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CO NTENTS Jan - Feb 2011, Issue 84 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 & 5 Performing & recording cover songs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 BY MARC-ALEXANDRE POIRIER

Slow down! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 BY DAVID NEWBERRY

Music to paddle by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 BY ANDREA LAW

Musical Beef (redux) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 - 11 BY SHANE KOYCZAN

To review or not review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 BY BARBARA BRUEDERLIN

Venues! Your guide to many of them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 - 25 My favourite venue, and you’ll never know what it is. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 BY KEVIN KANE

This Winding Road: Getting your tour booked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 BY LINDA MCRAE

Metal! It’s about time we covered BC’s metal scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 BY SHANE HUMBER

Playing the train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 - 31 BY MELISA DEVOST

Victory Party! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 BY GEOFF BERNER

Adventures of the festival arts bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 BY ALEXANDER ROSS

VUE Studios: a fine place to record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 BY CHRISTINA ZAENKER

Tips for running a successful venue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 BY CARLA STEPHENSON

The morning after the night before in the West Kootenays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 BY CARLA STEPHENSON

From Rika, of the band Warless: Hey Everyone at BCM! THANK YOU so F^%& much for the festivals listing and submission details!!! That is such an amazing thing to do for musicians! Thank you!!! When Bobbie Blue of the Filberg Festival emailed to let us know that we made an error in their data in our Guide to Applying to Festivals, she included these kind words: “Loved your latest issue of BC Musician - The guide to applying to summer festivals was a brilliant idea - And I know that it is working well as I had a great increase in applications to the Filberg Festival as soon as your magazine came out.” Correction: We included some wrong information for the Filberg Festival in our last issue. Mailed CDs only when you apply to this festival. We apologize for that error! And make a note on your calendar now, the Filberg Festival in Comox is July 29 - August 1 Please send us your letters! You can also send us CDs. We’re doing something a little different in the Mar/Apr issue with CDs that we’ve received. Everyone who has submitted a CD in the last year will be mentioned, one way or another, maybe even twice.

ISSN 1918 -560x 84 BC Musician Magazine is published by Patanga Steamship Co. PO Box 1150 Peachland, BC V0H 1X0 604.999.4141

Publisher, Editor Leanne Nash Associate Publisher, Editor Christina Zaenker Associate Editor Paul Crawford Managing Editor Michele Morrow Kootenay Content & Marketing Carla Stephenson Advertising & Marketing Representatives Lower Mainland and Interior Christina Zaenker Okanagan Mike Hamm Fraser Valley & Northeast Kelly Ingram Alberta Ashley Doull Design Shawn Wernig No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Canada Post Agreement 41440066

ISSN 1918-560X

CO NTRIBUTORS Barbara Bruederlin is a freelance

writer in Calgary. She is trying to singlehandedly save the arts community in Canada by promoting struggling musicians and theatre troupes. Her reviews are regularly linked on the press pages of the Calgary Folk Music Festival and Sage Theatre. Barbara also maintains an insanely popular blog, Bad Tempered Zombie. Her writing has been published in Prairie Fire Magazine, Swerve Magazine, Kitschykoo! Subcultural Magazine, and Alberta Views Magazine.

Shane Humber is a guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist and songwriter from Campbell River, BC. Born in Newfoundland, he grew up on Vancouver Island. Shane has been playing music almost all of his life, and feels passionately enough about it to have music notes tattooed onto his ears. His music of choice is Punk Rock and Death Metal, but he prides himself on being able to “sit through almost anything.” Shane also draws and would like to learn how to tattoo. Alexander Ross produces and coordinates unusual multi-arts projects, including MediuM creative warehouse and the Renaissance Festival arts village. Alex has worked and volunteered in all kinds of roles at every music festival he can get to. Presently between ridiculous adventures, Alex is studying Arts Management and freelancing as a graphic designer, creating funky music posters.


After numerous international tours, festival appearances, airplay on national radio in 7 countries, and slots on tour with artists such as Billy Bragg, Kaizers Orchestra, Balkan Beat Box and the Be Good Tanyas (who covered his song “Light Enough to Travel,” selling over 100,000 copies),

Geoff Berner

has garnered critical acclaim and a cult following for his sharp songwriting and cabaret performance style. “I want to make original klezmer music that’s drunk, dirty, political and passionate.” Sallying forth as an apostle of culture, Andrea Law plied her trade for many years as the quintessential quirky librarian. She devoted many years to the service of education and intellectual freedom, firm in the belief that “knowledge is power”. She recently abandoned that axiom to explore the darker side of philosophy, ergo “ignorance is bliss, and so is chocolate”. Andrea plays double bass for the Vancouver indieroots band Willy Blizzard.

Linda McRae spent 8 years touring

the world with Platinum recording artists Spirit of the West. She has since released 3 critically acclaimed solo recordings and in 2007 was awarded a Canada Council Study Grant to work with Grammy winner Jon Vezner in Nashville, TN and clawhammer banjo aficionado Brad Leftwich in Bloomington, IN. Linda was married in a bail bonds office in Jackson, TN to James Whitmire, a retired donkey rancher-turned poet. They are working on a new CD of their own songs and a one-act play about how they met.

BC Musician | January - February 2011

Carla Stephenson has been involved

in the underground Canadian music industry for years. She and her husband owned a venue on Vancouver Island and are now owners of Underground Arts Railroad, a website that connects musicians to venues across Canada. She now lives with her touring musician husband and their two amazing kids in Ymir BC where they continue to support indie musicians at the Ymir Schoohouse.

An accomplished cellist and vocalist,

Christina Zaenker has contributed lush accompaniments to many albums by BC artists such as Yael Wand, Kevin Kane, Joey Only Outlaw Band, Don Alder, and Pacifika. She has lived on Haida Gwaii, in Wells and Vancouver, and likes to connect the musical dots across BC. On MySpace you'll find her as "zippycello". Marc-Alexandre Poirier has, in a

past life, worked as a lawyer in Montreal and Hong Kong. He recently moved to Vancouver to pursue a career as a musician, songwriter and music producer. Marc is a cofounder of RightOnTune, a music publishing and production company dedicated to finding an audience for the music of independent artists. Marc is also member of the board of directors of the Music BC Charitable Foundation, which aims to help B.C.’s youth get the benefits of a musical education. Check out Marc’s blog, which discusses key business and legal issues for independent Canadian musicians, at www.


Richard Chapman has worked with

a wide variety of great Canadian artists for nearly three decades - from the Rheostatics and Herald Nix to Moose Records and The Pointed Sticks. Currently he conducts the Northern Electric collective www.

Dave Newberry did a masters in Political Science before he discovered he wanted be a folk singer. So he toured Canada for two years and decided he was better off in a rock band. Now he lives in Vancouver and thinks he is a journalist. His most recent album, ‘When We Learn The Things We Need To Learn’ is available from Northern Electric Records. Kevin Kane has worn many musical hats

over the years: songwriter, recording artist and touring musician (both solo and as vocalist/guitarist with Capitol/EMI’s platinumselling The Grapes Of Wrath, as well as with Leeroy Stagger And The Wildflowers), record producer, session musician, lecturer, educator and has even built guitars and amplifiers. A BC resident his whole life, Kane now lives in Toronto and performs with CANCON super-group Stellar Band Of Neighbours and The Grapes Of Wrath, whose original members regrouped in the summer of 2010 after an 18 year hiatus.

Born and raised in northwestern Canada,

Shane Koyczan

was the first poet from outside the USA to win the prestigious USA National Individual Poetry Slam. He has performed to full houses around the world — from university amphitheaters to the most respected music and literary festivals. He has rocked the stage at the Edinburgh Book Festival, the Vancouver International Writers Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the 2007 Canada Day Celebrations in Ottawa, and the 2010 Olympic opening ceremonies in Vancouver.

Melisa Devost is a musician currently living in Vancouver. In addition to having released two solo records and toured extensively, she sits in and records with various other projects and plays bass in Indie rock band Propolis. Somewhere in between all this, she also teaches music and writes things other than songs, which sometimes find their way into a publication.

Cover Inspiration RIchard Chapman’s cover is inspired by this month’s theme of venues. Looking out from the Royal City and hearing the spirits of our venues past — Hollywood Bowl, Grooveyard, Cascades Drive-in. Clubs that hosted Bo Diddley, The Sonics, Ike & Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, The Spinners, The Nocturnals, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Kingsmen and on and on.

Get on board. Advertise in BC Musician Magazine We are booking now for our

3rd Annual Summer Festival Guide

to be published May, 2011 and distributed throughout BC & Alberta.

BC Musician | January - February 2011


performing & recording cover songs By Marc-Alexandre Poirier A good cover song can be an essential part of an artist’s repertoire. Cover songs provide a chance to add some familiarity to the artist’s performance and potentially enlarge his or her fan base. However, artists who wish to perform or record cover songs should be aware of the legal rules that apply. Performing Cover Songs When an artist performs a cover song, the copyright owners are paid royalties through performing rights organizations (PROs), like SOCAN in Canada, or ASCAP and BMI in the US. The PROs charge music users, like bars, clubs and restaurants, a licensing fee and pay the owners their share of performance royalties. An artist who wants to do a live cover song needs only to ensure that he or she is

Want your music to be heard?

playing in a venue and a single, standard licensed by a PRO, rate applies to most which allows the reproductions. Additional useful venue to have live If an artist wishes to ininformation on getting bands that play cover clude a cover version of mechanical licenses is songs. Look for a a song on a recording to PRO sticker on the be released in Canada, available online door or front window. it is essential to apply to CMRRA -; As a performer, the the CMRRA or SODRAC SODRAC - artist does not have in advance in order to to pay any public get the appropriate liperformance royalties. censes. If neither of these These are covered by the license fee that is organizations represent the copyright ownpaid by the venue which hired the artist to ers of the desired song, then it is the artist’s perform. responsibility to locate the missing copyRecording Cover Songs right owners and get a license from them. If In order for artists to record cover songs, a song is recorded without the appropriate they must get the copyright owners’ permislicense, this is copyright infringement. sion to do so. This permission is referred For digital releases through established to as a “mechanical license”. In return for online service providers in Canada (such as the license, the artist will be required to iTunes or CD Baby), the artist does not need pay “mechanical royalties” based on the to get any separate licenses. The CMRA / number of recordings made. SODRAC take the view that it is the service To simplify the licensing process, most providers who are responsible for getting writers and music publishers have bethe necessary licenses for tracks downcome members of reproduction rights loaded by Canadian residents. For digital organizations, such as the CMRRA and releases in the US, a separate digital license the SODRAC in Canada or the Harry Fox must be obtained by the artist when seeking Agency in the US. These organizations grant permission to record the cover song. There mechanical licenses and collect royalties on are several on-line services (such as those behalf of their members. Rates for mechanioffered by RightsFlow and The Harry Fox cal licenses are set by negotiation between Agency) which help simplify the process of the record industry and music publishers clearing cover songs in the US.

RightOnTune is a music licensing company, dedicated to finding an audience for your music. We’re always looking for talented and committed independent artists to add to our roster. If you fit this description and your music has been independently released and is ready to be promoted, we want to hear from you!


