BeatRoute Magazine BC Edition September 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














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BeatRoute Magazine



Naomi Zhang


Nick Harwood


Randy Gibson


Carlos Oen


Managing Editor

Jordan Yeager


Glenn Alderson


Yasmine Shemesh






- With DJ Kookum



- Flipout Pinball Festival

- The Thingery

- Word Vancouver

- Chrysalis Society







- Big Theif

- Japanese Breakfast


- & MORE!


- Dead End Drive-In

- Drown In Ashes

- Andrew WK

- Anti-Flag

Andrew Bardsley • Sarah Bauer • Emilie

Charette • Leslie Ken Chu • Emily Corley

• Adam Deane • Quan Yin Divination

• Lauren Donnelly • Joshua Erickson •

Matty Hume • Brendan Lee • Joey Lopez

• Sarah Mac • Dayna Mahannah • Maggie

McPhee • Trevor Morelli • Keir Nicoll •

Jennie Orton • Logan Peters • Scott Postulo

• Paul Rodgers • Brittany Rudyck • Patrick

Saulnier • Leah Siegel • Danielle Wensley




Danny Clinch• Raunie Mae Baker • Syd

Danger • Cole Degenstein • Cody Fennell

• Nick Harwood • Vanessa Heins • Jason

Ma • Monica Miller • Fraser Ploss • Jaik

Puppyteeth • Zachary Schroeder • Craig

Sinclair • Art Streiber • Ebru Yildiz


Glenn Alderson


Local Music

Maddy Cristall

The Skinny

Johnny Papan


Graeme Wiggins


Jamila Pomeroy

Live Reviews

Darrole Palmer


Hogan Short







- Moshe Kasher


- Katie Duck


- Dinner En Blanc

- Three Generations Of Smoking

- Strain Of The Month


- French Cuisine C’est Ce Soir


- Handsome Tiger









- Idles

- Art d’Ecco

- Exploded View

- YG

- & MORE!


- Anderson .Paak

- Queens Of The Stone Age

- Insane Clown Posse



Gold Distribution (Vancouver)

Mark Goodwin Farfields (Victoria)


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Social Media

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Reproduction of the contents is strictly prohibited.

September 2018 3


Written by Lyndon Chiang

Cheyanna Kootenhayoo, or better

known as DJ Kookum, is a Vancouverbased

DJ and filmmaker, paving the

way for Indigenous representation

in music. DJ Kookum has worked

with some of Canada’s biggest acts

in Indigenous Hip-hop, including

Mob Bounce, Drezus, and Snotty

Nose Rez Kids, to name a few. As a

resident DJ at the Biltmore Cabaret,

DJ Kookum mixes a diverse blend

of Trap, Hip-hop, R&B, and EDM. In

preparation for her big weekend at

Skookum Festival, we caught up with

Kootenhayoo to find out more about

Indigenous Hip-hop, her upcoming

performances and her community

work with at-risk youth.

What kind of music did

you grow up listening to

that shaped you the most?

Was there one group or

artist you can attribute

to leading you down that

path towards becoming a DJ/


I basically went from listening to

the Spice Girls to 2pac, then to

techno and house. I remember being

obsessed with Spice Girls and Alanis

Morissette. Then I started going to an

all native school and bought my first

2pac CD. I think when “Flat Beat” by

Mr Oizo came out I started listening

to techno, trance and house artists

like DJ Alligator, Benny Benassi, Tiesto,

and Marco V to name a few.

What are the origins of

your stage name DJ Kookum?

Kokum means grandmother and is

a word from the Cree tribes along


My friends and family back home

started calling me kokum when I

was 13, probably because I was wise

AF? At the time I didn’t like being

called ‘grandma’ and tried to stop it

but they got the whole Rez (Indian

reservation) calling me kokum.

Back when I was DJ Annshay doing

some of my first ever Hip-hop shows,

I was rocking with LightningCloud.

I told them my nickname story

they were convinced I had to be DJ

Kokum because the First Nations

communities will dig it and because

it had a better story behind it. So I

went for it and added an extra ‘O’ to

Kokum because I am not an actual

kokum, let alone a parent yet. And

now I love it, I own it.

You grew up a member of the

Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation

and Cold Lake First Nations

communities, do you feel a

responsibility to represent

or uphold your heritage

through your music and


Photo by George Lawson

DJ Kookum is raising awareness on Indigenous issues through her art.

It’s important to rep where I came

from. I’ve had a lot of support in

my career from both communities

and I’m grateful for that. Every film

project I’m involved with is either

raising awareness on Indigenous

issues or sharing our culture and

history. A lot of the hip-hop artists

I perform with are doing the same

through the lyrics. It’s important to

share our culture and history with the

world so people know the truth. We

are also breaking stereotypes through

art. There are so many amazing First

Nations people out there, I can’t

believe some people still think we’re

all just homeless, drunk or in jail.

I love to share my peoples’ music.

I put out a mix featuring all First

Nations hip-hop artists called

‘Limitless Indigenous Hip-Hop Mix.’

You can find it on my Soundcloud

( I am

going to put out more ASAP because

there are so many amazing artists.

Who are some must-listen

artists in your music circles,

and who should people

watch out for?

Horsepowa, Tchu_chu, Holy Sock

Gang, Yellowsky, Mob Bounce, So

Loki, DJ Shub, the Sorority, Missy D,

Joey Stylez, Mamarudegyal, Status

Krew, Dani & Lizzy, Emotions, JB

the First Lady, Beaatz, Boogey the

Beat, T-rhyme, Ekkwol, Kimmortal,

LightningCloud, Drezus. I’m probably

forgetting a whole bunch.

You started out in film. How

did you make the transition

from filmmaking to DJ’ing?

Are you still actively


I was influenced by my mother

to work in film. We were film

orphans as kids because our single

mom was so busy making movies.

Once I graduated high school in

Edmonton, I moved to Vancouver

to take the Indigenous Independent

Digital Filmmaking program at

Capilano University and became a

videographer. I was actively working

in the independent film industry right

out of film school. I was crushing my

goals. Then I realized if I can achieve

those goals, I probably could become

a DJ. So I taught myself how to DJ and

became confident enough to play

in front of people. I told all my film

people that I was a DJ now and next

thing you know I was DJ’ing at film

screenings and film festivals. (Shout

out Ostwelve and the VIMAF crew,

those were some of my first gigs like

six years ago).

I still work in film on and off, doing a

lot of video editing and coordinating.

What’s the most memorable

show you’ve performed at?

I recently played a hip-hop show

with SNRK at the Darwin Festival in

Australia. Then I played a set at the

festival’s Club Awi later that evening.

Traveling to the other side of the

world to do my thing was the coolest.

Looks like you’ve got quite

a jam-packed schedule at

Skookum, performing with

Mob Bounce, Snotty Nose

Rez Kids, and the afterparty

at the Imperial. What

makes this festival different

from others?

The amount of diversity of this

festival makes it different. From big

name bands to local artists.

Can you tell us a bit about

the Whitefish Lake Youth

Conference, and what youth

empowerment means to you?

Whitefish Lake hosted a fiveday

youth conference on their

reservation in August. Artists from

all different backgrounds traveled to

the community four hours north of

Edmonton to participate, facilitate

workshops, and perform. I facilitated

a DJ workshop during the day.

Youth empowerment is important

especially in Indigenous communities

where there are high rates of suicide

and addiction. I use to be an at risk

youth so I can relate. And I just really

want all the youth to know that as

much as nothing seems possible,

everything is possible.

Catch DJ Kookum Thursdays at

Granville Room, Fridays at the

Biltmore Cabaret and at Skookum Fest

After Dark at the Imperial Sept 8.


September 2018


Vancouver Aids Walk Book of Mormon Fran Lebowitz Telepresence The Radicals


September 7 at Rickshaw Theatre

The after party of Stanley Park’s

inaugural music festival celebrates local

music with late night live performances

at downtown music venues. This one

features performances from Little

Destroyer, Matt Mays, and Bad Animal

at the Rickshaw.


September 28 at Integrated Motion

Studio, Emily Carr University

Part of ‘the possible-impossible-thingof-sound’

— an installation series

created by artists Nancy Lee and Kiran

Bhumber, with trumpeter JP Carter,

that explores both real and imaginary

sounds — Telepresence is a virtual

reality experience relayed through a

live performance and an octophonic

speaker system.


September 13 at 2405 East Hastings

BeatRoute is hosting its own On the

Table talk right here in our office.

Come, listen, and weigh in on a

discussion about community and local

music, from a publishing perspective.

Our editors will be on site, talking

about how you can engage in your

music community in a huge variety

of ways, even if you don’t play music



September 20 at Museum of


This inspiring documentary follows

a group of snowboarders and surfers

who become immersed in a journey of

activism and resistance as they travel

across BC’s west coast.


September 23 at Sunset Beach

This annual 2.5 kilometre walk, which

first began in 1994, benefits Positive

Living BC in their support of people

living with HIV/AIDS. This year’s walk

also marks the return of Joe Average,

the longtime and beloved face of the



September 29 on Clark Dive

Inspired by Clark Drive, this DIY art

project asks participants to walk along

Clark Drive from 6th Ave to Powell

Street, take photographs, and listen

to a curated playlist of local music,

and document it with the hashtag

#ClarkWalk. Then, on September 29,

the crossroads will feature an exhibition

and live music performance.


September 27-28 at BlueShore

Financial Centre for the Performing


The iconic writer, social commentator,

and humourist is the first guest at

Capilano University’s new speaker

series that celebrates their 50th

anniversary. Lebowitz has often been

named a modern-day Dorothy Parker

for her smart and satirical views on

contemporary culture.


Until September 22 at Burrard Arts


Tom Hsu’s photography exhibition

– Here, under our tongue – focuses

on what remains in the camera frame

after a picture has been taken. Intimate,

unexpected, strange, and beautiful.


September 25-30 at Queen Elizabeth


The hit musical by South Park creators

Trey Parker and Matt Stone is back in

town for another run. The multi awardwinning

comedy follows an odd couple

of missionaries as they travel across

the world to preach the message of




September 16 at Concord Pacific

Featuring more than 20 different

food trucks, the Greater Vancouver

Food Truck Festival’s focus this year

is bringing a diverse assortment of

cuisines. Don’t miss out on local

favourites like Tacofino, Rocky Point Ice

Cream, and Big Red’s Poutine.

September 2018 5













Vancouver’s FlipOut is the largest annual pinball competition in the country.

We’ve all been asked what we want

to be when we grow up at least 20

times throughout the course of our

young lives. Astronauts, doctors,

lawyers, professional athletes; the list

is generally the same and, the older

you get, the more you may drift away




from those young dreams, it would

seem. This isn’t the case for one man

in the Fraser Valley who kept his heart

young and his dreams close. His name

is Tommy Floyd. Yes, the same Tommy

Floyd of “Pretty Boy Floyd” fame and

other various BC rock groups. You

may recognize the names of his bands,

but what many don’t know is that

Floyd is an extreme pinhead.

Having successfully run the Fraser

Valley pinball club, Flipper Freaks,

and the infamous storefront Nitro

Amusements for the last seven years,

Floyd founded the Vancouver FlipOut

Pinball Expo in 2016. Now in its third

year, FlipOut carries the title of the

largest annual pinball competition

in the country. Though, it’s not all

competition. Floyd filled BeatRoute

in as to what we can expect from this

year’s fest.

“We’ll have over 100 pinball

machines this year, a beer garden,

food trucks — it’s the perfect layout

for them out back,” he says. “We have

a lot of VIPs from some of the major

pinball companies — guys from all

over the world. It’s going to be great,

we’re very excited. It’s a full three


Floyd made sure to drive home the

point that there will be much more

than just pinball at the expo: really,

something for everyone. “There’s

going to be arcade games, speakers,

people talking about how they make

games, artists talking about their art.

It’s a family event.”

We had to find out, so of course

we asked Floyd just how much of a

pinhead he is.

“You know what, I used to have

40 machines at our house, but once

we started running Nitro full-time,

we migrated them over here. I think

I still have a couple at the house, but

nothing like I had. They were in every

room, they were in the garage — I

moved my wife’s car out. It was out of

control,” he laughs.

Vancouver FlipOut Pinball Expo runs

from September 7-9 at the Roundhouse

Community Arts Centre.











A lending library of things – that’s

what a Thingery is, and it could be

just around the corner (from where

you live).

A non-profit co-operative

functioning from a modified shipping

container, The Thingery is like the

neighbour who has everything:

camping gear, tools, a power washer,

even snowshoes. This model of

shared resources aims to provide

communities a tailored way to borrow


Chris Diplock, who co-founded The

Tool Library in 2011, sought to expand

on the idea of community-based

sharing, and subsequently developed

The Thingery. With a far more diverse

arsenal of “things” beyond solely tools,

the co-op is owned by members of

the community, whose input narrates

what equipment and recreational

items are stocked and available for


“Through research with The Sharing

Project and my experience with The

Tool Library,” Diplock says, speaking

to BeatRoute near his home in East

Vancouver, “[it became clear] that

centralized sharing models like our

public libraries and tool libraries work

really well because someone is looking

after the stuff. There is this consistency

and reliability.”

Run by solar power, The Thingery

has two active locations in the

Grandview-Woodland and Sunrise-

Hastings neighbourhoods, with a third

set to open at the Arbutus Greenway

in Kitsilano this fall.

“When I moved here, every once

in a while I’d get invited on a trip,”

Diplock recalls. “I would try to get

outdoor stuff… It’s a lot of money.

[I would] just want to borrow one

[piece] for a little bit.” This sentiment

underlies The Thingery’s intent to

resonate with people who just moved

into the neighbourhood and need

to set up their new home. “When

you engage in a project and you do it

yourself, you develop a sense of pride

and it’s very empowering,” Diplock

adds. “I think that’s what it brings out

in people.”

The future possibilities of the

lending library are infinite. To

further connect the community and

demonstrate the value of what the

Thingery has to offer, regular events

will be organized – bike tune-ups,

park clean-ups, movie nights –

utilizing the equipment on hand.

The co-op model is something

new for many neighbourhoods. An

initial membership fee gives people

lifetime access to The Thingery

and is an investment in owning a

share of the lending library site. But

Diplock recognizes a lasting value in

moving towards de-centralized public


“It identifies that the community

wants to have a say in how public

space is used,” he says. “That’s


For more information or to become a

member, visit or call at


The Thingery is revolutionizing product and business ownership.


September 2018


Robert Beck The Flowers of Upheaval (Apart from the Whole), (2006) 10 chromogenic prints, satin, mat board, wood, plexiglass

53 1/4 x 68 5/8 x 2 5/8 in (135.3 x 174.3 x 6.7 cm)

Rennie Museum | 51 East Pender St | Vancouver




Word puts an emphasis on creating a sense of community in literary circles of all kinds.

Novel readers and comic-book skimmers, zine

collectors and poetry lovers, writers of all kinds:

Word Vancouver is the place to rub shoulders

with anyone interested in the written word. Held

from September 26-30 around Vancouver, Western

Canada’s largest literary festival will coax 25,000

people to its curation of events, workshops, readings,

and industry panels – entirely free of charge.

