Exposure Fest • Good Riddance • Sheepdogs • Blvd Noir • Ellen Doty • Anthrax • Frigs
FEBRUARY 2018 I EVENT LISTINGS
Friday February 2nd
Saturday February 3rd
Samantha Savage Smith
Sunday February 4th
Superbowl Chili Cook-off
Beer, Chili and Football!!
Friday February 9th
The Weir (EP Release)
Saturday February 10th
Phillips Brewing & Malt. Co Presents:
Jonathan Toubin’s Soul Clap and Dance
Off returns with guest selectors, celebrity
judges and killer bands!!
Friday February 16th
Saturday February 17th
Sunday February 18th
X92 presents the YYC alternative
market after party with Peter & the
Wolves, Eve Hell & The Razors, The Fake
Mustache Drag King Troupe and Miss
Friday February 23rd
Free The Cynics (Single Release/UK/Ireland
Tour Kick Off): Ten Minute Detour,
Conversation Killers, Andrew Franks
FREE UPSTAIRS - Band Of Rascals
and Bandolier Brigade
Saturday February 24th
Friday March 1st
Saturday March 3rd
Friday March 9th
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. Presents
Saturday March 10th
Wake (Album Release)
Fall City Fall
Tuesday March 13th
FREE UPSTAIRS - Shawn James (of the
Shapeshifters solo set) with Jon Whitehead
(Double Fuzz) & KV Raucous
Saturday March 24th
Buffalo Bud Buster
Monday March 26th
Friday March 30th
Saturday April 24th
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan with Ghostkeeper
and DRI HIEV
Saturday April 7th
Escape-Ism with Physical Copies and guests
Friday May 4th
Preoccupations with Freak Heat Waves
Saturday May 5th
Preoccupations with Melted Mirror
109 7TH AVE SW 403 532 1911 THEPALOMINO.CA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Exposure, The Lily, Burnt Toast Studio, Frida Kahlo
at the Glenbow, YYScene
Trevor Solway, To The Mountain, Brown Girl Begins,
5 Films To See, The Vidiot
Enter Shikari, Dashboard Confessional, Good
Riddance, The Sheepdogs, 54-40, Pizza Bath,
edmonton extra 32-35
Harcourt House, Fitness, Zebra Pulse, The Order
Of Chaos, Anzu, Adult Cartoon Party, Eye On
BLVD NOIR, The Ten Percent, Street Level, Cartel
Madras, Matt & Gill
Ellen Doty, I Am The Mountain, Soul In The City
Corrosion Of Conformity, Anthrax, This Month In
Frigs and much more ...
savage love 54
5th Anniversary party
Mikey’s Juke Joint on 10th Ave SW
Friday, Feb. 23
Social Media Coordinator
City :: Brad Simm
Film :: Morgan Cairns
Rockpile :: Christine Leonard
Edmonton Extra :: Brittany Rudyck
Jucy :: Paul Rodgers
Roots :: Liam Prost
Shrapnel :: Sarah Kitteringham
Reviews :: Jamie McNamara
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 • Miguel Morales •
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BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 3
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we got a little curious about
what the savvy folks in our community are listening to in order to put their
partner, or themselves in the mood. From mushy gushy love songs to full
records that make you want to get it on, we’ve compiled a list to help guide
you in your endeavors. It’s our Valentine’s gift to you... you’re welcome.
BY SARAH ALLEN AND BRITTANY RUDYCK
Mikaela Cochrane — Future Womb
Cochrane chose the song, “When You’re Smiling Adn Astride
Me” by Father John Misty. She said, “This whole album is gold
and I could rave about every song on it. The first time I listened
to the album front to back I was on acid during a romantic
getaway in the mountains and it was serious perfection. Lyrically
this song captures how terrifying and vulnerable being in
love is. As a writer who is typically pretty verbose, he’s at a loss
for words and can only express his overwhelming love feeling
in vowel sounds. The chorus of ‘Ohs’ is like a grand, shameless
orgasmic declaration of devotion.”
Matthew Doherty — The Dudes, Raleigh,
and the High Kicks
Two records stood out to Doherty. He put it
simply, “Glass Animals’ Zaba and Otis Redding’s
Otis Blue. Those are two albums that
you’ll want to listen to with someone else.
Because sex is amazing.
Kimberley Ilott — Aerial artist and dancer
Ilott knew her answer instantly and picked
“Room in Here” by Andersen .Paak. “It’s
cute, flirty, and sexy as fuck, with bass and
rhythms that make my hips slinky. Paak owns
the smooth seduction. The Game’s input on
romance is unfortunately less inspiring, but
overall the track is worth it.”
Evangelos Lambrinoudis —DJ & musician
No explanation needed. Lambrinoudis selected
“Hey Mister” by Custom. Seriously, look it up.
Marlaena Moore — Singer-songwriter
With possibly the best, most self-loving
answer we possibly could have asked for,
Moore told BeatRoute “I Feel Love” by Donna
Summer is her ultimate pick. She said, “Whenever
I listen to it I’m pretty sure an ancient
love goddess inhabits my body and makes me
feel like I can do anything. I guess what I’m
trying to say is that it’s a really good song to
Noelle Sawchuk — Manager of Local 510
Sawchuk found her favourite Valentine’s track by mistake
while looking for the theme music from the movie Badlands.
She said, “I would pick this song I’ve loved for years that makes
me feel like a really sexy human. It has a calm vibe but super
horny and feminine lyrics. Such great honest storytelling and
so attractively framed — a total one off. It’s called ‘The Lady
With The Braid’ and it’s by Dory Previn who I know absolutely
Arron Crook — The Northern Coast
Crook told BeatRoute his choice would have to be the sexy
song “Hot Dreams” by Timber Timbre but that his preferred
‘get it on’ album is Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. “I
love the soul aspect of Nathaniel Rateliff’s album, and ‘Hot
Dreams’ just creates such a visual and a type of sultry vibe,”
Cassia Hardy — Wares
Harding said that “Sweetest Taboo” by Sade is very special
to her. “It’s got a killer groove, sophisticated production and
arrangement. Sade’s voice is so reserved in its way, yet heavy
with emotion. The music video brings it to another level, lush
colours perfectly matching the mood.”
Celeigh Cardinal - Singer/Songwriter
‘I would say my favourite romantic song, or the song that I think is
the most romantic would be ‘Your Song’ by Elton John. I’ve written
many love songs that just pour out all my feelings for someone
and this song sums up exactly how I feel about it. All I can afford
to give these days is my love and my songs. It’s the very best that I
can do. ‘Your Song’ has always been one I relate to so much.”
Cara Ashbey - Assistant Manager, Starlite Room
“‘Forrest Gump’ by Frank Ocean is an incredibly romantic song!
The lyrics discuss his unrequited love for Forrest Gump and
arguably sitting in the metaphorical shoes of Jenny. It is almost
more romantic to be in love with the idea of another person, than
to every love them. ‘Forrest green, forrest blues, I’m remembering
you, If this is love, I know it’s true, I won’t forget you’”
Stacey Cann – Visual Artist
“The Ramones ‘I Want To Be Your Boyfriend’ because it’s the
perfect mix of cheese and sweet.”
Chris Chang-Yen Phillips–News Coordinator, CJSR 88.5 FM
“On their own, the two most romantic songs I can think of are
‘Cocoon’ by Björk, and ‘Leisure Suite’ by Feist. They both capture
something honest about sex, intimacy, and
longing. But really, a romantic song can be
whatever brings you closer to an actual person
(or people). I feel really close to my husband
whenever I hear Northern Lights by Bowerbirds,
because it used to be the alarm song on his
phone. Same with ‘Dust to Dust’ by The Civil
Wars, because we sang it a lot together while
driving down highways at night. And ‘Chica
Chica Boom Chic’ by Carmen Miranda makes
the list too, because it makes us both laugh
every time we hear it.”
Ryn Climenhaga – Programming Assistant,
“Stan Rogers ‘45 Years’ is my top choice for
romantic song. It’s a testament to a lasting love.
He sings about meeting the woman he fell in
love with and how still, after 23 years, he cant
quite find the words to tell her how much he
loves her. It really makes me feel like even these
tumultuous times, there’s still hope for love (I’m
secretly a total sap).”
Perry Gratton– Edmonton Theatre Artist
“‘Porcelain; by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It’s got that
smiley naivety of new love while acknowledging
the messiness of life.”
Tanyss Nixi – Wildwood
“I think Massive Attack is good make-out music
because it puts you in a trance, and you’re
not going to suddenly fade in for a minute to
some distractingly stupid lyric that throws off your hot moves.
Most romantic song to me is Nick Cave’s ‘Ship Song,’ it just has
this sweet sorrowful melody and it’s all ‘loose your dogs upon
me’ and ‘burn your bridges down,’ it’s about letting go and
letting love conquer you, even when it could potentially destroy
you. I’m totally into that.”
Deicha Carter – Torchettes
“Anything by Morphine makes me GIGI. It’s very ‘saxual.’“
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 5
Arlen’s new funhouse opens this February, are you ready for the challenge?
BY CHRISTINE LEONARD
The thrill that accompanies pulling back the plunger and sending a little
silver ball screaming up the rails is as universal as the sigh of satisfaction
that comes with biting into a perfectly prepared sandwich. All the better
when these two immensely gratifying activities are paired together. That’s
exactly what local restaurateur and BBQ-guru Arlen Smith had in mind when
he struck upon the notion of PinBar. A dynamic game and grain combo that
will satiate your hunger for thumping bumpers and delicious tucker.
“The concept behind PinBar is fairly simple, a room that has great music
playing, lots of pinball machines to keep you entertained, killer food including
well-crafted sandwiches, appetizers and comfort food,” says Smith who is
looking forward to launching his latest venture in late February. “People can
expect a space that is playing great music, giving excellent service, has delicious
food at a good value. PinBar is a treat for the senses, because nothing is
more eye-catching than a row, or two, of pinball machines.”
“I’ve been working in bars since 1998,” he explains. “I took The Palomino
Smokehouse over in 2012 and have been concentrating on two of my favorite
things: live music and barbeque. Now i am going into this new space to
carry on working with things i truly enjoy. In this case, pinball and great food.”
As the second-half of the fledgling establishment’s name implies, there
is a pubtastic element to PinBar. The innovative Smith is looking forward to
tempting his clientelle with a surprising selection of beverages designed to
appeal to a wide-variety of pinball enthusiasts.
“PinBar will feature an extensive craft beer and cocktail list,” Smith
confirms. “And, for the first time in a business I’ve been involved with, a great
selection of non-alcoholic cocktails! We will also have Kombucha on tap, as
well as two types of cold brew coffee.”
Does this mean that parents and the all-ages crowd have gained another
haunt? Hell, yes!
“The target clientele is anyone who likes to have fun. We are trying our
best, as with the other venues I am and have been a part of, to be totally
inclusive to everyone. We will be family-friendly until 8pm Sunday to
Wednesday and before 4pm Thursday to Saturday. So, people can bring their
family down to play games and have some awesome food.”
Oh, we’re all about the food. Bonus play, PinBar’s masterfully-balanced
menu promises to draw would-be pinball wizards away from the bright lights
and chiming bells inside those glass cabinets.
“For the food end of things, we will be curing and making a bunch of items
in-house and putting out the best cold and hot sandwiches in the city. The
recipes are based off of some of my culinary favourites from around North
America; a French dip a la Phillipe’s in Los Angeles, a pastrami sandwich inspired
by Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh. We will also have a wonderful selection
of main courses, for those who don’t want a sandwich and would prefer to
have something not jammed between tasty slices of bread!”
Feeling adventurous? PinBar wants to feed your competitive spirit.
“We will have a ‘Challenge Sandwich’ that’s a total monster. If you eat the
whole thing in 30 minutes it’s free!”
Good luck staggering back to the office after attempting that noonhour
“Hopefully people will want to come hang-out for lunch, stop in for happy
hour and come party and play games all night long,” Smith continues. “The
prime location on 17th Avenue and 4th Street is the crossroads of the restaurant
scene of 4th and the nightlife of 17th, which is perfect for us as we are
not only food but fun-focused, as well. We hope to get people in for the great
food and to stay for the good times. That being said, we’ll have a more relaxed
and low key ‘Rumpus Room’ area at the front of the bar for those who want
to grab a booth and relax.”
Lounging with drink-in-hand is a worthy pastime in itself, but the allure of
PinBar’s neon-hued machines is bound to get diner’s flipping-out for analog
“There will be 18 games when we open our doors. I am a big fan of the
games that feature the art of Dirty Donny (he is a close personal friend). I also
recommend The Pabst Can Crusher and Aerosmith machines, but I would
have to say that the Metallica game is probably my favourite. From the art to
the soundtrack, in my opinion, it’s of the funnest games out there.”
Racking up points and downing frosty pints sounds simple enough, but according
to Smith the flipside of hustling a good game of pinball comes down
to hand-eye coordination and what the individual brings to the table.
“There really is only one way to become a ‘Wizard’ and that is practice,
PinBar grand opening takes place 22 Feb. at 501-17th ave S.W.
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 7
FRIDA KAHLO: HER PHOTOS
portrait of an artist in photography
BY B. SIMM
EXPOSURE PHOTO FEST
Olivier Du Tré —Seeking Stillness
Now in its 14th year, Exposure is a rare, ambitious photography
festival that takes place at over 40 different locations across
Alberta and hosts more than 60 events (most are free) that
includebook launches, photography workshops, film screenings,
panel discussions and numerous opening receptions. Dona
Schwartz, President and Board Chair for Exposure, reveals a bit
of the festival’s inner workings, but primarly encourages you to
go and indulge on the vast array of fantastic photograhpy.
HOW DOES THE SELECTION PROCESS WORK?
To participate in the festival, museums, galleries, groups with exhibition
spaces, and photographers organize exhibitions and list them
with us. The Exposure Photography Festival is an inclusive, community
supported event. We have also launched our own exhibitions.
Continuing from last year’s festival we are hosting an international
Open Call exhibition. Submissions for this exhibition have come from
around the world. Andrea Kunard, Associate Curator of Photographs
Frida stomach down — Nickolas Muray, 1946 ©Frida Kahlo Museum at the National Gallery of Canada, juried those submissions to put
together a fantastic exhibition of contemporary photography. Our
rida Kahlo, the revered Mexican painter known for her stunning you how she presented herself to the world. Her father did a lot
Emerging Photographers Showcase presents the best work by photographers
living in Alberta. It is a surprising and delightful exhibition.
self-portraits and visual art blending fantasy and surrealism, also of self-portraits, and you get a sense that from an early age that
had a significant relationship with photography. During her lifetime she was exposed to this idea of self-portraiture: Why would you
Selections were made by the Exposure Board of Directors, all of whom
more than 6,000 images were taken of the artist, mostly by her do that and what are you communicating to people through that
are professionally engaged with photography.
father, Guillermo, a professional photographer, in addition to friends self-portrait? It’s not simply smiling for the camera. From the photos
of hers at different points in her life, as well as some by Kahlo herself. you really get a sense there’s this image she wanted to project. And
Is there a differece in the festival’s approach from previous
Archived in her famous Blue House (now a museum) until 2007, then as a painter she did over 50 self-portraits, and those are her
some of the photographs come from formal sittings while others most recognizable works.”
are more candid snapshots. However, considering the time frame Stricken by polio at the age of six, which left her with one leg We are reaching out to a broader audience than ever before. The festival
is well known within the photography community but we aim to
¬– early to mid 1900s ¬– photography was far more involved and thinner than the other, there was also the possibility that she suffered
from spina bifida. Then in her late teens she was in a near-fatal shine a spotlight on photography by bringing our exhibitions, events
expensive than now with its equipment and darkroom requirements,
so that anyone pursuing it usually had a serious interest. bus accident that fractured her pelvis, ribs, legs and collarbone and activities to the public. We are all photographers—how many of
Frida Kahlo: Her Photos is a international exhibition making its leaving her bedridden for over a year. During the isolation Kahlo us use our smart phones to photograph a funny pet or a great meal
way to Glenbow Museum starting February 3 running until the started to explore questions of identity and existence leading her and post it on social media? In so many ways, photography is a part
third week in March with a total of 240 photos on display. Melanie “to begin again, painting things just as I saw them with my own of our daily lives and Exposure aims to raise awareness of the medium
Kjorlien, VP of Collection and Exhibitions at the Glenbow, provides eyes, nothing more.”
and interrogate its role. Most of all we aim to surprise and delight.
Kjorlien feels that some of the most compelling photos of Kahlo
“It covers all periods of her life –there’s periods of her as a child, a are from a section of the exhibition that the curator refers as to as Are they any special events would you highlight?
young woman, through adulthood. It’s a really good cross-section of “her broken body.”
The Fence is an amazing outdoor juried photography exhibition
the different phases in her life and the different people from those “There’s a grouping of images that show her recuperating from making its international debut here in Calgary. It will be installed
phases as well as certain things that influenced her which gives us different surgeries in hospital beds, where she’s clearly not well but on fencing starting at the Peace Bridge in Eau Claire Park, heading
some insight as to who she was.”
playful and painting. You just get a sense of the impact all those east towards our festival hub at Eau Claire Market. it’s unique, it’s
It’s evident that photography was a considerable factor in Kahlo’s surgeries had on her, and how it really affected her life in so many outstanding, and you won’t want to miss it. This year’s festival will be
artistic development as a painter. Early on and through out her life different ways. Those images I find really quite poignant.”
extraordinary. Come to the festival hub at Eau Claire Market and help
she was the subject of her father’s work which also affected how she
us celebrate the festival launch on Saturday, February 3.
came to view herself and her environment.
Frida Kahlo: Her Photos runs from Saturday, Feb. 3 to Wednesday,
“Although the photos don’t reveal that she was inspired to be March 21.
A complete schedule and detailed information about photographers,
a professional photographer herself,” says Kjorlien, “it does inform
venues and events is at www.exposurephotofestival.com
8 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ARTS
ROMEO and JULIET
for ARTS and CREATVITY
Ballet BC is thrilled to have this iconic story
expertly crafted by French choreographer Medhi
Walerski, one of the most original contemporary
voices in international dance today. Set to Sergei
Prokofiev’s original score, this full-length commission
showcases Walerski’s signature style that
brings together dazzling landscapes woven with
poetic, unpredictable, and complex imagery.
