COVER 22-27


ARTS 7-10

High Performance Rodeo

FILM 12-13

Banff, CUFF, Killer Tomatoes, Vidiot


rockpile 16-20

Kongos, The Trews, The Morons, The Garrys

edmonton extra 20-21

Altameda, Del Barber, Zrada

Yonatan Gat

and the Eastern Medicine Singers

jucy 28-29

Jonathan Toubin’s Soul Clap, Humans,

Let’s Get Jucy

roots 31

The Jerry Cans, Listings

shrapnel 33-35

Weedeater, Twitch, The Shrine, Month in Metal


Deerhunter, Beirut, Girpool, Toro Y Moi, Sharon

Van Etten, and much much more ...

collecting detective 43

live reviews 45

savage love 46



Brad Simm


Glenn Alderson


Colin Gallant


Hayley Muir


Masha Scheele


Miguel Morales


Arts/Film :: Brad Simm

Rockpile :: Christine Leonard

Edmonton Extra :: Mike Dunn

Jucy :: Paul Rodgers

Roots/Jazz :: Trevor Morelli

Shrapnel :: Christine Leonard

Reviews :: Glenn Alderson


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 •

Art Director: Jennie Big Kitty

Graphic Design: Nicole Bruce

Photography: Drew Ramadan


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The Lifestyle of Pleasure Expo brings together your local

community of presenters, educators, lifestyle professionals,

and Sexperts for an array of hands-on workshops and

demonstrations. You will have the opportunity to shop with

local vendors, and enjoy socializing with people in a safe,

Sex-Positive, Kink-Positive, LGBTQIA+ Inclusive environment.

Steamy subjects for your Exploration Education will

be broken up in to two major themes over the course of the

weekend: BDSM & Intimacy.



On Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019, the Mathison Centre for Mental

Health Research & Education in collaboration with the

Canadian Mental Health Association, Calgary are hosting a

screening of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. On Wednesday,

January 30, 2019 the event will be hosted at The Plaza

Theatre (1133 Kensington Road N.W) at 6:30 p.m. (Doors

open at 6:00 p.m.)

Following the screening, join Dr. Scott Patten, MD, PhD,

Dr. Gina Dimitropoulos, PhD, and Nigel Mayers, Peer Support

Worker at the Canadian Mental Health Association for

a discussion on the mental health of youth.


One of Calgary’s best live acts, surf rockers, The 427’s will

join forces rockabilly steampunk’s Punch Drunk Cabaretfrom

“Dustbowl”, AB for the first annual Midwinter Meltdown

at the Ironwood Stage and Grill, Feb. 1. Sponsored by

Hard Knox Brewery, the idea of the event is to combat the

drudgery of long Alberta winters by combining one of the

best live acts from the north, with one from the south into

a show that favours audience participation with a distinctly

retro edge.



With a subject matter so wide - from supply chain and

consumption to waste management and water treatment,

the ocean plastic crisis is a topic regularly featured on the

news. Scientists are finding micro-plastics in our tap water,

the flesh of fish, filling stomachs of ocean-going birds and

whales...coming from the 8 million tonnes of plastic going

into our oceans every year.

As a non-coastal city but being at the top of a watershed,

how are Calgarians responsible for their part in the bigger

picture of the ocean plastics crisis? How does it really affect

us, what is the real deal with plastics recycling, and what

can we do?

On Wednesday January 9, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. at

Koi (100-1011 1 Street S.W) a featured panel of speakers from

Plastic-Free YYC, The City of Calgary and Alberta Plastics Recycling

Association will discuss the issue surrounding plastic.

For tickets and more information, visit



Over the past year, Artist, Eman Elkadri has been working

on a comic series about the experiences of racialized youth

living in Canada. On Thursday, January 3 at The New Gallery

(208 Centre Street) at 6:30 p.m. you can expect to see 40

unique comics about microaggressions, hear from Eman

about her inspiration, as well as hear from some of the

youth she worked with, plus learn more about what you can

do. This is a free event that is open to all ages. The exhibit

will continue during January 4 and 5 (12 p.m. - 6 p.m.).



Buddy Is Back!

Scott Thompson revives his lovable

Kids In The Hall character


know as much about

Canada as straight people do


about gays. Americans arrive at the

border with skis in July, and straight people

think that being gay is just a phase. A very

long phase.”

Those are just some of the immortal wise

words of Buddy Cole, an immensely popular

character created and performed by Scott

Thompson during his time on sketch comedy

show KIds In The Hall. Thompson is bringing

Buddy back into the limelight with a touring

live show, Après le Déluge: The Buddy Coles

Monologues, which includes a stop at this

year’s High Performance Rodeo. Recently,

Thompson spoke about Buddy’s transition

from screen to stage, and the changing

attitudes and appetites of audiences.

How has the tour been going so far?

It went very well! It was a lot of work, but it

was very fulfilling doing Buddy Cole in these

times. I’m always thrilled getting back into a

smoking jacket.

You mention “these times.” Things have

changed quite a bit since you started out.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is that

people are still as thin-skinned as they always

were, and Buddy’s thrilled about that. I’m old

enough now to see how things are cyclical,

and I can see that this is a similar time to the

Kids In The Hall heydays in the early ‘90s.

Lots of social change, lots of political correctness,

and those things were very evident

while we were on television.

I remember in another interview you did you

talked about how people laughed “at” the

character in his early days.

People laugh less “at” him now than they

used to. The world is less overtly homophobic.

I think there’s a sizeable contingent of

the audience who are very much like, “Oh

that’s not right, he shouldn’t be making fun

that way. That seems rude.” I don’t really care,

he’s just a character! You were wrong before,

you’re wrong now. Buddy makes fun of the

world, how everybody’s a hypocrite.

Buddy has this thoroughly fleshed out personality,

he his own Twitter account. Where

do you find the character ends, and Scott

Thompson begins?


You know, I do stand-up now, and perform

as myself. Back when I first started doing

Buddy, to be the kind of comic that I am

now, on stage, you could not do that back

then. I’m not even exaggerating. You could

not stand up on stage in the late ‘80s and

tell material about being a gay man. It was

not possible. You wouldn’t last more than

five minutes, before you were driven from

the stage with “faggot!” I think people

have a hard time understanding that, but

that’s the truth. I had to create Buddy

for my voice. So in many ways, he was

my early stand-up voice. If I was a young

person today, I think there’s no question I

would’ve been in stand-up right away. But

that wasn’t possible for my generation, so I

created Buddy. Over the years the world has

changed, become much more accepting of

these issues, and there came a point when

I thought, “I don’t need Buddy any more,”

and I did put Buddy aside. Now I look back

on it, and I go, “Well, I don’t NEED Buddy.

But I WANT Buddy. And the audience wants

Buddy. And actually… THEY need Buddy!”

You recorded a lot of the Kids In The Hall with

live studio audiences, but do you think there’s

a difference when you perform it for stage


Yes, absolutely. When you’re on stage, you

go off on so many different tangents. I think

I’m better at stage now because I’ve done

so much stand-up in the interim. I think I’m

much better with Buddy in terms of crowd

work. The audience is an animal, it’s a dance,

and it can be different every time.

What do you hope audiences at the Rodeo

take away from this character and this performance?

Number one: I want people to walk away

thinking that was the funniest thing they’ve seen

this year.

Number two: I’d like them to think: “I might’ve

been wrong about that,” or “Jeez, that’s a different

way of looking at it.”

Number three: I want them to say “God, Scott

Thompson’s aging VERY well.”

Tickets to Après le Déluge: The Buddy Coles

Monologues are available through the High

Performance Rodeo at




by high performing!

No, not that Rodeo. This one is Calgary’s rodeo of dance,

theatre, music, and art of all disciplines, returning for its

33rd year: One Yellow Rabbit’s annual High Performance Rodeo

Is this your first time hearing about the two-week Festival

that takes place every January throughout Calgary? Fear not:

we have pro tips to maximize your Rodeo time, thanks to One

Yellow Rabbit Board Member (and former Rodeo staffer for

nearly 10 years) Todd Hawkwood.

Todd’s TIP #1: “Go and see the weird stuff.”

In Hawkwood’s view, the Rodeo is an opportunity to see

“artists and styles of performance art that you normally don’t

see.” So what “weird” shows would Hawkwood recommend for

this year? “For me, the thing I want to see this year is ‘Macbeth

Muet.’ It looks weird and wild and I’ve learned that the shows

from Quebec are always interesting all the time.” Macbeth

Muet is a silent pantomime retelling of the classic Shakespearean

play, told entirely without words. It runs Jan. 24-25 @ 8 p.m.

and Jan. 26 @ 2 p.m. at the Pumphouse Theatre.

Todd’s TIP #2: “There’s a lot of auxiliary and free events, too.”

“Why not take your lunch break and go see a free show?”

Hawkwood says, referring to the ProArts@Noon Concert

Series. The popular free-to-the-public concert series features

local and guest performers at the downtown Cathedral Church

of the Redeemer, on Jan. 9, 16 and 23 @ 12 p.m.. Hawkwood

also says that Rodeo attendees with tight budgets can check

out a free installation called The Democratic Set which is a

“custom-made film set” that people can visit and interact with

at Eau Claire Market Jan 9-10, before seeing the final filmed

product at Calgary’s stunning new Central Library. It’s all free

and open to the public. “There’s been many events that happen

at the Rodeo that are free and fun,” Hawkwood says.

Todd’s TIP #3: “Try not to do too much research.”


To Hawkwood, going into a Rodeo show without too many

expectations is actually key to enjoying it. He uses the example

of famed poet Shane Koyczan, who will be performing at

the Jack Singer Concert Hall on Jan. 22 @ 8p.m.. “I know he’s

a poet, and when I’ve seen clips of him, he’s amazing,” Hawkwood

says. But Hawkwood says that it’s much more about

allowing your interest to be piqued, and allowing yourself to

be surprised. “Go with an open mind,” he says.

Todd’s TIP #4: “If a show’s in the Legion, just go see it.”

Hawkwood says this downtown performance venue “has

a soul.” The Royal Canadian Legion hosts two shows, This

Little Piggie (originally co-produced by The Old Trout

Puppet Workshop and the Calgary Folk Music Festival),

and Hammered Hamlet (produced by the Shakespeare

Company). The nearly 100 year-old venue is fully licensed

and Hawkwood says seeing shows there comes with a

terrific energy.

Todd’s TIP #5: “Just go once a week, and before you know

it you may see two a week.”

Hawkwood says it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the

sheer volume of programming at the Rodeo, but suggests

sticking to a few choices each week to keep it simple.

“There’s certain pieces you have to hit,” Hawkwood says.

“Go see One Yellow Rabbit. They’re Canadian theatre

legends.” This year, One Yellow Rabbit’s show is Live Your

Prime, with Damien Frost, Jan. 9 -19 @ 7:30 p.m. at the Big

Secret Theatre.

The Democratic Set (below): “disturbingly obvious and

tantalizing strange.”


the culture and the people

Café Daughter explores identity and racism in rural Saskatchewan.

First Nations and Indigenous peoples are behind several works

at this year’s High Performance Rodeo, according to the international

arts festival’s Indigenous Community Liaison, Chantal

Chagnon. Chagnon, a Cree-Ojibwe Métis Artist who creates work

through her independent company, Cree8, sees the volume of

works being produced by First Nations and Indigenous artists as


First among those works is bug by manidoons collective,

running January 18-19 @ 7:30 p.m. and January 20 @ 2 p.m., at the

West Village Theatre. “[bug] is a very unique project,” Chagnon

says. “We’re doing outreach with indigenous youth in the community,

to bring them in for a storytelling workshop.” This ties into

the play’s themes and narrative,which tell the story of women in

an Indigenous family navigating addiction and inter-generational


Cafe Daughter, by Workshop West Playwrights Theatre

Production in Association with Alberta Aboriginal Arts, running

Jan. 15-27 at Alberta Theatre Projects, is inspired by the story of

Chinese-Canadian and Cree senator Lillian Dyck. In this play, a

nine-year old fictionalized version of Dyck named Yvette Wong

struggles to find her identity in small town Saskatchewan. “Like

many of us, if we’re passing for white or other races, we tend

to deny the fact that we’re First Nations,” Chagnon says. “[Cafe

Daughter] is really about reclaiming our culture, reclaiming who

we are as Indigenous people.”

God’s Lake, by Castlereigh Theatre, running Jan. 17-18 @ 8 p.m.

and Jan. 19 @ 2 p.m. at the Pumphouse Theatres, is a Documentary

Theatre piece that tells the story of the reserve of God’s Lake

Narrows, Manitoba. “[God’s Lake] is very enlightening for people

who might not understand what has led into the reserve system,”

Chagnon says. She sees the work as a way to educate people on

the issues of the reserve systems, and the challenges for people

who live there.

Chagnon hopes that audiences will take the time to broaden

their minds at these and other Indigenous performances. “It’s really

important work,” she says. “When we experience a show or an

art piece it reaches into our heart and soul and draws out of us.”





where kinksters and lifestylers explore and make their own rules

Chris and Don Wilhelm have been together since 1997 and their

passionate, positive energy carries right through to each of their

three sex shops. They took over operation of Adam and Eve’s Exotic

Boutique before renaming it the Little Shop of Pleasures that many

Calgarians have come to know and adore. Whether you frequent

any of the stores or you recognize it as a landmark driving around

the city, this couple has become a significant presence in the “kink

and pleasure” communities. They happily educate all who come

into their stores and workshops and have put together an expo

unlike any other we have in Calgary.


The Lifestyle of Pleasure Expo is a three-day event offering over

40 classes to help singles and couples in a safe environment to

explore different areas of intimacy and kink that they may be

curious about.

“The event,” explains Chris, “is a combination of live shows,

classes and a shopping experience. The biggest focus is on the

classes and education part. Especially since 50 Shades Of Grey I

find that lots of people have become excited that they want to

play and try something new, other than your typical sex with a

sex toy. They actually want to start using things. And they have

no idea how. And there is no formal education!”

Until now. With such a wide range of workshops they have

split the event into A Meet And Mingle On Friday Night, a day

of workshops revolving around BDSM And Kink, and a day focused

on Love, Intimacy And Play. The workshops will include

things such as:

• Audrey Absinthe from Sanguine Sirens Burlesque teaching

modern and beginner burlesque along with a class on pastie


• Kimberley Nelson, psychologist, will speak on “What Science

Tells Us About Extraordinary Sex” and, “Communication

Skills To Increase Pleasure And Joy in Your Relationship.”

• Haven Kink, a leather family, will teach all about rope,

bondage and Shibari techniques and safety.

• Yara Corvine, a registered massage therapist, whose

last workshop Chris says was filled with so much love and

tenderness it brought her to tears as she watched couples “of

all flavors” connect with one another through the techniques

they had learned.

• Chris and Don will also be hosting what they can their

“Most Important Workshop Ever Written” focusing on “you”

as an individual.


Together Chris and Don partnered with Lynde Diamond and patented

the Firefly Suspension Unit. It is engineered and inspected as

a piece of fitness equipment made 100% by a local manufacturer in

Airdie that carries a 90 day warranty and ensures absolute safety.

“This is certified for a 700 lbs. drop weight. Basically you could lift

your engine out with it… while fitting over a king size bed,” Chris

giggles. “I had to make sure it fits!”

The design is portable, adjustable and made to be set up in a

home with ceilings at least eight feet high. It’s not just for kinksters,

many people use the unit for aerial yoga, dance with silks and a Lyra

hoop, along with Shibari rope suspension and bondage. In addition,

you can create a hammock and use a papasan chair with it. Chris

and Don have brought it to the beach for the grand kids to play

with. You can even take it on a plane!

The suspension unit also offers a therapeutic feature called

cocooning used for children with Autism. The technique provides

a way of holding someone which helps them to feel comforted and

safe without human contact when that’s not an option.

“This is the Mercedes of suspension equipment,” Chris loves to

tell people.


The world of sex has changed over the years compared to what

was deemed inappropriate conversation and deviant behaviour

not so long ago. Attitudes and interests have evolved, however,

and people have become more open to discussing and accepting

different lifestyles.

“Todays society strives to be less judgmental and strives to

accommodate differences in society,” Don says.

“There are two sort of sexual camps within the community

and a divide between ‘kinksters’ (S&M play, power exchange and

impact play, etc.) and ‘lifestylers’ (couples who explore swinging

and polyamory) and we always encourage people to make their

own rules. But we have noticed that they don’t typically like to mix

camps,“ Chris says.

“They complain about being judged, and then they judge other

groups,” adds Don.

In an effort to get people talk and be open without judgement

they plan on having a Q&A for people to come and ask

questions for both the kinksters and the lifestylers.

Regarding young adults probing their sexual lives, Chris says,

“We have found over the years that the newer generation is

more adventurous, but are finding less satisfaction. It’s like they

are looking for something and are lost.”

Most singles today are about instant gratification with the

ability to literally swipe through partners and never take the

time to build a relationship and reach that point of sincere

passion and intimacy.

Don suggests and deeply expresses, “Make your own rules,

make good rules, and follow the ones you make.”

Lifestyle Of Pleasure Expo takes place Feb. 1-3.

For more info go to


Wilhelm lovebirds

“Your emotions are not who you are, they are learned and

can be unlearned,” says Don. “Our emotions change all the

time. During this workshop I will be spending 90 seconds

revealing, the secret of life! But you have to come to the workshop

to find out.”

Passes can be purchased for individual days with no pressure

to partake in things you are not comfortable with.

“You get to make your own rules,” Chris and Don explain

frequently to couples. There is no one way to approach and deal

with the sensual and erotic and this event is here to help you

bond and explore.






Francis Willey: collecting with heart




Francis A. Willey: beholder of beauty.


Calgary-based artist Francis Willey is known for his voluptuous photos of beautiful

women but fewer people know about his affinity for collecting cameras. He also collects

prints, first edition books, Art Deco objects, African masks, inspiration, and, well —

lots of things. Collectors are often just as interesting as their collections and the unique

photographer Francis A. Willey is a great example of this.

