DJD • Escape Art • GIRAF • Rural AB Advantage • Current Swell • Gales of Avalon • Gord Downie
NOVEMBER 2017 I EVENT LISTINGS
Friday November 3
The Denim Daddies
Saturday November 4
Friday November 10
The Ashley Hundred
Gunner & Smith
Saturday November 11
Dirty Catfish Brass Band
Fermented Beet Orchestra
Long Time No Time
Friday November 17
FREE show with
and special guests
Saturday November 18
2018 Pinups For Pups & Misters
for Whiskers Charity Calendars
Live Music from Miesha & The
Spanks and Daydream Kids
Burlesque Performances from
Daisy DeVille, Randi Lee, Ivy La
Fleur, Manhattan Wilde
Friday November 24
Saturday November 25
James T. Kirks
Friday December 1
Song Book EP Release
Saturday December 2
Merry Chronmas with
All Hand on Jane
Sunday December 3
Holiday Craft Sale
COMING IN DECEMBER
TOY DRIVE FOR THE
Stoner Rock Guy presents:
SLED ISLAND’S ROCK
LOTTO - CHRISTMAS
109 7TH AVE SW 403 532 1911 THEPALOMINO.CA
*Advance tickets at Sloth Records or myshowpass.com
Bedroom Eyes 7
Edmonton Extra 34-37
This Month in Metal 48
Savage Love 54
Femme Wave 23-26
Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Paracon,
Monthly Mouthful, Horseshoe Hummingbird,
Art Listings, Women’s Legacy, Mike
Thorn, Escape Art, Fashion Hustle,
GIRAF, CEFF, CUFF Sean Buckelew, Wedding
Singer, Calgary European Film Festival,
California Typewriter, My Friend Dahmer
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Death From Above, Danko Jones,
R.Ariel, The Rural Alberta Advantage,
Dead South, Off With Their Heads,
The Galacticas, Silverstein
Alberta Electronic Music Festival,
Huxlet, DJ Dine and Dash
Hermitess, Dirty Catfish Brass Band,
Cold Specks, Current Swell, Boogie Patrol
Gales Of Avalon, The Weir
Gord Downie and much more ...
Social Media Coordinator
City :: Brad Simm
Film :: Morgan Cairns
Rockpile :: Jodi Brak
Edmonton Extra :: Brittany Rudyck
Book of (Leth)Bridge :: Courtney Faulkner
Jucy :: Paul Rodgers
Roots :: Liam Prost
Shrapnel :: Sarah Kitteringham
Reviews :: Jamie McNamara
The Whip :: Kennedy Enns
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 • Jodi Brak •
Breanna Whipple • Alex Meyer • Jay King • Alec Warkentin • Paul McAleer • Mike Dunn •
Shane Sellar • Kaje Annihilatrix • Dan Savage
Tigerwing: Toronto musician and visual artist performing at Femme Wave 2017.
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BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 3
Fifth REEL Celebrates
5-Years of Cult Film Screenings
This November, local cult film champions,
The Fifth Reel, will celebrate a major
milestone with five fan-centric events.
Featuring local bands, themed cocktails,
incredible costumes, alternative screening
spaces and celebrity guests, they’re staying
true to form and maintaining a space in
Calgary’s film community for the nerds,
the weirdos and those just looking for a
good night out.
Nov 3 at Globe Cinema
THE BIG LEBOWSKI
feat. live music performance
from Child Actress
Nov 17 at Dickens Pub
THE WEDDING SINGER
+ Hang the DJ
(alternative dance party)
Nov 18 at Globe Cinema
DON’T BREAK DOWN
A FILM ABOUT JAWBREAKER,
in partnership with CUFF Docs
Nov 25 at Local 510
BOOZY CARTOON BRUNCH
Nov 29 at Globe Cinema
OH HI MARK WITH
GREG SESTERO ft.
THE ROOM LIVE +
BEST F(R)IENDS Sneak Peak
New Edward Gallery
352 - 8th Avenue NE
Thursday, November 16th, 7-10pm
Friday, November 17th, 7-10pm
Saturday, November 18th, 2-6pm
and by special appointment call 403 888 4442
dream in colour
earl james stevenson
late night movies
$5 pints, $1 oysters
$1/2 off wine
$7 beer flights
4 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE
$5 draft pints
$3 Wild Turkey
2018 Pin-Ups for Rescue Calander
A 2018 calendar produced by Robyn Gordon and Marissa Poirier featuring local pinup models will be released at a benefit party for ARTS Senior
Animal Rescue, who assist in the care and adoption of mature cats and dogs. The fun takes place Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Palomino with Meisha and
the Spanks and Daydream Kids providing the music, along with lots of gorgeous pin-up girls signing autographed calendars.
Photo: Marissa Poirier
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 7
DJD’s experiment moves inside the dancers mind, takes a different ride
by Ali Hardstaff
if we moved into a theater three days before show, it
would be impossible for an idea like that to come to life. Here,
because we have a number of weeks that we’ve been able to get
in and out of the theater, I’ve been able to experiment with the set-piece
and try something that maybe I wouldn’t have been able to try otherwise,
as a choreographer.”
Catherine Hayward, the artistic director for Velocity, describes how
much creative freedom dancers have when the opportunity exists for them
to take complete control of their studio space. This is the first dancer-choreographed
performance in DJD’s new digs, where seven of the company’s
dancers, including Hayward, are the ones who create their own pieces
ranging between three to eight minutes long, 10 pieces in total.
“You’ll feel a glimpse into the dancers mind, their ideas, their creativity,
they’re choreographic voices,” says Hayward. “You’ll get just a different
understanding of the DJD dancers by watching this show.”
It is Hayward’s eleventh season dancing with DJD, her fifth being
part of a dancer-choreographed show, and her second time as artistic
director. She’s mentored and taught classes, and been involved with
numerous performances, but this one is particularly fast-paced, highly
aesthetic and unique.
With only nine weeks to create each of the 10 “experiments,” as Hayward
refers to them, the ideas and music are all incredibly varying.
“Shayne Johnson is making an acapella tap piece song for dancers, so
he has no music. But rhythm-based tap focuses on musicality, which is
considered part of the jazz tradition,” explains Hayward, adding. “There
are four pieces with solo musicians playing – bassist, drums, trumpet and
piano. And we have more R&B, soul vibe. We have some crossover jazz
with certain electronic elements in there.”
The presentations are just as daring and poetic as the music pushing
past human expression. Kaleb Tekeste, for instance, is going to become
a wolf in one of the pieces, while Hayward, in her own collaborations,
also takes inspiration from other creatures such as a spider, bird, wolf
Jazz music was the only parameter given to the dancers, which has
been the essence of DJD for over 30 years. Their explorations date back to
the 1700s with West African traditions, the Spanish influence, Dixieland
and as well the modern movement from the ‘50s, soul and funk.
“When we focus on those things or being true to the roots (of jazz),
even though we might not be using music from West African music, or
we might not be using music from that time, it’s rooted in those ideas,
which makes it a part of the jazz tradition,” explains Hayward.
Improvisation is not only a huge part of jazz music, but it’s also the
way dancers manoeuvre within the choreography. Hayward illustrates
it’s “how that groove of the torso affects your movement” so that the
dancers themselves are an instrument, connected with the deep-rooted
reciprocity of the music.
Within the music and movement, Hayward embraces of the totality of
dance and jazz. “What is the soul, what is the spirit, what are the nuances,
what are the subtle shifts of the music, and how are you deeply connecting
to those things? If all of those things are a part of your experiences,
and what you’re creating, then it’s grounded or rooted in jazz and it’s a
part of that form.”
The company’s new building and multitude of studio space has provided
incredible opportunities for the dancers and their creative expressions.
Hayward guarantees not only will Velocity be fun, but there will be
something that each person connects to.
“With all of the different feelings, with the different music, with different
vibes and movements, a different rhythm of each dance, there will be
something that you attach to in the 10 pieces,” Hayward says.
“I think audiences will go for a bit of a ride. I think they’ll feel a different
sort of connection to the company, not just a connection to how the
dancers are moving.”
The imaginations of the dancers in Velocity can be seen from November 16
to 26 at the DJD Dance Centre.
8 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY
Toronto’s legendary Horseshoe Tavern
The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern:
A Complete History
Many Canadians who live outside of Toronto love to
dis the city. But Torontonians don’t give a shit what
their countrymen think because Tor-awn-ah (as the
city’s old timers pronounce it) is home to the iconic
Horseshoe Tavern, an unpretentious and historically
blue-collar music venue with a 70-year history that is
still going strong today.
The ‘Shoe as it is known, is the subject of music
writer David McPherson’s recently published The
Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, which tells the story of
the venue, its founder and how it has survived as long
as it has while highlighting many of the key events that
punctuate its story.
Before becoming a restaurant and bar the tavern
had many other lives. It was a stable in the mid 1800s
and home to many other businesses in the years
before Jack Starr bought the property on Queen St.
west at Spadina in 1947. That’s where McPherson’s
detailed account of the life and times of the famous
Like any institution that has had a long life, the people
who have owned and managed the Horseshow,
the musicians who played its stage and the fans and
drinkers who supported it, have contributed to the
cultural mosaic of Toronto.
Calgarians familiar with the city will know
Queen West has been gentrified and is today
lined with restaurants, bars and a range of music
venues, many of which are featured in the annual
summer music festival North By Northeast or
NXNE. But back in the day that part of Toronto
was the heart of the garment district and featured
warehouses and tenements.
The area was low rent but hardworking, and home
to a number of immigrant populations and Canadian
Maritimers looking for jobs. As McPherson tells it Jack
Starr wasn’t interested in music but was interested in
satisfying his regulars, one of which suggested that live
music would be a good thing to offer. Turns out he
by John Arthur
Well known superstar acts like The Rolling Stones,
some members of The Band, The Police and Teenaged
Head have played the ‘Shoe. So have a range of
punk bands, blues and rockabilly bands. But it was
best known for being the home of country music in
Hogtown, which was the city’s nickname as a result of
the slaughterhouses that were once sprinkled along its
Some of country music’s biggest names played the
tavern in the ‘60s, and ‘70s including Charley Pride,
Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash. Its
most remembered regular was Stompin’ Tom Connors,
Canada’s working class troubadour who wrote
the Hockey Song among other anthems to Canadiana,
including Sudbury Saturday Night, and Bud the Spud.
If you grew up as I did in Toronto in the 1970s,
heading down to the Horseshoe was an unofficial
requirement of local citizenship. Queen St. West back
then was a rougher part of town and the ‘Shoe wasn’t
for the faint of heart. In other words it was perfect
for kids from the Beaches district looking for trouble.
Toronto had a slew of unique local bands in the 1970s
and ‘80s including Rough Trade with Carole Pope, Blue
Rodeo and the Tragically Hip who made nights at the
‘Shoe memorable. Moving into the ‘90s and 2000s,
a new crop of internationl artists including Frank
Black, Wilco, The Strokes and Rev. Horton Heat made
pilgrimages to what was regarded not only as the best
club in TO, but also the country.
McPherson’s book is rife with detail on who played
the tavern and when, and he re-tells some of the
legendary stories about the place, such as the Stones’
1978 surprise, an essentially unannounced concert.
While interesting for its depth the book has a Wikipedia
feel about it, there are a lot of facts but no one
central story for readers to grab onto. Neither does
McPherson address how much the area around the
tavern has changed over time.
As a music writer he has focused primarily on the
performers and owners of the storied venue, which he
does well. Personally speaking, the more interesting
story is how Queen St. West and Toronto generally has
changed since the tavern first opened its doors. For
now, McPherson’s book will appeal primarily to older
music fans with a personal connection to the ‘Shoe.
Mike Thorn: DARKEST HOURS
Calgary author publishes debut horror compilation
Halloween may be behind us, but the horror
never stops, especially for Calgary artist,
filmmaker and writer Mike Thorn, who just
finished up his MA in English at the University
of Calgary, writing his thesis on the relationship
between horror and epistemology
and is about to publish out his first book, a
collection of 16 stories, nine of which have
seen publication in various horror and genre
outlets over the past couple years.
The collection opens with Hair, a creepy
piece of body horror that deals with the ramifications
of pent up desires, filtered through
the lens of paranoia, and playing with various
elements of urban mythology, in a story
about a metal and heavy music retail outlet
manager, whose developing hair fixation gets
him into trouble.
“When I was a kid I had a propensity for
young things,” says Thorn, “I fully came into understanding my love of horror when I was thirteen years old
and read Pet Cemetery [Stephen King] for the first time.” Thorn was suspended from school, and instead
of reading the school material he was supposed to, he found himself engrossed in King’s quintessential
Now, Thorn finds himself with a voracious cultural appetite, reading, listening and watching enormous
amounts of content, and even reviewing and editing for peers. He’s experimented with everything from
science fiction to poetry, but horror seems to be his calling. “I’m always trying to work on something new,
trying to get better”
He’s also extremely prolific. With Darkest Hours about to hit shelves, Thorn’s currently got a novel under
his belt that he’s looking to publish, and is already throwing around ideas for a second one.
Darkest Hours is out on November 21st on eBook and paperback via Unnerving Magazine.
• Liam Pros
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 9
10 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY
Change Her Legacy
by Ali Hardstaff
gospel star hosts fundraising gala
Winnipeg’s Juno award-winning gospel folkie, Steve Bell.
Music, poetry and humanitarianism come together for the holidays
with the 17th Annual Music for a Winter Evening, in support
of Oxford House and Next Step Ministries, as part of the Change Her
Legacy Campaign. Juno and multi-award winning artist, Steve Bell is being
welcomed back to perform at the event, accompanied by UK poet and
singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite as they begin their tour together.
The all ages gala will take place at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, hosted
The Legacy Family of Companies, with all of the funds going to the two
local charities that focus on those recovering from addiction and abuse.
Steve Bell says he is excited to return for the event for the second time,
not only because of the incredible sound and aesthetic the Jack Singer
provides, the natural, unplanned dialogue and enjoyment that Guite and
himself end up having when on stage together, or the “artistic and spiritual
affinity” they share which makes their time together so exhilarating
“This particular fundraiser, the Change Her Legacy Campaign, is
personal for me,” Bell explains. “I have several dear friends and even family
members who live with the kinds of vulnerabilities that Next Step Ministries
and Oxford House address.”
Beyond music and writing, Bell is involved with his own humanitarian
efforts, being an advocate for Indigenous rights and refugees as well as
many others. He attributes these efforts to his faith, and doesn’t believe
he could have any humanity himself without having this bound, love and
connection to those around him.
“Christianity understands God to be a unity of mutually self-donating
persons, and understands humanity to be created in the image of this
divine communion. Practically this means that your joys are my joys, and
your sufferings are my sufferings,” says Bell.
Money from ticket sales, as well as any donations made at the event
will also go straight to the campaign to bring safety, outreach, and life
changes to those in need so they may have a protected path to recovery.
“Music and poetry have a way of stirring empathy in listeners, so it is
quite natural to pair concerts with various social concerns,” says Bell. “I’m
always pleased if my work, which is a work of love, inspires others to love
Tickets for MFWE are $25 and can be found at www.artscommons.ca,
starting 0ctober 24.
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 11
Escape Art’s ful- sensory experience
Photo: Michael Grondin
rapper ready to burn bright
Zeko Deshoda, an emerging rap artist with jazz infusions, is
keen to push the reset button on Calgary’s hip-hop scene. A
self-taught producer, writer, bassist and cunning lyricist who
recently released a solo fourteen-track album “Sleep Well, Sweet
Dreams” will soon put out coming a new single, entitled “Crackdown”,
accompanied with some stunning visuals.
“The purpose of Crackdown,” says Deshoda, “is to show people
that if you want a spot in this scene, you have to prove it.”
When Deshoda read an online story posted on a well-respected
music site about the gloomy forecast on Calgary’s rap
scene, he felt that his music endeavours were “slept on”.
Performing regularly with an air-tight, six-piece jazz band
called The Haven Vanguard, he’s hosted sold out shows at
Broken City and Café Kawa and has full confidence in his ability
to light up the stage.
“It’s weird that everyone thinks they have to go through
someone to get something,” says a defiant Deshoda, not afraid
to say what he believes. “Grow a fucking spine, and go get it
yourself.” He adds, “Without friction, you can’t create fire. If
someone is going to make a spark, it might as well be me.”
• Taylor Odishaw-Dyck
Catch Zeko Deshoda & the Haven Vanguard live at Escape Art’s
Immerse on November 17th at Festival Hall.
Founded by Taylor Odishaw-Dyck and
Luke Di Danieli, Escape Art is a fresh
Calgary collective inspired to create a
community-based space where artists can
connect, be heard, and be vulnerable in
performance. They aim to unite the Calgary
arts scene, and foster a free-minded
environment that allows artists to expand
to their fullest potential.
Immerse, their second official event, is
a full-sensory entertainment experience
directed by a diverse visual arts team that
includes abstract painter and set designer
Desere Pressey, graphic artist Elysia Rose,
interior design student Luke Di Danieli,
and videographer Glenn Diehl. Live music
will be performed by Fake James, I Am the
Mountain, Zeko Deshoda & the Haven
Vanguard, and the Rondel Roberts Band.
Immerse takes place Friday, Nov. 17 at Festival
Photo: Michael Grondin
Street smart and sensitive
Elysia Rose has been creating stunning abstract art since she graduated from The
Art Institute of Vancouver in December of 2012 with a degree in graphic design,
although her artistic nature began to bloom years before.
Growing up in Edmonton, her father was worked in an autobody shop as a
painter. Her dad’s trade rubbed off and she started painting on cardboard and
busted up car parts, which eventually translated into graffiti-inspired work.
“Ever since I was a teen, I’ve been fascinated with the diversity of people and
graffiti. What starts out as a muster of confrontations soon becomes a celebration
of raw beauty. As colours and textures become reconfigured through a weave of
conceptual solidification, its message is conjured into fruition.”
Some distinct elements of her artwork include the sacred geometric shapes that
she tactically chooses to support specific ideas and the physical orientation in her
designs. “When I’m photographing my models, I shoot them with their shoulders
protecting their heart.”
Rose’s work also explores the relationships between equality and state of being,
with influences as diverse as Rene Magritte and DAIN NYC. She reveals an immense
amount of forethought and personal touch goes into in her art, which sometimes
she’s also hesitation to share.
“It’s a really vulnerable side of me because my art is expressing exactly how
I’m feeling.” WW
• Taylor Odishaw-Dyck
You can catch Elysia Rose’s skill on display at Escape Art’s Immerse on Friday, Nov. 17
at Festival Hall.
Rose’s 3 x 36 ft. artwork on display at Una Pizza & Wine on 17 Ave. SW
12 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY
jazz fest highlights Nov. 9 - 12
Drawing comparisons to groups like
Soulive, The Bad Plus, Larry Goldings,
and Medeski Martin & Wood, Sinistrio
is a groove based B3 organ trio that
seamlessly brings together modern jazz
and retro soul with a unique kind of
texture, tone and richness.
– YYC Jazz
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9
Ironwood: Double Bill with The North
(featuring David Braid and Mike Murley) and Steve Amirault
This special double-bill is a must for piano lovers. Kicking off the evening
is international award-winning Nova Scotia-born pianist/vocalist Steve
Amirault performing a special solo set. The second half of the evening
brings together all-star Canadian/Scandinavian quartet ‘The North,’ featuring
JUNO Award winners David Braid (piano) and Mike Murley (sax).
Ironwood Stage & Grill – $35 adult/$25 students
Wild Rose Late Night Series: MJ DeWaal Quintet
Vocalist MJ DeWaal kicks off the Wild Rose Late Night Series at Lolita’s
Lounge with an evening of tunes from her YYC Music Award-nominated
album, ‘Sophisticated Lady’, as well as many of her favourites from Billy
Strayhorn, Dave Frishberg, Mel Tormé and more!
Lolita’s Lounge – $20 adult/$10 student
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10
Ironwood Trevor Giancola Trio featuring Mike Marantz
Our mainstage Illumin8 offering for the 2017 JazzYYC Canadian Festival!
Guitarist Trevor Giancola was recently named by CBC as one of Canada’s
‘Top 35 Under 35’ jazz musicians. He will be joined by rising star, NYC
saxophonist Matt Marantz, who has toured with Herbie Hancock and
Ironwood Stage & Grill – $35 adult/$25 students
Wild Rose Late Night Series: Bow Djangos
Calgary’s own Django jazz ambassadors bring the flavor of the past into
the here and now! Their swing-dance-friendly ‘hot swing’ repertoire
derives from the famous Hot Club de France of Django Reinhardt and
his modern-day contemporaries. Alluring ballads, valse musettes, driving
Latin rhythms, and the swingin-est of ‘django’-esque repertoire will
literally make you want to jump up and dance!
Lolita’s Lounge – $20 adults/$10 students
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11
Kawa Jazz Jam: Jon McCaslin Quartet
Jon McCaslin is one of Calgary’s top drummers and has shared the stage
with jazz royalty such as Terence Blanchard, Chucho Valdes, Pat LaBarbera
and Don Thompson. Bring your instrument and join the music!
Kawa Espresso Bar
3:00 – 6:00pm
Ironwood: Double Bill with Johanna Sillanpaa Quintet and Sheldon
Our tribute to Alberta’s thriving jazz scene, this show brings together an
exciting double-bill starting off with new music from pianist Sheldon
Zandboer and his contemporary jazz quartet. Rounding out the evening
is Canadian-Swedish vocalist Johanna Sillanpaa’s quintet featuring music
from her new album ‘From This Side’ that hit #1 earlier this year across
Canadian jazz radio. Special guests, trumpeter Bob Tildesley (Edmonton)
and bassist George Koller (Toronto) will be joining both ensembles for a
magical evening of Albertan jazz.
Ironwood Stage & Grill – $35 adult/$25 students 7:00pm
Wild Rose Late Night Series: Esteban Herrera Trio
Originally from Mexico City, pianist Esteban Herrera is a veteran performer,
composer, arranger and educator whose original contemporary
jazz explores a variety of musical genres. His music is innovative and
energetic played with a freedom highlighting his masterful improvisation
and features odd meters and complex rhythms.
Lolita’s Lounge – $20 adult/$10 students
Special Event: Swing Night with Evan Arntzen and Top Cat Swing
A powerful tone on both clarinet and saxophone, as well as a charismatic
singing voice, Vancouver born/NYC-based Evan Arntzen is a natural musician
steeped in the history of jazz. Join Evan for a high-energy tribute to
the swing era that includes free dance lessons and demonstrations from
members of Calgary’s Top Cat Swing with an all-star Calgarian band.
Festival Hall – $35 adult/$25 students
8:00pm – free swing lessons, 8:30pm show
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12
Ironwood: Auguste Quartet
Since 1997, the Auguste Quartet has played more than 450 concerts
around the world beyond their home base in Montreal, reaching as
far and wide as Europe, Mexico, Japan, Korean and USA. Auguste will
bring some of the best music and musicians Quebec has to offer to the
Ironwood Stage & Grill – $35 adult/$25 students 7:00pm
Festival Wrap-up Party: Sinistrio
Our yearly festival wrap up party is set to be a high energy and funky
evening of music featuring B3 trio Sinistrio! Drawing comparisons to
Medeski Martin & Wood, The Bad Plus and Soulive, Sinistrio will rock the
Ironwood for the final show of 2017!
Ironwood Stage & Grill – $35 adult/$25 students
9:00pm – free
Friday Nov. 10
DJ Sabo Forte
Saturday Nov. 11
The McKearney Bros.
Friday Nov. 17
Saturday Nov. 18
Friday Nov. 24
Italo Disco Night
with Kamil Krulis
Saturday Nov. 25
1216 - 9 Ave. SE Inglewood
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 13
YYSCENE’s quick scan go-to-guide for November
November! Yasss! I hope you’re
still on a crazy sugar high after
Halloween, because you’re going to
need the empty calories to fuel you
through the month.
