BeatRoute Magazine AB Edition December 2018

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

Currently BeatRoute’s AB edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton (by S*A*R*G*E), Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120



10years strong

The Dudes • Tunic • Raygun Cowboys • Anna Morgan • Joel & Bill Plaskett • Tyler the Creator


Friday December 7th

Yvette (Album Release)

I am The Mountain

Heather May

Saturday December 8th

Palomino’s annual Toy Drive for

Women’s Center of Calgary with

Bad Animal, The Torchettes, The

Corey Hotline, Lashes, Scratch

Buffalo and Poke the Bear

Friday December 14th

Tunic (Winnipeg)


Polly Dactic


Saturday December 15th

Sled Island Gong Show, hosted

by John Frosst. Participants

compete in front of our panel of

judges for one of several

great prizes.

Thursday December 20th

The Canadian Association of

Medical Teams Abroad (CAMTA)

mission to Ecuador Fundraiser

with the Varmoors, Landos and


Friday December 21st

Annual Sock Hop for the Alpha

House! With Vanta, Streetlight

Saints, Des Arcs, Palliser,

No Brainer, Pill Crusher, Strip

Mall and more! Admission is a

new pair of socks, underwear,

gloves, toque or toiletries or a $15


Saturday December 22nd

Beatroute Annual Holiday Party

with Port Juvee, Le Plaisir,

Body Lens, The Allovers, Old

Apartments, Window Lamp,

Foldhed, Teenage Bed and

Smokes. Let’s Go

Wednesday December 26th Doors 10:30pm / Free

Source Annual Boxing Day Party

The Real Sickies

The Shiverettes

Friday December 28th

The Night Terrors

Artificial Seasons

KV Raucous

Green Tailfeathers

Saturday December 29th


Natural Twenty and guests

Monday December 31st

Rangers Supports Club of

Calgary Presents: Another

“Bang-Up” British New Years

Monday December 31st

New Years Eve Celebration

Melted Mirror, Tommy Grimes,

Sunglaciers, Child Actress,

Uncanny Valley, Ig Bo Lyn,

Amy Nelson and more!

*Advance tickets at Sloth Records or


Friday January 4th

Crack The Lens

The Frontiers

Dane and guests

Saturday January 5th

Locutus (LP Release)

Monolith AB and guests

Saturday January 12th

Harlo’s Birthday Bash!

Mandible Klaw


and more

Saturday January 19th

Primitive Man




109 7TH AVE SW

403 532 1911



COVER 30-36

Market collective


FILM 15-18

BeatRoute’s Best Of 2018, Black Christmas, Season’s

Bleedings, Vidiot


rockpile 21-28

Boney M., Crooked Spies, The Dude’s Christmas,

Black Phoenix Orchestra, One Bad Son, Tunic, Season’s

Greetings Mohkintsis vol. 1

edmonton extra 39-40

Raygun Cowboys, Sparrow Blue, Arlo Maverick,

Ayla Brook and the Soundmen

jucy 42-43

Anna Morgan, Greazus, The Funk Hunters, Let’s

Get Jucy

roots 45-47

The O’Pears, Joel & Bill Plaskett

shrapnel 49-51

12 Days Of Metalmas, W.M.D, Stab.Twist.Pull,

Best Metal of 2018, Month in Metal


Tyler the Creator, Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred

Snitzer Orchestra, and much more...

horoscopes 61

savage love 62



Brad Simm

Marketing Manager

Glenn Alderson

Event Coordinator

Colin Gallant

Production Coordinator

Hayley Muir

Web Producer

Masha Scheele

Social Media Coordinator

Miguel Morales

Section Editors

Arts :: Brad Simm

Theatre/Books :: Tim Ford

Film :: Morgan Cairns

Rockpile :: Christine Leonard

Edmonton Extra :: Mike Dunn

Comedy :: Tony Binns

Jucy :: Paul Rodgers

Roots/Jazz :: Trevor Morelli

Shrapnel :: Christine Leonard

Collecting Detective :: David Daley

Horoscopes :: Willow Herzog

Contributing Writers

Alix Bruch • Emilie Charette • Sarah Mac •

Michael Grondin • Gareth Jones • Mathew Silver

• Kevin Bailey • Hayley Pukanski • Nicholas

Laugher • Arnaud Sparks • Brittney Rousten •

Breanna Whipple • Alex Meyer • Jay King •

Mike Dunn • Shane Sellar • Kaje Annihilatrix •

Dan Savage • Sarah Allen • William Leurer •

Jessie Foster • Jamie Campbell • Trevor Hatter •

Brenna Whipple • Trevor Morelli • Logan Peters •

Fredy Belland • Stepan Soroka • Daniel Jaramillo •

Trevor Campbell • Ana Krunic • Graeme Wiggins

• Torry Rosso • Judah Schulte • Vaughn Turnbull •

Sean Orr • Josh Wood • Daniel Robichaud •

Heath Fenton • Chad Martin • Cole Parker •

Craig Douglas • Graham King• Maryam Azizli •

Shelby Gray • Philip Clarke •

Art Director: Jennie Big Kitty

Graphic Design: Nicole Bruce

Cover Art

Nicole Bruce


Ron Goldberger

Tel: (403) 607-4948 • e-mail:


Calgary, Edmonton,

Banff, Canmore and Lethbridge

SARGE Distribution in Edmonton

Shane Bennett (780) 953-8423




Connect with

Copyright © BEATROUTE Magazine 2018

All rights reserved. Reproduction of the contents

is prohibited without permission.



The Nutcracker - Alberta Ballet

Acclaimed as one of Canada’s finest renderings and celebrated

as a delightfully traditional depiction, Edmund Stripe’s

The Nutcracker celebrates its 10th anniversary this season.

Opulent and historically authentic, this magical turn-ofthe-century

retelling of E.T.A. Hoffman’s famous tale is

transposed to Imperialist Russia’s majestic era, when French

fashion was in vogue and Tchaikovsky composed his timeless

masterpiece. The Nutcracker features a cast of more than

120 performers. With equally sumptuous sets and costumes

designed by Emmy Award winner Zack Brown, Alberta Ballet’s

incomparable The Nutcracker offers your entire family a

festive and glittering evening.

Hosted on Monday, December 24, 2018 at The Southern

Jubilee Auditorium tickets are avaliable through ticketmaster.

For more information on the performance follow the @

AlbertaBallet on Facebook

5th Annual ACAD Film Fest

Horse Club presents the 5th Annual ACAD Film Fest. The

event is hosted at The Globe Cinema on Wednesday, Dec.

5, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The evening will include

a screening showcasing various short films and animations

created by ACAD students, staff and alumni.

Admission is free and all are welcome! Popcorn and beverages

will be available at the Globe Cinema bar and concessions

for purchase.

Sled Island Gong Show

Sled Island is hosting a super fun, weird talent show. If you

have a bizarre or surprising talent, then you’ll be a fit at the

Sled Island Gong Show on December 15, 2018 at The Palomino

Smokehouse and Social Club. Bonus: It’s a Sled Island


Participants will compete in front of a panel of completely

unqualified judges for one of several great prizes, including

Sled Island 2019 Discovery Plus Passes. Hosted by John Frosst.


Anyone can enter! All you need to do is complete a short

submission form to be considered. Successful submissions

will be notified ahead of the event date.

For more information, and submission details head to Sled

Islands Facebook page.

Palomino’s Annual Toy Drive for

Women’s Center of Calgary

It’s the one time of the year when local bands donate their

talent for one special night. The Palomino’s annual Toy

Drive for Women’s Center of Calgary is joined by guests Bad

Animal, The Torchettes, The Corey Hotline, Lashes, Scratch

Buffalo and Poke the Bear.

Hosted at The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club on

Saturday December 8th, 2018 and doors open at 8:00 p.m.

The price of admission to enjoy two floors of great music is

one unopened toy for a child, a gift card for teen or something

cool for a tween. Be Creative!

Last year, over 4,000 women and children accessed the Toy

Room program. So come down and support a good cause.

Story Party Calgary

True Dating Stories

At Story Party you will hear true dating stories that will make

you feel better because it could be worse. Story Party has

toured over 50 countries because the dating struggle is real,

worldwide. You’ll hear stories about ghosting, unwanted pictures,

splitting the bill, cat-fishing, heart-break, and “I can’t

believe these are true stories” from professional storytellers.

The award winning Story Party Tour has played to sold out

audiences all over the world. You’ve had enough coffee dates

to master the art of fake laughing. Now go to the show and

laugh for real.

Hosted at Koi On Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15 at

7 p.m. tickets can be purchased through the @StoryParty-

Tour Facebook page.



PinBar Holiday Pop-Up Market

The gift that keeps on given’r

The holidays are the season that put the maul in shopping, so

the off-the-beaten track artisanal markets have become the

savvy consumer’s go-to when it comes to taking the stress out of

buying for that special someone. Presenting the PinBar Holiday

Market -- the answer to your Pop Up! prayers. This year the venerable

venue is inviting you to skip parking-lot purgatory and food

court free-for-alls and enjoy some exclusive shopping opportunities

while enjoying some hot games and cool beverages.

“Holiday markets are a good way to support local crafts people,

who don’t necessarily have a brick and mortar location. So, we

are setting up a few of our friends in the front space at PinBar to

showcase their wares,” says GM Arlen Smith. “It’s a good way to

shop local and support the very small crafts people as they often

spend countless hours making items and have very few arenas to

showcase [them in].”

Running from 11am-5pm on Sunday, Dec. 9, the pinball spot’s

Pop Up! will feature vendors including Twinbat Sticker Company,

mo-Shelly, Grow Kids Co. and Freehand Leather. The family-friendly

afternoon will serve up a selection unique items along with their

usual array of amazing machines and lunch menu that’ll have the

kids flipping out. And you can play all day for only $10 a person or

$20 for a family of four!

“Everyone loves to buy local, yeah? Well, this market is particularly

cool cuz it’s all local businesses! Plus we’ve got something for


Cory Martens of Twinbat confirms. “This one is really good for

the weirdos. Cool handmade gifts that you won’t find anywhere

else! Twinbat will be offering neat last minute Xmas presents like

pop culture votive candles and printed record tote bags! Twin-

by Christine Leonard

bat Coffee or Tea is always a great gift for the coffee snob/tea

hippie on your list! We’ll also be taking orders for custom one-off


When hunting for the ideal token of your esteem is this easy,

the most difficult part of your day might be dropping clues about

what’s on your own personal wish list.

“I’m pretty straight forward and just leave direct hints,” says

Smith. “I’m a fan of sock monkeys and leather goods. Who doesn’t

love a handmade wallet or belt?”

And, then there’s always the gift that fits everyone – gift cards

for the indecisive will be available from PinBar and some of the

participating vendors.

PinBar Holiday Pop Up! Market runs 11am-5pm Dec. 9 at PinBar.

Cory and Arlen will waiting with a warm welcome!

Pinbar’s living room. Did we not say cozy?

PHOTO: Bailey Gringas-Hamilton



17th Ave Thrift

charity for animal shelters gets a big, warm welcome

Sue Ghebari - 17th Ave Thrift

At the end of July, Sue Ghebari opened the

doors of 17thAve Thrift after working in

the supermarket world for 34 years. Ghebari,

and a business partner at the time who had

extensive thrift shop experience, sparked an

idea of combining thrifting with charity. Although

Ghebari dreamed of opening her own

animal shelter, the task was overwhelming for

her alone. By opening a thrift store, she could

create a new rewarding business and also

direct some funding towards rescue operations

for animals. It was a start-up that came

surprisingly easily.

“It was just incredible how everything just

seemed to work out without really trying,”

Ghebari says. “From start to finish we were

up and running within two months. That included

the renovation of our space, which was

a complete mess when we moved in. Glass

was everywhere, the carpet was damaged

from water and you could smell the mildew.

Everything had to be torn out and we had to

start fresh.”

Many animal shelters struggle with boarding

fees, health costs, training fees, and basic

necessities. With a limited number of foster

families available to take in these animals,

shelters are stuck with racking up kenneling

fees which is a huge concern along with the

vet bills. Knowing that some large charities

have turned into a profiting, self-satisfying

business, Ghebari ensures that her business

never loses sight of what’s most important.


By Chantel Belisle


“We focus mostly on the underfunded

shelters out there such as ARF, the Meow

Foundation, the Alice Sanctuary and Robin’s

Refuge, which is a one woman show. I’ve met

her and she is a fantastic lady and she does it

all on her own with support from the public.”

The surrounding neighbourhood is Killarney,

which is incredibly dog-friendly. Since

opening, Ghebari noticed how welcoming the

community has been, often bringing car loads

of items to donate and expressing their desire

to support shelters.

“Throughout the renovations we put up a

sign in the window saying ‘Opening Soon’ and

everyday you would see people walk by and

look in. When we were finally open, we’d get a

lot of ‘Oh, I’ve been waiting for you to open!’”

The store allows furry little friends to come

in and shop with their owners, and may even

get a special treat at the counter.

“We have had the best response from

people, there are so many animal lovers in

our city. The people have been incredibly supportive

and welcoming. People are more than

happy to donate perfectly wonderful items,

new items, and they are so excited to do it!

Calgarians are just so giving,” says Ghebari


17th Ave Thrift Store is located at 2631 - 17 Ave.

SW. While they accept a wide range of donations,

they do not take furniture. However, you’re more

than welcome to bring your dog for a visit.


a guidebook for the creative entrepreneur

By Jordan Yeager

Craft fairs are not just for your grandma

anymore (but hey, she’s still invited). When

Jenna Herbut and her brother Chandler started

their modern take on the classic makers market,

Make It!, in 2008, it was their goal to make craft

fairs appealing to people from all walks of life –

grandparents, 20-somethings, and grandchildren


As a student in 2004, Herbut started her first

business: Booty Beltz. Eventually, Booty Beltz

— belts made of scarves with easy-to-wear

fasteners — were sold in 120 stores across Canada,

the United States and Japan. Herbut also

peddled them at craft fairs around the country.

It was at these markets that she noticed a trend.

“The fairs were quite traditional, the customers

were a bit older, and I was in my 20s,” says

Herbut. “So I thought if the vibe was different

– if the marketing was fresh and appealed to

people my own age – you would get a whole

different demographic coming in.”

Herbut decided to go for it and put on a small

market in Edmonton. Ten years later, the creator-driven

exhibition has grown from 25 booths

to more than 215 vendors selling their wares at

the bi-annual shows that take place in Vancouver,

Edmonton and Calgary. Herbut has been at

the helm of it all, eventually letting Booty Beltz

“die a slow death” as she focused instead on the

Make It! project, which was “a bigger adventure.”

“With business, sometimes people fail

because they’re playing too small,” she says. “It’s

no different than a breakup. You fall in love, you

open your heart, you give yourself to something,

and sometimes it doesn’t work out. But you

grieve it, you mourn it, and then you move on.”

For any up-and-coming creators or entrepreneurs

who have the energy but aren’t sure

exactly where to channel it, Herbut has written

a book called, appropriately, “Make It Happen.”

The book is essentially a guide for people who

were in her position all those years ago: people

navigating the business world for the first time

who “have no idea what the hell” they’re doing.

She’s noticed a trend in young creators who

may hold back from pursuing their goals for fear,

both of failure and of success.

Herbut will be selling copies of her book at each

upcoming Make It! Market. Catch her in Calgary

Dec. 6-9 at Deerfoot City 901- 64 Ave. NE.


Collecting Detective

Vintage Postcards: the iPhones 100 years ago


BY David Daley

ostcards are the perfect collectible: they’re cheap, plentiful

and don’t take up much space. They span the entire

20th century and have a multitude of features for collectors

to concentrate on. Pretty much everything under the sun is

represented in them so if you have any interests at all you can

find it in postcard collecting. I know what you’re thinking and

yes, I can assure you, even that can be found on old postcards.

Many were sent through the mail so they also have the added

dimension of a personal message as well as dated cancellation

marks over the postage stamp.

These ephemeral collectibles once excited and captured the

imaginations of millions of people in the early 20th century

and fired-up a new media explosion, the results of which we’re

still seeing today. Postcards were the iPhones of 1909, complete

with their own memes like the lolcat shown here. Although

it may seem outdated and obsolete to us now, the postcard

collecting craze was the product of an era undergoing more

disruptive technological and social changes than we are today.

With an estimated one billion cards made each year in North

America alone during the boom, lots of cards remain for collectors

and enthusiasts to cherish and interpret today.

Postcards fall into three basic eras which also relate to how

they were made. The early days were dominated by the lithograph

postcard which was an engraved steel or stone block

print which allowed the cards to be mass-produced cheaply.

At the same time, real-photo-postcards or RPPCs were being

made which were actually photographic prints. These were

produced in fewer numbers and have all the qualities that photo

collectors value. RPPCs were produced by publishing companies

and were also home-made with new photo technology

available to the general public when the people were getting

into making and sharing their own images. Sound familiar?

In the 1930s a type of card called linens were introduced

which were basically lithograph cards with a textured surface

made to imitate a linen textile weave. These tend to have

loud colours and less image detail. Later cards are the ones

we still see at tourist attractions today – the photochrome or

“chrome” postcard. These came into use in the 1950s and give

us all the tacky images collectors now love so much.

Postcards have never been easier to collect. They’re plentiful

at thrift stores and flea markets and collectors with a specific

interest can search online auction and retail sites like eBay or

Delcampe to help find their topic. Just be careful to not get

ripped off by hidden fees or overpay for shipping costs when

buying online. Because so many were produced, postcards are

endlessly collectible. Given the wide variety, finding a collecting

niche can really turn up the heat on the thrill of the hunt

and make it more satisfying to get what you’re after. So what

are you interested in? It waits for you in postcard collecting.


Real photo postcard of Laird, Saskatchewan hotel fire in August 1915.



Shock Therapy Drag and Variety show

the other side of drag...

Dickens Pub

Thursday, Dec. 13

Shauna Says

recharge those batteries!

photos: Kyle James

Grease Jones is the resident host of Shock Therapy. Known

for her gender-bending and breaking the rules of drag, her

quick wit and perverse nature are an assault on the senses

you won’t soon forget.

Flukegurl is an enigma well known in the Calgary queer

subculture. Undefinable, her performances range from unclockable

spoken word to latex and fetish, she is living art.

What’s the safest and best way to “ have a good time “ in today’s

world, and best apps to use?

To me, one must always be smart about what they do, when they

do it, how often it’s done and how many people they do it with.

There are so many apps out there to get you what you desire that

will literally pick you the perfect person to “get down with”. Just

remember one thing, the ad and the delivery aren’t always a perfect

match, however. Good luck and may the odds be in your favor!

What would you recommend for someone who continuously

brings out the dark side of you? No matter what you try to do,

there’s never any sign of brightness.

Get some new batteries for your flashlight

Suggestion for monetary donations. I struggle with deciding

who I should give to without offending or hurting my friends

and families feelings. Everyone has an opinion today.

Who am I to tell anyone where they should be donating their hard

earned money to. Yes, there are some organizations I personally

don’t agree with from a personal and social standpoint but those

are my views based on my life journey. I encourage you to give

where you see best and if you believe it will help brighten or enrich a

situation, then you’ve done good and should feel proud.

I want to surprise my spouse for Christmas by bringing a third

home for some festive frolicking. What are your thoughts?

If you are in such a place in your relationship then “ Deck those

halls” and go to town. If this is a way to “jingle your own bells and

not sure about theirs” perhaps have a sit down first and talk this

through before you end up with too many “silent nights” ahead of

you. A sweater is much easier to return if they don’t like the style

or fit, and it will end costing you less in the end if they really hated

it. You dont wanna end up looking for your “two front teeth” un


Duke Carson is a fan favourite and crowd pleaser extraordinaire. High energy, high heels and even higher hair, you’ll

question your sexuality whenever he hits the stage.


Curious about drag and a walk on the wild side, ask Shauna at


Zorro: Family Code

the Giggle Gang is back

The Giggle Gang. That’s the internal nickname

for the dynamic trio of Rebecca Northan,

Bruce Horak, and Christian Goutsis, three of

Calgary’s best-known theatre artists. Previously

collaborating on Slipper at Alberta Theatre Projects,

Northan, Horak, and Goutsis have forged

strong personal ties as well as professional ones.

“We like to laugh,” Northan says, “But we like

there to be heart.” It’s a succinct turn of phrase

for shows that the Giggle Gang have created, but

especially true of Zorro: Family Code, which is

being presented by Alberta Theatre Projects as

their holiday performance.

Northan and her collaborators picked up on

the classic pulp action hero from their superhero

fandom. “Bruce and Christian and I are all fans

of the superhero genre,” she says. “Bruce and

Christian more than me, because they grew up

reading comic books. I didn’t know, for example,

that Zorro was the template for Batman...the

night that Bruce Wayne’s parents are killed,

they’re seeing The Mask of Zorro in the theatre.”

The co-creators saw Zorro as a heavyweight

title, and as an opportunity to create a work

that would be fully scripted, instead of utilizing

the pantomime or semi-improvised format of

Slipper or of Northan’s famous show Blind Date.

In adapting the work, Northan and her

co-creators sought to update the legendary

Zorro for ATP’s family audience. “We’ve basically

imagined a whole other story,” she says. “We

have middle-aged Zorro. He’s a widower. He’s

got a 9 year-old son and a 19 year-old daughter.

So you have the masked vigilante getting on in

age, and how does he be a single parent, and

keep his identity from his kids while thwarting

his enemies.”

As they present a Zorro evolving with the

times, Northan and her collaborators are also

By Tim ForD

evolving as artists, in stature in and in vision.

Northan recognizes the influence that work

like Blind Date has had on her career, as both a

“blessing and a curse” in how she’s perceived.

“People think I only do improv,” she says. “There’s

a bit of re-education over time.”

Nevertheless, she maintains close ties with her

seminal work, with productions of Blind Date

opening up in places like Norway, and with the

creation of Queer Blind Date through Toronto’s

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2016. At the

same time, Northan is seeking to branch out and

try new things, and finding success.

“It’s nice to be at a point in my career where

I can pitch ideas to artistic directors, and they

want to have a conversation,” she says. “Because

they’ve seen our past work, they’ve said ‘what’s

your next idea?’ That’s an exciting place to be.

For the first time ever, I’m thinking two years in


Whatever comes next, Northan sincerely

hopes she gets to work with her Giggle Gang

family for years to come, creating work that,

in her words, asks, “What is love? What is true

love? And how would you express it? I love the

audience, and I want you to feel loved in the

space, on the stage.” That is a core message

Northan echoes in Zorro: Family Code. “What

do we want to put out into the world?” she says.

“Are we kind to people, we value everyone’s life?

I hope that families ask each other: What do you

think our family code is?”

Zorro: Family Code is now playing at Alberta

Theatre Projects until Dec. 30 (6:30pm weeknights,

1pm & 6pm weekends), and is recommended for

ages 5+. Tickets are available online at atplive.

com or at 403-294-7402.


your go-to guide for December

Oh hey there. It’s December already

and that means lots of holiday

parties, eating crap and last-minute

shopping for loved ones at a

convenience or drug store. But you

know what else there is? Stuff to do!

That’s right — this town is busy in

December, let me fill you in.

The Market Collective 10-Year

Anniversary & Holiday Market will

be taking place over the next two

weekends, starting Dec. 7 at the

BMO Centre, so get down there

and help them celebrate and maybe

pick up something other than a

box of generic chocolates for your

Alberta Ballet’s Nutcraker, always a treat.

Dec. 14-24 Jubliee Auditorium

mom while you’re at it. Also on Dec. 7, Bill and Joel Plaskett with the Mayhemingways will be

at the Bella Concert Hall. On Dec. 8 you can see Three Days Grace’s The Outsider Tour with

guests Nothing More & Bad Wolves at the Grey Eagle Event Centre, The Tenors’ Home for

the Holidays: Christmas Classics & The Hits at the Jubilee Auditorium (take your mom! that’s

better than generic chocolates, too!), and over at The Palace you can see Andrew Bayer with

Ben Bohmer. Sure!

On Dec. 9, there’s the Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers Book Launch at the New Central

Library, but you can also head to the Grey Eagle for Tenacious D! Their show on Dec. 10

has sold out, so this is your chance. On Dec. 11, it’s Home for the Holidays with Johnny Reid

presented by the CPO at the Jubilee.

Love improvy-type theatre? Get over to the Martha Cohen Theatre Dec. 13 for ATP’s

production of Zorro: Family Code (featuring improv master Rebecca Northan), which runs

until Christmas. Get more improv with Chrismoose Carol at Loose Moose Theatre, or take

in some international film at The Roasterie with Espresso Kino’s screening of Sommarnattens

leende Dec. 13. On Dec. 14 head to the She(EMPOWERS) Christmas Market: Shop From and

Support Female Entrepreneurs at the St. Louis Hotel this weekend, or take in Alberta Ballet’s

The Nutcracker.

The SHOW’s 3rd Annual Let It Show happens Dec. 15, luckily it’s appropriate for both families

or couples looking for a date night (phew?), and Dec. 16 sees Spiritus Choir’s A Spiritus

Christmas at the Bella Concert Hall, and Hark the Glad Sound featuring Dolce, Viva and Brava

choristers will be at Knox United Church.

On Dec. 20 the only place you’ll want to be is at Festival Hall for the HighKicksMas. I have

nothing more to add to that.

Then on Dec. 22, it’s Mountainview Connection’s presentation of Vanishing Empires at the

Southern Alberta Pioneers Hall, which leads us up to Xmas. Stuff is closed on Dec. 25 (but not

all stuff!) so go to a movie and order in. You deserve it.

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

to bring The Culture Cycle event listings to Calgary through theYYSCENE. Contact her at



Enjoy the Season!

But remember,

Checkstops are






an LSD trip, a motorcycle chase, a serial killer, oh my!

Tessa Thompson and Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry To Bother You.


After Climax screened at this year’s Calgary

International Film Festival, several patrons

remarked as they were leaving the theatre that

they felt “dizzy” or “nauseous” or “totally fucking

disturbed.” Would you expect anything less from

Gaspar Noé?

A party gone wrong, Climax tells the “true

story” of a dance troupe who, at a post-rehearsal

party, discovers that one of them laced has laced

the sangria with LSD, and chaos soon descends on

the group. As the film morphs from a celebratory

dance-party into violent, hedonistic anarchy, Noé

sheds all cinematic convention, instead letting

the camera completely absorb the energy of the

depravity unfolding. Frantic tracking shots, harsh

angles and intense, anxiety-inducing long-takes

pull you into the dancer’s psychotic trip, with even

one of the final scenes being shot with the camera

upside down, on the floor.

Dizzying and terrifying while simultaneously

stunning, watching Climax on the big-screen is

the next best thing to taking LSD yourself. Which

is, frankly, all I ever really want from a film.


After my first viewing, I left Mid90s fuming.

Mainly because, until now, Jonah Hill has left us

completely deprived us of his stellar filmmaking

chops. Why he chose to make a sequel to the

21 Jump Street revival instead of imparting us

with an original film of his own is beyond me,

but I digress.

Mid90s is the most recent coming of agetale

in what appears to be a resurgence (renaissance?)

of the genre (Eighth Grade, Lady

Bird, Call Me by Your Name, etc.); however,

Hill’s contribution stands out amongst the

crowd. A much more subdued film than its

counterparts, Mid90s is full of subtle nuances

that, in cinema’s 100+ year history, I have

never seen on screen until now. Mid90s isn’t

flashy. There are no life lessons to be learned,

no sweeping realizations, no first-loves who

share a tender kiss under the disco ball at

prom. Just a completely honest and authentic

portrayal of adolescence, made only even

more poignant with exceptional direction

from Hill, a stellar soundtrack courtesy of

Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor (yes, that Trent

Reznor) and phenomenal breakout performances

from the film’s fresh-faced cast.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Let me start off by saying, I haven’t actually seen

this film yet (it’s release dtae is set for mid-December);

however, preemptively saying it’s going

to be my favourite film of 2018 is probably the

safest bet I’ve made all year. I’ve already seen

the trailer in theatres multiple times, and every

time those mere two and a half minutes alone

have me silently weeping in my seat, usually to

the embarrassment of my date. And while the

story is bound to be gut-wrenching, it’s the pure

beauty and brilliance of the shots alone that

bring me to tears. Dramatic? Probably. Justified?


With the same director (Barry Jenkins),

cinematographer (James Laxton), and composer

(Nicholas Britell) as 2016 Academy Award Best

Picture winner, Moonlight, Jenkins adaptation of

the James Baldwin novel of the same name is a

shoe-in for (at least) another Best Picture nom,

and the honorable distinction of film most like

to leave me completely devastated (in the best

possible way.)

• Morgan Cairns, Film Editor


The trick to a successful remake of a classic film

is to pay respect to the original source material,

while still justifying its own existence. Luca Guadagnino

has done exactly that with his remake

of Suspiria. Tilda Swinton utterly commands

the screen with every single scene that she’s in.

Dakota Johnson continues to prove that she’s

not just “The 50 Shades Girl”. Suspiria is utterly

dream-like and haunting from start to finish.

It gets uncomfortably under your skin, and

burrows its way down deep into your very bone

marrow. The explosive climax to top it all off is


Mission Impossible: Fallout

Mission Impossible: Fallout is the sixth film in

the series, and neither Ethan Hunt nor Tom

Cruise show any signs of slowing down. Writer/

director Christopher McQuarrie is the first

director to return for a second film in the series,

with good reason. Fallout is a cut above many

modern action movie blockbusters, because of

just how amazing every single set-piece this film

has. If Cruise racing on a motorcycle through the

busy cobblestone streets of Paris doesn’t tickle

your particular fancy, then him doing corkscrew

flips in a real helicopter overtop impossibly high

mountain ranges should certainly do the trick.


Steve McQueen has proven over the years

to be a singularly strong voice from Hunger,

Shame and 12 Years a Slave. Each of his films

are hard-hitting and stick with you long after

they’re over. His latest film Widows is absolutely

no exception. Viola Davis headlines an all-star

cast of talented actors including Liam Neeson,

Colin Farell, Michelle Rodriguez, Carrie Coon,

Jon Bernthal, Jackie Weaver and Cynthia Erivo.

Like her past collaboration with David Fincher

on Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s co-writing here with

McQueen is a match made in cinematic heaven.

Widows is tightly edited, stressful and incredibly


• Philip Clarke, Contributor


Hereditary reactions are split in two. You

found it to be heart-stopping or barely a

horror movie at all. It is at once unnerving

and carnivalesque, playing on the viewer’s

frustration to evoke reactions that are

inappropriate and surprising. Its indecisive

pacing languors in the corner of your eye

like an imagined home-invader, lurches into

melodrama, and then snaps you by the limbs

like a camouflaged bear trap.

Hereditary didn’t really scare me as much

as it broke me; I cracked up at things that

are awful, that cling to the part of my brain I

don’t like to engage with. I left the theatre in

a manic delirium and spent the remainder of

the week unable to rid my mind of the film.

The House That Jack Built

Fuck off, Cannes critics. You boo every

second screening but cry tears of admiration

for any film you make it through. You damn

well knew this would be Lars von Trier’s most

revolting, self-referential, inappropriately

slapstick movie. But there you were, calling

for his head and stickying your pants for it in

equal measure.

Audience, you already know (deep down

at least) whether you love this film or hate

it. Its attempts to reinterpret sadism as enlightenment

are both eye roll-inducing and

electric. The House That Jack Built hates critics

and audiences and probably puppies, too.

But it’s the fully realized von Trier, the one

he’s never quite been able to make before.

Sorry to Bother You

The funniest movie of the year is easily Sorry

to Bother You. The frivolous anti-depth and

unlikeable ambitions of leads Lakeith Stanfield

and Tessa Thompson are the ruse for Sorry’s

commentary on a doomed people’s revolution

and the misprioritization of romantic love

within a shit-stained, radioactive world.

Swollen with understated comedy and

spoofish aesthetics, the film’s Svengali telling

betrays the audience as they desperately

latch on to the plight of the flawed hero and

his seemingly inevitable redemption.

Its anti-climax (and perfectly restrained

revenge epilogue) makes this more than a

lefty mash-up of Office Space and Brazil —

Sorry to Bother You asks politely for us to

rearrange our priorities while forcing us to

get real about how fucked we are until we

do so.

• Colin Gallant, BeatRoute Brat



comedian Andrew Albert smiles and gets away with it at the Teahouse

On the occasion of his forty-fourth birthday. Andrew Albert is

miming a handjob in front of 50 or so patrons eating high end

dim sum…and he’s killing.

It’s a strange juxtaposition to be sure. The only thing about the

Teahouse lounge that screams comedy club is the fact that you

have to climb down a set of stairs to get to it. The concept is the

same, only instead of chicken wings, nachos and beer, you get signature

cocktails, bao and mushroom black truffle dumplings that

are, if we are to be frank, to die for. It’s an intimate space, which can

be a blessing or a curse in comedy. On the one hand, the audience

has no choice but to be engaged. On the other, if everyone can see

everyone, an audience can get self -conscious about giving up anything

more than a polite chuckle. Fortunately tonight, there’s fusion

on the menu and on stage.

Andrew Albert seems like your quintessential Western Canadian

road comic, complete with jokes about Tim Horton’s and busting

out the occasional maritime accent, but he is, by and large, a

storyteller. He less concerned with set up punch, tag, tag and more

interested in spinning a yarn, which is a style more favoured on the

West coast. Albert himself sums it up much more succinctly.

“I’ve heard it described as ‘the smiling asshole’ “ he says with a

chuckle during a quick call from his current home back in Montreal.

“You can get away with a lot of stuff with a smile.”

He’s not wrong. Affecting an Asian accent for a bit about rub and

tugs in an Asian restaurant is not something everyone can get away

with, but the crowd eats it up.


“I talk about a lot of stuff that people might find taboo…” he

muses, “but that’s the beauty of comedy. We take the taboo subjects

and we make them palatable”

Originally from New Brunswick, Albert tried moving on to a

bigger stage in Montreal. He moved out west to Calgary for what he

calls “reasons of the heart” but has since moved back to Montreal

, citing the same reasons with a different heart. The scene can be

sparse in Montreal apart from that magic two weeks in the summer,

but Albert keeps busy all year round. In fact, there are very few gigs

that he deems too far out of the way. “I just completed a theatre

tour of New Brunswick with Tim Steeves and Julian Dionne,” he says

“which was a great learning experience to do six theatre’s in a row.

And of course, working with Tim and Julian was great.”

After his shows here in Alberta, Albert has a series of gigs lined

up near the Yukon, some as far as ten hours north of Edmonton by

car, where he’ll have to take his own gear with him. It’s a prospect

that might dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for the lifestyle, but Albert

doesn’t show a trace of road weariness on stage. He’s an energetic

performer, who manages to keep even the crowd around the corner

behind the bar engaged. It’s a small venue but a sold out show, and

the room is with him all the way. Andrew Albert tells his stories and

smiles…like an asshole.

Comedy night at the Teahouse

Every Thursday at 7pm

1213 1st Street SW


Meticulously Selected Fashions and so much more

Supporting the Calgary Community and Local Charities since 2007

Look Good, Feel Good and Do Good for the Environment

Urban Thrift is recognized by the Alberta Recycling Council

Gently Used Clothing and Small Houseware Donations accepted 3434 - 34 Ave NE 403 769-1934




Night Terrors Film Society present a

seminal Canadian holiday horror

By Breanna Whipple


Hereditary (2018)

Hype scares me with horror – it usually builds

me up for an inevitable letdown, such was the

Holiday-centric horror has become a as a sequel but a loving homage. Propelling case with The Babadook (2014). Films categorized

as ‘elevated horror’ scare me even more.

household theme. Immediately coming to the slasher sub-genre into realization, he

mind are heavy hitters that largely shaped the altered the course of horror cinema forever. Every inkling of doubt was wiped away by a

slasher sub-genre as we know it – Halloween Doubling back to the core of our tale in particularly dreadful scene occurring within the

(1979) and Friday the 13th (1981). Delving question, a memorable trademark of this first act. Contained within this film are scenes I, Tonya (2018)

deeper into the wormhole, you’ll find for film is the particularly heinous and vulgar that have haunted me since my theatrical This doesn’t fit with my list at all, but I couldn’t

every holiday imaginable there is an accompanying

phone-calls throughout the duration of the viewing. Very effective film without relying on avoid including it because it was likely my

horror movie. Even the least threatening film. What begins as incoherent moaning jump-scares, a welcomed change in contempo-

favourite release of the year. Visually stunning,

of celebrations, Thanksgiving, is the central and sexually explicit degradation quickly rary horror.

this two hour biographical drama played out like

event in titles such as Blood Rage (1987) and progresses into the very apparent maniacal

a waking dream I didn’t want to end. Aesthetics,

ThanksKilling (2008). Many assume this trend ramblings of an unknown entity. Unmatched A Quiet Place (2018)

characterization, pacing, soundtrack – every

began with the aforementioned masterpiece in the level of dread this ignites, “phone So many factors you’d think would work against aspect was inarguably perfected.

penned by John Carpenter, Halloween (1979). horror” became a following trend shortly John Krasinski – first time writing and directing

• Breanna Whipple

To those of you under this impression, allow thereafter, the most apparent example being horror, enlivening a story largely void of sound.

me to introduce to you the slasher sub-genre’s When a Stranger Calls (1979). Both films

unsung hero – Black Christmas (1974).

share a very claustrophobic atmosphere –

With an inception shot carried through the Situational horror that creates environments

point of view of an unknowable person climbing

that become characters in their own right.

through an attic window of a sorority The house in Black Christmas has as much

house, you can already point out the apparent dimensional depth as the rest of a very real,

beginnings of a sub-genre we’ve come to relatable cast of characters.

know and adore. The plot of Black Christmas Not only a catalyst in cultivating the

is strikingly similar to that of Halloween for a genre as a whole, Black Christmas definitely

number of reasons. Firstly, both tales derived

deserves to be cited as a seminal film in

elemental inspiration from ‘the babysitter and Canadian cinematic history. In company of

the man upstairs’ – an urban legend dating David Cronenberg, the works of Bob Clark

back to the 1960s about a teenage girl receiving

played a key-role in defining Canadian genre

obscene phone-calls while babysitting. film. Agreed upon by most Canadians, there

Secondly, the adoration John Carpenter is a particularly dreadful melancholy brought

personally felt for Black Christmas was well upon by our devastatingly cold winters that is

known by the film’s director, Bob Clark. The unique to our placement in the world – a very

tale has been recounted countlessly in the real horror we all find unity in annually. Black

confines of horror history – Carpenter pressed Christmas captures that atmosphere and

Clark about a sequel. Clark described a continuation

displays it flawlessly and incomparably.

of the maniacism in the following

autumn after the events, taking place on Halloween.

Catch Black Christmas at The Globe Cinema

Five years later and John Carpenter on Dec. 21

brought a similar idea to fruition, however not

Margot Robbie portrays a defiant Tonya.



am an optimistic movie-goer. I can typically

find something to like about everything, even

if its as minuscule as a squid comedically hitting

a camera in the otherwise insufferable The Meg

(2018). Because of this I have a very hard time

ranking a list of my favourites, and 2018 being a

hot year for film made this all the more difficult.

I refuse to rank, but here are a few I won’t soon

be forgetting.

Halloween (2018)

I am the most critical of this franchise because it

was the one that ignited my love for the horror

genre. By nature, I was slightly apprehensive given

the skipping of the sequels and Blumhouse’s hit

or miss filmography. This was a definitive hit.

Serving like a love-letter to the avoided sequels,

I found myself dreading the experience reaching

conclusion. I’m even comfortable stating that

aside this is a definite contender for my favourite

sequel in the entire franchise.

A very daunting task indeed, yet he excelled

while graciously pulverizing a substantial sum of

recent horror films. Chock full of suspense and

not skimping when it comes to creature design,

my monster-loving heart enjoyed this way more

than I anticipated.

Death Wish (2018)

Not unlike my love for the Halloween franchise,

I’ve always been obsessed with the Death Wish

series. I dreaded a remake, and when I saw Bruce

Willis cast as my precious Paul Kersey I was honestly

expecting another Die Hard film. Thankfully

I was wrong, and left wanting more action films

from Eli Roth. Creative kills, tongue-in-cheek

dialogue – Everything I desire from a Death Wish

film, accentuated by gore expect from Roth

(which is always welcomed in my books).

Searching (2018)

I felt like this fell way under the radar for most

genre fans, which is shameful because its

constant plot twists and turns made for a very

exciting ride. Displayed within the confines

of a computer screen, Searching takes what

Unfriended (2014) introduced and perfected the

style. Very unpredictable storyline, which makes

for an effective thriller.


rewind to the future

by Shane Sellar


Crazy Rich Asians

Little Italy


One telltale sign African-Americans have

secretly invaded the KKK is if members take a

knee during the Confederate National Anthem.

Fortunately, the black Klansman in this dramedy

is only orally affiliated with the hate group.

Ron Stallworth (John David Washington)

makes a name for himself as Colorado’s first

black police officer by answering a Ku Klux Klan

membership ad. Pretending to be white while

speaking with David Duke (Topher Grace),

Stallworth infiltrates the organization. But when

the Klan asks to meet in-person, Stallworth has a

white officer (Adam Driver) impersonate him.

