Miramichi Spotlight: Miramichi S.P.C.A

Over the past week, I have expressed some interest in a local non-profit organization that does everything it can for the animals of our community. An organization that provides a safe and temporary shelter for animals who are waiting to be adopted in a loving and caring home.

The Miramichi SPCA is one organization that deserves all the attention it can get and as a community we should stand behind our local non-profits because without the men and women who give up hours of their own time by volunteering and devoting their lives to helping the community then our own community would be a lot more colder.

I recently spoke with Jennifer A. The woman behind the Miramichi SPCA, being apart of the SPCA since 2008, she took on the role of manager in 2014 and has been a unstoppable force and voice for the animals of our community.

Jennifer: “The Miramichi SPCA is an animal shelter. We house abandoned, abused, unwanted and stray animals. We give them a place to temporarily call home until they find a family to love them. We provide a place to sleep, food to eat, toys to play with, medical care and love until a family comes forward.”

The Miramichi SPCA has been in this community for over 18 years and is a no-kill shelter and is directly funded by one small grant through the city and through multiple fundraising in the community. The Miramichi SPCA is in no affiliation with NBSPCA and is a completely stand alone shelter for animals.

Jennifer: ” We want people to know that we are a completely separate organization from the NBSPCA. Although our names sound the same, we do not share the same responsibilities or money. They do not fund our shelter in any way. They strictly do animal cruelty and neglect investigations. They inspect our shelter once a year to give us a license to operate.”

Without recognition or funding from the province, the staff at Miramichi SPCA has to constantly battle the tides of closure by running multiple fundraising events and community awareness.

I was shocked to learn that it cost approximately $7,000 to $10,000 dollars a month to run the Miramichi SPCA which is $120,000 dollars a year for basic necessities such as hydro, food, salaries, etc and over $2,000 to 4,000 dollars a month for veterinarian bills alone which can add up to close to $50,000 dollars in itself. You can now see why it is predominantly important for our community to rally together in order to help our local Miramichi SPCA when fundraising is available.

Jennifer: “Fundraising is an ongoing struggle as well. To find fresh ideas people will respond to but are also budget, time and volunteer friendly is hard. We have our Kitty Kash draw now, but we also do things like BBQ’s at local businesses. Online auctions, bake sales, Pet Pictures with Santa, raffles. We also are fortunate enough to partner with such wonderful people who help us hold fundraisers or even do them on our own. We have several businesses and individuals who come up with creative ways to help us raise money all the time and we are so thankful to everyone! We invite people to watch our Facebook page and website for upcoming events”

(A few selected photos of fundraising over the past years)


Over the past year, The Miramichi SPCA came up with an excellent fundraising idea called “Kitty Kash” a weekly 50/50 draw paid with 2 dollars, half of the proceeds goes to the winner and the other half goes to the Miramichi SPCA to aid in the efforts of raising and housing healthy and adoptable pets for families willing to adopt.

Kitty Kash Draw

Kitty Kash Creative Draw Box

Jennifer: “Kitty Kash is another fundraising effort we are trying. It’s a 50/50 draw. We seen how successful some of the other non profits have been with toonie draws and thought why not give it a try! You register by filling out a registration card, deposit the half with your information into our Kitty Kash box. You keep the other half for your records. You write your registration number on one of the white dots located on the Kitty Kash box, stick the dot on your toonie and put your toonie in the box. You play the same number every week. Deadline to play each week is Wednesday at 3:00 pm. Kitty Kash box locations along with past winners, rules and regulations and how to play can be found on our website at www.spcamiramichi.com
We are very pleased with the Kitty Kash fundraiser and hope we can continue to watch it grow every week. This week the winner received $846!!”

The Miramichi SPCA is currently located at 128 Dan Cripps Street in Miramichi. Although the facility is a decent size, I asked Jennifer if the situation was different and if money wasn’t an issue, would the Miramichi SPCA relocate to a bigger facility?

Jennifer: “We would absolutely love to relocate to a bigger, better building if we had the chance. However a bigger building would mean more animals which would mean bigger bills and more staff to care for the additional animals. Struggling to survive now, we don’t see this ever happening but I try to remain optimistic, you just never know what the future holds!”

While I truly believe that even though the SPCA is struggling to keep its doors open, I strongly believe with not only the optimism of Jennifer and her staff but the generosity of our community and a constant push from those who care about the Miramichi SPCA, that we, as a community can join together in a never ending effort to keep the Miramichi SPCA fully operational.

(Miramichi SPCA house animals from dogs to cats, rabbits and small rodents)


With a facility at full capacity, I asked Jennifer what measures are put into place if there is no more room for new animals.

Jennifer: “We serve a very large area. Our building fills up quickly because we are a no kill shelter. It is impossible to be able to help every animal due to building size restrictions, money limitations, etc. We do our best to offer advice to people when we can not take an animal. We have a waiting list for animals that need to be surrendered. We ask that people try to find homes for the animals through Facebook, Kijiji, etc. Or they may try shelters in other areas such as Bathurst or Moncton.”


In order to make room for new animals, The Miramichi SPCA currently has animals ready to be adopted by loving and caring families or individuals who seek companionship. Jennifer went on to explain the adoption process and how it works.

Jennifer: “Anyone wanting to adopt an animal must complete an adoption application. Some qualifications are: we must speak to the homeowner if you are renting (landlord, family member, etc) Animals already in your home must be spayed/neutered unless there is a valid reason. The animal chosen must suit the family (a very nervous cat will not do well in a loud rambunctious home). We look at past pet ownership. The person must be willing to provide veterinary care for the animal’s life. It’s all common sense stuff. Once the person is approved they must sign a contract and pay the adoption fee for the animal.”

Adoption Fees

Miramichi SPCA Adoption Fees

Even though running the Miramichi SPCA can be hard at times, I am inspired by Jennifer and her staffs commitment and dedication and optimism to not only this community but for the animals in our community who cannot speak for themselves. The animals that have been left behind, that have been forgotten or unwanted, that are struggling with illness can be treated and loved by the amazing staff at Miramichi SPCA.

Jennifer: “If there is one thing I have learned in all my years at the shelter it’s to take things day by day. To remain optimistic. We have a very dedicated staff who care for this shelter as if it’s their own family. Our whole group including our board of directors will face each challenge as it comes. In a perfect world we will be bigger, and better and helping even more animals in the future”

Anyone in our community can get involve with the Miramichi SPCA  through many things, I asked Jennifer what can the community do besides fundraising to lend a helping hand?

Jennifer: “Want to be involved with the shelter? Come see us. There are so many ways you can become involved. You can adopt, foster, volunteer, fund-raise, or join our board of directors. Stop by the shelter Tuesday to Saturday between 12-4, give us a call at 622-0645, email us at sheltermanager@spcamiramichi.com or check us out on Facebook. We’ll be happy tell you how you can become involved. We love meeting new people and telling them what we’re all about!”

The Miramichi SPCA is a one of a kind facility in our community, with a dedicated staff and manager, I believe great things can be done by these kind, caring people and with the constant support of local businesses and members of our community, I feel we can ease the minds of those who are constantly battling to keep Miramichi SPCA afloat. While at times, it may seem like the organization is asking a lot from the community, we have to remember what this organization is doing for our community in return, Providing a temporary safe, friendly and caring shelter for the animals of our community that have no other place to go. Feel free to stop in the SPCA and lend a hand, even if it’s for an afternoon or a few hours of your day. Stop and see all the cute fur faces that fill the Miramichi SPCA and thank your local volunteer groups for putting in the time and effort to keep Miramichi the amazing community it is!

I would like to thank Jennifer for taking the time and answering my questions and feel free to check out their Facebook Page and their Official Website as well.