That begins with Nomadic Massive
and guest Sinzere at Festival
Hall on Nov. 8! Mauno also plays at
Nite Owl that night — see if you
can do a two ‘fer. On Nov. 9 you’re
going to want to be at The Gateway
for Danko Jones, and on Nov. 11,
yes, it’s true, GWAR will be returning
for their annual visit to our fair city
— to the Palace Theatre to be exact.
Wear a poncho.
Thee electric Gary Numan at Commonwealth
Nov. 12 sees Lany with Dagny at MacEwan Hall. Now, I have no idea who these people
are, but they have good hair in their press photo, so there ye be.
Books! Hockey! Best of both worlds on Nov. 13 when Ken Dryden (yes, THAT Ken
Dryden) presents his book Game Change at the John Dutton Theatre. For Nov. 14, head
north(ish) as Martha Wainwright will be performing at The Gateway.
And hells yes, Femme Wave 2017! Get your fill of this awesome music, art, comedy,
everything festival from Nov 1 -19 at various venues around town. Also, for kicks, Children
of Bodom’s 20 Years Down & Dirty tour hits MacEwan Hall on Nov. 16. Truth.
Dance! Well, I’m not telling you to dance, but I’m not the boss of you, you do whatever
you want. What I’m trying to say is Decidedly Jazz Danceworks will present Velocity Nov.
16-26, and over at Theatre Junction GRAND you can catch Intrinsic by Kyra Newton &
Quinn Kliewer Nov. 16-19.
You like the films? You like the documentary films? In luck! The Calgary Underground
Film Festival is once again showcasing the best of both with their CUFF.Docs Festival, which
also takes place Nov. 16-19 at the Globe Cinemas. A locally produced film about Charles
Manson, a doc about influential punk act Jawbreaker — they’ve got it all!
How are we only half way through the month at this point? Sweet jebus. Nov. 18 is
Demetri Martin’s Let’s Get Awkward Tour at MacEwan Hall (comedy, people!), and Nov.
22 sees both Tanya Tagaq at the Bella Concert Hall and The Barber of Seville (yes, opera:
culture yourself, or something?) at the Jubilee.
From Nov. 23 - 26! GIRAF 13 Festival of Independent Animation takes place and you’ll
probably be sad if you miss this. You will 100 per cent be sad if you miss Gary Numan! Gary
Numan will be at Commonwealth on Nov. 24! In cars. But if you’re not in to ol’ Gary’s flavour
of electronica, head to the Grey Eagle for Death from Above with Beaches. (Go, Gary!)
Lunchtime fun comes in the form of The Santaland Diaries at Lunchbox Theatre starting
Nov. 27! I know, I know – Santa shit? BUT WAIT! It’s by David Sedaris, and he’s hilarious so
you should go. What else are you doing from noon-1 p.m. on a weekday? That’s right.
Finally you are going to want to check out A Tribe Called Red with guests at The Palace
on Dec. 1. But also Ian Tyson at Ironwood Dec. 1! Too much to choose from, seriously.
Kari Watson is a writer and former Listings Editor of FFWD Weekly, and has continued
to bring event listings to Calgary through theYYSCENE and her event listings page, The
Culture Cycle. Contact her at email@example.com.
14 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY
GIRAF FILM FESTIVAL
13 lucky years of innovative animationc
With a lineup announcement that
coincided with Aleister Crowley’s
birthday and Friday the 13th,
you can bet that 2017 is going to be GIRAF’s
spookiest year yet. Presented by Quickdraw
Animation, the Giant Incandescent Resonating
Animation Festival (abbreviated as GIRAF) will
kick off its 13th year on November 23, showcasing
the best, the weirdest, and the wildest
of animation around the world.
The four-day festival at the end of November,
GIRAF will present a variety of animated
films, both short and feature length, from
around the world. “It can be raw, it can be
gross, it can be beautiful; but as long as it’s
strong and honest in its story, I think that’s
what [we] look for,” notes Program Director
Ryan Von Hagen. “GIRAf has set itself distinct
from other festivals in being innovative in the
film’s techniques, so we’re not scared of weird.
We like weird.”
Kicking off the festival with French film Girl
Without Hands, this modern take on a Brother
Grimm fairy tale pushes the boundaries
animation as an artform. “It’s telling a crazy,
compelling, beautiful story, but at the same
time it’s super abstract and painterly,” says
Von Hagen. “It’s so abstract, and morphing,
and beautiful, but at the same time you know
what’s going on in the story…It’s amazing to
see that done and I feel like only animation can
really do that”
Preceding this dreamlike film will be a live
performance by none other than Calgary’s
dreamiest harpist, Jennifer Crighton aka.
Hermitess, who has made her own animated
projections to accompany the performance.
Rounding out the feature films for this year’s
fest will be a selection of films from Japanese
animators, including post-apocalyptic Junk
Head, and a retrospective of the late animator/
director, Satoshi Kon.
A film that took eight years to make, Junk
FILM 15 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE
Head is the first-time feature of interior decorator
turned filmmaker, Takahide Hori. “He
directed, did the story, did the animation, did
the character design, as well as the sound design,”
mentions Von Hagen. “It took him eight
years, but for good reason…This is an example
of animation being an artform that can purely
come from one creator.”
A contrast to first-time filmmaker Takahide
Hori, this year’s retrospective comes from
acclaimed Japanese animator Satoshi Kon, featuring
two of Kon’s most well regarded films,
Perfect Blue and Paprika.
“He’s an amazing animator who is super
innovative and imaginative,” notes Von Hagen.
“You can see his influences in Hollywood
directors like Christopher Nolan and Darren
Aronofsky.” Touching on themes of how modern
people cope with leading multiple lives,
Von Hagen hopes that the films will hit home
with attendees. “Private and public, onscreen
and offscreen, waking and dreaming, these
themes are super relevant in 2017.”
“Paprika deals with waking life vs. dream life,
in a somewhat similar theme to The Matrix,”
continues Von Hagen, “but where The Matrix
is really dark and grim, Paprika is super imaginative
and over the top.”
And while the features lineup is impressive
this year, if you ask Von Hagen, the short film
programming is where GIRAF really shines.
“For me it’s the short films, always. To be able
to spotlight how strong experimental animation
can tell a story.”
With 4 short packages, each with 13 films,
to choose from, you can bet there’s going to be
something for everyone. Starting off with the
Mixtapes, these packages of indie animation
are a “smorgasbord of the best animation to
come out within the last year,” explains Von
Hagen. “It’s a wide variety of styles, all in competition
to our jury…It show[s] the strength of
short film from around the world.”
by Morgan Cairns
And nestled amongst these shorts from
around the world, you can expect to see projects
from Calgary animators, as well.
“That’s something we mix very well, the
animations coming out Calgary do hold their
water when mixed with what we consider the
best in animation,” adds Production Coordinator
Tyler Klein Longmire. “It’s really cool to
see stuff that got made in a studio here shown
beside a film that’s nominated for an Oscar.”
The third, and one of their most popular
packs, is the Late Night shorts package, Dark
Side of the Toon. “Not all animation should be
seen in daylight,” jokes Von Hagen. “This stuff is
maybe darker humour, maybe violent. It has a
And finally, the festival will close with
the shorts package Magic, Monsters, and
Mysticism, playing off GIRAF’s superstitious
13th year with an occult-themed pack with
animation from the 1920s to today.
Whether you’re a practicing animator or a
fan of the artform, the GIRAF festival is a way
for spectators of all ages to engage with the
wacky and wonderful world of animation. “It’s
a way to show the community that’s been so
great around Quickdraw, who are so obsessed
with animation, to show them different types
of work that’s going on around the world,”
comments Von Hagen.
“It got its start as a way for films coming out
of Quickdraw to be shown to people in the
community,” adds Longmire. “It’s a nice way to
get people engaged in the medium. We find
that after GIRAF, people come in wanting to
make their own films. It really keeps the cycle
GIRAF will take place November 23-26, with
screenings at The Globe Cinema and Emmedia
gallery, as well as workshops at Quickdraw
Animation. More information can be found at
GIRAF visiting artist turns laborious pixel-pushing
into fun, fun, fun
GIRAF’s 13th Annual Festival is loading up to be a colorful,
international and dexterous space. Sean Buckelew, a Los
Angeles animator and previous GIRAF participant, is a
visiting artist this year who will do a workshop as well as presenting
Known for his commercial and personal projects, Buckelew will
explore techniques relevant to producing cinematic quality on a
zero-dollar budget without falling into the typical pigeonholes of a
DIY aesthetic. “A lot of my work is generally me making films solo and
finding ways to make work that doesn’t necessarily feel like it was made
for free, even though it was!”
After living in LA for six years, Buckelew says he’s “never gotten a project
through artist grants” and doesn’t “pursue funding in that direction
anymore… since it’s so incredibly unreliable.” Instead, he approaches the
problem as a delicate balance between work and labor of love. “I pursue
commercial projects, take that money and move it over into something
that’s cool and personal.”
Through compromise and the curation of a certain set of skills, Buckelew
maintains his creative flair. “As an animator, it’s this broad thing
that could mean you’re a filmmaker or a storyteller. When I do commercial
work, with rare exceptions, I’m just a pixel pusher, which I don’t
mind. As a filmmaker you’re limited by the craft, so there’s incentive to
get better… to facilitate whatever ideas you have.”
This delicate equilibrium is echoed in his work and the ideas that
Buckelew engages with. Lovestreams is a short film created as part of
a Late Night Work Collective, an animated shorts anthology released
over the internet. The name carries the labour involved with liminal and
carved out personal spaces, and features a story relevant to how personal
relationships, technology and fantasy interact. Buckelew collaborated
online for this project, working with remote effects artist and music
composers from London, England he didn’t meet until the debut.
In trying to compete with internet fodder, big movie releases, short
attention spans, and trying to be a “one-person marketing machine”,
Buckelew embraces new media and was inspired by others who use
Alternative Reality Game (ARG) techniques to enrich the narrative
and fictional worlds he works in. These supplementary snippets play
on coupling imaginary worlds with reality that go beyond traditional
Buckelew insists there’s no shame in swinging those tools around in a
meaningful way to promote the work as a momentous thing. “Everything
you learn you can subvert when you apply it to your weirdo idea
that no one can say no to. That dynamic can be fun.”
He compares the impulse to do something really reckless to doing an
ambitious solo animation project. “It’s like the antithesis of a commercial,
there’s no money in it, it’s purely for the joy of doing it. You need to
have a sprinkle of that in your life.”
Sean Buckelew will facilitate a workshop at Quickdraw Animation, followed
by a screening of his films at Emmedia on Sunday, Nov. 25.
• Arielle Lessard
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 15
Calgary European Film Festival
18 countries present different views, different worlds on the big screen
Adrian “Adi” Galvan arrived in Canada from Romanian
in the late 2000s like many other immigrants
when the economy was still thriving. Today he works
as IT analyst but also directs the Calgary European
Film Festival which has grown immensely in the past
In 2011 there was a Romanian film fest, with a few
Bulgarians in attendance who were also interested in
getting involved. Then individuals from France, Poland
and Czechoslovakia followed and the first European
Film Festival in the city was launched in 2012. Five years
later there’s now 18 European countries represented.
Galvan says that the selection of films is determined
by members of the community for each country. “We
assist them with negotiating the distribution fee for the
film the want, and the shipping costs and details. The
criteria we ask is that the film isn’t older than two or
three years, and that it’s been presented at an international
film festival and maybe won some awards.”
Citing his some of the films he’s really excited about,
Galvan says Norway’s The King’s Choice nominated for
Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, a
Hungarian film Kills On Wheels described as “a meaningful
action-comedy of a wheelchair-bound assassin
gang” and The Stopover about two young French
female soldiers who try to take a break in Cyrus after
their tour of duty in Afghanistan but are troubled by
what they experienced fighting. He admits he biased towards
the Romanian entry, Graduation, which centers
on the trails and tribulation of a young girl preparing
for university and is suddenly confronted with an tough
challenge for her and her family.
The diversity of culture and opportunity to experience
some fabulous foreign films and meet some
new firends presents itself with an open invitation. The
screenings will be held at the Eau Claire Market Cinema
from November 5 -12. For a description of all the film
and scheduled go to calgaryeuropeanfilmfestival.ca.
16 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE FILM
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 17
THE WEDDING SINGER
The Fifth Reel presents legendary retro inspired rom-com
by Breanna Whipple
MY FRIEND DAHMER
exploring adolescence of Jeffrey Dahmer
My Friend Dahmer. The title peaks out
at me on a shelf dominated by covers
of exuberant super heroes, strikingly
majestic in their battle against evil. “My
Friend Dahmer,” what a curious combination
of words, I thought. As though the infamy of
Jeffrey Dahmer had stripped any realism to
the fact that he was a functioning human just
like myself and all those around me.
Without hesitating, I picked the book up
off the shelf, flipped through the beautifully
illustrated graphic novel by American
cartoonist John “Derf” Backderf (who had
attended high school with Dahmer), and was
immediately mesmerized. Prior to that day I
had never experienced such unique content.
Two hundred and twenty-four pages of
cartoons providing the closest insight available
to the private life of the world's most
notorious serial killer; an adolescence plagued
by binge drinking, parental negligence, and a
bizarre fascination with festering road kill.
The graphic novel immediately received
critical acclaim in 2012, the year of its
release. Given the unique coming of age tale
under these particularly peculiar circumstances,
no wonder it achieved universal
success. Naturally, a film was an appropriate
succession, and thanks to writer and director
by Breanna Whipple
Marc Meyers, such a necessity has finally
come to fruition.
For those who are fortunate enough to
be unfamiliar with his murderous history,
Jeffrey Dahmer, (also penned as the Milwaukee
Cannibal), committed vile acts of rape,
dismemberment, and murder against 17 boys
and men between 1978 and 1991. To further
the horrific nature of these crimes, Dahmer
claimed that his motive behind the killing
was in efforts to create a 'sex zombie', and admitted
to attempting crude lobotomies with
a drill on four of his last victims. But these
crimes are not the central focus of the film.
Instead it follows the novel and focuses on
the years leading up to what would inevitably
become one of the most gruesome series of
murders in American history.
Fascination with the mind of a serial killer is
anything but unusual. For the majority of us it
is completely impossible to understand. What
causes people to kill? To maim? To torture? To
feast upon human flesh? Perhaps the journey
Jeffrey embarked upon in his formative years
can provide clues, perhaps not. One thing can
be promised, the tale is like no other.
See My Friend Dahmer Friday, Nov. 24 at The
We’ve all witnessed them – the boisterously
exaggerated curls modelled by both
the beautiful bride and smiling groom,
the obnoxious gown held firmly above and beyond
any fairytale princess ever known, the tuxedo constructed
from only the finest neons and postmodern
patterns. Whether it be through the technicolor
TV set broadcasted by ancient family video tapes,
or our own experience making that faithful trek
down the glittering aisle, a wedding in the 1980s
was truly unlike no other. A decade fused by a universal
appreciation for heavily hair-sprayed mullets,
vivacious party tunes, and literally breathtakingly
tight spandex, the 1998 release of The Wedding
Singer reminded us of what we had lost, and put
upon a cinematic pedestal.
Current fans of popular culture are undoubtedly
aware of the ‘80s revival, the highest grossing horror
film to date, It (2017), being a perfect example. This,
however, is nothing new. With a mere nine years since
the decade concluded, a homage was already welcomed
with The Wedding Singer. Littered throughout
its 95 minute runtime are countless references to the
film and music of the 1980s, making it a nostalgic
viewing experience for fans of the raddest era. One
of the many wonderful examples of this would be
the recently passed Alexis Arquette’s performance as
George, who lives on screen twinning Culture Club’s
own iconic frontman, Boy George, with ease. Not to
spoil the fun for those of you who have somehow
managed to make it this far in life without viewing this
cult-classic at least once, but Arquette may or may not
perform the sappy Culture Club classic “Do You Really
Want to Hurt Me?”, and it may or may not become
your go-to jukebox track from here on out.
Indubitably dubbed a romantic comedy, The
Wedding Singer flawlessly delivers both parts in equal
amount. Immediately following the release of both
monumental laugh fests, Billy Madison (1995) and
Happy Gilmore (1996), The Wedding Singer was
released in the peak of Adam Sandler’s career. The
aforementioned comedies are undoubtedly one of the
few staples of the inferior 1990s worth mentioning,
which provides a slight sense of ‘tongue-in-cheek’
given the retro content. Admirable and unfortunately
widely under-appreciated is how thorough of a script
was provided for such a light-hearted film, exemplified
with a scene in which Robbie (Adam Sandler) says to
his newly ex-girlfriend, “Now please, get out of my Van
Halen shirt before you jinx the band and they break
up.” With the story taking place in the year 1985, this
coincides with the exact time that David Lee Roth left
All comedy and rocker history aside, the core of The
Wedding Singer is entirely a love story – and a very important
one at that. It battles with the idea of settling
for the convenient root in life, which can be applied to
all facets outside of relationships as well. Dealing with
the all too real notion of self-doubt, and feeling stuck,
the film provides a look at the possibilities that could
be granted to all of us willing to take risks. Though
it may seem a little strange to mention this along
side scenes displaying Steve Buscemi portraying an
obnoxiously inebriated wedding guest, The Wedding
Singer serves as a reminder of how we carry the reigns
and control our own happiness. Cliche, especially given
a film released in the ‘90s taking place in the ‘80s, the
saying rings true – they just don’t make them like they
Catch The Fifth Reel’s presentation of The Wedding
Singer Friday, Nov. 17 at Dickens Pub.
18 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE FILM
film festival aims for variety and balance, add Charlie Manson
BeatRoute asked Brenda Lieberman, Director Calgary Underground Film
Festival, what’s their approach to curating the fest and what can we expect.
There’s fourteen feature doc and two shorts. What’s the selection process involved,
is there any specific criteria you have when choosing your films?
BL: With CUFF.Docs we curate the festival with films we’ve discovered while attending
other festivals, or come across in our research or even just made aware to us, in various
ways. We don’t have set criteria, but we have a handful of programmers who’s tastes
we love to incorporate and often not only considering our current audience, but what
would also target new audiences or varying demographics in Calgary. In trying to narrow
down films, we’re looking for a variety of things, such as art films, female filmmakers,
sport, family stories, unique or quirky stories that resonate with us, International
representation, Canadian films, local, etc… We’re really looking for a nice variety and
What are some of the docs, and why, you’re really excited about?
BL: It’s too hard to narrow down, as they are all so different and I’m excited about the
line up as a whole. In quick summary, we have a film on Apu from the Simpsons called
The Problem With Apu, a punk rock film on Jawbreaker called Don’t Break Down, an
amazing Italian theatre related film called Spettacolo, a great film on Larry Cohen, King
Cohen, an incredible story on the legendary actress Jayne Mansfield called Mansfield
66/67, an amazing art doc on street artist Richard Hambleton called Shadowman,
WHO IS ARTHUR CHU? which follows the 11-time Jeopardy! champion, The Crest is
a surfing film from a CUFF alumni director (who did A Band Called Death), California
Typewriter is a story about people whose lives are connected by typewriters, The Judge
which follows the journey of the first female judge to be appointed to the Middle
East’s religious courts, local films Name and Manson, The Power of Glove about the old
school Nintendo Glove, and last but not least Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall.
Any other events, parties, galas connected to the Fest to look forward too?
BL: We’re having a reception opening night at The Derrick, across from the Globe Cinema,
following California Typewriter & Manson. So anyone who sees the films, if they
want to come across for a visit, and drink are welcome to. As well, we plan to have Kevin
Stebner (GreyScreen) play some music with the power glove as an instrument, around
“The Power of Glove” film.
by Christine Leonard
Director James Day, from Calgary, spent a year interviewing Manson and
tracking down members of the Manson Family, many who have been in hiding
since the early ‘70s. The result is his documentary, MANSON: THE VOICE
What aspect of him does the film cover?
JD: It’s the untold story of the so-called “Manson Family” murders.
How did a Calgarian get involved with its making?
JD: I got to know Charles Manson over the phone and asked him if I could tell his
story. He said, “I don’t give a fuck about telling my story. You are for you, I’m for
me. I’m for Charlie”. I managed to convince him that I would tell the true story for
the first time, and he eventually agreed to let me. You have to be careful not to
take the most infamous mass murderer of all time at his word, so I tracked down
and spoke to so-called Manson Family members and evidence to corroborate
what he said actually took place.
You don’t have to be R.L. Gates to take an interest in
genealogy. In fact, looking up one’s distance ancestors
has become one of the fastest growing hobbies
around the world. Of course, everyone who embarks on
such an archival investigation must hold out some hope
that they are related to some historical figure of import, say
a pharaoh or at least an everyman hero. More often than
not a rummage through the family tree will reveal a tale of
syphilis and slavery, or at best industrious middle-classness.
It may then seem odd that two young men from different
parts of the United States should find themselves united in
a search for their common genetic past.
Enter golden-haired, Cape Cod surfer-dude, Andrew
Jacob. Yeah, he says Jacob just like you’d think. Soaked. But
actually, he seems to be a really amicable and down-toearth
kinda guy with a knack for creating beautiful graffiti.
Andrew catches wind that he has a cousin in Florida who
is living a parallel life as a surfer and surfboard designer.
A cousin who can also trace his lineage back to the King
of The Blasket Islands, the quasi-mythical “An Ri” of the
rocky archipelago off Ireland’s south-western coast.
Drawn together by the discovery of a fiddle left behind
by their common ancestor Mike the Fiddler, Jacob and
his eastern counter-part, the bedroom-eyed Dennis “DK”
Kane, travel to Ireland to rediscover their roots and share
their love of hitting the waves.
As luck would have it their discovery of each other’s
existence coincides with The Gathering 2013; a tourism
initiative that invited Irish descendants from around the
world to, ahem, descend on the Emerald Isle to partake
of some 3,000 family reunions and national celebrations.
Meeting for the first time, the two immediately set about
finding a spot to baptize the surfboards they had toted
along just for the occasion in the chilly Atlantic.
More than an account of the chain of events that
brought the two together, the story at the heart of The
Crest is one of heraldic pride mingled with an admiration
for how those that went before lived and died by the
waters that surrounded them.
A quaint and mellow-paced documentary, The Crest
revolves around Jacob’s contemplative attempt to record
the uniqueness of the people around him while seeking a
portal of connection to the past. Equipped with an easy to
enjoy Celtic music soundtrack that ranges from traditional
romantics to punked-up romps, The Crest is more
about museum moments than catching the perfect ripcurl.
Impeded by the same rough (gnarly) seas that kept
their forbearers isolated and pining for the opportunities
they knew awaited in America, Jacob and Kane make the
most of their time in the Dingle Peninsula by tipping pints
with assorted local characters and fellow Kanes who have
rallied for the festivities.
A walk down memory lane, or a dig through Grandma’s
attic than an azure-tinted surfgasm, The Crest makes the
most of pushing into uncertainty by getting hands-on
with the details and going back to the basics of storytelling,
much in the way of the rugged fisherman-poets of
The Blasket Islands.
The Crest will screen as part of CUFF Docs on Friday, Nov.
17 at The Globe Cinema with director Mark Covino in
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 19
an obsession with slow-moving mechanics
It has become a staple of the trendy apartment...
perched above a brick fireplace that hasn’t seen
fire in thirty years, nesting on the top rung of an
old paint-chipped ladder converted into a bookshelf,
or maybe resting beside a philodendron in a
corner. The typewriter, a household machine that
once revolutionized communication across the
globe, now relegated to the realm of niche antique.
A dusty flea-market find, a quirky gift.
“I go to their houses and they have it up on a
shelf somewhere like it’s an object of art,” laments
celebrity sweetheart and typewriter enthusiast
Tom Hanks. A collector and fanatical typist himself,
Hanks serves as one of the many colorful characters
of the documentary California Typewriter as
they interact with the small family owned store of
the same namesake.