Inspired by Stallworth’s book, director Spike

Lee takes a number of liberties with the source

material in order to make the story timely and

more impactful. While the levity of the script is

startling, the performances are first-rate.

Conversely, you can tell whites have infiltrated

the Black Panther Party when mayonnaise

appears on the condiment table.

Christopher Robin

The most important lesson Winnie the Pooh

can teach children is how to spot depression

in donkeys.

Thankfully, this fantasy about Pooh manages

to keep sharp objects away from Eeyore.

Years after he left his stuffed animal friends

behind to attend boarding school, Christopher

Robin (Ewan McGregor) is now a businessman

struggling to keep his job and his family from

falling apart. However, one day while his wife

(Hayley Atwell) and children are in the country,

Christopher is visited by his old plush bear Winnie

the Pooh, who wants to reinstall Christopher

with the joy and optimism missing from his

adult life.

While the lifelike menagerie is a sight to

behold and the narrative of rediscovering your

childhood is serviceable, the nostalgia angle has

been done to death in a number of superior

family films.

Incidentally, you can convert any child’s toy

into an adult toy by simply adding handcuffs.

Crazy Rich Asians

The easiest way to distinguish between rich

and poor Asians is the wealthy ones wear

gold-plated surgical masks.

Mind you, as this romantic-comedy points out,

well-heeled Asians can also be extremely rude.

Rachel (Constance Wu) agrees to attend her

boyfriend Nick’s (Henry Golding) friend’s wedding

in Singapore. During their visit, Rachel is introduced

to Nick’s well-to-do relatives (Gemma

The Meg


Chan, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong), whom she gets

along with swimmingly. However, the matriarch

of the family (Michelle Yeoh) feels that Rachel is

not the right fit for her son, while others accuse

her of being a gold-digger.

Although it does shatter stereotypes with its

all-Asian cast and enamors with the pageantry

associated with Asian nuptials, this aptly cast

adaptation of the 2013 best-seller does little to

differentiate itself from the typical Caucasian

rom-com formula.

In fact, the only difference between Asian

and Caucasian families is that the former doesn’t

banish their elders.

Incredibles 2

The downside to being in a super-powered

family is that your siblings will always reveal

your secret identity to your archrival.

Unfortunately, when the alias of the heroine

in this animated-adventure is exposed, it threatens


When Violet’s (Sarah Vowell) alter ego is

revealed she withdraws from the spotlight.

Meanwhile, her mother, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter),

has ventured out on her own to prove to the

public that superheroes are beneficial. On the

home front, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) has

become the main caregiver to the rest of his

powerful brood.

Picking up right where the original left off

14-years ago, this overdue sequel fails to succeed,

or even match, its predecessor. Lacking sufficient

laughs and worthwhile action, the script to this

follow up suffers from serious lulls, recycled plot

points and a lackluster villain.

Little Italy

The single greatest contribution Italian cuisine

has made to Western civilization is heartburn.

However, this romantic-comedy maintains

that pizza is a much better offering

than indigestion.

When her work visa expires, culinary student

Nikki (Emma Roberts) must return to Toronto.

While her family (Alyssa Milano, Adam Ferrara)

is happy to see her, their pizza business has been

suffering ever since they had a spat with their

partner and his son, Leo (Hayden Christensen).

As the former friends feud, Leo and Nikki

form a relationship that will force both parties to

make amends, and update their menus.

Brimming with bad Italian stereotypes

and even worse acting, this American/Canadian

co-production is better left in the oven.

Although it borrows from Romeo and Juliet, the

leads lack the chemistry to dethrone the starcrossed


Incidentally, if Leo plans on marrying Nikki

he’s going to have to get a divorce from his

mamma first.

The Meg

Every time a scientist discovers a new species

it means we get to eradicate an old one.

However, considering the size of the specimen

in this action-thriller we should exterminate four.

A billionaire (Rainn Wilson) recruits an

underwater research team to probe Marianas

Trench for untold riches. But an encounter

with a Megalodon leaves his oceanographer (Li

Bingbing) and her crew stranded down there.

Now, it is up to covert naval officer Jonas Taylor

(Jason Statham) to reach the submersible without

being swallowed by the gigantic jaws of the

prehistoric predator.

Spending way too much time on a superfluous

love story, this American-Chinese

adaptation of the 1997 novel is surprisingly

boring for a giant shark movie. It doesn’t help

that the bulk of the man vs. animal action

occurs at the very end.

Besides, the easiest way to kill a megalodon

is to steer them towards that floating

garbage patch.


The worst part about going missing nowadays

is the media uses online photos of you embellished

with a dog’s snout.

Thankfully, the abducted teenager in this

mystery stopped using Snapchat months ago.

When David’s (John Cho) 16-year-old

doesn’t come home after spending the night

at a friend’s, the single dad accesses her

electronic devices only to discover she has

been leading a double life online. A detective

(Debra Messing) is soon assigned to the case,

but her involvement only results in more

questions about the girl’s whereabouts and

whom she was involved with.

Told entirely through the lens of phones,

laptops and CCTV, this cyber-thriller does what

similarly shot films have tried in the past but

manages to avoid gimmickry. Meanwhile, the

white-knuckle narrative is relatable and helps to

counterbalance the film’s shaky-cam tendencies.

Lastly, if someone hasn’t posted a selfie online

in an hour it usually means they’re dead.

Besides, the point to having super-powers is

so you can fly away from your family.

He’s an Artificial Tree Hugger. He’s the…





Sloth Records Turn It Up Records

Snail Mail — Lush

Sleep — The Sciences”

Parquet Courts — Wide Awake!

Travis Scott — Astroworld”

US Girls — In a Poem Unlimited”

Courtney Barnett —Tell Me How You Really Feel

Mitski —Be The Cowboy

Kamasi Washington — Heaven and Earth

Deafheaven — Ordinary Corrupt Human Love”

Idles — Joy as an Act of Resistence”

Kurt Vile — Bottle It In

Leon Bridges — Good Thing”

Plus some local releases we sold lots of:

Territories — s/t

Astral Swans — Strange Prison

Leather Jacuzzi — The Whole Hog

Wake — Misery Rites

Pre Nup — Oh Well


ACTOR — It Will Come To You

The Soft Moon — Criminal

Evidence — Weather Or Not

Atmosphere — Mi Vida Local

Voivod — The Wake

Lindi Ortega — Liberty


Ought — Room Inside The World

Bootblacks — Part Time Punks Sessions//Narrowed

Immortal — Northern Chaos Gods

Hot Wax Records

Jack White— Boarding House Reach

Father John Misty — God’s Favorite Customer

Beach House — 7

Ty Segall - Freedom’s Goblin

Arctic Monkeys — Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

John Coltane —Both Directions At Once:

The Lost Album

Courtney Barnett — Tell Me How You Really Feel

Kamasi Washington — Heaven And Earth

MGMT — Little Dark Age

Gorillaz — The Now Now

Melodiya Records

Angel Olsen — My Woman

Black Panther — Soundtrack

Charles Bradley — Black velvet

Leon Bridges — Good thing

Colter wall — Songs of the plains

Sleep — Sciences

Jack White — Boarding House

Ty Segall — Freedom Goblin

Beach House — 7

Eric Church – Desperate Man

Blackbyrd Records

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper— A Star Is Born Kurt

Vile — Bottle It In

Leon Bridges — Good Thing

Prince — Piano & Microphone

Khruangbin — Con Todo El Mundo

Colter Wall — Songs Of The Plains

Kamasi Washington — Heaven & Earth

Mac Miller — Swimming

Parquet Courts — Wide Awake!

Courtney Barnett —Tell Me How You Really Feel




you CAN go home again

by Trevor Campbell

Thomas Wolfe famously wrote, “You can’t go home again.”

Well, feel free to flip that jerk the bird as you are tapping

your feet to the songs guaranteed to make you feel like you’re

back at your childhood hearth again. Boney M. is coming to

Calgary and you should be excited. Even if you have no idea

who Boney M actually is, there’s a good chance you know all

the words to a bunch of their songs.

You see, when you were young, around Christmas time, It’s a

Wonderful Life was on your TV, mom had a turkey roasting in

the oven and Boney M. was playing everywhere. They were on in

your dad’s car, on at the mall, at the community centre ice rink,

all your neighbours’ turntables, on at the … you get the idea!

Miraculously, the reggae-inspired ensemble managed to

release a half-dozen Christmas compilations between 1981 and

1998. Songs like “Little Drummer Boy”, “Zion’s Daughter” and

the two-pronged disco-carol sensation “Mary’s Boy Child/Oh

My Lord” quickly became synonymous with the holiday season.

The rest of the year, you’d still hear “Daddy Cool”, “Rivers of

Babylon/Brown Girl in the Ring” and, of course, their monster

smash hit “Rasputin”, inspired by a Turkish folk song “Kâtibim”,

that was on repeat all summer – igniting the dancefloor at

every wedding you attended.

The legendary Boney M. formed in West Germany in 1976,

the weirdest place and time in human history, so you know

they’re great. They look like you shot ABBA out of a Bootsy

Collins cannon and sound like The Famous Jamaican Choir and

had a love child with Kraftwerk – silky, effective, Euro-Caribbean

soul! The R&B outfit have sold over 150 million records and,

40 years on, they are still going strong!

Don’t miss the chance to relive the magic of Boney M. Dec. 10 at

TCU Place (Saskatoon), Dec. 11 at the Club Regent Casino (Winnipeg),

Dec. 13 at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino (Calgary), Dec.

14 at River Cree Casino (Enoch) and again Dec. 18 at Club Regent

Casino (Winnipeg). Tell ‘em Christmas sent ya!

“Hooray! Hooray! It’s a Holi-Holiday”



agents of rock from the High Plains

Crooked Spies are raised by wolves.

’m not a number! I’m a free man!”

“I With a band called Crooked Spies,

you just have to include some sort of

weird, dystopian struggle. And in true

Secret Service fashion we met at in a

dimly lit corner booth at the back of

Calgary’s Ship & Anchor pub on an otherwise

inconspicuous evening. Guitarist

Dylan Evanik and bassist Aaron Samson

had the intel and I needed answers.

BeatRoute assignments are no joke. I

had to complete the mission!

The guys inform me that Crooked

Spies are local rockers, originating in 2014.

Having grown tired of an acoustic project,

Dylan and his brother Steven, who handles

lead guitar duties, decided it was time

to “Turn the fucking guitars up!”

A few years later, with Mark Lawlor

providing the beats, Crooked Spies is

able to boast a garage rock catalogue

well-stocked with melodic but boundary-pushing

vibes; a rich storehouse

of creativity that includes elements of

hooky pop and bouncy punk.

“Dirty riffs and hard-hitting rock ‘n’

roll, because it’s about damn time guitar

music came back!” confirms Dylan.

Furthermore, he asserts that they just

want their listeners to smile and enjoy

all the good vibes and bluesy breakdowns.

After all, “If you’re not having

fun that sucks.”

Turning downers into upswings, Crooked

Spies’ 2017 release, High Plains, was the

perfect way for the band into begin a new

year, offering up kick-ass foot-stompers

like “Under The Gun” and “What You

Say,” as well as groovy head-bobber “Call

Like The Water.” The outstanding single,

“Raised by Wolves” has a bold pop-hop

feeling that rounds out an album perfect

for fans of Cowpuncher, High Kicks, The

Black Keys and the like.

“We like to let all our influences shine

through!” Samson exclaims. “We are a

rock band, but our thing is we serve the

song. We like to span the genre, play

throughout it. We are making the music

that I’ve always wanted to hear. I don’t

know what it is about this band or the

combination of people...we are making

music that makes me emotional and

that makes me really just want to play

music forever.”

Expounding on that sentiment, Samson

explains how proud Crooked Spies

are to be part of Calgary’s thriving rock

community, and that he sees big things

on the horizon. Indeed, the overwhelming

wealth of support surrounding them

has inspired the quartet to finally get

back into the studio after over a year.

“Calgary rock is simply amazing. I

think the talent is just ridiculous,” agrees

Dylan, noting that he believes music

lovers are gravitating to the human

connection they get from experiencing

bands live in the flesh.

“Sure in a live performance you’ll miss

by Patrick Saulnier


chords here and there because you’re

all sweaty, but that’s real shit. People

can see that. One thing we would love

to see is bringing in more outsiders to

the community. Let’s welcome them

and make live music a more regular occurrence

for those that normally might

not do it.”

“Jacked” at the prospect of a busy

winter of writing and recording new

material, Crooked Spies aim to tide the

people with a visual treat; their upcoming

video release for the aforementioned

single “Raised by Wolves.”

“We went out to this abandoned gas

station between Calgary and Canmore

Alberta. There’s a little skate ramp set

up in there with a ton of graffiti. It was

the middle of the winter, we shoveled

it all out, set up our gear and did a little

jam out there and filmed a video. Watch

for that in December.”

With national touring and a stop at

Canadian Music Week as their target,

fresh tracks on the way and video

stardom impending, the group’s 2019 is

shaping up to be a time of conquest. So,

watch the stage and keep a sharp look

out -- there are Crooked Spies among us.

Check out the single “Raised by Wolves” on

Spotify and experience the espionage for

yourself Dec. 5 at the Annual Ship & Anchor

Pub Food Drive (Calgary) and Dec. 20

at Festival Hall for HighKicksMas (Calgary)



december event listing

December 14 - Red hot hayseeds

december 15 - matt masters

december 21 - christmas community country square dance

december 22 - jason cote & rolling thunder

December 27 - east opry Hosted By tom phillips

december 28 & 29 - last weekend of the year Hosted By tom phillips

december 31 - new year’s eve jamboree

Featuring peter & the wolves, boots & the hoots, shaela miller



have Christmas will travel

by Christine Leonard

It’s funny how the holiday season casts an aura

around everything that makes the world seem

a little bit more magical. Like the nutmeg in

your nog or the beeswax in your moustache,

The Dudes’ Annual Christmas Special is one

of myriads of elements that come together to

create the perfect holiday. Ready to put a rock

in your sock, vocalist/guitarist Danny Vacon and

The Dudes have a long history of hanging up the

mistletoe and wrecking the halls whenever the

occasion arises.

“You know when sometimes a person finds

you charming, so they ask if you want to come

home with them for the night? Does that happen

to you ever? Imagine you both had such a

nice time that they asked you to come back and

bang every year. It’s like that. I’m guessing this is

our... eighth?” says frontman Vacon, attempting

to recall how long they’ve been hosting the

popular event.

“It started at the Republik. Then she moved to

Flames Central. Now she’s at The Palace Theatre.

Have Christmas will travel!”

Comfortingly, Bad Santa Vacon, guitarist Bob

Quaschnick, bassist Brock Geiger and drummer

Matt Doherty, won’t be alone in their turkey-induced

haze. The more the merrier, after all.

“We’re lucky to know the best musicians. Our

own beloved 36? opens. They’re gonna make you

feel good,” he assures. “Charlie Handsome and

the Brats are this hard rockin’, sweats wearin’, epic

eight-piece band from Kelowna. I saw them this

summer and was addicted. The most fun. Like if a

bucket of chicken had an apartment and a band!”

The Dudes aim to adorn their decked-to-thehalls

fantasy with some surprise visuals that are

sure to complete the illusion. A guitar isn’t the

only tool that string-slinger Quaschnick brings to

the party.

“Bob is a carpenter. He always builds something

impossible for the show. We do all sorts of

things. Imagine Cirque on a trailer park budget.”

Perfect for your champagne in a can vacation

plan, just don’t expect any kitschy carols with

your cocktails. The Dudes have been off the

school pageant circuit since the unfortunate

snow globe incident of ‘08. But that doesn’t stop

them from enjoying themselves. In fact, their

festive spirit is simply contagious.

“I just embrace it at this point. I glittered my

high tops last year to look like Dorothy of Oz.

People can’t help if they’ve got the herpes. People

can’t help it if they need to be fabulous. Aesthetically,

I’d like to see more people dazzling their

herpes. C’mon, it’s Christmas. Put in a little effort.”

Traditions are what you make them, so when

it comes to creating a unique holiday experience

The Dudes have their own ideas about what it

means to ring in the New Year properly.

“You might be under the impression we’re

gonna be playing Christmas songs. That’s would

be torture, for everyone,” Vacon warns. “We have

one song about a Christmas miracle. This dude’s

landlord is on a date with his lady on Christmas

Eve. He plugs in his guitar and the most wonderful

things start happening. Also, he gets an old Big

Muff Pi in his stocking, so... it’s a bit of a triumph.”

Maybe the perfect gift isn’t something you

find under a tree. The Dudes have discovered

that sometimes the best present is just being

present for those who really matter to you.

“I dug a girl a giant hole once. No joke. Labour

is love. I hid in a wrapped gift box when I got

home on temporary leave from my deployment

in 2005. Snuck myself under my ex’s tree while

she slept on Christmas Eve. Morning comes and,

‘Whoa boy,!’ was she ever surprised. Her new

boyfriend even more so.”

Behold the unholy glory of The Dudes Annual Christmas

Special on Dec. 21 at Palace Theatre (Calgary)

and Dec. 22 at Station on Jasper (Edmonton)

Naughty or Nice? “When you turn 30, those things are no longer mutually exclusive. So, yes.”




mixing up the Haus

Haus of the rising phoenix.

It has been awhile since Black Phoenix

Orchestra (BPO) graced our pages, but

there is more epic psychedelic wisdom to be


bestowed on Calgary this month. BeatRoute

caught up with vocalist Chris Campbell and

guitarist Kenton Amstutz (Dead Pretty), as

the melodic rock group gears up to gauge a

reaction to their first new release since their

self-titled album appeared in 2011.

It’s not exactly a rise from the ashes, but

BPO makes a point of returning to the stage

to perform once a year and always in the

month of December. Why the elusive nature?

“Getting old!” Amstutz jokes. “People

have kids now and other projects,” Campbell


Their former drummer has recently moved

to New York to work as a chef, but thankfully

percussionist Dougie Pocasangre Jr. has taken

up with BPO just in time for their annual holiday

shindig. He will join Campbell and Amstutz

for their festive boogie-down alongside

lead vocalist Darren McDade (Dead Pretty),

guitarist Erik Ermantrout (Slim Hawley, The

Northern Coast) and bassist Devan Forster

(Mammoth Grove, Silver Moss).

Between the longtime members, there

are many more bands and side pursuits that

each are a part of, but the energetic and

exploratory nature of BPO has an irresistible

draw for musicians and fans alike.

“It’s like the planets have aligned when we can

all get into the same room,” Amstutz chimes in.

by Sarah Allen

According to Campbell, the punch-drunk

minstrels are relishing the fun and freedom

they find in the simplicity of just playing

good music with friends.

So, what can fans expect out of the poetic

rockers’ upcoming EP? The modestly titled

Haus will feature six new tracks, many of

which you can expect to hear from BPO’s live

set when they return to the stage at Dickens

this month. After all, the gift of seeing music

performed live is one that keeps supplying

pleasure all year ‘round.

“We have taken all of what we learned in

our other projects, and time spent playing

music on our own, and are bringing it back

to a place that we all enjoy. I think it is more

refined and mature, but still a lot of fun,”

Amstutz explains. “It’s been a mishmash of

us getting into studio at different times and

different songs have come out of [different

pairings]. It’s just been a matter of getting

us all into studio at the same time to lay it

down properly.”

Black Phoenix Orchestra perform Dec. 14 with

John David, Conversation Killers and Telly at

Dickens Pub (Calgary)



louds, proud prairie rawk

As 2018 winds down, One Bad Son’s rock

‘n’ roll train keeps on chugging. Last year,

the Saskatoon quartet took their latest LP,

Made In The Name of Rock ‘N’ Roll (2017), to

Europe in the never-ending quest to find new

fans and fresh experiences.

“It was cool. It was a couple of showcase

kind of shows, so not a full tour, but really

cool to see that honesty. And, the same goes

for the U.S. and Canada, rock fans are really

rock fans, y’know?” explains lead singer Shane

Volk. “That’s the cool thing with music - you

can really go anywhere and you’re just seeing

rock and roll people. I love that.”

This year, the band continued touring

on the back of hit singles “Hurricane” and

“Raging Bull”, the latter hit #1 on the Canadian

rock charts. When hair metal legend Sebastian

Bach asked if One Bad Son would open for

him, the answer was a resounding “Hell yeah!”

Volk says the Skid Row frontman is a bit

reclusive, but that he was also a friendly guy.

And, not surprisingly, he’s still got his pipes

after all these years.

“He’s who he is. He’s got a big personality,

you know. We didn’t see him a ton. He keeps

to himself, but was real gracious with us and

stuff like that,” Volk comments. “And the guy

can still sing. That was the coolest thing for


scream therapy

When a band’s bio describes them as “endless screams of

disappointment,” you know the project is going to be

worth checking out. Such is the case for Winnipeg noise-punk

outfit Tunic.

