BeatRoute Magazine BC Print Edition October 2017

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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.

Currently BeatRoute’s AB edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton (by S*A*R*G*E), Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120



BeatRoute Magazine



Naomi Zhang

Front Cover Photo

Shimon Karmel

Randy Gibson


Bailey Barnson • Sarah Bauer • Jonny

Bones • Seth Cudney • Quan Yin

Divination • Mike Dunn• Kennedy Enns

• Slone Fox • Colin Gallant • Jovana

Golubovic • Michael Grondin • Greg

Grose • Kathryn Helmore • Max Hill •

Alex Hudson • Sarah Jamieson • Jeevin

Johal • Karolina Kapusta • Charlotte

Karp • Ana Krunic • Arielle Lessard •

Sarah Mac • Paul Mcaleer • Brendan

Morley • Andrew R. Mott • Zoei Nijjar

• Adesuwa Okoyomon • Emma Sloan •

Stepan Soroka • Vanessa Tam • Willem

Thomas • Brayden Turenne • Alec

Warkentin • Mat Wilkins • Jordan Yeager




Robert Anderson • Nedda Asfari •

Peter Battistoni • Bryce Hunnersen

• Bill Crisafi • Elissa Crowe • Tj Dawe

• Itai Erdal • Cody Fennell • Greg

Gallinger • Maria Jose • Dahila Katz

• Anita Lewis • Connor Mccracken •

Nelson Mouellic • Darrole Palmer • Jaik

Puppyteeth • Daniel Rampulla • Rachel

Robinson • Shimon Karmel • Raymund

Shum • Landon Speers • Jake Stark •

Steven Taylor • Matthew Zinke



Glenn Alderson


Jashua Grafstein


Alan Ranta


Graeme Wiggins

Managing Editor

Jennie Orton


Yasmine Shemesh

Local Music

James Olson

The skinny

Johnny Papan

04 HI, HOW ARE YOU? 21





- with Matt Hagarty






- Drab Majesty

- Blue Hawaii

- Jasper Solan Yip

- The Boom Booms

- Petunia and The Vipers

- Twin Bendit

- Hanson

- Malk











- Odesza

- Clubland

- YehMe2

- P.O.S

- Hoodie Allen


- Propagandhi

- Cattle Decapitation

- Butcher Babies

- Hollywood Undead

- Brass


- VIFF 2017

- Movies You Can Still

Catch At VIFF


- Courtney Barnett & Kurt


- Bully

- Citizen Jane

- The Deep Dark Woods

- Skinny Dyck & Friends


- July Talk

- Mac DeMarco

- Thundercat


Glenn Alderson



Gold Distribution (Vancouver)

Mark Goodwin Farfields (Victoria)


Galen Robinson-Exo


Hogan Short


202-2405 Hastings St. E

Vancouver BC Canada

V5K 1Y8 •

©BEATROUTE Magazine 2017. All rights reserved.

Reproduction of the contents is strictly prohibited.

Page 27 - Lady Bird at VIFF 2017

October 2017 3



Hastings Sunrise has been growing

at an exciting rate in the last few

years and one of the most colourful

additions to the Nanaimo/Hastings

block has been What’s Up? Hot Dog!,

a rock ‘n’ roll hot dog diner that

pays homage to the city’s punk rock

underground while, at the same time,

making the restaurant accessible to

everyone in the community with

their unique and tasty menu items.

This Halloween, the hot dogs are

taking a back seat again when the

restaurant transforms in to a Bob’s

Burgers pop up shop, after the

popular animated television series.

In past year’s the restaurant has

gone above and beyond to recreate

a similar vibe to that of the inside

of the restaurant on the show,

even the employees dress up as the

characters on the show. We sat down

with Matt Hagarty to talk about

his transformation in to Bob and

what he’s going to be flipping this


What’s Up Hot Dog has been

creating a really cool atmosphere

for people to eat fun food for a

while now, can you tell me a bit

about the time and energy you

guys put in to the creation of your

whole aesthetic throughout the


Our entire philosophy is to be

inclusive and not be boring. We take

our service and our food quality

very seriously and that’s about it.

Everything else is whatever we think

will be the most fun for ourselves and

the customers. We get a lot of “man

this feels like walking into another

city” when people come in for the

first time, and I take that as a very

high compliment. Also I’ve been

lucky to find staff members that are

essentially living cartoons.

Who is your favourite character

from Bob’s Burgers?

Definitely Bob, because we have the

same life. A lot of the situations in

the show I’ve actually lived. He loves

his family and works hard for them

and things go how they go. I connect

with that a lot. I even have a one

year old, Lemmy, who is kinda off the

walls. Like, she likes to take food out

of my mouth while I’m trying to eat. I

think she’s probably a Louise.

What sort of things are you going

to be doing differently this year?

We keep trying to ramp it up each

year, so we’re just adding more

cosmetic touches this year. Our

infamous bling’d out bathroom is

going to be converted into a scene

from the show, but I’m going to keep

exactly what that is secret. I’m not

buying a new moustache though. The

one I wore last year has been stuck

up on the kitchen wall for a year

straight, and I plan on donning the

exact same one this time around. It’s

a trooper.

Can you explain a bit about the

menu? Are you only serving


So in the show there’s a Burger of the

Day board in their shop that has a

burger special with a pun name. We

look at the list of all the ones they’ve

used, we pick around six or seven

that we have ideas for, and we create

a recipe. Burgers and fries only for

these four days. There will also be

vegan and GF options.

Anything else we might want to


We’re giving away the Bob’s Burgers

vinyl box set that Sub Pop put out

last year. It’s a pretty great package.

That’s for best costume. There’ll be

other prizes as well. That’s all I got!

Bob’s Burgers takes over What’s

Up? Hot Dog! October 28 to 31, 11

a.m. until late every day. For more

information visit

Photo by Darrole Palmer

How did the Bob’s Burgers theme

come about?

Bob is just kinda generally resigned

and defeated and I have always felt

that way, I always connected with

his character. And then my wife and

I opened What’s Up? and I REALLY

felt a kinship with Bob. Also, the

cosmetic similarities between our

shop and Bob’s Burgers made it an

obvious choice two years ago when

we had to decide what to do for our

first Halloween. If I felt connected

to Bob before, dressing up as him

and working in “Bob’s Burgers” each

Halloween has really made the whole

thing very confusing and surreal.

Can you tell us a little bit about

how past years have gone?

Each year has been bigger than

the last. Last year was when it

really kicked in and the amount of

costumed people who were willing

to wait in line for an hour and a half

blew us away. It’s really exhausting

and super fun. Last year Kristen

Schaal tweeted at us, and a couple of

the animators from the show actually

showed up, which was dope. Lineup

central though!

What’s Up? Hot Dog! is converting in to an unofficial Bob’s Burgers pop up shop again for Halloween.


October 2017


1 Hour Photo Carol Sawyer Dan Savage David Duchovny Record Convention



October 8 at Commodore Ballroom

The boutique electronic music festival

is celebrating a decade of awesomeness

with a special evening of music and

art. The Librarian, Mat the Alien, and

Michael Red are just a few of the

performers on the lineup, alongside

presentations by art installation

collective, The Guild.



October 15 at Heritage Hall

Scour vendor tables for vinyls, CDs,

music memorabilia, and more at this

semi-annual gathering presented by

iconic wax shop Neptoon Records.


October 14 at Chan Centre for

Performing Arts

The multilingual comedian’s Just

For Laughs tour makes a stop in

Vancouver this month. Sugar Sammy

has performed in English, French, Hindi,

and Punjabi, delivering a sharp stand-up

that comments on both his Indian roots

and global society.


October 13 - December 31 at

Contemporary Art Gallery

The most comprehensive solo

exhibition of Vancouver artist Andrew

Dadson’s work yet comes with Site

For Still Life. Playing with boundaries,

space, and time, the presentation

includes House Plants — an installation

where plants are spray painted (with

biodegradable paint) and illuminated,

in a nod to Vancouver’s green urban



October 14 at Imperial Theatre

Touring in support of his 2015 debut

album, Hell or Highwater, the X-Files

and Twin Peaks actor will be performing

in Vancouver — a gig where he’ll

donate all ticket and merchandise

proceeds to Hurricane Harvey relief





October 13 at Orpheum Theatre

Podcaster, sex columnist, and author

Dan Savage will be sitting down with

couples therapist Esther Perel to

discuss her new book, The State of

Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Audience

questions are also welcomed to a

conversation sure to be provocative

and insightful.



October 28 - February 4 at Vancouver

Art Gallery

For the last 15 years, Vancouver artist

Carol Sawyer has been composing the

life of Natalie Brettschneider: a fictional

artist who represents a community of

female artists working in BC and Europe

from the 1920s-1970s whose work was

omitted from modernist art history. The

exhibition features “Natalie”’s artwork,

on which Sawyer conducted extensive

research to reflect the women it stands



October 3 - 15 at Vancouver Asian

Canadian Theatre

Much of Mas Yamamoto’s life has

been dictated by major events of the

20th century. He was interned at a

camp during World War II. He helped

construct the Distant Early Warning

Line radar system in the Northern

Arctic. Written and performed

by Tetsuro Shigematsu, this new

production ruminates on some of the

darkest moments of Canadian history

— and of Yamamoto’s life.

October 2017 5





Photo by Robert Anderson

Stacey Forrester and Ashtyn Bevan (L-R) are working to make Granville Street a safe space.

Good Night Out, an anti-harassment campaign,

has launched a pilot program to provide safety and

security for those roaming Vancouver’s Granville

Street during its busiest hours.

Created by locals Ashtyn Bevan and Stacey

Forrester, GNO utilizes four volunteers, trained

in non-violent crisis intervention and First Aid, to

ensure the streets of Granville are safer during dark

hours, especially for vulnerable persons such as

women and those in the LGBTQ community.

Sporting dashing pink T-shirts brandishing

the words ‘GNO Squad,’ the ladies will be posted

between Robson and Davie Street from 3 a.m. on

Fridays and Saturdays, starting September 8.

As a former “promo chick” for Fortune Sound Club,

Bevan knows a thing or two about harassment on

the streets of Granville.

“When I was a promo chick promoting in the city

late at night, I never felt safe,” she says. “I don’t think

I was the only one who felt this way. Therefore, we

wanted to take a more proactive approach to make

the Granville entertainment district a more vibrant,

accessible, and safe space within Vancouver’s

cultural hub.”

GNO’s Nightlife Street Team will act as engaged

bystanders, actively stepping in at the sight of

harassment, such as inappropriate language and

catcalling. The team will be an oasis for those

inebriated or disconnected, offering snacks, water,

and even portable chargers.

The campaign has been carefully timed to line up

with the influx of young university students, many

of whom hope to experience Vancouver’s nightlife.

“There are many stakeholders working to make

the Granville entertainment district a vibrant,

accessible and safe area in Vancouver,” says Bevan.

“This vision is one that overlaps with what GNO

is trying to do. We certainly feel that this is a

proactive, collaborative step towards that vision.”

GNO has faced its fair share of hurdles, including

difficulties in public perception, such as being

labelled angry feminists. Nevertheless, Bevan is

confident that GNO will succeed in helping many

get home harassment-free.

“Despite the challenges thrown at us, we will

keep adapting and finding new ways to have our

initiative make a difference in Vancouver,” she says.

Learn more or

look out for them on Granville Street.




Print is an intimate medium, which is why it continues to survive in a digital

age that threatens to snuff it out. But, the most vital aspect to its existence is

knowledge and engagement from the public. The Vancouver Art Book Fair, the

longest-running event of its kind in Canada, aims to close this gap.

Established in 2012 as a satellite of Project Space — a collaboration space,

gallery, and bookstore — the VABF invites the public into the world of artist

publishing through shared experiences, practises, and intentions. The multi-day

festival offers a diverse line-up of programs, performances, and projects from

of local, national, and international publishers and artists. Vendors will display

books, magazines, and prints, as well other forms of publication in digital format

and installation.

From Massachusetts, Trevor Powers and Annie Sollinger will be on site to

talk about Papersafe, a publication dedicated to analogue photography. Other

features include Trade & Make, a trade show where people can create their

own zines on the spot; a creative writing workshop led by Vancouver’s Rebecca

La Marre that utilizes ceramic tablets instead of paper; and a presentation

by contributors to the arts periodical Pythagoras Records using sound,

performance, text, and video.

Independent publishers also provide a stage for marginalized voices

and artists, because it creates an intersection between the public and an

underrepresented voice.

“The art book is not just a coffee table book or a photo book,” says VABF Fair

and Development Coordinator Emma Walter. “There really is a huge amount of

ways that a book can be an art project. And that’s the underlying theme of the


Photo by Ester Tóthová

The Vancouver Art Book Fair runs from October 13–15 at Vancouver Art Gallery.

The Vancouver Art Book Fair invites the public into the world of artist publishing Oct. 13 to 15.


October 2017





Photo by Peter Battistoni

City on Edge explores a rich history of civil unrest.

A car soaked in gasoline and set alight is the

stage for a shirtless man, his fists raised to the

sky. Surrounded by burning scraps of paper,

plastic, and fabric, he is located outside the

Canada Post office in downtown Vancouver.

The startling photograph by Arlen Redekop

captures a dark moment in Vancouver’s

sporting history: the 2011 Stanley Cup riots.

The riots shattered a typecast often attributed

to Vancouver. A typecast that portrays our

mountainous ocean city as a peaceful, granolamunching


City on Edge, an exhibition running at the

Museum of Vancouver, explores Vancouver’s

rich history of civil unrest and reformation,

showcasing a large variety of photographs from

those 2011 riots and last year’s Kinder Morgan

protests to the 1907 anti-Asian race riot.

“The exhibition asks a fundamental question:

why do people take to the streets?” says

Viviane Gosselin, Director of Collections and

Exhibitions at Museum of Vancouver. “It also

shows the impact of activism in our daily lives

through showing the impact on policy, culture,

and society.”

Utilizing 650 photographs from both

public and private archives, City on Edge

dives into four forms of activism: Indigenous,

labour dispute, government policy, and social

justice. However, the presentation isn’t simply


“Yes, this is photojournalism however, it’s

also very aesthetic,” Gosselin explains. “The

photographs themselves are stunning. A

sound designer, Alex Grindenall, has also put

together an amazing sound piece. It creates

the impression of being surrounded by people

protesting. We are recreating a protest so

people can understand and remember what

that is.”

The exhibition speaks to the transformation

of Vancouver, Canada, and western society.

Photographs of women marching for the right

to vote is a reminder that 101 years ago, half

of Western Canadian citizens could not elect

their own government. And while City on Edge

focuses on struggle, it also chronicles positive


“The photographs are large scale because

these events are bigger than life,” says Gosselin.

“People don’t remember what they had

for breakfast but they will remember what

protest they attended. After all, they are big,

transformative moments in history.”

City on Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism

runs until February 18, 2018 at the Museum of





The term binner is defined by the

Binners’ Project as “a person who

collects redeemable containers and

other things from bins to sustain their

livelihood and to divert waste from

landfills.” In terms most people don’t

consider, the binners are providing

a community service, self-employed

in what’s thought to be a nontraditional

source of income. Since

2014, the Binners’ Project (founded

by Ken Lyotier, who was also the

Executive Director of United We Can)

has been engaged in innovative social

and economic work with and for

binners. They’ve launched a number

of programs, such as Coffee Cup

Revolution, dedicated to providing

binners with a sense of community

and support, while also raising public

awareness of the judgement and

exclusion binners can face.

BeatRoute spoke with the

Binners’ Project’s Programs Manager

Gabby Korcheva about Coffee Cup

Revolution and the Binners’ Project

as a whole. “Our mission is to destigmatize

binning so it’s recognized

as a source of income and a service to

the city,” she says. “The heart of our

project is that we have meetings with

binners. They guide the direction of

every project. It’s about having your

voice heard and respected.”

Now in its fourth year, Coffee

Cup Revolution is a one day pop-up

depot where binners can return

discarded coffee cups for 5 cents

apiece. The program serves a dual

purpose, not only showing what

a coffee cup refund system can

accomplish, but also opening a

dialogue about binning contributing

to an eco-friendly city, and vice versa.

175 binners took part last year and

Korcheva predicts the number will

be around 250 this year. “Every year

it’s grown and gotten more support,”

she says. “People are already asking

us on the street about it. Coffee Cup

Revolution proves a refund system

can work, not only cleaning up the

streets but also generating new

income streams.” There will also be

roundtable discussions on topics

relevant to binners at the depot,

which are free to attend and engage

in by anyone.

After speaking with binners about

what was most often found in waste

bins, the Binners’ Project launched

a waste characterization study that

found many bins in Vancouver

contained upwards of 90% coffee

cups. Not only does this contribute

hugely to landfills with what could

have been recycled, it creates

overflowing waste bins. “With coffee

cups having no value, they’re just left

like any other garbage,” Korcheva says.

In regards to the work the Binners’

Project does though, she’s looking

forward positively. “People are

becoming more conscientious. We’re

showing the public that binners do a

service for the city.”

Coffee Cup Revolution takes place on

October 16 at Victory Square.

Photo via Facebook

Coffee Cup Revolution shows what a refund system can accomplish.

October 2017 9





Written and performed by singer-songwriter Khari

Wendell McClelland, Freedom Singer is a musical

theatre documentary about McClelland’s greatgreat-great

grandmother Kizzy and her journey

escaping slavery in the United States walking from

Detroit to Ontario.

On the way, Kizzy had two children, was

betrayed by a British-Canadian man, lost her legs

in the cold, and returned to Detroit after slavery

was abolished. That may be an incredible story in

itself, but what sets this production apart is the

level of research that went in to its creation and

McClelland’s unique way of storytelling. Working

with director Andrew Kushnir and CBC journalist

Jodie Martinson, McClelland went through an

arduous process to gain an understanding of how

Kizzy escaped, how she travelled, and how she

maintained morale in situations of life and death.

