SOUNDTRACKING | Greg Bevis Of Holy Oker & Bear Mountain On The Challenges Of Pop

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by Grady Mitchell | Greg Bevis believes that pop music can and should challenge listeners. Decades ago, artists like Elton John and Fleetwood Mac were able to make hugely successful pop music that also had substance. These days, besides a few exceptions, that’s clearly not the case.

When Greg says pop music can be challenging, he doesn’t mean in an esoteric or bizarre sense. He simply believes a pop song can have more going on that a catchy hook (which abound on Holy Oker tracks). That idea took shape during his time at Toronto’s Humber College, where he studied jazz. Humber, which offers students access to a studio, is also where he began writing and recording Holy Oker songs.

Greg thinks certain records demand repeated listenings. “My favourite records I didn’t love until the third time I heard them,” he says, citing Jeff Buckley’s Grace as example. When you spend time with a song, Greg says, it’ll reward you with quirks and secrets. He pulls up Otis Redding’s Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay for me and points out a one-time piano lick that starts at 2:08 and ends three seconds later. Tiny moments like that can make an entire record for him.

The depth in Holy Oker songs comes from the dichotomy between the upbeat instrumentation and the forlorn lyrics. Greg describes them as “dark but hopeful.” He pictures a song as a house that a listener moves through; some rooms are close and dark, others are open and bright. “If it’s too sad, nobody’s going to listen to it,” he says. “But if you disguise it with a pop melody, it’s sneaky. I like that.” It asks more of the listener, but the rewards are greater, too.

In between scoring films and recording a second album for his other band, Bear Mountain, Greg will release a Holy Oker single in September on Boompa Records. To learn more about Holy Oker, visit his website.


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SOUNDTRACKING | “Gold & Youth” Prep For Local Gigs, Huge Tour, And Cold New Album

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by Grady Mitchell | Although local band Gold & Youth rightfully profess to make music perfect for midnight drives through urban streets (like a nighttime cityscape, their songs are largely dark but dotted with light), they’ve described their first album – released just over a year ago and entitled Beyond Wilderness – in more geographic terms, calling it their “desert record.” Both are apt descriptions. The album is at once slick and woozy, underscored by a gleaming technological edge. That digital character is balanced by the organic interplay between the baritone of singer/guitarist Mathew Lyall and the velvet, faraway voice of Louise Burns, who also plays bass and keys.

Just last week the band began writing the first songs for a follow-up record. Although they’ve barely started the process, the evolution of their sound post-Wilderness is already apparent. When asked what landscape embodies these nascent recordings, guitarist Murray Mckenzie answers without hesitation. “Tundra.” The sound is still desolate, but this time it’s colder, too. Drummer Jeff Mitchelmore says their new songs contain a darker, heavier energy with a strong shoegaze influence, especially in guitar. Where the recording of the first album was unstructured, now the band plans to write and record more purposefully.

But before they plunge into a second album the four are embarking on their largest tour yet. First they’ll cross the States alongside The Jezabels. Then they’ll work their way back across Canada on their own. For Vancouverites, they’re playing The Imperial on June 9th as well as the Pemberton Festival in July. These two shows will be your final opportunities to see them live for some time, for as soon as they’re finished they plan to hole up and complete a cold, dark, and beautiful record to satisfy the aimless drives of metropolitans everywhere.

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

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by Nic Bragg | From Kitsilano’s Zulu Records, we once again present our weekly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, you’ll find The Track – the song on heavy rotation in the shop this week; The Playlist – which is self-explanatory; The Gig – or 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

OLD MAN CANYON Wiser

In 15 years this little guy is going to look back on this video and remember the big adventure he had in Vancouver. Local folk outfit Old Man Canyon give us this report’s highlighted track – an old timey campfire charmer loaded with vocal harmonies and rich acoustic instrumentation. Wiser recalls the mellow glow of fellow north-west beardos Fleet Foxes, as well as a little band called Bon Iver, making Old Man Canyon a local band to watch. As for the video – well, it’s a pretty romantic adventure for a tiny tot in Vancouver while his folks are asleep. Check it!

The Playlist

BESTiE Foolish Hearts

This the way to do this. Act fast. Make things cheap. Move quick. Don’t think about it too much. Vancouver’s BESTiE have taken that mantra to everything that they have produced and as a result are always busy forwarding their sonic vision.

WYE OAK Glory

Baltimore’s Merge Records-endorsed Wye Oak have moved on from the confines of being a guitar and drums duo to create a more ethereal synth-based pop sound. Their new album Shriek is getting tons of praise and Andy and Jenn are planning a pretty extensive North American tour to support it. This lead-off single is pretty sugary…

CLOUD BOAT Carmine

There are a lot of Laundromat videos out there. I think it must be a pretty cheap location for scouts – especially at night when only the members of London’s Cloud Boat are washing their clothes. If you are looking for a new dreamy UK band that pushes the 80’s trajectory to chilling effects then you should give this one a turn.

