News Podcast

Ep. #102: Alison Wearing

Alison Wearing is an author, musician, and theatrical actress based in Stratford Ontario whose first book was the internationally acclaimed travel memoir Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey. Her latest book is another compelling memoir called Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter – Growing Up with a Gay Dad, which she has adapted into an award-winning one-woman show. The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and the Bookshelf present Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter – Growing Up with a Gay Dad at the Ebar on Friday May 23 and here, Alison and I discuss what it’s like living in the Shakespearean-flavoured, welcoming town of Stratford, which came first, Confessions the book or Confessions the play, how this story resonates with people whose families aren’t “normal,” how families aren’t ideal or perfect but their challenges are healthy, Canada’s coming out, the remarkable elements at Alison’s disposal to tell this story about her father and her family, the box of treasure, making it with a Roman Catholic priest, terror and joy, what her family has made of Alison’s one-woman show and book, her brothers’ low profile in the book, the devastating and arresting section about Alison’s mother in this book, how we’re often ready to write our stories before we’ve written one word, academics are unreadable, her parents’ musical interest and its influence on her writing, the Liberal Party of Canada and bonding with Pierre Elliott Trudeau about China, empowering others with Confessions, we all find ourselves, selfishness and truth, my parents and my sister, Alison’s unforgiving aunt, connecting with others to accept their anger, truth and pride, how the book compares to the show, the book’s impact on one’s croissant consumption, Alison’s next book project about children and Mexico and when she’ll actually have time to finish it, the long shelf life that books have, and that was all.

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News Podcast

Ep. #82: Peter Elkas

Peter Elkas is a talented rock and soul singer, songwriter, and musician based in Toronto. In the early 90s, he was in an inventive Montreal band called Local Rabbits and when they stopped playing together, Elkas set off on an acclaimed creative trajectory of his own. 10 years ago Elkas released Party of One, his first of three solo albums thus far and he’s celebrating this milestone by reissuing the record on vinyl for the first time and making it exclusively available at shows he’s playing, primarily in southern Ontario throughout April, including a Guelph stop at the Ebar on April 3. Here, Elkas and I discuss the 12-string Fender Stratocaster he brought along to our interview, Randy Bachman, Full House, how many guitars is too many guitars for a general audience to care about, dadhood and having to explain things to small humans, my dad can build you a bookshelf and I can barely build you a sandwich, demystifying the power of our dads, 10 years since Party of One and its “gimmicky” reissue, small people playing piano, the struggle of sit-ups, how we can’t remember the name of the movie A Scanner Darkly, Don Kerr as musical saviour for Pete after Local Rabbits ended, a band from Windsor called the Poumons and another outfit called the Burt Neilson Band, the Light of Day foundation and Pete’s role in it, the multiple times he’s shared stages with/met/fingerprinted/performed before rock icon Bruce Springsteen, playing the Stone Pony in New Jersey, passion versus practicality versus pain, the beneficially slow prep for a follow-up to Pete’s last album Repeat Offender, the song “I See Fine,” and more.

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Peter Elkas Band + Harlan Pepper – Ebar – April 3


KYEO is pleased to announce that excellent Toronto-based rock/soul singer, songwriter, musician, dog walker, and dad Peter Elkas returns to Guelph for a show at the Ebar in Guelph. Harlan Pepper, a wonderful roots-y ensemble from Hamilton with a connection to the Royal City and a new album out this month, join the bill opening for Elkas and his band.

This all-ages concert takes place at the Ebar on Thursday April 3, 2014 with doors opening at 9:30 PM. It will cost $10 with a non-perishable donation for the Guelph Food Bank and $12 without and tickets will only be available at the door. Harlan Pepper will be on at 10 PM, Elkas and his band will be on by 11 PM.

Elkas is marking the 10th anniversary of his celebrated solo debut, Party Of One, with a limited vinyl pressing of the LP and an April residency at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto. The string of shows kicks off on April 1st with Elkas performing the album in its entirety with the original session musicians, Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith) and Doug Friesen (Bidiniband, John K Samson).

Elkas is also performing dates throughout Ontario for the rest of the month, including a Light Of Day benefit concert at the Molson Canadian Studio in Hamilton Place on April 12th with the Sam Roberts Band. Light of Day Canada is committed to raising money through various events that support research and care for Parkinson’s victims and families. Elkas is a coordinator and board member of the organization and has had the good fortune to not only play annual events in New Jersey, but also jam with Bruce Springsteen.

“Light of Day has become an important cause to me,” says Elkas. “I am becoming more and more devoted to developing the LOD Canada events with the great friends I’ve made in the organization. It’s been an honor (and actually a lot of fun) to be included in the fight against Parkinson’s.”

Party Of One was released in 2004 after Elkas’ previous act, the Local Rabbits, went on “indefinite hiatus.” Expanding upon his songwriting in that band, he kicked against the zeitgeist by crafting soulful pop and rock songs that are AM radio-accessible. Party Of One was produced by Kerr and found Elkas straddling a line between experimental sounds and more traditional songcraft.

The last time Elkas was in Guelph, he headlined a successful month-long residency at the Ebar in support of his most recent LP, 2011’s Repeat Offender. We’re thrilled to have him back.


Harlan Pepper released their new album, Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to the Fullest on March 11, 2014 via Six Shooter Records. The band has been busy warming up the new material at Toronto’s Cameron House every Tuesday night in March.

On the theme of living life to the fullest, here’s how the band chooses to spend their $20s (and their twenties):

Dan Edmonds (vocals) – “I like to buy a 6-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and there’s usually just enough left to get in to a show downtown. That’s an ideal night for me with 20 beautiful bucks.”

Thompson Wilson (bass) – “Taking out a $20, going down to a record store and buying as many records as you can from the cheep section. And then using the change to bus home and listen to music the rest of the day…I like Dan’s idea better.”

Jimmy Hayes III (guitar) – “I’d buy a bag of macaroni and a brick of cheese with my first $10.00. After a quick bite I’d take my final $10.00 to Rolly Rockets in Hamilton for a pint and to see my favourite new jazz-fusion/R & B band, “The Buddy Guys.” What a night.”

Marlon Nicolle (drums) – “Buy two 40’s of Old English and take the rest and put it all on 24 black at the roulette table.”

Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to the Fullest is full of sweet grooves, lyrical nonchalance and strong musicianship. From their Steeltown stronghold, Harlan Pepper is quietly fashioning themselves into a rock solid band of considerable depth and ability. We had some of them here in Guelph for a spell, while they pursued their studies. As their Guelph fans can attest, it’s great to have them back in town with a new record.


KYEO Presents:

Peter Elkas Band
Harlan Pepper

Thursday April 3, 2014

$10 with non-perishable item for the Guelph Food Bank
$12 without

The Ebar
41 Quebec St. Guelph
Doors at 9 PM
AA/LIC (Not accessible)

Tickets only available at the door