Pay It Forward

Musicians helping more musicians get here.

By Erin Land (cross-posted from

If you had all the money in the world, and could do anything you wanted, what would you do? That is precisely what James Seabrook of Two Bodies of Water Productions asked himself when he came up with the “Pay it Forward” program.

“Why wait until I’m rich? I have unique opportunity right now. I have something that is needed and the means to give it, something I’ve never had before in my life. I guess I just feel it’s my turn to give back,” Seabrook explained.

Pay it Forward is a new initiative, aimed at helping local talent achieve their dreams of recording in a professional setting and perhaps launch a career that will span a lifetime. Completely free of charge!

Seabrook’s studio has been growing a Community Fund since the beginning of June. Artists that pay for studio time are asked where they would like to donate 10% of their purchased time. Some choose to donate the funds to friends, whereas others have chosen to donate the time back to the studio – for newer artists or projects within the community that can take advantage of the cache.

Back on September 1st, a submission form appeared online for the opportunity to use studio time for your recording needs. A panel that consists of Edmonton music industry professionals and local music lovers have volunteered their time to review the submissions and award the studio time to artists or groups they feel are the most deserving of the opportunity.

There are going to be four allotments of five hours awarded; two sessions in November, and two in December.

What will happen in 2012? Seabrook says he’d really like to see the program turn into a regular grant or bursary that can have a much larger impact. Ideally, the program would expand across the prairies, perhaps all of western Canada. Without any corporate sponsorship or investors, the program will continue to grow based on current recording artists contributing to the Community Fund, as they have since June of this year.

The deadline for the first round of submissions will be September 29, 2011. For more information on the Pay It Forward program, or to create your online submission you can view the Two Bodies of Water website.

A Look Back: #yegmusic (sally)

For the last two years, we’ve done our best to be supporters of local music.

Let’s be honest, this was partially because for part of the run of the edmontonian, I was in a band myself, and consequently knew a lot of local musicians that I thought deserved some attention. But while these stories were all around me, we didn’t cover local music because it was convenient.

We did it because when my band began playing live, I was absolutely shocked at the calibre of artists we were meeting and playing alongside. Prior to that, I had often wondered how to really follow the local music scene, and was so surprised and so psyched about what I found within it, I wanted to share some of my discoveries with you guys (FYI, if you want a primer, check out Samsonow’s painstaking list of all the music we used in the edmontonian presents. And full disclosure, we don’t make any money off the iTunes playlist).

We’ve been really thrilled to be able to feature all kinds of artists in all kinds of ways, given that there aren’t a lot of places you can go to find a regular aggregator of Edmonton music. Or, at least, there weren’t when we started. Now, we’re happy to hand the Edmonton music torch over to those young Whippersnappers at VoidTV, who are doing more than just writing about bands – they’re actually shooting interviews and performances that can be found on their website (and watch for their big launch party at Wunderbar on October 1). The fine folks at GigCity also do a lot of music coverage, and you can find local events aggregated over at  And there is, of course, CJSR, including our handsome and charming pals Chad and Colin over at Makin’ Whoopee. So, I guess I’m saying, there’s plenty going on, and we’re obsolete – so let the kids take over!

Jokes about my old age aside, Jeff and I are terrifically proud of any platform we were able to give local artists, labels or performers – especially given how generous those folks have always been with their time, music and attention. Being in a band looks cool, but it’s often a thankless, pricey, difficult task that makes you wonder why the hell you’re stupid enough to be putting all this time, money and energy into it in the first place. It is for that reason that I want to say explicitly: while it may sound fancy-pants for us to say that we featured more artists on our website, in our livecasts, and during the 6 episode run of our show on ShawTV than we can count, what is TRULY remarkable is that all those folks trusted us enough to let us use their music without asking for anything in return.

Seriously, guys, what an honour.

I dare you to find a local news blog with a better soundtrack.

The video above is one I shot of our friends Brazilian Money, who were gracious enough to let us use their song Ghetto Lung as our theme for the edmontonian presents. I highly recommend downloading their newest, highly excellent release.

