OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | Krokodile Pear In Kits Is Looking For A Talented Juicetender

January 8, 2014 

Krokodile Pear is located at 1867 West 1st Avenue in Kitsilano | Vancouver, BC | www.krokodilepear.com

Krokodile Pear is located at 1867 West 1st Avenue in beautiful Kitsilano | Vancouver, BC | www.krokodilepear.com

The GOODS from Krokodile Pear

Vancouver, BC | Krokodile Pear is currently seeking a talented Juicetender located at our Kitsilano location. A day in the life of a Juicetender involves educating customers on the many features and benefits of our products, preparing and serving beverages in a fast-paced environment while providing exemplary customer service, executing proper cash handling procedures, and pressing juice using a large commercial grade, cold-press juicer whilst adhering to all safety and sanitary guidelines. Applicants must have a passion for natural, organic foods and for living a healthy lifestyle (you don’t have to be an expert – we just strongly encourage you to share your journey with our customers and with our team), a fun, optimistic and friendly personality, the ability to thrive in a dynamic, always changing, entrepreneurial organization, a flexible work schedule that may include weekends and holidays, and a demonstrated ability to provide exemplary customer service preferably drawing from experience in a similar role. Please submit your resume and cover letter to work [at] krokodilepear.com. Learn more about the company after the jump… Read more

GOODS | “Maenam” Is Laying Out A Special Feast On West 4th Ave This New Years Eve

December 17, 2013 

West 4th’s crticially acclaimed Maenam is located at 1938 West 4th Ave in Kits | 604-730-5579 | www.maenam.ca

The GOODS from Maenam

Vancouver, BC | Take your taste buds to Thailand this New Year’s Eve with Maenam’s exclusive four-course dinner. Inspired by the flavours of Southeastern Asia, Chef Angus An’s celebratory menu features a selection of original creations alongside classic Maenam favourites. Ideal for sharing, guests can expect dishes that showcase a range of traditional Thai flavours, covering the spectrum of hot, sour, salty and sweet. Guests are given the option of rounding out their NYE celebrations with exotic cocktails and perfect wine pairings. Maenam’s four-course New Year’s Eve Chef’s Menu is priced at $60 per person. A vegetarian menu is also available. As space is limited, guests are encouraged to reserve early by phoning 604-730-5579. Get a look at the complete menu after the jump… Read more

ZULU REPORT: All The Awesome Sounds That You Should Be Listening To This Week

December 9, 2013 

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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…

THE TRACK

MOGWAI The Lord Is Out of Control

I keep watching this video waiting for something terrible or horrifying to happen, but it never does. Scottish post-rockers Mogwai know how to create mood, capture one’s attention and focus our listening experience. There’s a hypnotic slow burn to their compositions. Using classic vintage synth swells and fried fuzz guitars, the tones flow together perfectly into an enthralling elixir. The video was shot on location in Hawaii, capturing the eerie beauty of its natural setting inter-cut with some really nice footage of late night acrobatics classes, a man living off the grid and raising masks to the sun, and a woman trekking out to take in the sunrise. In the back of your mind you know that Mogwai live for the blissed out massive volume distortion rock outs, so when this new song just manages to keep the intensity in check the result is really seductive. Mogwai’s Rave Tapes release is one to look forward to in 2014.

THE PLAYLIST

BONNIE PRINCE BILLY Black Captain

Will Oldham drops a nugget from his songbook for Greenpeace’s boat The Arctic Sunrise which was detained by on piracy charges in September after they attempted to protest offshore drilling in the Russian Arctic. Black Captain is already a highly moving song, but in this politicized context and with Will just set up on a dock strumming his guitar, you can’t help but feel the vibe.

DISAPPEARS Kone

Remember the good old days when bands could jam on drone rock for 14 minutes in a vain attempt to capture the glory of Can and Faust? Those days are alive and well in the city of Chicago! Long live the trippy sound of Jazzmasters running through Roland Space Echo!