“All of my lyrical themes revolve around failure, or heartbreak,

a discontent for constantly being let down,” says frontman

David Schellenberg.

At the same time, the band has been a great outlet and

very therapeutic by letting loose his tumultuous emotions.

“I used to see my psychologist once a week and then the

band started practicing, and writing more, and I stopped

seeing him all together.”

Rounded out by Rory Ellis on bass and Dan Unger on drums,

Tunic also propels Schellenberg’s “I’m in a band” ambitions in

the best of ways: “When I was a kid, I just wanted to tour the

world and play music. I’ve been really fortunate enough to be

able to do that.”

Of the approximately 100 shows Tunic has played over

the last year, Schellenberg notes Paris, France as being

particularly memorable. “For some reason playing Paris

for the first time was just incredible. I think that’s the first

time we ever truly got what I personally felt was a genuine

encore. It was very funny, sort of a moment where I kind of

just laughed to myself and was like, ‘I guess so. Sure, if you

want us to play one more song, we’ll do it.’ But I was kind of

embarrassed about it.”

He adds the audiences overseas are just extra enthusiastic


Prairie-made rock and roll.


me, being a Bach fan. He can still wail on the

mic which was the coolest thing ever.”

Volk acknowledges the response to Made

In The Name of Rock ‘N’ Roll has been tremendous,

especially considering this record

incorporated some different musical elements

that One Bad Son hadn’t tried yet.

“It’s been great. Every time we do a record,

Better unrepressed than overdressed.

and appreciative overall: “They’re just so grateful that you’re

there, in Europe. It’s amazing. It’s like if I say ‘Thank you!’ to

someone, they look at me and they’re like, ‘No, thank you! You

came all the way here to do your art!’”

With their debut full-length album arriving in the New Year,

Tunic’s big trip has only just begun.

“It’s incredible, it’s wild. We spent all this time sort of

honing the sound. It’s like having a kid. I think we recorded

by Trevor Morelli

we want to do something a bit different.

This one’s got a bit more of a modern edge

and probably a few things people were not

expecting to hear, which is good. The overall

reaction has been really positive. People have

dug it as much as they’ve loved any of the

older stuff, so that’s always good to hear.”

Capping off the year with a string of

Western Canada shows, One Bad Son plans

on bringing one Hell of a hair-raising party to

some of the cities they now consider to be

“secondary hometowns.”

“We always do this kind of big kind of

blowout Christmas show in Saskatoon,

our hometown. That’s kind of become this

semi-legendary event in Saskatoon, it’s always

sold out and crazy,” he notes.

“I don’t know if this is the right way to

put it, but we want it to feel like a family get

together, which is what our Saskatoon shows

always feel like, just sort of a year-end celebration

of our music, and rock ‘n’ roll, and just

for everybody to come out and party with us!”

One Bad Son plays Dec. 13 at Bo’s Bar and Grill

(Red Deer), Dec. 15 at The Gateway (Calgary),

December 20 at Average Joe’s Sports Bar

(Lethbridge), and Dec. 21 at The Starlite Room


by Trevor Morelli


it in December of last year. We’ve been sitting on it for quite

some time, so I’m ecstatic to finally get on the road. We’ve

played these songs for a little bit and I’m excited for people

to have a reference that they can listen to and hear. I’m just

really stoked.”

Tunic plays Dec. 14 at The Palomino (Calgary), and Dec. 15 at

Amigos Cantina (Saskatoon).



the bestest Christmas project ever!


Próspero año y felicidad!

Flushing out the old year like the holes in

your favourite ball, Major Minor’s Christmas

Punk Rock Bowling show has become

an annual tradition in Calgary. 2018 marks

a meaningful anniversary for the grassroots

event and founder Graham Mackenzie

thought it was only appropriate to celebrate

Major Minor Music Project’s milestone in

their typically awesome and inclusive style.

“We wanted to cap off our third year

of being an organization with something

special and we wanted to try to raise extra

funds for opening our own venue in 2019.

Plus, we wanted to put a local punk spin on

the ol’ holiday spirit!” Mackenzie explains.

The gift of music is one that warms the

soul and keeps the home fires burning all

year long, so it is only natural that Major

Minor turned to engineer/producer Lorrie

Matheson at Arch Audio to help them map

out a sparkling Christmas-themed EP guaranteed

to put the hum in yer bug.

“Lorrie Matheson is a gentleman and has

been a source of support for Major Minor

Music project,” Mackenzie says. “He helped

us put it all together and the bands came

together and really made this happen.”

That sparkling invite list includes Calgary

legends Forbidden Dimension, Miesha &

the Spanks, Pizza Bath, Julius Sumner Miller

and more. Season’s Greetings Mohkinstsis

Vol. 1 is the shiny Christmas treat you didn’t

know you’d been wishing for. Each contributor

was encouraged to provide their

own upgrades to the mindless Xmas muzik

that festoons every commercial nook and

cranny for months out of the year. They’re

taking the holidays back one distorted riff

at a time.

“I truly think the bands did something

special here. Miesha & the Spanks do a

brilliant take on “Merry Christmas Baby” and

Forbidden Dimension recorded a morbid

holiday classic!”

Forbidden Dimension’s lead man, the

notorious inkster Tom Bagley (a.k.a. TomB),

also provided the covetable cover art for

the exclusive run of 300 albums pressed at

Canadian Vinyl.

“Tom Bagley, like Lorrie Matheson, has

been a constant source of support and

brilliant craftsmanship!”

Mackenzie continues. “Julius Sumner

Miller birthed a funny Christmas jingle,

Pizza Bath set music to O Henry’s classic

‘Gift of the Magi’ in glorious fashion and

Gratuitous Platypus put Santa on his heels!”

The star on this spiky and sap-filled tree

is undoubtedly the punk version of José

Feliciano’s hit “Feliz Navidad” translated into

traditional Blackfoot and performed by Siksika

Nation powerhouse No More Moments.

“Our guitarist Brandyn [Darko] suggested

we do a punk rock version of ‘Feliz Navidad’,

but change that chorus to a Blackfoot

word,” says drummer Carlin Black Rabbit.

“While we were in the studio our bassist,

Cory [White], called his grandmother and

she translated the song for us. You’ll hear

a live recording of Connie Rabbit Carrier

in the song pronouncing the word ‘Itahmistomahkahtoyikyistsikoyi.’

It means ‘happy

cold day’ or Merry Christmas!”

“It’s great to hear the Blackfoot language

on a punk rock album and the feeling is even

greater when I know I was a part of that,”

confirms White. “At the end of the day, I

hope people like the track not only because

it has the Blackfoot language incorporated

into, but because it’s a good song. I hope

people hearing the language brings more

awareness to First Nations people as whole.”

A blast beat of heat from the hearth

of the community, Season’s Greetings

Mohkinstsis Vol. 1 is a much-needed remedy

for the emotional frostbite some encounter

this time of the year. According to

No More Moments’ vocalist Quarthon Bear

Chief it’s important to speak up and reach

out to on another during the darkest days.

“It makes a huge difference in someone if

you can still acknowledge them during these

times, and we should. Everyone deserves to

be loved and taken care of. If we can’t do it

every day, we should at least try for one day.

On Christmas everyone should be reminded

the world isn’t a cold lonely place.”

Bringing the good folks of Mohkinstsis

(the Blackfoot name for Calgary embedded

in the EP’s title), together is exactly the

message the all-ages advocate Major Minor

is trying to spread. So head on down to

Paradise Lanes to pick up a 7-10 split and a

by Christine Leonard


copy of this delicious holiday platter.

“If holiday music is everywhere in

December why not add local artists to the

mix?” Mackenzie adds. “The album is being

released at the show on Saturday December

15th and everyone who buys a ticket

gets the 12-inch limited edition vinyl free!

I am excited to share it and overjoyed to

be a part of it! It’s my Christmas wish that

people relate to the record in the way that I

do. That would be amazing!”

Major Minor Music Project presents Punk Rock

Christmas Bowling YYC and Season’s Greetings

Mohkinstsis Vol. 1 album launch with No More

Moments, Forbidden Dimension, Julius Sumner

Miller, Pizza Bath, Gratuitous Platypus, The

Old Wives, Bring on the Storm, Frank Mona,

and the School of Rock Calgary on Dec. 15 at

Paradise Lanes (Calgary).


Cultivating 10 Years os Market Collective

Angela Dione was connected to a circle of artists and Angel Guerra

was fond of throwing house parties full of musicians. Together they

hatched a plan to throw a different kind of party where art and

music mingled across the open expanse of the Carpenter’s Union Hall on

10 St. NW in Kensington. Local, independent artists and designers set up

booths on the floor with their creative specialties on display and for sale,

while up and coming musicians took the stage to showcase their talent.

Presto! A different kind of party, a new kind of market, Market Collective

– MC est. 2008.

Word quickly spread and the event jumped to a bigger location down

the street and set up shop in the old Ant Hill Fabric building which was

sitting empty. The two-level space had a lot of potential with Dione and

Guerra envisioning a fabulous future that included DIY studios and a

rooftop patio wrapped around their fresh marketplace. Those plans where

shelved when the Ant Hill building was demolished in 2014. Undeterred,

MC sought even more adventurous locations venturing into the wilds of Inglewood’s

warehouse district along with moving into the gorgeous Chinese

Cultural Centre.

For MC’s 10 year anniversary, Guerra, who guides the organization now

that Dione is focused on her domestic life and a career elsewhere, has her

sights set on a blockbuster of party – two colossal weekends at the BMO

Centre. Where the auditorium at the Chinese Cultural Centre is around

10,000 sq. ft, the BMO space zooms up to 50,000 big ones!

“I feel if there was a time to take a risk,” says Guerra reflecting on her

single status. ‘It’s now.”

Dressed in jeans and a black leather biker jacket, she felt was fitting for

a BeatRoute interview (yes!), Guerra is both causal and confident. The two

metal pins she has attached to her jacket – a heart and a thumbs-up –say

it all. Guerra and the whole of Market Collective is a heartfelt, positive

creative endeavour that has had a significant effect on shaping the city as it

discovers itself. Guerra recalls one of the main reasons that motivated her

and Dione to put MC into motion.

Guerra didn’t flock to the West Coast, and MC certainly evolved and

flourished into a hub, a ground swell for a growing number of artists and

musicians who also decided to stay in Calgary. It also became a focal point

and a breeding ground for those who wanted come back from their far-off


Guerra lists of a number of vendors who first got their start at MC then

when on to run successful operations elsewhere: Sidewalk Citizen Bakery is

now located the East Village; Plant, a terrarium enterprise keeps expanding

its shop in Inglewood; Cold Garden Brewery, also in Inglewood and in full

swing, first did face-to-face retail at MC; and Drizzle Honey, which sells in

Co-op stores and has gone national, sold its first jar of honey at MC. The list

goes on.

The economic outgrowth from MC where vendors with folding tables

have gone on to find rewarding opportunities on a large scale is impressive,

to say the least. Grassroots gone wild contributing to various communities

helping to build and develop what Guerra acknowledges as a “framework

for a new Calgary.” Indeed. And to help build community, MC as a source

and strength is community in itself. Guerra’s recalls how that came to be.

“In 2008, when we first started, the arts scene in Calgary was just budding

and, in my opinion, it was fairly intimidating. You had to be ‘cool’ to show

up to somewhere. Market Collective was a bit of a response that we wanted

to grow that scene, but also a response for it to be friendly and accessible,

not where you didn’t know the right people or didn’t feel in place. We were

always looking how to make Market Collective progressive, cutting edge

and cool in Calgary, but make people feel accepted and welcome in it. Always

trying to marry those two concepts: how to make it forward thinking

and also a safe space. And I think Market Collective is really one of the first

places that tied those two things together in the city.”

She adds, “From there it also grew with what happened between markets.

People would stay connected, get on social media and watch each

others’ business grow.”

Market Collective, catalyst and cultivator.

by B. Simm



“In 2008 what we were noticing is that everyone who was doing

something interesting, once they graduate high school or university

they moved to Toronto or Montreal. One summer 20 people I knew

moved to Vancouver. And what became part of our conversation was,

‘What could we start that keeps our artists and musicians in Calgary?’”

Guerra herself make the trek out to Vancouver at the tail-end of her

university years looking for a new frontier. But she kept coming back

home each time another MC event took place, and after “three, four

markets” was faced with the proverbial – should I stay, or should I go?

“I had found this really old truck to cart things around, like 1500

dollars. But didn’t own much of anything else. Then I painted my

room and got this bed for Christmas. I remember lying on my bed

surrounded by these newly painted walls and cried all weekend. I

didn’t want to be tied to Calgary. Subconsciously, painting my walls

was a symbol that left me feeling, ‘Oh no, am I really going to be

here?’ I was faced with a hard decision. Do you go and follow your

plans, or stay and watch something come into fruition, who knows?

…I think I made a good choice.”


I feel if there

was a time to

take a risk.

It’s now.

PHOTO: Sarah Allen


Dare to DreaM

insiDe tHe MinD oF Market ColleCtive’s MUsiC sCene

By B. SiMM



Brendan Kane’s quick bio reads like this: a SAIT graduate in journalism, he started a zine

with Jessica Whittman called ATBT (All The Best Things) in the late 2000s. Soon after

he “stumbled” across Market Collective where he became a volunteer and had an

artist table for a couple years. Kane then launched a project called Welcome To The West

and began shooting music videos and filming concerts.

At the same time, his good friend, Reuben Bullock (of Reuben and the Dark), was booking

the stage and playing regularly at MC. When Bullock started touring across the country

pursuing his career, Kane stepped in and took over booking bands for MC and is currently

their Music Director.

For MC’s upcoming extravaganza at the BMO Centre, Kane says he and Angel Guerra

have been contacting a lot of the people who were first involved with MC in the grassroots

days to come back for the big, massive 10 year anniversary party.

“Lots of activation will be happening in the space. Lots of large scale murals and a skate

park. The stage area alone is the size of our previous venues, filled with food trucks and a

gigantic, inflatable obstacle course that’s gladiator style.”

No doubt there’s going to be a lot going on inside the BMO over the course of two weekends

– an artisan circus under the big top. With all that music bleeding off the stage into

the market area itself, you might think things would get a little too chaotic, a little too loud.

Kane acknowledges that, but thinks it’s one of MC’s charms.

“Having the music stage became an obscure dichotomy. Over the years it’s always been

about trying to find the right fit for live music. It really does make the event, it’s animated,

makes it less boring. This is the first time we’ve been able to have full bands enclosed in


one space. Skateboarding is quite noisy too. But we wanted to create a more rock ‘n’ roll


So what bands work best at Market Collective?

“We arrived at that by trying pretty much everything. When we saved enough money to

put together a sound system, we were delighted to have a band with a drum kit and electric

instruments on stage and trying it out. And sometimes we’d have Taylor Cochrane from

36? flying offstage into a row of artists. It really mixed everything up; we would try it all out

looking to find that threshold.”

The MC stage has provided players with a different kind of experience than they normally

would have in a bar or club. Kane says the openness of the market with artists mingling, a

café off to the side, the first time family and friends were often in the audience and just the

all-ages nature of event made it a less intimidating, well-rounded scene.

“It’s just such a warm space,” confirms Kane. “And for five bucks to have all that programming

over the whole weekend, it’s probably the most affordable place to see live music.”

Even though MC functioned at a grassroots level, musicians were paid decently and for

some, like Reuben and the Dark, it certainly helped kick-start their careers and will do so

for others in the future.

“I think you really need an all-ages audience and to have full families to come out and

watch these bands. It gives me a lot of joy that young people growing up in Calgary can see

musicians that are that so talented up close and personal. There’s an unspoken mentorship

that kind of goes on, along with all the entrepreneurs that are there (at the market) as well.

It instills you can do things your own way, dare to dream, and be an independent artist.





edmonton extra


dancefloor boogie

Jon Christensen has been leading Edmonton’s

Raygun Cowboys for nearly 20 years,

and while the road made him a player, his

three years at the University of Alberta

made a great impact on his songwriting

and arranging.

“It opened my mind more to the

structure of music, the way the ear hears

things, why classic chord changes work,

changes in rhythm, and what makes music

pleasing to hear,” says Christensen. “It’s

based in classical music, where the rest

of Western musical theory comes from,

whether pop, jazz, or rockabilly, and I

found a lot of those concepts made a

difference in arranging The Cowboy Code

from a lot of our earlier records.”

The Cowboy Code, released in 2017,

is a blast of high-energy, jangled rockabilly

galloping upright with freight train

shuffles hitting snappy shots, along with

tightly arranged melodic horn hooks and

Christensen’s baritone full of volume to

match his flash paced riffs. The Cowboys

have always thrown a raucous show, a

dancefloor boogie where the punk rockers


the presence of reality

are as punk as the Teds and Bettys are

dressed to the nines.

The band’s always toured consistently,

heading out next spring on a Western

Canadian tour with Vancouver Euro-folkpunks

The Dreadnoughts, and Christensen

finds a certain appeal in one of the best

strategies for hard touring acts: Europe.

“Well, besides some of the culture shock

stuff, I mean they have Paprika flavoured

chips,” jokes Christensen. “We do pretty

well over there though. We end up covering

our costs and making some money in

Europe doing clubs and festivals. And the

mileage once you’re there is less of a strain.

A ten-day tour here in Canada, you cover

thousands of kilometres. But in Europe, you

do 10 days and likely play three different

countries. The people gather in smaller areas,

and there are a lot of them, so it’s likely

you’ll play for more people in that shorter

distance. It’s really to a band’s benefit to try

and go play in Europe.”

The Raygun Cowboys play New Year’s Ever at

The Rocky Mountain Icehouse (Edmonton).

In our era of increased communication

between people via digital media, at first

connecting us unlike any media had before,

and more recently being used to distort our

perceptions and literally keep us separate

from each other, Edmonton MC Arlo Maverick

saw an opportunity to reflect our current

reality through music on his upcoming record,

Soul Merchant, tentatively due in next spring.

“With Soul Merchant, I’ve been trying

to look into how technology has affected

our actual reality,” says Maverick. “How we

interact with technology, and in turn with

each other. How that technology affects

intimate relationships. There’s a song on the

record called ‘Phone Check’ that features

Fendercase on the chorus, and Selassie doing

a verse. The premise behind the song is being

in a relationship with someone who’s essentially

living their life through their social media,

and our relationship is being broadcast

for other people’s consumption. It becomes a

situation where, ‘oOh, this moment has to be

captured so that people can see that we’re

in a loving relationship, people have to see

we’re going here, going there,’ or, ‘I can’t wear

this outfit again because people have seen it.’

And so the song is a rejection of that kind of

living, the idea of being present and together,

without the voyeurism of the digital neighbourhood

having to be present too.”

In a twist of digital irony, the early writing

and ideas for Soul Merchant were lost while

Maverick was on tour in Europe in 2017.

“I’d started getting the ideas together in

the summer of 2016 when I was travelling,”

says Maverick. “My phone ended up dying,

and it contained all the songs that I had

been writing. It was a situation where ideas

By Mike Dunn

By Mike Dunn

were being inspired because of all these

really cool experiences, and it was all being

channeled while I was on the road, and

then my phone dies. It put me under this

huge creative block where I couldn’t write

anything, and then last summer, again while

travelling, the creative flow came back. I

think maybe the experiences of travelling

helped pull me out of the block.”

Maverick adds that Soul Merchant will

differ sonically from its predecessor, 2016’s

Maybe Tomorrow, with more of an urban

R&B feel, where Maybe Tomorrow featured

some bigger rock and club vibes. “I worked

with Michael Schlosser, who produces a lot

of artists from Toronto. He wasn’t familiar

with my earlier stuff, so he’s not coming in

and trying to build on an established sound,

and I like that. A lot of artists, whether

Drake, Kanye, or whoever, they’re consistently

looking to go against the grain with

the sound of a record, and that kind of

constant evolution is an artistic path I’d like

to follow as well.”

Arlo Maverick headlines on New Year’s Eve at The

Aviary (Edmonton).



everything new is old again

Despite Neil Young’s rallying cry of “rock

and roll can never die,” the death knell

has been sounded time and again, and

decades of musical criticism begs to differ.

The classic rock genre has always been the

definitive background, in spite of folks having

long claimed their “individualism” since its

inception – when it wasn’t yet designated as

anything close to “classic.”

In the beginning, it was new, rebellious and

had something to say. Since those days, it has

been carried forward into more recent cultural

epochs in a variety of forms, taking on even

more creative monikers in each attempt at

evolution. By contemporary standards, classic

rock rests somewhere between stagnant and

nostalgic, and yet, generations keep coming

back to it to use it, rediscover it, and make it

their own.

