All-Ages Gigs and a Random Task Collective

by Carey Rutherford

“And what’s their name?”

Random Task Collective.”

“Random Task?”

“Collective, yes.”


“It’s a group of kids that’ve REALLY taken the initiative in the all-ages scene in this town. They’ve put a lot in: They programmed the whole Sled Island all-ages portion last year. they did most of that.”


Camie Leard of Cantos Music Foundation was telling me about some of the other things going on with that association, and this really interesting facet appeared. I know, I know, I just wrote about the Cantos people a couple of weeks ago, but I felt this information needed to be put out right now to promote some up-and-comers.

“They’re actually playing at a decent stage at South by Southwest this year (the gigantic ‘Music and Film Interactive’ Austin, TX event), and they recently signed with a pretty big label,”

Cantos was a venue for the local alternative scene’s Sled Island (Music & Arts Festival) in 2010, and they’re particularly suited for all-ages events, for which there aren’t many places a teenager can go in Calgary.

“One of the interesting things about our venue,” Camie enthuses, “is that we don’t have a liquor license; we’re not a bar. Which makes us accessible for underage people. Like our Blues Jam, it’s a really unique opportunity for musicians, parents and kids who play, because where else are youth going to get the chance to a) hear live music and b) to actually PLAY live music with experienced musicians?

“Most of the live music in this city occurs in bars, so it’s tough for those kids to get performance experience. Greg Curtis of Tooth Blackener is a good friend of (Cantos), and he brought in Brasstonaut, which is an all-ages band from Vancouver.”

“Brought them here (to Cantos)?”

“Yes. All-ages space, like at The New Black, is pretty limited as I was saying.. . . . One was closed down last year for licensing issues and it created a whole hullabaloo about the way these venues were licensed and/or zoned.”

Random Task Collective, self-described as “nerdy rock-funk,” also claims to favour “finesse over brute power.” What does that mean exactly?

Personally, I’m never convinced by studio recordings to believe a band’s claims about themselves: it’s their live performance acumen that sets my blood singing, so you’ll have to experience their upcoming return to the Cantos Music Foundation Performance Space to find out. Their MySpace page showcases an interesting variety of songs, so there’s a good chance that. . . .

Well, there’s a good chance.

Collective Concerts presents…Girls Girls Girls! Show with Claire Elizabeth, Rachael Schroeder, Float Like Stones and Random Task Collective.

Doors at 1:30, Show at 2:00

$10/online or at the door.

And where else can you see a word like ‘hullaballoo” online?

Author: Paul Verhaegh

Music is oxygen for the soul. And there is so much music out there that you don’t even know about. If you like writing and need some oxygen now and then, writing about music is a natural combination. My love for music made me take piano lessons: after a few years it became clear that it didn’t really stick with me. Nor did the trumpet, which I tried to learn too. Well, maybe I should have tried it earlier in live. Starting it your thirties is a bit late, even when it is in your early thirties! A lasting legacy of this episode is that I realized that making music is like giving a speech without reading it from paper, although there are exceptions, like orchestras. But once they've started a song or tune it sounds like they just go with the flow, or, as the expression goes, be taken away by their own muse.