One month down

Today’s post isn’t going to be too thematically focused, unfortunately, because I’m a little worn out from two nights of shows in a row, and then I have to leave the house to go to school on what’s normally a day off. I’ll get to explaining that further later on, I suppose. But first a quick celebration: I’m done one month of this blog-a-day project! It’s exciting that I’ve been able to keep myself doing it for 31 days already.

Last night was show #8 of the year for me, so I’m on a decent path towards my arbitrary goal of 50 shows for the year. I think I secretly want to exceed the goal by a lot, but we’ll see how that plays out by the end of the year.

Anyhow, the show last night was pretty crazy. I don’t think I’ll end up writing a review of the show for Grayowl Point this time around because I’ve written far too much for my own good this week, so I’ll recap it briefly. The night was interesting in that all three bands were three-piece bands, with one member on guitar, one on bass, and one on drums. But each band played such starkly different sets; it’s amazing how differently instruments can be played.

Convoys played a kind of aggressive, Against Me!-esque (but much more danceable) rock, and their sheer energy and banter made them thrilling from start to finish. I didn’t get to stay for all of Manvils’ set, but they also played aggressive, albeit perhaps in a more funky manner.

And then there was Beekeeper. I listened to their new EP Shout At People before I left the house last night, and upon hearing their 40-second single “Bees” I immediately said “What the fuck?” and was thrilled to keep listening.

Their show was just as manic, with songs stopping and starting seemingly at random, fantastic one-, two- and three-part vocals, and guitarist Devon Lougheed was freaking hilarious. He sang songs about burritos, clocks and toys, a song called “Pets Eat Their Masters” which he apparently wrote when he was 11 and didn’t change much of. And then there was one song where, for the first time, I heard bassist Brandi Sidoryk prove that she had opera singer training. I was totally caught off-guard and blown away.

There was also an oddly touching moment when Lougheed talked a bit about his grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, and he sang a song based on a family story involving her condition. The end of the set had Lougheed inviting the entire audience up onto the stage to take a “family photo.” And then Beekeper played the last song with the audience still on stage with them. It was a pretty rocking end, and was definitely the highlight of my night.

On a completely different tangent, now, for my journalism and the arts class, I will soon be writing an assignment where I review a Canadian-made TV show. I decided I’m going to review Bomb Girls, and I watched two episodes of the new season yesterday.

It’s not the best TV show in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s decent. The backdrop is World War II, but it’s less about the stories that we’ve been told 5000 times by now and more of a kind of soap opera, centering around four girls on the production line of a munitions factory.

The plots are a little bit, well, predictable, and some of the characters are cardboard cutouts. But there are some interesting parts, highlighting some World War II history I’d never heard before. Example: China fought with the Allies in World War II and suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Japanese, and Japan invaded Singapore. Western-centric history books don’t seem to really cover any of the minor players, so to speak.

I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to phrase my review when it comes time. It certainly won’t be a glowing review, but not a scathing critique, either. Canadian TV seems to excel at making middle-of-the-road shows, though every once in a while it really shows everyone how it’s done with shows like Flashpoint and Corner Gas.

So finally, I’ll be going to school in about two hours as I need to complete a radio assignment I couldn’t do on Tuesday because I had a fact-checking package that needed doing. I need to find a stranger and record them doing something, maybe get them to tell me a story. This could be a complete disaster perhaps, if I can’t find anybody, but it could be ultimately rewarding if I find someone compelling. We’ll see how things turn out.

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