BEATROUTE-AB

beatroute

AUGUST 2018

Fringe Fest • Ingrid Vargas • All Hands on Jane • Sandrider • Molly Fi • Powerglove • The Internet


TABLE OF CONTENTS

COVER 27-31

CIRCLE CARNIVAL

ARTS 8-11

Fringe Fest, Cold Garden, Collecting Detective,

Shine, YYC Scene

FILM 12-16

Eight Grade, Ingrid Vargas, Vidiot

MUSIC

rockpile 19-25

All Hands On Jane, Sandrider, Hoopsnake,

Guevnna, Supercrush, Yes We Mystic, Colour By

Numbers, Lovers Touch, River Jacks

edmonton extra 32-33

Symfan, Baby Jey, St. Arnaud

jucy 34-37

Bass Coast, Molly Fi, Definite

jazz 39

Laila Biali

roots 41-42

Steve Poltz, Orit, Rosebud, Mt. Joy

shrapnel 44-45

Powerglove, Month in Metal

REVIEWS

music 46-50

The Internet and much, much more ...

live 51-53

Interstellar Rodeo, Calgary Folk Fest, and more

savage love 54

BEATROUTE

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Brad Simm

Marketing Manager

Glenn Alderson

Production Coordinator

Hayley Muir

Web Producer

Masha Scheele

Social Media Coordinator

Amber McLinden

Events

Colin Gallant

Section Editors

Arts :: Brad Simm

Film :: Morgan Cairns

Rockpile :: Christine Leonard

Edmonton Extra :: Kennedy Pawluk

Jucy :: Paul Rodgers

Roots :: Andrew Bardsley

Shrapnel :: Sarah Kitteringham

Reviews :: Matty Hume

Contributing Writers

Alix Bruch • Emilie Charette • Arielle Lessard •

Sarah Mac • Amber McLinden • Michael Grondin

• Gareth Jones • Mathew Silver • Kevin Bailey

• Inder Minhas • Hayley Pukanski • Nicholas

Laugher • Arnaud Sparks • Brittney Rousten •

Jordan Stricker • Breanna Whipple • Alex Meyer

• Jay King • Alec Warkentin • Paul McAleer •

Mike Dunn • Shane Sellar • Kaje Annihilatrix

• Dan Savage • Miguel Morales • Sarah Allen •

William Leurer • Jessie Foster • Jamie Campbell •

Trevor Hatter • Brenna Whipple • Trevor Morelli •

• Logan Peters • Fredy Belland • Stepan Soroka •

Graphic Designer: Nicole Bruce

Art Director: Jennie Big Kitty

Cover Art

Photo: Skimchi

Design: Big Kitty

Advertising

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Distribution

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Calgary, Edmonton,

Banff, Canmore, and Lethbridge.

SARGE Distribution in Edmonton

Shane Bennett

(780) 953-8423

e-mail: editor@beatroute.ca

website: www.beatroute.ca

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Moments of ecstasy: Folk Fest crowd enjoying Sudan Archives.

Copyright © BEATROUTE Magazine 2017

All rights reserved. Reproduction of the contents

is prohibited without permission.

BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 3


PULSE

BANFF CENTRE

INTERNATIONAL

STRING QUARTET

FESTIVAL

This three-day festival is born

out of the Banff International

String Quartet Competition.

Like the competition, it showcases

the finest in international

classical music to audiences

through a completely immersive

experience. Led by Director

of the Banff International

String Quartet Competition

Barry Shiffman, the festival,

held in competition off years,

features competition alumni

alongside special guest exploring

repertoire from across the

centuries. The festival happens

August 31 - September 2, 2018

and tickets can be purchased

at: www.banffcentre.ca

TESLA QUARTET

A LONG TIME COMING

A Long Time Coming (ALTC) will be Generation Indigenous’

first annual summer festival on Sunday August, 12 at Olympic

Plaza from 10:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. This festival embodies the main

goal of the non-profit to bridge the gap between Indigenous

and non-Indigenous people. With collaborations of vendors

and organizations, based on intersectionality and diversity,

GENi hopes to emphasize that reconciliation is only possible

through the sharing of identity. The festival will celebrate and

share the Indigenous culture through food, music, dance,

spoken word, and traditional Indigenous activities.

CALGARY PRIDE PARADE

The signature Calgary Pride Parade is one of the most colourful

celebrations of the year happening Sunday Sept 2 from 11 a.m - 2

p.m.! This family friendly parade sees upwards of 60,000 spectators

as over 175 entries from community groups, corporations,

politicians, churches and public services roll through the heart of

downtown, and celebrates the tremendous diversity of Calgary’s

community. For more information, and the parade route: www.

calgarypride.ca

CONTEMPORARY CALGARY

The City of Calgary and Contemporary Calgary are pleased to

announce a lease agreement has been reached, enabling a new

world-class gallery for modern and contemporary art to be

opened in the Centennial Planetarium in 2019. Contemporary

Calgary has worked to amalgamate three longstanding Calgary

art institutions: The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Art

(IMCA), the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC) and the Museum of

Contemporary Art (MOCA). “A gallery for modern and contemporary

art will provide a vital intersection for the groundbreaking

work being created in our region and the artwork from other

countries and cultures,” says Calgary artist and ACAD Alumni,

Mark Mullin.

4 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

GEARS & BEERS

Gears & Beers, Calgary’s premier bike-guided tour service

is thrilled to launch its first annual season of highly anticipated

bicycle beer tours, for beer and bike lovers within

Calgary’s vibrant downtown core. During the summer

months, tourists and locals alike can experience outdoor

adventure, sightseeing and discover the exploding craft

beer culture that Calgary’s inner city has become highly

recognized for. The registration fee for a tour is $65.00 per

person and includes a tasting flight at the first stop and

two pints at the next stops. In addition, tour participants

will have the unique opportunity to tour each brewery to

learn about the process behind the brews, meet the makers

and learn and how these brewmasters hone their craft.

The growing list of brewery stops include Dandy Brewing,

Annex, Village, Banded Peak, Cold Garden, Revival,

Tool Shed, Red Bison and more. Tours are available for

booking from May until October from Wednesday-Sunday

and can accommodate eight people.

For more information and to book your tour visit: www.

gearsandbeersyyc.com


CIRCLE CARNIVAL

Shaw Millennium Park — Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018

TREVOR LALONDE PHOTOGRAPHY

ARTS BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 7


ARTS

GET YOUR FRINGE ON!

CALGARY FRINGE FEST

August 3 -11, 2018

The Fringe Fest draws more than 30 performing

artists with peculiar, zany, unexpected and compelling

talents from around the globe. Most artists are

scheduled to perform each day during the fest at 10

different venues located in Inglewood. It’s an exploration

of both the neighbourhood and a deep dive into

fringe. Here are a sampling of a few performers. For

a detailed listing of shows, artists, venues, dates and

locations go to www.calgaryfringe.ca.

MAGICAL MYSTERY DETOUR

Artist: Gemma Wilcox

City of Origin: London, UK

20-Time ‘BEST-OF-FEST’ winner returns with a new & exhilarating

award-winning show, exploring the unexpected twists

and turns of life, love and being on the road... 1 WOMAN, 23

CHARACTERS! - Human, Furry, Feathered, Mythical and Steel!

“A must-see virtuoso” – Calgary Herald

“Run to see her…A bolt of pure energy” – Edmonton Journal

Genre: Comedy / Comedy/Drama / Physical Theatre /

Multi-Character Solo Performance

Rating: General Audience (Age 13+, Adult Language, Solo

Performance)

Length: 60 Minutes

Tickets: $ 15.00

FORGET ME NOT:

The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit

Artist: Rob Gee

City of Origin: London, UK

A murder mystery set on a dementia ward from comic, poet

and psych nurse Rob Gee.

“Smart, witty and razor-sharp!” – CBC “Hilarious and heartbreaking”

– Victoria Times Colonist

“Compelling!” Saskatoon StarPhoenix

“A triumph!” –Winnipeg Free Press

“Fiercely funny, heartbreaking and very much a must-see” –

Edmonton Journal

Genre: Comedy / Spoken Word

Rating: Mature Content (Age 14+, Adult Language, Solo

Performance)

Length: 60 Minutes

Tickets: $ 15.00

JESUS CHRIST:

The Lost Years

Artist: Monster Theatre

City of Origin: Vancouver, BC

Ever wonder what Jesus was really up between the ages 13 and

30? Or how Jesus reacted when told – “Joseph isn’t your real

father!” Find out in this remount of Monster Theatre’s funniest

play.

“Nothing short of a Comic Miracle” - National Post

Genre: Comedy / Physical Theatre / Musical Theatre

Rating: Mature Content (Age 14+, Violence, Cartoonish

Violence, Sexual Content, Adult Language, Religious Content,

Educational Topics, Awkward Topics)

Length: 60 Minutes

Tickets: $ 15.00

8 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

SQUEEZE MY CANS

Artist: Cathy Schenkelberg Inc

City of Origin: Los Angeles, CA, USA

A journey into and out of Scientology (Chicago Reader) Told

with masterful fluidity and hilarious jabs, puts you in the skin

to experience for yourself how Scientology devours money and

lives.

“Schenkelberg easily switches characters and time-periods

with a dizzying energy that is both heart-pumping and electrifying”.

– Edge Media

“At the top of the best performed, brilliantly written and

elegantly directed one person shows I have ever seen”. – Buzz

News

Pick of the Fringe Edinburgh 2017!

Genre: Comedy/Drama / Drama / Storytelling / A theatrical

production of a true story.

Rating: General Audience (Age 13+, Limited amount of Adult

Language and Sexual Content, Solo Performance)

Length: 75 Minutes

Tickets: $ 12.00

THE COCKWHISPERER:

A Love Story

Artist: Colette Kendall

City of Origin: Hamilton, ON

The Story of one woman’s quest to find the Love and Penis of

her Dreams. A phallic journey both Humorous and Dark.

From 3x Canadian Comedy Award nominated Colette Kendall.

2017 Best of Fest Calgary Fringe.

“Get past title –this show should not be missed” – Theatre

London

Genre: Comedy / Storytelling / Comedy/Drama

Rating: Mature Content (Age 18+, Sexual Content, Adult

Language)

Length: 70 Minutes

Tickets: $ 15.00

ARTS


COLD GARDEN

it’s about beer and being yourself

BY ALEC WARKENTIN

Although he’s the founder and head brewer of Cold Garden, Blake Belding takes no salary, and still works a day job outside of

the brewery selling grinding wheels and sandpaper.

PHOTO: ALEC WARKENTIN

Hanging high above Cold Garden’s

already-towering metallic brew-tanks,

and overlooking the open-air DIY taproom

featuring chalked-up walls and thrifted mismatched

couches, is a perhaps ostentatious

sign, looming in faded technicolor: “This

must be the place.”

Who knows how many times this sign

has been featured in photos, taken by

both patrons and the media, since the

combination brewery-and-tap-house

opened in early 2017? Probably hundreds,

potentially even more — a testament to

the carnivalesque energy of one of Calgary’s

most eclectic watering holes.

“Day one, Dan and I sat in a bar, started

writing our business plan, and the [three]

things we wrote down were: We were going

to be in Inglewood, we were going to have

a big tap room and we were going to sell

pints for five dollars,” explains head brewer

Blake Belding, who founded the brewery

with business partner Dan Allard in 2015.

“So far, to date, it’s always, every week,

been about hanging on: Do we have

enough beer for this? Do we have enough

beer for this? Do we have enough beer?”

Even in a 5,000 sq. ft. space capable of

brewing thousands of litres of vanilla-cappuccino

and birthday-cake-flavoured

craft beer on the daily, Belding knew they

were taking a risk by undersizing their

brewhouse in favour of adding an adjacent

taproom.

“It’s kind of like a living art project, it’s

more than making beer” says Belding, referring

to the floatable pool noodles dangling

from the tanks, and the disco-ball gnomes

suspended from the ceiling. “We sell a lot

of beer through this tap room… we [just]

don’t have the beer to sell outside of here.”

But that’s set to change, with Belding

and the Cold Garden crew planning an

expansion that will grow the multifaceted

brewery to four times its current size, decreasing

brewing time from 18 hours down

to only six.

“We’re planning an expansion in the

back… it’s all about saving our pennies and

growing the equipment back there” says

Belding. “All I can think about right now is

saving money, getting a bigger brewhouse,

and taking the stress off.”

“Right now, we have this five-barrel

brewhouse. We brew like 700 litres of beer

at a time, and we do that two, or three, or

four times a day, every single day, almost…

we’ve been successful here, and in the

neighbourhood, but we want to do more

than that.”

However, expansion costs money, but

Belding, who still doesn’t take a salary from

the company he started, says there’s no

plan to raise the beer prices.

“We have an approachable beer list, so

we have an approachable price,” Belding

explains. “And, again, why not? Why not

make it affordable? We’re making money,

we’re not in this to make a billion dollars.

We’re in this to have fun, and make a living,

and do something cool for the city.”

And the response from both the

community of Inglewood and the city of

Calgary has been magnanimous, in part

due to Cold Garden’s affordable pricing and

unique space, but also because of the lax

“pet policy” which allows patrons to bring

in their dogs for a drink.

“Man, I come in here some days and

I think there’s more dogs than there are

humans,” Belding says, laughing. Though

not a pet owner himself, Belding notes that

the atmospheric goal with the microbrewery

was to provide “a true representation of

who we are.”

“I think everybody has this goofy side to

them, this kind-of, like, unpretentious vibe,

where they can let loose and be who they

are, and that’s one of my favourite things

about this place,” says Belding. “You see

everybody in here. Every type of person,

every age group, every kind of social class

of person, from the jocks to the cool kids…

because everybody just wants a cool place

to hang out, and be themselves.”

Similarly, Belding sees that the brewing

and bar industry in general is starting to

get “crazier, and bigger, and brighter” and

wants the trend to continue.

“A rising tide lifts all ships,” says Belding.

“It’s wild that there’s this many breweries in

Calgary compared to how many there were

ten years ago… We want Calgary to be like

Portland. We want to be Vancouver, and if

we can be a part of that, that’s awesome.”

ARTS BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 9


BARNBURNER

CONCERT

PULP PAPERBACKS

collectible pop-culture icons

There’s a lot to like about pulp paperback

books. Earning their name from the cheap

wood-pulp paper they were printed on, these

pocket-sized collectibles have super-sized appeal as

the pop culture treasures they’re known as today.

First appearing in the late 1930s, the popularity of

the small softcovers exploded after publishers began

offering the books to sellers with the promise

to refund unsold copies. Soon the little 7x4 inch

pocket books were available in drug stores, supermarkets,

bus stations and practically everywhere

you could buy a pack of gum.

While knowledge and effort can help you find

good copies, paperbacks are the perfect collectible

as they were produced in large enough numbers to

still be findable today. For many, the provocative

cover art alone makes them worth collecting but

others seek books from certain authors or publishers.

The wide variety of genres available provide

many options for the discerning collector. Classic

genres include horror, science fiction, romance,

fantasy, mystery, and western with sleaze, juvenile

delinquent and exploitation themes becoming

more popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Find a genre

that appeals to you- paperbacks are great for

people with many interests. While desirable copies

can make a reliable investment collection, as a rule

you can’t go wrong if you simply collect what you

enjoy.

Pulp paperbacks can still be found at flea

markets and garage sales and many used book

stores have a case or shelf devoted to older books:

check these regularly to increase your chances of

getting good material. They’re abundant enough

to be sourced locally from second-hand stores so

you don’t need to buy them online. It feels great to

nab a good copy for cheap and there’s a special satisfaction

in adding a prized specimen to a growing

collection. Looking at prices on ebay can inform

you about monetary value but the real value lies in

the cultural content of the little page-turners.

Paperbacks are being taken much more seriously

now with academic institutions adding some

publications to their rare book collections. What

was once thought of as low-brow literature is being

pursued as important cultural material and made

available for researchers explore. Many famous

authors wrote trash and sleaze paperbacks under a

pseudonym to avoid having their name associated

with the work- it’s interesting to know who did this

and to read what they didn’t want their name attached

to. Movie “tie-ins” were released when films

came out and often show images from the movie

on the covers. 1970s TV and movie paperbacks are

prized by collectors today.

In their heyday, pulp paperbacks had many

fly-by-night publishers illegally printing material

they didn’t actually own. Canada had a variety of

these fleeting start-ups but is best known for the

Harlequin Romance publishing empire. Starting in

Winnipeg in 1949, the first 500 Harlequin paperbacks

offered a variety of genres before focusing on

the soft romance they became known for. These

early printings are still fairly easy to find. No matter

what type of paperback appeals to you, there’s

a lifetime of allure waiting for anyone who seeks

these highly rewarding collectibles.

LEEROY STAGGER & GUESTS @ BIG ROCK BREWERY 09\15\18

BIG ROCK BREWERY | 5555 76 AVE SE, CALGARY AB

10 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

ARTS


BIG SHINY TUNES

recalling MuchMusic’s Cancon contribution

There is no denying the cultural impact that

Big Shiny Tunes made on a generation of

Canadians. The MuchMusic compilation was

at once an influential gateway album, a curated

playlist, and a means to promote alternative music

in the mainstream. In Shine: How a MuchMusic

Compliation Came to Define Canadian Alternative

Music and Sell a Zillion Copies, music journalist

Mark Teo explores all the intricacies of this impact,

focusing specifically on the CD’s inaugural 1996

edition through in-depth analysis and a wide array

of thoughtful interviews with everyone from those

who were involved in Big Shiny Tunes’ creation to

bands like Killjoy who were featured on the CD.

The context surrounding the compilation, and

how it’s a uniquely Canadian phenomenon, is very

nicely examined – at the time of the CD’s release,

MuchMusic was in its prime, existing, as Teo

accurately describes, both as an alt-weekly and a

BY YASMINE SHEMESH

national newspaper. Teo also takes note of the significance

of placing lesser known Canadian bands

like Vancouver’s Pluto next to bigger, American

names like Marilyn Manson on the tracklist, as well

as looking at how and why profiles rose – or didn’t

budge – as a result of being featured on the album.

There are some moments where the narrative

veers away from the point – a long list of Teo’s

reasons for disliking Moist takes an unnecessary,

personal diversion, despite the following justification

of his newfound respect for them as a result of

researching for this book. But, largely, anyone who

grew up on MuchMusic in the ‘90s and, certainly,

anyone who ever owned a copy of Big Shiny Tunes,

will thoroughly enjoy this read.

Shine: How a MuchMusic Compliation Came to

Define Canadian Alternative Music and Sell a Zillion

Copies is available through Eternal Cavalier Press.

WHAT SHAKES

YYSCENE’s quick scan go-to guide for AUGUST

August! The summer’s

last hurrah and time to

take in as many events

as you can! This month

we begin with The

Acacia Strain with Left

Behind, I AM and guests

at Dickens on Aug. 3,

then on Aug. 4 & 5 it’s

the Chasing Summer

EDM Festival at Max

Bell Centre for all of you,

uh, EDM types. For you

non-EDM types, The

Sheepdogs are playing

the Shaw Amphitheatre

in Banff Aug. 4.

How are you spending

your long weekend Monday?

By heading down Joe Rogan: Strange Times 2018 Tour at the Jubilee Aug. 25

to the Tour de Bowness

and taking in a great bike race as well as the Bowness Street Festival Aug. 6, obviously. You

have your pick of days to see Wintersleep with Crystal Eyes at the Palomino, since they’re

playing Aug. 8 AND Aug. 9. Wowza. Aug. 10 start your night off at Municipal Plaza for

Truck Stop by Machine de Cirque — it’s a circus, people! Then just walk across the plaza

to see Ry Cooder at the Jack Singer or head over to the Grey Eagle to see Michael Franti &

Spearhead, your call

On Aug. 11 you should consider heading back to Banff for Dear Rouge & The Boom

Booms at the Amphitheatre, or check out the Chasing Summer Wrap Up Party with Tchami,

David Stone, B2B & Seelo at the Palace. Aug. 12 you’ll want to be at Commonwealth for

Anderson East — Encore World Tour, and then maybe stay overnight and see Mt. Joy on

Aug. 13 (don’t actually do that. That’s weird).

Aug. 17 get your comedy fix with Iliza: Elder Millennial at the Grey Eagle, or perhaps

Markus Schulz wit Dennis Sheperd & Mackwa at the Palace is more your thing? I’m pretty

sure that on Aug. 22 you’ll be at the Jubilee for A Paranormal Evening with Alice Cooper! In

an effort to recharge your brain, hit Memorial Park Library on Aug. 23 for Wordfest’s Dick

Lit Trivia Night. So good.

Joe Rogan is bringing his Strange Times 2018 Tour to the Jubilee on Aug. 25, and on

Aug. 28 Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom World Tour The Final Instalment (really?)

hits MacEwan Hall. Aug. 28 sees Bishop Briggs at the Palace, and on Aug. 30 head to the

Commonwealth for MCA Day YYC — celebrate the life of Adam Yauch and the legacy of

the Beastie Boys.

Pride Week in Calgary is Aug. 24 - Sept 3, and some things to look forward to are

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Pride Weekend at Twisted Element featuring Chad Michaels

Aug. 31, Shangela Sept. 1, and Trixie Mattel Sept. 2. Pure Pride Calgary presents Kameron

Michaels, Miz Cracker and Eureka at The Palace Sept. 1, and on Sept. 2 take in the Pride

Parade at 11 a.m. followed by Pride in the Park. You’re set for the month. Go. Be fabulous.

Kari Watson is a writer and former Listings Editor of FFWD Weekly, and has continued to

bring event listings to Calgary through theYYSCENE and her event listings page, The Culture

Cycle. Contact her at kari@theyyscene.com.

ARTS BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 11


FILM

EIGHTH GRADE

Bo Burnham revisits that awkward time with a fresh perspective

BY HOGAN SHORT

Eighth Grade: a glimpse into the teenage mind from someone who’s come out the other side alive, er, well-adjusted.

