BeatRoute Magazine BC Edition - October 2019

beatroute

BeatRoute Magazine is a music monthly and website that also covers: fashion, film, travel, liquor and cannabis all through the lens of a music fan. Distributed in British Columbia and Alberta, Ontario edition coming Thursday, October 4, 2019. BeatRoute’s Alberta edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

OCTOBER 2019 • FREE

CHARLI

XCX

POP'S

PARTY

QUEEN

STACKS

THE

GUESTLIST


BUY BETTER,

BUY LESS

JOHN FLUEVOG SHOES 837 GRANVILLE ST 604·688·2828 65 WATER ST 604·688·6228 FLUEVOG.COM


Contents

BEATROUTE

BEATROUTE

BEAT

ROUTE

BR

BRLIVE

BRYYZ

Music

4

7

21

23

28

The Guide

Toronto Raptors DJ,

4Korners, dishes on his top

tracks for ballin’.

Concert Previews

Big Thief, Chastity, Dead

Soft, KOKOKO!, nêhiyawak,

One True Pairing, Iggy Pop

and more.

The Playlist

All the singles we can’t stop

listening to this month.

Album Reviews

Angel Olsen, Refused,

Wilco, FKA twigs, Prefab

Sprout, Kacy & Clayton and

more.

Live Reviews

Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You tour

really is Good Ss Hell, while

Leikeli47 brings her masked

flavour to heat up Westward

Music Festival and

more online at beatroute.ca.

Cover Story

22

Charli XCX

From underground raves to

the top of the pops, Charli

XCX is a star on her own

terms

Screen Time

40 New Bruce Springsteen concert

doc Western Stars brings the

late-career album masterpiece

to the screen while Renee

Zellweger shines in a career

defining role as Judy Garland.

LifeStyle

35

36

38

That’s Dope

THC oil has recently hit the market

and it is not lost on celebrity

cannabis aficionados.

Travel

Iceland Airwaves is Reykjavík’s

hottest annual music party. We

tap into some crucial insight

before visiting the land of fire

and ice.

Style

Rising R&B star Zsela is about to

hit the road with Cat Power. We

met up with her in NYC before

she took off to find out how style

informs her soothing sounds.

Tonye

Aganaba:

An Artist to

Watch,

page 17

LIZ ROSA

Joji, Sept. 13, 2019 at the Queen

Elizabeth Theatre for Westward Music

Festival. Check out our review of this

show and more at beatroute.ca

YVR

41

43

45

46

YVR Agenda

Acclaimed American photographer

Cindy Sherman is celebrated

for her ability to evoke and

manipulate the power of appearances

in this 170+ retrospective

at the VAG.

John Fluevog:

Vancouver’s coveted rock and

roll shoe designer celebrates 50

years of unique soles for unique

souls.

Chutzpah! Festival

Jewish performing arts festival

welcomes artists from around the

world in a celebration of cultural

and creative diversity.

Plus The BeatRoute Cheat

Sheet brings you the essential

shows for October in Vancouver.

DARROLE PALMER

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 3


UpFront

OCTOBER

Champion Sound:

4Korners

4Korners has been the official DJ for the

Toronto Raptors since 2005—way before they

were the NBA Champions. Now, 4Korners

regularly plays to more than 20,000 fans per

night at the Raptors home court. We asked him

for his top tracks to hype up fans and players

as we close in on the 2019/2020 tip-off.

JAY ROCK - Win

This was our battle cry all season; I dropped

it as the guys touched the court every night.

This is my way of saying, “We’re NOT the polite

Canadians here to play nice. We’re here to do

one thing: “WIN!”

SHOWTEK - featuring We Are Loud

and Sonny WIlson - Booyah

I don’t care who you are—you hear this come

on during a game you’re gonna get charged

up! One of the guys from Showtek told me

they made the song to be played at football

(soccer) games in Holland which explains that

arena energy.

4KORNERS, Natra, Kyngz

and DJ Overule - I Want More

One of the best parts of being both a DJ/producer

is that I get to play my own music. During

the playoffs I got together with a few talented

artists and made this record. It’s the right vibe

for the stadium: hard, bass heavy and is about

wanting the most out of life.

BLUR - Song 2

This one has been a staple for me for years. It’s

one of those records that everyone knows and

when it’s played at the right moment will have

the entire country yelling “WOO HOO!” I rock

this at BIG moments and we had a lot of those

this season.

DRAKE - Started From The Bottom

This is an OBVIOUS one, but how could I not?

It’s been meaningful to us (as we have) moved

past the “happy to be here” stage and locked

in on building a winning legacy. Skip ahead to

this season and it was like a prophecy: WE THE

CHAMPS! I played this in Jurassic Park with

Drake on stage after we won the CHIP WIT DA

DIP—That’s poetry!

BEATROUTE

Publisher

Julia Rambeau Smith

Editor in Chief

Glenn Alderson

Creative Director

Troy Beyer

Managing Editors

Josephine Cruz

Melissa Vincent

Contributing Editors

Sebastian Buzzalino

Dayna Mahannah

Contributors

Ben Boddez • Jodi Brak

Jessica D’Angelo • Karina Espinosa

Natalie Harman

Courtney Heffernan • Kate Killet

Christine Leonard • Cam Lindsay

Maggie McPhee •

David McPherson • Pat Mullen

Jennie Orton • Johnny Papan

Tory Rosso • Yasmine Shemesh

Graeme Wiggins • Daniel Wilson

Contributing Photographers

Lindsey Blane • @alienyeux

Alexander Antonijevic

Megan-Magdalena Bourne

Michael Buisha • Dustin Condren

Aiden Cullen

Michaela De Cantis Wong

Jabari Flemings • Annie Forrest

Luke Gilford • Sheva Kafai

Kate Killet • Shervin Lainez

Devon Little • Levi Manchak

Alec Marchant • Liz Rosa

Diego Villarreal • John Warwick

Alex Wasspi • Tsutomu Yabuuchi

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,

Saskatoon and Toronto

Contact Us

2405 East Hastings St.

Vancouver, BC

V5K 1Y8

e-mail:

editor@beatroute.ca


@beatroutemedia


@beatroutemedia


beatroutemedia

beatroute.ca


Upcoming Shows

CORNELIUS

OCTOBER 2

DOORS: 7PM

19+

KISHI BASHI

OCTOBER 5

DOORS: 8PM

19+

OCT

10

YOKE LORE

DOORS: 8PM

19+

THRUSH

HERMIT

OCTOBER 14

DOORS: 7PM

19+

OCT

JADE BIRD

17

DOORS: 8PM

19+

LAST

DINOSAURS w/

BORN

RUFFIANS

OCTOBER 24

DOORS: 7PM

19+

OCT

29

ELECTRIC

GUEST

DOORS: 7PM

19+

/IMPERIALVANCOUVER

6 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019

@IMPERIALVANCOUVER

@IMPERIAL_VAN

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT IMPERIALVANCOUVER.COM


MUSiC

BIG

THIEF

Brooklyn folk-rockers’ less-is-more

sound approaches perfection

By MAGGIE MCPHEE

F

ate does not smile upon the initial

attempt at an interview with

Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne

Lenker. What starts as technological

difficulties — navigating her Brooklyn

apartment for a clear signal — escalates when a

balcony window pops out of its frame and falls

on her girlfriend’s head.

When she calls back later in the day after

making sure no harm had been done, Lenker

uses the incident as a point of departure to

discuss the intention behind Two Hands, the

Brooklyn-based indie-folk outfit’s second album

of 2019. “The earth is like a body, like a

vessel. It’s our truest home just like our bodies

are homes. And if I get a cut or if I hit my head,”

she says with a laugh, “I’m suddenly aware of

all this fragility,‘oh it’s the only body I’ve got,

I better take care of this precious being.’ That’s

Earth.”

It takes a disarmingly short amount of time on

the phone for Lenker to ease into the philosophical.

She’s discerning in a way that would cause

whiplash if not for her humility. Lenker precedes

every point with “I wonder if” and punctuates

her insight with laughter and nearly audible

shrugs. Long silences elapse as she gathers her

thoughts, and when she does speak the words

emanate from a deeply thoughtful place.

Big Thief’s open-heartedness and commitment

to surviving “as an organism, as one entity,”

has led them to a remarkable place: not

only will they have released U.F.O.F. and Two

Hands just six months shy of each other, but

the two projects coalesce into a broader meta-

CONTINUED ON PG. 8 k

DUSTIN CONDREN

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 7


MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS

MUSiC CONCERT PREVIEWS

October 24

to Nove m ber 24

SANDRA BERNHARD Quick Sand! (USA) “observational comedy with style,

and right on the political” – The New Yorker “musicality to die for…” Los Angeles Times

Vogue Theatre | Thursday October 31 | 8pm

GARY LUCAS (USA) world-renowned guitarist/composer accompanies iconic

films Frankenstein and Spanish Dracula "One of the best and most original

guitarists in America...a modern guitar miracle" – Rolling Stone

Norman Rothstein Theatre

Wednesday October 30 | 7pm – Frankenstein | 9pm – Spanish Dracula

RAMI KLEINSTEIN (Israel) award-winning singer, pianist and composer.

“One of Israel’s most acclaimed pop stars” – The Times of Israel

Norman Rothstein Theatre | Sunday October 27 | 7:30pm

GUY MINTUS TRIO (Israel/USA) combining “Arabic maqam, Jewish folk

song, Eastern European dance rhythms and, especially, classic hard bop, with

such ebullient grace that you’d think they all originated in the very same place.”

– The New York Times

Norman Rothstein Theatre | Sunday October 29 | 8pm

GEOFF BERNER, TJ Dawe & Friends (Canada) new klezmer musical,

The Trombonik Returns to New Chelm and CD release party of Geoff’s

new album Grand Hotel Cosmopolis

Wise Hall | Friday November 1 | doors 7:15pm 19+

YEMEN BLUES – HALLEL (Israel/USA) Yemen Blues is “Quite simply, it’s one

of the most exciting bands in world music” – Time Out Chicago

Rickshaw Theatre | Saturday November 9 | doors 7:15pm 19+

AvevA (Israel) Ethiopian-Israeli singer/songwriter is “A truly

unique voice comes along that needs to be heard by everyone” – TimeOut

BC’s Leila Neverland with Mountain Sound opens!

Rickshaw Theatre | Saturday

November 14 | doors 7:15pm 19+

Jewish Community Centre

of Greater Vancouver

Tickets 604.257.5145

CHUTZPAHFESTIVAL.COM

BIG

THIEF

k CONTINUED FROM PG. 7

physical inquiry. The two records,

nicknamed “the celestial twin” and

“the earth twin,” wonder about individuality

and collectivity in an

era marked by acute isolation and

helplessness.

If U.F.O.F. (Unidentified Flying

Object Friend) wanted to venture

into the cosmos to befriend “the

BIG THIEF

Wednesday, Oct. 16

Phoenix Concert Theatre

(Toronto)

Friday, Oct. 25

The Vogue Theatre

(Vancouver)

other,” then Two Hands redirects that gaze

earthward and inward. Two Hands is grounding:

“Maybe to realize that there is no other,

maybe to dissolve that feeling,” she says.

Lenker wrote fervently over the last two

years during two back-to-back world tours.

After a demo session in Topanga Canyon last

year resulted in 40 or 50 songs, the band realized

they enough for multiple records. But a

double album “would’ve been too dense, specifically

with this material,” Lenker explains.

“So we decided to make two albums.”

“[U.F.O.F.] started imaging as more ethereal,

celestial, and cosmic. [On Two Hands] we

wanted to be like bones and blood and very

human. It felt ambitious but it all made a lot of

sense once we got into it.”

Big Thief leaned on the opposing natural

environments of the Pacific Northwest rainforest

and the New Mexico desert to guide the

sonic differences between both albums. Their

U.F.O.F. sessions in the middle of a forest outside

Seattle “just flowed,” the lush greenery

and plentiful oxygen translating into the soft,

airy sounds on the album.

Less than a week later, the foursome evaporated

that fluidity under the scorching El

Paso sun. They grew “wily” in the 105-degree

weather. “We needed to shake off the desert

dust, to push through it.” They needed to fight.

Creating in such a hot and barren climate

Tix: $23.50 - $30, ticketfly.com

birthed songs that sound burnt to a

crisp. After a few failed sessions,

the band experimented by placing

their instruments as close together

as possible.

All but two songs feature live

vocal takes so that Lenker’s voice

hovers, suspended in the dry air,

clear and vulnerable. Krivchenia’s

muted percussions and Meek’s guitar are

evoke the feeling of cracked clay earth.

With Two Hands, Big Thief has tapped into

the vulnerability, immediacy, and universality

of the corporeal realm to craft an intensely political

record without using political language.

Lenker writes about the human body — the

most immediate and relatable thing — to bring

listeners into a shared sense of grief for our

disconnection to each other and to the earth,

while also pleading with us to refocus our energy

into our “immediate surroundings.”

“I think we can all feel the wounds of the

earth and the wounds we impose upon each

other. It’s very easy to distract from that feeling,

but if you’re really tuned in there’s just

this giant aching throbbing pain that anyone

could feel.”

For her, most pain is ancestral and inherited

by each generation but we still have agency to

change it by “working with that energy and

transforming it through many, many, many

acts of love over time.”

She wonders what would happen if everyone

poured love into themselves, worked on

their relationship with their grandmothers, and

“grew a little garden.”

“If everyone turned inwardly and worked

on that microcosm, we would then have a big,

beautiful peaceful macrocosm. It would just be

contagious.” ,

MICHAEL BUISHA

8 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


KOKOKO!

CONGOLESE COLLECTIVE'S RAW PARTY SOUND FLIES IN THE FACE OF EVERYTHING

YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT AFRICAN MUSIC

By DANIEL WILSON

W

hen most Western audiences

think of music from Africa,

two artists usually come to

mind: Nigerian rebel Afrobeat

singer and composer Fela

Kuti, and Ghanaian Juju guitarist King

Sunny Ade. While these artists are easily

among the most recognizable (and iconic)

artists to emerge from Africa, they represent

only a small fraction of the musical

landscape in the world’s second largest

continent.

From villages in Niger to metropolitan

urban sprawls like Nairobi and Lagos, an

entire generation of artists have sprung up

to create cross-genre music that refuses

to be bogged down by convention. And

by forfeiting the established rules of what

audiences expect from African musicians,

they’re developing alternative music

influenced by the continent’s sprawling

geography and distinct cultures.