CALIFONE 3Voor12 Session

Next November when you are planning your escape from town I strongly suggest a cheap flight to Amsterdam, a train to the tiny University town of Utrecht, and a 3 day pass to one of the most underground music festivals in Europe – Le Guess Who. The shows all have a unified intimacy that makes you feel like you’re witnessing something special and unique. Here we see Chicago blues rockers Califone in a more stripped down incarnation entertaining fans in the Village Coffee Shop (not that kind of coffee shop!).

NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS Higgs Boson Blues

This week we took an informal poll on Twitter to find out from our customers/followers their favourite live show of the year. Nick Cave’s sold out April 6th performance at the marvelous Vogue Theater received a ton of votes and provided a fine excuse to relive the glory of seeing an amazing band in an amazing setting with an amazing set of fans loving every minute of it. The good news is Cave and Co. have a new live record and have announced another Vancouver show (in a larger room). The bad news is that it’s sold out already!

BLOUSE A Feeling Like This

Every New Year you should really make a point of discovering a few new young bands. Choose a label you like and do a little bit of investigating. Portland’s latest breakout band is Blouse, and with the impending release on Captured Tracks they should be making waves in 2014. This is a nice black and white tone poem that plays with one’s subconscious dream psyche.

SUPERCHUNK Void

“The venue is condemned but they still do shows on the weekend”… Hilarious chit-chat from an a-list of American hipster comedians (including Superchunk drummer Jon W.) as they line up to get into the club. If you can’t laugh at yourself…

THE GIG

TENNIS Monday January 6th FORTUNE SOUND CLUB

The idea that Denver’s slick indie pop outfit Tennis will be on the road this early in the year is crazy! Most bands wait for things to start to thaw before booking shows. Maybe they just have lots of practice booting around the icy Rockies roads en route to the next gig. Anyway, mark your 2014 calendars with this show and make it your New Year’s resolution to get out and see more bands. Tennis offer the sharp hooks of bigger more acclaimed bands such as Grizzly Bear and Vampire Weekend and will definitely have to bring their a-game if they want to outshine local openers The Shilohs who round out the bill. Take a deeper look at Vancouver’s gigscape for the rest of December after the jump… Read more

GOODS | “Les Amis Du Fromage” Stocked Up For Holidays With Food-Lover Favourites

December 9, 2013 

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Les Amis du Fromage | East Van: 843 E. Hastings, 604-253-4218 | Kits: 1752 W. 2nd, 604-732-4218 | www.buycheese.com

The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage

Vancouver, BC | As we all get ready to host Christmas, New Years and Holiday parties, don`t forget to make cheese a part of your entertaining. Cheese is perfect for serving before or after dinner. Cheese platters are perfect for entertaining large groups because they are communal and made for sharing. Did you know that we also have an amazing selection of local charcuterie?  We stock meats from D Original, Moccia, Oyama, The Cure and more, including house made terrines. Let the staff at les amis du FROMAGE help you keep your holiday entertaining simple. We’ll help you choose cheese, meats, crackers and tasty accompaniments like cornichons, olives, antipasto or tapenade. If you’re a bit busier, we’re happy to prepare cheese platters for you. If you don’t have time to visit the store and order your platter, just call us. We’ll do the rest.

The staff at LADF have been busy preparing some of your holiday favourites. Whole wheels of English Stilton have been soaking in Taylor Fladgate port for several weeks now. They should be ready for sale by December 16th. We’ve even prepared a batch of Tourtiere this year. Grand Fromager Alice Spurrell has been making this favourite Quebecois pork pie for her family for over 50 years. Made from hand cut pork that’s been simmered all day with potatoes, onions and spices, it wouldn’t be Christmas at our house without it. This year we’ve managed to make a few extra. It’s a once a year thing, so supplies are very limited.