Jon Drombroski of Edmonton-based band

Sparrow Blue, is more optimistic about where

the genre fits into contemporary music. “It’s

timeless,” says Drombowski, “and there’s

something about the rawness of musicians

playing in a fully functioning band that people

keep coming back to.”

While pop music is increasingly over-produced

to the point of sounding synthetic, perhaps

newer listeners are looking for something

By Jenny Grant

to combat music that is experimental for the

sake of experimentation, finding something

“authentic” in the tunes their parents, and in increasing

numbers, their grandparents listened to.

If only the protesters, ragers and anthem writers

of the rock pantheon knew their music would

later be considered family listening.

Sparrow Blue released their first full album in

November, after a year of recording. In a very

short period of time, they’ve been getting play

on rock stations across Canada, and are now

looking at a spring tour. “We’ll be doing a lot

of festivals coming up,” says Drombowski. “We

bought a bus and we’re ready to hit the road.”

There’s something appealing about doing

things the way things used to be done:

forming a band with a group of friends that

jammed together in the backyard, gutting

out a school bus to fill it with couches and

places to rest on long trips, and playing gigs to

friendly audiences in favourite watering holes.

Sparrow Blue’s self-described “Badlands rock”

taps into everything nostalgic about their

genre. Maybe it’s true that there are fewer new

places music can go today, but Sparrow Blue

wants us to know you can always go back.

Sparrow Blue release show is at The Station On

Jasper (Edmonton) Dec. 7.


everything’s gonna be alright, in three-and-a-half minutes By Mike Dunn


As he gears up for a new record, Edmonton

singer-songwriter Ayla Brook finds,

as most songwriters do, the lyrics for his new

tunes taking their time coming down the

antennae. That said, Brook is well prepped, as

he’s settled on the thematic and sonic tones

of the record.

“As far as a theme goes, I feel like people

could use a bit of reassurance,” says Brook.

“We’re living through some dark things, and

maybe there’s a space for rock ‘n’ roll to get

back to just being, ‘Yeah, it’s alright’ in threeand-a-half

minutes again. I’ve always loved

hanging in that, 73-79, Stones, Petty, Faces

kind of rock n’ roll, with a bit of the groove of

classic soul. Sonically, the record, and by extension,

the band are usually gonna sit in that

general vibe of what rock ‘n’ roll is, or was.

I’d really get a kick out of making the record

sound a bit like the mid-80s, singer-songwriter

thing with the super compressed drum

sounds, like Mellencamp or Petty.”

While the themes of the record come into

view, Brook is concentrating on what he calls,

“platonic romance songs for friends and family.”

“In this digital age, it’s really easy to feel isolated,

to isolate yourself, and feel like maybe

you’ve done something wrong,” says Brook.

“But the thing I realized, and that pulled me

through some of my own dark times recently,

is really how much community there is out

there, and how when you spend some faceto-face

time with people, you actually feel

better. You know, like actually seeing your

buds, and not just seeing what they’ve posted

on Instagram or something, there’s so little

valuable communication in that a lot of the

time. I realized, that I, and maybe a lot of

other people, had to remember that there are

a lot of good people in your life, and you can

rely on them when you need to. When things

get rough is when people remember to get

back together and help each other out.”

Ayla Brook & The Sound Men play at The Empress

Ale House (Edmonton) Dec. 19.




musical mosaic

This December Calgary’s Percolate event series

will play host to Los Angeles-based DJ,

producer, and label co-founder Anna Morgan.

Anna’s DJ sets have been largely described as

“hybrid,” fusing genres like Chicago footwork,

jungle, grime and left field bass music. This

diversity is the product of her upbringing,

the communities she’s lived in, and exploring

pockets of culture scattered across the globe.

Originally born in Japan, Anna grew up in a

Jamaican household in the Bronx. The cosmopolitan

nature of the city, combined with the

rich mosaic of Caribbean music culture, made

for a very eclectic introduction to dance music.

“Musically my first dance music was dancehall,

soca, calypso, and then coming from

there when I went to raves I was listening to

trance and techno and then I heard jungle,”

says Anna. “Then it was ragga jungle that kind

of really got me interested in like wanting to

know more about the music.”

After she began DJing in 2014 she became

known as a “global bass” DJ, an umbrella term

that encompasses genres like reggaeton and

Afrohouse. Her tastes, however, began veering

in a much more underground direction.

“I was just playing things that I knew would

move dance floors, but it wasn’t necessarily music

that I was actually listening to,” says Anna.

One day while commuting back to

New York from Philadelphia alongside DJ

Ripley, the pair struck up a conversation

and discovered they both shared similar

interests but lacked a suitable venue. The

pair decided to start HEAVY, a night that

developed into a key institution in New


By Jonathan Crane

York’s underground.

“It ended up being a haven for a lot of other

bass producers and DJs to flex a little bit of

things that they thought were maybe more

experimental, or less accessible to the mainstream,

but do it in a space that felt supportive,”

says Anna.

Although the HEAVY nights still continue

under different directors, Anna has since shifted

her focus to Worst Behavior, the imprint

and party series she began alongside New

York DJ Bell Curve.

“With the Worst Behavior imprint we

continue to throw parties in New York, and

we will also be spreading to L.A., we’re looking

to throw some parties out on the West Coast

as well,” says Anna.

Recently she has also become an active

member of Western Canada’s bass community

through her work as a curator for Footwork

Jungle, the blog started by Calgary artist

Homesick. According to her, Western Canada’s

community has become a source of inspiration

since she first discovered it through the

Bass Coast festival.

“There’s an incredible amount of talent

coming out, especially out of Calgary,” she

says. “That’s why I’m really excited about going

to Calgary, because there’s a lot of artists that I

like that live there and I’m pretty impressed by

how many of them are in this small space.”

This edition of Percolate takes place at a secret

facility on Dec. 9 and also features Homesick,

OAKK, Soothsayr, Garneau, and Sensr.


Aufect Recordings: 10 years of brutal honesty

Vancouver’s Greazus have become a

powerhouse in the bass music community

in Western Canada and abroad in a short

amount of time, crushing primetime sets at

Shambhala, Bass Coast and even the prestigious

Outlook Festival in Croatia. As artists,

the duo of Patrik Cure and Severine Erickson

have much to be proud of, but in December

they have another milestone to celebrate.

Aufect Recordings, the label that Cure started

in 2008, and Erickson now helps manage, will

celebrate 10 remarkable years in existence with

a massive double-disc release.

“It’s a weird feeling,” Cure says. “I never really

had a goal in mind when starting it, it was just

a fun idea, to put out some friends’ music and

stuff like that and to all of a sudden see it morph

to where it is now, it’s a pretty good feeling.”

The label started out releasing vinyl records

but due to numerous nightmarish scenarios

and logistical headaches, they’ve fallen out of

that process.

“Nothing’s off the table at this point,” Erickson

says. “We’re trying to figure out a way

to do vinyl again very soon through Aufect,

but we basically have to save our own money

to make sure that if by some outside chance

it’s unsuccessful, we’re not going to sink the

label’s future by investing in something that

doesn’t do well.”

Erickson explains that making subtle changes

over the years and taking more control over

things like doing the artwork, engineering

mastering themselves in house helped them

maintain a higher degree of control over their

project. He also can’t stress enough the value of

using spreadsheets.

The pair have a dedicated process for

determining what they want to release. They

both listen to the music they’re given carefully

and if something excites or moves them both,

One billion from the top!

by Paul Rodgers

they want to release it — and beyond that

they want to continue working with that artist

in the future.

“I think that’s what we look for, we look to

be surprised,” Erickson says. “We just feel like we

want to be passionate about the music we’re

putting out, so we’re very picky when we’re

receiving demos and working with the artists.

We help them get to where they want to be and

we also get the product that we’re really happy

putting out as well.”

Cure adds, “Brutal honesty is how we get

where we got.”

Aufect X Ten Years of Aufect, features 28

tracks from numerous friends the duo has

worked with in the past from around Vancouver

and Calgary, as well as international artists

like Doctor Jeep.

Some Calgarian artists to appear on the

album include Smol, Metafloor, Homesick,

Sister Mary, Huskie and Ting. Local promoter,

graphic artist and photographer Michael Benz

designed the artwork for the album has worked

with Greazus a great deal in the past, designing

much of their branding. He also is co-promoting

the Calgary show via his crew Noctilux.

With this milestone fast approaching,

Greazus continues looking to the future, saying

they have the next six months of releases

planned out, and have the majority of a fulllength

Greazus album ready to go, and it should

see a release date in January.

“It’s basically the music we’ve been working

on for the past year and a bit,” Erickson says.

“We’ve been focusing so heavily on the label,

we really wanted to bring it home instead of

shopping it around to other record labels.”

See the Aufect X release party at Junction (Calgary)

on Dec. 29, featuring Greazus, Sister Mary,

Homesick, OAKK, Huskie, MetaFloor and Smol.





global warning: funk fires a blazin’

Justin Martin

And so it comes to pass that yet another year has

come and is just about gone. I feel as though I’m

not the only one who feels like this year had a very

strange, almost unsettling pace to it. And while the

world abroad has had its fair share of turmoil and

chaos, at least Calgary’s music scene has been consistently

rock-solid and continues to grow and thrive. Last

month’s Alberta Electronic Music Conference was certainly

a testament to that, as is December’s all-over-the

map programming, featuring tonnes of house, hip hop,

drum and bass, and all things in between. Enjoy!

Set the Record, a monthly party dedicated to underground

house and techno, celebrates its one-year

anniversary on Dec. 6 at the HiFi, featuring the sounds

of BB Mars, J Kim, DJ 9-5 and Crooka. Each of these

events features a “Record of the Night,” which gives

attendees the opportunity to leave the night with a

limited edition vinyl record.

403DNB pulled out all the stops for their annual

Christmas affair. Pairing with RUNNIT for an event

called Jingle Jam, the two promotion companies have

brought Ulterior Motive, Visionobi and Ed Solo. Not

one to miss for the Calgary junglist collective, especially

as this is Ulterior Motive’s Calgary debut and, if I’m not

mistaken, Visionobi’s first time in Canada. I’m sure they

will receive a warm reception. This two room event

takes place at Junction on Dec. 7.

On Dec. 8 UK hip-hop outfit Stööki Sound are

back at the HiFi.

This month certainly has house heads covered. On

Dec.13 check out Sonny Fodera, at Commonwealth,

for the low, low price of FREE. Hard to pass up that

deal, unless of course you’d like to check out:

Whipped Cream, who will be also be at Commonwealth

on Dec.13 with opening support courtesy of

BB Mars and Two Faced. Fans of Rezz are likely to get

down with her dark, industrial, and intensely ravey


Justin Martin is back at the HiFi on Dec. 15 as

part of his Set it Off tour. His Instagram stories have

been showcasing a lot of really hype, really long sets

and plenty of time in his epic home studio setup, so

expect great things from this Dirtybird.

Also on Dec. 15, over at Village Brewery, catch

some of Calgary’s best and most exciting live hip-hop

acts Cartel Madras and Lyrique.

Obie Trice and Swifty Mcvay of D12 fame drop

down into Calgary on Dec. 19 to perform at the

Marquee alongside a hefty roster of local talent.

Coming all the way from Mother Russia, representing

AC Slater’s imprint Night Bass and no doubt

coming equipped with the heaviest house bangers,

don’t miss Phlegmatic Dogs at the HiFi on Dec. 22.

Billy Kenny is currently touring the world on his

“Set Me Free” tour, and he will be touching down in

Calgary at the HiFi on Dec. 29.

Hope you all have a great holiday season, however

you choose to celebrate it. As always please feel

free to hit me up at if you have

something in mind you’d like to see covered. See you

in 2019!

• Paul Rodgers

By Trevor Campbell

EDM favourites Nick Middleton and Duncan carefully orchestrated special effects. He and

Smith, a.k.a. The Funk Hunters, will not Smith met at a film school after all.

have to ask Santa for too much this year. 2018 “We definitely put those film schools to

has already delivered unto them: a new album, good use. Duncan does a lot of video editing

Typecast, an official remix of U2’s “Love is for us and creating visuals for our shows.

Bigger Than Anything in its Way” hit number We actually run all of our own audio and

one on Billboard’s Dance Club Chart, they visual stuff during our shows. All the visuals

were crowned Electronic/Dance Artist of the on the screens behind us, we control while

Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards we’re DJing and Duncan has either created or

and, to top it off, they were the first EDM act curated all of it.”

to headline the Coca-Cola Stage at the Calgary

Once just a pair of cinema class nerds,

Stampede. Let that sink in. An EDM act... now world-wide beat makers, are they

headlining... a rodeo.

feeling it?

The Funk Hunters, like the EDM itself,

“I remember we did our first tour with

have come a long way. From rural areas on Chali 2na. That was kinda the moment where

a remote island in the Pacific Ocean (Well, I was like, ‘We were just these two white kids

ok, Galiano B.C.), these crazy Canucks now who grew up on Galiano Island and we’re

perform all over the world, having become on tour now with this guy who we grew up

perennial performers at clubs and festivals, listening to from one of the most iconic hiphop

including Shambhala and the upcoming Rainbow

groups!’ Who could not have had a more

Serpent Fest in Melbourne, Australia. different upbringing than us, growing up in

Currently, touring their Funk the Halls with Chicago!” recalls Middleton.

stops all over Canada they will also be rolling “But there’s this kinda bond about music,

Authentic stereo. The Funk Hunters deviate from the norm on their 2018 release, Typecast.

through the U.S.A. early next year.

music culture and art, and performance that to do the same thing and think, ‘We’re not The hunt for funk continues Dec 7 at Capital

An element of their live shows that Middleton

you can so easily share with someone. You even close yet,’ because we haven’t done this. Music Club (Saskatoon), Dec. 8 at Pyramid Cab-

feels does not get enough mention is can look back and be all like, ‘Yeah, we made As long as the fire is still burning, you can aret (Winnipeg), Dec. 14 Union Hall (Edmonton)

the atmospheric lighting design and array of it’ because this and this happened. It’s easy keep going.”

and Dec. 15 at The Palace Theatre (Calgary).




the warmth of winter

by Trevor Morelli

we wanted to be in the same room, which is

new to us for recording. But then for a couple

songs to make it more ethereal and dreamy,

we would add a couple more layers of our

voices, which was fun.”

You may also know the group from the

various other projects they’ve taken part in,

including singing in the cover band Dwayne

Gretzky, providing backup for Arkells on The

Strombo Show, and perfoming with Canadian

icons like Gordon Lightfoot, Sam Roberts, and

Ron Sexsmith, among others.

“The O’Pears is such a focus for us, and

that’s a huge project, but we’re also all freelance

musicians,” notes Harris. “When you

end up playing music in a certain scene for a

number of years, you end up realizing that it’s

actually a small world.”

Lush harmonies and Christmas spirit come

together on Stay Warm (2018), the sophomore

record by Toronto, Ontario trio The


“It is a holiday album, but it’s not your

classic holiday album that is typically released

by artists where it’s, you know, shiny

and sweet and cheery,” explains singer Jill

Harris. “It kind of shows the other side of

the holidays, which can be bittersweet and

complex and difficult. So it’s part original,

and there are a few covers in there, but it’s

the whole spectrum of emotions during the

holiday season.”

For the classic songs on Stay Warm, Harris

says the group went back to their inspirations

and thought about the age-old favorites they

felt the most connected to.

“One of our influences was Sufjan Stevens.

His Christmas album from a few years

ago is something that I come back to every

year. He was highlighting traditional folk

Christmas songs, and that was something

that we were starting to do in our sets too,”

she states.“The songs that we have covered

on this album – ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Gloria in

Excelsis Deo’ – those things are hundreds of

years old, but are just so beautiful; melodies

that transcend the ages, that we just felt a

connection to.”

Singing together for a decade has helped

The O’Pears – rounded out by Lydia Persaud

and Meg Contini – find the sweet spot where

all three of their voices synchronize beautifully

without too much overthinking.

“We kind of just gravitate to our roles now.

The three of us met in 2008, so we’re coming

on 10 years of singing together, and through

all of those experiences, it’s really intuitive

now for us to harmonize.

In this album, we did a little bit of layering.

The whole album was recorded around one

microphone. Whenever we sang together,

The O’Pears perform Dec. 13 at Canmore Arts

Place (Canmore), Dec. 14 at Knox Presbyterian

Church (Red Deer), Dec. 15 at Cookhouse on

Main (Sangudo), Dec. 17 at Fernie Arts Station

(Fernie), and Dec. 20 at Ironwood Stage & Grill


NMC presents









Catch the world-class jazz-pop vocalist

as she blends an array of genres into a

sound that is inimitably her own.


Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre | 850 4 Street SE Calgary, AB @nmc_canada #StudioBell



solidarity through conversation and song

If you bring up the name Joel Plaskett to any Canadian musical

connoisseur, it echoes with instant familiarity. The Juno

award-winning artist - who resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia - has

enjoyed a long and varied career in the music industry.

Back in the ‘90s, Plaskett started with the seminal hoser-rock

band Thrush Hermit before finding critical and commercial

acclaim with Joel Plaskett Emergency in the 2000s. His 2007 album

Ashtray Rock is a favourite among toque wearin’, ice hockey lovin’

beer swiggers and he’s amassed an impressive collection of solo

recordings since then.He’s an experienced artist, performer, and

producer, but like any hard working musicians, he’s happy to

continue grinding it out on the road.

“I’ve loaded my gear out of clubs at 2:30 in the morning and

gotten to sleep at five for weeks at a time. Cutting our teeth in

bars, playing sweaty rock & roll, I loved it. But there’s something

nice about being able to play in a theatre with your dad now,”

Plaskett chuckles.

With his father Bill, Joel Plaskett released the album Solidarity

via Pheromone Recordings in 2017. Although this was not their

first experience in the studio together, the album and subsequent

touring process has proven to be a wholesome experience for Joel.

“The common ground between us is what the record is about,

and also about solidarity in the sense of two of us trying to present

something together,” he notes. “It was a challenging record to

make because trying to present something cohesive that’s intergenerational

was the trick.”

Fortunately Bill and Joel have always been close, with both of

Joel’s parents being a constant pillar of support in all of his musical

endeavors. Spending time together on the road, however, has

strengthened their bond as father and son.

“We get to spend time together, get along well and have

interesting conversations. I get to learn more about him every day

and vice versa. I think it’s taken our connection to another level,”

Plaskett gushes heartwarmingly.

The sounds they craft together are more in the folk or traditional

vein than what fans of Joel Plaskett have come to know and

love, but it’s a delightful divergence filled with honest songwriting

and subtle acoustics.

Joel says he’d also like to produce for his Dad, something that

would put the spotlight firmly on the elder Plaskett.

“I hope we get to do something else again. I’d love to record my

Dad on his own. Just put a microphone in front of him and make a

Bill Plaskett record.” Joel states with eagerness.

Joel & Bill Plaskett perform Dec. 6 at Meyer Horowitz Theatre (Edmonton),

and Dec. 7 at The Bella Concert Hall (Calgary).

• by Tory Rosso




grim gift guide to some of best Western Canadian metal releases of 2018

by Josh Wood

It’s a horrible time of year to be a metal fan.

Each Christmas headbangers across the globe

are subjected the seasonal sounds of Kenny ‘n’

Dolly duets at the company holiday party, exposed

to B-B-B-Bing Crosby crooning carols on

TV and forced to cringe along with The Boney

M. Christmas Album at the local shopping mall.

Despair not! I have the perfect remedy - a

whole satchel of brand new releases. Shiny

gifts bestowed by underground metal bands

from the prairies to the B.C. coast. A Western

Canadian Metal Advent Calendar, if you will!

It’s like “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” but

with yours truly sending you a dark dozen

frosty Western Canadian metal albums to

stave off the holiday doldrums!

“On the first day of Metalmas my true love

sent to me…”

Apprentice - The Strength of Mortality,

Vancouver, BC (Independent)

They may only have ONE album to their credit,

but this progressive power metal outfit has

generated a lot of buzz in the underground. At

the head of their class, this astute blacksmith’s

debut is an adventurous six-chapter epic packed

with meditations on classic metal.

Assault - Kill for Your Life, Vancouver, BC

(Scrape Records)

After 31 years of fermenting, this distillation of

TWO old demos and other such dark matter

is faster, heavier and thrashier than their 1987

debut Survival in the Streets. For those who

remember it the good ol’ days, this was worth

the wait. Here’s a tasty trove of rare gems for fans

who still cherish them three decades on.

Edmonton’s Solborn released Dark Lights of Delirium this year.

