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HI, HOW ARE YOU?
- With the Herbal Chef
PULSE - CITY BRIEFS!
- Record Store Day
- Vancouver Tattoo Show
- The Blue Hour
- Mr. Burns
THE PLIGHT OF THE
2018 Behind the 8-Ball Redux
- Dispensary Guide
- 420 Events
FOOD & DRINK
- Electric Bicycle Brewery
- Blue Heron Creamery
- Bottoms Up w/ Emily
- Hari Kondobolu
- Corner Gas
- Phoebe Bridgers
- The Neighbourhood
- Wild Child
- Eli Escobar
- Jean-Michel Jarre
- Bishop Briggs
- Iron Kingdom
- You Big Idiot
- Neck Of The Woods
COVER - GAME
- Isle of Dogs
- Jack White
- Amen Dunes
- Guided by Voices
Gold Distribution (Vancouver)
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©BEATROUTE Magazine 2018. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of the contents is strictly prohibited.
April 2018 3
WITH THE HERBAL CHEF, CHRISTOPHER SAYEGH
World-renowned chef Christopher Sayegh
brings the high to haute cuisine this month
with a pop-up feast for the senses. Let him
prime your palette for 4/20 with his pioneering
take on cannabis-complemented cuisine. For
two nights only, April 6 and 7, at a top-secret
location, Sayegh will guide Vancouver diners
through a multicourse experience combining
local ingredients with THC and CBD extracts. And
this isn’t your average edible experience. Chef
Sayegh is a Michelin-trained chef whose eightcourse
tasting menu is a true adventure down the
rabbit hole. Sayegh’s done his research, putting his
background in science to good use. He’s studied
the endocannabinoid system, extraction methods,
and vetted sources to make sure the dining
experience is meaningful to guests looking to
heighten their dining with light doses of cannabis.
Featuring locally-sourced ingredients — including
wares from local partners like the Quarry and
Aura Cannabis –– the emphasis is on quality and
community. Sayegh’s soiree aims to destigmatize
cannabis by fusing fine dining with local wine
pairings, music, and stimulating conversation –– is
this heaven? We spoke to the Herbal Chef to find
out what makes Mary Jane such a great dinner
BR: What’s the biggest misconception about
CS: That it’s either a gimmick or it’s easy. It’s
neither. Cooking with cannabis is definitively
harder than cooking without it. The logistics alone
create another layer of hardship on top of running
BR: You say you want people to experience food,
not just eat it. How does cannabis enrich the
CS: Cannabis is a sensory enhancer. So while
we send out our timed and specifically dosed
menu we can see diners embark on and enjoy
the culinary journey we have set forth. It helps
enrich the smells, the flavours, the atmosphere and
the overall energy of the meal. It’s a new way to
experience fine dining.
BR: How do art and music add to the dining
CS: Because cannabis enhances the senses, it’s
important to have art and music that create
a distinct atmosphere as well as stimulate
conversation based around the composition. It
elevates the dining experience.
CS: Oh boy... back when I was first starting
out it was very difficult to get lab tests for the
concentrates which is not how I like to do things.
Long story short, I was bamboozled by the person
I was purchasing the extract from, because it
was more potent than what they said. I ate a
small amount of the edibles I made with it and
completely lost it for the next eight hours. In fact
the only reason I think it lasted eight hours instead
of two days was because I threw up everything a
couple hours later. I was so high I couldn’t focus on
anything but trying not to toss my cookies. There’s
quite a bit more to this story, but I’ll leave it at
this…don’t fuck around with edibles if you don’t
know the potency.
BR: What’s your favourite music to listen to
CS: The genre depends on how much work is left
to do. If we have a ton of catching up to do, I need
a pump up –– hip-hop and rap, something along
the lines of Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino,
or Logic. If we’re on track with our prep and are
smooth sailing I enjoy listening to something chill
–– Masego, FKJ, Mura Masa. If I have no worries at
all (like I’m cooking for friends/family) I enjoy some
BR: Favourite music to listen to while smoking?
(Do you smoke?)
CS: I love to smoke and usually prefer a joint.
I do not, however, smoke while I’m cooking or
allow any of my staff to as we need full focus to
execute our dinners. While I smoke I like to listen
to a combination of the above with some classical
BR: The Pharcyde’s “Pack the Pipe” or Cypress
Hill’s “Hits from the Bong”?
CS: If I had to choose out of only these two, I’d
say Cypress Hill’s Hits from the Bong. We actually
catered a Cypress Hill party on a rooftop venue
called Green St a while back.
BR: Tell us a bit about this dinner, what can
Vancouver expect from the experience?
CS: Vancouver can expect a culinary showcase first
and foremost. Made with ingredients that we go
out and source ourselves either by hand from the
ground, off our fishing poles or from the farmers
themselves. They can expect a subtle shift in their
perception as the dinner continues. Guests will
go from an excited anticipation to a euphoric
sensation before finishing the evening in blissful
relaxation. As their moods shift, the food and the
music will help their heightened senses get the
most out of the experience.
Chef Sayegh hosts two pop-up dinners in Vancouver
on April 6 and 7, and space is limited. The dinners
begin at 7 p.m., and their location will be revealed
just prior to the event. Tickets cost $200 (including
gratuity and a gift bag). Enquire about tickets here:
email@example.com and find out more about
the Herbal Chef at http://theherbalchef.com/
BR: Remember that cop who called 911 when
he ate too many edibles? Have you ever had any
bad experiences while experimenting?
Chef Christopher Sayegh serves up a feast for the senses, priming your palette for 4/20.
BC Distilled Métis Mutt The Railway Stage & Beer Café Verboden Festival World Ski and Snowboard Festival
APRIL 19-22 AT VANCOUVER
This annual fair features artists, art
workshops, panel discussions, and
more. Now in its fourth edition, Art!
Vancouver aims to promote the
international art scene in Western
Canada. Look for works by artists
like Sudan photographer Nihal Omer
alongside local talent like landscape
painter Jenna Robinson.
INCITE: CRAFTING CREATIVE NON-
APRIL 11 AT VANCOUVER PUBLIC
In this free event presented by the
Vancouver Writers Fest, four female
writers from diverse backgrounds
discuss how they’ve used the nonfiction
genre to spur discussions on
today’s issues. The evening features
Room Magazine managing editor
Chelene Knight, former This Magazine
editor Lauren McKeon, feminist activist
Judy Rebick, and Globe and Mail
columnist Elizabeth Renzetti.
THE GATEWAY SHOW
APRIL 20 AT RICKSHAW THEATRE
Celebrate 4/20 with stand-up
comedians Ivan Decker (Just for
Laughs), Maggie Maye (Conan), Myles
Webber (MTV), and Sophie Buddle
(Kevin Hart’s LOL), as they attempt to
tell their best jokes after smoking way
too much weed.
BRICKCAN 2018 PUBLIC LEGO
APRIL 21-22 AT RIVER ROCK
The largest public exhibition of
LEGO in BC is back. Stop by the River
Rock Casino to check out hundreds
of amazing models built by LEGO
enthusiasts from all over the world.
THE RAILWAY STAGE & BEER CAFÉ
CELEBRATES 85TH ANNIVERSARY
APRIL 6-8 AT THE RAILWAY STAGE
& BEER CAFÉ
Since it originally opened in 1932
as a private club for CPR workers,
the Railway has been a Vancouver
mainstay for live music. The iconic,
historic venue is celebrating its
milestone 85th birthday with — what
else? — a weekend full of music,
with performances from local bands
including Hey Ocean! and Said The
APRIL 14 AT CROATIAN CULTURAL
The largest spirits event in the country
for local makers celebrates its fifth
annual edition on April 14. Featuring
40 distilleries from around the
province, including Deep Cove Brewers,
Odd Society, and Tumbleweed Craft
Distillery, the event also includes bites
from Forage and Juniper.
APRIL 13-15 AT THE WALDORF, 333,
AND THE ASTORIA
Vancouver’s only darkwave music
festival will feature more than 30 artists
from all around the world. Glasgow’s
Soft Riot and Seattle’s Charlatan will
perform alongside local bands like
ACTORS, Spectres, and Ghost Twin.
The festival is completely DIY and
APRIL 25-MAY 5 AT FIREHALL ARTS
Sheldon Elter writes and stars in
this recounting of his difficult
childhood, having grown up in an
abusive household while experiencing
discrimination because of his culture.
Elter combines stand-up comedy,
original music, and multi-character
vignettes to explore who he is and
what’s important to him.
WORLD SKI AND SNOWBOARD
APRIL 10-15 IN WHISTLER
In this jam-packed weekend, North
America’s largest festival of snow
sports, music, and art celebrates
the finals of the Monster Energy
Boarderstyle World Championships,
hosts the annual OLYMPUS 72hr
Filmmaker Showdown, and provides a
platform for local artists to showcase
their work. There will also be live
performances from A Tribe Called
Red and DJ Jazzy Jeff, as well as parties
throughout Whistler Village.
April 2018 5
RECORD STORE DAY
IN SUPPORT OF OUR LOCAL, INDEPENDENT MUSIC SHOPS
Red Cat Records has been voted one of the top independent record stores in Canada.
For music lovers, there’s nothing quite like the
thrill of buying music that has been pressed
onto vinyl. This April 21, independent record
stores all over Vancouver will once again be
bustling with vinyl aficionados chasing the
excitement. Before the hustle begins, we caught
up with some of the city’s main hot spots for
record shopping to talk about surviving in the
digital era, this year’s special releases, and the
advent of the 11th annual Record Store Day.
RED CAT RECORDS
Voted one of the top 10 independent record
stores in Canada and now with two locations,
one on Main Street and the other in Hastings-
Sunrise, Red Cat has plenty for the vinyl seeker’s
What does it take for a record store to
Dave Gowans, Red Cat Records: Being open to
carrying every type of music.
What is the first record you sold at the shop?
If I can remember correctly, the first CD we sold
would have been a Junior Wells CD.
Recommendations on what to buy on record
Spacemen 3 re-issues, A Wire 7-inch box set,
and there’s some rare David Bowie stuff that
Vancouver’s oldest record store, Neptoon is a
staple within the city. There’s also plenty of CDs,
concert posters, and memorabilia in addition to
all their new and used records.
What does it take for a record store to
Ben Firth, Neptoon Records: It would be very
tough to start a store now. I think all the stores
in Vancouver are known well enough that we’re
all pretty established and people will come to
What is the first record you sold at the shop?
I can’t remember. I’ve been working here since I
was a little kid. My dad opened the store in ’81,
and I was born in ’87.
Recommendations on what to buy on record
I’m really excited about the deluxe version of
the Baby Huey record. It’s an amazing ’70s soul
Audiopile is one of the main spots to hit
up when out hunting for new and/or used
records, cassettes, and CDs on Commercial
Drive. Established in 2001, Audiopile has a wide
selection for everyone.
What does it take for a record store to
Mark Richardson, Audiopile Records: I think
a knowledgeable, approachable staff is key.
A lot of people come into physical stores for
the interaction, which you just can’t get when
you’re buying records online.
What is the first record you sold at the shop?
This is what the owner [Geoff Barton] passed
on to me: “New Bomb Turks, At Rope’s End. It
was before I even opened the doors. A delivery
guy heard me playing it, asked about it, and I
sold it to him.”
Recommendations on what to buy on record
Shiho Yabuki, The Body Is A Message of the
DANDELION RECORDS AND
Dandelion Records and Emporium is a unique
little store located on Main Street, just north of
Broadway. In addition to rare and special finds
on vinyl, Dandelion also sells handcrafted items
such as greeting cards and kitchenware.
What does it take for a record store to
Jeff Knowlton and Laura Frederick,
Dandelion Records and Emporium: I think
being flexible and having a store with records
as well as gifts works well for us. We also have a
great community and a lot of support from our
customers so that really helps too.
Highlife is another important focal point for
music shopping on Commercial Drive. Not
only is there plenty of music to purchase on
both vinyl and CD, they also sell DVDs, concert
tickets, books, and musical instruments.
What does it take for a record store to
Kevin Finseth, Highlife Records: For Highlife,
survival required a strong belief in the value
of what we do, showing up for work, creating
a strongly curated selection, [and] paying
attention to the folks who come in the store.
What is the first record you sold at the shop?
Muddy Waters, The Real Folk Blues.
BEAT STREET RECORDS
What was once a shop dedicated to selling
items such as skateboards and clothing
eventually became dominated by records.
With now over 50,000 new and used records in
stock, it still maintains the sale of urban lifestyle
goods on the side such as graffiti art supplies, DJ
equipment, and more.
What does it take for a record store to
Avi Shack, Beat Street Records: Being a part
of the community that supports us. Great
customer support. Bringing in records that
make people happy.
What is the first record you sold at the shop?
I wish I knew. 22 years is a long time ago. I still
have the first $2 bill that was spent here though.
Recommendations on what to buy on record
So many releases to choose from. Demon
Fuzz, Czarface, and Too Short are some of our
Record Store Day is on April 21.
AND CULTURE SHOW
FRESH INK, FUN TIMES
The Vancouver Tattoo and Culture Show is back at the
Vancouver Convention Centre, starting on April 20 and
running through the weekend.
“If you’re new to tattooing, this gives you an
opportunity to see the entire gamut of styles, as well as
the individual style of each artist,” says event organizer
Tim Lajambe. “If you are an avid tattoo collector, it
gives you an opportunity to be tattooed from artists all
around the world.”
So why go to a convention over simply walking into a
shop and booking an appointment?
“To see, meet, and support local artists!” enthuses
Moorea Hum-Spensley, who tattoos out of a private
studio in Vancouver. “It’s a great opportunity to buy
prints or other artwork. You can also get tattooed by
artists who are usually booked up months in advance.”
With over 200 artists and their portfolios present, it’s
easy to find a style that suits your vision. Local artist Kyle
Hoffarth has some tips for anyone worried they might be
overwhelmed or underprepared.
“Number one: bring cash,” he says. “Tattooers aren’t
typically tech-savvy business people, so we deal with
cash only. Also, the convention is a great place to get
some really unique artwork. Many artists will have oneoff
drawings and flash to choose from. Take advantage
of the convention to get something truly unique and
Even if you’re not sure you want a tattoo, Lajambe
says there are plenty of other things to enjoy at the show.
“We have tattoo contests, aerial performers, taiko
drummers, lion dancers, and the list goes on. This year
specifically we are trying to incorporate more culture
from the different countries of the origins of tattooing.”
So why not get a fresh tattoo this 4/20? Whatever
your hopes or hesitations, expect a fun and inclusive
environment that is, at the very least, a unique way to
spend your weekend.
Vancouver Tattoo and Culture Show runs from April 20-22
at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
THE KILLERS • FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
IN COLLABORATION WITH
Richard Jackson, Pump Pee Doo (2004 - 2005) fibreglass, pumps, buckets, acrylic paint, MDO
132 x 240 x 240 inches (335 x 609 x 609 cm)
Rennie Museum | 51 East Pender St | Vancouver
THE BLUE HOUR
FEATURE EXHIBITION AT CAPTURE PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL CONSIDERS THE CONCEPT OF TIME
Joi T. Arcand’s inspires the discussion of the “invisibility of Indigeneity” at Capture Festival.