NENEH CHERRY Everything

One long shot. One long location. One legendary reclusive performer vamping to her first new recording in way too long. Add it up, Neneh Cherry is back and posed to push her charismatic presence even further. Shot in stark black and white by acclaimed French fashion photographer, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, this video works well on so many levels…

NEIL YOUNG Needle of Death

Neil covering classic British folk troubadour Bert Jansch is already something worth checking into. Add to this the fact that it is the debut of Jack White’s instant video-o-graph booth – a live video booth poised to feature intimate acoustic shows direct to the internet – and Young’s fans will certainly be delighted. Consider this an echo to Neil’s ‘Needle and The Damage Done’…gotta love the scratchy vocal vibe.

OWEN PALLETT Song For Five and Six

Owen P. has always had a penchant for big ideas. After scoring all the strings for early Arcade Fire albums he pretty much wrote his ticket – programming theatre, large European festivals, and massive concertos of his own Final Fantasy music. Throughout this he’s always managed to keep things arty and keep us guessing. Here he collaborates on some gorgeous new work for the National Ballet School. Cool!

DIANA Strange Attraction

Toronto’s synth-pop DIANA are heading back in the studio to craft their follow up to Perpetual Surrender. Before doing so they banged out another video for Strange Attraction and one that features the acting skills of Carmen Elle! Blissed out beats and freaky masks make the morning after pretty surreal.

REAL ESTATE Crime

Funny or Die’s Tom Scharpling directs the latest meta heavy video to support Real Estate’s massive new normcore pop release Atlas. This video is getting tons of attention…

THE GIG

WAXAHATCHEE – BILTMORE CABARET Friday May 23rd

On tour to support their second record Cerulean Salt, Alabama’s enigmatic art-folk rockers Waxahatchee have scheduled a stop at the Biltmore! Fronted by Katie Crutchfield, Waxahatchee are a band that has roots in the punk houses and DIY spirit of Birmingham’s indie scene. Previous to Waxahatchee, Katie and her twin sister Allison originally performed as a duo under the name P.S. Elliot, self-releasing their records, booking their tours, as well as contributing to fanzines such as International Girl Gang Underground. Today, their songs garner comparisons to the early careers of Cat Power, Elliot Smith, and a whole host of singer songwriters who have shaped lo-fi acoustic bedroom rock. This will be an early show – Friday night at the Biltmore. Be sure to check out one of America’s budding indie names!

A deeper look at Vancouver’s gigscape for the rest of May is after the jump… Read more

HEADS UP | Local Band “Smash Boom Pow” Ready To Tease New LP At The Fox Cabaret

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by Grady Mitchell | Vancouver band Smash Boom Pow consists of brotherly duo Zane and Ulysses Coppard, on drums and guitar/vocals respectively, alongside bassist and producer Tobias Schuch. The band’s emphatic name is echoed in their dark, woozy riffs and punchy, hip-hop-infused percussion. Every Smash Boom Pow song is an amalgam of the three musicians’ divergent tastes — Ulysses cites John Frusciante, The Strokes and Radiohead as influences, Zane has The Roots in mind every time he sits at his kit, and Tobias pulls from darker acts like Nine Inch Nails and The Dead Weather.

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Their music sounds like all and none of those bands. The drums are low and heavy, stalking with a deliberate, irresistible pace. Tobias’s bass runs deep and smooth, allowing Ulysses’s crackling guitar and fervent vocals to arc overhead. The boys perfected that sound last year, while recording for their upcoming LP. In fact, they loved Smash Boom Pow’s new direction so much that they wiped every trace of their previous material from the internet. It was a bold move in an age when general practice is to smother fans in minute-by-minute content. But, Ulysses says, “when we started working on the new material for the LP it became clear really, really fast that it was gonna be way tighter than the old stuff.”

Their track A Girl (above) is a good place to start, and those who want to hear more won’t have long to wait. The band has a slew of west coast concerts planned for the coming weeks, including a May 1st show at The Fox Cabaret with Tough Lovers, and the release of their first, as-yet-untitled LP on June 20th at The Remington.

GOODS | Music Direction Playlist For Casual Southeast Asian-Inspired Noodlebox Eatery

Scout Series ~ Noodle Box ~ from Music Direction on 8tracks Radio.

The GOODS from Music Direction

Vancouver, BC | Music Direction’s branded playlist this month highlights the playlist work they do for Southeast Asian-inspired fast casual restaurant Noodlebox. Noodlebox began as a food cart in Victoria, BC’s Chinatown in 2001. They’ve grown up since then, expanding into Vancouver and Calgary. Working with Music Direction, Noodlebox has been able to further solidify their in-store atmosphere by incorporating a very specific – often locally inspired – eclectic sound. Get the full tracklist and details about the company after the jump… Read more

SCOUT LIST | Ten Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now And Next Week

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by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!

