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Bad Gardening Advice cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-918639-2
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-918637-8
    • 5.0 x 8.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 258 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-918638-5
    • 5.0 x 8.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 258 pages
  • Keywords
    • Winnipeg musicians,
    • Music from Winnipeg,
    • Music reviews,
    • Amateur music review,
    • Canadian music review,
    • Independent music,
    • Independent music critic

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Bad Gardening Advice
Winnipeg Music Reviews From Artist Redacted to Zrada
by Steve Schmolaris

What do reviews of the Winnipeg music scene have in common with crappy advice on growing a garden? The worm. This book’s worm is Steve Schmolaris, a man of discerning taste with over forty-five years of servitude and dedication to Winnipeg music under his belt, who has devoted his life to extolling its virtues, who delicately unfolds each song—to eat, to hold, to plant like seeds—to reflect their singular beauty and uniqueness back to them. Here, you will find a compendium of Winnipeg’s proud, fourth-best local music review site of the same name, written in the same acerbic, confrontational voice readers will be used to. Taking up an eclectic range of artists and genres, Bad Gardening Advice’s reviews take many forms, from mock interviews to recipes to love letters, peppered by Schmolaris’s musings on death, lost love, and the musicians’ sex appeal. This original and inventive collection will make a great addition to the bookshelves of anyone close to the Winnipeg music scene—especially those in it. In Bad Gardening Advice, some of the artists reviewed are professionals. Some of them are amateurs. Most of them are weirdos. But if you know how to look, all of them are doing something interesting. All of them have something worth making music about. Welcome to the Bad Garden!

Steve Schmolaris is the founder of the Schmolaris Prize, “the most prestigious prize in all of Manitoba,” which he first awarded in 1977. Each year, he awards the prize to the best album of the year. He does not have a profession but, having come from money (his father, “the Millionaire of East Schmelkirk,” left him his fortune when he died in 1977), Steve is a patron of the arts. Inspired by the exquisite detail of a holotype, the collective intelligence of slime mold, the natural world and the suffering inherent within it—and also music (fuck, he loves music!)—Steve has long been writing reviews of Winnipeg artists’ songs and albums at his website,, eventually resulting in this collection. This is his second book, after his memoir, My Life in Music: From East Schmelkirk to the Stars: The Official Autobiography of Steve Schmolaris, which he published in early 2020, whose poor sales he blames on the pandemic. Outside of writing music reviews and being a professional patron of the arts, Steve is an amateur chainsaw carver, entomologist, and a frontman to his band, The Body of P******. He lives in his multi-storey library in East Schmelkirk, Manitoba. Interested in getting in touch? Steve can be found at @badgardeningadvice on Instagram or at his website,


Steve Schmolaris

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