Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Indie Kids

Sweet gig going on tonight... actually considering the time zone difference it's probably over. But anyway, way out east in a small community outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia choir students from the Dutch Settlement Elementary School, Musquodoboit Valley Education Center, and Upper Musquodoboit Consolidated School put on a concert called Canada Rocks. This ain't no Kidz Bop. The choirs performed songs by Feist, Joel Plaskett, Shotgun Jimmie, Julie Doiron, AC Newman, Islands, K-OS, Wintersleep and Patrick Watson. The event organized by 26-year-old music teacher Jarred Gates also had Shotgun Jimmie and Julie Doiron on hand to perform.

Intentionally or not, this follows in the footsteps of a similar undertaking on the opposite coast of Canada 30 years ago when a music teacher in Langley, BC, Hans Fenger had his students performing contemporary rock songs. Originally pressed as LPs for the students and their families in 1976-77, the recordings were rediscovered in 2000 by a Victoria record collector who sent it to WFMU DJ Irwin Chusid. He in turn was involved in getting these released in CD form as The Langley Schools Music Project. I first stumbled upon this CD at the library a few years ago where I proceeded to play it enthusiastically for amused co-workers. Just listen to a few of these:

Langley Schools Music Project - Rhiannon [originally by Fleetwood Mac]
Langley Schools Music Project - Band on the Run [originally by Paul McCartney & Wings]
Langley Schools Music Project - Space Oddity [originally by David Bowie]

Bowie himself on the Space Oddity cover: ""The backing arrangement is astounding. Coupled with the earnest if lugubrious vocal performance you have a piece of art that I couldn't have conceived of, even with half of Colombia's finest export products in me."

Now imagine this with contemporary indie Canadian bands and you'll see why those Nova Scotia gigs would be awesome. The Musquodoboit area choirs are taking their show to the big city with a "two-date world tour" at Halifax schools in June. This project needs to be recorded immediately. I'd buy it!

[P.S. Check out Cover Lay Down tomorrow for a guest post by yours truly.]


seymour said...

any chance you could post the langly schools version of "desperado"? iits haunted me for years!

seymour said...

super great blog by the way!!!