WOODPIGEON – PIANO PIECES FOR ADULT BEGINNERS
Calgary = conservatives, cowboys, cold… and culture? My hometown of Calgary was named one of the cultural capitals of Canada in 2012. That made me, and everyone I know tilt our heads to the side and say “Really?” For myself and other Calgarians, this city is one that demolishes its heritage buildings, spans its bland suburbia into infinity, and finds art only in how it supes up its pick-up trucks. I know, however, that is a naive way of thinking. No matter where you are, there is a creative soul to be found. It’s just harder to see it in your own backyard sometimes. If I look close enough, I can see a thriving music scene in Cowtown. From Chad VanGaalen to Tegan and Sara to Twenty Centuries of Stony Sleep, talent is coming out of the woodwork. Which brings me to Woodpigeon. Although they have been releasing albums since 2006, I only first heard them a few weeks ago. The song Piano Pieces for Adult Beginners was playing on the radio during a drive home. Its jaunty piano and cynical lyrics felt like a sped up and more melodic track from Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine. Although the entire song is enjoyable, it is the one line that hooks into you and festers – “good things come to those you hate”. It sets a jaded and guarded mood to the song that only switches with the vulnerable last line – “I just want you to know, I don’t want you to go”. The juxtaposition makes an affecting balance, and a truly enjoyable listen. It was a pleasant surprise to discover these guys were from Calgary. The more I realize great art can be created in this western prairie sprawl, the more I think we may have sense of culture worth acknowledging.