There may be no person on the planet who posts advice videos online. Kayla doesn’t me when all the guys were just talking about

that knows the opportunities and dangers

have many friends and her videos get little to Fortnite for hours and the girls were talking

that come with social media, especially

when trying to navigate the horrifying realities

of junior high school, than Bo Burnham.

Coming from the first generation of online

content creators, Burnham has a qualified

voice to tell this story. He posted his first

YouTube video in 2006, then on Vines sharing

hundreds of hours of videos and is now

part of the old guard at only 28. Channeling

his experiences from the first days of You-

Tube and Vine, Burnham wrote and directed

Eighth Grade.

“I knew if anyone could make this movie,

I could,” says Burnham. “I just feel like I know

what these kids are going through. I wrote a

story I knew I could direct and I leaned into

what my strengths were, like working with

actors and theme work.”

The film follows eighth grader Kayla, a girl

no views. Despite nobody seeing her posts,

the advice is therapeutic for Kayla whether it’s

showing her true self or dealing with regret.

Kayla is beautifully played by Elsie Fisher and

the entire film is held up by her vulnerability.

Finding the right lead was first priority for the

first time director.

“It was apparent right from the start

that she was it, and we auditioned hundreds

of kids. Every kid was a confident kid

pretending to be shy, and she was a shy kid

pretending to be confident, and that was

exactly what Kayla is.” When asked why he,

a 28-year-old man, decided to use a female

to tell his story of the teenage experience in

2018, Burnham reveals how he came to that

decision while researching. “I would watch

hundreds of videos online to see what kids

were talking about. It became pretty clear to

about their soul. It had to be a girl.”

Social media is used as a diary for Kayla,

and Burnham uses this to tell a story of the

difficulties of junior high in present day. The

existence of social media has created new

challenges and Eighth Grade is the first time

this has successfully been put on screen.

“I’m hoping to say honestly how it feels to

be online and what it feels like to them, less

than how it’s changing them.”

The entire movie feels like a wake-up call

to the attitude that kids now are mindless

drones who never stop looking down at

their screens. Burnham explores deeper into

what life can really be like as an awkward 13

year-old.

“I’m happy and love for that conversation

to be inspired by the movie, but I’m not trying

to really say anything,” he says. “We haven’t

12 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

even gathered the tools yet to have that conversation,

and with this film I was just trying

to take emotional inventory. Like, there’s more

to talk about than just cyberbullying and Russia.

I hope this movie is more of an inscription

rather than a prescription.”

Eighth Grade is a story that feels exactly like

its titular time period. It can be horrifyingly

awkward, but also beautiful – a period in your

life that often moulds who you are and will

become. To develop a story reminding us of

those forgotten feelings is rare. Burnham, on

his first attempt, has accomplished that for

eighth-graders and adults alike.

“We look back on that time and think it

was stress free. It wasn’t. It was just as stressful.

We just had no freedom and no money.

Hopefully people see it the way I intended,

and hopefully people can connect with it. It

has already grown past my expectation and

this is just extra credit.”

FILM


SEASON’S BLEEDINGS

August is camp blood month

Madman (1981)

Madman serves as a love-letter to everything

spooky I adored as a child. Like most camp

slashers, we’re introduced to the tale via

campfire tales. Not unlike urban legends such

as the Candyman or Bloody Mary, our maniacal

‘Madman Mars’ emerges when called upon by

exclaiming his name. What follows is a grisly

onslaught littered with creative decapitations

and brutal hangings, Madman Mars’ preferred

choice of execution.

The Final Girls (2015)

Camp slashers were birthed out of the ‘80s, and

have gained praise unlike any other sub-genre

of slasher. With high publicity comes homage,

and though several have tried, few have done as

successfully as The Final Girls. Taking self-aware

horror to another level, our cast is catapulted

into the confines of a ‘80s slasher. With no

choice but to play out the film until the credits

roll, they must fight for survival against a

machete-wielding masked madman. Not only

a fun viewing experience, The Final Girls also

boasts one of the heaviest emotional tolls in

contemporary horror.

Friday the 13th Part II (1981)

This list wouldn’t be complete without an

instalment of the franchise largely responsible

for popularizing summer camp slashers. Jason

Vorhees’ hockey mask and machete may have

become iconic, but before he gained this his

image was much more utilitarian. Hiding his

mangled face beneath a burlap sack, Jason’s early

appearance drew inspiration from the very

real serial murderer named ‘The Phantom’ – an

unidentified man know for slaying Texarkana

teens in the spring of 1964, identity hidden in

the same manner. This tie-in forces a bone-chilling

touch of realism to the fast-paced horror

show, inarguably a catalyst for true terror.

Cheerleader Camp (1988)

Arriving after the golden era of slasher films

came Cheerleader Camp — a fun, gory feature

in which cute ‘80s babes are slain left and right.

Working as a typical ‘whodunit?’, the identity

of the killer remains unknown until a dramatic

climax in the final act — major emphasis on

‘dramatic’. Predating Scream (1996) just shy of

a decade, similarly it showcases the algorithm

of perfectly executed murder followed by a

shocking reveal.

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

While situated in the realm of shocking

reveals, Sleepaway Camp boasts perhaps

the most shocking of all. Unlike the others

aforementioned in this list, the campers

subjected to the homicidal onslaught

within the confines of this film are a touch

younger. Coupled with the surprisingly

graphic, creative kills included within this

campy package, Sleepaway Camp shines

bright among several sister-films in this

sub-genre.

The Burning (1981)

Five years after a mean-spirited prank left

the caretaker of Camp Blackfoot horribly

burned and permanently mutilated, he

returns seeking revenge from those who

disfigured him. A group of teens find

themselves sliced and diced by a pair of

garden shears, the gore alarmingly realistic

thanks to the precision of effects master

Tom Savini. Saving the best for last, this is

the ultimate summer horror film – and if

you thought Jason was ugly, wait until you

see Cropsy.

BY BREANNA WHIPPLE

FILM BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 13


FIELD TRIPS OF TERROR

CUFF takes back the night

hy should kids have all the fun this summer?” So says

“WThe Calgary Underground Film Festival announcing

their third installment of Field Trips of Terror. With two genrefilm

classics and two out of the box locales, CUFF turns the

typical movie-going experience into a different joy ride.

Kicking things off with an outdoor screening making the

most of summer, action favourite Lethal Weapon 2 will screen

at the Sunnyside containeR Park. Immediately recognizable with

its vividly painted repurposed shipping containers, contaiR’s

inner-city oasis (adjacent to the Sunnyside c-train station) is

an optimal back-drop for this 1989 buddy-cop action comedy

spectacle.

If a mix of sci-fi and horror are more up your alley (with a

few video games thrown in for good measure), then CUFF has

you covered with the 1994 cult classic, Brainscan. Fittingly, this

far-out flick of games gone wrong will screen at none other

than Calgary’s own video game mecca, The Rec Room; and

while both Field Trip screenings are by donation, for $20 CUFF

and Bass Buss will transport you round-trip from the Sunnyside

c-train station to The Rec Room, and also throw in $10 of play.

BY MORGAN CAIRNS

Lethal Weapon screens at containR Sunnyside on August 23 at 9 pm.

Brainscan screens at The Rec Room on August 30 at 8 pm. For tickets

and more information, visit www.calgaryundergroundfilm.org

VOLUPTUOUS VIXENS Night Terrors Film Society present something a little different BY BREANNA WHIPPLE

SEX!

Now that I’ve gained your undivided attention,

lets talk about the elephant in the room

– pornography. Despite living in the most progressive social

climate to-date, pornography still remains as one of the few

publicly avoided topics of discussion. To say the production

of sexual subject matter is nothing new would be an

extreme understatement — depictions date back to prehistoric

times, it came to existence along with our species. And

for those of us brave enough to shamelessly explore the

history of pornography, a vast and rich journey awaits.

Revered for the sexual liberation movement expanding

from the 1960s throughout the 1980s, the US underwent

several societal changes after a widespread challenge of

traditional values. Normalizing concepts including premarital

sex, public nudity and homosexuality was brought

upon in a number of ways, including the seedy, tantalizing

universe of sexploitation cinema.

Art imitates life, and cinema is arguably one of the

highest forms. In response to sex culture being at the core

of social issues in the 1960s, a large influx of sexploitation

films were being manufactured. With high demand comes

warranted response, therefor a handful of adult movie

theatres began to come about across the country. Unlike

traditional cinematic venues, these niche erotic movie-houses

hosted pornographic films for curious, adult

audiences. Predating both the VCR and the internet, these

cinemas were often the only location where these films

could be viewed.

You wouldn’t be alone in assuming such a viewing

experience would be uncomfortable, especially with how

private such matters have become with the advent of the

internet. However, much like the revolution of sexual politics,

pornography has also evolved quite drastically over

time. In the heyday of adult theatres, many of the films

shown were considered ‘softcore’, meaning significantly

less sexually graphic and intrusive than hardcore pornography.

Forgive the pun, but when stripped of their taboo,

these nudie cuties can actually be quite fun and comedic

when they want to be.

Filling out this category quite flatteringly is Voluptuous

Vixens (1972), a German pornographic film heavily lubricated

with irresistible humour. The 75 minute runtime

follows a class full of university students as they all set

out to understand all the stages of sexual intercourse.

Encouraged to work with each other, audiences follow an

array of comical characters throughout their own personal

journeys through sexual experimentation.

Adding to the amusement, the dialogue of the film is

largely built upon cringe inducing innuendoes even the

most dull-witted dope would pick up on. Despite this, the

advances of a particularly gorgeous, voluptuous vixen consistently

remain unacknowledged by her chosen science

partner — a virginal nerd. Not quite understanding the

professor’s metaphorical language when speaking of the

mating habits of butterflies, the innocent and beauty find

themselves traipsing around the countryside looking to

catch winged insects rather than each other. Juxtaposed

by the widespread engagements of orgies and lesbianism

of their classmates, all activities are justifiable by a shared

mantra… “It’s all in the name of science!”

Catch Voluptuous Vixens at The Globe Cinema on August 24.

14 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

FILM


INGRID VARGAS

forging diversity in film

Calgarian filmmaker Ingrid Vargas is

channeling the varying perspectives of

immigrant life through her new film, All

Saints, an emotionally charged short focused

on three Hispanic women that deals

with alienation, insecurity, and simultaneously,

pride for being an immigrant.

Vargas says, “There are many immigrant

stories that we don’t always hear about. My

film does come from that place.”

Born in Colombia and raised in Canada

from a young age, Vargas feels Canadian

film doesn’t depict the varying degrees of

diversity that exists in Canada. “I’ve always

had a cultural identity crisis,” reveals Vargas.

“For a long time, I kind of resented my

upbringing a little bit, I had my Canadian

citizenship but I knew I wasn’t white, so

what am I? I also didn’t feel Spanish enough

and it was a very weird place to find myself

and to express my culture and identity.”

Vargas also says that simply growing

added another layer of anxiety. “There’s a

mixture of shame and loss on top of growing

up, being a teenager and already having

to deal with those feelings.”

However, when she developed an interest

and passion for film in school, Vargas found

a medium to express those feelings and

transform them into something positive.

“I noticed that Canadian film, unless it’s

French Canadian, isn’t very diverse. It’s

complicated because Canadian identity is a

tricky subject. We don’t have a specific, set

BY MICHAEL GRONDIN

identity. We have so many cultures blending

together, but you never really see that on

screen.”

All Saints, Vargas’ second funded film,

was a way for her to connect with her identity

and immerse herself in Calgary’s small

but connected film scene. In doing so, she

enlisted the help of the local film crew Kino

Sum, which includes Guillaume Carlier and

Gillian McKercher, along with another local

filmmaker, Noah Leach, as cinematographer,

Maeve Orlady as art director, Caleigh

Kansas for wardrobe and Anna Ortiz for

makeup.

“Making this film was definitely a healing

process for me. Because I am proud of not

necessarily being born here, identifying as

both Canadian and Colombian, and having

a middle ground,” she says. “In a way the

film scene feels like church. You find people

with that same passion, and yeah it’s competitive,

but a lot of the time its filmmakers

helping each other out and it can be very

family oriented.”

Vargas’ film is currently in post-production and

is expected to be released this September.

FILM BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 15


THE VIDIOT

rewind to the future

BY SHANE SELLAR

A Quiet Place

Life Of The Party

Ready Player One

Super Troopers 2

16 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

A Quiet Place

The best way to avoid monsters that hunt by

sound is to hide at the library. Mind you, cityrun

services are pretty much non-existent in

this horror movie.

In the not-too-distant future a race of

colossal armoured beings that stalk by sound

vibrations have exterminated most of humanity.

Survivors like Lee (John Krasinski), his pregnant

wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt), and their three

children live in the woods where they try to be

as inaudible as possible; as not to attract any

aggressors. But keeping the sightless beasts

at bay becomes more of a burden, however,

when Evelyn goes into labour.

A tautly told post-apocalyptic tale that

focuses on a family dealing with adversity beyond

the creatures, novice director Krasinski

does an impeccable job of bringing the parental

experience to the genre and delivering

some intense thrills in the process.

Moreover, sound-sensitive monsters are a

good deterrent for all rambunctious children.

Chappaquiddick

Finally, they have made a feature-length film

about Harry Potter’s favourite sport. Oops,

my mistake. This drama is actually about Ted

Kennedy, not the golden snitch.

In July 1969 the then Massachusetts Senator

Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) – brother to

John and Robert Kennedy – drove his vehicle

off of a Chappaquiddick Island bridge. While

Ted survived the incident unscathed, his

passenger, 28-year-old campaign aide Mary Jo

Kopechne (Kate Mara), did not. Fearing for his

family’s reputation, Ted fled the crime scene,

only to be cajoled in to confessing later by his

cousin (Ed Helms) and his State’s Attorney

(Jim Gaffigan).

An overlooked aspect of the late Ted

Kennedy’s life, this random rendition of the

decades old events may or may not be entirely

factual. However, the actual facts still make

Teddy seem like a complete creep.

Incidentally, Teddy’s brothers could’ve

helped him make it look like Mary Jo had

OD’d instead.

Isle of Dogs

The upside to being stranded on an island

of dogs is your flea problem won’t make you

an outcast.

When his dog (Liev Schreiber) is exiled to live

amongst the other influenza spreading mutts,

a Japanese orphan hotwires an aircraft and

crash-lands on the infected atoll. There, a pack

of wild dogs (Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton,

Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum) reluctantly help him

find his lost pup. Meanwhile in post-apocalyptic

Japan, an American exchange student (Greta

Gerwig) finds a cure to the hound disease, but

a totalitarian mayor is suppressing its release so

that he can wipeout all canines.

One of the most beautifully captured

stop-motion pictures ever, director Wes Anderson’s

eye for detail and colour, along with

his eclectic voice-cast bring these idiosyncratic

characters to life. Unfortunately, Anderson’s

tone-deaf and stereotypical treatment of

Japanese culture is troublesome.

Incidentally, without dogs in Japan who will

control the Hello Kitty population?

Life of the Party

The upside to going back to school when

you’re older is that you can get up early for

class now. However, the co-ed in this comedy

isn’t doing much sleeping in her dorm room.

After her husband leaves her, suburban

mom Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) decides to

enroll in the same university as her daughter,

and get that archaeology degree that eluded

her years ago. In-between partying, sleeping

with her daughter’s friends, Deanna must

prepare for an important oral presentation.

But Deanna’s actions may cost her daughter

her future.

Although the cast is capable, the script by

McCarthy and her husband – who also directs

- is devoid of laughs and adversities beyond

a fear of public speaking. In fact, most scenes

appear to be improvised by the actors but not

in a pleasing or productive way.

Another good thing about being a

mature student is that everyone assumes

you’re a professor.

Overboard

The best thing about being an amnesiac is

that TV reruns will become completely brand

new. Unfortunately, the sufferer in this comedy

is kept too busy by his wife to watch TV.

When an arrogant Mexican socialite, Leonardo

(Eugenio Derbez), falls off of his yacht, he

awakens with no idea of his wealth or identity.

His boat cleaner Kate (Anna Faris) sees that

he has amnesia, but instead of helping him

she convinces Leo that they are wed with

three kids. Now this pampered playboy must

perform menial tasks at home for Kate and

labour intensive lawn work at his new job.

A pointless remake of the 1980s’ original,

this update switches the genders of the antagonist

and protagonist with no comedic payoff.

Even the commentary on being a Mexican

in America feels forced and heavy handed.

Besides, ICE stopped accepting amnesia as

an excuse from illegal immigrants years ago.

Ready Player One

People play online games so they can escape

the callousness of this world and just cyberbully.

The troll in this sci-fi film, however, is

actually the head of a tech conglomerate.

When the fan-boy creator of OASIS dies,

he bequeaths jurisdiction of said online virtual

reality world to the player that can locate three

keys – or Easter eggs – hidden inside of his

referential universe. Accepting the challenge is

an improvised gamer (Tye Sheridan) trying to

escape his real world existence; a famed Easter

egg hunter (Olivia Cooke); and a CEO (Ben

Mendelsohn) looking to enslave OSAIS avatars.

Crammed with references to movies, video

games and other pop-culture touchstones,

this half live-action, half computer-animated

production from director Steven Spielberg

relies on nostalgia and eye-candy to keep

viewers distracted from its toothless villain

and predictable plot.

Moreover, who wants to rule a world

that has so many character copyright and

licensing agreements?

Super Troopers 2

While the RCMP is not as well armed as US

State Troopers, Mounties do have horses.

However, the hosers in this comedy are going to

need more than steeds to protect their land.

When the Vermont Governor and their old

chief (Brian Cox) hire them to head a US police

force on Canadian soil, disgraced members

of the Spurbury PD (Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul

Soter, Kevin Heffernan) race across the border.

While stationed near Quebec, the makeshift

militia befriends the mayor (Rob Lowe), the

US/Canada emissary (Emmanuelle Chriqui),

and become embroiled in a counterfeit cellphone

smuggling ring.

A crowd funded sequel to the middling

2001 cult hit, this laugh-less reunion is just a

rehash of the same jokes from the original film

that don’t seem that funny anymore. Even

the new characters introduced are instantly

forgettable.

Besides, Canadians don’t need to smuggle in

cell-phones, our rotary phones work just fine.

He’s a Wheelhouse Fire. He’s the…

Vidiot

FILM


ROCKPILE

ALL HANDS ON JANE

making Marvin Gaye music

The Janes with newcomers Mac (in back) and their sassy mascot, Phil the flabongo.

PHOTO: MATT COOKSON

On route to the interview at a downtown bar, the text Over the past few years, the Janes’ line-up has varied in numbers

comes in… “Janes are just at the table closest to the door. and faces, but tonight seated around the table are the original

We’ve been doing a bit of a photo shoot in the shitter with the members — lead vocalist/guitarist Teri Wagner, drummer Tess

flamingo wallpaper so if we’re not at the table just text and we Graham, keyboardist Kaitlin Gibson plus their recent recruitment

bassist Mackenzie Meding. The topic of discussion is the

will be there.” A party horn icon inserted at the end of the text.

As it turns out, flamingos are a big thing with All Hands new EP, Animal Worship — six tracks juiced up like Richardo’s

On Jane. To use that all too fashionable term, it’s part of their exploding concoctions that blend goth, psych, spook and prog

“branding.” The Janes, however, aren’t those kind of marketeers into layers of blues, boogie rock and heavy fuzz.

— less an industry-minded hype-machine and more a fun, rock What stands out, pushing the songs like a relentless tsunami,

‘n’ roll commodity in pink flamingo technicolor. One particular

flamingo in particular, Phil their mascot, a lawn ornament pounding through full force right up the middle giving the Janes’

is Graham’s drumming. Wave after wave they come tumbling,

turned into a beer bong. Kaitlin Gibson, who plays keys (and one an urgency like they’ve never had before.

of those whacky theremins), describes how Phil came to join the Graham grins, flexes her biceps and explains that in addition

band via Rob, her boyfriend.

to “working out” bringing the drums to the fore started when

“Rob bought a couple flamingos off the internet, from a dollar her and Wagner played as a two-piece for a spell which helped

store,” laughs Gibson. “We just decided to cut one of them up lock down their driving force. Noting that drummers usually

and turn it into a beer bong. At first Rob was pissed, but then he serve as the backbeat in a band, Wagner flatly states, “No, Tess

realized, he realized…” Gibson is cut off by bandmate Tess Graham,

“That after we took Phil everywhere, he became our official Their approach to recording is also unconventional; a large

wouldn’t have it!” Cheers rise from the table, a toast is made.

band mascot… He’s Phil, like fill ‘er up. Phil the flabongo.”

factor in the Janes’ wall of sound is Graham leading the way. In

The flamingo saga gets better. “Mason, our buddy who’s a the studio she goes in first, lays down the drums tracks, then the

tattoo artist, sent over a design as a joke. When Kaitlin and I saw rest of instruments in stages after. Although she’s a huge fan of

it, we… ‘Let’s get it fuckin’ tattooed!’” Graham tugs at her clothes classic rock bands that groove together as a single unit recording

revealing a tattoo to the side of her upper thigh of two flamingos

facing each other, like some sort of imperial emblem bearing have several tempo shifts, so it’s easier, saves time coming in

live off the floor, the Janes do it different. “A few of the songs

a slight resemblance to Queen’s logo with a pair of lions. The tat playing the drums to the metronome then layering everything

is circular, the diameter of a softball. Apparently, Gibson’s is even else on after.”

larger. Majestic, gracious, bad-ass rock ‘n’ roll branding.

How does that work for the rest of the band? Amongst the

The bar in question is Ricardo’s Hideaway, a tropical cocktail laughter, Gibson announces, “Like clockwork! Tess records, Teri

lounge with a Cuban flair that specializes in rum given spicy does guitar, Mac does bass and I get shitfaced do to keys… If I

names like Mama’s Gone Surfin’, We’ll Never Be Royalty and, of just finish this bottle of wine to record, I’ll do better.”

course, the Hemingway. All four members of All Hands On Jane Gibson originally played bass in the band, took a couple

are seated in a circle sipping one of Ricardo’s curious inventions. years hiatus, then returned on keys. She’s probably the most

BY B. SIMM

daring, outlandish and biggest crack-up, life-of-the-party in the

Janes. Banned on Instagram for some indecent episodes, it’s

not surprising her flamingo tattoo is “huge.” So is her stamp on

the Janes’ music with a brash, bold character oozing out of the

keyboards.

