No S.C.E.N.E For Kristine. But There Will Always Be More Music.

(*Note. This is intended as a humorous article. The facts are true, but my melancholy, overstatements, and pomposity are all jokes.)

This post is supposed to be about all the fun times I had at the S.C.E.N.E Music Festival. I’m supposed to talk all about how I went to St. Catharines and the people were floored.

I was supposed to interview a great-but-undiscovered band and bring them to the Canadian consciousness. In doing so, I would prove what a spectacular talent I was. I would write my article and show my photos, and win myself a few prizes along the way. (I’m thinking a Governor Generals Award or three. And a couple of Granges. Nothing major. Yet.)

But none of it turned out that way because the universe hates me.

Instead, the night before S.C.E.N.E, I was admitted to the hospital with a migraine and severe dehydration. And the prescription to rid my ails? (Aside from some medicine.) ‘Plenty of rest.’

There went all my hopes and dreams, down the drain!  I felt like crying bitter tears. I felt like pounding my fists into the wall. I felt like tearing the very hair from my head.

This has given me inspiration for a new book. ‘Lamentations.’ (Nobody’s written that before right?) And even if they did, they don’t comprehend my pain. I mean, I missed a music festival. That’s like dying.

But there is an upside: The Canada Day weekend shines like a lighthouse. At Gage Park, there is It’s Your Festival. Snakecharmer, Frankie and Jimmy, and more will be playing. (It’s free.)

And Canada Day, This Ain’t Hollywood will celebrating the independence of our nation by shattering the sound barrier around it. There is going to be a Punk Rock matinée that runs from 5:00pm to 1:00am. We’re finally going to see and hear the result of all this waiting on one, all-Hamilton comp. ($10 gets you into the show and a record.)

Here, There, Everywhere, and Nowhere. All The Music I’ll Be Taking In The Next Few Weeks.

Tonight continues my massive intake of music. (3 out of 4 days at Burlington Sound Of Music was awesome.)

I’m seeing Crystaline at the Casbah. They’re a new band, and it will be interesting to take in their sound.

Then tomorrow, I head to St. Catharines for the S.C.E.N.E music festival.

In a lot of ways, I’m excited. I’ve never been to S.C.E.N.E, or St. Catharines for that matter.

I’ll be interviewing 10 bands tomorrow for the paper zine Thunder and this blog; it’s virtual copy. And of course I’ll be taking photos.

The bands I’ll be meeting range from well-known Canadian favorites (Die Mannequin) to recent up-and-comers (The Rebel Arms.)

It’s going to be an amazing day, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Then next weekend, I have assigned myself two tasks:

1. Cover It’s Your Festival in Gage Park.

2. Cover the Destroy Music 7 hour concert that celebrates the release of the comp, and the life of Imants Krumins.

I feel grateful that I get to take in this music, and that it’s happening in Ontario.

Review Of Gatling’s Alex Sallas And His Solo Show At Absinthe.

What do you do when you have three band mates, but they can’t play a show that you’re due to play?

What do you do when you’re scheduled to do an interview for your zine, but a key member of the team is off for Fathers Day?

The solution to both problems is you do the best you can.

I shot plenty of photos. I listened and evaluated in my own way so I could review the show. I did the interview for Thunder with voice recorder in tow. (And, Lord help me, I tried my hand at grabbing some footage. My partner who’s far better at video will have to examine it and see what can be used.)

Alex Sallas had even tougher challenge. Usually the drummer for Gatling, he found himself without three band mates and a show to play this past Sunday.

But music prevailed. First Alex got behind his kit and kicked out some impressive sounds that ranged from the great but simple; to infinitely more complex. (With the aid of three others holding up more cymbals and drums, Alex worked with an even bigger kit.)

Next he worked marvelously with his guitar while another person was behind the kit.

This was probably the most interesting part of the evening for me, as I have never seen Alex play guitar live. But  I have to say I was impressed. The playing was in the vein of Hard Rock and Metal, and I enjoyed it a lot.

The final part of the set came when Web Society’s guitarist Brandon Kummer and bassist Jeffrey Mills, plus some others, joined Alex and they played a tried and true Web Society number.

All in all, fantastic for a man without a band. (For a day.)

10 out of 10.

 

On The Road Again. I’m Headed For S.C.E.N.E

Summer really is a key time for music.

No sooner does Burlington Sound Of Music wrap up, and S.C.E.N.E music festival arrives.

I worked as a photographer and reviewer for this years BSOM, and I’ll be working S.C.E.N.E in the same roles. (Except the interviews and photos will be for Thunder.)

While it’s exciting, it’s also got me nervous. I’m further from home, (I’ve actually never been to St. Catharines), and I haven’t got work backing me.

So here’s hoping all goes well!!

5 Years In The Hamilton Punk Scene. (And I Can’t For More.)

(*Note: I know this is over a week early, but I expect to be busy in the upcoming weeks, and I wanted to write this while I was thinking about it.)

Come the 18th of June, there is an anniversary I celebrate.

On that day 5 years ago, I first attended a Punk show in Hamilton.

I know I have told this story before, but I love it. About this time 5 years ago, I went into Crash Landing. After paying for my purchases, store owner Suzanne handed me a flyer.

‘There’s a Punk Rock matinée next week. You should come.’ she said smiling.

I went to the show, petrified I would die.

But I had the time of my life. And since then, Punk has been one amazing experience after another for me.

I’ve heard more music than I thought could ever exist. And then I hear more.

I’ve taken thousands of pictures.

I have written thousands of words.

I’ve been to more shows than I can count.

But most of all, I have met some of the most amazing people in the world.

And my favorite part is that it’s all happened in my city.

I want to thank everyone that makes my experience of this scene so awesome. I will be thanking people in person as I see them at shows.

(* I wrote names as they came to me. I appreciate everyone and what they bring to the scene equally.)

Thank you for the 5 years of Punk, (and more in the future):

Suzanne

Crash

Nathaniel

Randy

The ladies of Rackula (All incarnations of the band)

The guys of Adelleda

The guys of Web Society

The guys of Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

Kelsey

Hailey

Phil

Craig

Missy

The guys of Born Wrong

The guys of Hangman Pinata

Jaime P.

Glen

Jody

The guys of the 413s

The guys of NOT

I also want to thank:

The bands from out of town

The bands of different genres

The staff of each venue

The independent record stores

The legal online music sites

The Hamilton Public Library

And The all free festivals.

All this contributes to my love of Punk, and love of music in various ways.