If Fondue and Raclette are a traditional part of your holiday meal, let us help take some of the work out of preparing dinner for you. We stock several cheeses, so whether you would like a traditional or custom blend of cheeses for your fondue, we’ve got you covered. We’re even happy to grate the cheese and have it all ready to go for you. We also stock Raclette cheese from France, BC, Quebec and Switzerland. Call ahead and we’ll have it sliced and waiting for you. Don’t have a fondue pot or raclette machine? Not a problem, we have loaners available. Some conditions apply, and quantities are limited. Read more

DINER | The Top 10 Pizzerias In Vancouver #10: The Wood-Burning “Bibo” On West 4th

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To be honest, we weren’t huge fans of The Bibo when it launched in 2011. The needless braggadocio from the owners (boasting of their “most expensive and distinguished tomatoes” and other “extremely prestigious” ingredients) killed our appetites with unforced hilarity at first. But heritage hubris aside, there’s no denying the fact that they do make some fine wood-fired pizzas – 24 options in all; good enough for them to crack this list at #10.

In addition to the pizzas, they plate some quality pastas, too, like proper, slightly tongue tingling Penne Arrabbiata and a reasonable facsimile of Spaghetti Carbonara (never enough black pepper). Expect Italian wines by the glass and a beer list offering vernacular standards such as Menebrea and Peroni.

The service, sadly, is only ever truly consistent in its frustrating inconsistency. The decor is like the interior of an early 1990′s Lamborghini, which is to say humorously garish, and not at all the best thing about the complete package.

The most delicious thing on offer is their “Marco” pizza with pecorino cheese and ample sausage ($18).

1835 West 4th Avenue | Vancouver, BC | 604-568-6177 | www.thebibo.com

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GOODS | 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Brewing Up Plenty For The Holiday Season

November 19, 2013 

49th Parallel Café has two locations in Vancouver: 2152 West 4th & 2902 Main St. | Learn more at 49thparallelroasters.com

The GOODS from 49th Parallel

Vancouver, BC | Forget the tie for Dad and the soaps for Mom, and give them both something they’ll thank you for every single morning: the gift of coffee. Holiday shoppers can easily order online here or pick up select items at cafes serving 49th Parallel coffee. An annual treat, 49th Parallel’s Holiday Celebration Blend drip coffee is available once again, and is this year joined by a special edition Holiday Celebration Espresso, bringing a festive caffeine fix to mugs across the country. A bag easily works as a stocking stuffer, a Secret Santa gift, a present for your weird hard-to-buy for cousin, or wrapped under the tree for that unexpected Christmas guest. Looking for something more elaborate for the coffee-lovers in your life? The company’s unique Coffee Subscription program keeps giving all year, while gift sets make holiday giving a breeze. Get all the details after the jump… Read more

ZULU REPORT: All The Awesome Sounds That You Should Be Listening To This Week

November 15, 2013 

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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…

THE TRACK

TY SEGALL The Man Man

Is it too early to start thinking about your favourite records of the year? November is the time when the dust starts to settle in the new release schedule and all the bigwig critics pour a glass of wine and sit down to mull over the year that was. I think it is a safe bet that the 2013 Ty Segall release ‘Sleeper’ will get some critical nods and crack some year-end ‘best of’ lists. Ty took a chance on this album. After a steady stream of heavy post-grunge rock records, he went into the studio with just a limited back of tricks and focused on writing songs on his favourite beat-up acoustic guitar. Working completely alone – solo – in the studio, he recorded all of Sleeper in the early morning hours between 3am and dawn. His mind was tired, blown, and fried. The result is a deeply enthralling album that captures burnout, a fragile mental state and the damaged visions of an artist who has spent the better part of the last five years travelling across the indie rock party landscape. For The Man Man video, Segall croons softly on his way home from a late night session and a trip to the store for milk, before being ventilated by bullets shot by a gruesome trio of faceless evil on his front stoop. Enjoy.

THE PLAYLIST

KRONOS QUARTET with BRYCE DRESSNER – TOUR EIFFEL

They say music takes you to other places. It animates a story, captures emotions, and speaks to the human condition. Take one of America’s leading new music quartets and let them collaborate with one of the leading creative forces in America’s rock music pantheon and you know that the results will be majestic, dramatic and entirely mesmerizing.

