Music & Arts news from Southern New Brunswick

Month: May 2014

2014 Spring Gallery Hop Friday

Pip Project no. 18: Duke & Germain 2

Pip Project no. 18: Duke & Germain 2

The spring gallery hop has got to be my favourite. The cobwebs have just been shook off, the patios are under construction, and a winter’s worth of work is freshly hung.

I’m personally rather excited for Sarah Jones’ Pip Project debuting at Jones Gallery and stopping in to the Prince William Street Studio Collective (an unofficial hop stop).

Join me for a walk around the block and a sip at Happinez, won’t you?

Hop Map

Hop Map

Not Another Footnote: Fundraiser for LOCAL-FM & Third Space – May 17 @ 9:30PM

NAF Dance Party May 17-14 copy(1) (1)

Not Another Footnote is a Dance Party dedicated to the ladies of Soul, Rock, Pop, Disco, Funk, Hip Hop, and Dance. Multiple decades and genres will be crossed with the purpose of getting your soles on the dance-floor. Admission is pay what you can with all proceeds going to Third Space Gallery and Local 107.3FM!

Featuring the sounds and styles of Local 107.3FM DJs:
Kimmy Ho (Kim Hornak)
Stevie Dee (Steph Tierney)
Maggie Wheel (Linda Minor)
Bobby Babylon (Jud Crandall)

Date: May 17 2014
Time: 9:30 pm – 2:00 am
Place: Taco Pica

Local 107.3FM Music Reviews: Hand-drawn & Learning

Check out our music reviewers’ thoughts on some fine recent local releases. Frankie Cankles returns to for his thoughts on Hand-drawn’s “party” and we welcome Jarred Leblanc to the team to share why he thinks Learning has the “potential to become one of Saint John’s most critically acclaimed bands.”



Local kids Hand-drawn bill themselves as “ambient indie space-rock” (my own rearrangement of their bandcamp tags). While that’s true of their sonic approach (delays, reverbs and lo-fi textures abound), the songwriting on two-track EP “party” seems to be rooted in early-aughts punk/emo, more Saves The Day than Spacemen 3. Opener “Go” is pure melancholic pop; “No Windows” (my personal favourite) gets a little freakier. Sounds to these ears like a record I’d have picked up from a touring band during that sweet spot where I was still regularly hitting both all-ages and bar shows. Worth a spin if that’s your scene.



There are few albums in the local music scene that have had as much hype behind them as Learning’s debut. Ever since their formation a few years back, they have been building up their reputation as one of the scene’s most promising young bands, and on top of that nearly every member of the group has been involved in community radio in one way or another. Their names were out there, and people knew the name “Learning,” but nobody had the slightest clue what they were going to do with their sound.

On November 15, 2013, Learning finally released their long-awaited debut album on Sharktooth Records, entitled “Culkin”. The album had a sound that came from way out of left field while also remaining highly accessible, containing a sound that combined elements of indie rock, shoegaze and post-punk into one angsty, lo-fi package that is eclectic but never excessive. This is evident almost immediately from the opener “Time Of Quiet Reflection”, an instrumental track that is composed of layers of distinct, echoed instrumentation and vocal samples. Soon after the haunting atmosphere of the aforementioned track concludes, it fades almost seamlessly into the first non-instrumental track on the album, “Harper”, and this gives us a taste of what Learning is really about, with vocalist Caleb McKend’s discordant, passionate force proving to be the driving force behind the entire group. The instrumentals stand well enough on their own, but Caleb’s abstract lyricism and harsh vocal performance just adds to the juxtaposition of sound that is Learning.

For the most part, the album’s sound is consistent enough to provide a more than satisfying listen – which is why “Burth” is such a surprise. This is one of the few moments throughout the entire release where everything comes full circle and secures Learning’s place as one of the most unique bands our town has to offer. It is also the emotional peak of the album, with Caleb unleashing with some of his darkest lyrics through a vocal tone that can best be described as the sounds of despair. The instrumentation helps lay down the foreground for this emotional journey, bordering on post rock. It’s one of the few moments on the album where the group steps outside of their comfort zone, and it ultimately shows the potential they have to create a masterpiece at will.

As a whole, “Culkin” is a solid album, especially for a debut. Despite a few inconsistent moments here and there (“Orangcatanarang”), the album provides more then enough twists and turns to satisfy indie rock and post-punk fans alike. There is definitely room for improvement, but if they can find a way to create an album of tracks as consistent as “Burth”, there’s potential to become one of Saint John’s most critically acclaimed bands.



LOCAL-FM Job Posting: Music Library Technician (48 week position)

Music Library Technician
Anticipated Start Date: June 2, 2014
30/hours per week
Application Deadline: May 19, 2014

Thanks to funding from the Community Radio Fund of Canada (the seventh time the station has received funding from the CRFC), we are looking to hire a Music Library Technician on a 48-week term. This new staff member will work with our existing team to dedicate considerable time towards outreach, acquisition, and archiving of music within our library by developing our volunteer-driven Music Department. Ample efforts will also be directed towards recruiting underrepresented, local voices on our airwaves and to encourage more diverse music programming. This project will also include training and the distribution of information about underrepresented genres to our current volunteer DJs to increase the diversity of genres represented on all radio programs.

The objectives for this project include:

– Researching and implementing a suitable, easy-to-use Music Library database software to improve access and space utilization;

– Creating the capacity and culture for continued outreach, acquisition, and archiving of local music in all genres;

– Improving the variety of genres represented on-air to include programs focused on underrepresented and specialty genres including Jazz, Hip Hop, Folk, Classical, Experimental, etc.;

– Improving, through outreach and targeting recruitment and support, the variety of demographics represented on-air including underrepresented areas of our population such as Seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, low-income and working poor, people for whom English is a non-native language, racial or ethnic minority groups, members of the LGBTQQI community, people with limited education or literacy, etc.;

– Improve compliance with regards to CRTC-licensed minimum Canadian content requirements for Popular Music and Specialty Interest Music and minimum Special Interest Music requirements;


– Strong written and verbal communication skills;
– Previous recording, editing, archiving, and radio experience or education;
– Strong understanding of the role of C/C radio in the community

Interested applicants should submit resume, cover letter, and relevant work (audio or written) to Station Manager, Brian Cleveland at or (506) 648-5667.

Applications can also be sent by mail to:

100 Tucker Park Rd.
PO Box 5050
Saint John, N.B.
E2L 4L5

We thank all applicants for their interest but wish to advise that only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Real Ponchos take new album on cross Canada tour


Vancouver’s Real Ponchos have only been playing together for a few years but they have impressively released an EP, and their debut full length ‘Since I Let you go’ which will drop May 8th.

Real Ponchos are comprised of Ben Arsenault, Emlyn Scherk, Michael Wagler and Emile Scott all have a long history of music under their belts. Vancouver natives Scherk, Arsenault and Scott have a long musical history that shows when listening to the tight jams on their debut album. Arsenault and Scherk previously played together in Montreal based alt-country band, Martyr & Pistol, while Scott and Arsenault have been making music together since high school. They recruited fellow Vancouverite Wagler to round out the band and the rest is history.

Ambition is a driving force behind most musicians and Real Ponchos is no exception,
“We are all passionate about music and we just wanted to play music, as simple as that sounds. There is a fire in all of us to create and make music”, said Arsenault.

Real Ponchos enlisted Jesse Gander (producer behind Japanroids and the Pack AD) who has produced over 400 albums, to record and co-produce their debut album. “Emile was looking around for a place for us to record and he came upon The Hive. Jesse has worked with some very talented and well known Vancouver musicians. He is very experienced and professional and the album turned out great”, said Arsenault.

Real Ponchos had the opportunity to record at the now defunct Vancouver’s Hive Creative Lab studio, the recording list reads as a who’s who of Vancouver bands past and present.
“I think we were one of the last bands to record at The Hive, it was a great studio, laid back, good vibe. Everything except the vocals were recorded live off the floor.”

Real Ponchos band name is a nod to Frank Zappa, but their list of influences steers towards classic rock, roots and country. If you are a fan of Levon Helm and The Band, then these guys will be right up your alley.
“We are huge Levon and The Band fans. Definitely a huge influence on us. As well as Neil Young and Tom Petty. Some newer stuff like War on Drugs, Sonny and the Sunsets, Beachwood Sparks,” said Arsenault.

“We are definitely looking forward to getting out to the Maritimes. A few of us have been to Nova Scotia and PEI before, but it will be our first time to New Brunswick.”
Arsenault not only has the debut album to celebrate, but he also just finished his degree. “We have the album to celebrate but I also just finished my Law Degree at University of Victoria so it’s going to be a great tour, a cool way to end the school year.”

If you are looking for an awesome album to go along with your upcoming summer road trip, I highly recommend throwing the Real Ponchos on your playlists.

Real Ponchos Debut album, Since I Let You Go, will be available May 6th.

You can catch Real Ponchos as they make their way to the Maritimes: The Roxstone Café in Fredericton on May 22nd, at The Carleton in Halifax on May 23rd, at the Red Herring in St. Andrews on May 24th, at Baba’s in PEI on May 27th and at Plan B in Moncton on May 28th.

You can stream the entire Since I Let You Go album over on Exclaim