Wagner says that while they had some keys on the previous

record, they wrote specifically to showcase them on Animal

Worship. “Writing with that focus is not the Teri show anymore,

it’s the everybody show. It has such a different feel. It’s so gothy,

so dark, so moody,” she says giggling when emphasizing “so.”

Gibson adds playfully, “So opposite the beach.”

The Janes’ are a ”smorgasbord of syles… a melting pot of

influences.” Out of their favourite records, Wagner puts Pantera’s

Far Beyond Driven at the top of her list, Gibson has it in for No

Doubt’s high-end production on Tragic Kingdom, Graham is

a die-hard Sabbath fan opting for Master Of Reality (“so raw

and dirty”) and Meding spouts out Houses Of The Holy by Led

Zeppelin (“my favourite band ever, I can’t help it”).

Bassist Mackenzie “Mac” Meding, the “baby” of the band at

24 years of age, came into the fold when they put an ad out on

Facebook looking to fill the slot. Meding responded and made

a video playing their songs. “It warmed my heart,” says Wagner

giving Meding an audition that she easily won “obliterating

everyone else.” Adding yet another dimension to the Janes’

sound, Meding leans towards punk that’s a bit thrashy citing

Propaghandi and Iron Reagan as her brand of bashing it out. “If

that comes around,” she says with no expectations, “maybe we’ll

put a little of it on the next record.”

A centerpiece on stage and prime curator is Wagner, the

Janes’ frontwoman, songwriter and lyricist who delves into all

sorts of exotic teritory when crafting the songs.

“MK Ultra,” one of the most ambitious of tracks on the EP

with its changes ups, haunting vocals and eerie overtones, feels

exactly like the drug-warped spiral the song’s actually about — a

covert government program that involved giving unsuspecting

people LSD to observe their reactions and behavior.

Moving from weird tales to cozy abstraction, Wager acknowledges

that “Oh Buffalo” really isn’t about anything. “I just came

home and wanted to write a song about a buffalo. There’s no

story, it’s wandering kind of song.”

“Jack The Lad”, however is a specific reference to the British

variation of a “junked-up, chachi, prick-boy.” A description that

prompts Gibson to joke, “Everyone knows a few of those.”

And then there’s Wagner’s passionate wailings in “Golden

Eyes” along with its rigorous, sweaty grind suggesting the song

embarks on some sort of sensuous voyage. Wagner quietly

chuckles but doesn’t give anything away. Graham, however, steps

in noting that “Golden Eyes” is a more a band collaboration than

songs before. “We’re coming to a collective standpoint in our

writing.” Elaborating on that standpoint, she adds, “I think for

Teri, and for all of us, it’s sweet when people want to bone to

your music.” More laughter, another toast.

The Janes’ release show for Animal Worship is at Dickens Pub August

18. The band is coordinating a party bus to pick up people for the show

in different parts of the city. Contact AHOJ on their FB page for more

info www.facebook.com/allhandsonjane/

ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 19


20 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

ROCKPILE


SANDRIDER

interstellar godheads of grunge

Tunes from the dunes. Sandrider plants nuggets for nerds.

It’s been three long and thirsty years since the

last dispatch from Seattle’s Sandrider. Originally

conceived in 2008, the noisy psych-rock outfit,

composed of guitarist/vocalist Jon Weisnewski

and bassist/vocalist Nat Damm (both formerly

of the band Akimbo) and drummer Jesse

Roberts (The Ruby Doe), quickly established a

homebase at Good to Die Record. Finally, ready

to follow up their 2015 teaser of a split EP with

noise rockers Kinski, Sandrider have just revealed

their latest opus, Armada. A crushing ten-track

stack of smoky electroblues breakaways and

brainsplattering downstrokes, the trio’s third

full-length album is perhaps their most cryptic

work to date.

“We’ve only played three or four of the

songs from the new album, Armada, in public,”

Weisnewski confides. “Actually, we like to keep

an album under the sheets until we release

it. People who are regular fans, who come to

a bunch of our shows often, they tend to get

to know the songs we play live a lot. It’s kind

of fun to all of a sudden release a record that’s

completely different. We like to keep a bunch of

‘em tucked away.”

It’s no secret that the group has consistently

mined the lore of Frank Herbert’s Dune saga to

add flesh and (ahem) spice to their sonic storytelling.

Warping hardcore rhythms and metallic

melodies around the gritty war-torn worlds

of that fantasy realm lends Sandrider’s work

a distinctively science fiction flavour. But, according

to these denizens of Planet Grunge, you’ll

have to listen closely to catch the winking gems

embedded within Armada’s grungy canyons and

merciless mountain ranges.

“The band has always been inspired by

science fiction and specifically Dune. So, I like to

weave a couple of Dune references into every

PHOTO: KELLY O

record. The title track “Armada” does have a lot

to do with some of the ideas that are going on

in Dune. There are also number of themes that

relate to different science fiction films, books

and videogames on the album. I try not to be

too nerdy about it. I try to like hide my hand a

little bit. I think it will be a bit of a challenge for

the fans out there who do play games and read

comics and watch the shows and stuff. I issue a

challenge to figure out what songs are referencing

what material.”

BY CHRISTINE LEONARD

It’s this attention to detail that brought

Sandrider to the attention of sludge and

doom fans; first on the self-proclaimed best

band in the universe’s 2011 self-titled debut

and then with 2013’s earthshaker Godhead.

Now charged with topping their finest performances

of five years past, Sandrider is holding

the fire to their own heels as they press into

uncharted territory with a quiver full of new

tunes and a passion for worming their way

into eardrums and hearts.

“If I were to describe Armada in one word

I would say ‘anthemic.’ If you look at the

self-titled album and then Godhead those

both have some characteristics about them

that weren’t deliberate, but both have a vibe

to them. And, I think when I listen to Armada

it’s slightly more melodic and it’s got these

uplifting moments and is a little be more choral.

Which isn’t a bad thing. I love classic rock.

I love radio rock. I love Boston. I love catchy

stuff and that’s kind of how the songs came

out on this album, which feels great to me. I

love that stuff, so it’s super satisfying.”

Sandrider performs with Woodhawk and Denimachine

Sept. 8 at The Palomino Smokehouse

and Social Club (Calgary)

ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 21


GUEVNNA

beast on the dancefloor

Born out of the desire to emulate bands

such as Bongzilla and Iron Monkey, Japan’s

GUEVNNA is the demonic brainchild of

singer-songwriter Ryo Yamada. Known for

challenging the established traditions of his

local doom metal scene, the former Coffins

vocalist’s burgeoning vision of the future took

root in 2011 with the formation of GUEVN-

NA. Accompanied by a stellar crew of likeminded

musicians, an innovative Ryo explores

the furthest expanses of dark and atmospheric

storytelling while still reflecting the earthy

giants that inspired them in the first place.

“We just started with doomy sludgy music,”

Ryo explains. “We imitated the styles of

our two favourite bands, Bongzilla and Iron

Monkey, but after a few years we wanted to

do things more freely. We had all different

kinds of music tastes -- for me Killing Joke, The

Jesus Lizard, old KMFDM and ‘70s disco music.

Bassist Komi loves Queens of the Stone Age,

Kyuss, Fu Manchu and stoner stuff. Guitarist

Go is a total metalhead and drummer Temi

has been playing in hardcore scene. We wanted

to release those tastes and backgrounds

more. We’re not either trying to only imitate

or do something new no one does. We just

want to go for our rock n roll and that is what

Heart of evil; soul for disco.

motivates us play for this band.”

Rocking out has paid dividends as GUE-

VNNA who’s violently loud sound has been

broadcast to a far wider range than the

intrepid ever expected. For Ryo and company,

spreading their unique brand of haunted metal

to new audiences is the thrill of a lifetime.

PHOTO: MATTIAS WESTFALK

“I like going around the world and playing

in front of people who have different cultures

and languages. It’s great. While on a

tour we’re away from our daily life. l don’t say

it’s ‘unreal’ but I feel I’m on an adventure, feel

I’m ‘alive.’ Of course, I like my daily life and

enjoy it but the pleasure I get from the tour

BY CHRISTINE LEONARD

is something totally different.”

Applauded for their ability to deliver the

whole package, GUEVNNA’s danceable brand

of hardcore headbanging has resonated with

fans since the appearance of their highly consumable

four track EP, Conspiracies in 2015.

This self-released introduction was followed

by the band’s first feature-length LP, Heart of

Evil in 2016. Overflowing with almighty riffs

and grooves from holy hell, Heart of Evil put

GUEVNNA’s sludgy powers of seduction on

full display. From east to west, there’s no one

better to put doom disco on the map.

“Since the release of Heart of Evil, we

toured the variety of countries such as Japan,

South Korea, China, and Europe. That we’re

going to have Canadian tour together with

Hoopsnake! Touring Japan with them was the

one of the best days in my life. We’re really

happy to see them again in their country!

Regarding our new album, we’re going to

release a split with Alpaca from Shanghai in

August and will release another split in fall.”

GUEVNNA plays with Hoopsnake and HAAZE

at The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club on

September 7 (Calgary)

22 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

ROCKPILE


SUPERCRUSH

‘90s-inspired guitar crunch with a candy coating

If you pine for the more jangly, poppy

bands of the grunge era then Seattle’s

Supercrush is for you. Sugar coated,

fuzzy guitar riffs drive their tunes and

frontman Mark Palm says it’s all about

creating memorable earworms.

“My goal is just to make an undeniably

catchy album,” he confesses.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that

it’s impossible to make an album that

everyone will like. You can’t please

everyone, but it might be possible to

make an album that everyone is forced

to admit is extremely catchy.”

Palm was born in Vancouver and

grew up in the Pacific Northwest, so it

makes sense that he loved the hometown

heroes of the day.

“I think our first record in particular

maybe had a little more Seattle, or grunge,

influence. Since then I think it’s less

so. Personally, I was super influenced by

all that stuff. I grew up in the ‘90s. When

I was a young teenager, I was super into

all the grunge and alternative rock stuff

that was coming out.”

Those influences acted as a springboard

for Supercrush, whose sound is

YES WE MYSTIC

“huge, grandiose tidal waves of drama”

Yes We Mystic are a Winnipeg treasure;

a band whose cinematic and touching

orchestral pop transforms from sweet and

delicate in one moment to pummeling in the

next. After becoming friends in childhood,

the band was formed when vocalist/guitarist

Adam Fuhr and mandolin/synth player

Keegan Steele formed a sprawling seven-piece

ragtag “Arcade Fire wannabe band” in high

school.

The project later dissolved; the sentiment

did not. Yes We Mystic was born, and since

then they’ve perfected their grandiose sound

over multiple releases. Though various members

have come and gone, keyboardist/cellist/

more bouncy and fun than say, Eddie

Vedder’s falsetto “whoa-whoa’s.”

Earlier this year, the band released

two new 7” singles, “I Can’t Lie” and “I’ve

Been Around”, both released on Alberta

label Debt Offensive Records Those cuts

will be part of an upcoming singles collection

LP, with a brand new full-length

to follow sometime in the hopefully

near future.

After playing in many other metal

and hardcore bands over the years, Palm

is stoked to be able to dedicate all of his

time to Supercrush.

“I kind of feel like we’re almost

psyched trying to make up for lost time.

There was a bunch of years where the

band was just a recording project and

we never even played a show until six

months ago,” he remarks.

“So now that we actually have a live

line-up and are playing shows, I’m just

trying to take advantage of that and get

out there as much as possible.”

Supercrush plays August 6 at Fernando’s

Pub (Kelowna) and August 7 at The Palomino

Smokehouse (Calgary).

vocalist Jodi Plenert and drummer Jordon

Ottenson currently round them out. Violinist/

synthesizer player/guitarist Jensen Fridfinnson

played his first show with the group this July.

Recently signed to DuckDevil Records, Yes

We Mystic is looking to further expand their

vision. These art rock transformers not only

focus on the music; they are a self-proclaimed

“art collective” that adds extra conceptual

layers to their music. On 2016’s epic and tragic

Forgiver, the group literally created an art

piece hotline advertised through a postering

campaign in nine Canadian cities that simply

stated “WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UNABLE TO

FORGIVE?” alongside a number to text. They

received hundreds of responses that were

then shared anonymously on Twitter. Earlier

in their career, they also did a Winnipeg postering

campaign around their 2015 two-track

releases Vestige, featuring a portrait of an unknown

man with no information contained.

Musically, the band’s vision is broad. With

the integration of numerous instruments

like ukulele, banjo, cello, violin, and trumpet,

they’ve explored multiple avenues. There’s still

a few things left they’d like to do, though…

even if it’s a hypothetical. Like collaborating

with iconic singer/songwriter Paul Simon.

BY TREVOR MORELLI

BY WILLOW HERZOG

“His words are like chocolate in your

mouth,” enthuses Fuhr.

“The way the syllables fit together, nonsense,

but good to say. Good to say and also

something special to say.”

Despite occasionally daydreaming of

big things, the group strives to tie greater

connections to their work and interact on a

human level.

“We aim to communicate the emotions

related to universal human behaviours,” says

Fuhr. “But while elevating them into these

huge, grandiose tidal waves of drama in an

attempt to overwhelm the listener and steep

them in powerful and sometimes unfamiliar

feelings, which we hope will have the effect of

self discovery.”

Yes We Mystic is heading back on the road

after a six-month stretch of staying put, the

longest they’ve gone without a tour since 2013.

These well-seasoned performers have over 100

shows in 10 countries under their belts, so it’s

a show not to miss. Their live show swells with

intensity, concentration, and passion.

Yes We Mystic play on August 8 at the Aviary

(Edmonton), August 9 at Bo’s Bar and Grill (Red

Deer), and August 10 at the Palomino (Calgary)

ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 23


COLOUR BY NUMBERS

Winnipeg’s nerdiest alt-rock band… BY SARAH MAC

Colour by Numbers, Winnipeg’s self-proclaimed “nerdiest

alt-rock band” is heading to Alberta for their first official tour,

dubbed Colouring Outside the Lines.

The four-piece folk-rock band draws inspiration from folk, rock,

and ‘90s alternative, resulting in a sound that’s often dreamy and

moody, then pensive and jangly. Originating as collaboration

between guitarist Jared Adams and bassist Alex Kozub, the guys

enlisted the help of guitarist Jesse Millar when it came time to

record their debut EP, Colour by Numbers. Shortly after, drummer

Mike McDermid joined the group, solidifying the band. All four of

them now contribute vocals.

Their latest offering Among the Stars (August 2017) sees the

band delivering catchy hooks and varied vocals across five tracks.

“Our main focus right now is the tour and promoting our latest

album,” offers Adams.

“We’re really looking forward to spending time on the road. We

went to a few small towns around Christmas that was our first

taste of being on the road. That’s what sparked us to have a more

legit tour.”

We wondered what Colour by Numbers had in mind for the

future.

“We’re actually working on a rock opera, that’s our next plan,”

says Adams. He chuckles and continues.

“It’s about this character, Thaddeus. To give you some context,

a while ago Alex [Kozub] wrote this song called Thaddeus, there’s

a video recording of it up on our social media account. The rock

opera is about Thaddeus, who is in the Winnipeg music scene and

he’s trying to make it; but he doesn’t really try too hard and wants

to be a star sorta thing. So, the rock opera is about his journey.”

Adams continues, “That’s our next big project. The big picture

idea is to do it as a fringe show and tour fringe festivals with it.

And ideally, we’d like to release it next summer, but we don’t want

to rush something like this.”

Colour by Numbers perform on August 1 at Mikey’s (Calgary), on August

2 at Vern’s (Calgary) and on August 3 at the Aviary (Edmonton)

Colour By Numbers is working on a rock opera about Thaddeus.

PHOTO: MICHAEL OSIKOYA

24 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

LOVERS TOUCH

dad rock is for everyone

Funk, disco, and soul come alive with Lovers Touch, a

catchy retro-rock band based in Toronto. Derived from

‘70s bands like Bee Gees, Chic, and Kool & the Gang, the

project aims to bring vintage grooves to the forefront complete

with fashion faux paus like flared pants and checkered

wool jackets.

“It’s definitely the vibe we go for, is the ’60s and ‘70s almost

RIVER JACKS

roadtrippin’

gads! Your friends are at the front

Edoor with a warm six-pack and

a tent filled with holes! It’s road trip

season already! Lucky for you, traveller,

your friendly neighbourhood smilin’

streetpunks have all the tips and tricks

to keep your summer adventures

across Western Canada road-rage free.

Calgary, Alberta’s River Jacks spend

enough time together in a van to make

that trip to Chilliwack you took with

your parents look like a milk run.

Guitarist’s Jordan Barrett and

Spencer “Spenny” Jo Burgess have your

campfire sing-alongs covered, while

drummer Mikey Blotto and bassist

Tyler Burton keep your deep-woods

vocals in time. Don’t forget, Andy

“Mandrill” Shannon keeps it weird on

the accordion. According to Barrett,

keeping the vehicle stocked with extra

goodies will keep the road from testing

your might.

“Aside from the essentials of gear

and luggage, there must always be a

Frisbee, hacky sack and a baseball/

ball gloves,” commands camp-leader

Barrett. “Mikey brought a Sega Genesis

along this time as well. We drove

through a rainy day in the mountains

with the sound of Mortal Kombat

pumping through the van audio. Underrated

soundtrack for sure.”

While you may feel the urge to sleep

like the good ol’ days in that hot car,

the open road is also the perfect time

for deep contemplation and stimulating

conversation. That’s why that freshair

filled brain of yours can now dissect

every wrong decision made those pesky

Hollywood executives.

“There’s a whole van language of

inside jokes that we seem to find funny.

Spenny and I also like to re-cast comic

book movies,” says director Barrett.

“You know, ‘cause Hollywood doesn’t

seem to know what’s up. We spent

a whole day on the X-Men franchise

alone.”

Suck it, Bryan Singer. The real

place to cast the next Wolverine is at

his home on the Highway-1. But in

between geeking out, don’t forget to

stop in every gorgeous Canadian town,

BY TREVOR MORELLI

soft rock. We call it ‘dad rock’ because a lot of the influences

are records that we used to listen to that were owned by our

parents,” explains singer and guitarist Shane Hooper.

Originally from Salt Spring Island, B.C., Lovers Touch shifted

its locale to the 416 two years ago in order to play shows more

frequently. So far, it’s working.

“We lived in Victoria, B.C. for a little bit, and there are a couple

venues there which are nice, but when you get to Toronto,

instantly there are so many venues to play,” recalls Hooper.

“As a new band, it only took us a month to start getting

shows here and we’ve been gigging ever since, getting a solid

following and the community has been super warm to us. It’s

been nice, it’s really fun.”

Lovers Touch is currently prepping their third EP How Does

It Make You Feel?, due out soon. They’ve already dropped three

out of four songs from the disc, “This Is An Arrangement,”

“Dancing Like A Man,” and “I Need It,” the latter of which touches

on the colorful experiments of the hair metal era.

“It almost takes us to the ‘80s, just a little ode to really cheesy,

almost like “Jump” Van Halen, kind of synthesizers. We just

wanted to kind of do a one-off and take a trip down that road,”

explains Hooper.

Rounded out by Dexter Nash (guitar), Noah O’Neil (bass),

Andrew Taylor (drums), and Sam Lewis (keyboards), Lovers

Touch completes the look with polyester shirts and mustaches.

Lovers Touch play August 8 at The Handsome Daughter (Winnipeg),

August 9 at Black Cat Tavern (Saskatoon), August 10 at The

Aviary (Edmonton), and August 11 at The Palomino (Calgary)

BY MATTY HUME

super in their own right.

“There are the easy ones like Vancouver,

Edmonton and Victoria. Every time

we roll through, the trip has a new

surprise for us though,” ensures captain

Barrett. “Nelson, Pender Island, Nanaimo,

Kamloops and Prince George were

a ton of fun on this last trip!”

Of course, don’t even think about

hitting the road without tunes to make

your shitty car stereo roar. If you’re a

musical one yourself, River Jacks recommends

keeping it in the family.

“We tend to keep things fresh with

records from pals that we’ve toured

with,” says DJ Barrett.

“Anything by Audio-Rocketry, Fire

Next Time, Jon Creeden, Seth Anderson,

The Penske File, Greg Rekus, Jesse

Lebourdais and Mike Bochoff would

certainly make the cut.”

Enjoy River Jacks when they play alongside

Mademoiselle, Body Break, and Jon

Creeden & the Flying Hellfish on August 4

at Palomino (Calgary). Then get your ass

out camping!

ROCKPILE


HOOPSNAKE

what goes around boogies down

There’s snowmammoth like a Squamish mammoth.

PHOTO: OIL GAGNON

blast of pure elemental energy out of But the skate-or-die ethos that brought them

A Squamish, B.C., Hoopsnake is primed to together in 2009, has continued to generate

sweep across the prairies like a heatwave of ripples that have been felt across the country.

primordial fury this summer. It’s been almost a “Back then Dave [Hardy, guitarist] and

decade since the threesome pooled their collective

talents (along with their beer and weed different doom band called COBRA,” recalls

Shane [Carmichael, bassist] we’re playing in a

budgets) in the name of metallic mayhem. drummer Oli Gagnon.

“At that time, I was playing in a punk band

called The Death Rays and I was sorta over

it. At one point, the two bands played a gig

at the Squamish skate park; that’s where we

met and decided to try jamming together as

a three-piece. Being all into the same style of

music, it clicked right away and we knew it

would work out.”

After coming up dry in the search for a

vocalist hardcore enough to front their radical

new endeavour, Carmichael and Hardy opted

to split the difference and share the mic. As a

result, Hoopsnake has access to a twinned-array

of “heinous deep grunts and high-pitched

screeches” to get the job done. This resourcefulness

has served the trio well as evidenced

by their body of work including their 2012

self-titled/self-released debut (also known as

Knucklehead), as well as 2014’s Curse of the

White Widow.