Blackrat - Dread Reverence, Calgary, AB

(Shadow Kingdom)

Wise beyond their years, Blackrat have captured

the intensity, drive and attitude of some of the

early masters on album THREE. The tumultuous

trio churn and burn like Venom, Tank, Hellhammer

and old Motörhead but with an utterly

modern desire for speed and pressure dispensed

with devastating fluidity.

Ye Goat-Herd Gods - Ashes Shall Be Made

of Them, Calgary, AB (Independent)

This effort was years in the making and during

that period the flock has expanded to FOUR

members. Chaotic yet somehow melodic,

this death meets black mash-up is bred for

extreme temperatures. Scaling rocky terrain

with top-notch musicianship and well-conditioned

songwriting, they flex their excellent

production values and rule the wasteland with

an iron staff.

Leah - The Quest, Vancouver, BC (Inner


It’s another win for songbird Leah as she continues

to proves why she embodies Canada’s answer

to Nightwish. Loaded with cameos from no

less than FIVE Euro-metal guest stars and treated

with lush production, this mellowed instalment

explores symphonic Celtic metal soundscapes

with great success.

how symphonic and epic they are? I know that

is a lot to digest, but thanks to some sleight of

hand and genius genre wrangling it totally fits.

Strap in and let the SIX fold Solborn spirit you

away to their delirious dimension.

Dethgod - Disease Called Humans, Morley,

AB (Independent)

Arguably the heaviest band on our twelve-fold

naughty list, this skull-crushing debut EP is the

SEVEN day heavy hangover helper you’ve been

searching for. Breaking rules comes easily to the

bat-swinging threesome whose gritty play on

traditional death metal comes across with a

face-smashing mean streak that reads as pure evil!

Arctic Circle - Where Ice Meets Ocean,

Brandon, MB (Independent)

Rumbling and roaring across the frozen

tundra, Arctic Circle strips it all down with

this lean 24-minute release. The three-piece’s

boundary-probing third effort sees them

crashing through the wilderness while wielding

behemoth riffs. As harsh and relentless as the elements

they embrace, this band of string slingers

hunted through snow and sludge to claim these

EIGHT hybrid doom-groove trophies.

Haiduk - Exomancer, Calgary, AB


This is the third invasion from Lukas, the oneman

army. And, believe me, Virginia, one is all

it takes. A swirling, all-consuming, snow globe

vortex of blackened death - this package is just

what the magi ordered. Camel-up, Dante. You’ll

follow the arcane star of Haiduk’s dark metal

order down through all NINE Circles of Hell

Hailing from Vancouver, Leah emobies Canada’s answer to Nigthwish.

Into Eternity - The Sirens, Saskatoon, SK

(M-Theory Audio)

One of the most successful bands in the region

returns after a TEN year hiatus to deliver album

number six. A bit of a super-group, now with

dudes from Untimely Demise and Death Toll

Rising on the roster, Into Eternity’s new singer

Amanda Kiernan’s (Order of Chaos) incredible

vocal talent is on full display and instantly

embedded into the carbonite maelstrom of their

technical death throes...

Untimely Demise No Promise of Tomorrow

Saskatoon, SK (Independent)

These guys are probably the purest example

of true ‘80s thrash in Western Canada and

the ELEVEN cuts presented on No Promise of

Tomorrow finds them deep in the stacks of

brain-frying, old school nostalgia. Shredding

with fierce vocals, blazing solos and sound-barrier

ripping velocities their timing is actually quite

impeccable. Your true metal love will dig the

awesome Ed Repka cover art too!

Mongol - The Return, Edmonton, AB


Edmonton’s favourite marauders are back!

Sweeping across the grassy steppes with the

thunder of TWELVE drummers drumming,

the barbaric raiders behind the folk-fueled

death metal entity known as Mongols are

not to be underestimated. A grand concept

record in the truest sense, the warrior hoard’s

Return recalls the era of Genghis Khan with

a furious sense of humour and a reckless

abandon that the Blue Wolf himself would

surely celebrate!

Solborn - Dark Lights of Delirium, Edmonton,

AB (Independent)

Alberta spawned, Solborn exemplify Capital

City’s virtues with their flawless form of operatic,

female-fronted, progressive, metal. Did I mention



thrash attack!

Four long years after their founding, oldschool

thrash metal band W.M.D, or When

Minds Develop if you will, has released their

debut EP, Lethal Revenge, as of this past

October. With Skyler Mills at the helm with

his compelling lead vocals and parallel guitar

narratives, Nolan Bendetti’s wild drumming,

guitarist Brody Blaze’s steady yet shredding

guitar and Jake Wendt’s dexterous bass

behind them, the band has finally been able to

capture their elusive thrash soundscape in the

recording studio.

A solid, but surprising 40 minute journey

defined by speed and aggression, Lethal Revenge

mines the band’s key influences including

Nuclear Assault, Exodus and Megadeth

for heavy metal gems. The resulting album is

exhibits all of the raw and power its predecessors

have come to represent while putting

W.M.D.’s own stamp on the finished product.

“My main philosophy for writing music,” says

guitarist Brody Blaze, “is cognitively realizing and

comprehending the fact that music flows like the

blood in your veins. To try and bend or manipulate

that flow in any way is treason to musical

expression. Any one path you follow while writing

music is equally valid when held against another.

Boundaries only keep things withheld.”

Ready for exposure, Lethal Revenge is

almost completely home-recorded and produced,

and the unpolished style is undeniably


bringing heat, repping flavour

The only constant in life is that it is forever

changing, local scream demons Stab.Twist.

Pull ride the wave of change with a smile, focusing

on maintaining the energy that makes

metal fun. With recent lineup changes adding

“Big James” Arsenian on vocals and Kevin

Nelson on drums to STP veterans Russ Bauer

(lead guitar) and Dave ‘Corpsey’ Mosimann

(bass) the group is happy to catalyze into


Best served cold. W.M.D. savour their vengeance.

one of its strengths. Between its enthralling

guitar solos and the complex drumming that

backs it, the EP is sure to get your synapses

firing in a way that gaming console never

could. Binding the album together, Mills’ emotionally

charged lyrics are radical but relatable,

reflecting both W.M.D.’s personal lives and

their collective frustrations.

It’s evident that songs like “Toxic Burn” and

Hot sauce, their new EP and Stab.Twistmas.

something unpredictable.

“We all influence each other, it’s what we

want it to be,” Bauer explains describing that

he intentionally leaves space in the riffs to

make room for his talented cohorts. “We

aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re

not trying to be fancy, we just want to keep

writing songs that are heavy and fun and get

people jumping!” Big James adds describing

the sound of their new track “Safe Space,”

available on their Bandcamp page.

The song is part of an EP that will be

slowly released, song by song, leading up

to their food bank benefit Stab.Twistmas

featuring a glut of heavy local bands. If you

find yourself looking for that last minute

stocking stuffer, be sure to visit Stab’s

merch booth to pick up some of the best

hot sauce Canada has to offer. Stab.Twist.

Pull is the latest band Heartbeat Hot Sauce

has teamed up with to spread the magic of

liquid fire to metalheads across the country.

Having built a special spread for the Cancer

Bats and a sponsorship deal with Woodhawk,

Heartbeat’s aspirations for a relationship

with metal and rock are high.

“They want to be the Jägermeister of hot

sauce!” percussionist Nelson notes referring

to branding the German liquor has achieved

by supporting music and events. Big James

played in a metal band with Al, the owner of

Heartbeat, and is quick to observe he may

be biased about the level of greatness this

condiment has to offer. Al was best man at


“The Age of Extinction” convey highly political

messages and much of the aggressive tone of the

album is fueled by the turmoil and trouble that

W.M.D. has faced as a band. They’ve had their

share of difficulty putting down roots in Calgary.

“It’s almost unbelievable what we have

gone through together. From evictions,

sharing bedrooms, getting ripped off, van

malfunctions, getting sabotaged and person-

by Louis Crowshoe

ally attacked, but we have plowed through

all those obstacles and looked forward each

time,” confirms Benedetti. “The good part is,

we have seen more good times than bad, and

that is what keeps us strong!”

Capturing those exhilarating highs, the

track “Thrash Attack,” while still consistent

with the hard-hitting sound of the rest of the

album, possesses a light-hearted tone that

peels away from its divisive counterparts. The

dichotomy between serious socio-political

commentary and the band’s more carefree

songs keeps things as fresh and dynamic as

the band’s take on modern metal. In the end,

Lethal Revenge is incredibly listenable despite

its intimidating moniker.

“We are about having a good time, inspiring

others and including people in that by living

in the moment on stage!” proclaims Mills.

Looking to climb their next mountain,

W.M.D. already has a second homecooked EP

release on their ‘To-Do’ list for spring of 2019.

Now that they have a few Canadian festivals

under their belts, the band also hopes to be

packing for an international tour in the near

future. Whatever your philosophy when it

comes to taking life by the throat, W.M.D. is a

band that should be on your radar.

W.M.D. perform with Dayglo Abortions Dec. 31

at Stetson Pub (Calgary)

WORDS AND PHOTO by Trevor Hatter

his wedding after all. But his bandmates back

him up – Nelson and Corpsey have dabbled

in making their own sauces, while Russ keeps

a bottle in a holster tethered to his signature

sombrero. They wonder if there is actually

something addictive in the stuff...

“I got a bad habit, it’s really good!” Bauer


If such a secret ingredient exists, it’s the

fermented habaneros used in small handmade

batches that give the sauce its unique

heat and crushability. Big James praises the

company’s community minded ethos, “As

soon as they had any measure of success, they

were throwing it around and sharing it… It’s

cool, Canadians helping Canadians!”

Ever the ambassador to unusual pairings,

Nelson suggests trying the blueberry sauce on

vanilla ice cream, signaling the bands commitment

to the spirit of experimentation and a

mission statement of “Fun first! Questions later!”

Stab.Twist.Pull host at Stab.Twistmas with guests

Bazaraba, After the Prophet, Merc and Third

Chamber on Dec. 21 at Dickens Pub (Calgary)



top ten countdown…

By Sarah Kitteringham

Unorthodox doom metal band Dionysiaque’s 2018 self-titled effort lands at #1.

Anyone who is heavily invested in heavy

metal knows that every year is a good

year for releases. 2018 has been no different:

as per usual, the amount of intriguing, strong

releases unveiled by newcomers in 2018 has

been staggering.

Instead of focusing on the obvious bands

this year I’m going to focus on the best releases

by the unknown and the (mostly) unsigned.

Without further ado…

10. Grendel’s Sÿster - Orphic Gold

Leaves/ Orphische Goldblättchen

Do you dig reallllllllly obscure metal like Lordian

Guard, with a dash of Lord Weird Slough

Feg and Wytch Hazel? Reiterating ancient

myths, this bizarre and intriguing blend of

German and English sung metal incorporates

folk and freakery to infinitely listenable affect.

9. Temple of Abandonment -Chasm

of the Horned Pantheon: Through

Your Death, They Live

Vancouver death doom that evokes diSEM-

BOWELMENT in its own gut churning, glacial,

monstrous way.

8. Hitter - 2018 Demo

If your #bestlife Friday night is slamming

cheap beer in a basement yell talking over

your friends, then Hitter will feed right into

your primal urges. Think the Plasmatics or

Bitch - party metal supreme.

7. Rough Spells - Modern Kicks for

the Solitary Witch

This Toronto quartet makes the catchiest

witch’n’roll you’ll ever hear, full stop.

6. Chapel of Disease - …And As

We Have Seen The Storm, We Have

Embraced The Eye

Intriguing death metal with a guitarist that

would full on fit into Dire Straits… Check out

this malevolent, experimental hell beast.

5. Old Mother Hell - Old Mother Hell

This German epic doom band makes Barbarian

metal, referencing Gates of Slumber and

Minotauri in their valiant and thunderous

tunes. Must buy.

4. Svrm -Лихиї вітри стогнуть

без упину

Atmospheric, freezing, Ukrainian black metal

that twists and turns in gut wrenching ways.

3. Hexripper - Demo 2018

What would happen if Motörhead and

Venom decided to make eternal sleaze punk

baby? Hexripper. Hexripper would happen.

2. Throne of Iron - Demo 2018

Unpolished trad metal with weirdly reverberating

vocals and excellent songwriting. This

band has been justifiably exploding, signing to

No Remorse Records.

1. Dionysiaque - Dionysiaque

This unorthodox doom metal band is absurdly

catchy. Their debut EP runs through four

songs, effortlessly skirting between lurching

epic doom and perfectly integrated black

metal. Buy or die!

This Month


As much as October is the most

metal month of the year, for some

poor, misinformed souls, December

is the least metal month on the

calendar. Many international bands have

figured out that touring Canada in a bus

in winter makes the long way to the top

seem that much further. However, amid

the annual festivities, Christmas parties,

and holiday TV specials, there are always

a stocking full of great metal gigs going

on around town to help thaw out your

frozen bones. Even if you don’t give a fig

about the holidays, you can still your fill

of headbangers’ pudding!

It’s a night for discovery on Dec. 7 at The

Blind Beggar Pub hosts Deathcember with

Hellrazor, Sallow Regent, Rising Sun and

the world debut of Hyperia, featuring former

outlaws of Skymir! That same evening at Dickens,

it is power metal mania with Edmonton’s

Striker back in town for the Play to Win CD

Release Party. The will be backed up by local

thrashers Hazzerd, Traveller and for the first

time ever, symphonic sensations, Edmonton’s

Solborn will be bringing the songbird voice of

McKenna Rae.

The following night you can warm the

cockles of your frostbitten heart as CJSW presents

Mission: Remission – A Cancer Benefit

Concert on Dec. 8. Go crazy for the cause at

SAIT’s Gateway with orange planet harvesters

Woodhawk, From The Flame and vanners’

delight Denimachine. All proceeds to go to

various cancer organizations including Wellspring

Calgary and in support of Vito Borelli.

The event will be hosted by Wicked Wally of

CJSW’s Rock Bottom!

If you need it blacker on Dec. 8, then slither

on over to the King Rot CD release party at

Blind Beggar Pub with Vile Insignia, Detherous

and Fjell Thyngor. As black as the coal in

your stocking.

Feed a cold and starve your fever, Tenacious

D brings “The Metal” to Grey Eagle

Casino for a double-header on Dec. 9 and 10.

Working the magic cast with their new album,

Post-Apocalypto, the rock-comedy duo has

already sold out their Dec. 9 show, so do not

wait to see a tribute to the greatest song of

all time!

Vern’s is the place to be Dec.13 and 14.

Order up some chewy suds and frothy nachos

to wash down some dark, industrial noise and

the smooth ambient sounds of a pure metal

mix that starts early with Pandemik9, Metalmaester

and Skullpartionroot.

After a brief hiatus, Voxx Promotions is

back, Dec. 15, with a monster five-band bill

slated for Vern’s. Subatomic Chaos, SICKS

and After Earth launch the party, which

also features Eye Of Horus and Ontario

foundlings Killitorous (featuring ex-members

of Cryptopsy and Annihilator), who are

headed west for several dates in B.C., will

also be at Rendez-vous Pub in Edmonton on

Dec. 20 as they wind their way back home

in time for Christmas.

Get greasy on Dec. 15 as Glare and

Krash break the crust at Without Papers

Pizza (WOP) in Inglewood. Hungry young

thrashers Krash are making the trek all the

way from Saskatoon, so go enjoy them with

a slice or two.

Lastly, let’s all get loose and leave 2018 in

the dust at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino on

New Year’s Eve with Broken Toyz and the

‘80s Metal Dance Party! You know you have

nothing better to do...

• Joshua Wood





Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’

The Grinch

Columbia Records

Christmas music is a polarizing topic. Some

like to start blasting it at the first sign of leaves

turning colour, others boycott it until it can be

boycotted no longer, unavoidable through the

speakers of décor-drenched shopping centres

everywhere. It’s kitschy and overplayed, and

the lyrics have been engrained in our collective

minds since we first learned to put language

to melody, regardless of which holidays we

personally celebrate. It’s a genre of its own that

has evaded evolution – the same set of songs

are perpetually remade and covered. To put it

simply, songs of the season are hardly inspired.

Enter Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr.

Seuss’ The Grinch, a surprising holiday offering

from Tyler, the Creator. It diverts the aforementioned

formula, laced lightly with cheer and

tinged with holiday references but not overthe-top

chipper with bells chiming and carolers

singing. “Hot Chocolate” is, as its name states, an

ode to the cozy, marshmallow-topped treat, and

“Lights On,” featuring Santigold and Ryan Beatty,

is upbeat and merry.

“Big Bag” is a standout on this album as the

track most recognizably created by Tyler, the

Creator. From the beat to the lyrics, it leans

on the darker side, referencing holidays past

in which Tyler’s “mom was always honest,

[he] ain’t never had a Santa Claus.” According

to him, the song is actually written from the

perspective of the Grinch himself. Perhaps

fittingly, a track that didn’t make the album

but is featured in the soundtrack of The Grinch

is titled “I Am The Grinch.”

Tyler has had a big year, from expanding

his fashion line Golf Wang in a more mature

direction to curating yet another impressive

lineup for his seventh annual Camp Flog

Gnaw festival, this time in partnership with

YouTube Music. He’s becoming something of

a corporation in his own rite, a Renaissance

man with boundless energy and inspiration

to channel into whatever strikes his fancy at a

given moment.

2018 seems to have inspired in him a drive to

focus more heavily on production. In October,

he re-released an expanded version of his 2015

album Cherry Bomb and included an instrumental

alongside each track, feeling it had

previously gone underappreciated. That shift is

obvious on Music Inspired by […] The Grinch,

as vocals take a back seat to production. The album’s

intro, “Whoville,” and outro, “Cindy Lou’s

Wish,” are purely instrumental, encapsulating

the other four tracks like a warm stocking.

Tyler, the Creator is a man of many talents.

He’s been making music since founding Odd

Future in 2007, with the collective’s first mixtape

being dropped in November 2008. Ever

since, his evolution has been constant and, for

those paying attention, blaringly obvious. On

his first solo studio release, Goblin, in 2011, he

was writing lyrics like “Rape a pregnant bitch

and tell my friends I had a threesome.” His

intention was to be ironic and make people

talk – it’s hyper-exaggerated satire, rooted not

in reality but in a commentary on perceived

notions of hip-hop culture. Many of the

controversial remarks he’s made have been

called homophobic – according to The Fader,

the homophobic f-slur appears on Goblin

nine times.

But Tyler isn’t homophobic; he isn’t even

straight. By 2017 he was more confident in his

own sexuality, stating on Flower Boy’s “I Ain’t

Got Time!” that he’s “been kissing white boys

since 2004” and on loosie “Gelato” that he “just

pop[s] models, boys or girls these days, shit, it

don’t matter.” And while he may not always have

been as outspoken about his sexuality as he has

been since Flower Boy, he hasn’t exactly been

keeping it a secret, either – in 2015, for example,

he told Rolling Stone that he was “gay as fuck”

and “one hundred per cent would go gay for ‘96

Leonardo DiCaprio and Cole Sprouse.” In that

same interview, he said “One day when I stop

talking about fucking people in the ass, I’ma go

into children’s books.” Perhaps The Grinch is his

first step in that direction.

This latest release from the Creator is short

and sweet – six tracks, none of which exceed

two and a half minutes in length. In total, it’s

just over 10 minutes long. As far as holidays go,

it’s about as long as you’d want dinner with the

extended family to run: long enough to reminisce

and drink some rum and eggnog, but not

quite long enough to touch on any topics deep

enough to stoke an argument. Music Inspired by

Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch steers free

of controversy, too.

According to a tweet from Tyler, “Making

Christmas themed music, but not making it

too xmasy was the goal.” He wants these tracks

“played in June too,” and it’s feasible that they

will be – their holiday undertones are understated

enough that it won’t feel as blasphemous as

it would to bump “Let It Snow” while wearing

shorts and a tee on the beach. The songs are

cheerful enough to evoke images of Christmas

without being in-your-face about it, shoving

that cheer down your throat. For a Tyler production,

it’s surprisingly understated.

• Jordan Yeager

Illustration by Carole Mathys



Anderson .Paak


Aftermath Entertainment

Easy, breezy, beautiful, like the west coast

where he was born and raised, Anderson

Paak’s Oxnard elevates the artist to new

heights. Being the final release in the trilogy

of his “California” records, with Venice (2014)

and Malibu (2016) preceding, Oxnard is easily

his most decorated album to date.

This is Paak’s first release after signing

with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment and

he spared no expense garnering all the bells

and whistles when it came to production

and collaboration. With Dre acting as executive

producer, you can hear his signature

west coast production throughout, crafting

a luxurious amalgamation of hip hop and

funk. A recipe so delicious, it’s just what the

Doctor ordered. On top of all the glamorous

arrangements, the album also boasts

some impressive features, from an all-star

cast that includes Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T,

Snoop Dogg, J. Cole and Q-Tip.