Oak Apple Records

(Editor’s note: Keeping up with our music vibe this week, let us allow Nathaniel Sutton to introduce you to Edmonton’s Oak Apple Records.)

Oak Apple Records: The autobiography by Nathaniel Sutton

If someone asked me in my early years what my future ambitions were for being involved with the music industry, I would never have answered “I’m going to run an indie record label.”

As a teen, I listened to music from such bands as Cross My Heart, Appleseed Cast, and Pop Unknown and it wasn’t soon after I started to realize that all these bands had something in common. They belonged to a record label called Deep Elm Records. I began to research each band from this label and quickly noticed several other artists that sparked my interest, which made me wonder what other labels are lurking out in that wonderful world of music. I became familiar with excellent record labels including Saddle Creek Records, Absolutely Kosher Records, and Engineer Records.

All the while, being a singer/songwriter, I decided that I needed a label to release and promote my own material. I explored different ideas of what to name this label and figured insect names would be a good place to start. If anyone knows anything about insects (which I don’t) you’d probably know that there are literally hundreds to thousands of different species of insects. I finally stumbled upon the Oak Apple Gall Wasp and the words “Oak Apple” had a certain tone that became appealing. It was officially declared on March 25th, 2009; the launch of Oak Apple Records. (more…)

Finding the Hidden Tracks

Edmonton’s got a thriving music scene. It’s probably always had a good scene, but you don’t see too many stories about this band or that musician leaving town to make it big these days.

Maybe that means the days of huge rock stars are dwindling, but ironically the Internet probably helps people find an audience to at least sustain some of their music (ironic because of downloading and all the terrible stealing it brings).

And you won’t just find Edmonton bands and artists by hitting up sites that are popping up and flourishing to fill the void of MySpace, the Internet also provides a home for mixes, compilations, promotion, distribution, and discussion of music – from Edmonton and afar.

Let’s jump into some places we think you’re going to find plenty of music you’ll like.


A night of fine Edmonton music

As we’ve talked about before, Thursday can be a great night for live music in Edmonton.

Tonight is one of those nights.

Over at Wunderbar, you’ve got a fantastic early show. Double-fantastic since you won’t be all groggy tomorrow at work. Cadence Weapon, fresh off his two-year stint as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, is playing fresh material at the little bar that is big. He’ll be with Mitchmatic and Ghibli, so, yeah, it’s a huge show.

Down the street (the street being Whyte Avenue) at the Pawn Shop tonight you’ll be able to find Black Mastiff, Hale Hale, The Get Down, and Misha and The Spanks playing as part of the New Music West festival and conference. That conference runs through the weekend.

For something a little different, there’s Edmonton: The Musical up on 118 Avenue. Live bands, theatre, fundraising for local arts groups; it’s pretty much a perfect package of Edmonton arts.

There will probably also be music, if only as accompaniment, to Latitude 53’s Thursday night patio party too.

Ultimate Edmonton Playlist

It is in no way the definitive Edmonton music library, but we jammed so much Edmonton music into our 6-part ShawTV series “the edmontonian presents” that it deserves its own post.

And, of course, we wouldn’t have had a single song without every single artist and band graciously allowing us to use their music in stories, segments, stingers, and as our final segment each episode. They are the best!

We used 57 songs from Edmonton artists (and 2 from non-Edmonton artists). 57!

No more excuses to not be listening to at least one of these bands or musicians. Edmonton’s got a thriving music scene, across all genres.

Here’s everyone you heard on our show. (more…)

Local man becomes puppet, jams with aliens

Through the miracle of social networking today, we have uncovered a treasure trove of videos by Edmonton filmmaker Simon Glassman, amongst which is the above puppet video for Doug Hoyer’s killer track “Lakes of Mars” (which Doug also very generously allowed us to use for our own diabolical YouTube purposes).

Simon’s website features a lot of great content – videos he and his crew have done for a bunch of great Edmonton bands – including the above puppet masterpiece from Doug Hoyer and another one of our favorite local bands Cygnets and “Felt Up,” a series of videos that re-enact the most awkward or embarrassing moments of interviewees with puppets.


