BeatRoute Magazine B.C. print e-edition - October 2016


BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics.


october 2016


Bon Iver • Purity Ring • Sum 41 • Ziggy Marley • Tokyo Police Club • New Forms Festival • Ghost • Hannibal Buress • Gimme Danger

October 2016 1


October 2016

october ‘16


BeatRoute Magazine

Graphic Designer

& production manager

Syd Danger

Web Producer

Shane Flug

Copy editor

Thomas Coles

Front Cover illustration

Carole Mathys


Gold Distribution

Contributing Writers

Glenn Alderson ∙ Sadie Barker ∙ Spencer Brown

David Cutting ∙ Dalton Dubetz ∙ Mike Dunn

Heath Fenton ∙ Max Foley ∙ Jamie Goyman

Carlotta Gurl ∙ Michelle Hanely ∙ Safiya Hopfe

Chris Jimenez ∙ Prachi Kamble ∙ Karolina Kapusta

Luke Kokoszka ∙ Ana Krunic ∙ Matt Laundrie

Christine Leonard ∙ Axel Matfin ∙ Paul Mcaleer

Kathleen Mcgee ∙ Hollie Mcgowan ∙Jamie

Mcnamara ∙ Andrew R. Mott ∙ Jennie Orton

Cole Parker ∙ Andrew Pitchko ∙ Liam Prost

Molly Randhawa ∙ Colleen Rennison ∙ Paul Rodgers

Yasmine Shemesh ∙ Maya-Roisin Slater

Paris Spence-Lang ∙ Vanessa Tam ∙ Alec Warkenti

Alec Warkentin ∙ Trent Warner ∙ Wendy13

Graeme Wiggins ∙ Kendell Yan ∙ Ziicka


Photographers &


Greg Doble

Galen Exo

Jules lemasson Fletcher

Ethan Murley

Advertising Inquiries

Glenn Alderson




Glenn Alderson


Joshua Erickson


Vanessa Tam


David Cutting


Jennie Orton

local music/

the skinny

Erin Jardine


Yasmine Shemesh


Graeme Wiggins










Working for the


∙ with Tracy Stefanucci of the Vancouver

Art and Book Fair

Purity Ring



Sex With Strangers

prOphecy sun

Then And Now!

∙ Local music Halloween costumes

Daniel Terrence


Psych Fest

jock tears

12 Ziggy Marley

Benjamin Stevie

Glass Animal

Tokyo Police Club

Sum 41


∙ Ghost ∙ Prints Of Darkness

∙ Devin Townsend Project



cover: anciients

∙ Vancouver metalheads enter the void with

their sophomore offering


∙ Kero Kero Bonito ∙ Gallant

∙ New Forms Festival ∙ So Loki

23 comedy

∙ Hannibal Buress

∙ Vancouver International Improv Festival

24 queer

∙ Queerview Mirror ∙ Ethan Barry

∙ Carlotta Says ∙ Queen Of The Month

26 city

∙ Red Cat Records ∙ Landyachtz

∙ Fluffy Kittens ∙ Mensch Jewish Deli

∙ Vancouver in the ’70s

30 film

∙ Gimme Danger



∙ Bon Iver ∙ D.D Dumbo ∙ Green Day ∙ Jimmy Eat

World ∙ Joyce Manor ∙ Merchandise ∙ M.I.A.



∙ Blink 182 ∙ Anderson .Paak

38 vanpooper

We distribute our publication to more than 500

locations throughout British Columbia. If you

would like BeatRoute delivered to your business,

send an e-mail to


Paris Spence-Lang


Galen Robinson-Exo

BeatRoute Magazine

202-2405 Hastings St. E

Vancouver BC Canada

V5K 1Y8 •

©BEATROUTE Magazine 2016. All rights reserved.

Reproduction of the contents is strictly prohibited.

October 2016 3

With Tracy Stefanucci of the vancouver art and book fair

Glenn Alderson

The Vancouver Art Book Fair is back again,

returning this year to celebrate the written

word in all its glory. Although the event itself

is just an annual affair, the VABF operates

year round as an organization that curates

music and art happenings at various venues

throughout the city. Originally starting as an

art and literary magazine by the name of one

cool word, the publication embedded itself in

the Vancouver music scene by releasing a full

length compilation CD featuring local bands

with each issue. The project eventually steered

more toward visual arts, relaunching as the

artists’ publication OCW Magazine in 2010,

the team behind it eventually went on to open

a bookshop/gallery in 2011. “Our experience

with the shop was demonstrating the need for

an art book fair in Vancouver, so in 2012 we

started VABF,” says artistic director and project

manager Tracy Stefanucci. “From its inception,

the idea was well received, and every year their

audience and programs have doubled. In 2013 we

closed our storefront, as VABF was demanding so

much attention, year round. Now our focus is the fair,

as well as Monthly Open Studio events and ancillary

publishing and curatorial projects and collaborations.”

We sat down with Stefanucci to find out what

her and her hardworking team of art and literary

aficionados have in store for this year’s big event.

BeatRoute: How did you get involved?

Tracy Stefanucci: I was an original co-founder of one cool

word magazine back in 2006 and am the founder of VABF.

A decade ago, I was a creative writing student at UBC that

was obsessed with the local music scene—so the obvious

outlet was to create a publication that could showcase and

disseminate the creative work that I was so fired up about.

I had absolutely no idea that I—or the project—would end

up where it is today.

BR: Can you tell me a bit about your job and

responsibilities with the organization?

TS: As the Director of the organization and the Artistic

Director/Project Manager of the fair itself, it’s my job to

maintain a “big-picture” view of the many moving parts

that make up such a multifaceted event. This means

everything from visioning and strategizing to grant

writing and accounting, as well as the more fun things like

programming, logistics and managing the staff and volunteer

teams that are necessary for undertaking such a project.

Mostly I type at a computer, but I’m also schlepping things

around and running up and down the stairs of the Vancouver

Art Gallery’s Annex when it’s go-time for our events.

BR: What kind of music do you listen to at work?

TS: I’ve been in Sweden so I’ve joined the cult of Spotify…

Photo by Sarah Whitlam

which for me means leeching off of other

peoples’ playlists (namely my boyfriend’s mix

of sixties R&B, soul, jazz and rock n roll). I’ve

also gotten really into Frazey Ford after

obsessing over her video for “Done,” which

was filmed in my neighbourhood, and then

seeing her perform live at a little theatre in

Stockholm. Oh, and Swedish rap has gotten

to me, particularly Yung Lean and Silvana

Imam, who also puts on a badass live show.

BR: What can people expect from the

2016 Vancouver Art and Book Fair?

TS: This year is the most ambitious

version of the free public event yet. From

the moment you enter the lobby of the

Vancouver Art Gallery you will be greeted

with Artists’ Projects (an exhibition

of 1960s print media and ephemera

created in Vancouver by Portland-based

Monograph Bookwerks, as well as the

VAG’s Library Book Sale), and you will

continue to encounter additional Artists’

Projects as you tour through the Gallery

Annex, browsing in the three Exhibitor rooms

and stopping by for hourly talks in the Library.

The hourly talks in the Library are

by publishers from across Canada, the

United States, Japan, the UK and Australia,

and feature discussions, readings, musical

performances and film screenings, all of

which correspond to art publishing practices.

The VAG’s Art Rental & Sales has also

partnered with SAD Mag to present an Art

& Literary Lounge, offering literary readings,

discussions and workshops throughout the

weekend, while also serving up complimentary

organic and fair trade coffee from our Official

Coffee Sponsor Ethical Bean.

BR: Why does print media matter?

TS: Why does anything matter? I would say

that the thousands of people that come to

the Vancouver Art Gallery each year for

VABF indicates that to these people, print

matters. Print is a technology like all

others before and after it, and it is still a

useful, nuanced and interesting method

for creating certain experiences. Whether

one is interested in the conceptual ideas

behind “publication” (which may not

even necessitate print) or the more formrelated

aspects (such as inks, papers, printing

methods), the tangible and ephemeral medium

of print still resonates.

The Vancouver Art And Book Fair takes place Oct.

14 to 16 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. For more

information, visit


October 2016


astral wizards revisit the Vancouver plane


Karolina Kapusta

Watching Purity Ring perform live is

like a delightful intergalactic dream.

The last time they played in Vancouver,

singer Megan James stood on stage in

a snowy long-sleeved ensemble with

pointy mesh-accented shoulder pads,

resembling a visiting celestial siren. Her

voice, the sound of your favourite sweet

liquid, hypnotically lilted, “You be the

moon, I’ll be the earth, and when we

burst - start over.” Meanwhile across the

stage, producer Corin Roddick sat in a

matching stark-white sleeveless top as he

pounded away on electronic drum pads,

setting off individual floating lanterns like

pastel stars lighting up the sky.

Originally band mates on a

different project based in Edmonton,

James and Roddick decided one day to

collaborate on some music during their

down time, unintentionally creating

Purity Ring’s earliest track “Ungirthed.”

Featuring Roddick’s budding electronic

music production and James’ grave

vocal melodies, the combination was

serendipitous: a sound that was both

low-key and festival-ready. After blowing

up the internet on music blogs, Purity

Ring signed to UK record label 4AD in

2012 and soon announced their debut

album, Shrines. Followed up by their

sophomore album another eternity

in 2015, the duo demonstrated their

innate ability to develop their sound

while still retaining their signature

nightmare/hyper-pop dynamic.

All good things come to those who

wait. James hints that while a third Purity

Ring album will happen, they’re in no hurry.

“I’m excited by where Purity Ring can still go

in terms of evolving and its sound,” James

says softly in her signature delicate

voice. “Everything we have so far are

just ideas and starting points. I would

love to make another record that is a

single mood or emotion, [like Shrines and

another eternity].”

For now, Purity Ring’s latest work,

a remix of Katy Perry’s song “Rise,” will

have to momentarily mollify super-fans.

“[Roddick] has a large focus on vocals and

rebuilding entire songs around them,” says

James, and it’s totally apparent in the

remix that’s filled with oscillating synths

Hints of a third Purity Ring album keep fans of the ethereal band on the edge of their seats.

and light hardware clangor. “Katy’s voice

is so inspiring and there aren’t a lot of

songs of hers that have a minimal beat; it’s

nice to have something that’s like a halo

around her vocals.”

Shrines will forever stay an ode to

the sounds of 2012 and James mentions

that they avoid thinking about the

pressure of making similar music or

comparing their sound. “That was an

era [that] will probably never happen

again, and if it does it will probably look

very different,” she laments. “If that hadn’t

happened to us and if we had started now

we wouldn’t be where we are today, or

even close to it. It’s like everything’s


following the eerie slithering tail of unified creative adventure

kind of a fluke but it creates this

landscape for us. If [we] were trying to

make Shrines again I think it would be

really sad and [we’d] get lost in some

kind of world of desire.”

Purity Ring plays in Vancouver at the

Vogue Theatre on October 18.

Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel stands tall and ready to “tour forever” with Three

Safiya Hopfe

In the world of tasty treats from

the vice bowl that is New York City,

psychedelically charged dream-pop

duo Phantogram sits in a well-earned

perch. In the span of ten years, they’ve

established an unshakeable presence,

staying consistently and absolutely

true to the eeriness that makes them

so distinct. In 2010, AbsolutePunk

called their debut album Eyelid Movies

suitable for “in-the-dark listening.” The

same can be said of everything Sarah

Barthel and Josh Carter have created as

a unit. However, their fresh new record

Three proves a stand-alone paragon

of accessibility, variety, and total

danceability within the melancholy

style they have mastered.

Barthel herself deems the album an

achievement, not only professionally

but personally. “It’s my favourite ‘cause

every song on there is well thought out...

a new way of challenging ourselves was

to make a little more of a pop aesthetic.

Not just like bubblegum pop because

that’s not what we sound like, we’re an

extremely dark, heavy-ass band, but I

guess honing in on the choruses and

thinking a little more about the wording

and just like compiling everything.” She

identifies The Beatles as inspiration,

in how they manage to throw things

together and make every minute

count. “We’ve always been extremely

influenced by them. We just love

the way that they knew how to just

compile, how to bring everything in

like three minutes and it would feel

like longer, it would feel so right, and

each song is just different but there’s

a specific concept in general with

their records. I think we’re proud of it

because we stepped it up in a lot of

different ways.”

Every creative force evolves

differently. For Phantogram, the

give-and-take that takes place when

they’re on stage has moulded who

they are today. According to Barthel

they only managed to untap their core

sound once they’d gotten their feet

wet performing. “I think the more and

more you tour and the more experiences

you have from being in a band your music

naturally kind of evolves. We just kind of

took it from there, where playing a lot

of shows and kind of honing in on your

sound live is a really huge thing for us

because it’s always turned our sound into

more boom-bostic and more loud on

our records...if you compare it to our first

record Eyelid Movies which was written

before we even toured on it.”

Now that they’ve grown into

themselves, these two are everywhere.

A full-length MTV Video Awards

performance this year proves them a

presence to be reckoned with. Put simply,

the reputation they have earned is fuelled

by respect. “I mean, we thought we were

successful when we sold out our first show

I guess even if it was just a two hundred

capacity venue. And we decided to take

it serious and go fuckin’ be in a band and

play shows and go on tour and sleep on

peoples couches and random people’s

floors because we were doing exactly

what we wanted to be doing, there was

nothing getting in the way. And we have

respectful artists, other artists that love

our music, that fan out to us, Vince Staples

or the Flaming Lips or whoever we’ve always

looked up to in our own way coming up to

us and telling us that they love this? That’s

success to me, is being respected… being

well respected in the music industry and

in the art industry and the art world.”

They grew up together, and they’re

sticking around. In Barthel’s words, “Tour

forever, that’s what’s next. And then tour

forever again.”

Phantogram perform at the Commodore

Ballroom on October 9.

October 2016 MUSIC


prOphecy sun

blurring the lines of consciousness


a wham, bam, thank you ma’am of well established new wave debauchery

Jamie Goyman

Vancouver’s own prOphecy sun’s new

album instantly grabs the attention of

listeners and invites them into what

comes across as a very intimate and

personal body of work. With each track

of Shelter over Shelter (Panospria)

recorded in a single take, the undressed

emotion and energy brought to the

foreground is showcased in its purest

recorded form.

“I’m intrigued about time, how

time passes, how dreams invade waking

moments, what gathers and unfolds in

moment-to-moment sequences, what

exists in the in-between, in the crevices

and fissures of memory, and how my

perception and experience of these

unconscious/conscious moments are

blurred,” prophecy explains. “I record

snippets of my life, daily activities,

rituals, conversations, performance,

using an iPhone. Shelter over Shelter is

a patch quilt of my experiences of daily

life as both an artist and new mother.”

When you first hear the

soundscapes designed and explored

there is an almost patterned weaving

of paralleled worlds we live in that can

be seen/felt. Listeners are immediately

met with the overall atmosphere

prOphecy sun is known for creating.

The introduction to the album with

“Birthing Owl” transports the audience

into the very first steps of one lifelong

journey. The album disperses these raw

and upfront memories of labour and

pregnancy between the cathartic like

ambient landscapes in “Pop Up” and

“Thors Palace” that soothe the body

and mind in almost hypnotic ways,

and the ominous, fluidity of “Destroy

Vancouver,” a hauntingly beautiful

song with overlapping vocal whaling

that comes across as duelling emotions

giving an overlaying feeling of a euphoric

emotional eruption.

“My creative process begins by

dreaming,” she says. “Listening to my

environments, grasping at unknowns

and whispers of daily rhythmus.”

Shelter over Shelter is an album

that reflects and explores the life of

motherhood she has experienced;

prOphecy sun is definitely an artist

whose work is easy to lose yourself in.

Her creative expression through music

over the last few years has only seen her

expand on where she is willing to take

herself and the audience.

“I am actively engaged with

motion capturing and documenting

my children’s developmental patterns,

sounds and my relationship with

them. I am attempting to synthesize these

representations of myself, the subjective

experiences and dimensions of motherhood

into a single sense of place; creating a large

scale, intimate performance.”

prOphecy sun will release of Shelter over

Shelter on October 15. She is also leading

an experimental workshop for Big Draw

Vancouver Oct. 8 at Pandora Park

Fieldhouse then performing live with the

Vancouver Electronic Ensemble at the

VCC campus at 7 p.m.

Colleen Rennison

The new album Discourse from

Vancouver’s new-wave post-punk-ish

electro-pop band Sex with Strangers is

a lot like their band name: bold, sexy,

and dangerous. One learns the latter

the hard way if one merely Googles the

band and clicks video. But after six

albums and nearly ten years since their

inception they are, “Slowly moving

[their] way to the top of Google, just

followed very quickly by actual sex

with strangers. The family loves it...

they’re super pleased.”

Started by three friends—Hatch

Benedict on vocals, Cory Price on guitar,

and Mike Gentile on bass—who spent

the 1990s playing together in bands

that Benedict describes as “wretched”,

SWS was a step into a more refined

sound, with a focus on incorporating

electronic music with more band-based

songwriting. The name however, was

just an afterthought; “We recorded this

stupid little single and started putting

it on MySpace, and it was getting good

reactions so we thought ‘Let’s turn this

into a project, we need a name!’” says

Benedict. One of them threw “Sex with

Strangers” out there off-handedly and

after a Google search, to their surprise, it

wasn’t taken and their fate on the NSFW


dark electronic catharsis with soul

Myspace is dead but Sex With Strangers are still bumpin’ and grindin’ with Discourse.

list was sealed.

The fact that they got their start

on the virtually extinct MySpace is

not lost on them; “You go through all

the Vancouver bands we were friends

with at the time and there’s really

nobody left.” It is a testament to the

friendship and creative dynamic the

key members have had together since

they started playing nearly two decades

ago. “It’s the only way we’re still doing

it, I mean even just being friends for 20

years is something,” Benedict says.

Joined this time by Shevaughn

Ruley, who manages to fill the shoes of

amicably departed Alexis Young (now

of Youngblood) with her own distinct

sound that is pop perfection. Her voice

lends itself perfectly to Benedict’s

brooding new-wave delivery. Discourse

is a serious dance record that pulls at

your hips and your head without being

pretentious; which is largely in part to

the fact that the band (along with their

drummer Dan Walker) share a vision

and all contribute to the process.

“I don’t think it would be nearly as

exciting if it was like ‘Here are my ten

ideas. Do this, this and this.’ It’s the

writing and recording aspect, just to

prove it to each other and keep the

fires burning.”

