BeatRoute Magazine B.C. print e-edition - December 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.

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.


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<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> 1

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

december ‘16<br />


<strong>BeatRoute</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />



Syd Danger<br />

syddanger.com<br />


Shane Flug<br />


Thomas Coles<br />


Victoria Sieczka / badbloodclub<br />


Gold Distribution<br />

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Kyle Harcott ∙ Adrianna Hepper ∙ Sarah Jamieson<br />

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Noor Khwaja ∙ Jay King ∙ Jackie Klapak<br />

Danny Kresnyak ∙ Adria Leduc ∙ Paul McAleer<br />

Kathleen McGee ∙ Hollie McGowan<br />

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Devon Motz ∙ Keir Nicoll ∙ Adey Okoyomon<br />

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Chase Hansen ∙ Julia Iredale ∙ Sesse Lind<br />

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Glenn Alderson<br />

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Joshua Erickson<br />

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Vanessa Tam<br />

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∙ with Peter and Chris<br />


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23 <br />

∙ 12 Beers of Christmas ∙ Creeps<br />

09 <br />

<br />

27 <br />

10 ∙ Darcy Michael<br />

12 <br />

∙ Top 25 Local Albums<br />

∙ Editor’s Picks Of The Year<br />

16 <br />

∙ Neurosis ∙ Protest The Hero<br />

∙ Diecember Fest ∙ Zuckuss<br />

∙ Porter Robinson ∙ Cover: Zed’s Dead<br />

∙ Contact Winter Festival ∙ Aesop Rock<br />

∙ Machinedrum<br />

20 <br />

∙ Best of <strong>2016</strong>: Top Films of the Year<br />

∙ Foliosa ∙ Rebel Soup ∙ Keithmas VII<br />

∙ The American<br />

28 <br />

∙ Queen Of The Month<br />

∙ From The Desk Of Carlotta<br />

∙ Give Em Oral<br />

31 <br />

∙ The Weeknd ∙ Beach Season ∙ DIANA<br />

∙ Drive By Truckers ∙ Meek Mill<br />

∙ Thee Oh Sees ∙ Young Mammals<br />

37 <br />

∙ PUP ∙ YG<br />

38 <br />

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©BEATROUTE <strong>Magazine</strong> <strong>2016</strong>. All rights reserved.<br />

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<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> 3



No matter your holiday tradition, there is likely<br />

a moment when you encounter, either very on<br />

purpose or by contact high, an adaptation of<br />

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The timeless<br />

tale of regret and redemption rings true for many<br />

people as they take stock at the end of the year and<br />

prepare for the soul-sucking onslaught of many days<br />

of family. So it is fitting as <strong>2016</strong>—one of the most<br />

world-renowned, record-breaking, sucking chest<br />

wound years of recent memory—comes to a close<br />

that we seek a lighter-hearted version of the tale to<br />

bring us gasping across the finish line of these gritty<br />

and despicable 12 months. Enter A Peter n’ Chris<br />

Christmas Carol, a cheeky twist brought to you by<br />

Fringe Festival stars and Canadian Comedy Award<br />

winning scamps Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson.<br />

We watch as Chris, absent of Christmas cheer, is<br />

visited by those familiar ghosts on Christmas Eve<br />

with hilarious results. We spoke to Peter Carlone<br />

about their take on the story and why the themes<br />

are intrinsically part of our holiday traditions.<br />

BeateRoute: So why is Chris bah humbugging?<br />

Peter Carlone: Well we wanna spoof stuff that we<br />

love. Spoof it in a way that honors it. So a part of<br />

that is we kind of want to still tell that classic story,<br />

but we were thinking like what is it that makes him<br />

grumpy? Like is he just a grumpy old guy and it’s the<br />

classic Christmas story all the way and we find spoof<br />

in that, or is it some sort of sillier comedic reason? The<br />

one we are working on right now is part of the reveal<br />

in the plot so….I don’t know if I should tell <strong>BeatRoute</strong><br />

how it turns out in the final scene!<br />

BR: What do you think it is about this story that<br />

is so universal that it has stood the test of time?<br />

PC: It’s funny you say that, I was just talking to<br />

someone about that. What I think I have come up<br />

with is that, have you ever heard this theory? That<br />

there are like five stories or only seven stories that<br />

we are all telling over and over again in different<br />

ways?<br />

BR: The literary bugaboo.<br />

PC: Yeah. (laughs) Is it ok if I call it that from now<br />

on? So I wouldn’t say that the actual plot of the<br />

Dickens story is one of those plots but that the<br />

way it’s being told must touch on one of them. You<br />

know, that someone is fundamentally not happy<br />

with something and, with some help, figures out<br />

that the main reason he is unhappy is himself.<br />

BR: Well I’m a sucker for the story and love seeing<br />

other adaptations of it.<br />

PC: Well I don’t want to shoot myself in the<br />

foot but I would say ours will be one of the more<br />

“unfaithful” adaptations. Cause we’re not just<br />

gonna DO it again, y’know? We’re not gonna just<br />

do the story. We’ll hit the major beats of it but like<br />

in a totally different way. Like right now our Jacob<br />

Marley ghost is a person who is a ghost but he’s<br />

more of a corporate ghost. He’s sent from “Ghost<br />

Corporate,” because cheering people up around the<br />

holidays has become such a huge industry that you<br />

can’t just send your best buddy to do it. There’s a<br />

whole training process, you have to be vetted to be<br />

a helper ghost…<br />

BR: This time of year does tend to make people<br />

very reflective, which is why this story resonates<br />

with so many people. What happens to YOU<br />

during the Christmas season?<br />

PC: That’s interesting…Where do you wanna go<br />

with that? How real do you want to dive? (laughs)<br />

BR: I’ll leave that up to you.<br />

PC: ‘Cause the thing is, and I think this is why Chris<br />

and I make comedies the way we make comedies,<br />

is cause things can get really heavy around these<br />

times and I think there is just a lot of power and a<br />

lot of fun to be had from making jokes and making<br />

a good piece of comedy that everybody can get on<br />

board with and doesn’t necessarily try to divide you<br />

into groups.<br />

BR: If you had access to the ghost of Christmas<br />

past, what is something you would definitely want<br />

to go see?<br />

PC: Oh wow, that’s a big one. I feel a lot of pressure<br />

to say something awesome. You know what would<br />

be kind of cool is to go back to see the moon landing<br />

and feel the energy of the crowd.<br />

BR: But not mess around, just still let it happen<br />

but just observe it?<br />

PC: Oh yeah not mess around…OR if I was gonna<br />

mess around I would go a couple years back and see<br />

what we can do about this whole Trump sitch. Just<br />

be like “GUYS! It happened, it’s not a joke!” I feel like I<br />

could write a whole book about the things I would like<br />

to go back in time and enjoy. You know what I mean?<br />

Like: “just enjoy yourself, geez!” Like University. “Just<br />

chill. You don’t have to freak out EVERY DAY. Just like<br />

freak out once a week or something, holy crap.”<br />

BR: You’ll live.<br />

PC: Yeah you’re GONNA live. It won’t have<br />

mattered. (laughs)<br />

Catch A Peter n’ Chris-tmas Carol at Performance<br />

Works, 8:00 pm <strong>December</strong> 9 and 10.<br />

4<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


past that, there is no past that<br />

<br />


Henry Rollins: world traveler, actor,<br />

author, radio and television host, and<br />

elder punk statesman as former singer<br />

to the mighty Rollins Band and Black Flag<br />

is back on the road this winter bringing his<br />

spoken-word across North America, with<br />

more than 80 dates lined up.<br />

Fans can expect Rollins to mix<br />

his always-timely commentary on<br />

the current state of politics—with<br />

anecdotes on his latest L.A. experiences,<br />

to perspective gained from his extensive<br />

world travels. “Rollins is many things,”<br />

says the Washington Post, “diatribist,<br />

confessor, provocateur, humorist,<br />

even motivational speaker…his is an<br />

enthusiastic and engaging chatter.”<br />

Since his last U.S. spoken word<br />

tour in 2012, Rollins has been busy<br />

to say the least. The epitome of<br />

a workaholic, Rollins has starred<br />

in films like He Never Died and<br />

Gutterdammerung, he’s done voiceover<br />

work, written new books<br />

like A Grim Detail, continued to<br />

contribute a column at LA Weekly,<br />

hosted on television (National<br />

Geographic, History Channel, IFC),<br />

continued to deejay a radio show on<br />

KCRW, and yet still finds time to tour<br />

as a spoken word performer–having<br />

performed countless shows around the<br />

world over the last 35 years.<br />

We were able catch up with<br />

Rollins briefly (c’mon, who else moves<br />

that fast?) to get a few answers about<br />

some stuff that had been bugging us,<br />

and hopefully, bugging him.<br />

<strong>BeatRoute</strong>: What are you most<br />

pissed-off about these days, and what<br />

can we expect from your upcoming<br />

spoken tour?<br />

Henry Rollins: What bugs me at<br />

this very moment is the amount of<br />

people who didn’t vote in the last<br />

election in America. A lot of people<br />

are complaining but I don’t know how<br />

many actually voted.<br />

BR: What are some of the bands<br />

that are an active concern right now,<br />

in your opinion, who not only bring<br />

the heat with music and talent, but<br />

also seem to understand the current<br />

climate of the music industry, and are<br />

doing great things?<br />

HR: There are a lot of bands I like very<br />

much. Bands like Thee Oh Sees, The<br />

Julie Ruin, Point Juncture WA, Ty Segall,<br />

Ausmuteants, Lowtide, Terry, Crystal<br />

Fairy, etc. that I think are fantastic. I think<br />

there are at least two music industries.<br />

There is the one that has all the Beyoncés<br />

of the world, which is a dull, corporate<br />

roar, and then there is the very exciting<br />

independent music industry. The latter<br />

has never been better.<br />

BR: As someone who was in a<br />

band that broke their backs whiteknuckling<br />

it on the road to try and<br />

get by, what’s your opinion on bands<br />

going the route of crowdfunding with<br />

subscription sources like Patreon as<br />

a means of attempting to make a<br />

living playing music?<br />

HR: I think different times and<br />

situations make for different<br />

methods. It’s nothing I would do<br />

but I’m not interested in telling<br />

someone how to make their<br />

records. It may very well be one<br />

of the better ideas. If you want<br />

direct-to-the-fans, that’s how to do<br />

it. I think it’s a completely valid way to<br />

go about it.<br />

BR: America has a new president. You were<br />

there when Reagan was elected, and American<br />

hardcore exploded in fury. Do you foresee<br />

this happening again in the Trump era?<br />

HR: I don’t but I think there will be<br />

some great benefit concerts to push<br />

back against what might be a challenging<br />

time for LGBT folks, women, nonwhites,<br />

Muslims, etc. I’m looking forward to<br />

getting busy on all that.<br />

BR: You’re friends with Tim Friede,<br />

the venom man. Weren’t you guys<br />

working on a TV show together about<br />

his antivenom processing?<br />

HR: I met him when I was part of a National<br />

Geographic thing that featured him.<br />

Amazing guy.<br />

BR: For that matter, when was<br />

the first time you remember your<br />

fascination with snakes taking off?<br />

HR: I was 11. Snake keeping is a very<br />

time consuming task. I would do it if<br />

I had the time but I don’t any more. I<br />

live all over the world and that doesn’t<br />

make for good upkeep.<br />

BR: As a champion of the Stooges<br />

for a long time, what was your take<br />

on the new documentary, and what’s<br />

with the kids picking Raw Power over<br />

Fun House these days?<br />

HR: I think anything that brings<br />

people to the Stooges is a great<br />

thing. I think Raw Power is a ver y<br />

approachable album compared to<br />

Fun House, which is my personal<br />

favorite. Fun House is more<br />

conceptual, Raw Power is more straight<br />

ahead rock. Hopefully, someone who<br />

Ever an enigma, Henry Rollins is once again taking his thoughts on the road in<br />

a politically charged landscape following the US election.<br />

becomes curious will check out ALL the<br />

Stooges material.<br />

BR: I was so excited to hear your vocals<br />

again on the new Ruts DC track. What<br />

are the chances of there ever being a<br />

Rollins solo album?<br />

HR: Hopefully none. For me, music was<br />

a time/place thing. It was an age related<br />

endeavor. I gave all when I had something<br />

to give and then moved on. I can see<br />

doing something like I did on the Ruts DC<br />

record. They asked me, I said sure but past<br />

that, there is no past that.<br />

Henry Rollins performs at the Vogue<br />

Theatre on January 4.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> MUSIC<br />



Montreal band reflect on inspiration, pressure and mojo<br />


Half Moon Run seem to have “it” – call it<br />

destiny, luck, or perhaps mojo (the term<br />

used by Plants and Animals to describe<br />

their soon-to-be tourmates). But with<br />

just their first album they accomplished<br />

the kind of career landmarks that most<br />

indie bands can only dream of. The<br />

group’s very formation could be seen as<br />

an act of fate, when Connor Molander<br />

and Dylan Phillips found singer Devon<br />

Portielje via a Craigslist add looking<br />

for musicians. From there, their debut<br />

album Dark Eyes went gold in Canada,<br />

and the band found themselves playing<br />

international stages with the likes of<br />

Mumford & Sons. But they’re careful not<br />

to subscribe to any ideas of grandeur,<br />

and even get a little uncomfortable<br />

at the idea. “I feel extremely lucky,<br />

but when the time comes where<br />

you’re reflecting on those things, it’s a<br />

dangerous mental territory to get into.<br />

Pride comes before the fall – I’m weary<br />

of thinking about how great anything is<br />

going,” Molander shares from his home<br />

in Montreal.<br />

After any successful first album,<br />

there is always the looming question<br />

– will they be able to follow it up?<br />

Expectations from fans and critics can<br />

put a lot of pressure on the creative<br />

process, but the group decided to<br />

turn inwards and use it to their<br />

advantage. “Internally is where the most<br />

meaningful pressure came from – all<br />

we can do is try to do our best, and you<br />

can’t bother with what anybody else<br />

is going to think about it. And I think<br />

that internal pressure is a good thing,<br />

it keeps you from getting complacent<br />

– even to the extent of conjuring it up<br />

when I don’t feel it, because it’s such a<br />

great motivator.”<br />

Even with that kind of drive,<br />

when it came time to focus on writing<br />

their follow up album, the foursome<br />

(now joined by Isaac Symonds) found<br />

themselves at a bit of a creative<br />

stalemate being at home. “We had all<br />

this free time in Montreal to write the<br />

new record, and we needed to light a<br />

fire under our own asses, so we basically<br />

just got in the van and tried to make<br />

an adventure out of it. We needed a<br />

spark, and it worked wonderfully - that’s<br />

when we really hit our stride.” The final<br />

Half Moon Run harvested the warmth of California to power their new record, Sun Leads Me On.<br />

destination was California, where the<br />

band was able to mix work and leisure<br />

in a setting that inspired much of the<br />

music on the album. Even the title, Sun<br />

Leads Me On, is a nod to that journey,<br />

chasing the sunset as they drove west.<br />

The sunshine seemed to have an effect<br />

on the tone of the album too – there<br />

are more moments of optimism and<br />

pleasure than on the mostly melancholic<br />

Dark Eyes. You can almost hear echos<br />

of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds era in<br />

singer Portielje’s falsetto, or in the<br />

opening track “Warmest Regards,” a<br />

pleasant reflection featuring acoustic<br />

guitars and flutes. But the band hasn’t<br />

strayed from the percussive intensity<br />

and vocal harmonies that have become<br />

their signature sound – they’ve simply<br />

built on it, going deeper into the darker<br />

depths, and the delicately optimistic<br />

ones as well.<br />

Their upcoming Canadian tour<br />

takes place in theatres, something<br />

Molander is looking forward to. “It<br />

allows you more ebb and flow within<br />


turns out slow brewing brings out flavours you never knew were there<br />

Photo by Jennifer McCord<br />

a set, you can really bring things down<br />

to an intimate moment.” The band has<br />

some surprises planned for this time<br />

out, in Vancouver specifically, to take<br />

advantage of the acoustic opportunities<br />

theatre venues provide. And as the<br />

band continues to build a career that<br />

has already taught them a heck of a lot<br />

about putting on a good show – you can<br />

be sure there will be some magic.<br />

Half Moon Run performs at the<br />

Orpheum Theatre <strong>December</strong> 16.<br />

Back to the basics, Plants and Animals are happy again after letting their creative juices recharge.<br />


Plants and Animals emerged from the<br />

Montreal scene at the height of its indie<br />

band frenzy – the success of bands like<br />

Arcade Fire was shining an international<br />

spotlight on the culture-rich bilingual<br />

city, and at the time you’d be hardpressed<br />

to find a hip 20-something that<br />

wasn’t in a band. But this three piece<br />

was no passing trend – the release of<br />

their first full length album Parc Avenue<br />

earned them both Polaris and JUNO<br />

award nominations in 2008. 2010 saw<br />

the release of the raucous La La Land,<br />

followed by the slightly mellowed out<br />

The End of That in 2012, cumulating in<br />

over six years of constant hustle (write,<br />

record, tour, repeat). When the cycle<br />

wound down, they all agreed it was time<br />

to take a breath. “We had a cumulative<br />

burnout,” says drummer Matthew<br />

“Woody” Woodley. “We needed to slow<br />

down to let our creative juices flow. We<br />

needed to play with other people, and<br />

have the luxury of time for reflection<br />

on the songs we were working on. We<br />

all had kids in the time we were off, so<br />

being able to be more domestic was<br />

welcomed, we were all into it.”<br />

Giving themselves the freedom<br />

to create unhinged by a tight deadline<br />

allowed the group to really let creative<br />

ideas foster, something they hadn’t been<br />

able to do since their first album. “We<br />

wrote in the studio, which sometimes<br />

seemed backwards, building music off<br />

of one little moment or idea, as opposed<br />

to going in with a song already finished.<br />

Sometimes the best stuff is the most<br />

intuitive stuff, and not necessarily the<br />

most fleshed out and laboured over.”<br />

This kind of improvised approach<br />

was even applied to lyrics at times,<br />

where singer Warren Spicer would<br />

fill in unwritten lines with gibberish<br />

or random thoughts, that would<br />

sometimes stick and inspire the rest<br />

of the words. The result at times feels<br />

mystical - lush cinematic landscapes<br />

that bring a sense of nostalgia, not in<br />

that they sound familiar, but that they<br />

bring an unnamed emotion almost<br />

out from behind a memory, one you<br />

want to feel again but you’re not sure<br />

why, or exactly where it came from. It’s<br />

a beautiful collection of carefully<br />

crafted musical ideas, that still<br />

maintains the loose experimental<br />

feel the band is known for.<br />

While the creative process might<br />

have harkened back to their original<br />

days as a band, the influences didn’t. “I<br />

think for a long time a lot our influences<br />

were from the golden era of rock ‘n roll,<br />

and we drained whatever was in that<br />

well for us. It came up consciously a<br />

bunch of times, let’s not make an album<br />

that sounds like the ‘70s, let’s make<br />

something that sounds contemporary.<br />

We started getting inspired by other<br />

things, and listening to a lot more<br />

contemporary music.”<br />

Woodley lists some hip-hop<br />

references, and while they may not<br />

be directly audible influences in the<br />

music itself, it’s the production and<br />

the experimentation with sounds that<br />

the band was interested in. And they’re<br />

happy with the results – for the first<br />

time in a while, it turns out. “We all<br />

really like this record, more than the<br />

past two. In hindsight when we talk<br />

about them, there’s some good stuff but<br />

we’re not completely satisfied. We’re a<br />

three headed beast, so we’re trying to<br />

keep everybody happy at the same time.<br />

You have to make compromises because<br />

of that, and sometimes when you look<br />

back you think ‘I wish I’d spoken up<br />

about that’. Part of the reason we took<br />

so long with this record is we wanted to<br />

be happy with it – and I still am.”<br />

Plants and Animals perform at the<br />

Orpheum Theatre on <strong>December</strong> 16.<br />

<br />

MUSIC<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> 7

8<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


an amorphous sonic entity for a plugged-in world<br />

Photo by Katrin Braga<br />


Amongst the buzzing music scene here<br />

in Vancouver, six-piece sonic scientists<br />

Brasstronaut stand out among the<br />

crowd. Having just recently released<br />

their third, self-titled LP, Brasstronaut<br />

continue in their exploration of music<br />

that spans whole genres. “When<br />

there’s six people each bringing their<br />

own tastes and backgrounds… it<br />

becomes amorphous,” states the<br />

band’s guitarist, Tariq Hussain, when<br />

asked about the band’s sound, which<br />

is one that is hard to define and that<br />

revels in the openness of the medium.<br />

“We don’t really identify with any<br />

particular scene,” mentions Hussain,<br />

and perhaps that is why the band has<br />

found an international audience and<br />

have been able to branch out and tour<br />

both North America and Europe.<br />

We live in an age of mass<br />

consumption, “Where the trends<br />

almost don’t even matter. Everyone’s<br />

doing everything all of the time, and<br />

it’s available all of the time,” so there<br />

is a danger for things, whether it be<br />

music or movies, to become formulaic<br />

and stale pretty quickly. Speaking<br />

about his part mixing the album,<br />

keyboard/vocalist, Edo Van Breeman<br />

makes it clear that “[he] didn’t have a<br />

formula for it…[the songs] were mixed<br />

however they felt they should be<br />

processed. We don’t really put a lot of<br />

rules on how the whole thing should<br />

end up.”<br />

Elements of everything from jazz,<br />

rock, folk and even some electronic<br />

ambience can be heard in this latest<br />

LP, which really emphasises the idea<br />

of musical fusion. Not as much in<br />

their sound but in their willingness to<br />

experiment do Brasstronaut harken<br />

back to the prog rock bands of the<br />

1970s—bands like Genesis, Yes, and<br />

King Crimson, who each dabbled in far<br />

reaching regions of music inspiration.<br />

Some bands prefer to record<br />

more than play live, if they play live<br />

at all, but to the guys in Brasstronaut,<br />

the live element of the band is critical<br />

to what makes the whole thing<br />

special. “I think if I didn’t have those<br />

opportunities, it wouldn’t be worth<br />

it,” says Van Breeman. “[Sometimes]<br />

we’re not getting paid barely anything,<br />

but the nice thing is that we’re getting<br />

to play our music for thousands<br />

of people, and that’s amazing. You<br />

can’t put a price tag on that kind of<br />

experience. That’s why I did this, is to<br />

play those types of shows.”<br />

Brasstronaut celebrate musical fusion on the release of their third and long-awaited LP.<br />

Not to sound preachy, but in today’s<br />

tech saturated world, where everything is at<br />

the touch of a button, it is easy to become<br />

isolated. Despite this, though, the live music<br />

concert is one of the enduring traditions in<br />

our culture that promotes a communal<br />

experience. “To bring people together<br />

in a show space, you’re basically acting<br />

as a church situation or a spiritual<br />

sanctuary for people. An important<br />

thing in the dystopian world we live<br />

in, to get people together and enjoy<br />

something,” Van Breeman adds.<br />

Check out Brasstronaut’s new album<br />

and if they happen to be playing a<br />

show near you, definitely go check<br />

them out!<br />

The Railtown Sessions give local talent a chance to peacock like they always wanted to.<br />


Light Organ Records open the talent stable and let it run amok<br />


Over the past four months <strong>BeatRoute</strong><br />

has been premiering a four-volume<br />

EP series from Light Organ Records<br />

entitled The Railtown Sessions.<br />

Featuring four distinct singer<br />

songwriters based out of Vancouver,<br />

the series has highlighted a selection<br />

of the city’s deep rooted talent and<br />

helped to shine light on particular<br />

artists who have varied careers as<br />

working musicians. Vancouver’s<br />

Andy Bishop (Twin River/White Ash<br />

Falls) was the visionary behind the<br />

project, handpicking the artists who<br />

worked with a team including Bishop<br />

as producer and Colin Stewart as<br />

recording/mixing engineer to record<br />

at Light Organ Records Studio.<br />

“Our plans were very clear before<br />

beginning the project,” shares Bishop.<br />

“The vision and outcome essentially<br />

remained the same. It was one of<br />

those special recordings that came<br />

together very easily while still allowing<br />

full creativity. We never felt rushed or<br />

short on time. It was very magical.”<br />

Sarah Jane Scouten, Rob<br />

Butterfield, Johnny 99, and Debra-<br />

Jean Creelman each recorded<br />

four songs that were released as<br />

individual four-track EP albums.<br />

All four songwriters are roots<br />

artists at their core, with Scouten’s<br />

traditional elements, Butterfield’s<br />

retro-rock, Johnny 99’s country<br />

flare, and Creelman’s ethereal<br />

psychedelia, the Railtown Sessions<br />

deliver a series aimed to wet any<br />

music lover’s appetite.<br />

Each artist performed an<br />

exclusive live set at Light Organ’s<br />

studio to premiere their respective<br />

release. To culminate the<br />

conclusion of the series, all four<br />

artists will be performing together<br />

in an end-of-year show at the Fox<br />

Cabaret on <strong>December</strong> 9. “We’re<br />

going to pretty much rip off The<br />

Band’s Last Waltz by having the<br />

band remain on stage while the<br />

artists switch out,” shares Bishop<br />

enthusiastically. “We are still<br />

working on a few ‘special things’<br />

that will be unveiled the night<br />

of the show.” No doubt it is sure<br />

to be an unforgettable night of<br />

music culminating a unique project<br />

honouring the heart of Vancouver’s<br />

music scene. “This was easily one<br />

of the most productive and fun<br />

recording sessions I’ve had the<br />

privilege of working on,” Bishop<br />

reflects. “It was just a really great<br />

hang that could have never ended.”<br />

The Railtown Sessions first<br />

<strong>edition</strong> of all four unique recordings<br />

are available now exclusively<br />

through Light Organ Records both<br />

digitally and on limited release vinyl<br />

at www.lightorganrecords.com/store.<br />

Thanks to the successfully executed<br />

format, The Railtown Sessions are set<br />

to continue with a second <strong>edition</strong><br />

that is currently in the works to start<br />

recording in January.<br />

Railtown Sessions comes alive<br />

<strong>December</strong> 9 at the Fox Cabaret.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> MUSIC<br />


LIVE AT THE WISE * DECEMBER EVENTS SCHEDULE <strong>2016</strong><br />

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6:30 TO 10:30 IN THE HALL<br />






