Greetings Edmonton music listeners. I’d call you a scene but you all know it’s bigger than that these days. Edmonton has a punk scene, a hip hop scene, a hardcore scene, a metal scene, a country scene, and at least a dozen or so people following any other style of music.
This blog will be an attempt to amalgamate a few of these scenes. You likely won’t catch me going to a country show any time soon, but aside from that, I’ve been known to make appearances at almost any other kind of show.
Most of our city’s music coverage has 2 simple issues: boosterism and compartmentalization.
A lot of the music reviewers in Edmonton fall victim to the fact that they a scared to produce honest evaluations of the bands they see. Instead they pump out weekly reviews praising their friends in bands. That way, they’ll never offend anyone who they think matters, and they’re guaranteed at least a handful of shares and reposts on social media. This is boosterism.
The other issue comes when artists pigeonhole themselves in attempts to increase their draw. Take, for example, North American folk music. It’s been my assertion for years that this genre will never progress or come out with anything interesting until they relieve Bob Dylan of his position as all knowing deity. While there have been exceptions, the vast majority of North American folk musicians I’ve encountered understand Dylan as the best folk artist that will ever live. They don’t even really need to say it – their music confesses for them. But how will a genre ever improve or produce something new when every participant strives to sound like Bob “90% of my songs are in the same key” Dylan? Furthermore, if these artists do branch out, reviewers will still compare them to Bob “articulation is for squares” Dylan.
This is compartmentalization. Each little scene in Edmonton has isolated itself to the point that folkies never hear local metal, metalheads never hear local dance music, and ravers aren’t even sure whether a jazz scene exists in Edmonton. These little cultural nooks that both artists and audiences force themselves into don’t help anyone.
As a journalist, I believe both of these issues can be solved with good writing.
This blog will produce reviews of and interviews with local musicians of all stripes. More importantly, it will be honest and objective. I don’t have a favourite local band, I don’t really care whether artists share my review of them on facebook, and I attend shows almost solely based on my physical ability to be there.
So if you’re interested in current Edmonton music and can take a little constructive criticism, stop by. I’m sure my opinions will be contested, so feel free to openly and strongly disagree with my assessments. This blog will thrive on discussion and I will contribute as much as possible.