Thank you.

Regards.

The Modern-Typewriter.

Lucas Durelle.

 

 

 

 

Miramichi Spotlight: Over The Cove Zip-Line

Are you ready for Miramichi’s most newest and exciting attraction? An experience that not only allows you to take in the beautiful view of our local French fort cove park and river but also a thrilling, adrenaline rushed experience that can be enjoyed over and over again? Then you need to check out the second longest zip-line in New Brunswick, Over The Cove Zip-line. A fast two-line adrenaline filled ride which travels directly above Miramichi’s famous French Fort Cove park. The zip-line is approximately 100 feet above the water and gives a bird eye view of the beauty and stunning environment of French Fort Cove.

Recently I had the opportunity to meet Patrick and Shauna Hiemstra. The Family that runs Over the Cove Zip-line.  Shauna’s Father; Milton Steward created and spearheaded Over the Hill Zip-Line.

Shauna H: “We are the owners/operators of Over the Hill Zip-line which is located just outside of Miramichi. We’ve been open for seven years at that location, and the City of Miramichi approached us last year with questions regarding the construction and operation of a Zipline as they looked in to the possibility of creating one within city limits.”

French Fort Cove is a multi season park with walking, hiking and biking trails. Along with a fully operated children’s playground, French Fort Cove also offers it’s visitors a chance to test their courage during the months of July and August by offering a popular event called Dare the Dark with the Headless Nun adventure. during the winter months, French Fort cove also holds annual pond hockey tournaments for the community.


I was surprised to learn that before Over The Cove Zip-line was built. The Hiemstra family ran Over The Hill Zip-Line and it was initially  was a hobby for the Hiemstra Family until they were asked by the city of Miramichi to build one for French Fort Cove.

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Shauna H: “When we originally built our first zip-line it was just for family use, for the kids to play on. We didn’t realize at the time that it was longer than any other zip-lines in the province. From there, we built a small business on it. We were always thinking bigger and better, and many discussions around the family supper table were had about the amazing zip-line we could have over French Fort Cove, all we needed was the city’s approval.”

Over The Cove Zip-Line was opened on July 27th/, 2017 which an impressive turn out of over 120 people the first day, over 140 people the second day and over a 180 people the third day and each day the numbers get higher!

Over The Cove Zip-Line is open from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekends and holidays as well as 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM throughout the week. For children the ages of 18 and under or seniors over the age of 55, The price of admission is $15.00 dollars and $20.00 dollars for Adults which is reasonably priced if you were to compare other zip-lines such as Treego Moncton or Zig Zag Canada Zip-lining.


As I followed Patrick H up the winding stairs to the first line, he informed me that the first zip-line is about one thousand and fifty feet long which is over 320 meters and the second zip-line is twelve hundred and fifty  feet long which over 380 meters long. As we stood there for a second, I couldn’t help but be memorized by the beautiful view of French Fort Cove Park as the sun danced across the water. It was perfect.

Over The Cove Zip-Line 

Over The Cove Zip-Line

We made our way back down the stairs and headed towards the second ramp to check out the second line. As we were walking, I asked Patrick where the interest for a zip-line came from

Patrick H: “My Father-In-law built a zip-line up river for the grand kids, it started out as something small but then it turned into a business called Over the Hill Zip-line and after running that for about six years, he was approached by the city on how they would build one for french fort cove. so we took some plans to the city and we made this and this is just the beginning!”

Patrick H shared with me that they wish to expand the zip-line by either adding more or doing something entirely different which is very exciting news for Miramichi.

While meeting Patrick H, He shared an amazing video of himself and his 2 and half-year old son trying out over the cove zip-line which lead the question, Is there an age limit?

Patrick H: “We have no age limit! We have harnesses for toddlers, and we have already had many seniors enjoy the ride. As for weight, our max is 275lbs. Single rider minimum weight is 100lbs – any less than that, and the child attaches tandem with an adult.”


Over The Cove Zip-Line  Rules

Over The Cove Zip-Line Rules and Regulations

Safety is the number one priority for the Over The Cove Zip-Line team! With high safety protocols and constant testing and fine tuning, you can guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience!

Shauna H: “Our safety precautions began with our gear – we use lanyards, harnesses, wheels and helmets – and the majority of those are rated to hold 20 kilonewtons – which is OVER 4000 pounds! We have no concerns about our gear being able to “hold” the weight of someone. The second safety precaution came with staff training. Although most of them are young people, we trained them extensively, always stressing safety. Staff training began weeks before the zip-line opened. A lot of us have been working at the other location, acquiring 7 years of experience, but the new staff has put in many hours, first at the Lyttleton location, and then at this location before opening. We train them with a hands-on approach, after being shown how to, and experiencing the zip-line for themselves, they then learned how to perform at each different function. The newer staff are all eager, bright young men and women, who have all caught on quickly to our safety standards and instructions. They communicate via radios, and no rider gets put on the zip-line without staff verifying that the other end is ready for them. Many of our staff have First Aid certification, as well as the “Working At Heights” certification.”

Weight requirements tend to change due to the weather of each day, when high wind is present it creates a stopping force for riders, pushing against them which is corrected by adding more weight to the rider by riding in pairs. Regardless of what the sign says at the booth. The minimum weight restriction can be altered by the day if need too, in order to ensure maximum safety for riders and the team at Over The Cove Zip-Line would like to apologize for the confusion

Shauna H: “When people don’t meet our minimum, they risk having their momentum stop short of the landing deck. It is fairly minor, and a quick “rescue” for the customer, but it is a lot of extra heavy labor for our employees. When we have a customer who is not able to meet our minimum weight requirement, we simply pair them up – child with parent, siblings or friend groups. If ever there is a rider who doesn’t have a buddy, we have friendly staff who will accompany them! To riders that are just barely above the requirement, we suggest that they run off the platform, to gain that extra boost of speed.”

To make note of as well, The landing can be a little frightening for some people, in that it is an abrupt stop, a snap noise, and a little bit of a jerk – Shauna H made a point to inform their customers that they are trying to get better at explaining that to each person and that it’s all about the experience.

Over The Cove Zip-Line Signature Braking System

Over The Cove Zip-Line Signature Braking System

With all safety measures in place, Patrick also informed this writer that the structures are well-engineered. Miramichi’s City engineers worked alongside the design team as well as the construction team and a lot of testing was completed before any human was able to ride across the zip-line for the first time.

Over The Cove Zip-Line is an amazing experience and fun for the whole family, no matter the age, the team at Over The Cove Zip-Line will accommodate any request that is possible in order to ensure a safe, adrenaline thrilled family fun adventure for your family. Feel free to check out Over The Cove Zip-Line and say hello to the friendly staff at French Fort Cove and you can check out their Official Facebook Page here! I would like to thank the Hiemstra family for being so opening and willing to answer my questions! I believe it is safe to say thank you to the Hiemstra Family and everyone involved in Over The Cove Zip-Line for bringing such a great idea and fun-filled adventure to our great city Miramichi!

Thank you

Regards

The Modern-Typewriter

Lucas Durelle

 

 

 

 

 

Miramichi Spotlight: Escape Miramichi

Are you ready for a fun-filled adventure? one that can boggle your mind and flare up your frustrations! Are you ready to team up with your friends and put your collective minds together and attempt to escape a locked room in under an hour?  If your feeling up for a fun date night or a good time with your friends , you need to check out Escape Miramichi! A place where you can work together with your closest friends and co-workers to race against the clock and out your minds together and escape one of the 4 rooms!

I had the pleasure of meeting Kim H ,Jacqueline P and Samantha F. the masterminds behind Escape Miramichi for an interview with Modern-typewriter!

