Artifact Film Fest • Rae Spoon • Alvvays • Ministry • Erin Costello • Hot Snakes• DJ Nu-Mark
MARCH 2018 I EVENT LISTINGS
Friday March 2nd
The Ashley Hundred
Saturday March 3rd
Thursday March 8th
Beatroute Issue Release Party
Friday March 9th
Phillips Brewing & Malting co.
Saturday March 10th
WAKE Album Release for ‘Misery Rites’
with guests Fall City Fall, Spurn and
Murk (members of Kataplexis, Triton)
2 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
Tuesday March 13th
Shawn James (of the Shapeshifters solo set)
Jon Whitehead (Double Fuzz)
Friday March 16th
Rhythm of Cruelty
Sunglaciers (Tape Release)
Paradise (Tape Release)
Saturday March 17th
Ten Minute Detour
Wednesday March 21st
Pabst Blue Ribbon presents another FREE
show at The Palomino Smokehouse with
Caveboy (Toronto) and guests
Friday March 23rd
The Corey Hotline
Friday March 23rd
Saturday March 24th
Buffalo Bud Buster
Monday March 26th
Thursday March 29th
Common Deer (Toronto)
I am the Mountain
Jesse & The Dandelions
Friday March 30th
Saturday March 31st
Long Time No Time
Friday April 6th
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Ghostkeeper and DRI HIEV
Saturday April 7th
Escape-Ism (Ian Svenonius)
Friday April 20th
The Prowlers (Montreal)
Bats Out (Regina)
109 7TH AVE SW 403 532 1911 THEPALOMINO.CA
Friday April 27th
Burger Records’ Pink Mexico and guests
Friday May 4th
Preoccupations with Freak Heat Waves
Saturday May 5th
Preoccupations with Melted Mirror
Tuesday May 15th
Supersuckers with guests A-BOMB and
The Foul English
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MIESHA AND THE SPANKS
Roswell Reinvented, Jake and Admire,
Five & Art Merch, YYC Scene
Artifact Film Fest, Lizard in a Woman’s Skin,
5 Films, Expressokino, Vidiot
Ten Minute Detour, SXSW, Alvvays, Rae Spoon,
St. Paddy’s Song & Dance
edmonton extra 28-33
Feed Dogs, Erin Kay, Grizzly Trail, Dead Friends,
Vision of Comics, Eye On Edmonton
The Casting Couch with BEAU
photo: Lee Reed
DJ Nu-Mark, Adralan, Cartel Madras, Matt & Gill,
Metalfloor, Let’s Get Jucy
Erin Costello, Matthew Barber, White Buffalow,
Ministry, Iron Tusk, Wake, King Woman,
Month in Metal
Hot Snakes, Essaie Pas, Nap Eyes, Young Fathers
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 •
Tel: (403) 607-4948 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We distribute our publication in
Banff, Canmore, and Lethbridge.
SARGE Distribution in Edmonton
photo: Paul Chirka
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BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 3
FF18SpringBRouteAd.qxp_Layout 1 2018-02-22 5:32 PM Page 1
4 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
KING OF KENSINGTON
holds court at the Oak Tree Tavern
DARTS & GAMES
SAT. MARCH 17
And just happens to be an Irishman,
Stuart Connor, who knows how to
serve a great whiskey. A lot of them
DOORS - 11 AM
LIVE IRISH MUSIC
124 10 STREET NW • CALGARY ALBERTA
BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 5
6 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
TAKING IT TO HEART
Volume 2 Album Release & Benefit Show
NITE OWL SATURDAY, MARCH 10th – doors 9 pm, show 10 pm
$15 cover – all proceeds donated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation
THE WET SECRETS :: Swampy basslines, primal drumming, dancing ladies with brassy
hornstacks, keys, congas & vocal harmonies galore.
Is weird. She’s weird in the way that all interesting
and ground-breaking things are weird.
ALL HANDS ON JANE
Get ready to shred an avalanche of whiskey
on a bobsled made of rock and roll.
BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 7
SHE WALKS AMONGST US
Roswell revisited, reinvented
BY B. SIMM
When Calgary art critic, renown writer and curator, Nancy Tousley, asked John
Will if he had some new art to exhibit, he compiled a series of photos that
he found unusual taken two decades ago in Roswell, New Mexico.
In 1997, Will, a professor in the art department at the University of Calgary, was
visiting friends in Albuquerque when he saw Time Magazine had an image of an
alien splashed across the front cover promoting the 50th anniversary of the UFO
crash near Roswell. Intrigued, like most North Americans, he decided to make the
pilgrimage to the crash site that was only a few hours away. At Roswell, Will unearthed
a peculiar but enticing story that captures the obsession so many people
have with the secretive landing of 1947.
“I saw the Time cover, and it sounded like something interesting to go see,”
recalls Will over a mid-day coffee. “So I went down, and it turned out to be kind
of a family affair with a lot of tourists. There were some symposiums with experts
and so on, but it was kind of boring.”
Nonetheless, Will made the rounds coming across an old department store
that had closed its door, but for the occasion was converted into a souvenir shop
full of “t-shirts, baseball caps, commemorative bottled water, educational texts,
and other extraterrestrial flotsam and jetsam.”
Inside the big shop of alien artifacts and keepsakes, Will encountered and
exhibition called The Gateway Chamber. “I can only describe it as a strange sort of
sensory-deprivation room, painted completely yellow, with soft elevator piped in.”
The music playing was a variation of the ‘50s hit “Rockin’ Robin” but the
lyrics had been altered… “She started going steady, and bless my soul/She walks
amongst us like an oriole/Rocket robin/Rock, rock/ Rocket robin.” Upon exiting
the chamber and its cheap sensations, the ticket-taker for the exhibit caught Will’s
eye, came up and quietly said, “They were females you know.”
Amused with the circus-like scenario, Will started to invest in the Roswell’s
50th anniversary phenomena full of curiosity-seekers and freaks — first
generation alien cosplayers. A professor and an experimental artist who ventured
from painting and printmaking to photography and video, Will started
clicking his camera documenting this weird slice of consumer culture he was
After taking a rickety bus out to the crash site 30 minutes from Roswell, there
was only sun-scorched landscape with a rusted out “’47 Ford pick up,” claimed
their tour guide, who then urged everyone to take in the UFO Museum and
Research Centre on the trip back. There, Will got a lot closer to the action.
“In a glass display container was this body about three feet long, a disproportionately
large head and over-sized eyes. It was sexless, with my mind thinking
back to the Gateway ticket-taker whispering, ‘They were females you know.’” Will
laughs, “It was like the whole town was in on the joke how to make this cash-grabbing
tourist attraction a bit more odd, a bit more amusing.”
Things would get a bit odder. At a local bar he meet Yves Arseneault, a fellow
Canuck from Grande Prairie that greeted him wearing an alien mask. Arseneault
was with his wife and young family who were also donning alien costumes on
what was obviously a fun-filled wacked-out holiday excursion. Disney in the
desert, of sorts.
“Yves and I stayed in touch after that crazy carnival. I learned that his daughter,
who was with him at Roswell, had grown up, graduated from art school and was
getting married. Would I like to attend? The ceremony was small, intimate at a
French restaurant. When I got there, it was clearly a theme marriage. His daughter,
now named Robin, strolled into the room, her eyes caked with an excessive
amount of grey mascara, transformed herself into a Grey while David Bowie’s
‘Born In A UFO’ played softly in the background.”
Will shakes his head, “Surreal. Rosewellian. And so it goes.”
The Roswell prints are the second in a series of John Will’s One New Work exhibitions
showing at the Glenbow until May 31.
TOP: John Will with his travel trailer on route from Albuquerque to Roswell, New Mexico 1997.
BOTTOM: John Will, She Walks Amongst Us: Family Reunion.
8 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
in the Rockies!
Join us at Banff Centre this summer for exciting
outdoor shows in the Shaw Amphitheatre.
A Tribe Called Red
… and many more
Tickets on sale March 7!
ARTS BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 9
IF I WERE YOU
podcasts veterans Jake And Amir keep flying high
Jake and Amir travel the world with their podcast advice, while providing lively feedback.
What started as a move to make it easier for them to book theatre shows has taken podcasters Jake
Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld across the globe to more than a million listeners each month. The
depth of their fan base isn’t surprising, given that their previous project, an eponymous web series for
CollegeHumor, was the website’s longest running show with more than a billion views in total. When
Hurwitz and Blumenfeld left CollegeHumor they began If I Were You, a podcast that looked to answer
listener questions in humorous ways.
The decision to start a podcast started with one fairly practical intention in mind: touring. As they
put it, “We just thought it would be a cool idea to start podcasting. We heard it was an easier way to
book touring dates so we thought if we had a show that we could do live that we would get to travel a
bit more.” This plan would end up being quite successful, giving them the chance to tour the world, as
Hurwitz puts it. “Since we started the podcast we’ve got to go to Australia, London, Dublin, even Boise,
Idaho. The big four,” Blumenfeld adds. “Holler at your Boise!”
BY GRAEME WIGGINS
One might think a long-running advice show would struggle to overcome the problem of
repetition. To some extent this is true and they do see some similar questions, but they use their
ample skills at finding the funny to keep things different. As they explain, “We do our best to
answer unique questions. It’s hard to avoid. Most of the questions are in the same vein. There’s
a ton of relationship questions because that’s what our young fans have the most trouble with.
But if you think of all of the things that have gone wrong in the relationships you’ve had, they
are always pretty unique. So there’s enough room for each question to be unique. We’ve also
been growing and evolving so our advice has also been doing that over the last few years.” This
coupled with the fact that all of the humour comes from making the person asking the question
a source of jokes helps too. “A lot of the time we just make fun of the person writing the questions
and everyone has a different writing voice so we always make fun of the person. Even if the
advice is the same, we can make fun of the person uniquely.”
Since they started the podcast with the intention of touring with it, the live show takes the
show to another level. Blumenfeld notes, “It’s the same format. But we’re feeding off the crowd’s
energy so it’s much more performative. We ask the audience for help with certain things, we
include them, we involve them. It’s a fun lively party atmosphere.” Some shows might consider
taking questions from the audience rather than traditional submissions, but there’s a good
reason they don’t. “We still answer questions that are submitted because we do our best to find
the funniest ones and sometime audience questions are going to be the funniest or dumbest
questions. We do take informal polls about which advice to give people.”
It’s definitely worth checking out live for that energy, but be sure to check out a few episodes
of the podcast first. As Hurwitz suggests, “I think you probably have to already like the show to
enjoy the live show, so start with a few episodes, then check the recorded live show. Then come
see a live show. If you like the podcast you’ll love the live show.”
Check Out Jake and Amir: If I Were You Live Podcast March 7 at MacEwan hall and download the
podcast wherever you get your podcasts.
10 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
FIVE ART & MERCHANDISE
open minded gallery space puts art in everyone’s hands
Julia Kansas, left, and her sister Caleigh, right.
Photo: M. Grondin
Five Art & Merchandise, a local studio, shop and gallery
located in Calgary’s East Village, is using unconventional
and fun ways to bring new art to everyone.
Owned by Julia Kansas and organized with the help of
her sister Caleigh, Five Art & Merchandise (or Five AM,
as it’s also known) ditches the formality of many other
art driven spaces, and has put a spotlight on 12 different
exhibitions since it opened in 2016; with each exhibit
rotating monthly and showcasing a wide variety of
“We wanted to create a space that emerging artists
could experiment and showcase their work,” explains
Julia. “We wanted to be much more approachable to
people that kind of exist outside of the art world, which
can be a little stuffy sometimes. We want to welcome
people into a space where they can really engage with
art and new projects.”
Each showcase gets its own opening party, which has
filled the stylish, minimal and tiny shop into intimate
shoulder-to-shoulder celebrations. And, each showcasing
artist gets their own limited edition merchandise to
accompany their work.
“It’s a hub of creativity. A place where anyone is free
BY MICHAEL GRONDIN
to participate, or pitch ideas, or just come and hang
out,” says Caleigh. “The art we’ve had in the shop has
been quite diverse, which is refreshing. We’ve had
skateboarders who do drawings, we’ve had people who
are still in art school show their work, tons of photographers,
painters, filmmakers, sculptors…” she explains.
Julia adds, “We did one group show that was a 36
person portrait show, where a bunch of artists did
portraits of each other.
They hope to continue to branch out to newer
things, both explaining that Five Art is, in some ways,
filling the gaps left by the more serious side of art shows.
“I think it’s important to have spaces like this because
Calgary needs more open and more inviting spaces that
promotes different projects and different ideas,” says
Julia. “It doesn’t always have to be art for art’s sake, when
instead it can be for art for everyone and that’s the
biggest thing we’re trying to do.”
Five Art & Merchandise is located at 609 Confluence
Way SE. For more information on the shop and their
art parties, check out @fiveartandmerchandise on
CANADA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT CONCERT PROMOTER
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE
THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT TOUR
WITH EVERY TIME I DIE, LIKE
MOTHS TO A FLAME, AND ICE
Monday, March 19th, 2018
Union Hall, Edmonton AB
All Ages Welcome
Tuesday, March 20th, 2018
The Palace Theatre, Calgary AB
All Ages Welcome
PROTEST THE HERO
10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Friday, March 30th, 2018
The Palace Theatre
THE SPICE GIRLS TRIBUTE BAND
WITH NO PARENTS
Friday, March 30th, 2018
Marquee Beer Market +
Stage, Calgary AB
Wednesay, April 4th, 2018
The Starlite Room, Edmonton AB
Thursday, April 5th, 2018
Dickins Pub, Calgary AB
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT MRGCONCERTS.COM
ARTS BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 11
Join the irreverent fun of this hilarious and
heart-aching romp, as comedian and certified
insane person Jan Derbyshire turns the audience
into a mental health review board to help
determine her current state of sanity. Come
grapple with hefty questions like: What’s crazy?
What isn’t crazy? Who decides? In this comic
case, you do.
Joyce Doolittle Theatre (in the Pumphouse
Theatres), March 15, 16 & 17
A CHITENGE STORY
A Canadian college student journeys deep
into the sounds, smells, and spirits of Zambia.
Surrounded by family, she is steeped in a single
secret: that she has returned to her ancestral
home with a singular mission to find the identity
of a man who abused her as a child and take
justice into her own hands. A Chitenge Story
is a young woman’s autobiographical account
of releasing trauma, embracing heritage, and
uncovering her ultimate healing.
Joyce Doolittle Theatre (in the Pumphouse
Theatres), March 20-24
THE LONELY DINER - Vertigo Theatre
YYSCENE’s quick scan go-to-guide for March
Classic Albums Live: Fleetwood Mac’s
Rumors. March 22 at Jack Singer
March — supposed to come in
like a lion and go out like a
lamb, but looking at all of the everything
that is going on in Calgary
this month, it’s more like March is
a stealthy cougar ... keeping you on
your toes at all times. I’m a wordsmith,
You’ve got until May, but why
not head down to the Glenbow to
take in the Frida Kahlo: Her Photos
exhibition? On March 3 you can
(and should) head to the Bella
Concert Hall for Ellen Doty’s Come
Fall Album Release concert. Speaking
of both album releases and March 3, over at Nite Owl you can take in the
Too Attached Album Release with Cartel Madras & HYMN that night as well.
For some fun film ... fun ... you can check out A Red Carpet Affair: Celebrating
Hollywood’s Best Oscar Party on March 4 at The Palace Theatre (dress fancy!).
And opening on March 6 is Theatre Calgary’s The Humans, running until March
31. For some comedy, Just For Laughs presents Jake and Amir on March 7 at
MacEwan Hall. For your literary and International Women’s Day fix, on May
8 Wordfest presents Erin Wunker, author of Notes from a Feminist Killjoy at
Memorial Park Library. Literary activism? Active literature? Scoot over to the
Marquee afterwards to take in Matthew Barber’s show. It’ll be good.
Atmosphere’s We Come to Canada Tour with guests Evidence will be at Mac
Hall on March 9, and Taking It To Heart, Volume Two featuring The Wet Secrets
(YASSS!), Marlaena Moore & All Hands on Jane will be at Nite Owl on March
10, with proceeds going to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. On March 11 head
to the Red & White Club at McMahon Stadium for the Red & White Calgary
Comic & Toy Expo. Pick up some cool shiz.
Over at The Gateway on March 13 you can catch The Dears, and on March
15 Studio Bell hosts Rae Spoon with F&M for their Alberta Spotlight, which is
sponsored by BeatRoute and theYYSCENE. On March 16 Pennywise and guests
will be at MacEwan Hall, and on March 20 there’ll be Motionless in White with
Every Time I Die, Chelsea Grin & Ice Nine Kills at The Palace.
March 21? Well, that would be the Woodhawk — Magnetic North Tour
taking place at The Ship, and then on March 22 you know as well as I do that
the only place to be is at the Jack Singer for Classic Albums Live: Fleetwood
Mac’s Rumors. On March 23 *swoon* it’s Robyn *swoon* Hitchcock *swoon* at
Festival Hall (he’s OK, I guess) and then rounding out the month is ALVVAYS on
March 31 at The Palace. Yep. There’s a lot, I don’t lie.
In a quiet little rural Canadian diner, Lucy
yearns for the glitz, glamour and excitement
of America’s roaring cities. Prohibition has
just been lifted in Ontario, but across the
border mob bosses battle for the illicit trade
of alcohol. Lucy’s husband, Ron, and her
daughter, Sylvia, seem content to live their
12 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
quiet life, but an infamous gangster - and his
stolen whiskey - is about to bring Lucy’s far-off
dreams into sharp, dangerous focus at THE
Performance times are 7:30pm Tuesdays-Saturdays,
2:30pm Sundays, with
additional matinees 2:30pm Saturdays. March
Kari Watson is a writer and former Listings Editor of FFWD Weekly, and has
continued to bring event listings to Calgary through theYYSCENE and her event
listings page, The Culture Cycle. Contact her at email@example.com.
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BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 13
ARTIFACT FILM FEST
small format fantastic!
The Artifact Small Form Film Festival is anything but small, with
a big difference for it’s 26th year: a name change. Festival Director
Raeesa Farooqi describes the natural shift:
“The decision to change the name to Artifact was made so as
to better reflect the festival’s role as an international celebration of
storytelling on celluloid. The rebrand is by no means a change in
the festival’s goals or culture but, rather, a refocusing of it.”
The new name comes with a rich history of filmmaking and appreciation
within the Calgary community. Created by the Calgary
Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF), and formerly known as
the $100 Film Festival, the event was originally focused on making
low budget Super 8 films. The budget was dropped over time to
allow for new creative projects and partnerships, and has since
evolved to this year include 33 short films from around the world.
The three-day event includes daily themes: Beyond the Cosmos,
Impressions & Expressions, and Home & Away.
Despite it’s growth, the Artifact Festival continues to highlight
diverse Calgary talent. Opening each night is Film/Music Explosion!,
an event that showcases a live song by a local band (this year
by HYMN, Sinzere & the Late Nights, and Deicha & the VuDudes),
that is accompanied by a film created based on the song by a
local filmmaker. Each evening also has a pop-up exhibition with
AM Goods and SEITIES, local film-related magazines. Further,
two films in the lineup (Krasno Dreams and I am sitting in a white
room) were created by Calgary filmmakers at CSIF’s 48 Hour Film
This year also features John Porter as Visiting Artist, who has
been active in the Canadian small-format film scene for over 40
years. Eight films are being presented from the Super 8 veteran.
“John Porter brings a burning passion for the Super 8 film medium
to Artifact. We’re extremely excited to bring him to Calgary as
it will be the first time he’ll be screening any of his films here. John
has personally chosen a small selection of his “Camera Dance”
works to screen from his archive of over 300 films. The “Camera
Dances” are unique and charming films, as they show Porter
“dancing” with the camera in various capacities.” Farooqi explains.
Also a photographer, performer, and writer, Porter brings his
expertise to the Festival in a free talk at the University of Calgary. A
History of Radical Super 8 Film Art in Canada presents the politics
and philosophy of the film niche. Porter is also hosting a Drop-In,
Small-Format Equipment Clinic for $20 at the CSIF headquarters.