“Releasing your own records and booking

full DIY tour packages for ourselves and international

touring acts is not a small feat and it

keeps us beyond busy,” Gagnon confirms.

“I feel like we have never rested, since …the

White Widow album came out, we have released

a music video and a split tape with IRN

from Toronto, we have toured Canada three

BY CHRISTINE LEONARD

more times, toured Japan, played at Heavy

Days In Doomtown festival in Copenhagen,

Denmark, done… fly out shows to California,

and played countless local shows.”

Yet somehow the sidewinding three-piece

has managed to eke out enough time to

record an album of fresh tales inspired by

“Weedcraftian” adventures and abominable

hedonism. The July 2018 arrival of the band’s

latest LP, Snowmammoth, further cements

Hoopsnake’s claim to stoner rock fame.

And, the vein of gold they’re mining is

proving to be as rich as it is deep.

“We have also written a brand new fulllength

album that we recorded with Jesse

Gander at Rain City Records. I guess we don’t

take writing new material lightly, it took

around three years to get the entire record

written and practiced well enough to take on

the road touring.”

But, when they’re not touring Hoopsnake

knows exactly where to park their bicycles….

And it’s right outside the nearest karaoke bar.

Hoopsnake performs with GUEVNNA and HAAZE

on September 8 at the Palomino (Calgary) and on

September 9 at Bohemia (Edmonton)

ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 25


Circle Carnival

Put on your top hats and come raise a glass

for 2018’s exciting installment of Circle:

The Travelling Food, Beer & Music Carnival.

This year, Circle turns five and we’re inviting

everyone to come celebrate with us at Shaw

Millennium Park on Saturday, September 8,

2018 from 11 AM – 11 PM.

In 2017 Circle saw over 7,000 attendees make their way through the gates to enjoy a fun filled day

of music, dancing, tasty eats and refreshing beverages. Once again, BassBus, YYCFoodTrucks and

Village Brewery promise to bring to life the carnival magic that has captured the hearts of locals and

visitors alike.

Best described as “music festival meets carnival”, guests are sure to revel in the musical melodies

of local bands and international DJS on multiple stages, a Bingo Dome, 14+ food trucks, a site wide

liquor license, stunning live circus performers, a NEW 30,000 ball pit for kids and adults alike, kids

playland with a dedicated kids stage, circus school and much much more.

The furriest race of the cutest little pups will also be making its grand

return with a new addition this year. The Fast ‘n’ Furriest Weiner Dog

Race Presented by VCA will see wiener dogs race for the chance to win

the illustrious ButtonCup. Race participants and non-race contenders

can also dress up their distinguished Dachshund to compete in the

Best Costume contest.

Full line up announcement as well as this year’s Green Event Initiative

Program and other quirky, carefree fun activities for every member

of the family - even Fido, will be announced in the upcoming weeks

Tickets: $35 for Adults | Free for Infants 3 years and under | 250 Free tickets remain for kids ages 4-14

when promo code CARNIVALKIDS is used at checkout. $5 per child afterwards

More tickets at the gate. Tickets can be purchased online at www.circlecarnival.com

Doors open at 11 AM and the action doesn’t stop until 11 PM

Shaw Millennium Park 1220 9 Ave S.W. Calgary, Alberta

Circle is a BassBus production, brought to life in collaboration with Village Brewery &

YYCFoodTrucks. An annual one day traveling carnival of local food, beer, music, art and performers,

every year Circle travels to a new location in Calgary to bring the local communities from the various

quadrants together.

For more information on Circle, visit www.circlecarnival.com

ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 27


PHOTO: NIEL MCELMON

PHOTO: BOOKSTRUCKER

28 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

ROCKPILE


PHOTO: MASA HIGUCHI

PHOTO: BEE DEE

PHOTO: PARRALLEL IMAGINING

PHOTO: BEE DEE

ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 29


30 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

ROCKPILE


Jenny Lea and Mikey J Blige started I M U R as an unnamed,

unplanned partnership in 2015 trading beats

and vocals back and forth over the internet. At the

time, Lea was looking for a producer for her solo singer-songwriter

project, but things took a quick escalation when

the two were booked for Shambhala Music Festival. They

decided to put together (self-record, produce, and release)

an EP and live act all within a two month period. Their

ambitions paid off, and after seeing some Billboard success

from the release of the EP, Slow Dive, they added former tour

mate and friend Amine Bouzaher to the group creating a

more dynamic range that in turn produced a well-rounded,

exciting, live act.

You’ve probably been asked this question umpteen

times, but I’m curious about the origins of the band

name… I AM YOU ARE, or I M U R. What did you want

to convey?

Lea: I M U R originally came from passing by the book, I

Am You, You Are Me by Anu French, in a used book store.

We loved how that encompassed us at the time, very different

people, yet so connected. We want to convey that

message of unity, the idea that art is indistinguishable from

the audience, the creation of collective consciousness.

There’s quite a lot of different musical genres floating

around in I M U R. Could you elaborate on how you

brought a few of these styles together? For instance,

there’s an obvious jazzy-R&B element fused with breezy

trip-hop and electronic beats. A lot of ground covered

there in just those two regions. What came first, the

jazzy-R&B or breezy e-beats? Could you describe a little

about the inspiration, planning and architecture that

goes in your music?

Blige: When I was a kid listening to RapCity on MuchMusic I was

just in it for the beats. Same with JT and D-child, even Britney.

It was all about the production in my eyes (or ears?). When

dubstep came across the water in 2008 I was getting out of my

screamo phase and heavy electronic music was a natural progression.

I figured out how to make bass wobbles in Garage Band

and was so hooked. So the R&B definitely came first, then the

beats. But now I am working my way backwards from electronic

music into what good R&B and pop production means. The

inspiration still comes from both sides of the spectrum, we’re a

strictly anti-binary band. IT’S A SPECTRUM OK!

Even though there’s also a strong pop feel to your songs, you

don’t seem to be trying to write a commercial pop song that’s

going to explode on the radio. While I’m sure you’d love the

success of a hit record, I get the sense it needs to be on your

terms, your definition of pop. Would I be correct in saying

you’re trying to redefine pop?

Lea: I don’t think we’ve ever thought, “Hey, let’s go redefine pop

music”… we just know what we like and what we don’t like. We

want to make music that will make you feel, evoke emotion, and

I M U R

Vancouver’s dreamy new soundscape (isn’t all paradise)

I M U R’s Jenny Lea.

PHOTO: TIMOTHY NGUYEN

move you. There should be no rules when it comes to creativity,

and art isn’t necessarily meant to make you feel comfortable. If

we make you feel uncomfortable, that means there was enough

tension to create a dynamic. We want to pull you out of a whistling

state of mind, and invite you to engage. Nothing against

current pop music, it does well for obvious reasons, but I personally

feel a lot of it lacks authenticity. We want to create timeless

music. We could make music to find fans, or we can make music

to find the right fans for us, and develop real, honest, long lasting

relationships in the process.

I M U R has been referenced to ‘90s hip-hop/R&B… I’d say it

goes a little deeper and further back than that. Dream pop in

the vein of This Mortal Coil, and the sexy, sultry sway of Sade.

And then there’s a real New Yorkish jazz-scat-rapping that

sometimes weaves in and out. Jenny can you talk a little about

your vocal approach… influences, inspiration, where you want

to take it to?

Lea: I grew up in a musical family, so I was always trying to find

the harmony line when car singing on road trips. As a child/

youth, I was listening to Mariah Carey, Salt-n-Pepa, and Lauryn

Hill. I was heavily influenced by whatever my big brother was

listening to, so as I got older I got really into West Coast hip-hop,

BY B. SIMM

psychedelic funk, and R&B. I’ve always found playing

with harmonies and rhythm to be a very simple way

to take a song from a solid base, to something totally

unique and captivating. Going forward, I want to focus

on that even more. Playing around with five part plus

harmonies, and really messing around with rhythmic

patterns to compliment a beat. There’s nothing I love

more than challenging myself on stage to live-loop a

complicated harmony line, such a rush.

Also Jenny, I watched the video discussion for the

release of your single, “Miss You Hate You”, and your

decision to leave the bottle behind. Quite confessional.

Super smooth, seductive music, but a dark side to

what the song is really about. How far do you delve

into that with I M U R, are there any other tension

song-stories like “Miss You Hate You”?

Lea: I love pairing dark lyrics to a more light hearted

beat, I think it can make the pill a little easier to swallow,

and also helps me feel like I’m not such a fucked up

person, like, “Hey let’s just dance it off, K?” Heaps of our

songs embody this. Pretty much any song off Slow Dive,

as I was at the peak of a downward spiral after being

hit by a car, most of the lyrics are VERY raw. “Bumps”,

off Little Death, is about the realization I had about my

drinking problem. The “dream I had last night”, was a

real, reoccurring dream, and I wrote that song over my

first sober Christmas (which I spent sad and alone). Our

upcoming EP, THIRTY33, is much more about overcoming

and feeling empowered, while still remaining true to

our introspective style.

Finally, how does it all dovetail on stage? Are you

playing to pre-programmed tracks or weaving them in

and out during the songs. Without getting too technical, how

does the magic happen live?

Blige: Our live set has been constantly evolving over the

past three years. It’s been a roller-coaster ride of technical

headaches, fine attention to detail, and pure elation when

it all comes together. We do as much as physically possible

live as we’re all multi-instrumentalists, this includes electric

guitar, bass, electric violin, keys, and electric drums. We use a

combination of triggering different sections of the songs with

pre-programmed tracks, loop pedals, and live performance.

Once we get comfortable playing the written stuff, we’re able

to embellish and jam on sections, as we keep all the composition

live allowing us to improvise and keep things fresh. We

also love to remix our older stuff and cover songs to allow different

energy levels for different kinds of sets. The biggest thing

that we’ve learned over the last couple years on the festival

circuit is that shit happens when you’re doing live electronic

music and you’ve gotta be able to roll with the punches!

I M U R will perform at Circle Carnival on Saturday, Sept. 8. Their new

single “Miss You Hate You” can be found at www.imurmusic.com.

ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 31


EDM ONTON EXTR A

BABY JEY

someday (soon) cowboys will head to the big city

In 2012, singer-songwriter Jeremy Witten began performing

around Edmonton, becoming a regular performer at the now

defunct Wunderbar. After establishing himself under the moniker

Jey Witten, his studies pushed him south of the border to upstate

New York.

It was during those formative years that Witten met and began

jamming with bassist Dean Kheroufi, best known for his work in

The Velveteins and his solo project Aladean Kheroufi. By 2016,

Witten had completed his studies and decided to remain over

the summer in the Big Apple where he conceptualized his new

project Baby Jey. Upon returning home, Witten reconnected with

Kheroufi and began writing. After releasing singles in the spring

of 2017, Baby Jey is now unveiling their debut full-length record

Someday Cowboy on September 17.

Recorded by Montreal based Edmonton expat Mitch Holtby

(a.k.a. Mitchmatic), in Witten’s childhood home, Someday Cowboy

is a light-hearted pop record at its core. Tonally the record

shares a twang reminiscent of golden era country greats, while

glimpses of soulful synth and keyboard work peak through.

“The sound we have is pop music. Like, we have drum samples

and synths but it also has mandolin, steel guitar and dobro [a

single-cone, wood-bodied guitar]. We know we’re playing on

a country aesthetic, but we’re doing different things with it,”

explains Witten.

Unfortunately for us in Alberta, Witten’s days here are numbered.

The release of Someday Cowboy will be Baby Jey’s final

hurrah as Alberta based musicians. Both Witten and Kheroufi

plan on migrating back to their beloved New York City as Witten

pursues his masters in history at The New School, a private

university in Manhattan. Despite the move, Kheroufi and Witten

plan on continuing Baby Jey as their follow up to Someday Cowboy

is already written.

Baby Jey will independently release Someday Cowboy on September

17. Lead single “Someday My Space Cowboy” will be released August

3. Baby Jey will perform on August 24 at the Kasbar (Edmonton)

BY KENNEDY PAWLUK

Baby Jey’s debut album serves as its Edmonton swan song.

32 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

PHOTO: HALEY PUKANSKI

SYMFAN

dropping bangers about growth and self-acceptance

ymfan is a pop project,” begins

“SHannah Haderlein.

After taking a break to focus on

school, the beloved Edmonton synth

pop songstress is back, and she’s

brought a whole new album with her.

Released June 1, Circadian Workout

is the follow up to her debut album,

Minibus. It’s a labor of love three years

in the making.

“I’ve been working on stuff the entire

three years, and finally I kinda hit a

point where I hadn’t released anything,

for a few reasons, and I was like, ‘I need

to get something out as fast as possible,

otherwise I’m going to get stuck

and I need to move forward,’” explains

Haderlein. “It was in December when I

realized I [needed] to do that.”

Circadian Workout is the result,

an eight track album comprised of

bedroom-pop beats layered over lush

synths, all composed to complement

Haderlein’s entrancing vocals.

The album’s lead single, “DYWM” (an

acronymn for Do You Want Me) is just

one of the handful of dance tracks on the

album, and speaks to Haderlein’s devotion

to having everything “just right.”

“People seem to really like that

song, and I’m really excited about that

because that was a song I wrote in

December and spent all the way up

to a week before the album was done,

hitting my head against a wall trying to

get it to be a banger,” notes Haderlein.

“Finally I hit a point one day where

I figured out how I wanted to process

the vocals in a way where they sounded

exactly the way I wanted them to

sound, and I was like, ‘Yes!’ And then I

released it immediately.”

While Circadian Workout is full of

fun, energetic dance anthems, you’ll

also find it has a fair share of softer,

dreamier tracks. Contrasting the

electro-pop vibes and earworm chorus

of “DYWM” is the ethereal “Tenda,”

with its tranquil beats balancing out its

haunting verses.

“I wrote the beat first, and then I

came up with the lyrics kinda impulsively

because I was playing a show and

I wanted to show off the beat I had

made,” explains Haderlein.

“It’s definitely my favourite track.”

Rounding out the album are tracks

like the moody ballad, “We Could Just

Play,” which Haderlein says she wrote in

2015 and included on the album at the

encouragement of her friends; title track

“Circadian Workout” which is a tonguein-cheek

portrait of the artist “trying to

get my shit together”; and the mellow

electro jam, “Lookway,” which Haderlein

had originally released as a single in

2017, but reworked for the album.

“Once I had gotten to a point where

I had produced the first two-thirds of

the album, and it was time to work

on “Lookaway,” I was like ‘oh, I know

how I want the vocals to sound now,’”

explains Haderlein.

“I learned so much about vocal production

through recording the album,

because that was something I didn’t

fully understand.”

She goes on to explain that a major

feat, and theme, that came through the

album is the growth she experienced,

both musically and personally, in the

three year gap between albums.

“The album I released in 2015 I

recorded 75 per cent of on my phone.

I would just go to a park and work

and make these little beats, these

little loops, and basically I just slapped

a bunch of songs together and was

like, ‘Yeah, good, it’s an album,’” she

explains.

BY MORGAN CAIRNS

Symfan’s sophomore album showcases a whole new set of studio techniques.

PHOTO: MICHAEL GRONDIN

“I think the reason why it took so long

to get this out is because I learned how

to use the proper equipment… I learned

how to actually produce something

using more industry techniques. Like, I

had never used an EQ when I released

Minibus, and I felt really insecure after

I released it because I started to realize

how little I knew about actual production.”

With two albums and a whole new

set of production skills under her belt,

Symfan is ready to jump back in where

she left off, and wont be slowing down

anytime soon.

“I’m excited to see what’s going to

happen next because now I know all

this stuff, and I feel like it’s going to give

room for me to be more creative in my

songwriting process,” muses Haderlein.

“My first release was when I was 19

and I didn’t know anything about the

world, and I was so pure, and now I feel

like I’ve learned so much. All the songs

are about growth and self acceptance.”

Circadian Workout is available for

purchase on Bandcamp and iTunes, and

is streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.

Symfan performs on August 16 at the Palomino

(Calgary), as part of the BeatRoute

August Issue Release Party

ROCKPILE


ST. ARNAUD

through the hardship

The story of St. Arnaud is one of resiliency

through tragedy.

For many years, Ian St. Arnaud led the beautiful,

rich indie-folk project North of Here as their

lead songwriter and front-person. The band

released their debut Make Hay While the Sun

Shines in November 2015, and was a favourite

of the Western Canadian festival circuit. Sadly,

they abruptly came to a tragic end in October

of 2017 when bassist Luke Jansen was fatally

struck by a Light Rail Transit train while out on

a morning run.

“We spent the morning together. I had to go

to class so we said ‘Okay, see you later.’ I told

him I had a new song to show you tonight,”

remembers St. Arnaud.

Later that afternoon, St. Arnaud saw an

article about a young man who had been struck

by a train earlier that day, right on the edge of

the neighbourhood where they lived. Realizing

he hadn’t heard from Jansen all day (which was

quite unusual), he spent the remainder of the

day calling everyone, including the police, to

find out the whereabouts of his best friend.

Eventually, St. Arnaud called Jansen’s parents to

learn the police had just arrived to tell them the

news that their son had passed away.

Justifiably, it took months for the devastated

St. Arnaud to even think about playing music

again.

The following spring, he decided it was time.

Armed with new songs lyrically focusing on his

recent loss and the value of resiliency, along

with tracks that were original slated for the follow-up

album by North of Here, St. Aranud set

to work. Then, after months of preparation, he

experienced another trial: a harrowing accidental

overdose after a pharmacist provided him

with the wrong medication.

“It gave me another, in my opinion, unnecessary

dosage of gratefulness for my life,” he glibly

suggests.

In the face of such hardship, St. Arnaud has

emerged with something beautiful. Paring his

raw, understated vocals with a Rhodes piano

and 8-stringed mandolin, he recorded The Cost

of Living alongside producer/engineer Graham

Lessard (Basia Bulat, Timber Timbre). Out in

late 2018, we’ll hear the first songs from the

release in August.

St. Arnaud’s debut The Cost Of Living will be out

in late 2018. Advance singles “Darkhorse” and

“Morning Dreamers” will be available August 3 and

August 30, respectively. Check out St. Arnaud on

Facebook for info on summer dates

BY KENNEDY PAWLUK

St. Arnaud books a full summer of releases and shows after closing a dark chapter.

PHOTO: LIAM PROST

ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 33


JUCY

BASS COAST

Calgary contingent slays at decade running festival

Another Bass Coast has come and

gone — a year of anticipation

suddenly becomes reality before it

quickly slipped away again into the

ether of memory and now we wait

as photos, videos, written accounts

and recorded sets start to trickle out

as we once again begin counting the

days until the next one. For this, the

festival’s tenth year, organizers pulled

out all the stops. The stages were

even more developed and visually

stunning than ever, the curation of

music, art and performance art was

stellar and the overall prismatic atmosphere

was surreal, beautiful and

awe inspiring.

“This year Bass Coast celebrated

10 years yet somehow it feels like just

the beginning,” co-founder and music

director Andrea Graham, a.k.a. The

Librarian told BeatRoute.

“This edition of the festival was

a true celebration of everyone who

contributes from the artists to the

volunteers, the participants to the

crew. Everyone on site adds to the experience

and I feel grateful to be part

of such an open minded, talented,

and inspiring community.”

There is always a strong Calgary

contingent present and this year was

no exception.

One of the Radio Stage’s builders

Re:Me migrated over to Slay Bay

to lay out a thumping, intricately

crafted tech-house set early Friday

evening. Many of his comrades from

the Radio crew, all decked out in their

customized basketball jerseys moved

the “Booty Beacon” dancing platform

over to his stage to show their

support, and his set had them and

everyone else around them dancing

their asses off.

Before the audience had a chance

to recover, Esette, another veteran

Calgary DJ, stepped up to bat and kept

the vibe elevated with more four-onthe-floor

excellence. Darting right over

to Radio three quarters of the way

through her set, one was able to get

right into Metafloor’s performance.

Jah Raven was another example of

a Calgary selector getting boosted to

a better slot this year. After playing

a deep, emotive and highly experimental

set in The Brain last summer,

Jah Raven was tasked with perform-

34 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

ing the closing rituals for the Radio

Stage on Saturday night and he came

through in full force, serenading the

sunrise-loving crowd with an impressive

all-vinyl house and techno set —

believe me, his milkshake brought all

the boys to the yard and then some.

OAKK, who’s been grinding away,

creating new music and developing

his HiFi Club residency New Wave,

also had the chance to showcase

the fruits of his labour. On Sunday

evening at Slay Bay his tasteful tunes

soared out over a wildly receptive

crowd.

Though he has long since moved

to Toronto, Sergio SP’s hard work and

dedication, which helped to build

nights like Modern Math and Northern

Lights, made waves that are still

felt today. After Mike Dehnert was

unable to make it to play, J.Phlip was

scheduled as a replacement. She then

got held up at the border and was

also forced to bail. This resulted in

Sergio extending his slot for an additional

hour and a half and putting on

what many agree was one of the best

sets of the festival; a perfectly woven

blend of techno and trance bliss that

brought the crowd along with him on

a truly beautiful journey.

“I had such a wonderful time and

I’m still buzzing off of the energy of

that couple hours there,” he said. “It

was bracketed by pure love and I just

feel great knowing that I’ve had a hand

in cultivating such a loving and devoted

family out in the West Coast.”

His counterpart in much of his Calgary

legacy, Dan Solo is another staple

of West Coast festival culture, and

he was there on Sunday to provide a

hip hop and R&B-laced soundtrack to

a beautiful afternoon at the Cantina,

representing yet another night he had

a hand in starting in Calgary, Natural

Selections.

Given that this Bass Coast celebrated

its tenth birthday, it’s no surprise

that the weekend was full of … well a

whole lot of wonderful surprises. Oh

wow, there’s a roller rink? Must have

missed that memo. Wow, the Cantina

is about three times bigger than last

year! So is harm reduction! Oh shit!

Bass Coast is aging beautifully.

Can’t wait to see what the 2019 rendition

will bring.

