DEFINITIVE RECORDS | Owners Of “Lukes General Store” Pick Their Favourite Albums

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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.

AARON SCHUBERT

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.

GARETH LUKES

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.

ALL DEFINITIVE RECORDS

ZULU REPORT | All Of The Awesome Sounds That You Should Be Listening To Right Now

September 22, 2014 

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by Nic Bragg | From Kitsilano’s Zulu Records, we once again present our monthly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, you’ll find The Track – the song on heavy rotation in the shop this week; The Playlist – our selection of videos; The Gig – the “must-see show”; and The Glance – which details the best gigs on the immediate horizon. From our ears to yours, enjoy… Read more

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | The 3 Albums That Anchor The Tastes Of Super Vancouverites

September 3, 2014 

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by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Emily Molnar, a dancer, choreographer, and the current artistic director of Ballet BC. To see her work in motion, visit Ballet BC’s website.

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue | LISTEN | “A classic for jazz lovers like myself, I never tire of hearing this inspired album. Although supposedly not a one take improvisation (as often claimed) one is mesmerized by the uniqueness of the playing and the deep sense of craft, freedom and intimacy.”

J. S. Bach – Sonatas and Partitas | LISTEN | “A world without the genius of Bach is not one I could live in. The transcendent brilliance and counterpoint of his musical structures continue to inspire new perspectives in my thinking and experience of the world. These partitas and sonatas are some of my favourite pieces of music. There are many recordings I Iove and own. The one I am listening to at the moment is a more contemporary interpretation by Gidon Kremer.”

Nina Simone – Finest Hour | LISTEN | “The voice of Nina Simone for me speaks at the depths of being human. This album is an arresting collection of some of her most popular songs. It is one I hold dear and have turned to for years.”

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SOUNDTRACKING | New Single Presages New Album By “Girlfriends And Boyfriends”

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by Grady Mitchell | Vancouver trio Girlfriends And Boyfriends have released a new, long-awaited single called A Flower. It’s a dark and plaintive track that embodies modern New Wave, complete with splashy drums, reverbed guitar, and grim, sonorous vocals.

Although they’ve developed that signature New Wave style, the band began very differently. When guitarist Pete Panovic founded it, everything was straight Brit Pop. “All the songs ended up sounding like Oasis,” he says. Bassist Grant Minor joined in 2007 in response to a Craigslist ad, and most recently Adam Fink joined after the original drummer left the band. With the lineup now solidified, they’ve dived headlong into New Wave and post punk.

They’re not the first band to revitalize a past genre, although they’re among the best to do so. Bands like The Smiths and The Cure played on the radio when they were kids, and now, decades later, they’re emulating the New Wave heroes that shaped their early tastes in music. It’s not the first time New Wave in particular has boomeranged back around, the band says, citing the slew of covers done by nu metal bands in the late 90s.

So why won’t New Wave just quit? Simple, the band says: it’s just great music. They also consider the New Wave era the golden age of producing. It hit the perfect balance point when technology allowed for a cleaner sound without completely erasing the human element, before songs were programmed to a beat and polished to death. “There was still a realness to production in that kind of music,” Grant says. To recreate that realness they linked with Vancouver producer Felix Fung, who specializes in just that.

Felix, the band’s “fourth member,” was critical to the darkness and longing of A Flower. “It’s a personal song,” Grant says, “it’s about a failed relationship. Nine out of the ten songs on our record are about failed relationships.” So what’s the tenth about? The band starts to laugh. “Social media!”

The new record is finished, though we most likely won’t hear it until early 2015. In the meantime, however, they say we can expect another single soon. To support Girlfriends And Boyfriends and explore their sound, visit their Bandcamp.

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GOODS | Folk-Pop Band ‘Us The Duo’ To Play August 30 Gig At Tofino’s “Wolf In The Fog”

Wolf In The Fog is located at 150 Fourth St. in Tofino, BC | 250-725-WOLF (9653) | www.wolfinthefog.com

Wolf In The Fog is located at 150 Fourth St. in Tofino, BC | 250-725-WOLF (9653) | www.wolfinthefog.com

The GOODS from Wolf In The Fog

Tofino, BC | Husband-and-wife folk-pop band Us The Duo will be performing at Tofino’s newest restaurant Wolf in the Fog on Saturday, August 30th. Fresh off their North American tour to promote their second album No Matter Where You Are, Us The Duo will play an intimate show in the upstairs dining room.

