Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Monday: Interstellar Rodeo 2012

This past weekend marked Edmonton's first ever Interstellar Rodeo - a new summer music festival put on by Six Shooter Records that focused on Americana/Alt Country, Folk, Blues, Bluegrass (and other related) music.

As soon as I heard about it I knew I wanted to go. I love that type of folk music - and the name is awesome!! And then they announced Blue Rodeo and Whitehorse as part of the line up, and they weren't playing on the day I had to go to a wedding, so I was in for sure!

Pretty much as soon as I arrived Sunday, I fell in love with the festival. It was so civilized. No crazy lineup for sold out tickets, and actually very few line ups at all. Shaded, covered amphitheatre seating, yummy food trucks, clean area, and indoor plumbing!! The venue was fantastic, and the vibe wonderful.

Plus, the music was fantastic!!

The Sojourners started off Sunday with some great gospel songs.

Shakira S'Aida bluesified the crowd!

Wagons - the lead singer was a hoot and really got the crowd involved, including running around the stands. The Aussie accent added to their charm.

The Beauties also did a great job. Guitars were definitely the stars of the entire afternoon.

Whitehorse - aka Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. They're a favourite of mine and put on a great show as usual. 

It's no secret I have a crush on Luke Doucet's guitar. It's a Gretsch White Falcon and sounds awesome. He makes it sound like magic. I could listen to him play that guitar for days.

Blue Rodeo. I've seen them a bunch of times over the years, but I always love their shows. With such a back catalogue, they always manage to put together a rockin' show with all my favourites plus some new tunes I've never heard before.

Have I mentioned yet I love Jim Cuddy?!

The last song of the festival - my absolute favourite Blue Rodeo song 'Lost Together', with Luke, Melissa, and Luke Doucet's daughter Chloe. Awesome way to end a great day at Interstellar Rodeo. Perfect.

I couldn't help but compare IR to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. Yes they are different festivals. Yes the music skews differently. Yes EFMF has sessions and more folk genres and I've enjoyed it for the past 12 years. But, one of the people I was sitting with said it best: "The hassle of Folk Fest currently outweighs the awesomeness of it." I don't think IR will ever replace EFMF, but it certainly has positioned itself as a great alternative. It's already been suggested IR will likely end up being a victim of its own success (too crowded and impossible to get tickets) just like EFMF. I will not stand in line for 6+ hours to buy EFMF tickets next year. I will buy IR tickets. That says it all. I'll still try get Folk Fest tickets online (doubtful that'll work), and I'm researching alternative folk fests to attend next summer somewhere in Canada (possibly Ontario, or maybe Quebec). 

I am ready for a musical change, and next year Interstellar Rodeo will be my Edmonton summer music festival. I can only hope its second year will be as fantastic as the first!

Balcony Garden: It's a Jungle out there!

I got back from vacation recently to find my balcony garden had turned into a bit of a jungle with all the rain that fell while I was away! Yum!

Nice and shady for Molly! My cauliflower is large, but the pot isn't big enough to produce a head. I'll know for next year. I've got lot's of zucchini though!

Just like last year, lot's of pretty scarlet runner bean blossoms, which wont produce many beans though because the pot isn't big enough. Yes, this is a bit of an issue - I'm a bit too enthusiastic a gardener for my pots.

Peas!! Again, the pot isn't big enough to produce large healthy pods, but I've got enough to snack on a bit.

Beets and mint leaves are nice and lush!

More herbs than I know what to do with! Time to try making pesto I think.

Broccoli flowers! I neglected to pick the broccoli in time to eat it, but it was worth it because I've never seen broccoli flowers before. Very pretty.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Balcony Garden: One Month Update

One month in and my balcony garden is doing great - sort of.

I've encountered two problems I never had to deal with last year.

First, leaves on many of my plants started turning yellow. Google told me it was probably a nitrogen deficiency - stupid cheap Walmart soil. I fertilized and the plants have bounced back.

My second problem is way worse - leaf miners are destroying my beets, swiss chard and spinach. Stupid cheap Walmart soil. The spinach I could care less about, Molly liked it better than I did. The chard was the star of my garden last year, so it hurts my pride that the damn bugs are going to get most of it. The beets are a new thing for me, so I'm annoyed that the damn bugs are going to get most of the leafs. Beet leaf cabbage rolls are my favourite. It's possible the beets will still grow a bit, but the leaves are useless.

Leaf miner damage on my swiss chard.

Otherwise things are growing well! It's a jungle out there (for Molly anyways).

Beans are growing better than last year.

Herbs - love the purple basil.


Mostly lush and green!

Note to self: don't buy stupid cheap Walmart soil next year.