d think
(to look seamless and convincing). Runways usually
dictate what’s going to be trendy, and spring is a
pretty predictable season in terms of fashion looks:
clean, dewy, radiant skin, shiny lips, pastels. Spring is
change! It doesn’t like to be complicated, and your
face shouldn’t be either!” she says, laughing.
When she’s not busy working her magic on
people at her headquarters, or adding inspiring
ideas to showcase what’s new and now
on her social media platforms, Nicky stays
tirelessly occupied researching the newest
and best of what WorldTown’s hand-picked
brands have to offer.
“Everything I carry has to be operating under an
independent label, that is a huge deal to me. I can
look at their ethics in manufacturing, experience
first-hand how they treat their customers, they
take my feedback seriously.... There’s a lot of personal
and product credibility on the line because
my store is so exclusive. No other store in Calgary
carries any of the merchandise I sell here.
Celebrity sponsors and expensive packaging are great marketing
tools, but so is value, integrity, and accountability. People
are always going to ‘vote with their wallets’. By making these
items more easily accessible, especially with many of them being
organic, sustainable, vegan, and cruelty-free, I feel I really can cater
Find WorldTown cosmetics on Instagram and Facebook @worldtown_
cosmetics Online store and blog: wtcosmetics.com
Life on Mars
Until April 27
In supplement to Earthlings, Esker Foundation curator Shauna
Thompson will offer a transparent look into the exhibition’s
curatorial process and themes. This will include detailed precedent
exhibitions, studio co-operatives in Canada’s North, plus a look at the
complex relationships between the works showcased.
Until wMay 6
Longstanding national treasure Cathy Daley is exhibiting a series of
post-feminist drawings at Newzones from March to May. Using oil pastel
on vellum, Daley examines how fashion and society consider certain
aesthetics of femininity acceptable and others not. It’s a complex
musing that walks the line between interrogation and appreciation.
The Future Behind Us
Until May 13
An international collaboration initiated by Guatemalan-Canadian
artist Romeo Gongora, The Future Behind Us documents the pairing
of Gongora with a host of Congolese artists for a work that looks at
themes in Congolese history and culture via a dystopian lens (the
short sci-fi work Perinium).
the handmade revolution is alive and thriving
The Makies’ queen bee, Jenna Herbut, with her kitty Phoebe.
After a five year absence, Make It: The Handmade Revolution arts
and crafts fair is back. The origins of this wildly successful roving
event date back to when Make It co-founder, Jenna Herbut, first
came up with a business plan for a marketing class 10 years ago at the University
of Alberta. Herbut’s idea was to develop a business for one of her
handmade creations, a fabric sash belt that she affectionately called the
“Booty Belt.” Her booty plan took off and in short while she was selling
them at over 120 fashion boutiques across Canada.
The upswing in sales and popularity opened a lot of doors, one of
which was selling Booty Beltz as a street vendor at music festivals and
other fun outdoor events. Herbut enjoyed selling direct to customers so
much that she and her brother decided to stage their own festival of fun
by rounding up other creative producers, setting them up with a DJ and
beer garden and unveiling the arts and crafts fair that became Make It.
Their first show in Edmonton only had 30 booths in a community hall. Six
years later, 250 exhibitors where featured at the PNE Forum in Vancouver
attracting over 18,000 happy shoppers. Wildly successful. Yeah.
Herbut cites a number of factors why Make It has been so well received.
One is loyalty of the participants. “There’s an genuine, thriving interest in
the whole handmade world,” explains Herbut. “It’s really amazing to see how
small the production is for these artists, and how big the following actually
is. They have a strong identity that’s shaped by connecting and sharing in a
feel-good DIY community.” The loving bond and between artist and consumer
has evolved into a devoted patronage known as “The Makies.”
In addition to countering the generic, mass production of the digital age,
Herbut feels part of what makes The Makies is a “millennial trend in which
there’s not a lot of opportunity in a broken job market, and this offers new
ways to find employment.” She adds social media, YouTube, online promotion
and stores like Etsy and Shopify are all part of the handmade revolution
“There’s nothing that limits creativity, and no limit to access a large audience.
You can make something and sell it within two hours.”
Online promotion by artists directly involved with Make It also contributes
to its success. In the connected community of The Makies, when
someone pushes their new product online, word gets out quickly and the
buzz is on to see the real thing when it comes to town. “What’s appealing
about craft fairs, is they close the gap between making and selling something
that’s tactile and tangible,” says Herbut. “It just feels good at the end
of the day.”
Make It, Calgary’s Handmade Market is in the Big Four Bldg. at the Stampede
Park from April 7-9.
12 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY
Newfoundland Mary is the tale of Mary McCarthy Gomez Cueto, a real
Newfoundlander who married a wealthy Spanish business and left The
Rock behind for Cuba. When her husband passes and Castro rises to power,
Mary finds herself back in squalor but comforted by aspiring jazz singer Luis
Gonzalez. This is a story filled with music, class struggle and perseverance.
The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer
Blending puppetry, animation and live action, this tender one-man-show
about dealing with grief in a not-too-distant future where sea levels have
risen has captured audiences’ hearts around the globe. The Australian work
has sold out runs in New York, Sydney and Auckland, and will be in Calgary
for three nights only.
Crazy For You
April 18-May 20
Also referred to as “The New Gershwin Musical,” Crazy For You was first produced
in 1992 on Broadway (for which it won a Tony) and is based on the legendary
Gershwins’ Girl Crazy. The romantic musical features some of the best
Gershwin songs from across their career with favourites like “I Got Rhythm”
and “Someone to Watch Over Me” anchoring the emotional journey.
Another Tony winning classic with music by an iconic duo (this time Rodgers
& Hammerstein), Cinderella is sure to be one of the biggest productions
in April, if not all of 2017. While the classic tale has the music and grandeur
you’d expect (a full symphony orchestra will perform its score live), the
Jubilee has promised a few suprise tweaks.
Rock of Ages
April 21-June 25
The classic dilemma: Shall we have dinner before or after the show? Well,
why not during? Stage West is bringing back the big, bad rock ‘n’ roll of the
‘80s with their production of Rock of Ages. Set on the Sunset Strip in the
time of big hair and bigger riffs, the show depicts the fight to save the Strip
from demolition and a young janitor’s desires to become a rockstar and get
the girl of his dreams.
Exploder April 25-28
The daring Ghost River Theatre are back with a collaboration between their
company and the students of Western Canada High School. Using their
audio-visual technical skills, radical storytelling methods and teen angst
plucked right from the source, Exploder is a tale of teenage intensity told
through visual poetry.
1979 is a work of Canadian political history theatre ripe with satirical humour.
Characters like Prime Ministers Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney, Pierre Trudeau and
Stephen Harper use their wits to duke out the path to power. This hilarious,
mature content from the notoriously immature world of politics.
THE SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
One of Shakespeare’s most iconic works, MacBeth returns to The Shakespeare
Company after receiving rave reviews in 2016. Exploring ambition,
power, evil and the supernatural, this is one of The Bard’s most enduring
works for a reason. 2016 reviews called it deeply frightening and specifically
noted the masterful fight choreography. If you’ve never seen MacBeth or
simply appreciate fresh life blown into a classic, this is the show for you.
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 13
THE GOLDEN PENIS
gender dynamics in dance theatre
by Jennifer Thompson
photo: Citrus Photography
Ah, that agonizing hard on!
Feminism is a hot topic these days, especially in
the context of what it means to men. Stories
about bullying women are still making headlines,
perpetuating male stereotypes. Trump’s “nasty woman”
or “grabbing” comments are popular examples,
but closer to home, the rhetoric of Robin Camp and
accusations of Sandra Jansen reminds us that sexism
is still alive and well. Where most of us want to turn
the other cheek when faced with these cringe-worthy
tales, one local artist, Mark Kunji Ikeda, is asking his
audience to take a close look at the concept of the
domineering male and the gender power struggle, in
an attempt to keep the conversation going.
Ikeda is the creator of The Golden Penis, a “highly
physical” dance performance showing April 12 – 16
at the West Village Theatre and is the debut piece
of the Cloudsway Dance Theatre. Ikeda recognized
that there’s a risk in debuting with such a sensitive
and polarizing subject, but feels that theatre is place
to explore the uncomfortable. “I’m interested in triggering
the audience and emotional entertainment,”
says Ikeda. “[The Golden Penis] is about seeing how
women are treated and looking at those dark truths.
I’m hoping the performance will evoke an emotional
Ikeda was inspired by what masculinity means
when suddenly taking a hard look at his own male
instincts. “I was dropping a girl off on a date and when
she ended it, my first instinct was to keep asking, ‘Are
you sure?’ I suddenly realized that instinct to push was
wrong, and wondered why would I do that?” Ikeda
spent his drive home thinking about that moment,
which are what he and the cast aim to explore in The
In addition to the ten male performers and four
female performers, Ikeda has brought on a stellar
artistic team of local visionaries including dramaturg
Christopher Duthie (writer of n00b and Of Fighting
Age) as well as the Calgary Sexual Health Society’s
WiseGuyz program leader (and Calgary theatre mainstay)
The Golden Penis sets out more than anything to
inspire men to become active in the feminist movement.
“To be healthy in your masculinity means to
be healthy in your femininity,” says Ikeda when asked
what he hopes to portray with the performance.
“The interpretation is left up to the audience, and my
biggest fear is that we come off ignorant or insensitive
some how.” Be for warned, this show is not for the
light of heart, expect to be triggered one way or another.
Ikeda describes it as “a game-changing theatrical
performance exploring male privilege, patriarchy, and
The Golden Penis runs April 12-16 at the West Village
Theatre. Created by One Yellow Rabbit protege Mark
Kunji Ikeda, who was named Calgary Arts Development
Emerging Artist of 2015.
14 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY
the proud and the few
Descendents have announced a Canadian
tour and it’s tearing-up bucket lists across
Hailing from Manhattan Beach, California, the
Descendents’ first full-length album, Milo Goes
to College, was released back in ‘82. Over 35
years later, it remains one of the greatest, most
innovative, and influential punk albums to date.
Descendents are creators of fast and melodic
hardcore punk lyrically revolving around girls,
heartbreak, and coffee – but that shit is never decaf.
Since 1986, they’ve consisted of Bill Stevenson
on drums, Milo Aukerman on vocals and mascot
duties, Karl Alvarez on bass, and Stephen Egerton
Hypercaffium Spazzinate is their latest offering,
released on Epitaph Records in 2016. It came 12 years
after their last, Cool to Be You. To learn more, we
chatted with drummer Bill Stevenson about all things
“We were fortunate with Hyper Spazz, because
people kind of loved it. We were hoping for, ‘oh cool,
new Descendents and it’s not so bad,’ and that would
have been enough for us,” Stevenson explains.
“But the fact that everyone loved it, that was great.
Because when we put a record out it’s definitely
because we want to.”
Despite the 34-year long span in-between the
two albums, Hyper Spazz resonates with long time
listeners, who saw it as as a nod to College.
“You’re not the first person to tell me it reminds
them of Milo Goes to College,” Stevenson reflects.
The only and only Descendents are performing near you in May.
photo: Kevin Scanlon
“It wasn’t intentional, but there isn’t quite as much
overdrive on the guitar, so it sounds a little cleaner,
like on College. And Egerton is playing a lot more
parts where he’s using all six strings and that’s how
[original guitarist] Frank [Navetta] used to play. But, if
anything that’s just respect towards Frank.”
He continues, “He passed away a several years ago
and he’s been on our mind a lot, so maybe there’s
a little bit of Frank’s spirit on there and that’s what
people are picking up on.”
“And for whatever reason, we ended up with a
handful of songs that were really short. And that’s
one of the identifying factors of early Descendents.”
“We’re definitely known for the short songs. “I like
Food” and “Wienerschnitzel” are 11 seconds. “My
Dad Sucks” and “I Wanna Be a Bear” are like 35 seconds.
“Victim of Me” is 45 seconds. But at the same
time, “Without Love,” “Get the Time,” and “Clean
by Sarah Mac
Sheets,” those are all over three minutes.”
Concentrating on the upcoming tour and
almost 40 years of recordings, the big question
on everyone’s mind is what the set list looks like.
“We’re practicing about 39 to 42 songs. It’s a good
random sampling of what we think are the better
songs on each record. Some albums will have more
songs played than other albums and about 11 off the
This new album and tour has given hope for a Descendents-filled
future. Adding fuel to the fire, front
man Milo Aukerman departed from his full-time gig
as a Biochemist. It seems the stars are aligning for
Stevenson laughs at the observation.
“Well, yeah. We’re going to be quite a bit
more active than we have been in the last 15 to
20 years. But we’re not going that hard. We want
this to remain fun for us. We’re going medium.
We’re doing it in a marathon way, not in a 50-
yard dash kinda way.”
He finishes, “We really appreciate the support
though and we don’t take any of it for granted. We
know we’re just one step away from being that band
that can’t sell out the telephone booth. We’re all too
aware of that.”
Don’t miss your chance to catch your favourite punk
band’s favourite punk band on May 3 in Edmonton
at Union Hall, on May 6 at MacEwan Hall in Calgary,
and on August 25th in Vancouver at the Commodore
JIMMY EAT WORLD
crafting an authentic symbiosis of message and sound
In 2015, more than 20 years after the band was
formed, Jimmy Eat World returned to the studio
from a one-year break to record their ninth
studio album Integrity Blues. Drummer Zach Lind,
who started off playing the saxophone before
switching to drums at age 10, explains the effect
the break had on the recording while spending
some quality time with his family in Arizona prior
to the band’s upcoming tour.
“I think it made a big difference. I think it was the
first time we’d ever done anything like that where we
really just truly took a break and everyone was just
sort of absolved of any Jimmy Eat World responsibilities.
Yeah, I mean it really gave us a lot of new energy
for making Integrity Blues that we wouldn’t have had
had we not taken that break.”
The band, whose line-up has remained unchanged
since 1995, had high ambitions for the new record.
“The previous album Damage  kind of
sounds like we made it sort of over a weekend at a
friend’s house or something like that. It’s definitely
more casual and a little bit rawer, almost sort of more
like garage band rock. Integrity Blues is like the opposite
of that where we really wanted to make it sound
like a big studio album, like something that was more
intricate, something that has more layers.”
To realize this, Jimmy Eat World went “all out,” as
Lind describes it.
“We did everything in LA. It was the first time
Are you listening? Jimmy Eat World is playing a town near you in April!
since Futures [released in 2004 and given Gold Status
by the RIAA] that we booked like really classic, great
studio rooms to work in. We hired a producer, Justin
Meldal-Johnsen [Paramore, M83], who was incredible
to work with and really helped us achieve what we
were hoping to achieve with this album.”
The mission seems accomplished with Pitchfork
describing the record as “perhaps Jimmy Eat World’s
best record since Bleed American,” their 2001 album
that was certified platinum. The record combines
variety and the desired big sound with emotionally
matured lyrics. In tracks like “Get it right”, the
restlessness described in the chorus (“I’m destination
addicted, I just gotta be someplace else, never good
time never feel the space to get it right”) is reflected
in the unforgiving beat and a hammering guitar riff
continuing throughout the song, which is only occasionally
interrupted by a synthesizer that adds even
by Christina Zimmer
more tension to the track. “Sure and Certain” only
compares to this in terms of the felicitous interaction
of music and lyrics: the guitars are warmer, the melody
uplifting yet a bit melancholic. Only the rhythmic
drums remain forceful as ever and are stepped up
a beat later on in the harmonious and encouraging
“You are Free.”
Lyrically, the record is encouraging a different
perspective on life, to shift from focusing on a desired
outcome to appreciating the present moment.
“The general sort of theme throughout the record
is about really trying to have a perspective on your
own life and seeing things for what they really are,
appreciating those things for what they are, and maybe
not necessarily some sort of outcome that you’re
searching for,” concurs Lind.
“On the one hand it’s good to have goals.”
Concludes Lind, “it’s good to strive for something
but on the other hand, by being so fixated on
whatever outcome we’re looking for, we can miss the
present moment. We fail to appreciate what we have
Jimmy Eat World performs at the Commodore Ballroom
in Vancouver on April 26th, The Palace Theatre
in Calgary on April 28th, The Startlite Room in Edmonton
on April 29th, O’Brian’s Event Centre in Saskatoon
on April 30th and the Garrick Centre in Winnipeg on
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 17
Vancouver’s Mod Squad — a sharp, smart, break out
Fashionism? Fashion fascists? Fashionistas? Some people might tag you as a Mod revival band, but any smart
Mod will tell you that their lock down on style never went out of fashion... Mod is the future for evermore!
What’s your take on that?
JOSH: Sharp dressing is never out of style and the Mod style lasted for a reason. As far as our band style we
were just looking at all these old bands that had a specific look that was tied to their subculture. Like when
punks were punks and Two-Tone was an actual thing with history and rules and not just a tag to sell Fred
Perrys and Shermans. Subculture gave an identity and a space to people that were disenfranchised or looking
for some sense of belonging. It had strict rules because it had to. These days it costs a lot of money to pay
attention to those rules. It’s one of the many reasons we’ll be elbowing our way past you in the thrift stores as
well as the record stores. It’s not just a game to us. We were kicking around names that would help define an
aesthetic rather than just be a throwaway name. Jeff was studying history in College and working as a tailor at
the time and we all joked about how the name was really cheeky sounding. Like we didn’t want to be thought
of as lazy, thrown together kind of group, we try to pay attention to detail and wear our influences proudly. I
think the people that are searching for that stuff can pick it out and appreciate it.
Indeed, there’s a lot going in the band’s sound, a lot of deep roots... Caribbean dancehall, ska, punk, the
Specials, the Jam, Northern Soul, Brill Building., even Mott the Hoople. Not anything in particular, but a
melting pot of style, sound and ideas. How would you describe Fashionism’s music here and now?
JOSH: I never thought the first thing to come out as far as comparisons would be dancehall and ska but I’ll
take it. When we first started we had a definitive approach to play early ‘70s Glam and ‘60s Bubblegum. It
didn’t work out. Our record collections are way too apparent in our playing and though we have lots of Mud,
Sweet and 1910 Fruitgum Company records but we also have thousands of punk singles from ‘76 to ’83. The
glory years of the “new wave” in all of its forms straight through to hardcore punk. It’s what we learned to play
our instruments to and anything that we do is going to be influenced by the same. We’re all big record idiots
so delving into the sounds that influenced that stuff is a big part of it as well. I think that we come across as an
apprehensive, 2017 powerpop band that is critical of the trade off that relates to quality and sincerity for the
immediacy of modern convenience and throwaway culture.
This band is about having fun, seizing the moment, breaking out, bending the rules, and defiance. Mods
may conform to a certain look, but they don’t play the game. Songs like “We Got It Wrong,” “Smash the
State,” “Subculture Suicide,” “Where Have All The Rock ‘n’ Roll Girls Gone”... all your songs throw down the
gauntlet, present a challenge the sterility of gentrification. I’d say Fashionism is radicalism.
JOSH: Yeah, I don’t know that we’re the most political band, but we try not to have the most vacant lyrics
ALL of the time. I think we are a rock ‘n’ roll band that is in extremely scary times and it all relates back to what
we’re playing. Some bands have a really severe political approach, especially when it relates to punk. One of the
most amazing things to me is the Northern Ireland punk scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Civil unrest everywhere and
it’s all so totally fractured, yet a bunch of teenagers come out playing pop music influenced by the New Wave
and record some of the most timeless love songs ever. Like five kids record “Teenage Kicks” and meanwhile
there are car bombs exploding on their streets and very real battle lines are being drawn everywhere. If we’re
doing this properly, and I hope that we are, we can ride the balance between writing songs that are critical of
the world around us while still taking into account that it is very important to make out with someone at the
gig, to fall in love, to live for rock ‘n’ roll and play music that is based in desperation without being negative and
foreboding. Sincerity is everything. Without it, what’s the point?
Fashionism, a super group from Vancouver featuring members of Tranzmitors, The Jolts, New Town Animals, and
the Orange Kyte, play the Palomino Friday, April 28.
18 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
alchemical live performances and a twice-mastered record
Close Talker’s newest album Lens comes out April 21st.
photo: Dylan McAmmond
On the cusp of their third release Lens, Canadian trio Close Talker
are fully geared up to ensure listeners get the full picture of who
they are in 2017. Lens features songs that emulate the -40 degree
Saskatoon environment they wrote the LP in, pushing that home grown
feel while creating a healthy balance between upbeat tracks and a song
you wouldn’t mind cozying up inside with. From the raw energy in “All
of Us” and the rhythmic “OK Hollywood,” to the album closer “Seasonal
Friends,” there is an overall sense of growth displayed personally and within
the band’s dynamics. Released on April 21st, the album’s 10 songs are
an emotive balance of indie electronica rock and pop dynamics, with soft
vocals, unusual signatures in the drums, and angular riffs.
“We made it a bit more drum heavy,” explains vocalist and guitarist Will
by Jamie Goyman
Quiring, who is bolstered by second guitarist and vocalist Matthew Kopperud,
and drummer Christopher Morien. Former bassist Jeremy “Jerms”
Olson is no longer part of the band, so Close Talker decided to fill in for
him. We were “wanting to fill the bass out that way, incorporated more
synths; the album is a snapshot of where we were in our lives really so the
title Lens plays a role in setting the album in place.”
With the entire band heavily playing a part in songwriting, the creative
influence and diversity shared between the three becomes more apparent
with each album produced, specifically hearing the camaraderie they share
and growth they’ve experienced throughout their 10+ year friendship.
