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Music

Wolf Parade rocks me, back home in Edmonton

Posted by Trixie / September 7, 2006

I recently returned to my beloved adopted city of Montreal after a trip back home to Alberta. There is always something particularly stressful about visiting one’s hometown, and I’ve heard others say the same. It’s been ages since I actually went out on the town and saw either the crowd of people I used to hang out with or our old haunts. For the past several years, when I return home I keep a low profile and force my family to entertain me (“Oh gee, Mom. It seems that I am out of socks and underwear and decent [insert applicable seasonal] clothing. How did that happen? Funny that I would just notice that now!”). Part of this stress—and the concomitant avoidance—is the acute sense of solipsism that accompanies me on the trip: it is difficult to suppress the sensation that once I’m home and out-and-about all activity will begin to revolve around me.

This isn’t as horridly self-aggrandizing as it sounds: it’s just that the whole scenario of “Oh you’re back! Look who’s back! What have you been up to? What’s been going on? So…you’re back, huh?…” is unavoidable. I don’t actually believe that anyone except my family and a particularly close friend or two is at all sincerely moved to see me; just as I doubt that it will affect them much at all when I’m gone again. But there’s the obligatory we-should-get-together-and-catch-up thing; the elaborate mutual ruse of over-investment in making a connection that in ordinary circumstances neither of you would bother with.

Anyway, this time I screwed up my courage and ventured out for a special occasion. A Wolf Parade show. And I would say that of late there are few potential occasions more special. For I’ve seen them about 5 times in the last year, and the experience never fails to thrill. So when I discovered by happenstance that they were playing in Edmonton in August while I was there, I drew upon my Montreal connections and finagled a coupla spots on the guest list. And let me tell you, nothing makes a gal feel as cool as returning home and ending up on the guest list for a while-hot sold out show (well, you know, if your life is exceedingly lacking in kicks).

You have to understand: cool cred in Edmonton is predicated in music scene terms, and little else. At least that’s how it used to be. I’m admittedly out of touch, a fact that was brought home hard to me when I realized I knew hardly anyone there. I had been prepared to get drawn out of my shell and have a reunion of sorts, while grooving to one of my favorite bands, hopefully buoyed by a sense of belonging in the midst of this Edmonton-Montreal colliding of worlds. But alas…Is it possible my old friends don’t go out to every decent show playing in town anymore, as they all dependably used to? Are we really that old?

So, while I was adjusting myself to this whole new crowd of happening young kids (I swear that Edmonton never used to host a bevy of super-pretty, super-skinny hipster boys as it apparently does now), Frog Eyes came on, accompanied by Spencer Krug on keyboards, a la old times. The thing about Frog Eyes is I can never decide if I’m really digging it or not. Carey Mercer is certainly giving it his all, and I appreciate that, and so I’m moved, and then I really am getting into it, and then I’m not so sure, and then I’m loving it, and then I’m getting aggravated, and bored out of my mind, and wishing it could be less self-indulgent even though I am admiring the moxy of it all…but, wait, now I am digging it again…

The crowd, however, was evidently consistently keen on the band, and Mercer himself, near the end of a pretty long set, grinned bashfully and thanked the audience for the fact that, unlike what he was used to as an opening act, they were yelling out nice, supportive, non-mean things. Awww, now that tugs on the heartstrings—he seemed so genuinely touched.

And then, Wolf Parade. Damn, the show was smokin’. I felt proud as can be, having nothing to do with the band whatsoever but still feeling that adopted-hometown connection, having seen the boys—and loving them from the outset—playing their first shows in insanely over-crowded lofts, at Sala Rossa, at the Main Hall…all before they hit it big. It makes one feel rather proprietorial. And it made seeing them elsewhere, especially in my old hometown, really rather weird, and very novel and exciting. Particularly weird was that along with the pretty-boy hipster metrosexuals making up the audience were to be found an obstreperous herd of drunk-out-of-their-heads-and-ready-to-PARTY!!!!!! frat boy types, having the time of their freakin’ lives. Ah, Alberta. For it must be said that yes, this kind of Dude is found everywhere, but never quite the breed that populates my home province.

And what else is to be said? Some young lady threw her hot pink bra onstage at Dan Boeckner, and he gamely stuck it down his pants, before removing it and proclaiming that is was too itchy against his penis. Now that is Rock showmanship.

And so I’d like to thank Wolf Parade for giving my otherwise uneventful time back in Edmonton a scintillating kick-in-the-pants. Maybe that outing was enough to restore my courage, and I’ll venture out again in search of adventure next time I’m back home. Or at least in search of this new crop of ultra-young sweet-faced boys. Not to touch, just to observe. At my age, my interest is purely anthropological…

Discussion

7 Comments

Adaeze / February 4, 2015 at 01:59 am
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trinh - Congrats to Cheryl and her beautiful new baby girl!!And also contargs, best of luck and continued best wishes to my amazing sister Kat in continuing to grow Katch Studios into an even more amazing company. When I think back to the day you told me you were going to start your own photography studio I was so proud and excited for your new passion. I can't believe what you have achieved in such a short amount of time!! Your work is amazing and you are so inspirational! I love you so much, and I know the future for you and Katch will continue to exceed expectations, because your work is SO beautiful!!xoxo Trinh
golu dolls / March 26, 2019 at 06:11 am
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Kanchipuram sarees / March 26, 2019 at 06:12 am
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Kanchipuram sarees / March 26, 2019 at 06:12 am
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nice post
Herbal Powder / March 26, 2019 at 06:12 am
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nice post

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