Now in its 24th year, Word is still a burgeoning

festival. Bonnie Nish, who first experienced Word in

2001 and has since been involved as a reader, host,




Photo by Monica Miller

volunteer, and collaborator, stepped in as Interim

Festival Manager on July 12. It’s been a bustling

summer for Nish, coordinating the program after

an unexpected resignation from the newly hired

executive director at the end of June. Not to be

derailed by time constraints, the festival has grown

to be ever more inclusive.

“We have community groups bringing in readers

so they can get exposure to the public as well,” Nish


In the four days leading up to the festival, satellite

events will pop up around the city. Workshops on

self-publishing, performing your work (with literary

vet Hal Wake), writing as therapy, and journal

writing all build up to the main event on Sunday —

an explosion of Vancouver’s diverse, creative, and

word-obsessed. Poet laureates George McWhirter,

Brad Cran, and Evelyn Lau grace the opening stage.

Dozens of vendors and exhibitors will showcase

everything book-related and offer their skills in the

literary field, accompanied by a slew of pros covering

topics ranging from graphic novel writing to the

magazine industry to nuanced topics, like complex

women in YA fiction (Eileen Cook). “One panel I’m

excited for is about engaging in digital media and

how it affects your writing,” Nish adds.

She emphasizes that the sense of community

Word creates is important for people involved in the

literary world in any capacity. “As a writer, it can be

very isolating. To be able to go out and talk to other

people who are doing the same thing, it makes you

feel less alone. Other people are doing this. And it’s

possible to do it. I think the greatest thing is that we

all realize that what we say matters. And it can affect


Word Vancouver runs from September 26-30 at

various locations.


In 2017, 80 per cent of Vancouver

street drugs tested positive for

fentanyl, resulting in a record 1,420

deaths by overdose in the city. The

Canadian government responded by

investing in front-line harm-reduction

initiatives, but has done little to

address the systemic issues that cause

addiction and leave women especially


Chrysalis Society, BC’s only

gender-specific, long-term residential

addiction and mental health care

facility for women, tries to meet this

complex crisis with a proportionately

holistic and integrated solution.

This September, they celebrate

30 years of serving more than 3,000

women. BeatRoute spoke with

executive director Shannon Skilton

about the broader socio-political

problems – systemic oppression,

sexism, gendered violence, an

irresponsible medical system – and

Chrysalis’s role in combating these

problems to assist the 80 or so women

who secure a spot in one of their three

homes every year.

“There are real barriers within our

system of healthcare for persons with

addiction issues,” Skilton explains.

“The majority of women who access

[our] services have had challenges

with prescription drug use because

doctors readily prescribe women

benzodiazepines.” At walk-in clinics,

patients can only address a single

issue, and doctors prioritize quick

fixes over the big picture, prescribing

medication to symptoms that are

actually side effects from other

medication. “We’ve had women come

in on 16 different medications. Our

house doctor works to stabilize the

woman, so she no longer feels like she’s

in a chemical straitjacket.”

Sexism prevails at every point in a

woman’s route to recovery, whether

it’s the smaller number of recovery

beds allotted to her, or the gendered

violence she is statistically more likely

to have experienced in her lifetime.

This year, 96 per cent of the women

who entered Chrysalis reported

histories of violence.

“There are very few resources

for women that are feminist based,

meaning the lens is anti-oppressive,”

Skilton says. “We see things

intersectionally – it’s not one thing

that has created any one situation for

a woman. Addiction doesn’t happen in

a vacuum and neither does recovery.

That holistic, broad lens is really


Chrysalis works with each woman

to build up an individualized recovery

plan, respecting her autonomy in her

healing. The women are supported

to “identify what is and is not healthy

and then determine whether they

want to continue to live with some

of that,” Skilton says. “We do not tell

them one way or the other.” But the

house is a safe space for the women to

rediscover their independence.

Chrysalis’s programs provide

women opportunity to create and

sustain community with each other,

while they are in residence and

afterwards. Half the staff are alumni

of the programs, and anyone who has

ever resided in Chrysalis’s homes for

any length of time is respected as an

alumnus, regardless of her process or

outcomes. Rather than vilify, Chrysalis

normalizes and supports relapse, for

harm reduction purposes.

“We do not penalize women for

choosing to leave when they choose to

leave,” Skilton says. “We are just seed


If Chrysalis are seed planters, they

are planting in infertile soil, and each

flower that blooms is a miracle.

The Chrysalis Society celebrates its

30th anniversary on September 16 at

Heritage Hall.

Chrysalis provides a strong support network for women in need.

September 2018 9

Photo by Julie Heather



Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women is an

annual showcase of dramatic readings from femaleidentifying

Canadian playwrights. It’s a stage set for

both diversity and equality. Studies have shown that

women make up less than a third of directors and

writers in professional Canadian theatre. This year’s

productions are moving, nuanced pieces of work not

to miss.


written by Leah Siegel


Two young women navigate through love, pregnancy,

and self-fulfillment. Written by Rébecca Déraspe and

translated/directed by Leanna Brodie, this play delves

deeply into the complexities of female friendship. (YS)

September 10 at 1:30 p.m.


Playwright Suvendrini Lena takes us to war-torn

Gaza, where we see a portrait of family life amid daily

violence. Inspired by the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish

and Lena Khalaf. (LS) September 12 at 1:30pm.

While You Sleep

Six individuals receive death threats online and struggle

to cope in this play about facing one’s fears. Told in a

combination of poetry, monologues, and scenes. (LS)

September 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Photo by Rae MacEachern-Eastwood

Every year when the Vancouver Fringe Fest rolls

around we get a lot of random press releases in

our inboxes. It makes sense because the Fringe

Fest is pretty random. Rather than trying to

sift through the 99 productions that are being

showcased, pretending like we know which ones

are going to be “the best,” we took the lazy route

and just summarized the most exciting ones that

we found in our inbox. Prepare to get fringed up


Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night

In case the title wasn’t clear enough for you,

here’s what you can expect: drag, optional

imbibing, musings on queerness and identity

from writer-performer Davey Calderon, and

a rollicking good time. You might want to

brush up on your karaoke skills in advance: the

audience participates, too. XYYVR.

Who We Care For

A family finds itself on the frontline of the opioid

epidemic when one of their own is hospitalized.

In this new play that tackles issues such as

addiction and mental health, we follow a family

in crisis, attempting to stay afloat. Havana


Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos

Saved My Life

Upon hearing that me might die from cancer,

former CEO Keith Alessi gave it all up to pursue

his dream of playing the banjo. In this epicallytitled

piece (who doesn’t love the image of

assassin tomatoes?), Keith will perform new

songs while reflecting on his own journey.

Carousel Theatre for Young People.

Flute Loops: A Subatomic Opera

Who said science and the arts don’t mix? From

the mind of Devon More of Hang Lucy comes

“Flute Loops: A Subatomic Opera.” This musical

foray into the science of the infinitesimally

small received four stars from the CBC and the

Winnipeg Free Press, and would make Stephen

Hawking and Brian Greene proud. The Cultch.

Poly Queer Love Ballad

It’s your typical girl-meets-girl love story. One’s

a polyamorous bisexual poet, the other’s a

monogamous lesbian songwriter. Together, they

put on a slam poetry musical that navigates

the vicissitudes of sexuality and gender. (Okay,

maybe not so typical.) Winner of the Playwright

Theatre Centre’s Fringe New Play Prize. Review



Ever watch a Ken Burns documentary and

wished there were more choreographed dance

numbers? Enter stage left TrudeauMania, a new

musical covering the life and times of former PM

Pierre Trudeau. Politics, John Lennon, and Pierre

Trudeau reciting jazzy poetry: what more could

you want? Firehall Arts Centre.

Awkward Hug

It’s the summer of 2009, and 19-year-old Cory

Thibert is trying to understand a lot of things.

Sex, for instance, adulthood in general, and the

cerebral palsy that both of his parents have.

Fringe vet Thibert’s first solo show is notable for

its light-hearted depiction of a disability that

is rarely represented in the theatre world. The


Photo by Abbey Road

Rabbit Hole

A happy family sees their world shattered by

the loss of a child in this Pulitzer Prize-winning

play that has had a run on Broadway and a film

adaptation. Presented by the Frolicking Divas as

part of the Fringe’s Dramatics Works Series. The



Comedy and tragedy meet in this new onewoman

show starring Diana Bang (The Interview,

Bates Motel). Esther is a 30-something Korean-

Canadian who, after an encounter with death,

reflects on life, death, the nature of grieving, and

her relationships with loved ones. The Revue



Robbie T knows what it’s like to feel out of

place: he’s a magician. For this magic showmeets-memoir-meets-comedy

routine, expect

fun tricks, actual diary entries, and plenty of

audience participation. Come for the magic, stay

for the celebration of weirdness. Performance



Keara Barnes mounts an ambitious new solo

show inspired by her own international travel.

By playing 18 different characters, Barnes weaves

stories of ghosts, tigers, and love. A successful

run at the Winnipeg Fringe has earned Barnes

critical acclaim for her storytelling abilities.

Havana Theatre.

Check out for show


Speed Dating for Sperm Donors

They got hitched and settled down in Calgary. Now all

that’s left for Paige and Helen to do is find a suitable

biological father for their future child. Simple, right? (LS)

September 14 at 1:30 p.m.

The Ones We Leave Behind

Abby Chung is assigned to find the next-of-kin for

an elderly woman who has just passed. While she

works, she also uncovers details about her own father’s

disappearance. (LS) September 11 at 1:30 p.m.

New Works By Diverse Women takes place at the False

Creek Gym. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and available

at the door.

Written by Yasmine Shemesh & Leah Siegel

While you sleep


September 2018





Photo by Art Streiber

Comedian Moshe Kasher doesn’t ascribe to other people’s ideas.

Comedy exists in a precarious space in the

public forum. On one hand, it relies on the

transgression of norms, but on the other, in

today’s political climate transgression can be

strongly frowned upon. Moshe Kasher is a

comedian who’s made his name on walking

that fine line, unafraid to move in areas that

demand controversy. His old podcast, The

Champs, that he hosted with Neal Brennan,

talked about issues of race, while his

newer podcast Hound Tall looks at various

controversial topics in a town hall format.

His short lived Comedy Central show,

Problematic, as the name implies, dropped

the viewer into charged conversations about

hot button issues from novel perspectives.

Kasher’s stand up material tends to shy

away from the explicitly political, focusing

more on the task of just being funny. Being

controversial for controversy’s sake is not

something he works towards.

“That’s one of the early pitfalls for a

comedian,” he explains. “Now that comedy

has gotten so weird and politicized, these are

some of the easy traps that young comedians

fall into. It’s almost the same thing with a

different melody but it’s the same song they

play. One is to be politically woke without

being funny, but you still get a reaction.

You get what they call clapter; you make a

political point, and people are like ‘Yeah I

agree with that, YAY!’ Where ‘yay’ is kind of

similar to ‘haha.’ On the other side of the

comedic spectrum you have people who are

like, ‘I know what I’ll do, I’ll just say the most

offensive thing, also without being funny.’

You know, like ‘BOKO HARAM, ISIS, AIDS,

9-11.’ The crowd is like ‘I don’t like those

things,’ and they react with ‘OOOOH!’ And

‘ooooh’ is similar enough to ‘haha’. My thing

is all I ever want to be is funny. Obviously

funny is subjective, but objectively speaking

I am funny.”

While he doesn’t write jokes with

the express intent to offend, no one is

going to be pleased with everything. He

remains unafraid to wade into potentially

problematic waters. He couldn’t do it

any other way: “There’s this big charge,

particularly among left leaning people (I am

one) but they will go, ‘Just write different

stuff.’ Let’s say the charge is ‘Don’t write

offensive material.’ I think that’s a stupid and

reductive one. What I think is that people

underestimate how difficult writing stand

up is.”

He uses an analogy to make the point

clearer: “Take ‘You shouldn’t be dirty.’ I

don’t believe that Dave Attell could be like ‘I

accept that argument, I’m going to write an

hour of Brian Regan material.’ Just as Brian

Regan isn’t holding himself back from a

40-minute pussy eating chunk that he knows

he can write; it’s just not his brand. You

kind of discover who you are as a comedian.

It’s not a choice-based thing. I don’t make

a choice about the things I observe in the

world that I find funny. I just look at the

world and write as much stuff in my voice

as I can.”

It’s clear Kasher has given a lot of thought

to his comedic sensibility. But he wants to

make sure people coming to the show don’t

have the wrong idea.

“I feel like I was overly intellectual in this

interview, but my comedy is extremely

immature and very vulgar. Some of that

classic stuff that Brian Regan will talk about.

I want people to come see me with low

expectations of the sophistication they can

expect to receive.”

Catch Moshe Kasher live at Yuk Yuk’s on

September 28.

September 2018 11





Artist Katie Duck will rattle your cultural core with CAGE.

Photo by Jason Ma

Katie Duck is a pioneer of improvisation.

The improvisational dancer,

choreographer and teacher started

gaining momentum from the moment

she emerged on the European dance

scene in the early ’70s. Duck fled from

America in her twenties, feeling a

disconnection from this culture as

a woman, and is about to return to

Vancouver for the first time in 30 years. “I

am European,” she proclaims, “without a

since or a need to return.”

Through working with musicians,

Duck began to identify an interest in

composition and improvisation as a

means to express her research. The

improvisational scores that she creates

facilitate spaces for music, dance and text

to emerge and intervene with audiences

and each other. Duck describes her

process as “tight research towards loose

performance,” resulting in a clear and

functional architecture for spontaneous

discovery to occur within.

She is set to rattle Vancouver’s cultural

core from September 23 to 30, offering

an array of workshops and performances

set within some of Vancouver’s most

eclectic venues. These sites—Gold Saucer

Studios, China Cloud, Roundhouse

Community Centre and Scotiabank

Dance Centre— are indicative of the

impact of Duck’s oeuvre, emphasizing a

constellation made up of points in music,

dance, community arts and education.

Duck dawns from Amsterdam and her

presence in the city is bound to bring

together an array of Vancouver’s most

acutely creative minds.

On September 28 at the Scotiabank

Dance Centre, Duck’s CAGE will take

place. This complex work has been

presented worldwide and is meant to

be adapted in collaboration with local

artists. In Vancouver she will be joined by

musicians Ben Brown, Roxanne Nesbitt

and James Meager. Brown has been

studying with Duck throughout the past

four years in Amsterdam and admits, “I

have probably learned as many valuable

lessons about music from Katie as all

my music school years combined.” He is

the reason for Duck’s visit to Vancouver

and will be one of the first male artists to

engage with CAGE.

“Katie’s work is not exclusive or

alienating, it’s unabashedly human, and

this draws people in because we can all

relate to the beauty and absurdity of

being human if we’re receptive to the

experience.” CAGE is meant to evoke

the myriad ways through which we are

caged as humans, laying out four distinct

themes—the institutionalization of

everything, the loss of love, the need to

face the anatomic perfection of what the

vagina actually is, and the use of death

as a tactic for fear—to be considered,

embodied, confronted or ignored.

Let your intrigue guide you into the

improvisational spaces that Duck will

facilitate while she is in Vancouver.

Catch Katie Duck September 23 with

All Bodies Dance at the Roundhouse

Community Centre, September 25

performing with Sawdust Collector at Gold

Saucer Studios, September 26 performing

with Invisible Taste at China Cloud and on

September 28 for CAGE at the Scotiabank

Dance Centre.




September 2018




Cannabis in food is still uncharted territory.

Contrasting the stereotype of grungy stoners

in unkempt apparel, Diner En Blanc alongside

Synr.G, made cannabis classy this year with

terpene infused cana-pops. The all white

pop-up dinner party originated in Paris 30

years ago and has since become a worldwide

epicurean phenomenon. 2018 marked

Vancouver’s seventh year in participation, the

backdrop this year being the gorgeous Van

Dusen Gardens. Nearing the end of dinner,

representatives from a company called Syner.G

offered guests Blueberry Kush and Grapefruit

Haze popsicles. While the frozen treats

contained only terpenes and no THC, they

sparked an important conversation about high

class cannabis goods.

“Is this going to get me high?” someone

nearby asked. In fact, terpenes just encompass

the flavour profiles of the plant, omitting

the psychoactive properties. For the less

cana-curious, terpenes are the unsaturated

hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of

plants. While they have been often introduced

to oils intended for inhalation, terpenes can

be added to food, like herbs and spices, to add

depth. The majority of guests were delighted

to try something new, even those who don’t

generally consume cannabis products.

“I thought it was going to taste all skunky

and gross, but was pleasantly surprised. There

was just an added herbal quality, almost like

mint,” says dinner atendee Helen (last name


ommited). “I smoked weed when I was in high

school in the ’70s, but haven’t touched the

stuff since. I guess this just goes to show that it

has value outside of that.”

When asked if she would be open to

the addition of cannabis in a restaurant

experience, she expressed that after this

introduction, “why not, it’s delicious.”

There has been ample attention to the

prospective medical and pharmaceutical

markets of the cannabis industry, but little has

been said about what cannabis legalization

means for the food industry. While the

Blueberry Kush and Grapefruit Haze popsicles

were a special treat exclusive to Diner En Blanc,

companies such as Farm & Florist are setting

a new precedent for high-class cannabis

food products; the company sells boutique

cannabis honey, maple syrup, coconut oil and

olive oil, among many other infused products.

Regardless of the lack of legal talk in regards

to the cannabis industry, in relation to the

food and beverage industry, it’s easy to see

how the general consensus of cannabis outside

of stereotypical stoner culture can in fact be



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Written by Jamila Pomeroy




With legalization on our doorstep, parents are getting ready to have “the talk” with their kids.

As we inch closer to official legalization in

October, parents across Canada are preparing

themselves for “the talk.” Not, that talk, but

one concerning our government legalizing

Cannabis for recreational use where, like

alcohol, it will be available to everyone over

the age of 19. Naturally, these recreational

smokers will have kids, so how will they bring

up the subject of what was once so taboo to

explain that it’s as a normal as Dad cracking a

beer after a hard day’s work.

“I’ve been smoking pot since my late

husband introduced it to me in 1969. Our first

daughter was born four years later and our

second the year after. We kept smoking and

my husband even grew it in the basement,

so it was always there.” says Rosie, long time

pot smoker and grandmother of five. “Since

it was always there we were naturally inclined

to be open about it. The girls knew what we

were doing. Back then, we didn’t have the

information on what pot could do like we

do now but we had an idea of the pros and

cons and told our kids what we used it for —

Relaxation and socially for fun at parties. Sit

with some close friends and it leads to some

interesting conversation.”

As someone who experienced Vancouver’s

popular pot culture from the beginning, Rosie

has seen the growth and change in how we

react to cannabis in all its forms. Even her

daughter Nic, who is a mother herself, has

become more open about it over the years.

“Honestly, I was super uptight about it for a

long time, even though it was around me my

entire life. I never thought in my life I would

allow my own daughter to smoke it and even

less be aware that we smoke it ourselves.

We wanted to keep it from her until she was

old enough, but when she was diagnosed

with depression in her early teens her doctor

suggested weed as something to help her

mood, so we realized being open with it would

benefit all of us in the long run. She’s always

been a rebellious kid and we figured we’d

been more comfortable if she was smoking it

around us rather than in some random park in

the middle of the night.”

As for those new parents who’ve grown

up in Vancouver’s incredibly open culture

surrounding Cannabis as it was becoming the

weed capital of the world have some ideas of

their own.

“I’m just going to tell her,” laughs Ernesto,

brand new father to a seven-month-year-old

girl. “I don’t see why not and I feel like the

more transparent I am the less likely she’ll

be to go off and smoke it before she’s old


September 2018 13





What is “French” food? Snails and

frog legs? Well, sure, but there’s more

to French food than cooking things

you might find near a swamp. I mean,

there’s soufflé too, right?

French food doesn’t have to be

about the clichés, it can be about

comfort food, rustic and accessible, and

that is what you’ll find at Vancouver

restaurant, Les Faux Bourgeois

— though you can also get escargots

there. I talked to Alex, one of the

owners, about what it meant to be a

French restaurant in Vancouver. “It’s

been a great adventure,” he says. He

came to Canada from France a little

more than a decade ago and has been

going hard ever since. “Our goal is to

offer good food for a good price.” At

Les Faux Bourgeois you can get a stellar

duck confit made by a France born chef

in a restaurant that specializes in French

cuisine, with top reviews, and multiple

awards for being the best French

restaurant in Vancouver, for $23. This is


nothing short of incredible.

So how do they do it? “We have a

strong kitchen that’s been working

perfectly for us. And we do volume as

well.” It’s late afternoon and I’ve been

talking to Alex for maybe 10 minutes

and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing

the entire time. He says it’s always like

this — “We have 300 calls a day. It’s


I’ve eaten at Les Faux Bourgeois

before and been impressed with the

service, the quality of the food, and

the price. This didn’t stop Alex from

treating me to one of the features

on the menu that day. He promised

to email me the details about what

I was about to eat, but he forgot. I

believe what he gave me was a Foie

Gras mousse served in a small tumbler

with cornichons, mustard, some fruit

preserves, and toasted baguette. It

sounds delicate but is actually served

in a quantity that generously feeds two

people. It’s a good thing to enjoy the

Photos by Caige Sinclair

(Clockwise from top): Les Faux Bourgeois, Frenchie’s Poutine, and Bistro Wagon Rouge’s head sommelier, Jesse Walters.

food prepared for you with some sense

of gluttony rather than delicately ration

it out and be left wanting for more.

But I did want more, and there is

more to French cuisine in Vancouver

than Les Faux Bourgious. There is

also relative newcomer St. Lawrence,

which opened about a year ago just

east of Main Street on the fringes of

the Downtown East Side. I talked to

Michael Zaff, Directeur Général of

St. Lawrence, about their restaurant.

“We opened the weekend of Jean

Baptiste, which is auspicious because

it’s Quebec’s national holiday, and

being Quebecious and French, it made

sense.” What he means is St. Lawrence

is the “other” French; French Canadian.

Michael continues, “Chef is from

Quebec, he takes traditional Quebec

dishes and makes them his own. We

treat Quebec like a region of France.” It

sounds great, and I was keen to try their

wares, so I went to the internet to book

a table but there wasn’t a reservation

to be had for over a week. Merde. St.

Lawrence must be doing something

right then, but I’ll never know, and

they didn’t offer to let me try anything

when I was there. That’s completely fair,

but it makes it difficult to talk about a


With no idea what their food

tasted like, I asked them about setting

up in the Downtown East Side.

“Gentrification” is a heavy word, and

St. Lawrence attempts to acknowledge

where their restaurant is located. “We’re

very aware of the community that

exists here. For us it’s letting people

know we’re a part of the community

even though our prices certainly exceed

most people’s budgets.” Michael seems

to acknowledge the optics of another

high end restaurant moving into this

neighborhood and he sounds like he’s

trying to justify it. He suggests, “We’re

all East Siders ourselves in some way.”

I had to trust Michael’s descriptions

of what they offer. “Chef is very much

about simplicity in his dishes.” “People

know French cuisine more than they

know Quebec cuisine in Canada, so

there’s some work introducing them

to some very classic Quebecois items.”

“Some people think poutine is the

beginning and end of Quebec cuisine.”

Oh yeah; poutine. What better way

to contemplate French cuisine than

over a bowl of that delicious deep fried

potato, gravy, and cheese curds? So off

to Frenchies poutine restaurant for a

sampling of their menu; no reservations

required. Frenchies offers a mix of

things that don’t sound like they should

be on fries. Is it even possible to have

“Italian” poutine? I tried a few styles

from traditional, to quirky, and finished

the night with a recommendation from

the owner; “Get the steak and onions

poutine. It’s the best.” It was delicious,

washed down with a French Canadian

beer from Unibrou, La Fin du Monde.

“St. Hubert gravy,” says the owner

when asked what the secret to good

poutine is. I’m not sure I’m supposed

to share that detail, but he didn’t say

I couldn’t. And while St. Lawrence’s

Michael may argue poutine isn’t the

beginning and end of Quebec cuisine,

it is certainly a big, fat, melted cheesy

chapter in the middle of it all.

Armed with these experiences

I finally felt prepared for a proper,

informed opinion on yet another

French restaurant in Vancouver; Bistro

Wagon Rouge, the French cuisine

inspired little brother to the popular

Red Wagon diner on Hastings Street.

They’ve been open for about five years,

and I talked with Jesse Walters, head

sommelier at Bistro Wagon Rouge,

about what it means to be a French

restaurant in Vancouver. It wasn’t an

easy question for him to answer, maybe

because it’s hard to define what Bistro

Wagon Rouge does.

One thing that sets Wagon Rouge

apart is Jesse’s focus on “natural” wine,

wines made with very few chemicals

and little technology, not to be

confused with “organic” wine, which

is produced by a different process.

The majority of the wine they sell is

French, but about 15% is local and

chosen because of how it pairs with

the current menu. Natural wine, Jesse

explains, is about growing the vines

naturally, considering lunar cycles

as they affect the sap in the vines,

and viewing the vineyard as a closed

unit with biodiversity in crops and

livestock to produce natural fertilizers;

processes that work towards keeping

the land healthy without chemical or

mechanical interruption. While this all

seems a responsible way to do things,

Jesse points out, “the wines are better

when you do it this way.” And “better”

is what drives the decisions at Bistro

Wagon Rouge.

The staff curated our dinner and

paired each course with a carefully

selected wine. The experience could be

summed up with, “zut! tres bien. Five

stars.” Little things like the bread with

its crisp crust and gossamer crumb,

served warm with unsalted butter. The

Celebration Salad starter has twenty

five different greens, edible flowers,

shaved radish, crystalized salt, and

more. If you do the math on this, you

could eat this salad daily for the rest

of your life and never get the same

mouthful twice.

Then there was a chicken liver

parfait. Similar to Les Faux Bourgeois’

foie gras mousse, the parfait was served

in a glass jar, topped with ramp butter,

honey on the side, and was to be eaten

in generous portions atop toasted

baguette. Jesse paired this with a Chic

Fille Joie rosé made in BC, which has the

appearance of melted Jolly Ranchers.

The chicken liver made the wine sing,

or vice versa. This skill is what makes a

good restaurant.

By the end of the meal we had

experienced a brilliant trio of tartines,

a glorious Haida Gwaii halibut with

morels, asparagus, potatoes, and

accented with a beurre blanc, and a

magnificent Rouge Burger of a cooked

perfectly rare chopped beef patty and

crispy French fries with mayo. And the

wine, oh the wine, perfectly paired

along the way.

September 2018






































Photo by Fraser Ploss

Hussein Elnamer is juggling his talents with ease in Vancouver’s bass scene.

Considering Hussein Elnamer, a.k.a. Handsome Tiger only started

DJing and producing electronic music three years ago, his progress

has been considerable to say the least. Last summer he did two

festivals, Shambhala and Bass Coast, and this year he was back at

both of them, in addition to a heap of other noteworthy parties.

“This summer’s been crazy,” says Elnamer. “Quite the step up.

I’ve almost tripled my bookings so I’m pretty happy about that.”

This summer also saw him perform at Diversity and Blessed Coast

Festivals, on top of shows in Seattle, a Rifflandia showcase in

Victoria and an appearance at Michael Red’s Few Norms party.

Though he is relatively new to the world of electronic music,

Elnamer has been singing and playing guitar for 17 years. He used

to play in a band called A Name Unheard and credits the time

he spent learning to play and performing in a band with helping

him pick up producing so fast, in terms of arranging and creating


“The technology has been the hurdle,” he says. “Because I

was never someone who was into using recording programs

or anything like that, so the last three years have been quite

exploratory for me and a lot of fun.”

Elnamer moved to Vancouver from the Northern BC town

of Dawson Creek around nine years ago. While he had been

interested in bass music for quite some time, he wasn’t well versed

in it until some friends from home told him to check out things

like Bass Coast, Michael Red, The Librarian and Lighta!

Elnamer quickly started producing and, shortly after, was

asked to play his first show. His DJ sets encompass a wide range

of influence, predominantly from the UK sound, from dubstep,

grime or dancehall, to rap and, particularly, “badass female rap.”

When it comes to his productions, Elnamer says that with his

latest release, the Juggling EP, he has finally hit his stride. He says

that with his previous work, particularly the track he did with

Nigerian pidgin rapper Magugu, he was starting to get there but

now he has “hit the nail a little bit more on the head.”

“I feel like I’m finally tapping into that and starting to make

sense of what I want Handsome Tiger to sound like. It’s becoming

a little bit more cohesive to me.”

The new release has a substantially fuller sound, and certainly

encompasses the sonic tapestry of what he set out to achieve —

grooves that are deep and dark, while still being hyphy and sexy.

This initial success is remarkable, but is by no means accidental

and Elnamer says there are two main things every fledgling

producer should keep in mind:

“Try to make time every day for your stuff, for whatever you’re

working on. Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t work on

your music every day, just always try to do one cool thing. And

then definitely just be the easiest person to work with, every

opportunity you get to work with someone or when you meet

someone new just try your best to be the best you can be and be

a good person and contribute to the scene.”

Catch Handsome Tiger around BC on September 17 at Rifflandia,

September 22 in Powell River and September 29 at the Arcade in



September 2018

Written by Jordan Yeager



Photo by Nick Harwood

Devonté Hynes weaves tapestries; each song

he writes is a thread, a piece of something bigger

than itself. Hailing from London and residing in

New York City, Hynes is more artist than musician.

And now he’s back after a two-year break with the

release of his fourth studio album under the Blood

Orange moniker, Negro Swan, exploring themes of

belonging and the repercussions of trauma, both

past and present.

The steps to success are well-trodden and

simple. Essentially they boil down to setting a goal,

committing energy to it, and persevering until

you’ve accomplished it. Not many people simply

fall into a career in music, headlining festivals

and amassing millions of streams on Spotify. But

somehow, that’s kind of what happened for Hynes.

“[Making music] has always been something I

just do,” says Hynes. “I think it forced its way to the

front. I didn’t intentionally force it – it very naturally

rose to the top of what I do. But I never actively

sought anything out. I’ve worked really hard, but

the situations have always just happened. [Music]

is what I think about the most, which is why I never

thought about it.”

Though music isn’t something Hynes consciously

strove towards, it’s provided a backbone of support

throughout his entire life. Professionally, he got his

start as part of the indie rock/hardcore band Test

Icicles before branching into a solo career under

the name Lightspeed Champion. The results of this

project were albums Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

and Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You, released in

2008 and 2010, respectively. Just a year later, Coastal

Grooves was released, his first record as Blood


“I’m very project-based,” he says. “I could explain

visual ideas for every single project I’ve ever done.

And it changes like that – it’s not particularly like

Lightspeed and then Blood Orange. For example,

the second Lightspeed album and the first Blood

Orange album were written and recorded at the

exact same time. I just separated them because I

understand how it works, in that people can’t take

things like that.”

Hynes is set apart by his ability to see the bigger

picture. He knows what he wants to create, and has

that distinct end goal in mind throughout the whole

creative process.

“One thing that’s kind of weird is that everything

is kind of happening at the same time,” says Hynes.

“All these songs were pretty much being worked on

at the same time, almost like a huge tapestry, rather

than song by song. I tend to bounce between them

all, all at the same time. There’s people I show stuff

to while I’m making it, but they have to somewhat

understand me. It’s hard for me to just play a song

for someone because it probably won’t make sense

and it most certainly won’t be the finished version

of the song. I tend to finish everything at the same

time. And I’m so big on track listings, and I really

want the track list to make sense. Every decision

track list wise is thought out like 50 times. [This

order] just made sense. It’s hard to explain, but it

just like… made sense.”

Negro Swan, like his others, is a concept album.

Hynes is a storyteller, weaving ideas together from

song to song in order to form a coherent whole.

Here, he’s helped by Janet Mock, who serves as

a sort-of narrator throughout the album, giving

voice to Hynes’s internal monologue and providing

grounds for the track list to “make sense.” If you’re

paying attention, you can trace back this pattern of

purpose throughout his whole career.

According to Hynes, “everything is super

intentional.” So although Life is Sweet! Nice to

Meet You and Coastal Grooves were produced at

the same time, there must have been motivation

behind the decision to release them under separate

pseudonyms, as different versions of himself.

“I changed my name because I was heavily aware

of connotation,” he explains. “I’ve actively tried to

remove myself from what I make, in a way that I

don’t want people to have this image of a person

while listening to what I do. So I wanted to kill off,

at that moment, that idea. That’s not necessarily

something I would do now, but in that period of

time, that’s something I was really thinking about.

It was more of a hatred for English press than

anything. That was actually the last time I ever

read anything that reviewed my music. None of it

matters, you know? If a stranger walks up to you

and says they hate your shoes, it doesn’t mean

anything, but you’ll think about it next time you put

those shoes on. It might make you not wear them,

or it might make you buy another pair. But it will

effectively change everything. Same go if someone

says ‘Your shoes are incredible and I’ve never seen

shoes like that before in my life, and how could you

ever wear another pair of shoes?’ That would also

fuck you up.”

By shedding his name and adopting a new one,

Hynes enabled himself to speak his truth without

ascribing that truth to his sense of self. Of course, his

writing draws from his own lived experiences, but

the goal is to write from such a personal place that

“anyone who wants to take something from it is

able to do that.” Negro Swan has a recurring theme

of existing within a space, whether that’s showing

all the way up or shrinking parts of oneself to fit

in, and it stems from a place of trauma – as a child,

Hynes was bullied relentlessly. He wasn’t allowed to

fit in. Only decades later is he examining the residual

effects of those experiences left over in his psyche.

“I definitely would rather not, if I’m honest,” he

laughs. “But it happened naturally and, for me, it’s

a means to something that makes sense. I’m 32,

and I think our childhood traumas effectively can

muck up the rest of our lives and be somewhat

detrimental, so I think all of those things led me to

look deeper into my childhood than I had before.

Probably mainly because I’m far enough away now

that I can look at things in a way that is critical. I can

look at the scars a bit more clearly now.”

For Hynes, some of those scars run deep. He lives

with a lingering sense of displacement, and it laces

itself throughout this album’s tracks.

“There were some pretty intense fucking

moments. I was put in hospital a few times from

bullying. That’s something I was definitely looking at

a lot [on Negro Swan].”

Having worked with such notable names as

Solange, Florence and the Machine, A$AP Rocky,

and Blondie, it would be easy for Hynes to become

a radio-hit maker. Clearly, he’s well-versed in what

it takes to write a catchy single. Instead, what he

creates is introspective and existential, laced with

intention and often with sadness. Hynes writes

from a place of deep awareness, both of self and

of society; his music serves simultaneously as a

diary entry and as a commentary on the world

around him. But despite the hardships Negro Swan

examines, the album is underscored by something

brighter; within darkness, there is always hope.

Blood Orange performs as part of Westward Festival

at the Orpheum on September 14.

September 2018 17

United Skates

Dyana Winkler, Tina Brown – USA

Proudly presented by


Bill Oliver – USA

Proudly presented by

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

Sophie Huber – Switzerland/USA

America’s roller rinks have long been strongholds of regional

African-American culture. But gentrification--rink owners (usually

white) selling to developers--is killing the scene. Dyana Winkler

and Tina Brown’s charming documentary provides access to a

world of style, slang, dance and music while profiling some of the

skaters and owners who refuse to quit. “This kaleidoscopically

vibrant, essential-viewing survey plunges audiences into a

dazzling underground scene.”--Variety

When we first meet Jonathan, his life seems pretty mundane.

In fact, he’s keeping--or rather sharing--a deep secret. This film

about identity, brotherhood and betrayal features Ansel Elgort

doing a fantastic job, and the film’s central premise, once revealed,

makes for fascinating and moving psychological drama. First-time

feature director Bill Oliver is a name to mark down; he’s made a

character study you won’t soon forget. “[I]ntelligent, absorbing...

[a] quietly involving drama...”--Variety

One can’t overstate the influence of Blue Note Records, the jazz

record label founded in New York in 1939 by German refugees

Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. Coltrane, Davis, Monk, Powell--

the list of stars who recorded for the label is astounding. Sophie

Huber’s musical celebration of Blue Note’s history includes

interviews with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones and

others, as well as a recording session with current star Robert

Glasper and a consideration of the label’s stunning cover art.


Akash Sherman – Canada

A brilliant astronomer (Suits’ Patrick J. Adams) obsessively scours

the cosmos for signs of life while growing increasingly detached

from the real world. When a new assistant (Troian Bellisario)

provides unexpected inspiration, they’re sent hurtling on a

collision course with a reality altering discovery. A master class

in restrained and rigorously intelligent sci-fi tinged drama, Clara

builds to a jaw-dropping climax and announces the arrival of a

major new talent in the form of director Akash Sherman.

Garry Winogrand:

All Things are Photographable

Sasha Waters Freyer – USA

The quintessential New York street photographer, who raised his

métier to the level of art, Gary Winogrand gets the biographical

treatment he deserves in Sasha Waters Freyer’s compelling and

intelligent documentary. Winogrand shot over a million photos

in his career (many on display here) and suffered critical disdain

at times, but he was of his time and place, as noted in interviews

with Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner, writer Geoff Dyer, artist Laurie

Simmons and others. “Fascinating.”--Hollywood Reporter

Studio 54

Matt Tyrnauer – USA

Studio 54 was the pulsating epicentre of 1970s hedonism, a disco

hothouse of celebrities, drugs and sex that earned it the sobriquet

“the greatest club of all time.” With co-founder Ian Schrager as his

guide, director Matt Tyrnauer unearths fabulous archival footage;

he also coaxes the 72-year-old Schrager into revealing the club’s

history as it’s never been heard before. “Tyrnauer’s thrilling and

definitive documentary captures the delirium--and the dark side--

of the legendary New York disco.”--Variety

Supported by the Province of British Columbia

RZA: Live from the 36th

Chamber of Shaolin


Co-presented with

RZA brings the ruckus! The award-winning musician, film

director and leader of rap group Wu-Tang Clan comes to livescore

the Kung-fu flick that’s been one of his biggest influences:

Lau Kar-leung’s The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Using a Wu-Tang

catalog over two decades deep , he drops beats from opening

scene to closing credits, amplifying the action of Lau’s martial

arts classic. Hip-hop heads, Kung-fu film fans and anybody who

wants to see some electrifying innovation, this is for you.

Kid Koala presents: Satellite

OCT. 5, 6, 7, ANNEX

In Kid Koala’s latest live experience, the master DJ empowers

his audience. This is participatory music on a high level,

with an interactive turntable orchestra in which the listeners

become the composers. The audience sits at stations

equipped with a turntable, an effects box and a small crate of

colour-coded vinyl records. The crowd is an integral part of

the show, accompanying Kid Koala; together they create an

“ambient vinyl orchestra” and meld their personal choices

into a body of sound.

Finding Big Country

Kathleen S. Jayme –Canada/USA

The Vancouver Grizzlies’ inglorious six-year history may’ve lacked

for highlights but it undeniably had a poster boy: Bryant “Big

Country” Reeves, whose less-than-sculpted man-mountain frame

made him an easy target for criticism. Documentarian Kathleen

S. Jayme sets out to track down her hard luck hero who was

forced into early retirement by injuries. Fueled by nostalgia and

punctuated by endearing revelations, this quest ultimately allows

us to reevaluate one of the city’s most maligned sports figures.

BC Music Showcase

OCT. 3

VIFF LIVE expands the spotlight from festival cinema to live

music, and gives BC artists the opportunity to perform at

the 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival. VIFF LIVE

performers will have a rare opportunity to showcase their

creativity and talent.


OCT. 4

Presented by

World-class music supervisors discuss the ups and downs

and challenges of music supervision. What’s working? What

isn’t? Live music performances by local songwriters highlight

this interactive night that will provide insight into placing your

music in TV, film, games, ads and media.


OCT. 3 + 4

Presented by

The VIFF AMP is a two-day summit dedicated to music in film

and TV and invites music supervisors, composers, filmmakers

and industry leaders from across North America. The summit

includes panels, networking opportunities and workshops

with music supervisors, composers, labels, content creators

and post-production experts as well as other key industry

leaders. With conference delegates attending from London,

Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago and other cities across North

America, this promises to be an informative, inspiring and

transformative event.


Stephen Loveridge – USA/SRI LANKA/UK


Adam Stein, Zach Lipovsky – Canada

Box Office

VIFF Passes + Ticket Packs at

from noon on Aug. 23


Online: from Sept. 6

In-person: from Sept. 13

Vancity Theatre

1181 Seymour Street, at Davie

(Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm – 7pm)

A decade after “Paper Planes” launched M.I.A. into the charts’

upper stratosphere, Stephen Loveridge’s all-access documentary

offers sharp insights into the pop-culture firebrand whose creativity

and charisma are rivalled by her combativeness and appetite

for controversy. Decades of personal footage reveal a conflicted

artist--torn between her Tamil resistance fighter heritage, her desire

for superstardom and her capacity for acts of self-sabotage

(which include her infamous Super Bowl performance).

Kept under lock and key by her paranoid father (Emile Hirsch),

seven-year-old Chloe (Lexy Kolker, a revelation) yearns to

experience the simple pleasures of childhood. But when she

finally ventures outside, she quickly realizes that she’s no ordinary

girl and that the world beyond the dead bolt is stranger still. In turn,

Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein’s skewed sci-fi thriller ratchets up

the go-for-broke audacity as it laces the family drama of Room

with genre confections indebted to vintage Spielberg.

Premier Partner

Premier Supporters





Big Thief are a family on the road and have got travelling together down to a science.

Big Thief sounds like family. It’s in singer/

guitarist Adrianne Lenker’s lyrics, recounted in

memories from childhood. It ripples through

raw, intrepid arrangements on their critically

enormous albums (released less than a year

apart on Saddle Creek Records), Masterpiece

and Capacity. Family noises also occupy the

Big Thief tour bus, where Lenker, guitarist

Buck Meek, bass player Max Oleartchik and

drummer James Krivchenia have spent the

bulk of their days since 2016, miles away from

their home in Brooklyn (where none currently

have a permanent address). In conversation


with Krivchenia from a Norwegian airport

where he’s moments away from boarding

for a show in Portugal, the focus turns to

cooperation strategies for close quarters.

Lesson one: living out of a suitcase

for months on end with the same three

individuals will inevitably force you to address

your baggage. “You can’t hide anything from

the people you’re travelling with,” Krivchenia


Lesson two: it’s not all about you. With

constant, cross-continent touring, some

shows are bound to feel less amazing than




Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Michelle Zauner isn’t afraid of the dark side.

Swirling synths and deliberate drum beats

support vocals that, upon first listen, sound

airy and light, easy on the ears. But beneath the

ethereal surface lurks something deeper and

darker – much of the music Michelle Zauner has

produced as Japanese Breakfast examines loss,

mourning, and the aftermath of trauma. Her first

release, Psychopomp, was written just months

after the untimely loss of her mother, and offered

Zauner an outlet through which to sift through

the intricacies of an event that no one can

ever be truly prepared for. Just over a year later,

she released her follow-up: Soft Sounds from

Another Planet.

Zauner has been writing music since she was

15 years old. She spent much of her young adult

years on the road with bands Post Post and Little

Big League, alternating between touring and

working (and subsequently getting fired from)

service industry jobs to support her musical


“I was in a band and I always just thought

that’s how you did it,” says Zauner. “I did that for

three years, and my mom got sick, so I moved

to Oregon, and then she died, so I wrote a

record by myself. I thought I was going to press

500 copies of Psychopomp and sell them over

others. Krivchenia recognizes that a “bad”

performance for him is, “probably great for a

lot of people and even for the people in the

band.” Take comfort in the joy of others.

Lesson three: establishing trust isn’t easy,

but it pays off. “We would not be able to

tour together if we didn’t have that line of

communication,” says Krivchenia. “We’ve had

ups and downs and we’ve put a ton of work

into really being able to talk to each other

about how we’re feeling and what’s bothering


Capacity is a chapter in permanence and

union for the Big Thief family, evidenced

on songs like “Coma” and “Mary”, which

are explosive despite sounding gentle, with

sections that bloom like flowers in a dust

storm, fighting to the last petal. From the

chilling arc on “Mythological Beauty” to the

dizzying monologue on “Black Diamonds,”

there is a sense of expedient precision.

Relentless travelling means they’ve had

to get a lot more honest about what books

[they’ll] actually read and what shirts [they’ll]

actually wear on the road. As Krivchenia says,

“We share some stuff like that now, and we

pass around each others’ books and clothes.”

Lesson four: take what you need and share

in the rest. It’s gonna be alright.

Big Thief perform at the Imperial (Vancouver)

on September 20.

the next 10 years out of my apartment. I have

definitely reached the point where this project

has exceeded all of my expectations.”

In the wake of Psychopomp and Soft Sounds,

Zauner’s success is a far cry from a makeshift

apartment-based CD store. “Just give up and

then it’ll happen for you,” she jokes.

If Soft Sounds comes across as otherworldly,

it’s for good reason: Zauner originally intended

to write a “super heavy-handed sci-fi concept

record” about a girl who enlists in Mars One

after a failed love affair with a robot. The concept

was a far cry from the emotional roiling of

Psychopomp, intended to give her a clean break

from her own mind and imagine worlds outside

our own.

“I was like, ‘Psychopomp is my mourning

record, and Soft Sounds has to be something

different,’” she says. “I quickly realized it was

unrealistic to not write about something that

had just happened. Emotionally, I felt out to

lunch, out in space. But I realized [the sci-fi

concept] wasn’t what I needed to be writing and

reverted back to writing about my life and the

differences in grief I was experiencing.”

Japanese Breakfast plays at Imperial on Sept. 26.




As far as Scottish synth-rock goes, Lauren Mayberry and

her well-respected trio Chvrches have had their genre on

lockdown for the last five years — 2018 being no different.

With the release of their third album, Love Is Dead, earlier this

year, the band has been hard at work touring, playing late night

television programs and speaking out on important topics that

affect everyone’s lives — you know, the usual.

When she isn’t advocating for women’s rights, writing

smash-hits or blurring the proverbial lines between indie,

synth-rock and dream-pop, you’ll more than likely find

Mayberry on her tour bus, in the driver’s seat (although the

bus wasn’t on) speaking with publications such as BeatRoute.

Now five years after her infamous piece that she published

in the Guardian, well before the #MeToo movement took

shape, an article titled “I will not accept online misogyny,” she

clued us into the motivations behind her words, looking back.

“The conversation is different now. What frustrated me

when we were talking to people about it, so many people were

just saying it was part of the job. We were trying to reclaim

the power in a situation where we were being made to feel

quite powerless. It’s been really positive. It’s become part of

the narrative and identity of the band. That matters in the

terrifying times we are living in. It matters to give a shit at this



Love Is Dead can be explained in much the same way as a

badass coffee in that it features a few of the usual soothingly

dreamy, yet bold and distinct tracks like “Graffiti” and

“Miracle” where Mayberry’s prismatic voice grabs you, gently

carries you through to the hook and then slams you on your

back hard enough to enjoy the coda in an oddly pleasant,

euphoric daze. She’s even got a duet-track, “My Enemy,” which

she performs with the National’s Matt Berninger.

Wrapping up the interview, Mayberry gushed about a few

of her not-so-guilty pleasures to get her through those tougher

tour days.

“I spend a lot of time watching Netflix and not going out.

Martin and I have both been watching the Bold Type. I cried

at the end; poignant comedy. Mostly good fun. But, I cry if the

wind blows the wrong way too quickly. I’ve learned to surf the

waves of my emotions. You can’t get the good stuff without

the bad.”

Cvrches perform at the Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver) on

September 27 and 28.

Photo by Danny Clinch

Chvrches keep their emotions in check on Love Is Dead.

September 2018





Photo by Vanessa Heins

Intensely personal and witty at the same time, Yukon Blonde get critical on their latest release.

Yukon Blonde’s upcoming fourth album Critical

Hit is more than the story of a relationship’s

lifespan. “If there was anything to really tie it

together, ‘communication breakdown’ was a term

we actually used a lot,” singer Jeffrey Innes says.

“It’s something that’s on everyone’s minds, like,

how do we take a step back and listen to each

other in the world right now?”

The digital age boasts abundant platforms

on which people can connect. “There’s so much

content out there. People are on the internet

all day,” Innes says. “But do people retain any of

that? Do people actually have lasting bonds with

people? We’re not really paying attention to each

other. Everybody’s just talking and showing their

peacock feathers.”

Yukon Blonde have shown off many rock

guises throughout their lifespan — anthemic folk,

shimmering pop, riff-heavy vintage. On Critical

Hit though, they’ve dived into synthesizers,

an instrument he’s always been attracted to.

His high school music collection included Air,

Broadcast, Nine Inch Nails and Boards of Canada.

Unsurprisingly, these artists inspired him to

compose electronic scores for his student films.

Like a film, Critical Hit is divided into a

beginning, middle, and end. The album starts

with the joy of discovering new love in a new

city in a new country. Innes wrote in real-time as

his relationship, which led him to live between

Galiano Island and Madrid, progressed – and

subsequently dissolved. Some songs fall out of the

record’s general narrative though, like “Love the

Way You Are”. Here, he expresses his appreciation

of a creative friend who felt objectified and

mistreated for being a woman.

Critical Hit is intensely personal but sarcastic

and witty at the same time. “I’ve never been able

to write an earnest lyric in my life,” he says with a

laugh. “It’s really hard to say how you feel directly.”

Seriousness might turn off some audiences, but

humour can entertain while provoking thought.

“I think satire is one of our stronger suits.

Ironically, it’s sort of driven out of fear, but it ends

up being our calling card.”

Some songs don’t fit Critical Hit’s narrative

because the album is the band’s most

collaborative offering yet. Members James

Younger and Brandon Scott in particular have

been writing more for their own projects. They’ve

also been recording more at home. Naturally, they

began contributing more to Yukon Blonde. The

band ended up with so much material that they

originally wanted to do a double album.

This ambition is a far cry from the burnout

Yukon Blonde faced after 2012’s Tiger Talk. “Like,

we stopped doing the band,” Innes says. They

rebounded with On Blonde three years later. But

despite their renewed interest in pursuing music

together, they faced a bit if a business crisis. “We

lost our manager. We owed a whole bunch of

money. We worked so hard over the course of

that record and we ended up so broke, and I was

like, ‘How the hell is this possible?’” confesses


Eager to avoid their past mistakes, Yukon

Blonde have been focusing less on business

moves – what they’re supposed to say on social

media, whom they’re supposed to tour with –

and more on “living life, being creative, having

fun, [and] enjoying each other’s company.” Now,

“We’re making music that’s closer to the music

that we want to make more than ever.”

Not only has Innes found an affordable space

to live, write, and record on Galiano Island (unlike

in Vancouver), he has found scenic views, right

from his beachside apartment. “Whoa, man!

Sorry, I got really distracted,” he exclaims midthought.

“I saw a whale!” Like his band, his island

dwelling is something he’ll work to hold on to for

as long as he can.

Yukon Blonde perform at Skookum Festival

(Vancouver) on September 9.

September 2018 21





The only thing that’s timeless is authenticity. So when a

band like Sore Points comes along you take notice. The sheer

volatility of their music, the raw power in the vocals and their

brash attitude harken back to the punk explosion of the ’80s.

Sore Points’ self-titled debut album, the follow up to last

year’s Don’t Want To seven-inch, is the hallmark of a band on

the fast track to earning their place in Vancouver’s legendary

punk history. According to drummer Trevor Racz, the writing

of the album’s 12 songs was completely collaborative.

“All of the songs we’ve written, no one has brought in a

song and says ‘this is how it goes,’” he says.

Frontman and bassist Shane Grass is marinated in rock

‘n’ roll. He loves collecting old VHS tapes and has clearly

experienced life. This is apparent in his various stories that

include travel, being in a diverse array of bands and his

affinity for music — all music. Grass has the ideal voice for

a punk band and belts out their contentious lyrics with

excellent control.

Sore Points stand tall in the face of adversity and

unrelenting amounts of volume. Guitarist Mitch Allen shares

that their music scene, as it were, is “inclusive and nonjudgmental,

which is the backbone of punk itself.

An album release is always a special occasion but this

one is extra special for Sore Points who share the stage with

personal heroes of theirs, Pointed Sticks. A Sore Points show

will shock your system and charge you with fuel.

Sore Points perform September 8 at the Astoria.

Sore Points recall the heyday of punk rock on debut LP.





Proto punk power trio Autogramm stay true to themselves with debut LP on Nevado Records.

Serendipity is more than an underrated movie

starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.

It’s also a real phenomenon; local power trio

Autogramm is proof.

It all started when local music heavy-hitters

Jiffy Marx, C.C. Voltage, and The Silo decided

to create a vacation band. A vacation band

is a musical group without lofty goals, but

with “sunny destination gigs preferred” in

their rider. With that, Autogramm was born.

After recording an album, their first order

of business was to play some shows. It was

January in Vancouver, so they booked a flight




All five members of Chase the Bear are

squeezed into the tiny green room at the

Railway Stage and Beer Café sitting around

a little circular table talking about their

musical influences, past shows and previous

adventures into the wild world of rock ‘n’ roll.

The band consists of Connor Charles Brooks

(drummer), Braedan Royer (bassist), Jordan

Tanawha Phillips (guitarist), Leo Gilmore

(guitarist) and Troy Anthony Gilmore (singer).

Together the band reminisced some of their

past experiences and future plans that consist

of trying not to relax so much.

Chase The Bear started out as a busking

band in Victoria, where they were trying to

decide between Hug the Bear and Cry Wolf

for their band name. They decided on Chase

the Bear and instantly gained 200 likes. “We

were like, people actually do want to hear us,”

laughs Gilmore.

The band is quick to cite some of their hard

rock influences, such as Led Zeppelin, “It goes

way back. We have this thing going, where

we’re like a vintage rock band. We’re not a

throwback band. We’re not a revivalist band.

We just have this vintage sound, because we

have old guitars and old amps,” Gilmore says.

The band certainly plays off an old and new

metal/rock dichotomy. They also include in

their influences, more deeply even, Howlin’

Wolf, Queens of the Stone Age, Elvis, the Kinks,

the Beatles (obviously), Cage the Elephant,

the Strokes, the Kinks, the Artic Monkeys, the

Strokes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and even

Adele, where they even delve into the pop

world and hip-hop.

Gilmore says, “When we pick up a guitar,

they often write something that sounds like

the Black Keys riff but then we can’t keep it

because we’re not the Black Keys.” “Besides,”

to L.A.

“So we went down there and played,” says

drummer The Silo over the phone from his

Vancouver studio. “Afterwards, we bumped

into this really drunk guy. He was like, ‘Hey,

I really like your brand.’ And we kind of

dismissed him as a drunk guy, but he got our

contact info and then was like, ‘Yeah, I run a

label, I’d like to put out your record.’”

The fellow that Autogramm ran into

that fateful night turned out to be Nick

Bernal, president of Nevado Records, who

will be distributing the band’s soon-to-bereleased

debut album What R U Waiting 4

as an international release. It’s an impressive

beginning for a band that was formed as

a fresh start for seasoned musicians who

wanted to jam together. The bandmates share

a common love for early synth-leaden proto

punk akin to bands like The Cars, The Go-Go’s,

and The Screamers.

“[This band] is about starting over and

doing something different,” says The Silo.

“Right at the outset we decided it wasn’t going

to be that serious. We were just going to try

and do fun trips whenever we could. We never

intended for any of this shit to happen.”

Autogramm’s early success makes a strong

case for just doing what you like. They’ve

already got Canadian and U.S. tour dates

lined up into November. Their songs update

nostalgia in all the right ways – most notably

in the way that they don’t give a shit about

being trendy. They’re themselves – they like

what they like, and if the world likes it too, the

more the merrier.

“It’s meant to be fun, really,” says The Silo.

“That’s about it when it comes down to our

band. We’re a vacation band. We just want to

have fun, we want people to have fun at our

gigs, and we want to go swimming more than

any of those things.”

Autogramm perform Sept. 13 at the Fox

Cabaret as part of Westward Festival.

Brooks chimes in, “there’s already a million

Black Keys bands out there now.”

Chase The Bear recently won Battle of the

Bands in Vancouver and now have plans to

record a three-song EP. They’ve played their

favourite venue, the Biltmore Cabaret, and

backyard parties in Williams Lake and their

next stop is the infamous Roxy on Granville

Street. Make sure you catch this young band

on the rise in a small and intimate venue while

you can.

Chase The Bear perform at the Roxy on

September 6.

Chase The Bear are a relatively young band with a vintage sound that both rocks and rolls.

Photo by Raunie Mae Baker

September 2018




With the release of Mea Culpa this month, Dead End Drive-In put their apathy aside.

Dead End Drive-In are a Vancouver punk

band consisting of Joel Planas on drums, Sam

Hawkins on bass, and Matt Earle, Angus Lee

and Brandon Speight all on guitar. Three

guitarists; you can count ‘em up. They’ve been

playing locally for the last five years, quietly

penning should-have-been pop-punk anthems

such as “These Late Nights” from their 2014 EP,

B Movies, as well as the odd seven-minute artpunk

epic, but for the most part going sadly

unnoticed. After a recent series of high profile

shows and a shining endorsement from local

punk promoter “Russian Tim” Bogdachev,

things are looking up for the group. The band

will be going on a two-week tour down the

West Coast this October, as well as releasing

their debut full-length on September 22.

BeatRoute got a chance to talk to lead singer/

guitarist Matt Earle.

The new album is called Mea Culpa,

which translates into a Latin phrase meaning

“though my fault.” “It’s an acknowledgement

of fucking up,” Earle explains. “In one way

or another, every song looks at how people

are reluctant to address their faults, but how

much power there is in doing so.” The band

draws a lot of inspiration from bands like the

Replacements and Titus Andronicus, and

the influence is apparent in Earle’s existential

Photo by Alice Hong

approach to his lyrics. A standout track on

the album, “Apathy Kills Again,” (also a nod

to their earlier song “Apathy Kills” from B

Movies) displays that approach as good

as any other track on the album, with his

sneering vocals lamenting the uselessness of

putting effort into anything. “In the past, I’ve

approached lyrics with a ‘meh, good enough’

mentality,” Earle ironically admits. “But this

time I tried to discipline myself and think

‘okay, what is it I’m trying to say with this

song? What’s the message?’ then do my best

to articulate that.”

Musically, the album is business as usual for

the band, but with a boost in production and

some impressive guitar arrangements. There

are almost Thin Lizzy levels of dangerous at

play. On the opening track, “The Music I Can’t

Hear,” the band gives a prime example of the

fret board prowess that continues throughout

the album. Earle credits the production

and arrangements to a combination of

recording with JJ Heath at Rain City Recorders,

whose “recording process was much more

meticulous than it had been in the past, which

makes for the tighter and more grand sound.”

Dead End Drive-In perform at SBC Restaurant

on September 22.




“This EP is definitely inspired by some very dark

personal experiences and observations,” says bassist

and frontman Jay Townsend. “Hardly anyone is

immune from depression, addiction, anger, and

self-loathing; neither are we. The heavy music that

Drown in Ashes creates together deserves words that

can reach people who may be struggling, or are also

frustrated with the way the world seems to be going.”

Vancouver’s Drown in Ashes are on the brink of

releasing their newest cut, Ruination, the follow-up

to 2017’s Social Collapse. Their macabre sound blends

elements of thrash, hardcore, and groove-metal,

constructing a merciless wallop for the self-identified

social degenerate. The new record is expected to be

their darkest yet, touching on elements of modern

day turmoil and ghosts of the past.

“All of the songs on Ruination possess significant

meaning, but if asked to choose one, it would be

‘Less Than Human,’” says Townsend. “It speaks to a

childhood that lacked significant attachment and

communication, which created a young person who

had very low self-esteem and was, in many ways, lost.

The older the child got, the more of an outcast he

became to his friends and family. Life for this man

became about self-medicating, regret, and selfdestruction

as a means to cope with his alienated

and lonely childhood. It’s a really heavy and personal

song, as are all of the songs on this album. However,

the music is not strictly focused on the negative – it

also possesses hope and the realization that change is

possible. At 10 years clean and sober, I am extremely

grateful to have the opportunity to write songs with

Owen [Lewis, drummer] and Valek [Morke, guitarist];

looking back and unpacking some of what I went

through as a young man who was entrenched in a

lifestyle that hurt and destroyed me, and everyone

around me.”

The album cover of Ruination, designed by Stefano

Mattioni, features an image of a fist that is literally

pulling a face into itself. It feels like a message of

grizzly introspection, a sort of self-annihilation in

which the body wants to self-destruct.

“The name speaks to being overcome or choked

by our mistakes, regrets, failures, traumas, fears,

pasts, as well as the external forces of which we have

no control. More importantly it is how we face life’s

adversity, moving forward; overcoming the struggle,

anguish, agony, and pain in our lives; rising from the

ashes to fight another day in a world that is evolving

at an unprecedented rate. We feel fortunate to

have the opportunity to write and perform music

together that will hopefully resonate with people and

potentially help someone through their own pain

and suffering. We believe there is realness to what

we are doing with our art, and we are only getting


Drown in Ashes perform at Pub 340 on September 28.

Themes of addiction, depression and self loathing are amongst Ruination’s various darkened themes.

September 2018 23




Punk rock rebels Anti-Flag don’t trust their political leaders and comment on a brainwashed nation.

Since releasing their debut record, Die for the

Government, in 1996, Anti-Flag has been an active

figure in modern punk-rock political commentary.

Their lightning-fast anthems fire like an AK-47, each

bullet inscribed with messages of anti-homophobia,

anti-racism, anti-war, and anti-government. It’s hard

to say if Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane has ever

had even a glimmer of trust in his country’s political

leaders. If he has, it’s been a damn long time.

In 2017, Anti-Flag released their tenth studio

album, American Fall. The album’s artwork features

a muted, hazy rendition of the White House Oval

Office. Inside are large stacks of cash forming the

shape of a skull, indicating government greed and

their exploitive stance towards the profitability of


“It’s really interesting when you look at Donald

Trump, because when he ran [for president] one

of the things he would brag about was how rich he

was,” says Sane. “The inherent message is that being

wealthy is something we should hold up as a value.

But Donald Trump is not a good person. There’s no

excusing locking up children in cages and separating

them from their parents. Right there, Donald Trump

should have been impeached.”

Anti-Flag dropped a non-album single, “Mr.

Motherfucker,” earlier this year. The artwork features

a brutalized rendition of Trump, as if he’s been

severely beaten. When asked how he thinks Trump

stacks up against the likes of George W. Bush and

Richard Nixon, Sane says:

“They were all horrible for different reasons, and

I would include Obama in there. Obama put into

place a lot of the mechanisms Trump is using now.

That said, Nixon was conducting a secret war, killing

thousands of people, and Bush is responsible for the

deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq

and beyond. Trump hasn’t gone that far yet, but he

has stepped up Obama’s drone programs, which

the military knows take countless innocent lives


Photo by Jake Stark


Operating drones could be considered a sort of

“sanitized” warfare. You aren’t up close and personal,

you’re not seeing body parts, being bathed in blood,

or hearing agonizing screams. It’s believed that

because of this, drone pilots are more immune to

experiencing war-induced PTSD. American Fall’s

seventh track, “Digital Blackout,” states this is not

the case.

“Our bass player and I were reading an article

about a new form of PTSD being experienced by

drone pilots. It was believed that drone pilots were

immune to that side of warfare, but it’s not true.

This particular article was about pilots who have

surveillance drones that just hang around to see

the aftermath. What often happens is they blow

up a house and, hours later, family members start

showing up, and it wasn’t a military target in the end,

it was just somebody’s home. You see people totally

distraught, trying to dig out their family members’

dead bodies. The military refers to it as ‘collateral

damage,’ but drone operators are realizing these are

real people.”

But not all is lost in the eyes of Anti-Flag. Despite

the fact that the world is a totally fucked up place,

there is still beauty within it. And the amount of

beauty you see comes down to you and your choice

of perspective.

“What I realize is that, especially whenever

you’re up against the corporate militaristic

imperialistic day we live in, it is very difficult to make

progressive change. Most politicians are bought

off by corporations. But if you just roll over and

give up, nothing positive ever changes. We have a

lot of setbacks, but we win a lot of battles too. It’s

important to realize change doesn’t come over night,

but it does come.”

Anti Flag play alongside Rise Against and AFI at the

PNE Forum (Vancouver) on September 23.




In March 2017, Idles’ debut album Brutalism

well and truly spat them out into the thick of

the UK punk scene with a uniquely British tale

of disenfranchisement and despair. Backed up

by ferocious live sets and a savagely honest

mix of music and activism, the band have been

riding this momentum right up to the release of

their second album, Joy as an Act of Resistance,

released August 31.

But this time around, the focus has shifted.

Frontman Joe Talbot has been through a lot

since Idles’ last release and, for him, the new

approach is all about making the political


“My whole fascination with lyricism now

is about what I see fit as a humanist, which is

that all political debates and issues should be

boiled down to the human individual; their

welfare and safety.” Joy as an Act of Resistance

is the sound of an open wound – tracks such

as June, which features the refrain “Stillborn

but still born, I am a father,” are raw and tender

testimonies to Talbot’s personal experience

of grief and loss. “I had to embrace the

responsibility of saying things that are deeply

personal but not indulgent. I could just say how

I feel about losing my daughter to a few people,

I don’t have to say it to a group of 2000 people

in a room in London. It’s about encouraging

audiences to listen to themselves and love

themselves and giving them the confidence

to just think a bit more compassionately and


Supported by family and friends, Talbot has

come through a tumultuous six-month journey

of self-discovery – giving up alcohol and

opening up emotionally to the people around

him. “The album is a reflection on that process.

But now, talking in interviews and seeing the

songs brought to life, it’s a new state of catharsis

where I’m actually reflecting more and learning

more about myself as each day goes on. It’s

allowed me to love myself and accept and

celebrate my faults and vices. I’m not saying

that I’m faultless because of my situation – I’m

not. I was a real fucking piece of shit at times.

But I’ve learned to forgive myself and I will

always remember my mistakes and learn from

them, and I will be a better person, a better

father and a better partner, continuously.” Idles’

mission statement for this latest release and

their accompanying world tour is to encourage

the same self-reflection in their audience.

The first release from Joy as an Act of

Resistance was the fervently anthemic

“Danny Nedelko.” Talbot reveals that Danny

Nedelko is in fact a real person and a friend

of the band: “’Danny Nedelko’ started off as

a promise to Danny Nedelko! I promised him

I’d write him a song and he promised me he’d

write me a song.” This is a track that truly

encapsulates the band’s approach to making

the political personal – an allegorical love

story about immigration and the true value of

multiculturalism. “Danny Nedelko is really an

example of what I love about Britain, which

is that someone came over to our country,

started a new life, contributes – not just

logistically – but as a person. As a personality.

As a human being. As an individual who makes

my life more colourful and interesting.”

Idles are a band who write music to be

played live, and their three-month ‘tour of joy’

is an integral part of the therapeutic process for


“I’m excited, in love, happy, invigorated,

enthusiastic, unperturbed. The exhilaration and

absolute beauty of being vulnerable in front

of a huge crowd - them allowing you that ear,

that audience, as a compassionate thing - is life

affirming. And it’s encouraged me to remember

that beyond the torrid arsehole of the internet,

there is a world of beautiful people out there

with open minds and open hearts.”

Idles perform at the Rickshaw Theatre on Oct. 4.

Idles keep their dialogue of disenfranchisement going on Joy As An Act Of Resistance.

Photo by Lindsay Melbourne

September 2018




Photo by Nina Ottolino

Andrew W.K.’s, Your Not Alone, is full of life-affirming optimism.

Noted philosophers LMFAO once proclaimed

that they were “Sorry for Party Rocking.” While

that may have been an ironic statement, few

have sincerely rebuffed those apologies like

singer Andrew W.K., whose entire career is

a statement embracing the transcendental

nature of partying. From his debut, the rocking

I Get Wet, which exhorted that “when it’s

time to party, we will party hard” and that one

should “party ‘til you puke,” all the way to his

latest album, You’re Not Alone. His newest

cut seemingly broadens the scope of what we

mean when we say “party,” as no one has raised

the banner quite like him.

With I Get Wet, the idea of partying was

expressed fairly straightforwardly. It seemed

kind of dangerous and exciting, possibly

alcohol-fueled. As time has passed and his

career has progressed, both musically and

through his work as an aspirational speaker, the

scope of what it means to party seems to have

changed more into a euphoric feeling. W.K.

suggests that it’s never changed.

“For me, personally, it remains the same,” he

says. “I’ve just tried to get better at articulating

it. I’ve tried to get better at expressing this

particular feeling, this mental and physical

sensation that I’m trying desperately to get

across to the listener, to myself, to the world

at large.”

His desire to express this sentiment comes

from his own internal goal to live in that party


“Just that celebratory euphoria, irrational

life-affirming optimism that I desperately want

to feel myself,” he explains. “I have a perpetual

need to have encounters with it for my own

sake and my own life. Hopefully, as a result of

that, others will as well. They might not be in

a state of emotional deficit like I have been,

but that’s always been my motivating force,

not feeling the way I want to feel. Trying to

do things, and focus on things, that change

that feeling into something more worthy of

a human being. Partying, and this particular

partying mission, has at least allowed me to

have a fighting chance of getting to that place.”

His partying philosophy is pretty well selfcontained.

While he’s influenced by all of life,

and those close to him, he has no party gurus.

“The spirit of partying itself is the guru,”

says W.K. “It’s that feeling. The feeling is so

specific and so comprehensive that it becomes

a being. It becomes an entity of some sort. You

can have a relationship with this spirit. It’s a

spirit that we all possess, that is also beyond

us. We find ways to access it, or to amplify it,

or to conjure it up, but it always seems sort of

elusive and out of reach, which is why we have

to push. You have to go past your limits to

some extent to see it more clearly and then it

will draw away again.”

Ideally, this party sensation will be felt in his

upcoming performance, one he feels he and his

band are better equipped than ever before to


“You hope that after 18 years of partying

and partying practice that it pays off. But I do

think this is the best the band has ever been,

that we have as much or more to offer than

ever before. We’re hitting the bull’s-eye the

best we ever have.”

Andrew W.K. plays the Imperial (Vancouver) on

September 9.

September 2018 25

Bergman: A Year in a Life

In conversation with director Jane Magnuson

By Joey Lopez

Ingmar Bergman, known as one of the greatest

directors to live, was and still is an icon of the

film world. With a storied career of masterpieces

such as The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and

Persona, Bergman told stories unlike anyone else.

During his life, he was a rock star known the world

over, but before 1957 Bergman was making films

that were mostly under the radar. By the end of

that year, arguably his most prolific, he would earn

all of the titles that precede his name.

“I was on this island in Bergman’s film library

of over 1,700 films that were in his collection, it

was everything from Blues Brothers to Hiri Kiri,”

says Jane Magnuson, director of Bergman: A Year

in a Life, from her home in Sweden. “I’ve never

been a Bergman scholar, but I couldn’t help but

notice the collection of his films that came out in

1957 and thought ‘Goodness, The Seventh Seal

and Wild Strawberries came out in the same year.

Someone should make a film about that year,

because how was that all possible?’”


“I was asked by the producers of this project to

make the Bergman Centennial film and thought if

I was going to do it, it had to be about this year,”

she continues. “At first I thought I couldn’t pull it

off, but as I kept doing research it just kept getting

crazier and crazier. What I thought would be a

difficult project ended up being easier because

every day something new would pop up like

‘Oh, he did another project!’ At the time, he was

married, had an affair, made four plays, a television

movie, and wrote, directed, and released Wild

Strawberries. It was insane.”

At the end of his life, Bergman was seen as this

grumpy old man worn down by years of hard

work, but during 1957 he was at his prime. He

worked tirelessly, unable sleep at night due to an

untreated stomach ulcer brought on by the stress

of being consumed by his plethora of productions.

He was motivated and he was obsessed.

“He was making films for 13 years, and a lot

of them were bad. He has one that Sweden has

banned that we weren’t even allowed to see, but

he wanted to be the best. He worked so hard

in 1957 because he wanted to be the greatest

director of all time.”


Garry Winogrand: All Things are


Paying homage to NYC Through The Lens Of An


By Maggie Mcphee

New York native Sasha Waters Freyer pays

tribute to her hometown in her documentary

Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable,

while reviving an artist whose work depended

as much on his appetite for life as New York’s

plentitude of it. The biography uses more than

400 of Winogrand’s photographs to anchor an

exploration of the pioneering photographer’s

personal world. Interviews with curators,

photographers, and critics represent the diversity

of relationships and reactions to Winogrand’s


As a photography undergraduate, Waters

Freyer gravitated towards female photographers

like Laurie Simmons, whose interview in the film

tackles the sexism of the ‘70s and Winogrand’s

machismo. But Winogrand stuck out to her

because of their New York connection and the

chaos she saw in his work.

25 years later, Waters Freyer discovered his

photographs still had a hold on her. “I thought,

that’s weird, he’s this amazing guy – why isn’t there

a documentary about him? So I made one so I

could see one.”

The film, edited by Waters Freyer, unveils

Winogrand’s life in chronological order but

remains rooted in philosophical ideas. “I tried to

edit from a place organized thematically and then

moved these puzzle pieces around.”

Winogrand was a man haunted by questions,

never felt satisfied with his investigations, and he

left a legacy of more than one million photographs.

Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable

screens at VIFF, where Sasha Waters Freyer will be

hosting a Q&A.


RZA: Live from the 36th Chamber of Shaolin

By Brendan Lee

Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, otherwise known as RZA and a

founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, pays tribute to

the kung fu revelation that shaped the legend he grew

into. On October 9, RZA brings his unique, live score to

The Orpheum Theatre for a once-in-a-lifetime screening

of the classic, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Don’t panic,

but it could be cause for a riot.

Imagine the heavy-hitting Wu-Tang catalogue echoing

off The Orpheum walls, trailing up and over the balcony

amidst the glint, glow, and flash of the silver screen. 36th

Chamber is known for its influential place in the kung fu

genre and epic, choreographed fight sequences that set

the bar for all that followed. And RZA? Well, his music

practically defined modern hip-hop, spanning three

decades and blazing the trail for an unknowable number

of generations.

In conjunction with the live performance, you can

catch RZA at the Rio Theatre earlier in the night for

an hour-long live talk and what’s sure to be a revealing

insight into the creator of so much beautiful madness.

Live from the 36th Chamber of Shaolin will be at the

Orpheum Theatre on October 9.











September 2018

United Skates

Roller Skating Isn’t Dead, It Just Went Underground

By Joey Lopez


The United States is and always has been a melting pot of

culture and through that a paradise of subcultures, most of

which act as a conduit of artistic and self-expression. One

of these subcultures, hidden away from the public eye and

long thought extinct, is the massive roller skating scene. The

idea of rolling skating probably conjures images of ‘70s roller

rinks – white people with high socks, short shorts and massive

headphones – but in reality the thing that keeps roller skating

alive is a large African-American community.

“This was quite an unlikely partnership between us and

the community, but ultimately a really beautiful one,” laughs

Dyana Winkler, co-director and writer of roller skating

documentary United Skates. “We were living in New York City

and filming a different piece on what we thought was the end

of the era of rolling skating. While we were filming that, we

met these younger skaters that basically said, ‘Skating’s not

dead, it just went underground!’ So we went with them down

to Virginia, walked into a rink at midnight and stepped into

this world.”

The world they found was one that has been deeply rooted

into a culture that has existed for generations and attracted

people from all over. Whether they were from Los Angeles,

Chicago, Atlanta, or New York, they were all there for one


Through these individual stories, a little-known history

of the importance of roller skating rinks rises to the surface.

The beginnings of west-coast hip-hop had its start in these

places; artists such as Queen Latifah and Dr. Dre had their first

performances here, and DJs played the songs of these future

stars. On the flip side, a darker history reveals itself: one of

racism and segregation.

“At first when we fell into the world it was celebratory and

Minute Bodies

Re-imagining The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith

By Joey Lopez

British naturalist and documentarian F. Percy Smith

saw the natural world through a lens of passionate

fascination. During the beginning of the 20th Century,

he documented the inner workings of the world at our

feet and, using experimental film techniques, was able

to capture the mysterious beauty of the unconscious

dance of life that covers nearly every inch of this

planet. In Minute Bodies, Stuart A. Staples (of the

band Tindersticks) has re-imagined Smith’s work into

a beautifully haunting montage of surrealist images by

way of David Lynch. Tinderstick’s score, removing the

original footage’s narration, aims to transform Smith’s

visions into a revealing ballet of the world too small for

us to see.

so beautiful we were in awe, but we wondered if we could

really sustain a feature length film just on beautiful skating.

It was actually when we began to be invited by the skaters to

their home rinks that we kept hearing them say ‘Come to our

night,’ and were wondering what they meant by their night.

That’s when we realized that, in all of these cities, rinks still

had a white night and a black night. The rinks were still so

segregated, and that was the tipping point that as storytellers

we realized there was something deeper here.”

BeatRoute is proud to sponsor the screenings of United Skates at

VIFF 2018. For more info visit






Kingsway (dir. Bruce Sweeney, Canada)

A sure-fire local favourite set amidst the streets of Vancouver, Kingsway

tackles the awkward yet all too relatable nature of love and relationships.

With an authentic score from a variety of local independent musicians, Bruce

Sweeney crafts a tale that’s sure to set emotions spinning.

Freaks (dirs. Adam Stein, Zach Lipovsky, Canada)

If Stranger Things met Room, you very well might end up with something

along the lines of Stein and Lipovsky’s Freaks. This psychological sci-fi thriller

follows seven-year-old Chloe as she explores the world outside her front door

for the first time, and finds things more inexplicable than she’d ever dreamed.

Edge of the Knife (dirs. Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-

Brown, Canada)

An ode to a culture as intertwined with storytelling as it has rapidly

threatened to disappear, Edge of the Knife breaks brand new ground. Entirely

shot on BC’s pristine Haida Gwaii, and the first feature film created entirely in

the Haida language, this epic story, set in the 1800s, clearly has a piece to say.

When the Storm Fades (dir. Sean Devlin, Canada/


This is what it’s like to shelter, survive, rebuild. Sean Devlin’s docudrama

showcases rare authenticity, shot with vibrant colour on location in Tacloban,

Philippines, three years after Typhoon Haiyan. The film takes a real-life look

at what it’s like for a family to start again, all through the framed lens of the


Mouthpiece (dir. Patricia Rozema, Canada)

An adaptation of the award-winning play written by the film’s co-stars,

Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava. The two actresses play the singular

part of Cassandra, and portray her duplicitous nature as she wades through

preparations for her mother’s funeral.

September 2018 27

Free live music every night of the Fringe Festival!

September 6-16, 2018

Mon – Fri 6:00pm-late

Sat & Sun 1:00pm-late

Ocean Art Works

1531 Johnston Street,

Granville Island


Kitty and the Rooster


Leisure Club

Sept 6-16, 2018

On and around

Granville Island

& East Vancouver

Theatre for Everyone!

Tickets on Sale Now

Dawn Pemberton

Parlour Panther

And many more! Visit

for a full lineup and schedule.

plus: Karaoke + Food Trucks + DJs



Joy as an Act of Resistance

Partisan Records

In an interview with the Guardian, Idles frontman

Toe Talbot clearly declared he’s “not the next fucking

Billy Bragg.” In a lot of ways, he’s absolutely right —

he won’t tell you who to vote for or which colour to

champion, but he’ll certainly tell you when you’re

being an ass. At the same time, the Bristol-made

punk outfit is sewn to politics at the hip, albeit

thrashing to break free. Joined by Adam Devonshire,

Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan and Jon Beavis, Talbot and

Idles have a lot to scream at you about the world we

share while you lose your kicks in the mosh pit. And

much like their pub-rattling 2017 debut, Brutalism,,

their latest riffabout is a diatribe against the dayto-day

saturation of identity politics and society’s

penchant for letting idiocracy take the reigns.

Thirteen fully-realized tracks culminate into a

certified staple of punk rock canon in Joy as an Act

of Resistance. Considering the critical and popular

success of Brutalism, it’s doubtful a singly pissy

review would have surfaced, even if Idles decided to

double down on the debut’s formula of relentlessly

noisy post-punk supported by a foundation of

tinnitus-inducing repetition. But, sonically, Joy as

an Act of Resistance features an Idles looking to

light any critic’s genre labels on fire with a shitty

Bic lighter. Each track is a distinct composition

showcasing a well-kept library of influences and

array of emotions without ever losing a biting edge.

“Colossus” opens the record with a microcosm of the

variation to follow as distant percussion rim-shots

build under a low-tempo tone of messy distortion.

Talbot’s vocals cry out in harsh vibrato somewhere

between Thurston Moore and Lee Ving, while an

anxiety-inducing crescendo tears into a harcore

barrage that seemlessly manifests as anthemic

barstool-punk in the blink of an ‘Oi!’ “Never Fight

A Man With A Perm” immediately follows as a

digitally-poppy post punk jam that sounds designed

for a Guy Ritchie soundtrack in a retro-futuristic

dystopia. But while the instrumentation scratches

every itch in your record collection, Talbot’s nobullshit

lyricism is always front and centre, callingout

every possible corner of public discourse that

melted your brain the last time you opened Twitter.

“I’m Scum” is a traditional punk offering straight

out of the anarchy era, focusing on the use of

identity politics as a personality substitute and

the hills where fellow folk fall dead for the sake of

ideology. “Danny Nedelko” centres on immigration,

and further, hammers home the clear message that

people are people regardless of whatever falls out

of a bigot’s rotten brain — complete with a chorus

destined to be belted with abandon, shoulder-toshoulder

with friends. A dark and stressful tone gives

“June” the feeling of a dreadful daydream through

progressive instrumentation and an unmistakably

post-rock attitude. “Samaritans” takes aim at

destructive masculinity and its conditioning and

normalization, before “Television” laments the

crippling effect of physical standards caused by popculture

and social media. Its chorus is a hypnotic

injection of a simple modern rebellion: “I go outside

and feel so free, because I smash mirrors and fuck


“Great” is another tightly composed bite of chaos

with a clear message, delivered with palpablyannoyed

snark lyrics like, “Blighty wants his country

back, 50-inch screen in his cul-de-sac.”

While every song wastes zero time getting to the

punch, waving bloodied fists at all the pissoffs that

come with being remotely aware of planet earth,

Joy as an Act of Resistance is far from a collection of

poetry. Talbot’s polemics are simple, obvious and as

subtle as a declaration of war — but that also makes

them swiftly relatable and immediately understood.

Idles aren’t trying to make you think, they’re just

smacking you on the back of the head with an open

hand if you happen to be one of the reasons these

songs exist. The record is a technical improvement

on the strong foundation laid by Brutalism,

branching into a wealth of punk evolution and never

using speed as a crutch. More than anything else,

it’s anthemic protest punk for the old soul in a new


• Matty Hume

• Illustration by Cole Degenstein

September 2018 29



Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog Alkailine Trio - Is This Thing Cursed? Art d’Ecco - Trespasser Exploded View - Obey



Saddle Creek

Adrianne Lenker returns with abysskiss, her third

solo record. Lenker and her dreamy voice have

been captivating listeners with a show of emotion

almost unrivalled in modern indie music. Lenker,

who fronts Brooklyn based indie big-shots Big

Thief shows a penchant for the deep songs that

hit you in your soul. With the recently released

single “cradle,” abysskiss presents a more mature

and confident Lenker — sure of her own ability

as a songwriter and more determined in her story


While abysskiss has a significantly more upbeat

feeling than Lenker’s previous solo work, it is

reflective of both Big Thief and Lenker’s growth in

the scene over the past several years. Lenker and

abysskiss not only showcases maturation — it also

remains a haunting reminder of how gifted Lenker

is as a singer/songwriter.

• Andrew Bardsley

Art d’Ecco


Paper Bag Records

Whatever your taste, you’re at risk of getting

caught up in the strobing circus of Art d’Ecco’s

Trespasser; one that is equally moody and emotive

as it is dangerous and catchy.

There are shades of d’Ecco’s debut, Day Fevers,

such as the playful Orbison-tinged “Mary” and

the malt shop melancholy of “Lady Next Door,”

but the evolution is in the expanse of Trespasser.

There is a playfulness, an almost frustrated energy

of rebellion mixed with bedroom eyes nihilism, at

play on every track.

The non-ironic use of saxophone on “Never

Tell,” alongside dramatic tumultuous crescendos of

keys, adds storm clouds to its deceptively catchy

melodies. The desert guitar in “Joy,” alongside the

lilting tease of d’Ecco’s flirtatious and ethereal

vocals give rise to the wanton frustrations of a

fallen angel, further amplified by bratty guitar and

choral backing vocals. The slitheringly Mercurial

“Who is it Now?” and the relentlessly surging

thrust of “Dark Days (revisited)” bekon Bowie

in his Aladdin Sane phase, where he turned

blurred lines into power but was also unable to

belie the loneliness inherent backstage where

the makeup starts to flake. Trespasser is a dance

floor flooded by the smoke machine where you

can almost pretend you’re the only one there but

everyone knows an Art d’Ecco party is never a solo


• Jennie Orton


Is This Thing Cursed?


Ever have one of those days where you’re late for

work, spill coffee all over your desk and forget

to pick up milk on the way home, making you

shake your fists at life itself and ask, “Is this thing


Chicago’s Alkaline Trio feels your pain. Ditching

the goth subtleties of the past, the band’s ninth

studio album delivers another batch of tight,

catchy and straightforward distorted rock tunes.

At times, the record thrashes and whips with the

best of ‘em, especially in songs like “Blackbird,”

“Heart Attacks,” and “Throw Me to the Lions.”

Alkaline Trio proves they’re capable of more

than they’re given credit for among pop-punk

colleagues like Green Day, NOFX or lead singer

Matt Skiba’s most recent side hustle, Blink-182.

To be fair, not everything on the disc stands

out. A few of its 13 tracks are either clearly too

short or too generic to have much of an impact (or

sometimes both). Is This Thing Cursed? isn’t the

home run of the summer, but at least it will help

you get through that ridiculous Friday evening jam

on Deerfoot Trail — again!

• Trevor Morelli


Rainier Fog


Sludge and mid-paced tempos have always

anchored Alice in Chains’ distinct sound, but the

icons of hard rock are clearly ready to pick up the

pace on their sixth album, Rainier Fog.

Cuts like the title track and “So Far Under” turn

up the volume and the tempo, giving the record

a much-needed injection of NOS compared to

the band’s deep catalogue. Guitar snarls from

legendary axe-man Jerry Cantrell are front and

center — as they should be — supplying the

monstrous riffs that fuel standouts like “Drone”

and “Deaf Ears Blind Eyes.” Lead singer William

DuVall continues to hold his own, doing his best

Layne Staley impressions and shining brightly on

the more emotional tracks “Maybe” and “All I Am.”

With their legacy in the fables of rock already

firmly in place, some may wonder why Alice in

Chains is still around at all. And honestly, it’s

because there’s no harm in having veterans like

them to deliver meaty offerings like Rainier Fog,

reminding us that the noise of the pre-aughts is far

chained in the dungeons of the past.

• Trevor Morelli



Sacred Bones Records

The Mexican/UK trio returns for a sophomore

LP that further explores the “far out” reaches of

experimental and atmospheric Krautrock, a style

which originated in ‘60s Germany.

Layers of folk-ish instrumentation and

soundscapes create the ominously sinister vibes of

a psychedelic dream sequence. And like a cherry

on top, leading you along the journey are hypnotic,

lullaby-esk vocals reminiscent of a female Neil


“Dark Stains” has an almost chilling retro video

game feel followed by “Gone Tomorrow,” which

skips along in sorrow about lost loves and regrets.

The title track has a droning and traditional

eastern-folk aesthetic, with sounds of ocean waves

below the lyrics, “Do what you’re told and you’ll

get out alive,” spiralling in and out of your mind.

Soon you hear “Raven Raven,” and are transported

to a smokey apocalyptic lounge where you’re

sipping nuka-cola cocktails.

When you press play, you enter a land of both

of shadow and substance. If a trip on something

completely different is what you dig — climb


• Patrick Saulnier


Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions)

Fat Wreck Chords

Face to Face have returned with the brand-new

summer face-smasher Hold Fast — and as the title

implies, you’re darn right it’s an acoustic album.

Face to Face are veterans on the punk scene with

almost 30 years together with 10 studio albums to


Featured on Hold Fast are songs like

“Disconnected” from their debut record and

“Don’t Turn Away” and “Velocity” from their

sophomore album, Big Choice. Both contrast

drastically from the original recordings — the

melodies are present but the heavy, quick-tempo

riffs are smoothed over at a relaxed pace, giving

each of these classic tunes new life. Songs like

“Blind” off their 1996 self-titled have a familiar

sound but have developed a more honestly

emotional feel. “Keep Your Chin Up” from their

2016 album Protection receives also receives a

more digestible approach.

Hold Fast is Face to Face’s first attempt at an

acoustic album, and frankly, they’ve succeeded in

offering a different sound and feel on a wide range

of songs. Well done, boys!

• Sarah Mac


Acid Bath from the Jaded Jungle


Achieving some kind of an altered state is

recommended before slipping into Acid Bath

from the Jaded Jungle, the third full-length from

Montreal’s quirky post-punk crew, Fountain.

There’s an overtly sleek quality to the 12-track LP,

dismantled in moments on songs like “Crack Up,”

with off-kilter funky guitars and hollowed out

chants from vocalist Evan Jeffery.

Acid Bath upholds the kooky sci-fi vibe the

quartet has worked to achieve through their

earlier work, but has slightly toned-down some of

the fun from previous efforts like Fountain 2, with

more diminished guitars and mastering that is

discernibly more polished.

Recorded at Office Space in Seattle, the album

offers hints of refinement without losing the

feeling that it was conceptualized in a surely dank

basement. Frenetic and slightly sideways, Acid

Bath from the Jaded Jungle is an uncomplicated

listen, ripe with the weirdness one would expect

from an art-punk band from Montreal.

• Brittany Rudyck




Feel free to judge this one by its cover, because

the Squamish-based Hoopsnake’s Snowmanmoth

is just as much fun the massive cryptid of

Rocky Mountain destruction that gives the

30-minute blast of sludgy black metal its name.

“Snowmanmoth the Abominable” introduces

the the dual, distinct-tone vocals that give the

beast its darkness, and puts forward doom-level

distortion with a laid-back tempo. The melody is

never overbearingly grim or minor and transitions

seem to bounce along with little friction, giving it a

sludgy base with an angsty skate-punk feel.

“Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers” strays from

the dark formula in a different way, featuring an

September 2018 31

Foutain - Acid Bath from the Jaded Jungle Mirah - Understanding Monstrosity - The Passage of Existence Oh Sees - Smote Reverser

almost classic rock-style solo with an undoubtedly

good-times-only mood, leaving a wicked and

warped smile on your face. A plethora of other

stylistic influences are evident in Snowmanmoth

on tracks like “Skate And Die” and “Scorpion,”

hinting at everything from death metal to blues

rock without ever losing the underlying power of


Like the Snowmanmoth itself that graces the

cover, this blast of a record draws from so many

parts that the whole is as original as can be. This

one’s fun as hell.

