Just before Christmas I saw the Chor Leoni Men’s Choir perform Rejoice—a night filled with holiday classics, hushed cantatas, and liturgical music, accompanied by the quintet, A Touch of Brass.
Too often I look through Pitchfork, or Rolling Stone and find myself wondering why certain bands attain superstar status. To me many of them seem like their missing one or two or even several pieces that would elicit such a title. Because for every band that’s hailed ‘the next greatest band’, like Animal Collective or Odd Future there are one or two bands that are criminally underrated. Bands who given the right chance, the right break, could become mega-stars. The Sounds are one of those bands.
How many times have you heard someone say ‘Oh yeah, their albums good, but MAN you gotta see this band live!! You won’t understand it till you see it live!’? Then you go see the band and it’s alright, but you can’t help feeling that your friend has a bad case of superfanitis.
It’s a good thing people arrived early for this early show, as a healthy crowd swelled to two waiting lines. According to some of the staff there were only a handful of tickets left for purchase by the time the doors opened. Even though The Biltmore was scheduled to open at 7:00, it opened a half hour later, although I had a feeling that they wanted to create a buzz out front, and they certainly met that objective.
Waiting in line out front of The Rickshaw Theatre these days, one can’t help but be impressed with how the old place has been restored, remodeled and set up as great venue for live entertainment. Just surviving on the Downtown Eastside certainly takes effort, and bringing in acts with an avant-garde approach is certainly one way to break down certain barriers.
“Experience Saturdays is about hearing music you wouldn’t hear on mainstream radio,” a resident DJ for Fortune Soundclub’s weekly Saturday event explained at the night’s two year anniversary this past week as he welcomed New York’s Jose James to the club-like venue’s stage.
As we walked in to the Mint Records 20th anniversary party we were handed two huge boxes of Pocky sticks and were greeted by Nardwuar's emceeing, jumping around the stage, way more excited than anyone else could be after having done this for years.
You can't help but look at Mr. Li. In fact, you almost have to do a double take. From first sight, George Li looks no older than twelve. With a stocky build, and chubby cheeks, there's no reason to see him as anything more than an ordinary kid. That is, until he plays the piano.
The Orpheum, if you haven’t been, has to be one of the most beautiful venues in Vancouver. Built in 1927 (and later restored in 1977), the theatre and its waiting areas are adorned with gold leaf, intricate wood work, cascading chandeliers—all evocative of an era long gone. Can’t think of a better place to take in our night of big band and jazz with alto sax player Richie Cole, the quintet Five By Design, and the VSO than here.
Let’s introduce our players.
“You guys are much quieter than last night,” Matt McLaren, the guitarist/vocalist for Toronto based group Biblical chided the Monday crowd. “You’re about to see your favourite band, for fuck’s sake.”
Death From Above 1979 was roughly an hour away from taking the stage at The Commodore in Vancouver, and droves of hip twenty something’s piled into the elegant venue to listen to what was, for many, an old high school band for what was, for some, the second of two consecutive nights.