Amateur filmmakers and aspiring creators alike are welcome to
bring equipment to this unique workshop.
As Calgary’s longest-running Film Festival, the Artifact Small
Form Film Festival is starting its next chapter by presenting this
new and exciting lineup of films and artists from March 8 – 10.
Tickets are available via the Theatre Junction GRAND box-office
online, over-the-phone, or in person at the door.
John Porter –200 flim, 1984.
Called “one of the most important musicians working in
Canada today” by NOW Magazine, see award-winning
musician Rae Spoon as they return to their prairie home
for a special performance.
DETAILS AT STUDIOBELL.CA/WHATS-ON
14 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
5 FILMS TO SEE ...
February’s must-see movies
Blow-Up... fashionable forever.
Spend all of March watching your favourite
genre of film! These five picks range from
the world of film noir, true stories exposing
government corruption, to Japanese animation.
The Big Heat (1953)
The Big Heat begins without a word being
said, but the opening sequence speaks
volumes on its own. In this classic film noir
Fritz Lang introduces Detective Dave Bannion
(Glenn Ford) to the world of degenerate police.
A place that doesn’t appear to have any
type of law or order. Bannion questions the
recently widowed wife, Bertha Duncan (Jeanette
Nolan) of her cop husband’s questionable
suicide. In turn Bannion endures chaos in
the glitzy world of gin joints, dirty money, and
The Big Heat screens March 6 at 7PM as part
of the Globe Film Noir Series
All the President’s Men (1976)
In this fact-based American political thriller,
two amateur reporters were instrumental in
the resignation of President Richard Nixon. All
the President’s Men (1976) revolves around
Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob
Woodward (Robert Redford) who fought to
expose the amoral side of the American government.
This film shows the compromise of
a country accepting the bleak reality of their
government taking more joy in controlling
the nation opposed to caring for it. The act of
compromising is how Bernstein and Woodward
forced themselves under the surface to
discover this truth, both persuasively shown
by Hoffman and Redford throughout the film.
Calgary Cinematheque presents All The President’s
Men at The Plaza Theatre on March 8
BY CHLOE LAWSON
protagonist Georgy, who can be naïve but
remains true to herself. In the fast-paced world
of nineteen-sixties London she finds herself
caught in a love triangle. It balances uneasily
between forty-nine-year-old James Leamington
(James Mason) and the boyfriend who got her
roommate pregnant, Jos Jones (Alan Bates).
EspressoKino presents Georgy Girl at The
Roasterie on March 15 at 8PM
Italian Director Michelangelo Antonioni
brings his first English film to screen that
centres on an abrasive fashion photographer
Thomas (David Hemmings). Thomas is
aimlessly wandering through a park when he
photographs a woman being intimate with
a man.The woman, Jane (Vanessa Redgrave),
chases Thomas down and frantically demands
his film, but he refuses to hand it over. Later,
Thomas blows up the photos and discovers
he may have photographed a murder scene.
Antonioni constructs his psychological thriller
to show the extent individuals will go to find
the truth without the promise of receiving it.
EspressoKino presents Blow-Up at The Roasterie
on March 22 at 8PM
Whispers of the Heart (2002)
Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro) released
this heartfelt animated Japanese film on the
importance of aspirations. Shizuku dreams
of writing for a living. Her long summer days
are spent reading books from the library and
translating music. She notices a pattern of the
name Seiji on the books she has checked out.
Through charming and magical events (that
Studio Ghibli never fails to provide) the two
meet and Seiji confides in wanting to become
a violin maker in Italy. Whispers of the Heart
beautifully demonstrates how being inspired
by others is just as crucial as inspiring yourself
to become who you want to be.
Whispers of the Heart screens at The Globe
Theatre on March 31 at 7PM as part of the
experimental filmmaker’s showcase
APRIL 16-22, 2018
Georgy Girl (1966)
Georgy Girl is the lighthearted yet honest
FULL LINEUP ANNOUNCED MARCH 21
portrayal of a young woman finding her spot
TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION AT CALGARYUNDERGROUNDFILM.COM
in the world. Lynn Redgrave is the tender Studio Ghibli Showcase Series
FILM BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 15
call for local experimental films has been
put out by Roasterie Coffee House’s
weekly film presenters, EspressoKino, for the
Fourth Annual Local Experimental Filmmaker’s
Showcase on March 29. Occuring every
Thursday, EspressoKino hosts film screenings
Kensington’s infamous 400-square-foot coffee
roaster and showcases independent and
“We started in April 2015 for two reasons,”
explains programmer Shaun Donohue. “The
culture of cinema showing non-mainstream
films has been dying. We wanted to show primarily
the pre-1980 films that got us to where
we are. The secondary reason was, we are all
regulars at the Roasterie.” Donohue adds, “It’ll
essentially be a month of related programming,
either with a theme, or a director and
we haven’t missed a Thursday since the last
Thursday in 2015.”
Submissions for the Experimental Filmmaker’s
Showcase are open right up until the
films are screened, and anyone is encouraged
to submit their own atypical and avant-garde
take on filmmaking; noting that films should
be no longer than 20 minutes.
“We will collect the films from all of the
weirdos who aren’t part of any organization
BY MICHAEL GRONDIN
and get no money and we’re gonna give them
a night to show all of their crazy films,” he says
with a laugh. “We’ll literally accept submissions
until 20 minutes before the show.
“We show the things that just don’t get
shown in public anymore,” concludes Donahue.
“There’s a big hole in arthouse theatre, or
The Local Filmmakers Showcase presented by
EspressoKino will take place at The Roasterie on
Thursday March 29, 2018 at 8pm.
A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN
godfather of gore’s erotic nightmare
With arthritic fingers adorned by gaudy
cocktail rings and cherry red acrylic
nails digging deep into glistening skin in the
thralls of ecstasy, we are familiar with the
lovers tango of the early ‘70s. Sexual liberation
– a theme exploited time and time again
throughout the past four decades and beyond
has become a well-admired trope in the world
of cinema. Psychedelic overtones carved and
jaded by a glaring blade, blood spewing forth
in a primal, orgasmic geyser... An interesting
juxtaposition is displayed. Pain and pleasure,
heaven and hell... Pummelling expectations
and pushing boundaries, A Lizard in a
Woman’s Skin is a surrealistic psychodrama
progressing in a twisted, malformed dreamdeath
Perfectly exemplifying the giallo genre, a
term used to describe Italian thrillers which
predated and influenced the later slasher
film genre, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin is an
enticing murder mystery largely exploring the
confines of the mind. Due to this, not much
can be said without spoiling a truly underrated
masterpiece in Lucio Fulci’s, famed Italian
‘Godfather of Gore’, grotesque filmography.
Without giving too much away, the plot
centers around Carol (Florinda Bolkan), a
young insomniac woman plagued by haunting
dreams, and with her darling neighbour found
slaughtered with details she can recall with
startling clarity, her dreams have seemingly
been brought to fruition.
Etched partly in the imaginative world of
dreams, the effervescent use of psychedelic
colours and patterns contrasting with the
otherwise monochromatic nature of the film
employs a visually stunning ride throughout
the 95 minute run-time. Tapping slightly into
the atmosphere of gothic traditionalism,
the film serves as a window peering into
the stylistic take on early ‘70s romanticism.
The unrelenting projection of taboo themes
including sexual liberation, lesbianism, and
use of hallucinogens allow connections to not
only underground classics such as The Velvet
Vampire (1971), but even critically acclaimed
titles such as A Clockwork Orange (1971).
Much like the controversy Stanley Kubrick ignited
in the latter film, Fulci was not safe from
such fates with this erotic nightmare.
Though predating Fulci’s rather abhorrent,
gore-ridden endeavours he would later
become known for, the blood and guts are
used sparingly in this case. Worth noting,
however, is the uncomfortable realism used in
a particularly shocking scene in the third act
in which our leading lady happens upon a trio
of disemboweled dogs. The fictitious gore was
so believable that special effects artist, Carlo
Rambaldi, had to testify in court that his work
was fake. Predating the ill-famed, controversial
works of films such as Cannibal Holocaust
(1980), this marked the first occasion in
which an artist had to attend court to prove
themselves free of engaging in any homicidal
BY BREANNA WHIPPLE
If all the sex, drugs, and violence aforementioned
has somehow not sold you, then
both alternative cinema admirers and Fulci
fans, please hear me out – Though largely
praised for his use of extravagant gore, A
Lizard in A Woman’s Skin proves there is
more that meets the eye gouge when it
comes to Lucio Fulci.
Catch A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin on Friday,
March 23 at the Globe Cinema.
16 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
rewind to the future
BY SHANE SELLAR
The Cloverfield Paradox
Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Cloverfield Paradox
The worst thing about life on an international
space station is that Russian and American
astronauts always collude to rig movie night
voting. Sadly, the crew in this thriller won’t live
long enough to complain about this week’s
While in the throes of an energy crisis, Earth
launches representatives from around the world
(David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, Chris O’Dowd,
Gugu Mbatha-Raw), along with a particle
accelerator that will tap into alternative energy
sources, into space. But when the accelerator
opens a portal to an alternate reality, a bevy of
behemoths are unleashed on Earth.
The third installment in the cryptic Cloverfield
franchise, this Netflix distributed sequel
sheds some light on the origins of the monsters
plaguing our planet, but its slapdash and
incongruous script simply feels shoehorned
into the larger narrative.
And while giant monsters don’t necessarily
ease our energy crisis, their carcasses will help
with global food shortages.
When returning for the Day of the Dead, the
biggest obstacle Mexican ghosts face is scaling
Trump’s metaphysical wall. Fortunately, the
deceased in this animated-musical has no one
on the other side to visit.
More concerned with being a musician, like
his grandfather (Benjamin Bratt), then joining
the family business, Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez)
steals his dead abuelo’s guitar. But when he
strums the instrument Miguel is spirited to the
land of the dead, where he must work with a
disgraced skeleton (Gael García Bernal) to get
back home before he joins the dead.
A vibrant and colourful adventure that
utilizes elements from the Mexican holiday to
weave a touching tale about family, tradition
and life after death that is accompanied by
a handful of toe-tapping tunes and spirit
animals, Coco offers terrific insight into this
However, instead of visiting with family
most ghosts return to Mexico for the donkey
movement, Britain’s Labour Party moves to
oust him as Prime Minister and replace him
with a Lord from the Royal Navy, Winston
Churchill (Gary Oldman). Faced with the
daunting decision of either capitulating or
combating the encroaching threat, Churchill
not only seeks advice from his wife (Kristin
Scott Thomas) and secretary (Lily James), but
also the commoners.
While it can get bogged down in political
minutia at times, Oldman’s turn as the
portly Prime Minister, along with the spirited
dialogue and rousing speeches, keep this
reasonably accurate historical biography from
Incidentally, the darkest hour is the best
time to break and enter.
Only the Brave
The key to preventing forest fires from ever
occurring is killing every cigarette smoker.
Luckily, cancer will take care of them, while
the firefighters in this drama extinguish their
Aggravated that he and his first responders
(Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale)
are relegated to the rear whenever out-of-State
Hotshot fire crews show up and start delegating
during a blaze, superintendent Eric Marsh
(Josh Brolin) petitions the mayor to let him
train his own elite team of frontline firefighters.
But when the upstart squadron faces off
against an uncontrollable wildfire on Yarnell
Hill, their mettle is truly tested.
Based on the GQ magazine article of the
tragic 2013 fire that claimed 19 lives, this retelling
brings personality to those who fell. And
while the dialogue is a tad melodramatic, the
visuals and the emotions are palpable.
Nevertheless, a spontaneous wildfire is still
a good excuse to burn your garbage.
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
With its high rate of slip and falls accidents,
lawyers are the only people who love winter.
However, the eccentric attorney in this drama
isn’t interested personal injury suits right now.
When his law firm partner suffers a heart
attack, Roman J. Israel (Denzel Washington)
must unwilling step out from behind-thescenes
to represent the cases in court he has
only researched. His lack of social skills sinks
the firm and Roman soon finds work with a
shark (Colin Farrell). But when his boss wants
him to put profit before ethics, Roman’s mental
While Washington plays the unconventional
counsel with aplomb, the one note storyline
unfortunately is constructed around his social
awkwardness, and not much else. With very
little driving this legal drama besides a feeble
murder case, it just becomes a meditation on
an exasperating character.
Moreover, it’s not a good sign when your
lawyer can plead insanity.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Without roadside billboards out of control
vehicles would just careen into an empty
farmer’s pasture. Luckily, the small-town in
this drama has an excess of advertisement
Fuming over the fact that the local sheriff
(Woody Harrelson) still hasn’t arrested any
suspects in the rape/murder of her teenage
daughter 7-months ago, Mildred (Frances
McDormand) purchases ad space on three billboards
and uses them to taunt the sheriff and
his inept and racist deputy (Sam Rockwell).
Messing with the authorities, however, only
brings the hammer down harder on Mildred,
her family and her friends. Fortunately, everyone
else in Ebbing is as fed up with the law
enforcement as her.
In spite of its many strong performances
and complex script that blends comedy with
its tragedy, this fictitious narrative comes off as
unrealistic, malicious and laughable at the end.
Besides, to really distract drivers from the
road you need 3 digital billboards.
Usually when a student wears a mask to
school everyone heads for the nearest exit and
calls 9-1-1. However, if it’s the concealed kid in
this drama, you welcome them.
Born with a defect that finds him hiding behind
a mask in public, Auggie (Jacob Tremblay)
has been homeschooled by his parents (Julia
Roberts, Owen Wilson) his whole life - until
now. Exposed, Auggie faces his peers for the
first time. While some are kind, most are not.
Meanwhile, his older sister (Izabela Vidovic)
competes against her former BFF for the lead
in the school play.
From facial deformities to middle school
bullies to a dead dog to an amateur production
of Our Town, this family melodrama pulls
every tear-jerking trick it can to endear itself
to the viewer. Unfortunately, its manipulative
schmaltz is boilerplate, sitcom-y even.
Besides, once you get to high school every
teenager has a facial deformity.
The only employers who have a workforce
over the age of 70 are Wal-Mart and Parliament.
So it’s no surprise that the political party
in this drama would elect a senior as its new
Displeased with Neville Chamberlain’s
He’s Shakespeare in the Parka. He’s the…
kowtowing to Hitler and his swelling Nazis
FILM BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 17
18 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
TEN MINUTE DETOUR
when you come to the fork in the road...take it!
Ten Minute Detour explores seven deadly songs on Common Pleasure.
Time flies when you’re 93, or at least that’s were really starting to take shape for the busy
what the youngsters behind Calgary’s Ten group who released their full-length debut,
Minute Detour discovered along the way to Lay It Down, with the distinctive single “Four
delivering their rockin’ new album, Common Papers” preceding its 2015 launch. For Shier
Pleasure. According to the band’s lead singer, and his companions, that tangible accomplishment
signified that they were headed in
Andrew Shier, it was the irrepressible gumption
of his grandmother who moved him to the right direction.
pen the song “Betty” in honour of her love of “I think we’ve definitely locked in the
music and dance.
sound with the band we have. We don’t really
“I wrote that song as more of a flamenco like to follow a formula,” says Shier, who also
number on my guitar. It’s named after my plays rhythm guitar.
grandmother Betty. The last time I saw her “It’s weird; we’ve never really sat down and
and I put on an 8-track cassette of music written an album. It’s more a case of finding
by her father who was a musician and band that we had 10 to 15 songs ready to go and
leader in the ‘40s in Barrie, Ontario. She just having to handpick which ones were going to
started dancing, she was crying and acting like wind up on the album.”
a child again, and it was super emotional for That’s where a good second opinion is
both of us. So, that inspired me to write that worth its weight in gold. Fortunately, Ten
rock and roll flashback.”
Minute Detour was wise enough to take the
Betty’s affection for music that makes you fork in the road that took them directly to
want to get up and shake it has definitely Nashville where they opted to lay down the
rubbed off on Shier, who originally formed tunes for their forthcoming LP, Common Pleasure,
with the oversight of professional music
Ten Minute Detour back in 2013. Supported
in his artistic aspirations by bassist Mike producer Lincoln Parish.
Stokes, guitarist Jordan MacNeil and drummer “Lincoln definitely helped us a lot and
Ross Watson, the intrepid singer-songwriter pointed us towards the stronger songs. He
pushed the project into motion quickly generating
their first three-song EP. By 2014, things he started producing other artists. We
was the guitarist for Cage the Elephant before
BY CHRISTINE LEONARD
his feedback and went down to Nashville to
work on those songs. We planned on recording
six tracks, but found ourselves with two
days extra, just cuz we were flying through
our sessions. So, we decided to do one more
song and hashed it out right there the same
day. And, honestly it’s our favourite song on
the album, “Poli Shore.” It’s a super energetic,
thrashy, punky, rock song and after it was all
said and done it had this awesome throbbing
Translating that same sense of fun and
intensity from studio to stage is definitely Ten
Minute Detour’s strong suit. Moreover, the
dancefloor-packing action is further improved
when multi-instrumentalist Rhys Lintern is
able to join the line-up to add his versatile
talents to their pop-punk-meets-Grand-Ole-
Opry melting pot.
“While the rest of us have all been there
since beginning, our keyboardist and percussionist,
Rhys, is actually an Australian that I
met while I was at work. His visa has expired,
but he’s flying back for the tour, which is really
nice for us,” Shier reports of the band’s shifting
line-up and the flexibility it brings.
Poised to introduce Common Pleasure to
fans of all ages later this month, a nostalgic
Ten Minute Detour can’t help but to pause
and reflect on the path that led them to this
point in their burgeoning musical careers, and
wonder what surprises the future might hold.
“Looking back, our first album was fouron-the
floor garage rock, but for this one we
wanted a broader spectrum of sound. Something
fuller and a little more produced than
what we had before,” he explains. “Every one
of the songs on the new album is experiential
and yet very relatable. For some they may
be pleasures and for some not so much. It’s
seven different themes under one rock and
roll umbrella. There’s a little indie pop, some
R&B and hip-hop, there’s a Southern jam; it’s
a blend. Live performance is always our main
focus and that’s probably why all seven songs
are energetic songs that really engage people.
Having said that, I would like to do some
slower more emotional songs on our next
album. But, at this point it’s all about rocking
out: there’s nothing slow about it. Common
Pleasure? It’s just something you’ll wanna put
on if you’re ready to go!”
Ten Minute Detour release their new album
Common Pleasure with The Varmoors and Flood
Plain on March 17 at The Palomino Smokehouse
and Social Club [Calgary].
ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 19
BUSTY & THE BASS
OPEN MIC NIGHT
BeatRoute’s guide to make it home alive
BY COLIN GALLANT
Emotional yet feverish art pop debut their full-length ‘ing’
photo: Merrick Ales
While top picks for this annual Austin-based
festival include your next
faves Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Essaie
Pas and Look Vibrant (read about ‘em in our
Reviews), massive debuts by Max Richter and
Wes Anderson, West-Can treasures Blessed,
The Dead South and Faith Healer, Eastern
Canadian acts like Cadence Weapon, FRIGS
and Tasha The Amazon, critical darlings
Porches, Shamir and White Reaper, boss-tier
showcasers Burger Records, LEVITATION and
ShowTime, plus uber-headliners TBA, what we
really want to tell you is how to survive nine
days of high-humidity, heat and hustle.
One: Stay out of the bustle
Unless Daddy is paying for it, there’s no reason
to splurge on a hotel. Team BR is paying $145
CAD each, per person, for a week of accommodations.
It’s South of the river, but you can
find similar prices in (far) East Austin, and
will pay about $20 USD amongst your squad
for rideshares (Lyft, Uber, RideAustin, Fasten)
to and from the lit district per day. There are
bike rentals available, too. Oh, and there will
be other great stuff near you - remember that
Austin is still an excellent city when it’s not SX.
20 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
Two: Rest like a pro
Austin has a wealth of swimming holes and
relaxed places to recoup, many of which offer
fine food and great times without live music.