Since the announcement of Escape Miramichi last year, I heard nothing but good things from co-workers and friends about how exciting and thrilling it is to participate in one of the rooms held at Escape Miramichi. I was shocked when I asked the group how Escape Miramichi was created and founded and was immediately impressed by the determination of these women to keep their organizations alive.

Kim H: “In 2014, a group of non profits got together and formed Change Miramichi, 5 organizations that are working together to raise funds to help each other in their efforts. When we began fundraising, we wanted to do something bigger! What we ended up with was  Miramichi Escape! The five groups tallied their resources, took the money we made for the first year we were together and we opened Escape Miramichi. So the 5 organizations are running the escape room plus our own non for profits at the same time.”

I would like to take a moment to include that Non-Profit organizations are the back bone in a structural society. Many non-profit organizations are run by a committee of people who are simply trying to improve the life of the community around them and sacrifice a lot of time and devotion to aid the community. In Canada alone, non-profit organizations employ over 2 million people. I asked Kim what were the five non-for profit organizations that ran Escape Miramichi

Kim H: “Volunteer Miramichi, Camp Sheldrake, Miramichi Youth House, Glenelg Youth Alliance and the Miramichi SPCA”


Inspired by their admiration and devotion to the community of miramichi. I sat back and listened to what these women had to say about their organizations outside of Escape Miramichi.

Since 2014, Kim H has been working with Change Miramichi; A collective group of non-profit organizations who have joined together to raise funds and promote positive change within the Miramichi. Jacqueline P works on behalf of Camp Sheldrake ; A non-profit camp that runs eight weekly programs through July and August for children and youth from ages of 8-17 and provides the youth of Miramichi memorable experiences in camping! Samantha F works on behalf of the Miramichi Youth House; A positive environment that assist at risk youth. Allowing the youth to grow up in a stable and healthy environment.

Unfortunately the other two women were not able to attend the interview but I was able to find out who they were and their roles in the community.  Karen A runs the Glenelg Youth Alliance and Jennifer A who runs the local S.P.C.A;  A private and independent non-profit organization that provides a safe and nurturing environment to stray animals.

These five organizations are working tirelessly together to keep their own organizations afloat. With a 20 dollar entry fee per person, each ticket sold at Escape Miramichi is actually benefiting own community by providing funding to these five non for profit organizations.


With collective minds, the group of women have done extensive research in other escape rooms in places like Fredericton and Moncton to help inspire their creativity in creating an escaped room. I asked Kim how many escape rooms were available to participate in

Kim H: “Right now we have 4 rooms running plus we have a mobile unit that we can take to festivals and events! Each room is an hour-long and the mobile room is 15 minutes.”

With the Tall-ship festival over the past weekend here in Miramichi, The girls created a pirate themed escape room! 20170713_165449

Kim: “Our newest room is pirates treasure that we opened up last weekend during the Tall ship Festival. We have Virus, Cabin Fever and Down the rabbit hole. Down The Rabbit Hole is our longest running room and is probably going to be the next one we will close.”

I asked Kim what “Down the Rabbit Hole was about?”

Kim H: “Your essentially Alice in wonderland!, and your going down the rabbit hole and its all Alice and wonderland themes with the tea party and everything!”

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Samantha went onto explain the next room called Virus!

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Samantha: “Virus is about, the city of Miramichi has been taken over by a virus and your objective is to find the antidote!. So you have to put different chemical components together to find the solution that is ultimately going to save yourself and your friends!”

The Last room is entitled “Cabin Fever”

Kim H: “Cabin fever; your essentially in the mountains and in a cabin and there’s an avalanche and your stuck in the cabin! so you have to figure out where you are so you can radio for help..”
Samantha F: “It’s based around coordinated and survival!”

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The Girls expressed interest in generation 2 to include and Host Birthday Parties and to create a kid friendly room!


I was provided with statistical evidence on the rate of escape for each room.

Sam: ” Virus would have a 32% escape rate…Cabin would have a 30% escape rate..Down the Rabbit hole has a 46% rate and Pirate treasure is too new to figure out!

The Girls were confident that I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to escape or leak clues when I started exploring each room and I have to say, They were right!

Kim H: “You can walk into the room and you’re not going to figure out 1 thing!, the rooms are very bare you really have to think

Samantha F: “The Game is really focused on critical thinking and working as a team”

Jacqueline P: “It’s risk taking! When you go into the room, you really have no clue what to do, there’s no starting point!”

Creating a room can be very difficult and challenging, Kim added a humorous note when asked how a room was created

Kim H: “I always say, oh my god, a bunch of middle age women working together creating escape rooms! how did this happen?”

After a shared laugh, she continued to explain the process of creating an escape room!

Kim H: “When it comes to themes, we build the room around the props that are available. “

Although Escape Miramichi is a fun-filled adventure, there have been incidents where participants have been rowdy and asked to leave

Samantha F: “One issue we have run into is people being destructive to the rooms, tearing down the walls, I don’t know if when there in there and the frustration is mounting and they can’t escape on their own and they figure they are going to deconstruct the room to escape!”It’s not survival, it’s about critical thinking!

Kim also added that during the clean up of each room, One item is almost always found.

Kim H: ” When they are going into the room to reset them, they often find hair clips or bobby pins on the floor to pick the locks! We ask participants not to do that because it takes away from the fun of the game and also could potentially damage the props as well!”

Escape Miramichi has a promotion right now until August 10th where you can purchase 3 tickets and receive a fourth for free!

Escape Miramichi is an amazing night of fun-filled adventure! so get your friends together and attempt to beat the clock and escape one of the 4 rooms! and remember with every ticket purchased, you are helping your local non-profit organizations that keep our city and our communities alive.

I would like to thank Kim H, Samantha F and Jacqueline P for sitting down with Modern typewriter and expressing interest in the article!

Thank You

Regards

The Modern-Typewriter

Lucas Durelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miramichi Spotlight: Gig & Groove

You want the latest updates on your favorite local musicians? A place where you can find all the latest gigs, artist info and stunning photos of all your local celebrities and everything in that matter with just a few simple clicks? If there is something musical happening on Miramichi, You can bet your ass that the first place you will hear about it, is through Gig & Groove.

Throughout the course of Modern-Typewriter, I have talked to many local musicians and there is always one name that gets thrown my way to do an interview with, and that name is Wynn Curtis! While I was searching through Facebook, I came across his page called Gig & Groove and was immediately amazed by all the hard work and effort that Wynn has put into his magazine.

I published my first article on Dillon Ryan and was immediately messaged by Wynn Curtis and was complimented on my writing styles, I was amazed and flattered that such a well established writer took the time to contact me. Naturally I began chatting with Wynn about Gig & Groove and if he was interested in doing a spotlight piece, sure enough he said yes.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to meet at the time due to conflicting schedules, so we had our interview conducted over messaging.

To kick things off, I asked Wynn what G&G is all about?

Wynn: “G&G was officially born on Nov 23, 2015, after a couple of years of writing about & promoting original gigs through my own personal FB page, we went onto creating a Facebook mag page that’s aimed at individuals on the move, socially and in their way of thinking. It’s a gig info page, both for artists and for people looking where their favorite artists are gigging.

G&G is set up to promote the art of music. I find it inspiring. So I want to help to get “the word” out there. G&G is also a forum for passionate writers of gigs & music releases, experiences, etc. to get their written word “out there” for all interested readers to see.

I love to write about & photograph artists so the above was my initial idea. But it’s sort of taken on a life of its own, due to what’s available, material-wise, money-wise and time-wise.”

Jack B (operator of Music Miramichi) gave me the final push to get G&G up and going, during a “gigs ideas think tank meeting” that he & I had in the Fall of 2015. The “Downtown Live” series was also conceived out of that meeting”

Downtown Live was a series of original artists showcases that happened over the Winters of 2016 & 2017. In total, over 20 bands & artists played the Saturday night gigs.