DESTROYER Bye bye

Up in the Similkameen Valley the chickens run wild and free. They eat peaches in the fields. Closer to home, Dan Bejar of Destroyer has free range, roaming his Strathcona pastures. But look, there is a snake in the grass! Bye bye is the first visual accompaniment for Destroyer’s forthcoming Spanish language record – a collection of Antonio Luque covers, of the band Sr. Chinarro.

STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS Lariat

If you haven’t heard, Stephen Malkmus has moved back to Portland and has been frequenting the Poler concept store. Imagine his lumberjack look! His days of digging the Berlin art crawl are over. His style is wasted in Kreuzberg, anyway. In January, we can all look forward to a new Jicks album. In the meantime, pull out your Groundhogs LPs and Dead boots and relax.

BRASSTRONAUT The Grove

In school I really liked the surreal films of Maya Deren and Bunuel – the dream state as the ultimate distraction. This Brasstronaut clip takes me back. You have to search the shadows, piece together the narrative and enter the dreams of the main protagonist. Cool. I am a sucker for treated trumpet intros, too.

MUM Candlestick

Did any of your friends spam you with texts and images from their vacation to Iceland’s recent Airwaves festival? I had to block them. It was so hard to endure the constant barrage of majestic landscapes, awesome music and cultural collaborations and, of course…Mum! Get your freak on now, as post-glitch electronics is returning.

SERGE GAINSBOURG & BRIGITTE BARDOT Bonnie and Clyde

Blast from the past. We recently had a long discussion in the store about Serge…is this quintessential French pop? Either way, you have to dig Gainsbourg in full-on outlaw mode.

WOODEN SHJIPS Back to Land

Ok, back to the present. What is the relationship between Geography and Music? I’m not sure, but I just read three PhD dissertations on the subject. Some people say San Fran’s fuzz rockers Wooden Shjips embody the regional ‘San Francisco sound’. I never really thought of it like that, but they do have copious freaky clowns – so make of it what you will.

THE GIG

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES | December 4th at The Vogue Theatre

Mike Muir and his Suicidal Tendencies crew have come a long way since this clip for 1983 epic skate rock jam ‘Institutionalized’. The song really leapt off the Repo Man soundtrack and propelled the entire LA trash scene, Venice beach skate scene, and of course the metal crossover that followed. In the last 30 years, the band has taken a number of hiatuses and undergone numerous line-up changes, but like their punk peers of the day in Bad Religion and Black Flag, they still intend to continue to thrash! The idea of the Vogue Theatre – with its ornate deco restoration – housing a band this ferocious live is riveting. Grab your vintage Caballero deck and check this out! Just don’t say ‘All I wanted was a Pespi…’ at the bar. Take a deeper look at Vancouver’s gig landscape for the rest of November and into December after the jump… Read more

DINER | “Rain Or Shine” Ice Cream Parlour Opens Up On West 4th Avenue In Kitsilano

November 13, 2013 

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by Andrew Morrison | A new ice cream parlour officially opened today on the West 4th strip in Kits. Rain Or Shine is a nine seat beauty brought to us by Josie Fenton and Blair Casey, two first timers with backgrounds in teaching and finance.

The pair were married just last year and they’re super gung-ho about feeding us high quality ice cream (made in the back using an Emery Thompson machine) without artificial flavours, corn syrup, or any nasties. They’re also wicked friendly, and share playful senses of humour and design; witness their ice cream tacos, weather report signage, milk bottle light fixtures, tractor seat stools, fetching aprons, and the horse shoe nailed to the wall behind their ice cream machine.

They offer fifteen flavours at a time – ten permanent “keepers” and five fluctuating “seasonal flings”. I tried a few yesterday – salted caramel, mint chocolate, stout, blueberry – and they were fantastic. Nearly all of their ingredients are locally sourced. Think honey from Campbells in Aldergrove, lavender from Octagon in Maple Ridge, apples from Taves Farm in Abbotsford, wine from Vancouver Urban Winery, espresso beans from JJ Bean, beer from Brassneck, et cetera.