<strong>2016</strong> HUNKERDOWN<br />










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10:00AM-4:00PM<br />

























1882 ADANAC STREET<br />



LEE FIELDS &<br />


tightening up the fabric of mankind with some true depth of soul<br />


It was a Friday evening and Lee Fields<br />

was preparing for a performance in<br />

Newark, New Jersey. It was the last show<br />

before he flew out to Japan to perform<br />

there for the first time. When he<br />

answered the phone, I thanked him for<br />

taking the time to speak with us. “Well,”<br />

he said simply, “It was the right thing to<br />

do.” This sense of propriety was present<br />

throughout our conversation.<br />

The 65 year old singer recorded<br />

his first single in 1969, and has released<br />

albums on thirteen different record<br />

labels since then. A visit to his current<br />

record company’s website reveals that he<br />

and The Expressions, his backing band,<br />

are playing practically every night in<br />

the next few months, in cities spanning<br />

from Japan to Germany to California.<br />

Music seems to be a lifelong and<br />

constant pursuit in Fields’ life, and<br />

this dedication is reflected in both his<br />

music and the way he talks about it.<br />

When asked about what he sees<br />

as the message of his work, he says<br />

without hesitation, “Love. Love and<br />

togetherness, because in order for<br />

two people, or a group of people, or<br />

a nation of people to survive, we have<br />

to care about each other.” Fields and<br />

the Expressions’ latest album, Special<br />

Night embodies this sentiment, with<br />

earnest, straightforward lyrics about<br />

making the world a better place and<br />

loving the one you’re with. “My songs<br />

are simple, to the point, and about<br />

something,” Fields says. “Something<br />

that’s going to make someone’s<br />

day.” He says he is very careful to craft<br />

songs that will stand the test of time,<br />

and that he feels people will relate to:<br />

“I try to say something that’s making<br />

some sense, something that people<br />

can feel.”<br />

Positivity is a crucial feature of<br />

Fields’ music. He strives to write songs<br />

that leave his listeners with a sense<br />

of hope, and he crafts his music in a<br />

manner that is very cognizant of the<br />

power of words. In his analysis, “A song is<br />

like a house, and words are just materials<br />

for building a song. If you choose bad<br />

mortar or bad wood, that house is not<br />

going to stand for long, and the same is<br />

true of music…The mind has to absorb<br />

quality, good sound and information in<br />

order for it to be healthy, and that’s why I<br />

take a lot of time to write my songs.” He<br />

seems to take a great deal of pride that<br />

the goal of his music is to uplift people,<br />

and contrasts it against music that, in<br />

his mind, has promoted criminality and<br />

violence in the black community.<br />

For Fields, music is about<br />

connecting with people, and giving his<br />

fans avenues by which to connect to one<br />

another. In the past year, he says, two<br />

couples have gotten engaged onstage<br />

during his performance: “I would like<br />

to believe that I had something to do<br />

with two people finding each other, and<br />

experiencing real love.” It is also a crucial<br />

part of his spirituality; when asked what<br />

soul music means to him, Fields muses,<br />

“the body is like a machine, that carries<br />

the spirit around for whatever given<br />

time we have here on earth. But in the<br />

final analysis, everyone is going to have to<br />

give up the body… so to me, soul music<br />

means that the soul is of the spirit, and the<br />

spirit is of God.”<br />

In a world so rife with cynicism, the<br />

success of musicians like Lee Fields is<br />

a testament to a renewed desire for<br />

music imbued with an earnest desire<br />

to spread love.<br />

Lee Fields & The Expressions perform at<br />

the Imperial on <strong>December</strong> 7.<br />

Photo by Sesse Lind<br />

For Lee Fields hope seems to spring eternal; we should all take a drink.<br />

<br />

MUSIC<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


a collision of Vancouver forces in the dark heart of Montreal<br />


East-Van sonic therapy<br />

Photo by Johann Wall<br />


Like The Rolling Stones famously said,<br />

“You can’t always get what you want.”<br />

And sometimes, despite your purest<br />

intentions you end up with something<br />

else entirely. Other times you may find<br />

you go on a spirit quest to Montreal to<br />

sip coffee and play gigs in sunny cafes<br />

for all the beautiful people but end up<br />

recording a dark and earnest record<br />

in an underground bunker until the<br />

sun is but a distant memory. The latter<br />

happens to be the recent adventures of<br />

Local Creature & Alien Boy! (feat. Viper) and<br />

the result was The Viper Sessions, a truly<br />

inspired and moving country album, born<br />

out of coincidence and idle hands.<br />

After heading to Montreal with a<br />

head full of dreams of playing rock and<br />

roll for our Francophone neighbors, Local<br />

Creature (Eric Campbell – The Dirt, The<br />

Catastrophes) found himself with a lot<br />

more free time then he had anticipated.<br />

Venues were all booked up for the summer<br />

and the gigs were looking scarce. “I was<br />

kind of losing my mind after a while, I was<br />

having a good time but I had no purpose<br />

for being out there. You can only go to<br />

so many coffee shops,” Campbell says.<br />

Enter Alien Boy (Scott Matheson – Vader<br />

Ryderwood), already situated in Montreal<br />

after an exodus across the country<br />

involving a foggy abduction of the extra<br />

terrestrial variety (hense the namesake).<br />

When asked about the specifics of his<br />

encounter, Matheson could only tell<br />

me that “I have been having a series<br />

of dreams that are helping me piece it<br />

together, maybe one day I can retain<br />

enough information to tell you about<br />

extra terrestrial life.” One can only<br />

hope. At this point Alien Boy was also<br />

enjoying a brief period of respite and<br />

relaxation. What happened next was<br />

pure poetry. “Well we both have a bunch<br />

of free time and the space is pretty<br />

dope so we better rent a microphone,”<br />

Alien Boy recalls. Just magic. It was also<br />

around this time Vancouver violinist<br />

and heartthrob Viper (Emily Bach -Dirty<br />

Spells, Big John Bates) was making a<br />

brief stop in Montreal. The planets had<br />

aligned, the time was right, the bunker<br />

was awful and it was as if fate itself had<br />

conspired for these three friends to<br />

meet on the other side of our big weird<br />

country to record some beautiful music<br />

in a “hellish nightmare cave.”<br />

With both Campbell and<br />

Matheson having their own unique<br />

brand of folk song writing and Bach’s<br />

incredibly adaptive violin playing, The<br />

Viper Sessions manages to hold your<br />

attention the whole way through,<br />

drawing you close with haunting<br />

melodies and breaking you down<br />

with good old fashioned grit. The<br />

bunker dwelling trio took a minimalist<br />

approach to the process, recording the<br />

entire album with a single microphone,<br />

that sadly did not survive the process.<br />

The bunker giveth and the bunker<br />

taketh away. Between the three of the<br />

band members the resume of musical<br />

projects they have been involved with<br />

is almost unbelievably diverse, and it<br />

shows. The Viper Sessions is a truly<br />

engaging record start to finish.<br />

Keep an ear to the ground for the<br />

release of The Viper Sessions early next<br />

year and be sure to find your Local<br />

Creature prowling about The Fox Theatre<br />

on Dec 22nd for the Fox’s annual<br />

Christmas Pageant.<br />


The Prettys are a tripped-the-fuck<br />

out five-piece rock and roll act with<br />

elements of surf, soul, and San Francisco<br />

psychedelia in their sound and a dark<br />

chord of true-grit depression in their<br />

ugly lyrical content.<br />

This talented East-Van quintuplet<br />

is a modern day wrecking crew, borne<br />

from the ashes of a legion of defunct acts<br />

with every member keeping hooks into<br />

numerous other projects. Yet the Prettys<br />

remain the focus of their attention.<br />

I caught up with two members at<br />

the Grandview Legion, founder/guitarist<br />

Code and saxophone player Matt (last<br />

names withheld). We emptied pitchers<br />

of pilsner draft and toasted Gordon<br />

Lightfoot over bargain Irish Whiskey,<br />

while attempting the age-old question,<br />

what makes you so damn pretty?<br />

According to Code, the soon to be<br />

released LP Soiree is their “second first<br />

record,” bringing in new instruments,<br />

new members, and a newfound<br />

maturity. “Well, I don’t live in a van<br />

anymore,” he says. “Without this music<br />

we’d all be either dead or in jail… We’d be<br />

all sorts of fucked up if we didn’t play all<br />

the time.” He says the band has already<br />

begun recording material for their third<br />

album, and hopes to follow the prolific<br />

EMILY<br />


straight up rhythm and blues<br />

blossoms on Magnolia<br />


The Prettys have bought the ticket and are taking the ride.<br />

path of acts like King Gizzard and the<br />

Lizard Wizard by eventually releasing<br />

multiple albums every year.<br />

The first single, “Friendship,” features<br />

a disco tempo and cheery vocal melody<br />

that on a casual listen seems to be sunshine<br />

put on wax, but like a sad clown, you soon<br />

realize the smile is painted on and under the<br />

makeup is a bubbling psychopathy. “That<br />

song is actually about being a shitty friend,<br />

a shitty person in general,” Code muses.<br />

“We’re not always the happiest people<br />

but the music, playing it and playing it<br />

together is what makes us happy.”<br />

Saxophone player Matt became<br />

part of The Prettys two years ago. He<br />

saw them play live, decided they ruled<br />

and eagerly made his play to join ranks.<br />

He says he sees himself as the band’s<br />

third guitar player, providing a texture<br />

reminiscent of the Rolling Stones sax<br />

man Bobby Keys into the songs.<br />

“It’s not something you can expect<br />

while rehearsing,” he says. “We’re not all<br />

tight assess when we go into the studio.<br />

We put up a disco ball, and just create<br />

those great moments together. It keeps all<br />

the demons at bay.”<br />

Shortly after Matt joined the band,<br />

the Prettys went on their first American<br />

tour. The first show was a flop, but a bonding<br />

experience encouraged by a stoned record<br />

store manager and a few bottles of wine. On<br />

the road they encountered crack dealers,<br />

cops, attempted gear thieves, and spent<br />

many nights packed in a grimy hotel room.<br />

This is the kind of thing that will make or<br />

break a band, and in the Prettys case there<br />

is no turning back.<br />

Now, with the line up established and the<br />

stage set to rock, The Prettys will release<br />

their LP Soiree onto the scene at Fortune<br />

Sound Club <strong>December</strong> 8th.<br />

Photo by Michael Clarke<br />

Photo by Leah Trottier<br />

Local Creature — The most lovely stuff to ever emerge out of a hellish nightmare cave.<br />

The overwhelming feeling I get as I talk<br />

to Emily Chambers, who I’ve caught on<br />

the phone from the road somewhere<br />

deep in the heart of Brooklyn, is that she<br />

does whatever the fuck she wants.<br />

A Berklee College of Music voice<br />

program drop-out (“I didn’t wanna be<br />

150k in debt and have a performance<br />

degree.”), she quit her full time insurance<br />

job after three years of employment<br />

and has been on the road living out of<br />

her van, Bessie, for 66 days on a tour of<br />

the US. She booked the tour herself to<br />

support her five-song EP, Magnolia, which<br />

she independently released in September.<br />

“It’s a sign of feminine beauty and<br />

perseverance,” she says of the title, citing<br />

the departure from her R&B band project,<br />

Champagne Republic, as large reason.<br />

“It was a big thing for me to walk<br />

away.” I ask her if it makes an appearance<br />

on the album, in the form of a lyric or<br />

something. “No actually,” she replies.<br />

“It has nothing to do with any of the<br />

Emily Chambers hit the ground running with the release of her debut solo EP, Magnolia.<br />

songs.” Perfect.<br />

You’d be hard pressed to find<br />

someone who wouldn’t be taken by the<br />

flaxen haired bombshell, who’s sultry<br />

no-bullshit brand of classic soul and<br />

R&B reminds me of a cross between<br />

Diana Krall and En Vogue. She hits that<br />

flirtatious and subtly tongue-in-cheek<br />

showmanship reminiscent of Michelle<br />

Pfeiffer in the Fabulous Bake Boys on<br />

the head, but with real pipes and a real<br />

band to back it up.<br />

“For the most part it’s all live-off-thefloor.<br />

We did three days of bed tracks and<br />

I sang with the boys, I really didn’t overdub<br />

any vocals,” Chambers says.<br />

Joined by boyfriend and<br />

Washboard Union-er Brenden Krieg<br />

on drums, Winston Minckler on bass,<br />

Alexander Slock on guitar and Tyson<br />

Naylor on keys, the album has a lovely<br />

intimacy and a stunning accuracy to<br />

the live performances I’ve seen. This is<br />

likely due to having John Ram’s touch<br />

on production at Afterlife, now moved<br />

into the legendary Mushroom building<br />

that was built as a studio during the<br />

time that “live-off-the-floor” was the<br />

only way to record.<br />

Unsigned and un-managed (though<br />

perhaps not for long), Chambers is the<br />

real deal for those of you who like your<br />

rhythm and blues served straight up.<br />

Emily Chambers performs at Guilt & Co.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 14.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> MUSIC<br />



mellowed Bohemian flavour with a touch of pop and a big messy finish<br />


Before hipsters had the French press,<br />

artisan gin, birch wood phone covers,<br />

waxed moustache and riding a unicycle<br />

to work, they looked to the Dandies of<br />

the Warhol variety for hints at flavour.<br />

A uniquely self-aware Portland anomaly<br />

back before Bohemian was chic and<br />

before Portland became a sea of condos<br />

and ironic street art, the Dandy Warhols<br />

have always been sneering while indulging;<br />

never pretending to be something they<br />

are not and telling it like it is with such an<br />

unbridled sense of knowing sarcasm that<br />

you can’t really argue.<br />

They have resurfaced with<br />

Distortland, their first full studio<br />

album in four years, after spending<br />

a considerable amount of time in a<br />

traveling time machine celebrating the<br />

13th anniversary of Thirteen Tales from<br />

Urban Bohemia Live at the Wonder, their<br />

third and first measurably commercially<br />

successful album. Distortland has that<br />

very self-aware, road-weary tone that we<br />

all adopt when we spend any significant<br />

amount of time looking backwards.<br />

Guitar player and founding member<br />

Peter Holmström, for one, was glad to<br />

get back into a forward trajectory.<br />

“Speaking for myself, I don’t really<br />

like dwelling on the past,” Holmström<br />

admits. “When we did the reissue of<br />

Thirteen Tales it really started freaking<br />

me out because it was like we were<br />

looking back on what we’d done and felt<br />

like it was signalling the end.”<br />

Though it would appear to an<br />

outside observer that the Dandies were<br />

teetering dangerously close to becoming<br />

a “heritage act,” the creative juices still<br />

flowed and the band continued to<br />

navigate a business and a home base<br />

that were both being gentrified and repackaged<br />

to fit a changing time.<br />

“For the first 10 years or so there<br />

was just this steady – it felt uphill –<br />

sort-of climb. The success and the way<br />

the music industry was going and our<br />

place in it. And then Napster and all that<br />

stuff changed the way that everybody<br />

does business, and it’s just sort have<br />

been survival mode since then,” muses<br />

Holmström.<br />

“I’m not really sure we’re necessarily<br />

sure what is going on.”<br />

Though the Warhols are, as<br />

always, trying to suss out enough of<br />

the game rules to play by them without<br />

succumbing to the tides, they have<br />

picked up wisdom from their time in<br />

the gauntlet that has changed their<br />

tone from societal observations to<br />

existential minefields. Couple that with<br />

the pop sensibilities of Jim Lowe behind<br />

the boards (Taylor Swift, Stereophonics,<br />

Fitz and the Tantrums) and you have an<br />

album that is both accessible and full of<br />

The Dandy Warhols take new<br />

album as a chance to stop<br />

dwelling on the past<br />

Photo by Erich Bouccan<br />

those messy truths we have come to be<br />

indebted to the Warhols for bestowing<br />

on us while we try to ignore the fact<br />

that our coffee isn’t fair trade.<br />

“We try sometimes to play<br />

along and do things that will – not<br />

fit in – but that would fit the format<br />

better than what we normally do, like<br />

shorter song lengths and less noise,<br />

but we never get it quite right,” admits<br />

Holmström.<br />

That coming up short of getting<br />

it exactly right is what has made The<br />

Dandy’s Warhols such an appealing<br />

touchstone for the ideals of those who<br />

want to march to their own drummer<br />

but who don’t want to just say “fuck it”<br />

and burn out like a candle; something<br />

messy but with the strength to evolve.<br />

During “Catcher in the Rye,” a head<br />

bobber and personal favourite<br />

of Holmström’s, churning with<br />

momentum led by Courtney Taylor-<br />

Taylor’s purring vocals and Holmström’s<br />

neato guitar tricks, Taylor advises:<br />

“Don’t you know anything can get you<br />

down<br />

If you let it.<br />

Some days more than others<br />

This is how I’ve lived and learned<br />

To divide them.<br />

If you needed a friend I can lend<br />

Some of my time to remind you.”<br />

And remind you they will.<br />

“You realize that all that little petty stuff<br />

is just petty stuff and it doesn’t matter.<br />

And you just let it go,” says Holmström.<br />

“Yoga and meditation helps.”<br />

So Bohemian.<br />

The Dandy Warhols perform at the<br />

Commodore Ballroom on <strong>December</strong> 6th.<br />


12 MUSIC<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

BEST OF <strong>2016</strong> LOCAL RELEASES<br />



<br />

<br />

The Hard Part Begins is seductive and<br />

sensual with gauzy guitars and gentle<br />

drum machines that are strewn with lofi<br />

synth and plinky MIDI piano. Forays<br />

into toe-tapping dream pop, theatrical<br />

balladry and twangy spaghetti western<br />

are nestled within a cloud of hazy reverb.<br />

At the centre of this New Age daydream<br />

is singer Patrick Geraghty, whose<br />

trembling baritone simultaneously<br />

evokes cheeky schmaltz and aching<br />

melancholy. Sadness has never sounded<br />

sexier. (AH)<br />

<br />

Releasing this debut LP seemingly out<br />

of the blue, the title track opens with<br />

Evy Jane’s hauntingly beautiful voice<br />

floating in over orchestral instrumentals<br />

produced by collaborator Jeremiah<br />

Klein. Having been waiting since 2012<br />

for new music from the pair, they have<br />

pleasantly delivered on all fronts. (VT)<br />

Spectres – Utopia (Deranged)<br />

Moody and atmospheric, Spectres have<br />

delivered another timeless post punk<br />

offering. Just the right amount of goth<br />

undertones with a nod to Christian Death,<br />

Utopia is the sound of a band we’ve come<br />

to know and love, a band who continue<br />

to hide in the shadows of Vancouver like<br />

extras on the set of Lost Boys. (GA)<br />

<br />

IV is a vast album, boldly coming at you<br />

with an eight-minute opening track and<br />

basically keeping the drama at that level<br />

the whole time. IV is the soundtrack<br />

to your desert fever dream — crunchy,<br />

synthy, expansive and relentless. Not for<br />

the faint of heart. (JO)<br />

driven ballads will definitely make you<br />

feel some type of way. (GA)<br />

Anciients - Voices of the Void<br />

(Season Of Mist)<br />

Anciients build tension within<br />

their instrumentals very effectively<br />

throughout this sophomore opus.<br />

Tons of riffage within a solid structure<br />

of songs, with the right amount of raw<br />

emotion, felt more in the guitar lines<br />

than the vocals. They travelled a darker<br />

road this time around, drawing in new<br />

attention that this band deserves. (EJ)<br />

<br />

<br />

<strong>2016</strong> was kinda meh for pop music,<br />

but in an eager reprise Carly Rae Jepsen<br />

stepped forward and gently reminded<br />

us how it’s done right. Again. On Side B<br />

she endeavors to revitalize that fuzzy ’80s<br />

feeling of romance and illusory vibes. This<br />

homegrown talent is the queen of pop<br />

and queen of our hearts. (DC)<br />

So Loki – V (Owake Records)<br />

Matching their carefully distributed<br />

debut EP, V, with equally specific ways<br />

to physically experience the record<br />

within the city, So Loki is looking to<br />

make an impact on Vancouver with their<br />

progressive hip-hop lyrics and production<br />

style. And without any exaggeration,<br />

they’ve totally succeeded. (VT)<br />

White Lung – Paradise (Domino)<br />

White Lung are as fierce as ever, but<br />

things sound different on their fourth<br />

LP, Paradise. With the risk of alienating<br />

their core fan base, Mish Barber-Way<br />

trades in her raw growling vocals for<br />

a more polished singing style and the<br />

risk pays off. White Lung have always<br />

sounded sharp, but Paradise just cuts<br />

deeper. (JE)<br />

Art D’ecco – Day Fevers (Your Face)<br />

This album is eyebrow-raisingly good;<br />

a self-reflective journey, a heroes<br />

wandering through a glammy abyss. A<br />

lot like what would happen if T-Rex did a<br />

duet with Orbison in Venus’s best-keptsecret<br />

underground Euro pop club. (JO)<br />

The Evaporators – Ogopogo Punk<br />

(Mint)<br />

Everyone’s favourite Human Serviette<br />

is back with his band of merrymakers,<br />

The Evaporators. After suffering a<br />

stroke earlier in the year, Nardwuar has<br />

returned in fine form. With track titles<br />

like “I Can’t Be Shaved” and “Mohawks<br />

& Dreadlocks,” The Evaporators’ wit is<br />

still intact, their hooks are hooky and<br />

they’re just as goofy. (JE)<br />

<br />

(Dipstick)<br />

Coming from Abbotsford, Cheap High<br />

are familiar with the hell that suburbia<br />

brings. The group boils down those<br />

experiences into a tense and seething<br />

beast of a record. Cheap High channel<br />

cues from bands such as Protomartyr,<br />

Joy Division and The Smiths, and are<br />

further proof of the well of talent the<br />

Fraser Valley holds. (JE)<br />

<br />

<br />

Honest and pure, James Green’s Never<br />

Ready is an ode to the working class<br />

of sorts, but without ever coming<br />

off too somber to pick you up after<br />

a long day on the job. Somewhere<br />

between Bill Callahan and Tom Petty,<br />

Green has found his own voice and<br />

it’s accompanied by a perfect blend of<br />

country, folk and rock ‘n’ roll. (GA)<br />

Supermoon - Playland (Mint Records)<br />

Uniquely formatted as a double 7”,<br />

Playland consists of eight short, snappy<br />

indie pop ditties. Fun and lovably<br />

off-kilter, the women of Supermoon<br />

spike their cotton-candy-sweet<br />

melodies with hints of dissonance and<br />

melancholy. (AH)<br />

Hot Hot Heat – Hot Hot Heat<br />

(Culvert)<br />

A lighthearted ode to a journey towards<br />

closure, the songs on this farewell LP<br />

run the gamut of exploring the act of<br />

growing apart to the gentle prettiness<br />

that exists within the new; all presented<br />

as happy ditties that would be very at<br />

home pulsing out of a portable radio in<br />

the basket of a fixie on Third Beach. (JO)<br />

<br />

City (You’ve Changed Records)<br />

Adrian Teacher may have disbanded<br />

Apollo Ghosts, but he’s still doing what<br />

he does best: writing concise indie rock<br />

ditties full of catchy hooks and local<br />

references. His latest is a playfully scathing<br />

commentary on gentrification. (AH)<br />

<br />

(Mascot Records)<br />

Giving us the dose of feminine strength,<br />

resolve, empowerment and badass take-noprisoners<br />

edge so many of us are yearning<br />

for in rock ‘n’ roll, this album simultaneously<br />

delivers a swift dagger to the heart while<br />

daring you to dance on the bar. (HA)<br />

<br />

Having collaborated with countless<br />

Vancouver bands over the years, pop<br />

auteur Jay Arner keeps getting better.<br />

The outstanding Jay II is full of goodnatured<br />

jokes, but the overwhelming<br />

mood is one of glum existentialism.<br />

Whistle along while contemplating the<br />

void. (AH)<br />

<br />

<br />

These New Westminster boys are<br />

growing up and exploring the potential<br />

within the soulful end of stoner rock<br />

to the point where some interludes<br />

could be described as a ballad. Not<br />

to be written off as soft though, New<br />

Waste brings forth some seriously<br />

sophisticated riffs. (EJ)<br />

Astrakhan - Reward in Purpose (War<br />

<br />

Reward in Purpose commences with<br />

a slow build of tension with ten minute<br />

song, “Omajod,” a nod to Astrakhan’s<br />

roots in doom and sludge. Powerful, clean<br />

<br />

(Heavy Lark)<br />

Finding grace in the comfort of song,<br />

Daniel Terrence Robertson’s stark<br />

debut is a beautiful exploration of life,<br />

love, mortality and religion. These eight<br />

heart-wrenching and haunting pianoharmonies<br />

pepper this album, polishing<br />

the sound as uniquely their own. (EJ)<br />

<br />

<br />

Gritty, soulful and strange, this album<br />

is an all-together riveting expression<br />

shrouded in relative darkness, including<br />

covers from generations of yesteryear<br />

while providing a spin on contemporary<br />

avant-country. (HA)<br />

<br />

<br />

Dark and brooding electronic post rock<br />

to take you in to the night; Sex With<br />

Strangers found their groove a long time<br />

ago but continue down a path of synthesized<br />

submission. In a lot of ways Discourse is all<br />

over the map genre-wise, but who really<br />

wants to stay in once place when you’re<br />

doing it with randoms anyway? (GA)<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Dirty psych rock in all its glory. Spinning<br />

tales as old as time of life on the road,<br />

it’s all about digging the realness and<br />

forgetting about everything else. Just<br />

get lost in it, you can’t over-think this<br />

music or it loses its magic. (HA)<br />

<br />

<br />

Easy-going art-rock band Douse are<br />

building on their folksy bones with their<br />

debut full length offering, The Light in<br />

You Has Left. Heavily filtered guitars<br />

and vocals float over synth chords<br />

and play with tension throughout the<br />

album making for a dynamic listen from<br />

beginning to end. (VT)<br />

The Prettys - Soiree (self-released)<br />

When I hear “soirée,” I think of hors<br />

d’oeuvres and long-stemmed wine<br />

glasses. The Prettys’ rockin’ album<br />

Soiree, on the other hand, is the kind<br />

of party that’s characterized by raiding<br />

your parents’ liquor cabinet and barfing<br />

on the lawn. (AH)<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> MUSIC<br />