After searching through post history and noticing numerous notifications from G&G, I was shocked to find out that for the time being, Wynn Curtis is the sole contributor to  G&G.

Wynn: “Unfortunately, for the time being…. Yes, it’s only I that runs G&G, with a bit of assistance from my partner, Sandra S, from time to time. The initial idea to draw in a group of writers & photographers together as a like-minded team didn’t really take off. But G&G has intermittently shown the works of photographers such as Doug M & Sandra S. And written word by Dre P, Modern Typewriter, Sound Bites, Dillon Ryan & Terry W, in the past, to name a few.”

Wynn also added that even though G&G is solely ran by himself and is very time-consuming, It is his passion and he puts forth the effort that G&G deserves.

Wynn: “I know it doesn’t look like it but, like being a hard-working artist, G&G is a non-stop gig. Our week typically starts about 5-6 am, Monday. Paddy Q could back me on that one, I’m sure!. F**k knows I bug him enough. Ha-ha! Compiling gigs/other info goes on all week-long. We begin updating the new week of postings early Monday or Tuesday, depending on my work schedule at my “other” job. Everything is checked. Appropriate pics are collected & the new gigs schedules are posted, accordingly. I write continuously, every chance I get. It keeps my chops up to par.

Wynn went into detail on how a working day operates at G&G and like a well oiled machine, this writer has nothing but the utmost respect for Wynn Curtis for his time and effort put into G&G.

Wynn: “Typically, there are only about 8-14 postings on a weekly basis but it’s the compiling and writing that takes up most of the time. Researching is very time-consuming, too. I’m sure that we miss a lot, but it’s our goal to include as many new gigs in our weekly listings as possible. To stay on top of things, we double-check and update listings on a daily basis. All in all, it keeps us quite busy. Besides that, we try to get to as many gigs as we can, when time, schedules and funds work out. Our goal is to always do more. Mostly, it’s a time thing. And usually, if I feel that an artist is matched with the right venue it makes it all the more exciting to attend.

Wynn Curtis is also a talented photographer as well, and during many gigs and live performances he is able to capture amazing and stunning photos of live performances

(Photo Credit:Wynn Curtis) Artist From top  to bottom – The DiBiases–Taylor S in Lionsault.  Kortni N in Lionsault. John Adams in Moose-knuckle. Jessii The Artist and Andy Brown


When time is not of the essence, G&G will also write spotlight articles on selected artist to provide promotion and help shed some light on up and coming artist.

Wynn: “When the opportunity arises I’ll write an article on select artists, depending on what they want promoted.”

Wynn went on to explain the  “Groove” portion of Gig & Groove.

Wynn: “I also search the net for stories or new music that I think fits the idea of G&G. I also like to keep readers updated on any new tech equipment that’s available for listening to music. That’s the other side of the coin for G&G, a plan that was there right from the start. Hence “Groove”.

Starting out from nothing can be a scary experience but also very rewarding. The constant pressure of producing good quality work can be very time-consuming and over whelming but fortunately, if you believe  enough in the initial idea and give life to something, It will grow and with the help of community involvement. It allows the community to gain insight in the daily workings of what you are providing. I asked Wynn how important community involvement is to a growing business like G&G.

Wynn: “As Brian E says, “Something can grow out of nothing. Everything starts at nothing”. That’s pretty much been my motto right from day one. But it takes a lot of really passionate people to make a real splash, create that hype that it takes to keep a “scene” alive. I believe that one person can start from nothing but it takes support from community support to grow any idea. That’s the real challenge. So community involvement is a must, at all levels, to achieve success. The best example I can think of is, the obvious success of Music NB’s ‘Festival506, which was held here in Chi, last October. I was involved in that party and It was so awesome to witness downtown come to life and support a lot of artists that many of the attendees never heard of before. That’s community. We need more of that in Miramichi.”

After countless interviews, number of community involvement pieces and time-consuming research, I asked Wynn what his first article in music was and I was surprised to find out that we shared a common ground.

Dillon Ryan G&G

Dillon Ryan G&G (Photo Credit: Wynn Curtis)

Wynn: “I believe the first real sit-down interview was with the amazing, truly gifted writer & multi-instrumentalist Dillon Ryan. I love Dillon. He’s an artist that gets “It”. And he’s getting “It” more an more every day. He’s an artist on the move. Nothing better.”


From personal experiences, creating a publication and finding content is the most fun part of the job. By simply meeting new people, hearing the stories they are telling and sharing experiences with one another. You get to meet a lot of creative people, witness new places and connect with those you are talking with. I asked Wynn if there were moments that stood out for him over the years of G&G

Wynn: “There have been a lot of cool moments for the short life of G&G, so far. Sometimes it can be simply capturing a particular photo in the exact way you had envisioned it. That’s happened a few times (i.e.: a few Dillon Ryan photos, a couple of Lionsault, The DiBiases, Metric and others. It can also mean having an article/interview turn out in the way that the original conversation came off, natural, concise, interesting. It can sometimes be tough to pull that one off. So when it’s good, it’s really good. That’s a couple of examples from my personal moments as a writer & photographer.  It’s a really emotional ride with all of these amazing artists.”Wynn went on to tell me a personal moment of triumph for him. a moment during the history of G&G where everything felt right. 

A simple moment or gesture can bring over whelming joy and can be a precious memory to reflect back on through time. Wynn shared a personal achievement of his. One that reflected

Wynn: “I’d have to pin point it down to when The DiBiases’ Dre P was vacationing at Disneyworld, a few months back. He sent the coolest pic of a Gig & Groove tee on the sandy beach of a little island. From a personal point of view, that was the real moment when I thought, G&G brand really means something. Maybe not to a lot of people. But it means something to some. And that’s better than nothing.”

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(Photo credit: Dre P Castaway Cay, 2016)


There’s not enough pages to write on to capture Wynn Curtis essence as he divulges deeper and deeper into the creation of Gig&Groove. Tirelessly researching content and posting daily and working hand in hand with local musicians and those who are passionate about music. I can’t even begin to describe how hard-working and determined this person is! If anyone deserves a spotlight in this community it should be Wynn Curtis. You can find the official Facebook page here 

Thank you

Regards

The Modern-Typewriter

Lucas Durelle

 

 

 

Miramichi Spotlight: Vince’s Opry Music Store

Miramichi. A lovely community that thrives on music! A place where local artist can emerge and discover who they are and where they stand in the music community. If there is one place that all local and visiting musicians stop at for the latest gear, accessories, instruments or a friendly chat. That place is Vince’s Opry Music Store!

Recently, I sat down with the Co-owner of Vince’s Opry Music Store, Melita Mullin. We met at Vince’s Music Store and with coffee in hand, we began chatting about the history, the services and the inspirations of Vince’s Opry Music Store.

Melita: “It’s originally the Opry music store, but due to the fact that Opry is such a niche for one thing, we decided to keep the Opry involved in the name but call it Vince’s Opry Music Store…to keep it simple..everyone knows Vince, so by word of mouth its Vince’s music store but its technically Vince’s Opry music store”

Vince Mullin, A musician born and raised in Miramichi has been playing instruments for over 3 decades. He enjoys the simple things in life. When he’s not working tirelessly on repairing guitars and running a business with his wife Melita Mullin. Vince enjoys the company of good friends, playing guitar and riding his motorcycle.

Music has not only been a passion in Vince’s life, but also his destiny. With his father being the famous Billy Mullin. A man who was well-known for his musical talents around New Brunswick as well as being inducted in the New Brunswick Hall of Fame. Billy Mullin also owned and operated the Miramichi Country Music Opry in Red Bank. Vince has not only been surrounded by music but deeply rooted by instruments, singing voices and nylon strings.