A collaboration between Dutch set and lighting
designer Theun Mosk, an international team
of collaborators, and the Arts Umbrella Graduate
Dance Program, Ballet BC’s Romeo and Juliet will
be a fresh and thought-provoking retelling of this
Saturday, Feb. 10
THE OLD TROUTS
In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and
What Alice Found There, Alice comes across a
poem which makes no sense – or rather, as Alice
puts it: “Somhow it seems to fill my head with
ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are!
However, somebody killed something:that’s clear,
at any rate.”
The poem, called Jabberwocky, is one of the
most renowned and beloved examples of total
nonsense in the English language. In their
newest production, the Trouts use the poem as
a launching point for a wildly surreal investigation
into the nature of monsters and their
slayers, the stories that structure our lives, and
the cosmic nonsense that forms the foundation
of it all.
The Trouts are busily inventing a new style of puppetry
for the show, inspired by paper ‘toy theatres’
popular in Lewis Carroll’s time, fused with the
contemporary language of film. Using intricately
layered two dimensional puppets and sets, the
effect is like an animated movie or an illustrated
pop-up book created live before your eyes on
stage. The show was commissioned by Le Festival
Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon, France, and is slated
to premiere in early 2017, making a few stops in
North America before heading to Spain, France,
and Edinburgh for the summer.
Jabberwocky runs from Wednesday, Feb. 21 to
Sunday, March 4, 2018 at the DJD Studio.
YYSCENE’s quick scan go-to-guide for February
Right! February! Let’s do this, you
typically dull, cold, month we
endure waiting patiently for spring!
Whatcha got? Oh, quite a lot as it
turns out. Here’s a run-down”
Kicking off the month that
I personally love (not for Valentine’s
Day, people— that’s a
load of crap) is Milky Chance’s
Blossom Tour with Lewis Capaldi
at MacEwan Hall on Feb. 1.
The Particle + Wave Media Arts
Festival takes place Feb. 1-3, and
you should really check it out.
Portugal the Man with Hollerado
play MacEwan Hall on Feb. 6,
The Punk Version –Theatre Junction Feb. 22-25
and then learn a little something
about one of Hollywood’s most
fascinating actors at Doc Soup — Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story over at
Cineplex Eau Claire Feb. 7.
On Feb. 8 you can check out Romes at The Gateway, and then for some
comedy head to the Grey Eagle on Feb. 9 for Chris D’Elia. EDM more your thing?
Paul Oakenfold with Dom G and Guest Who will be doing their thing at The
Palace, also on Feb. 9. But Feb. 10! Yes you’ll want to be at the Jack Singer for A
Symphonic Tribute to Prince! Seriously. Purple Rain with orchestra (single tear
down my face. Snap out of it!). Feb. 13 you can see Enter Shikari with Milk Teeth
at the Commonwealth (ShiKARI. Love these guys) and then From Feb. 15-18
you’ll be inundated with great music in Inglewood during the Folk Festival’s
annual Block Heater festival — Justin Townes Earle, Windigo, Raleigh, Leeroy
Stagger, Yolanda Sargeant, Dan Bern, Astral Swans ... so much to see. Or, take
in some great local theatre artists Feb. 15 with Intimately Awe — the second
instalment of To The Awe. Why not?
Need some metal in your life? Distortion’s the place to get it, and on Feb. 16
they will have Cabrakaan playing for your musical enjoyment. Also on Feb 16
you should try to catch Flowshine’s Record Release at Mikey’s on 12th. Local
dudes! Feb. 17 at MacEwan Hall you can catch Black Label Society with Corrosion
of Conformity and Eyehategod. (Hah. Clever.) From Feb. 21-March 4 you
should make a point of seeing The Old Trouts Puppet Workshop’s production
of Jabberwocky at the DJD Centre — PUPPETS! Then over at Theatre Junction
from Feb. 22-25 is My Fair Lady — The Punk Version by Productive Obsession.
Looks good, but so does Dashboard Confessional’s We Fight Tour 2018 with
guests at Mac Hall. Go forth. See stuff.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 9
a refreshing breeze with Christy and Fraser
BY B. SIMM
“This is the first radio station
where I can say that I don’t like
a song. The programmer is still
going to play what they have
their list, but I can say on-air that
I don’t like it. Everywhere else I’ve
worked, you have to put on the
face of the station, and the
‘Hi, I love everything’ attitude.”
Amid the avalanche of media that we get caught up in each day, early someone talk about peeing or pooping out loud is the funniest thing. Farrell
morning radio is a pleasant way to be bombarded by info bites and then chirps in with the adult punch line, “Oh, is that their excuse,” adding a
soundtracks. There are, of course, a variety of choices to consume the air little extra as to why grown-ups might pee on each other. Hehe.
waves while lying in bed with one eye open, putting on the coffee or, all too Good innuendos are part of C&F’s yin and yang charm directed by unpretentious
chit-chat that’s light-hearted but engaging with everyday topics that
often, stuck on Glenmore Trail on route to work.
Some folks prefer the chatty talk show hosts rehashing yesterday’s news range from airport travel, cooking meals, walking the dog, treating hangovers
while manning the call lines from chatty citizens, some like frat house humour
despite it seldom scores more than three stars out of five, some need by texting comments directly to C&F, helping to kick-start the day with a
and pulling through the divorce. Their fanbase of regular listeners join in
their shot of classic rock or contemporary twang, while others prefer the morning coffee.
serenity of jazz, classical concertos or peaceful, easy listening with little to no “We just talk about normal shit. People text in, we talk about their shit,
talk at all. And some us just flip to a station so the kid strapped in the safety and it’s almost as easy as doing this conversation,” says Tuff, explaining their
seat is satisfied.
relaxed, accommodating approach.
101.5 Kool FM plays all the pop songs bubbling up the charts. A lot
Farrell adds that 101.5 FM’s hands-off policy allows them to have up to
hip-pop: silky-smooth hip-hop and sexy R&B for the masses. It’s stuff most 30 minutes of talk time, which, for commercial stations, breaks the format.
folkies, rockers, metalheads and country fans dread and denounce as sappy “Usually you have three to four minutes an hour of ins and outs filling it with
insipid shit. Too bad for them. Lorde makes fantastic records, fading divas some he-hes and blah-blahs. But they wanted it unplanned, so we have a lot
Gaga and Katy Perry leave a trail of gems behind, Taylor Swift, Sia and Portugal
The Man spew out infectious smash hits, and Bruno Mars is the dashing would be told to shut up!”
of talk time. I don’t know where I would be able to work again, because we
love child of Prince and/or Michael Jackson. The shit is often irresistible, hardly
insipid. But who would know unless you had a teen or preteen strapped in program before switching to another in Saskatoon called the Western
Originally from Edmonton, Farrell enrolled in NAIT’s broadcasting
the back seat of the SUV.
Academy of Broadcasting. Referred to as WABC, she fondly says it’s more
Kool FM also comes with a pleasant surprise called Christy and Fraser – a well known as “the Western Academy of Bingo Calling.” After working
morning show tag-team that bottles the right stuff. They’re not zany, not in Northern BC, she relocated to the Okanagan Valley were she was
cranked on caffeine, not slick, definitely not rock jocks, they’re clever but head-hunted by 101.5 FM and brought to Calgary.
it’s not a political podcast, they’re fun and spirited with the right amount of “She was offered a job, and I had to fucking beg for one,” jokes Tuff,
on-air zest that doesn’t dumb-it-down and insult your intelligence like most who’s been in radio a number of years. Trained in Lethbridge he’s moved
biff-bam-pow stations do ad nauseam.
around from Fort Mac to Brandon to Regina then Calgary spending seven
Christy, last name is Farrell, defends other talk show hosts saying, “Sometimes
I wonder if they’re allowed to be anything else. While they (radio at Kool FM. “This is the first radio station where I can say that I don’t like a
years at X92. Like Farrell, Tuff enjoys and appreciates the freedom he has
station management) want you to be you, it’s their version of you. But where song. The programmer is still going to play what they have their list, but I
we work, your flaws, they embrace them. We don’t get in trouble for making can say on-air that I don’t like it. Everywhere else I’ve worked, you have to
put on the face of the station, and the ‘Hi, I love everything’ attitude.” In
There’s definitely a natural shoot-from-the-hip banter between the two mocking unison, C&F harmonize, “You gotta love the music!”
that easily slides into a comic routine that, like all good PG comedy, works for To be clear, Kool Fm doesn’t just play the latest by Ed Sheeran. AC/
the kids, mom and dad. On one occasion C&F were discussing how to ease DC, Tom Petty are staples and even Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” came
the pain and prevent infection from a jellyfish bite that might happen during blasting through the speakers when “Fast Eddie” Clark, one of the band’s
that warm, mid-winter tropical getaway. Fraser (Tuff) said that peeing on founding members, passed away. Fun family radio for anyone who gives a
the bite helps to disinfect the wound. Of course, any seven year-old hearing shit about good radio.
10 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ARTS
new DIY artist-run space where “art is fun”
In the heart of Calgary’s Mission, a small collective of artists have transformed the basement of a
century old house into a bright, shadowless, DIY gallery space, intended for artists of all media to
share their work. It is called The Lily.
“The space itself is not about one person. It was designed for the community. We wanted it to be a
place for writers, curators and artists to come together,” says Lily.
An experiment in what can be done with a space and community of artists, the space itself has
white walls, white floors and a plethora of fluorescent lights creating a blinding and immersive room
where art hangs as if floating. Replete with outdoor fire, DJs and a small party at each opening.
The Lily has hosted three shows since its inception in the summer of 2017, and is currently showing
the artwork of Eureka, California based visual artist Stephen Nacthigall, who has exhibited his work in
Canada, the United States, Scotland and Germany.
Titled lost in the meshes, Nachtigall’s work is an exploration of the relationship between technology
and the natural world. Using computer software, video and sculptures to alter and manipulate
images of plant life, he creates “growing pictures, translated and repackaged but still reaching to
express an environment, a changing climate, a continual emergence. Pictures weaving in and out,
reaching across to touch vertices and edges.”
Adding, “The imagery in this show reflects the merging of those two in some way. It’s interesting
that this computer software is trying to emulate these natural images, in the colours and textures,”
says Nachtigall. “There’s always a push and pull between nature and technology. If we look at serious
issues with more of a hybridity of the two, it may be a more healthy way to find solutions.” Going
forward, The Lily will be continually looking for new submissions and collaborations.
“There’s value in an idea,” says Lily. “This can be a space for anyone from established to emerging
Adding that such DIY spaces create new cultures in Calgary’s art community. “I think a lot of these
DIY, artist-run spaces haven’t been around for a quite some time. It brings a new form of history
back into the city. Our space can be a reminder that art is fun, and doesn’t necessarily have to be
BY MICHAEL GRONDIN
To contact The Lily, reach out to the email@example.com and for information on showings visit
@the.lily_ on Instagram.
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 11
BURNT TOAST STUDIO
reworking love and fostering the silk screening community
For Karolina Gajewska, who serves as the president of the Board of
Directors at Burnt Toast Studio, building out artist studios to be
accessible and usable has gone hand in hand with supporting a creative
community. Burnt Toast, as happily described by Gajewska, “provides
studio spaces to artists at an affordable rate and welcomes many artists.
Though the emphasis is on silk screening we have painters, designers and
sculpturists; and anybody is welcome to rent a space.”
Hosting 23 members is no small job, and the studio has opened a
show space, completed renovations and plans on creating lesson plans
to help beginners and others learn about the silk screening process.
Regardless of commitment level, Burnt Toast hopes to offer affiliate
memberships to allow involvement in the community, and use of their
equipment and expertise. Including an etching press as well as a woodshop
so users can make the contraptions they need to work on their art
With a focus on music, after printing the Sled Island Poster Show for
the last 3 years and working out of Burnt Toast studio for 5 years, Gajewska
successfully helped host Burnt Toast’s first poster show last year
-which is how the upcoming “Love Show” was born. In an attempt to rework
Valentine’s Day, a showcase created for Burnt Toast Studio’s artists
“[brought] designers together in an attempt to highlight them and give
them a chance to meet other people in the community.” Gajewska says,
“it’s given us a chance to design something that isn’t necessarily work but
that can be presented and celebrated.”
Valentine’s Day seemed like a natural choice for a show, but the concept quickly took on a life of its
own. “It’s been a great way to bond the various designers and silk screeners working both in and out of
BY ARIELLE LESSARD
Burnt Toast Studio and work on something collaboratively. After some conversations,
we thought about going back to our elementary years when we gave
cards to our friends and family to show them love and care instead of keeping it
to romantic partners. A lot of us are single or not in traditional relationships, and
there’s not a day where we celebrate our friends specifically.”
As a collective their artists decided to get nostalgic and design cards in a move
to build community around silk screening: “some are romantic and traditional,
some are less than romantic, some are very sexual, and some are awfully cute.”
In the studio, Gajewska describes how artists can link up with one another,
“share their own designs, discuss and get feedback about their inspiration and
techniques […] We never had any community events in the space or with each
other because the old space didn’t really allow for us to do a tone so it’s been fun
to bring everyone together. So much of it is word of mouth, so we’re excited to
launch these events and future projects so we can get more people in the studio
to learn how to silkscreen, understand the concepts and grow the community.”
Burnt Toast is a place where people can come and do art, but Gajewska hopes
it can continue to grow and double down as a resourceful and lively common
space, perhaps even a first thought “for people in need of an illustration or a chat
with someone who understands the concepts of design.” Burnt Toast can help
you find an artist, and those links have and are being patiently built, “there are
a lot of people that aren’t necessarily part of the studio but could be referred to
from here.” Burnt Toast is teeming with opportunities for peer support, knowledge
sharing and collaboration.
Visit burnttoaststudio.com for more information and to sign up for updates on workshops and poster shows.
Feb 1: Chris Gheran
Feb 8: El Niven & The Alibi
Feb 15: Amy Hef
Feb 22: Brent Tyler
12 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ARTS
TRIM SIZE: 10.25"W x 11.5" H, RIGHT HAND PAGE
“...inspired ... timely
...a fantastical visual
world ...as bleak as
it is funny.”
–The Globe & Mail
creativity and talent
– Vue Magazine,
February 21 – March 4
DJD Dance Centre
Evenings: 8:00 pm
Matinees: 2:00 pm
the new wave of young Indigenous filmmaker
Trevor Solway: cutting a path for the up-and-coming. PHOTO: HANNAH MANYGUNS
At just 25, Siksika-goo-wan filmmaker
Trevor Solway has directed, distinctive narrative on parenting, from
families lives. The 10 minute film offers an
filmed, edited, and produced seven an Indigenous perspective.
of his own short-films. Receiving his “Our parents, you know, they learnt
certificate in Indigenous Independent how to be parents from residential school
Digital Filmmaking from Capilano survivors. They didn’t always have the
University, and a bachelor of Communications
greatest examples. If we’re going to move
from Mount Royal Uni-
forward as Native People, we need to
versity, his extensive education has be able to forgive each other, forgive our
strengthened Solway’s natural knack parents, and show some grace.”
The film’s cinematography is a prize for
“I started off as a creative writer. That the eyes, along with great performances by
was really the only outlet I had, because all actors involved. Solway says he couldn’t
you only need a pencil and a paper to have made a film like Indian Giver without
do that, and, when you’re from the rez his mentors’ guidance, and credits his professors
and you don’t got a lotta’ money, that’s
and friends at Capilano University.
all you need.”
“I went to an all Indigenous film school.
But when he picked up a camera for We had a class called Indigenous cinema,
the first time at age 20, suddenly everything
and I learned a lot. You know, Native
started to click.
People were some of the first people
“Once I broke down what it was, the to be documented on film. We were
components of it, and how to use it, the in those nickle machines that Thomas
limits were just endless,” he beams, “Film’s Edison made, where these flashing images
my preferred medium of choice.”
shown in black and white, and in one of
Solways most note-worthy film to them, there were these Indigenous tribes
date, Indian Giver, was shot in Siksika and doing their ceremony. So we’ve been
tells the tale of a father who’s been absent at the forefront of film for a long time,”
for 15 years, and tries to get back into his notes Solway.
BY HANNAH MANYGUNS
“But, in the earlier days of film,
Indigenous people weren’t portrayed
the right way, and what that’s resulted
in is a complete uneducation of North
America. A lot of non-Indigenous
people had the idea that natives were
primitive, not caught up in society,
second-class, and that we were these
blood-thirsty savages they seen in
Western movies. That’s not the case.
We’ve been vastly mis-represented in
films. And, you know, I think that’s just
because Native people aren’t making,
or aren’t put in positions, to make
films. When you go back to when we
had all of these big up-and-coming
filmmakers learning their craft, like
Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino,
Native People couldn’t even gather
in groups of five. When the potlatch
and Sundance ban happened, the Canadian
government didn’t want Native
People getting together to practice
their ceremonies. If you can’t even
practice your ceremonies, how could
you even make a film? These are the
kind of ideas we explored in Capilano.”
Solway strives to carve out opportunity
for up-and-coming indigenous
filmmakers by being a mentor himself. In
partnership with Canada Bridges, he has
been running youth film camps for the
past four years, with the camps taking
place in Morley, Siksika, and Calgary.
“I’m just trying to give that opportunity
that I never had. When I was
young I’d see filmmaking workshops,
but they’d always be in Calgary. And
it wasn’t possible for me to go to that
when I was a kid. So now, when I put
up these film camp posters, I take
pride that it says: ‘Location – Siksika’.
It gives the youth a chance to tell
stories. That’s the goal of these film
camps, to create that new wave of
young Indigenous filmmakers, and get
cameras into their hands a lot younger
than I was.”
Solway is currently in post-production
for a docu-series called The Intertribal
Series. Created in partnership with CJSW,
“this series profiles four indigenous artists
from Treaty 7 area,” explains Solway.
“We have Armond Duck Chief, Darcy
Turning Robe, Bebe Buckskin, and Olivia
Tailfeathers.” Viewers can expect the
series to be screened in Calgary in the
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 15
BROWN GIRL BEGINS
post-apocalyptic/Carribean film rethinks Black History — future now!
here my mother ends, I begin.” – Here
“Wlies a powerful message introduced at
the inception of director Sharon Lewis’ debut
full-length feature, Brown Girl Begins. Set in
2049, addiction has led to the segregation of
the wealthy from the poor. The post-apocalyptic
tale follows Ti-Jeanne, a young priestess
faced with a life-altering decision. She must
either risk resurrecting and surviving possession
of the spirits responsible for the death of
her own mother, or lay-witness to the demise
of her people.