BC Musician | January - February 2011





BC Musician | January - February 2011


slow down An argument for sensible tour-driving in Canada By Dave Newberry

If you are a Canadian touring musician, or you are thinking about becoming one, you are wandering into a world in which about half of your waking hours will be spent behind the wheel of a moving motorized vehicle. This pretty much makes you a long haul trucker with a guitar. Logic would suggest that the more time you spend behind the wheel, the more likely you are to encounter dangerous scenarios on the road. Further logic might even suggest that this elevated risk factor would


make musicians some of the most safety conscious drivers out there. And yet we’re notoriously reckless drivers, speeders, and general ne’er-do’-wells behind the wheel. Let’s be honest with ourselves: Most of us became musicians because it’s the only thing we’re great at, so how can we be expected to be good at such trivial, non-creative things as driving safely? I’ve been in a car with dozens of other Canadian musician-drivers, and more than a few of them (which is to say, almost all of them) receive a resounding Fail in the ‘making your passengers feel safe and comfortable’ category, and I’m suggesting that it is time that we smarten up. If you’re planning on living long enough to impress David Geffen (or at least long enough to see your newest YouTube effort go viral), then it’s time to slow down. A lot. I’ll spare you most of the 50 reasons why driving unnecessarily fast is unnecessarily dangerous, and just present a few reasons why my old-man approach to the road makes good sense. No one wants to be late for a gig. It’s unprofessional and could hurt your chances of getting to play there again. But let’s delve into worst case scenario territory for a moment: Do you really want to be known as the person who flew off of the road and caused a horrible car crash so that you could be 15 minutes early for sound check in Godknowswhere, Alberta? However, if you’re late for your opening slot at a Leonard Cohen stadium gig, then by all means, put the pedal to the floor, as the High Priest of Pathos shouldn’t be kept waiting. But you know who can be kept waiting? The people at McSomethings Suburban Irish CrapHole who are going to chat all over the open-mic hosting gig you’re recklessly hurtling your vehicle towards. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite fond of McSomething, and I will host his open-mic until end times, I’m just not risking any hides to do it). The average car weighs about 4000 pounds. The average nine year-old walk-

BC Musician | January - February 2011

ing his dog on the side of a highway weights about 60. And no matter where you are in Canada, there’s a pretty good likelihood that something large with antlers and/or horns is keen to lick salt off the road just beyond the next bend. There are a lot of bad laws out there that deserve to be broken. Tons of them. Piles and piles and piles of them. But speed limits? I’m not sure that speed limits are oppressing you as much as you might think. You see, the people who make speed limits aren’t dicks, they’re engineers. And while engineers might not be all that interesting – and probably not inclined to buy your CD – they are very very good at figuring stuff out. Stuff like: how fast would it be sensible for a four ton piece of metal on wheels to careen around this bend? Now, the people who enforce speed limits, they can be dicks, I understand that as much as the next guy. And I know it is both fashionable and sensible for people in alternative professions like ours to dislike those in positions of authority, but hating the cops isn’t a good excuse to speed, and it certainly won’t help you not get a ticket. In fact, some tiny prairie towns have recently started up their own police forces that function solely as highway-side, ticket-giving, municipal fundraising squads. I don’t know what kind of operating budget you’ve got going on for your cross-Canada-in-a-van tour, but if your operation is bringing in enough money to laugh off British Columbia’s $483 excessive speed ticket, then I’d love to sit down for a coffee and learn your trade secrets. In short: There is so much worthwhile and joyful recklessness involved in a life on the road that it just makes sense to select the risks that deliver the most fascinating and satisfying rewards. Driving too fast won’t make your trip any more interesting, but it might make it more dangerous and expensive. Or much shorter, in the worst kind of way.

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museum music By Andrea Law A while back, Willy Blizzard was would have been known to voyageurs. making its way along the back roads of We tried to lyrically incorporate referCanada, making music and soaking up ences to the peoples and individuals who the countryside and all it has to offer. participated in the development of the fur Stopping at The Canadian Canoe Museum trade, including First Nations. I was captivated by the museum and so This song is an example of the creativity entranced by the Voyageur Encampment that can be inspired by a well-presented Gallery in particular that I wrote a song display in a well-appointed collection. In called “Along for the Ride.” Willy Blizzard’s case, it became an expeThe museum gallery reminded me a lot rience transformed into song. of the famous painting by Frances Ann Hopkins called “Voyageurs at Dawn.” She was the wife of the secretary to Hudson’s Willy Blizzard is honoured to have Bay Company Governor, Sir George “Along For The Ride” showcased Simpson, who accompanied her husband with the Canadian Canoe Museum. and his boss as they went about their Download the song for free duties by canoe. As an artist, she left such at an accurate record of what she saw first php/20110105315/news/news/museumhand. inspires-songhtml  The gallery display remained in my mind for the duration of our road trip. One night, we settled into our illegally parked camper beside the eastern shore of Lake Superior. That night, the November raging wind was so loud that I could not sleep. Lying there, wide awake, I recalled the details of the museum display, and started composing the words to the song “Along for the Ride.” The musical template was added later. Any song about rivers and canoes should have energy, and we tried to match the tempo to a rhythm of paddling. We utilized traditional instruments (fiddle, banjo, etc.) that

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BC Musician | January - February 2011


musical beef By Shane Koyczan

*We don’t generally reprint stories from issues gone by, but Shane Koyczan’s awesome ode deserved a second reading. And it’s a fitting call to action for our venues issue. So if we can’t convince you to get out and appreciate music live, maybe Shane’s words will move you instead.



Not everyone remembers the television ad that had an old woman looking at a small burger on an oversized bun shouting “where’s the beef?” but the pop culture reference has woven itself into the tapestry of today and while our burgers are now too big and are contributing to the obesity epidemic the saying remains but beef becomes a metaphor in this case it was someone talking about music asking “where’s the beef?” complaining that no bands ever come through the Okanagan but I disagree I’ve seen some great musicians tour through the valley on their way across Canada coming from or going to Vancouver the fact is that we are perfectly situated to be a kind of musical weigh station like the one where han solo blasts greedo minus the violence and aliens who carry blasters of course so the question is not where is the musical beef? it’s here being served up in cafes and bars by musicians who want nothing more than to stuff some awesome into our hearing holes to have us tap out their drum beats on our table tops or beer mugs wanting to turn their songs into ninja throwing stars then hurl them at us until they are stuck in our heads so the question should be… where are the musical beef lovers? are they stuck like itunes on repeat in nightclubs that serve nothing but diet “pop”? some of them are and that scene has its place as not all music can be danced to but for those who continue to moan the dreaded anthem “there’s nothing to do” I suppose my question is “where the fuck are you” just like the dodo bird… bands are going extinct fizzling out like sparklers at a birthday party where the wish made before blowing out the candles is never made for the benefit of others so where are you? what is it? is there a sudden lack of posters or flyers? no judging by the amount of postering and flyering that each indie band does a year it is reasonable to assume that each one probably goes through one or two trees worth of paper (and yes each band should collectively plant one or two trees annually if not only to replenish than at least for the karma points which can be later cashed in to win cheap prizes like fresh air) “bigger” bands who insist on “bigger” posters and consistently cover entire walls with their promotions leaving no room for “smaller” bands already struggling to find an audience should plant forests and then “fuck off” we know you’re playing at the saddle dome or thunder dome or the really big dome or the mother of all domes dome we know exactly when and where you’ll be playing because we sign up for your mailing lists

BC Musician | January - February 2011

and get one hundred e-mails reminding us that tickets will be on sale soon relax… most of us will be there so is it a lack of publicity? maybe it seems that all we hear about are the bands who sell out stadiums the bands that don’t really need the press but any magazine or newspaper person will tell you “it’s what sells” so what about the free publication? one of the last refuges for art and independence why does a stadium band get a four page spread there? while the lowly indie artist dines on the crumbs of exposure as if a listing in the events section is enough to let folks know why they’re worth checking out true… a free publication should hold itself to a higher standard but even they are not completely to blame they have no way of knowing what you want to read or learn more about they have no way of knowing what you never want to hear about again so let them know… write in or blog or talk… do something because maybe you heard a band once and maybe you didn’t have a shovel handy but it didn’t keep you from digging them any less and maybe you bought their CD and it was a cheap burn job because they couldn’t afford a replication run because they worked shitty jobs that just pay the rent and to them a paying gig is 25 bucks each and a free meal but that didn’t stop you from playing it over and over again and then playing it for your friends and maybe your friends were like “this music gives me a boner” and maybe you felt a deep satisfaction (not in giving your friends a boner) in knowing that others can appreciate something in the same way you can my point… be an explorer columbus proved years ago that the world is not flat that there are no dangers of sailing over the edge and your life should be navigated with that knowledge in mind navigate fearlessly go see the bands you’ve never heard of and yes we all know that there are some shitty shitty bands out there that there are some bands who sound like a used bandage floating in a bowl of two day old mushroom soup but a five dollar cover charge is a small price to pay to find out for yourself support your local music scene… support musicians on tour go see a live show… you can always watch your favorite episode of whatever on the next day add some sauce to the dry meat of existence because you can’t find what you love if you don’t look for it but once you do find it don’t forget to share otherwise the rest of us are going to be pissed.

We’d love to have you in our magazine! Please get in touch to discuss advertising Phone: 604-999-4141 fax: 250-767-3337 Mail: Box 1150, Peachland, BC V0H 1X0 or Email: View BC Musician Magazine at

BC BCMusician Musician | | January January- -February February 2011 2011


critiquing the hy pe machine By Barbara Bruederlin It seems a no-brainer that there would be a direct correlation between glowing album reviews and increased album or ticket sales. The reality, however, is a bit more complicated. A completely unscientific survey that I conducted recently amongst a handful of musicians yielded a surprisingly diverse response. Not everyone agrees that a flattering review is the best thing in the history of best things. Nearly everybody uses positive snippets of reviews in press kits, websites and liner notes, of course, and folk singer Allison Brown cites this “stamp of approval” that comes from “anyone putting their own name on the line to support what you’re doing” as both an ego booster and a leap of faith. “It’s more important who is reviewing and publishing,” insists Kenna Burima, of Woodpigeon and the Brenda Vasqueros. She cites tastemakers like Pitchfork, who have “become the makers of so many buzz bands that their audiences use their rating system as a way to decide what they will listen to.” The unparalleled power wielded by these influential sites can not only make or break a band, stresses Burima, but is also symptomatic of the “larger framework of how we disseminate music in this age of file sharing,” which does little to encourage critical assessment of music. Olenka Krakus, of Olenka and the Autumn Lovers agrees that the reputation of the reviewer is paramount. “Reviews in recognized magazines affect reputations,”

she maintains. “Recently a positive review by BrooklynVegan of our PopMontreal showcase turned a few heads our way. These fleeting moments are all a part of the ‘hype machine’ that comprises so much of the contemporary music industry.” However to some musicians, like Montreal’s Briga, getting reviewed acknowledges artistic worth, brings the curious to shows, and provides the profile needed to attract the attention of promoters. “The worst enemy is indifference,” she contends, “if people are talking about it, then my music has made a point.” “It’s like hearing a rumour and you wanna find out if it’s true,” agrees Diana Catherine, who fronts The Thrusty Tweeters, “however, it only works in publications that have devout readers.” She believes that a good review is a solid sales tool. “We got a review in Americana Roots and our CD Baby account lit up like Christmas. There is an immediacy to it; I can click a link and be listening to the album in seconds.” Ironically, the relative ease of disseminating music has made it more difficult to get reviewed in the first place. “I can’t recall a single review of either of our two most current discs having been published,” muses Bob Petterson, bassist with Vancouver’s Mud Bay Blues Band. “We seem to, as a local independent blues band without any sort of label distribution, have enough trouble just getting any sort of review much less a glowing review.” Allison Brown agrees. “With [some] print magazines, you have to have purchased an ad (or be part of a label that’s purchased an ad) to get your review in print.” However, once you do find someone interested in reviewing your record, it’s

