BeatRoute Magazine BC Edition August 2019

beatroute

BeatRoute Magazine is a music monthly and website that also covers: fashion, film, travel, liquor and cannabis all through the lens of a music fan. Distributed in British Columbia and Alberta, Ontario edition coming Thursday, September 5, 2019.

BeatRoute’s Alberta edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

MUSIC IS EVERYTHING

AUGUST 2019 • FREE

Joji

HOW A

VIRAL

YOUTUBE

COMEDIAN

BECAME A

MASSIVE

R&B STAR

+

LIGHTS, THE NATIONAL,

THE REGRETTES AND

REVIEWS OF ALL THE

BEST NEW ALBUMS


Contents

BEATROUTE

BEATROUTE

BEAT

ROUTE

BR

BRLIVE

BRYYZ

CAN’T HELP

FALLING

IN LOVE

I D O L THEPRESLEY

Up Front

4

6

9

10

The Guide

The court jester of musical

parody, “Weird Al” Yankovic

remains relevant and, naturally,

weird as hell.

Drink

Don’t kick the can —

Canned wines are expanding

possibilities for vinos

across the globe.

That’s Dope

Hotbox Holdings design

cannabis accessories for

women with high standards.

Fashion

Transparency is in fashion

with clear bags at the forefront

of festival season.

Music

13

25

31

35

Concert Previews

Lights, Nite Sun, The Regrettes,

The National, Sorry

Youth and more.

The Playlist

All the singles we can’t stop

listening to this month.

Album Reviews

Flaming Lips, Chance The

Rapper, Jay Som, Kayla Diamond,

Nas, Sleater-Kinney,

Torche and more.

Live Reviews

Punk In Drublic Festival,

Deerhunter, Beast Coast.

MUSIC IS EVERYTHING

Joji

HOW A

VIRAL

YOUTUBE

COMEDIAN

BECAME A

MASSIVE

R&B STAR

+

LIGHTS, THE NATIONAL,

THE REGRETTES AND

REVIEWS OF ALL THE

BEST NEW ALBUMS

Cover Story

26

AUGUST 2019 • FREE

Joji

Joji has gone from YouTube

sensation to chart-topping

R&B crooner and we can’t

stop listening.

Screen Time

37

39

David Crosby:

Remember My Name

Rock and roll legend David

Crosby discusses the importance

of truth and the impermanence

of life in anticipation

of the A.J. Eaton directed doc

about his life.

Ming’s Dynasty

CBC’s comedy webseries puts a

new spin on small town humour

with rappers Whyte Wine and

Young Riesling.

Travel

40 Taiwan Tales

From walking the red carpet at an

awards show in Taipei to slurping

ramen and record shopping in hip

neighbourhood hotspots, we tap

into the music pulse of Taiwan.

Guns N’ Roses guitar icon Slash

brought his monstrous licks to the

Queen Elizabeth Theatre on July 18.

Check out our review of this show

and more online at beatroute.ca

YVR

43

44

46

Khatsahlano Festival

A smartass in all the right ways,

stand up comic Tom Segura

brings his hilarious Netflix

specials to life, poking fun at

everything from hurricanes to his

own double chin

YVR Agenda

Local festivals are turning Vancouver

on its head this month —

Vancouver Mural Festival, Powell

Street and Vines Arts celebrate

local talent and diversity.

YVR Music

Gothboiclique, Weyes Blood, Gin

Blossoms, Northlane and more.

PLUS! Live Music Cheat Sheet

Your pull-out guide to the best

shows this month in Vancouver.

KIRA CLAVELL

JOHNFLUEVOGSHOESGRANVILLEST··WATERST··FLUEVOGCOM

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 3


The Guide

Still Weird after

all these years

T

he

older “Weird Al” gets, the less weird

it seems that the man responsible for

writing perplexing parodies such as

“Beat It,” “My Bologna” and “Amish

Paradise” is still selling out tours across

North America, attracting audiences with his

broad musical comedy.

Some might consider parody music low

brow, but for the legendary Alfred Matthew

“Weird Al” Yankovic, it’s seen him nominated

for five Grammys with a series of number

one albums on the Billboard charts throughout

his 40-plus year career.

Since he began releasing music in 1976,

Yankovic has dominated the parody music

scene as one of the only recognizable

names in the off-beat genre. Yankovic was at

the height of his weird streak during the 80s,

releasing hilarious versions of the biggest

pop songs of the era at rapidfire. Most

notable was his gastronomical parody of

Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” — “Eat It” — that

transformed the pop banger into a deliciously

catchy spoof.

The end of the 80s saw “Weird Al” write

and star in his first feature film, UHF, a hilariously

absurd and underrated story about

a strange comedian running his own indie

fringe TV station.

Not the most sophisticated stuff, but his

spin on Coolio’s “Amish Paradise” is arguably

Weird Al’s greatest contribution to pop

culture and he keeps on going with his latest

“Strings Attached” Tour.

With the music industry often taking itself

so seriously, it’s good there’s still someone

like Yankovic, giving the relevant artists of

our time the gears. Amid the ever evolving

pop culture landscape, “Weird Al” Yankovic

remains relevant and, naturally, weird as hell.

Monday, August 19 / Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Wednesday, August 21 / Save on Foods

Memorial Centre (Victoria)

Thursday, August 22, Abbotsford Centre

Tix: $65-$574, ticketmaster.ca

By JOEY LOPEZ

BEATROUTE

Editor/Publisher

Michael Hollett

Senior BR Editor/

Western Canada

Glenn Alderson

Creative Director

Troy Beyer

BEAT

ROUTE

Editorial Coordinator

Sebastian Buzzalino

Web Coordinator

Josh Grafstein

Contributors

Ben Boddez • Emily Corley

Jonathan Crane • Lauren Donnelly

Jaime Eisen • Karina Espinosa

Kathryn Helmore • Safiya Hopfe

Brendan Lee • Christine Leonard

Joey Lopez • Dayna Mahannah

Maggie McPhee • David McPherson

Trevor Morelli • Sean Orr

Jennie Orton • Tarik Robinson

Yasmine Shemesh • Jordan Yeager

Contributing Photographers

Laura Balanko-Dickson

Mike Bibby • Aidan Campbell

Amanda Charchian • Kira Clavell

Zee Khan • Shervin Lainez

Graham MacIndoe

Giulia McGauran

Kathryn Vetter Miller

Darrole Palmer

Fraser Ploss

Aaron Rapoport

Amanda Leigh Smith

Lee Steffen

Claire Marie Vogel

Coordinator (live music)

Darrole Palmer

Advertising Inquiries

Glenn Alderson

glenn@beatroute.ca

778-888-1120

Distribution

BeatRoute is distributed in

Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary,

Edmonton, Winnipeg and

Saskatoon

Contact us

2405 East Hastings St.

Vancouver, BC

V5K 1Y8

e-mail: editor@beatroute.ca


@beatrouteBC


@beatroutemedia


beatrouteBC

BRLIVE

BRYYZ

beatroute.ca

ZAKK SABBATH AUG 5

DOORS 7PM 19+

THE DRUMS AUG 7

DOORS 8PM 19+

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT IMPERIALVANCOUVER.COM

UPCOMING SHOWS

JUNGLE PUSSY SEPT 13

DOORS 6PM 19+

SOLD OUT

WEYES BLOOD AUG 14

DOORS 7PM 19+

SYML & EXES AUG 16 MARK FARINA: AUG 31 SUN KIL MOON SEPT 2

ALL NIGHT LONG

DOORS APRIL 11 7:30PM 19+

APRIL DOORS 119PM 19+

DOORS APRIL 117PM 19+

THE MOUNTAIN SEPT 6 JOSEPH SEPT 12 YUKON BLONDE SEPT 12

GOATS

DOORS APRIL 117PM 19+

APRIL DOORS 116PM 19+

APRIL DOORS 1110PM 19+


Drink

Made. By. Distillers.

DON’T

KICK

THE

CAN

By DAYNA MAHANNAH

T

he ease and

portability of the

can as a drinking

vessel is nothing

new — picnics,

beaches, and

the pocket of your denim

vest at a punk show are

all places the crushable

container has a history

of fitting in beautifully.

It can go where the

breakable bottle cannot,

such as poolside and at

most festivals. Chillability

is also faster, what

with that tin conductor

being so cool. As long

as those perfectly-portioned

receptacles end

up in the recycling bin

— meaning less mining

of bauxite, the ore used

to create new aluminum

cans — they have a

lower carbon footprint

than their heavier counterpart,

the glass bottle.

Plus, any pomp associated

with wine-drinking

just doesn’t factor in

when sipping from a can.

But won’t the metal

taint that refined vin?

Not to worry. Things

have changed since

1936, when California

launched the first Kan-

O-Wine. Technology has

magicked a thin liner

that coats every can,

protecting that fine fermented

juice from ever

spoiling.

As Lisa Suarez-Tadus

from Between The Lines

Winery says, “Once they

taste it, they almost forget

it comes in a can.”

Outset

Sparkling Wine

Genesis Wine

Group Inc.

Ontario, Canada

$4.25 / 250 mL can / 10%

Made with a touch of

Vidal Icewine, Outset is

hitting the global market

— China loves this pale

gold bubbly. Pairs well

with anything spicy.

Order-in Szechuan

chicken, anyone?

Bollicini Sparkling

Cuvée

Donelli Vini Spa

Italy

$4.95 / 187 mL cans / 11%

Sipped on its own or

topped with OJ for

a morning mimosa,

Bollicini is a dynamic

import. Note: a fourpack

is two mL shy of

a standard bottle

of wine.

Bodacious

Smooth Red

Arterra Wines

Canada, Inc.

Ontario, Canada

$15.99 / 4 x 250 mL cans / 11%

A classic red “blend” in

the appropriate vessel,

finally. Take your pals

and a four-pack to the

nearest beach to watch

the sunset with a can of

full-bodied vino,

pinkies down.

Easy Rider

Wicked White

Cool Beer

Brewing Co.

Ontario, Canada

$3.10 / 250 mL can / 13%

This crisp, dry white

snubs any wine culture

snobbery, right down to

its label. A throwback

to Peter Fonda’s finest

hour? Who cares. It’s

counterculture to its

core, baby.

Underwood

Pinot Noir

Union Wine Co.

Oregon, USA

$15.99 / 375 mL can / 13%

Notes of raspberry,

cherry, and cola swirl

together in this

downscale Pinot Noir.

So smooth you’ll forget

that one can is equal to

half a bottle.

Seriously.

Lindeman’s

Pinot Grigio

Lindeman’s Wines

Australia

$4.45 / 250 mL can / 8.5%

A quintessential Pinot

Grigio from Down Under:

citrus, green apple,

a hint of spice. Zesty

yet uncomplicated,

refreshing yet fun, this

can-o-wine is better

than most Tinder dates.

Barefoot in a Can

Pinot Grigio

E. & J. Gallo Winery

California, USA

$4 / 250 mL can / 12%

Truly a summer wine.

Popping with fizz and

citrus, brimming with

apple and pear flavours,

it’s like a beach

day in a can. Or walking

Barefoot on… bubble

wrap. In a can.

Jacob’s Creek

Moscato

Jacob’s Creek Wines

Australia

$3.99 / 250 mL can / 7.6%

Not too damn sweet!

This moscato is gently

effervescent and its

lower alcohol content

means you can slam

them back. Just kidding.

But no pressure to

sip this elegantly.

Girls’ Night Out

Sangria

Colio Wines of

Canada Ltd.

Canada

$4 / 473 mL can / 6.5%

Bursting with crisp

berry flavour, this tall

girl of sangria is sweet,

vibrant, and has a

touch of carbonation.

Totally drinkable. Also

just as legit for a boys’

night out.

Big House

Cardinal Zin Zinfandel

Big House Wines

California, USA

$4.25 / 250 mL can / 13.5%

Big House prides big,

bold tastes — a nod to

the rebellious bootleggers

who helped end

Prohibition. This unruly

“Zin” in-a-can pairs perfectly

with a slice o’ ‘za.

6 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019


JUST FOR LAUGHS... BRINGING LAUGHTER YEAR ROUND!

That’s Dope

This month in Cannabis news and views

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

7:30 & 10 PM

QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE

TICKETMASTER.CA

ALSO APPEARING IN KELOWNA, VICTORIA AND SURREY

NOVEMBER 15 • 7 PM • ORPHEUM

TICKETMASTER.CA

Media partner

STARRING

IVAN DECKER

DEBRA DIGIOVANNI

ALI HASSAN

Line-up subject to change

FOR MORE INFO HAHAHA.COM

Friday, Septemb

Vogue

Theatre

voguetheatre.com

er 6 • 7:30 PM

OCTOBER 20 • 8 PM

QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE

TICKETMASTER.CA

FOR BLUNT

BABES AND

GANJA

GODESSES

Cannabis accessories

designed for women

with high standards

By JAIME EISEN

A

bi Roach knows that, toking on the go

requires style, sleekness and smarts.

“Women cannabis consumers have

slightly different lifestyle needs than

their male counterparts,” says Roach,

founder of Hotbox Holdings and iconic Toronto

stoner hangout The Hotbox Cafe.

“Whether we need to keep our outfit smelling

fresh, childproof airtight jars to keep our stash

fresh and safe, or a sleek light rolling surface to

keep your outfit weed-free.”

To help meet these needs, Roach has partnered

with cannabis lifestyle brand Canndora to

curate a package of on-the-go cannabis accessories

specifically designed for women.

Each Canndora Hotbox Edition is available for

$125 at Canndora.com and includes a smellproof

clutch with carbon-lined pockets with tons

of space for your phone, vape, and favourite

strain; a cute bamboo rolling tray custom

designed to fit into the smell-proof clutch; an airtight

nug jar to keep cannabis fresh, smell-proof,

and child-proof; the subtle and space-saving Official

Hotbox three-piece grinder with kief screen

and scraper; beautiful ready-to-fill Canndora

Darlings printed on tree-free all-natural hemp

paper, from a mix of edible soy, hemp seed oil

and natural pigments; and a $15 Canndora.com

gift card.

Legalization has helped evolve pot paraphernalia

from the tie-dyed glass bongs of

yore. Women like Roach are leading the design

charge to normalize cannabis use and reduce

stigma. She hopes to create products that

people are proud to use.

“We have a long way to go,” she says. “But it

is nice to see cannabis become a normal part of

people’s lives in the open.”

For more information about Canndora

Hotbox Edition, visit Canndora.com

Hotbox 3-piece grinder

Hotbox Bamboo rolling tray

Canndora Darling 6 pk

Hotbox Smell-proof purse

Hotbox Vacuum seal jar

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 9


Style

LET’S

BE CLEAR

1

2 3 4 5

10 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

T

he global wave of transparency

coming to a festival near

you is not just a trend.

We could all use a little

more transparency — in politics,

the media, and now in our live

music ventures.

Ever since the tragic bombing

at the Ariana Grande concert in

Manchester in 2017, festivals and

concert venues around the world

have stepped up security, making

transparent bags mandatory.

Several brands have taken the opportunity

to design their own take on

this safety feature so you can showcase

your stuff in style. As Grande

says, “Having a clear bag ahead of

time will for sure help things go as

smooth as possible.”

Whether it’s simple and seethrough,

or colourful yet clear, just

remember: it’s what’s inside that

counts.

1. adidas Originals Clear

Festival Crossbody Bag

With a slew of happy customer

reviews under its belt, this bag is a

frontrunner for the festival season.

Fits all the essentials. Detachable,

adjustable strap can go across the

shoulder or be strung through belt

loops like a DIY fanny pack. $45

2. STIL exposé tote

Designed by women and located

in Vancouver, BC, STIL conflates

clarity and organization. With goldtone

hardware and leather trim, this

sleek tote is diverse enough to take

you from the festival circuit to a job

interview. Or backstage at Orville

Peck. $79

3. Forever 21 Clear

Vinyl Mini Backpack

Go from Pride to Coachella to Shambhala

and back again in this strappy

and chromatic pack. Front zip pocket

for gum and big zip compartment for

fun. Stuff it with glow sticks at night

time and stay lit. $19.99

4. sweetener tour

clear fanny pack

Ariana Grande made clear bags

available as merch for her new

sweetener tour, and they are totally

affordable. Shipping takes three to

four weeks, so keep your festival

dates in mind. This fanny pack is simple,

small, and oh-so-retro. $10.43

5. GUESS Dalia

Lucite Backpack

This faux-leather trimmed backpack

is perfect for outdoor events. It’s

roomy enough to fit a light sweater,

water bottle, and snacks. Or stock

up on merch, throw it in the pack,

and stay hands free to dance like no

one is watching. $38.99

By DAYNA MAHANNAH

DAN JOSH MANGAN RITTER

FEBRUARY 7

MARC MARON:

HEY, THERE’S MORE TOUR

FEBRUARY 7

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT VOGUETHEATRE.COM

UPCOMING SHOWS

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

AUGUST FEB 6 12

DOORS 7PM ALL AGES

CODY KO & NOEL MILLER:

TINY MEAT GANG LIVE

DOORS 7PM ALL AGES

BURNA BOY AUG 17

DOORS 7PM ALL AGES

DOORS 6:30PM 19+

AUG 13

AUG 14

SOLD OUT

SEPT 6

DEAN LEWIS AUG 15

DOORS 7PM ALL AGES

CAFÉ TACVBA AUG 23

DOORS 7PM ALL AGES

YUNGBLUD SEPT 11

DOORS 7PM ALL AGES

SOLD OUT

LIGHTS AUG 16

DOORS 7PM ALL AGES

CALEXICO AND

IRON & WINE

DOORS 7PM ALL AGES

SOLD OUT

AUG 24

THE WONDER YEARS SEPT 12

DOORS 6PM ALL AGES


AUGUST 2019

HIGH

LIGHTS

Canadian electro-pop

star Lights, discovers

location-based recording

By BEN BODDEZ

EVERY

FRIDAY

REWIND FRIDAY

THU 1 STEF CHURA FRI 2 FRI 2

SAT 3 GOLDEN VESSEL SAT 3 FRI 9

SAT 10

NITE MOVES SUN 11 THE WRONG SHOW TUE 13

WITH BERNIE LOMAX & JONI

FRI 16 REWIND FRIDAY

SAT 17

SAT 17 NITE MOVES

WITH ALAN & BAZZ

MON 19

NASTY WOMEN:

THU 22

IMPROV SHOW

NITE MOVES

BRANDON

WARDELL

BYE FELICIA!

EXTENDED 3AM LAST CALL

NORTHLANE &

ERRA

UNIBROW FESTIVAL

AFTER PARTY

SAT 24 WED 28 MON THU 29

W/ MYNXY & TRIZZY

BI-WEEKLY

SATURDAY

DOORS 8:00PM 19+ DOORS 6:00PM 19+

DOORS 7:00PM 19+ DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS 8:00PM 19+

DOORS 7:00PM 19+ DOORS TBA 19+

NITE MOVES

JAK KNIGHT &

ZACK FOX

BI-WEEKLY

SATURDAY

DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS 5:30PM 19+ DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS 7:00PM 19+

DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS 8:00PM 19+

FRI 23

DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS TBA 19+

BYE FELICIA!

BLOWPONY (PDX)

REWIND FRIDAY

WITH BRYAN & HEARTBEAT(S)

GAUCHE

REWIND FRIDAY

WITH ALAN & BAZZ

CURRENCY

EXCHANGE

I think

fans are more

ready for artists

to show their

different sides

than ever.

“I’m sitting on the phone by a waterfall

right now,” giggles electro-pop singer-songwriter

Lights as soon as the

call connects.

Pop music and pop culture phenom,

Lights is on location filming visuals for

her upcoming tour at the place where

she recorded “Kicks – River Recording,”

one of the tracks from her latest

album, an acoustic version of her 2017

project Skin & Earth.

Each new acoustic version is accompanied

by a location on the track

listing. Based on how excited she gets

talking about them, Lights might never

leave these natural, open spaces

when creating in the future.

“Ninety-nine per cent of recordings

are done in a totally quiet room, you

feel like you’re in a psych ward! After

this whole situation, I could never go

back to the dark, lonely studio space

now that I’ve recorded in the desert,”

she says.

Lights is talking about Death Valley,

which she calls “one of the most epic

places I’ve ever recorded.”

“I was actually angry because you

couldn’t hear anything, it sounded like

a studio. And then the wind picked up,

and I was like ‘There it is.’”

The result, on the track “Almost

Had Me,” is stunning, a low rumble

that juxtaposes Lights’ vulnerable

vocal performance with the power of

Mother Nature.

Transitioning between two labels

and without the budget of her previous

releases, Lights decided to mix

and produce the full project herself

for the first time.

“That was an intense undertaking

for me,” she says. “I have a whole

new respect for mixers, because you

go crazy a little bit spending forever

CONTINUED ON PG. 14 k

REWIND FRIDAY

FRI 30 SAT 31

WITH ALAN & TREVOR RISK

DOORS 10:30PM 19+

DOORS 6:30PM 19+

HAYES CARLL

- CLUB NIGHT - PRIDE EVENT

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO WWW.BILTMORECABARET.COM

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 13


WEB SERIES

Make it a

must-watch

Starting August 21, submit

your pitch for a BC-based

web series, and you

could get $20,000 and

customized mentorship

to produce the pilot.Visit

STORYHIVE.com before

September 18 to apply.

August is

MONTH

Exclusive models · 6 months 0% financing · special pricing · contests

VANCOUVER

368 Terminal Ave.

(604) 734-4886

NORTH VANCOUVER

1363 Main St.

(604) 986-0911

MUSiC CONCERT PREVIEWS

LIGHTS

k CONTINUED FROM PG. 13

listening to the same thing.”

LIGHTS

Now that she’s crafted what

she terms her most intimate

and personal project yet, she

wouldn’t have it any other way.

The closing track, “Down

Forever,” capturing a moment of somber

self-reflection in a hotel room, is one that

Lights says overstepped her usual boundaries.

“I have my guard up for a lot of the

songwriting I do,” she says. “But no matter

how successful you are or whatever

is happening in your life, you still have

those moments. I didn’t expect people to

resonate with it so much, and they were

with me every step of the way. So I was

like, ‘Sometimes it’s okay to share the most

intimate things.’”

Skin & Earth was originally based off

of a comic book that Lights wrote, the

seven songs chosen partially because of

their correlation to the locations the main

character, En (who bears a striking resemblance

to Lights), found herself in.

Despite the logistical issues that came

with setting up expensive recording equipment

in remote outdoor locations, Lights

says it was all worth it to bring to life the

narrative of one of her passion projects.

Lights speaks at a lightning pace, stumbling

over her words and sounding nearly

breathless when talking about her comic

book, especially now that writers have

signed on to turn it into a TV show.

“They’re always emailing me these questions

about world-building and history and

lore, and I have answers because it’s all in

my head,” she says.

For all of the many talents that Lights

Friday, August 16

Vogue Theatre (Vancouver)

Tix:$34-59, eventbrite.ca

does possess, she expressed

no desire to play her red-headed

likeness on screen.

“I’m a terrible actor,” she says.

“I’ll do some Stan Lee cameos in

the show.”

Skin & Earth (Acoustic) is now the third

time Lights has acoustically revisited an

album two years later, a process which she

says has become “imperative” to fully drawing

out all the depths of her songwriting.

“I feel like I got more intimacy out of a

new version of the same song,” she says.

“You can extend the life of something by

showing this other side. It’s just turned into

this really wicked extension of who I am

and what my career’s capable of.”

In fact, Lights made an effort to only

“acoustify” – “is that a word?” she asks –

her loudest tracks.

”It was more fun to turn a big epic heavy

song into a quiet intimate song than an

already intimate one. There’s no irony in

that. That’s the most exciting part of these

acoustic versions, doing it in an entirely

new way.”

Inspired by her recent work with electronic

producers Felix Cartal and Deadmau5,

who she will support on tour in the

fall with yet another more EDM-based new

version of her songs, Lights is currently

trying to see everything in a way that’s just

as multifaceted as her music.

“It really rings true to how we are as

humans, we are so much more than one

thing,” she says. “I’m learning that with

music, with writing characters for this TV

show, and with who I am as a person. I think

fans are more ready for artists to show

their different sides than ever.” ,

Artist to Watch

NITE SUN

STEPS INTO

VANCOUVER’S RAP

SCENE WITH

AUDACIOUS POISE

By DAYNA MAHANNAH

P

erched at a table in a bustling 24-hour

bistro, Nite Sun is unassuming at first

glance, scrolling through their phone.

But, half a grilled chicken panini later,

the non-binary Cree-queer-Métis

emcee is reminiscing about the first rap they

wrote at age 12.

“Do you wanna hear it?” says Nite Sun,

traditionally known by their Cree spirit name

Tipiskâw Pîsim, effortlessly rolling into rhyme

at the table. It’s this confidence rumbling just

below a low-key demeanour that stands out in

the crowded room.

Others are noticing. Nite Sun threw down

at the Khatsahlano Street Festival, plays a badass

rapper in CBC Gem’s web series, Ming’s

Dynasty (Read our feature on Pg 39), and the

short grindhouse film they star in, Nite Ride,

premieres this month at the 2019 Vancouver

Queer Film Festival.

Nite Sun pulls a string of melted cheese from

their plate. “I learned how to live as an artist at

a very young age.” They spent childhood summers

road tripping through Alberta with their

Grandpa and siblings, doing traditional Métis

dance and selling CDs along the way.

“He taught us how to hustle.”

It’s Nite Sun’s father, an artist and actor,

who has been both a monumental inspiration

and significant challenge in their life. He

encouraged his child’s love of music and,

because of his success, Nite Sun believed in

their own ability. But things changed in later

years. “I feel like I need to have boundaries

when I talk to him now. If anything I’m doing

intimidates him…” They shake their head. “He

also still lives in a colonial mindset.”

Just shy of 25 years old, Nite Sun continues

to speak of generational trauma and internalized

toxic masculinity with frank self-awareness.

Acting, burlesque and rapping are

proving healthy avenues to channel their pain.

“It catapults you into a stage of evolution.”

This fortitude and candour carry into their

music. Politically charged and addictively

sultry, Nite Sun’s songs burst with straight-up

lyrics that feel less in-your-face and more like

real talk with an old soul. They scrap metaphorical

artistry and press into generational,

systemic manifestations of colonialism with

stirring honesty.

“Trying to read between the lines — how

is that going to help us right now?” Nite Sun

wonders. “I just want to be blatant.”

Nite Sun performs August 1 at The Pace. Nite Ride premieres

at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival August 16, 7 pm at

International Village. Catch Ming’s Dynasty on gem.cbc.ca,

and watch for upcoming performances by Nite Sun on their

website, www.tipiskawpisim.com

FRASER PLOSS

14 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 15


MUSiC CONCERT PREVIEWS

I think the

main overall

takeaway I want

people to get is if

someone’s not

treating you right,

they do not

deserve you.

Lydia Night

Breakout Band

THE

REGRETTES

Lo-fi pop punkers bring their teen angst to the masses By Johnny Papan

Lydia Night has Night over a dreamy, tripped out audio Regrettes released their debut and her

packed a career’s worth of soundscape. It paints a macabre picture sound and lyrics are growing with her.

M

ega-talent

achievements into just over 18

years on this planet.

When she was just 13 years

old, her band Pretty Little

Demons performed at South

By Southwest and, following

their impressive set, she was

approached by actor Ryan Gosling about

joining his band, Dead Man’s Bones.

From there, the no-longer merely

“budding musician” has collaborated with

Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance,

recorded with Green Day’s Billie Joe

Armstrong, and is now steadily climbing

the music scene ranks as the colourfully

outspoken singer for The Regrettes, a

teenage punk meets indie-pop riot grrrl

act from Los Angeles.

Since the Regrettes formed in 2015,

the band’s musical maturity and rapidly

growing popularity has caught on in a big

way. Their upcoming record, How Do You

Love?, due August 9, could easily propel

the group into the mainstream.

The record opens with “Are You

In Love,” a 56-second poem read by

of “love,” describing it as an emotion that

“twists and turns and screams and burns

and makes you cry, but you like it.” These

sound like lines ripped straight from the

journal of an angsty teen whose perception

of romance was, in that moment,

shattered by a no good lover.

“I thought it was kind of the perfect

setup to the album,” Night explains. “I

really wanted to give listeners some sort

of context or preface to everything they

were going to listen to. I thought it would

make listening to the album a better experience,

knowing the kind of story you’re

about to be told.”

Night calls How Do You Love? a

cautionary tale, a warning about falling

in love, told from the perspective of

someone who has gone through a crazy

up-and-down relationship. The record

is a sonic evolution from their first

album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! While

the Regrettes’ first album is a grittier, garage-styled

offering, How Do You Love?

edges into a poppier atmosphere and

cleaner sound. Night was 16 when the

“When I was younger, and I was writing

love songs, I didn’t have much experience,”

Night says. “It was all based on

a big crush I had on someone or it was,

like, exaggerated stories. Now I’ve gone

through shit. I’m older, I’ve been in relationships,

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs

and I learned a whole lot about myself.

This album was sort of my reflection

on that and what I’ve learned. It’s very

honest, you know? Yes, there are still

exaggerated stories or whatever, but the

majority of it is just extremely vulnerable

and truthful.

“I think the main overall kind of takeaway

I want people to get, and that I had

come out with, is that if you’re not being

treated right by someone, or you don’t

feel respected or good about it, you

can leave and be okay. I mean, it sounds

super simple, but it’s really hard and complex.

At first, walking away from anything

can just feel like horror. But time heals. If

someone’s not treating you right, they do

not deserve you, and you need to make

sure they know that.” ,

16 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 17


MUSiC CONCERT PREVIEWS

THE NATIONAL

Indie rock stalwarts find meaning in

collaborative video project and new album,

dissecting life, death and everything in

between By MAGGIE MCPHEE

18 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

I think

having the film

as a touchstone

or inspiration to

work with helped

the album.

Scott Devendorf

I

t began with an email. Director

Mike Mills (Begin-

THE NATIONAL

Wednesday, August 28

ners, 20th Century Women),

ever the audiophile,

Deer Lake Park (Burnaby)

Tix: $65, ticketmaster.ca

slipped into Matt Berninger

of The National’s inbox insisting

they make a video together.

Having wrapped up all the visual assets from the band’s 2017

offering, Sleep Well Beast, Berninger threw a bunch of unreleased

songs back at Mills, planting the seeds for what would

become a pioneering project for both men: I am Easy to Find, a

mid-length film and an accompanying album, available now on

the band’s website.

Blending rich, beautiful melodies paired with Beringer’s

soothing baritone drawl, The National are known for their ability

to create emotional connections with their lyrics and music,

inspiring visual elements of life, death, sacrifice and redemption.

Mills and Berringer collaborated for more than a year while

the band was on tour. “It was high pressure in some ways,”

bassist Scott Devendorf tells BeatRoute. “But I think having the

film as a touchstone or inspiration to work with helped.”

The beauty at the start lay in all the unknowns according

to Mills. They had no idea what the end result would be and

they went into the work without applying any restraints. The

only condition, Beringer has said, was that Mills do all the hard

thinking. This open-mindedness gifted Mills with his first opportunity

to produce a record. His film sensibilities stripped

the album of any grandiosity to craft subtle and spacious

sounds, cinematic stories perfectly suited for the short film of

the same name.

In the beginning, the director pulled from stem files, unfinished

lyrics and vague notions of “The National themes” to

come up with the film’s premise. Black and white vignettes

punctuated by moments of pure colour weave together the

birth-to-death life of a woman, played by Alicia Vikander

(Tomb Raider), as she navigates the slow-burning questions

of being human.

Telling an entire life in 24 minutes creates drama, Mills

says, when faced with the daunting choice of what to include

and what to omit. Mills, in the end, highlights the seemingly

insignificant details that comprise a life, from stories shared,

to the sound of a voice, to the memory of a vase and the connections,

or lack thereof, with people along your path.

Mills’ first rough cut sent the band into a creative frenzy.

Every character from the short, even those who flash on the

screen for a few seconds, feel fully formed and complex. The

empathy with which Mills crafts his characters made it easy

for Berninger and his wife and co-writer Carin Besser to walk

in each character’s shoes. They would write songs from the

protagonists parent’s perspective or from particular subtitle

or shot which would then compel Mills to make changes to

the film like “playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from

each other,” as Mills puts it.

The fabric of the film fed the last third of the album. It imbued

the record with intimacy, populated each song with a

chorus of characters, and pulled Berninger further from the

self-centered safety of his seven previous albums.

“We were kind of more focused on making this an art

project in a way,” Devendorf says. “As opposed to Sleep Well

Beast, where there was no film, there was no ancillary material.”

Even though the film tells the story of a woman, and the

album includes a rich tapestry of female vocalists (Lisa Hannigan,

Mina Tindle, Kate Stables, Sharon Van Etten and others),

Berninger insists neither work is an attempt at a feminine

perspective. They’re much more interested in wondering

“what a person is.”

Whether intentional or not, I am Easy to Find feeds a growing

need for female protagonists. ,

With notes from Trevor Morelli

RIO

THEATRE

1660 EAST BROADWAY

AUGUST

2

AUGUST

3

AUGUST

4

AUGUST

5

10

Newman. Redford.

AUGUST

BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID

Quentin Tarrantino’s

11 RESERVOIR DOGS

AUGUST

Paul Simon

UNDER AFRICAN SKIES

13

14

16

AUGUST

WILD ROSE

Jim Jarmusch’s

THE DEAD DON’T DIE

Stanley Kubrick’s

EYES WIDE SHUT

THE BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB

AUGUST

Documentary

FRAMING JOHN DELOREAN

7 BACK TO THE FUTURE

Vancouver Latin Film Festival Double Bill!

AUGUST

Documentary

CHAVELA

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s

8

THE HOLY MOUNTAIN

AUGUST BUÑUEL IN THE LABYRINTH

OF THE TURTLES

Jesse Eisenberg

9 THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE

AUGUST Keanu Reeves in

AUGUST

AUGUST

15

28

AUGUST

30

PARIS IS BURNING

THE NEVERENDING STORY

* Additional dates www.riotheatre.ca

THE MUPPET MOVIE

40th Anniversary Screening!

Housing Doc

PUSH

THE INVISIBLES

THE WHITE CROW

RAN 4K Remaster!

Akira Kurosawa’s

THE IRON GIANT

20th Anniversary Screening!

Wim Wenders’

SPEED

DIRTY DANCING

The Gentlemen Hecklers Present

FOOTLOOSE

Steven King’s

IT

AUGUST THE TEXAS CHAINSAW

MASSACRE

Friday Late Night Movie

40th Anniversary Remaster!

AUGUST

EASY RIDER

40th Anniversary Screening

17 THE WARRIORS

AUGUST

Documentary

I AM PATRICK SWAYZE

20 Canadian Premiere!

AUGUST Cult British Horror!

21 THE WICKER MAN (1973)

AUGUST

THE CRITICAL HIT SHOW

#DNDLive

Francis Ford Coppola’s

APOCALYPSE NOW:

The Final Cut

*Also September 2

*www.riotheatre.ca for additional times

COMPLETE LISTINGS AT WWW.RIOTHEATRE.CA

S

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 19


MUSiC CONCERT PREVIEWS

Sorry

Youth

Dreams

Taiwanese indie band Sorry

Youth fuse rock, blues and

traditional folk music, bridging

a cross-cultural divide and

opening the doors to an

international stage

By LAUREN DONNELY

台 灣

TAIWANfest 2019

I

t’s 7am in Taiwan — a very

un-rock and roll hour unless

you’ve been up all night —

but the three members of

Taiwanese indie rock band

Sorry Youth are wide awake,

ready to talk about their

upcoming visit to Canada.

The band’s drummer Afredred is

fluent in English and leads the interview,

consulting with his bandmates

and translating at times. Lead singer

and bassist Giang Giang and guitarist

Weni chime in from time to time, adding

to Afredred’s responses.

Their Canadian tour includes

performances at TAIWANfest in both

Vancouver and Toronto and will be

the first time they visit Canada as a

band. Giang Giang visited Montreal

Jazz Festival eight years ago, but

none of the band members have

experienced Ontario or BC.

Sorry Youth is enthusiastic about

their latest album, Brothers Shouldn’t

Live Without Dreams, which has

been a long time coming. Brothers

is decidedly indie –– drawing broad

influences from blues, alt-rock, ska

and traditional Taiwanese folk music.

Epic ethereal interludes combine with

driving percussion and moments of

classic rock and roll.

The band met as university

students in Taipei 10 years ago and

released their first album, Seafood,

in 2012. Their second album came

out five years later. But despite their

name, Sorry Youth aren’t apologizing

for the wait. After their first release,

the band weren’t able to be full-time

musicians. They took day jobs, writing

the material that would become

Brothers Shouldn’t Live Without

Dreams in their spare time. That’s

where the album title comes from,

explains Afredred.

“We’d like to try to tell our audience

that you have to stick to your dream

and try every possible way to achieve

your dream,” he says. “This is how

we’ve tried to do it for the past 10

years — we have to work, but we will

try to play music after work or on

weekends. I think that’s the reason

we try to express the ideas of dreams

in the second album.”

The album melds Taiwanese

culture with Western sounds. The

CONTINUED ON PG. 23 k

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 21


MUSiC CONCERT PREVIEWS

Dublin

TO THE

VANCOUVER

CANADIANS

AND DINNER

FOR TWO

JOIN US AT 900 GRANVILLE ST

ENTER AT DUBLINCALLING.COM/VANCOUVER

@DUBLINCALLINGVAN

V A N C O UVER

SORRY YOUTH

k CONTINUED FROM PG. 21

distinct cymbals, oboes and

plucked instrument sounds of

traditional Taiwanese Beiguan

music expand into classic indie

rock on one song. On another,

sax and trumpet punctuate

dreamy vocals. The band isn’t

shy about experimenting with

different styles. They write their lyrics in

local Taiwanese language, which is its own

act of rebellion given Taiwan’s history.

“Taiwanese local language iwas kind

of oppressed from the government,”

says Afredred. Speaking Taiwanese was

banned from 1946 to 1986. When Chiang

Kai Shek’sNationalists lost China’s civil war

in the 40s, they fled to Taiwan,set up their

own government andperceived traditional

dialects as a threat to cultural unification.

Everyone was made to learn Mandarin, and

fluency was required for employment and

success. Despite the ban being lifted, it

remains a fight for Twianese to be heard.

“Language is a really important part of

our music,” Afredred says. “Besides the

language, the lyrics we are saying, we want

to stress the Taiwanese unique culture and

local social issues and the story behind

those issues.”

Beyond the symbolic rebellion of using

a once forbidden language for their songs,

Sorry Youth also address social issues,

inequality and activism through their lyrics.

“Heroes of the North Sea,” for example, is

decidedly anti-nuclear.

Their Canadian performances will go

further. Visual artists will join the band

onstage, uber-creative designer Xiao Zi

Liao — whom they’ve dubbed Milkfish Man

TAIWANfest

Sunday, September 1

šxʷƛ̓ ənəq Xwtl’e7énk

Square (Vancouver Art

Gallery)

Tix: Free

–– and installations by lighting

and animation artist “Super Tai”

Wen Cheng Lee.

“We want to make more

unique Taiwanese elements

more visible to society — to the

world,” says Afredred.

The band said they’re excited

to introduce Canadians to a kind of music

they’ve potentially never heard before, but

also to showcase art that captures the

spirit of Taiwanese scenery, and the social

issues at the heart of Taiwanese social

consciousness. Afredred cites the recent

same-sex marriage win as an example.

By fusing different influences they hope

to give youth around the world a new way

of connecting with traditional Taiwanese

culture. “We think it’s kind of a pity,”

Afredred says. “Because that music is very

interesting, very organic, and we think the

music should be passed from generation

to generation.”

Sorry Youth hopes they’re creating

something new while still honouring the

old. Listeners can get a taste of Taiwanese

culture and an impression of the

hopes, dreams and sorrows of the next

generation. The band is hopeful that as a

multicultural society, Canada will be able

to connect with their music and gain a new

understanding of Taiwan.

According to the band, Canada may

have something to teach them about Taiwanese

culture too.

“A lot of Taiwanese people live in Canada

and we are looking forward to talking to

them,” the band says. “To know their lives

and to know how they see our show.” ,

22 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 23


THE

STORY

HOUSE

The Playlist:

BEATROUTE

BEATROUTE

BEAT

ROUTE

BR

BRLIVE

BRYYZ

10 songs in heavy rotation at the BR offices right now

VANCOUVER

GRANVILLE ST

AND VARIOUS VENUES

2019

8

31

9

2

FREE

ADMISSION

8/31

STUNNING VIRTUOSITY

JU PERCUSSION GROUP

QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE

3

5

8

More information

TAIWANFEST.CA

RESERVE YOUR SEAT ONLINE

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8:30 NIGHTLY AT THE PNE AMPHITHEATRE

UPGRADE TO A RESERVED SEAT FOR THE

CONCERT AT THE PNE AMPHITHEATRE BOX

OFFICE STARTING AT JUST $25! LIMITED

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CONCERT AT AMPHITHEATRE BOX OFFICE &

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AUG 17

BLUE RODEO

AUG 22

VINCE NEIL

OF MÖTLEY CRÜE

AUG 27

UB40

FOR THE MANY — 40 th ANNIVERSARY TOUR

AUG 31

BILLY IDOL

AUG 18

ZZ TOP

50 th ANNIVERSARY TOUR

AUG 23

SMOKEY ROBINSON

AUG 28

COLIN JAMES

SEP 1

THE BEACH BOYS

AUG 20

98 DEGREES

AUG 24

COLLECTIVE SOUL + GIN BLOSSOMS

NOW’S THE TIME TOUR

AUG 29

I LOVE THE 90’s

VANILLA ICE, MONTELL JORDAN, BIZ MARKIE + ROB BASE

SEP 2

TLC

AUG 21

BURTON CUMMINGS & BAND

AUG 25

STYX

AUG 30

HAMMER’S HOUSE PARTY

MC HAMMER WITH SPECIAL GUEST BOBBY BROWN

1

Billie Eilish

Bad Guy (Remix)

(Ft. Justin Bieber)

The 17-year-old dark-pop wunderkind

updates her biggest hit with

a verse from her childhood idol.

We’re glad this track exists if only

for the cover art Eilish selected – a

photo of her younger self dressed

in a giant hair bow and rainbow

sequins, wall adorned with Bieber

posters.

2

Post Malone

Goodbyes

(Young Thug)

The unlikeliest of pop stars keeps

coming with hit after hit. Tacking on

one of Thugger’s most intelligible

verses in a while, Malone likens

himself to Kurt Cobain in the

opening line before continuing to

perfect the pop-rap formula with

his ear for melody and surprisingly

emotive vocals

3 Frankiie

Compare

Turn the volume up for Frankiie.

This Vancouver-based indie dream

pop quartet is gearing up for their

Paper Bag Records debut with

this dramatic single. The guitars

are drenched in a healthy dose

of reverb and the track contains

a chilling spoken-word segment

about social media that places it in

a decidedly Black Mirror headspace.

4

Hayley Kiyoko

I Wish

The woman who some call Lesbian

Jesus returns with a music video

where she becomes supernaturally

possessed to dance to yet another

one of her practically perfect pop

songs. Putting a filter on her voice

to sound retro and layering some

heavenly harmonies, this is Kiyoko at

her most dream-pop.

Single Mothers

5 Metropolis

The absolute disgust and vitriol

lead vocalist Drew Thomson puts

in his voice as he sneers “Big ‘ol

metropolis” is worth the price of

admission alone. A loud and urgent

punk track that essentially serves

as the rant in everyone’s head who

is struggling to pay rent.

6 Beyonce

Spirit

This track from Queen Bey’s

curated Lion King album captures

the emotion of the story in a way

that those almost too-realistic CGI

animals in the movie can’t. As much

hype as she gets, there’s nobody

else who can pull off those vocal

acrobatics

7 Rosalia

Millionaria

A short but effective single that

sees the flamenco-pop sensation

float gracefully over a rumba

beat as she sings a tongue-incheek

ode to all things materialistic.

It’s the first track Rosalia has

recorded in Catalan, a language

native to the area of Spain that

includes Barcelona, where she

grew up.

8

Devendra Banhart

Abre Las Manos

The Venezuelan psychedelic freakfolk

artist continues to demonstrate

that he’s one of the most

versatile artists in the game with

a track that sounds like authentic

mariachi music, but placed in

one of those filters that lo-fi rock

bands use. Close your eyes and

you’re on vacation.

9

9

Jenny Hval

Ashes to Ashes

A constantly surprising, shifting

and changing monster of a track,

Hval’s soothing folk-pop vocals

never seeming like they should fit

over the cascading heavy percussion

and laser synths but somehow

anchoring all of the madness. An

adventure from beginning to end.

Daniel Caesar

10 Love Again

(Ft. Brandy)

90s R&B legend Brandy continues

her knockout run of features

this year, showing why they

call her The Vocal Bible with

a smooth and low-key duet

with one of Toronto’s finest.

Caesar’s duets with female

artists are always some of

his best, and he matches

10 every vocal run here.

Brandy

24 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

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AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 27

26 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

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JOJI IS THE

FIRST ARTIST

FROM ASIA

TO TOP THE

BILLBOARD

R&B/HIP-HOP

CHARTS AND

THAT’S AFTER

HE RULED

YOUTUBE AS

COMEDIAN

FILTHY FRANK.

WHAT’S

NEXT FOR

ENTERTAINMENT

CHAMELEON

GEORGE

MILLER?

By JORDAN YEAGER

WHO

THE

HELL

IS

AND

WHY DO

WE LIKE

HIM SO

DAMN

MUCH?


BRCOVERSTORY

BRYYZ

JOJI

L

ike the superheroes he idolizes,

New York/LA-based YouTube

sensation turned pop star Joji

has made a transformation

as dramatic as any telephone

booth costume change.

Once able to claim 800 million

viewers for his YouTube

channel, George Miller, once

known by his YouTube handle

Filthy Frank, now commands

platinum album sales and

nearly 12 million monthly Spotify

listeners as Joji.

Though his first project under the Joji alias

wasn’t released until 2017, Miller existed prolifically

in the public sphere long before. Remember the

Harlem Shake? Yeah, Filthy Frank started that. The

character was crude, outspoken and self-described

as “the embodiment of everything a person should

not be.”

In 2017, Miller announced his separation from

the Internet world he’d created. He no

longer found the content funny, and JOJI

health issues regarding his throat, from

making voices for various online characters,

rendered him unable to continue

creating content for YouTube.

That same year, his first EP as Joji,

In Tongues, was released through label

88rising. Mixing downtempo, electronic and

ambient hip-hop vibes, it was an instant departure

from anything he had made himself

known for previously.

The next year, he followed up with

a full-length studio debut, BALLADS

1, refining his sound with soulful vocals

over lush and grimy textures.

The album is a collection of musings

on love, heartbreak and navigating

emotions.

Ballads transcend time, they’re

the anti-meme. Joji’s music is lofi,

moody and relatable; part of

the new wave of emo music that

is breaking barriers and tugging on

the heartstrings of sensitive music

fans all over the world.

The production experiments with

genre combinations that might not

Friday, September 13

WESTWARD

MUSIC FESTIVAL

Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Tix: $36.50-$53.50,

eventbrite.ca

seem obvious, but blend together so naturally it’s

surprising it hasn’t been done sooner. He creates a

sonic atmosphere through hazy, muted vocals and

vast, layered instrumentals. It’s well-made music,

independent of any reputation or identity Miller

had previously crafted for himself. Fans respect

the change of pace.

“It was all well received,” says Joji. “I’m pretty

easy going. If I see a thumbs up, I’ll just keep doing

it. I’m a person of expression, one way or another;

as long as I get to keep creating, no issues.”

Even when YouTube was his focus, Miller was

always crafting beats behind the scenes. His first

track was a re-creation of Lil Wayne’s “A Milli”

in sixth grade. He’s been honing his technique

ever since, and to great avail – the second single

off BALLADS 1, “Slow Dancing in the Dark,” is

certified Platinum. Though his success has come

quickly, he never really expected to make a career

of music.

“I was a very realistic person as a child, and

still am,” he says. “I like music, but I never

tried to do anything with it. I kept

it as a hobby for the most part. I

would project things that were

more realistic, and I would

keep songwriting to myself just

because I didn’t really think anything

of it.

“It was the one string of continuity,

the one thing that kept everything together.

No matter what I’m doing, I’ll always

try to put a musical spin on it. I just like music,

that’s the only relevant thread since day

one. I was expecting to be a businessman.

Which I am now, so that’s still kind of

going. I’m just a businessman that

can sing a little bit.”

Having built a vast platform

for himself, Joji’s philosophy

is to give as much

as you get in a way that’s

informed, thoughtful and

intentional.

“There are people

that take little, but as

long as they give the

same amount, they’re giving

everything they’ve got,”

he explains. “Basically, the more

I just like music, that’s

the only relevant thread

since day one. I was

expecting to be a

businessman. Which I

am now, so that’s still

kind of going. I’m just a

businessman that can

sing a little bit.”

George Miller:

aka Joji

aka Filthy Frank

aka Dizasta Music

aka Lemon Guy

aka Safari Man

aka Salamander Man

aka Pink Guy 3

successful material-wise you get, you should be

giving just as much back. If you feel the balance

is right in your heart, then you’ll know.

“Right now, I’m trying to figure out ways to

give back. I’m leaning towards medical and environmental

causes, because I’ve always been into

zoology and reptiles and the ocean. When I was

younger – if I wasn’t going to be a businessman –

I wanted to be like Steve Irwin. I’ve always had a

soft spot for that kind of stuff.

“I think it’s good to, at the very least, have the

idea in your head that if the world is giving you a

lot then you should give back the same amount.

If the world is giving you little, you give back the

same amount. And it’s going to be the same level

of success.”

You can take the boy off the Internet, but you

can’t take the Internet out of the boy. Despite

having distanced himself from his YouTube persona,

Joji maintains a strong social media presence,

like on his Twitter account, where he asks

such thought-provoking questions as: “Would

you drink Frozone’s melted ice water?” Obviously,

his insight on the matter was necessary.

“I’ve been waiting for that question to come

around – this is the first time someone has

wondered how I felt about Frozone,” he

laughs. “I might want to drink his ice

water just because it’s Frozone. I

wouldn’t drink a non-superhero’s

ice water, you know what I mean?

If he was just a guy who

decided he wanted to build

ice sculptures for the rest

of his life in his backyard,

I wouldn’t want to drink

that.

“But if Frozone skirted

past me in the city on his

way to fight crime and

the ice path was right

there, I’d probably

run my tongue along

it, I’m not going to

lie. Just to say I did

it. I’d probably get

my tongue stuck on

there, too.” ,

5 OF THE BEST

AT WESTWARD FEST

Westward Festival is Vancouver’s premiere multi-genre,

multi-venue music festival. From September 12 to 15,

Westward invites more than 100 top-tier artists to perform.

Catch as many as you can, but don’t miss these

festival highlights:

1

Black Mountain

Led by bearded icon Stephen

McBean, Vancouver psychrock

veterans offer the best

local thrills as they step into

their self-described roles as

the “anti-heroes of rock.” Their

fifth album, Destroyer, took their

spaced-out stoner jams and went

somewhere a little more theatrical.

Expect the unexpected in

their set.

2 Leikeli47

In a year where we have

more representation of female

hip-hop on the charts than ever

before, catch one of the rising

stars sure to join them. The

mysterious rapper has never fully

shown her face, often embracing

the anonymity of a balaclava.

3

The Paper Kites

If you’re more the type to

happily sway back and forth than

jump in a mosh pit, immerse yourself

in the dreamy harmonies of

these charming Australians. The

indie folk-rock group released a

double album last year and will

be mixing new material into their

wholesome set.

4 Lissie

The country-pop singer-songwriter

will bring her powerful

vocals and emotional lyrics

to one of her most stripped-back

and intimate shows yet, touring

off a new album where she

recorded every track with just a

piano. Her covers have received

a lot of attention in commercials

and TV shows, so expect to hear

some favourites with new spins.

5 MorMor

Yet another genre-blender

from the eclectic musical landscape

of Toronto and recently

co-signed by Daniel Caesar,

MorMor makes intimate music

that creeps up on you with a

voice that’s equal parts indie-pop

and R&B, blending it with lo-fi

electronica.

28 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 29


MUSiC

Album Review

A SMASH-UP OF ART, SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING • SEP 18–22 • CALGARY, AB

FIRE-BREATHING ART

ENGINEERED CONTRAPTIONS

INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES

TICKETS AT

BEAKERHEAD.COM

THE FLAMING LIPS

King’s Mouth

Warner Music

In a swelling return to form, the

Flaming Lips bring us another

universe to get lost in with

King’s Mouth.

The Clash’s Mick Jones narrates

the story of a sacrificial

King who throws himself on

the sword of fate for those

he presides over, and in the

process unfolds a truly cinematic

Flaming Lips fable that

harkens back to the golden

days of Yoshimi Battles The

Pink Robots.

There’s something comfortingly

familiar about this album,

be it the warm blanket feeling

one gets from Wayne Coyne’s

voice or the delight one feels

in following this band down a

concept album rabbit hole.

There are a handful of

gorgeous tracks, but it’s “All For

the Life of the City” that emerges

as not only the standout, but

a perfect example of what The

Lips do so well. Emotive and

jammy without wanking, every

single breath is essential and

nourishing, offering a big finish

when Coyne cries, “the king

is dead, let’s cut off his head.”

In this era of ruthless opportunists

in the highest offices,

King’s Mouth brings to life a

beautiful and expansive tale of

mortality and sacrifice, communicating

that your last word can

have an impact long after your

funeral pyre has been erected.

Jennie Orton

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 31


MUSiC ALBUM REVIEWS

Interview

RAPHAEL

SAADIQ

TURNS

TRAGEDY

INTO

BEAUTY

RAPHAEL SAADIQ

Jimmy Lee

Columbia Records

After seven years of scoring

films, appearing as himself on the

Netflix Marvel series, Luke Cage,

and producing records for other

artists like John Legend, Raphael

Saadiq returns with Jimmy Lee,

a dark and powerful blues-infused

R&B album that is deeply

personal, drawing on tragic tales

from his life.

Since founding R&B group

Tony! Toni! Tone! in the early-90s,

Saadiq has been struggling to

find the right words to express

the pain of his past.

On Jimmy Lee, a record about

addiction named after his oldest

brother, Saadiq sticks to his guns

with his natural old school R&B

wrapped in a sorrowful package.

Thirteen years apart in age, Saddiq

never saw his brother as the

stereotypical heroin addict seeing,

instead, a fun, loving and complex

individual struggling with something

deeper and darker than he

could ever understand as a child.

“Jimmy Lee was pretty much a

hero to me. A lot of times he wasn’t

present; he was in and out of jail, so

when he would come around I was

super excited to see him,” Saadiq

says. “I really held him up in a high

regard. I feel like sometimes people

who have addictions are looked at

in a different light than they maybe

should be. I saw him differently

than everyone else, so I wrote this

record not just about my brother,

but a lot of my friends who deal

with different types of addictions.”

Jimmy Lee acts as the conversation

Saadiq never got the

chance to have with his brother

before he was murdered by their

sister’s boyfriend during a dispute

over drug money. He’s spent years

exploring the topic of addiction

with close friends in the music

industry who have struggled with

addiction issues, which naturally

lead him down the path to writing

Jimmy Lee.

His brother Jimmy wasn’t his

only inspiration, all three of his

brothers were talented musicians

and victims of addiction.

“Desmond who killed himself

was 18. I was 16. He never really

got off drugs. He was messing with

crack, but he had a job. He was

a clean cut kid. I don’t even know

what happened but we came home

one day and he had murdered himself

in my dad’s house. He was the

drummer and he didn’t really like

music the way we did, but this is

why I ended up making this record,

too. I was thinking about what actually

goes on through someone’s

mind,” says Saadiq.

After the death of his brother

Desmond, Saadiq threw himself

into music as a form of therapy.

Twenty years later, his last living

brother died from a drug overdose.

During the writing stage of

Jimmy Lee, Saadiq received the

news that his sister had died in

a car accident when a young kid

being pursued by police jumped in

front of her car. After that, music

became all encompassing for

Saadiq. The music quickly began

to reflect Saadiq’s state of mind:

heavy bass pounding beneath his

youthful sounding vocals as they

tell a resentful story. Not resentful

towards the decisions that people

in his life made, but toward the

mental health issues that brought

them to their tragic end.

“I’ve always been running

and hiding behind music, really.

I never really wanted to talk

about it because I wanted to give

everyone else a good feeling that

was around me. When people ask

me, “Why now?” I just never really

knew how to sing about it. It’s not

something easy to sing about.”

After 30 years in the business,

Saadiq has finally found the

right way to talk about what he’s

been dealing with his entire life.

With Jimmy Lee, Saadiq sounds

like himself but honesty shines

through. It’s literal and hits like a

punch to the gut, but the beauty

and incredible production outweighs

the darkness. Jimmy Lee

delicately and thoughtfully balances

messages about the mind

with grooving soul. Saadiq is back

in full force and has something to

say, so you better listen.


Joey Lopez

SLEATER-KINNEY

The Center Won’t Hold

Mom + Pop Music

Sleater-Kinney can be a frustrating

band to follow. After an initial

blast of indie rock success with

early 2000’s-era albums, the band

unexpectedly went on hiatus in

2006 with no reason or end-date

given for the break-up. In 2015 they

returned to the indie-sphere with

the release of the excellent No Cities

To Love and now they’re back

again, this time with a crisp new

perspective on their sound.

This St. Vincent-produced effort

doesn’t disappoint. Think of it as

Sleater-Kinney through a new-wave

lens: deep synths oozing with swirling

guitars and sexy lyrics.

The steamy, danceable cuts

“Hurry On Home” and “Reach Out”

grab the listener from the start,

seamlessly blending sensuality

with more traditional Sleater-Kinney

fare like the mid-tempo guitar

jam, “Restless.”

Piano ballad “Broken” ends the

album and will be sure to give you

the feels.

Leading up to its release, the

band was thrown off its axis with

the announcement of drummer

Janet Weiss’ departure. If there

was any drama during the recording

of this album, you’d never know

it.

Eclectic, interesting and just

sensual enough to spark your

imagination, The Center Won’t

Hold is another fine addition to

the excellent, albeit unpredictable,

Sleater-Kinney story.

Best track: Reach Out

Trevor Morelli

OH SEES

Face Stabber

Castle Face Records

With their never-ending onslaught

of bizzaro psych rock releases,

Oh Sees are predictably unpredictable

in the best way possible.

Band leader John Dwyer’s latest

freak out is his third LP in as many

years and he doesn’t appear to be

slowing down anytime soon.

With any luck this furious pace

isn’t being lost on his audience

because Face Stabber is a memorable

trip down the rabbit hole.

From the rubber duck squeaks on

the seven-minute epic “The Daily

Heavy,” to full blown metal breakdowns

on the title track, Dwyer

insists on melting faces and taking

names as he descends into the

darkness of his warped mind.

“Snickersnee” layers on the

funky rhythms, while “Captain

Loosely” provides a sharp left turn

with ambient noises derived directly

from a fever dream. “Henchlock”

ends the album with a 21-minute

burst of jazz-fusion energy.

The wah wah pedal is never

far away for Dwyer and his guitar

squeals are certainly a welcome

noise in an age where neutered radio

pop continues to be the norm.

Face Stabber is perfect for indie

rock fans who like everything a

little bit louder.

Best Track: The Daily Heavy

Trevor Morelli

JAY SOM

Anak Ko

Polyvinyl Record Co.

Melina Duterte, AKA Jay Som,

has always been an enthusiastic

proponent of recording music at

home. On her third full-length

release she continues on this same

path, only this time she’s invited a

couple of friends to join in on her

once secluded process. Thanks to

these collaborative experiences,

she’s created her most inclusive

and refined version of bedroom

pop to date.

Compared to 2017’s Everybody

Works, the compositions on Anak

Ko contain even richer layers and

more sophisticated details. But

there’s a refreshing modesty behind

each track, and Duterte hasn’t

lost sight of her DIY roots. The best

example of this is “Nighttime Drive,”

a song that stands out because

of its sincerity and simplicity. It’s

a charming indie rock ballad featuring

an orchestral arrangement,

but it’s Duterte’s unhurried voice

that makes it memorable. Elsewhere,

Duterte flirts with different

music styles: whether it’s wistful

90s-inspired pop on “Superbike”

or smooth, rhythmic grooves on

“Tenderness,” she pulls her diverse

influences together into a cohesive

and enjoyable album.

Duterte proves it’s possible for

an artist to mature without losing

their sense of self. On Anak Ko

she’s taken what she’s learned to

create a work that’s new and exciting,

but still undoubtedly Jay Som.

Jay Som is performing September

17 at the Imperial in Vancouver.

Best Track: Nighttime Drive


Karina Espinosa

NAS

Lost Tapes 2

Mass Appeal/Def Jam Recordings

Compilations of studio leftovers

can be forgettable, easy cashgrabs,

but not for Nas.

The revered lyricist behind the

greatest debut in hip-hop (1994’s

Illmatic) dropped his first installment

of The Lost Tapes in 2002,

restoring faith for many that he

could still bring it after several

lukewarm projects in the late 90s

and early 2000s.

The Lost Tapes 2 is the highly

anticipated follow-up. It plucks 16

tracks recorded within the last 12

years and again provides many examples

of that same flow, creativity

and down-to-earth sensibility that

sets Nas apart from most emcees.

“War Against Love” is a standout

track that addresses the many issues

faced by the African diaspora

across the world. “Queensbridge

Politics” includes a moving tribute

to the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep.

Even an experimental track like

“Jarreau of Rap” entertains, as Nas

brings a nutty triplet-flow over a

jazzy beat with a unique 9/8 time

signature.

There are a few weak R&B

hooks and joints that probably

should have been kept in storage

(“Tanasia” and “Queens Wolf” for

example) but don’t let that stop you

from giving The Lost Tapes 2 a spin

and saluting a hip-hop legend.

Best Track: Vernon Family

Tarik Robinson

BECKY NINKOVIC

Woe

Paper Bag Records

Becky Ninkovic’s debut solo album

is a testament to grief, but not in

the way you’d expect.

Dark and gloomy, Woe is inspired

by Ninkovic’s mental health breakdown

following the death of her

friend and You Say Party bandmate,

Devon Clifford.

Having suffered a brain hemorrhage

while performing onstage,

Clifford’s untimely passing and the

grief that followed permeates the

album. Yet the album contains no

allusions of grand wallowing or

self-pity.

A strange sense of discomfort

and urgency uplifts through repetitive

drum beats, ethereal electronic

experimentations and Ninkovic’s

strained yet commanding vocals.

Consider “Carrier,” the disjointed

and broken track is evocative of

a warrior chant with its repetitive

chorus.

Woe is intentionally awkward,

experimental and raw. With hazy

electronic sounds broken by primal

drum beats and lamentations,

it’s a far cry from easy listening.

Then again the soundtrack to grief

should not be easy.

Ninkovic’s album betrays this

human condition with rebellious

flair. Woe is not for those seeking

to wallow in sadness, but rather to

rob it of all value and run for higher

plains.

Best Track: Drums


Kathryn Helmore

CHANCE

THE RAPPER

The Big Day

Independent

Weird as it is, this is technically

Chance The Rapper’s debut album,

given that his past releases were

all termed “mixtapes.” Chance

has said he wanted to save that

arbitrary “album” label for his best

work. And while The Big Day might

not be that, it’s certainly his most

defining.

There’s something for every type

of Chance fan here, from the acid

trippers to the soccer moms. The

Big Day is a blend of the irreverent

creative spirit of Acid Rap and the

gospel/soul wholesomeness of

Coloring Book.

A concept album centered

around his wedding day last March,

Chance manages to translate that

feeling of nervous anticipation and

excitement into song. It’s long, and

it doesn’t quite flow together, but

so are weddings and everyone

loves those – as a couple of meta

skits explain.

A lot of people rip on Chance for

being cheesy and overly positive,

but the celebratory gospel sound

and the genuine delivery behind

some of the more emotional tracks

makes it genuinely feel-great

music. With guests ranging from

Randy Newman to Death Cab for

Cutie’s Ben Gibbard to Megan

Thee Stallion, The Big Day is the

most insane but undeniably fun

wedding reception you’ve ever

been to.

Best Track: I Got You

(Always and Forever)

Ben Boddez

32 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 33


MUSiC ALBUM REVIEWS

SHEER MAG

A Distant Call

Wilsuns RC

In 2017, the nostalgic edge of

Sheer Mag’s debut LP established

the four Pennsylvanian rockers

as a creative force in music. Their

70s-inspired sound struck a playful

balance between garage rock grit

and the soulful vibrance of power

pop. Now Sheer Mag emerge with

A Distant Call, an album that injects

a healthy dose of modern life into

classic rock.

Tina Halladay’s primal scream

kicks off opener “Steel Sharpens

Steel,” setting the tone as a

shameless throwback to rock and

roll, pure and true. Her bold belt

carries explosive guitar chords

and anthemic lyrics, energizing

everything it touches. As she takes

flight in the undeniable catchiness

of “Blood From A Stone,” mellow

rocks the overtly American

track “Silver Line,” bops “Unfound

Manifest,” and channels her inner

metal-head in “Chopping Block,”

she proves familiarity and versatility

aren’t mutually exclusive.

Halladay’s howl is a constant, but

just as we start to get comfortable,

incendiary riffs bring us back to the

edge of our seats, enhancing and

expanding breakneck songs like

“The Killer.”

Sheer Mag’s fighter-rock sound

has juggled the punky, funky, heavy

and light. There’s no denying A

Distant Call is Sheer Mag’s first

outright headbanger of an album

and our necks are already aching.

Sheer Mag are performing September

16 at the Biltmore Cabaret

in Vancouver.

Best Track: The Killer

Safiya Hopfe

34 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

TORCHE

Admission

Relapse Records

Miami sludge-slingers Torche open

the floodgates to a tide of bludgeoning

downstrokes and impenetrable

riffage with Admission.

A prelude to fear, the first cut,

“From Here,” surveys an urban

wasteland through eerie melting

harmonies before the divine

onslaught of “Submission” strikes

an authoritative stance that strains

and heaves over what it has conquered.

The uphill battle continues as

Torche dives into the deep end of

the groove mine, demonstrating

what 15 years of grinding down

their rough edges sounds like. Wallhigh

guitar surges and stealthy

percussion reflect the punishing

summer heat, while oiled up “Slide”

and pyroclastic “Time Missing”

model their muscular mortal physiques.

Power and restraint collide as

“What Was,” “Extremes of Consciousness”

and “Infierno” wrestle

against internal strife and social

self-immolation. Even still the cascading

crescendos and cool fluidity

of “Reminder,” “On the Wire,” and

“Changes” prove hardy enough to

bear the weight of Torche’s soft

underbelly.

One of the bright spots that

parts the album’s apocalyptic

clouds, the beautifully intricate title

track pierces polluted heavens

and heart with brilliant streaks of

inspiration. A pensive but passionate

album, Admission radiates an

ominous sadness that descends

directly from the seasoned band’s

realization and appreciation of life’s

impermanence.

Torche perform in Vancouver

at Venue Nightclub on Saturday,

Sept. 14.

Best Track: Slide

Christine Leonard

SPOON

Everything Hits At Once:

The Best Of Spoon

Matador

The “greatest hits” package is often

an exercise in redundancy that has

no real reward, especially for an artist’s

dedicated fanbase or promoting

megastars with heavy radio-rotation.

Too often there’s little to no

fun rehashing a good thing.

Spoon, the Austin-based arty,

punk, experimental band who

became the glowing definition of

“indie rock” in the 2000s, have had

a string of highly-successful albums

and singles in their 25-year history.

At the same time, it’s hard to

argue they are over-exposed.

Spearheading the band is

Britt Daniel, whose intimate and

well-rounded knowledge of many

things that either pre-dated punk or

were firmly planted in the commercial

world is why Spoon morphed

into their iconic status. The melody

and rhythms of the Beatles, Prince,

Bowie and even Zeppelin are woven

secretly and sometimes blatantly

into their music brimming with

imagination.

While those connections seem

vague in the angular, off-beat, disco

shuffle of “I Turn My Camera On,”

which single-handedly revolutionized

the dance-punk craze, it

doesn’t matter — that’s precisely

Spoon’s charm, inspired by everything

and nothing in particular.

However, when they slip into the

joyous romp of “The Underdog,”

complete with handclaps, maracas,

tambourines and trumpets, the Irish

sway of Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy’s

Phil Lynott comes pouring out.

Song after song of adding secrets

or wearing it on their sleeve makes

this collection simply great.

Best Track: Everything Hits At

Once


Brad Simm

KAYLA DIAMOND

Dirty Laundry EP

Pheromone Recordings

In a subversion of the usual success

story, Toronto electro-pop

singer Kayla Diamond walked away

from a law degree when she won a

songwriting competition and gained

the attention of various record

labels. Thank goodness she did,

because Dirty Laundry is some of

the most refreshing pop music to

be released this year.

Diamond fits right in to the wave

of nostalgia for the shimmering

synths and funk influence of early

2000s-era pop currently making a

resurgence, a sound she accentuates

with confident lyrics mostly

aimed at proving she’s the one

winning the breakup. She even

declares, on “Look At Me Now,”

that her former flame’s mistakes

are contributing directly to her cash

flow.

The project stands at a brief

six tracks, but that’s enough to

capture the listener’s attention. This

is high-octane, dance floor-ready

pop music, and it’s all the more fun

when she throws in retro elements

like vocoders and modern electronic

production, the rhythms verging

on future-bass at times.

Diamond has named Robyn as a

major influence to her sound, and

it’s easy to see why – the best pop

songs always capture that feeling

of dancing the pain away, and

combining the anger in her voice

with huge, memorable hooks does

just that.

Best Track: Next X

Ben Boddez

CEREMONY

In the Spirit World Now

Relapse

Former hardcore band Ceremony

are one of the most polarizing

bands in the genre — they know it

and they don’t care.

The bio for their latest offering

mentions “massive sonic growth

throughout their long, storied

career” and “one of punk’s most

unique and forward-thinking bands”

but it doesn’t mention that a lot of

this record could just as easily be

at home on the Stranger Things 3

soundtrack.

In the Spirit World Now is a

polished, pop-centric piece of retro

synth-punk nostalgia; think New

York Dolls glam, 80s New Romantics

panache and trashy Sunset

Strip rock and roll.

Interspersed with Ginsberg-esque

poetic interludes, the album

is nothing if not ambitious. Catchy

at times, confusing at others — at

least it’s not boring.

If 2015’s Joy Division-influenced

The L-Shaped Man pushed the

post-punk envelope, In The Spirit

World Now absolutely demolishes it.

And while there are no shortage

of contemporaries, from the energetic

B-Boys to Bodega, to the Devo-esque

Uranium Club, Ceremony

occupy a space all their own.

Best Track: Turn Away the Bad

Thing

Sean Orr

Live

MUSiC

PUNK IN

DRUBLIC

July 13, 2019

PNE Amphitheatre

A sea of studded vests, coloured

mohawks and alcohol-glazed

smiles flooded the

PNE Amphitheatre for Punk In

Drublic.

Beer sample tokens were given

to early-arriving patrons who

enjoyed a selection of more

than 40 local crafts beneath the

clear blue sky. The stage was

beautifully complemented by a

mountain backdrop as The Last

Gang took the stage around 2

pm.

After explosive performances

by Chixdiggit, the politically-charged

Anti-Flag and

Vancouver’s own Celtic-punk

powerhouse The Real McKenzies,

co-headliner Bad Religion

commanded the stage with a

mix of new tracks and classic

fan-favourites, resulting in a

unified echo of singing from the

crowd throughout. After nearly

40 years on the mic, Bad Religion

frontman Greg Graffin has

not lost a step in his voice.

The night ended with punkrock

pranksters NOFX. Frontman

Fat Mike stepped onstage

in a burgundy dress as the

band played hard-hitting tracks

that unleashed chaos within

the many mosh pits. The band

dropped crude banter between

songs as Fat Mike took straight

shots of liquor, slowly hitting a

charmingly drunken-haze and

sometimes forgetting what

songs he was supposed to be

playing. NOFX fans understand

that it’s part of the show.

The band ended their set with

an ensemble dance number and

a pre-recorded racy show-tune

about how “everyone’s a little bit

racist.”


Johnny Papan

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 35

MIKE BIBBY


ZEE KHAN

Live

MUSiC

DEERHUNTER

July 22, 2019

Rickshaw Theatre

Deerhunter’s Vancouver show marked the end

of their North American leg of tour and the

shoegazing indie legend’s set was hypnotic from

start to finish. Every guitar riff, every perfectly

synched instrumental, every accentuated wash

of reverb was flawless.

The band largely stuck to playing tracks

from their latest album, Why Hasn’t Everything

Already Disappeared, with a speckling of old favourites.

The crowd highlight was “Desire Lines”

from 2010’s behemoth Halcyon Digest.

A vast range of sonic delights were served

up throughout their intimate and rousing set,

coupled with the haunting vocals of Cox and a

healthy dose of interaction with the audience.

Deerhunter’s own drummer Moses Archuleto

(AKA Moon Diagrams) opened the show with

heavy cinematic splendour. Initially, this seemed

a stark contrast to the trademark, lighthearted,

pop-driven Deerhunter sound. But the band’s

live performance is an entirely different beast

from the Sunday-afternoon-daydream experience

of their impressive discography.

The evening’s final offering of three encores,

including a crushingly emotive violin interlude,

confirmed Deerhunter’s status as masters of the

crescendo.

Emily Corley

BEAST COAST

July 25, 2019

PNE Forum

Beast Coast (Joey Bada$$ and Flatbush

Zombies) brought high energy to

an equally energetic crowd during their

Escape From New York tour stop in

Vancouver in support of their first album

as a collective.

Complete with flashing lights, an

enormous inflatable Statue of Liberty

head and aerial backflips from members

of Flatbush Zombies who were strapped

into stage harnesses, the show was a

spectacle.

Rattling off track after track, Flatbush

Zombies and Joey Bada$$ were playful

with the crowd, hyping fans up with songs

from Beast Coast as well as their respective

sound defining projects, Clockwork

Indigo and 1999.

During his solo set, Joey Bada$$

apologized for not participating in any of

the stage acrobatics due to an injury, but

he made up for it with a few unreleased

tracks including the slower more contemplative

“Ground Zero.”

After a few moments of lighters in the

air and gentle swaying, the crowd was

ready to mosh again with all of Beast

Coast coming out to end the night with

three encores, leaving everyone with the

motivational messages of “OPEN YOUR

MIND” and “DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR-

SELF.”

Helena Zhang

DARROLE PALMER

SCREEN TIME

DAVID

CROSBY

Director A.J. Eaton’s Remember My Name

turns an honest lens on rock and roll legend

David Crosby By DAVID MCPHERSON

T

ime is not on David Crosby’s side.

If this is indeed his final act, the legendary songwriter

has no plans to go gently into that good night. As a

two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

(The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash) with five decades

of pop stardom behind him, the reality is that musically

he has nothing to prove; yet, in the last five years, since the

dissolution of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY), following the

supergroup’s 2015 tour, he’s had one of the most productive periods

of his career, releasing four records, with a fifth on the way.

This creative reawakening piqued the interest of filmmaker

A.J. Eaton. The result: the director’s first full-length documentary,

David Crosby: Remember My Name, which debuted at the

Sundance Film Festival this past January.

Honesty is the film’s central conceit. Twelve-step programs

teach us that honesty is all we’ve got. As a past AA member for

14 years, the songwriter embraces these teachings. Rather than

resort to a puff piece or hagiography—like so many celebrity

documentaries—Eaton, co-producer Cameron Crowe, along

with their main subject Crosby, knew that to do this right, it had

to be the most honest piece on the pop icon ever produced.

BeatRoute: Why now? What

was the inspiration to create and

release this documentary at this

time?

David Crosby: Largely because of

this surge of work. It doesn’t make

a whole lot of sense to me. I was

supposed to be dead 20 years ago.

At the end of your life, you

should just wave and go off into the

distance gracefully, but instead I’ve

made four records and into a fifth

one. That is not how it is supposed

to go. This got AJ’s [director A.J.

“There were a

couple of times I

said to them,

‘Don’t put that in

the movie,’ and

they still put it in;

my only job in the

movie is to not lie.”

Eaton] attention. He thought it

was fascinating and said he wanted

to do a documentary about it. I

was like, ‘Yeah kid, sure, whatever!’

Then producer Jill Mazursky

mentioned it to Cameron Crowe.

He’s known me since he was 15.

You know the Almost Famous

movie, right? He was the kid and

we [CSNY] were the band.

Cameron said, ‘Let me ask him

the questions.’ Since he is my

friend, they knew I would open

up to him; he knows where all the

bones are buried. He was in the

dressing room when the bones

were being buried!

BR: As you told me when we

jumped on this call, some people

felt this film is too in-your-face,

that there is too much truth and

honesty to handle, but that’s the

point, right?

DC: Definitely. Cameron [Crowe],

AJ [Eaton] and I have all seen

how other people make documentaries

and we did not want

to do that. What I call a shine

job, where they say, ‘isn’t that

CONTINUED ON PG. 38 k

Review

David Crosby:

Remember

My Name

David Crosby: Remember My

Name is a frank feature about

a complicated soul seeking solace,

redemption and catharsis

as he lives out the final chapters

of his life. In this telling tale,

Crosby stars as the flawed human

being in his own melodrama.

It’s an in-your-face, no holds

barred bearing of the truth. Can

you handle it?

This intimate, honest portrait

of an artist as an old man is a

collaboration between director

A.J. Eaton and Oscar-winning

producer Cameron Crowe (Jerry

Maguire, Almost Famous); it’s a

raw and powerful piece of cinema.

Fear is the central theme

that weaves throughout the

93-minute drama. The septuagenarian

Crosby is afraid. What

does the songwriter fear? Death

of course. As he says when

prompted by Crowe (who has

known his subject since he first

interviewed him as an aspiring

teenage rock writer for Rolling

Stone), so can ask the most

pointed and difficult questions,

“I’m afraid of dying and I’m

close. I don’t like it … I want a lot

more time.”

Honesty is the film’s central

conceit. If you believe this chief

idea postulated by the filmmakers

and carried out through

Crosby’s heartfelt interviews,

you, like I, come away from

watching this movie moved.

Remember My Name leaves

the viewer with a newfound respect

for Crosby and a greater

understanding of the man and

his music. There’s no doubt,

when the final credits roll, I’ll not

forget Crosby’s journey. I’m sure

you won’t either.

By DAVID MCPHERSON

36 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 37


SCREEN TIME


34TH VANCOUVER

AIDS WALK

SUNDAY SEP 22ND 2019

SUNSET BEACH

OPENING CEREMONIES AT 11:30AM

David Crosby:

Remember

My Name

k CONTINUED FROM PG. 37

great, isn’t he cute, he is so lovely, etc.

etc.’ Those types of documentaries are

bullshit. They are as deep as a birdbath.

They don’t tell you anything about the

person you want to know.

I want to know what is that person

really about: who do they love, what

do they want to fix, what is going on in

their head, and what really matters to

them, not how many records they sold

in their prime. All three of us had a unity

of purpose. We knew the level that was

acceptable to us.

BR: Staying with the honesty theme,

you mention in the film that you’re

a ‘flawed human.’ I loved this brutal

honesty. Not many people are confident

enough and/or are too afraid of what

others will say. How and why did you

do it?

DC: It’s a matter of choice and how you

go about things, really. None of the three

of us thought we could do it any other

way. If we were going to do this film,

it had to be brutally honest. Cameron

asked me the hardest questions I’ve ever

been asked.

BR: Were there any you didn’t or

couldn’t answer?

DC: No, I made a promise that I would

answer every question he asked me.

BR: That must have been uncomfortable

for you.

DC: Yes, very uncomfortable. There were

a couple of times I said to them, ‘Don’t

put that in the movie,’ and they still put it

in; my only job in the movie is to not lie.

That was my main contribution.

BR: I’m guessing there was a real

cathartic effect to the whole exercise.

Was a weight lifted for you during the

process?

DC: It definitely is a catharsis. It’s the

real deal man! I got to lighten my load;

that’s what they teach you in 12-step

programs: to look at your life, your mistakes,

and your achievements, then learn

from it, set it down, and move on. You

really have to look inside yourself.

BR: I loved the stories of your earliest

music experiences and how these

moved and shaped you. First seeing

the symphony with your mom and later

hearing Miles Davis for the first time.

Music really is your life, isn’t it?

DC: For sure. I feel music is the gift I was

given. That’s an obligation. If life gives

you a scalpel you don’t use it to dig

weeds, you do surgery.

David Crosby: Remember My Name is

screening at select Canadian theatres this

month.




Web Series

MING’S

GOT

BLING

Comedy webseries

Ming’s Dynasty puts

a new spin on small

town humour

By KARINA ESPINOSA

W

hat would you do if you

were forced to drop everything

and move back

to your hometown?

That’s what Antony Hall asked

himself when he came up with his

comedy, Ming’s Dynasty. A CBC

webseries, inspired by Hall’s experiences

growing up in Coaldale, Alberta

where his family owned a Chinese

restaurant.

“That place was everything to me.

It’s where I’d go to eat, where I’d

go to do my homework, where I’d

spend the majority of my time outside

of school,” Hall says. “I always

had this idea to make a show that reflects

where I came from, and what

it means to be a Chinese-Canadian

person growing up in a small town

in Alberta.”

Hall eventually moved to Toronto,

where he met Calwyn Shurgold

while taking classes at Second City.

Their collaborative relationship

flourished when a friend booked

Shurgold to do stand-up for her comedy

festival. Instead of a traditional

set, Shurgold opted to perform a few

songs as a character he created: rapper

Whyte Wyne.

“I needed someone to cue the music

up on my laptop, and Antony just

happened to be there,” says Shurgold.

“He started out as my DJ, and it was

this Paul Schaefer-David Letterman

sort of ordeal. But we only did a few

shows like that before it became obvious

that we were way better as a duo.”

It was at that point that Hall

worked up the courage to pitch his

idea of Ming’s Dynasty to Shurgold.

“He’s the one that suggested we do

the show with our onstage characters,

Whyte Wyne and Riesling,” Hall says.

Ming’s Dynasty centres on the exploits

of two aspiring rappers, Whyte

Wyne (Calwyn) and Young Riesling

(Antony), trying to make it big in

Toronto. But when Antony learns

his dad is sick, he and Calwyn decide

to put their music career on hold to

help Antony’s family run their restaurant

back in Coaldale.

In the spirit of Canadian television

shows like Trailer Park Boys and Letterkenny,

Ming’s Dynasty explores the

wonderfully weird side of life outside

of big cities. The show aims to dispel

stereotypes often associated with

small towns, especially in the prairies.

“Alberta is often cast across this

country as the ‘Texas of Canada.’

People think it’s all cowboys and oil,

conservative and mean,” Hall says.

“But that’s not my experience. I have

friends who grew up in the same area

as me, and they’re gentle, creative beings.”

Rather than country music, hiphop

and rap played a large role in

Aspiring rappers Whyte

Wine (Calwyn Shurgold -

left) and Young Riesling

(Anthony Hall) are

forced to relocate to

rural Alberta to manage

the family restaurant.

his formative years. The local music

scene is a prominent feature in the

show. The soundtrack features songs

by Calgary-based hip-hop duo, Cartel

Madras, and in one noteworthy episode,

Antony and Calwyn encounter

Indigenous rapper, Nite Sun (featured

on Page 15), in a heated cypher battle.

It’s one of the many moments in the

show that defy expectations, but it’s

also indicative of a much larger cultural

movement happening today.

“Canada feels like a teenager trying

on many hats, and I think that’s

kind of a beautiful place to be. At the

same time, it’s important to address

what’s appropriate and what’s not

appropriate in terms of cultural identity.

I think using hip-hop as a vehicle

to ask those questions reinforces that

theme,” says Shurgold.

For Shurgold, the show is a reflection

of a country whose identity

is constantly in flux. But even as the

narrative changes to include different

storytellers, some sentiments

remain. Hall has been living in Toronto

for several years now, but he

attributes his drive and passion to his

Albertan roots.

“I’m fiercely proud to be from Alberta.

I really wanted to show that it’s

all about real people just chasing their

dreams and trying to make it work.” ,

Ming’s Dynasty is now streaming on

CBC Gem.

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38 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 39


TRAVEL

Taipei Tips

5 days in the

sleepless city,

searching for new

music, ramen

and records

By MICHAEL HOLLETT

I

’m a sucker for Red Carpets and

given a chance I’ll walk them,

whether it’s in Regina or Rotterdam,

Texas or Toronto.

My latest Red Carpet romp is

in Taipei, Taiwan in June at the

Golden Melody Awards (GMA),

no doubt igniting a series of elbow

nudges to neighbours on the other side

of the rope, followed by the Mandarin

equivalent of “Who’s that guy?”

The question is inevitably followed

by a shrug and the snapping of many

cell phone pics. People lined up outside

an awards show for hours anywhere in

the world want you to be somebody as

you parade by, so I obligingly add to

the confusion, flashing rock horns and

smiles and posing with unsuspecting

fans for selfies.

The GMAs are called the Asian

Grammys and are the biggest Mandarin

language music awards, drawing

mammoth TV audiences in the region.

Performers in other local languages,

including a good representation of indigenous

artists, are also celebrated.

I’m here to speak at a conference adjacent

to the awards as well as check out

bands at a series of concurrent GMA

showcases.

Taiwan has a remarkable music

scene and punches significantly above

its weight in terms of talent and impact.

I’ve presented a number of great

Taiwanese bands in Canada, including

the dreamy and evocative My Skin

Against Your Skin and big 2017 GMA

winners, super-solid indie rockers, No

Party For Cao Dong.

We’re among thousands packing

into the Taiwan Arena for what will

TAIPEI, TAIWAN

Jolin Tsai performing

at the GMAs

be a marathon show. There are no

pre-broadcast awards given out at

the GMAs, so close to 30 prizes are

handed out, each with acceptance

speeches, over the show’s four-plus

hours.

Foreign guests at the show are

handed headphones for simultaneous

translation, a relatively new addition.

I can’t imagine sitting through

the show for almost half a day and

not understanding a word.

Even up-to-the-second English

translation of the happy speeches

is not enough to keep a few of my

colleagues engaged. Post-red carpet,

pre-show drinks have taken down a

few attendees, as heads slump and

then snap back to attention as some

out-of-towners drift in and out of

taking in the show.

But keeping local fans engaged is

not an issue. None of the red carpet

intensity diminishes throughout the

night as screams are ignited like dry

tinder in the crowd. Even the earnest,

well-dressed seat fillers near me get

consumed by the excitement, routinely

unleashing ferocious screams

at the mention of yet another Asian

music star.

Nodding off nappers snap to attention

with each scream, whereas inthe-know

adjacent attendees learn to

jab their fingers in their ears before

each name is called.

The thousands of fans packed into

the arena never flag in their intensity.

And these music fans don’t bother

with homemade Bristol board signs

proclaiming allegiance to their favourite

stars. Coloured lights flicker

throughout the arena as fans hold

up electronic signs they’ve brought

from home, kind of like 21st century

GMA Red carpet

Lite-Brite toys, that exclaim encouragement

for their top-rated talent.

Canadians often lament the lack

of a “star system” on our shores but

no such problem exists in Taiwan.

Culture is vigorously supported here,

especially by the government which

provides plenty of funding for their

bands to tour the world and network.

I often compare Canada and Taiwan

because both countries struggle to

maintain their cultural identity living

next door to super powers, the U.S.

and China respectively.

Much as Canada once figured

out that we actually had to support

the music industry to survive in the

shadow of the American cultural

monolith with initiatives like Canadian

content minimums on the radio,

Taiwan too works hard to keep their

cultural heads above water. And it’s

working as acts from the island have

managed huge success in China and

throughout Asia.

The scene is so big that a few Canadians

come to Taiwan to write hits

for local acts that eventually break

big in China.

CONTINUED ON PG. 42 k

Taiwan band Shin

LIVE HOUSE

Live House is a term imported

from Japan, are relatively luxurious

venues to take in live music

and Taipei has lots of them,

generally showcasing Thursday

through Saturday except for

touring acts. The Gongguan

neighbourhood features the

most Live Houses, including two

of my favourites, the Riverside

Café and The Wall.

Other reliable venues in the

neighbourhood include: Witchhouse,

PIPE Live and Kafka By

the Sea.

THE PRE-DRINK

Taipei music fans are big

“pre-drinkers,” hitting the ever

present 7-11s and Family Marts

for low price beer before going

in and paying bar rates at

venues.

You can crack a beer almost

anywhere in Taiwan and while

bar owners hate it, budget

conscious music fans can’t

resist. (And by the way, public

drunkenness is not a huge issue

despite easy and low cost

access to drinks).

These stores are also popular

for ‘travellers’ at the end of

the night.

CONTINUED ON PG. 42 k

TOP PHOTO GROUP

40 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 41


TAIPEI, TAIWAN

k CONTINUED FROM PG. 41

This is my second GMA and third

time talent scouting in Taiwan, and

the awards seem fresher and definitely

more political than previously.

Last year’s GMAs felt a little old

school, the show was a bit corny with

staged, sometimes awkward, flirting

among formally attired presenters.

This year’s show is definitely targeting

younger and the result is a

speedier, more upbeat and modern

event. As you might expect, production

is beyond first rate and the

show’s visuals and graphics are as

good as it gets.

The first politics creep into the

awards when a Hall of Fame presentation

is made for the artistic team at

Black List Studio who fought for freedom

of expression during the “dark”

times of Taiwan’s martial law years,

which ended the same time the Soviet

Bloc disintegrated in the 80s.

A handful of award winners mention

the Hong Kong street protests

against the Chinese government and

calls for solidarity with the protesters

are met by supportive roars from the

crowd.

My jaw drops, not from exhaustion

but surprise when one presenter declares

her desire to “Fight American

Imperialism.” And the big winner

and clear fan favourite is Taiwan pop

star Jolin Tsai who wins Song of the

Year for her track “Womxnly,” which

she wrote in support of a victim of

Taipei 101 Building

homophobic bullying, and Album of

the Year for Ugly Beauty. She underlines

her anti-homophobic message

in her acceptance remarks, a fitting

hit song for the first country in Asia

to legalize same sex marriage.

Her lavish performance featuring

32 dancers performing in “blocks”

stacked on stage is a show highlight

at an event that features tons of elaborate

staging.

A key part of the week of GMA

festivities are the showcases that

provide efficient talent scouting for

the dozens of festival producers and

programmers from around the world

attending.

Three of the most interesting I

meet host festivals in: Mongolia, just

outside Ulaanbaatar (Playtime Festival,

every June), South Korea, in Seoul

and performances at the demilitarized

zone (DMZ), on the border with

North Korea (Zandari Festa and DMZ

Peace Train, Sept 26-29) and smalltown,

really small, Burin, Newfoundland

(Live at Heart, Sept. 24-29).

PRO TIP

White Wabbit Records ,

No. 1-1, Lane 21, Pucheng Street,

Da’an District – Check out one

of Taipei’s indie music meccas at

this combination record label and

store. The label puts out great

indie music and has worked

with Broken Social Scene and

Canada’s Arts & Crafts Records.

This cool, cozy and bright shop

features friendly staff, most of

whom speak English with a great

selection of music, books and,

surprises. Worth dropping by.

GMA showcases are open to the

public and some are held free, outdoors

in the Xingyi district of Taipei,

a posh neighbourhood where the Gucci

logo is not only on the head band

of awesome Mongolian wrapper Ginjin

but on the storefront of the namesake

store, just one of the many ritzy

retailers in this hood near the 101

building, the tallest building in the

world from 2004 until 2010 when a

Dubai skyscraper grabbed the title.

The NBA store in Xingyi is bound

to warm Canadian hearts as their

window display features a huge tribute

to the champion Raptors.

But the main showcasing is held

at Syntrend Clapper Studio, a slick,

shiny, well-equipped room on the

fifth floor of an electronics mall in

the Zhongzheng neighbourhood

that’s jammed with tech stores. Taipei

has the heartbeat of a young city

and the music scene thrives in Live

Houses, surprisingly un-grimy rooms

dedicated to live music. Live Houses

tend to be relatively new, certainly

modern with great sound and tech,

often with great video walls which

most acts take full advantage of.

The sleek Clapper Studio is no

exception, which explains why the

knapsack-wearing fans, and they

almost all have knapsacks, are comfortable

sitting on the floor between

bands.

Top acts at the Studio include the

aforementioned Ginjin who called up

two local rappers, ThaEiht and YZ

to spit with him and who together

confirm my belief that hip-hop is the

most universal of music forms. Listeners

don’t have to understand the

literal meaning of lyrics when the attitudes

and emotions are so evident

and beats are border-busting.

The trippy, brooding and beat-driven

sound of Taipei’s dynamic duo

Astro Bunny is a highlight and their

vocal-driven EDM vibe is beautifully

showcased by dynamic video behind

them.

Fans of BADBADNOTGOOD will

love Taiwan’s Leo37 and SOSS who

wrap some blistering raps in a jazz

and soul-infused package that piles

highlight on top of highlight as a

sizzling sax solo makes way for R&B

crooning all pushed by relentless

rhythms. Taipei-based frontman Leo

Shia tells me backstage afterwards

that he was born in Saskatoon, did

some teenage years in Toronto and

was back in the T-Dot before the

GMAs to be part of the Raptors victory

celebration and to take in Taiwan’s

No Party for Gao Dong at NXNE. ,

Taipei Tips

Raohe St. Night Market

k CONTINUED FROM PG. 41

LATE NIGHT EATS

Few will be surprised to hear there’s amazing street food in Taipei with

seemingly limitless supply of carts and vans dishing out noodles, dumplings

— try the ones filled with soup, but don’t burn your mouth — and

even Taiwanese fried chicken, it’s double-fried delicious.

There are plenty of night markets and they deserve all the hype with

an amazing variety of delicious food — deep fried chicken skin anyone?

— as well as cool clothes bargains and more. Shida Night Market in the

Gongguan neighborhood is great but my favourite is Raohe, although

the biggest is Shilin.

Ichiran Ramen

BEST BET

Ichiran Ramen, 11 Songshu Road,

Xingyi (City Hall Metro), open 24

hours – How good does a noodle

house have to be to have people

lineup, non-stop for 10 days

straight – a world record – to get

their slurps of delicious ramen?

This good!

I hit this soupy oasis, a Japanese

street stall that grew into

a small chain, the first time at 3

am and stroll in – to a weird and

thrilling meal. A somber host

hands me a pre-printed menu

with boxes to check to detail my

meal choices and says, “number

37” directing me into a room lined

with what look like sit-down voting

booths or those stalls people sit

in across from convicts in prison

on visitors day.

Parked in my number 37 booth,

I face a window-sized opening

and after checking the menu

boxes, slide it to the end of the

counter top where a headless

body snatches it away. I can only

see his or her torso through the

“window.”

Relatively quickly, a steaming,

beautifully aromatic bowl

of ramen is plunked in front

of me, the torso on the other

side of the window bows and

then drops a rattan curtain that

closes me off from the kitchen

to eat my meal.

Many call this the best ramen

in the world and I’ll have to

agree until I taste better.

GETTING AROUND

Taxis are cheap and Ubers are

everywhere but Taipei transit is

exceptional, like in much of Asia.

The subway system shames

Canadian ones as sleek, clean

trains run efficiently with low

cost tickets and barriers separate

travellers from the tracks.

And if you want to explore the

rest of the island, try the bullet

train system and cover a distance

equivalent of Montreal to

Toronto in an hour.

08.19

VANCOUVER’S ESSENTIAL AUGUST HAPPENINGSk

YVR

Tom Segura

gives a voice

to your

terrible mind

By BRENDAN LEE

Tom Segura has often heard

people describe him as a

“likeable asshole,” and there

couldn’t be a greater description.

A comedian climbing the

ranks for the last 10-plus years

with multiple Netflix specials and

countless tours, Segura is as

quick to poke fun at his double

chin as Hurricane Katrina, and

the foolish charm is damn-near

inescapable.

“I’m not out there trying to be

a dick, but you know, I am kind

of a smartass,” he says with a

laugh.

Segura is having a lazy Sunday,

chatting about his comedy

in the slim gap between an early

morning hike and lunchtime

with his wife and kids. About to

embark on his Take it Down tour,

the Cincinnati-born funny man

is happy discussing everything

from the fart jokes on his podcast

to his hatred of dogs with

human names.

When asked why he chose a

life of writing jokes,he says, “All

the weed-whacking jobs were

taken.”

His real answer is simple.

“If you can make a living as a

stand-up comedian, it’s like

you’re bypassing the system

that everybody has to be a part

of.”

Asked if there’s a message

he’d like to share, he says, with

unfiltered sincerity, “Everything

is funny, stop being so serious.

And try to be a little bit nicer to

one another.”

Tom Segura / Sunday, August 18

Arts Commons / Tix: $59.55-$69.55,

artscommons.ca

42 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 43


07.19YVRAGENDA

VANCOUVER MURAL

FESTIVAL: A MASSIVE

ART PARTY FOR THE CITY

If these walls could talk — they can

at the Vancouver Mural Festival

(VMF) which has been quietly invading

the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood

as an increasing amount of

large-scale public murals now grace

the streets. The annual VMF has

had a lot to do with that, in an effort

to contribute to the city’s cultural

legacy and comment on social issues

that impact the community. Now in

its fourth year, the VMF continues

its inspired quest with a 10-day

program of events that includes

25 new murals, a solo exhibition by

OBEY Clothing founder and street

artist Shepard Fairey, and, of course,

the hotly-anticipated Mount Pleasant

Street Party.

Art is celebrated in all its forms at

VMF, not just visually. Nach`i`m: A

Night of Indigenous Femme Excellence

will highlight some of Vancouver’s

contemporary Indigenous

YVRAgenda

female-identifying artists that work

across a variety of sectors, from

tattoo to music.

It leads to the VMF’s Mount

Pleasant Street Party, a family-friendly

event that includes live music

performances from Vancouver artists

like Tonye Aganaba and IMUR, food

trucks and beer gardens, held at

Main and Broadway — right at the

intersection of the community.

August 1-10, 2019 / Mount Pleasant

Powell Street Festival

honours the Japanese

Canadian culture confluence

Mindful of Vancouver’s ongoing housing crisis, this annual

celebration of Japanese Canadian arts and culture

won’t be taking place in its usual site at Oppenheimer

Park, where many displaced people are currently living

in tents. Instead, for its 43rd edition, festival organizers

have reworked the programming to run nearby along

Alexander Street, Jackson Street, and Dunlevy Avenue,

so that the park occupants are not disturbed.

The historic neighbourhood once known as

Paueru-gai — the area many Japanese Canadians

called home before they were forcibly interned by

the government in the early 40s — hosts a day filled

with martial arts, craft vendors, food trucks, traditional

folk dance, and live performances from musicians

including Tokyo electronic artist Chihei Hatakeyama

and Vancouver jazz pianist Sharon Minemoto.

August 3, 2019 / Alexander Street, Jackson Street,

and Dunlevy Avenue

Jillian Christmas

Vines Art

Festival

celebrates

art and

environment

The link between art and environmentalism

is a natural one. It always

has been, from Emily Carr’s paintings

that advocate for old growth

forest preservation to Joni Mitchell’s

“Big Yellow Taxi,” declaration, “they

paved paradise and put up a parking

lot.” This relationship is at the heart

of the Vines Art Festival — a celebration

of art and activism featuring

musicians, visual artists, community

leaders and more.

Now in its fifth edition, artistic

director Heather Lamoureux is

proud of the direction the eco-event

is going. “I can feel that the festival

has found its identity,” she says. “A

community arts organization that

is responsive to and nurturing of

artists that are working towards

land, water and relational justice.”

Some of the highlights at this

year’s festival includes spoken

word artist Jillian Christmas, a sustainable

fashion show presented by

vogue dancer Ralph Escamillan, plus

Erica Dee, a dynamic DJ and hip-hop

artist who fuses electronic and funk

beats with soulful vocals.

Vines is an all-ages event taking

place outdoors at a variety of Vancouver

parks — and it’s free.

August 7-18, 2019 / Jericho Beach, Trout

Lake Park, Kitsilano Beach, Pandora

Park, Crab Park, Renfrew

Ravine,

David Lam Park,

Creekside Park,

Harmony Gardens

Vancouver Queer

Film Festival

August 15 to 25, 2019

By MAGGIE MCPHEE

V

ancouver’s

won’t see anywhere else

VANCOUVER

31st annual QUEER FILM in Vancouver,” Ratnarajah

says.

Queer Film FESTIVAL

Festival August 15 to 25, 2019 VQFF is one of

(VQFF) theme is See

For Yourself and Artistic

Director Anoushka

Ratnarajah curates

Various Locations

Tix: $10-$14,

queerfilmfestival.ca

the city’s largest and

longest running film festivals.

Ratnarajah points

to this as evidence

for the first time on her own after

two fruitful years with co-director

Amber Dawn.

“I want to encourage audience

members to engage with programming

they wouldn’t necessarily

engage with at first glance,” Ratnaraj

says. “To take a risk and see

something challenging.”

The 11-day extravaganza, which

includes movies, multidisciplinary

performance art, an exhibition, and

workshops expands the definition

of a film festival and challenges audiences

with stories often pushed

to the periphery.

“A lot of the films we screen you

for a “thirst for queer, trans, and

two-spirit film, not only from within

our queer communities but from

people who are just interestested

in seeing film and engaging with

stories that are not necessarily

representative of their own individual

experience.”

VQFF stands for misrepresented

or underrepresented voices, bodies,

experiences and perspectives.

“There are a ton of queer people

who live in this city,” Ratnarajah

says. “It’s important for us to be

able to go to a film and feel seen.”

Beyond building a sanctuary

for and celebration of queer

5 Best Bets for VQFF

1 SILVANA

This beautifully shot documentary

builds an intimate

portrait of Swedish hip-hop

artist Silvana Imam as she risks

everything to tackle a slew of

social justice issues through her

music. Silvana draws upon her

experiences as a queer, mixedrace

immigrant woman living in

diaspora to speak out on the

refugee crisis, misogyny in the

music industry and zeonophobia.

“It’s very feminist, it’s very

queer, it’s very anti-racist,” says

VQFF Artistic Director Anoushka

Ratnarajah.

Friday August 23 at 9:00 pm /

SFU Goldcorp

2 THE T

This web-series based on the

lives of its creators Bea Cordella

and Daniel Kyrl follows Jo and

Carter, a young trans-woman and

queer black man, as they search

for lasting love in Chicago’s queer

community. The best friends and

ex-partners contest with their past

and present adversaries, asserting

their self-worth in a world that

would have it otherwise.

Friday August 23 at 9:00 pm /

York Theatre

VQFF Artistic Director

Anoushka Ratnarajah

experiences, the festival strives

to foster positve relations with

the Musquam, Salaiwatooth and

Squamish Nations in an attempt to

decolonize the screen.

This year, Metis filmmaker Justin

3 SOLACE

An experimental coming of

age story about a teenager whose

regimented New York life gets

turned upside down when she’s

sent to live with her estranged

grandmother in Los Angeles. Told

with a nuanced understanding of

the history of black bodies and

stories on screen, and tackling

underrepresented issues of mental

health and disordered eating,

Solace invites audiences closer

to embodied experiences of black

queerness. Debut director Tchaiko

Omawale will be in attendance for

a Q&A.

Thursday August 22 at 7:00 pm /

International Village

Ducharme has put together an

indigenous spotlight, Projecting

Brilliance: A Two-Spirite Showcase;

a shorts program, All Our Relations:

Explorations of Indigiqueer Kinship;

an evening of queer indigenous

4

SONG LANG

Dung Thunderbolt, an

embittered debt-collector with a

penchant for throwing punches,

falls for the star of a local folk

opera troupe in 80s Saigon. Their

relationship inspires Thunderbolt

to reconnect with the creative and

sensitive boy he once was, and to

reconcile with a long line of damaged

relationships. Director Leon

Le’s operatic first feature film pays

tribute to Vietnam’s most iconic city

and the life-changing potential of

new love.

Thursday August 15 at 7:00 pm /

Vancouver Playhouse

Wednesday August 21 at 7:00 pm /

International Village

performance with Anthony Hudson

and Beric Manywounds; and

a new and retrospective short

term exhibit in collaboration with

the artist Zachary Longboy, Running

Running Trees Go By.

GAY CHORUS DEEP

5 SOUTH

In response to the increased

descrimintory legislation against

LGBTQ people being passed

since the 2016 U.S. election,

the San Francisco Gay Men’s

Choir and The Oakland Interfaith

Gospel Choir set off on a tour

of the American Deep South.

There, they confront ghosts from

the past and venomous bigotry,

but through it all foster deep

dialogue with different communities

about resilience, celebration

and healing.

Friday August 16 at 6:30 pm /

SFU Goldcorp

44 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 45


07.19YVRMUSIC

COMPOUND

BLOCK PARTY

Monstercat, the Vancouver

independent electronic

music record label and media

company, is hosting its third

annual Compound block party

this month. Held at the label’s

downtown headquarters, the

party celebrates community

and culture with an emphasis

on tech. The all-ages event will

feature live music performances

from dance artists like

Drezo, along with video games,

music education, food trucks

and a beer garden.

August 24, 2019 / Monstercat HQ

(380 Railway Street)

Drezo

YVRMusic

Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival

Top Canadian musicians Dan Mangan, Feist and William Prince

perform with international artists like the Memphis blues five-piece,

Southern Avenue at this edition of the Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the festival is always a

highlight of the Vancouver summer concert season for its thoughtfully-curated

lineup and scenic Deer Lake Park backdrop.

August 10, 2019 / Deer Lake Park

Feist

PNE

Summer

Nights

Concert

Series

BeatRoute’s

Top 5 PNE

Concert Picks

Forget the rollercoasters and

mini-donuts, the Summer Night

Concerts are the best part of the

annual Fair at the PNE. Always

playing host to fan-favourites, the

concerts provide a feel-good trip

down memory lane and this year

is no exception with an exciting

lineup that includes everything

from popular nineties artists to

Canadian music royalty.

1

Burton Cummings and Band

Wednesday, August 21

2

Smokey Robinson

Friday, August 23

Through January 26, 2020

Generously supported by:

Jane Irwin and Ross Hill

Phil Lind

Larry and Maureen Lunn

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery

Additional support from:

The Adelaar Family

Vikky Alexander, Between Dreaming and Living #8, 1986, inkjet print, Plexiglas, Courtesy of the Artist and Downs & Ross, New York

THE GIN BLOSSOMS LEAD THE

CHARGE OF 90s NOSTALGIA AT

THE PNE AMPHITHEATRE By YASMINE SHEMESH

T

he chiming

guitar melodies

of the Gin

Blossoms are

synonymous

with the sounds

and styles of

the 90s. Following their first major

label release, New Miserable

Experience (1992), the Arizona

alt-rockers blew the lid off of MTV

and beyond with hits like “Hey

Jealousy” and “Til I Hear it From

You,” casting the group as obvious

additions to the soundtracks of

iconic movies like Empire Records

and Wayne’s World 2.

The sounds of the 90s were

also amplified in Canada with acts

like Moist, The Headstones and

Vancouver’s The Odds,

a band Gin Blossoms’

guitarist Jesse Valenzuela

has a longstanding

kinship with.

Valenzuela met Craig

Northey, founding member of the

Vancouver rock legends, years

ago through mutual friends in Los

Angeles and they’ve collaborated

from time to time. A recent collab

had the pair co-writing the theme

song to the beloved CTV sitcom,

Corner Gas.

“I love it,” Valenzuela enthuses.

“I love my association with that TV

show.”

Corner Gas has made Valenzuela

a fortuitous celebrity in Canada.

“A few years ago, I’m sitting in

GIN BLOSSOMS

Saturday, August 24

PNE Amphitheatre

Tix: $25 – $60, pne.ca

a bar drinking,” he says

with a chuckle. “I was

in Canada and I was

talking to a gentleman

and I ordered a Canadian

Club. And he said,

‘No, you don’t want that, let me get

you something better.’ He brought

me Crown Royal. And through the

course of conversation, having a

whiskey, we talked about what he

did, what I did, and I mentioned that

song, I mentioned that TV show.

And he got a big smile on his face

and started laughing.”

Valenzuela starts laughing, too.

“And he said, ‘You know, you

could walk into any bar in Canada

and plug yourself a Crown Royal if

you let them know you wrote that.’”

Gin Blossoms are no nostalgia

act. They’ve continued to

tour prolifically and release new

music. 2018’s Mixed Reality is

the group’s latest and it’s fantastic.

But with their foundation

firmly rooted in the 90s musical

landscape, there’s an inevitable

warmth that comes from finding

something golden from the past

resurfacing in the present.

For the Blossoms, this sentiment

materializes in “Wonder,”

an exquisite ballad written by

Valenzuela, and one of the

stand-out tracks on the new

album. While it includes undertones

of that familiar jangle, the

song is an inspired addition to

the band’s catalog.

“It’s a sweet song, isn’t it?”

Valenzuela says. “Someone

once told me it made her cry.

You have these wistful moments

and you think of parts of your

former life. I think that’s what it’s

about.”

3

Collective Soul

Saturday, August 24

4

I Love The 90s Tour

Thursday, August 29

5

TLC

Monday, September 2

Biz Markie

BeatRoute_1/2Page-PrintAd.indd 1 24/07/2019 13:42

46 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 47


07.19YVRMUSIC

WEYES BLOOD SEARCHES

FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE

By KATHRYN HELMORE

N

atalie Mering has built an international

following, drowning her

listeners in delicate chamber

folk mastery as Weyes Blood.

While her recent album, Titanic

Rising, might use the iconic vessel to talk

about climate change, Mering and her musical

repertoire is more like to an iceberg, hiding

great depth below the surface.

Born into a deeply religious Pentacostal

family in Pennsylvania, Mering fine-tuned her

angelic voice in American gospel choirs. While

performing for thousands in megachurches

lead to an incredible vocal range, her divorce

from Christianity at the age of 14 underpins her

melancholy sound and refreshing vulnerability.

“With my background in Christian values, I’m

more aware of our mortality,” says Mering. “I’m

preoccupied with the idea of salvation. Also,

once you grow up believing a certain ideology

and leave it, you have a pretty big void to fill.”

Mering fills this void with experiences, new

age philosophy and tracing the mythology of

religion.

“I’m interested in the psychological measure

of the history of human mythology,” says

Mering. “I love looking at the route of where

religion first came from and why it was even

created.”

The album is not just biting social commentary.

Typical of Mering’s Joni Mitchell-esque

conversational vocal style, the lyrics transcend

description, making the work an identifiable

swan song for a generation of people watching

our world sink into the icy depths.

Like the musicians aboard the Titanic or the

writers of Gospel choir hymns, Merings swelling

violins and honest, raw lyrics are an expression

of pain and a much needed catharsis.

“I’m constantly trying to transcend pain and

create something beautiful from that pain,”

says Mering. “I think this is the most valuable.”

Weyes Blood / Wednesday, August 14

The Imperial / Tix: $20, eventbrite.ca

NORTHLANE:

breaking the cycle with

musical catharsis By BRENDAN LEE

W

hen Northlane’s original

vocalist called it quits in

2014, they turned to the

internet to find fresh-faced

Marcus Bridge as the replacement through

an online contest.

With a new voice fuelling their momentum,

the Australian metalcore powerhouse

has continued to evolve and they’re about

to unveil a new album more unique and personal

than anything they’ve done before.

“It felt like it was time to open up,” says

Bridge, when asked about the band’s new

album, Alien, out August 2.

Seemingly more at ease with the past

than ever before, much of the album’s

themes are a direct manifestation of his

own hellish upbringing at the hands of two

drug-addicted parents.

“I’ve always wanted to tell these stories

but I had never had the confidence,” he

says.

Formed in 2009 in Sydney, Australia,

Northlane quickly made waves in the

hardcore scene with a thunderous sound

characterized by low guitar tuning and

even lower screams.

Fast-forward to present day after two

successful albums on Canadian hardcore

imprint Distort Entertainment (Alexisonfire,

Cancer Bats), Bridge’s more melodic and

diverse vocal range has become the foundation

for the band’s reimagined sound.

And despite the darkness that envelops

the new album, an ultimately positive message

burns at the core.

“Through sharing these awful stories,

I want to show that, despite all odds, you

can break the cycle and write a new chapter,”

he says. “You don’t have to follow that

same path.”

With each new release, Northlane has

continued an upward trajectory. When

asked what comes next, Bridge seems

confident.

“As long as we’re making music we’re

passionate about and people enjoy that,

we’ll keep kicking on.”

Northlane / Saturday, August 17 / Biltmore Cabaret

Tix: $25, eventbrite.ca

Cold Hart,

warm vibes By

G

othboiclique

is a crew of

rappers and

producers

making waves

in hip-hop’s ever evolving

offshoot of emo-inspired rap

music and beating at the centre

of it all is the incomparable

voice of Cold Hart.

Founded by the late Lil

Peep, Wicca Phase Springs

Eternal and Cold Hart, Gothboiclique

and its movement

started gaining significant

momentum following Peep’s

accidental death in 2017, highlighting

a nuanced and sensitive

style of rap music that

continues to evolve beyond

the Soundcloud stratosphere.

The sound has developed

from strained vocals and

hip-hop samples into hazy,

shoegaze guitar tones backed

by simple drum beats and

layered, grungy vocals.

As one of its founding

members, Cold Hart wants

to continue growing with the

genre mash he pioneered with

his comrades, while remaining

positive and honouring

the movement Lil Peep left

behind.

Witnessing a lot of darkness,

drugs and addiction can

bring, Cold Hart knows first

hand what numbing the pain

with drugs can do.

“I wanted to stop encouraging

that lifestyle after Peep

died,” he says. “That really

opened my eyes and made

me want to make something

different and send a

different message.”

JOEY LOPEZ

Following his most recent

album, Good Morning Cruel

World, Cold Hart is venturing

beyond his roots as a

depressed teenager from

Long Beach by recording and

performing with live instruments.

After moving to New

York with his producing

partner YAWNS, he’s

been able to breathe solid

energy into his music.

“I wanted it to feel more

real,” says Cold Hart on

moving from sampling to recording

with live instruments.

“It makes the performances

more lit. When we’re

up there YAWNS

is actually playing guitar

and people go nuts for it.

Sampling is easy but playing

live music is hard. I want to try

different things every time I

make something new.”

Bringing in guitars has also

allowed Cold Hart to focus

on being more of a vocalist

rather than just a rapper. With

straining, whining, emotional,

auto-tuned vocals, he shares

a cadence with early 2000s

emo singers. Although his

music shares similar sounds

with the genre, he rejects the

themes and messages tied

to it.

“I think emo music is there

to make kids feel numb,” he

says. “I don’t want them to

feel numb and I think it encourages

that wack life style

of doing drugs all the time to

feel something.”

Cold Hart sees what he’s

doing as a blend of genres: alternative

rock and hip-hop. If

Blink-182 stripped down their

production and filled it with

808s they could be members

of Gothboiclique. It’s not

pop-punk, it’s not emo, but it’s

sensitive and thoughtful.

It’s also evolving fast and

gaining popularity even faster.

Gothboiclique is riding a new

wave straight into the mainstream.

Cold Hart / Friday, August 9

Fortune Sound Club

Tix: $25, ticketweb.ca

48 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 49


07.19YVRMUSIC

The Cheat Sheet BR PICKS THE 5 ESSENTIAL LIVE MUSIC SHOWS

INDIE

1 FEIST

Saturday, August 10 at Deer Lake Park

The voice of the original iPod

nano commercial, Feist’s catchy

tunes will have your feet tapping

“1-2-3-4.”

2 LIGHTS

Friday, August 16 at Vogue Theatre

Beloved Canadian artist and

admitted comic book nerd, Lights

plays acoustic versions of her

songs. See feature on page 13.

3

KING GIZZARD &

THE LIZARD WIZARD

Saturday, August 17 at Harbour

Events Centre

From dreamy psychedelic rock

to metal-inspired thrashers, King

Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are

full of rocking surprises.

4

THE COURTNEYS

Thursday, August 22 at Astoria

Sunbathed sounds made in a

garage, these local ladies wash

you in fuzz-laden dreamy soundscapes..

5

THE NATIONAL

Wednesday, August 28 at

Deer Lake Park

Mellow out to the atmospheric

vibes of these indie-darlings from

Cincinnati. See feature on page

18.

METAL

HIPHOP

1

HALLOWED CATHARSIS

Saturday, August 10 at the Railyard

Technical death-metallers from

Vancouver who are truly chaotic to

the core.

2 NORTHLANE

Saturday, August 17 at

Biltmore Cabaret

A metalcore meets djent offering

that blissfully melds brutal riffs and

catchy choruses. See feature on

Page 48.

3

DEMONS & WIZARDS

Wednesday, August 21

at Commodore Ballroom

An epic metal supergroup featuring

members of Iced Earth and Blind

Guardian is playing their first and

final show in Vancouver

4 TRUCKFIGHTERS

Friday, August 23

at Rickshaw Theatre

Step into the psychedelic realm of

this fuzz-laden stoner rock band

from Sweden.

5 WORMWITCH

Friday, August 23 at Astoria

Progressive death locals reminiscent

of bands like Celtic Frost and

Opeth.

1 SLOWTHAI

Wednesday, August 7 at Fortune

Sound Club

English rapper acclaimed for his

raw, gritty beats and politically

charged lyrics.

2

HOLY SOCK GANG

Saturday, Aug 17 at Blue Light Studio

Holy Sock Gang are a Vancouver

collective basking in smooth flow,

deep beats, and their “holy smoke.

3 MNDSGN

Thursday, August 22 at Fortune

Sound Club

Filipino producer MNDSGN loves

to experiment with dreamy soundscapes

and 808s.

4

SNAK THE RIPPER

& MERKULES

Friday, July 19 at Biltmore Cabaret

A massive Surrey rap double-header

that will light up on

homegrown soil.

5

AARON COHEN

Friday, August 30 at Avante Garden

Menacing lyrical delivery spit over

trap inspired beats.

EDM

1

DADA LIFE

Saturday, August 10 at Celebrities

Expect hard hitting electro house

beats and funky costumes from

this Swedish duo.

2

WASTED PENGUINZ

Saturday, August 17 at Harbour

Events Centre

Bitter internet enemies turned real

life best friends, Wasted Penguinz

hardstyle beats keeps heads

banging.

3 HUCCI

Friday, August 23 at Celebrities

A trap music O.G. full of designer

beats from the luxurious underground.

4 MATRODA

Friday, August 30 at MIA

A surrealistic blend of deep, wobbly

bass lines and gritty, distorted

synths

5 QUANTIC

Friday, August 30 at Rickshaw

Theatre

Dip your soul into the down-tempo

vibes of this trip-hop icon from the

United Kingdom.

ROCK

CLASSIC

1

CRASH TEST DUMMIES

Thursday, August 15 at Totem Park

The seductively deep bass-baritone

voice of frontman Brad Roberts

will shake your bones at this

free show in White Rock.

2

ZZ TOP

Sunday, August 18

at PNE Amphitheatre

Known for fuzzy guitars and even

fuzzier beards, this influential trio of

“Sharp Dressed Men” will get your

“Tush” shaking all night long.

3

BLUE OYSTER CULT

Sunday, August 18 at Rock

Ambleside Festival

Famously parodied on SNL’s “More

Cowbell” sketch, Blue Oyster Cult’s

classic “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”

solidified their status as 70s hard

rock pioneers.

4

COLLECTIVE SOUL

Saturday, August 24 at

PNE Amphitheatre

Collective Soul made waves in the

early 90s when their hit “Shine”

made them a softer alternative to

grunge rock

5

APRIL WINE

Saturday, August 31 at Summerset

Music & Arts Festival

The Gypsy Queen will rise once

again as these Canadian icons rock

the stage in Fort Langley.

50 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

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