The stuff that they can’t find locally – things like coconuts and ginger – are organic and fair trade. They use compostable packaging, and get their power from Cowpower, a local non-profit green electricity supplier that provides BC businesses, homes and events with renewable electricity solutions. They haven’t left out the vegans either, so top marks across the board.

I love the name, the location, the passion, and the branding by Glasfurd & Walker (see also Meat & Bread, Ask For Luigi, among many others). These guys are stoked about what they’re doing, and it comes across clearly and deliciously on the spoon. Check out some more photographs below…

1926 West 4th Ave | 12pm to 10pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday) | rainorshineicecream.com

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ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS 

GOODS | Milano Coffee Now Grinding Jingle Bell Blend And Pulling Holiday Truffle Shots

November 13, 2013 

Milano locations can be found at 156 West 8th Avenue | 36 Powell Street | 849 Denman Street | www.milanocoffee.ca

Milano locations can be found at 156 West 8th Avenue | 36 Powell Street | 849 Denman Street | www.milanocoffee.ca

The GOODS from Milano Coffee

Vancouver, BC | The holiday season is officially underway in Vancouver and with it comes the task of checking off the shopping list with great gifts for friends, family, coworkers, and all those in between. While it may seem like a daunting chore, locals are in luck this season with Milano Coffee’s sublime stocking stuffers and espresso pick-me-ups to revive tired holiday shoppers.

Ideal for even the fussiest on the list is the jovial Jingle Bell Blend. With seven ultra premium single varietals, its rich, warm bergamot flavour has juicy strawberry and vanilla notes to make this medium roast a fitting blend for Christmas morning. The Jingle Bell Blend is available in 340 gram bags at $17.50. Pick up the Jingle Bell Blend for stocking stuffers, teachers gifts, and have a couple of extra bags on hand just in case.

The perfect companion to Milano’s Jingle Bell Blend, or any super premium roast on the run, Milano Coffee travel mugs come in red, white, brown and green. Priced at $19.95, these travel mugs are even better with a Milano Coffee gift certificate tucked inside; available in any denomination.

Whether they’re lounging in Gastown, checking out Commercial Drive or exploring the streets of Downtown Vancouver, Milano Coffee is happy to provide shoppers with thoughtful gift ideas followed by a well-deserved break from the hustle, bustle and stress of holiday shopping! Read more

LOOKCITY | A Look Inside The Brand New Wings + Horns Menswear Shop On West 5th

November 11, 2013 

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by Robyn Yager | Menswear fashion label, Wings + Horns, opened their first retail space on November 1st in the industrial nook of West 5th Avenue. It’s a modern, minimalist looker of polished concrete, 100-year-old reclaimed fir, metal detailing and glass.

In addition to showcasing the W+H goods, it serves as a concept space for local line Reigning Champ. Right now, a pair of signed giclee prints shot specifically for the shop by Vancouver photographer Colin Adair hang as part of a dsptch collaboration that launches later this month (the 36” x 24” prints are available for purchase either framed or unframed in an edition of five).

Wings + Horns is a brand that epitomizes West Coast men’s fashion. Its clothes can be found in several shops around Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal, as well as in the US, Korea, Japan, London, and Switzerland. Founded in 2004, the line blends Canadian and Japanese fashion elements with clean, crisp results. The Fall/Winter 2013 collection was inspired by the 1950′s modernist youth movement in London with outerwear, tees, shirts, vests, knit sweaters, and trousers in customized knits, textured wools and tartans all coming together in classic style with a utilitarian edge.

Check it out at 133 West 5th Avenue between Manitoba and Columbia.

EVERYWHERE YOU LOOKCITY

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “Thomas Haas” In Kits Looking For New Staffer To Join Team

October 30, 2013 

128-998 Harbourside Drive in North Vancouver & 2539 West Broadway in Kitsilano | www.thomashaas.com

128-998 Harbourside Drive in North Vancouver & 2539 West Broadway in Kitsilano | www.thomashaas.com

The GOODS from Thomas Haas

Vancouver, BC | Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie in Kitsilano is hiring for a full-time Customer Service position/Barista. If you are a coffee and food loving individual with a great smile to brighten someone’s day, then please forward your resume. We value your outgoing, service oriented, self-motivated and friendly personality. Work experience in customer service is essential, barista experience definite asset. You are able to multi-task and have an authentic ambition to excel in what you do. We are offering a fun work atmosphere in a friendly, energetic and passionate team as well as growing opportunity with our company. We pay competitive wage.

You are welcome to apply with your resume in person at our North Vancouver store (129-998 Harbourside Drive) or Kitsilano store (2539 West Broadway), Tuesday – Friday. Or you can apply by email: contact Kathrin Best at kathrin [at] thomashaas.com and please include your resume and a few words about why you would be the right candidate. Learn more about us after the jump… Read more

ZULU REPORT: All The Awesome Sounds That You Should Be Listening To This Week

October 24, 2013 

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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…

THE TRACK

DEAN WAREHAM Love Is Colder Than Death

Dean Wareham is no stranger to Zulu Records. His first band Galaxie 500 came by the old Zulu shack to meet and greet when they opened for the Cocteau Twins. A couple weeks later they broke up. Fast forward a few years and Dean stopped back in and performed classic tunes from his Luna catalog with a pick up band of local players (he sent them the chords in the mail Chuck Berry style). Finally, we had a visit from Dean and his spouse Britta when they performed their now legendary sonic accompaniment to Warhol’s screentests. Dean hung out and read from his tell-all autobiography which was cool, yet awkward as he recounted hooking up with past groupies in Spain etc. Anyway, Wareham is definitely a Zulu Records alumni, and so with him releasing his first proper solo effort we are definitely overjoyed to see our guy back in the game. Channeling a bit of a Lee Hazelwood for the next generation vibe, Love Is Colder Than Death jangles along, propelled by Epiphone Casino twang and sweeping string arrangements, to a chilling classic Wareham-esque conclusion. Welcome home.

THE PLAYLIST

ATOMS FOR PEACE – Before Your Very Eyes

Thom Yorke is never resting. He is a content provider machine, constantly streaming something over the channels. Atoms for Peace is of course a side-project, but he pours tons of energy into it, collaborating on music and videos with an a-list of artists. He is constantly in flow, in motion and in a state of becoming. Great new video Thom.

STORNOWAY Farewell Appalachia

Positioned as the Scottish answer to Fleet Foxes, this lush folk-rock outfit has steadily honed their craft penning twee anthems that sound good in any setting. Casting Tom Hanks in this video which follows a poor soul on an epic journey from the village bookshop deep into nature would have been appropriate.

JAGWAR MA Come Save Me

Super catchy tunes have captured copious sets of ears here at the store. Vancouverites for some reason have a soft spot for Australian pop bands. Come Save Me is infectious. They will be at Fortune on Dec 9th.

THE BESNARD LAKES Colour Yr Lights In

Montreal’s Besnard Lakes make bliss rock without the feel good heroics. Instead they fuel their fire with heavy logs of despair, suffocating vapidity and gritty darkness. The dream rock and become a nightmare.

MAZZY STAR California

Do bands go into hibernation? Crawl into a cave in the hills and sleep for a decade? Maybe. Mazzy Star are back and within seconds of hearing Hope’s voice you know that they haven’t missed a beat. California is a slow brooding song… perfect for super late night closing the pizza shop.

