Kenna Burima admits that she’s been excitedly awaiting the chance to say “This is the End of the World calling!” And she gets that chance, being the ‘Curator’/‘Artistic Director’ of the penultimate event, the End of the World Music Festival: (“I’m organizing, but I’m not ‘directing. I feel more like I’m collecting all these things, all these people, all these artistic disciplines and putting them all in one place.. . . . Certainly a lot of it is with intent and thought, but some of it I’m leaving up to spontaneity.”
And what could be more spontaneous than the end of the world? Oh wait, there’s that Mayan thing (from the End of the World Music Festival promo): “According to the ancient Mayans, December 21, 2012 marks the end of the 13th b'ak'tun, or 144,000-day cycle, on the Mayan Long Count calendar, marking a full cycle of creation. This archaeological tidbit has been blended with a western tendency towards apocalyptic predictions, resulting in a worldwide fascination with the possibility that this will be THE END OF IT ALL.”
And stuff like that. She points out that some ‘end of the world’ themes are based on ‘shift of consciousness’ themes, not destruction. Or simply another chance to shake it up. So of course, Kenna thought the situation she’d like to spend the end times in would be with family and/or friends, playing music, in a celebration. But her house was too small for the possibilities.
So now, the Pine Tarts, Bob Keelaghan and Clinton St. John, ATOMIS, Ryan Bourne and Kiarra Albina, Mike Watson, Garett McClure and Annalea Sordi, the Von Zippers, Sharon Stevens, Joe Kelly, Jack Bride, and Shiori Saito, amongst others, will populate the #1 Legion (116 7 Ave SE) 21/12/12 from 7:00 pm until 2:00 am of The End of the World!!! Or, after the end of the world, I guess.
Ms. Burima expands on this: “In all honesty, if you look up doomsday dates, there’s SO many of them. But I just had this feeling, and especially with the literature I’ve been reading (on this stuff), and of course the internet, we haven’t had a real collective doomsday scare until 2000.”
In keeping with the mix of darkness and positivity that pepper the apocalyptic themes (yes, Virginia, there is a good side to the Apocalypse), the #1 Legion has bee respectfully converted into a carnival of appropriate diversity. Paraphrasing the EOTW festival, this will include ‘William S. Burroughs via the Book of the Dead, anthemic sing-alongs for the end times, face-melting rock of changing human consciousness, a love-feast of defiant psychedelic pop positivity, slide guitar homage to Orson Wells, recreating Warhol’s Explosive Plastic Inevitable through Velvet Underground and Nico, The Apocalypse Piano Bar, a centre for positivity and good vibes, and extensive interactive installations.’
“I know that a number of bands are incorporating their own original material: even though there are elements of a cover night, I wanted to communicate that, if you’re going to play YOUR LAST SHOW (which was the central concept in the call for submissions), I would like to think that the last thing a musician would play would be their own songs and the songs that inspired them.”
Kanna also points out that the venue itself, in recognition of what must have seemed like the end of the world for generations of military personnel, adds its own elements to the experience.
“#1 means it’s the oldest Legion in Calgary: I think the (#1) Legion has been very important to a lot of people, and I’d like to see it important to a lot of people for a different reason. (But), when you’re in the Legion, you’re in their house.”
So play nice. And watch, in the Apocalypse Piano Bar, for Kenna’s Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars tribute as you leave the night, tongue firmly in cheek or moved by significance. Whatever works for you.
Whether you spend your time near the two big up and downstairs stages kicking out the jams or waving your arms like it’s 1999, or taking in the introspective and intense performance of the Aether Room, or meandering through it all engaging with the interactive installations, you’d best enjoy it. ’Cause it’s a limited time offer.
Or, maybe not.
Either way, tickets are $20 in advance, VIP Tables cost $250 (includes tickets for 6, Maître’d service, and party favours), and all the useful info is avalable at www.endoftheworldyyc.com.