Tuesday, 15 January 2013


That chick in the Swiffer commercial where she takes her mop to the basement and it starts hitting on that other cleaning appliance and she walks upstairs is really disturbing if you think about it.

There are 2 options: 1, is that the mop et all are actually alive, and 2 is that she is hallucinating.

Let’s look at this a little more closely here. In the first scenario, this woman is aware of the fact that her mop is alive (and apparently sentient) – this is supported with the previous Swiffer commercials that presents the idea of living cleaning apparatus. This means that, like all living creatures, it has basic needs that have to be met for survival.

This woman is locking her mop away in the basement for an indeterminate amount of time. It will die in there, cold and in love with another thing that died before it because it’s been down there longer. She is starving her old things just because they’re not as useful. She is a monster.

In the second, this woman is displaying symptoms of some severe mental issues, or is on a lot of drugs. Inanimate objects don’t just come to life – everyone knows that. So, is she taking a lot of drugs and cleaning (awesome) or are there more sinister processes at work?

I guess that’s really 3 scenarios, but I broke it down to its simplest form (real vs hallucinated) so it’s ok. Math. Powerful stuff.

I’m not sure why I wrote this, or why I decided to post it.

Oh well!

-          Erin

Friday, 5 October 2012

Broken Promises, Paper Lions, and an Interesting Summer

This was a big year for death in music. Not just the celebrities who've passed over 2012, but things that actually affect YYC music as a whole.

The Kensington Jam House, of which I was lucky enough to be a part of, as well as the Marquee Room, have shut their doors to the Calgary scene in one of the saddest years I've ever been witness to. Two of the most iconic (in my opinion, at least) gathering areas of the Calgary music scene, in the same year, each had their own mournful death cries, to the chagrin of their frequenters. Such a sad, sad year.

The Marquee Room was one of my favorite places in the city. It was also one of the places I first started interviewing and reviewing bands, back in the day when I wrote for that other publication, which shall remain unnamed to protect the innocent. I hadn't been there in quite a while when I found out about what was going to happen to it, and I regret that completely. It was an eye-opener for all of us, showing that no matter how much love a place or person can have, it still will come to an end eventually. I wish I had gone more, and that is honestly my only regret thus far for 2012.

As you all probably know, I was staying at The Kensington Jam House for the majority of this year (March through September). That, sadly, has fallen apart as well, with first Eric and then Cole leaving. This left Gavin (Boyd) and I with some... less then desirable roommates. I left after paying my September rent because holy shit. That was incredibly sad for me. I have about 50 pictures on my phone of just the house and property from the day I left, just so I don't forget the place where I made so many of my closest friends. It was my home before I lived there, and I'm sad that its fallen into such.... Unpleasant hands. It deserved better than that.

On a brighter note, I totally get to interview Paper Lions, who are coming to town next month on the 17th. They also happen to be one of my favorite bands. I might die before I ever get around to publishing the article with BeatRoute, just because I'll be so happy that it's a possibility. I mean, people in the movies always die or have a horrible tragedy when they're at their happiest, so obviously it'll be the same with me.

Real life is like the movies, right, guys? Right?

I'll post the highlights of that, as well as the Just for Laughs Comedy Tour, which I'm also totally covering for BeatRoute. Awesome. This, I think, is going to be a good month.

I'd post highlights of local bands, but honestly, I've been busy as shit with freelancing and working all the goddamn time and trying to have a social life once in a while, so I'm a bit out of the loop at the moment. I'll do some digging this weekend probably. Hopefully, that won't be another one of those promises that I break to you all.

Sorry about that, by the way.

- Erin

Friday, 10 August 2012

Innocence and Cynicism

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away

Yes, I know this album has been out since 2007, but I just can't stop listening to it right now. For the last few weeks, it's been consistently not skipped on my iPod, which is saying something.

Particularly, A Comet Appears. That song. Wow. That song. Something about it gives me goosebumps. It's ethereal and grounded at the same time. It reminds me of slowly losing innocence and wonder in favour of adulthood and cynicism.

When I picked up Wincing the Night Away at the beginning of the 11th grade (god I feel old saying that), I didn't listen to it for a long, long time. I had, and still have, an odd quirk about me: I love physical CDs. Anything. If I don't know the band, whatever, I'll listen to it eventually, but even if I think it's garbage, I'll keep it forever. I'm glad I do that, now, because though I had no idea who these Shins people were, I picked up that album and I kept it around until I was actually cool enough to listen to it.

Thank god.

If you've picked up this months BeatRoute, check out my interview with OC band Young the Giant. If you haven't picked it up, what the hell is wrong with you? You should probably get on that. The article is on page 15 (not that I notice things like that...) so give it a look!

Also, I'm going to see if I can kidnap my good friends Jesse James and Tammy from Makeshift Innocence to talk about the huge number of tours they're working on, as well as what's next on the menu for the quickly-blooming band.

