Archive for May 2012

Three Best Friends Stop in at The Pawn Shop


The Backstreet Boys. The Spice Girls. N’SYNC. The Sex Pistols. What do all four of these groups have in common? They were manufactured bands. Which means, they were probably comprised of members that didn’t know each other very well. All of them did OK I guess, but that was the entire point of them being together in the first place.

That isn’t the case with Edmonton’s Scenic Route to Alaska. You might just notice a few differences between them and The Backstreet Boys, and not just a lack of synchronized dancing. The band is made up of three best friends, from the same town with the same creative drive. They grew up together ’round Riverdale, and decided to share their love for music onstage with lucky audiences. This trifecta of friendship has become a regular fixture on the music community in town, and across Alberta. You might have heard them on the radio, when their set at Canmore Folk Festival was aired on CKUA, or when they were SONIC 102.9’s Band of the Month. Perhaps you saw them on stage with Kat Danser at the Edmonton Folk Fest, on Balcony TV, or maybe you’ve seen them perform at local fundraisers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but N’SYNC didn’t play many non-profit fundraising events.

…Or maybe, you haven’t had the chance to see them yet! If so, it’s a good thing they’ve got an album release party this Friday at the Pawn Shop!

They don’t all like sunglasses, however.


The History of Punk, Class #4


The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 2 June 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“Punk and Politics Picnic” 

The alternative community was a magnet for radical beliefs, on all sides of the political spectrum. This seminar will look at issues such as the Cold War, Environmentalism, Women’s Rights, and the power of the state.

This week we’ll be having class outside. A punk rock picnic!

Vegetarianism has become a tenet of many punk rock participants, so try and bring something to share that fits that theme of not being meat.

Dave Grohl: ’80s Hardcore
Not Just White Noise Supremacy: The Diversity of the Underground Punk Network in late 1970s-early 1990s America

Dead Kennedys – California Über Alles
Jello Biafra is running for Mayor?
Yup, Jello Biafra ran for Mayor”
The Ramones – “Bonzo goes to Bitburg”
The Clash – “Louie Louie”
Black Flag – “Louie Louie”
Iggy Pop – “Louie Louie”
The Offspring – “Tehran”
The Offspring – “I’m not the one”
The Offspring – “LAPD”

Ian MacKaye – straight edge & vegetarianism
Ian Mackaye talks politics, protest and profit
Ian Mackaye testifies against an all ages ban
Jello Biafra on Oprah with Tipper Gore
Henry Rollins Teeing Off – Defenders of Free Speech
NOFX – “Franco Un-American”
Joey Keithley at Occupy Ottawa

setlist nirvana


(From August 17 1990 gig at the Hollywood Palladium with Sonic Youth & STP. Originally from the fanzine Flipside)

Poutine Playlist


If there’s one thing scientists and theologians can agree upon, it’s that Poutine is one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to humanity. While people understand they have a debt to Québec that can never be paid back, they might not know about some other amazing stuff from Canada’s most francophone province: its music. Sure, you’ve probably heard of Arcade Fire, Sam Roberts, and Celine Dion, but there’s even more wonderful music to hear.

So just like Poutine is a blend of all your food groups and vitamins, here’s a mix of Québécois music that will having you banging on your pots and pans, and even your casserole dish!


Top 5 things to do in Edmonton this weekend


Sometimes, people have to make really tough decisions. If you like Edmonton music, you might have to do your best Kurt Douglas and Steven Seagal this weekend.

Here’s a top 5 list of shows coming up:


1) The Heaviside CD Release party is tonight at the Pawn Shop. They’ve pulled out all the stops for support – so they’ll be joined by The Frank, The Apresnos, and Cloud Seeker.

2) The Collective West are playing the Elevation Room in the basement of Transcend Coffee. And not only them, but Jordan Norman and Bryan Coffey too!

3) The Mange, The Press Gang, and Zero Cool are bringing punk rock to DV8. Don’t worry, they’ll still let you in even if you don’t have a mohawk.


4) If you aren’t too tuckered out from Friday night, the Artery is hosting an art jam, with Ariane Mahryke Lemire, Mae Anderson, Julian Constantin & DJ D-rek’d. Plus a whole heap of artists will have their work there to make sure the place lives up to its name!

5) Görgön Hörde, Rebuild/Repair, Betty Machete, and The Frolics are all hitting the stage at the New City Legion. Since there’s so many of them, they’re taking turns, don’t worry.

Well, that’s 5 shows already I guess we’re don…wait a second, there’s still SUNDAY!

