BeatRoute Magazine AB Edition - February 2020

beatroute

BeatRoute Magazine is a music monthly and website that also covers: fashion, film, travel, liquor and cannabis all through the lens of a music fan. Distributed in British Columbiam Alberta, and Ontario. BeatRoute’s Alberta edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

Green Day

Destroyer

Ralph

Odario

& More

AB • FEBRUARY 2020 • FREE


UPCOMING

EVENTS

THIS MONTH @

DEERFOOT CITY

FEB 7

FEB 12

FEB 14

FEB 15

LATIN NIGHT

ART BATTLE

Live Competitive

Painting

TINDER TALES

VALENTINE’S DAY

EDITION

w/ Brittany Lyseng

SET IT OFF

THIS MONTH @

SOUTH EDMONTON

COMMON

FEB 7

FEB 8

FEB 14

FEB 20

RUMBLE CALIENTE

ROCKSLAM

TINDER TALES

VALENTINE’S DAY

EDITION

w/ Leif Oleson-Cormack

LIVE BAND HIP-

HOP KARAOKE

THIS MONTH @

WEST EDMONTON MALL

FEB 7

FEB 8

FEB 13

FEB 15

FEB 22

HUNGRY HOLLOW

w/ The Pits

NOTORIOUS YEG

GOOD RUMOUR

THE 9S

SCAR TISSUE

Tribute to Red Hot Chili

Peppers

FEB 22

FEB 28

REC THE MIC

w/ 10at10

K-POP CLUB NIGHT

w/ DJ Keely Valentine

FEB 21

FEB 29

THE ORCHARD

K-POP CLUB NIGHT

w/ DJ Keely Valentine

FEB 29

LIVE BAND

KARAOKE

Discover the ultimate gathering place to let go,

be playful and discover something new.

Tickets and full listings

TheRecRoom.com


Contents

Music

4n UP FRONT

Canadian musician, broadcaster,

and the host of the evening

program Afterdark on CBC

Music, Odario Williams makes

our hearts skip a beat with his

Valentine’s Day playlist.

6n Artist Features

Green Day, Destroyer, The

Beaches, Louis CZA the Black

Greek God, $NOT, Andy Shauf

and more.

13n STYLE

Toronto’s rising pop star RALPH

shows BeatRoute her bedroom

closet and shines a light on her

uncompromising career that’s

taken her from opening for Carly

Rae Jepsen to dazzling new

heights.

17n Monthly Playlist

All the singles we can’t stop

listening to this month.

27n Album Reviews

Grimes, Mac Miller, Halsey, Tennis,

Cindy Lee, Soccer Mommy,

and more.

BC

Cover Story

Green Day

Destroyer

Ralph

Odario

& More

20 Tame Impala

The unassailable empathy of

Australian psych-everything

mastermind, Kevin Parker.

BC • FEBRUARY 2020 • FREE

LifeStyle

30nTravel

Mexico City: Explore the

sprawling metropolis where

tradition and cutting edge

converge.

32nThat's Dope

Laze and level out in Canada’s

best sesh suits.

YYC

35nVivian Maier

The Glenbow Museum

sheds light on America’s

“sensitive eye” street

shooter.

36nYYC Agenda

Calgary’s ultimate winter

festival Block Heater heats

up their programming with

imaginative and explorative

programming in its fifth

year.

38nFree House

Not your everyday pub fare,

Calgary’s newest beer hall

for food lovers embraces a

Canadiana vibe with style.

39nLocal Artist Spotlight

Seth Anderson channels

positivity, Scratch Buffalo

live out their dreams and

Port Juvee look forward to

the future.

40nEssential Edmonton

Tanya Tagaq's Qiksaaktuq

("Grief") is a collaborative

work with the Edmonton

Symphony Orchestra. Hot

rod punks The Confusionaries

storm the Aviary and

alt-rock balladeers KFB

ride the Buck.

41n Cheat Sheet

BeatRoute’s Essential List

— the must-see shows this

month in Calgary.

Photographer Annie Forrest goes on the road

with psychedelic country crooner Orville Peck.

Visit beatroute.ca for a sneak peak behind the

scenes through her camera lens.

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges’

collaborative EP Texas Sun,

read our review on page 27.

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 3

ANNIE FORREST

POONEH GHANA


READ OUR FULL PROFILE WITH ODARIO WILLIAMS

UpFront

FEBRUARY

JASON CIPPARRONE

ODARIO WILLIAMS'

VALENTINE'S DAY

PLAYLIST

M

usic plays a central part in

everything Odario Williams

does. This modern day

Renaissance man is an actor, songwriter,

producer, journalist, poet, and rapper,

and is the current host of “Afterdark”

on CBC Music. He’s put together an

unconventional Valentine’s Day playlist full

of classic bangers and underrated gems.

VISIT

BEATROUTE.CA

Etta James - "I'd Rather Go Blind"

A perfect blues song to soundtrack a

bruised heart. Kills me every time. I love

this tune.

D'Angelo - "Send It On"

Voodoo is one of my favourite albums of

all time. It's a sexy record, and “Send It

On” is the sexiest track on that record.

Dionne Warwick - "You're Gonna Need Me"

Dionne's vocal delivery is simply dirty, with

extra sass. I didn't know sweet Dionne

had it in her.

George Michael - "Kissing A Fool"

This is one of the best jazz-pop songs

ever written. This song solidified George

Michael as a fantastic songwriter.

Prince - "Adore"

Make sure you listen to the extended

6-minute version; you'll hear Prince

practically make love to his own song.

By CHAYNE JAPAL

Erykah Badu - "Green Eyes"

I love this song. It's so long (10 minutes),

but it ain't long enough!

Sade - "Nothing Can Come Between Us"

My playlists about love will always have

Sade involved. Sade IS love.

Jennifer Lara - "I Am In Love"

I tend to keep a few reggae tunes in my

playlists because reggae is in my DNA.

This song is perfect for hot sticky summer

nights.

Marvin Gaye - "After The Dance"

This song is basically four and a half

minutes of foreplay.

Eric B & Rakim - "What's On Your Mind"

At a time when rap songs were not

allowed to be romantic, Rakim penned a

perfect scenario of meeting his soulmate

one day in Brooklyn.

Publisher

Julia Rambeau Smith

@beatroutemedia

Editor in Chief

Glenn Alderson

Associate Editor

Brad Simm

Layout/Production Manager

Rachel Teresa Park

Managing Editors

Josephine Cruz

Melissa Vincent

Contributing Editors

Sebastian Buzzalino

Dayna Mahannah

Contributors

Ben Boddez • Corinna Burford

Reeghan Carroll • Jaime Eisen

Fraser Hamilton • Natalie Harmsen

Chayne Japal • Kate Killet

Brendan Lee • Katherine McFarlane

Maggie McPhee • Isaac Nikolai Fox

Luke Ottenhof • Shania Perera

Michael Rancic • Drew Yorke

Aurora Zboch

Contributing Photographers

Lindsey Blane • Sebastian Buzzalino

Harry Chan • Jason Cipparrone

Nathan Denette • George Fok

Annie Forrest • Toni Hafkenscheid

Megan Hill-Carroll • Neil Krug

Pamela Littky • Kira Locke

Colin Medley • Nabeel Pervaiz

Angela Ricciardi • Kelly Schovanek

Jason Tipton • Felice Trinidad

Hector Vasquez

Coordinator (Live Music)

Darrole Palmer

Advertising Inquiries

Glenn Alderson

glenn@beatroute.ca

778-888-1120

Distribution

BeatRoute is distributed in

Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary,

Edmonton, Winnipeg,

Saskatoon and Toronto

Contact Us

26 Duncan Street,

Suite 500, Toronto ON, M5V 2B9

editor@beatroute.ca

@beatroutemedia

beatroutemedia

beatroute.ca



MUSiC ARTIST INTERVIEW

SAY HELLO TO A

NEW, OLDER, AND

LESS MATURE

GREEN DAY

THE POP PUNK FOREBEARS

COME OF AGE, AGAIN.

PAMELA LITTKY

It’s mid-January, and Tre Cool is looking forward to

the National Hockey League’s All-Star Weekend

in St. Louis, Missouri. The Green Day drummer is

hoping to drive a zamboni at some point during the

weekend. “It’s like a fancy lawnmower that squirts

water, and I’m driving the motherfucker,” he says.

I ask if he needs a special license to drive one. “Just a

license to fuck shit up,” he fires back.

Cool and his long-time Green Day bandmates—

hyper, pointy-haired frontman Billie Joe Armstrong

and stoic, always-sleeveless bassist Mike Dirnt—are

prepping for a whirlwind year. They’re co-headlining

with Weezer and Fall Out Boy on this summer’s highprofile

Hella Mega Tour, but first they’ll release their

13th studio album, Father Of All Motherfuckers. Gone

are Green Day’s early-oughts days of nine-minute

medley epics, hour-plus album runtimes, and sobering

sociopolitical narratives.

With 10 tracks that run just over 26 minutes, Father

is a frantic coke binge, a glammed-up garage-rock

record that’s committed more to revelry than revolution.

I wonder if, at this stage in their career, it’s hard to tap

into that shithead-teenager mindset. “We’re still in our

high school band,” laughs Cool. “What you’re hearing is

a new, older, less mature Green Day.”

Father marks the first record for which the band

worked with producer Butch Walker, who scaled back

their tendencies for the grandiose and nudged them

towards something that felt more intuitive. “It was very

freeing,” says Cool. “[Walker] is no-nonsense. You lock

in a sound and go. You don’t chase your tail looking for

that perfect sound.”

The approach is somewhat surprising. Walker’s work

with acts like Fall Out Boy, P!nk, and Avril Lavigne has

carved space for their records in the sweet spot between

pop and punk. He helmed Taylor Swift’s prescient

country-to-pop shift with 2012’s Red and catapulted

English rock band The Struts to international fame with

their dancey rock jam “Body Talks.” Father borrows

sonically from that 2018 Struts single, especially on the

titular opening track with Armstrong’s overdriven falsetto

vocals and dirty-sleek guitars.

Green Day have zig-zagged from basement punks

to acoustic balladeers to pop punk trend-setters, but

pressed for a high-water mark, there are two obvious

answers: 1994’s slacker-hymnal Dookie and 2004’s anti-

American treatise American Idiot. The latter remains

their most influential and memorable, not least of all for

its accompanying red-white-and-black aesthetic. It was

clear, scathing, and distinctly repulsed by George Bush’s

jingoism and American imperialism.

But while the band has repeatedly shared their disdain

for the current American president, Father doesn’t

waste breath on him.

There are two frames of mind on art post-Trump: it

either absolutely should, or absolutely shouldn’t, be

informed by his presidency. Green Day circa-2004

6 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


By LUKE OTTENHOF

might have opted for the former. In 2020, they’re opting

for the latter. “The last thing we wanted to do was make a

record about that idiot,” says Cool. “Just because we have a

tyrant, fascist asshole in the White House doesn’t mean that

we have to sacrifice our art.”

He admits, though, that things are bad. Really bad. “The

pendulum swings, and it swings a little higher,” he says. “I

think it goes back and forth, and right now, it’s at the height

of the bad side of history. Right now, the racist rhetoric and

all that stuff that was hiding under the rocks, now they’re

emboldened and they’re out there. They feel like it’s their

moment. But the pendulum’s gotta swing back the other way.