“I think that’s what makes us the band we are, when we play together
live we know how to play off of each other’s creativity and know where the
other guys want to take the song before it even happens,” tells Quiring.
Their continuous adaptation of group dynamics and progression through
each album shows Close Talker has found their identity as a band, always
ensuring to expand creatively with each project they work on.
Coming off of their third round at SXSW, the guys of Close Talker are
focused on ensuring that quality is what they are giving to audiences when
they hit their North American and European tours.
“There’s two keyboards, two guitars, bass pedals, drums, a drum pad
and only three of us,” Quiring explains.
“I think we are very intentional with everything we record, with Lens we
had the whole album mastered twice because we were thinking about the
order so much that we had to spend the extra cash to redo it. We are really
passionate about what we create and put out and want to put our best
With that amount of care put into their music it’s easy to see why Close
Talker has become a favorite of many.
Close Talker’s Western Canada tour includes dates like April 28th at Commonwealth
in Calgary, April 29th at The Needle in Edmonton, and April 30th at Bo’s
in Red Deer. They will be performing with Yes We Mystic and Lost Cousins.
taking disco to the jungle on latest LP
Tommy Grimes can be described in a variety of ways. The Edmonton artist
comes across as interesting, eccentric, or in his own words, “sexy.” His latest
album, King of the Jungle, definitely reflects this.
“There’s lots of sexual elements in the music,” says Grimes. He laughs, acknowledging
how titillating his shtick is.
“It’s an exciting album, there’s a lot of energy, sexual energy going on.”
Producer Robert Burkosky played a major influence on its style, says Grimes.
Burkosky drew from different musical influences including [British post punk band]
Scritti Politti, [American dance music artist] Bobby Orlando and [freestyle R&B husband
and wife duo] Nu Shooz. Personally, Grimes finds vocal influence in other artists
like The B-52’s, Blondie, and David Bowie.
The album was completed in only a few short months, and Grimes believes it speaks
for itself. There are eight tracks in total, ranging from title “King of the Jungle” to one of
Grimes’ favourites, “Choke Chain.”
“There’s a special place in my heart for all the songs,” he clarifies.
The disco approach and unique soundscape makes for a stand-alone album that’s
highly unusual when placed in its 2017 context.
“I feel like there’s not a lot of that going on right now,” says Grimes. “That was what
made me excited about working on the sound was that I didn’t hear anything like this
going on or being released recently, so that made it a lot of fun.”
It’s not just his disco sound that makes Grimes interesting, but also his wildly sexually
live persona and bright neon outfits. When asked about his style, Grimes just laughs.
“I do get asked about this, and I never know what to say.”
“Something unexpected always happens at the shows. Last show was really fun, I
did a few costume changes and there was a gorilla on stage, there were bananas flying,”
says Grimes, laughing.
“I played a show in Calgary before where everybody was taking their clothes off,” he
recalls. A gorilla, backup dancers in the form of The Night Sweats, and more might also
make an appearance… Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.
“You never know what’s going to happen.”
Tommy Grimes performs at Local 510 in Calgary on April 13.
Expect gorillas, backup dancers, and nudity, OH MY!
by Amber McLinden
photo: Veronica McGinnins
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 19
deryck whibley learns to live again
After realizing “I was probably an alcoholic”, Derek Whibley gets his life back.
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. Neither Whibley
nor his doctors knew if he was ever going to get
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
photo: JW Hopeless
lyric suddenly surfaced.
“What am I fighting for? Everything back and
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
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 newest
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. The title track, for
example, refers to the constant noise that blared in
“I actually felt like I was going crazy for a while and
I thought I’d done some serious brain damage that,
like, this is it — this is how I end up like one of those
guys on the street, screaming at nobody,” he says. Cinematic
moments that appear throughout the record
by Sarah Mac
indicate the way Whibley regained his guitar fingering
— playing along to muted Quentin Tarantino and
Tim Burton movies.
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. It felt odd
not to play together again, so they did, with Baksh’s
official return also marking Whibley’s to the stage
at the 2015 Alternative Press Music Awards. 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 the Shaw Conference Centre in
Edmonton on April 13th and at Grey Eagle Casino in
Calgary on April 14th with Papa Roach.
U.K. punk act make Western Canada debut
Legendary UK punk act Menace formed in 1976 and is making
their first ever Western Canada appearances this month,
thanks to a Facebook cold call placed by Chris Schwartz
from Calgary’s Streetlight Saints. A few exchanges later, Menace
was booked for dates across the region with Schwartz and
company in tow. Given their passion for the U.K. group, we had
Streetlight Saints’ member Glen Murdoch chat with Noel Martin
to check in.
NM: We have a real problem with rehearsals in that we live hours
away from each other... In fact I am the only original member and
the only one still living in London. As we have played for a number of
years, we don’t need to rehearse as much as we used to, although we
still do new songs in the set. Generally what we do is rehearse the day
before or the day of the show, which is generally enough for us. When
we are writing for albums, we get together over a long weekend either
in Bournemouth or in London and just play non-stop 12 hours a day.
by Glen Murdoch
Beatroute: How do you feel about modern punk rock as
opposed to how it was way-back-when?
Noel Martin: When we started to play punk there were many good
bands and some bad ones. However, even the bad ones played it from
their heart and really enjoyed themselves. I think today is also really
good and there are lots of really good bands, obviously some of those
bands are still the ones that were around in the ‘70s, [like] U.K. Subs,
999, The Vibrators.
BR: What do you think of the whole Brexit thing? Will that
make it harder to tour around Europe?
NM: It’s very hard to say what Brexit will mean in the future, but if
it’s the same as it was in the past, it will be harder for bands to play
in Europe. All of your equipment, guitars, and amps will need to be
logged with a copy of the list for each border control. There may be a
limit on how much money or how much duty-free (Jägermeister) we
can bring back home.
BR: What are your rehearsals generally like? For instance,
do you have a set time each week in which you practice or
are rehearsals more geared towards prepping for gigs?
BR: You were last in Canada in 2014, in Montreal for a St.
Patrick’s Day gig, correct? What are you expecting in Canada
this time around regarding scenery, people, how the
shows will go?
NM: Yes, we played St. Patrick’s Day in Montréal in 2014. I didn’t
think it was so long ago but I’ve just checked and I’ve got the
glass to prove it... We are looking forward [to] playing in Canada
this time because we will get to see some of the country. I think
apart from the shows, a real highlight for us will be driving over
the Rocky Mountains…. [It] sounds like a bucket list thing to me. I
may even try to stay sober for that.
To finish off, I would just like to say from myself and the entire
band, as I know they feel the same: the fact that we are still playing
after 40 years is, for us, a privilege that we don’t take lightly. We really
appreciate all our fans, all the promoters out there, and all the other
bands that play with us or let us play with them. I wanna say a big
thanks, from all of us, because you make us feel brilliant!
Menace perform in Edmonton at DV8 on April 5, in Calgary at Vern’s
on April 6, in Victoria at Logan’s Pub on April 7, and in Vancouver at
Pat’s Pub on April 8.
Noel Martin talks history, gratitude, and good old-fashioned drinking.
20 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
an Old Fashioned talk about the deadly serious
The Cat and Fiddle Pub is an old funeral home,
fitting for a Forbidden Dimension interview.
But, alas, not the chosen interview location.
The Spicy Hut, a fun favourite of foodies was also an
option, mainly because they have a nice selection of
good but not overly priced bourbons.
In an exchange of emails, PT Bonham, FD’s masked
man behind the drums declined. “No, that is insane!
It is a restaurant. You come to our house and we will
give you alcohol. Not a lot, mind you, but some.”
At the home and FD’s practice space that PT
shares with bassist Virginia Dentata (google vagina
dentata about the folk lore of a “toothed vagina”), I’m
meet with warm smiles, guided to the living room
where a charcuterie board full of meat, cheese and
bread sits on the coffee table along with promised
alcoholic beverage — an Old Fashioned, the crown
glory of bourbon whisky cocktails.
Jackson Phibes, FD’s creative director, is waiting as
well as we begin the topic of conversation, the band’s
eighth full-length recording, It’s A Morbid, Morbid,
Morbid World. PT says it’s a tip of the hat to the 1963
slapstick comedy It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,
“But don’t go looking for any Buddy Hacket bits here,
this serious rock!”
Although framed in FD’s legendary comic book
tradition, Morbid World, along with the first track
played during the listening party, “Blood Drained
Peasants,” evokes some uneasy, even queasy sentiment,
hinting that maybe this record might be a
tad serious, reflecting on the miserable state of the
world. When discussing the track, Jersey Kosinksi,
who wrote The Painted Bird, the disturbing story
of a gypsy boy wandering lost in eastern regions of
Poland at the end of World War II is mentioned.
PT looks at Phibes, chuckles then says, “You should
tell him the real inspiration.”
“Do you remember Speak?” asks Phibes. “The
Hungarian rapper with that video “Stop The War?”
PT and Phibes break into a sing-a-long mocking
the song’s lyrics and melody in very an unflattering
manner. Poor Speak, the video is horrendous. “And
those back-up singers doing the chorus.” adds Phibes.
“They’re so pale, they’re blue! These peasant, stock,
back-up singers with red hair are pale blue, like skim
milk. That’s what their skin was like.”
No, it’s unlikely FD has any serious intention of
wrestling with the woes of the world. Unless, of
course, that involves the lighter side of absurdity and,
or, the darker side of clowning around. Another film
classic enters the conversation: Around The World In
80 Days, a goofy star-studded action farce made in
the ‘50s. PT abruptly says, “Around the morbid world
in 80 graves.” The remark sets off Phibes who laughs,
blurting out, “Yeah, there’s your title!”
But roaming the globe is certainly part of the FD
experience. One of Phibes’ recent musical forays is
writing vigorous rock riffs and flowing melodies that
have a distinctive Eastern European flair: a combination
of playful gypsy-folk and sweeping operatics
fused with the onslaught of duo Iron Maiden guitar
solos. FD puts a gloomy spin on prog-rock. Phibes
mulls over that particular analysis, stokes his beard,
squints his eyes, then poises the question: “So, do you
mean prog-rock or Prague rock?” Ah, there’s no way
out of this funhouse!
One of several instrumental tracks on the record
is a gate-crasher called “Cobraballs,” that begins with
the tribal pounding of floor toms before thundering
down the speedway. The introduction, says PT, is
taken from “the war drums of the Navajo.” Smirking
he adds, “I was trying to get out of Europe and take
it back to North America.” Mission accomplished.
Phibes explains that the idea of cobra balls comes
from old hot rods stickers designed in the ‘60s that
looked like snakes with big wheels attached to them.
“We just changed the wheels into a pair of balls.” PT
pipes in, “Testicles,” to clarify.
Another exotic instrumental is “The Devil Came
Down To The Kanaloa,” a swanky psychedelic surf
number made to swig back spicy, tiki bar cocktails then
sashay out on the dance floor or down to the beach
for a midnight stroll. FD dips into dreamy waters.
Switching it up, “Time Of The Superdruids” opens
with Virginia’s pulsing bassline, reminiscent of those
hypnotic Manchester pill-popping bands from
the ’80s and ‘90s and continues with an infectious,
trippy groove and mood throughout. Shy and sweet,
Virginia’s the rose between two thorns in FD. Yet her
punchy bass playing is a potent driving force giving
the band a newfound, buoyant enthusiasm. Phibes
agrees, “I love the last record we did (Every Twisted
Tree Watches You), but there was such a cloud of
neglect hanging over it. One person was phoning in
their parts when we recorded, and the label we had
sort of lost its distribution when we put it out. ”
Better days ahead. Back to the Prague, er progrock.
“Devil’s Night Park” is a true testament to the
eclectic genius of FD. It starts off with an eerie, piercing
swell of electric guitar sounding like a killer drone
zooming in for the attack, while the bass growls and
rumbles below. PT then slams hard into a militant
burst of stop ‘n’ start rolls before they all crash head
long into a rip-roaring tear down the drag strip. Midway
through Phibes shifts into prog-mode and out
of nowhere slips in a short and sweet, but ambitious
Blackmoresque solo before floating back down into
a surf serenade. “My favourite part,” sighs Virginia.
Around the world in 80 graves indeed! That’s helluva
lot of territory to cover in 3:30 minutes.
And it’s not over yet…
When “Festering Violet” is cued up, PT
interjects, “I like this one. It’s got horns in it.”
No doubt a bit of a deviation for FD. Even more
so as the song builds into a big, brassy movie
theme with its showy production. Similarly, while
“Werewolf Bongo Party” isn’t a radical departure
with its B-movie overtones, the slow, meandering,
beatnik trance certainly has an inviting, unexpected
romantic glow. PT’s breathy werewolf
groans and moans at the end, bring the charming
love fest to a collapse.
Last but not least (including seven songs not
discussed here), “Morbid World” the record’s title
track is begins and the question about “Is this serious
commentary?” comes up again. Before getting
into any of that, PT’s points out, “There’s a real
R&B rave-up going on here,” as the song blasts out
of the sound system. “Yeah, Phibes nods and says,
“A garage rock attempt at R&B. Like white skinny
guys in Cleveland who…” PT interrupts, “Sound
like black skinny guys in New York.”
And the lyrics? Are they about the end of the
world? “No,” says Phibes, “Not the end of the
world. Each verse tells a different story, about
various morbid worlds. Sure, it’s gross, but if
you can see the humour in it, you can get by.
There’s one part about the prehistoric ocean
that once covered this area and all the dead
sea creatures left behind. The idea is nothing
lasts forever, we’re all going to be dead at some
point,” chuckles Phibes.
PT cracks his fablous wide smile, “And the R&B
rave-up will live on.”
Forbidden Dimension is issuing It’s A Morbid, Morbid,
Morbid, Morbid World in CD format, which they feel is
“way ahead of curve these days.” See them live and pick
up the CD on Sat., April 22 at the Oak Tree Tavern.
It’s A Morbid,
by B. Simm
FD gig poster for Morid World CD release show.
22 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
marking new territory with booze, love, and rock ‘n’ roll
You’ve likely already heard the
spellbinding sounds of Calgary’s Bad
Animal on the streets of downtown.
Their mesmerizing indie rock riffs conjoin
with heart and hip captivating bass,
anchored by rhythmic drums. Fronted by
a forceful frontman with lively vocals, they
create the soundtrack to your perfectly
sweaty night out. Time spent with the band
generally ends the same way: with a room
is full of people blissfully drenched in beer
Bad Animal has left their mark in Calgary
but they are hungry for more. With the goal
of meeting new faces and creating a fan
base that stretches from coast-to-coast, the
five guys are heading east.
“The goal is to be more hung over than I
am now,” jokes frontman Ben Painter.
“We just want to have a blast and make
[each] city ours.”
“We’ve been told it’s a bad idea,” mentions
drummer Trevor Stoddart.
“But, if we want to become a touring band
we need go to the next step,” adds Painter.
The aim is to melt faces, surprise the
unsuspecting, and pull an assortment of
untouched crowds into the riot that is a Bad
“I want people to stop caring and just
have fun,” says Stoddart.
He jokes, “I want people to feel how I feel,
but not look how I look.”
The Bad Animal fanbase has grown
significantly since their inception. After
recording their debut full-length Tonight at
local studio OCL and releasing it to much
acclaim, the band embarked on a tour with
Vancouver garage pop acts JPNSGRLS.
They’ve headlined the Listen Up! benefit
for the Calgary Distress Centre, and were
granted an opening slot for SWMRS and
Blink-182 in Calgary. Now, they’re hitting
venues near you once more to both deliver
and nail new material.
Trying out new songs in familiar places, the
fresh tracks are getting an amazing response.
“People seem to be liking it better than
our old stuff,” says the band, laughing.
“We’re getting better and the new songs
seem to be a good addition,” says guitarist
With new demos to be released in May,
plans to tour twice more this year, and the
potential release of new album, the boys
from Bad Animal won’t be slowing down
any time soon.
Bad Animal’s tour kickoff show is April 5th at
Commonwealth in Calgary with Cowpuncher,
Crooked Spies, and guests. Check www.badanimal.ca/
for more upcoming tour dates.
Bad Animal want to spread their love around.
by Jackie Klapak
photo: Alix Au
late night movies
$5 pints, $1 oysters
$1/2 off wine
$7 beer flights
$5 draft pints
$3 jack daniels
it takes two to torch the place
Local sultry rock duo Dane release “Burning Man” in April.
It starts with a tiny spark, a crackle as the heat
turns to flame…. And finally, there is a roaring
blaze. The fires of frustration sweeping through
the body start from the tips of the ears, burrowing
into the pit of a stomach, eventually turning it into
a molten rage.
“Burning Man,” the latest single from Calgary’s
precocious low-end duo Dane, takes the listener on
this heated journey. It’s a song they say was born of a
sombre time, that became so much more.
photo: Justin Quaintance
“Even for a sadder song, it still has a punch
and a dance-y vibe to it,” describes drummer
This punchy, vibrant intensity has become Dane’s
signature sound. Known for their fuzzed out and
groovy jams, the band especially began taking a hold
on the Calgary music scene after several appearances
at community building weekly Rockin 4 $. With
an appearance at BIG Winter Classic and an album
release under their belts, the band is gearing up to
by Willow Grier
take their sound to greater heights, following up with
a music video and second record release to come later
in the year.
Upon listening to their self-titled debut, it’s easy
to note the attention to detail and strong musical
backgrounds both musicians have. For bassist/vocalist
Trenton Fawcett, who attended Selkirk College to
study Contemporary Music and Composition, there
is a unique challenge to only having two members in
“We’re trying to bring a different sort of innovation
when it comes to having a two-piece rock band,” he
explains. “It can be seen as limiting, but it’s an interesting
challenge for us to push outside of the boundaries
and create a fuller sound. When people hear us before
they see us live, they tend to think we’re a full band.”
To get a taste for Dane’s chops, they recommend
“Astriction of Inclination,” one of the “first songs
[they] jammed together,” as Muzychka recalls.
“It’s about sexual tension so it really spices up the
vibe when we play it live,” laughs Fawcett.
The track is a slow burn that winds and grooves
through a fuzzed out, sultry build up and well encapsulates
what the duo is capable of. But the true magic
of Dane lies within that live jam.
“With the recorded songs there is a certain level of
amplitude,” says Fawcett. “But when we get to play
the songs live they are so much more explosive.”
The fiery tunes of Dane continue as they release
“Burning Man” on April 7th in digital format. Stay
tuned for their music video release in months to
come and catch them live at Getto Boys Bar and Grill
in Calgary April 29th.
24 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
photo: Zach Hertzman
April 14 at Commonwealth
Scooting away from her jaunt opening for Local Natives, Little Scream drops into Calgary almost exactly a
year since the release of her LP Cult Following. That record saw her expand her indie folk-rock into something
decidedly fresher, thanks in part to contributions by members of The National and TV On The Radio, along with
Sufjan Stevens and Sharon Van Etten.
May 6 at Broken City
This is not a drill. An honest-to-God Ramone is playing the intimate stage at Broken City. Whether or not
you’re on team Dee Dee, there’s no denying that this is a rare opportunity to catch a member of music
history’s elite in a face-to-face setting.
April 13 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
The Pet Sounds 50th anniversary tour rolls on with Brian Wilson playing the record in its entirely as well as
some choice cuts from both the Beach Boys’ and his own catalogue. If you need context on the importance
of that record, you’re reading the wrong magazine. Go get your tickets right now, this second, by any
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 25
I HATE SEX
screamo quartet enjoying their meteoric rise
I Hate Sex release World of Grief in April.
There were no topics left off the table when
BeatRoute interviewed I Hate Sex vocalist
Nicole Boychuk at the Art Gallery of Alberta.
We sat on the brightly lit third floor during
Boychuk’s lunch break one afternoon, enjoying an
honest and frank conversation.
Since 2014, the socio-politically inclined
screamo/powerviolence band has thrived on a
fast paced and DIY work ethic that’s allowed for
multiple updates and changes based on what has
(and hasn’t) worked. Boychuk admitted she hadn’t
attempted her unique growl until the very first
photo: Chantal Piat
“I thought I could do it and I just went for it,”
she explained casually. “I went to a voice workshop
led by Not Enough Fest and it was awesome to
learn breathing techniques and how to warm up
from people I admired like [bassist] Stacy [Burnett]
and [vocalist] Corby [Burnett] of Mahria. I
can’t sing. That’s why I scream. I’m awful at singing.
I can’t hit notes and I sound like a dying whale.
People ask me questions about screaming and I
have no answers. It’s weird. I just know I can do it.”
The group’s 2015 release Circle Thinking set the
tone for their characteristically abrasive, angular
sound. On the new record, World of Grief, the
shrieked vocals still cut like knives and it’s clear
the band has had time to think about what they
were laying down. The result is a tighter and more
“When we first released Circle Thinking, we
didn’t think anyone was going to listen to it,”
offered Boychuk, smiling bashfully.
“We just wanted the experience of being a local
band and playing a few shows. I guess now, having
two new band members, it gave us a chance to be
more self-conscious about our sound. There was a
lot more thought about the album as a whole. The
first album we made songs and put them together,
but World of Grief we spent more time talking
about the songs and how we wanted the album to
be. It’s also more me. It’s about my life and immediate
Between Circle Thinking and World of Grief, I
Hate Sex added Matt Wayne on bass and Byron
Mayor on drums. As he has since their inception,
Ashton Burns plays guitar. The line-up change
came swiftly last spring, shortly before the band
set out on a nine-day tour of Japan planned by a
“We got a message from someone saying he
loved our band and he set it all up! He drove us
around and we stayed at his house,” explains
She adds, “It was just the best experience!”