California Typewriter, located in Berkeley,
California, is one of few remaining stores dedicated
to typewriter sales and repairs. (For curious locals,
one such store exists in Brentwood, a neighbourbood
in NW Calgary). Director Doug Nichol profiles
store owner Herbert Permillion and interviews
a host of artists as they rationalize their obsession
with a machine that has become increasingly
obsolete. From the collector, the celebrity, the musician,
the novelist, the poet, the scientist, to the
machinist, the logic is all the same: the process of
writing is fundamentally different on a typewriter.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, David McCullough,
explains that “Something goes out of the human
experience when life is made easier, less complicated,
less demanding of alertness, and effort.”
The rationale deployed by the film’s narrators
is a nod to the ‘slow movement’, a subcultural
philosophy that emphasizes the joy in the process
of creating as opposed to the end result. “For me
I feel like the next step in technology is less about
what you’re using and more about how you use it,”
says iconic softboy John Mayer. Midway through
his career, Mayer began using a typewriter to compose
his lyrics, and soon found himself obsessed.
“It became a confessional for me where I would sit
and just type.”
By juxtaposing passionate testimonials with
the impersonal bustle of a corporate technology
by Jarrett Edmund
expo, the filmmaker creates a compelling contrast
between the utilitarian typewriter and its lavish
successors. “Aloneness is a condition for writing,”
says the late playwright Sam Shephard. “You look at
all the writers that have come up with something
worth its own salt, and they’re utterly alone.” The
implication being that writing with technology today,
be it on a laptop or smartphone, does not allow
the artist to be truly alone with the medium.
California Typewriter is not solely about artists
and their mediums, nor is it about a singular store.
It provides a detailed history of typewriting and
manages to wrestle with the consequences of its
seemingly inevitable demise. With the last manufacturing
plant shutting its doors in 2011, the
future of the typewriter appears bleak. Permillion’s
business struggles to pay the lease, while tech
companies continue to find new billion-dollar
ways to reinvent the iPad.
“No one is going to make a great typewriter
ever, ever, ever again” says Hanks. But his tone does
not seem to spell the end of the typewriter, rather
the beginning of a cultural movement that could
emerge from a now limited supply coupled with
the unlimited passion of artists and collectors. “My
dad believes that there are various people all over
the world totally excited about typewriters,” says
Carmen Permillion. Perhaps she’s correct. We just
need to take them down from the shelf.
California Typewriter will screen as part of CUFF Docs
on November 16 at The Globe Cinema
20 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE FILM
rewind to the future
by Shane Sellar
War for the Planet of the Apes
If you want to be taken seriously as a demon do not
possess a toy doll that wets itself. Smartly, the entity
in this horror movie has chosen an antique figurine
to haunt. A doll-maker (Anthony LaPaglia) and his
disfigured wife (Miranda Otto) open their eerie
estate to Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and her
orphans after they become homeless.
While snooping around the mansion the girls
unlock a bedroom belonging to the doll-maker’s
dead daughter, Annabelle. Inside they discover a porcelain-faced
doll possessed by a creature that now
wants to embody one of the waifs (Talitha Bateman).
Another prosaic possession picture for the junk
heap, this prequel to The Conjuring relies solely
on jump-scares to generate its screams. In fact, if it
weren’t for its repetitive use of dead silence before
shrieking violins Annabelle’s origin would be a
Moreover, wouldn’t demons be a lot happier
possessing sex dolls?
It’s important to have a good wheelman because
the bus is not a reliable getaway vehicle. Smartly,
the kingpin in this action-comedy hired the best
Indebted to Doc (Kevin Spacey) for some serious
dough, audiophile Baby (Ansel Elgort) pays it back
being a lead foot for an array of heists. Paired with
a motley crew of cons (Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Jon
Bernthal, Flea), he endures their eccentricities up
until one of them kills an innocent bystander. Now
all Baby wants to do is hightail it out of town with his
new girlfriend (Lily James).
A frenetically paced chase movie with an
accomplished cast, stylish direction from Edgar
Wright and a scintillating soundtrack that elevates
the experience, this cool caper combines old and
new elements from the high-pursuit genre to create
something wholly original and entertaining.
Unfortunately, in the future self-driving getaway
cars will drive you right to jail.
When it’s only women travelling it’s important to
book a second airplane for their luggage. Mind you,
the females in this comedy promised to keep it to a
Lifestyle expert Ryan (Regina Hall) invites her
estranged friends – party girl Dina (Tiffany Haddish),
single mom Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) and celebrity
blogger Sasha (Queen Latifah) – to join her in New
Orleans where she is speaking at the Essence Music
Festival. But the Big Easy gets complicated when
Ryan’s husband (Mike Colter) is caught cheating and
Sasha needs to report it or lose her job. Meanwhile
Lisa struggles with sex after divorce.
A raunchy road trip that revels in penis jokes, this
African-American contribution to the female grossout
genre is genuinely funny. While it doesn’t stray
from the formula, the juvenile antics undertaken are
accentuated by great performances.
Furthermore, it shows women that no matter
your race: men are still pigs.
The upside to running a home casino is having
Brittany Spears sue you for breach of contract. The
entrepreneurs in this comedy, however, settle all
matters out of court.
When the town scholarship they were relying on
for their daughter’s education falls through, Scott
(Will Ferrell) and Kate (Amy Poehler) have no choice
but to turn their friend’s foreclosed home into an
illegal gambling den for their neighbours’ enjoyment.
Starting off small, things quickly snowball as their clientele
increases and their illicit establishment begins
to encroach on a local crime boss (Jeremy Renner).
While it finds both comedic leads playing familiar
parts, for some reason their over-the-top antics
actually work in the confines of this oddball farce.
Nothing more than an amalgamation of contemporary
frat comedies, The House’s saving grace is its
generic yet humorous punchlines.
Incidentally, the easiest way to retain your gaming
license is to become Native American.
Cheating on your spouse in the 1990s was more
acceptable because the President was doing it.
However, according to this comedy it didn’t make it
any less upsetting on the children.
While twenty-something-year-old Dana (Jenny
Slate) is cheating on her fiancé (Jay Duplass) with her
ex (Finn Wittrock), she learns from her teenage sister
Ali (Abby Quinn) that their father (John Turturro)
has been having an affair on their mother (Edie Falco).
This bombshell not only helps to reconnect the
estranged siblings, but also forces Dana to confront
her own infidelity and for Ali to face her growing
While it’s enjoyable to relive the nineties, there is
little else to enjoy about this run-of-the-mill period
piece. With a derivative narrative about a New York
affair, flat punch lines and unlikeable leads, Landline
is best left disconnected.
Besides, who needed to cheat in the ‘90s when
landlines offered three-way?
Being a personal shopper means getting the high of
the buy with none of the remorse. However, the only
high the buyer in this supernatural thriller wants is a
Chiefly employed as a personal shopper for a Parisian
celebrity, Maureen (Kristen Stewart) spends a
great deal of her time trying to contact her deceased
twin brother who died of the same heart condition
she has. When she receives a text from an unknown
source she concludes that it came from her dead sibling.
Meanwhile, her boss’ dead body has just been
found and Maureen is the police’s prime suspect.
Understated with moments of terror and ethereal
cinematography to match Stewart’s aloof performance,
this esoteric study on spiritualism slowly
pierces the veil in an innocuous yet haunting fashion
that makes this ghost story subtly scary.
Mind you, male ghosts haunting clothing stores
tend to linger around the change rooms.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Historically, pirates buried their fortunes under
the nearest whorehouse.Real items of value, as
confirmed by this adventure/fantasy, were hidden.
To free his captive father (Orlando Bloom)
from the Flying Dutchman’s curse, Henry (Brenton
Thwaites) must obtain Poseidon’s Trident. But
in order to pinpoint its whereabouts, he must
first locate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).
Meanwhile, an old adversary (Javier Bardem) from
Jack’s past has returned from the dead to exact his
revenge as well as claim the three-pronged spear
for him and his ill-fated crew.
With pointless subplots and recurring characters
thrown in to convolute the narrative, this
fifth chapter in the seafaring franchise surpasses
previous installments with ease. However that distinction
doesn’t mean that it’s still not a bloated
rehash of plot points with a derivative villain and a
Incidentally, it’s more lucrative for pirates today
to hijack a Backstreet Boy cruise ship.
If excreting sticky fluid from your body makes
you Spider-Man than every teenage male is a
web-slinger. Luckily, the enhanced adolescent in
this action-fantasy has other amazing attributes.
Under the mentorship of Tony Stark (Robert
Downey Jr.) since his Avengers stint, upstart
superhero Peter Parker (Tom Holland) now has
the costume and technology to really make his
alter ego Spider-Man stick. Unfortunately, while
the new gadgets aid in his battle against a winged
arms dealer (Michael Keaton), his flashy threads
cannot help him navigate the pitfalls of high
school. In fact, they complicate it more.
A heartfelt and funny take on the tiresome
web-head, Marvel’s first cinematic crack at their
own mascot not only breathes new life into the
wise-cracking wall-crawling but also raises the bar
with superior performances, a cohesive script and
Incidentally, any adult super-villain who hits
the underage Spider-Man can be arrested for
War for the Planet of the Apes
In a society run by apes you can rest assured only
evolution will be taught in school. Still, there are
a few humans in this sci-fi/fantasy that favour a
When a human militia led by The Colonel
(Woody Harrelson) murders his family, the
genetically enhanced simian Caesar (Andy Serkis)
takes a troop of monkeys (Steve Zahn, Karin
Konoval) with him on a mission of revenge. But
Caesar’s vengeance takes a backseat when he
must liberate hundreds of his brethren from The
Colonel’s primate concentration camp before they
While this heady conclusion to the reimagined
Planet of the Apes franchise wears
its historical influences on its sleeve, those
inspirations make for a dark final act. Nevertheless,
the smidgen of action, the endless nods
to the original series and the CGI are definitely
Furthermore, with monkeys in charge you can
rest assured bananas will never become extinct.
He’s an Insane Asylum Seeker. He’s the…
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 21
22 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE FILM
FEMMEWAVE 20 17
Ithaca-raised rapper SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo)
is known for her strong views on identity and womanhood,
but her infectious rhymes and soul-stirring rhythms
have made her a much-sought-after MC and facilitator
who is capable of uniting all fronts. A verbal assassin and
videogame anti-damsel, SAMMUS has attracted hip-hop fans
from some of the web’s furthest corners and lit up the stage
with her fiery dialogue and forthright delivery. Conveying her
message across with intelligence and intent, she rarely fails to
establish a tone of equality and respect when performing live.
Something she attributes to her desire
by Christine Leonard
to lift up the oppressed while remaining
solidly rooted in her own sovereign philosophy.
BeatRoute: How do you handle the pressure of being tapped to
anchor a festival like Femme Wave?
SAMMUS: I think I’m really blessed in that this is a feminist festival, it
already looks so cool! Whereas, if this was just a general music festival I
would be nervous about putting together a set that covered an array of
different topics. I definitely feel at my most comfortable in an explicitly
feminist basis. I’m preparing for this festival by just trying to figure out
what from my catalogue will make folks feel the most affirmed, like communities
that are the most marginalized, to make them feel affirmed
in that space. And to address some of the complicated and complex
relationships that we have with ourselves and each other.
What kind of atmosphere do you try to create with your performances
and what can Femme Wave attendees expect from your live
SAMMUS: It depends on the audience. I did a performance last night at
an art museum and I had a nice area to run around, so I was all over the
stage and getting in people’s faces and that kind of stuff. I really like to be
in and amongst the audience as much as I possibly can, getting off the
stage, moving into the crowd and shaking hands. I also have some tracks
that are call-and-response, my goal with those is to get people engaged
and feeling like the experience isn’t just something that I’m generating,
but one that we’re generating together.”
How does your performance style today compare with what you
were doing a year ago?
SAMMUS: I recently got off of a tour and a lot of folks who saw me
said “Wow! You’ve become very refined in your performance.” They
said they’ve noticed that my personality has increasingly come out in
my performances. Earlier on, or even just a year ago, I was really intent
on having people listen and getting the words out, so the it was pretty
intense. Now I’m comfortable on the stage and the fact that I’m a silly
person, or that I like to make jokes and laugh, comes out a lot in my set.
Obviously, a lot of the stuff that I talk about is very serious, but I feel like
that seriousness was the only thing people were seeing about in past
performances. Now it’s more of a fullness of what I like and who I am.
You have a rather impressive curriculum vitae. How have your academic
accomplishments and career as an educator benefitted your
pursuits as an underground rapper and social activist?
SAMMUS: One of the things that I’ve been able to take away from my
time as a grad student is how to shift through something and really
analyze it. In the process of creating a song what is important is to me is
focusing on one theme, or one idea, and pulling it apart, or stretching it,
or thinking about it differently. The other thing I’ve learned being in the
Department of Science & Technology Studies (at Cornell University) is
the ways in which knowledge is structured and socially produced. My
music talks about how identity can be socially constructed and how
there are a lot of assumptions about what it is to be a woman, or what
it is to be a black person. Musically, I’m trying to resist and push back
against that and show the ways that those identities are a lot more
malleable than we sometime see. I think those are the two ways in which
my academic background has helped.”
How do you forge a connection with your audience and make sure
your message is being heard?
SAMMUS: I’ve been made fun of because I talk a lot in between my
sets. I always want to people to understand what I’m talking about, but
I don’t’ want to be that person in the ivory tower using all this language
and then not actually providing an access-point for people who aren’t
familiar. I want to avoid being someone who uses a cool vocabulary, but
doesn’t try to bring people into the conversation. My worst fear is to be
completely disconnected from the people I actually want to speak to the
Do you ever have reservations about becoming a lightning rod for
political and personal outrage? How do you handle that sense of
SAMMUS: Sharing so much of my life, dealing with issues such as my
mental health, has meant that a lot of people have disclosed things
to me at shows, and via email and in texts, and it’s really beautiful and
powerful that folks feel so connected to me. But I also feel a little stressed
out sometimes, because I wish I could help or I’m not sure what to say.
And I’m not a trained professional, so I want to make sure I’m directing
people to resources that can help them. I very much understand and
feel the weight of being an artist who talks about these things now more
What is your messaging around sexual assault and how do you draw
a frame around such a pervasive problem?
SAMMUS: I have a song on my most recent album called “Song About
Sex” and in it I talk about some of the toxic messages that I think a lot
of women receive around sex and what sex is supposed to be. The song
finishes with me talking about my own traumatic instances with feeling
unsafe. It took some time for me to even process some of the things
that have happened to me, or even recognize them as falling under the
umbrella of sexual assault. It’s very easy for people to say, “Why didn’t
you say anything before?” Or, “Why is this just coming up now?” But it’s
so difficult and people need to assess the safety of the situation. They
have to assess whether they’re ready to be the target of the inevitable
backlash that comes with hearing abuses that somebody perpetrated.
What is the source of your artistic impetus and what compels you to
continue reaching out to new audiences with your music?
SAMMUS: There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than creating or sharing
art. I feel so happy to be a part of communities that are consistently
producing amazing thoughtful, beautiful, sincere works. I get so much
joy from just being there and seeing people who are excited to be there.
It gives me hope for the future. I think sometimes being online, or on
Twitter, it can feel really dismal and bleak like there’s no way to fight back
against this crazy administration or there’s way to improve the quality
of our lives. But being in these art spaces reminds me that resistance
sometimes takes place in the streets, it also takes place in community
spaces and venues and DIY areas and that people can change and grow
and learn just from hearing a song.
SAMMUS performs at Femme Wave Fun House Friday, Nov. 18 The #1
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 23
FEMMEWAVE 20 17
by Michael Grondin
Femme Wave is pleased to announce these multi-faceted, multi-dimensional musical women and
femmes of Saskatchewan. From praire-surfin’ jams, to introspective meditation and shredding
punk-rock, these nine projects are going to rip up Calgary’s stages and take us on an uncharted
tour of their landlocked, musical worlds.
Chunder Buffet is oozing and filthy post-punk madness that intoxicates you with technicolour
swamp gas, leaving you restless for more of its impatient, brain rattling insanity. Sharp vocals slice
through the fuzzy muck, leaving a wake of dank melodies and instantaneous anthems of super
respectfulchild eases you into a hallucinatory search for meaning through a meandering web of
vibrant notes that collide, multiply and disappear into unknown spaces. Saskatoon’s Melissa Gan
takes us on a celestial journey using little else but a violin put through a loop pedal, complimented
by their haunting, breathy vocals.
TOAM stray into uncharted jurisdictions of sound, juxtaposing shadows with colour, and dark
undertones with vibrant melody. Marrying bouncy synths, spectral guitar and glassy vocals with
sensually-driven anecdotes of their native Saskatoon, TOAM have found a forma for washing over
you with their ghostly sound while maintaining grounded in their clean, poppy instrumentation.
24 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE
The Definitelays are a landlocked, prairie-surfin’ trio that paddle out to the lowest of lo-fi tides with
a chill in the sand forever kind of vibe. Dreamy dueling vocals are caught in a calming rip tide of
60s-esque indie guitar jams that wash over you with “chill out, let’s party.”
Ursa explores consciousness as though it is something you can reach out and touch. Their minimal
experimentations of drone and ambiance are as immersive as they are elusive; a fleeting body-high
you can’t put into words. Ursa does not hesitate to drown you out with layers of synth and found
recordings, yet they grip you with their meditative explorations of sound.
The Babyfats are a face-melting punk-rock four piece that channel as much quirky rage as they do
flowery riot grrl anthems. Ulumni of Saksatoon’s Girls Rock Camp, The Babyfats dive deep into onepunch-knockout
beach-party jams that are sure to tear the Legion #1 stage to steaming smithereens.
Regina’s Natural Sympathies is an intergalactic melange of electronic elements framed through an
organic perspective. Bombastic synths swirl around Amber Goodwyn’s pointed and oddly anecdotal
vocals, making the coolest soundtrack for a celestial road trip through time and space. This
multi-talented solo act will surely take you to new dimensions and back again.
FEMMEWAVE 20 17
spectral trance of European mindscape
by Caroline Reynolds
actor, dancer and musician set to kick off Femme Wave
by Sarah Allen
photo: Fish Griwkowsky
MomBod is a punk infused trio, reminiscent of the feminist Riot Grrrl era suffused with
grunge and psychedelic sound, and, as the band name implies, all three members are
"There's a uniqueness to ourselves, yet we share something that's the same," says guitarist
Mandy Fox. "We're all mothers, and we all love music, and we all are determined to do that,
and that's another thing that brought us together."
Fox, also a member of the Fox Eyes, a raw rock group that has been playing in Lethbridge for
years, joined forces with experienced bassist Silvana Campus of the alt-rock duo betterhalf, with
the encouragement of their drummer Amberlea Parker who wanted to make music with other
women, specifically moms.
"I wanted something to look forward to every week, and to get music back into my life," say
Parker. "I've never really had a lot of mom friends, and just having two other badass moms to
play with is the best thing I could ever ask for."
While each musician comes from a diverse creative background, the shared experience of
motherhood is something the three connect on.
"There's this level of understanding that other people don't necessarily have," says Campus.
"We're flexible with each other," adds Parker.
"It's nice to do something that's not being a mom, being able to actually carry on other parts
of your life. Those things don't need to stop because you are now a parent," says Campus. "I
think it's cool being able to balance out being a mom, with being a rad musician."
The band has been together since the spring, forming in anticipation of FLIP Fest, a femme
and gender-non-conforming music festival that took place in Lethbridge this August. After the
festival the three were enjoying themselves so wanted to continue creating together, and are
now playing Femme Wave. Their music is a strong collaborative process, each member taking
turns writing the lyrics, singing, and co-writing songs together.
"At the moment we're just writing songs, let's try this thing and see how it feels. It's fun to
write by feel," says Campus. "It's cool to just explore a song."
"We have our different ways of talking about our own personal lives at times too during
practice," says Fox. "You make better connections musically as a group if you're making heart
connections, and I think that's one of the most important things of anything we do as individuals...we
have the heart as a part of it, or it's not real."
With the band name, MomBod, comes a political conversation the bandmates didn't really
expect to initiate.
"People are using the idea of 'mombod' to shame moms that don't fit into your stereotypical,
have a baby and get back into your jeans," says Parker.
"We want to take it back, make it something new, make it something better," says Campus.
"We're going to create a new definition."
As stated on their Facebook page, in response to an Urban Dictionary definition of Mom-
Bod, the band says, "We would like to challenge this notion of "Mom Bod" as outlined by Urban
Dictionary to be redefined as any person who has given birth and who's post-birth body is any
shape or size. We, as rock moms, would like to celebrate these endless variations of the Mom
Bod (stretch-marks and all) and would like to encourage every mom to love themselves and
their bodies post child. In that notion, we take up a new meaning of MomBod as a means of
empowering all moms everywhere."
"It's pretty cool how the politics have come up on their own," says Fox. "I think for the most
part we're doing what we love, and we're doing what we want to do, and it doesn't matter if
we're moms or not, we'll do it."
MomBod play at the all ages venue McHugh House (Calgary) for Femme Wave on Nov.S aturday 18
at 5 pm.
Mikaela Cochrane, front woman and songwriter
for new act Future Womb, is no stranger
to Calgary’s arts community.
She has captivated audiences on-screen at the
Calgary International Film Festival, most recently in
Ice Blue, and gracing the stage as her alter-ego ‘Lily
Bo Pique’ at Garter Girls Burlesque shows, but you
haven’t seen her quite like this.
Cochrane will be making her festival debut, as a
musician at least, at the Femme Wave Kick Off Cabaret
at Commonwealth on November 16 with her guitarist
Jordan Moe, bassist Michael De Souza and drummer
Andrew Ellergodt – and the festival suits her perfectly.
She says that besides being excited about multiple artistic
mediums being represented in the festival, that there’s a
level of comfort she feels within Femme Wave’s environment.
“It’s almost a guaranteed safe space,” she says.
The festival is the perfect platform for her work. She
says, “Being a woman is a huge part of who I am and a
pretty significant theme in a lot of my lyrics.”
Cochrane told BeatRoute that it took a very long
time for her to decide on a name for her act that both
meant something to her personally but also offered
relevancy to the content of her songs.
She just so happened to figure it all out in a float tank.
“I got a gift certificate for a float place. I went there
and I was in a pretty bad place at the time, mentally.
I [figured] I would treat myself, do this thing. When
I went into the room there was this weird little pod
with this glowing blue light inside. When I got in I was
just like, ‘This is like a womb.. from the future!’”
She leapt from the tank, quickly scribbled down the
name, and returned to her ‘Future Womb’ for her float.
Just like a womb’s role in creating life, Cochrane
uses Future Womb to cultivate and establish herself as
she navigates through some personal uncertainty.
“I was feeling very lost and I felt like a lot of the reasons
why I was [feeling that way] were the things that had
been taught to me about what it meant to be a woman.”
Making her music was a way for her to articulate her
experience for both herself and others who can likely relate.
She describes her sound as psychedelic dream pop
with influence from ‘90s artists, but also includes a
bit of a Latin infusion. Cochrane’s eerie vocal quality
mixed with her stage presence offers the aesthetic of a
neo-noir film, a little dark and gritty.
Cochrane has been recording singles slowly as time
allows with her brother, Taylor Cochrane of local band
36?, but isn’t necessarily in a rush to complete a record.
“I want to do it right, not just release it. I still don’t
know the route I want to take. I want it to be a concept
album of a specific time in my life. Other than
that, the rest is pretty fluid right now.”
Future Womb performs on November 16 at Commonwealth
as part of the Femme Wave Kick-Off Cabaret.
