Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

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Canadian garage rockers Japandroids shared their first live album, “Massey Fucking Hall”, recorded at the aforementioned iconic Toronto venue from their 2017 tour with Cloud Nothings. “We’ve actually recorded a number of shows over the years, and for one reason or another, they just didn’t turn out,” drummer David Prowse explained. “We both like where this show catches us. We are at a bit of a crossroads in some ways between the band that put out Post-Nothing back in 2009 and where we are going. This setlist captures the first three albums really well and shows how much we’ve changed since those Post-Nothing days. We still have the energy but we have better command of our instruments and our voices. It feels a little less off the rails but still has a ton of momentum.

After playing the last of their 200 shows in more than 40 countries in support of their critically acclaimed 2012 album Celebration Rock, Japandroids took a much needed break to rest and recover after their last show in November of 2013. The band would not play again for three years. This month, they made their triumphant return to the stage, playing intimate shows in Vancouver, LA, Toronto, London and NYC, in which they treated fans to their favourites from Celebration Rock and Post-Nothing, and previewed a handful of new, unreleased songs. 

Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, was written clandestinely throughout 2014 and 2015 in Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, and Mexico City. It was (mostly) recorded by Jesse Gander (who had previously recorded both Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock) at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, BC (September-November, 2015). One song, True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will, was recorded by Damian Taylor during an exploratory recording session at Golden Ratio in Montreal, QC (February, 2015). 

Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album is 8 songs. This is because 8 songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album: Raw Power by The Stooges, Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen, Marquee Moon by Television, IV by Led Zeppelin, Horses by Patti Smith, Paranoid by Black Sabbath, Remain In Light by Talking Heads, Master Of Puppets by Metallica, etc.

Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album was sequenced specifically for the LP. On Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, side A (songs 1-4) and side B (songs 5-7) each follow their own loose narrative. Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song on side B (song 8) acting as an epilogue.

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Back in October we played at Massey Hall. It was surreal to play such a beautiful and historic venue. The people at Massey Hall filmed and recorded the entire show and have put together this mini concert documentary, which shows some of the songs we played that night along with some clips from an interview we did right before the show. It’s a pretty cool document of an unforgettable night.

Band Members:
Brian King & David Prowse


Try to resist a unit that Brooklyn Vegan described as “a whole band made of Jimbos from The Simpsons.” If Danger Mouse was the last straw for you with Parquet Courts, here’s the Stooges to their Velvet Underground, an all-spikes sarcasm brigade formed around the holy mission to Make Indie Angular Again on 2018’s deliciously discordant Seeing Green and 2019’s slightly craftier Club Nites. Just check the Archers of Loaf grunge-bursts that punctuate Dumb’s “Submission” or the manic Beefheart-sliding-on-a-dessert-cart-into-a-wall spree of “My Condolences.” And they even mock their own revival with an anti-anthem called “Slacker Needs Serious Work.”

The only time Dumb break g/b/d allegiance is to stick a gloriously honking sax solo at the end of “Beef Hits,” revealing their most furious song as their silliest, as most angry dweebs boil down to anyway.

Less than a year since they signed to Mint Records for 2018’s Seeing Green, Dumb is already back with a new full-length, Club Nites — this time with even more neuroticism and indignation. Club Nites is a collection of narratives drawn from the nightlife ecosystem.
Released June 7th, 2019

Dumb – Club Nites From the album “Club Nites” available via Mint Records.

 

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One of Canada’s most promising post-punk groups, Crack Cloud is a mixed-media collective based out of Vancouver, BC. Modelled around harm reduction philosophy, Crack Cloud operates as a rehabilitative outlet for a revolving cast of multi-disciplinary artists across Canada. ​Vancouver DIY art collective Crack Cloud (which also features members of N0V3L) emerged in 2018 with their self-titled debut EP, an idiosyncratic collection of post-punk, art rock and synth-punk with bold personality. The following year, they returned with a new single, “The Next Fix,” an intensely rhythmic, beautiful funk-pop song, which was written to remember those they’ve lost to suicide and drug overdose. The group formed over shared beliefs in the power of harm reduction, local organizing and DIY art communities, which leads one to believe they’re far more than just a band—they’re a chosen family.