“We travelled first to Halifax,” says McClelland.

“And then weaved our way through Ontario,

then on to Detroit, going to various archives and

museums, talking to individual knowledge-holders,

Photo by Dahila Katz

Khari Wendell McClelland tells the story of his great grandmother, Kizzy, as she fled enslavement.

and using the scraps we could find to use our

imaginations and fill in the blanks — music was a

primary way of connecting to the past.”

The result? A unique fusion of old freedom lyrics

from the 1850s compounded with McClelland’s

own scores that don’t only tell the story of Kizzy,

but also of thousands of others as they fled

enslavement. McClelland also used a series of

first-hand stories to develop a broader picture and

create a real sense of what it is to have a home, a

sense of place, and importantly, what it means to

be “free.”

“The most rewarding part of putting this

show together has been sharing it with amazing

artists and audiences across the country, while

simultaneously making my mom proud,” says

McClelland. “I feel a stronger sense of myself,

family, community, and what moral courage

means for me.”

Freedom Singer runs from October 7 – 18 at the

Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre.




The World Wide Web can sometimes seem

like the villain in a B-list thriller about genetic

engineering gone awry. It’s self sustaining! It can’t

be stopped! We don’t understand it! Et cetera, et

cetera. On the flip side, internet technology still

manages to permeate our existence such that

a hefty majority of us end up spending more

quality time with our computers and phones

than with our families, friends, cats, dogs, and all

other unlisted creatures we know and love. So

what role does this humongous thing play in our

lives? What role should it play?

Enter TJ Dawe and Itai Erdal, the creator/

performer duo responsible for Hyperlink. A

show that explores the highs and lows of life in

cyberspace, Hyperlink is a collection of stories

about online interactions, performed and

shared in a manner attempting to replicate

how information moves through the internet

itself — literally placing the confusing, alluring,

heartbreaking internet experience directly in the


“The internet is part of our lives. A significant

portion of my life — and that of everyone I know

— is spent staring at a screen… And this is not

talked about on stage,” says Dawe of the various

conversations that led to the show’s creation.

After numerous brainstorming sessions about

the nature and purpose of the web, Erdal, Dawe,

and the rest of the production crew settled on an

important thematic motivator behind the show:

awareness. “What I hope is that [Hyperlink] just

generates conversation about the internet…

Just talking about it… I like the fact that theatre

can generate discussion, I think that’s [its]


Neither anti- nor pro- internet propaganda,

Hyperlink is an attempt to showcase online

experience in a unique space, helping us consider

the part it plays in all our lives as objectively as

we can.

“The internet was created by adults in order

to share information with each other. It has since

been used more by young people… to connect

socially with each other,” Dawe says, recounting a

past discussion he had with renowned physician,

author, and speaker, Dr. Gabor Maté. “It’s being

used for something it wasn’t set up for to address

needs it was never meant to address. So we’re

kind of making up the rules as we go.”

So it seems the internet is neither a big scary

monster, nor should it be our very best friend.

Hyperlink is a unique multimedia performance

that inhabits this grey area, mining the internet’s

ethical mess (that we so often navigate through

without a second thought) and emerging with

stories and performances that will surely give all

of us fresh new perspectives, undoubtedly worth

talking — or typing — about.

Hyperlink runs from October 4 – 14 at Firehall

Arts Centre.

Photo by TJ Dawe and Itai Erdal

A collection of stories about online interactions, Hyperlink explores the highs and lows of life.


October 2017




Photo by Connor McCracken





If you have chronic digestive issues or merely

like to promote intestinal health, kombucha is

one of the few grogs that truly satisfies your gut

worm. Indeed, it has become so ubiquitous that

it’s almost overwhelming to get into, but Oddity

Kombucha is here to simplify things.

From her roots as a co-founder at Faculty

Brewing, owner Alicia Medina has been brewing

kombucha since 2015. At this point, she only does

three standard flavors and a rotating seasonal

to feature the freshest ingredients, but that is

plenty. Her regulars are jasmine, elderberry, and

ginger, and the seasonal at the time of this writing

was peach and thyme. Each of them delivers an

invigorating, sophisticated yet playful taste, none

too sweet or too savory, too crisp or too subtle.

Oddity is Zen in a cup.

Many of the brands you find in grocery stores,

mass produced to sit around on shelves, end up

being skunky and slimy by the time you get them,

but that is not a problem with this stuff. Oddity’s

flavours are a symphony of essence in balance,

brewed in batches small enough that you won’t

likely see them in gas stations any time soon. This

is only available in glasses and growlers on tap at a

handful of the hippest hangouts around the city,

and directly from their own establishment across

from Faculty.

The Oddity Kombucha Tap Room & Café has




Photo by Lucha Verde

Lucha Verde keeps the taco plot moving.

Oddity delivers an invigorating, sophisticated yet playful take on Kombucha. Oddity is Zen in a cup.

only been open since mid-July, yet it has already

been named Best Alcohol-Free Bar and Tasting

Room by the Georgia Straight. Granted, there

isn’t a lot of competition, if any, but that’s why

this is something special. It’s a dedicated space

for aficionados, with tasty snacks and salads to

complete your visit, and it’s growing. Medina

credits a supportive, collaborative fermentation

scene, where most of the brewers you may find

August Market get together once a month to

share stories and experience.

The idea of community and supporting local

is at the core of Oddity’s values. That’s why their

space in centrally located in Vancouver, near the

A restaurant’s first three months can be a trying

time. Compound that with the pressure of lacing up

some large vacated shoes and getting through those

initial months can feel like three years. Lucha Verde,

a new vegetarian-Mexican eatery on Davie St. that

opened in mid-June, largely took that stress in stride,

earning solid reviews through the summer with their

unpretentious, cocktail-forward approach to a fun,

urban cantina.

Sitting at the western edge of the Davie Village’s

crowded restaurant and bar core, Lucha Verde

occupies an address that with it comes some

inherited Vancouver restaurant history. For 12 years

— having closed in April — the space housed Lolita’s

South of the Border Cantina, a perpetually busy

favourite amongst both locals and cooks, bartenders,

and the like who staked claimed over the bar stools

for post-shift, late night drinks, and snacks. “Lolita’s

was an institution,” says Lucha Verde’s owner John

Cooper. “It was the industry place for years. Everyone

remembered who you were and what you drank, it

was always a good time.”

Cooper, former co-owner of Gastown’s Cuchillo,

doesn’t seem fazed by opening a new business in a

storied location. Rather, he seems to revel in it. “The

whole thing has been great so far. Word of mouth

about us has been insane.” That’s primarily the

way people have been finding out about the spot,

because as Cooper says, “I don’t do any advertising.

Olympic Village, and their product only available

around the city proper, sourcing as many

ingredients from local suppliers as possible. For

example, the peach and thyme for their seasonal

was supplied from Fresh Roots, an educational

and community garden initiative that also gives


For a wide selection of sampler sizes and

growler fills to suit any occasion, and make your

insides and outsides more beautiful, hit up the

Oddity Kombucha Tap Room & Café.

Oddity Kombucha Tap Room & Café is located at

1863 Ontario Street.

If a friend tells you it’s awesome, it probably is. It’s

more organic.” Having sold his half of Cuchillo to

focus on a veg-forward project, he’s passionate about

showing guests what vegetarian food really can be.

“Vegetarian with big flavours. Unapologetically veg.

Too many Mexican places, the vegetarian options are

tiny, with no effort put into them.”

Cooper and chef Sic Kim (previously with Cuchillo)

have crafted a small, well-rounded menu of tacos

and snacks, incorporating ingredients oft overlooked

in Mexican establishments. “We’re not bound by

dishes having to be traditional,” Cooper says, “We

play around a lot. With such a tight menu, there’s

no boring, throwaway items.” The elote (grilled

street corn) is a hit, and dishes like smoked eggplant

ceviche and a halloumi taco bring some originality to

Vancouver’s surplus of Mexican eateries. Equally of

note, the cocktail program, overseen by Amber Bruce

of the Keefer Bar, is varied and worth imbibing in.

It seems on-trend lately in Vancouver for

celebrated character bars to shutter and become

condo sales offices or smoke shops. Bucking that,

Lucha Verde has taken up the reins from Lolita’s and

aims to become your new favourite West End spot.

“I created a place where I would want to hang out,”

says Cooper, “It’s more of a rock n’ roll restaurant and

people have been connecting with that.”

Lucha Verde is located at 1326 Davie Street.


A friend was leaving his job at a pub I used to

frequent and vouched for me. The owner is a salty

little pistol who apparently didn’t care about my

lack of experience, she just wanted someone who

wasn’t a total nitwit that could do the job the way

she wanted it done. I was sitting at the bar one day

and she said, “You should work here.” I said I didn’t

know how to bartend but she just said, “Ah, it’s

fuckin’ easy.” I started that Monday.



Since I had less grey hair.


It’s flexible and I feel like I can be myself (swear).

We have a lot of weird and wonderful regulars that

I enjoy interacting with and my coworkers always

crack me up. The owners are honest and generous

too. Also, I’m free from the usual trappings of

customer service—i.e. being nice all of the time. If

someone is disrespecting the customers or the staff

I don’t have to smile through my teeth at them, I

can tell them to get bent and send them packing.


Usually something simple like an Old Fashioned.

Lately I’ve been making a lot of Gin Slings for the



Honestly, my couch or the rehearsal space. I don’t

feel like myself if don’t eat tacos at least once a week

though so I usually rotate between Sal y Limon or

Los Cuervos. I’ll hit up Abe’s if I want to see some

friendly faces while I knock one back.



Any night where people can cut loose and have

a great time while still respecting each other is a



Any night when I have to ask an adult to leave for

behaving like a petulant child is a real drag. Luckily,

that doesn’t happen very often.

Photo by Glenn Alderson

Jason Stevenson at the Lido (518 E Broadway).

October 2017 11





“Not to get too sidetracked again,” warns

Dave Shumka, co-host of long running, local

podcast Stop Podcasting Yourself with cohost

Graham Clark, “I looked up the “Let’s

Talk About Sex”, CD release of the single

and the track listing was “Let’s Talk About

Sex”, “Let’s Talk About Sex (True Confessions

edit)”, “Let’s talk about Sex (Super crispy

mix)”, “Let’s Talk About Sex (Original Recipe

Mix)” but there was another one that was

“Let’s Talk About AIDS” and like three skits.”

A conversation with the two hosts of SPY

is filled with funny pop culture diversions

like this, a product of the chemistry and

comic instincts gained over nearly 10

years of making the podcast. There is also

a lot of tagging of each other’s jokes and

observations. Shumka’s comment above itself

was a tag of Clark’s story: “I had this Salt and

Peppa album and the last track is this high

school drama club doing this sketch about

drugs. So that would come up when you

have things on shuffle.”

This October Stop Podcasting Yourself

will be recording their 500th episode, a

milestone few podcasts can be said to have

reached. They started out nearly 10 years

ago, in the pre-Serial years when podcasting

as a format hadn’t yet fully sorted itself out.

Clark and Shumka weren’t entirely sure what

they wanted to do with the medium. They

started by working with fellow comedian

(and early guest) Ben Mills. As Clark explains,

the idea was a little different from how the

podcast ended up: “we thought we’d write

sketches but we weren’t very good.” The

three would get together and brainstorm.

Shumka follows up, “we had a lot of ideas

but mostly didn’t follow through.” These

brainstorming sessions formed the basics of

what SPY ended up being. Shumka, again:

“that’s kind of what the podcast became, the

brainstorming would be funny.” Adds Clark,

“I remember one time we got together to

write sketches and we ended up looking at

every video at… …I think we

thought that’s what a podcast was.”

This history of the podcasts genesis helps

makes sense of the fact that if you listen back

to the archived episodes of the podcast’s

early days, it was a much different show,

with a number of segments and bit ideas.

Shumka recalls, “we didn’t know how we’d

fill the time. What are we supposed to do,

just talk? I’m not that good at that so we

need an artificial thing to make us talk.” Clark

continues, “also it seemed like watching

David Letterman or whatever, that that was

what a show was. Now we’re gonna do this

thing, now we’re going to do that thing.” The

show now has pared a lot of the segments

down, Shumka puts it thusly, “now we only

do the two segments, really. And it feels like

anything else would derail what we’re doing.

We struggle to keep it to 90 minutes with

those parameters.”

For a podcast with little in the way of

format, or organized topic to centre itself

on, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly the

(immense) appeal of it is. Shumka describes

what fans suggest, “it has no hook to the

show. It has no concept to it. So when

people describe it they say it’s joyful and

it’s consistent. I don’t think we have bad

episodes anymore.” Consistency is definitely

a factor. Not only is it one of the most

consistently reliable podcasts out there in

terms of never missing shows and delivering

them on time, it’s also notably consistent

in tone, and speed. This is true whether the

guest is a famous LA comedian, or a smaller

local one. As Clark puts it, “we came to a

point where we realized we could have just

about anyone on and it would still be fun.

There was awhile when we were starting out

where we needed someone whose gonna be

bigger.” Shumka adds, “the perfect guest isn’t

necessarily the funniest person in the world

but someone who is the right speed. We

work at one speed I think… …and the truth

is that at this point [the listeners] are here

for us.”

Another part of the appeal of SPY is that

it never takes itself too seriously, while fairly

life changing events have happened over the

course of its existence (Many moves, new

jobs, Shumka was married (but his wife Abby

remains her own person) and has had two

children) they never seem to affect the light

tone of the show. It’s rare in this day and

age that you can listen to hours and hours

of a podcast and completely avoid hearing

about politics. With SPY, you can. Shumka

explains , “I avoid it in life. I don’t want to

talk about that. I probably agree with Charlie

[Demers, frequent guest, and co-host of the

leftist book club podcast, Well Reds] in most

things. In our show and in life I just want to

talk to people who make me laugh. I hate

small talk, I just want to talk to people who

do bits.” For Clark, it’s a matter of expertise:

“I don’t know too many people who can

make politics funny. It’s a rare breed. It’s hard

you have to know so much to make all the

references. We know Van Dam movies and

dumb things.” Tags Shumka, “but we know

a lot of dumb things.” In their first episode

of the show, the hosts suggested they’d keep

making episodes until they hit 1200, so with

700 more to go, hopefully we’ll get to know a

lot of dumb things too.

Download Stop Podcasting Yourself’s

500th episode on October 16 on

itunes, or wherever you

download your podcasts.

Dave Shumka and Graham Clark are celebrating the 500th episode of Stop Podcasting Yourself.


October 2017




Andrew Clinco as Deb Demure, the alien alter-ego behind Drab Majesty.

Photo by Nedda Asfari

The human psyche is a cryptic, often illogical thing.

Most people go their whole lives keeping secrets from

themselves, the unconscious truths of their identity

that, from time to time, manifest as fears, desires and

simple habits that we pay little heed to. A medium for

this realizing of the invisible is, and has always been,


Something about exercising the mind in the rigors

of writing or making music helps to evoke the unseen

self. For the L.A. solo music project, Drab Majesty,

this is key to what fuels a suitably dream-like sound.

In the world that Drab Majesty creates, airy pop

rock landscapes are overcast with a brooding danger,

bringing to mind the likes of 80’s new wave artists the

like of Depeche Mode and The Cure, yet at the same

time something wholly other that retains a sense of

enticing mystery.

“This is what comes out... I would say 95%

subconscious and 5% conscious,” noted the sole

member and founder, Andrew Clinco. “The music has

never felt like it has come to me through some sort of

intellectual or technical process, for I know very little

about music theory and have never been classically

trained on my instrument.” The power of what Clinco

is able to emote through Drab Majesty’s music is

undeniable. The band’s latest full length offering, the

Demonstration, has been praised by both fans and

critics. Each track is charged with potent mood and

feeling, while at the same time being extremely catchy.


Drab Majesty seek to create a multi dimensional

experience, both through music and theatrical,

thematic elements. This is most evident in the

appearance of Clinco as he manifests Deb Demure,

an alter ego through which Drab Majesty is conjured.

Demure is neither man nor woman, but something

“more alien.”

“It brings a mythology to the history of the live

performance and supports the music visually.” Clinco

explained. “ The whole process feels like a communion

with the void or ‘the other’ and it’s important to

honor that visually in the live demonstration.”

Whether in press photos or on stage in the flesh, Deb

Demure and company appear clad in makeup and

attire. Something like fever dream harlequins come

out of the ether and their live shows are an extension

of this vision, utilizing stage props, fog, and neon light.

“It’s important for us to suspend the viewer in a

space where we control the parameters. We conduct

the ritual. The ritual however is expansive and not

strict or rigid. It is meant to be a meditation of sorts.

The only thing it requests of the viewer is to just stop

thinking.” Sharing much with the artistic philosophy of

the surrealists, Drab Majesty looks to be a testament

to the potency of the creative unconscious when

grasped by the waking intent of a talented artist.

Drab Majesty performs on Sunday October 8 at the

Cobalt (Vancouver).




Blue Hawaii specializes in love lost. With song

titles like “No One Like You,” “Do You Need

Me,” “Searching For You” and “Free At Last,”

their second studio album, Tenderness, has a

very pointed message. The nostalgia-soaked,

synth-heavy record chronicles unrequited

love and the changing landscape of emotional

intimacy in an increasingly impersonal,

technological world. But this isn’t their first

time navigating emotionally fraught waters.

In fact, a lot has changed in the four years

since Raphaelle “Ra” Standell-Preston and Alex

“Agor” Cowan last released an album as Blue


“Our last record is called Untogether, and

it’s kind of about our breakup,” Cowan says.

“The breakup happened around when we

were finishing the record and touring it, and

it was a very emotional experience. And after

that, we just didn’t really hang out for a few

years. But now we’re really close! We hang

out constantly. I feel like having that time off

is really important, and now we’re just super

strong platonic friends, and that’s really great.”