NERD OUT | If you’re walking around downtown this weekend and you notice an increase in the number of adults cruising around in full-on superhero / anime costume, that’s probably because Fan Expo Vancouver is on. The day will include special celebrity guests, panels, comic dealers, workshops, and lots and lots of really awesome costumes.
Apr. 18 – 20 | Various times | Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place) | $20-$69

FOUNDATIONS | The Emily Carr University of Art + Design Foundation Show will line the walls of the ECUAD Concourse Gallery with works by first year students. Sure the show is an opportunity for new students to bring their family and friends down to see what’s been keeping them so busy over the past eight months, but it’s also an opportunity for the general public to size up the next wave of emerging art, design and media makers, and even place bets on their futures by purchasing their work. Pop down to Granville Island for the opening reception on Thursday night. This show continues until April 27.
Opening night | Thu, Apr. 17 | 7 – 10pm | Emily Carr University of Art & Design 
Ongoing |  Apr. 19 – 26 |  10am -6pm daily | Emily Carr University of Art & Design | DETAILS

RECORD STORE DAY | It’s Record Store Day on Saturday so independently run record stores across the city are fixin’ to help you celebrate. Expect in-store performances, record releases, sales and the coming together of people who love music. Hit Red Cat Records, Neptoon and Dandelion on Main, Zulu Records on 4th Avenue, plus Vinyl, Noize, Beat Street, and Highlife for all sorts of record-related fun. Oh, and let’s not forget the classical grooves at Sikora downtown! Tip: Neptoon Records in particular has a full roster of performances planned, so skip over to their website to see their impressive line-up (running from 11am through until 7pm).
Sat, Apr. 19 | All Day | Various Locations Around Town | Free | DETAILS

CREATE | Looking for some artistic inspiration? There’s a Gastown gig going this Friday called ‘Late Nite Art’ that might be just the ticket. It’s not your basic “still life” class, but rather an evening of creativity and collaborative art-making lubricated by music, food and discussion. For this edition of Late Nite Art, “a facilitator, a chef, an artist, and a photographer combine forces to create an intimate, socially conducive environment and produce an engaging and entertaining night.” No previous experience needed. Just bring your imagination. Ticket price includes workshop, dinner, tax, and a tip.
Fri, Apr. 18 | 7:30pm | Archive at Revolver (325 Cambie St) | $35 | DETAILS

FILM | The David Cronenberg retrospective continues at Pacific Cinematheque. From early experimental features like Crimes of the Future and Stereo to well known blockbusters like Crash, the selection of 13 full length films and four shorts was curated by the Toronto Film Festival and will be presented over the next few weeks on the big screen. Dark, smart and tense, Cronenberg films are consistently provocative, so spreading a retrospective out over time is probably better for everyone! You can catch films in this series at various times and dates over the next month. This long weekend, for example, you can catch The Dead Zone, The Fly, Naked Lunch and M. Butterfly.
Now – May 2 | Various times | Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) | DETAILS

EXPLORE | The Vancouver Natural History Society is leading a walk through the shoreline of Stanley Park this Friday. As Nature Vancouver explains, “Spring often yields seasonal finds such as barnacle-eating nudibranchs, or their eggs, and bryozoans on kelp. The seaweed should not be too extensive yet, allowing a good look at the cobbled areas. We will also be looking for the presence/absence of seastars after 2013′s devastating seastar wasting syndrome.” Sounds fascinating, right? So pull on some sensible footwear, pack a rain slicker just in case, and head to Stanley Park to stuff your brain full of all sorts of science.
Fri, Apr. 18 | 12noon | Children’s water park at the north end of Stanley Park | DETAILS

BRUNCH | What are long weekends for if not lazy brunches? Our suggestions: gather some friends and hit Lynn Canyon for an early morning hike and then stop in at North Vancouver’s Tomahawk Restaurant for Yukon-style bacon and eggs or fluffy french toast. Over on the East Side, Yolks (in the old Brave Bull site at Hastings and Clark) is the perfect Easter brunch venue with its easy pastel blue and yellow colour palette and, well, eggs. Try a build-your-own poached free-range egg sandwich and a manmosa (fresh squeezed orange juice and Parallel 49′s Hayfever beer). At Railtown’s Ask For Luigi, Chef J.C. Poirier has transported the simple Italian spirit of their evening service to a brunch menu that includes house-made bread with jam and taleggio cheese, frittata with pancetta and potatoes or tomatoes and mozzarella, and waffles with apples, hazelnuts and tiramisu crema.
Tomahawk | 1550 Philip Ave | Sun-Thurs 8am-on, Fri-Sun from 9am | DETAILS
Yolks | 1298 East Hastings St | Mon-Fri (8-3pm); Sat-Sun (9-4) | DETAILS
Ask For Luigi | 305 Alexander St | Sat-Sun 9:30 – 2:30pm | DETAILS

4:20 | On the 20th day of the 4th month (that would be this Sunday), thousands of people gather in, on, and around the Vancouver Art Gallery to celebrate one of BC’s strongest industries: marijuana. Pot cookies, smoking tents, bongo drums, naked people and dreadlocks…expect it all. The first reefers are lit early in the day and the cloud of blue love gathers all day, reaching it’s zenith in a storm at 4:20pm. If you’re driving through downtown, take caution around the VAG parameter, as there may be a few slow moving pedestrians to avoid.
Sun, Apr. 20 | 4:20pm | Vancouver Art Gallery | Free (or $5 a joint)

