An interesting event and form of music has been introduced to us that I’ve been wanting to share on the blog. The Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble is a Chinese-Canadian arts group that performs music on traditional instruments that are plucked, bowed, blown and purcussive. The music is enchanting and peaceful, which is perfect for the setting at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, one of my favourite spots in the city! Beyond the intrigue of new instruments and musical styles, the Speaking Strings Utter Things is actually a mix of music and improv: comedy and drama. The personality of the instruments and the ensemble will be brought to life on stage in never before seen ways, as only the excitement of improv can do.
“Presenting a unique collaboration improv actors Chinese violins that have the ability to imitate the tone and colour of a human voice, these ancient instruments will be showcased in humor – speaking, weeping, singing and squealing in delight.”
To listen to some of the recordings, click the CD Baby page to hear some samples and consider attending the unique event.
Sunday, May 26 2013, 7:30 pm
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden | 578 Carrall St. Vancouver
Tickets at Doors 7pm $15 General | $10 Students/Seniors speakingstrings.brownpapertickets.com
Beekeeper has to be one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets. This is probably because upon first listen one become incredibly disoriented and doesn’t know quite what to think. The band is quirky to say the least. However upon a second listen, Beekeeper starts to get under your skin until you can’t help but love them and all their peculiarities. They played the Electric Owl last night, and I honestly have to say that every time I see the band I am more impressed. It may be safe to say that we at the VMR have become hooked to Beekeeper.
It feels like it has been forever since we last saw Rococode play in Vancouver. The band has been taking some time to write and record their new album over the past several months and recently released a taste of what is to come on their Follow You Round EP. Although the band has had a big cross Canada tour on their way to CMW and a handful of US shows, it has been months since they have played a hometown show.
First up for the evening was duo Colourful Language who were entirely new to us. I was actually really drawn in by them, and singer Zoe Fitch was warm and inviting, and surprised me with her finessed voice and style. They definitely reminded me of a similar local duo, Data Romance, but Colourful Language brought their own, new element. If you’re intrigued, check out their EP This Is A Test on Bandcamp.
Next was fellow Peak Performance Project alumi, Tough Lovers. As always, they made our hearts swoon and our feet dance. They whipped out some new music for our ears, and their new song “Mouthful of Blood” excited me both in the moment because it was wonderful, but also because it reminded me of the huge potential of these guys and wanting to see them write so much more new music. My favourites “Started with a Spark” and “Before the Sun Sets” had me singing along with half of the Media Club, they are definitely total crowd-pleasers.
Finally it was time for Rococode to hit the stage. They opened with a new song before launching into some of our favourite from their 2012 album Guns, Sex & Glory such as “Empire” and the incredibly chilling ”Ghost I” and “Ghost II”. However the best part of the evening was hearing how Rococodes new songs translated to a live audience. I absolutely loved “Follow You Round” with it’s much more prominent synth and great co-vocals between both Andrew Braun and Laura Smith. It was definitely an odd experience to see Rococode without former drummer Johnny Andrews, but their new drummer did a pretty good job nevertheless. The highlight of the show was my favourite Rococode song ever “Death of a Payphone” as well as their simple encore of “Tina”. Overall it was a pretty great return that satisfied both my love of their well loved music from Guns, Sex & Glory and also got me stoked to hear what they have come up with for their next album.
BESTiE are a 4-piece Vancouver band that list their influences as “summer, ice cream, the beach, girls, floating down a river in an inner tube, high fives and heart break”. You should check out our friends Backstage Rider’s chat with the guys on 11 Things You Should Know About BESTiE. Currently they don’t have a full length album or an EP out, but the boys will be opening for Gold & Youth tonight at Fortune Sound Club.
SUUNS is midway through a world tour, taking Canadian music to the ends of the earth. This intellectual, interesting, and intense music has spread like wildfire past Canadian borders and into the world of respected noise pop. Their latest release came out in March on Secret City Records, Images du Futur. The record was imagined in Quebec during the student protests of 2012, which Ben Shemie describes as ”a climate of excitement, hope and frustration.” The band wrote, recorded, toured, and even curated the SONIC CITY music festival in Belgium all throughout the year in 2012, then released a video off of the new record in both January and February, 2020 being the latest. It’s definitely been busy, but that means that fans have lots to listen to and look forward to. Enjoy this new music!
