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 ilpl    ^B      ^ that less is more magazine from CiTR 101.9 FM   "^1
discorder
March 2009 • free.
Shindig Winners:
Hermetic
the Sappers
&the Magician
Japandroids
Pro Fun City
York Theatre
Fine Mist
plus:
Dancingf In Our Debt
The Shrel Silverstein Project amseventsubc .com
2 Biltmore Cabaret
Plants &
Animals
with DRMHLLR
March 18th
Biltmore Cabaret
Tickets: Ticketweb,
Zulu, Scratch, Red Cat
age AFARLYNUmARlWI
THE BEST DEALS IN TOWN FOR A MEASLY 15 BUCKS.
Ambleside Bookstall
#115 -1425 Marine Drive
604-913-2023
Audiopile
2016 Commercial Dr.
604-253-7453
Banyen Books
3608 W. 4th Ave.
604-732-7912
Beat Street Records
439 W.Hastings St.
604-683-3344
The Bike Kitchen
6139 Student Union Blvd.
604-822-BIKE
(or, free for station members)
Canterbury Tales Books
1990 W. 4th Avef
604-733-1130
Devil May Wear
198 E. 21st
604-216-2515
The Eatery
3431 W. Broadway
604-738-5298      |fe|^
The Fall Tattooing
644 Seymour St
604-676-3066
Flaming Angels
Design
644 Seymour St.
604-689-3224
Full Tilt Tuesdays
@ The Republic
958 Granville St.
Hitz Boutique
316 W.Cordova
604-662-3334
Hot Box
2560 Main St.
604-871-0095
The Kiss Store
2512 Watson St.
604-675-9972
Lucky's Comics
3972 Main St.
604-875-9858
People's Co-op
Bookstore
1391 Commercial Dr.
604-253-64220%^:
Prussin Music
3607 W. Broadway
604-736-3036
Red Cat Records
4307 Main St.
604-708-9422
R/X Comics
2418 Main St.
604-454-5099
The Regional
Assembly of Text
3934 Main St.
604-877-2247
Saje Natural Wellness
2252 W. 4th Ave
604-738-SAJE
&
1291 Robson St
604-609-0218
Scratch Records
726 Richards St.
604-687-6355
Slickity Jim's
Chat and Chew
2513 Main St.
604-873-6760
Thriller
3467 Main St.
604-736-5651
Twigg&Hottie
3671 Main St.
604-879-8595
Vinyl Records
319 W.Hastings
604-488-1234
VOZZ Boutique
2855 W Broadway
604-733-2067
>vwv.citr<,ca
A Friends of CiTR Card scores you sweet deals
al Vancouver's finest small merchants and
supports CiTR 101.9 FM. Show it when you shop!
discorder magazine Editor
JordieYow
Art Director
Nicole Ondre
Production Manager
Debby Reis
Copy Editors
Liz Brant
Marie Benard
Simon Foreman .
Miranda Martini
ColinThroness
Debby Reis
Alex Smith
Melissa Smith,
Ad Manager
Catherine Rana
Under Review Editor
Melissa Smith
RLA Editor
AJex Smith
Layout + Design
Nicole Ondre
Debby Reis
Contributors
E. E. Mason
Alex Hudson
Becky Sandler
Marisa Chandler
Bryce Dunn
Luke Meat
Daniel Fumano
ColinThroness
Chad Thiessen
Jonathan Evans
Nathan Pike
Amy Scott-Samuel
Miranda Martini
Peter Whelan
Aaron Goldsman
Mark Paulhus
Melissa Foye
Lena Ross
Justin Langille
Simon Foreman
RobWillis
Mine Salkin
Calendar + Cover
by Drea Scotland
Photo & Illustration
Aisha Davidson
Gerald Deo
Audrey Egeland
Monika Koch
Steve Louie
Michelle Mayne
Colin Moore
Debby Reis
Adam P.W. Smith
Program Guide
Bryce Dunn
Charts
Luke Meat
Distribution
Peter MacDonald
CiTR Station Manager
Brenda Grunau
Publisher
Student Radio Society
of UBC
Discorder Magazine • March 2009
features
Pro Fun City
Local advocates seek to end our city's reputation as
for being the home of grumpy sticks in the mud.
1/2 Alive
Long running DJ team ends their regular night.
Dancing in our Debt
Bands, bank lobbies, Valentine's Day, nice cops.
8
Fine Mist
Making the music of the living room for the stage.
Adam P. W. Smith
Melissa Smith chats with the photographer you've
probably seen at local concerts about his new show.
9
Come Sit By My Fire
Peppermill Records scoured the world of poetry and
decided Shel Silverstein's was the best for music.
10
York Theatre
This East Van cultural landmark is being reopened!
Editor's Note,
15
Japandroids
Local duo disccuss how they got their name and
released their album so it will always be in style.
16-19
Shindig finalists
Hermetic, the Sappers and the Magician tell   ?&£>j&
Discorder about their bands and what they plan to
do with their lives after winning CiTR's battle of the
bands.
regulars
\4
| Riff Raff
| Bryce Dunn defines his stuff.
| Film Stripped
i Cadillac Records, reviewed.
| Textually Active
j Confessions Of A Local Celebrity, the story of the
I Molestics.
\ll
| Program guide
| Now a pull-out with the calendar on the other side!
\12
\ Calendar
\20
| Real Live Action
122
I Under Review
123
! Charts
Discorder and the City of Vancouver:
Something is going on right now that is
prompting me to put on my editorial hat.
Hoko Sushi and Karaoke Bar, commonly
referred to as Hoko's, has run into some licensing problems with the City of Vancouver.
They may lose the license that allows them to
act as a venue in town. Hoko's may be small,
but it is one of the most important venues
in the city. Why? Because it's one of the few
places that any band can play without putting
up a lot of money. Bands can book shows
there, take what they can from the door and
the establishment takes money from booze
and sushi sales. It's a fun, supportive, friendly
environment for bands to hone their chops
before moving on to bigger vermes. The
unique combination of cheap beer, sushi and
karaoke—in addition to bands—gives the
venue something that appeals to a wide group
of people and makes it easy for young bands
to entice people to see them perform there.
Losing this venue would be a dreadful
blow to Vancouver's music scene, though
not a surprising one. Every Vancouverite can
rattle, off a list of good and not-so-good venues that have been shut down. I was new to
Vancouver when the Sugar Refinery was shut
down at the end of 2003. Even then locals
were listing off the recently closed venues
preceding that landmark's closure.
The glimmer of hope provided by the announced renovation of the York Theatre (see
Jessica Smith's article on it page 10) doesn't
offer any help for people running small
venues in Vancouver. We need venues like the
York, but we also need places for small bands
to play now, not just in 2011.
After years and years of this, it's about time
the City got serious about changing their
strategy from an antagonistic presence in   .
Vancouver's music community to one that actively works to support it. Vancouver's music
community doesn't know the complex rules
that determine what venues can get civic
approval to run. Ever wonder why Vancouver
has a thriving community of illegal underground venues? It's easier to run something
illegally than it is to try and deal with the
complex bylaws that city staff use to shut
down and harass venues with what seems to
be an irrational love of red tape.
It's not just Hoko's that's in trouble, the
Sweatshop was shut down mid-February,
and the Plaza, though not my favourite
venue, had their reopening delayed due to
"permit problems" as reported in the Georgia
Straight. Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vi-   -
sion Vancouver ran on campaign promises
to relax the bylaws overseeing small venues.
Well now it's about time they made good on
their word before we lose any more venues. I
am tired of hearing of venue after venue being closed by the City over seemingly minor
infractions.
Being in charge of a music magazine in
Vancouver can be depressing at times. It's not
the lack of talented performers (see articles
on Japandroids page 15, Fine Mist page 8 and
the Shindig Winners page 16,17 and 18).
It's the lack of spaces for them to perform—
and this month has been pretty dismal. If
you're as frustrated as us here at Discorder
by the state of Vancouver's night life and
music scene then you might want to consider
getting involved with a group called Pro Fun
City, a neutral advocacy group that aims to
make Vancouver a fun place to live. We can
dream right? (See the Pro Fun City article
by Marisa Chandler for more information on
page 5.)
Next month we plan on running a follow-
up article or two on .this situation, so hopefully we'll have some good news to report
then.
Until then,
Jordie Yow
Discorder has a website (www.discorder.ca),
but we want a better one.
Qualities we want in the new website are:
-easy to update
-easy to host advertising that won't overpower the page
-the ability to search for specific articles by a variety of criteria
-permanent links on each article
-easy navigation for the reader
-allowing readers to post comments
-easily editable archives
-looking pretty.This would involving working with the art director to create
an overall aesthetic for the site.
-up and running by a June or July 1st deadline, 2009
I     If you would like to design Discorder's new website please put together a proposal
of what you'd plan and an estimated cost. We are a not-for-profit with a limited budget and cannot pay a designer or design team more than $1,000 total.
There is no fixed deadline for submitting a proposal, we will consider applications
until the right person or team is found.
For more information please contact Jordie Yow at editor.discorder @ gmail.com.
©DiSCORDER 2009 by the Student Radio Society of the University of British Colum bia. Al I rights reserved. Circulation 8,000. Subscriptions are available and cost the current rate of postage.To subscribe
email editor.discorder@gmait.com.Tb write for Discorder, e-mail editor.discorder@gmaH.com. Ad
space is available for upcoming issues and can be booked by calling (604) 822-3017 ex. 3 or emailing discorder.advertising@gmail.com. Ad rates are available upon request.To distribute Discorder in
your business, email distro.discorder@gmail.com. If you send us anything and it gets broken, lost, -
scratched, mishandled, eaten, damaged, popped or explodes in any way, we cannot replace it or reimburse you. Discorder is published by CiTR, which can be heard at 101.9 FM as well as through all major
cable systems in the Lower Mainland, except Shaw in White Rock. Call CiTR's office at (604) 822-3017,
fax CiTR at (604) 822-9364, email CiTR at CitrMgr® ams.ubc.ca or pick up a pen and write CiTR at #233- -
6138 SUB Blvd., Vancouver, B.C., V6T1Z1, Canada.
March • 2009 3 Textually
Active
Confessions of a Local
Celebrity:
A Tale of Rags to No Rags
by Mike Soret I Belgravian Press
by Luke Meat
Mike Soret founde4 the wonderful Molestics based on
hot dog buns, welfare cheques and a love of liquor bordering on the disease. The band was a staple in Vancouver's
independent music scene, and Soret has written the autobiographical Confessions of a Local Celebrity: A Tale of Rags to No
Rags to document his band's time in the spotlight the Moles-
tics mastered a genre called Hokum, which was a mishmash
of '20s-style jazz- standards and Soret's own hilarious punk
rock lyrics. Ihe lyrics to many of their songs are scattered
throughout the 190-page book. This is a great slice of the
Vancouver music scene circa the mid-'90s when venues such
as the Glass Slipper, the Niagra and the Starfish Room were
the most popular haunts. Ihe Molestics were not a "swing-
revival" band Uke so many shitty groups who popped up in
the mid '90s with the word "Daddy" in their name. They just
stumbled into a sound that was trendy at the time. They made
this music because they loved it and that is very apparent
in Soret's style of writing, which is akin to a well seasoned
alcoholic getting gradually drunker while regaling you with
tour stories. He is quite jovial but not afraid to opinionate
about everything he sees wrong in the music business. Soret
also has some strong words for a Vancouver band they were
billed with quite frequendy. I'm not saying who, you'll have
to read it yourself.
Soret's also quite candid about his all time lows in his career, particularly an ill-advised move to Toronto. This book
is required reading for anyone who is considering starting a
band in this town. The only complaint about this book is that
there should be a CD included for some musical accompaniment for those too young—or too drunk—to remember this
amazing group. NX)/   j
Film Strippe<
Cadillac Records
by Dan Fumano
Etta James, the 71-year-old soul music legend, was re-
cendy in the news for comments made on stage during
performances in Seatde, seemingly igniting the latest
music industry beef.
James was miffed at being passed over when Beyonce
Knowles was invited to perform "At Last", James' signature
song, at President Barack Obama's inauguration. MTV.com
reported that James expressed her dislike for Beyonce, the very
person who had just portrayed her in film, and threatened to
"whip the 'Single Ladies' singer's butt" during a performance
in Seattle Jan. 28.
In the end though, Beyonce never recorded a diss track
hitting back at James, and Etta's entourage never shot up Be-
yonce's studio, so it wasn't really a beef of Tupac-Biggie proportions. But. it may have garnered
some free pubUcity for Cadillac Re-    am nj    f •        f f
cords, the new film starring Beyonce    IVI OS UGl J U St See Ml S  IO
m^3_T__J._based „„ *. be having so much fun
story of Chess .Records and the    n|ayinQ  ChlJCk BeiTy
music legends who recorded for the
label. Founded on the South Side   that Jt'S g^St tO WatCh
of Chicago in the 1940s by a pair    ,   « .. ,
PoUsh-Jew brothers named Phil and    him OUCk-Walk 3 1*0 U 110
Leonard Chess (Phil's character is i        i   •       .i i_"j.
absent from the movie), the label    and Whip the White
went on to release seminal recordings by such iconic artists as Etta
James, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters,
Memphis Slim and HowUn' Wolf. In the 1950s, these blues
musicians were absolutely vital in the development of the nascent form of music called rock 'n' roU, as for the first time,
young, white people actually bought and Ustened to "race records" (music by black artists).
The movie was written and directed by DarneU Martin, and
though her script is sometimes guilty of employing the cUches
so common to the "music biopic" genre, she has made a fine
film here. This is largely because of the almost uniformly excellent performances she gets from her cast.
Martin's script crafts some compelUng characters out of
these musical legends, but this film could have very easily succumbed to mediocrity with lesser performers.
Adrien Brody and Morrocan-Jewish-Canadian bombshell
Emmanuelle Chriqui put in soUd, if unremarkable performances as the label's namesake executive and his wife, but it's
women into a frenzy.
Jeffrey Wright's Muddy Waters who provides the real heart of
the film. Wright is unforgettable as Waters-^a tough, soulful,
conflicted bluesman from the fields of Mississippi. It doesn't
hurt that Wright can actuaUy sing and play guitar pretty weU,
and he squints with the best of them.
Beyonce is the biggest star here, and her performance as
James has righdy received acclaim (and, as reported by MTV.
com, this includes praise from James herself, prior to the inauguration controversy). Nevertheless, it's Wright's performance
that audiences are most Ukely to walk away remembering and
talking about.