He’s more interested in making art and networking than he is in competitive collecting.

He also adheres to traditional photographic techniques and never uses software to

modify his images. I first met him at a launch party for his latest co-production of Seities,

an internationally acclaimed magazine which allows writers and photographers to share

their work and connect with each other. As a poet, publisher, pianist, teacher and father,

this versatile artist is many things to many people.

I recently sat down with Francis to talk about his camera collection but typically, we

ended up discussing a great deal more. He brought a selection of cameras along in an old

suitcase to show me. He begins by telling me how in 2011 a house fire destroyed most of

his worldly possessions. He luckily wasn’t harmed by the fire but he lost his cat named

Poem. He also lost most of his cameras, collections and poetry books. This instilled in

him a deep appreciation for the transitory nature of life and helped him to understand

what’s important.

Shortly after his cameras burned in the fire, he had an unusual opportunity to replace

most of them at very little expense, so he did. He points out that “if we’re generous and

we pay attention, things come to us when we need them. We get a response to what

we’re open to.” He tells me of a time when he needed some fabric for a photo-shoot

which was just a few hours away, when a piece came blowing down the street to him.

He used it to create a photo which ended up going to the son of the woman who taught

Duke Ellington, the famous big-band leader.

Francis opened the suitcase and spread his cameras out on an empty table in the bar.

He usually juggles between five cameras when works but the 35 mm Olympus OM10 is

his favorite and most-used device. He got his first one by saving the money he earned


singing poetry on the streets of Edmonton. His collection ranges widely from cameras

made in the 1910s to the late twentieth century. He favors the 35mil format but notes he

can cut-down film to fit into any of his vintage cameras.

“Everyone has a way of using their tools,” he says. He looks for portability and how

a camera feels in his hand- it must fit like a garment. His success rate has been good

with found and recovered film and cameras. He likes to experiment with expired film

to achieve unexpected effects. “The most important camera mirror is the mirror of the

mind,” he explains. “Without engaging the mind and soul in your work, there is no art.”

Willey uses textiles as lens filters and creates his own studio sets and fashion for his photo

shoots. He uses his camera collection to create his art.

I found the small Icarette camera (ca. 1912 – 1929) interesting with its collapsible bellows

and unusual flip-up wire viewfinder that allowed the photographer to roughly frame

a photo without looking into the little mirrored viewfinder. It had a great vintage look to

it with its leather-covered body and shiny steel and glass parts. He also had a plastic Polaroid

One-Step with attachable flash. This classic camera with the rainbow stripe down

the center revolutionized photography by winding out a finished photo moments after it

was taken.

Francis is not preoccupied with possession like many collectors often are. His camera

collection tends to be fluid and has come to him from a variety of sources. Some were

purchased but many were gifts to him. He also gives them to his colleagues and photography

students if he thinks they need one or could benefit from having a particular

model. I believe many collectors could benefit from embracing Francis Willey’s generous

and compassionate philosophy.

Francis Willey’s photo exhibit Oracles Of Nature will be part of the annual Exposure

Photography Festival. For more information visit:




unraveling the dark, turbulent, amazing complexity of Charles Mingus

Better Get Hit Runs from Jan. 10-20 at

the DJD Dance Centre as part of High

Performance Rodeo


Why The Beach Boys Matter

We often hear about the wild men of rock ‘n’ roll, and it

wouldn’t be hard to easily list a half dozen off on the

spot. But when asked who were the wild men of jazz, most

of us would need a few moments to ponder and quickly

do a Google search. But there are many wild men in jazz

— Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Thelonious

Monk, those are just some of the big names. There’s a whole

subterranean sea of lesser known horn blowers and beat

maniacs that wrecked havoc. Charles Mingus also fits in that

category, although he had a special place of distinction — he

wasn’t wild as much as he was tormented, and consequently

know as “The Angry Man of Jazz.”

Kimberly Cooper, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Artistic

Director, retells the story of the infamous “axe chase” where

Mingus lost his cool and literally hunted down a fellow

musician with a bare blade looking for blood.

“He (Mingus) was playing in Duke Ellington’s band and

got into a fight with trombonist Juan Tizol who pulled a

knife. Mingus disappeared for a moment, but then came

back with a fire axe, chased Juan around with it and apparently

split his chair in two with the axe.”

That not only makes for a good story, but also a great

visual presentation when DJD brings back their tribute to the

music, mind and madness of Charles Mingus with Better Get

Hit In Your Soul.

Cooper says not only do they make reference to that bit

of insanity, but also taps into the romantic tension of Mingus

and his “many wives” where he was once married to two

women at the same time and was also their pimp! How

exactly that plays out on stage?

“Well,” says Cooper, “we have this piece where two women

just dance together and you get the feeling they are very,

very much in control of the audience with their sensuality.”

Aside from the angry, wild man that consumed Mingus,


Cooper speaks to his musical genius and why she incorporated

his work into a DJD production.

“He just made so much music. Although he died from

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) at 56, but in that time he

made hundreds of recordings with this wild range. Some of

his music is almost third stream, between classical and jazz.

Duke Ellington had a huge influence on him which I think

you can hear, and some of it is more simple and closer to

blues and gospel. The tune ‘Better Get Hit’ for instance, has

more of a folk-dance kind of feel. So in the 30 years that he

was making music, it was all such a huge accomplishment.”

Mingus’ autobiography, Beneath The Underdog, with its

mix of “colourful characters” and rich, turbulent history, is

largely what propelled Cooper to created this thriving dance

performance. It’s an interesting venture that by developing a

story about this man and his music not only does a performance

unfold on stage, but it also takes the audience along

on a journey that explores Mingus life and inner workings.

Cooper says that there’s a monologue from the book in one

part of the show that reveals three different sides to him —

the neutral guy, the angry man, and the gentleman, a target

for others to hurl their abuse at.

“There’s some spoken word and some hollering like your

in a night club there, a narrative to give you some clues. And

there’s instrument hanging from the ceiling, with the idea

these instruments are ideas swirling in his head...”

She adds, “I just hope the audience becomes curious

about all of it. The first act closes with “The Saint and the

Sinner Lady,” considered one of the most important albums

of the last century. It’s thick and dense, complex and cinematic

that changes drastically every three minutes — you

keep getting pulled somewhere else over the course of 17

minutes. There’s something in that tune that when you see

movement to it, hopefully it’s more accessible.”

Why The Beach Boys Matter

by Tom Smucker

Music Matters

In the spring of 1965, Tom Smucker

was just two years out of high

school, lounging in his bedroom and

dialed to a Top 40 radio station out

of Chicago. The Beach Boys came on

and Smucker had an roaring epiphany:

“This music was, more than any

other music, mine.”

Smucker, raised religious and

remains religious, was a radical lefty,

a telephone technician and part-time

music critic, most notably with

Creem and the Village Voice, where

he praised P-Funk as much as he did

Pat Boone. But more than any other

artist or band, The Beach Boys were

number one.

When a life-long devotee of the

golden gods of Californian pop writes

a 150 page testament called Why

The Beach Boys Matter, you certainly

expect the ooohs and aaahs to come

spilling out, and in certain places they

do. But the one aspect of Smucker’s

endorsement that’s most engaging is

that single inquiry, “Why.” Yes, why do

the Beach Boys really matter at all?

Smucker starts at the beginning,

the early ‘60s, when the band had its

string of surf and car songs tied in with

cruising the strip, playing rock ‘n’ roll

bandstands, gettin’ around chasing

bikinis and heart-pounding sweethearts.

As Smucker aptly notes, the

Beach Boys galvanized the suburban

dream, hot rod heaven, good-looking

guitars, handsome haircuts, surfer

girls and fun, fun fun deep into the

American myth. But it’s not like that

stuff didn’t exist pre ‘63 or wasn’t

found elsewhere in America, it’s just

that the Beach Boys, born and bred

in sunny California, had the Pacific

Ocean crashing down on its door step

and they would ride those waves for all

they were worth.

Still, it wasn’t the waves alone the

Beach Boys rode as to why they were

great in those early days. Their first

anthem, “Surfin’ USA”, was a complete

replica of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little

Sixteen” with Brian Wilson injecting

new lyrics. Although meant as a

tribute, Chuck’s lawyers threatened to

sue and soon after Mr. Johnny B. Good

was added to the writing credits and

receiving royalties.

Of course the Beach Boys were

far from imitators and crafted truly

seminal works with their gifted voices,

harmonies, melody lines and song

structures. But without the support

and expertise of the equally gifted

group of L.A. session musicians, the

Wrecking Crew, would the genius of

Brian Wilson and his masterpiece, Pet

Sounds, have been fully realized? Probably

not. Smucker gives the Wrecking

Crew a tip of the hat in his essay

recognizing their contributions. But

the question lingers, was Brian only as

good as his band, the Wrecking Crew?

No, of course he had some other

heavenly, seminal quality. Smucker

does note the Wilson’s church choir

training that when adapted to ‘50s

doo-wop definitely took on an alien

form of its own. And of course there’s

Murry, the overbearing and abusive

father that despite all the damage

down, he still pushed them in the right


Why the Beach Boys matter isn’t

answered so much as to what made

them a success, and what all the

factors at work were. Smucker does

an excellent job unveiling that. But to

sooth that particular question... the

Beach Boys matter because they crafted,

perhaps not single-handedly, but

they crafted the most sublime vocal

surf music on the planet, and no one

does or perhaps ever will do it better.

Add Pet Sounds on top of that.





A new series celebrating Calgary Underground Film Festival’s

year-round programming


The story of true Norwegian Black Metal

and its most notorious practitioners

– a group of young men with a flair for

publicity, church-burning and murder.

Total mayhem! This one needs to be

seen with an audience. An important

caveat from the critics at Variety: “one

must be able to handle severed pig

heads, cat torture, and casual Nazism.”

Friday, Jan. 11 @ 7:30 pm

Globe Cinema

$10 ($8 members/students/seniors)



An annual celebration of mountain culture

and sports, the Banff Mountain Film Festival

World Tour returns this month showing

16 films in Edmonton at the Metro Cinema

from Jan. 11-17, and then in Calgary at the

U of C from Jan. 15 - 29. Ranging from four

to 43 minunte in length, these jaw-dropping

adventures slip deep inside mountain spirt

and strenghth. For more info:

Metro Cinema @

U of C @


Reveals the secrets of an 82 year-old downhill

skier and mountain cyclist to stayin’ alive.



The moral and existential odyssey of LAPD

detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) who, as a

young cop, was placed undercover with a gang

in the California desert with tragic results.

When the leader of that gang re-emerges

many years later, she must work her way back

through the remaining members and into her

own history with them to finally reckon with

the demons that destroyed her past.

Monday, Jan. 21 @ 7 p.m.

Globe Cinema

RSVP on Ticketfly to claim your free ticket


The 1978 spoof on B-movies where a group

of scientists band together to save the world

from mutated killer tomatoes with 35mm

trailers and prizes before the feature.

Globe Cinema Jan. 25.

Metal Movie Rundown

extreme documentaries get medieval on your screen

aspect ratio

We’ve all felt it, you’ve had a long week and just want to relax in the apartment that

half your paycheck goes towards funding. You want to sit in front of the TV, get your

cat wasted on nip and drink the beer in your fridge, but your ex changed the Netflix

password. Don’t worry boss, we’ve got you covered, check out these flicks for a dose of

seasonal affected distortion.

Grrrrr... Amon Amarth!


The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm

Documents the legendary Viking metal band, Amon Amarth, through candid interviews

and live footage with a live concert tacked on for good measure. The film details the early

days of the band — members initially connecting over their shared affinity for shredding,

their first record deal, and shining light on a turning point where the band was ready to

pack it in. It makes for a personable look into the minds behind this larger than life act and

a must see for fans of Amon Amarth’s technical instruments and brutal growls.

Songs for the Dead Live

showcases not one but two live shows by Danish black metal giant King Diamond. Filmed

in a pair of vastly different venues, each performance features 18-song sets consisting of

classic Mercyful Fate tracks, some King Diamond favourites and the 1987 opus “Abigail” in

its entirety. Filmmaker Denise Korycki provides a dynamic experience, dropping viewers

front and center into a gothic world. She focuses on revealing brilliant stage design and

provides unique angles dedicated to the fans that bleed black.

Bloodlines: The Art and Life of Vincent Castiglia

Director John Borowski, famous for documentaries on infamous serial killers, turns his lens

onto visionary artist Vincent Castiglia. The filmmaker uses interviews of people close to

Castiglia to highlight his abusive childhood, struggle with addiction and the haunting portraiture

he creates using human blood. The film features cameos from big names in metal

such as Kerry King, Gary Holt and Randy Blythe amongst others.

Maritime Metal

This Canadian documentary is currently running a funding campaign on IndieGoGo.

Contributors have a chance to get in on the ground floor, help produce a homegrown film

celebrating the East Coast’s unique contribution to the metal scene at large and feel good

knowing they’ve supported something authentic. This flick intends to detail the evolution

of the metal scene across the Maritimes over the past 30 years. From humble beginnings of

mailing cassette tapes to today’s social medial entangled world, the filmmakers will detail

how technology has changed the way music is shared and fans connect.



rewind to the future



The Happytime Murders

A Simple Favor

The hardest part of being a mother is updating

everyone on how hard it is being a mother.

Luckily, the child bearer in this thriller has a

blog to keep the world abreast.

Single mom Stephanie (Anna Kendrick)

becomes enamored with Emily (Blake Lively),

her author husband (Henry Golding) and their

lifestyle after their sons share a date. So when

Emily asks Stephanie to pick her son up after

school, the mommy blogger is more than happy

to comply. But when Emily never comes to

collect her child, Stephanie finds herself drawn

into a world of sex, lies and secrets.

While the overall mystery has a twinge of

intrigue at first, the final reveal reeks of movieof-the-week

cliché. Moreover, director Paul Feig

adds so many comedic elements and misplaced

jokes that it’s hard to take anything serious.

Incidentally, once your mommy blog starts

making money you can hire a nanny.


If you want to critic the way a woman’s body

looks become a beauty pageant judge. Unfortunately,

the contestant in this comedy is

adjudicated both on and off stage.

Raised by her Dolly Parton obsessed grandmother,

plus-sized teenager Dumplin’ (Danielle

Macdonald) is a big disappointment to her

beauty queen mom, Rosie (Jennifer Aniston).

So when her grandma dies, Dumplin’ shows

her resentment towards Rosie by entering the

teen beauty pageant that she is judging. But in

order to get her body-positive message across,

Dumplin’ needs some stage advise from her

grandma’s friend, a Dolly Parton impersonator

(Harold Perrineau).

Netflix’s adaptation of the 2015 bestseller

touches on some important social stigmas and

features a toe-tapping Dolly laden soundtrack,

however, the ham-fisted directing, low-production

values and childish antics of the script

diminish the message of inclusivity.

Incidentally, now that there’s diversity in

beauty pageants we can finally see some hot


Phil, a dishonoured puppet cop turned PI, must

re-team with his human ex-partner Connie

(Melissa McCarthy) to find the killer. But as the

felt bodies pile up the FBI (Joel McHale) start

sniffing around and Phil finds himself the prime

suspect. Now Connie and Phil’s sectary (Maya

Rudolph) must prove his innocence.

While the concept of an R-rated Muppet

Show from Jim Henson’s son sounds provocative,

the end result is anything but. Plagued by

gross-out jokes concerning the bodily fluids of

marionettes, director Brian Henson tarnishes his

family’s name for the sake of this vile venture.

Incidentally, the lifeless corpse of a murdered

puppet makes one helluva dust rag.

The Nun

The easiest way to tell a nun is haunting you is

by slow dancing with no room left for the Holy

Spirit. Mind you, the pious pair in this horror

movie is doing more running than grinding.

When the Vatican gets word of the deaths of

two Romanian nuns, it dispatches Father Burke

(Demián Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga)

to investigate. At the abbey, the Father and Sister

each experience a demonic episode that’s later

explained through the convents occult history -

and its relationship with a possessive spirit.

An offshoot of the Second Conjuring, this

fifth installment in the paranormal investigative

franchise has a spooky setting, capable actors

and an opportunity to tell a great origin, but

aside from a few jump-scares the sluggish narrative

contributes very little to the overall universe.

Moreover, churches are so desperate nowadays

I’m sure they’d welcome a few demons to

the congregation.

pure cult movie material.

And now that the drug dealers are off the

streets, it’s finally safe to open recreational

cannabis stores.

The Predator

In order to successfully hunt humans you

must first cover yourself in their urine. Or, you

can do like the tracker in this sci-fi thriller and

bring some hunting dogs.

Quinn (Boyd Holbrook) disarms an alien

and mails its armour to his son (Jacob

Tremblay) stateside. But when the captured

creature escapes confinement, it comes

looking for its property. With help from a

biologist (Olivia Munn) and some dysfunctional

marines (Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas

Jane), Quinn tries to keep his kid away from

the alien and a duplicitous bureaucrat (Sterling

K. Brown).

Serving as a direct sequel to the first two

films in the franchise, this jokey instalment

doesn’t surpass either predecessor. While the

action is intense and the subject matter timely,

there’s very little plot and character development

to substantiate this follow-up.

Moreover, the only human who can really

stop a predator from harming a child is

Chris Hansen.


The best thing about sharing a body with

another entity is sticking them with all of the

wiping. However, the visitor in this sci-fi thriller

is more likely to just remove your genitals.

Disgraced journalist Eddie Brock (Tom

Hardy) bonds with an alien that grants him

amazing powers and an appetite for brains. But

when the scientist (Riz Ahmed) who brought

the extraterrestrial here from a passing comet

comes to claim it, Eddie and his parasite must

get help from Eddie’s ex-fiancée (Michelle

Williams) before the Earth is enslaved.

While this origin story behind Spider-Man’s

most popular villain is less convoluted than

previous attempts, Marvels beloved antihero

feels rudderless without the web-slinger

around to torment. So, instead, audiences are

left to endure the torment of the cheesy SFX,

cringe-worthy dialogue and hammy performances

all alone.

Incidentally, any aliens living inside of humans

will soon be exterminated by Type 2 diabetes.