The essence of Brown Girl Begins lies within
Nalo Hopkinson’s award winning novel, Brown
Girl in the Ring.
When asked what ignited that inspiration,
Sharon Lewis reflected passionately, “Its the
first time I ever read a novel that was set in
Canada – a dystopian novel that was set in
Canada with Caribbean people. The idea that
Nalo could take a city like Toronto in particular
and paint it as a dystopia, and have this
futuristic view of a place where I grew up blew
my mind. I just was inspired by this idea that
we could see a Canadian landscape on film in
a whole different way.”
Though easily warranting appreciation for
the stunning visuals employed throughout,
the film projects significant commentary.
Lewis says, “It does speak to what’s happening
now. And dystopia allows you to push it
a little bit further. The kinds of polarization
5 FILMS TO SEE ...
February’s must-see movies
February is interconnected with the concept of love, which
is shown in a variety of forms in films being shown this
month. Grab a date (or yourself) to experience these classic
noir/drama/thrillers firsthand at your local theatre.
The first glance of Ayako Murai (Isuzu Yamada), in her slanted
white hat, one may think she is the wife of a rich man. Kenji
Mizoguchi brings to the screen the story of a switchboard
operator turned prostitute to keep her father out of jail and
brother in school. Murai becomes the mistress of her boss Sumiko
Asai (Yôko Umemura) who has been pursuing her endlessly.
Through this frank portrayal of sex work, we experience
the tumultuous decisions Murai must make and the rejection
she must accept.
Espressokino presents Osaka Elegy at The Roasterie on Thursday,
Feb. 1 at 8:00 PM
Brown Girl Begins screens in Calgary as part of the Block Heater festival
we’re seeing in politics right now could lead to
segregation of the wealthy and poor. So that
doesn’t feel that far out.
“Detroit was the inspiration for Nalo, for
the novel. Detroit is the city we are portraying.
The idea that people have abandoned
a city and the wealthy have fled, the little
political governance. Detroit is on the mend
now, but we’re seeing that in large American
cities, portions of large American cities, and
mugshots. The honeymoon phase ends abruptly when Ed is
informed she cannot have children. The only logical decision?
To kidnap a baby. H.I. takes pride in his new role of felon father
by being chased and shot at for stealing Huggies for their
abducted son, Nathan Jr.
Raising Arizona screens at Eau Claire Market Cinema Friday, Feb. 2
at 9:15 PM
A tape recorder starts playing and the voice speaking creates
a sense of familiarity. In this 1971 neo-noir crime-thriller, Jane
Fonda plays call-girl Bree Daniels who lives in New York City.
A picturesque family man goes missing and there is reason
to believe Daniels is the only connection. John Klute (Donald
Sutherland) plays a private detective who follows Daniels
through the city built on her beguiling profession. As an
audience we feel as lost in the labyrinth of sexual deviance and
darkness as our leading characters who attempt to connect
Calgary Cinematheque presents Klute at The Plaza Theatre on
Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:00
BY BREANNA WHIPPLE
what I want to do is wake Canada up to the
fact that it could happen here. I think sometimes
we feel very safe... but that kind of
polarization in politics has been happening
here in Canada, as well.”
The message does not solely lie within
the confines of the film, either. “Its opening
across Canada but we’re doing it under a
rebranding of Black History Month called
Black Future Month,” explains Lewis. “We
are really trying to challenge this idea of
the way we look at black people in Canada,
which is oftentimes to celebrate the history
of blacks. Although we think that’s really
important, we really, really want to push the
gaze into the future.”
The event in Calgary also includes musical
performances by Comrade and A.Y.E.,
The Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Yolanda
Sargeant, the latter which stars and sings in
Brown Girl Begins.
In summation, Lewis states her mission.
“One – Let’s get woke as Canadians and see
that these issues are here, not just south
of the border. Two – I want young women,
and women of colour to be inspired and to
know that they have the power to change the
circumstances that they’re living in.”
Catch Brown Girl Begins at the Festival Hall
during Block Heater on Saturday, Feb. 17.
BY CHLOE LAWSON
romance than a director/estranged husband demanding the
leading star to terminate her symbolic red hair? In this film noir
of smoke and funhouse mirrors Orson Welles plays Michael
O’Hara who becomes spellbound with the striking blonde Elsa
Bannister (Rita Hayworth) after her husband hires him as one
of his seamen. Among the dark depths of the unpredictable
ocean the two discover love, murder, and that everybody is
The Lady from Shanghai will screen at the Globe Cinema on
Tuesday, Feb. 20.
STRANGER THAN PARADISE
A young woman places her two bags down and turns on her
cassette player. She continues walking down the desolate street
as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins belts out “I Put a Spell on You”. This
Jim Jarmusch flick tells the tale of Willie (John Lurie) who takes
in his Hungarian cousin, Eva (Eszter Balint) in battered early
‘8os’ borough of NYC. Willie’s friend, Eddie (Richard Edson)
joins them on a road trip to paradise, aka Florida. With dry
amusement we watch human existence as this film takes us
into its subjective realm. Like Eddie says, “You come someplace
new and everything looks just the same.”
Stranger Than Paradise screens at the Globe Cinema on Saturday,
Living by one’s true nature can be difficult due to upbringing
and “screwed up” genes, according to felon H.I. McDonnough
(Nicholas Cage). In this dark comedy Joel Cohen shows life
through the revolving door of the justice system. H.I. meets THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
his wife, Ed (Holly Hunter) an officer who routinely takes his What way would better represent crippling Hollywood
16 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE FILM
Blade Runner 2049
The Battle of the Sexes
The most sexist thing about sport is that
female athletes pay double what men pay for
steroids. Back in the ‘70s, however, the sport
in this dramedy capitalized off that inequality.
To prove superiority over women, and
feed his gambling addiction, former #1
Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) comes out of
retirement to challenge current top-female
tennis player Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) to
a bout. While initially refusing, the closeted
King eventually agrees to face the chauvinist
on the court. In the process, however, the
marriages of both players disintegrate.
With a comedic supporting cast on hand
to facilitate its talented leads, this true
story provides the backstory of the oddball
pair that has always been missing from the
much-ballyhooed match. Moreover, its
socially conscience subject matter mirrors our
current climate of social change.
Lastly, men and women can be equal in
sport so long as men don’t wear cups.
Blade Runner 2049
The downside to having a robotic lover is
that your romantic baths always end in electrocution.
Smartly, the Blade Runner in this
sci-fi thriller keeps his sex-bot on his frontal
K (Ryan Gosling) is an engineered human
employed by the LAPD for the purpose of
tracking down and liquidating maverick
replicates. When he learns of a replicate that
reproduced, K’s superior (Robin Wright)
orders him to kill the offspring before the
manufacturer (Jared Leto) can exploit the
glitch. K’s search for the lost lovechild finds
him face-to-face with the Blade Runner who
held his position previously, Deckard (Harrison
A visual feast with absorbing concepts but
measured pacing and a taxing runtime, this
long awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982
adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s book is a worthy
successor to the equally sluggish original.
Incidentally, when delivering a mechanical
baby make sure not to cut the wrong cord.
If magic were real than sawing someone in
half would not end in a jail sentence. Fortunately,
the alternate earth in this action-fantasy
has seen a recent increase in enchantment.
In a world where Tolkien-type creatures
live in harmony alongside humanity, LAPD
officer Ward (Will Smith) and his Orkish partner
Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) are tasked with
maintaining that delicate balance. But an elf
(Lucy Fry) with a magic wand being sought by
a dark elf (Noomi Rapace) - intent on reviving
the Dark Lord - threatens that harmony. Now,
the odd couple must protect the girl and the
wish-granting wand whilst battling their own
A paint-by-numbers buddy-picture,
Netflix’s first foray into blockbuster territory
is a tepid one. While the concept is serviceable,
the racial comparisons are bordering on
offensive. Moreover, the action, dialogue and
character designs are all questionable.
Worse, the Orc’s rap album sold more than
Will Smith’s last one.
Extreme weather isn’t global warming; it’s
God trying to wipe out humanity again.
Thankfully, this disaster movie has a Noah of
its own to protect the wayward sinners.
When a system of satellites he designed
to control Earth’s climate begins to attack
it, the ousted Jake (Gerard Butler) is asked
to return to the International Climate Space
Station by his replacement, his brother, Max
(Jim Sturgess). Jake is hesitant to help his
former employer until he sees the damage
his creation is wreaking across the world. But
when Jake discovers that the White House
planted the glitch, his and his daughter’s lives
With a hokey premise that takes itself
deadly serious, this super-nature thriller is
a gentle breeze from being a movie-of theweek.
Bad writing, ham-fisted acting and
corny SPFX further feed this shit-storm.
Furthermore, if humanity controlled
weather then all wars would be fought over
The public is afraid of clowns because they
don’t want to have to eat a Big Mac. Thankfully,
the mischief-maker in this horror movie
is not a corporate mascot.
The summer after his brother vanished
down a storm drain, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher)
and his friends (Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff,
Jack Dylan Grazer) head out in search of the
body. Along the way they recruit more members
(Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen
Jacobs) with knowledge of the town’s missing
child epidemic. The gang eventually links
the disappearances to a demonic clown (Bill
Skarsgård) living in the sewer system.
The first feature film adaptation of Stephen
King’s infamous jester Pennywise, newcomer
Skarsgård nails the creepy clown, making the
scary moments even more so. Condensed
rewind to the future
BY SHANE SELLAR
compared to the 1990 miniseries, this streamlined
version is a flawless fright-fest.
Incidentally, the only one powerful enough
to defeat an evil clown is a kid’s party magician.
The worst thing about taking hostages is that
Stockholm syndrome obligates you to send
them all Christmas cards. Even the killer in
this horror movie has empathized with his
victims over the years.
The deceased Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is back
in action, welcoming new captors (Laura
Vandervoort, Brittany Allen, Mandela Van
Peebles) to his complex torture tests designed
to draw confessions of past sins from each. As
the hostages struggle for survival in captivity,
dead bodies begin appearing around the city
leading detective Halloran (Callum Keith
Rennie) to suspect that a copycat killer is
Borrowing heavily from previous installments
for its two major plot twists, this
eighth chapter of the floundering franchise is
predictable to anyone with a passing familiarity
with the series. While Jigsaw’s traps are
inventive, the largely Canadian cast is hammy.
And remember the ransom for a Canadian
hostage is half due to the exchange rate.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
Wonder Woman was created because
Batman hitting Catwoman didn’t look good.
Ironically, this drama displays how the Amazonian
Princess was forged from S&M.
Fired from his teaching position for his
relationship between a student (Bella Heathcote)
and his wife (Rebecca Hall), William
Marston (Luke Evans) draws inspiration from
his feminist viewpoint, his fetish leanings and
his invention – the lie detector – to create the
first female super-hero. But when he and his
publisher Max Gaines (Oliver Platt) are called
before a decency commission for the BDSM
imagery in the comics, Marston’s paradise
comes crashing down.
The kinky beginnings of an icon for female
empowerment, this Wonder Woman origin
story doesn’t exploit the creator’s lifestyle
choices, but instead offers compassion. With
dedicated performances across the board,
this titillating true tale shines a whole new
light on the 75-year-old warrior woman.
And here everyone thought The Flash was
DC Comics only sexual deviant.
He’s a First–Class Clown. He’s the…
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 17
BY CHRISTINE LEONARD
Unleashing a flash flood of electronicore colour.
Straight outta St Albans, Hertfordshire,
England the upstart outfit known as
Enter Shikari has been purveying its
unique take on British electronic rock since
coming together as a quartet in 2003. Over
the past decade-and-a-half, Enter Shikari’s
guitarist Liam “Rory” Clewlow, bassist
Chris Batten, drummer Rob Rolfe and lead
vocalist/keyboardist Rou Reynolds have
been attacking the scene from the bastion
of their own record label, the appropriately
named Ambush Reality. Fans from many
musical folds were quick to pick up on the
group’s genre-melding style, which borrows
heavily from the realms of electronica and
experimental rock while mining everything
from dubstep to hardcore punk and heavy
metal for instrumentation and inspiration.
The resultant ‘electronicore’ sound is a sleek
but complex hybrid that has set charts and
dancefloors ablaze across the UK. It’s something
audio-pioneer Reynolds describes as
the inevitable outcome of tapping into their
collective creative impulses.
“Music flows out of me like vomit from a
projectile vomiting drunk. I’m just the guy
with a bucket mopping it up. And it’s relentless,”
“All I try and do with Shikari is specifically
write when I feel inspired - not
provoked - into writing. Though I have no
qualms with music for music’s sake, it is
definitely not music for music’s sake. It has
soul and it has purpose.”
The inescapable gravity of modern life is a
topic that Enter Shikari feels exceptionally well
equipped to address. Appreciated for pushing
political dialogue into the musical spotlight,
the foursome rarely shies from the dark side
of human existence. Opting instead to project
vitriol outwards, Reynolds and his company of
multi-instrumentalists excel at transforming
simmering resentment and personal outrage
into bust-a-move worthy art.
“Music has been a tool that has brought
communities together for millennia. We are
united by the fact that we are all vulnerable
to music’s emotional power. So, in effect, we
are just continuing to use music for the same
means, to bring people together, indiscriminately.
If that means being political then
that’s what it means. It doesn’t bother me,” he
“First and foremost, I like to be realistic.
And, that means sometimes everything does
seem to be going to shit and sometimes
things do seem truly hopeless. A negative
outlook every now and then is honest. The
main thing I try to do is constantly make sure
I’m putting things into perspective. Things are
sometimes disheartening, but often exciting.
I’m lucky to be able to have potential and willpower
to do small things to make the world a
One positive stride towards that noble goal
comes in the form of Enter Shikari’s fifth and
most recent full-length release, ‘The Spark’
(2017). Representing a steady progression that
began with their certified-gold debut, ‘Take to
the Skies’ (2007), ‘The Spark’ conjures a heavysynth
whirlwind that resonates with grimy
layered vocals, brassy orchestral arrangements
and rabble-rousing rhythms.
“There was a lot more opening up about
my life and experiences and a real determined
effort to let melody take the forefront with
this album,” confirms Reynolds, who composed
‘The Spark’ over the course of a year.
“I wanted to concentrate on a more lucid
style of music with a more personal, honest
and open lyrical theme. The thing that we’ve
found is, really it’s simply about the humans
involved. If you’re working with people who
truly understand and support your music
that’s what matters most. Through experience
we learnt that major labels probably aren’t
right for us, as our music is too left field and
our nature too erratic and unpredictable.”
So, how does that nonconformism and
spontaneity translate from studio to stage?
Strap on your jammy packs, kids!
“We’ve been lucky enough to play some really
big shows in Europe and have been able to
really transform each venue we play into our
own environment by using surround-sound
and synchronised visuals. It’s takes months
of preparation and work, but is so incredible
when it all comes together. Having the sounds
swirl around your ahead is almost disorientating
and creates such an exciting atmosphere.”
Enter Shikari performs Monday, Feb. 13 at
Commonwealth Bar (Calgary), and Tuesday, Feb.
14 at The Starlite Room (Edmonton), and Friday,
Feb. 16 at Imperial (Vancouver).
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 19
lifting the whole damn crowd up
It’s been more than eight years since we last
heard from Dashboard Confessional, but front
man Chris Carrabba is feeling good about the
band’s new album ‘Crooked Shadows’, out on
February 9 via Dine Alone Records.
Carrabba is hanging out in Nashville (where he
now lives), rehearsing and waiting for the snow to
fall when reached on a blustery January day.
“I just feel like we had an objective and a
creative goal, and we nailed it and then exceeded
it,” Carrabba declares.
“I owe a lot of credit to my band mates and
producers and friends, but also to my fan base
who said ‘take your time’ and allowed us to take
a lot of time.”
‘Crooked Shadows’ encapsulates everything
great about Dashboard Confessional: loud, bright
guitars, driving rhythms, and emotionally rich
lyrics, among others.
However, Carrabba says crafting those
soul-bearing lyrics and upbeat melodies took
longer than usual.
“It took more time than ever before to find my
voice, your point of view, your melodic tenancies
that make it identifiable as the band that you’re
in,” he explains.
He continues: “I needed to envision this record
as if I was making the first Dashboard record.
In crust we trust
As zestful as a slice of well-seasoned za, the saucy foursome
known as Pizza Bath enjoy the hell out of a good kitchen
party. Punching upwards with a frantic and fraught punk
rock sound, vocalist/guitarist Sean Hamilton, guitarist/vocalist
Eric Andrews Svilpis, bassist/vocalist Gavin Howard and
drummer Fergie McLean recall the thirsty days of yore when
garage jams and Hot Pockets ruled the suburban wasteland.
“We all play in a lot of bands,” Hamilton acknowledges.
“Pizza Bath emerged as a project out of Rockin’ 4 Dollar$
at Broken City. I had all these punk songs I’d been writing
while on tour drumming for Miesha and the Spanks and I
just wanted them to have a purpose. Eric helped me put
together a band that was only supposed to learn like four
songs, but it just sounded too good to not pursue and put
some energy into.”
Pouring their collective steam into a fully-loaded EP seemed
like the right direction to head in, and they got down to
pounding out some speedy but generously proportioned
“The goals and values of Pizza Bath stem from the lyrical
content,” he elaborates.
“We wanted to be fun and goofy, but then have a much
darker message in our portrayal of what life means and what
our role in the world is. What we try and promote through our
lyrics and real life actions is just a willingness to become better;
in everything we are and through all of our failures. We want
to grow and learn be the best versions of ourselves with each
How would I make this record and how would it
“We Fight” was the first single; a poignant
anthem for the underdogs, the people who have
had to stand up and fight for everything they’ve
earned in life.
In powerful chorus, Carrabba proclaims: “And
we earned what we could from the ground up/
And tried to lift the whole damn crowd up/So we
fight our way in/And we fight our way out.”
“It’s a song that we’re excited to play in front of
people. They started singing along to it recently,”
he says with enthusiasm.
Whether it’s for Dashboard Confessional or for
Twin Forks, his newer folk-influenced side project,
Carrabba wants to continue writing great songs
and learning from the experience.
“Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it,
you break the pencil,” he confesses.
“I love to write. I love to write great songs and
I love to write terrible songs. And if I was bagging
groceries at the Piggly Wiggly, I’d love to write
songs. And if I was a stock boy at Sears, I’d love to
write songs. If I was an investment banker, I’d love
to write songs.”
He concludes, “This is a thing I do because I
love it. “
To each a calzone.
Classic emo group releases ‘Crooked Shadows’ on February 9.
Dashboard Confessional will be playing
MacEwan Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 27 (Calgary),
Salvation is where you find it. And in the case of the not-soflippant-after-all
Pizza Bath, a compelling melody, unguarded
confession or even a decisive downbeat can all illuminate the
path to a more fulsome experience. Proof that the group’s philosophy
isn’t hopelessly mired in glutinous psychoanalysis and
sadness, Pizza Bath always makes short work out of providing
audiences with a cheesy good time.
“Don’t get me wrong, Pizza Bath is a lot of fun and games.
That’s important, as well,” Hamilton affirms. “If you aren’t
actively trying to enjoy life, then I’d like to meet up, give you a
BY TREVOR MORELLI
Union Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 28 (Edmonton),
O’Brian’s Event Centre on Friday, Mar. 2
BY CHRISTINE LEONARD
high five, and try to explain that if this blip of an existence isn’t
the coolest thing in the universe, I don’t know what is. But,
we do acknowledge the darkness. Because if you don’t see the
desperation in life, you might be missing out on living a little
bit of it.”
Pizza Bath will celebrate their EP release show on Saturday, Feb.
17th at Nite Owl (Calgary) with Abductees, Old Wives and All
Hands on Jane. Abductees will also be releasing a new recording
20 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
exploring multiple shades of rock ‘n’ roll
The Sheepdogs released ‘Changing Colors’ on February 2.
Damn near everyone can croon the iconic
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers line:
“The way—eh—ting is the hardest part”
(emphasis on the waiting… and waiting).
The adage runs true in the classic rock
track as it does in life. Just ask The Sheepdogs’
front man Ewan Currie. Their new
record ‘Changing Colors’ finally dropped
on February 2, and according to him, it’s
“Truthfully, it’s like ‘Get the damn thing
out already.’ It’s been done for a while and
we just want people to hear it,” he says.
Although it’s only been three years since
their previous offering ‘Future Nostalgia,’ he’s
excited for the changes the band implemented.
“It’s because we’re excited about it. I always
loved when a band would make a big, sort
of sprawling album with all kinds of stuff you
can sink your teeth into, so that’s kind of
what we did. I hope people dig it and I think
‘Changing Colors’ isn’t so much a departure
from the band’s pleasant brand of bluesy
rock ‘n’ roll as it is an addition, incorporating
smooth pedal steel hooks, groovy horns,
funky bass lines, and other unique sounds.
Did BROS (Currie’s side project with his
brother and Sheepdogs keyboardist Shamus)
influence the sound of ‘Changing Colors’?
“I think it did to some degree. We made it
in the same place where we made our BROS.
record,” Currie responds.
“And I think what that BROS. project did
was expand our palette and open our minds
a little more to different sounds and different
BY TREVOR MORELLI
ways of doing things.”
Another layer on ‘Changing Colors’ is the
addition of multi-instrumentalist Jim Bowkill,
who joined the band in 2015. Currie believes
Bowskill adds a texture to The Sheepdogs’
sound that elevates them to another level.
“He actually helped me write a couple of
songs straight up so that was pretty huge,”
“He’s a crazy talented, amazing guitar
player. He’s also a very good singer. He sings
a lot of backups and stuff. He’s also a really
tremendous pedal steel player. He’s a fiddle
player and plays mandolin. We really wanted
to take advantage of those instruments.”
Bowskill’s luscious pedal steel playing can
be heard on mellower tracks like “Let it Roll”,
while Currie and the boys crank up the guitars
for a rollicking good time on first single
“I’ve Got a Hole Where My Heart Should Be”.
Without question, Currie and The Sheepdogs’
hearts will be into every show on the
band’s upcoming Canadian tour. They’re glad
to be out touring the country even though
the weather was less than favorable for the
first month of the year.
“It’s a great time to tour Canada. Summertime
is the time when everyone’s taking off. I
think it’s actually the best time. It helps that
we’ve got a tour bus we’ll be on.”
Catch the Sheepdogs performing Tuesday, Feb.
20 at Union Hall (Edmonton), Wednesday, Feb.
21 at The Palace Theatre (Calgary), Thursday,
Feb. 22 at Cadillac Hall (Cadillac), Friday, Feb. 23
at O’Brian’s Even Centre (Saskatoon) and Saturday,
Feb. 24 at the Burton Cumming’s Theatre
avoiding genre traps and keeping momentum
Seeking to create something honest,
something reflective of internal struggles
and the satisfaction of overcoming them,
Calgary indie-psych-rockers The Heirlooms
are on the verge of releasing their latest
single, a teaser of their new album to come
The four-piece, fronted by Kat Westermann,
have released three albums, each
building upon their mellow, rainy day vibes
while incorporating something new. Clean
guitar riffs rise around subtle drum beats
and lilting keyboard melodies to create a
soundscape conducive to moonlit drives and
introspective contemplation of the sunrise.
At times, though, the pace picks up and leads
to something more upbeat; like a folk anthem
begging the listener to enjoy life despite the
ups and downs.
“I think all of us really just want every song
to be somewhat different, and that leads us
to having quite the diverse set list to play in
terms of having different emotive qualities
for different crowds and different places,”
“In that way, it’s kind of nice that we’ve
avoided falling into one particular genre or
In the first week of March, The Heirlooms
will be releasing a brand new single which
they have been working on throughout the
winter. The track (or tracks, as it may be) is
Calgary psych-rock group drops single and hints at album.
BY JODI BRAK
going to be a glimpse into their latest full
length release which is planned for release
later in the year.
“One of the songs we will be recording we
actually just wrote about a week ago!”
Westermann says, “it just felt like it was
way too good to not record right away, we
were all quite excited about it.”
“The first one we are recording is called
“Feel This Out,” and it’s a really fun sounding
song, but the lyrics are actually about having
horrible social anxiety,” she says, with a bit of
“It centres around how sometimes what
you say and what you feel in a situation kind
of contradict each other. The other one is
called “Hear Me Now,” and it’s about coming
out of a funk… How coming out of that period
of introspection can actually make you
stronger. It’s a very fun, beachy type of song.
It’s super groovy, and there is a drum solo!”
These new singles will be the first releases
from The Heirlooms to feature some new
instrumentation they are experimenting with,
namely organs and more pronounced keys
and piano interspersed throughout the songs.
Catch The Heirlooms on Saturday, Feb. 24 at
The Ironwood Stage (Calgary), and stay tuned
to their Facebook page for their newest single
release on Friday, Mar. 2, along with a show at
The Palomino (Calgary)
22 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
Canadian greats keep on walkin’ and rockin’
Over the last few years, CanCon rockers 54•40 have revealed
a more intimate side of themselves through acoustic
shows, which feature their classic hits reimagined with expanded
yet familiar arrangements.
Regardless of whether it’s one of these up-close-and-personal
theater shows or a more traditional rock show, the band is excited
to just get up and play for people, even after nearly four decades
as a band.
“Well, we want to do both,” says bassist Brad Merritt with a
54•40 has blended many different styles into their impressive
catalogue spanning eleven studio albums. “One Day in
Your Life” starts with concise country-style finger picking
before exploding into a catchy chorus, while “Since When”
employs ‘70s keyboards to get your head nodding to its infectious
pop rhythm. The reimagined versions on ‘La Difference:
A History Unplugged’ (2016) integrate violin, guitar, banjo,
mandolin and more.
“We want to do it all. We’ve been at this for 37 years and we’re
still ambitious. What it comes down to is we love it. It’s kind of a
natural variety for us, and it feels good. It’s like putting on a comfortable
pair of shoes or something.”
Merritt says the smaller venues and close atmosphere took
some getting used to, but now the band is glad they have the
option to do either acoustic or electric gigs.
“It took us a little while to sort of adapt and do these acoustic
performances. You’re kind of laid bare, you’re out there quite
hitting up Alberta for the fans
Reunited Going on in 36 the years pursuit as a of staple punk of rock Canadian thrills music.
BY TREVOR MORELLI
naked, exposed. There’s a lot
of space, and so it’s more of an
intimate kind of experience, not
just for the audience, but for us
In the beginning, it took a
lot of long days on the road for
54•40 to make a name for themselves
but now they’re in a place
where they can be themselves
and choose the gigs they want
“There was one tour where we
did four shows in Missouri, if you
can believe that,” recalls Merritt.
“You probably can’t name four
cities in Missouri. Last year we
did 42. And that’s kind of a nice
number for us. So once again we
kind of say yes to some things
and others we say ‘Maybe we’ll take a pass for now.’”
He adds: “And I don’t take that for granted. It’s a nice place
On January 26, the band released a new album dubbed ‘Keep
on Walkin’. The album demonstrates that the band is absorbing
the diverse instrumentation style of their ‘La Difference’ recording
and live experience, incorporating more sounds and styles into
Santa Cruz punk group Good Riddance are
heading north for a few select shows this
Known for their infectious mix of melodic,
hardcore punk rock punctuated by politically
and socially conscious lyrics, Good
Riddance’s sound sound is rooted in fast,
up-beat tempos, heavy riffs and drums, tied
together with harmonic vocals. Although
they disbanded in 2007, it was only a short
while later in 2012 that they reunited for
what many thought would only be a handful
of shows. Six years later, they’re still at it.
“Yeah, we had no idea we’d still be doing
this, [in 2012] we decided to practice and
see how that felt, and that was a lot of fun.
So, we decided to play a show. And it’s kinda
been like that ever since, just not making any
long-term plans. There’s not really any career
arc anymore. There’s no we gotta do this
and we gotta do that, now it’s more that we
enjoy it,” explains vocalist Russ Rankin, who
helped form the band way back in 1986.
“We all realize that we’re incredibly fortunate
to have this opportunity, even in the
limited capacity that we have now. We’re doing
it because our fans are so awesome. The
response that we’ve gotten since we started
playing shows again, that’s what’s cemented
their music than ever before to bouncy, pop infused results.
Merritt says a full-blown electric Canadian tour in support of the
record should be coming in the fall; meanwhile, the soon to occur
tour is unplugged.
Catch 54•40 live and on stage Wednesday, Feb. 14 at the Bert Church
Theatre (Airdrie), Thursday, Feb. 15 at Bo’s Bar and Grill (Red Deer).
BY SARAH MAC
for us that we made the right decision.”
In 2015, Good Riddance released their
eighth full-length album, ‘Peace in Our Time.’
With their new slower pace, a new album
seemed an option, though unlikely.
“I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility.
But, back in the day, that was our job
and all we did. Now, we’re taking it a day at
a time and enjoying it. But, as a band who is
used to getting together and throwing ideas
at each other, at some point we need to play
new music. We aspire to be creative and
have new stuff to play. So, it wouldn’t really
surprise me at all if there was something
new. And if there is, we’ll embrace it and see
where it goes.”
Regardless of when new music may or may
not arrive, let’s focus on the present – we get
to see them live. Let’s not take it for granted,
“There’s been a lot of people in Alberta
that have been wanting us to come back
for a while, so we’re pretty stoked for these
Good Riddance performs on Friday, Feb. 2d
at the Forge (Edmonton), Saturday, Feb. 24 at
Dicken’s Pub (Calgary) and Sunday, Feb. 25 at
Wild Bill’s (Banff).
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 23
Southern Gothic swings due north
BY ANDREW BARDSLEY
a flower in the frost
BY DEICHA CARTER
From deep within Bayou country, self-proclaimed Southern
Gothic songstress Amythyst Kiah speaks about new music,
inspirations and connecting with her audience. Kiah is ready to
enrapture audiences with her powerful voice and passionate
stories of love, loss, passion, and trauma. With songs like “Dark
Holler” and “Doomed to Roam” Kiah has firmly cemented her
place as a writer for the ages. Residing in Johnson City, Tennessee,
Kiah is a powerful voice within the bluegrass and folk community.
Her voice and touring band – Her Chest of Glass – have recently
returned from a European tour where her 2013 album Dig has
found a devout audience.
Amythyst Kiah has been playing guitar for most of her life but it
was at East Tennessee State University where she went from song
writing to traditional music.
“It went from me song writing into interpreting old traditional
songs and reinterpreting them,” Kiah says over the phone from
storied recording studio, The Cypress House, where she is working
with acclaimed musician Dirk Powell.
Kiah is currently on a follow-up album to Dig, and taking her
time in the process. A big roadblock was her own reluctance to
co-writing. “I was writing the songs, but it wasn’t in the way I’d
wanted. And I’d heard obviously of people who co-write all the
time and I think a part of me that was a little apprehensive to
Kiah’s music is devoutly traditional, but her listening habits
are broad. Her top three favourites are Tori Amos, Bjork and
Radiohead. “These all rotated in my CD player because I liked their
songwriting style. It was nonlinear, and each verse of their songs
emoted a feeling, each word choice has a gripping metaphorical
meaning. And so when it came to traditional music, I came to find
that there was a lot of those same themes of struggle and pain.”
Regardless of background, individuals should aim to have a fullfledged
human experience, and her music strives to reinforce this.
“I’ve had people of all ages, and colours and religions come up to
me and say what they felt was authentic and they felt what I was
saying and they appreciated it. And because we are all human and
because we have emotions and have struggle and I hope to connect
with those people and that people feel a sense of humanity.”
Kiah has recently been collaborating with acclaimed folk singer,
Rhiannon Giddens, co-founder of the Grammy Award winning
folk band, Carolina Chocolate Drops. This new project – spearheaded
by Giddens – Songs of a Native Daughter, is based somewhat
off James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son, which is a 1955
collection of essays dealing with issues of race in America.
“In this particular project, the focus is to look historically at
things that have happened that people aren’t necessarily willing
to have discussions about in a way that is healthy and honest. Our
goal is to look at some of these themes and create songs that people
can sing to, can dance to, tap their foot to, but also talk about
some of these themes.”
Kiah uses her voice as a powerful connection to the past but
also to an innovative story-telling future. With raw intensity and a
guitar, Amythyst Kiah is a sound that travels north through from
the Deep South via the Appalachians.
Amythyst Kiah performs Saturday, Feb. 17 during Block Heater at
the King Eddy.
Winnipeg pop queen Begonia, the stage name of singer Alexa
Dirks, takes us on a bright, ethereal, hard-hitting journey
with her debut EP Lady in Mind. With a quirky blend of old soul
and new-age production, she turns contemporary pop on its
head. It feels like you’re listening to a one-woman rendition of The
Commitments, transmitting from an abandoned prairie synthshack.
The single “I Don’t Wanna Love You” is a moody doo-wop anthem
drenched in slippery hammond organ, perfectly highlighting
the chemistry of co-producers Matt Schallenberg (Royal Canoe)
and Matt Peters (Royal Canoe, Close Talker). Spouting out search
and destroy storylines with “If I could dream I had teeth like a
tiger, I’d make you scream, drown ya in the mud. And on the news
they’d call it friendly fire, but we would know what it was all made
of”, you know this tigress is all too-capable to lunging right back.
Dirks provides an adorable disclaimer saying the song is “basically
the best I could do at writing a diss track.”
“Hot Dog Stand” and “Juniper” dive deeper than conventional
pop songs, reflecting darkness, vulnerability, and “not really know
what the hell you’re doing in life,” reveals Dirks. The debut recording
spotlights her step forward as a solo artist - previously with
Chic Gamine, Juno award winners.
“It was kind of like flipping the switch. [realizing] that I could
write anything I wanted and when I step on stage I get to say
exactly what I want to say,” says Dirks. However, there’s still an
abundance of collaborative elements in her music. “I’m not really
the type of songwriter that can throw a guitar in the back of my
car and head across Canada on my own. It’s just not my style and
I really respect people that can do that. I would just be too lonely,
so there are people that I get along with that I can create and play
music with. You just find a way to surround yourself with people
that make you feel creative and passionate. It’s a different bag that
Begonia performs Saturday, Feb. 17 during Block Heater at Studio Bell.
26 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE
nuthin’ but the straight dope
Throughout his decade-long recording
career, singer-songwriter Justin Townes
Earle has defied expectation by sticking
to a mainly straightforward amalgam of
classic roots styles – never aiming for the
pretentious or chasing that ”big leap” to
the mainstream. His records have always
sounded spare and unflinching, a really
live-off-the-floor feeling of a songwriter with
exactly the right pieces to fill out a song on
any given cut.
There’s long been a natural bluesy vibe in
Earle’s work, though not the wanky blues
hammer bullshit that so many artists trot
out. Earle cuts closer to the bone, deeper
than a lot of artists dig, relying on the
elemental groove and rhythm of the style
instead of the flashy instrumental gymnastics
of modern blues. In hearing Earle play a blues
number, like “15-25” from his most recent
album Kids In The Street, it’s easy to imagine
what Hank Williams might have sounded
like had he lived long enough to record at
Chess in Chicago in the mid-50s. Likewise in
his ability to deftly run through a bluegrass
barroom weeper like “Faded Valentine”, or
the mix of hop-along folk with western swing
on “What’s Goin’ On”, Earle has distilled the
classic styles of American folk music down to
the essential ingredients.
Helping Earle bring Kids In The Street up
was veteran Mike Mogis, perhaps best known
BY MIKE DUNN
for his work with Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, and
M. Ward. Mogis’s touch is evident in some
of the arrangement choices, adding sonic
touches that bring a new edge to Earle’s style,
including the gritty textures on “If I Was The
Devil” and the solo upright bass workout
on “Trouble Is”. In addition, a few interesting
choices on the country rock cuts “Maybe A
Moment” and “What’s She Crying For” will
appeal immediately to fans of Alberta prairie
It’s a busy life for artists, especially ones
who’ve likely had to answer the same questions
over and over again year in and out.
New West Records made an admirable and
appreciated attempt to connect BeatRoute
with Earle, and I waited all evening to see
if he’d get back to me. Earle’s a hell of a
songwriter, and probably a hell of a guy to
those who know him best. It would have
been great to have some straight dope from
the man himself. Fingers crossed for another
time. Perhaps then I’ll get to tell y’all more
of what Justin Townes Earle has to say about
making records and being on the road from
the wizened tenor that hitchhikes from
Texas to Tennessee. Right now, all I have is a
voicemail greeting that calmly warns, “Don’t
waste my time.”
