BeatRoute Magazine BC Print Edition May 2018


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

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








BeatRoute Magazine



Naomi Zhang


Ana Reyes


Randy Gibson


Emily Corley• Lauren Donnelly • Mike

Dunn • Chris Dzaka • Jessie Foster • Slone

Fox • Jamie Goyman • Michael Grondin •

Alex Harrison • Gareth Jones • Ana Krunic

• Brendan Lee • Hollie McGowan • Maggie

McPhee • Keir Nicoll • Jennie Orton • Tom

Paille • Jamila Pomeroy • Molly Randhawa

• Sepehr Rashidi • Brendan Reid • Frankie

Ryott • S. Sheppard • Jordan Stricker •

Max Szentveri • Willem Thomas • Darren





Sara Baar • Steve Brown • RD Cane •

Ingrid Christie • Jessie Foster • Pooneh

Ghana • Bernice Jang • Ray Maichin

• Carole Mathys • Jay Munoz • Jaik

Puppyteeth • Lauren Ray • Ryan Russell •

Matthew Salacuse • Zach Schroder • Ester

Segarra • Travis Shinn • Nick Siu


Glenn Alderson



Jordan Yeager


James Olson


Johnny Papan


Graeme Wiggins


Glenn Alderson


Yasmine Shemesh


Alan Ranta


Darrole Palmer


Hogan Short










- With David Macanulty/

Yaletown Brewing



- Bike To Work Week

- Indian Summer Festival






-Odd Society Ginger Beer

- Ocean Blu Vodka Soda


- Murder On The Improv Express


- Mathew V

- Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

- Frog Eyes

- Preoccupations








- Lamb Of God

- Obituary

- Yob

- River Jacks

- Tesseract


- Ryan Hemsworth

- Mount Kimbie

- Nightmares On Wax

- Clubland



- This Month In Film


- Courtney Barnett

- Arctic Monkeys

- Cardi B

- The Damned

- Iceage

- The Voidz



- Kate Nash

- Guy Dapperton

- Alvvays


Photo by Sara Baar


Gold Distribution (Vancouver)

Mark Goodwin Farfields (Victoria)


Jashua Grafstein


Mat Wilkins


202-2405 Hastings St. E

Vancouver BC Canada

V5K 1Y8 •

©BEATROUTE Magazine 2018. All rights reserved.

Reproduction of the contents is strictly prohibited.

Page 10-11 Vancouver Craft Beer Week

May 2018 3



From fresh, fruity summer radlers to heavy,

hoppy IPAs, Vancouver’s craft beer market has

inspired a wealth of creative new brews. Breweries

are popping up everywhere, and though their

numbers are rising, one amongst them has

remained a constant fixture, tried and true:

Yaletown Brewing Company. Established in 1994,

Yaletown Brewing Co. is Vancouver’s original

brewpub, proving that not only did it start today’s

craft beer trend, but it’s also resilient enough to

adapt to the ever-changing scene. There’s a reason

these guys have been voted Canada’s Best Brewpub

more than once. We spoke with Brewmaster David

Macanulty to find out just what breeds the passion

that’s held strong for decades.

BR: What’s your brewing background?

DM: Part of my youth was spent in Scotland. I grew

up around breweries, distilleries, and drinkers. In

my early teens, I started trying to ferment stuff

and eventually became a dedicated home-brewer.

That led to the professional work. I was at Storm in

Vancouver then a couple of breweries in Montreal

and back at Yaletown Brewing in Vancouver for

almost five years.

BR: What originally got you into brewing? Was

it always an end goal for you, or was there a

specific beer you drank that revolutionized your


DM: I had no plan to become a brewer. I was

playing music and home-brewing in my spare

time, hanging out with Dan Small (of Dan’s Home

Brewing) when his home-brew shop was on the

Drive. He got me mixed up with some other guys

that were making mead and somehow I got a job

at Storm.

BR: As one of the OGs of the Vancouver craft

beer game, what’s your go-to advice for brewers

just starting out?

DM: To become a brewer now, you can go to

school. It’s quicker that way. I would say to read

a lot of the current brewing literature and ask

around for any kind of brewery work. Learn as

much as you can from other brewers, but brew

your own beers and keep records of your methods

and experiences.

BR: How have you seen the craft beer industry

evolve in Vancouver?

DM: The guys who were brewing in Vancouver 25

years ago are still making great beer! Of course, the

movement has blossomed in B.C., so it’s a great

time for any brewer/beer lover and for business in


BR: Favourite craft beer right now (other than

your own)?

DM: Right now it’s really hard to pin down an

overall favourite craft beer. So much depends

on location and other circumstances. If I am at

Bomber or Brassneck or 33 Acres, I love those

beers. I have visited Luppolo and Strange Fellows

quite a bit lately. Also really enjoyed some

Dageraads at the beach!

BR: Best beer you’ve ever brewed?

DM: I like a rich Stout and I think I’ve made a

couple of good ones, especially at the stronger end

of the scale. As far as lighter beer goes, it is always

satisfying if a Pilsner comes out with some kind of


BR: What’s the best part of your job, and of the

Vancouver craft beer scene in general?

DM: The best part of my job is of course doing

what I love. The growth of the scene in Vancouver

and everywhere else means that I constantly get to

meet a lot of new people and try new beers!

Yaletown Brewing Co. can be found at 1111

Mainland Street. On May 19 they will be hosting

their annual tasting event, IPA Caskival.

Photo by Glenn Alderson

David Macanulty has witnessed the rapid rise of craft brewing in Vancouver from atop his perch at Yaletown Brewing Co.


May 2018


Aleph Eatery BC Cider Festival rEvolver Theatre Fest Sasquatch! Music Festival - David Byrne Vancouver Comic Arts Festival




The third annual festival celebrates

everything root beer at Langley’s Sticky

Candy and Bakery. Take your pick of

fudge, candy, ice cream, floats and more

than 50 — yes, 50! — varieties of root





For the last decade, Zee Zee Theatre

has dedicated itself to telling stories

from the lives of the marginalized. The

company is celebrating the milestone

with excerpts from some of its most

celebrated works, including Elbow

Room Cafe: The Musical and drag

performances from some of the city’s

favourite queens.



This annual celebration places an

emphasis on empowering and

supporting young people across

the province through a variety of

events, from theatre productions and

skateboarding events to block parties.






This political leadership program

introduces girls from ages 9 to 15 to

the history and structure of Canadian

Parliament through a variety of

activities and lessons (including one

focused on recognizing Canada’s female

political leaders). Both educational and




An award-winning dark political

comedy about the Kinder Morgan

Pipeline, Bears aims to encourage a

dialogue about the devastating effects

industrial expansion has on animals,

the environment, and the First Nations

people. It stars Métis actor Sheldon




Aleph is the first letter of the alphabet

in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish,

Urdu and Phoenician. This newly

opened Middle Eastern restaurant

utilizes this commonality as philosophy

for its menu, including favourite staples

— like hummus, shakshuka, and lentil

rice — from a diverse range of cultures

under one roof.




This annual two-day extravaganza

celebrates the art of the comic, with

hundreds of artists, writers, and more

exhibiting and selling their works, as

well as speaking on panels and doing

readings. Some of this year’s featured

artists include Johnnie Christmas,

co-creator of the graphic novel ANGEL

CATBIRD alongside Margaret Atwood.



This festival features a wide variety of

boundary-pushing and adventurous

theatrical works created by up-andcoming

companies and artists. One notto-miss

show is 12 Minute Madness,

a story by NYC playwright Raïna von

Waldenburg in which a young woman

deals with traumatic memories of

sexual abuse.




With Washington’s magnificent

Columbia River Gorge in the

background, Sasquatch! Music Festival

is a festival experience like no other.

This year, don’t miss performances from

artists like Vince Staples, Thundercat,

Japandroids, and Slowdive.



Part of the fourth annual BC Cider

Week, this festival is a tasting event

that showcases more than 20 cideries

from the Pacific Northwest, including

the Persephone Brewing Company and

Sunday! Cider.

May 2018 5






The number of participants in Bike to Work Week has more than doubled since its inception.

There’s never been a greater need for occasions

that celebrate and relish in the joys of getting

outdoors and staying active. Bike to Work

Week (BTWW) is one of the many ways local

non-profit organization Bike Hub promotes

healthy lifestyles and works on developing new

and improved infrastructure in Vancouver. The

community fun begins this year on May 28 until

June 3.

Tom Skinner from Hub Cycling and manager

for BTWW finds biking a safe, easy and seamless

way to get almost anywhere in the city.

“It all comes down to convenience. The nice

part of it is not having to look for parking, being

able to lock up right in front of your work space

or potentially even bring your bike inside makes

it a pretty quick option,” says Skinner.

BTWW collects data yearly from its average

18,000 online participants, which is then run

through their municipal partners and helps

plan real inner-city growth where updated

infrastructure might be needed.

“We do take all the data and track commutes,

then compare it over the previous years and

track route choice changes, where they’re

going,” he says.

They run 80 different Celebration Stations

throughout the week in Metro Vancouver. These

offer cyclists free coffee, snacks, tune-ups as

well as ballots to win station prizes, bikes, gift

cards and even a trip to Portugal. From 2012, the

number of bikers participating in the event has

more than doubled from 19,000 to 44,000 and is

expected only to rise.

Tracking personal progress through the Bike

Hub website can offer details such as how many

calories you’ve burned, distance travelled, as

well as greenhouse gases reduced.

Looking to New Zealand for inspiration,

where certain employers have adopted a system

of paying their employees to bike to work,

Vancouver might be on the right track but the

city still has a long way to go. The daily activity

is proven to heighten mood, alleviate stress and

boost how alert and awake the staff are upon


“We find once you get people on their bikes

and they find out how easy it is (and fairly

simple and enjoyable) that’s how we get people

converting how they’re moving around,” says


For more information on how to participate in

BTWW, visit


Myth Making is an art form that has been

flourishing since the beginning of time. It can be

said that everything we know is merely a story,

written by historians, poets, cavemen and everyone

in between.

This year at Indian Summer Festival, the

annual cultural festival which takes place every

year throughout the city in July, embraces and

encourages the age-old art of creating meaningful

dialogue through artistic practices. With this year’s

theme, “Myth Making,” this will be conveyed

through concerts, visual art exhibitions, panellists

and broadcasts amongst other mediums.

Sirish Rao and Laura Byspalko are the cofounders

of the artistic movement since its

inception in 2011. BeatRoute picks up what they’re

putting down for this 10-day celebration taking

place July 6 to 15.

“It’s really a sense of a multidisciplinary festival.

If the festival were to be seen as a meal, it would be

very omnivorous,” says Rao over the phone.

Last year, the festival tackled the controversial

topic of “War and Peace” and promoted the

discussion, engaging their audience through

multiple platforms to learn, grow and revel in the

significance. The multiple venues around Vancouver

were home to a surplus of everything artistic,

making it one of the leading cultural celebrations of

the year.

“We call it a festival for curious minds, which

ends up being the best way to describe the people

who are coming,” says Byspalko.

The festival has been known to attract some

of the top artists in their discipline, including

internationally known chefs (including Vancouver’s

own restaurateur Vikram Vij), inspirational

conversationalists and powerful authors.

Each year ISF takes the time to honour someone

they feel is inspirational at their annual fundraiser,

Dinner by Starlight, which takes place at a secret

location on May 19. This time, they have chosen

Saroo Brierley, the man who lived the life portrayed

by Dev Patel in the heart wrenching cinematic hit,


The ISF events in July will be ticketed separately

and will be held at venues such as the Roundhouse,

Imperial, Orpheum, UBC, Woodworks, in Burnaby

and more daily programming around the city.

“We’re picking up difficult conversations, but we

also know how to celebrate. It’s a combination of

the cerebral and the sensual,” says Rao.

Catch the Indian Summer Festival at various venues

throughout the city from July 6 to 15. For more

information and to purchase tickets visit www.

Indian Summer Festival examines the art and history behind the creation of myths.

Photo by Nick Siu











May 2018

Amy Bessone Unbound (2010) oil on canvas | 79 x 93 in (201 x 236 cm)

Rennie Museum | 51 East Pender St | Vancouver

The Outsider art

of David Sedaris

Short stories for

sharp attention spans



David Sedaris is en-route to El Paso to visit the woman

who cut out his tumor — the one he fed to his pet

turtle. This story is actually one of many featured in his latest

book, Calypso, in the chapter of the same name. While Sedaris

is happy to be tumor-free and touring again, he explains his

deep regret in a missed opportunity to have a veterinarian

take it out on stage on his last reading tour. “I always regretted

not getting him to do it, but I didn’t have a way to get to his

office,” says Sedaris, who often uses a bicycle as his main mode

of transportation, having never learned how to drive. The

veterinarian, later, was the one to back out of the operation,

but Sedaris stresses in his signature dry tone, “I probably could

have done it and gone on with the show.” This absurdist tale of

his unusual reality is a great example of his ability to turn the

otherwise mundane into pages of brash, sometimes cringe-worthy

comedy that makes your belly hurt

from laughter. His very matterof-fact,

cool and calm responses,

only echoing the author’s warped

cynisism in text.

His new book, Calypso, is the 11th

in the authors anthology of infamous

stories and essays. Sedaris is known





for his dark, sardonic and often self-deprecating, comedic stories;

stories, which are often personal, addressing the human condition

and connections. He has contributed to the likes of the New

Yorker, Esquire, BBC Radio and the Guardian to name a few. He’s a

New York Times best-selling author and Grammy award-winning

comedian with a career that spans from writing to radio, comedy

and playwriting. Despite his grand accomplishments, Sedaris has

remained unbelievably humble.

“I write about my life, and nothing big ever happens to me,”

he says rather nonchalantly over the speakerphone from his

car. Sedaris is quite disciplined in his practice, writing everyday,

explaining he never has to pressure himself to write. “I just write

about my life and then every four years I turn it into a book.” He

explains that he doesn’t necessarily get inspired by environments,

in their physicality; describing living and writing in Paris as “fine,”

the creative spark perhaps instead coming from daily interaction.

