La Scéne de la Scéne
by Stephan MacLeod
Port Citizen's Last Waltz
The number one band in Charlottetown is calling it quits on the first weekend of November at Melon's. Brodie, Pete and Jon have been building a loyal following of fans with their blend of reggae-influenced jams and speedy hard rock songs. Lead singer and guitar player, Brodie Read is leaving Prince Edward Island after finishing a semester of classes at UPEI, so the band has decided to amiably go their separate ways.
The musicians have been playing together since they were in high school. Nine years ago they formed Shoeloop with Andrew MacLaine and Andrew Gauthier. Brodie Read was the only member of the group with musical training, while Jonathan Holmes pounded out his first beats on two buckets with a piece of pipe between them. Pete MacDonald started off as lead vocalist, but after Andrew Gauthier left the band, he took up bass, Andrew MacLaine became the singer, and Supercar was born. The members of Supercar got their punk rock chops together and left a huge impact on Charlottetown's all-ages scene through legendary shows at the Arts Guild. When Andrew MacLaine left the band, Brodie, Pete and Jon decided to veer into a completely different musical direction. The result of their musical maturation was Port Citizen.
After four years of redefining the Charlottetown music scene by mixing flavours of world music with a unique East Coast rock sound, Port Citizen's absence from local venues will be felt long after they stop playing. Be sure to catch them on as many dates as you can before they play their final show. There will be a lot less dancing once they're gone.
Take Me To The Hospital, Then Drive Me Back To Baba's
This year's Close to the Close Music Festival started with a bang. I was rushed to the hospital shortly after that bang - which dislocated and broke my wrist - but that's the price you have to pay when you walk on a monitor during the show. My band, Windom Earle was the opening act the first night of the fest, and unfortunately I missed sets by Slowcoaster and Tuesdays as I was having my wrist put back in place, but I managed to catch the end of Rock Ranger's set and a few tunes by The Squatters after I got out of the hospital. I didn't stay too late because of all the morphine I was given at the hospital. The next night three of Halifax's best kept secrets played to a disappointingly small crowd. Dusty Sorbet's charming hobo tales set a peaceful tone throughout Baba's Lounge, but the atmosphere was quickly assaulted by the clever indie rock of The Burdocks. Bass player, Christian Simmons leapt half way across the dance floor from the top of a booth seat during their high flying set. The highlight of the show was the one-man new wave dance party, A/V, and his candy rack of synths, drum machines, and a sequencer. The third night had a hell of a combination of bands. Eyes For Telescopes played one of their loudest shows ever with guitarist Dan Currie returning for the first time since he went away in August. And former Guthrie, Matt Mays tore the house down with his powerful songwriting, passionate delivery, and collection of bowling trophies. The final night was wrapped up with a set of new songs by The Rude Mechanicals. But the talk of the night was Skratch Bastid's electrifying set of crowd-pleasing turntable tricks. Neuseiland returned with their heart-felt experimental pop songs. They were kind of like a cross between Kraftwerk and a down tempo country band. And I have to give a shout out to Under the Hood who opened the final show because Jeff drove me to the hospital. After the show was over, I saw Matt Mays play a full set at an after hours party, and ate croutons with Skratch Bastid. A perfect end to a music festivals that puts musicians first.
Emo Band Goes Back To The Future
Over the past year, .onepoint21. has emerged as one of the premiere new bands in Charlottetown's emo scene. The band's name is a reference to the amount of jiggawatts needed to power a DeLorean for time travel, and as of this summer, fans of the band will need to travel back in time if they want to see the group again. Their guitarist, Jason injured his hand in what their website describes as "an ugly ferris wheel accident" and lead singer/guitarist, Jim Scarth is attending school in Halifax now. There will be two less emo dots on all-ages shows in the future.
Rudes Track Down Venus Flytrap
The Rude Mechanicals will be taking their first trip to the United States together to play the Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati. The festival will host over a hundred bands from all over the world at the best venues for live music in town for three days and nights in late September. The Rudes will be playing on Saturday, September 28th at The Cavern.
Two Prince Edward Island bands have been accepted at this year's Halifax Pop Explosion. Flush will be showcasing at The Planet with Shyne Factory, The Co-Stars, and Leviride on October 4. And I will be playing as Windom Earle at The Khyber with other experimental electro artists Mitch and the Motorhomes, Girls Are Short, and I am Robot and Proud on October 4. Joining Windom Earle will be Julien St. Pierre from Hands Held Open and Jeff Coll from karaoke at Breaker's.
The University of Prince Edward Island's Student Union has recently opened its new post-Barn home. The Student Centre features a large mainstage area and a new bar unfortunately named The Wave. Right from the start, the student union appears to be trying to win over students who would normally choose Myron's over the campus for their weekend drinking binges. The Wave is being promoted as a dance club and venue for live music. On its opening weekend, David Usher and The Rude Mechanicals played on the main stage in a room that resembles a shopping mall food court. Despite the large attendence at their show, The Rude Mechanicals felt their first performance in the new building was a bit of a dissapointment. "I was pissed off because they put us in that big room. It should have been in the bar. Being in a big room isn't any way to represent what we were in the Barn," says Dennis Ellsworth. Meanwhile Myron's has started exclusive bookings of The Jimmy Swift Band, a band that used to play at The Barn.
Go To These Shows
Eyes For Telescopes CD Release Featuring surprise guest performers on October 11. Venue TBA. Royal City with The Tuesdays at Baba's on Friday October 4. Heavily influenced by Neil Young, Royal City are Canada's premiere folk rock band. The Constantines with Eyes For Telescopes at Baba's Lounge on Saturday October 5. You like rock music? You want power chords? Are you going to finish that sandwich? The Silverhearts at Brennan's on October 12. I swear to God, there are fourteen people in this band, and one of them plays a saw. Sector Seven at the Charlottetown Boys and Girls Club on October 11. These guys are so punk rock, they're sponsored by a corporation. Oi oi oi!