Discourse is available now. Sex With Strangers

are performing Nov. 26 at the Cobalt.

Prachi Kamble

Photo by Amanda Arcuri

Atmosphere is a key ingredient in prOphecy sun’s latest creation, Shelter over Shelter.

I M U R (I Am You Are) had a successful

summer on the festival circuit. From

grassroots stages such as Revival,

Hiatus, Chapel Sound Electronic Music

Festival to larger ones like Centre of

Gravity, After Harvest and Rifflandia,

the Vancouver based trio has been

working hard to get their music out

there. “We love performing live. We

get to take our pieces and deconstruct

them,” says vocalist Jenny Lea. “Mikey (J

Blige) does live beat composition with

electric guitar. Amine (Bouzaher), our

new addition, plays bass and violin, and

I do keys, looping and vocals. It’s fair to

say that until you’ve heard us play live

you won’t fully understand the music.”

I M U R’s music is a sexy concoction

of electronic, jazz, hip hop and neo

soul. Mikey’s hip hop and production

background paired with Jenny’s soulinspired

vocals and deeply personal

lyrics, blend seamlessly on their 2015

debut, Slow Dive.

The album covers themes related

to being young and hopeful in a ruthless

city — sexuality, drugs, alcohol, self-

I M U R invite you to see them live to truly understand their vibes.

doubt and self-discovery.

“It was written about a dark period

in my life during which I went through

some pretty big changes. But everything

that came out of it was positive,” she

explains. “To express myself and tell

those stories was a cathartic experience.

Every time I get to perform those songs I

get to feel the same emotions again but

from a different perspective.”

I M U R are products of the vibrant

East Van electronic music scene.

The band has found support in the

community’s crews and collectives,

including the Chapel Sound Crew and

Ground Work Collective. The group

already have tracks lined up for their

next album and bagged a host of cool

shows around town for the remainder

of the year. “The newer sound is a lot

bouncier. Maybe because lyrically we’ve

been able to be more positive!” confesses

Jenny, “But we want to keep it as unique

and true to ourselves as possible.”

I M U R perform at the Biltmore Cabaret

on October 14 and the Sunshine Coast

Festival on Oct. 22.


October 2016

Mangchi with Kid Koala

October 2016 7


October 2016

October 2016 MUSIC


Daniel Terrence Robertson

finding salvation in the unknown

Glenn Alderson

Daniel Terrence Robertson is sitting at

the end of an empty communal dining

table in the house where he lives in

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The

house neighbors Oppenheimer Park and

is part of a cluster of co-op community

living houses tied to the St. James Music

Academy. Every Sunday this table is full

of various characters; some members of

the Academy’s founding families, some

members of the church they belong

to, and some strange yet familiar faces

from the surrounding community who

are hungry and in need of a warm meal.

At the end of every week, without fail,

the house is bustling, full of energy

and, undoubtedly, the grace of God.

This grace is the root of pretty much

everything here in this collection of

brightly coloured antique houses,

brought together by a belief in Christian

values. At this particular moment

the room is silent, void of dinner talk

and scraping of forks on plates, the

only voice heard is that of the deep, low

and incredibly soft-spoken Robertson.

The 22 year old is releasing a somewhat

surprising debut album this month, titled

Death, via Vancouver-based experimental

label Heavy Lark. It’s a collection of eight

beautifully heart wrenching and haunting

piano driven electronic influenced songs.

Imagine Sufjan Stevens on Xanax playing

stark arrangements on a keyboard. The

album has some interesting undertones,

most notably derived from Robertson’s

Christian upbringing. The first single

off the record, “God I’m Sorry,” isn’t so

much of a “Gaaawd, I’m sorry!” but rather

Robertson’s genuine apology to God, the

higher power of whom he is still wrestling

to understand and find a place for in his

adult life.

“I want to be a loving person and

I see so much, be it in my friends and

the pain they’re going through or even

people in this neighbourhood—and every

neighbourhood. I just feel like I’m not

enough or not sufficient,” Robertson says

coyly as he fidgets with the spider plant

on the table in front of him. “I sometimes

end up retreating from the world at times

and that can be hurtful to people. When I

wrote that song I was going through a lot

of change and I didn’t know what I wanted

or what good was.”

Good is Daniel Terrence Robertson.

He’s a good, honest Christian boy, even

if he is wrestling with his ideas of faith

and what to do with them. And while

his songs may be sad and stark, in

conversation he’s actually really sweet

and happy. Standing at about six-feettall,

with a big Supercuts mop of hair on

his head, cheeks rosy, he picks his words

carefully as he talks about the creation

of his debut and its dangerously

vulnerable lyrical content.

“I did not intend to show anyone

these songs,” he says. “Eventually

though, I found myself in a really bad

place and, just out of resignation, I

decided to put them on Bandcamp

and share them with my friends on

Facebook. At that moment I didn’t

care what anyone thought. I just

have to keep reminding myself of that

or just let them be. Let them be those

moments that maybe don’t represent

me currently, but the wholeness of my

being is all of those periods and now and

what’s to come.”

The idea of death and dying

is a morose concept that humans

generally try not to let ruin our already

limited days, but it doesn’t have to always

be so dark. Robertson, like everyone, doesn’t

have an answer for where we go when we

take our last breath, but you get the sense

that he almost enjoys being perplexed and

tortured by the unknown.

“I’ve thought different things at

different times of my life but, more than

ever now, I’m completely confronted with

the mystery of it and I don’t know if I’m

afraid of it. Maybe sometimes, but other

times I don’t think it could be anything

bad or worse than life.”

Daniel Terrence Robertson is not a

depressive person. He’s got a huge heart

and feels a lot, and in large doses empathy

can be painful. Living and working in the

downtown eastside, being surrounded

by poverty and addiction on a daily basis

has certainly had an effect on the way he

Photo by Jules Lemasson Fletcher

Daniel Terrence Robertson wrestles with faith and believing on his debut album, Death.

perceives the world, but he uses his music

as an outlet to express the feelings he

picks up along the way.

“I am drawn to this area,” he says

looking out the window into the park.

“The vulnerability of people. I feel like

people’s walls are less present. It’s in a

sense more honest living and I find myself

wanting to be like that, however that is.

I think that comes through in my songs

too; very honest and without too much

concern of how people will perceive it.”

Daniel Terrence Robertson performs

November 3 at Red Gate.


October 2016


the horizon rumbles as the third coming approaches

Not for the faint of heart, Psych Fest is a relentless onslaught of an experience

Andrew Pitchko

Mitch Ray and Taya Fraser of Art

Signified are two very busy people.

Together they are orchestrating what

is to be third installment of Vancouver

Psych Fest. If you had the chance to visit

this event over the course of the last few

years, then you need no explanation as

to the madness that unfolds. With over

15 bands packed into multiple rooms,

the noise never ends as each band

begins the very second the last one

finishes. The show features wall to wall

projections, live dancing, and a myriad

of party favors and illusions.

This year the ever more popular

Vancouver Psych Fest is manifesting

itself once again. Ray and Fraser are

beating the drum to attract the fringe

elements of Vancouver to assemble

what Ray calls, “The best bang for your

buck for a live show in Vancouver

this year.” The lineup will feature

touring bands such as L.A. Witch (LA),

Destruction Unit (AZ), Crosss (Toronto),

Archaics (Edmonton), and local talents

such as Eric Campbell & The Dirt, The

Wandering Halls, and Dopey’s Robe,

with more surprise contributors to be

added closer to the date.

Since day one of planning and

organizing this event the Art Signified

team has allowed themselves total

freedom in terms of planning and

arranging the show. The attitude

being that nothing is impossible. It is

their belief that the yearly show has

now sprung wings of its own, with

people approaching them after the

announcements of each year’s event

offering to provide services ranging

from poetry breaks, interpretive

dancing, stripteases, and most recently

weed sponsorships for the bands. As fun

as it would be to have the whole event

brought to you by Juicy Fruit Brand

Chronic, Ray says the whole event will

remain sponsor free as long as it can,

as he hopes to make it a festival by the

people for the people.

Psych fest is October 8th from 2pm until

3 am at Fortune Sound Club (147 E.

Pender St)

Advance tickets available on September

12 at Neptoon Records, Bully’s Studios &

Studio Vostok.

jock tears

Vancouver punks give you something to cry about

Luke Kokoszka

With a name like Jock Tears there comes

a certain expectation of sarcasm and

playfulness that is executed with meticulous

intent on their recently released debut EP,

Sassy Attitude. The cover image features

vocalist, Lauren Ray, with a smiling, bloody

face, and colours that evoke something

more akin to bubblegum than punk. The

cover image stretches its teal fingers into the

songwriting and lyrics, which with one look

at the titles, ignites a little nostalgia, a little

accessibility, and a little satire.

In addition to vocalist Lauren Ray,

the band consists of Lauren Smith on bass,

Spencer Hargreaves on guitar, and Dustin

Bromley on drums. Each member contributes

to the collective introspective punk sound

that embodies Sassy Attitude. With

tracks that average around a minute, fifty

seconds, there is not much space to grow

the songs. However, the band seemingly

makes this work through familiar punk

formulas and lyrics that stun you with

vivacious curiosity. When asked about song

writing, Bromley explains, “I think L-Smith

came to our first jam and exclaimed ‘I wanna

play Ramones tunes,’ right before ripping

into a bass-line strikingly similar to something

you’d find on their eponymous debut.” The

reference and similarities are apparent and

Smith clarifies that furthermore, saying,

“I love the vulnerability, accessibility, and

sweetness of Dee Dee Ramone. They way he

played the bass changed my life. Something

that I think comes across in our music is the

kindness and accessibility that is in the same

vein as Dee Dee.”

The band emits an awareness of

cultural progressivity in a sound that can

easily be dated if done without merit.

Hargreaves says, ”I love the social change that

a lot of punk demands, but I don’t necessarily

think the angry narrative does much good

to the causes.” In addition to the inclusive

nature of their sound, Ray’s lyrics bring the

music full circle with satirical and honest

lyrics. Ray says of her writing, “My song

writing is nothing fancy or too serious.

They are simply observations or real-life

things that I have experienced and am

trying to approach them with a sense of

humour. ‘Homeless Kelly Kapowski’ is what

someone told me I looked like. ‘rude dude”

is clearly about people who have nothing

better to do than be mean or judgmental

and simplifying that. Like the name, jock’s

have a certain connotation with being a bit

tough (like punk music often is) and tears

are what happens with one is feeling blue or

sappy. I like to have bits of both in our music.”

Jock Tears will be releasing Sassy Attitude on

tape October 7 at the Matador with locals The

Jins and touring Winnipeg act, Basic Nature.

October 2016 MUSIC


Ziggy Marley

spreading the gospel of love, truth and hemp

Matt Laundrie

Ziggy Marley is a man of honor with a

true mission; and that mission appears

to be a quest to be as prolific in as many

directions as possible. In 2012, Marley

started Ziggy Marley Organics, a GMOfree

product line including flavored

coconut oils and hemp seed snacks.

Recently, Marley has introduced his new

“Conscious Party” dry leaf vaporizer,

and before that his own cookbook

Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook:

Delicious Meals Made with Whole,

Organic Ingredients from the Marley

Kitchen. In the spare minutes between

those projects, Marley found the time

to release his first children’s book, I

Love You Too; fruit from the passion

he has for having children involved

in music, the passion that led to him

being a spokesperson for the non-profit

organization, Little Kids Rock, which

provides free musical instruments and

free lessons to children in public schools.

“This book is close to my heart

because it was a spontaneous exchange

between me and my then 3 year

old daughter Judah,” says Marley. “It

expresses something so true; it should

be repeated as often as possible.”

From his hotel room in Montreal,

Marley delved into many topics,

including the Cannabis industry,

meeting President Barack Obama, his

views on Donald Trump and Hillary

Clinton, and his business endeavours.

Marley’s stance on the legalization of

Cannabis in Canada is well established.

“It’s a positive step towards bringing

out the truth and stop demonizing

people for the use of the plant, a real

positive step,” he says. With regards to

corporations taking over the industry

he believes, “with nature you should be

able to plant our own food, plant our

own herb, it’s up to the people to figure

it out how to take care of the plant.”

He believes Canada is doing just that

with the August 24th changes to the

Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes

Regulations granting allowances for the

growing of cannabis for medical use by

licensed users (upon proper registration).

In 2009, Marley accepted the invite

to perform for President Obama at the

White House for the annual “Easter Egg

Roll.” “His whole family was cool and

From writing books to marijuana activism, it’s safe to say Ziggy Marley has more than “One Love.”

generally happy to meet us, and respect

for love and the message in the music...

he’s connected to the whole message.”

In regards with the current presidential

campaign Marley remarked that the

campaign is opening up more of “what

people reiterate in terms of how sick the

American society feels.”

“It’s better to know the truth than

keep living a lie.”

Ziggy is blazing into Vancouver on October

16 to light up the Vogue Theatre. Doors at 7

p.m. and show time is at 8 p.m. Tickets are

$59.50 - $65.50 and can bought at www.

Benjamin Stevie

channelling future soul sounds for a better tomorrow

Ben Stevenson re-emerges with a nod to future ’70s soul music on Cara Cara.

Spencer Brown

“When you work on something long

enough,” says Ben Stevenson, over

the phone from a temporarily quiet

Edmonton band house, “you will find

you have an endless pool of discovery to

draw from. You’ll be able to appreciate

awesomeness when you come upon

it, and in doing so trust your own

instincts.” While he may only be 35,

Stevenson has been playing in bands

for over a third of his life. He fronted

his pop-punk band, Misdemeanour,

at 14 while his parent’s drove the

band to shows in and out of town

as his bandmates had just turned

12. From there, Ben went on to form

post-punks Our Mercury followed by

the blue-eyed rock and soul of The

Wondertones and finally, a move

to the Big Smoke. After arrival, he

explored both hip hop and electronic

music and methods. The accumulation

of these experiences has led to his

newest record, Cara Cara.

The shift from punk rock to hip hop

was both necessary and “where I had to

start from square one, artistically” recalls

Stevenson. “I had grown disillusioned

with the process in rock bands and was

drifting so when an opportunity to step

into hip hop world happened, I took

it.” Meeting a major label producer,

he was temporarily seduced by the

idea of scoring an American deal and

began pitching both writing and beats

as “in the world where those guys live,

a beat can make you $30,000,” while

drawing on his love of old school

reggae, dancehall and early hip hop. The

beat deal and producer never came to

fruition but he credits the experience

with changing his idea of song writing

from “putting a mic in front of my guitar

amp” and the realization he had strayed

from why he made music.

Upon awakening he began on

his current project, which features a

combination of electronic beats alongside

live instrumentation. Primarily recorded

in the now-shuttered 6 Nassau Studio

with engineer Steve Chahley (U.S. Girls,

Slim Twig, Neko Case), a trip to a

friend’s studio in Joshua Tree also

aided with the record. “The concept I

had was ‘Future ‘70s Sound’ as I have

such a love and appreciation of ‘70s

tones and textures but I didn’t want to

limit myself to gear that only existed then.

Joshua Tree was pretty wild in that it was

dirt roads, hillbilly neighbours with hillbilly

weed and old synths at my pal’s place

whereas Steve has a deep record collection

he listens to daily. He pushed me to up my

game and the results were great.” Finally,

California can take credit for the record’s

title as a cara cara is a type of orange that is a

state-specific speciality.

The upcoming Western Canadian

tour will feature backing band Altameda

and Stevenson selected them based on

“how musical they are. I knew they’d

be capable of taking on the material.

While someone may want to make the

exact same sounds as the record I feel

that would come at the expense of the

live show. I don’t want us to be one of

those bands that goes through the

motions.” So, after swimming through

the deep pool Ben Stevenson is ready

to re-emerge. “I’ve spent the last couple

years returning to what’s important to

me artistically. That’s the record I just

finished and it was no one’s job but mine

to put it together.”

Benjamin Stevenson performs October 14

at the Biltmore Cabaret (Vancouver).


October 2016


uncovering the strangeness of the human condition one weird story at a time

Molly Randhawa

How often does one take a step back to

observe the strangeness that surrounds

them each day? For most people it’s not

often enough, but for UK-based Glass

Animals, the strangeness of human

beings is what inspired their sophomore

album, How to be a Human Being.

Front man Dave Bayley shares how

he and his bandmates, friends from a

young age, would go see bands play at

a local music venue called the Zodiac,

which no longer exists and has been

rebranded as O2 Academy Oxford.

“We used to just go there together

and watch our favorite bands. Then,

we went off to university separately to

different places.” After returning to their

hometown one Christmas, Bayley shared

how he had written some songs while at

university. “They told me to put them on

the internet, and I said if I’m gonna put it

on the internet, you guys have to be in the

band with me and that’s it. That was the

start [of Glass Animals].”

With percussion driven beats,

psychedelic-rainforest-ambience, and

cheeky lyricism, Glass Animals have

created their own unique way to tell a

How to be a Human Being studies the human mammal in its natural habitat.

story. Taking inspiration from people

they have met while touring and in

everyday life, the record aims to tell a

story of these fictional characters. “I

started recording all the time, things

that people were telling me. I just started

to think about how people tell stories,

what they talk about and the things that

they were bullshitting about and what

that says about the world,” says Bayley.

The album was created with characters

in mind, garnering a cinematic process

of each personal account of those who

they had met along the way.

Using filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch

as their additional influences for

the album, Bayley explains how his

fascination with soundtracks from

Lollywood and Pakistani Cinema

inspired some of the sounds on the

album. “A lot of the time it’s really

hyperactive, crazy arrangement changes.

All of the arrangement changes in Life

Itself are pretty mad. It completely flips, it

was taking a lot of those instruments and

recreating those drum sounds.” Their song

“Life Itself” is about a quirky character who

lives in his mom’s basement and creates

wacky inventions all day — he even

has his own website (

Although the lyrics are quite melancholy,

the up-tempo nature of the production

adds a frantic and assertive dynamic to

the song. “He’s such a strange guy — he’s

got a chance but he’s just bizarre, slightly

quirky, slightly manic. That’s where a lot of

that hyperactivity and manic sound came

from. I just thought that maybe that’s how

his brain works.”

While creating their sounds for

each character, the band really taps into

the life of the individual — using a form

of method-acting to portray the realness

and accuracy of their subjects through

an auditory experience. From the dude

that lives in his mom’s basement to the

girl next door who smokes too much

weed and watches too much Adventure

Time, How to be a Human Being explores

the realness of people that we all have

encountered in our lives.