BY PAUL RODGERS, PHOTOS BY BEEDEE

Re:Me laid out a thumping, intricately crafted tech-house set early Friday evening.

On Sunday evening at Slay Bay, OAKK’s tasteful tunes soared out over a wildly receptive crowd.

Jah Raven serenaded the sunrise-loving crowd with an impressive all-vinyl house and techno set.

JUCY


SAY..WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

AAAAAAAAAAAAT??????

Kids….. Prepare thyselves for the next big thing in telling it like it is. Starting September 2018 Beatroute

presents the official launch of Shauna Says. A monthly column focusing on anything and everything you

,the reader want to ask about. Nothing is off the table and every question submitted will find its way to

a response answered by yours truly.

With a buffet of topics in today’s world, there’s sure to be something of interest for everyone. I’ll be

dishing out some honest heaping’s of advice and plentiful sides of drams along the way.

Have a question for yours truly? Email shaunasays@beateroute.ca and then keep your eyes peeled

monthly for your moment in the news.

I’m excited for this adventure and I hope to hear from each and every one of you real soon

Until September…...Be Well

Shauna Starr

JUCY BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 35


MOLLY FI

breaking down barriers in the dance community

BY JONATHAN CRANE

36 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

“When I started doing The Movement it was to show that as an LGBT person I can go to any bar and curate a good night of music.”

PHOTO: LEIGH-ANNE HAZARD

This forthcoming Calgary Pride week,

veteran DJ collective Girls On Decks and

Broken City are setting out to break down the

sometimes-isolating confines of Calgary’s gay

club culture with the fifth annual event “The

Movement.”

Girls On Decks was founded in 2003 by DJ

Krista Thibodeau, who performs under the

moniker Molly Fi, to provide a platform for

women and members of the LGBT community.

The Movement is a core component of

achieving that goal, as the night-long party

aims to create a positive and welcoming environment

at a venue that isn’t normally defined

as being a “gay bar.”

“I’ve DJed for almost 20 years, and I didn’t

come out as gay until I’d been DJing for like six

years, and I never really understood why gay

people had to go to gay bars,” says Thibodeau.

Her journey through electronic music has

taken her, and those in her group, to virtually

every venue in the city and beyond. Girls

On Decks’ Friday-night residency at Broken

City, for example, has now been running

for a year and a half and routinely features

LGBT artists.

By choosing this venue to host The

Movement, Thibodeau hopes others in the

community will be inspired to follow the same

trajectory she did.

“When I started doing The Movement it

was to show that as an LGBT person I can go

to any bar and curate a good night of music,”

says Thibodeau. “So it’s more about the music,

and just the movement of people actually

leaving the gay bar and the gay community

and experiencing clubs within the city, not

just the gay bar.”

Thibodeau believes that many within the

LGBT community are hesitant to venture

outside of designated establishments because

of the stigma they still face, and the fear that

they won’t be accepted.

“That’s why with Girls On Decks I’ve always

said this is a safe space,” says Thibodeau.

“I’m very vocal about being an LGBT woman

and I’m always vocal about the fact that

I’m here for the music, I don’t need to go to

a gay bar because I’m gay, I need to go to the

best place that has the best tunes for what I

want to hear.”

Doing so, she says, helps to gradually erase

the lingering stigma around the LGBT community

in Calgary’s nightlife.

“I’m always out and about in the club scene

a lot, I’m always going to these events, and I’m

always bringing queer people with me,” says

Thibodeau. “So I think that’s helped change

and make clubs more accepting.”

Drawing LGBT crowds to venues with a

high caliber of music also fills what Thibodeau

believes is a void within the community.

When Girls On Decks began it was largely

centred around Detour, a gay establishment

that was known for its eclectic and progressive

music programming.

Since its closure in the mid 2000’s, Thibodeau

says she’s seen music quality at gay

establishments gradually decay.

“I think that it’s kind of took about 50 steps

backwards since Detour days,” says Thibodeau.

“All of our gay bars have been really mainstream.

Detour and [its secondary room] Arena

were really underground, and it was all about

house music, more of that gay ‘90s scene.’”

While house music was one of the foundations

of Girls On Decks, the group has always

made it their mission to showcase a variety of

genres. The Movement’s attendees can expect

to hear top-quality selections from house,

funk, top 40, and hip-hop.

In addition to DJs that are familiar to

longtime Girls On Decks fans, the roster also

features DJs that either haven’t been seen in

Calgary yet or have appeared here very seldom,

such as Jasper resident Riki Rocket and

Regina resident Miss Bliss.

In keeping with Girls On Decks’ commitment

to true diversity the lineup also features

two male Calgary-based performers, Mr. Beltline

and Detour alumni Chris Brennan. Both

will be performing alongside Thibodeau and

DJ Applebaum on the rooftop patio, which

runs until 11 p.m. The event also features

a photographer, custom visuals, and go-go

dancing from Bombshell Brigade.

The Movement takes place on August 31 at Broken

City (Calgary). Pre-sale tickets are available online

JUCY


DEFINITE

a scribe called Def

BY THE DIRTY SAMPLE

The other day I got to sit down with Definite. We ate a Vegan pasta he made us and chatted about

his new album “A Scribe Called Def”. I really love this album because of it’s classic boom bap sound

that takes you back to the nostalgic feel of ‘90s rap.

DS: Give me an overview of why you put together this album.

DEF: More or less it’s me coming into my own. I’ve done a lot of personal growing the last few albums, the

last few years, so this is a combination of that. I feel I’m more me than I’ve ever been. I’m speaking more

directly. I’m not trying to preach wisdom I’m just trying to be like “this is me”.

DS: Every track is produced by Canadian rap legend Moka Only and it gives it such a boom bap nostalgic

feel. I love that shit! How did this all come together?

DEF: A couple of the songs I had recorded a few years ago. I was sitting on a bunch of Moka beats and

something in life, you know, kicks you in the ass. Dealing with certain issues, my go-to thing is music. I was

playing these Moka beats. I had inspiration and ideas coming full force, so I started rolling with that and

before I knew it I had the rest of the 12 tracks.

DS: How long have you been working with Moka Only?

DEF: 2010 was the first time I collaborated with him. I got him to drop a verse on a track which I never

actually released. After that I worked with him a bunch on “Def before Dishonor”. He was on 6 of the

tracks and produced about 3 or 4 of them. We have stayed in contact since, digging records every once

and a while.

DS: I love the album art. It pays tribute to on the greatest groups/albums of all time. Where did that come

from?

DEF: I told my homey Prosper the title of the album and that’s what he came back with. I’m not good with

artwork. He always has good concepts and he did it justice. It’s the perfect homage to on of the greatest

groups of all time.

DS: Been to any shows lately?

DEF: Rass Kass and the Jamo Gang show. First time Rass Kass has ever been to Calgary which was monumental.

However, the sound wasn’t that great and the venue wasn’t great but it was dope to see this guy I

grew up listening to. I got him to sign my “Soul on Ice” vinyl so… that was dope.

DS: Gimmie links to promote your shit

DEF: You can check out the new album on Spotify and the newest Human Writes album Inhuman there

as well. For any older stuff you can get it at www.definiteloophole.bandcamp.com

JUCY BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 37


YYCJAZZ

LAILA BIALI

a vulnerable craft

Laila Biali believes in making jazz music that captures her

genuine emotions to connect with her audience on a personal

level. This vulnerable approach to music is in plain view on Biali’s

newest studio album LAILA BIALI.

Biali says that this album “really is who she is” and that “everything

is there”, and although this album does mark a dedicated

return to a more traditional Jazz format from her previous work,

“all the threads are on this record for the first time.”

Her second album of all original compositions and arrangements,

Biali took care to craft a record that maintains a cohesive

sound in order to bind the multiple musical influences together.

She chose to pull from gospel, soul, and contemporary jazz while

weaving the organ throughout to get at a more urban sound.

Her skill as a pianist is highlighted right from the start with

the soulful single “Got to Love”, while the album nicely blends in

softer melodic lines (“Wind”) right next to a funky bass driven

jazz cover of David Bowie’s “Lets Dance”. For jazz fans, this album

allows the traditional sounds of piano and trumpet to shine

with moments of beautiful improvisation, while using vocals and

pop influences to remain accessible to anyone curious about

sophisticated contemporary pop sounds.

Fans of Biali’s won’t be surprised to learn that this album is the

result of a long and talented music career that has delved into

many different genres in the industry.

Her family enrolled Biali in Royal Conservatory of Music

lessons at a young age after hearing her plunk out the melody of

Sesame Street on the home piano without any previous musical

experience. Growing up in West Vancouver, she dreamed of becoming

a professional classical pianist. However, a car accident

in her early teens cut short her classical career due to issues with

her arm.

Biali then transitioned to jazz. She was a percussionist in the

Big Band, and a pianist in a trio, playing solos on the keyboard

using only one arm. From there she won a scholarship to attend

Humber College in Toronto as a jazz vocalist – something she as

yet had no experience in.

While at Humber, she attended a Kenny Wheeler concert that

cemented her love of Jazz. Biali says that Wheeler brought a

beautiful and melodic quality to the genre that was emotionally

heightening and moved her to tears.

As Biali’s career progressed, she added a third musical genre to

her professional repertoire: pop music. The CBC commissioned

her album From Sea to Sky, where she adapted mainstream Canadian

songs for a Jazz audience. Shortly thereafter Biali began

working with other popular artists such as Paula Cole and Sting.

Biali hopes that one theme that resonates with audiences

in her newest album is that of home. She recorded this album

over two years during her move back to Toronto from Brooklyn.

During a time of so many transitions, she says that this album

became a kind of home for her and her family.

Laila Biali performs August 18 at Jazz at the Lake (Sylvan Lake),

November 23 at The Banff Centre (Banff), and November 24 at The

Nick (Calgary).

BY WILLIAM LEURER

BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 39


ROOTS

STEVE POLTZ

we gotta live one!

Playing anywhere between 180 and 210 shows a year, Steve Poltz

spends most of his time on the road. After factoring in travel

days on either end, this number hits around 300, which probably

sounds daunting to the ordinary human. But the Halifax born and

Californian raised singer-songwriter is anything but ordinary.

“I don’t like to say no,” explains Poltz. “I think there are three

main reasons to do shows. One is that the money might be good

and you like the gig. That’s ideal. Another reason is the money

might not be good, but it’s a really good hang. And every once in

a while there is one that is a horrible gig, but the money is so good

you’d be a fool to say no. There are always offers coming in. I love

playing!”

When he is not travelling the world entertaining the masses,

Poltz returns to Nashville where he continues eating, sleeping

and breathing music. He has only lived there for a couple of years,

but the scintillating storyteller has fallen in love with the musical

metropolis, speaking fondly of the little things that make it feel

like home.

“I really enjoy being home because I get together with people

and do co-writes and I record. I go every morning to this coffee

shop called the Ugly Mugs in East Nashville. I just go there, and

something always happens. I kind of have an open schedule and

BY ALIX BRUCH

then I run into somebody and

they’re like, ‘Hey we’re doing

this video for charity, come sing

a verse,’ or ‘We’re all going down

to this park,’ or ‘Tonight come

to the American Legion Hall’.

Every Tuesday the American

Legion Hall has the most

amazing music where there are

old people and young people

and everyone is swing dancing.

The old people are dressed up

all western and cowboy-esque

and they’re perfect swing

dancers, and the young people

are learning how to do it. It’s

hipsters mixed in with oldsters.

It’s super fun.”

A child at heart, it is hard to

know if Poltz falls in with the

‘hipsters’ or the ‘oldsters’, but

perhaps part of what makes his

music so captivating is that it

transcends generations. Upon

attempting to count on his

fingers the number of years it

has been since the release of his

first four song cassette with the

Rugburns, Poltz admits that not

much has changed since 1985.

“I wouldn’t say I’m more

mature or anything…hopefully

I’m less mature!” Poltz quips. “I

just don’t ever want to censor

myself. I still write songs about

dog-doo and boogers, or the

one I wrote last month called

‘Go Fuck Yourself’, but then

I’ll turn around and do a really pretty song. So yeah, nothing has

changed. And the shows are still a hodgepodge free-for-all. I’ll do

any song I’ve ever written.”

It is safe to say that Steve Poltz is not slowing down anytime

soon. While drinking his beloved PG Tips tea that he orders online,

the wayward traveller tells BeatRoute he is able to keep his mind

sharp and his body young because the only thing he is addicted to

is reading the news.

“I’m 58 and I sweat every night on stage. I don’t drink any

alcohol and I take no drugs. I’m totally sober, so I feel like I’m set

for the long haul. My friends love going out with me because I’m

the best designated driver. I love driving them after they’ve been

drinking, especially when I go by check points. I love when I pull

up and I look crazy and the cops are like, ‘Oh we got a live one,’

and I say crazy shit to the cops and they’re like, ‘He’s not blowing

anything! Zero!’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t drink or take drugs, dude.’”

Steve Poltz is at the Canmore Folk Festival from August 3-7, the

Ironwood Stage and Grill (Calgary) on August 7, and the Edmonton

Folk Festival August 9-12.


ORIT SHIMONI

talks existentially about her new record, Lost And Found On The Road To Nowhere

Lost and Found... Seems like a concept record. Tales about the

living on the road? Or tales about how the road changes your

outlook, values, your own being?

It is and it isn’t. It wasn’t intended to be but turned into one, in

a way. Some of the songs were older and had just never made it

onto a record, and two of them (Smarter Than Me and Where

to Begin) were written right in the studio. But as the sound and

song-selection took form it started to become clear that this

album more than any of my previous ones really is OF the road.

And since I’ve been on it for almost a decade now, it made sense.

I think the main thing for me having lived out of a suitcase this

long is that the road unequivocally highlights the rawness of

experience. The highs are so high and the lows so very low. I think

many of the songs on this album reveal the doubt that comes up

all the time (for all of us, probably) about whether we are on the

right path or not, and then the redemptive moments that keep us

going and feeling like we’re on track after all. Lost and Found.

The track “Bound” has a peculiar juxtaposition in that you’re

free to make the choices you make, and they tie you to difficult

things. Yeah?

Yeah. But ok, I’ll elaborate... I think people have this notion of

freedom where you have no obligations to anything or anybody.

People have described me as free because I’m a musician living

on the road, which has always struck me as ridiculous. If nothing

else, I’m bound by gig schedules and train schedules and recording

schedules and it’s grueling. It’s true I don’t have a 9-5 or a family

(and believe, me, sometimes I wish I did)... but none of us are free

from ties that bind, human ties, places, histories, narratives, mortality

itself. We wouldn’t be human beings without these things.

And we begrudge them at times, fantasize about bailing. But to

me the real absence of freedom, what slavery and oppression or

even just inaccessibility to healthcare, mental and physical, to

education, what that has ACTUALLY meant throughout history, is

the lack of freedom to fulfill or even celebrate those ties in safety

and in health.

Again in the song “Kind Of Love” the

“chains” are back... you don’t mind them

as long as they’re tied to you in a peaceful

and easy feeling. I have to ask, how much of

that have you had over a good decade on

the road grinding it out? The road is a harsh

mistress, yeah?

Fuck yeah. But she’s been pretty loyal to me.

The romantic tell-all memoirs will have to

wait until it’s safe to disclose it all. I jest, of

course, but yes, I’ve tried, or they’ve tried, and

for however long each attempt has lasted,

it has certainly brought some very welcome

comfort, connection, intimacy. I like loving

and being loved, who doesn’t? But past the

honeymoon phase, relationships are hard,

even when you’re in one place, often crushingly

disappointing, frustrating, causing internal

conflict, always a lot to learn and improve. I

don’t know what I want on that front, but I

do know what I don’t want. Maybe I’ll never

settle down, but I don’t want to settle. I see

too many people who do and are miserable.

Things look nice and shiny from the outside

and then people start divulging to you that

it ain’t as good as it looks. Maybe I stay on the road cause I’m

scared, maybe I stay on the road cause I’m right. Who knows? I’m

not against the “chains” of a relationship, but I’ve been around

long enough to know that landing in a good one, with someone

who is equally interested in making it work in a fair, beautiful way,

is rare. Does it exist? Yeah, I think so. Certainly touring full-time

doesn’t make it easier. It’s a bit of a Catch-22. I don’t want to quit

the road if there’s not a good reason to (like a solid, healthy love

I want to be in and around more,) but it’s highly unlikely I can

create a good relationship situation so long as I’m on the road full

time. That’s when I kind of defer to “if it’s meant to happen it’ll

happen” thinking. In the mean time, I approach it with a mix of

cynicism and cautious optimism, keep booking shows all over the

place, and shrug my shoulders and sigh a lot.

“Song For Townes”... Townes Van Zandt? Now that sounds

more like the road you’ve been on... or his?

Yes, Townes Van Zandt. I wrote that song in Eindhoven, which is

a town he spent a lot of time in (the Netherlands), and there’s a

room he used to stay in which is now a kind of bed-and-breakfast

for touring musicians (disclaimer, there’s no breakfast). It’s run by

friends of his. I wrote that song in that room, with his picture on

the wall, on the bed he slept in. I wanted to somehow encapsulate

what was most striking to me about him and it was that the road

was both what kept him alive and what killed him. At the time I

wrote that song (a good few years ago now), I was just starting to

clue in to the fact that I might not ever be able to stop what I’ve

started, that it was its own addiction, and it was (and sometimes

still is) kind of terrifying. That song was me trying to reckon with

that. It’s true to the bone, that song, the darker side of things, the

sacrifice, the small pieces of temporary redemption, but then

there’s the ultimate reason you do it, because you believe in

songs. I still don’t know if it’s god or the devil that makes me do it,

though, figuratively speaking. Maybe both.

With “So Lucky”... there’s a war raging on out there, and right

inside as well. But you’ve got someone to hang on to, or is

that someone each other, all of us, or God... It reads universal

between the lines.

I’ve got peace, I’ve got peace,

Got a roof, got a floor,

But there’s an ugly war raging

on both sides of the door

And I am heaven bent,

but it feels like hell,

And all anybody ever says is, “Oh well”

But we’re so lucky to have each other,

We’re so lucky to have each other

BY B. SIMM

Bless you for asking, because if you’re asking that, then I’ve succeeded

at an aspect of songwriting that’s very important to me,

which is that it can resonate on more than one level. And once it

does, I can never remember what my original intent was, because

it’s all of them. So yeah. All of the above, or whichever one suits yer

fancy. One, all, god, connection.

“Truth Is A Hardline”... No apologizes for the sad song! Which

really is the bottomline... there’s some pleasure in facing and

trying to deal with the facts, tough as they are. You are the

non-escapist!

Hahahaha!! Now that’s perfect. Orit Shimoni — the non-escape

artist!! I’m chronically in some degree of crisis over this. It is a

tough job, but I’d be carrying it all internally anyway if I didn’t

write it and share it, and having shared it for years now, there’s

been enough confirmation and validation from audiences all

over the place that this is a good and important thing to put

out there. The “you should write happy songs” types out there

really shouldn’t be attending folk, country, blues, jazz, rock, punk,

or metal shows. Not sure what’s left but saccharin pop. (it has

it’s place too, don’t get me wrong). I find that in the last year or

two of writing new songs, they’re getting even harsher, that even

when I was writing protest or social/political stuff in the past, I

still had a tendency to try and make it pretty somehow, palatable,

radio-friendly, and I’m not trying to do that anymore. I wanted to

become more unabashed, but it’s all the more terrifying and nerve

wracking to go out and perform that degree of hard bitter truth. I

have a new song about a terrorist attack that’s absolutely brutal.

I’ve performed it live once so far and it almost had me collapse.

But it’s real, and it’s a true story, and I believe to the core that the

importance of the human stories behind the political analyses

are our only chance of salvaging and protecting and upholding

humaneness, and my god, we need it now more than ever. And

then when the sad song is over we can all have a hug and a pint or

whatever, and share the humorous and joyful bits too. I’m a pretty

smiley person when I’m not in the throes of tragic songwriting or

reacting to the insane daily news. There are a lot of great people

doing great things out there. I like puppies and babies, you know?

I think optimism is a miracle (or a cosmic joke), but I have it, I just

believe we need to talk about the whole picture, and the whole

picture’s got both darkness and light.

Shimoni hosts The Ship jam on Saturday, Aug. 25 and plays an

afternoon outdoor show on Aug. 26 at Parkland Summer Sundays

series.

ROOTS BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 41


ROSEBUD FESTIVALS

festive summer in Rosebud

To those who have visited Rosebud, it is

no surprise that the Alberta hamlet is

home to not one, but two summer music

festivals. Tucked away in an unassuming

valley 100km northeast of Calgary, the small

artistic community is a hotbed for creative

talent. The 15 Minutes of Fame Festival

and the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival

bring locals and visitors together to share an

inspiring space carved out by the power of

live music.

Lauren Hamm, the current director of

the 15 Minutes of Fame Festival, has been

attending since its inception 13 years ago.

She has seen it grow from a small platform

where up-and-coming artists could showcase

their work, to a festival that is sought

out by established musicians simply wanting

to be a part of it.

“I’ve loved the experience of coming

together as a community to support our own

and discover artists we wouldn’t necessarily

hear of otherwise,” explains Hamm. “I’ve

performed on stage in a number of different

groups, including my band, The Dearhearts.

Having the opportunity to play to our home

crowd, who has supported us so much

through the years, has been invaluable.”

This year, guests will be entertained by the

likes of local artists Caitlyn O’Connor and

Bill’s Big Band, as well as Jeffery Straker and

Christina Colyn. “Artists often ask if they can

come back to perform year after year because

of how welcomed and included they feel

in the inspiring buzz of the small town. The

festival is very family centred, and will make

you feel instantly at home.”

Keith Hamm, the founder and artistic

42 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

BY ALIX BRUCH

director of the Rosebud Chamber Music

Festival, shares a similar vision to his sister,

Lauren, when it comes to bringing music to

his hometown.

“The performers at the Rosebud Chamber

Music Festival return because of their love for

the music, the place, and the people. The rich

cultural community found far away from the

city lights is an especially attractive creative

space for our guests. RCMF artists love connecting

with actors, painters, and songwriters

who inhabit this beautiful valley. Rosebud is

an incredible place and we are so happy to

make this home to our festival.”