If you have any requests, I'll see what I can do, just send them in. I have my ways ;)

- Erin

Oh Hey Hannah!

Wow! Life has gotten hectic with a capital WHAT THE FUCK in the last few months! Those who know me well know what's going on, and those that don't... Well, it's easier if I summarize rather than detail it all.

Before September 1st, I need to:
- Move. This means packing, finding boxes, finding a place, and saving up (somehow!) enough for a damage deposit and first months rent.
- Continue to work 2+ full-time jobs. Between my day job, BeatRoute, freelancing, and several books, I've been working 20-ish hour days, 7 days a week. Yikes!
- Run my own business. My freelancing is technically my own business, and I need to treat it as such. This means start-up nonsense like stock spreadsheets, invoices, budgets, and expense tracking.
- Still manage to have some semblance of a social life! I'm not turning into (more) of a hermit, guys, I promise. I just have a whole lot on my plate tonight.

Like BPO and Mammoth Grove at the New Black tonight! Rumour has it, the beer is cheap, and it's only a $5 cover. Plus, it's Mammoth Grove and BPO. Who would miss that?!

I promise I'll get more on top of this thing one of these days, guys. Pinkie swear.

- Erin

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Summer, Booze, and Music

Whew. This has been an excruciatingly busy few months. So many articles, and research, and have I mentioned I'm working on 2 books at the moment? It's exhausting! Yes, I am shirking blame for my lack of updates, and yes, I am shirking it onto other work, but I'm also blaming my friends a little bit. Mostly Cole. He's a son of a bitch.

That being said, his band, the Nix Dicksons, have had an incredible summer. They're playing on the 24th of this and next month, with the odd show between. I think they've been to the stampede like 4 times now, and tonnes of parties.

To those who don't know, TAMMY IS BACK! Finally. She's actually been here for like a week now, I've only just gotten around to writing this. With Tam comes her band, Makeshift Innocence, who played on the Coke stage this year as the final show of their tour. I'll ask her and Jesse James for real about their trip pretty soon here, so keep an eye out for that.

I interviewed OC band Young the Giant today as well. We talked tour, energy, future records, and festivals. Look for that one in next month's BeatRoute, but I'll also post a few good tidbits here.

The last thing I'm going to talk about is X-Fest, which is coming up on September 1st at Fort Calgary. I'm going, and you should go, too. It's going to be a lot of fun, and I heard there's going to be more bathrooms than  last year (YAY!). Bands include Young the Giant and Silversun Pickups.

That's it for now guys, sorry for the slim pickins. I'll probably have a Nix review as well as a couple CD reviews and some tidbits from YTG on here in the coming days.

Peace & love,

- Erin

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Blues

Last summer, right around this time, I was working at a local record shop called Heritage Music. It's easily the coolest place I've ever worked, and I still love going there. The owner is a genuinely sweet guy with a huge love of music... and a huge music collection.

The best part of working there was that we could listen to anything in the store, as long as it was already open. Even if it wasn't, sometimes, we'd still listen to it. I had everything from punk rock to folk to psychedelic music at my fingertips. It was absolutely amazing, especially since the record player behind the counter was almost constantly the source of the music.

This was where I started really listening to the White Stripes and really realized my love for vinyl records. This was also where my coworker introduced me to real blues.

Yes, of course I'd heard the blues before. But never any classic blues. The stuff that started everything. Son House. J.D. Short. B.B. King. Muddy Waters. There were so many rainy days, when there were few, if any, customers, and we would just be working on whatever project Jerry had us on at the time, listening to the blues and the rain outside.

I had never really listened to the blues before. It has a tendency to sink into you and settle in your veins. Even when it becomes background noise, it peppers your mood. It's beautiful and wonderful.

Working at Heritage was the precursor to my summer, and it was a pretty eventful one. I wonder if my newly developed love for the blues had influenced it at all.

So, today, since it's rainy and gloomy, I'm going to sit and listen to the blues and prepare myself for whatever this summer has to bring. 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Oh, Kenton. (BPO)

Well, as many of you have heard, Black Phoenix Orchestra bassist Kenton Amstutz has a broken collar bone. It's not just broken, though - he managed to snap it in two places.

Now, don't get me wrong - all the guys from BPO are smart. Really, really smart. They're awesome to chill out and chat with, on top of being one of the best groups Calgary has come out with in recent years. That being said, they do some really stupid shit.

Like backflipping off a tree on Stephen Ave.

The show must go on, however, and despite his broken (in two places!) bone, bassist Kenton played a show on May 15th, just under 2 weeks since his, for lack of a better term, accident. Sadly, I worked a closing shift and missed it, but apparently he managed to bang his bad shoulder on the merch table just before their set, and got to enjoy shouldering his bass a little awkwardly to avoid extra pressure.

And apparently, in true BPO fashion, they killed it.

I always miss the good shit.