Sedaris currently lives in the Horsham District of West Sussex

in England, with his partner Hugh Hamrick. He explains his

enjoyment in being an outsider and how greatly it contributes

to the generation of stories. “I like being, you know, sort of an

outsider. I mean, not fitting in is fine with me. In England, if I were

to keep my mouth shut, who is to know that I’m from somewhere

else but when I don’t, they do. I like (being an outsider), because

sometimes it means you get treated differently.” Sedaris explains

this treatment of being different, whether negative or positive,

makes for good story content. “I always like to be treated poorly,

it’s like somebody handing me money.”

Sedaris, when not writing or contributing to BBC Radio 4, can

be found cleaning the streets surrounding his home. “In England,

everybody just throws things out the car window,” he says. “The

place where I live is just so beautiful, it drives me crazy.” On any

given day, he spends four to eight hours cleaning the streets, on

foot. He counts his steps using a FitBit and estimates he walks

about 15 to 22 miles per day. Sedaris’ environmental contributions

have been documented in form of his town naming a garbage

truck after him, which he further explains in Calypso. “The people

where we live, they think i’m crazy, and you know, maybe they’re

right. There is a great amount of support though.”

Sedaris and his partner have moved around quite a bit; and

while they love their home, he says he’s open to change, especially

if it provides good content. “I wouldn’t

mind moving. I like everything about

it. I like packing, and I’ve never had to

sell a house or anything. We just kind

of keep acquiring them, and then rent

them out after we leave. I wouldn’t

mind moving to Germany, or maybe


While Germany, and Switzerland could perhaps be the

locations of perspective stories, Calypso, primarily takes place

in West Essex or back in the U.S. with his family. His stories are

almost always personal, but Calypso features a much more

intimate side of the author. Sedaris talks about about his youngest

sister Tiffany’s death, a suicide which happened just before

she turned 15, as well as the trials and tribulations of aging. He

explains how tightly-knit his family has become since the purchase

of a beach house on the Carolina coast, and the regular pilgrimage

there, a sort of resurgence in tradition of vacations organized by

his late mother, Sharon.

“I got that beach house so my family started spending time

together,” he says. “Then we all started getting together at the

same time. Pretty much every time we’ve gotten together I was

able to write a story about it.” Sedaris paints a beautiful picture

of the beach house in Calypso, which features a collection of

mid-century modern furniture, something which he said was for

the purpose of depicting a house that “fussy homosexuals lived

in.” Sedaris’ particularities, fussiness and behaviors that have been

described as obsessive, lend greatly to his style and general mood

of his writing. With family members aging, specifically his father,

he says there’s something more special with each time they’re able

to spend time together.

“When I see my father I never know when it will be the last

time, and so every conversation you’re thinking to yourself,

‘Should I remember this for the rest of my life? Is this the last time

I am going to talk to him?’ It makes me, in a way, more observant.

Just thinking, every time we are together, it may be the last time

we are all together.” This level of observance around love and

aging in his family can be felt in every story, perhaps rendering his

best work yet. “You know, my siblings are some of my favourite

people,” he says. “I know plenty of nice, good people, but they

aren’t characters. There is a difference between just a good person

and a good character.”

Stories surrounding family, and friends seem to be the focus of

Calypso, but Sedaris explains that he finds stories anywhere there

is absurdity, or the opportunity for it. “If I can see something as

absurd, or something that seems funny to me…” he laughs and

begins to tell a story of a situation in an elevator. “I was with a

friend of mine. We were at the airport, going to get the car and

we get in the elevator and this woman screams ‘Wait!!, HOLD

ON!’ and two little girls run into the elevator, and this woman -

their mother - walks in. She’s got a luggage cart, and she’s looking

behind her and there is her husband and the elevator doors begin

to close […] and as the door begins to close I say...” We won’t spoil

the rest of the tale, as Sedaris says this may become a story in his

next collection; and if it does, we are all most definitely in for a

good laugh.

Sedaris has this unbelievably engaging ability in storytelling. He

transforms the most mundane tasks into adventures that have

you holding onto the arms of your seat in anticipation. His ability

to do this will surely grant us with many more prospective stories

in the future, in his many mediums. “I have a 12-page attention

span, so these essays seem to work for me. I don’t think i’ll ever

write a novel.” he says. “Who knows. I have written three novels so

far, but they are all 12 pages long; they’re all the first chapters of

novels and then I lose interest in them.” While there’s a possibility

of perhaps releasing a full-length novel in the future, Sedaris

says that should his writing career run dry, he would become

an abortionist at sea. He stresses, “Not on land, but at sea — on

the high sea.” He explains it needs to be at sea to avoid laws and

regulations. This would all be done on a vessel he would name

Row v. Wave. “That’s R.O.W-V-W.A.V.E, and i’m going to perform

abortions at sea,” Sedaris laughs. It’s unclear whether a career

change to full-time abortionist and activist at sea is in the cards

for Sedaris, but until then we’ve got a plethora of his short stories

to entertain us.

David Sedaris will be reading excerpts from Calypso and other

stories at the Vogue Theatre, May 13 and 14. Calypso will be

released May 29 via Little, Brown and Company.

May 2018 9


Brew Masters’ Mix-tape

By Jennie Orton

Vancouver Craft Beer Week

If there is one thing we can all agree on it’s that beer and music are

a perfect pairing. The sound of a growler popping open alongside

“Doves in the Wind” is enough to make you levitate just for a sec.

But what about those who craft that brew? What are the beermakers

listening to? We asked some of our favorite breweries what is on their

Spotify and how that music inspires their process.



“Although music doesn’t play a huge role in our recipe development

process, it’s something we always use to set the mood for a brew or

pack day and can be very integral when coming up with names and

design for the packaging, which is all done in house. Our Triple IPA,

On Three... that came out in April stemmed from us listening to a

Vince Staples track, ‘Jump of the Roof,’ which features the lyrics ‘On

three let’s jump off the roof,’ which inspired us to make a beer around

that lyric.”


• “After the Storm” – Kali Uchis feat. Tyler the Creator & Bootsy


• “Come Down” – Anderson .Paak

• “Sweet” – Brockhampton



“I pull ideas for beers all the time but music really plays a role when

I sit down at the computer and start building a recipe. I usually

listen to tracks without vocals since it allows me to focus a bit more.

Genres that are very beat driven like hip-hop, funk, and soul are

usually playing when sorting out what ingredients go into a beer.

When I actually get to brew a beer n the brewhouse, I’ll usually be

playing music which is way more upbeat like garage rock, early punk

and metal.”


• “Hung Up on My Baby “ – Isaac Hayes

• “Daydream “ – Tycho

• “Shampoo Suicide “ – Broken Social Scene



“I’ve always thought about beer collaborations as jam sessions in

some ways. I’ve collaborated on beer recipes with a few of my peers

like Kylo from Four Winds, Ryan from Luppolo and Mitch from

Dageraad. The creative process of sitting around deciding what

goes into a recipe and what does not is pretty similar to watching

any of my musician friends trying to put a song together. Those

brainstorming moments are definitely my favourite part about being

a brewer. Maybe one of us had a crazy chocolate cake the other

day or an Horchata ice cream at a food truck festival or whatever.

It’s trying to figure out how to bring out the same flavours in an

alcoholic beverage. It’s a fun challenge and also one of the few areas

where brewing can be a bit of an art form.”


• “Beasts of no Nation” – Fela Kuti

• “Quick Canal” – Atlas Sound and Laetita Sadier

• Any mix from Wabi Time



“Music is constantly playing at the brewery, so it infiltrates

everything at Steel & Oak. We have a huge range of music tastes at

the brewery so what’s playing changes drastically from day to day.

Anything from metal, rock, folk, hip hop, jazz and everything in

between. We don’t necessarily think about it, but subconsciously

music is an ingredient in every aspect of the brew, from recipe

development to final packaging.”


• “Opening Act (The Shooby Dooby Song)” – Bahamas

• “Desaparecido” – Manu Chao

• “Two Shoes” – The Cat Empire




According to the team at Back Country, they use a lot of their

favorite songs to come up with beer names, such as “No Sleep till

Breakfast” – Milk Coffee Stout, “Dark Side of the Moose” – Coffee

Stout, “Juice Box Hero” – ISA, “Pump up the Jam” – Strawberry

Milkshake Double IPA, “She’s a Lady” – Coffee Stout, “Face Down,

Saaz up” – Czech Pilsner. Head brewer John thinks some of their best

names have been related to song names, most of which are coined by

Sean Reece-Ryan.


• “Dancing in the moonlight” – Thin Lizzy

• “Bright white sports car” – Trooper

• “Break Stuff” – Limp Bizkit



“While I’m a huge music fan and am a bit of a vinyl junkie, music

plays no role in my creative process around brewing. I think I’m a

bit of an anomaly in the brewing world as most days I even prefer

to brew without music in the background. When I am brewing I use

all my senses — smell, taste, sight — and I also need to hear what’s

happening around me. That being said, at the end of a brew day,

very little beats having my feet up with a beer in my hand and my

turntable spinning.”


• “Lately I’ve been re-visiting The Jam and a bit of 90’s Brit-pop.”

By Jessie Foster

Collaboration Brew Day

VCBW Brings BC Brewmasters Together For Annual Event

Vancouver Craft Beer Week (VCBW) kicked off

brew season with their annual collaboration brew

day at Backcountry Brewing in Squamish on April 6.

Brewers from distilleries all over BC joined together

to celebrate the seasonal collab and look ahead to

VCBW’s annual celebration of craft beer, May 25 to

June 3, 2018.

What to get excited for this year is the development

of a recipe for their sea-to-sky collaboration “Double

Dry Hopped Pilsner,” which mashes together Beere

Brewing, Coast Mountain Brewing and of course

Backcountry Brewing’s expertise.

Leah Heneghan is the founder and festival director

for the event and loves the opportunity to create

such an exciting few days and host a fun, collaborative

celebration each year.

“I love this event because it’s the one day that the

whole beer community can get together and hang out

and have some fun and make some awesome beer,”

says Heneghan.

When the festival started in 2010, there were

around 100 people in attendance and approximately

20 breweries. Now, the festival is expecting about

15,000 people and 140 different breweries from across

the province.

James Pierces has been a brewer at Backcountry

Brewing since its opening on April 1, 2017. This is

Pierces’ inaugural craft beer celebration, but loves the

opportunity to “shoot the shit” and drink craft beer.

“Who doesn’t love to smash pints with other

brewers and watch other people work,” says Pierces.

The 10-day festival incorporates something for

everyone when it comes to ensuring beer is enjoyed

responsibly. The festival promises a week and a half

full of music, food, arts and craft beers throughout the

city of Vancouver.

“It’s kind of an amazing community to be a part

of because everybody really likes each other and

everybody likes what they’re doing. It’s awesome,” says


Vancouver Craft Beer Week takes place at various

locations May 25 to June 3.



“Music is a huge part of the creative brewing process as well as the

day to day brewery life. Our usual style as we’re brewing is to take

turns picking out full albums - we usually turn it right up and get into

the zone. Some of our beer names are inspired by lyrics or musicians.”


• “This Old Dog” – Mac Demarco

• “Thinking of a Place” – War on Drugs

• “French Press” – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

The Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival runs May 25 to June 3. Get

tickets and more info at

May 2018







Nine years ago a group of craft beer enthusiasts gathered at

one of their favourite local watering holes — the Alibi Room

— and decided to dedicate an entire week to one of the

Vancouver’s now not-so-best-kept secrets: really great craft

beer. In their inaugural year, Vancouver Craft Beer Week was a

seven-day festival with a headcount of just 100 people. Today,

VCBW has grown to cover 10 full days featuring more than 100

participating craft breweries and cideries and events throughout

the whole city, including dinner pairings at restaurants and bars

like Jackalope’s Neighbourhood Dive, and live music events. This

year promises an estimated number of 20-25,000 attendees.

“The craft beer scene has exploded,” says festival director and

co-founder Leah Heneghan. “When we first started, I think there

was about 50 or 60 breweries in the whole province. This year,

we are over 170. It’s almost difficult to keep track of all of them

as they keep opening so quickly, which is pretty fantastic. I think

one of the really great things about our scene here is how good

the beer is. The breweries here are really putting out world class

beers and we’ve caught up in that way really quickly to some of

the folks who have been doing it a lot longer.”

Participating breweries range widely from downtown

staples Parallel 49 and Strathcona Beer Company to gems like

Vancouver Island’s Tofino Brewing Company and Gibsons’

Persephone Brewing Company. There will also be about 20 to

30 international breweries featured due to VCBW’s partnership

with the American Brewers Association. “They choose one

festival in Canada to work with each year and this is their third

year with us, so we’re pretty happy about that,” Heneghan

says. “Some people don’t enjoy the fact that we have American

breweries up here at our festival necessarily, but I think it’s a

very good opportunity to showcase how awesome our beer

is. What we’re making up here is definitely comparable [to the

States’ longstanding craft beer tradition] and it’s definitely in

the same category.”

In fact, VCBW has also made changes to their participation

guidelines to showcase only the best of the best. “Because

there are so many new craft breweries in BC, we really wanted

to open it up to the independent folks,” explains Heneghan.

“So now, in order to actually participate, you have to be an

independent brewery, so you can’t be owned by any of the

larger beer corporations, which, unfortunately, cut out a couple

of our breweries that have been supporters of us from the very

beginning. It was a difficult decision to make, but it seemed to

be the only way forward.”

Community, though, is perhaps the strongest ingredient

in Vancouver Craft Beer Week. “It’s really collaborative and

everyone supports each other in everything they’re doing rather

than having a really competitive environment,” Heneghan says.

“Everybody’s friends and they’re working together, which I

think is really special.” The annual Official Beer epitomizes this

component with a collaboration brew developed specially for

the festival by a handful of breweries. This year, Backcountry

Brewing, Beere Brewing, and Coast Mountain Brewing joined

forces to create a Double Dry Hopped Pilsner.

“For the past few years, we’ve really been wanting to tie in

something around the Sea to Sky Highway, because there’s

breweries up in Whistler now, there’s a few breweries in

Squamish, and more have opened up in North Van as well,”

Heneghan expands. “So that was kind of the idea behind

this, was really bringing in people who were just outside of

Vancouver, but close still, and opening it up to that. And who

doesn’t like to show off that beautiful stretch of road between

here and Whistler? Beere Brewing, Backcountry Brewing, and

Coast Mountain Brewing are all kind of known for their hoppier

styles of beer, so that landed us in a Double Dry Hopped Pilsner.

It’s a little bit of a stronger Pilsner. [Traditional Pilsner] can be

quite hoppy, which is expected from a lot of people in that style

because it is very close to a lager and it’s the lager family. We’re

playing on the hops, bringing in more hop flavour and it’s a little

bit of a higher ABV [alcohol by volume] as well. So enjoy, but

enjoy responsibly!”

Partial proceeds from the Official Beer will be donated to

the Eastside Boxing Club’s Self Defense Series, for all femaleidentifying

members of the community. “We really wanted

to support what they were doing and help them to keep this

class free and open it up for more people,” Heneghan says. “We

really love working with Eastside Boxing Club. They have a lot of

fantastic initiatives and the fact that this is female-forward and

female identifying-forward, it was a really important cause for

us to get on board with.”

Vancouver Craft Beer Week runs from May 25-June 3.


BeatRoute stage at VCBW


Psychedelic folk-rock, inspired by the ‘60s but sounding unlike

anything you’ve heard before. Organs, harmonies, drums, guitars,

and synths abound.

Pairs best with: Four Winds Brewing – Sour Weisse


Named after a potato and hailing from Pemberton, Dakota Pearl is

an alternative country band for the adventurous British Columbian

within us all.

Pairs best with: Backcountry Brewing – Widowmaker IPA


The Prettys – formerly known as The Bumpin’ Uglys – draw

inspiration from ‘70s nostalgia with a gritty edge.

Pairs best with: Callister Brewing – Short & Stour Dry Irish Stout


Surf-inspired indie folk with subtle psychedelic undertones crafted

by four friends who really, really want to be here.

Pairs best with: Beere Brewing – Very Cool, Very Chill Pilsner


Formed accidentally and maintained intentionally, The Spillionaires

ooze bluegrass and folk from all seven members’ pores.

Pairs best with: Steel & Oak – Roselle Wheat Ale


Dreamy vocals are underscored by otherworldly, atmospheric

instrumentals to create Youngblood’s distinct sound.

Pairs best with: Bomber Brewing – Park Life



May 2018 11



plus Killing in the Name Of





plus Fionn




plus Hush Hush Noise




plus guests






Odd Society get to the root of the matter.




Photo by RD Cane

Already partial to eco-friendly businesses, BC’s

residents have a new product to try with Ocean

Blu Vodka Soda, a lightly flavoured, all natural and

sugar free canned vodka soda made in BC, which

sports a “Preservation Promise” badge on every can.

The action to be made on that promise is a positive

first sign of where Ocean Blu’s priorities lay; the

packaging is recyclable cardboard, and $0.25 from

every pack sold will go towards ocean shoreline

cleanup initiatives and marine wildlife preservation.

Partnering with nonprofit Ocean Wise to support

its programs (such as the Great Canadian Shoreline

Cleanup), Ocean Blu was recently unveiled with

a glitzy launch party at the Vancouver Aquarium.

An upbeat, social affair with speakers, DJs, and as

much Ocean Blu and food on hand (potentially

questionable: eating Ocean Wise-approved seafood

snacks while gazing at all the still-alive ocean life) as

one could consume.

Ocean Blu will be the featured beverage at the

inaugural SKOOKUM Festival in Stanley Park this

September, and is now available in private liquor

stores across BC. Coming in two flavours, Coastal

Berry and Pomelo Nectar, with more to follow, the

beverages are light, pleasant, and not unlike an

alcoholic melted freezie. The lack of added sugar

makes for an easy-drinking summer drink, although

you may need a beer break for variety if planning on

drinking many of them.

Since the trend’s rise in the 1980s, the pandering

of corporations to a population increasingly

Sometimes solving problems creatively can give

rise to secondary benefits. In the case of East

Van’s Odd Society Spirits, they took standards

they had to fulfill in order to meet certain

government licensing requirements and created

a delicious new ginger beer. So not only did they

manage to solve the restrictions problem, they

ended up further diversifying their menu of

beverages and providing what is sure to become a

go-to summer drink.

“To make our vermouths we have a winery

license,” explains Odd Society brewer and

distiller Joel McNichol, “and in order to get the

winery license we need to produce a certain

amount of wine product per year. Ginger beer

qualifies under that. And the turnaround time is

significantly easier and better than wine. What we

would be required to make for a winery license

is more wine than we would need. We can make

this and get it out the door and can it.”

The end result, Ginger, is a refreshing, low

alcohol drink that retains the spiciness of a ginger

beer without kicking you right in the taste buds.

It’s perfect for picnics and day drinking.

“I hate to say this, but if you’re a total ginger

beer connoisseur, quite often people who are

really into it are hard to please because they

want that punch in the nose and slap in the

face,” says McNichol. “I wanted to do something

concerned with environmental causes, known as

“green marketing”, has become commonplace,

an obvious move when building or expanding a

company. Even massively destructive industries

such as fracking tout their so-called green initiatives.

While it’s an effective sales tool, the attempt

sometimes seems inauthentic. In British Columbia

though, we’re fortunate to boast some of the

western world’s greenest brands and organizations,

transparently committed to doing business in

the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly way

possible. While the efforts of companies like Ocean

more approachable. Even people who don’t drink

ginger beer are drinking this one.”

Unlike some ginger beer, Ginger is not made

like a traditional beer with malts. It uses organic

sugar for fermentation. This, again, arises out of

government licensing requirements.

“Initially I wanted to make it with malt, but

according to license it would be a beer, so we

used organic sugar as the fermentable,” explains

McNichol. “There’s no mash, no malts.” Rounding

out the ingredients are water, yeast, chilli peppers,

dried orange peel, and fresh ginger, lemon and


“There are all sorts of restrictions on how we

can serve this,” he says. “It can’t be kegged. One of

my dreams is to age this in gin barrels and release

it, but that’s not realistic.”

This, mixed with the fact that it would be hit

with a pretty high tax at liquor stores, means that

it’s only available at Farmer’s Markets around

town and, of course, Odd Society’s bottle shop

and cocktail lounge. For McNichol, that’s an ideal


“I can think of nothing better than grabbing

some at a farmer’s market in the summer and

having one on the way home,” he jokes. But

joking aside, this ginger beer is seriously tasty.

Odd Society Spirits is located at 1725 Powell Street.

Blu may seem modest, it’s actually fairly impressive

when one considers the slice of profits missed out

on due to the environmental commitments made.

Ocean Blu has the potential to join the ranks

of other local boozy cans like Hey Y’all Ice Tea and

Bomber Brewing’s Park Life as Vancouver’s summer

beach drinks. Expect more environmental initiatives

from Ocean Blu in the future as well. As Matthew

Aubin, Ocean Blu’s Marketing Director says, “With

only 100 calories per can, people can drink well and

do good too.”

Ocean Blu rides the wave of environmentally conscious production, donating proceeds to shoreline cleanup.

May 2018


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


Live Acts & Live

Agency present

Mic Check Mash-Up

w. Holy Sock Gang

& guests


The Railway

Stage presents

The Mojo Stars


Blues Brunch 1-4

Saturday Sessions


Live Acts pres.

Daniel James


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


The Stew

Weekly Cypher Jam

w. guest DJs


The Railway

Stage presents

Drag Club

w. hosts Karmella

Barr & Dust


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


Live Acts & Live

Agency present


CROWN w. guests


Live Acts & Live

Agency presents

Muscle & Gall

w. guests


Blues Brunch 1-4

Saturday Sessions


Live Acts pres.

Emily Rowed


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


The Stew

Weekly Cypher Jam

w. guest DJs


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


Live Acts & Live

Agency present

Rise & Shine

At The Railway


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


Live Acts & Live

Agency presents


Hip-Hop Showcase


Blues Brunch 1-4

Saturday Sessions


Live Acts pres.

The Lone Palms


Live Acts & Live

Agency present

Mud Bay

w. guests


The Stew

Weekly Cypher Jam

w. guest DJs


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm


Toddcast Podcast


Todd Kerns

of Age of Electric


Blues Brunch 1-4

Saturday Sessions


Chris Cornell

Tribute Doors 7pm

27 28 29

30 31

Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm

The Stew

Weekly Cypher Jam

w. guest band

Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm

Happy Hour


3 Beer til 5pm

Safe & Sound







Ian Azariah puts a contemporary spin on an age-old art form, the tintype.

Photo by Zach Schroder

Walking into the studio of Ian Azariah, you can

faintly smell the chemicals he uses to process his

tintype photos – Azariah is undoubtedly a creative

alchemist. What is a tintype, you ask? A tintype,

also known as a wet plate collodion, is a one-ofa-kind

photograph made by creating a direct

positive on a thin black sheet of metal, using real

silver. Azariah shoots with either a 1950s Japanese

Toyo (with an 1860s lens) or a 1980s Cambo, both

with custom, handmade tintype holders. Any

photography nerds out there will know this is

wicked cool.

Tintypes were the second form of photography

ever, and were most popular from 1856 to 1867.

For such a vintage style, they yield extremely

detailed photos full of emotion and depth. The

photographs only read UV light, picking up

different tones than our present-day processing,

which responds to a broad spectrum of light.

Although he went to school for photography,

Azariah is entirely self-taught in tintype, using trial

by error, books, and the internet.

On top of pioneering the resurgence of the old

craft, Azariah has made the entire process portable

with a darkroom attached to a tricycle. The original

idea was sparked from a friend who had built a DJ

trike for mobile parties. With an extremely quick

processing time of about two minutes, it was only

rational for him to be mobile if he didn’t want to

be limited to studio portraits. The darkroom itself

is handmade, fashioned from cabinetry and UV

glass with a red gel composite that only lets in safe

light. While Azariah is one of a very small handful

of tintype photographers in Canada, he is the only

one with a mobile tintype trike.

With his portrait photography, Azariah is able to

capture the sincere, genuine attributes of a person;

stepping far from previous trends of airbrushed,

“perfect” beauty standards, he highlights natural

beauty. Azariah describes the process as a strong

collaboration between himself and the subject. It

demands stillness, patience, and accuracy. With

such physical permanence, having just one chance

to achieve the shot, and a 15-minute process per

shot, he has noticed a collective seriousness that

just isn’t present in modern photography.

“What you see is what you get,” he says. “People

often love to see themselves in tintypes, because

for a lot of people, it’s a true representation of


You can find Ian Azariah at East Side Flea, by

booking a private studio session, or on Instagram at



May 2018




For nearly 40 years the Vancouver Theatre Sports

League has entertained comedy fans (nearly 60,000/

year) but now they’re ready to deliver some killer

laughs… literally. Their new show, Murder on the

Improv Express – A Killer Comedy, is a comedic

improv take on an Agatha Christie styled murder

mystery. It features all of the necessary tropes of a

good whodunit — a prominent socialite, a retired

military officer, a famous detective and, oh yes, there’s

a corpse!

With a remake of the classic board-game-turnedmovie

Clue on the horizon and the murder mystery

back in the pop culture zeitgeist again it seems like

murder is in the air. As Jay Ono, executive director of

VTSL explains, it came about fairly organically. “They

get pitched. Usually what happens is a cast member,

or in this case one of our alumni Diane Francis pitched

the idea and we’d been thinking of doing a period

drama show or murder mystery show for a while.

It was the right fit. They had just done a remake of

Murder On The Orient Express recently so it was in

the public mind.”

VTSL is not new to genre shows, but one could

imagine pulling off an improvised murder mystery

might seem more challenging. Ono doesn’t think so.

It seems to him to work pretty much the same way

other genres do. “There are definitely Agatha Christie

elements we’re trying to work into the show. Things

aren’t what we thought they were, etc. But we’re

having a lot of fun with it. The characters in those

worlds are so much fun to play. I haven’t found it

more challenging than the other genres we’ve done.”

In theatre, one can rehearse from the script to make

sure everything goes perfectly. In standup comedy

one can try out new material on smaller audiences

to test it out. VTSL doesn’t have that luxury. They

don’t even use test audiences. As Ono describes, “We

rehearse it with the ensemble. And they do such a

good job bringing it life, not only what we’re looking

for but adding suggestions. We see things in rehearsal

that maybe aren’t working, or maybe need adding.

We don’t have test audiences but we do have preview

shows. At this stage we’ve got it down to where it’s

ready for a paying audience, but in that process we

might see if something isn’t flying with the audience.”

Another fun aspect of the show are the themed

cocktails, created by Paul Belsito, VTSL’s bar and

lounge manager, as an homage to the great cocktails

of that era: Corpse Reviver and the Prohibition

Pleaser. Given you can drink them in the theatre while

watching the show, you’ve got the makings of a fun

night out. It’s elementary…

Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy runs

until May 26 at the Vancouver TheatreSports (1502

Duranleau Street, Granville Island)







JULY 4 • 8 PM



JULY 5 • 8 PM



JULY 6 • 8 PM



JULY 7 • 8 PM



JULY 8 • 8 PM


Murder on the Improv Express is a fresh take on a classic styling.

Media partner


May 2018 15






Mathew V blends his BC upbringing with London-influenced pop to create a unique sound.

After listening to the sonic maturity in his latest

album, The Fifth, and learning about his songwriting

contributions to some of Vancouver’s top acts, it’s

hard to believe Mathew Van Voogt is only 21. Hot

off the heels of the album’s release, we chatted over

coffee with the young pop singer at the 604 Records

headquarters about the UK pop sound, being an

openly gay musician and what it’s like working with

indie rock daddy Dan Mangan.

After 10 years of operatic training, the BC native

moved to London to pursue a career in classical

music. Soaking up the city’s rich pop history, Van

Voogt’s music recounts UK legends like Emilie Sande

and Amy Winehouse. “I think my style of writing will

always be a UK-style pop,” he says, despite his move

back to Canada to pursue music from home.

Fast forward to 2016 when Van Voogt was ready

to release his debut EP, Sounds. Led with excellent

singles like “No Bad News” and “Day I Die,” the EP

created notable online buzz, landing him a feature in

Nylon magazine and a record deal with 604 Records.

“I think we went into the relationship smart. They

believe in the product I’m creating and they know

what to do with it,” remarks Van Voogt, speaking on

604 Records. “They’ve been so supportive of me and

who I am.”

Gospel influenced pop instrumentals provide the

backbone of much of his music, particularly in The

Fifth’s lead single, “Tell Me Smooth.” With a diverse

list of collaborators including Dan Mangan, Luca

Fogale and DiRTY RADiO, Van Voogt’s foray into

other genres is pulled off with poise. On “Broken,”

you see him experimenting with UK house-inspired

instrumentals, featuring 604 labelmates DiRTY

RADiO. This is contrasted by The Fifth’s ballad,

“Let Me Go,” where Van Voogt employs Dan

Mangan’s songwriting prowess to deliver a tender

and memorable slow-burner. Speaking on the

sonic diversity, he remarks, “I’m such a pop music

listener in the sense of pop songwriting, songs that

are approachable. I’m definitely not a hipster in my

musical taste. As someone who listens to such an

eclectic range of music, I can’t limit my output to

just one style.”

Van Voogt approaches his sexuality with humour

and openness. Instagram stories with genuinely

funny gay jokes or Facebook statuses such as

“‘Thrilled to be featured in Billboard’s ‘Gay Agenda!’”

allow him to come across as open but not politically

charged (to be clear: he was featured in an actual

article called that by Billboard). “I don’t want

anybody to like me because I’m gay, but because

they relate to the experience I went through,” he

says. “Being gay is an aspect of who I am and I

want the music to speak for itself. I’m going to be

unapologetically me. What I’m not going to do is

change who I am for any purpose.”

Mathew V plays the Rio Theatre on May 24 with

Fintan O’Brien.


May 2018




When BeatRoute catches up with Alaska B of

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, the band is in a Kansas

City diner, on the road to support their new

album, Dirt. She notes that they are the only

Asians in the diner and that it’s like a mirror world.

She recounts their tour itinerary, from Wichita the

previous night, to Kansas City tonight, to Chicago

and Indianapolis in the next few and then back

home to Toronto.

A lot of recent writing about Yamantaka seems

to focus on a supposed fusion between rock or

metal and world music. But Alaska has some very

interesting things to say about this. “I don’t know

if I like the term ‘world-music,’” she says. “It’s just

an othering term for people who are too lazy to

learn the difference between other kinds of music.”

She goes on to state that oftentimes, many people

are trying to attribute origins with this kind of

classifying and that it is usually incorrect. She goes

on to mention the Taiko, Chinese drummer, and

Northern Cree Singers’ groups that have been very

high profile but do not fit into the world-music

descriptor. She also points out that separating

rock ‘n’ roll, in its own western domain, as separate

from world-music, is also shortsighted and

inaccurate. Conversations about appropriation,

where you assign blame to a person as well miss

out on the cultural exchange that is and has been

ongoing between different kinds of music.

There is an unmistakable edge of metal to

Yamantaka’s sometimes baroque instrument

playing. Alaska reveals that she listens to Carcass

and Cryptopsy but that there’s also a progressive

rock influence. They are trying to create a

new form of cultural output, a cultural matrix

of hybridization. It would not be simple but

fragmented and complex. That’s the problem

with ‘world-music’ versus rock and blues and r&b

and pop, it’s too simplifying. People can tell the

difference between new wave and another genre

from the same era, but not the difference between

different cultures. “Imagine a world where you

turn on the radio and it’s not all the same music

on every station. That’s why we span genres more

than anything else.”

When asked about what sort of mythologies

Yamantaka celebrate, Alaska refers to their mixed

heritage of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and Firstnations.

The media always says what they do is

Japanese, but in fact Alaska’s face paint is based

off of Chinese opera, the Monchichi, a well-known

mythological figure. Angela’s face paint is meant to

represent the characters of the underworld. Alaska

also references Greek and Norse mythologies.

There is a similarity in the aesthetics but people

tend to lump it together and fall on the side

of what feels best to them, often saying it is all

Kabuki. That’s where Yamantaka just stop. She

doesn’t blame people for not being aware, saying

instead it’s a systemic issue, where people have not

been given opportunities to take things on at face

value. “I feel that we’re a band that’s at odds with

Y//ST think critically about genre definitions and their subjectivity.

the way things are supposed to be,” says Alaska.

Yamantaka are doing their part to diversify the



Yamantaka // Sonic Titan perform May 18 at the

Biltmore Cabaret.




Frog Eyes celebrate the end of an era and draw the shades on Violet Psalms.

After 17 years of collaborating and participating

in Canada’s diverse music community, Vancouverbased

experimental pop masterminds Frog Eyes

are closing the book on a weird and fruitful career

with Violet Psalms (Paper Bag Records), their

eighth and final full-length. It’s a carefully crafted

Photo by Lauren Ray

musical collection of tension and unease coated in

hopeful melody.

According to Carey Mercer, Frog Eyes’ lead singer

and guitarist, Violet Psalms isn’t so much a

headstone, but rather a marker of his bands legacy

up to a point in time.

“It seems like there’s been some kind of

demarcation line created in the past couple years

where it feels inappropriate to carry on a project

that started, in a sense, pre-climate change, in

a sense, pre-Trump. Frog Eyes was birthed in a

different time,” he says.

He explains that Violet Psalms was designed to

be disorienting and introspective, mirroring the

strange times we find ourselves in.

“Let’s just put a nice end to it, and you know, the

band comes with so much baggage, and when I

was making the record I never thought it would be

the last one, but it just feels like a right time to put

an end to the name and its legacy and hopefully

gain a new perspective.”

Unlike their previous releases, Mercer self-recorded

Violet Psalms in a studio he built in his Vancouver

home with the help of drummer Melanie

Campbell, keyboardist Shyla Seller and bassist

Terri Upton, which gave him control over both the

sonic elements and ideas.

“From the first instant I started making music I was

very jealous of the engineer’s knowledge, like, ‘Why

do you put this mic there? These are my songs,

why do you get to determine how it sounds?’ So

much of the engineering affects the end product,”

he says with a laugh. “We didn’t want that. We

wanted this claustrophobic, disorientating, swirl

of drums.”

Thus, in an attempt to take the sonic qualities of

this record to a new level, Mercer got creative.

“Every time you listen to a record, every

instrument and microphone is obviously placed,

and there’s a cohesive totality to the sound. Let’s

fail miserably at mimicking that, and in our failure,

let’s create something with a distinct imprint,” he

explains of his end game.

Displaying many such examples of Frog Eyes’

outside-the-box techniques, the finished product

is “a gnashing jubilee.”

“I spent half my life building this studio in my

mind, and then after we built it for real and made

this record, I went and sold everything. I don’t

know if you have to be happy when you make a

record, but you should at least be engaged and

focused,” concludes Mercer. “It took a very long

time, and a lot of dedication to learn how to make

a record on your own, to compile tracks, to make

them fit. And a record, in general, is a real magical

thing we take for granted.”

Frog Eyes perform May 25 at Copper Owl (Victoria)

and May 26 at China Cloud (Vancouver).

May 2018 17





For a band that has spent a great deal of time

on the road touring, it’s the time off that can be

the most gruelling, which would explain why the

4-piece post punk outfit is itching to get back out

there. While it may have been a few months since

they’ve all played together, guitarist and synth

player Scott “Monty” Munro is undaunted by

the group’s forthcoming 37-date journey. Munro

is fresh off a tour with Chad VanGaalen but the

rest of the band took a decidedly more laid back

approach to their time in between tours.

Photo by Pooneh Ghana

Fresh off the release of their third album, Preoccupations prepare for a 37-date international tour.

“Danny’s just been watching TV in his

underwear for the last few months,” laughs Munro.

“He’s like, ‘Ah, I’ve got to get out of the house! This

is crazy!’ Rehearsing is always one thing, and then

there’ll probably be five days of the painful part

of the tour, where we’re just getting back into the

grind of it. Once you’re five days in, it’s all the same

from there.”

Preoccupations’ third full-length release, New

Material, combines a markedly more accessible

and melodic post-punk sound with heavier,

authentic lyrical sincerity. Munro describes the

process of writing the album as “therapeutic,” and

it’s easy to see why – lyrically, the record feels raw

and meaningful, with refrains such as “Hopefully

your legacy / Is worth more than you’ll ever

be,” achingly echoing the deeply human fear of

unfulfilled potential.

“I kind of lost my mind a little bit last summer,”

Munro admits. “And [the rest of the band] also

had stuff going on, you know?”

New Material was mixed by Beck’s bass player,

Justin Meldal Johnsen, and his busy work schedule

resulted in some pretty hectic deadlines for the


“Some of the tracks were recorded in an Airbnb

in Silverlake,” says Munro. “We literally turned

up with nothing but the drums and bass for

‘Antidote,’ worked on it all day, and sent it across

to Justin in the evening.”

Despite this seemingly chaotic process, there

seems to be an innate confidence in the band’s

approach this time around. Preoccupations

actively seek opportunities to do the work

themselves and combine different approaches,

locations, and methods of recording.

“With this group of people, we’ve had to work

hard at it, but we haven’t had to work hard at the

same things we used to work on,” he says. “After

three albums, it all feels very familiar now. It’s just

nice to have a record out – no band that any of

us has ever been in has put out more than two

records. So yeah, three records, we’ve made it!”

However, contrary to the self-assured process of

creating the album, Munro admits, “I still just listen

to it and think ‘It just sounds like fucking AC/DC.’

It’s just guitar rock, you know? I want to push it

into an almost non-music zone. On some of the

songs [on the new album], I feel like I came closer

to my vision for how the band should sound.”

The eerie, sci-fi feel of tracks such as

“Decompose” and “Doubt” are testaments to his

attempt to defy the boundaries of the “post-punk”

and “rock” labels often ascribed to the band.

Ultimately, Preoccupations are a band who

record music for the purpose of playing it live,

relishing the opportunity to take their music to

their fans.

“Touring is integral to all we’ve done,” says

Munro. “Honestly, I feel that if a band is willing

to tour, that just trumps everything else. And it’s

great – live music rules!”

Preoccupations perform May 9 at The Astoria.


May 2018




Personal Apocalypse is a delightfully diverse debut

from Vancouver’s Poor Baby, pulling its inspiration

from scattered genres like a discount buffet (a

delicious one, mind you). Yet there remains a sort

of cohesion underlying this album; perhaps it’s Ryan

Walter Wagner’s haunting vocal styling paired with

the band’s talented lineup. Upon closer inspection,




In a time where bro-country and

country-pop are starting to get a bit

stale, country fans are looking for

something different, something a little

more real. Enter The Heels, a local trio

of women who are driven by a strong

passion to create music that is true to

themselves and their ideals.

Brittni Dominelli, Bobbi Smith, and

Kyla Rawlins have their own unique

personalities and draw from diverse

backgrounds and interests. These

differences blend together, just like the

group’s expertly delivered three-part

harmonies, to help keep everyone

motivated, creative, and uplifted.

While they still have day jobs to pay

the bills, more and more of their daily

energy goes into their music. Rawlins has

run the Buddha-Full restaurant in North

Vancouver for the last eight years, which

is where the members of the group first

met. Dominelli is a professional makeup

artist and comes from a musical family.

Smith also works in makeup and had

a previous solo career as a Canadian

country artist. But meeting these ladies,

you would never know they had met

only a few years ago and weren’t best

friends since childhood.

With the upcoming release of their

first album, Love, Heels, the three are

very excited to share the final product

after almost three years of hard work

in the studio. The first single, “He’s Not

Where I’m Going,” is a rowdy, upbeat

example of the group’s confidence as

songwriters and performers.

“The music we want to create is

empowering, feel-good music that

we want to share with everyone,” says

Rawlins. The ladies get very animated

talking about The Heels, their sound,

and their place in country music. “The

harmonies came together so organically,

and the songs we’ve written were

inspired by strong female artists who

empowered us. That’s what we want to


With harmonies similar to groups like

the Dixie Chicks and Wilson Phillips, and

upbeat, inspiring songs for the modern

girl, The Heels click.

The Heels play their album release show

on May 27 at the Roxy Cabaret.

Photo by Bernice Jang

Ryan Walter Wagner and friends possess a sonic quality that has delivered the ultimate revelation.

however, it seems like the band’s attitude towards

music making — cool, collected and carefree — is

the secret ingredient that imbues this album with

that special, unifying sonic quality.

“It was something to do, really,” describes Wagner

of the band’s humble beginnings. Wagner would

sit in his studio and listen to his favourite tunes,

blasting cigs between songs until he found the

perfect drumbeat, guitar riff and whatever else

to begin de- and reconstructing around a brand

new song. Poor Baby began as a one-man passion

project, written and recorded whenever there was

time to do so, but with no lofty dreams of exposure

or recognition in mind.

“We play shows when we feel like it, we record

when we think we have enough stuff to record,”

Wagner says.

Poor Baby’s sound is dynamic and involving,

whether it’s the sluggish, fuzzy lead guitar that

pulls along “Slow Burner,” or the blistering punk

drums that prop up the frenetic closing song

“Learning to Party.” Flying high above all the badass

instrumentation, of course, is Wagner’s powerful

rebel yell.

The band — a revolving door of semi-permanent

musical friends that pop in to practice or record

whenever the mood strikes — shares the same

laidback sentiment as Wagner, who explains that

there’s no pressure to do anything.

“That’s probably why we’re still doing it, because

it’s pretty fun.”

Poor Baby release Personal Apocalypse on June 1 and

will be performing for Psych & Soul Weekend at First

Metropolitan United Church in Victoria on June 8 to

9. Vancouver release party TBA.

The Heels are poised to be the next big thing in Western Canadian country.











1901 Powell Street, Vancouver


End of the Line Jam

w/ Sandy Bone & Double D



Sunday Afternoon

MAY 6, 4:30 - 7:30 PM

Sinéad Sanders w/ Sandy Bone &

Double D

MAY 13, 4:30 - 7:30 PM

Ana Bon-Bon with guests

MAY 27, 5:00 - 7:30 PM

Blue Bird Day

Fri. & Sat. Bands @9pm


SX70 with guests Pink Briks

and Nixie


Torstrum with guests


Zafirios with guests


The Pit, Lung Flower &

Social Silence


Fresh Goat



Ampletude with guests The Acoustic

Ghosts and Caustic Soda Pop


Hastings Sunrise Saints, Witchita

Trip & Daddy Issues


Hi-Ranger with guests

Check our website for complete


Daily Food and Drink Specials

Kitchen Hours open till 10pm

Mon – Wed 1030pm Thurs – Sun

14 Drafts on tap - Pool Table

Private room to rent for events

May 2018 19





Spring is all about surprises and Rainbow Kitten

Surprise have managed to deliver with the

release of their third album, How To: Friend, Love,

Freefall. The quintet from North Carolina has

re-emerged from their nebulous cloud with an

album that bends all the boundaries of genre while

showcasing their dedication to music and each





Photo by Matthew Salacuse

Rainbow Kitten Surprise change tempo with the release of How To: Friend, Love, Freefall.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise first emerged on the

musical radar in 2013 with their iconic album

Seven + Mary featuring knockout tracks “Devil

Like Me” and “American Hero,“ which introduced

the world to their raw yet infectious sound. Their

second album RKS followed suit, collating thought

provoking lyrics with memorable rhythms on epic

tracks like “Cocaine Jesus” and “Lady Lie.” Their

major label debut, How To: Friend, Love, Freefall,

sees the band take it to the next level while

concreting their dedication to their music and the

lifestyle that comes along with it.

“This album was inspired by our lives,

individually and collectively, and how we came

together. The emotions that come from living

adult life, paying bills, leaving university and

embarking on this lifestyle to create music all

whilst sustaining ourselves,” explains vocalist Sam

Melo. “For instance ‘Mission to Mars’ focuses on

the anxiety of potentially having shelved or put

away other dreams or aspirations to pursue this

journey as a group and what it means to have

bound your life to four other people.”

Many have struggled to categorize Rainbow

Kitten Surprise’s sound into a certain genre, with

their tracks switching from RNB to indie folk, from

fast tempo to slow. How To: Friend, Love, Freefall

continues to harness this genre diversity, however

this time with a clear intent.

“There’s definitely a change of tempo in this

album. We actually are playing slower than our

previous records. What makes it more upbeat is

that there’s more passionate musicianship and

more ideas going on, during the slow songs we

were able to bounce between all the ideas that

were present and create the illusion of being faster.

It also comes from our collective love of hip hop

and swing beats and how you can make a track

more complex and seem faster just by breaking it

down. It’s not a construction of a genre it’s more so

deconstructing existing genres to highlight what

the key elements are,” says Melo.

“I would describe our sound as experimental,

it’s not an attempt to merge genres but instead

push the limits of what genre is. I think it’s about

showcasing what music looks like in the 21st

century. With streaming and shared musical tastes

people can switch from classic rock to hip-hop to

folk all within a span of 10-15 minutes. That’s kind

of what we were going for with this album.”

These cross genre inspirations shine throughout

the album whether it’s in the hip hop folk fusion

filled “Fever Pitch’” or the close to rapping chants

of “Recktify.” Rainbow Kitten Surprise have

managed to take Melo’s signature vocals into a

whole new dimension, solidifying their stance as

an all round musical powerhouse. In celebration

of the release, Rainbow Kitten Surprise have

embarked upon their ‘Friend, love, freefall’ tour

playing multiple sold out shows across North

America. With their energetic and lively stage

presence and an album full of surprises, they’re

definitely a band not to miss out on.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise perform May 4 at the

Vogue Theatre.

Just outside of Seattle in Edmond, WA, the heart and soul of

Pedro the Lion, David Bazan, talks about the progress of his

being in a full band again and the upcoming album.

Beginning in 1995, with the debut release Whole in 1997,

where Bazan made his mark with a sound that emerged,

defining what was to come for him in various ways. The indie

rock scene would feel the musical ebb and flow of Pedro

the Lion over the following 10 years, ending with Bazan

venturing out to explore what would turn out to be a just as

fruitful solo career. Having released four albums and five EPs

under Pedro the Lion, Bazan was well versed and prepared to

continue pulling in his listeners with the intoxicating honesty

he has always seemed able to find within himself and bring to

the forefront of his music. “In the context of making music,

especially what Pedro is about, I really need to hear those quiet

deep down feelings, and I have to be alone to do that.”

Pedro the Lion made a re-emerging blip on the music scene’s

radar in 2017 with the announcement of a small string of shows

at the end of the year, followed by 2018 seeing Bazan join forces

with returning bassist Jonathan Ford and newcomers Erik

Walters (guitar) and Sean Lane (drums), creating a bubbling

resurgence of the mood, tempo, and lyrical touch that Pedro

was known for. “It’s a great band where we have a natural ability

to lock in a way that is really fun and dynamic,” says Bazan, “I

love it and it was a really great choice to play with name again

and play live with a band regularly, these guys are a great band.”

Feeding off the excitement that comes with visiting the past

from a new, regenerated take on life and songwriting, Bazan

has taken that energy and begun pulling it into his music once

again. The new album, which is set to come out sometime early


2019, is not only going to be revisiting the band fans loved

throughout the early 2000 era, the music will have trickling

influence from every piece of work Bazan touched on over

the last decade. “It’s the evolution of what I’ve been doing

throughout that past 12 or 13 years,” says Brazan. “I think about

those sounds and whatever was interesting me sonically about

those records, I’m incorporating that back in a way. I’m allowing

myself to mess around in that territory again, I’m more open to

it and it finds its way in when appropriate.”

The live show will as always experience that magic that Pedro

the Lion brings to the experience along with new touches the

band has been working with. Structuring the live act by taking

the idea of stringing energy along in a way that would represent

one big piece while adding lights that emanate the overall

tone he’s looking to harness, Brazan has turned the experience

into something new and more developed. “I have a different

perspective on how to put together one of our shows. We try to

have it start in one place and go someplace else. I don’t know,

I’m really proud of it.”

The never-ending touring cycle is in full swing for Pedro the

Lion, ensuring fans everywhere have the chance to catch the

emotion brought into action through the energy you can only

really catch when in the same room experiencing it. “Touring is

the thing, it’s kind of the main form of what this expression is;

going around and playing songs for an audience, doing a magic

trick on stage in front of them. It’s ephemeral, you can’t bottle

it, you can video tape it and try to do it justice, but it doesn’t do

the same thing.”

Pedro the Lion performs May 8 at the Biltmore Cabaret.

Photo by Ryan Russell

David Bazan is out of the lion’s den, performing with a band and feeling.

May 2018




Growing up as a teenage metalhead in the mid

2000s, when Revolver was still taken seriously

and bullet belts had a serious revival, Richmond,

Virginia’s Lamb of God picked up the torch left

behind by Pantera’s absence and carried it aloft

with that cocky groove-tinged sound that grew

up and out of the ‘90s, the new wave of American

heavy metal. But before the pieces all fell into place

to form Lamb of God, where it all started was with

the rawer sounds of Burn the Priest – their first


Nearly 20 years of commercial success later,

they’ve decided to pay homage to their roots and

rebirth Burn the Priest by putting out Legion: XX

on May 18. The album covers songs that influenced

them when they were sowing the seeds for what

would eventually become Lamb of God.

“The first song that comes to mind is a song

called ‘Axis Rot’ by a band called Sliang Laos,” says

guitarist Mark Morton. “Pretty much no one that

hears this project will be familiar with them because

they were a local band around Richmond who were

making waves in the local scene when we were first

getting Burn the Priest together. They were one of

my favourite bands, not just locally, but in general.

So it felt really, really good as we were putting

Legion: XX together to be able to include them in

the track list and pay homage to some of our roots,

bands that we aspired to be like back then in the

local scene.”

“Another would be the Melvins song ‘Honey

Bucket,’ because during that time frame in the

‘90s, punk, hardcore, and metal were mingling and

producing some really unique sounding bands,”

Photo by Travis Shinn

Lamb of God’s latest release is a series of covers that influenced them in their early days as a band.

Morton continues.

Burn the Priest as a band had a bit more of a

punk feel to it compared to the direction Lamb of

God ended up going in, which was down a more

technical and refined path. Regardless of whether

they were just working out the kinks within their

first formation, Morton says it was never done with

a clear intention.

“I think we were just developing as a band,

honestly,” he says. “To this day the process is still the

same. I never mean this to come across the wrong

way, but we don’t write music for our fans. We don’t

write any music in anticipation of what the fans

might want to hear. We really construct our songs

just to find common ground between the five of

us, to find something that all five of us like and can

stand behind. That, in and of itself, is quite a feat.”

Their upcoming tour finds them back on the

road with the legendary Slayer, who they’ve toured

with extensively. But this one’s bittersweet, as this is

Slayer’s last run on the road (or so they say). With

Slayer being one of metal’s founding fathers, it’s still

a trip for even someone as renowned as Morton to

be included in their farewell tour.

“It’s frankly an honour,” he says, “and more than

anything, I’m flattered they would include us and

give us that spot on their last tour. We’ve worked

with them a lot and obviously they’ve been a huge

influence on us. I mean, we’ve learned so much from

watching how Slayer does things. Everyone in metal


Lamb of God plays the Pacific Coliseum with Slayer,

Anthrax, Behemoth and Testament on May 16.




When thrash metal gained popularity in North

America, you had the big four: Metallica,

Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. But happening

at around the same time way over in Florida,

centered somewhere around Tampa, the biggest

names in American death metal were brewing

up albums that would become legendary.

Though at this point it’s tough to pick a “big

four of Florida death metal,” Death, Morbid

Angel, Deicide, and Obituary stand out as

having created and defined that massive Florida


30 years later, few bands can say they’ve had

as consistent a career as Obituary. You can go

from listening to their debut album, Slowly We

Rot, to their most recent self-titled album, and

have no doubt that it’s the same band (and

maybe some of the same instruments). It’s this

stubborn grip on that old-school sound that’s

seen Obituary’s drummer Donald Tardy through

all these years.

“It’s simply happened through 35 years of

hanging out with each other, I think,” says Tardy.

“I mean, I met [guitarist/founding member]

Trevor [Peres] when I was 10 years old, so we’ve

been friends forever. But what’s amazing about it

is that we immediately dove into music together

at a really young age. I was already starting out

drumming when I met him, so once we figured

out that we were metalheads, it wasn’t long

before we figured out our own style.”

For their upcoming North American tour,

they’ve enlisted the help of their fans, taking

suggestions from multiple platforms to finish off

a 17-song setlist.

“It’s funny, you can predict that everybody’s

going to want the obvious ones like ‘Cause of

Death,’ ‘Chopped in Half,’ and ‘Slowly We Rot,’”

says Tardy. “But there are definitely people

throwing out songs that I can’t even remember

having a title for. I guess that’s from 30 years

of releasing records – it’s hard to remember

100-and-something songs nowadays. We’re

looking at the Facebook posts, the Twitter

replies, looking at the official Obituary

inbox and taking what everyone’s saying

into consideration. It’s definitely going to be

interesting for us having to relearn some of

those old songs.”

Tardy and his bandmates have been playing

death metal together since they were 15,

embroiled in the genre for pretty much their

entire lives and being on the road for almost as

long. That may be the reason that they’ve all

stuck together for such a long period of time –

they just don’t know any different.

“It’s not about how many times you’re

onstage playing, because you’re only onstage for

an hour at a time,” he says. “You live with band

members and you have relationships with these

people over the years having to be on tour,

which is not all fun and games. You’ve living out

of a backpack, being shuffled around in vans

and shuttles and buses. Being a professional,

organized, and successful touring band means

that each band member has to be all of those

things. You’ve got to be okay with being told

when you can sleep, when you can eat, when

you can shit. Although that hour onstage is an

absolute blast, and it is the best job in the world

to be able to crack a cold beer right before your

shift and jump onstage and play 15 songs in a

row. There’s nothing cooler than that. We’re just

stoked to play for fans of classic Florida death


Obituary kicks off the first of five nights of

Modified Ghost Festival at the Rickshaw Theatre

with Pallbearer, Skeletonwitch, Dust Bolt and

Bushwhacker on May 23.

Photo by Ester Segarra

Death metal icons Obituary have been performing together since they were 15 years old.

May 2018 21




Photo by Orion Landau

Yob return with bleeding conscious and crushing doom.

After receiving what he referred to as a “courtesy call from [his]

eventual death”, Mike Scheidt, vocalist and guitarist of Yob, returns

with a new lease and dedication to life and music.

While grocery shopping not to far from his home, in Eugene,

Oregon, Scheidt was struck with a violent pain down the left side

of his face. This pain lead him to discovering a severe case of acute

diverticulitis, a disease that attacks the intestines. Scheidt endured

multiple surgeries, near death experiences and a grueling recovery

period, which put life on hold not only for himself, but for the whole


While often barely mobile, Scheidt continued to write and play

music with the help of a custom Monson guitar; the lighter guitar

allowed him to play, and write, within the bounds of his weight

restrictions following his surgery. He went six months without singing

and had to rebuild from the beginning with a vocal coach, a delicate

process, as he could herniate any of his incisions if he pushed too

hard. He began experimenting with the new tricks taught by his

vocal coach, to rebuild his technical range and power. “In some ways

actually, my vocals are better than they have ever been,” says Scheidt.

While the band approaches each album from the point in which

they are at in life — lyrically, and thematically — Scheidt’s health

struggles have deeply impacted the new album. “I had no guarantee

any of the music I was making was going to ever see the light of day,”

he says. With the potential complications of his surgeries and recovery

process, Scheidt had this underlying feeling that his compositions

had to be “good enough.” He explains there was an extra level of

love, gratitude and dedication to intention, superimposed by his

illness, both in regards to music processes and his relationships with

his bandmates and family. Thematically, the feeling of losing control

played a heavy roll in inspiration of the new album.

Yob released “The Screen”, earlier this year, and while the song is a

preview of their upcoming album, Our Raw Heart, it features some of

the oldest sets of riffs on the album. The song is sonically in line with

their previous heavy doom metal brutality, but on the heavier side of

their sonic spectrum, which spans from meditative ambience, to skull

crushing riffage. “It’s a song we’ve had around for five or six years. It

just never found a place and there was no album that it seemed like it

fit. Post illness, as I was writing, all of a sudden everything came into

focus, and it became part of this new album” he explains. Scheidt says

he is still writing about the same things, persona and sincere lyrics,

driven by the pursuit of positive influence. Thematically, the band

takes inspiration from eastern mysticism, shamanic practices, poetry

and meditative mindfulness.

Scheidt has been described previously as the zen or Yogi Master

type and in speaking with him, there’s a strong imprint of that. He

is calm, collected and deeply humble. While the music Yob makes is

often brutal and heavy, there have always been conscious tones and a

meditative quality.

“I’ve spent a lot of years sitting and doing meditation. I don’t

pretend to be a great practitioner, but I’m consistent,” Scheidt says.

His conscious and humble attitude carries into all aspects of his life;

and while always present, there is a new level of gratitude his near

death experience has brought him.

Yob perform as part of the Modified Ghost Festival on May 25 at the

Rickshaw Theatre.


May 2018




The whole band agrees: their accordionist has the nicest butt.

“It’s cozy with five of us in here,” laughs Spencer Jo Burgess, vocalist and guitarist

of Calgary-based punk band River Jacks. Crammed into their tour bus, a minivan

with a small fleet of Lego Star Wars ships velcroed to the dashboard, it’s hard to

picture anything more purely punk rock.

Consisting of Burgess along with drummer Michael Blotto, accordionist Andy

“Mandrill” Shannon, guitarist Jordan Barrett, and bassist Tyler Burton, River Jacks

is bursting with the kind of veteran expertise that many bands spend their whole

careers trying to obtain. With a diverse set of past projects under their belts, it’s

clear that music has always been the only option for the close-knit quintet.




For curious reasons, there is a lot of derision towards

the subgenre of djent. The word is onomatopoeic,

and describes the distorted, palm muted thudding

sound that players make against the lower guitar

strings when employing the style. Djent was first

popularized by Meshuggah, and then evolved by

artists such as Animals as Leaders, Periphery, and

UK-based prog royalty TesseracT, who return this

year with a message to share in their new record,

Sonder, released April 20.

“Sonder is a word taken from a web series called

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows [by John

Koenig]. It’s a made up word, but it’s kind of a cool

concept,” says rhythm guitarist James Monteith,

clearly enthusiastic about the idea. “It means ‘the

appreciation that everyone around you has a life as

interesting and complex as your own.’ It’s a reflection

on how nuanced the world is, as well as the universe

and beyond. It’s a message of non-self-centeredness.”

Sonder is both an understanding of the intricacies

within every life, and a celebration of the individual.

Though people may operate on similar playing fields,

every experience is unique, and TesseracT embraces

this idea, even using it in their songwriting process in

a way that is beautiful and inclusive.

“Our front-of-house engineer is really into field

recordings, which is turning ambient sounds into

music,” explains Monteith. “So we did a call out to

fans to send in their field recordings, and we got

Photo by Jay Munoz

“Without music, I’d probably be one of those boring, typical suburbanites

who raises a family, works from nine to five, watches reality TV, and goes to bed

at nine o’clock,” Blotto says. “Isn’t that what most people who don’t make music


The band released their second album, Strange Adventures, in May 2017.

With such an immeasurable energy pouring out of them both on stage and off,

you can’t help but wonder what’s going through their heads and fuelling their

explosive shows. Are they thinking about the shortcomings of the government?

The toxicity of our capitalist society? If a black hole can absorb another black


“Sometimes I think about if my butt looks good,” laughs Shannon, causing a

cacophony of laughs from the rest of the guys in the van.

“Okay, first of all, Mandrill has the best butt in the band,” Burgess exclaims.

“He also wears these off-black pants that just accentuate it in a way that is very

helpful for all of us on stage. It really kind of gives us that little bit of energy we

need. He has this sweet attention-diverting move where he clips his wireless rig

to his belt just above his butt and it attracts attention that way and it’s...” Burgess

trails off, laughing too hard to continue.

“What has this interview gone to?” Blotto yells.

With two albums in the bag, River Jacks have continued to blaze their way

across the Canadian music scene with their unbridled intensity and infectiously

welcoming personalities. With their Quest to the West Tour on the very near

horizon, old fans and new fans alike can expect the band to do what they do

best: play songs as fast and as loud as they can.

River Jacks is playing Pub 340 on May 31st.

Djent royalty TesseracT eliminates self-centeredness with unique fan-driven concept.

about 90 submissions. Of those 90, we managed to

incorporate 40 into the album as subtle textures. A

lot of the ambient effects you hear throughout the

album started off as sounds that people sent in. It

adds a different layer to a few of the tracks.”

Music is one of the most malleable forms of

expression. Every person has a different concept of

what sounds good, and there are countless tools and

styles one can employ to achieve their sonic ideals.

TesseracT, though a powerful creative force in their

own right, realized their fans could offer them a

Photo by Steve Brown

whole new angle, and reached out. Fearlessly, they

embraced the concept of Sonder, and incorporated

it into their own work. Such commitment to an

idea is the sign of truly focused visionaries, and only

bodes well for all projects that TesseracT and their

affiliates conjure up.

You can experience TesseracT live at the Rickshaw

Theatre, alongside supporting acts Plini and Astronoid,

on May 9.

May 2018 23





Dominic Maker and Kai Campos continue to push boundaries.




Ryan Hemsworth went all over for Elsewhere, his third album.

Born and raised in Halifax, Ryan Hemsworth

is arguably the greatest musician to come

out of Nova Scotia this side of Buck 65.

Hemsworth sure stuck the landing with his

debut solo album. Guilt Trips was released

by venerable Canadian indie label Last Gang

in late 2013 and went on to win the Juno

Award for Electronic Album of the Year the

following year.

Hemsworth quickly followed up Guilt

Trips with 2014’s Alone for the First Time. It

still managed to pick up a Juno nomination,

but didn’t quite resonate as much with

critics, perhaps seeming a bit rushed or

that Ryan was trying to do too many things


Speaking to BeatRoute from Jutland,

England, Kai Campos of Mount

Kimbie lets loose on what the duo

known for their always unique take

on electronic music has in store for

2018. Having been releasing music

for nearly 10 years Dominic Maker

and Kai Campos have proven their

ability to continuously push their


“Like most things it seems the

more you do it, it seems like the less

you know,” says Campos, talking

about the artistic growth of the

musical project.

Their last album, Love What

Survives (2017), took what fans

have come to know and recognize

from the duo and twisted it into

a stripped down greyscale audible

adventure. Taking what they

gained while performing live and

Photo by Tonje Thilesen

at once. Four years later, and he’s ready to

silence those critics with Elsewhere. He

practically scoured the globe to make this

record, reaching out to as-yet unnamed

artists in such disparate locales as Atlanta,

Nigeria, London, and the Bay Area, among


“Honestly, a lot of the process for

[Elsewhere] has been getting better at

actually making music in the studio with

people,” Hemsworth muses. “Over the

years, I’d gotten so used to making a lot of

the production at home, and then sending

it to a singer or something. A lot of the

sessions with different rappers in Atlanta,

incorporating the positive aspects of

that immediacy into the recording

process, push Mount Kimbie closer

to the instinctive side of their music.

“The main thing is when you work

in an area where you feel like you’re

learning as well as doing it,” tells


The album is splattered with

vocals from the poetic and

stylistically on point King Krule on

“Blue Train Lines,” experimental pop

musician Micachu with “Marilyn”

and the stunning notes of James

Blake with “We Go Home Together”

and “How We Got By” that tucks

listeners into the pocket of Mount

Kimbie while they explore new


Mount Kimbie perform May 17 at the


it was really working on your feet. I had to

make a lot of stuff in advance just to have

lots of options for whatever session I would

have with a certain artist. I was trying to

not overthink my production and spend

too much time on certain sounds as I was

making it, because you have to be quick

when you’re working with certain artists like


Having worked on this Elsewhere project

for so long, Hemsworth has absorbed a

lot of influences along the way. He’s been

listening to a lot of film soundtracks, citing

Johnny Greenwood’s textural compositions

for Phantom Thread and You Were Never

Really Here, as well as Korean music, namely

the R&B and pop that he sees as taking a lot

of risks most wouldn’t care in comparable

North American genres. Elsewhere also sees

Ryan attempt to alter the mood somewhat.

“I’m trying to make happier music,”

Hemsworth laughs. “I don’t know if that

gets across, but I think that’ll probably be

the most surprising if I accomplish that.

Everything up to this point has been fairly

melancholic, and there’s definitely still

elements of that in the music now, but I

was trying to prove myself through the

production, make something more polished.

There’s a couple of R&B songs that I’m really

trying to make sound like the R&B that I

grew up on. I want the whole project to be

surprising, in a good way.”

Ryan Hemsworth performs at Fortune Sound

Club (Vancouver) on May 10.




What is there to believe in anymore? It may not seem like much

in the grand scheme of things, but the power of live music is

still with us. Catharsis through sound exists. Stuff yourself in one

of these venues and forget the harshness of reality for a couple



May 12 @ Open Studios

Born in Japan, raised in the U.K., and currently calling Germany

home, master DJ and producer TJ Hertz studied electronic and

information engineering at Oxford, and subsequently worked

at Native Instruments developing software, so you know his

techno-based, post-dubstep-tinged sets are as smart as can be,

no hyperbole.


May 14 @ Commodore

Bass music hasn’t been the same since Los Angeles glitch addicts

edIT, Boreta and Ooah combined forces. Their live sets are all

about channeling their technological process into dance floor

chemistry, so expect some vicious knob-twiddling and mindbending



May 15 @ Rickshaw

You shouldn’t need a lot of prodding to go see Tricky. This guy

was at the forefront of the trip-hop movement as a frequent

collaborator on early Massive Attack releases, while his solo

career since the mid-’90s has been as prolific as it has been

challenging, counting over a dozen albums that tackle difficult

lyrical themes over genre-defying instrumentals. You’ll remember

being at this show.


May 18 @ Fortune

Los Angeles DJ and singer Samantha Duenas makes some damn

impressive R&B-tinged poptronica. To hear her sing, you’d

think she was Britney Spears working with production from the

Neptunes or some shit, but she’s actually far more experienced

as a DJ, dancer and fashion blogger. In more ways than seems

humanly possible, this girl is squarely on point. Better recognize.


June 2 @ Open Studios

You’re gonna want to get a bigger boat for this one. My, oh Mira,

she is deep. Honed over a decade plus in front of some of the

world’s most sophisticated audiences, her distinctive sets of

melodic, uplifting yet soothing German techno and deep house

seem to go on into the infinite night of the eternal rave. Rave on!


Photo by James W

Mataitis Bailey

May 2018





George Evelyn is owning his reality and imagination as Nightmares On Wax.

In a chaotic and complex world, how do we as

individuals take responsibility for the roles we play

in our own communities, societies, and on this great

sphere circling the sun we call Planet Earth? This is

the question that George Evelyn, a.k.a. Nightmares on

Wax, is asking all of us, including himself, with his latest

album, Shape The Future.

“I just started to question reality and what that was

about,” explains Evelyn over Skype from his home in

Ibiza. “[I questioned] how everybody has their own free

will of their perception, [and questioned] what is their

relationship to that? Do we even recognize that it’s us

relating to it? If I can at least be responsible to how I’m

relating to my reality, I can make the adjustments that

make things a lot smoother and a lot more pleasant in

the reality that I live in.”

The last 30 years has certainly brought Evelyn into

a wide array of diverse realities from which to build

his theories on the subject. Being one of the most

influential artists in downtempo and hip-hop, one

of the first acts ever signed to Warp Records, Evelyn

has touched just about every continent in his travels

throughout the course of his notable career.

In order to change the world, the people to make

actual change in their own lives.

“The system is so corrupt and broken that nothing’s

going to come from there,” declares Evelyn. “It’s down to

us as individuals to make the change and the shift. We

can talk about marching, we can talk about protesting,

but what are we doing in our own lives? What are we

doing in our own reality to change things? That’s really

where my inspiration came from on this album and

what Shape the Future is about.”

Evelyn believe that global awareness is not just

about social responsibility. It’s also about sharing a

responsibility to the planet itself. If our desire is to heal

the world, then it follows that we must remember that

we are a part of a wider organism, the planet.

“I was thinking about the human race and how we

behave, and what state consciousness is in,” reflects

Evelyn. “I started thinking that, somehow, we’ve gone

into this amnesia state where we think that there’s

nature and then there’s us, like nature is something that

happens in the background. And then I’m thinking, well,

that’s just ridiculous. Everything in this organism [called]

Mother Earth, everything provided like oxygen for us to

be here, how can we even think that we’re separate?”

Ultimately, Evelyn hopes everyone will receive this

message from both Shape the Future and its North

American tour:

“Own your reality. Own your imagination. It belongs

to you. It’s your sovereign right to feel good.”

Nightmares on Wax owns the Imperial on June 6th.

May 2018 25







THE DAY AFTER – MAY 11, 2018

After rebuilding his marriage from the ground up, book-publisher Bongwan slips,

stumbles, and repeats past mistakes in a cycle all too familiar. From critically

acclaimed South Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo comes a sad yet comic look at what

it’s like to struggle through an exceptionally average existence.

THE SEAGULL – MAY 11, 2018

Based off the late, great Anton Chekov’s stage play of the same name, Michael Mayer

reimagines the classic tale now over a century old. As invigorated with life as it ever

was, Annette Benning and Saoirse Ronan star in this timeless story of love, life, and

how the things that bring us together differ little from those that pull us apart.

MOUNTAIN – MAY 11, 2018

A cinematic homage to the towers of rock and ice that ridge our land, and the ones

foolish enough to try and climb them. Accompanied by a sweeping score from the

Australian Chamber Orchestra, and voiced by Willem Dafoe, Mountain documents

the lives of various mountaineers, their expeditions, and the beauty they find on the



Ethan Hawke commands the lead in Paul Schrader’s most recent revelation. Dragged

to his wit’s end, a pastor in upstate New York is forced to counsel a married man

turned extremist and his pregnant wife, all the while balancing faith and forgiveness in

this catapulting, spiritual thriller.

Mette Holm translates Haruki Murakami’s debut novel Hear the Wind Sing in Dreaming Murakami.

Documentaries have had a history of falling by the

wayside. The subject matter may not be sexy enough,

they never feature celebrities (obviously), and they

never receive a run in the theatre. Now with on-demand

becoming the go to platform for audiences it seems that

the desire for documentaries is finally getting its due.

Lucky for Vancouverites, DOXA (Documentary Film

Festival) is returning May 3 to 13 for their 17th year.

Watching a documentary can shape an idea, convey a

hope, or possibly shine a light on an unknown issue. To

see these films firsthand with an audience is a one-of-akind

experience and DOXA has an incredible program

to choose something just right for you. There are visually

beautifully films like Cielo, a discussion on the night sky

and our place in the universe from Atacama, Chile, the

best place on Earth to observe the stars. A Six Dollar Cup

of Coffee shows us the real cost of every cup of coffee

we sometimes take for granted. Dreaming Murakami is a

hypnotic love letter, not just to the work of the Japanese

author, but to the unsung art of translating prose from

one culture to another.

Tickets to DOXA can be purchased in advanced or

rush tickets at the door while quantities last. Films will

play throughout the city at fan favourite theatres like

VanCity, The Cinematheque, and even the Museum of

Vancouver. Check your schedule, talk to your people,

and just decide which insightful documentary you

want to truly learn from and experience. The Netflix

documentaries aren’t going anywhere, but DOXA is only

here for a short while.

DOXA runs May 3 to 13 at various theatres.


Set amidst a twisted, Mad Max-esque wasteland, Future World tells the story of a

young boy’s pursuit to find a cure for his dying mother. Starring and directed by a

yellow-toothed James Franco, the sheer existence of a film so seemingly outrageous

should be enough to draw a crowd.



May 2018



Tell Me How You Really Feel

Mom + Pop/ Marathon Artists/ Milk!

Tell Me How You Really Feel is an open invitation

from Courtney Barnett as she gains momentum

with her sophomore release. Following her 2015

debut full length, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and

Sometimes I Just Sit, and fresh off the heels from

touring with her musical twin Kurt Vile on the

collaboration Lotta Sea Lice in late 2017, Barnett

has come up with a refreshing and edited version

of herself. This trajectory of maturity rounds out

any uneasy feelings one might have about her style

of reserved monotone melodies, lyrical ramblings

and run-on strumming that made it on her first


It seems Barnett may have had similar uneasy

feelings while writing this record. The track

“Crippling Self Doubt and a General Lack of

Self-Confidence” is used as a blunt cathartic

stamp of words saying just that. In her pursuit

of being forthright with these feelings, she has

noticeably stirred up some inner anger. In the song

“Nameless, Faceless” she uses a loose quote from

Margaret Atwood: “Men are afraid that women

will laugh at them/women are afraid that men

will kill them,” and then goes on to say “I walk

with my keys between my fingers,” woven into an

otherwise pop-centric grunge tune. It’s unclear

if she’s directly speaking to the present feminist

climate or possibly just haters online, but the

sharper edge suits the already cheeky attitude in

her lyrics. Again, in the track “I’m Not Your Mother,

I’m Not Your Bitch” she releases a pointed tone to

whatever she perceives to be that opposition with

the snarky “I hear you mutter under your breath/

put up or shut up it’s all the same/ never change

never change.” Whether Barnett is letting off steam

or not, she’s a benevolent artist and the catharsis is

personal yet easily relatable. Better out than in.

In spite of her crippling doubt, Barnett’s vocal

range on this record has progressed into sounding

more seasoned, both sweet and savoury. Her time

writing and touring the album with Kurt Vile

seems to have refined her melodies and guitar

fills relieving some pressure from putting out a

substantial second release after the fast success of

the first. In “Need a Little Time” she presents her

quiet pretty singing voice with catchy ‘eeeeee’s and

‘ooooo’s that really lift her listenability in contrast

to the steady rap like talking from the 2015 release.

It is a standout single and a self-care anthem

perfect for the shower or car sing-alongs.

There are guitar sounds on this record that also

brings out the feels. She is known to play guitars

like a Harmony or a Telecaster, which lends her a

basic, yet rootsy-grungy sound that she manages

to spread evenly over the ten songs. There is a

tempo breakdown in a jangly Velvet Underground

inspired “City Looks Pretty” that showcases what

a soulful rock guitarist with deep pop sensibilities

she is, and only getting better. Then, going back

to “I’m Not Your Mother...” Barnett rides the line

between grunge rock and punk riffs. Knowing she

executes this simple but perfectly rhythmic guitar

hammering all the while playing lefty, with no

pick, gives off the feelings of authenticity and solid

musicianship. Hearing more of that guitar flare

filling space in the songs and less words, proves she

is showcasing her natural talent more confidently

and it also makes for a more light-hearted listen.

When you have as many feelings as Courtney

Barnett, it’s hard to sum it all up without some

redundancies and repeats, but for now her

modesty and self-awareness has been keeping her

relevant and a trusted Melbourne musical export.

• S. Sheppard

• Illustration by Carole Mathys

May 2018 27

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino Black Moth Super Rainbow - Panic Blooms Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy Fire Next Time - Knives


Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino


“I used to want to be one of the Strokes, now

look at the mess you made me make” are the

opening lines of the almost pseudo-Sinatra like,

piano-laden lounge tune “Star Treatment.” The

song immediately sets the tone of Tranquility Base

Hotel & Casino, jolting you into a land of blissful

unexpectation. The album is just as much an

experience as it is a musical portrait, a dreamlike

offering far different from anything Arctic

Monkeys have released prior, building upon the

group’s tendency to continually evolve with each


Lyrically, the album explores themes of politics,

religion, and perspectives of the future under

the suave songwriting style of frontman Alex

Turner. In many ways Tranquility Base Hotel &

Casino feels like a series of diary entries. This is

especially apparent in the record’s title track,

which opens with a line about seeing Jesus at the

spa. There are also references to reflections of

the past, remembering old friends, and dancing

around alone in your underpants. “She Looks Like

Fun” tells the tale of someone living their wildest

fantasies in the digital world of virtual reality.

It’s clear that the indie-punk days of Whatever

People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not are over.

For the last decade Arctic Monkeys have been

perusing their own creative path, one far greater

than what they may have imagined in their early


As a whole, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

takes musical influence from the past and mixes it

with soundscapes and composition techniques of

the future, also discussing subjects of the present

and where it’s headed. It’s a heavy album to ingest,

but like a fine wine, you must savour every sip.

Pay attention to every flavour, only then will you

understand its richness in quality.

• Johnny Papan


Panic Blooms

Rad Cult

Black Moth Super Rainbow blasts into light,

kaleidoscope clouds of synth-pop, indieelectronica,

and psychedelic vibrations with the

release of their 16-song album, Panic Blooms.

While the album is much more spacey and simple

than upbeat albums such as Cobra Juicey and

Dandelion Gum, there is a certain familiarity that

lingers while listening. A definite sense of nostalgia

that lays within the charming and lighthearted

synth melodies, vocals dripping with distortion,

and catchy bass-lines, like on lead single “Mr No


From a direction of tone, Panic Blooms is much

more polished, stripped in complexity, and lacks

the lo-fi warmth and grit of EPs like SeaFu Lilac.

There are no guitars, and these songs are less

vocally driven, vearing far from any previous tones

of psychedelic rock.

Members of the band have been working on a

wide array of musical side-projects, which could be

to blame for the simplicity – should you feel like

you are missing something. To some, the simplicity

and melancholic melodies could be enough to fill

their hearts with emotion, after a nearly six-year

wait for a full-length album. In this case, there is a

beauty to be seen in sonic spaces and simplicity.

• Jamila Pomeroy


Invasion of Privacy

Atlantic Records

Cardi B finally releases her long-awaited first

studio album Invasion of Privacy and does not

disappoint. With an all-star cast of features from

Migos, to Chance the Rapper and 21 Savage, Cardi

does a great job of showing she isn’t a one trick

pony. With perfectly curated productions, the

record can be played from start to finish. With the

success of singles like “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier

Cardi,” following up with a full-length album that

reflected the chart smashing impact of those

tracks seemed like a tough task for the industry


Yet, the Bronx’s favourite former stripperturned-rapper

proved that she is much more than

a few hit singles. Cardi B shows versatility through

the entire project. Jumping on beats of all kinds,

experimenting with her vocal range on tracks like

“Thru Your Phone” all the while staying true to the

rugged and ratchet Cardi B we have all come to

know and love.

• Jordan Stricker


Evil Spirits

Search and Destroy / Spinefarm Records

Letting loose to danceable rock à la Franz

Ferdinand and Bloc Party has come and gone

as a trend in the last decade, but The Damned

governed the genre before those bands could

crawl. Often credited with being the first U.K. band

ever to release a punk rock single (“New Rose”) in

1976, the London quintet is back with Evil Spirits,

their first kick at the can in ten years.

From the opening haunting chords of “Standing

on the Edge of Tomorrow,” to the sardonic lyrics

of “Procrastination,” The Damned keep the pace

crisp, light, and tight, largely using clean guitars to

ride a wave of catchy melodies. Sonically, there’s

enough variation here to keep your attention, with

high-energy tracks like “Devil In Disguise” balanced

by mid-tempo jams like “Look Left.”

Evil Spirits is a little more Spinal Tap than

Sepultura, but The Damned manage to avoid

all-out wankery and instead provide us with a

memorable batch of tongue-in-cheek rock tunes.

• Trevor Morelli



Stomp Records

If 2015’s Cold Hands proved what Fire Next Time

could do with more lavish, epic production,

their latest full-length Knives reveals a band

comfortable to let loose and rip. There’s a ‘90s

punk feel that feels built for crushing decks

and beers at the skate park, though with their

trademark attention to lyricism and moody cuts.

On Knives, the Edmonton band has put together

their most concise set to date.

Kicking off at a breakneck tempo on

“Wanderlust,” the energy is immediate, with

a classic-sounding melodic line setting up the

second verse. The lead single, “Party Foul,” is

exactly what you’d expect in a skate video, unison

palm-muted riffs and a huge sing-along chorus

hanging on the line, “You sucked the life out of the

party,” proving that even in some darkness, there’s

a laugh to be had. “Collars” is a standout, and

closed the first third of the record with the same

driving energy.

Showing an ability to seamlessly blend the forms

of classic folk to punk rock, “Old Scratch” tags its

choruses, while James Renton’s lyrics are close to

the bone, like Townes Van Zandt in Chuck Taylors

on lines like, “betray our names, betray our trust,

then return us to the dust.”

Renton’s voice, Ryan Mick’s guitar, and Kevin

Klemp’s multi-instrumentation have always

defined Fire Next Time’s sound, but on Knives,

Garrett Krueger and Nick Kouremenos have

solidified a driving and energetic rhythm section. If

Cold Hands was a defining artistic moment for the

band a few years ago, Knives shows an ass-kicking,

non-stop punk rock Fire Next Time that hasn’t

forgotten the key elements of the sound they built.

• Mike Dunn




Jon Hopkins blurs the lines between nature and

technology in his meditative, abstract fifth LP,

Singularity. Dense, artificial beats and echoing

soundscapes intertwine with moments of quiet,

solitary piano to deliver an entirely refreshing


Singularity is, funnily enough, split into two

parts. The album opens with abstract single

note soundscapes that give way to bouncing

synthesizer arpeggios, combined with dance-like

drum beats, that do all that they can to encourage

the involuntary bobbing along of one’s head.

Each track blurs into the next and culminates in

“Everything Connected,” which marks Singularity’s

halfway point and a distinctive shift in gear. The

second half of the album opts for quieter, more

naturalistic piano moments that draw the listener’s

ear into a more intimate space. The shift in sound

on the second half of the album perhaps reflects

Hopkins’ own musings on the role of technology

in the natural world, and vice versa.

The philosophical implications of Hopkins’

own aesthetic choices on Singularity will probably

always be up for debate. However, underneath

those interpretations lies a beautiful, cohesive

record that will delight fans of Hopkins’ blend

of expansive electronic elements and intimate


• Alex Harrison



Matador Records

Having once been hailed by Iggy Pop as “the only

current punk band I can think of that sounds really

dangerous,” meant as a compliment of the highest

order, Denmark’s Iceage have somehow managed

to retain that knife’s edge feeling of danger and

excitement that has defined their records and live

shows while still crafting their most approachable

record yet.

Beyondless is the Copenhagen-based postpunk

(post-post punk? Iceage continually defy the

catchall genre categorization) band’s first release

since 2014’s excellent Plowing Into the Field of

Love, and their third with Matador and producer

Nis Bysted. Well-paced, with arrangements and

production that at times seem worlds away

from their hardcore-leaning debut New Brigade,

Beyondless takes the best of Love’s Americanatinged,

punk-blues experimentation, setting it


May 2018







July 5 at 7PM

Featuring Rup Sidhu, Rajasthan Josh, and

Adham Shaikh. Cuisine by Vikram Vij & friends!


Presented by Concord Pacific


July 7 at 9:30PM

Curated by Jarrett Martineau (CBC’s Reclaimed)

Featuring Leanne Simpson, Cris Derksen, Ansley

Simpson, Nick Ferrio, Too Attached, and more!




July 14 at 8PM

A rare chance to hear the world’s greatest

flautist in concert!









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:


Iceage - Beyondless Jon Hopkins - Singularity Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!

against a lush, gothic backdrop, complete with buoyant strings and

horns throughout.

Making for an enigmatic combination of Ian Curtis, a snarling

Leonard Cohen, and Mick Jagger fronting the New York Dolls, Singer

and frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is at his dour, poetic best on

Beyondless. While still covering the requisite darker themes and

imagery found on previous releases, Rønnenfelt and co. have crafted

what is essentially a hopeful, occasionally joyous sounding record.

Experimenting heavily, without compromising what made them

unique, and highly buzzed-about years ago, Beyondless is another

step forward for Iceage that further cements their position as one

of the most consistent, ambitious, and thought-provoking modern

punk bands.

• Willem Thomas


Mark Kozelek

Caledo Verde Records

The ever-prolific Mark Kozelek returns with a beautiful self-titled

album that maintains his signature quotidian lyricism, sparse

instrumentation and reflective warmth. Mark Kozelek is sure to

satisfy longtime fans, but may alienate newcomers to Kozelek’s

particularly dense songwriting style, with tracks that stretch out

beyond the 10-minute mark.

