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From the Noticeboard

Dancing Queen for Hospice PEI

Join Playing with Choir at Memorial Hall on September 21 from 6–9:30 pm for a fundraiser for Hospi [ ... ]

WCB new grant program

A new Grant Program is now available through the Workers Compensation Board. The Program will provid [ ... ]

Talking Bands
by Fraser McCallum

Death AvengersThe Death Avengers are “a happy, healthy family” says lead singer, Aaron Jackson. “This band’s one of the best things that’s happened to me. I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else.”

It’s a family affair of sorts with brothers Aaron and Ryan Crane on keys and guitar. The electro-pop band is rounded out by Kelly Rayner on the Casio keyboard. The brothers have led popular PEI band Smothered in Hugs for years but the Death Avengers are barely a year old. The three boys all grew up in Morell and met along the way in school. Ryan and Kelly met later (she was a “townie” as he describes, tongue-in-cheek). Needing a live band for a party they were throwing, the Cranes pulled the foursome together, playing to friends at 3 in the morning. Something worked, as a year later, the Avengers already have a steady following, a thrilling live show, and funding for a demo CD under their belts.

Tinkerbell. Spacecar Racecar. Rattlesnake Jim. These are just a few of the band’s hilarious, yet electrifying tunes. “I had no musical knowledge when we started,” laughs Jackson. “But, I did have a binder full of lyrics from high school. I was ecstatic I could use this stuff!” When it comes to the writing phase Jackson’s job is to come up with slogans and abstract lyrics, says Aaron Crane. “We build around Jackson’s ideas and themes. Kelly adds a sweet Casio hook or tone and then Ryan and I fill in around it.”

Jackson’s big influences include Guided by Voices, beat writers like Kerouac and Gatsby, and even the Power Rangers. This strange blend leads to a dynamic show that features tons of vocal chants, all-too-catchy riffs, and a thumping drum machine. Ryan adds, “I think if you come to an Avengers show, you lose the impression that this a side project. Aaron is just amazing.”

For Kelly it’s a slight adjustment being on stage. After years of dropping her boyfriend Ryan off to Hugs practices, she’s now writing songs and playing under the lights. “I’m getting used to it. It’s weird…but exciting.” When it comes to their working relationship Ryan makes it clear. “Kelly and Jackson are the fuel and Aaron and I are the machine that helps it work.” Ryan enjoys the contrast from the Hugs, where he writes and sings lead. For him there’s less pressure and more space to focus on guitar and really enjoy the music.

Although less business-heavy and perhaps more about fun than the Hugs, all four members are excited about the Avengers’ future. “There are tons of jokes but we take our shows seriously and want to accomplish something,” Ryan ensures. The Death Avengers recently received a grant and are now recording a demo with local producer Adam Gallant. Jackson wants to keep these tracks as live-feeling as possible. “We want that same sound. A little bacteria around the edges.”

As for their thoughts on the buzzing local scene the DAs are inspired. Ryan feels that Charlottetown is at its organizational peak these days. “There are so many bands right now. It’s a good thing.” The guitar player credits Steve Barber of Hunter’s, producer Adam Gallant, promoter Matt Dixon, Music PEI, and good old Baba’s as just some of the forces that are really helping to build a more professional local music scene.

The Death Avengers can be seen December 22 at The Guild’s Food and Warmth show in Charlottetown.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

Summer 1993

September 21–26
City Cinema PG, some language, mature content
Dir: Carla Simón, Spain, 98 min. Lai [ ... ]

Projections on the Plaza

Until September 29
Confederation Centre Plaza The public is invited to enjoy two outdoor film screen [ ... ]

The Bruce Guthro Songwriters Circle

November 3
Delta Prince Edward The Bruce Guthro Songwriters Circle, presenting Maritime legends and  [ ... ]

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Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Free transportation at Cloggeroo

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Charlottetown’s Historic Squares exhibit...

The City of Charlottetown Planning and Heritage Department has created an exhibit exploring the hist [ ... ]