SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE JAN 2016

Heroin. I never really got what the attraction of this stealthy killer was. Yet here in this city’s music scene, and really worldwide, it’s claimed so many people that you think someone would be really fucking angry. Count me in.

Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal of puking and nodding out, but it’s what it does to people’s souls that gets me riled up. They get scabs on their face. They lie to people they claim to love. They steal from their grandmas. They fake a break in to the jam space and sell off their mates gear. They are a dangerous house guest if you keep your rent money in cash, in a drawer.

Some of the friends that drugs claim are still alive. They have lost everything and are pushing a shopping cart full of shit for sale around in the mean streets of the downtown eastside. Others are gone. Tried the clean up yet went back and did that one last shot that was enough to take their life. They had just posted a beautiful picture of themselves looking healthy on Facebook the week before. I clicked like. I regret not commenting how radiant they looked compared to all the other usual party hardy pictures they posted. Then we mourn. Then we all promise not to let it happen again. Yet, it does.

I lost a longtime friendship last week because of this shit. There is no such thing as a casual heroin user in my eyes. When I’m that person’s friend and find out that they’ve been doing heroin, I react. Badly. That may not be the best approach but what the fuck is wrong with people who claim to care about the drug user, and just stand by, saying nothing and watch people destroy themselves. I at least gave confrontation a try. I won’t go the intervention route again. My involvement in that unsuccessful one in the summer was crushing to my psyche. I don’t like to fail at things. When someone is in denial about their drug use, you are no match for the experienced liar.

So you wait. You watch their lives slip away. You feel depressed and helpless.

Another person I’ve known since they were a teenager is gripped by Crystal Meth. I am saddened to see what once was an intelligent, funny, witty person turn into an lashing out, abusive, paranoid, nonsensical mess. They are so far gone that they were mistaken for a homeless person in a Walmart parking lot and given a hygiene care package by a random woman. People can only take so much shit from someone before you start avoiding them as they lock themselves in their bedroom with their drugs.

Maybe after 16 years working in the DTES, I’ve become a bit jaded and cynical. You see the ramifications of varying forms and degrees of addiction everyday. I understand that having too much empathy is dangerous for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve had too many heartbreaking experiences over the years that it’s really hard to go there again. Another funeral. Another fucked up peer. Another talented, promising artist’s life wasted.

Every time I see the Facebook feed light up with R.I.P. lamentations over a rock star celebrity that has destroyed their lives with drugs, I get really angry. Have that persons loved ones given up to the point that they’re dying alone on a tour bus as their heart stops because they’ve gone one spin too many on the wheel of cocaine. I guess their kin are as apathetic as the rest of us who just stand by watching the shitshow play out. It hurts. That is truth. But I also think that if enough people had expressed concern over someone’s downward spiral it may have changed the outcome. That you can only hope. Say something. Before it’s too late.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE DEC 2015

I sit here pondering my career path after experiencing a disgruntling truth about the corporation I work for. My thoughts turn to the kink community that is under fire from within. Unfucking believable that one old school vested business would employ such tactics as to hire private investigators and leak results to the media. It seems to have backfired on them and they are the victims of boycott now after shooting themselves in the foot.

Cutthroat. The bar business is just that. I’m truly blown away by some of the shit that goes down in any scene. I have been on the receiving end of it more than once.

I was fuming last week after I learned that it seems my employers don’t really think that much of any of their employees as they threatened to take my peanuts away if I didn’t pack the bar every show. This happens when the powers that be don’t understand the ebb and flow of the music business. If there are big shows or cross booked shows on any particular night, turnout will be a crap shoot no matter how carefully you planned your booking sheet.

The slumlords were just as unappreciative of my hard work when they stabbed me in the back after keeping their shit hole bars alive for a decade. I put my reputation of the line for them a few times to assure the venues would stay open. I worked with the ‘man’ to meet conditions to avoid closure. The Cobes volunteer army was the best. We met every challenge.