KOKOKO! is a part of this new wave of

“African Alternative.” Since the group’s

inception in 2016, the Congolese band has

garnered international attention and acclaim

for crafting off-kilter soundscapes,

and for their unparalleled live performances.

Known for their signature yellow

jumpsuits, over the phone from Spain

that the band’s “electronicist” and “metal”

percussionist Xavier Thomas described,

the outfits as “a way to stand out in the

busyness of Kinshasa.”

Their sound is an elaborate fusion of

electronic dance, post-punk, rap, and

traditional Congolese musical genres,

and the band has used Lingala (one of

the many languages spoken in the Congo

Region) terms like “tekno kintueni” and

“xx” to describe their style. A defining

trait of the band’s music is the way they

play with form - to construct a wholly

unique soundscape. KOKOKO! play on

unorthodox DIY instruments made from

everything from bits of sheet metal, plastic

detergent bottles, and most famously, a

one-stringed guitar.

“It has been challenging at times convincing

customs officers and officials at

airports that we are just carrying instruments

and nothing dangerous,” he laughs.

Figuring out how to move between

space has been a core element of the

band since their beginning. While a majority

of the group resides permanently

in The Democratic Republic of Congo,

Thomas splits his time between Kinshasa

and Europe.

“It was difficult when we first started

playing together because of technological

barriers to communication,” he

explained. “Eventually things settled into a

rhythm. We now send each other ideas via

WhatsApp or share ideas with each other

while touring that we will then flesh out

when we get back to Kinshasa.”

As a proudly international band, Canada

is an exciting and important tour stop for

them. “The Congolese community is very

strong in Montreal and Toronto and they

have been asking us for a while when we

are going to play in those cities,” Thomas

says. While they’re in North America,

KOKOKO! hope they can meet another

famous Congolian—Serge Ibaka, the superstar

defender on the Toronto Raptors.

“I mean, if any of your readers know him,’’

Thomas said laughing, “Maybe they could

pass it along.” ,


MUSiC CONCERT PREVIEW

LEVI MANCHAK

nêhiyawak

Indigenous trio nêhiyawak join the resistance on debut LP By SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO

I

t seems fitting that when

BeatRoute connected with

Matthew Cardinal, bassist and

synth player for the band nêhiyawak,

they were recovering

from a severe thunderstorm that

had rained out their set at Supercrawl

in Hamilton, Ontario.

“They had to close down the

stages and there was lightning

everywhere,” he says. “Luckily, they

were able to get everything going

in time for Buffy Sainte-Marie.”

That nêhiyawak were caught up

in such forces of nature suits the

thunderous and atmospheric indie

rock. Rounded out by Kris Harper

on vocals and guitars, and Marek

Tyler on drums, the trio from amiskwaciy

in Treaty 6 Territory (current

day Edmonton) weaves together

intricate soundscapes chiming with

jangly guitars, modulated synths,

and swelling rhythms. It’s the sound

of prairies nêhiyawak

sighing, of Friday, Oct. 4

mountains Aviary (Edmonton)

uprising, Saturday, Oct. 5

of rivers King Eddy (Calgary))

racing and Tix: $12, showclix.com

skies splitting

open, all devoted to investigating

their land, history, and heritage.

Combining contemporary indie

songwriting and traditional methods

of storytelling, nêhiyawak are

part of a renaissance of Indigenous

artists from across Canada using

their music to unravel the legacies

of colonialism.

“The subject matter is pretty

important for me — it’s pretty

intense,” explains Cardinal. “It’s

inspired by the Idle No More

moments, the Sixties Scoop, the

displacement of Indigenous people

in general.”

Their debut full-length, nipiy,

which translates to “water,” is a

spirited expression of resistance.

Bookended with odes to kisiskâciwanisîpiy

(North Saskatchewan

River), the flow and rhythm of water

is a central part of the album’s

identity, and nêhiyawak leverage

their teachings that come from

water as a lens to raise awareness

for the themes they tackle.

“If people can hear our music

and learn from that, and then reach

out to other people, that’s all we

could ask for,” says Cardinal. “It’s

cool to be part of all these Indigenous

musicians who are gaining

some traction, and getting our

stories out.”

nipiy is out October 24

on Arts & Crafts

10 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


Upcoming S hows

LEO DAN

OCTOBER 4

DOORS: 7PM

19+

OCT

6

JIDENNA: 85 TO

AFRICA TOUR

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

PUP

OCTOBER 8-9

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

HOBO

JOHNSON

& THE

LOVEMAKERS

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

OCT

10

ANDREW BIRD

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

OCT

17

ON THE

BENCH

OCTOBER 19

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

MATT MAYS

OCTOBER 23

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

OCT

25

BIG

THIEF

DOORS: 8PM

ALL AGES

TIFFANY

YOUNG

OCTOBER 27

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

NATASHA

BEDINGFIELD

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

OCT

28

OCT

29

DANNY

BROWN

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

OCT

30

CANNIBAL

CORPSE

DOORS: 7PM

ALL AGES

OCT

31

SANDRA

BERNHARD:

QUICK SAND

DOORS: 7:15PM

ALL AGES

/THEVOGUETHEATREVANCOUVER

@THEVOGUETHEATRE

@THEVOGUETHEATRE

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT VOGUETHEATRE.COM


JABARI FLEMINGS

MUSiC CONCERT PREVIEWS

CHASTITY

Brandon Williams made a protest album from

the heart of the suburbs By COURTNEY HEFFERNAN

B

randon Williams has

an ambivalent relationship

to his hometown

in southern Ontario.

It serves as both the

inspiration behind his music, and

place that’s a subject to criticism.

“The finance minister under

Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty,

lived 300 metres away from me,”

Williams says from an airy loft in

Toronto’s Junction, where he’s

been working with director Justin

Singer on a video accompaniment

for Chastity’s forthcoming

album, Home Made Satan. “He

had a massive sprawling property

among these average to small

one-car garage type of homes. It

was this privilege on the hill, and

then the rest of us. It’s just this

weird...” he pauses, reflecting.

“It’s Whitby, you know?”

On Chastity’s debut album,

Death Lust (2018), Williams

leveled his criticism of organized

religion and unravelled the

experience of losing faith with

unrelenting intensity.

On his sophomore album,

Home Made Satan, he presents

a scathing criticism of far-right

politics. He talks about exposing

racists and the KKK in Ontario

(“Spirit Meetup”) and about

misogyny and hostility towards

marginalized people (“The Girls

I Know Don’t Think So”). While

he contrasts the American

Dream with “elected fascists”

(“Flames”), throughout Home

Made Satan he plants his narrative

close to home to criticize

inequality in Canadian society.

12 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019

“Home Made Satan is about

continuing to fight for your life,

about defending other vulnerable

lives,” says Williams in an

Instagram post in advance of the

album release.

In the video for “The Girls I

Know Don’t Think So,” Charlotte

Nurse – an activist

and friend of Williams’

– and Holden Wednesday, Oct. 30

CHASTITY

Abraham, son of

The Great Hall (Toronto)

Fucked Up vocalist

Friday, Nov. 8

Damian Abrahams,

The Rec Room (Calgary)

carry signs that say,

Saturday, Nov. 9

“Black Trans Lives

The Rec Room (Edmonton)

Matter.” It’s a message

Nurse selected

Thursday, Nov. 14

and Williams endorses.

“It’s a voice that Friday, Nov. 15

The Biltmore Cabaret (Van.)

matters to me,” Williams

explains. When

Lucky Bar (Victoria)

asked if he found it

challenging to write lyrics as an

ally, he says, “No, not at all… To

me it feels inevitable.”

For Williams, naming the album

was crucial to its narrative. It was

an intentional decision to call it

Home Made Satan, rather than

Homemade Satan. “I wanted

to emphasize the home,” he

explains. “It’s an album about

seclusion, and just hatching a

million different fears.”

“I think it happens in America

a lot, and I think it happens in

Canada. It’s how these nasty

people get elected. I just wanted

to emphasize home and where

some of this shit gets birthed.”

While Home Made Satan is

more effortlessly melodic than the

deftly discordant Death Lust, it

has in common unflinching lyrics.

Like Chastity’s debut, Home Made

Satan is a concept album. The

album’s protagonist is an unnamed

young boy growing up in Whitby.

Much of the character was

inspired by is own upbringing with

some flexibility. “I’ve given myself

some liberty to say things,” he

admits. “On ‘I Still Feel the Same’

I say, ‘Bring your Parliament / to

my subdivision / we’ll rip them limb

from limb / I’m talking Andrew,

Justin.’

Of the shift in focus on Chastity’s

albums from religion to

politics, Williams says, “I think a

political record was inevitable.” After

touring through North America

and Europe behind Death Lust last

year, Williams realized that once

his music had reached cities as

far as London and Berlin, he felt

responsible for using it as a political

and social vehicle.“Using this

platform for the greater good was

needed. I just felt compelled.”

Now a year after he first penned

the open letter to Ontario Premier

Doug Ford about his decision to

drop the bottom floor price on

alcohol, he’s frustrated that while

Whitby Brewery has recently

opened in Whitby’s downtown,

the town still doesn’t have a music

venue. “I just worry about Whitby

and the Durham region,” he

reflects. “Durham’s got 500,000

people. Why doesn’t it have

something? It’s a threat to the

community, really, and a threat to

young people engaging with each

other and becoming socialized,

cool people. I’m not saying it can’t

happen without a venue but I think

a venue helps.”

It’s not surprising that Williams

would be such a vocal advocate

for places to people to collectivize.

Ultimately, he wants to make

music that would have resonated

with him as a teenager growing

up in the periphery of big cities.

“I want to do an outskirts tour. I

want to do a tour of only playing

places like Whitby,” he says. “I

can’t picture the day that Chastity

will lose that outskirts feeling

because it’s what we are. It’s what

the project is.

“I’ve said before that there’s

thousands of Whitbys and millions

of skid kids. I was one of them. I

am one of them. I’m from one of

those places and I think there is

a voice there; I’m just singing the

neighbourhood song.” ,


Iggy Pop: An intimate look at the godfather of

punk and how making jazz records is the most

punk rock thing he’s ever done By JOHNNY PAPAN

A decade ago, when Iggy Pop announced

that his 2009 album, Préliminaires,

would replace his traditional

distorted and thrashing guitars for

the sensually smooth vibrations of a

jazz ensemble, fans were perplexed.

Iggy had flooded his sweaty warehouse

mosh pits with the rain of a

1950s film-noir taking place in New

York City. Préliminaires transformed

him into a psychedelically enhanced

Acid-Sinatra of sorts.

The Ballroom-dance escapades

were a drastic change of pace for

the once stage-diving, self-mutilating,

cock-flashing godfather of punk,

yet it might have been one of the

most punk-rock moves of his career.

People so-often confuse “punk” as

simply a music genre, whereas Iggy

confirms it’s much more than that

— Punk is a way of life, a matter of

doing shit your own way.

His newest record, Free, is the third

of his jazz installments. Iggy describes

it as an album “that happened to him,

and he let it happen.” The record’s

A-side is a self-reflective narrative of

crumbling relationships, loneliness,

the price of individuality and societal

commentary, while the B-side wraps

you within a darkened musical space

odyssey. He calls it an exploration of

the dark side of the soul.

“In that first track, all the guy

wants is to be free,” he explains. “He

feels like he should be free, but you’re

never really free. At the end of the

track he can visualize how beautiful

being free would be.

“There are a host of bureaucracies

that you become entangled with

by the time you’re 72,” he chuckles.

“I wanted to loosen up the bureaucracies

held over my life a little bit.

There’s music bureaucracy, there’s a

financial bureaucracy. There are social

bureaucracies, personal. The way

you spend your time and your personal

life, that sort of thing.”

Free was recorded fresh off of

touring his Post Pop Depression album,

which he produced with Josh

Homme from Queens of the Stone

Age. Pop felt the experience rid him

of a chronic insecurity that “dogged”

him for years. This statement comes

as a bit of a shock, considering he

built his entire career on not giving

a fuck.

It comes as no surprise that the

blend of an oversaturated market of

artists adjusting to changing appetites

for new music, and the introduction

of streaming culture continues

to make it exhausting to be

an artist. Even Iggy Pop, a pioneer

of one of the most influential movements

to help shape the modern

world, grew anxious and insecure

about his ability to keep up.

“The music business is a numbers

business,” he explains. “My numbers

started off very, very tiny. Then

they grew up to small. Then they got

from the small side to mid-league up

through till I was about 50.

“And then in my early 50s something

happened when the century

changed. All of a sudden, all the

various numbers—the attendance

at gigs, the size of building, the size

of stages, record sales—they were

starting to shrink.”

Premiering on Epix this past

March, Pop executive produced

the four-part documentary series,

Punk, which shines a light on the

movement’s key figures, history, and

meaning. Over its run time, it features

interviews with Iggy Pop, Kathleen

Hanna, Johnny Rotten, Henry

Rollins, Dave Grohl and more, concluding

with shining the spotlight on

this generation’s new wave of punk

rockers.

In a way, punk today is much like

it was when it first started in the late

60s and early 70s — a secret of the

underground, a haven for building a

DIY community.

“To be honest with you, I don’t

know of any legitimate rock anymore

that isn’t punk,” Iggy says. “The only

rock worth calling itself rock anymore

is actually punk. I’d say punk

is the future of rock. I know the the

large industry giant-forces are trying

to exhume rock again, pushing this

awful stuff but the only real, only legitimate

rockers around anymore are

the punks. It’s going to take over.”

As one of the most prolific artists

in the history of rock and roll,

Iggy Pop’s lengthy career has been a

wild ride. He’s had highs and lows,

and may have finally found peace

of mind. Pop concludes with, what

he says, is the greatest lesson he’s

learned over the last 50 years in the

music business. A message for the

artists of today:

“Never give up on the audience,”

he says. “If they’re not giving you what

you want, don’t give up. I’ve done that

before, when I was very young, and

I always regretted that. Other than

that, I would say always imagine: If

you like something, somebody else

will too. If you just keep at it, somebody

will eventually like it even if they

might not at first. Don’t be cynical. Go

for the heart of the matter, that’s what

I would say.” ,

Iggy Pop’s Free is available now via

Caroline International/Loma Vista

Recordings

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 13


MEGAN-MAGDALENA

DEAD

SOFT

14 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


B.C.'s Dead Soft find quiet

in the chaos with a zen

approach to life and music

By DAYNA MAHANNAH

A

ladder rattles noisily in the

back of the white Chevy Express

van, which doubles as a

work vehicle when not hauling

band equipment around on

tour. At night, only the van’s

headlights illuminate a single,

deserted road encased by

the surrounding forest.

“We call this the tunnel,” Nathaniel

Epp’s voice reaches through the rattle as

he drives. It’s the end of another day on

Gabriola Island for grunge band

DEAD SOFT

Dead Soft, where Epp (vocalist/

guitarist) and Keeley Rochon

Saturday, Oct. 12

(bassist/vocalist) work their The Astoria (Vancouver)

respective jobs as a landscaper Thursday, Oct. 17

and cashier at the tiny island’s The Palomino Smokehouse

(Calgary))

only grocery store. “Now I know

everyone on Gabriola,” Rochon

Friday, Oct. 18

laughs. “It’s nice getting to

Sewing Machine Factory

(Edmonton)

know the community a bit

Friday, Oct. 25

more. People here are so different.

It’s a different pace of life.”

The Beguiling (Toronto)

It’s been two years since the

musicians escaped the claustrophobic rental

market of Vancouver and moved to an island

of 4000 people off the coast of BC. It’s

even smaller than their hometown of Prince

Rupert, where the two met in high school

and played DIY shows with their own bands.

In 2011, Epp and Rochon formed Dead Soft

while living in Victoria, before making the

move to the big city. “All my life, Vancouver

was like, the place,” Epp says. “I never saw

anything past Vancouver.”

Parking in a gravel driveway next to old

touring vans, the couple lead the way to a

small cabin overlooking the Pacific ocean.

Inside, it’s picturesque and snug, allegedly

built in the 1970s by “some crazy hippy

guy.” The walls are wood-paneled in wood,

covered by a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and

collection of vinyl. Plants, quirky jars, and

cameras decorate the room. The fridge is

plastered with uniformly styled US state

magnets collected at various gas stations on

past tours.

Rochon recounts their first Vancouver

gig alongside Vancouver band Woolworm,

which landed Dead Soft on the inside of

the city’s “insular” music scene. They spent

seven years working day jobs, funneling

their earnings into the band and struggling

in Canada’s most expensive city to establish

a music career. It paid off. “Vancouver made

our band,” Rochon says. But the city eventually

lost its glitter — they were unhappy.

“It’s kinda funny because it’s partly because

of the band that it was hard to survive.” Epp

loads the fireplace with wood from a stash

outside. “Moving to Gabriola was purely for

ourselves. We were like, whatever, we’ll make

it work or we won’t.” Curled up in an armchair,

Keeley lights up — “And it did work!”

Last year Dead Soft signed with indie

label Arts & Crafts, which boasts a

roster of international artists including

Feist, Dan Mangan, and Broken Social

Scene (who Dead Soft opened for at

SXSW 2019). The three-piece band

(drummer Alex Smith lives in Abbotsford)

will tour North America this fall to

promote their debut album, Big Blue.

Named after the dusk sky glow only

visible without light pollution, the record

hits notes of aggressive melancholy and

dark humour clinging to upbeat melodic

rock riffs.

The unconventional move away from

a music epicentre has meant more

travel — to the city to rehearse with the

rest of the band or to work — and much

more quiet. Last winter, a

storm blacked out most of

the island for six days. Without

electricity or running water,

the two kept their food

in coolers outside and filled

jugs from the creek. Rochon

powered through a portion

of her book collection and

Epp whittled a bird feeder.

“It was awesome.” Gabriola

Island’s scenic retreat

affords the musicians both

time and freedom to focus

on their art. “Not having a neighbour

upstairs that tortures me makes a pretty

big fucking difference to my world,” Epp

says, perched next to the record player.

Just out of sight from the porch window

is a studio shed filled with old Dead Soft

posters, instruments, and recording

equipment.

Within the quiet stirs the chaos

that an upcoming tour and new album

inhabit. Yet touring holds a sense of

normalcy the musicians look forward

to — suffering and all. “It’s about being

willing to quit your job and give up all of

your creature comforts to be immensely

uncomfortable. You have to have

a sense of humour about it,” Rochon

insists, glowing in the orange light of

the room. “You have to be like, ‘I feel like

shit right now. This is hilarious! I’m so

overtired that I’m weeping and laughing

at the same time.’” Epp nods earnestly.

“If you’re all about security and comfort

and doing what makes the most sense,

then it’s not something you should do.”

He is met with gales of laughter by

Rochon.

It’s the same attitude that has landed

them in the serenity and subtle seclusion

of this little island — a dicey place

for building a musical career. Epp and

Rochon have assessed the risks and are

willing to work through them. “You can’t

get hung up on being in a certain place

or in a certain scene.” Epp has taken to

“burping” a jar of homemade sauerkraut.

“Things that really matter aren’t where

you appear. It’s what you do.” Indeed,

when the power goes out, Dead Soft will

be just fine. ,

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 15


hen celebrated UK art-rockers Wild

Beasts called it a day in February

2018, it didn’t signal an end to the

music, but instead a new beginning.

After 16 years, five acclaimed fulllengths

(including 2009’s Mercury

Prize-nominated Two Dancers), and

a farewell live album, the four members

of Wild Beasts parted on good

terms and went their separate ways.

“It was about as nice as break-ups

get,” admits Tom Fleming, the former

bassist/vocalist. “It was still a breakup

but inevitably we are still friends.

We’ve been through too much together.

We came from nowhere and

did this thing as a unit. There is far

too much water under the bridge for

that bond to break.”

This past May, Wild Beasts vocalist

Hayden Thorpe released his solo

debut album, Diviner, an album that

satiated fans eager to hear what came

next from the individual members.

And now comes One True Pairing,

the solo project of Fleming, whose

husky baritone complemented Thorpe’s

theatrical countertenor.

Fleming is fully aware of how both

Wild Beasts vocalists releasing solo

albums within months of each other

will garner comparisons. While each

album recalls their old band, One True

Pairing sounds quite different from Diviner.

Fleming believes the two records

will give fans a glimpse into how different

they were as songwriters.

“It’s going to become obvious who

did what in the band when you hear

the two records side by side,” Fleming

says. “Even I was surprised by

Hayden’s record. There were things I

recognized and things that surprised

me. I am aware that we are on the

same label, and the albums are out

in the same year, so inevitably people

will draw conclusions to that.”

Although he briefly considered

forming a new band, Fleming grew

impatient and decided to do it solo.

In addition, he chose not to use his

real name, which was his attempt

to avoid any singer-songwriter trappings.

Instead he christened the project

One True Pairing, a term “taken

ONE

TRUE

PAIRING

Tom Fleming rises from the ashes

of Wild Beasts with love songs

for American music

By CAM LINDSAY

JENNA FOXTON

from internet fan fiction, where you

write the perfect relationship you always

wished existed.”

“I really wanted to resist the ‘this

is a solo project from a guy that was

in a band,’ sort of feel,” he says. “I

wanted it to have a fresh impetus and

a reason to exist. I really like titles

and names, so I wanted one that I

could play with that gives me an opportunity

to change things about it.

The name is kind of sincere and kind

of ironic by turn, depending on what

I’m trying to get across.”

Written after the demise of Wild

Beasts, Fleming’s self-titled debut

album offers a his complete vision

as the lone songwriter, musician and

producer. Aside from working alongside

co-producer Ben Hillier (Depeche

Mode, Blur), Fleming wrote

and performed every note of the

album himself - a task that became

more daunting as he went along.

“It was both liberating and much

more of a challenge than working

with collaborators,” he admits.

“There is some terror that comes

from being able to do whatever you

want. I guess I can do anything and

call it a record, but what do I actually

want to write about? It was liberating,

but there was a second big learning

curve involved.”

One True Pairing is a self-described

“neo-heartland rock” album, paying

homage to the working-class music

of 80s period Bruce Springsteen,

Tom Petty and Don Henley. A collection

of songs about hope and despair

that integrate warm, bubbling synths

and charging guitar riffs, Fleming felt

a connection to a very specific American

kind of music, despite his English

roots.

“A lot of British music is a refraction

of American music,” he explains.

“There is a romanticism to the music.

I wanted it to be, in some ways,

a love song to that kind of music.

Those rich synth sounds and big

voices. A lot of the concerns in that

music, for example the loss of youth

and loss of positivity in ‘Boys of Summer,’

or Springsteen’s singing about

shit, small towns, was totally relatable

to the British experience. Once

you start getting into that you realize

that Joy Division and Public Image

had something similar to say about

[those themes]. You come up with

these connections, mostly at arm’s

length. You do understand it, but just

differently.” ,

One True Pairing is available now via

Domino Recording Co.

16 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


Artist to Watch

TONYE AGANABA

BELIEVES ALL LIFE

EXPERIENCES ARE A GIFT –

BOTH GOOD AND BAD

By YASMINE SHEMESH

C

urled up on the couch in

their living room, Tonye

Aganaba is gushing over

Star Trek. The multidisciplinary

artist insists the

sci-fi series was ahead of its time in terms of

social progressiveness: it had African American

women in visible and authoritative roles;

it was one of the first to air an interracial kiss;

an episode featured a same-sex kiss. For

Aganaba, a gender-fluid person of colour, the

representation is powerful and important.

Across Aganaba’s living room walls are their

paintings—each one portraying a woman from

the shoulders up. Painting is something that

helps with their fine motor skills, the deterioration

of which was an early symptom of the

Multiple Sclerosis they were diagnosed with in

2015.

“The disease that I have been…gifted,” Aganaba

grins, cradling a mug of coffee, “attacks

a couple of things. One, it attacks my memory.

Two, it attacks my energy levels. And, three,

it is triggered by anxiety. My body just short

circuits and behaves in ways that are not easy

to deal with. But I find that the more I stay connected

to a regular practice of being in front

of a canvas or being behind an instrument or

singing, the less neurological incidents I have.

The difference between me painting and not

painting is like — if I don't do that, I'll have to

take medication, basically, to get the same kind

of effect.”

The paintings will be displayed in a collaborative

exhibition—Aganaba’s first—#AfroScience,

held at the Cheeky Proletariat. “I suffer

from imposter syndrome, massively,” they

laugh. “I think that anyone can be anything and,

by doing an art show, it makes me an artist.”

Aganaba is being modest, because the paintings

are beautiful and captivating. Proceeds of

any sales will go towards Give Thanks Day—an

annual music, art, and community-driven project

they’re involved with and reference often.

The exhibition also serves as a preview for their

new album, Something Comfortable, before its

release at the end of the month.

The album is a triumph, both sonically and

spiritually. Aganaba describes it as their life’s

work: “It's the thing I'm most proud of. It’s the

thing that I know I will stand by forever.” Their

husband, Aaron Hamblin—who quickly pops into

the room to kiss Aganaba’s forehead—produced

and engineered it. He’s also the subject of “Make

This House a Home,” one of the standout tracks,

that was written while he was away tree planting

and Aganaba was missing him.

When looking at their life thus far, Aganaba

believes things happen for a reason. Without

the diagnosis, they would have never learned to

paint. They would have never said yes to having

that dinner with their now-husband. They would

have never moved to the coast and made this

record.

“We make decisions every day,” Aganaba

says. “I believe that there are things that are

just meant to be. But we decide. I'm grateful for

where I’m at and I'm grateful for the fact that,

so far, I wake up every day and I decide that I

want to take a step forward towards being the

kind of person that I want to be.”

Tonye Aganaba performs Thursday, Oct. 26 at the

Fox Cabaret. #AfroScience runs October 1-31, 2019

at The Cheeky Proletariat.

LIZ ROSA

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 17


18 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019

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By KARINA ESPINOSA

S

tart Hill, Essex is not unlike any

of the countless other hamlets

peppered throughout the English

countryside. It sits just outside of

the market town of Bishop’s Stortford,

where most of the 40,000 residents make the

hour-long commute into London each day. There’s

not much here: a couple of car rental places that service

the nearby Stansted Airport; bed and breakfasts;

and nondescript houses nestled among towering

trees. And it was in a bedroom of one of these nondescript

homes that 14-year-old Charlotte Aitchison,

who the world now knows as Charli XCX, found herself

dreaming of more.

“I was 14, staring at MySpace and wishing I had a

cooler life,” she says over the phone from her home

in Los Angeles the day before her 27th birthday. “I

was listening to some artists on Ed Banger Records

[Justice, Cassius] and I thought, ‘Shit, I want a crew

like that to create with!’” She started songwriting and

posting her demos to MySpace, and it didn’t take long

before she was getting booked to perform at warehouse

raves around East London. Because she was

so young, Aitchison used to bring her parents along

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OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 19


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to her gigs. “I was very much alone in

my musical journey when I was younger.

All my friends were at school while

I was going to raves—with my parents,

which wasn’t very cool but whatever,” she

laughs.

Fast forward to present day and Charli

XCX is firmly positioned as a multidisciplinary

artist on the cutting edge of

pop music, regularly creating some of

the most exciting, danceable music today.

She’s penned hits for Iggy Azalea,

will.i.am, Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello.

She’s made The F Word and Me, a

documentary about women in the music

industry; has released two experimental

pop mixtapes; and has launched her own

label, Vroom Vroom Recordings, to support

the sound she’s become known for.

Despite her extensive—and ever-evolving—résumé,

Aitchison is refreshingly

modest when it comes to her achievements,

and has never lost the quiet determination

that has taken her from Start

Hill all the way to the top of the pops.

“I love proving people wrong. It’s one

of my favourite hobbies,” she says. “I

think I’ve always been considered an underdog

in music and I think that’s probably

been emphasized more because I’m a

woman. But I think the way that I make

music, and how it sounds, has cast me as

different.”

After she began to carve out her place

in the music industry in the early 2010s,

signing to Asylum Records and clocking

credits with such established acts at Icona

Pop, Aitchison eventually found the

kind of artistic community she always

sought—her own Ed Banger-esque crew

to create with. Even as she matured into

a solo musician, her forward-thinking

sound has been fueled by her relationships

with other artists who shared her

vision. “Collaboration is exciting for me,”

she says. “I have an ego—of course, as artists,

we all do—but I also don’t need to

be front and centre in every

single thing I do.”

A staunch feminist, Aitchison

says she loves being able

to support and learn from

other women, and her musical

output is proof of that.

Her most recent album,

CHARLI XCX

Saturday, Oct. 5

The Commodore Ballroom

(Vancouver)

Monday, Oct. 14

Rebel (Toronto)

Tix: $35, ticketmaster.ca

Charli (released on September 13), boasts

an impressive roster of female powerhouses:

Lizzo, Sky Ferreira, and HAIM are

just some of the guest contributors.

Her most memorable working experience,

however, was creating the the

song “Gone” with Héloïse Letissier of

Christine and the Queens. “It was an

Collaboration is exciting

for me. I have an ego—of

course, as artists, we all

do—but I also don’t need

to be front and centre in

every single thing I do.”

amazing process from start to finish,” she

remembers. “Working with Chris was so

fluid and easy. She makes me feel so good

about myself, not only as an artist but

also as a person.”

In the video for the track,

Aitchison is a self-determined,

leather-clad siren

dancing on top of a car.

She’s an image of power,

control, and an unmistakable

cool—a swagger she

says was inspired by her

collaborator. “People think I’m extremely

confident—and I am, in some ways—but

I’m also insecure,” she says. “I generally

hate doing photo shoots and music videos,

but I had so much fun shooting the

‘Gone’ video with Chris. She’s so uniquely

her and confident in what she does that

it kind of rubs off on you.”

While she’s at the top of her game

delivering dancefloor-ready beats and

pushing the envelope of pop, experience

and maturity has also allowed Aitchison

to get in touch with a more vulnerable

side. Like everyone else, she battles

against imposter syndrome. “The life

and the world I live in is such a roller

coaster, and my emotional state is constantly

up and down,” she describes.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m on top of the

world and I absolutely love myself, and

other times I wake up in the morning

and I hate myself—I feel alone and isolated

and not good enough.”

The delicate dance between these

two extremes of emotion might just

be Aitchison’s special sauce, and she’s

laying it on thick as she moves to the

next stage of her already-accomplished

career. While many artists choose to

self-title their first album, naming her

third album after herself is an intentional

choice: Charli is both a coming-out

party and a rebirth; the product of a settled

and seasoned artist, who is reframing

what it means to be a pop star.

“I’m aware that every artist in the history

of artists has said that one album in

their career is the most personal they’ve

ever made. But I sincerely feel that this

is the case for me,” she finishes. “I’m not

afraid to talk about my emotions anymore.

It’s incredibly liberating.” ,

QUEEN OF COLLAB

Charli XCX is pop’s reigning Queen of the Collab.

Here are four artists featured on her latest album

who are all musical trailblazers in their own right.

TROYE SIVAN

Australian Troye Sivan

belongs to the Internet

generation, having come

of age behind a camera

as a popular YouTuber.

Since then, the LGBTQ+

spokesperson has grown

into a fully-fledged

popstar with newfound

poise. His sophomore

album, Bloom, is a record

that celebrates love, sex,

and being comfortable in

one’s skin.

YAEJI

Known for her celestial

take on electronic music,

Yaeji has quickly cemented

herself as one of the

most prominent DJs of

the underground scene.

Her signature track,

“Raingurl,” is a baseheavy

bop that combines

languages, cultures, and

genres to convey her

unique experience as a

Korean-American woman.

BIG FREEDIA

Big Freedia, the undisputed

“Queen of

Bounce,” single-handedly

brought New Orleans’

bounce music to an international

platform. Her

influence in the mainstream

is far-reaching,

having collaborated with

the likes of Beyoncé and

Drake. In spite of these

associations, Freedia

continues to shake,

twerk, and bounce on

her own, all the way to

the top.

LIZZO

In an industry that almost

demands a meticulously

crafted image, Lizzo has

never been afraid to be

anyone but herself. The

singer-rapper-flautist

made waves last April

with her major label

release, Cuz I Love You,

a genre-blending work

that eschews pop clichés

while promoting the importance

of self-love.

20 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


The Playlist:

BEATROUTE

BEATROUTE

BEAT

ROUTE

BR

BRLIVE

BRYYZ

1 2

10 songs in heavy rotation at the BR offices right now

5 7

9

4

1

FKA Twigs

holy terrain (Ft. Future)

The experimental alt-pop songstress

links up with some unusually

big names in Future, Skrillex and

Jack Antonoff for a more structured,

trap-influenced track. Twigs’

baroque, operatic vocals are still

as beautiful as ever as she wishes

for a man who is ready to enter her

god-like aura.

2

Rex Orange County

10/10

Rex predicts the review scores of

his upcoming album with a lead

single that sees him optimistically

looking towards a future of

self-improvement. Packed with

vibrant and uplifting synths, this will

immediately put a smile on your

face (and maybe motivate you to

clean your house or something).

3 Halsey

Graveyard

After releasing a couple of standalone

tracks, Halsey’s official lead

single from her upcoming album

starts with quiet acoustic strumming

before steadily building to an

explosive chorus featuring some

pretty heavy percussion. With

producer-of-the-moment Louis Bell

behind the boards, another massive

hit is all but guaranteed.

Sean Leon

4 SORRY

Don’t let the title fool you—this

track is all about just how sorry the

Toronto rapper isn’t. A bombastic

flex track of the highest calibre,

Sean Leon is on top of the world as

he emphasizes just how fantastic

every single aspect of his life is.

Walk down the street listening to

this one and pretend you’re this

cool.

5

Charlotte Day Wilson

Mountains

This mesmerizing track

opens to the sound

of trickling water and

a gospel choir that

ultimately settles into a

groove as a call-andresponse

to Wilson’s

rich alto tone. Daniel

Caesar takes up a role

on the backing vocals as

Wilson delivers emotional

lyrics, comparing loneliness

to being lost

in the wilderness.

3

6

Alicia Keys & Miguel

Show Me Love

Two of the most soulful and boundless

voices in the game team up for

a collaboration that is unexpected

and yet completely perfect. A sensual

slow jam over R&B legend Raphael

Saadiq’s acoustic noodling,

these two are just as effective in

an intense lower register than their

usual vocal acrobatics.

7 Wilco

Everyone Hides

Eleven albums in and Wilco

is still going strong.

Jeff Tweedy’s breezy

falsetto complements

an upbeat and cheery

folk instrumental

interspersed with the

odd crunchy guitar

work. The music video,

where the band takes the

title literally and plays a

massive game of hide-andseek

around Chicago, is

just as charming.

8

Alessia Cara

Rooting For You

Inspired by Tyra Banks’

legendary Top Model tirade,

Alessia Cara steps out of her

calmer alt-R&B comfort zone

into a bouncy synthpop soundscape.

She still has ample

space to flex some of those

impressive vocal runs as she

recounts a summer romance

gone wrong. Spoiler alert: She

was really rooting for him.

9 Slowthai &

Denzel Curry

Psycho

Could horror-movie rap be the new

wave? One of the UK’s most rapidly

ascendant artists drops the politics

for a second and links up with one of

the only people who can legitimately

match his screaming, distorted vocal

presence on the mic. The two lay

down some punishing verses over

high-pitched violins straight from a

slasher film.

10 JPEGMAFIA

Beta Male Strategies

The provocative and boundary-pushing

rapper for the Internet age

unleashes his official manifesto against

people who come at him through the

anonymity of Twitter, but won’t say

it to his face. Issuing threats over a

couple of disorienting beat switches

and a roaring guitar, Peggy ultimately

predicts his own cancellation.

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 21


UPCOMING SHOWS

REWIND FRIDAY

OCTOBER 4

DOORS: 10:30PM

19+

OCT

8

BLEACHED with

DUDE YORK & NECKING

DOORS: 7PM

19+

WHITE REAPER

with THE DIRTY NIL

OCTOBER 10

DOORS: 7PM

19+

NASHVILLE PUSSY with

DON JAMIESON

DOORS: 7PM

19+

OCT

12

NITE MOVES 4 YEAR

OCT

BDAY with CAN I LIVE

DOORS: 10:30PM

12

19+

PETE YORN

OCTOBER 16

DOORS: 7PM

19+

MATING RITUAL with

AAN & GLASS FOREST

OCTOBER 18

DOORS: 7PM

19+

OCT

19

BYE FELICIA

DEAD IDOLS DRAG

DOORS: 10:30PM

19+

JORDAN RAKEI with

SAM WILLIS

OCTOBER 25

DOORS: 7PM

19+

THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS

with ORBIT SERVICE

DOORS: 7PM

19+

OCT

28

SWITCH HALLOWEEN

DOORS: 10:30PM

19+

NIGHTMARE ON

KINGSWAY

DOORS: 10:30PM

19+

HALLOWQUEEN

BYE FELICIA HALLOWEEN

DOORS: 10:30PM

19+

/BILTMORECABARET

@BILTMORECABARET

@BILTMORECABARET

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT BILTMORECABARET.COM

22 BEATROUTE SEPTEMBER 2019


Reviews

ALBUM

Album Review

ANGEL OLSEN

All Mirrors

Jagjaguwar

After the overwhelming success of

her three wildly acclaimed albums, it

makes sense that Angel Olsen might

depart from the pillars of mendaciously-crafted

folk pop for something teeming

with fresh ambition and a towering

with a new objective: figuring out how

translate vulnerability into power.

Gone is is silver tinsel hair and

playful roller rink messing around that

adorned the video for her 2016 hit

single, “Shut Up Kiss Me.” In its place,

Olsen’s refreshed persona ventures

into the bold and exquisite world of

60s noir — an imposing figure draped

in a long black dress with a wind-swept

vail that follows her lead as she methodically

whirls across a stark white

backdrop. Such is the mood swing

from her first video featur- ing the title

track on All Mirrors.

The segue into the album’s sonic

texture is also a strange, dramatic mix

of strings that swoop and swell, anchored

by synthesized keys and electronic

drums. These competing and

complementary forces collide with the

dreamy, icy elegance of gothic black

and white cinema, creating a surreal

sci-fi soundscape. What’s truly compelling

about All Mirrors is its commanding

presence that travels deep into a

cavalcade of imaginary dimensions. It’s

a bold cinematic experience.

Along with a distinct outer-limits

look and sound that dominates Olson’s

current creative space, she weaves

and careens through lengthy, entangled

ballads exploring the mechanics

of a complicated heart which effectively

doubles as a summation of the

postmodern condition.

Best Song: What Is It

Brad Simm

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 23

CAMERON MCCOOL


MUSiC ALBUM REVIEWS

Interview

DANNY BROWN

uknowhatimsayin¿

Warp Records

JOHN WARWICK

PREFAB

SPROUT'S

FRONTMAN

PADDY

McALOON

STILL

MAKING

MUSIC...

ON AN

ATARI?

By GLENN ALDERSON

Paddy McAloon is tinkering in his

Northern England studio trying

to emulate the sounds of a guitar

using an Atari Computer when he

answers the phone.

The 62-year-old songwriter is

often credited as one of pop-rock’s

greatest songwriters for his masterful

work with his band Prefab

Sprout, but due to his worsening

tinnitus, the sound of an actual

guitar—or any amplified musical

instrument—causes him immense

discomfort.

“Listening is not quite the

pleasure that it was. I only have so

many hours in a day where I can

work before my tinnitus just exhausts

me,” he says in a thick English

accent. “I play the guitar but

sometimes when I’m working on a

song I use what I call a ‘fake guitar,’

where I program the Atari to sound

like a guitar part. It’s tedious and

boring and I’m probably old enough

to know better, but sometimes I get

carried away doing it.”

McAloon is optimistically working

on the long-awaited Prefab Sprout

record, Femme Mythologiques, and

the band’s first new music since

2003’s experimental rollercoaster

of a concept album, I Trawl the

Megahertz. Originally released

as a solo album, Megahertz was

inspired by the shortwave radio

shows he would listen to while at

home recovering from a detached

retina. Earlier this year, Sony Music

Paddy McAloon

reissued the album under the Prefab

Sprout name as it was originally

intended.

Prefab Sprout rose to fame

in the late 70s and early 80s

with their unique brand of new

wave-inspired outsider pop music

that often got lumped into the new

wave movement, but stood tall

above the rest thanks to production

from Thomas Dolby on their

breakout album, Steve McQueen.

They experienced great success

in the UK—and mildly in North

America—with pop hits such as

“Cars And Girls” and “The King

Of Rock And Roll,” cementing the

band as innovators in the evolving

landscape of pop rock.

With a nod to prosperity and

everything that once was, the band

is celebrating reissues of their first

three albums: their debut, Swoon,

which introduced the world to

McAloon’s idiosyncratic songwriting

with subtle male-female harmonies

courtesy of bandmate Wendy

Smith; Jordan: The Comeback, an

overly-conscious but pleasantly

confident sophomore album; and

their earnest third album, From

Langley Park To Memphis.

But McAloon however is not interested

in looking back, only forward.

For him, creating ensures he doesn’t

get left behind as a footnote in the

music history books. In fact, he’s

infamously known for his archive of

unfinished material that he’s barricaded

parts of his studio with.

“I’ve got a grand piano that I

can’t get near because of the piles

of songs I’ve written since the year

2000. It’s kind of hidden behind

this wall of packed boxes full of

music, which is a great tragedy,

really.”

McAloon has been teasing his

archive of unfinished material

for decades but assures those

recordings aren’t anywhere close

to being released.

“It’s not a like a Prince or Frank

Zappa situation where there are a

bunch of finished records waiting

to go. It’s more like I’ve written

songs for an album and they’re on

cassettes. I’ve got the paperwork,

the chord charts, but very few

are finished. I can’t just reach out

to a shelf and play you an entire

unreleased album, but I can find

you the box.”

For now, fans can enjoy the

band’s back catalogue while

McAloon remains hard at work,

committed to replicating that

perfect guitar sound for his next

offering using his Atari computer.

The new song he’s speaking about

is called “Mary Magdalene Blues.”

“It’s got a strummy mildly funky

guitar part. I’m nearly finished it

actually. This afternoon I may have

it finished and then I will commit it

to tape.”

Best Track: Cars and Girls (From

Langley Park To Memphis)

It’s been three years since Danny

Brown released Atrocity Exhibition—the

album he famously spent

$70,000 of his own money on

samples for. While the Detroit

native may be making different

financial decisions with his fifth

album, uknowhatimsayin¿, one

thing remains the same: even after

over a decade in the game, he’s still

one of the most inventive and fun

rappers there is.

uknowhatimsayin¿ features executive

production by none other than

Q-Tip, who also produced the majority

of the beats. The influence of

the ATCQ pioneer is strong on the

warm, sample-driven beats: tracks

like “Theme Song” and “Change

Up” could be lifted directly from the

Native Tongues heyday with their

jazzy vintage vibe. The laid-back,

classic feel combined with Brown’s

contemporary flows results in an

era-bending mash-up we could only

have dared to dream of.

Additional production contributions

from the likes of Flying Lotus

and experimental jazz duo Standing

on the Corner add layers to the

sonic palette. The wide-ranging

features from JPEGMAFIA, Run

The Jewels, Blood Orange and Nigerian

spoken word artist Obongjayar

are the perfect complement

to Brown’s chameleonic character

throughout.

“I’m livin’ my best life,” Brown

boasts on the song of the same

name, and we wholeheartedly

agree.

Best Track: 3 Tearz

Josephine Cruz

24 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


TEGAN AND SARA

HEY, I’M JUST LIKE YOU

THE NEW ALBUM

OUT NOW

THE BOOK OUT NOW


MUSiC ALBUM REVIEWS

FKA TWIGS

MAGDALENE

Young Turks

KACY & CLAYTON

Carrying On

New West Records

REFUSED

War Music

Spinefarm Records

WILCO

Ode to Joy

dBPM Records

CITY AND COLOUR

A Pill for Loneliness

Still Records

Tahliah “FKA twigs” Barnett conjures

images of a far-away planet

where cats purr melodies and you

can see music swirling through the

air like puffs of gossamer in the

wind.

The long-awaited follow-up to

LP1 offers her signature, ethereal

vocals paired with otherworldly,

emotional elements and goosebump-evoking

notes.

Smoky and silky, MAGDALENE

turns feminism on a dime in the

title track, about the “creature of

desire” when she sings: “A woman’s

work / a woman’s prerogative / a

woman’s time to embrace she must

put herself first.”

Rapper Future joins on the Hip

Hop anthem, “Holy Terrain,” adding

a modern twist on what’s bound to

become a classic release. Pitting

sweet, tinkling pianos against

coarse, rasping synths, the avantpop

album is the equivalent of a

robust glass of Cabernet and dark

chocolate in a candlelit bubble

bath.

Gloucestershire-born Barnett—

who reportedly got her nickname

from her penchant for cracking

her joints loudly—channels Kate

Bush’s strange lyrical style in tracks

that smack of heretics, conjuring

the hotly-debated Mary Magdalene,

who was either a prostitute

befriended by Jesus Christ himself,

his wife — or both.

Best Track: Cellophane

Kasia Gorski

Were the world a fair place, Saskatchewan

duo Kacy & Clayton

would be filling stadiums and rolling

fields at outdoor stages with their

traditional folk songs.

On their fifth album, Carrying

On, there’s a quiet, stoic strength in

singer Kacy Anderson and guitarist

Clayton Linthicum’s songwriting as

each musician plays off the other

to form a sum so much greater

than its parts. Anderson’s angelic

voice soars with a gossamer

quality that belies her young age,

while Linthicum plays the guitar

like he’s reading poetry, equal parts

virtuosic and melodic.

Carrying On stumbles open with

a drum roll on “The Forty-Ninth

Parallel,” which quickly sees Kacy

& Clayton luxuriously stretch into

their comfort zone with a lilting

rhythm and understated arrangement

that feels as airy and delicate

as an autumnal prairie sunset.

Immaculately produced by Wilco’s

Jeff Tweedy, each instrument and

vocal line has ample space to

shine on its own, coming together

in a seamless whole that feels

effortless.

Indeed, Anderson and Linthicum

are at the top of their game on

this record in part because of the

space afforded to each of them to

play traditional folk in an English

tradition that sounds almost too

good to be true.

Best Track: Carrying On

Sebastian Buzzalino

When The Shape of Punk to

Come came out in 1998 it was a

daring new sound for hardcore, a

blast of energy that messed with

genre conventions and took things

to a new level for angry guitar rock.

Following a 15-year hiatus, their

long awaited follow up, Freedom

(2015), didn’t quite deliver on that

same energy. There were new

sounds and experiments but something

as missing. War Music however,

sees Refused toning down the

experimentation, but bringing that

vital energy back into the mix.

Frontman Dennis Lyxzén has said

War Music is an album that would

“make more sense” for fans of The

Shape of Punk to Come and he isn’t

wrong. The anger is once again

palpable and the album has an explosive

quality that Refused proudly

wore on their sleeves back in the

day. A little less daring in some

ways with slick production taking a

bit of the edge off, but the grooves

are there and Lyxzén tackles some

great anti-capitalist themes.

While War Music isn’t as

genre-defying, it’s still nice to see a

band quoting Marx and screaming

“blood red until I’m fucking dead”

like they mean it.

Best Track: Blood Red

Graeme Wiggins

The title of Wilco’s eleventh record,

Ode to Joy is a bit deceiving, given

its downcast thematic content. But

the Chicago six-piece aren’t seeking

to make a record that’s hopeful,

or that radiates sunshine, and that’s

perfectly okay—the tracks are reflective

of the times, and it’s Wilco’s

call to stay afloat despite them.

Minimalism is present throughout,

with drums being the constant

unifying thread within the album.

Are they a subtle nod to protests

or revolution? Yes, but a restrained

one. Wilco doesn’t have to shout

to the rooftops about everything

wrong in the world because we

know well enough—we’re living it.

Ode to Joy starts off slow but

kicks up after “Everyone Hides” and

stays melodically upbeat. Led by

frontman Jeff Tweedy, the group

takes a stripped-back approach

to songs that split open to reveal

lyrics splayed out over acoustic

instruments. This is perfectly

captured on “Hold Me Anyway” and

“Love is Everywhere (Beware).” It’s

endearing, but there’s a desire for a

deeper exploration.

It’s an album with a message, but

by no means the next great American

record. And that’s kind of the

point. The songs lean less towards

politically charged commentary

on American life, instead weighing

more heavily on finding moments of

happiness when all seems lost.

Best Track: Hold Me Anyway

Natalie Harmsen

Dallas Green’s unmistakably

haunting vocals take center stage

on his sixth LP with 11 new songs

that release all his emotions with a

slow burn.

With sweeping melodies and

introspective lyricism, A Pill for

Loneliness is a step forward into

new musical territory for City and

Colour. The album is a departure

from the folksier, plaid-shirt-anda-guitar

vibe fans have come to

expect from Green on previous

albums. Although it strays into new

ground, it still serves up more of the

best Green has to offer.

As always, Green navigates the

uncertainty of relationships expertly,

and while the overall tone is

melancholy, there are breathtaking

moments where he finds some light

in the darkness. He does so delicately,

striking a balance of asking

difficult questions while pondering

familiar themes of despair and restlessness.

He knows we’re living in

turbulent times, and that consciousness

translates with every whisper

and guitar riff.

There’s still familiarity and

Green plays with it comfortably,

like putting on an old sweater. He

returns to his rock and roll roots

on a few guitar-driven tracks such

as “Imagination” but overall, it’s a

record that soars due to experimentation

thanks to tranquil synths

and reverberating piano that reside

throughout.

Best Track: Astronaut

Natalie Harmsen

26 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


KIM GORDON

No Home Record

Matador

REUBEN & THE DARK

Un|Love

Arts & Crafts

When Kim Gordon sings about

the 47-inch flat screen TV, the

Andy Warhol prints, Times Square

photoshoots, and her super host

on “Airbnb,” the tone of her voice

is dripping with disdain. Ah, it’s

wonderful to hear fresh criticism of

the American Way and a full-frontal

refusal to not be bubble wrapped in

its deliciously good life.

No Home Record, Gordon’s first

s olo recording, ventures straight

into a self-reflective state-of-mind

that slams contemporary life

against a wall of art. But what else

would you expect from a visual

artist, which Gordon also is. As the

title suggests, she’s addressing

the vacancy of living in her own

country. She’s at home, yet alienated

— there’s no home to be found.

Welcome to Trumpland, a true sign

of the times.

Gordon’s voice has faded. Her

choppy one-liners and phrases that

rip with instant recognition ooze

with whip-smart wonder. With her

finger on the trigger, you know

exactly what she means by the

defiant, “Murdered Out.”

Discordant pop — blissful when

they got it right — was Sonic

Youth’s trademark. While No Home

Record is definitely Gordon’s own

oeuvre d’art, she also has fulfilled

the promise of where it all might

have gone.

Best Track: Airbnb

Brad Simm

Interview

Reuben Bullock

opens up about

the power of

vulnerability

on Un|Love

Vulnerability through artistic practice

is largely about opening up

spaces: within the artist to explore

difficult or repressed emotions,

and within the audience to move

through the work with empathy

and openness. The best works that

arise from opening up have the

capacity to challange the type of

harmful narratives that have historically

made sensitivity a flaw — like

the idea of cis-hetero men prioritizing

their emotional well-being.

This is the place that Reuben

Bullock was coming from when

he began work on Un|Love, his

third full-length via Arts & Crafts.

As an indie-folk singer-songwriter,

Bullock is no stranger to writing

heart-wrenching songs with an

optimist core, and is a firm believer

that things can get better by going

through the process of feeling and

dealing with his emotions. But,

as he says over the phone from

Montreal, the album sprung from

darkness.

“This record came from a place

of some real suffering. For a lot

of the songs, I tried to turn that

suffering into something soothing.

The whole core of [my current

songs] feel super vulnerable,” he

says. “Un|Love was the result of

hundreds of words with the prefix,

‘Un,’ before them and I became

obsessed with how it confused the

definition of the word.”

Bullock filled

notebook pages

with words that

were destabilized

by the

addition of the

prefix. Perhaps unwittingly,

separating

the prefix from the

word with a vertical

line opened up a more

postmodern approach

for his vulnerability: he

wasn’t just interested

in inverting or negating

the original feeling, both

of which would maintain

the binary dynamic, but

rather had a higher ambition. By

providing space for his vulnerability

to run free, he aimed to allow the

audience the space to explore their

own pressure points through his

work. On Instagram, Bullock put

the call out to his fans to respond

to the idea of “Un|Love” and interrogate

the area between words

and feelings.

“I wanted to start conversations

about how other people feel these

emotions. I have a real curiosity

of what that title brought out in

people: was it something dark and

painful, was it love and beautiful, or

something in between?

“A lot of people reacted to the

two polar sides. They reacted to

the pain of the word [‘love’]. A lot

of people felt like it challenged the

word: they thought it was a positive

thing in the sense of unlearning old

ideas and [developing] stronger

form of love.”

At the core of his music, Bullock's

primary concern is that people

are reacting at all to the things

that dig at them. “I’m constantly

challenging myself,” he says. “I

just started

realizing that

the audience

is amazing

and they really

hold us in a place

where we can do

what we want to do:

just to dig deep and put

out the things I’m going

through, sing about stuff

that matters to me, create

lyrics that are more intentionally

thoughtful than they

have been in the past.” In

short, it’s about opening

up new spaces for

emotions and letting

those run free as a

form of therapy — about

the intersection of audience

and music as liberation.

Sebastian Buzzalino

SHEVA KAFAI

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 27


Live

MUSiC

Toronto

LIZZO

September 19, 2019

Budweiser Stage

“She is the mother I never had. She is

the sister everybody would want. She

is the friend that everybody deserves.”

That now-memed quote comes from

none other than Oprah, talking about

her idol Barbara Walters, but it may as

well be about Lizzo. We were blessed

enough to catch the “Juice”-y singer

on the Toronto stop of her Cuz I Love

You Too tour, and we can safely say, to

borrow Oprah’s words, we “don’t know a

better person.”

Originally set to play Toronto’s Rebel,

a 2,500 capacity venue, Lizzo was adorably

emotional about the show being

upgraded to the much larger venue due

to demand: Over 15,000 adoring fans

packed the Budweiser Stage—not bad

for an artist who just earlier this year

played a 1,500 person venue (the Danforth)

and didn’t sell it out.

Along with her dancers, The Big Girls,

and the talented DJ Sophia Eris, Lizzo

served on-point choreography and

never missed a beat. She addressed

the crowd in between songs, reminding

them that they shouldn’t reduce selflove

to spa days and mimosas; and that

despite many fans calling her a “hero,”

that we’re all our own hero and she is

just the soundtrack.

To close the night she donned a wedding

veil and sunglasses for the record

breaking “Truth Hurts”—a reference to

the 2017 music video where she marries

herself—and threw a bouquet in the

crowd. She brought out Sasha Flute

and showed off her jazz flute skills. But

the devoted crowd still cheered for

more and after long, loud applause and

chants of her name, Lizzo returned to

the stage for an encore of “Juice.”

Indeed, the evening was “Good As

Hell” and Lizzo is, without a shadow of

doubt, 100 per cent that bitch.


Kate Killet

KATE KILLET


Vancouver

LEIKELI47

Thursday, September 12

The Vogue Theatre

DARROLE PALMER

If you didn’t know anything about

Leikeli47 before attending her

show, her coming on stage in a full

face mask, with all black sweat

suit might not have prepared you

for the positivity and energy that

this show would eventually provide.

Her first few songs, opening with

“Wash % Set” might have had fairly

minimal beats but her energy more

than made up for it, immediately

driving the crowd (a delightfully

mixed crowd for a rap show) into a

dance frenzy.

The party never let up. For “Post

That” from her most recent album

Acrylic, she grabbed people from

the crowd, initially an adorable

young man who vogued wonderfully,

followed by his friends as well.

The party did not relent despite

the stage guests all requiring selfies

with their new queen.

She played an energetic set

from both her albums with “Girl

Blunt” clearly a fan favourite coming

towards the end of the set. Her

connection to and love of her fans

was obvious and made for a wonderfully

love-filled vibe. She had a

great dancer join her on stage for

the last few songs and his voguing

was spectacular and just added to

the energy of the evening. Ending

the set with crowd favourite “Money”

made a late show on a thursday

night seem totally worthwhile.

Graeme Wiggins

WED, NOV 6, 2019, 8PM | ORPHEUM

RUFUS

WAINWRIGHT

WITH THE VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus Wainwright has

established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation.

The New York-born, Montréal-raised singer songwriter joins the VSO for a night of song,

featuring his greatest hits alongside fresh new gems.

BUY TODAY! myVSO.ca/rufus 604.876.3434

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 29


Screen Time

THE

BEAUTIFUL

MADNESS

OF A

STORYTELLER

With the documentary Once Were Brothers, a Scorsese soundtrack and a new album Sinematic,

iconic Canadian songwriter Robbie Robertson has a late-in-life creative spurt By DAVID MCPHERSON

A

s a member of Ronnie Hawkins

backing band The Hawks,

Robbie Robertson cut his musical

chops playing places along

Yonge Street such as Le Coq

d’Or and Friar’s Tavern; these

fabled bars exist today only as

heritage plaques. Robertson and his Hawks’

mates later became The Band, releasing the

seminal debut Music From Big Pink in 1968.

As leader of this roots-rock group, Robertson

wrote many storied songs such as “The

Weight,” “The Night they Drove Old Dixie

Down,” and “Up on Cripple Creek.”

Sixty-seven years later, the Toronto-born

songwriter is still telling stories and still writing

songs. The chills still come. He is still curious.

And, that’s the key. As long as he has

ideas, and follows the threads down whatever

path they take, there are songs and stories

waiting for him somewhere along that road.

This month the 76-year-old returns with

a few more stories: a new album (Sinematic),

his first batch of original songs since 2011, and

a new documentary based on his 2016 memoir

“Testimony” (Once Were Brothers) — the

opening night gala selection at this year’s

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Robertson also wrote the score for his pal

Martin Scorsese’s new film: The Irishman,

which arrives next month. If that output is

not enough, he lets on in the course of our

30-minute conversation that he is also working

on a follow up to Testimony.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,”

says Robertson of this outpouring of creativity.

“It all just came to the surface at once.

I’m still looking at it and scratching my head.

Where did this stuff come from? In some cases

I know; in other cases it’s mysterious.”

If you had to sum up Robertson’s life into

two words, the title of one of his songs on

Sinematic works just fine: “Beautiful Madness.”

Turn on the news, darkness lurks.

Look around you, beauty abounds. You can’t

help but be affected by all of the colours and

moods the days of our lives present.

As one of Canada’s most revered songwriters,

Robertson has always found a way

to weave all of these shades into his storied

songs. It all began during childhood summer

days spent with his mother at the Six Nations

of the Grand River — Canada’s largest reserve

in Ohsweken, Ontario. Here is where

his love of the arts, and music was first kindled.

Robertson listened to the sacred myths

told by the elders. He listened to the beats

of the drums and the plucking of homemade

guitar strings as his relatives played and sang

storied songs like Lefty Frizzell’s “The Long

Black Veil.” These simple rhythms gave him

chills he still feels. By the age of nine most

kids are just figuring out whom they wanted

to play with at recess. Not Robertson. The

songwriter knew his destiny: when he grew

up he was going to be a storyteller.

While some places where the ideas and

stories hide are a mystery, the art of catching

these thoughts and assembling them into a

song still comes naturally to Robertson.

Most often they come from reading movie

scripts, watching films, and then everything

“I’ve never done anything

like this before. It all just

came to the surface at once.

I’m still looking at it and

scratching my head. Where

did this stuff come from? In

some cases I know; in other

cases it’s mysterious.”

connects, resulting in something beautiful. “I

don’t’ make records to go out and do a tour

and have new songs to play,” he explains. “I’m

in a different line of work. It all connects with

the visuals.”

This time the visuals came in the form of

the script for The Irishman and in working on

the Once Were Brothers documentary. Writing

for movies, Robertson explains, starts with

reading the script. “I imagine what kind of

mood and what colours come to mind and it

slowly starts to take shape.”

On Scorsese’ latest flick, Robertson says

he’s never seen anything like it. “It’s got a

different feel. It’s a different take on this

gangster world, so the music needed to have

that different feel as well.” On the TIFF gala

film — the first time a Canadian-made documentary

opened the festival — it’s a tale of

a hometown hero, inspired by Testimony. It

brings to the screen Robertson’s musical journey

and incredible life story.

Robertson’s life is like a movie; it was not

hard to translate this tale to the big screen.

Read his autobiographical deep dive and you

see the cinematic similarities everywhere.

There is triumph. There is tragedy. There is

darkness and light. And, there is a soundtrack

that always played throughout his 76 years

and counting: from the Scarborough Bluffs to

the Hollywood Nights.

30 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


This year experience the potential

of the circular economy.

“I thought in the past if I didn’t get so distracted

early on with music and rock and roll,

I probably would have ended up in movie

land,” Robertson jokes. Today he resides in

Los Angeles; so, in a roundabout way, his musical

explorations led him to a career in Hollywood

eventually.

Film grabbed hold of Robertson at a young

age. He never let go. These days, he feels nostalgic

for the golden age of movies;

he thinks some of that magical

world is slipping away.

“I remember as a kid, you

would go to a movie and

you would get completely

lost in a world you never

imagined going to,” Robertson

concludes. “You sat in the

dark, watched a movie and you

were right in the movie with

the characters. It was

such a wonderful

feeling. Today,

movies have become

more like

roller coaster

rides. A sacrifice

is being made

for extraordinary

filmmaking.” ,

ROBBIE ROBERTSON

RR SINEMATIC Cover.jpg

Sinematic

Universal Music

Sinematic is Robbie Robertson’s sixth

solo record and his first batch of original

songs since How to Become Clairvoyant

(2011). Recorded at The Village,

the famed studio in West LA, Robertson

is joined on this 13-song collection by a

variety of collaborators from Van Morrison

(who duets on the first single “I

Hear You Paint Houses”) to J.S. Ondara,

Glen Hansard, and singer-songwriter

Citizen Cope.

Storied songs abound. The title of

the disc is a fine example of wordplay;

“cinematic” refers to anything to do with

the world of films. Here, sin is substituted

to reflect the world we live in where

darkness dwells and evil simmers, waiting

for us to take them for a ride. Many

of the songs speak of this underbelly

of society.

Cinema is a world Robertson knows

well. It’s a medium he’s dabbled in ever

since his relationship with his seminal

group of musical brothers (The Band)

disbanded, following the memorable

last concert captured by his long-time

friend Martin Scorsese in The Last

Waltz.

“Once Were Brothers” is a cathartic

farewell to his old mates in The Band,

part nostalgia, part moving on, part

wondering what the hell went wrong.

Robertson croons: “Once Were Brothers/Brothers

no More/We lost our way/

After the war.” Another highlight, “Dead

End Kid” speaks of Robertson’s triumph

over all the doubters, who thought

he would go nowhere. He defied

the odds and this song is one

of the most personal on the

record. A pair of instrumentals

(“Wandering Souls” and

“Remembrance”) showcase

Robertson’s gorgeous guitar

playing, which, like all the

songs on Sinematic, and like a

masterpiece of cinema, leave

you wanting more.

Saturday, November 2, 2019 • 7-11pm

Designers, Drinks and Discussion!

Tickets at museumofvancouver.ca

1100 Chestnut Street • Vancouver B.C. • 604-736-4431

FRIGHT NIGHTS

WHERE SCREAMS COME TRUE

SELECT

NIGHTS OCT 4-31

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 31


32 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


Screen Time

THE BOSS

OF THE BIG

SCREEN

New Bruce Springsten

concert doc Western

Stars brings the late-career

album masterpiece

to the screen By PAT MULLEN

I

n a year full of nostalgic Baby

Boomer music docs, it’s a joy

to watch a legend like Bruce

Springsteen reinvent himself.

Western Stars, which opens this

month after debuting at TIFF in

September, brings the Boss’s album

of the same name to the big screen.

This concert doc bears the soul of its

creator.

Western Stars, the album, is a

late-career masterpiece for Springsteen

that enlivens his abilities as a

storyteller with the heart and soul of

country music. It’s an elegiac collection

full of metaphors of open roads,

cowboy boots, and heartaches. The

music of Western Stars is tailor-made

for the movies with its rich imagery

and country twang that pulls at heartstrings

without hitting false notes.

Western Stars, the film, features

the lone concert of the album,

which Springsteen performed in his

100-year-old barn. Accompanied by a

30-piece orchestra and his wife Patti

Scialfa, Springsteen plays the album

for his closest friends. The result is

a front row ticket to the most intimate

Springsteen show one could

see.

The songs play out in full with

Springsteen reflecting on the music

between tracks. These interviews

and monologues evoke a musician’s

asides performed between songs at

a concert. Instead of simply standing

there and talking as the band

catches its breath, Springsteen

moves away from the stage, outside

the barn, and into the Wild

West. Images evoke the movies of

John Ford with Springsteen’s tales

of cowboys and rugged roads. The

staging of the candid moments is

intermittently cheesy, like a shot of

Springsteen in his old truck as he

talks to the camera with a grin that

says, “Howdy, partner!” but they’re

fair reflections of a life well lived.

These interludes provide intimate

glimpses into Springsteen’s life as

home movies reveal moments with

Patti and their kids as Springsteen

savours the journey that’s brought

him to the creative crossroads of

Western Stars.

Springsteen unpacks the significance

of the songs while reflecting

on his life that’s gone by, noting

how the role of the car has changed

but that the open road remains a

songwriter’s strongest metaphor

for freedom. His reflections on bygone

Hollywood stars whose cowboy

boots have been laid to rest makes

the performance of the film’s title

track extra poignant. Here is Springsteen

stripped and vulnerable. At 70,

he knows it’s a blessing to don his

boots at the beginning of a new day.

Watching Springsteen confront his

age and put his fears of loneliness

and legacy into song, the film becomes

as moving as it is entertaining.

The buy-it-the-minute-you-hear-it

soundtrack is fuller and richer than

the album. The sweeping orchestration

widens the scope of the music

and lends it extra gravity as the

notes reverberate in the acoustics of

Springsteen’s hallowed barn, a warmly

inviting setting for the concert.

The film is lushly shot and mixed

beautifully to let the music take advantage

of the theatrical experience.

Pulling double-duty as performer

and director, working with long-time

collaborator Thom Zimny, Springsteen

proves himself a boss on both

sides of the camera. Springsteen

looks forward when many stars of

his generation have their eyes in

the rear-view mirror. Western Stars

speaks to Springsteen’s reinvention

as an artist as he conquers another

frontier.

Western Stars hits theatres

October 25.

A Star Reborn

In Judy, Renée Zellweger delivers a noteperfect

performance as Judy Garland

By PAT MULLEN

T

he

forecast for 2020 predicts the gayest Oscars

yet. After Taron Egerton wowed us as Elton John in

Rocketman, Renée Zellweger delivers a note-perfect

performance as Judy Garland in Judy. Wager

good money on the stars taking home matching

Oscars for portraying these queer icons.

Judy is Zellweger’s comeback. After being the “it girl”

of the early 2000s with hits like Bridget Jones’s Diary,

Chicago, and Cold Mountain, Zellweger’s stock vanished.

Star persona and performance blur in this portrait of an

actor struggling to understand her purpose when the spotlight’s

gone. Zellweger is heartbreakingly good in realizing

Garland’s vulnerability.

Judy focuses on the final year of Garland’s life. At 46,

roughly Zellweger’s age during her slump, Garland is off

to London for a string of concerts. Broke, blacklisted,

and fighting a custody battle, Garland is at rock bottom

offering show-stopping numbers one night and drunken

embarrassments the next.

Flashbacks to Garland’s work on The Wizard of Oz,

toiling under the tyrannical and controlling producer Louis

B. Mayer, the film portrays Garland as a woman who was

never allowed to control her own life. But where Garland’s

pain was overcome by alcoholism and drug abuse, Zellweger

channels her agony and loneliness into life-saving,

transformative art.

Using her trademark pouty lips and sad, shimmering

eyes, Zellweger doesn’t disappear within the character.

While her resemblance to Garland is uncanny, this is very

much a Renée Zellweger performance. It pays tribute to an

icon while reminding us of another’s worth.

It’s not all pain and heartache, though. Judy rings with

the joie de vivre that continues to endear Garland to audiences.

Zellweger performs Garland’s signature tunes in

knockout numbers. Recording all the songs live, Zellweger’s

vocals capture Garland at her highest and lowest. A

star is reborn with Zellweger’s career-best performance

in Judy.

Judy is playing in select theatres now.

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 33


Made. By. Distillers.


That’s Dope

HIGH TIME

FOR THC OILS

Sly, smokeless, and super potent cy THC oil has recently hit the market and it is

not lost on celebrity cannabis

high-poten-

aficionados.

By DAYNA MAHANNAH

Rapper Wiz Khalifa knows smoke-free Mary

Jane is yet another opportunity to share his

favourite hobby with the smoke-free inhabitants

of the world, which is what inspired Khalifa Kush

Enterprises. His latest endeavor partners with

Supreme Cannabis to produce something far

more psychoactive than its tame cousin, CBD oil.

THC oil delivers actually strong euphoric effects

through its concentrated dosing.

So why oil over flower? No one is here to

tell you how to party, but oil is generally

more efficient — less product is

needed for the desired effect. Plus,

you might save a lung.

It’s also easier to control your

intake so you don’t get too

high. And, THC oil is a slow

burn. It takes 20 to 30 minutes

to take effect, but will

last longer than smoking

the bud. “The rule of

thumb whenever

you’re trying anything

cannabis related

is slow and low,”

says Malania

Dela Cruz from

Faulbauher

Communications,

a

representative

for

KKE Oils. “If

you’re unsure, you

take the lowest dose

and see how you feel. Take

some time. Maybe you want

to take a little bit more in a

couple hours. That’s how you

find your perfect dose.”

This month in Cannabis news and views

THE HIGH 5

Sunset Sogels

LBS - Indica - $16.99 / 15 capsules

THC: 2.5mg/mL - CBD: 0.7mg/mL

Snoop Dogg’s brand of entry-level oil, pre-measured

in capsule form for your ease. A hint of

citrus makes this the perfect first for the cannabis

curious — not too strong, zero smell. It offers

a slight body buzz and is balanced with a dose

of CBD oil so as not to overwhelm.

Sensi Star Oil

KKE - Indica - $74.99 / 30mL

THC: 28mg/mL - CBD: 1mg/mL

Khalifa Kush Enterprises teamed up with Supreme

Cannabis to make something Wiz himself

would want. The first high-potency THC oil of

the KKE line is also one of the first recreational

oils in Canada. It retains its unique terpene

profile (gasoline, pine, citrus) through a multiphased,

whole-plant CO2 extraction process.

Reign Drops 30:0

Redecan - Hybrid - $55 / 40mL

THC: 30mg/mL - CBD: 0mg/mL

About as potent as it gets. This indica-sativa

hybrid oil is extracted from greenhouse-grown

cannabis in Niagara, Ontario. It is calming,

appetite-inducing, and assists in pain management.

If it’s not your first rodeo, Reign Drops

can also assist in gardening, making art, and

movie-watching.

Cannabis Oil (THC)

Broken Coast Cannabis - Indica - $54.79 /

30mL

THC: 29mg/mL - CBD: 0.3mg/mL

An indica strain hailing from the tiny town of

Duncan on Vancouver Island, BC. This, like any

other oil, can be dropped into your morning coffee,

pancake batter, soup, or a five’o’clock brew.

It may add a dash of sweet, earthy scent, and a

whole lotta high. Better with music.

Rise Oil

COVE - Sativa - $48.99 / 20mL

THC: 25mg/mL - CBD: 1mg/mL

Fruity, sweet, and herbal. Rise Oil is formed

through an ethanol-free CO2 extraction process

and blended with MCT oil for smooth taste.

The sativa strain makes this a good option for

daytime dosing. It’s energizing and can help minimize

anxiety. Need to focus on an art project?

Workout? This will help you rise to the occasion.

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 35


TRAVEL

ICELAND

AIRWAVES

Exploring Reykjavík:

The Land of Fire and Ice

By GLENN ALDERSON

GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

F

or a music celebration that takes place on an

island infamous for getting only three hours

of darkness during the summer months, Iceland

Airwaves knows a thing or two about

making a lot of noise when the sun goes down.

Located in the Nordic island country’s capital

of Reykjavík, Iceland Airwaves is a hot bed

for local and international talent who gather once a year

for the ultimate music festival experience. The multi-day,

multi-venue celebration started 20 years ago as a talent

show held in an airport hangar for foreign record execs

hoping to catch a glimpse of the next BjÖrk or Sigur Ros.

Airwaves has since grown to become an internationally

recognized event for everyone, shining a light on the country’s

vast music scene with tons of live shows, all night

parties and general debauchery crammed into four days.

“Iceland has consistently punched well above its weight

with quality music,” says Iceland Airwaves’ managing director,

Will Larnach-Jones. “It’s an island, it’s remote, and

yes it’s expensive, but creatively our musical output stands

on the shoulders of giants.”

Larnach-Jones isn’t just talking about Of Monsters And

Men — arguably the country’s largest musical export next

to the Sugarcubes — Although, they are closing out the

festival this year on the Saturday night.

“The festival will always showcase Icelandic music

firstly and foremostly, but we want to also build on the

B2B side of the festival. So many great talent buyers,

agents, festival and musicians come into town, we want

to give them more opportunities to do business with Iceland,

collaborate, and learn.”

This year will see acts like Mac DeMarco, Shame, Booka

Shade, Orville Peck, Whitney and much more, performing

alongside a fantastic curation of Icelandic acts.

Matthildur is a stand out singer-songwriter and producer

based in Reykjavík. Her music is inspired by late 90s

R&B with elements of modern day soul. Emotive and bold

as hell, she is known for wearing her heart on her sleeve

and has been on an upward trajectory since her breakout

performance at Iceland Airwaves in 2018.

Whether you’re looking to sample the sights and

sounds of Reykjavík, party with the locals or find easy

ways to stretch your dollar in one of the most notoriously

expensive but equally as beautiful countries in the world,

songwriter/producer, Matthildur, offers some tips on how

to maximize your experience when visiting the land of fire

and ice.

Iceland Airwaves runs Wednesday, Nov. 6 to Saturday Nov. 9

ICELANDIC

SINGER SÓLVEIG

MATTHILDUR'S

ESSENTIAL

REYKJAVÍK

Punk

Museum's

Black Elf

"When the night is over and I’m

feeling a little bit peckish, I head

to Mandí on Veltusund 3b for latenight

eats. The service is such a

treat and you’ll definitely end up

having memorable conversations

with some locals, possibly in a

questionable state haha! "

36 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


LOOKING FOR BJÖRK?

Try the Reykjavik Music Walk!

An informative and entertaining

tour, detailing the city’s acclaimed pop

music scene, guided by Iceland’s foremost

popular music scholar, Arnar Eggert.

The tour focuses on Iceland’s pop and rock

history and the landmark sites that have

contributed to its remarkable success

abroad. Get a front row view of the

downtown practice spaces of Bjork

and The Sugarcubes, concert halls

used by early career Sigur Ros,

historically important live

venues and more.

Bæjarins Bestu (Tryggvagata 1)

This is a classic "must try in

Iceland" destination and it never

disappoints. If you like hot dogs

and would like to check out how

we do it here, just order ‘one with

everything.’ But if you’re vegetarian,

order ‘one with everything

except the hot dog’ – that’s what

I do!

Hlemmur mathöll

(Laugavegur 107)

The perfect place to go when

you’re not exactly sure what

you’re in the mood for. It’s

Iceland’s first ‘food hall,’ with so

many different culinary options.

You can go there at any time of

the day, it literally has it all.

The Coocoo's Nest

(Grandagarður 23)

For brunch, I love to go to the

Coocoo’s Nest in the flourishing

area of Grandi by Reykjavik

harbour. Nestled in an old fishing

hut, it has a classic brunch menu

accompanied with the best ingredients.

Such a good way to start

the day and then take a stroll at

Grandi.

DESTINATIONS

The Icelandic Punk Museum

(Bankastræti 2)

Located in an old, abandoned

underground toilet, everything about

this former shit hole has been done

in the spirit of "punk". This history

of Iceland’s punk scene paired

with better known punk bands who

toured and influenced the country

is well documented with newspaper

clippings and memorabilia galore,

including things from the early days

of the Sugarcubes and Killing Joke’s

Jaz Coleman’s infamous escape to

Iceland in 1982.

Reykjavík Art Museum

Kjarvalsstaðir (Flókagata 24)

Kjarvalstaðir is a wonderful museum

hosting beautiful artworks by

well-known Icelandic artists, and the

building itself is also one of the most

interesting in the city. It’s a great

location to start a day wandering and

admiring your surroundings.

Guðlaug Baths

(Langisandur, Akranes)

Going swimming in Iceland is

almost obligatory when visiting. If

you want to take it one step further,

you should check out the beautiful

Guðlaug in Akranes, just one hour

away from Reykjavík. It’s located

on the Langisandur beach, where

you can bathe in the warm water

while looking out to the ocean.

Gorgeous!

Grótta Lighthouse (Seltjarnarnes)

If you’re visiting in the winter

months, you might get lucky and

see the Northern Lights. The best

place to see them in the city is if

you go to Grótta, which is a nature

reserve on the tip of the Seltjarnarnes

Peninsula in the north-westernmost

part of the Greater

Reykjavík Area. There is one tall

lighthouse but no light posts, so

the Northern Lights are especially

visible.

NIGHTLIFE/ LIVE MUSIC

Spánski barinn (Ingólfsstræti 8)

If you want to go somewhere cosy

and little bit quieter, go to Spánski

barinn in the city centre. It’s the one

I always go to when I want to have

good conversation and an even

better drink.

Prikið (Bankastræti 12)

If you’re like me and love hip-hop

and R&B music, Prikið is the best

place to be. They always have the

best DJs performing to make the

night even better.

Kex Hostel (Skúlagata 28)

This venue boasts the most

gorgeous view to the sea and the

mountain, Esja. It’s a place where

you can grab a drink, listen to live

music and have a truly memorable

time.

Iðnó (Vonarstræti 3)

“A beautiful spot right by Tjörnin

(the lake) and the Reykjavík city

hall. It’s a cultural hub that has

been important to Icelandic artist

since 1896. It’s small and therefore

creates a close and intimate atmosphere

with each performance.”

Listasafn Reykjavíkur

(Tryggvagata 17)

An industrial building that transformed

from being a ship manufacturer

to an art gallery. Experiencing

music inside this beautiful building

creates an indescribable atmosphere

that has made each concert

more memorable than the last.

EATS

Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar

(Geirsgata Geirsgötu 1)

This is where you get the best

burgers in Reykjavík. My brother

and I are official regulars so I think

it’s safe to say we really like it!

Good service, great music and the

best burgers.

HOT WAX

Lucky Records (Rauðarárstígur

10) and Smekkleysa

(Skólavörðustígur 16) are solid

destinations for all your music

needs, both offering solid browsing

opportunities. You can find

many Icelandic music albums and

of course some classics as well.

It’s the places I visit when I’m in

need of some fresh new vinyl.

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 37


Style

Sweater: model's own

Hat: archive Vivienne Westwood

Pants: Trip NYC

Shoes: John Fleuvog

By GLENN ALDERSON

PHOTOGRAPHER: ANNIE FORREST

ART DIRECTOR: JACOB PARK

MAKEUP ARTIST: CIRSTY BURTON

PHOTO ASSISTANT: BRUNA MOREIRA

ZSELA


Coat: Luar

Tights: stylist's own

Necklace: model's own

In April,

experimental arts

and fashion collective

Vaquera hosted

“Vaqueraoke” at the

MoMA PS1 in New

York. Rising R&B star

Zsela Thompson

took the stage in a

tartan dress with cut

aways that revealed

an homage to Madonna’s

iconic cone bra.

The moment she set

her dark, brooding

vocals loose over

an acapella cover of

Madonna’s “Like a

Prayer,” a new darling

of the NYC fashion

scene was born.

In September,

she followed up her

first single, “Noise,”

with “Earlier Days,”

a heart wrenching,

time-stopping ballad

steeped in nostalgia

and lost love. This fall,

Thompson will join

Cat Power and Angel

Olsen on tour.

And on the eve of

releasing a five-song

EP, Thompson is devoted

to allowing her

art to live and breath

in multiple disciplines

while planting her feet

firmly in music and

fashion.

“I’m inspired by the

space, or venue of

the moment and how

I’m physically feeling,”

she explains.

Equally as comfortable

in a Comme

des Garçons leather

jacket and John

Fluevog shoes or a

pair of jeans with a

baggy hoodie and a

bandana, Thompson

describes her style as

temporal and fleeting.

“I’m super scrappy

when it comes to

pulling together looks

too. An archive or

vintage piece can

be the inspiration

that a whole look

surrounds.”

Zsela performs with Cat

Power on Monday, Oct.

28 at the Commodore

Ballroom (Vancouver).

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 39


Style

Top: stylist's own

Shoes: Maryam Nassir Zadeh

40 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


YVR

10.19

Master of Disguise:

the groundbreaking

art of Cindy Sherman

By YASMINE SHEMESH

In one image, she’s done up

like a 1920s movie star — thin

eyebrows, pouty lips, and a scarf

draped over her head. Another

one has her sitting demurely on a

wooden chair in a studio, peeking

through blonde bangs and looking

the epitome of cool in a white

button-up and blue jeans. A third

shows her in clown make-up,

donning plump cheek prosthetics

and a sad expression.

It is, indeed, the one-and-thesame

woman: Cindy Sherman,

master of disguise and artist,

known for her highly conceptual

photographs in which she manipulates

her appearance to portray

characters in a variety of contexts.

In a decorated career that

has spanned more than 40 years,

her work primarily explores the

junction of identity and illusion,

particularly regarding feminine

stereotypes that exist in television,

film, and advertising.

But Sherman was always interested

in challenging the notions of

identity. In interviews, she has discussed

how, as a kid, she would

dress up as different characters

to get attention (she was the

youngest sibling). After moving

to New York in the 70s to pursue

photography, though, dressing

up became more than child’s play

and she started creating what

would become her best-known

work: Untitled Film Stills (1977-

80). The black and white portrait

series, inspired by promotional

posters for 40s and 50s movies,

carved out a prominent place for

her in the Pictures Generation

— a group of artists who sharply

critiqued the media landscape.

This month, the Vancouver

Art Gallery will host a critically

acclaimed retrospective of

Sherman’s work, exhibiting more

than 170 of her pieces, including

Untitled Film Stills, as well as her

newest project, Untitled #602.

The latest, a collaboration with

Stella McCartney, shows an

androgynous Sherman with short

hair, standing in a landscaped garden,

and wearing a trench and a

t-shirt that depicts an image from

her own Rear Screen Projections.

Here, and as always, Sherman

challenges the viewer to consider

reality, artifice, and their own

reflection.

Vancouver Art Gallery / October 26,

2019-March 8, 2020 / Tix: vanartgallery.bc.ca

VANCOUVER’S ESSENTIAL OCTOBER HAPPENINGSk

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 41

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND METRO PICTURES, NEW YORK


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42 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


10.19YVRAGENDA

JOHN FLUEVOG:

King of Rock and Roll

Soles Celebrates

50 Years

By YASMINE SHEMESH

I

n 1956, John

Fluevog was

eight years

old, listening

to a car radio

at the Luxury Freeze, his

father’s drive-in ice cream

joint on Kingsway in Vancouver,

singing along to “Blue

Suede Shoes” by Elvis Presley.

It would become a formative

moment — and an ironic one,

too, for the now-shoe designer

celebrating a career that spans

half a century. But, back then, it

was just exciting.

It was the early rumble of

rock and roll and Fluevog was

surrounded by low-rider cars,

music, and teenagers cooling

down on sundaes. His family

was religious, so rock music

was forbidden at home, which

made it that much more appealing.

He took in how kids wore

their belts and blue jeans, and

the colours of their socks and

shoes. He had an eye for that

kind of stuff.

“I’ve always been edgy,” Fluevog

tells BeatRoute. Of course,

Fluevog’s natural knack for

style led him towards crafting

some of the most beautifully

made shoes in the world. The

journey began in 1970 when he

and Peter Fox, then manager of

Sheppard Shoes, opened Fox

& Fluevog on Gastown’s main

drag. After a decade, Fluevog

broke out on his own.

In 1986, he designed his

first women’s shoe, the Pilgrim,

which, with a pointed toe, buckle,

and angular heel, evoked a

Victorian cowboy boot. Over

the next five decades, his shoes

became a symbol of spirited

originality. Bright and whimsical,

coming in surreal shapes with

artful detailing, they’re coveted

by Madonna, Jack White, and

your next-door neighbour alike.

Fluevog

is as

colourful

as his

footwear.

When it

comes to the

stories, fact and

fiction are hard

to gauge. Did he

really work as a psychic

in the 90s? Some

reports confirm, others

deny. And did the iconic

Angels come to him in a vision,

as legend states? “Yes. No.

Maybe so,” Fluevog chuckles.

But enigma is part of the fun —

and the universe he has created

for his brand to live in.

The Angels were Fluevog’s

response to Dr. Martens, the

popular combat boot Fluevog

was selling in his stores in the

80s. They brought in good

business, especially from the

music scene — it was the dawn

of grunge with Green River on

Seattle’s horizon and Vancouver’s

D.O.A. was helping pioneer

hardcore punk. But Fluevog

needed to carve his own path.

Plus, he didn’t like that Docs

were also in with alt-right skinheads.

So, he dreamed up, as

it were, his Angels. The chunky

boots are one of his most

enduring styles.

“I did them for survival,”

Fluevog explains. “And I

suppose part of me is a rugged

individualist. I like doing my own

thing. If everyone else is doing

something, I don’t want to do it.”

The soles, moulded in Italy

out of natural latex instead of

the poly vinyl chloride used on

other boots, read the inscription:

“Angels resist alkali,

water, acid, fatigue, and Satan.”

Dave Webber, the artist and

writer behind Fluevog’s zine-like

catalogues, came up with the

line, which has less to do with

spirituality than it does being a

footprint of Fluevog’s wonderful

world.

Fluevog: 50 Years of Unique

Sole for Unique Soles is available

for purchase on November

5

RIO

THEATRE

1660 EAST BROADWAY

OCTOBER

SEPTEMBER 26 - OCTOBER 11

The Vancouver International Film Festival

See www.viff.org for details

OCTOBER

11

OCTOBER

12

OCTOBER

13

OCTOBER

14

OCTOBER

15

19

OCTOBER

23

OCTOBER

24

OCTOBER

25

30

31

George Romero’s

NIGHT OF THE

LIVING DEAD

LINDA RONSTADT

The Sound of My Voice

*Additional dates www.riotheatre.ca

Rudy Ray Moore

DOLOMITE (1975)

MEMORY

The Origin of Alien

*Additional dates www.riotheatre.ca

Sigourney Weaver

ALIEN (1975)

Takashi Miike’s

FIRST LOVE

OCTOBER The Fictionals Comedy Co. Presents

IMPROV AGAINST HUMANITY

16 Halloween Show!

OCTOBER

OCTOBER

OCTOBER

Eddie Murphy

DOLOMITE IS MY NAME

*Additional dates www.riotheatre.ca

RIVERDALE BURLESQUE II

Escape from Greendale

Sam Raimi’s

THE EVIL DEAD (1981)

4K Remaster w/ New Score!

Double Feature!

EAST VAN OPRY

2019

STORY STORY LIE

Tales of Terror

The Gentlemen Hecklers Present

TROLL 2

Paul Anthony’s Talent Time

THE HALLOWEEN SHOW!

The Geekenders Present

WE ALL FLOAT DOWN HERE

A Burlesque Tribute to Stephen King

THE ROCKY HORROR

PICTURE SHOW

*Additional dates www.riotheatre.ca

THE CRITICAL HIT

SHOW

A #DNDLive Improvised Epic Fantasy!

THE EXORCIST

NOVEMBER 8 - 9

The Vancouver Podcast Festival

See www.vanpodfest.ca for details

COMPLETE LISTINGS AT WWW.RIOTHEATRE.CA

S

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 43


10.19YVRAGENDA

Bowie:

the

Tribute

Ground control to Major

Tom — On October

11, BOWIE Tribute

Band, an eight-piece

ensemble based in

Vancouver, performs

their hat-tip to the

late David Bowie at

the most fitting Star

Theatre in the H.R.

MacMillan Space Centre.

Against an intergalactic

backdrop, the

group will run through

Bowie’s greatest hits

as they provide an

intimate experience

that’ll transport you to

another galaxy.

October 11, 2019 / H.R.

MacMillan Space Centre

/ Tix: eventbrite.ca

WHY I

DESIGN

How does design

impact our city? That’s

one of the main topics

of discussion at Why

I Design, an annual

one-night-only event

held at the Museum of

Vancouver.

Now in its fifth year,

the evening acts as

an open platform

for forward-thinking

designers to engage

in conversation with

the public about

their inspirations and

intentions for creating

products that shape

our environment, as

well as the challenges they face.

Ronnie Dean Harris

The designers range widely in discipline and definition — from architects

to sustainable furniture makers to economic strategists. This

year’s event highlights, in particular, the potential of the circular economy:

a regenerative design concept that aims to eliminate waste.

Participants include Tantalus Labs, a company founded on a commitment

to advancing the frontier of cannabis; The Binners Project, fostering

social and economic inclusion, building community resilience and

stronger networks around sustainability issues; and Ronnie Dean Harris,

a media artist, hip-hop performer and poet based in Stō:lo Territory.

Saturday, Nov. 2 / Museum of Vancouver / Tix: museumofvancouver.ca

YVRAgenda

Vancouver

Art Book Fair

A grassroots project celebrating

both local and international talent,

the Vancouver Art Book Fair

has been a staunch supporter of

publishing and the literary arts

since the festival’s inception in

2012. This year, along with exhibitors

like the Writers Exchange

— a program for kids in the

Downtown Eastside that helps

develop reading and writing skills

— there’ll be presentations from

an impressive and diverse roster

including poet Lisa Robertson,

Indigenous contemporary artist

Dana Claxton, and Agony Klub

— the music and print label of

musician KC Wei.

October 18, 2019 / Emily Carr University

of Art + Design / Free

Khari Wendell McClelland

Heart of the

City Festival

celebrates

downtown's

East Side

The theme of October’s Heart of the City

Festival is “Holding the Light,” which refers to

the artists who work to highlight the spirit of

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. But the notion

is something that has always defined the annual

event. Now in its 16th iteration, the festival celebrates

the neighbourhood and the community

that call it home through music, theatre, dance,

art exhibitions, and more. In 2018, over 1,000

local creatives and residents participated.

This year’s music presentations are among the

most exciting highlights with a concert series

curated by the festival’s artist-in-residence,

Khari Wendell McClelland, featuring Indigenous,

marginalized, and POC artists. The lineup

includes Tonye Aganaba, Francis Arevalo and

Shannon Bauman. Tale of the Eastside Lantern

is a Chinese rock opera, performed in both English

and Cantonese, that follows a man through

Chinatown as he seeks to solve a mystery. And,

of course, the Carnegie Jazz Band is set to

make an appearance — a staple of the festival

and the DTES, the group will perform a variety

of original songs and popular jazz classics.

October 30-November 10, 2019 / 40+ venues on the

Downtown Eastside / Free

44 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


CHUTZPAH! FESTIVAL Oct 24 to Nov 24

I

n

Hebrew,

chutzpah

means “brazen

audacity.”

As such, it’s fitting

that the term would

be the namesake of

a Jewish performing

arts festival that has

always championed

fearlessness. Since

2001, the Chutzpah!

Festival has welcomed

artists from

around the world to

stage provocative

presentations of

music, dance, theatre,

film, and comedy in a

celebration of cultural

and creative diversity.

This year also

marks artistic

managing director

Mary-Louise Albert’s

final season with

Chutzpah! after

15 years. A former

professional dancer,

Albert had specific

goals she wanted

to meet during her

tenure, particularly

seeing the festival

reach an international

standard in the performing

arts scene.

With the annual

event consistently

presenting substance-rich

works

that challenge the

status quo, Albert’s

goal has been more

than surpassed. 2019

continues to carry

that torch forward,

featuring artists from

Israel to Canada that

dive headfirst into

subject matter ranging

from conflicted

identity to generational

trauma — and all

with a healthy dose of

chutzpah.

“You definitely do

not need to be Jewish

to enjoy,” Albert adds.

“You just need to like

good art!”

by YASMINE

SHEMESH

Sandra Bernhard

October 31, Vogue Theatre

From her pioneering one-woman stand-up show to her portrayal of Nancy

— one of American television’s first openly gay characters — on Roseanne,

Sandra Bernhard is a queer comedy trailblazer. She’ll be performing

her cabaret show, Quick Sand, with a three-piece backing band.

October 24-November 24, 2019 / Various Locations / Tix: chutzpahfestival.com

Daniel Cainer

October 24, Norman Rothstein Theatre

In his musical cabaret, Gefilte Fish and Chips,

songwriter and storyteller Daniel Cainer

explores what it means to be both Jewish and

British. Both poignant and funny, Cainer searches

for a sense of identity in a re-discovered

heritage and the unconventional antics of his

relatives.

ProArteDanza

October 26-28, Norman Rothstein Theatre

The Toronto-based ballet company brings

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to life with the world

premiere of the 9th! Breathtaking choreography,

epic music, and themes such as freedom

also serve as an intentional tribute to the 30th

anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Tamara Micner

October 27-28, Wosk Auditorium

at the Jewish Community Centre

In her one-woman show, Holocaust

Brunch, Tamara Micner tells the

true story of Bluma and Isaac

Tischler — Holocaust survivors

who met in medical school during

World War II and went on to

become successful doctors. With

comedy and courage, Micner

reflects on trauma and how to sort

through painful memories that have

extended through generations.

Gary Lucas

October 30,

Norman Rothstein Theatre

The avant-garde guitarist, composer,

and Lou Reed collaborator

will perform a live score to two

classic 1930s horror films: Drácula

(in Spanish) and Frankenstein.

Gary Lucas spent his formative

years playing guitar at the Jewish

Community Centre in Syracuse,

New York, and his roots continue

to play an important role in both his

life and work.

OCTOBER 2019 BEATROUTE 45


10.19YVRMUSIC

The Cheat Sheet BR PICKS THE 5 ESSENTIAL LIVE MUSIC SHOWS

INDIE

METAL

R&B

ROCK

DANIEL CHAMPAGNE

1 Sat, Oct. 5 at the Roxy

A fusion of folk and pop with a

bluesy twist, this classically trained

percussive guitarist will mesmerize

you with his mind-numbing sound. .

2

THRUSH HERMIT

Thurs, Oct. 17 at Vogue Theatre

Canadian rock stalwart Joel

Plaskett brings Thrush Hermit back

together to celebrate the 20th anniversary

of their acclaimed album,

Clayton Park.

3

ANDREW BIRD

Thurs, Oct.17 at Vogue Theatre

A multi-instrumentalist indie-rocker,

Andrew Bird’s diverse sound will

have you dancing while also guiding

your mind to a place of calm.

4

Lucy Dacus

Mon, Oct. 21 at Rio Theatre

A member of the indie-rock supergroup,

boygenius, Lucy Dacus’

intimate lyrics and melancholic

sound will make your heart sink.

5

BUILT TO SPILL

Sun, Oct. 27 at Rickshaw Theatre

Pioneers of the Pacific Northwest

indie movement, the catchy sounds

of these cool alt-dads are still a

relatively well-kept secret.

1 IMMOLATION

Tues, Oct. 15 at Rickshaw Theatre

Immolation is defined as “something

that is sacrificed” — immolate

yourself to the brutal blast beats of

these death metal kingpins.

2

SABATON AND HAMMERFALL

Wed, Oct. 16 at Vogue Theatre

“The Great War” is upon us, and

these two Swedish bands will use

the mighty strength of power metal

to lead you to victory.

3

ALIEN WEAPONRY

Thurs, Oct. 24 at Biltmore Cabaret

All three members are of Māori

ancestry, and they uniquely blend

sounds and words inspired by their

indigenous heritage into a heavy

metal sound

4

CANNIBAL CORPSE

Wed, Oct. 30 at Vogue Theatre

Death metal OGs return to zombify,

crucify, and brutalize audiences

with their murderous soun

5 JINJER

Thurs, Oct. 31 at Rickshaw Theatre

Melodic and progressive, this

Ukrainian band have been creating

a serious buzz in the metal community.

HIPHOP

TYLER, THE CREATOR

Tues, Oct. 15 at Pacific Coliseum

1

This Odd Future innovator has

been causing “Earfquakes” in the

rap game for over a decade and

his latest stage show is not to be

missed.

2

BLACK PUMAS

Wed, Oct. 16 at Rickshaw Theatre

Hot off the heels of a sleeper hit of

an album, Black Pumas’ old school

R&B vibrations will touch your soul

with swagger.

3

RICH BRIAN

Fri, Oct. 18 at Vogue Theatre

With more than 10 million views

on his single “100 Degrees,” this

20-year-old Indonesian rapper

proves to be one of the hottest upand-comers

of the year

4 JPEGMAFIA

Sat, Oct. 19 at Fortune Sound Club

Socially commentative and undeniably

unpredictable, Jpegmafia

seamlessly fuses various styles

and topics into his verses that both

shock and intrigue.

5 BROCKHAMPTON

Sat, Oct. 26 at PNE Forum

A self-described “boy band,”

Brockhampton is a collective

making major waves with their

genre-bending alternative style of

rap music.

EDM

1 THE LAZY HUMAN SYRUP EXPERIENCE ORCHESTRA

+

Tues, Oct. 15 at Imperial

Vibe to sultry soundscapes at this

major downtempo double-header.

From sexy sax to tribal strings, this

will be a unique dancing experience.

2 GRiZ

Fri, Oct. 18 at Commodore Ballroom

Feel the funkadelic vibes of one

of EDM’s hottest virtuosos. It’s

no wonder why his latest album

featured Lupe Fiasco, Wiz Khalifa

and Snoop Dogg.

3 GAWP

Fri, Oct. 25 at M.I.A.

This deep-house kingpin delivers

aphrodisiac-like beats for the

after-hours underground.

4 STICKYBUDS

Sat, Oct. 26 at Commodore Ballroom

Making his yearly Halloween

weekend return, this homegrown

hero will smoke you with dank

bass lines.

5

MIAMI HORROR

Thurs, Oct. 31 at Fortune Sound Club

Despite what their name might

suggest, this group is anything

but horrific. Spend Halloween

dipped in a pop-laden, holographic

euphoria.

PUNK

1 PUP

Tues, Oct. 8 at Vogue Theatre

One of the hardest working Canadian

punk bands, Pup cope channel

doom and gloom through catchy

choruses and singalong verses.

2 LUCERO

Fri, Oct. 11 at Rickshaw Theatre

Emotional country punks from

Memphis, Tennessee, Lucero

will have you kissing the bottle in

record time.

THE INTERRUPTERS

Wed, Oct. 16 at Commodore Ballroom

3

This top-brass ska band uses their

upbeat energy to turn the stage

into a two-tone blitz.

4

THE ADICTS

Thurs, Oct. 24 at Rickshaw Theatre

U.K. punk legends fly across the

pond to get bizarre and make a

social statement on the crumbling

first-world.

5

CRACK CLOUD

Sun, Oct. 27 at Fortune Sound Club

An international multimedia collective

with an emphasis on rehabilitation,

Crack Cloud find recovery

in expressing themselves through

experimental post-punk.

46 BEATROUTE OCTOBER 2019


new album includes “strangers” & “astronaut”

october 4

canadian tour

11.08 — victoria, bc @ save on foods memorial centre

11.09 — vancouver, bc @ pacific coliseum

11.10 — kelowna, bc @ prospera place

11.12 — calgary, ab @ scotiabank saddledome

11.13 — edmonton, ab @ rogers place

11.15 — regina, sk @ brandt centre

11.16 — winnipeg, mb @ bell mts place

11.19 — sudbury, on @ sudbury arena

11.20 — windsor, on @ the colosseum at caesars windsor

11.22 — toronto, on @ scotiabank arena

11.25 — ottawa, on @ canadian tire centre

11.26 — kingston, on @ leon’s centre

11.28 — moncton, nb @ molson canadian centre at casino new bruswick

11.29 — halifax, ns @ scotiabank centre

each ticket purchased online includes a CD or digital copy of the new album

$1 from each ticket will be donated to MusiCounts & Indspire cityandcolour.com

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