Craig Martell’s New City eulogy

GigCity Edmonton Craig Martell2 days ago there were 10 places in town that I’d legitimately call venues. New City bowing out brings us to single digits and that’s kind of sad. The interesting thing is that every seems to be remembering the past ideally and looking at the present through shit colored glasses. Right now if you go to the punk bands that play DV8 and ask them about the scene and that bar’s importance to it, they’d fucking rave about it. If you ask bands that play Wunderbar about Wunderbar, they’ll swear that it’s relevant on a national level, same as the kids who play Artery, put on house shows and hall shows. There is always cool things happening and always people on the venue side assisting that.

After the New City news hit yesterday there was the usual defiling of the corpse, then some time to reflect. Just yesterday I personally heard at least 10 people talking about how important The New City Likwid Lounge was to them. How it was the best venue to play in the city when it was around, how that weird low-hanging speaker would hit them in the head, how cool all of the staff were. I’m sure a crowd a bit older would say the same about the old-old New City. I admire the hell out of anyone who has lasted as long in this game as Brad Walter England. If I owned a tire store that made as little money as Wunderbar, I would have closed it within 6 months. You get by on the feeling that you’re doing something worthwhile and important.

Let’s get together and mourn New City as it should be mourned. By doing so we’re mourning the Sidetrack. We’re mourning Rebar. We’re mourning The Spartan. And support your current venues so that we don’t have to have this discussion anymore. Support them to make sure they’re there when your kid’s bands play or your grandkids bands. On a night out, come to Wunderbar, (or the Artery, or Bohemia), even if you don’t go to shows anymore. You’ll have a good time! Then you can tell everyone you know. Then MAYBE there won’t be sports bars on every dirty, fighty corner of this city. Maybe a venue that runs a legit, fair, passionate club that exists solely to provide a medium for passionate and creative people have a unseasonable snowball’s chance in hell of surviving in this dustball of a city.

It rarely happens though. Rockers get old. Promoters get old. Venue owners/bookers get old. The guitar doesn’t pay the bills well in any city. Likely, 20 years from now me and a bunch of my friends will be on some weird future version of facebook talking about the golden days, when the doors of Wunderbar overflowed with honey and blowjobs and everything was perfect. Meanwhile, some shithead who owns an awesome bar will be writing the same post I just wrote, with some new slang.

Craig Martell (Martellica) is manager/co-owner of Wunderbar Hofbrauhaus, and an aspiring stand-up comedian