Hopefully it’ll swing a little bit harder, and people will be even

more aware and more conscious of their environment, their

society, and the place where they live.”

For Cool, it’s important in the meantime to focus on

amplifying the things that make us feel good, even for a

moment. The drummer rhymes off his strategies: listening to

records, time with his family, being around water. “Oh, and

hard, hard drugs,” he chuckles. “There’s certain drugs I think

should be mandatory. Everybody should drop acid at least

once, and take mushrooms a couple times.

“When things are this bad, you want to just party. It’s like

dancing through the apocalypse. This might just be it for this

planet, so who knows. Let’s go out with a bang.”

This approach is understandable. If you committed your

band’s entire existence to very visibly raging against the

American machine and 16 years later, things had gotten

worse, you too might be resigned to defeat. But Cool

caveats that this isn’t a total withdrawal; Nazis still need to

be punched. But they can’t steal away our records and our

families and the ocean and drugs.

“They can’t take those away from us,” Cool says. “They

cannot take away your joy. They cannot take away your heart,

as long as you just wear it on your sleeve. As a wise man, Bill S.

Preston once said, ‘Be excellent to each other.’”

STAR

Green Day’s thirteenth studio album Father Of All

Motherfuckers… will be released February 7th 2020.

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 7



ANGELA RICCIARDI

TOTALLY LIT

Hoodie-clad rapper $NOT goes beyond Soundcloud.

W

hen $not was in high school,

he started exclusively

wearing hoodies and

it just stuck. Later on, he landed on

his stage name, $not, under similar

circumstances. His “why not?” ethos

bleeds over into his music, which

borrows enthusiastically from a

kaleidoscopic range of genres while

remaining grounded in the bass-heavy,

blown-out sound that has dominated the

last few years of underground rap.

Most notable of all is his 2018

breakout hit, “Gosha.” On it, $NOT

layers his raspy vocals over a haze of

nostalgic, wailed vocal samples and

a slow-rolling 808 pulse. It’s simple,

but quietly hypnotic, and the track

has racked up millions of plays and

propelled him to a new place: as one of

the post-Soundcloud scene’s leading

torchbearers.

The hoodie-clad rapper’s corner of

the music industry has seen a swath of

deaths in the last few years, and $NOT

is acutely aware that it’s up to him,

and those who remain, to push their

subgenre forwards. Over the phone

in mid-January, he likens posthumous

albums to somewhat of a mixed bag,

particularly when label involvement

distorts the artist’s original vision.

“I don’t really like when labels drop

albums after an artist dies,” he says.

“I get it — they’re supposed to make

their money back, fans want to hear

something — but it’s still weird because

they’re not around to have their say.”

He’s not overly concerned with his

own legacy, or at least, not just yet.

“Tragedy + is kind of a sad album, but

it’s also kind of lit,” he continues. “Most

of the album is just me singing, and it’s

heartfelt. It’s something that the kids

can listen to and get whatever they want

from, you know. People missed my old,

rawer sound, from 2017, where I’d just

start singing in the middle of songs. I’m

bringing that back this year.” STAR

$NOT’s debut album - Tragedy + will be

released March 6, 2020.

By ISAAC NIKOLAI FOX

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 9



FELICE TRINIDAD

THE BEACHES

ARE PAVING THEIR

OWN PATH

Guitarist Kylie Miller

breaks down their plan

for world domination.

n a cold January night, Kylie

Miller, The Beaches’ esteemed

Oguitarist, calls after a tiresome

rehearsal ahead of her band’s debut

Canadian headlining tour. For anyone

accustomed to a traditional 9-5, it’s the

stuff of rock folklore.

Named after the neighborhood in

Toronto’s east end, the band channels

both the warm languidness of 70s

rock, with the earnest, bold and biting

attention to detail of PJ Harvey and Kim

Gordon. On their most recent EP, The

Professional (2019), Miller utters a retort

that feels built for the age of internet

dating: “Stop sending me all your dick

pics/ they are boring me to pieces.”

Miller is candid about what it felt

like to navigate the industry at a young

age: “At the beginning it was a bit of an

unknown territory. We didn’t exactly

know what we were getting into, but

luckily we had each other.”

She notes the type of microaggressions

she and her fellow

band members encountered in the

early stages of their career, like

concertgoers assuming they were fans

when they’d appear at a gig. “Obviously

the music industry, especially the rock

industry, is very male-dominated,” she

says, “I think being a force in the rise of

female rock artists is really cool. I think

we’ve been able to grow and help be

a part of this movement that hopefully

By SHANIA PERERA

becomes way more accessible.”

And now in a position to bring up

a new generation of rock stars, The

Beaches are excited to put on rising

bands in Toronto’s rock scene. Miller

name-drops the teen folk duo Moscow

Apartment, who attend her former high

school: “They are so tight, they are so

badass. They’re literally as tight as we

are, and much younger.”

Now, The Beaches are driven by

their devoted fanbase. “We love

performing. As long as we continue

to do that, and it also inspires other

women to get involved, that’s really

awesome for us.”

STAR

The Beaches will embark on their first

national tour on February 6th, starting in

Victoria, British Columbia.

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 11



ARTIST INTERVIEW MUSiC

THE WORLD

By JAIME EISEN

Photography by

NABEEL PERVAIZ

Clothing provided by

HAYLEY ELSAESSE

ACCORDING

TO RALPH

THE CANADIAN

DISCO-POP PRINCESS

TALKS VULNERABILITY

IN POP MUSIC, LETTING GO,

AND KEEPING IT REAL.

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 13


Stepping into RALPH’s bedroom feels

like gaining access to her brain.

Sitting on a bed made with hotel

corners, RALPH looks perfectly at

home. “When I’m in my room, I feel

a sense of peace and joy,” she says.

“It’s chaotic, but in my own way it’s organized.”

This comfort extends to RALPH’s unique

live shows, where she punctuates colourful

costume changes with special guests like altrock

girl band The Beaches and supermodel

drag performer Tynomi Banks. RALPH’s

shows are light, fun, and seemingly carefree.

But “nothing happens without me creating it,

or being a huge part of it,” she says. “I work

fucking hard.”

Since the debut of her self-titled EP in

2017, RALPH has cultivated a loyal following

hungry for more fresh, disco-infused synthpop.

She has honed her nostalgic pop sound

on earworm tracks like the Electric Circusinspired

“Gravity” and 80s throwback “Tease,”

while claiming her spot on charts, streaming

playlists, and fashion “best” lists.

Now, following the release of her latest EP

Flashbacks and Fantasies, and fresh off a tour

with Canadian pop icon Carly Rae Jepsen,

RALPH is ready to try something new.

“The beauty of being an artist is that you

get to evolve,” she says. Referencing Billie

Eilish, Normani, Maggie Rogers, and Lizzo,

she feels this moment in pop music should be

viewed through a kaleidoscope—as a hybrid

genre with endless possibilities.

For RALPH, impact comes with taking risks

and maintaining authenticity. “I think people

appreciate me creating moments that are

real and honest and interesting. I’d prefer to

do that than just be someone contrived that

people can’t access.”

Born into a large, tight-knit family of

creatives, RALPH knows that swimming

against the tide can sometimes feel futile,

but has “learned there’s no harm in

continuing to grab everything by the horns

and building a community.” She admires

artists like Orville Peck and Jessie Reyez

who are carving out unique spaces for

Canadian pop on their own terms.

RALPH’s own music community is built on

specific values: “If each show is a place that

I’ve created, then I want to make sure that

everyone here feels safe and welcomed and

loved and celebrated.”

Despite the care she puts into every detail,

it’s clear that RALPH is not a traditional

perfectionist. She has learned to let go and

embrace the (organized) chaos: “You know

when you’re baking cookies with someone?

There are people whose icing tends to be

perfect and stunning. My cookie is fine. It’s

okay. That doesn’t mean that I don’t work

fucking hard and put a lot of thought into

things. But I also can accept when something

isn’t perfect and I don’t beat myself up about

it forever.”

She smiles: “I always just want to eat the

fucking cookie.”

STAR

14 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


Photography by

NABEEL PERVAIZ

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 15


Artist to Watch

LOUIS CZA

THE BLACK GREEK GOD

BOUNDLESS EXPERIMENTATION DEFINES NEW

CLASS OF CALGARY ARTISTS

L

ouis CZA the Black Greek

God’s beating heart is deeply

experimental.

The young multidisciplinary artist has

carved out a space in Calgary’s music

and arts community through his intense

desire to reimagine his community

through his own means, to blossom the

means of DIY artistic production into

something that knows no generic or

stylistic boundaries.

“I’m very experimental,” he begins,

tucked away in a corner of Calgary’s

charming, infinitely Instagrammable,

Japanese jazz bar-inspired I Love You

Coffee Shop, which Louis has adopted

as a kind of artistic home base.

“I did start off making music in hip hop,

but I feel like, at a certain point, everyone

expected me to keep making music in

hip hop. But, if you respect an artist or

creative, you know they’re not going to

By SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO

make the same stuff over and over again.”

To wit, a recent performance in

December at the Palomino started off

with some lo-fi chill-wave and synth-wave

vibes before inviting friends up from the

audience for a set-ending blast of punk

and black metal-inspired crashers. At

another recent avant garde show, at I

Love You Coffee Shop, he performed

his first piece live body art inspired by

Viennese Actionism.

“I think of myself more as an

intellectual or a scientist, so what I create

depends how I’m feeling,” he says.

Not content with merely looking

inwards to create, Louis CZA the Black

Greek God has also made it his mission

to give a helping hand to other rising

youth artists in Calgary, mentoring them

and developing spaces with like-minded

friends to encourage new expression

and development.

“It’s always been about trying to

push forward in the scene,” he says. “I

work with a lot of young people in the

community because a lot of the older

people are more stuck in their ways. I try

to create new avenues for young people

to get in there.

“When we started, we didn’t have

a lot of people showing us what to do

or how to do it. I feel like if we did, we

would have progressed a lot faster.

So, we’re very young at heart, young

people, we’re always energetic and

stoked on creativity. Eventually we want

to have a centre in the future, in 10 or

20 years, where young people can

go too. It’ll be like Professor Xavier’s

School for Creativity.”

STAR

Catch Louis CZA the Black Greek God at

Tubby Dog on February 27.

SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO

16 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


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FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 17


MUSiC ARTIST INTERVIEW

DESTROYER

TAKES THE MIC

DAN BEJAR

EMBRACES HIS

ROLE AS A SINGER

CRAFTING AN

ALBUM FROM HIS

KITCHEN

MEGAN HILL-CARROLL

By GLENN ALDERSON

18 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


Dan Bejar steps out of the rain

into Vancouver’s Pat’s Pub on

a typically dreary winter day

wearing an old brown jacket

and a grey toque with side

flaps. When he walks up to the

table he takes off his hat, unleashing his

large frazzled mane.

Pat’s Pub is somewhat of an historic

musical landmark in the city’s Downtown

Eastside, a jazz club in the 1920s once

home to famous American jazz pianist

Jelly Roll Morten who lived and played in

the building for a stint of time. The pub is

a few blocks away from JC/DC Studios,

run by producers John Collins of the New

Pornographers and Dave Carswell, where

the majority of Bejar’s life’s work has

been set to tape.

He looks down at the original wooden

flooring etched with decades of memories

and pauses for a moment before he

speaks. “I knew a lot of the old big band

bands would come through but I didn’t

realize this was one of those places.”

