Sound Checkby Amber Goodwyn

Checked out the Queen City Ex last weekend and was completely electrified by the psychedelic pastiche of blinking lights, colourful crowds and delicious sugar/fat/salt laden food (we had deep fried pickles, smokies, lemonade and cotton candy, hurrah!). I couldn’t bring myself to try any of the truly adventurous rides — the scariest machine I was strapped into was the classic Polar Express. Also, I felt my age as I waited in line sandwiched between teens who shimmied and mouthed the words to dub step tunes I didn’t recognize, which were cranked loud by the ride operators. And I felt the consequence of my appetite as I worked hard not to blow chunks onto the back of a couple of pretty girls’ windblown hair, mid-ride. I guess it’s official — I’m out of my 20s.


So, my partner and I have just moved into a house in the Cathedral area and we’re pretty pumped, despite living out of boxes. After the 33 hours of drive time it took to haul our stuff back from Montreal, we’re elated to have a backyard (almost unthinkable back east!) and a basement.  As someone who plays non-acoustic music, I used to practice in collective spaces filled with noisy rock bands. Most jammers in Montreal live in thin-walled apartments so it’s necessary to find a space for making music — for example, old factory lofts and run-down industrial areas. This isn’t the case for me now and this change of habit is thrilling. After living in Regina (in a lovely apartment) for almost a year, this whole basement thing is filling me with mounting excitement. And now that I’m reunited with my Fender Reverb Deluxe amp, I’m ready to get back to practicing on the regular.


Okay, obviously: the Regina Folk Festival looks pretty plum this summer with lotsa lady-fronted acts to check out. Have fun! My two non-RFF-related picks for this issue include the creative shoegaze sounds of the Montreal/west coast duo The Backhomes (Kees Dekker and artist Aimée van Drimmelen ) who are playing at O’Hanlon’s with the garage-y Florals on Thursday, Aug. 15. Be sure to save some bucks for the following night cuz you’ve gotta check out Saskatoon’s hazy ’60s-inspired rock band Powder Blue, who are joined by Shooting Guns and the Florals (busy dudes) at the Artful Dodger, Friday the 16.

In my ears: Jenny Hval’s Innocence Is Kinky (2013)

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