Tickets are $50 per person and include a multi-course dinner prepared by Chef Nick Nutting and the Wolf in the Fog team. Doors open at 5:00pm and seating is first come first serve. The show begins at 8:00pm.

Tickets go on sale this Thursday, August 14th and can be purchased at Wolf in the Fog, located at 150 Fourth Street, Tofino, BC or by calling 250-725-WOLF (9653). Read more

VANCOUVERITES | Robbie Slade Talks Fire, Trees, Beats, And The New “Humans” Album

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by Grady Mitchell | Robbie Slade is one-half of Vancouver electronic duo Humans, alongside beat maker and Montreal transplant Peter Ricq. “Pete’s prolific,” says Robbie. “He cranks out beats like crazy.” Robbie takes those beats and adds melodies and vocals, and together they achieve their booming, turbulently danceable signature sound.

Robbie honed his musical talents in a somewhat literal trial by fire. He was a feller fighting forest fires in northern BC, moving into areas to cut down dead trees so his crew could work safely. Alone all day in a smouldering forest, he wrote songs in his head as he cut. He held the melodies in his mind until he could write them down, sometimes days later.

Pete’s always been an electronic musician, but Robbie’s early interests were in folk and reggae. You can hear the influence of those genres on the throaty rasp of his voice, especially on tracks like De Ciel, from the band’s second album, 2012′s Traps. Robbie points out, though, that the lines between genres grow blurrier every day. “If you’re going to stop at folk, you probably don’t like music that much, because I’m pretty sure James Blake could get ya.”

Since Traps came out in 2012 they’ve collected more new gear and finished recording a new, as-of-yet untitled album. Will it be dancy? “Moreso than ever,” Robbie assures. Unfortunately, it won’t be out until February. Until then, you can hear more Humans at their site, or you can catch them on August 16th at the Two Acre Shaker in Pemberton.

OTHER INTERESTING VANCOUVERITES

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | The 3 Albums That Anchor The Tastes Of Super Vancouverites

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by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. It’s harder than you think! Today we hear from chef Andrea Carlson, co-owner of the celebrated Burdock & Co. eatery on Main Street and resident CSA box curator at Harvest Community Foods in Chinatown.

Tom Waits – Rain Dogs | LISTEN | “Tom Waits has been an early favourite for his quirky variety of music. Rain Dogs is a fave as it’s a prime example of his vocal style and lyrical imagery. Reminds me of my youth…”

Oliver Schroer – Camino | LISTEN | “A Canadian musician who I first came to hear on a CBC interview with Sheila Rogers. He and his music were really captivating and we had the good fortune to see him that same summer at the Folk Music Fest at Jericho. I heard him interviewed again a year or two later – I believe about his album Camino – which was recorded in churches along the Camino de Santiago trail. A very hauntingly beautiful album.”

Bocephus King – Joco Music | LISTEN | ”A great album for a road trip – packed with excellent musical talent from our area. Can’t recall how I discovered BK … but have had great opportunities to see him play at Tofino’s Legion and the Railway Club.”

ALL DEFINITIVE RECORDS

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | The 3 Albums That Anchor The Tastes Of Super Vancouverites

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by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from local visual artist, musician, and producer Eli Muro. To see beautiful works by this jack of many trades, visit his website here.

Bill Withers – Still Bill | LISTEN | “Bill Withers is one of the most honest musicians I have ever heard. His topics are so real and he’s not afraid to make music about harsh realities. Yet at the same time he can make a song like “lean on me”. I feel like he’s giving me life advice when I listen to this album. “Still Bill” is the full spectrum of good honest soul music and real talk, a lot of the songs on this album have had the ability to make me cry.”

