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.Read more "DakhaBrakha – August 31st, 2014 – Rio Theatre, Vancouver, BC"
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.Read more "Bride & Groom – Self Titled"
“This is a blast from the past, featuring all your favourite hits of the 18th century.” The crowd clearly loved all of it, clapping and stomping along. The band would take turns on some of the songs to come to the front of the stage to jig. They got a standing ovation twice, and came back out for a triumphant encore.Read more "Còig – August 14th, 2014 – St. James Hall, Vancouver, 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.Read more "Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival – August 9th, 2014 – Deer Lake, Burnaby, British Columbia"
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.Read more "Rape Blossoms – Ruinenlust"
The UK has produced absolutely brilliant musical comedians. Bill Bailey, Dead Cat Bounce, Eric Idle… heck, even David O’Doherty. LXCO, I’m sorry to say, is not among them.Read more "LXCO – Don’t Be a Cat"
Sault Ste. Marie band Jack Spades released The First April 20th, thirteen solid minutes of driving punk thrash with a rock and roll feel. It’s an album you want to turn up while driving – I just wish there was more of it so I could drive a little further!Read more "Jack Spades – The First"