His pensive and calculated demeanor

is comforting. It’s the same demeanor

he’s carried with him throughout his

compelling career as Destroyer. Even

his facial expression on the cover of

his new album, Have We Met, seems

purposefully detached, but his apathy

is overshadowed by the magnificent

microphone he’s posing with: the

Sennheiser 441 — the same retro mic

Stevie Nicks used on Tusk.

True to the signature wit and cynicism

that he exudes both in life and his

songwriting, the mic is both an accessory

and extension of himself.

“I wanted the record to be like an

action shot. And an action shot of my

world means me singing. That’s what I do.

It’s literally the only thing I ever do now,”

Bejar says, taking a sip from his pint.

“I wanted it to be kind of generic

as well but in a visually nice way,” he

continues. “Just like, ‘There’s Neil

Diamond, holding a microphone and

singing his songs.’ Which is kind of my

world at this point — like Neil Diamond

but in bars instead of stadiums.”

For more than 20 years, the 47-yearold

Bejar has worn multiple hats as both

the patron saint of lo-fi indie folk, building

rock and roll spectacles out of ballads

recorded on a four-track; and as the

modest on-again-off-again member of

pop rock outfit, the New Pornographers.

With 13 Destroyer albums now under

his belt, 2011’s smooth, suave and

undeniably sophisticated Kaputt signaled

a creative breakthrough for Bejar, who

morphed into an elegant lounge singer,

which garnered international acclaim and

helped set the pace for indie music in the

decade to come.

It was around then Bejar set his career

on a new path by putting down his guitar.

“I think that’s the biggest thing that ever

happened to me, when I decided to put the

guitar down forever, in the band at least,

and focus on being a singer,” he says.

Bejar opted instead for whatever

midi keyboard he could get his hands

on. This is what brought the world the

brash and bold Poison Season (2015),

the dark and brooding ken (2017) and

now, Have We Met, an ominous album

that he recorded on a laptop from the

kitchen of his Strathcona home in the late

hours of the night and from hotel rooms

while on the road performing a string of

solo dates supporting his former New

Pornographers bandmate, Neko Case.

“Technically they’re really poor

recordings, done in my kitchen, singing

really quiet because it’s late and I don’t

want to wake anyone up. I thought for

sure once we had a better idea of how

the music would go I would redo them,

but there’s kind of an alone sounding but

also very comfortable sounding quality

to them for me that I haven’t been able

to get on other records and it became

something to really anchor the songs. I

thought we could make the music as wild

as we wanted once that was in place.”

When asked how he’s going to bring

Have We Met to life when he takes it on the

road, he cracks a rare but welcomed grin.

“With a seven-piece band playing

loud rock music,” he says, pausing for

a moment, as if to imply there’s simply

no other way. “That’s one thing about

Vancouver: I’m pretty attached to my

band. I feel like musicians here are kind of

smarter than other places. They’re also

kind of negative, which I like. When you

play in Vancouver your back is against

the wall and I like that. It’s not the most

positive but it’s creative. Music here is not

congratulatory. It’s more like, ‘oh... fuck…’”

Bejar trails off and stops again to

collect his thoughts.

“No slight to Toronto or Montreal or

places like that, but it feels like in Toronto

you could just get by being a band in

Toronto and have a Toronto based career,

but here that’s just like an insane idea or

fantasy. You pretty much need to be Jelly

Roll Morton to make that work.” STAR

Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

21 + 22 February 2020 / 7:30PM

Jack Singer Concert Hall

RESPECT!

Honouring Aretha

A musical tribute to 18-time Grammy Award-winner

Aretha Franklin — the undisputed Queen of Soul —

featuring hits like Chain of Fools, I Say a Little Prayer,

Think, and more!

Under 30?

calgaryphil.com | 403.571.0849

Join CPOssibilities and get access to $15 tickets for you

and a friend to select concerts.

Register at calgaryphil.com/cposs.

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 19


MUSiC ARTIST INTERVIEW

NEIL KRUG

20 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


THE UNASSAILABLE EMPATHY

OF KEVIN PARKER

By MELISSA VINCENT

A

year and a half ago,

I made the trip from

Toronto to Moreno

Beach, Lake Perris

in Ontario, California

for Desert Daze, the

always impressive psychedelic rock

festival. It marked the festival’s first

year in a new home after previously

being held at the mythical Joshua

Tree Park. Tame Impala were the

festival’s opening night headliner,

followed by King Gizzard and the

Lizard Wizard, and My Bloody

Valentine. It was supposed to be a

slam dunk.

But the festival grounds,

stationed deep in the mountains of

a region experiencing a multi-year

drought, was overcome by an

extreme electric storm with near

torrential downpour to match. Less

than half an hour into Tame Impala’s

set, the show was cut off citing

safety concerns. Piling onto the

gargantuan task of attempting to

evacuate thousands of people was

the added challenge of relieving

an equally gargantuan traffic jam,

estimated at six hours, that caused

a particular logistical nightmare for

the festival.

Groups of teenagers resorted

to huddling under trees, blasting

“Let It Happen” out of muddy

phone speakers and singing along

desperately. It was extremely corny,

and just as beautiful, because for

legions of kids, this was their band,

and the show will always go on.

It’s a cheesy example, but a vivid

one—a single case, and one of

many, that illustrates exactly how

popular the Australian psycheverything

band from Perth had

actually become. Because since

releasing a string of singles to

MySpace in 2007, Kevin Parker’s

solo project has become big.

Not popular, but properly big: As

in, Rihanna-sampling; top tier-

Coachella headlining; Grammy

Award-nominating; platinum

record-selling; Lady Gaga and

Kanye West-collaborating; GQ

Magazine cover star-featuring big.

And at the core of Tame Impala’s

success is an ongoing question:

why now, does this music resonate

so broadly? Somehow—everyone

from purists of genre and taste,

and expats from the hyperprecious

era of audio exclusivity

and microblogging; to a newer

generation of fans who are frequent

participants of Big Experiential

Music Moments®, raised on a diet

of precisely-formed algorithms

capable of generating endless

Tik Tok memes—have all been

indoctrinated into the ecosystem

that Parker has built around himself.

For the better part of the last

decade, Parker has been on the

frontlines of psychdelia’s most

recent elevation to the top of the

cultural forefront, which, historically,

has been a reoccurring and resilient

salve during eras of aggregate

social and political uncertainty.

And often superficially pegged as

music made for private people and

introverts searching for like-minded

flock, Parker’s music has always

gotten at something slightly more

complicated and arresting.

Instead, he’s remained invested

in exploring the limits of emotional

intelligence, directed at the self

and then utilized as a tool to

understand an ever-confusing

outside world. Starved for

answers, Parker generously offers

a reminder that answering big

questions starts with addressing

smaller, human-sized ones. By

design, his music casts a wide net.

“I wouldn't write a song that I feel

is only applicable to me,” he muses

over a Skype call from Australia.

Resisting the urge to speak

superfluously, but undertaking

a comprehensive analysis of

legitimate facts, Tame Impala are

an unusual success story in a genre

that’s long battled an identity crisis.

Though bona fide “rock star” might

not have been in the initial blueprint,

it’s Parker’s reality now. After years

spent gracing festival stages with

his eyes fixed on the ground, now

he looks up and out.

“I used to have a massive

imposter complex and it's funny,

I didn't really cure my imposter

complex until I realized it was a

‘thing.’ I heard this word ‘imposter

complex’ and I was like ‘holy shit. I

have that.’”

“It was a real turning point for

me. I still see a tour poster, or see a

festival poster, and it's like: “Tame

Impala headlining” with a picture

of my face, and I'm like, ‘What are

you doing? Why are you getting

this fucking idiot to headline your

festival, that doesn’t make sense.’

I still think that, but I’m trying to

outsmart it—I’m trying to push back

equally as hard and counsel myself

into believing that I do deserve it,

you know?”

Over the phone Parker is warmly

conversational and comfortably

adept at catching a question

that’s morphed into a sprawling

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 21




MUSiC ARTIST INTERVIEW

statement, then releasing an answer that

goes even further, capable of really going

there. It’s a useful skill, evidence of an

understated confidence necessary for

trusting the outcome of one’s curiosity

that’s become foundational to his music.

Innerspeaker, the band’s 2010 critical

breakthrough, utilized the weight of

climactic, soaring riffs to sympathize with

the rigors of merely slogging your way

through ordinary life. His sophomore effort,

Lonerism (2012), saw Parker nudging his

aspirations larger, exhuming the textures of

70s synths to take a stab at pop splendor.

And 2015’s Currents refined his interest in

sanding down any lingering, discernable grit

from the project to produce a near-pristine,

airtight container of hyper-lush psych-pop.

Parker’s newest album, The Slow Rush,

is a sprawling inquisition into a sonic

environment Parker has been hinting

at for years, and has now finally given

himself the license to execute. “When I

actually felt like I wanted to make another

Tame Impala album, I had gotten so many

new perspectives on music that I realized

how much more I could be doing with

Tame Impala.”

“Everything I did was eyeopening,

so the goal

was to

kind of blow it open and embody a lot of

the qualities of people that I've worked

with in myself,” he remembers. “[Working

with] Travis Scott, I learned not to sweat

the small stuff, which helped me realize

that self-doubt doesn't get you anywhere,

[and] doesn't help anything or anyone.”

As a result, The Slow Rush is largely

ambitious—weirder, compelling, and frayed

at the edges. And still, specially crafted

for both the airwaves and the dancefloor.

Album opener “One More Year” finds

Parker gripping a mic stand with both

hands while dealing in a heady Baleric

melody—Parker’s own decadent take on

Screademelcia-era Madchester—that, inch

by inch, superimposes a metallic, galactic

melody towards an unhurried revelation,

declaring a short-term strategy for longlasting

love.

“Breathe Deeper” is a bouncy support

anthem, drenched in the, now, nostalgic,

spirit of peak chillwave, before collapsing

into an industrial, IDM-adjacent breakdown;

“Tomorrow’s Dust” plants a deliberately

disordered rhythm over a propulsive Latin

guitar riff; “It Is True” grinds its hips into

both a slice of dancehall and an identifiable

homage to 80s funk that even Prince might

appreciate; and “Glimmer” wraps itself

around the irresistibly pulsating panache

of shiny 90s euro-house, complete with a

spoken word intro.

Throughout all of it, Parker sounds welltravelled

because he is. Yet, still capable

of remembering to drop his anchor on the

shores of the clearly defined vista he’s built

around himself. But, as always, the album

reaches a little further.

Responding to a world that often feels

consumed by micro and macro fires, too

insurmountable to easily locate a site of

relief, there’s a new urgency to Parker’s

lyricism. It’s almost as if he’s working

double time, and against mounting

external forces, to validate the fact that

the seemingly mundane parts of life—bitesized

aspirations that often feel not only

unreachable, but unimportant; like trying

to atone with your parents (“Posthumous

Forgiveness”), or really and truly believing in

yourself (“Breathe Deeper”)—are worthy of

the time necessary to figure out.

It’s possible to imagine that when these

songs are heard under spindly, neon strobe

lights, or under a sea of confetti cannons

rivalling Beyoncé, that they might exist as

an affirmation that investigating the root of

the small stuff is mutually exclusive with all

the big stuff; that you can concurrently try

to save the world, while figuring out how to

save yourself in the process.

