Here's another quick way out of a sticky situation (for example, trying to figure out which 30 songs best represent our city over the past 30 years) - ask a record collector! Record collectors are tremendous sources of information and ridiculously inane trivia. So, we asked a few of our vinylphile pals what they thought we should include in the High Performance Rodeo Calgary Songs Project. Here's what we got:
Dan Northfield - Bookings, Concorde Group
Von Zippers - Megavolt
The Dudes - Drop Kick Queen of the Weekend
Reverie Sound Revue - Walking Around Waiting DowntownBaron Mark Von Frankenstine XIII - Dictator, Cannibal, Philanthropist
Wagbeard - Too Easy
Field Day - Enough for Two
The Neckers - Repeat Last Summer
1) Huevos Rancheros – “Go West Young Bee” (1994) Get a load o’ this sideways take on the national anthem by a much missed local institution. This song should be as famous across Canada as Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner” is south of the border.
2) The Von Zippers – “Nothing Can Bring Me Down” (2011) Compiling a list of noteworthy Calgary tunes released post-1986 would be pointless without a tip of the hat to The Von Zippers. They’ve managed to remain consistently relevant throughout a career spanning across three decades, and they released some of their most vital material (this 7” especially) in the past few years.
3) Chixdiggit – “Shadowy Bangers from a Shadowy Duplex” (1996) Nothing quite speaks to the Calgary experience quite like this ode to shady neighbours hailing from some dingy (probably illegal) basement secondary suite.
4) The Parkades – “The Man Insane” (1994) I picked this one because I’m shamelessly kissing your ass. I feel no shame because it’s an amazing song, and I doubt anyone else will pick it because it’s too stoopid. Stoopid is way underrated in this modern era where overwrought pretention is the new mediocrity.
5) The Mandates – “Messing Around” (2015) It might seem a little premature to throw on a song this recent. Although it hasn’t got a decade of critical acclaim standing behind it YET, it stands at the forefront of a global movement to bring back fun, un-ironic rock’n’roll music with big hooks and bigger guitars. Forget Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy; the future belongs to The Mandates. This one puts Calgary back on the international rock’n’roll map in the 21st century.DJ Leasa Podloski - Turn It Up Records & Hi-Fi! (formerly The Inner Sleeve)
Forbidden Dimension - 13 Bloody Graves (1988): Horror garage of legendary cult proportions! This came from Calgary? I still can’t believe it! I read somewhere that FD are The Beatles of horrorpunk. Yes! One of our cities most unique offerings from the prolific horrific, guitarist, illustrator extraordinaire, Tom Bagley! My favorite 7” pic sleeve and song to see live.
Same Difference - Cigarette (You Say) (1989): This track exemplifies powerhouse vocals interlaced with honest fragility, like only a woman can, and oh, the percussion! A real inspiration for a teen on the scene back then, and what a treat to see them live for the first time at the CJSW 25th Anniversary gig!
Field Day - Pet (1992): I split my chin open skateboarding at the Nutty Club loft downtown while Field Day played, and required three stitches. Surely gig goers have a similar tale! They played pure pop-rocket punk, every weekend, every venue, it seemed, and we were always there. The cassette was the same three tracks on both sides, so you could flip it and play it twice, like I did just now, 23 years later. Timeless memories for many!
Dragon Fli Empire - Mount Pleasant (2002): Hip Hop homage to our city, as observed riding up and down the #2 bus route. Feel good beats and a shout out to the landmark Rosedale Cleaners! This track received a lot of radio play and catapulted DFE into Canadian hip hop, where they remain a driving force. There is a Mount Pleasant in every city, isn’t there? Nice people dwell there. When asked where I reside, I reply Mount Pleasant, ya’ll!
The Ex-Boyfriends - Longer Than Your Memory (2003): What are your songs about? Vocalist DJewel replied, oh, about 2 ½ minutes. I’ll always remember that quote! TXBF hits with relentless guitar and inimitable vocal delivery in a torn leotard with beer soaked lyric sheet. Pure, unadulterated Rock and Roll mania!There's some seriously good choices in there. Anything you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!