Archive for December 2012

Christmas ain’t over til the dapper man sings!


Scenic Route to Alaska

By now, you might have finally said good-bye to all your relatives, packed away all the wrapping paper, and  recovered from your holiday-induced food coma.  If you thought Christmas was over though, the celebrating isn’t even close to being done!

Tonight at the Pawn Shop, Scenic Route to Alaska are playing with Michael Rault, Viking Fell & Calm Asa Coma.

It’s an Edmonton music post-Christmas Christmas extravaganza!

post christmas christmas


Doors at 8PM. Tickets $10 at & Blackbyrd Myoozik.

More info here.




White Noise Inferiority


As my liver knows only too well, it was recently the 10th anniversary of Joe Strummer passing on. One of his legacies was embracing immigrant culture, much to the benefit of popular music ever since.

Not everyone in the punk community saw diversity as a good thing, however. Here’s an interview from the pages of Colorblind, a Chicago fanzine dedicated to stamping out racism. It’s a window into the mindset of Ian Stuart, from the skinhead band Skrewdriver. It also shows a darker side to the punk attitude – instead of channeling anger into creating positive change, it’s an example of exclusion, isolation, and hatred.

It’s also quite sad. The 20th anniversary of  Ian Stuart’s death is next year, but it’s not likely many will be marking the day with any commemoration. I know my liver won’t be.


Setting off The Flaming Lips


100_1172Flaming Lip Interview, Forced Exposure, p. IFlaming Lip Interview, Forced Exposure, p. IIFlaming Lip Interview, Forced Exposure, p. III


Here’s an interview with The Flaming Lips in Forced Exposure, shortly after the release of their first LP.

They talk about the local Oklahoma scene, why they started a band, and what’ll happen if Sonic Youth decides to cancel playing a show with them.





“We started the band out of boredom.”










“I think the punk thing definitely turned us on…just play and see what happens. Just do it.”









“We want to be the next Beatles. The Beatles better watch out because we are gonna kick their ass.”

an awesome time for awesome people


December 23 is the unsung hero of the holiday season. Days like the 24th and 25th get all the credit for bringing festive cheer. Heck, even Boxing Day gets lots of attention, and its biggest claim to fame is that you can buy stuff at the prices they should have cost all along.

The 23rd, however, is the day most people are home for the holidays, but don’t have any responsibilities yet – other than maybe getting last minute gifts they forgot to pick up. So, a tradition began where friends get together to catch up and unwind after another busy year. Everyone knows all their pals will be at the local pub, restaurant, or bowling alley. Folks have gotten to calling this important day “D23” – an incredibly clever nickname that makes the day sound like a Michael Bay movie. It also makes D12 scared there’s another rap group out there like them, but with 11 times the bling.

Some people, though, can’t just be content with it being one of the most fun days of the year. They’ve got to go and make it into something that also does a lot of good. These people include a guy named Nathan Richards, and half of the Edmonton music community. They are banding together to put on a fundraiser for Bissell Centre, an inner-city agency that helps remove barriers and eliminate poverty.

So tonight, D23, the day formally known as December 23rd, you can go to On the Rocks, have a turkey dinner, see some great music, have fun, and know that you’re doing something that is HELPING PEOPLE.

Bissell Centre Fundraiser

Here’s the line-up:

Jay Sparrow
The Soulicitors
The Collective West (members of)
Owls By Nature (members of)
The Blackstone
The Jake Ian Band
Mayday and the Beatcreeps
Brian McLeod
Mae Anderson
Nicole Koch
The Whytes
Dean Lonsdale

So if you come to the show tonight, you’ll see a big chunk of the local music community using their powers for good. Bring your appetite, and if you have an extra hoodie, bring that along too – the Bissell Centre has a #yegwarming goal of providing 800 new hoodies for folks out in the cold.

To find out more about the Bissell Centre and the fundraiser, here’s a handy interview to watch from Breakfast Television.

Here’s the facebook event for D23 – 3rd Annual “Edmonton Musicians team up to help The Bissell Centre” 

And here’s a internet high-five for coming out tonight and supporting the community: BAM.

Not all Music Festivals are in the Summer!


xmas poster

The History of Punk, Class #13


The Edmonton Free School
Sunday December 23 4PM
Location: Upstairs at Remedy Café (8631 – 109 Street)
All-Ages & All-Welcome

“The Punk Rock Book Club”


Jian Ghomeshi has written a book about growing up in a suburb of Toronto in the early 1980s. Right there, that’s enough material for a class on the history of punk. Not only that, but 1982 weaves in themes of generational conflict, coming of age, multiculturalism, and, of course, music.

Class this week will be in intellectual book club format, held upstairs in the Remedy Café think-tank (aka on the couches). We’ll sit around and talk about David Bowie, the impact of the Iranian Revolution, and what it’s like to be in grade 9. We’ll also expand on Ghomeshi’s look at this particular year of the dog, by examining the wider context of Canadian punk music. Finally, we’ll get serious and discuss the bombing of Toronto’s Litton Systems in October 1982 by the activist group Direct Action.

Following the class there will be a class field trip to a  fundraiser for the inner city agency Bissell Centre, with a bunch of great folks from the Edmonton music community. Find more info about it by clicking here.

Jian Ghomeshi, 1982.
Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action!

The (English) Beat “Save it for Later”
David Bowie “Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)”
Madness “Our House”
Siouxsie and the Banshees “Arabian Knights”
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”
Queen and David Bowie “Under Pressure”
The Clash “Straight to Hell”
Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime”
Culture Club “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder “Ebony and Ivory”
The Human League “The Things that Dreams are Made of”
David Bowie “Let’s Dance”
Tall New Buildings “Breaking Her Walls”
Moxy Früvous “Stuck in the 90s”
Arcade Fire “The Suburbs”
Bare Naked Ladies ‘This is me in Grade 9″

Female Singers down at the Crossroads



Last month, Dr. Jim Martens gave a talk at Red Deer College on “What Might Have Been Left Behind: the Female Blues Singer in the Age of Liberal Reform.” A lot of male African-Americans made the jump into the United States mainstream following WWII, but that wasn’t the case for many of the women. And those that did “make it”, lost a lot of their edge. Here’s a playlist from the lecture – with music from women singing about drinking, drugs, VD, poverty, trouble, pleasure, and having the blues:


disaffecting & seditious, were these the 1st punks?


First Punks