What I’m saying, friends, is go to and kiss your productivity goodbye for the day. Also, don’t miss Doug Hoyer and The Joe (along with Mikey Maybe) as they kick off their big Canadian tour this weekend at Wunderbar. (via The Joe)

Twin Library Gets Their Dues (ugh, sorry)

Hey kids, part five of our ShawTV series ran last night – the episode was “edmontonia.” True story, the best part about doing the show, is that despite the super long hours and the super non existent pay, we get to meet all kinds of very cool people and learn about all kinds of remarkable, well, edmontonia.

But! While it’s all well and good to be indie TV producers, one of the down sides to working all guerilla style on the edmontonian presents is that we make mistakes. Case in point, the good folks at Twin Library graciously lent us their song “Shaking Hands” for last night’s episode – and I totally forgot to credit them for it in the broadcast version of the show. :( x 1000.

This may seem like a relatively small deal (in fact, that was what Twin Library said – they were incredibly understanding about it when we emailed them to say we’d caught the mistake and it couldn’t be changed for broadcast) – but we take the fact that anybody shares their work with us very seriously. We consider it a tremendous privilege to be entrusted with so much stuff, from music to stories to contributions – so we feel like pretty giant wangbots when it gets screwed up.

So I would just like to take a moment this morning to tell you guys that Twin Library is a very classy musical organization (that’s what bands like to called, right?), and I would like to thank them for a) their song and b) their incredible graciousness over my robbing them of the celebrity of a public access TV credit. Enjoy their excellent work below.

P.S. One more thing – we’ve had a lot of compliments about the music featured in the show. While Jeff and I would love to act like giant hipsters who are on the cutting edge of all things local, the truth is we discovered the majority of the bands by searching artists tagged “edmonton” on bandcamp.  If you have any interest in local music, it’s an excellent place to start.

Music on the TV

Consilience is another one of our new Edmonton favourites.

So, if you’ve watched even a few minutes of our ShawTV show, “the edmontonian presents,” then you know we are trying our best to fill it with Edmonton music.

There is a lot of great music being produced here in our city.

And the artists and bands that are helping us out by providing their music have our unending thanks. (Check out each show for a list of music: episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4.)

We have had one song, which will be in this Sunday’s episode (“edmontonia”) playing on repeat for the last couple of weeks. It’s called “Connecting Flight,” by Souvs, and it’s fantastic.

Take a listen:

One of my other new favourites (among the dozens of songs I now love) is “Birds” by The Fight. I am anticipating their new album.

And we have raided the Old Ugly album collection. Because Old Ugly is an Edmonton gem.

Strange Powers at The ARTery

While the festivals are beginning to roll, I want to note a move/concert/fundraiser happening tonight at The ARTery.

(Quick festival sidebar: Dreamspeakers is on downtown, and NextFest begins today.)

So, our old pals Mike and Arlenfrom Highwire Films – are hosting the fundraiser tonight. The money they earn will help them shoot more videos and films this summer.

The evening will include a screening of the documentary “Strange Powers,” about Stephen Merritt and band The Magnetic Fields. The movie starts at 9:30. Popcorn will be available. (It’s a movie, after all.)

Then, Edmonton musicians (with some prominent and recognizable names in there) will perform covers of Magnetic Fields songs. And maybe other songs. I guess they’ll all see how the night goes.

Tickets are $10, and available through The ARTery’s website and YEG Live. Now, THAT’S a Thursday night in Edmonton.


Tim Gilbertson et al

A couple of the band members try out sweet, neon sunglasses.

Continuing our great tradition (at least today) of posting items that slyly promote our new show on ShawTV (Sunday night at 9pm!!!) let’s talk about Tim Gilberston. The man. The band. The music.

Tim Gilbertson play the Pawn Shop tonight. Before you get all up in my face about grammar, I said “play” because the band around Tim the man is called Tim Gilbertson (as opposed to, say, Tim Gilbertson and the Neon Sunglasses).

They’ve got a new video out. You might have seen “In The Ice” floating around the Internets in the last few weeks. It’s a rockier, fuller rock sound than previous, folky/rootsier songs from Gilberston. But one thing remains the same: it’s awesome.