Coming next issue: Reviews!

not likely to be trashed. Except amongst a handful of critics, bitingly dismissive reviews are an increasingly rare phenomenon. Shawn Clarke, with Olenka and the Autumn Lovers and formerly with Timber Timbre, recently released a solo album which has garnered only positive reviews. Quality of the album aside, he believes that “a lot of modern reviewers stay away from writing negative reviews. With the amount of music there is to listen to, it’s probably not worth their time.” “So many album reviews are simply ego trips or acts of conspicuous sycophancy indulged in by critics for a variety of reasons,” laments Olenka Krakus. “Sometimes reading the same endless praise for all manner of forgettable, mediocre work leaves one feeling debilitated.” It makes Kenna Burima, who admits she rarely reads them, wonder if reviews still fulfill a need. “What I read now are features and articles that, instead of acting as a vehicle for the critic, place the album and the musician in an interesting context.” Have album reviews really just become vehicles for hyperbole-spewing sycophants? Do we all want to be, as Shawn Clarke suggests, “the guy who discovered that great album”? There may be some truth in that. I can’t speak for my fellow sycophants, but the nice polite Canadian in me strives to find something positive to say about every album I critique, particularly those released by emerging musicians. It is the critic’s responsibility to be honest without being cruel. There is a fine line, though, between encouraging creativity with praise and diluting that praise with reckless overuse. “For the artist,” insists Olenka Krakus, “the focus should always be art, regardless and often in spite of its reception.”

Read the above article and decide for yourself whether or not this is a worthwhile effort. But the Mar/Apr issue of BC Musician Magazine will feature no fewer than 2 sentences on every CD we’ve received in the past year. If you have sent your CD, no harm reminding us with a quick email to that it should be here, somewhere. And if that isn’t the case, please send again to PO Box 1150, Peachland, BC V0H 1X0. We aren’t doing this just to get a bunch of CDs for ourselves. Nope, we give them to our readers. Over the summer we’ll be randomly sending CDs to people. Particularly to our subscribers. Visit for a quick and easy paypal link to subscribe. Help us help musicians by keeping their words in our pages.


BC Musician | January - February 2011

guide to venues around bc Our First Venue Guide


Alexander Mackenzie Hotel

We want to grow this list, and make it work for the touring musicians and the music lovers around the province. Since it’s our first attempt, it’s far from comprehensive. We’d appreciate your feedback and help growing this in the most useful direction for you, the musicians and the audience.

(250) 997-3266 403 Mackenzie Blvd Makenzie, BC V0J 2C0

The Blues Underground Network Prince George, BC

Cafe Voltaire @ Books & Co. (250) 563-6637 1685 - 3rd Ave, Prince George, BC V2L 3G5 Friday night performances.

Alpenhorn Pub (250) 847-5366 1262 Main St, PO Box 3688, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N0

Cariboo Hotel (250) 992-2333 254 Front St Quesnel, BC V2J 1X1

Artspace (250) 614-6648 or (250) 563-6637 Patty 1685 3rd Ave, Prince George, BC, V2L 3G5 Intimate venue, seats approximately 150, sound system and tech available. Upstairs from Books & Company.

Egan’s Pub (250) 263-9992 9404 Alaska Rd, Fort St. John, BC, V1J 6L5

Gator’s Pub (250) 635-0083 4553 Grieg Ave, Terrace BC

JD Fitzgerald’s Pub

ALBERTA (250) 261-6961 9830 - 100th Ave, Fort St. John, BC


Jordy’s Lounge (250) 563-4849 611 Brunswick St, Prince George, BC, V2L 2B9 Lounge and piano bar.


Northern British Columbia

Nancy O’s Restaurant (250) 562-8066 Garrett Fedorkiw & Eoin Foley 1261 - 3rd Ave, Prince George, BC

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast

The New Frontier Bar & Grill (250) 787-2130 10320 100 Ave Fort St John, BC V1J 1Y9 The Islands

Lower Mainland

Thompson Okanagan


BC Rockies


Quesnel Hotel MONTANA

(250) 992-5814 228 Front St Quesnel, BC

BC Musician | January - February 2011

13 12

guide to venues around bc Riverstone Bar & Grill (250) 563-3663 3328 - 15th Ave, Prince George, BC, V2M 0A1

Riverrock Pub & Restaurant (250) 991-0100 290 Hoy St Quesnel, BC V2J 1X1

Rolla’s Pub (250) 759-4537 Rolla Road Rolla, BC

Sportsman’s Inn Pub (250) 783-5523 10101 Beattie, Box 209 Hudson’s Hope, BC V0C 1V0

The Twisted Cork Restaurant (250) 561-5550 1157 5th Ave, Prince George, BC

Tim ‘n Tyc’s 250-785-2525 10403 - 100th Ave Fort St. John, BC


150 Mile Pub Hwy 97 150 Mile House, BC V0K 2G0

Anvil Pub (250) 620-3323 5639 Horsefly Rd, Horsefly, BC V0L 1L0

The Bears Paw Cafe 1-800-994-2345 Dave Jorgenson & Cheryl Macarthy Box 206, Wells, BC V0K 2R0

The Bella Coola Valley Inn & Pub (250) 799-5316 or 1-888-799-5316 Fax (250) 799-5610 441 Mackenzie St, PO Box 758 Bella Coola, BC V0T 1C0

Cariboo Lodge Pub and Restaurant (250) 459-7992 or 1-877-459-7992 Box 459 Clinton, BC V0K 1K0

Chances Casino (250) 627-5687 240 1 Ave West Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1A8

Chartreuse Moose Cappucino Bar (250) 395-4644 162 Birch Ave 100 Mile House, BC

Clinton Coffee House (250) 459-0056 Clinton, BC V0K 1K0

Dusty Rose Neighbourhood Pub (250) 456-2424 Stewart Geoghegan North Bonaparte Rd 70 Mile House, BC V0K 2K0

El Caballo (250) 395-1922 909 Alder Ave 100 Mile House, BC V0K 2E0

The Gecko Tree (250) 398-8983 54 MackKenzie Ave N Williams Lake, BC V2G 1N5

Gold Pan City Dance Studios (250) 992-2292 213 St Laurent Ave, Quesnel, BC, V2J 2C8

Iron Horse Pub (250) 395-2626 6046 Hwy 24, Lone Butte, BC

Island Mountain Arts (250) 994-3466/ Toll free 1-800-442-2787 PO Box 65, Wells, BC, V0K 2R0

Lester Centre of the Arts (250) 627-8888 or Fax (250) 627-7892 1100 McBride St Prince Rupert, BC V8J 3H2

Likely Deacon Hotel Pub Scott Cook performing at the Rolla Pub. Photo Jodie Ponto.


BC Musician | January - February 2011

(250) 790-2345 5013 Likely St, Likely, BC V0L 1N0

guide to venues around bc My Favourite Venue That I Can’t Remember The Name Of By Kevin Kane It was March 2, 1988, and The Grapes Of Wrath were into week 5 of a 14 week US tour in support of “Treehouse”, our first major label release. It was also our first time out in a real tour bus — a rattly old relic from the mid-50s that had served a variety of entertainers, from Fats Domino to the prop comic Gallagher.  Over the course of 67 shows, we played everywhere from legendary rooms like LA’s Roxy Club and Minneapolis’ First Avenue (where Prince did the concert sequences for Purple Rain), to some legendary dumps, such as the club in Louisville, Kentucky that had a dirt floor and stage lighting McGyver-ed from old coffee cans. Though I don’t remember the name of the club I can recall the exact date because prior to playing we all gathered in our Miami Beach hotel room to watch the Grammys and thrill over how U2 had snuck glasses of Guinness to their seats.  That night’s show was at an opulently-appointed Art Deco dance club that looked like the kind of place Valentino and Fatty Arbuckle might have partied at in the 1920s. 

I was concerned over how the $10 cover might affect attendance (this was in 1988 dollars, remember), but the promoter assured me this wouldn’t be an issue as there was a minimum $10 cover every night. He also told me that the Bee Gees would be down as they were there EVERY night; they had their own private room!!!  Sadly, I saw nary a Gibb all evening. Our performance immediately followed a fashion show (you can’t say they didn’t give club goers value for their $10) and the 25 foot long runway that extended out over the dance floor was left in place for a snickering me to awkwardly “work” during each guitar solo.  The crowd was, not surprisingly, comprised primarily of bored-looking models and people who like to hang around with boredlooking models, but at least this audience looked at us.  After playing I went up to the bar to order a beer, glanced up over the bartender’s head, and saw an S&M performance (2 women in fetish gear whipping a thong-clad man tied to a chair) going above the bottles and glasses to the utter indifference of those standing at the bar.

Bone Rattle

Oasis Pub (250) 297-6241 6759 Cariboo Hwy 97 N McLeese Lake, BC V0L 1P0

Queen B’s Cafe & Gallery (250) 559-4463 3208 Wharf St, Queen Charlotte, BC

Red Crow Cafe (250) 396-7778 1 - 4842 Hamilton Rd, Lac La Hache, BC, V0K 1T0

Sunset Theatre (250) 994-3400 or (604) 921-7187 Box 22, 2357 Pooley St, Wells, BC, V0K 2R0

Tom Rooney Play House (250) 624-3626 954 3rd Ave West, PO Box 341 Prince Rupert, BC V8J 3P9

Subscribe Today for a mere $30 a year. Phone: 604.999.4141 Fax: 250.767.3337 Box 1150, Peachland, BC V0H 1X0

guitars amps and accessories

Wells Hotel (250) 994-3427 Box 39, Wells, BC, V0K 2R0

BC Musician | January - February 2011

14 15

The Robson Valley

is a great place to live and make music Home of the Robson Valley Music Festival

1012 Commercial Drive, Valemount Tel: 250-566-4425 Fax: 250-566-4528

I am no stranger to Dunster or the Robson Valley Music Festival. I grew up on the land and can remember when it was just a handful of locals creating this beautiful thing that has blossomed into the Festival it is today. Not only did I get my first taste of performing there but RVMF has put Dunster on the map and I no longer need to explain where I come from. I say Dunster and people just know from the Festival being a hit time and time again. Sasha Lewis

When in the Robson Valley pick up The Valley Sentinel for all the Valley happenings

Valemount LIVE! Check us out online at Things you don’t really need to know about Valemount.