Speaking slowly and thinking carefully, he

pinpoints the foundation of this ethos with

a clear-headed self-description: “I’d like to

think that I’m one of the most empathetic

people I know. But I’m pretty sure that

there are people I know that think I have no

empathy. Which is kind of weird.”

He continues, acutely observant of his

own limitations. “I think to some people I can

come across quite cold because I've always

been quite a withdrawn person. Music is the

thing that I channel my emotions into the

world with, because I've never really been

good at doing it personally.”

“I enjoy the idea of seeing things from

other people's perspective because there’s

no more valuable trait than to see that the

way that you see things isn’t objective.”

Perhaps purposefully, the lines of his

protagonists are almost always undefined,

capable of taking on a character profile

selected solely by the listener. It’s possible

that this is the root of his empathy: In the

face of unrestricted and unusual levels of

success, removing yourself from the center

of your own party feels like an enduringly

selfless act.

“I want the best for Tame Impala.

It's bigger than me now. I just...feel

a sense of responsibility; not to

make it as big as it can be, but

to make it as whole as I can.

That's kind of my job.”

STAR

24 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


The Playlist

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BEATROUTE.CA

FOR MORE HOT

TRACKS ON

OUR ROTATING

PLAYLIST

+ VIDEOS,

ARTIST

INTERVIEWS

AND MORE!

Porches

Do You Wanna

Porches new

track sounds

like an all-out

celebration on

the surface

but there’s

something

unsettling

lurking

underneath.

Synth-pop

mastermind

Aaron Maine

plays a repetitive

and jubilant ode

to the joys of

losing yourself

to dance.

U.S. Girls

Overtime

(Ft. James Baley &

Jake Clemons)

An update of a

track from their

2013 EP that

adds some more

funk flavour and

a sax solo from

Jake Clemons

of the legendary

E Street Band,

U.S. Girls turn

the discovery of

a partner’s lies

into a soulful

and cathartic

call-andresponse

jam

session that

only grows more

chaotic as it

progresses.

Jessie Reyez

LOVE IN THE DARK

Released

alongside an

announcement

that her debut

album is finally

on its way, one

of Canada’s

most promising

songwriters

drops a lovelorn

and cinematic

orchestral

ballad. Reyez

emphasizes the

astral power

of her love

through a variety

of galactic

metaphors,

heavily layering

her vocals

for the most

grandiose effect.

Megan Thee

Stallion

Diamonds

(Ft. Normani)

From the

soundtrack of

the upcoming

Birds of

Prey movie,

one of rap’s

biggest new

personalities

recruits the

effortlessly cool

Normani for a

confident and

bass-heavy trap

banger. Normani

tries out some

raps of her own

on the hook, but

this is Megan’s

comfort zone

to excel as

she steps into

the unhinged

persona of

Harley Quinn.

Kehlani

All Me

(Ft. Keyshia Cole)

R&B star Kehlani

drops a smooth

track where

she dials up

the harmonies

as she thanks

her partner

for embracing

her flaws, but

it’s Keyshia

Cole making

her grand

return from

somewhere

deep in the

mid-2000s that

really elevates

things. Taking

over the second

verse, her vocal

range is still as

impressive as

ever.

TOPS

I Feel Alive

The Montreal

retro-pop

quartet kick off

a new era with

an upbeat and

cheerful track

destined to be

played over the

swaying arms

and floating

beach balls

of a summer

music festival.

Driven by a

catchy rhythmic

guitar hook, the

track captures

the overjoyed

feeling of new

love. To add

to that, the

video sees the

band playing

with adorable

bunnies. What

else do you

need?

Peach Pit

Shampoo Bottles

Peach Pit

frontman Neil

Smith believes

“coping with a

loss can make

you do weird

things.” The

empty shampoo

bottles that

once belonged

to his exgirlfriend

pile up

in the corners

of Smith’s

bathroom as he

runs through

a list of all

the items she

left behind in

a mournful

falsetto.

The 1975

Me & You Together

Song

The English rock

band drop the

artsy surrealism

of their last few

projects and

return to their

old pop-rock

sound complete

with the bouncy

percussion and

wall-of-sound

guitars that

characterized

their breakout

hit singles.

Frontman Matty

Healy tries

to convince

a friend to

take the next

step in their

relationship.

Joel Plaskett

Head Over Heels

Into Heaven

The Haligonian

indie-rock hero

unleashes the

first taste of

his upcoming

QUADRUPLE

album 44

with a driving

acoustic track

accompanied by

a big band-style

horn section

hook. The track

will belong to

the first stage

of the project

documenting

his life’s journey

of the past four

years, and sees

him getting

ready to follow

someone to

the ends of the

earth.

Alec

Benjamin

Demons

Rising singersongwriter

Alec Benjamin

continues to

exorcise his

own personal

demons

through his

highly personal

songwriting

depicting the

darkest, most

anxiety-riddled

corners of his

mind. In a more

hopeful turn

than usual,

Benjamin

instead thanks

his sister for

being there for

him and keeping

him alive in his

trademark airy

falsetto.

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 25


Wings $5/lb after 4pm with beverage purchase, gst not included, dine in only.

18+, legal ID required. this event is open to all SAIT students, staff, faculty,

alumni, members, and guests. please visit Saitsa.com for more information.

Destroyer

Have We Met

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Thur. Feb. 6, 2020

The Gateway Presents

RU PAUL’S

DRAG RACE TRIVIA

FREE TO PLAY

FREE

TO PLAY

Sat. Feb. 22, 2020

MRG Concerts Presents

FERRARO

+ Khillah Khills + Hello Moth + Lissette Xavier

Sat. Mar. 21, 2020

CJAY 92 Presents

THE BLUE STONES

+ MUTE CHOIR

Wed. Feb. 12, 2020

The Gateway Presents

BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH

+ Odario Williams

WED, NOV. 6, 2019

$5/LB WINGS

Wed. Mar. 4, 2020

The Gateway Presents

WINGO

BINGO + WINGS! FREE TO PLAY!

Fri. Mar. 27, 2020

MRG Concerts Presents

HOTEL MIRA

+ Northern Coast + Shuffalo

Sat. Feb. 15, 2020

The Gateway Presents

SOULFLY

+ Toxic Holocaust & more

5:00PM REGISTRATION | 5:30PM BINGO

Saitsa.com/Events

Wed. Mar. 11, 2020

The Gateway Presents

BROOKLYN 99 TRIVIA

FREE TO PLAY

Sat. Apr. 4, 2020

Monster Energy Presents

THE FUNK HUNTERS

+ Special Guests

Free Tickets via Universe.com

Thur. Feb. 20, 2020

CJAY 92 Presents

ROYAL TUSK

+ BRKN Love + Sights & Sounds

Wed. Mar. 18, 2020

The Gateway Presents

THROWBACK KARAOKE

FREE TO PLAY

Sun. May 3, 2020

MRG Concerts Presents

CHRIS WEBBY

+ Special Guests

For a list of all upcoming events visit GatewayYYC.com/Events

And make sure to follow us @gatewaybar to catch all the latest announcements!

18+, Legal ID required. This event is open to all Sait students, staff, faculty, alumni, members, and guests.

Please visit Saitsa.com for more information.

GatewayYYC.com


Reviews

ALBUM

GRIMES

Miss Anthropocene

Grimes Creative Corporation under

exclusive license to Crystal Math Music

Climate change may just kill us all, so

Claire Elise Boucher, famously known

as Grimes, wanted to make an album

dedicated to a fictional goddess who

personifies the disaster. Thus, Miss

Anthropocene was born.

After many delays, false starts and

lack of information, Grimes’ first album

in almost five years is finally here.

Overall, it was well worth the wait.

Melding the poppy and accessible

sounds of 2015’s Art Angels alongside

the more experimental tunes of

Visions, Miss Anthropocene tackles

a more villainous mindset, with songs

about Boucher’s dissatisfaction and

weariness with humanity.

Some of the high points of the

album involve sides to the artist we’ve

never seen before. “Delete Forever”

is a beautiful elven ballad about loss

backed up by an acoustic guitar, an

instrument that seems alien in Grimes’

world. On “My Name Is Dark,” Grimes

goes full rock god, vengeful and cynical

in the best way possible.

Miss Anthropocene is a chaotic

album, revelling in its messiness and

reminding us that Grimes is still here

making music unlike anybody else.

It’s best to just sit back and enjoy the

show.

Best Track: Delete Forever

Fraser Hamilton

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 27


MUSiC ALBUM REVIEWS

CHRISTIAN WEBER

CINDY LEE

What’s Tonight

to Eternity

W.25TH/Superior Viaduct

Cindy Lee’s journey to the

deepest depths of beauty

continues on What’s Tonight

to Eternity.

Eclipsed only by 2015’s

shattering Act of Tenderness,

What’s Tonight continues to

refine songwriter Patrick Flegel’s

explorations in harsh noise,

oldies pop, guitar witchery and

recording experimentation.

The album’s most breathtaking

moments can be found on

“I Want You to Suffer”. In seven

and a half minutes, the song

exquisitely encapsulates all that

Cindy Lee has shown us since

2012’s Tatlashea and solidifies

the fact that Flegel is one of

this generation’s most gifted,

smartest and exciting artists.

Best Track: I Want You To Suffer

John Divney

MAC MILLER

Circles

Warner

Quite a few recent posthumous releases

have been handled haphazardly,

often forgoing artistic integrity

in favour of name recognition.

Mac Miller’s final album Circles

is far from one of those releases.

Nearly finished by the time of his

passing and lovingly completed by

legendary producer Jon Brion, it’s

clear just how much Circles was

meant to be a companion piece

- “swimming in circles” being the

ultimate takeaway.

Circles mostly touches on the

same topics of isolation, heartbreak,

depression and unhealthy

coping mechanisms, but this time

with a much-needed injection of

hope that he could beat it and

come out thriving on the other side

– which only makes it all the more

heartbreaking.

Miller was one to push himself

further out of his musical comfort

zone with every release - he barely

raps on this project. Instead, his

jazzy, mumbling singing voice is

applied to soft and dreamy reverberating

tones that verge on 70s

psychedelic rock. He even covers

a 1972 hit from Arthur Lee, which,

chillingly, centers on accepting

one’s eventual death and living in

the moment.

Miller notes that he spends a lot

of time in his head on the lead single,

“Good News,” and most of this

plays out like Miller acknowledging

the critical inner monologues we

all have, wondering if we’re on the

right path. It’s a shame we never

got to see where he was going.

Best Track: Blue World

Ben Boddez

SARAH HARMER

Are You Gone

Arts & Crafts

If it took a decade for anger to

morph into the exquisite, love to

become a roar, and evocation

to magnify, then Sarah Harmer’s

new album, Are You Gone, has

been worth the wait.

Exploring climate change,

loss, and love through folksy

indie rock ballads, Harmer

wields her intricately dynamic

voice with restraint, such as

on “St. Peter’s Bay” and “The

Lookout,” while “New Low”

and “Take Me Out” punch up the

pace.

Harmer guides us with

grace and a gentle kick in the

gut. Are You Gone is a tender

warning that we aren’t—yet—and

reminds us that the pursuit of art

remedies nihilism.

Best Track: Wildlife

Dayna Mahannah

TENNIS

Swimmer

Mutually Detrimental

The husband-and-wife duo Tennis’

Swimmer is an ode to their pictureperfect

relationship and standing

strong together in the face of tragedy.

Full of starry-eyed declarations

of admiration for her husband,

frontwoman Alaina Moore sings of how

she’d be completely lost if not for his

support. She even jokes that they’re

so eternally intertwined that she’ll likely

end up haunting him as a ghost.

Tennis has always sounded directly

out of another time with their replication

of the glossy sheen of 70s pop, but they

play around with experimental rhythmic

switch-ups and modern percussion

quirks more than ever before.

The album’s title draws reference to

a feeling of uncomfortable suspension,

fighting to keep yourself upright. It’s a

good thing Moore has someone to hold

onto, keeping her afloat.

Best Track: Need Your Love

Ben Boddez

SOCCER MOMMY

color theory

Loma Vista Recordings

Coming off her successful debut,

Clean (2018), Soccer Mommy aka

Sophie Allison dives into deeper and

darker material with color theory,

playing with the concept of nostalgia

and how it warps our perception

of memories, all while assisted by a

throwback alt rock sound similar to

the likes of Liz Phair or Sheryl Crow.

The gorgeous track, “night swimming,”

features Allison’s wavering

vocals about a lost relationship,

weaving through distorted sounds

of a chattering crowd. Many of

color theory’s songs melt into a

somewhat sunny disposition, while

revealing a much darker undercurrent

within its lyrics that’s not

completely explained. It’s a deep

and engrossing album that pushes

the artist known as Soccer Mommy

into fascinating territory.

Best Track: night swimming

Fraser Hamilton

28 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


DRIVE-BY

TRUCKERS

The Unraveling

ATO Records

KHRUANGBIN &

LEON BRIDGES

Texas Sun EP

Dead Oceans

Perhaps no other rock band can

write so frankly and so accurately

about the American tragedy than

the Drive-by Truckers. After a

three-year absence where lead

songwriters Mike Cooley and

Patterson Hood suffered from

a severe case of writer’s block,

the DBT’s lock, stock and two

smoking barrels are back taking

aim at the good ol’ US of A and its

perilous journey.

Cooley and Patterson simply

do not mince words. In the

sludgy, funk-grunge driven

“Heroin Again” they pose

the question, “why?” and try

slapping some sense into a new

generation of users condemned

to their brain orgasms.

“21st Century USA” recounts

a drive though any beat-up

town filled with fast food joints

and crappy retail outlets where

salvation is finally found in a

“good-time bar to get your bad

swerve on.” But this isn’t a game

of pitching us against them,

it’s a cultural demise that has

everyone trapped in its dead-soul,

commercialized landslide.

Although sometimes the line is

clearly drawn and blame comes

tumbling through. “Thoughts

and Prayers” echoes politicians’

overused expression after another

senseless outburst of domestic

gun violence takes its lethal toll. In

protest with that empty do-nothing

rhetoric comes the chorus, “You

can stick it up your ass, with your

useless thoughts and prayers.”

The Unraveling is the Drive-by

Truckers’ rebel yell — angry, fierce

and all too real.

Best Track: Awaiting

Resurrection

Brad Simm

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges’

collaborative EP Texas Sun

marks the first time the exotic

funk band has written with

a vocalist. The collaboration

finds their colourful rhythm

section masterfully crowned

with Bridges’ bright and soulful

melodies that transport the

listener to the dry heat of the

title track. Tasty basslines and

perfectly pocketed drumming

provide Khruangbin’s classic

hypnotic effect, allowing

listeners to float in and out

for hours on end, catching a

different fruitful lick with

each listen.

A sense of déjà vu from this

collaboration is owed to a joint

North American tour where

their paths converged for the

first time. The EP is an ode to

the “big sky country” of Texas.

Although the artists ride in very

different stylistic lanes, their

origins embody a common

musical vanguard. Speer and

Johnson met at St. John’s United

Methodist Church in Houston –

more commonly referenced as

the house of worship Beyoncé

grew up singing in. Bridges, who

discovered his sound listening

to Texas blues, gospel and R&B,

was a natural detour from their

instrumental norm.

Although this creative side-trip

confirms depth from the trio,

Khruangbin fans still eagerly

await a third album, showcasing

unrestrained flamenco-style

strums, bass-lead melodies,

and dialled in drumming without

accommodations.

Best Track: Texas Sun

Reeghan Carroll

SELENA GOMEZ

Rare

Interscope

Going through trauma can’t be

easy when you’re one of the most

followed people on Instagram.

After some highly-publicized health

struggles – both physical and mental

– and a lengthy breakup with a

certain Canadian pop heartthrob,

Selena Gomez uses her new album

as an opportunity to move past

the pain with upbeat dance-pop

production from the industry’s

most reliable hitmakers and lyrics

centered around self-love.

With her trademark whispery, vulnerable

vocal delivery, she casually

drops references to her medication

in the context of fun pop songs.

There are more than a few less-thansubtle

shots at The Biebs.

Linking up with a kindred spirit in

Kid Cudi, who has had his own fair

share of mental health problems,

on the album’s closing track is

another very powerful moment.

Rare, at its core, is about finally

being able to go out and have fun

once again without everything

weighing on her. Gomez is back,

and “Look At Her Now.”

Best Track: Vulnerable

Ben Boddez

HALSEY

Manic

Capitol Records

The pop landscape can be disorientating,

but on Manic, Halsey’s

third studio album, she works effortlessly

to control that pressure

from within.

The title is a reflection of her

feelings about the loneliness

and euphoria fame brings, while

also accurately representing the

album’s overall sound, which, according

to a recent interview she

did with Rolling Stone, is “literally

just, like, whatever the fuck I felt

like making.”

Manic is far from cohesive, but

that’s likely the point. It still brings

whiplash when you go from a

bitter, country-tinged bop about a

toxic relationship (“You should be

sad”), to angsty pop-rock (the undeniably

fun “3am”), followed by

a smooth hip-hop track featuring

Korean rapper SUGA of boyband

BTS (“SUGA’s Interlude”).

Halsey deserves credit for her

ability to jump in and adapt to

multiple genres within the pop

spectrum. Pop music may be in

a state of disarray, but it’s nice to

Halsey is out there working hard

to evolve, adapt and bare it all.

Best Track: You should be sad

Fraser Hamilton

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 29


TRAVEL

MEXICO CITY

EXPLORE THE

SPRAWLING METROPOLIS

WHERE TRADITION AND

CUTTING EDGE CONVERGE

By KATHERINE MCFARLANE

Mexico City, the seventh largest city in the

world, is almost impossible to get to know

in one lifetime. A city deserving of multiple

visits, its rich cultural history permeates every

aspect of life; the cuisine, the architecture,

and the sounds; all distinctively Mexican, yet

welcoming to anyone open to discovery.

The city has evolved into a vibrant cultural travel

destination thanks in large part to its dedication to urbanism

and an abundance of thoughtful public spaces, an inventive

and modern culinary scene and a long tradition of influential

contemporary art that will satisfy travelers looking for

something beyond a typical resort vacation.

Music is an ever-present part of daily life in the city.

Traditional Mariachi music is ubiquitous in any tourist area and

you will hear modern Latin pop and rock on the radio, spilling

into the streets from every car, store and bus you pass.

The city is a major touring market for artists and has

become home to a number or large-scale music festivals

such as The Corona Capital and the newest addition of

Ceremonia Festival, last year, drawing top tier international

artists such as Rosalia, Kaytranada, and Massive Attack

alongside local talent. Toronto label Arts & Crafts, ahead of

the curve, even set up an outpost in the city in 2008.

DESTINATIONS

Frida Kahlo Museum

The Blue House

Calle Londres 247,

Colonia Del Carmen

The house where the world’s most

famous Mexican artist was born

and died is an essential experience

for any fan of contemporary

culture and anyone who ever

went to art school. Located in the

historic Coyoacán neighbourhood

and close to the amazing artisanal

Mercado de Coyoacan (Ignacio

Allende, between Malintzin and

Xicoténcatl), the museum is one

most popular places to visit in the

city. Book your tickets in advance

online, you’ll still have to wait, just

not as long!

Canals of Xochimilco

Calle del Mercado 133, San Jerónimo

Xochimilco, the Venice of Mexico,

is a truly unique experience. Rent a

boat by the hour, be serenaded by

live Mariachi bands and order freshmade

food and drinks from boats

floating right beside you. Equal parts

relaxing and floating party!

Parque Mexico

Av. Mexico, Cuauhtemoc,

Colonia Hipódromo

Speaking of thoughtful public

spaces, this park is one of the most

beautiful and relaxing refuges from

the hustle and bustle of the city.

Situated in La Condesa, a charming

and walkable neighborhood with

many Art Deco buildings. Take a loop

around lush Amsterdam Avenue and

imagine your potential new life as a

resident of Mexico City!

Casa Luis Barragan

Calle General Francisco Ramirez 14

It’s impossible not to be moved

by this masterpiece of modernist

architect and pioneer of emotional

architecture, Luis Barragan’s

house and studio. A UNESCO

World Heritage Site, it’s extremely

popular and limited spots are available

for the English tour, so book

online ahead of time.

Museo Jumex

Avenida Miguel de Cervantes

Saavedra 303, Miguel Hidalgo

One of the largest private collections

of contemporary art in Latin

America, Museo Jumex features

some of the heaviest hitters in the

contemporary art world. Housed

in a striking building designed by

British architect David Chipperfield,

it is a work of art itself.

30 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


EATS & DRINKS

Hotel Condesa

Avenida Veracruz 102,

Colonia Condesa, Hipódromo

Even if you don’t stay in this luxury boutique

hotel, head up to the rooftop bar for

a relaxing day-time drink (tequila!) and a

fantastic view of the tree-lined streets of

Condesa. Bonus: they have a fantastic

sushi menu!

Tortas Al Fuego

Avenida Sonora 205,

Colonia Condesa,

Hipódromo

Cheap, casual hole in the wall with delicious

tacos, tortas (Mexico's version of

the Italian sandwich) and open all day. A

local spot (so brush up on some Spanish

ordering skills) and definitely try the al

pastor tacos.

Rosetta

Calle Colima 166, Roma

One of the most beautiful restaurants in the

city, Rosetta is located within a renovated

colonial-era townhouse in the Roma neighborhood.

The menu is Italian with a Mexican

sensibility and it changes seasonally. For a

special occasion, or just to live your best life,

give yourself the gift of this magical dining

experience!

NIGHTLIFE

Patrick Miller

Merida 17, Colonia Roma

Hidden behind an unassuming warehouse

façade, every Friday night (the only night

it is open) the space becomes a wild disco

party, complete with dance-off style battles.

Drawing a diverse, mixed crowd, the

dancers who take up the spotlight do not

come to mess around.

El Plaza Condesa

Calle Juan Escutia 4,

Colonia Condesa,

Hipódromo

A 1600-capacity concert venue right in

the heart of Condesa, El Plaza plays host

to buzzy international acts that you likely

wouldn’t get to see in such an intimate

space anywhere else, as well as regional

artists about to hit it big.

Sunday Sunday

facebook.com/sundaysundaymx

Local party collective who throw dance

parties with a rotating lineup of DJs and

special guests, both local and international.

Location and guestlist are somewhat of a

secret, you have to RSVP to the Facebook

page with a message to get in, so don’t

forget to download Google translate!

SHOPPING

Tianguis Cultural del Chopo

Cuauhtemoc Buenavista 06350

Mexico has a well-documented love for

all rock subcultures, up to and including

The Smiths. These aesthetic choices

culminate here at the city’s goth-punkmetal-etc

themed flea market. Only open

on Saturdays, you’ll find some definitively

underground live music, vinyl and band

t-shirts galore.