OK, time to explain how this too all relates to our new show on ShawTV, “the edmontonian presents.” Tim and his bandmates will be featured in our first episode this Sunday. They play a song that is so melodically sweet it gets me right here, every time (I am pointing to my heart-area).

They kick off a national tour tonight at the Pawn Shop. It’s going to be one heck of a show, with Cygnets, Sister Gray, and Summer Games. Tim et al. won’t be back this way until a show in Hinton on May 22. Godspeed, good sirs.

Looks good to us.

Credit, debit, Brazilian Money

In the fine tradition of thinly veiled attempts to talk about ourselves, why don’t you let me tell you about Brazilian Money. You may already know their excellent work.

Started by Garrett Johnson, who is currently living in Kelowna, as he puts it “taking a break from Edmonton and going to school for carpentry and cabinetmaking while I live for free at my parents house. Not very rock and roll. Everybody else [in the band] lives in Edmonton” – Brazilian Money has recently released an excellent new album called “This is not a Dream,” which is currently ranked second on CJSR’s top 30.

But, as I mentioned, this is ultimately all about us, so it also bears mentioning that Garrett and the Brazilian Money crew have been incredibly gracious in letting us use their fantastically kickass song “Ghetto Lung (Get Along Nah)” as the theme to our new show on ShawTV. The song appeared on last year’s CJSR compilation, and is but one selection from an excellent album that you can download over at their Bandcamp.

I super-creepily tracked down Garrett on Facebook, where he told me that the band’s anthemic, lo-fi sound actually started out as a recording project. (more…)

New jamz: Champion Song by Cousin


champion song by cousin

Download Cousin's "Champion Song" for free at his Bandcamp site

Listen, I’m gonna spare you guys me going on at length about WINTER or SNOW or this weather basically amounting to EMOTIONAL LARCENY – because I’m pretty sure we’re all adults here, having at least a passing familiarity with the seasons.  We can all see how gross it is that we’re under 3 inches of snow in the middle of April.

Instead, I am going to pretend all is well, and do what I do best, which is give things away, for free, that don’t belong to me.  The above track, from local rappity-hopper Cousin, was passed on to me by our buddy – and, somewhat confusingly, Cousin’s cousin –  Omar A.O.K. Mouallem (who can also be seen in the video, rocking the boom box and sporting a snappy bowtie).  The song is available for free download  – just click on the album art to get your copy.

I very much dig Champion Song. It’s a catchy, inspiring tune, made even more so by the video – which paints a picture of a time with sun and sky and visible pavement, long before we were trapped inside the winter of our discontent. It makes Edmonton look PRETTY SWEET, kind of like getting a professional glamour shot of the whole City.

Thanks for the pick-us-up, Cousin!




Rock ‘n’ Roll Slumber Party

I’m listening to the new Falklands EP “Slumber Party” as I type to you, Edmonton. Totally worth the $3.

It’s a little slower, maybe more mellow, than their album “Think About It.” It’s a good mellow.

Wait, $3?

Wow! Those Falklands know how to have a good time. (They also love backgammon. Ask them about that some time.)

Speaking of good times…Falklands will be throwing one heck of a hall show this Saturday, with Ben Disaster & The Cosmonauts, The Group Sound, and The Dizzies. You get all of that great, Edmonton, rock ‘n’ roll for just $10. Bands start at 7pm for this all ages show at Idylwylde Hall.

How about we give you some free tickets? Yeah, that sounds about right. Let me know in the comments what delicacy I enjoyed with Falklands guitarist Mark Budd and you’re in the draw.

This is the kind of fun you could be having. Tambourine fun:

p.s. To spread the love you can’t have won anything from us in the last 30 days.

All Hale’s Breaking Loose (sorry) OR How #yeg’s Hale Hale Got to Open for Sam Roberts

In life, my friends, we are afforded opportunities at every turn. So many, in fact, that we cannot possibly be expected to go after them all. I, myself, tend to filter these opportunities, choosing the ones that appear to be the most easily attainable. You will not find me pursuing, say, a doctorate in neurobiology, or an Olympic Gold medal, or building a better seahorse. These things all seem exhausting, complicated, and ultimately demanding of A LOT of human effort. NO THANKS.