The supporting players are great too: Columbus Short brings
a lot of charismatic energy to the role of Little Walter, and Mos
Def just seems to be having so much fun playing Chuck Berry
that it's great to watch him duck-
walk around and whip the white
women into a frenzy. It's Eamonn
Walker who stands out the most,
though. As the cool and menacing
singer HowUn'WoU7, Walker straight
up steals every scene he's in with an
unnerving intensity and amazing
presence.
The only real sour note comes
from GabrieUe Union, who as Waters' main squeeze Geneva. She
seems out of place and out of her
depth.
Cedric the Entertainer is good as
WilUe Dixon, but the narration he provides throughout the
film seems unnecessary—it annoys and insults the viewers by
telling them what they have just seen, rarely providing any useful insight. _??5s"/PS2
Though one could argue that there are akeady enough (or
too many?) musical icons here for one film, Bo Diddley's absence is conspicuous, as he does not appear anywhere in the
film.
Cadillac Records is a great story with great music, even though
its flaws prevent it from being a great movie. But it's worth
seeing for its performances, and for the musical history lesson
alone—as the narration (redundantly and annoyingly) points
out, there is almost no popular music coming out of speakers
and iPods today that doesn't owe some debt of inspiration to
African-American music of the '40s and '50s.       VD/
Riff Raff
by Bryce Dunn
riffraff n. (sometimes functioning as pi.)
1. worthless people, esp. collectively; rabble
2. this column
3. a bunch of scraggly rock and roUers from Toronto called
DOT (Dirty Chinese Thieves), who thanks to my friend Jenny,
have now been given some face time here due to the release of
their debut EP UberAlles which bristles with punk rock bravado under a sleazy sheen of broken bottles and wasted nights.
Six tracks of howUn' vocals over fast-as-fuck guitar, bass and
drums that wiU appeal to fans of Destroy Oh Boy!-etz New
Bomb Turks, Turbonegro and the Dead Boys with songs
Uke "Youth Gone MadVWhite Gloves* and "Hate Crimes".
Dirty? You bet. Chinese? No, but that doesn't matter much.
Thieves? They'U steal your daughters and take no prisoners to
be sure. Check their Myspace to get a copy.
I'm a bit late with this one, but His Royal Coolness, King
Khan, has recently stepped down from his throne in between
gigs with his Shrines and partner-in-crime Mark Sultan to cut
two tracks in his Berlin based Moon Studios. The first, "It's A
Lie," takes cues from acid-punk casualties the Black Lips but
injects Khan's signature croon over the Atlanta crew's drawl.
"Congratulations, I'm Sorry" on the flip is a slow-burning instrumental, featuring reverb-drenched guitar goodness, and
conjures up the spirit of Ricky Nelson's "Lonesome Town" as
it creeps into your subconscious. Cool stuff.
Lastly, Miesha & the Spanks has got issues—you see, she
wants her "Bedroom Back" and no boy on this planet is gonna
change her mind, 'cuz they're "All The Same." She's so pissed in
fact, that she's about to "Drop The Anchor" on all these fools as
her "Heart Knows Better."   \T)J
DCT
www.myspace.com/dctordie
King Khan
Norton Records
Box 646 Cooper Station
New York NY 10726
wwwiiazelwood.de/kmgkhan
Miesha & the Spanks
www.myspace.com/mandthespanks
discorderj Pro Fun City!    1
Decurmudgeoning Vancouver since 2008
by Marisa Chandler | art by Monika Koch
Having a story or two about your favourite off-the-radar bar or venue shut
down isn't unusual in most cities, but
in Vancouver these stories are commonplace.
Pro Fun City is trying to change that.
"One of the things I reaUy Uked about Vancouver when I first moved here was the interesting venues, and they've shut down," said
co-founder of Pro Fun City Kalin Harvey.
Comprised of a network of volunteers,*Pro
Fun City was created by Harvey and Greg
McMuUen as a way to change Vancouver's
reputation as a "No Fun City."They wanted to
help foster independent nightlife and subculture venues around Vancouver.
"The fact that everyone knows the phrase
'No Fun City'is a pretty good indication there-
is a problem," said Harvey. 'i-,^3*--
McMullen, a University of British Columbia law student and three year Vancouver
resident, and Harvey, a-freeknce IT consultant who has lived here since 2000, started the
group almost by accident, but soon found they
had struck a chord with many Vancouverites.
"There's a misunderstanding at the City that
the Roxy is the same thing as the Sweatshop
or the Biltmore, or any of those [venues]" said
McMullen. "I'm not sure why this disconnect
is stiU happening, if we have bureaucrats out
of control."
Recendy Hoko Sushi and Karaoke Bar
(Hoko's) and the Sweatshop, both smaU venues known for hosting independent and local
musicians, have run into Ucensing problems
with the City of Vancouver. The Sweatshop
has been shut down and Hoko's Ucense is
currendy under review. Even the mainstream
Plaza Club had to delay their reopening due
to "permit problems" from the City the Georgia Straight reported.
"One thing that seems to be coming up a
lot is the total lack of transparency. No one
knows why these bars are shutting down.
No one knows the rules until they've broken
them," said McMullen, who added that even
businesses trying to act legitimately, Uke the
BUtmore Cabaret, have run into problems
with Ucensing.
Because Ucensing is so difficult, "we've just
been through a rotating cast of iUegal venues"
said Harvey. It's especiaUy hard if a venue is
attempting to get a Uquor primary Ucense
rather than a restaurant Ucense.
Encouraging a cultural community and
boosting businesses1 ability to acquire proper
Ucensing is a large part of Pro Fun's initiative.
"Organic growth of venues, and places to
hang out and that kind of stuff," said Harvey.
"They seem to have a hard time taking off in
Vancouver."
"The culture of exclusivity that that breeds
is not positive for the city," he added.
The Pro Fun website states that they would
Uke to "support changes in poUcy that wul
allow the city's culture to develop freely and
make Vancouver a more fun place to Uve."This
includes lowering the bureaucratic barriers for
new restaurants and bars and making Ucensing
laws more transparent for existing businesses.
"I was definitely surprised by the volume
of response, story after story of favourite bars
being shut down," said McMuUen about the
initial response to Pro Fun's creation, which
started as a Facebook group caUed "Stop Vancouver's Bedtime PoUce."
In a letter sent out by MaUce, a promoter for
the Sweatshop, he stated that they had been
shut down because the City and the landlords
had terminated their lease.       ■■■' .
"I have gone head to head with a couple officers for the past year and have been trying
to work with city haU to meet thek demands
on us as a venue, skate park and gaUery space.
But in the end the $$$, fines and the cities
demands are just too much to fign&*. O/
The Sweatshop was ordered closed and vacated by Feb. 16.
McMuUen said that the new city council
seems more amenable than the last city council to Pro Fun's initiatives. The new city council is mosdy comprised of Vision Vancouver
members, as opposed to the large NPA presence in the last countil.
Pro Fun has been less active since the Nov.
2008 civic elections, but Harvey said that he
would Hke to see Pro Fun put out a monthly
newsletter about venues that are in trouble or
businesses that need support.
"I'd like Pro Fun to be a clearing house of
information," said Harvey.
"Council is reasonable. They're reasonable
people. If support is shown they'U make it
happen," he said, citing the case of the York
Theatre. [ed.for more info on the York's renowt~
tion's see page 10]
"What they did was reaUy incredible,... it's
amazing what people can do when they're
aware," he said.
City councillor Heather Deal from Vision Vancouver agrees with some of what
Pro Fun is attempting to accomplish, but said
"die Granville strip has given all of that a bad
name."    \^y
1/2 Alive
Ain't Dead Yet
by ColinThroness | art by Audrey Egeland
Many of you rug-cutters will be sad to hear that Vi Alive wiU no longer be hosting their
weekly night at Pub 340, but don't fret; the party is far from over. Over the past three
years, V6 Alive has been throwing regular weekly parties as weU as bigger indie shows at a
variety of venues around town. In that time they've played a huge part in establishing a musical pulse
in Vancouver, a city whose nightlife had been "half-dead" for far too long. And while it is a bit sad
that ihe promoters have finally put their regular weekend parties to rest, it may be for the best.
"BasicaUy, we just aren't satisfied with any venues .for weekly parties,"Tyler Fedchuk told Discorder on the week of their last night at Pub 340. "It's difficult to even find a venue in the first
place, then have good security, etc., and once the hooUgans find out about the party it throws
things off. We just want to do special events with bigger guests about once a month in a larger
venue like Richard's or the BUtmore, and cooler small loft parties once in a while."
Vi Alive plans to release their spring and summer calendar at the end of February, so be sure
to keep an eye out. And in the meantime, if you need to shake out that winter stiffness, the DJs
still make weekly appearances around town; Tyler Fedchuk spins Monday nights at Shine for Ice
Cream Social, and My!Gay!Husband! does Blastramp on Thursday nights at the Bourbon and
Glory Days on Saturday nights at the BUtmore.
Tony X will be taking a step back from DJing and Vi AUve to start up a label, Lastday, and an as
yet unnamed band. Lastday plans to release a limited edition 7* for Gang Violence in early spring.
Sick of Sexism? Join Us!
WOMEN
VOLUNTEERS
needed for our 24 Hour Rape Crisis Line
and Transition House for Battered Women
For an interview, please call 604"872"8212
Vancouver Rape Relief & Women's Shelter
www.rapereliefshelter.bc.ca
March • 2009 CITY AND COLOUR    MINDLESS
m::   immmm
HOUUOWBOV
/   Now On Sale! j
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NORTH AMERICfi
l BIG HEAD TODD MARCH 19 |  RICHARD'S ON RICHARDS • TRAVIS APRIL 4 | COMMODORE BALLROOM • THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM APRIL 10 | COMMODORE BALLROOM
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6        discorder magazine CLUB 23 WEST
ALTERNATIVE ROCK / CLASSIC ROCK
COCK ROCK / INDIE & DANCE ROCK
SKA / ROCKABILLY / PUNK J
NEW WAVE / GLAM ROCK
DJS JONNY VANCOUVER
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March 28;
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:tuary Prints IMS PANDEMONIUM & R-LEX
L^riroTDnMirGUEST wkaotik
*jM   I I I IJ 1 KUIIIU       (CREffOR OF KINETIK)^
1,111  ' * INDUSTRIAL
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JIPSTIVRL
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DANCEFLOOR
AHNHILATION
23 WEST CORDOVA / CASTOWN
A romantic night of banking and
guerilla music
by Brenda Grunau
On Valentines Dayt I found myself crammedinto an ATM lobby with fifty odd people.
The event was Dancing in Our Debt, a travelling show/protest/celeteifjon being
held in three ATM lobbies near Nanaimo and Hastings. Before-the first band   •
started (a five-^piece no less), we were beckoned inside the doable doors and wr
pressed up against each other and into the temporary walls enclosing the lobby.
The evening started inside the Bank of Montreal, with bands Collapsing Opposites and
Search Parties. Despite the subject matter and the bright branded cubicles that contained us,
the tone was one of celebration and joy. The lead singer of Search Parties, Harlan Shore, organized the event because he "hated watching the power money had over the people in his life."
Planning a show in banks had "the power to turn a negative space into a positive space, to get
people to think and dance and live." ^.^.J-J
"At a jregular venue^you know everything that is going to happen," Shore added. "Nobody
here had any idea what to expect."
The bands and the audience embraced this, filing sedately from jk)bby to lobby. A PIN pad
became a drum in one song, and Ryan McCormick from Collapsing Opposites used the occasion to shamelessly promote the sale of his records.
"Well even take debit if you give us your PIN number," he cried.
For McCormick, the show was indeed joyous. "This is to celebrate that we don't need
money—by throwing a free show in a public place."
During the show, McCormick went to thank the police that were quietly watching the scene
from down the block. The police remarked that" they'd phoned the bank, and the bank was
OK with it. The rag-tag group that strolled haphazardly from lobby to lobby certainly didn't
look threatening, and "everyone was being reasonable," if you can call squishing into ATMs a
reasonable thing to do on a Saturday night. The only disastrous part of the evening was the TD
Canada Trust's doorbell chiming incessantly to the music.
The Vancity ATM featured Chris-a-rifEc and Golden Sound, followed by the Barcelona
Chair and Stefana Fratila at the TD Canada Trust. As venues, the ATM lobbies fared better
than expected, with good sound (excepting the door chime), great atmosphere, but bad sight
lines. The event was great for Valentine's, keeping you in close proximity to your date du jour.
The after party happened in an art space near Hastings, and featured a group hand-holding
moment that I couldn't quite resist. -iv^ ^*5""
Audience member Noah Adams expressed his enthusiasm about the event, "It's nice to see
some sweet guerilla musk."
I asked Adams if he had any profound thoughts about money during the evening. Adams
pointed out that one of the banks was his home branch, and the performance "hasn't directly
affected [his] relationship to [his] financial institution".  VTV
March • 2009 §1      .    v"   v
Fine Mist
by Becky Sandler | Michelle Mayne photo
m
1
Sitting across from Megan McDonald and Jay
Arner in their East Vancouver living room isn't
all too different from watching them perform.
The brass unicorns, dream catchers and bear
drawing that comprise their stage backdrop decorates the
room, and the two roommates sip daiquiris while comfortably sharing stories with their audience—me. The only
thing missing was the sound of their energetic, but somewhat love-sick, synth-pop.
Fine Mist is not the first time McDonald and Arner
have joined together in a musical endeavour. It's not the"
second either; in the last six years the two have played or
recorded in more bands then they can list offhand, but
most Vancouverites will know them from their time in
International Falls, the Poison Dart or Candles. Except in
Fine Mist, they're on their own.
Forming a two piece was a conscious decision, but also
a matter of convenience. During my visit to their house,
Arner excitedly showed me their upstairs practice space—
a big room with skylight views of the city and a balcony.
This accessibility allows them to have 20 minute practices
whenever they're both home, allowing this to be what McDonald described as their "most collaborative enterprise."
Even as collaborators they have specific roles in the
band. McDonald writes some lyrics and melodies and
Arner some chords, then they work together to perfect
the songs. On stage together, it is clear that this process is
organic and enjoyable for the two. They'll often glance at
each other and smile as they dance.
Many confuse these glances and their consistent partnership for a love affair. McDonald laughed when I asked
for her opinion on the speculations surrounding their relationship. Though she agrees that the assumption makes
sense based on appearances, she noted that the lyrics are
more "anti-dating"—most of the songs are "about despair
and being in love with someone insane." Arner smiled
while thinking about being the victim of McDonald'
harsh words, and the two noted that the Fleetwood Mac
comparisons have been present since their time in International Falls. Though not apropos Arner, McDonald
noted that "every single word is true in all of the songs"
and described them as "wistful but accurate."
Setting up their living room on the dance floor made
it much easier to play such personal songs. The comfort
zone set up extends into the audience, as McDonald occasionally talks over the music, coaxing sways from even the
most unlikely showgoers.The best part is seeing them play
over and over again. You begin to anticipate McDonald's
teal dress, the duo's matching moccasins and you're ready
to sing along to die refrains of "Out of Sync" and "Because
It's the Ocean."
Rather than getting tired of performing, playing their
songs repeatedly makes these nights more enjoyable for
the band. "They seem classic because you've written them,"
said McDonald about the songs, explaining why she now
often feels like she's singing karaoke on stage instead of
performing. That's, what makes Fine Mist fun for McDonald and Arner—a karaoke dance party in their living room
is their favourite way to spend a Friday night.
One of the band's goals is to encourage dancing in Vancouver. While this may be a daunting task, they've gotten off to a good start. Having played countless art gallery
openings, the Biltmore's first Swap Meet and numerous
other shows over the past few months, they've been winning fans easily. They're looking forward to organizing
their own show, a dance night at the Peanut Gallery on
Mar. 14. If you can't make it out, you can always have a
dance party in your own Uving room with their Myspace I
page [www.myspace.com/thebandfinemist]—you'll just >
have to imagine the brass unicorns. I
My
mlgtqt P.W. Smith
i^Music Photographer
by Melissa Smith | Gallows photographed by Adam P.W. Smith
Aficionados of Vancouver's music
scene would probably recognize
Adam P.W. Smith if they saw him.
He is the tall, dreadlocked guy on
the periphery tirelessly snapping photos during the entire show, distinguishing himself
by his inconspicuousness. You will.never see
Smith stand in front of fans to get a shot, and
he is reliant on natural lighting to reproduce
the show's visuals as accurately as possible. He
does not use a flash in his photography.
8        discorder magazine
While chatting with Smith in Re-Entry
Espresso, the host of his current photo exhibition, I remark that his approach to capturing concerts reminds me of how a wildlife
photographer manages to blend into his surroundings.
"That is one of the paradoxes of what I do.
How a six foot, middle aged white guy with
dreads manages to blend into the background
is always a mystery to me," Smith laughed.
It is not so much his appearance as his
demeanour that allows him to blend in, and
Smith acknowledges that when he is at a party
he is most likely to be found on the sidelines
watching others rather than joining in the festivities.
He chooses to shoot local unknowns rather
than the steady stream of celebrities passing
through town because, as Smith puts it, "With
bigger bands, the focus is on getting One decent shot. The value of the picture is derived
from the celebrity of fhe subject rather than
dependent upon taking a good photo. When
taking a photo of an unknown band, you have
to work harder to get people interested, and
the quality of the photo is much more important. I also think that the crowds that attend
the shows, and their interaction with the performers, are so much more interesting."
It is this quality that allows Smith's work to
be effective and memorable. Many of his photos chronicle the interaction between the performers and the audience. This is a conscious
effort on Smith's part.
"This is the other paradox of my work. I am
taking stills of constant action. As a spectator
you can't take in all of those separate elements
while you are in the situation, but with a still
photo you have the chance to revisit that one
moment in time and see how all of those elements work together," Smith explains.
The elements are in full display in the Re-
Entry show, and like Smith himself, the photos manage to simultaneously blend into their
surroundings and make an impact on the environment they are in. When asked if the cafe
was a calculated choice for the show, Smith
responds in the affirmative. "I am a fan of
galleries but I think people interact with and
experience art differently if they encounter it
in surroundings that are not designed solely
for the purpose of viewing art. I like the idea
of bringing art into the community." Judging
from the amount of people greeting Smith
at Re-Entry, the community likes the idea as
well
Smith's current show is a. Re-Entry Espresso
(4363 Main St.) and runs until Mar. 15. For
readers unable to see the show prior to its closing
date, Smith's site Rock Stock and Two Smoking
F-Stops (www.adampwsmith.com) posts a new
photo every day at one second past midnight and
functions as a veritable catalogue of the local music scene. vDy Come sit by,
my fire: x ^
Peppermill Records      j i&
and the Shel ^
Silverstein Projegt^
1
I-
by Mine Salkin | art by Debby Reis
# #
RBife
/
.;v'k
These are the lines of a poet that has
inspired a non-profit, collaborative,
international multi-media art project. Lead by the independent Vancouver label Peppermill Records, the poetry
of Shel Silverstein will come to life at Littlfcg^
Mountain Studios on Saturday Apr. 18. \
Born in 1930, Silverstein was an American**1
poet who was also accomplished as a musician, songwriter, screenwriter and cartoonist.
He won a Grammy for his musical and lyrical
composition of "A Boy Named Sue," which
was performed by Johnny Cash in the early
1970s. His quirky writing style, use of slang
and bizarre story ideas was attributed to the
fact that he intentionally never read the work
of other writers, in order to preserve and enhance his unconventional flair with words.
Like Silverstein, Peppermill Records has
established an equally alternative aesthetic
through its connections with eccentric underground artists from all over the world. Silver-
stein's work as a children's author has attracted
the attention of the label, and this is where the
entire musical project comes from.
Peppermill Records began as a pet project
in 2005, but has grown tremendously with
projects such as 52 Weeks, in which 52 artists
made a song for each week of the year based
on a news headline, and last summer's Lunar
Jam, a three-day festival at Pierce Lake, B.C.
Peppermill Records was created by the spirited 31-year-old Peter Krahn,who is a visionary
drifter. During the summer months, Krahn is
a nomadic tree planter, which -gives him the
winter period to mull over new artistic ideas
and plan events. In the Shel Silverstein project, officially called Come Sit By My Fire, he
hopes to capture the creativity and imagination of the childhood experience by turning
Silverstein's poetry into songs.
' Krahn has always been interested in the
intertextuality of art across all platforms and
mediums. "For a while I thought about turning a poet into a musician. So I spent a while
reading a lot of poetry and found one that was
the most conducive to music. I just wanted the
whole process of turning literature into melody," he told Discorder over a milky chai latfe.
For weeks, Krahn sifted through a library of
poetry books and researched obscure authors,
finally picking Shel Silverstein's work because
it was a very positive element of his childhood. "A lot of people have had really nostalgic memories of him," Krahn said. For many
people of all ages, Silverstein's books such as
The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends
are cornerstones of North American childhood.
So far, Krahn hps nearly 60 artists working
On the project, some of whom are from the
U.K., Norway apd Denmark-, S8me notable
Vancouver arts^r include Buffaloswans, the
rambunctious psychedelic rock group with
a country twang who will be playing "True
Story," two-step folk artist Nick Caceres for
^beLftser" and super unconventional Hymns
To Were>**blves||>kying "Falling Up." As the
project is international, Peppermill is planning
for three «pther|shows for the same event in
Toronto, Osk> and Montreal.
Drawn bp*thl creativity of children and
their curiosity about the world, Krahn chose
bands that would bring out the offbeat, yet
morally yielding effects of Silverstein's works.
The aesthetic of Peppermill encompasses all
genres, but emphasizes the need to be innovative and multi-textural. The Shel Silverstein
project envisions the multidimensionality of
art attuned to the curiosity and imagination of
a child's mind, accompanied by.equally compelling music. "This is one of the more folkier
themes ... It sort of taps into everyone's inner
child," Krahn said.
Musician, curator and collage maker, Krahn
is also an investigator. He describes the pursuit
of new musicians as an artistic kind of voyeurism, an inquiry into places and ideas. "You can
search all places of the world," he explained.
"I always look for the artwork first, then I
give it to the musicians when I invite them."
Krahn tirelessly searches and scans through
MySpace looking for promising artists, filtering through bands whose musical subject
matches his artistic vision for his projects.
"I really enjoy being a curator for others,"
he said.
Sometimes it comes down to actively pursuing a specific country to search for new hidden talents. After not hearing anything from
Sweden for a while, Krahn picked up Ljud-
bilden & Piloten, an ambient folk music band
with highly ethereal, experimental montages
who will be performing "Rain."
The Shel Silverstein Project is a very promising, one. While Krahn isn't making a profit
from the event, he hopes to sell artwork and
other merchandise at the show in order to
compensate the bands for their time. All of
the previous Peppermill projects are available
on the website as free downloads. Peppermill
represents an age of new music in which record labels are willing to disseminate and promote the creativity of others without asking
for money first.   \t\j
"Ifyou are a dreamer, come in. If you are a
dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a
magic-bean-buyer. If youre a pretender, come sit^
by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to
spin. Come in! Come in!"
—from Shel Silverstein's "Invitation" the opening poem of Where
the Sidewalk Ends.
LIVE?
:VAN(
l.COM'
INTERACTIVE
MUSIC LISTINGS
CONTINUALLY UPDATED -.CdHHpkfV DRIVEN
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE LISTINGS SOURCE J^iLABLE
**^SF
March • 2009 The current state of the Raja Cinema
photographed by Jessica Smith
York Theatre
By Jessica Smith
East Vancouver will be getting a renewed live performance
and music venue in a building that was built as a home
for theatre before the age of talking pictures.
"It has been derelict-looking for the past few years,"
said Tom Durrie, an East-Vancouver resident who has led the Save
The York Theatre Society since 1982. The theatre at the north end
of Commercial Drive was saved in early February, days before it
was slated for demolition. The new city council agreed to a plan
where local developer. Bruno Wall agreed to spend $12 million to
buy and renovate the theatre in return for an equal value of density transfers to be approved by the city for other developments at
a later date. Allocating density transfers for developers who help
restore heritage buildings is common practice. In this case it means
that Wall will be granted exemptions to city density zoning or bylaws, for example to build taller buildings, and that the value of
those exemptions will be up to $12
miUion- "If it QetS fixed UP really onlyonenamechangeinl941,tothe
After the renovations the theatre will        . York Theatre, following a set of reno-
be handed over to the Vancouver East    I1IC6,  I eXpeCt yOU   II   PieVeT      vations that gave the exterior of the
Cultural Centre—better known as the
theatre," she said.
Over the years of trying to save the theatre, Durrie has done
extensive research on the building's history.
"Around 1910 to 1912 this part of town was just being, opened
up," said Durrie. "It was an up-and-coming area, and a woman and
her husband [the Van Harligners] opened a dance studio for the
daughters of the rising middle class."
According to Durrie, the Van Harligners recruited Robert Ma-
cLaren, an oilman from Alberta, to build a theatre to show their
performances. *'i^.i.:^
Initially named the Alcazar in 1913, it served as a venue for Uve
theatre and dance until 1915, when the rise in popularity of movies
and the stress of WWI caused it to lose audiences. It was renamed
the Palace and showed movies until 1923, when it was renamed
again to the Little Theatre and hostedamateur theatre for-the next
54 years. During that time there was
Cultch-to run it as a live theatre and    See anOther TOCk ShOW in
muskspace. there again, because it
Heather Rearern, executive director _
of the Cultch, said the theatre will be   WO U I d j U St g et 311   b e 31 U P
used for the programming the centre •       • r .■ Tl_    j./
is known for-a wide variety of per- again IT there W8S. That S
Jr^T"^ ^T fr/ays kind of the way it goes."
the theatre will be rented out to tour- * *■'
ing performers and musicians.The ex-    — Joey "Shithead" Keithley
terior of the theatre will be changed,
with the addition of a two-story glass
lobby. Inside, the theatre will be spruced up, but almost unchanged
from its original design.
"A lot of people have fond memories about the creaks and the
cracks and I do too, but it meant that the building was in terrible
terrible shape," said Redfern.
"People will experience that the acoustics are much better, you
don't have nearly as much sound leak from the street—because
you could hear the traffic go by and the rain on the roof before and
we're fixing that. They're not going to feel like the space is much
different, we haven't changed the relationship between the stage
and the audience at all."
Redfern has gone to the theatre since her high school days in
the '70s, and remembers deciding to spend her life working in theatre after seeing Michel Tremblay's Hosanna performed there, with
Richard Monette in the starring role.
"I've seen so many fantastic performances there over the past 35
years, and I think the way people are going to remember it in the
future is we're going to put more fantastic performances into that
10      discorder magazine
building its current art-deco style.
By the '80s the building was run
down again, renamed the New Y>rk
Theatre, and used as a practice space'
film set and live venue for punk and
metal bands including Metallica, Sonic
Tcouth, Nirvana and punk locals DOA
In 1996 it was renamed the Raja
and showed Bollywood films until
the early "00s, when attendance petered off. Since then it has been kept
dark most of the time and used only
for the occasional show.
Joey "Shithead" Keithley, lead singer of DOA played about half
a dozen shows at the theatre in the early '80s. He said his favourite
was a benefit for the Squamish Five, a group of anarchists known
for bombing Red Hot Video outlets and a Toronto plant that manufactured components of cruise missiles.
While he was happy to see the theatre saved from demolition,
he doesn't think it will be "a raging punk rock palace again."
"It was a great place for shows," said Keithley. "It's a good location because it's right in East Vancouver, which is basically the
stomping grounds of the old punk rock scene in those days. But
if it gets fixed up really nice, I expect you'll never see another rock
show in there again, because it would just get all beat up again if
there was. That's kind of the way it goes."
-   The York is scheduled to reopen in 2011.
THE VANCOUVER
iHfLE THEATRE Ass'n.
i PRESENTS
Tbe Kaufman and
Harjt Comedy
"YOU CAN'T
THKE IT
WITH YOU"
AT THE
YORK THEATRE
Commercial Drive
Monday to Friday
October 2jt*J5
CURTAIN 8:20 TM.
Tickets, *l.00 (Inc. tax) on sale
at Kelly's on Seymour
Saturday,   October   19
W
images provided by
Save theYorkTheatre Society  •*
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_  3.<S Japandroids
The way drums and guitar fit together
by Jordie Yow | art by Aisha Davidson
Tapandroids have an unusual band name. It's definitely
I memorable, but even when the band's two members—Brian
I King and David Prowse, both 26—christened their musical
project, they weren't very excited about it. Their band name,
like much of the band's sound, is the result of a strong desire
by both members to come up with something they would be
mutually satisfied with. In 2006 the band was coming together
and they were still thinking hard about a name. King was gunning for Pleasure Droids while Prowse—who doesn't really like
the name anymore—was pulling for Japanese Scream. Finally,
in a compromise that pleased neither member, King combined
their two names to create Japandroids. If things had worked
out a litde differently they might have ended up being called
Pleasure Scream.
The band's sound is also a constant compromise, in that they
make music that comes from where their tastes overlap. The
result is a sound that falls somewhere between the Sondes, the
Constantines, Wire and McClusky, to name just a few of then-
influences.
"We're taking different bits [and] pieces of all these bands
we really like, but not enough to be recognizable," said King.
It's nothing new, but [you] can't place it."
The result is King's crunching, fuzzy guitar laid over Prowse's
'dynamic, high-energy drumming while both members wail,
. shout and sing out their songs. The band's sound is all about
"the way drums and guitar fit together," Prowse said.
The two of them met with me for drinks at the Brickhouse
before their first show in Vancouver since September, which
took place Feb. 7 at the Cobalt.
Japandroids independendy released their two EPs, All Lies
and Lullaby Death fams in 2007 and 2008, respectively. This
year they're releasing the full-length, Post-Nothing, on Unfamiliar Records, a label that has also put out musk by great
load acts like No Gold, the Clips and Victoria's Paper Cranes.
The album is due out in late April, but it's already generating
some hype. The key to this might be the fact that the band has
decided to put the whole album up on the Internet for anyone
' to listen to prior to the April release. A quick Google search for
"japandroids post-nothing" provides several links to sites where
the whole album is streamed.
The band is pretty savvy when it comes to getting their music out there. King made a habit of making sure that digital
copies of both their EPs were readily available for anyone who
wanted to download them on a number of P2P file-sharing
services. The band chose to release Post-Nothing-zs a vinyl-dig'
ital release, meaning that the new album will be purchasable on
vinyl and on the Internet, but not on CD. Although not everyone listens exclusively to music in MP3 format, it certainly is
trending that way. King and Prowse point out that most people
who buy a CD, just buy it to rip it,
"Most people will be listening on their iPods anyways," said
King. Following this logic they are including a free download
of the album with each vinyl purchase. Japandroids felt the
need for some sort of physical product, but when Unfamiliar Records offered them the choice between vinyl or CD the
choice was easy.
"Vinyl will never go out of style," King exclaimed. "It will
always be cool."
Post-Nothing is their best music to date. It's high on energy
with some of the best hooks they've put together yet. It doesn't
stray much in style from the heavy, fast, distorted songs of their
EPs, but it Is some of the most accessible music they've made.
The album is short—only eight tracks long—but each song is
memorable. It's all-killer-no-filler if you'll pardon the cliche.
"We wanted to make every song really strong," said Prowse.
They held back a number of songs they don't think are ready
to be recorded yet so they can work out the kinks. listening
to their music you can see what Prowse means. The intricacies,
of the interactions between his drumming and King's guitar
sound like they've come out of a heavy rehearsal process where
their practice repertoire just got more complex, but the songs
always held together cohesively around the simple lyrics.
Though, the practiced interaction of guitar and drums are Japandroids biggest strength, their lyrics do not disappoint. They
are simple and to the point—reminiscent of early Constantines in
subject and style (not vocal style, but thematic style). Their lyrics
are unadorned, sometimes bordering on silly. It's hard to argue
that lines such as, "French kissing some French girls" on "Wet
Hair" is deep poetry. Despite the simplicity of their words, the
repetition and enthusiasm of their lyrics manage to evoke strong
feelings. On "Press Corps," the simple refrain, "Press corps / Give
us something to wake up for," perfecdy conveys the feeling of depression felt by anyone who regularly follows the news.
Post-Nothing was recorded last summer live in studio at the
Hive. Like many bands starting out, all their recordings are
made this way.
"As long as we continue to make records with litde to no
money it will be this way," said Prowse.
Not that either of them are starving; they both work day-
jobs full time to pay for bills and recording sessions.
The financial need to have songs ready before they record
is a big part of their songwriting process. Some of their songs
have come out of a desperation to use the time they booked at
a recording studio.
"Fuck, we're going to record! We've got to have something!"
King said while describing the process.
The band is just starting to get some cred internationally
with write-ups in Pitchfork Jan. 9 this year and Exclaim!, in
summer 2007 and late 2008. The Pitchfork appearance finally
got them, a brief nod in the Georgia Straight titled, "Japandroids get Pitchforked" on Jan. 15.
"We can get in the most influential music publication of our
generation [Pitchfork] before we get in the Georgia Straight,"
joked King.
Despite the lack of local media coverage at larger papers,
the duo places a lot of importance on giving back to the community once they gain some recognition. In the interview we
spent a lot of time discussing Vancouver bands that have "made
it" in one way or another and how they have (or have not) given
back to Vancouver's music scene. As fans of local musk they
place importance on supporting other local acts and music fans
by playing shows and using their influence to further develop
Vancouver's musk community.
Though currently still as much on the fan side of things as
they are on the band side of things, Japandroids isn't sure what
the future holds for its love of Vancouver musk.
"It would be premature to ... honestly say whether I will
come to loathe or appreciate my local mime community," King
wrote in an email. While they are currently in a giving mood,
though, be sure to check them out.
Japandroids will be playing Mar. 8 at the Biltmore with Ter-
rorbird and DRMHLLR during the Biltmore's second Swap
Meet. They also have plans to play a show in April to kick
off their tour. Keep an eye on their Myspace at www.myspace.
com/japandroids for the details.
vp/
March • 2009
15 Shindig )
finalist
the Sappers
What a couple of saps!
by Alex Smith | art Audrey Egeland
The Sappers, 2008's Shindig runners-up, came together in a big, empty New Westminster house left
in their care until it could be sold on behalf of its
deceased owner. Redolent with this eerie ambiance,
and with a name that reverberates with the history of our beloved province, the Sappers play creaky, old-time country/folk
music, complete with banjo, accordion and a healthy sense of
anachronism. I recendy cornered Harold Donnelly (guitar/vocals) and Jeff Fedoruk (bass) at a Main St. coffee shop and
forced them to talk to me for, like, 45 minutes!
"We had this house for the first six months of our existence—we would just play into the odd hours of the night,
right through the dead of winter," said Fedoruk. "There was
"We wanted something
old-timey, something that
spoke of the history of New
West, because we're all
from there," said Fedoruk.
"I felt our music was a
throwback in the same
sense."
only electricity in certain parts of the house, and there wasn't
much heating, so we all kind of gathered around whatever out--
let was working."
In keeping with this antique theme, the band's name refers
to no |ess than the pre-Dominion history of British Columbia. "Sappers" are army engineers—in this case, the Columbia
detachment of the British army's Royal Engineers, who, in the
19th century, were stationed in what is now the Sapperton
neighbourhood of New Westminster.
"We wanted something old-timey, something that spoke of
the history of New West, because we're all from there," said
Fedoruk. "I felt our musk Was a throwback in the same sense."
16      discorder magazine
The music that emerges from this aesthetic is musty, genuine
and heartfelt. It also feels blessedly out of touch with the not-
so-current vogue for hipster "freak-folk."
"It's not something we consciously do. I don't really know
the hipster folk, to be honest. I have lots of friends who are into
it. I just listen to Bob Dylan!" said Donnelly.
Fedoruk agreed: "As far as the stuff that we all Usten to, the
Beades are probably the only thing," he said. "A couple of us
are into the Band and Dylan. I don't know. We all really like
Elliott Smith."
When I asked them whether they intended to add a drummer to their Hneup, the Sappers were non-committal.
"We found that we all just kind of took a part of the [imagined] drums and played it ourselves," said Donnelly. "[Fedoruk]
was like the snare drum, and I was the hi-hat. Colin [McCune]
is the toms. [laughing]"
Those of you who witnessed their less-is-more approach
during the Shindig performances might be surprised to learn
that Donnelly and Fedoruk are music students—but then
again, you might not. Behind their loose, folky groove is an
evident respect for the technical aspects of performance.
"Yeah, I teach Htde kids guitar—and I work in a warehouse,"
said DonneUy, having regaled me with the relative merits of the
music programs at SFU and Capilano CoUege. "I study music.
I did a few years at VCC taking jazz guitar, and I went to SFU,
but I didn't reaUy like it. I'm going to finish up at Cap CoUege
in music education."
"AU I play are roots and fifths!" added Fedoruk. "But one show
we had, we couldn't find anyone to open for us, so we had to play
three hours worth of music So first we played instrumental versions of our songs, and then, because we needed to fiU the set, we
played a 30-minute version of MUes Davis' AU Blues'!"
"There's a time and a place," said DonneUy, somehow encapsulating the Sappers in a sentence. "You don't need to wank out
prog-metal style—as tempting as it is."
The Sappers play at UBC's Gallery Pub on Mar. 6 with the
SSRIs and Fine Mist. Check them out online at:
www.myspace.com/thesappersband. Shindig \\
finalist j
the
llpls
Magici&n
No Conjurer of CJipapTubks
m
by Alex Hudson | art by Audrey Egeland
Prior to Shindig 2008, you could count the number
of performances by the Magician (a.ka. Nathan
Moes) on one hand. When Moes took the stage at
the RaUway Club, he was unaccompanied except by
a keyboard and cardboard cutouts of Michael Jordan and NFL
quarterback Drew Bledsoe. (Bassist Jonathan Anderson and
drummer Jay Arner would join him in later rounds.) The set
began in typical fashion, with a series of catchy, '60s-inflected
piano pop songs. Then, with a programmed drum loop playing
over the PA., Moes briefly stopped playing keyboard, puUed
out a length of rope and performed a magic trick more suited
to a chUd s birthday party than an indie music show. If anyone
"With my kicks, with my
slacks, with my cardigan / l'i
a 10.5 on a scale of 10.5"
in the audience had been wondering where the name "the Magician" came from, that definitely cleared things up:
Antics such as this might suggest that Moes isn't too concerned about coming off as frivolous. A few minutes of conversation with the Langley singer/keyboardist, however, revealed
that this is not the case. "[Magic] doesn't give you much cred-
ibiHty,"he acknowledged. "I'm so aware of perceptions of magicians. People don't take it seriously. They think of a kid's birthday party, somebody's dressed up in an over-sized suit that's
probably some, sort of gaudy colour. So it's a dangerous place
to tread."
Moes adopted his musical aUas as a personal reference to
his work as a magician; during high school, he performed at
restaurants, weddings and parties, doing tricks with coins, playing cards and the length of rope that made an appearance at
Shindig. Coming from a 22-year-old songwriter, the magic act
may seem a little hokey, but Moes persists with the. persona
because of what he sees as a parallel between the roles of musician and magician.
"I Hke the idea of the magician, not just as a human magi
cian, but the Great Magician, Hke a creator figure in fantasy or
-something, who creates things—kind of Hke going to a piano
and creating things." bj^V3^§fc
Like a musician, whose performance can inspire and challenge an audience, Moes said magic is "a powerful medium,
and it doesn't have to be about some person showing off."
That's the way it is with the Magician; his music works on
multiple levels, and if something initially seems juvenUe or one-
dimensional, that's because you aren't looking hard enough.
Take the tide of his debut EP, Who Will Cut Your Grass When
Tm Gone? Any fan of Canadian indie music wiU immediately recognize it as a tribute to the 2003 album by the Unicorns, Who Will
Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
ButasweUasawyforMoesto    «|  |jke the  jdea Qf the
pay his respects to the Unicorns,
the tide is a poignant plea for love    magician, nOt JUSt 3S a
1 — autobiographical reference
and a
to the summers Moes spent as a human magician, but the
^^nd of an inside joke Great Magician, like a
that in acmauy be excited about creat0r figure in fantasy or
telling cutting-grass stones. He w* '
said that among his landscap-    SOITiething, WhO CreateS
ing buddies "there's this kind of . . x i ■ i
funny bond, where we aU love things—kind of Uke going
fitting grass, talking about cut-   .        niann and rrPfltinn
ting-grass stories, and smearing    l° d  pidnU dllU UiedLllig
feces on your face when you're   fhinn^"
weeding and [going] crazy." **
Feces-smearing   aside,   Moes
wants to be taken seriously, and is wary of anything that might
come off as too gimmicky. "I don't like quirky songwriting," Moes
laughed. "That over-the-top, don't-take-me-seriously [type of
song]. I don't want to use irony."
This isn't to say that Grass is humourless, as it has more than
its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments. Look no further than
the opening track, "Introducing," which ends with 30 seconds
of lo-fi keyboard noodling based on a butchered version of
"Smoke on the Water." Two tracks later, "NJ v. NJM" pilfers
lines from T.I.'s "What You Know" (the tide references the
2007 album TL vs. TIP); with its outrageous boast, "With
my kicks, with my slacks, with my cardigan / I'm a 10.5 on a
scale of 10.5," the song is the silHest and most charming use of
hip-hop slang since Weezer complained of "homies dissin' my
girl" 15 years ago.
Despite the magic tricks, the aUusions and the frequent humour,
the Magician is much more than a novelty act Instead, Moes' ultimate goal in music is something more relatable: "Straightforward
pop songs. A great catchy melody, that's it" And in just seven
tracks on Grass, he's achieved plenty of moments of pop bliss.
The upbeat piano groove of "Ant/Whale/Ybu & Me" is almost
unfathomably catchy, complete with whistling, finger snaps and
a wordless "da na na" vocal outro.
Reverby piano and spacy organ
interplay on "Litde Bird," while
ramshackle    percussion    holds
a down-tempo groove for the
song's syrupy sweet vocal melody
Best of aU is the aforementioned
"NJ v. NJM," which offsets its
silly lyrics against an ominously
distorted bassline, blippy keyboard riffing and haunting double-tracked vocals.
Regardless   of  recent  successes—Moes' Shindig performances earned him a spot in
the competition's finals, where
he placed third—the future of
the Magician is uncertain. He
describes the idea of recording an LP as "daunting," and is considering going on tour this summer'—not so that he can build a
fanbase, but "just for the sake of telling my kids that I toured."
That's hardly the ego you might expect from someone with a
musical-magical variety show, but as with any magician worth
his salt, when it comes to Nathan Moes, appearances can be
deceiving,   v-q.
March • 2009
17 CAp$-$
Hermetic
Good tempered chords, a punk growl and back again
by E. E. Mason | art by Colin Moore
In recordings, Hermetic come across with aU the bruised
honesty of the Jam; Uve, they make it look easy to deHver
loud, crunchy, moshable indie numbers. It's no surprise
to learn that this Vancouver-based two-piece have put in
plenty of time honing their skills over the years. It's apparent in
the energy of their stage presence and ear for a catchy melody
backed with a guitar sound that cart switch from good-tempered
chords to a punk growl and back again in the Mink of an eye,
Frontman Eric Axen (vocals, baritone guitar, occasional harmonica) and Bart Newman (drums, vocals) have each played in several
bands since meeting in their early teens in Smithers, B.C.—including Paper Lanterns, and, most recentiy, the basement punk band
Painted Youth. Tney have also taken in encyclopedic quantities of
music which has certainly contributed to the quaHty and confidence
of their overaU sound, tracks such as "Preventative Arrest" from
their 2008 EP reveal energy and tight arrangements driven by the
diverse textures of Axen's baritone guitar.
