SPOTLIGHT ON THE SKAGWAY MUSIC SCENE
By Joseph Stephenson
Onward, Etc. signs record label, set to record album.
Onward, Etc.’s Rosco Wuestewald sings at the Red Onion while friends and fans sing and dance along with him. Also playing with Wuestewald and band mate KC Olsen at the RO were Skagway’s J Ellingson and Nate Weiler. Katie Emmets
For the last couple of years Onward, Etc. has been touring all over the United States with well known acts such as Larry and His Flask and the Reverend Horton Heat. They’ve played large-scale venues including the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, the South By Southwest festival in Austin, and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California which in 2012 drew a record 85,000 people each day of the three-day event.
Recently, Onward Etc has signed on with FATA Booking Agency out of Philadelphia and DC-Jam Records out of Springfield, Missouri and are set to have an album produced by original Social Distortion drummer Derek O’Brien of D.O’B. Sound Studios in Santa Fe Springs, California. On August 30th Onward Etc packed the Red Onion Saloon, as they did in 2012, and put on a show like only Onward, Etc. can. Violinist KC Olsen often played from atop the monitors, while lead singer and guitarist Rosco Wuestewald danced all over the stage area. At one point Wuestewald leapt off the Red Onion stairs and onto the crowd. He then crowd-surfed to the bar, downed a shot and was then carried back to stage, where he jumped right back into song without skipping a beat.
Where’d you guys meet?
Rosco: I met KC in Hawaii. He was homeless. I went to a wine bar and he was playing piano with another guy. I asked him if he wanted to record with me and he said yes. I haven’t been able to get rid of him ever since.
You guys have been playing a lot of shows lately. Any shows stick out more than others?
Rosco: The Portland Show in 2012. Because we got kicked out the bar we played at. We sold it out. They had these church pews set up as if our crowd was gonna sit down. There was only one bartender, and I warned him that we were expecting lines of people who were bound to get rowdy. I just knew that they weren’t ready for our crowd. They had to close down the kitchen. They brought all the cooks out to bartend. Halfway through our first set the pews were shattered. Just in pieces all over. After the show they told us that we could never play there again. A lot of the crowd was from Skagway. The season had just ended, so all these Skagwegians were migrating back to the Lower 48. It was like a huge after-season reunion at the show. It was the Alberta Street Pub. A huge venue, which is set up for big shows, but we just crushed it.
How excited are you to be recorded by Derek O’Brien?
Rosco: Insanely excited. Derek O’Brien is producing our album. I mean, he played drums on Prison Bound. He’s insanely talented. It’s weird to hear someone of that caliber call us and say ‘I’m so excited to lay your tracks down. I’m so excited for you guys to come record with me.’
KC: We’ve been sending him demos of the songs we’re going to record, and he writes back the most positive responses. Of course he gives his input on things that need to be this and that and he’s going to make us work, but he’s super positive about it and he sounds like he’s really excited. I’m stoked for it.
Is there a difference between playing a crowd of 40,000 versus say a crowd like the Red Onion?
Rosco: Same show. Nerves maybe, but there really isn’t a difference. We could play in front of a crowd of five people and still build up the same energy that we have in front of forty thousand. That’s what we wanna be known for. That’s what we wanna do.
Whats the album gonna be called?
KC: We don’t know yet, but right now it’s either going to be called Phil Collins or Where the bleep is my limo?
Onward, Etc. is poised for another West Coast tour this fall, and its new album drops in February. For tour dates visit onwardetc.com.
Editor's note: This is Joe's final column of the summer season.
