Sunday, November 22, 2009

Put on a Little JJ Voss and Sing Along

photo by Rebekah DeMaya of HEAD Photography

With a roots scene beginning to pick up steam in Regina there are a few artists to keep your eyes out for. The Bystanders, The Dustin Ritter Band and Jason Plumb & the Willing are a few to keep tabs on. Along with these artists there is a prominent solo artist here in Regina that goes by the name of JJ Voss. JJ is a enthusiastic roots rocker meets neo-traditionalist with a heartland feel that with a fan base growing rapidly.

The rural Saskatchewan in JJ comes across in his music that is blended with the influences of his hero's Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Now if you have heard or seen JJ perform live you'll quickly take notice JJ cut his teeth on Steve Earle. Steve Earle, JJ's ultimate hero has an influence that definitely comes across in the songwriting and performance each night when JJ performs his heart out. JJ is first to admit his influences, however that being said what you are seeing while your eyes are transfixed on the stage is 100% JJ Voss. It's kind of the same sort of thing that can be equated with New Jersey band the Gaslight Anthem having been influenced by Bruce Springsteen. The Gaslight Anthem has done tours with Bruce, and man what a treat to would be to see a Steve Earle/JJ Voss show. Maybe one day we will see one.

When I first was introduced JJ's music he was playing bar rooms and has now quickly evolved playing large auditoriums, showcases in Nashville such as the "The Billy Block Show" back in March and has performed at Saskatchewan's world famous "Craven Country Jamboree" in 2005 and 2008. Not a bad resume for a man with a record only having been out for a little over a year.

If you don't have a copy of JJ's debut record "Hillbilly Storybook", do yourself a favour and pick up a copy via facebook, myspace, his official website or at Regina's Pump Roadhouse. "Hillbilly Storybook" is blue collar record jam packed with story tunes. The record begins with my personal favourite of JJ's originals "Innocent Man". When he performs this song he often tells the audience "This song may or may not be a true story and may or may not be about myself" which leaves me intently listening to the lyrics while tapping my feet. I have never asked JJ about the song but I encourage you to grab a copy of the record and come to a conclusion yourself. The next track is "Two Gold Teeth" another story tune followed by the laugh out loud number "Joanie the Jehovah Witness Stripper". I don't think I need to tell you much about "Joanie" but I will tell you that the first time I heard this song I was watching JJ at some Canada Day festivities in the Wascana Park a couple years back and when I realized what I was hearing and nearly wet myself.

Halfway though the record we get to a stunning original called "Holy Man" which JJ's objection to killing in the name of God in the name of religion. Approaching the end of the record is a dancey number "Nancy Sinatra" which features acclaimed country artist Duane Steele. Finally headlining the album is one last original "Above It All" which is probably the most traditional song on the record while still keeping in JJ's extremely well done storytelling vain.

I guess to describe "Hillbilly Storybook" would be to well... repeat the the title of this fantastic recording; it's cupboards stocked full of well written songs and talented musicians. I can also tell you that you will not be disappointed in the quality of sound either as JJ and the boys at Touchwood studios here in Regina did an incredible job to go along with excellent musicianship and phenomenal songwriting. All this along with the artwork and design courtesy of Rebekah DeMaya of HEAD Photography who also supplied the photo for this article makes a complete package. I do want to note that Rebekah's work can be seen at and I encourage you stop by and pay her a visit. She is another Saskatchewan artist practicing her own medium photography and has excellent work.

Again pick up a copy and enjoy. Next time you see JJ Voss out around town stop him and say hi. If mys suspicions are correct, one day in the not so distant future you may not as easily have the chance as he could really make a go of his passion. He has all the tools to do so. Make sure you check his live show too when you get a chance.

Cheers Rockers!

Be sure the to check out "Tuesday Night Troubadour" hosted by Mr. JJ Voss himself at Bocados Restaurant here in Regina.

