Archive for the ‘Music from America’s Hat’ category

Baby Jey Rides Onward  


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.


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.

The History of Punk Playlist 57: Winter Solstice Local Show!


The Winter Solstice was a very special one in 2015, with Brittany Rudyck and guest host Cassia Hardy (Wares, Power Buddies) playing some of the best local songs of the year!


Show 57 of the History of Punk originally aired on CJSR 88.5FM from 10-11AM MST on Monday 21 December 2015.

Here’s the playlist:

  1. Faith Healer (Edmonton) – “Infinite Return”
  2. Blu Shorts (Calgary) – “TV Avenue”
  3. I Hate Sex (Edmonton) – “January 24th”
  4. Birdstriking (Beijing) – “TV at 7PM”
  5. Hagface (Calgary) – “The Big Thaw”
  6. Jom Comyn (Edmonton) – “Stay Inside”
  7. Marlaena Moore (Edmonton) – “Sidekick (Live at the Wunderbar)”
  8. Diamond Mind (Edmonton) – “This Street Goes Straight Forever”
  9. Johnny de Courcy (New Westminister) –  “Creepside”
  10. PMMA (Calgary) – “Losing Touch”
  11. Fist City (Lethbridge) – “Let’s Rip”
  12. Counterfeit Jeans (Edmonton) – “Filthy”

…and here’s the show!

The History of Punk Playlist #36


Here’s the History of Punk Playlist on CJSR from 15 June!

1. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (San Francisco) – “Teenage Disease”
2. Brian Jonestown Massacre (San Francisco) – “Satellite”
3. The Dandy Warhols (Portland) – “Cool as Kim Deal”
4. The Breeders (Boston) – “When I was a Painter”
5. The Vibrators (London) – “Troops of Tomorrow”
6. Reagan Youth (Rego Park) – “Brave New World”
7. Black Flag (LA) – “Rise Above”
8. Worst Days Down (Edmonton) – “Dear Lorrie Goldstein”
9. Stiff Little Fingers (Belfast) – “Alternative Ulster”
10. Artificial Dissemination (Toronto/Hamilton) – “Charms”



The History of Punk Radio Show #27


Here’s the History of Punk Playlist on CJSR from 13 April!

horseshoe tones

1. Wild Youth (Durban) – “Wot Bout Me”
2. The Viletones (Toronto) – “Rebel”
3. The Demics (London/Toronto) – “New York City”
4. The Diodes (Toronto) – “Teenage Nation”
5. Teenage Head (Hamilton/Toronto) – “Ain’t got no Sense”
6. The Subhumans (Vancouver) – “Slave to my Dick”
7. Hooded Fang (Toronto) – “Clap”
8. Fake Palms (Toronto) – “Sun Drips”
9. Mimico (Toronto) – “Man from Japan”
10. LIDS (Toronto) – “Sarsfest”
11. The Flatliners (Toronto) – “Count your Bruises”
12. Our Mercury (Edmonton) – “Shawna Don’t Wanna”
13. Abandin All Hope (Edmonton) – “Elephant”



Support the Müzewest Spring Renewal!


Müzewest is a music education program based in Vancouver. And it needs your help bringing songs to students!


The program puts professional musicians in schools that lost their music programs (thanks to good ol’ budget cuts), for a concert series.

As Müzewest founder Jennifer West asserts in the face of these cuts, “the way these students connect to the music in the concerts shows it is still invaluable. Students learn that there is a healthy way to express their creativity through this beloved art form. They learn to create a community around this concert experience.”

To support this initiative, Müzewest is running a online spring fundraiser. There’s only 3 days left, and money still needs to be raised! Funds go towards paying artists, transportation, and venue rental.

Over 1300 students have already enjoyed musical opportunities through this program. Help ensure it continues to do so in the future!

Find out more, and donate here!


Recording the Edmonton Music Scene


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.

Can you see Hooded Fang?


If you don’t have a microscope handy and can’t quite make out what this poster says, you should know two things: 1) carrots don’t help your eyesight, so don’t feel bad about not eating vegetables anymore. 2) Hooded Fang are coming back to Edmonton, and they’re one Toronto band you should keep on your music plate.

One of the first bands ever featured on this blog , they’ve been through Edmonton before, playing with groups like The Rural Alberta Advantage and Cuff the Duke. They’ve also been on some list that starts with the word Polaris.

Check them out when they hit the Wunderbar on Thursday night, June 21st. They’ll be playing with Parlovr and Goose Hut as part of the Pop Off Tour.

And if you turn into a pumpkin at night or aren’t old enough to vote, they’ll also be playing in Churchill Square as part of the Works Festival earlier in the day, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.


Tonight in Edmonton Music!


Edmonton’s Tyler Butler is joining  Bry Webb and Zachary Lucky tonight at the Elevation Room!

Tickets are $20, get them at yegliveBlackbird Myoozik, or at the door if there’s any left!


Edmonton Musicians Hit the Open Sky


Edmonton’s Open Sky Music Festival is this weekend, and the line-up of musicians is diverse, first-rate, and lots of different acronyms for awesome. Chali 2na from Jurassic 5 is headlining the opening night on Friday, and then there’s, you know, THE WAILERS playing Saturday, and Hey Ocean on Sunday.

This surf rock, reggae and roots festival isn’t just bringing in top performers from across the world, but they’ve also enlisted a crack team of local musicians to hit the stage. This A-Team of Edmonton talent will fit right in with the big names from out of town. Here’s a preview:


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.