An accomplished viola player himself,

Keith will share the stage with fellow colleagues

in the Canadian Opera Company

Orchestra, Aaron Schwebel and Sheila Jaffé.

New to the festival this year is Edmonton

Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Robert

Uchida, Winnipeg Symphony Assistant

Principal Cello, Leana Rutt, and cellist

Johanne Perron.

“Great live chamber music is such a thrill.

Some of the most poignant and meaningful

contributions of the great composers are

found in compositions for smaller groups of

players. Listeners can experience the interaction

and communication of players with one

another and with the audience. The intimacy

of RCMF performances lends an immediacy

of sound and emotion that is undeniable.”

The Rosebud Chamber Music Festival runs

August 6 - 12th and The 15 Minutes of Fame

Festival takes place on August 26. More information

at rosebudfestivals.com and tickets at

rosebudtheatre.com

MT. JOY

true grit finds a fanbase

Mt. Joy, the Los Angeles-based folk

rock collective spearheaded by

Pennsylvania native Matt Quinn, is exploding

all over airwaves with a pair of catchy

singles. “Astrovan” went viral on Spotify,

raking up about three million streams

immediately after it was released, to the

band’s surprise.

“We were just focused on making the best

possible recording and we put it up there

and see what happens with no real major

expectations,” Quinn recalls. “So we did that

and pretty much right away when we put it

up on Spotify it went viral that month.”

It’s a huge fan favorite live as well. “It’s

hilariously goofy to hear the crowd sing

back lyrics about Jesus driving an astrovan,”

Quinn chuckles.

Another single gaining steady airplay on

traditional alternative rock radio stations

is “Silver Lining,” with its imagery about

peace, love, and freedom juxtaposed

against lyrics referencing drinking, drug use,

and what it means to live in today’s world.

Quinn says the song is actually several years

old but popped up again once the group

was ready to record their debut album.

BY TREVOR MORELLI

“For me, it was really a song I wrote

actually in college in 2012. The song is

ultimately about laws. I mean, that period

of time was a tough time for the hometown

I’m from outside of Philadelphia. It

just really started recognizing and falling

victim to drug issues,” he explains, and then

adds. “The song was about just finding the

message within all of that and trying to find

an answer to the questions that life was

throwing at us at that point.”

It’s a tune that many people are connecting

with and it’s gaining Mt. Joy a whole

new audience. Since dropping their self-titled

debut this past March, the band has

seen their live audiences grow steadily with

many fans showing up already knowing all

of the lyrics on the album.

“The first show we played supporting the

album was in March. I would say that was

the first time for us. Since then, the crowd’s

known the words,” Quinn comments.

Mt. Joy plays Aug. 9 at Edmonton Folk Music

Festival at Gallagher Park (Edmonton) and

Aug. 13 at Commonwealth Bar & Stage

(Calgary).

ROOTS


44 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

SHRAPNEL

POWERGLOVE

weaponized nostalgia

Your childhood, but better.

Spawning and level grinding in Boston,

Massachusetts, the metal-clad bards of

pop-culture-past known as Powerglove still

refuse to log off.

No young fellowship of musicians can

forget the days of MySpace band pages,

and Powerglove are relatable heroes. The

band consists of guitar/synth guardian Alex

Berkson, axe-wielder Ben Cohen, and oracle of

percussion, Bassil Silver. Silver says that the industrial

potion of today’s Powerglove started

with a simple batch of ingredients: excitement,

nostalgia, and an Internet connection.

“Alex and I grew up down the street from

each other and played in a melodic death

metal band together in high school. One

day, he shot me a metal cover of a Tales of

Phantasia track that he recorded, and out of

excitement we decided to record some video

game tracks together on the side,” recalls

Silver. “We recorded our “Dr. Wily’s Theme”

cover, and subsequently “Storm Eagle” and

“Power Rangers,” and threw a quick website

together along with a MySpace to showcase

the tracks. The death metal band wasn’t

really gaining any traction —- but to our

surprise —- a lot of people were listening to

the video game tracks and hounding us for

more. We decided to take it more seriously

and Powerglove was born.”

“Dr. Wily’s Theme,” is a track from the 1988

Nintendo Entertainment System classic, Mega

Man 2, and with that legendary birth came a

saga fit for space-kings. Powerglove indepdently

released Metal Kombat for the Mortal

Man in 2007, landing them an opening gig for

DragonForce (still hot off their Guitar Hero 3

“Through the Fire and the Flame” glory). The

band signed to E1 records in 2010, releasing

their collection of powered-up versions of

cartoon classics, Saturday Morning Apocalypse,

which featured songs plucked from

‘90s cereal-crunchers like Pokemon, Inspector

Gadget, and Transformers. While fans may

be hounding to hear more of their childhood

with tech-metal flair, the whole problem of

“copyright law” doesn’t exactly give Powerglove

a speed increase.

“The covers aspect definitely slows down

the process a bit, because we have to clear the

rights for all the songs we record,” Silver says.

But Saturday Morning Apocalypse was

more than worth the wait. A personal favourite

is their rendition of the opening jam to

the X-Men cartoon. I’ll throw hands for my

favourite mutants, and Silver takes it just as

seriously.

“I always really liked Nightcrawler for his

stealthy abilities,” states an astute Silver. “Beast

is pretty awesome as well for his intellectual/

physically powerful dichotomy.”

X-Men was a Saturday morning staple that

kicked off its five-year run on Halloween,

1992. Powerglove’s penchant for knowing

exactly which memories to douse in heavy

distortion comes from the same fondness for

pajama-clad mornings-past that keep us going

to every movie Marvel Studios churns out.

“For cartoons, [the ‘Golden Age’ was]

no question the early ‘90s,” Silver says. “I’m

definitely biased since that’s when I grew up,

but how can you argue with the old Batman,

X-Men, Ren & Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life,

Tiny Toons, Pinky and the Brain, too many

BY MATTY HUME

awesome shows. I feel bad for anyone who

had to grow up with Spongebob.”

But before you take those fingers to Bikini

Bottom Twitter, keep in mind that Powerglove

are still the masters of the sea. Their latest release

and current tour’s namesake, Continue?

(2018), contains a technical and blackened

rendition of Disney’s The Little Mermaid hit,

“Under the Sea,” with vocals from Dargon-

Force’s Marc Hudson, no less.

“I thought of doing ‘Under the Sea’ several

years ago when listening to Amon Amarth,

and out of nowhere a minor version of the

‘Under the Sea’ melody popped into my head

which fit perfectly over the riff,” Silver says.

“I wrote a riff pretty heavily influenced by

that Amon Amarth part and built the song

around that. Given that the beginning of the

song ended up taking more of a fast, upbeat

DragonForce type sound, it seemed like a perfect

fit to have Marc record the vocals for the

track, and he did an awesome job with it!”

An awesome job it was. Their swashbuckling

take on the Disney classic is ripe with

DragonForce-style speed, technical metal

precision and the punch of a mean kick drum.

Hudson’s vocals shift seamlessly from an

optimistic croon to a black metal growl. But

outside of the water levels, Continue? stays

true to the band’s video game roots. This

includes a soaring take on “Kirby” worthy of a

place on the Smash Bros. soundtrack, and an

epic metal blast of the iconic “Guile’s Theme”

from Street Fighter.

“We all love Street Fighter but never played

it with the level of addiction it takes to master

it. Smash Bros., on the other hand, we’ve put

quite a bit of time into,” Silver says.

“Alex and I are pretty neck in neck these

days, but he has a frustratingly uncanny

ability to read my moves psychologically and

force me to stay away from patterns. Really

fucking excited for the new Smash for Switch.

I excitedly went out and bought a switch the

day it was announced, ignoring the inevitable

six-month agonizing wait.”

While we wait with Silver for Nintendo to

gift us with the next greatest friendship tester,

go watch these wizards of legends-not-forgotten

shred up your local stage, as Powerglove

is taking Continue? on the road. Awaken the

best memories of the animated violence that

formed you, with the helpful catalysts of

headbanging and shear talent.

Powerglove performs August 21 at the Rickshaw

Theatre (Vancouver), August 23 at Dickens Pub

(Calgary), and August 24 at the Starlite Room

(Edmonton)

SHRAPNEL


This Month In METAL

Calgary death metal act Cultist released their EP Cosmic Tomb on July 15

There’s been a handful of releases by Calgary

bands this summer that we’ve yet to that is commonly referenced in pop culture.

He’s referring to the Lost Cosmonaut theory

cover. Let’s go over that here before we get The second release worthy of a mention

into the August gigs.

is the …An Impetuous Offering demo by

First up, Calgary death metal band Cultist Drear. Released on July 11, it’s available now

released their EP Cosmic Tomb on July 15. on Bandcamp. The band is composed of

The follow-up to their 2016 demo features Vaalt’s own Steve Tillapaugh on bass and

a tighter rhythm section and slightly more vocals, and T. Perras on drums. Comprised of

melody amidst the dry, howling old school only two lengthy tracks, the recording is malevolent

and feedback heavy. Recorded live

tendencies. Recorded by AJ Kovar and mixed

by Spencer Craft, the six-track release is off the floor by Dire Omen’s Rolando Rodas,

topped off with a cover of Master’s “Pay to the offering features two lengthy songs of

Die” and is available now on Bandcamp. rumbling death. Think Inverloch and Temple

To learn more, we chatted with drummer of Abandonment.

James Baragar, who is joined on the album The final release isn’t by a Calgary band,

by vocalist and bassist Vanessa Grossberndt, but I sure as hell wish it were. Head over to

and guitarist Brodie Wylie (Vaalt).

Bandcamp to check out militant black metal

Full disclosure: Baragar has previously band Neckbeard Deathcamp, who released

written for BeatRoute.

their debut White Nationalism is for Basement

Dwelling Losers on July 21. Featuring

“I remember the first time I heard Obituary’s

Cause of Death (1990), in high school, such biting (and deeply critical) cuts as “The

and immediately, something awakened and Left Are the Real Fascists” and “Please Respond

(I Showed You My Penis.” This shit rips

I knew that this was it,” he says of his inspiration

to form a death metal band.

and is proudly FEDORA CRUSHING.

While the demo is undeniably primitive, Now for shows: August kicks off with the

the newer release features a dollop more spit annual Loud As Hell Festival. Head to Dinosaur

Downs Speedway in Drumhellar, Alberta

shine, and is polished off with a haunting

drawing by Constance Knight of a doomed from Friday, August 3 until Sunday, August 5

man crawling in a space ship in outer space, to see Fit For An Autopsy, Archspire, Into

his helmet burst open, revealing decaying Eternity, West of Hell, Neck of the Woods,

flesh within.

Ninjaspy, Eye of Horus, and numerous

“There’s this conspiracy theory that when more. Weekend passes are $99 and include

the U.S.S.R sent the first man into space, he camping AND a pancake breakfast ach

wasn’t actually the first guy, and that they morning of the festival; visit https://www.

did a test run with a less presentable guy first loudashell.com/ to get yours.

who didn’t make it back,” explains Baragar, One of the best gigs of the month goes

who enjoys listening to conspiracy podcasts. down on Friday, August 10, when Boise,

Idaho based hardcore punk act Ingrown

perform at Commons Church (Calgary). The

band is raw and raging, utilizing grindy blast

beasts alongside gruff barks and catchy riffs.

They’ll be joined by Seattle based powerviolence

act Regional Justice Center, and

Calgary’s own Mortality Rate, Enemies, and

Full/Choke. Tickets are only $10 at the door;

the gig is all-ages.

On Saturday, August 11, head to King

Edward Park Small Hill (Edmonton) for

a killer heavy gig featuring Calgary’s own

doomviolence band Sawlung, alongside Edmonton’s

Messiahlator, Feeding, and False

Body. Bonus points if you go solely for the

“symphonic Viking metal.”

Meanwhile in Calgary, Vancouver brutal

death metal act Evilosity is performing with

Edmonton death metallers Display of Decay,

alongside Pathetic, Kings Rot, and Pecado

at Vern’s. Tickets are $10 at the door.

The first rendition of the Temple of

Ascension black metal festival kicks off on

Thursday, August 16 at the Starlite Room

(Edmonton). The opening night features

performances from Profanatica, Dumal, Funeral

of God, and more. On Friday, August

17, Primitive Man, Rites of Thy Degringolade,

and Blasphemy will perform, among

others. On the third and final day, Hellfire

Deathcult, Diocletian, and Revenge will cap

off the proceedings. Three-day passes for the

festival are $100.

Head to Vern’s on August 17 (Calgary)

for Black Sacrament, Vile Insignia, Fjell

Thyngor, and Vectivus.

Edmonton’s own Don’t Wanna Hear

PHOTO: PAGAN FIRES PHOTOGRAPHY

It Fest runs from Friday, August 24 until

Sunday, August 26. Through the course

of three days, the fest will be hosting five

shows at three locations. Bands performing

including Pill Crusher, Full/Choke, Disphoria,

Nag, Tommy Grimes, Paroxysm,

Paradise, and Uncanny Valley. Details

were not publicized as of press time, so

be sure to check their Facebook page for

more information.

Also happening in Edmonton on Friday,

August 24: Protosequence is performing

with Kelowna based “death/black/doom

horde” Apollyon, Edmonton’s Begrime

Exemious, and Calgary’s Plaguebringer at

Rendezvous Pub. It will be the last show for

Protosequence vocalist Joseph, so be sure

not to miss it. Tickets are $15 at the door.

Another excellent all-ages offering goes

down on Sunday, August 26 at Southview

Community Hall (Calgary), courtesy of the

Major Minor Music Project. Heavy Summer

begins at 2 p.m., and features local grindcore

titans WAKE performing alongside Widowspeak

and Flashback, both of who are

celebrating album releases. They’ll be joined

by Apollyon, Bayonet, Chained by Mind,

and several more. The show is $10 or free

with a Southview Community Membership;

a food truck will be on site for the day.

Hardcore legends Terror will be kicking off

the school year with two exclusive Western

Canadian shows. See them on Saturday, September

1 at Starlite Room (Edmonton) or on

Sunday, September 2 at Dickens (Calgary).

• Sarah Kitteringham

SHRAPNEL BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 45


musicreviews

The Internet

Hive Mind

(Columbia Records)

No one would catch flak for saying Gang Starr

remains, 15 since their final album, one of rap

music’s greatest duos. In 1994, Gang Starr’s

Guru said, “If your voice ain’t dope then you

need to chill.” A quarter-decade down the

slipstream, it’s maybe the most potent, reliable

heads-up an artist can abide by since the

Wu-Tang reminded us to protect our necks. It

begins and ends with your pipes — success is

in your larynx.

In the case of The Internet, the repository

of their success is the viva voca of Syd Tha Kyd.

Her voice is breathy and nebulous, seeping between

cracks and osmoting to whatever spaces

need its warmth. Her voice is shapeless and

consistent, one that emanates from the centre

of a fog without boundaries and caries until its

presence is no longer needed.

Since their 2011 debut, Purple Naked

Ladies (Odd Future Records) — which, in

retrospect, sounds an awful lot like the neosoul

revivalism that manifested in a generational

crop of R&B artists — The Internet

have been moseying at their own pace, living

and dying by Syd’s voice. Early in their careers,

as they began emphasizing the operations of

their own autonomy and began to distance

themselves from Odd Future, there were

times when their ideas ran as long as her

vocal chords and they found themselves lost

once they ran their course. Matt Martian

is a capable producer with a sharp ear and

compositional instincts, but as a young

bandleader, he lacked the tact and discipline

to galvanize the group. The other three positions

— Steve Lacy on guitar, Patrick Paige II

on bass and Christopher Smith on drums —

have been roundly serviceable, though none

has truly shone bright. The band itself hadn’t

verily capitalized on their wealth of talent

until 2015’s Ego Death (Odd Future Records),

which saw a more unified aesthetic built

around Syd and Martian’s diffident chops,

rather than of it. And it seems their evolution

hasn’t plateaued.

Hive Mind (Columbia Records), released on

the rump of July, is the fullest realization of The

Internet’s potential. All the elements that for so

long felt like diffused textures floating aimlessly

now seem to bounce in the same direction.

It’s an introverted funk, one that feels like

each crack of bass is lifted from the pavement

and each guitar riff is being sucked into the

song’s nucleus. The general mood of the album

remains relevant to their brand — subdued,

oriented toward the quiet groove beneath

the pomp, and deeply funky — but it now

46 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

feels effortless. Hive Mind feels like a 3 a.m.

daze, each song neon-lit floor of a multi-story

club. Each track stands out, though never so

much so that it hinders the greater flow of the

album; these tracks (stories, another metaphor,

whatever), wind down and transition into the

next like wandering in a fugue state. Martian’s

dreamlike keys allow each song to float into a

respective atmosphere that, while still defined,

is airy enough not to encroach on the next.

And Syd, who was originally seen as the most

melodically gifted member in Odd Future’s

young camp, has made good on her early

promise. She sounds comfortable and sexy

like the neo-soul standard-bearer that’s always

been hinted at; she sounds like a Solange or a

Badu, Maxwell or D’Angelo.

The aforementioned auxiliary members

appear roused by this newfound confidence.

With Syd and Matt finally living up to their

all-star billing, the remaining role-players have

rounded themselves into a worthy supporting

cast. Smith, Paige II and Lacy have been with

the band since 2013 and 2015, respectively,

and their comfort level is a direct byproduct

of their continuity. They’ve reached a point

of synergy where one’s actions is an extension

of the others, and it never feels forced. This

is a record of casual excellence. The flourishes

— like subtle vocal contributions by all

members, or Lacy’s twangy guitar closing out

“Stay The Night” and how it acts as a perfect

foil to the metallic stomp of immediate

follow-up “Bravo” — are natural extensions

of each members instincts. The Internet has

reached a nirvana where the sum will outshine

the individual parts, but the parts will

still remain stunning in isolation. In fact, that

comparison to D’Angelo can be extended to

the entire band. Hive Mind might be the most

laissez-faire example of virtuosity since Black

Messiah (2014).

Hive Mind’s outro, the album’s longest track,

is the sublime six-minute quiet storm entitled

“Hold On.” Mellow doesn’t do it justice. It

sounds like a Sunday morning milk bath — in

Tuscany. Until nearly its halfway mark, the only

hints of a fully-formed song are disparate: a

slinky baseline; plinks of a shy keyboard; an intermittent

synth that sparkles like passing spacerock;

and Syd’s ethereal lower range. Just shy of

three minutes, though, Smith’s drums bond the

elements, allowing each to feed off the next. Syd

croons, “Hold on / Can’t stop.” For the song and

the remainder of the album, the band members

churn their instruments into a uniform melange

of vibes. Five members, one voice. A singular

sound. A hive mind indeed.

• Thomas Johnson

illustration: Emille Compion


03 Greedo

God Level

(Alamo Records)

03 Greedo spent his time beyond iron bars

recording music at a rate that would dwarf

the most prolific rappers of the Soundcloud

generation: a staggering 15 songs a day,

reportedly. He claims to have 30 albums

worth of material, a number made even

more awe-inspiring when considering his

most popular albums — not mixtapes,

albums — are each upwards of 30 songs

themselves.

God Level, a 27-track album released

the day he turned himself in to serve a

trumped-up sentence, is the most cohesive

project of his short-lived career. His

impending incarceration casts a dark cloud

over Greedo’s otherwise purple world, and

in numbers like “Prayer For My Lost,” “In My

Feelings” and “Bacc To Jail,” every corner of

his anxiety is experienced.

Greedo infamously has the words ‘Living

Legend’ tattooed across his cheeks. He’s got

a bionic leg. Within two years, he became

a beloved folk-hero in L.A. and a radical

evolutionary in rap. He’s currently serving

a 20-year stint. With good behaviour that

could drop to five, though it’s unlikely his

popularity will extend to 2023. But the

sentence originally asked for 300 years in

prison, so there’s hope. And if someone is

still spinning God Level in 2318, it’ll still

sound entirely new.

• Thomas Johnson

Average Sex

Melodie

(OGenesis Recordings)

UK power-pop group Average Sex is anything

but average if their latest EP, Melodie,

is anything to go by.

A follow-up to their 2017 debut, Melodie

consists of four speedy tracks that grab

listeners and drag ‘em along for a wild, rollicking

ride through crazy nights out, falling

in and out of love and dealing with cheating

P.O.S. boyfriends.

The first and title track is relentlessly

catchy and upbeat-sounding despite the

chorus’ proclamation, “We all die alone.”

Punk influence is heard on each track

through fuzzy guitar riffs, high-energy

drumbeats and snarky lyrics. Vocalist Laetitia

Bocquet’s French accent lends delightful

inflections to the lyrics, and “Ne M’oublie

Pas” features vocals in both English and

French.

Listening to Melodie is akin to biting into

a ripe peach — a burst of summery brightness

filled with both attitude and charm.

• Emilie Charette

Body/Head

The Switch

(Matador Records)

A relentless confusion, the sound of a catastrophic

breakdown.

The Switch, Body/Head’s second fulllength,

is fully abstract; the low rumble of

a busy city at night, wheels turning in the

distance, full of motion but rarely near.

The first collaboration by Kim Gordon

(Sonic Youth) and Bill Nace (Vampire Belt),

2013’s Coming Apart, was more base in

song with Gordon’s breathless vocals laying

above a sparse mix of guitar and bass.

Those tones are still at work on The

Switch, but with a pronounced absence of

structure.

Opening with a wobbling vibrato guitar

on “Last Time,” Body/Head are immediately

challenging and dark, and remain so

throughout the album’s five lengthy cuts.

Closer to the end, on “Change My Brain”

and “Reverse Hard,” Gordon’s vocals are

further distant and disembodied, her timing

of affected phrasing is elemental, hardly

vocabulary, and through the dissonance has

a chilling effect.

The Switch feels like a watery chasm, its

atmosphere is an entrancing darkness and

it takes an ear eager for challenge to really

dig in. While its arrangements are spare and

its composition seemingly loose, improvisational

and fragmented, Body/Head have

ultimately created a singular piece of work

that conjures a mood, whether you’re prepared

for it or not.