A delightful boost to the contemporary hip

hop sound, Oxnard is eclectic in that it can

take you back to the ’90s era of G funk and

still make time for a trap beat or two. Paak

Stated, “This is the album I dreamed of making

in high school” and it just might bring you

back to yours if you let it.

• Tory Rosso

Art Brut

Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!

Alcopop! Records

In two senses Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock

Out! is somewhat of a return for Art Brut.

In one sense, it’s their first album in seven

years, which in today’s album churn, that’s

a lifetime. In the other sense it’s a return to

form of sorts, with the band taking their

sound back to the basics after a few albums

of broadening their palette. The songs are

barely sung; singer Eddie Argos’ delivery a

bit more of a rant than anything resembling

melody. He relies on hyper-specific, brutally

honest autobiography with a self-deprecating

humour instead of singing chops.

Sometimes this specificity works, like the

title track, which marries high energy hooks

to an almost desperate plea of an aging hipster

to stay cool, or “Veronica Falls,” which

name checks the forgotten indie band of

the title in a quiet ballad about regrets not

made, adding a little twist at the end. Other

times the honest biography can wear a little

thin. Opening track, “Absurd Breakfast,”

has Argos talking about the difficult social

situations that one-night stands present. It

comes off as the saddest humble brag ever.

He’s a witty writer, and the humour (and

some good hooks) mostly overcome some

of the weaker, less relatable moments.

• Graeme Wiggins


The Bela Session

Leaving Records

Gothic anthems for the modern age, that’s

what post-punk outfit Bauhaus are famous

for. Fashioned during a gruelling six-hour long

recording session at Beck Studios in Wellingborough,

Northamptonshire, England, none

stands higher than “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” Some

40 years later L.A.’s Leaving Records is reopening

the crypt and the crates, unearthing the

band’s formative five-song demo EP.

Clocking in at around three minutes a

piece, the tracks include the previously unreleased

“Some Faces,” “Bite My Hip” and “Boys.”

Not to be confused with Small Faces, “Some

Faces” gets around town with a strummy,

upbeat energy that suggests early Stones and

Animals smoking hash in a back alley. Equally

short and punchy, “Bite My Hip” was later

reworked and issued as “Lagartija Nick,” but

here it’s a jukebox boogie that does the twist

in pointy leather boots. Yearning after Blondie,

the skankin’ “Harry” stirs up a caffeinated

coffin hop. The quirky sing-talk caricatures

turn cranky on “Boys” with its terse vocals

and goading percussion. Then there’s the real

reason you’re going to pick up this album,

the slowly unravelling funeral dirge for the

beloved Dracula of the silver screen, “Bela

Lugosi’s Dead.”

Glory in the familiar spinal rat-a-tat and

slithering strings as their immortal muse

coasts across the room like a shadow. What

had once seemed so desolate and lonesome

now explodes with life thanks to engineer

Mandy Parnell (Aphex Twin, Björk, Brian Eno)

who painstakingly remastered the original

analogue tapes. Every tiny sound and gesture

is set in high relief as the atmospheric 9:36

runtime creeper returns to vinyl for the first

time in three decades. Cherished phantom of

fandom, The Count himself bleeds through

speakers and headphones with a phenomenal

vividness that cries out for a virgin bride and

yet another spin.

• Christine Leonard

Mariah Carey


Epic Records

Mariah is finally having fun again on Caution.

Nothing ruffles her feathers anymore. Men

disappoint her but she finds it amusing. This is

a simple record with catchy tracks. It might as

well have been released in the ’90s since it sits

in the same league as “Daydream” and “Butterfly”.

Just like these albums, the tracklist is a

curt ten songs oscillating between giving your

ex the finger and professing old-fashioned

love for your present honey.

“GTFO” is a calm break-up song about

Mariah running out of patience for drama

while the sexy and seductive title track is a

manual for how to correctly date MC. “No

No” is an infectious earworm about warding

off unwanted affections. This could be the

anthem for a #metoo movement if you listen

closely enough. On “Distance” Mariah teams

up with Ty Dolla $ign, for a romantic snub to

the haters, “they just want to be us they don’t

want to see us going the distance.”

Mariah brings her flavour to the melody of

every song. There are some interesting names

in the song credits as well – Porter Robinson,

Skrillex and 22-year old Ontario producer,

Luca Polizzi. Mariah has struck gold by keeping

it simple on this album and cancelling out

the noise of the last decade.

• Prachi Kamble



Oscar St. Records

O Brother, there art thou! Meet Davers,

formerly known as David Lang, founder of

indie rock mainstay Current Swell. He’s the

denim-shirted crooner with sunshine on his

shoulder and a song in his heart. Presenting

five tracks laid out under the eye of engineer/

producer Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Dan

Mangan, Cave Singers), Davers’ eponymous EP

has the vintage feel of dusty dungarees and a

mouthful of fine BC wine.

Light floods through the cracks in opening

cut “Brother Brother” with its wire and wood

notes of tobacco, oak, leather and Young.

Childhood fireside tales tug at the apron

strings of truth as Davers praises the wrinkles

around your eyes on the folksy “I Watched

You Grow Up,” flooded with solar energy

and bass drum womb-pulse. The methodical

uprising of “Tooth and Nail” recalls the

spiritual solidarity of a Woody Guthrie union

ballad. Meanwhile, the plucky ivory tickling

on “Heart of Glass” conjures up a bus stop

busker romance, before rolling into the

altruistic troubadour’s march, “Put Your Pain

on Me.” Accepting the weight of the world

without resignation, Davers turns out a gentle

answer and melds all the broken pieces

back together with guitar gold; kintsugi for

the soul. If you see his case ajar, be sure to

toss Davers a fiver.

• Christine Leonard



Arts & Crafts

Regina, Saskatchewan singer-songwriter

Andy Shauf continues his poetic journey with

Foxwarren, a new acoustic/indie rock group

he formed with childhood friends Darryl and

Avery Kissick and Dallas Bryson.

After being shortlisted for prestigious

honors such as the SOCAN Songwriting

Prize and the Polaris Music Prize, it might

be hard for Shauf to shield himself from the

inevitable acclaim or backlash (or both)

that could come from an entirely new venture.

Fortunately, Foxwarren arrives without

any colossal expectations and instead just

delivers a pleasurable, uninterrupted, and

coherent piece of work that he can definitely

be proud of.

While their path is certainly forged from

Shauf’s mellow, introspective lyrics and acoustic

troubadour roots, Foxwarren adds just

enough spice to distance itself from his solo

work. The songs on this debut feel fleshed out

and complete, often travelling to new heights

and introducing innovative flourishes into the

fold within a four or five minute span.

Previously released single “To Be” is sure

to be a future live staple, with it’s chilled out

strumming pattern and unexpected - but

genuine - vintage guitar solo.

Up-tempo track “Everything Apart” keeps

things interesting, mixing Radiohead breakbeats

with boogie-woogie synth soundscapes.

Handclaps drive “Sunset Canyon,” while

the swirly, phasing background of “Fall Into A

Dream” takes you to another planet and back.

Named after the small town in Manitoba,

Foxwarren’s debut is a treasure worth of

addition to your vinyl collection. Don’t be

surprised if you see this one on the Polaris

shortlist next year as well.

• Trevor Morelli

Jacco Gardner



For his third full length release, Jacco Gardner

has made some serious changes. The

record is entirely instrumental, bare of even

any non-verbal vocal decorum. Instead, the

Dutch solo artist asks an array of vintage

synthesizers to do the talking. Though Somnium

is much more cinematic than the back

catalogue, it’s not a sharp left turn but a

slight change in direction, expertly blending

the baroque pop of the Jacco we know and

ambient synth-scapes of the Jacco we are


The record begins with “Rising,” a Vangelis-level

synthesizer trip that may as well be

the name for the LP, as it is a seamless whole.

Throughout the tracklist, synths soar and

warble, everything grainy as an old photo. The

rhythms are simple but engaging, endowing

an energy to songs like the second to last,

“Descending,” which brings the spacious synth

high to an end.

Even without vocabulary on its side,

Somnium clearly communicates the dialled

musicianship and wide-spanning vision of an

artist evolving.

• Judah Schulte


Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred

Snitzer orchestra

The Capitol Studio Sessions

universal Music Canada

Jeff Goldblum, like a male model Hansel, is so

hot right now. Therefore, it should come as no

surprise that he’s releasing a jazz LP, his debut,

The Capitol Studio Sessions, with his band the

Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. That’s just Cool

101, right?

However, it may surprise you that the album

is actually really good. Almost too good.

An accomplished pianist, Goldblum has been

performing live shows in L.A. with his band

since the ‘90s and this LP captures a recent

performance. Chock-full of appearances by

great guests such as trumpet master Till Bronner

sizzle throughout, while vocalists Haley

Reinhart and Imelda May both crush it.

Still wondering about the classic Goldblum-brand

of nonsense that true fans have

come to expect? There is some.

Goldblum’s banter with Reinhart on “My

Baby Just Cares for Me” is hysterical and his

duet with comedian Sarah Silverman on

“Me and My Shadow” is pure gold. However,

they fade most of the live show banter to

make room for, you know, songs. Perhaps the

producers thought to leave us wanting more?

Well, if do you need more there’s a video

on YouTube of Goldblum purring for ten

solid hours! Fortunately, The Capitol Studio

Sessions is too sophisticated for that. This

production is actually about the music and

uh, uh, yes, yes, aaah… it delivers.

• Trevor Campbell


Warn the Dark


Shake off the sadness and gloom. Delve

below the surface, beyond image and

shallow facade, into the warm, wet heart’s

blood of the matter. That’s what post-punk

trio Heavydive want you to do with their

new release, Warn the Dark. Generating

an atmosphere of rainy rendezvous and

passion-fogged car windows, “Room 213”

mounts an impressionistic painting within

an ’80s synth and drone framework. Prone

to free-falling through memory, vocalist/

bassist Randall Squires, guitarist Juan Ortiz

and drummer Santiago Ortiz conduct a

hovering shoegaze séance to contact their

former selves. Soon the mellow blush of

“When the Sunsets” pinches the pallor from

your cheeks and whispers a hot breathy secret

in your ear. Their subtly persuasive soft

sell continues with the windy ruminations

of “Wax Dreams,” featuring delicate guitar

threads that bow down to the cool nonchalance

of Squires’ narratives. The interleafing

instrumental interludes with nostalgia samples

deliberately divides the joy; segmenting

the EP’s tracks like the chapters of your John

Hughes-pink diary. Snagged in a complex

crash of emotion, the shimmering scales

of “Sirens” drowns out existential angst

with a cascade of lush modern textures.

Scholars of goosebump-raising intimacy, the

brooding beaus behind Warn the Dark are

intensely curious about your inner wallflower.

Let’s hope they ask you to prom and pin

a Smiths poster over your bed.

• Christine Leonard

Mumford & Sons


island Records

The inevitable trajectory of a geographic

delta is toward the opening of a much larger

body of water. Mumford & Sons makes it

to the ocean with Delta (Gentlemen of the

Road, Island Records), their fourth studio

release. Orchestrally gigantic, swollen really,

Delta trials electronic, R&B and quasi-experimental

sensibilities, utilizing a talent buffet

of almost a hundred musicians in recorded

sessions with the band and producer Paul

Epworth of The Church Studios in London.

There are plenty of thundering climaxes

and rousing one-liners to identify this as

Mumford-made but like Wilder Mind (2013)

before it, Delta doesn’t pander to the cozy

folk-ish barn rattle that put the British

quartet on the mainstream map with Sigh

No More (2009) and Babel (2012). Delta is

like grumpy, tangential Coldplay, which has

its moments.

Marcus Mumford possesses one of those

satisfyingly creaky voices that lets him

get away with insipid lyrics on otherwise

thoughtful and interesting songs like “Wild

Heart” and “Darkness Inside”. The mixed bag

does perplex though, with anthemic, country-rock

choruses on “Forever” and digital

do-dads on “Picture You.” “Beloved” and “Slip

Away” have the stadium fireworks covered,

while “The Wild” revels in the drama of its

layered symphony. This is genre-dabbling at

its most luxurious and there doesn’t appear

to be any turning back to dusty old folk rock

for Mumford & Sons.

• Sarah Bauer


Blood Remixed

Last Gang Records

Dreamy Canadian R&B duo Rhye are capping

the year off with a remixed re-release of their

Now open in


1103 12 St. SE, Calgary .

ol_beautifulbrewingco .



emotionally cathartic and heart-wrenching

album Blood titled Blood Remixed. What was

originally a gentle and sexy album that personified

the tears that collected at the corners

of your eyes after heartbreak has been transformed

into a kick-ass collection of punchy

and bass heavy house tracks. Rather than

being the band listeners seek to set the mood

or reminisce on the past, Blood Remixed

makes Rhye’s tracks less about being alone

in your feelings of unrequited love to finding

love under the flashing lights of a dance floor

at three in the morning.

The biggest surprise from Blood Remixed is

that it surpasses Blood in its uniqueness and

becomes the superior album. Milosh’s surreal

androgynous vocals are arguably some of the

most impressive in current R&B, but with the

added flare of break-beats and deep house his

vocals transcend to become something much

more powerful.

With features from notable producers such

as Washed Out, Poolside, Jacques Greene and

Little Dragon, Blood Remixed is given the

funkiest treatment possible and comes out

the other side as a formidable contender for

the best release on Rhye’s discography.

• Joey Lopez

Daniel Romano

Finally Free

New West Records

After releasing two surprise albums to ring

in 2018, Daniel Romano returns with a third

set of songs to ring out this tumultuous

year. Three full-length albums in one year

(plus nine solo albums over the last 10 years,

amongst EPs and other projects) might sound

like too many, but this musical shape shifter

(seriously, he even looks strikingly different

across the varying album covers) has made

every single album sound impressively distinct

from any of the others.

This time out he mostly channels ’60s folk

music (but not like Bob Dylan who he already

mimicked on 2017’s Modern Pressure) coming

across sounding like a modern James Taylor

at times and like The Birds at others. Here on

Finally Free, Romano has once again dropped

the twang and pedal steel guitar that marked

some of his earlier work and embraced

soaring melodies alongside beautifully crafted

music that isn’t afraid to occasionally go

heavier than the listener may be expecting.

This prolific artist is even more impressive

when you consider that he plays and writes

almost all of the music and lyrics on his many

diverse albums.

Fans of his previous work will want to tune

in to see which way he’s steering the ship

this time, and those who may be unfamiliar

with his music would do well to check out his

entire catalogue to appreciate such a diverse

and talented artist.

• Craig Douglas

The Smashing Pumpkins

Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol.1 / LP:

No Past. No Future. No Sun.

Napalm Records

The more you listen to The Smashing Pumpkins

new album Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol.1

/ LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun., the more

one thing seems abundantly clear: they’re

playing it safe.

Despite its pretentious title, this EP – which

is supposedly part one of two – doesn’t do

much to either change people’s minds about

Billy Corgan and crew or push the envelope

into new Pumpkins territory.

Your enjoyment of the disc, however, will

largely depend on what you’re expecting

from the ¾ “reunited” band in 2018. If you’re

nostalgic for the fuzzy, angst-ridden grunge

anthems of the ’90s, “Solara,” “Silvery Sometimes

(Ghost)” and “Marchin’ On” will be

right up your alley.

Most of these tracks are highly derivative of

previous Pumpkins lore. For example, “Silvery

Sometimes (Ghost)” sounds like “1979,”

“Solara” sounds like “Fuck You (An Ode to No

One),” “Seek and You Shall Destroy” sounds

like “The Everlasting Gaze”, and so on.

Opener “Knights of Malta” is the best track,

a relaxed, slow burning rocker, complete

chugging bass lines and vibrant gospel singers

in the background. What follows is seven

more tracks of loud, energetic, and again, fairly

standard rock ‘n’ roll numbers.

On the other hand, if you’re one of the few

that actually enjoy Corgan’s more progressive,

self-absorbed side – the one that thinks

it’s a fun idea to play instrumental jams in a

teahouse for 14 hours, or whatever – there’s

not much new here for you.

Few songs on Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol.1

/ LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. veer from

the standard verse-chorus-verse formula, but

maybe that’s what the Pumpkins need right

now. Pandering to their fan base has served

them well in the past and, given all the drama

they’ve already experienced this year, saving

the inevitable Twitter backlash for later might

not be a bad thing.

• Trevor Morelli

Various Artists

Live at Massey Hall Vol. 1

Arts & Crafts

If you’ve ever wanted a beautiful collection

of songs that perfectly sums up the creativity,

passion and raw energy held by some of

Canada’s most interesting artists today, Live at

Massey Hall Vol. 1

might be it. It’s a great reminder of the

underappreciated talent we have here in our

own country.

Recordings taken from different concerts

over the last few years at Toronto’s historic

Massey Hall make up this moving Record

Store Day Black Friday release. Constantines’

“Nighttime Anytime (It’s Alright)” stands out

as an early highlight with its head-bobbing

guitar hooks and faux-disco breakdown.

Dan Mangan provides a spirited, fresh take

on “Vessel,” a song you’ve probably heard a

million times by now. Emily Haines and the

Soft Skeleton look inward on the sensitive yet

haunting “Fatal Gift,” and Bahamas utilizes a

simple bed of bare guitar chords to bare his

soul on “Like A Wind.”

Focusing largely on indie and folk artists,

Jeff Goldblum

and the Mildred

Snitzer Orchestra

Live at Massey Hall Vol. 1 ventures into a huge

wall of sound, created by Japandroids’ sharp,

fuzzy riffage on “The House That Heaven

Built” before closing with the soft lament of

Whitehorse’s “Die Alone.”

Rounded out by more fantastic tracks by

Destroyer, Hayden, Andy Shauf, and Couer

de Pirate, you’ll want to refrain from using

the skip button on this one. Each tune on

this carefully curated roster of talent lends

itself to have more emotional depth with

every listen.

• Trevor Morelli




Nov. 15-18, 2018

The 2018 Alberta Electronic Music Conference

(AEMCON) is a massive undertaking for its two

organizers that was, for the third year running, a

monumental success due the vision and tenacity

of Isis Graham and Andrew Williams and the

great team of people they put together. All the

dozens of volunteers, the staff at the numerous

venues involved, the multi-talented artists and

speakers from around the country and across the

globe who provided their wisdom, their music

and their time and not least of all the hundreds of

attendees — the event could not be all that it is

without all the moving parts who support it.

For me personally, now that I live in a somewhat

remote town, nearly four hours away from

Calgary, it’s a chance to come in for one weekend

and get a world-class experience electronic music

conference experience — network, catch up with

old and new friends, hear some mind-expanding

panels and most importantly, hear some phenomenal


The curators did excellent and careful work

putting together the programming, from old

school Detroit techno legends Octave One, classic

dubstep producers like Sleeper, to forward thinking

bass music artists like TMSV or Tsuruda. The

only challenge is trying to see as much as possible,

but organizers even tried their best to curb that

by providing free shuttles between the night-time


• Paul Rodgers

Studio Bell After Hours

With three stages, a trade show on the main floor,

a photo-op with the TONTO synthesizer’s creator

Malcolm Cecil, and five floors of exhibits, The AE-

MCON edition of Studio Bell’s “After Hours” series

was perhaps the largest scale and most ambitious

single event of this year’s convention.

The “After Hours” series began in March

2017, and invites the public to enjoy the centre’s

exhibits after its normal operating hours alongside

a DJ-helmed club-like experience. In this case it

was the Juno award winning group A Tribe Called

Red headlining the main room, while Chicago’s

DJ Heather headlined the stage located on the

bridge above 4th street.

Of particular interest at this event was the silent

disco presented by Quiet Hours. With six DJs,

this room contained the event’s largest concentration

of local talent.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, a silent

disco is essentially a dance party with no sound

system. Instead, the DJs broadcast their set over

a radio frequency which can then be listened to

by patrons wearing headphones. This allows the

potential for multiple DJs to play simultaneously

in the same room.

For this event, the group had two DJs playing

simultaneously throughout the night, one representing

house and techno, and one representing


bass and experimental electronic music.

In addition to the three founders of Quiet

Hours - DJs Swaggacats, Benanas, and Crooka -

the room also featured notable local figures Ra/

Sol, BB Mars, and Smol.

Quiet Hours hosted a series of patio parties this

past summer at Broken City which, according to

Swaggacats, are slated to return next year.

• Jonathan Crane

Render Series

AEMCON’s Thursday night culminated in four

headliners spread across three different nightclubs.

Habitat Living Sound’s offering was a special

edition of their Render series featuring Edmonton-based


Since Render’s launch last summer the monthly

night has continued to cement its reputation of

delivering cutting edge, esoteric house and techno

aimed at the genre’s most devout admirers.

