BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics.
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 show. 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 art piece.” 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. beaming. “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. GRIZZLY TRAIL 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 Standing Sessions. 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 camel’s back. “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 he stayed.” 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 Trail t-shirt.” 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 get naked. “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 ROCKPILE
ERIN KAY 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 Erin’s album. “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. JOSHUA HYSLOP NEW ALBUM F E AT U R I N G THE SINGLES “FA LL” & “HOME” JOSHUAHYSLOP.COM ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 31