FoUowing the demise of Painted Youth, Hermetic kicked off
back in 2006. After a period in which they played a few shows,
things began to take off Last year was Hermetk's most successful
so far, with gigs, recordings, and winning CiTR's Shindig. They've ,
already released a spUt EP with Plus Perfect and toured across the
country with Animal Names (in which Newman also plays drums).
The start of 2009 promises to be even busier, with a raft of local gigs
and some serious recording time in the offing. The band has a fair
amount of material and there's a new album planned.
18      discorder magazine
, Discorder caught up with Axen and talked to him about news,
views and the special Vancouver flavour of performing in a backyard shed.
How was the whole Shindig experience?
ReaUy fun, and sort of absurd, but reaUy fun. I didn't think I
would ever play in Shindig, but then I joined Fanshaw last year
who played a few shows in it, and I played those shows with
There's a really good
indie   pop  scene   here...
and it's really fun.There's
such a positive energy.
them. I was surprised with how relaxed the whole Shindig atmosphere is and how bands watch each others' sets and they're Hke,
you know, "Right on!" When you think of a battle of the bands
it's sort of got this weird high-school connotation, but Shindig is
pretty chiUed. So it was reaUy fun.
How would you define your sound?
I think our two main influences are early post-punk, like Mis
sion of Burma and Wire, maybe the Minutemen, just high-energy post-punk. And also lots of'90s lo-fi indie guitar pop, Hke the
Inbreds and Plumtree, lots of Halifax bands. I mean, we Usten
to aU sorts of stuff, but I think those are the two most obvious
forces coming together.
Tell me a bit more about how Hermetic got started.
I guess I'd always liked the idea, of two-piece bands. When I
heard the Evens^first record—Ian McKaye's current band—and
he uses a baritone guitar, and then drums played with brushes,
and it's such a nice range on that instrument, and it just sort of
cHcked. It seemed Hke a perfect instrument for a two-piece band,
because he gets reaUy great bass-lines and treble parts. We don't
sound anything Hke them, but that was the first band where the
fight-bulb turned on. And also I rediscovered the Inbreds who
I really Uked when I was younger. So I guess it was summer .
2005 that I was Ustening to the Inbreds and the Evens non-stop
and that was also when my old band with Bart, Painted Youth,
was fizzling out. I basicaUy broached the idea with h*m but then
didn't get a baritone guitar and didn't start writing songs until
about a year later.
So what's special about a baritone guitar?
A baritone h^s the same relationship between the strings, but
it's tuned down to B. But you actuaHy can't reaUy play it Hke a
regular guitar—it's too muddy. And you can't play it Hke a bass. It's Uke, I was tired of guitar and tired of bass. So it's this new
instrument; it was the best of both worlds and it's fon just writing songs on a new instrument. You get aU these ideas that you
wouldn't have thought of otherwise. ^M^j
I think it's different because I'm consciously trying to write
to make it sound like there's two parts at the same time. So
I'm always conscious of whether there's a bass-Hne part and
regular chords or picking. I'm always trying to have some sort
of harmony going on within just the guitar itself. So I guess
that's the chaUenge with it, just being a two-piece, but it's also
what determines the sound.
What are you working on at the moment?
We've got gigs Uned up. We've recorded a song for a spUt seven-inch, but I don't know who is going to be the other band
just yet. I have ideas but I shouldn't say anything. And it looks
Hke we're recording in June at the Hive for a fuU-length, so
that's the most exciting thing for us right now. We demoed the
last of our new songs so we're ready to record an album—it's
just a matter of getting the time in at the Hive.
And after that? Future plans?
Just keep playing shows and tour, I guess. We did a short tour
in the faU to Toronto and back with Animal Names, Bart's other band, but I would Hke to do a B.C.-Alberta thing because
our best shows so far have been here and [in] Alberta; I'd Hke
to go up to Prince George, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge,
home, just do a Htde loop Hke that in the spring. I'd Hke to
tour Canada again, but we're mosdy thinking about the album
right now.
What have you got lined up for the album? Axe any labels
This label, Plans to Make Plans, they're putting out Plus Perfect's record, so when they found out that we were just going
to do a spUt CD together they were Hke, "Oh hey, we'U pay for
that." So that was reaUy nice. They're putting out our spUt seven
inch; that should be coming out, weU, I don't know—things always take longer than you expect them to, but hopefuUy in the
spring. They might be interested with the album but it's hard
to say. I dorft reaUy have any expectation, but just that they've
akeady helped us out with a few things is reaUy encouraging.
It's the best thing to have someone who actuaUy actively likes
your music and wants to help out It's so. encouraging.
With the record we'U probably have 14 or 15 songs to record, not that we'U release a 15-song record, but if we can pick
the best ones and make it 10 or 12 songs. I've never played
on a fuU-length album before. I've always been in bands that
release demos or EPs or stuff and then break up, so it's exciting
for me. rj&h&'Sf:
How was touring last fall?
It was fun. It was exhausting. A lot of it was kind of a bust,
because my favourite part of touring is networking, meeting
people, and a lot of the shows weplayed, the third band would
cancel or something. So it was Hke-Animal Names and us in a
bar where no one reaUy cared, in Ontario.
"There's alyvays this crisis
of venues shutting dovWt
and venues turning into
condos and stuff like that,
but it also forces people to
come up with alternatives."
So those shows were a bit of a write-off, but probably our
best show was in Lethbridge. It was this second year anniversary of a local independent record store there and it was
laWtS^efS^Nie-in, so that was reaUy good. I always find I
Uke actuaUy playing smaUer towns more than bigger cities because there's less going on in those towns. More people come
out to your show and they're more appreciative. If you play a
place Hke Toronto, it's stiU fun, but chances are there's Hke 20
things going on that night—people wiU stop in, check it Out,
go somewhere else.
The other reaUy fun show we had on that tour was in Calgary, because that was a last minute gig, and there was only
room for one more band on the biU. So Animal Names and
Hermetic set up aU their stuff at the same time and we traded
songs. I played air baritone guitar during the Animal Names
songs and for the Hermetic stuff it was just Bart and me playing but there were three people playing, Hke, air keyboard. And
no one noticed. That was the weird thing, [laughs] A couple of
people bought CDs, and we had to teU them it was actuaUy
two different bands playing. So it was kind of disturbing that
no one noticed but it was fun.
Those were the most funig^s on tour, the totaUy random ones.
How has the Vancouver music scene contributed to your development as a band?
I think there's a lot of great bands. There's always bands that
I'm reaUy excited about. We're both from Smithers originaUy,
and we moved here after graduation. I remember there being
so many bands that we were reaUy excited about, Hke Reserve
34 and d.b.s. That's the kind of stuff I was into when I was
younger, but lately we've been playing with bands Hke ApoUo
Ghosts. There's a reaUy good indie pop scene here, Hke Chris-
a-riffic, ApoUo Ghosts, CoUapsing Opposites, aU those kinds
of bands that we've been playing more shows with lately, and
it's reaUy fun. There's such a positive energy. Vancouver's sort of
a weird city—there's always sort of a struggle to feel a part of it,
for me, anyway, but I think after a year of playing lots of shows
we're finaUy starting to feel that we've found our place within
the music scene here. And putting on shows helps, asking your
friends fo play.
There's always this crisis of venues shutting down and venues
turning into condos and stuff Hke that, but it also forces people
to come up with alternative venues. I've done a few shows here
at Our Town [cafe]. It's unconventional but it's really, reaUy
fun because it's not this dark bar, you know, the focus is more
on the music. I sang at the Low Decibel Festival at Chris-a-
riffic's Shed on the weekend, and it was this backyard shed
venue. Twenty-four bands played two songs each and there was
no "electricity, but you know, stuff Hke that, whenever there's
a venue shortage it forces people to find alternatives and use
them, so that's pretty exciting.
MV
March • 2009 Metronomy
The Biltmore | January 24
I'm old; I'm 26. And I rarely yeU out expletives
- in pubUc. However, while attending Met-
ronomy's Uve performance at the BUtmore on
Jan; 24,1 just couldn't keep the curses inside.
These British mates are known for their eclectic sound, combining unlikely instruments like.
a Moroccan nose-organ with: low-cost stage
gimmicks and synchronized moves. They're
also notorious for wearing push-Ughts on
their chests (all) and two smaU flashHghts on
each wrist (keyboardist and saxophonist Oscar
Cash) as they groove in unison to their contagious beats. Ask anyone there: these guys are
actuaUy catchy enough to make a girl go wild.
And go wild they did. In fact, the audience's
maniacal state made it difficult to concentrate
on anything other than one's immediate safety.
The band was playing on a stage raised about
five inches higher than its listeners, and this
made them noticeably uncomfortable. After
a thrash-worthy rendition of "My Heart Rate
Rapid," front man Joseph Mount actually had
to ask the crowd to step off. "Can everyone
please dance in reverse for a few seconds?" he
asked pofitely in a crisp, British brogue. "People at the front are getting crushed."
After being shoved, groped, dragged to the
floor and finely dusted by the hair of a dozen
fuzzy hipsters, my typkaUy sane demeanor
started to turn freak hasty. It was Hke everyone had coUectively drunk out of the same
GHB-drenched punchbowl, and my three
friends and I existed to keep them from transforming into a quivering pUe of Hmbs. When
Metronomy broke out their groove-tastic hit,
"The End Of You Too," the crowd HteraUy
went into a thrashing, wolf-like frenzy. Crowd
surfers kicked faces, a chick collapsed on my
foot and seven girls clung to each other's skintight dresses whUe grinding on the speaker. It
was Hke the opening scene of Blade, where the
guy starts to realize everyone's a vampire but
he keeps dancing anyway. Luckily, this song
rocked just as hard Uve as it does on the album, so we had no trouble keeping our faces
off the floor.   -
When the first few bass lines of the grab-
your-honey-close track "Heartbreaker" spilled
from the speakers, 1 HteraUy had to ding to
my man's belt loops to keep from being swept
away by the seething crowd. "Holy fuck!" I
shouted. Then, during the wickedly maniacal
"On the Motorway," right as I tried to bust
20     discorder magazine
out a bold hip thrust, the same chick collapsed
on my foot again. "What the shit?* I shrieked.
The set ended with a great rendition of "Radio
Ladio" complete with a deUghtful elbow to.
the groin. The guys came back out for a quick,
one-song encore and then scutded offstage to
safety. And even though part of my toenaU
may never grow back, it was stiU a goddamn
scary good show.
—Lena Ross
Beach House
Johnny & the Moon
Richard's on Richards [January 25
In every era of rock and roU there is a streak of
romanticism, a disenchanted, daydream sound
that becomes revered for its cool detachment
with the world at large. Past generations had
the Velvet Underground, Nick Cave and the
Bad Seeds and Mazzy Star.Today, we have the .
sultry, stranded sounds of Baltimore, Maryland
duo Beach House. Singer-keyboardist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex ScaUy graced
Richards on Richards on a chiUy late January
night with an evening of music to escape our
troubled times with. tiJtM__M
Amidst crowd chatter, Shawnigan Lake,
B.C. quartet Johnny & the Moon opened the
night with a set of blues-laden country reminiscent of depression-era folk ballads. Lead
by former Hot Hot Heat member Dante
DeCaro, the band roUed their way through
piano-inflected songs about city Uving and the
lessons of a wayward fife. The upbeat number
"Kid Heaven" spread itself slowly over the
crowd with drifting keyboard lines and ebbing
drum beat, while the sUghdy intoxicated, cantankerous melodic weave of "When You're AU
Alone* easily held the attention of the crowd
huddled under the orange stage Ughts.
The unusuaUy large Sunday evening turnout dispersed briefly before Beach House took
the stage with drummer Daniel J. Franz in
tow. Beginning with the contemplative; nearly
erotic "You Came to Me", the trio played a
selection of songs from their self-tided debut
and 2008's Devotion. Underneath the glare
of a disco baU, the bizarre waltz of "Heart of
Chambers" and the guitar driven harmonies
of "Wedding BeU" mesmerized the swaying
crowd, temporarily giving Richards the atmosphere of a high school dance.
While some might dismiss this wistful bal-
ladeering as self-indulgent escapism or phony
bohemian posturing (the scourge of aU great
rock), it rang true enough for a floor-pounding
encore caU. Despite the haze and pensive pace
of their songs, it was refreshing to hear Beach
House play music to slow down to, music that
impressed with unobtrusive ease rather than
the flashy kitsch of the consumer-grade pop
spectacle we're aU so used to.
—-Justin Langille
The Mae Shi
Shearing Pinx
Certain Breeds
Bilmore Cabaret | January 28
From the moment the curtains opened to the
sounds of "Lamb and the Lion," the Mae Shi
were one huge baU of energy that took the
BUtmore by storm. Each song brought new
visual stimulus, ranging from absurd mock-
horror facial expressions (courtesy of singer
Jonathan Gray) to frantic physical feats of hyperactivity. Various band members repeatedly
wove their way through the crowd white still
playing their instruments, sometimes belting
out their shouty vocals rnkrophone-free—
and, impressively, loud enough to be heard
above squawking synths and speedy guitar
Hcks. At one point, when they weren't busy
clambering onto various speakers and platforms, they introduced the crowd to a giant
rainbow-coloured parachute, which covered
much of the dance floor and gave the performance even more of a fun-house atmosphere.
Musically, the group was tight as a drum. Selections from last year's Hlllyh were played to
perfection, especiaUy raucous sing-alongs Uke
"Run To Your Grave" and "I Get Almost Ev-
erything." Older, more chaotic material ripped
by at a frenzied pace, but at times blended
into an indistinct mash of similar-sounding
riffs. This wouldn't last too long through: the
band rarely stopped for stage banter or anything else, so another standout moment was
never too far ahead. The show had an air of
jubilation—a marked contrast to the devastating assault of the Mae Shi's Los Angeles
contemporaries, HEALTH (with whom they
share roots in that city's famed D.I.Y. concert
venue, the SmeU).
Beach House
by Steve Louie The openers that evening also displayed
some nice points of contrast with the main
attraction. After a few false starts, Certain -
Breeds created dark dirges punctuated by
Leanne Chapman's moaning ceUo and Jenny
May's gothic wails. Thereafter, local noise-
rock champions Shearing Pinx engineered a
storm of feedback and fuzz atop their consis-
tendy superb art-punk. Indie dance group Sex
Party were slated to perform after the headUn-
ers for some reason—unfortunately they were
missed by those who left the venue early with
the Mae Shi's stunning performance stiU ringing in their ears.