BEST OF <strong>2016</strong><br />






<br />

In a perfect world, Kanye wouldn’t be such<br />

a divisive figure in pop culture and everyone<br />

would just STFU and enjoy TLOP for the<br />

amazing album that it is. But maybe it’s better<br />

to have Yeezy as a litmus test to filter out the<br />

people who just don’t get it. I’ve been jamming<br />

this record pretty much every day since its<br />

release, and every day I appreciate it for a new<br />

reason. Pray for Ye this holiday season.<br />

(Runners up: Frank Ocean - Blonde, DIIV – Is<br />

The Is Are, Skepta - Konnichiwa)<br />


Charlotte Day Wilson – “Work”<br />

I feel this track on so many levels. It’s kind of<br />

sad but it also makes me really happy. CDW<br />

made her west coast debut over the summer<br />

during Levitation, bringing her modest onewoman<br />

R&B chiller vibes to the Imperial and<br />

she killed it. Every relationship takes work if you<br />

want to be happy in your life. This song reminds<br />

me that it’s ok to not give up on love.<br />


<br />

I’d just got home from M For Montreal<br />

and was so sick of live music, but then<br />

my friend Simon called to remind me<br />

PUP was playing and I’m super glad he did.<br />

It was tough to pretend I didn’t know all<br />

the words at this pop punk rager and even<br />

decided to make it my one crowd-surf of<br />

the year. At one point my glasses fell to the<br />

bottom of the mosh pit and didn’t even<br />

break — a punk rock miracle indeed!<br />


The Girl With All The Gifts<br />

I love me a good post-apocalyptic zombie<br />

movie and this is one of the best I’ve seen since<br />

28 Days Later. A unique take on an arguably<br />

tired genre, it’s a wild ride from start to finish. I<br />

also like how they call the zombies “hungries.”<br />


Finding return flights to LA for $50 can<br />

only yield amazing results. This particular<br />

trip consisted of three free nights at a Four<br />

Seasons, one evening at the Comedy Store<br />

watching Pauly Shore, Judd Apatow and<br />

Anthony Jeselnik, and an Uber ride from<br />

Prince’s former bassist, Gerry Hubbard,<br />

who ended up dropping us at In-N-Out<br />

after a few extra circles around the block<br />

while we chatted and reminisced about his<br />

recently departed friend.<br />


<br />

<br />

Australia’s King Gizzard & The Lizard<br />

Wizard is likely the hardest working band<br />

in the world. With eight records in the<br />

last four years, Nanagon Infinity may be<br />

their best. Riffs on tops of riffs, catchy<br />

hooks, harmonica solos, and blazing<br />

unhinged psychedelia abound. Runners up:<br />

David Bowie - Blackstar, Young Thug - JEFFERY)<br />


<br />

With the untimely passing of Malik<br />

“Phife Dawg” Taylor (along with Bowie,<br />

Prince, and countless others) one might<br />

have thought <strong>2016</strong> couldn’t get any<br />

worse. Then Trump won. A few days<br />

later, A Tribe Called Quest released a new<br />

album and it couldn’t have been more<br />

timely. A new ATCQ album could have<br />

been firmly rooted in nostalgia, but album<br />

standout “We The People…” proves ATCQ<br />

have no time for looking back and that<br />

their sights are set firmly in the future.<br />

Political and unwavering, it is truly a<br />

breathtaking track.<br />


<br />

<br />

Seeing of one the most creative minds in<br />

music history perform my favourite album<br />

in its entirety in front of me was surreal.<br />

“God Only Knows” made me cry.<br />


Hail, Caesar!<br />

Criminally overlooked, Hail, Caesar! may be<br />

the Cohen Brothers’ funniest film since<br />

The Big Lebowski. Look out for scene<br />

stealer Alden Ehrenreich staring as young<br />

Han Solo in the 2018 Star Wars spinoff film.<br />


Seeing Lake Louise for the first time. I was<br />

born and raised in BC and somehow never<br />

made it up to Lake Louise until recently. In<br />

such a tumultuous year filled with so much<br />

misery, tragedy, and general shittiness, it<br />

was nice to experience some quiet, tranquil<br />

beauty. four years, Nanagon Infinity may<br />

be their best. Riffs on tops of riffs, catchy<br />

hooks, harmonica solos, and blazing<br />

unhinged psychedelia abound. Runners up:<br />

David Bowie - Blackstar, Young Thug - JEFFERY)<br />




<br />

Our home grown queen slices us deep<br />

with this epic 80’s throwback album.<br />

Comprised of rejects from her 2015<br />

EMOTION album, this collection makes<br />

me wonder if Jepsen’s producers have<br />

the Crabby patty recipe for pop Music.<br />

She takes the mundane, like going to<br />

the store and riding a bike and makes<br />

them into atheism that us gays will be<br />

worshipping for years to come.<br />

Runners up: St Lucia - Matter, Lady Gaga<br />

- Joanne (Sorry Bey)<br />


<br />

Impassioned Politically charged front<br />

man Stephen Jenkins takes us to the<br />

moment where racism manifests and<br />

slays our comfortable privilege so hard.<br />

A must listen.<br />


<br />

This show was LIT. Nobody was standing<br />

still. The complexities of the music was<br />

effortlessly created on stage to the finest<br />

detail. The band genuinely looked like<br />

they were having a good time. I bought<br />

tickets off a 15 YO girl the morning of<br />

the show, went alone, knew every word,<br />



Contact<br />

Need I say more?<br />


Meeting my drag mothers, Shanda<br />

Leer and Carlotta Gurl. Shanda was<br />

an incredible support for me when I<br />

was starting Queen of the Month and<br />

Carlotta Gurl is one of the kindest hard<br />

working queens I know.<br />




<br />

I’m generally not into tons of Beyonce,<br />

but that beautiful being sure knows<br />

how to motivate women and release an<br />

album. First there were the rumours of<br />

Jay-Z cheating, then the memes that<br />

spread like wildfire as social media<br />

realized the album video had been<br />

released through Tidal, a company that<br />

Jay-Z owns, and of course the stern<br />

reminder to those who allow themselves<br />

to be swallowed by entertainment<br />

media that art can progress beyond the<br />

recording studio, stage or video set and<br />

penetrate the media and ultimately the<br />

target audience’s perception of reality.<br />

Black Mirror shit. Runners Up: Sumac -<br />

What One Becomes,<br />

Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason<br />


Gorguts – “Pleiades Dust”<br />


<br />

Sometimes one of the best way to<br />

become a fan is to be absolutely blown<br />

away by a live performance without<br />

any prior listenings or awareness. I was<br />

shocked I hadn’t heard of Fidlar before<br />

and they became my summer learning<br />

how-to-longboard soundtrack.<br />


Deadpool<br />

Every Vancouverite loves seeing Ryan<br />

Reynolds in their city, I’m down for an<br />

obscene amount of sequels.<br />


<br />

with an outdated iPhone 5 with no<br />

predictable battery life, a cracked screen,<br />

fuzzy microphone and software issues.<br />




Roadiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool<br />

This album is so beautiful and striking<br />

that it took me about 5 listens before<br />

I could put it into words. It is anotherlevel<br />

dreamscape on par with nothing<br />

else. Runners up: Beyonce – Lemonade,<br />

David Bowie - Blackstar<br />


<br />

From the first notes until the<br />

vaulting layered vocals of the chorus,<br />

this seductive piece of glam candy is<br />

like that person who has your heart and<br />

mind in a stranglehold who you gladly<br />

submit to.<br />


<br />

3 hours long and punctuated with<br />

stories from the Smoky Mountains; the<br />

show was gripping and joyful. Dolly is<br />

also disarmingly self-aware. When she<br />

said “I’ve always been a little too good to<br />

be real bad, and a little too bad to be real<br />

good” I discovered a new life goal.<br />


<br />

An absolutely stunning film in every<br />

sense of that word. I was captivated,<br />

horrified, sickened, exhilarated, and<br />

ultimately haunted by it. It is unlike any<br />

movie I have ever seen.<br />


<br />

My first<br />

night back, I was in the passenger seat of<br />

a car belonging to the man I came back<br />

to be with, driving down Cornwall as the<br />

sun was going down and I felt like a pretty<br />

massive badass for making it back here in<br />

one piece. Great city. Glad to be here.<br />

14<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>












<br />

I love this record because it challenges<br />

hip-hop conventions while still catering<br />

squarely to a rap music audience. I also<br />

love its seamless inclusion of gospel<br />

music, it’s full of really upbeat, uplifting<br />

tracks that don’t feel contrived.<br />

Runners up: Bon Iver - 22, A Million<br />

& BadBadNotGood - IV<br />


<br />

“Glowed Up”<br />

This one’s the track I found myself<br />

dancing by myself to most often<br />

this year. I feel like Kaytranada and<br />

.Paak really compliment one another,<br />

and this is a gem of a morning commute<br />

song. If this song doesn’t make you want<br />

to dance, you’re dead inside.<br />


<br />

<br />

It’s not often that a concert will make<br />

me tear up, but I definitely shed a<br />

couple tears during this performance.<br />

The Orpheum is a beautiful theatre,<br />

and Blake’s performance was equally<br />

elaborate and well-crafted. He was<br />

accompanied by a guitarist and a<br />

drummer, all of whom had been friends<br />

for years, and they were all incredibly<br />

on point. They played live renditions of<br />

some lesser-known dubstep remixes by<br />

Blake, the most memorable of which<br />

being “Stop What You’re Doing,” which<br />

quite literally shook the theatre along<br />

with everyone in it.<br />


<br />

The genius of this film is its absolute<br />

dedication to an absurd premise; it takes<br />

place in a world in which people who are<br />

single by a certain age are given one last<br />

chance to find love before they are turned<br />

into animals. The result is a surreal, funny<br />

and thought-provoking film about an<br />

expertly crafted alternate universe.<br />


by watching<br />

a fireworks display orchestrated by hippie<br />

lunatics at the Oregon Country Fair.<br />


<br />

Obel has this incredible voice that’s at<br />

once delicate and powerful. The way<br />

that she pairs it with violin, cello, and<br />

harpsichord on Citizen of Glass gives<br />

me chills every time I listen to it. It’s<br />

haunting, evocative, and gorgeous. Like<br />

the score to an old Hitchcock.<br />

(1. Suede - Night Thoughts 2. Tragically<br />

Hip - Man Machine Poem)<br />


Lush - “Out of Control”<br />

It’s incalculable how many times I’ve<br />

listened to this glorious, glorious song<br />

on repeat. Reforming after two decades<br />

and releasing the wonderfully dreamy<br />

Blind Spot, Lush sadly announced<br />

they’re calling it quits for good. The<br />

reunion may have been short, but it was<br />

very sweet.<br />


<br />

Paramount Theatre, Seattle<br />

How to even describe this? No words<br />

can do justice to the beauty that was<br />

this evening. The 50th anniversary of<br />

Pet Sounds, one of the greatest albums<br />

of all time. A breathtaking setting. A full<br />

band that made songs like “God Only<br />

Knows” sound like the heavens parted.<br />

Brian Wilson at the piano, singing<br />

joyously. An experience I will never<br />

forget.<br />

EPIC.<br />


Oasis: Supersonic<br />


This summer, my cousins were visiting<br />

from Wales. They were here for about<br />

three weeks, but we had this one really<br />

special day at Spanish Banks. We took<br />

turns barbecuing burgers and hot dogs.<br />

We swam in the ocean. I taught my<br />

youngest cousin how to skim board. We<br />

kicked the ball around and bruised our<br />

shins. We laughed until the sun set. It<br />

was perfect.<br />


<br />

Bernie Sanders is a fan of Kanye West. I<br />

know because Kanye is as progressive as<br />

you get: he is an explorer, and his ability<br />

to find uncharted realms in sound<br />

constantly amazes me. If Kanye’s ego<br />

is really as big as people think it is,<br />

then why is he so freely able to risk<br />

everything? Kanye made Pablo for one<br />

person: himself. Everyone else can go<br />

fuck themselves. Runners up: Chance<br />

the Rapper - Coloring Book; Dorian Ye -<br />

The Life of Paul<br />


<br />

I never knew that Sister Nancy would<br />

sound so good hyped by Swizz Beatz.<br />


<br />

I never get tired of talking about Kanye,<br />

but this show spoke for itself. Kanye flew<br />

over the crowd and played 74<br />

immaculate songs. Everyone else needs<br />

to quit practicing on stage.<br />


<br />

“Booo.” Yeah, whatever. This movie kind<br />

of sucked (it felt like I was watching the<br />

Celebrity Apprentice) but putting the<br />

quality aside, it penetrated the populace<br />

and spread a message we need to hear.<br />

There were better movies, like The<br />

Lobster and The Neon Demon, and<br />

even better documentaries, like Where<br />

to Invade Next, but I would rather<br />

see a film with an impact, and in that<br />

regard, DiCaprio delivers.<br />


<br />


<br />

Oh man, we’ve been waiting for a new<br />

album from Frank for four years and<br />

he didn’t let us down. This album is so<br />

perfect and timely it makes me want to<br />

cry in public. Runners up: Flume - Skin,<br />

Kanye West - The Life Of Pablo<br />


<br />

Is it too soon to call this song iconic? I<br />

don’t think so. The lyrics are iconic, the<br />

video is iconic, the dance moves are<br />

iconic, all of the residual memes were<br />

iconic, Drake is iconic.<br />


<br />

<br />

I’ve always wanted to see these guys live<br />

and it just so happened that they were<br />

playing Pemberton the year I was set<br />

to go. Yolandi’s voice sounds like a high<br />

pitched hyper-angel.<br />


Zootopia<br />

I’m terrible at watching movies when<br />

they’re still new and just so happened to<br />

see this one while I was on a plane. The<br />

last time I set foot in a movie theatre was<br />

to see Star Wars - The Force Awakens<br />

last year. Sorry.<br />


I turned 30 this year which is kind of<br />

the best/worst thing ever depending on<br />

how you look at it.<br />


<br />

Chance may have had the breakout album<br />

of the year, but compatriot Noname got<br />

more play from me. She shares some<br />

similarities to Chance but while he’s<br />

gone on to push the envelope of rap, she<br />

holds things down lyrically with a great flow<br />

and way with words. There’s some deeply<br />

affecting and relatable stuff here. Runners<br />

up: Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition, Carly<br />

Rae Jepsen - Emotion Side B<br />


Aesop Rock – “Rings”<br />

Super affecting song about age and<br />

giving up on your interests. He’s best<br />

when he doesn’t let his hyper-lyricism<br />

get in the way of narrative and this<br />

captures that balance perfectly.<br />


<br />

<br />

It’s not often you see a 68 year old thrust<br />

his pelvis like that. He’s still got moves.<br />

Made especially important given his<br />

recent stomach cancer diagnosis.<br />


Green Room<br />

Terrifying and brutally violent. Any<br />

movie that uses “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”<br />

as a plot point will likely be a fave.<br />

Violence against Nazis seems all the<br />

more relevant at this point in the year.<br />


That it’s coming to a close. <strong>2016</strong><br />

killed off some of my favourite artists,<br />

elected a terrifying monster to the most<br />

important position in the world and failed<br />

to move very much forward personally.<br />

Here’s hoping 2017 gets better.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> 15


in pursuit of their emotional essence for over 30 years<br />


Few carry such formidable influence<br />

over the development of heavy music,<br />

yet actively practice the gratitude and<br />

humility for the art as Neurosis. “If<br />

we’re credited with pioneering a genre<br />

or a sound, I guess on a certain level<br />

we succeeded in finding our own voice.<br />

The fact that it’s inspirational to other<br />

people is a great honour. When you<br />

make such self centred weird music the<br />

fact that anyone else likes it at all is a<br />

pure miracle,” aptly puts vocalist and<br />

guitarist Steve Von Till. “When you’ve<br />

been around for 30 years, you’ve seen<br />

so many labels come and go. They seem<br />

quite absurd in the grand scale. We were<br />

always inspired by the DIY punk ethos<br />

of ‘fuck you we do what we want’ and<br />

what we wanted to do was to create an<br />

emotionally powerful, original mode<br />

of expression.” Neurosis has released<br />

twelve LPs, with their most recent being<br />

<strong>2016</strong>’s Fires Within Fires.<br />

Each release offers a window into<br />

the development of this group as their<br />

lives ebb and flow like any other. “We<br />

see it as a spiral of evolution, we’re<br />

spiralling towards the essence of what<br />

we are supposed to be. We feel very<br />

lucky that the inspiration we tap into<br />

just by finding each other and opening<br />

ourselves up to the spirit that seems<br />

so much bigger than us, this own force<br />

of nature that it just happens we are<br />

the ones who get to tap into it. By the<br />

strange geometry of our relationship with<br />

our instruments and each other, we tap<br />

into something fairly infinite and we’ll<br />

probably die trying to find the perfect<br />

versions of ourselves, but that’s fine,” Von<br />

Till is evidently in awe of the creations<br />

produced by Neurosis over the years.<br />

The Fires Within Fires release<br />

lined up perfectly with their 30 year<br />

anniversary string of shows, but even<br />

that was a natural collision of unrelated<br />

forces. “We live pretty far away from<br />

each other. It’s rare that we actually get<br />

the time to just sit and jam. We took<br />

a weekend to meet up and see what<br />

happens and by the end of this one<br />

weekend we had the skeleton for this<br />

whole album. The technical date for our<br />

anniversary is <strong>December</strong> 2015, originally<br />

we were going to book gigs at that time.<br />

As soon as that weekend was over we<br />

were like ‘holy shit, we can’t believe this<br />

album has just dropped in our lap like a<br />

Photo by Scott Evans<br />

gift from the universe, fuck gigs, we’re<br />

spending our anniversary alone in the<br />

studio where we want to be.”<br />

So, technically Vancouver is celebrating<br />

Neurosis’ 31st Anniversary on <strong>December</strong><br />

20 at the Venue with Yob and SUMAC.<br />

Photo by Chris Preyser<br />


a sea of change in their latest release<br />


Never ones to rest on their laurels,<br />

Toronto’s Protest the Hero sought to<br />

take on a new distribution approach<br />

with the release of their latest EP, Pacific<br />

Myth. Released over a 12 month span<br />

to paying subscribers via Bandcamp,<br />

vocalist Rody Walker cites the NOFX<br />

“7 Inch of the Month” vinyl club as the<br />

primary influence for the prog-rockers<br />

to experiment with sharing music with<br />

their fans. Walker describes the process<br />

as a fun experiment that allowed the<br />

band to push themselves to write<br />

music in a more streamlined fashion.<br />

More generally, Walker encourages<br />

experimentation when it comes to different<br />

distribution methods. “I think everyone<br />

should be attempting to experiment and<br />

I don’t know necessarily if you need to<br />

innovate but why not?” Walker says. “The<br />

industry has been the way that it was for so<br />

long that it needed something to shake it<br />

up. Crowdfunding and other things like<br />

it came in and really shook it up. There’s<br />

no reason not to push it further.”<br />

Pacific Myth also signalled a sea<br />

change in the writing process within the<br />

band as drummer Mike Ieradi recorded<br />

in the studio with Protest for the first<br />

time. “Mike had a lot more input [in<br />

the songwriting],” Walker reports. “He<br />

constantly writes music on GuitarPro<br />

and he just sends it out. So we wound<br />

up using a lot of his guitar stuff which<br />

is hilarious because he’s a drummer. I<br />

think things really changed up for the<br />

other guys in the band.”<br />

Last year Protest celebrated the<br />

ten year anniversary of the release<br />

of their debut album Kezia with an<br />

accompanying tour in which they<br />

performed the record in its entirety<br />

with the original lineup on stage.<br />

Walker provides a particularly wry<br />

perspective on the longevity of the<br />

band in reference to that tour. “What I<br />

think was most interesting about those<br />

Kezia shows was meeting a lot of people<br />

coming out that were our age and had<br />

listened to the record a long time ago,”<br />

Walker observes. “And then there were<br />

these kids with a ghost of a moustache<br />

on their face going ‘Oh yeah I used to<br />

love Kezia back in the day.’ What? You<br />

loved that when you were like two?<br />

You’re 12 years old right now, what the<br />

fuck are you talking about? If we keep<br />

going here there are going to be kids<br />

coming to shows that weren’t alive when<br />

Kezia came out. That’s a little terrifying to<br />

me but also kinda funny to me.”<br />

After <strong>2016</strong> mercifully concludes,<br />

Protest join August Burns Red on their<br />

own anniversary tour before setting their<br />

sights on Australia to escape the dreaded<br />

Canadian winter. Protest the Hero aim to<br />

keep forging their own path.<br />

Protest the Hero play Vogue Theatre<br />

<strong>December</strong> 8th with A Wilhelm Scream.<br />

16 THE SKINNY<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


the soft fuzzy side of the crusty scene<br />


Adrianna Hepper is cat-mum to E. Van’s<br />

wildest little rock n roller Yngwie Meowmsteen,<br />

and founder of PetFam.com . Sign up to safely<br />

connect with other loving, nearby pet parents<br />

for free pet sitting exchange!<br />

Patrons and participants of all music<br />

loud, heavy, aggressive, and sweaty:<br />

what, I pray thee, is our DEAL with<br />

dissolving into helpless, baby-talking<br />

babbling softies the second a cat comes<br />

into view? What compels us to swaddle<br />

a filthy stray in the warmth of our most<br />

beloved battle jacket without a second<br />

thought, or transition from smashing a<br />

drum kit to patting out a lengthy drumbum<br />

solo hilariously on our dogs’ butts?<br />

Many of us heavy music lovers also<br />

love to support pet rescues - could it be<br />

as musical underdogs we feel a particular<br />

affinity for the real… underdogs?<br />

Whatever the reason, oi! We<br />

bloody love our pets! And here to prove it<br />

are four local badass musicians confessing<br />

their love for their widdle furbabies.<br />

<br />

Cavan Egan<br />

Guitarist and Vocalist<br />

Bushwhacker<br />

Sage Davies<br />

Vocals/ Guitar<br />

The Waning Light<br />

Parker Lane<br />

Vocals<br />

The Mountain Man<br />

<br />

Drummer<br />

Bog<br />

1.What kind of pet do you have, and<br />

what is its name?<br />

1. Snoop Lion is a “felis catus,” otherwise<br />

known as a “domesticated cat.”<br />

1. My dog is a rat terrier named Princess<br />

Slaya.<br />

1. I have a big German shepherd named<br />

Loki.<br />

1. I have a 30 pound Maine Coon cat<br />

named Sunrise.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

4. What’s your most hilarious or<br />

<br />

<br />

a human, who are you pretty sure<br />

<br />

personality?<br />

To pinch the cheeks of these hopeless,<br />

pet-loving musicians in person, come<br />

down to Diecemberfest, Dec. 9 at the Russian<br />

Hall in Vancouver where they’ll all be<br />

playing. Bring a food item for pets (SPCA)<br />

or for humans (Food Bank) to be entered<br />

to win good stuff from local businesses!<br />

2. I once spent five hours wrapping a<br />

2×4” in twine to make him an adequate<br />

scratching post. Halfway through the<br />

process I had to grab a pair of gardening<br />

gloves to keep my hands from blistering.<br />

3. Following a recent minor operation,<br />

Snoop had to wear a cone and stay<br />

inside for ten days. He protested by<br />

pissing on my expensive MEC raincoat.<br />

4. Shikapoo, Shikapuss, and Mr. Meow<br />

(who wants his morning meats).<br />

Recently I’ve also started calling him<br />

Psycho Dink.<br />

5. Back in time, Snoop Lion would<br />

probably turn up as a Viking, Pirate, or<br />

maybe a Samurai. If it were a future<br />

reincarnation, probably a secret agent<br />

eager to hunt and kill his enemies, yet<br />

loyal and loving to his allies.<br />

2. I make little blanket forts for her. It just<br />

kills me to see her little head poking out.<br />

3. While camping last summer, Slaya<br />

unzipped the tent and bolted at<br />

4:00am. Having derided our white trash<br />

neighbours for having lost their six<br />

year old the previous evening, now we<br />

were the dickwads waking everyone up<br />

looking for the damned dog.<br />

4. Frequently I tell her that she’s “Dada’s<br />

number one girl.” Neither Mrs. Sage nor<br />

our daughter, Haida, are impressed.<br />

5. Slaya would be that neurotic stoner<br />

that’s worried about everything but<br />

can’t be arsed to even get off the couch.<br />

2. When I’m eating spaghetti, I like<br />

to share and hope for a Lady and the<br />

Tramp-type scene. It never ends up that<br />

way.<br />

3. If Loki isn’t monitored when he’s<br />

doing his business, he will eat said<br />

business. Once, after chomping down<br />

some delicious fecal matter, he ran up and<br />

licked my friend’s arms and white shirt.<br />

4. My girlfriend constantly calls him<br />

Tuna Lips because his breath always<br />

smells like sour fish (laughs).<br />

5. Do cartoon characters count? Because<br />

he’s totally got Yogi Bear’s demeanour,<br />

“Duhhhhhhhh.”<br />

2. I occasionally buy him expensive wet<br />

dog food, so that I can heckle him for<br />

eating the same food as a poodle or tiny<br />

Yaletown dog.<br />

3. I have literally watched Sunrise fight<br />

three cats simultaneously. He won, they<br />

backed away. He also bullied another cat<br />

of mine so bad that it peed all over the<br />

house from stress. He likes to dominate.<br />

4. “SUNBOY!” said in as high pitched a<br />

voice as possible.<br />

5. John Goodman in his fattest and<br />

most surely role.<br />




hARDWARE<br />



eNAILS<br />

dAB tOOLS<br />



Christmas Calorie Counting?<br />

ive got a secret if you pinky swear not to tell who told me.<br />

(Santa told me )Matcha Torches Body Fat(it was santa)<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


