Last night at Radstorm, punk heroes cutie said goodbye to their fans with a final show. It was both awesome and emotional and worthy of a poem so here we go:

Goodbye cutie, it’s been real
I love the way your music makes me feel

Halifax hardcore sure will miss you
I’m crying and I need a tissue

Matty, Johnny, B and Jess
cutie is just the best

Your energy is like no other
when I need a boost I listen to “brother”

In my eardrums you left a path of destruction
and a desire to seize the means of production

Ripping fast with strong aggression
you taught Halifax a lesson

Seeing you live was always fun
thanks so much for all you’ve done

This city won’t forget your name
this scene will never be the same

Thank you cutie!
Love, Stephanie Johns and Chris Murdoch



Show review: Shoulder Season at Radstorm
Saturday, March 16 with Yuma County, Lachie MacDonald and Prevailing Winds

It might seem unfair to review a band’s very first show—nerves are more likely to get in the way, levels might need tinkering, songs may change entirely by the next set. If this was any other band, sure, this might be the case, but when the band in question is Shoulder Season, there’s clearly no reason whatsoever to sweat it.

Shoulder Season began in a Dartmouth basement, slowly burning over the past year, working on poppy—darkly poppy—Korg-heavy bops about the shittiness of neoliberalism and capitalism, the oppressive, vague perfectionism of the world of “wellness” and more. For their first time out of the previously mentioned basement they delivered a tight, fun, utterly lovely set.

shoulder season
Shoulder Season – Photo by Matt Reid

Made up of Karen Foster, Mel Sturk (Darts, Yuma County), Kristina Parlee (Smaller Hearts) and Erica Butler, any first show jitters (imperceptible) were shaken off quickly with friendly onstage banter and songs that seem ideal for blowing off steam: crashing endings, strong back and forth vocals, and lots of speed. Parlee and Butler’s driving and vital pace, Foster’s pleasantly unusual synth riffs and Sturk’s solos (featuring masterful feedback manipulation) add up to an exciting new group that, frankly, Halifax is lucky to have considering the way we’ve all been behaving.

The band seems on the same page as each other, and the easiness shows through in the songs. Onstage, they said that they didn’t know what type of music they played, and welcomed any descriptions. I have one: fun. See this band, be charmed and inspired.

Contribution by: Stephanie Johns (she/her). Stephanie plays guitar in Not You and bass in Moon and has been writing about music for 20 years. She made two cute people that she spends a lot of time with these days.


Rae Spoon, a non-binary musician and writer who centres their own lived experiences within their work, recently released an album called bodiesofwater (09/07) – an electropop-rock album that articulates their intimate relationship with water.

rae spoon portrait

Photo by Dave Todon

This relationship is an exploration of the ways in which they feel connected to, and responsible for, water. The first track, I Held My Breath, gives the album an opening that feels delicate and hopeful while setting a precedent of uncertainty.

One recurring facet of this relationship is the parallels they draw between the way trans bodies and water are treated by our society: commodified and regulated. While It’s Not in My Body negates this harmful commodification and regulation, the pop-hit Do Whatever the Heck You Wantis an anthem to empower trans and non-binary folks to reject the boxes and binaries that others impose on them and to instead do, well, whatever the heck they want.

Rae Spoon’s relationship to water is also one of advocacy and reconciliation. They are calling us in, and calling higher power structures out, to protect and take care of the unceded lands stolen from Indigenous people. It’s Getting Close rejects climate denialism by reflecting on the anxieties we can no longer ignore as we are confronted with the effects of climate change (“It’s getting close and I can feel it / The sky is orange and my throat is burning / Where is the line between saving what we have and our lives“) where the dark and sludgy track, You Don’t Do Anything, sheds their frustration with the current Canadian government and their false promises of reconciliation (“How am I supposed to believe / That you really care when you don’t do anything?“).

They also acknowledge, and are grateful for, the healing potential of water. In Seascape, they explicitly sing “Meet me by the water / When I’m feeling low, that’s where I go / I will try to lift you / So that you can float” which offers insight into their coping, as well as their capacity to offer emotional support when others around them are sinking. In My Town, while less directly speaks to water, contributes to an important conversation of keeping survivors safe in music communities. While many may argue that it is possible to “remove art from the artist”, Spoon thoughtfully negates this in their lyrics, “If you think there’s still a question / Look into the crowd / Which person has lost nothing / And which one is not around?“. Until we stop supporting rapists and abusers in our communities, the survivors of their harm and violence will feel unsafe and isolated. This song resolves by using a drenching wave as a metaphor for a catalyst that results in a community-wide demand for safer spaces.

The album closes with Beach of Bones, a song that pulls this album together by encouraging, and being certain of, a sense of optimism. While the lyric “Put it back together now” speaks directly to the settlers relationship to the land, water, and Indigenous communities, it seems likely that Rae Spoon is also speaking towards the injustices and discrimination towards trans and non-binary people.

Rae Spoon will be playing the new RadStorm space (2177 Gottingen St, Halifax, NS) on October 6th with supporting guests respectfulchild (敬兒) (SK) and local two-piece Holy Crow.

Contribution by: Nikki A Basset