Those in-between spaces of uncertainty in

relationships seem to be a driving force behind

Blue Hawaii’s creative process. Tenderness was

born out of the blue, when Standell-Preston

was “experiencing a relationship she wanted to

be a part of, but never saw the person because

they lived so far away, so the whole relationship

took place over instant messaging.” It’s not a

new observation, but it’s certainly relatable:

technology has brought everyone in the

world closer, while simultaneously leeching

relationships of their intimacy. And by

prioritizing and nurturing online relationships,

the reverse becomes true: when you’re

constantly accessible via text, are you ever truly

experiencing the present moment?

“A lot of the themes on the record are

this feeling of how you can be so close with

somebody because you chat with them a lot

– they’re constantly in your life, in a way,” said

Cowan. “But it’s about the boundary between

that and a real-life relationship. It colours it a

bit differently. Tenderness is about being kinder

to people, especially in an online sense, and

how to know when you are being honest and

open and when you’re quickly brushing things

off, and just being held accountable.”

Despite having not worked with Standell-

Preston in four years, Cowan disagrees with

critics who say their sound has changed to

become more accessible to a mainstream

audience. Rather than striving towards a

specific sound, Blue Hawaii has expanded upon

what they already know and love: ‘90s dance

music, acoustic guitar, experimental beats and

heartfelt vocals.

“We’ve always made electro pop – that’s the

kind of project we are,” said Cowan. “It’s funny

because people will find a reason to hate on

it. This time, they’re like, ‘They’re selling out

and making Calvin Harris-style electro pop!’

But to me, it’s not that mainstream sounding.

And I’m not even super confident this is a new

direction, really. To me, it sounds like a logical

progression in things. I’m just excited for our

live set. We’ve always been this project where

the recordings are a little awkward, and then

live we just throw down a heavy beat and want

everyone to dance.”

Blue Hawaii perform on October 14 at

Celebrities. 5 per cent of the album’s proceeds

will be donated to the Centre for Gender

Advocacy in Montreal.

Photo by Landon Speers

Blue Hawaii try a little Tenderness on their sophomore album.

October 2017 13





Post Meridiem finds Jasper Sloan Yip at his most defined and introspective.

Jasper Sloan Yip is running out of time. When

BeatRoute reaches him at home in Vancouver,

the thirty-year-old singer-songwriter is six

days away from getting married, and he hasn’t

addressed one particularly important task yet.

“I was just about to go walk off and write my

vows, right before you called,” Yip says.

Like his music, which, over the course of seven

years, has produced three full-length records, Yip

is planning his vows with an alluring, yet crushing,

sense of prudence.

“What I’m intending to say to Amanda [his

fiancé] next week is that I’m not promising that

it’s going to be easy at all, because it hasn’t been

easy at all. It’s going to be better,” says Yip.

“It’s the same way I felt about making this

record. I wasn’t necessarily ready to do it, and

I had apprehensions, but I just did it anyways

because I thought it was the right thing to do. It

scares me but it’s also very exciting.”

The record, Post Meridiem (Afterlife Music

Ltd.), is Yip at his most organized, narratively

speaking. The first six tracks transition

orchestrally from one to the next, representing

“a day in the life,” of a contemplative young man

listeners can assume to be Yip, looking back and

then scanning the horizon, squinting towards

the future, and then back again to where he

Photo by Nelson Mouellic

stands. He concludes the album with songs

surveying more inwardly, towards himself and a


Behind the scenes, Post Meridiem was “a really

difficult record to make,” for Yip and his sextet.

“It was a non-rehearsed record; we didn’t

even jam,” Yip says. “But I just thought, ‘F$ck it

man, I’m not feeling great but I want to make

something, and this record is going to be a

reflection of how I feel’”.

In the process, Yip “gave up a lot of creative

control,” allowing for greater collaboration

between band members, and more attention to


Ironically, the outcome of losing control on

Post Meridiem is centralized maturity. Never has

Yip sounded so defined in his introspective and

symphonic tailoring of pop and folk-rock.

The term ‘post meridiem’ is related to the

12-hour clock time convention, meaning ‘past

midday’. Yip has not reached mid-life yet, but the

content of his latest record speaks to how he’s

feeling these days about age, and music. Time

moves forward, and there isn’t enough left for

apprehension. You just have to go for it.

Jasper Sloan Yip plays the Wise Hall in Vancouver

on October 5.




You can’t take a single step into this city’s

music scene without running into the Boom

Booms. These local legends have been selling

out Vancouver venues and touring the globe

for almost a decade, and have won The Georgia

Straight’s best unsigned local band award five

years running — a fact that isn’t lost on their lead

singer and songwriter, Aaron Ross. “They should

call it the Boom Booms award pretty soon,” he


Ross describes the band’s music as indie soul

and funk with a little bit of Caribbean mixed

in. “I love rhythms. I love music that loosens

you up, makes you move, makes you happy,” he

says. “You always approach these styles with a

lot of humility, because the people who play it,

who really play those styles that you try to play

properly — like reggae, salsa, all those styles —

you just come at it from your own end, taking it

as a spice in your own music.”

The Boom Booms’ music mashes different

genres together seamlessly, something that their

new record A Million Miles highlights. They

take plenty of notes from modern R&B stars like

Miguel and Bruno Mars, as well as from the old

pros. “When I was a teenager, I wanted to sing

like Otis Redding, he was my first vocal hero,”

says Ross. “But vibe wise and music wise, it was

always Bob Marley that I listened to.” He also

mentions the music of Cuba as a huge influence,

having visited the country during his teenage


When asked whether the band is hoping to get

signed, Ross says they’d be open to partnering

with the right label. But he’s not in it for fortune

and fame. “If we’re talking making it big as

making it big big, I don’t know if that lifestyle

would be for me,” he says. “What I’d love to have

is a really dedicated fanbase — fans that we have

now, but more of them and in more places.”

Whether or not it catapults them into pop

stardom, A Million Miles is sure to go a long way.

The Boom Booms play the Vogue October 20.

Soul/R&B institution The Boom Booms go all the way on A Million Miles.

Photo by Jonathan Dy


October 2017




Sounding like the strange offspring of a late night love affair between

Elvis Presley and Tom Waits with a penchant for the foot stomping

fury of an intoxicated Hank Williams, Vancouver’s Petunia and The

Vipers have a crafted a sonic identity that is unquestionably their own.

The band’s newest effort Lonesome Heavy and Lonesome captures

this unique romance with the past, and pulls it into a very personal

present. With this new album, band leader Petunia taps into the heart

of his roots to bring us twelve songs of sorrow, isolation, and lost love.

The scope and range of Petunia’s influences differ as much from

one album to the next, as they do from song to song. Tracks like

“An Anchor” dive deeply into the slow, haunting soundscape that

permeates throughout the album. Other songs such as the ‘20s

ragtime number “Dying Crapshooters Blues” conjures the memory of

big band legend Cab Calloway, if his soul were lost, playing a dice game

in limbo. The song “Ugliest Bitterest Coldest Dreary Place I’ve Ever

Seen” hits that perfect blend of country twang, and ragtime revival

that capturse the band at their best, making it a stand out track and a

personal favourite.

While hitting the road in support of the new album, Petunia has

taken his Vipers from Vancouver, across the Prairies, along the East

Coast and down through Middle America. “St. Louis was pretty cool

and a refreshingly un-gentrified place, although seemingly a little

dangerous in spots” Petunia says “The USA is kind of fascinating in

general once we got off the West Coast - so many extremes. The weird

socio-political climate is a real atmosphere at the moment.” Which

isn’t to say that the time down there was undesirable, in fact it was

quite the opposite. Petunia went on to explain “People are real people

everywhere, but as a Canadian it’s kind of an interesting viewpoint... in

Canada... it seems so sterile in comparison.”

In between writing and recording the new album, spending time

on the road, and blindly wandering through urban landscapes in

search of inspiration, Petunia has also found time to work on a series

entitled The Musicianer. Directed by Beth Harrington, an independent

documentary filmmaker, whose work Petunia had seen at a screening

of her most recent film, The Winding Stream - The Carters, The Cashes

and The Course Of Country Music. Being blown away by Harrington’s

ability to tell the troubled story of the Carter and Cash family and

their impact on country music, Petunia decided he needed to meet

the creator. “I was lucky enough for her to come to a show in Portland”

Petunia explains “We became friends, and I guess ideas might have

starting brewing from seeing us onstage.” The web series, which is

currently in production for the pilot episode, “revolves around a

memory-challenged busker who is trying to come to grips with a

growing, alarming realization about his life”. The series has surpassed

its fundraising goal on Kickstarter and is slated for release early next

year. If the series gains as much success as Harrington’s previous works,

we can expect to be seeing much more of Petunia and hearing more of

his signature music in the future.

Petunia and the Vipers play the Rickshaw Theatre Saturday Oct. 7.

Petunia and his Vipers continue to reinvent roots rock.


October 2017




Hannah Walker and Jamie Elliott, the women behind Twin Bandit,

are what your twintuition dreams are made of. Bringing together

folk, alt-pop, and country, the duo who met in 2013 while

working and volunteering at St. James Music Academy, a nonprofit

music school for children living in the Downtown Eastside,

describe their sound as “a hybrid of wherever our emotion meets

the music we’re writing.”

Walker and Elliott’s voices come together in perfect harmony to

make you feel everything all at once, and there are few things as

beautiful as the meeting of their voices pressed against the sound

of an acoustic guitar in “The Waltz,” the first song they wrote

together. The duo has belted out “pull-your-hair-out, make you

cry and scream” love songs and their song writing has been called

“an emotional arsonist” but they are doing something different

with their sophomore album Full Circle.

Each song on Full Circle “represents one aspect of the journey.”

A journey which they embarked upon during a trip to Nashville in

2014, and through it all, they sought to “nurture and honour each

other’s individuality” by being a beacon of support as they used

their stories to create a work of art. “Jamie and I have faced some

serious struggles in the last four and a half years of singing and

working together. We’ve lost some friends and family members to

health issues and fentanyl, and worked through depression and

mental illness,” Walker says. “You could say we faced some inner

darkness and we’re always fighting to come out on the other end

with a sense of gratitude. Life brings hardship and this album was

meant to be an encouragement to keep on keepin’ on.”

Music has given Twin Bandit a platform to speak and it is one

they use in the most endearing of ways - to share “a positive

message to reflect our life outlook” and usher in a new echelon of

hope. They are about to take Full Circle out on the road on a tour

through Western Canada, and are already working on songs for

another album that will continue to share “a message of hope.”

Twin Bandit play St. James Hall on October 27. Full Circle is

available October 6.


Photo by Elissa Crowe

Folk duo Hannah Walker and Jamie Elliott are united in song

October 2017 17




Hanson have cemented a unique legacy for themselves after 25 years.


In 1992, three brothers took the Mayfest

Arts Festival stage in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Each behind a microphone, Isaac, Taylor,

and Zachary Hanson — 11, nine, and six

years old, respectively — sang a cappella,

harmonizing and snapping their fingers.

This was Hanson’s first gig. Before

they learned to play instruments other

than piano. Before they released two

independent albums. And before their

third record and studio debut, Middle

of Nowhere, sold 10 million copies and

“MMMBop” became an iconic hit.

When they finished their set, a man

asked for their autograph. “It was like

a spark,” Zac recalls, speaking over the

telephone. “That was the one moment

I remember from the whirlwind of

starting this journey that was like, ‘Okay.

This is what it means to get a reaction,

for someone to feel connected.’”

It’s been 25 years since Mayfest.

Hanson is celebrating with a greatest

hits album, Middle of Everywhere, and

a tour. Today, the band is in Atlanta,

Georgia. The anniversary felt important,

Zac says, because it recognizes not only

their success, but all the choices they

made to get there.

Hanson signed with Mercury Records

and “MMMBop,” Middle of Nowhere’s

first single, was released in April 1997.

It quickly climbed the charts, staying

at number one for weeks around

the world. Despite the label’s urging,

Hanson didn’t churn out a follow-up.

They embarked on a yearlong tour and

solidified their fanbase. Sophomore

effort This Time Around came in 2000,

as Mercury was absorbed by Island/Def

Jam. Hanson hit the road again, paying

for it out of their own pockets after

funding was cut.

There’s a line in Hanson’s newest

single, “I Was Born,” that goes: “There’s

a road out in front of me, nobody

can see, I’m paving it as I go.” “It does

connect to something we believe about

ourselves and about the world,” Zac

says. “That this idea of living your dream

or chasing something that is powerful

and meaningful, it doesn’t mean that it’s

going to be easy.”

For three years, Hanson fought with

Island/Def Jam to complete their next

record. They wrote almost 100 songs.

Fantastic songs, in their blend of pop,

rock, and soul. Executives rejected every

one, arguing they weren’t radio friendly.

In the end, Hanson walked away. They

formed their own independent label,

3CG Records, under which they’ve been

releasing music ever since.

“Ultimately, we feel really responsible

for our own legacy, if we get to have

one,” Zac says. “We don’t want to give

up parts of it so that we can be more

successful. I want to be proud of every

moment and that sometimes means you

take a path that leads away from pop

culture or leads away from the known


Hanson is concerned about

making music that has purpose and

integrity. Things like annually releasing

an EP to their fan club, a grassroots

campaign to fight against HIV/AIDS in

Africa, and songs deeply aware of the

human condition sustains that drive.

“It’s about this idea that music has a

power that transcends language and

borders,” Zac says, “and we want to be

the kind of people that are fuelling that,

because that will last forever.”

A holiday album, Finally It’s Christmas,

is on the way. A new record, after that.

Right now though, they’re looking

around — at each other and their

fans — at what they’ve accomplished

together so far. The music they’ve made,

the connections they’ve fostered. At

what can happen when one stands up

for what they believe in and refuses to

be compromised.

“I wanna be somebody that is trying

to be the best at something,” Zac

says. “Not for the sake of beating

someone else, but for the sake of

achieving something for myself.”

Hanson performs at the Vogue Theatre

on October 18.




En-route to Nelson B.C., MALK stop

to enjoy some beverages under a

bridge when I call. They are in the

middle of their first tour, performing

their high-energy show to Western

Canadian audiences, without a

setlist. “We follow our guts,” explains

vocalist/guitarist Alex Smith, “There’s

something about calling it as you go.

You just kind of know.”

So far the response at shows has

been positive, especially in Lethridge

Alberta which Smith celebrates as

having a special place in his heart

as it reminds him of his hometown.

That town is Abbotsford where Smith

met his musical match, Kyle Schick

(vocals/guitar), and the band was

formed, joined along with Jaydee

Bateman on drums/vocals, and Lou

Labbe on bass.

MALK released their first EP

Prehistoric in 2014 and are now

gracing us with their first full-length

effort, Born Elated through Dipstick

Records. In less than 30 minutes

of run time, Born Elated weaves

through mood and genre brilliantly,

from the gruff doo-wop of “Killing

Time” to the delicate yearning

of “Berlin.” Strong melodies and

a mature use of dynamics show

respect for songwriting, borrowing

from influences like The Beatles,

The Strokes, and The Pixies, while

retaining originality. The guitars and

vocal harmonies shine throughout,

and the band achieves a full sound

with few overdubs: the result

of great playing, arrangement,

and production. The album was

produced by Felix Fung at Little Red

Sounds. “He’s old school,” Smith says

of Fung, “All the basic instruments

were recorded live off the floor, vocals

separately. One or two overdubs

of guitar. Other than that, pretty

much what you hear is what it is. If

we played the best we could possibly

play, it would sound like that.”

When they return from the road,

MALK are eager to head back into the

studio, but not for another full-length

project. “We’d like to have two EPs

out next year,” states Smith, “An LP is

a big commitment. We want to try

different things and see what kind of

reception we get from different stuff.

In the days of short attention spans,

you can stretch more out of an EP... It

gives you time to try new things.”

MALK’s new album Born Elated is

available now on iTunes, Spotify, and


Photo by Anita Lewis

Abbotsford natives show maturity and growth on debut album.


October 2017


In 2013, Belle Game were in the perfect position

to achieve a commercial breakthrough. Their

debut album Ritual Tradition Habit garnered

positive attention from mainstream publications

like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, they struck up

a relationship with Broken Social Scene’s Kevin

Drew during a residency at the Banff Centre

for the Arts, and they even landed on Much’s

list of the 100 greatest music videos ever. It

seemed that they were being embraced by the


But instead of capitalizing by quickly churning

out a follow-up album, they retreated within

themselves in the name of art.

“It’s been cocooning period,” singer Andrea

Lo explains while sharing a bag of mini-donuts

with BeatRoute at a downtown Toronto coffee

shop. “It’s almost as if the past four years have

been like a caterpillar going into a cocoon

and becoming the chrysalis. It essentially just

dissolves its own body, which is fucked up, and

then emerges as something different.”

During this period, they whittled their sound

down to its bare essentials. When drummer Rob

Chursinoff left the group in 2014, they opted

not to replace himself. Instead, guitarist Alex

Andrew moved over to drums, and guitarists

Adam Nanji and Katrina Jones ventured into a

sonic direction mixing echoing post-rock with

serene synth drift and towering vocal hooks. It’s

a far cry from the folk leanings of their earliest


“We went from this band where there were six

people at the minimum—at the minimum, I’m

going to stress that—to a group now that’s just

four people, and we’re constantly obsessed with

downsizing our gear,” Lo observes. “There’s more

space for exploration.”

Belle Game became so fixated on decluttering

that they even dropped the “the” from their

band name. “It’s more simple, concise, clear,” Lo

says of the slight name change. “It’s more aligned

with what we want to be doing and who we are

as people. It’s funny how one word can make the

difference in that. “

Photo by Shimon

Throughout the past four years, Belle Game

worked on the material that now makes up their

sophomore full-length, Fear/Nothing. Their

buddy Kevin Drew, who Lo describes as their

“spirit animal,” served as executive producer,

while producer Dave Hamelin handled day-today

duties behind the boards. At several points

during the process, the band thought the album

was finished before once again deciding to reenter

the studio.

All the while, Belle Game moved away from

the cerebral compositions of their previous

incarnation and towards a sound driven by

emotion. Lo credits their mentor with guiding

this change. “Kevin was such a huge catalyst in

us moving from logic to feeling,” she says. “He’s

really important in keeping our authenticity in

check. He really pushed us to make real music

until we could do it on our own.”

Drew also helped the band land a new record

deal with Arts & Crafts, and the label released

Fear/Nothing in September. The 10-track

collection builds on the atmospheric strengths

of Ritual Tradition Habit while venturing into

a more electronic direction with an added

emphasis on ambient synth textures and

electronic beats. Opener “Shine” begins with

LP with Twin Peaks-esque keyboards and

gauzy vocal processing before shifting into the

buoyant synth-pop strut” of “Spirit.” The latter

track features some particularly impressive

high-pitched vocals from Lo during the whalesong

choruses, while Drew lends his instantlyrecognizable

singing to the bridge.

Lo’s powerhouse pipes carry many of the

record’s most memorable moments. Her belting

soars over the juddering jackhammer beats of

“Yuh,” and she evokes the gleeful dream-pop

gibberish of Cocteau Twins during the wordless

howls of “Oh I” before kicking things up a notch

with an acrobatic octave leap.

Many of the songs featuring minimal lyrics

and largely rely on repeated refrains. The is

particularly effective on the impassioned “Bring

Me,” while features a seething chorus of “Bring

me shame / Bring me pain / Fuck me the same.”

Of her mantra-like lyrics, Lo says, “That’s the

way my mind works a lot—this obsessive nature

of repetition to really drive a point home. I

personally like listening to a lot of instrumental

music that can be repetitive, but I find there’s a

sort of meditation in that delivery.”

Lo hasn’t always been confident in her forceful

vocals. In Belle Game’s early days, she would

get so nervous that she would throw up before

shows and intentionally held the microphone

away from her mouth. Her bandmates have

encouraged her to take the spotlight, however,

and although she still sometimes battles with

self-doubt, she describes it as a “personal

exorcism” when she performs her soaring vocal


This increased sense of confidence is conveyed

by Fear/Nothing’s empowering name—although

the titular backslash hints as a deeper meaning

beyond the self-affirming encouragement

to “fear nothing.”As Lo explains, “It’s not

necessary about diving into things and being

fearless. It’s about fear and nothingness and all

things coinciding with each other and existing


She describes the concept of “nothingness” as

being about finding a sense of serenity amidst

the chaotic static of life. Pointing down at the

table in front of us, she says, “As if this round

black table opened up into a void and you and

I dived in and we were just floating there. In the

past few years that we were writing the album,

that’s what I really wanted to experience—quiet

amongst the noise. Just nothingness.”

Fear/Nothing isn’t likely to provide Belle

Game with much peace or quiet, the group

having mapped out a fall tour in support of the

record. Most of these U.S. and Canadian dates

are with Broken Social Scene, including both of

their performances at Vancouver’s Commodore


Having evolved artistically alongside her

collaborators for close to a decade, the

four-piece’s rapport is closer than ever.

The frontwoman says. “We have a lot of

transparency between us, which is tough at

times. It’s so weird—it’s like having a relationship

with three other people. .But no one sleeps

together.” Pausing, she adds with a laugh,

“Except for maybe Katrina and Adam, because

they’re engaged.”

It’s this musical intimacy that has allowed

Belle Game to create the best material of their

career to date. “We’ve been stripping away at

ourselves to create more honestly,” Lo reflects.

“I’m more comfortable with just being naked.”

Belle Game will play at the Commodore Ballroom

on October 20 and 21 with Broken Social Scene.




We asked the members of

the Belle Game..

What’s Your Biggest Fear?

Adam Nanji

Driving! I’m fine to get behind the

wheel on my own, but the more

passengers that are in the car, the more

I’m constantly thinking about how the

slightest error in judgement or turn of

the wheel might result in something

horrifying. Fortunately when we’re on

tour, my fellow bandmates let me trade

driving duties for breakfast making

duties. I think it’s a pretty good trade.

Alex Andrew

Last words. I’m always afraid the

last thing I’ll say to someone will be

something stupid/won’t be indicative

of how I feel about them or that one of

us will go to our grave not knowing how

the other really feels because deeper

things were left unsaid.

Belle Game:

The Life-Changing

Magic of Tidying Up

Katrina Jones

The Internet. From the deep web

to hacking and identity theft...the

Internet is a cesspool for all of my worst

conspiracy theory fears. And at best, the

Internet is a place where people go to

forget how to be nice to each other. I try

to stay away when I can.

Andrea Lo

Sharing, for fear of criticism,

misunderstanding, exposed

imperfection. Not really the greatest

career path for keeping those fears

submerged, but who doesn’t like a little

spice in life.

October 2017 19









Sometimes change comes when you least expect

it. It was six years between The Blow’s album Paper

Television and their next self-titled record. In

between, collaborator Jona Bechtolt left to work on

his YACHT project and Melissa Dyne joined singer

Khaela Maricich in the band. Surprisingly, The Blow

seemed like a continuation of their previous sound,

not branching far out in terms of style from what

they had been doing previously. With their new

album, Brand New Abyss, however, Maricich and

Dyne have taken a new artistic turn, delving into a

more quiet, electro-acoustic based sound.

The evolution of the sound came from the

experience of touring The Blow. As Dyne explains,

“with the last record it was sample based so that

was how we performed it. For me, because I was

in control of the samples there was an end to

that algorithm. You couldn’t go that far off of

the track. You couldn’t really jam.” This lead to

moving away from sample based composition,

and the development of a new rig that suited their

performance sensibilities. She continues, “It turned

into this game of how do we like to play? Khaela

likes to play differently than I like to play. We each

started developing, through analog electronic

equipment (and some digital) into a way we could

be more playful and have a good time and we

started writing that way.”

This new set up changed not only the sound,

but the feeling of the record. Maricich describes

it: “The way I feel about it is that it’s really tender.

Really tender and vulnerable. It’s interesting,

releasing this record and having people say “wow


Photo by Daniel Rampulla

it doesn’t have a lot of beats” or “It’s not really

a dance record.” What they’ve played live has

brought on a bit of a mixed reaction. People have

pretty set expectations about bands they like.

Maricich doesn’t feel beholden to the expectations,

enjoying the freedom that the new manner of

performing brings, as well as an understanding that

the world is a lot different than it was when they

were recording their last record. It’s only natural

for the music to have changed as well. “And it was

really cool because we were like a ship on the rocky

ocean just doing the thing we’re doing. We’re going

to sail through your expectations because this is

a thing that feels super alive to us right now. The

world feels pretty different than it did the last time

we made a record. It’s less bouncy and jubilant. It

feels like maybe we’re just going to grab onto our

feeling and hold on really tight and just follow our

most tender urge. It’s time to be really present and


The clash of expectations and reality has the

potential to be off-putting, but it also brings with

it the possibility of something greater. As Maricich

recalls, “we played a show in Detroit and this girl

came up and said ‘I thought I wasn’t going to feel it

as much, that it would be too different but it gave

me more feels it gave me all of the feels.’ That’s the

best complement.” While The Blow’s Vancouver

show might not be what you expect, it will

definitely be something special and tender.

The Blow perform October 27 at the Fox Cabaret


The hypnotic grooves and bombastic beats

of New York based Canadian singer Tei Shi

are showcased on her debut full-length Crawl

Space, what she calls a vessel for her emotions

and fears expressed through warm melodies

and a liquid-smooth voice.

“Crawl Space is the closing of a chapter and

the beginning of something new in my life,”

says Valerie Teicher in a phone call from her

Chinatown apartment in Manhattan. The

album came out in April, and has received

rave reviews.

The Colombian-born, Vancouver raised

writer/producer claimed some fame after

self-producing and self-releasing two EPs,

showcasing her charming yet minimal

approach to electronic bedroom-pop,

layering her vocals over experimental, popinfused


“The journey of my experiences after

having jumped into all of this made me feel

like I wanted my first album to push both

personal boundaries and re-introduce myself

musically,” she says. “A crawl space seemed

like this metaphorical space where I could

hide to work through fears and anxieties.”

She explained that in the two-year process

of writing and producing Crawl Space, her life

went through many changes.

“I was dealing with a lot of the eternal

conflicts and pressures you feel when you are

starting to put together something you love

— something that is very precious to you,”

she says.

“When I was really working on the bulk of

the album and finishing it, I was experiencing

the end of many important relationships in

my life as well.”

This forced her to reexamine things.

“I re-inserted this period of my life and

revisited my childhood life. I looked at things

now the way I would have as a kid,” she says.

“I wanted to rediscover the roots of why I

loved singing and performing. There was a

lot of tying back a lot of my current emotions

as I tried to stay true to that young part of


Crawl Space is a mature, fleshed out, 15

song musical effort that pushes far beyond

what Teicher released in the past, moving

beyond the bedroom and into a studio.

“I was able to bring many musicians in,

so there’s a different role you have to play

where you have to guide the process but

also let things unfold in their own way,” she


Tei Shi performs October 11 at Sugar Nightclub

(Victoria) and October 12 at the Biltmore

Cabaret (Vancouver).

Photo by JJ Media

Colombian-born and Vancouver raised, Tei Shi comes into her own on Crawl Space.

October 2017







Fall is in full swing, but there is still plenty of stuff coming to Vancouver that is sure to pick

you up. The season of soft hoodies, long pants, and comfort food; there’s no better time of

year to enjoy some inside entertainment. Don’t forget to tip your servers and bartenders!

The Pharcyde

October 6 @ Fortune Sound Club

Okay, so it’s just Fatlip and Slimkid3 from the original crew. Spain-born producer J-Swift

seems to be laying a little lower these days, after being screwed over by U.S. Border officials

on his last visit to Vancouver, while Imani and Bootie Brown are apparently off doing a

Gallagher Too thing. That said, a little Fatlip goes a long way. He knows what’s up. Ask

him. He may fool you. Seriously, it’s the 25th anniversary of Bizarre Ride II, easily one of the

greatest hip-hop albums ever made, and the boys are gonna perform it start to finish. Time

to pass the pipe and pay your respects.

Cascadian EDM duo gives themselves space to explore.


Seattle was and will always be the home to a

plethora of internationally recognized artists

across multiple genres, one of which being EDM

wunderkinds Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight of


“I was [actually] born in Wisconsin,” explains

Knight. “I moved out here when I was younger to [go

to] school at Western Washington University where

[I first met Harrison]. We’re basically full blown

Seattleites at this point; I have a place down here

[and] we live right next to each other. We [also] have

a studio here, so it’s home.”

“[While] L.A. is kind of the epicentre of the

electronic music scene, we have deep roots here,” he

adds. “You know we have family here and we love

writing up here. [It’s] a very unique vibe and setting

that I think we’ve both grown really fond of. And

for the writing process [of our new album] we did

pop down to L.A. quite a bit but we’d always come

back and be able to set up in our homes and kind of

lose ourselves in our own little world. I think that’s

a really important thing to have, that comfortable

headspace to write and be creative in.”

With new singles being dropped on Soundcloud

every day in a battle to be seen as the most relevant

person of the day, Mills and Knight continue to stay

true to themselves as by giving themselves the time

and space to create longer form albums at their own


“Albums have just kind of been [the] way that

we like to release music because it gives you a

chance to show people a little more range opposed

to just a couple singles here and there,” explains

Knight. “When we first start writing, we usually just

start with a bunch of ideas and during the writing

process, we created close to 50 different tracks. We

try to make as much as we possibly can and show as

much range and diversity as we can. But you gotta

take breaks and come back to it. Keeping up and

being relevant is important, but [this is] just how

we’ve learned to enjoy music. We love albums that

you can just put on and sit with for a while and you

know, kind of take you on a journey.”

When it comes to watching a live performance

by Odesza, most expectations are blown away by

their larger than life productions that often feature

live instrumentalists and, more recently, a marching


“For the U.S. tour we’re trying to bring more of

that with us, you know strings and whatnot,” says

Knight. “We’re [also] revamping a lot of the songs

so we’ll do for the live show. What we’ll do is take a

lot of these songs that have some lower energy on

the album and kind of remix them ourselves to give

[them] a little more live energy. So we’ll do some

dance remixes, some special VIP edits that make the

sets feel a little more special instead of just you know

playing tracks from the album. I think, eventually, as

we get better at performing and doing live sets, a lot

of it will just be custom for that moment. So a lot of

the music you’re gonna hear [at a live show will be]

unreleased and reinterpreting stuff that you might

[already] be familiar with.”

“Something [else] we’re working on right now [is

doing] more in studio sessions,” he adds. “So what

we’ve kind of done is taken songs that have a lot of

production, like “Line of Sight” and “Higher Ground,”

and kind of pared them down by [adding in] some

real basic piano lines and strings.”

In addition to their unexpected sound, the duo

love working with artists that aren’t known to

work with other electronic acts in order to create

something never heard before like their latest

single “Across The Room” featuring soul singer Leon


“We’ve been huge fans of him for a long time;

getting Leon and Regina [Spektor] as well as the

others to work with us was a big step. We’ve

always been huge fans of Panda Bear [from Animal

Collective too] so hopefully at some point we can

work with him. We really like taking these indie

artists that live in different realms than us and

then working with them because it usually makes

something pretty unique.”

Odesza plays the Vancouver Forum on November

3 and 4, and their new LP, A Moment Apart, is now

available on iTunes and Apple Music.

Lords of Acid

October 8 @ Red Room

If you don’t know this legendary post-industrial/techno act, you might want to check out

some clips before going to their show. Since the late ‘80s, the graphic sexuality and sordid

drugginess of their lyrics has been matched only by the hardcore nature of ringleader Praga

Khan’s myriad production styles. They’re going for the jugular here, dropping their most

bad-ass album, 1994’s Voodoo-U, alongside some raunchy, raucous hits. Not for the faint of



October 20 @ PNE

That bone-rattling beer baron, Michigan producer Grant Kwiecinski (a.k.a. GRiZ) is back to

sax up some sexy, soulful funky beats. This is the Good Will Continue tour, celebrating the

second installment in his Chasing the Golden Hour mixtape series as well as his personally

perfected Chasing the Golden Hour Ale. Alongside Los Angeles producer Big Wild, he’ll be

supported by Opiuo, the brilliantly lush Melbourne-based knob-twiddler who is worth the

price of admission by himself.


October 27 @ Fortune Sound Club

If this doesn’t get you into the Halloween spirit, nothing will. The Pittsburgh duo of bassist/

synthesist Steve Moore and drummer Anthony Paterra took their name from the Italian

title of Dawn of the Dead, and their layered space-rock/synthwave sound is very much

indebted to Goblin. The horror movies practically write themselves in your head while

listening to them.

Chelsea Wolfe

October 31 @ VENUE

With her blend of black metal, industrial electronic, gothic-folk, and imaginative fashion,

this American songstress always brings a spectacle to the stage. She was in full force on her

latest album, Hiss Spun, so expect to see heads exploding in the crowd for this one. You

could not hope for a better way to spend Halloween night than an evening with Wolfe.

Chelsea Wolfe

photo by Bill Crisafi

October 2017 21




Josh Young leaves his Flosstradamus behind to start something more focused.


Ravers around the world mourned the end of

Flosstradamus when the trap runners announced their

split at the end of 2016. With Flosstradamus at the head

of a new wave of electronic music back in 2012, it was

the end of an era for part of the EDM scene.

Flosstradamus, founded by Josh Young and Curt

Cameruci, now consists of only the latter. Young decided

to leave the moniker behind and start a new project,

YehMe2, which he debuted at the Hard Summer Music

Festival last month. “Before the show I kept having these

dreams where I walked up on stage and no one was

there,” he confesses. That wasn’t the case. Instead Young

performed to a massive crowd in what became one of

his favourite performances of his entire music career.

“YehMe2 is a more confident, mature, and focused

version of [my past self],” says Young. “I’m twelve years

into the music industry and I’ve made some mistakes,

experienced some ups and downs, and learned a whole

lot about this business and myself. Having a clear vision

and decisiveness are everything.”

Divorcing the creative partner with whom he’d

reached such a high peak of success was anything but

easy. “The upside is the time I’ve been able to spend with

my family and in the studio creating. It’s super inspiring

being around my wife and kids […] My oldest son, Lex,

loves the drums and my youngest son, Ryder, smiles

nonstop. They’ve helped me so much through this rough

transition for sure,” credits Young. “I was fortunate to

have a really supportive family, so I’m going to keep that

going with my boys. Whatever it is that they want to do

I’ll be there telling them they can be the best at it and

when they become the best at it, [I’ll tell them] to stay


STMT (or Steal This Mixtape) hit the Internet in 2016,

with STMT 2 released in the summer of 2017. “I’ve

learned a lot and have honed in my sound. When I made

the first STMT I was just messing around trying to figure

out what my sound is. On STMT 2 I knew going into it

exactly what I wanted to do […] I went into it with a

really clear vision.” STMT consists of 27 genre-hopping

edits, where Young effortlessly showcases his knack for

turning any song into a trap-heavy jam.

Young’s latest track is a bass-heavy rework of Justin

Timberlake’s “Like I Love You,” and he’s got plenty of

other exclusive remixes and edits up his sleeve that he

can’t wait to unleash on the crowds during his North

American “Steal This Tour” circuit. With his new alias,

new music, and promising stage design based off a

concept he’s had in his head for years, the night is sure to

be filled with warning signs and mosh pits.

YehMe2 hit Venue on October 25th.


October 2017








Photo by Kamenshine

Long Island native Steven Markowitz

has proved he is more than your average

one-hit frat-rapper. Better known as his

stage name Hoodie Allen, the independent

hip-hop artist left his job at Google in 2010

to focus on his music career. Allen’s third

album, The Hype, was released September

29 and features 12 pop and hip-hop tracks

written by Allen himself. “The idea behind

the album came as an examination of my

own self and how life changes once the

thing you’ve been trying to chase for years

finally happens. I wanted to talk about the

ups and downs that come from embarking

on a creative pursuit and how your own

successes and failures can affect your

personal life.”

Allen has been making music since

his days at University of Pennsylvania,

and he’s kept himself busy ever since. “I

think musically and lyrically everything

is an evolution of what I’ve done in the

past. I’m the same artist but I’ve had new

experiences and my music reflects that.”

Allen’s first studio album was released in

2012, and since then has collaborated with

Ed Sheeran and toured with both Wiz

Khalifa and Fall Out Boy.

“I think I took a lot more time with

The Hype than my past releases,” Allen

explains, “I tried not to set a deadline. I just

wanted to create and have fun and make

a ton of music and then condense that

into the best 12 songs that told the story

of The Hype.” The Hype features State

Champs, a pop-punk band also from New

York, as well as Wale, one of Allen’s favorite

rappers. Allen’s tunes are catchy and high

energy, a perfect pick for your Friday night

house party.

“I don’t really try to do anything but

make what feels true and honest. I have

my own voice and perspective. Not many

people in my lane are actually writing their

own songs from start to finish. So I feel like

my sound has always stood out because I

don’t really care about chasing trends.”

Hoodie Allen performs October 25 at the

Vogue Theatre.

Photo by Steven Taylor

Don’t call it a comeback, Stefon Alexander has a clean bill of health and he’s ready to go.

It’s been 5 years since the release of Stefon Alexander’s

last album as P.O.S, We Don’t Even Live Here, and

three and a half years from his kidney surgery. With

the music industry moving at an increasingly rapid

rate, and the American political situation being what

it is, one might expect a strong civic statement album

from the Minneapolis native on his latest album,

Chill, Dummy. “Half Cocked Concepts” from 2006’s

Audition started out with the line, “First of all, fuck

Bush!” Chill, Dummy doesn’t really go there.

It starts off with his trademark thundering beats

on opener “Born a Snake,” and the album retains

his aggressive sound. The politics are still there, but

the album focuses more on his inward struggles,

reconnecting to his art after time away.

“Even if I wanted to try to get make an album to

get my name back out there, I don’t think I could,”

Alexander explains. “I write whatever comes out. I had

a few ideas of what I wanted this album to be and a

few ideas of what I wanted to do, and my emotions

and intentions of what I wanted to do got put aside

by what came out. You’ll notice it’s less political of a

record, more inward talking to myself. The damages

and issues that came from taking so much time off for

my health. Reconnecting with myself and my friends.”

Chill, Dummy was being wrapped up with more

than enough time to make it understandable for him

to write about political issues, but clearly his muse

had other ideas. “Even if I wanted to write politics,

anti-Trump, Republican, alt-right Nazi-based shit

which would have been appropriate towards the end

of the writing of this record,” ponders Alexander. “It

just wasn’t what this record was about.”

Instead, we have an album that balances the

political and the personal in a more organic way.

It’s only fitting that one of the features on Chill,

Dummy is rapper Open Mike Eagle, whose work

maintains this balance as well. “Mike Eagle is one of

my favourite rappers and favourite people I’ve met

this music business. Genuine dude. Really solid lyricist

in personal shit and political shit,” Alexander admires.

“Both of us do ride a line where we’re not overtly

political, but so much of our personality comes out

in our music that you’re going to catch the parts of

our personality that are political, what we’re about

as people just based on getting us to talk freely as


Album highlight, closer “Sleepdrone/Superposition”

is a perfect example, name checking Mike Brown,

Eric Garner and Chris Dorner yet dealing with more

personal issues through the metaphor of the concept

of superposition in physics. The track features a

number of guests, but most fitting perhaps is that of

Kathleen Hanna, former singer for Le Tigre and Bikini

Kill, also an artist who has dealt with significant health

problems in the past.

The whole album that hits that balance, and while

it’s slightly more philosophical than he’s been in the

past, the album still knocks hard. He’s back to 100%

healthy now, so when he comes through live, you can

expect him to deliver a show that’s anything but chill,

and you’d be a dummy not to go.

Catch P.O.S live October 13 at the Fortune Sound

Club. and his new album, Chill, Dummy, is out now on

Doomtree records.

His own hype man, Steven Markowitz doesn’t chase trends.

October 2017 23




Photo by Greg Gallinger

Punk rock quartet take a Victory Lap after releasing new album.

There’s nothing more disappointing than when a favourite punk

or metal band goes soft. This goes for both the music and their

attitude. When a band whose punk rock guided you through tough

times and whose politics got you thinking, it’s crushing when they

start sounding like Nickelback. It pays to be fan of Winnipeg punks,

Propagandhi, who have kept things high intensity both musically and

politically. Their new album, Victory Lap is a testament to both their

thrash roots, and their leftist politics.

Often as a political band ages, they slowly delve into more clear

cut emotional music, gradually dropping off the specific politics

for songs that have a more universal emotional resonance. It could

be suggested that Propagandhi have moved a touch towards that

direction, with songs like “Failed Imagineer” about the plight of

returning veterans but bassist, Todd Kowalski disagrees. For him

Propagandhi have always been an emotional band.

“People tend to see certain things as unemotional when they

actually are emotional. Even some simple song off of Less Talk

about animals or not eating meat, the emotion that comes across is

extreme sadness about how animals are treated.” Kowalski continues:

“People tend to think that if you write a song about death or love or

something that it’s more emotional. We’re conditioned to think that

but I’ve never believed that.”

In the early years of the band, the crowds at their shows was an

odd juxtaposition. There were like minded political folk attracted

to the band for their sympathetic ideals and then there was a

whole group that tended towards the slightly more jockish, the

snowboarders, the skaters, etc… A quarter decade later the band still

doesn’t try to play to a specific audience.

Kowalski explains: “For us even the jocks and snowboarders didn’t

bother us. Whoever wanted to listen, it never really mattered. We

didn’t discredit headbangers or whoever. Our crowd is a little older

now. Tired of snowboarding. Growing beards. As long as they’re into

the tunes and thinking about it a little bit.”

Kowalski isn’t just about preaching to the converted. He’s open to

whatever audience shows up. “I like being around non-assholes. But

people don’t have to be like-minded, I like being around all kinds of

people. As long as they’re not dickweeds, that’s what I can’t stand.

But it is nice to see that we resonate with some people. We’re not

completely alone.”

The crowds may be older, but Propagandhi hasn’t toned down the

metal side of their music. If anything, over the years, they’ve dialed it

up. This is a point of pride.

“I’m proud of that. For me, the pain I felt when Judas Priest’s

Turbo and Motley Crue’s Theatre of Pain came out in the eighties, I

instantly thought as a kid that I could never ever do this to someone

who is a listener of heavy music. As times goes on, all the metal

bands went soft. And then the thrash bands tried to mature. Then

the punk bands tried to mature. I was like no man, not for me. We

want to thrive and rock and thrash and go wild.” With Propagandhi,

punk and metal aren’t just a young person’s game, it’s a band even

older punks can still thrash to.

Catch Propagandhi live November 8 at the Rickshaw Theatre.


October 2017






True humanitarians, Cattle Decapitation would rather send humans to the slaughterhouse.


Contemporary extreme metal comes in an array

of different forms and is coloured by all kinds of

different themes – most of which focus on some

form of fantasy. You have your gore splattered

violence-porn, tales of wars that may have never

happened, stories told from myths and religion,

obscured or otherwise, internal dialogues on

insanity, and so on. However, with everything

that’s happening in the world right now, it

doesn’t seem like the lyricists of the genre have

to look much further than to what’s going on

right in front of them to glean inspiration.

Cattle Decapitation frontman Travis Ryan has

never shied away from speaking up about the

faults of humanity and the dismal direction we

seem to be leading ourselves in. The theme that

runs through all of Ryan’s lyrics is one of extreme

misanthropy, the major fantasy that humans

are subjected to the same things that we inflict

upon animals and the environment: human

slaughterhouses, genocide of the human race.

These ideas are only shocking to a lot of us when

the tables are turned and people are the victims.

Their latest, 2015 release titled Anthropocene

Extinction deals with what could very well be

the end result of our ravaging of the planet. A

vision of the total collapse of our population

after years of unsustainable growth and reckless

treatment of other species, the earth and our

oceans. Ryan doesn’t hold out hope that any of

these nightmare visions will snap us out of our

habits, though.

“I don’t have a very high opinion of the general

public and I mostly only have disparaging things

to say, which is really no help, honestly. People

don’t respond well to negativity,” he laughs.

“There’s too many people in the populated areas

of the world to ever come under one way of

thinking about helping the planet. Humanity

seems to only care about itself, here and now,

with little regard to future generations. Even

though they’re all fucking having children.”

It’s not a surprise that Ryan has the next

album already fleshed out in his head. “I’m just

waiting for the band to start writing some new

material so I can start writing. I’m really looking

forward to writing this one, since I already have

the album title, concept, cover art idea and even

the layout details all worked out in my head. I

also just got asked to try out for vocals for one of

my favorite bands, so I’m pretty excited for that

opportunity, but not getting my hopes up as it’s

a pretty tall order. But we’ll see.”

Cattle Decapitation has always stayed pretty

busy otherwise with a decent touring schedule,

which currently has them in Europe before their

North American tour. “The worst is being away

from home, my wife, pets, etc,” says Ryan. “But

the best part is the feeling of accomplishment at

the end and of course, playing shows and seeing

the fans. We aren’t touring in vans anymore. I

don’t care what any older guys have to say about

this, but... I’m too old for that shit. I’m not trying

to be fuckin’ miserable in a van with a bunch of

dudes. We all pretty much feel that way about

that. Shows are better and more fun and it’s

more of a production now.”

Looking to the next album, here’s hoping the

world doesn’t give Cattle Decapitation TOO

much more inspiration.

Cattle Decapitation plays the Rickshaw Theatre

with Revocation, Full of Hell and Artificial Brain

on October 18.

Butcher Babies could easily be considered one of

today’s hottest and heaviest metal outfits, gradually

ascending the scene since 2010. Fronted by the

gruelling duo of Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey,

the band is set to release their new album Lilith on

October 27.

“Lilith, in all different cultures and mythological

backgrounds, was a female demon. She represents a

kind of freedom against repression, especially sexual

repression,” Harvey states. “I think that Butcher

Babies has always been the kind of band that

wants all of our fans to consider themselves free

from all kind of repression whether they’re boys,

girls, adults, middle age women, men. We thought

Lilith was a great symbol and a perfect person to

represent the album.”

Backed by guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason

Klein and drummer Chase Brickenden, Harvey and

Shepherd declare that lyrically, Lilith is going to

be the band’s most sexually driven album to date.

With Harvey’s brief stint in the adult industry,

as well as the simple fact of being two beautiful

women in a male-dominated scene, the group had

originally decided to steer away from sexualized

themes in their songwriting as a way to break away

from what the majority of people would want to

expect from them.

“I do think that people put us into this pigeon

hole like, alright, ‘if you’re gonna be a female you

have to look like this, you have to sound like this

and this is how you have to act,’” Shepherd explains.

“People always oversexualize us, that’s how it’s

been since the beginning. We wore nipple tape in

the beginning of our career as an ode to Wendy O.

Williams and as a giant F-U to the cookie-cutter

music industry who always tell us what to look

like, who to be, how to dress and how to sound,

everything.” Wendy O. Williams is the late frontwoman

of 1980s thrash-punk group the Plasmatics

and is often considered “the first woman of heavy


“We had told ourselves we’re not gonna write

about anything sexual,” Harvey adds about their

early career. “With this album we changed our

minds and decided to dive into the sexuality

of human beings and that kind of stuff. It was

liberating because it was something that we just

did not want to do before and now it’s just like...

let the floodgates open. It was a really unique

experience for us.” Shepherd chimes in: “As time has

gone on we just don’t really care what people think.

We decided that this is something that is a human

emotion that every single person feels. It’s time to

open up those doors and write about it.”

With influences that span all over the map,

every member of Butcher Babies plays their part

in evolving their brutal and melodic sound. Some

notable artists include Hole, Pantera, Guns n’ Roses,

Babes in Toyland, Meshuggah, Periphery as well as

non-metal acts like Gwen Stefani, Poe and Shirley

Manson of Garbage.

“Shirley Manson from Garbage really pulled

out female empowerment in that day and age,”

Shepherd states. “I really hope that in the future

people can look at Butcher Babies and think: ‘Hey,

they helped empower me too.’ I hope that that’s

something we can accomplish during our time.”

On every stop of the tour, Butcher Babies will be

hosting a special pizza party to those who purchase

VIP packages to their concerts. This exclusive

deal will allow 15 lucky fans from each show the

opportunity to hang out with the band in their

tour bus, listen to the new album and eat some za,

among other sweet perks. Vancouver will be the

band’s only Canadian date for the rest of the year.

“We really like to do these unique VIP

experiences and we always have. There’s nothing

worse than someone paying a shit ton of money

to meet their favourite band and all you do is wait

in a line, shake a hand, take a picture and go. It’s so

impersonal. we like to offer really cool experiences

where we’ll all get together and play a bunch of

games, we’ll have a party.”

Butcher Babies plays the Rickshaw Theatre in

Vancouver on November 1.

Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd share guttural vocal duties for the band.

October 2017 25




Five will be released under the band’s own label: Dove & Grenade Media.

If you were worried that Hollywood Undead

would lose some of their momentum after over

a decade as a band, rest assured that their fifth

album, aptly named Five, pushes forward with all

the same energy that fans expect from the rowdy

quintet. In anticipation of the new album, we

spoke with Johnny 3 Tears to get answers to some

hard hitting questions, such as,“where do you keep

Photo by Jake Stark

your masks when you’re done with them?” and

“have you guys ever puked in your masks?” The

answers, respectively, are “I lost almost all of them”

and “there’s been so much puking, I don’t even

wanna think about it.”

While still staying true to their rap-rock roots,

Five is infested with new sounds that can only

be the product of a fervour that comes with the

unadulterated freedom of being under their own

label: Dove & Grenade Media. Having been signed

to a major label since 2005, Hollywood Undead is

celebrating their newfound musical independence

with fourteen hard hitting and uncensored tracks

completely tailored to their own liking, perhaps

one of the most purely them albums thus far.

“When you’re making music, it’s already hard

enough to satisfy yourself and your band, let alone

a record label,” 3 Tears points out, laughing as he

continues: “We’re masters of our own fate now

and that’s probably not good.”

While the album’s opening track, “California

Dreaming,” gets you riled up in a way that only the

rap rock kings of Hollywood Undead can do, the

other tracks incorporate mellow vocals with rowdy

verses that are reminiscent of their old albums

while still sounding entirely fresh. These catchy and

sometimes experimental sounds carry all the way

through until the very last track, “Your Life,” which

3 Tears admits is his personal favourite.

“I’m a very hard person to uplift, but every once

in awhile I’ll hear a song and I’ll feel like I’m happy

and bubbly. ‘Your Life,’ even though it’s our song,

gets me going. I feel like I can conquer the day or

whatever, but then it stops and I get depressed

again,” he laughs. “While it’s on, though, I feel like I

can do anything.”

Having not been to Vancouver since their 2013

tour, it’s to be expected that the band has grown

and changed both as a unit and as individual

people. With a label change, new material, and

the new perceptions that come with growing up,

it’s understandable that fans could potentially see

reason to worry about the overall effect this could

have on the band’s stage presence. Ultimately,

though, 3 Tears remains firm on his promise that

they still love to put on a good show and have a

good time, with only one small difference:

“We’re a little more sober now, that’s the main

one. I mean not totally, but somewhat. It’s really

weird thinking about it because it’s like... you come

back four years later and you’re a new person and

it kind of trips you out. We’ve had fans from when

they were, like, 14 and now they’re in their mid

to late twenties. I’ve basically seen them grow up

and they’ve seen me grown up, even though I was

already at least somewhat of an adult when it all


It’s safe to say that even after five albums, there

doesn’t seem to be any chance of Hollywood

Undead running out of new material anytime

soon. According to 3 Tears, living life and

experiencing everything to the maximum is the

only true way to stay inspired. With five different

members living five different lives, Hollywood

Undead undoubtedly still has a long future of new

material ahead of them.

Hollywood Undead co-headlines the Commodore

Ballroom (Vancouver) with In This Moment on

November 2 as well as MacEwan Hall (Calgary)

on November 4 and the Shaw Conference Centre

(Edmonton) on November 5.




Four years and as many bass players into their run as a band,

Vancouver punk rockers BRASS show no signs of slowing down.

With a debut album, a handful of short tours under their belts,

and the relatively recent addition of Claire “Twitch” Carerras

on bass guitar, the four-piece are getting ready to head out on

their first European tour. The 27-day run will see BRASS bring

their energetic and distinctly East Van flavoured performance to

Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia,

and, hopefully, Austria.

“We got about halfway through the rigmarole of booking a DIY

tour down to the States” guitarist Tristan Milne explains “As any

local band will tell you, it is such a hassle. In comparison, Europe

is slightly less of a hassle and then you’re on the other side of an

ocean.” BRASS is a band that stays busy, whether on the road or

at home, and most Vancouver punks have a good idea of what

BRASS will be bringing to the table in Europe. Their live show can

only be described as exuberant, and anyone in attendance should

expect the unexpected.

“I got electrocuted at our first show ever” says singer Devon

Motz. And that may or may not have been the same show

that saw Motz heckling a group of police officers who came to


shut it down. “Everyone is like ‘Be quiet, be quiet!’ and Devon is

down there making fun of the cops. Nobody shut [his] P.A. off

for whatever reason” recalls Milne “And then they let us keep


“In contrast, the show we just played with PUP at the Vogue,

that was minimal shenanigans” says Carerras. “We were just

getting the job done. And then, after we finished playing our

last note, Tristan fuckin’ faceplants his guitar and the neck

explodes everywhere.” BRASS just can’t play nice. “Nature abhors

a vacuum” explains Milne. “So at a BRASS show there has to be

some chaos.”

When asked why someone who has never seen them play

should check out their performance, Milne responds with

another question. “Why did people look at the solar eclipse

this summer? Because it happens and it’s beautiful.” “Just bring

your special glasses and we’ll try not to burn your retinas,” adds


BRASS will spend the month of October playing multiple dates in

Europe. Expect an update on their new album For Everyone upon

their return.

Photo by Mike Tan

Punk quartet BRASS are never short on filth, fury, and shenanigans

October 2017

VIFF 2017






Photo by Sarah Whitlam

VIFF executive director Jacqueline Dupuis curates movies that matter.

The Vancouver International Film Festival is already in motion celebrating

its 36th year. Celebrated as one of the top five film festivals in North

America, VIFF is an important stop for many films to garner buzz, often on

their hopeful way to the Oscars. Moonlight was essentially an unknown

when it played VIFF last year and it went on to win Best Picture. BeatRoute

talked with Executive Director Jacqueline Dupuis to see whats new for

the festival this year, what to expect, and advice on how to approach the

festival whether its your first time or 36th.

With more than 350 films playing throughout the 16 days, BeatRoute

asked Jacqueline Dupuis how those films from all over the world are chosen

for the festival. “We have a call for submissions and we received over 3000

this year. We work with a large team of volunteers and even previewers

who go to different festivals to see which films audiences are reacting to.”

With such a diligent curation process audiences can be sure to find their

perfect film, whatever type of moviegoer they may be. The films screening

at VIFF are chosen specifically to play different venues across the city,

venues such as The Rio, The Centre for Performing Arts, the Vancouver

Playhouse and more. “It is a fine art to figure out which film to best play at

each venue and who it will appeal to.” So if you want to watch a film where

drinking a beer feels appropriate, that has all been carefully thought out.

Like last year, VIFF has put different streams into place to make the

daunting task of finding the right film or event for you a little easier to

discover. “The organizational model changes each year in order to appeal

to each audience as the city changes. This year we have new streams like

a music, art, and design stream. For our screening series we have talks,

events, and workshops. It is multi experiential for people to come out

of the house for, consume content and interact with creators and fans.

Our VIFF live series has live performers working with visual artists and

musicians, it is a one time opportunity. Celebrating creators is one of our

key values. Go and explore the various streams”.

There are so many fantastic films screening at VIFF, and some for the

very first time. Jacqueline shared some insider words of wisdom to which

films she might expect to be big hits at the festival this year. “I expect

Wonderstruck and The Square to be big hits, winner of the Palmes’ For at

Cannes this year. Lady Bird is a late edition from Greta Gerwig we expect it

to do very well. Films like these are likely going to be around at the Oscars.

VIFF runs from September 28 to October 13. For more info visit

BeatRoute will be also be reviewing shows consistently throughout the festival

so make sure to check our website for those.

Meditation Park – Oct. 11

This unmistakably Vancouver film has the opening honours

this year. Starring Cheng Pei-pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden

Dragon) and Sandra Oh (Sideways) in this humorously

relatable drama following a family in a time of turmoil after

a long devoted wife has had enough after finding a thong in

her husband’s pockets.

Wonderstruck – Oct. 13

This film from acclaimed Canadian Director Todd Haynes,

who directed last years Academy Award nominated Carol,

will be making its Canadian premiere at VIFF and closing the

festival out. The time travelling film following two stories at

different times with one in cinematic colour and the other

in gorgeous black and white. This is a majestic and beautiful

movie following two deaf twelve year olds and their soulful

journeys to get to New York. The film is about finding where

you belong, and Todd handles each storyline with a natural


Call Me by your Name – Oct. 5, 8, 12

This critically praised film opened at TIFF this year, and

is a patient and beautiful look at summer love. This slow

burning film, powered with the intensity of an unspoken

romance, follows a 17-year-old intellectual free spirit in 1983

and the ongoing possibility of love when a charming older

man visits. This could be this years Moonlight, except with

rich white people vacationing in Italy.

Lady Bird – Oct. 9

Serving as Writer and Director, indie darling Greta Gerwig

finds a fresh way to tell this coming of age film set in her own

hometown, Sacramento. This film is semi autobiographical

and we watch the young female protagonist deal with issues

of love and angst and unknown futures with nostalgic ease.

It is as if we are watching a fictionalized version of Greta

Gerwig struggle to become the fascinating artist we know

her to be today.

A Fantastic Women - Oct 2, 5, 11

Finally a film, and an exceptionally moving one, that actually

cast a transgender woman to play trans. As a result, it is now

being touted as the film to make huge leaps for these types

of roles on screen. Marina is victimized all the while staying

triumphant, making her story that won Best Screenplay at

the Berlin Film Festival a sure to be audience favourite this

year. A thoughtful look at a person who’s lost all that made

her feel loved in a world that made her feel the opposite.

The Florida Project - Oct 7

Director Sean Baker (Tangerine, the award winning film shot

entirely from an iPhone) continues to immerse us in stories

dealing with tragic situations but with a light and personal

perspective from the ground level. Faded dreams and

youthful hope, desperation and defiance…this Americana

laced story starring Willem Dafoe tells the stories of the

people permanently living in the overcrowding tourist

motels outside Orlando, Florida.

The Party - Oct 9, 13

Sex, politics and religion traditionally are the three taboo

subjects of conversation. This film comically features a group

of acid tongued intellects at a dinner party discussing just

that with each other, played by a varied and talented cast

(Cillian Murphy, Timothy Spall, Kristin Scott Thomas). With

early great reviews, this is sure to be a whip smart, devilishly

witty must see comedy.

The Work - Oct 8, 10

Group therapy is always such an interesting look at a subject.

It allows people to open up and remain closed off and that

dynamic creates progress and conversation and to witness

it is a special privilege. In this documentary we get to sit in

on one of the twice a year meetings when members of the

public are invited to speak with convicts convicted of brutal

crimes. This honest look at toxic masculinity won this film

the Grand Jury Prize and SXSW this year.

Never Steady, Never Still - Oct 7, 10

A movie made and prodiced in BC, taking place in BC, is the

heartbreaking and powerful story of a mother wrestling with

Parkinson’s disease and her young son who must now quickly

grow up for her. This cathartic story is moved with a note

perfect script and two stunning acting performances.

Hondros - Oct 9

Chris Hondros was a legendary, award winning, war focused

photo-journalist who was killed doing his job in Libya at

the age of 41. This film is a tribute to his important and

astonishing work told by his childhood friend and fellow

journalist, Chris Campbell.

The Crescent - Oct 6, 8

A mother and infant son escape from a dark past to a remote

beach house in the Canadian Maritime only to be haunted

by what forced them to leave in the first place. This altered

reality horror movie torments the subjects as well as the

viewer using inventive practical techniques that makes this

ambitious genre film a must see on the big screen.

Dennis Glassner Talk - Oct 8

This is a great opportunity to sit in on an exclusive session

with Production Designer Dennis Glassner. If you love the art

of movie making he has created the look for such films as the

new Blade Runner 2049, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Into the

Woods, and more.

Call Me By Your Name is both patient and beautiful.

October 2017 27


It’s a balmy 27 degrees outside at the end of

September and even though most people in

Montreal are outside enjoying the unexpected

heat wave, the 20 fortunate handpicked

participants of the Red Bull Music Academy

are sitting on the top floor of the Phi Centre in

Old Montreal, bobbing their heads intently to

the beat of Drake’s 2009 breakout single, “Best

I Ever Had.” The music fades down half way

through and everyone breaks in to a riotous and

enthusiastic applause for the man who is sitting

in front of them on the couch, Toronto-based

music producer Boi-1da. He’s being interviewed

in front of the Academy participants as part of

their lecture series, but he’s coming at them from

a different place than if he was being interviewed

by a music journalist. Instead, the questions being

directed at him from

the moderator are more

from a technical side.

The producer has played

an extremely important

role in shaping not only

Drake’s sound and career,

but he’s also had a hand

in creating some of the

biggest rap and r&b songs

from the last five or six

years. From Eminem and

50 Cent to Rihanna, Jay-Z,

Kanye and even Lana

Del Ray, Boi-1da is an

important behind-thescenes

player in modern

pop music and today he’s been invited to share his

story and impart some of his wisdom on the eager

up-and-coming talent sitting in front of him who

are hungry to learn in any way they can.

The 20 participants of this particular chapter of

Red Bull Music Academy are here for Bass Camp,

an offshoot of the annual RBMA that is hosted in

a different city around the world each year. This

past year the Academy chose Montreal as their

home and, as it would happen, Montreal turned

out to be the perfect city to host the creativity

and collaboration, paired with their evening

events at various venues around the city and

are open to the public. While the annual RBMA

is an international program that splits their 40

participants in to two groups and invites them to

create and collaborate over the space of a week,

the Bass Camp Weekender is a bit of a smaller

more laid back operation, but equally as intense

in its scope. Involving specifically Canadian

participants from across the country, Bass Camp

brought the action back to Montreal for four

more days, September 21 to 24.

Listening to the infectious beat of Rihanna’s

“Work” reverberating through the speakers in

the conference room while being in the presence

of its creator, it’s hard not to acknowledge that

there is something important going on here. As

the Boi-1da lecture ends, the floor is opened up

to questions from the Bass Camp participants

and there’s a level of intimacy that is immediately

measurable within the small group. Calgarybased

DJ Jodie Overland puts up her hand to

ask a question about the producer’s degree of

involvement working with and signing female

talent to his new label — an important question

to ask in such a male dominated industry and

something Overland has personally been a big

proponent of in her hometown through hosting

female DJ workshops. The producer answers her

honestly — he does, but he’d like to work with

more. You can tell he’s one of the good ones, but

the question opens the dialogue of the weekend

nicely to the conversation of gender balance and


The Q&A ends and the participants break

for lunch before going back to their studios to

continue working and collaborating on new tracks

together, using all of the equipment and resources

provided to them. A couple studio advisers have

also been invited to act as mentors during the

creative process, one of which is Montreal’s Marie-

Hélène Delorme who performs under the moniker

FOXTROTT and is signed to Bjork’s label, One

Little Indian. “What I like about Bass Camp is it’s a

lot of exploration and networking,” Delorme says.





“Everybody is kind of on the same level too when

you’re here. Some people maybe have careers that

are more advanced than others, but creatively

we’re all on the same page.

Throughout the four days at Bass Camp,

the participants were treated to evening

performances by the likes of Orphx, Pan Daijing,

SADAF and Dopethrone on Thursday at the

Societe Des Arts Technologique, a futuristic space

that provided the perfect environment to indulge

in the droney and noisier side of electronic music.

Saturday celebrated the Equinox perfectly at

Usine C, a venue in Montreal’s gay district. The

evening’s performers included Borusiade, Carla

Dal Forno (live), Carlos Souffront b2b Derek

Plaslaiko, Courtesy, Jayda G and, most notably,

Umfang, who spoke rather modestly in a Bass

Camp lecture/interview earlier that day to

participants about her role as the co-founder of

Discwoman, a New York-based collective that

showcases and represents diversity and inclusivity

in electronic music.

Sunday morning was back to the studio to

continue collaborating but the participants

were treated to one final afternoon lecture,

undoubtedly the most memorable of the

weekend, with Beverly Glenn-Copeland, an

incredibly beautiful soul and perfect fit for

the vibe of Bass Camp. At the age of 73, the

multi-dimensional artist spoke of his classical

music upbringing, his life as a student of McGill

University and how he spent the beginning of

his career as a woman before transitioning only

15 years ago. Hearing his arc of achievements,

the realities of living a life as a transgender artist

and the path he went down to get to where he is

today was both moving and inspirational, bringing

all of the Bass Camp participants and everyone

else in attendance to a standing ovation at the

end of the lecture. If you

haven’t checked out the

work of Beverly Glenn-

Copeland, check out the

most recent reissue of his

1989 cassette, Keyboard

Fantasies, via Invisible

City Editions. http://

That evening RBMA

alumni Charlotte Day

Wilson performed as the

opening support Rhye,

closing off the intense

weekender with a beautiful,

sweaty and sold out show

so full of heart and soul you

could feel it pouring out of

Le National and in to the hot muggy outside air of

this late extended summer evening.

Red Bull Music Academy once again proved

they have the insight, resources and ingenuity

to give electronic music fans and collaborators

the tools (wings?) needed to come together.

Thinking back to the Boi-1da interview on Friday

and hearing him talk about his beginning days

working full time at Winners while trying to

produce music on the side, you can’t help but

realize that everyone actually does have to start at

the bottom, no matter where they end up. What

Bass Camp proves is that it’s the relationships you

make and build along the way that determine the

degree of your success and just how much of an

imprint you make on your community.

For more information about the Red Bull Music

Academy and to learn more about the participants,


The 20 RBMA Bass Camp participants of 2017 in Montreal at the Phi Centre.

Photo by Maria Jose


October 2017


Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile

Lotta Sea Lice


Especially these days, the world can feel needlessly

loud. Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett’s new

collaboration doesn’t concern itself with blaring out

conclusions, instead they own themselves simply,

aiming only to “bend a blues riff that hangs / over

everything.” What else can you do, when you find

a correspondent to bear witness to and finesse

your whacked-out guitar charm and relatable


Barnett and Vile meet unerringly in the middle

on Lotta Sea Lice. Personal recollections flit from

Vile to Barnett and back again, in what seems to

be an easy chat, coalescing into a collection of

soft-cut notes –guitar to guitar. The obvious kinship

between the two is palpable from the buoyant

opening song “Over Everything,” which in their

accompanying video features both in expansive

black and white scenes, playing each other’s parts

and lip synching their partners’ vocals.

Barnett and Vile seem to have met their

reciprocal match, a melodic pen pal arrangement,

where Sonic Youth, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and

other influences run free. Both lauded artists known

for their rambling, pointedly true-to-life lyrics,

they couldn’t have better banter. Their drawl and

individual style is so keenly anchored that they

build lush, falling textures with warm fingerpicking

and chiming guitar lines without losing any gristle.

In “Let Go,” the duo gives a physicality to

shimmering guitars in a song that evangelizes

letting go like a mantra; “run the race at your own

pace / you’ll get there.” In contrast, “Fear Is Like A

Forest” (which feels like the second part to “Let

Go”) is much smokier, featuring dirtier reverb

and subtly wailing guitar, like a gritty-yet-mellow

“Castles Made of Sand.” Barnett’s signature matterof-fact

wit and soft vocals make a promise of solace:

“it will come back to you,” after noting that love

often “touches like a tourist.”

They take the idea of collaboration even further

by covering one of each other’s songs, blending in

seamlessly with the rest of their work. Vile gives

Barnett’s grungy “Outta the Woodwork” a whirl, the

slowed tempo and Barnett’s backup vocals allowing

for some languishing vocal harmonies - percolating

an extra level of detail. A song that’s meant to

explore the bad habit of limiting desire to avoid

failure, the pair finds a vibrant sense of balance.

In contrast, Barnett takes on Vile’s ballad “Peepin’

Tomboy” solo with a crisper, acute sound - echoing

Vile’s original inflections and tone with a polish. The

song sinks into the divisive space between wanting

only to observe and needing to participate.

“On Script” comes on sweetly, relying on

cascading guitar, fat crunchy lines, and very sparse

vocals before going delightfully awry and relying

only on instrumentation for the last third of the

track. Though they lose some girth during the

kitschy-er, harmonica-laden “Blue Cheese,” it

doesn’t interrupt the flow and stays palatable. A

strong backbone stands behind the project, as Mick

Turner (Dirty Three), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint),

Mick Harvey (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and

Jim White all had a hand in supporting common


Like a shadow lit from two different light

sources, the album brings together two powerful

songwriters, eclipsing neither. Their analogous

temperaments wind-down the album, while their

meticulous mix of skills and craft keep things

from ever being boring, instead creating moments

of joy that can only stem from a strong mutual


• Arielle Lessard

• Illustration by Cody Fennell

October 2017 29

Blue Hawaii - Tenderness Bully - Losing The Deep Dark Woods - Yarrow Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lucierian Towers The Great Discord - The Rabbit Hole

Blue Hawaii


Arbutus Records

Blue Hawaii, the electronic pop project

of duo Raphaelle Standell-Preston (of

BRAIDS) and Alex Kerby (aka Agor),

returns after three and a half years with

new LP Tenderness. A contrast to its

predecessor, Untogether, in both title

theme and texture, it’s an uncharted

(if patchy) work from an act that has

always remained molten. Shedding

Untogether’s dense minimalism in

favour of airier instrumentals and

swapping out mantra-like vocals for

see-saw melodies, Tenderness has a

pleasing new tone with mixed results in

terms of song quality.

Sometimes an album begins strong

and tapers out, or takes a little too

much time building steam to justify

a solid back half. In this case, there’s

an issue of A-quality songs peppered

among non sequitur interludes and

unmemorable mid-tempo tracks. A lack

of rigor in the editing and sequencing

processes makes Tenderness more

vaguely likeable than gripping as a full


Still, about the half the songs would

make highlights in any midnight

electro-pop playlist. “Free At Last”

and “No One Like You” will lure you

in with giddy earnestness and perfect

punctuations of (likely synthetic) horns

and strings, a wholly new sonic touch

for the duo. That rosy glee is measured

well on “Versus Game” and “Belong To

Myself,” which allow the doubts about

the role of companionship to be plainly

stated without judgment.

While not a devastating or euphoric

album, Tenderness succeeds in

concept despite a few falters in focus.

After all, the feeling of tenderness in

a relationship isn’t the remarkable

part. It’s not swooning or infatuation

or desire. It’s the indispensable sinew

that gives loves highs and lows their


• Colin Gallant



Sub Pop

Losing is Bully’s latest release and a

powerful and emotionally raw second

album. Since their critically acclaimed

debut record Feels Like in 2015, Bully

have evolved from some of their softer

more indie-pop influences and created

a harsher, more mature sophomore

album reflective of the label they now

call home (Sub Pop).

Losing tackles the complexities and

difficulties that come with personal

growth including the angst of trying

to find yourself and struggling with

how to navigate messy break-ups. On

“Seeing It,” lead singer Alicia Bognanno

discusses the anxiety and vigilance

around personal safety that comes with

navigating the world as a woman.

Bognanno hasn’t lost her signature

howl, if anything with time it has

become even more powerful. With

manic guitars and a fuzzed-out growl,

Bully are growing up and changing but

their fire is still there and it’s burning

brighter than ever.

• Kennedy Enns

The Deep Dark Woods


Six Shooter Records

With a progressing sound that

welcomes its new direction, The Deep

Dark Woods’ Yarrow is a forwardlooking

excursion brimming with

new tones and continuing with their

haunting and cinematic lyrical style.

“Fallen Leaves” swoons through an

early sixties RnB ballad with a keys

hook that sounds like a toy rainbow,

chord changes that pillow the flowing

delivery and harmony and lines like “the

morning light was fading, there I sat

and dreamed with the thousands and

thousands of fallen leaves.” The Deep

Dark Woods have always had the loose

feel of Dylan & The Band’s Basement

Tapes, and “Roll Julia” has that jumpy

energy, a big band feel on a root five

bass, guitars sitting in for horn shots

and a northern-Louisiana wedding vibe.

“The Birds Will Stop Their Singing” runs

a mournful British folk waltz through

some paces, putting an extra 6 on the

high hats, which itself raises the tempo

in feel considerably, once the band

picks up the push underneath, creating

room for a wilder drum style from Mike

Silverman, before the band the band

eventually drops out for a Boldt/Kacy

Anderson duet.

Ryan Boldt and Shuyler Jansen have

cut a record that updates what The

Deep Dark Woods have always done,

and not by having done away with the

past. The janky, jammy, bounce of their

upbeat numbers and the plight of their

melancholy have long been defining

characteristics. The Deep Dark Woods

have always made music you dance

outside to, in caps and plaid, dreaming

of summer through a snowstorm.

• Mike Dunn

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Luciferian Towers

Constellation Records

Ever apoplectic and political, Montreal’s

Godspeed You! Black Emperor has

unfortunately suffered a stagnation of

creativity following their 2012 return

with the Polaris-winning ‘Allelujah!

Don’t Bend! Ascend!, but their latest

album, Luciferian Towers, marks a

return to form for the collective that

seemed doomed to a latter career of


Opening with a foreboding marchingband

jaunt through desolate city

streets, Luciferian Towers immediately

promises a sense of hope-among-theruins;

an atmosphere perfected by the

ever-swelling and dissipating collective’s

line-up in their initial 1997-2001 run.

From there, the three-part movement

“Bosses Hang” carries the listener

through GY!BE’s archetypal swelling

guitar drones into “Fam/Famine,” a

crescendo section driven by fastidious

pitter-patters of percussion, strings,

and guitars before dropping off into

what is easily the album’s highpoint: the

delicate three-part lament “Anthem for

No State.”

The most blissful facet of Luciferian

Towers is that it forgoes the tendency

of the previous two albums to replace

the softer, more introspective sections

with bristling dissonance ampedup

to a degree in which the more

contemplative ideas are lost, but it is by

no means perfect.

The main issue with the revival of

GY!BE is their removal of the field

recordings and samples that made their

initial albums so memorable, and this

causes Luciferian Towers, along with

their previous post-revival releases, to


Overall, however, Luciferian Towers

is a much stronger release than 2015’s

Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress,

which came off more as a colourby-number

pastiché of GY!BE’s past

triumphs, and if there is still a future

for the inimitable post-rock pioneers,

at least they’re moving in the right


• Alec Warkentin

The Great Discord

The Rabbit Hole

The Sign Records

The Great Discord’s second release,

The Rabbit Hole, is a beautiful display

of exactly what their self-described

genre (progressive death pop) is. Their

instrumental work is just prog-y enough

to fall under the likes of Mastodon

to a lesser extent. The music here is

slightly more generic but much more

atmospheric, with the occasional

scream or growl thrown into the mix;

The Rabbit Hole could be described

as Nightwish meets Mastodon. Along

with a bit of piano for melodic relief,

Fia Kempe has a gorgeously unique

alto voice to help the listener feel like

they’re truly tumbling down the rabbit

hole. This is no different from their

previous release Duende. The drum

beats and poppy chants keep steady

enough throughout the album to make

the listener want to march against The

Red Queen. The exception to this is the

perfectly placed “Neon Dreaming,” it

gives the listener a break with a slowpaced

pseudo-lullaby as the guitars are

completely toned back with almost no


• Bailey Barnson



Merge Records

Taking us from Barcelona to Rome to

Wales to the Ivory Coast in his usual

style of tangled prose the latest release,

ken, from Dan Bejar’s Destroyer is a

post-tour record that brings many

distinct and diverse threads of influence

together under one umbrella of

unabashed melodrama., Much of the

charm in Destroyer is how it’s aged with

Bejar, from self recorded freak folk to

its current state as what can only be

described as adult contemporary. The

charm and mild aura of pretension with

which Bejar delivered this transition

from 2011’s Kaputt onwards has

possessed the ability to make what

would have been considered in most

as a cheesy and trope-laden transform

to a vision of coolness. With his divine

lack of comedy and penchant for

saxophone interludes, Bejar represents

the blindly confident artist we secretly

wish to be but never could, for fear

taking the role of this curmudgeonly

creative would make us laughable in

the eyes of those we love. Again with

ken, Bejar’s confidence is blinding as the

lines between dark wave and cock rock

are blurred. Tracks like “In the Morning”

have him playing like a blue blooded

Bruce Springsteen, while others like

“Tinseltown Bathing in Blood” are New

Order Lite. Having committed the

miracle of creating instant classic rock,

ken offers moments that are downright

poetic, political, awe-strikingly self

serious, and just outrageous enough

to make you dangerously sentimental

should you listen after more than two

glasses of wine.

• Maya-Roisin Slater

The Killers

Wonderful, Wonderful

Island Records

As it turns out, Wonderful, Wonderful,

the fifth album by everyone’s favourite

Mormon Las Vegas rockers, is not bad,

not bad. There are some highlights

across the album’s ten tracks –hell,

sometimes a highlight is an entire song

and not just a particular section.

The Killers arrived at the right time,

pummeling Guitar Hero with enough

fuel to create a prestigious legacy early

on. When we were young, the band

seemed to have hit single after hit

single, elevating Hot Fuss and Sam’s

Town to heights difficult for any rock

band to overcome.

How did it end up like this? Coming

out of the cage, their first two albums

weren’t spectacular front to back,

but they offered a steady stream

of nostalgia made irresistible and

untarnished with the passing of time.

The next two albums were largely

forgettable –which would have been

acceptable if they produced another

single on the same level as a song like

“Somebody Told Me.”

Wonderful, Wonderful throws the

biggest haymaker The Killers have

mustered in since Sam’s Town with


October 2017

“Tyson vs. Douglas.” The song is about when Mike

Tyson lost to Buster Douglas, but it’s about so

much more than a boxing fight. It’s the bestwritten

Killers track in years, bottling up magic

with intimate lyrics about a formative memory for

frontman Brandon Flowers. The wistful betrayal

the song captures is universal despite its specific


The songwriting never quite reaches the bar

“Tyson vs. Douglas,” but the entire album is pretty

consistent. Instrumentally, all of these little tracks

the Killers have done are so inspired by their

influences, they end up sounding uninspired

compared to the real thing. Wonderful, Wonderful

ultimately offers a reason for the Killers to stick

around, even if their prime ended more than a

decade ago.

• Paul McAleer

King Krule

The Ooz

XL / True Panther Sounds

From Donny Hathaway to Talking Heads to The

Damned, the man behind King Krule refuses to

limit his influences to one genre. With a mixture

of talent and a voice as deep of the ocean, Archy

Marshall released the first two King Krule albums

to positive reception –the records were as exciting

as they were unpredictable, but only touched the

surface of Marshall’s apparent capabilities. After

releasing 2015’s A New Place 2 Drown under his

own name, Marshall left fans wondering how he

would incorporate the mystifyingly succinct and

gloomy trip-hop soundscapes into the next King

Krule record.

In tone, The Ooz embraces the suffocating

darkness of his 2015 record through different

means. It’s the jazziest King Krule album yet, in

both instrumentation and spirit, but it’s also punk

through its unconventionality. The Ooz flows

like water from front to back, swimming through

different facets of the same pool of “gunk,” a

word Marshall said inspired the album. Marshall

believes the gunk is of the same importance of

blood, giving humans life under the surface of

our skin and minds. He is a master of creating

imagery and atmosphere, and the full extent of his

ability is shown on The Ooz. Whether it’s a night

drive or a morning coffee, the album is filled with

overwhelming emotion capable of matching any


It’s hard to single out one song as a standout

because the anxiety, pain, heartbreak and

frustration of The Ooz is best experienced when

it swallows you whole. It’s a look into the human

mind, bottling up the ghosts of the past while the

possibility of a bright future is within reach. The

album offers no resolution to the conflicts of the

human condition, but it gives the gunk a voice

every type of listener is familiar with.

• Paul McAleer

Matt Mays

Once Upon a Hell of a Time…

Sonic Records

There are few left of the dying breed of true rock

and rollers: inseparable from their craft, up all

hours of the night, living out of guitar cases and

hotels, and never settling.

Matt Mays is one of these people, and he confronts

that lifestyle – and the weight it carries – head-on

with the release of his deeply personal album Once

Upon a Hell of a Time…

Don’t get it wrong, this is a party record. With the

help of Wintersleep’s Loel Campbell, Mays has

crafted an extensive 52-minute album of catchy,

triumphant rock & roll anthems with no filler.


Campbell’s distinctive, weighty-yet-delicate

drumming busts open the album and chugs

along as its driving force, allowing for Mays’ slick

and reverberated riffs to cut through and dance

on top of the tunes. The album is chock-full of

dynamic breakdowns and fist-pumping choruses

championed by Mays’ powerful, howling voice.

In a manner on par with Bruce Springsteen,

Mays somehow takes dark themes of heartache,

grief, change, and aging, and channels them into

reflective and affirming feel-good rock & roll


In what can easily be held up as some of Mays’

greatest work to date, this album serves as well

turned up loud on the way to the party as it does

as the soundtrack to the next morning’s hangover.

• Brendan Morley

David Myles

Real Love

Little Tiny Records

Canada’s prolific and award winning David Myles

is back again with yet another full-length studio

album, Real Love. With explorations through the

genres of folk, jazz, pop, and hip-hop, Myles has

now turned his attention and talents towards

rockabilly. Dropping to the lower reaches of

his register and singing through “old sound”

distortion, Myles hits hints of Elvis and days gone

by. The music exudes Myles’ distinct sound and

songwriting; his cadence and phrasing, regardless

of genre, are his alone. While the album has

moments of the classic chugging jump that

rockabilly brings from its country roots, Myles

slows songs down just as often on the record to

push more of the rhythm and blues side of the

genre. Myles playful character colours all his music.

Even when he’s waxing on the sadder side of love,

there’s an effervescence that still comes through;

a joy for life and all it offers. Myles’ demonstrative

disposition wends its way through a show of

variety, opening with the dance floor stylings of

“Night And Day” and “Real Love” on through a

couple of numbers that sit on the darker side of

love, “Night After Night” and “Knock Out.” “Look

At Me” pulls out from the melancholy into a

jumpy chorus, while still bringing along a bit of

sorrowful horn playing that leads nicely into the

brief “Reprise,” a horn focused instrumental that

belies the claim of the song it flows out of and sets

the tone of the tender call of the following ballad,

“If You Want Tonight.” “Cry, Cry, Cry” brings back

up the pace and chugs into a playful little honkytonk

piano ending. The short “Everybody Knows”

shows the more playful side of Myles’ musical

explorations, pushing his vocals into the realm of

goofy at times. “Easy” does a great job of capturing

that old-time chorus sound with its simple and

sparse instrumentation, long note vocals and solid

overall production. “Stupid” jumps in next like

a sharp contradiction. While its cohesive refrain

elevates the songs with an honest musicianship,

the verses fall into the category of parody on

all levels. “Dreaming” is an a cappella track that

dances the line between personal poetic musings

and classic barbershop harmonies. “Crazy To

Leave” closes out the record as a soft and dreamy


• Andrew R. Mott


Victory Lap

Epitaph Records

Canadian punk-rock legends, Propagandhi are back

with a brand-new album, entitled Victory Lap.

Victory Lap is the seventh full-length album from

the band, and the first new release since 2012’s

Failed States.

Victory Lap is a natural progression from Failed

States; fast, upbeat and plenty of heavy, catchy

riffs; while keeping the thrash with quick pulsating

drums and bass.

Lyrically, Victory Lap tackles Propagandhi’s

thoughts on life and death; derived from recent

personal experiences, turning the album slightly

sorrowful but overall insightful. And with all

Destroyer - Ken The Killers - Wonderful, Wonderful King Krule - The Ooz

October 2017 31

Matt Mays - Once Upon a Hell of a Time... David Myles - Real Love Propagandhi - Victory Lap Stars - There is No Love in Fluorescent Light St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

Propagandhi albums, Victory Lap

covers the band’s social and political

outrage. Although, this time around –

there’s a lot to cover. Songs like, “When

All Your Fears Collide” and “Adventures

In Zoochosis” reference the chaos

of the 2016 US presidential election.

While, “Comply/Resist” and “Tartuffle”

cover the injustices done to indigenous

people in Canada and feminism

respectively. But throughout the album,

Propagandhi never lose their sense of


Although it’s been over 20 years since

Propagandhi’s debut album, How To

Clean Everything, songs like “Failed

Imagineer” and “Letter To A Young

Anus” sound like a nod to their earlier


Overall, Victory Lap is another stellar

album from Propagandhi and as with

each release, their talent and insight

grows fiercer. Constantly stepping up

their game, Victory Lap is another leap


• Sarah Mac


There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light

Last Gang

Canada’s ethereal, dark pop darlings

Stars have released tehir eighth studio

album, There Is No Love In Fluorescent

Light. The band brought Connecticutbased

producer Peter Katis in on the

project, relinquishing elements of

creative control and letting themselves

be pushed to stay focused on their

ability to shed light on the dark end of

the street. The poetry of “Real Thing”

is a prime example of the band’s

exploration of the shadowy side of

society. “The party unwinds / A tipsy

nod to the door / you’re misreading the

signs / crushing cups on the floor / you

follow four steps behind / you think

‘what’s hers is mine’ / in dreams you can

fly / it isn’t real / better check yourself

and back up, baby / we’re locking the

doors / I’ve seen the play before boy

hold up / you started the war.”

Amy Millan’s companionless vocals on

the track lend further weight to the

story it paints. Torquil Campbell and

Millan take turns walking the listener

through the shifting landscape of the

album, occasionally dancing the duet

of a nuanced vocal pairing that makes

the sound of Stars so unique. Yet, while

the lyrical content of the album speaks

of never getting what you want, losing

your way, being alone, hopeless love,

costly love, and wandering, the musical

tapestry of the album weaves another

story. Somewhere between joy and

melancholy there sits a satisfaction in

the awareness of life’s sorrows, in this

niche you’ll find Stars shining bright.

• Andrew R. Mott

St. Vincent


Loma Vista / Universal Music Canada

Annie Clark is horny. That’s the

only possible takeaway from

MASSEDUCTION, her fifth studio

album. It’s everywhere from the

album’s title to its artwork to tracks

like “Sugarboy,” which plays like a

tribute to a particularly sweet piece

of arm candy, to “Savior,” a slithering

ode to costumed role play. Clark’s

liberated sexuality informs even the

album’s subtlest tracks, like the single

“New York” and “Happy Birthday

Johnny,” which sees the return of Prince

Johnny from Clark’s previous record.

It’s an engaging through line that

makes MASSEDUCTION sound more

organized than it is.

Clark’s songwriting here is in fine

form, from the ecstatic bounce of “Pills”

to the doomed march of “Los Ageless.”

Fans of 2014’s St Vincent will appreciate

the risks she takes on the record, taking

cues from everything from Afrobeat

to New Order. There’s enough variety

here to keep even the most attentionalchallenged

of fans entertained, veering

from the roar and bite of “Young

Lover,” to the swooning slow dance of

“Slow Disco.” Clark has described the

album as “first person,” and you get


October 2017

Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven The World is a Beautiful Place $ I am No Longer Afraid to Die Dana Wylie - The Earth That You’re Made Of

to wondering exactly how much of the album is

autobiographical and how much is hyperbole.

Either way, MASSEDUCTION is another delightful

curveball in a career full of them.

• Max Hill

Chelsea Wolfe

Hiss Spun

Sargent House

While gothic rock might not pique the interest of

many outside of a few choice cliques, the talent

behind California’s Chelsea Wolfe is something to

be admired, and on Hiss Spun, her third album on

the Sargent House label, she effortlessly transcends

a genre so mired in tropes.

From the moment guitar-feedback descends

into industrial sludge during the first few seconds

of Hiss Spun, Wolfe has you by the goddamn

throat, flinging you through 12 tracks that burst

with unbridled doom (“Spun”), undulating

shoegaze-adjacent haze (“Vex”), diegetic ambience

(“Strain”), and echoing neofolk (“Two Spirit”).

But the most admirable facet of Hiss Spun is

how each moment, be it a dissonant chord or

an ethereal whisper, is complimented by the

dichotomy between the darkness of the sound and

the brightness of Wolfe’s powerful voice, at times

all-encompassing and at others paper-thin.

There’s really no qualms to be had over the

album’s 48-minute runtime, with each track having

its place and purpose, and never once coming off

as jarring when Wolfe decides to switch up the

presentation from doom-and-gloom to plaintive

and shimmering.

The only thing that can be said about Wolfe’s

sound is that it, seemingly, can not be replicated,

and with Zola Jesus (nom de guerre of artist Nicole

Hummel) staking her claim as the top quasi-goth

act of the year with the respectably solid Okovi

earlier this month, it may just be Wolfe who

ultimately usurps the throne.

• Alec Warkentin

Wolves in the Throne Room

Thrice Woven


With the new Wolves in the Throne Room album, we

witness a band returning to conjuring the familiar,

epic soundscapes that put them on the map over 10

years ago. The album, Thrice Woven, marks the first

album in six years that the band has played in the

atmospheric metal stylings that won them so many

fans when they first emerged. Luckily, the album

more than stands up next to the bands stellar backcatalog.

Within moments of the album beginning,

the band summons an ethereal storm of layered

atmosphere, featuring encompassing walls of soft

guitar fuzz creating a beautiful and abrasive wash

of sound reminiscent of a spring rainstorm. When

the metal thundershowers subside, the album drifts

effortlessly into quiet, tender arrangements of choirs,

delicate chimes, synthesizers and acoustic guitars,

giving the album a very otherworldly and ritualistic

sensation. Whether the album is displaying charging,

epic riffs or dreamlike, atmospheric beauty, the

album is one of the most well thought out and wellconstructed

extreme metal albums to emerge this

year. When the quiet winds and sounds of rain swell

to draw the album to a close at the end of the final

track, it feels as though the band has taken you on a

journey, and not one that will be forgotten any time

soon. Strongly Recommended. • Greg Grose

The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am

No Longer Afraid to Die

Always Foreign


Easily the most noteworthy group of emorevivalists

to come out of the genre’s most recent

resurgence, The World is a Beautiful Place & I

Am No Longer Afraid to Die (TWIABP) have

managed to carve quite the niche among fans of

whining-yet-urgent lyricism and winding post-rock

interludes. Their latest album, Always Foreign, feels

more like an homage to those less-than-stellar acts

in a movement that undoubtedly has the capacity

for greatness.

The main issue with Always Foreign is a problem

that accosted many of the bands that came up

in emo’s third wave — particularly those able to

hang on until the late 00’s — in which the move

from a more raw, unfiltered, and abrasive sound to

something more commercial caused the emotional

edge to be sanded down to nothingness.

While Always Foreign is still a joy to listen to, it

finds the group moving even further away from

their resonant post-rock-adjacent roots into the

more pillowed-production of latter-era Epitaph


On the whole this may seem like a minor trifle

(bands change! bands grow!), but it must be

mentioned that emo as genre is as reliant on its

instrumental power as it is its lyricism, and Always

Foreign comes off more as pop-punk-lite when

compared to the resonant high-points of 2013’s

Whenever, If Ever (“Getting Sodas”) or 2015’s

Harmlessness (“January 10th, 2014,” “Willie (For


However, the album still has its standouts,

particularly opener “I’ll Make Everything,” rousing

centrepiece “Dillon And Her Son,” and the

expanding seven-minute epic “Marine Tigers.”

In short, Always Foreign is a safe release from a

band who can get away with taking more risks, and

hopefully will next time around.

• Alec Warkentin

Dana Wylie

The Earth That You’re Made Of


Edmonton’s Dana Wylie follows up her 2014

release The Sea And The Sky, a low-key acoustic

folk record, with a more expansive sound on The

Earth That You’re Made Of. Wylie brings in horns

and jazzy pop to her expertly composed numbers,

giving the record an immediate Carole King vibe.

The title track may be the best example of this,

mellow horn lines over a simmering rhythm,

piano and Wurlizter drifting in an out of the mix

make the cut feel like an early ‘70s Philadelphia

singer-songwriter number. “Ten Thousand Miles”

is longing and yearning, and ultimately accepting

of the distance that grows between lovers. Harry

Gregg’s production with Wylie is a subtle affair.

There is some easy-going Motown in spaces, never

too brassy on the horn parts, and Wylie’s voice

lands gently on catchy smart melodies that never

sacrifice pop sing ability for instrumental heroics.

“You Are Good, You Are Kind” brings all the pieces

together in a sweetly sung churchy lift, and “When

You Are Old” features Wylie’s electric guitar style,

a hybrid folk finger picking style moving melodies

throughout notes ringing in chords.

• Mike Dunn

October 2017 35




Night Party


Stripping the sometimes-ostentatious stereotype of independent

music down to its bones, the AK-747s, as a band, is so fiercely

proud of their own sound it’ll convince you that you kind of dig

it too. A cyclone of electric acoustic guitar, cello and violin—

combined with frontman Rob Nuclear’s mincing, intensely

authentic vocals—the AK-747s is a band that has to be heard

to be believed. Like Mother Mother on steroids, Night Party is a

showcase of folk punk at its finest, sculpting a niche genre into

an album that can be jammed out to by veteran fans and casual

listeners alike.v

• Emma Sloan

Bend Sinister

The Other Way

Cordova Bay Records

For a band who’ve been touring regularly and releasing music

slightly less regularly for more than 10 years, Vancouver’s Bend

Sinister sound fresh as ever on their most recent EP, The Other

Way. Making clear effort to avoid easy genre categorization, the

six-track release is a well-produced, forward moving collection

of songs that mesh with the group’s established rock sound;

generally a mix of modern indie-pop, prog, and ‘70s leaning arena

rock. Standout tracks are the lead single “Walk The Other Way,”

which seems written specifically for repeat plays on indie radio,

and the second song, “Get Along,” which features a bouncing

organ line throughout and showcases lead vocalist/keyboardist

Daniel Moxon’s elastic vocals. The Other Way is definitely headed

in the right direction.

• Willem Thomas

The Broken Islands



As the world rapidly deteriorates, and conflict seemingly

becomes commonplace in our everyday lives, Wars, the debut

album by Vancouver’s The Broken Islands, couldn’t be more

aptly titled. The conflict that resides in this album is internal,

emotionally assessing pains of the heart, often taken for granted

in the pursuit of the common good. Singer Rachelle Boily

unabashedly exposes her wounds on tracks like “Crown” and

“El Dorado” while post punk rhythms fuse harmoniously with

glittery pop elements, colourfully aiding us through the healing

process. Calming soundscapes pave the way for a kaleidoscope

of rich instrumentation on tracks like “Till I Sleep,” without

oversaturating the songs and allowing us time to breathe and

reflect. Wars is as luminous as it is melancholy; a therapeutic

journey that explores love and loss, with the goal of hopefully

attaining some kind of inner peace. That’s what we all want, isn’t


• Jeevin Johal


“Ice Cream”


Naming a song after a certain tooth-decaying confection can

carry some baggage. Derrival, local dealers of dulce, pop-leaning

rock, have made that very decision for the lead single off their

upcoming debut LP. “Ice Cream” is a rightfully syrupy, major key

dose of radio-ready indie pop; well-produced, it’s an apt end of

summer refresher that it’s only, um, 9 months until you’re back

on Third Beach asleep face-down on a box of melted dilly bars.

Perhaps that situation is what singer Adam Mah is referring to in

the chorus when he sings, “I can’t go back.”

• Willem Thomas

Peach Pyramid

Repeating Myself

Oscar St Records

On first listen, Peach Pyramid’s new release Repeating Myself

is akin to a midsummer’s day at the beach: dreamy, ethereal,

sweet and carefree. Dig a little deeper though and you’ll hear it’s

everything but fluffy; laced throughout upbeat, breezy melodies

and guitar riffs are lyrics that touch on heavy themes of heartache

and healing.

Peach Pyramid is the indie-pop project of Jen Severtson, a

Victoria-based artist originally from Calgary. Through Peach

Pyramid, she touches on things topics like navigating a new

city on her own, being disillusioned by love, and healing oneself

in the aftermath of abuse. But despite the lyrics’ melancholic

ruminations, Repeating Myself won’t leave you feeling blue – the

album’s production value is so refined in both vision and skill that

it successfully encompasses both bubbly pop and introspective

indie vibes. The dichotomy is subtle, but it lends Repeating Myself

an adaptability that makes it suitable for listening all year round.

• Jordan Yeager

Rupert Common

Pre-Apocalyptic Rap-Poetry


A freelance interdisciplinary entertainer hailing from Turtle Island,

folk-rapper Rupert Common’s earnestness bleeds through each

of the twelve tracks of his debut album, Pre-Apocalyptic Rap-

Poetry— and it’s easy on the rap, heavy on the poetry. Common’s

knack for words is undeniable—each phrase tumbles out onto

the page with fervor, gut-wrenchingly direct and movingly

authentic. As a collection of spoken-word poems set to backing

tracks the album succeeds, but in terms of musicality? It falters

early on, and never catches itself. Unconvincing vocal delivery

from Common himself acts as the main antagonist: discomfiture

and uncertainty seeps through the lyrics, Common sounding

uncomfortable in his own skin at times. Is it a rap album, or even

hip-hop? No. Is it a showcase of a talented poet set to modern

backing tracks? Absolutely—and it would be a shame not to

enjoy it that way.

• Emma Sloan

Small Town Artillery



High-energy heavy rock band Small Town Artillery is spicing up

your autumn with their self-titled debut album. A head-banging,

unabashedly rollicking good time, Small Town Artillery rolls all

your musical guilty pleasures into a smug 13-track collection

that’s bound to make you move. Opening track “Bravado” is the

irrefutable star of the album, shifting between jazz-influenced

passages and guitar-shredding, vocal-tearing moments of

intensity. Small Town Artillery knows how to hook an audience

and keep them on their toes until the last note fades. From the

unapologetically weighty “Get Back” to the airy, vaguely synthtinged

“Bombino in the Club”, Small Town Artillery is sure to keep

your attention from the first track to the last.

• Emma Sloan


October 2017


Photo by Galen Robinson-Exo

July Talk, The Zolas

Malkin Bowl

September 16, 2017

It would be hard to think of a better way for the Malkin

Bowl to conclude their season than with July Talk. One

of the best touring Canadian bands on the circuit and

one of the best bands to come out of Toronto in the

last ten years put on a breathtaking and electrifying

performance that won’t soon be forgotten by the legion

of fans out in force that cool September night.

Local indie pop rockers The Zolas were an excellent

warm up act. The Zolas confirmed why they are a

rising star in the Western Canadian music world as

the “piano prog pop” unit had the crowd locked into

cuts like “Molotov Girls” and “Swooner.” An extended

EDM inflected medley of “Invisible/CV Dazzle” was a

highlight as Zach Gray and co. were able to showcase

their sonic diversity while getting the party started early.

Whatever think piece keyboard warrior proclaimed

“Rock is Dead” clearly never bothered to witness July

Talk in their rough and tumble glory. While Peter

Dreimanis (vocals/guitar/keys) and Leah Fay (vocals)

have always been the face and focus of the band, the

cohesion and professionalism of the entire unit was

a sight to behold. As per their on stage reputations,

Fay especially did not disappoint as she worked the

crowd, commanded the stage, and of course engaged

in all sorts of risque antics with Dreimanis. The gender

reversed mimicked felattio during “Gentleman” was

particularly hilarious. Between rousing renditions of

“Summer Dress,” “Paper Girl,” and many other excellent

songs by this consistently exciting band, Dreimanis took

the time to inform the crowd that this show at the

Malkin Bowl might be one of their favorite shows ever.

July Talk was, in the words of one patron, “a punch to

the face of pure rock and roll.”

• James Olson

Mac DeMarco

The Vogue

September 12, 2017

The idyllic, youthful glow of the August sun has

begun to fade and we are reminded of that great

transitional season approaching. Who better to

pass us over into that nostalgic juncture at the

end of summer than Mac DeMarco? Mac might

be the embodiment of the end of summer days,

and his breezy, laissez-faire soundscapes were the

perfect capstone to a long and hazy heatwave.

DeMarco began his set at the Vogue on

Tuesday night with the sparkling and meditative

“On The Level”, which appears on his new album

This Old Dog. The Vogue was sold out for back

to back performances, and it was clear that the

crowd was with him not only spiritually, but

also physically. Banquet tables were set up on

stage and filled with selfie-taking, wine drinking,

and merry-making concert goers. The line

between crowd and performance was blurred,

which made the performance a cozy, friendly


DeMarco pulled from across his catalogue on

Tuesday night and although he may no longer

be living them, there was a healthy dose from

his sophomore album Salad Days. He kept

the crowd alive with an energized rendition of

“Cooking Up Something Good” and what might

be this generation’s “Taking Care Of Business,”

“An Ode To Viceroy”. Mac is a guy that’s having

fun and in the end, so do we, because he’s

leading the way.

Mac peppered his performance with comedic

skits and crowd work, including a lengthy cover

of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles”. Mac

shredded soulfully on his white Stratocaster

over that youthful anthem and enthusiastically

repeated the line “Making my way downtown”

in Dadaistic exuberance. Mac invited his ‘son’

(a very endearing tour photographer) onstage

, who informed us that he “loves his papa,”

and another of Mac’s special guests ran onto

the stage and straight into a face plant. When

Mac doted kisses upon his band mate’s lips, the

crowd was elated. In fact, most of what Mac

did elicited a boisterous and excited response

from the audience, which made sense given that

the Vogue may well have been holding a Mac

DeMarco lookalike contest, one that Mac himself

would be in threat of losing.

Mac DeMarco delivered a dazzling

performance and presented us with the joyful

end of summer ambiance we were all craving.

Watching Mac do his thing is like watching the

sun set on the last day at the beach. And as

summer is winding down, we reminisce over that

fleeting and visceral spell with the balmy sounds

of another Mac DeMarco jam.

• Seth Cudney

Photo by Galen Robinson- Exo

Photo by Bryce Hunnersen


The Commodore Ballroom

September 10, 2017

When you tell someone you’re going to see

a famous bassist’s band play a show, all kinds

of images probably appear in their mind: lots

of bass slapping, funk rock, deep low end and

eccentricity. Applied to Thundercat, playing

at the Commodore Ballroom to promote his

new album Drunk, this picture only very rarely

captures any sense of what the experience is like,

mostly on the eccentric side of things. Even then,

only in some of the song concepts. For the most

part his presence was that of a pretty normal guy

with absolutely insane abilities to make his bass

do things that are almost impossible to describe,

particularly on the higher end of the scale.

For this show, describing what songs were

performed wouldn’t really do the show justice.

Yes, he played some really great songs. The

absurd “Tokyo,” possibly politically incorrect

single “Friend Zone” and “A Fan’s Mail (Tron

Song Suite II)” which ended with the crowd

meowing along were all delightful. But it wasn’t

about the songs, so much as the performances,

with even slower songs evolving into intricate

freak out jams that really showcased the abilities

of the musicians involved. Drummer Justin

Brown was notably skilled, hammering out

some of the most impressive rhythms and solos

imaginable. The only compatible drummer that

I’ve seen live was Zach Hill from Hella and Death

Grips. Such was the intensity that two hours of

their playing left the watcher worn out. It was

almost too much to take.

• Graeme Wiggins

October 2017 37




Rabbit (Pisces): Rest and rewards

are plentiful now. Take time to cherish

the comforts of home and adjust to a

new way of living. A fresh perspective

on the year’s activities is available to

open minded and playful rabbits.

Sheep (Cancer): Kindness and

compassion soften your heart to any

situation which tests your reasonable

limits. Thicken your skin and work

on your resilience to avoid an

embarrassing situation.

Rat (Sagittarius): Regret is not

part of your nature, but how can you

learn something from recent events.

Look for the lesson to reveal the

diamond hidden in this year’s rough


This month will prove to feel much more stable, as the diligent and loyal Iron Dog

welcomes us into Autumn. While the Dog can sometimes be a bully when under

pressure, its natural inclination is to be kind, warm-hearted, and friendly. This

month favours team activities, hard work, and hard play, but most of all, time spent

with family as the Dog enjoys the company of loved ones. A welcome change after

the extreme intensity of September.

Dragon (Aries): Petty people

discuss petty things, and superior

people keep their conversations

focused on higher ideals and concepts.

Rise above the rest and ask yourself:

which type of person are you?

Snake (Taurus): Is laziness fine

if your work is done? Is lying okay as

long as there is no harm done? Your

character is determined by your

actions in this world. Take care to do

the right thing now.

Horse (Gemini): Boom. It’s all

happening. Ask for help and you will

have it. Use your charisma to attract

to you the kinds of people who are

conducive to your success. Team up

with others to make the best of this

productive month.

Monkey (Leo): You can enjoy a

sense of wholeness in your work or

family life. Plan for togetherness, but

prepare for solitude.

Rooster (Virgo): Working

with others brings you success now.

The combination with the Dog is

altogether a favourable one. Stay loyal

to those who are true to you and do

the right thing now.

Dog (Libra): Multiple priorities

and task management require your

attention and focus. Smile, do your

best, and when in doubt, ask for help.

Pig (Scorpio): Solitude nurtures.

Give your time and energy carefully,

using retreat and disengagement to

balance your outward activities.

Ox (Capricorn): The bark of the

Dog can be worse than its bite. A dark

and introverted mood comes from a

place where your values are at stake.

Own up, apologize, or make amends,

and take time out when necessary.

Tiger (Aquarius): Have you

been burning the candle at both

ends to avoid some issue or have you

repressed deep inside a feeling or

emotion that seeks expression? Be

wary of breeding resentment from

your over-offering — charity is a gift,

not an obligation.

Susan Horning is a Feng Shui

Consultant and Bazi Astrologist living

and working in East Vancouver. Find

out more about her at


October 2017

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