Like Psychic tv before them, Crack Cloud have a philosophy and one that they are not afraid to wear on their sleeves – while their anarchic, phantas- magorical visuals, heavy use of symbology, and seemingly never-ending cast of colourful collaborators have often invited cult comparisons, this really does the collective no justice.
There is no apocalyptic death drive here; no cult of personality; no hierarchy of power. while frontman and lyricist Zach Choy is in many ways the face of the group, the collective is one founded on equality, and in his cryptic lyrical blend- ing of poetics, polemics and personal experience, Choy is truly the mouthpiece of something far larger than himself. nowhere else is this more apparent than on the album’s first single, ‘The Next Fix.’

What begins as a caustic, claustrophobic account of addiction swells into a sprawling, euphoric hymn as Choy is joined by a choir of seemingly endless ce- lestial voices. less a cult then; more a church. listening to this song or watching its accompanying self-directed video is a truly spiritual experience, and in its building, jubilant movement it offers a glimpse of Crack Cloud’s most vital message: using community to turn adversity into hope. this isn’t just bravado; its a story born of deep, personal experience. crack cloud operate on the frontline of Canada’s out-of-control opiate crisis, mobilising and organizing in Vancouver’s harm reduction programmes.

The group themselves have had their fair share of trauma, and the collective offers its members a vital vehicle for rehabilitation and recovery. as the tagline on the album’s back cover makes clear then, this is absolutely ‘based on true shit.

Part One of the PAIN OLYMPICS 2020 series, made DIY by the Crack Cloud Collective,

Dan Bejar’s Destroyer returned with their new album “Have We Met” via Merge Records. Have We Met caps off an arc begun almost a decade ago, when Dan Bejar released his landmark album Kaputt and entered the most accessible, acclaimed, yet no less eccentric chapter of his career. Informed by the claustrophobic atmosphere of our times, Have We Met is cerebral and absurd even by Bejar’s standards. Bizarre scenes and non-sequiturs abound. Bejar often sounds like a man slowly unravelling over greyscale, icy synth backdrops. But in the epic swell of “Crimson Tide,” was the first I heard from this album and is an immediate Destroyer classic! the new wave pulse of “It Doesn’t Just Happen,” or the sneakily catchy refrains of “The Man In Black’s Blues,” Bejar crafted apocalypse music that’s every bit as transporting as it is discomfiting.

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“Have We Met” settles into disquieting grooves and atmospheres by employing the sounds of 80s soft rock and adult contemporary in ways that often feel slightly off-kilter. However, while Dan Bejar may twist a traditionally comfortable sonic palette, it is never distorted to the point of being abrasive or unapproachable. Furthermore, his lyrics may grimly reckon with the ending of things hope, love, and life as we know it

Released January 31st, 2020
The Band:
Dan Bejar: vox, synthesizer
Nicolas Bragg: guitar
John Collins: bass, synthesizer, drum programming, granular synthesis

Japandroids

Japandroids records are few and far between, but then again they’ve always been more of a live band. Over the course of just over a decade together, the Vancouver duo have only released three albums and a series of loose early singles, all of which translate equally well to their electric live set.

On June 19th, that live energy will be widely accessible for the first time on streaming platforms, as Japandroids will be releasing a full LP of live recordings spanning their entire career (again, that’s only three albums, but still). Massey Fucking Hall, named after the Toronto venue where the hour-long setlist was recorded, will be released in June with a vinyl release slated for October 12th.

“We never thought we’d have the opportunity to play at Massey Hall,” drummer David Prowse shared in a press release. “It’s the most legendary venue in Canada by far, but it didn’t seem like a natural spot for a band like us to play. It’s a 100+ year old seated theatre, which isn’t the usual type of spot you expect to see Japandroids. Honestly, when we got off the stage that night, I remember feeling a sense of relief and exhilaration, but the whole thing felt like a bit of a blur. It was a very emotional show for me. We were both pretty nervous getting up on that stage.”

