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The Winnipeg Weather Report: All That Jazz…

September 16, 2009

Greetings from Winnipeg; where the wind usually blows cold and fierce. Summer decided to arrive fashionably late this year and as I write this it’s hanging around like that one dude that just won’t leave your house party.

I’ve decided to call this regular column the Winnipeg Weather Report because Winnipeggers are as obsessed with our weather as we are with our music. Many local artists actually credit our terrible winters for their creative success, as they’re forced to lock themselves away for a major part of the year and work on their art.

So here’s your Winnipeg Weather Report for the weekend of September 18, 2009:

Former University of Manitoba School of Jazz student Keith Price will be releasing his debut album, Breakfast of Champions, at the Park Theatre on Friday, September 18th. Taking its name from the Vonnegut novel and not Wheaties cereal, Price recorded the album in one day with no more than two takes per cut to capture the immediacy and spontaneity of the quintet he fronts here. The album features a triptych under the title “Zoom Zoom” that Price wrote as a single-chord exercise for the band to improvise on – the resulting recording was split in three and scattered amidst more challenging material like “Confucius Corner” (a tongue-in-cheek tribute to a Winnipeg landmark/eyesore) and the title track.

While Price is joined on Breakfast of Champions by the same group of players who form the Nowosad/Price Quintet, the music is a departure from the re-worked Pink Floyd and Outkast songs the NPQ have become known for. BoC is a straight-up jazz record and a very solid one at that. To get your copy, visit or email

Another local record dropped this week and has already been making waves nationally – though there’s been some confusion as to what to call the band. Formerly known as the SubCity Dwellers, Where’s The Noise? is credited to SubCity but a promo call from the label – Transistor 66 –  referred to them by their old name. In fact, when the band members were asked about this in a September 15th interview on UMFM, they indicated they were going by both names with no real reason given. Regardless of what they’re called, you can still find them on Myspace at where you’ll find a link to purchase their punchy new record. I don’t know where they’re referring to on opener “Too Loud For This City” but it ain’t Winnipeg – they’re just loud enough. The band is headed out on a lengthy Western Canada release tour that will be capped off by the official CD release show at the West End Cultural Centre on October 17, 2009.

One more recent release before I go outside to test my barometer: Ultra Mega finally dropped the long-awaited Black Wu Jackets in August. Pairing the lyrics of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan and the Notorious B.I.G. with original lo-fi indie rock (imagine the offspring of Malkmus and Method Man), Ultra Mega first made a splash in the ‘Peg pool with their video for “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”

This seven-track gem is only available in local shops and directly from the band. Check them at and get a copy before they’re gone like ODB.

I’m off to Brandon to cover the Western Canadian Music Awards for the next few days so look for some tidbits in the near future from an event that is totally going to get overshadowed this weekend. (Yeah, nice job on moving your industry awards up to compete against the indie-juggernaut folks…).

That’s the Winnipeg Weather Report, so long and easy does it.

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