My new favourite genre, without a doubt, has got to be proto-punk. It enlists a vision of early man expressing himself through double-time 4/4 beats and incoherent yelling. But in actuality, proto-punk refers to the punk music that existed before punk music really existed. Billed as ‘before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols, or even the Ramones’ the band called Death has one of the most fascinating stories in rock and roll, and earns the illustrious title of proto-punk to the fullest degree. On November 1st, Death visited the Rickshaw Theatre to revise the music history books.
Arriving at the Biltmore for a Friday nite gig one usually has a set of certain expectations. On this particular evening it was seeing former Portland-based indie/alt rock act Hockey. After an initial slow trickle of attendees and slightly peculiar crowd mix seemed to cause delay, somehow everything seemed to work itself out just right and become more intimate and cheery by the conclusion of a wonderful musical entertainment experience.
Peter Murphy has been making music for the greater part of 35 years and is most notable as the front-man and lyrical force behind legendary Goth-rock outfit Bauhaus. The original lineup composed of Daniel Ash (guitar) David J. (bass) and Kevin Haskins (drums) were not on hand this night however. After a slew of bad breakups beginning in 1984 and ending in 2009, it’s not so surprising that those three individuals are no longer in the picture. In fact they would later go on to form the more pop and mainstream friendly Love and Rockets, as Murphy would continue his career a solo figure.
By all rights San Francisco/Oakland based indie rockers Rogue Wave should not even exist in the year 2013. This band has been through such heartache and turmoil since their inception that likely no one would blame them if they packed it in and called it a day. The fact that they still do have a pulse speaks to their collective passion and desire to play music; and with such hype and brightness, that early on they were often considered northern California’s answer to similar Lo-Fi darlings Built to Spill and Modest Mouse.
While they only garnered a small turnout at the Media Club on June 16th, particularly as it had been a Sunday night, Hooded Fang brought the ease of a friendliness with casual jokes on stage, looking like they had just stepped off and out of their tour van minutes before their performance.
The first Youth Lagoon album, Year of Hibernation, lived up to the potential of great pop music to affect people by wrapping the listener up in nostalgia and hopeful optimism. Seeing Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers playing these songs live is less important than the collective experience that is shared with everyone in the audience. That comes when you feel everyone around you moving to the same slow rhythm of the echoing bass drum as Powers builds layers of reverb to a climactic chorus that fades to a piano loop.
In an era of manufactured success, Palma Violets are in the midst of a natural ascent to stardom.
Natives of south London, Palma Violets just released their first album 180. To say their album was well received would be an understatement. 180 blew away the British press and won the quartet the title of NME’s best new band of 2013. Their early success has drawn comparisons to the Arctic Monkeys and White Stripes – some impressive company for a new band.
In one of its many past lives Vancouver's landmark Orpheum theatre, as some remember, served as one of the cities' foremost old movie houses. Embodying that spirit the Vancouver Bach Choir has brought back the old time horror movie to its old home at the Orpheum. In a one time only concert the Choir led by maverick conductor Lesley Dala the classic movie was blended with chamber music in a new and exciting way, the 1925 silent version of the Phantom of Opera (based on the terrifying 1920 french novel by Gaston Leoux of the same name, not the story from the broadway musical).
On March 27 Doldrums rolled through Vancouver at the Biltmore with supporting acts Sean Nicholas Savage and Agor (one half of Blue Hawaii). The bands come from Montreal and share the label Arbutus Records, which is home to a wave of artists doing crazy new things with electronic music and that was introduced to the rest of the world when Grimes took over with her album Visions. Doldrums is coming off of positively reviewed shows at Austin’s SXSW and hype for his debut album, Lesser Evil.
On April 20, CJSF 90.1 FM in collaboration with CiTR 101.9 FM will be broadcasting live from Record Store Day. Both stations will be at record stores all around Vancouver broadcasting live performances and interviews with participating artists.