Justin Townes Earle performs Friday, Jan. 16 at Studio
Bell during Block Heater.
DELHI 2 DUBLIN
as desi as they wanna be
What happens when you slam together
all of the most visceral dance music you
can find? You get Vancouver’s Delhi 2 Dublin, a
world-binding fusion of Bhangra, hip-hop, Celtic
reels, and electronic. That’s exactly the kind of
spicy Canadian Masala that the five-piece have
been serving up since the group’s inception at
the Vancouver Folk Festival over a decade ago.
Following that fateful meeting, tabla player and
beat wizard Tarun Nayar, dhol/dholak virtuoso
Ravi Binning, and vocalist Sanjay Seran, have
been steady churning out groove-filled albums,
including the bombastic ‘We’re All Desi’ (2015),
and bringing electro-clash dance parties to
festivals around the globe.
“The whole ‘Where do we fit in?’ thing has
been really hard for us,” says vocalist and lyricist
“It’s a blessing and a curse. We fit everywhere,
so we’re able to take a lot of gigs and we’re
always booked. And, we’re grateful for that, but
the curse is not fitting here, there, nor anywhere.
It’s a constant battle. We’re coming up on 12
years as a band in March and the core of the
band is still together and getting along.”
The same identity crisis that makes their offerings
so unique as feeds back into the band’s own
“We’ve done a lot of self-reflection and
soul-searching about the confusion of being
born in Richmond,” Seran continues.
“It’s a pretty affluent suburb of Vancouver,
BY CHRISTINE LEONARD
which means I grew up pretty sheltered, yet
I grew up as a Brown kid born there. I didn’t
experience a lot of racism, but most of it had to
do with the embarrassment of hiding my culture
– from the smell of the cooking, to the clothing.
So, you’re walking through life, trying to figure
out who you are.”
The journey of unraveling that age-old
mystery has revealed some important truths
to Delhi 2 Dublin. And while their mid-career
identity crisis is not entirely resolved, the
turntable-and-tabla outfit has emerged from the
conversation with a renewed sense of purpose.
“We do have a lot brewing under the hood.
We’re hard at work on writing a new album right
now and we’re stoked. We’re scrambling like
mad to get a single ready to drop in February,
but otherwise we’re working on trying to get the
best songs we can,” says Seran, who welcomed
violinist Serena Eades into the trio’s touring
“Lately, we’ve been honing in on the idea of
‘Sub-continental Pop.’ Delhi 2 Dublin really resonates
with this. We spent a bunch of time talking
about and I feel like we’re more focused than
ever. Finally, we feel like we fit into this weird
world we’ve been juggling. Everything’s getting
better and better. Maybe we were ahead of our
time. I will reflect on that.”
Delhi 2 Dublin perform at Block Heater on Friday,
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 27
EDM ONTON EXTR A
three decades of art and debate... with new adventures now!
Harcourt House has two new exhibitions opening in February.
There will be no vainglorious celebration
for Harcourt House’s 30th year
of serving the Edmonton community.
The proud yet humble institution, which had
its beginnings as a one-off fundraiser for the
victims of the Black Friday tornado of ’87, will
simply continue to do what it does best: support
the contemporary visual arts community.
Despite no official celebratory event, there
are some big plans for the future and some
engaging exhibitions opening the 2018 season.
Opening the season are two exhibitions:
MACROMEA, by Alana Biffert and Marta
Gorski in the Main Gallery, and The Book
Of Seven by Stephen Ferris in Harcourt’s Art
“There is a process of pairing the two galleries
together,” explains Jacek Malec, Executive
Director of Harcourt House who has recently
taken the helm of this venerable ship.
“We look at the works to either compliment
or engage and be an extension to a
discussion, or to provide a kind of a musical
counterpoint. Like the two opposite polar
MACROMEA is a modular work consisting
of images silk screened on canvas or printed
on vellum, hung disorderly from the ceiling
with cast glass panels separating the viewer
from the scene. There is also a lens through
which to view the piece. The Book Of Seven is
a series of explorative and intuitive paintings
that capture a cacophony of mental formations
that roil in a dizzying array of snaking
The presentation in these two divergent
pieces is certainly a counterpoint to each
other. The two exhibitions are a “dialogue
with the inner and outer world. Inner notions
embedded in our minds, more kind of elusive,
and the outside world, more empirical which
you can define.”
“Alana [Biffert] and Marta [Gorski’s] exhibition
is more of an inward thinking element,”
Malec elaborates. “How people evaluate
each other. How people perceive each other.
An analysis of who we are as human beings.
Global culture. How we are integrating with
each other... A more structured work. Clearly
defining the experience through a lens.”
MACROMEA is dimensional and ambiguous,
creating an uncomfortable distance that
resists bridging but demands the attempt.
In contrast, Ferris’ The Book Of Seven is
empirical, “more of an analysis which brings
the horizontal element graphically.” With it
you get a density, which is obscuring yet inviting
to investigate. It is a work that is personal
and curious, a “bombardment of information.
An organized disorganized chaos.” When you
encounter it, instead of stepping back, you
must get closer.
As you analyze the exhibitions more closely
you begin to hear the dialogue forming in the
shared space, which is exactly to the point of
the matter in the relationship between the
exhibition, the gallery space and the viewer.
“The exhibition is really the artwork within
the artwork,” explains Malec. It’s a concept
developed by French novelist and philosopher
Honoré de Balzac, who explored the notion in
his ‘La Comédie humaine’ multi-volume series
exploring the interconnectivity of French
society in the tumultuous 1700s. “The human
condition of us in that multi-faceted society
bombarded by so much information.”
This concept is present in the way MACRO-
MEA uses the body, lenses and cast glass to
show how distorted our perceptions of each
other become when filtered through materials.
It’s a focused work. The Book Of Seven, on
the other hand, is expansive and distorting in
its elusiveness. It contains the breadth of individual
experience in a wash of information.
BY MICHAEL PODGURNEY
Experiencing these exhibitions together is
all part of the work of the gallery.
When it comes to explaining the sometimes
confusing and ambiguous goals of art,
Malec muses, “It’s that spark between the
object and the viewer. Is the artwork really the
It’s the energy you share with the artwork
that completes the whole process. You become
part of the environment of the exhibit.
Your reaction or malaise becomes an element
of the exhibition. Don’t try to get it all at once,
because “getting it” might not be the point.
Engaging in it is the key. “If you go to view the
piece and you ignore it,” says Malec, “That is
Left in the wake of a financially shaky 2017,
Malec has been working strategically to maintain
Harcourt House’s viability, and is likely to
steer toward international waters. He brings
an expansive vision to go along with the
sustainable business model that has kept the
gallery/studio space alive for 30 years. Along
with the 42 affordable studio spaces that constitute
the largest space of its kind in Western
Canada, there are plans for growth.
Malec established an international art
exchange program at his previous gig as Executive
Director of Contemporary Calgary and
believes Harcourt House can also benefit from
the international exchange of ideas. By 2020,
he aims to have a program in place to export
local talent and import a few goodies as well.
There will be a new gallery opening soon and
he hopes a vision of creating a research library
for the arts community at large can be established
somewhere in the space. All of this,
says Jacek, in an effort to provide artists with a
“sustainable environment for their professional
Malec will also be working closely with
Edmonton Design Week to bring the newest
ideas from Edmonton’s architecture and
design communities to the public. He believes
that architecture and design are sorely underrepresented
in the public discussion of art in
Edmonton and hopes that the initiative will
help to foster a discussion.
“When you look at the Harcourt we are
providing the forum for the debate,” Malec
points out. “To stimulate or compel the public
to be part of the discussion or debate.”
The official opening of MACROMEA and The
Book Of Seven is on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.
at Harcourt House (Edmonton). Opening day will
feature talks by Marta Gorski and Stephen Ferris.
Admission is free.
28 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
bodies in motion
Emotional yet feverish art pop debut their full-length ‘ing’
PHOTO: MAX PARAN
New(ish) art-pop rock trio Fitness are
“I mean Fitness plays into that body concept,
body image and how our bodies don’t
exploring body awareness on their new
album titled ‘ing’ (pronounced “dashing). really belong to us,” explains Swan-Azmon.
With the over-arching sentiment “bodies are “We’re constantly being bombarded with
weird,” in mind, the conversation was physical. ideas about how to present our bodies, what
Guitarist and lead singer Keanan Swan-Azmon our bodies should look like and how they fail
went along with the concept.
to meet that standard.”
The strength in Fitness lies in their ability
to find melody (and extremely catchy
hooks) within relative chaos. Their live set
contains peaks in energy, where Swan-Azmon
appears to be losing his lid, but in
a moment’s notice drops to emotional
catharsis, leaving the audience with an understanding
into the frontman’s psyche in a
stunningly dynamic twist.
Drummer Sam Leuck met Swan-Azmon
in Medicine Hat through a few fruitless jams.
After both moving to Edmonton several years
later, they found bass player Devin Murphy-Hopp,
who fit in perfectly.
Fitness’s sound is largely shaped through
dissonance, complex rhythms and the openness
“I think a lot of the songs are very personal,
passionate and emotional,” reveals
“But also, at least for me, there’s two voices
competing in the songs. There’s someone
who’s like, ‘I’m suffering look at my pain and
all these things.’ Then there’s someone, this
sort of voice that’s trying to remind. I’m trying
to remind myself that my pain is very specific
to a context and not as grand as I like to think
BY KENNEDY PAWLUK
of it at times. So grappling with sincerity,
trying to be sincere but always reminding
“For me I really found Keanan’s song writing
has very challenging rhythms, and I found
that’s left me with a lot of room to experiment,”
“As opposed to playing in a garage rock
band, which is something I’ve done in the
past. This feels way more like, as a three-piece
we each have a little more of an individual
voice which I really like about it.”
With a lack of constriction among the
members in the band and a fraught approach
to avoiding one certain genre, Fitness may
not explicitly write about the human form
but they embody a positive mentality going
“Maybe Fitness is more than being in good
shape and kind of more about being happy
and healthy,” concludes Leuck.
Fitness’ highly anticipated debut album will be
released digitally and on cassette at the Buckingham
on Friday, Feb. 23 (Edmonton). The show
will also feature performances by local emotional
rockers Wares and Lethbridge post-punks Wint.
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 29
ten years on and not a single “song” has been written
Weirdo noise crew probably no longer welcome at MacEwan.
Since their inception, Zebra Pulse has been
straight-out wacky. Looping vibrator
drones, mic-ing a cooking fish in a microwave,
vacuums, popcorn makers, Game Boys, typewriter
percussion among others; Zebra Pulse
will use anything that makes a sound as a tool
Their first appearance as a three-piece was
at the West Grant MacEwan Community
College campus cafeteria on Valentine’s Day.
“Owen (Strasky) was organizing this open
mic noise performance to kind of fuck with
the music students,” recalls multi-instrumentalist
“There was one point where the company
that runs the cafeteria tried to shut us down, but
the guitar teacher came and defended the whole
thing like, ‘this is an art school, deal with it!’”
After establishing themselves as Edmonton’s
favourite weirdos during their first four
years as a three-piece, bleep blooper Strasky
describes the change after adding drum guru
“When Sean joined he increased the flavour
so much,” says Strasky.
“It was like adding Montreal steak spice
or something. It just brought it all together
‘cause lots of times before we would have
these long nebulouss jams. Sean really brings
a more solid rhythm to everything.”
Nebulous jams aside; there have of course
been ups and downs throughout the group’s
kooky career. Take for example a venue’s decision
to drop them off a bill so a hockey-viewing
crowd wouldn’t be scared away.
“What’s really funny though,” reveals Thiessen,
“is that eventually I had a weekly DJ set
there and they would come talk about Zebra
BY KENNEDY PAWLUK
PHOTO: PEARL GREY
Pulse to me unknowingly, being like ‘Those
guys are never allowed in here.’ I just wanted
to like rip a mask off and be like, ‘It was me
the whole time!’”
“I kept thinking about this nude calendar
release for MacEwan where we stripped down
to our underwear while we played,” explains
third founding member Dave Schaefer. “That
show was full of people who definitely did
not like our music and it was probably super
weird that we stripped throughout the set.
It’s funny this punk and metal bar couldn’t
handle it. We went in thinking it’s a nude
calendar release, so it’ll be a bunch of art students
but instead it ended up being people
in gowns and suits, rich donors to MacEwan
They still stayed and tolerated the whole
thing. We played for two hours.”
Over their ten years Zebra Pulse have
played hundreds of shows. Gigs including
opening for noise legend Merzbow and ‘70s
psych rockets Nick Turner, a child’s first birthday,
an LRT station, and a set at Wunderbar
in diapers. They’ve performed in oversized
blow up suits and are even sometimes nearly
naked, leaving fans weirded out but satisfied.
The band’s ultimate advice: start a bullshit
band with your buds, don’t take it too seriously,
don’t plan too hard, hangout as much
as you can outside of the band, watch Flea’s
instructional bass video from the ‘90s and
never write a song.
Zebra Pulse celebrate their 10th anniversary on
Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Sewing Machine Factory
(Edmonton) with Boothman and Limina. The
show will also feature the reease of Boothman’s
new cassette ‘Boothman vs. Time’ and the
THE ORDER OF CHAOS
metal band writes for passion, not profit
Perfectionism is an element of most creative
minds, but even the most particular
of musicians can find peace with their creations.
Thrash metal four piece The Order of
Chaos are releasing their new EP Night Terror
and it’s the first time John Simon Fallon,
founder and guitarist, has been truly pleased
with the final product.
The band has been an important part of the
metal scene in the greater Edmonton area for
somewhere between 12 and 14 years. Like most
bands, they’ve had their fair share of line-up
changes and challenges, but the passion to
make music outweighs all else. Fallon spoke of
the band’s humble beginnings in the all-ages
punk and metal scene of Stony Plain, chronicling
their transformation all the way to playing
a headlining slot at Midi Festival in China.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded
with great people the whole ride,” says
Fallon. “The labels in Europe that helped us out,
the local promoters who gave us a chance to
play some bigger shows and learn the ropes. It’s
testament to the Alberta music community.”
Over a decade deep into the band’s career,
they’ve released three full-length albums and
two EPs once Night Terror is out this month.
While some may say their sound is indefinable,
one thing is for sure: they can shred. Their
instrumentals feature wild chord progressions
and dexterous speed picking, while vocalist
Amanda Kiernan eases in and out of melodic
purrs, harsh growls and soaring howls.
“We don’t have the elaborate music education
as a lot of the bands in Finland,” explains
Fallon. “Kids over there are trained at a conservatory
level by the age of six, playing incredible
arrangements. For us, we all developed our
The Order of Chaos release ‘Night Demon’ in February.
BY BRITTANY RUDYCK
own style by not having a frame of reference to
what was happening outside our community at
the time. We’re pretty isolated here. So we just
practiced and created something we thought
was special. When we did get into the international
scene, we realized how important that
isolation was to our sound.”
Despite being okay with having an unconventional
sound in the metal world (2011’s
‘Burn These Dreams’ includes a self described
bluesy rock track, “Guns ’n’ Order“), Fallon
insists the band will always write what appeals
to them over writing to appease the marketing
overlords. Although with Night Terror, they may
have found a happy medium.
“I’m generally not happy with anything we
put out. I’m the worst critic of course,” Fallon
admits. “I think that’s why music has always appealed
to me; you can never perfect it. But with
this EP, there was a sense of accomplishment.
We finally developed into the sound we wanted
and we didn’t have to force it.”
Fallon’s understanding and acceptance of the
creative journey being rife with imperfection
and sometimes difficult growth lends itself to a
career worth witnessing.
“I don’t know if anything is going to sound
like Night Terror going forward. But I’m happy
with it. We learned a lot while making this EP;
we became more conscious of who we are as a
band and I think that’s why I feel so proud of it.”
Join The Order of Chaos at the Mercury Room on
Friday, Feb. 23 (Edmonton) for their EP release featuring
Dahlmers Realm, Wolfrik and Sins of Sorrow.
They’re also headlining Femme Fatale at Distortion
on Saturday, Feb. 24 (Calgary) with Caveat, Tessitura,
Traer and more!
PHOTO: BARRETT KLESKO
30 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE
adoring and paying homage to disco
Edmonton electronic duo ANZU
don’t waste any time launching into
a nostalgic dance party on the opening
track of their new EP Without Love
“Cry, Cry, Cry” is soaked in disco
vibes with an up-tempo modern feel.
The new EP is out Valentine’s Day,
which is symbolically irrelevant.
“The date just conveniently worked
out that way. Which is sweet; it
definitely fits the vibe,” says Jesse Silkie
with a laugh. “It’s a more cohesive and
focused sound. It’s what we were really
Silkie and his cohort Simon Belanger
spent most of 2017 incubating this EP,
drawing the spotlight away from live
shows to focus on creating music. The
pair recorded, produced and mixed
the EP and with help from Sam John
(Justice, Robyn, Chemical Brothers) for
“I’m happy because we really invested
a lot of time into the production
of these EPs. I want people to
enjoy the music the way they want
to enjoy it, that’s more important to
me than performing the songs live. As
long as people are enjoying the music,
that is number one.”
The result is a five-song anthology
to pump up the fun. The infusion of
‘70s and ‘80s disco soul spawn a groovy,
ADULT CARTOON PARTY
wild cartoons to tickle your fancy
Throughout their tenure, Metro
Cinema Society has always featured
strong programming, largely thanks to
the passion oozing from its curators.
Night Gallery is one of the most recent
additions to their programming, seeking
to “give Edmonton’s film and video
nerds a home.”
Inspired by Montreal’s video lounges
and the campy midnight movie phenomena
of the early ‘70s, the project
was curated by Metro Cinema Facilities
Manager Allan Mulholland. He wants
to test if the secondary screening space
he engineered in the lobby of the
Garneau Theatre is a feasible way to
show content to an audience. Maggie
Hardy, a long time contributor to the
programming department at Metro
Cinema, is assisting Mulholland in
sourcing content for their upcoming
event dubbed Adult Cartoon Party.
What is best in life? Conan doom, of course.
energized album one can easily turn to
for uplifting times.
