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Fredericton Scene Report | May 2010

April 28, 2010

via Flickr user Kaytethinks

Fredericton in springtime

I haven’t done one of these before because quite frankly there aren’t enough interesting bands even stopping through Fredericton these days to merit a regular scene report, let alone any locals you need to know about. Even sleepy Charlottetown has been kicking our asses in terms of happening-ness for some time now, y’all, how’s that feel? Anyway, for the first time since we started doing this blog there are a few interesting shows going on in Fredericton within the same calendar month, which is at least one more than there usually is, so please let me tell you all about it.

Early spring is my favourite time of year in The City of [no longer] Stately Elms [thanks to several waves of Dutch Elm Disease] because it’s when the students go back to upper Canada for the summer and leave the townies to have the run of the place. Finally, that’ll be my sick and half-eaten bags of poutine littering York Street! Ugh, anyway.

This Saturday Old Man Luedecke is performing at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre. I know not everybody is into banjo music or whatever, but seriously, OML is delightful and fun and tells good stories. You could bring your mom if you wanted, she’d probably like it too. Plus it’s at the Arts Centre, which is my favourite venue in the city.

About five years ago the Victorian-era Charlotte Street School was extensively renovated and transformed into a community centre, and now houses dance studios, a cafe, gallery space, and a large auditorium. Tickets for this are $20 (ouch, I know. But really, what else are you doing?) at Backstreet, Read’s, or at the door, and it starts at 8pm.

Bad Vibrations are playing at The Capital on the 13th. You’re interested because this is KC Spidle’s new post-Dog Day thing and because Stephanie said so.

The Bad Vibes play lo-fi — at times droning — garage rock. I imagine this sounds like what would happen if Lemmy Kilmister molested Eric’s Trip in their prime. You heard it here first, friends.

Cursed Arrows

Cursed Arrows

On the same bill are Cursed Arrows from Kitchener. I’ve got their MySpace going as I type this and I can’t decide if I dig ’em or not. Their hearts influences are definitely in the right place, but I think the scant low register thunder (they’re a guitar and drums two-piece, you see) is keeping me from sailing over the edge into like-like. The drums are nice and loud in the mix and help fill in some of the gaps, and I’d be willing to bet they’re worth seeing live, so I’ll probably stick around after Bad Vibes’ set and see what they’re all about.

I am heartened to learn some high schoolers are putting on an all ages show on the 7th with a bunch of high school bands. There isn’t much online to indicate what the bands actually sound like, but at least some local kids have stopped sexting long enough to learn a few songs. I can’t wait to find out what the youngsters are up to and be that creepy lady nobody knows lurking in the back of the room.

Finally, I guess Musiplex is closing? We hear the whole outfit is for sale, including the business, the building itself, and everything inside it. The show on the 16th with Society’s Ills, Humanifesto, The Dirt Track Dates, We, The Undersigned, and Dawn Brings Vengeance will be the last.

For non-locals, Musiplex is a converted warehouse on the north side which is (was?) home to a wet/dry venue, rehearsal studios, gear store, and rental shop. They even did kids’ parties and arranged music lessons, apparently. While they had a reputation for both costliness and dickery, Musiplex was a godsend to local bands starting out. It wasn’t cheap, but if you needed a jam room with a PA and backline for a few hours, they could hook you up.

Musiplex’s uncertain future means anyone who might want to start a band here will soon be out of luck unless they already have all their own gear, a jam space, and distant or at least tolerant neighbours. L-O-L, Fredericton!

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