—Simon Foreman
Dean & Britta
The Vogue | January 30
Dean Wareham, the former New Zealand
denizen of Velvet Underground inspired rock,
. and Britta PhilHps, the singing voice of cartoon character Jem and countless musical
projects, put together a subde and historical
night of sound and cinema. Push Festival's
13 Most Beautiful... Sortgs for Andy Warhol's
Screen Tests is just what it was advertised to
be. On their own I wouldn't caU the 13 bits
of obscure ceUuUte beautiful; rather, they're
a curious coUection of characters who found
themselves entwined in Warhol's films and
more specificaUy in his Factory studio circa
1964 -1966. Nico, Dennis Hopper, Lou Reed
and Edie Sedgwick were some of the better-
known scenesters projected on the Vogue's
silver screen. The roughly four to five minute
tests ranged from the neurotic fidgeting of In-
grid Superstar to Ann Buchanan's unbfinking
stare and singular tear. Channefing the range
of emotion glowing from the screen behind
them, the four-piece band anchored the images in sound and words, and it was the group's
obvious love of the material and of the time
and place of Warhol's mid-'60s lifestyle that
carried these primarily banal images into the
realm of the ethereal. Wareham's musical stories told the inner monologues of the visages
before the audience. Whether the words were
anchored in any actual facts of the subjects'
lives didn't matter. Wareham's tenor and PhU-
Hps's angefic pipes were as haunting as their
slow '60s pop sound and Warhol's images.
The idea of 13 Most Beautiful worked so weU
it felt Hke it just had begun when the group
said, "Thanks."This is the first time I have ever
wanted test time not to end.
—Rob Willis
Broken Social Scene
Tegan and Sara
Orpheum Theatre | February 6
I went into the Tegan and Sara portion of
Friday's show with no expectations because,
for me, they seem to have lost some of the
charm that their eariier albums and performances were jam-packed with. Being a lesbo
from Calgary, you would think that I would
experience the same affinity towards them
that aU the other queer girls in the front row
do, but their 'few octaves too high' singing
style and recent commercial sound have left
me wanting more. However, I was more than
pleasantly surprised to find myself genuinely
enjoying the show. I felt nostalgic and warm
when they played their old stuff, putting me
right back at my first Tegan and Sara acoustic
set in Calgary, and beyond excited about the
new music they introduced. One new song in
particular, featuring Tegan's vocals, blew me
away. It was dark and dirty and what made it
so wonderful was that instead of the vocals being a separate entity from the rest of the song,
aU the instrumentation and Tegan's loud, low,
distorted yoke Mended together to produce a
uniform power that left me in awe. The sisters'
banter made them real and relatable and their
tight set had me back aboard the Tegan and
Sara train.
I feel sHghtly unsuited to give my opinion on
a Broken Social Scene show since I'm friends
with a singer in the band and more so because
I've never been a fan. They've always just been
over-produced noise to me, and I enjoy them
aU so much more in their individual side projects. With this sHghtly paradoxical bias kept
in mind I'U get on with the review: I thought
they were glorious. How's that for a twist?!
I, Meg WaUs, devout disliker of BSS, found
same spirit of innovation that Eno and Byrne
invoked on their album. It is rare to see any
production that so weU mixes together the
many forms of media avaUable to a performer.
It was easy to get caught in a barrage of images and sound—whue considering the intricacies of online poker hands or Friedenberg's
impression of a televangeUst, you would miss
some other beautiful Htde detaU.
Though no attention was spared in the de-
taUs of the production, there were plenty of
;, impressive moments in each of the seven
myself doing a Htde toe tappin and head bobbin' with the rest of the sold-out crowd. The
majesty of the Orpheum perfectly suited the
energy that BSS exudes and even though they
didn't include "Lover's Spit" in their set Ust I
would say that they've cracked my top fifteen
shows. Way to go guys!
—Meg Walls
Live From a Bush of Ghosts
Studio 16 | February 11
In 1981 David Byrne and Brian Eno released
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, an album so
original and inspired that there's few DJs today whose style and methods cannot be traced
back to it. From Feb. 4 to Feb. 15, an interdisciplinary team of artists took on the ambitious
task of recreating the album for the theatrical
stage as part of Vancouver's Push Festival.
The Theatre Conspiracy production company brought together DJs from No Luck Club
and video editor Candelario Andrade making
Uve noise and images, whUe Tara Cheyenne
Friedenberg took centre stage as a focal point
for the evening. Friedenberg was a chameleon,
playing the roles of a woman scraping electronic parts from a wasteland, a suicidal day
trader, an aging gambler Uving in fantasies of
her past, a young DJ ensnared by an Internet
predator, a televangeUst batding the spirit of
Jezebel, and an electronic goddess. As the talented Friedenberg acted and danced through
these ghosts of technology, she was backed by
music that sounded famiUar ly like Eno and
Byrne's coUaboration and bathed in a shimmering array of Ughts and images.      s- 3*sJ;*»T
The result was an abstract and unique
mixed media coUage—a mesmerizing assault
on the senses from start to finish. It's hard to
encapsulate aU the details of the piece in one
go, but- the production brought together the
pieces that structured it. As a frazzled stock
broker kicks the bucket, you can see a projected
image representing his soul fly out towards the
ceding. In the finale Friedenberg plays a goddess embodying both a primitive innocence
and advanced technology. The production was
so complex and abstract that its interpretation
was left entirely in the hands of each audience
member, everyone who saw it getting a different experience from it—which is one of the
best things any piece of art can do.
■—Jordie Yow
Murder City Devils
Past Lives
Cap Lori
Commodore Ballroom | February 13
Although I completely missed opener Cap
Lori, Past Lives did their best to warm up
the throngs of anxious Devils devotees whUe
shedding the skin Of thek former selves (three
quarters of its members were in the much
revered spazzcore outfit known as the Blood
Brothers) by creating a mesmerizing waU of
frenzied drumming and angular guitar slashing completed by singer Jordan BHHe's patented waU. It seemed to work, if only to distract
the faithful from emptying then waUets to
the tune of $200 for the coveted Murder City
merch box on sale at the back bar.
To paraphrase the classic Barracudas ode to
the '60s, only 30 years into the future: I wish
it could be 1995 again. The Murder City Devils that sought to re-ignite the maligned face
of "rock" back then was not the same animal
this time out, no matter how hard we (and the
band) tried to remember it Mostly because
when they laid waste te places Hke the Brickyard in thek heyday, those moments stuck like
the gum on your shoe and wouldn't go away.
Now, during their much baUy hooed reunion,
it felt at times that something was missing—
the memories didn't stick Hke they should
have. The band that proclaimed we should "get
off the floor whUe we're still young" seemed to
have misplaced sentiments—the fans who saw
them at their most volatile are aU grown up
now. Yes, there were miscues, forgotten lyrics
and questionable song choices that peppered
their hour-long set. And yet, we brought our
' dancin' shoes, 'cuz they had a job to do, and
at points during the evening, the potency of
tracks Hke "Rum To Whiskey," "In My Heart"
and "18 Wheels" were not lost on the near
sold out crowd. Fists were pumping, beer was
spraying and cameras were flashing in hopes
of catching those gUmpses of briUiance. Coady
WilHs stiU beat the Uving heU out of his kit,
but bassist Derek Fudesco and guitarist Nate
Manny seemed detached, and Spencer Moody
was downright cryptic with his Htde speech
at the end of the show. On the other end of
the stage, guitarist Dann GaUucci was taunting and twirfing away, but keyboardist LesHe
Hardy probably couldn't have cared less. It
was an entertaining if somewhat disengaged
performance from a band who could very weU
have set the stage ablaze, but in the end only
managed a few sparks.
—Bryce Dunn
OPaon
Diadem
Aaron Read
St. James Hall | February 14
I'm reatty not one for Hallmark hoHdays.
ThankfuUy, this past Feb. 14 was a Valentine's
Day less ordinary. Local concert promoters
Twee Death invited K Records artist and former Quebec resident Genevieve Castree (O
Papn) up from her home in Washington for a
night of lamplight serenades in the quaint St.
James church haU.
Local improv comedian Aaron Read opened
the night with an eccentric, ugly duckling set
of solo songs. Despite long, drawn out guitar
tuning and missing beat samples, Read redeemed himself with a sense of humour that
kept the docile crowd laughing.
Tn the world of feminist poUtics, Valentines
Day coincides with V-Day, an annual day
to remember and protest violence against
women. Aja Rose and Gabriel Soloman (a.ka.
Diadem) dedicated thek set of ethereal sound
transmogrification to the women who gathered earner that day to commemorate First Nations women who have gone missing from the
Downtown East Side. Crafted from warped
vocals, ghostly guitar and a table of electronics, Rose and Soloman's music was a beautiful
meditation that easUy reached the hearts of
those' seated in the church's hard pews.
Shortly after, the one-woman show that is O
Paon took the darkened wooden church stage
to end the night. listening to the soft-spoken
Quebecois lyrics and articulate guitar loops of
opening song "La Cible," it seemed that Castree would end the night quietly. However, she
brought the crowd to Hfe with a remarkable
vocal range, majestic compositions and cultural observations gathered from her stateside
Hfe. Managing two microphones and a guitar
sitting firmly on her hip, Castree worked her
way through a set of personal songs, including
"L'Aeroport," a seething indictment of Con-
doleezza Rice's role in the Bush administration's atrocities. Ending with an improvised
cover of Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up,"
Castree thanked the crowd of kids cozied up
on one another's shoulders, obviously content
with the hush and beauty of a night that subverted the most romantic day of the year as
much as it embraced it.
—Justin Langille VLV
March • 2009
21 Antony and the Johnsons
The Crying Light (Secredy Canadian)
There are times where you sit through
your drunk uncle's incoherent ram-
blings because you know there'U
be an inevitable payoff in the brief
moment he says or does something
funny, unbeknownst to himself or
many of the other bags of hot air in
the room swilling their too-strong gin
and tonics. There are moments within
The Crying Light where Antony He-
gartys minimal orchestral arrangements also seem to justify this kind
of wait, but ultimately, sitting through
Hegarty over-dramaticaUy and repetitively croon about life and death is not
entirely worth it. While Hegarty is
undoubtedly skiUed in his vocal abU-
ity, the dramatics seem to evolve the
vocals mto more of a caricature that
was a better and more entertaining fit
with his Hercules and Love Affair
m project from last year. Although there
is certainly more than a drunk uncle's
worth of moments strewn throughout
the album in terms of lyrical content, Ustening to sad songs sung m a
depressing operatic vibrato becomes
taxing and eventuaUy makes you appreciate the fact that a drunk uncle at
least has the decency to put himself to
bed when things get uncomfortable
■^—Chad Thiessen
The Brighton Port Authority "~"*'
ITbink We're GormaNeedah
(Southern Fried)
Allegedly found in a long-forgotten
cache of music recorded by a mythical jam outfit from the 70s onwards,
this album sounds suspiciously fresh.
It was co-produced by Norman Cook,
and has aH the radio-friendliness associated with his output as Fatboy
Slim-—one of those records whore
almost every track sounds Hke a potential single.
\-. • The CD brisdes with big names
and diverse styles, from the Stones-
y R&B of the opener, "He's Frank'
(SHght Return)," featuring Iggy Pop,
to the reggae rhythms of Martha
* Wainwrights "Spade." A collaboration with David Byrne and Dizzee
Rascal is tucked away at the end,
while Corman Mockasin comes over
-Jbef^^jlative and insistently para-
^m^A^^c_T& The Fence," a IpiS of*
hallucinatory pop balM| Wi
Overall, the differences settle into a
whole that's jaunty, good-natured and
virtually impossible to slop. Although
this is partly a result of the production—the album is fuU of attention to
detail and restlessness with textures—
it's also a feature of the wary in which
each track matches perfect melodies
or arrangements with enough unique-
ness and challenge to hasp the listener,
hooked. Music geeks and metalheads
need not apply; everyone dte^l^M^;
er, wiU find plenty here to keep them
more than happy. _
22      discorder magazine
The Hazards of Love (Kill Rock Stars)
The Hazards of Love is buUt on what
we might think of as a conventional
conceptual frame (but not a concept
album), with a beginning, middle and
end to its structural arc ^fet it's in how-
loosely the characterization foUows
this arc that the album differs from
others of its kind.
The private history of our romantic relationships is an epic drama in at
least our own minds, and the album
makes this appeal to our imaginations
with broad descriptive strokes: Margaret is the object of our unnamed
narrator's thwarted affection, whUe the
Queen plots to keep the lovers apart,
and is somehow in league with the
Rake, whose murderous rage ends m
patricide (not necessarily against the
•lovers). Conventional stuff, but with
lyrics such as "The prettiest whisdes
wiU wresde the thisdes undone" and
"Here I am, softer than a shower, to
garland you with flowers." This is
where the album makes a departure.
Adding poetry to die musical mix can
make for heady results when m the
hands of a master Hke Van Morrison,
but unfortunately The Decemberists'
Hterary attempt to create meaning
places the music itself m a secondary,
supporting role.
—Jonathan Evans
Eisenhauer
Time Cflhe Year (Anniedale Records)
In a world where musical cfiches are
beaten to death and bands are picking up and reinventing old formulas,
enjoying a new album that isn't trying to be anything other than honest
and soul bearing can be rare. One of
these pearls is Time Of The Year, the
sophomore recording by Vancouver's Eisenhauer.
With masterful indie-pop songwriting hooks and formula, Time Of
The Year doesn't waste a second in
establishing its passionate and turbulent beauty. Themes of conflict, hope,
love and an undercurrent of faith
figure prominendy within this collection of songs, and as a whole, this
album is a perfect soundtrack to the
closing of the season and the corning
of warmer months.
Intimacy, tenderness and vulnera-
biHty are key elements that wiU firmly
embrace you in warm saucy stuff as
this gorgeous album peaks and dips
across its fragile landscape. The shared
vocals between lead man Jeremy
Eisenhauer and Sheree Plett, his wife,
superbly bind everything together,
making for an extremely enjoyable
Ustening experience. Songs Hke "Face
Painter" resonate wUdly in the heart as
lush layers of guitar, organ and clarinet add a sense of warmth and charm,
while the shameless love song "Feel
The Same" is emotive as heU and one
can feel the devotion shining through
in the vocals. This album is nearly as
good as it gets and deserves a spot ii
any music lover's coUection.    \
—Nathan Pike
Jon Rae Fletcher
Oh Maria (weewerk)
The music of Jon Rae Fletcher harks
back to another era and a simpler
time, when your love for your sweet-
W^^__WX^ horse and your hipflask
of whiskey was aH that mattered.