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 25
26 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE
thursday Nov. 16 friday nov. 17 [18+]
Commonwealth Bar and Stage [18+, $15]
FEMME FILM: Collectivism and Activism: A Feminist Perspective
From the Margins
saturday nov. 18
National 10th McHugh House Tubby Dog
Afternoon Tea Party
Girls Rock Camp
sunday nov. 19 -royal canadian legion #1
main fLoor main, side Up, North Up, south
Do It Yourself:
Finding Your Voice panel
and artist market
Zine Workshop with Krow
Potter and Calgary School
of Informal Education
Emmedia’ truck u-haul
(shorts on loop)
with Ariel Learoyd
with Amber Bosi
Calgary Sexual Health
#1 Legion Up #1 Legion Down
Tickets and more
Unless otherwise noted, events are all-ages and paywhat-you-can.
Specific times are subject to change.
Safer spaces and accessibility details online
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 27
DEATH FROM ABOVE
rock nomads are ready for outrage
The beloved Canadian duo is back with a different sound.
Since unexpectedly returning to the Canadian
rock scene in 2014 with their second album
The Physical World, Death From Above
has been busy making up for lost time. Even as we
talk on the phone, bassist Jesse F. Keeler can’t help
but tinker with his new instrument.
“Roland gave me a synthesizer. I’ve been waiting for
it for a month and a half,” he says giddily.
New gear isn’t the only thing DFA has to be
excited about. Their latest record Outrage! Is
Now dropped in September and they’ve already
road tested many of the new tracks. Keeler says
fans can expect a good mix of fresh cuts and old
favorites when they tour North America this fall.
“We’ve got the record with the stuff that
needs to get played. We’ve been playing a bunch
of the new songs already. We’ll probably play
more than half the record. It’s tough when
you’ve got this many songs now, you gotta start
making tough decisions.”
Outrage! Is Now is a tight collection of songs
filled with fuzzy bass riffs and heart pounding
drums, and is the first release under their shortened
moniker, which originally ran as Death From
Above 1979. Songs like “Nomads,” “Never Swim
Alone,” and “Holy Books” are destined to grab
listeners with their punchy, overdriven melodies
and fist-pumping fast tempos. But there are also
hints of experimentation, like the catchy piano
hook that drives first single “Freeze Me.”
Keeler says the reaction to the album has been
fantastic so far.
“I didn’t expect it to be so positive, but I never do,”
“You hope, but you don’t know. It’s been awesome.
I couldn’t really ask for anything more. There’s been a
lot of great stuff said to us and about us.”
“Freeze Me” has quickly become a force on Canadian
radio. The piano segment of the song has actually
been in Keeler’s back pocket for a while but he only
recently sent it to bandmate Sebastien Grainger for
“To be precise, in 2012 I had that piano idea. It
was just a matter of trying to decide when to use
it, but I never thought it would be appropriate.
But as it turns out, I sent it to Seb and he was into
it. We would have never made “Freeze Me” if we
hadn’t made “Trainwreck” before that because
that showed us that we could have piano on the
stage sound wise; triggering things with a sampler
opened up the whole world.”
Keeler says there’s less scrutiny regarding the
by Trevor Morelli
band’s sound in general and that nowadays they feel
free to create whatever kind of music they want.
“The simplest way to explain it is that from the
beginning with our band, we always had, I don’t want
to say pressure, but an interest in us adding more shit
all the time,” he explains.
“You know, I guess from a lack of confidence in
the context of not having as many instruments.
And over the years that pressure is gone and we’ve
clearly established that we can be fuckin’ louder
and more full than a seven-piece band if we want
to. So no one asks us that shit anymore and we’re
not thinking that way.”
Despite an almost 10-year gap between their
celebrated groovy punk debut You’re A Woman, I’m
A Machine and much more dance oriented, synth
heavy second album The Physical World, Death
From Above has affirmed their importance in the
Can we expect to hear more from DFA in the near
future? Keeler believes so.
“I hope so. I don’t like taking breaks for that
long. I don’t know if it helps. Oh yeah, I mean at
this point, at a certain point, you kind of accept
that this is what I do and I’m not going to start
from scratch again at this point in my life.”
Death From Above perform at the Commodore
Ballroom on November 21 (Vancouver), Union
Hall on November 23 (Edmonton), The Grey Eagle
Event Centre on November 24 (Calgary), O’Brian’s
Event Centre on November 25 (Saskatoon), and
the Burton Cummings Theatre on November 27
still rock’s wildcat after two decades
If bands like AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, and Black Sabbath are staples of
your vinyl collection, then Danko Jones is your man. More than 20
years into his career, Jones is still Canada’s main purveyor of rock n’
roll and with good reason.
Released last March, Jones’ eighth album Wild Cat is heavy on
big guitar riffs, deep thumping bass, and furious drum beats. It’s an
album meant to be turned up loud at a Saturday night house party
and Jones says the band’s upcoming live shows will bring the good
times to life.
“We’re a rock band, we’re going to play a rock show,” he says.
One track from Wild Cat that’s been turning heads is first single “My
Litte RnR,” which makes good use of the cowbell. As cliché as it is, it’s the
kind of song that would make Christopher Walken proud.
“Well, we usually incorporate cowbell on at least two or three tracks
on every album of ours, so that one just happened to be the single,”
“”You Are My Woman” is probably my favorite song off the record
but it’s like the third single off it. I mean that’s just how it rolls. Everybody
thought “My Little RnR” was the way to go for a first single and I didn’t
really debate it.”
Even though the band takes its eponymous name from Jones, the
front man says writing Wild Cat was a group effort, just as it was on
“It’s a collaborative effort. I mean, we are a band, so you know, maybe
I’ll come in with a guitar riff, and maybe we’ll work it out from there and
everyone will have their say, or maybe come up with a different part here
For Wild Cat, Danko Jones worked with acclaimed producer Eric Ratz
(Billy Talent, Big Wreck). It’s their second time working with him following
their last album Fire Music in 2015.
“Well this is our second album with him but we’ve known him for a
very, very, very long time. With Fire Music, we finally got him on board as
producer. He’s been making a name for himself as a producer while we’ve
by Trevor Morelli
been touring and our reputation, our profile has been rising alongside
his. So it’s good that we were finally able to work together.”
Jones says working with Ratz was a natural fit.
“For me personally, it’s a good meeting of the minds. We’re a pretty
self-sufficient band when it comes to songs. We can write all the songs.
It’s not something that he has to come in and put his producer hat on
and start you know, helping us write the songs, like some producers do
and like some bands need.”
He continues, “What he does bring is a really good ear and he knows
how to get good sounds and tones, especially for me, as a guitar player.
He knows how to get a good guitar tone, probably the best guitar tones
I’ve had on some of our studio albums.”
After two decades, the goal for Danko Jones is the same: keep making
solid rock anthems no matter how hard it gets.
“I guess I have my eye on the practical prize which is just being able to
continue to make music and make albums,” suggests Jones.
“Because it’s really actually getting harder and harder to make a record
these days. As easy as it is to record the album, I mean anyone can record
now in a bedroom and make it sound pretty top shelf, but the fact that,
you know, it’s leveled the playing field to the point where there’s just so
many albums being put out. Your album gets lost in the shuffle so I don’t
even know if people make albums anymore. So to be able to make music
is a goal in itself.”
Danko Jones will be playing Better Than Fred’s on November 7 (Grande
Prairie), The Starlite Room on November 8 (Edmonton), The Gateway on
November 9 (Calgary), and Nashville’s on November 10 (Winnipeg).
28 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
Phoenix native thirsty to create
Solo creator gets extravagantly personal on upcoming album.
R. Ariel is a multi faceted artist.
After exploring her creativity through
photography for many years, she recognized
herself lacking the same satisfaction that her
art-form once provided. So she looked to a new
platform for creative expression. Already surrounded
by musicians and filled with a love for music,
she began writing songs and producing. Eventually
these songs formed her first full-length album
Histories. The album has a solemn tone and largely
features guitar while heavily leaning on vocal
melodies to focus the tracks. There’s a crucial lo-fi
experimental theme throughout the album that
has become an R.Ariel signature.
Since Histories, R.Ariel’s albums have leaned
heavier on electronics progressively more and
more through each album.
“I feel pretty flexible when it comes to my
musical choices and I don’t really feel stuck to
any one thing but this next album is definitely
more electronic. Electronics for the win.” Despite
infusing electronics into her upcoming album Oh,
independently released on November 1, the lead
single “Told” maintains familiar aspects of past
works. The vocals hold a lo-fi tone, but on this
track in particular, it sounds more purposeful than
in the past. This is chiefly a result of the improved
production from her last album Identified Demon,
which was released in 2016. Unlike many artists
who have gone through this progression, R.Ariel
has not lost the rawness that is key to her discography.
The beats glide through the track parallel
to trip hop beats, maintaining dynamics and not
getting carried away or distracting in the low-key
vibe of the rest of the song.
In the past R.ariel has attributed much of her
inspiration to her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.
However, her upcoming release will be the first
instance where the city no longer holds primary
sway over the artist.
“I don’t actually feel as closely connected to
Phoenix as I have with past albums. It’s the first
album that is definitely not Phoenix based and I
didn’t even notice that that had really changed,”
“I think with this album I wrote a lot more
inwards than I normally do, rather than writing
by Kennedy Pawluk
about external experiences. This album is a lot
more about myself and so I guess it’s a reflection
of a positive thing. I think it’s more about fiercely
Since releasing her first album in 2014, R.Ariel
has been known for expansive touring. It’s rare to
see independent artists at her level put such an
emphasis on touring internationally, especially
when they originate from the U.S.A. where there’s
such a large market to be tapped.
“I really just wanted to see what other music communities
are doing and I really like sharing with an
international community. My huge goal would be to
tour Japan or Mexico, but financially this shit is insane
a lot of the time and I’m always running off such low
finances that I’ve kind of stopped the dreams for a little
bit. I feel like being from the U.S., you can get stuck
in this little bubble rather than trying to see outwards
and what other people are getting into.”
This upcoming tour includes 37 dates over a
“There are so many good bands on this tour
and I’m really excited to perform again,” she says
of the trek.
“I haven’t really performed for a year so I’m
excited to get into that and just share my shit with
R.Ariel’s new album Oh is out on November 1. She will
perform at the Sewing Machine Factory on November
12 (Edmonton), the Nite Owl on November 14
(Calgary) and at a location TBA on November 15
(Lethbridge). Hear her at rariel.bandcamp.com
THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE
showing off their wild side
There will be some significant changes
for The Rural Alberta Advantage as they
embark on a cross-continent tour in
support of the release of their fourth album,
The Wild. Although the music is in the same
vein of their frenetic indie rock sound, the
addition of a new member has pushed their
music to new heights.
Original members Nels Edenloff and Paul
Banwatt welcomed long-time friend Robin
Hatch behind the keys after the departure of
original member Amy Cole. Hatch’s formal musical
education has brought a fresh perspective
to The Wild. A cleaner, simple sound that
has amazing vocal layering predominant on
many tracks. The first single “White Lights” is
a perfect example of this; Edenloff mentioned
that he really enjoyed the learning curve that
comes with a new member of the band.
“You get to develop a new collection of experiences
that build a backstory you base your
relationship on. Ways of talking and thinking
that make sense to you,” he says.
Frequently, song-writing inspiration comes
from what is close to you. Edenloff wants to
convey emotions that result in earnest and
honest music. A listen to “Beacon Hill” from
the new album will definitely expose you to
the emotions that caught him off-guard when
he learned about the massive forest fire that
devastated the town of Fort McMurray where
he spent his teenage years.
The single “Tornado” from the band’s sophomore
album Departing conveyed the memories
of the ‘87 Edmonton twister, demonstrating
the usage of personal experiences which
helps their music “cut through the noise” of all
the new music generated these days.
So the road beckons and the tour will reach
the West Coast on November 24. The RAA are
excited to be back playing some of the best
“rooms with character” like the Commodore
Ballroom in Vancouver, but with their surge in
popularity some other favourites like the Doug
Fir in Portland are now too small. They will
take the trade-off of bigger venues and bigger
crowds. They will also look forward to building
a camaraderie with tourmates Yukon Blonde.
“It will be fun to have someone else’s songs
running through my head,” Edenloff says.
Another perk to the road is looking forward
to local cooking, from BBQ in Atlanta to sushi
“You just cannot eat at McDonald’s every
You can say that again!
The Rural Alberta Advantage perform November
24 at the Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver).
November 25 at the Kelowna Community Centre
(Kelowan), at Union Hall on November 29 and 30
(Edmonton), at O’Brians on December 1 (Saskatoon),
and the Pyramid Cabaret on December 2
Prairie troubadours riding the wave of their fourth studio album.
by Tom Paille
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 29
THE DEAD SOUTH
more than just good company
by Trevor Morelli
Folk troubadours back in Canada for a short tour.
The Dead South may be a mix between folk
and bluegrass, but their ambition is more
comparable to a punk band trying to make
a name for themselves. Their aptitude for delivering
a traditional roots sound with the energy
and enthusiasm of a group of young upstarts has
gained The Death South a massive worldwide
audience in a very short amount of time.
Since releasing their debut album Good Company
in 2015, the Regina, SK quartet has already
hit Europe multiple times. They’ll be back there
in November before hitting Western Canada in
late November and early December.
“We’ve been there about 7 times. This will be
our eighth time,” explains vocalist/guitarist Nate
Hilts regarding the band’s upcoming overseas trek.
“Germans like us,” Hilts continues. “It’s a bit of
a niche market.”
Along with recently hitting the Billboard Top
50 chart, Good Company has also proven to be
extremely popular in the digital realm, hitting
the top 20 on the US iTunes overall chart.
Much of the band’s continued success is due
to the viral video for the song “In Hell, I’ll Be In
Good Company”, which has already garnered a
staggering 30 million views and continues to gain
new views every week.
It’s easy to see why the video is a hit. Not only
does it feature some catchy whistling and an
anthemic chorus but the visuals are stunning.
The idea was to catch the band performing in
the exact same position while the background
changes to different Canadian landscapes every
“We had to measure it out every time,” says
Hilts. “12 feet.”
“It’s like, holy shit, we have to somehow either
top that one or not care that we don’t top that
one. It’s one or the other,” he comments.
In November 2015, The Dead South was
awarded the Canadian Independent Music Association’s
Road Gold certification for tickets sales.
Unsurprisingly, the accolades only fuel the band’s
passion for the road.
They’re still working hard promoting 2016’s Illusion
& Doubt, which hit number 2 on the US
Bluegrass Billboard chart and entered the top
30 on the US Country iTunes chart, with tour
stops in Western Canada in late November and
December. Fans can expect to hear a couple of
new tunes as the band work out ideas for their
“The more and more we go, the more and
more collaborative we get,” Hilts notes about
their writing process.
“We want to write a bunch of new songs and
we like to play them live just to get used to them.
Then we understand what we need to change
about them. And that way you’re not rushing
George Jones, Colter Wall, and Sturgill Simpson
are some of the artists on Hilts’ playlist right
now but he likes the old timers too. “I’m also
listening to Meat Loaf and Neil Diamond, stuff
like that,” he chuckles.
For a rowdy, foot stompin’ good time, check
out The Dead South in Alberta this fall. Their
shows are almost sure to sell out, so you’ll be in
The Dead South will be playing at the Vic Juba
Theatre Nov. 29 9 Lloydminster), Bo’s Bar and Grill
Nov. 30 (Red Deer), St. Basil’s Cultural Centre Dec. 1
(Edmonton), and The Gateway Dec. 2 (Calgary).
30 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
AND NOW, FOR
Iron Chic play the Nite Owl on November 26.
photo: Patrick Houdek
Iron Chic is a group out of Long Island, New York that walks a thin line
between pop-punk and melodic hardcore. Their sound is based heavily
around loud punk drumbeats and anthem style gang vocals with heavy
rhythm and piercing lead guitars busting through the backdrop. They’ve
got a great beat and at most times an upbeat attitude to their music, so
expect a mosh-pit full of frenzied smiles at their show. Iron Chic play the
Nite Owl on November 26.
After a six-year hiatus, Vancouver’s The Dreadnoughts are releasing their
new album, Foreign Skies,on November 11. Fittingly, the album is themed
around wartime Europe, leading to some interesting sights and sounds.
The group’s Celtic inspired punk lends well to the subject matter, with
the single “Back Home in Bristol” a likely candidate for an old drinking
song that soldiers might sing in the trenches between bouts of fighting.
The Dreadnoughts perform at Dickens Pub on November 18.
The Path Less Travelled
A local group sitting at the fringes of hard rock and pop punk, The Path
Less Travelled are fresh off the release of their latest album, Legacy. This
latest release shows the group’s focus on an aggressive, up-tempo sound
driven home by hard-hitting drums and heavy, staccato guitar rhythms.
With multiple vocalists singing on many of their tracks, it just adds to the
frenzy of sound. The Path Less Travelled open for Seaway and Silverstein
at the Marquee on November 18.
A melodic alt-rock group out of Edmonton, For Tonight is currently
working on their first album. Their music brings a soothing mix of the
melodies of indie rock and emo, while occasionally offering folksy acoustic
segments and lengthy guitar solos. For an upstart band in their first
years of playing together, they have a pretty tight sound and have been
creating some buzz in their hometown. For Tonight play at The Blind
Beggar on November 24.
• Jodi Brak
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS
taking their time with new music
It was just this past summer that vocalist and guitarist Ryan
Young and guitarist John Polydoros of Off With Their Heads
visited Canada for an acoustic tour in support of their 2016
release Won’t Be Missed. This time around, the guys are back
with the rest of the band, including bassist Robbie Swartwood
and drummer Kyle Manning. They’ll be delivering the style
fans fell for: that is, dark, raspy vocals accompanied by heavy,
melodic punk guitar riffs and hard-hitting, pulsating drums (no
acoustic guitars necessary).
Although many are looking forward to this tour, the last time
we heard new music from OWTH was 2013’s Home. But, Young
assures us it’s only a matter of time.
sci-fi pop-punks land with new album Diagnostic
At their core, Calgary punk act The Galacticas are about
having fun and making people dance at their live
shows. They also incorporate some of their favorite
television, comic book, and movie influences, like Spider-Man
and Star Wars, but they try not to let the sci-fi elements consume
“I think a lot of punks are sort of nerds at heart,” explains drummer
“I think punk and sci-fi just kind of go hand in hand together,
especially when you look at the horror-punk and thrash sort of
genres. We decided to do just a light-hearted version of that, really”.
Their name itself of course comes from the interstellar TV
show, but in the beginning they considered going the video game
“We were debating between The Galagas or The Galacticas and
we were just like ‘Ah, we’ll just do The Galacticas’ since we were all
watching Battlestar Galactica at the same time.”
The Galacticas’ new album Diagnostic drops November 11 with
an accompanying show at Nite Owl. Cowan says the band’s sound
is catchier than previous releases while still maintaining an edge.
“When we first got together we thinking more in a Gaslight
Anthem, Against Me! sort of way. As we started practicing more
and writing more songs we went more in the poppy kind of route,
but without going so poppy that it was like cringe-worthy sort of
“We still try to keep the guitars really distorted and the drums
loud and everything like that. So it’s still got a little bit of teeth in it.”
Title track “Diagnostic” is one of Cowan’s favourites and he
recommends it as a place to start for those unfamiliar with The
“I think it’s just a great pop diddy,” he declares. “It’s just so
straightforward, verse-chorus-verse chorus. None of it takes itself
too seriously, and that’s what I kind of like about it.”
A couple of years of touring to places as far as Winnipeg and
by Sarah Mac
“For the first time in the history of this band, we are actually
taking things at our own pace. We used to have a couple months to
come out with a record in between tours.”
Young pauses, “I want to take my time to make something I
actually like. I’ve never really liked any of the records we have made.
Some of the songs turned out good, but I’ve never dug the actual
He continues, “So, it’s definitely time for us to make
something interesting. We have about six songs that we
have been working on, but that’s about as far into planning
as we are right now. I’m getting more and more excited to
focus on it though. We technically still have one [album] left
with Epitaph Records and we’re on good terms with them,
despite taking our time. So, I’ll be playing the record for
Bret Gurewitz [Epitaph] first. If he wants to put it out, that
would be awesome. If not, we have a few other options from
labels. And if all else fails, I’ve got my own label. We are the
cockroaches of this shit. You can’t kill us.”
With a new album in the works and OWTH’s 15th anniversary
coming up in 2018, this news is exactly what we wanted to hear and
the upcoming tour is a perfect way to finish off the year.
“I think being in this band today is a completely different experience
than it was even five years ago. I kinda can’t wait to see what
it’s like. But for now, all I know is that I want to get the new record
finished and released and hit the road equipped with our new
attitude and mindset.”
Don’t miss Off With Their Heads at one of their four Canadian stops:
The Cobalt on November 23 (Vancouver), The Buckingham on
November 25 (Edmonton), the Nite Owl on November 26 (Calgary)
and the Park Theater on November 28 (Winnipeg).
by Trevor Morelli
Maple Ridge have taught The Galacticas to keep their live shows
light and fun too.
“We just try to keep it high-energy and kinda joke-y. As long you
can just keep energy up and as long as you’re just being fun, that’s
what we’re trying to be.”
He says they even throw in a Taylor Swift cover into the live set,
often to mixed results. The track will be on the physical version
of Diagnostic but not the online version.
“Hopefully people respond to it because when we perform it,
depending on the bar, some people really like it and some people
really hate it.”
The Galacticas celebrate the release of their album with a show at
Nite Owl on November 11 (Calgary).
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 31
through the looking glass
Named for the scary-looking children’s
author who turned words on their ear and
penned the lyrics to “A Boy Named Sue,”
Burlington, Ontario’s Silverstein has been pumping
out post-hardcore tunes since the band’s inception
in 2000. By 2002, the upstarts had made enough
noise to attract the interest of Victory Records and
in 2003 the renowned punk rock label released
Silverstein’s first full-length album, When Broken Is
Easily Fixed. Featuring 10 energetic tracks, including
six songs from their early EPs, the introductory
LP launched Silverstein into the public eye,
ultimately selling 200 000 copies. Swept up in a
whirlwind of international tours and press engagements,
Silverstein enjoyed an upsurge in popularity
that carried them through the next decade and
saw them produce another half-dozen records.
Notable for both their consistency and longevity,
Silverstein has become a mainstay of Canada’s
emo scene and Warped Tour royalty along the
way. A pair of distinctions that lead vocalist Shane
Told, rhythm guitarist Josh Bradford, lead guitarist
Paul Marc Rousseau, bassist Billy Hamilton and
drummer Paul Koehler have accepted with a sense
of gratitude and responsibility.
“It’s always challenging to write another record
and with this being our eighth studio album there
was even more pressure, because we want to honour
the long-time fans, but we also want to reach a new
audience,” says Koehler.
“I think with this album we did a good job of
balancing both of those things. It doesn’t get easier,
Silverstein holds a mirror up to reality with Dead Reflection.
it’s still a stressful process and we work through it as
best as we can. It was a pretty insane beginning of the
year; writing and recording it. In the end, we’re really
happy with it and I can say it’s probably my favourite
record that we’ve put out. And that’s a hard feat after
seven previous albums, to be able to top it, but I feel
like we did.”
Rolled out with the singles “Retrograde” and
“Ghost,” Silverstein’s latest effort, Dead Reflection,
appeared via New Damage Records in Canada in July
of 2017. An examination of the tribulations endured
by frontman Shane Told, who also performs solo
under the moniker River Oaks, the album surveys the
group’s darker side but from a more mature perspective
than ever before.
“It’s a little bit about showing what we’re capable
of,” Koehler confirms.
“We switched up the personnel for this record,
which also resulted in a more modern production
sound. It keeps the band feeling current and helps to
showcase these songs in the way they were intended
to be heard. So, that was the main motivation for it.
Lyrically, Shane took a real deeply personal approach
with that. Musically, we tried different tunings and
by Christine Leonard
tried to punch up the hooks and chorus to be bigger
and better than ever and we also wanted the technical
aspect to be more complex.”
Despite being a well-conditioned melodic hardcore
entity with a considerable amount of experience
under their belts, Silverstein’s in-studio performances
still benefit from harsh scrutiny. Their own worst
critic, the group’s guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau rose
to the rank of producer and assisted noted Toronto
engineer/producer Derek Hoffman on polishing
Dead Reflection to a mercurial lustre.