• Mike Dunn

John Coltrane

Both Directions at Once: The Lost

Album (Deluxe Version)

(Verve Label Group)

A totally unexpected but welcome surprise,

Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is

a batch of new releases from jazz icon John

Coltrane. Featuring the Classic Quartet in

musical mastery, the album was the result

of a single day of recording on March 6,

1963.

The album as a whole is bound together

by the Quartet’s sound, but transitions

nicely from subdued rhythm-focused pieces

like “Nature Boy” to up-tempo beats that

demonstrate Coltrane’s technical skill, such

as “Impressions (Take 3).” For those curious,

the Deluxe Version also allows you to compare

and contrast multiple takes of various

titles, not one of which is the same.

The album itself also does something new

by including the vocal read of the track title

in some of the pieces, giving the listener the

sensation of being with the Quartet as they

record in ‘63. It’s a nice touch that delivers a

deeper intimacy to the music.

This is the album for any true lover of the

legendary saxophonist. Not because it’s a

compilation of the definitive classics — it’s

not — but because it provides a window

into the soul of Coltrane’s creative method.

• William Leurer

Copperhead

Touch

(Self-Released)

Since their debut self-titled EP in 2015,

Copperhead’s been on a roll in Alberta,

playing sold out shows and festivals, making

well-received videos and earning a showcase

slot at SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier

this year. With their first full-length, Touch,

the band builds on the potential of their

first effort, making strides in their signature

sound of atmospheric texture over catchy,

sultry torch songs. It’s a mix of post-rock

and soul not dissimilar to Cat Power, or

Brooklyn-based shoegazers Cigarettes After

Sex.

The album’s “Intro” is a rising swell,

invoking a nocturnal energy as it drops into

the album’s title cut. “Touch” is sweltering,

like the dew of the dusky humidity on a

hot summer night shining on your skin as

it settles in. The rhythm groove from Rob

Smeltzer and Kane Bender is steady, feeling

like a dimly lit back alley with a cloud of

padded organ from vocalist Liz Stevens,

while guitarist Kirill Telichev makes use of

the ample space with single ringing notes.

The pocket is so solid that the addition of

a doubled hi-hat is all it takes to lift the

chorus. A turn to the chaotic side arrives

in the bridge, where Jamey Lougheed adds

baritone sax lines that give the whole part

a supernatural Angelo Badalamenti feel.

“Shadows Of Love” follows, falling in on a

piano waltz like a child’s ballerina music

box. Bender’s easy brush strokes are a slight

double time to the pace-setting piano.

Stevens is smoky and hushed, her vocal

swaying through the chords, while Telichev’s

Copperhead

guitar is mixed back, chiming through the

verses before filling the choruses with harmony

with subtle strings.

Those same strings make a bigger appearance

kicking off “More,” driving the groove

over a funky pocket until a loose riff from

Telichev picks it up into the refrain. Stevens

keeping things subtle until she hits a

mountain-high wail over a synth-drenched

chorus. “Mountain Song” comes off as

straightforward blue-eyed soul, though it

takes some lefts through its gradual climb.

Lougheed’s sax is mixed low to fill up the

chords, but there’s some room for him to

go a little wilder in a tune like this. Smeltzer

locks the groove down hard while Bender’s

calculated flailing adds controlled anarchy,

and the space would have been ample and

ideal for a free-jazz drum and sax freakout.

The album closes out with the airy “If It

Could Be,” an old transistor AM dial on a

sunny morning beach, led off with a woody

acoustic guitar backed by wavy volume

swells. Stevens is plaintive and longing,

every word a memory and a wish — “When

the light of day pulls dark away, I say your

name, and I find home again.”

Copperhead’s taken their time building

a sound that takes every member’s abilities

and melds them distinctively. That Touch is

only six cuts leaves the listener anxious to

hear more. Its sonic depth and atmosphere

make for more than a casual listen, and in a

music business eager to throw everything at

the wall and see what sticks populated by a

constant string of content, holding back is a

rare and bold move.

• Mike Dunn

The Corey Hotline

Please Hold

(Self-Released)

When you start spinning Please Hold, you’ll

be greeted by the familiar phone tones of

BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 47


Deafheaven

the ‘90s, when people used to call “The

Corey Hotline” for a chance to talk to one

of the Coreys (Feldman and Haim) directly.

Popularized mainly by 14-year-old girls, this

is the perfect name for this band, due to

Mason Jenkins’ teen heart throb voice and

looks, plus the danceability of the opener,

“Lady Pistol.”

Not far into the album you’re already well

acquainted with the sing-along, windows

down, loud and proud party sound serving

you shimmies and shakes on a silver fucking

platter. Every clever throwback melody and

playful strum directs your head to sway and

tells your troubles to take a break, at least

for a minute, since you’ll need to belt out

the chorus to “Crowsnest Pass.” And if you

manage to not dance to “Red Ryder B.B.

Gun,” please see your doctor immediately.

Please Hold will not only be in your regular

playlists, but it’ll be requested, replayed

and rewound. Get ready to make a nursery

for your cool new record, because The

Corey Hotline made a banger-baby.

• Allison Dunne

Deafheaven

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

(ANTI-)

If you had to use a word to sum up the state

of today’s world, everything within the title

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is a good

choice. San Francisco’s Deafheaven have

once again crafted an absolutely epic thesis

with their fourth album, clashing mellow

reflections against aggressive guitar struts.

Even Elton John should be proud of the

piano phrase that begins the album on “You

Without End,” before the track’s spoken

lyrics expose a doomsday declaration as the

song descends into beautiful chaos. “Honeycomb”

is the album’s pillar, exploding like

a bomb with thrashing riffs before letting

48 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

you down softly on a gentle ocean wave 11

minutes later.

Deafheaven keep the contrast between

light and dark — or love and hate — within

reach throughout the record, brilliantly

playing-up quiet serenity before crushing it

with every annihilating riff that ensues.

Double kick drums pulverize your ears

on “Glint,” while “Worthless Animal” builds

tension with clean shoegaze guitar lines, but

finishes the record with heavy head-banging

distortion.

Metal fans are well aware that Deafheaven

is one of the best kept secrets around,

but Ordinary Corrupt Human Love raises

their game to an entirely new (and exciting)

level.

• Trevor Morelli

Freddie Gibbs

Freddie

(ESGN/Empire)

Hot off the heels of You Only Live 2wice

and beating the charges laid against him for

sexual abuse in Paris, Freddie Gibbs celebrates

in style with Freddie. It’s Gibbs’ most

well-structured and cohesive album to date,

perhaps with exception to the Madlib-produced

Piñata.

The sounds and samples are something

straight out of whatever ‘80s TV show

your dad watched drunk at 2 a.m. in the

basement — the fuzzy glow reflecting on

his face as he sat in a stained undershirt.

The sonic imagery is astounding, and given

Gibbs’ history of producing hard hitting

gangster-rap over boxy beats, this tape is a

milestone in the progression of sound and

aesthetic that is Freddie Gibbs.

Yet, the beats still reflect the era in which

he resides, sounding almost trappy at times.

But there’s just something about it that

makes the sound on this tape stand out,

meaning Kenny Beats has a lot to be proud

about. This album will not disappoint longtime

listeners and may even attract some

crossover appeal. One thing is for certain,

time is no obstacle for Freddie Gibbs.

• Inder Minhas

Into Eternity

The Sirens

(Century Media)

Ahoy! Here be the first release in a decade

for Regina’s progressive death metallers

Into Eternity, which also acts as their debut

with vocalist Amanda Kiernan (Edmonton’s

Order of Chaos). The Sirens rides the waves

where heavy meets epic, in a Symphony-X

meets Arch Enemy kind of fashion.

While many albums go straight for the

jugular, this one whisks you away on a journey.

It’s perfect for fans with a lust for the

melodic, yet those looking for some rough

edges won’t be left out. Blanketing the

more extreme bits are harmonies that have

a deep, moody feel, floating up and down

in tempo with a doom-ish undertone that

remains constant.

You’ll catch yourself singing along with

the murky intertwined dubs in standouts

“Devoured by Sarcopenia” and “Fringes of

Psychosis,” where Kiernan’s blend of screams

and cleans are spot on. Hell, there’s even

a song about Saskatchewan winters! Talk

about Hellish.

The Sirens is a solid summer release —

it’ll rock your socks as you glide into the

sunset.

• P. Cakes

Joey Dosik

Inside Voice

(Secretly Canadian)

When it comes to smooth jazz, it doesn’t

get much smoother than Joey Dosik’s debut

album, Inside Voice. Coming on the heels

of his two EPs, the album is a fresh and

modern spin on time-honoured musical

traditions.

Throughout Inside Voice, respectful nods

to the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter’s

musical inspirations are heard, from the

evident Marvin Gaye influence on the first

two tracks, to the gospel elements on a

kicked-up cover of Bill Withers’ “Stories.”

Right off the bat, Dosik strikes the right

balance between sensual and playful in the

title track, a song that doesn’t take itself too

seriously while seriously charming listeners.

His deep, sonorous vocals stand out against

a backdrop of soft piano, snapping fingers

and a syrupy guitar melody.

Dosik, a regular collaborator with funk

band Vulfpeck, has created an album that

will resonate with genre-veterans and fledgling

fans of jazz and soul alike.

• Emilie Charette

KEN mode

Loved

(New Damage)

“Kill Everything Now mode” is how Henry

Rollins described Black Flag’s mindset while

performing during the “My War” tour in 1984.

Winnipeg’s Juno Award winning KEN mode

proves the namesake is theirs to claim with

some of the most stress-inducing controlled

chaos to explode from the Western provinces.

Loved, their seventh studio album, is a meticulous

mass of noise and violence delivered with

the subtlety of a freight train on the CP Rail.

“We wanted tones that bash and cut, and

for you to feel that desperate part of yourself

clawing for a way out,” says frontman

Jesse Matthewson about the record. “And

then, just when things are at their most

bleak, you start to focus on what’s actually

being said, and you’ll see the humour in

absolutely everything that is transpiring

before you. THAT is Loved.”

And holy fuck does that quote track.

Eight-and-a-half-minute album standout

“No Gentle Act” is KEN mode’s strongest

self-distillation, embarking with a very

hushed yet dreadingly ominous beat and

palm-muted riff, joined by breathy, ritualistic

vocals. The instrumentation ploddingly

scratches with increasingly frantic intensity

until it all dissolves into screams of primal

madness over shear noise and saxophone

pandamonium. It rips, folks.

• Matty Hume

L’Orange & Solemn Brigman

Marlowe

(Mello Music Group)

“Are you Marlowe?” Asks the transatlantic

voice of a character from The Long Goodbye

(1973), a film that’s sampled throughout

Marlowe, where the duo consisting of

Seattle based producer L’Orange and North

Carolina rapper Solemn Brigman derive the

name of their self-titled debut. It boasts

smooth and stylish production reminiscent

of ‘60s spy thrillers, backing Brigman’s

breathless bars and spit fire choruses that

are often made colossal by L’Orange’s welltimed

drops between verses.

Marlowe shines on the stand-out track,

“Not So Paranoid,” opening with a rapid

trumpet softened by a light drum sample

and humming female vocals. Devoid of

Brigman, L’Orange goes at it alone at times

and delivers on what he’s been hinting at in

the tracks prior, bringing a sound that can

only be described as ‘The Incredibles scored

by Handsome Boy Modeling School.’ With

its welcomed familiarity, Marlowe’s 17-track

debut finds a way to stand-out from the

crowd by virtue of L’Orange and Brigman’s

exciting new partnership that will quickly

have listeners asking for more.

• Joey Lopez


Long Time No Time

First Time Full Time

(Self-Released)

First Time Full Time is the debut album

from Calgary-based five-piece horn band

Long Time No Time. As self-described music

nerds exploring pop music tropes using

jazz instruments, it’s no surprise that each

part of the album is totally unexpected.

First Time Full Time could best be described

as experimental jazz. With a foundation

in sounds akin to the traditional jazz

combo, listeners also hear lyrics that would

sound at home in a Pirate Metal band set

against a polka beat like “Not Exactly an

Overture,” and hip-hop pieces reminiscent

of Key & Peele goofs ( see “Trombone”).

Given the eclectic nature of the album,

spoken word in the form of voicemails and

band callouts is peppered throughout in

what seems like an attempt to bind the

compilation together within a comedic

theme. However, the predominance of what

seems to be inside jokes give the impression

of an album written exclusively for the band

themselves.

First Time Full Time sounds like a performance

art piece — an intellectual rather

than an emotional exercise. The risks take

in this album do amount to something new,

but it’s worth noting that the experiences

called out as repetitive by the band in

“Something New” are relatable for listeners.

• William Leurer

Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway

Dictator

(Velvet Hammer)

System of a Down fans who have been patiently

waiting for the band to release new

music can finally scratch the itch, thanks to

the sophomore Scars on Broadway album,

Dictator.

It took guitarist and founder Daron

Malakian a decade to release a second S.O.B

album, so it’s fair to say whatever band he’s

in, fans best be prepared to wait a long time

between releases. But the wait was worthwhile,

as Dictator has all the tantalizing

ingredients that gave Malakian’s previous

recordings such a creative edge.

The songs are hyper explosive rock tunes

worthy of dancing, moshing and singing

along. The short compositions are punctuated

with bursts of energy, for which Malakian

deserves much credit for, considering

he produced and performed all instrumentation

himself.

Where he really delivers is in his wittinged

songwriting, with Zappa-like humour

on “Angry Guru,” as well as exploring

the music of his Armenian heritage in

“Talkin Shit.” There’s even some Dead Kennedy-ish

punk vibes in “We Won’t Obey.”

Unsurprisingly, it all makes for a fun as hell

listen!

• Daniel Jaramillo

Mitski

Be The Cowboy

(Dead Oceans)

It was probably unfair, off the release of the

excellent Puberty 2, to hoist the burden of

‘saving indie-rock’ on Mitski’s slim shoulders.

Puberty 2 was a fantastic collection of

songs written from an interesting perspective

and Mitski cut the silhouette of an

endearing protagonist, but it didn’t reinvent

the wheel — nor is indie-rock in need of

saving. Arguing for a single individual as a

genre savior is almost always a reductive

argument. If, by chance, Mitski is to bring

indie home, it won’t be with her fifth album,

Be The Cowboy.

Because the instrumentation picks up

where Puberty 2 left off (think fuzzy guitars,

faint piano and a veneer of fuzz), the heft

of the record lies in Mitski’s songwriting,

which is far less consistent than P2. There

are no songs on Cowboy that reach the

euphoric heights of “Your Best American

Girl,” or the wrenching despondency of

“Crack Baby” and “Thursday Girl.” The closest

are lead single “Geyser” and “Two Slow

Dancers,” which bookend the unremarkable

bulk in between. Some of that filler, like the

painful “Washing Machine Heart,” seem to

force indie’s traditional quirks to the point

of inadvertent satirization. Be The Cowboy

is a passable album that’s best legacy

may be that it reset our expectations of its

creator.

• Thomas Johnson

Matt Muse

Nappy Talk

(TeamNeverStop)

Matt Muse is a name worth scribbling on

Mitski

the nearest napkin. The 25-year-old is based

in Chicago’s South Side, where he’s also a

teaching artist at Young Chicago Authors —

where Mick Jenkins, Noname and Chance

the Rapper got their start — a position

worth a few namedrops.

Nappy Talk is Muse’s follow-up to 2017’s

The SiKK Tape, and it’s the front-to-back

record your summer barbecues have been

starving for. The album is no monolith,

housing a plethora of mood and method.

What makes Nappy Talk worth the download

is Muse’s ability to recognize when to

hang in the backseat while his features take

the wheel and crank the stereo. “What You

On (feat. Mother Nature)” lackadaisically

bumps a horrorcore-esque beat under an

addictive two-vox hook. Mother Nature, a

female two-piece consisting of Klevah and

T.R.U.T.H., lay an undeniable claim to the

track through their hypnotizing complementary

skills.

“Shea Butter Baby (feat. Shawnee Dez)”

is another platinum-plated showcase of a

feature, with Dez’s soul chops over funkyas-hell

midi bends solidifying its spot with

the most versatile playlist staples. Nappy

Talk is reflective, impressive and diverse.

Don’t nap on it.

• Matty Hume

Obscura

Diluvium

(Relapse Records)

Have you ever wished Rush made the switch

to death metal? Well, while you and I wait

for Geddy Lee to brush up on his guttural

howls, Munich’s Obscura has your nerdy ass

covered.

Diluvium is humbling display of technical

skill. It’s the progressive death metal goliath’s

fifth studio album, and the rigorously

practiced quartet doesn’t waste a millisecond

of your time. “Emergent Evolution” is

BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 49


Tender Age

a strong representation Diluvium’s cosmic

glory. Beginning with what can only be the

chorus of a religion older than whenever

earth figured out the whole ‘life’ thing, it

gives way to polished shredded breakdowns

and a made-for-science-fiction hum. It’s

reflective of the entire album in terms of

impossibly fast licks, effortless fills and

daydream-level solos seemingly pulled from

the vantablack of deep space.

“Ethereal Skies” undoubtedly deserves

the most play, with its brain-sucking tempo

changes and time signature variation

made legendary by complex melodies and

syncopated drum breakdowns. For better

or worse, Diluvium will make you wish you

actually practiced that Stratocaster as much

as you said you did.

• Matty Hume

Petra Glynt

My Flag Is A Burning Rag Of Love

(Pleasence Records)

Montreal artist Alexandra Mackenzie brings

forth a new album under her musical alias,

Petra Glynt, and the electro goddess isn’t

fucking around. My Flag Is A Burning Rag Of

Love is pure protest music, a call to action.

And it’s fully locked and loaded to unveil

Mackenzie’s social agenda.

She’s developed a record that provides an

overt, open dialogue about what’s currently

ailing the world. Deeply dissecting the patriarchy,

Mackenzie is said to describe one

track, “New Growth,” as a “feminist anthem

of empowerment written in the wake of

#MeToo.”

Her voice, while operatically trained, is

pure power pop reminiscent of Madonna

mixed with a splash of Kathleen Hanna, and

the layered percussive sound is almost hypnotizing.

She wrote, recorded and produced

the record, collaborating with Alice Wilder

(M.I.A., Austra) for the mixing. A little punk

and a lot electro-pop, My Flag Is A Burning

Rag Of Love is 13 tracks of engaging progression

in both music and thought.

• Sarah Allen

Midori Takada & Lafawndah

Le Renard Bleu

(!K7 Records)

Le Renard Bleu (The Blue Fox) is Midori

Takada’s first release in 20 years, and it’s an

intriguingly innovative return to the public

eye.

The Japanese percussionist and composer

has joined forces with Lafawndah

to produce this unusual piece: a single

20-minute-long track that takes listeners on

a musical journey unlike anything before it.

Inspired by Japanese and Senegalese folk

tales about the fox — a trickster archetype

— and imbued with a feeling of mysticism,

the music beckons and draws one in with

chimes and the rising tension produced by

various percussion instruments.

The purity of Lafawndah’s lilting vocals is

breathtaking, ringing out over the heartbeat-like

drums and the ethereal tones of a

waterphone. The composition changes from

moment to moment, taking turns between

haunting and playful.

Settle in, because the piece really does

deserve one’s full attention to tease out the

intricacies of this musical voyage.

• Emilie Charette

Tender Age

Becoming Real Forever

(Sinis Recordings)

Tender Age, a five-piece Portland export,

recorded their debut full-length, Becoming

Real Forever, from a coastal cabin turned

makeshift recording studio nearby a popular

tourist spot. One can only imagine the

dichotomy of families strolling to the beach,

parasols and towels in hand, against the

manic rumbling of Tender Age’s sonification

of modern American existential ennui.

Becoming Real Forever is constantly

at odds with itself, with guitarist-vocalist

Tauna Leonardo’s howled vocals pulling at

tangled threads pertaining to the nature

of reality. Her defining vocal trait is an

apathetic drawl akin to Sonic Youth’s Kim

Gordon, reaching a fever pitch during the

record’s most manic moments. The band

is never more caustic than on “Isn’t Real,”

a noise-pop treat that ends with multiple

minutes of guitar fuzz kept grounded only

by the mechanical drumming of the band

member credited only as Olives — presumably

as referenced in “Olives’ Song,” another

album highlight tied together with a catchy,

snaking guitar riff. Though slowed by a few

moments of acoustic diversion, Tender Age

debuts with an admirable lack of abandon.

• Jason Herring

Tides of Man

Every Nothing

(A Thousand Arms)

Don’t say nothing good ever comes out of

Florida. Tampa’s instrumental, atmospheric

post-rockers Tides of Man delivered a masterful

collection of mathy and progressive

compositions.

Every Nothing sets the tone with

“Static Hymn,” an aptly titled opener that

combines a soft, echoing melody and

groove-riddled bass with diverse repetitions

and incredible swells. The album also dodges

a pigeon hole of tired post-rock by keeping

constant variation in moods and tempo.

“Far Off” begins with a digital transition

into a nature-esque soundscape of a running

stream and a lone, concert-hall-distant

piano. Its subtle instrumentation adds to a

reflective soundscape, but is immediately

followed by “Old 88” — which generates a

massive crescendo and optimistic explosion

with a tasteful splash of hardcore stylings.

Album closer “Infinite Ceiling” is a wonderfully

placed conclusion, beginning with a

slower yet technically satisfying guitar melody

and gentle background drone. A second

guitar joins, resulting in a polyphonic case

study in carefully executed post-rock. Rinse,

repeat.

• Matty Hume

Various Artists

Freedom of the Press

(Kith & Kin)

In a world filled with cries of “fake news,”

support for journalists has become something

of a rarity. Enter Freedom of the

Press, an album created in support of a

foundation of the same name that protects

journalists who do their best to speak out

against corruption and power. The album

consists entirely of tracks that were donated

by the artists.

The songs have a mellow, optimistic style

with overtones of folk and country music,

reinforced by gentle guitar strumming.

While each track was created by a different

artist, the album has the cohesive feel of

people coming together to create something

beautiful.