When asked about potential dates
out of town, Silkie let us down gently.
“It’s tricky to tour when you DJ. We
learned that the hard way; you can’t really
play rave music on a weeknight, especially
in a town you haven’t played before.”
Fair enough. However, 2018 is looking
up to be a big year for the duo, with
hopes to release the second and third
The duo has been working hard on
their visual mix tape sourcing material
from Super 8mm, LaserDisc, Betamax,
VHS and web rips.
“It’s incredible what was out there,”
“The collection will go through the
history of X-Rated adult cartoons. The
first film we are starting off with is a
short from the 1920s, which was a surprise
to me. It will be all over the map.
Things that I find interesting will colour
it, but I’m trying to keep it open. And
it all depends… The mix tape has to go
through the class board first!”
Without revealing too much Hardy
adds, “It will mostly be sexy, fun and
light-hearted. It is a party after all!”
The lounge atmosphere is an intentional
call back to early midnight movie
screenings encouraging social interaction,
as Mulholland clarifies.
BY CAROLINE REYNOLDS
PHOTO: NEAL MERRELL
installments of the series by the end of
“It’s escapism. That’s what dance music
is, you want to get into it, dance and
think about nothing but the music.”
Check out ANZU live at the EP release
party on Friday, Feb. 16 at Church of John
(Edmonton) with Odd Child, Joses Martin,
Polyesterday and Kusch. Tickets are $10 at
BY NICOLE BOYCHUK
“You can sit or stand where you
want, as long as everyone is still able
to see – we set chairs out, but it seems
naturally people like to form rows
and that’s fine! It should be whatever
the audience wants it to be,” informs
“We are providing it for their
enjoyment. We don’t have a strict ‘no
talking rule.’ As long as you’re not
interrupting someone’s enjoyment,
it’s all yours.”
In vein of the experimental cinema
and video lounges, the bar is open late
and admission is inexpensive.
“Let’s just all be friends, and enjoy
the late night!”
Night Gallery’s sixth installment ‘Adult
Cartoon Party’ screens on Saturday, Feb.
17 at 11:59 pm at Metro Cinema (Edmonton).
Advance passes are recommended.
finger on the pulse of Dirt City
ven the most angsty cynic could get behind some of the
lovey-dovey crap comin’ up in February for Valentine’s
Day. Cynics aside, there are more than just sentimentally inspired
events taking place to warm up your cold, dead heart.
We can all rejoice now the Aviary is finally up and running!
Check out Jordan Norman & the Wisdom Teeth Feb. 3
for their While They’re Still Hungry album release. Denim
Daddies are also releasing their single “Road Runner” on the
same night. All the twang.
Celebrate Black History Month for free at Metro Cinema on
the 4th at noon. They’re screening a group of short films presented
by the National Film Board of Canada. The screening
runs 87 minutes and features a selection to simply scratch the
surface of Canada’s rich and thriving black community.
Join the McLuhan House Artists-in-Residence Black Girl
Collective Feb. 7 for a discussion circle entitled: Entangling
Black Identity. The discussion will offer insight into the
experience of black people in Canada, predominantly Alberta
related to their hair. Hear from barbers, hair dressers and
more about the history of black hair care, misconceptions,
self-perceptions and transferring knowledge to the next generation.
Suggested $5 donation.
The Dream Machine Zine #4 release party Feb. 9 includes
queer & feminist poetry, a discussion on sexual harassment in
the workplace as well as a chance to experiment with making
your own zine! The Nook will be host to an art display by Jen
Lee, a presentation by Simone Alaine Polo and an open discussion
facilitated by Tab CA of the Sewing Machine Factory.
All genders are welcome. $10 at the door.
Mercy Funk’s annual Love Fest takes place two nights this
year at the Aviary. The fun-loving party crew will be playing
some of their beloved originals as well as their fave covers.
Buy your advance tickets for Feb. 9 or 10 and dance your face
off in the spirit of love.
And then there’s Valentine’s Day. February 14th there’s no
need to be lonely… if you care about that kind of thing. Just
go to 9910 where everyone is lovely and beautiful all the time.
For $15 go see Major Love and Amy van Keeken tear up the
stage. For $40 have a meal upstairs at the Common before the
• BRITTANY RUDYCK
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 31
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MONSTER ENERGY AND BLUEPRINT ALBERTA PRESENT:
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Habitat’s collective DJ, live-band incarnation releases EP
Habitat’s residents NOIR to release live EP.
In Calgary it’s relatively unheard of for a DJ
night to release an EP, but such is the case
with NOIR, the monthly night at Habitat
Living Sound that fuses house music with live
Inspired by their chemistry on stage, NOIR’s
three residents Rusty Meeks (Casey McMechan),
Jared Andres, and Juicy Jamey (Jamey Lougheed)
decided to officially become a band under the
name BLVD NOIR. In March they’ll release a
THE TEN PERCENT
photo book celebrates Calgary’s female DJs
In January, Leigh-Anne Hazard released a new photography
book that showcases 63 self-identified female DJs in Calgary
which celebrates the history and triumphs of the women in this
city’s DJ scene. Entitled The Ten Percent, its forward, written by
local DJ, producer and event planner Isis Graham (Esette) begins
by acknowledging that while there have been big changes in the
electronic music industry, there is still a stark divide that separates
men from women.
Citing research from Women in Music Professional Association
of Canada, Graham writes that less than 10 per cent of the top
music executives in Canada are women, the wage gap throughout
almost all levels of the industry are well above 10 per cent and
that many festival lineups contain less than 10 per cent female
talent, despite the “rising awareness of inequality within our
The project represents a mammoth amount of work that took
place over more than three years from concept to physical copy.
“This whole project was a labour of love,” says Hazard. “It wasn’t
done for any other reason but that.”
The photos were first displayed during the Alberta Electronic
Music Conference, and at first, Hazard had no intention of putting
them in the book.
“The purpose of the book was to put the photos somewhere
as a keepsake for each DJ in the book. That was it. I wasn’t doing
it to sell a book, by any means, because I’ve never even printed a
photograph. I’ve never been able to print a photograph of mine
PHOTO: LEIGH-ANNE HAZARD
five-track EP inspired by the night’s jam-like,
“Literally the whole thing’s a jam, which is
kind of the essence of what our night’s always
been. We never prepare anything,” says Mc-
“We tried to capture that a little for sure,”
NOIR began in 2013 with Andres and
McMechan DJing alongside local guests. Eight
months into their run they invited saxophonist
Lougheed to accompany them live.
Lougheed emanated from psychedelic rock
culture, in particular Deadhead culture that
extends from The Grateful Dead. Andres and
McMechan believe this worked in their favour,
giving Lougheed musical adaptability.
“Deadhead culture, I think, is a lot about
jamming and about spontaneity, and Jamey definitely
brings that element to it,” says McMechan.
Combined with the backgrounds of McMechan
and Andres, this gave NOIR a unique diversity.
“It’s right in the NOIR description, we all come
from pretty different backgrounds of music,”
explains Andres. “I started off as playing in punk
bands for years, then eventually psych bands
down the road, and now this.”
With Lougheed cementing their vision for the
night, Andres began incorporating live congas
and tablas. The trio began jamming outside
of the club, leading to the idea of starting a
band. Other musical projects, however, kept
them from pursuing it. But the current format
approaching its four-year anniversary gave them
a new resolve.
In keeping with their style, the forthcoming
EP’s five songs were forged by jam sessions
and hang it on the wall, I’ve never been able to commit to that.”
The execution of the project is indeed a stunning accomplishment,
both in its content and the amount of foresight, coordination
and dedication required to bring it to fruition. The idea
began a few years ago when Hazard, who was then beginning
her foray into both DJing and photography, thought it would be
a great project to get Calgary’s female DJs into a room together,
get their nails and hair done up and have vogue, black-and-white
photos taken of them.
“But when I really thought about it I wasn’t quite ready to do it
— I didn’t think I had the photography skills, and I also only knew
a handful of female DJs and so I kind of left it.”
Then local DJ Molly Fi, who has run the Girls on Decks events
for a decade, “lit a fire under her bum” and encouraged her to
follow through with it.
The project was not easy by any means. Not only was it challenging
compiling the list of all female Calgarian DJs, but then to
convince some of the more hesitant subjects, and incorporate
them all, even the ones who had moved away from Calgary, was
a remarkable achievemen. Now complete, she has said that it has
led to community building, drawing these women together, creating
new relationships, business partners and support networks.
The Ten Percent book release took place at the McHugh house on
January 27 with limited copies available. Visit www.leighannehazard.
com for more information.
BY JONATHAN CRANE
at Lougheed’s studio. The majority of the
percussion is live drumming by Andres, with
Lougheed alternating between the sax and the
guitar. McMechan manned the production
software, capturing everything and turning it
into loops in real time. The trio improvise then
decide on which elements to keep. This means
NOIR’s fans will find the EP authentic to what
happens on stage.
“Jamie plays the sax on the EP exactly the
same way that he plays the sax live, and same
with the congos,” says McMechan.
With the EP soon released on Bandcamp,
they hope to use it for festival applications. If
this comes to fruition they’ll contemplate taking
their act onto the road.
“Depending on how the album release goes
and how people receive it, that could really bring
us one way or another,” says McMechan.
Either way, the group is happy with their
achievements over the last four years. Many local
DJs made their debut at NOIR, and the group
pledges to keep this innovation, and the eclectic
blend of music flowing into 2018.
For information on the EP’s release, follow BLVD
NOIR at www.facebook.com/noiryyc
BY PAUL RODGERS
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 33
Ellen Doty releases ‘Come Fall’ on March 3.
is it” was the first thing Ellen
Doty declared after a demo
session in Toronto that would lay
the groundwork for her new album ‘Come
Fall.’ As a result of creative experimentation
and growth through personal experience,
Doty has unearthed a stripped down version
of her already nuanced jazz-pop sound.
“We were in the studio with a six-piece
band doing this demo session of a song,
but even though they are all incredible [musicians]
it just wasn’t sounding right,” the
Calgary based Doty explains.
“So Davide Di Renzo [the producer and
drummer on ‘Come Fall’] said, ‘How do
you feel about just the three of us – piano,
drums, vocals – playing together.’ So we
tried it, and it was magic!”
By pushing her artistic boundaries and refusing
to be placed in a box, Doty achieved
musical brilliance that sets her apart from
her peers. What she describes as “a mix
of jazz, pop, soul, indie, and folk,” Doty’s
sophomore album clearly proves her voice
knows no limits. But it is perhaps her modesty
and the purity of her intent to create
good music that continues to define her as
a blossoming Canadian artist.
As a nod to her talent, passion, and work
ethic, Alma Records came knocking, adding
Doty to their roster in 2017. Doty expresses
her excitement to be signed alongside artists
such as Phil Dwyer, Hilario Duran, and
“I’m really honoured to be in a group
with so many Grammy-nominated and Juno
award-winning artists. I feel so lucky to be a
part of it!”
Doty admits she is no longer worried
about trying to fit into a certain genre. She
has adopted a “whatever comes out, that’s
it” approach to creating music, demonstrating
you don’t need to stick to one genre to
be a successful recording artist. Remaining
true to herself and conveying her distinct
creative vision are qualities that have, and
will continue to, do her well.
“Everyone has goals they want to achieve
as an artist and we all have those ‘pie in the
sky’ dreams to get a Grammy, but I think
just being able to make a living and enjoy
what you do everyday is a pretty special
PHOTO: BRENDAN KLEM
thing to have. I think everyone that chooses
a path like this knows that there’s a good
chance you’re not going to be wealthy and
rich, but rich in spirit. And I think that’s
Considering her grandmother lived across
the street from Nat King Cole and spent
countless nights dancing at the Hollywood
Palladium, it isn’t hard to believe that Doty
was destined to become a musician. If it
weren’t the jazz influence that runs deep in
her roots, then it was the universe conspiring
to bring her to the stage. Originally
pursuing a degree in Geology, Doty was
looking ahead to a comfortable future: one
that promised security in the form of a nice
house, a nice car, and nice things. But for
Doty, nice wasn’t going to cut it.
“I was three years in and it was interesting,
but it wasn’t what I loved,” Doty
“That was the first time I hadn’t really
been doing music. I had been performing
a bit on the side, but I wasn’t practicing all
the time and I really missed it. My body and
soul were screaming ‘no! Stop this!’”
BY ALIX BRUCH
Fate brought Dave Mancini, an accomplished
jazz drummer and composer, to
the Fairmont Palliser on an ordinary Friday
night in 2012, where heard Doty’s mesmerizing
voice for the first time. Quickly recognizing
her undeniable talent, Mancini made
a move that would pluck Doty from the
path already laid at her feet and kick-start
her career as a singer-songwriter.
“We finished a set and he came up to say
hi and said, ‘So what are you doing, do you
have an album, do you do this professionally?’
When I told him I was doing geology
in school and playing music for fun he said,
‘You should be pursuing music as your job.
Take it from me, it’s possible, you can do it.
And if you need help, I’d really like you to
come to New York and I’ll mentor you and
help you get connected.’ Before leaving he
told me he expected to hear from me, and
that was it. He called me the next week
asking when I was coming, and I told him
I would be there in September, which was
about a month later.”
Doty stayed true to her word and took
the plunge, taking lessons at Julliard and
getting her feet wet as a professional musician.
And she hasn’t looked back since.
“I really felt an urge to pursue it [music]
further and I think I just realized that if it’s
something you are really passionate about,
you’ll put more work into it than anything
In addition to studying vocal jazz, Doty
has staked her place as a prolific songwriter.
Drawing from personal experience, Doty
injects raw emotion into her music, which
accentuates her vocal performance.
“Being vulnerable not only helps me
connect with the music but with people
too. A lot of people have shared experience
through grief, love, and loss, and finding
ways to communicate that through song
can be really powerful.”
Further exploring the writing process,
Doty has taken an interest in collaborating
with other artists, including fellow local
musicians Danny Vacon and Scott MacKay.
“I wake up everyday super excited to
work on my music. I feel like I can put in
endless amount of hours and never feel
like it’s work because it always feels like I’m
moving towards something that is really
important to me.”
Ellen Doty releases ‘Come Fall’ on Saturday,
Mar. 3 at the Bella Concert Hall (Calgary). She
will also perform on Thursday, Mar. 22 at the
CKUA Performance Hall (Edmonton).
34 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ROOTS
SOUL IN THE CITY
a seat at the table
As part of Black History Month, Soul
In The City is a collaboration of
artists setting a platform that speaks
to race relations, politics and inclusion.
Lynn Olagundoye, art and musical
director of the event, emphasizes not
only thinking about the past but what’s
on the horizon.
“We’re also trying to think of the
future – daring to dream, daring to
think out of the box, thinking of a
future where we all have a place at the
table and everyone is included.”
Even Donald Trump, does he get
“Hahaha!” laughs Olagundoye.
“Never! But we do live in a world
where a country like the US is having
problems with race relations, which
they’ve always had, but it’s becoming
that much more prevalent. Even in
Canada we’re having similar issues, and
one of the challenges is having a deep
I AM THE MOUNTAIN
part of the tribe and feeling the vibe
and thoughtful conversation around
The event itself is curated to weave
from one issue to another. Olagundoye
explains that “It seamlessly brings
together music, poetry and visual art to
tell a powerful story of resilience, struggle
and triumph. The overall intention
of Soul In The City is to contribute
to the community and help foster
connection through the use of various
art forms. And we’re committed to
showcasing the amazing local talent
our city has to offer.”
Local artists include singer-songwriter
Lynn Olagundoye, visual artists
Katherine Calnan and Shaleen Ladha,
poet-writers Pierre Mvono and
Priscilla Bukasa and the hip-hop duo
Soul In The City takes place at Festival
Hall Saturday, Feb. 24.
Check out the video premiere for “Motorcycles” on BeatRoute.ca
Am The Mountain are set to release something soulful, funky,
I and complex with their latest EP, ‘We’re Here For Each Other.’ This
short, six track affair is fresh, while playing on the nostalgic sounds
that make their music nostalgic and comfortable. BeatRoute is
proud to premiere the music video for the bubbly album cut “Motorcycles,”
which you can find at BeatRoute.ca.
Singer and primary songwriter Colton O’Reilly began the band
six years ago and has been performing, touring, and making music
with a steady cast of characters for the last three years. O’Reilly’s
smooth, warm voice and soulful folk-inspired lyrics are paired well
with classically-trained trumpet master Keath Mueller, jazz bassist
and singer-songwriter Jesse Shire (Rosalind), and hip-hop and soul
PHOTO: HENRY ACTESON
BY KAITLIN MOERMAN
influenced brothers Robin and
Jason Cillo, who play drums
and lead guitar respectively.
The seeds of the new EP
were crafted when Aacomplished
album producer Nils
Mikkelsen (AM Static) approached
O’Reilly to record after
hearing the band perform
their song “That Old Feelin,’” a
track from their 2015 offering
‘While Off Adventuring,” at a
O’Reilly says the song is a
It “sums up that familiar
feeling of our band’s name, of
the songs we perform, of the
feeling you feel when you see
us live, all encompassed into I
Am The Mountain,” he says.
The band’s thoughtfully
crafted aesthetic and stage
presence demonstrated during their live shows cultivates a calming
ambience, which in turn echoes the laid-back attitude of their low
tempo bubbly rhythms. It’s right there in the name of the album,
‘We’re Here for Each Other’. I Am The Mountain mounts the tunes
you want to listen to when coming down late at night, or to vibe to
when out on the road.
I Am The Mountain release ‘We’re Here for Each Other’ on Friday, Feb.
16 at the Ironwood Stage and Grill (Calgary) and on Saturday, Feb. 17
at the Mercury Room (Edmonton). Admission includes a copy of the
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 35
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
through hardship to the stars
No Gods, No Idols, No Stage Diving
North Carolina’s Corrosion of Conformity has seen a
lot of changes sweep the music industry since their
inception in 1982, and so it’s only fitting that the punk,
thrash, heavy metal act has reinvented itself on more than
one occasion. Most notably, the comings and goings of
guitarist Pepper Keenan and drummer Reed Mullin have had
a significant impact on the tone and personality of the band.
