Archive for August 2012

Raising the Maximum Punk Age

2012/08/20

Back in the early days of punk, the kids used the age of 30 as the marker for when someone was too uncool to be part of the scene. Who would ever get that old, right?

Well, this summer, one of the most important punk institutions passed through that barrier.

Happy 30th birthday to the fanzine, Maximum Rocknroll!

Not so funny now, is it?

(more…)

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Don’t it make you smile: Wool on Wolves play the Edmonton Folk Fest

2012/08/10

A few months ago, I was sitting with my friend Tom in the Garneau Pub.  He was just about to leave for a trip around India with his wife, and we were having a few bon voyage beers. Tom’s also the singer from the Edmonton band Wool on Wolves, and we’d just listened to the unmastered tracks from their new album. We were talking about the new songs, and how I was going to write about them on my blog.

I told him some ideas I had for the article, but he cut me off.

“Write what you want,” he said.

I immediately had an Almost Famous flashback. Even though, of course, I wasn’t a writer for Rolling Stone, and he wasn’t from a band that would ever be excited to fly in a private airplane. Still, I thought it was funny that we’d ended up vaguely mirroring a scene from one of our favorite movies, and I thought, how the heck did we end up here?

Tom and I became friends in our first year of college in Red Deer, in part because we had a ton of mutual friends, and, more importantly, because we both had shirts with the words “Led Zeppelin.” His love for music was always on his sleeve, and so was his love for his friends. This was always made clear simply by what he said to people. His words had a big impact on me. This is still the same today.

The thing about Tom, you see, is that his words reflect his character, his warmth, and his inability to be insincere. And when he told me to write whatever I wanted on my blog, he wasn’t trying to reference a movie. Tom just wanted me to be honest.

And that’s what he does with his lyrics. To top that off, Tom somehow found four friends who share his uncommon trait to always be genuine – and so Wool on Wolves is a band that embodies authenticity in an increasingly superficial world. They could have been a hip-hop group, a punk band, a jazz ensemble, or a throwback to Stillwater from Almost Famous, but the honesty of their songs would still be shining through.

But Wool on Wolves isn’t a band that fits into those categories, if you believe in things like genres. What they are though, is the band playing on Stage 2 at The Edmonton Folk Fest tonight at 8:00. So come hear Tom’s sincerity, and the passion of Wool on Wolves, for yourself.

Keep the Artery Flowing

2012/08/08

According to the only reliable source for science, Wikipedia, a human artery is part of the circulatory system. This circulatory system, it says, “is extremely important for sustaining life.” Just like the human body needs its arteries, the Edmonton music scene needs its artery too. The Artery is a local venue housing all kinds of creativity, and it’s vital to the Edmonton artistic community. Since there’s no Wikipedia entry for the Artery, I can’t back this up with science, but this might be the one time that’s not necessary.

A few days ago, the Artery was broken into. The venue suffered a myocardial infarction which, if it was in any other city, might mean its demise. Edmonton’s scene, however, is full of musicians and artists that would never let that happen. So tonight, Wednesday August 8th, the Artery is hosting its “Break in Relief Party.”

Some of Edmonton’s best bands, like F&M and Scenic Route to Alaska, are playing. There will be comedy from the Wunderbar’s Craig Martellica, and even some magic tri…er, illusions, from Tad Hargrave. And that’s not even the full-lineup! The Tchir Brothers and Jordan Norman are playing too. There will be a silent auction with works from local artists like Chelsey Adel and Kevin Green. Oh, and albums up for grabs from lots of local bands. Heck, Liam Copeland has even donated a guitar from Long & McQuade, and JCL Productions have supplied free tickets to some great shows.

Edmonton venues have been in danger before , but the community has rallied together and kept things going. Tonight, it’s happening again.

Doors at 7:30, and music starts at 8:15. Entry by donation.

 

Edmonton’s Streetball Showdown

2012/08/03

When I first started working in Edmonton’s inner city a few months ago, I heard about a young musician named Lance. He wanted to organize an event celebrating the great things happening in the community.

Of course, putting together any kind of event can be a tall order, even if it’s just a Tuesday night poker game…which this is not. Lance’s idea certainly involved a lot more work and creativity than getting a deck of cards. His vision was for something as inclusive as possible – bringing people together in a public space for a fun, clean, community event.

And it looks like Lance has done it. With lots of support, time, and effort, Edmonton’s Streetball Showdown will be taking place this Saturday, August 4th in Centennial Plaza from 2:00-7:00.

There’s going to be food.

There’s going to be streetball.

And there’s going to be tons of local music.

$20 will get you into the 4 on 4 streetball tournament, and if your team wins – you take the pot. If you prefer playing music to ball, sign up to perform. You’ll join a stacked bill including Ambiguous  and Shawn “Feenix” Bernard.

Lance wants to recognize the positive things going on in the downtown community, and the event this Saturday will show this in spades. It’s all-ages, and everyone is welcome to stop by. If you want to participate in the tournament or the music, get there around 1:00.

Come see what youth can do when they’re given independence and the opportunity to thrive – and the positive impact this has on the community as a whole.

click here for the Streetball Showdown Facebook event