The Nun


The best way to get drug dealers out of your

neighbourhood is to open a methadone clinic.

Mind you, the mom in this action movie is

more interested in dismantling the cartel.

When her husband gets mixed up with a

kingpin, mild-mannered mom Riley (Jennifer

Garner) loses both him and their daughter in

a drive-by shooting. Frustrated over the lack

of police involvement in the case, Riley takes

The Happytime Murders

matters in to her own hands. After months

The simplest way to murder a puppet is to of combat training and target practice, she

sever the hand shoved up its ass. However, the returns to the streets looking for payback.

murderer in this comedy has more elaborate While Garner does a serviceable job of working

eliminations in mind.

with the hackneyed material, this derivative

When googly eyed cast members of The tale of retribution is par for the course, save for


Happytime Gang sitcom start dropping dead, the female lead. However, the melodramatic

He’s a No Talent Scout.

nature and improbability of the whole affair is

He’s the… Vidiot




four democratic dictators

Four brothers take third release back to 1929.

The accordion, the harmonic hook, the

enticement.... “Come with me now!”

We’ve all heard it, whether over the

airwaves, in a commercial, on a TV show

like Running Wild with Bear Grylls, a WWE

wrestling promo, an Expendables movie,

even on a late-night program with Jimmy

Kimmel. I suppose that’s not too surprising

given it reached the summit of Billboard’s


still sparkle and shine

Alternative Songs in ten weeks during 2014,

the quickest song of a new band to top the

chart since American rock band Evanescence’s

2003 track “Bring Me To Life.”

A few years on KONGOS feel that the

time is right to “reintroduce themselves”

to the globe. Johnny Kongos (accordion,

keyboards, vocals) says that even though

they’ve never actually gone away, it seems

like it after so much time spent secluded

in the studio. He and his brothers Jesse

(drums, percussion, vocals), Daniel (guitar,

vocals) and Dylan (bass guitar, lap slide

guitar, vocals) have been hard at work

putting the finishing touches on their new

release, 1929: Part 1, the first installment of

a three-album trilogy that rolls out over the

next 18 months. To kick things off, they’ve

chosen Vancouver to launch the tour.

“We love Canada! We’ve spent more time

there than anywhere except the States. Not

sure about this winter tour though,” Johnny

reports with a good-natured chuckle. “We’ll

see if we’re cut out for Winnipeg in January!”

Citing inspiration from legends Paul Simon

and Jackson Browne, KONGOS aim for

exquisite alternative grooves that have elements

of African-influenced house music.

Still hot off the press, the band’s latest anthem,

“Pay For The Weekend,” rocks along

with an elegant, but invigorating momentum

that sets the tone for an immersive and

dance-move evoking listening experience.

“We feel so strong about it,” states Johnny.

“Conceptually and lyrically it makes a lot

of sense with the 1929 theme. And sonically,

it’s a real bridge of what people expect from

us and where we’ve been headed. We’re

kinda always moving and changing things

because there are four writers. This album is

going to sound like there’s four writers, but

who are all packing a similar vibe.”

Departing from their label earlier this

year, the new release will appear under


KONGOS’ own banner — Tokoloshe

Records — allowing them more creative

control and freedom. Johnny says 1929 is

“less about what radio seems acceptable

and more about just going where the song

wants to go.”

He adds, “We’ve always recorded, mixed

and mastered ourselves, even directed our

videos, which is one of the reasons we left

the label world. We really do it all ourselves

and didn’t want to be stuck in a system.

There are times when you need to make

that hard push, and we feel more comfortable

being in the driver’s seat of all aspects

when those times come.”

Adding to a “crazy, busy” year in 2018, the

band’s eight-part video DocuSeries “Bus Call”

was made available for free via KONGOS

YouTube channel. The three and half hours

of content looks at life on the road and how

the “democracy of four dictators” finds a way

to work on route to the new album. If you’re

one of those people who wants to know

what it’s like “being in a band with brothers

and fighting and all that,” jokes Johnny, “go

watch episode eight and all will be answered!

It’s one of the most positively received things

we’ve ever put out.”

KONGOS new album, 1929: Part 1 is out Jan.

18. Catch Kongos live Jan. 13 at Imperial

(Vancouver), Jan. 16 at Commonwealth Bar &

Stage (Calgary), Jan. 17 at the Starlight Room

(Edmonton) and Jan. 19 at the Park Theatre



Back in 2005, The Trews were playing where records, Grey Cup halftime shows and Juno

they ought to be — stadiums. They were nominations, but for some reason the moniker

opening for Robert Plant on his Mighty ReArranger

of “household name” has thus far eluded

tour and from the second their then them. Never mind, The MacDonald brothers

drummer Sean Dalton started banging on his (Colin on vocals and John-Angus on lead

cowbell everyone in the Dome knew they were guitar) continue to make Antigonish proud

in for a good time. If we were living in an era by hitting the road and spreading the hardrock

when rock was the norm instead of a niche

gospel cross-country. The fact that you

market they would have been headlining, getting

are more likely to see them on at the Coke

everyone to sing along on straight-ahead Stage or a club these days doesn’t dampen

rockers like “I’m So Tired of Waiting” and “Poor their enthusiasm in the least. Nor should it

Old Broken Hearted Me.”

dampen yours.

At the time, they reminded one of the

fictional band Stillwater from Almost Famous. The Trews perform Jan. 18 at Gold Horse Casino

Just finding their feet, but definitely on their (Lloydminster), , Jan. 31 at Starlite Room (Edmonton),

Feb. 1 at The Palace (Calgary) and Feb. 4 at Bo’s

way to super stardom. Success came, but in a

very low-key Canadian way. There were gold Bar & Grill (Red Deer).

Not ready to go.



under the F... (for fun)



Shout out to Canuck Amusements!

It’s almost a lyric to a Dead Milkmen song,

Robbie Morön – magnanimous local rock

‘n’ roll bingo host –decides to pen some

songs about his beloved game and soon

the aspirations of forming a party punk

band are sparked in his bass-riddled brain.

“I wrote and recorded four punk tunes

about bingo, and came up with the whole

Moröns name and concept as a gimmick

for the show. The show was eventually

shelved and I got canned, but I still wanted

to use those songs and the name. First

thing I had to do was rewrite the lyrics. I

no longer wanted the songs to be about

bingo, except “Rock n Roll Bingo Baby”, because

that jam’s a gem just the way she is!

The next thing I had to do was get a band.”

And so, Robbie set about rounding up

a rag-tag gang of misfits and weirdos to

forge an alliance and set about the business

of wrecking rooms across Calgary. Or,

as they call it, “Hick City.”

“The mandate for the group was to

make simple, straight ahead, light-hearted

and catchy punk tunes. We thought the

world could use another party rock band

and that’s right in my wheelhouse,” reckons

Robbie, who couldn’t be more stoked

about The Moröns’ freewheelin’ line-up.

“Well, obviously, you don’t need to

pass an IQ test if you wanna be an official

Morön,” he points out.

Teaming up with drummer Lucky

Morön, whom he had previously played

with in La Cagaderas, Robbie identified

kindred spirits in guitarists G.G. Morön

(Inventing the Wheel, Torches to Triggers)

and Dave Morön (Deville). Finally, the former

ball-caller was confident that his new

group had the potential to blackout more

than a bingo card.

“I’ve known Rob for a long time. When

he sent me his ‘bingo’ songs, I really didn’t

have anything else going on at the time. So

I said, ‘Screw it, sure!’” Dave adds.

The drinking anthems began to flow and

soon it was time to hit the stage, playing

gigs and giving their hometown a taste of

its own Jägermeister, er, I mean medicine.

“The Hick City Punk Rawk EP is a raw

DIY project we recorded on our own and

did our own artwork, etc. I love the feel

of those gritty demo’s and think everyone

should have one,” says Robbie. “The

upcoming We Threw You Under the Bus

Cause It’s the Best Place for You EP was a

more professional approach. And by professional,

I mean we put a lot more money

into it. We recorded it at Echo Base Studios

with Casey Lewis and he just took it to

another level.”

An expert when it comes to short attention

spans, chief Morön Robbie knows the

key lies in changing things up often while

maintaining a frenetic dancefloor pace.

“All killer, less filler.” That’s how they get ‘er


“We thought that we might be better

off releasing two or three EPs a year, as

opposed to one full-length every other

year. Just keep new music coming more

often, but in smaller batches. I could be

wrong, but time will tell, and we don’t have

much to lose. So, what the hell?! Let’s try

something different!”

The Moröns host their ‘Skate Punk Ain’t Dead

- Big Ass EP Release Party’ featuring Trashed

Ambulance, Sessions Grizzly Trail and Aces on

Jan. 11 at Dickens Pub (Calgary)



fun, fun, fun surfin’ on the South Saskatchewan

Straight outta Saskatoon, The Garrys are

an eclectic surf trio consisting of the

Maier sisters — Erica (guitar), Julie (bass)

and Lenore (drums). Named after their

dear old dad, the group’s dreamy aqueous

sound and infectious “garage surf doomwop”

harmonies has earned them critical acclaim

and comparisons to The Beatles. Their father

couldn’t be prouder.

“Garry gave birth to us. And now we have

given birth to him!” pipes Lenore.

Funlovin’ girl-pop embedded in the slow

sway of traditional surf, the release of their

debut CD Warm Buds in 2016 also came

with a limited edition of 200 cassette tape

in lovely coral pink. Surf Manitou followed

in 2017, and The Garrys have been hard

at work making critical adjustments while

improving their curl-ripping riffs and

point-breaking beats.

“We’ve got better at our instruments and

in terms of our band’s identity since our

first release. Surf Manitou has a better produced

sound, we are coming into our own a

little more on that album. We’re not going

to release something if it doesn’t sound as

good as or better than what we’ve put out

previously,” says Lenore.

This standard of excellence and raw determination

has been keeping them busy with

a steady stream of shows and events across

Canada, partnering with high profile artists

along the way.

“We played lots of festivals this summer

which was really fun. We got to do a

collaborative workshop performance with

The Sadies at Ness Creek and that was so

incredible. It was a very organic experience,”

Lenore recalls.

Their music has presented them with

opportunities to tour internationally, as well.

The trio embarked on a European run this

last spring; one of their highlights of the year.

“We got to go to the UK for a series of

shows and festivals. There were no expectations

going in and we didn’t have a bad show

while we were there. It was such a fantastic

time and people were so receptive. We had

a blast! It was like a vacation, but we were

playing every night!” Lenore adds with a


Check out The Garrys with La Luz and Strip

Mall at the Palomino on Feb. 2.

Permanent vacation. Landlocked prairie surfers follow the sun.



It was 50 years ago today

Mike MacKenzie’s tribute to Led Zep I


Rock ‘n’ roll devotees, young and old, who

grew up reading album liner notes, CD

booklets then searched through a band’s

website know the story all too well. You don’t

have to dig too deep to know Led Zeppelin was

the brainchild of Swinging London’s hotshot

guitarist Jimmy Page, known for his vast and

varied session work who then shed his shy boy

skin commanding the stage as the Yardbirds’

flamboyant fretboard wizard.

When the Yardbirds chirped no more, Page

plucked fellow session master John Paul Jones

from his dreary studio duties, stumbled across a

teenaged Robert Plant wailing away in Birmingham

and dragged him along with a brooding

John Bonham down to London town for a good

ol’ let’s jam it out. As the story goes, seconds into

their first tune, the Yardbirds’ crowd pleaser “Train

Kept Rollin’,” Page and the loose ensemble knew

right then and there a good thing was going done.

They went on a quick tour through Scandinavia

in the fall of 1968 billed as the New Yardbirds,

then hustled into Olympic Studio on Sept. 25 to

record five songs listed as originals, and four that

were noted as traditional or covers of other artists.

It took 36 hours and cost a mere $3000.

Now officially christened Led Zeppelin,

Jimmy Page and manger Peter Grant flew to

New York and got the band signed to the

prestigious jazz, soul and R&B label, Atlantic

Records, for a five year contract. On January

12, 1969 their debut album with the

Hindenburg Disaster, and its exploding airship

sprawling across the front cover, was released

in North America. Zeppelin had arrived.

But not to welcoming arms. The Rolling

Stone, the only real critical rock ‘n’ roll voice

in the U.S.A. at the time, slammed the record

severely resulting in a stand off between band

and magazine for years to come. The British

press, however, were full of praise that would

linger on with some blues purist’s feeling LZ I

was the band’s most perfect outing.


Mike MacKenzie, a great guitarist in his own

right, confesses the first album isn’t his favourite

by Zeppelin, but in honour of the band’s 50th

anniversary and the release of a debut album that

changed the world as we know it, MacKenzie

and his band are excited to jump in and play the

whole record front to back without reservation.

“Mostly,” says MacKenzie, “we’ll stay pretty

accurate to the album with faithful recreations,

but for a couple of our songs we’ll insert out own

personalities and improvise especially the bluesy

ones where they would do the same live. Mind

you they play everything drastically different,

they weren’t all about playing it the same on the

recordings at all. But people are familiar with the

album and we want to get as close to that as possible

without being too sterile and rigid. We don’t

want to think about it, we want to feel it.”

While the first record has a raw, tough feel

to it, Jimmy Page still incorporated his signature

style with a wide cross-section of blues, driving

rock, dashes of pop, and some splendid acoustic

work. Mackenzie knows the challenge at hand

and is up for it. While guitar players clamour

over trying to emulate Page’s magic, MacKenzie

is largely impressed by the drumming talents of

John Bonham.

“He’s my favourite drummer, the most innovative

with the most signature beats to come out

of one guy. Not to mention the tone and sound

he was able to get. Although you have to credit

to Page somewhat for capturing that considering

drums were not that important in the recording

and mixing process before that. They just a massive

drum sound on every track. Arguably a huge

signature part of the band.”

And is the Mike MacKenzie Band able to pull

all this off?

“Oh yeah!”

Mike MacKenzie Band’s tribute to Led Zeppelin’s

first recording take place at Mikey’s on

Jan. 12 exactly 50 years later.


edmonton extra


come shining through on number two

There’s a palpable live feeling at the heart of Edmonton’s

Altameda second release which is at odds with

their more tailored debut, 2016’s Dirty Rain. The genesis

of Time Hasn’t Changed You took shape in a manner that

might please legendary Big Pink denizens The Band (a

long-time fixture in the Altameda van’s disc changer),

in that the new songs were first laid down in somewhat

primitive fashion at keyboardist Matt Kraus’s cabin. While

the group considered putting out the recordings in this

barebones form, the tracks went through a transformation

under the guidance of Toronto producer Aaron

Goldstein (known for his work with City & Colour, Daniel

Romano and Kathleen Edwards).

Upon arriving in TO, Goldstein invited the musicians to

Thanksgiving dinner then sent them off for a good night’s

rest before rolling tape the next morning. According to

bassist Todd Andrews, there was “a lot of togetherness

with this record compared to the last one.” Opposed to

the usual routine where band members worked their

respective day jobs then got together when they all found

the time, the group would “get up and walk to the studio

from where we were staying, work for the whole day, get

some dinner, walk home, repeat.”

The organic atmosphere Goldstein fostered meant

the band would record basic tracks as a group (with

perfection sometimes sacrificed in favour of feel), while

overdubs often involved surprise guests as they happened


by. One such instance saw John Prine’s fiddler Kendel

Carson popping in to borrow a cable from Goldstein. She

subsequently laid down a gorgeous part for the plaintive

“Fire,” which, as drummer Erik Grice tells it, had everyone

“weeping in the control room.” Additional ornamentations

such as Goldstein’s tasteful pedal steel touches and

the Last Waltz-esque horns courtesy of Joseph Shabason

and Vince Spilchuk underline Altameda now playing with

a relaxed, swinging confidence beyond the best moments

on its first album. In listening to Dirty Rain and Time

Hasn’t Changed Me back to back, the former now feels

like a promising warmup.

Time hasn’t changed the essence of a band whose members

take genuine pleasure in playing and spending time

with one another. Rather, it’s allowed the individual parts

to stand out more in the context of a cohesive whole. Guitarist/singer

Troy Snaterse sounds every bit the plainspoken

alt-country troubadour, and his layers of acoustic and

swirling electric textures on “Good Will Surely Come” lend

an intelligent groove to the proceedings. Keyboardist Kraus

is capable of resembling Garth Hudson or Richard Manuel

one moment and Ian McLagan at his boozy Faces’ best the

next, while the rhythm team of Erik Grice and Todd Andrews

(who have played together from the age of fourteen)

put enough power in the pop to break Tom Petty’s heart. A

well-crafted album ready to flourish alongside Altameda’s

upcoming trek through the Canadian prairies.


AB dates for Altameda’s Western Canadian tour include Jan. 18 at Arden Theatre

(St. Albert), Jan. 30 and 31 at Starlite Room (Edmonton), Feb. 1 at the Palace

Theatre (Calgary), Feb. 3 at the Esplanade (Medicine Hat), Feb. 4 at Bo’s Bar & Grill

(Red Deer) and Feb. 5 at Average Joe’s (Lethbridge).




with the crest of the wave, comes the crash

Anyone who pays attention knows that

even the moderate success of building a

career as a working artist in Canada is a hard

run. Some artists aren’t content with creating

something that’s reflective of their own reality,

and would rather focus their own efforts on

appeasing their ego by seeking the validation

of an industry that is often content to move

on from them as soon as they’ve served a temporary

purpose. Even the highest wave breaks

eventually, and crashes back to the surface.

Manitoba singer-songwriter Del Barber caught

a run of breaks for a time, and while he looks

back on the experience fondly, he realized that

he might never be exactly what the industry

was looking for.

“It’s something I’ve wrestled with for three

years,” says Barber. “Since I got the call from

my management saying they weren’t willing

to work with me anymore, and then the same

call from the label a week later. Up until that

point, it was all positivity, and there was all this

money for promo and touring, and then the

well was dry.”