I choose to make my life in Dunster, nestled between the Cariboo and Rocky Mountains along the banks of the Fraser River. It is a special place: you can feel the energy of the earth here. The Robson Valley Music Festival is held on our property and features a beautiful stage, hand-painted by local artist Paula Scott. I make my life here because there is an underlying current of what is real, important, and why we are alive on this planet. -Shara Gustafson of Mamaguroove

I’ve felt very warmly welcomed by Valemount, Tete Jaune, and the Robson Valley since moving to the area. I’ve put on several shows, had jam sessions and a one-day local arts festival at the museum where I work. There are all kinds of possibilities in this area: lots of great people are doing interesting things and having wonderful, crazy ideas. If you come here interested, there’s no shortage of stuff to keep you interested. -Raghu Lokanathan

ISLAND MOUNTAIN ARTS 34th Annual School of the Arts This summer study songwriting with legendary Canadian musician and writer,

Dave Bidini July 26 - 29, 2011 Wells/Barkerville, BC Also appearing at the 8th Annual ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art, July 29 - August 1, 2011 “A brilliant and exciting time among talented and like minded people.” David Francey, 2009 songwriting instructor & Juno award winning artist Photo courtesy of The Banff Centre

For more information or to register:

1-800-442-2787 • • Scholarships and bursaries available through Island Mountain Arts and FACTOR

TH IS W I N DING ROAD By Linda McRae To play or not to play… that is not the question! The question is “Where to play and how to get your foot in the door!” If you’re an established artist you’re likely either booking your own shows and don’t really need advice on how to go about it or you have an agent doing it all for you. For that reason I’ve decided to gear the focus of this article toward folks who are starting out and may not have booked a lot of shows in the past. Getting Performance Experience: If playing live is a new thing for you check out your local weekly newspaper or look online for venues that host weekly “open mic” nights. You can gain valuable performance experience and try out your material for a receptive crowd. There will be many others in your shoes who will be performing too so keep an open mind, have fun, try not to be too nervous (remember to breathe!) and approach those folks who’s songs you like. You can learn a lot from each other and probably make a few friends in the process. Ok, now you’ve gained some performance experience and have gathered some fans that will come out and support you when you start booking your own shows. Where to start? First off there are a number of things you’ll need to have in place before approaching them. You’ll need a letter of introduction, a full-length CD or professional demo, your Bio, a promo photo, reviews (both live and recorded), quotes about your music, a business card and a web site that also includes everything mentioned above in addition to some live performance videos. CD: If you don’t have a CD of your music look into recording one. With all the inexpensive programs available these days its possible to record your own if you know your way around a computer and have a basic idea of what you’d like to sound like. If you don’t have that expertise look into recording at a studio. Choose your studio wisely and try not to be intimidated. You should not need to pay huge sums of money to record a simple CD. If someone quotes you a

- touring the venues price that you’re uncomfortable with go somewhere else. It always pays to shop around. You should definitely be able to find something that’s within your budget. If you don’t know much about it, ask. Find someone you trust, maybe someone you’ve met at those open mics and ask for their advice. Read the liner notes on your favourite local recordings, see where they recorded and check those studios out. Bio: You’ll need a bio that tells your story. Include your contact info and be sure to limit your bio to no more than one page. Figure out what is unique about you and your music and use that to your advantage. Are you quirky and wacky, are you a serious and dark singer/ songwriter type, are you a brooding goth, or are you a hip hop artist? Tell a story that will peak the reader’s interest. My manager, James Whitmire, has a pretty good track record booking me where I am not known due to the “Wow” factor in my bio. The mention of the “Platinum and Gold Records” I earned while with Spirit of the West seems to help us get a foot in the door. It’s an old truth but a truth nonetheless. Promo Photo: Doesn’t have to be too elaborate. Have some friends shoot performance photos of you when you’re out playing or set up some posed shots and pick your favourites. Don’t worry about printing up 100s. Save your money and print them up as you go. Reviews: As you may not have many press reviews yet, ask your friends and fans for a few quotes and be sure to send your CD to your local papers for review (and to BC Musician Magazine). Quotes: Again, ask your friends or local artists and press people for quotes. Take interesting and of course favourable snippets from your reviews and use those. Business Card: Important to have for when you’re out playing and meeting people. Always, always, always have them with you and don’t forget to hand them out. Include a link to your web site, phone number and your email address, no need to use your physical address though, you don’t want to give out too much information. Online companies

quite often have readymade templates you can customize yourself. Web site: You will definitely need a web site. Make it easy to navigate as bookers and press people will not want to waste time trying to find the info they need. Most still use MySpace because the format is the same for every artist making it easier for them. Some venues/festivals use Sonicbids as their only application process and there is usually a fee to apply. Facebook is great for building a fan base but not usually for booking shows. Not once has a booker asked James or me for a link to my Facebook site! Once you have a place to “park” your web site include links to all the aforementioned information. Include a contact page, samples of your music, bio, your promotional photos and any reviews you’ve been able to gather, quotes about your music, and your live performance videos. You should also include a news page and/or a blog so you can keep your fans engaged and interested. Be sure to include a page where they can buy your music and a tour page where you can post all those shows you’re going to book! Again, make it easy to navigate. Venues: Whew! Now you’re ready to start looking for suitable venues. What constitutes a venue? There are many types these days and that’s a great thing! Venues can range from coffee houses, house concerts, and restaurants, to festivals, warehouses, bars, theatres, clubs, and concert halls. Venues come and go so keeping up with who’s who and who’s still in business can be a job in itself. When you’re starting out you might want to look in your area where you have hopefully amassed some fans who will come out to your shows. Find out as much as you can about the venue before you approach their booker. You should know what size of venue it is (their capacity), their music preference, what nights they feature live music, what their hours are, whether they have a P.A. and, very important, what their booking procedure is. Figure out where you fit in stylistically and what venues are appropriate for the

BC Musician |

Continued on page 19

January - February 2011


guide to venues around bc COASTAL ISLANDS

The Acme Food Company (250) 753-0042 14 Commercial St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G2

Hilary Grist, Vancouver. Photo: Mark Maryanovich

Animals Nightclub (250) 286-1209 David Viala 900 12th Ave, Campbell River, BC V9W 6B5

The Arlington Hotel (250) 723-4660 Kelly Thomson 5022 Johnston Rd, Port Alberni, BC, V9Y 5L7

The Avalanche Bar & Grill (250) 331-0945 275 8th St, Courtenay, BC V9N 1N4 Will book metal bands.

The Black Stilt Coffee House (250) 370-2077 103 1633 Hillside Ave, Victoria, BC V8T 2C4

The Black Swan Inn (250) 743-5133 2890 Shawnigan Lake Rd, RR1, Shawnigan Lake, BC V0R 2W1

Boutique (250) 384-3557 1318 Broad St, Victoria, BC

Caffe Divano (778) 355-3304 101 - 101 Klahanie Dr Port Moody, BC

Campbell River Elks Hall (250) 287-4642 Terry McClung 516 South Dogwood St, Campbell River, BC, V9W 2Y4 Will book metal bands.

The Cambie Pub (877) 754-5323 63 Victoria Crescent, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5B9 Located at the Cambie Hostel. Will book metal bands.

The Cambie Pub (250) 382-7161 856 Esquimalt Rd, Victoria, BC, V9A 3M4 Located at the Esquimalt Inn. Will book metal bands.


Canoe Brewpub & Marina (250) 361-1940 450 Swift St, Victoria, BC V8W 1S3

The Charles Dickens Pub (250) 656-5042 2250 Beacon Ave, Sidney BC V8L 1X1

Craig Street Brew Pub (250) 737-2337 25 Craig St, Duncan, BC V9L 1V7 Jazz, blues, folk, country, rock, Celtic, Greek.

The Courts Sports Lounge (250) 746-3667 60 Queens Rd, Duncan, BC V9L 2W4

Cow Bay Marine Pub (250) 748-2330 1695 Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Bay, BC V0R 1N0 Live jazz every Thursday night.

BC Musician | January - February 2011

The Dancing Bean Coffee Co. or (250) 246-5050 Artistic Director 9752 Willow St, Chemainus, BC V0R 1K0

Darcy’s Pub (250) 380-1322 1127 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W 1T7

Doc Morgan’s Restaurant & Pub (604) 947-0808 439 Bowen Island Trunk Rd, Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G0

The Duncan Garage Showroom (250) 748-7246 Longevity John 201 330 Duncan St, Duncan, BC V9L 3W4

Fort Cafe (250) 382-3130 Suite BSMT, 742 Fort St, Victoria, BC, V8W 1H2

The Gallery Bistro (604) 947-0061 539 Artisan Lane, Bowen Island, BC, V0N 1G0

Grantham Hall (250) 618-5137 6040 Old Island Hwy, Courtenay, BC Will book metal bands.

TH IS W I N DING ROAD Continued from page 17 style of music you play. How do you find those venues? If you have a favourite artist that is similar in style to your own take a look at their tour page and see where they are playing and go from there. You’ll want to concentrate on artists that are playing mid-size venues, not stadiums etc. If you’re lucky that will come later! With each entry there will usually be a link to the venue’s web site. If you’d like to play out of your local area you can book entire tours by following the route your favourite artist may have taken. Your local performing rights organization Music BC (there’s one for each province) also has a wealth of information at their fingertips and an extensive library that is open to members for a small yearly membership fee which will have all the information you need. Get to know them. They will also know about tour funding available for BC touring musicians. Important tip: Keep a database or list of all the information you can find. This will be your most useful tool when booking shows. There is a great company we use to keep everything organized for us. It’s called Onlinegigs. We have found them to be very helpful. You can also look at Pollstar, Musi-Cal, Reverbnation, House Concerts In Your Home, Acoustic Roof, etc. to build your database. Making Contact: Now that you’ve amassed a list of appropriate venues its time to approach the booker to book a show. Again, make sure you know what the venue’s booking policy is as they definitely won’t all be the same. Know the booker’s name and use it. If it’s not listed on the web site call the club and find out who it is. If you are sending an email, write a formal letter of introduction. If you’re using the phone get straight to the point. These folks are busy and may not have a lot of time to give you. If you do get someone on the phone, briefly explain who you are and why you are calling. Tell them a bit about your band, and let them know you’re familiar with who they are, perhaps by mentioning one of your favourite artists who is playing there or a show you may have attended in the

- touring the venues past. A basic script can be a useful as well. Write down the points you want to make so you won’t forget anything. Be sure to have a specific date in mind with a few alternates in case you’re lucky enough to be offered a gig and the dates you’ve asked for are not available. Above all, be yourself and be courteous. If you’re not comfortable approaching the venues yourself, ask a friend to help you out. They can act as your manager even if they’re not really. I have also heard of artists inventing an alterego pretending they are someone else when approaching venues. This is where those acting lessons you may have taken could pay off! I’m not going to paint you a glossy picture here. Expect the venues to return about 10% of your emails/phone calls. If you can get someone on the phone, so much the better, but this is one of the things about this process that is incredibly frustrating. Each of these venues can receive up to 100 or more submissions every day making it virtually impossible to reply to every request they get. That is why it is so important to have a great package and presentation to send them. There are a lot of other people looking to book the same show you are so you need to stand out from the crowd! Negotiating: Congratulations! You’ve written that great introductory letter or piqued the booker’s interest with your witty phone repartee and now he or she wants to know more about you. When you’re asked how many people you can expect to come see you be ready with an honest answer. Don’t say you can guarantee 50 people when only 5 will show up. You won’t be very popular and once you get in you want to be asked back. As my husband/manager James says it always pays to be honest. You unfortunately don’t have a lot of negotiating power at this stage, so ask yourself what you’re willing to and — I hate this word — “settle” for? You definitely don’t want to sell yourself short but you don’t want to ask for the moon either. You may not get a guaranteed amount of money right off the bat but you may be offered a percentage of the money brought in at the door, a couple of drinks or meals for you and your band.