Retroactivo Records

Jalapa 125, Colonia Roma

A comprehensive and well-priced selection

of used vinyl in every genre, located in Roma.

Be prepared to dig! If the thrill of the hunt

isn’t your thing and you’re already in the

neighborhood, head over to Roma Records

(Álvaro Obregón 200 Bis 1, Col. Roma) for

the latest releases and reissues. STAR

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 31


That’s Dope

W

ith the industry rising above

and beyond its smoke cloud

of regulations, Canadian

cannabis brands want you to sit back,

relax, and consume kush in comfort.

Sackville & Co., Burb, and Superette

have each designed cozy loungewear

pieces for any kind of session. “Comfort

is key [to] BC bud culture,” says Margot

Zimmerman of the inspiration behind

Vancouver-based Burb’s apparel. The

Burb x Tantalus Sky Pilot Sherpa Jacket

is a dreamy outerwear cloud, perfect

for watching a movie on the couch or

adventuring in the great outdoors.

Sackville & Co. founders Hayley

Dineen and Lana Van Brunt agree

that “the perfect sesh outfit” can be

whatever makes you comfortable. Sold

separately, the duo’s Sackville Crewneck

and Sackville Shorts are made of a

breathable, cozy cotton. The suit comes

in three retro washes and features

cheeky iconography to celebrate the

brand’s design-forward style — without

compromising utility. This is a key part

of Sackville’s mission, say Van Brunt

and Dineen. With the goal of adjusting

the stigma cannabis use has held in the

past, they aim to create products that

fit into your lifestyle “without having to

stash them away in a drawer.” Sackville’s

cannabis accessories beg to be

displayed, on your nightstand or body.

Superette’s apparel also shows

off the brand’s low key but impactful

aesthetic. From dad hats to hoodies,

long sleeves to socks, the Ontarioborn

cannabis company uses organic

materials and their now-iconic rose logo

to brand comfy clothes that encourage

the wearer to simply have fun. Thaomy

Lam, who works in Events & PR at

Superette, says the clothes were made

with “the potential for ash to stain or a

rogue roach to burn a hole” in mind. At

Superette, she adds, “we think those

add character.”

STAR

THIS MONTH IN CANNABIS NEWS AND VIEWS

LAZE AND LEVEL OUT IN

CANADA’S BEST SESH SUITS

Superette apparel available

at superetteshop.com

LEEOR WILD

Sackville apparel available at

sackvilleandco.com

EVA ZAR

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Burb x Tantalus Sky Pilot Sherpa Jacket

available at shopburb.com

JOMAR VICTORIA


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with a twist of psychedelica.”

“They strive when it comes

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“Reminiscent of a

slightly darker Whitney.

Nostalgic and lovely”

C 2020 L AST GANG RECORDS INC.

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VIVIAN MAIER, MAY 16, 1957 © ESTATE OF VIVIAN MAIER, COURTESY OF MALOOF COLLECTION AND HOWARD GREENBERG GALLERY, NY.

YYC

THE MYSTERY OF VIVIAN MAIER

GLENBOW SHEDS LIGHT ON AMERICA’S

“SENSITIVE EYE” STREET-SHOOTER

By BRAD SIMM

T

hroughout her life, she worked in total obscurity. When she died in

2009 at 83, Vivian Maier was discovered by chance then instantly

hailed as one of America’s most treasured street photographers.

Maier was reclusive, her history largely unknown other than she

supported herself as a nanny in the suburbs of Chicago’s North Shore

from the mid 50s into the 90s. When she got older and unable to keep

up the payments on a storage space, thousands of her undeveloped

negatives along with hundreds of prints, audio recordings and canisters

of 8 mm film were auctioned off.

John Maloof was one of three collectors who came into possession

of more than 30,000 negatives. After posting some of Maier’s photos on

Flickr, her work went viral the same year she passed away.

Without question, the mystery behind Vivian Maier is just as intriguing

as the body of work she left behind, prompting two film documentaries

to investigate her life. Still, little more than an outline of her background

has surfaced. Through her photographs, however, Maier’s curious

character starts to reveal itself.

Until the end of May, the Glenbow Museum presents Vivian Maier: In

Her Own Hands, an exhibition that features Maier’s career as a whole

and in different areas she explored.

Melanie Kjorlien, the Glenbow’s VP, notes, “There’s black and white

photos from the 50s and 60s and colour work that she got more interested

in during the 70s. There’s short films that she did that are in the same vein as

her street photography, and contact sheets which gives you a sense of her

working as a photographer with the range of images she took.”

One section of the exhibition is focused on Maier’s self-portraits,

which provides a glimpse into who she was. As nanny she took a lot of

photos of children but also gravitated towards those who were on the

lower end of the economic scale, an area that looms large in her work.

“There’s speculation,” says Kjorlien, “that she felt an affinity towards

these people because she too was isolated as an individual and had

financials problems most of her life. She had a sensitive eye towards

those who were more disadvantaged.”

Kjorlien adds, “Some photos of people that are more affluent definitely

have less of a sensitivity. Often times, they are not very flattering images

and that lends to an interesting insight into her personality.”

In addition to her close-up and personal images, Maier captured certain

aspects of change and upheaval that America experienced between the

1950s and 1970s. Over time she experimented with subject matter —

there were fewer people in her photos and more with architecture, walls

of graffiti, random objects and abstract perspectives that concentrated on

urban physicalities and the formal aspects of photography rather than the

shoot-from-the-hip street style she was known for.

Vivian Maier: In Her Own Hands Feb. 8 to May 24 at the Glenbow Museum

CALGARY’S ESSENTIAL

FEBRUARY HAPPENINGS

02.20

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 35


02.20YYCAGENDA

BLOCK HEATER

Winter Festival Heats Up

Programming In Expansive,

Imaginative Fifth Year

n invitation to defrost your

extremities and shake off that

Alingering cabin fever, Calgary’s

Block Heater, celebrating its fifth year, brings

concerts, collaborative sessions and the

warmth of a few dozen local and international

artists to the heart of the city when it’s most

needed. By the estimates of Calgary Folk

Music Festival Artistic Director, Kerry Clarke,

the 2020 installment will be an extravaganza

of entertainment and a celebration of newly

forged partnerships and traditions.

“This year is bigger with more venues,

capacity and programming. We’ll have

three stages on Thursday and five stages

on Friday and Saturday nights and

Saturday afternoon,” Clarke reports. “Our

programming has been expanded to include

more artists, 38 this year verses about 20 in

the first year. Also, new venues and a cool

Black Future Month program that includes

the film, We Are the Roots: Black Settlers

and their Experiences of Discrimination on

the Canadian Prairies, which will be followed

by a panel discussion.”

Best described as a phenomenon that

transforms the entire neighbourhoods of

East Village and Inglewood into a giant

house party, Block Heater is a happening

where the kitchen is always humming and

the parents won’t be home until Sunday.

“It’s an inspiring, multi-genre auditory

reprieve from winter at the halfway mark

between summer festivals that brings

community together to revel in artistic

excellence from the homegrown to the farflung,”

acknowledges Clarke.

An engaging, yet fleeting, opportunity to

immerse yourself in the songs and stories

of up-and-coming and established artists,

Block Heater promises to become the

cornerstone of the city’s winter festival

calendar. With a future that includes further

expansion into the emerging East Village,

it’s a safe bet that this unique musi-centric

event will be sticking around like a tongue on

a frost-coated pole.

“It’s like the summer festival, but with

walls,” says Clarke. “Prepare to dance your

butt off, especially in Canada Music Square!”

Block Heater’s fifth year is as ambitious

as ever, with a sprawling artistic lineup,

including the new Black Future Month

programming. To make sense of it all, we’ve

selected our top shows around which you

can base your own schedule.

Block Heater takes place from February 20 to 22

at various venues in the East Village and

Inglewood. For full lineup and schedule

information, visit calgaryfolkfest.com

By CHRISTINE LEONARD

AFROTRONIX

Friday, Feb. 21 at

ATB Canada Music Square

@ Studio Bell, 8:30 pm

Hailing from Montréal via N’Djamena, Chad, guitarist/songwriter/producer,

Caleb Rimtobaye, is the

innovative Afrofuturist behind the dancefloor-melting

sounds of AfrotoniX. Original DJing, mixing, live

drumming and urban choreography are a few of

the many tools he utilizes to create an irresistible

amalgam of pop, hip hop, Saharan Touareg blues and

Sierra Leone mandingo music.

GEORGE FOK

AMELIE PATTERSON

Friday, Feb. 21 at the ITeam Stage

@ King Eddy, 4:10 pm

Calgary resident and Banff’s inaugural poet-laureate,

indie-folk artist Amelie Patterson paints watercolour

landscapes in wood and wire. Moody yet brightly

backlit, her skyline harmonies and wandering sense

of wonder weave together emotion and portent with

a master’s ease. An organizer, mentor and golden-throated

daughter of the Foothills, she thrusts the

Bow Valley into the sunshine and elevates the trials

of life to the status of high mountain trails.

DJ SHUB

Saturday, Feb. 22 at ATB Canada Music Square

@ Studio Bell, 10:05 pm

Straight outta Fort Erie, Ontario, Mohawk Dan

“DJ Shub” General is often recognized for his

work with award-winners A Tribe Called Red and

is regarded as the Godfather of PowWowStep.

Continuing his superhero-esque mission to spread

joy and social justice, the influential DJ-producer

has generated a new wave of electronic music

that interprets his love of hip hop through the

lense of Indigenous culture.

SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO

36 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


VILLAGES

Thursday, Feb. 20 at Ironwood, 10:15 pm

Constructing a cultural bridge between mainland Canada and the musical traditions

Cape Breton Island, the pop-rock modern sensibilities of these rank-and-file artists

are a Maritime treasure to behold. Singalong-worthy tunes with deep indie-rock

roots are in order as these shaggy shantymen lean into the heave-ho momentum of

memory, melody and Irish-influenced Celt-synth breakdowns.

FEB. 14

DAVE KELLY LIVE

VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL

FEB. 10

CAMPBELL, CHOI & MONTGOMERY

WYATT CLASSICAL SERIES

FEB. 28

ANDY SHAUF

MARCH 8

ELMER ISLER SINGERS

MARCH 14

DERVISH — THE GREAT IRISH

SONGBOOK

CARSIE BLANTON

Thursday, Feb. 20 at nvrlnd. Hall @ Festival Hall, 9:15 pm

Winter rhythms that’ll leave you anything but blue are the touchstone and trademark

of singer and guitarist Carsie Blanton. At home in the city of New Orleans, the

talented songwriter and entertainer is celebrated for her mischievous explorations

of funk, swing dance, jazz, folk, rock and pop. With a smouldering take on gender

norms, her new album, Buck Up, encapsulates her unconventional outlook within

velvety tones and meticulous melodies.

AT THE BELLA

TAYLORCENTRE.CA

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 37


Tickets on sale now!

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FREE HOUSE

A TASTE OF EXTRAORDINARY

I

t’s remarkable how white walls, grey

trim and natural wood can make a

room so vibrant, fresh and inviting.

Even in the dead of winter, when the

idea of coziness gravitates to dim light

and dark colours, the Scandinavian

décor of Free House beams bold and

bright, full of warmth.