Barber adds that his personal choice of

where he calls home might have had something

to do with those business decisions, and

it might have been deeper than that. “I have

this really idyllic home here in Manitoba, out

here in the sticks, and maybe part of it was that

I wasn’t really visible in the scene. I wasn’t at all

the shows, I didn’t move to Toronto. More likely

though, and this is a hard admission, I wasn’t

really selling many records, and I wasn’t selling

many records because I wasn’t good enough.”

While a number of artists work through

self-doubt in different ways, Barber’s approach

to admitting his personal faults took a more


healthy approach. “Clearly, I’m not as good as

John Prine, and I’m not as good as Tom Petty,

or any of the other artists who’ve shaped my

approach to music. And I want that motivation.

I want to know that the people who

made me become an artist are always going

to be better than me, so that it continues

to push me, it keeps the willingness to keep

working alive.”

Barber’s latest record, Easy Keeper, due

this spring, sees him refining the country-folk

sound people have come to expect from him

— folksy, charming, with the happy-go-luckythrough-a-whirlwind

humour that has defined

his previous work. Barber co-produced Easy

Keeper in Edmonton with Grant Siemens of

The Hurtin’ Albertans, and veteran Alberta

roots music engineer Scott Franchuk. While

getting to the actual recording process involved

some soul-searching, and the swallowing of

some hard truths, Barber is proud of the work,

and of continuing to grow into the artist that

reflects the man he is.

“Sam Baker told me that the songs are all

we’ve got. When you’re gone, no one’s gonna

remember that show where you said something

dumb, or the tweet, or the Instagram

post. There are a lot of ways for artists to detach

themselves creatively from who they really

are. That’s the deepest evil for artists today,

that the opportunity for insincerity is as easy to

grasp as it’s ever been. That’s not what I want to

do. I want the music I make to be a part of me,

of who I was, who I am, and who I’ll become.”

Del Barber plays at The Station On Jasper in

Edmonton on Jan. 24.


breaking out ethno prairie punk

It’s easy to butcher the pronunciation of

Winnipeg-based Zrada’s name (Ze-rahda:

you’re welcome) if one doesn’t speak

Ukrainian. Given that the band sings in their

heritage tongue it’s an easy detail to draw

focus to, and one that Andriy Michalchyshyn

knew was a potential impediment to their

band’s exposure.

“We knew there was a danger in being from

one ethnic community. Really, we want to

play world music and to as many audiences as

possible,” he explains over the phone from the

plains of Manitoba.

One of the descriptors often used with

Zrada is “ethno-fusion” — an intriguing yet

ambiguous term that makes obvious sense if

you search for the band’s videos on YouTube.

Their style is distinctly Eastern European,

though the raucous, jumping and dancing

audiences are not. The live show clearly connects

with Canadian audiences despite the

linguistic barrier.

“We’re in our own little world, but when

you play you have to give the audience

credit,” says Michalchyshyn. “We’re no longer

emulating a folk style, and that’s needed.”

Michalchyshyn adds that there is some

doubt that can accompany playing alternative

ethnic music within an Anglo-culture.

“Suspend your own disbelief. Sometimes you


ask yourself, ‘Should I be doing this?’ and

question it.”

Yet despite those doubts, 2019 is a year

of expansion for the band. The lineup has

changed bringing some new creative fuel to

the collective fire, and the creative process

has become more collaborative. In the past

Michalchyshyn wrote most of the material,

and having new contributors has been a welcome


Since releasing their last album Legend in

2016, the band has debated what medium to

focus on in the future. They debuted the new

single “The Fog” online in November as they

prepare to re-release Legend.

“None of us do this full time, we all have

day jobs,” explains Michalchyshyn. “The new

questions for artists are, ‘Do you write or release

something as an album or individually?

Is it going to get a million plays? Is it going to

make your money back?’” It’s a frequent conversation

amongst musicians, but for the time

being the band is focused on their immediate

itinerary, with their first Alberta shows in a

number of years.

Zrada are at The Station On Jasper in Edmonton

on Jan. 25 and at Broken City in Calgary as part

of BIG Winter Classic on Jan. 26.



thick as thieves, Atlanta’s punk trio on the front lines in deperate times

Nosebleed Weekend, released in 2016, is The Coathanger’s fifth

full-length that followed a slew of 7-inch singles and EPs since

their inception a decade earlier. Initially the Atlanta-based

punk band started out playing parties and lived for that three-letter

word F-U-N. But when Nosebleed came tumbling through clearly

the band had evolved towards putting together a diverse mix of

songs and styles that moved beyond garage-punk tapping into

arty pop, putting a subdued spin on ‘90s loud-quiet alt-rock while

revamping ‘60s girl group dance moves and harmonies. One review

of the single “Down, Down” made a direct comparison to Nirvana

and The Shirelles. While The Coathangers dug deeper into the

past adding colours to their palette, they let maturity flourish but

remained funlovin’. Stephanie Luke, aka Rusty the band’s drummer

and vocalist, expanded on The Coathangers’ state of mind; living in

big, bad America; and why their new live recording fell right in place.

While there’s a lot of cheek, style and excitement in The

Coathangers, your music, which embraces pop sensitivities,

is often tough, even abrasive. In true punk fashion, the band’s

irreverence punches through loud and clear song after song

with a cynical detachment that you seem OK with. For instance,

songs that you made recent videos for — ‘Nosebleed Weekend”,

“Down, Down” and “Perfume” — they all feel connected in

saying, “Yeah, we’re a bit removed from this relationship, this

situation, and that’s alright.” You’re part of the scene, but not

necessary in the center of it. Would that be correct?

Yes you would be correct in saying that we can play around with

words and in some ways be semi-cynical or snarky with our lyrics.

But I wouldn’t say we are ever “removed from relationships or

situations”, if anything we are smack dab in the middle of them! We

are just being honest without taking ourselves too seriously because

life, situations, relationships, etc. are so very serious. We try and find

a bit of brevity amongst all the chaos.

We all know Trump is a pathological dumb-dumb, but do you

think with his stint as president and all the turmoil and polarization

he’s brought about has been, in a sense, a good thing? In

other words, the American right has openly played its cards and

that’s no longer a secret to the country and the world. Now we

have this clarity, we can confront or at least deal with the beast

better. Yeah?

This is the question we all are asking ourselves right? I wouldn’t say

it’s a good thing having him as president, but I would say that it’s

amazing how so many different groups of people (including the

right, women, activists, LGBTQ community, etc.) have reacted and

responded. Unfortunately, change usually comes with strife and

Gang of Sisters: Stephanie Luke, Meredith Franco and Julia Kugel.



anger at the current political state. So we can only hope to push

forward and try and create the right change for everyone, not just

the elite few who run Washington.

What do you think is the worst thing Trump has brought about,

and how have The Coathangers reacted?

What’s the worst? Uh everything, the wall bullshit is really upsetting

to me personally as of late. We have responded by continuing to

write about what we think, so stay tuned to our future releases.

You had a “two-night stand” recording live at Alex’s Bar in

Long Beach, one your favourite haunts, and played amongst

tarot card readings, burlesque dancers, DJs and bunch of other

sideshow attractions. How did that turn out?

We called it Two Nights Of Magic With The Coathangers. We tried

to revive some old songs as well as some current things that we had

been playing. It was really fun, but a little nerve-wracking because

you know you’re being recorded. The second night we were like,

“Let’s just forget that we are recording this and let’s just go for it.” We

wanted it to sound like an actual live show. If we had over-thought

it, it wouldn’t have sounded right.

Gang of Sisters. You’ve referred to yourselves as that, and others

have made that reference as well. A gang stakes out its territory,

takes a stand, declares an agenda. What would you say is the

psychological territory The Coathangers occupy?

Oooof! This is a big one! We are definitely a gang of sisters, thick as

thieves! I’d say we simply just stand up for each other and support

each other and help each other grow for the better. We hope that

our beliefs and love that we give and present to our fans helps them

just as much as we help each other. So c’mon and join our gang

already, there’s always room for more!!

The Coathangers play BIG Winter Classic, Jan. 25 at

Broken City.


Nosebleed Weekend: a heart full of tough love.



no rules and a new language, as worlds collide and cross-pollinate


From shutting down nightclubs in Tel Aviv

with his confrontational Israeli punk band

Monotonix to conducting crowds through

sacred ceremonies in repertoire theatres, experimental

guitarist and composer Yonatan Gat has

put a lot of miles on his Guild S-200 Thunderbird.

After five years and a stunning 1,000 live performances

with his off-the-hook punk group, Gat has

honed his musical skills and had the opportunity

to practice his trade alongside a wide range of

talented individuals. Somewhere along the way

he became a collector of sounds, a passion that

would serve the New York-based virtuoso well as

he entered the second phase of his career.

“I think the main thing I learned from touring

with a band like Monotonix, which was a combination

of a rock ’n’ roll band and extreme theatre,

is that the less you try to control everything and

the more you open yourself up to the moment

around you, the more interesting everything

around you becomes,” explains Gat. “Life is crazy

and unpredictable and can’t be analyzed, it just


That willingness to embrace spontaneity

combined with Gat’s broadening knowledge

of recording techniques and ethnomusicology,

generated a solo EP, Iberian Passage, in early 2014.

And, by the following year the ambitious multi-instrumentalist

was ready to reveal his full-length

debut, Director.

“When I’m deep into working on an album it

consumes everything and every element of my

work goes into it,” he explains.

Recognized for his genre-challenging guitar

rock improvisation, Gat isn’t content to simply

draw on outside influences when composing his

albums. He routinely invites players from around

the world to bring their craft into his recording

studios to add their own traditional methods to

his modern curations.

“Right now, I’m editing an interpretation of

Antonin Dvorak’s American String Quartet with

Greg (Saunier) from Deerhoof on drums, Mikey

(Coltun) from Mdou Moctar’s band on bass and

an organ player called Curt Sydnor. I play guitar

and it’s a very live and raw arrangement of a 19th

century string quartet.”

This openminded approach to incorporating elements

of regional music into his own nibble rock

guitar overtures has made him a much-sought-after

songwriting partner, especially amongst those

looking to expand the borders of their art.

“Other projects I got to be a part of included

traveling to Brazil and working on some recordings

with members of a tribe called Wapichana.

They are from the Amazonian region of Roraima,

at the north of the country right by the Venezuelan

border. They create very holy music, full of

repetition and a lot of imagination. Chris Pravdica,

who played in Swans, is playing bass on the recordings,

and Paul from Thee Oh Sees was playing

drums with us in the studio because we were

touring together and he was available that day.

He is a great improviser and did an amazing job.

I’m also working on more film and music projects

with the Eastern Medicine Singers and planning

some recording sessions with my touring band

that includes musicians like Max Almario and

Thor Harris, we’re working on blocks of physical

sound that will be edited into songs.”

Gat’s vision of music as the universal language

is perhaps best exemplified by his latest release,

Universalists, which appeared in May of 2018.

The culmination of a nomadic lifestyle, rigorous

cultural cross-pollination and editing more than

100 hours of recording sessions, Universalists pulls

together the harmonic threads that run through

the heart of the Renaissance-man’s transnational

switchboard of ideas and perspectives.

“In the last album, a lot of the work focused

on fitting ideas from different worlds under the

same umbrella by using sound manipulation and

editing,” the maestro elaborates. “Good memories

from a tremulous 2018 were touring with

an eight-piece band that included the Native

American group Eastern Medicine Singers. They

are incredible drummers and singers and working

with them really changed the foundations of

how I look at music. Our collaboration is a rare

project that touches listeners on a deep level, and

it was an honour to watch it manifest on stages in

different continents on an epic scale, despite the

political climate.”

Honouring tradition while side-stepping conformity,

the success of Gat’s celebratory sonic smashups

proves that when it comes to musical innovation

nothing is outside of the realm of possibility.

“In music there are no rules and data can teach

us nothing. It’s really something else. That’s why

people gravitate to it, when there is no logic what

we have left is music.”

Yonatan Gat headlines Jan. 23 at Winterruption

Festival (Saskatoon), Jan. 25 and 26 at BIG Winter

Classic (Calgary) and Feb. 1 at Lee’s Palace



There is only one

In our first year, BIG

Studio filled Calgary’s

Gerry Thomas Gallery

with local art.







year that’s

For BIG 2019,


r venues,

reweries on

d engaged

unity in a


GRAM, your survival guide, your golden

e heck out of this Beatroute and get at it.



One beer, two labels.

big sTudio?

BIG is welcoming a whole

bunch of new partners

to the circus this year, including

the four (incredible)

local breweries behind

the one of a kind,

totally unique craft beer

we call the BIG brew.

The BIG brew is a session

ale, brewed by our friends





Through Studio, artwork is displayed

throughout the festival venues, and at the

BIG Studio Community Stage - a BIG venue

dedicated to showing off our community spirit.

at Blindman Brewing, and

with the help of Citizen

Brewing Company, Last

Best Brewing and Distilling,

and Wild Rose Brewery. We

also teamed up with a couple

local artists to create the

labels featured at this years

‘ festival. - both inspired by

the stories of our brewers.

























1 2 3 4 5

broken city Last Best Palomino The King




The Faps

Kitty &

The Rooster

Shannon &

The Clams






Future Womb

Little Lamb

Mitch Belot


The Hockey

Black Phoenix



Good Grief.

Free the Cynics


Pink Flamingo


All night at Last Best




Bears in


Surf Dads



Too Soon


Jesse & The



Inner City




The Suppliers

upstairs downstairs outside




1 2

broken city



Last Best

Pink Flamingo
















1 2 3 4 5

broken city Last Best Palomino The King


Ricca Razor


B*Les and

The Suede

Trey Mark

Project Blue


Pat Clifton

X Blume

Johnny 2

Fingers & The




upstairs downstairs outside



At Mission


Close Talker



Port Juvee



The Torchettes

Miesha &

The Spanks


Savage Smith

No More


The Utilities

Sister Ray




Chron Goblin


Darcy Turning


Seth Cardinal

(Soft Cure)

Sarah Houle


Elisapie Isaac


Yonatan Gat

& The Turning

Robe Singers

Inner City


The Ashley






Blades of Steel



















Mark Mills

Viva Non

The Octopus


Shout Out

Out Out Out

Special Edisons

Demin Daddies

Faux Rest


Amy Hef

Shout Out Out Out Out emerged from

the frozen north as an all-rhythm

section, high-kicking, collection of

local rock stalwarts, diving headfirst

into the world of electronic music.






Thursday niTe

All night, Thursday January 24

A totally inclusive groove party presented by our pals at

Pink Flamingo. Music, drinks, rainbows.


never a dull moment —the flailing tentacles of eclectic pop-art



Known for his inventive explorations

with Godspeed You! Black Emperor and

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra,

Menuck pushes the electronic

envelope and human psyche to the outer

regions. Thursday, Jan. 24 @ Last Best.


Hailing from Hamilton,

Lightfoot’s extraordinary voice

and raw guitarwork have carved

out a special corner in Canada’s

blues and roots universe.

Saturday, Jan. 26 @ Last Best.

Eight arms to hold you.


Mash together video game bleeps, soundtracks or styles,” says Lambert. “We

harmonious synth scales, a righteous were really trying to dive in and make it

dance groove and the occasional spontaneous

yodel and you get indie-electronica and something that fit the project itself.”

something unique and something our own

act, The Octopus Project direct from Austin The Octopus Project strives to keep

Texas. Incredibly refreshing, their sound things innovative and give their audiences

is random, eccentric and moving in many one of a kind performances. They recently

played an entirely improvised show in



“I think we’re all pretty open to a lot of Austin where the band set up in the middle

Oakland-based garage band

stuff. We all like so much music and art and and surrounded themselves with ambient

that roams from hillbilly pop to

anything we experience we take a little bit mood lighting.

blazing soul to psychedelia —

of inspiration from, whether it’s a film or “Most of the time what we’re doing is all

all things American amazing!

painting or someone’s record,” says multi-instrumentalist

Toto Miranda providing some trying to make everything kind of as propul-

organized around beats and rhythms and

Thursday, Jan. 26 @ Broken City.

insight as to where The Octopus Project sive and dynamic as possible,” says Miranda.

take their artistic cues from. “It’s less trying “This is a chance to explore this other space

to do different influences than trying to where we also enjoy being really open and

draw from the widest range of sounds that spacious and working with different qualities

of sounds.”

we can. I think maybe less into this style or

that style and more attracted to this quality Although conceptual performance art

of sound or that quality of sounds, like has been a part of the band’s MO, going

textures and rhythms and energies.”

into 2019 they plan to shift gears once

The band’s latest effort is Damsel (2018), again. “We’ve released three releases in the

the soundtrack to the offbeat comedy film past couple of years,” explains Miranda. “I

of the same name. While The Octopus feel like we’ve sort of exhausted that stuff.

Project has collaborated with the directors So we’re kind of in the phase of figuring out

on previous soundtracks, multi-instrumentalist

Josh Lambert says the quartet really on new stuff and really just kind of ap-

what’s next — writing new tunes, working

wanted Damsel to have a sonic quality that proaching things in an exciting way.”

set it apart.

“For this one, since it’s a western, we Prepare for fireworks, The Octopus Project

wanted to fill it with sounds and texture play Jan. 27 during BIG Winter Classic at

that kind of fit in that world, but we

Broken City (Calgary).

didn’t really want to sort of ape previous




SOUL CLAP a rugged individualist, a Texan punk, throws the world’s best dance parties

Jonathan Toubin born in Houston, Texas grew up during the

‘70s and ‘80s in a hotbed of R&B, soul, rock ‘n’ roll and all

things Southern States. In the ‘90s he attended university in Austin

playing in a variety of bands and fully emerged in the free-wheelin’

punk consciousness that would come to distinguish SXSW as a

game-charger and new frontier for progressive music. By 1998 he

was in New York as a musician but after the Twin Tower attacks he

returned to university to work on a graduate degree critiquing hiphop

in the early ‘80s. By the mid 2000s Toubin was back in the clubs

throwing parties under the banner of the New York Night Train

where he spun an enormous cross-section of music that spanned

punk, ‘60s garage, psychedelia, noise rock, girl groups, surf, blues,

rockabilly and country. Eventually he gravitated to ‘50 and ‘60s soul

and R&B records which are the staple of his fabulous, touring Soul

Clap show Toubin is renowned the world over for.