Music has long been a tool of resistance

and protest. Although the songs on

Freedom of the Press aren’t protest songs in

the strictest sense, they do have a tone of

hope that is, in dark times, itself a kind of

resistance.

• Emilie Charette

Violet Cold

Sommermorgen (Pt. III) - Nostalgia

(Self-Released)

You don’t have to be from San Francisco to

turn black metal into an effects-drenched

atmosphere of shoegaze and emotion.

Lay back and bask in your next obsession,

Deafheaven fans. Violet Cold is a one-man

blackgaze project, located a long swim from

Chilliwack in Baku, Azerbaijan. And the final

act in a trilogy of blackened instrumentalism,

Sommermorgen (Pt. III) - Nostalgia, is

worthy of a spot on the record shelf beside

well-kept copies of Sunbather and Lift Your

Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven.

“Weltschmerz” is a sonic adventure

through a vast range of sound, constructed

on a foundation of thoughtfully-placed

noise. It delivers the very same flavour of

My Bloody Valentine-reminiscent shoegaze

that will have you lost in an echo of your

most emotional daydreams.

Like the staples of post-metal and

blackgaze before it, Sommermorgen (Pt. III)

- Nostalgia captures a surprisingly calming

realm of audio, held high by blistering drone

and melodic distortion. Your next mood is

waiting.

• Matty Hume

50 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE


livereviews

Calgary Folk Music Festival

August 26-29, 2018

PHOTO: B. SIMM

Joe Jackson

Friday, Aug. 27

How do you introduce a legend of pop, rock, soul, and R&B? You

don’t – he introduces himself with a bang. On Friday night, Jackson

let the anticipation build and took the stage minutes late, then

immediately drew the massive crowd into his beautiful world of

diverse hits.

Bathed in blue light, Jackson sat on a stool at his piano for most

of the set. He began with solo performances of “It’s Different for

Girls” and “Is She Really Going out with Him?” Even though the

latter would’ve sounded amazing with a full band, Jackson’s voice

and power was absolutely captivating and the audience sang along

loudly to the classic song.

An emotional performance of “Real Men” from 1982’s pivotal

album Night and Day followed. Jackson leaned heavily on the

disc throughout the night, including the guitar bends of “Another

World” and the melodic piano hooks of “Breaking Us in Two.”

Other highlights included the hip-shaking grooves of “Cha Cha

Loco”, the funky guitar licks of “You Can’t Get What You Want (‘Till

You Know What You Want)” and the soothing, starry-eyed anthem

“Be My Number Two.”

Despite a minor technical issue with the bass drum mic – which

the singer calmly addressed but didn’t obsess over – Jackson’s show

was a fantastic kaleidoscope of music that demonstrated he still has

a lot of gas left in the tank.

•Trevor Morelli

PHOTO: MICHAEL GRONDIN

Sudan Archives

Friday, Aug. 27

The Cincinnati raised, LA-based, self-taught violinist whose

eclectic mix of electronic beats, classical and North African music

was highly anticipated by a large crowd gathering in front of one

of the festival’s side stages. Sudan Archives, real name Brittany

Parks, strolled out and quietly set up her instruments, pedals and

assorted digital equipment without any audience interaction. She

switched on the beats to a relaxed pattern and slid into a dynamic

solo set moving from a trippy sway of fresh melody with gentle

wordplay to soaring bursts of vocal power then digging in and

driving the electronic violin.

Dressed in a black, body-tight top with matching full-flair pants,

she donned a pair of purple wireframes bridging past and present

with a single stroke of elegance – a chic, high-priestess with gold

forearm bracelets and another gold metal-leather headband

sitting like a crown in her massive afro. The music matched the visuals

with Parks holding court speaking occasionally, singing softly

with soothing melody, then unleashing her thunder and glory

with voice and violin, briefly shredding it like some Scandinavian

metal god, and relishing the moment as a small grin crept across

her face. Uplifting and intoxicating, the front line of dancers were

in a trace-like drift calling her back for a well-deserved encore.

•B. Simm

Shovels & Rope

Neko Case

Sunday, Aug. 29

On Sunday night at Calgary Folk Fest, the audience was treated to

two of this century’s most celebrated female roots vocalists. First

up, Shovels & Rope delivered an anarchic set of unbridled, raw rock

n’ roll. Unadorned and exceptional in its minimalism, Cary Ann

Hearst and Michael Trent kicked it hard from the drop, with Hearst

starting out on a meagre drum kit and synth to fill out the spaces

where bass might be, while Trent dig into a black Gibson 175. It was

kind of like what peering into a roadside barroom for the earliest

glimpses of rock n’ roll might have felt like. Hearst’s voice is full

country soul, an instrument that is immediately identifiable, and

whether she was singing harmony to Trent’s midrangey city twang

or vice versa, their voices, Hearstms gritty timbre, full of sass and

heart really stands out. There felt like two shows going on, while up

close near the front Hearst and Trent were all full blast punk energy,

but from a distance, the harmonies, with the extra instrumentation

and the space that distance provides, they sounded like a more

definitive representation of Americana music, that acoustic and

beat driven sound of the south, Texas, upstate New York, BlueBerry

Hill in St. Louis, and California all at once.

Neko Case might be one of the best examples of artistic progression

over the 20 years of her recording career. Possibly the most

versatile female vocalist in the vanguard of the alt-country movement

of the nineties, with regards to Lucinda Williams and Gillian

Welch, Case has deftly manoeuvred through a number of styles,

from back porch country and folk, to more of an alt-rock vibe over

her last several releases. The latter style was where she chose to put

together her show from last night, with large helpings of her most

recent album, Hell-On, and from her (so far) finest album, 2008’s

Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. Over her hour-plus set, Case’s

voice soared through the park like a siren, at one point climaxing

in a three-part lady harmony joined with steel and organ to hit the

longest possible blazing vocal part of the festival.

Case has a sound live that expands on her records rather than

merely playing the parts, and hearing her up close with her female

vocal accompanists drew a mental idea of what a The Byrds might

have sounded like had they been women coming through the age

of punk rock.

That we’ve been able to see both Case, and acts like Shovel &

Rope grow into iconoclastic careers, working artists who chose their

own paths rather than cave to the temptations of moving into the

cookie-cutter cheese factory of bland pop, is what makes folk music

what it’s become. It’s not just and acoustic and harmonica troubadour

thing anymore, although that has its place and can be done

brilliantly. The folk music scene today has the benefit of a century’s

worth of pop music to draw from, and the grace of knowledgeable

audiences who can accept the variations and additions to the

form. That we were able to see so much of it in one place, as well

as all our pals, and make some new buds too over four days at the

Calgary Folk Music Festival, well that’s our good fortune.

•Mike Dunn

BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 51


AUGUST HOROSCOPES

Messages from the Stars: A look into the cycles and cosmic details of an unfolding forevermore,

paired with a song suggestion curated for your sign

Aries (March 21 - April 20) Transforming emotions and working

towards your destiny with rigour and temperance. There is an

integration into a faster moving time of greater details and transformative

shifts. The changes that need to be made in your home and

relationships close to you are being illuminated. Your career is stabilizing

and your commitment to your dreams are being affirmed.

You know you can do better and are choosing to do so. There is a

sense of feeling stifled in certain relationships and situations; feel

empowered to make the changes that you need to but take the

time to get to know why you are feeling the way you do about

them. Do they need to change or do you? The more you sit with the

situations that are aggravating you and work through them framed

with love, the more sustainable the future will be.

Song suggestion for the month: “So Many Details”- Toro y Moi

Taurus (April 21 - May 21) You have been working on your

patterns, your self talk and the importance of your communication.

It may feel increasingly important to talk to your family during this

period, may it be your birth family or your chosen family of friends.

You have let go of some necessary connections to cleanse your

life and regenerate. You are in a place of redirecting so you may

feel the power of connecting to situations that connect you to a

larger purpose. Affirmations in your creative life and interpersonal

relationships have been flowing in harmoniously, enjoy the smooth

transits in this area. Be okay that some relationships aren’t clear to

you yet, allow things to take a natural pace as dynamics shift and

quicken. Respect yourself and liberate yourself as certain energies

feel unsettled or challenging. There is a newness flowing into your

life that carries an important charge for your future, put in the effort

with intention and believe in your magic.

Song suggestion for the month: “Reflections After Jane” -The

Clientele

Gemini (May 22 - June 21) What is leaving and what is flowing in,

especially when it comes to your finances and how you support

yourself. It may not be the place you are interested to focus your

attention but changing your relationship with money and abundance

will create greater confidence and stability. This attention to

detail in the realm of finances influences a welcomed shift in your

personal power and feeling grounded. There may be a shift in what

you are interested in doing for your career and with your work. Look

at the meaning your work does or doesn’t bring to your life and

how energy is moving through this part of your life. Do you need

to reframe the ways in which you offer your talents and resources?

Examine and edit the details of your life and enjoy the pleasure and

deep fulfillment this will bring. Increase your joy through sensual

experiences and expansive relationships. Pull into focus what creates

fun and play.

Song suggestion for the month: “Daibutsu”- Sunbeam Sound

Machine

BY WILLOW HERZOG

Cancer (June 22 - July 23) You are surrounded by a number of

people with power, influence and vision looking to collaborate or

share experience. You are being asked to look at your inner worth

and realign with the transformative energies that are escalating. Uranus

is bringing about change and instability so get ready for some

surprises. There could be some healing in the places you call home

and with the people you call family. Be brave, speak from your heart

and witness with who you feel most receptive and nourished. Be

careful with your finances this cycle and set away some extra with

what you bring in this month. There may be some new connections

on your radar, or new ways of seeing certain connections, feel open

to exploring these as you feel called and moved to. There has been

a sense of feeling the call to hermit, make sure to balance this with

the power of shared communication and creativity. Bring light and

beauty into your life with all things Venus, carving out time for

things that please the aesthetic senses and expand the heart.

Song suggestion for the month: “Bennington” -John Maus

Leo (July 24 - Aug. 23) You have been looking at your priorities

and organizing your responsibilities. There is a sense of compassion

paired with intellect as you sort through the affairs that surround

and create your life. Some situations in your life are asking you

to sort the facts, stay detached for self preservation and move

forward. Be open to conversations that may feel emotional and do

your best to stay objective and rational as tempers may flare. Shed

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the layers that no longer suit the structures of your life and allow

new energetic imprints to strengthen. Sun is in your sign babe and

there is a sense of expansion and vitality that accompanies it. Tap

into envisioning the future and allow things to open in the realm of

your career in a way that keeps a malleability present. Your career

life is receiving new energy and you are the one who acts as the

tool for that work. Be receptive to change, fun and expansion.

Song suggestion for the month: “Past Lives”- DIIV

Virgo (Aug. 24 - Sept. 23) Enjoy the satisfaction of

how you have worked hard to create stability and

balance. There will be some new energies and opportunities

to work with, so pay attention and leave space

for who is around you that aligns with your mission.

Look into the way you speak to yourself. How do you

disconnect when you could be connecting? Take a

honest check in with your self worth and ask yourself

if you are loving yourself as deeply as you could be for

your ultimate nourishment. Stay on top of the details as

there are many people counting on you. Give yourself

the space to nourish and relax amongst the intensity of

your work routine. There is a mixture of smooth sailing

and turbulence in your work life coming up so be ready

to adapt and consider new ways of working. Tune into

what brings you hope and beauty.

Song suggestion for the month: “Zebra” - Beach House

Libra (Sept. 24 - Oct. 23) Babe, there are some natural

shifts happening that will activate some great changes.

It’s a mix of initiation and putting yourself out there to

make happen what you wish for in your career. Your

professional life is transforming situations around you

thanks to the power of Pluto. Pluto is power and its energies

may be destructive; a rebirth may be happening

with your work. Pluto is a planet that manifests quickly,

so use the added energy to clear and move forward.

Your networks are getting a rinse out, a magnification.

It’s a time to enjoy the energy of lovers, social

engagements, new relationships and to dissolve into

the unknown. Who have you been connected to? Your

supportive network is going through some changes,

take time to check in with how your community is feeling.

Shock waves of the summer will be riding strong

into the Autumn, take time for honest reflection and

check in with the truth of situations.

Song suggestion for the month: “Old Heads” - Chad

VanGaalen

Scorpio (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) You are an alchemist, have

you been using your power of impact wisely? There is

a journey of potency that has been brewing for awhile

now and you continue to deepen into its layers. The

potency is occuring in your career, close relationships

and family life. Be clear with your intentions and boundaries as

there is potential for things to get a little foggy. What forces are

guiding you, check in with how you empower yourself and when

you doubt the goodness of your reality. Some old emotional

patterns may come up as you crave solidifying support within your

closest connections. Tap into what brings harmony into your life

and find positive creative outlets for sadness that may come up this

cycle. There is a deep refreshing message about your healing as well

as situations that test your self worth. Take time to love yourself

deeper this cycle. Gratitude, grounding and good times will balance

all the potency that infuses this passage of astrology.

Song suggestion for the month: “Planet Caravan” - Black Sabbath

Sagittarius (Nov. 23 - Dec. 21) Merging and learning, how do

you share resources, ideas and finances? There is a deepening in

your understanding of how you navigate your experiences around

transactions between you and another. Sharing your trust in a way

that keeps you safe but growing is something that is coming up

for you. How much to share and with who while keeping an eye

on malleable openness. How sustainable are you being with your

resources and assets? You may need to look at finances a little more

closely to make sure you are learning all the lessons you should be

PHOTO: MIKE TAN

in this area. There could be travel plans that are coming up for you

that will influence your long term plans and integrate valuable life

lessons. Time seems to be warping in a way that is both fast and

slow for you as you rethink your trajectory. What are you putting

out into the world? There is a sense of being an agent of change,

see what speaks to you and do the work for the collective. It is a

charged time to communicate, publish and speak up. Life feels full of

interactions and connection come August so take time to integrate

relaxation into your schedule as you feel out the fullness of being

active and social.

Song suggestion for the month: “Said so What” - French Kicks

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 20) The balance of the solo trip

and making time for aligned committed partnerships. It feels

as if the need to validation outside oneself is lessening but

the desire for true companionship is strengthening. The stage

is being set to move the gears into motion towards a bigger

plan for your life. You have gone into the depths of your being

and are integrating the pieces back together to create a new

picture. You are searching for partnership that allows you to

be seen for the changing, intricate and loving being that you

are. You are tapping into a reserve of power that

will continue to gently accumulate, where is this

power flowing and what are you applying it to?

There is support with your public roles infused

with the luck of Jupiter and beauty of Venus.

What do you want to pursue with your flow

state, get serious about it and believe in it. Pay

close attention to your dreams as inspiration is

flowing in the ether and looking to materialize in

the physical.

Song suggestion for the month: “The Trip” - Still

Corners

Aquarius (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) The experiences

are multi-layered this cycle, allowing a death of

certain parts within yourself to dissolve and certain

parts to intensify. There is rapid growth for

you personally and the community you connect

to. Look at how you connect to work projects

and cultural movements with impact. You are

aligned with the movers and shakers of social

change, what waves are you looking to create

with your momentum? Keep an eye on health

this cycle and keep up foundational habits that

are key to helping you feel your energetic best.

Your workload is sizable and the energy it requires

is strong. It is key to take space to decompress

and tap into pleasure, feel the energy of

the sun to recharge. There are some important

relationships in your sphere of influence right

now, enjoy the vitality created through multiple

charged connections.

Song suggestion for the month: “Are You With

Me Now?”- Cate le Bon

Pisces (Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) What are you moving

forward with that brings greater alignment into

your life. Do your actions line up with your

dreams? Your creative life energy is increasing

and transforming your reality in a number of

life affirming ways. Move with your life in the

ways it wants to move and shift, be open to

meeting new people and connecting to new

collaborations. Your work life is up for review of

the details, getting paperwork in order, manifesting visions for

the future and reorganizing your time structures. You may be

asked to strengthen your professionalism in your work projects.

Strong psychic messages could be coming to you, flashes

of insight and conversations that allow you to reclaim your energy.

Be open to the exchanges that feel natural and intuitive.

You are connecting more and more to larger transformational

structures and powerful groups of people. Find your place

within the communities you make space for and allow yourself

the time to flourish and realign.

Song suggestion for the month: “Ding Dong Thing” - Felix Laband

BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 53


SAVAGE LOVE

Differences

I’m gay and have been dating a guy for 10 months. He’s great overall,

and I would say for the most part we both want it to work out. But I

am having a problem with his friends and other lifestyle choices. All

of his friends are straight, and almost all of them are women. All of

my friends have always been gay men, like me, so I find this strange.

I don’t have any problem with women, but I don’t hang out with any

women, and neither do most of my friends. He makes dinner plans

for us with his straight friends almost every week, and I grin and

bear it. They’re always old coworkers, so the whole conversation is

them talking about old times or straighty talk about their children.

It’s incredibly boring. He’s met my friends, and he likes some of them

but dislikes others. It’s obvious that he is not comfortable relating to

gay men, generally speaking. He does not seem knowledgeable about

gay history or culture. For example, he strongly dislikes drag queens

and never goes to gay bars. There is one woman in particular he

makes dinner for every Friday night. It’s a standing date that he’s only

occasionally been flexible about changing to accommodate plans for

the two of us. Now he’s planning a weeklong vacation with her. When

he first mentioned this trip, he asked if I would want to spend a week

camping. I said no, because I don’t like camping. He immediately went

forward with planning it with her. I’m pretty sure the two of them had

already hatched this plan, and I don’t think he ever really wanted me

to go. I think it’s WEIRD to want to go camping for an entire week

with some old lady. He does other weird things, too, like belonging to

a strange new-age church, which is definitely at odds with my strongly

held anti-religious views. He has asked me to attend; I went once, and

it made me EXTREMELY uncomfortable. The fact that I didn’t like it

just turned into a seemingly unsolvable problem between us. He says

I’m not being “supportive.” I need some advice on how to get past my

intense feelings of aversion to the weirdness. How can I not let our

differences completely destroy the relationship?

—Hopelessly Odd Man Out

Differences don’t have to destroy a relationship. Differences can

actually enhance and help sustain a relationship. But for differences

to have that effect, HOMO, both partners have to appreciate each

other for their differences. You don’t sound appreciative—you

sound contemptuous. And that’s a problem.

According to Dr. John Gottman of the Gottman Institute (a research

institution dedicated to studying and strengthening marriages and

other interpersonal relationships)—who says he can accurately

predict divorce in 90 percent of cases—contempt is the leading

predictor of divorce. “When contempt begins to overwhelm your

relationship, you tend to forget entirely your partner’s positive

qualities,” he writes in Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. Contempt,

Gottman argues, destroys whatever bonds hold a couple together.

You’ve been together only 10 months, HOMO, and you’re not

married, but it sounds like contempt has already overwhelmed your

relationship. It’s not just that you dislike his friends, you’re contemptuous

of them; it’s not just that you don’t share his spiritual beliefs,

you’re contemptuous of them; it’s not just that his gayness is expressed

in a different-than-yours-but-still-perfectly-valid way, you’re

contemptuous of him as a gay man. Because he doesn’t watch

Drag Race or hang out in gay bars. Because he’s got a lot of female

friends. Because he’s happy to sit and talk with his friends about

their kids. (There’s nothing “straighty” about kid conversations. Gay

parents take part in those conversations, too. And while we’re in this

parenthesis: I can’t understand why anyone would waste their time

actively disliking drag queens. But being a gay male correlates more

strongly with liking dick than it does with liking drag.)

This relationship might work if you were capable of appreciating the

areas where you two overlap—your shared interests (including your

shared interest in each other)—and content to let him go off and

enjoy his friends, his new-age church, and his standing Friday-night

dinner date. A growing body of research shows that divergent

interests + some time away from each other + mutual respect =

long-term relationship success. You’re missing the “mutual respect”

part—and where this formula is concerned, HOMO, two out of

three ain’t enough.

Here’s how it might look if you could appreciate your differences:

You’d do the things you enjoy doing together—like, say, each

other—but on Friday nights, he makes dinner for his bestie and

you hit the gay bars with your gay friends and catch a drag show.

You would go on vacations together, but once in a while he’d go

on vacation with one of his “straighty” friends, and once in a while

you’d go on vacation with your gay friends. On Sundays, he’d go to

woo-woo church and you’d sleep in or binge-watch Pose. You’d be

happy to let him be him, and he’d be happy to let you be you—and

together the two of you would add up to an interesting, harmonious,

compelling “we.”

But I honestly don’t think you have it in you.

P.S. I have lots of straight friends, and I’m a parent, and sometimes

I talk with other parents about our children, and I rarely go to gay

bars, and I haven’t gotten around to watching Pose yet, or the most

recent season of Drag Race, for that matter. It’s devastating to learn,

after all these years and all those dicks, that I’m terrible at being gay.

P.P.S. If a straight person told you, “I don’t have any problem with

gay men, but I don’t hang out with any gay men, and neither do

most of my friends,” you’d think they had a problem with gay men,

right?

I have a very sexy German boyfriend, and he is not circumcised. His

otherwise beautiful dick is a problem. It smells—sometimes a little,

sometimes it really stinks. After he showers, the smell is still there. He

says he uses only water. Is there a better way to wash an uncircumcised

penis? Can he use some kind of soap?

—Girl Asks Gay4 Grooming Intervention Near Genitals

Yes, GAGGING, there is a better way: He needs to wash that

thing with motherfucking SOAP. If the soap he’s got is irritating

the head of his penis or the inside of his foreskin, he needs to try

other soaps until he finds one that cleans his dick without causing

irritation. And you should make allowing that otherwise beautiful

German dick anywhere near you contingent upon him learning

how to clean it properly. There’s no excuse for stank-ass dick.

On the Lovecast,

a biblical recipe for abortion: savagelovecast.com

mail@savagelove.net

@fakedansavage on Twitter

ITMFA.org

BY DAN SAVAGE

54 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE


ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 57


58 | AUGUST 2018 • BEATROUTE

ROCKPILE


ROCKPILE BEATROUTE • AUGUST 2018 | 59

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