But! Perhaps that is a mistake. Let the following tale be a lesson to us all – sometimes, the shortest distance between two points is just calling the venue and asking if your band can open for Sam Roberts (this will make sense in a minute). (more…)

Thursday is now music night

Alright, so Friday and Staurday will probably still be the busiest nights of the week for live music in Edmonton, but Thursday is making a move.

Look at tonight:

That is among the other concerts and performances I did not mention.

Buckle up for Thursday night shows.


Also today, and running through Saturday, is a new The Fashion Event – because you love fashion!

(At the Best Western Westwood Inn.)

Thursday Night Music (again)

It appears that Thursday night is setting itself up as a premiere music night in Edmonton.

Tonight, for example, you can choose from a local folk-popster on a great Edmonton label, a big Canadian name hitting the city, an eclectic prairie band swinging through, and some world beats at a fantastic venue. Not too shabby. (And for any music I’ve missed check out YEG Live.)

Now then…Doug Hoyer is at Leva Cappucino Bar, as part of the Old Ugly concert series. He’s got a new recording coming out soon, so maybe he’ll break out a song you haven’t heard before. Or maybe you haven’t yet had the fortune to see Mr. Hoyer so it will all be new to you. Oh the exciting options!

The Winspear Presents series has Salif Keita tonight at the Winspear. The long-time afro-pop musician is going to transport our humble Winspear to west Africa via song. (We’re giving away tickets to Friday’s Winspear Presents performance.)

I was alerted, through a news release-ish e-mail, that Winnipeg’s Flying Fox & The Hunter Gatherers are in Edmonton with their out there orchestral pop-folk. Prepare for that at The Nest (at NAIT).

And Canadian pop-rockers Mother Mother are at the Edmonton Events Centre tonight.


If you’re not up for live music tonight, you can always head over to Metro Cinema for the Turkey Shoot. It’s a live version of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, with tonight’s classic film being the 80s cold war action flick Red Dawn.

Rhythm for Research

This Saturday there’s a cancer research fundraiser at Original Joe’s Varsity. Now, what sets this apart is the fact the organizer, Erin Land, has gathered together one of the most formidable Edmonton music lineups I’ve yet to see.

And this is just to raise money on her way to running a half marathon in May. Talk about dedication to eradicating blood cancers!

“The cause is close to my heart for several reasons,” Erin writes in an e-mail.

“I’ve lost two family members, and very close friends of mine lost their daughter at the tiny age of 6. Finding a cure is important to me, and I’ll do what I can to help!”

So, Erin gathered her team from the #yegmusicclub (a local collection of music lovers) and they got to planning. In order for her to participate in the run, she needs to raise $3250 in donations for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.

For a mere $15 here’s what you could be listening to on Saturday. (more…)

The Winspear Presents

Edmonton loves its folk music festival. There’s no denying that when you see how quickly the weekend (though it’s starting to stretch out to most of the week) sells out each summer.

So I’ve been meaning to write about The Winspear Presents series of concerts happening this spring. Programmed by Edmonton Folk Music Festival producer Terry Wickham, it’s a selection of folk, troubadour, and world music, well in advance of the annual pilgrimage to Gallagher Hill. (more…)

Edmonton Music Awards

Among all the excitement (?) over the Juno Awards you may have missed the fact we’ve got the 2011 Edmonton Music Awards happening. Right now.

Part one of the EMAs was at the Haven Social Club last night and the exciting conclusion is Monday night. Tonight! At 7pm!

Last night’s awards included best live show and artist to watch.

Tonight’s hardware will include the best songs, artists, groups, music video, and more. There will also be live musical performance from great Edmonton bands like Wool on Wolves and The Provincial Archive (I think they both play tonight).

If you weren’t lucky enough to snag one of the tickets to the awards you can still watch them live tonight thanks to a live stream from the Edmonton Journal.

Go Edmonton Music!

Thursday Night Looks Alright

First of all, I have to mention Twestival. That’s tonight’s big Twitter meetup and fundraiser. It’s a chance to have a drink, enjoy the coolness of the Red Star Pub and meet some people you’ve only known in 140 character bursts. Edmonton Twestival 2011: The greatest night of your life. (I hear there will be mini-cupcakes and a fantastic assortment of door prizes and silent auction items too.)

