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We’ve all heard the old adage; “Music soothes the savage beast”. Which, by the way, is an oft-misquoted saying from a play by a 17th-century cat name William Congreve and the saying is; “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast”.  I suppose it could be said that the breast contains the heart and therefore a savage heart of the beast. However you want to look at it and however you want to say it. i truly believe that music has magical properties that can bring a village together. The village, in this case, was the downtown core of Prince George on a sultry but not too hot summer evening this Friday past. The venue was a little cafe called the Black Donkey and the stage was set up against a backdrop of beautiful graffiti (not the terrible shit we often see), there was an arbor of willow and the crowd milled about on the sidewalk, respectful and courteous to those people using the walk. The mix of music was interesting as well, The Burden started the night with some Thrash Metal (not my kind of music) followed by Cottonwood with folk and hen I left it was Jessica with a lovely heart piercing soul-stirring

voice. All this in one evening. All kinds of different genres in a small area in the downtown core better known for it’s homeless people, drug addicts, drug dealers and crack whores. Third and George has always had this reputation of the intersection or for some it cold be considered the proverbial crossroads.

Not this night.

On this night, young and old, metalhead and deadhead, pokemon folks and civilians all gathered and put aside the differences between us and looked at the commonality. The music we all love. I mean, even the sidewalk mosh pit was respectful (as mosh pits go). I may not have liked the Thrash and I’m sure many young folks didn’t care a whole lot for the folksy stuff. It didn’t matter. What mattered is that we all came together to enjoy the downtown. A much maligned and embattled downtown seemingly forsaken by city council after city council. Businesses like The Black Donkey, Nancy O’s, Groop Gallery, PH Photography and others are taking chances and gambling that one day, the politicians will pull their heads out of their collective asses and make more of an effort to revitalize downtown. Not just the “facade clean up”. Which to my way of thinking is just putting nice makeup on a crack whore. She’s pretty but she still be a crackwhore.

Events like Friday’s the Burden CD and tour launch along with the open mic at the Black Donkey, open mics at Cafe Voltaire, Jazz nights at Nancy O’s and others will draw people downtown and hopefully we as a community can demand that our council give us even more reasons to be proud of what might be a vibrant cultural centre in the downtown core of Prince George, BC.

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