If you are traveling and can fill in a date for a smaller guarantee in exchange for accommodations and meals you’ll do much better in the long run, especially if the alternative is a day off when you have to pay for everything yourself. Once you’ve got that first gig booked then you have to start promoting the show but that will be the focus in a future article so stay tuned! I want to take a moment to thank the folks at BC Musician Magazine for publishing this great mag. I’m enjoying writing these articles and everyone’s contributions are incredibly informative and entertaining. Thanks again for doing such a great job. On a self-promotional note, keep an eye out for my new CD coming soon “Four and Twenty Blackbirds.” We start recording in February with Marc L’Esperance at his Vancouver studio, Heavyosonic. Happy New Year everyone, and see you on This Winding Road!

OPEN MON. - THURS. 4:30 AM - 4:30 PM FRI., SAT., SUN. 4:30 AM - 7:30 PM CITY BREWS - COUNTRY VIEWS we Bake our own Muffins, Cookies, Squares Freshly Made Healthy Sandwiches

LIVE MUSIC EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT Outdoor Deck • Organic, Fair-Trade Coffee Live music and open Jam sessions every week Call us for details

wanted !

musicians: call us if you are passing through town during the week and want a place to play!

Is it after 4pm? Looking for a satisfying meal? Come around the corner to

LINGUINI’S - 255 Vermilion for pasta and steaks!

#9 - 136 Tapton Rd • Princeton, BC

250 295 3431

BC Musician | January - February 2011

18 19

guide to venues around bc Hermann’s Jazz Club (250) 388-9166 Hermann Nieweler, owner 753 View St, Victoria, BC V8W 1J9 Manager: Wendy Behnsen

Irish Times Pub (250) 383-7775 Nanct Pritchard 1200 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1Y6 Live Celtic music 7 nights a week.

The JBI Pub (at the James Bay Inn) (250) 384-7151 270 Government St Victoria, BC V8V 2L2

Jellyfish Lounge (250) 298-1194 Suite Lwr - 1140 Government St, Victoria, BC V8Y 1Y2

Moby’s Oyster Bar & Marine Grill (250) 537-5559 124 Upper Ganges Rd, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2S2

Neighbour’s Lounge (250) 716-0505 70 Church St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5H4

The Old City Station Pub (250) 716-0030 150 Skinner St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 7A6

The Palace Hotel (250) 753-7465 275 Skinner St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5E9

Lina’s Lounge & Grill (604) 886-9119 895 Gibsons Way, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V8

Lucky Bar (250) 382-5825 517 Yates St, Victoria, BC V8W 1K7

(250) 287-8686/6221 Carrie Staruiala 1140 Ironwood St, Campbell River, BC V9W 5P7 Will book metal bands.

Patricia Hotel (250) 754-9016 525 Haliburton St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 4W4

Queen’s Hotel (250) 754-6751 Joe Spillette 34 Victoria Crescent, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5B8 Live music 7 nights a week. Bookings: send a CD, bio, references, and a marketing plan to Joe Spillette.


(250) 749-3042 56 North Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan, BC V0R 2G0

The Solstice Cafe (250) 475-0477 529 Pandora St, Victoria, BC V8W 1N5 Booking form on web site.

Steamers Public House

Sugar Nightclub (250) 920-9950 858 Yates St, Victoria, BC V8W 1L8

Sunset Room Jason Guille 1810 B Store St, Victoria, BC Multi-purpose entertainment venue. Available for fashion events, book fairs, meetings & workshops, dance nights, rehearsal space, film screenings, live rock shows etc.

Swans Brewpub (250) 361-3310 506 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC V8W 1N6 Live bands every night.

Treehouse Cafe (250) 537-5379 106 Purvis Lane, Salt Spring Island, BC (250) 701-0448 1737 Cowichan Bay Rd, Cowichan Bay, BC V0R 1N0 (250) 703-9573 1003 Ryan Rd, Courtenay, BC V9N 3R6 Will book metal bands.

Riverside Inn

The Paramount Music Hall

The Mellow Side Arts Lounge

The Mex Pub (250) 287-4515 Terry Hutchinson 1500 Island Hwy, Campbell River, BC V9W 2E5

(250) 381-4340 570 Yates St, Victoria, BC

Joe’s Garage (250) 702-6456 Milo 115 - 5th St, Courtenay, BC V9N 1J3

Quinsam Hotel

Upstairs Cabaret Mark Perry, Smithers. Photo: Photographic Options

BC Musician | January - February 2011

(250) 385-5483 15 Bastion Square, Victoria, BC V8W 1T7

Vertigo Nightclub (250) 472-4311 3800 Finnerty Rd, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 At UVic in the Students Union Buiding.

guide to venues around bc LOWER MAINLAND

Artful Dodger Neighbourhood Pub (604) 533-2050 2364 200th St, Langley, BC V3A 4P4

The Backstage Lounge 604-687-1354 Jeff Cawston 1585 Johnson St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Beecher Street Cafe (604) 538-1964 12302 Beecher St, Surrey, BC V4A 3A6 Live music every Wednesday night at 7pm.

Lazy Mike and the Rockin’ Recliners, Port Alberni

V-Lounge (250) 475-7575 3366 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8Z 3L3

The VooDoo Lounge or (250) 287-8686/6221 1140 Ironwood St, Campbell River, BC V9W 5P7

The Waverley Hotel (250) 336-8322 Vig Schulman Box 550, Cumberland, BC V0R 1S0

The Bourbon (604) 684-4214 50 West Cordova St, Vancouver BC V6B 1C9

Bozzini’s Italian Restaurant (604) 792-0744 #4 45739 Hocking Ave, Chilliwack, BC V2P 6Z6

Brackendale Art Gallery (604) 898-3333 PO Box 100, 41950 Government St, Brackendale, BC V0N 1H0

Brandiz Pub (604) 687-3241 122 Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1N4

Bunker at the Barclay

Biltmore Cabaret (604) 676-0541 Aaron Schubert 395 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3J7

Blue Moose (604) 869-0729 Wes Bergmann 322 Wallace St, Box 669, Hope, BC V0X 1L0

The Book Man (604) 792-4595 45939 Wellington Ave, Chilliwack, BC

The Boot Pub or (604) 932-3338 or 1-877-551-4954 7124 Nancy Greene Way, Whistler, BC V0N 1B0 (604) 688-8850 1348 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5

Caffe Divano (778) 355-3304 101 - 101 Klahanie Dr, Port Moody, BC

Capone’s Rest. & Live Jazz Club (604) 684-7900 1141 Hamilton St Vancouver, BC V6B 5P6 Live jazz 7 nights a week.

The Cellar Jazz Club or (604) 738-1959 3611 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6R 2B8

Moving to the Okanagan Valley?

Wild Heather (250) 726-2665 1576 Imperial Lane, Ucluelet, BC

Windjammer Neighbourhood Pub (250) 746-9027 1695 Cowichan Bay Rd, Cowichan Bay, BC V0R 1N0


Call Richard Bartlett.

Richard works well with both buyers & sellers, and he deeply understands the challenges of relocating.


RE/MAX FRONT STREET REALTY no. 2 front st. penticton bc v2a1h1

BC BCMusician Musician | | January January- -February February 2011 2011

20 21

guide to venues around bc Cottage Bistro (604) 876-6138 4470 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3R3 Live music 7 nights a week. Monday-jazz, Saturday-blues, Sunday-soul

Crystal Lounge (604) 667-3363/938-1081 4154 Village Green, Whistler BC V0N 1B4 Located in the Crystal Lodge.

Dublin Crossing Irish Pub (604) 575-5470 Mark Reed 101 - 18789 Fraser Hwy, Surrey, BC V3S 7Y3

Mip, Smithers. Photo Wendy Perry at Photographic Options

Chapel Arts 604-682-1611 Nathan Wiens 304 Dunlevy Ave Vancouver, BC V6A 3A6

City Limits Cabaret (604) 864-9324 33720 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC V2S 2C2

Citta’s Bistro (604) 932-4177 Colin Pyne 4217 Village Stroll, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4

The Cobalt (778) 918-3671 Patryk Drozd 917 Main St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2V8

Copper House Restaurant (604) 898-1411 36559 Darrell Bay Rd, Squamish, BC V0N 3G0


Duke of Dublin Too Social House-Restaurant (604) 392-2000 9254 Nowell St, Chilliwack, BC V2P 1T2

Duke of Dublin Olde Irish Pub (604) 746-2000 33720 South Fraser Hwy, Abbotsford, BC

Fairview Pub Vancouver (604) 872-1262 898 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1J8

Fireside Pub (604) 521-1144 Lucy 421E Columbia St, New Westminster, BC, V3L 1A9 Live band performances Fridays and Saturdays.

First Impressions Theatre (604) 929- 5744 4360 Gallant Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1L2

BC Musician | January - February 2011

Gabby’s Country Cabaret or (604) 533-3111 Greg Elmslie 20297 Fraswer Hwy Box 56045 Valley Center Postal Unit, Langley, BC, V3A 8B3 “2010 Country Club of the Year”

Garfinkel’s (604) 932-2323 4308 Main Street 1, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4

Gilligans Pub (604) 885-4148 Arden Inkster 5770 Sunshine Coast Hwy, PO Box 2239, Sechelt, BC V0N 3A3

The Great Bear Pub (604) 433-2388 175 - 5665 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 2G4

Honey Lounge (604) 685-7777 455 Abbott St, Vancouver, BC

JD’s Lounge (604) 795-3828/ Toll free 1-800-665-1030 Sarah 43971 Industrial Way, Chilliwack, BC V2R 3A4 Located in the Best Western Rainbow Country Inn.

The Main Restaurant (604) 709-8555 Rich 4210 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9 Live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Marine Pub & Brew House (604) 435-2245 5820 Marine Dr, Burnaby, BC V5J 3G8

Maxx’s Fish Night (604) 932-1904 4232 Village Stroll, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4


guide to venues around bc Skinny’s Grille

Princeton Pub (604) 253-6645/817-9421 1901 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1J2 Capacity: 115. Looking to add new bands Jazz, Blues, Rock, Country, etc. Available for CD release parties.

Pub 340 Cambie Holdings Inc (604) 602-0644 340 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2N3

(604) 869-5713 Marlene & Adriann Abeling 63810 Flood-Hope Rd, Hope, BC V0X 1L0

Slainte By the Pier Irish Pub (778) 294-0066 100 - 15057 Marine Dr, White Rock, BC V4B 1C5

Trees Organic Coffee House The Railway Club` Marley Daemon, Victoria. Photo Julia Iredale

The Media Club (604) 608-2871 695 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2P1 The club has a capacity for up to 150 patrons and offers a fully licensed bar. We have a delightfully intimate stage set up as well as sound and light system, DJ booth, giant screen and DVD projector.