We suggest, alternatives to breaking into hotel
pools for swimming such as Barton Springs
and Easy Tiger for excellent sandwiches, baked
goods and beers. Then head over to Prohibition
Creamery for a dose of boozy ice cream.
Remember to set aside your pride and accept
that you will get tired.
Three: Unofficial, RSVPs & wristbands
You can’t really go wrong with non-official
approaches to SXSW. There are so many
corporate showcases that are free to the
public with RSVP, you almost won’t be jealous
of your friends with badges. There are
also backyard parties. Look at EventBrite,
Oh My Rockness, Unofficial SXSW Guide,
Do512, look up SXSW Guest Pass or just
talk to pals who are going to the fest to
find your way into open bars and awesome
showcases. Be nice to everyone you talk to;
they might be a CEO or someone who likes
inviting people to parties.
If you’re like us and go to SX mainly to
see music, a $200 USD music wristband
can be purchased in person on site. While
a music badge will cost you $1350, a
wristband gets you similar access to most
small-medium shows. Artist wristbands
receive last priority entry, so if you’re
attending as a performer, RSVPs are especially
Four: Find your peoples
Go to showcases and events you could do
at home but don’t. BreakOut West, Halifax
Pop Explosion and POP Montreal are just
the beginning. Put in a little legwork on the
official schedule and register for SXSW Social
if you’re able -- you don’t have to break a
sweat networking if you know where to find
If you feel like finding us BR folks during
SXSW, just use the tips above or hit us up at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy SXing, and we are
not liable for any of this.
South by Southwest takes place March 9 to
March 18 at various venues around Austin, Texas.
For details visit https://www.sxsw.com/
late night movies
$5 pints, $1 oysters
$1/2 off wine
$7 beer flights
$5 draft pints
$3 Wild Turkey
BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 21
armed with a hydrophone, watch out!
Spoon’s new songs in the making — no holds barred.
peeling back the veneer
With winter winding down, there’s comfort in spending intimate evenings indoors, especially if it
involves being treated to acoustic melodies from our favourite coffee-loving punk, Joey Cape.
Although Cape is most recognized for fronting the Californian punk band, Lagwagon, his solo
musical career is gaining momentum. The first of Cape’s four solo albums, Bridge, debuted in 2008
and more recently the simply named Covers, featuring unplugged Lagwagon and Bad Astronaut
renditions, appeared on his own One Week Record label.
“I’m always working on new material and I’m always writing,” says Cape.
“I’m just one of those people. I can’t stay idle. I’m recording a new album right now. It’s got a way
to go, but I’m really happy about it. I’ve been writing it for a couple years and I think it’s one of the
best things I’ve done solo. But you never know, it could suck! So, we’ll see.”
Cape’s solitary writing efforts usually result in songs of the somber variety, so it’s only fitting that
his new material is sincere, emotional and dark. Pulling heartfelt selections from his considerable
back-catalogue, he also diversifies his solo shows with a slowed down, bare bones take on some
original punk classics.
“I’ll be honest, I love sad songs, I like songs that are melancholy. It’s almost like that’s art to me,
when I hear somebody’s heartbreak and struggle. But, that’s what I want out of a painting and that’s
what I want out of a novel. It’s the same with music.”
True to his word, Cape has steadily refined his style and sound by introducing the unadorned
discipline of the acoustic guitar to his naturally restless lyrics. The latter of which is something that
the stalwart singer has been perfecting since his early skate-punk days.
“A lot of Lagwagon songs just sound really nice when I play them on acoustic, because they’re very
emotional. “I Must Be Hateful” is the best example of that. It never became a song that anyone ever
asked to hear, until I played it on acoustic. I think it’s because we [Lagwagon] missed the mark on the
vibe; it’s too rushed and doesn’t have the right flow.
While in the midst of working on writing a new record, Rae
Spoon likes to downscale to playing acoustic guitar in the
process of carving out fresh songs. For the upcoming performance
at NMC, Spoon promises to play some old tunes as well and few
ones still in development.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Calgary and I’m excited to
play the National Music Centre, the King Eddy actually, which was
a cool place to go when I was a teenager to watch blues bands.”
Spoon, who has lived in Victoria for the past couple years (and
jokes about being there way ahead of the retirement curve), is
incorporating different aspects of that newish environment to be
on the upcoming record.
“The record is kind of based on an ocean presence. I live
right on James Bay in Victoria just two blocks from the ocean.
I’m gathering a lot of sounds, working on some electronics and
field recordings which I’m trying to integrate as a landscape
into the album.”
One aspect of incorporating natural elements into the new
songs is using a hydrophone, a device to record sound underwater.
“I have a hydrophone I’m playing with, although it’s giving me
some trouble. I’m planning on dropping it in some parts around
Victoria, but I’ll probably have to be on a boat. Or I might,” laughs
Spoon, “be singing backup vocals in my bathtub!”
“I kind of like experimenting with that, and bringing in the idea
of bodies and that the ocean as the original super connector. I
guess now it’s the internet! But bringing in body stuff, and, in general,
living as a non-binary person. I have a song that was supposed
to be full of the F-word, but I played it at folk festivals and changed
BY B. SIMM
it to ‘Do Whatever The Heck You Want.’ It’s about letting anyone
do what they want, as longs as they’re not hurting anyone.” Spoon
adds triumphantly, “And children have fallen in love with it!”
Then further explains how writing about the physical environment
leads directly into a political context.
“The places I’ve lived have always affected my work. I’ve written
a lot about the prairies, this time I’m trying to focused on the
ocean, its surroundings but also there’s a lot of political things
going right now with pipelines and oil tankers, spills and…”
“Yes!” laughs Spoon. “The NDP is throwing it down. And I’m
bringing in stuff like that too.”
Breaking it down into specifics, Spoon outlines a new song
called “You Don’t Do Anything”.
“It’s about politicians who say they’re onside and actually care,
but don’t do anything. I don’t know if any federal leader might
come to mind,” chuckles Spoon.
“I’ve been working a lot with Indigenous communities
and people with different background than me, and it’s been
hitting pretty hard lately how messed up all the policies are
towards the land and Indigenous folk. Right now the federal
political climate is definitely informing my writing about not
doing anything to equalize things like the child welfare system.
The federal government is saying whatever think is right, then
doing whatever they want.”
Rae Spoons performs at the NMC on Thursday, March 15 as part of
the Alberta Spotlight Series.
BY SARAH MAC
Don’t miss Joey Cape on his One Week Records Tour of Alberta. He performs March 9 at The
Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club [Calgary], March 10 at the Starlite Room [Edmonton] and
March 11 at Wild Bill’s [Banff].
Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape’s solo act trades Woodie for wooden.
22 22 | MARCH | MARCH 2018 2018 • • BEATROUTE
sea to see
East Coast pop stars Alvvays shine on second album, Antisocialites.
The monotony of a Canadian winter can be exhausting. Waking up to residual nightfall spilling over
into what should be daylight, the world is moving nowhere fast, and it doesn’t exactly inspire productivity:
when layering up sufficiently to brave the outdoors takes 20 minutes, why bother? Dreariness
lingers seeming-perpetually, interrupted only by brief months of sunlit respite. So, what is there to do?
For Molly Rankin, Kerri MacLellan, Alec O’Hanley, Sheridan Riley and Brian Murphy, the answer is simple:
make music. The five, many of whom have known each other at least peripherally since childhood,
go by Alvvays and are currently touring in the wake of their second album, Antisocialites.
BY JORDAN YEAGER
“Kerri is a childhood friend,” says Rankin. “I met Alec in Halifax, when he was playing a show
with one of his previous bands, and he went to high school with Brian, who plays bass. Sheridan,
who plays drums for us, we saw her play at the Mod Club in Toronto with a different band and
asked her if she wanted to play with us. That was like a year ago.”
Growing up in Nova Scotia surrounded by the ocean, trees, and rolling hills provided inspiration
for lyrics that enable listeners to see the scenes set by your words. While not everyone has
visited the Canadian east coast, they can certainly envision tree-covered mountains turning red
and yellow on a golden September dusk or the vast blue sea sprawling out endlessly, marked by
lighthouses along the shore.
“I can be a little bit observational with my lyrics,” says Rankin. “I’m inspired by space and
weather and distance and being alone. I like to paint imagery, and it’s easier to be descriptive
when you’re talking about, you know, the sunset or the trees or the ocean.”
Alvvays is decidedly pop-centric, with heavy synths and catchy melodies laced throughout
dreamy vocals. If you listen carefully, you might hear “a little bit of fiddle personality” within
Rankin’s guitar style, hinting back to her formative years in the industry, but for the most part,
Antisocialites doesn’t stray far from the precedent set by their debut album. If anything, it’s
“With the first record, some of the way that things were recorded, we ended up having to
take a lot of treble out of the record,” she explains. “I think the first one may be a little bit softer
sounding. When we play live, I think we sound a little bit more – I don’t want to use the word
lively, but there’s definitely frequencies that we didn’t have on the record when we play live, and
I think people notice that. But this record has a little bit more of a full spectrum. It might be a
little bit more lively, but we didn’t really want to alienate our first record, either. I didn’t really
have any hopes and dreams of leaving that to the dust. I still feel good about it.”
Alvvays perform on March 31 at The Palace Theatre [Calgary].
SAVED BY THE BEATS
Dirty Pop Edition
Presented by YYC Girl Gang
MARIO KART CLASSIC
w/ Video Game Trader
LIVE BAND KARAOKE
w/ Peter and the Wolves
THE PATH LESS TRAVELED
Tickets and full listings
The Rec Room is owned by Cineplex Entertainment L. P.
ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 23
Running parallel and sometimes intersecting the showbands, there was a revival of traditional Irish folk
in the ‘60s led by The Chieftains, The Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners, to name a few. Keeping the
dance halls filled and drinking flowing, there were a few novelty showboaters as well – Paddywagon
wore black and white prison stripes as their stage outfits. By the early-70s another, much broader form
of the folk revival would take shape with Planxty and Clannad, bands that dove deep into the roots of
Irish music employing a multitude of musicians and instruments. At the same time, Celtic rock began to
emerge largely following Thin Lizzy’s “Whiskey In The Jar” in which The Horslips are rightly cited as the
“founding fathers” of the genre while pushing it into prog-folk.
The Irish had its special take on being punk. Certainly The Pogues put punk into folk like no band
before, aside from Dylan going electric with The Band. And while Stiff Little Fingers’ assault tactics are on
par with The Clash, The Undertones were absolute gems, a brilliant debut in 1978 with “Teenage Kicks”
oozing with what it meant to be young, unprivileged, perplexed but glad to be fucking alive! Boomtown
Rats were a lot more scrappy, but wore their soul on their sleeve just as well. They kicked out their
teenage lust in “Mary Of The Fourth Form” and stole Springsteen’s thunder with “Rat Trap” showing Mr.
Boss Man how to punk-it-up.
Then the elephant in the room – the paradox of U2. Given Bono is such a mouthpiece, his lyrical
contributions vague and often vacuous. Yes, the guy has a magnificent voice, clearly a cut above when
he rose to belting out “Pride (In The Name Of Love). But without meaningful language, too often it’s just
sonic veneer –paging through the beauty and glamour of Vogue Magazine, a delight to look at but not
something that really penetrates too deep. And what would the band be without Bono wailing away?
There’s no with or without you, it’s with Bono or no U2. Hey, millions (yes, millions) of fans around the
globe are with them as well!
Despite the thin pop minimalism but great rock ‘n’ roll accomplishment (paradox), U2, like Van
Morrison, was a game changer. They did swing open the door for a whole new wealth of Irish talent in
the form of That Petro Emotion, The Cranberries, The Coors and, of course, Sinead O’Connor.
While praised for her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”, O’Connor scales many walls and is as
proactive as it gets in life and in song, where one reflects the other. Her 2014 recording “8 Good Reasons”
is a harrowing descent into near suicide, if not literal, certainly a metaphorical and compelling account
on saving the soul by penetrating the soul. And that’s really the beauty of good Irish music, soul diving,
which is why so many artists drift towards the Emerald Isle.
Irish diaspora refers to ex-pats or those who claim they’re descendants of Ireland reaching back to
either claim or expose their ancestral roots. Paul McCartney had a hit single in 1972 with his protest
ditty “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” proclaiming his heritage in response to the violence that pro-
ST. PADDY’S SONG AND DANCE
more than a few tunes to drink to
BY B. SIMM
St. Paddy’s is a good day for drinkin’. In fact, most days are! But it’s often discouraging to bear the
onslaught of a non-stop playlist of Irish drinking songs where many only made the list not necessarily
because they’re good songs, but because they’re “drinkin’ songs”. It can spoil a good day of celebrating.
You deserve better, the Irish deserve better.
And those Irish are a tuneful lot. Their Celtic souls immersed in music ranging from traditional to
modern, from minimal to multi-layered that occupies a sprawling spectrum of sound and cultural complexity
that far surpasses those simple tunes to toast to. By no means can you begin to encapsulate the
depth and breath of the Irish in a few paragraphs, but when constructing that St. Patrick’s playlist here’s a
few hall-of-famers that should be noted, if for nothing else, a starting place to explore your inner Irish.
In the States during the early-60s, especially in the wake of Beatlemania, an all new All-American sport
cropped up where legions of young, white males formed garage bands bashing out gnarly, three-chord
R&B numbers trying their best to imitate not John and Paul so much as their black superheroes – Chuck
Berry, Little Richard and James Brown.
To lesser degree, the garage band phenomenon also took hold in Europe, Asia, Japan, Latin American
and down under in Australia as the shock waves of the British Evasion rippled across the planet. In
Ireland, a similar, but unique variant of garage rock was already in the works pre-Beatlemania.
The profound effect Glenn Miller, Sinatra, Bill Hayley and Elvis had on the English-speaking world
perhaps moved the Irish more than other nations outside America. In response to Ol’ Blue Eyes and the
King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, “showbands” sprouted up all over the country performing and playing hit singles
many Irish didn’t have access to because radio stations rarely embraced pop music and record stores
were far and few between. By the 1960s showbands swelled into the hundreds and easily criss-crossed
the notorious border, which divided the Irish on the political and religious front, but couldn’t constrain a
van packed full of musicians and gear.
Many of the showbands were led by versatile singers, some became national sensations, seguing
between Elvis, crooners like Sinatra and Gene Autry while dabbling in Irish tradition. The game changer
would be Van Morrison.
THEM and VAN
Morrison sang, played sax and harp in a showband called the Monarchs who toured Ireland as well
as US Army bases in Britain and Germany. Caught up in the R&B explosion that spawned the Rolling
Stones, he formed Them in Belfast who had the same gritty blues delivery as the Stones and the Animals.
After touring the States on the strength of “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Here Comes The Night” and
what became thee garage anthem, “Gloria”, Morrison on his return to Ireland was disenchanted with
typical band bullshit and left. Soon after he recorded the single “Brown-Eyed Girl” which eventually led
to a record deal with Warner Bros.. Drawing on a mass of influences, Morrison crafted a magical fusion
of folk, pop, R&B, soul, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll found on the albums Astral Weeks, Moondance and St. Domenic’s
Review. An Irish alchemist who bridged the vast expanse of Celtic consciousness with everything
under the American sun, he cracked open a seminal universe filled with poetry and music.
Still not a household name alongside the Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Blackmore, Beck list of who’s who
of guitarists, but was well-known and well-respected by all of the first generation guitar greats. Raised
in Cork, Gallagher also joined a showband where he honed his skills on what is reputed to be the first
Fender Stratocaster to be shipped to Ireland which he bought in 1963. By 1966 he led the blues-rock trio
Taste and then formed a band under his own name in 1970. A fiery guitarist-blues purist, Gallagher also
had an incredible, irresistible voice and could pen passionate, flowing, bursting-at-the-seams rock ‘n’ roll
numbers, yet he and his songs were Irish to the core.
It’s impossible to mention Thin Lizzy without thinking of Phil Lynott, the band’s charismatic black frontman,
a hybrid of Jimi Hendrix and every great American soul singer. Like Gallagher, in the mid-60s Lynott
led a semi-successful blues-rock band, Skid Row, before moving on to Thin Lizzy in 1969. The first two albums
were not impressive, but after recording a galloping, soulful version of the trad ballad, “Whiskey In
The Jar,” things started looking up. While Thin Lizzy is renown for their swagger and searing, dual-guitar
leads and gate-crashing force of “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back In Town”, there’s another side to the
band that rests in Lynott’s tender moments and recollections of his Irish youth. “Girl In Bloom” off 1973’s
Vagabonds Of The Western World is one of the most heartfelt mini-dramas ever written about teenage
pregnancy. While “Dancing In The Moonlight”, their post-Jailbreak single, a clear indication Lynott was
deemed to take the airwaves and top the charts if he had kicked the habit.
24 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
Van the Man
voked Bloody Sunday where British soldiers killed 13
unarmed civilian protesters.
The Waterboys, a Scottish group led by Mike Scott
declared his Irish roots, relocated to Dublin in the
mid-80s gathered some 25 musicians who played
on 120 tracks recorded over two years which was
condensed and released as Fisherman’s Blues in 1998,
a landmark in Celtic folk-rock with its bang-the-drum,
wanderlust and tangled up in love songs. Then
there’s American punk, most notable LA’s Flogging
Molly and Boston’s Dropkick Murphys, who carved
out their brand based on a Celtic kind of mood since
the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Fast-forward to now, and it’s the Gingerbread Boy, er
Man, Ed Sheeran, born in England but referred to as an
honorary Irishman because of his family background
and that Ireland is ridiculously loopy over his music
where he’s a chart-topping monster occupying the top
16 slots on March 17, 2017. Janey Mack!
Janey Mack indeed. Now Google away, go deep into
your inner Irish.
BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 25
MIESHA & the Spanks
26 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
Girls Girls Girls
BY B. SIMM
What a vision! It could be a boatload of bikini-clad woman.
There was a movie made about that starring Elvis. Girls were wild
about him, and he was wild about them and sang lots of girl-crazy
songs. Motley Crue were wild about girls too. They wrote a song and
made a racy video with motorbikes and exotic dancers to celebrate
their obsession. The Crue and Elvis had similar interests, but different
styles, a different vision, a different statement.
Miesha Louie is wild about girls too. And has something different
to say. Her thing for girls is being female, having a female
frame of mind, a female voice, having female fun and being part
of a “girl-pack”. The photo on the front of her new album, Girls
Girls Girls, is littered with familiar faces of women who make up
a large part of Calgary’s music community.
“I got a bunch of my favourite girls from Calgary. We got together
in front of the cymbal wall (behind the stage) at Vern’s, and kind
of made and afternoon of it. We just got silly and ran with the title,
Girls, Girls, Girls. It’s sort of a snapshot of the music scene.”
Bold, brash, bursting with bravado, oozing with emotion, Louie
and Sean Hamilton, who are the 2-piece nucleus of Miesha and
the Spanks, switch on the high-octane that flows throughout the
record. In “Motorin’” they add a little kick-start my heart Motley
charm with Louie tossing down a definitive ‘If you want it, then
bring it on’ proposal.
You waitin’ on this heart?
You think you wanna part?
Think you can make it start!
Well try to and turn it on, turn it on, turn it on, turn it on
The song is a rip-roaring piece of pure joy. When he first heard
the chords, Hamilton said, “Holy shit, this is my bread and butter! I
can’t wait to play this.” Louie is also anxious to produce a video for
“Motorin’” where she envisions her niece and a friend’s daughter
“riding in go-carts, at an arcade with pinball lights flashing. I’ve had
that concept for a while, and would like to do it for that.”
A lot of Girls, Girls Girls is talking ‘bout love. Sticking to her heartfelt
instincts, Louie pushes to break down the barriers in “Come
Undone” asking her beau to cast off the fear and let the romance
unfold... “So if you want to please me/Just come undone, just come
undone, we’ll come undone!”
Strong, powerful with dynamics mixing an intense, rock ‘n’ roll urgency
with melodic, sexy, girl-group sensibility, her voice is front and
center all across Girls Girls Girls making it the Spanks’ most focused
recording to date. Hamilton explains that was largely the approach
going into the studio with British producer Danny Farrant, a skilled
multi-instrumentalist who also drums for The Buzzcocks.