Tracking their commanding presence, subsequent absences
and gradual reappearances is enough to give a music archivist
hives! Still the steadfast act has managed to survive and thrive,
from the early success of formative albums like Technocracy
(1985) to the definitive movements of In the Arms of God
(2005), the tenacious Southern-blues-rock phenomenon has
made a career of traversing genre-lines and outlasting trends.
Today Corrosion of Conformity continues to draw on the
same elements that have always been their calling card; solid
songwriting, intense collaboration and a pure unabated lust
for working their audiences into a lather. And, judging by their
work ethic, it’s evident that elder statesmen Keenan, guitarist
Woody Weatherman, bassist Mike Dean and Mullin aren’t
quite ready to rust in peace.
“Don’t get me started on the nightmare situation here in the
States. My God!” says percussionist Reed Mullin of the band’s
current political outlook, noting that COC hasn’t abandoned
its post, but is perhaps a bit more subtle in expressing their
views than in the past.
“We still touch on issues, but I don’t think we’re quite as demonstrative,
or finger-pointing, as we’ve been in the past. Not
to say we’ve abandoned things that we feel strongly about.”
Judging by the strength of COC’s first new album full-length
album in four years, No Cross No Crown (2018), the band isn’t
running short on ideas.
“It’s a long one isn’t it? She’s long!” Mullin exclaims with an
air of pride.
BY CHRISTINE LEONARD
“The new album definitely represents us and this chapter
in our history very well. We kind of feel like we can and have
done whatever kind of music we want. And haven’t been
bound by our past or anything like that. Our name is Corrosion
of Conformity (I came up with the name in chemistry class)
and I think we remain true to the name. We’ve always been
into blending different things, because we like a lot of different
types of music. Luckily a lot of people grew with us. Our sound
is complex, it has a lot of influences, and a lot of ear-candy.”
“The vast majority of, No Cross No Crown, was written in
the studio. Originally, we were going to demo the material at
our rehearsal space/studio and then we were going to take the
tracks somewhere else, like Dave Grohl’s studio, to do what
was supposed to be the real tracks. But, as we went along,
the demo tracks just sounded so fucking good that we finally
asked ourselves ‘How are we going to make this better? It
already sounds slammin!’ Everything was really loose and not
over thought and I think that’s one of the main aspects of this
new record. Captures the live essence of COC.”
Bottling the lighting that is COC in-performance is one
thing, but bringing those recorded tracks to life on stage is
another ball of wax. Fortunately, by (the soon to be 52) Mullin’s
estimation, getting back into tour-ready condition was as
simple as falling off a bike.
“We’ve been touring together again as this particular
line-up since 2014. This is a classic line-up and certainly
the most popular one, but if you ask an old crusty punk
rocker they’ll probably disagree with you. We’ve had three
big incarnations as a band; the original ‘80s hardcore punk
version (so it was a little different), and then we did one
album with a guy named Karl Agell singing and Pepper
(Keenan) sang one song called “Vote With A Bullet,” and
that was much more metal and super political, and then the
Pepper one. For me it’s been 18 years since I recorded with
the band. I split for a little while and they did an album with
a badass drummer named Stanton Moore. So, America’s
Volume Dealer is the last one I was did, in 2000. I think we
probably always thought that we could keep going on. I
don’t think we ever thought it was over with.”
Knowing when to say “When!” has never been the hardcore
outfit’s prerogative, but they have established a crew of talented
(and more restrained) individuals who dutifully curb those
tendencies from the other side of the soundproof glass.
“We’ve used our Producer, John Custer, since 1991,” reports
Mullin. “He’s a Raleigh-boy like me, Mike Dean and Woody.
He’s fantastic and was able to extract these killer takes from
me and everybody else. We ended up getting it mixed by Mike
Fraser, he’s a well-known engineer, mixer, producer-guy who
did our Wiseblood album. Something Henry Rollins of Black
Flag used to say was ‘Playing live. That’s the get off. And when
you go to the studio that’s just the documentation of the getoff.’
I think we documented the get-off pretty good.”
Corrosion of Conformity perform with Black Label Society and
Eyehategod on Monday, Feb. 12 at The Ranch Roadhouse (Edmonton),
Friday, Feb. 16 at Bowes Event Centre (Grande Prairie) and
Saturday, Feb. 17 at MacEwan Hall (Calgary)
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 37
Charlie Benante talks his band, sociopolitical volatility, and ‘Jaws’
“I worry. Every day. I have anxiety because of this.
And I’m not alone.”
PHOTO: TRAVIS SHINN
still have the thrill to play live again and see people,”
“I says Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante.
“I have that kind of excitement, but I don’t know if
I have a thrill for ‘the road,’ as such... That’s the crappy
part! These days on tour, I don’t have as much time to
myself as I once did. We all have lots to do during our
day: media interviews, meet-and-greets. It takes time.
I mean, read a book? Yeah, right. The days of reading a
book have now dwindled down to checking e-mail, or
looking online and seeing who said what about who...”
he says, then laughs.
“But I joke a lot.”
Regardless of the rigors and the grind, Anthrax rides
again, hitting the highways with metalcore stalwarts Killswitch
Engage (and Havok!) on a repeat cycle of the highly
successful ‘Killthrax’ tour, which smashes into Alberta via
Edmonton, Calgary, and Grande Prairie.
As one of Anthrax’s earliest members, Benante joined
in the band in 1983, shortly before recording sessions
began for their debut album ‘Fistful of Metal’. He’s
been there ever since, originally establishing himself
as a brilliant drummer in the burgeoning thrash-metal
scene. Hailing from New York City, Anthrax were one of
the few American East Coast thrash bands in a community
largely centered on the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hailed as one of the ‘Big Four’ of the genre alongside
Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer, they’ve released a
whopping 11 albums, selling over 10 million copies
worldwide. Benante’s adept multi-instrumental talents
(he plays electric guitar as well as he plays drums) quickly
made himself invaluable as a co-writer on most of the
band’s music. Now, Anthrax’s current lineup is mostly
a re-solidification of the band’s ‘80s salad days that
includes vocalist Joey Belladonna, rhythm guitarist Scott
BY FERDY BELLAND
Ian, and bassist Frank Bello alongside relative newcomer
Given that two years have now passed since ‘For All
Kings’, the subject of a new Anthrax album is brought up.
“There’s no real news,” regrets Benante. “The only new
release we have is the live DVD, which comes out this
spring. That’s where we’re at. I’ve been compiling new riffs
and new pieces, but nothing complete or cohesive. I haven’t
been collaborating with Scott or anyone else: just recording
my own private demos.I’ve sent some rough
pieces to the other guys, and they’ve liked them. It’d be
wise to focus on a new Anthrax album, once the dust
settles from this coming tour, but I don’t want to jump
ahead and say: ‘Yeah, we have this on the go!’”
Benante elaborates on his current songwriting state
“I commented a while back about how the new material
sounded very angry and pissed-off,” he says.
“And that’s the truth. It’s my reflection of the world
right now. The world is now a very volatile place. Back
in the ‘80s, when we were making those other, earlier
albums, there was anger in certain things, in politics and
whatnot... But there was always a sense of peace, too.
These days, I worry. Every day. I have anxiety because of
this. And I’m not alone. The tones of the new music are
a bit darker and angrier than normal. That’s what I’m
As a coping tool for the volatility of the world,
Benante indulges in film memorabilia. While bandmate
Scott Ian is known to fans as an avid comics collector,
few know Charlie is a rabid fan of Steven Spielberg’s
1975 blockbuster ‘Jaws’; his personal collection of
the movie’s memorabilia was impressive enough to land
him a spot in the 2012 documentary ‘The Shark is Still
Working’. His collection was featured alongside those of
director Steven Spielberg and other celebrity ‘Jaws’ geeks
like Kevin Smith, M. Night Shyamalan, and Eli Roth.
“A few months ago I went to a horror convention
and picked up a ‘Jaws’ patch,” Benante admits. “But I
haven’t been adding a lot to the collection lately. What
I did get... Someone MADE me a life-size Han Solo frozen
in carbonite! So I’m very, very happy about that! My
collection focuses just on ‘Jaws’ itself: I don’t care too
much for the sequels. Maybe ‘Jaws II,’ in a pinch, but the
rest of them...? Um, not so much. They just got worse
and worse, sequel after sequel... But there’s nothing like
that first movie.”
Despite whatever nuisance of the grind of life, touring,
or disintegrating film franchises, Benante yearns for the
road and its wonders.
“I always remember Alberta as one of the prettiest
places in Canada I’ve ever seen. I love the big, open plains,
the rolling hills, the mountains in the distance. It’s just
beautiful, such a nice place. Looking so forward to coming
Metal legends Anthrax perform with Killswitch Engage and
Havoc on the “Killthrax II” tour. They will perform on Monday,
Feb. 19 at the Ranch (Edmonton), Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Revolution
Place Casino (Grand Prairie) and on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at
MacEwan Hall Ballroom (Calgary).
February and early March have a lot to offer – so much so that
we could barely fit in half of what we wanted into this section.
So let’s go!
As covered in our January edition, doom lords Conan will
perform at Palomino with the Weir. The band will also perform in
Edmonton on Saturday, February 10 alongside The Weir, Culled,
and more. That same evening in Calgary, Round 3 of the Wacken
Metal Battle goes down on February 10 at Distortion with Accostal,
Heyoka’s Mirror, Red Cain, To The Mountains, and World
Class White Trash battling for the last slot in the Calgary final.
On Saturday, February 17, head to Rendezvous Pub in Edmonton
for Winnipeg’s own Ossific and Cell. The two bands will be
playing alongside Erebos and new act Everythingyoueverloved,
the latter is making their live debut.
Calgary’s own WAKE are releasing their fourth studio album
‘Misery Rites’ on February 23 via Translation Loss Records. Although
we are huge fans of the project, we’ll be waiting for their
upcoming March tour with Withered to discuss the new record.
In the meantime, we encourage everyone to go order the splatter
colour variant and get familiarized with the crusty grindcore
album so you can shout the lyrics back at the band when they play
Calgary and Edmonton.
Iced Earth will perform on Friday, March 3 at the Starlite Room
in Edmonton and on Saturday, March 3 at the Marquee Beer Market
& Stage in Calgary. Two days later on March 5, Max Cavalera
of Sepultura, Soulfly, and Cavalera Conspiracy fame will be fulfilling
his early 2017 promise to play a set as his shockingly strong industrial
metal sideproject Nailbomb. They’ll be performing all of the
disarmingly sociopolitical statement ‘Pointblank’ an album that
merges industrial metal with hardcore to shockingly strong results.
The band will be performing at Dickens in Calgary alongside Today
is the Day, Lody Kong, and Uncured.
• Sarah Kitteringham
WAKE release ‘Misery Rites’ on February 23 via Translation Loss!
38 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE SHRAPNEL
myth, music, and the ties that bind us
BY GREG GROSE
Enslaved discuss Jung, myth and their relation to metal.
Over their nearly three-decade career,
Enslaved has expelled thunderously heavy
anthems injected with thought provoking
lyrical content, mythic imagery and conceptual
“Before we got involved in Enslaved, me
and Grutle, the singer and my cowriter for the
lyrics, we both came from homes were there
was a lot of interest in culture,” begins Ivar
Bjørnson, rhythm guitarist and co-lyricist for
the band. He is referring to bassist, vocalist,
and lyricist counterpart Grutle Kjellson. They
formed the band in 1991.
“We both had parents who were teachers,
so there would be a lot of books on Native
Americans, aborigines, and Eskimo culture,
but also Vikings. We both had the same experience
of being drawn to this, and spending
the time reading these books as a hobby.
When the time came and we formed Enslaved,
we agreed we needed some kind of concept
behind it, and Norse mythology felt natural.”
What makes Enslaved special is not the utilization
of Nordic myth (a topic oft exploited
by metal bands to varying success), but rather
the metaphorical and psychological lens that
they apply to said myths. Thor and Odin are
not only powerful figures in the lyrics, but
metaphors for aspects of human nature.
“The scientific link between psychology
and Norse mythology came from the Austrian
Carl Jung, one of Freud’s students, who started
doing field work and found compelling evidence
that a lot of this mythological language
and symbolism, and the different figures that
appear in mythology, seem to be pre-installed
software in the human mind. Where people
come from places with no abilities to obtain
these images of dragons or other figurines, or
geometric symbols, but they seem to be with
us from the time we are born.”
This metaphorical thinking was integrated
throughout the band’s 14th studio album
‘E’, released in October via Nuclear Blast. ‘E’
delivers the same masterful and progressive
black metal that Enslaved have perfected over
their colossal discography. The epic choruses
and triumphant progressions weave to
terrific heights, but the lyrical subject matter
differentiates itself with an acute focus on
relationships and empathy, specifically the
transformative aspects of those connections.
“It sort of opened up with the song that
was first written for the album [called] “Sacred
Horse,”” explains Bjørnson. The song ultimately
became the third on the eight-track album.
“That just had something about it that
didn’t feel like was explored enough on it.
The theme of that was the rune Ehwaz, which
[literally] translates to ‘horse.’”
The rune is associated with harmony and
trust, symbolizing interconnectivity.
“In this, [we] specifically focused on the
relationship between man and other living beings.
The thought that we are exploring is the
relationship between other living creatures,
[which] spawned an idea about things bigger
than just the mundane, and is extremely formative
on how we function. And we thought
that was such a big thought, and such an explosive
expansion on topics and concepts that
we decided to just take on different angles of
the concept for the album. They’re all about
relationships and interdependencies.”
Enslaved perform with Wolves in the Throne
Room, Myrkur, and Khemmis at the Decibel Magazine
Tour. The tour takes on Friday, March 2 at
MacEwan Hall (Calgary) and on Saturday, March
3 at The Starlite Ballroom (Edmonton).
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 39
Arts & Crafts
Even when they were still Dirty Frigs, Toronto
quartet FRIGS stood out amongst a crowded
field of chorus-pedal-loving, grunge-indebted
post-punk bands from the nation’s biggest city.
Led by frontwoman Bria Salmena, the band
built their name off a raucous live show and
two solid EPs (the self-titled EP Dirty Frigs and
2016’s Slush EP after changing their name).
Now, after signing with the stalwart indie
label Arts & Crafts, the band return with
their proper debut Basic Behaviour. Like their
previous EPs, the album was produced over a
16-month period in the band’s home studio,
with supplementary production at Union
Sound Company in Toronto. The result is an
album that has flourishes of experimentalism
without losing any of its urgency.
On songs like the opener “Doghead,” brittle
guitar tones chime with chorus while effects
wash throughout and drones swell underneath.
Even on the most straight-forward
tracks, something in the background is always
lurking in the swampy exterior.
Much of Basic Behaviour is slow-tempo,
shambling along in its gothic atmospheres,
but when the band speeds up it’s all the more
noticeable. “Talking Pictures,” for instance, is
a motorik dirge that encapsulates much of
what makes FRIGS so compelling: skronky,
tightly-wound guitars, propulsive drums
and a vocal performance from Salmena that
oscillates between quiet speak-singing and
Here, and on much of the album, Salmena
reminds of Kim Gordon. Her poetic delivery
is rarely melodic, instead serving as a gravel
texture that anchors the rest of the band.
This is especially true on “Solid State,” a song
that could serve as the sister record to Sonic
Youth’s “Tunic (Song for Karen),” complete
with a droning guitar outro that feels pulled
directly out of the band’s late-‘80s heyday.
The comparisons to Sonic Youth don’t just
stop at the band’s sonic identity, but in their
ability to craft a singular mood throughout
the album. Basic Behaviour is a bleak,
distressing listen for most of its runtime,
but that doesn’t mean it’s ever a slog. Songs
never overstay their welcome and as much
of the album feels dour and minor-key, songs
like “Gemini” offer brief moments of relative
levity. It’s a synth-heavy ballad that wouldn’t
feel completely out of place on Angel Olsen’s
Of course, “Gemini” is followed up by the
album’s centerpiece “I” and “II,” the two tracks
that find the band at their most outright post
punk. The latter song sounds like a Savages'
track with Johnny Marr filling in on guitar. It’s
a possessed stomp that sees the band at their
least optimistic. “This is shit / Just admit it /
Just admit it / This is shit,” Salmena repeats in
her most dissatisfied on the album.
“Trashyard,” a song that’s been floating
around the internet since 2016, feels like a ‘60s
psychedelic tune sent through a Oujia board
and come back through the other side. Like
much else on the album, it’s been reworked
and perfected into a meticulous, seven-minute
trudge through murky atmospheres. It
feels like a Preoccupations song in a benzo
haze, ending with Salmena reaching her
vocal apex, no longer annunciating anything,
instead offering full-throated guttural shouts.
As the last song on the album, it’s as if
FRIGS have finally arrived at the destination
they’ve been working towards the past five
years. As with the rest of Basic Behaviour, it’s
a well-earned victory lap that builds off the
band’s previous output to arrive with a compelling
• JAMIE MCNAMARA
Illustration: SOFIA ELIDRISSI
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 41
Uncle, Duke & the Chief
Paper Bag Records
Born Ruffians are one of many indie rock
bands that bubbled up in the mid-2000s.
Hailing from small-town, Toronto-adjacent
Midland, Ontario, the group draws heavy
inspiration from bands like Modest Mouse
and Arcade Fire.
The band went through a bit of a change
a few years ago with their 2013 album
Birthmarks when they parted ways with their
original drummer Steve Hamelin and added a
second guitarist. It led to a cleaner sound, one
that was a little less rough around the edges.
With their fifth studio album Uncle, Duke &
The Chief, Hamelin returns and the band shifts
back to their grittier sound, recording as a trio.
Born Ruffians seem to produce their best
material when that frantic nature comes
out in their songwriting. Moments on
Uncle, Duke & The Chief sound like drunken
eulogizing, with lead vocalist Luke Lalonde
rapidly shifting from desperate yelps to singalong
celebratory anthemic shouting.
Catchy choruses, jubilant guitars and an
intense earnestness all shine through on the
band’s new output, something that’s been
lacking from the band’s output since their
debut in 2008. The album’s songwriting is
strong, strong enough to buoy it above the
ocean of albums out there like it.
• Cole Parker
Cecil Frena has been around for a while. The
mastermind behind Edmonton weird pop
acts Gobble Gobble and Born Gold, he’s also
worked with other lauded acts from that
scene like Purity Ring, Grimes and Chairlift.
The Gridlock is his debut under his birth
name, his first full release since 2013 and a
noticeable shift towards a different sound.
