Kathleen Edwards and Blue Rodeo, August 21
Although a thunderstorm light show crashed Blue Rodeo's late-evening set at the Molson Amphitheatre last Thursday, the real electricity came much earlier in the show. After less than dynamic opening slots by Jim Bryson (who played to a disheartening crowd of a dozen before sunset) and the Jayhawks , peppery alt-country belter Kathleen Edwards offered the night's first beating pulse. The snarky siren snapped when folks wouldn't shut up and listen to live fave Mercury but was all smiles for Rodeo crooner Jim Cuddy's surprise guest appearance on Hockey Skates. Cuddy, who said the fact that Edwards could make hockey equipment sound sexy landed her a spot opening for Blue Rodeo years ago, looked like an ecstatic schoolgirl singing in front of her bedroom mirror. His glammed-up call-and-response take on the tune charmed, as did his adorable groovin' dance routine. Do I smell a Canuck alt-country collaboration in the future?
Three Gut shakeup
With the ink barely dry on the Constantines ' stellar new Shine A Light disc and their deal with Sub Pop bolted down, one of the founders of the Cons' home base, Three Gut Records , has bid the label adieu. Creative and artistic director (and local style queen) Tyler Clark Burke is stepping down from the burgeoning indie she co-founded almost four years ago in order to focus on other creative projects. Both Burke and co-founder Lisa Moran (who will continue on as label manager and primary contact) insist there's no enmity; the label's unexpected success just made it too big to remain a kooky underground art project.
"Three Gut began almost as a ruse," offers Burke. "Strange installation art, posters with no text, mysterious invites hung on clotheslines. Pure mischief, with no record distribution and a community of friends. These days it's been harder and harder to balance the responsibilities of the label with time to work on other projects.
"I'll truly miss my involvement with the label. It's a move that's not made without a tremendous sense of loss and nostalgia."
Burke's mum on why she's splitting at such a fortuitous time, but we suspect it may have to do with a reluctance to see the label become a larger-scale business venture. And other than the upcoming Royal City mini-album cover and merch, she claims the odds of any further creative contributions to the label are "slim to none." You'll have to check out her haunting art at Wavelength every Sunday in September, and at her Sis Boom Bah gallery show, which opens on Halloween.