“In the studio the producer is always the one to say
‘that was good but you can do better.’ You’re pushing
your muscles as far as you physically can to create
the take in the studio, but when someone says ‘you
can do better!’ that’s when you reach inside yourself
and realize if there’s one bit of energy left I’m going to
push it out and that’s when you get those extraordinary
performances,” says Koehler.
“In the moment you can be dripping with sweat,
beat-up and exhausted, and you don’t know that
you can do better. And sometimes it takes that third
party who’s sitting in the control booth to be critical
about the performance and interactions. On Dead
Reflection we were really pushing the performances.
We pushed it further and came out with a better
Watch Silverstein perform at The Needle on November
9 (Edmonton), The Rickshaw on November 11
(Vancouver), the Marquee on November 16 (Calgary)
and The Exchange on November 17 (Regina).
32 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
collaborative debut in less than 30 minutes
Hardcore band realizes they’re old for a hardcore band.
Edmonton hardcore troupe Times Tide may
not be completely self-aware.
Like many projects before them, Time Tide
has undergone the usual musical chair scenario
before settling on their current line-up. When BeatRoute
sat down with half the line-up, our questions
shone a light on aspects of the group they hadn’t
With the release of their debut album God,
I’m Alone Here on November 1, the members
photo: Cole Hadley
are now on the same track, creating an album
cohesively for the first time in their four year
history. Guitarist Benjamin MacKenzie and
drummer Byron Mayer started out with a different
vocalist before choosing Colten Reid to fill
the void left behind by a man they simply refer
to as “John.” Joel Frost eventually became their
bassist and the rest fell into place.
“They asked me to do vocals originally because I
was straight edge,” Reid says, smiling.
“We tried to take that route for awhile and made
some bad justifications for it.”
“Now we have a bunch of shirts that say Edmonton
Straight Edge on them,” says Frost, laughing. “We
really need to do something with those.”
Even though Times Tide can’t technically be considered
a straight edge band anymore, they are still an
untethered force to be reckoned with. Reid’s vocals
are razor sharp and full of deep emotional weight.
It’s something he says happens naturally without any
training or forethought, which is additionally intriguing
considering he’s never had the lung capacity to
blow up a balloon before.
“It pisses me off!”
With these deliciously scathing vocals God, I’m
Alone Here continues to set itself apart from other
hardcore recordings with a variety of guitar textures
and tones. “Most of my Income Goes to Hypnotists”
is a 42 second heavy hitter with scratched out instrumentals
and a quick back up vocal tease that adds a
slight bit of comic relief from the rest of the album,
which is thematically quite dark.
“Thoughts at Red Lights” is a slowed down ballad
with similarly strained vocals, fuzzed out to a faded
sample murmuring about the potential invulnerability
What’s even more interesting about this album is
the fact the band chose to record it in one weekend
all together, which hasn’t been the case for the
previous EP Past Lives or their first demo, which dates
back to 2014.
“This is the only release we actually wrote together
by Brittany Rudyck
and collaborated on,” offers Reid. “The last recordings
were more spread out. We would do drums one
week, guitars the next and I would do vocals whenever
I felt like it. It was all over the place.”
Working together in this way is a good look for
the band, who all ready seem excited to write new
material and play new songs at their shows.
“We’ve been playing a few of these songs for
awhile,” admits Frost.
“That bums me out we’ve been playing these
songs for that long,” groans Reid. “That hurts a bit.
We’re old for a hardcore band. But maybe that means
we have more potential than a simple hardcore band.
That’s my dream.”
Times Tide also work toward inclusivity in Edmonton’s
tiny local hardcore scene, championing all-ages
hall shows and working with Good Grief Collective.
When BeatRoute asked about collaborating within
such a small scene and supporting its growth, Frost
“More than anything, it’s about vulnerability,” he
says. “For a lot of people it’s that raw, emotional experience
when they come to a hardcore show. That’s
why we want to do all-ages shows and open the
scene up. There’s no ego, everyone wants to support
each other and contribute.”
Come to the Times Tide all-ages album release show
at the Small King Edward Hall on November 10
(Edmonton). The opening bands include Manitoba’s
Viva Non, locals Rayleigh, False Body and Underbite.
Ten bones at the door!
artistic musings by local flaneur
Stony Plain native Alex Vissia is no stranger to the all-encompassing
pendulum of a busy musical existence. Vissia is soon to
release her new album Place Holder on November 10, all the
while balancing her other current projects: The Hearts, Bad Buddy
and the recent launch of her new label Hurry Hard Records, all
Edmonton based projects. Vissia’s years from youth spent braided
in the music community are undeniably present in the full and
expansive debut album.
The four-year incubation has made Place Holder a treat to listen
to. The swaying groovy ambience and effortless twists through a wide
array of genres creates a nostalgic, relatable mood. Surf guitar riffs,
wayward reverbs, sonorous backing vocals and timeless slide guitar all
float behind Vissia’s deep harmonic voice.
The album title Place Holder holds a resonating connotation to life’s
“This album is a collection of songs, each holding a place in my
experiential past,” she explains. “Like any memory, the edges get fuzzy
with time and my perspective on situations can change, but I look at
each song as a snapshot, a moment in time and each song brings me
back to a place.”
Vissia tells BeatRoute she was once a sucker for nostalgia, however
now “Writing songs is a way for me to acknowledge situations and
experiences and then set them free.”
Vissia’s observant and reserved nature allowed her to compose Place
Holders insightful lyrics that are an affirmation to existential queries.
“I’m really intrigued by emotions and how people interact, or how
they choose not to communicate,” muses Vissia.
“How lack of communication can open up so many avenues for
misunderstandings and how you process those kind of things. I
am writing for my own personal experience, but a lot of times I’m
also observing people that I know.”
With a timeless voice, Vissia offers the listener an album that could
transform any mundane task into a romantic, folk experience. Each of
the nine songs on the album have their own distinct melody, holding
that resonant place in time. Vissia’s deep bluesy tone and full backing
band are a welcoming introduction to opening track “Mountaineer,”
a song lyrically focusing on that wayfaring compadre “that you really
care about,” abandoning you once again. Place Holder hits a crescendo
with the eerie electric guitar intro of “Night Romancer,” drawing lyrical
and melodic innuendos paralleling the hazy confidence of drunken
romance. The sixth track, “The Kind Of Good” speaks to lost love and
finding yourself “on the floor of a hotel corridor.” Oscillating between
poppy jovial timbre and poetic imagery, Vissia is at ease striking a chord
Along with the release of the new album, Vissia has paired up with
partner Nick Davis for the launch of her own label Hurry Hard Records,
under which Place Holder is released.
“We came up with the ideas to start a record label from just having a
lot of experience already doing all the things that a record label does.”
Being already established musicians in the Edmonton scene, the
duo is focused on harnessing and supporting their roots within the
“We’ve definitely built a relationship with people here; you don’t
want to go in it all alone,” she says. “So we have lot of community
support from a lot of different musicians, which has made it that much
Vissia’s album Place Holder comes out on November 10. If you happen
to be in Eastern Canada, she has a string of tour dates all throughout the
month that can be found on her Facebook page.
Rootsy new album tells timeless tales.
by Caroline Reynolds
photo: Matt Kraus
34 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
anthropological pollution meets doom
What do you get when you mix apocalyptic
doom metal with electronica
and the odd sample? One of
Edmonton’s newer dirty doom bands, Hedoro.
Their aim is to infuse elements of electronica
and pop culture samples into their music while
touching on dark themes, of course. BeatRoute
interviewed drummer Daniel Klassen and got
schooled on the meaning of the word “Hedoro”
among a few other nifty details about this new
BeatRoute: The tape you’re putting out is a
split with local power violence band, Hatchet
Face. Can you tell us about that?
Daniel Klassen: Through some fortunate timing,
Hatchet Face had songs ready around the same
time that Hedoro was ready. It was a great opportunity
to make a DIY project with two bands
writing, recording, producing and promoting a
split EP cassette. We collaborated on a track called
“xSMOGMONSTERx” which is exclusively on the
tape. Hatchet Face is going through some member
changes but is still active. Hedoro has a few new
songs we will be playing for the first time at the
cassette release. One of these songs has a retro, ‘70s
rock feel that we’re very excited to share.
BR: Listening to the two tracks from the
split, the term “dirty doom” is understandable.
“Into the Black” fades into a slinky
drone tune. It’s interesting stuff. Can we expect
a similar sound on upcoming releases?
DK: Through the use of pedals, samples and electronic
drums, we hope to have a set that feels more
like an audio experience than your standard first
show. We aren’t adverse to using audio clips from
movies, TV shows, hip-hop songs or self-produced
audio made with Ableton Live or pre-recorded
pedal loops. For upcoming releases, we may
incorporate more electronica though strictly in
by Brittany Rudyck
interludes. We want to prioritize playing as a rock
band or using pedal-loops that are produced
organically. We are influenced a lot by Rosetta, who
are a band that uses Ableton Live and pedal-loops
while staying true to their progressive rock/doom
BR: When we looked up Hedoro, we were
led to a few different places. How exactly
does this word apply to your band?
DK: Bryn, our bass player, has a connection to
Japan and visits frequently. Hedoro is the Japanese
word for slime, ooze or pollution. This is not to be
confused with Hedorah, a Japanese slime-monster
in the Godzilla universe. Hedorah is famous for
being one of the few Godzilla monsters to actually
consume humans on film in the movie-series.
Certain anime characters are also named Hedoro,
either in reference to sludge or Hedoro may be
written by its kanji. Bryn came up with the band
name, which resonated as more of a reference to
apocalyptic themes and the causation of anthropological
BR: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
DK: While anime or fandom doesn’t take a huge
part of our writing, we do appreciate anime and
other aspects of Japanese or American culture.
Bryn produces toys with his company King Hideous
Toys (@kinghidedeoustoys) Bryn is producing
art work for us which has a great H.R. Giger meets
Ninja Scroll vibe. We are also working on doing a
few cover songs - some hardcore, some classic rock.
Our goal is to play short tours in Western Canada.
It’s a great time to get back into the scene with so
many great bands coming up in Edmonton.
Pick up Hedoro’s tape at their release show on
November 2 with Milkers Wanted (Vancouver), Pill
Crusher (Calgary) and Highbernation at the Sewing
Machine Factory (Edmonton).
Electronic drone infused dirty doom act release new tape.
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 35
THE SEWING MACHINE FACTORY
by Kennedy Pawluk
DIY venue re-opens basement doors
A new era for pivotal space in Edmonton’s DIY scene.
photo: Haley Wirachowsky
HARDCORE FOR HUMANITY
By Brittany Rudyck
life giving meals funded by hardcore
The connection between hardcore music
and the Hare Krishna tradition can be
traced back to ‘80s to bands like Youth
of Today, Shelter, and of course, Cro-Mags. The
tradition, once hailed by bands like the Beatles,
caught the eye of those in heavy scenes around
the New York area seeking a lifestyle free of
intoxicants, animal products or liberal sexual lifestyles.
Known by many as “krishnacore,” the fad
appeared to peter out by the early ‘90s, at least in
Fast forward to 2017 in Edmonton, where
Mattie Cuvilier, who has been a motivating
force in the Edmonton hardcore scene for years,
has been hosting Hardcore for Humanity since
2010 with hopes of raising money and helping
the less fortunate.
“We’ve worked with a number of different charities;
it changes year to year,” explains Cuvilier. “The
last two years we’ve been working with Food for
Life. With this organization, it all goes to the food
and can have a bigger impact. You can see it all at
work. It’s an open book.”
Guitarist/vocalist for Cruciferous, Johnny
Jagajivan has a long and fascinating relationship
with punk rock and the Hare Krishna movement,
one that perhaps could be its own article. Jagajivan
has been with Food for Life since its Edmonton inception
in 2014. The international non-profit food
relief organization now serves meals once a month
at Boyle Street Community Centre.
“Food for Life itself is interesting with its history
and ties to ‘80s hardcore,” explains Jagajivan. “I’ve
been to all of the Hardcore for Humanity shows
and played – I think – the second one. We’re feeding
150 people with three hundred dollars and it’s a
serious meal: rice, a dish called choley (also known
as chana masala) which is chick peas and tomato
sauce with Indian seasoning, a samosa, a salad and
an Indian dessert with sugar, cinnamon and raisins.”
Hardcore for Humanity serves this meal before
the live music aspect of the event to be transparent
and also to share the sense of community it hopes
to foster. Adding the hardcore bands to the event is
also part of Cuvilier’s dream of bringing the Edmonton
local hardcore scene back to life.
“This upcoming event has one of the most hardcore
line-ups we’ve done in awhile,” he says.
“I wanted it to be about the charity but also
about hardcore. Devoting energy to the scene in
Edmonton and giving it space.”
Enjoy a vegan meal with your family at the Sewing
Machine Factory on November 17 (Edmonton) at 7
p.m. The all-ages meal is a suggested $10 donation;
all proceeds go to Food for Life. The show is 18+
and features performances by Feeding, Suffer Me,
Cruciferous, and Underbite.
Opened in early 2016 by local restaurateur
Greg Doucet, the Sewing Machine Factory
(SMF) quickly became a staple for live
music in Edmonton. Located under the Mill Creek
Café, the venue took a lead role in supporting
Edmonton’s DIY independent music scene. It hosted
hundreds of local and touring acts, helping fill the
void of the notorious Wunderbar which closed its
doors only months before.
Initially the venue operated solely in the basement
space including the bar. Doucet made the decision to
move the bar to the café upstairs, and that’s how it
remained for months before the basement needed to
close for necessary renovations. Before the basement
closed all together, it became an opportunity to run
all-ages events. This led to the SMF gaining a reputation
as the pivotal all-ages venue.
In the mean time, Mill Creek Café stepped in to host
events but the change in space meant the loss of the
all-ages aspect and a substantially lowered capacity.
BeatRoute spoke with Tab C.A., the Booking Agent/
Promoter of the SMF about many of the frustrations
involved with the change in space and the difficulties
the venue has had to overcome throughout the renovations
of the main showroom.
“All the work involved in transforming a cafe into a
temporary music venue was a lot of manual labour as
well as a super DIY style set up for sound/lighting/bar,”
“Another frustrating aspect was definitely the lack
of communication between city inspectors and the
inaccessibility of information on what we needed
to do to have all of our licensing for the venue. We
spent a lot of time not really knowing how to move
forward at all and had no guidelines on how to do
so except for a one step at a time one paper signed
at a time approach.”
“Because we weren’t able to have a bar or food
served from the basement, we had the unique
opportunity to have a 100 per cent all ages space,”
“Moving forward, as much as we recognize how
important all-ages spaces are, it’s unfortunately
impossible to maintain a full time all-ages space
due to liquor sales keeping us sustainable. What
we will be doing is one or two all-ages shows per
month and I will be doing community outreach
to involve youth and organization’s that support
youth in the arts.”
While there are still a few battles to win in terms of
the all-ages aspect of the venue, it was an incredibly
joyful day for the employees and supporters to hear
the news they’d been waiting for it seemed forever.
“After playing and working venues for years it was a
bit of an intense reality seeing how much work, cost,
and time goes into starting a legitimate place for people
to play and perform from scratch,” says manager
“It’s not something you generally think of when you
walk into any venue, whether it be a 400 person room
or a hole-in-the-wall. There has been so many supportive
local and out of town bands that have been with
us through most of these steps that we’re sharing our
excitement with now that the doors are finally open
and the papers signed.”
The Sewing Machine Factory has passed all recent
inspections and is now running shows several times a
week. Visit their Facebook page for a regularly updated
Hardcore bands rally together to feed inner city residents.
36 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
disquieting look into a contorted future awaits in second novel
Challenging ideas of society and humanity.
Imagine walking through a graveyard on a sunny
afternoon. You find solace in the names, dates,
inscriptions and fresh patches of sod, guiding
your consciousness toward the impermanence
of life. The constant search for meaning pauses, if
only for a moment.
As a society we have tried (with varying levels
of success) to give life and death dignity and
meaning, even if meaning is just a striving for
something better. Dystopian novels like Madelaine
Shaw-Wong’s second full-length novel Quietus add
depth and tangibility to the nagging suspicion that
this society, and its future, is just one boob job (or
baby skin transplant in Shaw-Wong’s world) away
from selling its soul to a devil of its own creation.
Aura Zarling is the manifestation of this creature
in Quietus, and Covona is the country under her
boot. The plot follows the interweaving threads of
protagonist Tresha Farwell, her husband Fillip and the
antagonist Dr. Piter Dram. Their relationship begins
on congenial terms, but degrades into a horrifying
game of evasion and delusion once they become
entrenched in their opposing ideologies. After a war
with the neighbouring country of Solime, Covona
turns into a nightmare with food shortages, worthless
economic prospects and widespread suffering.
There’s no medicine at the free clinic Dr. Dram works
for and Tresha is lucky to hold on to a position as
a reporter. In typical political fashion, Aura Zarling
comes along with her sparkling promises and charming
threats, and the population of Covona can’t wait
to start burning churches and killing old people. So,
that’s what they do.
The legalization and promotion of euthanasia,
euphemistically called Quietus, becomes the power
behind the ethical battleground of the novel.
“An aberration of medicine,” explains Shaw-Wong
of the highly contested practice; “taking life instead
of saving it.”
Indeed, the discussion of human euthanasia in
western society, as well as the plethora of industrial
strength dictatorships in the last century or so
have sculpted the plot of this work. Shaw-Wong’s
approach to building the atmosphere of Covona’s society
is textbook. “Totalitarianism creeps into society
bit by bit,” she says.
by Michael Podgurney
“People don’t say, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have no
Liberties are slowly eroded with dubious justifications
and fear is employed to manufacture consent.
Rewards are doled out for those who fall in line and
dissidents are killed or hunted down and imprisoned.
Where Quietus finds strength is in its depiction of
the machinery of oppressive society. It’s laid out in a
detached and methodical style. There is no shortage
of faceless police, guards, doctors and human cattle
acting out the impulses of their hatred and fear.
There’s plenty of “fake news” and accusations of criminality.
Some of the most vivid passages in the novel
are moments when dissidents are tortured in order to
extract false confessions at the QRR centres (Quietus/
Recycling/Research Centres). Here, the Nazi-like
eradication programs are deployed in order to “speed
up the process of natural selection.”
Shaw-Wong’s investment in this novel is
personal. She has two siblings with autism who
“spent much of their youth institutionalized and
unaccepted by society.”
She sees a disturbing reality in the embracement
of legalized euthanasia in western society. In sum,
her message is clear: “A kind and giving society
takes care of its weakest members.” The question
she asks is how far society is willing to go on the
Quietus will be released at Owl’s Nest Books on
November 14 (Calgary) and Audrey’s Books on November
DIVERGENCE SEX COLUMN
let’s talk about sex, shall we ?
In 1970, feminist author Kate Millett wrote in her
book “Sexual Policies” that sex is a mirror, a reflection
of society’s values and beliefs. This useful insight
highlights that our sexual experiences are bound
with social, cultural, economic, political, and psychological
circumstances. Even as bodies are explored,
pleasured, submitted, dominated, and altered, closing
the door does not shut out the world. As a gender
studies major, former sex educator, and sex enthusiast,
I deeply feel that sexual freedom is a radical means
towards gender and social equality. And also, sex is
hands-down-there one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Sexual freedom is not about willy-nilly sex, doing
whatever we want with whomever, whenever. Because
sex is social, our intimate experiences come packed with
risks, benefits, consequences, and implications. Learning
to recognize and communicate our wants, needs and
desires to ourselves and our partners is vital for sexual
freedom. Enthusiastic consent is also central to sexual
freedom; how quickly a sexual experience turns sour
when a partner is coerced.
Sex and gender are governed by laws and policies,
so striving for sexual freedom is political. Canada’s
laws are ever so slowly being disentangled 150 years of
puritanical prescriptions of sexuality that have caused
irreparable damage to so many lives. The criminalization
of homosexuality, banning of birth control, involuntary
sterilization of indigenous peoples, removing ovaries to
treat hysteria, are just a few of Canada’s dark spectres of
by Diana Pearson
But perhaps our greatest obstacle to sexual
freedom is our cultural beliefs. Abstract yet fierce,
culture incites within us judgment, shame, fear, guilt,
taboo, insecurity, inhibition, and prohibition, and for
so many people, these restrictions last a lifetime. As
we begin to queer cultural beliefs about sex, we can
slowly strip away those binding layers that hold us
back from fully embracing the exciting possibilities of
sex and the diversity of gender.
What if sex were no longer seen in black and white,
judged as right/wrong, good/bad, perverse/normal?
What if, instead, sex was negotiated with ethics, love,
and bravery? This is the ideal. Sexual freedom is about
being free to express sexuality in healthy, consensual
and erotic ways that are not restricted by prudish and
patriarchal social norms. Sexual freedom will never be a
given, but an every-day battle, always threatened to be
Sexual freedom for all is a lofty goal, and, given the
private nature of sex, impossible to quantify. No stats can
ever measure pleasure. But, drawing from history, philosophy,
sex education and personal experience, I will use
this precious column space in BeatRoute to discuss sex
and gender politics. At times it will be sexy, and at others,
unpleasant. From BDSM, sex toys, OM (orgasmic meditation),
polyamory, group sex, sexual abuse, herpes, sex
education, porn, birth control to feminism; you name it,
it’ll be discussed here, always with the goal of forwarding
an enthusiastic ethics of sex. Divergence is foreplay for a
progressive, inclusive and sex-positive society.
Stay sex-positive says Diane!
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 37
Alberta Electronic Music Conference
the second sonic boom reaches far and wide
Alberta Electronic Music Conference (AEMCON) was born from the collective consciousness of
Calgary’s Isis Graham, Edmonton’s Andrew Williams and Lethbridge’s Matt Carter with the intent of
celebrating the existing electronic music scene and encouraging its further professionalization and
growth. After their inaugural year in Edmonton in 2016, the conference triumphantly strides into Calgary with
a diverse schedule of day and night time events bolstered by a lengthy list of respected keynote speakers, panelists
and performances by local and international artists. Full of fresh ideas and full of fun, AEMCOM promises
to be exciting, informative and highly beneficial for the electronic music community.
When AEMCOM was launched, Graham, a 20-year veteran of the Calgary rave scene, said she hoped the
conference would elicit more professional help from lawyers, publishers and booking agents that was lacking
on a regional scale. She notes there’s a few holes in the programming that they want to fill this time around,
especially questions around how artists can attain funding, make money and create a sustainable career. “What
we learned last year is that people were definitely hungry to learn,” says Graham.
In addition to ramping up the size and broadening the spectrum of the conference with its base operations
now at the National Music Centre, there’s a distinct move away from localized programming to a more international
reach. Graham explains that they began utilizing their networks from places like LA, Toronto and Europe to
gather new resources and bring in a wider base of information and knowledge for participants to draw from. She
hopes attendees are inspired and compelled by what they see, hear and experience to create their own initiatives
“There’s a lot of people in Calgary that have been in this industry for a long time. They have a vast network
and maybe it’s a blindspot for them that they can be using these tools to create successful business platforms
to help themselves or help other artists.”
She adds, “I think as some of the other artists in Calgary mature they might see those spaces that need to
be filled and hopefully develop businesses that will sustain Alberta’s industry in the future. That’s kind of my
hope. I hope they don’t all move away, because that’s what happens and we want to create an environment in
Alberta where people want to stay here and work here and support other people that are here.”
Asked by a number of people why she’s doing all this, Graham says she had a revelation while attending
Amsterdam Dance Event, one of the world’s largest and most innovative gatherings for electronic music fans
and artists, where AEMCON is akin to a thesis of all the things she has done or experienced in her 20-year
“I think that as we continue to grow all together we’ll look back at these small steps that we took initially and
feel really proud of what we’ve accomplished... It feels really good to be able to bring all the things that I’ve learned
and the people that we have on the panels, the collective knowledge here is immense.”