Despite already touring Japan and soon
embarking on a tour of Europe, Boychuk remains
by Brittany Rudyck
somewhat skeptical of the attention I Hate Sex has
received. The band is metaphorically exploding in
popularity, and it’s left the members somewhat
“I don’t know why we became so successful. It’s
weird. It’s wild,” she says.
“I like it, but I just don’t get it.”
With the support of U.K. based Dog Knights
Productions, the all-ages and safe space advocating
band will be picking up 500 vinyl copies of the new
album just in time for their tour in Europe, which
begins in late April and continues into early May.
“We’re gunna pick them up at a festival we’re
playing so we have to pack around the records and
we’re hoping for the best!”
Massive supporters of the scene as both showgoers
and band members, Boychuk believes in
inclusivity, advocating for the safety and involvement
of all. She seemed optimistic about the hardcore
and heavier scenes moving in that direction,
which perhaps explains why she stepped into a
mosh pit for the first time this past December.
“It was Cold Lungs’ final show. It was such a
beautiful moment,” she reminisced.
“I think it’s a chain reaction of feeling welcome,
feeling comfortable and making friends. I’ve been
going to these shows for a few years now and in
December I was finally brave enough to get in
there. I was wearing a dress, too!”
The new I Hate Sex album World of Grief will be
released April 20th. The band will have vinyl, cassette,
and digital versions for sale soon.
SUICIDE HELP LINE
classic punk transmitted through a veil of Pink Jazz
It was in 2013 that vocalist Logan Turner noticed there was a lack
of an older punk sound in the Edmonton music scene. In response,
he created the band Suicide Helpline that year as a recorded solo
project, releasing his first album Ready To Die on December 25, 2013.
“It got a lot of people interested in that ’77 punk sound, as opposed to
that modern punk sound that we largely see in the city,” says Turner.
Fast-forward four years and Suicide Helpline has transitioned into a
high energy, four-piece group. Kevin Maimann, Stu Chell, Adam Orange,
and Turner all knew each other through Edmonton’s music scene, but
it wasn’t until a year ago that the boys decided to turn Suicide Helpline
into a live project. Due to their unique sound, Suicide Helpline has
been able to play at least once a month at a variety of different shows
in Edmonton. Time between performances has been spent working on
Suicide Helpline’s debut full-length Pink Jazz, out April 29.
Pink Jazz was recorded in Turner’s basement studio and put together
almost entirely independently. The title reflects the juxtaposition of
gritty punk and the smooth, neon lights of glam that Turner has always
been fascinated by. It’s the diverse musical backgrounds of each band
member that helps give Pink Jazz its unique sound.
“We all bring our own influences in some small way and it gives [the
album] this strange flavour that you can’t quite put your finger on,” says
Despite their varied musical history, it was the immediate energy and
rawness of punk music that attracted the group to the genre.
“I comically know very little about punk. But rather than getting into
it through listening to other people’s music, I really got into it by writing,”
The inspiration behind many of the songs holds a deeper meaning
for Turner. With the lyrical focus centering on suicide and depression,
Suicide Hotline releases their debut full-length April 29th.
they reflect on what music has become for him both psychologically
“Music is very much like a crisis line: something that you turn to in
times of internal struggle and it has been that for me throughout my
youth and hard times,” explains Turner. He adds, “The name Suicide
Helpline means a lot to me.”
Since the release of their self-titled EP last year, the group has worked
on expanding their sound and musicianship. The year has been full of
live shows and testing their boundaries, a process full of musical surprises
that has resulted in songs they originally never thought would work.
“Playing together for the past year has helped us figure out where we
by Jessica Robb
all should be,” reflects drummer Chell. “It’s cool ‘cause we’ve just grown
All told, Pink Jazz contains 14 tracks of catchy pop hooks run through
a punk filter, which sums up Suicide Helpline as a band.
“It’s full of songs that you can share with your parents, but still be
offensive to teenagers,” says Turner.
“Take everything you just heard with the title Pink Jazz and let’s
Suicide Helpline will perform at the release show for Pink Jazz on April
29th in Edmonton with Fashionism.
26 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
BOOK OF BRIDGE
lo-fi post-punk trio expels new releases
WINT has released two new albums thus far in 2017.
Brandon Saucier is the mad scientist behind
Lethbridge’s new lo-fi post-punk band, WINT.
Anchored by a forceful, sturdy rhythm section,
the band utilizes an ultra-harsh layer of melodic
guitar tones that’ll have you dishing with your music-nerd
friends for days after attending their show.
The trio currently has three EP’s available on
cassette and Bandcamp. Their self-titled debut was
released in April 2015; two years later we received
Revelation and New Content in rapid succession.
“The whole crux of the operation is just to be recording
all the time. So, I try and record songs every
day. At least one,” explains Saucier.
“Most of it’s stuff I’d never want to use but doing
it so often, gems just come out. Then, when there’s a
string of gems, I’ll just put them together and release
Saucier writes and records alone and has been
experimenting with oddball music equipment since
his teen years. His bandmates, bassist Hope Madison
and drummer Rebecca McHugh, say they usually
don’t learn the songs until they’ve already been
recorded and are up on Bandcamp.
The trio are a collection of friends with similar
likes in sound.
“My roommate/partner [Madison] wanted to
be in the band – I was like, ‘yep!’ Rebecca is just the
drummer in Lethbridge that I like and am friends
with. I played with her in another band [Participation]
that was great. So, it was just super easy.”
After performing vocals and noise in different
versions of the group during 2016, Madison suggested,
“Maybe I should just learn to play bass because
we don’t have a bass player.” Two weeks later, WINT
played their first show with the current incarnation.
January release Revelation gained attention from
local show-goers just as the new year rolled in. The
recordings are a firm balance between aggressively
by Curtis Windover
photo: Courtney Faulkner
lo-fi and GET-OUT-OF-MY-HEAD-catchy (refer to
track six, suitably dubbed “soft spoken”). Although
Saucier’s vocals sit low and his lyrics can be tricky
to decipher, a handful of poetic images jump out
in each song. The EP critiques modern life vaguely
enough to invite listeners to form their own interpretations,
and therefore to ponder their own place
in the modern world.
“I tend to just have these inspiration bursts that
last for weeks where I’m writing every day. Then I
have it all written down in a big binder full of lyrics.
If I’m recording a song I just pull something out and
use that,” says Saucier of his lyric writing process.
Creative bursts were pertinent to the March
release, New Content, but Saucier admits they
won’t be performing a couple of the new tracks live
“Some songs from the new one were written only
month or two ago,” says Saucier. “And now we’re trying
to learn them but I forgot a bunch of the stuff.”
His focus shifts quickly forward, which gives
one more reason to get your hands on the
cassette before the tracks become lost artifacts.
The simplistic (yet bouncy and industrial) drum
fill in the opening song “Movement” will launch
you into the WINT experience without restraint.
The aesthetic is cohesive, bare bones, and
shouldn’t leave you with many questions, save
one: is there anything the world should know
“All I want them to know is that it’s all about the
music,” says Saucier.
Catch WINT live at Vangelis Tavern in Saskatoon on
April 15th. Visit wint.bandcamp.com for their latest
releases and future tour dates.
POP UP YOGA LETHBRIDGE
words and photo by Courtney Faulkner
creating accessible space for yoga
The foundation of Pop Up Yoga Lethbridge
is a collaboration between music and
movement, practice, and community. The
organization makes yoga accessible outside of the
traditional studio setting.
“There is no need for a studio,” explains founder
Fabiola Petre in her mission statement for the organization,
which has grown and flourished over the past
“We believe in yoga as a lifestyle; it´s about taking
yoga into urban spaces, parks, art galleries, retail
stores, coffee shops to hair salons and bars, there is
“Fabiola, the founder, she’s done some work in the
community with bringing live music, like live drumming
and that, to some of the classes,” says Shonna
Lamb, the yogi who has taken on the role of guiding
the organization since Petre moved to Vancouver
this past fall.
“We’ve got a series going on right now, it’s
our second round, and we tie it in with music,
so it takes place at SAAG [Southern Alberta Art
Gallery], so this series is called Vinyasa to the
Visionaries, so vinyasa is a type of yoga, you link
your breath to your movement, you flow, feels a
“I’m a product of music for sure, there was always
music going on in my house growing up, so my taste
is super diverse,” says Lamb. “I dreamt this up a long
time ago, but it took a while to get the courage to
put it out there.”
“Now we’re on week eight, and we’ve rolled
through Beastie Boys, Sublime, Nirvana, Pearl Jam,
Black Keys, Florence and the Machine, Led Zeppelin
and we wrap it [up] with [the Red Hot Chili Peppers]
Shonna Lamb and company offer Pop Up Yoga by donation in Lethbridge.
tomorrow. And the group’s grown. We cap out the
hallways at SAAG at about 36 people.”
“It’s this niche that I’ve never really seen before.
There’s a lot of art, you can just tell these are art
folk, it’s like they’ve got their soul on their sleeve,
you know you could just tell. Music, right on,
open-minded, kind. I mean, generally people you
meet on the mat do share those characteristics, but
you can tell these folks have some art to them.”
A part of creating community is also giving back
to that community, which the non-profit organization
consistently strives to do.
“What’s beautiful is that half the proceeds go
to the art gallery,” says Lamb of her Vinyasa to the
“Which is fantastic because I don’t know if much
of Lethbridge knows how highly regarded our
contemporary art museum is in Canada, we’ve got a
gem in our midst.”
“Things like this [Pop Up Yoga] help pull people
out of that studio setting and realize there’s so much
more in the community than just the conventional
sense of taking a yoga class,” says Lauren Hart, a Pop
Up Yoga teacher and founder of Lauren Hart Yoga as
well as Hawk + Harvest Market.
“It’s a discipline, but it’s also a community, and
I think that when people start seeing those same
people around it’s going to create this little family. It
already has. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful.”
Classes from Pop Up Yoga are offered weekly and
entry is by donation. They occur on Sunday mornings
at 10:00 a.m. at Casa, the Community Arts Centre
in downtown Lethbridge, as well as Wednesday evenings
at 5:30 p.m. at Southminster United Church.
28 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
letters from winnipeg
turning discontent into lemonade
Mobina Galore are taking their punk ambitions to the max.
Punk-rock road warriors Mobina Galore
have been building a rep as one of the ‘Peg’s
hardest-working acts, and now it all seems to
be paying off with the release of their sophomore
full-length, Feeling Disconnected.
After putting out their 2014 debut LP, Cities
Away, the power duo of Jenna Priestner (guitar/
photo: Dwayne Larson
vocals) and Marcia Hanson (drums/vocals) inked
a deal with European label Gunner Records, and
more recently joined the roster of New Damage
Records (Silverstein, Cancer Bats, Biblical) for North
Feeling Disconnected, as the title suggests, is informed
by a sense of detachment, spurred on by the
amount of touring they’ve been doing over the last
few years. “We’re always missing things like birthday
parties and celebrations and family stuff,” says Priestner
on the road from Ajax, Ontario.
“But when we’re home, we’re constantly missing
being on the road.”
That push and pull is further chronicled on track
“Suffer,” where Priestner’s anguished shouts tell of
career hardship, and the call of the road over going to
school and finding a regular job.
“I was constantly in this place where I felt like I
didn’t belong,” Priestner says of when she decided
to take a course and explore different career options
outside of music.
“You’re going through the motions of what’s
expected of you—go to school, graduate, get a
job—but I just didn’t want to live that life. I just felt
Reuniting with producer John Paul Peters
(Propagandhi, KEN mode, Comeback Kid) for
their second proper effort, much of the record’s
10 songs are punchy hard-and-fast blasts (hear:
“Going Out Alone”) that run around the two
and three-minute mark. There are fists-in-the-air
anthems (hear: “Vancouver”) that ring of big ambitions,
and the trials and tribulations endured in
order to get to where they are now. Indeed, these
are poppy punk tracks for feeling empowered
and chasing your dreams.
Speaking of which, they just wrapped a tour as
by Julijana Capone
support for Florida-bred punks Against Me! After a
stint through Europe with the band, the girls were
invited to hop on even more dates through the U.S.
and Canada. It’s icing on the cake for a year that
continues to look up.
“Laura [Jane Grace] was like ‘Oh my god, I love
your voice. You have the most amazing voice,’” says
Priestner, recalling her first run-in with the band’s
“I was like, ‘Oh shit. That was cool.’”
“We’ve both been Against Me! fans for years,”
Priestner continues. “It’s one of those things that you
don’t think will ever happen, and then all of the sudden
you’re on tour with them and they’re the nicest
people ever. It’s just been a dream come true.”
With another round of European dates planned
throughout April and May, and some major punk
festivals booked, including Punk Rock Bowling in Las
Vegas, everything seems to be falling into place for
“Right now, this is success—being on the road and
playing with bands that we love and admire,” says
“But at the end of the day, success is just continuing
to do what we love.”
Mobina Galore perform on April 7 at the Good Will
Social Club in Winnipeg. Feeling Disconnected is out
now via New Damage Records. To purchase it, head to
dance it out with the big other
“To be in a room full of people, if you can make them
dance as a musician, I feel like there’s nothing more
satisfying—watching people connecting in a physical
way,” says Greg MacPherson, one half of Figure Walking, about the
danceability of his latest record, The Big Other.
MacPherson is riding his bike, heading to the inner-city not-for-profit
organization where he acts as director, when he answers the phone for
our interview. The last time we spoke with the singer-songwriter and
socially engaged Winnipegger, he had just released The Big Other’s contagious
first single, “Submarines,” which alluded to an artier direction.
While the album is a debut under the new Figure Walking
banner, Greg MacPherson and ace drummer Rob Gardiner have
technically been performing together since 2011 under the Greg
MacPherson Band moniker. As MacPherson explains, the name
change was an attempt “to hit restart and to take a bit more control
over what we’re saying and how we’re approaching our messaging,
our performances, everything.”
Drawing on dub-oriented grooves and flashes of serrated post-punk
guitar stutters, there’s an exchange of wiry and rhythmic, which works
to console the tension of political and social commentary, deliberately
setting the tone for you to get up and move.
Opener “Sounds” is a response to what MacPherson describes as a
skewed celebration of militarism that is used for “disappointing political
gains,” infused with steady drum hits and frenetic, zigzagging chords.
Elsewhere, vocalist Hailey Primrose, who appeared on MacPherson’s
2013 release Fireball, takes the lead on track “Singapore,” and supplies
backing accompaniment to closer “Funeral,” whose echoing refrain
urges you to “dance until it all makes sense.”
While the songwriter’s lyrics have addressed political and social justice
topics in the past, The Big Other presents issues in more intentional
ways to the backbeat of movement-rousing rock ‘n’ roll.
“There’s so much wrong and unjust and disturbing in our world, and
I feel very sensitive to that reality,” says MacPherson. “I’m not the kind
of artist that likes to hit people over the head, but I feel an important
part of my writing is to talk about things that really matter.”
The lingering rally cry “Victorious,” for instance, was written over
several years and revolves around different themes of inequality.
MacPherson says he started to perform the song live shortly after
Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old girl from the Sagkeeng First Nation, was
“I think a lot of historically calloused local people actually started
to feel something on the surface when Tina Fontaine died,” he says.
“That’s the hopeful side of the song, hoping to maintain a sense of
“Winnipeg’s a complicated city, and a great city, but it’s not as great
for some people as it is for others,” he adds. “I really feel like we’re in an
interesting time in this city where we’ve potentially turned a corner.”
He notes the Truth and Reconciliation Report, the election of Manitoba’s
fist female Indigenous MLA, the Idle No More movement, a federal
inquiry being called into murder and missing Indigenous women
and girls, and the Dakota Access Pipeline as examples of long-awaited
changes and powerful shifts in a better direction.
If dancing can be a path to conversation and catharsis, The Big Other
seeks to do just that.
“I think people connect with music when they dance,” says
“If you have politics or issues on the mind, and you can present it in
a way that makes people feel alive, people are more connected…I think
that’s what good music can do for people. I love listening to music that
makes me want to dance.”
Figure Walking perform on April 16 at the Good Will Social Club in Winnipeg.
To purchase The Big Other, out via Disintegration Records, head to
by Julijana Capone
Figure Walking aim for political and social connectivity with their music.
photo: Kristian Jordan
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 29
CALGARY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL
by Jonathan Lawrence
comedy, animation, horror, E.T.s, cereal and more
Wild and weird meets fun and fantasy at this year’s CUFF.
The Calgary Underground Film Festival, now in its
fourteenth year, will be returning this April to shock,
startle and surprise local film lovers. Each year, the
team behind the festival somehow manages to round up a
few dozen of the most esoteric, thrilling, thought-provoking,
funny, and downright weird films you’ll ever see, and this year
is no different. Programming Director Brenda Lieberman was
able to tell us all about it.
“I love the lineup this year,” says Lieberman, positive as
ever. Her unwavering optimism towards her festivals, including
the Calgary International Film Festival, is the hard-earned
product of endless hours screening and narrowing down the
exponentially growing number of independent films submitted
each year. Selecting the films that make the final lineup
isn’t as simple as choosing names out of a hat, or by seeing
what other festivals are playing. Calgary’s film festivals are truly
crafted with the city’s audiences in mind.
“We’re always looking for a broad mix of films so we can
appeal to everybody,” she says. “There’s some that are very edgy
or provocative or challenging in different ways, but not for the
sake of it,” acknowledging the simplistic and inaccurate view
that these are films with all style and no substance. “We feel
really passionately about the films [and] connected with them
in different ways. There’s different styles for everybody. We
wanted to make sure we had an animation film this year (My
Entire High School is Sinking Into the Sea). They’re all accessibly
weird, they all have something uniquely amazing about them.”
One such film was a documentary called “Love and Saucers,”
which tells the story about an elderly man who believes
he’s had extraterrestrial communication throughout his entire
life, including having interspecies romance with one. You can’t
make this stuff up, folks, but damn if it isn’t fascinating.
“I love that film,” chimed in Lieberman.
Calgary’s art scene has been growing every year, though it’s
hard to explain why. Perhaps the demographics have shifted,
or social media has improved the exposure to these events,
but regardless, the Calgary Underground Film Festival is seeing
record attendances each year. Lieberman says if last year’s
success is any indication of this year, then they’re in business.
“[It was] the best year we had and that’s what people feel
about this year. If we keep the numbers up we can potentially
expand next year.”
Interestingly, although other underground film festivals
around North America draw bigger audiences, such as the
Chicago Underground Film Festival, Calgary’s version shows
more films and runs longer. “You’re programming to fit your
audience but you’re also having to program a little bit in a
bit of an ebb and flow and with an eye open what is going
on in your city.”
It seems though at this rate that Calgary’s may join the
ranks of Chicago or Boston. Lieberman states that each festival
works closely with one another, which she says “keeps [them]
on their toes.”
Although each film in the lineup looks promising, we asked
Lieberman which ones most excited her, a question which
proved to be as difficult to answer as the dreaded “What
kind of music do you listen to?” After some careful thought,
she conceded that the Israeli film, People That Are Not Me,
and the other world films were particularly worth seeing.
“[They’re] all outstanding. I love all of them.”
That said, she expressed how excited the festival programmers
were to obtain The Little Hours after seeing it at
Sundance, a comedy about a group of emotionally unstable
nuns starring Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman and
Fred Armisen, to name some of the comedic cast. “The second
I saw it, I said this is perfect for our opening,’ she says. “We’re
looking for something that’s going to be really fun to kick off
the festival.” She assures that it’s still going to be accessible,
despite being quirky and edgy. “Having a religious comedy on
Easter Monday we thought was perfect,” she joked.
Despite the growing success of film festivals in Calgary,
it’s not without its challenges. Digital streaming trends have
presented problems for all forms of media, and film festivals
are no exception. Lieberman explains the pace in which
things are moving to Netflix means that film distributors are
not necessarily planning festivals as part of their strategy.
She suggests that the festival might have to consider picking
up films faster than they come out or that they might have
to consider down the road what it means to show a film
that’s already been released. She stresses though that the experience
is far better with an audience. “The point of all this
is that it is more fun to come out to be part of a festival,” she
says. “It encourages conversation.”
One the best aspects of the Calgary Underground Film Festival
is the Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat Cereal Cartoon
Party, which is as fun as it is wordy - so, a lot. Each year, the
festival celebrates retro cartoons and cereal for a day of pure
nostalgia and has grown in popularity immensely. “For years,
we were just in one theatre and we were selling it out and then
we expanded to two theatres,” Lieberman said. “This year’s
Saturday is Earth Day and we’re gonna be switching a lot of
our stuff to biodegradable and compostable. It’s really fun and
crazy and people can bring their kids, people wear pyjamas
and dress up.”
Equal parts fun, odd, and bold, the Calgary Underground
Film Festival has something for everyone. This year, they created
a new online system where if people choose to buy more
than five tickets at a time, they’ll get a much more efficient
price. So max out that dollar and spend some time underground
this April. See you down there.
CUFF will run from April 17-23 at the Globe Cinema.
FUBAR 15 TH ANNIVERSARY
by Mathew Silver
turning down the suck a decade and a half later
The cult-classic FUBAR will be
screened as part of The Calgary
Underground Film Festival (CUFF)
at the Globe Cinema from April 17-23,
almost 15 years after the indie flick earned
a spot at Sundance and established itself
in local film lore.
