by Nilabjo Banerjee
Tuesday night at the cozy Dakota Tavern has been home to West Coast alt-country sounds of The Matinee all November. Last night, they hosted the jam with help from local friends Rival Boys and Jane’s Party.

Rival Boys got the party started shortly after 9:30. The trio didn’t let the technical difficulties get in their way of delievering exciting rock music with flavours of grunge pop. Fronted by Lee Rose on bass and vocals, and help from brother Graeme on guitars and Sam Sholdice on drums, the three piece played through material off their debut Mutual Feelings of Love. Lee was impressive by juggling bass, fiddles and vocals on some of the quieter songs. The fiddle did slightly out of place amidst the indie-rock tones of bulk of the material. Sholdice’s passionate drum pounding injected some extra energy to the opening set, highlight being a cover of Wolf Parade’s I Believe in Anything.

Cameron House regulars (and now signed to their label) Jane’s Party have the pop sensibilities of The Beach Boys with indie-rock elements of The Strokes. Playing numbers mostly from the new sophomore release Hot Noise, the band compensated for no mid-song banter with groovy tunes about being on the road and love. The ol’ school organ riffs and blues rock infused with three parts vocal harmonies got few more hips swaying and heads bobbing.

Van City’s The Matinee ironically kept the party going till wee hours of the night into the morning. This was the second last show of the residency at The Dakota, before they head home to the west. Their debut, We Swore We’d See The Sunrise, released earlier this year, was a regular staple in my 2013 summer playlist and helped me forget the horridness of “Blurred Lines” (…and now its back again!). The five-piece play classic rock with sips of whiskey country and pay homage to 70s with their bell bottom jeans and intense beards! To the sparse few who stuck around were privy to a high energy set from a band that was all genuine about the music minus the pretence of being rock stars. They even surprised one of the Dakota bartenders Dani (female) with birthday wishes and shots! Something about that is very Canadian! With bulk of the material (obviously) from the debut album, the set was sprinkled with ode to their influences like Neil Young’s Old Man. Respect!

The album boasts Tom Petty-esque classic rock singles like “Young and Lazy” and “The Road” prime for serious radio play. Pair that with a bustling LIVE (upper case intended) show, The Matinee is paying respects to their musical heroes the right way.