The Music Festivals are Coming, But. . . . Are you?

Hey!! Haven’t you been listening to me? Didn’t the less than subtle hints I’ve been dropping about the local (and larger) live music scene register, or stir some moments of musical empathy? I mean, I’ve mentioned the pleasure of Re-Discovering Live Music in Small Places, and subsequently wrote my brother An Email About Music: There’s Lots Around. It was a pretty simple message.

Poster for Wil Campa, man with steepled fingers
This suave fellow is at Expo Latino 2010, August 27 – 29. Go See It!!
Promotional image courtesy of the Hispanic Arts Society

It IS a pretty simple message: There’s Lots Around.

(Did I mention that already? Oh, right.)

And therefore, as music is one of the greatest and least damaging pleasures one can indulge in, there’s no reason why any person should be missing out on the cornucopia that exists in Calgary, this wondrous playground of styles and cultures and aural enthusiasm. Oh, I know, I know, there’s this recess-depress-digress-ion going on which prevents people from putting down their low-fat high foam dark roast and taking in the human engagement of a musical performance. Times are tough! Heaven knows that musicians don’t understand such things as newly difficult economic times. And why is that?

Because it’s ALWAYS difficult economic times for the average musician. If you think YOU’VE been affected by a decline in North American consumerism and investment, consider who is not being recognized as the most environmentally friendly, recyclable, energy efficient producer on the continent?

A live musician, of course.

They tear their product out of thin air, producing energy and inspiration in the people around them, creating ideas and actions from the simple act of manipulating sound energy, which is received by surrounding listeners and transformed by their imagination into the most useful form each could access. And, when all is done (to paraphrase the eco-tourism trade), the musicians make only a living and leave only footprints.

Look, I’m night-blind. When I’m out there checking out Life After Dark on a Cowtown Tuesday, I’m risking life and limb for you! My very being is occasionally threatened by the disappointment when there are so few other attendees giving back to the musicians, when the community of Calgarians fails the artistic efforts of tunesmiths. We’re one of the richest cities in the world, and yet we’ve (again) lost our jazz festival. The Lilith Fair is cancelling U.S. shows, and Sled Island Film and Music Festival is coming up. Get your ya-yas out! Go Out And See Live Music: It Needs You!

Don’t make me come down there!

Posted by Hannah Rutherford

Author: Carey Rutherford

Swallowed by the mutual loves of words and music (but far too chicken-shit to perform them with a band), Carey’s writing career started slowly as a freelance writer in 2003, starved him nearly to personal bankruptcy until 2008, and changed directions while writing for FastForward, Beacon Calgary, GayCalgary, and Examiner magazines. With the death of many old-school periodicals, and the explosion of musical diversity in Calgary, the modern approach to writing about live music performance in the Calgary region presented uncluttered landscapes for the focussed passion that Carey’s conversations with musicians, drag queens, festival producers and small animals has uncapped. He was moulded by the brilliance of paper-based periodicals old and new (Life, rolling Stone, Swerve! and Adbusters etc.), and sees the info-verse as needing creative, empathetic, but clear-eyed Agents to communicate these performances.