Disaster report, Octopus extras, tales of Fjalladrottning
Ben Disaster is the opposite of his name. That is not an Ungentle Ben reference.
Disaster is an artist’s musician. Writing songs on his phone or whatever is in reach, with his creativity and dedication to his craft alone, he is most worthy of Sonic’s Band of The Month moniker. With that said, when interviewing Mr. Disaster, it is safe to not take normal routes.
When asked about whether or not his show is a pants-optional affair, Disaster answers, “Never leave home in sweatpants or panama pants. As for no pants, well, I don’t get the whole no pants thing. I always wear shoes.”
As for his show, Disaster opines, “Chances are if you have not seen these bands, this will be the first of many. I’m very appointed to the disappointment of my appointment.”
A verbal puppy pile from the Disaster camp.
This month’s Sonic Band of the Month showcase happens Thursday, Feb. 26 at the Pawnshop, also featuring guests No Problem, Slates, and Power Buddies. Tickets are $10 advance here.
Brother Octopus wants you
The band who brought you an album (Sea of Champions) with each song recorded in a different Edmonton studio wants Edmontonians to rock along with them. They are looking for people of all ages to take part in their video for the song Honey. The shoot takes place on Saturday, March 7th from 2-5 pm inside the gymnasium of Mount Royal School (11303 55th St.).
It will be a gymnasium scene. You will need to shake it until you come close to breaking it. Please, if you think you may break it, take a breath, then bring the shaking to the precipice of breaking without falling in. Repeat as needed.
Adults come! Bring your kids if you got them too!
From Iceland with love songs
According to Edmonton singer-songwriter Braden Gates, his trip to Iceland with a gaggle of Alberta musicians taught him something. Aside from Icelandic, Fjalladrottning – one of the many names for this Scandinavian country – has another national language. It’s music!
“I didn’t have a lot of certain expectations, wasn’t quite sure what to expect other than obvious cultural differences,” Gates said of the trip that happened in early February. “Upon arriving and meeting my partner Lay Low, it became clear that those differences wouldn’t be much of a problem. There was no language barrier, everyone there speaks English and Icelandic, and music is such a universal language in itself that we were able to pull of collaboration in limited time.”
The trip, meant to harmonize the musically creative minds of Albertans and Iceland and wrangled by Alberta Music, was an eye opening experience to local up-and-comers. Also on the trip was Steph Blais and Paul Cournoyer who form the duo Post Script. In Blais’ eyes, the experience most indubitably worth it.
“The trip was better than I thought it was going to be,” Blais said. “Paul and I were both quite nervous to meet up with Snorri Helgason (Icelandic artist) to practice and learn our songs but we ran through the songs three times in two days and it was very natural to play music with him. As a musician Paul and I both realized from this experience that collaborating with other artists is a huge step to take to grow as a musician and songwriter. By playing other people’s songs, you pay attention to what the song is about and how they wrote it.”
Gates believes the trip is more than about music and location. It is about the proverbial choral unity of life. “The importance of music in bringing people together, no matter our differences, is something we can hold on to,” he says.
Now that’s some auditory diplomacy.