It always blows my mind when your overlords pick the busiest show to wield their demands. I’m sure it’s because you are super fucking busy multitasking and provide the least resistance. Hilarious examples are firing a bartender and bringing in a corporate newbie while there are 25 people lined up for drinks and the manager is on vacation. How about this Cobes gem, as we’re at peak volume, 11pm at a Dayglos show they roll in, screaming about bad press, waving papers at me about something I said in an interview article about shitwater raining down in the venue.

Facebook is so timely sometimes. My Facebook memory of today was the poster for the show that got me indefinitely barred from the slumpire on Dec 4th, 2009. Dayglos / SNFU / Lummox / and my buddy Fat Joe Satan at the Asbalt. I made them almost 10K in bar sales that night. Stacked as fuck lineup.

When I approached the bar ‘manager’ about that ‘Homeless from the Cobes’ show, I stated I needed x amount of promo for the performers which was agreed to. Courtesy beverages had never been an issue. At the end of the night, I was presented with a bill for promotional beverages. Cutting right to the bone was being charged full dime on my Red Headed Sluts. Unbelievable. Greed was in full flight that night. I flatly refused that salt to the wound. It didn”t end well.

I miss the family atmosphere working conditions we had at the Cobes. It’s very rare to get to that point when you have no control of the hiring processes of your workplace. Relationships take time to build. Camaraderie is an achievement. I miss Sheri at Funkys. She took a lot of shit from above to get as close to that atmosphere as possible. We are starting from scratch again. I’m used to that. Another new regime.

Also on my Facebook feed this morning was a message of love in a memory shared about helping a girl out with a job when I first got into the business many years ago. That’s what keeps me going. Not the ‘horrible bosses’ factor of the bar business, just the outpouring of love from you guys, the bands, the fans, that appreciate the labor of love that I put into the shows, venues and gatherings I had a hand in building. Even Steven.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE NOV 2015

I spent 24 solid hours over 3 days compiling a list of bands / acts that I’ve given a stage to since the dawn of Y2K. I was inspired after seeing many musicians sharing the ’30 bands I’ve played with’ post on Facebook. So many people were reminiscing about the wicked bands they’d performed with. Making this list was also something I’ve needed to do in an attempt to recover my memories of my work in music.

This wasn’t an easy list to compile. After several stolen computers and fried hard drives, there were huge gaps in my booking sheet records. I did find an old website of mine from the Columbia and beginning of the Cobes days. I also accessed the archives on Live Music Vancouver dot com to fill in some other gaps not covered by my collection of band list files.

The list ended up with 2,800 plus names on it and counting. It is also missing some band names from overnight rescue style gigs like Distort Fest that never made it to paper. People were helpful with some missing gigs and I need to correct a couple of typos of band name spellings lost in translation. Just looking at that list published as a note on Facebook, made me proud. Some days it’s the most clusterfuck job in the world trying to organize that many people, a bit like herding cats.

When I first started booking I carried around a black sketch book that I rigged a pullout accordion list of band contacts with phone numbers. I have about 4 of those booking book relics filed away on a dusty shelf in my cave. Booking coordinating has changed so much in 16 years. Now I rarely have a phone call gig confirmation. Everything is done by email, text message or Facebook messaging.

My favorite bookings are the baby bands. Especially the metal kids that are 17 and just shredding their guitars. I love when the chaperoning parents are in the bar just beaming with pride and so supportive. That is definitely parenting done right, that these kids aren’t cliche mainstreamers throwing pseudo gang signs while lurking in the Rotten Ronnie’s parking lot. I love that they get to cut their teeth on a stage with killer sound and a true gig atmosphere. I wish I had a real number of how many bands I gave their first show to.

The Cobes was magical in the sense that everyone who hung out in the community had that chance to network and practice their various crafts. Whether it was comedians throwing a variety show or the burlesque ladies and gents honing their acts, a lot of today”s entertainment staples were born over a bottle of $3 Trad Lager in that dingy pub. The Scaryoke night also gave rise to current band vocalists and Karaoke hosts that are thriving in the city. Open Jam was a chance for musicians to get up and show their chops and find people to collaborate with.