Melita:”Vince started playing guitar at 10 years old…he gets the motivation from his father. He can pick up any instrument and just play!”

Melita, however was born in Newfoundland and left at an early age to find out who she was and to find her calling in life. She made a life for herself  in Ontario, going to school and working tirelessly as a single mother but as life happens and gets the best of us. Ontario was no longer an option for this self-made accomplished woman. With passion fueling her desire to accomplish something greater in her life, she made her way to Miramichi.

Melita: “I was born in Newfoundland! Then in my teenage years, I moved to Ontario and have done many things along the way…I was a journeyman 1,2,3 in book binding and printing…basically moved around a lot in Ontario but then in 2003, I needed a change for myself and my son, an being a single mom, we made it to Miramichi!”

In life, one common goal is to find your soul-mate, the one person you can share this world with and for Melita, that one person is Vince. She shared the story of her meeting him and how she was captivated by his charm, friendly personality and musical skills.

Melita: “When I got to the Miramichi and I got together with Vince. He asked me what can I do with a guitar..well I had the strumming right! (being right-handed, I only knew a few things from my father’s left-handed guitar) so he gave me a sheet of paper with chords on it and I went home and used my sons guitar and I was addicted! It’s funny cause I couldn’t keep the guitar in-tuned and I would keep purposely untuning the guitar just to keep going back and seeing Vince!

The classic story of humble beginnings, Vince and Melita Mullin, hand in hand, opened the Opry music store with Vince’s parents Billy and Betty Mullin in a commercial space on King George Highway while living upstairs of the establishment.

Vince and Melita worked tirelessly, day in and day out, spending the working day selling instruments and accessories, contacting big name franchises in an attempt to bring a variety of instruments to Miramichi. Not only did Vince and Melita create a business that provided excellent quality but also amazing customer service that made musicians and music enthusiast feel like they were at home.

Melita: “The Store is Vince’s baby! We were self-confident, that we would make it work..we were determined!, we wanted to have the music store here in Miramichi. We wanted to supply Miramichi with music.”

Melita shared an interesting fact when Vince and herself were just starting out.

Melita: “Vince started out in the back of that shop, on that highway with 3 amps, 2 boxes of strings and maybe 4 guitars back in 2005! ”

“We started out, living above the establishment, and running a 24/7 emergency service for musicians, basically we lived above the music shop for 6 years then we got our own home. Once we didn’t have enough space available, we decided to move to the New Castle area at 115 jail street”

Melita humorously added.

Melita: ” What a great place for a music store, on jail street!”

Melita added that like any small business trying to grow, it was tough at times.

Melita: “It was difficult at times because we had to wait for certain brands to show up, For the first few years it was nothing but no name guitars. Our work was put into the lessons and repairs..the other stuff comes afterwards. Their were times we had to take from our own pockets and to build what we have but it always paid off. there is nothing, nobody can’t do.”

Melita shared her milestone when she knew that everything was going to work out.

Melita: “Peavey and Ibanez is a brand, we will always be loyal too because they were always behind us from the start! an exciting moment for us was when we got our first Takamine guitars! after that, came the Gibson’s then the Fenders, they all came. We knew we were going to be okay!

With the a new location opening up on 115 jail street, Vince and Melita Mullin made the move in great strides. Providing the community with excellent services and tools that all musicians and events needed.

Melita: “Along with guitar lessons. We do in store guitar string changes. Guitar repairs. We also provide sound gear for events for downtown Newcastle.  If someone has a problem with putting their drums together, I will bring their drums to their house and put them all together! Also if somebody is moving out-of-town, and they want to ship their guitars, as long as they pay for the shipping and handling, I will properly pack the instruments and ensure that the instrument will show up in one piece.

I asked Melita if she had any exciting stories to share or any special encounters with musicians over the years of running a music store.

Melita:  “I actually got to met Blue rodeo because the guitar technician came up to my old store on king George highway and walked in and asked if we were going to the show tonight and we said we might not because we been working late…he offered VIP tickets and we didn’t believe it! we though he was pulling our leg! We decided to go anyways and sure enough, we had the tickets waiting! We were able to go on their tour bus and just hang out with them! It was awesome.”

Over the years, Vince and Melita have seen many faces and many customers have turned into lasting friendships. I have always found that Vince’s Opry Music Store provided a safe, judge-free zone for youth and adults who are interested in expanding their music. A place where all is welcomed! This writer has fond memories of visiting Vince and Melita when they were just starting out and I credit them, personally, as an inspiration and for coaching me during my journey of finding music.

Melita:  “It’s amazing, seeing all these talented people!, the people who come in and you finally get to hear them try something out and its amazing and what I find impressive, is that over the years at being a music store is like yourself. I’ve known you for years. I’ve watched you play music in high school, coming in and playing my junky old guitars that I had for resale or my used guitars and now I’m seeing you, grown up and I see your children getting into music and also having people like Taylor Sheasgreen (from lionsault) being my guitar teacher at my store….there’s people growing up at my store before my eyes and no matter where they are, when they come home..the first place they stop is my store, just to say hi!”

I asked Melita what’s next for Vince’s Opry Music Store and she shared a passionate dream of hers that I found quite exciting!

Melita: “I would love to have a music school! If I could have a music school. To be able to provide an area attached to the store to teach more people music lessons!, in order to have that I need the community to support it”

Melita delivered a message to anyone who is trying to achieve the impossible

Melita: “Basically don’t ever give up, it’s the constant persistence of things, it’s your goals, it’s your dreams..believe what you dream!,  it’s not always the easy way but it’s the right way!”

Vince and Melita Mullin successfully created and built a business with hundreds of positive feedback from customers, community members, everyone. I asked Melita if she could change one thing during the entire history of Vince’s Opry music store. She simply said…

” I wouldn’t change anything.. because everything is dear to my heart..”

I would like to thank Melita Mullin for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to me for this interview, everyone can check out their Facebook page and also stop in and say hello to Melita and Vince at 115 Jail Street, Miramichi NB.

Thank You

Regards

The Modern Type Writer

Lucas Durelle

 

 

 

Miramichi Spotlight: Lionsault

Recently, I had the chance to sit down with local Miramichi artist Taylor Sheasgreen and Kortni Nicols, two of the founding members of the rock and roll group Lionsault. A kick- ass band that delivers hard-hitting distorted guitar and rage fueled vocals with effortless and passionate drum beats. Lionsault is blasting over local airwaves and social media.

I was invited over to Taylor Sheasgreen house to conduct the interview, upon my arrival I was greeted by Kortni and Taylor and was welcomed inside. We sat around the kitchen table and just caught up on the passing years before we conducted the interview.

With a name like Lionsault, they have been constantly asked what the meaning behind the name is and it’s very simple answer.

Kortni: “It’s a wrestling move by Chris Jericho, I’m waiting for the day, Chris Jericho serves us a fucking lawsuit..it’s either that or he’s going to ask us to open up for Fozzie!”

After we shared a laugh, Taylor and Kortni informed me that they were just a cover band. Before they were known as Lionsault.

Taylor: “we’ve been playing together for 8 years, around 2009. But Lionsault, us writing music and making our own stuff, was almost 2 years ago”

Kortni: “June 20th, 2014

During the first eight years of jamming and playing local gigs, Taylor and Kortni sat down with local musician James M to discuss the possibility of mixing and mastering and releasing their first album as Lionsault.

Kortni “We got bored with covers, so we started writing and we were talking to James about mixing and mastering for us and we said, yeah were gonna do an EP and he said fuck the EP thing, do a full album!”