“Everything was created around Miesha to sing. That’s one
of things Danny picked up on right away. He said., ‘I want to do
pop with you, but I want to do this kind of pop, this garage and
this rock.’ It was a conscious choice of singing styles. That was
definitely his idea. And ‘If we’re going to do it clean, we’re going to
do it clean and cool!’”
Louie meet Farrant when The Buzzcocks played Sled Island in
2011. Farrant busted her for drinking his band’s beer backstage, but
thought she probably knew where the best festival parties were. Indeed.
Louie became the tour guide, they kept in touch, developed a
working relationship where she was paid 100 English pounds to sing
on each track that Farrant and his recording partner, Paul Rawson,
produced promo material for. Some of the TV series they’ve provided
promos for includes Sons of Anarchy and The Vampire Diaries.
Louie then began a long-distant collaboration with Farrant and
Rawson on new songs for the Spanks’ Stranger EP, released late 2016,
where they mixed “Motorin’” and “Stranger” which also appear on
Girls, Girls, Girls. Those tracks revealed a definite maturity to the
Spanks’ sound giving it a solid pop-punk-feelgood foundation that
has all the benefits of high-fidelity but retains the rough and ready
romantics that Louie and Hamilton lock down so well.
Following the Stranger release, the two scrapped together
every bit of cash they had and could get support for to record at
Farrant’s studio located in Brighton. The 10 day excursion became
an intense whirlwind rotation between recording all day, heading
to The Goose – a local pub – to unwind, then hit their Airbnb for
a few hours before Louie was up at the crack of dawn “recalculating”
lyrics and preparing arrangements for another long stretch of
laying down tracks.
You keep me here in the atmosphere
We been up all night!
You keep me up all night!
I’m sure I’m not the only one
Who thinks she’s having too much fun
We gotta keep it down low
Nobody gets to know
What we do when we’re alone
Ain’t no one’s business but our own
“We eat and drank at The Goose every night, except for maybe
one,” says Hamilton. “I now know what it is about the UK and their
pubs. It’s not just a place to get drunk. It’s your place for dinner, it’s
people knowing each other, your community centre, an environment
you work things out, where you generate ideas.”
Laughing, Hamilton adds, “I think we utilized The Goose to its
fullest extent. But it really was a big part of our lives there. Like
our anchor, with just Miesha and I. We’d be talking, drinking,
debriefing about things done and what to do in this strange, new
place of our own.”
They also took full advantage of the opportunity in the studio
with Farrant and Rawson at the helm. With her the vocals riding
out front, Louie’s catchy chords and hooks jump right in behind
giving the songs much more texture, depth and swing. Coupled
with Hamilton’s tight and tailored in-sync drumming, the Spank’s
tsunami of sound comes alive – a fierce and frisky 2-piece, with a
voice of its own.
“I write pretty simple guitar parts. But Paul (Rawson), who’s more
the guitar player of the two, would say, ‘Play it this way,’ helping me
expand those parts and make more out of the same thing. They
knew what I was going for, and how to pull it out of me.”
Hamilton was thoroughly impressed with Louie’s learning curve.
“I’ve never seen a guitar player level up like that while in the studio.
They were like, ‘Here’s an idea, can you do this?’, and Miesha came
up with riffs she sang over, in time with the drum beat that’s built
specifically for that riff… crazy, difficult stuff.”
Straight-forward punk weaned on The Ramones’ rule of 1-2-3-4
Let’s Go!, often relies on melodic patterns that are fun but unfortunately
all too predictable. The Spanks avoided that pitfall, making
the album fresh, moving from one adventure to another, but still
exploding with The Donnas’ kind of pleasure.
“That was a huge focus,” confirms Hamilton, with Louie in full
agreement. “Not to do exactly not what you think would happen.
We weren’t going to write, ‘Oh, it should be like this.’ Instead, ‘What
else can we do?”
Louie, however, did place some limitations on how far Farrant
and Rawson could tinker and colour up with her songs and sound.
The extent of experimentation sometimes felt a bit overwhelming.
“The crazy ideas would always be sonic,” recalls Hamilton while
joking about what their producers would suggest. “Wouldn’t it
be cool if we had six guitars doing solos here, here and here, and a
shaker coming down from above?”
Obviously an exaggeration, although Louie notes they added
various layers of instrumentation including horns on one song, all of
which she initially entertained.
“They kept adding all this stuff. I said I’d try it, but when I got the
first mix back it was so full of all this shit. I thought about it for a
while, looking from the outside, not as a musician. Eventually I lost
it, and told them, ‘Take everything out you added. Take it all out!’
Then I was happy with it.”
While Louie stood to ensure the recording reflects who she is,
who the Spanks are, she is also quick to point out that Farrant and
Rawson “gave way more to that album than stuff I had to say no to.”
Although there’s lots of fun-filled moments associated with the
record, Louie’s songs aren’t just about good times and running with
a gang of girls. The track “Lost Boy” opens with hard-pounding
drums, a repeating, haunting singular guitar note that echoes across
a darker landscape – there’s no party going on, only the lonely roam
here. “Lost Boy” is a foray into alienation, an unkind space.
“I tried to write that song so it was relatable on different levels,
everyone has been lost at some time. But specifically I was looking
at my Aboriginal family history, and the way people get left behind.
You get these handouts and resources, but if you aren’t able to catch
up, join in and enjoy the level white people are at, then you get left
behind, seated at the kid’s table. It’s like, ‘You still fit here, but you’re
not going to move forward with the rest of us.’ And that leaves a
‘Where in the world do I fit in?’ feeling. Then having a ‘fighting for
nothing, living for nothing,’ complacent existence.”
Louie reveals she doesn’t often write material that probes into
areas that are “too political,” but hopes the song will come across
having different meaning for different people. Hamilton is quick to
agree and feels the lyrics can easily apply to many other situations.
“For me, the most relatable line in the song is, ‘You are a lost boy/
You aren’t the only one.’”
As for girls... they want to have fun. And sometimes keep it close
and hush-hush, just let it float somewhere in the atmosphere.
ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 27
EDM ONTON EXTR A
slow and steady gets the debut EP done
BY BRITTANY RUDYCK
Turning trauma into post pop-punk gold.
Feed Dogs guitarist and vocalist Corby Burnett is fabulous
at delightful at holistic conversations that include
gardening tips alongside inspiring tidbits for newly minted
bands. Her refreshingly relaxed attitude toward her almost
four-year-old post punk band born of Not Enough Fest
may not have always been so relaxed. A former organizer
of NEF, she spoke highly of the experience, but also the toll
it took on those who worked feverishly to maintain it for
two thriving years.
“The first year was hard. It was incredibly intensive,”
Burnett openly admits. “I started the second year and I
realized I couldn’t commit the time or the energy at all. A
few other organizers dropped out as well. We burned the
fuck out. I had heard about burn out before and never
experienced it. It’s real.”
In spite of exhaustion, Feed Dogs played their first show
at the second NEF in 2014 and are now releasing their
first EP Bless This Mess, a darker look into the inner world
of Burnett and her sister Stacy, who also plays guitar and
sings in the group.
The EP focuses on themes of trauma and abuse through
a distorted, gritty lens, something the Bwwwurnett sisters
“We share the writing of the vocals as well as the vocal
parts,” explains Corby. “The lyrics come from personal
trauma in our shared childhood experience and a particular
kind of feminine pain. But, there is also resilience. That
28 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
photo: Levi Manchak
comes forward in the title of the EP I think. We can talk
about these things together and accept what it is.”
While there is still a slight tinge of pop punk in the
noisier leaning EP, the band has grown considerably since
forming. Their songs are dense and driving, with plenty of
high guitar leads and shout-along segments. The layers of
distortion and imperfect garage-rock instrumentals not
only show a level of comfort with each other as artists, but
patience and emotional vulnerability.
The Burnett’s vocals are strained in moments and serve
as raw, potent ammunition to express the pain of the feminine
in all its glory, wrapped in some mischief for good
measure. It’s a delicate balance to approach themes like
trauma and relationship violence, but Feed Dogs manage
to craft a sound that is both heavy in its emotional
content while maintaining a sense of lightness through the
“It’s not a polished thing,” Burnett says with a grin.
“We don’t hold each other to this like it’s our job. I
hesitate to even call myself a musician. We know we’re not
pros and like to embrace the messiness. So it’s slow going,
but it’s fun that way.”
For all Feed Dogs do for inclusivity in Edmonton’s scene,
they certainly deserve a little fun along the way.
Bless This Mess is out now at feeddogs.bandcamp.com/.
Watch for a small run of tapes sometime this spring.
finger on the pulse of Dirt City
As we get a murky glimpse of spring via
puddles of melted snow and gravel this
month, jump into your rubber boots and
get thine butt out to one of these upcoming
Kick off your month will a little Ukrainian
Theatre from the fine folks at Pyretic Productions.
Blood of Our Soil by Lianna Makuch
runs at the Westbury Theatre from March 1 to
March 9. The play depicts the struggles of the
Ukrainian people against Stalin and Hitler by
using live Ukrainian folk music and dramatic
storytelling. Tickets available on the Fringe
If running social media accounts as an artist
isn’t your thing, join Night Vision Academy for
an afternoon workshop on March 4 exploring
the fundamentals. Keith Armstrong will guide
the discussion, providing tools and techniques
to build your fanbase. $40 will claim your
The Sewing Machine Factory is home to
some out there jazz on March 6 with Heavy
Beak’s tape release show. In fact, the entire
show is essentially a wall of noise with artists
like Bitter Fictions (Calgary), Soft Ions and
Blipvert. Get your avant-garde freak on for $10
at the door.
For aspiring poets and those curious about
writing from a place of honesty, the Nook
Cafe is hosting a workshop series on March 7,
March 14, March 21 and March 28 with local
poet Nisha Patel. Writing prompts, simple
poetry techniques and more will be explored.
There is no age restriction for this creative
Continuous momentum and support for
the #metoo movement takes the form of a rally
at the Alberta Legislature on March 10. This
event seeks to provide solidarity and support
for survivors and work to move beyond the
hashtag, but also to address the current need
for support for overwhelmed sexual assault
centres. The rally runs from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
and all are welcome to participate.
If you haven’t heard the news the Mercury
Room is closing… sorry to break it to you. Do
your best to make it out to one of the last
shows until the end of March. The St. Patrick’s
Day party put on by Clean Up Your Act Productions
is a great opportunity to do just that.
Chips Ov Oi, Citizen Rage (Calgary), Suicide
Helpline and Ripperhead AB and Riefer Madness
are on the bill March 17. A raucous punk
show for the ages!
The Rec Room is doing a Wes Anderson
film series every second Wednesday at the
South Edmonton Common location. March
21 will feature The Life Aquatic with Steve
Zissou (2004). At intermission, dream pop
angels Prince Bunny will perform. This is a free
Metro Cinema’s All-You-Can-Eat Cereal
Cartoon Party is back on March 31. This
all-ages sugary cereal buffet features a variety
of vintage cartoons spanning the ‘40s to the
‘80s including old school commercials and
PSAs. The event usually sells out in advance
and is well worth getting up a little early on a
Saturday to check out. Unless you don’t think
10 a.m. on a Saturday is early… whatever.
• Brittany Rudyck
ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 29
VISIONS OF COMICS
Artistic interpretations of comic themes
30 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
BY CAROLINE REYNOLDS
Honouring late art critic with comically inclined interpretations.
Stationed on cozy reading couches in the to the long lasting nature of comics.”
sunny Happy Harbor Comics, BeatRoute sat Using modernization as an example he clarifies,
down with storeowner Jay Bardyla and general
“it goes from Peter Parker looking in little
manager Corinne Simpson to chat about their tiny microscopes, to Peter Parker using high
upcoming Visions of Comics art show kicking tech computers to analyze things in a lab.”
off March 2. The art show is in its seventh rendition
Just one archetype shift to keep up with new
since the launch in 2009 and is in memorial audiences.
to Gilbert Bouchard, a friend and inspirational As Bardyla and Simpson reminisce about
CBC arts critic. After many contributions to installations from previous shows (which can be
Edmonton’s art community, he passed away in viewed on the shop’s web page) it seems obvious
2008. Along with the art installations, the opening
that challenging comic based artists to step
night will feature guest speaker Emily Chu, outside the walls of graphic novel illustration
an instructor at Edmonton Digital Arts College. can lead to engaging concepts.
Tactful yet welcoming, Bardyla dove right into “There are people who do the very straight
his passion and inspiration for putting on the forward conventional approach, but then there
are people that like to look for other ways that
“The point of it is not to just do a standard tool can be utilized,” Bardyla says. “We see a
art show but to challenge artists who love comics
range in mediums; some might do sculptures or
to think about the various aspect of comics,” interactive pieces or even immersive pieces as
he explains. “We want them to interpret things we are going to do this year.”
in different ways and then translate that into an Immersive referring to the live, made on the
spot piece Simpson will be part of at the opening
Each year the show is themed around
night event. The piece will be “the live birth
comic book tropes. This year’s theme transpired of a hero.” As Simpson moonlights as a makeup
through integrating the motif from their 2016 artist, she’ll be doing a full body paint on a live
edition, dubbed In Conclusion. The organizers model. It’s family friendly, of course.
agreed it was a natural to follow it up with a “It will be like watching a live action origin
good origin story and have focused the 2018 story unfold before you,” Simpson explains,
rendition on the topic.
“This years theme revolves around origin Visions of Comics takes place at Happy
stories, which is a very strong conventional tool Harbor on March 2 at 7 p.m. (Edmonton). The
in comics,” says Bardyla. “Not only do comics event installation runs until March 15 and is free
constantly use an origin story, it is constantly to attend. Donations will be accepted to benefit
being updated and shifted, which is a testament the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library.
blinded by friendship; punks carry on
Apparently farts are still funny. That may
be the main take-away from an interview
with northern Alberta based punks Grizzly
Trail. It’s been at least two and half years since
we last spoke with the four piece that have
experienced literal trial by fire in the years
following the release of their debut EP Dead
Their hometown of Fort McMurray went
up in flames in May 2016, scorching nearly
6000 square kilometers of land and displacing
over 80,000 in the costliest disaster in
Canadian history. Drummer Stephen Payne’s
apartment then caught on fire in Edmonton.
Eventually, they had to find a new guitar
player and it took a few tries to put their new
album Chesterfield together. Despite the
obvious tribulations, going on tour last year
was the straw that nearly broke the proverbial
“We were almost done as a band,” says
guitarist Dave Millar, with a hint of exasperation
in his voice.
“The stress of tour, guitar player problems,
this label we were supposedly part of… Everything
came to a head. We called an emergency
meeting and talked stuff out that hadn’t
been talked about. Payne quit the band a few
times that day, but we all calmed down and
The emergency band meeting seems to
have worked. Tour went forward as planned
and they even managed to weird out their
touring bands by cracking jokes about
farts. While line-up changes are not entirely
exciting to discuss within any band ever,
Grizzly Trail ditched what may have been a
potentially toxic member for someone who
most of them have loved for years, guitarist
Andy Alfred. Alfred formerly played in A
New Rhetoric as well as hardcore bands with
New album brings punk dudes closer together.
BY BRITTANY RUDYCK
bassist Robbie Egan.
“He was actually going to sell merch for us
on that tour,” Millar says, laughing.
“My favourite part of Andy being in the
band is that he told us he would be in our
band a long time ago. Years ago when we first
started he came up and told us, ‘I’m gunna
be in your band.’ We just laughed at him. But
look at him now. He’s even wearing a Grizzly
Laughter goes hand-in-hand with Grizzly
Trail, which is why it was a tad surprising
to hear a subdued maturity on the new
tracks. They didn’t go full Blink-182 on their
self-titled album serious, but the sentiment
is there. Songs like “Marble Mouth,” a tribute
to fallen friend Joey-D, is justifiably somber
and gloomy, but for the remainder of the
tracks, Grizzly Trail does not lose their fast
paced pop-punk sound. It’s likely due to the
situation surrounding the recording: the
pre-production was conducted in Alfred’s
sweaty apartment last summer mainly without
shirts because (and we’ll paraphrase) it’s
hot in August and drinking inspires people to
“We did all the real production sober,” says
Egan with a laugh.
“The new album has more of a hardcore
feel I would say,” says Millar.
“It’s really all over the map.”
As Millar finished his thought he noticed a
renegade eyelash on Alfred’s face and gently
brushed it away.
The world needs more punk bands that
care about each other.
Join Grizzly Trail for their album release party
at the Starlite Room on March 24 [Edmonton].
They will perform alongside Belvedere, Downway
and the Nielsens.
photo: Kali Jahelka
Sophomore album empowers women’s voices
Singer-songwriter Erin Kay has gone through a lot to release her
sophomore album Silver and Gold. The release happens to land
on International Women’s Day which was a happy accident. Kay
admits the scheduling wasn’t intentional, though it supports the
meaning and intention of the album in every way. Kay describes
Silver and Gold as the hard-won result of cultivating a fulfilling and
powerful life after leaving behind a toxic relationship and moving to
Alberta with her daughter. Her previous album Into the Light, “was
this process, when I was moving…and I was just wanting to move
into the light. I was wanting to be there but I was still heavy, and
afraid. Not even afraid because I didn’t know my power yet. I didn’t
know yet what existed within me.”
The title track of her new album describes the process of refining
your experiences and memories to become who you truly are.
“It’s never perfect, you know. It’s rare that you have something
pure, one hundred percent. Its the process of getting to that state
through the refining.”
In her website bio, Kay states that you don’t have to wait until
silver and gold is given to you.
“I think that all the parts are already within us, they’re already
there. It’s just a matter of recognizing them within yourself. Until
you’re recognizing them within yourself, you’re probably not going
to find them, or have them. But they’re there the whole time. You
just have to be willing to take a look. Look past the hurt and be like,
‘oh, I am this already’ and not be afraid of it.”
In Silver and Gold, the listener experiences Kay’s journey of
empowerment through her heartfelt vocals – reminiscent of Joni
Mitchell – and the steady fearlessness of the expansive melodies.
Producer Miles Wilkinson has worked with some of folk-country’s
greats, including Emmylou Harris and this translates through to
“I really wanted it to be just a stripped-down record. Really basic,
you know? We just started going and it just developed into this
bigger project. We just kept going with it, we kept building it and it
turned into something really cool.”
The two-year project was more elaborate than what Kay had
planned. Ultimately, this direction proved wise. The album could
be the musical equivalent of embroidered lace: delicate and strong;
containing complex layers, while communicating a lovely simplicity.
The openers for the album release will be Celeigh Cardinal, soulfolk
songstress, and the all-women’s pow-wow and hand-drummer’s
group Chubby Cree. In booking these opening acts, Kay’s
message is clear.
“I want this sacred space to be opened. I don’t just want to release
a record. I want it to mean something to me, be true to myself
and to who I am. I really want to support women and I want them
to know, I never thought it was possible that I could do a music
career and be a single parent.”
This is also the aim of her initiative I Am Enough which gives
femme identified artists a chance on stage to share their wisdom as
well as support United Way’s Women United initiative.
Erin Kay’s Silver and Gold release party with Celeigh Cardinal and
Chubby Cree is at The Aviary on March 8th (Edmonton).
BY ELIZABETH EATON
Through hardship and doubt a powerful voice emerged.
F E AT U R I N G
“FA LL” & “HOME”
ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 31
fresh EP and guitarist for groovy metal group
Stoner metal flies high.
About two years ago, a Google search for
“Edmonton Stoner Metal” would have
led to Grizz Penner’s ad on the networking
site for musicians, BandMix. This is how
guitarist and vocalist Jordan LeMoine and
Penner originally connected to form The
Mothercraft. After jamming killer riffs in
the basement, they asked Geoff Keller to
join on drums.
