In Festivals…the Kaleido Family Arts Festival runs this weekend on 118 Avenue (part of Arts on the Ave)…down in Hawrelak Park there’s a peace concert this weekend, on September 11…Latitude 53’sVisualeyez is back next week…Community League Day is on Saturday, September 17…The Edmonton International Film Festival is back on September 23, and runs through October 1. That last day is Alberta Day, with plenty of homegrown films playing…For a little French flair, check out the Edmonton Chante music festival, September 23-October 1…Also beginning September 23 is the Edmonton Accordion Festival…the Edmonton Comedy Festival gives it a go, October 19-22…the same dates as Lit Fest…
When it comes to interesting Edmonton-based careers, there are some things I just don’t expect to find here at home. And “studio owner/recording engineer” would be pretty high on my list, somewhere after “ice cream taster,” but before “super-villain”or “space cowboy.”
So imagine my surprise in meeting 29-year-old Doug Organ. He is neither super villain, nor space cowboy; rather, a well known local musician (you’ll likely recognize him a former member of The Wet Secrets, The Whitsundays, or from his namesake Doug Organ Trio) and the owner, operator, producer and engineer of Edmontone Studio. It’s a young recording facility that has, since its inception just three years ago, housed recording projects for Edmonton luminaries like Christian Hansen and the Autistics, Tim Gilbertson and of course our buddies, The Omega Theory.
Edmontone started off as a lot of smaller jobs for Doug, who would often record in makeshift studios, like rehearsal spaces, or his own home.
“Well. it’s not like I’d set up a band in the apartment,” he laughs. “[Artists would] come over to do the vocals…but every time we needed to do beds, the band’s money was going to someone else’s studios or renting a space.”
Doug soon realized he could be earning a better return on his (and his clients’) time and money if he had his own space to record in – so he found an investor and set to work, searching out the right spot. (more…)
[If you missed this caveat last time, the difference between this format and other music items we run is that you cannot solicit your way into the Beat Laboratory. I just pick things I think are great and tell you guys about them. In fact, new rule: anyone who tries to solicit their way in gets barred for life! I’m stern. Stern but fair.
Also worth mentioning – some of the people I mention here are friends of mine, or at the very least acquaintances – the guys in N.N. are my upstairs neighbours at the space my own band rehearses in – but rest assured, I show no favoritism. If I wouldn’t throw down 15 bucks for their CD – because I live in 1999, where people still buy CDs – I won’t mention it here.]
What you need to know about N.N. before we get started – they play a brand of hard rock and punk that sounds like sort of a cross between Iggy and the Stooges and the Beastie Boys. They’ve had the same lineup for four years, even though during that time there’s been some shuffling (in the early days, Antonio Ponce – now the drummer – started as the lead vocalist). They’re about to release their first EP and are heading to Tokyo for Japan Music Week this fall. And they have very graciously hooked us up with a few songs for you guys to enjoy – but I am having a hell of a time getting them uploaded. I promise I’ll add them as soon as our Internet woes get sorted out.
Update: All fixed!
BUT! I DIGRESS! Another tale worth telling – I didn’t really know the N.N. guys very well before I dropped in to interview them this past Monday. While we were in their rehearsal space, a giant thunderstorm raged outside (you can see the lightning flashing in the window behind them during the video). Once we wrapped up, we discovered the lower level of the building (where my band rehearses) was flooding. And all five of them got soaking wet (alongside some of our other neighbours) helping move everybody’s gear to higher ground.
So if you would like to HONOUR the HEROES of N.N. and Van Gohst, I suggest you do so by purchasing a ticket to their Friday show at the Starlite Room.
You know, for all the folks in good old Edmonton I know who bemoan the lack of good local music venues, I’m sure there aren’t many who’d be like, “You know what?! Why don’t you guys play in my living room?”
But most people aren’t Tad Hargrave. In an epic feat of putting his money where his mouth is, Tad is opening his home to local musicians (who will have the chance to perform acoustically) and, more importantly, to you jackals, who can buy a ticket into Tad’s Garneau-area home for a suggested donation of just $15.