EAT LOCAL | Pick up provisions for the long week at the Farmer’s Market this Saturday. Locally grown fruits and veggies, fresh eggs and artisan cheese, baked goods and preserves, picked, coffee, honey and wild salmon – it’s all at Nat Bailey Framers Market. Get over there and buy local! These are the last days of the Winter Farmer’s Markets. After next Saturday’s market (April 26) we wait for the first of the regular spring/summer season farmers markets to start up. Yaletown starts May 1st and Trout Lake and Kits open May 10th + 11th respectively.
Saturday, March 19 | Parking Lot – Nat Bailey | Free | DETAILS

TOTALLY BAKED | The Bakers Market is on this weekend. Load up with artisanal breads, scones, cookies and cakes out at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre. We’re guessing this weekend will see all manner of Easter-themed goodies like pastel coloured macaroons, madeleines, cupcakes and marshmallows, plus lots of gluten free and vegan options – the whole shebang. It’s like a dreamy dessert buffet or the biggest bakery you’ve ever set foot in.
Sun, Apr. 20 | 11am–3pm | Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, 7646 Prince Albert | DETAILS

Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List

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late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.

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VANCOUVERITES | At Home With Amber Webber And Josh Wells Of “Lightning Dust”

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by Grady Mitchell | Lightning Dust is the brooding music made by Amber Webber and Josh Wells. Originally a side-project from their main band, Black Mountain, it has since become a full-fledged undertaking of its own. From their first release, a self-titled album in 2007, through 2009′s Infinite Light and last year’s Fantasy, they’ve moved progressively from a chiefly folk sound to a more shadowy electronic hybrid.

This combination of analog and digital is best displayed on tracks like In The City Tonight and Agatha off their most recent album, both of which feature glittering keys intertwined with rich, orchestral strings. Amber’s vocals are ethereal and delicate – a nice change from singing in Black Mountain, where, she says, “I’m wailing it the whole time.” Lightning Dust songs have a cavernous space to them, a resonance granted by their lofty, meditative sound.

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That gradual transformation was intuitive, influenced by their evolving tastes. “When the songs were written,” Josh says, “it’s what was most exciting to us at the time.” As for the increasingly electronic bent of their sound, well, now is the time, Amber says. “When I’m forty-five I won’t necessarily want to be doing a synth-pop record, but I’ll certainly still be playing the guitar.”

One of the facts musicians generally accept as a downside of Vancouver – its relative isolation from record industry hubs like Toronto, New York, and LA – the two see instead as an advantage. With the industry somewhat removed, they hold Vancouver as a place uniquely suited for musicians to experiment. Alongside many bands in the city’s vibrant music scene, they’re living proof that that’s true.

OTHER INTERESTING VANCOUVERITES

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

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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

BANKS Brain

Los Angeles is the place to be if you want to cut a smooth operator-style modern R&B record. LA-based electronic soul singer Banks teams up with fellow Hollywood producer Shlohmo to create a broodingly spooky new track that somehow defines the new genre of ethereal mood music currently blowing up. Jessie Ware, Finister, Kid A, SZA, and more tread the same dark late night chill diva vibe as Banks, but the push coming behind her self-titled debut release indicates that she might be a name to watch in 2014. This highly cinematic clip makes the most out of a dark colour palette and a series of hypnotic shots of Banks shrouded by a veil. Obviously there’s more below the surface!

THE PLAYLIST

THE BLACK LIPS Justice After All

As the intro notes, The Black Lips are the pride of Atlanta’s Five Points hood. Together with their pals Deerhunter they have established the strip by the Variety Playhouse as more than just a place to find cheap booze and good times. The Black Lips seem to embody the fucked up spirit of American rock music at present. Underneath The Rainbow now out on Vice Records is pretty great!

S. CAREY Crown The Pines

As a member of Bon Iver, S. Carey’s new release ‘Range of Light’ is going to get a lot of airplay. He’s kind of been in the shadow of Justin Vernon for a long time, so it will be nice to see his more orchestral oeuvre get the attention it deserves.

THE WAR ON DRUGS Under Pressure

Everyone knows how much we dig Philly’s War on Drugs – they played a smoking in-store show at Zulu last year! Here’s some live footage of the first track off ‘Lost in The Dream’ – it shows just how much they have upped their game! If you saw their sold out show at The Biltmore the other day, you know just how lucky you are!

EX HEX Hot and Cold

Merge Records is like a family record label. Having previously released supergroup Wild Flag featuring Mary Timony, they also put out her latest effort as Ex Hex. With its crunchy riffage and tons of bouncy beats, this track is a who’s who of Washington D.C. punk legacy – and yes, that’s The Make Up’s Ian S. going out on a dinner date with Mary!