I still get people coming up to me, saying how much they miss the Cobes. I miss it too. It was a special place and time in Vancouver’s underground scene. Things aren’t quite the same when I’m stuck working for other people. I’m not in charge of what kind of beer is sold or for how much. I don’t hire the staff you may get pissy with when you’re shittered. I don’t make the decisions or set the rules anymore. Can it be frustrating? Yes. There are a lot of sacrifices that were made just to stay in the game of keeping a place for our underground heavy to be playing. I’m just grateful we still have a dedicated space to rock.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE OCT 2015

A couple of years ago while discussing the notorious grindcore pizza party debacle, a fellow impresario, Denyss, said something that still rings true to me today. “Convictions only last until they’re inconvenient”.

I love the truth. I love throwing my hands in the air when I encounter hypocrisy.

I had a candid conversation with a dude from a band that I heard recently refused to play my venue. When I announced a big show for the same day that his band is playing a venue down the street, he asked if his band could join my show. The band I booked are one of his favorites. I’m a pretty direct person and I don’t mince words. I asked him if there was truth to the fact that his band had refused to play a show at my venue with an outside promoter, thus canceling on me.

He admitted that it was true so I asked why. Once again, the infamous pizza party reared its ugly head. He told me that an internet keyboard warrior, supposedly a Crackwhore fan, had threatened one of his band mates on a random Facebook thread, a couple of years ago. It wasn’t me, or a member of Crackwhore that threatened the guy, yet we are the ones who get the hatred and the black marks? This is what I don’t understand. I don’t hear of any shit talk towards other places that have let ill named bands grace their stage.

Now I didn’t put his band on the bill because that would mean that I would be screwing with a colleague’s show that I work with frequently. I am forcing him to stick with his previously held, ill-placed convictions, even though he was willing to waive them to play with a band he liked.

Another fellow, who I granted his bucket list gig pleas twice, took to the internet slagging me and my workplace because I didn’t put his band on a third big name show. Oddly enough, it was a show last year with this same, most popular band. I seem to be the supreme collector of irrational internet snipes. It’s truly bizarre that just because your band didn’t get a slot on a show, you’d resort to sullying someones name. A lot of people who seem to enjoy this childish past time are people I’ve never met.

People tell me to ignore it but fuck that. It’s not their name being dragged through the mud. Even a couple of Fauxbalt types, were erroneously making claims that when I ran the Cobes it was ‘pay to play’ for the bands. With the help of some testimonials from bands that actually played for me they were set straight and actually apologized.

To be called a rape apologist, or misogynist is out of line. I was standing up for women when this new breed of ‘stone caster’ scenesters were infants. When they were in high school, I was raising money for rape relief, battered women and the homeless. I cooked meals that I brought to work in a crockpot, for the old pensioners on my Friday night bartending shift at the Asbalt. This was long before everyone became a suddenly compassionate activist after scoring a job in the poverty pimp system.

One thing to be said about the PC age we’re entering is that the truth always comes out. Something I’m personally working on is to cut the word ‘bitch’ and any other sort of slur out of my vocabulary. I just caught myself saying it the other day. It’s just stupid. I await the demise of the slagging keyboard warrior, it”s maddening and has hopefully run its course. But alas, soon we welcome the Facebook dislike button. Expect the obtuse, shit flinging ride to continue.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE SEPT 2015