(If you can’t make it, but would like help us raise money for the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation – think of the children! – you can do that on the Internet.)

Now, if you don’t want to come to Twestival, or maybe you just want to swing by for a drink and bid on an item in the silent auction before jetting off, there’s plenty for you to do tonight. (more…)

Old Ugly 2011 Concert Series

*Ahem*: From the desk of Old Ugly:

OLD UGLY, Leva Cappucino Bar, and CJSR 88.5 FM bring you

Every Thursday at 8pm you can catch a different OLD UGLY artist tearing up Leva Cafe.

No Cover! All Ages! Every single Thursday! My fellow citizens, what we have here is a veritable cornucopia of local talent.

3/10 Tyler Butler & Jom Comyn
3/17 Mikey Maybe & Racoon Suit
3/24 Layne L’Heureux
3/31 Doug Hoyer
4/07 Caity Fisher
4/15 DoT & Liam Trimble
4/21 Rene Sugarglider Wilson
4/28 Travis Bretzer
5/05 Diehatzu Hijets
5/12 The Joe

So, folks, if you would like to get out on the town this evening and make the most of these springtime temperatures, head to Leva (I recommend the Margherita Pizza) to catch the latest installment of the Old Ugly concert series, featuring Jom Comyn and Tyler Butler.


Axiomatic Hair of the Dog

By Amanda Bennett

The Black Dog and AXIOMATIK, together on Whyte Avenue for a rockin’ Saturday afternoon…

It was a barkingly cold day, again, in frozen Edmonton, but the cold didn’t dampen the spirits of the local crowd out for a pint and a little musical entertainment Saturday afternoon at Whyte Avenue’s Black Dog Freehouse. Typical Euro-pub decor is evident in the mirrored beer ads proclaiming: “Original Burton Ale” and “It’s a lovely day for a Guinness,” along with a collection of bottles, posters, a few Royal Family souvenirs and, of course, archival photos of dogs.

Tamara Cullen, the general manager for “The Dog”  had booked this gig for her pub, and was looking forward to be serenaded in birthday style, by one of her favourite local bands, AXIOMATIK.  True to their name, they delivered!  Their talent is apparent the minute the band strikes the first note. Shawn Lamble (lead guitar, keyboard and vocals), Greg Kolodychuk (bass and vocals), and Jayson Freeman (drummer and vocals) sang, played, strummed and rocked their hearts out for all to enjoy, the songs melodiously wafting amongst the crowd.

Lori Ann, a fan and high-school friend of Shawn’s for over twenty years sat next to me and told me some of her thoughts on the band. Shawn taught her how to play guitar and she told me: “Watching him play gives me goosebumps!” (more…)

One Way State Giveaway

Do you guys remember One Way State? We met them last May; since then, they’ve put out a new record and are about to embark on their second tour – it kicks off this Thursday at Brixx.

“This is our second tour since we’ve been a band,” says lead singer Cody Mack. “After our first tour in November 2010, we were already itching to get back on the road.”

“We seriously can’t wait to hit the road again. We’d love to do this full-time, but day jobs get in the way. Nick is a supervisor in a warehouse, Charley works in television, I’m a server, and Brandon is a mechanic, which comes in handy on the road. All of us would quit everything for a chance to make a living playing music.”

Cody explains that their first tour was paid for by money from past shows and ticket and merchandise sales – and they’re hoping to do the same this time around.

Anyway, despite the fact that, as Cody explains, “Each t-shirt sold is 1/4 tank of gas, so touring bands like ours REALLY appreciate it when you buy their merch,” One Way State is giving away a t-shirt AND a pair of tickets to their tour-opening show this Thursday. To get into a draw for the t-shirt and tickets you just have to leave a comment naming a One Way State song.

“Edmonton has been very kind to us…we know that Edmontonians love live music and love supporting homegrown talent. We’ve been very fortunate to have the family, friends, and fans that we do. They’ve all been very supportive, and we are in deep appreciation if this.”