CHROMEO Jealous

Chromeo are back! The electro vibe is alive and well. This new track seems to channel the Daft Punk thumbing bass pretty well. Time to lease a sweet ride and hit the open road.

THEE OH SEES The Lens

If you’re a fan of lo-fi animation you will certainly want to sit through this mellow new cut from John Dwyer and Thee Oh Sees. Dreamy spaceman imagery galore!

THE GIG

GOAT w/ HOLY WAVE – RICKSHAW THEATRE Tue Apr 15

Psychedelic freak rockers Goat hail from the musical hotbed of Gothenburg, Sweden. Well, in actual fact they claim to trace their roots to a tiny town in northern Sweden that has a history steeped in voodoo worship and a common ancestor who was a famous witch doctor. With this in mind they will put a spell on you, and seduce your minds with their deep and trippy interpretations of ‘world music’ – a universal musical language that combines all forms of music into a fusion of art-rock, tribal rhythms, afrobeat, kraut groove, and lush hedonistic freak folk. Imagine Eddie Hazel as leader of Sun Ra’s Arkestra working through the ecstatic moments of a Damo Suzuki jam while the burnt daydreams of Vashti Bunyan breeze by… Sounds like a dream, right? Or maybe more like a nightmare? Hmm. Regardless, the element of spectacle will be on display on the Ides of April as Goat are known to perform in elaborate wardrobe (think exotic beaded garb). Openers Holy Wave from Texas should get the night off to a good start. Their music is pressed by the people who put on the legendary Austin Psyche Fest.

Take a deeper look at Vancouver’s gigscape for the rest of January after the jump… Read more

GOODS | Guest Playlist A “Music Direction” Collaboration With Artist Jasper Sloan Yip

Guest Playlist ~ Jasper Sloan Yip ~ from Music Direction on 8tracks Radio.

The GOODS from Music Direction

Vancouver, BC | For this March playlist edition, Music Direction has teamed up with local, award-winning musician Jasper Sloan Yip. The team recently met up with Jasper at their Railtown studio and the idea of a playlist collaboration was born. The playlist is built around the inspiration for his album Foxtrot (2013). Here’s what Jasper has to say about it:

“In some way or another, each of these songs influenced the outcome of Foxtrot. Each song contains a tone, rhythm, texture, lyric, or some other unnameable thing that caught my ear and gave me something to chase. And though I likely never caught whatever it was I was chasing, I am indebted to each of these songs nonetheless (or at least my album is). But who wants to catch up with the thing they’re chasing anyways? Don’t we all know how that ends?”

Enjoy! Get the full tracklist and details about the company after the jump… Read more

SCOUT LIST: 10 Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now & Next Week

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by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!

FERMENTATION | Vancouver’s R&B Brewing and the crew at The Bottleneck on Granville Street (right below The Commodore Ballroom) are joining forces to host Beer Feast this Tuesday nigh, which will see Todd Graham of R&B pair a selection of beer with a four course dinner prepared by Bottleneck chef Hugh Carbery. The theme of the evening will be ‘fermented’, so think pickled, smoked and cured meats, cheeses and pickled veggies and – of course – beer. Not bad for a Tuesday night!
Tue, March 11 | Doors 7pm/Dinner 8pm | The Bottleneck (870 Granville) | $60 | DETAILS

WINNOW WEDNESDAY | Gastown’s East Van Roasters make their chocolate from scratch. And when they say “from scratch,” they really mean it. The tiny shop imports, roasts, winnows (removes the papery shell surrounding the bean), and grinds 22kgs of cacao beans for every batch of their house-made chocolates. It’s an involved process and downtown eastside social enterprise relies on the hands many employees and volunteers to get the job done (particularly when it comes to removing the shells from the freshly roasted cocao beans). This Wednesday night you can pull up a chair and learn about chocolate making while you help to winnow. Those willing to donate their time and energy to the noble cause of hand-processing chocolate will be given a cup of tea or house-roasted coffee as well as salty chocolate chip cookies and EVR brownies to snack on. Hang around until the end and you can take some cacao shells home to make tea with.
Wed, March 12 | 6:30-8:30pm | East Van Roasters (319 Carrall) | Free | DETAILS

EXPLORE | Standing proudly at the north end of Burrard Street, Vancouver’s Marine Building, which opened in 1930, is certainly one of the most iconic and stunningly beautiful heritage buildings in the city. If the doorway is any indication of the level of craftsmanship and style of the offices inside, just imagine how impressive it must be to set foot in the art deco-styled penthouse! Next week you will have an opportunity to do just that. On the night of Wednesday, March 12th, the Heritage Vancouver Society will lead an informative tour of the building’s jaw-dropping lobby and gorgeous penthouse. Tickets aren’t cheap, but this will be money well spent, particularly because your 100 beans counts as a donation to the Heritage Vancouver Society (tax receipts will be issued) and there will be a reception that includes wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Wed, March 12 | 5:30-8pm | Marine Building (355 Burrard) | $100 | DETAILS

