Most every quasi-metalhead is familiar with the prolific, power prog-rock trio, Rush. The majority however, are not so in tune with the legendary bands original drummer, co-founder John Rutsey. Rutsey played with the group in the early days and on their self-titled debut album before leaving the music business way back in 1974. Rutsey lived with diabetes (1) and was concerned about the health effects of frequent touring, ultimately citing the standard “creative differences” for the main reasons why he left what would become Canada’s greatest rock export.
On August 31, the Wise Hall, a small venue sitting on the outskirts of Vancouver, hosted the eager and excited fans of young local LGBTQ+ and indigenous artists.
The late-Sex Pistol bassist Sid Vicious once quipped “everything is bollocks apart from The Ramones” and in the early spring of 1980 I tended to agree with him.
Saturday night, May 11th, my friends and I filed into the Biltmore Cabaret; an eclectic, basement-style suite typically filled with eastside millennials suited in beanies and mom-jeans.
Tonight, however was not that kind of night.
Blue and green lights jutted out from the ceiling and cascaded across the dancefloor, as if someone had split their absinthe in a flurry of pre-show nerves. We ventured into the Biltmore not to lift our spirits through spoken word, but to see a funky eccentric singer from Indiana by the name of Omar Apollo.
On Tuesday April 9, Indian singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad visited Vancouver and performed at the Wise Hall, promoting his newest album cold/mess. This wasn’t my first time attending a show at the Wise, and I was looking forward to it. The venue is a small building at the top of Adanac street, tucked away among housing and parks. I like going to shows at this venue because it’s only about a 25 minute walk down Commercial Drive from the skytrain, and there are lots of shops and cafes along the way if you have time to spare.
I found Dead Meadow’s great self-title debut album in a record store when I was a kid, and it blew my mind. I bought it on faith, and they came through. The band was touring this season and CJSF sent me, your intrepid reporter, to report and review an all-time-favorite of my favorite bands.
After braving the frigid winds on February 8, the eve of the dump of snow that was to hit Vancouver, I ended up at The Imperial. This was my first time at the venue, tucked away in a non-descript corner off Hastings St. With the Terracotta Warriors lining the walls, it took me aback how both intimate and grand it was compared to venues I had been to in the past.
Tracyanne and Danny, a collaborative project between Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura), and Danny Coughlan (Crybaby) visited the Biltmore Cabaret during their tour on February 1st.
Sometime last fall, as I crunched through a myriad of freshly fallen leaves, I heard a high pitched squeal in the distance. As I turned my head, about a half dozen vintage Vespa scooters, flew past me. In the blur, I vaguely processed brilliant chrome, a magnificent union jack skull cap and, as the new age Mods faded in the distance, a green military jacket with a sizeable “Who” patch on the back. As I continued my stroll, I immediately thought of The Who’s 1973 classic record Quadrophenia.
I like to think of myself as a veteran concertgoer in Vancouver. I've been to most of the major venues around town; the Commodore, Orpheum, Vogue, even Venue when that was a go-to place for mid-level acts. Hell, I've spent significant time in most of the dive-ier venues in this city, many of which don't even exist anymore.
However, despite my self-importance (or maybe because of it), I had never been to The Imperial.