Baby Jey Rides Onward  

Posted 2018/08/24 by
Categories: Edmonton Music Scene, Music from America's Hat

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When I wrote my MA thesis in Music History, I focused on why musicians left regional music communities for established industry centres like New York City. Of all the reasons musicians left for greener pastures, enrolling in an MA program in Music History was NOT on the list. The closest, maybe, was Penelope Houston, who moved from Seattle to San Francisco to attend a private art school and then started The Avengers.

My thesis may need to be rewritten, because this fall Jeremy Witten moves from Edmonton to New York City to begin an MA in Music History. Before Jeremy heads off to school, he’s releasing a new record with his friend Dean Kheroufi, who together make up Baby Jey. And yes, Dean is departing for New York City too.

Baby Jey’s new release is called Someday Cowboy, and was produced by Montreal’s Mitch Holtby (who once upon a time resided in Edmonton). Baby Jey recorded the entire album in two days in the house Jeremy grew up, and used the piano Jeremy first learned to play. Someday Cowboy is a fusion of where Baby Jey has been and where it’s going. Dean and Jeremy draw off a range of influences from the USA – from Johnny Lee, Keith Whitley, Tanya Tucker, Carole King and America, to Prince – and channel this foundation through their own vast creativity and expertise with the lap steel guitar, mandolin, and synths.

The result is an album that pinpoints transition, woven through layers of nostalgia and imaginative landscapes.


When Baby Jey arrives in New York City, Jeremy will be a Fulbright Scholar, Dean will be working full-time, and plans are already in the works to record new music before 2018 is over. Someday Cowboy has already been welcomed by the band’s new home, and will be released by Brooklyn’s Maintenance Records on 14 September.

Before Baby Jey hits the dusty road, there’s a goodbye party in Edmonton, TONIGHT! It’s at the Kasbar, down the stairs in Yannis Taverna (10444 82 Avenue) at 9PM. Baby Jey is playing with Sam Wolfe and Spells. Spells also has members leaving town, it’s a double barrel adios!

And remember, partner, that riding on doesn’t mean leaving forever, it’s just driving work already begun further on down the trail.


Keep moving: a snapshot of life in the Ice District

Posted 2018/03/16 by
Categories: "Intellectual" Events, Engage!

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Keep moving

The University of Alberta’s Images of Research Competition features submissions from UofA graduate students. One of the categories is “the People’s Choice Award”. I’ve submitted a photo on gentrification currently occurring in downtown Edmonton. I’m hoping this can help add nuance to what is happening, increase the visibility of existing residents and their concerns, and ensure future developments benefit all members of the community.

Please consider voting for “Keep moving: a snapshot of life in the Ice District”, or any of the other photos of work being done at the UofA!

Everyone can vote until March 21 2018!

And give these a listen to learn more:

Edmonton’s Contribution to the 2018 Homelessness Marathon

Posted 2018/02/23 by
Categories: "Intellectual" Events, Edmonton Music Scene, voices from the underground

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Every year, stations in communities across Canada share local homelessness stories for the rest of the country to hear. CJSR 88.5FM broadcast the entire marathon on February 22rd 2018, with an hour focused on issues in Edmonton.

Edmonton’s hour included three interviews. First, Alex McKie and Rylan Kafara discussed ongoing ethnographic research conducted in downtown Edmonton. The research is centred upon the effects of gentrification caused by the opening of the new publicly-funded sports arena and entertainment district. The second interview, with Cynthia Puddu and Vicki-Lynn Moses, was on the Voices from the Streets photography project. The project features photos taken by Edmonton youth experiencing homelessness. The final interview was with facilitators and participants in Underground City Edmonton, who are together creating a compilation album featuring music focused on issues related to homelessness and urban poverty. The interviewees in the third piece are Brennen Steinhauer, Deejay Cardinal, Dakoda Sawan, Mike Siek, and Taro Hashimoto.

Thanks to all the CJSR volunteers who worked on Edmonton’s contribution to the 16th NCRA Homelessness Marathon, including Joe Hartfeil, Qasim Hirani, Alexander McKie, and Rylan Kafara. And a special thanks to everyone who make the Homelessness Marathon possible for a 16th year.

The Heart of Punk City!

Posted 2017/05/31 by
Categories: "Intellectual" Events, Edmonton Music Scene

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Heart of the City Music and Arts Festival is a free event held in Central Edmonton every June. 2017 is the 14th year of the festival, happening June 3rd and 4th in Giovanni Caboto Park (95 street and 109A avenue in McCauley).

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 11.38.57 AM

Ahead of the event celebrating grassroots creativity in Edmonton’s urban core, two acts at this year’s festival joined us on the show. Ben Freeland Writes is a historian and punk poet, and Quasar is a punk band formed in high school that’s participated in Edmonton’s punk scene ever since. This edition of The History of Punk covers punk culture far and wide, and why a grassroots festival in Edmonton is so important in a time of downtown gentrification.

Here’s the playlist!
Alien Boys (Vancouver) – “Gentrification”
Galaxy Express (Seoul) – “Jungle the Black”
Superman Is Dead 日本語 (Bali) – “Poppies Dog Anthem”
Quasar (Edmonton) – “Everybody”
Switches Band (Edmonton) – “Sauerkraut”
Propagandhi (Portage La Prairie) – “…And we thought that Nation States were a bad idea”
Quasar (Edmonton) – “Kydd”

Find out more about Heart of the City Music Festival:

Ben Freeland:


And here’s the show!

Everyone’s a Stupid Dickbag: Now in Technicolour!

Posted 2017/04/14 by
Categories: Edmonton Music Scene

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Edmonton’s favourite socialist workers collective, Latcho Drom, released a video for the song “Everyone’s a Stupid Dickbag”.

And the good news keeps coming! Rumor has it Latcho Drom will have a full length LP out before the end of the year!


A Review of The Past is Unwritten!

Posted 2017/02/26 by
Categories: "Intellectual" Sources, noise from the underground

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The Past is Unwritten was given a very kind review by Dr. Paula Guerra, the founder of Portugal’s Punk Archive, Keep it Simple, Make it Fast, or KISMIF.

The review is published online in OpenEdition‘s Revisita Critica de Ciências Sociais. 

Read it here: “Título da página eletrónica: The Past is Unwritten”Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 8.25.21 PM.png

Edmonton’s Contribution to 2017 Homelessness Marathon

Posted 2017/02/26 by
Categories: "Intellectual" Events, voices from the underground

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Every year, stations in communities across Canada share local homelessness issues for the rest of the country to hear. Edmonton’s CJSR 88.5FM broadcast the entire marathon over February 22rd and 23th 2017 from 4PM-5:30AM, with our local stories running from 6-8PM MST.

This year, Edmonton’s stories include interviews with Colin Mulholland and Les Danyluk, who talk about homelessness, education, and activism.

Homeward Trust’s Cindi Cunningham discusses the 2016 point in time Homeless Count.

The three other interviews focus on different communities in Edmonton. Kristy Lee talks about creating grassroots recreation and wellness activities for families in Central McDougall. Focusing on the McCauley community, Paula E. Kirman speaks about her new short film McCauley: A Caring Community examining affordable housing in Edmonton. Jan and Harry Kuperus, longtime residents of the Highlands, discuss the formation, goals, and accomplishments of the Highlands Homelessness Committee, also known as YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard).

Thanks to all the volunteers who worked on Edmonton’s contribution to the 15th NCRA Homelessness Marathon, including Joe Hartfeil, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, Maigan van der Giessen, and Rylan Kafara.