At its core, FUBAR is a tragicomedy
about two emotionally ill-equipped friends,
Terry and Dean, trying to confront the
ugly literalness of death. It’s a lo-fi portrait
of Canadiana, littered with bits of cultural
realism that continues to resonate with fans
a decade and a half later.
Director Michael Dowse said he could
have never known that the mockumentary
would have such a cultural impact: “Our
goal was to make a good film, and to make
a funny film… but we didn’t expect it to hit
the way it did.”
Dowse, who went on to direct Goon,
said that a mockumentary was the perfect
platform for the film, because the modest
production quality suits the tone of the
film. After spending about twenty thousand
dollars, he knew that he had a decent final
cut of the film and an invitation to the Sundance
Film Festival. What he didn’t know is
that FUBAR would land on the short list of
iconic Canadian films. In fact, a sequel was
released by popular demand in 2010 and a
TV run has been ordered by Rogers Media
and VICE Studios.
The impact is obvious. FUBAR made
a popular house-party beer, glamorized
the mullet, and spawned several quotes
like, “Turn up the good, turn down the
suck” and “Tron funkin blow.” The film
has stayed relevant by preserving itself
in our vernacular and by evoking the
high school experience – even if it’s told
through the lens of two adult males
clinging desperately to their youth.
For me, the appeal is familiar images:
banal white suburban houses with
bottle-strewn lawns, a Canadian flag hung
tastelessly but by necessity in the living
room, and the revelry of a party barely
Relive the nostalgia of this Canadian classic at CUFF.
visible from the sidewalk through a tiny gap
in the curtains; a Stamps’ game, floating
down the Elbow River, and a fence outside
of Western Canada High School (my Alma
Mater, go Redbirds!).
Re-watching the film is an exercise in
We learn from the title card that the
documentary is “fictional,” with apologies to
all the people who appeared in the movie
thinking it was real. Dowse said this was
done with complete sincerity, but despite
the warning many people still can’t discern
what was pre-ordained by the filmmakers
and what might very well be real people
who stumbled into the scene. In effect, it
blurs the line between mockumentary and
reality and creates a surreal experience for
There’s a scene where two guys fistfight in
High River, and it’s brutally authentic. Which
is to suggest that neither of the guys can
fight for shit but still gave it the good old
college try. It’s scenes like this than lend the
film a raw authenticity.
A decade ago, when I first watched the
movie, I couldn’t tell whether Farrel Mitchner
actually died after taking that seemingly
innocuous dive into the river. It’s only now
that I can appreciate the irony of Terry
showing up to the wake in sweatpants and
a cowboy shirt, and telling the now-cringeworthy
“bin der dun dat” joke. Or even the
fact that Terry and Deaner showed up at all.
And that’s one of the small pleasures
of reliving these things 15 years later. Even
Dowse said that he still gets gratification
from knowing that the movie had a
longstanding impact on people. “I think the
thing I’m most proud of is that people really
hold it close to their hearts. They like it as
much as I cared about it when I made it.
Even 15 years later it’s extremely satisfying.”
FUBAR will be shown on April 20th at the
Globe Cinema as part of CUFF. Director
Michael Dowse and star Dave Lawrence will
be in attendance.
30 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE FILM
Any film marked 18+ identifies a film where liquor will be served.
This means no minors will be allowed to attend those screenings.
Please bring valid ID. This is not a film classification rating.
ALIPATO: THE VERY BRIEF LIFE OF AN EMBER
ARE WE NOT CATS
United States, 2017, 91 min
Philippines / Germany, 2016, 88 min
United States, 2016, 78 min
United States, 2017, 73 min
A look at the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s
A group of 10-year-olds rob pedestrians and kill
The strange but tender story of a man who attempts
Adah and Aaron are the biggest assholes in New
PSYCHO, a screen murder that changed the course
without mercy in the underbelly of the Philippines.
to restart his life, but is sidetracked when he meets
York City. The poppers make them worse.
THURSDAY, APRIL 20 - 9:15 PM (18+)
TUESDAY, APRIL 18 - 9:45 PM (18+)
a woman who shares his unorthodox habit – a
proclivity for eating hair.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 - 6:30 PM (18+)
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 - 11:59 PM (18+)
United States, 2017, 94 min
Australia / Germany, 2017, 73 min
Canada, 2017, 87 min
United States / Canada, 2016, 100 min
A couple who can’t stop fighting embark on a
last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their
fights into songs and starting a band.
A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive
relationship when an Australian photojournalist
wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is
Three mountain bikers embark toward Blood
Mountain. The disappearance of one leads to a
deadly encounter in this gritty thriller.
After losing her job and boyfriend, Gloria soon
becomes connected to a far-off phenomenon
involving a giant monster destroying Seoul, Korea.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 - 7:00 PM (18+)
unable to leave.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 - 9:45 PM (18+)
FRIDAY, APRIL 21 - 9:45 PM (18+)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 - 9:30 PM (18+)
A DARK SONG
DAVE MADE A MAZE
DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE
Ireland, 2016, 99 min
United States, 2017, 80 min
United States, 2016, 90 min
United Kingdom, 2016, 90 min
A determined young woman and a damaged
occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a
THURSDAY, APRIL 20 - 11:45 PM (18+)
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 2:15 PM
Dave builds a fort in his living room out of pure
frustration, only to wind up trapped by the
fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 - 9:00 PM (18+)
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 9:45 PM (18+)
One of cinema’s most enigmatic directors takes us
on an intimate journey through the formative years
of his life, the events that shape his work and shines
a light into the dark corners of his unique world.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 - 4:00 PM (18+)
Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted
warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout
and a game of survival.
TUESDAY, APRIL 18 - 7:30 PM (18+)
FUBAR 15TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING
Canada, 2002, 76 min
United States, 2017, 83 min
Croatia, 2016, 86 min
HOUNDS OF LOVE
Australia, 2016, 108 min
A special 15th Anniversary screening of the Calgaryshot
THURSDAY, APRIL 20 - 6:45 PM (18+)
This documentary explores the impact of G Funk, a
style of hip-hop that emerged from Los Angeles in
the ‘90s, combining elements of Motown, Funk, and
R&B with socially-aware gangsta rap.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21 - 7:15 PM (18+)
In a cold mountain region, lives and lies are exposed,
slowly bringing a carefree taxi driver to a disturbing
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 6:30 PM (18+)
In suburban Perth during the mid-1980s, people are
unaware that women are disappearing at the hands
of serial killers.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 - 9:45 PM (18+)
Finland / Estonia, 2016, 85 min
A gang of Finnish teens visit an infamous crime
scene hoping to solve the murder by reconstructing
it minute by minute in this evocative homage to the
1980s campsite slasher.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21 - 11:59 PM (18+)
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 11:30 AM
OPENING NIGHT FILM & PARTY!
THE LITTLE HOURS
United States, 2017, 90 min
A young servant takes refuge at a convent full
of emotionally unstable medieval nuns after he
cuckolds his master in this star-studded romp.
MONDAY, APRIL 17 - 7:00 PM (18+)
Canada, 2016, 106 min
A young psychopath takes a new brand of ecstasy,
launching a mind-bending trip that causes him to feel
and question his morality for the first time in his life.
THURSDAY, APRIL 20 - 9:30 PM (18+)
LOVE AND SAUCERS
Canada / United States, 2017, 66 min
David Huggins claims to have had a lifetime of
encounters with otherworldly beings, including
an interspecies romance with an extra-terrestrial
woman. He captures his vivid memories in his art.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 - 7:15 PM (18+)
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 4:00 PM (18+)
MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA
United States, 2016, 77 min
From acclaimed cartoonist Dash Shaw comes an
audacious debut that is equal parts disaster cinema,
high school comedy and blockbuster satire.
TUESDAY, APRIL 18 - 7:00 PM (18+)
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 11:00 AM
PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT ME
Israel, 2016, 77 min
Joy can’t let go of her ex, can’t fall in love with
the new guy, and can’t stop sleeping around with
THURSDAY, APRIL 20 - 7:15 PM (18+)
PONTYPOOL – NATIONAL CANADIAN FILM DAY
Canada, 2008, 93 min
A shock radio DJ and his small crew try to make
sense of disturbing reports of a strange virus
affecting victims’ ability to communicate.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 - 6:45 PM
THE SATURDAY MORNING ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT-
CEREAL CARTOON PARTY!
1960s-1980s, 180 min
A 3-hour trip into the weird and wonderful world of
yesteryear’s animated antics accompanied by an
all-you-can eat buffet of cereal!
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 - 10:00 AM
SHORTS: AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’
SHORTS: STICKY SITUATIONS
THE SPACE BETWEEN
Various Countries, 2016/17, 84 min
Various Countries, 2016/17, 81 min
United States, 2016, 97 min
Canada, 2016, 90 min
They are good people (and animals), they just don’t
always act that way.
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 4:45 PM (18+)
Roads paved with good intentions can lead to crazy
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 - 1:45 PM
A charming romance between a boy with one eye
and an overweight girl shatters as they confront who
they were, who they are, and who everyone thinks
they’re supposed to be.
TUESDAY, APRIL 18 - 9:15 PM (18+)
A new father discovers his child is not his own and
sets out on a journey to find answers.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21 - 6:45 PM (18+)
Calgary’s first independent video game arcade.
Play games created by indie developers, completely free of charge!
TONY CONRAD: COMPLETELY IN THE PRESENT
United States, 2016, 96 min
An examination of the pioneering life and works of
artist, musician, and educator, Tony Conrad.
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 9:15 PM (18+)
Mexico / Denmark / France, 2016, 100 min
A parable about a young woman raising two boys
in a small Mexican city. Something not of this world
could answer their problems or bring suffering.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21 - 9:15 PM (18+)
THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN
United States, 2017, 89 min
A documentary about the creator of Tales Of The
City, a gay rights pioneer whose novels have
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 - 7:00 PM (18+)
by POWERHOOF - MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Each year CUFFcade showcases A dungeon crawler a newly where your friends control the
monsters! Battle through and power up your hero.
curated selection of the best in new independent
videogames. We have five custom DOWNWELL made cabinets
by MOPPIN - TOKYO, JAPAN
located on the mezzanine level Venture of down the a well Globe in search Cinema. of untold
treasures with only your Gunboots to protect you.
CUFFcade runs throughout the festival, and is free
and open to the public.
MOTHER RUSSIA BLEEDS
by Le CARTEL STUDIO - PARIS, FRANCE
An old-fashioned beat ‘em up with big
doses of adrenaline and trippiness.
OLLI OLLI 2 : WELCOME TO OLLIWOOD
MONDAY, APRIL 17
OPENING NIGHT FILM & PARTY!
THE LITTLE HOURS
United States, 2017, 90 min
TUESDAY, APRIL 18
MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL
SINKING INTO THE SEA
United States, 2016, 77 min
United Kingdom, 2016, 90 min
United States, 2016, 97 min
ALIPATO: THE VERY BRIEF LIFE
OF AN EMBER
Philippines / Germany, 2016,
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19
NATIONAL CANADIAN FILM DAY
Canada, 2008, 93 min
LOVE AND SAUCERS
United States, 2017, 62 min
United States / Canada, 2016,
HOUNDS OF LOVE
Australia, 2016, 108 min
THURSDAY, APRIL 20
FUBAR 15TH ANNIVERSARY
Canada, 2002, 76 min
PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT ME
Israel, 2016, 77 min
United States, 2017, 91 min
Canada, 2016, 106 min
A DARK SONG
Ireland, 2016, 99 min
FRIDAY, APRIL 21
THE SPACE BETWEEN
Canada, 2016, 90 min
United States, 2017, 83 min
Mexico / Denmark / France
2016, 100 min
Canada, 2017, 87 min
Finland / Estonia, 2016, 85 min
SATURDAY, APRIL 22
THE SATURDAY MORNING ALL-
1960s-1980s, 180 min
SHORTS: STICKY SITUATIONS
Various Countries, 2016/17, 81 min
GREEN THE SCREEN - PANEL &
NETWORKING ON FILM
PRODUCTION (FREE EVENT)
DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE
United States, 2016, 90 min
ARE WE NOT CATS
United States, 2016, 78 min
United States, 2017, 94 min
SUNDAY, APRIL 23
MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL
SINKING INTO THE SEA
United States, 2016, 77 min
Finland / Estonia, 2016, 85 min
Mexico / Denmark / France
2016, 100 min
A DARK SONG
Ireland, 2016, 99 min
LOVE AND SAUCERS
Canada / United States, 2017,
SHORTS: AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’
Various Countries, 2016/17,
PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME FEATURES ARE PRECEDED BY
SHORT FILMS, WHICH WILL IMPACT THE TOTAL RUN TIME.
DAVE MADE A MAZE
United States, 2017, 80 min
Australia / Germany, 2017, 116
United States, 2017, 73 min
Croatia, 2016, 86 min
THE UNTOLD TALES OF
United States, 2017, 89 min
TONY CONRAD: COMPLETELY IN
United States, 2016, 96 min
DAVE MADE A MAZE
United States, 2017, 80 min
Tickets and more infoRmation at calgaryundergroundfilm.com
licensed event-18+evenings-matinees all ages
$10 regular screenings - $8 cuff members / students / seniors |5 Film Multi-Pack $40 / $120 festival pass
HOUNDS OF LOVE
difficult thriller doesn’t stray from under-discussed, troubling issues
To put her parent’s current separation as far
out of her mind as possible, young Vicki
Maloney (Ashleigh Cummings) sneaks out
of her mom’s house late one night. All she wants
to do is let loose at a raucous party for a couple
of hours to forget her daily troubles. Her night
of intended drinking is interrupted when she’s
picked up by a seemingly kind couple driving
down the very same road. Evelyn (Emma Booth)
and John (Stephen Curry) appear to be normal
folk at first, but they carry an uneasy darkness
with them wherever they go. Their offer of
marijuana and an empty booster seat in the back
of their car convinces Vicki that they’re relatively
After drinking a glass of water that’s been drugged,
Vicki is subsequently chained up to one of their
beds. It’s clear that Evelyn and John have done this
kind of thing before. Vicki’s quickly degraded, as she
becomes the victim of a horrifying game of sexual
control. While her freedom is visibly right through
the front door, taunting her at every single moment,
Vicki’s mind begins to race and turn for a way out.
She becomes privy to not only the horrors of her situation,
but also the inner workings of her kidnappers’
collectively deranged psyche.
On the surface, Hounds of Love may at first appear
to be just another run-of-the-mill Australian crime
film. Underneath the basic set-up is a small-scale
character-focused chamber piece. The performances
of the three leads are what truly make the film
THE SPACE BETWEEN
director Amy Jo Johnson makes her touching feature film debut
Don’t miss this all-Canadian indie dramedy at CUFF.
Mitch (Michael Cram) is a pretty insecure
middle-aged guy. He has an unambitious
job at a go-kart track (yet has a
surprisingly nice home for such a career path) and
seems to wallow in self-pity. So when he receives
a letter explaining that his red-haired newborn is
not his, he does not take the news well. Angry and
betrayed, he sets out to find the baby’s true father
and to exact his revenge. Mitch’s plans are tenuous
at best, however. He doesn’t even know what the
Best bring a blanket to this intense, dark thriller.
work. They’re faultless and feel genuinely authentic
throughout. We feel completely awful for Vicki as she
goes through the trauma of being kidnapped, raped
and tortured. We entirely loathe John for being the
most despicable human being imaginable. Our hearts
absolutely break for Evelyn because she’s also a victim
in her own right. We condemn them and hate them
real father looks like.
Meanwhile, his wife, Jackie, (Sonya Salomaa) regrets
her actions, so she piles her dysfunctional group
of family and friends into a limousine to stop Mitch
and try to save their marriage. Mitch, however, not
the vengeful type, meets an unusual and adorable girl
named Emily (Julia Sarah Stone), and forms a strange
yet humanizing relationship with her.
It’s a quirky, funny, and emotional film, and we
were able to speak with writer/director Amy Jo
for their actions, but also unfortunately understand
why they do what they do.
First-time feature writer/director Ben Young wisely
keeps the film focused on the victim and her kidnappers.
The audience fully understands the perverse
and complex power struggle at work here. Young also
smartly eschews the stock rape revenge tropes that
Johnson about it, which also happens to be her first
“I was super lucky with that cast,” she said. “Michael
Ironside was amazing. Jayne Eastwood is such
The film’s characters feel real; they are all eccentric,
of course, yet entirely believable. “For the characters…
I definitely pull from people in my life,” she
admitted. “Emilia’s dad, Nick, I wrote sort of based on
my own father, but when Michael Ironside showed
up on set he was no longer Nick. That’s what so great
about seeing things come to life, the actors bring
their own thing.”
The teenage girl Emily is the emotional heart of
the film, hiding deep-rooted pain behind an air of
cheeriness. Complementing the emotional Mitch,
a wonderful father-daughter relationship emerges.
Johnson stresses that Emily needed to look innocent
so that there could be no mistaken romantic relationship.
“Mitch’s journey is to really figure out that
he can be a good father, so we really needed whoever
to play [Emily] to not have a sexy thing that they give
off, and that’s hard to find. But when Julia sent in her
tape I was like, ‘Oh, that’s perfect.’”
Themes are what give a story depth, and the recurring
notion throughout the film is that pain creates
passion. “Ultimately the main theme throughout
the movie is acceptance and forgiveness,” Johnson
explained. “Each character has to go through their
journey to find love in a way. To do that, everybody
had to let go from what they were holding onto.”
We asked Johnson if this theme was close to her.
She stated that it wasn’t the initial intention in early
by Philip Clarke
audiences are most likely expecting to unfold in the
last act. So many films of its ilk all go down the same
path, by giving both the victim and the audience the
instant gratification of a fantastically hyper-violent
finale. The ending, while certainly violent, is never
taken to over-the-top or unnecessarily stylized
The film never shies away from any of the ugliness
that the real world has to offer, without ever becoming
overly gratuitous. Young leaves the scenes of
sexual assault up the viewer’s imagination by having
very little of the acts ever shown on screen. Most of
the atrocities are just heard though Vicki’s terrified
screams. The film is undoubtedly a difficult watch
from the very beginning.
Not only does the film discuss the horrific nature
of sexual assault, but it also delves into a deconstruction
of toxic relationships. Evelyn utterly worships
John when she clearly shouldn’t. On top of being a
serial rapist and kidnapper, John’s also an alcoholic
who’s prone to violent outbursts towards animals and
treating his wife like his own personal slave.
Hounds of Love is not a film to be casually
watched on a lazy Sunday afternoon. However, it is
definitely an important film to watch and discuss
afterwards. That way we can help educate and create
awareness on real mature themes that are sadly all
too real in the world today.
Hounds of Love screens at the Globe Cinema on April
19th as part of CUFF.
by Jonathan Lawrence
drafts of the script, but that by the end of the writing
process, it suddenly became very apparent. “I figured
out that that was everybody’s journey, and I think in
life that’s probably the hardest lesson and the biggest
thing we all have to do is figure out how to let go and
accept where were at or what’s happening and not
try to control everything.”
One of the film’s strong points is its comedic
undertones, which nicely balance out the film’s
dramatic moments. “The heavy subject matter that I
was dealing with, I try to find the levity within it, [to]
be able to laugh at the situations.”
To bring levity to the script, Johnson knew that the
film’s lead needed to have an understated comedic
side. “I wrote the movie for Michael [Cram], I worked
with him on Flashpoint. I think he is just the funniest
guy, but he doesn’t even know how funny he is. He
is Mitch, but I think more sophisticated. I remember
being on set and he’d be like, ‘I don’t understand
what you’re saying.’ He’d get a bit insecure. ‘What do
you want?’ he’d say.” Johnson affects a panicky voice
“There he is, that’s him,” she joked. “One day
he just showed up really confident and a whole
different Mitch and I was like ‘who is this confident
guy on my set?’”
“What are you talking about?” he responded
“There you go, there he is,” Johnson said, laughing.
The Space Between will be shown on April 21st at the
Globe Cinema as part of CUFF. Star Michael Ironside
will be in attendance.
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 35
rewind to the future
The upside to being an assassin is that one-day you might actually
get to kill your boss.
And who would know better than the inherent assassin in this
Alan (Jeremy Irons) and his daughter (Marion Cotillard) are
scientists with a clandestine organization out to prevent the
modern-day Templar from enslaving the human race.
To help them locate an artifact that can decode human free
will, the pair abducts a death row inmate, Callum (Michael Fassbender),
with ties to an ancient assassins guild.
Thrust through time into his ancestor’s tunic, Callum learns the
article’s location as well as his captor’s true intentions with it.
Although it is a higher caliber video game movie than most,
this live-action version of the Ubisoft franchise suffers the same
pitfalls as its gaming ilk, namely, bad acting and script.
Furthermore, sending convicts to the 1400s is a smart way to
ease prison overpopulation.
Losing someone is very difficult, especially when they didn’t tell
you any of their online passwords.
Fortunately, the deceased in this drama was too young to have
that many PINs.
Spiraling into depression after losing his daughter, ad executive
Howard (Will Smith) starts penning angry letters to Love, Death
When his business partners (Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael
Peña) discover this they hire actors (Keira Knightley, Helen
Mirren, Jacob Latimore) to portray those concepts and confront
However, their scheme to get him deemed insane makes them
reevaluate their own feelings towards those intangibles.
A failed attempt at an uplifting ensemble, the hokey premise
gets more pathetic and laughable as it limps towards to its
over-emotional ending. Not even its credible cast can save it from
the sentimental scrapheap.
Besides, the only letters you should be sending after losing
someone are those addressed to mail-order bride websites.
