Thursday, March 24, 2011

Punk Rock Girl

When I was a child, the only music I knew was the Solid Gold tape collection that my Dad got for free every time he filled up the tank of his wood paneled station wagon at Esso. Those glorious tapes were the soundtrack to every family road trip.

But as you get past the age of 10 and older, those oldies loose there cool and you enter a time when you are extremely musically fragile in terms of what is next. I think this is actually a cross road that defines you as a person for a very long time. In my case I could have gone down The New Kids on the Block route to represent my teenage years of musical expression (and thus clothing attire and dance moves), or I could have tried out that gangster rap stuff my friends were pushing on me and gone with NWA. Luckily, I had my brother Bill.

Being the youngest of three I looked up to my siblings and was pretty much a cultural sponge absorbing whatever they did in the late 80's/early 90's. What I absorbed from my brother was a recipe of punk and post-punk awesomeness that included The Ramones, Violent Femmes, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Cure, etc. But perhaps one of the greatest contributions my brother made to my young fragile little mind was the Dead Milkmen.

The Dead Milkmen, a satirical punk rock band that didn't leave my walkman. Their lyrics were hilarious and the songs gritty and fun. As a 12 year old, I fell asleep listening to them in my head phones and dreamed of hippie eating monsters, bitchin' Camaro's and punk rock girls that would one day take me around the world. My love for the band never really aided in actually finding any such girl as The New Kids on the Block were reigning supreme at that time in grade 7, but I didn't care.

So here is a tribute to two of my adolescent hero's; my Brother Bill, and the Dead Milkmen. Starting with the original "Punk Rock Girl" video, I've included a few other unique versions, including a cover of the song that we performed last weekend in Nelson, BC. From Shred Kelly, we thank you for swaying me away from a possible adulthood of dressing like Zac Morris, or Snoop Dog. Besides, strumming power chords at volume 11 in the basement with overly gelled bleach blond hair, snake skin doc martins, jeans that were more ripped than they were jeans, and an awkwardly placed tattoo of a frog was way better on Mom and Dad's stress.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dick Move... some in the band call it (a.k.a. Lesson's Learned on the album). Here it is at the Royal on Baker this weekend as we opened the night for Blackberry Wood, (my newest fav band with a lead man/guitar player who was dressed like something between Skeletor and General Lee, a crazy faced drummer, a fiddler that melted faces with awesome, a multi percussionist voo doo ballerina, and a Clockwork Orange looking fellow that played an upright wash-bin bass and an eerie sounding theramin, also known as a aetherphone/etherophone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox)

We are also stoked to have Jeremy back with us as he was down in his homeland of New Zealand, where an earthquake ruined his hometown of Christchurch while he was vacationing there for a month. Great to have you back you J-Bro.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Epic Weekend

Too many highlights. Whether it be rockin the Canmore Hotel for St. Patty's day, or playing at the Royal in Nelson with the fabulous Blackberry Wood, or staying in a ridiculously luxurious cabin at Red Mountain and playing a footstompin apres ski gig, then shredding hidden powder spots to top it all off, I can't pick what was the best part.
Probably when Blackberry Wood had us all lying on our backs on the dancefloor pedalling imaginary bicycles, while thinking "good god, these people can make us do anything."
Check them out, hopefully we can play another show with them sometime soon, cause good gravy that was fun.

Stay tuned for some great video footage we got from the show!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ski Bum: The Musical

About 5 years ago I dipped my toes into the world of environmental activism. I moved from Whistler to Fernie to work at a biodiesel production plant and started a non-profit organization spreading the word to ski bums alike about the impending doom of smaller snowpacks and fewer powder days in a warming climate. But, after a bout of sifting through large vats of conjealed fryer grease and awkwardly talking to crowds about climate change, I came to the realization that I wasn't really good at it. Maybe music was a better platform for me to plant the seeds of environmentalism. However one great thing emerged from that year of finding myself in the eyes of the planet.....I met Tyler Bradley.

Tyler is a resident of Rossland, BC, a ski town in the Kootenay's much like Fernie. He joined us that year in our march to green up ski resort operations and now five years later I have re-discovered Tyler Bradley. As it turns out he is an extremely telented writer and contributes his talents to various magazines, blog, film, and recently theatre. His latest work? "Ski Bum: The Musical" which is put on by Iron Mountain Theatre and I had the opportunity to catch the show last night on their stop in Fernie.

Now I'm not a theatre critic and I haven't recently attended too many musicals, but I can tell you from beginning to end this musical was epic. If you are ski bum you will laugh to tears. If you are not a ski bum, you will laugh to tears and get an entertaining insight on the culture that exists in ski towns. The musical is based around a cultural anthropologist out to study the behavior of ski bums by ethnographically inserting himself into the mix of ragtag characters. Every ski bum term is hilariously defined through comedy, song and dance. Song titles such as "Legendairyism", "Skinnin' on up" and "Ballad of the Lonesome Plow Driver" will have you in hysterics. If you don't fall in love with the characters, you might be a robot.

That said, I am happy to re-discover my friend Tyler Bradley. Go see it. The Iron Mountain Threatre crew are touring the Kootenay's with various productions and a schedule can be found at their website:
Also Check out Tyler's blog at

As for me sifting through vats of congealed fryer grease? Maybe it wasn't for me, but I guess if it weren't for that job, I wouldn't have moved to Fernie in the first place and might never have picked up a banjo. Thanks grease! You're tha