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Absurd Recap: January - August 2019

Well, we now have a blog on our website and we figured a good thing to do with that, in the name of content creation and also keeping Devon busy, is starting a semi-yearly recap of everything we've done recently. This recap is mostly shows that we've had, beginning with the first show Becca ever planned with the collective, and detailing our trajectory over the summer a little bit. There's some other stuff we've done this summer, like releasing some music on our Soundcloud and so on, but this is the jist of it. Plus, we don't think you care that much. but if you do then you can buy Devon a beer and he'll give you all the boring little details.

This was a big summer for us, and this recap marks as well the official relaunch of our website and online store. This summer we brought on some more people to work with the collective, doubled our instagram followers, and got some nice momentum going - including, but not limited to, the creation of our series Punk & Politics, the Debasement Sessions, and the Experimental Transit Sessions. Please, let we forget the past and become doomed to repeat it, join us in a little walk down memory lane:


January 25th, 2019 - Coral Plaza

Poster by Devon Acuña

Make Punk Political Again!

How can we get a bunch of punks to listen to people lecture on politics, while simultaneously tricking a bunch of politics nerds into listening to punk?

This project was borne from wanting to be more explicitly political through the work that we do, and also marks the beginning of the Absurd Collective’s beautiful and fruitful induction of Becca “pure anti-capitalist ball of energy” Houle.

We were a little worried that it might not mesh well with the speakers presenting in between punk music but everybody seemed to love it and we had a great turn out! There will almost certainly be more of these and we’re super excited about it.

The evening began with a presentation by the esteemed Simone A. Medina Polo doing a workshop on social antagonisms. Followed by a rousing set from the one and only Kubik, followed promptly and swiftly by short lectures on the media and public intellectualism respectively given by Rylan Kafara and Park Horseman. The night was played out by locals and good musicians Yo Bear and Feminal Fluids.

On the way there we discovered a super convenient shortcut from the Acuna house to Coral Plaza that involved trespassing and climbing a train which was fun and cool.

Spernie fell asleep in the lobby of the venue like an hour into the show because he had too many cold shots.



January 31st, 2019 - Cafe Mosaics

Poster by Braedon Acuña

J Blissette was coming into town and needed a show set up, so we asked Cafe Mosaics if we could have a fun old time at the spot to which they said something along the lines of “hell yeah, brother!”



February 9th, 2019 - Sewing Machine Factory

Poster by Devon Acuna

For posterity’s sake, we won’t name all of the artists that dropped out of this show at various times for different reasons, but holy fuck this poster was redone like ten times.

As stressful as the show was to plan, coordinating as we were with Sweaty Palms and scrambling to find new artists every week, this show was a huge blast and in the end we had a great turnout and lineup.

The final lineup was big homies Airlon and Phazel, followed by PrettyBoyFLoyd who brought along MosestheProphet. Honeyboychild then went on and played cool guitars before Dirty Dev and THD rolled up and did the thing.

Dirty Dev got really drunk before going on stage because Spernie bought him a bunch of jagerbombs or something and instead of standing up and dancing around like a real human musician he sat on the speaker the whole show and found out for the first time that cursing out the audience is a good way to keep the crowd engaged. Also the final (succesful) live rendition of the Hedgehog Dilemma’s classic hit “Jimmy Fallon is a Cuck for the Liberal Media.



March 1st, 2019 - The Almanac

Poster by Braedon Acuna

Really sick lineup on this one, this is probably the first show that Spernie set up by himself for the Absurd Collective, marking the beginning of his beautiful and fruitful relationship with us, and with us, him.

The general idea for this show was to get a bunch of good homies to come get on stage and do solo performances at the almanac, which is pretty much exactly what happened, so there you go.

Spernie may or may not set up another one of these, but we hope he does.



April 27, 2019 - Churchill LRT Station

Poster by Devon Acuna

This was a project based in exploring the spaces that we can use as venues, searching - as we always are - for spaces that are cheap, weird, and easily accessible. When we realized that busking permits are $15 dollars for the month we knew that we had to have a show in Churchill Station, assuming that it would be shut down quickly and be complicated to actually set up.

Symfan, Callum, and Camp Nottingham were all great sports and agreed to play this janky show in a weird, public place. We lugged our equipment through City Centre and got set up easily, and got a nice little crowd out for the show! We even got some passerby stopping by to enjoy the show, including some guy who really needed a joint rolled and wouldn’t stop yelling about it.

This was also a experiment in planning secret shows, as we only sent the poster through text messaging. It was cool how we still got relatively good engagement through such a restricted channel, and it was fun having people feel like they were in on something secret, even though it was happening in a public place.

The money from every show, taken in the form of optional donations, was saved for the purpose of donating to Boyle Street at the end of the summer. Partially because the “venue fee” was virtually non-existent, and because the series occupied a public space that is used by many people who are less fortunate than us.


4/20 EVE

April 19th, 2019 - 99Ten

Poster by Braedon Acuna

Spernie booked 99ten and at first we were like dude that’s kind of an expensive venue but the show was pretty fun and I would say it was an all-around pretty good time. Learned a little, drank a little, that kind of thing.

After the show we all went to Eoin’s which was fairly lit.



May 10th, 2019 - The Rave Kave

So, Coral Plaza sent Brae an e-mail at like three o’ clock on the day of the show and said that they had gotten locked out of the venue that morning and were getting evicted or some shit so we couldn’t have our show there that night. I maybe would have preferred that we weren’t the ones who had Coral Plaza booked the day they got evicted, but maybe it’s best it was that way.