The upside to being a garbage man in the 1950s was that households
only had one garbage can.
But even that can’t keep the trash collector in this drama from
Relegated to the back of the dumpster - alongside the other
black sanitation worker Bono (Stephen Henderson) - failed baseball
star Troy (Denzel Washington) shares his resentment with his
co-worker, his wife (Viola Davis) and his two sons on a daily basis.
Over the years his anger, drinking and his adultery drives
further wedges between his loved ones. Meanwhile he wages a
personal war against the Grim Reaper.
Directed by Denzel Washington and featuring an Oscar-winning
performance from Davis, this minimalistic film adaptation
of the Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play is a powerful, albeit long
winded, portrayal of a multifaceted but ultimately unlikable
Incidentally, movies are better than plays because you aren’t hit
by any of the actors spit.
by Shane Sellar
The first thing a First Lady should do after her husband’s been
assassinated is pack the White House silverware.
Mind you, the mourner in this drama has ample time to steal
Shortly after his assassination, John F. Kennedy’s revered wife
Jacqueline (Natalie Portman) arranges an elaborate state funeral
for him that is construed as controversial by his brother Robert
(Peter Sarsgaard) and his voters.
She further confounds the public by conducting a Life magazine
interview where she explains to a reporter (Billy Crudup)
that her and husband’s legacy was akin to John’s favourite
An artistic take on Jackie’s mental decline following the traumatic
events in Dallas, this beautifully shot biography offers up
an unseen glimpse into the grieving process of the world’s most
beloved widow, masterfully performed by Portman.
And the Kennedys were just like Arthurian legend if JFK was
Guinevere and Marilyn Monroe was Lancelot.
Live By Night
The biggest difference between the Irish mob and the Italian mob
is their choice of starch.
Obviously, the Irish gangster in this drama is partial to tubers.
Run out of Boston after he is caught kissing on the Irish mob
boss’ girl (Sienna Miller), ex-soldier Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck)
ends up in Florida working enforcement for the Italian mafia’s rum
While he finds love with a local (Zoe Saldana), Coughlin’s
problems aren’t over yet as the local sheriff (Chris Cooper), his
aspiring actress daughter (Elle Fanning) and the local chapter of
the Ku Klux Klan make his transition into the Tampa markets a
Starring, directed and adapted from the novel by Affleck, this
epic length vanity project brings nothing new to the gangster
genre besides ludicrous dialogue, ill-fated white suits and marginal
Besides, bootlegging isn’t as secure a career in Florida as say
smuggling in Cubans is.
The best thing about growing up on an island is that it prepares
you for if ever you get deserted on one.
However, the princess in this animated-musical sees no benefit
to island living.
The daughter of a domineering chieftain, Moana (Auli’i Cravalho)
yearns to stray beyond the coral borders of her Polynesian
community, but her father forbids voyages abroad for fear of
When she uncovers the real reason behind the leviathans and
of her tribe’s seafaring legacy, Moana and her pet rooster set
sail to capture a shapeshifting demigod (Dwayne Johnson) and
liberate an island deity from captivity.
Although it does not stray far from the proven Disney princess
story standards – an animal sidekick, an overprotective father
and a bevy of songs - it does however do a commendable job
incorporating those criteria in an amusing fashion.
Incidentally, shapeshifting is most useful when you can’t find
The downside to hypersleep is lying in your own nocturnal emissions
for 100 years.
Smartly, the cyrosleeper in this sci-fi film wakes up to get his
When an asteroid strikes a spacecraft carrying thousands of
hibernating colonists to their new home, slumbering passenger,
Jim (Chris Pratt), is woken 90 years too soon.
Unable to get back to sleep, or commandeer the controls, Jim’s
desperation results in him rousing a female passenger (Jennifer
Lawrence) to keep him company. But when she learns the truth,
his plans for love are jeopardized.
Meanwhile, damage to the ship’s reactor threatens all life
With mediocre effects, dull performances and a stalker-like narrative
masquerading as a love story, this ill-fated voyage distracts
from its creepiness with a boilerplate climax that adds further
insult to the viewer’s intelligence.
Besides, intercourse in space is the same as intercourse on
Earth, just way more expensive.
36 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE FILM
dBridge reflects on his quarter-century musical journey
by Max Foley
Influential producer and Exit Records boss continues to explore.
Love it or hate it, drum and bass is one of the
most historically significant parts of electronic
music. Consistently overshadowed by more
approachable and popular genres, the veritable
ecosystem that is 174 b.p.m. nevertheless continues
to strive, taking identity-shifting curveballs in
stride and enduring through decade after decade.
Darren White, a.k.a. dBridge, has been there since
the very beginning.
“I’m really proud to call myself a part of the
D’N’B scene, and I’m really glad that it’s sticking
around — as much as some people wish it
wasn’t,” White says, chuckling.
In 1996, White joined forces with [Jason] Maldini
to create grassroots jungle project Future Forces, Inc.,
releasing on guerilla imprint Renegade Hardware.
From there, Future Forces connected with Vegas and
influential modern-day hit-maker DJ Fresh to birth
one of the genre’s séminal collectives — Bad Company
UK. White then set about establishing a label
named EXIT Records, which exists today as a bastion
of tastemakers influencing drum and bass and its
various far-reaching tendrils.
Notoriously versatile and prolific, dBridge has operated
under so many different solo and collaborative
monikers that it’s liable to make even the most hardcore
fans’ heads spin. Even in the last five years, White
has released under aliases like Heart Drive and Velvit
as well as the ever-increasingly nebulous dBridge title
— the latter of which will likely be commanding the
bulk of his attention this year.
“I’m planning on having a selfish year. I want to
write and finish an album this year. It’s about time
— it’s been 10 years since my last,” White explains,
referencing the future-facing The Gemini Principle
LP released in 2008. It sounds like a long time, but
White is modest to a fault, failing to clarify that
he’s released a borderline unreasonable amount
of material in those last ten years. The bulk of this
material consists of literally dozens of solo and
Patched in from his home in Antwerp via
Skype, White’s meditations on almost 25 years
of activity are humbling and understated, yet
“When you say that, a quarter of a century plus, I
mean... fuck me! It’s something to be proud of, to be
able to stick around this long and (hopefully) stay
relevant in some way,” White says wistfully.
“I recognize that I’m getting to that point in my
life where I want to take a step back and change
“People used to tell me like, “Oh, [jungle anthems]
“Dead By Dawn, “The Nine,” “True Romance” was
the reason I got into music. And that gives me pause
because they’re not really citing me anymore, they’re
citing people like fucking [redacted], or bloody
[redacted]. So, yeah. Now I’m feeling old.”
“But I wanna be careful not to come across as a
grumpy old junglist,” White clarifies. A little bit of
jadedness is acceptable when you wrote a good portion
of the drum and bass textbook. And he comes
across as anything but when he talks about his own
body of work.
Believe it or not, after 25 years, the anxiety of releasing
creative work hasn’t gone away. Darren White,
then, is the quintessential creative.
“When I DJ, I’m really bad at playing my own music.
I struggle to play it. I’d almost prefer if I wasn’t in a
position where I had to. I’d prefer having other people
play it.” You’d think that after all these years, I’d just
have the balls to get on with it.”
“Even though I’ve been involved with DnB for so
long, there are times where I hate it, and I have to
explore other avenues.” White continues, citing his
growing passion for photography. “But I have this
weird sort of self-doubt. And that probably has to do
with the fact that when you put something out that’s
really personal to you, you don’t really want to hear
what other people think. I don’t really want people to
pass judgment because that’s not why I’ve made it.”
Over time, however, White clearly started to settle
down and own his shit, going through a minor but
palpable transformation. Existential angst and creative
second-guessing aside –- traps every artist ever
has fallen into — White’s contemplative enthusiasm
“After 25 years, I think I still know how to rock a
party.” he finishes.
Those of us eager to put that latent but rock-solid
confidence to the test will have ample opportunities
to this summer. Never change, dBridge.
Catch dBridge at the HiFi Club in Calgary alongside
the Librarian on April 15th, and this summer at Bass
Coast Electronic Music and Art Festival.
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 39
rising Calgary duo shares their story
Calgary duo Chuurch reveal exclusive secrets within this article.
This isn’t the first time we’ve written
about Calgary’s illusive duo Chuurch,
comprised of Jeff Wilson (a.k.a Makemdef)
and Justin MacLean (a.k.a EviCtion). It’s
not even the first time we’ve found ourselves
sitting on a couch together.
When whispers of their name first emerged on
the scene early in 2016, it caught the attention of
many. Their debut performance at the Sled Island
Block Party saw the mysterious duo materialize out
of a murky cloud of intrigue, establishing themselves
as forerunners in the scene.
The two officially met outside Habitat Living
Sound in 2014. MacLean recognized Wilson’s
university ring for St. Francis Xavier; it was from his
hometown school in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. They
began talking, realizing they shared a mutual friend
and mentor who pushed them to pursue music seriously.
They actually had unknowingly both attended
his wake, but it wasn’t until that chance meeting
that they connected, and thus began making music.
Thus far, it’s been an ambiguous, creative, and highly
danceable mix of electronica, house, and hip-hop
that’s dark, sexual, and heavy.
While Wilson attempts to tell the full story,
MacLean fills in the blanks with his drawling,
“It was fate, it was crazy.”
Fast-forward from their chance meeting to November
18. They’ve converged: MacLean brings his
prolific hip-hop background to the equation; Wilson
brings his university-jazz-guitar-schooling-turned-DJ
background. The result was an unstoppable flow of
original material. Around that time, Dubstep artist
Skream came to Calgary to play a five-hour set. Wilson
brought the DJ back to his house after the show.
“So we had five or six people back and we had
one person that was very, very, very important,”
Eventually, Skream asked Wilson to put on music.
Wilson obliged, opportunistically vouching to play
Chuurch material for someone he admired. It was
by Paul Rodgers
photo: Michael Benz
kismet: Skream dug it.
“I challenged him to e-mail people, and he
e-mailed [British producer] Switch, and that was the
turning point for not just me quitting my job, but
Justin quitting his job. And that’s what led us a year
later to get down to L.A.”
The duo had not previously been able to
disclose the fact that it was this encounter that
led them to Los Angeles. The relationship formed
with the legendary producer whose clients
include M.I.A. Christina Aguilera, and Major Lazer
opened serious doors.
“He’s the legend, he’s the OG, he’s a huge
supporter of us, he’s our big homie… being around
that guy is honestly like hanging around Jay Z,”
After an initial five-day excursion to meet Switch
and show him they were real, Chuurch received
some financial backing from friends. They returned
for a three month trip which turned into a tumultuous
but productive two months. The music created
during that period is to be announced; in the meantime,
upcoming live performances are abundant.
“Making music down there was awesome, the
thing is, every time we were making something really
dope, I would get the familiar feeling of us just being
Like with all other challenges they have faced
together, they made it work and turned that struggle
into something positive. They returned to Calgary
enriched, having sparked the interest of a larger
international community. Despite finding something
special in L.A., the duo gives serious credit and
respect to the groundwork laid Smalltown DJs, the
Hifi Club staff, and people at PK Sound that helped
Chuurch get established.
Keep watch on what this black-clad, lean bass
hustlers will churn out next, it’s guaranteed to be
Chuurch perform on April 20th at the Commonwealth
Bar in Calgary with Amine Edge and Dance.
a multi-cultural clash master
There’s a term used when describing opposites:
“worlds apart.” The term indicates
those that are defined by radically different
paradigms. In music, the term is infrequently used,
yet applicable to the fusion of unusual genres
or sounds into a cohesive whole. In the case of
South London’s TroyBoi, and his knack for fusing a
miasma of unique sounds and styles into his own
signature pastiche, it’s perfectly suited.
Signature tracks “Mantra” and “Do You?” exhibit
the varying cultural influences that permeate his catalogue.
Thanks to a mix of Nigerian, Chinese, Indian
and Portuguese ethnicities, there is a kaleidoscope of
sounds that appear in his music.
“From being a baby it’s been imbedded in me,”
begins TroyBoi, who resides in London and goes by
Troy Henry when not on stage.
“My mom, she used to love watching Indian movies.
She would watch them all day, every day. And in
Hindi movies there are so many songs and it’s like
a three or four hour movie. My mom would watch
like two movies a day, that’s like eight hours. Can you
imagine how many songs I was listening to as a kid?”
His father equally gifted him with a love for disco
and funk, and now the sky seems to be the limit with
where he can go with his Trap oriented sound.
After finishing up the last leg of his North American
tour, appropriately dubbed Mantra, TroyBoi has
humbly embraced his highly acclaimed, new found
solo success over the last couple of years.
“It’s been amazing, really, being from London, and
to be able to come all the way out here, to meet and
greet my fans, it’s just really nice,” Troyboi explains.
TroyBoi fuses a miasma of unique styles into a pastiche all his own.
by Jay King
While he’s been involved with the collaborative
project SoundSnobz (with best friend and fellow
producer, icekream), being in great demand solo is
something he’s humbled by and has been cultivating
since the early 2010’s when he began producing,
remixing, and releasing.
“This tour is specifically for the fans. For anyone
who’s maybe never heard the music, this is the one
Even though he’s collaborated with the likes of
Flosstradamus and Diplo, having another fellow
producer be such a close friend has really meant a lot
to Troyboi, and he is forthright in expressing so.
“He’s like my brother, right there. We have a whole
bunch of tracks already, and we’re going to be doing
a lot more. It’s been kind of hard to juggle everything,
cause I’ve been away, and he’s been doing his own
thing, as well. But once all the touring is over, and I’m
making more music, that’s when we’re really gonna
come with SoundSnobz, full scene.”
With an obvious appreciation for his humble beginnings
and for clear vision of where he would like
to go, TroyBoi’s ambition is sincere and focused.
“There’s so many things that are motivating me,”
“From my actual goals, to the fans, there’s a lot
that goes behind the drive and force to get me to
these places, for sure.”
TroyBoi is performing in Edmonton during the Northern
Lights Music Festival. It runs April 14th and 15th;
tickets can be purchased at http://northernlightsmusicfest.com
photo: Mitch Schneider
40 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE JUCY
Oscillate and undulate to the good-ass vibes
Many electronic music acts from deadmau5 to marshmello have made
masks their calling card. After failing to find fans that were willing to
do their face paint on Twitter, U.K. producer duo Snakehips decided
to join the ranks. It was October 31, 2014 at the Hifi Club and it was Oliver
“Ollie” Lee and James Carter’s first, and to date only, performance in Alberta.
“We went in these horrible masks that we bought from this weird costume
shop,” Lee recalls. Carter wore a vaguely unsettling Geisha mask; Lee opted to wear
the face of a smiling grandpa.
Masks aren’t Snakehips gimmick though. It’d be hard to argue that Snakehips
have anything closely resembling a gimmick at all. Their brand of boom-bap, soul,
and new-era wonky influenced electropop is varied, and most importantly, fun.
Lee even has a tough time nailing down what makes Snakehips so ‘Snakehips-y.’
“Everything’s always like in a different style. We never really do the same thing
twice. It’s difficult for us to even say what (our sound) is.”
Whatever that sound is, it’s working. Despite their scene being oversaturated
with producers, and despite the fact that they’ve never released an album, the
duo is causing a rumble. Their breakout, “All My Friends” is a slightly depressive
anthemic ode to wasted nights featuring the sultry singing of Tinashe alongside a
nuanced, drug-themed Chance the Rapper verse.
Up until “All My Friends,” the duo’s biggest claim to fame was an official remix of
a deep-cut by sultry R&B singer Banks.
“It was a pretty wild idea,” says Lee, describing the initial attempt to contact the
rising star. To their surprise, that’s all it took.
“It’s still kind of crazy for us.”
From there, James and Ollie have been releasing hit single after hit single via
collaborations with Tory Lanez, Anderson .Paak, and Zayn. Even their BBC Live
Lounge session, a popular cover segment on the radio station, was a collaboration
with Norwegian star MØ. They’ve also released a single with her dubbed “Don’t
Leave” that’s currently climbing the Spotify charts.
This rapid-fire single output is par for the course with electronic artists, as hype
is fleeting in our digital world. Building up enough material for an album while
attaching your name to big name collaborators has kept Snakehips in the spotlight.
the otherworldliness of Fleetmac Wood’s remix
From the moment Rumours was released in 1977, the world’s great love
affair with Fleetwood Mac’s Buckingham-Nicks line-up spiraled beyond
the stratosphere and has continued to burn brightly, lighting up the
rock ‘n’ roll heavens. Taking it yet to another level, Alex Oxley and Lisa Jelliffe,
a pair of English DJs, created Fleetmac Wood in a “sweaty East London basement”
as a remix project and traveling rave party dedicated to the music of
their favourite band.
by Cole Parker
They haven’t totally ruled out more traditional music release strategies though.
“We’re just kind of working out whether we want to do an album or whether it’s
cool to just keep the music going. We’re sitting on a whole bunch of material.”
However they choose to release their music, they’re returning to Calgary soon
to play it. This time, however, they’re not opening; the venue will be bigger and
they won’t be wearing grandpa masks. Their goal remains the same.
“It’s just fun, good-ass vibes,” Lee boasts.
“We try and play as much cool shit as possible. It’s what we want to hear in the
If you’re a fan of upbeat, punchy and diverse electronic pop, it’s probably what
you’ll want to hear in the club too.
Catch Snakehips at the Palace Theatre in Calgary on April 6th.
by B. Simm
Other than celebrating Rumours’ 40th year, why does it make for a
good project to transition into dance music?
LISA: We feel that Rumours is the gateway drug to all of Fleetwood Mac’s
music from the early bluesy stuff with Peter Green, to years after Rumours.
You can’t cannot deny that that album is just full to the brim of incredible
songs, that are extremely varied, and so many talents in the band with
three vocalist. All members are big contributors, they could all be solo
artists themselves. People have so many connections to all those songs,
and such a wide range of different tracks to work with. You have the
driving up-tempo of “Go Your Own Way,” the whimsical and the hypnotic
sounds of “Dreams,” which actually has a loop drum beat in it. Dance has
always borrowed from music before it, which we’re doing the reserve of.
I also think it’s really great to hear some analogue sounds in a night club.
People have this emotion connection, but aren’t used to hearing it in a
club environment where it becomes a new experience.
What can party-goers expect?
LISA: Something that we seen a lot is that the style of Stevie Nicks is not a
gender, it’s a state of mind. We get lot of men, gay and straight, who love
to work a shawl (laughs). Other than the music, there’s this slightly more
romantic visual aesthetic that we encourage and also bring into our set...
this otherworldliness that some of their music evokes.
Rumours Rave descends upon Broken City Friday, April 14.
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 41
creepin’ in real freaky with a political new record
Timber Timbre releases their sixth studio album in April.
Timber Timbre’s music is sexy, swampy, and
makes one want to take off their clothes
and sweat a little. The lyrics drip and ache
with longing and cinematic restraint, in no small
part due to frontman Taylor Kirk starting on the
path of filmmaking over a decade ago.
“I had the idea that I might like to make music for
films and I was serious about making recording,” Kirk
new album Love Versus is a lyrical and musical tapestry
15 years in, Leeroy Stagger is releasing his ninth album and is finally
hitting his stride artistically and professionally. Love Versus
is a new collection of songs, written and recorded by Stagger at
his new studio, which he built after winning the Peak Performance
Project in 2015. This marks his first full-length to be recorded at the
Stagger is an accomplished producer in his own right, but this time he
teamed up with Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, New Pornographers), and
is releasing the record on Edmonton’s True North Records.
“I had been in a pretty fog the last couple of years,” Stagger tells
“Depression, anxiety, uncertainty. This really seems the first creative
emergence coming out of that fog of the last couple of years. It seems
like a perfect storm, I think people are connecting to the truth of it, the
love in it, and it’s uplifting but not watered down.”
Stagger broke down the impending record for us track-by-track,
giving us revealing insights into his artistic process and decade of musical
experience. It gave us revealing and evocative insight into the album,
and is best read in conjunction with listening to the album.
Opener “I Want It All” is a song about “trying to embrace how grateful
I am for what I have as opposed to worrying about the things I don’t
have, or want. It’s an observation on how simple life can be, how beautiful
it can be, if we really look at it.”
The title track, “Love Versus,” comes from when Stagger “was going
through a lot of personal turmoil,” and it’s centred on “whether, or not,
love, in its essence, is all we need. If it is enough.”
The heart of the third track, “Enemy Inside,” “came from the Peak
Performance competition” and was co-written with Mike Edel. Stagger
“brought that song to the producer, he didn’t really like it, he wanted me
to continue writing it, so I put more meat on it and it became “Enemy
photo: Caroline Desilets
“By the time I finished (school) I had made a few
art films, and realized I was making the films so that I
could make the music for the films.”
So, Kirk started Timber Timbre.
“I never even had any idea that I would even share
it with anybody, that I would even play it for my
friends or anyone I knew. I didn’t have any particular
Six albums, two JUNO nominations, and two
Polaris Music Prize shortlists later, things are a lot
It “seems that each time I go to start over to make
something, the whole process is sort of infected with
the idea that it is going to be presented or consumed
or that it has a life that I ought to be concerned about
beyond the basic idea of making it,” explains Kirk.
Timber Timbre’s last three albums has recorded in
a myriad of magical places like the renamed Grand
Lodge No. 24, the studio formerly owned by Arcade
Fire. Other locations have included the National
Music Center in Calgary and the Banff Centre for
Performing Arts, which was a “real dream.” Perhaps
trying to top their previous locations, the recording
sessions for their upcoming sixth full-length Sincerely,
Future Pollution, took them to La Frette chateau, a
studio outside Paris.