Mystic Mug (604) 856-0408 110 - 3240 Mt Lehman Rd, Abbotsford, BC

The Nest Restaurant (604) 898-4444 41340 Government Rd, Brackendale, BC (604) 681-1625 Amelia 579 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1Y4

The Red Room on Richards (604) 687-5007 398 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 4Y2

The Roxy (604) 331-7999 Ken Phelan 932 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L2

(The Listel Hotel) (604) 661-1400 1300 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5

Pat’s Pub & Brewhouse (604) 255-4301 403 E. Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1P6 Booking: contact Steve Chase at Fireball Productions (604) 874-7906,

Vancouver Rowing Clue or events@ (604) 687-3400 Carolyn Agyagos PO Box 5206, Vancouver, BC V6B 4B3

West Beach Bar & Grill (604) 541-7655 1101 Elm St, White Rock, BC V4B 3R9

Wheelhouse Neighbourhood Pub

Sandpiper Pub (604) 531-7625 15595 Marine Dr, White Rock, BC V4B 1C9

(604) 584-9311 12867 - 96 Ave, Surrey, BC V3V 6V9 Live bands on weekends.

The Wired Monk Cafe The Savage Beagle

O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar (604) 684-5060 450 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1V4 www.treescoffee.comMusic night locations: Thursdays/Fridays-Granville, Fridays-Yaletown, Saturdays-Gastown. (604) 938-3337 David Van Pykstra 4222 Village Square, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4 (604) 742-1752 2610 - 4th Ave West, Vancouver, BC V6K 1P7 Live music every Friday and Saturday.

Woody’s On Brunette Sawbuck’s Neighbourhood Pub (604) 536-6420 1626 152 St, Surrey, BC V4A 4N2

Shine Nightclub (604) 408-4321 364 Water St, Vancouver, BC (604) 526-1718 935 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3K 1C8 Live music every weekend.

Yale Hotel or (604) 681-9253 Joe Luciak 1300 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1M7

BC Musician | January - February 2011

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guide to venues around bc The Bohemian Café (250) 862-3517 313 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6N6

Banding Iron Pub (250) 546-0044 3445 Okanagan St Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0

Breeze Bar & Grill (250) 495-3274 Clare Anderson, 7603 Spartan Dr, Osoyoos, BC

John Pippus, Vancouver. Photo Petra Dueck


Aberdeen Inn (250) 378-2868 318 Hwy 8, Lower Nicola, BC V0K 1Y0

Anchor Pub & Cafe (250) 836-3418 102 Martin St, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V1

The Art We Are (250) 828-7998 201 - 322 Victoria St, Kamloops, BC V2C 2A5

Beaverdell Hotel (250) 484-5513 0 Hwy 33, Beaverdell, BC V0H 1A0

Blue Gator Bar & Grill (250) 860-1529 441 Lawrence Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6L6

The Blue Grotto or (250) 372-9901 #1 319 Victoria St, Kamloops, BC V2C 2A3

The Blue Mule (250) 493-1811 9 218 Martin St, Penticton BC V2A 5K1


Cactus Jack’s Saloon (250) 374-7289 130 - 5th St, Kamloops, BC V2C 3P8

Capital Sound Stage info@ Stu Emslie & Rolie Wood Box 56 2058 Granite Ave, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 120 seat concert venue with tiered seating.

Commodore Grand (250) 851-3100 369 Victoria St, Kamloops, BC V2C 2A3

Cowboy Coffee (250) 295-3431 9 - 136 Tapton Ave, Princeton, BC V0X 1W0

Dixon’s Bar & Grill (250) 803-0332 200 Trans Canada Hwy, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4N5

Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub (250) 868-8288 353 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6N6

Dream Cafe (250) 490-9012 Pierre Couture 67 Front St, Penticton, BC V2A 1H2

Falkland Inn and Pub (250) 379-2143 5748 Hwy 97, Falkland, BC V0E 1W0

BC Musician | January - February 2011

Gallery Vertigo (250) 503-2297 3001 - 31 St, #1 upstairs, Vernon, BC V1T 5H8

Gold Dust Pub (250) 292-8552 5625 Hwy 3 Hedley, BC V0X 1K0

Grand Pub & Grill (250) 378-4618 2099 Garcia St, Merritt, BC V1K 1B8

The Grateful Fed (250) 862-8621 509 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6N9

The Grind Coffee House (250) 828-6155 705 Victoria St, Kamloops, BC V2C 2B5 Live music and jam sessions most nights.

Habitat (250) 763-9674 248 Leon Ave, Kelowna, BC online application available.

Hitching Post (250) 292-8413 916 Scott Ave, Hedley, BC V0X 1K0

Hoodoos at Sun Rivers 250-828-9404 1000 Clubhouse Drive, Kamloops, BC V2H 1T9

Jazz Café (250)763-6141/(250)575-6348 Anna Jacyszyn 1375 Water St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1J4

Kelowna Community Theatre (250) 469-8506/469-8544 Randy Zahara 1435 Water St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1J4

Loonies Sport Bar & Grill (250) 374-5930 / 374-5911 1285 West Trans Canada Hwy, Kamloops, BC V2E 2J7

Lorenzo’s Cafe (250) 838-6700 Lorne Costley 901 Mabel Lake Rd, Enderby, BC V0E 1V5

O’Flannigan’s Pub (250) 763-2292 319 Queensway Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 8E6

Opus Café & The Cannery Stage (778) 476-5856 301- 1475 Fairview Rd, Penticton, BC, V2A 7W5

The Packing House (250) 458-2256 Steve & Paulette Rice 3705 Riverview Ave, Spences Bridge, BC V0K 2L0 Located just off the #8 and #1 Highways on Business Frontage Street in downtown Spences Bridge. Open daily from 10am-5pm.

Pogue Mahone Irish Alehouse (250) 554-1055 843 Desmond St, Kamloops, BC V2B 5K3

Portillo Coffee House (250) 545-9599 2706 - 30th Ave, Vernon, BC V1T 2B6

Ramshorn Pub (250) 547-7808 2004 Shuswap Ave, Lumby, BC V0E 2G0

Rose’s Waterfront Pub or (250) 860- 1141 1352 Water St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9P4

The Talking Donkey (250) 545-2286 or (250) 550-4785 Clint 3923 32nd St, Vernon, BC

Soprano’s Bar & Grill (250) 737-6868 424 Tranquille Rd, Kamloops, BC V2B 3G8

Cup and Saucer Café

Streaming Café 596 Leon Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6J6 Bookings: please see web site for form.

Valemount Arts & Cultural Society Pamela Cinnamon Box 1083, Valemount, BC V0E 2Z0

VooDoo’s (250) 770-8867 67 Nanaimo Ave E, Penticton, BC V2A 1M1

Wylie’s Pub (250) 265-4944 Willi Jahnke 401 Broadway St W, Nakusp, BC V0G 1R0

BC ROCKIES 250-423-0009 401 2 Avenue, Fernie, BC V0B 1M0 (250) 423-5035/423-7367 5369 Ski Hill Rd, Fernie, BC Located at Fernie Alpine Village. Seasonal-winter only.

Edge Pub & Hostel 250-427-7744 275 Spokane St, Kimberley, BC V1A 2E6

Ellison’s Market (250) 352-3181 Norm 523 Front Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4B4 Live music every Saturday 12-3 pm (250) 423-4842 Jennifer Girard 601- 1st Ave, Box 1453, Fernie, BC V0B 1M0

Finley’s Irish Pub

The Capitol Theatre

250-352-5174 705 Vernon St, Nelson, BC V1L 4G3

250-352-6363 PO Box 403 421 Victoria St, Nelson, BC, V1L 5R2

Finnegan’s Wake

Central Hotel (250) 423-3343 Joe House 301 - 2nd Ave, Fernie, BC V0B 1M0

The Clubhouse Restaurant (250) 423-4115/423-7367 201 Fairway Drive, Box 1962, Fernie, BC V0B 1M5 Located at the Ferne Golf & Country Club. Seasonal - summer only.

250-423-7367 210 Fairway Drive, Fernie, BC V0B 1M0

Corner Pocket Brasserie

Fernie & District Arts Council & The Arts Station

The Brickhouse Saloon

Clubhouse & Cornerpocket Restaurant 250-358-2267 Matthew Fry 206 Lake Avenue, Silverton, BC Open Mic every third Thursday plus musician jam (250) 426-7665 Tom 356 Van Horne St, Cranbrook, BC V1C 1Z5

FULL MOON PHOTO Professional Photography by Jason Shafto PO Box 61 Tlell BC, V0T 1Y0 250.559.8585

BC Musician | January - February 2011

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Petunia, photographed at the tip of the Columbia Basin near Kinbasket Lake the day after performing at the Valemount Arts & Culture Society. Be sure to make the Robson Valley a stop on your tour to or from Alberta or Northern BC. Lots of friendly people! Photo: Joshua Estabrooks.


BC Musician | January - February 2011

The Flying Steamshovel (250) 362-7323 Joey Lundrigan 2003 - 2nd Ave, PO Box 1508, Rossland, BC V0G 1Y0

Golden Taps Pub (250) 344-7155 RR2, 505 - 9th Ave N, Golden, BC V0A 1H2

Grand Forks Art Gallery (250) 442-3854 Kim Eburne 524 Central Ave, Grand Forks, BC V0H 1H0 Gallery Contact: Wendy Butterfield/Ted Fogg Phone: (250) 442-2211

Joe Hill Coffee House (250) 362-7170 Michael Gifford Rossland Miner’s Hall, 1765 Columbia Ave, Rossland, BC 3rd Sunday of each month 7-9:30pm

The Last Drop Pub 250-837-2121 200 3rd St West, Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0

Little Slocan Lodge (250) 448-5060 Ron LeBlanc Slocan, BC Available for perfomances or public events.

Nowhere Special Social Lounge (250) 362-2190 2104 Columbia Ave, Rossland, BC

Outabounds Night Club (250) 837-5554 Ajay Schoen 312 1st St West, Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0 Outabounds can accommodate any kind of event including: small intimate concerts, product launches, fundraiser galas, fashion shows, and private corporate events.

Rock Cut Pub & Restaurant (250) 362-5814/ Toll free 1-877-99-ROCK 1 3052 Highway 3B, Rossland, BC

Rouge Gallery 250-520-0444 Nicola Everton 2123 Columbia, Rossland, BC V0G 1Y0 New venue in a beautifully renovated historic building, built by the same architect as the Empress in Victoria. Amazing acoustics.

The Royal on Baker (250) 352-1269 330 Baker St, Nelson, BC V1L 4H5

Silverton Gallery silvertongallery@netidea (250) 358-2760 Silverton, BC V0G 2B0

(250) 226-7663 5622 Highway 6, Winlaw, BC V0G 2J0

Sneaky’s Pub (250) 865-2211/865-7159 808 Michel Rd, Elkford, BC V0B 1H0 Located at the Elkford Motor Inn.