FILM | The Pacific Cinematheque is running a series of classics that have been meticulously restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archives. In the age of digital, well, everything – the opportunity to watch a film in it’s original 35mm format has become increasingly rare. Don’t miss out on experiencing this medium the way it was intended: 35mm film projected on to a big screen with a bag of popcorn in your lap. Restored films include everything from film noir and comedy to silent films, thrillers and documentaries). This Thursday you can catch Cary Grant in The Thirty Day Princess (6:30pm) and W.C. Fields in International House (8pm). The UCLA Festival of Preservation screenings continue with more shows (Robert Frost: A Lover’s Quarrel with the World on March 20 and Mantrap on March 26).
Thu, March 13 | Various times | Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) | DETAILS

EVIDENCE | There’s a show on at The Robert Lynds Gallery that I’m interested in checking out. Site[d] is a mixed media series by artist JG Mair that documents details of East Vancouver ‘sites’ by taking them out of their physical context and presenting them in stand alone vignettes, a process that lends the work a somewhat archival feel. The idea (as the artist explains) is that these details “provide a lingering glimpse of the transitory state of the urban fabric. Each work suspends time and space revealing a landscape trapped between decay and growth.” Beyond the larger issues of such as land-development and displacement the collection conveys the depth, history and personality of place. Site[d], the works of JG Mair, has been curated by Michael Bjornson and continues until mid-April.
Now through April 12 | 1639 West 3rd Ave | Free | DETAILS

SCRATCH | Scratchboard is the process of creating drawings and illustrations by using a sharp tool to remove layers of dark clay or ink to reveal a light lower level. Think of it this way: remember when you scribbled a mess of coloured crayon on paper and then covered all of the colour with back crayon so that you could use your fingernails to remove the top layer of wax to create stunning works of kindergarten art? Well, scratchboard works on the same principle but it’s much more refined with results that can look like highly detailed (think beautifully precise linocuts and etchings). This is really the kind of thing you need to see rather than read about, so head to the Hot Art Wet City gallery on Main Street this Friday night to catch the opening of Scratch, a show of new scratchboard artwork by local artist Andrea Hooge. Then you’ll understand. Bonus: Brassneck is only a few doors down and it’s almost always a guarantee that there will be a cool food truck parked outside. To recap, that’s art opening, craft beer and cheap good food. Sounds like a fine Friday night on Main Street.
Fri, March 14| 7pm | Hot Art Wet City (2206 Main St) | DETAILS

LAUNCH | Sad Mag is a cool local magazine that celebrates independent art and culture in Vancouver. It’s issued on a quarterly basis and contains some seriously compelling pages packed with images (film or Polaroid, nothing dig­i­tally manip­u­lated). This Saturday night they’re hosting the launch party for their latest issue (no. 15) Grit & Gristle. This issue will “explore eat­ing and drink­ing in Van­cou­ver, Sad Mag style. We’re inter­ested in the Dive bar, the hole in the wall eatery and new and inno­va­tion foodie things hap­pen­ing in the city: GRIT + GRISTLE. It’s kinda dirty, gritty, but won’t give you food poi­son­ing, we promise. We want to get between your teeth. Chew the fat about Vancouver’s new, strange or fas­ci­nat­ing culi­nary caveats.” Sounds pretty bang on to us! The opening party will include original artwork and photography from the artists who contributed to the magazine.
Sat, March 15 | 7-10pm | Make Studios (257 E. 7th Ave) | Free | DETAILS 

EXPLORE | At the Dr. Sun Yat Sen gardens this month, anthropologist and photographer Evelyn Nodwell is showing a selection of photographs taken during her travels to the villages and small towns of Guizhou Province in China. This Saturday presents a fantastic opportunity to check out Nodwell’s photos because not only will the artist be in attendance, but she will also be joined by National Geographic photographer Sam Abell. The two will have a walking conversation of her works as they are displayed in the Garden’s gallery. Sam Abell has a forty-year photographic career under his belt, including having one of his images (have a look) named one of the 50 greatest pictures ever made at National Geographic. He’s also a bit of an expert on gardens so this is likely to be an interesting event.
Sat, March 15 | 2pm – 4pm | Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens | Chinatown | DETAILS

WINTER FARMERS MARKET | Stay strong, take your vitamins, and eat well by loading the fridge with fresh, local food. Shoot over to 30th and Ontario to get your fill of fruits and veggies. Look for kale, crispy apples, leeks, beets, potatoes and squash, as well as goodies like baked goods, preserves and local honey. Yay farmers!
Sat, March 15 | 10am – 2pm | East Parking Lot Nat Bailey Stadium | DETAILS

CULTURE | Opera Pro Cantanti is performing Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi Sunday night. From Opera Pro Cantanti: “While families at war swear eternal hatred, two young hearts are inextricably bound in love. The result is tragedy at its most poignant. With soaring melodies, glorious harmonies and a timeless theme, I Capuleti e i Montecchi is one of Bellini’s true masterpieces.” The setting of the Cambrian Hall makes this community scale performance intimate and thoroughly enjoyable. Plus Don’t Argue Pizza is just down the block for post performance pizza and beer.
Sun, March 16 | 7pm | Cambrian Hall (215 E 17@ Main) | $18 (not including pizza) | DETAILS  

Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List

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late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s shops and streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy, and uncooperative camera.