As every venue struggles to stay alive or not await a dreaded call from corporate headquarters like I am, you need to come up with proactive new ideas to stay competitive. The wonder years of the scene harmony we had at the Cobes are over and now we seem to have at least half a dozen venues and that same amount of newish promoters gnawing on the same slab of gristle. We also have branded new ‘festivals’ brewing every two weeks that cull up to twenty bands, out of the band circuit, in one swoop.
These have been trying times and I’m grateful that so far the owner of Funkys isn’t calling for my head. So far. I’ve seen stories from across Canada on this very issue of turnouts at shows becoming like pulling teeth. Venues are struggling to pay their bills and keep their staff working. I even saw a dance club looking to hop into the underground live music game. It won’t be long until they realize there are already too many fingers in the pie. On that note, R.I.P. Electric Owl. Best of luck to Adam and Alex who were briefly my bosses at Funkys during the transition from slumlord to corporation almost 4 years ago. They did right by us, paying us out our ripped off wages from the former slumlord owners.
Over the years, I’ve tried many things to get people through the door. We had mohawks, not fauxhawks in for free. Game Show Night – which was the brainchild of what became the Screaming Chicken Burlesque Troupe. Wench Wednesdays aka Ladies night, bombed. Art Mondays – ended up with me just painting and getting drunk, although I came out with an amazing body of work over those couple of months. Free jam space – a couple of bands used that but it ultimately didn’t fly. Live Metal Wednesdays with the newest metal bands, Punk Rock Bingo had a nice run, as did Open Jam. Fake Jazz Wednesdays – where the noisy kids prompted Clay to utilize ear protection. Some didn’t work. Some worked for a time. Some ran until the end of the Cobes.
I’ve implemented a new policy at Funkys called ‘In a band, In for free’. I did a brief survey on Facebook to see what the reaction of dipping into already waning door revenues would be. There were only two people that were adamantly against the idea versus a hundred for it. I was personally thanked a few times by broke ass musicians that utilized the concept and found some buddies to buy them a cheap beer at the show. One comment on the Facebook thread said that he’d rather play for 50 people for peanuts than 25 people for the same peanuts. So far the biggest numbers have the metal peeps utilizing this courtesy. That doesn’t surprise me as Long & McQuade likely owns their souls in gear debt.
So the rules are. ‘Local 10 dollar No Bollocks shows only’. It has to be like that as some outside promoters have shows booked at Funkys with guarantees in play. ‘In an active band’. This is a courtesy offered to our local subculture to get them out to a show other than their own, in between paycheques. ‘Proof required’. This can be a Facebook band page with your name or a photo that contains your mug looking happily serious or a CD liner with your name intact. So there it is. The latest gimmick my brain has come up with to try to get the show attendance numbers up. So far it’s been a success. The idea that cross booking will stop occurring or that others will ease up on their gristle chewing isn’t reality. The new cliques that the Cobes fought so hard against keep growing. This formulates a self segregating, popularity contested music scene. Not exactly what I envisioned fifteen years ago. Adapt or die.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE AUG 2015

I took part in a couple notable acts this past week. I created a littering meme that went viral and took part in the attempted intervention of a peer that is spiraling down fast in a battle with opiates. One resulted in feeling an immense pride in my metal brethrens righteous behavior. The other reminded me of that helpless feeling, because of the many people the music scene has lost to the scourge that is drug addiction.

The tale of two music festivals. I know the ratio of people was at least a thousand to one but even if you cropped the Pemberton picture for comparison to the Armstrong picture, the crass amount of litter is boggling. The disrespect shown at Pemberton by the sheer amount of garbage left by the campers is grotesque. Many mainstreamers claimed they were tired and it was hot, or ‘relax’, there are people volunteering to clean up our sloth. What a crock of shit. Zero personal responsibility was shown by this sadly majority, segment of society.

At Armstrong, the festival attendees each cleaned up after themselves. The picture was taken by token cleanup crew lady, Kiri. She said she snapped the picture after the bands and campers departed because of the one little orange tent that was left. It started on Facebook after I shared the viral photo of the Pemberton mess. I made a bet with local punk author, Chris Walter, that there was no way Armstrong would look like that. He disagreed. We waited for some metalheads I knew that went, to check in. I won the bet! Over five thousand proud metalheads shared the meme I made, pictured below.

The intervention I organized didn’t end well. I was just sick of hearing people whisper about how sad this persons life had become. I reached out and eventually found his family who were determined to try to get him clean. We got him away from the clutches of the downtown east side all the way to Calgary. It lasted two days.

He was a peer of mine in the promoter / booking coordinator aspect of the music business. The Vancouver community isn’t all that big in reality, especially in our subculture. When you start hearing rumblings about an individuals flaky maneuvers in dealings with bands, you take note. Being a promoter is already a touchy business as you’re perceived as having endless pockets of cash, while wielding a whip across the backs of hardworking musicians. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most of us are in the game for the music and to eke out an existence doing something we love.