Coming from Texas with all that exposure to pure, raw blues

and a cultivated garage-punk scene that started to solidify at

SXSW in the ‘90s, then moving to New York awash with artschool

hipsters, then studying hip-hop culture as an academic,

while delving into the archives of American rock ‘n’ roll, R&B

and soul... that covers a lot of ground. Let’s talk a little about

that. First, Austin in the ‘90s. A lot of blues can fall into formulaic,

repetitive three-chord shuffles that often aren’t inspiring.

Your Austin experience wasn’t that. How so?

A lot of folks moved from around the world to Austin in the 1980s

and 1990s to be the next Stevie Ray Vaughan or whatever but that

was an alternate universe to the one I inhabited. Like electro in New

York today, it rarely overlapped with my

world. You gotta remember that, even

though Austin only had 300,000 people

then, it had dozens of night clubs with

all kinds of music pumping every night.

Blues was popular but Austin also had

loads of funk and folk and rockabilly and

surf and punk and country and reggae

and what you today call “indie rock” but

we called “college rock.” Since I was in

some bands and DJing on college radio

and working at a record store, I was

around a lot of people with varied taste.

While by far the majority of me and my

friends’ idea of the Austin music tradition

was The Butthole Surfers, Scratch

Acid, The Dicks, and The Big Boys, there

were some curve balls. Classic country

yodeler Don Walser who was huge

with the grunge/punk crowd. As was

Jay Clark, a geriatric blind organist at a

creepy circus-themed bar across from an

old-peoples’ home specializing in “Girl

From Ipanema.” And a few of us would

go see an ancient 1930s barrelhouse

blues pianist named the Grey Ghost.

And iconic rootsy legends like Doug

Sahm and The Texas Tornadoes and

Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt

were still alive and active and had a big place the hearts of a lot of

people I knew who weren’t always as heavy into rootsier music! As

for the blues, the best things ever were the couple of Antone’s Anniversary

parties where they flew in Pinetop Perkins, Jimmy Rodgers,

Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and the rest of Muddy Waters’ band. Also

I’d try to get one of the waitresses to sneak me in or my dad to take

me when Antone’s had a 50s/60s classic blues star like Albert Collins

or Otis Rush or whatever. Those nights were the only ones where I’d

come across local white blues musicians, many of whom were very

legit, as openers. I wasn’t deep into that scene and only a tourist. So,

in summary, I could barely smell the blues cheese from where I was

standing during my Austin years.

The grad program in American Studies at CUNY where you

studied hip-hop culture in the early ‘80s. What were you specifically

trying to focus on?

No! I was in the American Studies department and my mentor was

a really cool musicologist named Ellie Hisama and she had a hip-hop

seminar. My lone published essay was from that class anthology and

was about the interactions between the uptown hip-hop scene and

the downtown art/music world. People who look me up think I was

a hip-hop scholar, but it was just a small part of what I was looking

into at the time. I was also working on imperialist jazz, Jewish blackface,

Memphis Minnie, and a number of other subjects.

As a DJ, you played a lot of genres but gravitated to soul and

dug in deep. Was there a specific turning point, event or epiphany

that set you in that direction?

Jonathan Toubin, NYC’s 45 RPM grandmaster of soul and R&B.

I’ve loved getting down to some James Brown since my teens and

a deep feeling for soul music as long as I can remember, but never

bothered to get a whole lot deeper than Stax or Motown or Atlantic

sides and hits until I started working with 45s at the rock ‘n’ roll dive

where I got my start – the much-missed and iconic Motor City Bar

(in NYC). I found some pretty cool R&B singles outside my house

and a friend at a junk store who heard me play them called to tell

me a huge lot of soul 45s just came in. So I went in and grabbed a

few hundred of them. I think he charged me $3. The small label R&B,

soul and funk had so much rawness and energy in common with

the indie label punk, post-punk, and other underground records I

grew up with that I thought the sounds belonged together. Since I

initially got a bit of criticism for playing so many soul records at the

rock club, I decided to start a party where I could play soul records

all night in a more general space where people wouldn’t mind – so

the grumps who didn’t like it didn’t have to come. Despite deliberately

removing the party from the rock ‘n’ roll culture, the crowd

wounded up being almost exclusively from the North Brooklyn art/

punk/rock ’n’ roll community. I didn’t really know any soul people

at the time. So my crowd and I grew and learned together and built

our own little world and perception of the music organically at

first. Also, I continued to sneak some soul in my sets at Motor City

and over time the people coming to the rock party became more

tolerant to the point where some of the bar DJs started their own

soul nights there. Finally, I got offered occasional dance party gigs

early on. But I was really lost trying to communicate with dancers.

So soul music became a good way to retain my aesthetics and not

ruin the party.

When I read that you scout out record

stores looking for obscure R&B and

soul 45s from the ‘50 and ‘60s and

that places like Cleveland, Detroit

and Pittsburg are havens for them to

be found, I instantly thought of the

Northern Soul DJs coming to pillage

America for its treasures. But to be

honest, most of Northern Soul CD

comps and play lists I’ve experienced

haven’t been, except for a handful of

tracks, overwhelming. And I’ve experienced

your show, which IS powerful.

With respect to the NS DJs, I’d say

you’ve cultivated something much

different. Would you agree? What’s the

difference between you and NS?

Thanks! I think there’s no right and

wrong and its more just aesthetic

differences. As with seeing a band, when

I go dancing I want the DJ to be dynamic

and raw and diverse and exciting and I

like the music to swing. I don’t just want

a pulse but I want spice and originality

and feel. Like the Ronnie Dawson song

says, “If the music’s gonna move me,

it’s gotta be action-packed!” When

Northern Soul started separating from

Mod, like any other counter-culture, the



ules became more codified. Specific dances were developed that

needed a pumpin’ 4/4 beat. Dancers soon identified with certain

harmonic and melodic signifiers and production conventions that

let them know this was their music. That’s how subcultural music

works. And this is not an insult. In a world gone incoherent, I admire

subcultures for bringing structure and meaning to music. Also, there

are a lot of big Northern Soul songs that will surprise you. Despite

an occasional bullying from Northern Soul DJs, I’m a fan of some

of the tracks they spin. But as someone who developed my sound

individually and not as a part of a group, and also had artistic aspirations

beyond belonging to a tradition, I wanted to develop my own

rules through trial and error. In my own vacuum – for myself and

my dancers and for the here and now. And since I’ve had the luxury

of groping around in the darkness for over 2500 nights, I’ve naturally

gravitated towards the sounds and beats that work for me and the

floor. Purists, whether they be from Northern Soul or R&B or funk,

can be upset that I play some of their music but also include a lot of

sounds they consider unacceptable, tasteless, or even sacrilegious.

Some can’t accept that my idea of soul music is not the same as

theirs. But as a rugged individualist from Texas punk, the only thing

that brings me more joy than pissing off the orthodoxy coming up

with my own thing.

What are some of the artists from that time period that are

largely if not entirely unknown that really shine through?

Oh man! There’s a whole universe! Soul has so many amazing artists

with only a record or two and almost all of the artists – even the

bigger ones are largely forgotten in the general music landscape.

I’m interested in these singers who went from small label to small

label to big label back to small label in an era where not a lot of LPs

were made so are thus mostly remembered by 45 people. Someone

like Ted Taylor, with his earth-shattering falsetto, had only one LP

but must’ve been on dozens of records on so many labels and so

many of them supreme. You may recognize his “Rambling Rose” as

MC5 took theirs from his version. Also, a number of amazing soul

stars that are still working today will blow you away — Sugarpie De

Santo, Young Jessie, Ronaldo Domino, Willie West, Ural Thomas,

and on and on and on.

We know Motown had created its own magical soundscape at

Hitsville USA. What other labels had great, engaging production


That’s a rough one. There are so many hundreds of killer unsung

labels. Off the top of my head a few of the most consistent for me

are the dirty Detroit sounds of Fortune and Lu Pine. You can always

tell a Fortune Record the second you hear it. I keep finding new

killers I never knew about from Atlanta’s Shur-Fine. The East LA

Chicano rock ’n’ soul sound heard on Faro, Rampart, and Whittier.

And pretty much everything from New Orleans. Allen Toussaint’s

amazing labels Sansu, Tou-Sea, Deesu, and even the early ones he

produced like Minit and Instant, Eddie Bo’s lables like Seven B, Blue

Jay, Cinderella, etc, Texas labels like Huey Meaux’s Tribe and Teardrop,

Don Robey’s Duke/Peacock/Back Beat/Shure Shot empire.

The pacific Northwest’s Etiquette with all of the amazing Kearney

Barton-engineered Sonics, Wailers, etc. records. I could go on and on

but I’m sure this is boring to most people….

And what is it about the 45 itself that has that “punch in the

face” quality, which I might add is really true of your live show.

A very buoyant, sweet suspended smack on the kisser over and


A lot of 45s were mastered for jukeboxes and transistor radios so the

beat and the vocals are really pronounced and loud. There’s a whole

lotta high and low poking out. Sometimes LPs of the time are more


nuanced and have a lot more clarity and tonal subtlety. But the 45 is

big and brash and ideal for a wild dance party….

Im curious, do rust belt record stores, still have an abundance of

obscurities? How often do you travel there on collecting sprees?

The rust belt, like anywhere, has mostly popular music but certain

markets are best for certain records. For example, Detroit had so

many little labels aspiring to be the next Motown, and so much rock

’n’ roll as well, and such a wealth of local talent, and a huge working-class

consumer market, that there’s so many amazing unique

artifacts floating around. And Pittsburgh produced some cool stuff

but overall had really unique taste. So many songs everybody loves

today, like The Sonics “Psycho” or Tommy James “My Baby Does

The Hanky Panky” were Pittsburgh hits before they were known

elsewhere. Pittsburgh has miles and miles of unique songs that are

only known in Pittsburgh. Plus there are a lot of more obscure tracks

played by Mad Mike, Porky Chedwick, and other groundbreaking

local DJs that can be found – killer stuff from as far away as Los Angeles

and New Orleans that are still the “Pittsburgh sound.” If your

lucky you don’t have to look too hard to find a record from Mad

Mike’s own collection!

The dialogue, the conversation between DJ and dance floor.

How do you know where to go in a new room and where to take

an audience that doesn’t have that much or any real background

with vintage soul and R&B? Obviously there’s a genuine,

inherent feelgood factor in the music, but your parties aren’t a

40 minute set, they’re three hours of lapping it up. What do you

think is the secret weapon you’re exposing the dance floor to

and why they readily engage?

I play five and half hours every Saturday and the Soul Claps in NYC

are often four or five hours. My job isn’t to justify peoples’ music

knowledge. A DJ’s job isn’t to give anyone what they want but rather

what they need. I think people are open to being taken somewhere

as long as they feel the energy and can lock into the beat. I like to

play to people who want to go to unfamiliar territory and don’t

have a lot of respect for people who want more of the same. While

I have some signature songs and go-to’s, I also play stuff I didn’t even

know a few months or weeks or days before. So often nobody in

the room knows the song, not even me. My definition DJ’s of DJ

is a mediator between people and music. So the communication

is all there is. I poke around for 30 minutes or so and try to keep a

fairly steady beat while I try to get an idea of who I’m dealing with

and what my parameters are. Once I’m there I try to see how far

we can go together. If something isn’t working I can change it. If

something works I can prolong it. A DJ should ideally create tension

and release and try to achieve higher and higher peaks throughout

the night. The dancefloor is a collection of different people and

your job is to figure out who they are individually and as a group

and how to use what’s in your box to unite them and how to play

off of all of them. As you said, it’s a conversation. Also, I like to see

them as my band and I’m communicating with them via music. The

DJ and the dancers are improvising and both play off each other all

night – reacting to the musical events, anticipating the next move,

and locking in together. Familiarity can make this relationship more

difficult because if people already know a song they already decide

whether or not they want to dance to it. Plus songs are loaded with

specific associations. Unfamiliar music means a blank canvas with

less distraction where the sound and the feeling and the beat is all

there is. I sometimes throw in a hit or a cover to communicate, but

you can’t do it too often or it’s a dead-end. Ideally you want your

dancers to get the point of the night where they trust you, accept

where you’re taking them, and you continue to deliver the goods all

night long.

Soul Clap is happening Feb. 9 @ The Palomino.




crafting a distraction with progressive sonic evolution


Vancouver’s very own electronic dynamic-duo

HUMANS have just released their

full-length album Going Late, a follow-up to

their EP The Feels that dropped earlier this

year. Going Late feels like the electronic anthem

of Vancouver. Unique as a duo in their

own right, Peter Ricq and Robbie Slade find

a way to still capture the nightlife of the city

they call home.

“I can only speak for myself, but we’ve

been doing this band long enough that all

of this is a product of being a Vancouverite

for the past fifteen years. With how things

have changed [in the city] and how weird it

is right now… I don’t know, it’s challenging

being a Vancouverite,” says Slade. “We were

in that headspace while writing all of this

stuff. I mean, we try not to do this because

I think it’s kind of stupid to have a point

when writing lyrics. We try to write fun stuff.

‘Breakfast with Liz’ is literally about going out

for breakfast with my friend Liz.”

Everything they write comes from the

source material of their lives and from Vancouver

as a whole. Existing as a Vancouverite

in its current climate is tough and HUMANS

are bringing levity to the challenges by creating

a danceable distraction with Going Late.

“It’s kind of darker and there are a couple

movements to every song. It evolves,” says

Ricq of their sound and the sound of Going

Late. “It’s a movement and it always evolves.

We call it progressive. There’s always a

progression to the sound. There’s two parts,

sometimes more, it’s like dancing. We always

try to make something that moves you, something

that’s not your typical polished sound.

We try to take on challenges and I think every

time we do an album we try something new,

something we haven’t done before.”

With Going Late, HUMANS do something

new by breaking the conventions of what

makes an electronic album. According to Slade,

it’s barely using electronics in exchange for

something more traditional. “Everything has

very loose percussion. There’s a lot of bass, guitar,

keys and live drummers. It’s a lot more live.”

“On some of these tracks it’s Robbie and

I playing bass over three different sessions

really stacking it up and Robbie playing more

guitar and more live drums than ever before.

We were trying to experiment and have more

of a band sound without creating it with a

band. We’re getting more comfortable after

doing “Noontide” and wanted to do it before,

but it didn’t feel right. After working with our

producer Nik (Kozub) we feel like we can do

whatever we want.”

With Going Late HUMANS want listeners

to be able to put the record on at anytime

and turn everything into a dance party, while

being able to chill, unwind and listen to alone.

And of course, HUMANS wants their fans to

come out of listening to Going Late with one

thing most of all, “We want them to think

we should win a Juno,” says Slade without a

second of hesitation and a laugh.

Going Late is available now on all streaming

platforms. Humans perform Feb. at 15 The

Cvurch of John (Edmonton) and Feb. 17 at

Commonwealth (Calgary).


Did you manage to make it through the

holiday season with some serration and

a bit of change in your pocket? Here’s hoping,

because 2019 is starting things off proper

with plenty of tantalizing shows. Check it out!

In-your-face, unrelenting dubstep still

continues to soldier on, and if you feel in

need of a good bro-down, look no further

than Downlink and Phiso on Jan. 11 at The

Palace Theatre.

Would your winter really be complete

without a SkiiTour and Smalltown DJs show?

I don’t think so. Get out your neon, your flannel

and your goggles and check them both

out at The Gateway on Jan. 12.

New Zealand’s Montell2099 is back

at the HiFi also on Jan. 12. His music is a

forward-thinking approach to trap and yet

his dedication to classic hip hop and R ‘n’ B

shines through in his productions and live


On Jan.15 one of the biggest names of the

mid-2000s rap scene The Game will be performing

with his band at The Palace Theatre.

The next instalment of OAKK’s HiFi residency

New Wave, taking place on Jan. 17, will

definitely have the emphasis on the “wave” as

they bring in Sorsari. One of Alberta’s most

exciting young producers with releases on

Plastician’s amazing imprint Terrorhythm,

his releases embody the wave genre — deep,

melancholic synth-laden trap beats with

deft sampling and squeaky clean attention

to detail. Opening duties for this one will be

handled by MRKRYL and KR Dub.

One of my favourite sets at this year’s

FozzyFest came from Minneapolis’ Megan

Hamilton. Break Beat Dojo will be hosting

this talented producer and DJ on Jan. 18 for a

fun night of breaks, funk and more.

A Calgary native who has been making

waves the world, Defunk over will perform at

the HiFi on Jan. 19 alongside festival favourite’s

Freddy J and Benanas. Defunk has a true

talent for infusing his electronic, funky-ass

bass music with organic instrumentation and


On Jan. 24 the HiFi will be hosting Beach

Season’s Time & Place EP release party. The

local young duo’s latest work is some of their

best yet without question — silky, dreamy

pop over pristine beats.

I’ll be back with more for February, until

next time friends!

• Paul Rodgers




let’s get Inuit

“I don’t think it’ll ever die. We have

stamina. We survive the harshest climate,

and I think we can continue to keep our

language and culture alive regardless of

what might affect us.”



The NMC presents

Karella steeped

in soul, soca and

calypso as part

of the Alberta

Spotlight series.

A DJ, producer,

singer and

actress originally

from Trinidad

now based in

Edmonton, her

music seamlessly

blends all aspects

of her musical



Jan. 19

8:00 p.m.

$15 door


Fresh off his latest

release, the introspective

and inspired Acres Of

Elbow Room, Wort-

Hannam swings in

from Fort Macleod

for a night at

the Ironwood.



Jan. 11

9:00 p.m.

11:30 p.m.


Jan. 25

9 p.m.


Raw, Southside Chicago blues harp

and slide guitar.