AEMCOM takes place from Nov. 16-19.
Go to albertaelectronicmusic.com for complete details.
Isis Graham working to keep Alberta a furtile electronic zone.
by Paul Rodgers
DJ Dine & Dash
goodbye digital, hello lo-fi
In high school, Liam Mackenzie, aka DJ Dine & Dash,
first began to DJ playing fashion shows that took place
in shopping malls. He wasn’t thrilled about the kind
of generic trash he was required to spin, but the pay
was decent, better in fact than some of the gigs he
has now. His residency as a “mall DJ” came to a quick
end after he twisted up his body up one too many
times on slopes free-style skiing. While in the midst of
recovering from yet another dislocated shoulder, he
was listening to wide selection of music off the internet
when something caught his ear ensuring he’d never set
up a set of decks outside a Gap store again.
“In Europe, not so much here, there’s a genre called
lo-fi house that I started to get into,” says Mackenzie.
“DJ Seinfeld, just like the TV show, is really blowing up
right now and I wanted to do something like that.”
Mackenzie describes lo-fi house as having a gritty
sound that employs electro-mechanical tape machines
and other pieces of old school analogue equipment to
produce richer, organic tonal qualities that leave in a
lot audio noise, hiss and dirt.
“Oh yeah, it’s a lot dirtier. It’s a definite shift away
from clean digital production using laptops in the studio.
Instead, analogue gear with synthesizers and tape
machines is a lot grittier. There’s a lot of fuzz, it’s very
garagey. Often called melodic house because it has the
same melody as rock melodies.”
by B. Simm
Growing up Mackenzie says The Cure and The
Clash were his guilty pleasures along side favourites like
Gorrilizas. He mostly plays vinyl and has no complaints
about lugging around 50 lb. creates filled with records
to do a radio show at CJSW or play the Commonwealth
where he has a regular night.
Another European discovery was Redeye Records
out of the UK who specialize in electronic underground
dance music. They spurred on his interest in
production along with making his own recordings.
“When I was recovering from my skiing injuries I
needed something to do, so I got into production
and the first EP I made was more or less techno,
minimalistic, techno from the ‘90s with a lot of
bleeps and bloops.”
Mackenzie also learned guitar and drums when
he was a kid, and played in a band alongside DJing.
For this new EP, Safe, he pulls in different instruments
and samples creating four tracks that range from lush,
melodic and atmospheric; to sparse, experimental and
nervous; to full out burning soul with blazing horns
What’s attracts him to lo-fi house? “It’s the character
in the song, the person, it’s the mistakes.”
DJ Dine & Dash recently released Safe and can be found
on Facebook and soundcloud and bandcamp.
38 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE JUCY
USA dubstep ambassador brings 15 years of wisdom to AEMCON
by Paul Rodgers
Joe Nice lives up to his moniker
in all aspects of his academic,
personal, and professional life. After
completing his first Masters degree this
spring from the University in Baltimore
in Mon-profit Management, Nice
moved to North Carolina to be closer
to his daughter and will undertake a
second Masters in Intercultural Services
In the DJ world, Nice is known as
being the dubstep ambassador in the
United States. He was born in the United
Kingdom to Trinidadian parents, but
moved to Baltimore when he was still a
toddler. An established club DJ in Baltimore,
he craved new musical energy.
The UK Invasion tent at the Starscape
Festival in June 2002 was the first
time Nice heard 140 BPM dubstep bass
weight on a loud soundsystem — the
way dubstep was meant to be heard.
In a 2012 interview he said, “I went on
a really long date [with dubstep], and
I decided I would let her spend the
night. Then she never left.” Now 15
years into his career as America’s first
and foremost dubstep DJ, Nice has his
own monthly show on SubFM, his own
record label GourmetBeats and has
played in 140 cities in 44 countries. The
number 140 is especially appropriate,
given his genre of choice.
Nice says that he feels a special
connection with Western Canada and
Calgary, and jumped on the opportunity
to come out for the Alberta Electronic
Music Conference when asked
by the Sub Chakra crew. “I love coming
to Canada, especially Western Canada,”
Nice says. “It’s always wonderful to
spend time with people who not only
share your same values and beliefs with
regards to music but also share your
same values and beliefs regarding life
outside of music.”
He continues, “It’s always wonderful to
be around people who genuinely appreciate
life, life’s meaning, and the humanity
that is a part of life. So naturally, everything
that comes from the basic core values
of human decency – love, kindness, and
respect – obviously, those values trickle
down to the music community.”
Those basic core values he appreciates
also factor into how he conducts
his label Gourmet Beats. “My life has
to be purpose driven,” says Nice. “And
if there is no purpose behind what I’m
doing, then there’s no reason to do
what I’m doing. With GourmetBeats,
the artists who I bring along, they are
talented musicians and wonderful
human beings. I love creating opportunities
for talented and lesser-known
artists to make their musical dreams
come true. Giving people an opportunity
to have their music heard, played,
and presented to the universe, that is
my greatest joy.”
He also has begun releasing records
that have been individually signed
by their artist to auction them off for
charitable causes. “Because there’s
more to life than just music,” explains
Nice. “And if GourmetBeats can release
good music, but also advocate for
certain social causes that help other
people, that’s even better…and to me
that matters nearly as much as creating
a quality musical product.”
All aspects of his life reflect who
he is as an artist, curator, loving father
to daughter Parker, boyfriend to his
partner Marina, loving son and humanitarian.
He is also the graduate student,
the devoted vegan, and guy who works
out as much as possible. “Values are
important to me and it’s important
that we all live the life that we should
be living whatever that life is,” he says,
closing out the interview.
Catch Joe Nice perform at AEMCON,
performing at the Nite Owl on Saturday,
Nov. 18. On Saturday, Nov. 20 he will do
a one-on-one interview with Sinistarr at
the National Music Centre.
40 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE JUCY
connecting the dots from Chicago to Berlin and back again
by Catalina Biceno
Jessica Phillippe, also known as J. Phlip, was destined
to achieve her dreams of being a DJ because
of her hard work and unwavering dedication. Music
gave Phillippe purpose long before she was a DJ.
In university, Phillippe, on top of majoring in general
engineering, minored in audio engineering.
“We deeply studied sound waves, harmonics and
frequencies, and loads of nerdy audio stuff that I can’t
remember anymore,” says Phillippe. “I built a talkbox
and a ring modulator from scratch. I was also the
Speaker Building workshop director at the Audio
Engineering Society [in university],”said Phillipe
In 2005, not long before diving into DJing, Phillippe
decided to enter a spinning contest and won. Her
prize? Touring with DJ Collette and Reid Speed.
“I won a DJ contest that sent me to WMC [Winter
Music Conference] and Ultra in 2005. Feeling some
success come from my DJing turned my motivation
up full force.”
At just 21, Phillippe got a taste of what her life
could be. It was after the tour where she decided to
pursue her dream. Before diving in and exploring the
depths of her passion, she focused her attention to
finishing her academic endeavours.
“I was pretty close to graduating and finishing my
degree was really important to me. I loved engineering
too, and I had made it that far. I decided to focus
as much as I could on finishing, even though all the DJ
stuff was starting to really take off,” says Phillippe.
The year before, Phillippe met Dirtybird titan,
Justin Martin. The two exchanged demos, their first
That following year, they crossed paths again at
Martin’s event in Miami. It was there, where she met
Barclay Crenshaw, Dirtybird founder.
After graduating from post-secondary, Phillippe
immersed herself on what could be. Still fairly new to
the scene, Phillippe set out to find her identity as a DJ.
After testing the grounds in Chicago, the birthplace
of house, Phillipe ventured onto a new genre and
location, where she, like many others before her, went
on a techno pilgrimage to Berlin to polish her skills.
“I moved to Berlin because I didn’t know diddly-squat
about the scene in Europe. Barclay suggested
that I just go over there to live for six months.”
Six months quickly turned into four years. Berlin
not only expanded Phillippe’s music horizon, but
reinvigorated her outlook on music.
“Going to the parties there gave me a feeling like
going out to a house/techno party for the first time
all over again. I loved being able to go out and hardly
know anyone and get lost on the dance floor. I was
able to develop my taste a bit more because of some
of the artists and parties I was able to see that don’t
make it to the USA very often or ever…. and because
of the thriving vinyl culture and all the record shops
Relocating allowed Phillippe to blossom as an artist
and propelled her to achieve new levels of her artistic
Phillipe became a fixture within the festival circuit,
landing coveted spots like: Movement Detroit, EDC,
Holy Ship, and Shambhala. Despite her many achievements,
Phillippe remains humble and is responsible
for launching the careers of Eats Everything and Catz
“I have the ability to help connect the dots sometimes.
Eats Everything gave me a CD of his music
[and] I was blown away. I played some of the Eats Everything
tracks at the Dirtybird BBQ at Golden Gate
park, one of them was “Entrance Song,” and that’s
when it got Barclays attention,” said Phillippe.
“Voitek from Catz n Dogz my roomate [in Berlin]
at the time, so I immediately went home and played
them for him. Eats ended up immediately signing
a record for Catz n Dogz new label (at the time)
Pets Recordings and a record for Dirtybird. It was a
breakthrough for Dan’s career but mostly we got this
awesome mofo to join the fam. [Dirtybird] has grown
into this family of friends who are inspired by each
J.Phlip plays The HiFi Club on Saturday, Nov.18 as part
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 41
LET’S GET JUCY
feel like I may have said this before, and perhaps
I’ll say it again, but the exercise of writing
this column accomplishes two primary things
for me. It makes me realize, on a more surface
level, how insanely fast time moves by. It’s hard
to process that November has already come. The
deeper realization however, is just how incredible
the Calgary electronic and hip hop music communities
are. This month is a very special one, in
that the second annual Alberta Electronic Music
Conference (AEMCON) is taking place on home
soil. There will be some crossover between this
column and the following pages, but I will make
special note of that below.
On November 4, Kastle will perform at the Hifi
Club with local tech house aficionado BB Mars
opening duties. Additionally the HiFi has put the
call out to other local DJs with a mix contest to
win the opportunity to claim that other opening
spot. Excited to see who will be chosen. Kastle is
a seasoned and versatile producer, committed to
pushing avantgarde, progressive and challenging
music with his own productions as well as his label
Symbols and newer sub-label Display.
Odesza have experienced one of the most
meteoric rises to electronic music stardom I
can think of. According to a Pitchfork review of
their latest record, released September 2017, A
Moment Apart, their top ten songs have been
played nearly a third of a billion times on Spotify.
They have sold out back to back shows at Red
Rocks, and headlined the world’s biggest festivals.
Considering their debut record came out just
five years ago, that is pretty astounding. The live
duo will perform on November 6 at the BMO
Centre with Sofi Tukker, creator of the catchy hit
Prism, “a dynamic refraction of sound from our
minds to your ears,” brings full-spectrum house
music to Habitat living sound on November 11,
featuring Miss Hazard, Theo Hansen, Rick Sharma,
Will Devlin and Magnus. Don’t forget!
Odesza like a blazing fireball bursting on the scene.
Also on the eleventh, Calgary’s very own rising
stars Chuurch will drench the crowd at the HiFi
with their greasy lean bass. Magic & Johnson
firing shit up on this one.
On the long weekend Sunday, November 12,
Sonny Fodera will grace the decks of Bespoke
Nightclub. A tasteful craftsman of deep house, the
Australian native has fast-tracked himself into the
global limelight as one of the genres best producers,
remixers and DJs.
On November 17 UK dubstep and hip-hop
heavyweights Foreign Beggars perform at the
HiFi as part of AEMCON.
Also on the seventeenth is an absolutely
monstrous lineup comprised of Spectrasoul and
Nomine, two of the UK’s finest in terms of drum
and bass and dubstep, respectively, performing
alongside Canada’s own John Rolodex. This one
goes down at the Nite Owl and is a part of AEM-
CON, so pass holders get free access.
Bass Coast co-founder and one of Canada’s
most exciting DJs within the spectrum of 80 BPM
drum and bass/halfstep/grime The Librarian will
be performing at The HiFi on the 19th alongside
OAKK and Carissa Gem. This is hosted as both a
New Wave event as well as part of AEMCON.
Arguably Australia’s biggest hip-hop export Hilltop
Hoods will bring their easily accessible rhymes
and rhythms to Wild Bill’s in Banff on the twentieth
and the Gateway at SAIT on the twenty first.
If anyone was fortunate enough to catch Kid
Koala’s wondrous and simply delightful performance
2016’s Calgary Folk Fest, and even luckier to
see his mind-blowing DJ set at the after party that
night, you will know just how special his show at
Commonwealth on the 23 is likely to be.
Honourable early December mentions go to
A Tribe Called Red at the Palace Theatre on the
first and Troyboi on the second, also at the Palace.
These two are simply too good not to mention
here. We’ve covered both of them in interviews
and album reviews before, so if you’re unfamiliar,
hit up that search bar on www.beatroute.ca.
Have fun this month, I’ll see you in December.
• Paul Rodgers
no idea is original, but UK DJ keeps them fresh
In 2014 the United Kingdom’s Michael Dodman,
known to the world of house and techno as Huxley,
released his debut album entitled Blurred. It was a
stunning first release for the already well-established
artist. Comprised of not only rich, soulful house
music and more driving techno, it also contained
elements of jungle rhythms, breaks and R&B, with a
heavy focus on the vocals. In fact he said in a previous
interview that the album was called Blurred because
it was a mishmash of all of his collective influences
over the years.
“I think Blurred was very much around the time
when house was very commercial and I was doing
more commercially kind of stuff,” says Dodman. “And
when [in a previous interview] I said that I was going
a bit more underground again, I think that was just a
reaction to what was going on. Not just in my music
but kind of everything that was going on in the scene
at the moment.”
In 2016 he released an EP called Widow through
reputable label Aus Music. He explains that Widow
represents a jump into darker musical territory.
“But since then I’ve, like I do with everything,
I’ve changed my mind about a million times. Right
now my next few releases are quite housey and kind
of bouncy again. I’d say it’s kind of, not taking a step
back, but I’m finding that I’m going back to my roots
a little bit with more of a very much traditional housey
sound with a bit more, maybe a kind of a slight
edge to it or whatever. And I think that’s currently
where I’m at.”
Lately, he has been releasing a steady flow of
singles, including collaborations with many different
artists from different worlds within the realm of
house and techno. For example in October he put
out a tune with Will Clarke. “My Body,” as it’s named,
is a prime example of that bouncy, more lively and
fun style of house he is adept at making.
by Paul Rodgers
He’s also worked with Dirtybird artist J.Phlip,
house music legend Roy Davis Jr. and the ever-versatile
Shadow Child, just to name a few. He says he
takes two main things away from the process of collaborating
with this diverse collection of other artists.
“Normally you take a little production secret
that they’ve got, on the more boring side. Maybe
which you then can use for yourself, something
you didn’t think about,” he says. “But then I think in
terms of what you take from it in a more creative
side, you see how other people think. When you’re
sat in the studio with someone they may think very,
very differently to you, to how to add a creative flow
or where the tune should go next. Through all the
collaborations I’ve definitely tried to take that away
from every single one.”
As well as having released music on some of the
finest labels around including Aus Music, Knee Deep
in Sound and 2020 Vision, Dodman also runs his own
label called No Idea’s Original, named for the song by
hip-hop icon Nas, that he started around two years
ago. He says that he had just finished at one label with
a friend of his after starting to go in different directions,
and starting the label was his reaction to that.
“I just want to do what I want to do and release
music that I’m actually playing out when I DJ and
that’s kind of the influence behind No Idea’s Original.
I haven’t released a track on there yet that I haven’t
wanted to play out at all, so that’s kind of the ethos
behind it. It’s really quite a selfish project but I hope
people will kind of go along with the ride.”
He has a busy next few months coming up, with
new releases on his label, new music under his belt
set for release and shows in places like South America
that he’s never played before.
Catch Huxley make his Calgary debut on Friday, Nov.
10 at Habitat.
42 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE JUCY
Jennifer Crighton cuts to the core in a cold Michigan winter
by B. Simm
was a space of a few years there where I didn’t have a playable
harp. Because this is the first solo work I’ve released it maybe
seems like a departure from the projects I’ve been playing with
more recently, but at it’s core this is the way I’ve always written
music, This is just the first time I’ve actually recorded and released
my own solo stuff. Probably the most obvious influences
on this record are dreamy British folk bands like Pentangle and
Fairport Convention colliding with the formative soundtrack of
my youth, such as Portishead and Björk.
Anyone familiar with Jennifer Crighton as an artist, a
musician knows she’s intelligent, intense, fearless, funny,
provocative and uncompromising with her creations.
Her latest endeavour, a true woodshedding project,
pushes the boundaries of her own self-reflection and soul
searching with Hermitess — a stark, sometimes haunting,
sometimes angelic musical journey guided by the harp
and female voices that delve deep into the inner regions
of the self determined to define what wasn’t before.
To boldly go...
Hermitess... Is that name a play on Hermetics: the spiritual,
magical, philosophical account of the universe? What is the
reference or origins the name comes from?
JC: The name is a feminization of the word Hermit, more
specifically the Hermit card which is part of the major arcana in
a traditional tarot deck. So yes, it does have kind of a spiritual
element, but i don’t directly associate it with Hermetics the
religion, to me it’s more the way it’s interpreted in tarot – a
period of spiritual introspection carried out in isolation from
others, so a very personal internal journey, In this instance specifically
identified with a rejected or outcast feminine, someone
that throughout history might very well have been called a
witch. That was both a guiding archetype for the project and
literally the context in which I wrote it – having been created
over the course of a two week artist residency in complete
isolation in a cabin miles from nowhere in the middle of the
winter of northern Michigan.
In certain ways this recording, largely defined and directed
by traditional harp music, feels like a radical departure from
your other projects, such as the psych-rock forays of Devonian
Gardens. At the same time the kind of harp recordings
you’re making with Hermitess carry the acoustic elements of
psychedelia found in the ‘60s Californian wave of hippydom.
What was the attraction to the harp, and what periods of its
history weave its way into Hemitess?
JC: Haha, I’m not a very traditional harpist. I’ve been playing it
since I was 10 years old, and writing songs with the instrument
almost as long. When I moved with my original acoustic harp
from BC to Alberta, and then started gigging with The Consonant
C, it succumbed – the soundboard cracked. So there
The songs themselves are moody, reflective and the lyrics
seem metaphorical in that they intend to relay strong
emotional and personal stories. “Vampires”, for instance, a
bit spooky but possesses a message about warding off evils,
social and personal, simply by staring evil in the eye, addressing
the reality, and not succumbing to its threat. What
are some of the underlying meanings to these songs?
JC: It’s not an unfamiliar story at the moment, but I had
someone in a position of professional power bully me and treat
me really abusively. That person was a friend who I admired
and trusted, who when challenged on their behaviour expertly
turned some of my closest musical relationships against me in
a way I could not have anticipated. A lot of the record is about
the alienation that results from not being heard or believed,
the sense of being the one who is then branded as ‘difficult’.
But it’s also about knowing something to be true regardless,
trying to make my peace with being being cast out, and having
to walk away from projects and people I really cared about. My
antidote in this case was to create a project that secured what
had been made insecure for me –Hermitess is my creation, I’m
unequivocally its author, its collaborators are there because
they believe in and support what I am trying to do; that is a gift
I never take for granted.
There’s a very strong emphasis on vocals. Your voice really
seems to be in sync with this style of music; the range, tonal
and ethereal qualities certainly stand out. And then there’s
the wonderful Witch Choir backing you up. What was the
inspiration or idea behind taking on this traditional yet revisionist
approach to a vocal style that is largely choral based?
JC: As for the composition. I wrote all of these melodies in
tandem with their harmonies, I think sometimes I just hear
melodies that way, already entwined in harmonies. That sense
of a chorus of voices fit with an image I had of these songs
being structured like incantations or spells. Womens voices
singing together are integral to this record, they are meant to
I have to thank Audities Studio and John Hornak for the way
the voices sound on this recording, there is something to be said
for really good microphones so there is technical element there
in capturing the delicacy and nuances of the vocals as well.
There’s the music, and there’s the visuals. Describe the art
show involved when Hemitess perform and the story you’re
channeling with a visual presentation.
JC: Sometimes the images I’m making lead me to the songs and
sometimes the songs lead me to the images. I don’t experience
them as separate, I guess in a way each functions as a form on
notation for the other. The cover of the album is a good example
of this... During a writing break I went outside, set up the
camera on a tripod, set the self timer and walked out into the
snow until I heard the click of the shutter go off behind me.
Hermitess will be performing on the opening night of the GIRAF Animation
Festival before the screening of THE GIRL WITHOUT HANDS.
Thursday, Nov. 23 @ 7pm.
Speaking to black mulsim identity in a moment of cultural anomie.
healings and ceilings
photo: Norman Wong
by Liam Prost
Somalia was one of the seven seemingly arbitrarily chosen nations
pointed out in the Dorito President’s so-called ‘Muslim Ban’ executive
order, signed within days of his presidency. Beyond the pure political
idiocy of the move and the profound racism underlying it, the pure malevolence
struck the heart of communities of colour in America and beyond.
As a Somali-Canadian artist, Ladan Hussein, Al Spyx, or Cold Specks as she is
known on stage and record, recounts and re-enacts the oscillation and separation
innate in a cultural moment defined by alienation and anomie.
On Arts & Crafts records, Cold Specks has released her third cavernous
musical exorcism in Fools Paradise. Like her two previous releases, it centres
around Hussein’s vocal brilliance with warm instrumentals, leaning on slinky
keys and synths with rolling drums and beats. It’s decidedly less aggressive and
more melancholy than Neuroplasticity (2014), with a graceful and poised air.
Trip-hop and R&B influences dominate a record full of strongly-felt longing and
“Thematically and lyrically, some songs deal with my identity as a black
Muslim woman in a crumbling world,” explains Hussein. “However, there are
also broken love songs.”
Much of the power in her lyrics comes from the bridging of ideas. “Ancient
Habits” speaks to the commonality of emotional experience through time and
culture, as well as how these things are framed differently through culture. “All
you believe never was what it seems,” she sings over an oscillating synth.
With the completion of the record and the catharsis therein, Hussein also
speaks to a sense of healing. “I needed to detach and disconnect and nurture
my soul in a time where I felt as though everything was falling apart. It certainly
was a healing process.”
Though universally praised, Hussein has never been one to dwell on her
reviews, “I don’t care about responses. It’s not something I ever analyze. I just
make the best music I can possibly make.”
While touring to promote Fools Paradise, she refers to the process as both
“wonderful and long,” but adds, “It’s been a delight to see endless cities and
perform these new songs.”
Cold Specks performs Wednesday, Nov. 22 at Commonwealth Bar and Stage
(Calgary), Thursday, Nov. 23 at the Needle Vinyl Tavern (Edmonton), Friday,
Nov. 24 at The Exchange (Regina), and Saturday, Nov. 25 at The Good Will
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 43
DIRTY CATFISH BRASS BAND
to New Orleans and back with a few twists and turns
Although they’re based out of Winnipeg, the Dirty Catfish
Brass Band are devoutees to New Orleans jazz. Kyle
Wedlake, one of the band’s saxophone players, explains
their formation and different musical directions.
“The band came together through networking in the
Winnipeg music scene, just playing together in other bands and
shows. But the main catalyst was our keyboard player, Aaron
Chodiker, who went down to New Orleans for a festival in 2011.
He’d always been a big fan of that music, but was blown away
when he experienced it first hand and felt that kind of vibe and
energy were missing in Winnipeg.”
Since that epiphany, they’ve become the premier jazz
brass from the Peg headlining festivals across the prairies
along with a regular stint as the Blue Bomber’s house band
for their home games.