I don’t think anyone that starts doing recreational drugs ever thinks that they will end up homeless, selling stuff out of a shopping cart, feeding their demon. He has already burnt bridges with venues, bands, and friends. He actually thinks he can still bilk money out of our music scene. Drug brain, it’s a delusional life. He has turned into the equivalent of one of those Nigerian scammers looking for someone to dupe. The jig is up. No one in the heavy music subculture can afford to be ripped off. It’s obvious to me that he doesn’t give a shit about further damage to his reputation.

I reached out. I tried. It’s all you can do. Will I try again with him. Probably not. I had never even had more than a few conversations and a couple of shows with the guy. We never went for lunch. I just have a hard time being a bystander. One of my tenets in life is to not be an enabler. So on that note, it really is up to him now to want out. Sad, yes. Surprising, no. Unfortunately it won’t be the last person we lose to this shit.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE JULY 2015

After months of internet chaos in the punk music community about the use of scantily clad women on punk posters, I recently arrived at my workplace to see a garish, mostly naked woman underneath a Funkys logo adorning the stage. Ugh. I know we hold Burlesque shows every month or two but I fail to understand how a naked chick represents the bar. We are not a Strip Club, Fetish Bar, or Burlesque Club. We have Karaoke 5 nights a week and punk or metal shows on the weekends. Alas, I don’t decide these things. How I wished that the original slumlord owners granted my idea to rebrand the bar by its real name, ‘The Palace’, 5 years ago. This Funky Winkerbeans name will haunt me forever. It’s the silliest. There is nothing funky about heavy music.

This world is so obsessed with being politically correct that the image of this naked wall woman is yet more ammunition for the P.C. Music Mob. They already finger point the bar for allowing bands with ‘bad’ names or concepts to play there. So I’m thinking ‘great! More stigma’. As this ever growing mob of people boycott and buzzword us to death with embellished propaganda, I fear the dream of a connected heavy music community is dead. How I yearn for the mid 2000’s where there were as many punks at metal shows and vice versa. That was an amazing time. I love both. I guess I’ll just hang with all of you, besides the cliques that ridiculously demonize me as a misogynist supporter.

In a recent conversation with my mother, I disclosed some harrowing sexual traumas from my tweenhood that definitely tempered the surly, rough and tough punk chick demeanor I manifested. It was survival mode. Maybe she now understood my suspicious nature when I adamantly outed a teacher at the elementary school I went to, as a sick diddling fuck. He sadly wasn’t held to account until the girls reached adulthood. In the late 70’s, as a naive 13 year old girl being driven to the outskirts of town, or driven into an alley with 3 guys who attempted to rape me, shitty experiences. I successfully fended off these fuckers by kicking the shit out of their vehicle. Many others were not so lucky. I endured bullshit relationships but I survived. Hopefully through my hardships, I taught my daughter that she deserves better and to not take any shit.

The women these days freaking out about being ‘assaulted’ by the band name ‘Black Pussy’ is beyond absurd. Seeing a band name in print is not assault. Your buzzword is doing a real disservice to women who have been sexually assaulted. Is the name tacky? Sure, but blowing shit out of proportion is not helping. Scantily clad punk chicks on posters. I don’t see how this represents punk bands. I’d be more of the ilk of asking why this is occurring in the free world. Everyday, I see women posting nearly naked photos of themselves on Social Media. Narcissism, low self esteem, pride, objectification vs empowerment. Which is it? Is a man who likes such pictures a pig or a supporter of a woman’s freedom to do what she wants. Catch 22. Damned if you do or don’t.

