'Missing Like Teeth’ documents an important era in Winnipeg underground rock

Dec 19 2017, 2:41 am

In Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock 1990-2001, Winnipeg-based author Sheldon Birnie (Winnipeg Free Press, Noisey, Exclaim!) captures the intriguing character of one of Canada’s most burgeoning underground music scenes.

From 1990 to 2001, in an era that overwhelmed radio and video with grunge and alternative rock, Winnipeg began to branch off in its own direction, paving a wild path that would end up defying both expectations and genres. Bands like the Weakerthans, Kittens, and Propagandhi took it upon themselves to create the type of music that they wanted to hear, while still maintaining the principles of the gritty underground.

Through extensive interviews and exhaustive research, Birnie documents a significant moment in Winnipeg’s musical history. “I feel like we’re really connected by our basements in a way here that doesn’t exist in other places,” John K. Samson (the Weakerthans) says in Missing Like Teeth. “And a real uniqueness due to isolation. The physical isolation of Winnipeg will never be entirely overcome.”

The book, which is published by Eternal Cavalier Press (an independent publishing house that specializes in Canadian music writing by Canadian authors), will celebrate its release with an official Book Launch Bash. In appropriate spirit, the launch will feature live music performances from local bands including Johnny Sizzle and Breath Grenades, as well as a discussion with the author.

Missing Like Teeth will be available at various independent bookstores across Canada, online, and at the Eternal Cavalier Press website as of October 24th.