What’s that sound?

Writing about music can sometimes feel like threading a needle with a live catfish. No matter how big the eye of the needle, pulling a catfish through is still going to be a whole lot messier and weirder than using something designed for that task, like, say, a thread.

And no matter how strange or creative a writer tries to be with simile or metaphor, it’s nearly impossible to describe sound with words. So we’ll put that notion to the side, and write about the other elements that support music and make the Winnipeg scene all that it is.

We’re profiling the top five bands of the Uniter Fiver (who will also be playing a show on Feb. 15 at The Good Will Social Club), while also delving into the nitty gritty of making - and listening to - music.

Should you listen to music while studying, and will Mozart make you smarter? Most bands need to practice, but why are they often relegated to filthy, dangerous spots?

What role do campus radio stations play in our everyday lives, and are they at risk of being tuned out in our changing technological landscape? Beyond that, what responsibility should radio stations hold toward their listeners when it comes to playing songs with harmful language in the lyrics?

We looked back at the legacy of Cootie Club and found some new initiatives that are working to expand inclusion in performance spaces.

We also visited Okay Mann’s Katlin Mathison at his home and surveyed, among other things, instruments damaged in a marshmallow fight.

And if that’s not enough to leave the tale of the silly catfish behind, well, we didn’t just write about music this week. In this issue, we’re also covering the Afro-Prairie Film Fest, WOKE Comedy Hour, Sexual Health Awareness Week and Ai-Kon, and we are welcoming a new comic contributor to our diversions page.

I hope you enjoy this year’s New Music Issue. It’s like a mixtape, but with words.

– Anastasia Chipelski

Published in Volume 72, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 15, 2018)

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