Final Thoughts

Wundi’s gone and Old Ugly has moved away. The two years I photographed and wrote this blog I drank too much and walked home late. I was quite often cold. I crouched on sticky tiles and blew out my ears. I wasn’t exactly happy, but I loved the people on the other side of that lens. I still do. This neighbourhood is filled with improbably kind and talented souls. Last summer, as venues closed and familiars moved away, Doug Hoyer pulled those folks together once more and produced Bike Month III: Bike to the Future. We celebrated with gin on the valley shore. There was a month of farewell shows and house parties. I cried in cars and on bicycles. The years of breathing too little had happened, happened when I was young and learning, and now they were over. I am glad I was there to take some photos and write down some thoughts.

The music isn’t over, of course. Everyone is still making records, bigger records. That work demands our ears and support more than ever before. This post is only my elegiac bow on this blog, and a nod to a few years in which I grew tremendously. Thanks for stopping by.



Edmonton Folk Fest 2014 // Part I

EFMF // 08/07-10/14

Band Battle Royale: Jack Accident Vs. Los Calaveras

Jack Accident / Los Calaveras // The Artery // 07/19/14

Diehatzu Hijets + Slow Girl Walking

/ Slow Girl Walking // Wunderbar // 07/05/14

Season of indecent dreams: Diamond Mind’s Liam Trimble

“It all started one day when I wrote the song ‘Diamond Mind.’ I wrote it in big bubble letters in a notebook like a 13-year-old. I was really enamored with that as an idea– it befit my process, which is incredibly slow, like condensing coal into a diamond. If anybody ever called a song a gem, you know that takes time.”

Liam Trimble tells his band’s origin story with a practiced confidence, though he fiddles with the french press of tea in front of him. His eyebrows know two positions: furrowed in thought and raised in curiosity. Occasionally his whole upper body bounces in easy laughter.

Astute observers of Edmonton music will know that three years after his acclaimed solo effort, Ultra Rare EP, Trimble has re-emerged with a full band behind him. That would be the sparkling collective known as Diamond Mind.

“I’ve always been really enamored of the family band model. Bands that are really close. Like the Ramones or Metallica or the Band. Something about the band/family… being united in that way is really romantic to me. Although I’m sure behind the scenes it always crumbles. There’s something really wrong with the Ramones and Metallica and the Band. But if we make great art it doesn’t matter. But we may never.”

One could easily argue that Diamond Mind has already set down some great art. Their recent EP, Fake Tape, tumbles listeners through eighteen minutes of Delphic bubblegum pop. Trimble’s lyrics send you down rich, mythic, spiraling slides of solitary narrative. The songs are jangly and shiny and undeniably doomful. Fake Tape certainly falls under my definition of good art, but Trimble doesn’t necessarily agree. Read More

Mitchmatic @ Union Hall

Mitchmatic // Union Hall // 04/04/14

Presenting: ISBE Edmonton

At ISBE Edmonton, attendance is a performance. In the back, guests sit on vintage couches on raisers under angled lights. We look over milling crowds to the front room, painted white and possessing the airiness of the Ono-Lennon home. Psychedelic prints and beaded torsos clutter the walls. This is Edmonton’s latest arts space. It is warm and bright and filled with sound. Otto Stalk, Ghost Cousin, and Doug Hoyer opened ISBE last month with swaying crowds and spinning lights. It was the first of the transcendent shows that are slated for the place. I have been told to expect an abundance of gallery shows, film screenings, and concerts in the coming months. More marvelous local art: ISBE Edmonton’s Christmas gift to you.

^ Ghost Cousin, “An Old Song”
ISBE EDMONTON // 11/23/13

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