Congratulations SE Alaska Fair Winners
Travis Ison: 1st Place, Blown Glass "Turkish lidded bottle"
Beverly Soja: 2nd Place, Blown Glass "Solar Flare Vase"
Amy Perkins: 2nd Place, Blown Glass "Ladybug on Mushroom"
Dave Ferrier: 1st Place, Blown Glass "Duck Martini Glass"
Addison Hanna: 3rd Place, Blown Glass "Cane Bowl"
Tina Cyr: 1st Place, Best of Class, Gouche and Ink Painting on board "Halibut"
Rebecca Hollander: 1st Place, "Ballgown for American Girl Doll"
Rebecca Hollander: 3rd Place, Knit "Valentine Purse"
Rebecca Hollander: 1st Place, Best of Class, Division Champ, Felted "Birthday Hat"
Rebecca Hollander 3rd Place, knit "Potholder"
Bob Fink: 1st Place, Native Craft "Quillwork Pouch"
Courtenay Birdsall Clifford: 1st Place, Best of Class, Watercolor "Carrots"
Katie and Dustin Craney: 1st Place, Best of Class, "Rhubarb Salsa"
Karen Dunford: 3rd Place, "Basket weave Knit Scarf"
Karen Dunford: 1st Place, Division Champ "Ukelele"
Karen Dunford: 2nd Place, "Wild Red Currant Jelly"
Kelly Curtin: Participant Ribbon, "Pepito Hot Sauce"
Donna Moore: 2nd Place, "Knit Purse"
Donna Moore: 3rd Place, Knit "Bead Cowl Scarf"
Donna Moore: 2nd Place, "Metal Embossing of Fish"
Cindy VonHalle: 2nd Place, Short Story "Keeping a River"
Ralf Gorichanaz: 1st Place, Self Cast Sterling "Solstice Pendant"
Donna Griffard: 1st Place, "Rhubarb Ginger Jam
Donna Griffard: 1st Place, Class Champ, Lampwork Glass "Earth Bead with Gold Nuggets"
Tonya Dupree: 1st Place, Rum Cake
Thank you all for entering! Thank you to the musicians for their participation in the fair and to the Skagway Arts Council for their continuing support of the Talent Contest!
Bob Fink’s Quillwork Barrette was awarded 1st Place, Best of Class, Division Champ and was sent on to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, where the barrette was awarded 3rd Premium. — Donna Griffard
MFB Fund announces fall grant cycle
The Juneau Community Foundation and the Brady family of Skagway, Alaska are pleased to announce the opening of a new round of funding for qualifying arts and education programs and projects through the Margaret Frans Brady Fund.
The MFB Fund was set up in 2012 as a donor advised fund so it may assist worthy arts and education projects or scholarships in Skagway and northern SE Alaska. The fund has been set up to issue scholarships in the spring, and programs and projects in the fall.
All creative arts will be considered including writing, music, visual and performance arts. Education projects may be submitted by qualifying schools/districts or tax-exempt non-profits that have education components.
This fall’s application period begins September10 and will run through October 20, 2013.
Qualifying non-profit entities are encourage to apply for:
a) projects that enhance the arts in the community, including, but not limited to: arts facilities, libraries, symposiums, marketing programs, and website development.
b) arts education in the school and community, including music education and programs that teach other creative arts.
c) arts councils and other non-profits that support the arts with programs and facilities.
e) other youth education programs or activities that the donors would deem worthy of funding.
Applications for the Margaret Frans Brady Fund fall funding period will appear on the JCF website: www.juneaucf.org until October 20, 2013.
Approximately $9,500 is being made available for this round of funding.
The mission of the Juneau Community Foundation is to promote philanthropy and effectively respond to the needs of our communities. In the seven years since its inception it has awarded over $550,000 in grants. For more information, contact executive director Amy Skilbred at email@example.com or (907) 523-5450. – Submitted by MFB Fund
Chilkoot paintings at library
In case you missed the opening last weekend at the Skagway Public Library, it's not too late to view Nicole Bauberger's astounding original paintings of the Chilkoot Trail!
A portion of the sale of any paintings and books benefits the Skagway Public Library, Skagway Arts Council and YOU, as you get to take it home and enjoy it forever. Each painting is original, some of the art done on the trail or inspired by it and painted shortly after. Nicole spent two weeks hiking the Chilkoot Trail as an artist-in-residence this summer.
Paintings are on display until September 14 at the library.
This is also a great time to check out our newly renovated library if you haven't yet. It is amazing and has so much to offer
If you have further questions or wish to purchase a painting, please call SAC board member, Donna Griffard, (907) 983-3222.
Paul Lucas CD release party
Guitarist Paul Lucas will have a release party for his new CD “Melting Pot” this Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Red Onion Saloon beginning at 8 p.m. — Skagway Arts Council