Now a regular staple of the Edmonton
metal scene, The Mothercraft released their
debut five track EP Pillars on January 5 via
Bandcamp and will celebrate the release with
two gigs in March. Self-described as a vehicle
designed for travel in space, delivering righteous
riffs to the reaches of the universe, the
opening track “Cosmic Nod” does just that.
Early Black Sabbath inspired vocals and sharp
riffs wind around a heavy hitting, steady beat.
The EP is just under 25 minutes of atomic
face melting riffs, keeping true to the tradition
of bands such as the Sword.
Pillars is a package that can hold its own
among the best the stoner genre has to offer,
using the success of several singles to formulate
their ultimate sound for the EP.
“Recording was a relatively new experience
for all of us. We learned a lot about what we
wanted to sound like,” explains Penner.
It took two studios and several noise
complaints to get it done; the band is now
bringing that raucous vigor to the stage.
32 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
BY JOHNNY JAGAJIVAN
photo: Aaron Kurmey
“Our shows are pretty high energy,” says
“We try to get everyone involved in the fun
we have on stage and off!”
With no intentions of slowing down, the
Mothercraft have tours, festivals and a fulllength
album in the works.
“We are constantly writing and jamming
new riffs,” says Keller.
Recently the Mothercraft brought in
second guitarist Riley Quinlan to complete
their line-up, adding harmonies, blends of
tones and a general thickening of their sound.
The band describes their new and upcoming
songs as being even heavier than the EP.
Whether this will change the direction to
their approach to the stoner metal genre that
remains to be seen.
With so much on the go, the Mothercraft
embodies what it means to be a hardworking
band, truly driven by the energy given
to them by their local brigade of metal fans.
Pillars demonstrates where hard work and
dedication will get you.
Join the Mothercraft at their EP release show
at the Starlite Room on March 23 [Edmonton].
They will be joined by Chron Goblin, Sparrow
Blue and Fear the Mammoth. They also perform
at the Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club
on March 24 [Calgary] with Iron Tusk, Electric
Revival, Sparrow Blue and Buffalo Bud Buster.
hardcore action and reaction
Cruciferous are a vegan hardcore band set
to release their five track EP Samsara.
Rooted in Hare Krishna spirituality (a Hindu
sect following a strict vegetarian lifestyle
with a belief in karmic laws of reincarnation),
this band exists to make more than
“Do you know what a Cruciferous is?” vocalist
and guitarist Johnny Jagajivan inquires.
“It sounds bad ass as hell. It’s a vegetable
family that kale and broccoli belong to.”
Appropriately, the cover of the impending
EP features a Saṃsāra wheel composed of
broccoli barring teeth. Musically, the band
stays true to the traditions of early hardcore,
their music features throaty, intense vocals
and lo-fi, severe instrumentals that crash and
When asked to pick between militant vegan
hardcore band Earth Crisis or metaphysical
punks Shelter, Jagajivan chooses New York
Hardcore band “Cro-Mags. Everything that
band does is based in Krishna consciousness,
but they’re making music that people love.
Shelter was this really niche band, and that’s
cool, but we are making music for people to
And while Edmonton loves heavy music,
the message Cruciferous represent through
lyrics and action may be considered somewhat
of a rarity.
“If people choose to read the lyrics, there’s
definitely that message. I’m not trying to be
preachy, but this is stuff that’s close to my
heart,” explains Jagajivan.
“We recorded everything ourselves. The
lyrics really mean a lot to me because it
represents a lot of growth in my personal self.
I’ve been exploring my spiritual side while
staying positive and keeping it real.”
Krishna hardcore is deeply embedded in
Vegan punks serving the community.
BY DREW MCINTOSH
the ‘90s punk world, but Jagajivan is content
doing his own thing within the broad framework
of a fading movement.
“I’m just doing what I feel is right for me,”
“I have been playing in bands since I
was 15; I’m almost 34 now. A lot of times I
didn’t really have a creative input [in former
projects]. This time around everything
music-wise has been directed by me, with
the assistance of the rest of the band. I’m not
really thinking about anything else, because
I’m just playing music with my friends. I’m
not thinking about what came before us or
what will come after us.”
“There’s a lot going on in the scene in
Edmonton these days,” Jagajivan adds.
“We’re bringing something different, but
there are a lot of messages out there and
that’s really important. I want to hear what
other people are saying.”
Delivering not just words, but action,
Cruciferous is involved with Food for Life,
which brings members of the hardcore scene
together to serve the community.
“We’re raising money and helping feed
people down at Boyle Street,” he says. The
project serves up to 175 vegan meals per
month via volunteer contributions.
“We’re trying to bring in that positive energy.
It would be great if everyone was spiritual,
but that’s not the world we live in. What is
important is that people are conscious, that
they are helping each other. We’re trying to
use our time as a band to show that we’re all
Cruciferous release their five-song cassette
Samsara on April 6 at the Sewing Machine Factory
[Edmonton]. They will perform with Drown
in Ashes (Vancouver), Old Crows and Ghost Cell.
photo: Matt Bandrychuk
Evil, sunny garage psych debut
BY KENNEDY PAWLUK I
Rebellious youth anything but dead.
Edmonton’s hazy garage four piece Dead Friends is largely
an act of rebellion.
“I had a kindergarten class with Carter Mackie (bassist),
we were just walking around and decided to knock over
this huge pile of blocks,” says guitarist Jesse Ladd in a
“It made a ton of noise, made a huge mess and we got in
a bunch of trouble and we’ve been hanging ever since.”
It’s relatively minor acts of unruly fun like these that
are evoked sonically by the band’s self titled debut, Dead
With a quip of daunting psych inspired organ to kick
off the proceedings, Dead Friends is quick to push forward
into the catchy as all hell garage punk track “Can’t Sleep.”
“’Can’t Sleep’ is about my dog who sleeps all day,” claims
Ladd. “Due to my insomnia, I can’t sleep at all at night.”
Lyrically the track conveys the general experience of
anxiety and absolute restlessness; a feeling that you can
never really just chill out.
Marking the mid point on the record, “Friends are
Dead” bears memories of being stoned, blinded by the
sun, and melting on a hot summer’s day. The blend of keyboardist
Callum Harvey’s signature organ tones with the
guitar workings of Ladd formulates a lush magnificence.
Enhanced by Ladd’s deep, haunting vocals and drummer
Ellen Reade’s high harmonies, “Friends are Dead” sets a
high point on the record.
photo: Logan Ladouceur
Despite the macabre namesake of the project, the
members are very close and their music is the result of
complete collaboration and growth in unison.
“We’re all best friends,” says Ladd.
“Of course, we get into little fights and things just over
bullshit always. At the end of the day we all still love each
“In Dead Friends I’ve learned I really just love working
with a band and doing as much as possible with a band.
Getting along and seeing how far you can go, working
away at goals,” adds Harvey.
“Musically I’ve learned little things like paying attention
to other people more, almost like not listening to yourself
but more so everyone else. This band is a very collaborative
effort. So I’ve learned a lot about arrangements
and how things work collaborating. I’ve also learned a lot
about opening yourself up and just going for it really. I just
love oiling the gears of rock ‘n’ roll. Just keep the machine
going, keep working on it, moving forward.”
For those who would think to claim the idea that garage
rock is “passé,” Dead Friends’ debut is an ultimate rebuttal.
Dead Friends release their self-titled debut at the Sewing
Machine Factory on March 16th [Edmonton]. They will
be performing with Jock Tears, True Branch and the Slight
ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 33
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34 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
witness to decades of DJ evolution feels free with vinyl
Mark Potsic’s foray into DJing began when
he was just 13-years-old in Los Angeles.
Now known to the world as DJ Nu-Mark (and
best known as a founding member of seminal
hip-hop outfit Jurassic 5), he has continually
found new ways to keep DJing fresh and
Nu-Mark has become recognized for his
now infamous Kids Toy Sets, where he integrates
children’s toys like a cymbal-clapping
monkey into a unique live performance. He
released a DVD compilation of these performances
entitled Nu-Conduit in 2012.
He’s also an accomplished producer and
remixer; his career highlights include the anthemic
“What’s Golden” for J5, his 2012 studio
album Broken Sunlight, or his collaborative album
with Slimkid3 of The Pharcyde. Recently,
he’s started a series on Facebook called Zodiac
Tracks where he mixes artists together who
share Zodiac signs with the corresponding
The Monster Energy 7 Inches of Pleasure
Tour, that rolls through Calgary in March,
gives Potsic, along with Mat The Alien, DJ
Pump and Illo, the chance to take a reprieve
from the many technological advancements
makes music for himself
Although tech house is a staple and trademark of the monumental
label Dirtybird Records, signee Ardalan experiments
with all genres and decades.
The Tehran Native and San Francisco based DJ, whose full
name is Ardalan Noghre-Kar, has created a new of epic proportions
with All Night Long. His musical prowess is on display
from beginning to end.
The first track is a remix of American R&B/soul group Mary
Jane Girls, protégées of singer Rick James. “All Night Long,” will
thrust you back to Studio 54, kicking your adrenaline into high
gear with banging percussion and nostalgic synths, it finishes
with lush vocals.
According to Noghre-Kar, it was while playing the video
game Grand Theft Auto that he became enamored with
discotheque. Incidentally, Mary Jane Girls are featured on the
soundtrack to the 2002 version Vice City. This interest would
later open the door to creative opportunities.
“I think it’s really important to bring back the past, not
repeat the past, but be inspired by it. At the same time I want
to move forward and push boundaries. I like [fusing] the past
and the future together,” he says.
““All Night Long” was a spur of the moment, a happy little
accident. I decided to mess with it right before a Dirtybird
show and I made it in like an hour. I played it that same night
and it went off,” says Noghre-Kar.
The second track, “Act Like You Know” came effortlessly
they’ve borne witness to throughout their
careers, and get back to the basics spinning
only vinyl 45s.
“I enjoy playing 7-inch records because
there’s a high level of risk involved,” Potsic
“Either your copy of the vinyl is clean or
not. Finding some of these joints on vinyl can
be tricky and cutting and scratching is also
much more difficult. I suppose I enjoy the
Potsic explains that his Zodiac series has
made preparing for this tour easier as he’s
become re-familiarized with his extensive
“In the ‘90s I dug deep into rare music,” he
“Today, I find myself looking for classics
that myself and my crowd enjoy.”
He says that the ability to bounce back and
forth between Serato (digital DJ) sets, his toys
sets and vinyl-only shows keeps him vibrant
and enthusiastic about being a musician,
preventing boredom from ever creeping in. He
adds that he can’t wait to re-visit Calgary and
hear Mat The Alien and the rest of the crew
get down again.
Ardalan’s new EP All Night Long is out now.
“Personally, it makes me feel free,” he says of
the vinyl-only tour.
“Sometimes when I’m on stage with the
computer and toys, there’s always this nagging
feeling I have that something needs to be
charged or it might not be stable etc. With
vinyl, it’s very straight forward, if you treat
your vinyl right it plays tight.”
He is regardless excited about the new
Phase technology, that he, Jazzy Jeff and
Skratch Bastid got to geek out on at 3 Style in
while playing around with production. Noghre-Kar transforms
Fat Larry’s Band “Act Like You Know” (also featured on the
Vice City soundtrack) by sampling and pairing it with Aaliyah’s
sultry track “Are You That Somebody,” featuring Timbaland.
The EP concludes with “All Day Since Everyday,” a track
written seven years ago.
Noghre-Kar says it was supposed to be released on a label,
but got pushed to the back burner and was waiting for the
right time and project.
“I have a lot of stuff that I haven’t released before. I kind of
think I’m cursed or something, I keep everything for myself.
When I make music I make it for myself first because I just love
the process of making music.
DJ Nu-Mark at home in the new school and old school of DJing.
Moving forward, he plans to get proper
release events for his Zodiac Tracks series
worldwide, he’s releasing an EP called TRDM-
RK with Slimkid3 and Austin Antoinne and
is on a new TV series called Drop the Mic, in
which Method Man hosts and he DJs. It was
just picked up for a second season on TBS
produced by James Corden.
Check out Nu-Mark at the HiFi on March 24
[Calgary] or at Lodge of 10 Peaks on March 17
BY CATALINA BRICENO
“I’m trying to release more music and [share it with the
world]. At some point, I will release all the stuff that I haven’t,”
says Noghre-Kar, laughing.
The EP is reflective of Noghre-Kar’s musical identity, a blend
of different genres, sounds, and decades. The unique composition
is also showcased in his sets.
“I don’t like to confine myself to one area, people think I just
make tech house, but I don’t really label it as a specific type of
“I just love making every type of music and love playing
everything from like electro, to breaks, minimal, sometimes
drum and bass…. I’ve been kind of getting weirder and just
been playing jazz loops and just doing some fun stuff like that.
I feel more comfortable doing that,” says Noghre-Kar.
The year may have just started, but Noghre-Kar has big goals
First up: The Ardy Pardy. The event will bring world -renowned
DJs and will give opportunities to budding artists to
break into the scene. The official launch is set for the summer,
but its preliminary exhibition takes place on February 23 in
Washington, Columbia and features sets by Ardalan himself, as
well as Sepehr, Navbox, Alex Eljaiek, and Edo. Finally, Ardalan
also has an EP coming out soon with fellow Dirtybirds Walker
Catch Ardalan at the HiFi on March 17 [Calgary].
BY PAUL RODGERS
photo: Soul Kichen Music
JUCY BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 35
realizing the power of his sounds
Metafloor’s latest release Fish Fruit is his strongest yet.
It’s been two years since we last spoke with
Metafloor, a.k.a. Blaine Kingcott, a producer,
DJ, and promoter behind local crew Sub
Chakra. It also has been exactly two years ago
since we reviewed his then-new EP Stronger.
Metafloor has now returned with stand-out
EP, Fish Fruit, fresh out on Aufect Platinum,
the brand-new sister label to Vancouver’s
decade-strong Aufect Recordings.
“Stronger featured some tunes that I had
been sitting on for a while and just wanted to
get out,” says Kingcott. “This release is similar;
some new, some old but it’s more focused
and in line with the sound I’ve been trying to
hone in on the last couple years.”
Describing his music as “minimal, bass driven,
steppy halftime, footwork-jungle sounds,”
Fish Fruit demonstrates a progression from
his previous work. While he still excels in the
140 b.p.m. range heard on previous release
Stronger, Kingcott now exhibits a talent and
comfort with the increasingly popular genre
of half-step drum and bass. Herein, deep,
smooth, rolling basslines are often punctuated
by reggae and jungle vocal samples, and
driven forward by skittering percussion.
The track “Mo Power,” which appeared
alongside several other Metafloor originals in
Doctor Jeep’s Bass Coast promo mix, appears
on this EP. As do remixes from prolific French
producer Moresounds and London’s Fixate.
“The remixes are what really bring that
release together,” says Kingcott.
“Which is amazing because sometimes the
remixes on any release are what stands out. I
36 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
BY PAUL RODGERS
photo: Michael Benz
think it really works in this case because Moresounds
and Fixate are some of my absolute
tip-top favourite producers — very lucky to
have their support.”
Gaining support from artists that helped
inspire his own artistic progression is just one
of Kingcott’s accomplishments. He cites Bass
Coast (where he feels at home and hopes to
soon return) and the thriving of Sub Chakra
as his crowning achievements, as well as touring
to places like Vancouver and Portland.
Currently, Kingcott has a remix for Vancouver
d’n’b duo Levridge set to be released in
March and simply plans to keep experimenting
to see what will happen next.
“I want to do more of that and see if I can
come up something profound, something
that makes people feel versus get hype. I
like the idea of making music that can make
people cry because it’s so beautiful, it really
puts emphasis on how powerful music is,” he
“I feel like this is how I would be able to
write something that is ‘timeless,’ which I
believe is a great way to measure whether a
piece of music is quality work. Music is subjective,
but if you can push play on what was
made 10 years ago and it’s still great to listen
to, that’s something to truly be proud of.”
Metafloor performs alongside Dubconscious
and Bag-O-Beetz at Sub Chakra’s Dubfounded
residency at Habitat on March 8 [Calgary]
and opens for D Double E at HiFi on March
uprooting a narrative while bringing sexy back
Formed in 2017, sisters Priya and Bhagya
Ramesh make up Calgary’s newest hiphop
group, Cartel Madras. Taking turns writing,
singing, and rapping, this Indo-Canadian
duo have a mission to shake things up.
“We’re always trying to uproot the current
narrative, in Canada, where coloured women,
we’re not that visible,” begins Priya.
“Then in hip-hop, there aren’t many women,
so we’re trying to uproot that narrative;
and then in India, we’re from South India,
that’s not really present either in the Indian
narrative, it’s always North India. So it always
feels like we’ve been disrupting whatever
space we’re in.”
They started releasing music as Cartel Madras
in the last year, but Priya notes that the
familial rap-project has always been bubbling
beneath the surface.
“Growing up we were always performers.
We were dancers, we were singers,” she says.
“The heart and soul of [Cartel Madras]
was born way before us, with women in our
family, generations ago, who were feminists in
the 20th century, asking all these questions.”
Carrying their feminists roots into their
music, Cartel Madras emphasizes the female
perspective in their songs.
“Anyone can listen to our music, but when
you’re a girl and you hear our music, you
know. You know exactly what we’re talking
about,” comments Priya.
“It is incredibly male dominated, and we
do really try in our lyrics to point that out.
We do write very explicitly from the perspective
of a woman.”
“Using hip-hop as a tool to give those
Creating party rap with perspective.
BY MORGAN CAIRNS
people a voice and agency is something we’ve
always seen as a good idea. A really cool way
to allow people to exist, to feel better, and to
help make change,” adds Bhagya.
Party rap with perspective, these slick
beats are punctuated with lightning-fast raps
and smooth-as-silk vocals. Riffing off real
life experiences, the duos lyrics veer towards
the anecdotal, such as the summertime jam,
“17th Ave.” With shoutouts to The Ship and
Anchor and Ricardo’s Hideaway, this retelling
of a rowdy night out turned one-night stand.
“We want people who aren’t in Calgary
to listen to us and talk about Calgary and be
like, “‘Shit, I want to go to there,’” says Bhagya.
“We want to make Calgary sexy.”
And if you can say one thing about Cartel
Madras, is that it’s damn sexy.
“If you listen to hip-hop by men, I think the
grand narrative of hip-hop is being badass,
getting chicks, and winning,” notes Priya.
“As women, we can also say all those
things. We can objectify men, and we should.
We constantly should, and that’s something
we’re really trying to do in our music.”
With a spot opening for Toronto pop-duo
Too Attached in March, and a mixtape with a
soon-to-be-announced release date, you can
bet Cartel Madras won’t be slowing down
anytime soon. “Hip-hop has kinda felt like
final frontier,” muses Priya. “Like, if we can
make it in hip-hop as coloured, ethnic, women
from Calgary, that would be incredible.”
Cartel Madras will play at Nite Owl on March
8 [Calgary] with Too Attached, presented by
MATT & GILL
a DJ journey full of unsung heroes
Meet Matt and Gill. They host a new DJ-band
night every Thursday at Broken City. A night
that showcases their exquisite record collection
as they segue playing before, in between and after
bands take the stage.
Matt Robinson is originally from San Francisco
and Gill Crosley from Calgary, one of Broken City’s
friendly and familiar bartenders. They first met
each in 2012 at the Austin Pysch Fest, drinking
beers backstage at a Brian Jonestown Massacre
show. A romance quickly blossomed with back
and forth visits between Calgary and San Fran.
Matt then moved a year later to Calgary exactly
when the flood hit Sled Island.
A guitarist and singer as well as DJ well-versed
on the decks, he brought 300 pieces of vinyl, a mix
of LPs and 45s, that were stuffed into various bags
of luggage leaving little to no room for clothes.
“He didn’t even bring toiletries!” recalls Gill.