We e-mailed a bunch of venues last minute, but pretty quickly realized that we were going to have to just book it to the Acuna house, empty out the basement, buy a bunch of whippits, and have the show in that tiny little basement. So, we did that, and all the bands fucking killed it because they’re all super dope (except for the Slight Brains because they broke up like a week before that show happened).

Really, really good time and everyone was respectful and hyped up that the show had gone through. We didn’t make that much money though, but enough for some smokes.



May 11th, 2019 - Churchill LRT Station

Poster by Devon Acuna

The first ETS: Experimental Transit Session was such a hit that Becca decided she was gonna get the second one planned within two weeks, so we announced the date almost immediately.

This one was also dope, and better put together. Probably. I wasn’t there but the pictures were cool.



May 24th, 2019 - The Aviary

Poster by Devon Acuna

This one was just a sweet time. A lineup of just really cool artists that we all love. We made a bunch of new T-shirts and prints to sell, of which we did sell a few. It was our first time setting up a show at The Aviary and they were super cool and also turns out their venue is dope as hell.

Goddamn Laundry Week and Ghostears are cool as hell and just great musicians. The esteemed DJ Sticky Ricky pulled up, just cool as all hell, and blessed us with music and their presence for four hours straight. Fuckin great time.

Opened it up at 6pm because we thought people would filter in and out, but turns out a lot of people don’t like driving to the northside like three hours early for a show, so we sat around and drank beer with the buds and listened to Ricky’s music and shot the shit as we are wont to do. nice.

Next time I think I’m gonna make a bunch of money selling five dollar tickets just tell me to make them ten and then just let anyone who cares about the difference in for free.



June 1st, 2019 - Churchill LRT station

Poster by Devon Acuna

Family Injera gave like a bunch of money for Boyle Street instead of letting us pay them. We weren’t gonna make a big deal out of it, but I’m putting it here and assuming no one else will see it before this is published. Dope person.

Marr and Seth, as well as Mr. Injera, are just all people that everyone loves its like a great lineup and I wasn’t here for this one either but I’m sure it was really cool and the videos were cool.



June 8th, 2019 - Sad Bois Club

Poster by Braedon Acuna

We were very excited to be booking a show for Danger Fuzz because they were a touring band from Winnipeg. Big leagues! To counteract that, and also because every venue in this city was booked until september by may, we set the show up at our favourite house venue, Sad Bois Club! Oh, what a basement!

We’ll take a good houseshow over a real venue that makes money any day.

Mr. Koe was liberal with the high proof alchohol and Rat’s Ass covered one of Braedon’s songs and made him sing it with them at four times the speed he’s used to which was funny as hell and kind of sweet.



March 6 & June 25, 2019

Screencap from the Absurd Collective Youtube page

The Debasement Sessions are a series of live acoustic sessions filmed very simply in the Acuna Basement, with help from cheap beer, Danny, Michael, and a floral sheet. We simply set up a camera and room mics, then get a bunch of people over to play music and drink with us.

There are a couple people now doing NPR Tinydesk style things in Edmonton now, but we figured we could do it shittier and have more fun doing it, which I think we may have succeeded in.

The first sessions came out on March 6th, featuring Braedon, Charles Pickard, and Kat Zel. The second session came out in June, featuring Living Suitcase, Ellen Reade, Mountain Laurel, Sam Flint, and Duke & The Peacemakers. It's a little up in the air when the third session is going to come out, but it kind of seems like it's gonna be a sick lineup and maybe have a little higher production value.



June 27th, 2019 - 99Ten

Poster by Devon Acuna

Spernie booked 99ten for a second time and got some dope rappers together aka Kazmega, Selassie, and Dirty Dev. We decided that we should try to get some poets together to give the whole thing a nice, contemplative vibe.

Well, Dirty Dev had some legal shit happen and couldn’t make the show, so Spernie stepped right up and handled the show by himself with a nice suit jacket on. Everyone was very impressed.

Otherwise, the show went off without a hitch and I think that generally people really enjoyed the focus on the words being said on stage. We would love to do another Rhythym and Poetry, so we just might.



August 3rd, 2019 - Churchill LRT Station

Poster by Devon Acuna

Becca just wouldn’t stop killing these. She curated a really in-depth micro-gallery for these consisting of art and peoples writing that went up around the performance space, that added a lot to the space and the event.

Super good stuff.



August 17th, 2019 - Churchill LRT Station

Poster by Devon Acuna

This is it, this was the last one. Until maybe next summer? Who knows? Becca probably does but I don’t.

The Experimental Transit Sessions (ETS) started as a silly play on words born out of a lack of accessible all ages venues and has, over the summer, become so much more. This final show featured local noise, photography, writing, and words presented as a micro-gallery. These experiences push attendees and participants to find the value in quasi-public spaces, encouraging people to change the way they explore, experience, and exist within spaces that are often seen as hostile, and to occupy them with intent and gratitude.

Again, all money donated at all ETS: Experimental Transit Sessions was donated to Boyle Street, totalling around $500 by the end of the summer.

Artists involved in ETS Vol.5/5:

a conduit / a crown of teeth

Dirty Devon Acuna

Ellen Reade

Kat Zel

Helth / Devin Murphy-Hopp

Andrew Murray

Daniel Prior

Isabella McLean

Jon Wild

Adriana Montgomery


That's it! That's the recap!

Go buy a shirt from our online store.

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