The Carillon brings you the weekly news from the University of Regina.
by Silas Polkinghorne
³You wonıt get any yearning, and you wonıt get any sensitive poetry. Thereıs enough poets busking for my change in liquor store parking lots,² says The Rubber Duck, Truck Drivinı Farm Boy. His band, Agriculture Club, will be at the Exchange tonight. ³Weıll be up there screaming our guts out about drinking, broken hearts, and lots of truck drivinı music,² he elaborates. ³Itıll be halfway between AC/DC and Johnny Cash.²
³I get fucking sick of bands who just get on stage and play in the same clothes they always wear,² Rubber Duck complains. ³I donıt think the audience goes there to see a jukebox. They go to a live music venue to see the band. So, we take the time to change our shirts, which is important cause we sweat our asses off.²
Agriculture Club are one of many in a new breed of Calgary bands who are anything but shoe-gazers. ³Thatıs whatıs happening in Calgary,² explains Rubber Duck. Thereıs this resurgence of bands who are really trying to put on a show.² He believes that the isolated market of Alberta makes groups work that much harder to establish a following.
³We put on a full showwe jump, we do the rock kicks....we throw our guts and our hearts and our lungs into our songs.²
Agriculture Club formed in 1998 as a joke project in that emerging urban Alberta rock scene. Rubber Duck remembers coming up with the name in the early nineties, thinking that ³maybe [Culture Club] would have been better if theyıd been called Agriculture Club.²
After returning to its rural roots by channeling classic country tunes through dirty, distorted guitar, the band developed an extensive catalogue of self-penned tunes with names like ³Red Necks, Pickups, Gun Racks, Sixpacks.² But the cover-band reputation was hard to leave behind.
³Whenever we were playing originals, people in the audience were trying to sing along, like theyıd actually heard [the songs] before. Then, the other night, the doorman at The Night Gallery said You know, Iıd like your show more if you guys played mostly originals.ı And we hadnıt played a single cover that night.²
The tour is Agriculture Clubıs first trip to Saskatchewan, and the band is excited to be playing their music for new people. ³Iım a prairie boy, and Iım very much about our rural, western roots,² says Rubber Duck. ³I really hope that if anyone embraces us, Saskatchewan and Manitoba do....Iıll be bummed if people out in the area that I care about donıt care....Iıd just as soon be embraced by Saskatchewan as be embraced by a big centre like Vancouver.²
³It seems like the country - the ruralness and the agriculture and all that kinda stuff is getting lost in modern country. And I cannot stand it. Thereıs a few guys out there who every once in a while pull a song out of their ass that qualifies as a country song.² With Luther Chickengravy behind the drums, Black Sovine on bass, and Waylon Nelson sharing vocal and guitar chores with Rubber Duck, recapturing small town pride is not the bandıs only motive.
³The whole reason this band started was to have fun on stage and make the audience whoop and holler and drink more beer,² says Rubber Duck. ³We are all about booze.²
³We play more or less sober,² he adds. ³But that sobriety fades quickly after the last note rings out.²
Cripple Creek Fairies, Agriculture Club, and Lungbutter are at the Exchange, in WWI gear and John Deere ball caps, tonight, September 13.
Questions or comments? Email Erin Mazur, Acting Technology Co-Ordinator.