Snoring Sasquatch 1-877-264-8543 Shelli Morris Box 854, 221-11th Ave, Creston, BC V0B 1G0

The Spirit Bar (250) 352-5331 422 Vernon St, Nelson, BC V1L 4H5

Studio 80 Selkirk, BC Hosts performances, concerts, recitals. Outfitted with a professional recording booth.

Truffle Pigs Bistro 250-343-6303 100 Centre, Field, BC V0A 1G0

Ymir Schoolhouse

Sirdar Pub & Grill (250) 866-5522 8068 Hwy 3a, Sirdar, BC V0B 2C0

Ashley Doull

Sleep Is For Sissies (250) 400-8678 Shawn & Carla Stephenson Ymir, BC

Knowing Calgary’s cultural neighbourhoods means I can find the best home to suit the budget and lifestyle of creative people relocating to Alberta.

Complimentary Services Include: ✔ Home Evaluations ✔ First Time Buyer Consultations ✔ Market Analysis and Advice


BC Musician | January - February 2011

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metal! The dark side o f the island by Shane Humber Vancouver Island and it’s fellow smaller island counterparts have produced many successful people on a number of different public fronts - hockey players such as Rod Brind’amour and Cam Neely; silver screen stars such as Pamela Anderson, Kim Cattrall, Iris Graham, Cory Monteith and Barry Pepper. The islands have also cultivated a vast array of musical talent, including names like Sarah Neufeld, Allison Crowe, Diana Krall, Hot Hot Heat, Nelly Furtado, Swollen Members, and Mother Mother to list a few. However underneath the public eye, something else has been happening in the far west. Extreme metal music has been thriving on Vancouver Island for years. Some of Canada’s bigger cities are world-renowned for their metal scenes, such as Montreal and Toronto. Southern BC has made a name for itself in music mostly through radio-friendly rock and pop-punk. But beyond the limelight there is always an underground, and the underground scene on Vancouver Island has always been much grittier, scruffier on the edges, and more abrasive than our mainstream counterparts. I’m sure the same can be said for most any place with a rich underground music culture. Some argue that extreme styles of music aren’t commercially presentable on a large scale, yet millions of people across the globe from all walks of life have a very serious interest in highly aggressive music. In the 1990s there were a good handful of metal bands on the island, however in most places punk rock bands were in highest abundance. Deadkind, the band I play in to this very day, started out as a punk band in 1994. Over the years, it seems that a lot of the same bands that started out playing punk rock have slowly converted to much more extreme styles of music. Bands must evolve to stay alive, but one must question whether or not this seemingly mutual evolution is more than just a coincidence. It could be politics, the effect of a rapidly changing society, boredom and dis-satisfaction of mainstream music, or maybe it’s just something in the water. Whatever the cause may be, the fact is that more and more listeners today are hungrier for brutal, intense, angry music than ever before. Words like grindcore, deathcore, doom/sludge, crust thrash, or technical death probably sound like crazy slasher “B-movie” terms to the average person, but they are actually terms for broken down sub-genres of metal music. These are just a pinch of the extreme genres, and this is largely what’s happening on the island. Lots of bands are utilizing the old punk rock D.I.Y. teachings of the past to promote themselves and get their music to the people who want to hear it, and it’s still working. Although many of these groups are highly talented songwriters and performers, very few bands are able to play music as a full-time job due to the lack of support from industry related media. However, internet profile sites such as MySpace play a large part in helping these independent bands gain exposure to otherwise geographically unreachable audiences. Still, unless you’re ‘in the know,’ you may never be aware that any of these


BC Musician | January - February 2011

bands even exist. I was first attracted to death metal in my late teen years, mostly due to the extremely fast pace of the music. Never before had I heard people play so precisely, especially at such high speed. Different types of metal can be quite slow, such as doom or sludge metal, but generally the rule of thumb is that there is no such thing as too fast. Drums that sound like machine guns, guitar and bass riffs shredding with the speed of a rocket engine. Not only are the songs typically very fast, but often intensely technical and intricately played. Many people like to use the term ‘Cookie Monster vocals’ to describe the sound of the low pitched, guttural delivery of the singer’s voice. This is usually the part of such styles of metal that will initially deter listeners. As outrageous as it sounds, when it comes to a debate about listenabilty, I personally like to compare death metal to opera. Most people don’t just start listening to extreme metal right off the bat and love it from the start; one must learn how to properly listen and interpret — much the same as with opera. It is an acquired taste and it’s certainly not for everyone, but those who enjoy it are often very passionate about it.

Deadkind playing live, November 27 2010 in Campbell River, BC. Left to right: Jon Barents on bass, Nick Pimlott on guitar, Stephen Henzte on drums, Shane Humber on vocals, and Corey Robb on guitar. Photo: Mandee Lafreniere.

It is not uncommon to hear accusations of metal representing or glorifying violence, negativity and satanism, but in reality this is not generally found to be true. While some bands do in fact integrate considerably ‘satanic’ imagery and themes to the way they present themselves and their music, these themes are most often meant to represent the notion of non-conformity rather than the actual religious connotations they are associated with. Lyrics can be (and often are) very graphic in nature, dealing with ‘taboo’ or sensitive subjects and the darker side of life. Violence is often portrayed with little left to the imagination of the listener. However, this is not done as a means to endorse or condone such acts and behaviour. Songs may be written simply as the telling of a story, or to bring awareness to a certain person or situation. Not all aspects of life are entirely positive, and these extreme styles of music typically reflect just that. The whole purpose is to take the negative, harsher side of reality and turn it into something positive — music. Vancouver island has it’s own breed of these types of metal bands. Most groups are found in the larger cities on the southern half of the island, but metal can still be found in virtually every island community you may come across. Large festival style events such as ‘Pillage In The Village’ in Tahsis in the summer of 2010, are beginning to book some of these local

grinders, yet bigger mainstream oriented events such as the Comox Valley Music Fest or the Big Day Up and Big Day Out concerts have unfortunately been less willing to branch out to the local metal bands. However, some bands have had varying levels of success off of the island. Black Creek’s doom metal band Mendozza for example, had their original song “Eternal Battle” appear on the offical soundtrack for the 2006 movie “Underworld 2 - Evolution.” It goes without saying that these styles of music are not entirely appreciated by everyone. I firmly believe that music “for everybody” blatantly does not exist. But sometimes when a person becomes bored of the menu we’re being spoon-fed by the media, one may simply not know where to go to find music that is beyond what the radio says you should listen to. Ladies and Gentlemen, consider this an extended, open invitation. These bands have been doing this for years, and there is no sign of it coming to an end any time soon. This is the new sound of the future. As the weak-stomached and light-hearted will most certainly decline and retire back to familiar ground, the rest of you may very well one day find yourselves searching for something new to tickle your auditory palate. Buckle up, because we’ll be ready for you, right here where we’ve been all along — be prepared for one hell of a ride.

Here’s an example of some of Vancouver Island’s finest local talent: Band




Mendozza Deadkind Horde Of Anachron Pentacaust Evilosity Out Of Body Black Lotus My Daughter The Ranger Allfather Iskra

Black Creek Campbell River Victoria Nanaimo Nanaimo Campbell River Victoria Nanaimo Victoria Victoria

Doom/Sludge Death Metal Blackened Death Metal Death Metal Death Metal Brutal Death Metal Black/Folk Metal Deathcore Black Metal Grindcore/Punk Metal

BC Musician | January - February 2011

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An Entertainer ... Playing On The Cross Canada Train by Melisa Devost I had just begun playing my first set on the train when Brian sat down. I noticed he was carrying a small case that I correctly guessed had harps in it. “You got anything in A?” he said. After jamming a blues tune he said, “You’re all right. You got the chops. I was afraid when I walked by earlier and saw the acoustic guitar and capo that you were one of those girly songwriter types, but you’re all right”. At this I smiled. In between songs and swigs of moonshine from a flask, he spoke in fragments about his life, as though he couldn’t speak fast enough to verbalize the swirling deluge of stories in his brain. Ran drugs? Shot seven times? Done time? But most of all, “I’m an entertainer. A tap dancer. I got a whole mariachi suit with me.” He commented on my scuffed boots “I’m a shoe shiner, shined shoes in New York” and dropped names like Duke Ellington and Sammy Davis Jr. His accent changed depending on what he was talking about. If anyone asked him where he was from, he would say, “Mauritius, Singapore, Paris.” He bought a round of beer, and, dropping more names like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, said that he likes to treat his guitar players well. He kept spewing moonshine into his harp to unclog the reeds. The train attendants came by and checked on us from time to time, and it occurred to me that I should maybe maintain some sort of semblance of professionalism. There were others who approached curiously and cautiously and listened for a bit, but then moved on with the restlessness that besets the beginning of a journey. One fellow who stuck around was Miles. Miles was from West Virginia, and was traveling to Jasper with his mother and kept leaving every fifteen minutes to check on her. He kept fairly quiet until Brian, after exiting the car, returned carrying a bottle of cheap champagne and a 57’ National guitar. “Can you play this thing?” Brian asked me, “I don’t know nothing about guitars, but apparently it’s a good one.” I noticed Miles looking hungrily at the guitar and told Brian I would need a slide, and even if I had one, am not very proficient at slide guitar. In his drawl, Miles asked if I could tune it, and then maybe he could have a go. I tuned it to open D and handed it over. He grabbed a teacup, slipped his bare feet out of his loafers and joined in, barely audible over the rumble of the train. Many miles passed during the night. I awoke to the train slowing and the squealing of unbending wheels curving around an unforgiving track. We were somewhere along the Fraser Canyon, which was pretty much in the dark until we came to what looked like a small dam or power station. It was illuminated by a dull orange light which cast up the walls of the looming canyon and


BC Musician | January - February 2011

down onto the river. In my half drunk, half asleep mind, there was something unsettling about the river raging away down there so close, not resting or calm for the night, invisible but for glimpses of movement. The anonymous river that wound beside us the next afternoon was shallow and steady. I am used to driving, to being in control of where I am going. On the train, there is only this one track, this one vein pulsing us across the country. It would be pretty difficult for a train to get lost. I played a set for one person this morning. I noticed Doug earlier, as he’s sort of hard to miss. He had a grey beard that stiffly cascaded down to his mid chest, a long grey ponytail to match, and sported a beige fedora. We chatted for a while and it turned out that Doug was what he called a “kinetic object manipulator,” a juggler, and performance artist who was on his way to New York. Between songs we discussed lyrics and word play. “I was riding my bike one day,” he said, “ and it began to rain, and the phrase ‘Raining Cats and Dogs’ came into my head, and I don’t drink or do any drugs, but you know how sometimes when you are really tired, or really hungry, you get into a sort of under the influence head space? I like it when that happens. Anyway, so I was thinking about that phrase, and it began to bother me, because cats really don’t like water. So I thought ‘raining dogs and frogs’ would be better.” “Isn’t raining frogs a biblical reference?” I asked. “Yes,” he said “and that has actually happened; somehow frog eggs gestated in the clouds…” We talked about paradoxes, about the paradox of art that is: there is nothing that hasn’t been done before; there are no original ideas, but because it is the individual doing the creating, everything is unique. “Do you know what platitude means?” He asked. “No, I don’t” I said. “Duck-billed Platitude,” he stated. It began to rain. Mid-trip, I performed for the very tired looking people in the economy class at the front of the train. I was feeling it too. The constant movement of the train finally got to me the previous night, manifesting itself in a neurosis for all things that rattled. The regular rattling of the train was acceptable; it was any new rattling that got to me. One of the culprits was a framed picture that was screwed into the wall. My thoughts, as I began to “remove” it (which was me ripping it off) was that the racket this thing made far over shadowed any esthetic contribution to the room. After my set, as I was lugging my guitar through the narrow hallway, shouldering the wall as the train lurched, I ran into the

Toronto, he lamented for the last time how he never shined my boots, and even though I answered once again, “but I like my scuffs,” I’m thinking now that I should have let him.

