Author Archives: Michael Parker

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Hi everybody!

We’ve outgrown our WordPress site and have set up on another host. You can find us here: www.serfcitysj.com.

– Mike Parker

Be (employed) in this place

The following commentary kicked off the September 17 edition of ‘Serf City’. Listen to the full broadcast here.

By Mark Leger

This is the first fall edition of the show after our extended summer break. And what a lovely September summer evening it is in New Brunswick…a great time to Be In This Place.

Unless, of course, you’re an unemployed tradesperson hoping to get some work on the LNG project out in Red Head. They staged public protests this week because people were brought in from Alberta to work at the LNG plant. Skilled tradespeople here were overlooked, they say, in favour of temporary workers from outside the city.

By the way, did you notice I slipped in that reference to New Brunswick’s new slogan, the one that now appears on our license plates – Be In This Place. It’s part of the campaign to entice expatriate New Brunswickers to move back home – to become part of the 21st century workforce that will help revitalize the province’s economy and reverse our population decline.

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Young People Plucking

Text and video by Mike Parker.

It’s almost the start of another school year and that can only mean one thing – one last chance to celebrate summer!

And what better way to mark the end of  the holidays than with the infectious tunes of  The Belle Comedians. Hailing principally from the salty town of St. Andrews, the five member band is a new collective to the province’s music scene. But one we hope to see return to the Port City.

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FTSOTS: Lincoln Ortega

Video and text by Mike Parker

Country crooner Lincoln Ortega isn’t your typical Port City musician. In a city filled with nouveau hippies, wannabe hipsters and faux Irish warblers, Ortega has the guts to unabashedly wear his heart on his sleeve, or to be more precise, on his cowboy hat.

Last week, Ortega dropped by Backstreet Records to perform his signature set of  heart break, whiskey fueled country tunes as part of the For The Sake Of The Song concert series. Serf City was at the store and we recorded the musician as he performed for a small handful of faithful fans and curious shoopers.

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Glad To Be Got Again

Text and video by Mike Parker

Last Friday evening, as the sun set on another work week, the Halifax band The Got To Get Gots performed at Backstreet Records.

The show was part of the weekly For The Sake Of The Song concert series and it marked the second time that the seven-piece collective performed on Germain Street. The first time was for Record Store Day last fall, when they had the crowd of indie kids and old fogeys dancing in the street. At the time, Mark, Eleanor, Brad, Adam, Haley, Rachael and Robbie promised to return and now – thankfully – they have made good.

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Direct To The Point

No Direct Route
By Clyde A. Wray

There’s
no direct route
to happiness
to joy
life is full of lifts
and many a down
there’s no direct route
no road
without twist and turns
no path
without smooth or curved stones
to stumble
twist your ankle on
no freeway without accidents
or mishaps
there’s no super highway
no overhead passes
to get you
to the nearest exit
to get you to a life
full of only joy
laughter
there’s no secondary road
without getting a flat
but you can always get it pumped up
as you crawl along
just keep moving
you’ll get to joy
but you’ve got to keep moving
down the road
even if life is being deliberately slow

Clyde A. Wray
August 8, 2009
All Rights Reserved

Clyde A. is a poet and playwright seeking happiness in the uptown. If you enjoyed this poem, check out his website.

A Born Believer

Text and video by Mike Parker

Last Friday, Halifax singer Steve Bowers performed a quick set at Backstreet Redords, as part of the For The Sake Sake  of the Song concert series.

Bowers is currently on  tour with fellow Hali musician Christina Martin and the two dropped by the record store before performing later that evening at Akord. Born in Newfoundland and raised in Churchill Falls, Labrador, Bowers first began performing while still in high school as a way to fill up those cold Northern nights. A gifted singer, he has three critically acclaimed CDs to his credit and was a finalist in the 2007 and 2008 International Songwriters competition. In 2009, he was nominated for an East Coast Music Association award in the Folk Recording of the Year category.

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