Find JJ on Facebook

Have listen at Myspace:

Visit his official site:

HEAD Photography

J.J. Voss - "Holy Man"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eight Miles Wide courtesy of Storm Large

I don't do a lot of just video spots because well, I for the most part would rather review a show or cd, maybe go on a rant or tell you how much I love something. I find it more satisfying to really look into my topic or subject.

Video's generally I find are one dimensional. That being said there are great video's like every single TOOL video or "The First Day of Spring" by the Gandharva's but generally most artists, even ones I like don't really capture me in the three and a half minutes you have to make a video. The ones listed above are few exceptions and I am sure I am forgetting hundreds more but I have seen ten of thousands videos that are just meh...

Storm Large is best known as a contestant on the CBS reality television show Rock Star: Supernova. While I feel she is in the top four hottest women on planet (along with Amanda Marshall, Joan Jett and Reese Witherspoon). I have never been a big fan of her originals. I have given them a fair chance as I have previewed her Myspace sometime ago and even attended her show at the Distrikt here in Regina a couple years back. To me she was another very pretty face with a powering voice that was not used to it's fullest potential.

Storm has a new cd entitled "Crazy Enough" might get a listening yet. Her single "Eight Miles Wide" is brilliant... yes brilliant. I know I say this about a lot of things I am passionate about but for the record I think I am a better person for seeing this video. I believe she has taken sincerity, a no bull shit attitude along with her quirky sense of humour and made a video that will capture you for four minutes and thirty three seconds.

I don't want to tell you too much about it but this video made me laugh, blush and really think about her topic. Not that it relates much to me but to humanity in general. I want to say that the four guys at the end crack me up, but without taking anymore of your time here is Storm Large "Eight Miles Wide".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stone Temple Pilots - Regina, Saturday November 14, 2009

Photo by Ryan Prosper

With: Crash Kings
City: Regina, SK
Door Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: Evraz Place

When it comes to big rock shows I wait for months in anticipation. So telling you that I get a little excited would be an understatement. The Stone Temple Pilots show at Evraz Place was going to be no different. For the last couple months I had been counting down sleeps, much as I did before for Social D. I was stoked to the point of being nauseous Saturday afternoon. I had heard rumours around town that the boys in the band had quit three quarters of the way through previous sets and no showed gigs and such. The reviews from previous towns were dismal. I really hoped the band would "SHOW UP" to Regina.

I have always been a fan of Stone Temple Pilots. Depending on the day the only band from that era that can take their title for favourite '90's band is Alice in Chains... I said "depending on the day". That being said with AIC's new singer, STP have cemented their place as my favourite 90's band.

In the early days of STP critics referred to the band as "grunge imitators" and "Pearl Jam rip-offs". I will probably get lynched for saying this but for the record I feel STP are miles ahead of of Pearl Jam in respects to their coolness factor and rock ass ability, but hey I have never been a huge Pearl Jam fan to start with.

Again, the months of anticipation leading up the show were trying ones. I didn't think that the day would ever arrive. However, believe it or not they day would arrive. The hours dragged on like weeks. Saturday afternoon was a long one to get through. Finally the countdown would trail off as my buddies Murray, Trevor, Ramone and I would be ready for the show.

So the four of us met at the Freehouse around 5pm and festivities would start. Friends Stacey and Kevin would join us for a bit. Kevin pointed out that with Scott's track record that one day we will be able to look at Scott as our generations Jim Morrison. That's a pretty cool thought when for me the only man that rivals Weiland is Skid Row's Sebastian Bach. Seeing Velvet Revolver on the "Libertad" tour a couple years ago makes this the second time being able to see one such idol.

So some eats and a couple of beers later and the boys and I were off to the Evraz Place (FYI It's still the Agridome to me). By the time we got there, everyone had their pre-show piss or whatever, looked at and opted out of merch, got beer and mingled with friends. We had missed most of the opening band the Crash Kings set. From checking them out on line before and seeing their last couple songs I have a pretty good idea what the band was like. They are reminiscent of Jack's Mannequin meets Black Crowes kind of vibe. Singer plays keys instead of guitar... I always like a guitar in a band but they seemed kind of cool regardless. That being said, I didn't lose any sleep over missing most of their set. I/We were there to see Stone Temple Pilots, that was it.

Some people are calling this a greatest hits tour with a negative connotation in the voice. People say that they should wait and tour with new material. I ask these people are they a fan of the band? What is wrong with a greatest hits tour? Aren't these great hits the reason you love this band in the first place? Personally I am glad I got to hear almost every song I wanted. What would be awesome is to have seen last nights show and then they come back next year with the new record. I want my cake and be able to eat it too! I would have however liked to have heard "Big Bang Baby" and "Coma" but hey I will take the fact that I got to hear my favourites "Down" and "Interstate Love Song" still.

The band opened with "Silvergun Superman" and rocked all the way though their fifteen or so song set. I heard one reviewer refer to Scott as a the bands "Too Cool Singer" and you know what? He almost is too cool. While he didn't say much in the form of on stage banter, I am not sure he ever does. He seemed appreciative of the fans the whole time. He did his job and if you ask me the flamboyant front man while maybe he wasn't as manic as he has been, still did a damn fine job. His vocals were spot on and the band was tight as hell. Scott and the boys wailed though their angst-ridden, hard rock hits and proved they still got it.

Drummer Eric Kretz did his part and held it down as the backbone. Robert DeLeo looking like a mafia boss grooved his way through the songs in his black suit and cool as hell sunglasses, while his brother Dean in my opinion stole the show. I have never taken time to really notice Dean DeLeo. He is possibly one of my new favourite guitar players. His tone was awesome and he stage presence was amazing. The man has kind of a Joe Perry feel which is nothing to thumb your nose at. His guitar work and solos gave me goosebumps. He was thick as hell.

After an hour and half set the band graciously ended with their encore consisting of "Dead & Bloated" and "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart". Other than Scott being a little less manic I got everything I had wanted.

With some less than satisfactory past reviews you can mark Regina down with a kick ass show. I am so glad I got to enjoy it with the boys! It was very cool to witness it with people that have the same appreciation for the band that I do.

If I am correct the set-list is as follows:

Silvergun Superman
Wicked Garden
Big Empty
Lounge Fly
Army Ants
Sour Girl
Interstate Love Song
Sex Type Thing

Dead & Bloated
Trippin on a Hole in a Paper Heart

Thank you STP!

Cheers Rockers!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Justin Townes Earle "Midnight at the Movies"

Photo by Joshua Black Wilkins

I know I am about six months behind, but I felt that the most recent Justin Townes Earle record "Midnight At The Movies" needed a write up.

JTE, son of the Hardcore Troubadour himself Steve Earle put out his third release this year. Justin is stunning storyteller, a young man that proves he is more than perfectly capable of carving his own spot into country music and standing on his own two feet.

So many children of famous stars think they have what it takes because their parents like Jesse Snyder son of Dee Snyder and many others. Fortunately there are some children and grandchildren of country music that have got it such as Hank III, Shooter Jennings and today's feature Justin T Earle.

I have to say the record is nothing short of fantastic... I mean it really does reak of awesomeness!

The record opens with the title track "Midnight At The Movies" which has me picturing live show at a theatre or small room vividly captured by the essence of a young crooners voice and songwriting. The kind of capture where you instantly become a fan of the artist.. a surreal moment. Next is "What I Mean to You" which reminds of of the old school country star commanding attention in an old Hank Williams kind of way... suit and all in piano heavy smoke filled room.

Following this we have "They Killed John Henry" which makes me think of what it would have been like to been at a barn dance in in the 1940's. Fire pit, fiddle, banjo and lots of roots. It's a kind of stand up and be a man kind of song. Have no fear and take on what comes your way.

"Mama's Eyes" "I am my father's son, I've never known when to shut up, I ain't fooling no one, I am my father's son, we don't see eye to eye, and I'll be the first to admit I've never tried, it sure hurts me, it should hurt sometime, we don't see eye to eye." I don't know that I need to say more. Parent/child relationships can be trying, but this will surely allow you to reflect on your own family. I know it did for me.

After the heavy "Mama's Eyes" we need some fun and Justin gives it too us with a thirty second burst of fun with some fret ripping goodness in "Dirty Rag".

"Can't Hardly Wait" is a PERFECT cover at the halfway point of the record. I never thought I would hear a mandolin on a Paul Westerberg track. It's awesome and I am sure Paul Westerberg enjoys this take on his song rather than the thousands of shitty kids covering replacements tunes in attempt to do exactly what the replacements did decades ago while still falling miles short.

"Black Eyed Suzy" is a galloping traditional song, "Poor Fool" is the blueprint of Country music done with JTE's authenticity, "Halfway to Jackson" is a train jumping song with movie-esque kind of vibe.

"Someday I'll Be Forgiven for This" is a story of heartache and betrayal while dealing with the feelings that are left when it's over. Contrasting the previous track, "Walk Out" is a fun little ditty that makes me feel like dancing' while getting pulled off stage with a giant cane. "Here We Go Again" is no not a countrified Whitesnake cover. It's a lullaby original that closes the record nicely.

Steve has to be proud of his son doing it his own way as would Townes would be proud as well. He fits with the blues guys, finger picks with the best of the fast hands and croons as good as the people we grew up on all in less than thirty five minutes.

Well worth a listen or many!

Cheers Friends

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tegan & Sara "Sainthood" Review

Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla "The Con" and Howard Redekopp "So Jealous" have been brought back by Canada's charming identical twins for their sixth full length record "Sainthood". "I think the fan favorites in terms of records have been our last two. So we brought in the production teams from both and made a hybrid of sound," Tegan Quin had to say about choosing their producers.

Pretty cool when those are my favorite two records by the duo. With each record the girls evolve, experiment, adapt and create and by doing so they transform chord progressions and melodies into beautiful music for our ears to take in. This is no exception with the newest record "Sainthood". I could not wait to rush out to the record store and pick up a copy last Tuesday.

The songs on Sainthood are straightforward catchy pop songs done with style and a punch. They manage to do this without sounding generic. I think this album best describes the twins. They definitely pull from there roots as you hear things that are reminiscent of the early records as well as some songs that sound similar to what is on the last two. Tegan is hip and Sara is cool. The Canadian girls are definitely something to be proud of. They should be proud of themselves after making such a great record. It was supposed to be the first record they had sat and written together, however apparently none of the thirteen songs came from their songwriting session in New Orleans last year. The two girls really meld while allowing their contrasting styles to be apparent from song to song.

The record starts with a dancing vibe and follows though for the most part right to the end with it.

It's a grown up record by a couple of grown up artists. Like with anything, sometimes fans from the beginning will still crave the likes of first record. I for one think that "So Jealous" and "The Con" are their two best records, while "Sainthood" is quickly approaching. It's like the Quin sisters said, "So you want a fun record, here it is."

Love it!

Cheers Rockers!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Please Stand By... We're The Bystanders

I have made it no secret that The Bystanders are one of my new favourite Regina bands. With bands like shekillsme and The Hot Blood Bombers in the our local music scene the Bystanders have really proved themselves as up-and-comers worth checking out. I have had the honour of witnessing their show on a half a dozen occasions.

I first witnessed this band in June of this year when a girl I was seeing asked me to come see her friends band. Being uneducated about the band and having gone to see a girls friends band in the past left me a little skeptical. Usually this crashes and burns for whatever reason. I think it's cause sometimes people like the friend so much that their music is automatically good though their eyes, sort of a rose colored glasses effect. I reluctantly agreed as I thought the girl was alright. I really don't recall anything else she liked to listen to but this time it wasn't going to be the typical "Come see my friends band". I am really glad I did check out the Bystanders as I was in for a treat.

The band consists of Judd Stachoski on Guitar/Accordion/Harmonica/Keys/Banjo and Vocals, Davin Stachoski on Guitar/Chimes and Vocals, Corey Rheindel on Bass and Nathan Striefel on Drums. Sounds like a lot, well because it is. These gentlemen use every possible instrument at their availability to craft and perform their well written songs.

I told a friend about the band that went to school with Davin how great I thought they were. My friend replied "That doesn't surprise me, Davin is good at everything he does." During that first show I recognized the bass player Corey as a friend of a friend of mine JJ Ramone. I had the pleasure of meeting Corey a few times in the past and knew he was a pretty decent chap. This band has really great friends and fans on top of being such a talented, energetic and so very humble band. The Bystanders are some of the most appreciative people I have every met.

I really don't know how to describe them. They are singer/songwriter, blue grassy, pop-rock... You know what? They are just so damn good it doesn't matter what they are categorized as. I know they remind me a lot of the dynamic that Keelor and Cuddy have in Blue Rodeo. That's not a bad dynamic to have and it's not possessed cookie monster metal so in my book that counts for a lot.

Without further ado, I present to you my interview with the BYSTANDERS!

Cheers Rockers!!

SPUN: When did you form your band The Bystanders? What inspired you to make music together?
JUDD: In late January 2009, Davin heard about an online music contest (the RPM Challenge) to write and record a 10 song album within the 28 days of February. We had just acquired a warehouse jam space and thought the challenge would be a good motivator to finally write music together. Davin and I had played together in bands since we were in high school but never focused on our own material. On the last day of January, through text messages, we decided to name our project band The Bystanders (shortened from my original suggestion of Bystanders of the Rich and Famous) and signed up. When the album was finished at the end of February, we passed out copies to our friends and family which got an immediate response and we decided to give life to The Bystanders and form a band.
DAVIN: Judd and I’ve been playing music together on and off pretty much since we first picked up instruments but hadn’t seriously written and recorded together until February. We got Corey and Nathan in the band a few months later.

SPUN: How are things different for this project than other or past projects?
DAVIN: I have played mainly in cover bands in the past, so writing and performing new tunes and getting a good response from the audience on a bunch of songs they’ve never heard before is awesome.
NATHAN: Everyone is sober. Judd is, mostly. All kidding aside, my most previous project definitely had an unhealthy and unproductive amount of booze involved. It's nice to be able to accomplish something during a practice. Also, I'm fairly heavy rock influenced. I don't know the last time I played with a pair of bamboo sticks before this band. It's a nice change and brings out a different type of playing in the songs.

SPUN: What's it like to be up on stage with your brother rather than friends or old players?
JUDD: It's great, I love his songs and seeing our little project grow and develop is an absolutely joy for me.
DAVIN: Pretty cool – I know that Judd’s probably reluctant to kick me out of the band cause it would make for really awkward family dinners and stuff, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

SPUN: If you had to how would you characterize your music how would you describe it?
NATHAN: Pint on a prairie patio at sundown.
COREY: Real, honest to God human emotion soaked in liquor.
JUDD: Our view on songwriting is that sometimes songs need a different instrument to help express its voice, be it banjo, guitar, accordion or even a little toy bell set. That being said, in the end we get a very eclectic overall sound to our band which makes it a bit difficult to categorize. At the base, our songs are a traditional style of folk paired with pop melodies which has been called alt-country or even folk-rock. It has never been a focus of ours to stick to any genre. Maybe the next album will be Celtic-metal or spoken word-eighties synth pop...

SPUN: How old were you when you wrote your first song, and how has your style of song writing changed?
JUDD: I was about sixteen, listening to the first blink 182 records, trying my best at 3 chord hooks and heart-on-sleeve lyrics but I don't remember coming up with anything worth mentioning until I formed my first band I fronted called 4 Letter Word, with two friends. The first song I wrote with that band was called "Save Face", we were about 18 or 19. The process for me hasn't changed much, think of a line, put it with a chord progression and go from there. Stylistically, I find different things appealing now. There are songs like "Dakota Blues", where I wanted to tell a small story. To help set the scene, I did things like record a dog barking and me kicking over beer bottles on a cement floor. It's all about how you want the song to be experienced by the listener and what will be the closest thing to your vision.
DAVIN: A lot later for me – I was about 25 when I wrote my first song. It used to take me a long time to write songs. My style of songwriting has changed since then and I try to get ideas out quicker and develop them with the band. Sometimes I write songs that I think should probably be left on the page, but they end up working well and get a different feel when we play them as a band and throw in an accordion or banjo part...or even a glockenspiel. Other times the rhythm section gives a song the punch it was lacking, and takes it in a different direction.

SPUN: Do you have a "Go To" place for writing songs? Do you have a Special Place? ;) ha ha
JUDD: My house is littered with a variety of instruments, so when an ideas strikes me, I'll pick up whatever is closest. I'll usually start with an acoustic guitar on the living room couch, then move to the basement where I can really explore where it could go.
DAVIN: I’ll usually have an acoustic guitar kicking around at home so when I get a good idea I go downstairs and lay down a scratch track on my 4-track.
NATHAN: I keep an OK beat. Most come to me in the shower.

SPUN: Do you have a favourite song to play live?
JUDD: Sometimes it's about what song the crowd is reacting to. When everyone there is connecting with us, there's nothing better.
DAVIN: Innocence is Pretty. That song’s a blast to play live.
NATHAN: Ontario
COREY: Dakota Blues.

SPUN: You play multiple instruments, which are you the most comfortable with? Are there any that get the better of you ever?
JUDD: I'm most comfortable playing guitar, it's what I've played longest and it's usually how a song begins for me. however, having Davin in the band, who is a solid guitar player, I get to piss around with a bunch of other stuff. I'm still very green with my banjo and accordion but I like to think I'm improving, ha ha.

SPUN: What did you listen to when you were a kid, and who influenced you?
JUDD: My folks listened to a lot of Springsteen, Bob Seger and Neil Diamond, then as a teenager, I loved Metallica. I never had aspirations of being Kirk Hammett though, I could never play that fast. I always enjoyed the lyric and melody part of music and soon discovered bands like The Weakerthans. Nowadays, I listen to a lot of Tom Waits and NQ Arbuckle.
DAVIN: Used to listen to a lot of the Doors. Influences include the Weakerthans, The National, and Bright Eyes.
NATHAN: Buddy Rich, Dennis Chambers, Steve Gadd, Benny Greb, Danny Carrey.

SPUN: What was the first record you ever bought and do you still own it?
NATHAN: Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet & Green Day - Dookie, Excellent albums and I still have them both.
DAVIN: Man, if I could remember it, I probably still wouldn’t mention it because I’m sure it’s totally embarrassing. The first CD I bought was RHCP Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and no - I don’t own it anymore. The lucky bastard who inherited my entire music collection in ’98 when I accidentally left it on the roof of my car and drove off....he might still have it.

SPUN: You guys get a booming response from your audience, why do you think that is?
JUDD: We have so much fun playing our music that I think it get contagious, people want to get involved.
NATHAN: Judd's sexy accordion play.
COREY: I would hope it's because they're enjoying the night and the music as much as we do.

SPUN: What to you is the most rewarding part of being a musician?
JUDD: there's the creative satisfaction that comes from writing music and playing with close friends in the comfort of your basement, which can be very rewarding. for me, the performance part is what constantly draws me back to music. when the show is done and the crowd is as spent as me, I feel that I've done my job.
NATHAN: Killing it on a good night and audience participation.
COREY: Having a creative outlet after sitting all day in a dreary, lifeless day-job. It's like "music therapy", hopefully our listeners feel the same way when they hear it.
DAVIN: Seeing song ideas develop into a complete song, and ultimately make it to the stage for a bar full of people is pretty rewarding.

SPUN: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Please join to leave messages, thoughts, photos, etc. Please!

JUDD: The only recording we have right now is the 10 song demo from February '09, and we decided not to package and sell it, we want something bigger and better to give to fans. We do want people to be able to listen to us outside of the live venue so we have a few online sources for our music. There is a scattered selection of songs to choose from so have fun checking out our music.

SPUN: What's coming up for you and they boys?
JUDD: Having a lot of gigs behind us since the band formed in February, we look forward to getting a professional recording done, packaged and ready to get to our fans and help us promote The Bystanders. Other than that, we have lot of new songs that are being introduced to our live set and are being honed for the next record.
NATHAN: Gigs, gigs, gigs. I hope.
DAVIN: We are playing next Thursday (Nov 5) at McNally’s, along with the Dustin Ritter Band. Beyond that, I think we’re hoping to get some of our new tunes recorded over the winter.
COREY: Stay tuned for a Broadway musical based on "Employee of the Month" starring Matt Damon as the lowly pizza cook who misses the party of the year because he has to close that Friday.

SPUN: Lastly just give me two words to end this interview
JUDD: Dog Fart
COREY: Prairie Fresh!
DAVIN: Send Money
NATHAN: Interview Over.

The Corporate Record Stores (We Can't Really Help You)

Is it any wonder why we are seeing less and less records (cd and vinyl etc.) in record stores? It seems to me that these places are littered with Hot Topic kinds of items that let fourteen year old girls be punk rock such as Coheed and Cambria patches and Linkin Park flags, not to mention the musically UNrelated items such as "Zack & Miri Make a Porno".

The reason I am a little agitated is that today I went into a place in the Northgate Mall here in Regina, I won't mention which store but it was not HMV, however it was a corporate record store with yellow and black logo.

I was looking for the Justin Townes Earle record "Midnight at the Movies" but couldn't find it in the country section and thought maybe it would be in the Folk section as the young crooner is actually more traditional than his legendary father, however I had no such luck. Having given up I wandered over the pop/rock section and was just browsing. I got to the the E section and lo and behold the new JTE record was indeed there. "Whatever" I thought to myself. It was a probably just mistake I thought.

So I take it up to the counter and the young gentlemen behind the counter asks me if I found everything alright. I advised the associate that actually this cd should be in the country section or even folk but it was terribly mislabeled. The associate was obviously unfamiliar with the title and showed what appeared to be his working paycheck to paycheck manager. I once again advised him where the title should be as I was trying to offer some advise. The response I got was a mumble under breath was that a lot is mislabeled.

Where the problem lies is that if I come into your store and can't find what I am looking for, how in the blue hell am I supposed to purchase it. Maybe try and run your store properly. Maybe this bothers me because I know how much the artist actually gets for this purchase to start with. If the artist gets two dollars of this nineteen dollar purchase I would be very surprised. I much rather would by a record from the artist at a show however a lot of artists never come near Regina Saskatchewan Canada. You could order from itunes but then you don't get the artwork that is for me half the reason I still enjoy buying records. It's having the ARTWORK in my hands. I am sure fans of vinyl can attest to this. This is why we are still forced to go to the "I don't give a shit about the starving artists" stores. Unless you listen to a lot of top forty radio you are unlikely to find it anyway most of the time.

Record stores are such a love-hate experience for me. I love looking through and can for hours but rarely find what am looking for. Also I often thought it would be a cool part time job to work at Empire Records, however I would end up working for the corporate top forty radio world I described above which I would hate for reasons I have explained.

What a piss off.

Rant over.

Cheers Rockers!