Sound Checkby Amber Goodwyn

A couple of issues ago (April 3-16 ), I wrote about the lack of women and queer folk in the local music scene, specifically on the non-folk and country stages. It was sort of a reawakening for me as a musician who’s been engaged with this subject for several years largely by virtue of being a lady music-maker. I referred to my personal burnout, dormancy and this recent spark of galvanization, wondering aloud (in print) what to do about it.

Seven people commented on the online article and each had interesting perspectives to share, ranging from increasing the gender parity among music writers in this here magazine, a possible lack of diverse band options for local promoters, ladies feeling intimidated and perhaps needing active encouragement to start bands, the need for guys to practice more self-examination, and the creation of opportunities for non-conforming musicians to network, learn and connect.

Then a friend of mine send me a text message and was all like, ‘Not Enough Fest’ — and a bright light shone into the long dark of Moria.

Last June, Kara Passey and her friends organized Not Enough Fest in Winnipeg to “support more women, queer, non-binary, and trans people getting involved in music.” More than a show, they worked with a progressive alternative venue called Negative Space to provide access to instruments and practice time from April to June, and created mixers where folks seeking bands could meet. Everyone in the festival had to be new to music and all the bands would debut at the festival. Neat, huh?

In the awesome spirit of skill-sharing, Passey wrote some guidelines as to how to start one’s own Not Enough Fest for Weird Canada — they’re online right now, so go look ’em up!

Interesting side note: the collectively-run Negative Space has an “at least one woman in at least one of the performing bands” booking policy. Food for thought, Regina venues.

It’s Aliiiive!

In last issue’s column I accidentally listed Harvest King Records’ May Day 2013 line-up instead of 2014’s. I regret the error and have been encouraged by my editor to blame my “abdominal parasite”, which, okay, I’ll do. So: head out to the Exchange and SCES Club on Friday May 2 to check out the likes of Rebel Spell, Cetascean, Rehashed, Royal Red Brigade, Failed States, Tomorrow Starts Today, Druidus, Bats Out and the Hens. Doors open at 7 p.m. and $15 gets you in the door.

If you’re seeking a more fusion-y, world music sorta vibe, check out the Andino Suns album launch on Friday, May 9 at the Exchange. Bureau shares the bill and tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

In my ears: Slow jams, ballads, album closers

Twitter: @ambergoodwyn

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