BeatRoute Magazine AB Edition August 2019

beatroute

BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics. Currently BeatRoute’s AB edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton (by S*A*R*G*E), Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

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

CIRCLE

CARNIVAL

PROGRAM

GUIDE

INSIDE


Contents

BEATROUTE

BEATROUTE

BEAT

ROUTE

BR

BRLIVE

BRYYZ

Up Front

4

7

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

28

29

33

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

Belle & Sebastian, Tune-

Yards, Sharon Van Etten

light up the Calgary Folk

Music Festival with explosive

performances for 40th

anniversary celebrations on

Prince’s Island.

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

24

AUGUST 2019 • FREE

Joji

Joji has gone from YouTube

sensation to chart-topping

R&B crooner and we can’t

stop listening.

Travel

34 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.

Screen Time

37 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.

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer brought their

West Coast R&B roots vibes to the Calgary Folk

Music Festival on July 18. Check out our review on

Page 33. Plus more online at beatroute.ca

YYC

39

40

41

43

Tom Segura

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.

YYC Agenda

Country Thunder, Cirque du Soleil

and the Glenbow Museum bring

diversity and top-tier talent to

the city.

YYC Pride

Calgary drag queen Visa De’Klein

guides you through the feather

boa filled streets, highlighting the

must-see events happening at

this year’s Pride celebrations.

YYC Music

Selci, HoneyFest, No More Moments

and more!

PLUS! Live Music Cheat Sheet

Your pull-out guide to the best

shows this month in Calgary.

SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO

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.

Saturday, August 24 / Arts Commons

Tix: $62.50 - $362, artscommons.ca

By JOEY LOPEZ

BEATROUTE

Editor/Publisher

Michael Hollett

Senior BR Editor/

Western Canada

Glenn Alderson

BEAT

ROUTE

Associate Editor

Brad Simm

Creative Director

Troy Beyer

BRLIVE

BRYYZ

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

beatroute.ca

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

Upcoming Events

Thu. Sept. 5 | The Gateway Presents:

Grandson

with Special Guests

Fri. Sept. 6 | X92.9 Xposure Presents:

Bombargo

with Special Guests

Fri. Sept. 13 | The Gateway Presents:

Daniel Wesley

with Special Guests

Sun. Sept. 15 | The Gateway Presents:

Busty & The Bass

with Special Guests

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

ODYSSEY

Mon Sept. 16 & Tue. Sept. 17 | MRG Concerts Presents:

Ziggy Alberts

with Emily Brimlow

Tue. Sept. 24 | The Gateway Presents:

Sickboy Podcast:

Live!

Fri. Sept. 27 | Stampede Entertainment Presents:

Too Many Zooz &

Five Alarm Funk

Fri. Sept. 27 | The Odyssey Presents:

Lloyd Spiegel

with Tim Williams

Follow The Gateway on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter to stay informed on all upcoming events!

UPCOMING EVENTS

AUG 2

AUG 9

AUG 16

AUG 17

Saitsa.com/events

AUG 28

AUG 30

The Gateway In SAIT Campus Centre, 1301 - 16 Avenue NW, Calgary, AB. 18+, Legal ID required. This event is open to all Sait students, staff, faculty, alumni, members, and guests. Please visit Saitsa.com for more information.

LATIN NIGHT

THE 27 CLUB

BURLESQUE TRIBUTE

SABO FORTE

RED MILE HIGH

HAWKING

w/ Nothing Gold, Only the Strong and

Die Another Day

KING DYLAN

w/ Baby Boy Blue

Tickets and full listings

TheRecRoom.com

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

GATEWAY

The Rec Room® is owned by Cineplex Entertainment L. P.

Sat. Sept. 28 | ConcertWorks Presents:

Cancer Bats

with Single Mothers and Sharptooth

Wed. Oct. 30 + Thurs. Oct. 31 | X92.9 Presents:

The Dudes

Annual Halloween Party

Fri. Nov. 8 | Calgary Folk Music Festival Presents:

The East Pointers

with Special Guests

Fri. Nov. 15 | The Gateway Presents:

Wannabe

The Spice Girls Tribute

Sat. Nov. 30 | The Gateway Presents:

Hilltop Hoods

with Adrian Eagle

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 5


Drink

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

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.

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 7


That’s Dope

This month in Cannabis news and views

NEW

SUMMER MENU

&

BEER LIST

PATIO

FOR BLUNT

BABES AND

GANJA

GODESSES

Cannabis accessories

designed for women

with high standards

By JAIME EISEN

Hotbox 3-piece grinder

no cover

EVERY SUNDAY 1 - 3 PM

THE YYSCENE PRESENTS

SONGSMITH

SUNDAYS

DOUG HOYER

WITH

THE

BAREFOOT

MOVEMENT

EARLY • SAT AUG. 3

VARIATIONS

A different style

every week

JAZZ • EVERY TUESDAY

VISIT KINGEDDY.CA FOR INFO AND TICKETS

THE HOPE STATE

WITH MILQ

THURS AUG. 8

HAPPY HOUR

MATT MASTERS

EVERY FRIDAY • 4-7 PM

Cabot

Crossing

KITCHEN PARTY

SAT AUG. 17

King Eddy | 438 9 Avenue SE, Calgary kingeddy.ca @KingEddyYYC #KingEddyYYC

WITH

VINYL BRUNCH

WITH ARCHIVE PAT

EVERY SATURDAY 12 - 4 PM

VIBE • EAT • DRINK

AND

MORE!

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 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

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

10 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019


CAN’T HELP

FALLING

IN LOVE

I think

fans are more

ready for artists

to show their

different sides

than ever.

HIGH

LIGHTS

Canadian electro-pop star

Lights, discovers location-based

recording

By BEN BODDEZ

“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

I D O L THEPRESLEY

JOHNFLUEVOGCALGARYTHAVESW··

JOHNFLUEVOGEDMONTONAVENW··

FLUEVOGCOM

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 13


TO THE

CALGARY

STAMPEDERS

AND DINNER

FOR TWO

JOIN US AT 1637 37 St SW

ENTER AT DUBLINCALLING.COM/CALGARY

@DUBLINCALLINGCALGARY

C A L G ARY

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

A.Y.E.

CALGARY

RAPPER MAKES

MUSIC FOR

THE SOUL

By JONATHAN CRANE

D

rawing influence from hip-hop’s

Golden Era, backed by his

tightly wound live band, The Extraordinary

Gentlemen, Jahimba

Hutson has built an identity

around delivering music with emotional

substance.

It’s a value so central to the rising

Calgary rapper and producer, who performs

as A.Y.E. (A Young Extraordinaire),

that going forward he has his own name

for his brand of music.

“My music is soul food, that’s what I

want to establish and want people to take

up,” he says, talking about his new album,

Soul Food The Audiobiography Of….

The title of the album is fitting, as

Hutson’s artistic evolution started with

classic hip-hop’s conscious lyrics and

smooth, lush beats, as evidenced by his

use of live instrumentation.

“I’ve always had the mindset of performing

with a live band even before I

had a live band,” he says.

Hutson’s 2014 debut, 90 Now, was

also a tribute to hip-hop classicism. His

follow-up, Nox, saw him build on that

style, taking it down what he describes

as a darker direction. To capture the

essence of soul food, this forthcoming

release will add new dimensions to his

evolution.

“I’d say there’s quite a bit of difference

sonically, this new album is a little

bit more feel good, it’s a little bit more

instrumental,” says Hutson.

The new album’s title isn’t just a nod

to the influence of soul music, it’s also

a commentary on music’s current landscape

and, as Hutson explains, there’s

the literal sense that harkens back to

Southern cuisine and a figurative sense

of nourishing the mind.

“Soul food for me is like a way of life.

I think you’ve got to feed your soul in

life to sustain yourself,” says Hutson.

“The other layer of soul food is how

right now in music, fast food is really

what’s going on.”

With his new album now ready for

consumption, Hutson hopes listeners

will introspectively add their own layers

of meaning.

“I think the best thing is going to be

for the listener to interpret what soul

food is for them,” he says.

A.Y.E. / Friday, August 9 / HiFi Club

Tix: $10, hificlub.ca

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

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

18 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 19


24 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019 AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 25

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BRCOVERSTORY

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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

FILTHYFRANK.

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.

26 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 27


The Playlist:

BEATROUTE

BEATROUTE

BEAT

ROUTE

BR

BRLIVE

BRYYZ

10 songs in heavy rotation at the BR offices right now

MUSiC

Album Review

8

3

5

THE FLAMING LIPS

King’s Mouth

Warner Music

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

1 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

4

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.

6

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

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

28 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 29


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

30 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 31


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

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

Belle & Sebastian

Sharon Van Etten

Weaves

Asleep at

the Wheel

Tune-Yards

CALGARY

FOLK

MUSIC FEST

The Calgary Folk Music Fest

(CFMF) made a triumphant return

to Prince’s Island with some

returning favourite acts, Scottish

legends and a Colombian band

that threatened to steal the show.

BeatRoute was there for all the

action.

By SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO

THURSDAY, JULY 25

Tune-Yards

Main Stage

Tune-Yards’ electro world fusion

jams got the festival going on

Thursday with style. Merrill Garbus

surrounded herself with loopers

and synthesizers to move the

growing crowd with a set that was

as weird as it was captivating,

oddball curiosities colliding with

polyrhythmic beats and a global

sampling of influences.

Sharon Van Etten

Main Stage

Sharon Van Etten returned to

CFMF for the first time since 2013,

now on a bigger stage. Working the

crowd with a fierce ease, her confidence

backed and elevated her

powerful set. Van Etten channeled

her best Patti Smith as she prowled

the main stage, casting everyone

under her spell.

iskwé

National Stage 4

Combining modern rock riffs with

Ojibwe stories, iskwé’s set brought

a theatrical power to Stage 4.

The activist and performer didn’t

hesitate to use her pulpit to call

out colonial power structures,

leading the packed crowd through

traditional chants in their own acts

of resistance.

Belle & Sebastian

Main Stage

Nostalgia hung thick in the evening

air as it seemed like the entire festival

awaited the Scottish indie rock

royalty. Though Belle & Sebastian

played predominantly newer material,

skipping over some of their

early classic tracks, generations of

fans swooned and swayed to the

band’s immaculate and uplifting

indie pop.

The Harpoonist

& The Axe Murderer

National Stage 4

At the other end of the island, The

Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer

closed off the night with rollicking,

swampy, harmonica-heavy R&B.

The usual duo were augmented to

a four piece, including Miss Quincy

on vocals and Geoff Hilhorst (Deep

Dark Woods) on keys, who added

some well-placed textural elements

to give the set a new dimension.

FRIDAY, JULY 26

Combo Chimbita

National Stage 4

New York-via-Colombia’s Combo

Chimbita proved to be one of the

unexpected highlights of the festival.

The riveting quartet brought

their experience of the Latinx diaspora

to Stage 4 with an eclectic

mix of cumbia, Afrobeat, samba

and bossa nova intermingled with

Western elements of psych, funk

and jazz. Combo Chimbita’s explosive

and moving set stole the show

on Friday evening.

Sheila E

Main Stage

Though there were some Folk

Fest veterans that scratched their

heads at the inclusion of Sheila E

as headliner for Friday night, their

concerns were dispelled as soon

as the sprawling R&B outfit took

the stage. Sheila E is a queen commanding

her flock and audience

with ease as she worked through

an extended set of originals and

covers, getting everyone dancing

well into the night.

SATURDAY, JULY 27

Asleep at the Wheel

Main Stage

Like a busted pickup ramblin’ down

Route 66, Austin, Texas’ Asleep at

the Wheel brought almost five decades

of twang and thunder to the

main stage on Saturday afternoon.

Bandleader Ray Benson felt right

at home at the helm of his troupe

as they blended classic country

and southern rock into a seamless

package.

Weaves

National Stage 4

Toronto’s Weaves are art pop perfection.

The highly-lauded quartet

played a tight set of tracks that

shifted and morphed from jangle

pop to jazz freakouts, guitar-god

solos and neo-soul grooves.

Frontwoman Jasmyn Burke is a

consummate leader, taking everyone

into her world as she tangled

and untangled pop hooks in front

of their eyes.

32 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 33


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 cardboard

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

34 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 35


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.

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.

Eaton] attention. He thought it was

“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.”

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 great,

isn’t he cute, he is so lovely, etc.

CONTINUED ON PG. 38 k

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

David Crosby:

Remember

My Name

k CONTINUED FROM PG. 37

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.

E D M O N T O N

GUITAR SHOW

Sunday SEPT 22, 2019 • 10 AM to 4 PM

Italian Cultural Center, 14230 - 133 Ave. NW

C A L G A R Y

GUITAR SHOW

Sunday SEPT 29, 2019 • 10 AM to 4 PM

Red & White Club, McMahon Stadium

$

10 Tickets

at the door

BROWSE

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canadianguitarshows.com

08.19

CALGARY’S ESSENTIAL AUGUST HAPPENINGSk

YYC

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

38 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 39


07.19YYCAGENDA

YYCAgenda

Cirque du Soleil taps into

Mexico’s enchanted dreamland

Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico is Cirque du Soleil’s 38th production

that brings the Latin sight and sound to Calgary. In Spanish “luz” means

light, and rain is “lluvia.” Together the “light quenches the spirit and

rain soothes the soul” as this vivid, surreal landscape travels from the

sundrenched desert to rolling ocean waves to smoky dancehalls and the

glamour of romantic movie sets.

When Cirque sets up shop they do it in a big way, their big top “Grand

Chapiteau” tent towers six stories high and holds 2,600 attendees under

its arches.

Soaked in the sound of flamenco guitar and lively Latino rhythms bursting

with brass horns, Luzia promises a dazzling display of exotic costumes

that transcends cliché and embraces the modern imagination. Cirque du

Soleil’s features spectacular scenes overflowing with motion, flight and

dance.

Stampede Park / August 16 – September 20 / Tix: $49-$284

Country Thunder

rumbles in to Cowtown

Country Thunder is a three-day C&W throw-down set to once again roll

through Calgary mid-August with guitars, amps and drums cracking a

hole in the prairie sky.

This year there’s a clear focus on female artists who dominate the

first night’s line-up ranging from the outlaw swagger of Tanya Tucker to

the fiery sass of country’s leading cutting edge, Miranda Lambert.

Country Thunder loads the barrel with the colourful vibe of Jason

Owen and his feel good honky-tonk, the heartfelt hometown hero Jason

Aldean, the rousing Hunter Brothers and the spirit of South Delaware

pop-rocker, Jimmy Allen. Rounding out the weekend is Medicine Hat’s

sweetheart of the rodeo, Terry Clark.

Based in the U.S., the festival cherry-picks country talent that consists

of current chart-toppers, 90s-tinged roots rock, rowdy Southern

grit, infectious female songbirds along with showcasing Alberta’s prime

performers.

Country Thunder comes on strong from all directions, winning over the

city with sold-out shows.

Prairie Winds Park / August 16-18 / Tix: $179

WALL OF FLOWERS sears into life’s

complexity at Glenbow Exhibition

More than 140 framed photographs of flowers cover a massive wall inside the

Glenbow. Some of the flowers are fresh, in full bloom; others wilting, fading away. Toronto-based

artist Ed Pien’s Our Beloved installation is a dramatic explosion of colour

and variety that screams beauty, vibrance and life at large. It not only resonates with

life, but also loss and sadness.

During the reign of Chilean dictator Augusta Pinochet an estimated 3,000 alleged

political dissidents were murdered and another 1,000 went missing between 1973

and 1990.

While travelling in Santiago, Chile, Pien visited Patio 29, the mass gravesite where

many of the victims are buried, now decorated with an overflowing sea of flowers

honouring their past and bravery. Moved by both the tradgey and the vibrant display,

Pien took 144 photographs and constructed his own monument tapping into the

complex, haunting emotions that linger with the horrors of genocide.

Jimmy

Allen

Our Beloved runs until Sept. 22 at the Glenbow Museum

Miranda Lambert

YYCPRIDE

Show

Your Pride

Guest column by legendary

Calgary Drag Queen,

Visa De’Klein

Rainbow Christmas, otherwise known as

Calgary Pride is upon us! A celebration with

more than 30 years of history crammed into

one week.

Navigating your way through can be

overwhelming, but not when you have me,

Visa De’Klein, one of Calgary’s finest queer

connoisseurs to help guide you through the

feather boa filled streets.

Ignore what you’ve read about me in

bathroom stalls. I’ve been doing drag for more

than seven years now so I know a thing or two

about a good time. Since I started performing,

the Calgary drag community has grown

exponentially and doesn’t show any sign of

stopping. There’s such a variety of performers

and shows to choose from so you’re in luck.

Here’s my top-five must-attend events for

Pride YYC in 2019.

LAURA BALANKO-DICKSON

1

Pride In The Park

September 1, 10am to 6pm at

Prince’s Island Park

This is my top pick because it’s just

like me, super fun, and super free!

With a bevvy of drag artists including

one of my favourite troupes,

Fake Moustache, plus superstar

local DJs Molly Fi and Nic Nemesis.

With dance crews, live singers

including Simone Denny of Love

Inc. and tons more, there’s sure to

be something you’ll be stoked on.

There are also food trucks and beverages

usually parked very close to

the stage.

Brooke Lynn Hytes

2

Brooke Lynn Hytes

and DJ Lee Dagger

September 1, Doors 8pm at Twisted

Element

Twisted Element is my stomping

grounds, but any fan of the

Emmy-winning show Rupaul’s Drag

Race (RPDR) would be pretty excited

to see Canada’s own Brooke

Lynne Hytes fresh off Season 11.

I’ve seen her perform before and it

was AMAZING. Come see her do

her pointy toed ballet thingy and

stick around for DJ Lee Dagger

from Bimbo Jones on the ones and

twos.

4

Yvie Oddly

3

Calgary Pride Parade

September 1, 11am at 6th Ave. SW

A classic in its own right, what started as a couple

of people with signs more than 30 years ago,

the Calgary Pride Parade has become one of the

largest and most attended in Western Canada.

Political parties are not invited to partake this

year but the diverse show of support from businesses,

non-profits and even churches makes

this a fun event for first-timers or your greasy

little gremlins!

Pure Pride

August 31, Doors 8pm at

Palace Theatre

No pride would be complete

without the smoke and lights show

that is Pure Pride. Bringing in RPDR

alumni Yvie Oddly, A’keria Chanel

Davenport and Nina West plus a

handful of local performers — I’m

personally excited about Deva

Dave — this is your go-hard or

go-home party night. Be prepared

for crowds and be prepared to be

wowed.

DJ Mary Mac

5

Fake Moustache

Bad Habits

August 30 at Marquee Beer Market

These events tend to be more lady-centric for

all the good girls with bad habits! Celebrate the

rights, freedoms and successes of the LGBTQ+

community with DJ Mary Mac, Madonna’s DJ

from her Rebel Heart Tour, and host Whitney

Mixter (The Real L Word).

JOSE M VAZQUEZ / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

40 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019 AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 41


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Windigo

YYCMusic

A Honey of a festival

First imagined by Electric Honey Records co-founders Nick Styles and Mitch Malyk,

HoneyFest is building towards a larger vision for Calgary and the arts scene with a

family-friendly fiesta that brings music, food and culture to the outdoor stage.

What was originally supposed to be a launch party for their label quickly became an

opportunity to highlight their favourite parts of the city’s music.

“We feel the Calgary music scene is relatively untapped and the city needs more

platforms to showcase the talent the city has to offer,” Styles says.

HoneyFest features a mixed lineup of Calgary’s most well-known, up-and-coming

acts, including: Windigo, The Varmoors, Rondel Roberts Band, The Moonsnakes,

Landos, Nature Of, Cheer and Knerd.

Craft beer will be flowing with a collaboration ISA between Zero Issue and Electric

Honey Records, made specially for the event. A portion of the proceeds will be donated

to Pollinator Partnership Canada, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion

and protection of bees.

“Overall, we just want to have a good time,” Styles says. “We plan to turn HoneyFest

into an annual festival. We both went into this with little experience and it’s been a steep

learning curve, but it’s also been a lot of fun. We think we’re on the verge of something

that could be great for the community and arts scene in Calgary.”

Saturday, Aug 17 / 3pm at ContainR Site in Sunnyside

WOOLWORM

Vancouver’s Woolworm work through

their existential crises through hardcore

therapy. Loud-quiet dynamics

transform their roar into total pop

bangers that jangle and soar with

unnerving ease. Woolworm’s wall of

sound envelopes you as you follow

them as they barrel through songs

about loss, regret and alienation.

Saturday, August 10 at The Palomino,

Tix: $12 in adv

No More Moments

10 Year Anniversary

Ten years in, No More Moments are still fast, aggressive and heavy as

hell. The Siksika foursome take the best parts of classic 80s hardcore

and make it their own. Through countless shows, endless miles toured

in a busted van and with the incredible strength of their bond at the

core, No More Moments continues to blaze a path forward on and off

the reserve.

Aug. 8 / Run As One Festival (Siksika Nation),

Aug. 9 / North Bloom Jamboree (Tsuut’ina Nation),

Aug 10 / Dickens Pub

C-Square Summer

Concert Series

The National Music Centre and the East Village have partnered

to present the C-Square concert series, a free, family-friendly

weekly event every Saturday in August. Each week

showcases different sounds from Calgary’s diverse cultural

and musical communities including: Klezmer in the Square

with Schmenge and The Calgary Musicscapes Band

(August 3); Chinese Traditional in the Square with

Musesica Trio and the Harmony Guzheng Ensemble

(August10); Gospel in the Square with HAVEN

Vanguard and the Calgary South Sudanese

Gospel Choir (August 17); and dance to Latin in

the Square with Carolina Slim with La Mosca

(August 24).

Every Saturday in August, 1-4 pm /

East Village

www.beaseatery.com Open 8am Daily for Breakfast 1023 9th ave s.e. (inside bite in Inglewood)

Carolina Slim

42 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 43


07.19YYCMUSIC

SELCI:

Electro-indie artist finds

herself in music By SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO

W

hen Selci first started

writing music she

was living in Winnipeg

studying classical

music, but her songwriting didn’t

seem to jive with her program.

After taking an experimental

ensemble class, surrounded by synthesizers

and found music objects,

she began to discover a whole new

language for her music, pairing the

electronic and synthesized loops of

the DJs she grew up listening to with

the intimate, introspective lyrics she

was writing.

“I used to listen to electronic music

but I had no idea how it worked,”

she says. “I kind of kept digging into

it and it resonated with me. I felt like

a detective. Every time I learned a

new thing, it was so exciting. I could

never really commit the same way

to learning a guitar, for instance.

With producing, I’m just as excited

about learning about it as I am with

singing.”

The seeds of what would become

her debut EP, Effervescence, out

August 28, were sown during that

time. She continued to work on both

her writing and production, feeling

more comfortable in her newfound

identities as she explored themes of

freedom and self-realization through

her music.

When it came time to actually

produce and record her album, she

GOLDENVOICE & SONIC 102.9 PRESENT

SSIC

D

44 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

enlisted the help of one of her heroes,

Sylvia Massy (Prince, Kate Bush), to

help her mix the work. Working alongside

Massy in Oregon, she took the

opportunity to learn about producing,

engineering and mixing, and to shed

some of the Imposter Syndrome baggage

she had been carrying with her.

“I kind of devalued how much I

knew about what I was doing,” says

Selci. “When I went there and was

working with her one-on-one, she

really validated me. This was a woman

I idolized and she was able to validate

that I was on the right path.”

The result is an intimate and honest

EP in which Selci emerges with a

confident voice. Themes of societal

and artistic liberation are couched in

gorgeous ambient pop structures and

ethereal production. She bridges the

indie and electronic worlds with ease,

bringing the storytelling of the former

to the ghostly arrangements of the

latter, all while finding her own artistic

voice.

“How can you find yourself in a

world that’s not made for you?” Selci

asks. “The only way that you can find

that space is through art, to commit

to who you are and connect with who

you are as a person. The whole process

of writing, I felt like I was getting

to know myself better as a person.

Especially as an artist.”

Saturday, August 31 /

Beltline Urban Mural Project / Free

Y

SEPTEMBER 7

SEPTEMBER 8

. HAWRELAK PARK .

TICKETS AT TICKETMASTER.CA & ALL TICKETMASTER LOCATIONS

1 36?

Wednesday, Aug 21 at Ship & Anchor

Art-pop weirdos 36? return from

a west coast tour for a free homecoming

show at the Ship.

2

CLOSE TALKER

IMMERSION SHOW

Friday, August 16 at Vogue Theatre

Close Talker’s Immersion Tour

gives everyone headphones and

pipes in cutting-edge binaural mixes

of their upcoming album for a

unique approach to their live show.

3

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK

EMPEROR

Monday, August 26 at the Palace Theatre

Canada’s post-rock cerebralists,

Godspeed You! Black Emperor,

make their first Calgary appearance

since guest curating Sled

Island 2015.

4

SLAM FESTIVAL

Saturday, August 10 at 311 8 St SW

Bringing surf culture to no-coast

Calgary, SLAM’s main event is a

day of music, including Bombargo,

Fever Feel, Lashes, The Varmoors

and more.

5

The Cheat Sheet BR PICKS THE 5 ESSENTIAL LIVE MUSIC SHOWS

HONEY FEST

Saturday, August 17 at ContainR Site

(Sunnyside)

Honey Fest marks their debut with

live music including Windigo, The

Moonshake and more, plus food

trucks and a beer collaboration

with Zero Issue for a family-friendly

afternoon.

COUNTRY/BLUESFOLK

INDIE

PUNK

HIPHOP/R&BPOP

ROCK

HARDCORE

1 COPSICKLE

Sunday, August 4 at Broken City

An all ages punk banger with Copsickle,

Hazardous Punks (Edmonton)

and Class of ’93. Starts at 7pm

sharp for those on a school night.

2 stab.twist.pull

Friday, August 9 at The Palomino

Classic hardcore comes home to

the Palomino with a stacked bill,

including Chips Ov Oi (Edmonton),

Born Broken (Montreal), plus locals

stab.twist.pull and The Motherfuckers

3

PUNK ROCK SING-ALONG

Monday, August 12, 19 and 26

at Ship & Anchor

Rob and Eric return to the Ship patio

every Monday in August for their

incredibly fun punk rock sing-along

featuring all the classics.

4

THE APPLESEED CAST

Thursday, August 15 at Dickens Pub

The Appleseed Cast have been

one of the principle flagbearers for

post-hardcore/emo for more than

two decades.

5 ACTORS

Friday, August 16 at Dickens Pub

Vancouver’s goth punks, ACTORS,

are angling for worldwide domination

with their angular darkwave

hooks digging deep into the dance

floor.

1

GABRIEL PALATCHI

Wednesday, August 14 at King Eddy

Argentine Latin jazz master, Gabriel

Palatchi, brings his world-class

compositions to the King Eddy

stage for a fusion night that bridges

blues, tango and pop influences

2

PETUNIA & THE VIPERS

Friday, August 23 at Ironwood

Stage & Grill

Vancouver’s Petunia & the Vipers

update classic country and folk

traditions.

3

LUCAS CHAISSON

Thursday, August 29 at Ironwood

Stage & Grill

Edmonton’s Lucas Chaisson is set

to release Most True Thing, an

album five years in the making that

dives deep.

4

ANI DIFRANCO

Friday, August 9 Bella Concert Hall

Known as the “mother of the DIY

movement,” Ani DiFranco’s career

as an activist, poet and songwriter

has spanned decades.

5 BAHAMAS

Sunday, August 11 at Shaw

Amphitheatre (Banff Centre)

Afie Jurvanen brings his indie

folk meditations to the gorgeous

setting of the Shaw Amphitheatre.

Soak it all in while nestled in the

heart of the Rockies.

1 CHERSEA

Thursday, August 29 at Dickens Pub

Vancouver’s Chersea surrounds

herself with looped synthesizers

and soaring keys as she builds a

shimmering, ethereal world.

2 SELCI

Wednesday, August 28 at TBA

Local electronic singer-songwriter,

Selci, is set to release her debut

EP at a secret location that will be

announced on social media the

week of. (Story page 44)

3 HUCCI

Thursday, August 22 at

Commonwealth Bar & Stage

UK trap powerhouse, Hucci,

descends on Calgary for Commonwealth’s

LVL UP, customer

appreciation series. Free before

10:30 pm.

4 SUBTRONICS

Thursday, August 22 Commonwealth

Bar & Stage (basement)

Dubstep reigns supreme with Subtronics.

Huge basslines will rumble

the basement apart all night as

part of LVL UP.

5

CHASING SUMMER 2019

Saturday, August 3 - Sunday,

Aug 4 at Max Bell Centre

One of the biggest electronic

music festivals of the season,

Chasing Summer returns with a

stacked lineup including: Steve

Aoki, The Chainsmokers, Alesso,

Infected Mushroom and more.

1 WOOLWORM

Saturday, August 10 at The Palomino

Woolworm (Mint Records, Vancouver)

combine the heaviness of their

hardcore origins with the jangling

beauty of modern, fuzzed-out

slacker pop..

2

THE DIRTY NIL

Saturday, August 24 at

Commonwealth Bar & Stage

The Dirty Nil are on a stratospheric

trajectory that reclaims arena rock

and takes it back into the intimate

clubs where it belongs.

3

CHRIS CRESWELL

Friday, August 16 at Broken City

The Flatliners’ Chris Cresswell

returns for another rousing night of

his extensive folk-punk catalogue,

including stories and songs back

to 2002.

4

RIVAL SONS

Wednesday, August 28 at the

Palace Theatre

Fuzzed-out classic rock revivalists

from Los Angeles evoke the

bluesy sound of classic bands like

Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

Crown Lands will turn up the intensity

early.

5

BLACK PISTOL FIRE

Friday, August 9 at

Commonwealth Bar & Stage

Black Pistol Fire update classic

rock influences (Zeppelin, Nirvana)

for the modern desert, ripping

through howling solos all the way

from Austin, Texas.

AUGUST 2019 BEATROUTE 45


Savage Love

BY DAN SAVAGE

Fingering It Out

I’m a 36-year-old straight guy,

happily married for more than 10

years, and a longtime reader. My

wife and I are monogamous. We’re

good communicators, well matched

in terms of libido, and slightly kinky

(light bondage, Dom/sub play in the

bedroom). For the last few months,

I’ve been thinking about trying

prostate play, and I have a couple

of questions. A lot of bloggers and

other writers in the sex-advice

complex tout the health benefits

of regular prostate massage, but

I haven’t found any academic research

to back up some of the lofty

claims that are being made. Does

prostate massage reduce the risk

of prostate cancer and prostatitis?

Now the relationship question: I’ve

brought partnered prostate play up

with my wife, and it’s a hard pass

for her. Hygiene is an issue, but

that’s easy to take care of (shower,

enema, gloves, towels on the bed,

etc.). The other part deals with our

power dynamics. Typically, I’m the

Dom, and, based on the limited

conversations we’ve had about this,

there is something about penetrating

me that she finds deeply

uncomfortable. What should I do?

How do I frame this conversation

in a way that may make her more

comfortable and gets her finger(s)

in my ass? We’ve shared so much—

she’s an incredible partner who has

helped me realize so many of my

fantasies, and I’d like her to be a

part of this one, too.

Partner Protests Prostate Play

If there were any legit studies

out there that documented the

health benefits of regular prostate

massage, PPPP, Richard Wassersug,

PhD, would know about it.

Wassersug is a research scientist

at the University of British Columbia,

where he studies ways to help

prostate cancer patients manage

the side effects of their treatments.

“I’d like to believe that I’m knowledgeable

on this topic,” Wassersug

said, “[but] I checked PubMed to

see if I’d missed anything in the

relevant and recent peer-reviewed

medical literature. As I expected,

there are no objective data supporting

the claim that ‘regular prostate

massage’ reduces the risk of prostate

cancer and prostatitis. [And

while] prostate massage can be

used to express prostatic fluid for

diagnostic purposes, that’s not the

same as using it for the treatment

of any prostatic diseases.”

But that doesn’t mean that prostate

massage isn’t beneficial; absence

of evidence, as they say, isn’t evidence

of absence.

“We [just] don’t know,” said Wassersug,

and finding out “would, in

fact, take a very large sample and

many years to collect enough data

to provide a definitive answer.”

But there definitely is something

you can do right now to decrease

your risk of prostate cancer, PPPP:

Two large studies found that men

who ejaculate frequently—more

than 21 times per month—are

roughly 35 percent less likely to

develop prostate cancer than

men who blow fewer loads. So if

sticking things up your butt makes

you come more often, then science

says sticking things up your butt

will reduce your risk of prostate

cancer.

Researchers don’t know exactly

why coming a lot may reduce a

man’s risk for prostate cancer.

There’s no data to support one

frequently mentioned theory—that

ejaculation may flush out “irritating

or harmful substances” that could

be gathering in the prostate along

with the fluids that make up roughly

30 percent of a man’s seminal

fluids—so, again, more research

is needed. And until those studies

are done, men and other prostate-having

people should err on

the side of ejaculating as often as

(safely and consensually) possible.

As for convincing your otherwise

submissive wife to finger your ass,

PPPP, you could search for “power

bottoms” on the gay section of

Pornhub—assuming your wife

enjoys gay porn—and familiarize

her with the concept of dominant

penetratees. You could also add

female condoms to your list of

hygiene hacks—put one of these

trash-can liners in your ass, and

the only thing your wife will get on

her fingers is lube. But if anal play

is a hard no for the wife, you’ll have

to enjoy anal play solo.

Richard Wassersug co-leads Life

on ADT (lifeonadt.com), a national

educational program in Canada for

prostate cancer patients dealing

with the side effects of androgen

deprivation therapy.

I am a poly nonbinary person,

and I’ve been seeing this guy in

a BDSM context for about six

months. About two times a month,

he canes me and destroys my ass,

I get to call him “daddy,” and I get

fucked in mind-blowing ways. In

the beginning, I expressed interest

in dating (with more emotional

investment), and he said he didn’t

have the mental space for it but

he’d be interested in trying to

develop something eventually. So

we’ve played and had fun, and I’m

starting to get feels for this guy…

buuuuut… he’s given me no indication

he’s interested in anything beyond

our current arrangement. I’ve

said, “Hey, let’s schedule a date,”

something like dinner, coffee, a

walk around the fucking block, but

he just wants to fuck, no talking.

What he wants isn’t what I’m

looking for, so I decided to take my

business elsewhere and focus my

energy on my other relationships.

Well, his mom just got diagnosed

with cancer and has a couple

months to live. He’s devastated.

What are the ethics of breaking up

here? I dislike just ghosting, but

he’s got other friends and lovers

to support him. He doesn’t really

need me. But he does on occasion

send little “thinking of you” texts.

So am I able to ghost him? Do I

owe him a conversation about

wants and needs? I’d like to be

friends—I am part of a small kinky

community, I’m friends with some

of his fuck buddies, and I’m going

to run into him again—but this isn’t

a time in his life when he should be

worrying about the feelings of a

now-and-then spanking partner.

Ghosting Has Obvious

Shortcomings That Suck

You’ve constructed a false choice

for yourself, GHOSTS: either

initiate a conversation about your

wants and needs or ghost him. But

there’s no need for a wants-andneeds

convo, as you’ve already had

that conversation (more than once)

and his don’t align with yours. So

instead of disappearing on him, you

can simply respond to his “thinking

of you” texts with short, thoughtful,

compassionate texts of your own.

(“Thinking of you, too, especially at

this difficult time.”) The odds that

he’ll want to meet up in the next

few months seem slim, and you can

always claim a scheduling conflict if

he should ask to get together.

Being friendly is the trick to remaining

friends after a casual sexual

arrangement ends. Kindly acknowledging

someone’s texts—or greeting

someone in public—doesn’t obligate

you to sleep with (or submit to) them

again. And while in most cases I

would advise a person to be direct…

in this case, I think you should simply

step back. Calling him to say, “Hey,

I know your mom has cancer and

is dying, but I needed to tell you I’m

not interested in fucking around

anymore, okay?” will make you

seem self-involved, thoughtless, and

uncaring—you know, not the kind of

person someone wants to remain

friends with after a casual sexual

arrangement ends.

Now, if you were this man’s primary

partner, GHOSTS, and you’d been

thinking about ending the relationship

before he got the news about

his mother, I would encourage you

to wait a few months and love and

support him through this process.

(Unless the relationship was abusive,

of course, which this one wasn’t.)

But you’re just a FWB—a “friend

with bruises,” in your case—and this

man has other friends and lovers

around him, people whose support

he can rely on during this difficult

time.

46 BEATROUTE AUGUST 2019

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