Nas – Illmatic | LISTEN | “Hip Hop was the first genre of music that I fell in love with, and “Illmatic” was on repeat for most of my adolescence. Nas came out in the “golden age” when hip hop was new and exciting. He was just making the kind of music that felt natural to him. Now when he tries to make a pop song for the radio or something it sounds forced, but this was his first album where he’s just being himself, which is why I think it’s such a classic.”

Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma | LISTEN | “This album blew my mind. It’s everything I love: hip hop, jazz, electronic and experimental all in one package. Flying Lotus seems to have no boundaries, he just goes everywhere with his art. The string arrangements by Miguel Atwood Fergussen are next level and I think the balancing of subtle atmospherics and intense complexities are just perfect.”

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GOODS | Music Direction’s July Playlist For Prohibition Brewing Co.’s New Tasting Room

Scout Series ~ Prohibition Brewing ~ from Music Direction on 8tracks Radio.

The GOODS from Music Direction

Vancouver, BC | Music Direction’s playlist for July highlights Kelowna-based Prohibition Brewing Company. The folks from Prohibition recently opened a beautiful Tasting Room on Hamilton Street in Yaletown. Bringing you back to a time when ordering a beer was worth the risk. They commissioned Vancouver artist Rory Doyle to hand-render all their beer labels and logos. Their music program will make you want to get comfy, stay a while and share a beer with the likes of Jack White, Afie Jurvanen and The Rolling Stones. Full tracklist after the jump… Read more

SOUNDTRACKING | New Foursome ‘Frankie’ Dials In Their Sound, Gets Set For Festivals

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by Grady Mitchell | Vancouver quartet Frankie, comprised of singer/guitarist Francesca Carbonneau, keyboardist Nashlyn Lloyd, bassist Samantha Lankester, and drummer Zoe Fuhr, have pioneered their own new genre based on their distinctive style of dark, folky music. They’re calling it “twinkle rock”.

That’s not to say everything in the Frankie universe sparkles. The delicate beauty of Francesca’s voice and the intricately woven instruments masks the dark core of their music. “It’s kind of like when a dream interferes with a nightmare, and all of that happens in one song,” says Zoe. The collision between those two extremes – the immense possibility of dreams with the nocturnal tortures of nightmares – is where twinkle rock happens.

In various ways, almost every Frankie song embodies this. Powder, despite its light and airy instrumentation, lays out an emotional spiral and some none-too-healthy methods of coping. The frantic pace of Someone Once mimics the story of mental decay it spins, just as the steady, forbidding rhythm of Painted Birds amplifies a tale of romance gone dark.

Formed in December 2013, the band has faced most of the challenges arrayed against a new act, compounded by the stereotypes facing an all-girl group. “You have something to prove,” the band agrees. Most common is the genuine, post-performance surprise that audience members show at their live shows. But those kinds of reactions just motivate them to work harder. “We can’t just be cute up there,” says Nashlyn. “We have to be good.”

The momentum they’ve built over only six months is a testament to that, and shows no signs of slowing. On Saturday, July 26th the band will play a show at Sitka on West 4th. They have two festivals scheduled later in the summer: Edge of the World on Haida Gwaii on August 9th, and another at Ponderosa Festival at the end of that month. After that, they plan to hole up for the Fall and get an album done. For more from Frankie, check out their website.

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ZULU REPORT | All Of The Awesome Sounds That You Should Be Listening To This Month

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by Nic Bragg | From Kitsilano’s Zulu Records, we once again present our monthly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, you’ll find The Track – the song on heavy rotation in the shop this week; The Playlist – our selection of videos; The Gig – the “must-see show”; and The Glance – which details the best gigs on the immediate horizon. From our ears to yours, enjoy… Read more

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | The 3 Albums That Anchor The Tastes Of Super Vancouverites

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Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Theo Lloyd Kohls, owner of The Dunlevy Snackbar, which is open Tuesday through Saturday evenings on the DTES for all your snacking/sipping needs.

Pulp – Common People | LISTEN | “In middle school, JC [lead singer Jarvis Cocker] was my JC.”

Serge Gainsbourg – Initials BB | LISTEN | “I was 18, she was 24, EYES WIDE OPEN.”