The Contemporary Art Gallery’s exhibition, The
Blue Hour, opens to the public from April 6 until
June 24 as the headliner for the annual Capture
Photography Festival. This exhibition features
five different artists who each use photography
in their own way to complicate the imagined
timeline of the photographic image. While each
individual artist’s work speaks outwardly to larger
political, environmental, and visual dilemmas,
THE SIMPSONS-INSPIRED PLAY EXPLORES THE SIGNIFICANCE OF STORIES
The stories that we tell and hear have an immense impact on our society
and culture. From binge-watching a new show to downloading a book
directly to the palm of our hand, we as humans have greater access to story,
in all its mediums, than ever before. But what if that all went away? What
if we were plunged into a dark age where all the stories and parables of our
modern era disappeared? What if we were left with only the memories of
our most impactful narratives? What would our narratives become? How
would our stories change, and how would that define our culture? What
happens to the copyright of a story in a world without law? Do stories
belong to anyone? This April, Vancouver’s Little Mountain Lion Theatre
Productions will engage with these questions in their performance of Mr.
Burns: A Post-Electric Play.
their combined presentations allow them to
challenge our definitions of the characteristics of
Speaking with the show’s curator, Kimberly
Phillips, it is clear that the intent behind The Blue
Hour is to spark a conversation.
“When something starts to kind of trouble our
perceptions about a medium or a discipline or
an object, that’s when I tend to become excited,”
Photo by Duy Nguyen
Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play goes beyond Springfield city limits.
Photo by Joi T. Arcand
Phillips explains. This exhibition does just that.
Our daily interactions with photography allow
us to “presume we have control,” and think of
photography “as something that brings clarity,
that locks a moment down, and that is evidence
of something that happened.” The exhibition
attempts to skew this perception and invites us
to view the photograph as “the way the world
reveals itself to us, not an index of the world,”
especially in relation to time. Photographs do not
have to reveal a moment in the past, but rather
can interrupt an idea of the present and the
future as well.
The title of the exhibition, The Blue Hour, is
drawn from the writings of contributing artist
Colin Miner, and helps to introduce the repeated
interruptions of time in the work of the displayed
artists. Phillips explains that the term technically
references “a time of day at twilight, where
it’s not quite day and it’s not quite night.” You
can’t tell “if time is moving ahead or backwards.
It’s a moment where time is suspended.” This
ambiguity in our often linear ideas of time is
what the exhibition hopes to create.
The Blue Hour runs from April 6-June 24 at the
Contemporary Art Gallery as part of Capture
Written by American playwright Anne Washburn, Mr. Burns premiered
May 2012 in Washington, D.C. and was met with reviews that galvanized
it as a staple of modern experimental theatre. The play focuses on the
survivors of a world-ending disaster as they gather around a campfire for
the verbal re-telling of the now-classic Simpsons episode “Cape Feare.”
For the second act, the play jumps ahead seven years, when these same
survivors have formed a theatre troupe which travels the remains of the
world performing television episodes, complete with commercials. In the
third act, time jumps 75 years into a future still reeling from the fall of
civilization where the theatre troupe has expanded their interpretation of
TV lore into a full-on musical cabaret that reflects the new society.
Mr. Burns is fertile ground for the talents of director Madelyn Osbourne
who, along with her team of designers and actors, has been preparing for
opening night since late 2017. The evolving post-apocalyptic world of
Mr. Burns provides ample room for a radical assembly of costumes, stage
design, and character evolution that has Osbourne deeply engaged with the
process of the production. She communicates with her team by connecting
with their feelings.
A key figure beside Osbourne is her composer and musical director
Katerina Gimon who, after months of divining inspiration from Gilbert and
Sullivan, as well as from the original 1962 Cape Fear film, has created a truly
“I was going through wormholes of pop culture,” states Gimon when
asked about her process on writing the original music. “A lot of this was
already quite set,” – some songs are built into the show – “but the hardest
thing was trying to find the moments where I could bring back certain
melodies or melodic ideas so the structure would work for the actors and
Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play runs from April 3-21 at Studio 1398.
SHORT STORIES SHARE RELATABLE
ACCOUNT OF YOUNG, CANADIAN
Imagine if your conversations with your best friend
were published as short stories. The breakups, the
random musings, the chance encounters on transit.
Delusions of Grandeur is just that. Janet Ford and
Carmen Leah are Canadian artists and best friends
who live on opposite sides of the country. Ford
writes from Vancouver about her experiences with
addiction and mental illness, and from Toronto,
Leah reflects on the consequences of mundane
moments in everyday life.
Ford’s characters speak from the depths of
addiction and mental illness while Leah’s characters
grapple with how to live with them. Juxtaposed,
their stories tell both sides of the story. The result
is a relatable, albeit dishevelled, account of young
These characters are anti-heroes and -heroines,
and though it isn’t uplifting material, it’s
unapologetically honest – that’s what makes it
so good. The collection tells stories of everyday
cowardice and brief sparks of bravery.
Ford’s “Sober” is a microcosm of the cycle
of addiction. Waking up next to an enabling
partner, last night’s makeup etched under her
eyes, the heroine decides to make a change. And
she’s determined that this time, it’ll stick. Ford
unflinchingly describes how low rock bottom
needs to be to make sobriety tempting. In Leah’s
“Hospitals,” Claire’s dealing with the symptoms
of her MS, her friend Sam is suicidal, her other
friend has overdosed, and her boyfriend is abusive.
Surrounded by other people’s misery, she learns
that “things [get] better. But first they [get] worse.”
Nestled against each other, Ford’s and Leah’s
stories dialogue with one another. One asks a
question and the story that follows responds. But
like any good conversation between friends, the
exchanges are complementary, proving that we’re
never alone in our illusions of self-importance, no
matter how different our individual failings.
Pick up a copy of Delusions of Grandeur at The Paper
Hound or Lucky’s Comics.
Illustration by Carmen Leah
April 2018 9
Photo by Edemiria Schmitz Hsiao
2018 Behind the Eight Ball Redux
THE PLIGHT OF OUR
In the shadowy corners of the hall amass the players,
circling their tables with the stealth of a wildcat. They enter the
spotlight of hanging lamps to aim, shoot, and retreat again into
darkness. Bets are made and corners are called amid murmur and
the clinging of glasses. Tiny explosions sound in loose succession like
striped and solid-colored fireworks.
For some, the art of strategy draws them in, for others it’s the
opportunity to socialize. With modern billiards dating back to the
early 1900s, the game carries a timeless appeal. Yet there has long
been speculation that it would not continue into the brave new
world. An article in Vancouver Magazine published in 1979 mourned
the plight of the neighborhood pool hall, and BeatRoute addresses
the same matter in today’s article, forty years later. However you look
at it, billiards is a game reminiscent of another time and perhaps of
another kind of people. A bygone era before Netflix provided endless
entertainment at the click of a button, before technology consumed
human minds. I visited some of Vancouver’s most established pool
halls to investigate why pool, which may be in a steady decline even
as one of the world’s most popular games, is alive and well in the
hearts of many.
Bruno comes to the East End Pool Hall in Hastings Sunrise every
day, though he doesn’t even like pool. He comes in to play cards
with Mike, who has owned the place with his brother Luigi for 37
years. The Italian immigrant friends met near the pool hall at what
was once Cafe Mario, but has since been replaced with a Portuguese
restaurant. Always playing the Italian card game, Scopa, East End
Billiards becomes an extension of their cultural dwelling. They never
play for money, only for coffee, perhaps repelled by the original
owner’s lewd reputation as a gambler. Mike always wins. He expertly
whips up a cappuccino at the espresso machine on the corner of the
Mike attests that East End Billiards has seen no trouble since he
and Luigi took over. However, the pool hall, which once went by
a different name, comes with an edgy past. Mike and Luigi are the
fourth owners it has seen. The first owner, one of two to be named
Joe, is rumored to have had a gambling habit, quickly turning his
second-floor games venue into an illicit hideaway. Story goes that
one night, two people jumped out the window to evade the cops
following a fight with Joe. Their legs were broken by the fall.
Upon my visit, I saw a safe and inviting space, showing that
Mike and Luigi, who were avid pool players back in Italy, had done
wonders with the place. A billiards-themed mural draws your eye to
the venue, which would otherwise be considered discreet. The mural
is truly a relic of the past for someone is pictured smoking indoors.
An ascending staircase upon entering gives the pool hall a secret
clubhouse aesthetic. To one side of my table, a group of middleaged
men in their 30s and 40s are speaking a language I wanted to
believe was Italian, but which, upon further eavesdropping, was
unquestionably Spanish. To the other side, a couple of college-aged
boys take turns shooting, animated in conversation. When asked
Photo by Rachael Moreland
what draws them to this particular pool hall, the younger
gentlemen expressed enchantment with the old-world
charms of the owners, which won them over after they
initially sought out the place for its location. The older
gentlemen got straight to the point, offering no more
information than, “I like the pool. I like the table.” “Light My
Fire” by the Doors played three times in my 45-minute visit.
A huge departure from the cozy, personable east-side
hall, Commodore Lanes and Billiards is a busy beast and
the staircase, this time, descends. Commodore is known as
the longest-standing pool hall in Vancouver, established in
1928, although it technically only introduced billiards in the
mid 80’s. It is also the largest, boasting twenty tables. Every
day is a party on Granville Street, Vancouver’s designated
entertainment district, and this is reflected by the amount of
tourists the iconic games hall attracts. Tourist from England,
Switzerland, and China make up my adjacent tables, all
happy-go-lucky during a stopover on a night on the town.
“People come in for a good time,” says T.J., a manager who
informed me that business is reliably steady, and if anything
was swinging wildly, it was the bowling business.
T.J. emphasizes that Commodore Lanes does not endorse
leagues: an attempt to keep pool for the people. League
players can be demanding, not to mention secretive. It is
not uncommon for them to request empty buffer tables
surrounding theirs so that none may spy on their methods.
Historical memorabilia decorates the walls of Commodore
Lanes & Billiards as top 40 blasts from the speakers.
Fresh from the sensory overload of downtown, I ease
my way onto the checkered floor of Guys & Dolls Billiards
on Main Street. The bartender seems vaguely amused and
largely confused by the outgoing gentleman seated at the
bar. I interrupt to ask her if I may interview her briefly about
the pool hall.
“You’re better off asking Don,” she gestures towards the
man on the barstool, “he comes in here every day.”
As a former employee and apparent pool enthusiast, it is
surprising that Don was dismissive of the game. He prefers
nine ball. “You lose by accident in eight ball; you win by
accident in nine ball,” he advises.
Big on leagues, which are largely comprised of families,
Guys & Dolls strives to be inclusive to all people, an
interestingly different approach than that of Commodore.
This main street venue is a more than a pool hall; it’s a
hangout, a part of the community. It is a drop-in centre for
pool players, or just anyone. “[The owners] help out people
who are homeless; nice guys who are down on their luck.
They let them sit down on a couch and fall asleep. Let them
be out of the rain,” the ex-employee tells me and I believe
him when he exclaims that the owner, Kelsey, is “a hell of a
Don complains that there are barely any pool halls left,
“There used to be like 20,” he says. “Now there are five.”
Finally, somebody affirms what I set out to write. Supply
and demand is what he attributes to this massacre, and it
would justify why the management at the other pool halls
haven’t noticed dips in business. With less pool halls in town,
players are forced to keep to only a few halls. But why is the
demand dropping? I initially thought that pool might not
be accessible to young people, the next generation of pool
players, due to Vancouver’s archaic liquor laws. Yet all three
of the pool halls I visited allowed minors. Perhaps it’s the very
nature of the game that is becoming unattractive to people
The social aspect may be too much for an increasingly
introverted society. People today prefer texts over phone
calls, disassociated interaction over real life. The amount of
skill required and the potential for mastery makes it a game
akin to chess, another excellent and locally unpopular game.
Are people today too blasé to bother with steep learning
curves? We must step up to the challenge, keep our minds
sharp and keep pool thriving in the few venues it has left to
thrive. I am more than amused when Don pull out a flipphone.
This guy gets it.
Photo by Rachael Moreland
Photo by Yuta Kato
Photo by Edemiria Schmitz Hsiao
Photo by Edemiria Schmitz Hsiao
April 2018 11
Photo by Jessie Foster
They say it all started with a group of high school kids
smoking pot beside a wall on April 20, in 1971. Since
then, the 420 ritual was adopted by the Grateful Dead,
spread across the country and embedded deeply
into North American culture. Now there are global
celebrations in almost every corner of our planet. Here
are some of the greenest ganja festivities of 2018.
Vancouver 420 , Sunset Beach, April 20
VANCOUVER DISPENSARY GUIDE
After the notoriously messy event held last year
at Sunset Beach, the city has decided to go ahead
anyways and host the 24th annual 420 celebration.
They are expecting more than 100,000 people to join
the peaceful protest in the war against cannabis and
rejoice in weed culture. Finish off the afternoon with a
trip to the farmers market.
Five Alarm Funk, Commodore Ballroom,
Vancouver’s Five Alarm Funk will be playing their 420
show at the Commodore. The eight-person group are
promised to be nothing short of funky on their North
American tour. Get your tickets early for this 2018
Juno Nominated band.
Aniya Jacob at the Village Bloomery is all about natural organic vibes.
Vancouver is considered to be the Amsterdam
of Canada. No wonder why with hundreds of
dispensaries budding up around the city and
headshops embracing for legalization. Here’s a
sneak peak of BeatRoute’s favourite dispensaries
the city has to offer.
1540 West 2nd Ave, The Waterfall
Walking up to the shop is described as magical,
with sights such as glass galleries, natural
courtyard and waterfalls. It’s got a great seated
area out front with a very natural organic feel.
Even has reading material inside if you’re looking
for a place to spend the afternoon.
BONUS POINTS: Highly relaxing
Karuna Health Foundation
4510 Victoria Dr.
Karuna goes above and beyond your regular
corner store dispensary. As a tasty bonus they
offer frozen smoothies, ice cream, coffees and
slurpees for their sweetest customers. They offer
over 90 strains and 50 extracts with anything
from skin creams and bath bombs to Phoenix
BONUS POINTS: Tinctures, tears and treats
1707 Robson St.
The Green Panda is known to attract all sorts of
international attention for their stellar and loyal
customer service. They offer joints for just a
handful of dollars as well as spaces to roll before
you head out. They’ve got stickers, free shirts
and an all-around down to earth atmosphere.
BONUS POINTS: Bud referral program
2223 Commercial Dr.
Cannaclinics offers smoke-free forms of medical
cannabis such as ingestible tablets, extracts,
edible oils and butters, suppositories, oils for
vaporizers and topical products. Cannaclinics
is “Canada’s Most Reliable Medical Cannabis
BONUS POINTS: Doctor-like professionalism
231 Abbott St.
Building relationships, being approachable
and offering a fully laid-back vibe is what sets
RedMed apart from the rest. Absolutely no
white lights or sterile ambience in this grassroots
facility. Come here if you like a wide range of
flowers, anywhere from 25-40 strains at a time!