Why are female pop stars always wearing next to nothing and gyrating? Taking the fight to them would be a productive start as they influence the young girls that admire them. This is the enemy, mainstream society. They are the politicians, media, entertainment moguls, and corporate fucks that control the ‘acceptable’ world as we know it. I suppose the new world of public shaming is an attempt to reign in the chaos. Protest for the right to be as naked as you want yet balk at seeing nudity. The hypocrisy has all become very mind boggling.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE JUNE 2015

As I open the Facebook news feed this morning, I am greeted by a picture on Billboard Magazines post about their awards show. It’s a picture of Taylor Swift accepting an award. All I see is a total cleavage shot. This is mainstream media. She’s wearing a gown that exposes more than half the lovely soft fleshy mass of her breast almost to the point of her nipple. This is the same Taylor Swift that was recently quoted in Maxim Magazine as lauding the heralds of the emergence and dominance of feminism being akin to equality. A slippery slope indeed. Objectification vs Empowerment.

This brings me to what I’ve be mulling around in my mind for days. A recent Facebook post ironically directed at a different thirteen in our midst was heckling him for using a sexy punk rock female form in several of his punk gigs advertising. Several politically correct opinions were given by both male and female peeps in the scene. A lot of these reminded me of the hypocrisy of the Facebook glass houses phenomenon. ‘Do what I say but not what I do’.

Now, to counterpoint Mcthirteen’s lynch mob, I have to say that I’ve seen cleavage, bare midriffs and sexy clothes donned by the female posters abhorring his poster art. Empowerment? I’ve also see similar sexy female posters done by a dude that relies on vintage pinup and B movie imagery for his poster art. Objectification? I find those posters beautifully done yet still as provocative. Sure Seamus’s posters are a bit blunt or crude, but if you attend one of his shows in the scene he is working, you will see a zillion selfies from the gig scene documenting these same styled young and sexy punkettes. So maybe he is advertising his audience and not the bands on the bill. These ladies are dressing like that because they want to.

In the last decade, the females in our scene have been involved with proudly baring their sexuality through burlesque, Suicide Girls style photo shoots and becoming front women in astounding numbers. Is anyone prudishly denigrating their efforts? Fuck no! They are proud of their vigor to fight through their own demons of self body shaming and giving a big fuck you to others with Victorian era attitudes. It’s a brave new world out there for women. Hell when I was a much younger woman in better body shape, I dressed to attract. Now I mobilize with the same uniform I’ve worn for a decade. The comfy and I don’t give a fuck look. Hoodie, vest, miscellaneous black shirt, black pants, boots. When it gets hot out, I do opt for shorts or a skirt that bare my freakishly white legs. That’s 50. No imminent need to couple or reproduce.

It just seems over the last couple of years every poster on Facebook now has an advanced degree in pseudo psyche politically correct social work. You will never stop the inherent attraction of men to women. That is how our population flourishes. Can we stop the objectification of women? Doubtful in our lifetime with clothing designers, the entertainment industry, the media, and the gawkers all in league with the cliche of ‘sex sells’. One scarlet letter at a time on social media I guess. Now back to your back issues of Playboy and perhaps start ripping those objectifying posters off your children’s bedroom walls. Even Disney princesses and the unrealistic measurements of 36-18-33 Barbie dolls are oozing in far fetched sexuality. Stop dressing your daughters in mini stripper outfits that fly off the racks at a mall. It starts with the brainwashing of the world’s children. You would need to boycott everything my dear punks. The mindless mainstreamers would still win.
As I open the Facebook news feed this morning, I am greeted by a picture on Billboard Magazines post about their awards show. It’s a picture of Taylor Swift accepting an award. All I see is a total cleavage shot. This is mainstream media. She’s wearing a gown that exposes more than half the lovely fleshy mass of her breast almost to the point of her nipple. This is the same Taylor Swift that was recently quoted in Maxim, of all magazines as lauding the heralds of the emergence and dominance of feminism being akin to equality. A slippery slope indeed. Objectification vs Empowerment.

This brings me to what I’ve be mulling around in my mind for days. A recent Facebook post ironically directed at a different thirteen in our midst was heckle shaming him for using a sexy punk rock female form in several of his punk gigs poster advertising. Many politically correct opinions were given by both male and female peeps in the scene. A lot of these reminded me of the hypocrisy of the Facebook glass houses phenomenon. ‘Do what I say but not what I do’.