“But!” chirps in Matt. “I brought a little of every
genre. Down tempo, chill electronica, psych, atmospheric
In San Fran, Matt says, “My initial focus on DJing
was down tempo – DJ Krush, DJ Shadow, atmospheric
stuff with dark breaks. As I became more
connected with other like-minded DJs, I moved
into other areas of atmospheric house that had
BY B. SIMM
Latin beats and ‘70s psych. I became much more
eccentric and intereted in more of the unsung
heroes of every genre instead of just playing the
Sharing DJ duties, Matt explains, “Gill’s
enterprise in the set is more psychedelic, and
when it moves uptempo we agree I’ll play more
atmospheric deep house, but no clubby stuff. And
the hip-hip is sophisticated, smart, spiritual. Tribe
called Quest, Buck 65, along those lines.”
Their sets will also compliment whatever style
the artists booked on that particular night have. “If
it’s an electronic artist, then more electronica. If it’s
a rock band, then maybe more pysch or different
types of rock,” says Matt. “We’re not just playing
left-field stuff. It’s not about playing what we want.
It’s about the curating the night with the archive
we have. And our archive is pretty good!”
Gill adds, “But it will still be all over the place.
You can walk in and we could be playing psych
rock. You can go out for a smoke, come back and
we’ll be playing hip-hip, and then we’ll switch over
to Latin jazz. It’s a little journey that morphs from
one style to another.’
Matt & Gill DJ the night away every Thursday at
LET’S GET JUCY!
Skratch Bastid will grace the wheels of steel at Commonwealth on March 7 [Calgary].
Here we are with another edition of Let’s
Get Jucy. Apologies for my lack of a
column last month, my section was filled to
capacity with a great array of local stories and
I relished the opportunity to lighten my own
workload. Anyways, there’s lots going on in
March, so I’ll quit justifying my negligence and
get into it.
Dubfounded, the residency committed
to servicing all of Calgary’s reggae and dub
music needs, returns on March 8 at Habitat
[Calgary], with this edition featuring Nelson’s
Dubconscious and Spain-born, Kelowna based
Bag-O-Beetz. The former is extremely active
in Canadian scene, performing at Shambhala
almost yearly and working with their nightclub
Bloom in Nelson, while the latter grew up in in
Venezuela surrounded by reggae, calypso, salsa,
soca and more. This duo plus locals Syntax and
Metafloor, will be sure to deliver a well-rounded
night of music.
Turntablist extraordinaire, and the man
behind festival Bastid’s BBQ Skratch Bastid will
be at Commonwealth on March 7 [Calgary].
Truly a “DJ’s DJ” he has been rocking versatile
sets for many years, and his skills are a serious
sight to behold.
One of Canada’s premier hip-hop artists
Atmosphere returns alongside Evidence, of
Dilated Peoples fame. The gig is on March 9 at
MacEwan Hall [Calgary].
On March 10 Flava D will tear things up at
The HiFi [Calgary] with support from all-star
locals Slim Pickins, BB Mars and Franky Dubs.
This London DJ, producer circumnavigates numerous
regions of house music, playing garage,
bassline and jackin’ and definitely knows how
to devastate dance floors.
Stanton Warriors will come out and play at
Nite Owl on March 16 [Calgary]. Since emerging
into the limelight with their award-winning
Stanton Sessions way back in 2001, the
Warriors have remained a consistent fixture in
rave culture, continually amping up their sound
while staying true to their breakbeat origins.
This next one was a huge announcement
from the True Rhythm crew: DJ Yella of NWA
and Lil Easy E, eldest son of the late Easy E
and CEO of NWA entertainment, will perform
at Dickens Pub on March 27 [Calgary]. Tickets
for this are already flying at time of writing,
and True Rhythm is also offering VIP meet and
greet packages giving fans the opportunity to
connect with two of hip-hop’s prolific artists.
Closing out the month of March on the 31
is a warm-up party for Vibrant Music Festival,
which takes place in June in the Columbia
Valley in British Columbia. Never to early to
gear up for festival season, so head on down
to The Nite Owl [Calgary] and catch Molly
Fi, Funkin Right, Ninjette and Robbie C. Attendees
will get the chance to buy discounted
tickets for the festival and two passes will
be given away to the person with the most
Despite taking last month off, I resolve to
continue consistently with my monthly musings
and assure you I will be back again next
month with my picks of some noteworthy
Calgary happenings. As always please hit me
up if you have some listings in mind. paul@
• Paul Rodgers
JUCY BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 37
league of her own
BY ALIX BRUCH
Sometimes the best plan is not having “Even if I tried to make an album of
a plan. From a young age, Erin Costelo a specific genre, I don’t think it could
never felt the need to think about what come out that way. Just because of my
she was going to do with her life, opting make up as an artist, the things that I’ve
instead to simply “live life now.” Having been influenced by and the stuff that I’ve
surrendered to the winds, the Halifax-based
listened to and absorbed, it’s always going
artist has landed among many to come out through that filter. That has
talented Canadian musicians, settling in made it really freeing to just write songs.”
as part of a passionate and collaborative By refusing to acquiesce to the constraints
community. Settling, however, is not in
and expectations of the larger
Costelo’s vocabulary. Being an accomplished
music superstructure, Costelo is making
singer, songwriter, producer, and music on her own terms. Fresh off being
composer, one might describe Costelo as signed to U.S. Label Compass Records,
a jack-of-all-trades. This versatility is no Costelo got to work on her fifth studio
doubt impressive, but winner of Nova album, set to be released in Canada this
Scotia’s producer-of-the-year humbly fall. As a deliberate personal challenge,
attributes her multifarious qualities to the album was recorded over the course
her own idiosyncrasies.
of just ten days in a rustic house in rural
“I think I’m just a total Gemini and Nova Scotia. Costelo was accompanied
I get really bored,” confesses Costelo. by a group of incredible musicians,
“I have to be distracted by a bunch of including Juno award-winning artist and
different things. So I don’t think it’s as long-time friend, Amelia Curran.
impressive as it sounds. It’s my own
“To hold myself accountable, I decided
I wanted to document it [the recording
Following her passion for creating process] as a film because I figured if
evocative music, Costelo has carved herself
I didn’t then I would change my mind
a unique place in the music industry. and take longer. I have a difficult time
The soulful vocalist is living in a space of deciding something and sticking to it.
freedom that many yearn for, but few are So Amelia has started making films, and
willing to navigate. It is difficult to pair we were just hanging out in the summer
her sound with any specific genre, and for when she offered to direct it. And it was
some musicians, that can be an intimidating
the perfect match! She has such great
position to be in, but for Costelo, experience in the studio, so I knew she
it makes her feel right at home.
would have an eye for what to be looking
38 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
at and looking for. it was one of the most
amazing experiences I have ever had and I
can’t wait to share it with people.”
Costelo’s previous record, Down Below,
The Status Quo, took multiple years to
take shape and be released – a stark
contrast to her newest venture. Costelo
welcomes new challenges as opportunities
for growth and acknowledges that
this album is more personal and the lyrics
are the strongest she has ever written.
“I wrote through the process of being
there which was the first time I had ever
done that. I don’t think that I’ll ever do
it again because I think that it has taken
years off my life, but it was a super amazing
hyper-creative way to make a record,”
Costelo explains. “I wouldn’t say that it’s
different, but it has more space and is
lyrically more direct because I didn’t have
time not to be. I think Down Below, The
Status Quo made me more accountable in
my lyric writing. I want to write stuff that
feels like I am putting something out into
the world that is representative of who I
am and what I think about things. Reflecting
on things that make us human. And
when you have someone like Amelia Curran
watching over you, you’re like, ‘Damn I
want to write some good lyrics here!’”
Erin Costelo performs April 6 at the Calgary
Folk Club and, April 7 at the Blue Chair
reaching for a fresh frontier
THE WHITE BUFFALO
from no breaks to big breaks
Canadian folk-singer Matthew Barber is
getting a tad bit older, having turned 40
last year. As a staple of the Canadian singer-songwriter
genre since 1999, he believes his
music is maturing along with him. Known for
his traditional, melancholic style and critically-praised
albums, including The Family Album
(2016) in which he teamed-up with his sister
Jill, who is also an accomplished singer, Barber
branches out on his most recent album, Phase
of the Moon.
“While this album isn’t radically different I
feel like it is just a natural evolution in my song
writing, but it still certainly has vintage singer
songwriter influences. I try to make it sound
relevant and contemporary, but my main
influences are still older records. It is not a
melancholy record I suppose, but it is also not
a party record, it is a contemplative record.”
The recording also reflects Barber’s diverse
musical ability: “I did something kind of new
this time. I played all the parts myself, aside
from a couple string arrangements. I played
the guitar, bass, drums, vocals, all that kind of
Over the years, Barber has invested heavily
trying to perfect the art of recording, if possible.
“I’m always sort of looking for new ways to
make records. It’s sort of chasing this mysterious
thing of what it is to make a perfect record.
It’s hard to make a great record and I feel like I
have been chasing this my entire career.”
Moving into middle age, Barber is also
chasing history noting his music has weathered
alongside with him. “I feel like when I was in
my early 20s my life had more of spontaneity
and excitement and everything is kind of happening
for the first time. And now it is more
about looking back, I have more responsibility
and I have more pressure to feel like an adult.”
On the cusp of his ninth full-length and not
content to rely on formula, he believes an artist
needs to strive and reach for something beyond.
“It is more than just having good songs
and good players, you have to have this sort of
intangible element that emerges. I mean there
is a reason that not every record attains that
even though all the pieces might be there.”
Matthew Barber performs March 5 at The
Imperial (Vancouver), March 6 at Geomatic Attic
(Red Deer), March 8 at Marquee beer market
and stage, and March 9 at The Starlite Room
BY ANDREW BARDSLEY
BY JORDAN STRICKER
It has been 16 years since Jake Smith released music supervisor out to lunch and it ended up
his first album under the moniker The White happening,” recalls Smith. “It was a great run, and it
Buffalo. He’s learned many lessons on the road, really helped my career.”
and there may be many more to come. With a Smith’s music is typified by his hefty voice, laid
hefty baritone voice carrying notes that can be atop of a bed of similarly powerful acoustic guitar.
heard for miles, he has constructed a roughand-tumble
musical mode all his own. He to go with the toughest gauge of string you can
He strums his strings so hard he has no choice but
strums an acoustic guitar to transport his experiences
of love, pain and everything in between. “I like the juxtaposition of having something
Raised in Southern California, Smith started his that is really dark but feels good.”
musical journey at 19 drawn to both twang and Sporting long flowing locks and a grizzly beard,
raging power chords. “I grew up on country music. Smith’s towering presence is felt the second he
When I got into high school, I got into the punk touches the stage. His songs are just as dramatic
scene in California which really had an impact. romping from heartfelt to heartbreak to mayhem
Those two elements really influenced me.”
and murder, painting pictures that vividly play-out
No stranger to getting things done and setting like short films.
the bar high, when he could only grind out a couple
of chords on the guitar he would call venues genre. I can write a murder song, I can write a
“I like the fact that I don’t have to stay in one
and play his music over the phone with hopes of love song, I can write a heartbreak song. There are
landing local gigs. “It’s crazy to think that at one no limitations to what can be written. I’m lucky
juncture I didn’t even consider myself a musician, enough to have a voice that can one moment be
to now having a catalogue and playing all over the tender, and in another be aggressive and a little
world it is amazing.”
scary,” says Smith Continuing with that progression,
White Buffalo’s newest effort is called Darkest
Helping White Buffalo’s popularity soar
followed when they were included on the
Darks, Lightest Lights.
soundtrack to the outlaw motorcycle TV series,
Sons of Anarchy.
The White Buffalo performs March 8 at Marquee
“I had no label or management. I only had a few Beer Market & Stage (Calgary) and March 9 at the
projects under my belt but my lawyer asked the Starlite Room (Edmonton).
ROOTS BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 39
who you know is how it grows
think I thought it was gonna be easier
“I back then,” says Winnipeg-based Sean
Burns of the hard touring he’s done since
launching his career as a singer-songwriter
back in 2010. “It was like, ‘Hey, we’re pretty
good at this, we’ll go out, get the lay of
the land.’ Then got my spirits crushed and
shattered and then rebuilt over time, then it
took a few years of being here in Winnipeg
for things to come together and really start
And come together they are. Burns’s latest
full-length, Music For Taverns, Bars, and
Honky Tonks finds Burns getting together
with some of the cream of Winnipeg’s roots
scene, including producer/guitarist Grant
Siemens of The Hurtin’ Albertans, drummer
Joanna Miller, and bassist Bernie Thiessen, and
knocking out a classic-sounding set of tunes
in exactly the vibe the title describes. Burns
met Siemens here in Calgary during the first
Wide Cut Weekend, and they quickly discovered
a shared affinity for country music in the
classic roadhouse style.
“With Corb Lund doing most of 2017 solo,
Grant was around and just said, ‘Hey man,
you play that real country music, if you ever
need a guitar player’. And when you get a
guy like that on your side, it really gave me a
confidence I’d never had before, you know?
He’s into these songs, he’s really into playing
this kind of music.”
BY MIKE DUNN
Burns started out 17 years ago in Ontario,
backing up his father in a bands around his
hometown of Barrie. “My dad had a gig and they
were out a bass player, so I filled in and kept it
up through the end of high school. Then this
other guy that my dad did a duo with started
getting some gigs, and I was backing him up. My
dad started getting better gigs, and this guy had
just these rough gigs.” Burns adds with a laugh,
“My dad just said, ‘Hey if Sean really wants to be
a musician then he should be out there doing
some of these terrible gigs.’”
During and throughout the hard touring,
Burns has definitely found a home in
Winnipeg, where he plays often locally, and
recently took over a hosting spot spinning
country music on CKUW, the University of
Winnipeg radio station. “There’s a thriving
community here, and I remember seeing
some people playing when I’d come through
town and thinking, “I’d love to play with that
person,’ and now they’ve all played gigs with
me. When I think about it, that’s maybe the
big success of my career, is making friends and
playing music with really excellent musicians
who are just the best people.”
Sean Burns tours through Alberta and BC in
March and April, at The Ironwood Stage & Grill
on March 10th, and The Aviary in Edmonton on
March 13th, with stops in Lethbridge, Red Deer,
Nanton, Twin Butte, Black Diamond as well.
40 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
Sean Burns – real country matters.
photo: Gabriel Thaine
ROOTS BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 41
42 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
on the weaponization of society and the need for systematic change
AmeriKKKant drops March 9 via Nuclear Blast Records.
he easiest way to rule somebody is to divide and
“T conquer the populous by fear. Turn society one against
the other. That’s part of the old fascist playbook, it’s the very
first thing you do. You sign onto the free press, you divide and
conquer. Now it’s being weaponized by the internet.”
AmeriKKKant is the 14th studio record to be released
by industrial-metal outfit Ministry. This album is an audio
articulation of aggression felt by many working-class people
around the world. Its distorted sound frequencies, pounding
bass and in-your-face, guttural vocals scream an atmosphere of
internalized dread and frustration. It’s a social comment on the
world we live in and the greed, idiocy, and fascism displayed by
many of its political leaders. The album’s opening track “I Know
Words” features warped sound bites of the current President
of the United States, who many would consider the official
mascot of today’s planetary political fuckery.
“It’s become one of those moments like: ‘Where were you
when Kennedy got shot? Where were you when man landed
on the moon? Where were you when Trump got elected?”
explains frontman Al Jourgensen, who served as songwriter
and producer of his band’s new album.
“I went to bed at around six o’clock that night [when Trump
was elected] because I knew that he was going to win. I could
see the way things were going. It’s not just Trump, it’s society
as a whole. If you look at Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands,
the Philippines, I could see how the world is trending. His
inauguration is when I thought, ‘You know what? I’m gonna
make a fuckin’ album about this. Man, this is some fucked up
shit going on around here.’”
AmeriKKKant’s artwork features the iconic Statue of Liberty,
a symbol meant to represent American freedom, using her hand
to cover her face in embarrassment as fighter jets fly over a
smouldering New York City. Although AmeriKKKant’s text is in
white, the three K’s, signifying the Ku Klux Klan white supremacy
group, is highlighted in red, the colour sported by the Republican
political party Trump leads. The Statue’s tabula ansata,
which in reality has the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence
inscribed in it, emits smoke from a fresh bullet-hole.
“Trump was my muse, but this album is not about him,”
“Trump is just an indicator of what’s going on, he’s sounding
the alarm. We have much bigger problems than Trump, but
he’s symbolic of the systematic problem that we have.” He continues:
“This album is more about getting towards systematic
change; it goes a little bit deeper than just a bunch of Trump
sound bites, but he’s the perfect person to represent how
society is going right now.”
Titles of tracks on the album confirm Jourgensen’s musings.
Songs like “Victims of a Clown,” “Wargasm,” “We’re Tired of It,”
and “Twilight Zone” indicate that Jourgensen feels he’s living in
an episode of that very mind-bending 1960s anthology series.
The record’s first single, “Antifa,” inspired by the extremist
anti-fascism movement, has stirred a slew of controversy.
“The Antifa movement needs to be explained to North
BY JOHNNY PAPAN
Americans because we’ve never had an overtly fascist ruler like
we have now,” he says. “Antifa is short for anti-fascist. In 1930s
Europe, it became really prevalent against the [Francisco] Franco
regime in Spain. Against Mussolini in Italy. Against Hitler.”
Controversy draws from Antifa’s motto, which is to oppose
fascism through direct action. The conglomeration has embarked
on militant protest tactics which often include property
damage and physical violence. Though Jourgensen supports
the group’s ideologies in standing up for themselves, he thinks
their fight fire with fire approach is the wrong way to go about
getting their message across.
“The problem [with Antifa] is a lot of the tactics that they
use are the same things they’re rallying against: ‘If you see a
skinhead on the street, beat him up,’” says Jourgensen. “Don’t
beat him up, talk to him. I’m not for or against the group, but
I am very against fascism and I am for people standing up for
their own individual rights.”
The touchiness behind the song and music video has resulted
in some online backlash.
“Of course there’s going to be a lot of negative pushback,” he
says. “A lot of that comes from robot trolls. They just want to
stir the pot and keep people mad at each other, and it’s ridiculous.
The Internet started out as a phenomenal concept. What
was once called ‘the Age of Information’ has now become the
age of disinformation. What started out as a knowledge building
facility has been destroyed. People are more concerned
about how many likes they got on sharing a YouTube video
of cats playing piano than they are of the system taking away
their pension, their health care, or putting a nuclear waste
dump on where they live. [The internet] has been weaponized
and used by governments for their own agendas to keep people
in their place while they make profits.”
At this time, the dynamic of American politics remains unclear.
With Trump’s win, some celebrities including Kanye West
and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have stated their interest in
running for president, bringing up the question of whether or
not government is on the verge of becoming nothing but a
popularity contest for the rich and famous.
“All of these celebrities are really uneducated on the grey
issues of world politics and the subtleties of ruling,” Jourgensen
says. “Nothing is black and white, and to have these people
running, it trivializes everything. What is politics now? Oprah,
Kanye, Trump: it’s all the same. I’m sure they all have different
opinions and everything, but they’re not suited for doing
anything about this. I don’t think celebrities should run for
office, but I do think they should have a voice, just like an auto
worker in Flint, Michigan should have a voice. I think politics
have been trivialized to where we don’t even believe in it. We
have nothing that we believe in anymore.”
“We need to make systematic change,” Jourgensen concludes.
“I think a lot of that starts in individual self and cosmic
awareness. I don’t mean to get all hippy on you but they can
change all the institutions they want. People need to start
really thinking deeper; in other words, the human race has to
start playing chess instead of checkers.”
Ministry performs at Union Hall on March 31 [Edmonton] and at
the Palace Theatre on April 1 (Calgary).
SHRAPNEL BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 43
grind over matter
44 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
BY FERDY BELLAND
photo: Mike Wells
WAKE’s fourth studio album Misery Rites is out now!
Grindcore stalwarts WAKE have been shattering
foundations and cracking the skies
for nearly a decade. The Calgary act has clocked
tens of thousands of seemingly endless road
miles, delivering earsplitting messages of internal
agony around the world. Highly respected in
the international grindcore scene, the members
of WAKE are as unassuming and affable offstage
as they are fiery and ferocious onstage.