Glass Animals perform at the Queen

Elizabeth Theatre on October 12.

Tokyo Police Club

Toronto rockers gamble on the long game

Jamie Goyman

“I think to be a musician you have

to have a reckless abandon and really

believe in your pipedreams and ignore all

of the nay-say,” muses Tokyo Police Club

keyboardist/guitarist Graham Wright.

Two EP releases and a ten year

anniversary under their belt in 2016,

Toronto four piece Tokyo Police Club

have made sure listeners have kept

up with April and September releases

Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness:

PT I and Melon Collie and the Infinite

Radness: PT II, giving listeners a taste of

where they’re at these days. Scattered

between Toronto, LA, and New York,

the band has shifted into what seems

to be a more honed in yet sporadic

dynamic. “We [didn’t record] the EPs the

way we usually do. There might be two

songs that were recorded in the same

session, otherwise it was months apart,”

explains Wright. With the majority

of the recording done separately, the

unchartered territory not only kept the

creativity flowing overtime, it also gave

the band the opportunity to ensure that

each song really did its own thing.

“With each new release, when we

were working on a song we really were

thinking about what specifically that

song was going to do, how it came

across, what it said for itself, how it

behaved. I think each song could stand

on its own as a single.”

The new two part EP gives a

refreshing new take on what makes

Tokyo Police Club tracks so memorable.

The bright, guitar driven first single “Not

My Girl” reminds those who needed

it just why they loved Tokyo Police

Club. On “PCH,” vocalist/bassist David

Monks’ pleading voice pulls the lyrics

to the foreground. Both PT I and PT

II are the resurgence fans have been

waiting for since 2014’s Forcefield. Both

EPs could be easily described as feel

good rock ‘n’ roll records; or as Wright

described it himself, “5 ‘100//’ emojis.”

With a less polished and more

gritty vibe coming off the Melon Collie

and the Infinite Radness Pt I & PT II,

the releases and trickles of singles inbetween

have put the spotlight back on

Tokyo Police Club, but it hasn’t all been

realized as they imagined it would be.

“The idea is that instead of making

one record, one splash, and have

everyone react with ‘that was great,

what’s next?’ we thought it would make

more of an impact for a longer period of

time. Although, we didn’t really think of

how things like Spotify put EPs passed

Tokyo Police Club revel in the sunny glory of reckless abandon with new two part EP

the albums with the singles, so our

genius plan didn’t pan out exactly how

we wanted,” says Wright.

Essentially growing up with each

other and their music, since the ages of

19 & 21, the unity and rapport the four

have is easily heard in their songs and

witnessed live.

“Every single tour we’ve ever done

is a fairly straight line graph, I think

we like it more and more and just get

better at playing live … there’s a lot of

beaming from the stage or whispering a

joke in the other guy’s ear, trying to get

him to fuck up when he’s trying to play.

We have reached a level where it’s

just muscle memory now and it always

feels like we’ve reached a destination,

I just hope the radiance we feel inside

comes through … Honestly, if you see us on

stage joking and laughing with each other you

basically got the picture, we’re just dorky guys.”

Tokyo Police Club perform at Alix

Goolden Hall on October 4 (Victoria)

and at the Commodore Ballroom on

Oct 5 (Vancouver).

October 2016 MUSIC


SUM 41

Deryck Whibley learns to live again

Yasmine Shemesh

About a year into Deryck Whibley’s recovery from

kidney and liver failure—an alcohol-related collapse

that put him in a medically induced coma and left

him unable to walk—the Sum 41 frontman reached

a tipping point. The process was at a halt — hours

of daily physiotherapy didn’t seem to be working

and he could barely stand without excruciating

pain. Neither Whibley nor his doctors knew if he

was ever going to get better. It was no way to live;

death by drink was even a more appealing fate. Then,

one night, at four in the morning, amidst swirling

thoughts, a lyric suddenly surfaced. “What am I

fighting for? Everything back and more.” He wrote it

down. Then another. “Some days it just gets so hard.”

The lines kept coming, flowing. He had a song —

something to work towards: words to live up to.

“And then that moment, it sort of gave me that

realization of what it means to actually have faith in

something,” Whibley reflects. “To believe that you

will get better. You don’t know how, you don’t know

why, you don’t know when; as long as you push and

you fight harder — if you think you’ve been fighting

hard already, you gotta fight even harder and you just

gotta believe. And that’s what I told myself. And a

year later, I was finally able to step out onstage and

go out on tour, and now here I am.”

Today, Whibley is happy and healthy — a state he

credits to his journey to sobriety. “Even if I would

have quit drinking before, it wouldn’t be what it is

now,” he maintains. Booze had simply become part

of his lifestyle, reaching its most excessive after Sum

41 wrapped a three year long tour in support of 2011’s

Screaming Bloody Murder. Whibley then decided to

detach — no music, no responsibilities. And therein

lay the problem. “I mean, obviously this band has

always been heavy drinkers, heavy partiers, and, you

know, I was probably an alcoholic a long time ago,

but really functioning,” he continues. “It’s when I lost

the function was when I had no more work to do.”

The aforementioned lyrics would make up the

song “War,” a hopeful track off Sum 41’s new album,

13 Voices. The project, the pop punks’ first in five

years, proved to be the key for Whibley to push

forward as he determinedly re-learned how to play

guitar, while slowly becoming comfortable in his own

skin again. As a result, his songwriting is reflective of

a man piecing his life back together.

Musically, 13 Voices administers a tremendous

punch, which partly comes from the reemergence

of original guitarist Dave “Brownsound” Baksh.

Baksh, who left the band a decade ago, reconnected

with Whibley before his hospitalization and stayed

with his old friend after he returned home. Baksh’s

presence now adds three guitarists to the lineup,

alongside Tom Thacker and Whibley.

“You really notice it live,” Whibley says of the

dynamic, which also includes bassist Cone McCaslin

and drummer Frank Zummo. “I think that’s where

we sound different than we’ve ever been able to

sound before, because we can play a lot of stuff that is

on the record that we couldn’t do before. It’s a much

bigger sound…it’s just a really full sound. Just being a

five piece, it’s so fun. I never thought I’d like being a five

piece, but now I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”

Indeed, it’s certainly scary, Whibley admits, to

release music that was written from such a vulnerable

place — but getting personal isn’t something new.

He’s always written from his soul and 13 Voices is

just, in many ways, a new chapter. The past may have

been great — but now, Whibley says, “It’s time to

take it into a whole other world.”

Sum 41 performs at the Commodore Ballroom on

October 28.


October 2016


they who cannot be named

Christine Leonard

““I have an assigned task and that’s to

speak to you,” flatly iterates the Nameless

Ghoul on the other end of the line.

After all, as contradictory as it may

seem, anonymity is at the aesthetic

coeur of his band’s identity. Emanating

from Linköping, Sweden in 2008, Ghost

(known as Ghost B.C. in the United

States) is a gothic-rock outfit that draws

their dramatic and visually stimulating

persona from dark religious imagery that

is typically associated with the realms of

heavy metal.

Recipients of multiple Swedish

Grammis Awards, for their albums

Infestissumam in 2014 and Meliora in 2015,

the six-member ensemble paraded down

the aisle and into the international spotlight

this past February when they accepted the

Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance

for the Meliora single “Cirice.” Led by their

highly-decorated anti-papal overlord,

Papa Emeritus III (two previous Papas have

already been retired - to the South of France,

one would presume), Ghost’s five Nameless

Ghoul instrumentalists drew stares of Los

Angelian disbelief as they mounted the dais

in mouthless Minotaur masks.

“Whether or not this is a comment

or rock stardom, initially the whole image

was just something that suited the music.

We never counted on being popular,” the

customarily mute minion explains.

Proving that humour is never far

removed from tragedy, Ghost has rendered

the imposing genres of hard rock and metal

more accessible to general audiences thanks

to projects like their EP, If You Have Ghost,

which included cover songs produced by

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters. The faithful

masses have also responded favourably

to Ghost’s most recent EP, the September

released Popestar, which features covers

of Eurythmics and Echo & the Bunnymen

alongside the anthemic band’s “strongest

concert-opener” to date, “Square Hammer.”

“I don’t think that anything would have

been successful had we not done the tours.

We would never have been nominated for

or received a Grammy. We would never have

been signed to our American label. Had we

not done the tours I don’t think Dave Grohl

would have known who we are; so, I am a

firm believer in touring. I think that that is

the shit.”

And now that they’ve rocked a million

faces, Ghost has some very pragmatic

reasons for not revealing their own.

“It’s a hard one,” says he-who-cannot-benamed.

“Some of us get recognized to a

certain degree; there’s always someone

in a record store or guitar shop coming

up and whispering ‘I love your band.

Thank you!’ Whereas for more normal

Swedish goth rockers Ghost conjure the unholy spirit.

bands they are not subjected to that level

of respect. Because if you are an artist

and you put yourself out there, and you

have an Instagram account and you’re

photographing everything you’re about to

consume, I think people, more or less, will

regard you as some sort of public domain.

And, you are also sort of expected to be

your onstage persona to a much further

degree than we ever are. “Our thing has

always been look bigger than you are and

you will become bigger! If you’re going to

take it to the arenas, you’d better look like

an arena band. Otherwise why would they

believe you?”

He continues. “Now we’ve swum

out way too far. That’s why we’re doing

this tour with all of the new pyro and

production and all of the staging stuff,

because no one is going to applaud if we

don’t show up with big things.”

Ghost perform with Marissa Nadler at the

Vogue Theatre on October 13.


one man’s quest to support community through merchandise

Ian Demian-Pérez (AKA The Artist Formerly Known As Prints) is all about supporting

community and local bands with his silk screening business.


This local company is manned mainly

by one person: owner/operator, Ian

Demian-Pérez. Though Demian-Pérez

notes, “I get a lot of help and support

from my wife who comes every time

I have a mountain of work [with] little

time, but at this stage it’s essentially

a one-man operation.” On the name

of the company, he explains, “a friend

suggested ‘The Artist Formerly Known

as Prints’, which automatically spinned

into its current state.” A sucker for puns,

love came for the name, then quickly for

the brand.

There are countless orders from

a handful of clients throughout the

country, but generally they generate

in Vancouver. “There’s enough work

available within my own community to

keep me busy.”

Community is a running narrative

with POD. Active in sponsorship and

listing special discounts for bands,

Demian-Pérez states, “I play in bands

myself, so I understand all too well the

struggles that come with the territory.

A lot of the (little) money bands make

comes from merch sales, so this is the

way I can contribute to the growth

of the community I’m a part of. If the

community grows, I do as well.”

“Burger Fest is the most

recent event sponsored, but I’ve

also [supported] the Terminal City

Rollergirls and the Tattooed Talent

Show by GlassCity Collective. As far as

advertising goes, I prefer [sponsorship]

over classic adds because it also helps

the people I do it for; there is a lot

more to be gained than if I just do it

for myself.”

When asked if printing merch

introduced him to anything that

he probably would not have found

otherwise, he answers enthusiastically:

“For sure! I was amazed to see how

many people in this city bust their

asses making things happen, and

those involved with facilitating spaces

for all this. I used to have a pretty cynical

outlook on the local scene, but after

getting more involved it didn’t take long

to see there are some amazing people

doing important work in this city.”

When questioned about music he

finds most often or motivating in the

work space, he says, “I’m mostly into

metal, it’s what I was raised on. But I have

a pretty wide taste in music. I might start

the day with something electronic &

abstract like Autechre, then get into

the heavy stuff once I’m rolling. I think

thrash might be the best thing to play

if I want to keep a steady pace, but if I

have to finish a job quickly I’ll probably

put on something with a bit more blast

beats like black or death metal. Also a

lot of Run The Jewels!”

Check out Prints of Darkness at 356 Powell.

October 2016 The skinny



notes from the underground


An unsettling and never-ending battle is raging

on between promoters and bands. The finger

pointing is real and the reason turnouts are

fading is more complex and the result of an

accumulation of variables.

A recent Facebook rant directed towards

promoters blamed poor turnout on lack

of presale tickets for bands to hustle. In my

experience, unless it’s a bigger show with a

popular touring act, or you’re a promoter taking

on one show at a time, this is just cost prohibitive.

As someone who books 25+

local bands a month, I can’t

imagine chasing around dozens

of band members to hustle

tickets if I can’t even get them to

share a Facebook event or invite

people to it. In the old days it was

getting band members to pick

up the gobs of handbills that I

would print; the lack of hustle

for some has always been real,

regardless of the tools of the era

that were produced.

Then there’s the plea for

band participation from people trying to put on

shows. The line was “imagine being a cheerleader

on a desert island.” Brilliant. That was coined

by local promoter Johnny Matter and it is our

experience these days as we do our best. The

carnival barker is alive and well, and is generally

left yammering on about a show alone.

It was amazing reading all these comments,

pros and cons. People commiserating. We can

talk about living in an expensive rental city, the

millenials with entertainment appetites leaving

town, how bands who for over a decade had

enjoyed bustling shows now losing fans to the

changing of nappies and watching Sesame Street

with toddlers. The generation gap is real. It’s a

sad state of affairs when the new generation

of potential live music fans is more interested

in cooing about moustache wax at any generic

craft beer joint than seeing a live band. It seems

that a generation raised on technology need to

be gripping their devices at all times. If there was

a way to consistently offer live music through

a phone screen, we might have a chance at


I have no answers. I tried the sponsored

Facebook event; I might as well have just lit a

50 dollar bill with a Bic. The event that had the

most ‘engagements’ did the worst at the venues

ticket wicket. The threat of venues giving up on

live music is real. In Vancouver, there

are too many rooms and promoters,

all with their fingers in the same pie.

There are only so many moneyed live

music aficionados to go around.

I feel like I’m beating a dead

horse with this subject. I’ve been

making commentary on it for a while

now. Yet, every time my column

deadline rolls around, there this

subject is, marked in the hallowed

annuls of the Facebook news feed.

So hang in there; that’s about all I

can say to both bands or promoters.

Try to work together. Some of us may die in

battle and others will be quick to take up arms in

the perceived glory of being renowned; you need

the constitution to fight through the dark times

of which there are many, especially financially.

Prepare for disappointment, no show is ever set

in stone. and expect setbacks; like the drummer

that severs his finger at his day job, or the tour

van broke down.

People that are drinking also have irrational

reactions to the rules of a law abiding venue;

they will hold a grudge against if they were

tossed out or denied entry. It may morph into

keyboard warrior internet trolls and gossip

mongers smearing your reputation; the bullshit

is real.

Until the virtual venue rules the world, we

are here. Try to enjoy!

16 The skinny

October 2016


filling the void with a new kind of heavy

Heath Fenton

In 2013 Vancouver metal band Anciients

seemingly came from out of nowhere to

release their debut record, Heart Of Oak,

on renowned Philadelphia-based label

Season Of Mist to large fan fare. So large in

fact that they were nominated for a Juno

Award and also on the long list for the

highly coveted Polaris Music Prize. Not to

mention the spottings on many year end

“best of” lists. All this after tours with so

many bigger and more likeminded bands.

Chief among them being opening slots for

Death and Lamb Of God. It was simply an

amazing feat for a tiny metal band coming

out of the west coast of Canada.

“It was a strange thing when it

happened,” guitarist/lead vocalist Kenny

Cook says. “We had no expectations of

the record even getting out of Vancouver.

It was quite an amazing feeling to get

recognized at that level.”

Fellow guitarist/vocalist Chris Dyck

reiterates. “It was motivating. We must

have struck a chord with somebody. It

was pretty awesome to be all of a sudden

thrown to the wolves as far as the touring

that was involved with the record doing

so good. We got to go out and play with

some pretty crazy legendary metal bands

and it all happened so quick.”

It’s been a hurricane for Anciients,

who are rounded out by bass player Aaron

“Boon” Gustafson and drummer Mike

Hannay. With the exception of young

Hannay, they actually all weren’t rookies at

the game. Gustafson, Dyck, and Cook have

all been around Vancouver for many years

and committed a fair share of their time

to the local music scene. Mostly in death

metal bands and hard rock party bands

that had done nothing outside of Western

Canadian mini tours. Nothing near the

level that Anciients has achieved. For

Hannay, when he joined the band he

was a 19-year-old freshman. The “golden

child” as Dyck puts it. Sometimes it

just takes some time to get your shit

together and find the proper outlet.

W i t h


they have all

found the

proper outlet,

covering so

many realms

of what

metal’s vast


r e v o l v e

around. The

quartet can


enhance your vibe with acoustic

interludes, then lead you into the abyss

with pummeling fists of furious mind

bending riffs, all while having you nod

approvingly in a haze of a hypnotic smoke

and mirrors. It’s a combination of so many

styles that somehow they take precious

time to arrange in such a prog-rock type of

way that molds perfectly. The songs soar,

they are epic, and most of all, they can

keep the interest of the most basic metal

head as well as the nerdo aficionados. It’s

sort of like Opeth on quaaludes teaching High

On Fire in math class.

After Heart Of Oak, for the four lads a

turbulent year was to follow as Cook’s

wife (also Dyk’s sister) dealt with life

threatening postnatal complications.

They would take a year off to

decompress and compose. Eventually they

would get back to work writing again and

doing what they knew best. They figured

it all out and returned to the studio with

Jesse Gander at Rain City Recording. The

results are a stride up to the highest most

standards and their new album, Voice Of

The Void, is gonna be a game changer. It’s

a bit darker and a bit heavier, but every bit

of what Anciients have become. The new

album breaks out

harshly from the

opening menace

“Following The

Voice” and does

not relent and

hardly repents. It’s

moody, violent,

fierce, soulful.

The sweetness

still lingers on

songs such as

“Descending” and

“Incantations”, but

overall there seems to be more crushing

aspects of the riffage than the previous


“The first record was kind of finding

out what we sound like,” Dyck explains.

“We never really heard the music

recorded. We played a lot of gigs locally

that year, but other than watching them

on someone’s phone we really didn’t

know what we sounded like recorded.” It

is safe to say that there is no sophomore

slump for Anciients. They are just finding

their groove.

“I thought we could be a heavier

band, a faster band. Because we knew

with Hannay, he had way more speed and

double-kick crazy shit he could do that

he didn’t really get to throw down on the

last record,” Dyck points out. “Kenny’s

vocals are so crushing now. From touring

all the time, everybody is better at what

they do and in some aspects a whole lot

better. When I played on the last record I

was freaking out. On this one I felt more

confident. I am a better musician now,

which is awesome. There was a lot of

pressure to kick ass because we all of a

sudden were on such a professional level.”