“Part of it was wanting to create something really special,” Tad tells me in a phone call. “I felt like it was a very easy thing to do to support my friends.”
Tad’s a musician himself, though he’s quick to say that he won’t be performing a living room session anytime soon. He’s really just interested in getting some of the city’s best unknown talent an audience.
“For me, it’s just like, you get to see these hidden gems in Edmonton. You get to have this very personal, intimate concert.”
Tad says the idea for these sessions came from two notions:
“Notion #1: Some music is best enjoyed in intimate, acoustic settings.
Notion #2: Edmonton is full of musical gems that many people, sadly, never discover.
“So this is a venue to introduce people to amazing new music found in their own backyard.”
Speaking of backyard, Tad came up with the idea at a backyard party he attended that featured local artists.
“I’ve been getting all these calls from other musicians I don’t know saying ‘Hey, can I play one of your living room sessions?'”
“The whole process has been teaching me how little musicians get paid,” he says.
100% of the donated “ticket” prices go to the artist.
Tad’s mom liked the idea so much, she even chipped $20 a show for the performer.
It’s 30 people max, first come first serve. For more info visit the Facebook group. (Get on it, there’s a show TONIGHT!)
THE LIVING ROOM SESSIONS #3
An Evening with Scott Cook
DESCRIPTION: it will be a 45 minute, candlelit evening of musical performance with a fireplace in a backdrop and 30 marvelous people sitting on couches, cushions, chairs and mattresses.
COST: suggested donation of $15 (100% of profits go to the artist)
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
If you listen well, lifelong traveler and musical hobo Scott Cook’s new album may remind you just how rare a commodity honesty is in today’s music scene. There’s an awful lot of talk about it, but very few songwriters really wear their hearts on their sleeve, and even fewer do it with such lyrical craftsmanship and raw feeling as you’ll hear on this record.
It has been two years and a lot of roads traveled since Scott Cook traded in his job teaching kindergarten in Taiwan for a full-time living as a musician on the road in North America, and while he’s certainly experienced his share of hardships and struggle along the way, he isn’t thinking of quitting. His self-published 2007 debut, Long Way to Wander, made the national folk top ten on college and community radio, and kept him on the road for the better part of two years, living in his van, playing constantly, picking up stories and passing them on. His newest “love letter to the world” is a fitting follow-up, and his best work to date. Entitled This One’s on the House, it’s a collection of road stories, existential ramblings, and musings on love, loss, and the courage to love again.
A wearer of many hats, Cook also builds websites, writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and co-organizes Taiwan’s Peace Festival, a non-profit music and arts festival that raises money for peace work and charitable work on Taiwan and worldwide.
(album notes via cdbaby)
I occasionally get e-mails from record labels/PR folks letting me know that one of their bands are in town and may be of interest you guys. Most recently, it’s Guelph, Ontario’s Green Go, who are playing here tomorrow, twice – first, during the day over at Grant Mac’s back to school festivities, and then again tomorrow night at the Hydeaway, alongside Warrior Music, The Rivals and Protocol.
Now believe me, I need to fill a page as much as the next guy – but when it comes to music, I try to be as discerning as possible. Hats off to all you musicians out there, but some of you are terrible. (I can say that because I am also a musician, and sometimes, I am terrible. But let’s not make this about me). And if I go sending you guys to terrible stuff all the time, you’ll never believe me when I say anything.
My point here is that you should believe me when I say that Green Go is great. They sound kind of like a cross between the Go Team! and Electric Six. They have a song called Danger Bay, you guys. They’ve also been remixing a bunch of songs by other Canadian artists, including my favorite favorite favorites the Rural Alberta Advantage.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – they are so pumped about their first tour out west that they’re giving us a pair of tickets for tomorrow night’s show at the Hydeaway AND and a song for you guys to download and check out.
So here’s an mp3 of Brains for Breakfast. Don’t say we never get you guys anything.