Taylor: “We just hammered down and started writing songs, we pretty much set a mission of creating an album and we just did it!”

After years of playing together, Lionsault decided to stop covering songs and start writing their own material but was not set on their sound or the genre they were going to play on their upcoming album.

Kortni: “We tried different genres, obviously Taylor was writing metal stuff, I was writing shitty pop-punk stuff and we try writing those sort of genres and it just didn’t work until we tried bluesy-rock and then it felt effortless”

Taylor: “It changed when we discovered Monster truck, we seen them live and we didn’t know who they were and thought it was pretty cool and decided we should start writing like that.

Monster truck is an award-winning Canadian rock band from Hamilton, Ontario and has opened for big name bands such as Alice Cooper.

With the genre of Rock and Roll set in stone, Lionsault began working tirelessly on their first album. The 10 track album entitled “Are You Feeling Lucky?”was released on September 19th 2015.

Kortni “We wrote the songs, Taylor would come to us with a riff as an idea and we would work around it, I guess I would take charge in structuring it more I guess?, and then we would sit down and write the lyrics together. Taylor wrote most of the lyrics but I wrote all the melodies. Then we would record everything ourselves too. Once recorded, we sent it away to Under Tone studios in Saint John and It was mastered by a guy named Adam Dincorn

Taylor: “He did a really good job and were probably going to go back to him. When the first album was out. We sent it to all kinds of album review website and I probably sent out a shit-ton of them and probably like 20 different websites all came back super positive!

With Humble begins, I asked Taylor and Kortni, how they got into music and what their first instruments were?

Taylor: “I was 13. I wanted to play drums, just listening to Nirvana and Metallica and that kinda changed. My first instrument was acoustic guitar that mom had lying around but then I got a drum set and played that for a while then i stopped drums and got serious on guitar.

Kortni: “First instrument was a guitar when I was 13, it was my step-dads fathers guitar and it had like 4 strings on it and I would just play around with it when I was 11. So I use to listen to songs and figure out the melodies, I couldn’t play chords.” 

Being from a generation when high-speed internet wasn’t available and dial-up was prominent, musicians would have to learn on their own without the help of online tablature

Kortni “We had dial-up. We couldn’t go online to learn, I couldn’t do that. So I had to figure out things by ear, like I learned to play smoke on the water first, once I learn that I’d move on to other things. I didn’t get guitar lessons until I was 13 and started to play bass. I would bring a CD to the teacher and he would figure it out by ear and then write it out on white paper for me, the chords and everything.

Taylor “It’s funny that It’s easier to learn now, more than ever but no one wants too

Every band in the existence of music has always been inspired and influenced by other bands or singers. Kortni and Taylor shared their influences with this writer.

Kortni: “I saw School of rock when I was 10! ….No seriously, I never had any talents, like never, Then one day, one of my moms friends said I had a pretty voice and I was like I’m gonna roll with that and then I saw School of Rock and that’s when it clicked that I wanted to make a rock band. I don’t know? …. Anything I saw where girls were playing instruments, I said” “I wanna fucking do that

After a shared laugh, and all agreeing that Jack Black saved the day once again, Kortni went onto explain more of her influences

Kortni “Haley Williams, from Paramore, I was the biggest Paramore fan in high school. Like growing up when I was younger, it was bands like Blink-182.

Taylor: “I was always a big James Hetfield guy!

Being a musician is a very difficult job as well as being very costly. Even though the achievements and recognition is very rewarding.  The constant expenses of instruments and accessories, as well as lodging and fuel and dining out on the road can be very expensive. In order to fund their dreams and inspirations, Taylor and Kortni have to find the time to work in between the gigs and practice.

Taylor: “I give guitar lessons and work at a hotel”

Kortni: “Every time I do an interview, my answer changes. I do bookkeeping, I took a course in business accounting at a car dealership.”

With more recognition and more fans, the members of Lionsault become more prominent in the eye of the public and when I asked if they were ever recognized outside of gigs, Taylor shared a very funny moment that he experienced at work.

Taylor: “I was at work one night, and I was checking people in, and this one guy, he was like hey are you in a band?”

“And I guess he just asked that from the look of me so I said yes”

“And he asked me what band?”

“So I said Lionsault,”

“He goes OH! I’ve known Taylor for a long time!….”

“I just stood there for a moment and said..Me?”

“Luckily he saved himself by saying he just knew who I was. I should have played along with it.”

Over the last year, Lionsault has made significant strides in music with constant gigs all throughout the Atlantic provinces. Live interviews with local radio stations. Being printed in local newspapers. Creating music videos and winning the 2016 “New Goal Song” music contest that was held through MusicNb for the Moncton Wildcats Hockey team, entitled “In The Wild”, Lionsault performed live in front of 6000 people at the Moncton Colosseum.

Kortni: :We played in front of 6000 people, and we had no vocal monitors, our amps were on stage, we had no way of hearing each other, all we had was like an echo and we were just up there, it was tough because the red carpet was slippery.

Taylor: I was nervous, brand new song, on ice, slippery as hell, in front of 65 hundred people and we couldn’t hear ourselves, so it made me really nervous.

Kortni: “On top of that, they wanted us to get the crowd going and all that, it was rough”

Taylor: “But we got through it!, we just had to play a small part of the song and it was great!”

In April of 2017, Lionsault leaped even further in their musical career by winning the 2017 “Loud Recording Of The Year”

Kortni: “You apply for the E.C.M.A. Thankfully we had Don from Motorleague, and he sort of talked to Taylor about the do’s and don’ts and what to apply for. He told us It’s your first year, don’t expect to win anything, so we applied for some showcases and also applied for loud recording of the year.”

During the E.C.M.A, bands in each category, play a showcase, a half hour set to perform live. The E.C.M.A award for Loud Recording Of the Year is prominently for artist who specializes in the metal genre but that didn’t stop the members of Lionsault from giving it all they got.

Kortni: “At the showcase, we played a set, so were playing with Orchid’s Curse, Abysseral Throne and Last Call Chernobyl. All these super heavy and super tight bands and were just like, I felt out-of-place, I was saying guys, we don’t have a chance. so whatever, let’s just have fun. and then…. when we won! my grandmother screamed and like threw her scarf in the air…. like we didn’t see it coming…. we didn’t think we would win at all.”

An amazing accomplishment for a band just starting out, Lionsault Won the 2017 Loud Recording Of The Year and became a household name in Miramichi N.B and Recognized by the community.

Taylor: “Our phones were blowing up!

Kortni: “When we left the venue, and loading up our gear, everyone from the venue was like standing outside and we got this huge applause, I felt like the fucking queen of the E.C.M.A for a few minutes.

As we came to the end of the interview, I simply asked what any writer would ask someone. What’s next?

Taylor: “World Domination!….Just kidding, expect more material and tour dates very soon!”

I would like to thank the members of  Lionsault: Taylor Sheasgreen and Kortni Nicols for sitting down with me and sharing their stories with Modern-Typewriter. I look forward to all your music accomplishments in your career.  You can check out their Facebook page here and buy their first album here.

Thank you

Regards 

The Modern Typewriter

Lucas Durelle

 

 

 

 

Album Review: Roger Waters “Is This The Life We Really Want”

Roger Waters latest album “Is This Life We Really Want” is like seeing an old friend that you haven’t encountered in over 40 years. Everything about it seems familiar enough but something deep is hidden and you patently wait to find out what it is.

When we were young” is the first track of the album and it delivers  hypnotic waves of Roger waters eerie voice as he echoed through my speakers delivering a mantra-like chant with frightening reverb and multiple voices that begins to layer heavily as it progresses. focusing on what he is trying to say, you become more tuned to the ambient noise. A ticking clock begins ticking faster and faster in the background, increasing up the tone of anxiety. The anger of his voice sets the mood of the album almost immediately as the a faint sound of an airplane is flying in the distance.