Now, to counterpoint Mcthirteen’s lynch mob, I have to say that I’ve seen cleavage, bare midriffs and sexy clothes donned by the female posters abhorring his poster art. Empowerment? I’ve also seen similar sexy female posters done by a dude that relies on vintage pinup and B movie imagery for his poster art. Objectification? I find those posters beautifully done yet still as provocative but more tasteful than WendyO’s stylings. Sure Seamus’s posters are a bit blunt or crude, but if you attend one of his shows in the scene he is working, you will see a zillion selfies from the gig documenting these same styled young and sexy punkettes. So maybe he is advertising his audience and not the bands on the bill. These ladies are dressing like that because they want to.

In the last decade, the females in our scene have been involved with proudly baring their sexuality through burlesque, Suicide Girls style photo shoots and becoming front women in astounding numbers. Is anyone prudishly denigrating their efforts? Fuck no! They are proud of their vigor to fight through their own demons of self body shaming and giving a big fuck you to others with Victorian era attitudes. It’s a brave new world out there for women. Hell, when I was a much younger woman in better body shape, I dressed to attract. Now I mobilize with the same uniform I’ve worn for a decade. The comfy and I don’t give a fuck look. Hoodie, vest, miscellaneous black shirt, black pants, boots. When it gets hot out, I do opt for shorts or a skirt that bare my freakishly white legs. That’s 50. No imminent need to couple or reproduce.

It just seems over the last couple of years every poster on Facebook now has an advanced degree in pseudo psychological politically correct social work. You will never stop the inherent attraction of men to women. That is how our population flourishes. Can we stop the objectification of women? Doubtful, in our lifetime with clothing designers, the entertainment industry, the media, and the gawkers all in league with the cliche of ‘sex sells’. One social media scarlet letter at a time is your go to cure?

Now back to your back issues of Playboy and perhaps start ripping objectifying posters off your children’s bedroom walls. Even Disney princesses and the unrealistic measurements of 36-18-33 Barbie dolls are oozing in far fetched sexuality. Stop dressing your daughters in mini stripper outfits that fly off the racks at a mall. It starts with the brainwashing of the world’s children. How about a frank talk about reality with them. They take their lead from the adults in their life.You would need to boycott everything my dear punks. The mindless entertainment mainstreamers that even you participate in would still win.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE MAY 2015

We honored our fallen friend Stefan on April 3rd. In old school style, between the gig attendance and the raffle we raised 3K for his family. A lot of peeps stepped up with prize packs and donations. It was a great night of music. I know everything these days has gone the way of anonymous and couch driven crowdfunding but it was really nice to just get together as a musical community. It’s a lost way of life. Good old technology is really fucking up social camaraderie. We are not forced to leave our comfort zones. What do we have now? Pack driven cyber clique relationships?

Touring season is upon us. Out of financial necessity, many old school bands are reforming and touring. Sure doesn’t say much about the music empire benefiting their nostalgia reunion musicians. I really don’t know how their aged bodies could handle the grueling tour party lifestyle. A punk bar work life did my liver in. All their efforts made churning out albums and some received minimal profit from it. You only hope they get a bigger piece of the pie from their merch sales than they do from their record companies. It wasn’t until the last 20 or so years that bands realized that a D.I.Y. approach to funding their music was the only way to go. There are just way too many stories of destitute bands after getting “signed”. The musicians that you do see with mansions must have a crazy debt ceiling, or they managed to somehow cash in like Gene Simmons with his KISS branded merchandise empire.

Most musicians I know have ‘real’ day/night jobs. That’s reality, especially if you have a family and children. Gear is expensive and doing local shows isn’t exactly lucrative. Touring as a band is even less glamorous. Some have even resorted to the previously mentioned crowdfunding to tour, record a new album, or get said music to press. With the Government reducing funding to the Arts at an alarming rate, and changes to an audiences life priorities, it prevents fans from actually getting out physically to support a band. I can see why this ‘help us’ kickstarting is occurring. Sad really, when people think nothing of spending 10 bucks at McDonalds or flipping a twenty to see the latest flick. How about minimally 80 bucks for a hockey game. When you relate that same couple plus hours to three or four bands sweating it up, giving a live performance, it makes me want to punch the cheapskate cover balkers right in the brain. So kudos for fans like Matt, who drive from Edmonton to see Nightwish and promoters like Mayo who is going to squeeze him into the meet and greet. He’s also checking out some uncool grindcore acts at Funkys as I type this column. A music fan!