And if you would like to win the pair of tickets to tomorrow’s show, send an e-mail email@example.com and tell us; Who the Mayor of Guelph is!
That’s right, it’s been five years. FIVE YEARS. If it the Starlite were a kid, it would be starting kindergarten in September. If it were a marriage, it would be (at least statistically) right on the verge of separating. If it were a goldfish, it would have died like four and a half years ago. It’s a noteworthy anniversary for a building that is, arguably, a music institution in Edmonton.
30-year-old Julie Ogg handles booking, marketing and event planning for the Starlite Room, and has seen the whole thing unfold.
She was there when the doors opened back in 2004.
“I was even here when they were setting it all up,” she says. “It’s been crazy. I can’t believe it’s been five years now.”
“I got my start because my roommate … when this was still the Rev, he used to production-assist shows. He used to … bring all the catering, and he was the runner; and he was like ‘Oh, I need help,'” she recalls.
“I basically started as a doorgirl. I worked behind the bar, I served. I worked the bar during the day, and ran doors during the night.”
Julie says that, for her, this was an unexpected career path. Her background is in psychology, and she spent time working with autistic children before starting at the Starlite. It’s led to plenty of other music-related projects too; Julie organizes an annual electronic music festival and is involved with Vibe Tribe, the Tribal belly dancing troupe. She credits her career at the Starlite with opening a world of opportunities. (more…)
If you like music, free stuff or the Winspear Centre, Wednesday is your kind of day.
If you like all of the above, you probably already know where this is going.
The Winspear Centre is inviting you to a free (free!) lunchtime concert Wednesday, noon-1pm.
Below are the musical details:
You get acclaimed organ and piano team “Duo Majoya” (Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger) with revered Edmonton trumpeter Alvin Lowrey performing Mussorgky’s Pictures at an Exhibition arranged by Lowrey. The program begins with Bédard’s Capriccio for Organ and Piano, and Duo Majoya’s arrangement of Elgar’s Salut d’amour.
This is more a pre-emptive kind of letter, before you get all up in my business about the business of Edmonton.
We are all about Edmonton here at the edmontonian, as I think our daily pile of posts can attest. You may, however, have recently noticed one or two entertainmenty stories popping up.
Living in a metropolitan area of one-million people we get plenty of bands and artists swinging through, whether as part of larger festivals or just on their own tours. That’s a part of living in the big city and that’s something worth celebrating via previews, reviews and interviews. I’ve lived in smaller places and I know what it’s like to only hear about such things happening elsewhere.
Movies, you say, Hollywood movies aren’t from Edmonton!
True, I agree (because you’re so smart), but the movie is showing at theatres in Edmonton and plenty of people in this fair city will be seeing the movie and talking about it at work (instead of doing actual work). Plus, our writers and reviewers are all from Edmonton.
It’s a grey area, I know. But I think if we stick to talking about Edmonton and talking with Edmontonians (and hearing from you) we remain 100% Edmonton.
Now, here’s a picture of something 100% Edmonton:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN….I GIVE YOU….SHOCKERRRRRRRRRR…………………..
Have a good weekend, folks. (more…)
A little plug for a buddy of mine from high school. Because I’m lazy, I just pilfered this from the facebook event posting:
Come out to the New City Likwid Lounge on Thursday June 18ff to come check out Gab’n with Willie Dieminzzz and Snarf (of Shout Out Out Out Out and 99 a 100). Gab’n is releasing his first vinyl single of the hit song, Thinglish Thanguage. The Vinyl comes complete with remixes by Nik 7 aka the Poronomasiac and Willie Dieminzzz. Also performing on Thursday will be the Legendary Burro. He will be a one man rock show that will freak you out. Also DJing and representing that house unt techno sound will be none other than Nik 7.
Come get down to a weird mix of slammn’ beats, quick intelligent raps, screeches and howls and danceable grooves.
The show is 5 bucks and starts around 9pm.
New City Likwid Lounge (Jasper Ave and 102st)