NEXT STAGE #8 May 20 2005

Mega BYTE 2 Previews
New CD on Stage

As part of the celebration for youth week across Canada, The Yukon Arts Centre was host to youth performers promoting the release of Mega BYTE 2, a collection of spoken word, rap, music and multimedia to be released later this season.

Rappers Prolific Ones and Dino opened the evening’s festivities to much applause.
I was interested to see the influences that rap have on Yukon youth. I have my own views on rap mostly from Much Music and other popular sources. These local groups that were up on the stage this night all took this art form, using the beat and patter of rap to tell stories of their own unique experiences. This is the way music progresses

In a somewhat quieter but no less passionate way, poets Telek Rogan and Sam Cashin gave readings of their own works.

Selina MacMillan did a straight out rocker with members of Death in Venice
What can I say about Kate Weekes that I haven’t already said? I like her song writing and her voice and always look forward to hearing her again.

After the intermission comedian Michael Couchman was introduced
Couchman claims to be only 17. If he has this ability to make me laugh at this age I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.

As I was saying to my nephew King Kong the other day… take my wife please. In all honesty I found his humour is dry, smart and his presentation self-effacing in true Canadian tradition.

Next up was some heavy rapping from KO9 with what must be one of the first performances of Yukon gangsa rap on the Yukon Arts Centre stage.

The group Death In Venice fronted by guitarist Johnny Rodgers captivated me. I like a good instrumental band because it shows musicians ‘ confidence in the music they play not impeded by lyrical content. I couldn’t help draw a comparison between Death In Venice and the groups Do Make Say Think and Godspeed you! black emperor. After all, guitar bass and drums are the international sign of the power trio. The Death In Venice set was a balance to the poetry and rapping that headed the top of the program.

Jeremy Jones from Triple J’s headed Drifting, a local hardcore band. The music was tight, fast and heavy. They also had the right combination of superficial elements that I look for in a rock group, good hair, the right pose when thrashing a guitar and a touch of makeup that reminds me that I was once a member of the KISS army.

Closing the festivities was Reid Parent. He gave a totally awesome performance, and I mean that without the overuse of that term in the parlance of our times. This guy is a born showman with a total command of his world on stage. His rap was tight and surprisingly local in nature while his music was incredibly complex.

Look for the BYTE CD in early July