From the first track, we are lulled into the hypnotic, reflective

ramblings of Kozelek’s lyrics; his ability to craft what seem like his

journal entries into a consistent lyricism is astonishing. Kozelek writes

about everything from his relationships, to world events, to what he

had for lunch. Part of the attraction with Kozelek’s lyrics is traversing

not only the physical spaces that Kozelek writes about whilst on

tour but also his mental timeline, drifting through his memories and

finding moments loaded with profound lessons in everyday empathy.

These reflections are all undercut with sparse, gorgeous guitar

melodies, and bouncing backing vocals that are all tied together with

some superb, delicate production.

All of the above will be familiar to long-time listeners, but the

extensive lengths of some tracks may alienate newcomers. However,

if one sticks around, they’re sure to find some beautiful moments in

Mark Kozelek.

• Alex Harrison


Wide Awake!

Rough Trade Records

Parquet Courts have managed to top themselves with every release

since their first studio album, Light Up Gold, and they continue

to keep their compelling art rock/post punk sound fresh with

every release. Their brand new album, Wide Awake! is certainly no

exception. The band strays from their usual garage rock sound as

they have teamed up with the prevalent producer Danger Mouse

to create a masterpiece of funk/punk fusion that keeps the listener

engaged through its 13 tracks.

Following 2016’s ballad-heavy album Human Performance,

Parquet Courts come through with a punchy and exhilarated record

full of “joy, rage silliness and anger,” according to the band’s frontman

A. Savage. The opening track “Total Football,” makes reference to

football players choice to kneel during the national anthem as a

protest to police brutality and systemic racism. “Total Football,”

along with tracks like “Violence,” “Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and

Out of Patience,” and “NYC Observation” are fast paced, fun, defiant

punk rock songs that will keep you coming back time and again.

• Darren Wright



Cult/RCA Records

The outfit formerly known as Julian Casablancas & the Voidz returns

with a new record that feels more streamlined and cohesive than

their last, without losing the experimental edge that makes them


2014’s Tyranny was a massive undertaking, blending punk with

synthpop, industrial noise with Caribbean rhythms. While Tyranny

felt messy at times, one could not shake the feeling that the band

was on to something. That something is expanded in their latest

effort, which trades the most alienating, noisy moments of Tyranny

for infectious hooks and a clearer, listener-friendly sound.

Opening track “Leave It In My Dreams” lies in the uncanny valley,

sounding something akin to Casablancas’ main band The Strokes,

yet distancing itself through off-kilter instrumentation and a warped

vocal performance from Casablancas.

The second track, “QYURRYUS,” sees the band diverting into

Eurobeat while Casablancas’ vocals are run through autotune à la

Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreak. “Pyramid of Bones” flirts with

the sounds of nu-metal while the acoustic “Think Before You Drink”

serves to handily cut the record in two.

Like Tyranny before it, Virtue is densely political; the record’s

15 tracks see Casablancas croon about propaganda, government

deception and historical wrongdoings.

• Gareth Jones

May 2018 31






Cory Owens and Cassidy Waring are doing

it all on their debut album. Featuring diverse

instrumentation and heartfelt lyrics, the album

intermingles folk, bluegrass, and country twang.

Autoharp, horns, banjos, and plucky percussion

underscore strong vocal performances. But it is

the bare bones moments on songs like “Cheap

Wine” and “Beautiful Shame” that highlight

the duo’s strength: inspired harmonies. Bad

Strangers draw inspirations from across the

map. Songs are sometimes in the vein of Mother

Mother, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros,

and even Bob Schneider. But everything here is

rooted in epic lyrical storytelling.

• Lauren Donnelly


Haunts My Dream


Dante’s Paradise is vying for a coveted spot on

your summer playlist with the release of theirEP,

Haunts My Dream. Quality not quantity is at

play with these three tracks from this Vancouver

quartet, creating an unpolished yet refined

sound that transports you to a sweaty garage on

a hot summer day. The door is wide open and

you can see the dust particles dance with the

sometimes Melancholic, dreamy guitar.

Dante’s Paradise belts out introspective lyrics

that chronicles a young man’s confusing lust for

love. Of course, after lust comes making peace

with the changes you have to make with yourself

if you want to keep the girl. And eventually

having a beer with your buds when you fuck it

all up. Haunts My Dream is good old fashion

summertime BBQ beer-drinking music.

• Chris Dzaka



Red Fawn Records

Experimental pop duo Hush Hush Noise have

unleashed their debut record, and my oh my

is it ever wonderful! Running the entire gamut

of electro-pop, this record features bubbly,

chugging guitar riffs, otherworldly ambience,

and glitchy drum machines. The cherry on

this electronic cake? The stupendous vocal

stylings of singer and drummer Lily Fawn, often

supported by the haunting harmonies of multiinstrumentalist

Eric Hogg. Watch out Vancouver,

here comes Hush Hush Noise!

• Mat Wilkins




The Sophistocrats get laid-back and lovelorn on

their debut EP, Together. Sophie Moreau Parent

meditates on millennial love with her smooth

and folky vocals. Think Frazey Ford meets

Sheryl Crow. “Broken Record” is a loop-focused

highlight with ‘70s-inspired keys, smooth vocals,

and one epic guitar solo. The groovy melody

plays off lyrics like “We hit the same wall/ Over

and over/ Comparing shortfalls/ Skipping over

and over each other.” Together is an anthemic

eff-you to modern dating that begs to be lip

synced to in front of your bedroom mirror.

• Lauren Donnelly


To Elliot - In Remembrance of Wolf


Bob and Brian Sumner are back again with To

Elliot - In Remembrance of Wolf, the type of

album able to reach out and touch just about

any heart there is – country fan or not.

Likely a result of its influences, this coversonly

record features lyrics that are all over the

map, covering everything within the grey area

between love and loss. The beautifying timbre

of the brothers’ voices, both as smooth as apple

skin, doesn’t hurt either.

Each song on the record is understated

but deeply considered, with minimalistic

orchestration that’s at once both intricate and

delightfully simple.

• Mat Wilkins


CiTR Pop Alliance Compilation Vol. 5

Mint Records

“Anything can be pop music if it makes you feel

good, or makes you feel bad, or makes you feel

something. And hopefully it’s only three minutes


These are the words that punctuate the

introduction on Mint Records’ and CiTR’s Pop

Alliance Vol. 5. What follows is an exploration

into what CiTR music director Andy Resto and

the rest of the student executive team at CiTR

deem the best pop acts along Canada’s west


The record features a hearty mix of talent,

from the doomsday chiptune of Shitlord

Fuckerman’s “Cicadabanana,” to the punk

stylings of Passive’s “Vulture Halo.” Eclectic

doesn’t even begin to describe this mixed bag of

Canadian gems.

• Mat Wilkins


May 2018


The Imperial

April 4, 2018

Kate Nash is one of those artists that you know will

never give up. Gaining popularity during the American-

Apparel-indie-rock era of music in 2007, it seemed as if

Nash faded away into the back while her peers thrived.

However, at her Vancouver show, it’s clear that Nash

still has that light to create and her fans are here for it.

Launching her self-funded tour at the Imperial, Nash

performed alongside an all-girl band, which is just as

badass as it sounds. Her newest album, Yesterday was

Forever, was funded by her fans with a Kickstarter

campaign and pays homage to a prepubescent version

of herself. Nash describes the record as an excerpt from

her teenage diary.

Taking the stage in a pink metallic spandex suit,

Nash opened up her set with “Foundations,” the 2007

break-up anthem off her debut album, Made of Bricks.

With a swift transition into “Mouthwash,” also off of

Made of Bricks, Nash delivered a high-energy set only

slowing it down to talk about the importance of taking

care of mental health before performing “Musical


The UK-based artist demonstrated that she is

unapologetically herself and hasn’t lost her quirky

demeanor, or her potty-mouth. Even with a few

technical difficulties during her set with backtracks, the

show went on and Nash did not miss a beat. Highlights

of the evening included “Merry Happy,” “Dickhead,”

and “Life in Pink” off her latest album, Yesterday was


• Molly Randhawa


Photo by Jessie Foster


The Fox Cabaret

April 18, 2018

Gus Dapperton and his three piece band

floated from smoke-machine mist on a carriage

of cool harmony and cowbell into “Gum,

Toe, Shoe.” The Vancouver stop was the New

York local’s first live appearance on his first

tour. Having amassed social media fame for

his aesthetic music videos and neu-Bowieesque

style, it was as if he came to life from an

Instagram square before our eyes.

The show was an ’80s dream-pop delight.

Even as the foursome traipsed through

moody ballads “Ditch” and “Beyond Amends,”

the crowd kept transfixed by their neon

magnetism. Gus’ keyboardist and sister Megan

Rice served back-up vocals that would’ve had

even Mario quaking in his boots. Despite his

Photo by Darrole Palmer

sister’s vocal superiority, the audience was there

to eat up Gus. With his cotton-candy bull-cut,

bubblegum sweatshirt and iridescent makeup,

he certainly served a sweet slice. Guys and gals

kept gushing “I fucking love him!” at every turn.

The 21-year-old has a mere 11 tracks under

his belt but a whole lot of charisma to back

them up. Gus stretched out the short set-list

with cutesy quips. Waving an affected arm, he

introduced each band member as “being sixfoot-three”.

Au contraire, half the band didn’t

look old enough to drive.

Dancing in the rain of Dapperton’s dazzling

guitar riffs and growled poeticism, amidst a

sea of pastel hair, mesh, and overalls, felt like

a bonafide Internet Party, if there were such a

thing. Their show testified that outsider kids

can cause enough commotion online to take

the world by storm.

• Maggie McPhee


Commodore Ballroom

April 4, 2018

Since their stellar self-titled debut dropped in 2014,

Alvvays have catapulted to ubiquitous indie stardom

and toured relentlessly. The band took the stage at

the Commodore Ballroom as part of a west coast

swing on their international tour supporting their

September release, Antisocialites.

Playing an equal blend of fresh material from

the new record as well as classics from their first

album, the group performed their signature brand

of rollicking, dreamy guitar pop subtly infused with

distinctive Acadian undertones. Buoyed atop the

propulsive rhythms of Sheridan Riley’s drumming,

frontwoman Molly Rankin’s voice flutters between

plaintive crooning, powerful belting, and an airy

porcelain falsetto.

Falling smack dab in the middle of a grueling

three-and-a-half-month, 51-date tour across Europe

and North America, the fatigue seemed to show a

little. The band bobbed and swayed on stage, but for

the most part their stage presence was fairly sedate

and the audience’s involvement was similarly tepid.

Furthermore, Rankin’s wryly humorous lyrics and

Alec O’Hanley’s silvery guitar riffs — arguably the

group’s strongest assets — were often hard to make

out, overpowered by the drums, which were too loud

in the mix.

However, the band still managed to get the crowd

into it eventually with the audience singing along

to new song “Not My Baby,” and by the time Rankin

performed the group’s breakthrough hit “Archie,

Marry Me,” she was emphatically joined by everyone

in the room. Her exceptional gift for melody, coupled

with the group’s ever-forward rhythmic stomp make

for catchy, toe-tapping tunes that stay in your head

long after you’ve left the show.

• Max Szentveri

Photo by Ray Maichin

May 2018 33





Fire represents warmth, spirituality,

courtesy, and caring but it can also

prove to be hectic, demanding,

surprising and even devastating. With

so much fire in this months flow, we

are likely to see more people indulging

in alcohol (a fire substance), smoking

(a fire activity), and pursuing spiritual

ideals or practices (a fire pastime). Fire

Snakes are known to be great financial

advisors, philosophers and thinkers, but

they are not necessarily hard-working,

unless they are correctly motivated. This

may be a good month to plan rather

than take action, to think through

decisions rather seeking instant results,

and to complete any administrative

tasks that are outstanding.


Spring clean your home and work

environment to improve your state of

mind. Clear the clutter and focus on

food, healing, science, and metaphysical

interests which are worthy of your

invested time.


Inspired and innovative ideas flood

you with creative juice. Use this time

to write down your ideas on paper and

consult with people who may be able to

add light, insight and direction to your

sown seeds.


Because you are often a linear thinker,

you may sometimes overlook the

softer skills that are required for good

leadership. Listen to your heart and you

will always find the correct solution.


You have a wide audience now – use

your reach to show others your skills

and talents, and use your winning

personality to navigate relationship

challenges with grace and ease.


Your identity is fluid, and people love

your presentation and flair for fashion.

Join in with any crowd that holds your

interest in the moment, and dodge

the heat by watching out for dramatic

people and their games.


Feeling sexy? Now is a good time to

talk about your sexuality, build your

sensuality or work on your sex appeal.

Explore what it is that makes you feel

attractive to others, and familiarize

yourself with ways to connect without

the need for sex.


Our mind is a great resource but

over-thinking can drain your energy

and time. Go outside, make time to

play, or time to ‘smell the roses’ now.

Experience life and dance/sing/move to

clear any stress that might be blocking

your open heart.


Getting fresh inspiration might be more

difficult as the challenges and workload

mount. Choose to use your time well

and make your friends and family a

priority to keep the peace. A humble

attitude paves the way for effective



Think outside the box and imagine all

the possibilities that can lead you to a

happier state of mind. Time for change

is finally here. Cut dead wood to lighten

up your mood and turn over a new leaf.


Tension rises and although sly moves

seem like a good idea, people may be

watching or judging your behaviour.

Choose carefully as your choices now

can affect the outcomes of the year.


Even with limits on your time, you still

know how to enjoy yourself. Be present

with every moment and you’ll never

work another day in your life. Can

you find joy in the simple things – a

tidy home, a good book, a walk in the



Appreciation is a two way street. If you

are looking for recognition for your

efforts, devoted service or hard work,

make sure that you are honouring those

around you for their contributions too.

Susan Horning is a Feng Shui Consultant

and Bazi Astrologist living and working

in East Vancouver. Find out more about

her at

41 st Annual


folk music


July 13-15, 2018 Jericho Beach Park

meet you at the beach!










May 2018





May 5 - The Biltmore Cabaret



May 8 - The Biltmore Cabaret



May 10 - The Vogue Theare



May 14 - Rickshaw Theatre



May 15 - Fox Cabaret



May 16 - The Biltmore Cabaret



May 18 - Imperial Vancouver



May 19 - Fortune Sound Club



May 19 - Fortune Sound Club


More magazines by this user
Similar magazines