“We’re more than happy with the new
record,” begins guitarist Rob LaChance. He’s
referring to the band’s fourth full-length Misery
Rites. Released on February 23 via Translation
Loss Records, it marks their first offering for the
celebrated American label and has been critically
acclaimed by a plethora of reputable publications.
“It’s better than we ever could have
wished. Working with [producer] Dave Otero
was awesome. We spent a week down in
Denver with him, hung out, drank lots of good
beer, and had a great time. He pushed us super-hard
and we came out with the best album
that I, personally, have ever made.”
The band tapped into that shared pool of
contacts when it came to recording. Alongside
the scorching barks of vocalist Kyle Ball, you’ll
hear a guest appearance from Ethan McCarthy
of the aforementioned Vermin Womb and
Primitive Man (whom WAKE has toured with
previously). McCarthy lends his wretched growls
to both “Rot” and “Rumination.” The result is a
nine-track album that continues WAKE’s lineage
of blistering grindcore in the Discordance Axis
tradition. Over quickly, it spans only 27 minutes.
The aftermath of this blast is immediate: the
band will embark on a four-week tour across
Canada and the U.S.A. alongside blackened
death metallers Withered. The tour will be
followed by a potential EP recording session and
summertime festival appearances before WAKE
hits the road once again come September.
Emerging in the mid ‘80s with the stylistic
fusion of hardcore punk, thrash metal, industrial
music, and downright noise, the genre
of grindcore (first popularized by early artists
like Napalm Death) provides a breathtakingly
cacophonous framework for highly-charged
political lyrics of anti-racism, anti-capitalism,
anti-militarism, feminism, veganism, and
more. Despite the sonic violence of it all, the
aficionados of the music aren’t really violent,
“Most people who attend our shows are total
fucking maniacs, for sure,” says LaChance.
“But they’re NICE maniacs. Die-hard guys.
Most people who are into grindcore are INTO
GRINDCORE! There’s not a thousand grindcore
bands touring all the time, so grindcore fans
usually come out and support. They’re happy to
support. I find the North American grindcore
scene is so tight-knit. People are really down
to help each other out. Buying people’s merch,
putting bands up in their house when they’re
touring, or just hanging out as friends. The Canadian
grindcore scene is especially close. It feels
like a real family.”
In the giving spirit of the community he
thrives in, LaChance has this to say to aspiring
“Just get out there and tour. Meet people
and make friends. If there are touring bands
hitting your city, put them up. Buy their merch.
Support. If you want to see a band come to
your city, write them, contact them. Ask them
to come play. Tell them there’s a scene in your
city, be it small or big. Offer to help them book
shows. Do whatever you can to help them out.
Things go back and forth. You get back what you
put into it.”
WAKE perform at their album release party and
tour kickoff show at the Palomino Smokehouse and
Social Club on March 10 [Calgary], with guests Fall
City Fall, Spurn, and Murk. The band will perform
at the Starlite Room on March 16 [Edmonton] and
at Amigos Cantina on March 17 [Saskatoon].
band to the bone
he intrepid hardcore trio known as Iron
Tusk traces its roots back to Calgary’s
punk outfit No More Moments. It was with
that raucous upstart band that guitarist/
vocalist Ty Maguire, bassist/vocalist Buddy
Wolfleg and drummer Carlin Black Rabbit
originally came together to vent their gusto
and create noisy pieces of urban artwork.
Wolfleg and Maguire eventually left that
group in 2013, but it wasn’t terribly long
before fate and fretwork came calling at Black
“We all grew up together; Ty and were
neighbors throughout our childhood. Buddy
was the cool guy in high school we always
dreamed of being friends with. Ty and Buddy
were the first people I wrote music with, we
learned covers together, and are all self taught
musicians, ” Black Rabbit recalls.
“We went a couple years without really
talking and doing our thing, then in January
of 2016 Buddy contacted me with some songs
he had written. So, we got a guitar player and
signed up for Rockin 4 Dollar$ at Broken City.”
The synergy the old friends felt on the stage
that night lit the spark that fuelled them to
sign up to perform at a music festival at the
Siksika First Nation in southern Alberta the
following summer. Choosing the name Iron
Tusk based on a shared affection for fellow
metallic doomsters Mastodon, Black Rabbit
and his company of cassette-dropping droogs
found themselves in high demand as they
booked shows into that fall.
“Shows were flowing, and we hit the studio
to record our EP, Flooded Times (Transistor
66), which debuted in October of 2016,” says
“Ty joined as a guitar player in December
of that year and eventually took over as the
Spirits in the material world.
BY CHRISTINE LEONARD
lead. Since then, the three of us (Ty, Buddy
and me) have gone on to record our new EP,
Dark Spirit (Transistor 66). We recorded it
in one day at Ghost Iron Studio in Calgary.
The EP tells the story of a dark spiritual figure
that has been spotted by many people,
roaming our Reserve. The stories people
have describing how this figure looks and so
that’s what we told our graphic designer, ‘The
Poster Guy’ Eric Dietrich, who brought it to
life on the album cover. Our song “Sandhills”
is also about a haunted location on the
Reserve that has a long history of crazy ghost
A stunning snapshot, Dark Spirit evidences
much more than the clear-sighted band’s
ephemeral energy, it’s the realization of a
shared vision achieved through perseverance
“Growing up on the Reserve we weren’t
aware of the issues and realities that are
relevant today. Truth and reconciliation wasn’t
a thing at the time. Generational trauma and
the residential school discussions were something
that wasn’t talked about. We were aware
of the addictions and death that affected our
Reserve and we used music as an escape. We
would lock ourselves in Ty’s grandparents
garage and play music day and night. Even
racking up Ty’s grandparents’ electrical bill to
$1,500 once! When we were younger we only
dreamed of being able to release music and
play shows with bands like Red Fang and CKY.
Persistence and faith in ourselves and our
music is what has kept us going.”
Iron Tusk celebrates the release of their EP Dark
Spirit with Mothercraft, Electric Revival, Sparrow
Blue and Buffalo Bud Buster on March 24 at The
Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club [Calgary].
queen of the harpies
BY CHRISTINE LEONARD
There’s not enough space in these pages
to cover even a third of the great
heavy music acts coming through
American power metallers Iced Earth
will perform at the Starlite Room on March
2 [Edmonton] and at the Marquee Beer
Market & Stage on March 3[Calgary].
Industrial crossover act Soulfly will perform
as Nailbomb, delivering the entirety of
their groundbreaking album Point Blank at
Dickens on March 5 [Calgary].
John Garcia of legendary space rockers
Kyuss will perform at Distortion on March
Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider
will perform at the Marquee Beer Market
& Stage on March 15 [Calgary] and at the
Starlite Room on March 16 [Edmonton].
Despite our best efforts, we were not able
to get him on the horn.
Hazzerd, Blackest Sin, Meggido, Pervcore,
and more will play at Distortion on
March 16 [Calgary].
Manitoba Metalfest 2018 goes down
on March 16 – March 17 at the Park
Theatre [Winnipeg]. Bands performing
include legendary death thrashers
Demolition Hammer, as well as sets
by Skeletal Remains, Cancer Bats, and
Damascus, who are doing a “one time
only reunion show.”
Local stoner rockers Woodhawk perform
at the Ship & Anchor on March 21
[Calgary]. The following evening they’ll be
performing alongside Wolfrik and Highbernation
at the Starlite Room [Edmonton].
Seattle death metal act Fetid will
perform with Vern’s on March 23 [Calgary]
alongside Messiahlator, Pathetic, Cultist
and Full/Choke. The following evening,
head to the Sewing Machine Factory [Edmonton]
for Fetid with Begrime Exemious,
Pathetic, and Lutheran.
The second rendition of Covenant Montreal
will begin at La Sala Rossa on March
29 and runs until March 31 [Montreal]. The
fantastic black and death metal oriented
line-up includes Dead Congregation, Ruins
of Beverast, Thantifaxath, Auroch, Adversarial,
• Sarah Kitteringham
King Woman creates order out of chaos.
photo: Rob Williamson
It has been almost a decade since vocalist detailed numbers that have become their
Kristina Esfandiari founded the groundbreaking
doom and drone crossover act
King Woman’s brooding debut full-
King Woman. During that time, what began length Created in the Image of Suffering,
as a bold solo project has blossomed into recorded at Jack Shirley’s Atomic Garden,
an even grander quartet featuring guitarist appeared in 2017 via Relapse Records and
Colin Gallagher, bassist Peter Arensdorf and earned much critical acclaim. Still, Esfandiari,
drummer Joey Raygoza. Known for questioning
who has collaborated with shoegazers
convention and pushing their melancholic Whirr in addition to sustaining her own
melodies into traditionally vascular heavy alter ego solo-project Miserable, felt that
metal territory, King Woman has gained comparisons
King Woman had yet to find the right
to SubRosa and Ides of Gemini while management. Enter Sargent House (home
crafting a lush and evocative dark wave sound to Russian Circles, Earth, Mutoid Man,
that is entirely their own.
Chelsea Wolfe, etc), who according to the
King Woman’s debut EP, Doubt (2014), vocalist “has been really amazing and kind
set off a volley of water-testing singles and of the perfect fit for us.”
EPs from the band and most recently a
As they embark on the next stage of
self-released cover of the Stone Roses track “I their journey, Esfandiari credits her steady
Wanna be Adored.” Unfortunately, Canadian bandmates for allowing their art to evolve at a
fans were denied the opportunity adore King gradual pace. In her mind the most gratifying
Woman when the group had to cancel their aspect of King Woman’s refusal to shy away
slot at Calgary’s 2017 installment of the Sled from discussing difficult subjects, such as
Island Music & Arts Festival due to a medical religious abuse and mental health, is how
that honesty has proven to be a source of
“Our guitarist had cancer, so he had to go inner strength and inspiration for artist and
in for surgery and we had to cancel all our audience alike.
tour dates. It was very sudden. He’s still with “We’re currently working on new material
the band and he’s fine now, but it was a very and have already written about four songs for
emotional time for us,” explains Esfandiari. our new record,” she divulges.
“It just brought us together. We’re really, “It’s still being formed and coming into
really close and good at communicating as view. There’s some really deeply personal stuff
a band. And we were like, ‘His health is our from my childhood that I’ve never talked
priority right now and we’re not going to do about before that I’m incorporating into the
anything to stress him out.’ Last year was a bit songs. My favourite thing is being able to
hard, but now things are great. I would just emote and connect with the audience. It’s just
describe it as a sweet and sour low with lots of exciting to reveal the concepts behind new
different highs and lows and uncertainties, but albums and expose a new part of myself.”
we’ve regrouped and we’re in a good place.”
Recovered and ready to move forward King Woman performs with Russian Circles on
with their hypnotic storytelling, King Woman Wednesday, April 4 at Dickens [Calgary] and
has continued to produce the dramatic and Thursday, April 5 at Starlite Room [Edmonton].
SHRAPNEL BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 45
46 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
When you’ve been kicking around the indie
rock scene as long as influential punk rock
singer/guitarist/visual artist Rick Froberg (Obits,
Pitchfork, et al.) there aren’t too many ‘firsts’ left
to conquer. But, here’s where things get interesting.
After 14 years apart Froberg’s gettin’ the old
band back together. He’s on a mission from Sub
Pop and he’s not taking ‘No!’ for an answer. Reamalgamating
the acclaimed group he formed
back in 2000 with fellow former Drive Like Jehu
bandmate John Reiss (also of Rocket From The
Crypt), Froberg has emerged with the ‘first’ new
Hot Snakes album from another era on a new
record label to boot!
A long-awaited return from the garage
punk legends, Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop) was
recorded over the course of 2017 between the
Hot Snakes’ home range in San Diego and a
stint in Philadelphia. A self-produced effort
that reunites Froberg and Reis with bassist
Gar Wood and drummers Jason Kourkounis
and Mario Rubalcaba, Jericho Sirens fulfills the
promises made on the band’s first three albums;
Automatic Midnight (2000), Suicide Invoice
(2002) and Audit in Process (2004). It’s worth
noting that all three of these earlier LPs, which
were originally under the Swami Records label,
have been reissued on coloured vinyl this past
January thanks to Sub Pop.
Let it be known, Hot Snakes has shed its dry
winter skin and has emerged shinier and more
watertight than ever. A year spent shaking off
the rust by touring live has left the veteran
punk-rockers limber and supple enough to execute
some pretty gnarly manoeuvers. Dropping
into surf-fresh material with the frenetic opener
“I Need a Doctor,” they echo The Ramones pharmaceutical
plea with a nerve and string jangly
jitteriness that sets the whole album off on a
tear. The tremulous tantrum continues with
“Candid Camera” planting sonic sinkholes along
the path to a perilous “Death Camp Fantasy”
shore. Foam-flecked epithets are hurled like
stones and some of them really smart when
they strike home.
Picking up the already maddening pace,
Hot Snakes crash through bramble patches of
extreme rawness, as on “Why Don’t It Sink,”
then pull a complete switch-foot and drop into
a barrel of the smoothest most sophisticated
punk ‘n’ roll with “Six Wave Hold Down” and
the album’s hypermobile title track. A half-dozen
breakers under the influence of Hot Snakes’
hot-and-cold swell should be enough to drown
the worst of your sorrows. Or, so Froberg and
Reiss would lead you believe. Their conviction
cannot be doubted as they throw themselves
headlong into heavy hitters like “Have Another”
with its angular guitar angst and angry
insistence. “You’re screwed!” Froberg repeatedly
howls as his bandmates relentlessly pursue him
with surging strings and militarized percussion.
Doubling down on the ecstatic dirge “Death
Doula,” the entire group scribbles their love
mark on the park bench behind your favourite
pizza joint. Maybe your adolescence wasn’t
all that remarkable, but listening to the taut
threads that run through the brattish “Psychoactive”
and delinquent gestures of “Death
of a Sportsman,” you can certainly repeal that
shortcoming with a serious dose of Hot Snakes’
Final word, you don’t have to see the cover
photo of bassist/surfdawg Gar Wood tube-riding
to pick up on Jericho Sirens’ wild and free
Wet Coast vibe, but you do have to wonder
how Hot Snakes manage to get the salt stains
out of their leather jackets.
• Christine Leonard
illustration: My-An Nguyen
BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 47
Cinematic is certainly an overused adjective when it comes to
music, but it’s near-impossible to avoid when describing Essaie
Pas. The taut marathon of severe synth bludgeoning that made
their previous release, Demain est une autre nuit (“tomorrow
is another night,” 2016), so delightful was that it was partly
indebted to musical innovations made in film scores like Blade
Runner and giallo flicks.
The Montreal duo’s return to DFA with New Path retains
tradition while being aptly named: the dystopian coldwave of
the release still sounds hand-hewn and ruthless, but adopts
a slicker varnish that helps make the menacing medicine go
down. Every sound on the record feels richer, from the fuller
bass to the higher-fidelity synths.
Lead single “Complet brouillé” recalls co-founder Marie Davidson’s
“Naive to the Bone” in its cheekiness, yet has a robust
tonality more suitable for a mega-rave than a sketchy DIY club.
Once that track completes the deliberately-sequenced A-side,
the distinct back half opens with perhaps the duo’s best track
to date, “Les agents des stups.” Its seven-minute tension flex
doubles the power of Demain’s most chaotic muscles, adding
nuance with multi-tracking and dynamism in its passages.
The tactile feel of this record sells the listening experience
on its own, but keener listeners may want to head to Genius or
Google Translate to explore the sometimes French-language,
sometimes just plain inscrutable lyrics. According to promotional
materials, the subject matter is (fittingly) inspired by
Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, and there are field recording
passages that may take some careful listening to contextualize
properly. But don’t be afraid of a little extra work: sometimes
the best thing a record can do is hook you with its veneer
and implore you to find your own way into the underlying
• Colin Gallant
48 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
I’m Bad Now
Paradise Of Bachelors/You’ve Changed Records
Haligonian quartet Nap Eyes are what you would get if you
put Blue Rodeo, the Velvet Underground and a handful of
university professors in a studio together to write songs. Led by
Nigel Chapman, the Nova Scotian band has made a name for
themselves by releasing two stellar albums of Maritime slacker
rock chock full of twangy Canadiana. I’m Bad Now, their third
full-length (and final album in an informal trilogy), expands on
their previous releases while sounding more clear-headed and
full of purpose.
Like on much of the album, early highlight “I’m Bad” is a
Wilco-esque, alt-country dirge that finds Chapman seemingly
singing in second-person, examining inward while floating
above. The song features guitarist Brad Lougheed’s most feedback-laden
solo as a hard-earned climax.
Elsewhere, “Follow Me Down” sounds like a Rankin Family
waltz with a whole lot more weed smoke overtop. It also
features some of Chapman’s finest lyrics as he sing-speaks, “I
went out walking with my headphones on/Classical Indian
raga twenty minutes long/Then I listened to old American folk
song/A little bit shorter, still a lot going on.”
Here, and for just about all the album, Chapman writes
whip smart lyrics that are impenetrable to a fault. Still, with a
little investigation, these songs reveal themselves in time. It’s a
testament to the band that even if they didn’t, Chapman’s still
managed to churn out hooks like, “I can’t tell what’s worse, the
meaninglessness or the negative meaning/I figured out a way
to get on with my life and to keep on dreaming” as he does on
the lead single “Everytime The Feeling.”
• Jamie McNamara
Young Fathers defy typical genre placement. The Edinburgh
trio is most frequently described as an experimental hip-hop
group, but most vocals are sung, not rapped. The buzzing bassheavy
808s lean heavily on early trip-hop. Prominent organs
along with member Alloysious Massaquoi’s hymn-like crooning
lend their brightest moments a gospel shine. African music,
R&B and soul also lend ingredients to the stew that make up
Massaquoi’s, “G” Hastings’ and Kayus Bankole’s music.
Cocoa Sugar is the band’s third album. It is very much a continued
evolution of their previous work, with songs that can
shift from grimy lo-fi hip-hop verses into soaring harmonized
vocals backed by shimmering instrumentation while exploring
religious, moral and philosophical qualms.
The greatest addition to Young Fathers’ sound is the embrace
of vocal effects to broaden the group’s already extremely
expansive range. On “Toy” all three member’s voices warble in
unison in the bridge before the chorus kicks back in for a final
time with desperate howls dominating the background. “Wire”
pitches up Massaquoi’s voice, contrasting greatly with the ringing
bassline that chugs along, dominating the rest of the track.
These tracks embrace Young Fathers grimier side, while “In
My View,” “Lord” and closer “Picking You” lean into their soul
tendencies that often prove to be the band’s most affecting.
“You’ll never find your way to heaven/but you can follow
me” the group chants on that final track. Where they’re going
is never defined, but Cocoa Sugar provides ample proof that
we should follow.
• Cole Parker
Sean Burns & Lost Country
Music For Taverns, Bars, And Honky Tonks
All That Must Be
Double Six Records
Winnipeg singer-songwriter Sean Burns has
always played that classic feel of roadhouse
BBQ joint honky tonk with the best
independent artists Western Canada has
to offer. On his latest full-length, Music
For Taverns, Bars, And Honky Tonks, the
energy he’s been bringing to one-nighters
across the prairies for the past seven years
is fully realized.
Straight to the point, just like the AM radio
country classics, cuts like “Big Freightliner”
and “Harold’s Super Service” are fast-paced
rug-cutters that never waste a second and are
gone as quick as they came. The latter featuring
some knockout banjo roll chicken pickin’ from
producer/guitarist Grant Siemens and flashing
steel guitar riffs from Nashville-based Chris
Scruggs. “Lonesome Again” is another wicked
two-stepper that bucks right out of the gate – a
mid-tempo shuffle with some baritone guitar
added for greasy effect. Burns’s voice a brassy
instrument itself, easily inhabiting the beer joint
characters he’s writing about, and giving off a
good-natured vibe that makes the record feel
like a party.
• Mike Dunn
By most musical metrics, the electronic music
zeitgeist has passed London producer/DJ George
FitzGerald by. The records that FitzGerald
started his career with on labels like Aus and
Hotflush in the late-aughts were the kind of UK
Garage and house strains that Disclosure rode
to superstardom, but by 2015 he had already
left them behind when he released his debut
full-length Fading Love. That album was full
of moody atmospheres and the kind of dance
music theatrics that wouldn’t feel out of place
on a Moderat or Royksopp album.
