When people ask where I’m from, the typical answer is Toronto. This is partly because most Americans have little to no hope of placing Edmonton geographically, in effect defeating their hope to relate and segue into the next piece of conversation. And while I CAN go into detail about how great the Oilers were 30 years ago (albeit after a bit of Wikipedia research), or how Edmonton is the more liberal capital of the Texas of Canada, somehow none of that helps diminish the inferiority complex even a little. This is why I listened to “I Can Swing A Hammer” with much glee. The Wet Secrets hail from Edmonton. Yes, that bitterly cold place 6 hrs drive above the 49th parallel north where the shop composition of a big indoor mall defined much of my teenage life. And “Hammer” sounds every bit the teensy, rebellious pop-rock anthem it needs to be when your hometown has been twice (unjustly) crowned the “Murder capital of Canada” (we’ll be right with you after 14 more photo-finishes, Winnipeg!)
While the lyrics won’t win any poetry awards, it encapsulates the complex tug-of-war between potential and reality so well that you need only take 1 capsule a day (CBC’s prescription of 1 pill every morning is right on the money). As long as they don’t plan to twirl those hammers like batons while they play in their marching band costumes, I’ll definitely drop by at Southby in support.
The Wet Secrets play at Friends on March 18 at 1AM, and the Swan Dive at 12AM on March 19.
Many a song plays host to personal and universally-relatable lyrics. Yet some remain unapproachable or inaccessible to those who would otherwise empathize, merely due to a less than memorable supporting melody. “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” is just the opposite. Here, Richmond, Virginia’s Lucy Dacus and her band have crafted a perfect skeleton on which to hang a simple premise. It plays like the confession and resolution of an old friend with a sudden change of heart. Compacted to less than 3 minutes, the attention capture is immediate and refreshing.
Dacus’ first album, No Burden, was just released two weeks ago, and has already garnered some positive reviews. While I found other songs collected in the same such as “Strange Torpedo” to be slightly less impactful, her shows would certainly be worthwhile to visit at SXSW.
They will be playing at the Parish on March 17 at 8PM, as well as Clive Bar on March 18 at 8PM.
OK, I’ll admit it – when it comes to snow, I’m kind of a wimp. Sure, I’d like to think I’m a hardy individual who can withstand a little snowstorm and like everyone, I laughed at Mel Lastman when he called in the army to help shovel the streets in Toronto back in the day. But heading out to see a show on a snowy Tuesday night? To borrow a phrase from New Yorkers Sunflower Bean, easier said than done*. So yeah, I skipped out on the band’s show at Smiling Buddha last night. Sometimes laziness wins out.
If, like me, you’re afraid of snow and you happen to be in Texas in a couple of weeks where it will almost certainly be much, much warmer (though I admit it’s hard to accurately predict weather these days – I’m no meteorologist), maybe check out Sunflower Bean. They’ll be playing a whole bunch of shows during SXSW, including the Thursday night show at Stubb’s, where technically speaking, Loretta Lynn will be opening for them. I know I’d add that to my bio if I were them. Have a listen to “Easier Said” off of the band’s recently released Human Ceremony.
* I recognize that they are not actually the originators of that phrase, but work with me here.
Wolkoff is a Canadian living out of Brookyln, presumably to launch her music career. I don’t really know too much about her. Maybe she likes long walks on the beach and has cravings for sushi from time to time. Who really knows?
Either way, I found this tune to be pretty catchy and a like the minimalist electro-pop song she’s got going on. Her album comes out in April. There is more information on her on her facebook page. Don’t bands put up proper pages anymore?