Images du Futur is available to purchase online from Secret City Records here. SUUNS play The Media Club in Vancouver With Special Guests The Backhomes Thursday May 23, 2013 Doors at 8:00pm, Show at 9:30pm; 19+
We’ve been fans of Canadian-Swiss singer Rykka for a while, and I knew the last time I saw her perform that she would continue to rise in talent, creativity, and following. If you love strong, fun, and sassy female singers that pump the synth and get the dance floor moving, then she should definitely be on your radar.
Her upcoming record Kodiak is available to stream on Soundcloud, which you should definitely check out before the release party on June 1st at Vancouver Fanclub! The entire album is written from different animal perspectives, which makes the listening experience a bit trippy. To do a little preview of her live singing, this Song of the Day is actually one of my favourite Civil Wars songs (okay, they are all my favourite) and I really love Rykka’s take on it. Some of the delicacy is shed from the original, but Rykka’s powerful voice adds a punch to the song that really fits. Take a listen and see what you think!
Rykka at Vancouver Fanclub Kodiak Release Party. Guests Ryan Guldemond and Rococode (duo) Facebook event. TICKETS $10 Advance | $15 Door available here.
Normally we don’t post on the topic of talent competitions here at the VMR, but sometimes we just can’t help ourselves. Make Music Matter is a Canadian charity that focuses on the importance of providing young people the opportunity to be heard creatively. We happen to agree, and have also noticed that many of our readers are the next generation of Canadian music.
They have launched a talent competition entitled My Song for Change along with Western Union Canada. Participants are asked to submit an original musical performance online at MySongForChange.com, focusing on the global issues they face in tandem with other people around the world. An online voting system will determine the top ten finalists, and an expert panel will select the winner. The winner will have his or her song, and accompanying video, produced in a professional recording studio, along with Canadian celebrity musicians Cone McCaslin of Sum 41 and Ian D’Sa of Billy Talent.
Submissions will be accepted until June 15, so get out those iPhones and start recording your original content. Voting takes place between June 16 and July 24 and the winner will be announced by July 31.
When was the last time you heard an amazing a-capella cannon? These girls will blow your mind. The Abramson Singers come to Vancouver to play Chapel Arts. Be sure to check out Late Riser, their newest album, before the show. While you’re there, make sure to stay for Tariq Hussain who is also releasing his latest EP Moonwalker. This will be an amazing night of Canadian music, presented by A Loose Affiliation of Millionaires arts collective. We’ll be long gone on the road across Canada, but if you are in town this will be the place to be!
The Abramson Singers May 30, 2013 @ The Chapel, Vancouver, BC (Double Album Release Party with Tariq Hussain) with Astral Swans. Details on the Facebook event.
We’d like to introduce our readers to Van Damsel, a four piece indie-rock band from Kamloops, BC! “The Sunshine, Girl” is a bright, upbeat, rocking track that reminds us of Vampire Weekend; perfect music to kick off your May Long Weekend! We’re hoping to see these guys in the Peak Performance Project this year. Currently, the guys have a July 25th show in Vancouver and the venue is TBD at this time. Keep checking their Facebook page for updates!
Vancouver electro-pop trio DiRTY RADiO are one of my favouite local musical discoveries of last year. Farshad “Shaddy” Edalat, Anthony “Tonez” Dolhai, and Zachary Forbes have the perfect chemistry to make night clubs roar and car trips ultra fun when they come on the radio. After just releasing their EP Lick 1.0 last month (and playing a SOLD OUT release party at Joe’s Apartment) they are now part of the line up at Molson Canadian Ampitheatre show in Toronto with Mariana’s Trench & Lights. These guys are definitely working hard to climb to the top of Canadian charts, and be a proud addition to our musical exports. Check out “In My Head,” the single from Lick 1.0 to see what I mean.