DakhaBrakha – August 31st, 2014 – Rio Theatre, Vancouver, BC

DakhaBrakha had the most unique approach I’ve seen to Vancouver theatre audience punctuality. They were set up and ready to go while folks were still milling about in the aisles chatting… so, they dove straight in with the pounding drums of their first song. Afterwards, Marko introduced them – “Hello, everybody. We are DakhaBrakha, from free Ukraine,” and the crowd erupted in applause and cheers.

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Bride & Groom – Self Titled

If you’re a cynic, this is not the album for you. I’m not a fan of love songs, myself – they tend to be too sad, too sappy, or both at once. This album hits a happy medium. It’s sweet, sometimes bittersweet, but never too much. I even liked the lyrics, which is where a lot of indie folk loses me.

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Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival – August 9th, 2014 – Deer Lake, Burnaby, British Columbia

All music festivals should have dragonflies. It lends that beautiful edge to a festival – a shining note that you don’t get anywhere else. It was gorgeous outside for this year’s festival, and the breeze off Deer Lake helped cool down the diehards camped out in the sun in front of the main stage.

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Rape Blossoms – Ruinenlust

I’ll straight-up admit it. I haven’t listened to post-punk since the nineties, and I pretty much left the genre for dead. Belgian post-punk band Rape Blossoms’ new album “Ruinenlust” reminded me why I liked the genre in the first place, but it manages to avoid wallowing in the sticky nostalgia that waits like a tar pit for the unwary musician.

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