As the clock keeps ticking faster and faster, it fades into a seamless transition into the second track of the album “Déjà Vu“.

The acoustic guitar begins to play a familiar rhythm, the simplistic strums will remind you of their  1979 hit “Mother” that debuted on “The Wall” album. The sweet swoops of the string quartet adds a soothing lullaby to his soft, aging vocals. The simplistic piano chords scaling upwards as his vocals raise higher and higher as he let out his signature scream. A sudden crash of shattering glass and ruin is highlighted as he sings “If I were a drone“. The overall theme I believe he was aiming at was the after effects of war and devastation. The title is very fitting, the entire song is a faded memory of the wall single “Mother” with the political themes of “The Wall” album

The third track “The Last Refugee” switches over almost immediately, The title opens to a static broadcast of a variety of news anchors reporting in. Similar to Roger waters single “The Final Cut” and a small hint of “Fletcher Memorial” as the drums play a steady beat and the complimentary piano helps paint the atmosphere. Roger Waters sorrow vocals is accompanied with haunting synth piano as soft sounds of seagulls and crashing waves fade out.

The fourth track “Picture that” is a rage filed roller coaster where he ask the listeners to picture a variety of scenarios over and over, describing a world of fear and intolerance to outsiders.

The fifth track “Broken Bones” begins with simplistic acoustic guitar strumming with single melodies being picked in between each strum. It seems almost uplifting at first until the haunting sounds of the E-Minor chord is struck and the saddening sound of slide guitar is added to his soft low vocals as he lets out an exhausting lyrics “who gives a shit anyways” until the drums kick in and Roger Waters scream at the top of his lungs “How could we abandon thee” This tracks main focus is how we should have looked back at all these wars and political leaders who steered a country into war and instead of learning from our mistakes, we repeat them over and over. The final verse of the song is a powerful statement “we will not listen to, your bullshit and lies”

The sixth track ” Is This The Life We Really Want” is opened with a static voice clip of Donald Trump talking to CNN about chaos, as soon as the clip is over, Rogers waters delivers his depiction of the latest political election with obvious evidence as he sang “Every time a nincompoop becomes president” this track is a clear depiction of the current state of fear and chaos in the United States . Fear is the main theme in this track, A song filled with haunting string instruments and random protest in the background. As the song progresses, Roger Waters lists a series of events throughout the song such as “Every time a journalist rots in jail” or “every time a student is run over by a tank” He began to paint a depressing picture as the listener slowly realizes that we as the public, have caused all of this, all these events he list has actually happened over the course of time and continues to happen because we refuse to see the error of our ways. He answered his own question as he sang “Is this the life we really want, it surely must be so, for this is a democracy and what we all say goes

The seventh song “Bird In A Gale” is a continuation of the sixth track and features a strong presence of synth wave, the type of music you would hear in a 80’s horror movie. Once again the static of random news anchors are present during the wide opening of the song. Although the song only has 11 stanzas, the song is 5 minutes of synth wave music and recurring background noise of news anchors, chiming bells, reverse guitar, a News anchor repeating  “A Happy New Year” as well as “on the first of January” with random lyrics of Roger waters repeating the last verse of the song. A confusing tone to say the least as the ambient noise is suddenly stopped by the incoming sound of a missile hitting the ground, followed by applauded cheering.

The Eighth song is titled “The Most Beautiful Girl” Roger Waters tells the love story of a young woman, whose life was diminished to nothing more than a causality by a committee of men in an underground bunker who decided to use a nuclear bomb during a war escapade, a simple song with a strong message.

The ninth track entitled “Smell The Roses” is Roger waters anti-war message.  As a society, we should all stop and smell the roses and realize that war is destroying all the beauty around us. as the song progresses, the listener is no longer smelling the pleasantries of roses but the decaying smell of war and death.

the 10th,11th and 12th tracks entitled “Wait for her” ” Oceans apart” and “Part of me Died” is a continuous song split into 3 tracks. The first track is a simple pairing of a grand piano and  acoustic guitar with hints of strong distorted guitar leads and crashing waves of cymbal drums and a mellow tone of synth piano all accompanied by Roger waters soft and mellow raspy voice.

Oceans Apart” bridges the previous track into the final track “Part of me died“.

The 3 tracks when listen to in consecutive order, tells a grand story of a man who is clinically depressed by the evilness of life and he begins to provided a list of his own fears and doubts in life. By the end of  “Part Of Me Died” he meets this girl and she becomes is everything he will always need to get through this hatred filled life because he would rather die in her arms then die in a lifetime of regret and constant state of fear. The three-part song is a perfect ending to a perfect album. 10/10

I can safety make the assumption that “Is This The Life We Really Want” is his depiction of the current political status in the united states and the destruction that follows with war. This album fits his anti-war and political stances almost to perfectly. “Is This The Life We Really Want” is a flooded memory of Roger Waters when he was in his prime and almost feels like an encore performance to Pink Floyd 1979  album “The Wall“.

I cannot express enough how much I loved this album. I would not expect anything less from a true rock legend. If you’re a Pink Floyd or a Roger Waters fan, this is a must have and If you are not a fan, I encourage you to listen to the album and truly focus on the story he is trying to convey. This album is not a variety of music trying to fill an empty space. It’s an album tell the story of Roger Waters depiction of politics, war, greed, death and destruction.

Thank you

Regards

The Modern Typewriter

Lucas Durelle

Round & Round We Go On Life’s Carousel

As we ride this merry-go round we call life, often times we are faced with hardships and negative people. The stress of those events and people can be crippling on ones self-esteem and we are left with the numbing feeling of being flustered, vulnerable and hurt.

Life sucks, we know that. It’s a constant uphill battle, paved with loose gravel and with each step, you are constantly slipping. Life comes in waves, the constant barrage of bills, health scares, death and diseases. No wonder as a society we are clinically depressed and heavily medicated just to deal with said shit.

In a world filled with wrong doings, snarky remarks, constant pressure and hate. It’s sometimes overwhelming and difficult to find the good in people and when a good act is done upon us, we often question it’s purpose or if there’s a catch to it.

It’s a cynical feeling almost, in the way of “why is this person being nice to me and what do they want?”

The seed of doubt is often planted in our minds by past experiences with those who have wrong us. Always wondering if there’s a second motive to each action which can be quite stressful and irritating.

although we must remember that not all people are struck with the flag of negativity. Important qualities we find in people, are comforting. Trust is a huge quality we all look for in a person and in a world of unexplained actions, trust is a hard quality to find.

Life’s hard enough and here we are constantly trying to make it harder by stiring shit on those we don’t like. Gossiping. Telling rumors. Attacking and assaulting those who don’t submit or agree with your opinion…f**k those people, your never going to please them so why waste your time trying.

Fortunately we all find a crutch to help us stand against the crashing waves of life and the swarming congregation of ill-toungued people.

Some of us find religion. Most of us find love. Some find the endless bottom of a bottle and others light the end of a cigarette. Inevitably we find something or someone to help battle the unbeatable goliath called life and it makes everything easier and worth going through.

So when life gets you down and work has you stressed out. Be like the lost children of Neverland, find your happy thought. Think about the one you love. The beers shared among friends. The pretty girl who smiled at you that one time. Anything positive to occupy your mind to help get you through the day.

The only thing that should matter to anyone is the ones that love you and want to be surrounded by your presence. Don’t waste your time and energy on changing the opinions of others to shine a better light on yourself. Devote the effort to those who already know you’re an amazing person. So to tell it in laymen terms, let the haters hate and surround yourself with those who appreciate.