Cook conveys this, “the overall sound of

the new record is amazing in comparison.

The melodies are stronger, the vocals all

turned out better. We did try to take it in a

different direction, but still keep the same

vein we established.”

Voice Of The Void officially comes

out on October 14, but it is getting mad

streams right now from metal web sites

like Blabbermouth to mainstream sites

like Billboard and the feedback has been

amazing. Anciients are ready to take the

next step into the void with their new

album. A humble bunch with a stellar

prowess that will be realized by a whole

whack of new fans when the new opus

is upon us. They haven’t even touched

the rim of what they are capable of

slamming down. Their new music

proves that point. It bleeds of growth

and a maturity of what was already a

sturdy existence.

Anciients album release just

happens to coincide with an opening

local slot for Gorguts. More bucket

list stuff for the boys. “If you told me

five years ago that I would even meet

Gorguts, then be playing with them, and

actually becoming good personal friends?”

Dyck says. “It’s crazy. I had Gorguts’ debut

album brand new in 1991 on tape. It’s a

huge deal.”

Anciients perform at the Rickshaw Theatre

on October 14 with Brain Tentacles,

Intronaut and Gorguts.

Photo by Thuja Knox

October 2016 17


an unstoppable force seemingly meeting no immovable objects

Ana Krunic

In a career spanning well over 20 years,

one word that’s been used in nearly

every interview and feature on BC bornand-raised

prog-metal legend Devin

Townsend is “prolific.” There’s certainly

a reason for that; not counting other

projects he’s been involved in, between

Strapping Young Lad, and The Devin

Townsend Project he has released 22

studio albums (three of which came

out in 2014 alone), four EPs, and four

live albums.

The newest album, Transcendence,

shares the unmistakable Devin

Townsend sound – massive, incredibly

dynamic, and at times sonically

overwhelming, but as is the case with

each of his albums, distinct from

the others. Transcendence can be

described as uplifting, but not in the

“let’s-hold-hands and everything-isbeautiful”

sense that the word usually

implies. Rather, it lies in the acceptance

of not being in control, of “letting go.”

This extends to the recording process

of the album as well. “In the past,”

Townsend explains, “I’ve been really

specific with the guys in how it goes

- this is how the drum fill goes, this is

where the cymbal goes, this is what the

bass does, and all that. But this time,

after the music was written, the signs

were pointing to letting the reins loosen

up a bit in terms of how everybody

participates in the process. It became

collaborative in terms of how parts were

interpreted, and in dissecting the songs

we were able to really be comprehensive

as a band.”

“It was very difficult, it was

very productive, and the outcome is

something I’m really proud of.”

Later this year will also bring us Only

Half There – an autobiography that

has been in the works for a while.

“It was something that originally

started because it could generate

some income for us, but the more

I started doing it, the more I

recognized that by investing myself

in it, it became a way for me to purge

some of the things in my past and move

forward creatively.”

“The book is something that was

very cathartic for me. It was a very

difficult project because I’m not a

writer, but it ended up being something

With new studio album, Transcendence, Devin Townsend is learning to let go.

that I think has some practical value for

people that are interested in the creative

process of being a musician - the pitfalls

and the ups and downs, and a perspective on

what it is and what it isn’t.”

That makes two albums and a book this

year, a trend that’s continued even after 20+

years of making – so fans of Devin Townsend

can hopefully rest assured that he won’t run

out of projects or things to say anytime soon.

The Devin Townsend Project finishes

off the North American run of their

tour in Vancouver on October 15, at

the Vogue Theater.


October 2016


october 2016

electronics dept

VANCOUVER — Trust us when we say

that now is the perfect time to go to a

show. The weather sucks outside, your

family and friends are busy with stuff,

and cuffing season is in full effect (just

Google it). Treat yourself to a warm and

toasty show with your cuff of choice at one

of our top picks for the month of October.

James Blake

October 13 @ Orpheum Theatre

Mercury Prize winning and Grammy

nominated British singer, songwriter,

and producer James Blake is a

musical juggernaut. Influenced by a

blend of UK dance and bass music,

contemporary R&B, and 1990s hip

hop, his self-produced soundscapes

create the perfect canvas for his tortured

vocals. Currently touring his third studio

album, The Colour in Anything, around

the world, be prepared to feel things you

never thought possible in a theatre full of

relative strangers.

ScHoolboy Q

October 22 @ PNE Forum

Label mates with Top Dawg Entertainment

signees Sza, Isaiah Rashad, Ab-Soul, Jay

Rock, and Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q

rolls forward with his soulful thug flow

over bass heavy trap inspired beats. With

his new Blank Face LP released earlier

this year, his beats have taken a turn

into new territory with influences from

funk and soul, and feature verses from

major artists including Kanye West,

Jadakiss, and Miguel.

Chance the Rapper

October 25-26 @

Thunderbird Sports Centre

Following the very successful release

of his newest mixtape, Coloring Book,

earlier this year, Chance the Rapper is

travelling the globe on the Magnificent

Coloring World Tour. Know to be a

philanthropic rapper with a soft spot for

his hometown of Chicago, his signature

vocal and rap style layered over soul and

jazz flecked instrumentals have helped

him stand out in a very crowded genre.

Majid Jordan

October 30 @ The Commodore


Canadian R&B duo Majid Al Maskati

and Jordan Ullman first met while going

to school at the University of Toronto,

immediately bonding over their common

passion for music. With Ullman as the

producer and Maskati singing vocals, the

two have made major waves producing

songs for artists like Drake and Beyonce,

before releasing their well received debut self

titled LP earlier this year.

Chance The Rapper

KKB uses sweet future-pop beats and catchy bilingual chants to bring you into their world.


bilingual future-pop music is for everyone, no matter what language you speak

Vanessa Tam

The most universal of music genres,

equally reaching men, women, and

children with both uplifting and heart

wrenching stories of love and life: pop

music is for everyone.

Expanding further beyond

language and culture, self described

bilingual future-pop group Kero Kero

Bonito, often referred to as KKB, is one

of the only bands in the world right

now pushing the boundaries of their

truly one of a kind genre. Comprised of

producers Gus Lobban and Jamie Bulled

along with vocalist Sarah Midori Perry,

the three UK based musicians actually

came together was totally by chance.

While Lobban and Bulled already knew

each other from school, they met Perry

through an ad they posted for someone

who could speak Japanese on MixB,

an online message board for Japanese

expats. Perry was one of the first people

to respond to the ad and the rest as they

say, was history.

Seamlessly rapping in both English

and Japanese, Perry has carved out a

substantial niche for herself in popular

music. “I don’t see English and Japanese

as separate languages because I grew

up learning both; to me it’s [like] one

language,” she explains. “[And with the

growing popularity of] international

marriages, I think that there’s going to

be more [seamless bilingual language

speakers around] and that’s great.”

“That’s actually a great point,”

Lobban chimes in. “I guess it really does

reflect Sarah’s background. It’s funny

because when we first asked her to [sing

for us, we didn’t ask her to sing a specific

way]. Sarah just kind of did it in both

languages and we’re like, well this is dope.”

Writing nearly all of KKB’s song

lyrics herself, Perry naturally flows

between her two languages when

writing without even thinking. “I feel

like I’m actually on an advantage; that I

get to use twice as much material when

I write lyrics. I just feel like I got more

things to play with,” she says.

“I think there’s definitely less than

five pop stars you could name who kind

of do it the way Sarah does,” figures

Lobban. “It’s interesting to think that a

lot of bands do just pick one [language

to work with]. It’s a shame really because

more linguistic colour is great.”

“And there are things you can say in

one language you can’t say in another,”

Bulled adds.

Obviously heavily inspired by

Japanese culture and language, the band

went on their first tour together in Japan

around this time last year, Japan being their

second biggest market after the United

States. “We actually played in Shibuya on

Halloween which was crazy,” recalls Lobban.

“Someone dressed up as a spoon!”

Perry exclaims, laughing.

“Everything was absolutely

incredible, like walking in a video game

in some ways. [Japan] blew all my

expectations away to be honest,” Bulled

adds, reminiscing. “I felt like I was very

far away from my world normally, [in]

London, but at the same time I felt very

much at home.”

On the cusp of releasing their

sophomore album in October, Bonito

Generation, it’s already very apparent

how much the band has grown since

the release of their first album, Intro

Bonito, in 2014. With five singles from

the album currently making the rounds

online — “Trampoline,” “Picture

This,” “Break,” “Lip Slap,” and

“Graduation” — a more complex

and melody based sound has

already emerged as a theme for the

new album. “We added more chords

basically,” Bulled states matter-offactly.

“Yeah, more chords yeah,” chuckles

Lobban. “It’s quite a natural thing I

think, I mean ‘Picture This’ is on the new

record and you know that was probably

the first track we did that was like, ‘oh, this

is a new thing.’ That song combined a lot

of stuff that was already true of KKB but

kind of super charged it, and we’ve taken

that across the whole record this time.”

Kero Kero Bonito perform at Fortune

Sound Club October 12th.




intellect and self-awareness convert subconscious ideas into music and lyrics

Prachi Kamble

R&B prodigy Gallant is in the middle

of enjoying three days of welldeserved

downtime in Sherman Oaks,

Los Angeles. “I’m looking forward

to playing a lot of video games and

watching CNN,” he confesses in a calm

voice. “And a lot of buffalo wild wings.

That’s my downtime!”

Back from a press tour in the UK,

the young artist has been on quite the

ride, appearing on Jools Holland and

performing with none other than Sir

Elton John. Gaining momentum with

the release of his debut album Ology

earlier this year, his signature mix

of intellectual, dark, and sexy songs

have put the apple of R&B back into

mainstreams flippant eye.

“The tour is becoming increasingly

comfortable for me and I have been

able to extract more and more out of

each performance,” notes Gallant. “I’m

really excited to see how that goes.”

Primarily championed by Zane Lowe

in the UK, Gallant has enjoyed a strong

fan following there for a long time.

“They are just so ahead of the curve,”

he says of his UK fan base. “They’re a

little more open minded compared to

the North American industry and they

aren’t obsessed with putting things into

categories. But things [are starting to]

become similar in LA right now.”

Collecting rave reviews left,

right, and Pitchfork, Ology features

deep and mature lyrical matter with

instrumentals to match. “I wasn’t trying

to make an album really, I was just

messing around with things in a very

natural way. Whatever came out was a

reflection of my subconscious; I wasn’t

trying to fool anyone or trying to be an

exaggeration of myself,” he explains. “I

wanted to dig deeper than [my first EP]

Zebra. I’ve been motivated to ask myself

tough questions and get over hurdles

and barriers.”

An instinctive musician who is

both heavily introverted and profound,

Gallant is also a strong academic at

heart with a degree in anthropology

and sociology of music from NYU. He

credits his own hyper-self-awareness

and ability to translate his imagination

into music and lyrics to his education,

with Ology being a product of his

academically informed introspection as

well as a personal journey of change.

“Change happens in incremental steps

— how you react to something, the way

you feel about something, examining

yourself in the context of the universe

and in the context of society,” he says.

“[While making Ology,] I noticed varying

degrees of every perception, reaction,

and thought [that] I had. I learned to be

more empathetic, less guarded, and a

little more self aware.”

Gallant’s intellectualism makes him

an exceptional role model, especially

for young people of colour. “If you

have a stance on an issue, political or

non political, it makes sense to match

the example as much as possible,

intentionally or unintentionally. Being

perceived as a role model is a big

compliment,” he admitted.

Everything about Gallant is

understated but always genuine and

always honest. Not one to colour within

the lines, he found his way to us through

an overwhelming sea of naysayers who

believed that R&B had to be just about

sex and partying, that it couldn’t be

more. But that more, is Gallant.

Gallant performs at Fortune Sound Club

on October 26th.

Gallant faces invasive questions to mine his sub-conscious for inspiration.


October 2016

New Forms Festival 2016

contemporary electronic music festival returns with new insight and ideas

hollie mcgowan

After a year-long hiatus, New Forms

Festival is back for another installment

this month and local artists, electronic

music aficionados, and new media

devotees couldn’t be happier. “I’ve never

been involved in something in my life

where we didn’t have it for one year,

and we received comments about it

daily either through email, messaging,

Facebook, or in person,” explains

Malcolm Levy, executive director

and co-founder of the New Forms

Media Society. “There was just such an

immense amount of support.”

Exploring a different direction in

new media and event curation, the New

Forms Media Society produced multiple

one-off events throughout 2015 instead of

the annual festival. Due to a high amount

of inquiries, however, the team decided to

re-evaluate their initial decision. “We talked

about it with everyone and decided to move

forward [with the festival format for 2016].

It also gave us the chance to really do New

Forms in the way that I think it’s going.”

Over the years, New Forms

has been held at various locations

throughout the city. From The Waldorf

Hotel to Great Northern Way and

Science World, the festival has seen

its fair share of venues with which the

team has been able to experiment in the

development of new creative ideas and

insight. Now in its 16th year, the team

will be taking their years of experience

to a whole new level at the iconic A&B

Sound building at 560 Seymour and the

Satellite Gallery upstairs. “The space

will look nothing like it has ever looked

[before],” boasts Levy. “We’re basically

re-contextualizing the entire space.”

“I’m really excited about the entire

festival, and I’m not just saying that.

I’m excited about every aspect,” shares

Levy. Being in his final year as director

of New Forms, Levy has witnessed

the festival grow into the successful

new media arts and music hub that it

is today. “I’ve seen artists, labels, and

communities blow up around the

festival. I’ve seen so many friendships,

collaborations, communication,

discourse, and creative growth. I cherish

and look really fondly on all of it.”

New Forms Festival happens at 560

Seymour Street from October 7-8.

Nicolas Sassoon

Jamie Goyman

A festival that both promotes creative

growth and allows for attendees to

experience independent and groundbreaking

artists in a recognizable format,

New Forms Festival will be making its

triumphant return back to Vancouver’s

cultural landscape this October. Known

to push the boundaries of artist curation

both musically and visually, this year

proves to be no exception.

Having worked with New Forms

multiple times in the past, this year’s job as

digital art curator for the festival has been

bestowed on local visual artist Nicolas

Sassoon. “A lot of electronic music events

are very immersive and intense in terms

of sensorial experiences,” he explains. “My

installation work is often driven by similar

relationships between moving images

and the human body, or architecture. This

correlation is particularly effective in a dark

after-hours electronic music party; it’s the type

of setting where people want to let go and seek

overwhelming experiences.”

Sassoon’s first experience with New

Forms was creating an installation for a

performance by electronic music producer

Omar-S back in 2010, which in turn was

also his first time ever creating work for an

electronic music night. “After that specific

one, I knew that I wanted to keep going,”

he recalls. “I focus on the experience I want

to create in a given space. This is what

leads my choices for installation works,

exhibition layouts, and online works. I

like to think that most of the audience

will tag along if the experience you offer is

cohesive from start to finish.”

“Events like New Forms or

underground venues are so great and

unique. They offer much more flexibility in

terms of what you can do and the people

behind these events are very genuine and

passionate,” Sassoon says. “I try not to take

in consideration mainstream audience

reception because everyone has a different

opinion about everything. I have a few

people who I trust for critical feedback

and I stick to them.” When looking at

the festival’s programming and knowing

Sassoon is behind visual curation, it really

is no wonder why New Forms has become

such an iconic event in the Vancouver

scene and why it’s so important to go and

experience it for yourself.

New Forms Festival happens at 560

Seymour Street from October 7-8.

Best of New Forms 16

BeatRoute’s must see acts for New Forms Festival 2016


Vanessa Tam

hollie mcgowan

With a busy weekend of programming

setup for the return of New Forms

this year, it’s only natural to feel a

little overwhelmed by all the options.

Whether you’re trying to decide which

single day to hit up or are preparing to

go all in on both, we rounded up six of

our must see acts for this year’s New

Forms Festival.


An artist with a strong intuitive

understanding of rhythm and

percussion, Deft, aka Yip Wong, will be

a deep sonic exploration that is not to

be missed this year at New Forms. The

Croydon based artist has also gained

recognition from a range of notable

musicians as broad as his musical

repertoire including Mark Pritchard, B.

Traits, Addison Groove, and DJ Shadow.

Saturday, October 8th at 560 Seymour


evolving post-dubstep bass music scene.

Releasing music on labels like Hotflush,

R&S Records, and Soul Jazz as well as

his own imprint Hemlock, Dunning

continues to be a true innovator of

beats and melodies that are both

experimental yet danceable.

Saturday, October 8th at 560 Seymour



A bit of an enigma, Strategy, aka Paul

Dickow, can be seen and heard making

music across a variety of genres when it

comes to electronic music production.

House, techno, experimental, and

dub, are just some of the styles you

can expect to hear from the Portland,

Oregon based artist.

Friday, October 7th at Satellite Gallery

560 Seymour Street


Edmonton grown producer Dylan

Khotin-Foote, who is now based in

Vancouver, makes dreamy house

rhythms under the moniker Khotin.

Regularly producing work with local

label Pacific Rhythm as well as his

own label Normals Welcome, ambient


All the way from London, UK, Untold,

aka Jack Dunning, has definitely made

his prominent mark on the eversamples

and club-friendly grooves

are definite staples in the work of this

talented local producer.

Friday, October 7th at 560 Seymour


D. Tiffany

Elusive producer D. Tiffany, aka Sophie

Sweetland, can often be found playing

secret studio shows around Vancouver with

regular releases coming out on local label

1080p. Known for her lo-fi house and techno

productions, you can trust the dancefloor

won’t be missing any bodies dancing along

to her original blissed out tracks.

Friday, October 7th at Home Theatre

Department 560 Seymour Street

Laine Butler

Experienced visual artist Laine Butler has

prepared gorgeous projection work for

numerous artists and festivals including

this year’s Shambhala Music Festival. A

core member of the Vancouver based

artist collective Chapel Sound, Butler

uses a combination of both physical and

digital inspiration to create his totally

unique final product.

October 6-7 at 560 Seymour Street






if Vancouver is a musical vacuum, then V just might be the remedy

Chris Jimenez

So Loki is a local hip-hop duo consisting of rapper

Sam Lucia and electronic music composer Natura

a.k.a. Geoff Millar, who are originally from Edmonton

and Vancouver respectively. Finding harmony in each

other’s obsessive work ethic, the two solo artists

really melded over their strongly fueled passion for

electronic hip-hop.