A lot of care is placed into the sonics of the
record. Layered synths and vocals, wildly varied
guitars, and Frena’s experience with glitchy
pop music is channeled into furious growls of
feedback and noise that feel so, so good.
“Nerves Grow Rust” and “All of My
Heroes” open the album with some great
synth-singed pop rock before you hear the
chugging of a car engine, a count, and a stellar
drum fill that leads you into the hardcore
track “Unknow Yourself.”
The Gridlock feels like an artist deconstructing
his identity, musical and otherwise,
and letting us watch as he pulls the pieces
back together, with lyrical content to match.
A bank robber speaks aloud the existential
crisis brought on by L.A. property prices,
Frena reluctantly confesses love, and asserts
that dancing on an airplane might treat
some of his nihilistic woes.
The Gridlock is a horribly fun rebirth of
an artist who’s still actively finding the best
version of themselves.
• Cole Parker
No Dogs Allowed
Boston’s Sidney Gish is a distinctly 2018 kind
of songwriter. The 20 year-old has quietly been
developing a voice for absurdist, meme-asmusic
songs through YouTube and BandCamp
since 2015, but No Dogs Allowed, her sophomore
album, is an internet breakthrough.
Like Clairo, early Frankie Cosmos or Car
Seat Headrest, Gish’s career exists almost
solely on the internet, but gone are the days
that would be a knock. With its MS Paint
cover aesthetic, No Dogs Allowed is deceptively
clever bedroom pop that puts Gish’s
neuroses front and center.
On standout track “Sin Triangle,” Gish’s
lyricism and deft skill of self-roasting is on full
display. “Two-faced bitches never lie / And
therefore I never lie,” she sings overtop a laptop
lounge rock joint that feels effortlessly cool.
Every nook and cranny of No Dogs
Allowed is filled with earworms and it’s not
hard to fall in love with it.
• Jamie McNamara
The Go! Team
The Go! Team has made some seriously bombastic
music over the years, but has always
maintained a level of obscurity that keeps
any of their tracks from being too sugary to
rock out to. From bubblegum pop, to grimy
hip-hop, to indie rock, it’s always been big
melodies for people who abhor contemporary
SEMICIRCLE is no exception, a huge record
full of compelling vocal melodies, driving
rhythms and badass instrumental arrangements.
The downside is that the whole
record sounds like it’s being performed from
the bottom of a well. This production style,
which pushes the vocals back in the mix
and compressed much of the instrumentation
to a similar level, creates an almost
marching band like listening experience.
Every instrument sounds like it’s in the same
room, possibly a high school gymnasium. It’s
impressive that a band that has at moments
been a rock ensemble can still sound like
themselves with so many horns, xylophones
and flutes, but the fuzzy production keeps
any of the real bangers on the record, like
the single “Semicircle Song,” from being that
successful. The most effective tracks on the
record are the more contained ones, especially
the tracks that let Ninja stand out with
her gorgeous vocal performance like “Plans
Are Like a Dream U Organize.”
It’s hard not to smile your way through
SEMICIRCLE, it’s just so much fun, but it
doesn’t necessarily reward close listening.
• Liam Prost
Sovereign nose of (y)our
As Scallops Hotel, Wisconsin rapper and producer
Milo creates tranquil atmospheres like
an alchemist who found the philosopher’s
stone. He knows when to let the beat rise
and bubble before splashing in his conversational
flow, which is reminiscent of Earl
Sweatshirt in style and skill. Sovereign nose
of (y)our arrogant face is the second entry in
a trilogy that began last year with Over The
Carnage Rose A Voice Prophetic.
The production is minimal and piano-heavy,
meshing perfectly with Milo’s poetic
and often hilarious versus touching on topics
like socioeconomic shifts and Mortal Kombat
references. Fittingly, on “Rank, Title, Pressures,”
Scallops Hotel mentions Mugen, a character
from the stylish and hip-hop-inspired anime
Samurai Champloo, which used to air on
Adult Swim. The network is known for its
impeccable music between shows, favouring
sounds on the Flying Lotus spectrum. In this
sense, the 25 year-old rapper is embracing
the influences of his youth as Scallops Hotel,
carrying the fluttering torch to enlighten a
new generation. Whether his next release is labelled
as Scallops Hotel or Milo, Rory Ferreira
proves time and time again he can turn his old
influences into modern gold.
• Paul McAleer
The Sumner Brothers
To Elliot – In Remembrance Of
Through a career notable for sonic twists,
Vancouver’s Sumner Brothers follow up the
dark, energetic tone of their 2015 release, The
Hell In Your Mind, with the reflective and
gentle To Elliot – In Remembrance Of Wolf.
The album is a collection of instrumentally
spare covers by a who’s who of roots songwriters,
including Billy Joe Shaver, Warren
Zevon, and Bruce Springsteen.
Brothers Bob and Brian Sumner keep the
arrangements light and tight to the originals
on To Elliot. Brian’s plaintive drawl on Springsteen’s
“The Ghost Of Tom Joad” and Zevon’s
“Carmelita,” allows the melody and lyrics to
shine through – the latter getting a relaxed
electric guitar and subtle female harmony to
go along with the mellow cantina vibe. Bob’s
baritone is haunting on his take of The Tragically
Hip’s classic album cut “Scared,” and on
Jolie Holland’s “Damn Shame.” For those aware
of Zachary Lucky or Colter Wall, Bob’s timbre
will sound immediately familiar, its tenderness
belied by a gruff, aged tone, the kind of vocal
people often call that of “an old soul.”
The Sumner Brothers are one of Western
Canada’s best underground roots acts, and
their taste in quality songs is evident on To
Elliot – In Remembrance Of Wolf. It’s easy
enough to play covers everyone has heard.
But when an artist digs a little deeper and
shows their audience something farther removed
from expectation, the listener gets to
experience a piece of the artist’s inspiration.
• Mike Dunn
I can feel you creep into my
It’s abrupt how little abruptness there is in
42 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE
the latest release from Tune-Yards. The rhythmic
attack and staccato catch-and-release
structure of the weird-pop outfits previous
releases were career defining. I can feel you
creep into my private life brings enormous
simplicity to the rhythms, but the off-kilter
melodies and nasally delivery from frontwoman
Merrill Garbus become even more
prescient to the project as a result. Most
tracks are anchored by simple four-beats and
structured like electronic music, specifically
techno, but occasionally even features droplike
movements that echo dance music. This
is most notable in the singles like “Look at
Other tracks feature a more deliberate
instrumental build up that resembles LCD
Soundsystem. The effectiveness of the record
is mostly due to the shear textural variety,
combined with the huge personality of
Garbus’ voice and lyrics. Garbus writes a lot
about her social position on the record, both
in her vulnerability as a woman in the public
eye, which is echoed in the title of the record
(and is spoken aloud several times during the
record), and also in her self-consciousness
about her white privilege. This is spoken
to most directly in the first-person-sung
Garbus’ own political self-awareness is
a testament to the tonal variety that has
defined her career. Tune-Yards routinely uses
ethnically tinged instrumentation, but no
song or even musical movement is distinctly
drawn from any particular culture to even
consider it appropriative. I can feel you creep
into my private life is a weird, woke, and
ultimately wonderful piece of work.
• Liam Prost
Roll Call Records
With the release of Offerings, Portland–
based Typhoon once again attracts listeners
to delve into the emotion and passion of
front man Kyle Morton. Offerings is the
fourth studio album for the band and the
sound differs significantly from White
Lighter, the last studio album by indie symphonic
collective. A much more distorted
and frantic sound, Offerings fails to capture
the listener’s full attention throughout and
seems disjointed in the story it is meant to
tell. The albums structure seems off, starting
with “Wake,” a frantic song that is off-putting
to the listener. However, it is followed
by “Rorschach,” which for fans of Typhoon
will be a welcome return to form. The
album ends with the nearly 13-minute epic
“Sleep” which draws comparisons to the
2009 release of Hospice by Brooklyn-based
band The Antlers. This epic is the strongest
song on the album and showcases Morton’s
storytelling as well as the larger orchestral
quality that is Typhoon.
• Andrew Bardsley
In A Poem Unlimited
Often described as idiosyncratic, Meg Remy
of U.S. Girls has now made a decade of creative
work and used fuel from her 2016 Juno
Nomination for Alternative Album of the
Year to build an inquisitive, well-produced
and bizarre portrait of a disenchanted yet
disarming reality in In a Poem Unlimited.
Never without hook and never without
it’s draws from pop to magnet listeners in,
Remy twists expectation on itself to create
completely danceable and somewhat perplexing
disco-loaded schemes. Remy’s blunt
use of repetition, computerized undertones,
and sometimes breathy, sometimes
undulating pitched vocals, never quite suit
the traditional confines of pop and add to
an inner richness that frames something
Remy uses quaking siren-like guitar and
saxophone lines that are catchy and captivating;
breathing a modern air into their reverb
and fully capitalizing on their strength
in songs like “Velvet For Sale” and “Rage of
Plastics.” What Remy does excessively well,
it seems, is splice discordant, no-wave reactionary
elements with more reliable basics
of pop and disco. The album elaborates but
doesn’t overcomplicate some intoxicating
boogie while keeping with real emotion.
Including a short clip of her decimated
voice stating the obvious, Remy follows this
with the most harmonious and easy going,
alpha wave infused “Rosebud,” and curtails
this immediately with the wailing “Incidental
Boogie” ¬— opened up by words on
abandonment. The groove never lets up,
and Remy’s natural lean towards reinterpretation
and repetition is exploited in great
combination with varying rhythms and
constantly engaging material.
Closing with “Time,” Remy picks up some
massive speed for her final piece. “There is
no time” she repeats as she delves into over
seven minutes of guitar and sax solos. She
eases in and out but never slows down, and
things quickly get jumbled together, layers
pile onto a solid groove. The instruments
seemingly improvise their own end while
the albums’ many elements ring on and
shake it off.
• Arielle Lessard
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 43
The wild antics of Annie-Claude Deschênes of Duchess Says crowdsurfing during this year’s
BIG Winter Classic
PHOTO: LIAM PROST
BIG Winter Classic
Last Best Brewery, Jan. 21
Calgary loves Partner. Maybe it’s my biased
opinion, or perhaps it’s because they’re the only
band I saw that weekend who got called back
for an encore, but it seemed to ring true to the
packed patio at Last Best Sunday night. The
stage dynamic between Lucy Niles and Josée
Caron, along with the rest of their band, had the
audience at ease. That might be why the crowd
opened up a mosh pit during “Ambassador to
Ecstasy” or found each other headbanging along
to “The Ellen Page.” Last time Partner visited
Calgary was in 2016, for Sled Island. Since their
first time here, the band has produced a full
length album, booked a world tour and gained
well-deserved attention from media and their
growing fanbase. Yet their Big Winter Classic
show still had the same intimate, high energy
feeling as it did in 2016, complete with a cover
of “I’m The Only One” by Melissa Etheridge.
Filling a break for technical difficulties, the band
sang their emergency song, “Long & McQuade”
and finished off with Caron playing guitar in the
mosh pit and an encore they weren’t prepared
for, but played anyways. I think it’s safe to say
I speak for everyone when I say, Partner, come
• Amber McLinden
BIG Winter Classic
Gerry Thomas Gallery, Jan. 19
“We’ve had four naps today!” Melina Duterte
told the crowd at the Gerry Thomas Gallery on
Friday night. While it was funny to hear, it speaks
to the overall vulnerability of Duterte’s music
and her live performance. Her lo-fi bedroom pop
sound, backed by the members of her talented
band, reverberated through the venue and
captivated the audience. Kicking off the set with
“Everybody Works,” the name of Duterte’s latest
album, the audience immediately started to
sway. The entire band had an awkward manner
about them, which wasn’t detrimental to their
set but rather endearing. Playing crowd favourites
“I Think You’re Alright” and closing with
“Baybee,” we all found ourselves belting the lyrics
alongside Duterte. A hush fell over (most) of
the crowd during “The Bus Song,” a tune about
nearing the end of a relationship, reflected in
the pace the band played the song. Jay Som was
both enthralling and relatable, perhaps speaking
to the crowd she and her band drew to the gallery.
You might have shed a tear, you might have
laughed a little, but with the set they played, you
definitely felt a little bit of something from a raw
and beautiful show.
BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 45
I am a 38-year-old lesbian, very femme, very out. I have a coworker
I can’t figure out. We’ve worked together for a year and gotten very
close. I never want to put out the wrong signals to coworkers, and I err
on the side of keeping a safe but friendly distance. This is different. We
are each other’s confidants at work. We stare at each other across the
office, we text until late at night, and we go for weekend dog walks.
Her texts aren’t overtly flirty, but they are intimate and feel more than
friendly. I’ve never had a “straight” girl act like this toward me. Is she
into me? Or just needy? Is it all in my head?
–Workplace Obsession Roiling Knowing-If-Nervous Gal
Five weeks ago, a letter writer jumped down my throat for giving
advice to lesbians despite not being a lesbian myself. Questions from
lesbians have been pouring in ever since—lesbians apparently don’t
like being told who they may or may not ask for advice. Three weeks
ago, I responded to a man whose coworker asked him if he might
want to sleep with the coworker’s wife—a coworker who was “not
[his] boss”—and people jumped down my throat for entertaining
the idea because it is NEVER EVER NEVER EVER okay to sleep with a
coworker and/or a coworker’s spouse. And now here I am responding
to a question from a lesbian who wants to sleep with a coworker.
Farewell to my mentions, as the kids say.
Here we go, WORKING…
Your straight-identified workmate could be straight, or she could
be a lesbian (lots of lesbians come out later in life), or she could
be bisexual (most bisexual women are closeted, and others are
perceived to be straight despite their best efforts to identify as bisexual)—and
lots of late-in-lifers and/or closeted folks don’t come out
until some hot same-sex prospect works up the nerve to ask them
out. If your coworker isn’t currently under you at work and you’re
not an imminent promotion away from becoming her supervisor
and your company doesn’t incentivize workplace romances by
banning them, ask your coworker out on a date—an unambiguous
ask for a date, not an appointment to meet up at the dog park. And
this is important: Before she can respond to your ask, WORKING,
invite her to say “no” if the answer is no or “straight” if the identity is
straight. Good luck!
I’m a lesbian, and my partner recently reconnected with a childhood
friend. At first I felt sorry for him, as he was having a health crisis. But
he’s better now, and his pushy behavior really gets to me. He texts
her at all hours—and when he can’t get in touch with her, he bugs
me. When I refused to go on a trip with him and his husband, he
guilt-tripped me for weeks. He constantly wants us to come to his
house, but they’re chain-smokers. I’m going to Los Angeles to interview
a celebrity for a project, and now he’s trying to insert himself into this
trip because he wants go starfucking! He also wants to officiate at our
upcoming wedding! My partner won’t stand up for me when I say no
to this guy. How can I get my partner to listen to me or get her jackass
friend to leave me be?
–Can’t Think Of A Clever Acronym
Burn it down, CTOACA. Call or e-mail your partner’s old friend and
tell him you think he’s a pushy, unpleasant, smelly asshole and that
you don’t want to hang out with him—not at his place, not on a
trip, and not at your wedding, which he not only won’t be officiating
but, if you had your druthers, he wouldn’t be attending. That
should do it. You can’t tell your soon-to-be wife who she can’t have
as a friend—that’s controlling behavior—but she can’t force you to
spend time with someone you loathe.
I’m a 40-year-old lesbian in Alabama, and I work with a woman I
find impossible to resist. The catch is she’s 66, straight, and has two
children. I love her deeply, she loves me, but we don’t have sex. She has
given me a pass to sleep with whoever I like, but I’m one of those weirdos
who requires an emotional connection to sleep with someone. The
odd thing is that she vacillates between heavily making out with me
every time we are alone together and saying, “No, I can’t, I’m straight!”
Why does she do everything but sex if she’s straight?
–Feeling Really Unsure Since This Remarkably Amazing
Temptress Entered Domain
That nice straight lady from work is making out with you because
she likes it (the thirst is real), FRUSTRATED, or she’s making out
with you because she wants you in her life and believes—perhaps
mistakenly—that this is the only way to hold your interest/fuel your
obsession (the thirst is faked). If she likes it, then she’s a lesbian or
bisexual but so invested in her heterosexual identity that she can’t
“go there.” (Alabama, you said? Maybe she doesn’t feel safe being
out in your community.) If she’s making out with you only because
she’s lonely and values your friendship and/or enjoys the ego boost
of being your obsession, then you don’t want to keep making out
BY DAN SAVAGE
with her—for her sake (no one feels good after making out with
someone they’d rather not be making out with) and for your own
sake (those make-out sessions give you false hope and prevent you
from directing your romantic and erotic energies elsewhere).
I’m a woman in my early 60s with a healthy lifestyle and an even
healthier libido. I’ve had almost exclusively hetero relationships, but
I’ve been attracted to women all my life and all of my masturbation
fantasies involve women. The older I get, the more I think about
a relationship with a woman. The thought of being in love with a
woman, making love with her, sharing a life with her—it all sounds
like heaven. The trouble is that it’s really hard to see how I’ll meet
women who would be interested in me. There’s rarely anyone my
age on dating apps. I don’t even know what age range is reasonable.
What’s a reasonable age difference for women with women? Also,
who is going to be interested in a rookie? Advice?
–Energetic Lonely Dame Envisioning Relationship
Emmy-Award-winning actress Sarah Paulson is 43 years old and
Emmy-Award-winning actress Holland Taylor is 75—and Sarah
and Holland have been girlfriends for almost three years. Emmy-Award-winning
talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres is 60 years old
and Screen-Actors-Guild-Award-winning actress Portia de Rossi is
45 years old—and Ellen and Portia have been together for 13 years
and married for almost 10. There are lots of non-Emmy/SAG-
Award-winning lesbians out there in relationships with significant
age gaps—and at least one lesbian in Alabama who desperately
wants to be in one. So don’t let the lack of older women on dating
apps prevent you from putting yourself out there on apps and
elsewhere, ELDER. As for your rookie status, there are two examples
of lesbians pining over rookies in this very column!
And remember: If you put yourself out there, you might be alone
a year from now—but if you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll
definitely be alone a year from now.
Listen to the Savage Lovecast every week at savagelovecast.com
@fakedansavage on Twitter
46 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE