BeatRoute Magazine [AB] print e-edition - [November 2017]

beatroute

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

DJD • Escape Art • GIRAF • Rural AB Advantage • Current Swell • Gales of Avalon • Gord Downie


NOVEMBER 2017 I EVENT LISTINGS

Friday November 3

The Rumble

The Denim Daddies

Tanner James

Saturday November 4

The Courtneys

Versing

Glaux

Friday November 10

The Ashley Hundred

Gunner & Smith

Pancake

Saturday November 11

Dirty Catfish Brass Band

Sinzere

Fermented Beet Orchestra

Long Time No Time

Friday November 17

FREE show with

Feel Alright

Altameda

and special guests

Saturday November 18

2018 Pinups For Pups & Misters

for Whiskers Charity Calendars

Release Party!

Live Music from Miesha & The

Spanks and Daydream Kids

Burlesque Performances from

Daisy DeVille, Randi Lee, Ivy La

Fleur, Manhattan Wilde

Friday November 24

WAKE

Begrime Exemious

Adolyne

Full Choke

Saturday November 25

The Territories

James T. Kirks

Quit School

Friday December 1

Old Apartments

Song Book EP Release

Child Actress

Cold Water

Laura Halvorsen

Saturday December 2

Merry Chronmas with

Chron Goblin

Electric Owl

All Hand on Jane

Sunday December 3

Moe-Shelly’s Annual

Holiday Craft Sale

and Market

COMING IN DECEMBER

December 9

TOY DRIVE FOR THE

WOMEN’S CENTRE

CALGARY

December 15

Stoner Rock Guy presents:

SCOTT ROSS’

HAIRY CHRISTMAS

December 16

SLED ISLAND’S ROCK

LOTTO - CHRISTMAS

EDITION

109 7TH AVE SW 403 532 1911 THEPALOMINO.CA

*Advance tickets at Sloth Records or myshowpass.com


FIXED

Pulse 4

Bedroom Eyes 7

Vidiot 21

Edmonton Extra 34-37

This Month in Metal 48

Savage Love 54

FEATURES

Femme Wave 23-26

CITY 8-14

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Paracon,

Monthly Mouthful, Horseshoe Hummingbird,

Art Listings, Women’s Legacy, Mike

Thorn, Escape Art, Fashion Hustle,

YYScene

FILM 15-21

GIRAF, CEFF, CUFF Sean Buckelew, Wedding

Singer, Calgary European Film Festival,

California Typewriter, My Friend Dahmer

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MUSIC

rockpile 28-32

Death From Above, Danko Jones,

R.Ariel, The Rural Alberta Advantage,

Dead South, Off With Their Heads,

The Galacticas, Silverstein

jucy 38-42

Alberta Electronic Music Festival,

Huxlet, DJ Dine and Dash

roots 43-45

Hermitess, Dirty Catfish Brass Band,

Cold Specks, Current Swell, Boogie Patrol

shrapnel 47-48

Gales Of Avalon, The Weir

REVIEWS

records 50-53

Gord Downie and much more ...

live 53

BEATROUTE

Publisher/EIC

Brad Simm

Marketing Manager

Glenn Alderson

Production Coordinator

Hayley Muir

Web Producer

Masha Scheele

Social Media Coordinator

Amber McLinden

Party Planner

Colin Gallant

Section Editors

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

Contributing Writers

Christine Leonard • Arielle Lessard • Sarah Mac • Amber McLinden • Kennedy Enns •

Jennie Orton • Michael Grondin • Mathew Silver • Kevin Bailey • Jackie Klapak •

Hayley Pukanski • Nicholas Laugher • Arnaud Sparks • Brittney Rousten • Jodi Brak •

Breanna Whipple • Alex Meyer • Jay King • Alec Warkentin • Paul McAleer • Mike Dunn •

Shane Sellar • Kaje Annihilatrix • Dan Savage

Cover Photo

Zoloo Brown

Tigerwing: Toronto musician and visual artist performing at Femme Wave 2017.

Photo: femmewave.com

Advertising

Ron Goldberger

Tel: (403) 607-4948 • e-mail: ron@beatroute.ca

Distribution

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

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

e-mail: editor@beatroute.ca

website: www.beatroute.ca

E-Edition

Yumpu.com/BeatRoute

Connect with BeatRoute.ca

Facebook.com/BeatRouteAB

Twitter.com/BeatRouteAB

Instagram.com/BeatRouteAB

Copyright © BEATROUTE Magazine 2017

All rights reserved. Reproduction of the contents is prohibited without permission.

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 3


pulse

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.

NOVEMBER EVENTS

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

(Calgary premiere)

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

Robert Gray

at the

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

live music

november 04

dream in colour

fundraiser

november 11

mackenzie walas

november 18

earl james stevenson

november 25

jay bowcott

saturday nights

weekly specials

late night movies

$5 pints, $1 oysters

$1/2 off wine

$2.50 tacos

$7 beer flights

4 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE

$5 draft pints

$3 Wild Turkey

midtownkitchen.ca


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


CITY

VELOCITY

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,

“Imagine

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

and snake.

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


BOOKS

Toronto’s legendary Horseshoe Tavern

The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern:

A Complete History

David McPherson

Dundurn Press

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

venue begins.

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

was right.

CITY

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

lakeshore.

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

morbidity.

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

and enjoyable.

“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

as well.”

Tickets for MFWE are $25 and can be found at www.artscommons.ca,

starting 0ctober 24.

CITY

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 11


IMMERSE

Escape Art’s ful- sensory experience

Photo: Michael Grondin

Zeko Deshoda

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

Hall.

Photo: Michael Grondin

Elysia Rose

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


YYC JAZZ

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

7:00pm

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

9:00pm

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

Terence Blanchard.

Ironwood Stage & Grill – $35 adult/$25 students

7:00pm

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

9:00pm

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

CITY

Ironwood: Double Bill with Johanna Sillanpaa Quintet and Sheldon

Zandboer Quartet

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

10:00pm

Special Event: Swing Night with Evan Arntzen and Top Cat Swing

Calgary

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

JazzYYC stage!

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

Band

Saturday Nov. 18

Band

Friday Nov. 24

Italo Disco Night

with Kamil Krulis

Saturday Nov. 25

Glenmore Landing

1216 - 9 Ave. SE Inglewood

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 13


WHAT SHAKES

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. 24.

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 kari@theyyscene.ca.

14 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE CITY


FILM

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

darker twist.”

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

going.”

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

giraffest.ca

SEAN BUCKELEW

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

his work.

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

animation.

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

few years.

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


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

Globe Cinema.

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

the band.

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

used to.

Catch The Fifth Reel’s presentation of The Wedding

Singer Friday, Nov. 17 at Dickens Pub.

18 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE FILM


CUFF DOCS

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

balance.

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.

THE CREST

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

OF MADNESS.

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.

FILM

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

attendance.

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 19


CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER

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


THE VIDIOT

rewind to the future

by Shane Sellar

Annabelle: Creation

Baby Driver

Girls Trip

Personal Shopper

War for the Planet of the Apes

FILM

Annabelle: Creation

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

bedtime story.

Moreover, wouldn’t demons be a lot happier

possessing sex dolls?

Baby Driver

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

steersman around.

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.

Girls Trip

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

carry-on.

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 House

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.

Landline

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

drug addiction.

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?

Personal Shopper

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

higher plane.

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

worn-out hero.

Incidentally, it’s more lucrative for pirates today

to hijack a Backstreet Boy cruise ship.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

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

spectacular CGI.

Incidentally, any adult super-villain who hits

the underage Spider-Man can be arrested for

child abuse.

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

creationist curriculum.

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

are eradicated.

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

highpoints.

Furthermore, with monkeys in charge you can

rest assured bananas will never become extinct.

He’s an Insane Asylum Seeker. He’s the…

Vidiot

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 21


22 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE FILM


FEMMEWAVE 20 17

SAMMUS

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.