Their experience with music began with Millar’s

interest in learning music at age 16 which eventually

led to him pursuing digital music production at

Langara College. Lucia, on the other hand, originally

wanted to make comics, until one day his mom asked

him to think of a rap while she was cutting his hair at

age 12. “It won’t hurt as much if you think of a rap and

when it’s done, you can tell it to me,” she said to him,

sowing the seed.

Speaking on their experience in the Vancouver

music scene Millar says, “I think that there’s a vacuum

in Vancouver; it’s a gaping hole, especially for hip-hop.

There is still people doing it though; all the stuff [that]

we do is [the] stuff [that] we want to listen to. We

wouldn’t do this if we didn’t think this was something

truthful to us and something unique.”

“Geoff is right about paving a new path because

most [of the] people that [seem to] get anywhere in

Vancouver leave Vancouver,” Lucia adds. “If we stay

here, we will become that landmark. If this could

be that place where everyone knows that So Loki is

stamped on it, I think it would be so much more

important than giving it to other places that have already

built the bottom bricks. It’s very sad to see people leave

when there is [still so much] opportunity [here].”

Putting their work where their mouth is, the

duo’s latest album V reaches for new heights in the

West Coast experimental hip-hop scene. It features

tracks that showcase depth and weirdness, similar to

the feeling of walking out of a well-designed haunted

house, heart pleasantly pumping.

“I do want them to feel weird; I want them to feel a

little bit out of place,” notes Lucia. “Some of the best

music I ever heard was Eminem’s Slim Shady LP and

I just remember thinking that some of this shit

is so real I don’t [even] wanna show this to my

mom. It’s the best feeling ever because you know

it’s honest and you can defend it at the end of

the day. I think people should be pleasantly

surprised and be kind of weirded out by that

feeling of pleasantness.”

“I think more recently we wanted to push

the music further,” Miller added. “We wanted

people to feel like moshing and then have

moments of bliss... and then moshing again.”

Editoral assistance by: Vanessa Tam

So Loki performs at their album release party at

TBA on October 28th.

Experimental hip-hop group So Loki strives to push their genre as far as possible while remaining true to Vancouver


October 2016

Been There Done That

questionable advice from a comedian

Kathleen McGee

This column is usually advice from me

but this month I’m going to share some

advice that I received from one of the

funniest comics working today, he didn’t even

know he was offering advice. Hannibal Buress in

one of the calmest comics I’ve ever worked with.

A few years ago I opened for him at The Comic

Strip in Edmonton, he was still mainly a cult hit, a

comic that comedy fans knew of but wasn’t the

mainstream sensation that he is now.

Watching him work was a real education

in how to be comfortable with your material

and who you are. He was and is a comic that

makes comedy look effortless. I took him to

one of my favourite bars in Edmonton after

the show. These are the things I learned from

him that night.

Filthy McNasty’s had the arcade

version of Street Fighter. I didn’t know how

to play so I just watched. About 30 seconds

into his 50 cents a fight broke out. A pool

cue flew right past my head and the fight

was heading its way towards us. I started

Hannibal Buress performs in Vancouver

on October 21 at the Chan Center for The

performing Arts. Kathleen McGee will be

headlining Yuk Yuk’s Vancouver October

27 to 29.


a stage for the world’s best to come and say yes to

Graeme Wiggins

So you’ve caught a Vancouver

TheatreSports League show, or seen

local improv group play a show at Café

Deux Soleil and took interest. You

might wonder, where can I go from

there? What else can Vancouver offer

me in terms of improv? Well, October

4-8 marks the return of the Vancouver

International Improv Festival, marking

its 17th year in existence. It’s sure to

satisfy any improv needs you might

have, with over thirty performances, and

even the possibility to learn how to do it

yourself through expert-led workshops.

Alistair Cook, festival director, describes

its motivation thusly: “I knew we wanted to

bring the world to Vancouver to experience the

great improv we have, and let our local scene

experience some international flavor.”

Picking artists for this kind of thing can

be quite the task. One could focus on known

quantities and big names, guaranteeing

success. But VIIF focused on keeping things

eclectic. As Cook puts it, “We really focus

on a blend of theatrical and high-comedy

styles at our festival. We try to select groups

that are internationally known but not

necessarily household names. Basically, stars of

tomorrow, bleeding edge art, and juuuust flat

out gut-busting funny.”

Given that there are over 30

performances, trying to figure out where

to begin can be a little intimidating. Cook

offers some suggestions: “I’m excited for the

GOLDEN from Austin, Texas and their silent

to move out of the way and told Hannibal

to move as well. He said “nah I just put my

money in” and continued to finish his game

while a real fight went on next to him. The

lesson here is always finish what you’ve

started and have no fear.

That night was also the first time I

tried a pickle back. Hannibal ordered one,

I had never heard of this but I’m always

on board for anything pickle related. If you

have no idea what I’m talking about it’s a

shot of Whiskey followed by a shot of pickle

juice. It blew my mind. Never be afraid to try

something new, you’ll probably love it and it

will probably contribute to your already out

of control drinking problem.

Hannibal Buress is wildly known for

getting the “Bill Cosby isn’t nice, he’s a rapist”

ball rolling. For years there had been rumours

and women that tried to make people see

what a horrible person he is. It took one set

that went viral for people to finally believe that

Cosby was not the sweet pudding loving man

that his public persona made him out to be.

Hannibal showed us we should always speak up,

film show. One Lions (headliner from 2014),

Sexy Baby (Hot show from NYC), Shakespeare

after Dark (basically drunk improvised

Shakespeare), and Rapid Fire Theatre’s SNEAK

PEEK (an improvised movie based on a preview

the improvisers have never seen before).” And

if you want something with a little more local

flavor, Vancouver favourites such as Vancouver

TheatreSports League, The Fictionals, and

Sunday Service will also be showcased.

But really, given such a diverse collection

of acts, it’s pretty hard to pick just a few; you

can’t go wrong. As Cook puts it, “These ones

are going to be so good, but then, now that I

look at the rest of the schedule there are four

Kathleen McGee has learned a thing or two from the great Hannibal Buress.

say what you think and if there’s something

foul on Jell-O Mountain, spread the

word. Who knows, you might take

down one of the biggest monsters

in living history.

or five more that stand out. Just get an evening

pass, grab a beer, and enjoy a whole evening

of curated comedy. Every night is going to be

great. Opening night is only five dollars and

showcases almost everyone!”

Cook does have one serious “don’t miss”

recommendation, however: “Make sure to see

at least one of each of Festival Ensemble Bravo and

Echo’s shows. The festival Ensemble is a collection

of some of the greatest improvisers in the world. 24

performers selected out of a pool of over 200. They

are top notch and really do entertain.”

Apart from simple enjoyment and

laughter, VIIF also offers the possibility of

taking something more practical back with

you: knowledge. “From Hollywood to the

boardroom, we’re seeing improv being used

in many creative ways,” said Montreal’s Vinny

François, who will be teaching at the festival.

“Improvisers are also successful actors,

business owners, writers, and engineers.

Improv skills can be applied to many parts

of life.” In keeping with that, VIIF has a

series of workshops featuring many of the

performers and instructors both from

Vancouver and abroad.

Check out the Vancouver International

Improv Festival October 4 to October 8

at venues around Vancouver.

October 2016 comedy






on being a hyperfetishizedfeminasian

Kendell Yan

Photo by Galen Exo



erotically charged minimalist artist

David Cutting

In his cozy West End apartment, Ethan

Murley sits against a singular pink back

drop. This back drop has been used as a

focal point for a series of photographs

that Murley has shared on his

Instagram (@gaptoothb) with huge

success, the inspiration of these photos

being naked men. His goal was to show

the juxtaposition between masculine

and feminine and how the two intermingle

in all forms of life. “My art is all

me, it’s a reflection of me that is diluted

down so that it can be consumed by a

broader audience. I strip it down so that

it is relatable to everyone in some way,”

says Murley of his art.

As we are catching up, there is a

simple line painting against the wall.

Murley gestures, “This new project is

simple line drawings of erotic figures, they

are so simple that you can’t actually tell

whether they are male or female, I wanted

it to be left to interpretation.” The canvas

I am staring at depicts an individual

performing analingus on another

individual, in minimal presentation the

image isn’t as erotically charged as perhaps

the image it’s based off is.

Murley grew up in conservative

Mormon family, art became his way

to express the emotions he was feeling

in this setting. Murley shares that he

knew who he was growing up, always

So there I was lying on his

bed, naked as the day

I came; and this time

we both did. The heat

of that midsummer

afternoon lent his

bedroom the delicate

aroma of spunk and

old spice. Before I

even had time to

towel down or

grab my briefs

he launched into

a psychological

assessment of my

sexual tactics, and

pegged me as a

lovelorn faux slut. All

of this culminating in

the poignant slut shaming

of the outfit I wore to his house. “Don’t

sleep with the next guy on the first date

and wear something less slutty, you’ll land

him,” he said. Eugh. Worst.

I’d never done the proper Grindr hookup

thing before, mostly I’d slogged through

an onslaught of lousy pickup lines, racist

assumptions, and hypermasculinist

prejudices. Being a half-Asian, gendernonconforming,

vers-bttm on Grindr

demands exclusion from the

gravitating to clothing and items that

helped him express his inner world,

the challenge was his family’s drive to

censor that at times. “I wasn’t allowed

to present as a faggot, but when I left

I got to choose how to represent myself

and now that translates to my art.” says

Murley. Nothing could dim the bright

spirit within this kind man.

When we spoke about the future

he said he is excited to do more shows,

and show more of his work. He wants to

begin doing work that can be presented

to a broader audience in the world, as

a lot of his past work was Vancouver

specific. He is referring to a series of

pieces that depicts addresses of his past

lovers. His future is bright and full of

collaborations with artists both local

and abroad. Go give him follow to keep

up to date.

hypermasculinist, cis-white dudes who

plaster #masc4masc and/or “sorry, no Asians,

no femmes” all over their profiles. On the

other hand, it demands an inclusion into the

world of being a hyperfetishizedfeminasian

(patent pending).

The fucked up thing about

#masc4masc and the rejection of

femininity in gay hook-up culture is that

it’s really just misogynistic internalized

homophobia. The premium that is

placed on being “masculine” and therefore

“manly” creates a hierarchy that dismisses

femininity as undesirable and weak. This

sham “preference” constrains masculinity

and suffocates the possibilities of a more

nuanced sexuality.

With race things get a bit more

intersectional for bodies like mine,

bodies that must brace themselves

under the weight of a monolithic

colonial history. The stereotype of the

“China doll” has its roots in Marco Polo’s

thirteenth century white-nonsense

portrayals of the East: passive Asian

women, weak men, lots of opium. This

douchenozzle produced feminized

images of “the Orient” served to bolster

the masculine, and subsequently

powerful image of the West. This is

what Edward Said calls Orientalism,

Follow Ethan Murley on instagram at @gaptoothb

and Grindr is a breeding ground for

orientalist bullshit. I can’t tell you how

many times I’ve been called exotic, you

know, like an animal or a rug.

What #masc4masc reveals is a

trembling masculine fragility preceded

by self loathing. It associates “gay acting”

with being femme, and in turn, with

weakness, and so rejects itself and opts

for “straight passing sex.”

“No Asians, no femmes” conflates

being Asian with being feminine and

denies the infinite depths of the sexual/

personal identities of all gay Asian men.

It’s the idea perpetuating a West vs. East

mentality, or white vs. yellow, or strong

vs. weak. The assumption remains that

Asian men and women are wholly

submissive, and while I am, I am not

necessarily. This is key.

So after this guy got all his

mansplaining out, I towelled off and

put my slutfit on. If I was white, or

more masculine, I doubt he’d have the

audacity to act the way he did, but then

again being the stereotypically smart

Asian, I know the math: if Asian then

Femme, Femme being < Masc, Masc

is =/> straightacting, straightacting =

privilege, privilege remains constant

while all others remain unequal.

— Photo by Ethan Murley

24 queer

October 2016

jane smoker

pushing the boundaries of Vancouver drag

From the Desk

of Carlotta Gurl

Carlotta Gurl

People always ask me what I have

learned over my 20 plus years

performing in Vancouver and all

over North America, and how these

memorable experiences have shaped

who I am today. Well I’d like to share

some of the truth and wisdom I’ve

gleaned from the past two decades

with you.

Performing and working with the

myriad array of artists and entertainers

I’ve had the extreme pleasure to know,

I’ve learned that nothing is what it seems

and to never judge a book by its cover.

It’s not good to have a preconceived

notion of a person simply because of

the way they look or how they come

across in their first impression. For

example, when first meeting me, I’m

sure people only see the vapid, vacuous

blonde piece of fluff with limited lip

sync ability and an ass that would make

Christ come off the cross, and for the

most part that’s true. However, there’s

much more than meets the eye. Always

take the time to delve a little deeper.

You may be genuinely surprised what

you find.

As a person who has literally swam

through the many oceans of change in

the party scene, I can honestly say you

don’t have to frequent every single party

every single night. Trust me, I’ve tried

and the only thing it accomplishes is

burnout and exhaustion, coupled with

horrible hangovers and in some cases

explosive diarrhea, not a fun experience

let me tell you. Yes, networking at a high

profile party where you can exchange

ideas with like minded individuals

and get to know people on a different

level is important and necessary for

personal development, and I would

say I’ve probably garnered some great

opportunities and exposure at these

parties. But to make that happen, I

didn’t have to go to every single fakkin’

one of them. Choose the parties you

wanna go to based on who you know

is gonna be there, the music, the venue,

and whether or not you have a big

day the next day. THERE IS ALWAYS


I’ve had the good fortune of working

with many different corporations around

town which has led to many exciting

experiences and situations both in and

out of town. Probably one of the most

humbling of these experiences was being

in New York last year when the Supreme

Court ruling came in favour of legalizing

same sex marriage in all 50 states. I was

there doing a media event with Tourism

Vancouver and after the morning event

we went to the Stonewall to witness the

celebrations over this ruling. It was truly

an amazing and poignant moment in

time to be at the birthplace of the gay

rights movement and experience this

milestone firsthand. It was also a very

moving experience for me personally as

a drag queen seeing and hearing what a

key role the drag performers have played

in the furthering of gay rights in society.

This truly made me feel like I was a part

of something much bigger and made me

feel that my purpose as a drag queen was

much more important than I had ever

known. There have been many more but

those are stories for another time. Right

now my little Lottas out there, I invite

you all to throw me some questions for

future columns and if there’s any way I

can help you I will. Be nice to each other

and remember the most important

thing: we are all pretty...especially me.

Love you dahlings.

You can see Carlotta on Wednesdays

at 11p.m. at the Junction for the Barron

Gurl Show, on Fridays at 11:30 p.m. at

the Odyssey for Feature Length Fridays,

and on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. at the

Junction for Absolutely Dragulous. Or

just spot her around the West End,

because after all she is the Queen.

David Cutting

Jane Smoker is drag force of nature.

She has been there and fucking done

that. When she walks on to the stage,

the crowd screams. We have seen her

a thousand times and we still come

back for more. If you are even minutely

familiar with the Vancouver Drag

community, you’ll have heard her name.

Her performances are breathtaking,

and the effort and heart she puts into

them are what has brought this queen

to the top.

Blonde ambition is Jane’s game.

Having performed on every stage this

city, from her humble beginnings at

Mr/Miss Cobalt in 2012, Jane Smoker

has made herself into a consumable

commodity. This year, Jane published a

book of her own drag selfies, a feat that

other queens marvel at. “When you

first break into the scene, you’re going

to be intimidated because there are a

lot of BIG personalities and names that

you’ll admire and look up to and feel

like you’ll never attain anything close to

their level, but it’s possible,” Jane says,

as we talk about advice she would give

to young performers. “Confidence is

everything because unfortunately no

one is going to hold your hand and no

one is going to hand you opportunities.

I’ve always said since day one, ‘be the

star you think you are.’ You have to get

out there, show them what you got even

if that means working for free for a year.

Show people why you belong. There is

always a spot for you.”

Even in her rich white woman

demure, she gushes about community.

“We all share this bond of being a part of

the local LGBTQ umbrella and while we

don’t necessarily have a best friendship

with absolutely everyone, you know that

in the time of need, any (if not every)

member of the community would be

there for one of there own in a time of

need,” Jane maintains. “Every member

of the community is a different piece

to the puzzle whether you are a drag

queen, DJ, promoter, bartender, artist, or

even just a regular bar patron. Everyone

is integral to making the scene rich

with different characters, personalities,

talents and most importantly lessons

that we can all learn from each other,

both young and older.”

Jane’s list of accolades is a mile long,

with numerous monthly and weekly

shows under her belt, including a guest

spot at Micky’s (a really hot drag venue

in Los Angeles) and her role in the Spice

Gurls as Posh. She even won the title

of Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar in

2015. Her current shows are a huge draw

for people — PLAYBOY is her monthly

at XY and BRATPACK is her weekly at

Junction, the latter of which she shares

with three of her drag sisters.

“Drag is not easy and no one knows

what we go through except other drag

queens,” says Jane. “A true drag sister

is someone who will keep you inspired,

motivated and confident when it’s not all

sunshine and rainbows. They teach you

and in turn you teach them back. On a

lighter note, what’s more fun than going

dress shopping as a group of dudes?”

Our addiction for Jane isn’t going

away any time soon and she wouldn’t

have it any other way. She says we have

a stand up show to look forward to, a

contest for a new BRATPACK member

coming, and, of course, new evolutions

in her style. We’ve seen the bra and

panty phase, we loved the stripper

phase, we’re enjoying the current


phase, but what’s next? Guess we will

have to feed our craving and see.

Jane Smoker performs with BRATPACK

on Thursdays at the Junction; at the

BRATPACK Halloween Special on

October 27 at the Junction; PLAYBOY

on October 15 at XY; HELL at Sweet Pup

Studios on October 28; and STRANGER

QUEENS at XY on October 29.

October 2016 queer




local music purveyors keep culture on rotation

Axel Matfin

The brand new Red Cat Records at 2447

Hastings is open and ready to make

some noise. Having run the original Red

Cat at 4332 Main for over ten years, coowners

Dave Gowans and Lasse Lutick

are venturing farther east, prepared to

capture the ears of the Eastside.

“I don’t think we would have

opened another one without being

pretty optimistic about the future,”

says Lutick.