the joke is on you<br />


Local grind busters Zuckuss have been<br />

at it for nearly 20 years. They play<br />

regular gigs thoughout Vancouver, but<br />

space them out with enough months in<br />

between for a hefty dose of headliner<br />

excitement every time they pop up on<br />

a bill. Zuckuss play what they like to call<br />

Star Wars inspired pornogrind, and it<br />

goes pretty much exactly like it sounds.<br />

“Basically we take pornography, Star<br />

Wars, and death metal grind, [and] fuse<br />

them all together,” drummer Bossck<br />

Jass explains. “Conceptually that exists<br />

mostly in our artwork and song titles.<br />

There are no lyrics. We use vocals<br />

purely as a percussive instrument.”<br />

With three records under their belt,<br />

Titfucked By A Tauntaun (2000),<br />

Rancor Rimjob (2004), and Gamorrean<br />

Gangbang (2009), you can probably get<br />

the jest. Let’s just say that the artwork<br />

for each album is pretty much spot<br />

on too. It may seem all tongue and<br />

cheek, and it is. But make no mistake,<br />

when it comes to the music, Zuckuss<br />

are as serious as it gets. Jass, guitarists<br />

Dungar and Boba Frett, bassist Lord<br />

Blader, and vocalist Landin Morpussyin<br />

spew out a spastic, chaotic, and brutal<br />

brand of metal. Crazy, obscene, and<br />

often bizarre samples are trampled<br />

under sheer terror vocal sounds and<br />

savage musical earthquakes. Their<br />

lack of song structures makes it go off<br />

like a symphony of car bombs. “We’ve<br />

averaged it out that a song that is<br />

typically under two minutes long may<br />

contain anywhere from 25-30 different<br />

riffs with blast beats upon blast beats.<br />

Very chunky and heavy,” says Jass. “It<br />

takes a lot of hard work to play and<br />

learn this music.”<br />

Are there any other metal bands<br />

in this town that can lay claim to<br />

being around for 20 years? If there are,<br />

then I can’t think of any (Annihilator<br />

doesn’t count). Zuckuss might just<br />

be the oldest band you never heard of.<br />

However, they are no slouches. They<br />

have been around the greasy metal shop<br />

like an old oil rag. They’ve shared the<br />

stage with such high profile acts such as<br />

Napalm Death, Cryptopsy, Suffocation,<br />

Cattle Decapitation, and Kataklysm.<br />

They are very well versed in the<br />

underground and that is where they get<br />

their respect from. “We kind of want to<br />

be that band that no one knows about.<br />

We’re not exactly making a product that<br />

is very sellable,” Jass goes on. “Especially<br />

with the blatant plagiarism of Star<br />

Wars imagery. We don’t pay for any of<br />

the samples we use. And we use a shit<br />

tonne of them. No record label will ever<br />

sign us. The risk would be high to take<br />

us on. We have a very limited fan base.<br />

So we really don’t fucking care.”<br />

True to form, Zuckuss have an<br />

agenda. They are presently in the<br />

studio recording their 4th record and<br />

plan to release it to coincide with their<br />

20th anniversary on May the 4th. 2017<br />

is also the 40th anniversary of Star<br />

Wars. The fourth coming record Zuck<br />

My Nock will be the latest installment<br />

in Zuckuss’ plan of an end total of nine<br />

albums in three trilogy structures that<br />

replicate George Lucas’ Star Wars vision.<br />

“We like to have fun. Most death<br />

metal to me is ridiculous. They sing<br />

about raping corpses and mutilating<br />

people. And the guys doing it are so<br />

serious about it. Zuckuss is poo poo<br />

humour. We’re playing the most brutal,<br />

heaviest, fastest, and most complicated<br />

death metal possible. But we do it with<br />

a shit eating grin on our face. There is<br />

no blood and no violence. We don’t<br />

promote racism or intolerance. We are<br />

happy when we play our music. We’re<br />

a bunch of jokers,” Jass proclaims. “But<br />

we’re serious about the music. Make<br />

the music brutal, but the imagery light<br />

hearted.”<br />

Seeing them live is like a harmless<br />

prank that becomes serious business<br />

right quick. So you best get in on it.<br />

Zuckuss will be opening for the Golers<br />

and Tyrants Blood on <strong>December</strong> 3rd at<br />

Pat’s Pub.<br />


In physics, “dead time” is the time after each<br />

event during which the system is unable<br />

to record another event. I chose it as the<br />

name of this column because I believe it<br />

signifies the reality of how the underground<br />

arts community operates, especially in this<br />

day and age, and especially in a city like<br />

Vancouver. The artists I’m referring to go<br />

largely unnoticed by anyone outside of the<br />

community they’re involved in, whether it<br />

be through the grind of establishing oneself<br />

by playing lowly attended shows, or through<br />

the work of DIY spaces that are navigating<br />

the ever tricky balancing act of legality and<br />

legitimacy. The irony of having to hide to<br />

exist, but being unable to sustain without<br />

being seen, would be quite humourous if it<br />

wasn’t so bitterly true.<br />

Despite being the very fabric of the<br />

so-called culture that “our” spokespeople<br />

claim to champion (and use to decorate<br />

their rhetoric with), the arts community<br />

are among the ones who have slipped<br />

beneath the cracks, toiling in that “dead<br />

time” that isn’t being noted by anyone above<br />

the surface. And when the occasional ray<br />

of potential light appears in the form of<br />

funding or the relaxation of unreasonable<br />

rules, I’m naturally inclined to be skeptical<br />

of whatever is presented. Take for example<br />

the naive excitement that surrounded the<br />

announcement of the $15 million BC Music<br />

Fund earlier this year. Has anyone you or I<br />

know seen any of that? Do you believe any<br />

of us will? Are we not part of that group<br />

that “develops culture” and “contributes to<br />

the cultural fabric of our province”? I guess<br />

not. We are the tier below. When they talked<br />

about creating jobs were they talking about<br />

enabling artists to work within their own<br />

industry? Or were they talking about the<br />

numerous bureaucratic channels one has to<br />

pass through just to be told yes or no?<br />

This isn’t surprising. Nor is it new. We<br />

have relatively little systemic support, a<br />

the irony of having to hide to exist<br />


police force that at times serves as a revenue<br />

collection agency, and a myriad of outdated<br />

regulations that are gifted a convenient cop<br />

out clause in the form of vaguely worded<br />

criteria that allow the powers that be to<br />

tread the line between misleading and<br />

dishonest. The arbitrary and petty nature<br />

of certain processes, coupled with the<br />

constantly changing and unclear criteria, can<br />

make something like a licence application<br />

feel like nothing more than a thinly veiled<br />

bribe, under the guise of legitimate due<br />

process. It’s a trait of this part of the world;<br />

the over complication of processes and<br />

implementation of arbitrary guidelines that<br />

largely serve the institutions that perpetuate<br />

these processes and guidelines, rather than<br />

the people they claim to assist. No, this is<br />

not the case 100 per cent of the time but<br />

it often is, and we feel it regularly in our<br />

backyard. It’s a vocalized facade trumpeting<br />

arts and culture rendered laughable in a<br />

city landmarked by the cruel poeticism of<br />

constant reminders such as the old Red<br />

Gate now occupied by a Crossfit, or<br />

development deals being sweetened by<br />

the allure of the very “cultural fabric”<br />

they are rendering obsolete.<br />

It’s hard not to feel like the walls are<br />

closing in. The available area is literally<br />

shrinking. But this is not an excuse to fold.<br />

It’s under these circumstances that the finest<br />

art emerges and the most creative thinkers<br />

are forced to invent new ways of existing, of<br />

sustaining, and of thriving. The landscape<br />

is changing. The new era of Vancouver is<br />

looming over the remnants of the golden<br />

age, and although I loathe much of what is<br />

coming, I’m excited for the art and music<br />

that will grow out of adversity.<br />

Mitch Ray puts on events and manages<br />

artists under the name Art Signified. He also<br />

co-runs an art space in Vancouver known as<br />

Studio Vostok located at 246 Keefer.<br />

<br />


<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


DECEMBER <strong>2016</strong><br />


Vancouver — The end is nigh, the end of <strong>2016</strong> that is. And thank goodness,<br />

amirite? Let’s put a bow on this garbage year and take it to the curb on a high<br />

note with our top five end of the year electronic and hip hop concert picks.<br />

Tensnake<br />

<strong>December</strong> 10 @ Celebrities<br />

Hailing from Hamburg, Germany, Marco Niemerski, known professionally<br />

as Tensnake, is probably most recognized for his popular single “Coma<br />

Cat” which swept the interwebs as well as the UK Singles, Indie, and Dance<br />

Charts back in 2010. Currently, he’s become just as well known for his<br />

marathon deep house and disco infused sets that continue to pack dance<br />

floors around the world.<br />

Sweater Beats<br />

<strong>December</strong> 14 @ Fortune Sound Club<br />

Gaining popularity in the midst of Soundcloud’s heyday with the release<br />

of his debut single “Mlln Dllr” on Annie Mac’s Radio1 show, Antonio Cuna,<br />

also known as Sweater Beats, has always been on his own hybrid wave of<br />

contemporary R&B and dance music. Currently on tour with a brand new<br />

live set, only purely euphoric and sexy vibes can be expected from this<br />

experienced producer.<br />

Roy Woods<br />

<strong>December</strong> 15 @ Imperial<br />

Another OVO Sound wunderkind, Roy Woods, who also goes by Denzel<br />

Spencer, is a Canadian rapper, singer, and songwriter from Brampton,<br />

Ontario. Getting his first big break when Drake premiered his single,<br />

“Drama,” on OVO Sound radio, the young crooner will definitely make ya<br />

body whine in support of his debut LP, Waking at Dawn.<br />

Falcons<br />

<strong>December</strong> 16 @ Fortune Sound Club<br />

Deeply engrossed in the future of hip hop, R&B, and electronic dance music,<br />

Falcons is an LA based producer that prefers to live on the more turnt up<br />

side of the musical spectrum. Well known for his original single “Aquafina”<br />

featuring American rapper Goldlink, Falcons has been able to travel all<br />

around the world with his music and has even spent some time living here<br />

in Vancouver back in the day.<br />

The Funk Hunters<br />

<strong>December</strong> 21-22 @ Commodore Ballroom<br />

Vancouver’s own The Funk Hunters put the soul back into electronic dance<br />

music. Fresh off of a successful year playing international stages including<br />

Coachella, Burning Man, Pemberton Music Festival, and Shambhala, the DJ<br />

duo of Nick Middleton and Duncan Smith are returning to their hometown<br />

for the holidays to share their bass heavy sound, their stunning customcurated<br />

visuals, and their animated stage presence.<br />

The Funk Hunters<br />

Photo by Mark Brennan<br />


a bromance that benefits us all<br />


EDM besties Porter Robinson and Madeon share how their ten years of friendship inspired The Shelter Tour.<br />

While these two electronic music<br />

producers have both played in<br />

Vancouver many times before, Madeon,<br />

also known as Hugo Leclercq, and Porter<br />

Robinson’s upcoming performance on<br />

The Shelter Tour will be based around<br />

their first collaborative single “Shelter” as<br />

well as the duos own inspiring friendship.<br />

Currently in their 20s, Robinson<br />

and Leclercq first met in an online music<br />

production forum back in 2006 when<br />

they were just 14 and 12 respectively.<br />

“We’ve seen each other grow into<br />

adults and our unique life situations<br />

are [actually] incredibly similar,” says<br />

Leclercq of their decade long friendship.<br />

“We are both electronic music<br />

producers who had to tour the world at<br />

a young age. Those things are difficult to<br />

share with everyone else.”<br />

“It’s similar to when twins develop<br />

their own language,” explains Robinson,<br />

seamlessly picking up where Leclercq<br />

trails off. “Hugo and I have so many<br />

[shared] references, patterns of speech,<br />

and ways of thinking and discussing<br />

ideas. It can be hard to decipher for<br />

other people. That’s how close we are<br />

and how much of a deep understanding<br />

we have of each other’s sensibilities.”<br />

While Robinson is mostly known<br />

for his sweeping electro house<br />

compositions and Madeon is more<br />

recognized for his futuristic electropop<br />

tracks, together the two producers<br />

operate in an aural sweet spot that<br />

highlights both of their strengths<br />

simultaneously. Their collaborative<br />

single “Shelter,” for example, is a perfect<br />

representation of the duos chemistry as<br />

producers and was created in Leclercq’s<br />

home studio located in Nantes, France.<br />

Focusing primarily on songwriting<br />

and lyrics, the two producers chose to<br />

work on the track together in the studio as<br />

opposed to online. “A lot of [our process]<br />

was [through] conversation. Talking about<br />

what we wanted to express, about music<br />

and sharing a human moment opposed<br />

to sending demos back and forth over the<br />

Internet,” says Leclercq.<br />

“We [also] spent a long time stuck and<br />

frustrated with the lyrics. The big surprise<br />

came when we changed the theme of the song<br />

to something a lot more real to us,” explains<br />

Robinson. “That was a big breakthrough.”<br />

“[The new theme that we decided<br />

on was] family and passing on. The idea<br />

of transmission through generations<br />

and how those ideas formed who we<br />

are [as people],” Leclercq adds.<br />

Building on the pair’s musical<br />

collaboration, the two also combined<br />

their talent on the visual aspect of their<br />

tour. “We wanted to showcase our<br />

friendship and the human component<br />

of our music, opposed to the fictional<br />

visuals we use in our solo work. So<br />

the slides in the art show are more<br />

photography based,” says Leclercq.<br />

“We had so many breakthroughs<br />

about videos and lighting that were very<br />

revelatory,” Robinson mentions. “One<br />

of Hugo’s biggest demands was the use<br />

of a lot of negative space, often times<br />

refusing to shift the borders of video<br />

walls to create [an] infinite perspective<br />

which [looks] pretty amazing. So the<br />

visuals are deeply collaborative.”<br />

Leclercq adds, “The real show will<br />

be the way we interact with each other<br />

on stage. We have a great time together<br />

playing our favourite music.”<br />

Porter Robinson and Madeon perform<br />

at The Vogue Theatre <strong>December</strong> 6 and 7.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> ELECTRONICS DEPT.<br />





After almost a decade spent releasing an<br />

onslaught of EPS and remixes, travelling<br />

worldwide on several massive tours, and<br />

most recently, completing their first<br />

full-length studio album and starting a brandnew<br />

record label, Dylan Mamid and Zachary<br />

Rapp-Rovan, also known as Zeds Dead, have<br />

accomplished an insane amount in their careers so<br />

far. “I still think we’re freshmen in this scene [in terms]<br />

of people [that we] look up to. I forget [that] we’ve been<br />

in it for [so] long,” Rapp-Rovan answers humbly over<br />

the phone.<br />

Rapp-Rovan and Mamid first met in their<br />

hometown of Toronto in the mid-2000s where<br />

they bonded over their mutual love for hip-hop<br />

music and production. Growing up in the Myspace<br />

era, the duo originally teamed up under the title<br />

Mass Productions and independently released a<br />

free LP inspired by 1990s hip-hop titled Fresh<br />

Beetz. Pretty soon thereafter, the two friends first<br />

discovered electronic dance music and began to<br />

produce dance beats under Zeds Dead, a moniker<br />

inspired by the movie Pulp Fiction, in 2009.<br />

As their fan base began to expand, the duo<br />

founded a weekly underground party that they<br />

called Bassmentality in the actual basement of a<br />

Toronto bar called 751. Used as a platform for<br />

new DJs to freely play, the night championed the<br />

early EDM scene in Canada and explored sub-genres<br />

like dubstep, UK garage, and bass. Over the years<br />

the party became known for featuring local weekly<br />

performances by Zeds Dead and The Killabits as<br />

well as international acts like Skrillex, Nero, Borgore,<br />

Bare Noize, and Camo & Crooked, to name a few.<br />

In 2013 Zeds Dead released their breakout<br />

EP Hot Sauce through Diplo’s Mad Decent label,<br />

which quickly placed them on the international<br />

EDM circuit. A short year later, the young<br />

producers showed off their knack for collaboration by<br />

working closely with Toronto-based rapper Omar LinX<br />

as well as other well known artists like Twin Shadow, Big<br />

Gigantic, Bright Lights, and Dirtyphonics to release their<br />

EP Somewhere Else to much critical acclaim.<br />

Northern Lights is the first original LP from the<br />

Zeds Dead camp and showcases a striking compilation<br />

of musical genres and partnerships from beginning<br />

to end. Listening to it, the bass and dubstep genres<br />

that some of the first Zeds Dead fans initially fell<br />

in love with merge with party-ready electro-house<br />

tracks, calming soundscapes, and that fusion of hiphop<br />

the pair is known for, to create both a cohesive<br />

and encompassing sound. With vocal features<br />

from a haphazard collection of artists including<br />

Weezer’s frontman Rivers Cuomo, rapper Pusha<br />

T, Swedish rapper Elliphant, Jadakiss, and Freddie<br />

Gibbs, it all somehow<br />

works together on the<br />

album. “I’m really<br />

proud of who we got<br />

to collaborate with<br />

for Northern Lights,”<br />

explains Rapp-Rovan.<br />

“We collaborated<br />

with [so many] of the<br />

people we looked up to<br />

growing up listening to<br />

music. We’ve wanted to<br />

make our own album<br />

since we started Zeds<br />

Dead. It’s just the way<br />

it went that we ended<br />

up releasing remixes<br />

and EPs instead.”<br />

Two years in the making, the pair decided<br />

to lighten their show time having been touring<br />

nonstop since 2010 to dedicate the necessary<br />

studio time to work on the album. “We wanted to<br />

make a real album that was kind of like the stuff<br />

that we grew up on, where it wasn’t just a collection<br />

of songs, it was more like something you could<br />

listen to front to back [that] was cohesive and told<br />

a story. Northern Lights is representative of the<br />

feeling that we were going for.”<br />

While the backdrop of the album is very<br />

moody, mysterious, and dark, the bright range<br />

of vocalists guide the listener through the album<br />

like the beguiling shimmer of the aurora borealis<br />

itself. “Sort of like beauty in darkness, if you want to<br />

call it that. It’s interpretative but it’s definitely dark, but<br />

there are light moments, and it’s not all super serious,”<br />

concludes Rapp-Rovan. “We did our best to put<br />

together a cohesive piece of work. It took two years and<br />

we made a lot of music before narrowing it down to the<br />

best of what represents what Zeds Dead [truly] is.”<br />

According to Rapp-Rovan, the most<br />

challenging track for them to create was most<br />

definitely “Stardust,” featuring synthpop singer<br />

and producer Twin<br />

Shadow. “We went<br />

through so many different<br />

phases. We knew that we<br />

had something really<br />

dope and there was a<br />

lot of experimentation.<br />

In the end I think we<br />

came up with a really<br />

cool piece of music that<br />

isn’t easy to place or put<br />

in a box,” he explains.<br />

Released just last<br />

month, Northern<br />

Lights was also<br />

the first release on<br />

Deadbeats, the official<br />

musical im<strong>print</strong> of Zeds Dead. “We’ve wanted<br />

to have a record label for a really long time now.<br />

[Just] to be able to release our own music as well<br />

as put out artists that we think are really great,”<br />

says Rapp-Rovan. “We’ve always been kind of<br />

do-it-yourself so it just furthers that story.” So<br />

far, the label has also rolled out the debut EP of<br />

French electro producer Nebbra and plans to also<br />

release a compilation of songs from promising upand-coming<br />

artists that Deadbeats has picked set<br />

to come out at the end of the year or early 2017.<br />

The label won’t be limiting their releases to just<br />

electronic music either. “We’ve always been hiphop<br />

heads and we definitely want to showcase that<br />

side of us,” says Rapp-Rovan. More than a record<br />

label, Deadbeats will also act as a community for<br />

like-minded artists, a literal expansion of the Zeds<br />

Dead world.<br />

Having just released a music video for their<br />

single “Too Young” off of Northern Lights, the<br />

creative duo wants to send a message to their fans<br />

using the pastel-coloured, hash-tag adorned<br />

stop-animation by artist Chris Ullens as their<br />

means of delivery. “It’s a critique on our overuse<br />

of social media,” states Rapp-Rovan. As artists<br />

that first released their music via Myspace and<br />

have seen social media, and media in general,<br />

evolve at breakneck speeds, the song is pretty<br />

on point with the social media conundrum our<br />

generation faces. The claymation in the video, like the<br />

catchy song itself, appears attractive and bright where<br />

the dark lyrics and even darker motifs catch you<br />

off-guard. Much like social media has changed,<br />

the electronic music scene has transformed<br />

almost past recognition since Zeds Dead first<br />

started producing music, and yet, Rapp-Rovan says<br />

they’re not worried. “I think we [just like to] keep<br />

to ourselves and stay in our own world, and it hasn’t<br />

failed us yet.”<br />

The industrious pair plans to take it easy<br />

in the New Year after hitting up multiple<br />

cities across North America and Europe on the<br />

Northern Lights tour. The dynamic duo has<br />

collaborated with Strange Loop (the company<br />

behind Flying Lotus’ psychedelic visuals)<br />

for some very trippy production to unleash<br />

on the audience. “Generally our sets are<br />

almost completely our own music and the visual<br />

accompaniment that we have goes perfectly with<br />

it,” Rapp-Rovan promises. “It’s going to be a real<br />

audio-visual experience.”<br />

Zeds Dead performs at Contact Winter Music Festival at<br />

BC Place on <strong>December</strong> 26th.<br />

20<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

FLUME<br />

Australian producer Flume, known<br />

personally as Harley Edward Streten,<br />

has been enthralling electronic music<br />

fans since his first critically acclaimed,<br />

double-platinum studio album, Flume,<br />

released in 2012. His innovative,<br />

matchless work fluctuates between<br />

experimental, electro-pop, hip-hop, and<br />

future bass. His second chart-topping<br />

studio album, Skin, was released earlier<br />

this year to more critical acclaim and<br />

features the popular single “Never Be<br />

Like You” with Canadian vocalist Kai.<br />

<strong>BeatRoute</strong>’s must-see acts<br />


After a successful summer festival circuit, local dance music fans were left<br />

looking forward to the reveal of one of Vancouver’s largest winter music events.<br />

Contact Winter Music Festival’s lineup this year is loaded with something for<br />

everyone and takes place at British Columbia’s largest venue, BC Place. Here you<br />

can check out our eight must-see acts on this year’s festival, and wrap up the<br />

holiday season dancing with your crew to some of the top sounds in EDM today.<br />

MIJA<br />

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Mija, also known as<br />

Amber Giles, is an electronic music producer,<br />

DJ, and promoter who first became popular<br />

by playing a back-to-back set with Skrillex<br />

back in 2014. Not wanting to be categorized,<br />

Mija describes her sets as “fk a genre” and<br />

regularly traverses everything from trap and<br />

heavy bass to disco, bounce, and beyond.<br />

BIG WILD<br />

Well known for his distinctly atmospheric,<br />

groove-driven tracks, Matt Collar, who<br />

produces music under the name Big Wild,<br />

is an incredibly talented electronic<br />

music DJ, producer, composer, and<br />

engineer. Inspired by the natural beauty<br />

of Northern California, the young artist<br />

is known to mix his computer-based<br />

recordings with live piano, drums,<br />

guitars, and other instruments on stage<br />

during his performances.<br />


Zeds Dead is a bass-fueled Canadian<br />

electronic music duo that has worked<br />

relentlessly to make an im<strong>print</strong> on the<br />

global electronic music scene. Over<br />

an onslaught of EPs and remixes over<br />

the years, they have recently released<br />

their first studio album Northern Lights<br />

which is a prime example of their edgy<br />

and untouchable sound – a medley of<br />

dubstep, trap, hip-hop, and drum & bass.<br />


Grammy nominated brothers Howard<br />

and Guy Lawrence are two English<br />

electronic music producers that are<br />

most commonly known together<br />

as Disclosure. Gaining international<br />

recognition for their debut studio album<br />

Settle, the hysteria currently surrounding<br />

the project first came to light almost<br />

solely based on the success of their single<br />

“Latch” featuring Sam Smith, which later<br />

helped launch the album to the number<br />

one spot on both the UK and US Dance/<br />

Electronic Album Charts.<br />


Marshmello, like this producer’s<br />

name suggests, doles out fluffy gooey<br />

electronic music goodness with every<br />

song he releases. The mysteriously<br />

masked music maker (whose identity<br />

remains anonymous) creates happygo-lucky<br />

synth-filled dance music and<br />

originally blew up in 2015 after remixing<br />

songs by Zedd and Jack Ü, while also<br />

releasing his own original singles<br />

“Summer” and “Alone.”<br />

DREZO<br />

Los Angeles-based Drezo, or just<br />

Andre to his friends, is known for the<br />

signature deep house style he brings<br />

to his sets throughout the underground<br />

music scene. The unique sound that<br />

he has created continues to innovate<br />

house music with equal parts ominous,<br />

repetitive, and impulsively driven beats.<br />

HUCCI<br />

Although not much is generally known<br />

about the UK based trap producer<br />

Hucci aside from his first name probably<br />

being Oliver, all you really need to know<br />

is that his hard hitting bass heavy tracks<br />

supplemented by intermittent showers<br />

of hi hats and soaring vocal drops will<br />

truly knock you on your ass.<br />

Contact Winter Music Festival <strong>2016</strong><br />

takes place <strong>December</strong> 26-27 at BC Place<br />

single bill<br />

$11<br />


double bill<br />

$16<br />

DEC 1- 9<br />



DEC 10 - 14<br />

BY / WITH / ABO U T<br />


DEC 15 - 19<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> ELECTRONICS DEPT.<br />



when you write about seclusion and some buyers finally tune in<br />

Photo by Ben Colen<br />


A lone figure huddles beneath giant bat<br />

wings. Just above their peaked tips are<br />

dozens of serpentine eyes, nefariously<br />

reaching claws, jagged brambles and<br />

slimy tentacles, writhing forth from a<br />

cloak of darkness. This ominous scene<br />

is the visual representation of Aesop<br />

Rock’s latest album, The Impossible<br />

Kid, as brought to life by historically<br />

imaginative artist Alex Pardee.<br />

The artwork is symbolic, first,<br />

speaking to the crushing weight of a<br />

year of tumult. <strong>2016</strong> has taken with both<br />

hands, with great losses felt throughout<br />

the music community, coupled with<br />

political and social upheaval. Some<br />

remarked that the apocalypse was upon<br />

us. Secondly, the artwork speaks to<br />

the personal struggles Ian Bavitz (Aes<br />

himself) has faced over the past few<br />

years, brought to life in arguably his<br />

most personal release to date.<br />

“I wanted it to feel like a person’s<br />

desire to isolate,” says Bavitz of the<br />

visual Pardee actualized. “Feeling like<br />

the environment was coming alive.<br />

Like being alone in a place you don’t<br />

know, and sensing that maybe there’s<br />

something out there. Letting any little<br />

bump in the night become exaggerated<br />

in your head.”<br />

This reflected the experience Bavitz<br />

had while writing The Impossible Kid, as<br />

he retreated to a cabin in the woods,<br />

with only his cat Kirby (who has its own<br />

song on the album) for company, and<br />

the overwhelming silence of isolation.<br />

Bavitz details this account on “Rabies,”<br />

reminiscent of Kerouac’s Big Sur, in all its<br />

introspection-turning-to-madness.<br />

Bavitz discusses his isolated writing<br />

process and how The Impossible Kid fits<br />

into his repertoire: “I go dark, over-think,<br />

and make shit. That’s sorta the cycle I live<br />

in. I wouldn’t know how to judge which<br />

of my works is more or less personal...<br />

They all kind of consume me at the<br />

time.” He continues: “I had a handful<br />

of years which resulted in some losses,<br />

and had the opportunity to get away for<br />

a second, so I took it. I’ve lived in some<br />

amazing cities, but there is occasionally<br />

the feeling that you need to ‘keep up’<br />

with what’s going on in these places<br />

in a way that is counterproductive for<br />

me. Once I start to feel like I’m in a<br />

competition every time I step outside<br />

my home, it’s time to move on.”<br />

Although the album is touted<br />

as coming from a place of darkness,<br />

there is a lightness that peeks through,<br />

along with the clever humour that sets<br />

Aesop Rock apart (“Lotta Years,” for<br />

example). For instance, Bavitz has rediscovered<br />

his love for drawing (which<br />

he discusses in the track “Rings”) and<br />

skateboarding, and this has become a<br />

fresh source of inspiration.<br />

“Skateboarding is 100 per cent<br />

responsible for everything I am today,”<br />

Bavitz states. “That is how I always<br />

identified, and growing up it was who<br />

I felt most comfortable around. It was<br />

something that attracted a pretty<br />

diverse group; all types of weirdoes and<br />

creative minds and people into art and<br />

music and all that shit.”<br />

Additionally, Bavitz has taken on<br />

the role of sole producer, having largely<br />

worked with collaborators previously.<br />

“Being in control of every sound and lyric<br />

allows me to feel like the final product is<br />

truly mine, instead of saying ‘Here is my<br />

solo record’ when I only really did 50 per<br />

cent or less of the actual legwork,” he<br />

explains. “If it’s awful, at least it’s mine. If<br />

it’s great - wonderful. I hope the passion<br />

I have is clear and that people know<br />

that whatever they hear is not gonna be<br />

some bullshit. I work my ass off.”<br />

For decades, Aesop Rock has<br />

been making hip hop for intellectuals<br />

and weirdoes. His honesty creates instantly<br />

relatable moments to offset even the<br />

most outlandish settings. His wordplay is<br />

so complex it’s often hard to keep up with,<br />

but after settling into its subtle nuances,<br />

it’s impossible not to appreciate.<br />

“I love reading science news<br />

and seeing what we as humans are<br />

discovering,” he describes of his<br />

inspiration. “And watching people who<br />

really get into shit, no matter what it is.<br />

If you make the best risotto, and that’s<br />

your passion, and I can tell, then I can<br />

watch you talk about that shit all day.”<br />

Whether waxing philosophic on the<br />

dissolution of Pluto’s status as a planet,<br />

taking the listener into the mind of a sea<br />

swept sailor encountering a mermaid,<br />

or wryly discussing the awkwardness of<br />

being in therapy (“Shrunk”), he never<br />

Self-produced new album a step towards greater ownership of his craft.<br />

takes the same path twice.<br />

Given his standing as an icon of<br />

the underground rap world, <strong>BeatRoute</strong><br />

asked Bavitz what his thoughts were<br />

regarding the future of Trump’s America<br />

and what it means for the world of<br />

counter-culture.<br />

“Trump is an abomination,” Bavitz<br />

replies. “I guess what I sometimes<br />

struggle with is the choice of [spending]<br />

my time and energy speaking out<br />

against this awful man and what I<br />

believe it means for us as a society, or<br />

[recognizing] that that’s a losing battle,<br />

and just doing my best to spread what I<br />

believe to be positivity in an attempt to<br />

make people realize that all is not lost.”<br />

“Countercultures thrive when<br />

mainstream culture is a disgusting place<br />

- and when I think of what has helped<br />

me personally throughout my life, it<br />

was never someone berating me about<br />

what I should and shouldn’t believe,” he<br />

continues. “It was people showing me<br />

that there is other shit out there.”<br />

The Impossible Kid is a prime<br />

example of something bright<br />

coming from darkness. Upon further<br />

examination of its telling album art,<br />

perhaps one can ascertain that the lone<br />

figure is actually taking his own bizarre<br />

features and harnessing them into a<br />

superpower. A striking reminder that<br />

what many think to be impossible can<br />

become reality, if you know how to look<br />

at the whole picture.<br />

Aesop Rock plays the Starlite Room<br />

in Edmonton on <strong>December</strong> 16th, The<br />

Gateway in Calgary on <strong>December</strong> 17th,<br />

and Venue Nightclub in Vancouver on<br />

<strong>December</strong> 19th.<br />


a celebration of life and positive human energy<br />


Machinedrum has escalated to a<br />

new stage in his career, and with his<br />

latest release on Ninja Tune, Human<br />

Energy, he is inviting everyone to join<br />

him. “I wanted to create an album that<br />

embodied a feeling [of unity] by having<br />

a more uplifting and celebratory nature<br />

sonically,” explains Travis Stewart, aka<br />

Machinedrum, from his new home in Los<br />

Angeles. “The album is a celebration of life<br />

and of the positive energy that everybody<br />

has [the] potential to tap into.”<br />

For the past 15 years, Stewart has<br />

developed a reputation for his ability to<br />

traverse across a variety of electronic<br />

music genres while maintaining a<br />

high calibre. Under his solo moniker<br />

Machinedrum or in collaboration with<br />

other artists like, Om Unit as Dream<br />

Continuum, Jimmy Edgar as JETS, or with<br />

Praveen Sharma as Sepalcure, Stewart<br />

has proven himself to be both versatile<br />

and a true master of percussion.<br />

Through a series of recent events in<br />

his personal world, Stewart began taking<br />

a new approach to life thereby adding a<br />

more positive and uplifting element to<br />

his sound. “The whole approach to this<br />

album in general was sort of a naïve kid’s<br />

approach to learning about these new age<br />

concepts,” tells Stewart. “I wanted to have<br />

fun with it rather than just bore people<br />

with all the details [of new age ideas]<br />

which can usually push people away.”<br />

A return to alternative therapeutic<br />

practices such as reiki and guided<br />

meditation, not to mention a recent<br />

engagement to his partner, paved the<br />

way for an inner transformation which<br />

is reflected in Human Energy. “A lot of<br />

it happened unconsciously,” he shares.<br />

“When I was writing the album, I was just<br />

going with the flow and [didn’t] really<br />

give it too much thought. I was kind of<br />

leaving my body, as I do whenever I’m<br />

writing songs, and tapping into another<br />

plane of existence.”<br />

New experimentations with<br />

sound and a deeper connection to the<br />

subconscious led Stewart to incorporate<br />

the connection between sound and<br />

colour in his work. “I have a synesthetic<br />

relationship with music. Whenever I<br />

hear music that really speaks to me<br />

it puts pictures in my mind. Certain<br />

sounds have tones and colours for me.”<br />

Not too long ago, Stewart tried his<br />

own hand at producing music for the<br />

alternative healing arts, and then shared<br />

the instrumental track made for guided<br />

meditation with his online followers. “I<br />

actually made that tonal piece to help<br />

me meditate when I was writing the<br />

album,” he says. “I would start everyday<br />

by listening to it while meditating for 15<br />

minutes, then I would start working on<br />

music. It was a palate cleanser in a way. It<br />

really helped clear my mind and be able to<br />

focus without thinking about everything<br />

else that was going on in my life.”<br />

With a new direction in the studio,<br />

Stewart also collaborated with artists<br />

Strangeloop and Timeboy to create<br />

an audio-visual experience fit for his<br />

performance. A desire to “hit people<br />

with energy” by utilizing projections of<br />

colour in finely calculated ways on the<br />

dance floor, Stewart is hoping to give<br />

his audiences more than just a party. “I<br />

want people to feel like they’re present<br />

and connected to the music. Rather<br />

than it [just] being about me and what<br />

I’m doing, I want people to feel like<br />

they’re all [in it] together.”<br />

Machinedrum performs at Fortune<br />

Sound Club <strong>December</strong> 29th<br />


<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

The best way to countdown to<br />

<strong>December</strong> 25? With beer, of course.<br />

And since Vancouver is such a fertile<br />

breeding ground for the craft variety,<br />

it’s a perfect way to both support<br />

local and get into the holiday spirit.<br />

<strong>BeatRoute</strong> hit some of the city’s finest<br />

breweries to find the tastiest seasonal<br />

offerings to celebrate with.<br />


33 Acres of Ocean - West Coast Pale<br />

<br />

Christmas brings about feelings of<br />

nostalgia and this beer fills that need<br />

quite well. It’s a West Coast style pale<br />

ale that has a nice pine/evergreen<br />

flavour that has a bit of hop kick<br />

without being overpowering. It’s a<br />

drinkable beer that has a refreshing<br />

citrus flavor, and that pine touch will<br />

remind one of the Pacific Northwest<br />

and keep with the season nicely. (GW)<br />

<br />

<br />

While 33 Acres avoids falling into<br />

the stereotypical seasonal trap, that<br />

doesn’t mean that their beer has<br />

no seasonal aspects. Says 33 Acres<br />

manager, Dustin Sepkowski, “It’s<br />

important that seasonal brews will<br />

interest us and encourage us to try<br />

them, but also to have our core staples<br />

be just that. A beer that is clean and<br />

drinkable, and the consistency to earn<br />

the trust of beer drinkers.” 33 Acres<br />

of Darkness is a seasonal favourite,<br />

selling much more during the winter<br />

months than otherwise. It’s a black<br />

ale that while isn’t super strong, nor<br />

super thick, provides the comforting<br />

warmth that’s perfect for the cold<br />

months—warm and satisfying<br />

without being filling. (GW)<br />

<br />

<br />

Having trouble dealing with in-laws,<br />

or other family members? Maybe 33<br />

Acres of Euphoria is the right beer for<br />

you. It’s super strong at 9.2% so it will<br />

get you buzzed quite quickly, but it’s<br />

delicious banana and spice flavour<br />

will make it enjoyable to drink down.<br />

It’s strong but not overpoweringly so.<br />

It’s got a spiciness that will encourage<br />

drinking and an alcohol content that<br />

will make sure you’re going to be able<br />

to handle whatever your gross uncle<br />

has to say. (GW)<br />


<br />

This dark and warm milk stout is<br />

light in alcohol, but rich in flavour.<br />

Sweetened with lactose (milk sugar)<br />

and chocolate, it leaves a pleasantly<br />

lingering coffee aftertaste. (KN)<br />

<br />

A sea salted and caramel Scotch<br />


Ale, Salty Scot is a darker brew that<br />

maintains a harmonious balance<br />

between its two flavours. (KN)<br />

<br />

Toques of Hazzard — an Imperial White<br />

IPA — has a malty tartness that’s not<br />

quite sour, with flavours of gooseberry<br />

to keep the brew light bodied. (KN)<br />

Along with these brews, Parallel 49 is<br />

also offering a Season’s Greetings case in<br />

partnership with Central City Brewing,<br />

which features 24 different beers — one<br />

for every day of the advent calendar.<br />


<br />

It’s just not winter without a seasonal<br />

stout and R&B is delivering one with<br />

a twist. Served on nitro, the Dark<br />

Star Stout is smooth, creamy, and<br />

surprisingly mellow for a stout. Not too<br />

heavy — very Guinness like in terms<br />

of comparison — with rich notes of<br />

chocolate and coffee. (JE)<br />

<br />

For those that like their stouts strong, this<br />

is the beer they are looking for. The Ursos<br />

Arctos is a Russian Imperial stout with a<br />

hard hitting 10.4% and 70 IBU. Very rich,<br />

very heavy, and with super concentrated<br />

caramel notes, the Ursos Arctos is a very<br />

complex tasting beer with layers of flavour<br />

that hit you in waves as you drink it. Not for<br />

the faint of heart, but one of the best beers<br />

you will taste this winter. (JE)<br />


<br />

A brewery that never fails to challenge<br />

themselves and the palette of their<br />

consumer, Strange Fellows Brewing is<br />

featuring two limited release holiday<br />


seasonals that explore the dark side of<br />

folklore themes and quirky traditions.<br />

For example, their principal holiday<br />

beer is an ode to the anti-father<br />

Christmas, Krampus himself. “We<br />

actually have a Krampus costume<br />

that one of our bartenders made, you<br />

can come here in <strong>December</strong> with kids<br />

and have a photo on the throne with<br />

Krampus, and we made at least four or<br />

five kids cry,” laughs head brewmaster,<br />

Iain Hill. If you’ve seen Krampus, you’ll<br />

know why kids are crying. The beer is<br />

a Belgian Abbey Dubbel. “It’s not a<br />

hoppy beer, more based on malt and<br />

yeast flavours,” Hill adds. “It needs<br />

to age a long time and we made it<br />

months ago. It’s brewed in the historic<br />

style of Belgian monasteries — like a<br />

Trappist ale.” (EJ)<br />

<br />

The second winter seasonal is Boris,<br />

a Russian Imperiale Stout. Strange<br />

Fellows experiments extensively with<br />

aging beers and attaining flavours<br />

through a barrel, and Boris is the beer<br />

that puts Strange Fellows through<br />

its paces. (EJ)<br />



<br />

Don’t be alarmed by the high ABV of<br />

this local take on a classic Belgian style.<br />

Relative newcomers to Vancouver’s<br />

bountiful craft beer scene, Strathcona<br />

Beer Company’s strikingly authentic<br />

version of this dark, malty treat of<br />

an ale is a lip-smacking gift boasting<br />

a robust, rich flavour that avoids the<br />

overly complex palate distractions<br />

some Belgian Abbey ales tend to get lost<br />

in. Accessible to both those seasoned in<br />

the expansive world of Belgian beers,<br />

and to others who’ve never heard of<br />

world-renowned ales such as Chimay or<br />

La Chouffe, this single-batch Dubbel<br />

is highly drinkable — dangerously so.<br />

As a beer style sometimes recreated<br />

less-accurately than others by<br />

craft breweries, it’s impressive and<br />

appreciated to have such a faithful<br />

rendition of one of the tastiest, winterappropriate<br />

brews available right in<br />

our Eastside backyard. Made with<br />

dark Belgian candy sugar imported<br />

directly from Belgium, this Dubbel is<br />

sweet, reaffirming, and (be careful<br />

— remember the ABV!) worthy of<br />

repeat refills. (WT)<br />


<br />

Six years ago, on Beatty street, stood a<br />

well-regarded brewpub by the name<br />

of Dix BBQ & Brewery. Following its<br />

closure, the brewers moved on to<br />

other projects, but they’ve kept the<br />

spirit of Dix alive with the help of<br />

Nigel Springthorpe and Brassneck<br />

Brewery, through a yearly tradition<br />

of a collaboration in the muchloved<br />

Pacific Northwest IPA<br />

style called the Spirit of DIXmas.<br />

Brassneck, one of Vancouver’s<br />

premier craft breweries, actually<br />

operates using Dix’s brewing<br />

system, having purchased it<br />

following the closing of Dix’s doors.<br />

As the very first IPA produced<br />

by the Main St. brewery, Spirit of<br />

DIXmas is a lovely, welcome addition<br />

to BC’s massively varied IPA family. It’s<br />

strong (as expected), aromatic, and<br />

flowing with flavour notes running<br />

from pine to citrus and beyond.<br />

Made with Centennial, Citra and<br />

Simcoe hops, Spirit of DIXmas is<br />

an excellently balanced IPA with<br />

that requisite light-handed touch<br />

of bitterness that leaves you<br />

craving another glass. Get down to<br />

Brassneck before it’s sold out. (WT)<br />



















USS<br />





















<br />











<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> CITY<br />


CREEPS<br />

the Canadian play that shook the ground and opened minds<br />


From <strong>December</strong> 1-10, the Vancouver<br />

based Realwheels Theatre presents<br />

their production of Creeps. Creeps<br />

is a controversial, ground-breaking,<br />

and subversive play that transformed<br />

Canadian theatre by offering a unique<br />

perspective on living with a disability.<br />

The play was written in 1971 by David<br />

E. Freeman who, as someone who lived<br />

with cerebral palsy, wrote the entire play<br />

by typewriter, which he worked with a<br />

stick held between his teeth.<br />

Creeps is a story of four disabled<br />

men who spend their days brooding<br />

in a gruelling and insulated workshop.<br />

After growing tired of the way they are<br />

treated, they rebel by holing themselves<br />

up in the warehouse washroom. In there,<br />

they indulge in gossip and smoking, while<br />

liberating themselves by rejecting the<br />

institutionalized conduct they’ve been<br />

subjected to. In the original production<br />

in the 1970s, Freeman personally coached<br />

the actors so that they would not be seen<br />

to simply impersonate the disabilities<br />

associated with the condition. The<br />

play also has the educational purpose<br />

to inform the audience about the<br />

causes and symptoms of cerebral<br />

palsy. The unapologetic honesty and<br />

audaciousness of the script is both<br />

hilarious and heartbreaking, and the<br />

sarcastic dialogue encapsulates a blend<br />

of cruelty and transparency into this<br />

understudied world.<br />

24 CITY<br />

Directed by the innovative Brian<br />

Cochrane (52 Pick-up, Wide Awake<br />

Hearts, Speech & Debate), Creeps’<br />

casting features actors both with and<br />

without disabilities and includes, from<br />

the disabled community, Paul Beckett,<br />

Adam Grant Warren, and Aaron<br />

Roderick, alongside David A. Kaye and<br />

Genevieve Fleming.<br />

Creeps includes some outdated<br />

language that may “Raise some<br />

interesting questions and cause<br />

controversy,” says producer Rena<br />

Cohen, but it gave a voice to a<br />

misunderstood community in a<br />

particularly complex time in a world<br />

that remains prejudiced. Cohen<br />

describes that the characters feel<br />

that they’re “the toilet of humanity”<br />

and that “the play is an argument<br />

between those that are protesting the<br />

structures between those disabilities.”<br />

She explains: “it’s a dark comedy that<br />

deals with difficult subjects, it is also<br />

an opportunity to recognize how far we<br />

have come over the past 45 years.”<br />

A powerful and fresh display of<br />

the fight against oppression through a<br />

brutally honest lens, Creeps brings some<br />

sense of the difficulty of living with a<br />

disability to light in the powerful form<br />

of live theatre.<br />

Creeps runs from <strong>December</strong> 1-10 at the<br />

Historic Theatre. Tickets are two for one<br />

on <strong>December</strong> 3, which is the International<br />

Day of Persons with Disabilities.<br />

Photo by Tim Matheson<br />

Creeps fearlessly embraces dark humor within the search for humanity with a disability<br />


going green has never been so easy<br />


Listen up plant lovers: Foliosa is about to<br />

become your new favourite gardening<br />

company. Based out of Vancouver,<br />

they specialize in setting up indoor<br />

gardens — and creating the plant<br />

wonderland of your dreams.<br />

“I had the idea for what is<br />

now Foliosa a couple of years ago<br />

when I was studying landscape<br />

horticulture,” says founder Britt<br />

Wainwright. “It was a very tiny<br />

idea and it took me a while to figure<br />

out exactly what I wanted Foliosa to<br />

become. Plants can be scary because<br />

they are living things and most people<br />

don’t have the time to nurture them.<br />

So, you see a lot of spaces with the<br />

wrong plants and they are getting over<br />

or under watered. I want to change that<br />

by making the right plant choices for<br />

spaces and I also offer the service of caring<br />

for them, like a plant mom.”<br />

Foliosa doesn’t stop at installing<br />

Rebel Soup gives the ugly food of the world<br />

a chance to be part of something great.<br />

plants in your home or office — they<br />

also help you look after them, coming<br />

in to water, dust, and clip, and ensuring<br />

that the plants flourish and receive<br />

proper nutrition. Say farewell to<br />

unknowingly killing your plants.<br />

Wainwright’s hope is to collaborate<br />

with and promote local makers. Along<br />

with beautifying homes, Foliosa has<br />

garnished venues like the American<br />

and Tacofino with greenery. “When<br />

styling for permanent containers, I put<br />

emphasis on adding plants that<br />

are best for the space by making<br />

sure they can thrive in their<br />

environment.” Wainwright says. “I<br />

take into account what the client is looking<br />

for — it’s important to me to understand<br />

their vision, if they have one — and blend<br />

it with what I think will look beautiful and<br />

function within the space.”<br />

“With event styling there’s more wiggle<br />

room for getting a bit wild. Since you’re not<br />

worrying about long term plantings, you get<br />

more creative freedom,” she adds.<br />

Suffice it to say, we now all have a fairy<br />

plant-mother in Britt Wainwright.<br />

Learn more about Foliosa and their<br />

services at foliosa.org.<br />


challenging perceptions one bowl at a time<br />


“We don’t believe in conventional<br />

standards, and in buying Rebel Soup,<br />

you’re taking a stand with us,”<br />

says Amanda Slater, who aims to<br />

challenge the perception that “ugly”<br />

produce has no value.<br />

Combining her background in<br />

holistic nutrition and the support<br />

of a social venture entrepreneurship<br />

program, Slater has transformed<br />

what started out as a home-based<br />

soup club into Rebel Soup, a small<br />

business on a mission to tackle<br />

f arm-level food waste through<br />

the simple process of making<br />

soup.<br />

Rebel Soup works directly with<br />

local farmers to buy their unsellable<br />

produce, which can amount to<br />

between 30 and 40 percent of what<br />

they grow. These vegetables, though<br />

perfectly nutritious, cannot be sold<br />

to supermarkets because they do<br />

not meet aesthetic standards. In<br />

contrast to the aisles of uniform,<br />

blemish-free produce found in<br />

supermarkets, Rebel Soup embraces<br />

unwanted, uniquely shaped veggies<br />

and transforms them into nourishing<br />

vegan soups.<br />

“Don’t be fooled by a pureed<br />

vegan soup!” asserts Slater. The soups<br />

are hearty, packed with roughly a<br />

pound of veggies in every jar, often<br />

Britt Wainwright uses her green thumb to<br />

save the lives of green things everywhere.<br />

combined with ingredients such as<br />

nut milks and organic beans for fiber<br />

and protein. Slater chooses spices and<br />

combinations that bring out the natural<br />

flavours of the vegetables in an effort to<br />

deepen the connection between people<br />

and their food.<br />

Since its launch in early October,<br />

Rebel Soup has quickly gained<br />

momentum. Slater hopes to have the<br />

soups carried by a few cafes and small<br />

retailers in the new year. Currently, the<br />

soups are available through the online<br />

soup club at rebelsoup.ca, where you<br />

can select your flavours and have the<br />

option of delivery or pickup. Rebel<br />

Soup will also be a vendor at the first<br />

annual Kitsilano Winter Market, held<br />

at Kits House on <strong>December</strong> 3.<br />

Rebel Soup aims to bring<br />

awareness to food waste issues by<br />

providing a convenient meal option<br />

that has a real impact. “Our mandate<br />

is ‘good for the environment, good<br />

for the farmers, good for you,’” Slater<br />

says. “We want to make sure that<br />

the farmers are being paid. We<br />

want to reduce the amount of<br />

food that’s being wasted and be<br />

able to provide a very accessible,<br />

nutritious meal for people.”<br />

Learn more about and purchase Rebel<br />

Soup at rebelsoup.ca.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


a legendary party for the legend himself<br />


“If you can remember Keithmas then<br />

you weren’t there!” jokes Jon Hewer, the<br />

man behind the party of the season. “It’s<br />

become our de facto motto for the event.”<br />

In its seventh consecutive year, the<br />

event that combines Keith Richards’<br />

birthday and Christmas is only growing,<br />

giving the rock and roll junkies of<br />

Vancouver a place to get their ya-yas<br />

out, knowing that they’re giving back<br />

to some of the people that need it most<br />

this winter season — the beneficiaries<br />

of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.<br />

“This kind of started as a lark<br />

seven years ago,” remembers Hewer.<br />

“We thought it would be a fun night.<br />

By the time the night arrived it had<br />

morphed into this whole other thing<br />

where the sum was greater than the<br />

parts. We raised $800 bucks and five<br />

boxes of food and had so much fun that<br />

we immediately said we have to do it<br />

again next year. And now here we are,<br />

seven years into it, and have raised over<br />

$30,000 for the Food Bank!”<br />

Beyond the charity of the evening,<br />

there’s plenty to get into on the night<br />

itself through raffles and auctions. Last<br />

year they auctioned off Richards’ pants.<br />

The moment the name was called for<br />

the winner, the whole theatre went wild<br />

— a consistent occurrence throughout<br />

the evening.<br />

With the support of many,<br />

Keithmas is a consistent must for<br />

partiers. With an eclectic musical lineup<br />

— which, this year, includes Rich Hope<br />

performing songs from the Rolling<br />

Stones’ album Some Girls — the event is<br />

sure to give a proper tribute to the man<br />

of the hour.<br />

“We tend to get all the credit as<br />

organizers, but really the bands are what<br />

makes it so special,” says Hewer. “Without<br />

the artists generously giving all of their<br />

time there is no Keithmas. And lastly, on<br />

<strong>December</strong> 16th, let’s raise a glass (or a bottle)<br />

of JD to the human riff master himself, the<br />

indestructible Keith Richards, without<br />

whom this event wouldn’t exist!”<br />

A worthy toast, to be sure.<br />

Keithmas VII takes place on <strong>December</strong><br />

16 at the Rickshaw Theatre.<br />


new venue with a no-bullshit attitude aims to reinvigorate Vancouver nightlife<br />


In the wearisome bar scene of<br />

downtown Vancouver, finding your goto<br />

hangout is no easy feat. The city’s<br />

newest watering hole, the American, is<br />

attempting to establish a new pocket<br />

of nightlife that will hopefully refresh<br />

this monotony.<br />

Simon Fallick, one of the<br />

pub’s owners, discusses his and his<br />

team’s collective aim to create “An<br />

atmosphere that’s not easily found<br />

in Vancouver.” The casual and playful<br />

interior of the American will be “an<br />

inviting type of space for people to<br />

come and enjoy,” catering to those<br />

who are tired of “going to clubs and<br />

grimy bars.” Fallick explains that the<br />

space will be the perfect spot to<br />

just “listen to some great music<br />

and shoot pool without having<br />

to get dressed up or worry about<br />

dealing with shit heads.”<br />

The location of the American<br />

on 926 Main Street is a story in<br />

itself. The building is over 100 years<br />

old and was, at one point, home<br />

to an infamous hotel by the same<br />

name. After being a notorious spot<br />

for criminal activity in its heyday, it<br />

has since been refurbished, adding<br />

new additions to the neighborhood.<br />

The last of these was Electric Owl,<br />

a Japanese izakaya-style venue<br />

that eventually shut down and was<br />

purchased by the new owners of the<br />

American.<br />

While chatting about Electric<br />

Owl’s closure, Fallick emphasizes<br />

that “The promise for something<br />

special was always there.” The<br />

main difference between the<br />

American and its former inhabitant<br />

is that, unlike Electric Owl, the<br />

aim of the new space isn’t to be a<br />

live music venue, but rather, “to<br />

create something where you [can]<br />

just go and be yourself and have<br />

fun.” The subtler styles of events<br />

at the American include pop-up<br />

restaurants, as well as DJ sets on<br />

the weekends. With the addition<br />

of arcade machines, the team also<br />

plans to potentially host gaming<br />

events at the pub.<br />

Whether you want to watch a<br />

big game in a friendly environment<br />

or catch up with some friends, the<br />

American offers a lighthearted<br />

and fun space to unwind. As<br />

Fallick jokingly refers to it, the new<br />

“Cambie for adults” is sure to bring<br />

something special to this “vibrant<br />

part of the city.”<br />

The American is located at 926<br />

Main Street.<br />

DEC<br />

10-11<br />

DEC<br />

14<br />


DEC<br />

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DEC<br />

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DEC<br />

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DEC<br />

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DEC<br />

20<br />

DEC<br />

21<br />

DEC<br />

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DEC<br />

23<br />

DEC<br />

24<br />

JAN<br />

30<br />

JAN<br />

1<br />

JAN<br />

5<br />

JAN<br />

8<br />




LIVE!<br />


DIE HARD 2<br />













I AM CUBA ('SOY CUBA')<br />


ELF<br />


STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000)<br />








DIE HARD<br />














AWARDS<br />


<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> CITY<br />


Winter Wellness<br />

Winter may well be the hardest season to stay on top of our overall health. For most of us, we’re stuck indoors<br />

and, when we’re not, soggy weather and frigid temperatures put us in danger of catching a cold. Motivation<br />

for going outside and getting exercise is often lacking, especially in light of holiday parties, copious amounts<br />

of alcohol, and days filled with delicious indulgences. Plus, seasonal depression is a very real mental health<br />

issue — and is at its crux. All things considered, it’s especially important not to be sparing with yourself in<br />

body, mind, and spirit. So, we consulted a few local experts for insight on how to keep well this winter.<br />


understanding the connection between physical and spiritual<br />


Open books are hard to come by, even<br />

in the age of Instagram. There is quoting<br />

Rumi and then there is understanding<br />

what the hell you’re actually quoting.<br />

There is surface open and then there<br />

is deep open. Chloe Elgar is the deep<br />

blue Pacific kind of open. Her sense of<br />

humour blankets company in an instant<br />

state of ease, without detracting from<br />

her unmistakably human demeanour.<br />

“You have to meet people where<br />

they’re at,” she says warmly. “Small<br />

steps. If I tell them to go put their<br />

crystals outside in the morning are<br />

they going to think I’m a wacko?”<br />

Probably. But then again, mysticore<br />

is trending.<br />

Elgar’s approach to health,<br />

however, will have the energy to<br />

carry her through the next wave<br />

of amethyst and quartz carriers<br />

(but she’s into it, in case you were<br />

wondering). From her conflictheavy<br />

upbringing and psychology<br />

background, Elgar finds herself today<br />

in happier, healthier territory: holistic<br />

nutrition. She’s part psych major, part<br />

public figure, part intuitive healer, and<br />

part writer, among other things. Everything<br />

she says makes so much sense, it seems wise<br />

she should publish a how-to-be-you manual.<br />

Actually, she did: Living in Light.<br />

She easily toes the line between<br />

personal and professional, drawing her<br />

authority from a place of vulnerability,<br />

sharing her struggle with an eating<br />

disorder and anxiety boldly on her<br />

website, Chloe’s Countertop, alongside<br />

useful advice, recipes, and her podcast,<br />

Conscious Conversations. It’s all part of<br />

her larger belief in an integrative approach<br />

to health and wellness that includes<br />

practitioners outside of her realm of<br />

expertise (osteopath, chiropractor, MD),<br />

as well as spiritual discovery.<br />

“All of our weight and body issues,<br />

all that physical stuff is connected<br />

with the spiritual, the emotional,” she<br />

explains. “You can follow a diet or eating<br />

plan, but it’s not sustainable unless you<br />

face the reasons you’ve had to turn to<br />

it in the first place.” She speaks bluntly<br />

about the big missing piece she sees<br />

blocking people looking to get healthy:<br />

the inner child.<br />

“It’s going back to your childhood<br />

to look at where and how belief<br />

systems were created so you can start<br />

to understand why it is we do what we<br />

do. If someone told you when you were<br />

younger that there are starving children<br />

in Africa, so you should eat everything<br />

on your plate, then overeating, binge<br />

eating, and not knowing when you’re full<br />

can actually come from that moment.”<br />

In Elgar’s world, we always have<br />

a choice. “Either your body is going to<br />

be the waste bin, or the garbage is,” she<br />

says, encouraging her clients to trust<br />

their bodies to let them know when<br />

they’re full, not full, and what they’re<br />

really craving.<br />

“I know I am not for everyone,”<br />

she admits. “And not everyone is for<br />

me. I just have to be really authentic<br />

within myself so I can help people as<br />

best as I can. Intuition and spirituality<br />

and emotional practice is really<br />

important. It took me years to get this<br />

stuff and really embrace it.”<br />

Her clients, followers, and even<br />

first-time acquaintances can find solace<br />

in the fact that Elgar will match their<br />

output and then some, sharing when<br />

they share, listening when they need an<br />

ear, and gently guiding them through<br />

their dark baggage, back into the light,<br />

crystal-assisted or not.<br />

To find more about holistic nutrition, contact<br />

Chloe Elgar at chloescountertop.com.<br />

YOGA<br />

the quiet practice of self-care<br />


With the onset of winter, it’s common<br />

to sequester inside and fall into a<br />

social-hibernation state of cancelled<br />

commitments and avoided friends. It<br />

becomes alarmingly easy to slack off on<br />

looking after yourself and maintaining<br />

any level of self-care — something<br />

everyone needs.<br />

One of the best ways to enact selfcare<br />

is to do something that makes<br />

you feel content and comforted.<br />

Yoga has been proven to be a prime<br />

opponent of stress and depression,<br />

so <strong>BeatRoute</strong> spoke to Carly Russell,<br />

a longtime yoga therapist, about yoga<br />

and self-care in the wintertime.<br />

<strong>BeatRoute</strong>: How do you define selfcare?<br />

Carly Russell: Self-care is a dedication<br />

of energy to taking a look at your<br />

needs and creating a time and space<br />

for your needs to exist. It’s figuring out<br />

what it is you actually want and what<br />

you need to do to go about creating<br />

that change — without feeling like a<br />

failure if you don’t feel amazing 100%<br />

of the time.<br />

BR: Why is yoga a good therapeutic<br />

form to combat the “winter blues?”<br />

CR: In the winter, people want to feel<br />

warm and to feel comforted. I think<br />

people are drawn to yoga because it<br />

sort of represents that. People see it<br />

as a way to bring comfort through<br />

flexibility of the body and the mind.<br />

It’s empowering someone through<br />

movement and healing so they feel more<br />

in control of their bodies. Yoga teaches<br />

us to go from the inside out, to not be<br />

outside in, so it’s being able to take a<br />

moment and look at your surroundings<br />

and the energy you have to give out<br />

and making sure you’re taking enough<br />

energy back in towards yourself in order<br />

to be able to live healthily.<br />

BR: Why yoga specifically, as opposed<br />

to other forms of exercise?<br />

CR: For many, yoga represents a<br />

difference: the quiet practice, focusing<br />

on breathing control, and also just<br />

being able to sit with yourself. Asking<br />

yourself hard questions and moving<br />

through spaces that are challenging.<br />

It’s working with both the effort<br />

and the ease, and creating a balance<br />

between the two.<br />

BR: What would some of your other<br />

self-care methods entail?<br />

CR: Eating better, joyful activities<br />

that are stimulating. I do sensory<br />

deprivation therapy, which has helped<br />

my meditation practice. What self-care<br />

looks like for me is going to look different<br />

for you. That’s why there’s so many things<br />

out there for therapeutic purposes.<br />

Find Carly Russell at Seacity Fitness and<br />

Burrard Physiotherapy.<br />


tips for keeping skin soft and luminous<br />

this winter<br />


Dry skin is a reality that many face this<br />

time of year. No one seems immune<br />

to the perils of winter that leave skin<br />

feeling parched, red, or irritated.<br />

“Even though we live in a rainy<br />

climate, we spend a lot of time indoors with<br />

the heaters on, which can make dry skin<br />

worse,” explains Gwen Richards, co-founder<br />

of Fable Naturals, a Vancouver-based<br />

company that specializes in handmade,<br />

local, fairly traded, and natural skincare.<br />

However, according to Richards, a<br />

solid regimen of daily moisturizing and<br />

weekly exfoliation can go a long way.<br />

Using a humidifier, drinking plenty of<br />

fluids, and applying a moisturizer specially<br />

formulated for dry skin are also ways to<br />

keep your skin supple in the winter.<br />

“Vancouverites are busy and active<br />

and often forget to protect their skin from<br />

the elements during the winter season,”<br />

she adds.<br />

Moisturizing is important because it<br />

maintains the integrity of the skin’s natural<br />

moisture barrier (a physical and chemical<br />

barrier that keeps out microorganisms<br />

and irritants). A healthy barrier means<br />

softer skin, fewer wrinkles, even skin tone,<br />

and fewer breakouts.<br />

Because soap-based cleansers can<br />

strip the skin’s moisture barrier, Richards<br />

recommends using oil cleansers in winter<br />

— especially if you have dry or mature<br />

skin. “Our rosehip and olive facial oil is a<br />

customer favourite all year round because<br />

it is so nourishing. The benefit of using oil<br />

is that you get intense hydration from just<br />

a few drops.”<br />

And for anyone who may be put off by<br />

oil-based cleansers, fear not — they won’t<br />

clog your pores. Richards gives her word.<br />

Fable Naturals is available at various stockists<br />

including the Soap Dispensary and Be<br />

Fresh, and online at fablenaturals.com.<br />

26 CITY<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


part sass king, part domestic goddess<br />

COMEDY<br />


Darcy Michael may be racking up film<br />

and television credits and relishing the<br />

success of his recent comedy album,<br />

Family Highs, which shot to #1 on iTunes<br />

shortly after its release this past spring,<br />

but as we chat on this blustery morning,<br />

he’s tidying his office and cleaning<br />

his cats’ litter boxes – activities he<br />

claims keep him humble. A family<br />

man, recently appreciating some<br />

downtime at home with his husband<br />

and daughter in Ladner after years of<br />

non-stop travel to Toronto and L.A.<br />

for work, Michael is enjoying a bit of<br />

domestic bliss. “I secretly just want<br />

to make enough money that I can be a<br />

comfortable housewife,” Michael jokes.<br />

“Cleaning the litter box and making<br />

homemade ginger juice and burning<br />

sage, that’s my shit.”<br />

This recent change in pace is only<br />

temporary, however, as Michael has<br />

been hard at work writing scripts for<br />

Darcy — a show in development for<br />

CTV, based on Michael and his husband<br />

Jeremy’s experiences as a gay couple<br />

raising their daughter in a small town.<br />

“The way I sold the show originally was I<br />

wanted to make a gay Roseanne,” laughs<br />

Michael. “Because, you know, it’s about<br />

a blue collar, kind of not rich family<br />

making ends meet. And that’s kind of<br />

how Jer and Grace and I started.” It’s<br />

no surprise that Michael has gravitated<br />

toward this fresh take on a familiar<br />

premise, given his description of his own<br />

upbringing in a loving, unpretentious<br />

household in small town Ontario. “My<br />

parents definitely shaped who I am as a<br />

comedian. And my whole family. Most of<br />

the memories that I still have from being a<br />

kid are of us laughing or doing something<br />

stupid. […] Food fights are still a big thing<br />

in our family […] Handful of spaghetti<br />

across the room? Let’s dance!”<br />

Considering the marital bliss<br />

Michael has enjoyed for over a decade<br />

here in Canada, we couldn’t help but<br />

digress to the topic of recent political<br />

affairs south of the border. As an artist<br />

considerably invested in politics and<br />

social justice, Michael is a tad deflated.<br />

Darcy Michael does it for the love of good-natured ribbing, handfuls of spaghetti and high quality protest art.<br />

“It’s a nightmare. I guess we all now<br />

know how racists felt when Obama<br />

got elected.” Determined to look for<br />

a positive, however, he adds that<br />

“repression breeds art. Fear breeds<br />

art. The silver lining is that we’re<br />

going to create some amazing<br />

protest art over the next four years.”<br />

And we look forward to the birth of<br />

Michael’s particularly irreverent breed<br />

of protest art in years to come.<br />

It’s been a while since Michael’s<br />

schedule has allowed him to perform<br />

in his home clubs, so he looks forward<br />

to reuniting with long time friend<br />

and fellow comedian, Ivan Decker,<br />

for their upcoming New Year’s Eve<br />

show. “Ivan’s my comedy brother,<br />

we started together. Well…” quips<br />

Michael, “I’d prefer if we were<br />

comedy boyfriends, but he’s pretty<br />

dead set on staying straight.” To<br />

experience Michael’s unapologetic<br />

sass and good-natured ribbing of fellow<br />

comedians in person, head down to The<br />

Comedy Mix on New Year’s Eve.<br />

Darcy Michael headlines The Comedy Mix<br />

<strong>December</strong> 29-30. On <strong>December</strong> 31, Darcy<br />

performs in a Triple Header with Ivan<br />

Decker, Chris James and host, Kevin Banner.<br />

Visit http://www.thecomedymix.com/<br />

for tickets.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> COMEDY<br />


QUEER<br />


she’s extra!<br />


Imagine a child at home in Mission:<br />

playing alone, obsessed with Sailor<br />

Moon, and imagining a world in which<br />

they create artistic performances of<br />

their very own. These are the humble<br />

beginnings of the drag behemoth<br />

known as Raye Sunshine.<br />

With horrible pencil thin eyebrows<br />

and a thirst for audience adoration,<br />

Sunshine made her first appearance on<br />

the Odyssey stage performing to “Boys”<br />

by Britney Spears. Having grown up gay<br />

in a small community, Sunshine was<br />

prepared for what the drag scene had<br />

in store. “I’ve been hated my whole life,”<br />

she states. “I just don’t give a shit.”<br />

Dubbed the “Supermodel Empress”<br />

during her reign, Sunshine did a staggering<br />

22 courts and visited everywhere. She<br />

was driven to ensure that she represented<br />

the Vancouver community on as big of a<br />

scale as she could. Traveling as she has,<br />

she learned a valuable piece of wisdom.<br />

“It’s not about pleasing the other girls, or<br />

hyping up a promoters ego or a visiting<br />

Ru girl,” she says. “The most important<br />

thing is the audience, the ones that came<br />

to see you perform.”<br />

“The worst thing you could ever do is<br />

just walk past and stay within your group.”<br />

Sunshine understands what is<br />

truly responsible for her success and<br />

she honours that. “Mingle,” she insists.<br />

“Use that drink ticket to buy someone<br />

standing alone a drink, ask them what<br />

brought them out. For fuck sakes, smile<br />

at the group of new people at the club,<br />

‘cause chances are those are the ones that<br />

will come and fill the seats at your shows.”<br />

Sunshine is also an accomplished<br />

makeup artist and is always willing<br />

to lend tips and tricks to new queens.<br />

Being able to express her creativity in<br />

different ways is extremely fulfilling<br />

and the help she lends to new queens<br />

is a mark of that — she wants to see them<br />

learn and grow just as much as she has. Not to<br />

mention, her looks are creative and edgy,<br />

and are accompanied with performances<br />

where every detail is considered and<br />

executed with great intention.<br />

“It’s the thrill of creating something<br />

on stage that a community can talk<br />

about,” she explains. “Using art to<br />

create conversation makes everything I<br />

do worth it. I get to live in my fantasy<br />

world that I’ve created, being as bat shit<br />

crazy as I am, millions of ideas tumble<br />

through my head with in a single<br />

day, creating those ideas into life and<br />

executing them into reality is a thrill.<br />

That thrill of the stage, the roar of the<br />

crowd and the gasps make it worth it,<br />

but also feeling that fear right before I<br />

go on, is addictive. If I ever lost that fear<br />

before going on stage I would probably<br />

quit drag because at that point it’s not a<br />

risk or a challenge anymore.”<br />

Sunshine is a drag fixture, and when<br />

we talk about the future, she has a very<br />

clear idea of what she wants to achieve.<br />

“I want to expand my ‘empire’ and show<br />

the world my love of drag,” she says. “So,<br />

who knows where I’ll be, but I do know<br />

I will always perform in Vancouver<br />

because without this city and the<br />

people that raised me up, I would still be<br />

that new boy in a dress walking around<br />

Bingo collecting donations.”<br />

Catch Raye Sunshine on January 13 at the<br />

Commodore Ballroom for “It’s Just Drag.”<br />

Photo by Chase Hansen<br />

28 QUEER<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Photo by Graham Spence<br />

JANE<br />

SMOKER<br />

pushing the boundaries of<br />

Vancouver drag<br />




I tend to and stay optimistic, even in<br />

a world where hate, inequality, and<br />

homophobia seem to reign supreme.<br />

We’ve fought homophobia for what<br />

seems like forever and have achieved<br />

some great milestones such as gay<br />

marriage acceptance and more civil<br />

rights equality; but what will the<br />

future bring? Is it two steps forward<br />

and one step back? What can we do to<br />

protect ourselves from the oncoming<br />

struggles? I choose to think positive,<br />

that we can and will, in the face of<br />

insurmountable obstacles such as<br />

blatant homophobia, survive and<br />

prosper. I choose to believe that in<br />

any case love really does trump hate!<br />

I’ve had some people curious to<br />

know my “coming out” story recently.<br />

Well, there’s not too much to tell.<br />

I’d endeavour to say that I was never<br />

really in; I was always loud and<br />

flamboyant, even as a child. Not to<br />

say that this is a prerequisite for<br />

being gay, but everyone around me<br />

seemed to know I was “queer” before<br />

I even knew what the word meant. It<br />

wasn’t until I moved out of my small<br />

town and went to a relatively bigger<br />

city where I studied the arts and<br />

met like minded individuals who<br />

were all trying to find themselves<br />

and discover who they were. What<br />

followed was a time of exploration<br />

and self discovery, where I learned<br />

that being gay was wonderful; it was<br />

there that I started to develop the<br />

Carlotta personality. Coming out<br />

can be an amazing experience when<br />

shared with people we know will<br />

understand and not make judgments<br />

out of ignorance. There are some<br />

wonderful programs today, such<br />

as Out in Schools, designed to help<br />

people understand and accept their<br />

sexuality without the stigma and<br />

negative reactions that have been<br />

associated with it in history. We can<br />

only hope that the struggles in gay<br />

culture faced in the past won’t be as<br />

difficult for today’s youth in society.<br />

That is my ultimate Christmas wish.<br />

Until next month, I love you all my<br />

dahlings and hope you have a wondrous<br />

and gay holiday season filled with love<br />

and laughter and some fantastic drag<br />

shows. Remember… If Carlotta Gurl<br />

was Mrs. Claus, Santa would definitely<br />

come more than once a year.<br />

GIVE EM’ ORAL:<br />


with Brandon Patrick Folkes, general manager of the Odyssey<br />


The odyssey is coming back to life and<br />

we got a chance to speak with Brandon<br />

Patrick Folkes, one of the men who is<br />

taking on the role of animating the club<br />

space in its new era.<br />

BR: What is the importance of queer<br />

spaces?<br />

BPF: Plainly they are where our culture<br />

- in our community - nurtures and<br />

grows. They have existed (and continue<br />

to exist) as homes and safe havens<br />

for the many who need physical and<br />

emotional refuge. They are places for<br />

us to share, socialize, create, and meet<br />

- stages to produce on, rooms to help<br />

give back, and where love can be shared<br />

without shame. Without them, we as a<br />

community wouldn’t have a proper<br />

forum for us to allow our purest form<br />

of personal and collective expression.<br />

BR: What do people need to know<br />

about the Odyssey that they don’t<br />

know, or that they get wrong?<br />

BPF: I think a lot of people have<br />

“made up their mind” about the new<br />

Odyssey based on events of the past<br />

year and that isn’t my place to argue<br />

as new management. But it has been<br />

the toughest thing for us to deal with<br />

in trying to retain a piece of our local<br />

culture. I really want people to<br />

understand that all the staff and<br />

management care about this place.<br />

None of us would be here if we didn’t<br />

see the importance of its existence<br />

and didn’t want it to grow. Sebastian<br />

(the other manager) and I without<br />

question love this space and have<br />

made it our personal mission to<br />

succeed. We have been fortunate to<br />

have many of the old staff and artists<br />

from the old Odyssey come and work<br />

with us now, and to me it means we<br />

are doing something right and to<br />

have that support is incredible.<br />

BR: Tell us about your dream for<br />

the Odyssey.<br />

BPF: My dream for The Odyssey is to<br />

have it live up to its legacy and move it<br />

forward into a new exciting era in our<br />

community. We may not be the exact<br />

clone of our original selves; but let’s<br />

be real - nothing really ever is. As with<br />

the times we must evolve and be just<br />

as bold. Social progress is consistently<br />

evolving forward; and these places<br />

outside of the Davie Village are an echo<br />

of that change. As the old Odyssey<br />

on Davie once stood as a platform of<br />

LGBTQ+ progress and creativity, the<br />

new one antes that jump even further<br />

by being there outside of the bubble<br />

and being a solidified LGBTQ+ space to<br />

exist for all. To further this ideal - this is<br />

my dream.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> QUEER<br />


FILM<br />



TOP FIVE MOVIES OF <strong>2016</strong><br />



Star Wars has a history of great prequels, so it’s no surprise to see another<br />

one. For the lucky among us, our first encounter with the franchise was<br />

not of a Gungan, but of R2D2 escaping with the Death Star plans. Left off<br />

where A New Hope picks up, Rogue One follows an unlikely band of heroes as<br />

they attempt to steal the plans. A little anti-climactic since we already know the<br />

Death Star has been destroyed, like, four times. (In theaters <strong>December</strong> 16th)<br />

BARRY<br />

Obama wasn’t always a POTUS—before he took up residence in Trump<br />

Tower, he had to go to POTUS school. Then known to his friends as Barry<br />

(and to Republicans as “Barrier”—ha!), Obama spent his post-secondary<br />

years torn between the same insecurities as us all. Except he clearly handled<br />

them better. This riveting biopic will leave you wanting more—just like his<br />

second term. (In theaters <strong>December</strong> 16th)<br />


As Supersize Me showed us, Obama isn’t the only one capable of helping<br />

us grow. But McDonalds wasn’t always an international obesity generator;<br />

it was once a local, homegrown obesity generator. Though strange to find<br />

out even Birdman has a craving for McNuggets, Michael Keaton is sure to<br />

pull off a killer performance of Ray Kroc. And the best part? No subliminal<br />

advertising! (In theaters <strong>December</strong> 16th)<br />


You can look at some prissy list of the<br />

year’s top Scandinavian cinema. You<br />

can watch the Oscars and wonder<br />

where the good directors have gone. Or<br />

you can read my list. I don’t like socially<br />

aware movies. I don’t like movies with<br />

stunning cinematography, and I don’t<br />

like movies with the plot of an Alexandre<br />

Dumas novel. I just like movies. I don’t<br />

think Rolling Stone will agree with this<br />

list, but they can go fuck themselves. I<br />

think these are the best movies of <strong>2016</strong>—<br />

and to be honest, I’m pretty sure I’m right.<br />


I’m tired of people saying the world is<br />

going to hell in a man purse—there’s<br />

plenty of hope if you look for it. Michael<br />

Moore found it, and all he had to do<br />

was leave America. A one-man invasion,<br />

Moore tours Europe and Tunisia to steal<br />

the best ideas the world has to offer:<br />

tantalizing ideas such as no homework,<br />

two-hour lunch breaks, free university,<br />

decriminalized drugs, and a woman<br />

president. The film is eternally optimistic,<br />

and while some say Moore isn’t a true<br />

documentarian, I’d rather watch hope<br />

than fact any day of the week.<br />


With stunning stop-motion animation,<br />

A-list voice acting, and a killer story,<br />

Kubo is a near-perfect masterpiece.<br />

Yes, it’s a movie for children, but by<br />

now that should be a compliment.<br />

Both funny and deeply emotional, you<br />

will laugh and cry at what is probably<br />

the only movie with origami fight scenes.<br />

Kubo wields his shamisen like a violin<br />

against the devil—not only does he use<br />

it to battle evil, he does so with gnarly<br />

licks that reinforce a raw and energizing<br />

score. Finally, Matthew McConaughey<br />

has found his calling as a samurai beetle.<br />


This film is great because it captures<br />

what most of us are feeling postelection:<br />

like our band has just witnessed<br />

a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar<br />

and are now forced to fight for survival.<br />

And though the world around us isn’t<br />

as bad as it seems (see #1), it literally is<br />

in Green Room. This is slasher cinema<br />

done right—by carefully concocting<br />

a plausible setting and scenario for<br />

hammers, machetes, attack dogs, and<br />

Exacto knives to come out, the fear<br />

is real. And now I know how to kill<br />

someone with a fluorescent light bulb.<br />


Everyone says this movie sucked. Maybe<br />

they’re right (it got booed at Cannes),<br />

but then again, probably not. Nicolas<br />

Winding Refn (Drive) paints another<br />

colourful masterpiece using the power<br />

of his mind in this emotion-void pit of<br />

failing humanity as he drags naïve model<br />

Jesse (Elle Fanning) through LA’s worst.<br />

When she comes out the other side,<br />

she is no longer a person but a warning<br />

to society as it plummets towards…<br />

well, I don’t want to spoil the ending.<br />

Though the ending will probably spoil<br />

your appetite.<br />


But honestly, Earth is amazing. And<br />

even if neo-Nazis are trying to kill<br />

you, or fashion models are trying to<br />

steal your mana, just remember that<br />

someone made Swiss Army Man.<br />

With a box office dominated by high<br />

budgets and higher sequels (Fast<br />

and Furious SEVEN!), someone had<br />

the decency to make a movie about<br />

farting and boners and other dumb<br />

shit that is entirely sincere—AND<br />

heartwarming. And the good news<br />

is Daniel Radcliffe finally broke free<br />

of his Harry Potter stigma. It just took<br />

playing a dead guy to do it.<br />

30 FILM<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>



Starboy<br />

XO / Republic<br />

Starboy, the latest from Toronto-based songbird<br />

The Weeknd — moniker of Abel Tesfaye — is an<br />

unfortunate expression of the Faustian bargain: a<br />

trade of what made him originally interesting, for<br />

the benefit of radio-friendly superstardom.<br />

While he’s certainly come a long way from his<br />

“drinking Alizé with his cereal for breakfast” roots,<br />

having found unprecedented success over the last<br />

two years, Starboy marks a shift in direction from<br />

the self-abusing efficacy of his earlier work — and<br />

that’s not necessarily for the better.<br />

Tesfaye seems to have fallen into the realm of<br />

mainstream R&B braggadocio (which isn’t entirely<br />

unwarranted), but the progression from the<br />

fragility of his prior releases to the conventions of<br />

the “superstar status” ethos has diminished his role<br />

of the interesting, heart-on-his-sleeve-and-drugson-his-upper-lip<br />

image that made him so endearing<br />

in the first place.<br />

Sure, some of the hedonistic tendencies<br />

are still there, but it no longer seems to have the<br />

same part-humility, part-hard-truth aspect of<br />

Tesfaye’s earlier songwriting (particularly his Trilogy<br />

mixtapes) which featured an obviously younger,<br />

more exploratory form of basement-R&B: esoteric<br />

samples, confessional lyricism, stark, crystalline<br />

synth backdrops, and an atmosphere of melancholia<br />

that made it cool to revel in lachrymose debauchery.<br />

Tesfaye himself seems to address some of the topics<br />

of his previous works on Starboy, particularly on<br />

the stand-out track “Reminder,” which has him<br />

~reminding~ the listener that he “just won a new<br />

award for a kids show / Talking ‘bout a face numbing<br />

off a bag of blow,” before reeling with his newfound<br />

status as a household name in the following line:<br />

“I’m like goddamn bitch I am not a Teen Choice /<br />

Goddamn bitch I am not a bleach boy.”<br />

Considering the lyrical content of Tesfaye’s<br />

releases, this reference to his mega-hit “Can’t Feel<br />

My Face,” off of 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness,<br />

can be taken as rather ironic to both listener and<br />

artist when considering the supposedly conservative<br />

views of the masses that have propelled the<br />

decidedly un-conservative Tesfaye to stardom, and<br />

the truth that if the vibe of Starboy is any indication<br />

of Tesfaye’s future projects, there’s a lot more Teen<br />

Choice Awards coming his way.<br />

This overt pop bent isn’t inherently a bad thing,<br />

but unlike Tesfaye’s past work, the material on<br />

Starboy lacks the charisma and magnetism required<br />

to save it from its most glaring issue; Starboy<br />

features 18 tracks — a 68-minute runtime — with<br />

little variation to separate the soppy, overworked<br />

808-driven pop tunes from one another. The result<br />

is an album that feels more than a tad bloated.<br />

It seems that Tesfaye has fallen for a common<br />

pop music pitfall that arises once an artist starts<br />

receiving massive radio-play: albums become less<br />

about the coherent whole, and more about drawing<br />

the listener’s ear to the singles.<br />

Case in point: the features on Starboy, which<br />

are comprised of a long list of the usual suspects,<br />

from the certified collab-gold Daft Punk (on not one,<br />

but TWO tracks), to fellow phenom Future, and the<br />

omnipresent Kendrick Lamar, who seems to have<br />

made it his mission to feature on every major album<br />

of <strong>2016</strong>.<br />

While each of the artists featured on Starboy<br />

manage to bring something to the table, for better or<br />

worse, they contribute to the overall feeling that this<br />

album was produced under the umbrella of “too big<br />

to fail.” Many of the tracks give off this atmosphere of<br />

pre-packaged, inoffensive, formulaic radio-rap ready<br />

to climb up the charts because that’s what they were<br />

produced to do.<br />

Maybe this is an overtly cynical approach to<br />

dissecting Starboy, as anyone who came up listening<br />

to his Trilogy set of mixtapes can attest to knowing<br />

that The Weeknd finding success wasn’t so much a<br />

question of “How?” as it was a question of “When?”<br />

Tesfaye is clearly no longer the under-the-radar<br />

wunderkind who somehow managed to soundtrack<br />

a thousand late-nights (and their accompanying<br />

morning-afters), but by breaking into the role he<br />

was undoubtedly destined for — that of a major<br />

hitmaker — he seems to have followed a steady<br />

decline in terms of captivation and originality that<br />

began with his lacklustre debut studio album Kiss<br />

Land in 2013.<br />

The unfortunate truth is that albums like Starboy<br />

will eventually be forgotten. Stacked up against the<br />

dime-a-dozen pop releases that managed to maybe,<br />

just maybe, shuffle off one or two memorable songs<br />

before they fade into the backdrop, but if that works<br />

for The Weeknd, who are we to judge?<br />

If the explicit references to expensive cars,<br />

jewelry, and the lifestyles of the rich and famous<br />

found across Starboy are any indication, Tesfaye is<br />

reaping the benefits of much-deserved success and<br />

enjoying every minute of it.<br />

In his own words: He’s a motherfuckin’ star, boy.<br />

<br />

<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> REVIEWS<br />



Beach Season<br />

Libra Year<br />

Universal Music Canada<br />

Just two years ago, Calgarians Simon<br />

Blitzer and Sam Avant, otherwise<br />

known as Beach Season, were hiding<br />

out in their parents’ basements, hard<br />

at work pioneering “bootywave.” The<br />

self-named genre was a proprietary<br />

blend of sultry, synth-heavy tracks<br />

that featured ample low-end, and<br />

lithe, R&B-flavored vocals from Avant<br />

that had a bedroom intimacy, even<br />

with its admittedly lo-fi production.<br />

Libra Year, the duo’s major label,<br />

debut EP for Universal, is leaps ahead<br />

of “bootywave”-era Beach Season, but<br />

it’s often clear that they haven’t quite<br />

found their voice, no matter how hard<br />

they attempt to remain “on brand.”<br />

Production wise, Libra Year is in a<br />

totally different league than that of<br />

their earlier, SoundCloud-hosted work.<br />

Its six tracks explode with massive<br />

synth chords, DJ-Mustard-meets-<br />

Flume basslines, and crisp, radio-ready<br />

vocals from Avant.<br />

Yet, while songs like “Tribes” and<br />

“Body Heat,” are sonically scintillating,<br />

dig beneath the surface and they both feel<br />

vapid and impersonal, filled with vague,<br />

R&B clichés that don’t do much to set<br />

Beach Season apart from a slew of other<br />

acts currently dominating pop radio.<br />

The EP’s final track, “Pink Room,”<br />

is proof that Beach Season can make<br />

genre-mashing pop music that is fun<br />

to listen to, but it may be some time<br />

before Blitzer and Avant hone their<br />

talent into a project that fully realizes<br />

that potential.<br />

<br />

Blu and Union Analogtronics<br />

Cheetah in the City<br />

Fat Beats<br />

Ever since his groundbreaking album,<br />

Below the Heavens, came out in 2007,<br />

I’ve held up Blu as arguably the most<br />

talented MC around when he’s on his<br />

game. However, the inevitable dilution<br />

of his prolific nature means that he<br />

often puts out subpar material. As<br />

such, I’m left excited but wary of new<br />

releases as they come. So I came to this<br />

project with Union Analogtronics a<br />

little apprehensively.<br />

The album largely sees Blu check<br />

his ‘conscious rapper’ hat at the door,<br />

instead dropping rhymes dripping with<br />

bravado. Thought provoking lyrics are<br />

sacrificed for his pure flow to shine<br />

through, and while his complexity<br />

emerges on a few numbers, his raps<br />

stand out more as a complimentary<br />

item for the consistently impressive<br />

soundscapes of Union Analogtronics.<br />

The French-based production team<br />

produce warm, synth-laden, bass-heavy<br />

bangers driven by hard hitting jazz and<br />

funk undertones that stay fresh and<br />

dynamic throughout, bringing the best<br />

out of the impressive roster of guest<br />

vocalists featured on the album. While<br />

Blu changes up his typical approach<br />

on this one, Cheetah in the City is a<br />

quality release with superb production,<br />

providing an unabashed and intentional<br />

Boom it in Your Jeep type of sound.<br />

Bow Wow & Soulja Boy<br />

Ignorant Shit<br />

Independent<br />

<br />

Picture this: It’s 2007, George ‘Dubya’<br />

Bush is golfing out the remaining years<br />

of his presidency, demotivational<br />

posters are being shared via primitive,<br />

T9 word texts, and Soulja Boy’s seminal,<br />

proto-meme-rap dance-anthem “Crank<br />

That (Soulja Boy),” is bumping out of<br />

first-gen iPod Touch earbuds worldwide.<br />

It was a simpler time; the halcyon days<br />

of pre-Future trap music and garish,<br />

blinged-out grandstanding. Those<br />

warm memories are something that<br />

should be cherished, which is more than<br />

can be said about Ignorant Shit, Soulja<br />

Boy’s joint mixtape with fellow ‘what’s<br />

he been up to?’ rapper, Bow Wow.<br />

The album is very similar to the<br />

latest Ghostbusters film; you tuned<br />

in hoping for an injection of a healthy<br />

dose of narcotic nostalgia, the problem<br />

is that the feeling wore off in the<br />

first four minutes and you were left<br />

with 80+ minutes of vacant time to<br />

introspectively wonder why someone<br />

felt the need for this resurgence.<br />

Ignorant Shit stands as an<br />

effort to resurrect two careers back<br />

into relevancy, and in some ways it<br />

surprisingly succeeds. The fifth track<br />

“That Way,” is a great microcosm of the<br />

album, a lightweight Pusha T mockup<br />

that does little to justify its existence.<br />

Soulja Boy and Bow Wow followed<br />

the script and created a cookie cutter,<br />

Atlanta-sound album glamorizing the<br />

duo’s wealth accumulated over the<br />

past decade. Still, despite their wellpublicized<br />

differences in the past, it’s<br />

nice to see both artists could reunite<br />

and create an album that would have<br />

been deemed creative and noteworthy<br />

if it came out in 2007.<br />

<br />

The Colourist & Emilíana Torrini<br />

The Colourist & Emilíana Torrini<br />

Rough Trade<br />

Icelandic singer-songwriter Emilíana<br />

Torrini has been making music<br />

professionally for almost two<br />

decades, working on six solo albums<br />

and cataloguing a lengthy list of<br />

collaborations with everyone from<br />

trance DJ Paul Oakenfold, to Australian<br />

pop star Kylie Minogue. Torrini’s<br />

discography is a document of an artist<br />

that works best when being pushed<br />

to their personal creative limits, a trait<br />

that has led Torrini across the globe,<br />

collaborating with gypsies in Cordoba,<br />

a 60-piece symphony orchestra in<br />

Iceland, and an experimental jazz band<br />

in Belgium.<br />

Still, after all these disparate<br />

collaborations, Torrini’s work with The<br />

Colourist Orchestra, a Belgian ensemble<br />

founded in 2013 by percussionists Aarich<br />

Jespers and Kobe Proesmans, is arguably<br />

the best work she’s done to date.<br />

Jespers and Proesmans assembled<br />

an eight-piece orchestra to deconstruct<br />

songs from across Torrini’s catalogue,<br />

taking odds and ends from the original<br />

songs, but largely piecing them back<br />

together in ways that leave the new<br />

versions almost unrecognizable when<br />

compared to their original compositions.<br />

Performed live for this album,<br />

these compositions are lush, vibrant<br />

pieces of music that overflow with<br />

string swells, whimsical woodwinds,<br />

and organic grooves that Torrini<br />

takes full advantage of. Opening track<br />

“Caterpillar,” is underscored by a<br />

thumping rhythm section reminiscent<br />

of a classical Moderat, living in stark<br />

contrast to Torrini’s flawless soprano.<br />

It is immediately entrancing, leading off<br />

11, sprawling compositions that build<br />

upon the original works of Torrini, but<br />

never live in their shadow.<br />

Cowards<br />

Interviews With Dull Men<br />

Independent<br />

<br />

The fact that Steve Albini has heard this<br />

record might tell you everything you<br />

need to know about it. Jordan Koop, who<br />

recorded Interviews With Dull Men in<br />

2013 in his then brand new Noise Floor<br />

Studios on Gabriola Island, used the<br />

record as an example when he attended<br />

Albini’s master class mentorship in France<br />

last year.<br />

That Albini himself was influenced<br />

by bands such as the Birthday Party, Pere<br />

Ubu and Throbbing Gristle is no secret.<br />

That Cowards are influenced by Big Black<br />

and Rapeman is probably no secret either.<br />

Interviews is minimal and<br />

repeating like a drunk night out with an<br />

abusive old friend. Dark and nihilistic,<br />

it expounds on the liminal, pushing the<br />

threshold of the listener, entreating us to<br />

explore the limits of our thinking — the<br />

horror of philosophy. Self-abasing verging<br />

on anti-social, it’s a “sticky sheen of selfhate<br />

and seedy situations set upon a<br />

crunchy Pro Co Rat infected bass.”<br />

The songs here have been given<br />

a little more room to breathe, with a<br />

couple old tracks re-recorded and a<br />

bunch of new material that is finally<br />

seeing the light of day, which wasn’t<br />

always a certainty as the band broke up<br />

in September of 2014. A pity since this<br />

is once of the best albums of the year.<br />

Limited <strong>edition</strong> of 100 tapes.<br />

<br />

Dark Tranquility<br />

Atoma<br />

Century Media Records<br />

Dark Tranquility, one of the more<br />

prominent Swedish melodic death<br />

metal bands, has been dishing out one<br />

great album after another since their<br />

1993 release Skydancer. For 13 years<br />

they have been defining the genre, so<br />

it is completely disheartening to hear<br />

their latest album, Atoma. The meat,<br />

albeit bland, is definitely in the middle<br />

of the album: “Neutrality,” “Clearing<br />

Skies,” and “When the World Screams,”<br />

have the elements of a classic DT song:<br />

the speed and the energy a longtime fan<br />

has come to expect.<br />

However, it’s not enough to<br />

make up for the watered-down goth<br />

rock that infiltrates the first few songs,<br />

overshadowing the rest of the album.<br />

The overbearing clean vocals, are way too<br />

prominent throughout and don’t offer up<br />

a pleasant contrast with the harsh - as is<br />

the expected - melodeath formula.<br />

Coming into this expecting any<br />

of the passion we heard on Haven, or<br />

more recently We Are the Void, is a<br />

huge disservice. A few of the tracks on<br />

the album are almost redeeming, but<br />

the oscillation between the bland, hard<br />

rock-styled songs and the traditional<br />

melodic death songs is far too unstable,<br />

unpredictable and unenjoyable. There is<br />

just too much uninspired fluff to make<br />

this a notable album.<br />

DIANA<br />

Familiar Touch<br />

Culvert Music<br />

<br />

In 2013, Toronto synth pop group<br />

DIANA had an overnight success<br />

most bands only dream of. The band,<br />

consisting of Carmen Elle, Joseph<br />

Shabason, and Kieran Adams, posted<br />

“Born Again” online without expecting<br />

anything to come of it. The single<br />

exploded online, garnering fanatic<br />

response and catapulting DIANA into<br />

the crosshairs of plenty of unexpected<br />

label attention. Perpetual Surrender, the<br />

album that followed was a hastily-crafted,<br />

32 REVIEWS<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

flash-in-the-pan that seemed to be formed<br />

out of pure creativity; hindbrain instincts<br />

taking over and producing gold.<br />

As both a blessing and a curse, DIANA<br />

had plenty of time to craft their sophomore<br />

album, resulting in Familiar Touch, a loving<br />

recreation of ‘80s pop music from the likes<br />

of Talk Talk, Cocteau Twins, and OMD.<br />

Unfortunately, DIANA suffer the same fate<br />

as many bands doing ‘80s synth pop<br />

amalgamations often do: by basking<br />

in the neon glow and the hues of Hughes<br />

(John, that is), they get lost in a Marty Mcnot-so-fly<br />

time machine, ultimately making<br />

music that sounds dated upon arrival.<br />

The songs of Familiar Touch are<br />

particularly upsetting because they<br />

never quite reach the highs of Perpetual<br />

Surrender, often being just good enough<br />

to compare to the ‘80s tunes they are so<br />

eagerly inspired by.<br />

Admittedly, Perpetual Surrender<br />

isn’t all this disappointing. “What You<br />

Get” is a heart-on-the-sleeve synth jam<br />

that could’ve sound tracked a prom<br />

scene in basically any ‘80s movie that<br />

had one. It’s a great song, but much like<br />

the rest of the album, it just feels like<br />

one you’ve heard before.<br />

Drive-By Truckers<br />

American Band<br />

ATO Records<br />

<br />

There won’t be enough space here to<br />

properly justify why American Band is the<br />

year’s most important rock record, there’ll<br />

only be enough room to gloss over the fact.<br />

Kicking off with “Ramon Casiano,”<br />

co-frontman Mike Cooley lays down<br />

what will amount to a history lesson<br />

in American race dynamics from the<br />

perspective of middle-aged, southern<br />

white guys. The story of the murder<br />

of the aforementioned Casiano at the<br />

hands of Harlan Carter, a 17-year-old<br />

Texan who would later become head<br />

of the NRA, kicks off with a powerful<br />

rock groove which seldom lays back<br />

throughout the album. Patterson Hood<br />

gets his licks in on the subject in “Guns<br />

of Umpqua,” a retelling of the mass<br />

shooting on the Umpqua Community<br />

College in Oregon in 2015. Hood and<br />

Cooley have always had a distinct knack<br />

for post-incident ambiguity in narrative,<br />

but the songs on American Band get<br />

closer to point, and therefore the roots<br />

of the seemingly endless problems in<br />

America today. “Kinky Hypocrite” is a<br />

stone classic, a Faces riff with Cooley<br />

taking the righteousness of the political<br />

religious right to task for their own<br />

sexcapades, all in the most tuneful way<br />

possible. Hood’s “What It Means” is a<br />

relentless series of questions without<br />

answer, and Cooley’s “Once They<br />

Banned Imagine” is the greatest protest<br />

song since “Killing In The Name.”<br />

To be succinct in imploring<br />

listeners to really hear American<br />

Band, the most chilling and troubling<br />

statement is the one that’s never made:<br />

Middle-aged southern white men may<br />

only hear these truths if they’re spoken<br />

by middle-aged southern white men.<br />

Fear of Noise<br />

Hierarchy<br />

Independent<br />

<br />

Bask in the gloom of Hierarchy, the<br />

latest from Vancouver’s jazz-punkpsychedelic<br />

three-piece Fear of Noise.<br />

Stretched over seven tracks that sound<br />

more like aural fever-dreams, Hierarchy is a<br />

labyrinthine knot of sonic chord progression,<br />

thundering stereophonic drum beats (think<br />

doom-rock at its finest), and winding pitter<br />

patters of bass that ultimately equates to a<br />

sound that’s by no means “easy listening,” but<br />

is ultimately rewarding as hell.<br />

From the moment the birds begin to<br />

chirp and the dissonance begins to build<br />

on opener “Blister,” Hierarchy promises the<br />

listener that this won’t be a simple Sunday<br />

drive. While the album itself hovers<br />

around the forty-minute mark, time has<br />

no place amidst the rollicking percussion<br />

and the climbing-up-the-walls delirious<br />

atmosphere which at points can be a tad<br />

disorienting. But it’s not all insanity.<br />

Songs like “Spider Pills” and “Lost in<br />

Solution” ditch some of the more abrasive<br />

noise for a conventional, straight-forward,<br />

almost beautiful kind of guitar-heavy<br />

lament before the 8-and-a-half minute<br />

“Smooth Talk Rough Planet” closes the<br />

album off with a full-force wall of sound.<br />

In the end, Hierarchy isn’t so much<br />

about being fearful of noise, but instead<br />

opening yourself up and embracing the<br />

madness.<br />

Future States<br />

Casual Listener<br />

Golden Brown<br />

<br />

If Vampire Weekend and some ‘60s pop<br />

rock band had a millennial-indie-goth<br />

baby who got really into vapourwave<br />

just last week, Future States would likely<br />

be that kid.<br />

Casual Listener, the first full-length<br />

from this Montreal psych pop five-piece,<br />

was recorded in a church in northern<br />

Quebec over a two-week period last year.<br />

Future States dare to explore new<br />

ideas, evident within their rich, yet alien<br />

arrangements. One moment we have a<br />

melancholy indie folk song with nothing<br />

but whispery vocals, whistling and<br />

acoustic guitar, the next we have chilled<br />

out, ambient electro.<br />

“Melody” is truly the focal point<br />

of the nine song album. It’s a cool<br />

breeze of a listen, created by layer<br />

upon layer of ‘60s-esque, warped-tape<br />

guitars. It features surfy, indie rock<br />

hooks, and warm synth textures all laid<br />

on top of unpredictable percussion,<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> REVIEWS<br />


a combination of live drums, drum<br />

machines and sampled breaks.<br />

Each song flows gently into the next,<br />

complimented by moments of hazy drones<br />

formed from obscure samples — what<br />

sounds like dial-up internet noise, effects from<br />

random video games, whistling birds, crashing<br />

waves, pitch shifted vocal patterns and lifted<br />

music pieces that are chopped and re-sewn.<br />

It’s apparent the young band put a lot of<br />

detail into the production, resulting in a quirky,<br />

laid back album that lightly touches roots of<br />

experimentation.<br />

Industrial Priest Overcoats<br />

Gone.Nativity<br />

Independent<br />

<br />

Industrial Priest Overcoats frontman<br />

Trevor McEachran describes his band’s<br />

latest offering as one that is deeply<br />

inspired by his personal experiences<br />

with drug addiction, mental illness,<br />

and prejudice that is inescapable for<br />

indigenous people living in Canada.<br />

Gone.Nativity is a record that delivers<br />

on every ounce of rage and wildness<br />

expected from a person in McEachran’s<br />

shoes, but it also pleasantly surprises<br />

with mature melodies that show signs<br />

of restraint and careful deliberation.<br />

The record is all over the place<br />

in terms of cohesiveness, but the<br />

individual songs are enjoyable and the<br />

lyrics are refreshingly blunt. “Now I<br />

have to decide<br />

whether to swallow my pride or<br />

spit on your eye,” shrieks McEachran on<br />

standout track “ALL MY RELATIONZ.”<br />

McEachran’s vocals and high-pitched<br />

shrills are reminiscent of Colin Newman<br />

from the English post-punk band Wire.<br />

Released in 1977, Pink Flag by Wire is arguably<br />

one of the best albums in the genre, so while<br />

Industrial Priest Overcoats have a long way<br />

to go, the elements are there for success.<br />

There are truly ear-catching moments<br />

scattered through Gone.Nativity and the<br />

energy is palpable, but the band seems<br />

to move on to the next idea before fully<br />

fleshing out the ones that work.<br />

<br />

Trap or Die 3<br />

Def Jam/CTE World<br />

<br />

Jeezy, formerly known as Young Jeezy,<br />

is 39 years old, but that doesn’t stop<br />

him from falling victim to the trap.<br />

When it comes to trap music, releases<br />

are plentiful, beats are predictable, and<br />

lyrics are interchangeable. Trap or Die<br />

3, Jeezy’s seventh studio album, is no<br />

different from all the other generic trap<br />

releases this year that took less than a<br />

week to make. It seems like rappers are<br />

racing (probably to the bank), attempting<br />

to release project after project in the<br />

shortest timeframe, and the worst part is<br />

that quality or originality doesn’t seem to<br />

matter anymore.<br />

“Girl, you know you’re flexing with<br />

your flexing ass,” exclaims Jeezy on<br />

“Sexé,” channeling his inner 2 Chainz on<br />

a track that sounds identical to others<br />

but with slightly more ridiculous lyrics.<br />

Trap or Die 3 was Jeezy’s third numberone<br />

album in the U.S, and it is also third<br />

album in as many years. Jeezy’s next<br />

album, Snow Season, is due to arrive<br />

before the end of the year, bringing a<br />

blizzard of fatigue with it. Despite these<br />

criticisms, Trap or Die 3 delivers… on<br />

being mindless “turn up” music that is<br />

awful enough to mirror the thought<br />

process behind bad decisions commonly<br />

made in drunken stupors.<br />

Laurel<br />

Park EP<br />

Counter Records<br />

<br />

Southampton-raised, London-based<br />

singer, songwriter and producer Laurel is<br />

evidence of the Internet’s ability to serve<br />

as a fantastic incubation chamber for the<br />

music industry. The roots of the 22-year-old<br />

singer-songwriter’s career originate directly<br />

from SoundCloud. The service was home to<br />

Laurel’s earliest bedroom-productions that,<br />

like many young creators on the website,<br />

showed indisputable talent, but a lack of<br />

confidence and distinct direction.<br />

Now signed to esteemed<br />

independent label Counter Records,<br />

Laurel’s voice is almost unrecognizable to<br />

those early recordings, as is her song writing<br />

and production abilities. On “Hurricane,”<br />

the first single from her brand new fourtrack<br />

Park EP, Laurel shows just how much<br />

impact a few years of development can<br />

have on a young artist. It’s an impeccablyproduced<br />

indie pop track that is expansive<br />

despite still being made in a bedroom.<br />

It’s highlighted by Laurel’s endlesslyemotive<br />

voice that is often reminiscent<br />

of Florence Welch, impressively reaching<br />

the same stadium-sized heights, all from<br />

the comfort of her bedroom.<br />

“Goodbye (Demo),” the last track<br />

on the EP, does the complete opposite,<br />

stripping away everything but fingerpicked<br />

guitar and Laurel’s quietest<br />

vocal delivery that manages to pack<br />

the most punch. It’s a torch song that<br />

is unflinchingly intimate, unvarnished<br />

and an overall haunting way to end a<br />

tauntingly short EP that puts Laurel<br />

at the top of the list of artists to be<br />

watching in 2017.<br />

Letherette<br />

Last Night on the Planet<br />

Ninja Tune<br />

<br />

Letherette is indeed making ninja like<br />

moves on the musical front. Hailing<br />

from Wolverhampton, UK, the duo<br />

of Richard Roberts and Andy Harber,<br />

T H E A S T O R I A<br />

FB www.facebook.com/astoria.hastings<br />

INSTAGRAM @theastoriaeastvan<br />

TWITTER @Astoria25<br />















ART ROCK<br />


























HOLY<br />








34 REVIEWS<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

have pushed through the muddle of<br />

digital label chaos to release their debut<br />

album, Last Night on the Planet, under<br />

the subversive heavyweight Ninja<br />

Tune. The duo shows an impressive<br />

dedication to musical diversity,<br />

evident in what is a full spectrum of<br />

genres throughout the album. From<br />

beginning to end, it truly feels like a<br />

complete work, without gap or void,<br />

encompassing what many have come<br />

to expect from Ninja Tune signings.<br />

The intro track “Momma,” is a<br />

smooth hip-hop ode aided by the<br />

services of Rejjie Snow on the mic. Their<br />

first single off the album “Shanel,”<br />

has that old-school, 808 breakbeat<br />

vibe that’ll have you questioning<br />

what era you’re in. As the journey<br />

continues, they bring in their<br />

house influence and keep it riding<br />

for a few tracks, before breaking it<br />

up a bit showcasing some ethereal<br />

elements. Yet, the duo still finds<br />

a way to work in some more hiphop<br />

with the title track that fades<br />

to another meditative melody at<br />

the end. With Last Night on the<br />

Planet, it’s clear Letherette have<br />

found their niche, setting them up<br />

to keep releasing quality music for<br />

years to come.<br />

Living Body<br />

Body is Working<br />

Kingfisher Bluez<br />

<br />

With its influence in all the right<br />

places, Body is Working, the debut<br />

album from Leeds, UK based, selfdescribed<br />

“Post-Brexitcore” band<br />

Living Body, is a rich studio release<br />

with deliberately paced movements<br />

and instrumentation. Studio is the<br />

key phrase here, because the record<br />

feels a little bit like a rock opera. While<br />

cinematic, very little of it conjures<br />

images of a live performance. With<br />

post-rock linearity, there are expansive<br />

swells and dynamic low moments,<br />

but it also contains some achingly<br />

raw vocalizations from both male<br />

and female singers with some clearly<br />

pointed lyricism.<br />

Hyper-articulate and quintessentially<br />

modern British guitar work reels in the corners,<br />

flutters and clean hooks are everywhere<br />

with the horns, keys, and understated<br />

rhythms playing second fiddle,<br />

occasionally there is a literal fiddle or two<br />

as well, as in standout track “I Recollect.”<br />

Production elements also fill the gaps,<br />

but adds a layer of digitality that roots this<br />

record in its studio feeling.<br />

Body is Working is more than a proof<br />

of concept, it’s an exercise in masterful<br />

guitar work, smart songwriting, and clever<br />

arrangement. That it left us wanting more<br />

might be more of a compliment to Living<br />

Body than it seems.<br />

<br />

Bruno Mars<br />

24K Magic<br />

Atlantic Records<br />

Who does Bruno Mars think he is? No,<br />

seriously, I’m asking.<br />

Based on wedding and Bar<br />

Mitzvah neo-classic “Uptown Funk,”<br />

Mars’s biggest hit to date, you’d think<br />

24K Magic would simply jack Prince<br />

one more time and that Mars would<br />

shell out for Mark Ronson (who did<br />

the heavy lifting of writing “Uptown<br />

Funk”) to produce his album. Instead,<br />

he and producers Shampoo Press & Curl<br />

(really?) and The Stereotypes (really?)<br />

ripped off Ronson and a confusing<br />

melee of other hitmakers for a mostly<br />

confused, anachronistic mess.<br />

To be fair, there are a couple of<br />

good things about 24K Magic: it’s only<br />

nine songs long, Halle Berry makes an<br />

appearance, and occasionally Mars<br />

seems to be in on the actually funny<br />

part of the joke this record is.<br />

“Chunky” uses silly jewelry<br />

terminology and soggy, boogie hues<br />

to give love to the old-school ladies.<br />

“Shout out to the girls who pay their<br />

rent on time,” he sings for some reason.<br />

A better delivery of funk-indebted<br />

humorous, light-heartedness is “Perm”<br />

(which Ronson and Mystikal are likely<br />

filing suit over at this very moment).<br />

Mars actually sounds reverent and<br />

delightfully charming for the briefest<br />

of moments, encouraging someone<br />

uptight to “throw some Perm on your<br />

attitude.” It’s the same hook-heavy,<br />

substance-free fun of “Uptown Funk,”<br />

just a little too familiar for comfort.<br />

Not much of the rest of the album<br />

is even worth talking about. There’s<br />

some pretty embarrassing Boyz II Men<br />

posturing, a fake missed call to Halle<br />

Berry and perhaps the most revolting<br />

song of all time: “Versace on the Floor.”<br />

That one is recommended to only the<br />

most adventurous of masochists, for<br />

whom the surprise should not be spoilt.<br />

Don’t bother seeking out this<br />

album. There are plenty of places<br />

you’ll inevitably encounter it anyway:<br />

an awkward car ride that can only<br />

be put at ease by the worst of top 40<br />

radio, a nightclub you wish you hadn’t<br />

gone to but got dragged to by that<br />

one friend, literally anywhere caterers<br />

work, the lobby of an office building<br />

that smells like leftovers crossed with<br />

feet, or perhaps even the Seventh<br />

Circle of Hell.<br />

Meek Mill<br />

DC4<br />

Maybach Music Group<br />

<br />

After a tumultuous year away from the<br />

spotlight, Philadelphia rapper Meek<br />

Mill returns with DC4, his first project<br />

since Dreams Worth More Than<br />

Money, an album that many believe to<br />

be a high point in his career. Following<br />

some high profile feuds with some of<br />

the industry’s top names, Meek Mill<br />

seems eager to prove himself an equal<br />

among their ranks, a feat he tries to<br />

achieve with DC4.<br />

The album is filled with an<br />

intensity that often translates into<br />

yelling, but that’s not a complaint. This<br />

album truly plays on his strong writing<br />

abilities and his ability to revisit his<br />

childhood and themes of violence towards<br />

black people with a broad lens. Despite<br />

the themes the album isn’t completely<br />

serious, incorporating some infectious<br />

tracks like “Offended.” The roster of<br />

features including Young Thug, 21 Savage,<br />

and Atlanta trio Migos, adds a level of<br />

credibility to the album, showing that<br />

some of the scene’s top players still run with<br />

Mill. If this album is anything, it is proof<br />

that Meek isn’t about to let his career<br />

take a hit from any other rapper.<br />

Monomyth<br />

Happy Pop Family<br />

Mint Records<br />

<br />

With lazy, skate park guitars, much<br />

like that of bands like Heaven for<br />

Real and Walrus, and a relaxed power<br />

pop sound like Nap Eyes, Happy Pop<br />

Family, Monomyth’s new 11-track<br />

album, is the perfect listen for a warm<br />

Sunday afternoon. The Halifax fourpiece<br />

plays with hallowed sounds and<br />

guitar-monies, reminiscent of bands<br />

like Television, that mesmerize you<br />

without you even being aware of it.<br />

With garage-y, indie pop hooks, the<br />

lazy beach day vibe of Monomyth gives<br />

each chorus of these songs a catchy<br />

element you’ll find yourself humming<br />

throughout the day. Their drowsy<br />

vocals and lyrics, seemingly inspired by<br />

early ‘90s grunge, alongside psychedelic,<br />

jangly instrumentals hold something for<br />

fans of various sub-genres.<br />

Despite being consistently<br />

compared to Halifax legends Sloan, I<br />

myself find nothing in common with<br />

the two acts. While both bands are<br />

great, Monomyth brings a calm vibe<br />

and an I-don’t-care attitude in their<br />

sound that will connect with the new<br />

generation of slacker youth. Overall,<br />

the album is a soft sludge piece of art<br />

representative of the common human.<br />

Agnes Obel<br />

Citizen of Glass<br />

Play It Again Sam<br />

<br />

One of the more underappreciated<br />

technological advancements in music<br />

production is the ability to change<br />

the pitch of the human voice. Not<br />

in the T-Pain, “All I Do is Win” usage<br />

of AutoTune, but in the ability to<br />

completely drop the octave of a<br />

human voice while still keeping<br />

it in tempo. The results can often<br />

be controversial: Frank Ocean on<br />

this year’s Blonde standout “Nikes”<br />

is a clear contender for positively<br />

received use, but then there’re the<br />

less-than-favourable initial reactions<br />

to hearing Justin Vernon of Bon<br />

Iver, or Dave Longstreth of Dirty<br />

Projectors - both seasoned “acoustic”<br />

musicians - adopting the digital<br />

baritone throughout the year.<br />

Five-time Danish Music Award<br />

winner Agnes Obel, falls in the latter<br />

category. The classically-indebted,<br />

folk singer-songwriter uses the<br />

technique on “Familiar,” the first single<br />

off of Citizen of Glass, her intoxicating<br />

third full-length. The single features<br />

Obel dropping her gently-emotive<br />

falsetto into a lower register for the<br />

chorus; the resulting voice is exactly<br />

like the title of the song describes.<br />

It feels so recognizable - comforting<br />

in its warmth, yet off-putting in its<br />

unnatural pronunciation and eerie,<br />

lower-range falsetto. It’s an unnatural<br />

element that Obel juxtaposes with<br />

ornate string arrangements and an<br />

elegant piano accompaniment that<br />

wrap her uncanny valley voice in silk.<br />

It’s the only time Obel obfuscates<br />

her operatic voice on Citizen of<br />

Glass, but it is one of the strongest<br />

singular moments on any album from<br />

the last year, a high-watermark that<br />

the rest of the album never quite<br />

achieves again, despite being wholly<br />

captivating, and coming close on “It’s<br />

Happening Again,” and the aching,<br />

album closer “Mary.”<br />

With its classically-influenced<br />

instrumentation, Citizen of Glass is<br />

a stark, frost-bitten album that often<br />

sounds like it doesn’t belong in <strong>2016</strong>,<br />

but then again, it often sounds like it<br />

doesn’t belong in any time period at<br />

all, and that’s just one of many great<br />

things about it.<br />

Allan Rayman<br />

Hotel Allan<br />

Universal Music<br />

<br />

Beginning with a mournful, selfaddressed<br />

lament, Toronto’s Allan<br />

Your Connection to Vancouver’s<br />

Independent Theatre Scene!<br />

A Peter n’ Chris-tmas Carol<br />

<strong>December</strong> 9-10<br />

A hilarious send up of the Classic<br />

Dickens’ Christmas story.<br />

Pajama Men:<br />

Pterodactyl Nights<br />

February 16-18<br />

A surreal night of jubilance and<br />

inventive comedy.<br />

Funny Music Weirdo<br />

April 20-22<br />

“I love it when comedy feels like skydiving ...<br />

Chase Padgett is almost frighteningly funny.”<br />

—The Georgia Straight<br />

Tickets as low as $20!<br />

TheatreWire.com<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> REVIEWS<br />



Rayman has finally released his debut<br />

LP. A great deal of mystery surrounds<br />

this singer/songwriter. He shies away<br />

from press, and his releases seem to<br />

emerge from a great enigmatic fog.<br />

However, once heard, they sink deep<br />

within a very profound part of the<br />

lucky listener’s very being.<br />

He has a distinct vocal style that<br />

is hard to forget. Tastefully subdued<br />

and layered in emotion, characteristic<br />

of a southern bluesman, his voice<br />

projects heartfelt, soulful lyrics borne by<br />

mesmerizing melodies and rhythms.<br />

He brought back some of his<br />

previous singles like the incredible<br />

“Lucy The Tease,” a song that will<br />

instantly get you hooked on Rayman’s<br />

sound. “Tennessee” is also found here,<br />

combining a serene depth of melancholy<br />

lyricism and surprisingly fresh hip-hop<br />

percussion and sampling.<br />

This full length also features many<br />

new songs, and really showcases this<br />

man’s range. A funk groove kicks off<br />

“Beverly,” before being joined shortly<br />

down the road by some ethereal guitar<br />

plucking, only to be bombarded by a juicy<br />

bassline and Rayman’s signature crooning.<br />

A release that certainly merits<br />

multiple listens, but you will find that goes<br />

without saying once you hear it.<br />

<br />

Dawn Richard<br />

Redemption<br />

Local Action/Our Dawn Entertainment<br />

Monomyth is a term used to describe<br />

a basic narrative framework that’s<br />

been pulled from the stories of Jesus<br />

Christ, Gautama Buddha and applied<br />

to the creation of modern-day fictions<br />

such as Star Wars, The Matrix or The<br />

Lord of the Rings. They’re all about the<br />

hero’s journey, a protagonist gathering<br />

some deeper knowledge and their<br />

transformation into something better<br />

because of it. In <strong>2016</strong>, D∆WN, or Dawn<br />

Richard, is our redeemed protagonist.<br />

D∆WN got her start in music as a<br />

member of P. Diddy-sponsored, reality<br />

show-spawned girl group, Danity Kane. It<br />

wasn’t until 2013, with her independentlyreleased<br />

solo debut Goldenheart,<br />

that her journey progressed from the<br />

blandness of pseudo-top 40 stardom to<br />

her destined role as a visionary blender of<br />

R&B, dance, and electronic music.<br />

Redemption is the final piece of the<br />

monomythic album trilogy, starting with<br />

Goldenheart and punctuated by last year’s<br />

brooding Darkheart.<br />

Almost every track of Redemption is a<br />

highlight, with various interludes providing a<br />

pause in an otherwise non-stop affair. “Love<br />

Under Lights” turns its EDM-crescendo into a<br />

shimmering metamorphosis of the entire song<br />

while “Black Crimes” is a Black Lives Matter<br />

anthem that contrasts the term ‘hate<br />

crime’ with law enforcement’s seeming<br />

love of their ability to commit them.<br />

Redemption is impassioned,<br />

empowering and the perfect way to end a<br />

trilogy that we can only hope gets a sequel.<br />

Sad13<br />

Slugger<br />

Carpark Records<br />

<br />

Sadie Dupuis, of Speedy Ortiz fame,<br />

shows fans another side with a solo<br />

project that is a fuzzy, feminist fantasy.<br />

Under the name Sad13, Dupuis leans<br />

away from the harder grunge sounds<br />

of Speedy Ortiz, aiming instead<br />

towards a more pop and electronic<br />

influence. Fortunately, the change of<br />

pace is welcomed.<br />

Slugger is filled with feminist pop<br />

anthems that everyone can dance to.<br />

The 11 songs on the album expertly<br />

weave a narrative that combines<br />

both personal struggles and political<br />

commentary. “Get a Yes” is a song about<br />

consent in relationships; a much-welcomed<br />

break from the American news cycle where<br />

women are constantly told they don’t have<br />

control over their own bodies. Other songs<br />

like “Hype,” confront sexism in the music<br />

industry with fantastic lyrics like, “they still<br />

wanna lick my asshole/ they still wanna buy<br />

what I’m selling them.” Overall, Slugger is an<br />

album that packs a punch while still being<br />

incredibly fun to listen to.<br />

Thee Oh Sees<br />

An Odd Entrances<br />

Castleface Records<br />

<br />

Leave it to John Dwyer and co. in Thee<br />

Oh Sees to not only release two albums<br />

in one year, but to release two<br />

albums that manage to be at once<br />

completely different, and yet meant<br />

to play as companions.<br />

A Weird Exits was a snapshot of a<br />

new version of Thee Oh Sees, complete<br />

with new drumming tandem Ryan<br />

Moutinho and Dan Rincon, making a<br />

case that, while they’ve always been<br />

known primarily for their raucous live<br />

show, they could reach excellence as a studio<br />

band as well. That album landed fairly far on<br />

the more psychedelic side of Thee Oh Sees<br />

discography, filled with Hendrix-esque guitar<br />

heroics, but anchored with pummeling<br />

krautrock-inspired rhythms that helped<br />

keep even the wooziest elements of the<br />

songs grounded.<br />

An Odd Entrances dives even further<br />

into the transcendent qualities of krautrock,<br />

slowing down the tempo overall and offering<br />

up even more new looks (see: bossa nova<br />

pastiche on “At The End, On The Stairs,” and<br />

folkloric balladry on “The Poem”) from a<br />

band that never ceases to bring garage rock<br />

to surprising new places.<br />

Young Mammals<br />

Jaguar<br />

Odd Hours Records<br />

<br />

Although Young Mammals originate<br />

from Houston, the sound of the band’s<br />

latest offering, Jaguar, would beg to differ.<br />

Layered with carefree, twangy guitars and<br />

dreamlike vocals, Jaguar can conjure<br />

the breezy atmosphere of a beach<br />

instantaneously. The sound of summer<br />

is practically bursting out of this record,<br />

melting through chunks of coldness that the<br />

winter season carries with it, but that does<br />

not necessarily mean that the entire<br />

album is memorable. The majority of<br />

Jaguar blends together, nearly seamlessly,<br />

so while it does not make for the most<br />

surprising or interesting listen, it capitalizes<br />

on what works. Since the majority of<br />

tracks fall under three minutes, the album<br />

flows quick, making it easy to commit to<br />

in a short amount of time.<br />

Standout tracks include the<br />

irresistibly catchy title track “Jaguar” and<br />

slow-burner “Heavenly,” which feature strong<br />

lyrics and vocals that steal the show. While<br />

the lyrics on other tracks match the music<br />

well enough, they are easily forgettable and<br />

there is room for more creativity. However,<br />

as the band’s name states, Young Mammals<br />

is young, and the amount of potential Jaguar<br />

showcases is exciting.<br />

<br />

Sort of Damocles<br />

When I Die Throw My Body In The Garbage<br />

Boat Dreams From The Hill<br />

The sonic equivalent of looking through pictures of people and good times that<br />

have passed you by, Sort of Damocles captures melancholy in its most gentle<br />

and beautiful form. This is an album that asks the listener to contemplate and<br />

reflect, as it is music that lends itself to introspection.<br />

<br />

Cheap High<br />

Subterranean Suburbia (LP)<br />

Dipstick Records<br />

A product of the burgeoning post-punk scene in Abbotsford, Cheap High<br />

comes out swinging with their debut, Subterranean Suburbia. Creeping with<br />

post-punk tension, the album takes fans into Cheap High’s dystopian nightmare<br />

of superficial relationships and a willingly isolated and apathetic society.<br />

Expressing the frustration, rage, and emptiness of modern living, the album<br />

pairs its Joy Division tendencies with clever, image-heavy lyrics. In all, Cheap<br />

High proves that post-punk is far from dead.<br />

<br />

Mother Upduff<br />

The Decay (EP)<br />

Independent<br />

Mother Upduff’s most recent EP does not shy away from its roots, with psychedelic<br />

noise rock overtones leading the way. The heavy, bluesy, and soulful<br />

album brings to mind a grittier sound of soul power, not unlike the Black Keys.<br />

“Concept and Scope” sounds like a James Bond theme from the days of yore,<br />

while the dogged guitars of “Parnassus Drive” make you feel as if you’re in a<br />

dark, smoky blues club. The album is bare and raw – no special effects here –<br />

as the band continues to embrace its live sound with its strained (and at times,<br />

sharp) vocals.<br />

<br />

Little Crow<br />

Little Crow<br />

Independent<br />

An atmospheric debut release that exhales a melancholy tale, acoustic-alternative<br />

duo Little Crow deliver a soft-spoken yet powerful record that touches on<br />

subjects of love, heartbreak, and fading memories. A haunting effort fueled by<br />

pure emotion, this four-song EP holds greatly produced recordings of beautiful,<br />

radio-worthy tracks that leave you wanting more.<br />

<br />

Winona Forever<br />

This is Fine<br />

Independent<br />

This is Fine is a distorted collection of poppy indie-rock songs that will surely<br />

get you groovin’. Winona Forever’s catchy opening tracks bring to mind laying<br />

on the beach during a relaxing summer day, sipping a refreshing beverage,<br />

smiling as the sun smiles upon you.<br />

With elements of garage rock, alternative, and pop, the indie-darlings<br />

from Langley, BC deliver a likeable, upbeat record.<br />

<br />

Post Death Soundtrack<br />

The Unlearning Curve<br />

Independent<br />

PDS have crafted a consistent stream of tracks that utilize a broad range<br />

of instrumentation while still retaining a linear mood and tone that carries<br />

through most of the album. Due to the consistency in the songwriting,<br />

each song serves as a fairly good reflection for the rest of the album. Each<br />

track is cool and foreboding, giving off an air of intrigue and edginess, with<br />

an overarching sense of melancholy that runs throughout.<br />

<br />

36 REVIEWS<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


PUP, Meat Wave, Chastity<br />

The Cobalt<br />

November 21, <strong>2016</strong><br />

It may have been a Monday night,<br />

but it sure felt like a Friday at the<br />

Cobalt for PUP’s first Vancouver<br />

show in almost two years.<br />

Completely sold out, the venue<br />

was nearly packed for the night’s<br />

first opener Chastity. Hailing<br />

from Whitby, Ontario, frontman/<br />

songwriter Brandon Williams<br />

and his band started the night off<br />

strong. Mixing a singer-songwriter<br />

approach with elements of hardcore,<br />

emo, and post-rock, Chastity put<br />

on an impressive performance.<br />

During the last two tracks, Williams<br />

opted to spend the rest of his time<br />

performing in the crowd or on top of<br />

tables and getting the crowd moving.<br />

An early sign the night was going to<br />

be a wild one.<br />

Second on the bill was Chicago’s<br />

Meat Wave. With an already warmed<br />

up crowd, Meat Wave blasted into<br />

their furious brand of garage punk<br />

without hesitation. Although it<br />

was obvious most of the crowd<br />

had never heard Meat Wave before,<br />

that didn’t stop them from playing<br />

as hard and fast as they could. By<br />

the end of the set beers were flying<br />

and people were moshing wildly:<br />

a great first appearance for Meat<br />

Wave in Vancouver.<br />

As wild as things got, it was<br />

all practice for when PUP hit the<br />

stage. As a band from Toronto who<br />

tours almost constantly, having<br />

nearly two years between shows<br />

in Vancouver seems like a major<br />

oversight. Their presence was<br />

surely missed here. Opening up<br />

with their brilliant track “If This<br />

Tour Doesn’t Kill You Then I Will”<br />

from this year’s The Dream is Over,<br />

the audience sang every word along<br />

with frontman Stefan Babcock<br />

and you could seethe smiles creep<br />

across the band members faces’ as<br />

the song went on. Second song in<br />

they played their breakneck-paced<br />

smash hit “DVP” and it was madness<br />

for the rest of the night. The next<br />

hour was filled with songs from all<br />

three of their albums and a nonstop<br />

onslaught of stage divers, crowd<br />

surfers, and people looking for their<br />

missing shoes/glasses.<br />

PUP may not look the part of<br />

your average punk band, but they<br />

certainly perform like one of the best<br />

out there. Nearing the hour mark,<br />

Babcock shouted into the mic “PUP<br />

the band doesn’t believe in encores…<br />

We’re gonna play two more songs<br />

then walk off stage. Have a great<br />

night! ” True to their word they<br />

did, and the crowd did not look<br />

the least bit pissed about it. In<br />

f act, audience members seemed<br />

too smiley, sweaty, and covered<br />

in beer to care about much else.<br />

Simultaneously ferocious and fun,<br />

PUP proved why they are one of the<br />

most-hyped bands of <strong>2016</strong>. Hopefully<br />

they don’t take another two years<br />

before returning to Vancouver.<br />

<br />

<br />

Photo by Timothy Nguyen<br />

YG<br />

Vogue Theatre<br />

Nov 21, <strong>2016</strong><br />

Rapper YG, a Brazy Bompton native,<br />

took the stage twice Monday night with<br />

two sold out shows at the Vogue Theatre<br />

for the Vancouver stop of his Fuck<br />

Donald Trump Tour. The venue’s air was<br />

heavy with the aroma of a particularly<br />

dank sativa, mixed with Polar Ice vodka<br />

shots and, at the earlier all ages show, a<br />

side of “Mom, I’ll be home by 10.”<br />

Dressed in the current go-to<br />

California closet ensemble of designer<br />

plaid, ripped jeans, Eazy-E shades and<br />

shiny gold trainers, YG 400 finessed<br />

some signature tracks like “Toot It<br />

and Boot It,” “Who do you Love?” and<br />

“Why You Always Hating?” The massive<br />

nine-foot tall monitor behind him<br />

broadcasted images of flowing malt<br />

liquor, palm trees and prescription bottles<br />

full of dried herbs, hyping up the crowd<br />

who simultaneously roasted blunts,<br />

echoed lyrics and beat each other up.<br />

YG took the time to reach<br />

out to shirtless audience members and<br />

also pull out his phone to check the<br />

last-minute score of the Raiders game. The<br />

show peaked as YG took a Trumpesque<br />

mannequin onstage, stomping<br />

its head while the crowd chanted<br />

“Fuck Donald Trump.”<br />

The after show scene outside<br />

the venue saw attendees posing for<br />

selfies with dismembered limbs of<br />

Donald Trump in YG hoodies and trying<br />

to convince limo drivers to take them<br />

back to the burbs. Satisfied.<br />

<br />

<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> REVIEWS<br />




Ah the Greyhound bus station. Forever a place that no one<br />

really wants to go but since airlines still insist on charging $500<br />

for a round trip to Calgary, it’s a necessary evil. As a Canadian<br />

performer I’ve seen my share of Greyhound stations and as far as<br />

bus station bathrooms go, this one is surprisingly nice.<br />

It has its own security to keep the riff raff out and, besides<br />

having a mysteriously cut up toilet seat, was very clean and well<br />

stocked. It will make taking the Greyhound feel less shameful.<br />



It’s important for McDonald’s to have good bathrooms. They<br />

are always needed immediately after dining. The plus about<br />

this bathroom is you don’t need to be buzzed in by the staff. It’s<br />

always nice to find an unlocked public bathroom. This bathroom<br />

however, was too clean. Yes I said it — too clean.<br />

I think I left that bathroom as a blonde because the smell<br />

of bleach was so strong. Also, points taken off for one-ply toilet<br />

paper. Come on McDonald’s, you know the messes your food<br />

makes. You need a two-ply minimum policy at least.<br />



I’m a fan of any bathroom that provides me with reading material,<br />

and Scotia Bank Theatre doesn’t disappoint! Movie posters and<br />

upcoming events are posted in every stall. This experience was<br />

enhanced by the tears of a 14-year-old girl crying to a friend<br />

because they were on a double date and she didn’t think Hunter<br />

was “feeling her.”<br />

This bathroom was overall very clean and very entertaining.<br />

Way to keep the drama on the big screen and out of the bathrooms!<br />



38<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong> 39

40<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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