Published Sep 06, 2013In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists to discuss the hidden gems in their hometowns. Here, Renny Wilson outlines his picks in Edmonton, Alberta.
Baby Seal Club
This is the "it" underground venue in Edmonton right now (even though its been around for about four years). At one point it was a screen printing shop where I got my first band the Subatomics shirts made, and although it's only open for "private" business once every week or two, the parties are fly as hell.
All Happy Family Restaurant (10011 106 Ave. North West)
Late night eating in Edmonton is limited, but the gold medal goes to All Happy, open from lunch until 4 a.m. Some talk smack, saying it's greasy, dirty and appears to be a front for a daycare (always kids running around, even at 2 a.m.). Yelp people have too much time on their hands.
The Bermuda Triangle (101 St. and Whyte Ave. North West)
If you find yourself on the strip and it's Friday night, go east of the train tracks. It won't be long before you end up standing in the centre of Edmonton's "Bermuda Triangle." Bound between the legendary Wunderbar, the Empress Alehouse, and the aforementioned Baby Seal Club, this is the one area of Whyte Ave. that has a protection spell cast against cro-mag suburbanites.
The Goodwill (8759 51 Ave.)
This is the Edmonton Goodwill where old folks' record collections go for adoption. Last year, the CBC donated all their LPs to this location — the shop went from 2,000 records to over 10,000. Things have neutralized now (and most of the CBC collection was shit anyway) but cool! (www.goodwill.ab.ca)
Pizza 99 (1543 Millwoods Rd.)
I live with my parents in Millwoods, a suburb famous for its strong Punjabi influence. Pizza 99 claims to be the first to introduce "Indian style" pizza, which includes adding ginger and cilantro. That's probably bullshit, and Millcreek Pizza does Indian 'za better, but 99 is a mere two blocks from my house.
Edmonton-based songwriter Renny Wilson has lived in the same blue house for over two decades. When not recording with analog equipment in his parents' home, he can be found shopping at local thrift stores for vintage cassettes, bicycles and cardigans.