“It felt like a bit of a gamble,”

chimes in Gowans. “But now that

it’s open, the way the neighborhood

has reacted, everyone’s really happy

because everyone was coming from

here [Hastings Sunrise] over to Main

Street, whether it’s to buy records or

buy [concert] tickets.”

The storefront has seen a fresh

paint job and is lined with a perimeter

of wooden drawers filled with neatly

arranged double sleeved discs. The

room feels therapeutic, an escape

from the busy autumn street. A library

of the artfully curated and popular

collections of sound, Red Cat provides

new releases and special orders as well

as buying and selling used vinyl. There’s

no discrimination of styles here; as long

as the discs are clean, they’ll probably

take them off your hands.

“We have rock and jazz and blues

and funk and soul, we want something

for everyone. We don’t turn away a lot,”

states Lutick. “There are tons [of albums]

where millions were made and we sell

them every day, like Fleetwood Mac

Rumours. Who would think that would

be worth something ‘cause there were so

many made? But a clean copy of that?”

I ask how the world of a Vancouver

music retailer has changed in the

past ten years. They pause before

agreeing that since vinyl is returning to

popularity, it seems to be the preferred

format for bands to distribute on and, as

such, Red Cat doesn’t have to organize

a glut of indie CDs. Despite the decline

in overall consignment, both men also

agreed that the amount of local bands

producing vinyl has increased.

“It seems like the bands that are

committing to putting out an album

are doing it on vinyl,” Gowans says.

“I would like to say that it seems like

more of them are sticking together

for a couple of records. You see them

bring in their second album on vinyl,

some even their third. I think it’s a big

financial commitment for an indie band

and I think it’s great that people get

the financial resources to spend $3000

on 500 records, you know it’s a lot of

money. So it’s pretty brave.”

When pressed for recommendations

of recent releases from local artists,

both men suggest Adrian Teacher and

the Subs’ album Terminal City.

What’s clear from talking with the

owners of Red Cat is that collecting

records is no longer an arcane hobby for

the fevered purists and collectors — it is

access to intimacy with the art we love.

“There is a huge desire to be

more attached to the thing you like.

For people that really like music,

sometimes MP3 isn’t enough. You

want to have it and engage with that piece

of music,” states Gowans.

A surge of expansion and success

from a cultural purveyor like Red Cat

represents the re-emergence of the people’s

participation in the community and

commerce of music. The era of sterile big

box music retailers continues its deserved

death knell; but rather than capitulate to

digital retail trends, we should take this

opportunity to re-engage with the crucial

and brave cultural services provided by the

good people at Red Cat Records.

Red Cat Records is located at 2447

Hastings St. and 4332 Main St.


local skateboard company gets in the cycle lane

Yasmine Shemesh

When Thomas Edstrand and Michael

Perreten saw that the vacant building

on 1146 Union St. was for sale, it was like

fate. They’d talked about making their

own bicycles twenty years ago while

they were students at the University of

Victoria, around the same time they

decided to start their handmade

skateboard company, Landyachtz.

Just a few blocks from their existing

workshop and located right on the

Adanac bike route, the 5,000 square

foot space provided the perfect

opportunity to finally expand.

“Our business has always been

about doing things that we believe

in,” Perreten says, “and from the first

boards that we made, we were really

ideological.” With both founders

being avid skaters and cyclists,

improving quality of life by getting

outside and being active is at the core

of Landyachtz’s values. “It’s a positive

thing and so it’s great to be producing

a product that does that for people,”

adds Edstrand.

Like with their boards, craftsmanship

and design are two of the most

integral components of Edstrand and

Perreten’s bicycles. So important, in

fact, that when they received their

first product sample, they shipped

it back to the manufacturer because

it didn’t live up to their standards.

They then decided to craft the bikes

in-house themselves — something

that would not only ensure premium

quality, but also facilitate a special

connection between the rider and

their ride. “When you build something

in your community here, then people

have more of a connection to it,”

Edstrand explains. “People have a

better relationship with the product.”

And it’s all about the details. The

two models, the Landyachtz City Bike

and the 1146 Series, are both sleek and

easy on the graphics, made with specific

functionality in mind. For urban terrain,

the LCB has a race-inspired frame, a flat

handlebar, and hydraulic disc brakes; the

1146 combines road bike geometry with

its Columbus steel tubing to provide

speed and comfort.

That once-vacant building on 1146

Union St. is now the Landyachtz Bikes

flagship. Part retail shop, part workshop,

and part community hub, with a ramp

in the back and an arcade room, it’s

truly a brick and mortar embodiment

of hard work, hopes, and dreams — all

made with love.

Landyachtz Bikes is located at 1146 Union St.


October 2016


a sanctuary for those who like their cream iced and their kombucha in a float

Come for the flavors, stay for the hanging basket chair, do the namesake proud.



enter at own risk: new life obsession resides inside

Paris Spence-Lang

What makes a great pillow and is also

the name of Vancouver’s newest ice

cream shop? Fluffy Kittens.

It’s dinnertime on a cold day that

threatens rain, but people are still filling

the Chinatown shop. The David Bowie

soundtrack only pauses for Queen and

kids are spinning in a hanging nest.

Everything is ridiculously pastel.

I’m struck by a large splotch of

pink on the otherwise-whitewashed

walls, the focal point of the shop.

Random names are scrawled in cursive

on this splotch: Salt Lick, Tubify, Say

Hello, Artisto. Are these flavours? Can

I eat them? I have so much to learn.

It turns out these are the ice

cream, gelato, and popsicle makers,

most of them severely local and loveintensive.

The freezers — known as

“dipping cabinets” to the aficionados

— reveal the true flavours, but even

these are strangers to my Neapolitan

upbringing: maple fennel, buttermilk

rhubarb, peach bourbon, chocolate

chili. Though they do have vanilla. “To

be honest, it’s one of my favourites,”

says Claudine Michaud.

Michaud is now on my Interesting

Persons list. The owner of a Kitsilano

spa, she originally intended to open up

a wellness center and organic café —

when the adjacent space was offered,

she grabbed it to host pop-ups. But

when one fell through — an ice cream

shop — she wanted a scoop so badly she

decided to open her own.

Now, Michaud and her business

partner and partner-partner Kirin —

the Rennies of the holistic world — are

hooked, and I can see why. Michaud has

her favourite flavour stashed in the back.

Kirin is sipping a draft of Hoochybooch

Kombucha (that’s right: they have it on

tap, and they do floats). The refurbished

shop is a true mundane-to-sundae affair.

And as the community rallies in this small

space of hanging nests and damn good ice

cream, I understand why it is full on a rainy

Fall evening. Because how can you say no

to ice cream, and love — and how can you

say no to Fluffy Kittens?

Fluffy Kittens is located at 611 Gore

Avenue and is open from 3pm - 10:30pm,

Monday - Sunday.

Paris Spence-Lang

Nitzan Cohen looks a little

worried. Probably because sorrow

has clouded my face after taking

a tentative bite of the Reuben

sandwich he’s put in front of me.

But Cohen, know this: I never

smile when I eat a great meal.

Instead, your Reuben is making

me question what little meaning

I’ve eked out of my existence. And it’s

because of the pastrami.

The pastrami is a destroyer

of worlds. I can only describe it as

thus: incomparable. Cohen, the

mensch behind Mensch. Jewish

Delicatessen, makes it himself —

the only one on the West Coast who

does, he claims, north of Portland.

Slow-cooked in the shop and paired

with local, fresh-baked bread and

a home-brined pickle, the meat —

and sandwich — are prepared in

front of you, to order. Meat & Bread

tastes like Lunchables to me now.

The menu is as Spartan as the small

shop. Along with the reuben and

pastrami, an egg salad rounds out

the sandwich trifecta. “One man who

lived in New York came here looking

for real pastrami,” Cohen tells me in a

soft Israeli accent. “He started getting

it twice a week. Then I convinced him

to try the egg salad. Now he gets that

twice a week.”

The lox is also incredible, made

in-house with flavours of beet, vodka,

and dill, sitting on a bagel with a

Winnipeg snowdrift of Labneh cheese.

And I don’t know if I still need to say

it, but yes, he also makes the cheese

himself. I don’t think Cohen sleeps.

But if he isn’t sleeping, it’s because

he’s trying to reawaken a tradition of

real food, made well. “I’m not trying

to reinvent the wheel. I’m trying to do

something simple. Everything in here

is simple.” And simple talks volumes

— but his customers don’t. Their

mouths are full of pastrami.

Mensch. Jewish Delicatessen is

located at 666 East Broadway and

is open from 11am - 3pm, Monday -

Wednesday and Sunday; 11am - 7pm,

Thursday - Friday.

Hot pastrami and home-cured lox worth leaving New York for.

October 2016 CITY



bringing the city back to the people amongst the hip allure of ownership

Sadie Barker

When asked about the origins of

his new book, What a City Is For,

East Vancouver-based author and

teacher Matt Hern refers back nearly

ten years ago to trips to Portland

with his graduate students. The days

consisted of meetings with nonprofit

organizations and planners

— faces of Portland’s innovative

urbanization — all of whom, it was

quickly noted, were white. In an effort

to diversify, Hern sought connections

with initiatives in Portland’s black

and Latino communities. This proved

challenging because, he says, “Portland

is the whitest city ever.” But it wasn’t

always, and tracing the development of

Portland to its current reputation — a

liberal-dwelling locale, ripe with craft

beer and green space — narrates an

upsetting history.

Portland’s development in

the last 20 years is shadowed by

racist constitution, discriminatory

real-estate practice, and systemic

displacement. Today Albina, once a

predominately black neighborhood,

is unrecognizable: white and uppermiddle

class, with exclusive housing

prices. The story surrounding it —

a shift from black community, to

“classic ghetto,” to site of renewed

investment — is ubiquitous. It dictates

the social pathologies, like addiction,

unemployment, and displacement that

arise when a community is subject to

racial gentrification. This includes the

withdrawing of social services and housing

condemnation, typically followed by

renewed investment in the neighborhood

by those who can afford it.

Hern, who has

spearheaded many initiatives

in his Commercial Drive

community including

Groundswell: Grassroots

Economic Alternatives, is familiar

with the problematic relationship

between improvement and capital.

This phenomenon is reflected in the

skyrocketing real estate of his own

neighborhood and the “For Sale” sign

on his front door. Hern though, is

hasty to differentiate between degrees

of displacement, deeming his own

inconsequential in comparison to

Albina or the theft of Indigenous land.

Portland’s urban narrative is a

common one and it’s pervasive in

many cities, Vancouver included.

Commodification of land is an oftenpresumed

concept within Western

property rights, but it’s also, Hern

claims, the root of civic peril. Indeed, in a

city like Vancouver, with a 50/50 split of

renters and buyers, property ownership

fosters oppositional politics — owners

seeking high property value, renters

seeking low-rent. But should land be

commodified? Property ownership is

entrenched in Western consciousness,

but that that doesn’t make it right.

A reworking may be in order.

Hern suggests investing in cooperative,

non-market provisions of property,

recognizing the importance of common

and unfettered land, and looking

towards Indigenous concepts of

sovereignty. Because what is a city for?

A city is for everyone.

Matt Hern discusses and launches his

book, What a City Is For, at the Djavad

Mowafaghian World Art Center on

October 21.

Matt Hern looks at the epidemic that is gentrification

and the scars it leaves on a community


the dawn of Vancouver’s social justice backbone caught on film

Jennie Orton

As the matrix has made pocketsized

camera computers available to

almost every person on the planet to

document the world around them,

the art of photo documentation has

gone from quality to quantity in the

blink of a photo burst. As a result, you

can notice two intriguing truths while

strolling the 400 images on display at

The Museum of Vancouver’s Vancouver

in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade

that Changed the City exhibit: the

vocation of photojournalism has, by

accessibility, become an evolved artistry

less dependent on instinct and timing,

and much of what gives Vancouver its

human pulse remains unchanged.

Curator Viviane Gosselin talks

about the exhibition, which is a sister

project of the book by the same name

written by retired Vancouver Sun

research librarian Kate Bird, and the

decision to categorize the images by

theme instead of chronologically, as they

are presented in the book; ideas such as

“Building in Vancouver,” “Performing in

Vancouver,” and “Playing in Vancouver,”

to name a few. This practice allowed

for attention to be paid to the

vibe of the city and how much the

decade was seminal in establishing

Vancouver’s personality.

“Something I find captivating is

protesting in Vancouver in the ‘70s, a lot

of the issues are resonating with today,”

notes Gosselin. The exhibit features

photos documenting the Gastown

Riots in 1971 (a clash between smokein

protesters wanting the legalization

of marijuana and police), the Battle of

Jericho (a showdown between hippies

squatting in the abandoned barracks of

Jericho Beach and police that resulted

in a dialogue about affordable options

for young travellers in the city), and the

1971 founding of Greenpeace Canada in

Vancouver amidst concerns of nuclear

testing and pipelines.

“For every decade since the ‘20s

there have always been a lot of people

in the streets protesting and exercising

their democratic right so I think it has

become something of a Vancouverite

ethos: that we want to manifest and we

want to express ourselves and we do

that as a collective, and the streets

are the outlet or the place to do that,”

Gosselin continues.

What sets these images apart is the

compositional expertise adopted by those

who chose to make photojournalism their

career in the 1970s.

“Certainly when you look at

those 400 images, they are amazing

historical documents but they are

also aesthetically stunning,” Gosselin

posits. “They are beautiful art


Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from

a Decade that Changed the City runs at

the Museum of Vancouver from October

13 - February 26.


October 2016



the right to grow causes ripples in the medicinal pot pond

Jennie Orton

The announcement on August 24 of the provisions

under the newly minted Access to Cannabis for

Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) put the

legal right to grow marijuana for medicinal use

back in the hands of registered medicinal users.

But as Vincent Vega once said: it’s legal, but it ain’t

100% legal. Here’s

what you need

to know about

the amended


The favorable

ruling in Allard v.

Canada earlier this

year declared it a

violation of liberty

and security

rights protected

by section seven

of the Canadian

Charter of Rights

and Freedoms to

require individuals

to get marijuana

only from licensed

producers. The

right to grow

for personal

medicinal use

was stripped

from the formerly

accepted MMAR

(Marihuana Medical Access Regulations) when

it was amended into the MMPR (Marihuana for

Medical Purposes Regulations) in June of 2013.

You following this so far?

This ruling was contested in a number of

directions: R v. Smith in June of 2015 resulted

in the expansion of legal products from just

dry plant to other extractions, then the Allard

decision in February of 2016 resulted in the

formation of the ACMPR.

According to Terry Roycroft of the Medicinal

Cannabis Resource Centre Inc., the changes

merely bring the situation back to its roots but

don’t deal with any of the problems that led to

the court decisions that changed the MMAR in

the first place.

“People can grow their own medicine,

they have the choice so that’s really good

for the patients,” Roycroft admits. “The

downside is they’ve re-introduced the

doctors into the mix here. Back in the MMAR

there was a lot of pressure on doctors to sign

off on large amounts because this is where

dispensaries get a lot of their product. They

get it from the MMAR growers. It’s not legal;

it’s a grey area.”

This creative method of growing for

profit under the legal umbrella of registered

medicinal use is a significant shortcoming in

the regulations surrounding the right to grow.

“The doctors are all seeing a lot more people

coming to them, wanting to grow, and pushing for

higher grow limits,” notes Roycroft. “They have

put the doctors in the untenable position now of

being again the gatekeepers.”

Under the new rules, licensed medicinal

users can grow five plants outdoors or two plants

indoors for every

gram prescribed

by their doctor.

Materials to grow

the plants are

now allowed to be

supplied by licensed

providers in the

form of seeds or

cuttings. This is the

only legal way to buy

growing materials,

although seeds can

be procured from

various sources

outside that. See,

this is what Vega

was talking about.

Where it gets

sticky, so to speak,

is the fact that there

are no ratios on the

height of the plants

or number of lights.

So, licensed growers

can grow their

allotted plants to a wide variance of heights and size,

making it possible to grow extremely large amounts

of medicine every month; the excess of which ends

up often being sold to the dispensaries.

Though this lack of ratios can result in a sort

of lawless excess in the local market, it can make it

possible for licensed growers to grow enough

product to create extractions; the production

of which requires exponentially more plant

than just rolling does. Oils are legal to produce

by growers and, unlike the oils produced

legally by licensed producers, wherein the

THC level is restricted to 3% per gram, the

THC levels are not regulated. Any extraction

can be made by materials either personally

grown or purchased from LPs and can be

made as strong as the individual requires. As

such, the upsides and drawbacks of the right

to grow are equally matched.

For those who are recent or continuing

licensed medicinal users who want

information and/or assistance with their

applications to either possess or grow, you

can contact the Medicinal Cannabis Resource

Centre Inc. and set up an appointment with

one of their physicians to discuss your options

and get information on the use of medicinal


Call the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre at 1-855-

537-6272 or check them out online at

October 2016 CITY



This Month

in Film

Paris Spence-Lang

Halloween at The Rio – Oct. 31

Couldn’t find the sexy Swamp-Thing

costume you were looking for? Skip the

clubs and haunt the Rio’s Halloween

triple-bill instead. Start off by jamming

to Harry Belafonte with Beetlejuice.

Next, the power of Christ will likely

compel you to watch one of the scariest

movies of all time, The Exorcist. Chase

off the chills by finishing with the light

hearted Rocky Horror Picture Show:

Halloween Edition. It’s the perfect excuse

to dress up as an alien transvestite.

Jim Jarmusch finds a kindred connection in The Stooges’s rare brand of keeping it real.

Upcoming Releases

Everyone’s on the lookout for the next

big horror flick, and what could be

scarier than Being 17? But this highly

acclaimed movie is far from the shits

how your Shins-year was, following

two warring teens who are forced to

live with each other—and with their

complicated desires. (October 7) In

the realm of uncomplicated desires,

Inferno sees Robert Langdon once

again wanting to unravel a mystery—

until he wakes up with amnesia. The

desires are uncomplicated further

when his doctor turns out to be an

attractive, intelligent, single woman.

(October 13) But Langdon’s troubles

with the church can’t hold a crucible

to the fraternal feuders of Oasis.

Supersonic is a documentary from the

Academy Award-winning producers of

Amy and weaves concert footage with

candid interviews in what could be the

biggest sibling rivalry since Cleopatra

and Ptolemy (October 26).