CITIZEN JANE

M’OTHER BRAIN

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

show?

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

most.

Do you ever have reservations about becoming a lightning rod for

political and personal outrage? How do you handle that sense of

responsibility?

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

than ever.

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

Legion [Calgary]

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 23


SASKATCHEWAN TAKEOVER

CHUNDER BUFFET

FEMMEWAVE 20 17

by Michael Grondin

THE DEFINITELAYS

respectfulchild

NATURAL SYMPATHIES

THE BABYFATS

URSA

TOAM

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

Saskatoon

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

charged wretchedness.

respectfulchild

Saskatoon

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

Saskatoon

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

Regina

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

Saskatoon

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

Saskatoon

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.

Natural Sympathies

Regina

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

MOMBOD

spectral trance of European mindscape

by Caroline Reynolds

FUTURE WOMB

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

mothers.

"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


7pm

8pm

9pm

10pm

11pm

12am

26 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

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

10am

11am

12pm

1pm

2pm

3pm

4pm

5pm

6pm

7pm

8pm

Sidewalk Citizen

all-ages, $25

Natalia Chai

Vic Horvath

Laura Schoenberg

Blackbyrd

myoozik

Natural Sympathies

TOAM

The Definitelays

COMEDY

Dark Time

Future Womb

Soft Cure

Velour

clothing

Amy Nelson

6pm

7pm

8pm

9pm

10pm

National 10th McHugh House Tubby Dog

The Wolfe

Afternoon Tea Party

Girls Rock Camp

2017 Showcase

sunday nov. 19 -royal canadian legion #1

11am

12pm

1pm

2pm

3pm

4pm

5pm

MomBod

respectfulchild

Mulligrub

HARSH

Chunder Buffet

Feminal Fluids

main fLoor main, side Up, North Up, south

Welcome!

Do It Yourself:

Feminist Grassroots

Organizing

Finding Your Voice panel

feat. Sammus

Zine Fair

and artist market

Car Maintenance

with CJ

Zine Workshop with Krow

Potter and Calgary School

of Informal Education

free! all-ages!

workshops!

Emmedia’ truck u-haul

FEMME

FILM:

Infiltrating and

Dismatntiling

Narratives

(shorts on loop)

-----

Youth

Workshop

screening

The Moon

with Ariel Learoyd

Everlasting Vocals

with Amber Bosi

Bystander

Intervention

Training with

Calgary Sexual Health

18+, $20

9pm

10pm

11pm

12am

1am

2am

Ursa

Daisy D

VISUAL ART

#1 Legion Up #1 Legion Down

Babyfats

Slut Prophet

Bunwitch

Soft Lions

Tigerwing

Sinzere

Hood Joplin

Sammus

Tickets and more

information at

FEMMEWAVE.COM

xoxoxo

Unless otherwise noted, events are all-ages and paywhat-you-can.

Specific times are subject to change.

Safer spaces and accessibility details online


CITY

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 27


ROCKPILE

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,”

he says.

“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

consideration.

“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

rock cannon.

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

(Winnipeg).

DANKO JONES

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,”

Jones offers.

“”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

previous records.

“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

and there.”

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


R. ARIEL

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,”

she considers.

“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

loving myself.”

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

six-week span.

“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

people”

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.

ROCKPILE

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

in Vancouver.

“You just cannot eat at McDonald’s every

night, right?”

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

(Winnipeg).

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

few seconds.

“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

next album.

“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

into them.”

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

good company.

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

SOMETHING ELSE

Iron Chic play the Nite Owl on November 26.

ROCKPILE

photo: Patrick Houdek

Iron Chic

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.

The Dreadnoughts

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.

For Tonight

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.

THE GALACTICAS

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

their sound.

“I think a lot of punks are sort of nerds at heart,” explains drummer

Will Cowan.

“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

route instead.

“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

pop-punk.”

“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

Galacticas’ style.

“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

recorded product.”

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


SILVERSTEIN

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

performance.”

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


EDMONTON EXTRA

TIMES TIDE

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

previously considered.

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

of depression.

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

got real.

“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!

VISSIA

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

beguiling narrative.

“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

for many.

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

community.

“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

better.”

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


HEDORO

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

project.

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

EDMONTON EXTRA

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

metal roots.

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

pollution.

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.

ROCKPILE

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 35


EDMONTON EXTRA

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

mainstream recognition.

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,”

explains C.A.

“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,”

continues C.A.

“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

Lucas Finnamore-Smith.

“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

events schedule.

Hardcore bands rally together to feed inner city residents.

36 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE


QUIETUS

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.

EDMONTON EXTRA

by Michael Podgurney

“People don’t say, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have no

freedoms?’”

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

euthanasia train?

Quietus will be released at Owl’s Nest Books on

November 14 (Calgary) and Audrey’s Books on November

18 (Edmonton).

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

the past.

ROCKPILE

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

whisked away.

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


JUCY

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

even stronger.

“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

career.

“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

and rhythm.

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


JOE NICE

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 Healthcare.

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


J. PHILIP

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

encounter.

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

there.”

Relocating allowed Phillippe to blossom as an artist

and propelled her to achieve new levels of her artistic

capability.

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

n Dogz.

“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

other.”

J.Phlip plays The HiFi Club on Saturday, Nov.18 as part

of AEMCOM.

JUCY

BEATROUTE • NOVEMBER 2017 | 41


LET’S GET JUCY

NOVEMBER 2017

I

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

“Drinkee.”

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

HUXLEY

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


ROOTS

HERMITESS

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

ROOTS

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

surround you.

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.

COLD SPECKS

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

separation.

“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

(Winnipeg).

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


CURRENT SWELL

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

singing along.

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

Tavern (Edmonton).

by Andrew R. Mott

photo: Shane Deringer

BOOGIE PATROL

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

ROOTS

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

tonal range.

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?

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46 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE ROOTS


SHRAPNEL

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

“It is

now.”

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

gone by.”

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

Hammer.

Black Island (2011) was Gales first full-length

and an ambitious concept album, telling the story

of two men shipwrecked on a haunted island,

SHRAPNEL

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 Wo.

“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

reflected.

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

smoothly.”

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

ridden world.

“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

this project.”

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

anniversary.

“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


This Month

In METAL

THE WEIR

defining gravity

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

for you.

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

film section.

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

13 (Winnipeg).

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

& Bar.

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

Pecado…

… 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,

non-narrative position.”

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

live performances.

“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

deduces.

“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


musicreviews

Gord Downie

Introduce Yerself

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

complaint.

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

melodies.

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


Casper Skulls

Mercy Works

Buzz Records

“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

Skulls.

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

Bednis-St-Pierre bit.

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

executed properly.

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

Skulls.

• Alec Warkentin

OCS

Memory of A Cut Off Head

Castleface

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

with glee.

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

wistful air.

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

Wares

Wares

Independent

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


Bell Witch

Mirror Reaper

Profound Lore

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

this year.

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

expressing.

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

and otherworldly.

• Greg Grose

CHASTITY

Chains EP

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

childhood neighborhood.

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

to eye.

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

Cut Worms

Alien Sunset

Jagjaguwar

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

Alien Sunset.

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

throughout.

• Nathan Kunz

The Front Bottoms

Going Grey

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

Backwater

Ghostly International

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

a success.

• Jamie McNamara

Marilyn Manson

Heaven Upside Down

Loma Vista

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

wrong album.

• Bailey Barnson

52 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE


Teen Daze

Themes For A New Earth

FLORA

Wolf Parade

Cry Cry Cry

Sub Pop

livereviews

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

the listener.

• Paul McAleer

Trivium

The Sin and the Sentence

Roadrunner Records

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

following.

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

overall.

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

of heaviness.

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

voice.

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

Melkbelly

Nothing Valley

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


SAVAGE LOVE

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.

mail@savagelove.net

@fakedansavage

on Twitter

ITMFA.org

by Dan Savage

54 | NOVEMBER 2017 • BEATROUTE

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