“The guy who owns (and runs) the place is living
in Montreal part time and has a relationship with the
music scene here,” explains Kirk of who the album
came to be.
“Leslie Feist had been there, [José] González, Patrick
Watson… so I’d heard about it forever. Then we
had a show in Paris and we came to visit the studio,
to have a look around and they were so hospitable
and the studio itself just had a weird vibe.”
Doubt, at one time or another can seep into artistic
endeavors, no matter the success one achieves.
“The kind of doubt that I had with this recording I
have never had before”.
The writing and recording came during a time
Stagger gives us a track-by-track breakdown of his new record.
photo: David Guenther
Inside,” which is now intended to be the second single. The song is about
coming home to the ghosts of my youth.” The song is a throwback rocker
in the vein of Bruce Springsteen; harkening to Stagger’s 2006 album
“Crooked Old World” features Haligonian raconteur Joel Plaskett,
which came about after Stagger “started opening for him on the coast
by Naddine Madell-Morgan
where Timber Timbre was restructuring as an act and
an entity. All their infrastructure “had to also be reassembled.”
The spooky vibe of La Frette, the political
landscape, and the lingering doubt Kirk felt seeped
into the recordings themselves.
“For the most part people found it weird,” Kirk
states. “Suspicious or something.”
“In the past, we’ve always put out the songs that
we’ve liked or felt were the most interesting. This
time, because we started working with this European
label called City Slang, and the project has more
traction and interest in Europe, they had a stronger
opinion and they felt that [the album’s lead single, the
morose and lo-fi] “Sewer Blues” was a better bridge
sonically between the back catalog and what the new
record sounds like.”
Accordingly, Sincerely, Future Pollution is pure
heartache, and despite the restructuring, just as
freaky and provocative as anything you’ve heard from
Timber Timbre. Anchored by Kirk’s provocative baritone,
it’s bluesy and bleak with swirling arrangements
and melancholic guitars. Be sure to pick up a copy
when it’s revealed to the world on April 7th.
Timber Timbre performs at the Starlite Room in
Edmonton on May 2, Commonwealth Bar & Stage
in Calgary on May 3, and The Vogue Theatre in
Vancouver on May 5. Sincerely, Future Pollution will
be released on Friday, April 7th, and can be ordered
from Arts & Crafts at https://arts-crafts.ca/releases/
by Graham Mackenzie
and the two became friends.”
“Little Brother” is a song that Stagger describes as having never “really
done anything like it. I like the vibe, the groove; it reminds me of something
like ‘60s Parisian pop mixed with something like The Clash. I like
the juxtaposition of the guitar against that laidback groove; it’s kinda like
a storm. It highlights the story of the song, the restlessness.”
“Run Rabbit Run” is based on a story Stagger’s grandfather told him
about “a man named ‘Dirty Bill.’ I never set out to write any particular
type of song but this came to me, most of my songs are just cobbled
together pieces of my life and my observations at the time. They all have
some sort of theme, I am really quite proud of this song actually, it’s
kind of a nod to ‘Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts’ on [Bob Dylan’s]
Blood on the Tracks . It’s also a kind of a stoner’s trip.”
The end of the record features several nods to Stagger’s musical
“Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone” was a way for Stagger to “dip [his]
toe into the waters of punk rock here a little bit,” while ‘Living in the
Future’ carries a “Travelling Wilburys vibe” and ‘$1500 a day’ is a “song for
Elliot Smith.” The record ends with “Until the End of Time,” a “love song
for [his] family.”
All told, it’s an ambitious record with a staggeringly detailed story,
made alive by Stagger’s characteristic richness.
“At the end of the day I’m trying to inspire people to make the world a
better place,” he says.
“That’s the goal; sometimes it doesn’t always feel like that. But I’m
trying to do good work.”
Love Versus is released on April 7th and will be available from True North
Records. Leeroy Stagger plays the Gateway in Calgary on April 28th, and
the Almanac in Edmonton on April 29th.
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 43
On writing, performing, recording, and everything in-between
Authenticity serves as the most important
vessel for any musician. Listeners can
smell a fake from miles away, particularly
in the world of folk and roots music; connecting
with your audience and creating an intimate
atmosphere is essential. Enter Matt Patershuk,
who’s skillfully managed to do both.
The low rumble of Patershuk’s husky,
pitch-perfect voice matched with his heartfelt
and smartly penned songs has charmed listeners
across Canada and beyond. His appeal is
unmistakable. The written material ranges in
emotional focus and message. Albums will contain
endearing messages to those closest to him
and heartbreaking ballads; elsewhere lyrics will
contain a strong focus on history and storytelling.
Later, upbeat numbers perfect for two-stepping
and whiskey-drinkin’ will appear.
His Western Canadian Music Award nominated
debut album Outside The Lights Of Town pays
homage to traditional country and roots music
with a distinct small-town charm. I Was So Fond
of You (2016) opens with a raunchy fiddle and
guitar combo with a do-or-die narrative about
working tirelessly for those you love. It ends with
the somber title track, a heartbreakingly beautiful
waltz penned for his late sister Claire, who was
killed by a drunk driver.
Stripped down and intimate, the first two
albums were recorded almost completely live off
the floor by super producer Steve Dawson, whose
history includes working with Old Man Luedecke,
Matt Patershuk is hard at work on his third studio album.
The Deep Dark Woods, and numerous others.
This raw approach perfectly exemplifies Matt’s
affinity for stark honesty and subdued irony,
bringing to light an old soul with a sharp eye for
detail. His sound is not unlike Willie Nelson and
John Prine’s early works.
photo: Peter Patershuk
Just under a year has passed since his most recent
release, and with the help of Dawson’s label
Black Hen Music, Patershuk is hard at work on his
third studio album, to be released in the fall.
“It’s definitely different,” Patershuk tells BeatRoute.
“We tracked some things separately in
by Moira Billington
isolation booths as opposed to live off the floor.
There are some hints of early rock and roll and
blues, a bit of a bigger sound.”
There’s an impressive roster of musicians
rounding out the sound, including Dawson
himself, Jay Bellerose, and the alt-country singer-songwriter
“I’m very inspired by her music and her singing,
and so glad she’s all over this one,” says Patershuk
The endless cycle of touring and marketing is
no easy task. Even with label and management
support, it remains daunting at the best of times.
Somehow, with a demanding full-time job and a
family, Patershuk finds peace residing in Grand
Prairie. The fervor of everyday life serves as a
great reminder and disciplinary tool for Matt
to find time for practice and his songwriting.
When teased of this reality where musicians
all need full-time work to support their other
very full-time job of music, Patershuk becomes
“I think it’s important to have songwriting as
an outlet. Writing songs is the definition of navel
gazing, and I think it can be dangerous to always
be in that frame of mind. I think it’s good for me
to have that work-life balance.”
Matt Patershuk will perform on March 31st at Geomatic
Attic in Lethbridge, April 1st at The Ironwood
Stage and Grill in Calgary, and April 7th at The
Almanac in Edmonton.
44 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE ROOTS
doing dishes and makin’ wishes
There’s a wide-skied, blue-eyed optimism in the
words of Braden Gates. His quick witted, fast-picked,
friend-folk songs start from the heart and work their
way to the sleeve in a trail of family anecdotes and street
Gates himself is a soft-spoken, clean-cut Edmonton boy,
with a keen ear for the quirks of the everyday. At the tender
age of 24-years-old, he’s releasing his third full-length studio
album, Much Rather Be Sleeping. But more about that later.
Gates is a prolific live performer, playing around Edmonton
and Western Canada, recently springing to Calgary
for a few sets at Wide Cut Weekend. He often sits with his
audience, swapping between guitar and fiddle, cracking
jokes as he plays. There’s a polish and wisdom to his words
that fit well beyond his years, likely due to his heavy catalogue
that puts most songwriters to shame. In addition to
studio albums, Gates often records on his home computer
webcam, throwing new and familiar songs to his friends
and admirers. This past year, he put out six volumes of
material via the Edmontone Demo Series, so named after
studios where they were recorded.
Gates self-describes the series as “demo-y, weird, eccentric
things.” In his effort to hone his craft, the series found
Gates “playing around with the creative process a little bit,”
a result of “[becoming] a little bit obsessive with songwriting
Playing and writing often has helped polish his work,
but he still finds value in the studio process.
“There’s a lot more that can be said in a better way if
you spend more time with it,” Braden attests. “There’s a lot
to be said for audio engineering and production.”
That said, Much Rather Be Sleeping is a rather sparse
offering, “recorded live off the floor with a bass and fiddle”
and only a few overdubs. Written before the Edmontone
sessions, and recorded in 2015, the collection of songs
developed while Gates “was living on Whyte Avenue in
Edmonton and indulging in the scene.”
The record is humble, centred on small sentiments,
built around family and the practise of the everyday.
Gates doesn’t shy away from the big ideas, most notably
the ‘L word,’ but he manages to handle these movements
and moments with a casual friendliness, like a letter from
a friend. It’s a quick and rewarding listen, with a level of
completeness that’s not immediately apparent.
Braden isn’t done yet, and is headed back into the
studio, “recording in November” for a new album due next
year with a mix of songs from the Edmontone sessions
as well as a few new ones. He’s got a few more ideas up
his sleeve as well. Taking a break from being a full-time
musician, Gates has taken to washing dishes, a job which
offers “lots of space to think” and write songs in his head.
This has led to some charming and humorous blue-collar
anthems about the greasy porcelain.
“I am actually working on a ‘Songs from the Dish Pit’
album,’” he says. “[It’s] not even close to being done.”
You can catch a few of these tracks on the Edmontone
sessions, but the truth of the matter is that the work of
Braden Gates is not collapsible into a song, an album, or a
movement. Gates is a hard-working, fast-fingered, songwriter-next-door,
and we can’t wait to see what he brings next.
Braden Gates performs April 21 at Jeans Joint in Red Deer,
April 23 at Culinary Funk in Canmore, and at the Blue Chair
Café in Edmonton on April 28th.
Braden Gates bright third album Much Rather Be Sleeping thinks small.
by Liam Prost
photo: Tyler Sirman
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 45
420 MUSIC AND
pipe dreams do come true by Chrystyn Lynryd
Proof that pipe dreams can come true, Calgary’s inaugural
420 Music & Arts Festival is more than a celebration of
Mother Nature’s bounty, it’s a gathering of some of the
finest stoner rock bands in the land. Branching off of a history
of hosting their own internet show and presenting live bands
under the auspices of the Metalheads United Network, Festival
coordinators CC Getty and Celestia Scarlett, along with co-organizer
Patrick Saulnier, had some inkling of what they were getting
into when they set about orchestrating what has grown into a
“It was really hard to do,” admits Getty. “We started organizing
and reaching out to bands to see if they were interested. This
music doesn’t get a lot of played a lot a Distortion, so we’re kind of
breaking the mould there. But, we ran through a bunch of names of
bands we love like Wo Fat and reached out to them, thinking that
they’d never message us back. Within minutes we had a reply from
Wo Fat. They were in!”
Once the RSVPs from bands started flowing it quickly became apparent
that there were bigger obstacles to be overcome in establishing
a groundbreaking tradition from the grassroots level.
“We were working with Distortion’s booker when we started getting
push-back on the name of the Festival,” he recalls. “There are many
stereotypes associated with stoner rock and stoner metal, but just
because you listen to it doesn’t mean you’re into marijuana. We really
wanted to take away the stereotypes.”
Incorporating an “expo” of artistic and educational displays for
attendees to explore, the Festival aims to compliment the fun elements
common to 420 celebrations held across the planet with timely
“We’ve found about 30 or 40 vendors, so far,” confirms Scarlett.
“It’s great because Calgary has a tonne of talented craftspersons
and designers. We wanted to create a showcase for people and put
that together with some of your medical marijuana activists and other
interesting vendors from Calgary.”
Medicine for the soul will be in abundance throughout the event
as Getty and company have harvested an epic line-up of bands that
will have audiences returning to Distortion’s doorstep night after night.
Thank the Goddess for onsite food trucks!
“Within the stoner rock canon there are so many different styles
that we wanted to represent,” Scarlett explains.
“We started looking around at bands in Western Canada that
were in the genre and there were so many possibilities for line-ups.
Enough to keep us going well into the future, in fact. So, we tried
to pick a lot of bands that don’t usually play here and layered them
in with Calgary’s favourite bands. It’s an interesting and diverse mix
that offers a unique experience every night for people who are doing
three shows back to back.”
Call it stoner, desert, sludge, doom or swamp rock, those rolling
organic grooves with a hardcore concrete center are a custom fit for
the city’s heavy hitters.
“One of the bands we have playing, Hypnopilot, are probably Calgary’s
original stoner rock band. They played the Distortion anniversary
party and were so fired up for this festival they switched up their set
list,” Getty reports.
“We have over 20 bands playing the festival, but we’re actually
putting together more to play a free show on the 19th. We’re
inviting people to come down and pick up their wristbands and
tickets a day early and to get first shot at some of the merchandise.
We figured we might as well have some bands play while we
get everything set up!”
The 420 Music & Arts Festival features live music, art, food trucks, vendors,
beard contests and more. Head to the festival website or Facebook
for more information.
“Texas Sized” band delivers the swampadelic grooves
The 420 Music and Arts Festival brings stoner rockers Wo Fat to the fold!
There are few things more enjoyable than digging into some
salty, smoky barbeque and that’s exactly the kind of pure
chewing satisfaction that meaty Dallas-based swamp rockers
Wo Fat have on their proverbial grill. Turning raw blues rhythms and
uncluttered doom grooves into sweet psych-rock sustenance for over
a decade, this well-seasoned trio has hung in together through thick
and thin. From the formative rumblings of their 2006 debut The
Gathering Dark, to the fulsome darkness of last year’s full-length release
Midnight Cometh, Wo Fat’s lead guitarist/vocalist Kurt Stump,
bassist Tim Wilson and drummer Michael Walter have consistently
brought home the bacon.
“The good thing about Texas is that it’s got a strong scene for our kind
of music,” says jam-master Stump.
“There’s a bunch of good bands here and a number of excellent
venues to play close by, so you can do a short weekend jaunt and hit a
Of course, the group who brought forth molten LPs Psychedelonaut
(2009) and Noche del Chupacabra (2011) had little choice but to
catch fire around the globe. As welcome as the sound of fat sizzling on
mesquite embers, Wo Fat’s heavy fuzz-laden emanations attracted riff
worshiping legions to any stage that was willing to “Book ‘em, Danno!”
“We’ve built a fairly good following worldwide within that genre
with fans of that type of music. We’ve played Desertfest in Berlin
and London, and we’ve done Hellfest in France. Those are really
amazing genre-specific festivals that feature a bunch of bands we
know, so there’s always a reunion kind of vibe. It’s always fun to
hang-out and we find a lot of comradery playing with bands that
are similar to us stylistically.”
The perfect opportunity to do just that, while enjoying some Albertan
hospitality, April’s 420 Music & Arts Festival will surprisingly mark
the well-travelled Wo Fat’s first trip to up to The Great White North.
“It’s our first time to play in Canada, so I’m excited about that! We try
by Christine Leonard
to be strategic about the out-of-town gigs we play – like coming to Calgary.
We’re just flying up there and coming back home, but that’s what
we want to be able to do. To pick and choose cool gigs and do those.
Cuz were not making our living off the band - we’re making our living off
the recording studio.”
A Wo Fat run studio you say? We should have known that the proverbial
enemy of the Hawaii Five-O task force was the one pushing the
buttons all along.
“The drummer, Michael, and I run a recording studio together,” he
“It’s called Crystal Clear Sound and it’s actually one of the oldest
studios in Dallas. I’ve been working there for about 20 years. About
four years ago, we bought the place from the previous owners. Yup, we
bought the company. Now we run it ourselves!”
He continues, “That’s where all of the Wo Fat albums have been recorded.
I’ve been recording professionally for a long time, so experience
has taught me the dangers of becoming myopic and going down the
rabbit hole too far.”
It’s not only anchored the band, but given them confidence in their
jams: after all, when you’re making all the decisions, you’ve got to know
when to pull the proverbial plug on a song, album, or jam session. It’s
made Wo Fat the groovy juggernaut they are today.
“Having spent a lot of time in the studio, I know that you just have to
make decisions and stick to them at some point. I would rather do that
commit and go on than leave something open-ended and never finish it.
I think we’re different from some people in having that attitude.”
Wo Fat are headlining the 420 Music and Arts Festival, which goes down
on April 20th until April 22nd at Distortion. They are headlining day three
of the festival on April 22nd alongside Wo Fat, Chron Goblin, Cowpuncher,
Mammoth Grove, and more. Line-up and ticket information are available
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 47
Edmonton crust punks are battle scarred
Languid, we play hardcore
So begins Edmonton entity
Languid. The band has no Facebook page; they
don’t offer names. When your Bandcamp is
populated with music, who needs a biography?
Rather than pontificate, they record. Rather
than develop a presence online or take pictures
that represent them as some sort of ‘entity,’ they
head into venues and level the crowd with short
bursts of gruff and powerful songs.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel by any
means, we’re playing punk influenced by
Discharge, and bands that were influenced by
Discharge. We make music that we in turn would
want to listen to, paying respect to those that
have inspired us.”
They continue, “We started in the winter
of 2014 and have been constantly gigging and
writing songs since. Our first actual release was
the Demo 2015. There was a litany of delays in
between then and now in terms of releases, but
meanwhile [we] have been very active.”
On their upcoming full length Resist Mental
Slaughter, the band delivers 12 songs. Captured
by Derek Orthner of Begrime Exemious fame, the
record is bare bones. Like their previous recordings,
the vocals are skillfully placed in the mix,
giving the music a live-off-the-floor feel.
The whole package is heavy and gruff, with
skillful integrations. Take the jarring, high neck
guitar solo in “Total Death,” which veers between
shread-aholics do what they do best
Striker released their fifth studio album in February. Come celebrate!
hardcore punk and metal. It’s comparable to
Battle Ruins, with a hefty dollop of attitude and
weirdness. The album cover also veers into punkis-friends-with-metal
territory with its axe-wielding
warrior, reminiscent of the artwork for Bolt
Thrower’s War Master , as if designed by
Voivod’s Michel Langevin.
“Andy from Darkwood Design in Portland has
been churning out some really insane artwork
so we asked him to do it,” says the band. A quick
perusal of his portfolio reveals artwork that is
consistently strong and stark, featuring exclusively
black and white line work and shading.
“The initial idea was to have a single striking
character like the later Anti Cimex records, we figured
the only way to make it better was to splice
it with the first two Iron Maiden records as well.”
Meanwhile, the lyrics encourage you to damn
the man, resist, and fight.
“Everything we write essentially just has to do
with living day to day dealing with the bullshit life
has to offer, the title track is basically just about
not letting the bastards grind you down.”
You heard ‘em. DON’T LET THE BASTARDS
GRIND YOU DOWN!
Languid will perform at the Edmonton release
party for Resist Mental Slaughter on April 15th at
the Sewing Machine Factory. Falsehood, Demise,
and Paroxysm will also perform. To purchase a
copy of the album, contact Languid on Bandcamp
or head to your local record store.
This band doesn’t have a goddamn picture, so we used their album cover instead.
photo: Dana Zuk
“We had some time off between tours and had some
great opportunities come our way so we decided
putting out a new album was our best option!”
Thus begins guitarist Tim Brown of Edmonton thrash metal institution
The band has released two albums in two years. They’ve done tours,
music videos, won “Metal Artist of the Year” at the 2016 Western Canadian
Music Awards, and performed on the 70,000 tons of Metal Cruise.
The Striker machine has just kept barreling forward, record label or no.
“Well, since we’ve gone independent it’s a night and day difference,
we’ve had so many amazing opportunities come our way since we made
the switch. In the span just over the last year we’ve played more shows
than we had done in the previous three years combined,” says Brown.
Striker was previously signed to Napalm Records but since the contract
by Sarah Kitteringham
by Jason Lefebvre
ended, they’ve been busier than ever and just independently released
their fifth full-length, the eponymously dubbed Striker.
The album demonstrates musically growth from their youthful,
enthusiastic, pure speed metal approach to a much more refined
modern metal sound. The band has grown to include vocal
harmonies, progressive guitar shredding, and complex rhythms.
The overall flow remains true to the ‘80s traditional heavy metal
sound that the band has become known and loved for, but as time
goes on with Striker, they’ve placed a stronger emphasis on more
empowering lyrics and musical diversity. A strong example of what
Striker has become stands with the song “Former Glory,” which
kicks off the album. It’s loaded with dual guitar shredding and an
anthemic chorus that encourages the listener to “do what it takes/
leave the past behind.”
“It’s just a good song all around and we made sure it was loaded with
shred from front to back. The nice thing about being independent is that
we can do whatever the hell we want,” says Brown.
“There’s no label to tell us they don’t like our direction or that they
want different sounds. So in that sense it’s a very creative space to be in.”
It’s also a triumphant space to be in, made evident by the fact that
the band is answering these questions while on a massive European tour
with power metal act Sonata Arctica. They arrive home in mid April,
and then play three CD release parties in their home province. It’s nice to
know that nothing will hold them back.
“My amp exploded tonight so that’s about as close as we get,” counters
“We are all really excited to do what we do and nothing is going to
hold us back.”
Striker will perform on April 13th at Dickens with Ravenous: Eternal
Hunger and In/Vertigo. They also perform April 14th in Edmonton at the
Starlite Room with the Tylor Dory Trio, and on April 15th in Red Deer with
Wraith Risen and Bodies Burn Black.