Free House, which recently opened

in the heart of Kensington, provides the

neighbourhood, as well as the city, with

an elegant but causal food and booze

experience that definitely makes a

strong, win-you-over impression.

“A beer hall for food lovers,” is how

Matty Stewart, the GM for Free House,

likes to frame the new establishment.

“We’re completely local on all 24 of our

taps and all the tall cans come from

Calgary. Towards the summer we’ll

branch out to other breweries in Alberta.”

Stewart says the menu is also

regional, although thoroughly reinvented.

“The style is Canadiana, but food

in Canada doesn’t really have its

own identity. So we work with local

producers and remix dishes into

Dave Cormier, bartender

supreme at Free House.

something delicious.”

A quick glance at the menu reveals

the poutine is made with a red ale

braised-beef shortrib, there’s a

smoked duck DLT along with the wild

boar bacon that’s dressed up with

caramelized onion, aged cheddar,

garlic and roasted tomato. That’s just

a few of the meat dishes.

On the veggie side, the winter

squash is maple roasted with pumpkin

seed pesto, and there’s a roasted

carrot entry served with feta cheese,

salted peanuts, dill and pomegranate.

The seafood plates explore the same

type of imaginative territory.

The Free House team are wellrespected

culinaires that belong to the

Bonnterra, Posto and Cibo restaurant

group. They have a taste for the

extraordinary.

“It’s not your everyday pub food,”

says Stewart matter-of-factly.

Free House is located at

1153 Kensington Cres., NW

By BRAD SIMM

38 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


LOCAL ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

By SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO

Seth Anderson

FINDS INVENTIVE WAYS TO CHANNEL POSITIVITY ON WE COULD BE

T

he problem with being a self-described

“positive person,” as Canmorebased

folk artist, Seth Anderson,

has discovered, is that life has a way of

challenging

that identity.

It’s easy to practice positivity when the

sun is shining, friends are supportive and

family is healthy, but what happens when

cracks start to show in the facade?

“I wrote the songs on We Could Be

during my father’s fight with ALS (Lou

Gehrig’s Disease). He has since passed

away and this album is part of my grieving

process,” he says. “I’ve always tried to be a

positive person, and going through this has

challenged a lot of things that I believed I

understood about how life, and our world,

works.”

Anderson’s upcoming full-length, due

on February 25 via Snappy Little Numbers,

tracks his emotional state as he works

through loss of his father, challenging

his worldview and trying to figure out

how to move on from it all. Produced by

Eamon McGrath, the process challenged

Anderson to open his artistic craft to new

experiences and emotions.

“I really tried to be open to letting the

songs grow beyond my conception of what

I do as an artist while we were recording

and producing the album. As a DIY-minded

artist, it’s hard to let go of control and be

happy about it in the studio. I wanted to

explore more with this album.”

Seth Anderson will release We Could

Be on February 25. Catch him at the

Buckingham (Edmonton) on February 27,

at the Palomino (Calgary) on February 28

and at his hometown release show at the

Canmore Legion on February 29.

KELLY SCHOVANEK

Scratch Buffalo

ROCK AND ROLL DUO LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS ON STRAWBERRY SODA

I

nclusivity, self-respect and a love for 70s

punk and junk culture, Scratch Buffalo

are geared up for the release of their first

slab of vinyl, Strawberry Soda. The Calgary

rock and roll two-piece are known for their

relentless drive to scratch out a corner of

the world dedicated to their own brand of

self-expression.

“Making music and sharing it is what

we love to do,” says frontman Chris Naish.

“Rock and roll is where I belong, it’s what

I was made to do. All my strengths, my

weaknesses, my attitude, my style, my art:

in rock and roll, all of those things make

sense.”

But rather than driving themselves

to burn too brightly, the duo, which is

rounded out by Mark Straub on drums,

have wrapped up Scratch Buffalo into their

identities so as not to tease out one from

the other.

“I don’t think in terms of putting things

on the line or anything else like that,” he

says. “I think in terms of, ‘Who am I? How

can I feel my best? How can I be the best

dad, the best husband, the best friend?’

And for me, I can’t do any of those things

without accepting who I am.

“My whole life I thought I wanted to

be a rock and roller. I realized a couple

years ago, I am a rock and roller. It’s not

something I aspire to or dream of doing, it’s

something that I do every day.”

Scratch Buffalo will release Strawberry

Soda on February 8 at Railyard Brewing

(all ages).

Port Juvee

GARAGE ROCK QUINTET LOOKS FORWARD TO THE FUTURE ON MOTION CONTROL

R

etro-futurist without being a throwback

act, garage rock outfit Port Juvee are

unveiling their debut full-length after a

long string of EP and single releases. The

vibey and fashionable five-piece have been

a fixture in the Calgary music community

for years, driving audiences with bouncing

grooves and relentless, jangling guitars that

bridge 70s punk with modern SoCal garage

and surf for a cohesive package that feels as

modern as it does approachable.

Led by frontman Brett Sandford, Port

Juvee have carved out an aesthetic home

for themselves in a scene that welcomes

personal expression and letting bands

define their own identities. “That’s what I

love about Calgary, that it feels like each

band can do what they want and define

themselves in their own terms,” he says over

a janky FaceTime connection from Paris,

France, where he and bassist Logan Juke

are attending Paris Fashion Week on behalf

of the men’s apparel store, Less 17, for which

they’re buyers. “I think it’s so cool that the

thing about Calgary is that we’re allowed to

do our own thing, always.”

Their debut full-length, Motion Control,

comes after an intensive stint in New York

City last year, where they teamed up with

Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend) to lay

down the frenetic eight-track banger that

runs the gamut from moody 80s new wave

to sun-drenched, too-cool-for-school jangle

rock. Gerrish connected with the band’s

vibes immediately and helped them develop

their visual aesthetic into a sonic tour de

force.

“We’re all very inspired by 70s, 80s,

dawn of digital technology stuff. We all

work collaboratively on ideas, on our visual

aesthetics and the songs, and then start

workshopping it all. A lot of the guitars on the

songs and the synthesizers on the songs are

throwbacks to that era, we want to reference

I think that honestly, it's those vibes that

come out the most,” says Sandford.

Despite their retro influences, Port Juvee

are a modern band. There’s an immediacy

and urgency to Motion Control that only

accelerates on stage. Their spring schedule

is packed with festival appearances across

North America and Europe, including shows

at SXSW in Austin, TX, New Colossus

Festival in NYC, Treefort Festival in Boise,

ID, and a trip across the pond to play Focus

Wales in Wrexham, UK.

“I just want us to really put everything on

the line. That feeling is what I want for the

band and what we aimed for on the record,”

says Sandford. “We want to be able to have

some good opportunities and put ourselves

in a position to move forward and do the

thing we love.”

Port Juvee will release Motion Control

on February 27 at the Ship & Anchor.

KIRA LOCKE

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 39


02.20YEGAGENDA

Essential Edmonton

Tanya Tagaq's Qiksaaktuq

("Grief") is a collaborative

work with the Edmonton

Symphony Orchestra.

TOP 5 SHOWS OF

THE MONTH

Sponsored by High Horse Coffee Co.

I_O

99ten, Saturday, Feb. 15

Dark, playful and deadly on the dance floor, I_O,

the LA-based techno master, is riding high with his

recent EP, House of God. From pounding Godzilla

grooves to trippy white-light computertronics, I_O

roams across the galaxy plunging into deep space

with no return.

BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH

Starlite Room, Tuesday, Feb. 11

AS YOU LIKE IT

Citadel Theatre, Feb. 15 – Mar. 15

Roaming between Vancouver’s

hippy heyday in the 60s and the

Okanagan Valley’s enchanted forest,

Shakespeare’s romantic comedy

inserts the Beatles songbook with

a stage full of kaleidoscope colours.

And if that’s not enough, it switches

into full-blown bouts of “superstar

wrestling.” As You Like It broke

attendance records at Vancouver’s

Bard on the Beach summer festival in

2018, so don’t miss out on the hype.

1984

Walterdale Theatre, Feb. 5-15

Based on the prophetic novel by

George Orwell, Winston Smith is a

cog in the giant machine-state of

Oceania, pinned down under Big

Brother’s ugly eye as he struggles

for scraps of love and freedom in

a world awash with distrust and

violence.

MERCY FUNK’S

LOVE FEST

The Aviary, Feb. 14

Pour on the love potion and get your

yah-yahs out! Mercy Funk’s infectious

combination of pop, R&B and

soul makes for one helluva disco

date on Valentine’s Day.

TAGAQ & TRUTH

Winspear Centre, Feb. 21-22

Dedicated to the lives of missing and

murdered Indigenous women, Tanya

Tagaq's Qiksaaktuq ("Grief") is a

collaborative work with the Edmonton

Symphony Orchestra that blends

tradition with progressive new

sounds, creating a rich, unpreceded,

powerful presentation.

THE

CONFUSIONAIRES

The Aviary, Feb. 8

Touted as a “rockabilly band for the

modern era,” The Confusionaires are

plum full of swagger that draws from

the early days of Sun Records to the

injection of hot-rod punk.

KFB

The Buckingham, Feb. 27

Explosive high-energy alt-rock and

wistful indie balladeers, KFP have

toured hard in the past few years

and now set to release a new single,

“Glow,” along with a debut performance

in the Canadian film Moments

in Spacetime.

After a nine-year hiatus, Toronto’s soca-centric

pop-bashers Bedouin Soundclash return with a

new album, MASS. Recorded in New Orleans and

fused with jazz, soul, horns, dub and electronica, the

Soundclash pour on their feel-good mash-up.

THE BEACHES

Union Hall, Thursday, Feb. 13

Born out of a pool party listening to The Runaways,

The Donnas and Bowie’s glam spirit, The Beaches

are a femme-driven, four-piece, retro-chic, synth-pop,

rock and roll disco-party. Fireworks guaranteed.

THE ORCHARD

Rec Room, Friday, Feb. 21

Pure beauty from the prairies, The Orchard’s

gorgeous sound is drenched with achin’ to be

guitars and Kasha Anne’s honey sweet vocals.

Rich, seductive country stripped of all hype and

pretension.

ANDY SHAUF

Starlite Room, Saturday, Feb. 29

Regina’s breezy folk-pop singer loves to interrogate, get

tangled and untangled in the complications of life’s little

soap operas. His new album, Neon Skyline, unfolds with

its coffeehouse charm and Paul Simon heart.

SEX, CAFFEINE AND

ROCK N' ROLL

WE MAKE COFFEE. YOU LIKE COFFEE. WE LIKE YOU. THE MATH ADDS UP.

FREE DELIVERY IN THE EDMONTON AREA

ORDER ONLINE - HIGHHORSE.CA

40 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


02.20YYCMUSIC

The Cheat Sheet BR PICKS THE 5 ESSENTIAL LIVE MUSIC SHOWS

1

TOMMIE AND

THE COMMIES

Sun, Feb. 2 at Broken City

Sudbury’s power-pop collective

bring their 70s-inflected punk

to Broken City for an early show

(karaoke to follow!).

2

JONATHAN TOUBIN’S

SOUL CLAP DANCE OFF

Sat, Feb. 8 at the Palomino

The yearly dance party is back,

headed by NYC’s rapscallion DJ

and his deep collection of soul hits

guaranteed to bring out the best

dance moves in all.

3

THE BEACHES

Tues, Feb. 11 at the Palace Theatre

One of the hottest artists of 2019,

this pop music royalty has taken

the crown with Cheap Queen, topping

best-of lists all over the world.

