Folk Punk @ The Red Dog: A Quick Preview

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I haven’t been writing many preview pieces this year, as not too many shows have intrigued me much. I’ve also not being going to many actual shows this year. As Arthur’s Arts & Culture reporter, I may have been slacking on my commitment to the scene. However, I don’t need to prove shit to you anyway. ​You may be questioning: “Why start a preview piece this way? Are you guilt-ridden or something?” ​Yes, I am. And tonight at The Red Dog there is going to be an amazing show, and if you don’t attend, you will feel just as fucking guilty as I do.

Greg Rekus and Gab De La Vega have been travelling across Canada and The United States on an aptly titled U.S./Canada Tour. Their music could be described as folk-punk, but I find that designation too limited. Their sounds are more nuanced, containing equal parts anger, angst, fun, and energy.

​Greg Rekus self-describes as a riot folk punker. That hypes me up. I’ve never been involved in a riot, but rioting with a folk-punk soundtrack sounds fun as fuck. His newest album Sibling Cities, is some of the fullest singer-songwriter punk that I’ve heard in a long time. It’s hard not to bang tables or stomp your feet as you try to keep up with his diverse song-writing style. Some songs sound almost blues-y amping up into a distorted panoply of motion. Others beat forward, evoking the angst of youth. Fuck this, fuck that, you feel. “Where’s the beers?” you scream. And some of the best songs on the album make you feel weird. “Is this punk?” you question. No, its riotous folk-punk. Get with the fucking program.

Gab De La Vega’s sound is best described by the man himself. His Facebook summarizes, “Minimal and direct melodies, where the punk three-chords theory meets vaguely folk veins.” Those last three words, ‘vaguely folk veins,’ gave me Goosebumps. What a good way to put it. A song released in September, sings the lines, “There’s some kinda love / and there’s some kinda hate / the maggots in the iron lung / won’t copulate.” That’s fucking awesome. Any evocation of maggots usually makes me happy. Gab De La Vega’s set intrigues me. I haven’t seen him before, but telling from the few tracks I listened on his Bandcamp, he sounds more than competent to help put your anxieties aside for a night, as you enjoy a little bit of folk-punk malaise. Even better, however, is if you embrace your anxieties and kill them with punk and beer. That will work, until maybe tomorrow morning.

​Wayne Kennedy, who I’ve written about quite extensively in the past few issues, is a good friend of mine. His music will make you feel things, good and great things. Instead of reiterating what I’ve already said, please see all of his intricacies here and here.

Liam Parker is also playing tonight. He is a member of Static Response. I couldn’t find much information on his solo act, but I trust that it will tinge your ears with delight, just as much as the rest of it.

​Tonight will be a treat. Not one of those treats that are free (the concert costs $5 or PWYC), but one of those treats that you don’t mind paying for. Like a good slice of cheesecake, or a pack of Belmonts, when Next Blues are a couple dollars cheaper.

I’m gonna shut up now. Just go to the damn show. I hope to see you there.

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Tyler works out of Peterborough, Ontario, and reluctantly attends Trent University. He loathes deeply, while drinking often. The cigarettes will soon consume his life. Read his poetry while you still can at https://aforeword.com/tag/tyler-majer/ while reading his journalistic work at this very site. I would say that he would be appreciative, but that may not be the truth.