48 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE SHRAPNEL
beneath the wheel and under the sun
by Christine Leonard
The Dirty Rotten Imbeciles are invading a venue near you!!!
at the airport getting ready to get on a
plane to Puerto Rico to do a show. I had to
get up at 3:30 a.m. and I’m a little sleepy,”
confesses D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles) vocalist
“I’m excited cuz we only have one show, but we’re
there for four days. I’ve been there once before in
2012, but didn’t get to go to the beach, we just got
abandoned in some suburb. This time I want to go
snorkeling or something; I’m all over that.”
And, yes, to answer your question, D.R.I. are those
guys dressed in black T-shirts on the beach.
“All pasty and sickly looking. That’s us.”
Soaking up a little R ‘n’ R has taken on new
significance for the legendary hardcore thrash punk
outfit, who emerged from Houston, TX in 1982.
First introduced to the world via the Dirty Rotten
LP a year later, D.R.I.’s fanbase swelled thanks to a
string of blistering releases including Dealing with
It! (1985), Crossover (1987), 4 of a Kind (1988) and
Thrash Zone (1989), with Definition and Full Speed
Ahead following in the '90s. A D.I.Y. punk pioneer,
Brecht and founding guitarist Spike Cassidy scraped
together a following of likeminded hardcore and
metal lovers and, in the process, went on to become
a genre-defining band.
“As kids growing up we didn’t know if there was
an underground music scene. There wasn’t that type
of music then. Only hard rock. We just went to rock
concerts and stadium shows and stuff. And, I was
into the harder, heavier bands. Then, once we discovered
punk rock, it was all over. We were like 'Yeah,
this is way better. Way more aggressive!' and we just
kind of mixed the two together. Hardcore. Hardcore
punk rock. That’s what we wanted.”
Akin to speed metal crossover acts such as Corrosion
of Conformity and Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I.
is accustomed to being at the eye of a human hurricane
that feeds off acerbic wails, high-velocity guitar
work and breakneck percussion. The self-made
quartet, including bassist Harald Oimoen and recent
addition Walter "Monsta" Ryan on drums, harnesses
the energy of the crowd to generate an frenetic
energy that must been witness to be believed.
“I think it’s the music that’s full-throttle,” says
Brecht. “Our performance is just us playing the
songs, we don’t have a big stage show or anything.
The audience is usually the show. I’ve seen some brutal
stuff. I think if you’re at a thrash show you’d just
better expect that you might get walked on or dove
on to. You can always try and stand in the back,
or whatever, but good luck there too. Sometimes
I just see it go wall to wall. No safe places to stand.
Ah, well. Nothing you can do about something like
that; can’t start writing rules. Then it’s just going to
Still packing those venues and generating new
material like 2016’s surprise EP But Wait...There's
More!, D.R.I. is enthusiastic about their Western
and Eastern Canadian tours. According to Brecht,
dividing the nation into two runs of performance
dates in 2017 is the ideal scenario, as it allows him
the flexibility to pursue his non-musical passions.
“It does give you more time for sure. I’m heavily
into gardening. And, I travel a lot, too,” he says.
“We’re super excited about Canada, because we
never get to play there, and a now we get to do two
tours of Canada! We’re getting special shirts made
up! I’m usually out there selling the merchandise all
the time, so I’m talking to everybody.”
D.R.I. are performing in Winnipeg on April 21 at the
Park Theatre, on April 22nd in Saskatoon at the University
of Saskatchewan, on April 23rd in Edmonton
at Union Hall, and in Calgary on April 24th at the
Marquee Beer Market & Stage.
April is the best, because it’s when shows
start happening so frequently you can’t
keep up with them all. So here weeeeee
Head to the Nite Owl in Calgary for the second
annual Extreme Metal Radio festival. It runs April
6th until the 9th. Bands like Display of Decay,
Planet Eater, Path To Extinction, Vile Insignia,
Graveyard Nemesis, W.M.D, Train Bigger Monkeys,
and more are performing. Shows are $20 each
night at the door, and there will be loots for prizes
That same weekend in Edmonton, the third
round of the Stabmonton D.I.Y. Fest will be going
down. Los Angeles grindcore acts Vulva Essers and
Zaklocic will be performing, as will Archagathus,
Messiahlator, Tekarra, and many more. If you
dig your music filthy, crusty, political, and fucking
ferocious, this is the fest for you.
If you live in Calgary, there are several shows to
steal your attention on Thursday, April 13th. You
could to head to the Striker album release party at
Dickens (just make sure you read our feature on the
band first); you could also head to the Palomino
Smokehouse and Social Cub for Monolith AB,
Snake Pit, Regress, and Mortality Rate. Either way,
you’re going to have a blast.
If you’re not heading to the 420 Music and
Arts Festival in Calgary (which, let’s face it, is a
rather ridiculous decision on your part), then
there are several great gig options in Edmonton
Power metal legends Hammerfall perform at Dickens on May 4th!
that weekend. On Saturday, April 22nd, Vancouver
sludge mongers Anciients are playing at the
Mercury Room with Dead Quiet, Tekarra, and
Solarcoven. That same evening over at the Forge,
Aggression is playing with Quietus, Skepsis,
The stoner gigs are coming hard and fast this
month! On Tuesday, April 25th, sludge legends
Weedeater will perform at Distortion with Primitive
Man, Nosis, and Rebuild/Repair. If you dig
your bands getting sister fucking wasted on couch
syrup and delivering a wall of sound, this gig will
deliver yer fix.
Near the end of the month, Blind Beggar Pub
in Calgary has a metal gig going down. On Friday,
April 28th, DTR performs with Red Cain and Sage
With publication dates being the precarious
beasts that they are, there was no way to fit in this
gig for a story, which is a real shame. Nevertheless,
power metal legends Hammerfall are playing
with Delain and Ravenous: Eternal Hunger on
Thursday, May 4th at Dickens. Two days later on
Saturday, May 6th, metal spoof band Okilly Dokilly
will be playing at the same venue. Perhaps then
people will figure out how truly awful they are
musically, rather than marveling at their Simpsonsworship-Ned-Flanders-aping-shtick.
The band will
also be performing in Edmonton on May 7th at the
International Beer Haus & Stage.
• Sarah Kitteringham
photo: Tallee Savage
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 49
Father John Misty
Father John Misty is worth listening to because of the
work his listeners must put forth in order to understand
him. There’s nothing he does that can be taken at face
value, whether it’s a song, album, interview, or short film,
because, as he admits himself, it’s all for show. He admits
this in many ways: he smirks at whatever camera happens
to be trained on him, he over-exaggerates already
melodramatic stage antics.
FJM gets away with this because he is an acknowledged
character; a moniker with which former somber
songwriter Josh Tillman can (ironically) express a
different, truer side of himself. Father John Misty is an
exuberant, attention-seeking, self-serious singer – one
who takes pleasure in what sometimes feels like performance
art. In all of his music, it’s clear Misty’s usually
making fun of someone, but on Pure Comedy, the
third album he’s released as Father John Misty, Tillman
sets his sardonic sights on making fun of humanity and
existence in general.
In 2011, Tillman released his first album as Father
John Misty, the wandering, folk-rocking Fear Fun,
which may be the piece of art most clearly related to
the Misty character to date. It leans heavily on aesthetics
and musical styles established in the early ‘60s and
‘70s by Kris Kristofferson and Neil Young, the latter of
whom Misty name checks on the album’s free-reeling
riff on life in Laurel Canyon, “I’m Writing a Novel.” In
2014, he released I Love You, Honeybear, where he continued
to keep his audience at arm’s length, but draws
back the curtain ever so slightly, bridging the gap in
some ways between the man and the character, even
though his performances then became more stylized
(read: more ridiculous). On “Chateau Lobby #4” he
sings, “Dating for 20 years just feels pretty civilian / I’ve
never thought that / Ever thought that once in my
whole life / You are my first time.” Knowing that as he
wrote Honeybear he married his girlfriend turns his
lyrics from interesting character-wise to touching in a
more tangible, appreciable way.
Now, on Pure Comedy, an album filled to the brim
with references to Misty himself, his past albums and
their obsessions with romancing L.A. life, and pointed attacks
on politics, love, and humanity’s exceptional ability
to absorb and recycle these things, he’s his least funny
– but it suits the present. Another smirking comedian,
arms-crossed wearing a know-it-all persona isn’t what
we need, we need someone known for jokes to revisit his
old seriousness and use how big a deal that switch is to
emphasize his point.
On “Leaving L.A.,” the crux of the album, it feels as
though he’s pointedly acknowledging it’s time to hang
up many of Misty’s most enigmatic qualities in pursuit
of a more personally fulfilling, open relationship with his
audience; a method that, based on the way the songs
come across, and the tone with which he delivers them,
makes it easier for him to comment on the present without
the trouble of framing everything within the context
of this other Self. Still, Tillman displays his relentless
self-awareness; he’s always known exactly how he’s come
across (“‘These L.A. phonies and their bullshit bands /
that sound like dollar signs and Amy Grant’ / So reads
the pull quote from my last cover piece / titled, ‘The
Oldest Man in Folk Rock Speaks’”).
The irony of the album’s first track “Pure Comedy,”
which gives the album its name, is that for the first
time this isn’t in reference to his own kind of comedy, it
seems like it’s a reference to everybody else’s. The song’s
accompanying music video depicts (amid a chaotic
swirl of crude cartoons) memes, viral Youtube clips, and
political sound bites, all of which were cited and used
again and again throughout the presidential campaign
and for a time afterwards. For the first time Misty seems
comfortable not only creating something for his fans to
look at, but something he can look at too, next to them,
with them, instead of across from them at a vantage
point where he can take their temperature and adjust
There is slight disappointment with Pure Comedy being
made of the same (or similar) ingredients found on I
Love You, Honeybear. However, there are some inspired
arrangements from in-demand composers Gavin Bryars
and Nico Muhly, like on the album’s penultimate track,
“So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain,” a song where
Misty sounds tired, resigned to the fact that he’s spent
too much time running from adulthood, and is therefore
destined to become lost, unable to use his latent
self-awareness for anything other than perspective, or at
best to help others. Really, it’s gorgeous. It is reminiscent
of Neil Young in style, and once that becomes clear,
there’s little investigative work necessary to draw it to
one of Young’s similarly themed tracks, “Sugar Mountain.”
Another bright spot on an otherwise musically satisfactory
album comes in the form of the Bowie, “Young
Americans”-esque, “Total Entertainment Forever,” the
only song that balances lyrics and music as perfectly as
anything on Honeybear, where the inclusion of buzzing
horns successfully distracts from the increasingly foreboding
song lyrics – a method of delivery which suits
them perfectly, as throughout the song Misty warns that
although we’re living in the greatest age, where we seem
to be our happiest, it’s all superficial happiness.
The rest of the smartest arrangements on the album
should be considered as such not because they do
anything splashy, but quite the opposite: they leave
large space for the lyrics and Misty’s unmistakable voice
(which has never sounded better).
Even with its similarities to Honeybear, the music is
intoxicating, immersive, and satisfying. Still, Misty has
always been a more gifted lyricist (able to translate and
articulate humanity’s worst, modern insecurities) than
he is a musician, which he acknowledges in a way on
“Leaving L.A.” “So I never learned to play the lead guitar /
I always more preferred the speaking part.”
He bookends the album with the message that none
of this really matters – no matter how good or bad it
all may seem. “We’re hurtling through space,” he sings
on “In Twenty Years or So.” This message, which he
delivers like it’s his ultimate point, contradicts a lot of
what he says throughout the album’s second act. It’s
an indication Misty’s as confused as we are. As he puts
forth a variety of argumentative theses that tackle why
the country is the way it is, where it’s headed, and why
it’s headed there, it’s a comforting notion that he, too,
is unable to make reasoning the present seem like it’s
anything other than a method of throwing everything at
the wall and seeing what sticks.
• Alex Southey
illustration: Cristian Fowlie
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 51
Do Make Say Think
Stubborn Persistent Illusions
While Canada has a rich and diverse history of musical expression,
few genres are so indebted to our cold, northern climate as
post-rock, and Montreal’s Constellation Records have been at the
forefront of the often scoffed-at niche for so long that no other
label even really comes close.
Sure, there are other ‘big’ instrumental groups, ones that have
managed to grace film scores and art installations alike, but none
are so deserving of their due as Do Make Say Think, and Stubborn
Persistent Illusions — the collective’s first record in eight years —
isn’t so much another fitting transplant into the swell of Canada’s
post-rock repertoire as it is a life-affirming appreciation of the
expressive power of sound in its purest form.
As though brimming with energy from their almost-decade
away, Do Make Say Think open up Stubborn Persistent Illusions
with “War on Torpor,” a five-and-a-half minute anthem of panicked
percussion, fired off with a frenetic urgency reminiscent of
the crescendoing buildups of 2000’s Goodbye Enemy Airship the
Landlord is Dead.
From there, “Horripilation” slips in as the Yin to “Torpor’s”
Yang, showcasing the archetypal Do Make Say Think: sliding bass
lines as addictive as any earworm, brief reposes of crystalline flittering
held together by the puncture of drum-strikes, and enough
turns to keep from dragging out its emotional stay, before slipping
in ceaselessly to the shuddering “A Murder of Thoughts.”
But the tides of Stubborn Persistent Illusions find no break
on the shores of a lacklustre middle ground, instead only being
amplified on “Bound” (along with its sister-track “And Boundless”)
resulting in a bombastic expression of ephemera, pent-up
emotion, left-field signature-switches and sheer rhythm as it rushes
The first two tracks released from Stubborn Persistent Illusions,
“Bound” and “And Boundless,” represent some of the strongest,
most rhythmically jarring, and downright exciting sound-shifts
since “Mladic,” from fellow Constellation label-mate Godspeed
You! Black Emperor’s Polaris-prize winning album ‘Allelujah! Don’t
Bend! Ascend! in 2012 (another track forged from extended
hiatus and triumphant return).
The latter half of the album finds the instrumental group
honing their introspective skills, and from the placid “Her Eyes
on the Horizon” through to the hopefully melancholic “Return,
Return Again,” the group further explores the swelling, humming
fragility found across many of the records from Constellation’s
In their eight year absence, Do Make Say Think have managed
to reinforce their sound without stagnation, returned to familiar
rhythms without relying on tropes, and Stubborn Persistent Illusions
strikes down the notion that instrumentalists offer nothing
but lackadaisical ambiance.
• Alec Warkentin
52 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE
Universal Music Canada
Drake’s newest album, More Life, is stylized as a “playlist” by
the rapper for a good reason. While the track listing is 22 songs
long, it feels like he’s unable to get a coherent message across to
listeners. With a few catchy tunes that are both like and unlike
Drake’s usual style, the overall theme of the album seems like
something we’ve heard before.
Solo tracks make rare appearances on this album, with most
songs including features from a variety of artists like grime
dons Skepta and Giggs, to South African house mainstay Black
Coffee, to a cast of many including Jorja Smith, Sampha, Quavo,
Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Young Thug, Kanye West, and PartyNextDoor.
It’s not surprising that Drake’s OVO label mate PartyNext-
Door is featured on the album either, continuing a long trend
of Drake hooks carrying the Toronto auto-crooner’s career. It’s
these lacklustre coincidences that make the playlist less than
perfect. It doesn’t help that Drake’s lyrical content covers well
worn territory. Drake’s celebration of success, word of warning
to the haters, and pining for women, are all themes that have
been heavily overdone by him already.
What’s new on this album? Its sound is disconnected, from a
relatively interesting, house-influenced “Passionfruit” to what
sounds like Drake’s attempt at a club hit, the Black Coffee sampling
“Get It Together.” “Portland” sounds like a beat he’s used
in previous albums, with added panflute. While grime features
like Giggs and Skepta definitely add value to the “playlist,”
their lyricism sometimes end up standing out and being simply
laughable, finishing off “KMT” with the lyric, “Batman/da-na-nada-na.”
Looking past what’s not working on this album, some tracks
do have some saving elements. The aforementioned “Passionfruit”
sounds like Drake has finally realized that making things
sound less like Drake means they’re commercially successful. In
the same way “One Dance” infected, or rather still infects, top
40 radio stations, so can we expect “Passionfruit” to follow a
It’s no surprise that the Kanye West-featuring “Glow” is a
playlist highlight. “Watch out for me/I’m bound to glow” won’t
go down as one of Kanye’s most lyrically complex hooks, but it
has that signature Kanye infectiousness that adds to an otherwise
Overall, it seems like the album was a lot of tracks that Drake
had nothing to do with anymore, which explains the “playlist”
stylization of the album. Individually, the songs are decent to
listen to, and it’s the Drake fans are used to and that’s about it.
Fans of Drake don’t expect revolutionary music from the rapper,
but rarely does his music feel like this much of a grab bag.
• Amber McLinden
FUTURE / HNDRXX
A1/ Freebandz / Epic
The king of trap and mumble rap returns to the ad-lib battle with
something to prove, releasing two chart-topping albums in two
consecutive weeks. Unfortunately for Future, this is now a post-Migos
kingdom that is difficult to conquer without a Quavo feature. There’s
no denying Future’s tireless work ethic, but it’s also his biggest downfall.
Instead of creating one great album, Future took the time to create two
bloated albums with practically no features or variety.
FUTURE, the first of the two projects, showcases the Atlanta
rapper’s shallow and generic lifestyle that comes with fame. The lines
about money, drugs, and broads in Atlanta dominate every track, but
they are largely forgettable and uncreative.
On “Might as Well,” Future sounds particularly unconvincing despite
his ad-libs suggesting otherwise: “Either way it goes/We buyin’ out the
stores (for real)/We ain’t never runnin’ out of lean (never).”
Future does his best to heat up the frozen dish he’s serving even
though it would simply taste better if it were fresh.
Although Southside dominates the production credits on this
album, you wouldn’t be able to tell without looking it up. Every trap
beat fulfills its purpose well enough, but only a few tracks stand out
from the rest of the pack. The same could be said for Future’s rapping
on this project: it just does enough to be marketable and enjoyable, but
it turns stale after a few listens.
While there’s no track on FUTURE that compares to “Xanny Family”
off EVOL, songs like “Scrape” and “Zoom” feature varied production and
elite ad-libs that will impress all connoisseurs of hip-hop. There are a few
other standout tracks, but the album would really benefit from a feature.
Anyone - hell, even Yo Gotti - would help break up the Future fatigue.
HNDRXX, the second album, is reminiscent of Future’s R&B days.
Fans of 2014’s Honest will likely prefer this album to the first, but it
suffers from the exact same problems, heightened by the two main
features on the album. Predictably, two of the best songs are “Coming
Out Strong” featuring The Weeknd and “Selfish” featuring Rihanna.
These two singers break up the Future fatigue perfectly, both for the
listener and for Future himself. It seems like Future is at his best when
he is riding off the energy of other artists, so it’s disappointing he didn’t
borrow the talents of his peers for these two projects. Future can hold
it down without help on a few tracks, but he’s not offering enough
individually for two 17-track albums.
Almost as to apologize for the two overly long albums, Future drops
the mic with “Sorry.” This track showcases what Future can do when
he’s possessed by a beat, exorcising record sales and dollar signs from
his mind for over seven minutes. The keys on this track are simple,
evoking Kanye’s “Runaway,” but they are memorable and expressive.
Switching up his flow constantly, Future balances his showboating
with refreshing bars about fame scaring him. If every solo Future track
sounded this inspired, he would have no competition. Unfortunately,
that won’t happen until he realizes less is more. Until then, he’s constantly
sabotaged by his own ambition.
• Paul McAleer
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 53
had to move my own inflection…” while her
voice maneuvers various rhythms, powerfully,
before reaching a long drawl and celebratory,
LOUD, horns. This crescendo brings the song
home and demonstrates the artist’s prowess for
Now at eight albums, Amelia Curran is a
Canadian musical institution showing no signs
of relenting. She’s willing, still, to share more
with her audience, but it’s got to be a trade-off.
If we’re going to get more from her, we’ve got
to start trying a little harder, as she sings on the
second last song “Try,” in our own way, to make
this country a little more loving.
• Trent Warner
Year of the Snake
“Shadows” is one of the finest Future Islands
tracks of all time, largely due to a surprise
Debbie Harry feature. Harry and Herring compliment
each other in a way that demands a
full-length duet album.
Herring’s songwriting and vocals on this
album are its biggest strengths, but that’s not
to say the instrumentation is lacking. Each track
features memorable bass, drums, and synths,
but it’s hard to imagine how the album would
hold up without Herring. Other synth-pop and
indie rock groups spew interchangeable lyrics
without believing in them. With Herring driving
the boat, every song feels genuine and unique.
While “Seasons” remains undefeated as a
single, The Far Field showcases the band at their
best, offering a handful of songs that come close
to taking the crown.
• Paul McAleer
Arca is an artist that exists between worlds.
Intermittently, his beats might attract fanfare
from ravers, art aficionados, or even up and
coming pop stars. If you’re familiar with his experimental
sound, you’ll know to expect dissonant
kick drums, howling synths, or iconoclastic
machine music. His first album Xen was clearly
influenced by classical sounds and melodies, but
by 2014’s Mutant he was forcing a new musicality
unlike anything before it. On his self-titled
third album, he brings his own voice, his own
history, and his own language to the juncture of
While working on the album he was inspired
by his Venezuelan heritage, and walks through
a Victorian Burial Ground (and popular cruising
spot for gay men) in London. As he says, “…so
much poetry: Life. Death. Gayness.”