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GOODS | The Biltmore Set For St. Patrick’s Day Shindig With “The River And The Road”

The Biltmore Cabaret is located at 2755 Prince Edward Street in Vancouver, BC | 604.676.0541 | biltmorecabaret.com

The Biltmore Cabaret is located at 2755 Prince Edward Street in Vancouver, BC | 604.676.0541 | biltmorecabaret.com

The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret

Vancouver, BC | Come down to the The Biltmore Cabaret, kick up your boots and swing a shaleighleigh with us for a St. Patrick’s Day Party featuring The River and The Road playing their first Vancouver city show of 2014 with Mike Edel, Greg Drummond & Twin Bandit! After crossing an ocean, leaving a hemisphere, and a long stint hitch hiking across the American Southwest, singer/guitarist Andrew Phelan made his way to Chicago with the looming need to cross into Canada for work. He had two flight choices—Montreal or Vancouver—and flying west was cheaper. Once there, he found a healthy contest in singer/banjo player Keenan Lawlor, who had been playing around Vancouver for the previous eight months. Keenan had moved across water to forge a new path, but in his case, it was the Georgia Strait instead of the Pacific Ocean. In the beginning the two butted heads, seeing in each other the greatest competition for the attention of an East Vancouver open mic audience. Competition turned to collaboration, busking, and living on scraps together to make their musical existence possible. After several months as a duo, they recorded their debut eponymous twelve-track album. In the spring of 2012, the band emerged as a dynamic four-piece with the addition of drummer Cole George and bassist John Hayes. Learn more after the jump… Read more

GOODS | “The Biltmore” To Welcome Rich Hope & His Blue Rich Rangers On March 15

The Biltmore Cabaret is located at 2755 Prince Edward Street in Vancouver, BC | 604.676.0541 | biltmorecabaret.com

The Biltmore Cabaret is located at 2755 Prince Edward Street in Vancouver, BC | 604.676.0541 | biltmorecabaret.com

The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret

Vancouver, BC | Hidden Charms is pleased to announce a very special performance. Rich Hope and His Blue Rich Rangers after a lengthy hiatus are returning to the stage to perform – for one night only – the iconic Byrds album Sweetheart of the Rodeo in it’s entirety. Now hear it live and in the flesh as the Rangers rev it up. Post LP performance will feature the usual assortment of Rangers barroom rockers and honky tonk hits to round out the night on the dance floor. Learn more after the jump… Read more

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

February 28, 2014 

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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

WOMEN’S HOUR Her Ghost

London’s modern quiet storm r’n'b four-piece, Woman’s Hour, just inked a deal for North America with Secretly Canadian Records. Their sound is built around classic mid-80′s period Sade infused with electronic elegance a la Art of Noise‘s classic late night jam ‘Moments in Love‘. The video is clever – one long, locked-off black and white shot of a sign language interpreter signing the lyrics to Her Ghost. Hypnotic! This is their debut 7″ track – let’s hope the impending full length is just as smooth.

THE PLAYLIST

KEVIN DREW Good Sex

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene fame is preparing his sophomore solo album ‘Darlings’ and has decided the upbeat track ‘Good Sex’ will be the lead-off single. Time away from the band’s intense spotlight has made Drew a lot more relaxed and open. This video sort of captures that vibe from one of Toronto’s most misunderstood players.

THURSTON MOORE Heavenmetal

Here’s another chilled-out guy who has made the most of taking time away from the spotlight of his bigger band. Thurston Moore had a rough year in 2013. He and long-time life partner and music collaborator Kim Gordon split, and subsequently Sonic Youth took a bit of a break. Moore retreated to his upstate New York digs and took some time to just jam with friends. Here’s the result – a laid back song that features Thurston in a more introspective mode.

DEATH GRIPS No Love

To give a fuck or to not give a fuck? That is Death Grips’ current obsession. This 3D-esque video features a montage of live clips demonstrating the chaotic confrontational nature of the band. Everything about Death Grips is an attempt to agitate the environment they’re in. In 2013, they fucked with the industry, screwed their label and leaked their own record. So 2014 should be good.

REAL ESTATE Crime

Real Estate (who are in town next week) have taken the time to tab out one of the more breezy numbers from their forthcoming new album. If you want to play along at home, go for it!

LONDON GRAMMAR | Hey Now

From the opening notes on their Fender Rhodes electric piano you know London Grammar are all about the hush hours. Chilled ambience and delicately programmed beats are the main focus of this new track that really focuses in on vocalist Hannah Reid’s late night coos. Voted a British Breakthrough Act of 2014!

