BA is the new BA

Chris McCluskey hearts Rocktoberfest.

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In the latest installment of his adventures in exasperation, self-defeatist satirist BA Johnston throws his arms in the air and tells the world to let him know when the world is less image-based. The new album, titled Call Me When Old and Fat is the New Young and Sexy, will be debuted in Halifax on October 5. Johnston laments society’s quest for perfection, choosing to appreciate authenticity.

“I dunno, I guess we all want to be perfect as it’s much better than being what we usually are,” he says. “For myself I’d accept C+ perfection over myself. I guess people just aren’t happy with what they got. God knows I am not.”

Johnston has been on tour since September 15 throughout Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. No stranger to lengthy marathon tours, he will turn right around immediately after the show, hitting the towns he missed straight to British Columbia and back until November 25. Inspiration is coming easily in support of his sixth release.

“If I stop touring moths begin to live in my wallet and then I gotta go work at Burger King. So I have to spend time away from Halifax, which sucks,” says Johnston. “On the road I am inspired by food mostly. I eat a lot of Vietnamese soups. Beer also helps with touring…helps you from stabbing yourself in the eye.”

Johnston will be surrounded by friends The Crimson Tides, Adam and the Accidents and Their Majesties for his brief stop home at Gus’ Pub.

Three cheers for McKiel

Increasingly prominent local songwriter Jon McKiel returned from tour on October 2 to learn his work may be recognized during the Music Nova Scotia Awards in Liverpool from November 10 to 12. His self-titled debut is being acclaimed with nominations in the Male Recording of the Year, New Artist/Group Recording of the Year and Alternative Recording of the Year categories.

“Very excited. I certainly didn’t expect it, but that’s a pretty generic reaction,” says a refreshingly unassuming McKiel. “It’s an honor to be in the categories with dudes like Joel (Plaskett) and Jon (Epworth). We’re just starting out after all.”

Although he just returned from Ontario, he’ll be heading back out on the road before covering Halifax with another show. McKiel is also slated to play both Calgary and Edmonton before the end of the month.

Rocktober

It’s been just short of a month since we’ve directed anyone’s attention to recent concert announcements, which makes for a plethora of show news—and we’re not just talking Axl Rose and Tommy Stinson paired at last in the new incarnation of Guns N’ Roses at Metro Centre. Kim Mitchell (check the date on the cover if you need a reminder this is 2006) is slated to headline Q104’s Rocktoberfest at Cunard Centre (AKA Pier 23) on October 28. That is also where Sam Roberts will perform his first show in town since March, on November 4. Other hot confirmed performances include Stabilo (The Marquee), City Field (The Grawood), The Hidden Cameras (Stage Nine), Cuff the Duke (The Grawood), The Hylozoists (Stage Nine), Kris Kristofferson (Metro Centre), Danny Michel (Seahorse) and Barenaked Ladies (Metro Centre). Look for a potential show announcement involving a Polaris Prize winner in next week’s column.

Send your prize news to: scene@thecoast.ca

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