6) Erica Vegas and Chasing Jones are at On the Rocks! Even if you’re exhausted from all the other shows, the mental anguish you’ll suffer the rest of your life if you miss this show just isn’t worth it.

Have fun!

The History of Punk, Class #3


The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 26 May 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“The Underground Punk Network”

By following the DIY ethic, the alternative music milieu in North America created a vast network that spanned the continent and operated outside the mainstream music industry. We will examine the bands, scene participants, and institutions that turned a few scattered, fledgling communities into a viable cultural force.

Music Scenes, pp. 1-10
Tune in, Turn On, Go Punk, pp. 42-52.
We’ve got the Neutron Bomb, pp. 53-56
All Over But the Shouting, pp. 78-85
Our Band Could Be Your Life, pp. 131-133
Gimme Something Better, pp. 185-206
On the Road to Nirvana, pp. 23-30

The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb” 
The Decline of Western Civilization Part 1(The Germs)
Germs – “What we do is Secret”
The Replacements – “Kids Don’t Follow”
Hüsker Dü – “Eight Miles High”
Minutemen “Ain’t no Picnic” 
Black Flag – “Six Pack”
Bad Brains – “Banned in DC” Live at CBGB 1982
Minor Threat – “Minor Threat”
MDC – “John Wayne was a Nazi”
Butthole Surfers – “Cough Syrup”
Mission of Burma – “That’s When I Reach for my Revolver”
The Pixies – “Hey” Live 1988
U-MEN – “They”
Sonic Youth – “Teenage Riot”
Fugazi – “Waiting Room” 

Thoughts on Punk: The Vancouver Scene


After last week’s class on the Vancouver punk community, we thought it might be fun to start posting our ideas on what we covered in class online, so we can keep pushing those intellectual boundaries even after the bell rings. And if you missed the class, well here’s your chance to throw in your 2 cents (or profound ideas)!


3 cheers for 3 more beers!


These days, the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll cliche,” is, well…a cliché. Rock bands party hard. Rock bands sing about partying hard. When they want to divert from songs about partying hard, they write songs about girls. And totally rocking. Escapism serves its purpose – it’s fun, and if you don’t read into it too much, you aren’t offended by the materialism, misogyny, or badly written riffs and lyrics. Cause you know, there’s fireworks and stuff.

Theory of a Deadman trying out for Zoolander II

But every once and a while, there’s a band that breaks from the mold, but is still somehow totally rocking. The Frank is a band that manages exactly that. Take their new  3 More Beers EP. From the title, you can infer three things: that it’s a sequel, they like beer, and if they like beer they MUST BE TOTALLY ROCKING! And you’d be right. However, that’s where the conventions end.


The History of Punk, Class #2


The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 19 May 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action!”

In the late-1970s and early 1980s, the Vancouver punk scene was a vibrant and diverse community. We’ll look at originators like Joey “Shithead” Keithley, his group DOA, and another local band called The Subhumans. Gerry “Useless” Hannah, The Subhuman’s bass player, was a member of the activist group Direct Action. These dissenters were arrested by the RCMP for attacks against property, which sparked a media firestorm. We’ll also discuss Vancouver participants in relation to the wider punk milieu, and the 1980s’ counterculture as a whole.

American Hardcore, pp. 256-260.
The Philosophy of Punk, pp. 112-114
I, Shithead, pp. 125-127.
“The Vancouver 5”
Hannah’s Maximum Rocknroll column, 1984.
Toronto Star, 15 October 1982, p. A1
Toronto Star, 15 October 1982, p. A3

Duff McKagan recalls the Pacific Northwest punk scene
Chris Arnett: The Furies
The Skulls move to Toronto
Vancouver punk scene’s D.I.Y. recording history
Henry Rollins on DOA
The Stiffs – “Fuck You”
Dishrags – “I Don’t Love You” live 1979
DOA – “Disco Sucks”
DOA – “World War III”
The Subhumans – “Firing Squad”
The Subhumans – “Slave to my Dick”
DOA – “Trial by Media”

The Many Sides to Nowhere: Blurring the lines between music and art


Jim Nowhere is a punk rocker. If you were in a debate club, you’d have an easier time convincing someone you didn’t want to be a lawyer or a politician than poking holes in this fact. Heck, if you were a philosopher, even you would have a lot of trouble refuting how true this is.

Yep, he’s a punk. He’s got a punk rock attitude. He’s got a punk rock band. He’s even got a punk rock name. Even though you can call him a punk, you could also call him an artist, and you could call him a folk singer.

What you couldn’t call him is somebody that likes fitting into neat little categories.

Labels? Who needs ’em?