After getting deeply promoter ‘ownpocketed’ from a recent show, I am currently squeamish about giving touring bands the guarantees they hope for. As promoters we’re in the same boat as bands. We rely on music fans that turn up to support live music. Everything is so iffy. You can have a killer lineup booked 3 months in advance, fully postered, updated online and you’re still on the break even precipice from every imaginable roadblock to a show’s success. Weather, other shows that night, other shows that week that cut into a show goer’s budget. Never mind what Facebook says the turnout will be. I chuckle as I type that. I believe we’ve come full circle back to the topic of our phantom social network social lives. Maybe people get a wishful sensation by just clicking going on an event these days. Onto the next stimuli. I truly don’t know how anyone can say they’re bored in this day and age. Entertainment engagement is a click away, on your couch unfortunately.

SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE APRIL 2015

It’s been a sad month for the heavy music community. March brought us the loss of Stefan Nevatie and Todd Serious all in one weekend. Stefan was a longtime metal scene member. He was a guitar player in over a dozen bands around B.C. and forayed into punk also. My first experience with him was in the death metal band Myopia around Y2K. My other faves were Self Regime and Cum Soc. He was a kind, thoughtful, kinda quiet dude. I loved his semi-headbanging affirmative tic when he’d listen to you talk. Maybe that’s why he was perceived as a most agreeable fellow. He was a longtime busser at the Cobes and Asbalt. We are doing a memorial show at Funky’s on Friday April 3rd to raise money to help his family with funeral costs. Many thanks in advance to the bands and peeps who are playing and have donated goods and services for the raffle we have planned. He sadly passed away after a lifelong battle from Diabetes 1 related complications.
Todd Serious left us in a rock climbing accident in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. It’s rare that someone goes out on their own terms doing something they loved. Todd was a man of noble convictions with the actual follow through lifestyle to match. I respect that immensely. He lived his lyrics. It’s certainly scarce in this world of hypocrites. There is an online GoFundMe to raise funds for his family.

The business of death. A real monetary hardship for their loved ones these days. Please kick in if you can. They will both be fondly remembered and missed.

What I’ve also lost in the month of March is any time in my life for phony, two-faced internet morons. Who in the hell has time on their hands to create fake events for someone’s workplace? I politely asked them to remove my venue from said Facebook event and was met with a bunch of insults and slagging. Some guy I had never met started excerpting snippets from my public status updates in an attempt to make fun of me. Another person was mimicking my capslock Facebooking with untrue facts about the demise of the Cobes. A current promoter of the slumpire stated that the building has no bearing on the hypocrisy of the P.C. music mob sleeping with the enemy. So let’s just pretend the downtrodden of the DTES and myself are not and have not been exploited and abused by these despicable landbarons? I guess she is lucky to have some sort of rose colored glasses buffer between her employment and the seeping rot at the top. I fought back which ultimately led to my eviction. Others are not as lucky to escape.

Some of the people taking part in the supposed hysterics were acquaintances that had utilized my promotional services over the last 15 years. People who I had actually done favors for, such as putting their band on a requested big dream show, or helping raise money for their endeavors. Not sure what I did to inspire their wrath but if you find out let me know. There is a whole pack of people out there that seem to have some grinding beef against me or Funky Winkerbeans. Perplexing. There has to be some action or slight that is more then just letting a band of longtime community supporters with an un P.C. band name play there. It’s not like any of the heavy music subculture genres band names or lyrics are any less shocking. Death, war, sin, murder, political and historical madness and massacres, I think it’s all covered.

Get your shit together Vancouver. This gutless, anonymous, whispered segregation bollocks is borderline ridiculous already. Crawl out of your mother’s basement internet trollers. Volunteer, support the music, and put yourself into positive action instead of having negative, bullying, mouthy, keyboard fingers.