(Re)Claiming Space and Music: Why you should do more to support underrepresented musicians

(Re)Claiming Space and Music: Why you should do more to support underrepresented musicians

I attended¬†a panel of 4 incredible artists¬†discussing representation and the state of the music industry this week called “(Re)Claiming Space and Music”. I’m so thankful I got to listen in and hear some of their ideas, stories, and music.

Something Madeleine Roger said really stuck with me.

She explained how frustrating it can be to try and perform your music while knowing that someone already doubts your ability before you’ve played¬†a single note. Suddenly you have to prove your expertise twofold, while you’re still starting two steps behind, based on someone else’s perception.

Well now you can’t afford to screw up a single note. You’re being scrutinized before you’ve even had a chance.

And when virtually every female musician¬†you talk to can¬†name a time they’ve¬†had to put up with sexist, ignorant nonsense¬†while simply trying to do their job, it’s hard to deny that there’s a problem.

Maybe it’s not you who’s being sexist or ignorant–

But it’s that sound guy¬†who assumes¬†a musician has no idea¬†how to set up her¬†own gear.

It’s¬†a promotor who seems to think booking female musicians is just a matter of fulfilling some kind of quota.

It’s Russell Peters walking on stage at the Junos and pointing to¬†an audience of¬†young females and talented musicians, and calling them “a felony waiting to happen”.

What I heard overwhelmingly at the panel is that every female musician has experienced this kind of thing at one point or another. Often more times than they care to count.

It’s happening now, and there’s no denying it.

So when I look at myself, I think (in the words of Finn the Human): Well, “I am just a simple dude”–but¬†I know I have an important role¬†to play in all this.

We all need to be better allies of female, diverse, and underrepresented musicians.

I will not tolerate hearing/seeing sexist bullshit at a show. I will address it and shut it down to the best of my ability, and so should you.

The more support we put forward, the more new, talented musicians will have the¬†courage to¬†say “Hey. If they can perform up there on stage, maybe I can too.”

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Madeleine Roger
C
Rayannah
B
Keri Latimer
A
Alexa Potashnik

-9- Packing Light for South East Asia

-9- Packing Light for South East Asia

I guess I could be talking about Donald Trump right now, but I’m pretty sure I’ve spent the last 48 hours already talking about it. A lot of the most obvious things have already been said and until I come up with anything uniquely¬†pertinent to say on the subject I’m going to stop saying much at all.

That being said, maybe this has a shred of relevance if you or someone you know claims to be one of the crowd that wants to pack up their shit and get the hell out of the US.

I tried my best to pack pretty minimally when I travelled to Asia last year in April. I just discovered a picture I took of the contents of my bag before I left and thought it might be interesting/helpful for anyone considering a trip to South East Asia (or anywhere else) in the near future.

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I admit that some stuff was accidentally left out of this picture (but not much!)

I don’t pretend to really have the whole minimalist thing down pat; some people out there have done a way better job of this than me. Seeing as it was my first major trip, I needed to overpack for my own sanity, and I needed to discover what was useful and what wasn’t for myself.

Most Useful Items

  • Passport/Money Carrier (pictured bottom left): My sister lent me this little document and money organizer thing she got from MEC, and it was honestly the most useful thing ever. Everything sorted, in one place, zippered pockets: godly.
  • Compression Sack (pictured center, below sunglasses): ¬†I jammed all of my clothes into this thing, and then I buckled it down and tightened the straps turning all of my clothes into a manageable little¬†clothing brick. So awesome, honestly.
  • Quick-Dry Towel (green towel, top right): Need I say more? They’re tiny, they get the job done, and they dry¬†so damn fast.

Least Useful Items

  • Plug Adapter (center above batteries): You¬†seriously don’t need this in most places in South East Asia as far as I encountered. Two months of travel and I didn’t discover one non-American (Canadian?) plug in any hostel I stayed at. (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia)
  • Pants: It is a good idea to have them possibly for visiting Temples because you have to your legs covered past the knees at some. I did visit in the hot/dry season, but still–it is f*cking hot there. Be prepared to walk around pretty much the whole time with them in the bottom of your¬†bag, never putting them on.

Here’s a full list (possibly missing a couple things, I’ll update if I discover I missed anything):

  • 3 t-shirts
  • 2 button up shirts
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • Hoodie
  • Rain Jacket
  • One pair of pants (swear to god I didn’t where them more than twice)
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • Bathing Suit
  • 8 Large ziplock bags
  • Compression Sack
  • Quick Dry towel
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Travel Guide
  • Journal
  • Pen
  • Passport/Money¬†Organizer
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries (for the flashlight)
  • Lock
  • Digital Camera
  • Camera Charger
  • Phone Charger
  • Plug Adapter
  • Travel Shampoo
  • Travel Sunscreen
  • Travel toothbrush
  • Toilet paper
  • Mini First aid kit
  • Mini Aloe Vera (saved my ass on multiple occasions)
  • Touque
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana
  • Painkillers
  • Gravol
  • Ear Plugs
  • Capo
  • Guitar Picks

Nuit Blanche – October 1, 2016

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The band Beth, as they perform on the roof of Deer and Almond

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Place your sticker on the map where you live, take it from the location you’re from
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Pretty sure my older brother was shining red light on them, but I can’t remember why
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Wild Man Bryan
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Pretty sure that’s Tryston on the right, but I had no idea at the time.

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Taken while riverside tea was being made fresh beside me
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Obligatory light bulb cloud photo. (I like mine though)