THE GIG

MAD PROFESSOR Thursday Nov 7th at FORTUNE SOUND CLUB

Anyone who has been down Chinatown and checked into Fortune for a night of beats knows that they probably have one of the finest sound systems in the city. With that in mind we wanted to alert you to an incredible opportunity to see legendary producer within dub, reggae and electronic circles. Mad Professor is synonymous with the classic London to Jamaica dub plate scene. His work along with his producer pal Lee Scratch Perry has defined the Black Ark, Studio One and Ariwa Records sounds. That said, his influence on the music scene in general goes much, much deeper as artists like the Beasties, Massive Attack and The Clash have all benefited from his studio wizardry. Deep bubbling bass bins should be experienced live to really understand how sound can make an impact, take up space and move the dance floor. Witnessing a true pioneer like the Professor is a rare privilege. Get out and get in! And take a deeper look at Vancouver’s gig landscape for the rest of October and into November after the jump… Read more

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #471 | Bike Lanes, Or The Fascist Nightmare Destroying Kitsilano

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by Douglas Haddow | If you happened to be strolling along Kits Beach yesterday you may have been taken aback by the mob of retirees loitering outside the Boathouse, some with placards, all quite cranky.

The group, who’ve been getting an embarrassing amount of press these last few days, are up in arms about the city’s greenway plan, which would see bike lanes going through Hadden and Kits Beach Parks.

Though their median age appears to hover around 62, this budding protest movement is nonetheless quite media-savvy. They’ve set up not just Twitter and Facebook accounts, but have gone so far as to organize a Change.org petition as well, in which they humbly compare themselves to American civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

From what I can surmise from the various news items and blog posts written on this, Vancouver’s latest transit-related controversy, it seems that those who are opposed to the bike lanes are concerned that it will “permanently scar” their beloved neighbourhood pastoral.

Some choice anti-bike lane quotes from the many heated debates currently simmering online include: “A cycle plan designed by a psychopath” … “Socially and environmentally irresponsible.” … “Dangerous for all!” … “Vision runs Vancouver city like North Korea, full dictatorship!” … “Are you prepared to have your own child hurt?” … and from this person, who is apparently a local TV personality: “the Kits Beach bike path is complete insanity”.

Beyond all that shrill and frothy hyperbole is a very basic conflict of interests. Bike lane opponents feel they weren’t properly consulted and have made a concerted effort to portray the plan as destructive and irresponsible, arguing that it erodes green space and will be a grave threat to children, branding it as a dangerous and wasteful “bicycle superhighway”.

They also point out that millionaire real estate baron Harvey Hadden donated the land that would become Hadden Park under strict conditions that it be kept as close to its natural state (circa 1928) as possible.

The Park Board, on the other hand, says the plan is thirty years in the making, that park users were indeed consulted, that the agitators are misinforming the public, and that all considerations will be taken into account before a route is finalized.

To a pedestrian simpleton such as myself (I don’t ride a bike or frequent either of these parks, so I really don’t have a dog in this fight), the idea of connecting downtown to Spanish Banks through a series of bike lanes seems like a sensible plan. Or perhaps more accurately, a plan that is perfectly in line with our democratically-elected City Council’s mandate to make Vancouver the greenest city on the planet by 2020.

Now, perhaps I’m a racist, ageist bigot, but any time I see a protest group comprised primarily of well-heeled, silver-haired white people, I get the feeling that they are only out to chase people off their collective lawns, rather than, you know, actually doing something constructive with their spare time.

The Vancouver Sun’s Pete McMartin offers an interesting analysis of the conflict that supports that line of thought: “When half the city’s single-family residences are worth more than $1 million, and the other half is rising toward that benchmark, it hardens homeowners against change. Their stake is all that much greater. Why embrace change when you can’t be sure what it would do to your significant investment?”

While McMartin touches on an important note, this is a conflict that is more existential than economic in nature. The neighbourhood around Kits Beach is the most livable part of the most livable city in one of the most livable countries on Earth. Its residents live the most livable lives of all, and this is what it looks like when a demographic bloc reaches peak livability – their sense of privilege becomes so overvalued that even a minor incursion in the service of the greater good threatens to tear down their entire walled garden of reality. To me, it all just seems like a case of good intentions gone awry.

But who knows, maybe some of these protestors helped stop the freeway back in ’67 and this is just a bizarre epilogue to their otherwise illustrious careers in civil disobedience. Now wouldn’t that be something?

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

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