In addition to playing pumped-up traditional street swing
with horns a blaring, DDCB are very much part of the contemporary
brass movement that bands like Too Many Zoos from
New York and incorporate hip-hop, progressive jazz, Latino
rhythms and pop into their sound. In 2016 they released a sixtrack
EP of covers tunes, Big Shiny Brass, with a rousing version
of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”.
Cutting their teeth in one of best small clubs in Canada,
Winnipeg’s TImes Change(d), where shaking it off, kicking out
the jams is mandatory, Wedlake promises the band sweats up
a storm and gets down and dirty on any stage, big or small.
by B. Simm
DCBB romps through Alberta playing Wild Bill’s in Banff Nov.
5 & 6, The Slice in Lethbridge Nov. 8, The Vat in Red Deer Nov.
9, The Rec Room in Edmonton Nov. 9 and the Palomino in
Calgary Nov. 10.
44 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROOTS
riding high on the next wave
Current Swell is a band with a
style that is easily recognizable
with its upbeat, pulsing pop-folk
melodies, but also notably diverse and
distinct. Lead singer Scott Stanton’s
searing vocals and his heartfelt stories
easily set the band apart from their contemporaries.
Closing in on 13 years they
just released their sixth studio album last
spring, When to Talk and When to Listen,
produced by Grammy award-winning
Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Buddy Guy,
Tom Waits.) Willing to take risks, the
record has critics polarized: some are adamant
it’s the band’s best work to date,
and others saying the complete opposite.
Addressing the record’s split reception,
Stanton explains the band’s aspiration
to try and always reach new audiences.
“Every record is different. Dave (Lang,
vocals/guitar) and I wrote this record together,
where in the past we have mostly
written separately. We want to reach as
many people as we can and travel the
world doing it.”
One thing that is never in dispute is
the band’s live show. Whether playing to
a crowd of 45,000 on Canada Day in Victoria,
BC or in a small rural pub, Current
Swell has an energy and dedication to
the music that gets people moving and
Touring with new material, looking
to build their fan base also comes the
need for balance, especially when a loyal
audience has the overwhelming desire to
hear the band dig deep into their catalog.
Stanton knows that response all too well:
“Shut up and play the hits! The funniest
thing about performing is when the crowd
is having a blast. That’s what we love to
do and that’s our job. We will definitely be
playing a collection of our work.”
With recent changes in the band
breathing new life into the project,
Current Swell is in a good space right now.
Reflecting on the upswing Stanton effused,
“That’s all we talk about, how great
things are moving, going forward and
how fortunate we are to get to play music.
We just came off the best European and
Eastern Canadian tour we have done.
People singing along to all the songs, new
and old. We are just really happy.”
Current Swell performs Saturday, Nov. 18 at
Marquee (Calgary), Sunday, Nov. 19 at Wild
Bill’s (Banff), Tuesday, Nov. 21 at Bo’s Bar &
Grill (Red Deer), Wednesday, Nov. 22 at The
Exchange (Regina), Thursday, Nov. 23 at
The Park Theatre (Winnipeg), Friday, Nov.
24 at the Broadway Theatre (Saskatoon),
and Saturday, Nov. 25 at the Needle Vinyl
by Andrew R. Mott
photo: Shane Deringer
rott’n in the free world
‘Rott’n’ Dan Shinnan likens himself to a monkey among silverback gorillas.
There is so much energy and excitement bottled up in Alberta
blues band Boogie Patrol that within the first few seconds on
the phone with BeatRoute, lead singer ‘Rott’n’ Dan Shinnan
had already excitedly recounted his recent purchase of a new harmonica
(check out Rott’n Dan’s intensity getting down on the harp
with “Mainstay Woman”).
Boogie Patrol is a funk/rock & soul quintet that, along with Rott’n
Dan on vocals, features Yuji Ihara and Chad Holtzman on guitar, Nigel
Gale on bass, and Emmet VanEtten on drums and backing vocals. Their
brand of the blues features lots of lead guitars, heavy on the rhythm that
by Dan Tyler
kick into restless leg syndrome with their relentless live performances.
Their most recent recording, Man on Fire, was released in April
and contains a mix of energetic rock & soul with more downtempo,
blues-adjacent outings. Tracks like “Shaker Down Below” and “Just Wanna”
are strong divergent moments that do well to illustrate the band’s
While still a young band, especially in the prestige-oriented blues
scene, they have already accumulated tremendous accolades. The group
has traveled to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge three
times already, finishing in the semi-finals the last two trips down.
The live energy of Boogie Patrol is “definitely not a façade,” says
Shinnan. ” We really do enjoy playing together. Playing live on stage is
something that adds to that, and the style of music we play is all about
getting down… For me as a front guy, I’m totally inspired by what other
front guys do. What does a front guy do but study other front guys? He
adds it was “just a natural thing to get up on stage and go hard. You can’t
help but get into it.”
In their ten years playing and travelling all across North America, Boogie
Patrol deliberately embrace the spirit of blues and soul legends. “I am
hugely influenced by Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Otis Redding, powerhouses
like that,” reveals Shinnan. “Those guys are the silverback gorillas, those
are the kings. Joe Cocker inspired me vocally, but I’m not saying I emulate
him. You definitely don’t see me doing the splits like James Brown either.”
In addition to his artistic style, Shinnan is a well-rounded professional
who understands giving people what they paid for. “I actually used to
have a business card that used to say ‘Head Monkey Man.’ It’s a monkey
see, money do kind of world.”
Boogie Patrol performs Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Edmonton Blues Society
Memphis Payback, Friday, Nov. 10 at the Blues Can (Calgary), and Tuesday,
Nov. 14 at Blues on Whyte (Edmonton).
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 45
ARE YOU A MUSICIAN?
Why not pursue a career in
instrument sales and rentals?
If your idea of fun is providing first rate
customer service to Calgary’s thriving and
dynamic music community,
then Long & McQuade might
be the right fit for you.
Currently looking for qualified and
dedicated people to join our
guitar team and our drum team.
Visit the careers section at long-mcquade.com
or pop by the store at 225 - 58th Ave SE.
46 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROOTS
GALES OF AVALON
Calgary metal act celebrates a decade of metal with new album
by Jason Lefebvre
Gales of Avalon will release Hope on November 25.
photo: Collin Wo:Jana Viktorinova
hard to imagine that it has been 10
years, we are the old guys in the community
So begins Mark Dillon of long-standing Calgary
metal band Gales of Avalon. Dillon is a multi-faceted
musician and artist; he’s also a driving force behind
Vinland Radio and Extreme Metal Television.
“I just wanted to do something, and be a part of
this amazing community. It is crazy how fast time has
What started off as a one-man project has turned
into one of the most creative projects to ever emerge
from the Calgary metal community. James Neill
and Jamie Gallo (both of melodic death metal band
Misanthropy), convinced him to let them take part.
They also roped in Dylan Hansen, who assisted with
guitars and keyboards before releasing their self-titled
EP Gales of Avalon (2008). The act played locally and
embarked on a mini tour around British Columbia,
eventually recruiting Pamela Porosky on keyboards
and vocals, leaving Hansen to focus on guitar. Eventually
Hansen departed, and in came David Hickli, a
young talented shredder who was previously part of
the live line-up of the epic progressive act Orphan
Black Island (2011) was Gales first full-length
and an ambitious concept album, telling the story
of two men shipwrecked on a haunted island,
struggling to survive. Musically, the record had
black metal roots, starring guttural vocals, blazing
guitars, hammering drums and melodic keyboards.
This would be their only full-length with the
instrument, as Porosky left the band not too long
after. Deciding to remain as a quartet, Gales of
Avalon decided on a new direction.
In 2013, Gales released the EP When the Ravens
Return, their final recording with Hickli. Maintaining
the dark feel, the EP featured more vocal experimentation,
including clean vocals and harsh whispers. A
varied tempo throughout embedded the recording
with a more hypnotic feel.
Eventually, the band began recording their second
full-length Hope (2017). Now a three piece, the trio
took time off from playing live, focusing on perfecting
the album in their very own studio dubbed CastleKill.
As recording neared completion, they began the
search for another guitarist, eventually bringing in
“Collin has been a long time friend of all of us in
the band. When Gales of Avalon first started, we
shared a jam space with his band Sacred Ally, in one
of the greasiest parts of Forest Lawn. [Gallo] also
played drums for him in Orphan Hammer. It didn’t
feel like we were bringing someone completely new
into the band, it felt like it fitted perfectly,” Dillon
In 2016, the band returned to the stage, playing
more and more shows, feeding off each other’s creativity
and the chemistry of their long friendships.
Dillon says, laughing, “[Neill] and [Gallo] have both
known each other since childhood, growing up in
Castlegar, B.C. I have known them for over 10 years
now and we have all known Collin for about that
long. We bicker and fight like an old married couple
once in awhile, but everything seems to go pretty
The smoothness has translated into other, related
projects. Earlier this year, Dillon and Neill sat
down and wrote an audio drama entitled Hope, a
companion to their album, telling the shared story
of a man searching for his daughter in a plague
“We wanted to right three concept albums, one
based in the past, which is The Black Island, one set in
the present day, which is Hope, and one that will be
based in the future.”
He continues, “I was reading a lot of books and
watching a lot of movies about plagues around the
time of writing the album. We thought it would be a
great idea to release an audio drama with the album
as well. [Neill] and I both grew up listening to radio
dramas and we wanted to bring that feeling back in
To bring the project to life, GOA brought in over
20 actors to help record the audio drama. Bolstered
by help from friends, family, and figures of the local
metal community, the project now includes voice talents
from people like scene champion Nancy Barnes,
promoter Kaje Annihilatrix, Train Bigger Monkey’s
guitarist Alex Dobbins, guitarist and former radio DJ
Ross Ferguson, Megawatt Mayhem’s Joshua Wood,
and many more. The 32-minute story can be heard
online at Gales’ Bandcamp page.
In addition to all of their current projects, GOA
was recently approached by Neil Speers to record a
music video for the song “Walk On.” It will feature
the same concept as the radio drama, and will be
released on November 14 online. Never to rest on
their laurels, the band will also unveil the short horror
movie Ghouls of Avalon at the CD release show in
late November. It’s also a celebration of their tenth
“It feels weird to think it has been 10 years, there
has been so many highs, and more than a few lows,
but we power through,” says Dillon.
“We are all good friends, like brothers, and we do it
because we love the music.”
Gales of Avalon will celebrate the CD release for Hope
at Vern’s on November 25 (Calgary). They’ll be performing
with Tides of Kharon, Nuclear Oath, Meggido
and Fjell Thyngor.
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 47
by Christine Leonard
Ne Obliviscaris perform at Dickens on November 11 (Calgary)!
Thanks to the sheer volume of bands BeatRoute
has covered (sometimes multiple
times) that are coming through the city in
November, we decided to keep the section local
and cover both international and local shows in
the column this month. Hey ho, let’s go!
First up: album releases. Death metal institution
Cannibal Corpse put out their 14th studio album
Red Before Black on November 3. If you dig Cannibal
Corpse doing what Cannibal Corpse does best,
then you’ll probably think it’s pretty, pretty good.
Experimental doom drone act Opium Warlords
will release Droner and blow your earholes into
outerspace. Go spend yer money!!
On Saturday, November 4, head to Vern’s for Lutheran,
a two-piece Saskatoon based black/death
act. They’re playing with Medicine Hat band Ted
Bundy and Calgary openers Vile Insignia, Pathetic,
and Cultist. Be sure to pick up a copy of the new
split by Pathetic at the gig!
Former Nile guitarist Dallas-Toler Wade will
be coming through Calgary for a performance on
Wednesday, November 8 with his death metal
project Narcotic Wasteland. Conceptually
based on the military town of Fayetteville, North
Carolina, which struggles with unusually high rates
of posttraumatic stress disorder and Shaken Baby
Syndrome, the band has two full-lengths out which
reflect the horrors of the city in which multiple
members grew up. They’ll be playing at Dickens
with Moosifix and Dethgod.
Finland’s own Children of Bodom will be performing
on Friday, November 10 at MacEwan Hall
(Calgary) as part of their 20 Years Down & Dirty
Tour (yeah, classy, we know). They’ll be bringing
symphonic black metal band Carach Angren,
thrash act Lost Society, and American technical
metal act Uncured on the road; the tour also hits
the Commodore Ballroom on November 8 (Vancouver)
and the Ranch Roadhouse on November 11
(Edmonton). If you dig orchestrated melodic power
death, Guitar Hero, and guyliner, this’ll be the gig
Friday, November 10 is a good day for releases:
first up, Dark Descent Records death metal act
Desolate Shrine will be releasing Deliverance from
the Godless Void. Doom icons Electric Wizard will
also unveil Wizard Bloody Wizard, complete with
goofy ass album artwork.
If you’re a horror movie junkie, be sure to
head to the Globe Cinema on Saturday, November
11 (Calgary). They’ll be screening Italian film
Suspiria in celebration of the iconic film’s 40th
anniversary. Before you head down, be sure to
read Breanna Whipple’s excellent article in the
If you’d rather be banging your head than getting
the pants scared off you, then head to Dickens Pub
that evening (November 11) for progressive extreme
melodic metal act Ne Obliviscaris. Although
we did try to get them on the horn to dish about
their brand new album Urn released on October
27 via Season of Mist, it unfortunately wasn’t in
the cards. The Australian band is playing with
Allegaeon and Dead Asylum. You can also see Ne
Obliviscaris at the Rickshaw Theatre on November
9 (Vancouver) and the Park Theatre on November
Head to Distortion on Friday, November 17 to
celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Full Treatment
album release with Montreal thrash metallers
Aggression. They’ll be playing the album in its
entirety. The band has a long and storied history,
breaking up shortly after the release of the iconic
album. In 2014, they officially reunited; their third
studio album Fragmented Spirit Devils followed
shortly after. For the Calgary show, Aggression will
be performing alongside Divinity, Hammerdrone,
World Class White Trash, and Tessitura. You can
also see Aggression in Edmonton on November 18
at the Starlite Room alongside Mortillery, Tessitura
and Begrime Exemious.
The best local gig of the month goes down on
Friday, November 24 when Calgary grindcore titans
WAKE perform alongside Edmonton death metal
institution Begrime Exemious, howling sludge
mongers Adolyne, and new raw punk band Full
Choke. The gig goes down at the Palomino Smokehouse
End your November the right way! Head to
Distortion on Saturday, November 25 for an
evening of black and death metal featuring Vile
Insignia, Krepitus, Korperlose Stimme, Traer and
… And then start your December the right way!
On Saturday, December 2, Toronto punk act FLQ
will be performing alongside Janitor Scum, Artificial
Slits, and Paradise at delicious hotdog hub
Tubby Dog. The show is all-ages, all-inclusive, and
pay what you can. You know what to do.
• Sarah Kitteringham
The Weir sheds the ties that blind with their new EP Detached.
photo: Arif Ansari
There are few things in heaven and earth
that have not been dreamt of in The Weir’s
philosophy. The Calgary-based doom-metal
quartet has been exploring the heavy-dreadful
landscape since the manifestation of their debut
release, Yesterday’s Graves (Pint-Sized Records),
back in 2012. Vast and suspenseful, The Weir’s
dreadful drone required a modulation of the ballistic
tempos that dual guitarist/vocalists Jim Hudson
(Breathe Knives, Oxeneer, Snake Mountain)
and Sergey Jmourovski (WAKE, Snake Mountain),
drummer Mark Schmidt (On Lock) and bassist/
vocalist Eddie Dalrymple (Oxeneer, Fuck Off Dad,
Deadhorse) had grown velocitized to as members
of their respective punk bands.
“We all had a background of playing pretty
fast music and when we first started out we were
bad at playing slow,” says Jmourovski. “Our first
test demo was friggin’ rippin’, so we had ‘SLOW
DOWN’ written on Mark’s snare and my volume
pedal as a reminder. It became a sort of mantra
and over the course of the years it evolved in a
general attitude towards the band.”
Recalibrated to a sin-definingly slothful pace,
The Weir would dive into the deep end of the
sludge-core spectrum with the release of their
ominous 2015 LP Calmness of Resolve, released
via Sunmask Records. A challenging album for
musician and listener alike, the album spawned
life-altering moments and discoveries that resulted
in significant changes to the band’s makeup
and artistic approach.
“Eddie joined half-way through the writing of
Calmness of Resolve and contributed a lot to that
record,” Jmourovski explains.
“After the CD came out we decided to write
something more and he became an integral part
of the writing process. So, I feel like there was a
transition between that record and whatever was
gonna come next. We thought doing a new EP
was evidence of logical fucking progress. And a
cool step forwards.”
Thus, Dalrymple found himself charged with
penning lyrics for The Weir’s forthcoming EP, Detached
(Hearing Aids Records), due for release in
November of 2017. It was a task he accomplished
by distilling his innermost thoughts through a
carbon filter of the darkest poetry prior to spilling
ink on to page and stage. Exceeding all expectations
on Detached’s titanic twin tracks, “Weak
With Rage” and “Below The Surface,” The Weir’s
bone-chilling lingual oblations bespeak a renewed
sense of immediacy and intent.
“My lyrics are about a lot of personal situations,
but run through a thesaurus. Not to disguise
them, but to make them less specific,” Dalrymple
elaborates. “There are three singers in the band, so
it makes it something that the other guys and the
audience can see in their own light and interpret
for themselves. It’s a literal representation of larger
events, so it becomes fantasy. I try to write about
very specific ideas from a non-linear, non-sequitur,
Another benefit of flexibility afforded by adding
Dalrymple’s tributary parables to their songwriting
process is that it has enabled The Weir’s
other architects to concentrate on contributing
their own brutal algorithms to the communal
incantations. A welcome respite for a foursome
that is lauded for the intensity of their compelling
“There have been shows where I’ve been totally
fuckin drained and not rejuvenated. Like I left a
lot behind. Like you turned yourself inside out. It’s
nauseating, but it’s also very satisfying,” Jmourovski
“That led to a couple of cathartic shows, until
I was like ‘Fuck, dude! I cannot expose myself like
that anymore!’ Because it’s tiring. It’s too much.
And then it loses its meaning. And what’s the
point of doing something that doesn’t have a
meaning to it? And, we can talk about the whole
professional band thing; at some point your
purpose is going to inform your art and, no, it
shouldn’t work like that!”
The Weir release their new EP Detached via Hearing
Aids Records in November.
48 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE SHRAPNEL
Arts & Crafts
For the larger part of his storied career with The
Tragically Hip, Gord Downie spent his time telling
stories belonging to other people. From “Wheat
Kings,” all the way to last year’s Secret Path, Downie
himself took a backseat to a cast of characters
steeped in Canadian lore.
Introduce Yerself, Downie’s posthumous 23-
song double album, serves as an introduction of
sorts to a Canadian legend that has kept much
of his life private. Instead of telling other people’s
stories, Downie is finally telling his own.
Downie’s best lyrics were always written to be
humanizing at the same time as myth-making. On
Introduce Yerself, he does the same thing to the
people in his own life, writing plaintively about
the people and places he cared most about.
Most of the songs here are about small moments
like on “Spoon” and “Bedtime,” both stories
about Downie marveling at his children. Or like on
“You Me and the B’s,” about his love of the Boston
Bruins that he shared with his brother. Every piece
of Introduce Yerself feels like it has been scaled
back to not seem self-indulgent. This is not Downie’s
sweeping goodbye opus, but instead a quiet
farewell to the people he cared about most.
In a press release accompanying the album,
Downie said that the words contained on the
album were written before any music was made.
“A lot of these I wrote the words in advance like
poems. I’d get one or two a day and then I’d have
to stop. Because that’s about all… the soul or
whatever, would give up. And then, so with music,
it becomes pretty easy.”
Indeed, the music here, produced mostly by
Downie and Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew,
takes a backseat to the lyrics, but it’s hardly a
The album is much less poetic than much of
Downie’s past work, but it only serves to demystify
the singer. These are some of the most affecting
songs Downie ever put to tape, recorded swiftly
over two four-day sessions in January 2016 and
February 2017, with the finished album often
reflecting first takes.
Accompanied mostly by sparse piano, acoustic
guitar and drums, it never sounds like Downie is
searching for the right words. Instead, he opts for
an Sun Kil Moon-esque retelling of stories, fitting
awkward, matter-of-fact lyrics into beautiful vocal
Much like Downie’s career, Introduce Yerself is a
varied listen, swinging from upbeat reminiscing to
mournful rumination over its runtime. Standout
track “Love Over Money” is a short song about
Downie’s bandmates in The Tragically Hip and
their rise from playing small gigs in Kingston, ON
to playing for the Queen of England. Elsewhere, “A
Better End” sonically picks up where 2016’s Secret
Path left off, powered by throbbing percussion
and spacious reverb.
Thematically, Downie continues his crusade for
“a Canada we should have never called Canada” on
“The North,” a devastating account of the ravages
of colonialism in the Arctic. It’s quintessential
Downie that even on his final album, he still
spends most of the time thinking about anyone
but himself. His final advice for the “boys in the
north,” and presumably listeners is to “turn our
faces to the sun and get whatever warmth there
is.” It’s hard to imagine leaving a legendary career
off on a better note than that.
• Jamie McNamara
illustration: Greg Doble
50 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE
“Our generation is weak, but not today!” peaks Neil Bednis on
“Glories,” the penultimate track from Mercy Works, a brimming
and spirited debut of an album from Toronto “rompers” Casper
Sharing vocal responsibilities with bandmate Melanie Gail
St-Pierre, Bednis’ one-half is full of such exclamations, generally
delivered through his devil-may-care belligerency with an A.
Savage-esque sense of confidence.
Gail St-Pierre, on the other hand, is much more grounded, and
it’s the dichotomy between the two that keeps Mercy Works from
the common issue of descending into an alt-rock slog.
That’s not to say the instrumentation isn’t on point, combining
shoegaze-adjacent sonics and percussive cacophony that fills
Mercy Works with an energy under it’s nihilist visage.
Really, for an album that can be categorized as post-punk it’s
surprisingly tame in regards to the archetypal abrasive approach
of less-talented bands.
The closest they get to falling into the pattern of the current
musical trend is on “Primeval,” an echoing shimmer of a track that
hints at a full-noise collapse before tapering off into the ever-successful
For the most part, however, Mercy Works forgoes buying into
the flavour-of-the-month genre-trap.
Tracks like “I Stared At ‘Moses and the Burning Bush’” and
“What’s That Good For” have a sort-of lackadaisical approach to
the early-wave alt-rock bent, and the aforementioned “Glories”
(easily the biggest standout of the album) features just enough
sing-along-prepped lyricism and quiet-loud-quiet build-ups to set
you up for the hazy closer “Faded Sound.”
The only real qualm to be had with Mercy Works, while perfectly
packaged in its own right, is an omnipresent one in many
rock-y, guitar-y albums: slightly more experimentation to keep it
demanding constant attention.
Mercy Works really works best when it reaches for high points
(“You Can Call Me Allocator,” “Glories”) and less so on it’s middleof-the-road
cuts (“Lingua Franca,” “Chicane, OH”).
But the peaks it does climb more than make up for some of the
more vanilla tracks, and even the most repetitive and meandering
points of the album have something worth enjoying.
What Casper Skulls have with Mercy Works is a deftly-crafted
and undoubtedly strong debut, one that’s definitely worth a listen
if only to show that the two-pronged vocal thing can work when
It’s also a testament that nihilism doesn’t have to be all angles
and irregularities. One can approach the melancholy of a meaningless
world in different ways. Mercy works, and so does Casper
• Alec Warkentin
Memory of A Cut Off Head
Leave it to John Dwyer to change things up just when everything
started to sound comfortable. Going from Thee Oh
Sees, to Oh Sees, to OCS in the span of a year, the notoriously
productive garage rock legend ditches the prog headiness of
August’s Orc for the freak folk sound of his earliest work on
Memory of a Cut Off Head (MOACOH).
