The MusicNerd Files Edition #16

2012 we hardly knew ye. Well, we actually got to know you pretty well. This past year proved to be yet another banner year for entertainment in Metro Moncton. We hosted the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Nickelback at Magnetic Hill while John Mellencamp, Cowboy Junkies, The Skydiggers, Hedley and dozens more acts also performed to appreciative audiences.

And while the club scene isn’t quite as busy in December as it has been in the prior couple of months, there is still much to take in:

■Andrew Campbell’s novel Garageland is available for purchase at Folio Books (102 St. George Street, Moncton) and at Read’s Newsstand in Moncton and Riverview. The book is also available for purchase online at www.garagelandbook.com and at www.amazon.ca.

The first item of note this week is not a concert, however the subject is based in music and so I felt it worth mentioning.

Moncton-based author Andrew Campbell released his first novel Garageland this past October. Back in the ’90s, the Moncton-area high school teacher operated a recording studio out of the MacNaughton Science and Technology Centre where he helped dozens of area bands record independent releases.

And so it would be natural that Campbell would use this experience and exposure to help form the characters featured in Garageland.

“The book revolves around two characters who, as adolescents, did something wrong and it was at that point the fork in the road starts,” Campbell says. “They start the book as best friends but then choose different paths to walk down. It is a very old story in that way.

“Essentially, the book is about these two main characters that have to resolve their childhood differences. It is about redemption, the choices that we make and what kind of power structures that people flourish in and what crushes them.”

With more than 300 copies already sold locally in the past month and a half, Campbell looks fondly back upon the experience of writing the book.

“I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into when I started writing but the experience itself is rather gratifying. It is exactly what I wanted it to be.”

■ Matthew de Zoete performs at Plan B Lounge, 212 St. George Street, Moncton on Tuesday Dec. 4. The show starts at 10 p.m.

If you’re familiar with the work of Nick Drake and Iron & Wine, you are going to have an excellent idea of what Hamilton singer-songwriter Matthew de Zoete will have to offer when he performs at Plan B this coming Tuesday night.

This isn’t to say that de Zoete resides solely in the singer-songwriter category. Much like Sam Beam has done with broadening Iron & Wine’s sound, de Zoete has done the same with his sound over the course of his three solo records.

De Zoete spent the first three months of 2012 touring throughout Europe but is no stranger to touring Canada.

“I’ve done a lot of Canadian tours,” de Zoete begins. “That includes seven Eastern Canadian tours, four Western Canadian tours and countless tours through Ontario and Quebec. I am always impressed and delighted by the size and beauty of this country. It really is an amazing place and it manages to catch me off-guard almost every time I travel. I consider myself truly lucky to see so much of Canada, meet so many interesting people and play music wherever I go.”

■ Mike Plume performs at Memorial Hall in Havelock on Sunday, Dec. 16 and at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge (212 St. George Street) on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

You can take the Maritimer out of the Maritimes but you can’t take the Maritimes out of the Maritimer. A short few months after selling out back-to-back shows in southeastern New Brunswick, Moncton-born Mike Plume is coming home for the holidays.

With 10 releases to his credit, Plume now calls Nashville home. His most recent release, 8:30 Newfoundland, dates back to 2009. Plume is currently in the midst of writing a new record but to help tide fans of his roots-inspired rock over, has released a holiday-themed song via YouTube.

While “Merry Xmas To My Ex Miss” might not be sung in any holy houses anytime soon, the track is a fun change of pace from the typical holiday music you’ll hear.

If you head over to Plume’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/mikeplume), you can hear “Merry Xmas To My Ex Miss” for yourself. It is three and a half minutes well spent.

 Article published in the November 30, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript