The Glorious Life of Joel

Chris McCluskey sings a new tune.

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To illuminate the story of a friendship between two young bandmates that is threaded through The Emergency's new record Ashtray Rock— released April 17—Joel Plaskett found himself referring to material from his beginnings as a singer-songwriter.

"I worked a few lyrics to kind of make them work into the theme of the record. "Snowed In' was a Hermit song, "The Glorious Life' was written in 1994 and then there's this little song called "Ashtray Rock'...I actually wrote the music and the first few lines of that in 1992," says Plaskett, during a break from rehearsals for his upcoming Canadian tour. "I went back into my old songs because I kind of wanted to make a record that was about growing up and playing music...even though it's not entirely an autobiographical story, the songs still come from real places. And I thought if I went back to some older stuff it would help channel that a little bit."

There's no Halifax show currently booked, but Plaskett hints there is something in the works.

"I've gotten a lot of emails from people like "Where is the Halifax show? Why are you neglecting us?'" he says. "But I kind of want it to sink in, and we'll have played the record on a full tour, so when we do it, we've really got it together."

Heelwalkers march again...

It is suspected that longtime hard rock/punk act The Heelwalkers packed its gear up for good back in 2005 but the band's admirers have plans to relive the days they were drawn out to their shows. Blackout '77 bassist Greg Baller says a Heelwalkers tribute act was easy to assemble.

"Everyone was at practice one night going, "The dream would be to have the Heelwalkers reunite.' Which is like, next to impossible. It'll probably never happen," says Baller. "As a joke it was suggested we would put together a tribute band and it crystallized almost instantly. It was on Halifax Locals and all of a sudden people just started chiming in, calling instruments."

Among the all-stars assuming the duties of their favourite Heelwalker are Brent Geike of The Cuban Assassins, Craig Hamlin of The Dean Malenkos, Ryan Frizzell of The Hemingways and Andy Miller of Mitch and the Motorhomes.

"Everyone sort of knows each other but doesn't...and they form a band online. And yep, they're all set to fucking play," says Baller, who cites The Heelwalkers as a major influence for Blackout. "The only practices they are going to do are this week leading up to the show. It would be awesome to have The Heelwalkers play, but I consider this to be the next best thing."

Comedian Candy Palmater hosts "The Heelwalkers," Blackout '77, The Healing Power, A/V and The Noble Son at The Seahorse on April 20.

My aggie!

The Marble Index is heading to Halifax for its east coast headlining debut. Vocalist and guitarist Brad Germain admits a hectic tour schedule spanning three continents has kept the trio—also including drummer Adam Knickle and bassist Ryan Tweedle—busy. He explains the band's progression since, reflected in 2006's Watch Your Candles Watch Your Knives, is part of its maturation process.

"We were a little bit green, still getting used to the process of making a record," says Germain, comparing their two full-length releases. "The new record is probably paced a little bit better."

Look for The Marble Index's Clash-inspired rock at The Pavilion and The Attic on April 20.

Explain your musical progression: scene@thecoast.ca

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