Despite a return to the acoustic adventures of a band now
five-or-so iterations removed from this current lineup, MOA-
COH is a surprisingly efficient melding of Oh Sees prog-indebted
jams and OCS’ original psych country ramblings. The songs here
are quintessential Dwyer, featuring winding guitar lines and odd
song structures. This is folk music filtered through a kaleidoscopic
acid haze. Gone are the dueling drummers and krautrock
pulse of the last few Oh Sees records, replaced by reedy violin
and a jester’s wit. Still, even without the propulsive guitar riffs
and high-tempos of Dwyer’s last few projects, MOACOH still
retains a few jam impulses.
That is very much true on tracks like “On and On Corridor,”
featuring drummer Nick Murray crushing some funk-indebted
licks that would make the late Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit smile
One of the more noticeable changes between MOACOH and
Dwyer’s work from two decades ago is just how well produced
this album is. Horn and string arrangements from Mikal Cronin
flourish here, filling every nook and cranny of the record with a
On tracks like “Cannibal Planet,” gentle electronic murmurs
courtesy of a Juno 6 and electric bagpipes bring to mind Dwyer’s
other solo project Damaged Bug. Many of the lyrics on the album
are also classic Dwyer, to the point that MOACOH feels like
the same record OCS have made many times before. “Oh what
a day / I lost my body /A feast for beast and all mankind / I am
prescription filled / for your mind,” Dwyer croons on the title
track, in his quintessentially nonsensical way. With its plinky
harpsichord, standout track “The Remote Viewer” feels like a
medieval fair rendition of a track from 2016’s A Weird Exits. It
features one of the most straightforward choruses in the Dwyer
catalog and it’s absolutely addictive after a few listens. That goes
for much of MOACOH; it won’t sink its hooks into immediately.
Given time, however, these psychedelic excursions will unfurl
and wrap their tendrils around you.
• Jamie McNamara
Alternating between blasts of fierce punk rock, chiming chords,
and walls of squalling ambient noise, the self-titled full-length
debut from Edmonton’s Wares is at once all over the map, but
stands out in Cassia Hardy’s ability to tie her songs together
with clever instrumental and vocal hooks, and lyrics that dig in
close to the bone without cutting too deeply.
“City Kids” leads off the record with a jangling riff that falls
into a sauntering sway, whistling a melody that turns up in
other places through the tune. Hardy’s vocals start out soaked
in reverb, with small town street kids encouraging each other
to hold on: “You don’t like doin’ what you’re told, don’t take
shit from anybody, no you and me babe are just a stone’s throw
from the city,” like so many kids eager to get out of the confines
of redneck towns to a place where there are people more like
them. “What You Want” features some greasy skate punk riffs,
the drive of the ‘90s underground with a lo-fi aesthetic that has
more punk energy than a lot of those classics ever did, along
with hard-turn tempo changes and tripped-out showers of psychedelia.
Hardy’s particularly adept at that classic Pixies style of
whisper/scream dynamics, and Wares is distinct in its ability to
keep the listener off balance, as on “Mission Hill.”
“Keeping Me Awake” is another barrage of charging punk riffs
that stands out in tying a pop sound with gritty rock n’ roll guitars
that have a Hold Steady feel. The second half of the album
sets Wares apart in that it gets better as it goes. With the acoustic
gem “Out All Night,” the clamor of eighteen strings ringing
with a single tambourine while Hardy’s voice nearly seethes
on the lines, “It must be so hard to breathe, with every breath
you’re lying through your teeth, does it keep you up at night?”
before the plaintive call of “Would you come back if I said you’ll
never find anyone better?”
There’s a constant variance throughout Hardy’s work on this
Wares record, like the practiced abstraction of a painter who
appears to be blasting paint at a canvas, or the finished work of
a sculptor which confounds the eye of the beholder. It’s in the
shifting colours and shapes, the pushes and pulls of pace, and in
her willingness to absorb the risk of being misunderstood that
sets Wares apart from her indie rock peers.
• Mike Dunn
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 51
To keep thoughts on the new Bell Witch album
brief, it is essential to state this before
anything else: Mirror Reaper is far and away
one of the strongest and most important
albums to come out in 2017, due primarily
to its astoundingly ambitious structure and
absolutely staggering, monolithic nature.
The album consists of a singular, 83-minute
track that manages to not only hold
its own with this ambitious concept, but
topple a vast majority of albums released
The album feels like a lifetime’s worth of
content; the sheer emotional weight of the
album is something few artists manage to
encapsulate with an entire career writing
and making music. Observing the ocean
worth of material and emotional force the
album encapsulates makes even the 83-minutes
seem short for the sensation they are
The atmosphere on Mirror Reaper is
so thick it practically makes the air in any
room the album is being played in feel
weighted and difficult to move through,
as if the listeners are suspended underwater;
A water that instead of suffocating
its audience, nourishes them with a heavy
emotional fulfillment the weight of an
anvil. Bell Witch’s most recent is easily the
strongest in their catalogue and an absolute
essential for anyone who is in the mood to
plug themselves into something powerful
• Greg Grose
Royal Mountain Records
CHASTITY channel a filthy reflection of suburban
dread in this pointed and aggressive
five-song release, a perfect soundtrack for
a late-night, rage filled walk through your
Having witnessed CHASTITY at Sled Island,
and at the Great Hall in Toronto, they
are a no gimmick, no bullshit band that
never hesitate to slip into complete chaos
while also staying in total control.
The intensity of frontman Brandon
Williams’ vocals are the perfect driver of the
crunchiest of bass tones and these splinter-sharp
guitar blasts. This EP has nuances of
the slimiest grunge and punk of the early ‘90s
with slight tinges of doom and at times, an
almost spoken word feel to the raging vocals.
In just over 13 minutes, CHASTITY say
everything they need to, exploring all the
emotions that follow existential dread and
delivering them to you like a quick punch
However, within all the angst, all the isolation,
all the hate, CHASTITY find the time
to squeeze in these subtle melodies that
carry each song to strange uplifting places
here and there.
So, if you want a quick and dirty manifesto
on how shitty life can be, the Chains EP is
right up your alley.
• Michael Grondin
Shaded and sharpened in retro-rock fashion,
Cut Worms’ debut EP Alien Sunset is a
compelling study in executing stylistic song
writing without sacrificing substance.
The alias of Chicago-to- New York transplant
Max Clarke, Cut Worms exists sonically
somewhere in the mid-20th century, not
far from the soundscapes of Buddy Holly or
early Beach Boys. Alien Sunset, maintaining
the unique sound crafted by Clarke, moves
dynamically and structurally with grace
through its 26-minute runtime, consistently
feeling warm and inviting, but also, tastefully
foggy throughout the six tracks.
Sparkling picked notes dance on “Like
Going Down Sideways,” momentarily taking
a backseat as layered vocals swell with harmonic
precision in a haunting dynamic shift
early on. “A Curious Man” offers a repetitious,
hypnotic riff as Clarke’s reverb-heavy
layered vocals cry out lines.
“Please, please remember me / in the tall
grass by the twisted tree,” Clarke pleas in
the opening lines, before reinforcing with
“please don’t forget.”
More stripped down and open, “Widow’s
Window” stands out amongst the tracks on
A simplistic acoustic offering, the track could
pass as a modern folk classic, possibly best
performed unamplified and in an open setting.
On tape, however, Clarke is able to maintain
the energy of the track, creating a captivating
experience in the bare surroundings.
Cut Worms’ first effort succeeds in
delivering a short burst of stylistic songs
while avoiding any sense of cheap novelty,
creating an intriguing and enduring listen
• Nathan Kunz
The Front Bottoms
Fueled by Ramen
Throughout their discography, The Front
Bottoms have given us a consistent mix of
melancholic rock ballads with heavy acoustic
guitar and backed up with, powerful, relatable
stories, sung from the perspective of
a sympathetic friend. They performed their
self-published albums (I Hate My Friends,
My Grandma vs. Pneumonia) with fun, optimistic
passion. The two that followed, (The
Front Bottoms, Talon of the Hawk) released
under Bar/None Records, solidified their
place in the punk/folk/rock scene.
Back on Top marked the switch to Fueled
by Ramen as a label, and what some would
consider the beginning of the end for TFB.
With the release of Going Grey, The Front
Bottoms have done almost exactly as the
title suggests. The album is for the most
part, a foggy, slushy mess. It opens up with
the track “You Used To Say (Holy Fuck),” a
dramatic track overly saturated with ambient
noise, low kick drums, and juvenile synth
melodies. The vocals are still there, and some
of the riffs are catchy and original, but it’s all
masked in this cloud of smoke, that remains
for the majority of the album. The album
does have some diamonds in the rough, such
as “Bae,” a simple, yet very re-playable track
with an upbeat drumline and happy harmonious
backup vocals. My time spent listening
to the album three, or four times, devolved
into listening to the best couple tracks the
album has to offer, and skipping the rest. It’s
a very disconnected experience, and losing
that relatable friendliness that completely
immersed you in previous albums is a devastating
loss for their aesthetic.
• Keeghan Rouleau
Kllo is the electronic pop project of Melbourne
cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam.
Backwater, their debut album for esteemed
electronic music label Ghostly International
is an immaculately produced ode to UK
Garage and 2 Step.
Kaul’s voice is a highlight across the
album’s 12 tracks, lending an airy touch to
Lam’s aqueous productions. Synth-heavy
songs like “Last Yearn” steal the show,
combining Jamie XX-indebted jackin’ drum
productions with washed out synths and
Kaul’s breathy tenor.
Elsewhere, tracks like “Downfall” and
“Virtue” are radio ready anthems, combining
Craig David and Rhye into one cohesive
sound. It can feel like Kaul and Lam focus
more on the “vibe” than the actual music in
the latter half of the album, but it’s hardly
enough to call Backwater anything less than
• Jamie McNamara
Heaven Upside Down
Heaven Upside Down is shock rock industrialists
Marilyn Manson’s tenth studio album.
Manson certainly lives up to the shock aspect
of his performance with this album. They’ve
added some terrible hip-hop beats to “SAY10”
and “Blood Honey;” eventually it dissipates
into his old school industrial, almost grunge-y
style, but they shouldn’t be there anyways.
It’s not just the beats that come off
awkwardly here either. Manson is known
for being a smart lyricist renowned for
being clever and repetitive, but his lyrics are
often more laughable on this album. With
his continuous counting from one to ten
in “Revelation #12,” you’ll never forget that
Manson knows how to count to ten; or the
entirety that is “JE$U$ CRI$I$,” all of the
lyrics are terrible. Once you get passed the
horrendous beats and hilarious lyrics, the
album has some solid points to it.
Manson’s second single, “KILL4ME”
is easily the best song on the album, it’s
incredibly catchy which is about half of
what Manson is known for. The title track
is musically lacking: the beat is catchy, but
otherwise it’s nothing to brag about and
certainly not good enough to name an
album after. If you’re looking for Manson’s
old, killer song-style, you’ve come to the
• Bailey Barnson
52 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE
Themes For A New Earth
Cry Cry Cry
Releasing his second project of the year, Jamison
Isaak’s Themes For A New Earth is an enjoyable
collection of instrumental tracks with a singular
tone. The album was recorded at the same time as
Themes For A Dying Earth, but lacks the vocal contributions
of its predecessor. New Earth feels like a
collection of outtakes as opposed to a full-fledged
companion album. To Isaak, there’s a similar
theme to both being reborn and dying, as the two
projects sound nearly indistinguishable in terms of
production. However, Teen Daze establishes a tone
that is potent and vibrant like the colours of fall.
Isaak previously enlisted guests like S. Carey of Bon
Iver for his last album, but the soundscapes of New
Earth hold their own without any features.
The project is soothing, capturing the grandiosity
of nature in both instrumental-heavy tracks
and ambient compositions. It sounds like it could
be the soundtrack to an 8-bit videogame where
exploration and adventure is at the forefront. True
to the album cover, it deconstructs the beauty of
staring out into the ocean and watching waves
crash along the coastline, evoking a wide array of
emotions such as serenity, melancholy, and hope.
While New Earth is solid from front to back, mixing
tracks with Dying Earth enriches the concept.
There’s no correct combination, as Teen Daze has
masterfully allowed the decision to be dictated by
• Paul McAleer
The Sin and the Sentence
Gone for six years and gracefully back again,
Montreal’s Wolf Parade have returned to the
fold draped in a sound that’s easily their most
lush and polished yet.
Carried by the sardonic vocals of frontman
Spencer Krug, Cry Cry Cry straddles the
line between goofiness and utmost sincerity,
encapsulating a flair for the dramatic that may
be the lynch-pin for new initiates to the band’s
This is most prevalent on opener “Lazarus
Online,” where heavy piano meshes with
Krug’s wavering baritone around lyrics such
as: “Lazarus online/ I received your message/
You’re a fan of mine, your name’s Rebecca, and
you’ve decided not to die.”
Apart from the sensational theatrics, however,
Cry Cry Cry is actually a pretty solid album
Tracks like the quasi-ballad “Baby Blue” and
the post-punk-revivalist-chic “Am I an Alien
Here” more than make up for the tedious pitter-patter
of weaker cuts like “Valley Boy” and
“Who Are Ya.”
Another important consideration for Cry
Cry Cry is that it was produced with enough
upbeat moments to counterbalance some of
the more extravagant, and the finished product
not only runs clean — it’s an album that you
can play start to finish without fighting the
urge to skip through.
In short, Cry Cry Cry is a fitting post-hiatus
return; an album that you feel in your chest,
whether you’d like to or not.
• Alec Warkentin
MONOLITH AB, NORTH, ROSETTA
October 17, The Palomino
There’s nothing like a blast of icy arctic air to recall that
time of year when music lovers return to crammed
basements and huddled up dance floors to enjoy
some communal warmth and ear-numbing rock and
roll. And that was exactly the case on a brisk October
Tuesday as puffy jackets and functional headgear
headed down to The Palomino to take in a triumvirate
First up, local dirge-dealers Monolith AB stepped
up to unleash an asteroid belt of dire consequences.
Displaying impressive growth in terms of both instrumentation
and stage-presence the band exhibited a
collection of colossal compositions graced with pretty
intricacies and discernible personalities.
Next up, North’s intimidating soundcheck almost
made us wish we hadn’t heard them tip their hand
before performing. Smoothly rocking out a session
of dangerous tunes, North echoed a less imperiled
version of Bison’s lyrical heathenry and heaviness.
Deceptive in their sophistication, North’s churning
chords frothed up buttery solids that melted hearts
with romantic melodies and sheer emotional heft.
Exercising an admirable amount of restraint, the powerful
trio impressed mightily with their brutal honesty,
progressive forays and a sense of exclamatory outrage
as pure as the driven snow.
Holding up half the sky, and the venue’s ceiling
in the process, Rosetta effortlessly summited the
evening’s increasingly intense proceedings. The
Philadelphia-based five-piece unpacked a suitcase full
of blistering fury and fuzzy doom-rock that shook the
dust from the rafters and drove any lingering ghosts
from their brick-and-mortar niches. Vocalist Mike
Armine braced himself for an onslaught of his own
making, climbing his bandmates’ vacillating scales
like a caffeinated toddler. Tearing into tracks from the
post-metal band’s sixth album, Utopiod, the ardent
Armine stole electricity from the air itself and then
rained it down on the audience like a human Tesla
coil. Densely packed but designed for maximum
maneuverability, Rosetta’s sludgy blast of spaced-out
rock was the ideal pressure release valve for a city
teetering on the edge of winter.
• Christine Leonard
Photo: Christine Leonard
If you’re a long-time Trivium fan and you’re
disappointed with the direction Silence in the
Snow went, you might want to pick up their eighth
studio release, The Sin and the Sentence. Most
of their albums before Silence in the Snow were
heavy enough to force you into a mosh with the
majority of vocals being either screams or growls,
but Silence in the Snow was more atmospheric
and melodic with exclusively clean vocals. This
album is a beautiful mix of their previous release
and the influences of their older sound. It opens
with the title track which begins with an incredibly
fast beat before Matt Heafy’s voice booms in with
his gorgeous baritone. The track ebbs and flows,
mellowing out for the chorus only to pick up again
for the ear-splitting solo. While Heafy is still singing
melodically in the majority of the songs, he’s also
screaming like a demon for an even mix his spectacular
Neither of the early singles they chose to release
really do this album justice, their third single, “Betrayer,”
is where the beauty lies. “The song displays
absolutely everything that Trivium is fantastic at;
it ranges from making you want to punch your
buddy in the face to wanting to serenade them.
It’s unbelievably fast, yet melodic, and it has one
of Trivium’s famous solos. Luckily, it’s only one
of many songs that kick ass on this album. “The
Wretchedness Inside” is another stand out, except
it’s bouncy as hell with a slamming bass line to
break your neck to. The Sin and the Sentence
proves that Trivium still have what it takes to
slaughter the mainstream metal scene.
• Bailey Barnson
Wax Nine Records
With their debut album Nothing Valley, Chicago
band Melkbelly have created perhaps the
most cacophonous rock record of the year. It’s
also one of the best debuts of the year, deftly
combining math-y garage elements with riot
grrrl-esque rock. “Kid Kreative” is the most
straightforward of the songs on Nothing Valley;
a straight-up garage rock smash-and-grab
built on a catchy guitar hook and lead singer
Miranda Winters’ charismatic vocal delivery. In
a recent Stereogum piece, Winters described
the track as being about “… having your aesthetic
hijacked by someone else. Specifically,
as a woman that plays rock ‘n’ roll, having your
aesthetic hijacked by a man and them easily
capitalizing on that.”
Luckily for Melkbelly, their aesthetic here
is purely their own. The following track
“R.O.R.O.B.” features a noise breakdown that
feels like something out of a hardcore track.
The song after that is a winding indie track that
sounds like a Speedy Ortiz song put through a
meat grinder. From there, the album remains
wildly divergent from anything else on the indie
scene right now. Overall, Nothing Valley is
an essential listen for anyone who ever thought
that guitar music could ever die.
• Jamie McNamara
BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 53
the Daddy files
I’m a 40-year-old bi man. I’ve been with my 33-year-old bi wife for three
years and married for one. When we first met, she made it clear that she
was in a long-term (more than three years) “Daddy” relationship with an
older man. I figured out six months later that her “Daddy” was her boss and
business partner. He is married, and his wife does not know. I struggled with
their relationship, since I identify as open but not poly. Eight months later,
she ended things with him because it was “logically right” for us (her words).
But she cheated with him four times over the course of two years. In all other
aspects, our relationship is the greatest one I’ve ever had. I do not doubt her
love for me. My wife has met her biological father only a couple of times and
her stepfather died when she was 16—the same year she went to work for
her “Daddy.” Their non-work relationship started 10 years later, when she
was 26. It’s a complex relationship, and he is not going anywhere, as they now
own a business together. While I don’t think cheating has to be a relationship-ender,
dishonesty always has been for me. The final complication: I have
a cuckold fetish. I believe it might be possible to meet everyone’s needs, so long
as everyone is honest. I will admit that, in the heat of passion, my wife and I
have talked about her having “two daddies.” Do I consider allowing this, so
long as everyone is honest? Is mixing business and personal matters going to
blow up in our faces? Do I ignore the part of my brain that wants this guy’s
wife to know?
–Distressed About Deceitful Dynamics Involving Entangled Spouse
You don’t need my permission to consider this arrangement—allowing
the wife to have two daddies—because you’re clearly already considering
it. (You’ve moved on to the bargaining and/or writing-letters-to-sex-advice-columnists
stage of consideration, the final stage before acceptance.)
What you want, DADDIES, is my permission to do this, not just to think
about it. Permission granted. Could it all come to shit? Anything and everything
could come to shit. But your wife has been fucking this guy the entire
time you’ve been together, and you nevertheless regard this relationship
as the greatest one you’ve ever had. It stands to reason that if things were
great when she was honest with you about fucking her boss (at the start)
and remained great despite being dishonest with you about fucking her
boss (the last two years), you three are in a good position to make this
work now that everything is out in the open.
As for your other concerns: Most of the poly people I know started out
as either monogamous or “open but not poly” (people evolve), we find
out about secret workplace romances only when they blow up (skewed
samples make for skewed perceptions), and you need more info about
the other man’s wife before you issue an ultimatum or pick up the phone
yourself (their marriage could be companionate, he could be staying in
the marriage for her sake, they could have agreed to a DADT arrangement
regarding affairs). But again, DADDIES, what you’re basically asking is if
something that seems to be working in practice might actually work in
practice. And I’m thinking it could.
I’m a 31-year-old gay man who looks 45. Most men interested in me are
surprisingly up-front about expressing their desire to include a father-son
element. Even men older than me call me “daddy” unprompted. I try not
to be judgmental, but this repulses me. People who are into other forms of
out-of-the-mainstream sex approach their kinks respectfully and establish
mutual interest and obtain consent in advance. Why aren’t I given the same
consideration when it comes to incest role-play? And where does this come
from? Were all these men molested by their fathers?
–Desperately Avoiding Discussing Disgusting Incest
Whoa, DADDI. Just as gay men who call themselves or their partners
“boy” don’t mean “minor” and aren’t fantasizing about child rape,
gay men who call themselves or their partners “daddy” don’t mean
“biological father” and aren’t fantasizing about father-son incest. Daddy
is an honorific that eroticizes a perceived age and/or experience gap; it’s
about authority and sexual dominance, not paternity and incestuous
deviance. If being called “daddy” turns you off, you should say so, and
your partners should immediately knock that “daddy” shit off. But you
shouldn’t assume every gay guy who calls you “daddy” is into incest and/
or was molested by his bio dad, because 99.999 percent of the time that’s
just not going to be true.
Think about it this way, DADDI: When a straight woman calls her man
“baby,” no one thinks, “OMG! She’s into raping babies!” When a straight guy
says he picked up a “hot girl,” no one thinks he’s talking about a sexy fourth
grader. When Vice President Mike Pence calls his wife “mommy,” no one
thinks… well, Pence might be a bad example. (That man is clearly a freak.)
But my point still stands: Pet names—used casually or during sex—aren’t
to be taken literally.
I have a sugar baby who is a mature post-op trans woman. She is very
attractive but also very high maintenance. (She has OCD.) I pay her $300 per
anal sex event; I help with bills, food, etc.; and I spend every weekend with her.
I probably spend $15,000 a year on her. I’m happy most of the time (the sex is
great), but does this arrangement sound fair?
–Daddy Asking Dan
Divide the money you’re spending annually ($15,000) by the number of
weeks in the year (52), DAD, and your anal-sex-event-packed weekends
are only costing you $288.46 a pop. Seeing as most sex workers charge
10 to 20 times as much for a full weekend, I’d say you aren’t spending too
much. (If this arrangement is unfair to anyone, DAD, it’s unfair to your
sugar baby.) But if you’re pulling in only 30K a year, spending half your
pre-tax wages on a sugar baby is unsustainable. But if that 15K represents
a small percentage of your annual income, DAD, you should give your
sugar baby a raise.
I’m a 30-year-old woman who has always been more attracted to older men.
I was with a guy last year who liked to be called “Daddy,” which was hard
because he was six years younger. But now I’m secretly sleeping with someone
who’s 34 years older than me. It’s not just sex—we have so much in common
and we’re falling in love. I don’t know how long I can handle being a secret,
but I don’t know if I can come out of hiding because of the age difference. He’s
not as ashamed and would be more open if I wanted to be. Thoughts?
–Ashamed Sex Has All My Emotional Damage
You haven’t been with This Old Dad long enough to determine if you
have a future together, ASHAMED, so you can kick the coming-out can
down the road another six months. If it turns out you two are emotionally
compatible as well as sexually compatible, and you decide to make a life
together, then you’ll have to go public. And if you find yourself worrying
about being judged due to the age difference, just think of all the homos
out there who went public despite their partners’ genital similarities. If we
could stare down disapproving family members and small-town prudes,
ASHAMED, so can you.
On the Lovecast, sex and weed with David Schmader!: savagelovecast.com.
by Dan Savage
54 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE