by Nic Bragg | From Kitsilano’s Zulu Records, we once again present our weekly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, we provide The Track – the song that is on heavy rotation in the shop this week; The Playlist – which is pretty self-explanatory; The Gig – the ‘must see’ show of the week; and The Glance – which details the best live acts that are on the immediate horizon. From our ears to yours, enjoy…
JAPANDROIDS The House That Heaven Built
Just over a year ago you could catch these guys rocking out at any East Van house party. Today you would be hard pressed to see Brian or David anywhere in our city. For the past 5 months they have been on the road all over Canada, the States, and Europe, living out of their van – en route to the next gig. Their 2012 album Celebration Rock scored high with both critics and fans and has turned them into one of the most talked about bands our city has even known. And yes, Spin Magazine picked them as the “band of the year”. Deal with it. Last week they returned home ever so briefly to kill it live at the Rickshaw with old pal Mac Demarco. They plan to crash on their parent’s couches for a few days and then it’s off to Australia and Japan for another series of shows for a new batch of rabid revellers. Good things are happening! Enjoy one of the best songs of 2012!
YO LA TENGO Ohm
One could easily argue that Yo la Tengo are one of the most consistent bands in America. Sure they will never be as famous as Wilco or The National, nor as hip as Grizzly Bear or Real Estate, but year in and year out they make music that resonates with their hardcore followers. As this video illustrates (though not much happens visually), with Yo La Tengo you have to focus on the actual music. Enjoy.
ALT-J Something Good
One record that we had a definitely hard time keeping in stock was the Mercury Prize-winning debut from Alt-J. It’s not surprising that their show at the Commodore is totally sold out. They pretty much captured the best of the modern sound coming out of the UK – folky Mumford & Sons vibes as channelled through a filter of synths and big beats. Infectious. Catchy. Cool.
ARCADE FIRE Crucified Again
Our pals at Merge Records are happy to confirm that 2013 will be a good year for them – Arcade Fire will attempt to follow up the ragged glory of their Grammy Award winning hit The Suburbs. Anybody got a prediction on what this record will sound like? Our bet is that it will be completely different, subdued and relaxed. They are capable of great things…
MY BLOODY VALENTINE T.B.A.
If you follow MBV on Twitter you may have been surprised to see a tweet last week saying their new mysterious album is finished and mastered. Head honcho Kevin Sheilds is also threatening to release it secretly any day now. They’re a game-changing type of band. Check this documentary out and get ready for one hell of a new record!
KENDRICK LAMAR Swimming Pools
With Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar on the up and up, the hip-hop scene in America is about to take off in a whole new direction. Together, these three guys pretty much dominated the genre and pushed it back into place as the central revenue stream for major label music. Swimming Pools remains the huge jam.
CAT POWER Kids Songs
Chan Marshall remains an enigma. For many, her show at the Vogue Theater remains the live highlight of the year (after which she pretty much self-destructed, complained of poor health, financial problems, and general on-the-road tour burnout). Here, she makes fun of her own idiosyncrasies.
KEN STRINGFELLOW January 31st at BILTMORE CABARET
Ken is a long-time fixture within northwestern music circles. His name is synonymous with the heavenly pop music of The Posies. He’s also the guy Alex Chilton (rest his soul) turned to when he wanted to relaunch Big Star! Of course Ken goes way back with Darius Minwalla – the GM of East Van venue mainstay The Biltmore Cabaret – as he has held down the drums for The Posies and Ken’s other sonic projects since 2001. So, not only will this be a night of beautifully crafted classic pop song writing, but also a celebration of Stringfellow’s relationship and influence on the northwest’s pop scene. Bookmark this night for an evening of introspective music, maverick melodic interplay, and songs (like those of Chilton before him) that hint of poetic darkness and brooding intensity.
Mon Dec 31 INTIMATE NYE 2013 – CHAPEL ARTS
Mon Dec 31 EAST VAN SOUL CLUB – ASTORIA
Mon Dec 31 THE DROP NYE -WEST COAST RAILWAY
Mon Dec 31 GREEN BURRITO NEW YEARS EVE – PAT’S PUB
Mon Dec 31 W2 LIGHTS NYE – W2
Mon Dec 31 NEW YEAR’S MASQUERADE – WALDORF
Mon Dec 31 CARRIBEAN NEW YEARS EVE – ELGIN COMMUNITY HALL
Wed Jan 09 WAR OF ROCK – BACKSTAGE LOUNGE
Thu Jan 10 THE MAHONES – VENUE
Fri Jan 11 STARKEY – WALDORF
Sat Jan 12 HOPSIN – RICKSHAW
Tue Jan 15 CHELSEA WOLFE – MEDIA
Tue Jan 15 ANDREA GIBSON – BILTMORE
Thu Jan 17 NICKODEMUS & DRUMSPYDER – RED ROOM
Fri Jan 18 D.O.A.’s FAREWELL SHOW – RICKSHAW
Sat Jan 19 APRIL ROSE – RIO
Sat Jan 19 HERALD NIX – PERFORMANCE WORKS
Fri Jan 25 WILLY MASON – MEDIA
Fri Jan 25 THE FUNK HUNTERS – 560 Club
Wed Jan 23 NIKI & THE DOVE – ELECTRIC OWL
Thu Jan 31 KEN STRINGFELLOW – BILTMORE