Gimme Danger

Detroit’s most badass tattoo that will never quite stop itching

Jennie Orton

There is a group of people, both

larger than you expect and smaller

than deserved, who cite The Stooges

as the greatest rock band that ever

existed. There are glossier entries

into this title competition, but as Jim

Jarmusch lovingly demonstrates in his

rockumentary Gimme Danger, none

as steadfast in their conviction to be

themselves as this band.

In a candid and surprisingly

soothing gravely delivery, a voice

flavored overtop of years of relentless

vocal theatrics and bouts of substance

courting, Iggy Pop details the long but

refreshingly genuine tale of The Stooges

and not only their many rises and falls,

but the cultivation of their very selfaware

presence in the rock pantheon.

Though the surviving founding

members were present at time of filming

and accounted for in one recorded

documentation or another (guitarist Ron

Asheton died of a heart attack in 2009,

his brother drummer Scott Asheton died

of a heart attack in 2014, and saxophone

player Steve Mackay in 2015) they all begin

to turn into dads before your eyes, while

waxing romantic about the journey that

both made them and broke them over

the years. It is only Pop, who retains

his appearance as a Velociraptor, who

outlives the rest, both literally and

figuratively, to tell the whole tale.

As a music documentary, this

film does a somewhat orgasmically

detailed job of chipping away at the

sedimentary rock that is The Stooges’

growth as a musical entity: from Pop’s

early influences of Soupy Sales and the

“mega clang” of the metal puncher at a

car manufacturing plant he visited on a

school trip, to their decision to not follow

John Sinclair and his disciples down the

primrose path of white panther madness

in the late sixties and the wild ride that

was Ziggy Stardust’s ever pluming wake.

But it is Jarmusch’s skill at finding the

surprise in the story that mines the beauty

out of this band’s relentless loyalty to

not only each other but their roots (Iggy

Pop, believe it or not, cites living in close

proximity to his parents, who let him

have their master bedroom for his drum

set, as one of his early life gifts). Jarmusch

succeeds where others have failed; those

who tried to, as Pop puts it, “penetrate the

tangled web of our career”, only to “drop

out in horror”.

This is a tale from the ever topical

front lines of Detroit, where people are

made from steel wire, and music has a

certain work ethic attached to it the

dwarfs other venues. The Stooges may

not be cited in the same annals of the

likes of the Beatles or the Stones or even

the Thin White Duke himself, but they knew

how to shake shit up in a way that endures.

“I think I helped wipe out the 60s,”

Pop admits with a grin; the type of grin

earned after years of inducing primal

squirms from those just one inch away from

total freedom.

Gimme Danger will be released

October 28.

30 film

October 2016

Bon Iver

22, A Million

Jagjaguwar Records

Justin Vernon, or Bon Iver, is an endlessly memeable

cultural character. From the now self-parody

narrative of Justin Vernon retreating to an isolated

cabin in the woods to record For Emma Forever Ago

(2009), to his upset Grammy win and the resultant

“who the heck is Bonny Bear?” backlash. The weight

of expectation plays heavily into a major music

release, but few artists with as much mainstream

success seem to be as dedicated to move beyond

what has driven their success, as Bon Iver.

Folks who pine for the passionate guitar-folk

of tracks like “Skinny Love” and “Lump Sum” were

somewhat left in the dust for the misty and layered

second record, the sultry, Bon Iver, Bon Iver (2011),

but it’s hard to lament the change too much. That

said, the more low-tempo, atmosphere-centric

tonality that characterizes Bon Iver, Bon Iver, and

carries on into 22, A Million doesn’t come entirely

out of left field. Vernon has released two records

under his own name, the second of which, the wispy

Hazeltons (2006) features some of the same vocal

doubling that would go on to characterize Bon

Iver. The long-winded, post-rock inspired Volcano

Choir, and specifically their 2013 record Repave, also

pushed Vernon’s penchant for experimentation.

What seems to separate Bon Iver from Vernon’s

catalogue is one thing: Vernon’s voice. Falsetto

vocals, creative auto-tune, and beautiful, but

obfuscatory lyrics permeate all stages of Bon Iver’s

discography, and true-to-form, on this new release,

vocals are somehow even more prescient.

The lead up to the release of 22, A Million has done the

record a palpable disservice. The unpronounceable

tracklist, ambiguous title, and Vernon’s obnoxiously

public bromance with hip-hop Godhead Kanye

West manifested a disingenuous narrative of ‘Bon

Iver goes electronic.’ But that is not what 22, A

Million sounds like.

Instrumentally, the record is divergent from its

predecessors, especially in its earlier tracks, but it

never strays tonally from what has been established.

Opening cut and early release “22 (OVER S∞∞N),”

opens with what sounds like a lo-fi vocal loop, with

a cute auto-tune sample suggesting ‘it might be

over soon.’ It’s a unique and gripping introduction,

but as soon as Vernon’s falsetto vocals begin

spewing pleasant, but incomprehensible lyrics and

a disaffected electric guitar accented by floating

horns enter the soundscape, the track reveals itself

unapologetically Bon Iver.

This cut, and the rhythmic, compressed,

“10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄” that follows are

among the most sample-driven songs. The

latter’s squelchy drum loop is possibly the most

ostentatious movement for the entire duration.

Not to say that the smaller movements are

boring, but there are moments that are staged a

bit like adult contemporary. There is a softness and

a smoothness that ques accessibility. “8 (circle)” is

perhaps the best example, a track that opens with an

airy ‘90s vintage synth, flute, and some delay-heavy

snare rims. It borders on cheesy, but holds onto a

horn-fronted swagger as it builds. The track also

holds a tonal and melodic similarity to Frank Ocean’s

perfect “Thinking About You,” which serves as a

reminder of Vernon’s hip hop connections, without

ever getting his feet too wet.

The closest Bon Iver gets to stepping out of his own

skin is the strangely affecting “715 – CRΣΣKS.”

Vernon’s vocals are multiplied and pitched up and

down to create robotic harmonies with himself. It

works to such great effect, that the relatively clean

piano that opens

“33 “GOD” immediately thereafter feels a little

awkward, especially when the cringe-worthy lyric “I’d

be happy as hell if you stayed for tea” jumps out early

in the song. This track eventually redeems itself when

a fast and complex drum track breaks the rhythm,

but this transition, and several others like it, hurt the

flow of the record.

22, A Million starts and stops frequently in this

manner all the way through its first half, but after “29

#Strafford APTS” kicks in with its familiar acoustic

guitar picking and distant pianos, the record settles

into a flow that is much more reminiscent of Bon Iver,

Bon Iver. The closing track “00000 Million” bookends

the record as only Bon Iver can, with a sparkly major

key piano ballad intercut with a fitting Fion Regan

sample. Once again, the lyrics feel subservient to the

soaring vocal melody, but in doing so it removes any

inherent cliché in the song’s otherwise pop-standard


It’s hard to tell if 22, A Million is the record we

wanted from Bon Iver. The production is strange, and

often disjointed, but the songwriting is familiar in all

the right ways. The textural horns, frequent pianos

and hazy synthesizers that permeate the record all

feel like Bon Iver at this point, and the few acoustic

guitar and banjo features are similarly comforting

in their familiarity. The moments where Bon Iver

commits the hardest to his new electronic aesthetic

and lets samples and modulation define the tone are

the most successful, if only because they come the

closest to fulfilling the promise of the “Bon Iver goes

electronic” narrative.

22, A Million is listenable from front to back, an

album through and through, and although not

without its awkward moments, is one that should

help make your winter another good one.

• Liam Prost

• Illustration by Greg Doble

October 2016 film


album reviews

Banks, The Altar Crying, Beyond the Fleeting Gales Cymbals Eat Guitars, Pretty Years D.D Dumbo, Utopia Defeated

À La Mode

Perfection Salad


In keeping with the cuisine-centric

image portrayed by À La Mode,

Winnipeg’s self-described “heart-pop”

band, Perfection Salad is a delicious

recipe of synth-pop, slacker-rock, and

millennial melancholy spread over 27

minutes and two languages.

The band’s debut full-length

features a sublime mix of sleepy, oneiric

melodies and louder, more upbeat

indie-rock jams all complemented

by the skill of vocalist Dominique

Lemoine’s occasionally-accented


Parallels can be drawn between À

La Mode and Baltimore’s dream-popdarlings

Beach House, especially on

tracks like the ironically-titled “Never

Sleep Again,” which features a hazy,

almost nursery-rhyme atmosphere,

complete with softly twinkling chimes,

and a beautiful string section.

“Ce sentiment,” the albums

attention-grabbing third track, follows a

quiet-loud-quiet format that showcases

the power and maturity of Lemoine’s

voice in a way that isn’t necessarily

prevalent on many of the albums

simpler pieces.

Even a track like “Total Doom”,

which is ‘cutesy’ almost to a fault, doesn’t

detract from what is ultimately a

strong release.

Overall, Perfection Salad isn’t

perfect, but it is a delectable slice of indiepop

that is sure to leave you satisfied.


The Altar


• Alec Warkentin

A subdued but gorgeous voice,

alone in a room with nothing but

a piano and her frustrations of

failed romances. This is how Banks’

sophomore release The Altar opens,

and it is one of the album’s best

moments. The singer thrives when

her vulnerability is accentuated by

the bevy of vocal effects, Wonkyinfluenced

beats and the occasional

stripped-back ballad that make up

her music. “Fuck With Myself,” with

its piercing string-pluck synths, hits

this mark wonderfully, covering the

topics of self-acceptance, self-love and

self-destruction that the title suggests.

Self-acceptance is a running theme of the

The Altar. The title evokes Banks herself

as a Goddess, the title of her debut, that

she herself is praying to. Standouts

“Gemini Feed” and “Mother Earth”

also hit on this topic effectively.

Unfortunately, The Altar faces

the same general problems that

her debut did with an overstuffed

tracklist that hides its gems in

between a lot of filler. “Trainwreck”

is a suitably titled track, and dulls the

listener’s impression of the entire

album with its overly trendy, EDMfocused

sing-rapping which doesn’t

play to any of Banks’ strengths. “This

is Not About Us,” “Weaker Girl” and

“Judas,” while not as overtly bad,

are dull and do nothing to either

impress or interest the listener. As

a soulful crooner writing confessionals

about the trappings of relationships,

Banks is an extremely talented lyricist

with a knack for ear-catching melody.

It’s just too bad she only shows up for

half of The Altar.


Beyond the Fleeting Gales

Run For Cover

• Cole Parker

Crying is a charming New York trio

that got their start doing genre fusions

of twee pop and chiptune, somehow

managing to make the blend sound

good. This was mostly thanks to an

exceptional sense of melody and

remarkably earnest lyrics from lead

singer Elaiza Santos. That was only

two years ago, when they released two

EPs, Get Olde and Second Wind.

Beyond the Fleeting Gales is their

first full-length record. Despite that,

the record already serves as a bit of

a departure from the group’s stylistic

roots, which might seem obvious

from the admittedly awful album

cover. Despite the album art’s gaelic

typeface and plain images of blue skies

and green fields, the album has more in

common with Irish rockers Thin Lizzy

than with the hypothetical Celtic

gospel album it seems to hearken

back to. Moving away from the 8-bit

and sliding closer to the ‘70s and ‘80s,

their debut is chock-full of hair metal

shreds and Yes-like arpeggiated synth

leads. Impressively, they never seem to

fall into the corny clichés that plague

the rock music of those decades. The

Game Boys are gone, replaced almost

entirely by boss-battle-adjacent

synths. They provide atmosphere

for the LP’s slower forays into progish

power ballads, and harmonize

with Santos’s voice in a way that still

sounds unique. Beyond the Fleeting

Gales is Crying ditching their gimmick,

while still managing to carve out their

own distinctive niche.

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Pretty Years


• Cole Parker

Even in a year filled with stranger

things and get downs, Cymbals Eat

Guitars’ Pretty Years turns out to be

the most impressive throwback to a

wistful time period more invigorating

than our own. Although Pretty Years is

an album that is heavily influenced by

the golden eras of Springsteen, Bowie,

and the Cure, it is, against all odds,

entirely unique; the band’s very own


Pretty Years is heavy on warm,

catchy synths and vibrant bass lines,

contributing to the overall nostalgic

sound of the album. As with all

Cymbals Eat Guitars work, the guitar

work is something to be admired,

but the lyrics are what transcend the

album into something iconic and

unforgettable. “Goodbye to my

dancing days/Goodbye to the friends

who fell away/Goodbye to my pretty

years,” wails Joseph D’Agostino, the

band’s founder and frontman, on the

chorus of standout track “Dancing

Days.” It’s hard to imagine that D’Agostino

only started writing choruses with 2014’s

excellent LOSE.

Even though the album was

recorded and cut in under a week, you

wouldn’t be able to tell. Lyrically and

musically, Pretty Years is the product

of passion. Each band member had a

volcano of inspiration brewing inside

of their souls—suddenly overflowing,

ready to explode at any moment. So

rather than letting the energy go to

waste, they went to the studio.

D.D Dumbo

Utopia Defeated


• Paul McAleer

Twenty-seven-year-old Oliver

Perry lives a relatively simple life in

Castlemaine, Australia. He lives in a

small shed attached to some horse

stables, an idyllic rural lifestyle that Perry

uses to make his auteurist pop music

as D.D Dumbo. His self-recorded EP,

2013’s Tropical Oceans, is a looping, lo-fi

adventure into the head of a musicallymeditative

madman. Utopia Defeated,

D.D Dumbo’s debut album for 4AD,

continues that trend, but strips away

the lo-fi and pushes it into a professional

studio. The result is a wild, whimsical trip

into the mind of one of indie music’s most

underrated songwriters.

Dumbo uses a 12-string guitar, and

instruments from around the world, to

create a rich textural background for

each of his creations to chug along within.

Album opener “Walrus,” is a head-bopping

pop tune akin to a subdued Vampire

Weekend. Dumbo’s voice is restlessly

expressive, always searching for groove

amongst the kinetic rhythm. The funky,

imaginative “Satan” is further proof of

this, showing off Dumbo’s confident

tenor that can reach into falsetto with

unpredictable ease. Overall, Utopia

Defeated is a rhythmically dense debut

that marks Dumbo as a major talent to

follow both now, and hopefully well into

the future.

Gal Gracen

The Hard Part Begins

DISNY Records

• Jamie McNamara

The Hard Part Begins with a goodbye,

the scent of cologne, leaving a humid

crowded concert hall and stepping into

the crisp night air, snow crunching

beneath your feet. The nods to this

experience in the first song’s beginning

lines act as Scene One in a collection

of musical anecdotes dedicated to the

plight of a wallflower and his surreal

take on what occurs around him.

Patrick Geraghty describes his

project, Gal Gracen, as “Devotional

Voyeurism,” which even more than his

initial release, Blue Hearts in Exile,

it is. This follow-up EP of selfrecorded

songs is the story and

well-stewed over observations of

someone looking from the outside

in, desperately trying to make sense of

what they see. All this is set to Geraghty’s

signature dallying guitar riffs, some janky

synths and the occasional wisp of flute.

The anxiety, the poetry, the ’60s-gonewrong-sounds,

all works together to

create a new genre, a sort-of neurotic


Like slacker rock’s jumpier and more

apprehensive little brother, Gal Gracen’s

The Hard Part Begins should play in the

background of all your fever dreams

• Maya-Roisin Slater

32 reviews

October 2016

October 2016 33


October 2016

Green Day, Revolution Radio Mick Jenkins, The Healing Component Jimmy Eat World, Integrity Blues JoJo, Mad Love

Green Day

Revolution Radio


When you use the term “Revolution”

in your album title, you set an

expectation for something earth

shattering in its importance. What

Green Day has instead provided with

Revolution Radio is a mashup of social

justice keyword pop punk ditties with

bratty, throwback Green Day threechord

thrashers. The result is a mixture

of emotions: you feel glad to hear them

being brats again, but you keep getting

hit with the same misguided attempt

at topical moral fabric that brought us

that tragic, poser cover of John Lennon’s

“Working Class Hero” in 2007. That’s not

to say the album doesn’t have its fun bits;

debut single “Bang Bang,” is as mean,

messy and relentless as a Green Day track

should be. “Say Goodbye,” which owes

its backbone to Jack White, is a catchy

rabble-rouser, and “Too Dumb to Die”

has some neato feedback to it.

Unfortunately, there are just

as many flaccid entries to match:

“Revolution Radio” sounds more like

Blink-182 whining about how no one

listens to them, “Still Breathing” is trite

and full of long-road rhymes like coupling

“horizon” with “siren,” and “Youngblood”

is a song that should just not be written

by someone in their mid-40s. Green

Day has always been striving to be more

impactful on a social scale than they are, and

for that they deserve to be commended,

but ultimately what would be a more

honest record is one about what it feels like

to weather that storm and come up short.

‘Cause that is the real modern activism:

being angry and frustrated and unable to

find a way to make a difference.

Mick Jenkins

The Healing Component

Free Nation Records

• Jennie Orton

Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins has always

been fascinated with water. The way it

functions as a life force, but also the ways

it can take life away. His breakthrough

mixtape, 2014’s The Water[s], used

this fascination to cement the

25-year-old as a Chicago rapper that

favours intimate introspection over

belligerent bangers.

His debut album, The Healing

Component, finds him fixating on

love, often using water as a metaphor

for an all-consuming love. On “Strange

Love,” Jenkins talks about drowning

underwater, the beat flowing like

a babbling brook complementing

his baritone voice and easy-going

cadence perfectly. Two tracks

later he takes this metaphor to an

even more powerful place with

“Drowning,” his collaboration with


barely makes themselves known in the

first two minutes of the song, using

sparse instrumentation while Jenkins’

brings his voice to a falsetto register

with vulnerable veracity. He repeats Eric

Garner’s final words, now a rallying cry for

the Black Lives Matter movement, “I can’t

breathe,” like an incantation, dwelling

on the words until he finally gives in and

drops a rapid fire flow that ruminates on

the American political landscape.

Elsewhere, Jenkins enlists newlyminted,

Polaris Prize 2016 winner

Kaytranada to pick up the pace on

two tracks. The first, the celebratory

“Communicate,” features Kaytra’s

trademark bobbing bass lines and

buoyant, constantly oscillating synths

that propel the track into bona fide

mainstream radio territory. It’s a fitting

celebration for a young rapper that

deserves all the praise he’s about to get.