BONUS POINTS: Owned by Canadian rap legend,
2179 W 4th Ave.
The Buddha Barn not only heals with nature’s
safest medicine, they hold yoga nidra, yoga and
meditation classes to develop body, mind and
soul. True to their name, they give back to the
community by supporting abused women and
children around Canada.
BONUS POINTS: Yoga classes
4545 W 10th Ave.
These pioneers foster a community hub where
cannabis can collide with design, culture and
innovation for an exceptionally lush experience.
Vancouver’s first licensed cannabis dispensary hits
it out of the park when it comes to emulsifying
stereotypes in the growing industry.
BONUS POINTS: Empowers positivity
2303 E Hastings St.
Just like a good chicken, they never stop laying
down quality products. They work around the
clock to acquire new strains, product lines and
looking at Cannabis in a fresh new way.
BONUS POINTS: Happy birthday gram
Leaves Of Zazie
109 E Broadway
Leaves of Zazie donates back to the community
with $1 of their charity strand going towards
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation. They carry
bunches of non-marijuana products which have
unique strengths in healing ailments.
BONUS POINTS: Paws for Hope
Lotusland Cannabis Club
3474 W Broadway.
Huge flowers of pure joy. Lotusland boasts
eight different locations across Vancouver and
Victoria and carry a wide selection of highgrade
medicinal marijuana products including
concentrates, edibles and so much more.
BONUS POINTS: Medical marijuana flowers
Cannabis Cuisine Fine Dining Series, Venue
TBA, April 20-22
Chef Travis Petersen of The Nomadcook and Chef
Evan Elman of Dinner In The Sky come together to
whip up a six course THC-infused menu at this pop up
restaurant downtown Vancouver. Book in advance for
a fully loaded brunch or scrumptious dinner for the
Grassroots Expo, UBC Robson Square,
A fully immersive experience for Vancouver’s
“cannabis curious,” this conference will feature
panellists, doctors, exhibitors, job fairs, education
areas, a lounge and a stage with world-class speakers.
Photo by Jessie Foster
3 Beer til 5pm
Local Jam Night
w. guest DJs
The Live Agency
w. The Fallaways
3 Beer til 5pm
Weekend 6 th -8 th
85YR weekend w.
The Railway 85YR
Blues Brunch 1-4
Said The Whale
85YR weekend w.
Local Jam Night
w. guest DJs
w. hosts Karmella
Barr & Dust
Live Acts & Live
w. Don Castro &
The Live Agency
w. Written Years
Live Acts & Live
w. Quantum Council
Blues Brunch 1-4
Live Acts pres.
Live Acts pres.
w. Bad Strangers,
Harlequin Gold, &
Poor Nameless Boy
Local Jam Night
w. guest DJs
3 Beer til 5pm
3 Beer til 5pm
Live Acts & Live
If Not, Winter
w. Belcarra, Fionn
Live Acts & Live
w. Sly Detrick &
Blues Brunch 1-4
Live Agency pres.
3 Beer til 5pm
Local Jam Night
w. guest DJs
3 Beer til 5pm
3 Beer til 5pm
Live Acts & Live
w. Big Ctity Dreams
& Mic Dreams
w. Hale Road &
Blues Brunch 1-4
S&S & Railway pres.
3 Beer til 5pm
Local Jam Night
w. guest band
FOOD & DRINK
BREWERY CREEK’S NEWEST, FRESHEST ADDITION
Craft beer and building, Electric Bicycle is the newest kid on the hop block.
If the beer gods are willing, Brewery Creek
shall continue to rise. The area – running
from False Creek up towards Broadway – has
a brewing history dating back to the late
1800s. Perhaps their eye-popping mural has
already caught your attention, but Electric
Bicycle is the newest, weirdest kid on the
hop block. Located mere doors down from
veterans R&B Brewing (“We’ve been paying
their mortgage going there so often while
getting ready to open,” says head brewer
Paddy Russell), Electric’s Bicycle’s training
wheels are ready to come off: their beers start
BLUE HERON CREAMERY
INNOVATION SPURS THE EVOLUTION OF VEGAN CHEESE
Whether you’re vegan or not, the question
on everyone’s lips is often: “What about
cheese?” With plant-based, dairy-free diets
quickly rising in popularity worldwide, cheese
is often the last excuse and the hardest
food to replace. Colin Medhurst and Karen
McAthy of Blue Heron Creamery are happy
to provide the answer with their range of
plant-based, dairy-free, vegan products.
A born and raised Vancouverite, Medhurst
has an extensive background in plant-based
food, having been one half of Feed Life, a
business focused on making plant-based
living more achievable. After the passing
of his wife and business partner, Eden,
Everyone’s got a friend in cheeses at the Blue Heron Creamery.
rolling out in early April.
When speaking to the minds behind
Electric Bicycle and visiting the almost-done
taproom, it’s clear they’re trying to create
an establishment altogether different from
conventional thoughts of what a Vancouver
craft brewery should be. Perhaps it’s the
aesthetic (try to picture a circus-themed
antique oddities shop crossed with a 1930s
barbershop), or the excitement of those
involved to do essentially whatever they
want, unrestricted by over-planning or
sales-figures. While some BC tasting rooms
Medhurst strove to keep her legacy alive. The
universe provided McAthy, former executive
chef, author of The Art of Plant-Based
Cheesemaking, and a pioneer in her craft.
The two combined forces to create a business
with the mission of exploring the diversity of
vegan cheese. In turn, they have managed to
swiftly enter a niche that is quickly becoming
a market dominator.
The most significant detail that sets Blue
Heron Creamery well above the ranks of
standard non-dairy cheese is their key focus
on maintaining the art of cheesemaking.
This includes having a precise focus on the
methodology involved, including the use of
Photo by Colin Medhurst
prefer a utilitarian approach to design that
often results in boring drinking spaces,
Electric Bicycle realizes you can bring people
in for the beer and give them a fun, unique
experience at the same time.
For owner Elliot McKerr and his partners,
the concept and end product didn’t appear
“It’s been a trial-by-fire build-out,” he says.
Forgoing the route of hiring designers and
contractors, they chose to do everything
themselves. “The theme came together
through this being a fun, organic building
experience, with everyone trading ideas and
making it up as we went.”
“Craft beer and craft building,” adds Leigh
Matkovitch, who heads Electric Bicycle’s
marketing and media efforts.
In a space that used to house a literal
electric bicycle producer, a wholly original
brewery has taken up residence. Expect six
beers for onsite imbibing and growler fills
at open, with guest taps, an expansion to
eight taps, and community collaboration
brews through their “Think Tank” program to
follow shortly after.
Electric Bicycle Brewing is located at 20 East
active cultures, washing, flipping, turning,
and the aging stages that are keys of the craft.
“Karen has the ability to really push the
current advance of cheesemaking with
plant-based mediums,” says Medhurst. “She
has taken culturing, aging, and afromaging
techniques, applied different methodologies,
and still managed to keep those timehonoured
“I would love to see cultured vegan cheese
and the methodologies evolving around it as
an evolution of the cheesemaking craft,” says
This attention to detail and craft
alongside hours of hand peeling almonds
and monitoring cultures undoubtedly shines
through in their final products, which include
mouth-watering herb and garlic cumulus
cheese, addictive almond ricotta, saporous
almond bocconcini and more. Even the most
adamant of dairy cheese advocates would
find them hard to fault. But they don’t stop
at just cheese – Blue Heron also offers a
wide range of butters, spreads, platters, and
catering packages, all of which make it the
perfect addition to the quickly transforming
vegan hub that is Main Street.
Blue Heron Creamery is located on 2410 Main St.
WITH EMILY SHELLE AT THE RAILWAY STAGE & BEER CAFÉ
HOW DID YOU START BARTENDING?
I was living in an old mining town in Australia called
Beechworth, working as an au pair and on the hunt for a
second job. I applied at a local hotel called Tanswell’s. It was
an old gold rush era pub from the late 1800s. Apparently Ned
Kelly used to ride his horse through the tavern doors, right up
to the counter.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT THE
I’ve been coming in for years, but about three months ago I got
home from travelling through Asia and vowed to get a job in a
live music venue. Lucky for me, the Donnelly Group got back
to me right away.
BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB.
The people I work with. It’s rare in this industry to have a crew
that is so compatible. Doug Meaker (bar manager) and Chad
Cole (owner, GM) have done an amazing job. I especially love
working in the back bar, a hidden Vancouver gem. When it’s
slow I can shoot pool with regulars, try some of our many
delicious craft beers and engross myself in people’s stories of
Railway. It’s incredible working in a place with so much history.
FAVORITE DRINK TO MAKE?
Old Fashioned. It’s also my favorite drink to drink so I get
excited whenever I get to make one.
GO TO ON AN OFF NIGHT?
I love Uncle Abe’s and The Narrow. The music they play and
the cocktails they serve are right up my alley.
THE GREATEST NIGHT YOU’VE EVER HAD AT
For me there hasn’t been just one. It’s the gigs that bring in the
best clientele that are winners. When the band is good, the
night is good.
I mean, even the worst shifts at Railway are still fun ones.
I honestly can’t think of a night where I’ve been truly
miserable. If I hate the band, get swarmed with 17 martinis at
once or get several customers who forgot their deodorant, I
am still having a laugh.
The Railway SBC is located at 579 Dunsmuir Street
Photo by Zee Khan
USING SOCIAL ACTIVISM TO BREAK THE MONOTONY
Photo by Mindy Tucker
Hari Kondabolu uses comedy to inspire social change from within.
Hari Kondabolu has made a name for himself in the space where
comedic and political spheres intersect, offering impassioned
insights on current affairs and social justice issues through a
uniquely humorous lens. Kondabolu speaks from a measured,
compassionate, well-rounded perspective, likely a product of his
upbringing in the vibrant borough of Queens, New York. Having
spent the majority of his adult life straddling the comedy stage,
academia, and human rights campaigns, Kondabolu has crafted
a keen ability to use humour to advance dialogues surrounding
controversial and often uncomfortable topics.
Kondabolu has long been outspoken on the topic of gun
violence in America. Several years ago, he performed a satirical bit
likening a hypothetical “open-carry chainsaw lobby” to campaigns
supporting open-carry firearm legislation in the U.S. Thus, on
the topic of the #NeverAgain movement, led by the teens who
survived the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas
High School in Parkland, Florida, Kondabolu has much to say when
asked whether or not he feels this response has the potential to
affect lasting change: “Oh God, yes. It’s a national mobilization of
young people. And they’ve all taken a certain personal approach to
this. This isn’t a topic they just care about. This is their lives and the
lives of their friends, family. This is deep. And we’ve never seen that.
With the children in Sandy Hook, you would think that would have
been rock bottom, right? But there wasn’t mobilization after. There
have been so many more shootings since then.”
“These kids in Florida are a very special group of young people,”
he continues. “It’s almost like it happened in a place with was
the right mix of people with passion, righteous indignation, and
the desire to put this issue and the country before anything else.
There’s something about an individual who’s willing to break the
monotony. This could be any other news cycle: another shooting,
and you move onto the next thing. [Emma Gonzalez] and her
classmates stand out. They’re the difference. Just in the same way as
the images of the little girl, naked and running from the napalm [in
Vietnam] – these are things that shocked the system. They broke
the monotony of the day to day.”
Kondabolu qualifies that he doesn’t expect to see legislative
change until the influence of the movement causes elections
to be lost, rendering gun lobbyist money immaterial. He does,
however, view the recent defeat of two NRA-backed politicians,
Roy Moore and Rick Saccone, as evidence of changing tides. So
while he remains hopeful for change, Kondabolu continues to use
multiple platforms – from standup to social media – to urge the
public against desensitization in the midst of media saturation.
Kondabolu cautions that, in this current climate, “there’s so much
media, and because you can see the most horrific things online,
we’ve lost some of that [ability to shock people into action]. I think
part of it is to just remember our humanity. There’s something
about seeing strangers as part of this larger community and being
connected to you. We’re all human. I think we can never lose the
ability to see ourselves in other people and see their pain in our
With the pursuit of introspection, unity, and recognition of
our common humanity underscoring his body of work, Hari
Kondabolu encourages us to reach across the aisle in a continuous
quest for understanding.
Hari Kondabolu performs at the Commodore Ballroom on April 28.
COMEDIAN BRENT BUTT BREAKS DOWN THE SHOW’S ANIMATED REBOOT
Corner Gas was one of the most beloved sitcoms
born of Canadian soil. Set in a gas station in
the fictional town of Dog River, Saskatchewan,
comedian Brent Butt created a group of lovable
characters portrayed by actors with excellent
on-screen chemistry. Corner Gas was a perfect
pseudo-nonsensical storm that captivated
audiences for six seasons, unexpectedly garnering
over 70 award nominations, six Gemini wins, and
its own highly successful movie. Now, Butt and
his quirky friends will further evolve the show by
exploring the unlimited possibilities of animation.
In the episode “Squatch Your Language,”
it’s clear that Corner Gas has already taken full
advantage of the fantastical freedoms animation
offers. Within the first five minutes, you witness
a mythically brutal fight break out between a
sasquatch and a unicorn. The fun doesn’t stop
there – Butt claims the animated pilot episode,
“Bone Dry,” sees the gas station put in a postapocalyptic,
Mad Max-style scenario.
“That’s the type of thing that there’s no way we
could have done in the real world, but we can do
that in animation,” says Butt. “We can put a gas
station in the middle of the desert instead of rural
Canada. We can create 40 dune buggies rolling
over a hill. We always let our imaginations go, but
we had to bring things back to Earth a bit more
often in the old days. Now we can put Wanda and
Hank in outer space and do what we want to do.”
Although the visuals are different, the comedic
style and character interactions are familiar. It’s
easy to forget you’re watching something different
– the flow of the new series is that smooth and
“Norm Hiscock, who also wrote on King of the
Hill, was one of the first people I talked to when
we were thinking of doing this,” he says. “I asked
him: ‘If we were to do this as an animated show,
what should we do to change the script?’ He said,
‘Nothing, just keep writing more scripts. This
is the perfect show to animate.’ That’s how we
approached it. It’s still interesting people saying
Fans will be ecstatic to know that the original
cast is kept intact, with the exception of Janet
Wright, who passed away in 2016; the role of
Emma Leroy is now voiced by Corrine Koslo.
The option to record dialogue separately is a
convenient option in the animated world, but Butt
preferred to have its cast record lines together to
maintain their fluid chemistry and bounce off each
other. With half the cast living in Vancouver and
half in Toronto, everyone is patched together to
work in real time, even if they’re in different cities.