. Aitujfjjjl of horse drawn wagons and.
endless dirt roads, when lonesome
^nHHuig'songs of loss and heartbreak beside a crackfing tt£gpKF
only theja§TC:sky for company.
. When Ustening to Ob Maria,
one might envisage our narrator as
an ageing and weathered old man,
pondering onerously on the life that
has gone before him, for each song
functions as a tale or heavy hearted
ballad, and brims with regretful sentimentality and a brooding sense
of melancholy. Fktcher's music is
evocative of a lifetime fitted with
sorrow. It could be claimed that this
^^^^ptosting at the sides with the
blues. Even the guitars, piano and
prOJMpne that accompany bis sweet
whiskey voice can be heard moaning and aching with the sadness of a
mittion broken hearts.
But before you know it, the album's ultimate and perhaps, most
treasured track wiU be plucking,
ever so gently, at your own tarnished
and blackened heart strings, tiSi_\!$&SL
leave you weeping, ever so softly,
into, your; tea cup. For having given
his love, his soul, and his everything
to Maria, aU that our singerJif||lei|'<
In mmji& the futile and hopeless cry,
*WC^Maria!"
—Amy Scott-Samuel
Fred
Go God Go (Sparks Music)
Go God Go seems to have at least two
disparate musical styles going on.
Taken on their own, the end result
would probably be two very effective
releases. On their third fuU-length
Fred can't decide if they want to emulate feUow country men U2 or fol-
' low the bright indie path forged by
Arcade Fire and Polyphonic Spree.
Tne cross genre pollination's end result is that this five-piece outfit from
Cork, Ireland is not just wearing
their influences on their sleeves, but
also on their shoes, socks, etc.
Although the album was mixed
by Mark WaUis (Talking Heads,
the Smiths, U2, Iggy Pop), various
members of the group shared engineering and production duties, but
they would have benefited from an
outside ear to prevent this exercise in
auditory ADD. "Skyscrapers" sounds
unlike anything else on the CD and
seems to be influenced by the Scissor Sisters, whue the third and last
tracks are Neon Bible inspired fare.
Fortunately, the genre hopping sub-
i the last half of the album
with songs recalling early '90s U2 or
shades of Radiohead, which is where
the band's sound is more genuine.
Fred has received numerous accolades for their live shows from arbiters of taste (i.e. lowly music critics)
spanning both sides of the Atlantic,
so perhaps it is a matter of getting a
producer to effectively harness their
chemistry on a record.
—Melissa Smith
The Great Outdoors
Winter (DDG Records)
Local band the Great Outdoors
have released Winter, the final installment of a four part series of
EPs, each one paying homage to one
of nature's seasons. Whether it's the
sparse arrangement of instrumentation or the lyrical content, this album is a true testament to winter's
cold embrace, both in feeUng and
thematic quaUty. The Great Outdoors have managed to perfectly
capture the dreamy slow vibe of Jack
Frost's time of year without aU of
the accompanying S.A.D. Instead of
leaving one feeUng cold and worse
about winter, the CD lends hope
towards this sometimes chaUenging
time of year and offers Ught at the
end of the snow bound tunnel.
Opening with the simple, almost claustrophobic "This Winter's
Touch," it is immediately apparent
that this is not necessarily the album
to put on at house parties, but rather
a soundtrack for hunkering down at
a cabin on the lake in deep winter.
Picking up the pace is "The Garbage
Man," a countrified Uttle ditty that
has a very Tom Waits feel and keeps
things Ught and humourous, whUe
"No BeUs" sounds a bit Hke a frosty
re-imagining of Lionel Ritchie's
"Easy." But it's the warmth and texture of the album's last two tracks
that reaHy make for a worthwhUe
Usten, capturing the subtle beauty
of a band at their understated finest,
and serving as a lovely reminder of
winter's hidden gems.
—Nathan Pike
The Hermit
Turn Up (The Stereo)
(So CaUed Recordings)
The Hermit seem to be getting an
early jump on summer this year.
Every song on the Vancouver five-
I piece's latest, Turn Up (The Stereo),
is taUor-made for cruising around
with the top down, or perhaps going
. down the old mine with a transistor
radio. The album is produced with
a Ught hand, with breezy harmonies coasting over the interplay of
electronic and traditional instru- .
mentation. Live flute, strings and
horns add a sprinlding of pep, whue
Duane Murrin's guitar is clean and
gracious, careful never to get carried away and risk overpowering the
band's bubble-Hght sound.
If one major complaint can be
made about Turn Up (The Stereo),
it's that it's too tasteful. It takes few
risks and hovers around the same
emotional pitch. AUison Sheverno-
ha's honeyed, Hsped vocals are like
Shuswap Lake in July: shimmering and frothy, but too uniform to
be exciting. WhUe the album is rife
with hooks and transcendent pop
moments (the sultry, purring chorus
of "Si Vous Me Quittez" is absurdly
singable), after a few Ustens some
people might find themselves wishing they had more to chew on.
StiU, the replay value of the album
cannot be denied, especiaUy as the
days get longer. Although it seems
Hke a forgettable effort right now, it
might just take some warm weather
and one soUd week of sunshine for
this to become the soundtrack of
someone's summer.
—Miranda Martini
Los Caminos
}$&&&* CRidge Records),
Los Caminos'sophomore effort continues the band's homage to vintage
surf-guitar workouts set to the ftsj&ei:?
ic drumming the genre is kno^sii for,
though at times the drums could've
benefited frpm a punchier mix as
they're buried somewhat by guitar.
Song tides the Fonz would likely give
two thumbs up and a hearty "aaay" to,
'-^K^i^Malachi Crunch,"give a nod
to '50s nostalgia kitschy whue reveal-
ing Los Caminos'greaser tendencies.
Citing influences such as Dick Dale
and Ennio Morricone, it's obvious
this band has chosen to study under
the masters, out the absence of props
to instrumental heavy-gauge arpeg-
giation progenitor Duane Eddy
seems conspicuous. Like many surf
bands, Los Caminos don't seem to
have any use for music developed after 1963. They may look back .to die
'50s, with guitar riffs that recaU Santo & Johnny's seminal instrumental
hit "Sleep Walk", but they don't look
forward to Davie Allan, so thek guitars aren't fuzzy. But they're plenty
spring-reverby, and that's enough
to get the job done. You won't hear
some wannabe rock-star beUowing
his guts out over these songs, because
underground surf rock is motivated
by the desire to rock out, not to seU
^j^lppLos Caminos prove they've
got the chops to proudly carry the
torch of straight-ahead instrumental
rock 'n'roll into the 21st century.
—Peter Whelan
A.C. Newman
Get Guilty
(Last Gang Records)
"It was a straight shot, but lady
would you caU it art?" sings Carl
Newman on "The Palace at 4 AM,"
one of the better tracks off his new
LP, Get Guilty. This question sums up the thematic drive of the album:
whether or not pop music, played by
the book, can stiU have something
to offer its Ustener. In Newman's
case, it seems Uke it can. Although
the record could be accused of being
unimaginative—simply a rehearsal-,
of the pop conventions that have
shaped Newman's song-writing on
his earUer efforts with Zumpano,
the New Pornographers and his
solo career—this criticism is somewhat off the mark. The record is not
necessarily about innovation, pushing boundaries or shocking its audience, but rather its success Ues in its
careful and skUled execution. As is
typical of Newman's work, the songs
are loaded with satisfying detaUs,
sharp Utde hooks and flourishes that
manage to keep the songs interesting whUe not obscuring the bigger
picture of Newman's anthemic power-pop sensibiUty. There may not be
many fresh ideas here, but Newman's style breathes new Ufe into
chugging 4/4 guitar rhythms, which
is an achievement in itself. As the
man says on the record's first track,
"There are maybe 10 or 12 things I
can teach you... make of that what
you wUl." Newman doesn't pretend
to do anything more than make
good pop, and this he does weU.
—Aaron Goldsman
Swan Lake
Enemy Mine (Jagjaguwar)
Swan Lake's 2006 debut, Beast Moans,
was a classic example of a supergroup
that was less than the sum of its parts.
Almost every track was drenched in
superfluous kyers of murley fuzz and
reveal the taleflr of the songwriters
involved. ThankfuUy, for the .group's
fclUow-up album',* Dan Bejar (3De-
•tjroj***, 'jkaJNew Pornographers),
Spencer* Krug^Wolf Parade; Sunset
Rubdown) && Catty Merc&Ow-g
jfiyes; fSsckout Beach) have"-opted'
•for less fussy .arrangements,Jjflith a
natural sound t\^'l$^^^i%Wi^b_%'
crfabaW, rather'than astudio^craft-
red;di|»et$n£ni'/ *
pP^WboS^EaSTO^N^|^!#rS
sound more ttte Krug's doing tbjiif
pl|$?!til^t$^ s<K$g]ivtfters,'t'tit the>
band ^^^l_ysf$_m$_^&k^i^^f'
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featuring pe_^^^^^&p_t straight-
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penned ("Yra^rfli look good ^W^S
j^y^J^e-kngth che^kjsase^ic^S*^''
Ipppete Lake stitt sounds better as,
^^rli||p^,.d*aa|n reality, and Enemy
Mine doesn't tank among the best
W^^^^^S. members. B^1|£
f\^BWk%M nevertheless a solid collec-
jjfe^Keags, and a worthy addition
to the catalogue of three of Canada's
best songwri^^ ~S\
T-T_tkx Hudson
TheThermals
Now We Can See (KU1 Rock Stars)
With the dust long settled from
the explosion of their 2006 release
The Body, The Blood, The Machine,
the Thermals are finaUy ready to
drop another cluster of songs on
the world. Unfortunately, the much
anticipated Now We Can See fails to
fully detonate. In their attempt to
move forward musicaUy, the Thermals have lost thek punk rock urgency and scrappiness. Aside from
the feedback-riddled "When We
Were Alive" and the driving beat of
"When I Was Afraid," most of the
11 songs completely lack punch and
quickly become monotonous. On
tracks Uke "Liquid In, Liquid Out,"
the lack of range in Hutch Harris'
voice becomes. apparent when set
to a droning tempo, whue the cute
pop of "We Were Sick," much Hke a
hyperactive friend, can become agitating if you are in the wrong mood.
LyricaUy Harris has traded in the
apocalyptical social commentary of
The Body for existential reflection.
WhUe his lyrics are creative and interesting, he tends to dweU on the
same themes and imagery throughout the album. In the end, the album
cover says it aU. While still made in
the same cut-and-paste style the
Thermals are known for, there is no
rubble, no fire, no bUnded prophets;
just a swan beside a white flower
against a peaceful night sky. The
scene is quiet, passive and hopeful—
the very antithesis of punk rock.
—Mark Paulhus 1^^%
Various Artists
In the House Festival
(Digital Media Alliance)
Ever wish you could just go to a different country and immerse yourself
in another culture? Just pick up and
take off to Ireland, Africa or India?
Welcome to In the House Festi
val's first compUation album since
its inception five years ago. While
this album won't actuaUy whisk you
away, it wttl expose you to music so
culturally diverse, you'U begin feeling that you're somewhere else. This
is perhaps fitting, as the main objective of the In the House Festival is
to showcase local and international
musicians, actors, dancers and artists
by HteraUy bringing them to your
doorstep. People are encouraged
to open up both their Uving rooms
and hearts to provide a venue where
artists can share their talents. The
festival takes place every year during
the first weekend of June, as weU as
on the fifth of every month.
WhUe the first CD wUl please the
ears of those drawn to the singer/
songwriter genre, the second CD
wttl appeal to those with more adventurous ears. "Pretty Litde Bird
(The Saint of Vancouver)" by Montreal's Mark Berube lends a haunting, cabaret feel to the mix, reminiscent of both Hawksley Workman
and Sarah Slean. For those music
nerds who can't turn down a game
of'Guess that time signature,' check
out Blue Island Trio's "The Crwth"
and Usten as they weave seamlessly
in between time signatures Uke a
pair of shoelaces tying the song together. Those struggUng with Blue
Island Trio's metric modulation
madness may appreciate La Cande-
la's contribution "Baila Batta." This
Vancouver-based quintet consists
of formally trained musicians who
prove that they are very well-versed
in traditional Cuban music It's
impossible to stop your hips from
moving whfle Ustening to this song.
There is something for everyone on
this release, and In the House Festival witt force you to open your ears,
and quite possibly your door.
r-MelissaFbye
William EOi%Whitmore
Animals in tbegDark
. «pt^Pf^MR[vl albums, WttBitm
^P^-Whitanore's blues _mg«£gi&_
down-and-diKlyrics have cultivated
an image of the 30-year-ol(j^&^
grizzled, whiskey-soaked oj^pfjjgpyi;
drinking black coffee in some greasy
spoon and grfirnbHng over the news.
On his latest, Animals in the Dark,
this persona seems to have lost its
heart, putting him in the category of
a slighdy edgier Amos Lee. The lyrics come off as unadventurous rather
than stark and bleak in thek sim-
pUcity, and the snarl is grating rather than soulfuL The content of the
songs on Animals is for the most part
pedestrian fare, jumping between
"just-folks" wisdom and bitter poUtical tiradesj^dbe occasional lyrical
gem can be found, but Whitmore's
deUvery is so drained of colour that
the simple, elegant instrumentation
upstages anything interesting Wfelfc-
more might be saying.
The album is not without its mo-,
ments; foot-stomper "Old Devils*
has an Eastern-European flavour, a
welcome twist on a basically uniform
album, and "Who Stole the Soul" is
able to recapture some of the heart-
sore magic of his previous work. Stitt,
Whitmore will have to dig a Htde
deeper on his next effort if he wants
us to take his bleak outiook seriously.
jz^__w^^0^_i A>^ai3__»i__m^-
citr 10
Strictly The
•              Artist
j   : The TVees*
1.9-finch*
Dopest Hits OfFebr
Album
Self-titled
irts
nary
Label
Trendsetter
#
26
CiTR's charts reflect what's been spun on .the air for the previous month. Rekkids wtth stars (*) mean they
come tram this great (and o' ours. Most of these phat platters can be found at finer (read: independent)
music stores across Vancouver. If you can't find 'em there give the Muzak Coordinator a shout at (604)822-   j
^^Msjiame Js Luke. If you ask nfcejyj>»,fl tel you how to git'em. To flndout other great cdmpus/commu-
nity radio charts check out www.earshot-onRne.com.
