Goings On – Week of March 5 2015

After four years and hundreds of entries (approximately 185 of which were written by me) the Goings On column is coming to an end. It’s potentially sad for someone somewhere but it’s also a blessing in disguise. After all wading through dismal listings in freezing cold months to find something to write about often made this weekly column feel like a prison sentence.

Besides I’ve run out of unique ways to turn down the hundreds of people who hound me daily. Divorced blues dads from Peterborough keeping the dream alive with credit card-funded tours publicists from America asking me if I can attend their client’s show in Regina modern rock bands with glossy 8x10s who make me laugh for days on end but definitely wouldn’t want to read what I’d write about them.

Truly there’ve been plenty of laughs and I’ve enjoyed the hell out of writing this column. I made fun of the unending stream of government-funded adult-contempo quirk rock loading glockenspiels and handclaps and other 2005 signifiers into our venues on a near weekly basis. I argued that Nickelback was better than The Black Keys when both acts played here in the same week. I made plenty of fart poop and dick jokes.

I’m well aware that there’s a fair share of local artists who didn’t care for my column and friends have sent me screenshots of some wonderful Facebook comments over the years. Someone once said “Josiah Hughes is a hell of a writer he just doesn’t know anything about music.” (Whoever you were please get in touch so I can attribute this quote properly on my freelance business cards.) Another person a local rapper to boot said he hopes I get a job sniffing farts. Frankly that’d be a step up from listening to some of the desperate musicians out there.

Speaking of local rappers I’ve made my share of enemies in that zone but the path has smoothed over and I’ve realized that Calgary has got a thriving local rap and hip-hop scene. A good rule of thumb is to simply avoid songs that are actually about Calgary. In fact once a sworn enemy local rapper Transit even sent his condolences to both former editor/current writer Mark Teo and myself. “Respect/fuck you” he wrote on Twitter which was a genuinely moving response all things considered.

For all the shit I talked however the most controversial was when I’d discuss the things I liked. “Oh great he’s telling us to go to Tubby Dog again” the dejected commenters surely members of our city’s finest butt-rock cover bands would moan. “More hipster bullshit from a guy with a Che Guevera manpurse.” It’s worth noting that I have never nor will I ever own any Che Guevera merchandise.

The fact remains that I’ve tried to guide your hand toward worthwhile things in the city including but not limited to our punk hardcore and post-hardcore scenes our world-class electronic music our inclusive outsider free jazz community our underrated and our up-and-coming.

I still haven’t cracked the code on how to aggregate concert listings in a way that’s both interesting and non-controversial but it doesn’t matter because it’s over. All I can ask is that you look for things that challenge you find new ways to be excited and support the things that aren’t always supported by publicists grants or mainstream music writers. “Alt” hasn’t meant anything in a long time if ever (even in their heyday the alternative crowd would wear snarky ringer Ts that said “alternative to what?”) but it’s on you to seek out and support the DIY.