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.