Although the night initially featured all-local

lineups, they’ve gradually progressed to include

out-of-town headliners, such as their October

edition that featured German artist Heiko Laux.

TAF was a very optimal choice for continuing

to build on this momentum, as his “Transient”

events in Edmonton largely share a similar

ideology. Taking place at DIY venues, these events

have been described as creating a warehouse

atmosphere reminiscent of European nightclubs.

For his set at Render TAF played a varied

ensemble of music that, when asked about it

afterwards, said was a direct representation of

his sets at Transient and their “all over the map”

nature. While it was largely anchored in techno, it

also contained hip-hop, R&B elements, and classic


Also helming the music that night were two

of Render’s co-founders, Electric Sky Festival

co-director Danger Bay and Sled Island alumnus

Mark Adam. The pair assembled a custom visual

montage that was projected above the DJ and

complemented by an array of cross-room lasers,

another facet of Render’s modus operandi.

• Jonathan Crane

AEMCON Demonstrates

What the Industry Is All About

On the 19th, the co-founder of AEMCON,

Andrew Dunmore (Dunmore Park), a DJ and

producer took the stage at Habitat Living Sound

for a back-to-back with Matt Caine, the venue’s

general manager and resident DJ.

Their set effortlessly melded together techno,

house, techhouse a perfect prologue for the

headliner and AEMCON speaker, Pezzner.

Part way through the set, the quaint venue was

bursting at the seams with people networking,

exchanging stickers, and business cards.

Pezzner’s set took on a different note. The producer

focused on minimalist house and techno

driven by feathery synths and complemented by

soft bass lines.

The contrast from set-to-set kept the entire

night fresh and exciting, igniting the dance floor in

their own right.

After a night of both work and play, the event

continued on with an array of workshops at The

National Music Centre, also known as Studio Bell.

Among many of the workshops attendees

enjoyed on closing day were, mixing and mastering

led by Woofax, former producer and audio

engineer for Terravita, music production with


Vespers, an Abelton trainer and DJ and panels

discussing entrepreneurship in music and how to

keep venues alive.

Eager to learn and widen their scope of creativity,

many participants took notes, asked questions

and engaged in the conversation.

The conference encapsulates the essence

of what electronic music is about, unity and

inclusion through interactive education and the

opportunity to connect with others.

• Catalina Briceno




Dickens Pub

Nov. 7, 2018

On the crusty surface Mac Sabbath

appear to be aping the grandfathers

of doom, our beloved Black Sabbath.

It’s an easy comparison to the layman,

but appearances are not all that they


Contrary to this commonly held

belief, frontman Ronald Osbourne

explains they emerged from a rift in

the space-time continuum linking our

dimension with theirs.

The magical forest where Mac

Sabbath gestated exists in a chaotic

universe where fast food mascots are

biological entities – living beings who

feel pain and use artistic expression

to curb the madness fermenting

inside their special sauce-slathered

souls. These creations, born from

cardboard corporate imaginations

to sell junk food to children, became

sentient and pissed-off.

Rejecting their purpose as slaves

to their overlord, Mac Sabbath

are now determined to peddle

face-melting rock ‘n’ roll sustenance


Despite the obvious differences

in our worlds, knowing how to

party is a universal language. Slayer

MacCheeze blasted out sizzling

riffs over a creamy rhythm section

featuring Grimalice slapping bass

and the Catburgular on drums.

Ronald topped it all off with

skewering lyrics pointed at their

creators while springing snakes from

condiment bottles, turning buckets of

beer into confetti and dealing with an

endless flurry of silk scarves.

These cursed figures brought magic

to the gathering of bangers; sharing

their existential angst drew us closer

together and left the crowd screaming

“I’m loving it!”

• review and photo: Trevor Hatter



The Gateway

Nov. 20, 2018

There was a familial air surrounding The Deep Dark

Woods in Calgary, a genuine enthusiasm for the

music they were making together, expanding on cuts

through a setlist mostly pulled from their 2017 effort,

Yarrow. Leading with the swaying groove of “Fallen

Leaves,” the band wove expertly through the nuances

of that album, frontman Ryan Boldt’s plaintive vocal

matched in melancholy harmony by Kacy Anderson.

Boldt and Evan Cheadle’s guitar parts, together with

Geoff Hilhorst’s organ lines created a tapestry of classic

tones that recalled the earliest strains of California

country rock and late ’60’s folk-rock, at once an homage

and an update on those sounds, while rhythm

section mates Erik Nielsen and Leon Power laid down

a pocket with ample room for the rest of the band

to explore. The set was often jammy, but avoided big

solo spots in favour of collective harmony. Yarrow

cuts like “Drifting On A Summer’s Night”, and “The

Birds Will Stop Their Singing” found the band in

extended spaces of smiling ecstasy, with Anderson

abandoning the steady strum of her acoustic guitar

to wave the crowd to pull in closer, with tongue-incheek

gestures and charming laissez-faire. For a set

closer, “Teardrops Fell” featured the longest extended

piece, the band happily leaning into the two-chord

coda vamp, taking their time getting to the end,

before retreating for a few minutes in advance of the

encore of their now-classic number “All The Money I

Had Is Gone”.

In a rare throwback twist, Kacy & Clayton showed

unpredictability in their set, opting to run a set of

mostly new and unreleased material as they prepare

to record their fourth full-length recording. The music

was a continuation of their most recent effort, 2017’s

The Siren’s Song, with Clayton Linthicum’s twangy

guitar riffs leading off the cuts, while Kacy Anderson’s

vocal melodies ranged from subtle to soaring. Linthicum

and Anderson are both immediately identifiable

in their styles; Linthicum’s blend of flash country and

folk guitar is distinct in his tonal choices, a slightly

muffled, midrange-y snap that never overwhelms but

always impresses, while Anderson’s vocal remains one

of the most versatile physical instruments in Canadian

roots music. There was a time that bands used

tours to road test new material, and Kacy & Clayton’s

willingness to eschew the tried-and-true material

of their previous releases to give crowds something

unexpected and new shows a bravery uncommon to

the current dictates of live performance.

The evening was opened by recent Calgarian Kay

Berkel, showing, as Kacy & Clayton later would, a bit

of bravery by performing only one number. Clad in

red and showered in natural light, as were her partners

Justine Vandergrift and Elle McAndrews, Berkel’s

song “Old Forgotten Bed Of Flowers” captured the

audience with its little-prairie-church arrangement,

while leaving them wishing for more of the same.

• Mike Dunn

Photo: S.Buzzalino


The #1 Royal Canadian Legion

(Calgary, AB)

Nov. 9, 2018

Perhaps there were people in attendance

who knew the name of every

song. Perhaps one of the myriad local

players who’d all made their way

downtown to the Old #1 to see one

of Canada’s most venerable rock n’

roll bands would have known better

than I exactly which song The Sadies

were catapulting into at a breakneck

rollercoaster pace, or pulling us into

some kaleidoscopic auditory cascade.

We weren’t there for “the hits”, because

that’s not what The Sadies are, or

have ever been about. It’s the sound,

whether the whirling, breezing chime

of Dallas and Travis Good’s guitars in

harmony on their numbers influenced

by early country rock, the blasts of

wild, hundred-mile-an-hour rock n’

roll that pulls from every source of the

style’s DNA, or the the blazing high

speed spaghetti country bluegrass

pushed along by Sean Dean and Mike

Belitsky that’s as reverent for the down

home feel as it is uproariously punk in

its energy.

A lot can get lost in the The Sadies

manic energy. Even when they slow

down, the sound carries people in a

sway, like leaning back and floating

along the soft current of the warmest

waters. It’s easy to close your eyes and

feel like you’re drifting, from the feet

up, three minutes at a time, before

they kick back into some speedfreak

craze of amphetamaniacal boogie, and

every foot in the room is somehow

connected back to every knee, hip, and

butt and spins like a dust devil on a

wide open golden field.

It felt like time travel in the early

winter drizzle of a Friday night in Calgary,

the living memory still breathing

through the wood and walls and

backdrop of The #1 Royal Canadian

Legion. Through one charming encore

after another, The Sadies climbed rock

n’ roll peaks as though gliding, guiding

us all the way while performing with

not only the confidence, but also the

grace and humility of those who know

what it takes to find such heights in

the first place.

• review and photo: Mike Dunn


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)

Reviewing relationships and reinventing your

communication patterns. Trust the important

dialogues that come up and connect to them

with a patient, present moment exchange. Perhaps

it is more important to feel at peace than

to feel you are right? Connect to your personal

power and proceed to build a strong internal

structure. Anxiety may come up if you feel like

you are giving your power away. This anxiety

could be caused by externalizing it. Stay true

to you, brilliant Aries, and tap into your steady


Song suggestion for the month: “Enter

One”- Sol Seppy

Taurus (April 21 - May 21)

So you are talented hey, orphic Taurus. What are

you doing with these creative talents to support

your life and future dreams? Pursue mutual

growth relationship dynamics and prioritize creative

collaborations. This is a cycle to fine tune

your creative abilities and put in the work. Feeling

the feelings you need to feel this cycle will

be important as you deepen into affirmations

of self-worth and synchronized energy fields. Let

your heart think and oscillate with your shifting

flow states. Harmonize, shift and rebalance.

Song suggestion for the month: “Black

Magick” - Ty Segall

Gemini (May 22 - June 21)

Reflecting like the moon on the water, contemplative

Gemini. Your life is looking to expand in

some potent ways -- can you see them? Weave

your dreams into an expanding tapestry. You will

have illuminated realizations that stand out to

you this month, trust that you are seeing what

you need to see. Stay motivated in the realm of

self-improvement and reap the flowing rewards.

Where your attention goes, your energy flowsremember

this gentle truth as you expand in

magnified ways. How are you going to focus

your expansive magnitude?

Song suggestion for the month: “CAN”-


Cancer (June 22 - July 23)

Hey Dreamweaver, are you trusting into your

feeling capacities? Stay focused as abundance

in the realm of opportunity flows towards

you. Projects are infused with a special kind

of magic this cycle. Cash in on this magic by

filtering through these opportunities. Which

sing to your soul and which just don’t feel like

a vibrational match. Life is overflowing and

you need to save some energy for your reserve

baby. So slow down when you can and feel

into the soft and sensual spaces that feed your

pleasure receptors.

Song suggestion for the month: “Magick

Creek” - Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Ariel


Leo (July 24 - Aug. 23)

You’ve got a glow, celestial Leo. This glow has

created extra abundance. Abundance that

could be shared. Help level the playing field and

lift others up with shared opportunity, quality

time and heartfelt exchanges. Spend some days

observing where you have found yourself. Give

your heart time and spaciousness to speak.

Close your eyes and see what is there for you.

There is a sense of chaos and change that has

opened some larger heart changes. Check in

with the changes and feel the ripples. Allow the

ripples to carve out new patterns in the marble

of your life.

Song suggestion for the month: “Watching

Trees”- Eleven Pond

Virgo (Aug. 24 - Sept. 23)

Accomplished and hardworking, do you ever rest,

talented Virgo? This cycle avoid burnout by leaving

room for peace and pleasure. Release yourself

from the intensity of the expectations you have

placed upon yourself. Pressure makes diamonds,

you know this. However, it’s okay to slow down

and feel the spaciousness of the sky. Expand in

ways that contribute to personal and collective

healing. There will be much to celebrate this cycle.

Allow yourself to revel in some Dionysian energy

if you feel called.

Song suggestion for the month: “Familiar”

- Agnes Obel

Libra (Sept. 24 - Oct. 23)

Embrace the mess and enjoy the process, creative

Libra. Some qualities of life appear to be sorting

themselves out in strange ways. Don’t be afraid

to kiss the lips of fate as you are called to make

essential changes. There is a spotlight being shone

on the truth of relationships in your life. This is

casting a gaze of reflectiveness towards how to

proceed within certain exchanges. Follow the

warmth, magic and flow while you let the rest go.

What is meant to show face again in forms of relationship

alchemy will cycle back. Step deeper into

authenticity and inspire others to rise with you.

Song suggestion for the month: “Heaven’s

Only Wishful” - MorMor

Scorpio (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)

Explore what you have been thinking about

and the clarity of language used to bridge your

thoughts. It appears that outdated ways of

communicating have gone through a rinse out

and purer speech is emerging. Remember you are

the voice of the universe. Talents and ability have

been brought to soft focus, multidimensional

Scorpio. Are you being fairly compensated for all

that you are and all that you do? If not, feel the

empowerment to speak up about it. There is a

resourcefulness you have cultivated that allows

you to call in changing horizons of opportunity.

Follow these changing horizons in pursuit of an

ever-expanding sunset. Allow changes to pour in

that paints new colors in your sky.

Song suggestion for the month: “The Other

Side of Mt. Heart Attack” - Liars

Sagittarius (Nov. 23 - Dec. 21)

Life seems to always be fluctuating and asking you

to adapt. Being the mutable fire sign you are you

take these changes and create something new,

higher, and unexpected. This is a visionary and

decoding month ahead for you as you uncover

greater truth about yourself and your relationships.

There may be a rapid pace to the lessons

and workflow. Take time for reunion with self so

you don’t short circuit, powerful archer. Jupiter

planet of luck and expansion is back in its home

sign of Sagittarius magnifying what it touches.

Get ready for endless possibility and opportunities.

This is a sweeping cycle for you -- enjoy your


Song suggestion for the month: “Working

Class Women” - Marie Davidson


Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 20)

Projects of the soul, heart and mind. There is

a potency brewing in business and creative

collaborations. Stay close to what moves the

river of your internal world. Explore your creative

processes in ways that honour and inspire. Take

the time to dig deeper and finish work that feels

of intuitive importance. Creating a constant

stream of communication with your visions this

month will lead to unimaginable results. You

are on your way to higher creativity and your

expansiveness is permeating your projects. You

are boundless, sweeping Capricorn, harness and

direct your energy with dedicated purpose.

Song suggestion for the month: “Bein

Ithnein” - Jerusalem in My Heart

Aquarius (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19)

This is a time of flourishing projects, partnerships

and future visions. Your life continues to take on

a poetic quality as you muse your way through

it. To quote Leonard Cohen “Poetry is just the

evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry

is just the ash.” Allow your passions to burn with

the intensity that gives them fuel for tangible

experience. A note of caution to not burn away

though, as projects and ideas express freely

expending much energy. This is a strong cycle

for you, one in which you have the strength to

not only lift yourself but to lift your community,

collaborators and loved ones. We are all in this

together, embrace the power of unity.

Song suggestion for the month: “Highway

Hustle”- Tommy Guerrero

Pisces (Feb. 20 - Mar. 20)

Emotions swell for you as you get in touch

with the deep valleys of emotions and internal

textures. You are an intrinsic feeler and feeling

your way through life is characteristic of you,

profound Pisces. Give yourself the permission

to feel and not know how you feel about some

key components of your life. Trust your feelings

yet test them too. New relationships dynamics

and collaborations start to emerge. It seems

as though other lives have been waiting in

the woodwork, timing being key for them to

integrate into your life. Allow forces to shapeshift

and your path to take on new realities. It is a

time of endings, beginnings and transition. Trust

yourself as you may find a new true north within

your internal compass.

Song suggestion for the month: “Love’s

Refrain” - Jefre Cantu-Ledesma



what ain’t broke

I’m a kinky single woman who keeps attracting the wrong men for

me—specifically, submissive guys into face-sitting. I’m submissive

myself, and face-sitting is not a turn-on for me. But the vast majority

of men who hit on me have this fetish. I think it’s a size-related

issue—a my-size-related issue. I’m a full-figured/curvy woman with

a big butt. Granted, it’s a fabulous butt, but my butt sends the wrong

signals, apparently. I’ve tried several times to word my FetLife and

other dating profiles so that I’ll attract dominant men, but the messages

from submissive wannabe face-sittees pour in. Dating when

you’re not thin is hard enough. Help, please.

—Baby Got Back

You’ve worded your dating profiles to attract Doms, BGB, but

it doesn’t sound like you’ve worded your profiles to repel—and

crush the hopes of—submissive wannabe face-sittees. Let’s fix

that: “I get a lot of messages from submissive guys into face-sitting.

I’ve got a great butt, I realize, but I’m a sub, I’m not into face-sitting,

and I only want to hear from Dom guys.” Some submissive

guys will message you anyway—guys who will be letting you know

they have a hard time taking no for an answer, BGB, so not guys

you’d ever want to meet up with IRL. Delete their messages and

block their profiles.

While having sex one night with my girlfriend, I pulled out a vibrator

for the first time. She asked whether I (a guy) had used it with a previous

partner (another woman). I conceded that I had. She refused

to let me use it on her on the grounds that it had already been inside

someone else. I pointed out that since I am not a virgin, her objection

did not seem principled: My penis has been in someone else and she

lets me put that in her. Nevertheless, she remained adamant. Do

you think she was being reasonable?

—Very Interested Boyfriend Enquires

I do not, VIBE, but since you don’t want to stick your old vibrator

in me—presumably—what I think is irrelevant. When it comes to

who gets to stick what in our bodies, we’re allowed to be arbitrary,

inconsistent, capricious, and even illogical. That’s why “But my

dick has been in other women and you let me stick that in you!”

isn’t quite the slam-dunk argument you think it is. So toss that old

vibrator and get yourself a new one—but save the packaging so

you can pass it off as new with your next girlfriend.

My cousin was a victim of revenge porn. A bitter ex-boyfriend of his

sent several videos they’d made to everyone on my cousin’s contact list,

including me. I’m a straight woman who prefers gay male porn, and

my cousin and his ex are beautiful men—they’re both dancers—and

I couldn’t help myself: I watched the videos, more than once, before

deleting them. So how bad a person am I?

—Sick And Wrong

You’re a better person than the asshole ex who sent those videos to

everyone your poor cousin knows, SAW, but a worse person than

those who deleted the videos without wanking over them first.

Your life is a monstrous affront to God, and your life’s work, your

ridiculous “advice” column, encourages people to act on their worst

impulses. Advice column? Take the “D” away! You write A VICE

column! I was involved in the gay life once, Mr. Savage, but the love of

Jesus delivered me from homosexual sin. Embrace Christ, and you too

can be delivered. I pray for you every day. Someone has to.

P.S. I have read what you’ve written about your mother, who you

claim to have loved. Your mother died relatively young. I’m not suggesting

God punished you by cutting your mother’s life short. No, your

mother died of shame.

—Christ Even Saves Savages

You pray for me, CESS, and I’ll gay for you—because all the delicious

dick you left behind when Jesus raptured you out of homosexual sin

aren’t gonna suck themselves, are they?

P.S. “Jesus is love,” my Catholic mother liked to say. If she was right,

CESS, he surely finds the things going into my mouth less offensive

than the shit coming out of yours.

I’ve been toying with the idea of having a sub provide domestic

services, but all the potential subs I’ve met with haven’t seemed like

a good fit for various reasons. Last night, I had a first meeting with

a man who is a good fit on paper but who turned out to be an

obnoxious asshole in person—a misogynistic, mansplaining frat-boy

type. Can someone be too much of a dick for you to let them do your


—Sub Is Subhuman


If you wouldn’t be in a vanilla relationship with someone, SIS, why

would you want to be in a D/s relationship with them?

I’ve been in a lesbian relationship for about two years. Recently, I was

listening to your podcast, and you were talking about the Big/little

kink. I remember thinking my girlfriend could be into that. Today, my

girlfriend texted this to me: “I want you to hold me like a child, rock

me to sleep, and tuck me in and kiss my forehead.” I almost asked her

right then if she was into Big/little play, but then I realized that I’m not

sure what I would do if she said yes. If she came to me and said, “Hey,

I’m into this stuff!” I would consider it. But I am not into this stuff—not

independently—or at least I don’t think so. My question is this: If you

suspect your partner is into something that you’re not into, should you

leave it alone? I feel like maybe the GGG thing to do is to ask her and

offer to explore it if she says yes.

—Wanna Be GGG

Are you sure you’re not curious about Big/little play, aka age play?

Because it sounds like you might be. If you are, don’t project your

interests/kinks onto your girlfriend. Just ask her if she might be

interested. If you aren’t into Big/little play but think she might be,

the same advice applies: Just ask her.

My boyfriend of three years has not left his wife for me, even though

he says he will someday. He doesn’t want to hurt her. He feels a duty

to her. But he loves me more and swears he will leave her someday. In

the meantime, we carve out half an hour a week for sex and it’s super

hot. Two questions (and please answer honestly): He’s not going to

leave her, is he? And I’m a cliché, aren’t I?

—Don’t Understand Men

No, he isn’t. And yes, you are. DTMFA.

On the Lovecast, sex-toy expert Erika Moen discusses strap-ons for


@fakedansavage on Twitter


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