Archive for February 2013

The Kids are Alright

2013/02/17

Seattle Scene Report in Maximum Rocknroll, July 1983.

Northwest Scene Report July 83

Members of bands listed here went on to be in Guns N’ Roses, Mudhoney, and Pearl Jam.

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Recording the Edmonton Music Scene

2013/02/17

The other day, my car was broken into. The thief smashed the window with a hammer, and grabbed the bag that was sitting on the passenger seat. The poor guy probably figured there was something of value in it – it was a really nice satchel, given to me by an awesome swim team when I finished coaching with them.

Unfortunately for this robber, just like the bag, its contents were really only valuable to me. It contained a couple notebooks with stuff from the History of Punk class I teach, and guest lectures I’ve done over the past couple years.

Obviously, this isn’t a big deal because I can just copy and paste all the information from Wikipedia again, where like all good academics, I plagiarized it from in the first place.

The only thing Wikipedia doesn’t have that my notebook did, however, was the information I was compiling on the Edmonton Music Community. I had a pretty good database going, with a list of local bands, record labels, activists, venues, writers…basically anything local associated with the scene that I could find.

Now it’s gone, but if there’s one thing a thief can’t steal from my car is the internet. I’ve decided that creating a record of the local community is much safer online than in my Buick. So, I’ve started a tumblr page which lists the great stuff going on here in Edmonton.

Which, by the way, looks like this from space:

Edmonton From Space

Check the Tumblr out here:

And join the Facebook group here:

Please add anything you’d like to the Facebook group…except for classifieds…there’s already lots of groups doing that really well already.

Getting to Know your Edmonton Music Community

2013/02/05

In the last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to sit down and chat with some pretty rad Edmontonians. I’d like to tell you about three of them, since they’re all up to really good things in the community, and that’s cool.

I met two of ’em at an event put on by the Edmonton Public Library and the CBC. Called the Human Library, it was a chance for people to sign out human books and talk with them. It was like reading a book with lots of pictures, but EVEN BETTER.

OmarThe first guy was Omar Mouallem. You might know him from all the writing he does for little publications like Metro News, Avenue Edmonton, and the Globe and Mail. He’s also the Edmonton Public Library’s 2013 Writer in Residence. Oh, and he also raps – he has two albums out, and has performed at Nextfest and the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

The one thing he doesn’t do apparently, is sleep.

And, he uses his powers for the good of the community. Take this song for example:

In the near future, Mouallem will be putting on rap workshops, participating in Story Slam, and organizing other events for youth and newcomers.

In fact, this Wednesday, 6 February, he’ll put putting on “The 7 Deadly Sins of Bad Writing” at Stanley Miller Library, in the basement at 7PM. In light of him hosting an event on bad writing…I hope he never reads this.

The next guy I talked to was Stephen “Komrade” Goyette. That’s him on the left there, beside some dude who really needs a haircut:

CBC Human Library

I’d met Goyette briefly a few weeks before, at the fifth annual Hip-Hop on the Ave, which happens every year at Avenue Theatre on 118th Ave. Dozens of local artists perform in support of Santa’s Anonymous. For many, it’s their first chance to get on stage.

Goyette organized it. He also opened the doors for youth from the inner-city to attend for free. He understands how important it is to give back to the community, and to give people opportunities. His own music, and the songs he releases with his younger sibling as the Brothers Grim, reflects this. Just check this out:

His plan, Goyette says, “is to stay in the community.” He knows that’s how to really make a difference.

ButlerThe third fellow, Tyler Butler, wasn’t a human book this time around, but you can still learn a lot about what someone is up to when you’re having coffee with ’em. Butler is a folk musician who firmly believes in participating in your local music community, and lucky for Edmonton, that’s where he’s from.

Butler also understand the importance of networks, and being supported by other music communities so you can do things like, you know, tour.

As such, he’s started a new record label made up of like-minded musicians called Cabin Songs. Recently they put on a concurrent 17-city show. Taking place all over Canada, each show was locally organized.

This, you might have noticed, nicely combined the local community with the trans-local network.

Butler believes in taking the DIY ethic to the next level, or DIT. Do-It-Together. It’s community at its best.

Tonight, Tuesday February 5th, is Edmonton’s big Cabin Songs Showcase, with Nick Everett, Tyler Butler, and Mike Tod. It kicks off at the Wunderbar at 9PM.

You can also read more about the label here.

So that’s what those guys are up to. And I’m off to get more coffee.