         “Stop watering dead plants”                                  ~anonymous

Regards

The Modern Typewriter

Lucas Durelle

A Night At The Miramichi Vogue Theater 

Over the weekend, I was invited to attend a blues and funk concert being held at the classic Miramichi Vogue Theater, I was thrilled to gain access to such an event. As I pulled up to the old vogue theater, The brightly lit neon sign read Roxy And The Underground Soul Sound and opening up for them was Jacob Strang And The High Class Hussies.

The crowd surrounded the entrance and the line up was out the door. I made my way into the building and was handed a ticket. I made my way past the usher and walked into the dimly lit theater that was filled with a talkative and excited crowd of people and a stage that was filled with instruments.

The Orange glow of the stage lit up the curtain that draped the background, as the lights dim, a silence fell through the crowd when a crashing boom of the drums echoed through the hall, the band started in unity as the electric sound of funk and soul filled the room in a hazy glow.

The lead singer Jacob Strang, ran onto the stage sporting a black fedora and grabbed the microphone. He captured a unique energy as he danced across the stage to the beating of the drums and hip swaying sound of the rhythm guitar as his vocals let out a whiskey soaked howl.

The Crowd went wild as the song came to an end and he introduced himself and his band members. The lead guitarist began to play a familiar riff as the crowd screamed with excitement, the drums soon followed as the bass let out a solid lead as Jacob Strang let out a raspy scream and immediately you recognized the song. “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. It was a surprising treat that sounded perfect.

The band went on to play a few more of their original songs then ended with a duet with the lead singer of the other spotlight band Roxy And The Underground Soul Sound. The room was lit up with energy as the band thanked everyone for coming and made their way back stage.

There was a brief intermission before the featured act of Roxy and the Underground soul sound. The crowd shared their excitement, others stepped outside for a quick smoke or to order another drink.

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After the intermission, people returned to their seats and waited in anticipation as the headline act was coming in stage.

This is the first band that I experienced live that includes a brass section. The saxophone player blows kisses of sweet sorrow as the trombone player pairs nicely with the excitable lead guitar player as his fingers dance across the frets. You can barely contain your feet from tapping to the steady groove of the drums. I can only describe the sound of the band as a mellow vibe that hits your soul.
The lead singer, Roxy, has a voice that I can only describe as anger soaked with sadness with a reverb of soul and seduction but don’t let that fool you as she smiles and dances weightlessly across the stage as she moves with the rhythm of the guitars.

As the night went along, one song stood out that I can only describe as perfection. Entitled “Fought The Battle”, Roxy explained that she wrote the song to help her overcome a dark period in her life. “Fought The Battle” The song of sadness, a raw emotion is captured by Roxy as she softly sings a lullaby followed by crashing waves of instrumental pieces as she belts out painful lyrics that echoes throughout the vogue theater.  As the song comes to an end, she falls to her knees as she vocally holds a trembling note of sorrow, The crowd is silent and in awe of the performance in front of them. Perfection.
Encore! the crowd screamed as Roxy and the underground soul sound exited the stage. When the lead singer Roxy and her band the underground soul sound came back onto the stage, she invited Jacob Strang to accompany her on stage as they shared a duet entitled “Etta” A brilliant song that time traveled you back to a simpler time as it captured a unique chemistry between the two singers. It was an excellent ending to a perfect night.

As the crowd dispersed and the lights came on and the show was over. I made it back to my car and simply sat there in silence for a few moments to reflect on the night.

I wish everyone in Miramichi could have witness that concert and if those bands do return, I encourage all my readers to attend and enjoy a soulful night of music.

The vogue theater itself was an amazing, memorable experience. The atmosphere. The catering. The classic popcorn stand and the vintage vibe of the building itself, sets the bar quite high for other venues. It truly was an excellent night of entertainment and good music.

Thank you

Regards

The Modern Typewriter

Lucas Durelle

The First Experience

Everyday, we experience something new. From the time of being an infant and taking your first steps to saying your first bad word your uncle taught you.

To being a kid and going to the first day of school and making your first best friend, ready to conquer the world.

The first time you get behind the wheel of a car and you feel your foot on the gas pedal, is an amazing experience. When your driving down the road with your favorite song blaring over the radio and the sun sets in the distance as a warm glow of orange covers your face.
A sense of freedom draws over you as you realize you could go anywhere the road will lead you. The traffic is zooming by as you catch the small glimpses of blurred people on the side-walk and the land is covered in green grass and grey asphalt. You feel a sense of comfort. A sense of ease. A sense of accomplishment.

When you get a little older and your age hits into those dreaded teen years. You begin to develop who you are as a person, by experiencing new taste of music, clothes and friends and trying to find your own lifestyle in the mix of things.

The first time you sneak your first drink of liquor you stole from your parents liquor cabinet, hoping your parents don’t notice the liquor bottle is a little lighter than it use to be.

Experiencing college years for the first time is an amazing experience, It could be a drunken haze of excitement and partying or a chance to recognize ones self. The constant pressure of deadlines and test while being inspired by learning something your interested in. Figuring out what you want in life and what makes you the person you are.

Experiencing love for the first time is truly a scary, lustful, exciting, wonderful feeling wrapped in a ball of anxiety.

When you nervously go on your first date, not knowing if you’re gonna make enough small talk to make the night interesting. Cautiously attempting to hold hands as you walk closely together. As the night grows cold and you feel her pressed up against you as you make your move and you watch as her trembling lips grow closer to yours. The first feeling of cautiously kissing someone you like and the overwhelming feeling of joy as they kiss you back. The silence that follows with a trembling smile. The passion between two people, It’s almost like poetry.

The first time your heart is broken and everything seems grey, cold, empty and nothing makes sense in the world. You don’t know how to mend it back again until someone comes along and sew the pieces back together and the one you use to care about is nothing more than another chapter in the big book of your life.

The first time your out on your own in that big open world as an adult and life slaps you in the face with taxes, rent and bills that are over due while working a job that doesn’t pay enough to cover it all.

While all that does sound scary and stressful, it is merely a small spec of sand in the grand scheme of adult life. Freedom to do what your passionate for and experiencing new things is the biggest upside of being an adult.

Just because you age and as life happens, and you don’t land that dream job but you luckily find someone you love and you get married, have children and build that white picket fence you hear everyone talking about. What more can you ask for?. As long as you aim for happiness and new experiences, you will never miss out on the big game of life.

I find some of my most interesting experiences come in the form of conversation with people, I wouldn’t normally converse with.

Recently while I was sitting on a bench, taking my break from work. I was encountered by an old man carrying a very heavy book bag, he sat down next to me with tattered clothing and bummed a smoke. We sat there in silence for a few minutes when I realized that I should be asking him what his story was.

He went on to tell me that he doesn’t know where he went wrong in life but he knows the world isn’t like it use to be when he was young. I sat with him for the duration of my break, just talking about nothing and when I turned to leave he said something that I found to be quite astonishing.

“Times are a changing, People are too afraid to talk to each other anymore.”

Sadly, He’s right. Throughout the day, we do very little for the people around us, even though some are strangers, we should try to take the time to experience what we have to say and do for each other because in the end, that’s all we are. Just people trying to survive this hurricane shit storm of a world and make friends while we do it.

So go out in that big scary world and experience new things. Watch the sun as it sets over still waters, Compliment a stranger that has an awesome t-shirt that you think is cool. Experience something new for the first time.

Tell someone they are beautiful and watch as there smile lights up the room. Travel to exotic places and taste the food and wines of their world.

Do what excites you, Do things that you want to experience in your life. Jump in head first and be adventurous. We all share a common experience and that experience is called life.

As Always

Regards

The Modern Typewriter

Lucas Durelle