Punk and Gentrification

Posted 2018/11/12 by the.past.is.unwritten
Categories: "Intellectual" Sources, noise from the underground, Punk and Protest

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The History of Punk recently examined the history and ongoing consequences of gentrification. Part one traced the origins of gentrification, its subsequent history, and its ongoing effects. A case study of New York City’s ABC No Rio serves as an example of resistance to gentrification, despite the removal of its physical space in 2016.

Here’s the reading list:
– Dawson Barrett. “The Direct Action Politics of U.S. Punk Collectives”. American Studies, Vol. 52, No. 2 (2013), pp-23-42.
– Ruth Glass. London: Aspects of Change. London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1964.
Jane Jacobs. The Death and Life of Great American – -Cities. New York City: Random House, 1961.
– Neil Smith. The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City. London: Routledge, 1996.

Here’s the playlist:
Malvina Reynolds – “Little Boxes”
Jonathan Richman – “New Kind of Neighborhood”
Arcade Fire – “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”
Pretenders – “My City was Gone”
The Kinks – “Scrapheap City”
Talking Heads (official) – “(Nothing But) Flowers”
Lou Reed – “Hold On”
Reagan Youth – “Urban Savages”
Aus Rotten – “American Ethic”
Oi Polloi (Official) – “Let’s Go!”
MDC – Millions Of Dead Cops – “Church and State (Live at CBGBs 1983)”

And here’s part 1!

Part two examined the gentrification of Seattle’s Central District. Before the USA’s Civil Rights Era, the urban core of Seattle was where African-Americans could work, live, and go to school. Nowadays, as Draze raps, “The Hood Ain’t the Same”. We also looked at how punks have reacted to gentrification in Washington DC (and how agents of gentrification in DC have reacted to punks like Ian MacKaye). Finally, we looked at the wider punk reaction to gentrification and the myth of ‘progress’.

Here’s the reading list:

-“Chapter One: ‘Hit the Road Jack:’ The Rise and Fall of Seattle’s Black Music Scene, 1945-1960s” from, “This is Not For You: The Rise and Fall of Music Milieux in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, 1950s -1990s” https://era.library.ualberta.ca/…/a5ea3770-1f0b-438c-a4b4-d…

-“For Punk Music, Gentrification Is the New Ronald Reagan” https://www.citylab.com/…/gentrification-is-the-new…/379711/

Here’s the playlist:
Corb Lund– “That’s What Keeps the Rent Down Baby”
Ray Charles – “Rockin’ Chair Blues”
Jimi Hendrix – “Machine Gun”
Draze – “The Hood Ain’t the Same”
Fugazi – “Cashout”
Jack on Fire – “Burn Down the Brixton”
Jello Biafra & D.O.A. – “That’s Progress”
Wraths – “My Home”
Sick Of It All – “District”

And here’s part 2!

Part three focused on gentrification in Vancouver and Edmonton. Edmonton’s current wave of gentrification started with the development of a publicly-funded downtown arena and entertainment district. This is an example of what Peter Moskowitz refers to as “stage 0” of gentrification, when city governments enable “corporate control of neighbourhoods” though municipal policy.

Here is the reading list:

-Peter Moskowitz, “How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood”, 2017.
-Amber Dean, “Remembering Vancouver’s Disappeared Women: Settler Colonialism and the Difficulty of Inheritance”, 2015.
-Daniel Johnson, “This Is Our Land!”: Indigenous Rhetoric and Resistance on the Northern Plains. PhD., Diss, University of Alberta, 2014.
-Dwayne Donald, “Edmonton Pentimento: Re-Reading History in the Case of the Papaschase Cree.” Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies 2, no. 1 (2004), 21-53.
-Jay Scherer, “Resisting the World-Class City: Community Opposition and the Politics of a Local Arena Development”, Sociology of Sport Journal, 2016, 33, 39-53.
-Jordan Koch, Jay Scherer, and Nicolas Holt, “Slap Shot! Sport, Masculinities, and Homelessness in the Downtown Core of a Divided Western Canadian Inner City”. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 42(4), 270-294.

Here’s the playlist:

Robin Grey – “The Hackney Gentrification Song”
Alien Boys – “Gentrification”
Paroxysm – “White Picket Fence”
audio/rocketry – “The Way Ahead”
Latcho Drom – “Shit District”
Rebuild/Repair – “Burn Edmonton to the Fucking Ground”
Rebuild/Repair – “Above Ground Cemeteries”
Chain & the Gang – “Devitalize”

And here’s part 3!
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Baby Jey Rides Onward  

Posted 2018/08/24 by the.past.is.unwritten
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.

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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 the.past.is.unwritten
Categories: "Intellectual" Events, Engage!

Tags: , , , ,

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!

https://libraryualberta.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bDftEiTvCU4w41n

And give these a listen to learn more:

Edmonton’s Contribution to the 2018 Homelessness Marathon

Posted 2018/02/23 by the.past.is.unwritten
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 the.past.is.unwritten
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).

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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:
www.heartcityfest.com

Ben Freeland:
www.benfreeland.ca

Quasar:
www.innerquasar.bandcamp.com

And here’s the show!

Everyone’s a Stupid Dickbag: Now in Technicolour!

Posted 2017/04/14 by the.past.is.unwritten
Categories: Edmonton Music Scene

Tags: ,

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!

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A Review of The Past is Unwritten!

Posted 2017/02/26 by the.past.is.unwritten
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