“You can’t really overstate the importance of the
Just when you thought our friends from Dog River couldn’t get any more cartoony...
chemistry this cast has, and how it plays into the
success of the show. That’s the kind of lightning in
a bottle you only cross once in a lifetime if you’re
When it comes to why the show has grown to
the heights it has, Butt concludes: “I think there
was an authenticity to Corner Gas that people
responded to. We weren’t trying to sell anything.
We first went into it thinking, ‘Well, the network
made a mistake, we’ve somehow convinced
them to shoot 13 episodes over the summer, but
nobody’s gonna watch it.’ So we just made a show
that we liked.”
Corner Gas: The Animated Series premieres April
2 on Comedy Central.
April 2018 15
EMBRACING VULNERABILITY AND COMING OUT AS PRO-SEXT
Photo by Frank Ockenfels
Phoebe Bridgers finds a balance of intensity and sincerity on Stranger In The Alps.
Singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers’ latest album,
Stranger in the Alps, strikes a rare balance. The
Los Angeles based artist has created an emotional
collection of songs that speak from the heart while
maintaining a sense of humour to make it a relatable
experience for all.
“I’m trying to find the balance between being
sincere and not being too intense,” Bridgers explains.
“Letting people know that I’m serious about what
I’m saying. I don’t want to italicize the subtext. It’s
just life. I want to say it how it is and not make it too
intense. With my songs I try to write like I’m talking to
When one does write very relatable emotional
music, fans can get pretty intense. This is a concern
Bridgers shares with some of her prominent musical
friends: Connor Oberst, Ryan Adams, and Julien
Baker. Bridgers takes that responsibility seriously but
her down-to-earth persona captures a slightly more
diverse crowd. As she puts it, “I do have intense fans
but I also have women who are really like me. Who
kind of talk like a surfer. “Dude your record is sick!”
There’s a Venn diagram between how intense they are
versus their bro-y attitude.”
It also helps that she talks about relatable things,
fairly frankly. The idea of the vulnerability that arises
from sent sexts comes up on her song “Demi Moore.”
Make no mistake however, she’s definitely not against
the idea: “Oh I’m so pro sexting. I could talk about
this for so long. I’m so pro sexting because, especially
for young people. TMI I lost my virginity on high
school campus and I wasn’t allowed to sext or allowed
to have boys over. Or girls. I wasn’t allowed to have
girls sleep in my bed because my parents knew I was
bisexual. I felt this weird shame about it,” she says.
“I don’t know one full grown adult who didn’t have
some sort of movie theatre experience in their early
teens. It’s the same thing, only safer. And there’s more
Bridgers deals with serious issues in her songwriting
and sometimes that means getting people out of
their seats at shows can be difficult. In some cities
that meant covering Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You
Happy,” which was a crowd pleaser. It also involved
confetti filled balloons when performing “Scott St.”
For Vancouver, she has a secret weapon: “You can
look forward to an emo cover of Japandroids. I fucking
love Japandroids so much and always try to cover a
Japandroids song in Vancouver. When I was opening
for people that’s how I won over Vancouver.”
Phoebe Bridgers performs April 24 at the Cobalt.
TRANSMITTING BIG CITY SOUNDS WITH SENSITIVITY
THE EVOLUTION OF AUTHENTIC EXPECTATIONS
Photo by Adam Alessi
The Neighbourhood have a lot of love to give.
Every once in awhile you come across a band that
slithers into your headphones and projects an
alternate vision of reality for a day. Los Angelesbased
band The Neighbourhood happens to be
one that can do just this with their atmospheric,
sensitive and soul-encompassing sound that
transcends all corners of a city, reminding you there
The Austin-based seven-piece indie folk band Wild
Child is on a continuous journey of authenticity
in their artistic expression. The two primary
songwriters, Alexander Beggins and Kelsey Wilson,
originally met in a different band prior to forming
Wild Child in 2010. Throughout the past eight years
the band has released four full length albums, their
most recent being Expectations, a fully realized
collection of bombastic indie pop.
“I don’t think we’ve made a conscious effort to
evolve our sound,” Beggins explains. “We’ve never
wanted to make the same record twice, but we
are consciously trying to find a way to change [our
sound] and we have a big pool of inspiration.”
Regardless of Wild Child’s mindset, their 2011
debut, Pillow Talk, took off thanks to their songwriting
talent. “All those songs did really well on
Hype Machine online for some reason and we were
all like ‘shit, I guess we’re doing that now,’” jokes
Shortly after Wild Child’s first album, their
carefree approach to song writing stopped. “Wild
Child started strictly for fun: zero expectations, zero
drive to be or do anything. It all kind of accidently
fell into our lap, with music that we wouldn’t have
ever set out to make initially. We started playing
[Pillow Talk] on the road and realized we didn’t like
playing quiet ukulele stuff in loud open bars and
that wasn’t us,” Wilson asserts.
Fast-forward to the present day and Wild Child
is more driven, ambitious and passionate than
ever. The band has gone above and beyond to
create their best record to date with Expectations.
The nine song LP released this past February was
recorded in both North America and Europe in
collaboration with some well-known producers
and musicians including Chris Walla (Death Cab for
Cutie), Scott McMicken (Dr. Dog), Matthew Logan
Vasquez (Delta Spirit) and Chris Boosahda (Shakey
Graves). Expectations is a cohesive and well-written
album that resonates with Wild Child fans for its
“I think Expectations is best explained by the
title,” says Beggins. “There is the duality of the
statement like expectations of who we want to
be, and where we want to be, and who we’re with
and what relationships we’re involved in, all of us.
Expectations is how I feel about the expectations
is love in the world.
BeatRoute caught bassist Mikey Margott at his
favourite sandwich spot and trapped him down for
a few minutes on the day of The Neighbourhood’s
new self-titled sophomore album release.
The conversation started on an incredibly
light note with Soulja Boy’s “Kiss Me Through
The Phone” being the MOH while waiting for the
publicist to patch through the call. And just like
Soulja Boy, The Neighbourhood boast millions
of monthly listeners on Spotify, currently sitting
around the 5 million mark at 406th in the world.
Margott and the band moved into the
production of their new album with a well-deserved
confidence that has taken five years to build.
With the release of two EPs, Hard and To Imagine
in the last six months, they’ve been meshing the
familiar sounds that created their name with a new
synthetic vibe, which at times combines violin,
autotuned clips of frontman Jesse Rutherford’s
vocals, and chimes over boombastic hip-hop-esque
On top of the tracks that had been pre-released,
their single “Too Serious” was what Margott
called a new fan-favorite with a complete stringarrangement
being utilized as another leap into
unexplored territory for the band. As if that weren’t
enough, they scooped Tommy Wiseau to play
a futuristic bounty hunter of sorts in their 80’s
inspired video for the hit-track “Scary Love.”
“He was a total sweetheart. You always have your
expectations of how much ego is going to come
into play, and he was just totally down to work,
When asked what’s ahead for Margott and the
band, he illustrated that the band will always be
priority number one, though we can expect more
from Margott and possibly other members of the
band on an individual level.
“For me, I think it’s really important to do side
projects. As much as The Neighbourhood is equally
as much my baby as it is everyone else’s, we are a
true band and it’s not run by one person. We all
work together. As beautiful as that is, it doesn’t
allow me to get my own artistic craft completely
out by myself. Within the next two years, there will
be a side project coming out.”
The Neighbourhood performs at the Vogue Theatre
on April 10.
Wild Child’s album, Expectations, is so great they might as well be Gwyneth Paltrow.
Photo by Sean Daigle
we have set for ourselves.”
Like Pillow Talk and its successor albums,
Expectations is another successful representation
of the band’s authentic expression. Wild Child has
captured the mindset of its members, infused some
diverse producers and musical styles, and created
an album through incredible effort that continues
to build on the impressive repertoire it has already
Wild Child have grown up significantly
throughout their eight years as a band, but one
element is constant: Wild Child has, is, and will
continue to be authentic to their music and
Wild Child perform at the Fox Cabaret on April 26.
PLUS BOUSADA AND XAVIER
CAPITAL BALLROOM // SATURDAY, APRIL 14
SLOAN “12” TOUR
CAPITAL BALLROOM // THURSDAY, APRIL 19
FIVE ALARM FUNK
CAPITAL BALLROOM // SATURDAY, APRIL 28
CAPITAL BALLROOM // SUNDAY, APRIL 29
FOR FULL CONCERT LISTINGS & TO PURCHASE
TICKETS, PLEASE VISIT:
FACEBOOK /ATOMIQUEPRODUCTIONS TWITTER @ATOMIQUEEVENTS
April 2018 17
EVERYONE TO THE DANCEFLOOR AND OUT ON THE STREETS
Photo by Kenny Rodriguez
Eli Escobar looks back to political reactionary music of the ’70s on his latest release, Shout.
In November of 2016, the election of U.S. President
Donald Trump created a ripple of fear, anger, and
resentment felt throughout the world. Among
those who were deeply troubled by the election
was renowned New York DJ and disco house
producer, Eli Escobar. He did what any good
artist would do during such a tumultuous period,
which was to turn to his creative outlets to release
emotion and voice concern regarding the grim and
unstable political climate.
“I was feeling a lot of pain, anger and confusion,
and the best way I knew how to deal with it was to
make music,” reflects Escobar.
There exists a long history between music and
politics, which has resulted in masterpieces that
have transcended the years with messages of
peace, love, and harmony over powers that seek to
divide cultures and breed hatred, each generation
echoing the words of their creative ancestors. For
Escobar, the 1970s in particular were a goldmine
of politically charged music, strong messages
presented in the most beautifully composed
“I’m very influenced by the music of the ‘70s,”
Escobar says. “During that time, artists were really
talking about the problems of the world, the inner
cities, war, social and racial injustice. We haven’t
seen another era in music so focused on mirroring
the outside world since, and [Marvin Gaye’s]
What’s Going On was probably the first high
profile album of that decade which really set the
whole thing in motion. I did not set out to emulate
this period or make political statement with [my
2018 album Shout], but what I did do was make
music directly influenced by modern day America.”
Shout tracks like “Nightmare Rag,” “The People,”
and “Goin’ On?” clearly illustrate Escobar’s
sentiments regarding the current state of affairs.
On “The People,” lyrics explicitly address the
POTUS, making a call for justice as a solid house
beat enters the track and carries the rest of
the tune forward. The album itself is filled with
dancefloor worthy tracks that leave one feeling
just as excited about the rhythm as they do about
being politically engaged.
“I feel a solidarity with all of the nightlife scene
here in New York,” tells Escobar. “I believe most
everyone here wants to be on the right side of
history, and that’s one of the beautiful things about
nightlife and dance music. People who believe in
equality for all tend to come together on the dance
Eli Escobar performs at Open Studios on April 13.
BRINGING A COACHELLA-SIZED SPECTACLE TO THE NORTH
MARCH 2018: GOU-GE YOUR EARS
Photo by Erik Voake
I miss drugs before fentanyl. It was really something to come of age back
when a pill cost $25, and felt good. I wouldn’t touch the stuff now, and
I don’t. It was getting cheaper and shittier before it became commonly
lethal. Sorry, kids, but you missed it. Your only hope is to convince the
Liberals to get behind decriminalizing all drugs. It’s the lesser of two evils.
Making it harder to get the stuff we want (that doesn’t hurt anybody
else) only gets us a whole lot more stuff that we don’t want, which
makes everything harder for everyone. That said, if you go to all of these
shows sober, you’ll win a prize.
April 11 @ Imperial
What is it? I don’t know. It’s the kind of thing that may seem relatively
normal in a dream, but then when you wake up and think about it, it
chills you to your core. This is what a pirate may call “bizarrrrrrrrre.”
Jean-Michel Jarre is heralded as one of the most important names in electronic music with a keytar collection to back it up.
There is no need to go to Coachella this year. The best is coming
to us. Yes, French electronic legend Jean-Michel Jarre is bringing
his unparalleled spectacle to Vancouver, and there isn’t a shred of
hyperbole in assigning this guy the legend tag.
Granted, Jarre came in a couple years after the likes of than
Jean Jacques Perrey and Wendy Carlos, but he quickly planted
his flag as one of the most important names in electronic music
history. He went on to sell over 80 million albums worldwide, with
his landmark 1976 album Oxygène selling over 12 million copies
alone, an album that became a cornerstone for the progression
of ambient music. Meanwhile, the magnitude of his live shows
have made it into the record books multiple times, starting with a
1979 Bastille Day performance for a then-unprecedented million
celebrators in Paris and culminating with the 850th birthday of
Moscow, where he played for an astronomical 3.5 million people.
“If I had to keep one moment, I think that would be the
concert I’d done in Houston for the 25th anniversary of NASA,”
Jarre reminisces about his 1986 stateside performance. “Gathering
1.3 million people is still in the Guinness Book of Records for the
largest audience in the United States. An astronaut was supposed
to play live in the timelessness of space, but, unfortunately, it
was Ron McNair, and he died in the Challenger crash. Of course,
the concert became a tribute for the astronauts, and something
special in my life until today.”
Despite his many impressive achievements, Jarre never rested
on his laurels. Ever since his early days studying elements of
musique concrete with its pioneer Pierre Schaeffer and the power
of the synthesizer with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the late ‘60s,
he has produced a steady stream of work, dropping new albums
every few years or so, including two spiritual sequels to Oxygène
that were each spaced out by twenty years. He keeps the passion
alive listening to classical, jazz, hip-hop, and punk, but especially
today’s younger electronic acts, as demonstrated by his two-part
collaborative Electronica releases, which featured the likes of
Gesaffelstein, Little Boots, Sebastien Tellier and Siriusmo, and his
2013 DJ mix for contemporary eclectic electronic label InFiné,
simply titled InFiné by JMJ.
“I always think that I’m a beginner,” Jarre remarks. “For
instance, I’m going to play Vancouver for the first time. It’s a great
excitement. It’s a very special city, a unique atmosphere. We have
this image all over the world that Canada is so cold and full of
snow, but Vancouver is exactly the reverse. Also, these days, the
fact you have such a big Chinese community makes Vancouver
an international hub. I’m so happy to share with the Vancouver
audience one of the most sophisticated projects I’ve ever
achieved, both on a musical point of view and on a visual point of
view: 3-D without glasses, total immersion in terms of visuals, and
also my music since Oxygène to the most recent work.”
Obviously, Jarre is no beginner to live performance, and this
show promises to present an unforgettable and unparalleled
experience, carefully crafted by the great mind himself.
“I’ve always been involved in the design of my shows, and this
time, I really wanted to recreate visually what I’m doing musically,
by creating architecture of sounds, creating perspectives, and
giving that impact and giving that effect on the visual point of
view,” Jarre enthuses. “So I conceived the stage design with giant
slide LED screen panels, semi-transparent, and that gives fairly
spectacular 3-D effects around the three of us, surrounded by 60
instruments from the first analog synthesizers to the very up-todate
touch screens and digital equipment, so it’s a fairly unique
and ambitious project.”
While the show has been constantly tweaked by Jarre since
he hit Toronto and Montréal in early 2017, his piece with NSA
whistleblower Edward Snowden will still feature prominently.
Jarre travelled to Russia to record with Snowden for a track on
Electronica 2 - The Heart of Noise, as his sacrifice reminded Jarre
of his mother, who was part of the French resistance in 1941. If
anything, the track is even more relevant now than when it was
“Promoting the values of Snowden, which are actually more
and more up-to-date when you see what’s going on with
Facebook and the leaks all over the world, we need to protect our
privacy,” Jarre declares, “And we need to protect people helping
us to discover how our privacy can be in danger.”
So, come to pay homage to a master of his kind, come for the
spectacle, come for the knowledge… No matter what draws you
here, you will leave with far more value than your ticket costs.
Jean-Michel Jarre performs at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on
Apr 14 @ Celebrities UG
South Korea-born, Berlin-based Ninja Tune-signee Peggy Gou is being
promoted as a “polymathic electronic music producer, DJ, model, pianist
and designer.” She’s a veritable renaissance woman. Expectedly eclectic,
her quirky, pop-laced kinetic mutantronica beats claim influence from
the likes of J Dilla, Patrick Cowley, Yellow Magic Orchestra and DJ
Sotofett. She could be the next TOKiMONSTA. See her now before she
April 17 @ Imperial
Holy nightmare of John Carpenter, does this band push the upper limits
of cheesy ‘80s synth-rock, drenched in the hard driving soundtracks of
classic period horror/thriller films. Hang on tight.
Sequential Circus 22 feat. 1800 Haight Street, Amos
Hertzman, DJ Lace & more
Apr 21 @ Open Studios
The good folks at Sequential Circus have kindly serviced greater
Vancouver with the choicest cutting-edge curations in local multimedia,
live-PA electronic music for over a decade now. There are five quality
acts on this bill, headlined by BeatRoute favorites 1800 Haight Street,
with mind-bending visuals by Dermot Glennon, acrobatics by AcroYoga,
and an aerial hoop performance by Selene.
May 01 @ Fortune Sound
This up-and-coming Arizona alt-rap trio drops self-aware, high energy
rhymes over slick, banging beats. This particular gig, touted as “A
Traveling Party/Art Installation,” is part of their ongoing Arena Tour,
despite the fact it’s going down at Fortune Sound, but the Funktion-One
sound system there is better than an arena anyway, so it’s for the best.
Photo by Jungwook Mok
April 2018 19
GRAPHIC NOVELS, THE OC AND A CHURCH OF SCARS
MAKING WAY FOR THE WEIRDOS
Photo by Jabari Jacobs
A star on the rise, Bishop Briggs grew up obsessed with American culture and karaoke.
To put it lightly Bishop Briggs (aka Sarah Mclaughlin)
does not do anything half-assed. In truth, after
hearing tracks like “River, ” “Wild Horses” and her
most recent release “White Flag,” you’ll begin to
understand why she has repeatedly graced the
Billboard 100 charts and smashed Twitter’s Emerging
Artist charts while performing alongside bands like
Kaleo and Alt-J. The traditional pop-electronic genre
label is immediately discarded once her cathartic
vibe meets her unavoidably relatable and honest
vocals and lyrics.
Having caught up with BB precisely one month
before the 4/20 release of her debut album, Church
of Scars, following her SXSW performances,
peculiarly, her spirit was incredibly high. If her energy
was any more animated, she’d have to take up an
acting role in anime. Speaking of which, Briggs let us
in on a few of her other artistic vents.
“Darker poetry is always my go-to. Even if I’m
having a good day I like to write poetry to remind
me of who I am at my core. I am a big diary-writer,
and that involves a ton of graphic novel vibes; I draw,
I do speech bubbles, the whole thing. I started to
get drawn to tattoos as a way of therapy, which my
mum was very upset about. I started to see a distinct
correlation between getting the tattoos and feeling
as though I got closure on events or experiences.
And then as time progressed, I feel like my tattoos
grow with me.”
At 25, the London-born, Hong Kong and Tokyo
raised singer has already graced soundtracks of
multiple blockbusters, she’s collaborated with bands
like Cold War Kids and more recently, she forged
next to Dan Reynolds (vocalist of Imagine Dragons)
for her newest track “Lion” off of her upcoming
“If you can imagine (no pun intended) being in
a vocal booth standing next to him, it’s just the
strength of his voice,” she says. “You don’t hear
tracks where he’s just singing acapella. It makes you
When questioned about her unconventional
upbringing, Briggs credits her childhood as the spark
of her love for all things music and culture.
“I didn’t really realize that it was an unusual
upbringing until I moved to the States at 18. At that
point I was like, oh it is strange to go to karaoke bars
every couple of days after school. For me, it was all
I’d ever known. I went to an international school and
was pretty obsessed with American culture, so by the
time I moved to the States I was ready to become a
character from The OC.”
Bishop Briggs will begin her first headlining tour
in Vancouver at the Commodore with her debut
album, Church of Scars, set to release the week prior
to the show. If you’re a fan of hard-hitting vocals,
deep bass, high-energy and big hearts; you should
catch this one. Otherwise, stay home and watch
reruns of The OC or something.
Bishop Briggs performs April 27 at the Commodore
Photo by Zee Khan
Benita Prado’s energy is infectious – when she
talks, you want to listen. The 19-year-old hip
hop artist has quickly carved a place for herself
in Vancouver’s music scene, challenging existing
structures and revolutionizing the game. Listening
to her, it’s clear Prado knows what she wants and
how she’s going to get there; she’s been crafting,
refining, and redefining her sound since her mom
gifted her a guitar at age 13.
“My mom gave me the guitar and she was like,
‘Here, I want you to learn some Rolling Stones on
this,’” laughs Prado. “I was like, ‘Uh, I don’t fuck
with that.’ So I just started writing my own stuff,
just stupid little teenage heartbreak stuff. And
from there I started going onto SoundCloud and
Twitter and branching myself out that way.”
Before making a name for herself in the public
sphere, Prado was a ghostwriter for big-name
rappers when she was just 15. She’s used the
following four years wisely, learning the game from
the inside out – there’s no better way to overthrow
the system than from within it.
“I came out the womb looking like I was 12, so
I deadass just finessed people,” she says, laughing
after a comparison to Maeby Bluth from Arrested
Development’s stint in the film industry. “I was 15,
like, ‘Yeah, I’m 19, and I know how to do this.’ I still
do it, but it makes it harder to focus on my own
career. I was always the behind-the-scenes type
person and now I’m in the fuckin’ foreground.”
If you have the dedication, the vision, and the
talent, you will succeed, and Prado’s mission is
to be the living proof. When asked about the
purpose of her art and what she hopes to achieve,
she responds with a laugh: “Maybe like… world
“I hope people see themselves [in my music],”
she says. “[In my songs], I let myself be the worst
version of myself for, like, two minutes. Everyone
needs an outlet for that shit. So I just want them to
take away the vulnerability, and accepting that not
everybody has to be a positive person – you just
have to be a person. Have that balance. Sometimes
I feel like a dark ass bitch. But it’s like, just live your
life. You don’t have to be positive all the time. I was
an emo ass kid. I was deadass emo as fuck from
grades five to 10. Now I’m getting back into it; I
have all the My Chemical Romance albums.”
Ultimately, Prado makes music for the people
who have been in her shoes, living in their feelings
without public figures to look up to.
“Have you ever seen the Vine of that little emo
black kid who does screamo in front of mirrors?”
asks Prado. “He’s literally the best Viner. People
Prado is poppin’ off with the release of her new mixtape, Yung Depression.
always make fun of him. I make music for those
people, and I want those people to have an outlet,
and women of colour to have an outlet. All the
people that don’t feel like they fit into a SZA or a
Beyoncé – that super feminine, hyper-beauty type
thing. It’s all centred around men, and I don’t have
time for that. Centre around yourself! Be proud of
“I want to be the person people look up to for
that kind of shit,” she continues. “But at the same
time, I’m human, I make mistakes. So I try to keep
it real while creating a movement for black little
weirdo kids like me. Cause there’s all these white
little weirdo heroes and I’m like, where’s the one
for the black kids? Being black in Vancouver, and
being Aboriginal, I have all these odds against me,
but you’ve got to just show up like, yeah, I’m here,
I’m this bitch right here. And it’s pretty much just
constantly being yourself and really just going for
it. Be a bad bitch.”
Prado’s new mixtape is due out April 2018.
HEAVY METAL TRADITIONALISTS SET TO OPEN THE GATES OF ETERNITY
New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal band looks to rebirth a classic sound.
Many a fledgling metalhead got their start in the
fundamentals of the genre through bands like Iron
Maiden, seeing Eddie’s snarled face on a t-shirt,
or maybe hearing Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” at a
party. Not to mention the large percentage of us
that have drunkenly sung along to our fair share of
Manowar songs in our youth (and, hell, to this very
day!). Raucous, often theatrical, but still accessible,
traditional heavy metal has survived past the ‘70s
and ‘80s to enjoy a massive resurgence in recent
years, bringing us the New Wave of Traditional
Heavy Metal (NWOTHM). In Canada alone, we’ve
seen Cauldron, Skull Fist, and Striker succeed
internationally, and now the lower mainland has
its own contender in Surrey’s Iron Kingdom.
Formed in 2011, Iron Kingdom’s melody-heavy,
fantastically-themed songwriting hits all the marks
you’d want in a NWOTHM group, a move away
from the ever-growing doom and death metal
heaviness of the past couple decades, and a move
back towards the roots of the genre.
“A big part of what saw [frontman] Chris and
I get together in high school was a genuine love
for the ‘70s and ‘80s when it came to music and
aesthetics,” says founding member and bassist
Leighton Holmes. “In the early days, blissfully
unaware of what was going on around us, we
dreamt of a resurgence of the glory days of metal
– a return to how it was before the race to the
bottom, before everyone tried to really outdo
each other in terms of heaviness. I like some of
the extreme genres of metal, but I really love the
musicianship, storytelling, and song craft of the
NWOBHM bands and power metal bands that
followed suit. For us, it’s all about making the
music we want to hear as diehard metalheads.”
They’ve enjoyed a pretty heavy touring schedule
since the release of their 2011 debut, Curse of the
Voodoo Queen. They’ve hit North America, Brazil
and Europe in the past few years, with no plans to
sit around anytime soon. Iron Kingdom returns
to the local stage to headline the first night of
Hyperspace Metalfest, sharing the weekend with
a slew of western Canadian and American heavy/
power metal acts.
“In honour of the fifth anniversary of [our
second LP] Gates of Eternity, we’re going to
be performing the whole album front to back,
and I’m incredibly pumped to see how people
respond,” says Holmes. “It’s been pretty awesome
rehearsing this set because it’s really given me that
opportunity to think about the songs, specifically
the lyrics, with a completely different frame of
reference after five years.”
Since they plan on staying relatively local this
year to lay the groundwork for their next album,
Holmes says that playing a local festival like
Hyperspace Metalfest is an opportunity to look
back on the material that saw them on their first
major tours while still marching onward.
“We’re really excited to share this album with
the people who have supported us from the
beginning, as well as people who may be seeing
us for the first time. We’re really looking forward
to Hyperspace – we get to do what we love with a
bunch of friends all sharing in the great gift called
Iron Kingdom headlines day one of Hyperspace
Metal Festival at the Rickshaw Theatre on April 13.
April 2018 21
YOU BIG IDIOT
DON’T GET MAD, GET HILARIOUS
You Big Idiot serve up a tasty dose of comedy with their pop punk on Mega Donair.
“Every time we go to some Music BC workshop
they always say ‘you need to look like you belong
together,’” says Shafer Carson about why You Big
Photo by Trav Anema
Idiot always play in costume. “So we just took that
to the extreme.”
You Big Idiot, which consists of Carson (Vocals,
Bass), Colin Pearson (Vocals, “Easy” Guitar), Chris
Hogan (“Hard” Guitar), Kurt Anderson (Guitar)
and Steve Pearson (Drums), is a fun punk band
that’s made a big splash in the Vancouver local
music scene. They choose to use comedy as a way
to express themselves, peeling away from the usual
more serious attitude you might get from their
“We all came from angrier punk bands,” Pearson
explains. “I don’t know if our name was meant to
be angry or not but we’ve evolved into a comedy
band anyway and I like that. I like getting mad but
comedy is such a more fun way to get mad.” You
can tell by the album, this band of friends and
brothers like to laugh. Mega Donair is the name
of their sophomore release and it boasts subtle
comedic references to everything from Seinfeld to
the Barenaked Ladies.
Mega Donair was self recorded and mixed by
Shafer in a studio the band made in the Pearson’s
family home basement. Although it’s a homemade
album, you’d never guess it. They spent two years
perfecting each track and it shows. The album was
also mastered at the legendary Blasting Room in
Colorado to give it that final spit shine.
The album is packed full of fast, fun songs, most
of which are at over 200 BPM. “Usually he or I write
a song,” Shafer says, nodding to Colin. “And that’s
like chord structure and lyrics, then we’ll all jam it
out together.” They’re also quick to acknowledge
that everyone contributes to the songwriting.
While discussing the pro’s of playing in a band with
old friends for so long Shafer says, “It’s always tight,
you can take breaks and the groove is still there.”
One of the mega standout moments on Mega
Donair is the incredible jazz jam as the outro to
the track “Selfie.” It takes you from feeling like
you’re at a crazy show at Pub 340 to suddenly an
old smoky jazz bar. It’s a unique and beautiful end
to the song. All of the parts where recorded by
the talented Kristy-Lee Audette, Shafer explains
the recording process. “I kept sending her into
the booth with different instruments, trumpet,
trombone, glockenspiel etc. I never played her
anything we had previously done so she just did
track after track and I mixed it all together later.”
At the end of the day You Big Idiot are some
cool guys playing music for all the right reasons.
They take their craft seriously without taking
themselves too seriously, a nice change of pace in
this day and age.
Mega Donair is available April 20. You Big Idiot
performs April 27 at SBC Café.
NECK OF THE WOODS
AN EMOTIONAL TRIBUTE FALLS VICTIM TO DECEIT
Neck Of The Woods refuse to let a photo scandal get in the way of their greatness.
Neck of the Woods are a progressive death metal
quintet from Vancouver, British Columbia. For
the last five years, they have been destructing
stages of all grandeur, spreading their macabremeets-machine
gun sound throughout the lower
mainland, performing alongside notable artists
including Converge, Every Time I Die, The Devin
Townsend Project, The Faceless, Misery Signals,
and many more. In September 2017, Neck of the
Woods released their sophomore record, The
Passenger, an album with a deep-rooted emotional
“Lyrically, I tend to speak of personal struggles
and development,” explains lead vocalist Jeff
Radomsky. “In the Passenger, the bulk of the lyrics
are directed towards extending support to my
sister who suffers from brain cancer. A good chunk
of the lyrics were written in the waiting room
during her craniotomy.”
Neck of the Woods are an extremely heavy
band who were stricken under the weight of an
even heavier reality. Though the soundscape of
the group is inflamed with aggression, Radomsky
clarifies that together, the group reached deep
within their darkness to find a shining light for his
Photo by Shimon Karmel
“All the songs that draw attention to her
torturous battle with this disease are uplifting,
positive statements of support, a reminder that
she can beat it,” he says. “The other guys in the
band all harbour personal relationships with her as
well: she’s come on tours with us, she illustrates a
bunch of our merch, often works our merch booth
at shows, and has bent over backwards to help us.
The Passenger was for her.”
Though it’s inevitable that any band would
be more than ecstatic to reveal their latest work
to the world, especially one so vulnerable in
expression, Radomsky admits there’s a whole
other side to this story involving lies, deceit and
deception. The band has held this tale in secrecy
Christopher McKenney is a surrealist
photographer from Pennsylvania. One of his
images recently graced the cover of the upcoming
album, In Becoming A Ghost, by tech-death band
“I found McKenney through Instagram years
ago,” Radomsky explains. “I had been a big fan
of his work for quite some time. I purchased a
few framed prints of his photography for my
apartment over the years and interacted with him
via Instagram prior to purchasing the photo for
our record cover.”
The photo in question was one of McKenney’s
pieces entitled “Them.” This was the initial shot
meant to cover the Passenger.
“The dark subject matter paired with an
unsettling surreal aspect grabbed my attention
immediately,” says the vocalist. “I’m a big fan of
surrealist art, be it photography, illustration or
painting. If it’s weird and dark, I’m usually into it.
When I first laid eyes on the piece, I was struck like
a deer in the headlights. It spoke to me. I could
hear the subject of the photo crying out like a
banshee in the night; I could feel its pain and knew
it was level to mine. I felt it encompassed the
themes of the lyrical content, sound and overall
feeling of the record so well that we had to use it.”
In preparation for the record’s release, the band
contacted McKenney and eventually purchased
the rights to use his image as their album cover for
$400 USD. Things seemed to be going smoothly
for the band. That is, until they caught wind of an
Australian shoegaze band called Vagrond, who
used the exact same image as the cover for their
2014 album Regret.
“I stumbled upon an article about Chris’
photography,” explains the lead vocalist and
instrumentalist for Vagrond, who performs under
the name Atheos. “I hadn’t previously seen his
work, but as soon as I saw the photo in question I
felt it was a perfect image to represent our album.
I sent an email to Chris asking if he sold his images
for album cover use and if that particular image
was available. He told me that the image had
not previously been used and was available to
purchase. We bought the image and he said it was
ours exclusively. The album was released digitally
in December 2014 and physically, on CD and vinyl,
When Neck of the Woods and Vagrond
discovered their shared artwork, the Vancouver
band’s picture-perfect album promotion was
distraught. Neck of the Woods brought the
artwork-epidemic to the photographer’s attention.
McKenney allegedly stated that Vagrond had used
the photo without his permission and he knew
nothing about this.
Atheos says otherwise: “Jeff and myself shared
our emails showing that we both had bought
exclusive rights to the image, and it was therefore
Chris’ mistake that the image had been sold twice.”
When Radomsky confronted McKenney after
exchanging emails and receipts with Atheos,
both bands would soon lose all contact with the
“Because I used Neck of the Woods as an outlet
to deal with my sister’s condition, McKenney’s
actions struck me like a knife in the chest,”
Radomsky reveals. “I had a strong connection with
the piece we had bought from him. When he took
our money and ran, I felt like he took more than
mere dollars. I felt he robbed me of a piece of my
With only a few days to remedy the situation,
Radomsky partnered with Kevin Moore of Soft
Surrogate Design to reimagine The Passenger’s
cover image. After reviewing hundreds of photos,
illustrations, and paintings from artists around
the world, they decided they would have to create
something original. They took to the woods with
borrowed camera gear, limited supplies, and a few
friends. Chasing the setting sun, the pair managed
to get the shot they wanted with only minutes to
spare. Overnight, Moore reworked an entirely new
layout for the record, produced all-new marketing
graphics, and created an animated video for the
next single. The record, with its new cover, was
released a few weeks later.
“Ultimately we’re much, much happier with our
cover,” he says. “It’s a more accurate portrayal of
the record in every respect, right down to the little
details. I feel the whole experience sprouted a few
grey hairs on my head, but it taught me a lesson
I needed to learn: it’s always worth trying to do it
yourself. Restrictions breed creativity.”
Christopher McKenney was contacted via email
and did not respond.
Neck of the Woods plays the Astoria on April 6.
April 2018 23
DISHING OUT THE GOLD STANDARD IN HOUSE PARTY PUNK
Photo by Mike Tan
Brass provide high-octane thrills on For Everyone.
“Have a good time, so everybody around you
can have a good time.” This, according to vocalist
Devon Motz, is the fundamental concept that
guides Vancouver punk band BRASS, whose
music and performances are packed to the brim
with a special brand of energy that’s delightfully
involving: the kind of energy that makes you feel
like the music wouldn’t be what it is without the
community that gathers around it.
“It needs to be relatable, catchy, and heavy
all at the same time,” explains Motz when
discussing the band’s distinctive sound, which
consists of blistering riffs, high-octane rhythms,
and roaring vocals. Each song off of their first
full-length, No Soap Radio, acts as a sort of
sonic firework, exploding with that intoxicating,
quintessentially punk power that’s over almost
as quickly as it began. With 10 songs and a total
runtime of about 17 minutes, the album doesn’t
beat around the bush. “A four-minute song could
be a minute-and-a-half song when you get rid of
everything that’s boring.”
Yet despite their length and relative rowdiness,
each BRASS song contains a healthy dose of
lyrical depth, dealing with subjects like mental
health and substance abuse. According to Motz,
the brutally honest (and often self-deprecating)
lyricism in their work ties into their veiled
philosophy on musical honesty and community
“I think bad feelings are worth celebrating,
because they’re fucking feelings, man,” he says.
“[Writing] a catchy song about being depressed
is better than being depressed.”
Their next album, For Everyone, will veer
away from this path, touching on relatable
topics outside of the lyrical self-loathing found
throughout their debut LP. For Everyone is set to
live up to its namesake, with a huge breadth of
subject matter and riffs written for audiences to
“let loose, be safe, inclusive, and have fun.”
BRASS is a band that adheres to the gold
standards of identity, involvement, and energy.
They write songs and play shows meant to lift
people up out of their seats and out of their
stupors, and will continue to do so all over our
city and beyond – so long as we keep dancing.
BRASS play their For Everyone album release
show April 7 at The Cobalt.
SLOWLY CLAWING YOUR FACE OFF
Stepping into the jam space of Vancouver doom
metal band Heron, there is laughter, talk of album
art by macabre artist Cryptworm, and a slight
skunky haze. This atmosphere is beyond fitting for a
genre which is often visually represented with dark
psychedelic art and imagery of cannabis culture.
While the four-piece has been prominent in the
scene, their forthcoming release, A Low Winter Sun,
will be their first full-length album.
A Low Winter Sun is not your typical doom
metal album, as the band has incorporated
elements of thrash, sludge, and post-metal into
their sound. The band recorded the album locally at
Rain City Recorders, with producer Jesse Gander (3
Inches of Blood, Bison BC, White Lung).
“We’ve been building on this record for about
two years now, explains vocalist Jamie Stilborn. “It’s
not a concept album, but we’ve tried playing the
songs in different orders and it fucks us up. It just
feels right to be played and listened to in the order
[that the songs] are in.”
Stilborn tends to write lyrics centered on esoteric
and existential concepts with inspiration drawn
from film and philosophy, tackling heavy subjects
with optimism and positivity. This approach
perhaps sets them apart from many bands in the
doom metal scene, who often drift lyrically towards
dark themes with nihilistic viewpoints. While
their music never features clean vocals, Stilborn
aims to use vocals as an instrument of their own.
Sonically their heavy, bass-driven sound blends
beautifully with their spacey and unconventional
song structures, sounding comparatively to bands
like Sleep and YOB. This is some serious melt your
face off music.
Heron has shared the stage with big names in
doom and sludge metal, including High on Fire and
“I think that was probably my biggest
accomplishment, opening for High on Fire,” says
guitarist Scott Bartlett. “I’m a huge fan of Matt Pike,
High on Fire, and Sleep, so it was pretty incredible.
The band acknowledges there is a deep sense
of community and connection within the doom
scene, in comparison to other sub-genres of metal.
Heron emphasize their excitement in continuing
to play with the bands they have connected with,
spanning across the country and down the West
“There is a really good vibe happening right now
with the band,” says Bartlett. “We keep pushing
forward. That’s really the bottom line for us. As
long as we are having fun and making good music, I
think we are doing things right.”
Heron play the Astoria on April 17.
Photo by Milton Stille
Scott Bartlett, Jamie Stilborn, Ross Redeker, and Bina Mendozza bring crushing doom riffage while
tackling deep lyrical themes.
Almost exactly a year ago, the beloved show
from Comedy Central, Workaholics, concluded
with its seventh season. Workaholics was more
than just a stoner comedy about three dimwitted
telemarketing bros with a complete lack
of self-awareness; the show brought quick-witted
sketch-style comedy to the mundane lifestyles
of underachievers who just want to have fun.
Workaholics was beloved by girls and guys alike,
whether they were in their teens, 20s, 30s, or even
50s. So when it was announced that the gang of
Adam (Adam DeVine), Ders (Anders Holm), and
Blake (Blake Anderson) would be back barely
a year later with a Netflix film playing another
trio of idiots, people let high hopes grow. If you
were a fan of Workaholics, then their new film,
Game Over, Man! (a play on Bill Paxton’s famous
line from Aliens), is exactly what you have been
missing. The film is Kyle Newacheck’s first featurelength
credit as a director, who also co-created
Workaholics and directed most of its episodes.
The premise of Game Over, Man! is simple: three
underachieving, unintelligent housekeepers at
a luxury hotel must stay alive and save the day
when they get caught up in a hostage takeover.
Newacheck, DeVine, Holm, and Anderson work
together to collaborate on ideas.
“We all worked on it,” says Newacheck. “Anders
is the writer, but we all work as a team when
developing. That mushrooms episode from
Workaholics was really great and inspired by Die
Hard. Collectively, Die Hard is our favourite movie.
So we said ‘Let’s make a Die Hard movie and
make it funny.’ The stakes are really high and it’s
life and death and you have these three stooges
running around. Other producers came on, like
Seth Rogen, and they have experience making
these movies. They helped us with our emotional
line with the three guys, they cleaned it up, added
a few jokes. The four of us would take notes and
then, as a director, that’s where I come in to figure
out how we actually do this.”
Writing a film and getting it into production is
always difficult enough, but this group’s style of
comedy relies on being instinctually funny. Like
Workaholics before it, Game Over, Man!’s laughs
rely heavily on improv, and that requires a director
who knows how to best capture spontaneity. This
group has been working together for so long that
the jokes and lines delivered throughout Game
Over, Man! never feel forced and always elicit big
laughs from its three stars.
“You don’t get that natural connection without
improv and multiple cameras capturing it,” he
says. “Back in the day, I just moved the camera
while they improvised. It’s at the core of who we
are. You can have scenes on the page and then
the emotion isn’t necessarily there. When you
put real friendship behind it, then you can start
improvising the jokes.”
Since Game Over, Man! is set in a luxury hotel, it
makes sense that there would be some celebrities
staying there. This plot device is perfect for the
inclusion of some unpredictable cameos, and
casting celebrities to come together for a quick
scene to play themselves is an interesting task.
“You would be happy to know that Shaggy
was in from day one,” Newacheck laughs. “Poor
Anders, he wrote and rewrote that script like
eight times. Every single time, Shaggy has been
in it, singing at gunpoint. It was relevant and
perfect. He flew over from Jamaica. As soon as his
headshot came up, everyone else started coming
in, too. People like Steve-O, they just came out
because they were fans.”
One thing fans know for sure about DeVine
is that he is never afraid to take it all the way;
DeVine seems to be the one most drawn to
making a complete fool of himself for the sake of
the scene. In Game Over, Man!, he goes where too
few men have gone on film. His character not only
goes full frontal, but close up and at every angle.
“Adam is just the guy who will do that,” says
Newacheck. “I lived with him for seven years, and
let’s just say he’s never been shy about his dick. It’s
not a surprise to me at all that he would take it
there. He is known to do that. It was a closed set. I
was sitting there behind the camera right behind
him and speaking quietly and seriously saying,
very literally, okay, now loosen up.”
Newacheck’s character on Workaholics, Karl,
was such a fan favourite that he could easily be
the fourth member of their quartet. But while
fans might hope for Newacheck to make an
appearance in the film, for this project, he decided
to stay in the director’s chair.
“I never considered putting myself in the film,
but everyone else did,” he says. “For this one, there
just wasn’t a role. Karl – that was me. I was so into
it and I loved it. For this, I wanted to establish
myself as a director.”
If you are someone who has never seen
Workaholics, then Game Over, Man! is a great
introduction to the group. If you love Workaholics
and have seen every episode six times, depressed
that no new episodes are coming, then consider
this film a welcome reprieve. If you hate
Workaholics, then this movie probably isn’t for
Game Over, Man! is available on Netflix now, right
on time for 4/20.
April 2018 25
ISLE OF DOGS
WES ANDERSON’S PUP-MOTION FAILS TO RAISE THE WOOF
THIS MONTH IN FILM
You Were Never Really Here – April 6
A man, a hammer, and a girl he never imagined he’d have the heart to
care for. Winner of Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards at the 2017
Cannes Film Festival, Joaquin Phoenix’s performance promises a gutpunch
to the psyche.
A Quiet Place – April 6
The louder the scream, the better the chance they’ll find you. John
Krasinski and partner in crime, Emily Blunt, tackle the horror genre
with a unique twist that could very well lead us all to a land of silent
Indian Horse – April 13
An adaptation of the late Richard Wagamese’s great Canadian novel,
Indian Horse follows a young Indigenous boy in 1970s Canada. From
hopeful beginnings as a talented ice hockey player, the boy grows up to
face the harsh realities of holding on to identity in a world that’s trying
to rinse it out of you.
Super Troopers 2 – April 20
The Broken Lizard comedy group is back, 17 years after the
unconventional state troopers first pranked, drank, and smoked their
way into everyone’s hearts. With the return of the original cast, the
sequel promises to be undeniably unwholesome in all the right ways.
A lot of old dogs and a even few new tricks apparently isn’t enough to keep Isle Of Dogs out of the doghouse.
Isle of Dogs raises the bar for contemporary American
animations. Wes Anderson approached his stop-motion fable
with the same attention to detail and craftsmanship as the great
Hayao Miyazaki, elevating him as America’s auteur animator
equivalent. A team of 27 animators laboured endlessly to imbue
their puppets with life, emotion, and vitality. They handcrafted
every object and assigned specialists for emotional nuance,
action scenes, and comedic timing. The team’s work, partnered
with Wes’ unmistakable style, birthed a film of visual splendor,
and French composer Alexander Desplat delivered a soundtrack
Unfortunately, the story and characters don’t live up to the
film’s sensory resplendence.
Dogs takes place in a dystopian future Japan, while the houndhating
municipal governor quarantines all canines on Trash Island
due to a “dog-flu” outbreak. When 12-year-old Atari crash-lands
his plane on the island, a pack of pups accompanies him on the
search for his lost dog, Spots. The fictional dog-hating culture
traces back to ancient Japanese dynasties, granting the film a
scope too epic for its tale of love between boy and dog.
A chasm between the plot’s scope and artistic minutiae leaves
much room to fall flat. The all-star cast, comprised of Anderson
veterans Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton – and
two dozen other mentionable names – packs Dogs with a lot of
weight. But the story flits between the government bodies, prodog
activists, and Trash Island ruffians so fast there’s no time to
get to know their characters in depth. It’s difficult to care about
what’s at stake when we aren’t invested in who’s involved.
The film flows at a brisk pace as a determined camera sweeps
the audience through bright and inventive landscapes. However,
there is no evident reason for a Japanese setting other than an
aesthetic one, and the film has been criticized for its tone-deaf
appropriations of Japanese culture. Perhaps this prioritization
of aesthetics is the film’s greatest downfall. Anderson’s clinical
attention to detail left him with a case of tunnel vision that
compromised the core of his story.
Disobedience – April 20
From Academy Award Winning Director Sebastián Lelio comes a
passionate take on forbidden desire. A shunned woman returns home
and reignites the relationship with a female childhood friend that cast
her out in the first place. With sweltering friction, the film stars Rachel
Weisz and Rachel McAdams.
You Were Never Really Here
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Boarding House Reach
Jack White has been called a lot of things
– minimalist, revivalist, madman, genius,
protagonist, antagonist, lover, fighter – probably all
true, or true enough. One thing’s for sure, Jack’s a
creator who loves making art.
Now suppose for a moment we suspend our
belief that pop music, any and all of that stuff made
to be marketed for immediate consumption, did
not have a hit factor assigned to it. In other words,
we didn’t rate or predict how much radio play, units
moved or YouTube views a song or album got or
was worthy of. Rather we assessed music only for its
art value, not for its potential to chart and sell.
It’s still hard for those familiar with Jack to
remove his association with the White Stripes. He’s
constantly compared to the success of his musical
debut. Such is the nature of the biz: you’re only as
good as your last record. And in Jack’s case, for many
it’s still those records he made with Meg. But Jack
doesn’t roam in that world anymore. He lives in the
land of art for art’s sake, which is the starting point
for Boarding House Reach.
As the pulsating vibe of the album’s opener
“Connected By Love” continues to build, the midsection
of the song suddenly bursts into a frenzy
of weird guitar loops and crazy keyboard soloing.
Then, just as suddenly, it drops down to near silence
with only a soft piano and warm bassline playing
while Jack pleads and cries out, “Forgive me, and
save me from myself!” Sisters Ann and Regina
McCrary soon follow and lend their powerful voices
pushing the chorus into a climatic spin of strange,
vibrating electronics and full gospel sounds. When
it finally settles, it’s easy to image Jack the madscientist
running around his lab tweaking dials and
fiddling with gadgets moreso than Jack the musician
headphones on bellowing into a studio mic.
Jack the scientist is not such a peculiar analogy
given his first career he flourished as a tradesman
in his upholstery shop. Boarding House Reach has
that sound and feel all over it – the studio is Jack’s
laboratory, his new shop, and his trade is mixing
weird science with rock ‘n’ roll producing strange
Jack also loves gospel. On “Why Walk A Dog”
a church organ forcefully pumps out two chords
swaying back and forth as if someone was standing
on the keys instead pressing down on them with
their hands. It’s a big churchy blast that gives
away to a brooding guitar solo that’s more akin to
motorized output signal that grinds up and down as
it’s put through an electronic oscillator. Weird, yes.
Wonderful as well. The marriage of soul and sci-fi
sonics works quite well.
Moving into funk and R&B, “Ice Station Zebra”
is chopped and sliced with jazzy breaks and
machine-gun breakdowns with some fine multilayered
rappin’ by Jack that’s right up there with
the Beasties. Taking a sharp turn and heading
into very different territory, “Abulia and Akrasia”
showcases the talents of Australian blues singer C.W.
Stoneking, who does a spoken-word sermon over a
sad, spiritualized Middle Eastern violin and tinkering
piano. While the manic pace of “Over and Over
and Over” with its fuzzed-out electro-romp and
haunting, alien chants, parallels the eerie universe of
Bowie’s “Black Star”. Staying in a strangeland, Hal’s
omnipresent mechanical voice from 2001: A Space
Odyssey is filtered through a cheesy TV commercial
that leads off “Everything You’ve Ever Learned”. The
track then proceeds to ramp up into a harrowing
garage-jazz-psychedelic freakout that cuts right into
a late ’60s B-movie, biker soundtrack.
There’s A LOT going on in Jack’s lab. His
experiments dabble in 10cc’s quirky pop and Roxy
Music’s avant-garde art rock, then travel through
the Beatles’ playground on the White Album
before pulling into the carnival factory-works of
latter-day Tom Waits. Boarding House Reach is an
endless experimentation, fused with sci-fi creations
that are, yes, wonderfully weird. Will any of these
tracks chart? Who cares. It may not be commercial,
but it’s art. Good art where Jack takes on a new
classification by transforming himself into a
• B. Simm
• Illustration by Danielle Jette
April 2018 27
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A Place To Bury Strangers - Pinned
Adding to the grand tradition of DIY basement recordings if London had any
basements, Goat Girl’s sprawling, 19-track self-titled debut marks a significant
achievement in grimy, lo-fi storytelling. Emerging from the fragmented South
London indie scene, the album serves as a collection of fast-paced urban
observations with lead singer Clottie Cream’s morose drawl as the centerpiece.
Elements of punk, psychedelia, and even experimental country spiral and twist
their way around Cream’s sharp cultural criticism. Never far removed from the
volatile socio-political context of their city, album highlights “Scum,” “Cracker
Drool,” and “Country Sleaze’’ serve up tongue-in-cheek critiques of masculinity,
humanity, and greater society as a whole. “Creep on the train / I really want to
smash your head in” groans Cream on “Creep.” Goat Girl’s self-titled debut is a
fast-paced slap in the face, clocking in around 40 minutes they waste no time
making a lasting impression.
• Jarrett Edmund
Guided by Voices
The ludicrously prolific Robert Pollard keeps it 100 with a record that maintains
the warmth and eclectic energy of his back catalogue as it enters three figures.
Tirelessly inventive, the band blazes through a track-list which takes the best of
their lo-fi early years and fuses it with Pollard’s arena-sized ambitions and ear for
The opening riffs of the title track sound as clean as anything the band has
produced, the DIY grunge of their early years replaced by slick sharpness in
instrumentation and singing alike. Warmer cuts such as “Ark Technician” let
Pollard slip into nostalgic reverie, a marked contrast from the tight production
of the album’s opener. “Blink Blank” has the ragged charm of Zevon later in his
life; grizzled vocals and growling guitars coalescing into an energetic cut, its
lyrics and tone funny, frank and foreboding all at once. Shades of Earthquake
Glue’s glossy, Townsend-scale catchiness show up in the album’s penultimate
track “Flight Advantage,” with its bizarre, irresistibly memorable refrain of
“Spiders will dance.”
The echoing “Got to keep moving” of “Evolution Circus,” along with its scratchy
faraway chorus vocals, is indicative of the album’s mood, a largely successful
attempt to cut and paste the scale of classics like Alien Lanes with the banter
and inimitable character of GBV’s many underrated, inconsistent obscurities.
After over 2,000 recordings, Pollard shows no signs of slowing down but rather
doubles down with an album which is both a reminder of his extensive years of
practice and his zeal for lovable spontaneity.
• Cathal Gunning
Amen Dunes - Freedom
Amen Dunes, a.k.a. sound-shifting rock artist Damon McMahon, has dedicated
a lifetime to exploring selfdom through sound. If the past 10 years have been
a dark wood of introspective, sometimes alienating incantations, then the
project’s newest release is the long-awaited clearing. Freedom, rough and
rhythmic, will revive listeners with fresh air and sweet sun.
Freedom took three years to make, with help from band mainstays Jordi
Wheeler and Parker Kindred, plus newcomers Delicate Steve, electronic
musician Panoram and producer Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio).
Despite these decorative changes, Freedom remains a continuation of
McMahon’s personal examinations of the self. Each track is a character vignette
that represents McMahon, his turbulent past and masculine identity; from the
fallen surf hero of psych-pop “Miki Dora” to the rock bent “Blue Rose” about
his father. McMahon tackles his mother’s recent death on “Believe,” a song of
propulsive percussion upon which he warbles lyrics like “you said you lived out
on the wrong side, you said that’s half the fun.”
Although each song charters new sonic territory, McMahon houses them under
his distinct style and unwavering quest to answer the life-long question: why am
I? With Freedom, McMahon delivers an answer of the musical proportions we
dreamed, and now know, he is capable of.
• Maggie McPhee
The band formerly known as Viet Cong return with a dark, dreamy post-punk
record; the most fully-realized evocation of their unrelenting sound yet. The
pithy title gives away nothing but the track-list, boasting titles like “Decompose”
and “Manipulation,” is indicative of New Material’s mood. “It’s a ode to
depression and self sabotage,” says frontman Matt Flegel. Indeed an atmosphere
of clamouring unease and instability permeates the album, but spacey
production deepens and elevates this darkness over the record’s predecessors.
The strongest songs on New Material are studies in pressure as it builds
and dissipates, with the instrumentation and singing often at odds in this
regard; when lyrics make sense their background is madness and vice versa.
On “Disarray,” Flegel’s placid tones remind us “everything you’ve ever been
told is a lie” as vibrant drums bounce behind his voice, the beat sounding as
relentless as he does retired. On “Antidote,” a steady drumbeat underscores
lyrics which are first squawked, then drawled; theatrical yells and emotionless
monotone both contrasted with instrumentation which grows more chaotic
as verses turn to chanted, repetitive mantras. This confluence of dead-eyed
delivery and clattering accompaniment revives potentially cliché lyrics about an
SUNDAY MONDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY
w/ Tijuana Panthers
& Cowgirl Clue
w/ Yoo Doo Right
& V.Vecker Ensemble
w/ Russian Tim
& Pavel Bures (EARLY)
(LATE dance party)
Frank Love & Glad Rags
Beats & Bass
(Auction / Fundraiser)
The Charm Offensive
& Strange Breed
w/ The Skudfux (EARLY)
Colby & The Catastrophes
w/ Alex Little And
The Suspicious Minds (LATE)
w/ Miesha And The Spanks,
Hedks & Shame Cube
w/ Helms Alee & Mess
w/ The Drew Thomson
& Jesse Labourdais
w/ Jody Glenham
& The Dreamers
and Chance Lovett
& The Broken Hearted
Art d’Ecco &
Queers N’ Beers
(It’s the last night we’re
open for business y’all)
Tues 03 - Vibe Corridor Tues 17 - Vibe Corridor
Thurs 05 - Cuddy Sessions Wed 18 - Soft Spot
Tues 10 - Vibe Corridor Thurs 19 - Precious
Wed 11 - Spirit Music Tues 24 - Vibe Corridor
Thurs 12 - Actual Dads Thurs 26 - Boss Takeover
EVERY MONDAY FROM 2-4 PM PST!
04.13..............................Toronto / The Garrison
04.14 -Sold Out....Toronto / Horseshoe Tavern
04.16...........................Montreal / Theatre Plaza
05.01....................Winnipeg / Pyramid Cabaret
05.03..................................Edmonton / Starlite
05.04...................................Calgary / Palomino
05.05...................................Calgary / Palomino
05.09...........................Vancouver / The Astoria
More tour dates and tickets available at:
Guided by Voices - Space Gun Guided by Voice Holy Wave - Adult Fear JJUUJJUU - Zionic Mud
The track segues into an unexpectedly-dreamy close as do many on
the album, the influence of M83 producer Justin Meldal-Johnson
bleeding into the band’s typically moodier aesthetic. These injections
of levity are “disaster relief,” and deepening the palette of tones the
band has to work with lends the record’s gloominess more impact
than its predecessor, 2016’s self-titled Preoccupations.
In New Material, darkness excites and envelopes; delivery and
instrumentals are alternately deadpan and jolting, never fully awake
or asleep, shuffle-stepping between unsettled waking life and a
chilling but invigorating dreamscape.
• Cathal Gunning
A Place To Bury Strangers
Adversity has long been the driving force inspiring sonic chemists
to one up themselves. On this fifth full-length by the decade old
noise rock trio the struggles of life are real but they also come with
a big pay off. The opener, “Never Coming Back,” brims with anxiety
whether it’s brought on by the changes all around or a consistent
streak of personal bad luck matters less and less as the trance
inducing back beat helps give the sensation of exiting this world for
clouds of noise up above.
Otherworldly guitar sounds and copious amounts of forlorn blasts of
sonic chaos have always been the rule but this release has a notable
addition with the inclusion of he/she vocals. The hellish buzz-saw
guitar riffs on “Frustrated Operator” benefit greatly from a female
presence widening the dynamic with soft Nico-inspired singing
which is truly shiver inducing.
Weary voices give searing meditations on personal truth revealing a
side to the band that usually hides beneath layers and layers of postrock
• Dan Potter
The Penske File
The Penske File’s new album, Salvation, is a power-poppy blend
of various punk rock styles. The opening track “Kamikaze Kids,”
explodes from the picking pattern of a brightly-toned guitar to a
folk-infused, chorus-y punk song reminiscent of new-era Green Day
meeting old-school Against Me!
Salvation’s fourth track “Spin My History,” is an emotionally driven
rock-song with enough catchiness to fit on radio airwaves, and
enough grit to catch your attention. “Last Chance” is a smack-yourface
tune that mixes elements of ‘50s rock n’ roll with heavy, melodic
Overall, Salvation feels like a well-executed power-pop tribute to
punk music of the early 2000s. Sounds on Salvation are comparable
to the likes of Blink-182, Sum41, NOFX, Yellowcard, and many more
artists of that era. The record’s diversity touches on punk’s many
niches, leaving something catchy and enjoyable for fans from all
walks of the genre.
• Johnny Papan
The Reverberation Appreciation Society
Following up on the heels of Holy Wave’s Freaks Of Nurture, their
2016 release, Adult Fear is the five piece from Austin’s fifth official
release and third full-length album. Sticking with their signature, hazy
psych-garage sound, Holy Wave has managed to release yet another
captivating collection of tracks.
With each new album the band puts out, they seem to mature
towards new levels of experimentation and layering lush
instrumentation, amid tracks gliding effortlessly between different
grooves and tempos. This does not so much startle, but rather takes
one on a trip with the band.