The band is also offering a taste of what the LP has to offer this morning with a pre-release single of their Post-Nothing track “Heart Sweats,” one of Japandroids’ favorite live staples. “It’s just got a great sense of momentum and never fails to get me hyped,” Prowse added of the single. “During that tour we were playing it second or third in the set. It consistently feels like the moment in the set where I just get that sense of ‘oh yeah we’re cooking now,’ and everything just locks in and we’re ripping through the rest of the set.”

Sometimes, you just have to laugh. As Japandroids thrashed through their perennial set closer The House That Heaven Built at Toronto’s fabled Massey Hall back in 2017, Brian King did just that. “That song went off, and the kids in the front couldn’t help themselves any longer,” the guitarist recalls. “They started climbing up and trying to stage dive. You have to remember, you don’t stage dive at Massey Hall.”

You can hear him cracking up as clear as day on Japandroids’ new live record, which feels like a culmination of sorts for King and his drummer bandmate Dave Prowse. After almost 15 years of kicking out jams that cross Hüsker Dü’s bullish melodicism with the wastoid barroom rock of the Replacements, Massey Fucking Hall is an out and out ‘Look at me, ma!’ blowout for the Vancouver duo.

“Heart Sweats” by Japandroids from the album ‘Massey Fucking Hall,’ available June 19th.

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The rock canon has many anti-heroes, Black Mountain being the latest. In the past, Can’s ‘Tago Mago’ established that the only rule in rock and roll is that there are no rules. Delinquent proto-metallers Black Sabbath demonstrated that you can make a lot from not that much. Now Black Mountain teach us that you don’t have to be afraid of the past to move bravely into the future

This single continues in the vein of last record Destroyer, with a more mechanized, sterile ’80s sound, with a b-side more in the ’70s freak rock style of the earlier albums. “Echoes” was kicking ‘round for years before Randall Dunn took the IV production reins and transformed it from its original Gene Clark tailcoating.
The b-side, “Flux”, is Black Mountain’s Turkish psych homage. It’s original title may have been Flounders In A Turkish Bathhouse.”

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Released May 1st, 2020

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Courtney Gavin, of the Canadian indie rock outfit The Courtneys, has joined forces with multi-instrumentalist Connor Mayer to launch a new band called Gum Country.

Los Angeles-based duo Gum Country are releasing their debut album, Somewhere, on June 14th via Burger and Kingfisher Bluez. This week they shared another song from it, “Tennis (I Feel OK).” The band features vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Courtney Garvin (The Courtneys) and multi-instrumentalist Connor Mayer. They describe their sound as “harsh twee.”

In a press release Garvin says the song is inspired by her love of tennis: “Kinda goofy, but in all honesty my relationship with tennis is so meaningful to me on a spiritual level. It’s my meditation practice. The game makes you present, you’re repeating movements, and finding a rhythm. And it’s so creative. I think all athletes are artists. Plus you get to be outside, getting exercise, hanging with friends and all of those things are so good for you. So the song is pretty much about how tennis just makes my life better. I love tennis. If anyone reading this wants to play (after the pandemic) please hit me up.”

Previously Gum Country had shared the album’s title track, “Somewhere,” via a video for the song.

Speaking of the title track, Gavin commented, “I wrote ‘Somewhere’ a couple years after moving to LA. It’s about leaving a place that you are comfortable in and landing in a strange new one, and discovering what parts of your identity remain and which were left behind. The first line I wrote was ‘haven’t felt this way in a while, I can’t think straight can’t hide my smile, I guess this is gonna be my life for a while’, and then it was just a process of unravelling that thought. I think the song could be about the range of emotions that come with any big change, and ultimately settling on a mellow excitement for vulnerability.”

The duo began in Vancouver, where they quietly made lo-fi four-track recordings in an apartment. Then they relocated to their current home of Los Angeles. There they recorded the album with Joo-Joo Ashworth at Studio 22. A press release cites the following as influences and reference points: Stereolab, The Replacements, The Breeders, Beat Happening, Yo La Tengo, Meat Puppets, and The Magnetic Fields.

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Speaking of songs fans of Feist might enjoy, Vancouver artist Hannah Georgas has shared a new single, the first taste of a collaboration with The National’s Aaron Dessner. “This song is a portrait of one particular way that emotions can build up inside,” Georgas says. “You’re going through the motions, suppressing how you really feel, and pretending things are ok — but your body knows…that deep down life and worry can weigh you down in ways your head might not acknowledge. This song was inspired by the feeling of hiding emotions you would like to express but feeling alone. Over the course of the last decade, the Canadian songwriter Hannah Georgas has earned a lot of accolades in her home country.

Along the way, she caught the ear of Aaron Dessner, and she wound up spending much of last year in the National’s touring band for their I Am Easy To Find shows. But before that, she and Dessner had already started working together at Dessner’s studio in upstate New York, resulting in new work from Georgas that will presumably be out soon via her new homes at Brassland and Arts & Crafts.

Find a quiet moment today to absorb this new single from the incredible Hannah Georgas. “That Emotion” is a soft but insistent song that charts emotions beginning to pile up and surface. Produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner at his upstate New York studio, “That Emotion” is the first new material to be taken from a new album, currently scheduled for release this summer

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Lightning Dust (Amber Webber and Josh Wells) are releasing a new album, “Spectre”, via Western Vinyl. they shared another song from the album, “Run Away.”

The band collectively had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Run Away’ explores the hardships of change-when our minds resist it. It’s the battle between logic and emotion. A tense and sonically deranged one in which a backward pulse blips into an electric piano solo and builds to a cosmic eruption of dark disco rain.”

Previously Lightning Dust shared Spectre’s first single, album opener “Devoted To”,Then they shared another song from the album, “Led Astray,” via a video for the track “Spectre” features Stephen Malkmus and Destroyer’s Dan Bejar .

Lightning Dust was previously a side-project for the Vancouver, BC-based duo of Amber Webber and Josh Wells, back when they were in Black Mountain. But in 2017 they both left the mother ship to focus solely on Lightning Dust and this is their first album since then. In 2018 Webber went back to school and tried out a new career, before music came calling again.

“It made me realize that art and music are still my light,” Webber explained in a previous press release. “Spectre” is my journey. It’s for all the women warriors that have been battling throughout life looking for a place to express themselves that feels inclusive and inspiring. It’s about finding yourself when no one is paying attention and inventing a new way of creating that feels honest and sincere. I truly feel that women, especially as we age, are underrepresented. That was truly the driving force to creating this album.”

Stephen Malkmus plays guitar on “A Pretty Picture” and Dan Bejar contributes guest vocals “Competitive Depression.” From the album Spectre released October 4th, 2019 on Western Vinyl.

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If there’s some justice in this world, Strange Breed could be the next big thing in rock music. Comprised of four talented musicians from Vancouver, British Columbia, this all-female, all-queer band channel Veruca Salt, Hole, and Sleater-Kinney on their excellent debut album “Permanence”. They are confrontational, political, and raucous, but also capable of a wicked hook, as anthem-in-the-making “Closer” suggests. Led by the powerful voice of Nicolle Dupas, Strange Breed bring a refreshing sense of inclusivity and positivity to the overt – and tiresome – heteronormativity of modern rock music.

Strange Breed are a four piece garage rock band based out of Vancouver, BC. The official video for “Closer” was filmed at the legendary Hipposonic Studios in Vancouver, BC. It was produced, filmed and edited by Section 4 Films. This video was partially crowdfunded through a successful Indiegogo campaign, and we can’t thank our amazing supporters enough. “Closer” is a story about desire, but mostly it’s a jumble of emotions. The desire to find love and to love yourself. The desire to reach your dreams. The desire to embrace your queerness, or otherness. The desire to love yourself. This video was a collaboration and an artistic community project of some beautiful and talented individuals that we feel completely embody the future of our community, and of our core values as a band. We love you!

Band Members
Nicolle Dupas – Vocals/Guitar
Terra Chaplin – Guitar
Megan Bell – Drums
Jess Dubois – Bass