by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting folks to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Aaron Schubert and Gareth Lukes, the coffee, music, and apothecary connoisseurs behind the soon-to-open Lukes General Store on the DTES.
Beastie Boys – Check Your Head | LISTEN | Narrowing down my all time favourites to a top three is a difficult, so I’ve decided to focus on the records that have had the biggest effect on me while also standing the test of time. Check Your Head best exemplifies this criteria. When I first heard it at the age of 16, it energized, inspired and informed me in a way that no other record had before. I love the seamlessness and ease with which it crosses through the realms of Hip Hop, Punk, Funk and Jazz. The fantastic instrumental skills of MCA (Bass) Adrock (Guitar) and Mike D. (Drums) along with honorary member Money Mark (Keyboards) were really showcased for the first time on this record.
Sloan – One Chord to Another | LISTEN | No question in my mind — this is one of the greatest Canadian records of all time. Never gets old, never gets tired. The day I found it on vinyl was a happy, happy day. I still get excited when I see it in my apartment and remember that I have it. I believe it was recorded on a 4 track which is impressive considering how good it sounds. Its got 60s pop elements and some fantastic horns. There isn’t a weak song on the record and its tough to make a call on which of the four member’s songs are the best. Lyrically amazing as well. “I’m writing Young and Gifted in my autobiography. I figured who would know, better than me” [from Autobiography]
Al Green – Gets Next to You | LISTEN | Al Green at his most raw, raunchy and soulful. The Hi Records studio band is on fire on this one. The horns are sharp, precise and perfectly arranged while still dripping soul. The guitar playing is a perfect combination of funk and twang. The rhythm section is mean. It’s just a perfect record to me.
Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! – Live at ‘The Club’ | LISTEN | This is by far the best live record I’ve ever heard. Between the drunken patrons being overzealous, the insane musicianship and the undeniable soul of this record, I’ll never get bored of listening to it.
John Frusciante – To Record Only Water For Ten Days (2001) | LISTEN | I remember ordering this record from HMV when it first came out and assuming it was going to be like the Red Hot Chili Peppers which my 13-year-old self was quite excited about at the time. Instead, it turned out to be filled with beautifully reverbed guitars, poorly recorded analog drum machines, lyrics that still confuse me and some instrumental tracks that made me feel something I hadn’t felt before. This record was at least 10 years before it’s time.
Neil Young – On the Beach (1974) | LISTEN | This has to be my favourite driving record, which is somewhat odd since there are several slower songs on it. I think it’s just the atmosphere and lyrics which make me feel like I’m in a movie…and that can’t be bad.
by Michelle Sproule | Have you ever had one of those experiences when you start thinking about how good an Earnest Ice Cream sundae is and you get so besotted with the memory of it that you get in your car and drive half way across town fully prepared to wait in a ridiculously long line up just to taste it only to realize that it’s Monday night and you have to wait all the way until Thursday before the tiny storefront opens it’s doors for service? Yeah, me too.
It’s not that they’re trying to torture us ice cream fiends. They have, it should be noted, distributed jars of their ice cream to numerous locations throughout the city where you can purchase it on any day of the week to pacify your cravings. The limited hours in the Fraserhood are out of necessity. They use that rest of the time (and all the space) to make the ice cream that will meet demand through the rest of the week.
Their smashing success has made the maintenance of the status quo impossible, so owners Ben Ernst and Erica Bernardi have decided to expand. They’ve just taken possession of the old Organic Lives space at 1829 Quebec Street on the corner of 2nd Avenue, where Mount Pleasant meets Olympic Village. When it comes on line this winter, this will be their main production space, though it will have a small retail component as well, which is to say we can walk in off the street and score ice cream by the scoop. The expansion also means that both locations will eventually be open for at least 6 days a week.
Right now, plans have been submitted to the city and they are just waiting for their permits. Though significantly larger, the new design will be similar to the Fraserhood location in layout and aesthetic (white walls, wood beams, brick — an uncomplicated, product-focused environment), plus there will be windows allowing customers to look into the production facility, which will take up the majority of the floor space.
The best case scenario for their opening date would be some point in December, but early 2015 is probably more realistic. Take a look inside…
The fellas over at Chinatown’s Mamie Taylor’s have spent the last few weeks quietly going about building a curtained-off private back room. It’s a long and narrow space with its own bar, a fireplace, and bar-height ledges for standing sips and bites. It can accommodate groups of 10-20, and they are now taking last minute bookings for the holidays (don’t forget to read up on their New Year’s Eve shindig). They took a photo for every day of its construction so that our readers could trace its path to completion. Check it out…
by Andrew Morrison | There’s a new bakery/cafe slated to open at 2150 Fir St. by the end of the summer. Owner Jackie Ellis spent 9 years in a graphic design career before she decided to turn her baking passion into Beaucoup. She says the concept will see a combination of childhood favourites and modern French pastries using only the highest quality ingredients and trying to source as much local, in-season fruits as possible. The baked goods will be buttressed by 49th Parallel coffee and Ellis is working with Oyama to create sandwiches with brioche and local micro greens.
I started doing farmer’s markets on the weekend as a way to pay for my increasingly expensive baking hobby. I loved the markets for the 2 years I did them, specifically the community and the connection with customers who raved about the food. I then made the tough decision to shut down my firm and take a year off to attend pastry school in Paris. I took time to travel all of France, Italy, and some of Tanzania and DRC. My goal was to taste as much as I could. I knew if I wanted to make the best tasting desserts, I would have to know what that was. So I sought out the best pastry shops and restaurants and travelled there just to eat. 30 pounds later (not joking), I was back in Vancouver and had to decide what [was] next. I knew I would always regret never trying to start a bakery, so I jumped!
We hungrily wish her the very best as we take a look at some construction shots below…
by Andrew Morrison | Former Rodney’s Oyster House super shucker Shawn Chesney is opening a joint of his own called Oyster Express at 296 Keefer in Chinatown (southwest corner of Keefer and Gore). The space was a cheap Chinese import shop that dealt in T-shirts and the like until Chesney and his partner Soran picked it up back in December. They’ve been hard at work ever since, and hope to have it open in the first week of April. I’ll have more details in my Westender column next week. Until then, take a look at the shots below with a squint and behold the wood-clad Aurora Bistro of yore, re-incarnated!