One aspect that sticks out on Adult Fear is the departure to a more
neo-psychedelic sound, reminiscent of groups such as The Zombies,
Pink Floyd (a la Syd Barrett), and more recently, Ariel Pink. This
shines through on tracks such as “Nation In Regress,” “Habibi,” and
Layered in abundant organ/synth tones and track lengths reaching
April 2018 31
LA VIDA LOCAL
HOMEGROWN VANCOUVER MUSIC RELEASES
Preoccupations - New Material
above eight minutes, Holy Wave drenches classic psych sounds on a
blotter of fresh composition.
• Tory Rosso
LA psych rock band JJUUJJUU’s debut album, Zionic Mud, opens
strong with “Camo,” firing you into a hypnotic trance of funky
basslines, accented by raucously squawking lo-fi guitars. This album
conjures images of bohemian Californians dancing barefoot. Drawing
you in with it’s siren song before sending your mind’s eye skyward,
beyond this earthship.
Zionic Mud maintains high energy through the title track with
fantastic build-ups transitioning into wild crescendos. Bookended
by “Bleck,” a straight ahead psych track, the first third of the album
is funky, spaced out, and danceable. A tempo switch, leading to a
gentle outro dove-tailing the short interlude of atmospheric space
travel in “Level.” This first instrumental has a softness that only lasts a
moment before your consciousness is transported to witness storms
on a outlier planet, amping you up and passing you down the line of
tales to come.
JJUUJJUU maintains this build up, fade away presence loyally
throughout Zionic Mud. The variation of tempo and structure build
an excellent album. The layered, airy psych, paired with thunderous
drums, moody, post-punk guitars and vocals that don’t take centre
stage creates something accessible.
• Trevor Hatter
Stories from the Northwest
Is there anything more Canadian than references to beaver
pelts? On his debut album, Saltwater Hank weaves timeless
yarns of Canadiana in true bluegrass-folk fashion. Stories from
the Northwest is a lo-fi recording with a dry vocal treatment. Its
rustic sound takes a page from the O Brother, Where Art Thou?
soundtrack. But this isn’t your average bluegrass record paying
homage to American narratives. Stories from the Northwest
cheekily uses a nostalgic genre to relay perspectives that aren’t
traditionally covered in history books. Loyal to the land instead
of the colonizer, the lyrics reference B.C.’s geography. The trickster
coyote even makes an appearance in the lyrics of “Coyodel
#1,” a melody inspired by Canada’s FIPA deal, and “Coyodel #2”
is dedicated to land and water defenders who choose action
over passivity. The instrumentation of fiddles and mandolin
perfectly complements Hank’s pointedly political lyrics, but Blake
Bamford’s banjo on “Hartley Bay Rag” stands out as a shining
• Lauren Donnelly
The Shit Talkers
Mountain Momma Records
I Scream is a raw, unapologetic, to-the-core punk rock record. The
opening track, “Ewwwww,” is a borderline-destructive offering
that draws imaginative imagery of a wild house party, moshers
romping about, shoving each other through walls with aggressive
affection. “Normal Love,” the following track, is a romantic blend
of grungy groove mixed with angsty thrash.
From there, the Shit Talkers unleash a flurry of speedy tracks
with “Shut Up,” “Late in French,” “Betty,” and “8th Dick,” before
continuing the trend with the album’s lead single, “The They,” and
ending with “Fukn Guyz.” I Scream packs a fun-filled fist to the
face and kick to the groin.
• Johnny Papan
The Orange Kyte
The Orange Kyte Says Yes!
Little Cloud Records
The Orange Kyte Says Yes! is an album that takes listeners on an
eclectic psych voyage that pulls out all the stops, even after you
thought they’d all been pulled.
The album opens with “More In,” a blissful instrumental that
features crunchy, fuzzed-out guitar and distant organs playing in
unison: a tantalizing clue for what to expect from the rest of this
sophomore outing. The album is peppered with surprises, like
when “Echolocation” introduces a folky acoustic guitar for the
first time on the record, or when “Looks Like Me to Me” launches
into dystopian, lo-fi synths and repetitive vocal mantras.
With this latest record, Stevie Moonboots and co. holed up at
Invisible Recordings to craft a perfect and measured follow-up
that starts on an incredible note – and only goes up from there.
• Mat Wilkins
Body High EP
Nettwerk Music Group
Vancouver-based R&B crooner Harrison Brome has been making
serious waves leading up to the release of his forthcoming EP,
Body High. The collection of songs features his already popular
title track, which premiered on Complex and gained traction
from media outlets like FADER and Hypebeast. The EP explores
ideas of modern romance, resentment, and courtship with tracks
like “Jaded” and “9-5.”
On the “Body High” single, it’s clear Brome has mastered the
art of anticipation: he leaves listeners wanting more by carefully
capturing the nostalgic sense of sensuality that almost makes you
feel guilty for lusting over it. With his music earning more than
22 million streams worldwide, Body High is surely going to take
Brome nowhere else but higher.
• Molly Randhawa
After a hellishly long wait, Zeke are back with their first album in
14 years. The punk legends known for mixing the gritty might of
Motorhead with the cartoon fun of The Ramones sound in great
form right off the top of the album as “On the Road” kicks out some
seriously caffeinated guitar solos. Thankfully, each song continues to
snuff out boredom with an all-killer-no-filler approach.
“Burn” literally sounds like the band is about to spontaneously
combust as the snarling vocals spat out over the whip crack of the
one-hundred-mile-an-hour snare drum will leave any punk extremist
dizzy. The fun continues on “AR-15,” with the refrain “blow it away,
blow it away” whilst the misanthropic anthem is taken even higher
with New York Dolls-like guitar leads sped up to an un-godly tempo.
The inhuman speed that these short but damaging blitzkriegs are
belted out is truly frightening and definitely makes this Zeke’s fastest
recording to date.
• Dan Potter
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan - Dirt
Paper Bag Records
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan are back with a vengeance after five years of relative
silence. Toronto’s distinctively pan-cultural experimental music and performance
collective have released their most ambitious, yet also their most cohesive, record
yet with Dirt, an album conceived as the soundtrack to an unreleased 1987 anime
with Buddhist and Iroquois influences. “Someplace” and “Dark Waters” set the
stage in suitably dramatic fashion with charging prog rock rhythms and sweeping
melodic passages. “The Decay” unfolds as the album’s true centerpiece, an operatic
dreamscape lead by deliberate doom metal riffage and uplifting, airy vocals. Dirt is
a phantasmagorical journey.
• James Olson
Photo by Lisa Wu
A Tribe Called Red
March 10, 2018
Whether or not it’s your first time at A Tribe Called Red show or your
fifth, you’ll find yourself in a sea of ravers, dancers and head-bobbers
– covered in sweat of others or your own.
Described as “pow-wow-step,” the First Nations electronic group
played the first of two back-to-back, nearly sold out shows. Despite
Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau departing in October, 2017 for health
reasons, Tim “2oolman” Hill and Ehren “Bear Witness” Thomas kept
the crowd off their feet effortlessly from start to finish over the
course of a mesmerizing 90-minute set.
Transcending traditional genres of music, ATCR is out of the
ordinary, as they aren’t necessarily one type of dance music. Bridging
and blending genres such as hip hop, reggae and dubstep with
traditional First Nations vocal chanting and drumming has led to
them blowing up into the biggest First Nations group out of Canada,
netting the group multiple Juno nominations.
From the first drop, the audience was exposed to a sensory
overload: from breakdancing cameos by breakdancers Matthew
Creeasian and Angela Gladue in full regalia to a video loop of
indigenous imagery and the instances of cultural appropriation in
pop culture over the ages – ideas both divisive and inclusive.
ATCR are constantly blending the ideas of traditional and
contemporary of the political, social and artistic spheres. Despite
writing music as indigenous people for (predominantly) indigenous
people, the crowd came from a plethora of different generations,
cultures and creeds. Unity has always been a staple of ATCR and this
night was no exception.
• Timothy Nguyen
Charlotte Day Wilson
Fortune Sound Club
March 20, 2018
Charlotte Day Wilson is a multi-talented singer,
songwriter, producer and instrumentalist. Based
out of Toronto, Wilson has made waves in the
Canadian music scene, having lent her talents
to artists like BadBadNotGood, River Tiber and
Daniel Caesar. Now, it’s her chance to take the
Stone Woman is Wilson’s sophomore EP,
with six tracks of R&B and jazz-inspired ballads.
Wilson’s style is like honey— smooth, sweet
and slow-moving. From tracks like “Doubt,” to
“Nothing New,” Wilson gives listeners a window
into the motions of a past relationship.
The Stone Woman Tour started in Vancouver,
the first of ten sold-out shows across North
America and Europe.
Just like her EP’s cover art, Wilson kicked
Photo by Darrole Palmer
off her tour with the title track, in a dimly-lit
Fortune Sound Club. Wilson’s setlist included
performances from both Stone Woman, and her
debut EP, CDW. Supporting her were her three
band members on keys, guitar, bass and drums.
But in the end, the most impressive part about
Charlotte Day Wilson is her infectious stage
presence. There were moments in “Find You” and
“Falling Apart” that had the crowd moving, and
moments in “Funeral” where the room fell silent.
As the crowd screamed for an encore, Wilson
returned alone with her guitar and proceeded
to close the show with an airy, reverb-dense
ballad, unreleased to the public. Her emotional
performance left the crowd in awe, leaving fans to
anticipate her next release.
The first show of the Stone Woman Tour is a
career-defining moment for Charlotte Day Wilson,
and Vancouver is lucky to have been the first stop.
• Lyndon Chiang
March 6, 2018
PVRIS plays a style of music that builds with
atmosphere and grows slowly, getting louder and
more feverish until, before you know it, your feet
are sore and you’ve been dancing for what seems
like days. Headed by the marvellous Lynn Gunn,
the band parked their live show atop the Vogue
theatre’s stage Tuesday night and put on a show as
uplifting as it was haunting.
The ambient pop-infused rock band from
Massachusetts was subtle in their presentation,
allowing the tight-knit interlayering of a solid
setlist to speak for itself. Beneath a heavenly
glow from the lights above, Gunn transitioned
flawlessly between soft spoken songs sat behind
Photo by Lindsey Blane
the keyboard with tracks like the stripped down
version of ‘Same Soul,’ to showcasing her wailing,
impressive vocal range on ‘Separate.’ Gunn isn’t
overly talkative, but when she does speak, her
voice has a tone of closeness that could cause
hearts to break.
More than anything, the show was an excuse to
jump around. As the sound grew from its tentative
beginning, it wasn’t long before the crowd was
helpless, unable to avoid the rhythm of the drums
and the synthesizer. In the course of an hour or
so, PVRIS went from being welcomed on stage
to owning it. The atmosphere in the place could
vibrate paint from the walls, and Gunn more than
succeeded in making a few new friends along the
• Brendan Lee
277 PRINCE EDWARD ST
April 2018 33
NEW MOON RISING
YOUR MONTHLY HOROSCOPE
QUAN YIN DIVINATION
Month of the Fire Dragon
In Chinese folklore, there is a saying: “when the Dragon and Dog oppose, the gates
of Heaven and Hell are open.” This month brings full opposition to the annual Dog
energy, activating a strong opposition between solar and lunar influences. Though
while polarity can bring conflict, it can also bring harmony and balance through the
unity of opposites.
Change can mean opportunity, and those who aspire toward higher ideals may
escape the doom and gloom that might otherwise shroud our thinking now.
Be selective with media — activism and peacekeeping are priorities this month.
The four earth protectors (the Dog, Dragon, Ox and Sheep) will be most affected
by this month’s shift, as the earth communicates directly with them. Rather than
blaming or accusing others, lets keep looking toward the light of a bright future and
our willingness to unite with others for a happy tomorrow.
Rabbit (Pisces): If petty problems or
people crowd your workspace, take
more time in solitude and use quiet
discipline to stay focused on what
is in front of you and your correct
relationship to it.
Dragon (Aries): Exciting times call
for a calm mind. Additional costs or
sacrifices may be necessary in order to
achieve your goals. It’s better to let go
voluntarily than to have an undeserving
punishment. Save face by making a
Snake (Taurus): Paperwork surrounds
you and the only way out is through.
Take it one step at a time and you
can accomplish more – overwhelmed
thinking slows you down and creates
Horse (Gemini): Gentle sweetness can
pacify but may also patronize. Make
sure that you speak your mind, even if it
may come across as abrupt or tactless.
It’s your party and you get to have it
Sheep (Cancer): Assist others now
and give them the support they need
to achieve. You won’t be left behind
as everyone needs to work together
to make it happen. Stay close to those
who have your best interests at heart.
Monkey (Leo): Being pulled in many
directions means you’ll need to have
clear priorities in place this month.
Multiple objectives might seem to be
conflicting now, where once they were
in harmony. What’s most important to
Rooster (Virgo): This busy month
tests your ability to maintain your
focus, but is an opportunity for you to
learn something. Look for the lesson
revealed in your decisive action – you
are a multi-faceted intellectual who can
juggle more than others can.
Dog (Libra): Turn your attention to
your values and what inspires your
action in the world. Do unto others
as you would have them do unto you.
This month could solidify important
relationships and partnerships, or
destroy the ones you care about the
Pig (Scorpio): If people seem to busy
for you now, don’t take it personally.
Peace is a place of rest for the heart
and soul, and the changes you seek are
coming soon. Be patient and take this
month to catch up on all the things you
may have neglected or procrastinated
Rat (Sagittarius): This is a good time
to socialize, network, or make new
connections that will pave the way
forward. There are opportunities
for motivated Rats to seek out new
territories or break new ground this
month, but you’ll need to go out there
and make it happen!
Ox (Capricorn): Pay close attention to
your mood, which may, at times, hover
like a dark rain cloud over you. This is a
time where your internals and externals
may not be matched so do what you
can to put on a happy face, grin, and
Tiger (Aquarius): Notice how the
sunshine feels as it kisses your face! The
world is full of beauty, laughter, and
grace. You are surrounded by peace and
harmony. Trust that all is as it should
be. All is well.
Susan Horning is a Feng Shui Consultant
and Bazi Astrologist living and working
in East Vancouver. Find out more about
her at QuanYin.ca.
CANADA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT CONCERT PROMOTER
ALBERT HAMMOND JR.
WITH PINKY PINKY
April 11 - The Biltmore Cabaret
AN EVENING WITH:
April 11 - Imperial
April 15 - The Biltmore Cabaret
CUT COPY (DJ SET)
WESTWARD FEST ANNOUNCE PARTY
April 16 - The Biltmore Cabaret
SC MIRA & DAYSORMAY
April 21 - The Biltmore Cabaret
April 26 - The Biltmore Cabaret
JAPANDROIDS AT FORTUNE SOUND CLUB
AN EVENING WITH:
ALTAMEDA AND JARED & THE MILL
April 26 - Tickets are Still Available!
April 27 & April 28 - Sold Out April 28 - Vogue Theatre April 30 - The Biltmore Cabaret
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT MRGCONCERTS.COM