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.
This year’s International Women’s Day at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre saw the performance of Luminescence: Chanteuse to the Power of Three, featuring the Canadian singer-songwriters Sarah Jickling, Kristina Shelden and headliner Christa Couture.