Jimmy Eat World

Integrity Blues

Dine Alone Records

• Jamie McNamara

Integrity Blues is the ninth studio

album from Arizona’s Jimmy Eat World,

following 2013’s Damage, an album

that saw the band stray away from the

studio and record straight-to-tape from

home and which drew a mostly positive

critical reception.

The band worked with producer

Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83, Nine Inch

Nails) and crafted a more polished

sound than their preceding release’s

rawer sound. Perhaps Meldal-Johnsen’s

most notable influence comes through

on the track “Pass The Baby,” which has

an automated, electro-pop/alternative

feel to it. Dark and moody to begin

with, somewhat reminiscent of acts like

Imagine Dragons or AWOLNATION.

The track seems a little out of place,

but its atmosphere actually transitions

quite nicely into the following track

“Get Right,” which is a lot more

charged up and energetic, proof that

the group still has preserved and

maintained some of the youthful

spirit responsible for their work on

albums like 2001’s Bleed American.

Overall this is a solid effort from

a band who has been working for over

two decades. Expect lots of cheery,

bright and jangly guitar lines carrying

Jim Adkins’ signature vocal style, with

a few heartfelt ballads such as the title

track of the record intermingled.


Mad Love


• Paul Rodgers

JoJo had a lot to fight for with this

album. It’s her first official full-length

with Atlantic Records since her drawn

out split with her previous labels who

caused “Irreparable damages to her

professional career.”

For those who remember her

2004 hit “Leave (Get Out),” you’re

late to the party. JoJo has released

a series of brilliant, unpolished

mixtapes in the past few years while

fighting to be released from said labels.

Title track “Mad Love,” is

reminiscent of Rihanna’s “Love on the

Brain.” JoJo flexes her entire vocal

register while contemplating the

universal questions that come up

when you’re in a relationship so

bad it’s good. It pulls in classic

elements of big, orchestral R&B in a

way that still feels fresh. “Vibe” tacks

on to the dancehall riddim becoming

all too common in pop music right

now, but where her music leans on

what’s popular, her lyricism and fierce

independence make it seem new.

Unexpected appearances from Remy Ma

(on “FAB.”) and Alessia Cara (on “I Can

Only”) show the link between JoJo as a hard

b*tch and her roots as a pop princess.

It’s clear JoJo has poured a lot of heart

and soul into Mad Love. It’s a successful R&B

album, if you can work past the formulaic

moments and see the depth of musical

knowledge JoJo’s utilized to get to this point.

• Trent Warner

October 2016 reviews


Joyce Manor, Cody Mac Miller, The Divine Feminine Merchandise, A Corpse Wired for Sound M.I.A., AIM

Joyce Manor



Instead of relishing in the emo-rock

revival and tracing its roots around,

we should just acknowledge that Joyce

Manor is lovable because they write

tight, snappy pop-punk songs that

never overstay their welcome. Cody

even has the outfit writing some of

their longest songs to date. Long, of

course, is relative: the longest track on

the record is still a paltry four minutes.

As opening tracks go, rarely do

you get one as precise and barn-raising

as “Fake ID.” An anthemic guitar line

cuts into focus leading into a perfectly

pitched narrative about an attractive

underage girl and her adoration of hiphop

iconoclast Kanye West. The track

is hilarious, sharp, and so listenable,

you might even forget there is a whole

record left to adore.

And adore you shall, track after

track, Cody is infectious and dynamic.

“Angel in the Snow” and “Make Me

Dumb,” in particular, both have

rhythmic circularities and enticing singalong


The record ebbs and flows strongly

with a nice acoustic cut in “Do You

Really Want to get Better” and a few

well-earned down tempo movements

throughout. Cody is almost too

squeaky clean in its song and album

structure, but that’s a pretty minor

criticism of an otherwise punchy and

fully realized outing. It’s quick, snappy,

and we can’t stop listening to it.


A Corpse Wired for Sound


• Liam Prost

Merchandise’s latest album A Corpse

Wired for Sound isn’t quite sure what

it’s trying to be.

A dash of post-punk, a smattering

of shoegaze, and a whole lot of synth,

Corpse is an odd mishmash of tracks that

manages to hold itself together through

loud, echoing drum beats, pulsating

basslines, and frontman Carson Cox’s

brooding-yet-catchy vocal delivery.

With a title lifted from a short story

by sci-fi author JG Ballard, A Corpse

Wired for Sound keeps with the theme

by burying some of it’s more technical

instrumentation underneath the rubble

of dystopian dissonance.

Stand-out tracks like sonic opener

“Flower Of Sex,” and the deceptively

cool “Shadow Of The Truth” have an

infectious energy, but A Corpse Wired for

Sound suffers from a tendency to aim for

highs it can’t always seem to find.

Still, the album is a welcomed

change of direction from the

Tampa three-piece, following 2014’s

underwhelming After the End, and

the peaks it does manage to hit are

worth committing to the slightly over

40-minute runtime.

A Corpse Wired for Sound is

undoubtedly a stronger record than

Merchandise’s debut effort for 4AD, but

ultimately leaves the listener wishing

they had pushed this new transition a

little further.




• Alec Warkentin

As a self-proclaimed final album, M.I.A.’s

fifth studio effort, AIM, is off the mark if

the 41-year-old rapper wants to go out

on a high note. The album opens with

“Borders,” a track that has that classic

M.I.A. style: a dance groove juxtaposed

against a simplified-to-abstraction

narrative. Unfortunately, the record

wanes into a scheme of abrasive

repetitiveness after that, with just a

few moments of undeniable strength,

artistry and spot on production. There’s

a great willingness to experiment on

the record that has to be admired, but

M.I.A.’s show of vocal tone-deafness

and lack of clarity is untoward and

doesn’t do her justice. “Foreign Friend”

is a prime example of this failing on

the album, with its melodic pops of

strength and singular moment of

clever lyricism wasted by stale timing

and consistent pitchiness. “Visa,” “Fly

Pirate,” and the Diplo remix of “Bird

Song” are saving graces on the record

and better demonstrate M.I.A.’s ability

to push repetitiveness in a track without

going over the line. While the album

fails as a last dance to remember, it does

have some moments that will stand out

in the full body of M.I.A’s work, leaving

listeners hoping that she’ll come back

again with another effort.

Mac Miller

The Divine Feminine

REMember Music

• Andrew R. Mott

From a high school rapper selling

CDs out of his backpack to telling

introspective love stories, Mac Miller’s

progression has been nothing short

of spectacular. Miller’s fourth studio

album, The Divine Feminine, boasts

production from I.D. Labs, DJ Dahi, and

Tae Beast amongst others.

Features on the album come

from Anderson .Paak, CeeLo Green,

Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande and

more. “Dang!” featuring Anderson .Paak

was the first of three singles released

before the album, and was followed by

“We” featuring CeeLo Green, and “My

Favorite Part” featuring Ariana Grande.

Miller’s jazz influence is much more

evident on The Divine Feminine than

any of his other albums through his

use of piano, horns, and a mood he

sets like a fine red wine. The first track,

“Congratulations” featuring Bilal, has

Ariana Grande introduce the album

before Miller sets the tone by calmly

rhyming about a girl he loves, and the

vivid memories he still has of her over a

piano-riddled track produced by Miller

(as Larry Fisherman) and Aja Grant.

Throughout the album Miller

focuses his rhymes on a lover, begging

them not to leave on tracks like “Dang!”

and “Stay,” and shows off both vocal

improvement and lyrical maturity

on “God Is Fair, Sexy Nasty” featuring

Kendrick Lamar.

Mr. Oizo

All Wet

Ed Banger Records

• Dalton Dubetz

Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr. Oizo, has a

knack for breaking molds. The producer’s

constant innovation over the last 20 years

has cemented him as a closely-guarded

secret – one that has started to leak into

mainstream electronic consciousness.

All Wet is but another morceau of

psychedelic chirping in Mr. Oizo’s arsenal.

Starting strong with “OK Then” and “Sea

Horses,” Dupieux opens his oeuvre with

a sleazy seminar on the archetypal funkladen

French house sound. “Freezing Out,”

featuring Canadian sex-siren Peaches,

is a jarring departure from convention,

a footwork-accented dubstep ode to

vaginas. From then onward, Dupieux

takes listeners on a veritable rollercoaster

of sonic exploration. Standout dancefloorready

tracks like “Ruhe,” “All Wet” and

“Low Ink” clash with the bare noise of

“Chairs” and “Useless” in a beautiful

chaos best consumed as an album, not

a shuffled mess of singles.

Where Mr. Oizo’s sound was once

too-future, votes of confidence from

creative luminaries like Boys Noize,

Charli XCX, and even Skrillex, are a

resonating “fuck you” to the pandering,

safe trend that electronic music has

been invaded by as of late. Ultimately,

Dupieux’s latest work is an unapologetic

tapestry of intriguing tidbits. While

few of its tracks fit the conventional

definition of music, the impression is

that Mr. Oizo never intended for them

to be. All Wet, then, is a challenging, but

rewarding listen for the open-minded.


First Ditch Effort

Fat Wreck Chords

• Max Foley

First Ditch Effort is the latest release

from punk legends, NOFX. In anticipation

of this album, two teaser songs

were released: “Six Years on Dope,”

which dropped in late August, and

“Sid and Nancy,” released on Record

Store Day. Both of these songs are great

examples of the array of music on First

Ditch Effort, both genuine and the

ridiculous that is NOFX. Recently the

band published their first book, The

Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories,

where they shared experiences on a

very personal level. This album is almost

a continuation of the same open

honesty. Lyrically, First Ditch Effort

has more depth, both personal and

emotional, which is a far cry from their

earlier albums. There are slightly more

harmonies and little less political aggression,

but this is NOFX; naturally the

lyrics are smart and equally smartass,

with cleverly camouflaged sarcasm and

angst. Melodically, it’s as most NOFX albums

are: infectiously upbeat, fast, and

easily addictive. Short quick tempos

are reminiscent of older albums, but

they’ve also added slightly more complex

and experimental elements to this

album. From rhythm patterns, to the

use of a piano and audio clips. Overall,

First Ditch Effort is a great addition to

the ever-growing NOFX discography.

Conor Oberst


Nonesuch Records

• Sarah Mac

Conor Oberst, for as long as modern

memory serves, has been a voice of

fragility and yet brazenly earnest

confessionals. At first, the patron

saint of the broken hearted, leading

Bright Eyes to fame with a swath of

sweetly sad and oddly compelling

tales. This time around, when Oberst

sat down to write, the intention to

make an album was not there. But

what poured out as he holed up in his

hometown of Omaha, with snow piling

up outside, and wood fire ashes piling

up on the hearth, became a glowing

and honest collection of stories that

is the perfect soundtrack to the drawing

cold of the season. Decidedly unpolished,

with little effect, and warmth instilled by

gloriously imperfect harmonica parts,

the album dances between the stirring

piano and guitar styles the songwriter

is known for, with the air of a train

hopping transient, looking to escape

some unknown history. The highlight of

the album is “Barbary Coast (Later),” a

perfect Jack Kerouac-ian example of the

aforementioned feeling. There are moments

that make the listener think of Jeff Buckley

(“You All Loved Him Once”) and Andy

Shauf (the dark and uniquely human stories

of the album, including “Mamah Borthwick”),

and yet it all comes together so undeniably

Conor Oberst.

• Willow Grier

36 reviews

October 2016

Blink 182

Abbotsford Centre

September 18, 2016

Pop punk started in the suburbs, so it

makes perfect sense that Blink 182’s

first appearance in Western Canada

following the release of their latest

album, California, would bring it

right back to where it all started. The

Abbotsford Centre is basically the

Thunderbird Arena but a significantly

further drive from UBC, plus a $14

bridge toll — so not punk.

The bill on this tour was rounded

out by The All-American Rejects and

A Day To Remember, a really solid pop

punk band who know how to execute

hardcore breakdowns. And while

there were a significant amount of the

openers’ tour merch spotted on the

backs of confused teens wandering

aimlessly around the concourse, it was

clear the majority of people were there

to see Blink 182.

The new lineup of Blink 182 can’t be

ignored. What they want you to believe

is that guitarist Tom DeLonge is out

there chasing aliens and government

conspiracies, but I’m onto them. After

witnessing what was once known as the

Mark, Tom, and Travis show, I’d have to

say this was more like the Mark Hoppus

and Travis Barker pop rock nightmare. It’s

cool that they tried to replace Delong with

Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba under the guise of

“filling in,” but it just doesn’t work. There are

some Blink 182 songs that just should not

be sung without one of the most distinctive

voices in pop punk. And when I say “some,”

I basically mean all of them.

The band started with “Feeling

This,” unveiling the huge flaming “F-U-

C-K” lit up behind Barker’s drum kit, a

classic stage prop the band has been

using for the last 15 years. While Skiba

is undoubtedly an integral part of the

pop punk family tree and Alkaline

Trio are respected members of the

Warped Tour alumni, his posture

on stage was so rigid and starchlike

that it seemed as though he was

playing his first show with the band.

His definitive voice as the frontman

for Alkaline Trio was also a confusing

and compromising replacement in

most instances throughout the night

when DeLonge’s voice was needed to

draw the distinction between a basic

pop rock band and the pop punk

powerhouse that Blink 182 built

their name on. Bouncing around into

familiar singles territory with tracks like

“What’s My Age Again” and “All The

Small Things” almost made the lack of

substance forgivable, but definitely not


The strongest moments of the

band’s set were playing the newest

tracks off California, their seventh

studio album and first without

DeLonge while on his sabbatical in

space. The notes of the first single

off the new album, “Bored To Death,”

started just as a fire alarm in the arena

was tripped and the band was forced

to play with all of the lights on. An

awkward moment only made more

appropriate when a flood of blowup dolls

was unleashed in the audience.

Blink 182 is currently treading

dangerous territory. They’re not

entirely a nostalgia act but the

singles that made the band what

they are today no longer represent

where they are at or what they’re

capable of any more. Maybe

DeLonge is out there writing about

aliens, but Hoppus and Barker are

the ones with their heads in space

if they think they can keep the old

Blink ship going for much longer.

• Glenn Alderson


Biltmore Cabaret

September 24, 2016

Big hair, big voice, and even bigger

personality — Nao played a sold out

show at the Biltmore Cabaret early

Saturday evening (September 24th).

The London based artist made a stop in

Vancouver while performing her latest

releases off the her new record For All

We Know on a North American and

European tour. With a voice like velvet,

Nao and her band delivered futuristic

and neo-soul vibes to an energetic

crowd full of fans who were ready to

have their expectations exceeded, and

they were.

The crowd buzzing and

chatting amongst themselves, the

curtains closed as the room went

dark — the show was about to start.

The artist walked out to the carpeted

stage, barefooted, and in a tribalinspired

two piece, exuding confidence in

every movement in her step. The Biltmore

is kind of a weird venue, it has this

dungeon-like feel to it that makes it seem

incredibly exclusive and Nao seemed

to agree: “I feel like I’m playing a private

show for you” she says as the crowd

cheered back. Performing with a live band

consisting of a bassist, guitarist, drummer,

and keyboardist, there was a very clear

indication that Nao and her band had a

very symbiotic relationship. While Nao is

considered to be an electronic artist, it was

refreshing to hear her voice stripped down

with a live band. Feeding off each others

energy on stage, the band absolutely

destroyed their performance while Nao

remained true to her authentic sound.

It’s at this point that I should mention

that the band absolutely stole the show and

delivered groovy, funky rhythms with the

assistance of Nao’s stage presence, twisting

and twirling as she serenaded the crowd.

Opening with “Happy” off

her latest record, the crowd was singing

along and moving swiftly to the sonics

that were bouncing off the wine-coloured

velvet inside of the Biltmore. Bodyrolling

through each musical break, the

performance got hot and sweaty quick.

This lead to the second song of the evening,

“Inhale, Exhale”, which almost served as a

reminder to the audience as they moved

through the thick, cloudy air of the venue.

The singer also took a moment to pause

and cover a little bit of Justin Timberlake’s

“Señorita” while performing “Trophy” —

the “(Apple) Cherry” on top.

A performance filled with singalong

bangers like “Girlfriend”, “Zillionaire”,

and Mura Masa’s “Firefly” — Nao truly

delivered a unique and unforgettable

experience for her Vancouver fans. With a

guitar solo that left the audience howling

for more, the charismatic singer primed her

audience for the final song: “Bad Blood”.

The crowd was singing along to every word

and it was easy to decipher that there is

something very special in her presence that

invokes her fans to want to interact with the

performance. Nao’s impalpable voice was

lovely just like September (a “Zillionaire”

reference for those who aren’t nerds)

and the most perfect way to have

started the evening.

• Molly Randhawa

October 2016 reviews


michelle hanely

Chapters Broadway The Vogue Theatre Peace Arch Border


Have you ever walked around a bookstore and suddenly had the

overwhelming need to poop? You are not alone! It is so common it

has a name, Mariko Aoki phenomenon, named after the Japanese

woman who discovered it.

On a recent trip to Chapters I was suffering hard from Mariko

Aoki phenomenon and had to find a bathroom quick. After getting

lost throughout the aisles of overpriced candles, discounted Dan Brown

paperbacks and American Girl dolls I finally found the toilet but with

an ‘OUT OF ORDER’ sign and directions to the Starbucks bathroom

located inside the Chapters. If I wanted to poop at another Starbucks I

could have gone to any other of the 108 locations in the city.

The Vogue is one of Vancouver’s few remaining theatres. This

1940’s art deco gem is one of the best places to see a live show

in Vancouver. It is also home to some of the best looking and

hardest working bartenders in the city.

The Vogue recently was refurbished and renovated but it

seems like the bathrooms still could use a bit of an upgrade.

Although they are very cute and maintain the charm of the old

theatre, some of the stalls don’t lock and there’s usually a bit

of graffiti on the walls. Also I hear that this bathroom is super

haunted and the thought of being spooked by a ghost mid-poop

is enough to make me want to avoid it.

Crossing the border is always a bit stressful, and it’s even more

stressful when you have to go through secondary inspection. The

long lineups and macho border dudes make me really anxious and

anxiety makes me poop a lot. Luckily for me the US border has some

great toilets!

There was a long lineup of tourists waiting for the single

toilet, but one should always expect a wait at the border and the

bathroom line is no exception. When I finally had my turn I was

very impressed with how spotlessly clean the bathroom was. It

was very well stocked and very spacious. This toilet is definitely

worth stopping by on your next cross border trip.


October 2016

October 2016 39


October 2016

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