Artist                       Album                    Label
Dent May & Ukelele
The Good Feeling Music Of...
j Paw Tracks
2   [Hank*	
The Luck Of The Singers Blocks
Blocks Recording
27
We Just Stole A Car*    ;
Barn
| Independent
3     Plus Perfect/Hermetic*
sprnf0'--
Plans to Make Plans
28
Hot Panda*
Volcano... Bloody Volcano
Mint
4  j Animal Collective   O
Merriweather Post Pavilion "
Domino
29
Smothered In Hugs*
The Healing Power Of Injury
i Collagen Rook
5 \ Beirut
6 \ Timber Timbre*
March of the Zapotec
Self-titled
Pompeii
Out Of This Spark
30
31
Cripple Creek Fairies* -
War Amps
| Catch & Release
GobttnCock
Come With Me If You...
Robcore
7   \ Nu Sensae*
One Sided
Isolated Now Waves
32
In Flight Safety*
We Are An Empire, My Dear
I Night Danger
8   i The Hylozoists*
Ulle De SeptVilles
Outside
33
Mathias Mental*
The Happiest.. Montreal
1 Independent
9   j Antony & the Johnsons
The Crying tight
Secretly Canadian
34
Dear Nora
Three States: Rarities
| Magic Marker
io j Apollo Ghosts*
Hastings Sunrise
Independent
35
36
JMdM+jti
Graveyard Smash
j Independent
n   \ Malajube*
Labyrinthes
Da re To Care
Mi Ami
Watersports
| Quarter Stick
n \ Safety Show*
Blackwater
Independent
37
Electroluminescent*
Measures
1 Black Mountain Music
O  | Ruby Jean &... Bees*
n \ M. Mucci*
is  \ Jenn Grant*
Self-titled
Under The Tulip Tree
Echoes
Youth Club
Tall House
Six Shooter
38
39
40
Flipper
Sex Bomb Babyl (Re-Issue)
Water '
Menahan Street Band
Make the Road...
j 'Dunham  -
Bruce Peninsula*
A Mountain Is A Mouth
BruceTrail
16 j Brian Eno & David Byrne
Everything That Happens...
Todo Mundo
41
One Hundred Dollars*    ..
Regional 7"
i Blocks Recording Club
17  \ Charles Spearin*
k  \ Portico*
The Happiness Project
First Neighbours -'
Arts&Crafts
Copperspine
42
43
Geoff Berner*
Klezmer Mongrels
| Jericho Beach
Circlesquare
Songs About Dancing... •
B§5§
19  j The BPA
1 Think „. A Bigger Boat
Southern Fried
44
Volcano Suns
The Bright Orange Years
: Merge
20    The Maynards*
Date & Destroy
independent
45
Terminal Sound System
Constructing Towers
| Extreme
21 | The Bicycles*
Oh No It's Love
Fuzzy Logic
46
The Gruesomes*
Gruesomania
Ricochet Sound
22    Psychic Ills
Mirror Eye
Social Registry
47
Koen Holtkamp
Field Rituals
Type
23 Religious Knives
24 | Dear Nora
The Door
Three States: Rarities
Ecstatic Peace!
Magic Marker
48
49
Titus Andronicus
The Airing Of Grievances
iXLO- '
Various
Habitat
Asthmatic Kitty
25 j Margaret Thrasher*
Moderate Rock
PTraah
50
Made' In Mexico
Guerillaton       ^&-8g£p
Skin Graft
March • 2009
23 PROPER LISTENING ETIQUETTE
Zulu's finishing school for music aficionados!
Beiiiit
March of the
Realpeople Holland
2CD
Black Lips
200 Million
Thousand CD
You've got to hand it to Zach Camion.
After earning well-deserved credit as a boy-wonder for his indie-rock
translation of Balkan folk and gypsy music, he's steadfastly refused to be
pigeonholed, and he hasn't gone for the easy cash-and-career that would
surety result from more albums of the same. Nope, he's used his advantage to travel and experiment. Jn between touring in support of last year's
well-received Flying Cup Club, he's been working on assorted new material with no set product in mind. A proposal to record the soundtrack for a
film set in Mexico morphed into a new project: what about finding a local
Mexican band and hiring them to play his new songs? In the tiny Oaxacan
village of Teotitlan del Valle, Condon found the Jimenez band, wtth whom
he collaborated with the use of a translator. A series of short films documenting the experiment are soon to be released. Also included are five
new songs home-recorded under the name Realpeople, which Condon
used before going as Beirut.
aWMiwTrtotfVfcf
irough a combination of larger-
than-life personality, puerile |
and irresistibly raucous
the Black Lips have scrambled high above the heads of their
time-capsule garage-rock peers to become a bona fide sensation: the
world's favourite party band. They've dragged their freak show
through Israel and India (both times narrowly escaping with customs
agents and police snapping at their heels), captured all their
debauched glory with a live album recorded in Tijuana, and now
they're poised to issue their statement of complete rock n' roll dominance. 200 Million Thousand Is everything the Mack Lips made
their name on, elevated to the next degree: girl group harmonies to
charm ya, Jesus art Mary Chain fuzz-noise, and straightforward
badass psych-blues songwriting that harks back to Bo Diddley and
the Monks: What are you waiting for? FREAK OUT!
2CD 16.98
Various
War Child CD
Much like the Wu-Tang, Zulu Records is for tne children. That's why we
want you to know about this War Child comp. 100% of the proceeds
of this album go to War Child charity and 100% of the royalties, studio
time, artwork and distribution costs have all been donated. Rock legends
such as Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and
Pari McCartney chose their favourite new bands to cover their classic
songs, so you get Beck doing leopard-skin Pillbox Hat", The Yeah Yeah
Yeahs doing The Ramones, TV On the Radio covering Bowie, and much
more. Won't somebody please drink of the children?
CD 12.98
Pan American
While Bird Release
CD
Ifs been 16 years since Mark Nelson's
first record for Kranky with his former
group, Labradf ord, and a dozen since he
started his Pan American project. As the
title of the first song on White Bird has
it, though. There can be no thought of finishing*. In fact aU the song titles
on this album connect, spelling out a 1326 quotation from American rocket scientist Robert Goddard: There can be no thought of finishing, for
'aiming at the stars' - both figuratively and literally - is a problem to occupy generations, so that no matter how much progress one makes, there is
always the thrill of just beginning." Nelson's experiments with dub, drone,
and ambient music are also a kind of space exploration, a constant tweaking and refinement of techniques for expanding sound into unknown
regions. Here, quiet tremolo, minimalist shoegaze, and occasional whispered vocals are the vehicle: the destination is up to you.
CD 16.98
Various Artists
Daft Was The Night 2CD
A total of thirty-one completely exclusive tracks have been recorded for
the compilation, with profits benefiting the Red Hot Organization —
an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV .
and AIDS. The collection was curated and produced by The National's
Aaron and Bryce Dessner, with John Carlin (founder of the Red Hot
Organization) its executive producer. Face it, this is the graduating class
of indie rock's new millennium! Features Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
The Books featuring Joses Bonalu, Feist and Ben Gibbard, Bon Iver,
Grizzly Bear, The National, Yeasayer, My Brightest Diamond, Kronos
Quartet, Antony with Bryce Dessner, Justin Vernon with Aaron Dessner, .
The Decemberists. Iron & Wine. Grizzly Bear with Feist, Sufjan Stevens,
Spoon, Arcade Fire, Beirut, My Morning Jacket. Sharon Jones A the
Dap-Kings, Dave Sitek, Back 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and
Serengeti), The New Pornographers, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, Riceboy
Sleeps, Stuart Murdoch, Andrew Bird, Conor Oberst with Gillian Welch,
Blonde Redhead with Devastations and Kevin Orew.
CD 16.98
Tim Hecker
An Imaginary
Country CO
A n Imaginary Country continues
/"\f rom the trajectory of
Montrealer Tim Hecker's last
album, the critically acclaimed
showing a few new tricks. Tim has incorporated more pulses into
this work and also works with a sound pallete including overdriven
mellotron strings and synthesizer. At times this album is less overtly
aggressive than previous works, but the notion that this is pastoral
work would be dead wrong as there are plenty of the agitated
crescendos that he is know for. This music backs off from the void of
immensity in favor of a terrain of lushness and warmth. The title
comes from a quote, "the imaginary country - one that cannot be
found on a map", uttered by Debussy in regards to the sad state of
musical affairs at the time, arguing that music was in dire need for
alternate worlds of possibility. In some ways this is a Utopian work,
in the sense of the term meaning that of no-place'. All the tracks are
landmarks in a dream cartography. Wtth this alburn Tim Hecker
expands his palette as well as his range, further cementing his reputation as a singular and significant entity in the world of contemporary music. AVAILABLE MARCH 10™
Did you know that ir
many B
and clubs, bouncers have
the authority to reject customers based on appearance
alone? They call it face control. We can assume that hus-
band-and-wife duo of Dan Beeckner and Alexei Perry
haven't ran into this problem: they're gorgeous. Beauty
won't get you everything, though, and Boeckner's voice
(best known for inhabiting the front end of Wolf Parade)
specializes in varieties of raspy desperation: yearning, longing, pining. In Wolf Parade, that translates to ragged urban
rock howls. In Handsome Furs, Alexei Perry provides
metronomic synth and drum machine backup for these minimalist songs. Given the space to stretch out, Beeckner
finds his range expanding: he's firce and somber, affecting
and intelligent. Ifs a beautiful sound, and it'll put a smile on
your face (or a look of artfully tortured melancholy), which
might improve your chances next time you visit a continental nightspot AVAILABLE MARCH 10™
Heart CD
CD 16.98
M.Ward
Hold Time
CD
*9$#
lloM Time is an elo-
ilquent and startlingly
beautiful album. While
past critics have compared
~^tZS&*m~m
___
CD 16.98
Neko Case
Middle Cyclone
CD
Neko Can's last album, 2006's
Fm Coareitor Brian Ihe
Flood, achieved that rare plateau
where critical acclaim meets commercial success. Along with her
work in pop darlings The New Pornographers, Neko's string of      -
extraordinary releases has brought her that iconic status where an
artist can forge an uncommonly deep and meaningful bond with her
audience. Neko's many fans hang on her impressionistic fyrics, classic pop harmonics, and luxurious voice, and her new album, Middle
Cyclone, revels in all three. With Neko's indefatigable touring band
building the bedrock of the tracks, Case was able to bajg in a coUection of friends and fellow trawlers including M. Ward, Garth Hudson.
Sarah Harmer, and members of The New Pornographers, Los Lobos.
Calexico, The Sadies Visqueen The Lilys, and Giant Sand. From
the ragtag "piano orchestra' that drives the Phil Specter majesty of
"Don't Forget Me." to the guitar/vocal intimacy of "Middle Cyclone,"
the new album represents both a continuation and a profound leap
for Neko Case - the fusing of her long term themes of nature vs.
man into a shining lyrical broadsword, like the one she wields on tbe
extraordinary album cover. Things like animals and nature, they're
located in the tender receptor of my brain. I'm just now trying to
come to terms with the notion of loving people as much as I love
those other things- because I grew up in a way that made me love
the one but not the other.'
him to everyone from yt-'\:g^,:_ir.
John Fahey to Torn Waits to his old friend Howe Gelb, with
his new release it is dear that M. Ward, with his brilliant
guitar playing and innate sense of melody, is one of those
rare and special talents who defy comparisons and compart-
mentalization. Over the past few years, Ward has found an
ever-increasing and dedicated audience. His deft guitar picking, bar room piano, and voice like drizzled honey make him
a huge favorite of music critics and the focus of public
praise from such disparate talents as Norah Jones art
Oasis' Noel Gallagher, the former taking him on a global
tour as her sole support act. In 2008, he was part of the duo
known as She & Him, a project he began with Zooey
Deschanel; their debut album, Volume One and has enjoyed
international success. Uke a true American treasure, M.
Ward cuts his own groove while music fans continue to fall
Since forming in early 2007, The Pains of
Being Pure At Heart have become one of
the most talked about pop bands in years. Their
distinctive brand of noisy pop is a tidy distillation of all the great noise-pop precedents -
early MBV, House of Love, Pale Saints,
Rocketship- but with that incredible exuberance and energy that the Pains bring to every
song. Now, we are delighted to bring you their
self-titled debut album. The Pains of Being
Pure At Heart is an instant classic, packed with
brilliantly-executed pop gems that blend the
rush of youthful enthusiasm wtth crafty
arrangements, well-honed tones and buckets of
guitar racket. Drawing on the sparkling legacy
of the best of 80s and 90s pop, POBPAH update
t the timeless noisy pop template with a thoroughly modern viewpoint and a very distinctive,
playful personality.
CD 16.98
SAELAN TWERDY*
20 Something for
20 Somethings.
4. Kurt Vie- God Is Saying TMsTo You 12"
hM Real Alien 12"
& Fewr Bay-s/l (oat March 23*)
7. Valet -False face Society 12*
8. Circlesquare- Songs About Dancing a
under his whispered spell.
CD 16.98
Swan Lake   ■
Enemy Mine
CD
Rrth
wai
10. Junior Boys-Begone DuH Care (out March
m
ILJohnMaBS-lowlsReal
2CD 18.98
CD 16.98
those unfamiliar,
Lake is the musical group featuring celebrated songwriter-mystics
Daniel Bejar (of Destroyer
Spencer Krug (of Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade) and
Carey Mercer (of Frog Eyes and Blackout Beach). While
their debut album, Beast Moans, was a looming mass built
out of their coUective unconscious, as chaotically compelling
as a monster dredged out of some Max Ernst painting.
Enemy Mine reflects a more stripped-down, more deliberate
approach to collaboration, it's as If they really tried to just
make nice songs together. To quote Krug. "There's architecture here.* It is the band's contention that this is the first
known use of a 'court painting' as a record cover used in
popular music. As a result of this enthusiasm, the band had
planned on calling the album Before the Law. a beloved
Kafka parable and a reference to this court painting.
However, the band is tired of being tagged as "literary", so
they dubbed the record Enemy Mine, a beloved movie from
Bejar's youth, and a good metaphor for collaboration.
16. Eddy Cu i nl '•apaahnaMa|-PH"oar»
1T.fJfclWPl Mp-BMftaM MM
18. Captain Beefheart -Clear Spot
19. Sun Ra-Sleeping Beauty
20. Psychic INs - Mirror Eye
THE OTHER THINGS TO
THINK ABOUT:
CD 16.98
Sale prices in effect until March 31,2009
-JBfti
_\_i_t_9Q0Oa0iiQtOlOQOm
I scsisaoiooooiooooa i
I?JoSiOOOOftOMOflOfl!li
iihcotoooooeiiooooM
10010001000010000 1
110000000060000011
PAUWSSGrBiJBr
'fssmJMtman world"
Zulu Records
1972-1976 W 4th Ave
Vancouver, BC
tel 604.738.3232
vvvwv.zulurecords.com
STORE HOURS
Mon to Wed   10:30-7:00

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