• Matty Hume



Absolute Magnitude Recordings

Understanding is an ambitious goal in a society

that feels increasingly disconnected, despite, or

perhaps because of, advances in technology and a

constant barrage of information.

On her sixth solo album, Mirah attempts to

deepen her understanding of others and inspire

listeners to do the same.

She also isn’t afraid to keep taking the kind of

musical risks that have characterized her previous

work. From the sounds of synthesizers to fuzzy

reverb to out-of-the-box vocal layering, each

track showcases her ability to play with sound in

interesting and unconventional ways.

Some tracks, like “Ordinary Day,” have a dreamy,

relaxed feel — both underscored and contrasted

by synthetic beats and electronic influences.

The album’s second track, “Information,”

examines the state of the U.S. under the current

administration, while “Love Jetty” is a carefree

summer anthem. The Brooklyn-based singersongwriter

masterfully displays her lyricism on

subjects both prosaic and sentimental.

• Emilie Charette


The Passage of Existence

Metal Blade Records

After 11 years away from the scene, Monstrosity

obviously wanted to come back strong and hard,

and they waste no time cranking up the distortion

and blasting away. There’s no intro, no acoustics

and absolutely no nonsense — just straight to

the point death metal. The Passage of Existence is

perfect for fans of ‘90s Deicide, Immortal and even

some early Decapitated.

While there are some melodic moments and

plenty of dynamics, the main drive of The Passage

of Existence is bludgeoning, thrashy and brutal

heaviness with a steady dose of groove.

While stating how horribly cliché it is to say ‘Play it

Loud,’ drummer Lee Harrison says that the Florida

five-piece made this album for doing just that. The

riffs are windmill worthy, the double kick assault

never gives your subs a breath and the vocals,

although not as diverse as some, are kick ass and

relentless. Adding tracks “Dark Matter Invocation”

and “Radiated” to your playlist will leave no

regrets, but maybe a little whiplash.

• Patrick Saulnier


Ribbed - Live In A Dive

Fat Wreck Chords

Fat Wreck Chords’ Live In A Dive series has

returned after a 13-year hiatus with a NOFX’s

classic — Ribbed.

Originally released in 1991, Ribbed was NOFX’s

third studio album. For Live In A Dive, it’s the

eighth installment in the series.

With 14 tracks total, Ribbed contains a lot of

vintage gems. Songs like “The Moron Brothers,”

“Together in the Sand” and “Cheese/Where’s my

Slice?” just to name a few fan favourites. And

because it’s a live rendition after all, you get to

hear a stack of tracks you probably wouldn’t hear

live. Naturally, with any NOFX show, there’s a fair

amount of banter. A few songs are performed

almost flawlessly, while in others, Fat Mike forgets

the words entirely. But hell, it’s a NOFX show.

Overall, a rare opportunity to hear Ribbed live in

its entirety and NOFX sucks just as much as they

always do. So, to be fair, it’s just what we wanted!

• Sarah Mac


Smote Reverser

Castle Face Records

John Dwyer’s latest bizarro offering, Smote

Reverser — this time released as Oh Sees, or

whatever he wants to be called these days — is as

strange, wild and fun as you’d expect from such an

eclectic artist.

What begins as a trip guided by fairly standard

garage-rock vibes on “Enrique El Cobrador”

soon ventures into a curious psychedelia of

Steppenwolf-like keyboards, wah-wah guitars and

Mellotron wolf sounds. It’s everything from raging

punk to destructive prog-metal to off-beat space

jazz and earns a big trippy thumbs-up.

“Abysmal Urn” jumps out like an At-the-Drive-In

freak out, complete with lightning fast avant-garde

arpeggio cymbal solos. Soul grooves pop up on

“Nail House Needle Boys” and soon blend into a

hazy stoner chill-out on “Flies Bump Against the


There’s a lot going on, but it all makes for a

splendidly brain-stimulating listen. If you weren’t

turned on to ‘Thee Oh Sees’ before, then Oh Sees’

Smote Reverser is a decent place to start.

• Trevor Morelli


Fever Dreams


Toronto’s Pilcrow should be at the top of your

must-see-shows list as the days get shorter and

our marbles get lost. The proof is in the 16-minute

barrage of experimental punk on Fever Dreams, a

five-track frenzy of a well-executed bad trip.

Self-described as acid punk, Pilcrow generates

the jarring franticness of noisy hardcore with the

technical structure of melodic metal. “Doves”

is a display of your favourite head-spinning

licks delivered with the ferocity of brutal power

punks performing in a church basement. Pure,

raw emotion is palpable in the belting vocals on

“Lungs,” which make the almost mathy intro and

transition into “Shapeshifter” a satisfying change

of pace.

Fever Dreams is fast, brutal, melancholy and

technically impressive. It’s only drawback is that it’s

over faster than you can snap out of a dream, cold

sweat and all.

• Matty Hume



Dogs Table

The latest album from Portland indie-punks The

Woolen Men, Post, has a complicated concept for

such a straightforward album.

“Brick Horizon” kicks it all off with simple,

energetic drumbeats and a thrumming bass riff

reminiscent of ‘80s new wave. It has an upbeat

sound for a song that’s nevertheless filled with the

feeling of searching for some sort of meaning in a

world that’s lost it.

A few songs in, “The Movie Goer” tones things

down a little with a simple, folky guitar intro,

leading into a ballad with references to Greek

mythology while “What Do You Want Me To Be”

explores themes of identity over steady bass and

nostalgic guitar.

Overall, the album is packed with solid indie

songs to softly please the ear. However, it does beg

the question: in a “post-everything” world, what’s


• Emilie Charette



Captured Tracks

Do you ever feel like putting on a pair of bright

red track shorts and kicking back in a pair of white

Nikes? No? Well, maybe you’re starring in your own

‘80s style music video where you’re skipping rope

in slow motion — getting all sweaty while looking

longingly at your cutie crush waiting at the bus

stop across the street. This is what comes to mind

as I listen to Wild Nothing’s newest album, Indigo.

The album itself has just the right amount

of angst to keep listeners coming back. The

tracks naturally make for an easy listen with the

perfect mixture of groove and trance. The song

“Dollhouse” made me stop and reflect on what the

album taught me so far, and afterwards, the track

“Canyon on Fire” dragged me back down to Earth.

Overall, Indigo is a stellar album with a lot of

mysterious qualities. It’ll take at least a second

listen all the way through to grasp its depth, so

smash that repeat button.

• Logan Peters


Stay Dangerous

Def Jam Recordings

My Krazy Life and Still Brazy are stone cold,

watershed moments in West-coast gangsterism,

not to mention two of the tightest conceptual

albums in the greater gangsta rap oeuvre. Both

transported the listener deep into YG’s cold

psyche, allowing them to witness Compton’s

secrets through his eyes and understand the

circumstances of surviving another day in one of

the most notoriously dangerous neighborhood

in North America. In a violently hectic manner,

they affirmed YG as one of the most complete

auteurs of his generation. With that in mind,

Stay Dangerous feels like a step backwards. It’s a

perfectly serviceable album and choice cuts are

guaranteed to be heard rattling car windows for

the remainder of the summer. But the cohesion

that made his first two albums so enthralling is

no longer there. In reuniting with DJ Mustard,

YG largely conceded the adventurousness that

illuminated the darkest folds of his grey matter for

a manufactured consistency.

• Thomas Johnson


September 2018


Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals

Safe & Sound Music Fest (Westminster Pier Park)

August 25, 2018

Yes Lawd! Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals

wowed the crowd with an electric headlining set at

Safe & Sound Music Fest.

Hands in the air, voices singing along to every

word, it’s safe to say the audience was glowed up. It’s

been nearly three years since .Paak released Malibu,

but the songs aren’t getting old.

The young artist certainly lives up to the hype. He’s

an energetic force onstage and his band is stacked

with solid musicians.

The set was Malibu heavy, the same material

as their September 2016 show at the Vogue, but

arrangements have evolved and the performances

have developed over the years.

.Paak delivered an electric performance, taking to

Photo by Darrole Palmer

the stage in matching banana print shirt and shorts

with some groovy dance moves. He started off with

the bouncy, bassy “Come Down,” urging his fans, “y’all

gotta get down.” He followed it with “The Waters,”

and “Glowed Up,” his Kaytranada collaboration.

Then he took to the drums for his newest song,

“Bubblin.” .Paak’s skillset truly shines when he

showcases his ability to drum while delivering solid

vocal performances. A highlight of the night was

“The Season / Carry Me” with .Paak’s high energy and

enthusiastic singing from the audience.

The Free Nationals are stellar musicians, but Ron

Tnava Avant on keys stands out with his energy,

impressively diverse solos and vocoder stylings.

The audience’s enthusiasm was rewarded with an

encore that included “The Bird” and “The Dreamer.”

It was an astounding performance that ended the

second annual Safe & Sound Festival on a high note.

• Lauren Donnelly

Insane Clown Posse

Venue Nightclub

August 16, 2018

Venue nightclub was filled with a concoction

of juggalos and juggalettes caked in white and

black makeup. Grins stretched from ear to ear

as they chanted “ICP” within the smokey blue

haze. There was a great anticipation in the air as

everyone waited for Insane Clown Posse to hit

the stage. It wasn’t long though before everyone

was united in an all-out freakshow.

The black tarp fell, introducing a Carnivalesque

backdrop. ICP members Violent J and

Shaggy 2 Drop hit the stage, opening with

classics “Great Milenko,” and “Hokus Pokus.”

The grooves were funky and the vibes were on

point. Within minutes, the plastic coverings

made sense, as ICP shook and popped two-litre

bottles of Faygo, an American soft-drink, onto

the dancing crowd. We aren’t talking one or

two bottles, they seemed to have an unlimited

stock and fired them off like a machine-gun

massacre, slathering the crowd in a sugary,

cream-soda scented sticky. Every-time a bottle

was used, one of ICP’s monstrous stageservants

would restock the soda cart from their

seemingly bottomless pit.

Being called the Milenko & Friends Tour, ICP

played songs from their 1997 album, The Great

Milenko, including: “Southwest Voodoo,” “Halls

of Illusions.” They also performed Bizzar’s “Let’s

Go All the Way” which blew the roof off the

venue in addition to a mix of new tracks.

Overall, the show was a live experience

far different from your average live music

experience. Fans left the show sweaty, sticky,

and locked with an unlockable grin after being

hazed in funkalicious grooves.

• Johnny Papan

Photo by Zachary Schroeder

Photo by Darrole Palmer

Queens of the Stone Age

Commodore Ballroom

August 4, 2018

Corporate sponsored shows don’t usually make for cool events. You

expect mostly industry types hoping to network and not many real fans

make it into the show. Luckily, this was not one of those situations. Queens

of the Stone Age at a venue as intimate as the Commodore Ballroom is

probably not going to happen again anytime soon in the future, so as

soon as Aurora (one of Canada’s fastest growing marijuana companies)

announced the secret show, it became the hottest ticket in town.

At around 10:10, just after a big Van Halen crowd singalong, the lights

went dark, joints were lit, and Queens of the Stone Age appeared on stage.

Opening with a crushing rendition of “A Song For the Deaf,” Josh Homme

and the rest of band showed they weren’t messing around.

Since this show was not part of a tour and the band are off the promo

circuit, Queens played a career spanning set that included at least one

song off every album (except the self-titled). To many fans’ delight, the

band chose to play a mainly deep cuts set which included Rated R’s “In The

Fade” and “The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret” and Song for the Deaf’s “Do

It Again” and “Hanging Tree.” Along with some of the bands new material,

they kept the momentum and excitement up the whole show.

After ending the set with their hit “Little Sister,” Queens left the stage

but the crowd wanted more. A few minutes later they came back with

“A Song for the Dead,” possibly the band’s heaviest song, and the entire

crowd erupted. The next six minutes was frantic chaos and when the song

stopped, the crowd knew the show was over. There was nothing the band

could play after that. Josh Homme lit up a joint and thanked the crowd

with a huge smile on his face.

• Joshua Erickson

September 2018 33




Month of the Metal Rooster

Roosters are known to be meticulously

clean and tidy, so make sure you’ve

got your closets organized and your

pantry stocked this month. The Metal

Rooster is known in the Chinese Zodiac

as the teacher’s pet, with perfectionist

ambitions and razor sharp wit. They

mean what they say and say what they

mean without concern for courteous

cultural norms or boring small talk.

This can bring arguments, but all for

the sake of getting straight to the truth

of any matter. This month’s full moon

combines happily with the annual

Dog Year, especially the fun-loving

Monkey, who is favoured now. This is an

especially good month for the visionary

Snake and the dutiful Ox.

Rabbit (Pisces): Time away from your

routine may give you a break to build

strength, along with a gentle shift in

your attitude. Fear not: new paths

and potentials are open to you now

if you are brave enough to take a step


Dragon (Aries): Extreme highs

and deep lows make this month a

rollercoaster for you, Dragons. It’s okay

because that’s how you roll and you

wouldn’t have it any other way, so make

hay while the sun shines, and lay low

when you might be in over your head.

Snake (Taurus): Investing in a few

fashion accessories might give you a

classy edge this month, and since you

are being noticed now, it’s a great time

to complement your image with a

classy upgrade or new avant-garde style.

Horse (Gemini): Life moves pretty fast.

If you don’t stop and look around once

in awhile, you could miss it! Watch for

the signs and symptoms of change that

are happening beneath the surface and

re-evaluate any assumptions you have

about others.

Sheep (Cancer): Money matters tie

you down and it’s likely you’ve been

working toward this situation for some

time. It’s up to you to make changes

you need, and your strength now

guarantees success. Make your move to

higher ground confidently.

Monkey (Leo): Knowing what you

want makes it easier for you to get it.

Keep your eye on the target, and you

can reach almost any goal you set. The

path of least resistance guides your

way without the need for argument or


Rooster (Virgo): Handling multiple

objectives concurrently may bring out

your fighting spirit this month. Slow

down and make your responses from a

place of calm rationale. It’s totally okay

to say no, and sometimes you have no

choice but to take what life hands you.

Dog (Libra): Discontent is unavoidable

from time to time, and the root of

displeasure lies in your ability to adapt

to changing circumstances. Use your

will power to put energy where it’s

needed, and to conserve when you can

to see real progress emerge.

Pig (Scorpio): Joining a sports team,

signing up for an educational program,

or taking a few night school courses

could be just what you need to make

some new social alliances and meet

the people who can enhance your

enjoyment of life. Get out there!

Rat (Sagittarius): In a great storm, a

wise bird returns to his nest and waits.

Chances are your decisions feel heavy

and weighted right now, and this could

mean that you’re about to set foot on a

new adventure – with or without your

current company.

Ox (Capricorn): Not everything you

know needs to be shared. Take a

quiet moment to discern who needs

to be acquainted with your deeper

personality and personal development

struggles. Although many share your

perspective, there are a few people who

just don’t get it.

Tiger (Aquarius): Volunteering or

putting in a bit of extra time and effort

in your workplace distinguishes you for

the ordinary crowd. You know what

needs to be done and, with a bit of

teamwork, this could be a month where

productivity takes precedence over love

or frivolity.

Susan Horning is a Feng Shui Consultant

and Bazi Astrologist living and working

in East Vancouver. Find out more about

her at

60+ Bands

10 Venues

3 Nights of Music from

1 Wristband






This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.


September 2018

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