Gil Scott Heron – Winter In America | LISTEN | “A Father, a Sage, an Artist. Bless your soul.”

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SOUNDTRACKING | “Shimmering Stars” To Tease New Album At The Electric Owl Aug. 2

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by Grady Mitchell | On August 2nd at The Electric Owl, Vancouver quartet Shimmering Stars will offer a sneak peek of their second album, Bedrooms of the Nation, coming out August 13. Compared to their first record, Violent Hearts, Bedrooms is a vast, howling sound. Guitars are stacked atop each other – sometimes fifty tracks on a single song, says guitarist and singer Rory McClure – to build a swirling hurricane noise. This change of direction throws back to the band’s early days. Before it was an album, Bedrooms of the Nation was the group’s original name, back when they played louder, brasher punk.

The Stars are fascinated by the music of the fifties and sixties, particularly the gap between what the artists sang and how they lived their lives. Acts like The Beach Boys spun some wonderful harmonies, but their lives were anything but. “The parameters around pop music at that time were very limiting,” Rory says. “You couldn’t say what you actually felt or were experiencing if it didn’t conform to pretty traditional themes. So I was always curious: what would they write if they were actually free to write about what they wanted?”

Probably something a lot like a Shimmering Stars song. The sock hop influence shows up in the blended harmonies and bouncy melodies that appear in even the most shadowy tracks, a sort of through-line piercing the noise. Even when a song like Shadow Visions launches into a thunderous third act, it’s guided by a jaunty guitar line and a ghostly bah-bah-bah backup vocal. Much like the night sky, there are speckles of light among the dark (if you’ll forgive a guy a True Detective reference). Mixing pop techniques with experimental elements is nothing new, they say. They point out guys like Frank Black and Kurt Cobain who built experimental sounds around a core pop sensibility. “I think no matter how dark or noisy the music gets,” drummer Andrew Dergousoff says, “Rory’s got a secret, guilty pop affiliation.”

“You can indulge the fringe styles,” Rory adds, “but it’s got to have a melody.”

Lyrically, things are as dark as they were on Hearts, but the songs take an angle more philosophical than personal: “Things that expand beyond my own, sad-bastard experiences,” Rory says. The mood lightens as the album progresses, culminating in the cathartic closer I Found Love.

The addition of bassist Elisha Rembold allowed Brent Sasaki to switch to guitar (his playing style, according to his bandmates, “has been described as ‘nervous piano.’”) Not only did that free them to write chunkier songs, but markedly improved their live performances, too, the band agrees.

That’s something you can decide for yourself on August 2nd. Until then, you can hear a few tracks off Bedrooms of the Nation here.

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SOUNDTRACKING | Local Band ‘The Shilohs’ Celebrating New Album With Chinatown Gig

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by Grady Mitchell | On Thursday, June 19th, The Shilohs will be celebrating the release of their latest, self-titled album with a show at Fortune Soundclub. The jaunty, jangly twelve-track record – a time-capsule throwback to 60s and 70s pop – combines the work of three talented songwriters – guitarist Johnny Payne, bassist Dan Colussi (who founded Scout’s Soundtracking column), and guitarist Mike Komaszcuk – alongside drummer Ben Frey.

It’s rare to find a band with songs that sound so wildly different and yet all, somehow, perfectly their own. The guys lean on no tropes, and you’ll never experience deja vu with a moment you swore you heard just a couple songs back. That diversity comes from the triple-threat of lyricists and their variety of styles. Johnny’s songs are typically more personal stories, he says, while Mike’s are more philosophical, and Dan’s fall somewhere in between.

The lyrics are written solo, but a Shilohs song doesn’t become a Shilohs song until it’s brought to the studio and everyone puts their mark on it. Even then, each track has a final, even more rigorous test: touring. Back home some songs may get canned altogether while others get overhauled, but only after surviving the gauntlet of live shows will they make the album. For this record the band wrote almost 20 songs before narrowing the count to twelve.

Thursday’s release party will also feature a performance by COOL and a set by Big Tiny. In July, the boys embark on a tour across the US with The Fresh & Onlys. For more information, visit their site.

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