Now, with three years in the rear view,
FitzGerald returns with All That Must Be, a
sophomore album that trades in the dancefloor
ready heaters of FitzGerald’s early-career for
slow-burning electronic works more suited for
Unlike Fading Love, the best songs here are
the ones where FitzGerald goes it alone, leaving
his various guest vocalists behind. On “Siren
Calls,” the producer uses his trademark ascending
arpeggios and drone swells that crescendo to
a massive chorus anchored by a razor-sharp acid
Still, even for all its sheen, it’s hard not to
notice that on these 10 tracks, FitzGerald’s work
follows a familiar template: arpeggios wind up,
synth pads swell and drums drive towards a
climax that usually pays off, but rarely feels new.
After two albums of it, you need a little more of
a hit to really feel anything, and on All That Must
Be, FitzGerald doesn’t seem up to the task.
• Jamie McNamara
The Up Here Place
Like Brian Wilson on a manic day crossed
with Tame Impala in the midst of dissociating,
Look Vibrant’s The Up Here Place is a mix of
off-kilter synth, funhouse guitar and heavenly
harmony that tastes like cotton candy but
feels like ketamine.
Singles “My Nerves” and “Numb Your Spirit”
do the best job at infusing these elements, serving
as anchoring bangers while much of the rest
of the record is set free to wander in psychedelic
For all the album’s tosses and turns — whether
it be the heaving and encroaching unpredictability
of the first stretch, the meditative respite
at the halfway mark, or the late-game cosmology
BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 49
of its final act — The Up Here Place’s greatest virtue
is that it never demands your comfort, only
ever your attention.
The bold entrance of “Sweater In The Lake”
and the understated finish of “Easier,” only make
sense once the parachute straps have been
removed at the end of the skydive. Sure, you had
doubts, but it was never an option to exit along
• Colin Gallant
Since being signed to Matador Records,
Lucy Dacus has honed her craft as a talented
storyteller. Moving away from her more folksy
roots that were heard on No Burden, Historian
is a beautiful sophomore album. The opening
track “Night Shift” takes the listener on a
heartbreaking journey through a particularly
heinous break up, that ends with her praying
that she’ll never see her ex again if she can
help it. You can sense her growth on this
album and while not fully polished yet, this
album is the start of a promising future.
• Kennedy Enns
Miesha and the Spanks
Girls Girls Girls
Calgary duo Miesha & The Spanks deliver
the party in their newest record Girls Girls
Girls, a pop-rock feast for the ears that
never slows down once you hit the play
button. The first thing that comes to mind
when you listen to this album is the sheer
production value it has, probably thanks to
The Buzzcocks’ Danny Farrants producing.
The usual issue with bands that are duos is
that recordings can feel empty with a lot of
over-blown guitar to fill out the mid-range,
but thankfully this whole album is dynamic
enough to feel full, even when there are just
vocals and drums.
The song writing is very hook-heavy, which
plays to the bands strength to get your feet
moving. However, this does make it a little
bit difficult to tell the songs apart. While the
high-energy rock n’ roll never becomes tedious,
the album does tread familiar water throughout.
Nevertheless, Girls Girls Girls is a party-anthem
dinger that will get feet moving and keep
the drinks flowing.
• Will Cowan
Scenic Route to Alaska
Since dropping their successful third album,
2016’s Long Walk Home, Scenic Route to
Alaska has grown in popularity and accolades
in their hometown of Edmonton and across
50 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
the world. The trio set up shop in Vancouver
to work with the notable Howard Redekopp
(Tegan & Sara, The New Pornographers) on
their fourth record, Tough Luck, just as they
did with Long Walk Home.
Although their indie-folk rock sound
didn’t evolve much between Tough Luck and
their prior LPs, listeners remain unbothered
because, well, why change something that
doesn’t need to be fixed? What did shift,
however, were the lyrics.
Long Walk Home touches on the difficult
parts of love and how life can get complicated,
through catchy vocals and indelible melodies.
Tough Luck on the other hand, has a lot more
depth to it. “Lonely Nights” and lead single “Slow
Down” tackles life on the road and the self-inflicted
loneliness and short-lived relationships
that come along with jumping from city to city.
Despite the fact that the topics can seem bleak
or desolate, there is a sense of hope and prosperity
in Trevor Mann’s (lead singer) voice in every
single song. Tough Luck goes from ballads to resonant
anthems leaving something for everyone
to cling to, reeling you in again and again.
ª Mackenzie Mason
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat
Ed Schrader has always walked a fine between
surrealism and punk. His vocal and percussive
savagery always threaten to overwhelm, but a
contingent of demure minimalism has always
kept the levee intact.
That bait-and-switch approach is replaced
by a mutated melding of Schrader extremes on
Riddles. The best example may be “Seagulls,”
where his brooding baritone is underlaid by
finger-snaps before devolving into an electronic
collage, then corroding into a blitz of yelps and
distortion. Schrader’s journey with co-hort
Devlin Rice has been patient, making this new
chapter a logical evolution, but it would be a
mistake not to note that fellow Baltimorean Dan
Deacon co-wrote and produced this new batch
of tracks. Deacon’s under-recognized versatility
can be heard throughout, but especially on
singles “Dunce” (an almost QOTSA dose of
seared swagger) and “Riddles” (where Schrader
humours anthemic vocals atop a meteor shower
The best thing about Riddles is that Schrader
and Rice have reassembled the best parts of
themselves while taking on a new dimension.
New fan or old, now is the right time to pay
close attention to the Music Beat.
• Colin Gallant
Yo La Tengo
There’s a Riot Going On
It’s a bold call on the part of Yo La Tengo to
name their latest album after Sly and the
Family Stone’s seminal 1971 masterwork,
but not entirely unfounded. Much like the
era in which its predecessor was recorded,
There’s a Riot Going On exists in a time rife
with hyper-political criticism. But rather than
release a collection of soul-infused jams, Yo La
Tengo have opted for a much more plaintive
Musically, There’s a Riot Going On is an
extension of the sound that the Hoboken
three-piece have curated over their almost 35
years in the business. Singer-guitarist Ira Kaplan
and drummer Georgia Hubley leapfrog vocal
duties, with the former taking the helm on
“She May, She Might” and “For You Too,” and
Hubley on the melancholic “Shades of Blue” and
“Ashes.” But perhaps the biggest change with
Riot is their foray into mostly ambient tracks
(“You Are Here,” “Short Wave”) which finds the
band at their most patient, comfortably letting
themselves drift into almost six-minute pieces of
drone and diegesis.
It’s safe to say that with this album Yo La Tengo
transcend genre in a very distinct way, ebbing
closer into the ethos of feeling rather than form.
Much like the American societal dissonance
that’s threatening to tear a country apart,
There’s A Riot Going On has a power running
underneath its surface; a decades-old build-up
mirrored now in a band with fifteen albums
under their belt. They feel something big is
happening. Don’t you?
• Alec Warkentin
As the brainchild of rising indie act Soccer
Mommy, 20-year-old Sophie Allison writes
about youthful relationships like a fire marshal
examining the aftermath of a five-alarm blaze.
Clean, first full album of new material since
2017’s Collection, finds the Nashville band
moving from the bedroom to the studio
without leaving any rawness behind.
Clean retains Allison’s ability to write
introspective lyrics that are couched inside of
full-blown anthems like she does on lead single
“Your Dog.” The song features some of Allison’s
best lyricism as she asserts “I don’t wanna be
your fucking dog, that you drag around/A collar
round my neck, leave me in the freezing cold.”
It’s just one of many times Allison asserts her
autonomy on Clean and like much of the album,
it feels like a willful backlash against male indie
• Jamie McNamara
When Orono Noguchi (lead singer of Superorganism)
discovered “The Eversons” via her
Youtube recommendations, neither her nor
the Kiwi group could have imagined that 2
years later they would form a band and grow
to be labelled as “2017’s buzziest new band.”
Superorganism introduces their debut album
Superorganism on March 2nd, featuring
viral singles such as “Everybody Wants To Be
Famous” and “Something For Your M.I.N.D.”
This psychedelic supergroup consisting of
eight band members from Japan, Australia,
New Zealand, London and South Korea take
anything they can get their hands on and
transform it into music. Things as simple as
eating an apple, snoring or the fizz from a
soda can can be heard in the trippy featured
tracks “Relax” and “It’s All Good” creating a
unique and bizarre sound unlike anything
else you’ve ever heard. The record explores
contrasting volumes and sounds integrating
multiple genres into one style, ensuring there
will be something for everyone. Guitar, drums
and lots of synth mixed with sounds from
your everyday life is what makes up Superorganism
and is what makes it so enticing.
• Mackenzie Maso
I LOVE YOU
STEFAN, KNOTTED ROOTS
BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 51
Taking It To Heart, Volume Two LP
available on Bandcamp or in
Calgary record stores
Benefit concert with 100% of the net
proceeds from tickets/doors donated
to the Heart & Stroke Foundation
52 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
Lucette –mixing torch soul and Southern gothic Americana.
photo: Lee Reed
Conan (UK) with The Weir and Monolith
The Palomino Smokehouse
It was a night for defrosting frozen appendages with an infernal
blast of heavy metal as the rituals kicked off in style thanks
to demon-toned up-and-comers Monolith AB. Trudging up
Mussorgskian mountains the trio’s thunderous riffs and throaty
roars of triumph primed the room for fellow Calgarian’s The
Weir’s much anticipated return to the stage. Rolling out their
weighty new EP release on Hearing Aids Record, Detached, with
purposeful vigour, the typically stoic purveyors of Alberta’s other
black gold rained down their signature torrent of sound with
a restrained yet palpable fury that had the crowd teetering on
the balls of their feet. Measuring out Promethean tidal shifts
and stretches of choreographed annihilation, The Weir exposed
freshly irradiated material betwixt cornerstones from their wallof-noise
back catalogue. Last up, and likely the reason for the
unseasonal sell-out, a rare New World appearance by Liverpudlian
doom metal legends, Conan. Merciless in their musical
one-upmanship, the lumbering trio visited their beyond-heavy
riffs and brow lowering beats upon a by now fully limber crowd.
The somnambulant string benders, guitarist Jon Davis and bassist
Chris Fielding, got down to business churning up knee-buckling
loads of earthy fuzz. A fitting end to an ear-numbing
evening, the humbly-great threesome’s dense primordial ooze
flattened the landscape as a rapt audience was swallowed by the
pyroclastic flow of Conan’s miry Merseyside mud.
• Christine Leonard
NMC, King Eddy
While folk music has long been the realm of the unaccompanied
singer-songwriter, and rightfully so, there can be a limit to how
much of that style can be listened to before an audience tunes out.
With modern recording techniques and the ability to record from
home, more and more artists are able to craft soundscapes on their
records that surround their songs in aural cloaks that envelope the
listener and make their records more memorable.
At Block Heater this weekend, there were a number of artists
who kept to the traditional format, attempting to showcase the
songwriting that is the core of folk and roots music. Dan Bern has
long made records that featured him solo, so to see him live, the
expectation is that he’ll play his music as recorded, and the intimacy
of that is predictable. Likewise Justin Townes Earle, whose records
have always featured excellent Americana production values, while
his live style has always been closer to that of his namesake, Townes
Van Zandt; again, solo and intimate.
It’s a little different when developing artists make excellent,
lush records that gain them a following, but choose to tour, or are
booked to play at a festival and for whatever reason, come without a
band to present the records they’ve made to audiences who’ve paid
to see them. Whether those choices are financial (which is absolutely
valid for independent artists), or stylistic, unless an artist is an
absolutely compelling live performer, it can be hard to command or
maintain the audience’s attention in a busy festival setting without
the drive, harmony, and atmosphere that a full lineup can provide.
The Wilderness of Manitoba set stands out from Saturday
night’s Block Heater lineup in that singer-songwriter Will Whitwham’s
latest release, Across The Dark, is exactly the kind of lovely,
expansive-sounding album that could have further captivated
the Canada Music Square crowd with the help of a couple of side
players filling out the sound. Whitwham and accompanist Jenny
Berkel performed beautifully, but the addition of some instrumental
atmosphere could have raised the level of their performance, lifting
the cuts from Across The Dark to the upper reaches of the National
Music Centre. Of course, for indie artists, the logistics and cost of
travelling with a group for one show can be daunting, but for some
listeners, it can make the difference between buying up a bunch of
the band’s merch, and becoming ardent supporters of that artist’s
career, or walking away and finding something else to listen to.
Over at The King Eddy, singer-songwriter Lucette’s set was illustrative
of this point. With her band of hip young Edmonton players,
her blend of Southern gothic Americana and classic torch soul was
given extra heft by the thump of the rhythm section, tight vocal
harmonies, and slinky guitar reminiscent of Stax and Motown, while
the addition of a second keys and synth player to pair with frontwoman
Lauren Gillis’s Carole King-like piano gave the band a bit of
the Hudson/Manuel dynamic that made The Band such a killer live
group. They came in hot, and even though the audience spent a
lot of time talking through the band’s set, they at least provided an
atmosphere for the tavern crowd to socialize to.
No festival is without its challenges, especially when a number
of shows are being played simultaneously across multiple venues,
and the best festivals are able to make adjustments on the fly and
accommodate their audiences. With its sold out shows, packed
rooms, and innovative use of the Studio Bell spaces, Calgary Folk
Fest once again made Block Heater the best midwinter concert and
social experience for the Alberta roots music crowd.
• Mike Dunn
Conan –British metal doom.
photo: C. Leonard
BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 53
we all have different porn preferences, and that’s okay
I’m an 18-year-old cis hetero girl from Australia and I’ve been listening
to your podcast and reading your column since I was 13. Thanks to
you I’m pretty open minded about my sexuality and body. Having
said that, I do have a few questions. I started watching porn from a
youngish age with no real shame attached but I have some concerns.
1. I get off really quickly to lesbian porn but it never feels like a
“good” orgasm. My guess is that subconsciously I think it’s inauthentic
and therefore degrading.
2. I really enjoy and have the best orgasms to vintage gay male
porn and trans FTM porn, which seems odd to me because I’m so far
removed from the sexual acts that these kind of porn movies portray
but I always feel satisfied after getting off to them.
3. I get off to tit slapping videos but it screws with me morally. I
understand why I like these kinds of videos. I have quite large breasts
and I feel resentment towards them. It seems both morally wrong
towards the progress I’ve made towards accepting my body and also
to the message being sent about violence towards women.
Care to weigh in?
–Concerned About Porn Preferences
1. There are gay men who watch straight porn, lesbians who watch
gay porn, and 18-year-old hetero girls in Australia who watch lesbian
porn and vintage gay porn and trans FTM porn. So many people
get off watching porn that isn’t supposed to be for them—so many
people fantasize about, watch, and sometimes do things that aren’t
supposed to be for them—that we have to view these quote/unquote
transgressions as a feature of human sexuality, not a bug.
2. Lesbian porn gets you off, vintage gay porn and trans FTM gets
you off, but you feel conflicted after watching lesbian porn because
it seems inauthentic. That’s understandable—a lot of so-called
lesbian porn is inauthentic, in that it’s made by and for straight men
and features non-lesbian women going through the lesbian motions
(often with long and triggering-for-actual-lesbian fingernails). Some
gay porn features gay-for-pay straight male actors, of course, but
most gay porn features gay actors doing what they love; the same
goes for most trans FTM porn, which is a small and mostly indie
niche. I suspect your orgasms are just as good when you watch lesbian
porn, CAPP, but the sense—suppressed when you were turned
on, surfacing once you’re not—that the performers weren’t really
enjoying themselves taints your lesbian-porn-enhanced orgasms
in retrospect. The solution? Seek out lesbian porn featuring actual
lesbians—authentic lesbian porn is out there. (I found a bunch with
a quick Google search.)
3. Sometimes we overcome the negative messaging our culture
sends us about our identities or bodies only after our erotic imaginations
have seized on the fears or self-loathing induced by those
messages and turned them into kinks. Take small-penis humiliation
(SPH). Before a guy can ask a partner to indulge him in SPH, CAPP,
he has to accept (and kind of dig) his small cock. So the acceptance
is there, but the kink—a turn-on rooted in a resolved conflict—remains.
It can be freeing to regard a kink like SPH or your thing for
tit slapping as a reward—as the only good thing to come out of the
shitty zap the culture put on the head of a guy with a small cock
or, in your case, a young woman with large breasts. So long as we
seek out other consenting adults who respect us and our bodies,
we can have our kinks—even those that took root in the manure
of negative cultural messaging—and our self-acceptance and
I have a deepthroating fetish. All the porn I watch is nothing but rough,
sloppy blowjobs. I would love nothing more than to watch this kind
of porn with my boyfriend, so we can add it the bedroom excitement,
but I’m embarrassed to share this as a straight female. How do I go
about sharing a fetish I have? Do I tell him over a candlelit dinner? Do
I just turn some deepthroating porn on and see what happens? Help!
There’s never really a bad time to tell someone they won the lottery,
DQ. Over a candlelit dinner, pop in some porn, send him a singing
telegram—however you decide to tell him, DQ, the odds that he’ll
react negatively are pretty low. Of course, watching someone deep
throat and doing it yourself are two different things, DQ. You won’t be
able to go from disclosing your kink to realizing it during that candlelit
dinner. Take it slow, maybe watch a few how-to videos in addition
to the porn, find the positions and angles that work for you, etc., and
work your way up to taking him all the way down.
I’m a 32-year-old male. I recently met a hot older woman, age 46,
who has told me she finds me equally hot. I’ve always preferred older
women. I just love their confidence and their comfort in their own
skin. They’re just so much sexier than my age cohorts. The problem is
that I take a serious interest in feminism. I think I do pretty well with
the overt stuff: I don’t mansplain, I call out peers who ignore sexism,
and I don’t objectify women, even when I do find them attractive.
(Small steps, but steps nonetheless.) But when I see this woman and
we flirt like mad, my brain just shuts off and all I can think about is
BY DAN SAVAGE
her hot bod and the many hours I want to spend with it. However,
I worry that she’s spent her whole life relying on her looks to gain
validation from men, and that my brain-dead, loins-alive attraction
is only perpetuating her objectification. Is that so? Or am I just
–Man, I Love Feminism
At the risk of dansplaining…There’s nothing feminist about slagging
off younger women to justify your attraction to older women. You
like what you like and you can own that without implying that
younger women lack confidence and aren’t comfortable in their
own skins. The same culture that put the zap on CAPP’s head for
having large breasts—her breasts attracted unwanted attention and
she resented her breasts and now gets off on erotic images of breasts
being punished (even though she now knows her breasts weren’t
the problem)—put the zap on your head. Men, young and old, are
supposed to be attracted to younger women. You’re not attracted
to younger women, you’re attracted to older women; instead of accepting
that, you feel compelled to justify it by comparing younger
women to older women and declaring—again, by implication—
that there’s something wrong with younger women. You sound like
one of those gay men who can’t tell you why he’s attracted to dudes
without also (or only) telling you what he dislikes about women.
As for objectification, MILF, the problem with objectification is
when the person doing the objectifying isn’t capable of simultaneously
seeing the object of their affections as a three-dimensional
human being with desires, fears, and agency of their own. Technically,
MILF, we are all objects—“a material thing that can be seen
and touched”—but unlike, say, Fleshlights or vibrators, we feel joy
and pain and have wants and needs. You can’t help being drawn to
this woman’s externals; there’s a huge visual component to human
attraction and, as your thing for older women demonstrates, there
isn’t one universal standard of beauty. So long as you’re can objectify
someone while at the same time appreciating their full humanity—
so long as you can walk that walk and chew that gum—you don’t
have to feel like a bad feminist for objectifying someone. (Particularly
when that someone is clearly objectifying you!)
On the Lovecast—Finally!
Porn that makes consent SEXY: savagelovecast.com.
@fakedansavage on Twitter
54 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE
56 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE