BeatRoute Magazine BC Print Edition January 2018

beatroute

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. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

THE EARTH THE PEOPLE THE MOVEMENT


TRIM SIZE: 10.25"W x 11.5" H, RIGHT HAND PAGE


January‘18

PUBLISHER

BeatRoute Magazine

LAYOUT

& PRODUCTION MANAGER

Naomi Zhang

FRONT COVER PHOTO

Dave Cutler

FRONT COVER DESIGN

Randy Gibson

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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

CONTRIBUTING

PHOTOGRAPHERS &

ILLUSTRATORS

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

Editor-In-Chief

Glenn Alderson

glenn@beatroute.ca

City

Yasmine Shemesh

yasmine@beatroute.ca

BPM

Alan Ranta

alan@beatroute.ca

Comedy

Graeme Wiggins

graeme@beatroute.ca

Managing Editor

Jordan Yeager

jordan@beatroute.ca

Local Music

James Olson

james.olson@beatroute.ca

The Skinny

Johnny Papan

johnny@beatroute.ca

Film

Hogan Short

hogan@beatroute.ca

04 HI, HOW ARE YOU? 20

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13

- With Alexis Murphy & Kristy

Lynn Clark of Long Live Cats

And Dogs

PULSE - CITY BRIEFS!

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202-2405 Hastings St. E

Vancouver BC Canada

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©BEATROUTE Magazine 2018. All rights reserved.

Reproduction of the contents is strictly prohibited.

Lights - Page 15

Photo by Matt Barnes

January 2018 3


WITH ALEXIS MURPHY & KRISTY LYNN CLARK OF LONG LIVE CATS AND DOGS

GLENN ALDERSON

It doesn’t matter if you’re a cat or a dog person,

Alexis Murphy and Kristy Lynn Clark have got all

your pet supply needs covered at Long Live Cats

& Dogs. Located in East Vancouver’s Hastings

Sunrise neighbourhood, they’re filling a niche in

the neighbourhood while injecting a bit of their

own rock ‘n’ roll personalities in to it at the same

time. Part of this unique branding extends to their

registered non-profit, Neüterhead: Ace Of Spays.

Think Motörhead but with less balls — Literally.

The organization uses rock ‘n’ roll to raise funds to

assist responsible pet rescue groups with the costs

of spaying and neutering. Funds are raised through

the sale of online merchandise and through

bands who sell Neüterhead goods and apparel

while on tour. Additional fundraising is done

at one-off shows and the next event is a heavy

metal spectacular on February 2 at the Rickshaw

Theatre, featuring a bunch of one-off cover bands

comprised of members from local favourites like

3 Inches Of Blood, Sumac, Bison, No Sinner, Glad

Rags, Baptists and a bunch more.

Joining Murphy and Clark on the board of

directors are Rheanna Diane (Fancypants Design

Co.) plus Shane Clark and Justin Hagberg (3 Inches/

Worse). To date, the collective has raised more

than $13,500 for animal rescue organizations. Not

since Bob Barker on the Price Is Right have any

individuals taken such a loud stance on the issue

of spaying and neutering. We wanted to catch up

with the leading ladies behind such a noble cause

to chat and also check out the bad ass satanic

guinea pig display they’ve got set up in their shop

so we stopped by the pet store mecca for a chat.

The little piggies are also up for adoption so stop

by and check them out if you’re in the market for a

new furry friend.

How did you two meet and get in to this

business together?

AM: We met in Physics class at VCC. In November

2012 we were hanging out and Alexis needed

cat litter. It was two buses to get up Commercial

Drive for cat litter. We talked about how our

neighbourhood needed a pet supply store and that

was pretty much it. We found 2255 Hastings (now

Black Rider Tattoo location) that day, two months

later we opened up shop as Long Live Cats and

Dogs.

Can you tell us about your pets?

KC: We’ve got two cats named Ritchie Catmore

& Ronnie James Meow who live at the pet shop.

I have two cats named Squeak and Toaster, and

Kristy has two cats, Yoyo & Squishy.

AM: We just wanted to give back to the

community.

What sort of success has Neüterhead celebrated

in the past?

KC: Past events have seen donations made to

organizations like VOKRA, HugABull, Spirits

Mission and Broken Promises.

What have you got up your sleeves for this 2018

charity event?

AM: Great bands and raffle prizes!

Can you tell us a bit about what makes you most

excited about working in East Vancouver?

KC: The community, for sure.

What are some of the more challenging things

you have to deal with as business owners in East

Vancouver?

AM: The property tax increase for rezoned

neighbourhoods

Favourite place to eat lunch/dinner in Hastings

Sunrise?

AM; Laksa King, Pho Don and OnLok.

KC: That’s a hard one there are so many great spots.

What do you think is East Vancouver’s best-kept

secret? (K&A)

KC: Hanoi has the best vegetarian pho

Neüterhead’s next event is taking place on February

2 at the Rickshaw Theatre. For more information

about the event and the charity, visit www.

neuterhead.com

Can you tell us a bit about how Neüterhead

came to be?

Alexis Murphy & Kristy Lynn Clark want to remind you to spay and neuter your pets.

4

January 2018


CITY BRIEFS!

Above the Hospital Humans Lift Expo SYML Takashi Murakami

SYML

January 12 at the Cultch

SYML — the moniker of musician Brian

Fennell — translates to “simple” in

Welsh, but the work of the Seattle artist

is anything but. With piano, strings,

synth, and affecting vocals, SYML makes

stirring soundscapes filled with delicate

depth. His first headlining show in

Vancouver this month comes on the

heels of the rising success of his 2016

debut EP, Hurt For Me.

HOT BROWN HONEY

January 9-27 at York Theatre

As part of the Cultch’s Femme January

— a month-long dedication to and

celebration of the female voice —

this genre-bending production from

Australia’s Brief Factory empowers

while unapologetically and boldly

confronting issues to do with cultural

stereotypes, sexism, and politics.

ABOVE THE HOSPITAL

January 12-21 at Red Gate Revue

Stage

In what may well be very familiar

a situation for many Vancouver

millennial, a couple — a nursing

student and an aspiring musician —

who live together in a small, over-priced

apartment spend a night reminiscing

the past and contemplating the

uncertainty of the future. Above the

Hospital marks the debut original

theatre production of Midtwenties

Theatre Society’s Beau Han Bridge.

BRENDAN LEE SATISH TANG

January 11-March 10 at Burrard Arts

Foundation

In his new exhibition, meatspace,

local artist and BAF’s Winter Resident

Brendan Lee Satish Tang moves away

from his usual ceramic medium practise

and works instead with black foam core

and hand-sawn strips of wood to create

abstract sculpture installations that

explore themes of motif and an in-flux

state.

LIFT CANNABIS EXPO

January 13-14 at Vancouver

Convention Centre

Canada’s biggest cannabis tradeshow

features about 200 exhibitors, cooking

and growing demos, talks, a vapour

lounge, and a career fair. If you’re

looking for a chance to really learn

more about this booming industry,

don’t miss out.

TAKASHI MURAKAMI

January 31 at the SFU David

Mowafaghiab Cinema

The contemporary Japanese artist —

well known for his collaborations with

Pharrell, Kanye West, and fashion house

Louis Vuitton — will be in lecture

reflecting upon 30 years of work, as well

as discussing the methods to his diverse

practice and his new exhibition at the

Vancouver Art Gallery, the Octopus

Eats Its Own Leg, which runs from

February 3 to May 6.

INCITE

January 24 at Vancouver Public

Library

Presented by the Vancouver Writers’

Fest, the first event of Incite’s new

season will feature readings and

discussions from four criticallyacclaimed

poets including Vancouver’s

Cecily Nicholson who’s forthcoming

collection, Wayside Sang, traces

the histories of the black diaspora near

the Windsor and Detroit borders.

LEIF COCKS

January 16 at Vancouver Public

Library

The founder and president of the

Orangutan Project, a charity to help

save the orange apes from extinction,

will share the fascinating story of his

life’s work, alongside some of the

current challenges the species is facing

and what can be done to contribute to

conservation.

HUMANS

January 19 at the Imperial

Everyone’s favourite local electronic

duo are releasing their newest EP, The

Feels, later this month on the 26th and

are kicking off their supporting tour

right here at home.

DTES ARTIST RESOURCE FAIR

January 20 at Carnegie Community

Centre

Calling all DTES artists! The first-ever

Artist Resource Fair, held at Carnegie,

will provide opportunities to connect

with community resource providers

about project funding, rehearsal and

exhibition spaces, classes, workshops,

and more.

January 2018 5


RIO

THEATRE

1660 EAST BROADWAY

JANUARY

JAN

7

JAN

8

10

JAN

11

JAN

12

JAN

JAN

13

-

14

17

JAN

SETH MEYERS HOSTS

THE 75TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBES

FREE & ON THE BIG SCREEN

THE FLORIDA PROJECT

DAVID BOWIE'S BIRTHDAY!

THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH

4K REMASTER

THE GENTLEMEN HECKLERS PRESENTS

FLATLINERS (1990)

BACK-TO-BACK!

RIDLEY SCOTT'S BLADE RUNNER &

BLADE RUNNER 2049

KITTY NIGHTS WEST PRESENTS

DAVID BOWIE

LIVE BAND BURLESQUE

IT

FRIDAY LATE NIGHT MOVIE

AN EVENING WITH

GREG SESTERO!

(BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF THE DISASTER ARTIST)

THE ROOM, BEST FRIENDS, & MORE

DETAILS AT WWW.RIOTHEATRE.CA

ALFRED HITCHCOCK DOUBLE BILL!

78/52: HITCHCOCK'S

SHOWER SCENE

&

PSYCHO

CITY

NATIVE SHOES

MAINTAINING A SUSTAINABLE LEG UP WITH NEW STORE

ADAM DEANE

Native Shoes has been enlitening lives

since 2009 with their simple message

— “Keep it LITE.”

A Vancouver brand through

and through, BeatRoute had the

opportunity to catch up with creative

director Michael Belgue, who offered

an eye into the legs that stand

underneath the Native brand.

“Native Shoes is a value-driven

brand, meaning that everything

we create both physically and

metaphysically must reflect our

mantra, ‘Keep it Lite.’ With all of

our product, written language, and

creative driven by this core value, the

brand has really transcended beyond

just footwear,” he says.

THRIVE ART STUDIO

COMMUNITY-FOCUSED COLLECTIVE CONTINUES TO FLOURISH IN NEW SPACE

LUIZA BRENNER

Photo by Ema Peter

Native is wearing their “Keep It Lite” mantra on the soles of their feet.

Belgue couldn’t be more right.

Native’s roots have shot towards

the sky from its humble beginnings

right here in Vancouver. In fact, their

first brick and mortar location just

opened in Gastown. The store comes

complete with sustainable seating

made from recycled shoes and a

deposit-slot for folks to drop their

well-loved sneaks.

“We knew that we wanted to open

in Vancouver and were waiting for

the right space to become available

in Gastown,” Belgue says. “Native

will always primarily be a footwear

brand and we want to continue

expanding our line and putting as

many shoes on feet as possible. We

also launched a new website and

e-commerce platform earlier this year

to meet a growing demand in the

direct-to-consumer space, and we will

continue improving upon our online

experience.”

Haven’t you always wanted to find

a case for your feet you can feel good

about wearing – like you’re adding

to the health of our planet? How

about one that breaches the lines

between seasons, age, and climate?

Whether you’re heading out for a

coffee and a hike or picking up Cindy

from daycare, Belgue says Native has

something you’ll find fun, functional

and most importantly – lite.

“Native Shoes was always meant to

be an inclusive brand for everyone, so

we love to see both adults and kids

alike enjoying our product. We are

also Beast-Free. Respecting humans

and animals equally has always been

a crucial aspect of the brand, so if

anything it has pushed us creatively to

develop alternative materials and tech

to leather and suedes.”

A local, sustainable, fashionable,

ageless, cruelty-free brand that cares

about humans and our planet as a

whole?

We’re in.

Native Shoes is at 14 Water Street.

18

JAN

20

JAN

21

JAN

25

JAN

31

JAN

1 FEB

2 FEB

STORY STORY LIE

PILLOW TALK EDITION

CARTOON CABARET

BURLESQUE

ONE TRILOGY MARATHON TO RULE THEM ALL...

THE LORD OF THE RINGS

ALL DAY. EXTENDED EDITIONS.

BACK-TO-BACK.

CRAZY 8S

DGC-BC 19TH ANNIVERSARY

SCREENING & FUNDRAISER

THE CRITICAL HIT SHOW!

#DNDLIVE IMPROVISED EPIC FANTASY

PAUL ANTHONY'S

TALENT TIME

FIRST THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH!

THE GEEKENDERS PRESENTS

UH OH!

A YTV BURLESQUE NIGHT

FT. SCOTT YAPHE

(AKA "WINK YAHOO")

GROUNDHOG DAY

FRIDAY LATE NIGHT MOVIE

COMPLETE LISTINGS AT WWW.RIOTHEATRE.CA

It was during a wine-filled dinner with friends, in

the summer of 2015, that Thrive Art Studio was

born. Rather than a premeditated idea or thoughtthrough

plan, the endeavour came about almost

like a (very fortuitous) accident. Thrive founder

Jamie Smith used to gather monthly with a group

of girlfriends to talk about the perks and hardships

of being a female artist in this day and age. But, six

months into it, the news spread.

“I started getting these emails that said ‘What’s

this group you run? Tell me about this! I’m looking

for something!’ To me, it felt really simple. Of

course, we bring people together and we talk, but

I didn’t realize what we were doing — we were

creating community,” Smith remembers.

In a world where human connections are

becoming more rare, this sense of community is

essential.

“One of the main things is that [being an artist]

is really lonely,” Tara Galuska, Thrive member and

co-founder, shares. “It is great if you have a family

or friends who are supportive – you almost won

the lottery! But, then, they will give you advice that

usually just don’t apply in the art world.”

Almost two and a half years later, the tribe

grew significantly. Thrive is now a community of

over 160 cis and trans women, and those who are

non-binary, gender-fluid, and femme-identified

are welcome, too. What started as informal chats

became a structured business, with a range of

Thrive upholds and informs on all the bases for equality in the arts community.

different resources. Thrive Mastermind is the heart

of it. Organized in groups of 10 and led by an OG

member, members meet monthly (in person for

Vancouver-based ladies, and online for international

ones) and provide each other with support,

accountability, and motivation. Thrive Talks is a

series of 10-minute talks where members share their

stories; Thrive Art School teaches all the things you

should (but don’t) learn in art school. Lastly, there’s

the Thrive Network, an online platform used to ask

questions, share resources, and, more importantly,

connect.

“What I love about it is that it brings together,

in real time, women that are trying to reach their

goals, learning lessons, and sharing that knowledge,”

says Smith.

After struggling to find a new HQ, Thrive has

officially found their home: a co-working space in

downtown Vancouver. To celebrate this new phase,

Thrive will throw a welcome bash on January 25. All

are welcome — men included.

Thrive Art Studio is located at 535 Thurlow St.

6

January 2018


Yoko Ono

March 1 to March 31, 2018

MEND PIECE, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York City version, (1966/2015) | ceramic, glue, tape, scissors and twine | dimensions variable

Rennie Museum | 51 East Pender St | Vancouver


BRENT WADDEN: TWO SCORES

SPINNING HIGH ART WITH A GROUNDED STANCE

DAYNA MAHANNAH

CITY

Photo by Trevor Good photo

Brent Wadden is guided by the edge of a modern hand.

“There is no going back into a weaving

unless you unravel the whole thing,” says

Brent Wadden. “So I usually just keep all

the mistakes, as it’s a total pain in the ass

to remove them.” With a resume of solo art

exhibitions in galleries spanning from Paris,

London, and Berlin to South Korea and New

York, the charm of humility hasn’t been lost

on the autodidactic weaver. This self-taught

naïvety may just be the warp and woof of

Wadden’s work.

Trained in painting, the artist’s woven pieces

still exude the spontaneity and abstraction

that brushstrokes allow. Bold geometric shapes,

lots of lines, and contrasting colours embrace

imperfections and shrug off the anxious rigidity

of strict patterns or faultless topography. But

Wadden is matter-of-fact. “Don’t romanticize

the medium or process,” he says.

To present his deliberately described

‘paintings,’ Wadden’s weavings are stretched

over a canvas. “Just to clarify, there is no paint

used.” Acrylic is often listed as a material in the

pieces, but he points out it’s also a term used

for synthetic yarns. A photo of a Brent Wadden

tapestry on social media may give the viewer

an impression of a painting, but seeing the real

deal will expose the reality of the cozy canvas.

People will “understand that I’m speaking the

language of painting, as they are presented in

this manner.”

For his upcoming solo exhibition, Two

Scores, at the Contemporary Art Gallery in

Vancouver, Wadden is creating all new works

to showcase. Using one of his three looms, the

artist spins away while listening to podcasts,

YouTube interviews, and avoiding responding

to pressing emails. However, he credits weaving

for teaching him organization and patience.

“When most people see [the looms], the first

thing they say is, ‘my grandmother or great

aunt was a weaver,’” Vancouver-based Wadden

says. “As if it’s an ancient technology (which it

sort of is) that died with their loved ones years

ago. Everything is moving so fast now!”

Using thrifted fibres, Wadden begins by

sorting them into piles “to see what materials

might work together and how much I have of

each one.” He uses a rudimentary drawing as a

reference for colour placement, but the nature

of the pre-used material creates a variety of

lines and textures. “The quantity of each colour

plays an important role in the final piece.”

By intertwining a 27,000 year textile practice

with the edge of a modern hand, Wadden

engages his audience in a beautiful blend of

the traditional and the avant-garde. “Weaving,

as well as many other general craft practices,

seem more common in Canada but have

difficulty entering a certain kind of art world.”

In Berlin, where the Nova Scotia-native lived for

many years, he noticed that between painting

and weaving, “no one really questioned the

crossover.”

Two Scores will be a multi-dimensional

showcase of Wadden’s paintings, utilizing the

floor and extensive wall space with works up to

seven and a half metres in length. His piece,16

Afghans, salutes the 16 deconstructed blankets

with photos of each original afghan displayed

with its conglomerate. Though Wadden’s

chosen craft is exhaustive, perhaps it brings

a sense of relief that the paintbrush never

did. “Weaving is a time based medium, so

you know when you are done,” he says. “With

painting, there is always this feeling of not

knowing exactly when to stop.”

Brent Wadden’s solo exhibition, Two Scores,

opens at the Contemporary Art Gallery in

Vancouver January 12 and runs to March 25.

January 2018 9


LOOKOUT

By Lauren Donnelly

Two people converse high above the streets of

Vancouver, silhouetted against a panorama of the

city. They look out at the same view, but they see

different things: one is aware of what was, and

one envisions potential that extends the limits of

possibility.

British artist Andy Field asks us to step outside

of the now to reckon with our future in his

interactive show Lookout. Participants consider

the city’s future through a conversation with

our beneficiaries: Vancouver’s children.

“It’s a really simple piece,” says Field, “but it’s

a delicate and complex experience. People find

themselves quite moved by the opportunity

to think of this place that they call home in a

different way.”

During the show, held at Vancouver

Lookout, participants listen to recordings

from students of an East Vancouver

elementary school. Speaking as their

imagined older selves, the children

share their hopes and fears for the city.

Participants then meet one-on-one with

the children to converse about the future.

Iterations of the production in

cities from London to Cairo show

commonalities among children, says

Field.

“What has surprised people is how

in tune children are with the adult

concerns with the city – property

prices, the housing crisis, gentrification

– children are acutely aware of these

things and want to come up with

solutions.”

If other shows are any indication,

participants will learn from the city’s

youngest citizens.

“Children have much sharper

ideas around right and wrong,

fairness and equality,” says Field.

“And they’re quite bipartisan.”

Sometimes profound and

sometimes amusing, Field says

the children’s urban visions

are a mix of social realism and

science fiction. It’s a refreshing

experience for both participants

and performers. “When you’re

nine years old, a lot of people

don’t listen carefully to what

you say,” says Field. “By calling

it a show, we invite adults to

listen to these children with

the seriousness with which

they would normally listen to

a theatre performance.”

Lookout runs from January

20-21 at Vancouver Lookout

as part of the PuSh Festival.

ANDY FIELD INITIATES

A CONVERSATION WITH

VANCOUVER’S FUTURE

As a professional writer, actor, and artistic collaborator, he’s instigated

and starred in a number of shows all over the country. Now in his 35th

year, McNeil is taking on the meaty role of King Arthur in his latest

project, King Arthur’s Night.

This particular stage adaptation was written by McNeil and his longtime

friend and collaborator, Marcus Youssef, and includes a cast of

more than 25 actors, singers, and musicians, some of whom have Down

syndrome.

“It’s a spectacle, and it’s quite remarkable – it’s unlike anything I’ve

ever done,” says Youssef. “Sometimes we have to find new ways of doing

things that work for all the cast and crew members so we can all feel

successful, and the process of slowing down and paying attention is

good for art-making, and good for human relationships in general.”

McNeil researched the story heavily, and part of his fascination with

King Arthur was the complexity and power of the character. Audiences

have been surprised and moved by the depth of collaboration between

people who have different lived experiences – there’s no mention of

physical or cognitive difference at any point in the show.

“After a talkback session at a show in Toronto, an acting teacher

approached Niall and said, ‘I wish I could bring all my students to the

show, because your performance is exactly what I’m trying to teach

them all the time,’” says Youssef.

“I think she was referring to the fact that all our actors from the Down

Syndrome Research Foundation – Andrew Gordon, Tiffany King, and

Matthew Tom-Wing – have extraordinary skills at being in the moment,

which is something professional actors spend lifetimes trying to achieve.

These four, including Niall, are just really, really good at it.”

When asked about creating opportunities for creatives with Down

syndrome, the pair recount a Facebook comment they received from

PuSh

Suicide. It’s a word people tend to shy away from – what is there to

say about something at once so unexplainable and so human? It’s an

abstract, daunting concept, but it’s something we’ve all thought about.

In I’m Not Here, Doireann Coady explores the simplicity of life and death

through music, dance, and recordings from her childhood, all in tribute

to her brother Donal, who took his life in 2009.

“No one cares that my brother is dead,” says Coady. “There are

thousands of people who have lost people [to suicide], and no one

wants to talk about it, because it embarrasses or scares them. That’s so

disempowering for the people grieving – it erases that person. So while

I’m doing the show, it’s about looking [death] in the eye. I’m going to

have to say he’s dead and I’m going to have to watch people’s reactions.”

Coady’s experience isolated her; it made her feel alone, despite that

experience being lived by thousands of people every day. Donal’s death

became a “congestion point” in her work, but she wasn’t avoiding it so

much as biding her time “in terms of the cycles of grief and when was

an appropriate time to tackle it in a way that wouldn’t be too damaging,

too raw, or too exposing.” Perhaps that congestion would have cleared

more quickly if others were as open to discussing suicide as she is.

“For me, the main thing has been giving a voice to the silent

experience of grief through suicide,” she says. “It’s something that is so

muted within society. There’s very little expression around how utterly

challenging it is. But there’s also been a profound joy in reconnecting

with the material that my brother left behind.”

The material she’s referencing lays the groundwork for I’m Not Here’s

soundtrack. Donal was musical as well, and after his death, Coady’s

family found recordings of his music – recordings he never even knew

existed.

“My dad buys these Dictaphones in charity shops, and he was testing

one to see if it worked,” says Coady. “He pressed record and just left it in

the mother of a young son: “As the opening number started with 20-

plus actors and musicians onstage, I started to weep, because I know the

possibilities for my son will just get bigger and bigger as he gets older.”

“Comments like that are hard to forget,” says McNeil.

King Arthur’s Night runs at the Frederic Wood Theatre from January

31-February 4 as part of the PuSh Festival.

INTERNATIONAL

PERFORMING ARTS

FESTIVAL

the house, and it was only after Donal died that my dad was like, ‘I think

this is Donal singing.’ I also found these other tapes my dad made of us

when we were kids. It was a happy accident.”

“This kind of turns into a DJ set that he never got to play,” she

concludes. And it’s not all depressing – “There’s been people

spontaneously standing up and dancing in the middle of it. I think at

a certain point, people want to dance with him and for him and for

themselves. So it becomes quite an involved experience. It’s cathartic for

everyone; it’s not just about Donal.”

I’m Not Here runs January 24-28 at The Cultch as part of the PuSh Festival.

Photo by Dorje de Burgh

Photo by Tristan Casey

By Charlotte Karp

KING

ARTHUR’S

NIGHT

AGE-OLD TALE GETS

INCLUSIVE RETELLING

I’M NOT

HERE

By Jordan Yeager

PROVIDING A SAFE SPACE

TO REFLECT ON AN OFTEN

SILENCED GRIEF

10

January 2018


By Jordan Yeager

MOB

BOUNCE

INNER VS. OUTER SPACE

Held this year at the Fox Cabaret and

the Anvil Centre, Club PuSh is a special

showcase of experimental productions

in a casual setting. Come, have a drink,

and prepare to feel challenged, to have

your mind expanded, and, as always, to

be entertained.

DAUGHTER

February 1 at Fox Cabaret

Hindsight is a powerful thing. So is

forgiveness. As comedian Adam Lazarus

reflects upon his life, he contemplates

what kind of father he was to his daughter,

presenting a story — part fact, part fiction

— characterized by love, anger, regret, and

lessons learned.

Every grade-schooler dreams of starting a band. Most of the

time, it doesn’t pan out. Such was not the case for Craig Frank

Edes and Travis Hebert. The two met in Houston, BC, when they

were in grades two and four respectively, and their chemistry

was instantaneous. Both Travis and Craig grew up surrounded by

musical families, and they picked up on instruments like guitar

and drums quickly. Almost two decades later, the pair hasn’t

slowed down. Now, they go by Mob Bounce and tour the country,

performing at festivals and hosting youth outreach workshops.

“You don’t realize how small the Native music community is

until you’re a part of it,” says Hebert. “Growing up and listening to

these artists, it always seemed so far away and unattainable. But

now we’re in it.”

For Mob Bounce, it’s a source of pride to represent a small

community in the interior. The fact that they’ve achieved critical

acclaim nationwide speaks to their talent, of course, but that’s not

what they’re proudest of. Having reached audiences across the

country allows them to inspire others to keep putting themselves

out there against all odds. This selflessness underscores the entirety

of Mob Bounce’s quintessence. They don’t create for themselves

– they create to serve others. Several times throughout our

conversation, they emphasize that no one picks up a hobby and is

good at it right away. Usually, you’ll be pretty bad at it for a while.

They were no exception.

“When we were in elementary school, I had a Windows

computer and would just loop sounds together,” says Edes. “Then

we’d lay down vocals using karaoke microphones we found around

the house. That was a long time before we called ourselves Mob

Bounce.”

Eventually, Edes moved to Vancouver to study at Capilano

University, while Hebert stayed in the interior. They traded lyrics

and song concepts over social media and soon decided this was

something worth pursuing. Mob Bounce officially got its name

in 2010, but despite operating under the same moniker, their

message hadn’t yet been honed.

“The difference is like night and day from where we started to

where we are now,” says Hebert. “I think the main thing is that

there wasn’t that intention to our songs yet.”

“I was studying acting for stage and screen, so my lyrics were

super specific, obscure references,” Edes continues, laughing. “If

you were in my class and knew this one scene from a play we’d

read, you’d understand a line I wrote. Now, we write with a lot

more intent.”

Intent is a concept they come back to frequently. A large degree

of their intention lies within youth outreach. The duo spreads their

message not only through lyricism, but also through workshops

with youth varying in age from five- and six-year-olds to high

school seniors. They cater their message to suit each group, but the

underlying principles remain the same.

“Often when we book a festival, we’ll do two three-hour-long

workshops and two 45-minute performances,” explains Edes. “We

teach them about lyrical structure – hip hop typically has 16 bars

per verse, but that sounds daunting, so we talk about it like writing

a stanza. And you can play with that structure, too, once you know

it. An analogy I like to use is that Shakespeare was the OG and set

this standard, and now we’re messing it up.”

The name of Mob Bounce’s workshop, Hip Hop and the Sacred

Space, is revealing. Often, kids who attend the workshop are facing

discrimination and bullying in school. When you’re in school,

the world you experience is a miniaturized one, but it seems allencompassing.

Bullying can have dire consequences, as evidenced

by increasing instances of suicide and substance abuse within

Indigenous communities. Travis and Craig use their years of shared

experience to foster safe spaces for youth to acknowledge what’s

going on within themselves and then to comfortably put those

feelings to paper and performance.

“Each group of kids is super different,” Edes says. “Sometimes

they’re shy and quiet and not ready to write a song about

something they’re experiencing. There’s something called the

raspberry theory. If you pick a raspberry too soon, before it’s ready,

it won’t work out very well for you. But once they are ready, they’ll

have the tools to talk about it. It’s about healing your inner space.

Then other times they come with questions completely unrelated

to music. One time I was wearing skinny jeans, and a kid asked

me how I got into my pants. I’ll even answer questions like that.

Because by the end of the workshop, he was ready to write.”

Substance abuse and suicide are, ultimately, preventable

epidemics. Above all, Hebert and Edes want to remind youth

facing discrimination that bullies’ words don’t reflect on you. The

concept of inner vs. outer space is something the duo focusses

much of their energy on. In order to realize your full potential,

your spirit – your inner space – requires love, tenderness, and

understanding.

“When something happens to you, it can either spill over into

inner space or outer space,” explains Edes. “A lot of the time, it

gets bottled up in inner space. Bullies have a poison within their

inner space that makes them act a certain way – as long as you

nurture yourself, as long as you’re true to yourself, that’s when your

message is going to resonate with others.”

Their workshops work both ways, feeding the souls not only of

the children they teach, but also of Edes and Hebert themselves.

Often, after getting through to a particularly introverted group,

they’re inspired to sit, reflect, and write about them.

“We’re excited for our next EP to come out in the new year,

because I think a lot of the youth we’ve worked with will recognize

themselves in the songs,” says Edes fondly. “They’ll know we’re

talking to them.”

Mob Bounce perform February 3 as part of PuSh Festival’s closing

night, a showcase of various artists represented by RPM Records.

Photo by Dave Cutler

SPOKAOKE

February 2 at Fox Cabaret

This is karaoke unlike anything you’ve ever

heard before. Forget “Bohemian Rhapsody”

or “Sweet Caroline” — instead, Annie Dorsen

has curated a lineup of over 90 “classic”

speeches that includes Socrates, Mummer

Gaddafi, and Ronald Reagan, all important figures

noted for their contributions to both history and

pop culture.

TORREY PINES

January 20 at Fox Cabaret

With a live score and brilliant stopmotion

animation, Transgender and

Queer filmmaker Clyde Petersen vividly tells

the story of his pre-teens — years characterized

by a schizophrenic mother, dumpster diving,

and a cross-country road trip, all set in early ‘90s

America. Hilarious, harrowing, and heartwarming.

DICKIE BEAU UNPLUGGED

January 19-20 at Anvil Centre, Fox Cabaret

Drag artist Dickie Beau is known for his miming

techniques and use of found sound, but here,

the English performer uses his own voice to discuss both

his journey and his love for his craft.

Daughter

CLUB PUSH

EXPAND YOUR MIND

BY YASMINE SHEMESH

Photo by Alejandro Santiago

January 2018 11


COMEDY

STEVEN WRIGHT

ADOPTING THE ZEN MINDSET: THE ART OF A LONG COMEDY CAREER

ALEX BIRON

Photo by Jorge Rios

Steven Wright makes his comedy work for him.

Legend has it that, before he was about to

record his first special, Steven Wright spilled

pizza on his shirt. Instead of being thrown off by

the last minute wardrobe problem, he simply

borrowed a shirt from his opening comic. Then,

instead of pacing nervously like most people

would before such an important performance,

he took a nap.

This quirky, zen approach to comedy is what

fans of Wright have grown to love over a career

that has spanned 30 years. He’s worked with

Quentin Tarantino as a voice actor and Louis

C.K. as a writing consultant, and Rolling Stone

included him in their list of greatest comedians.

He also won an Oscar for his short film, The

Appointments of Dennis Jennings.

On January 19, Wright will visit Canada to

perform at The Hard Rock Casino. He describes

Canadian audiences as the best in the world.

“Canada laughs a little bit more than any

other country I’ve done comedy in,” he says. “I

did two specials in Toronto for that reason.”

Canada was the first place Wright ever

performed outside the States.

“I went to Toronto and performed at Yuk

Yuks,” he remembers. “The owner, Mark Breslin,

was very supportive of me.”

Nowadays, though, Wright doesn’t have

much time for smaller shows at comedy clubs

and bars. This means that, unlike most comics,

he never has a chance to work out new material

at low-pressure gigs. The first time he tries a

joke, it’s in a theatre full of hundreds of people.

Another thing that makes him different is his

approach to older material. While most comics

write a brand new hour every year, Wright likes

to mix old jokes with the new.

“The show is like a painting that’s never

finished,” he says. “I keep adding layers, and it’s

never done. When the audience sees my act,

they’ll hear jokes from years ago, but they’ll also

hear some new stuff.”

Wright’s style of comedy lends itself well to

this system, since he rarely does topical jokes

that are restricted by time.

“When you do standup, it’s like you’re the

teacher and the student at the same time. I

make rules for myself. I never do jokes about

current events or the president. I like to talk

about everyday things like gravity, the speed of

light, and lint.”

One of Wright’s proudest accomplishments

is a short black and white film he made in 1999.

He wishes more people had seen it.

“It’s called One Soldier,” he says, “and I think

it’s the best thing I’ve ever made.”

When it comes to standup, though, he has

no regrets. He’s designed a style of comedy

that works perfectly for him, and when asked if

there’s anything he wishes he could do on stage,

he says that “everyone’s brain is a fingerprint:

they all work differently. I like how my mind

works.”

Catch Steven Wright live at the Hard Rock Casino

on January 19.

12

January 2018


STEVE GUNN

TRADING PRECISION FOR INSTINCT, PERFECTION FOR SIMPLICITY

SAFIYA HOPFE

ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO

PERFECTING THE ART OF RESISTANCE WITH PURE SOUND

EMILY JAYNE

MUSIC

Cocked and loaded, Steve Gunn is blazing a trail with his solo material.

Arrington De Dionyso’s shows are more than a just

a performance, they are magical acts of conjuring.

Based in Olympia, Washington, De Dionyso

is a prolific visual artist, musician, linguist and

instrument inventor. From 1995 until 2008 he

was the leader of beloved art-punk combo, Old

Time Relijun (K Records). He recalls his times in

Vancouver fondly, in 1995 being shown around

by members of July Fourth Toilet. Years later, De

Dionyso returned to perform at a now defunct

venue called the Butchershop where he gave his

first Voice Workshop for overtone singing and

vocal improvisation. In 2009 he founded Malaikat

Dan Singa, melding free associative Indonesian

translations of William Blake with dancehall

rhythms and postpunk angularity.

“Performance is a commitment to embrace the

ecstatic. Music is one means of navigating those

seldom charted realms of conscious awareness,

where your individual identity both expands

and contracts in the service of the sound itself,”

says De Dionyso. “My approach to music is very

physical, whether it’s vocal or through saxophones

or other wind instruments — it’s literally a form

of holotropic breathing in the way I play — so it’s

very easy for me to enter into trance space just

through the athletic nature of how I’m pushing

air through these wild tubes of sound. As much

as I might try to disappear into the pure sound,

I am also responsible for curating some kind of

shared experience for my audience at the same

time, and that I think is where the real artwork of a

performance occurs. It’s not enough to me to just

have some kind of singular peak experience if I am

not able to offer some means of transportation

for the person there at the show as well. So if the

audience is already willing to go along for that ride,

it’s certainly that much easier…”.

He found himself the target of the alt-right,

implicated in a bizarre and unfounded conspiracy

called #pizzagate after painting a mural at Comet

Ping Pong in Washington DC in 2010. Although

only up for a year, it was picked up by online

conspiracy theorists who took it as a “clue”

pointing to a fictitious politically involved sex

trafficking ring. Despite the online harassment,

death threats and illogical onslaught, he is more

determined than ever to keep creating art and

music with a message promoting the joy of being

human, mythology, dreams and the magical gift

of being alive. So it’s perfectly fitting that his latest

project, This Saxophone Kills Fascists, opens the

gates and calls upon the heavy medicine of music

with a nod to Albert Ayler’s The Healing Force Of

The Universe (1969).

“Because we need this medicine now more than

ever before,” De Dionyso’s latest press release reads.

“A Music of Resistance is found in the templates of

Spiritual Free Jazz. Through the guttural delivery

of ancient horns and stretched skins, a resounding

echo cracks the foundations of the walls built to

divide us.”

De Dionyso will be joined by uniquely gifted

Philadelphia percussionist Ben Bennett, who brings

some amazing perspectives to his musical playing,

informed by a wealth of experience in both poetry

and meditation.

Arrington De Dionyso performs January 12 at

the China Cloud (524 Main St.) at 9 p.m. along

with the Watermill Project and Ridley Bishop and

Clarinets. $10 at the door.

www.thissaxophonekillsfascists.bandcamp.com

One-of-a-kind folk experimentalist Steve Gunn

has worked with all kinds of talent — from Kurt

Vile’s band, The Violators, to Michael Chapman

himself — but as 2018 starts to present itself, it’s

the perfection of his intricate solo sound taking

centre stage.

Not that he’s new to working solo, and not

that he’s aiming for perfection. As a matter

of fact, Gunn describes recent realizations as

quite the opposite. “I’ve just been feeling more

comfortable in my singing and my words and

I realize, it’s really easy to kind of overthink

things.” As a self-proclaimed “obsessive” with his

work, Gunn is learning to embrace the value of

simplicity, impulse, and what he calls “restraint.”

For him, this means “thinking of songs differently”

and refusing the old traps experienced guitar

players might fall into. “I’ve played with musicians

who are older and who have been around studios

for a long time, and they tend to just kind of trust

the process and not get to overly precious about

it. You know, if you’re a singer and you play guitar,

just go in there and sing the damn song. Don’t do

fifty vocal takes and try to piece together a song,

you know? And that kind of approach, you can

really hear it in the music, and it was something I

was really trying to do: let myself sing a song and

January 2018

not have to comb over every word and try to fix

everything. Because it’s not going to be perfect.”

Another recent shift for Gunn has been a focus

on songwriting itself: methodically, formulaically,

and throughout history. Though his sources of

inspiration vary — from Indian music to “avantgarde

improvisors” and encompassing everything

in between — his respect for the song, and what

goes into its immaculate construction is both a

point of intrigue and a means of rethinking his

own work.

“I think you can approach it in all different

kind of ways. And people who construct effective

songs, that’s been lately an inspiring thing to me

even if it’s, you know, session musicians from the

early ’60s who played with people for different

labels and things. I’m just thinking a lot more

about the production of music and how to make

a record, you know?”

Having spent the last couple of weeks towards

the end of 2017 in the studio, Gunn is prepared

to manifest these recent revelations and more, all

in time for next fall when his fourteenth studio

album will emerge into the world.

Steve Gunn performs January 12 at St. James Hall

(Vancouver).

Arrington De Dionyso’s This Saxophone Kills Fascists is not preaching to the choir.

Photo by Lena Shkoda

13


LIGHTS

EXPLORING THE DARKER SIDE OF POP WITH A POST-APOCALYPTIC TALE

JOHNNY PAPAN

MUSIC

Photo by Matt Barnes

Toronto’s own Lights shows her growing maturity as an artist with Skin and Earth.

Skin and Earth is the fourth release to come from

Canadian-born synthpop artist: Lights. The album is an

exploration from her traditional upbeat pop-style to a

matured, darker subject matter while still implementing

nightclub grooves and atmospheric soundscapes.

Accompanying the new record is a complementary comic

series set in a post-apocalyptic world where its main

character, Enaia, is set on an empowering journey to find

strength in a climate of oppression.

“The basic story is this young woman who sinks into

a deep, dark place in her life. Within this darkness she

meets a friend who becomes the good and evil on her

shoulders,” explains Lights, who also wrote and illustrated

the entire comic series. “En is forced to look within herself

to find her own strength and hope within her darkness. I

think this story is really important because I’ve dealt with

depression in the past, I think a lot of people have, and it

feels the same for all of us. I think people shouldn’t look at

depression and think it’s because they’re weak or because

they’re different from somebody else or because they think

they’re just not smart enough to overcome it. It’s about

how you find your own strength, how you find your own

hope. Everybody has their own path and usually we have

to go through darkness in order to get to the good stuff.”

The story expressed in the album and comic serves as

much more than just a simple tale. Lights states that Skin

and Earth also aided her expedition into uncharted lyrical

territory, singing about formally untouched subjects such

as anger, frustration and sex.

“I wanted to be able to write about these things but felt

like I couldn’t because I didn’t have the conduit to say it. It

was probably this weird self afflicted syndrome where you

think you have to say what people want you to say. Lights

has always been positive and uplifting and that’s always

been the sort of music I’ve written. I think I got sort of

stuck in that.”

The upcoming tour is anticipated to be Lights’ biggest

production, performing the best of her releases thus far,

accompanied by visual imagery and storytelling linked to

the new record. If the album and comic aren’t enough,

Lights also wants to bring attention to her immersive

Instagram account: @skinandearthworld where you can

fully explore the Last City on Earth.

Lights performs at the Vogue Theatre (Vancouver) on

January 30 and 31.

BØRNS

STAGE MAGIC, ELECTRIC HEARTS AND SWEEPING FALSETTOS

ADAM DEANE

Some artists were born into greatness, others were

born with innate talents they’d realize later on, and

a very small select few — one— was just Borns.

Garrett Borns to be precise. A special brand of

magic must have moved through Grand Haven,

Michigan in the early nineties to produce a voice

like Borns, more commonly referred to and stylized

as Børns. The young man has a style that is all his

own to boot. Picture David Bowie meets Barrie

Gibb meets Gucci. Add about 10 inches of hair, a

killer-falsetto and more charm than that bracelet

you used to wear and you start to get the idea.

Garrett Borns’ electric heart inevitably grew

too large for its Michigan roots and propelled him

to become a superstar in his own right. With the

initial release of his first studio album, Dopamine,

the world soon realized just what he was capable

of. Even Taylor Swift tweeted about him. That’s

how you know you’ve made it. Though, this singer/

songwriter’s imagination isn’t limited to music.

Having caught up with Borns between meetings

and yoga, his patient and laid-back demeanor

rivaled his heart in size.

“I really feel like music is just one piece of

my artistic imagination. I try to write a lot of

short stories,” he says. “I have a poetic stream

of consciousness in my phone, which ends up

being a mess of words that eventually turns into

something. I want to get into more film scores,

possibly even making film.”

Borns’s career began at the ripe age of 10 as

“Garrett the Great,” a stage musician working his

January 2018

charm in local restaurants. Three years later he’d

go on to win an $8,000 art school scholarship and

a Gold Key Award for the “other” bits of his artistic

imagination. When asked when and how he finds

the time to produce all of this magic, his answer

was early and often.

“I’m a bit of a nocturnal animal at heart. There

is so much that can affect you during the day,

so many conversations to be had, your phone

buzzing. Your conscious is shifted; it allows you to

be a little more immersed in your art. Routine is a

very healthy thing for creativity, and I constantly

try to re-incent mine. I do a lot of yoga and try

to move as much as possible, especially when I’m

traveling in my capsule. Sometimes you just have

to jump and shake to get the blood (and your

thoughts) flowing.”

After an incredibly successful and hectic

tour-run with Dopamine, playing festivals like

Coachella, Austin City Limits, and even the

Tonight and Late Shows, Børns will release his

second studio album via Interscope Records, Blue

Madonna, on January 12. The two singles released

ahead of the album, “Faded Heart” and “Sweet

Dreams,” have already drawn massive success and

graced the charts this year.

With hits under his belt like “Electric Love,”

“10,000 Emerald Pools” and “Past Lives,” he’s

proved his voice to be unrivaled, intoxicating and

often times his highs rocket him out of every genre

society wields at him. Is he electro-pop, dreampop,

electro-funk… even psychedelic at times?

Who knows, who cares? His sound slithers through

a multi-coloured river of euphoria, leaving rich,

magical sparkles in its wake. Borns also the only

Michigan-bred human to rock a mid-driff Gucciblouse.

For that reason alone, you’ll want to catch

Garrett the Great, better known as Børns, on his

latest tour in support of Blue Madonna.

Børns performs at the Vogue Theatre on January 20.

Garrett Borns AKA Børns releases his latest offering Blue Madonna this month.

Photo by Chuck Grant

15


MUSIC

JOHN MAUS

MAKING MUSIC ABOUT THE WRONG APOCALYPSE

GRAEME WIGGINS

Often musicians let their music do the talking, making

interviews short, occasionally insightful but rarely treading

into philosophical implications of their art and how it’s

talked about. John Maus, whose apocalyptic new album,

Screen Memories, deals with fairly complex issues in a synthheavy

pop vein, takes things even further in discussion.

It probably helps that during the six-year hiatus between

albums he took time off to finish his PhD in Political Science.

Music writers often describe his music as outsider art

with a cult following, which is something Maus is keenly

aware of. When it arises in conversation, he notes, “I’m

wondering now if you’ve found the one or two towards the

end where I personally lamented this precise definition that

you’re bringing up now.” There’s a sense in which he gets

it, that there’s a sense in which his music is a little off the

beaten path.

“I guess in the sense that some of the things that I’m

trying out are so outlandish that the only comparison that

can be made is with some of these weird records at the

bottom of the vinyl bin — weird born-again, or family in a

trailer somewhere made. Other than that it’s just an easy

way to box it up and put in on a shelf where it belongs,

conveniently easy.”

He thinks this classification in music criticism stems

from a deeper issue in artistic evaluation; that judgments

about music are often made without really attempting to

bring anything new to the table. Putting things into genres

is an easy out for a music writer. He explains, “I have three

records out or whatever and each time I’m a different genre.

The first time it was hypnagogic pop, and last time, I can’t

remember, something like ’80s retro, and now I’m a retrofuturist.”

To be fair Screen Memories does have an ’80s feeling. It’s

synth heavy, it’s dark, and like a lot of eighties music, it does

seem to ruminate on the ideas of apocalypse. One would

have figured given its release this year that much of it must

be inspired by the political situation in the U.S. right now,

but the apocalyptic theme runs deeper than that. “Most

of it was finished during the time a Trump presidency was

still more or less a joke that the media was having. There

was no conceivable way. I distinctly remember some press

conference where Obama was somewhere and he was

reassuring everybody that Americans were not that stupid

that they would elect a reality star. The apocalyptic theme

I had in mind was more the Silicon Valley ideology. The

technocratic, techno-gnostic, ideology that holds sway

more and more.”

While Screen Memories might not have quite capitalized

on the world’s apocalyptic turn, it is still a fitting record for

the current zeitgeist.

John Maus performs January 24 at the Biltmore Cabaret.

Photo by Shawn Brack

The latest from John Maus, Screen Memories, is fitting for the current zeitgeist.

16

January 2018


THE WOMBATS

MATURING ORGANICALLY AROUND LIFE AND LOVE

FRANKIE RYOTT

FIRST AID KIT

STRIKING A BALANCE BETWEEN ANGER AND ROMANCE

SARAH BAUER

MUSIC

The Wombats proudly embrace a transformation on their new upcoming album.

They say good things come in threes but the

Liverpudlian lads from the Wombats are well on

their way to breaking the rules with the impending

release of their fourth album Beautiful People Will

Ruin Your Life.

Having first entered the musical world in

the mid ‘00s, the Wombats quickly obtained

stardom with their debut album, A Guide To

Love, Loss & Desperation. It was on this album

with titanic tracks like “Moving to New York” and

“Let’s Dance to Joy Division” that the Wombats

created a whole new thirst for alternative-pop and

indie rock. With time and testing the Wombats

continued to develop their sound and so too their

fandom, delivering once more in 2011 with their

triumphant album, This Modern Glitch. Following

suit again in 2015, their third album, Glitterbug,

catapulted the band back into the spotlight,

gaining critical acclaim worldwide from a whole

new era of fans, resulting in a debut spot in the Top

5 on the UK Album chart and Billboard 100.

Now as 2018 slowly blooms, Beautiful People

Will Ruin Your Life sees the Wombats stripping

back the bark of their sound with an aim to

approach music more freely.

“In this album we wanted to do something more

organic and less synth driven which has moved

us away from our previous albums,” explains

frontman Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy. “I think we

are still growing and getting better, music isn’t

something you ever figure out, it always keeps you

on your toes, and as a writer I’ve just learnt to step

away from it when I need to and be a bit more

patient.”

This patience has come with power as the

Wombats have managed to piece together a

compilation of tracks that not only redefine

their playful nature, but also delicately delve

into the depths of human connection. The key

inspiration of which can be attributed to their

Photo by Phil Smithies

own experiences with the addictive twists of

relationships, which have become the well-planted

seeds that Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life has

grown from.

“I’m an empath, I always write about

relationships whether they’re fucked up or not

and I absorb other peoples problems and energies,

it definitely encourages my creativity,” Murph

explains.

Since the albums announcement, fans have

been teased with two tracks. The upbeat synth

pop anthem “Lemon to a Knife Fight” and “Turn,”

an electrifying euphoric love song that Murph

describes as a “beautiful mistake.” Both tracks have

amassed more than a million plays on Spotify, an

indication of how the album will be received.

“Songwriters have to adapt these days because

everything is literally on a 4 inch by 2 inch screen

and it is so easily accessible. It’s really great to

release albums, more importantly to write songs

and get them out there instantly and watch the

reaction,” says Murph.

For more than a decade the Wombats have

continued to test the boundaries of alternativepop.

Their journey has been one of transformation

and Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life is just

the introduction to their new organic sound and

a clear display of the Wombats evolution into

maturity. As the release date approaches, The

Wombats are set to hit arenas all over the U.S. and

Canada and later in the year will be embarking on

a U.S. summer tour co-headlining with The Pixies

and Weezer.

The saying goes ‘good things come to those who

wait’ and until February 9, Wombats fans must

obey, patiently.

The Wombats perform at the Imperial (Vancouver)

on January 30.

It’s dark outside in Stockholm when BeatRoute

reaches sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg,

known together as First Aid Kit. Klara, the

younger of the duo, has filled her apartment

living room with lit candles, and describes

the lighting as low and peaceful. It’s a pretty

vision for two pretty-voiced women who have

enchanted folk and indie pop enthusiasts for

almost a decade with their honeyed, siblingbonded

harmonies and nostalgic lyricism.

But pretty has its limits, especially in a year

like 2017, which Klara describes as “change…

but not in a good way,” for the political and

cultural climate of the world. Ruins, First Aid

Kit’s fourth LP, addresses the aftermath of

Klara’s broken engagement and the detritus of

two wild and rebel hearts. With a single, jutting,

screaming line on track nine (“The Hem of Her

Dress”), the Söderbergs alert listeners to their

own personal sea change: they aren’t afraid to

get ugly.

“It’s more interesting to play with our voices

and create those contrasts,” says Johanna, who

pairs Klara’s lead singing and guitar with vocals,

keys, bass guitar and Autoharp.

Ruins, produced by folk favourite Tucker

Martine (My Morning Jacket, Neko Case), has

emerged out of the dust storm of a protest

song single released in March 2017 (also

produced by Martine), called “You Are the

Problem Here”. In it, the Söderbergs go against

type, with grizzly guitars and furious, hollered

lyrics, directly addressing a recently publicized

rape case where the perpetrator slinked off

with a light sentence.

“We could have approached it as sweet

and pretty,” says Johanna, letting her voice go

cartoonishly cutesy, “but we just thought, no,

we’re angry, and this is a punk rock song.”

The Söderbergs go by what they want, in

the format they decide, and are comfortable

enough in their musical identities to claim

every aspect of it with outward joy.

Take for example the referencing to

postcards and phone calls on Ruins (there’s

even a track called “Postcard”), as means of

communication with a distant ex.

“We were going to call it Snapchat,” jokes

Klara, while Johanna explains their preference.

Social media, texting and digital devices “just

don’t fit,” with the evocative styling and sense

of harking-back in their music. Jay-Z and his

Motorola two-way pager on “I Just Wanna Love

U (Give It 2 Me)” sounds completely outdated

now, Klara reminds us.

“Postcards remind us of our parents when

they were young,” says Johanna. “We’re

romantic.”

Romance holds strong on Ruins, as a

cohesive vein within a thoughtfully arranged

ten-track collection marking the residual

pains and revelations of a great love lost. The

sonic bond between Klara and Johanna is

unmistakable, like the McGarrigle sisters, but

juicier and with a rollicking, Johnny Cash sense

of genre and playfulness in where their voices

take them. There is an optimism despite the

heartbreak, torrential change, and the big fat

unknown of the future.

As said in a handful of the opening words on

“It’s A Shame,” “No point on wasting sorrow /

On things that won’t be here tomorrow”.

First Aid Kit play in Vancouver on January 27 at

the Vogue Theatre (Vancouver).

Klara and Johanna Söderberg aren’t interested in faking nice anymore.

January 2018 17


MUSIC

BRUCE COCKBURN

JUST A MOUTHPIECE A BONE TO PICK

ANDREW BARDSLEY

Photo by Daniel Keebler

Bone On Bone is Bruce Cockburn with something to say.

Canadian icon, Bruce Cockburn, returns from a

three-year hiatus with Bone on Bone, a return to

form for the legendary singer-songwriter. With

an astonishing 33 albums under his belt, Bruce

Cockburn has brought us a frantic, but timely

album, his first since 2011. Cockburn has been a

fixture in Canadian folk since the ‘70s, but it was

Dancing in The Dragon’s Jaws (1979) and the

song “Wondering Where the Lions Are” which

propelled Cockburn to international renown.

“What else am I gonna do? I’m still here and

I still have something to say.” Cockburn tells

BeatRoute from his Bay Area home, when asked

what keeps him going, his 33rd album now on

the shelves. “I have had the same lack of a game

plan since day one.”

Bone on Bone also marks Cockburn’s

first album since the release of his memoir

Rumours of Glory (2014). His rewarding lyrics

and virtuousic guitar ability has defined his

career, but following the release of his memoir,

Cockburn initially didn’t think he was going to

be able to return to music. “After that long I

wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to remember

how to write a song, or whether-or-not my life

had changed enough that it wouldn’t be the

thing to do anymore.”

It was an invitation to contribute a song to a

documentary on Canadian poet Al Purdy that

brought Cockburn back to songwriting. “This

was a gift from God I thought. I had this image

of this homeless guy who was obsessed with Al

Purdy’s poetry.”

The song in question turned into “Sweet Al

Purdy” and is also the inspiration behind “3 Al

Purdy’s” on Bone on Bone. Cockburn did not

grow up in a religious home but it was his time

as an adolescent that helped form his faith,

which has always been a critical juncture for

him. A child of the Beat Generation, Cockburn

grew up reading about Buddhism, the Occult

and eventually Christianity.

“It got to the point where I had to look in

the mirror and say to myself, ‘You’re a Christian

now.’ At that point in my life, I didn’t really know

how to have a relationship with anybody let

alone God. I had grown up not really good at

relationships so I had a lot to learn about that.”

A large part of Cockburn’s extended period

away from music allowed him to invest himself

in fatherhood for his young daughter Iona

Cockburn, born in 2011. Although Cockburn

tries to bring his daughter on tour as much as

possible, she has started school and is unable to

join him as much as he would like.

“If you have a family that can travel with you

that changes the picture drastically.” He attests.

At the juncture of parenting and activism,

Cockburn is hopeful for his daughter. “I trust

that my young daughter will pick up the vibe,

but the world she grows up in is going to be

quite different from the one we are currently in I

think, and not necessarily for the better.”

Living in San Francisco under the looming

thunderstorm of today’s political climate has

allowed a new era of activists to interact with

Cockburn’s music, finding such hits as “If I had

a Rocket Launcher” off the 1987 album Waiting

For A Miracle, still resonant with the politics of

today. While Cockburn does not consider it his

job, he is happy to speak truth to power with

the power he has an artist.

“I’ve never seen myself as much of an activist

but as a mouthpiece for the people who are the

real activists.”

Bruce Cockburn performs January 27 at the

Centre for the Arts (Vancouver).

18

January 2018


JP MAURICE

USHERING IN THE FUTURE OF MOM ROCK

ADESUWA OKOYOMON

MUSIC

“Every album is a learning experience. Recording a song is taking

it to its final resting place. As soon as an album is done, I want to

start working on the next one immediately,” says Vancouver singer/

songwriter and producer JP Maurice. Maurice grew up playing

the guitar, taking piano lessons, and singing in choirs and musical

theatre. “As long as I have been able to talk, I have also been singing.

My parents would listen to The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The

Everly Brothers, and I would sing along and try to pick out the

harmonies.” His second album, Boys will be released on January 12

and is a fitting follow-up to his first EP, Girls.

Boys was birthed in 2014 when Maurice was living in Toronto,

and recorded over the summer of 2016. He worked with producer

and engineer Russell Broom at Blue Light Studios. For Maurice “The

Boys and Girls concept is mostly about duality. There’s balance and

counterbalance to everything in life. It’s important to see all sides

and when the lines get blurred that’s okay too.” The songs off his

first full-length album, The Arborist were “a reaction to what I was

going through at the time. I was in my late 20s and it was a very

dark time for me. I was singing about heartbreak, dissatisfaction,

poor decision-making, and angst. I’d like to think that I’m more

mature now.” On Boys, he sings about “looking at the world [and]

finding my place in it.”

Maurice, who describes his sound as pop noir or mom rock, has

a gift for creating songs that transcend genres, moving seamlessly

from pop to rock to alt-country, and back again. The newly released

music video for his single “Go,” directed by Johnny Jansen, perfectly

showcases his alt-country prowess and impressive vocals along with

his niece doing cartwheels. It’s light-hearted, bubbly, and fun, and

passes along a message that he hopes anyone who listens to his

album receives: “Have fun, be nice, roll with the punches, don’t take

yourself too seriously and love like no one has ever loved before.”

Fresh off CTV’s new show, The Launch, he is already working on

a new album and hoping to embark on tours across Canada and

Europe soon. Maurice is poised for a very big year.

JP Maurice plays his album release show at the Rickshaw Theatre on

January 12.

Photo by Jen van Houten

JP Maurice grows up on his latest LP Boys.

January 2018 19


BPM

FEATURED CONCERTS

VICTORIA, BC

GRANDTHEFT

BUILDING THE BEAT WITH A KEEN EAR

JAMIE GOYMAN

THE ZOLAS

PLUS ALEX LITTLE & THE SUSPICIOUS MINDS

CAPITAL BALLROOM // SAT, JAN 13

BAMBOO BASS PRE-PARTY

WITH PIGEON HOLE, SAM KLASSIK, AND ALEX MEI

CAPITAL BALLROOM // FRI, JAN 19

Photo by Sean Berrigan

Aaron Waisglass embraces melodies and chords.

Toronto-based producer Grandtheft is a name

that has gained massive ground in the electronic

music swell. Born Aaron Waisglass, his debut EP,

Quit This City, was released on Mad Decent in

2016. Along with the polished remixes he’s been

pushing since 2014, he has shown the fire he

possesses.

Pulling out of 2017 in true Grandtheft

fashion, Waisglass laid out with the bass heavy,

swooning “Square One,” featuring lyrical

accompaniment from MAX. With a push from

radio play of his “Easy Go” single, he is finding

that sweet spot of milk and honey every artist

hopes for.

“I have been in a crazy studio zone, and

writing fast. I used to be so slow, but I am really

trying to write the music quickly and organically

rather than overthinking everything,” Waisglass

explains. “Once there is a musical framework, it’s

about what sounds good and different. These

days, I try to let the melodies and chords come

through me. I kind of engineer/mix the records

as I produce, so I guess my personality comes

through in the music naturally.”

Fueled by an unstoppable work ethic,

Waisglass has a fervid need to create, exploring

anywhere his keen ear for sound will take him.

Having worked with the likes of Keys N Krates

on “Keep it 100” and Diplo remixing Calvin

Harris hits “Sweet Nothing” and “Summer,”

Waisglass has displayed, time and time again,

his ability to get the big rooms moving and

keep fans attention in this saturated media

environment.

“There is something about creating, then

listening to [a song] that didn’t exist before. I

always try to make music that I want to hear,

songs that I want to listen to, but don’t have,”

Waisglass muses. “Sometimes, if I have a melody

in my head, I’ll start there. Almost every time I

have a session with a singer these days, I start

fresh, writing a song from scratch and building

the beat and lyrics on the spot.”

When it comes to what’s on the up-and-up

for Grandtheft, the trimmings are seemingly

stacked to the nines. The chances for a fulllength

album in 2018 are looking good. It’s in

the works.

“Tons of my best-ever music is ready to be

released… I’m working with a lot of organic

sounds again, and I’m always looking for

different and more interesting sounds to work

with. Field recordings and sound effects from

real life have been finding their way into my

beats lately.”

Experience Grandtheft. You won’t regret it.

Get sticky; get sweaty.

Catch Grandtheft at Venue (Vancouver) on

February 3.

NONCOMPLIANT

A SINGULAR VOICE IN TECHNO

THEY KEEP DANCING

VINCE VACCARO

PLUS OCIE ELLIOTT

CAPITAL BALLROOM // SAT, JAN 20

HUMANS

PLUS INKY

CAPITAL BALLROOM // FRI, FEB 9

FOR FULL CONCERT LISTINGS & TO PURCHASE

TICKETS, PLEASE VISIT:

WWW.ATOMIQUEPRODUCTIONS.COM

FACEBOOK /ATOMIQUEPRODUCTIONS TWITTER @ATOMIQUEEVENTS

Looking back on 2017’s world of dance music, the

name Noncompliant (aka DJ Shiva) was hard to

miss. In a decades-long career that arcs from rural

Indiana raves to top tier European clubs, it might be

hard to identify a tipping point. “I think I found a

fresh musical focus with the Noncompliant project.

Also, I finally just bought a ticket to Berlin, got one

gig at a femme/queer collective called Room 4

Resistance, and it was exactly the right place with

exactly the right people. Other than that, I have no

idea, really. Sometimes it’s just luck that you catch

the right ear at the right time.”

It’s more than just timing and luck that helped

spread the Noncompliant moniker, the work is

there too. The Midwest producer and DJ recently

released music on notable labels like Argot, Valence

Records and FLASH Recordings (the Techno

platform of producer Florian Meindal). There was

the raucous Boiler Room set at Detroit’s Movement

music festival and a European tour ending with a

closing set at Berlin’s Berghain nightclub, the holy

grail for techno DJ’s. “That was a dream come true

and real life was actually better than the dream

version!”. And then came the accolades. To name

a few, a spot on Mixmag top 20 breakthrough DJs

of 2017 and a best mix of the year pick over at San

Francisco’s Technoclam.com (“Celebrating the notdudes

of House and Techno”).

After more than 20 years as a DJ, Noncompliant

is proof that refusing to conform can set you free.

“Don’t be intimidated by jerks. You will run into

them: naysayers, shit talkers, haters. You have no

control over them, but you have control over you.

Don’t let their bullshit drive you away from what

you love. Never let them win.” Inspiring words

from someone who started out in music on their

own, without having others in the community

to identify with. “Not in the earliest days. I was

in a small town, no internet, pretty isolated.

After I moved to Indianapolis I found more of a

community, including a few friends who weren’t

DJs but occasionally bought me records to support

me when I couldn’t afford them. Later there was an

email list called Sister DJs that was super supportive.

I have since found various groups of women and

queer folks online.”

In 2018 the techno veteran shows no signs of

slowing down. “Going back to Europe in March,

playing Moogfest in May, I’ve got some fun tunes

dropping on wax fairly soon.”

Noncompliant plays Open Studios on January 27.

Noncompliant warns don’t be intimidated by jerks.

20

January 2018


BIG BOI

A FAMILY AFFAIR

YASMINE SHEMESH

CLUBLAND

FRESH BEATS FOR A NEW YEAR

ALAN RANTA

BPM

We did it! Somehow, we survived a year under the tiny thumb of President bully

von Pussygrabber. Still, time is tight. Best tell that little voice in your head that

says “stay home and finish binging Halt and Catch Fire” to STFU more often.

Get out there and see something difference. Make your experiences now. The

same opportunities may never present themselves again.

Softest Hard

Jan. 12 @ Celebrities

This trap-loving, Los Angeles-based producer of Vietnamese heritage is rising

so fast, she’ll give you a nosebleed. As Skrillex associate, repping the OWSLA

imprint, her debut at Happy Ending Fridays will likely be the first of many, but

you have the chance to say you were there first, before she really blew up. Don’t

blow it.

All across the Boomiverse and in to your headphones, Big Boi is louder than ever.

It’s just a few days before Christmas and Big Boi, speaking

over the telephone, is beaming audibly at the thought.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year, they say,” the

seminal rapper, born Antwan André Patton, enthuses.

Patton’s prolific career, of course, was launched off a

Christmas record. “Player’s Ball,” the debut single from

OutKast, the trailblazing Atlanta hip hop duo comprised of

Patton and André “André 3000” Benjamin, was first released

on A LaFace Family Christmas — a 1993 compilation from

production team and Dirty South sound pioneers Organized

Noize — before appearing on the group›s 1994 debut

album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The funky gem

climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks charts and

stamped OutKast, and their city, firmly on the musical map.

This Christmas, though? The Pattons are spending time

in Atlanta before heading off to Jamaica for the new year.

Because family is, in fact, what it’s all about for Patton. His

wife and three children are first and foremost the core of his

heart, but those values of deep connectivity, respect, and love

also extend to the root of his music. On his latest solo record,

the critically acclaimed Boomiverse, Patton worked again

with his longtime collaborators Organized Noize.

“I think it’s the history, the professionalism, and the

curiosity of making new things, you know? That’s what kind

of brings us together,” Patton explains. “We’re like coal miners

or gold miners or diamond miners, always looking for a

sound, looking for a word, looking for something new to add

to the music. It’s all about discovery.”

On Boomiverse (its concept inspired by the Big Bang

Theory, the beginning of the universe), Patton is as innovative

as ever. “All Night,” for example, is a jaunty piano rag that

feels almost reminiscent of Idlewild, OutKast’s nod to 1930s

Georgia juke joints, and has Patton taking his usual smooth,

lickety-split delivery and rising it up into a cheerful croon.

“It was a chance to show off something different and flex

my vocal ability,” he says. The futuristic sax of “Freakanomics,”

the infectious, bass-heavy bounce “Chocolate,” and an

eclectic assortment of cameos ranging from Adam Levine

(“Mic Jack”) to virtual Japanese pop singer Hatsune Miku

(“Kill Jill,” which also features Jeezy and Killer Mike) — the

latter, a brilliant album highlight — display the kind of

forward-thinking artistic vision that continues to cement

Patton’s place as one of the best in the game. Then, “In the

South,” with fellow Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane and the late

Pimp C, is classic Big Boi — all slick swagger. Patton first

traded bars with Gucci on Sir Luscious Left Foot’s “Shine

Blockas.”

“Gucci Mane, man, he’s one of my favourites,” Patton adds.

“We have an amazing chemistry. This is the third record we’ve

done together. We did “Shine Blockas” for me, then I did a

song with him and Juelz Santana called “She Got A Friend,”

and he came back and did “In The South.” It’s an Aquarius

energy, I think, man. We get together and we jam.”

When it comes to chemistry, there’s an undeniably special

spark between Patton and Killer Mike. The two go way back,

from days in the Dungeon, to Patton signing Mike to his

Purple Ribbon label and joining forces in the supergroup

Purple Ribbon All Stars, to numerous collaborations over the

years. Patton calls Mike his brother.

“We’re family to this day,” he asserts, “so, it’s always an

out-of-this-world connection when we get in the studio,

‘cause we feed off each other’s energy, you know? He’s on

Boomiverse maybe three or four times, like, he would come

into town when I would be working on the record and

be like, ‘Bro, let me get on this! Let me get on this!’ and he

actually brought me the “Kill Jill” record, with the [promise]

that he had to be on it if I took it.”

In another recent team-up, Killer Mike and his Run the

Jewels partner, El-P, requested Patton do a spot on their track

“Chase Me” for the film Baby Driver.

“I flew to Atlanta and I just jumped on it,” Patton says,

adding that he jotted some lines down on the flight over, but

most of it just flowed out of his head from really digging the

Danger Mouse-produced beat. “And Killer Mike came later

on that night after my verse was done and was like, ‘Bruh. It’s

outta here.’ We had to turn it in, I only had 24 hours to do it.”

“Chase Me” has been nominated for Best Rap Song at the

2018 Grammy Awards. And, even at this point in his career,

with so many awards, including multiple Grammys, on his

mantle, Patton says it still feels admirable to be recognized

by his peers. After all, it’s about that connection.

That reciprocated love and respect. Family.

“When you’re making music, especially after 20 years, and

still getting Grammy nominations, and people still love the

music, and are still coming to shows, and still loving you, man

— I mean, that’s motivation to go back in and make more,

you know what I mean? We ain’t gonna never stop.”

Big Boi performs at the Commodore Ballroom on January 9.

Matoma

Jan. 18 @ The Commodore Ballroom

Norwegian tropical-house producer Tom Lagergren, famously known as

Matoma, has such a keen ear for pop melodies, honed through years playing

classical piano in his youth, that he can’t seem to keep his often-collaborative

singles off the Billboard dance/electronic charts. For the One In A Million Tour,

he’s pushing his latest single, a collaboration with Miley’s younger sister, Noah

Cyrus, and if that track doesn’t make you drunkenly slur “hakuna matata,” lord

only knows what will.

K.Flay

Jan. 21 @ The Commodore Ballroom

Once you hear the voice of electro indie-pop/alternative hip-hop songwriter

Kristine “K.Flay” Flaherty, and the keen observations she has about life these

days, it won’t ever leave you. She’s been on a slow burn for the last decade or so,

starting off making reactionary hip-hop on her laptop, signing a later-regretted

contract with RCA, ultimately coming out of that with a fan base dedicated

enough to fund her debut record, before ultimately leading us to Every Where Is

Some Where, her sophomore effort that basically blew 2017 up.

Beautiful Swimmers

Jan. 27 @ Celebrities

The extensive personal archives of DC-based duo Andrew Field-Pickering (a.k.a.

Maxmillion Dunbar) and Ari Goldman (a.k.a. Manhunter) have been expanded

through years of working in record stores. Though deep house truly runs

deepest in their souls, they can and will tap all veins of sound in their eclectic,

horizon-broadening sets, from disco and UK garage to jungle and post-punk.

Joyner Lucas & Dizzy Wright

Feb. 03 @ Fortune

This will be a truly intense night of hip-hop. Joyner Lucas does not pull punches,

evident from his gut-punching viral video for “I’m Not Racist” and his welldeserved

Lil Pump diss track, while Dizzy Wright used 2017 to drop two

thoughtfully blunted full-length sequels, The Golden Age 2 and State of Mind 2.

Show up, and get woke.

K.Flay

Photo by Kenneth Capello

January 2018 21


STONE SOUR

HARD-ROCK GROUP FINDS THE PERFECTION IN IMPERFECTION WITH HYDROGRAD

JOHNNY PAPAN

Photo by Travis Shinn

Stone Sour shine a sweet light on old school ideas.

THE FLESH EATERS

RAZOR-SHARP PUNK PIONEER CHRIS D. HASN’T LOST HIS EDGE

KARINA ESPINOSA

Stone Sour is a five-piece hard-rock group from Des Moines,

Iowa originated by guitarist Josh Rand and vocalist Corey Taylor,

who also famously fronts the eight-piece nu-metal juggernaut:

Slipknot. In 2002 Stone Sour released their well received

self-titled debut album and 15 years later, the group has now

dropped their sixth record: Hydrograd, which re-explores musical

techniques from their past.

“We recorded this album live as a band, with four of us in the

big live room and Corey in the vocal booth,” explains Rand. “We

wanted this album to breathe. We really pride ourselves in being

a live band and wanted that to translate on this record. We didn’t

want it to be over polished to perfection because sometimes the

imperfection is what makes it perfection.”

Despite the raw take on the album, at least to modern stances,

the album is still a tightly-knit rock-record with catchy tracks fit

for radio airwaves. Their approach is respectable, as the constant

need for to-the-grid perfection in today’s musical society is

beginning to cause a singularity in sound across most artists.

Rand confirms that recording Hydrograd the way they did was

about capturing emotion, not science.

“All of the classic records that everybody loves and are featured

in top 10 countdowns and stuff didn’t have the technology that

we do now. They went in there as a band and recorded it live. It

was about getting a vibe and making you feel something instead

of making it perfect. Music doesn’t have to be perfect, I think for

what we do that sucks the life and the energy out of it.”

With frontman Corey Taylor leapfrogging between Stone Sour

and Slipknot every few years, Rand finds himself exploring his

craft during the band’s off-season. He has earned a professional

certificate in guitar from Berklee College of Music and is also

getting his Masters, which he claims gives him opportunity to

learn new tricks and come up with fresh songwriting ideas.

“I was self taught and learned by playing metal. To be able to

dab into jazz and into blues and even classic rock, I knew it would

help in my songwriting. It’s about growth and not repeating the

same thing.” Rand continues: “I don’t wanna be a band where

every album is predictable on what it’s gonna be. With us, right

out of the gate we had [slow] songs like “Bother” and [heavy

tracks like] “Get Inside,” we were all over the map. It allows us

musical freedom to be able to do whatever we want, which I’m

thankful for. I love metal as much as anybody, but I’m glad we

get to be us and we’re not forced to not be able to go out and

explore.”

Rand promises this upcoming tour is going to be the biggest

production of Stone Sour’s career and encapsulates the best

of their old and new. “We’re playing songs that people have

requested for us to play for a very long time. It’s just as exciting

playing some of the old songs as it is the new songs because we

haven’t played them for 15 years. It’s pretty awesome.”

Stone Sour plays the Abbotsford Centre (Abbotsford) on January

27, Encana Events Centre (Dawson Creek) on January 29.

The Flesh Eaters occupy a fascinating

space in the history of LA punk. They’re

not so much a band as they are a

revolving group of musicians helmed

by Chris Desjardins, the lead singer

who penned the majority of the

band’s repertoire. Poet, musician, film

expert and all-around Renaissance

man, Desjardins, also known as Chris

D., was integral to the vitality of LA’s

nascent punk culture. He is considered

as one of the most poetic lyricists to

emerge from this scene, and perhaps

in American punk in general. In

early 2018, more than 40 years after

forming, the Flesh Eaters will reunite

to mesmerize crowds once again with

their trailblazing sound.

The band has gone through a series

of lineup changes throughout its

history, but for this upcoming West

Coast tour, Desjardins is backed by

fellow LA punk heavyweights John Doe

and D.J. Bonebrake of X, Dave Alvin and

Bill Bateman of The Blasters and Steve

Berlin of Los Lobos. It’s the same crop of

people responsible for the Flesh Eaters’

most celebrated album, A Minute to

Pray, A Second to Die (1981). But while

it’s common for bands on reunion

tours to play from one, seminal record,

Desjardins doesn’t feel pressured to pay

any kind of fan service.

“For the most part, [fans of the Flesh

Eaters] are already pretty familiar with

all of our work. The problem is we just

have five days to rehearse before our

first show. So as much as I’d like to play

from our latter records, we can only relearn

so much material,” he sighs.

Desjardin’s frustration is

understandable. After the release of

A Minute to Pray, the Flesh Eaters

went on to produce a slew of equally

compelling work. This includes Forever

Came Today (1982) and Miss Muerte

(2004), two criminally underrated

albums that hold their own against the

band’s 1981 release. What’s great about

the Flesh Eaters is that they resist a

one-dimensional interpretation of punk

rock. Pulling from influences as diverse

as African roots music, ‘70s garage rock,

free jazz and blues, the band transcends

the limits of genre classification.

“I think that kind of experimentation

was what set us apart in punk,”

Desjardins concludes. With the band’s

later work, it’s clear that Desjardins

refined and even mastered his

songwriting abilities.

The significance of A Minute to

Pray is undeniable. The album was

released in 1981, just as Reagan was

elected into office and ushered in a dark

decade. Although Desjardin’s lyrics are

not overtly political, they have a morbid

undercurrent, evoking the most sinister

strains of gothic literature and 1960s

horror films. Amplified by the front

man’s snarl and tormented cries, the

Flesh Eaters’ music projects a grotesque

vision of the world that many choose

not to confront.

“It’s a vision of the kind of evil and

madness that exists in humanity. That

darkness, it’s always been there. We

weren’t thinking in specific political

terms [when making A Minute to

Pray,] but I’ve always been trying to

understand people who are evil and

how they can justify their senseless

actions.”

These kinds of sentiments resonate

now more than ever and Desjardins

recognizes the importance of his work

in such troubling times.

“I do think we are stuck spiritually.

I don’t mean that in a religious sense

because everything is political and we

are all so motivated by fear. That’s why

I have to be an artist. I can’t work a 9 to

5 in an office and wear a suit and tie—

although right now with these hipster

trends, a suit and tie sounds like a more

preferable outfit choice,” he chuckles. “I

believe some of the greatest art emerges

from darkness. Art is the channel

through which we can strive towards

enlightenment, and that’s something

we really need today.”

The Flesh Eaters will be in Vancouver for

a rare, not-to-be-missed performance on

January 25 at the Rickshaw Theatre.

LA punks the Flesh Eaters reunite to mesmerize crowds again.

22

January 2018


HOSTILES

DISPOSING ROMANTIC NOTIONS OF HEROISM FOR REALISM

PAT MULLEN

“Sometimes I envy the finality of

death. The certainty. And I have to

drive those thoughts away when I

am weak,” says Rosalie (Rosamund

Pike) in Hostiles. “We’ll never get

used to the Lord’s rough ways.”

Rosalie opens up to Captain

Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale)

towards the end of Hostiles, a

visionary and meditative western

from director Scott Cooper (Crazy

Heart). The pair pauses following

a journey plagued by violence,

bloodshed, and death. Rosalie’s

reflection on America’s violent

ways anticipates the blood-soaked

finale of Hostiles that features a

body count so high it’s rivalled

only by Hamlet. Her speech

crucially asks the audience to

consider the perceived heroics in

the action to come.

These thoughts on the finality

of death challenge the classic

image of heroic cowboys riding off

into the sunset after battle. The

Hollywood genre tied to colonial

mythmaking has a sorry history

when it comes to representing

relationships between Indigenous

MOLLY’S GAME

POKER DRAMA PLAYS WITH A FULL DECK

PAT MULLEN

Rounders meets Miss Sloane

in the ridiculously entertaining

poker drama Molly’s Game. Jessica

Chastain doubles down as poker

princess Molly Bloom in this hotly

anticipated directorial debut from

writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social

Network, Steve Jobs). Chastain

follows up her stellar performance

as high-powered lobbyist Liz

Sloane with a similar and equally

electrifying turn as Bloom, a

smart and fast-talking hustler in

this high stakes true story of an

entrepreneur who built and lost

an underground poker empire for

the stars.

Molly’s Game energetically

chronicles Bloom’s journey from

world-class athlete (the film

opens with her crashing hard on

the moguls and seeing dreams

of Olympic gold fold) to pit boss

as Chastain narrates Molly’s

fast-talking, smooth-operating

story in witty voiceover. The film

centres on Bloom’s 2014 arrest

Christian Bale plays Captain Joseph Blocker in this contemplative albeit imperfect western.

persons and settlers. Stories of

rugged white heroes defending the

lands from bloodthirsty “savages,”

who rarely get any speaking

lines, built the Dream Factory of

Hollywood by recycling westerns.

Hostiles does away with

romantic notions of heroism with

Bale’s excellent turn as Joseph, a

racist leader of the cavalry who

receives an ironic assignment for a

man who proudly slaughtered the

Indigenous persons of the land.

His mission is to oversee the safe

return of terminally ill Chief Yellow

Hawk (Wes Studi) back home

so that he can die peacefully in

for operating an illegal poker

operation, along with trumped-up

racketeering charges alleging ties

to the Russian mob, and lets her

explain how and why a woman

who could have done anything

decided to run poker games

on the sly. The approach makes

Bloom sympathetic regardless

of what one thinks of her career

choices.

Bloom’s lawyer, Charlie Jaffey

(a reliable Idris Elba), hesitates

to defend a client with such

notoriety, but Molly refuses to

cut a deal, name the names of her

A-list clients or, more significantly,

sell two million dollars’ worth of

debts her clients accumulated over

the years. Simply put, she doesn’t

want easy money off trading

names to bookies will break legs

to collect.

Sorkin assembles a fine

ensemble of stars as Molly’s clients,

especially Michael Cera who is a

hoot as a skeezeball Hollywood

card shark. Chastain speaks fluent

Sorkinese after the Aaron Sorkin-y

Cheyenne territory.

The journey opens Joseph’s

eyes to the root of violence on the

frontier. As the company suffers

considerable casualties, he learns

to see Chief Yellow Hawk as his

ally rather than his adversary. The

true hostiles are the white men

like himself who bred so much

violence into the land.

Hostiles gives its Indigenous

characters speaking roles with

dialogue in Cheyenne and English,

while including folklore and rituals

as part of the greater heritage

wiped out by colonial genocide,

although one wishes the film

Miss Sloane and really has a handle

on the rat-a-tat energy of the

writer’s whip-smart screenplay.

Molly Bloom is Liz Sloane with

a better wardrobe and a more

plausible legal outcome, but it’s

a bit too bad that Sorkin didn’t

the script hand off to a seasoned

director like Miss Sloane’s John

Madden, since his hand behind

gave them the same depth and

complexity as Joseph and Rosalie.

Hostiles takes two steps

forward, one step back when it

comes to representing Indigenous

characters in westerns. The

film struggles in its finale that

inadvertently writes a white

saviour narrative alongside a

powerful admission of America’s

history of violence. This brutal

genre flick isn’t going to sit easily

with some audiences, but offers

a contemplative, if imperfect,

Hollywood acknowledgment of

the mass bloodshed of Indigenous

persons on the frontier.

the camera isn’t quite a steady as

his hands with the screenplay. A

perfectly good two-pair to a full

house, say. Even if Sorkin’s visual

style leaves something to be

desired, Molly’s Game sees him in

his element writing some of the

best dialogue you’ll hear this year

with performances to match it.

Jessica Chastain is the perfect poker kingpin in Molly’s Game.

THIS MONTH

IN FILM

HOGAN SHORT

January 2018 23

FILM

Falling after Christmas but before the Academy awards,

January is notoriously the worst month of the entire

year for film. So instead of recommending some terrible

films, here is a list of a few interesting showings at

Vancouver theatres.

RIO

Jan 6, 21 - The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

This is the most rewarding trilogy to marathon, and

here is your chance to do it on the big screen!

Jan 3, 11 - Blade Runner: Final Cut and Blade Runner

2049

A revered classic of Sci Fi Noir, followed by its unlikely

and exceptional sequel.

Jan 17, 22 - 78/52: Hitchcock Shower Scene

The 78 and 52 in the title stand for the shots and cuts

in the iconic shower scene in Psycho, in this film that

delves into the genius of Hitchcock’s craft.

CINEMATHEQUE

Jan 12-21 - Canada’s Top 10 Film Festival

“The best of 2017 in Canadian features, shorts, and

student shorts.”

Plain and simple, these are the best films that Canada

has produced this past year. You can catch the

hauntingly sad Never Steady, Never Still by Vancouver

director Kathleen Hepburn. Luk’Luk’l, from local

director Wayne Wapeemukwa, was a favourite at VIFF

this year. And Allure is a psychological thriller starring

the fantastic Evan Rachel Wood. This festival allows you

to see the best Canadian student films, shorts, features,

or documentaries our talented country has to offer.

VANCITY THEATRE

Jan 5-11 - Italian Film Festival

Attending any film festival is a unique chance to see a

curated set of films, and the Italian Film Festival is no

exception, offering a great opportunity to see new and

classic Italian cinema. At this festival, you can see on the

big screen the legendary Fellini’s La Strada, the first film

to win best foreign film at the Oscars. If you have seen

the best film of 2017, Call Me by Your Name, directed

by Luca Guadagnino, now you can watch one of his

first films, I Am Love (featuring Tilda Swinton). With

a documentary about Italy’s most prominent exorcist

(Deliver Us) and a biopic about Andrea Bocelli (The

Music of Silence), there will be something here for you

– the hardest part is picking something.

Psycho


1

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

2

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

3

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

4

Mr. Boom Bap

presents

Boogie Nights

5

Live Acts and

The Live Agency

present

Ladies of Country

6

Blues Brunch 1-4

Saturday Sessions

4:30-7:30

Daniel James

9-late

7

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

8

The Take Back

DJs Khingz,

Mic Flont

& guests

9

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

10

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

11

Mr. Boom Bap

presents

Boogie Nights

12

Live Acts and

The Live Agency

present

Shaun Rawlins

EP release

13

Blues Brunch 1-4

Saturday Sessions

4:30-7:30

Best in Vancouver

Finals 9-late

14

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

15

The Take Back

DJs Khingz,

Mic Flont

& guests

16

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

17

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

18

Mr. Boom Bap

presents

Boogie Nights

19

Live Acts and

The Live Agency

present

Sammi Morelli

20

Blues Brunch 1-4

Saturday Sessions

4:30-7:30

Blue Lake City

9-late

21

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

22

The Take Back

DJs Khingz,

Mic Flont

& guests

23

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

24

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

25

Mr. Boom Bap

presents

Boogie Nights

26

Toddcast Podcast

presents

The Vidos

w/ Touch The Sun

& Redwoods

27

Blues Brunch 1-4

Saturday Sessions

4:30-7:30

Air Stranger

9-late

28

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

29

The Take Back

DJs Khingz,

Mic Flont

& guests

30 31

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm

Happy Hour

$

3 Beer til 3pm

$

5 Beer til 5pm


MUSIC REVIEWS

Porches

The House

Domino

Aaron Maine’s best songs as Porches are about

being alone. His 2016 sophomore album, Pool,

was a nuanced examination of loneliness filtered

through some of the catchiest pop music in recent

memory. The House, his third album, deals with

many of the same themes, but where Pool felt

like an introspective bedroom record, The House

expands outwards into anthemic synth pop that

exudes emotional catharsis.

In many ways, The House could be a slog of an

album, but it’s a rare record that feels both personal

and populist. As Maine sings about self-isolation

and retreats within, he manages to never exclude

the listener from these moments.

On the album’s second single “Find Me,” Maine

embraces the healing powers of solitude: “Think

I’ll go / Somewhere else / Where I can sink / Into

myself / Just watch me go / Just watch me go,” he

sings overtop clanging cymbals and a ‘90s bass

organ that syncopates with the song’s 4/4 kick

drum. It’s not often that dancefloor-ready songs

start off a verse with “Touch my neck and walk me

home / And I’ll be fine once I’m alone,” but here, it

works perfectly.

On “Anymore,” Maine returns to the wobbling

auto-tuned vocals that felt so out of place on Pool,

but now they sound like a tasteful artistic decision.

In several places on The House, Maine covers his

impressive singing voice with robotic auto-tune

that sounds like Cher’s “Believe” for the hipster set.

It’s a stylistic choice that won’t win everyone over,

but it works to disembody Maine’s voice in ways

that are often quite intriguing.

Late album highlight “Goodbye” finds Maine

sinking away again, but this time it’s from an ending

relationship: “I feel it move, I feel it ache / It’s sad

to see how much you changed / I’ll slip into a cold

lake / now I just feel it slip away.” He doesn’t wallow

long, though, as the song bursts into major key

chord stabs and thumping drums before its three

minutes is up.

Maine began working on The House right after

completing Pool, and the records tend to feel like

they were made with the same sonic palate. “W

Longing” feels the most like a leftover from Pool,

but it’s a welcome addition to The House, where its

instantaneous melody and pleading chorus (“Tell

me what you want to hear / I want you to hear it

/ Tell me what you want to feel / you know I want

you near it”) make it one of the strongest songs in

the Porches catalog.

In The House, Maine makes chintzy euro house

sound like high art. It’s as though Alice DJ packed

her bags and moved to Bushwick. There’s no one

making music quite like this right now, and it’s hard

to imagine anyone doing it any better if they tried.

Yet The House isn’t without its flaws. It is a record

that can feel maddeningly sparse at times. Rarely do

songs cross the three-minute mark, and, while every

song that does is fantastic, it makes the one- and

two-minute tracks feel like interludes that aren’t

needed. Admittedly, it’s a minor gripe, but it’s hard

not to think how much more affecting this record

would be with a little more flow.

Still, even with its minor flaws, The House is a

must-listen record that is as affecting as synth-based

music gets.

• Jamie McNamara

• Illustration by James Mackenzie

January 2018 25


BROCKHAMPTON - SATURATION III Eminem - Revival Jeezy - Pressure N.E.R.D - NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES

BROCKHAMPTON

SATURATION III

Question Everything, Inc. / Empire

Despite releasing three albums in 2017,

BROCKHAMPTON has yet to oversaturate the

rap market, speaking to the versatility and talent

of each member in the boy band. Rap is the new

rock, but BROCKHAMPTON is the only boy band

to release nearly three hours of original music and

rise to internet stardom over the course of a year.

SATURATION III is arguably the best of the trilogy

in terms of consistency and production quality,

offering some of the group’s smoothest R&B tracks

yet while delivering a healthy amount of bangers

at the same time.

Album opener “BOOGIE” is the musical

equivalent of a shot of adrenaline, further

establishing the collective’s fascination with

“breaking necks like a chiropractor” and

reminiscent of SATURATION’s “HEAT,” one of the

finest, most aggressive offerings from the group.

“SISTER/NATION” is another cannonball of a track

that never loses its velocity thanks to its industrial

and electronic influences, sounding like a playful

take on Yeezus.

With 14 members, BROCKHAMPTON has

perfected the art of balancing everyone’s talents

across the album. With each record, there are

fewer tracks in which one artist steals the show,

which is more than Odd Future or even Wu-Tang

could say.

SATURATION III marks the end of a yearlong

era, providing new artists a framework for success,

but the flooded release schedule wasn’t the only

thing driving BROCKHAMPTON’s hype. The group

redefined how rap collectives and boy bands

should operate, utilizing the strengths of each

member while pushing the boundaries of hip-hop

in the process. No one is selfishly seeking solo

stardom, solidifying BROCKHAMPTON as a team

effort bound to improve in 2018.

• Paul McAleer

Eminem

Revival

Aftermath Records

Revival is an exhausting experience. Each insightful

message is overshadowed by lackluster and stark

production that overstays its welcome. Eminem

hasn’t lost his lyrical ability, but not even the

best rappers have the skill to make every bar

count on 17 tracks that average five minutes long

each. Every clever line is challenged by verbal

regurgitation that knows no limits: “That butt

won’t ever give up / That’s why you stick out no

matter what,” Eminem raps on “Remind Me,” later

adding, “Your booty is heavy duty like diarrhea.”

On “Untouchable,” two songs before the fannyfocused

“Remind Me,” Eminem raps about racism

and white guilt in America over a circus-like and

delirious guitar backdrop before the beat switches.

The message is sound, but the confusing choice on

the production side and the ridiculousness of later

tracks hurts the chances of Revival being taken

seriously.

Guitar-backed rap doesn’t usually fit the desired

tone of Revival, but “Castle” is an example of

Eminem’s songwriting rising to the challenge of

making the album interesting. While Revival often

relies on unoriginal, but important ideas, “Castle”

is a looking-glass into Marshall Mathers, the

human as opposed to the rapper. The track takes

listeners through his relationship with his daughter

and the anxiety that came with it, opening with

the months leading up to when she was born until

he struggled with his drug addictions.

The personable moments continue with

“Arose,” leaving listeners craving more vulnerability

throughout other tracks on the album. Ultimately,

Revival fails at being truly impactful and lacks

replayability. The components of success are

unevenly littered across the project, but Eminem

didn’t bother to rearrange them or throw the

useless ones away in the process.

• Paul McAleer

Jeezy

Pressure

Def Jam

On “Ignorant Shit,” JAY-Z once joked about critics

who attributed his success to the sound of his

voice alone, but obviously the Brooklyn legend

is lyrically gifted. While Jeezy doesn’t have the

same level of talent, he offers one of the most

unique and unmistakable voices in the rap

game. Jeezy’s eighth studio album, Pressure, finds

him as consistent as he’s ever been, because his

memorable hooks and verses match the tenacity

of his voice.

There’s no song that lives up to the message

and presentation of Hov’s “The Story of O.J.,” yet

Pressure doesn’t aspire to be more than rap music

you can bob your head to. Regardless, the subtle

political statements are extremely effective and

catchy, overshadowing Eminem’s painstakingly

political Revival; on “American Dream” Jeezy raps,

“First my president is black / Now my president is

wack / I ain’t never going broke / What’s American

in that?”

With13 tracks amounting to 44 minutes,

Pressure is a refreshingly lean and enjoyable listen,

showing signs of constraint in a rap game flooded

with filler tracks. Jeezy holds his own on the five

songs without any features, but the best tracks

are the ones where he’s feeding off the energy of

his guest stars by the likes of Kodak Black, J. Cole

and Kendrick Lamar. With the star-studded roster

on Pressure, it’s surprising that there aren’t any

radio- and club-ready bangers on the album, but

Jeezy still offers one of the smoothest and most

enjoyable rides of the year.

• Paul McAleer

N.E.R.D

NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES

Columbia Records

N.E.R.D spends the majority of their latest album,

NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES, relying on big

name features to pick up the slack for otherwise

lackluster tunes. With Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar,

Future, Wale, Gucci Mane, M.I.A., Andre 3000, and

yes, even Ed Sheeran, the rest of the album seems

fragmented and rushed.

“Lemon,” the album’s first single, is an upbeat,

dancefloor-worthy track, almost fully due to

Rihanna’s strong rap verse. “Don’t Don’t Do It!,” in

a similar scenario, has Kendrick Lamar’s part acting

as the saving grace. While some tracks can stand

their ground, particularly in the first half of the

26

January 2018


CUTTING-EDGE PERFORMANCE — ALIVE WITH THE EXPERIMENTAL SPIRIT

UNPLUGGED

DICKIE BEAU (ENGLAND)

SUPPORTED BY

Drag artist extraordinaire Dickie Beau has refined the art of lip-synch playback

performances with flawless miming and use of found sound. Here he

drops the mask, and the true Dickie enlightens on Greek culture, democracy

and more, laying bare his artistic journey and technique.

JAN 19 9PM JAN 20 8PM

THE FOX CABARET

THE ANVIL CENTRE

TORREY PINES

CLYDE PETERSEN (USA)

Trans filmmaker and musician Clyde Petersen presents a stop-motion animated

adventure into his misgendered pre-teen years spent in Southern

California. Playing to live score performed by Petersen and his band, this is

a movie memoir as innovative and idiosyncratic as they come.

JAN 20 9PM

THE FOX CABARET

JOSEPH KECKLER (USA)

The artistically ambidextrous Joseph Keckler is a star of New York’s performing

arts scene with awards, commissions and book deals. Harnessing

his three-octave range, Keckler moves from opera to pop without missing

a beat. A self-deprecating and charming showcase of the lowbrow and

highbrow.

JAN 26 8PM JAN 27 9PM

THE ANVIL CENTRE

THE FOX CABARET

HINKYPUNK

FAKEKNOT (CANADA)

Vancouver’s Ralph Escamillan reveals a dance spectacular that has him

decked out in “sequin skin”—a walking, breathing and shiny signifier. Inspired

by drag, ballroom and vogue subcultures of expression through artifice,

he offers a beguiling and sexy study on the gaze, the body and the self.

JAN 26 9PM

THE FOX CABARET

DAUGHTER

QUIPTAKE & PANDEMIC THEATRE (CANADA)

A harrowing yet hilarious exploration of “toxic masculinity.” Toronto comedian

Adam Lazarus, a recent new dad, comes to grips with what it means

to become the father of a daughter, and with smart, incisive and remorseful

self-reflection, asks, “What are you willing to forgive?”

FEB 1 10:30PM

THE FOX CABARET

SPOKAOKE

ANNIE DORSEN (USA)

A night of karaoke like no other. Participants won’t find any Queen or Taylor

Swift here. In their place are some of the great artists who have gone down

in history for their words. More than 90 classic speeches by the greats of

our time, from Socrates to Sarah Palin, await to be recited.

FEB 2 9PM

THE FOX CABARET

CRIS DERKSEN TRIO

CRIS DERKSEN (CANADA)

Cellist and composer Cris Derksen has been called to collaborate with

icons from Kanye West to Naomi Klein. Armed with loop pedal, drum machine,

and cello, the JUNO Award-nominee pulls audiences into the propulsive,

hypnotizing pounding of powwow music, head-nodding rhythms of a

hip-hop, metronome thumps of a techno mix, and more in a thrilling night.

FEB 2 8PM FEB 3 9PM

THE ANVIL CENTRE

THE FOX CABARET

RPM RECORDS:

LIVE IN VANCOUVER

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CANADA)

Celebrate the closing night of the 2018 PuSh Festival, with a lineup of Indigenous

musicians from across Turtle Island: hip hop from Vancouver duo

Mob Bounce backed by DJ Kookum, and electronic beats and soundscapes

from Ziibiwan. This is a dynamite evening of powerful, diverse music to

move the feet and soul. Surely one of the city’s musical events of the year.

FEB 3 10:30PM

THE FOX CABARET

PRESENTED

WITH

FROM THE HIP & THE QUEER TO THE RADICAL & RIOTOUS

PRESENTED WITH

2321 MAIN STREET

VANCOUVER

PRESENTED WITH

777 EAST COLUMBIA STREET

NEW WESTMINSTER


SUNDAY MARCH 25

HOSTED BY MICHAEL BUBLÉ

ON SALE NOW!

SPACE PROVIDED BY


The Fugitives - The Promise Of Strangers

Tom Phillips - Plastic Machine

Ty Segall - Freedom’s Goblin

album, other collaborations sound out of place.

Future, on single “1000,” doesn’t seem to mesh well

with the rest of the track. The fast-moving beat

leading into Future’s signature overly auto-tuned

verses seems like a clash of styles. Overall, the

album seems to be rushed along, with much of

the production sounding recycled. Did “Lightning

Magic Fire Prayer” really have to be nearly eight

minutes long?

Perhaps the point was to sound jarring. Pharrell

Williams, one half of the duo, whose name is on

every track as a producer, seemed to want to create

an album of protest. Unfortunately, at the end of

2017, when listeners have already heard protest

songs and albums alike, it seems like the kind of

thing that shouldn’t feel rushed.

• Amber McLinden

The Fugitives

The Promise Of Strangers

Borealis Records / Westpark Records

Vancouver pop-folk group The Fugitives return

after four years with their latest offering, The

Promise of Strangers. The album finds the band

making a noticeable rise in production quality from

their earlier work.

The Promise Of Strangers is a series of

dedications to people both known and unknown

to the band, and in some cases fictional. It’s an

album that brims with rich harmonies, both vocal

and instrumental.

Beginning with a low-key vibe on the cut “I Have

No Words (For Leonard Cohen)”, the band takes

their time to build the song, when the chorus

drops in with a subtle organ and banjo higher in

the mix. By the second chorus, the classic Cohen

gospel background vocals come to the fore, and

the section is an indication of what’s to come

throughout the record: harmonies that hinge on

smart chord changes and composition. “See This

Winter Out (For Amy)” is closer to The Fugitives’

earlier work, the kind of kick-drum-with-banjo

vibe popularized by Mumford & Sons, (which can

either be a good thing or a tired cliché, depending

who you ask). Indeed, the “whoa” hook abounds

throughout the record, at this point well overtired

for this era.

“Northern Lights (For Steel Audrey)” kicks

off with a nice acoustic/banjo/organ intro and

a change in pace vocally, while the evocation of

the celestial occurrence feels a little too easy, a

kind of chocolate chip cookie that’s palatable for

anyone to chew on. “London In The Sixties (For

Dr. McMorran)” is a standout, with its clever beat,

rousing horns, and the line, “The English are the

kings of dressing down the blues,” finally drops in a

bit of sarcasm on what is ultimately a very earnest

record.

While the production on The Promise Of

Strangers is beautifully executed and The Fugitives’

willingness to take a leap sonically is a step up

from their previous work, the album feels a little

too choreographed. It’s the kind of easily digested

folk-pop that fits for the wholesome folks on a

festival afternoon, which honestly feels like the

whole point. A little grit and grime could do these

escapees a world of good.

• Mike Dunn

Tom Phillips

Plastic Machine

Independent

Every time I review a country record that remains

true to the style’s roots and is honest and heartfelt,

I’m tempted to write a lengthy diatribe on the

state of the art form. Unfortunately, that’s not only

self-indulgent, it’s also a disservice to someone like

Tom Phillips, who’s spent his entire career making

straight up country music and has never felt the

need to subvert his work to the whims of the

McCheeseburger factory of corporate country.

Phillips’ latest, Plastic Machine, is his first with his

new band, The DT’s, and his second with producer

Lorrie Matheson. The opener, “Distance,” sets the

tone for the honesty of the record, with Phillips

writing liberating and heavy lines about his past

as a hard drinker, backed by a clean mix featuring

Matheson laying down some Exile-era Jimmy Miller

piano out front. “Deeper Blue” kicks off in classic

prairie country rock style, a buck-forty sunshine

straightaway, with Geoff Brock’s guitar drenched

in Leslie tone before dropping into slinky Keith

Richards riffs. Deicha Carter’s lead vocal on the cut

is a real find – there’s a lot of Susan Tedeschi in her

tone and she doesn’t hold back anything, while

sisters Shaye and Sydney Zadravec are on point

with their harmonies throughout, adding just the

right doo-wops and oohs to fill out the vocals. “Dry

As A Desert Bone” unflinchingly lays bare Phillips’

past with liquor. The title cut finds Phillips pensively

regarding the trappings of modern life, invoking an

image of screen-addled citizens walking down the

street in full distraction. “Death of Love” has been

years in the making, Phillips having commented

in the past that he could never get the vibe right

on a record. Here, it gets a Tex-Mex feel with Tim

Leacock and Ian Grant swinging a cool hesitation

groove in the rhythm section while Matheson’s

addition of organ is a nice compliment, as is the

Tijuana Brass feel in the horns.

Country music has always been run through

with threads of self-abuse and reflection – it’s what

makes it one of the best hangover styles there is.

The danger in that is that artists feel like they have

to maintain those myths and illusions for the sake

of authenticity. Modern country is selling self-abuse

by the ounce, with little post-party reflection. Tom

Phillips’ Plastic Machine isn’t preachy in its selfreflection,

it’s just honest, and it’s some of Phillips’

best work.

• Mike Dunn

Ty Segall

Freedom’s Goblin

Drag City

It’s remarkable that through 10 albums in 10 years,

Ty Segall has never had an outright clunker. Sure,

there are some duds contained in each album,

but never has a whole album been a write-off for

the garage rock legend. Unfortunately, that also

means that it’s hard to call any of Segall’s albums a

masterpiece.

That trend continues with Freedom’s Goblin, Ty

Segall’s 10th studio album that acts as the purest

distillation of Ty Segall on record yet, for better and

worse.

On Freedom’s Goblin, Ty Segall has arrived at the

destination his albums have been heading towards

for the last five years. It’s a 19-track hodgepodge

of just about every kind of guitar music you can

throw fuzz on top of. There are cinematic ballads,

roiling disco stomps, twangy country rock tunes,

and everything in between.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense as a cohesive

album, but it’s quintessential Segall. Throw

everything at the wall and see what sticks. Luckily,

a lot of these songs plaster themselves to the wall,

but when they don’t it’s increasingly evident.

The clear highlight here is Segall’s cover of Hot

Chocolate’s disco classic “Every 1’s a Winner.” Segall

trades the slow-motion clavinet chug of the original

for a murky bassline and sleazy funk rock. It’s an

interesting direction for Segall, and it would be

great to hear him explore it further. Unfortunately,

the other 18 tracks included here don’t really move

outside of his wheelhouse and after 10 albums, it’s

hard not to feel a little disappointed with that.

• Jamie McNamara

Platinum Era (’96-’09)

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January 2018 29


NEW MOON RISING

YOUR MONTHLY HOROSCOPE

QUAN YIN DIVINATION

Month of the Water Ox

As the full rush of water slows to a

trickle, this month aligns with the

reasonable, reliable and hard-working

Ox, giving many a relief from the

romantic tensions of the last few weeks,

and inviting in a more conservative and

conscientious time. The Ox favours

structure, discipline, hard work, and,

occasionally, a dabbling of bohemian

joys, but generally stands as a strong

pillar of society and proud to be of high

moral and ethical standing. Assuredly,

this would not be the time to do

anything that might offend the status

quo.

This month also has a strange wisdom

as the trickle of water, although gentle,

has persistence in getting its way and

carving a path where there was no

one before. Flexibility, adaptability,

neutrality, and patience guide us with

clarity through the dense fog and dewy

mists represented by yin water.

Rabbit (Pisces): Take a reprieve from

work activities now as you’ll feel the

need to let down, stay home, and work

on small projects that you’ve been

putting off. Ready yourself for a more

fortuitous year ahead.

Dragon (Aries): You can’t do it all,

but you like to try. Set your priorities

with work, family and friendships.

Step up to be your most reliable and

dependable self, but don’t forget to take

care of your own needs first.

Snake (Taurus): A chance for a long

awaited strategic move forward is hand.

How can you execute your plan so you

move into the New Year with more free

time and less hassle?

Horse (Gemini): Heal, refresh, renew.

A good time to clear the air with

someone you love about your feelings,

or take time to sort out in your own

way what you need to forgive, forbear,

or simply forget.

Sheep (Cancer): Open your heart

and mind to the perspectives of others

to get the positive attention and

recognition you want and deserve. A

boost in your self-esteem is the happy

result.

Monkey (Leo): Laughter is the best

medicine and people will enjoy

connecting with your clever wisdom

and natural rhetoric, so when you have

the chance to stay or to go — be sure

you say it with a smirk.

Rooster (Virgo): When the going gets

tough, the tough get going. Productive

energy is available to you now and

making a head start will put you in the

lead for 2018. You can do it!

Dog (Libra): Pay respect to your

superiors by going out of your way to

be kind or generous and you will make

friends, rather than enemies. Watch

your step and check your ego.

Pig (Scorpio): Soften to any situation

that triggers deeply held emotions. It’s

good to feel all the feels, and sharing

with others will draw your true friends

into devoted service. Compassionate

understanding requires communication

from the heart.

Rat (Sagittarius): Focus on selfdevelopment

and growth to bring a

positive start to the year and get back

on track with your highest goals. You

can make progress this month on a new

project or start a new career if you have

the right attitude.

Ox (Capricorn): Beware of your

temper as those around you may be

ultra-sensitive. It’s better to back away

from any situation that tempts you into

anger — especially any situation where

you just can’t win.

Tiger (Aquarius): Your secret is out

and so why not just be honest about

your perspective and feelings. Others

will draw a line or stand by your side,

divided on the issue. Take a side and

make it clear what you think is right.

Susan Horning is a Feng Shui Consultant

and Bazi Astrologist living and working

in East Vancouver. Find out more about

her at QuanYin.ca.

30

January 2018

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