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Cadence Weapon Goes Rock

March 17th, 2010

cadence-weapon

Cadence Weapon is a man unable to categorize. When I was talking to him last week before his Canadian Music Week Showcase, he revealed that his next poem will be a social history of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team called “Trade Deadline.” As a Calgary Flames fan, I had to take the opportunity to expresses that as his rival, I wasn’t sure if I would like that poem. Cadence Weapon responded with, “I had a Calgary girlfriend for a few years so I’m kind of a sympathizer.” And that’s what his new sound is like, rap with rock sympathies, or maybe it’s the other way around.

Cadence Weapon, also known as Rollie Pemberton, is best known as a rapper but that isn’t the only title that fits. He is also Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, a punk rocker and a music journalist. On Friday night at The Garrison, Cadence Weapon showed off his new band that he assures will be the way his act will look into the future. Cadence Weapon’s band is full of strong and active musicians in the music community like Jered Stuffco from DVAS, Paul Prince from The Cansecos and drummer Eric Lightfoot, Gordon Lightfoot’s son. Cadence Weapon is a performer of the highest rate. His on stage presence almost dares the audience to do the impossible, look away. On Friday, even the most jaded, head-bobbers in the crowd were inspired to move when he jumped down among the masses.

The group is currently working on a new album Roquentin, named after the character from Jean Paul Sartre’s Nausea in Toronto and Montreal. “It’s not rap-centric,” he said. “It’s dark pop and very diverse.” It also marks the first time that he will record with live instruments, played by the same band who accompanied him on stage last week.

This seems to make sense when you ask him about his music tastes. He grew up in a household with his dad, a pioneering hip-hop DJ at the Edmonton radio station CJSR-FM. But, he says now he doesn’t listen to that much rap, and has been listening to a lot of 70’s music. In that way, he is as diverse as Canadian Music Week itself. “You don’t find people just listening to rap or just listening to rock. It’s reflective of how we listen to music,” he said.

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