DUM DUM GIRLS Too Good to Be True

Flowers, Lava, Dum Dum Dee Dee and a shitload of special effects all play a prominent role in the second video out to support this Sub Pop Records signing. We played this in the store and someone mentioned a band called The Primitives from a long time ago…does anyone remember them? Is this what they would sound like today?

PINK MOUNTAINTOPS Ambulance City

Having recently supported Band of Horses here in town at the Vogue, Stephen McBean (Black Mountain) is shaking off the rust and getting things tuned up for his solo project Pink Mountaintops to hit the road and channel his madness. April’s new record Get Back is great! Who’s going to Austin Psyche Fest in May?

THE GIG

ANGEL OLSEN Thursday March 6th at The Media Club

Historically, March and April are great months for gigs. Pretty much every young North American band is on the road and planning their routing around either SXSW dates or Coachella. As a result you have to plan your rock calendar wisely and choose a few key shows to take in. Catching a band at the Media Club is pretty much akin to getting in on something at the ground level. This is one of the smaller rooms in town (until the Fox is officially a booker’s paradise) that showcases bands on their first swing through town. With this in mind, a lot of people are pegging Jagjagwaur Recording Artist Angel Olsen as one of the early stars of this year’s fresh faces. A couple weeks back Angel released her second album Burn Your Fire For No Witness and the critics quickly gravitated to her ability to evoke the greats like Cohen and Orbison without pushing too hard and losing some of her immediacy. There’s a natural confidence to Olsen’s recordings – let’s hope it translates well live!

Take a deeper look at Vancouver’s gigscape for the rest of January after the jump… Read more

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

January 13, 2014 

photo-(21)

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

CALIFONE Movie Music Kills A Kiss

Someone should curate a site featuring videos that use a single long shot. There is something fascinating about the results. Your mind is forced to interpret the images differently as the continuity of time and space captured through just one single camera lens has some very hypnotic qualities. Equally hypnotic are the slow burning blues odes of Chicago/L.A.’s Califone. Frontman Tim Rutili not only stars in this video, but also gets directing credits with a long, slow motion tracking shot of a woman en route to smash her lover’s guitar.

KING KRULE – A Lizard State

Any video that gives a nod to Hitchcock is good in our book. King Krule was a standout of 2013 – dropping a fairly unique post-jazz crooner album entitled 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, and delighting a sold out Vancouver audience at Fortune in early December. As Hitch notes…this video is all about gravity!

STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS Lariat

Malkmus and the Jicks are really killing it this week! On Tuesday they gave us January’s good time jams ‘Wig Out At Jagbags’, and now they’re making the late night talk show rounds as well as playing a few choice warm up shows in advance of a proper tour that has them in Vancouver on April 10th. This song harkens back to classic Pavement days and even drops some sweet references to Bongwater, Sun City Girls, Mudhoney and more.

COOL Blue

Cool is the band featuring Adrian and Amanda from Apollo Ghosts alongside Shawn Mrazek on drums! They were the surprise guests on KingFisher Bluez’s Christmas Show, so now the cat’s out of the bag. This video was created using the technology of www.fiverr.com, a place on the internet where people will do things for you for a fiver.

WILD BEASTS Wanderlust

It’s been almost 3 years since a proper new full length from London’s suave art-school rockers Wild Beasts. Smother was a good record but it got remixed to death, so it’s indeed nice to hear something as spacy and enticing as this new track.

BOAT CLUB Warmer Climes

If you have ever travelled to Gothenburg you will know that it’s a hidden gem in Sweden. It’s home to Way Out West festival, the famous Pustervik Club as well as a community of young bands that just brought the nord blissout scene to life. Check in with Boat Club.

PONTIAK – Lack Lustre Rush

Chicago’s ever-cool record label Thrill Jockey are making a noisy splash in 2014 with the long awaited arrival of this tasty Pontiak track! Imagine Suicide sitting around with Sunno))) and MBV and you might get a better grasp on what exactly Pontiak’s take on stoner rock is.

ARIEL PINK AND SKY FERREIRA – My Molly

A true match made in heaven, two of Hollywood’s most flamboyant rockers meet up for a gritty riff on My Molly. No word on whether Ariel and Sky plan to make an entire record together this year. They both seem really into the project though…

THE GIG

DARKSIDE at FORTUNE SOUND CLUB Tuesday January 21st

This is probably the show in January that everyone has circled on their calendars. It’s long sold out but there may be a few tickets up for grabs as the date nears. Darkside is, of course, the collaboration between electronic producer/musician Nicolas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington. The duo first made a name for themselves remixing Daft Punk’s latest opus in its entirety. Based on the groundswell of interest in their vision they quickly recorded Psychic which sees them mining more hypnotic landscapes and offering up a more contemporary take on classic German prog outfits like Can and Neu. This will be a low key night, the music free but linear, and deeply etched in your subconscious as the dubby psychedelics and echoing delays nicely reverberate around Chinatown.

Take a deeper look at Vancouver’s gigscape for the rest of January after the jump… Read more

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