Artists. Activists. Leaders. Storytellers. interview in English, Inuktitut is the language

There are some of the words to describe she exclusively speaks at home around her


The Jerry Cans, and all of them elude to their family. Despite this, she believes Inuit life in

Singer, songwriter,

enthusiasm and endurance for keeping Inuit the northern regions will continue to evolve


culture alive though music.

but also hold to it to roots.

and comedic backwoods

2018 was a breakthrough year for the

“Up here, I think it’s surviving, and people


Iqaluit, Nunavut roots-rock outfit as they are finding ways to preserve our culture and


were Juno nominated for both Contemporary language in a lot of different ways, and it’s an

Feb 1 & 2

Roots Album of the Year and Breakthrough awesome thing to see. And I don’t think it’ll

7:30 p.m.

Group of the Year last March.

ever die. We have stamina. We survive the

“It’s been an interesting year, as it was our harshest climate, and I think we can continue

first time all five of us taking on the band as to keep our language and culture alive regardless

our full-time gig. So it was really our move

of what might affect us.”

into making music our career,” remarks throat The Jerry Cans’ latest effort Innusiq (2016) SARAH MACDOUGALL


singer/accordion player Nancy Mike.

attempts to enlighten fans about life in Nunavut


Jan. 26, 7:00 p.m.

It hasn’t always been easy for The Jerry

through foot-stomping, catchy songs.

singer-songwriter Sarah

$15 advance

Cans to find an audience. Living remotely in They also released a fantastic cover of The

MacDougall hits the King

$20 door

the north is a big challenge to even exist in Hip’s “Ahead By A Century” in their native

Eddy stage in support of

the music business, and the band struggled to Inuktitut language in 2017.

her new album, All The

find the right distribution channels when they “A lot of our songs obviously are written

Hours I Have Left To Tell

first started seven years ago.

up here and are about living up here. And so, You Anything which delves

“Some of the things that we found very when we play in the south, there’s not one

into life’s consuming

hard were to find the right places to go to, show we don’t talk about what it is like up

struggles —identity, birth,

to have our music distributed … trying to here, and what kind of lifestyle, and what kind death, relationships and

get our music out there,” Mike explains. of struggles we face, because that’s our life,” the ghosts we honour and

“That was very hard when we first started Mike comments. “When we are onstage and carry throughout. The nine

because we’re from a place of 7,000 people, performing, we want to tell everybody and

songs are inspired by the

in Iqaluit, obviously it’s a remote place in educate everybody about who we really are dark beauty of Scandinavia

the North and there aren’t a lot of things and what it’s like.”

the vastness of the Yukon.

that you can just go to for easy access to

get your music out there.”

The Jerry Cans perform Jan. 19 at The Broadway

For the Inuit, the pressure to conform to Theatre (Saskatoon), Jan. 20 at The Gateway

English culture is constant. For instance, Mike (Calgary), Jan. 22 at Bo’s Bar and Grill (Red Deer),

noted that even though she conducted the and Jan. 23 at Festival Place (Edmonton).





long live cave metal!

Grow it, roll with it.

America’s other favourite string trimmers,

the indomitable Weedeater, is North

Carolina’s answer to that persistent mental

overgrowth that’s been hampering your pit

game. Whip-snapping spines and ears since

1998, the outfit was sparked by Dave “Dixie”

Collins who drove the project forward with

the same sludgy basslines and swamp-holler

vocals that helps launch his thrashier, noisier

outfit Buzzoven back 1990.

“The formula for what we do is quite

simple. It’s cave metal. We’re not trying

to reinvent the wheel,” explains Dixie. “It’s

easy to play and hard to write. We’ve got a

bunch of new riffs now that sound just like

Weedeater, so I imagine we will put them to

tape as soon as we can.”

It fits their pattern. Having signed to

Berserker Records, Weedeater emerged with

their debut album, ... And Justice For Y’all

in 2001 with their second LP, Sixteen Tons,

following in in 2003. Both releases established

Weedeater as a powerful force to be reckoned

with. Their strafing vocals and punishingly

heavy downstrokes were well-aligned with

tourmates like Down, Arch Enemy and Gwar

that saw festivals unfurled the green carpet

for Dixie, guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepherd and

drummer Keith “Keko” Kirkum. By 2009 Weedeater

was conquering the world and moving

on to Southern Lord Records. Their third

album, God Luck and Good Speed, which appeared

later that year and 2011’s Jason… The

Dragon shared the distinction of having been

produced by punk-producer guru Steve Albini

(Big Black, Shellac, Pegboy).

“Yeah, we’re gonna plan on getting in there

(the studio) in 2019 after this run of shows

with C.O.C. (Corrosion of Conformity),” Dixie

confirms. “We might be doing it before or

after we tour Europe this summer. I’ve gotta

talk to the guys, Steve Albini and everybody

at Electrical Audio and find out what their

availability is.”

2013 saw more shake-ups for Weedeater

as Travis Owen took over drumming duties


and the group migrated to the French

record company Season of Mist. Their new

label subsequently reissued the band’s

back-catalogue and their latest doom metal

meets southern rock offering, Goliathan,

which dropped in 2015.

“We’ve never been much of a political

band. Even though there are some political

songs, but their meanings are hidden. Like

the song ‘Weed Monkeys’ people think it’s

about weed monkeys, but it’s about government.

The Goliathan record had a lot of

weird Biblical themes to it. The next record

is going to have some themes, as well. Possibly

plant based.”

Naturally, given their name, receiving treats

from fans is an occupational hazard for Dixie

and the pot diners in Weedeater.

“We get them given to us all the time, I guess

that’s built into the name. I like ‘em! Especially

for long rides, they’re great. We’ve got a driver

on tour now, so they definitely help pass the

time and make you feel good! There’s lots of


places in the U.S. where you can buy edibles

that have been regulated and packaged up

and everything. They tell you what you’re

dealing with, so you know not to overdo it.

Or to overdo it, if that’s what you’re trying to

do. The people that bring us their homemade

gifts like that are forthright about telling us

what’s in it and how much. One time, years

ago, our old drummer ate a whole cookie that

was supposed to be a four-way and that about

ruined him for a couple of days. But he knew

better, and he was told not to do it. He said

‘Whatever, I’ll eat the whole damn thing! I’m a

grown man!’ and sure enough he was curled up

in the corner whimpering.”

Looking out for each other on the road

meant that it was easy for Dixie and Shep

to bond with incoming drummer Carlos

Denogean who replaced an ailing Owen in

2017. The rapport Denogean shared with his

bandmates and his passion for performing live

clearly evident and heartfelt, as is the impact

of his sudden death in August of 2018.

“That was very rough. It was very surprising.

He was a super healthy dude. He was

young. I mean, he was 30 years-old. I was in

a band when he was born! Pretty crazy. He

didn’t smoke. Barely drank. Jogged on the

beach every day. In fact, he did that morning.

I guess with brain aneurisms it’s not something

you see coming. He didn’t. And we

certainly didn’t.”

Faced with terrible grief, impending tour

obligations and the aftermath of Hurricane

Florence, Dixie and Shep had to make some

hard decisions about continuing to thrive on

adversity as a band.

“It was difficult. I tried to back out of it several

times. But Pepper (Keenan) from C.O.C.

is a good buddy of mine and he really wanted

us to do it. So, we eventually capitulated like

‘Fine! We’ll do it.’ The guy that’s gonna play

drums with us now is Ramzi Ateyeh. I’ve

played in bands with him before. He was in

Sourvein for a bit with my cousin T-Roy (Troy

Medlin),” Dixie elaborates. “I’ve played with

him for years, so I know he’s a damn good

drummer. It’s cave metal, once again. So, as

long as he keeps his elbows above his earlobes

and beats the shit out of them drums that’s all

we need, and we’ll roll with it.”

Weedeater performs with Corrosion of Conformity

and Crowbar at Starlite Room (Edmonton) on

Feb. 4 with Corrosion of Conformity; Marquee Beer

Market and Stage (Calgary) on Feb. 5; and with

Crowbar at Park Theatre (Winnipeg) on Feb. 7.



attitude change


Dead can dance!


Few acts survive for a solid decade span, let alone two, and

Twitch show no signs of hitting the off button. Debuting as oneman-band,

Shayne Lawrence and his concoction of industrial rock,

metal and hip-hop first made its appearance via cassette tape in

1999. Since then, it’s been an evolving state of mind and sound.

In the early years negativity and depression formed the much of

the landscape. Looking back that’s the one thing Lawrence says he’s

changed the most — moving away from a long period when things

were “just not healthy.” As time passed the vocalist/songwriter got

to better place and has a better message to convey with “Never

doubt yourself” and “I will live positively” littered throughout

the brand-new EP, Instructions To Your Revolution, marked for a

January release.

“The theme centers around an attitude change. Rather than

thinking negatively about the things happening in our world,

we’re (the band is) moving forward. Although the content is

semi-political, I want people go away thinking positive things.

Realize that we’re all different and that we all believe different

things too. But we should be able to change and grow within that

without hurting others.”

Evolving and refining Twitch’s sound with each new release also

sustains the project. Lawrence, a.k.a. Daemon_w60, is always on the

hunt for that new unique tone when choosing synths and creating

dynamic digital compositions.

“I use a lot of free samples and I’ll get a lot of flak for it. But

I even love using presets sometimes,” he shamelessly confesses

with a laugh. “I’ll be listening to a song and I hear these sounds

in my head… (there’s) a sound that belongs in a spot, and I try

to recreate it.”

Reanimating those same specimens on stage, Twitch’s new record

is “spiced-up” and set for an ear-blasting, high-energy experience as

Lawrence and his fellow innovators (guitarist Brooke Chiasson and

percussionist Colin Christopher) prepare for what they call a “Nine

Inch Nails-style adventure.”


for the love of L.A.

Like hooking a pair of jumper cables

up to your nipples, The Shrine

of Venice Beach has come to embody

the energy of ‘70s Dogtown skate

punk lit up with a high voltage streak

of Sunset Strip neon. It’s a mantle

lead vocalist/guitarist/holy roller

Josh Landau takes on with pride and

sincerity. He knows that The Shrine

is defying the odds by taking fate in

their own hands and building a thriving

brand one fan at a time.

“Proud of all the people who have

wolf tattoos, proud of all the skate

sessions that have been had to our

tunes, proud of us managing to survive

despite the cutthroat death ride

that is the music industry, proud of

all the Thrasher videos with our songs

blasting, proud of having the coolest

socks, proud of the millions of dollars

we made from Spotify, oh wait...”

Realistically, Landau knows what

he’s up against when it comes to

carving out a niche in L.A.’s oversaturated

music scene. But true to their

DIY nature The Shrine has made

performing at the most unlikely of

venues into one of their most alluring

calling cards.

“We always end up at the weird

spots — warehouse, strip clubs, libraries

— anything that pushes the

mind deeper,” Landau explains.

From staging shows with elaborate

art concepts to running a

merch and music hub at Eliminator

Records, the young entrepreneur

learned to pull out all the stops to

make an impression on an audience.

That’s why the band is now

selling its very own guitar effects

toy — The Shrine “Primitive Blaster”

Boost Pedal (via Magic Pedals).

Now you too can enjoy manipulating

the solid volume and blood

thirsty distortion range of The

Shrine in the comfort of your own

basement or garage!

“We needed a secret weapon to

blast through any amp on any stage

and this is it! You can leave the pedal

on all the time, and get the best sustain,

and I don’t even get feedback,” he

extolls. “We’re bringing a couple of the

pedals to Canada with us.”


It’s a dream come true for the kids

who grew up listening to the SST

Records roster and surfing the Venice

breakwater. They learned what it

meant to be different in the land of

conformity. And they loved seeing just

how far they could push the envelope.

“I showed up to Desertfest in

London in a wheelchair once, because

of a skate accident the night before in

Holland, didn’t stop us from ripping

the show though!” Landau recalls.

The secret to this so-called “ripping”

and The Shrine’s hangover-proof

resilience? According to body-temples

Landau, drummer Jeff Murray

and incoming bassist Corey Parks

(Nashville Pussy, Die Hunns), it’s all

about embracing the grind and living

your truth.

“The wolf drinks gasoline and

snorts Comet! Watch “The Tripping

Corpse” video for step-by-step instructions.”

The Shrine performs Jan. 11 at Starlite

Room (Edmonton), Jan. 12 at The Palomino

Smokehouse and Social Club (Calgary)

See Twitch Jan. 10 at Vern’s Tavern (Calgary)


Say it loud, say it proud!



As we leave the holiday season behind

you might have an urge to wash all

those Christmas carols out of your ears

and see some fierce live metal action. We have

you covered!

You know those New Year’s resolutions you

just made to spend less and drink less? Well,

those can go out the window as we have some

hard decisions to make for the first Saturday

night of 2019.

The Haiduk album release show will be at

Vern’s on Jan. 5. The one-man wrecking crew

are releasing their third album, Exomancer, with

Vile Insignia, Fjell Thyngor and Pecado slated

to usher them to the stage in style.

That same night, Calgary Beer Core kicks off

the year with their first gig of 2019 at Upper

Deck, where Snakepit, Human Shield, Vexerity

and Hyperia will defrost your wind-whipped


Friday night is movie night at The Globe

Cinema. The Off The CUFF series is screening

Lords Of Chaos on Friday the 11th. The

controversial film depicts the events of the

Norwegian Black Metal scene of the early ‘90s

This Month In METAL

replete, with arson, murder and corpse-paint.

Swing by The Palomino again on the 19th

to satisfy your garlic fry cravings and take in

an equally potent four-band bill of featuring

the rumbling wrath of Denver-based doomsters

Primitive Man. The caustic trio will be

harvesting souls alongside Wake, Messiahlator

and Pathetic.

But, don’t call it a night just yet, you can

always head to the Blind Beggar Pub for a round

with Dethgod, Ravage Red, Corpus Callosum

and Jezus Chrysler.

On Jan. 25 there’s more evil blackness to be

had at The Blind Beggar pub as Meggido and

Misery Tomb welcome Crimson Caliber from

Medicine Hat and team up to tangle with the

formidable Chaos Being.

Let’s round out the month with a visit to the

crown jewel of the Canadian music scene, the

National Music Centre, where on the 28th NMC

will be hosting an Alberta Spotlight with luminaries

Wake and Begrime Exemious putting

on a heavy metal showcase at the King Eddy

heritage venue.

• Joshua Wood




Why Hasn’t Everything Already



If a woman, man, human, or human-like creature

were to immerse themselves into the strange tidal

wave that was 2018, they’d be sure to emerge with the

heavy netting of the uncertain future, gooey unknown

substances put forth by the mainstream media and an

uncomfortable anxiety-forming itch that closely resembles

that of sea lice. If after taking a long, hot and

soapy shower, this being were to form a band, name

it Deerhunter and release an album with the intent of

recreating that tidal wave… you might find yourself

wondering why the heck they thought the desert was

the birthplace of the wave, let alone the ocean. These

are the feelings evoked from listening to Why Hasn’t

Everything Already Disappeared, the latest Deerhunter

album. With an ocean of possibilities for the band,

who hasn’t released an album in four years, we are left

instead with a wading pool. You know, the kind where

you aren’t allowed to dive or else you’ll hit your head

on the bottom.

For fans in love with catchy guitar-driven psychedelic

rock and dreamy shoegaze, this isn’t your new

2019 anthem. However, for fans married to the more

bizarre and experimental personalities of Deerhunter,

your strange container of sound has arrived and it’s

ready to take your ears on an unexpected and avantgarde

journey. This is a brand new era of Deerhunter.

Beginning with the first song, “Death in Midsummer,”

you are greeted with a repetitive harpsichord

riff that sounds slightly like the background music

to some Shakespearean play – is this why it’s called

“Death in Midsummer”? Perhaps we’ll never know,

but what we do know is that the repetitive nature

and eventual blown out horn sounds like a locomotive

on acid. Ah, maybe this is the sonic depiction of

the Thomas the Tank Engine, “Yellow Submarine”,

Shakespearean hybrid cartoon that was never made.

Unfortunately in this case, it wasn’t made for a reason.

The album goes on in this nature until about song

number five, with “What Happens to People?” This a

closer match to its sonic predecessors: dreamy, flowy,

experimental and full of wanderlust. If the album were

to start here, it would feel less confusing and more

reflective of previous albums, contributing to the

cohesive essence of the band. Instead, the first half has

us confused as to what era we are living in, breeding

questions like: Is “No One’s Sleeping” an unreleased

track of The Kinks’ recording session in 1977 Berlin?

Could this be the soundscape of another frightening

Yoko Ono performance piece?

Like a forgetful sun-drenched and dehydrated

surfer who has smoked too much weed, “Deerhunter

forgets the questions and makes up completely

unrelated answers directed at their non-existence.

It gets up, walks around, it records itself in several

strategic geographic points across North America. It

comes home, restructures itself and goes back to bed

to avoid the bad news.” While this may have been intended

to be a selling point in review, bad news is bad

news, and for a band with eight LPs under their belt,

there is no way to make finding your confused, lost,

red-eyed uncle sound like a sexy Friday night. Coming

from an ear in love with Deerhunter’s early days, the

album Microcastle in particular, Why Hasn’t Everything

Already Disappeared feels too far removed from

the band’s true essence. In replacement of a cohesive

concept album, we are left with something that feels

like a slightly disappointing goodie bag of plastic toys

from a children’s birthday party: not nearly as mature

or quality of a gift as hoped, but still a gift nonetheless.

This could have something to do with the band’s

recording process, which has shifted from real vintage

amplification to pure digitized chrome, plugged

straight into the mixing desk. Even then, the guitars

are an afterthought and there is a clear shift in focus

to electromechanical and synthetic sounds. While the

intention may have been to align closer with the now

electronic- and hip-hop-focused music market, the

album fails to feel relevant.