And there’s a certain melodrama - a certain
pain - that gay men, historically, have evoked so
well. Think Oscar Wilde, think Pedro Almodóvar.
Arca is no exception. Of the eight songs
where his vocals are present (thirteen make up
the album), all are in Spanish, and act in direct
obstruction to their instrumental counterparts.
“Coraje,” a beautiful choral arrangement will
stretch your heart strings and fill you with hope,
before it erodes into “Whip,” a spastic interlude,
which syncopates obtusely and assaults
the listener, catching its stride and shifting to a
rhythmic hip-hop beat in the final counts.
Though his music may not be everything to
everyone at a given time, he offers a labyrinth of
sounds a listener can get lost in, finding harmony
in the edges of musicality.
• Trent Warner
I Need Love
Listening to the new Jom Comyn record, I Need
Love, feels exactly like shaking off the dusty,
dirty snow of winter and sprinting into the sun
while wearing sparkly hot pants. Or being able
to fondly look back on a relationship once it’s
over. That good feeling.
The 28-track record features several Edmontonian
all-star appearances including Marlaena
Moore, Jesse Northey, Renny Wilson, Mitch
Holtby and more. It’s broken up into bite size
lovelorn morsels, from tender and earnest to
twangy and sassy. The quality of the album
is in no way surprising, but the sudden shifts
between jangly country on the track “All or
Nothing,” to cavernous and somber tones on
“Echo Chamber,” do offer wide variety. The first
single, “Why Do You Love Me?” has a danceable,
Motown vibe and perks up some of the sadder
tones on the rest of the record.
Each full listen through offers up a new set of
emotions to comb through. Sometimes while
sitting quietly alone in the dark, or up on your
feet shakin’ it. The many layers and flavours
present on this album have already cemented
it as one of the best in 2017 thus far. I think we
have plenty of reasons to love you, Jom Comyn.
• Brittany Rudyck
Six Shooter Records
After seven albums, it seems a strange shift for
Amelia Curran to be at her most vehemently
political on her latest album Watershed. However,
it’s a welcome change, as her sharp wit has
been present throughout her whole career, and
the political undertones of this album especially
are complemented by the grit in her voice.
Lyrically, she’s always been open, if you’ve
been paying attention and reading between
the lines. On Watershed, she’s more direct and
more readily available – something that can be
attributed to her work as a mental health advocate
in Canada over the past few years.
At her softest and most tender on “Act of
Human Kindness,” Curran calls for empathy and
love to ensure that humanity makes it out of
her perceived darkness. Shortly after, she’s at her
hardest. On “No More Quiet,” she is backed by
Canadian blues artist Shakura S’aida for a feminist
anthem against the patriarchal status-quo
often found in the music industry. She sings, “…
the river has changed its direction, while I’ve
Sitting atop a pedestal that few post-millennium
hardcore bands can even begin to fathom,
Canadian punk outfit Fucked Up have been
downright prolific since winning the prestigious
Polaris Prize almost a decade ago for The Chemistry
of Common Life.
Year of the Snake, the latest 12” in their
acclaimed Zodiac Series, further emboldens the
crew as quasi-art-hardcore forerunners, finding
them mixing methodical, diegetic noise with
vocalist Damian Abraham’s telltale growl over
two new tracks: the 25-minute epic “Year of
the Snake,” and “Passacaglia,” which finds the
group exploring a more introspective, nuanced
approach to heavy and relentless.
While Fucked Up are no strangers to bending
the formula of what constitutes a solid-whilestill-brutal
album, the beauty of Year of the
Snake lies in its ability to avoid common hardcore
tropes: There’s no egregious noise for its
own sake, no shriek or howl that’s not uncalled
for or unwarranted, and even the experimentalism,
something usually frowned upon in hardcore’s
dedicated niche, is done immaculately
and dystopian instrumentals occupy more space
on the album than anything else.
In short,Year of the Snake is a strong release
from a band who obviously knows what they’re
doing, and the only gripe, really, is when the
fuck is the next full length?
• Alec Warkentin
The Far Field
Around 12 seasons ago, Future Islands danced
their way into the mainstream spotlight with
a career-changing performance. Other than
leaving David Letterman elated and confused,
“Seasons (Waiting on You)” from 2014’s Singles,
landed a spot on nearly every song of the year
list. We’ve been eagerly waiting for new material
“Ran” is the lead single from The Far Field
tasked with going toe-to-toe with “Seasons.”
Lyrically, “Ran” is slightly less memorable, but
Samuel T. Herring’s vocal performance carries
the track in a way that few musicians can. A love
song that features the line, “Nobody seems to
me so perfect and so sweet,” sounds like it came
from a fifth grader’s crayon-covered Valentine’s
Day card when read out loud. When Herring
delivers a line like this, it is truly so perfect and
New Damage Records
Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, punk rockers
Mobina Galore have returned with their second
full-length album, Feeling Disconnected.
As a duo, Mobina Galore only have a guitar
and drums in their arsenal, which seems not to
matter since they’re totally fucking killing it.
Comprised of two fierce females, Mobina Galore
are proving to be a force to be reckoned with,
while completely kicking ass in a scene monopolized
These ladies are dominating the fast, hard
hitting and melodic punk rock style. The vocals
are heavy but belted-out gently when required.
Vocalist and guitarist, Jenna Priestner possesses
a vocal range that many dream of, destroying
both melodious and scratchy stylings at will.
The guitar is fierce and Priestner executes addictive
hooks with ease and at a comparable class
to veteran punk bands. The thunderous beats
are courtesy of drummer, Marcia Hanson, who
also provides the perfectly harmonized backing
vocals. Their sound is an anthemic punk-style;
fast, catchy riffs and aggressive tempos. Tracks
“Nervous Wreck,” “Start All Over,” and “Going
Out Alone” are all stellar examples of the overall
sentiment of Feeling Disconnected. And despite
the title of the record and the underlying lyrical
content, Feeling Disconnected is sure to resonate
with many listeners.
• Sarah Mac
True North Records
Too often, an artist focuses on using as many
parts of their musical vocabulary on a record,
without concentrating on defining their sound.
Leeroy Stagger’s latest, Love Versus, shows his
uncanny ability to meld disparate elements into
his own, rough hewn roots rock sound. The
result is an album that hits high notes in both
songwriting and production throughout.
Kicking off with “I Want It All,” Stagger uses
a friendly, “Hey Jude”-like chant to examine the
dichotomy of want versus need. It’s interesting to
set this question to a feel that has currency in the
folk-punk style, as though it’s an advance answer
to a possible critique, Stagger cleverly using a bit
of the pop formula to skewer notions of commercialism
while making motions to “tear down
54 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE
eligion,” and in the end, seek balance in life and
career. That’s a tight rope to walk, and Stagger
pulls it off deftly. The title track follows up, with a
slight, chiming chorus riff as a rhythmic counterpoint
to the gently picked acoustic riff, not unlike
a cut from The War On Drugs, before Stagger lays
down a series of questions about the nature of
power, and it’s influence in what we’re brought
up to loathe and fear. The chorus, with its ascending
melody and massive harmony, quickly sets a
standard for the rest of the record.
On Love Versus, Stagger, along with producer
Colin Stewart, and the crack band of
Tyson Maiko, Pete Thomas, Paul Rigby, and
Geoff Hilhorst have dropped an album that is
immediately catchy and rollicking, but Stagger’s
willingness to be unflinchingly honest with
himself never loses sight of the bigger picture;
our care for those close to us, and caring for
the world around us are inextricably linked, and
have more effect on us than maybe some of us
are willing to admit.
• Mike Dunn
A Crow Looked at Me
P.W. Elverum & Sun
It’s reductive to try and encapsulate A Crow
Looked at Me purely in its context. This is an
album about the death of Phil Elverum’s wife,
recorded in the room she died in, using her
instruments. Yes, the record is just as dreary as it
sounds, but it’s hardly as simple. Elverum’s work
as Mount Eerie, as well as The Microphones, and
his own name, share a collective downtrodden
temperament, but nothing this forward.
The true genius of A Crow… comes from its
detachment; melodramatic it is not. From the
first line of the first track, Elverum introduces
his own discomfort with the act of grieving
through song. “When real death enters the
house all poetry is dumb,” Elverum whimpers
on “Real Death.” The record is stark, bare, and
strikingly direct. Elverum refuses to entertain
fanciful notions of death
and dying, only it’s unflinching, dark impenetrability.
This groundedness provides a realism
that reinforces the emotionality of the record.
Elverum reveals his grief like an old friend over
coffee: honestly, and with pause, with emotion
welling up in the breaks between the lines. We
know he’s grieving because he tells us he is, but
we feel it because he doesn’t want us to.
• Liam Prost
There’s something to be said about the movement
going on in the last few years; that whole
resurgence of somewhat popular bands from
the early-to-mid-‘90s, throwing an album down
like “yes! We’re still here! And it’s not just for the
royalty cheques!” Except, IT IS JUST FOR THE
It seems we’re living in an era where people
seldom hear the word “no” anymore. Maybe their
label agreed, and said of course the fans want to
hear more, even if the duo has been inactive for
twelve of their nineteen years in the business.
What’s to say, then? You could look at
Prozzäk’s Forever 1999 with the same sort of
wonder and amazement a toddler would look
at anything. Those words don’t always have to
imply a positive connotation, by the way, but for
fairness sake, uptempo, bubble-gummy, radio
electro-pop appeals to some people because it’s
catchy, uncomplicated, relatively easy to ignore,
and won’t cause allergies or homicides.
To this reviewer, it’s like deliberately causing
someone to suffer anaphylactic shock. “Love me
Tinder?” No, stick with “Sucks to be You.” I know,
I know. Be nice. Unfortunately, numbers don’t
lie, and if we can go ahead and compare this to
prescription anti-depressants (big reach there)
it’s safe to bet that out of 100 people, at least 65%
will suffer an adverse reaction to this album.
• Lisa Marklinger
The Real McKenzies
Two Devils Will Talk
Stomp/Fat Wreck Chords
Canadian rebels The Real McKenzies have
returned with a brand-new album, Two Devils
This latest album is a stellar example of the
McKenzies’ style and sound, which after 25 years
hasn’t slowed down or sold-out. Two Devils
Will Talk is the tenth full-length release from
these rowdy Scottish-Canadians, and the follow
up to 2015’s Rats in the Burlap. Two Devils
features the raw, thundering vocals of founding
member and frontman Paul McKenzie, as well
as his bandmates’ perfected harmonies. Both
accompanied by the classic melodic tempos we
all love raising a glass and singing along to. The
album is reminiscent of early punk-rock scene,
slightly gritty with dark undertones. As always,
the McKenzies combine this with old-fashioned,
Celtic-hymn-style bones, giving the album a
cozy pub feel we’re all familiar with.
And who could forget the bagpipes? A staple
in the McKenzies’ sound, bagpipes can be heard
throughout Two Devils, which is something
their fans look forward to.
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Real
McKenzies and Two Devils Will Talk is a perfect
way to celebrate such a momentous achievement.
An album which pays tribute to both
their Canadian and Scottish roots, as well as the
journey that got them here.
• Sarah Mac
To be honest, when I first listened to this album
it sort of irritated me. Coming from the camp
that listened to The Shins for emotional reprieve
when going through sweetly powerful and sad
times, this album often feels too happy. Perhaps
it was my own foolhardy intent of listening
while lying morosely in a dark bedroom. The
sounds just clashed.
Upon second listen, walking in a bright, sunny
and warm day, everything clicked into place.
The title track of the album, “Heartworms,”
manages to capture that impetuously squirmy
feeling of being unable to shake a crush, a love,
a feeling. There are moments that feel overtly
BEATROUTE • APRIL 2017 | 55
Beatles-y (the complex mysticism and elation of
“Fantasy Island”), moments that feel like a humble
southern country throwback (“Mildenhall”),
and moments that do touch upon that old Shins
vibe of being somber and saccharine at the
same time (“The Fear,” “So Now What”). With a
perfectly balanced production, this album slowly
scratched and crawled its way into my heart,
like its own little Heartworm. It’s burrowed its
way in and is there to stay.
• Willow Grier
Trying to improve on deathcore by making it
into nu-metal is like trying to improve a pool of
cold vomit by eating it and turning it into shit.
That’s what California’s Suicide Silence have
done on their fifth and definitively worst album.
Self-titling an album is a bold statement: this
is us, pure Suicide Silence, the closest you’ll
get to a best-of. It’s probably not a good move
on SS’s part to abandon their sound (more or
less prototypical deathcore; death metal and
metalcore mixed without a single good element
of either) in favor of toned-down baggy-shortscore
with a reliance on clean singing that inflicts
every one of vocalist Hernan “Eddie” Hermida’s
inane lyrics on you.
They’ve not only gone nu-metal for no particular
reason but released a bad nu-metal record.
Nowhere do they match KoRn’s groove or Deftones’
soulful slow burn: all that’s left is a band
that could be on the 2006 Family Values Tour,
scheduled mid-afternoon between 10 Years and
Deadsy then forgotten.
• Gareth Watkins
All Day Breakfast
Grind Central Records
While it is doubtful that Regina duo Chris Dimas
and Gage McGuire are fathers, they are the
talent behind the Surf Dads. After releasing three
EPs, they come at us with their first full-length
album, All Day Breakfast. While it might be a
little bold to call them the fathers of surf, this
album is warm and breezy and encapsulates the
young energy that summer brings. The first of 12
tracks, “Up All Night,” is reminiscent of bands like
Weezer and Alvvays, with the fast guitars, nimble
drums and starry-eyed vocals. It speaks to the
mistakes we make and the remorse that often
follows. It’s like doing the walk of shame in your
head. Beyond the catchy hooks and shimmery
riffs, there is substance in the lyrics. On one hand
you have the track “Pinpoint,” where “dig your
own hole / I’ll pass you a shovel” is hollered out,
only to have Beach Boys like harmonies in “Apologies”
two tracks later. Yet the album flows well,
the energy is wired and to resist the urge to dance
like a maniac would be futile.
• Aja Cadman
Staring at the cover of Tennis’ new album Yours
Conditionally, I can’t help but feel that I’m staring
at a sun-bleached portrait of my parents in
the mid to late ‘70s, shortly after they would
have met. The album harkens to that period,
where my parents were falling in love; my mom
had the same tight curly hair, and my dad had
a hilarious, if not ironic, Gregg Allman-esque
mustache, both like Tennis’ Alaina Moore and
Through its softness, opener “In the Morning
I’ll Be Better,” reminds the listener that your
physical or mental exhaustion can be cured
by morning. Atop Moore’s soft falsetto, the
reminder is bittersweet, like ice cream melting
down the cone and into your hand on a brazen
Like a long-term relationship or a particularly
scorching summer, the album kind of
moves in and out of a haze; there are moments
of heartache and grandeur. Besides the above,
“Modern Woman” and “Ladies Don’t Play
Guitar” are two standouts. The first is a heartbreaking
lament for friendships lost, which
uses musical repetition and haze as a means to
an end. The second is a sarcastic take on the
instances where females have been (and still
are) treated as muses, not musicians, in music
journalism. The sting of its wit and of its guitar
don’t go unnoticed.
Unfortunately for Tennis, I don’t think this
album will stand the test of time quite like my
parents (29 years and counting!). It’s enjoyable,
light, airy, and sweet, but fades from mind too
• Trent Warner
Fat Wreck Chords
For fans of San Francisco based hardcore band,
Western Addiction, it is time to rejoice! The
band has finally released their very long-awaited
follow-up record, entitled Tremulous.
Released 12 years after their debut album,
Cognicide, Tremulous was worth the wait. To
produce this record, many of the band’s founding
members were called upon, which rooted
Tremulous with the same aggressive feeling as
their past recordings. The difference from past
releases is the distinctive melodic sound, which
gives the album a twist that both fans and firsttime
listeners will appreciate.
Tremulous is a dark and heavy album featuring
deep, brooding lyrics, but unlike most
hardcore releases, Tremulous features frontman
Jason Hall’s finest attempt at singing. Not the
hoarse, scathing vocals normally heard in the
genre. Songs like, “Righteous Lightning,” will
have you chanting along, while “Honeycreeper,”
will have you yearning for a circle pit. Although
the overall feel of Tremulous is dark, the rhythm
has its highs and lows; upbeat and melodic to a
The guys in Western Addiction haven’t lost
their edge in the decade that’s passed, they’ve
fine-tuned their sound and perfected their style
to produce a record worthy of waiting 12 years
for and absolutely one to be proud of.
• Sarah Mac
56 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE
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I recently spoke at Curious Minds Weekend in Toronto at the Hot
Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Audience members submitted questions
on cards before the show—anonymously—but the moderator, Lisan
Jutras of the Globe and Mail, and I were having so much fun talking
with each other that we didn’t get to many cards. So I’m going to
quickly answer as many of the questions from the audience at Curious
Minds as I can this week.
My husband and I have been seeking a third for a threesome. After a very
palpable night of flirtation, I asked a mutual friend (as we shared a cab)
if he would be down for a threesome. He said yes, but I was not about to
spring him on my husband that night. So I texted him later about it, and
he has ignored me. What should I take from this?
A friend’s BF won’t go down on her no matter how much she asks. She still
won’t break up with him, even though she told me that oral is the only way
she has ever had an orgasm. How do I get her to realize her sexual pleasure
is a priority?
If your friend’s BF doesn’t know oral is the only way she can orgasm, she
should tell him. If she told him and he doesn’t care, she should dump
him. If she told him and he doesn’t care and she won’t dump him, you’re
not obligated to listen to her complain about the orgasms she’s not
I’m a bisexual 42-year-old female with an extremely high sex drive who
squirts with every orgasm. How do I deal with friends—even people at a
sex club—who think you’re a freak because “women aren’t supposed to be
horny all the time.”
If your friends—presumably people you aren’t fucking—complain
that you’re horny all the time, maybe it’s because you don’t talk about
anything other than the sex you just had or the sex you hope to have
soon. If people at sex clubs (!) are complaining about how horny you
are… either you’ve accidentally wandered into a yacht club or even
people at a sex club wanna talk about something other than sex every
once in a while.
My very Christian friend is about to get married. Though she is socially very
liberal, she is pretty sexually repressed. I want to do something to encourage
her to explore her sexuality a bit before she takes a try at partnered
sex. How weird would it be to buy her a vibrator as a shower present?
Don’t give your friend a vibrator at her shower—gifts are opened in
front of guests at showers—but go ahead and send her one. Tell her it’s a
Two guys divorced in order to bring a third man into their relationship on
equal terms, and they now plan to start a family with their sisters acting as
I am 31. My husband (newly married) is 46, almost 47. He takes FOREVER
to come, no matter what I do. How do we speed up this process? My jaw,
fingers, etc., are all very sore.
Your husband speeds up the process by incorporating self-stimulation
breaks into the blowjobs, handjobs, etcetera-jobs you’re giving him. He
strokes himself while you take a quick breather and/or an Advil, he gets
himself closer, you get back to work.
I’m 47 and my wife is 31. I take a lot longer to come and recover than she
would like. Could you please explain to her that it’s normal for a man my
age to “slow down” and it’s not her?
Happy birthday. And, yes, it’s normal for a man to slow down as he
ages—it’s not her—and there are younger men who take a long time
to come. But such men need to take their partners’ physical limitations
into consideration. To avoid wearing out their partners’ jaws, fingers, etc.,
they need to take matters into their own hands. They should enjoy that
blowjob, handjob, twatjob, or assjob, take breaks to stroke their own dicks,
eventually bring themselves to the point of orgasmic inevitability, and end
by plunging back into that mouth, fist, twat, or ass to blow their load.
I have been reading your column since the early 1990s. Since that time,
what has struck you in the kind of problems people write you about?
People don’t ask me about butt plugs anymore. I used to get a letter
once or twice a week from someone who needed to have butt plugs
explained to them. But butt plugs have their own Wiki page now, so no
one needs me to explain them anymore. But for old times’ sake: They
look like lava lamps, they go in your butt, they feel awesome, and they
typically don’t induce gay panic in butt-play-curious straight boys.
Would you share your thoughts on our prime minister, Justin Trudeau?
I think Justin needs to stop fucking around and legalize weed already, like
When are you going to move to Canada already?
Polyamory after marriage—is it okay?
by Dan Savage
I’m a submissive gay boy. I saw you walk into the theater tonight wearing
combat boots. Is there any way I could lick your boots clean after the
Sadly, I didn’t see your question until after I got back to my hotel.
Straight male here. My best male friend of 20 years transitioned to female.
I’ve been super supportive since day one, but her transitioning is all she ever
talks about, and it’s getting tiresome. I miss our discussions of bicycle repair
and Swedish pop music. How can I tell her to give it a rest while remaining
If she began transitioning last week, then of course it’s all she can talk
about. If she transitioned five years ago and it’s still all she ever talks
about, then you’ll need to (gently) be the change you want to see in the
conversation. Listen supportively when she discusses trans issues and
seize opportunities (when they arise) to change the subject (“So how do
you think Sweden will do in Eurovision this year?”).
Why are so many lesbians into astrology?
All the lesbians I know are strict empiricists. So the more pertinent question
would be this: Whose sample is skewed—mine or yours?
My male partner never masturbates and we have sex only once a week.
We’ve been together four years. I’m a woman. I would like to have sex just
a little more, but he isn’t into it. Is there something weird about me masturbating
a bunch during the week and just having weekend sex?
Dude? Trump? WTF?
@fakedansavage on Twitter
58 | APRIL 2017 • BEATROUTE