by Tiana Feng
Night 3 of Wavelength 14 took place in a less traditional venue, the Polish Combattants Hall on Beverley Street. The banquet hall was a larger space them some of the venues but it was required because later in the night we were graced with the presence of Colin Stetson. Continue Reading
by Nilabjo Banerjee
Horseshoe Tavern celebrated its 66th year of existence with three raging nights of Matt Mays and I took on the first night.
There was a decent crowd in time for the opener, Ladies of the Canyon. The Montreal-based female band, whose moniker is inspired by a Joni Mitchell album, dropped few jaws opening with a capella harmonies of “She Crossed The River”. Most of the set featured songs from their sophomore release Diamond Heart. Whether it was the retro attires, the highlight was Jasmine Bleile’s leopard-print top, or singing songs about ‘sex, drugs & rock’n roll’, these ladies were bringing the 70s back to life. Taking a break from the banging guitar solos, the four-piece excelled in the mellower jams as well, ending the set with “People of the Sun”, a poignant tune dedicated to neglect of Aboriginal Canadians.
Presence yielding excitement from the ladies and dudes alike, Matt Mays (and his beautiful beard) upped the decibels of rock n’ roll to 11. Recently having finished an acoustic tour, Mays was cherishing the opportunity to be loud. And the packed house wasn’t complaining! Backed by a full band, including the Fonzi look-alike guitarist Adam Baldwin, skinny tie & suspenders rocking Mays played songs from his stellar five album catalogue, including the last release Coyote. The encore featured a surprise duet with the beautiful Whitney Rose. The exhaustive set-list left minimal time for banter, except a mention of Rob Ford ‘being a dick’. Thankfully, that was brief.
Witnessing Mays unleash his inner rock beast is an experience unmatched. Full of raw energy and exemplary guitar chops, Matt Mays has certainly evolved into a rock god. The proof is in the beard.
Review by Nilabjo / Photos by Cristina Bianchi
Vancouverites (or fans of the bands from the city) in the TDot were in good numbers at The Drake Friday night. The city’s music jewels The Belle Game were in town, and brought along city-kins Bear Mountain to the party. And it was a party all right! Continue Reading
by Nilabjo Banerjee
If quirky songs paired with wide variety of instruments turns you on, then you should give Vancouver’s own Jordan Klassen a listen. Touring behind the newly released Repentance on Toronto’s indie label Nevado Records, Jordan was in town with his four-piece band to wow the new fans and satisfy the current ones.
Starting the night off was Emilie Mover, also on Nevado, who only needed a guitar, her earnest and captivating voice and rad black jacket to hold the attention of the room. You may also recognize her as the voice of the song from the Dodge Commercial. Her cheeky songs about love and heartbreak paired with her humorous banter was charming. The highlight of the set was Emilie’s rendition of Jorge Ben Jor’s “Chove Chuva”. Yep! She did a cover of a Portugese song!
As the crowd was filling in, Jordan and co started their act with “Balcony”. The ukele-banjo pairing, wicked harmonies and quirky a capella ending let the new fans know that Jordan wasn’t your average singer/songwriter. Having listened to the album few times, I was nervous how the rich and complex orchestration of the songs would translate live. Those fears were replaced by awe after listening to highlights such as the “Go To Me”and “The Horses are Stuck”.
Throughout the set, Jordan had the demeanour of a restless and nervous child. There were times when he would prance around with the mandolin. Yet, when asking people to buy the music at the back, he got sheepish. He didn’t hold back when introducing the band, presenting bassist Mike Edel as the guy who stops to smell the roses and the roses like it. That`s comedy gold!
Vancouver music scene has been consistent in producing catchy indie pop and rock. Jordan Klassen is here to let you know that it’s possible to have fun with ukulele and mandolins.
Stream the new full length Repentance HERE
by Nilabjo Banerjee
Pride of Lindsay, Ontario (other than Ron Ellis), The Strumbellas hosted an invite-only party for the local bloggers and media folk to celebrate the new album We Still Move on the Dance Floors, coming out next Tuesday. The nearly packed room, with poutine and beer in hand, was ready to hear the tracks off the Ryan Haddock (The Lumineers) produced gem.
As soon as the band started the vocal harmonies of “Sailing”,one thing was clear: THEY can sing! Big harmonies, catchy choruses and bluegrass-fused rock is what The Strumbellas do best, and they were on their game tonight. The barefoot and bearded Simon Ward was under the weather (he joked his vocals were in survivor zone), but that didn’t down his spirits or sense of humour. The perfect blending of the instrumentation on the record translated even better live. There were times when the bass drum was competing with the loud thumping of the stage courtesy of David Ritter (keyboard, vocals). I love that guy!
Stream the new record We Still Move on the Dance Floors HERE
by Tiana Feng
The thing about Indieweek is you never quite know what you’re in for. I remember past years I was surprised when the frontman of a Japanese band started singing in an operatic manner. Anyways, after the Hideout I headed to the Rivoli. Halifax’s Scrapes were playing some relatively safe alt-rock tunes. In the middle of their set Partycat rolled in with large cases of gear and knew it was going to get loud next. Continue Reading