Encompassing the many unexpected moods of

a hormone saturated pre-teen, the album bounces

through eras of the known, while breeding implanted

memories and fake feelings of nostalgia. “Detournement”

speaks through analog robotic tongues,

greeting us with the words “Good morning to Japan

and the eastern sunrise over these majestic cliffs and

the vultures circling,” in a voice that belongs in an

‘80s sci-fi. While the memory of a visit to this robotic

dreamland may be about as real as Conan O’Brien’s

new Japanese family, we are left feeling we were

there: a point in which we push these theoretical

falsehoods onto the first half of the album, zapping

ourselves into a new dimension where we can pretend

it didn’t happen. Here in this other dimension,

“Futurisim” resorts all hope. A song that holds the

much-needed sameness of an expected Deerhunter

sound, encouraging us to take off our seatbelts and

arrange ourselves, in comfort, to the new Deerhunter.

“Futurism” carries a very shoegaze/ surfer-rock

quality, overwhelmingly reminiscent to that of

“Agoraphobia” off of Microcastle. This is the moment

your strange, dehydrated and red-eyed uncle returns

to reality, clearing all questions of insanity with a tall

glass of water.

“Futurism” exclaims “your cage is what you make

it, if you decorate it,” and while this may be true

about life, it’s hard to decipher the strange sonic decorations

and true thematic intention of Why Hasn’t

Everything Already Disappeared. We are instead left

feeling a little bit like Siri made a playlist based off

algorithms on a shared computer – but maybe that

in itself is a perfect representation of the modern age

and, ultimately, a perfect sonic depiction of the tidal

wave that was 2018.

• Jamila Pomeroy

illustration: Kyle Hack




Time Hasn’t Changed You

Pheromone Recordings

Poised for a breakout year, Altameda’s sophomore

full-length sees the band dialing in a

sound that has a lot of appeal. There’s a certain

objective taste that hears rock n’ roll as good

songs with a standard instrumental lineup of

guitar, keys, bass, and drums, and Time Hasn’t

Changed You churns with elements of all the

bands that made that the default setting for

rock music, whether The Heartbreakers, The

Band or The Rolling Stones.

Kicking off with the greasy guitar and keys

on “Bowling Green,” Altameda presents a more

driving vibe than their 2016 debut, Dirty Rain.

“Losing Sleep” punches in with punk rock energy,

a blast of rave-up giddiness with a whoohoo

refrain that’s hooky as hell, along with tuneful

gang vocals running throughout the cut. It’s a

likely shaker, the kind of number that kicks your

heels up for you. “Rolling Back To You” lives in

some wild space near Springsteen’s Born To Run,

and you get the feeling the band’s well-aware of

the vibe they’re laying down with the line “And

I wanna tell you, just how I feel, I ain’t tryin’ to

reinvent the wheel.” The title track comes in

near the end of the record, with a ’70s AM radio

feel, while “Waiting On The Weather” goes back

to spazzy rock n’ roll energy before closing out

the record.

Altameda’s put the work in to get the sound

of classic rock n’ roll just right, and there’s a lot

to like about Time Hasn’t Changed You.

• Mike Dunn




Beirut frontman, Zach Condon comes out cymbals

crashing with Beirut’s fifth studio album.

Gallipoli was recorded in Southern Italy and

receives its name from an Italian town Condon

and his bandmates visited during recording.

Often times mesmerizing, Gallipoli more

closely resembles Beirut’s first two albums,

Gulag Orkestar and The Flying Cup rather than

Condon’s more recent work. This resemblance

is in part due to the large presence of the organ

on which Condon wrote all three albums but

also the return to the often-incomprehensible

lyrical style heard in his earlier work. An effective

return to Beirut’s Balkan folk-inspired, breakthrough

sound, Gallipoli distinguishes itself with

eccentric, screeching organ on the instrumental

“On Mainau Island” and the wonderfully

wordless melodies in “Varieties of Exile.” True

to Beirut fashion, the quirky instrumental and

intricate Gallipoli has the ability to transport

the listener to a different period in time.

Gallipoli features a marvelous medley of brass

instruments, organ and Condon’s hypnotizing

melancholy vocals.

Along with the release of the single, “Gallipoli,”

Condon offers this fairy-tale-like reflection of

how the album’s first single came to be,

“We stumbled into a medieval-fortressed

island town of Gallipoli one night and followed

a brass band procession fronted by priests

carrying a statue of the town’s saint through the

winding narrow streets behind what seemed like

the entire town. The next day I wrote the song I

ended up calling ‘Gallipoli’ entirely in one sitting,

pausing only to eat.”

• Sheena Antonios

Cherry Glazerr

Stuffed & Ready

Secretly Canadian

Upon first listen it sounded like Cherry Glazerr

had a more mature sound on Stuffed & Ready.

Having gone on as a three piece after losing

synth player Sasami Ashworth (due to her working

on her solo career), it seemed like the extra

space in the mix was met kindly by the remaining

musicians. However, on following visits the

album becomes less courageous and more so a

typical festival-tailored indie rock piece aiming

to please an angsty teenage audience. Songs

often being too reminiscent of too many other

poppy “punk” rockers from the last five years.

Formulated rhythms and predictable pauses

and drops keep the listener from being engaged

or shocked. On top of the characterless instrumentation,

the lyrics lack depth. Although they

are sung melodically by Clementine Creevy’s undeniably

beautiful voice, they struggle to engage

the listener into the story being told.

Although there are songs like album opener,

“Ohio,” where Cherry Glazerr are undeniably on

point, or “Daddi,” where the lyrics do have some

backbone and subtle aggressiveness, overall,

even though Creevy has said an incredible

amount of time was spent creating it, Stuffed &

Ready comes across rushed & uninspired.

• Cole Young

The Dandy Warhols

Why You So Crazy

Dine Alone

Something happens to people, and families, as

they age that pushes them to evolve or get left

behind. For a band entering their 25th year in

the biz, we should expect nothing less. They’ve

done, seen, and survived things. With Pete Holmström

and Brent DeBoer exploring solo projects

(Pete Intl Airport & Immigrant Union, respectively),

one might expect the family to drift

apart, and lose the fire of their early years. And

yet the band still shows up when dinner is ready.

They hit familiar territory with “Terraform”, a

bass driven dance number. Zia McCabe gets her

time to rock out with “Highlife”, a stompy ol’

country tune. Single “Be Alright” boom-clacks

its way into your ear just fine, if just missing that

certain something. “Thee Elegant Bum” again

hits that familiar groove, almost. By the time

they hit “Motor City Steel” they’ve gone full 16

Tons and what do you get.

The Dandys likely won’t gain any new fans

with this effort but Why You So Crazy is not

without its charm. After all, crazy is better

than boring.

• Chad Martin


Almost Free

Dine Alone

For the most die-hard fans, FIDLAR – which

stands for “Fuck it dog life’s a risk” – is a band,

a motto and an ethos. Rather than become

pigeonholed in skate punk for fear of disappointing

fans, the Los Angeles four-piece has

diversified their sound since their eponymous

LP and hit single “Cheap Beer.”

That’s what their latest album Almost Free

is about. Frontman Zac Carper has said the

album was influenced by the aesthetics of

Soundcloud hip-hop, but opening track “Get

Off My Rock” is more Beastie Boys than Lil


“Can’t You See” is a departure from

FIDLAR’s usual sound with a piano solo and

walking bass line, while the satire on materialism

is in keeping with Carper’s lyrical style. “By

Myself” also revisits a familiar subject – drinking

that teeters toward self-destruction – with

fresh percussive range.

“Too Real” is FIDLAR’s most explicitly

political song. Carper howls, “Well, of course

the government is going to fucking lie.” While

much of Too (2015) focused on Carper’s struggle

with addiction and sobriety, tracks like

“Too Real” and the Clash-esque “Scam Likely”

prove he can write as passionately about the

political as he can the personal.

Parts of Almost Free retread familiar territory.

“Alcohol” could fit on any FIDLAR album

in sound and subject. Blistering forty second

track “Nuke” has the intensity of underrated

Too track, “Punks.” “Called You Twice” is a

surprise standout. Carper’s vocals meet their

match in a duet with K.Flay about both sides

of a messy breakup. It’s warm, vulnerable – the

album’s emotional core.

While Almost Free is less consistent than its

predecessors, the range it displays proves that

FIDLAR is far from finished.

• Courtney Heffernan


What Chaos Is Imaginary


Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad have been

jamming together since they were teenagers.

It is no wonder then that their music has matured

dramatically and beautifully since their

gritty debut four years ago. Having moved

from explosive transparency into something

subtler and more nuanced, Cleo and Harmony

still refuse to compromise honesty for harmony.

New album, What Chaos Is Imaginary,

emerges more versatile and multi-dimensional

than ever.

Opening track “Lucy” sets the stage for the

aural vastness and poetic clarity that continues

throughout the album, marking a shift

from the more journal-like forcefulness of past

work. Songs like “Stale Device” and “Where

You Sink” then erupt into being, alluding

instrumentally to the ambiently energized

shoegaze of the early ’90s. It becomes clear

that this record will confront atmosphere in a

way the band hasn’t yet, and for the most part

it keeps its promise.

“Hire” and “Swamp Bay” revisit old habits

with freshness, ensuring the band is still

prepared to feel out loud. As always, they

sing what they mean, but confessionalism

turns toward the more opaque and abstract.

Building fleshy, concrete worlds through

surreal metaphors, composite scenes, and

circular symbolism, the writing wrestles poetic

possibilities with zeal.

The album’s unpredictability reflects

the subject matter – dissociation, intimate

relationships, substances and the volatility of

the human mind. What Chaos Is Imaginary

remains faithful to the vulnerability that put

Girlpool on the map in the first place, but with

a sensibility that there are a world of ways to

pull it off.

• Safiya Hopfe

Juliana Hatfield


American Laundromat Records

Juliana Hatfield has always been on the fringe

of the alternative music scene, defining weird

on her own terms. Her latest aptly titled offering

brings everything she’s never said before to

the surface.

Feelings of being out of step with the world

emanate from the mellow track “It’s So Weird.”

Between the sedate classic rock influenced

chord choices are stories of awkwardness and

relations that have gone sour over time, sung

for all to hear like a big celebration of the

alienation. This uneasy mellowness continues

on “Sugar” as Hatfield croons “Sugar, I hate

your guts, Sugar I love you so much” as the

acoustic guitar picking seems to quote George

Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun.”

Cleanliness is set-aside on “Alright, Yeah”

where fuzzy glam-rock guitar playing pushes

things to the edge of alternative rock oblivion.

Tongue biting anger and distrust bubbles underneath

her heart melting voice on “Paid to

Lie,” summing up this album’s self-restrained

angst perfectly; that which makes it such a

gloriously tasty bitter pill to swallow.

• Dan Potter



It Doesn’t Sound Good But It Feels



Montreal-based Lemongrab’s debut fulllength

is overflowing with a spazzy and

meandering hybrid of post punk and stoner

rock. Opening track, “Too Many Bitches,” is

righteous and raunchy and by the time we

hit the “yayayayayaya” chorus of “Naked Ass

Marimba,” you can’t help but put your head

down and party through it.

The most interesting songs sit in the middle

of the album with the opening of tracks like

“Scratch” and “Last Night in Jose” being the

strongest of the bunch. Recorded in Montreal

with Rene Wilson (Michael Rault, Faith

Healer), there is an outcry of energy captured

throughout the whole album that gives you

the idea that this band is definitely a lot of

fun live. Their push-around melodies on

album single “Keep Door Open” will have you

running in a circle and shoving your friends

in that playful way where everybody has fun

while Lenonie Deshaw and Zale Burley’s guitar

work keeps the arrangements melodic and

steered away from coming across as shrill or

screechy. Included are a few tracks from the

band’s 2016 EP, The One With The Brooms,

re-recorded and presented here in better developed

arrangements, showing how this new

band has grown a lot in the last two years.

With its sing-along choruses, Lemongrab has

put together a collection of songs even your

mom would love, if your mom was a teenager

in Washington state in the early ’90s.

• Jody Glenham

Maggie Rogers

Heard it in a Past Life U

Capitol Records

American, singer-songwriter, Maggie Rogers

released her single “Alaska,” in October 2016.

The song now holds 100 million global streams

to date and is the lead single off her new album,

Heard It In A Past Life. While Rogers’ previous

work was released independently, her new

full-length album is her major label debut. A

new caliber of pop music, Heard it in a Past

Life is cathartic, captivating and consistent; an

extraordinary album that strives from start to

finish. Rogers’ sound is the result of a desire to

combine the folk music she heard growing up

in Maryland with the dance music that later

influenced her while living in France. Up-tempo

for the most part, Heard it in a Past Life often

stays true to the layered sounds, folk melodies

and pop style of “Alaska,” while tracks like “Say

It” offer range by possessing a sound reminiscent

of ’90s R&B. Rogers’ transcendent vocals

belt out thought-provoking lyrics with the

album having an overall lyrical theme of reminiscing,

revival and letting go of resentment.

Alongside the release of Heard it in a Past

Life, Rogers will be on tour throughout North

America and Europe in the New Year.

• Sheena Antonios

Mammoth Grove

Slow Burn


It’s an analog miracle. The follow-up to Mammoth

Grove’s consummately groovy desert

rock album, Suncatcher has arrived almost

three years to the date of that release’s appearance

on the horizon in November of 2015. Built

brick-by-brick in the mortar and metal studios

of Calgary Recording Studios using exclusively

non-digital means, Slow Burn glows with an

inner fire that mitigates such a glacial pace.

It’s really a testament to the determination of

guitarist/vocalist Devan Forster, bassist/vocalist

Tad Hynes and drummer Kurtis Urban to finish

what they had started as a fresh-faced trio

with the world at their customarily bare feet.

Entrusting a trunk-load of their best psych-rock

adventures to engineer Ian Dillon (The Electric


Revival), the Barbizons behind Mammoth

Grove focused on laying down four heavy-hitters

that blow through the room like a magic

mushroom cloud. From the plunging vortex

of “Valleys” to the heart-bruised blues of “Seasons,”

the Sabbath-sprawl of “Black Meadow”

to the soaring invocations of the (almost twenty-minute-long)

crowning triumph “Gloria,”

Slow Burn will set you on an unpredictable yet

deeply satisfying off-road detour.

• Christine Leonard

Bob Sumner

Wasted Love Songs


Along with his brother Brian in The Sumner

Brothers, singer-songwriter Bob Sumner built his

reputation as one of Canada’s best underground

songwriters the old-fashioned way, logging thousands

of miles across Canada, playing bars, coffee

shops and living rooms. Sumner’s songs have

always been a bit dark, and his debut solo effort,

Wasted Love Songs, balances the heavier themes

with sunny, finger-picked acoustic guitar and

subtle production notes that allow his conversational

timbre to shine through the mix.

“Riverbed” is beautiful opener, feeling somewhere

between Willie Nelson and The War

On Drugs, with a chorus that begs to be sung

along with and beautiful instrumental harmony

between the pedal steel and electric guitar. “A

Thousand Horses” picks up the pace to an easy

mosey while Sumner’s ability to hang a beautiful

chorus in a tune becomes more apparent.

He lulls you in during the verses, before he

drops an achingly lovely melody line when the

song picks up. That ability would be for naught

if it weren’t for Sumner’s masterstroke, laying

words into those melodies with a painter’s

precision; “All the running of a thousand horses,

tearing the prairies apart, is but a murmur

and a whisper compared to the beating of my

heart.” Not a single word goes to waste while

Sumner’s poetic minimalism tips its cowboy

hat to Hemingway. “My Old Friend” waltzes to

a gentle opening, before cranking the volume

like Crazy Horse, with a gritty guitar line mildly

reminiscent of Son Volt’s Straightaways.

Wasted Love Songs is an early contender for

2019. It has an easy, laid back feel that fits on the

highway or in any room in the house. Sumner’s

ability to channel the likes of Townes Van Zandt

and Willie Nelson while adding flourishes of

more contemporary alt-country ought to make

him a part of some serious conversations when

discussing standout Canadian roots artists.

• Mike Dunn


Future Ruins

Dangerbird Records

Swervedriver have been making edgy sound

waves for decades, but until just a few years ago

had almost disappeared completely. When they

released I Wasn’t Born To Lose You (2015), things

started picking up and their legendary, mythical

proportions started returning to people’s minds

as the band started touring again. Now they have

another, Future-Ruins, which, as the dystopian

title suggests, leads the listener on a journey into

a place and time of disjuncture and dark fates.

Though in the first song, “Mary Winter,” Adam

Franklin sings, “I’m never comin’ back,” it seems

they have. They have traded some of their heaviness

for more modern, spectacular architectures

of instrumentals. They continue to amaze with

their usual complex arpeggios, bended notes

and shimmering guitar strains. Swervedriver have

always talked or sung about “space-travel” and

in this song, he sings, “My feet won’t touch the

ground.” In “The Lonely Crowd Fades In The Air,”

Franklin sings, “so we stumble into the end of

days/where the future comes to cry/so choose

your colors wisely/’cause things ain’t the same as

in times gone by.”

Their undulating and circular vocal and

instrumental lines are reminiscent of a surrealist’s

film mis-en-scene. They do continue to

sing about rocket fuel and an engine, which

follows the propulsive force of their earlier efforts,

like Raise and Medical Head. Their music

has mellowed from the force of its sound in

the ’90s, so those looking to take in the new

sound should expect something with more

dreamy complexity, than razor-edged and

honed wit and darkness.

• Keir Nicoll

The Twilight Sad

It Won/t Be Like This All The Time

Rock Action Records

In 2016, the Cure’s Robert Smith named the

Twilight Sad as one of his favourite bands. He

personally picked them to support the Cure on

all their recent world tour dates, and there’s no

question as to why. The Twilight Sad write some

of the most compelling, dark and depressing

music out there. Their name describes their

sound perfectly.

It Won/t Be Like This All The Time is the

Twilight Sad’s fifth studio album and their first

release with Mogwai’s Rock Action Records.

It’s without a doubt their strongest and most

cohesive project to date.

One of the standout tracks, “The Arbor,” is a

particularly haunting post-punk offering that

features wailing, ghostly synths that sound like

the chatter of spirits in a cemetery. On this

album the band also delivers their signature

wall of sound on tracks like “Auge Maschine.” It

opens with a swirling, intoxicating layer of hazy

glide guitar that fluctuates in and out of pitch.

By blending together the strong suits of all their

previous work, the Twilight Sad come through

with an absolutely fantastic record that offers

something familiar yet very refreshing.

• Robann Kerr

Toro Y Moi

Outer Peace

Carpark Records

Outer Peace is the eighth studio album from

Toro Y Moi. ABRA, WET and Instupendo, all

friends of mastermind Chaz Bear, are featured

on the album. With every listen of Outer

Peace comes a deeper understanding of Bear’s

message and stylistic vision.

On the surface, Outer Peace is a fun and

quirky basement jam session, while at a closer

look Bear alludes to some deeper issues including

climate change, consumerism and debt.

Funky bass lines and sci-fi inspired samples

create a disco-like feel for the album as a whole.

Recorded in the Bay area, Bear considers it

somewhat of a homecoming album and has

allowed himself a more playful approach to

song making than what we saw on his last

album, Boo Boo. Autotune is used extensively

throughout the album and at times you can

hear the presence of xylophone. Outer Peace

is unpredictable, groovy and original.

• Sheena Antonios

Sharon Van Etten

Remind Me Tomorrow


Sharon Van Etten has been a busy human

since the release of her critically acclaimed

2014 release, Are We There. With the birth of

her first child, a move into acting as Rachel in

the Netflix drama, The OA, an appearance in

David Lynch’s reboot of Twin Peaks and scoring

her first feature film, Strange Weather, it’s

clear Van Etten’s sonic palette has expanded

into new territory. And by goodness, it’s what

makes Remind Me Tomorrow such a beautiful

thing to behold.

You’d be forgiven in thinking that as the

piano chords chime in on album opener, “I

Told You Everything,” that you’re listening

to the direct follow-up to Are We There. In

Sharon Van Etten

discography terms it is, but the similarities

are shattered when the electro beats of track

two, “No One’s Easy To Love,” kick in.

The atmospheric and drony sounds she

employs throughout the following eight tracks

(fuelled by producer John Congleton) are far

ranging and, at times, down right eerie. But

there is always an upbeat feel to even the

moodiest of tracks. “Memorial Day,” “Comeback

Kid” and “Seventeen” shine bright like no

other Van Etten tracks of days gone past. The

whole record is absolutely mesmerizing.

Van Etten is a truly remarkable artist.

2019 hasn’t even really got going yet, but we

clearly already have a contender for album of

the year.

• Adam Rogers

Warbly Jets

Propaganda EP

Rebel Union Recordings

The dream of the ’90s is alive in Warbly Jets’

new EP, Propaganda. With knob-turning,

air horn squealing Brit rock swagger, this

short sampling of tunes is reminiscent of the

Chemical Brothers and Oasis, which makes

sense seeing how the band spent a good

chunk of 2018 on the road, touring as the

opening act for Liam Gallagher.

“No Allegiance” could waltz into the

Snatch soundtrack without a ticket, and you

can’t help but get jazzed by the chorus of

“Kill Kill Kill” in “Cool Kill Machine.” Reminds

one of the film Tank Girl and the time when

we still felt like we had time to reclaim our

water and avoid a dystopia. But now, as we

strive to survive this tortured era, these mean

bangers will do just fine in calming the itch.

As Warbly Jets shake off the Dandy Warhols

bop of their former work in favour of

some mean and sexy fare, we can all rest easy

in the choice to do the same in our shattered


• Jennie Orton


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) Sort the truth

from the spectacle. Sort the drama from the

plot. Let new energy into the existing shape of

things. Do so without shattering what holds you.

Hold onto the rituals and self care that brings

you joy states. Review your relationships with

your desires. The more you understand who you

are and what you were born to do, the more this

year will assist you. Look for affirmations that

expand your sense of self. This cycle is about

nourishing the bonds you create and being more

of yourself. Be less of what others expect of you

and allow your eccentricities to shine marvelous

Aries. Motivation and advancement are

keywords this cycle.

Song suggestion: “Blue Nudes (1-1V)” - Jefre


TAURUS (APRIL 21 - MAY 21) In chase of an

everchanging sunset, you find the diamond

centre in your eyes. Longing for meaning yet

no defined path. The world, It’s perfect, It’s a

mess- how will you choose to participate? This

cycle could bring up feelings of how to actualize

your existence through contact with other

people. Allow yourself to joyfully participate in

life while feeling the sorrows of the world. This

is a big month for positive reframing and peak

awareness. Use self control and discipline as tools

for active rejuvenation. Tap into your flow state

artistic Taurus and don’t be afraid to access the

subconscious to create new work. You have a lot

to say, so figure out your language. Be open to

tears and breakthroughs.

Song suggestion: “Adieu Au Dancefloor”- Marie


GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21) Getting in touch

with emotional spaces and personal relationships

of the past. This is a time when things may feel

as if they are shifting into new places as much

as they are cycling back. Refine your headspace

so that you may direct your consciousness with

authenticity and understanding. You are allowed

to create your future. Creating a relationship

with the natural world will nourish. Tongues in

trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stone

and good in everything. Keep a flexible lense on

the moment to moment. Take care of yourself so

you may take care of your reality. This is a month

to nourish and create. Harmonize, synchronize

and flow with synchronicity.

Song suggestion: “Bike”- Autechre

CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23) Highly evolved

forms of communication will be essential this

month as there is much to signal and receive.

You are connected to networks that have the

ability to make waves in the social and emotional

creative tapestry. Continue to return to yourself

and give your heart time to think. Our emotions

show up in the patterns of our life, watch for

what is structuring in your field. There is an

infinite number of emotional blends to experience

this cycle, remember that there is so much

experience and that it doesn’t all have to happen

now. Trust in unfolding, trust in timing and trust

in what doesn’t seem to work out. Know how

far to expand yourself concentric Cancer. Feel

strength in emotional temporality.

Song suggestion: “A Silver Key Can Open An Iron

Lock Somewhere” - Carla dal Forno

LEO (JULY 24 - AUG. 23) May you open to the

deep rhythms of self love and acceptance of path

this cycle. When one shifts into heart-oriented

cognition the ability for overwhelming mental

dialogue is lessened. Sit with your heart, allow it

to generate its intelligence. You have large plans,

expansive dreams and human needs. Look at

how you are balancing these realms and where

you could self-organize and prioritize better.

January will create some softness for you, more

space to breathe into the unique identity that

you have come to understand as ever changing

self. Take a long walk, talk with those you trust

and don’t be afraid to take a whole day to relax

and breathe. There is a spotlight on boundaries

of self and relationship this cycle. Show up with

respect and honesty for these lessons, transformational

Leo. Allow life to change you, change

life with your alchemy.

Song suggestion: “Fine Again” - Tirzah

VIRGO (AUG. 24 - SEPT. 23) You care so deeply

for those around you, nurturing beauty. Have

you been pouring that same nurturing nectar

towards your own being? This is a month to

make your health a priority and reassess where

energy is being expended and extended. Lighten

up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept

your humanness as you continue to refine as you

do. Reinvigorate the structures of your life with

new and inventive ideas, without letting go of

the positive aspects of the structure itself. Find

new ways of working with the magnetism you

posses alluring Virgo. This is a month to set big

ideas into motion.

Song suggestion: “Horizon of Appearances” - Steve


LIBRA (SEPT. 24 - OCT. 23) Looking at new

trajectories and shifting meaning. Check in with

your intuition as you make moves on your life

path. Career and ambition walk hand in hand as

you set up future moves. Take time to sit down

and carve out a map of intended direction.

Setting up plans for summer months is advised

during this passage. Trust in flow states and place

yourself in alignment with where you feel to be

a river of your own unfolding. Honest, raw and

real communication changes everything. Say

what you feel and trust the alchemy poetical

Libra. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe

it to be. Being alive is the meaning. Revel in that

aliveness and connect to those who help you feel

the actualization of your dreams.

Song suggestion: “So Slow” - Yuno

SCORPIO (OCT. 24 - NOV. 22) You have

been on a journey of changing landscapes.

These landscapes both internal and external,

multidimensional Scorpio. Know Thyself as you

traverse deeper into your understanding of your

life. Analyze and use the mind. This time lends

well to organization, study and higher learning.

You have been taking some chances that are

infusing your life with greater meaning. Keep

taking chances and stay open to the willingness

to experience new realities. Leave behind what

is no longer worthy of your efforts. Notice what

naturally has been gaining momentum on your

path, focus energy there. Trust your heart as

the powerful and harmonic oscillator that it is.

Follow it. Perceive with it.

Song suggestion: “Lost Ways”- Pye Corner Audio

SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 23 - DEC. 21) Everybody

wants to love and you are certainly feeling this

force sweet archer. Asking vs. Hoping is a lesson

this cycle, claim your life from an empowered

place and ask for what you want. Make the

choices that activate the magic and connect

you to the inspired life flow that you so deeply

crave. Sift through the realms of possibilities in

your rolodex of experience. The world is at your

fingertips, how will you orchestrate? Intense

awareness of the present moment will allow you

expand with ease.

Song suggestion: “City of Light” - Fennesz

CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 - JAN. 20) Your relationship

to self and others are being highlighted this

cycle, perceptive Capricorn. In certain ways your

intentions are bearing successful fruits and in

other ways missing the target. Focus your energy

in an evolutionary and expansive direction.

Watch your forms of communication and ways

of relating. Check in with inner messages and

communicate with poetic authenticity. A little in

your own world always. Expand that world and


share. Realize your ability to change the energy

of your life and take that a step deeper. What is it

you are looking to create?

Song suggestion for the month: “Koinois” - Laurel


AQUARIUS (JAN. 21 - FEB. 19) Reassessment

of your personal projects, career trajectory and

letting go of what simply doesn’t fit. There may

be a resurgence of past patterns, people and

feelings. See what the revisiting of cycles can

illuminate to you. Absorb the wisdom of lessons

learned. Use your toolkit of known knowledge,

intelligent Aquarius. See who sticks by you this

winter; “Summer friends will melt away like

summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.”

Trust in the strength of your foundational

relationships and nourish them. True friendship

is a virtue.

Song suggestion: “Gift”- Helena Hauff

PISCES (FEB. 20 - MAR. 20) This passage allows

you to deeply reflect with how to move forward

especially in the realm of relationship. It has been

a time of honest conversations, deep flowing

feelings and timeline trajectory changes. There

is an internal well of inner strength that radiates

from and for you. Pull from this internal well in

a way that allows you to reflect and refine. With

much to manifest, pour your efforts and intention

towards your strongest visions. Surround

your life with influences that respect your heart.

There is a sacredness that resigns in your own

heart, a multiverse of stars. Connect those stars

to create new constellations exquisite Pisces.

Song suggestion: “Habitual Love” - Okay Kaya



Between a sock and a hard place.



Dickens Pub

Dec. 6, 2018

In the beginning, Ed the Sock was a low-budget gag. A crappy sock

puppet spitting hardened opinions perfectly capturing the jaded

‘90s ethos of putting big messages in stripped down packages. The

disarming notion of taking a whimsical symbol, the sock puppet,

and having it tell dirty jokes worked so well Ed became a mainstay

on MuchMusic and bona fide B-list icon. After 10 years of being

lost in the dryer, Ed the Sock has returned with a live show called

“The War on Stupid.” A coast-to-coast show that is eager to highlight

absurdities in politics, pop culture and hotel room cleanliness.

After riffing on Canada’s leadership, and pointing out Trudeau’s

suspect habit of showboating his progressiveness, our grouchy host

points out the real meaning of “stupidity.” It’s not about ones IQ,

it’s about willfully operating on a lower level. It’s when someone

knows they’re being “an idiot” and yet they do it anyway. Ed cut

the bullshit and got right to the point with criticisms on outrage

culture, the alt-right all while taking playful jabs at Calgary’s national

image leaving no political leaning unscathed. The show highlights

that often, the truth hurts, but the beauty of wrapping it in

comedy is that it doesn’t have to be cruel. We can find connection

in the knowledge that we are all a bit warped, shrug our shoulders

and swallow the bitter pill easier with a laugh.

• Trevor Hatter


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



men and women

I’m a 40-year-old guy with a 30-year-old girlfriend. We’ve been together

a year, and I can see a future with her. But there are problems.

This girl comes after two minutes of stimulation, be it manual, oral,

or penile. As someone who takes pride in my foreplay/pussy-eating

abilities, this is a bummer. She gets wet to the point where all friction

is lost during PIV and my boners don’t last. It’s like fucking a bowlful

of jelly. Part of me is flattered that I get her off, but damnit I miss a

tight fit! (Her oral skills aren’t great, either, so that’s not an option,

and anal is a no-go.) I love to fuck hard, and that’s difficult when I’m

sticking my dick into a frictionless void. Is there a way to decrease

wetness? Help, please.

—Can’t Last Inside Tonight

First things first: She’s not doing anything wrong, CLIT, and neither

are you—at least you’re not doing anything wrong during sex.

(When you sit down to write letters to advice columnists, on the

other hand…) She can’t help how much vaginal mucus she produces

or how much vaginal sweating your foreplay/pussy-eating skills

induce, any more than you can help how much pre-ejaculate you

pump out. (Her wetness is a combo of vaginal mucus and vaginal

sweating—not a derogatory expression, that’s just the term for it.)

And all that moisture is there for a good reason: It preps the vagina

for penetration. In its absence, PIV can be extremely painful for the

fuckee. So the last thing you want to do is dry your girlfriend up


Now here’s something you are doing wrong: “It’s like fucking a

bowlful of jelly,” “I miss a tight fit,” “Her oral skills aren’t great, either,”

“I’m sticking my dick into a frictionless void.” You’re going to need to

have a conversation with your girlfriend about this, CLIT, you’ll need

to use your words, but you can’t have that conversation—not a

constructive one—until you can find some less denigrating, resentful,

shame-heaping words.

Again, she’s doing nothing wrong. She gets very wet when she’s

turned on. That’s just how her body works. Too much lubrication

makes it harder for you to get off. That’s how your body works. And

this presents a problem that you two need to work on together,

but insults like “bowlful of jelly” and “frictionless void” are going to

shut the conversation down and/or end the relationship. So try this

instead: “I love how turned on you get, honey, and I love how wet

you get. But it can make it difficult for me to come during PIV.”

If you don’t put her on the defensive—if you don’t make her feel

like shit about her pussy—you might be able to have a constructive

conversation and come up with some possible PIV hacks. If there’s a

move (clitoral stimulation) or an event (her first orgasm) that really

opens up the tap, CLIT, save that move or delay that event until after

you’ve climaxed or until after you’ve reached the point of orgasmic

inevitability—if PIV isn’t painful for her when she’s a little less wet.

You can also experiment with different positions to find one

that provides you with a little more friction and doesn’t hit her clit

just so—perhaps doggy style—and then shift into a position that

engages her clit when you’re going to come. And there’s no shame

in pulling out and stroking yourself during intercourse before diving

back in. Be constructive, get creative, and never again speak of her

pussy like it’s a defective home appliance, CLIT, and you might be

able to solve this (pretty good) problem (to have).

I’m a woman in an open relationship of four years. I adore my

partner. When we were first dating, it was casual and there were no

ground rules. During that time, I slept with a guy without condoms

after he cornered me in a motel room. One of the biggest rules in

my current relationship is to use condoms with other partners. My

current partner has made it clear that he would consider exchanging

fluids with someone else cheating. I’m worried he’ll somehow find out

about that night in the motel room, and I feel bad keeping it a secret.

If I tell him, there’s a chance that our relationship will end and I’ll be

living in my car. What should I do?

—Burdensome Unbearable Guilt Sucks

This thing happened—or this thing was done to you—before you

made a commitment to your current partner, BUGS, and before

ground rules were established. I’m assuming you got tested at some

point over the last four years; failing that, I’m assuming neither of

you has developed symptoms of an STI over the last four years.

(And condoms don’t protect us from all the STIs out there, so

even if you did come down with something, your partner could

have passed it to you.) So cut yourself some slack, BUGS: You had

unprotected sex under a sadly common form of duress. Fearing

something much worse, you “agreed” to unprotected sex—you

agreed but didn’t freely consent to unprotected sex. Too many men

don’t understand that kind of fear or the de-escalation techniques

women are forced to employ when they find themselves cornered

by threatening men—de-escalation techniques that can include

“agreeing” to but not freely consenting to sex, unprotected or otherwise.

You’re under no obligation to tell your current partner about


that night, as it took place before you established your ground rules,

so it’s not really any of his fucking business. And if homelessness is a

potential consequence of telling your partner how you were pressured

into sex you did not want, then you’re lying to him now for

the same reason you went bare with that asshole back then: duress.

I’m a man in love with a woman half my age. We met shortly after

I had to leave the city I was living in to escape a toxic relationship. I

know this girl has feelings for me. My gut screams it. We also share a

strange connection. It’s something I know she feels. She simply can’t

help being tied to the energy I’m feeling. A while back, I hurt her. Unintentionally,

but it hurt just the same. I was still not over my ex and

very leery of ever experiencing that kind of pain in my heart again.

The problem now is that this young woman won’t acknowledge her

feelings for me. She swears she never had feelings for me. We found

ourselves alone one day, and her actions were clearly indicating that

she wanted to have sex with me but her words prevented me from

taking the opportunity. How can I reach this girl? She knows I love

her. I know I’m not wrong. She wants what I want. This love is not

something I chose and I’m beginning to resent it.

—In Lasting Love

You are wrong. She does not want what you want. Your gut is lying

to you. She is not in love with you. You do not share a connection.

You need to listen to her words. She is not tied to the “energy” you

are feeling. You have got to stop thinking with your dick. She was

probably scared out of her wits when you managed to “find” her

alone. You cannot reach this woman. She can sense your resentment

and she’s afraid of you. In all honesty, ILL, I’m afraid of you. Just

as this poor woman most likely fears becoming one of the many

women murdered every year by men they’ve rejected, I fear being

the messenger who got shot. But you asked for my advice, ILL, and

here it is: Get into therapy. You need help. And my advice for her, if

she sees this, is to do whatever you must to protect yourself—up to

and including moving away.

Who are furries and what do they want?:

@fakedansavage on Twitter


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