4 CHIXDIGGIT

Sat, Feb. 15 at the King Eddy

Calgary’s OG pop-punks make a

rare live appearance at an even

rarer small venue for a night of all

your favourite hits.

5

ANDY SHAUF

Fri, Feb. 28 at Bella Concert Hall

Delicate and dulcet, with a

charming, lilting drawl, the Regina

singer-songwriter writes impeccable

anthems for introverts.

1

AMY HELM

Mon, Feb. 3 at the Ironwood

Streaks of Americana, country,

blues, and gospel round out the

Woodstock NY native’s dynamic

sound on stage and on record.

2

BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH

Wed, Feb. 12 at SAIT’s The Gateway

Indie, reggae, and ska combine into

one high-energy dance party in this

summer festival-favourite set.

3

THE DUNGAREES

Thurs, Feb. 13 at Oak Tree Tavern

A rare, intimate show from Edmonton’s

alt-country leaders, who will

pack the room during a strippeddown

set.

4

RYAN LANGLOIS

Thurs, Feb. 13 at the King Eddy

The Red Deer native brings his

raw, honest songwriting to the

Eddy’s stage as part of the winter

season of AB Spotlight.

5

REUBEN & THE DARK

Fri, Feb. 28 at the Palace Theatre

Soaring indie-folk jams set their

strength in the power of love and

unity at this five-piece’s hometown

show in support of their latest,

Un|Love.

1

PARADISE, SCREAMING

TARGETS, FULFILMENT

Sat, Feb. 8 at the Beer Shop

AB punks from Edmonton and

Calgary converge for a pop-up

show at the Beer Shop (basement

of Last Best), including the debut

of another Kevin Stebner-led

post-hardcore project, Fulfilment.

2

ROSS THE BOSS

Sat, Feb. 8 at Dickens Pub

Manowar’s Ross the Boss comes

to Dickens for an exclusive Hail

to England set featuring all the

NWOBHM and power metal classics

you can handle.

3

SOULFLY, TOXIC

HOLOCAUST

Sat, Feb. 15 at SAIT’s The Gateway

Groove metal and blackened

thrash come together for a tour

that promises to be heavier than

everything else.

4

RIOT CITY

AND TRAVELER

Sat, Feb. 22 at Dickens Pub

Riot City and Traveler kick-off

a joint European tour with their

co-headlining party and 7” release.

5

CHURCH OF MISERY

Wed, Feb. 26 at Dickens Pub

Japan’s Church of Misery unleash

their late-60s inspired doom metal,

joined by Vancouver’s Black Wizard

and Buffalo Bud Buster.

1

MARTEN HØRGER AND

NEON STEVE

Fri, Feb. 7 at the Hifi Club

Bass music with an analogue soul

straight from Germany descends

for a set that combines trap, bass,

electro and dance music.

2 WORSHIP

Sun, Feb. 16 at Commonwealth

The collective, comprised of Sub

Focus, Dimension, Culture Shock

and 1991, each bring their own

vision of futuristic bass music to the

dance floor.

3 KUTSKI

Sat, Feb. 22 at the Palace Theatre

The hard dance DJ brings his

relentless party sets to the rave

for an unstoppable night of busting

moves.

4

WAX MOTIF

Sat, Feb. 22 at the Hifi Club

The Australian-born producer

brings R&B, disco and UK bass

to the club with a set full of right

bangers.

5 VINCENT

Sat, Feb. 29 at the Hifi Club

The Canadian DJ made his debut on

the world stage with 2015’s breakout

hit, “Anax,” by blending trap with

electronic influences. This set marks

his YYC debut.

1 BEWHY

Wed, Feb. 5 at MacEwan Ballroom

The Korean sensation brings his

Christian-themed hip-hop to North

America on a sprawling tour.

2 ATMOSPHERE

Tues, Feb. 25 at MacEwan Hall

Minneapolis hip-hop giants spit out a

hit-studded night of songs that span

their 20+ year career.

3

LNY TNZ

Fri, Feb. 7 at the Palace Theatre

Hard-hitting EDM straight from the

heart of the Netherlands’ beating

scene, LNY TNZ pushes the

boundaries of what’s possible on the

dance floor.

4

MEGAN HAMILTON

Fri, Feb. 28 at the Hifi Club

The Minneapolis producer brings

European-inspired, funky house

beats to the North American DJ

scene with her catchy sets.

5

NO MANA,

SPEAKER HONEY

Sat, Feb. 29 at the Palace Theatre

Electro house gets into full swing

with the LA-based DJ, No Mana,

accompanied on a co-headlining tour

with Speaker Honey.

FEBRUARY 2020 BEATROUTE 41


SAVAGELOVE BY DAN SAVAGE

The Long Game

I’m a 30-year-old bi male. I’ve

been with my wife for five years,

married nine months. A month

into our relationship, I let her

know that watching partners

with other men has always

been something I wanted and

that sharing this had caused all

my previous relationships to

collapse. Her reaction was the

opposite of what I was used to.

She said she respected my kink,

and we both agreed we wanted

to solidify our relationship before

venturing down the cuckold

road. Fast-forward a couple of

years, and we are in a healthy

relationship, living together,

regularly visiting sex clubs

(though playing only with each

other), and beginning to add

some cuckold dirty talk to our

sex play. Then after I proposed,

we got busy… with wedding

plans. Sex and experimentation

were set aside. Once we got

married, we started… looking for

a house. Sex again took a back

seat. Life has settled down now,

and when I bring up my desire to

see her with other men, she tells

me she’s willing, but the conversation

quickly ends. I have

suggested making profiles on

various websites, but it doesn’t

happen. Am I doing something

wrong? I fear that saying, “Let’s

make a profile right now,” is

pushy, and I absolutely do NOT

want to be the whiny and pushy

husband. Any advice you might

have would be amazing.

– Wannabe Cuckold Growing

Frustrated

So you don’t want to be pushy

where the wife is concerned,

WCGF, but you’ll send me the

same e-mail half a dozen times in

less than a week.

Look, WCGF, some people

mean it when they say, “We can

have threesomes/go to BDSM

parties/try cuckolding once our

relationship is solid.” But some

people don’t mean it. They tell

their kinky and/or nonmonogamous

partner what they want to

hear in the hopes that after the

wedding and the house and the

kids, their husband and the father

of their children (or their wife and

the mother of their children) isn’t

going to leave them over something

as “trivial” as a threesome,

a public spanking, or cuckolding.

Complicating matters further,

some people say it and mean it

and then change their mind.

To figure out what’s going on

(and to figure out whether you’re

doing something wrong), you’re

going to have to risk being a little

pushy—not about putting up a

profile, but about having a conversation.

You’re ready for this

to happen, she tells you she is

willing, but nothing ever happens.

If she does want it to happen,

what steps can you take together

to make it happen? If she doesn’t

want it to happen—if she never

wanted it to happen—you need

her to level with you.

Remember, WCGF, she’s the

one being asked to take the risks

here—it’s her picture you want to

put on a profile, not yours; she’s

the one who’s going to potentially

be meeting up with strangers for

sex, not you; she’s the one who

is risking exposure to STIs, not

you. (Although you could wind

up exposed, too, of course. But

just because you’re comfortable

with that risk doesn’t mean she

is.) She also might worry that

you’re going to want her to fuck

other guys way more often than

she’s comfortable with. There

are a lot of solid reasons why she

might have developed cold feet,

and by addressing her concerns

constructively—no face pics, no

strangers, no cream pies, it can

be a very occasional thing—you

might make some progress.

But if it turns out this isn’t

something she wants to do—because

she never did or because

she changed her mind—then you

have to decide whether going

without being cuckolded is a

price of admission you’re willing

to pay to stay in this marriage.

One of my closest friends

kissed me while very drunk,

told his female partner, and

now he’s not allowed to see me

anymore, even in group settings.

(I am also female.) I understand

that cutting off contact is the

universally recommended first

step after someone cheats, but

considering how close we are

as friends, it is heartbreaking

to think I might lose him over

this one incident. We are former

coworkers and we’ve been close

friends and regular drinking

buddies for 12 years. Nothing

has EVER happened between

us before this one very drunk

night. We ended up making out

on the sidewalk outside of a bar

and exchanged a few semi-dirty

text messages later that night,

which—unfortunately for all of

us—his partner saw. He thinks

we just need to be patient and

one day we’ll be able to pick up

our friendship where we left off.

And while I know he needs to

prioritize his partner now, I’m

scared that we actually won't be

able to stay friends after this. Do

I just swallow my sadness about

the likelihood of losing a best

friend over a relatively minor

infidelity? Or is there anything

I can do to help the situation?

FWIW: I’m in a happy open marriage

and have never once tried

to initiate anything with him. I’ve

never been attracted to him before

and wouldn’t want anything

to happen between us again,

anyway, even if the kiss was hot.

Complicating matters, my friend

wanted to re-raise the possibility

of opening up his relationship

with his partner, which he insists

has nothing to do with me. (My

friend is male and his partner

and I are both female.)

– Friend With No Benefits

Hmm… I have a hunch you

were something of a sore subject

before this incident, FWNB,

however isolated. If the text messages

your friend’s partner saw

confirmed fears she’d already

been told were irrational, your exile

is likely to last as long as their

relationship does. But take heart:

if your friend decides to reopen

discussions about opening up

their relationship in the wake of

this incident, your friend will likely

be single again soon. If they do

manage to stay together, FWNB,

the only way to get back into

her good graces—and back in

your friend’s life—is to gracefully

accept your exile. (Going to her

and saying, “It only happened

because we were so drunk!” isn’t

quite the slam-dunk you think it

is, seeing as you and her boyfriend

are drinking buddies.) It’s a

paradox, I realize, but if she sees

that her boyfriend is willing to cut

off all contact with you to set her

mind at ease, FWNB, she may be

willing to give your friendship her

blessing down the road.ex who

ends things with kindness and

respect, well, torches have a way

of burning out over time, and it’s

even possible to will yourself to

set a torch down and walk away

from it. But the kind of emotional

damage done by actions likes

yours, ASSHOLE? That shit can

last a lifetime.

42 BEATROUTE FEBRUARY 2020


SHOES AS

UNIQUE AS A

QUIET VEGAN

(THESE ARE FOR LOUDISH VEGANS BTW)

JOHNFLUEVOGCALGARYTHAVESW··

JOHNFLUEVOGEDMONTONAVENW··

FLUEVOGCOM


SET IT OFF

WITH CAPSTAN, MOBS & ONLY THE STRONG

Feb 15 - The Rec Room

GEOFFREY

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

Feb 20 - Temple

SYML

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

Mar 4 - Commonwealth Bar & Stage

Mar 6 - The Starlite Room

RALPH

PRESENTED BY BEATROUTE LIVE

Mar 13 - Commonwealth Bar & Stage

Mar 14 - Starlite Room

THE BLUE STONES

WITH MUTE CHOIR

Mar 20 - Starlite Room

TIGER ARMY

WITH TWIN TEMPLE AND THE ARK-TONES

Apr 6 - Union Hall

Apr 7 - The Palace Theatre

DAN MANGAN

WITH NICE, NICE, VERY NICE 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Apr 7 - Jack Singer Concert Hall

THE DARKNESS

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

Apr 13 - Union Hall

Apr 14 - The Palace Theatre

SARAH HARMER

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

Apr 24 - Starlite Room

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