by Amber GoodwynSound Check

My listening life of late has been littered with black tangled cords, buttons, glowing screens and car stereos. I cycle through my favourite albums, download exciting new music previews and search the endless Internet for interesting bands to feed my personal and professional musical appetites. Then I go to a show that’s the equivalent of taking the red pill in The Matrix and have all of the electric machines unplugged from my vitals (cue recent performances by Babysitter and the affecting Andy Shauf).


All this is to say: there’s nothing like live music, though it’s easy to forget about how awesome it is in our media saturated (half) lives. Live sound is felt as well as heard, and the acoustic and social dynamics of a venue have a different impact on a person than recordings do.

For my part, I find the innate unpredictability of live performance to be the most potent element of all, whether it’s a pop band’s show or a free-form improvisation. It sort of feels like the difference between movies with CGI explosions and those with actual detonations — you know that somewhere in time, some real stuff blew up (…however, I recognize that these count as recordings, hmm).


I mentioned some of this week’s shows in my last Sound Check column (ahem, Young Galaxy and AroarA), but not to worry, there are more shows worth your money and time.

On Friday the 20th, the Edmonton band Calvin Love is coming into town to play ye olde Prairie Dog fave O’Hanlon’s. The band has a low-fi, sexy synth pop feel that evades over-sweetness with a healthy dose of no-wave. On Monday the 23rd, the mellow indie vibes of Iron & Wine will fill the University of Regina Theatre, helped by opener Widowspeak. On Friday Sept. 27, locals Indigo Joseph bring their brand of ’60s-inspired rock to O’Hanlon’s, along with Ras Tamils and Stone Iris.

The highlight of my musical two weeks will be the Jealousy Mountain Duo show at the SCES Club on Wednesday the 25th. They share the bill with Daniel Besuijen, Lost Sherpas and Kyler. Jealousy Mountain Duo are a German avant-garde rock and free jazz two-piece with nutty riffs and clattering percussion the likes of which you won’t see around these parts in a while: so be there, even though it’s a school night (not to mention referendum day).

In my ears: Janelle Monáe’s Q.U.E.E.N from the forthcoming The Electric Lady

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