Via Rail is a unique venue for Canadian musicians. The On board Entertainment Program offers complimentary (or reduced rate) travel for approved musicians in return for performing on board long haul trains, between Montreal and Halifax, Montreal and Gaspé, or Toronto and Vancouver. While on board, musicians perform two acoustic 45-minute sets for each day of travel. Interested musicians must submit an application form and music samples. Email to request an application. Finally, Via Rail would like you to know: “Although not available on every departure, and its duration uncertain, this exchange has allowed us to provide many passengers with an enhanced and unique travel experience, all the while supporting Canadian talent. As we continue to experiment with this type of entertainment, we are encouraged by the amount of positive feedback that we have been receiving from passengers, musicians and staff alike.

BC Musician Magazine is a very different music magazine.

attendant working in my car, who offered to help me carry my stuff. I was curious about the staff, and discovered that many of them, who are in their early 30’s, have been working on the train for 12-14 years. I wondered what was going on between them underneath the glowing veneer of excellent customer service. I passed by a linen cupboard that was left open and on it was written, “blow me” and then below “in your dreams”. Brian showed up for my last set of the trip wearing his mariachi suit. Later that evening, I sat with him and had a glass of wine. He had a bunch of songbook magazines from the 40’s he found in Jasper and wanted to give me one. We sat there flipping through them, laughing at the lyrics and titles like “If You Build A Better Mouse Trap” and “It’s A Million To One You’re In Love”. He was calmer than that first night and kept nudging me like one would a cousin or sister. “Want a percoset?” he asked me, “to take the edge off?” “Nah, I’m good.” I spent most of the last morning lying on my bed and looking out the window. The Ontario fall colours were in full majesty against the backdrop of a cracker blue sky. The train lumbered its way into downtown Toronto, where we packed up and prepared for a different sort of pace. As Brian and I exchanged e-mail addresses in the station in

BC BCMusician Musician | | January January- -February February 2011 2011

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My new victory party album pastrami triumph in montreal! by Geoff Berner I made a new album in Montreal in September 2010, and it’s coming out March 8 on Mint Records. It’s called “Victory Party” The making of it was an interesting process, with some pretty strange and wonderful characters involved. I just want to jot some of it down before I lose track of what happened. The previous 3 records I made, it’s been me, Wayne Adams and Diona Davies in a room with some good mics, pre-amps, beer and whiskey, with the computer rolling. No overdubs to speak of, just a trio playing hot off a tour. You’re in the room with us, as close to the show as can be. It was time for something different. The last few visits I’d made to Montreal, I’d spent an afternoon or so loitering with Josh Dolgin in his basement, listening to the crazy records he’d found, and the even crazier records he was making. Josh performs as “Socalled”, and he makes kaleidoscopic mash-ups of Jewish music with hip-hop and pretty much everything else. He is a true genius. In France, he is bigger than Jerry Lewis. The last basement hangout listening session, he said “You know, I don’t give a damn about records that try to faithfully represent a live performance. These days I’m into auditory confections, un-reproducible things that can only exist between your ears.” His words haunted me for months. I’d never really tried to make a record like that. I didn’t even know how to start making a record like that. But Josh knew. I decided that to make a true artistic departure, but at the same time make a closer connection with Jewish music, I would need someone like Josh behind the board, taking control. And since there actually is no one like Josh besides Josh, I began the process of wooing him. I sent him flowers, chocolates, bought him a Rolls Royce, anything I could do. Finally, he said yes. Then it was time to add musicians. In


Berlin, Dan Kahn had given me a CD by Michael Winograd, “Bessarabian Hop”, which had the clarinet and bass sounds I was looking for--that depth of klezmer knowledge, married to an edge, a potential for willfull dissonance. So I went to Brooklyn in the spring of 2010 to meet and play with Michael and his bass player, Benjy Fox-Rosen. We bonded over smoked meat. I had to have them on the record. And to be really decadent, I went with TWO violinists instead of one. I added Brigitte “Briga” Dajczer of Les Gitanes Sarajevo to the gang. A lot of times, violinists don’t get along. They can be like those particles in physics that cancel each other out. What are they called? “Violinons” or something, I think. Anyway, that was the opposite of the case with Briga and Diona. They had played together a few times before, when I’d brought DD through Montreal. But this was their first tour together. To say they got on like a house a-fire would be an understatement. Like a neighbourhood, or an entire MegaCity built entirely out of dry kindling, then soaked thoroughly in a fine mist of kerosene, then, against the dictates of international law, assaulted by the U.S. Air Force exclusively with incendiary bombs a-fire, more like. Really a-fire. Their playing matched and blended perfectly. DD drives her fiddle like a soupedup jerry-rigged $300 truck that barrels down a logging road, held together with bailing wire and strippers’ undergarments, with a healthy disregard for persnickety uptight concepts like keeping all the wheels on the ground. Brigitte has killer technique, a gorgeous sense of melody, and a deep grounding in Eastern European styles of violin, especially the Gypsy styles. Putting those two approaches together could have been, ugly, but they wound up each drawing their particular strengths out of the other. And they also seemed to compete to draw the filthiest language out of each other. A crudely-worded swap of laxatives for tampons in the back of the van led to a memorable series of shared constipa-

BC Musician | January - February 2011

tion and menstruation anecdotes on the way from Toronto to Guelph. Wayne and I played “straight man” to these horrific tales. The violinists enjoyed the telling all the more when we covered our ears in innocent horror. Brigitte never failed to cackle at Diona’s running gag about the Toronto streets “Bathurst” and “Bloor” as descriptions of preparation for and subsequent application of oral sex. Brigitte told an edifying story of defecating over a wall outside the Delft train station. By the time we hit the studio, DD and Briga were inseparable. They even began referrring to themselves as a single entity: “Les Mitraillettes”, which translates directly as “the (female) submachine guns”. “Les Mitraillettes have decided to go back for more cupcakes.” or “Les Mitraillettes are never working with that soundman again, chalice.” or “Let Mitraillettes don’t care where the stupid boys are going for lunch. We’re going to Le Pickup and you can’t come.” The recording process was brutally efficient creative anarchy. I don’t want to link anybody to illegal activity in an article that might show up on a border guard’s google search, but a certain fellow who I mentioned earlier has an “app” on his MacBook that orders weed. He smoked an average of a joint every 57 minutes. At first I was worried about whether this might affect his capacities, but it soon became clear to me that he was using cannabis as a means of deccelerating his super-active tornado brain enough so that he could communicate with us mortals, like slowing down a tape so that Alvin and the Chipmunks sound like people. He still remained quicker-thinking than me at every juncture, with a new idea every 2-5 minutes, but at least we could hang in there with him. For example, I’ve had a strict moratorium on guitars for all of my albums. I always felt that what you kept off a record counted towards making your sound unique as much as what you put on. But one of my major resolutions for “Victory Party” was to truly hand the production


reins right over. So when the man said “Listen, you got a hunnerd bucks on ya? I wanna call in a Bulgarian electric guitar warlock to jizz all over a few of these tracks.” I gulped and agreed. Lubo Alexandrov came by in an hour, was finished in an hour, and he definitely performed. You can really hear the jizz. As I was preparing to make the album, getting all the logistical ducks in a row, I’d been thinking a lot about Bob Cohen. For those of you who don’t know, Bob Cohen is my klezmer mentor, he being the first Klezmorim I met who drank and smoked and swore and threw himself into the music the way I like people to do. He is a big growly bear of a Jewish Brooklynite who now lives in Budapest. Fluent in Hungarian, Romanian, 3 dialects of Roma, Zulu, Jamaican Patois and a smattering of Swahili. He’s the guy who took us all around Romania on our klezmer research trip. Remember? Anyway, I was thinking what a shame it was that I wasn’t rich enough to fly us all to Budapest and make the album there, and how sad it was that Bob wouldn’t be present for this, as a kind of culmination of the work we began with our Bob trip. And then, in Toronto, a week before the recording session...THERE HE WAS! Poof! Like a big, hairy, hand-rolled-smoking, vodka-shooting Klezmer Angel. We were in The City That Works to play the Ashkenaz festival, as part of the tour we were doing to prepare for the recording session. I had checked the music program of the festival for names I knew, and didn’t see Di Naye Kapelye, Bob’s band. But I had neglected to check the list of lecturers, I guess because I generally tend to avoid getting lectured whenever possible, especially now that the Sidetrack in Edmonton is closed. Bob was in Toronto to give a talk! When I bumped into him in the park outside the Harbourfront Center, I was ecstatic. Turns out, he was just planning to hang out in NYC after the festival. He had a deadline to write a children’s book about fly-fishing the rivers of Romania. As one does. So, deciding to withhold comment on the relative ethics of sending small children flyfishing in rural Romania, I suggested to him that he could just as easily write his book in Montreal and let me feed him smoked meat. He agreed on the spot to ride up

from Brooklyn with Benjy and Michael. the award has to go to… Chez Schwartz. Bob was the perfect vibe-setter for the What? Is this not blasphemy? Is this not album. Any crazy idea Josh had, Bob the equivalent of me turning my back on would egg him on. He was also our go-to a half century of pastrami loyalty to Katz’s guy for throaty shouting. He even gave sandwiches? No.” DD a few more pointers on fiddle scraunSo before the record even comes out, ching. In fact, somehow, he talked me the Junos and Grammys are unnecessary, into buying this weird quasi-fiddle thing thank you. I know that the creative risks I from him. It’s got no body, but instead it took were worthwhile, because with this has a tin grammaphone horn and a little album, I’ve made a New York Jew admit resonator made out of a beer can lid. that Schwartz’s of Montreal is superior to That’s what makes the sound come out. It Katz’s. Beat that, Kanye West. sounds like a mink caught in the works of I pray to God that the album will be a Romanian cutlery factory. successful enough that Mint Records will Bob was indispensable to the process. let me do another one just as terrifying and And not just because he was able, in fluent rewarding. If it’s successful enough, who Haitian Creole, to direct the cab driver knows? Maybe next time in Budapest. Or to our house when I was unable to speak Berlin? after our post-studio celebrations. He also inspired us with bad Jewish jokes and ancient obscure politically incorrect calypso records. Ever heard “Chinese Children Calling Me Daddy”? I hadn’t either. The end result of all these strange and wonderful people coming together is a record that exceeded my expectations, both artistically and financially (it ran way over budget). The dinner at Schwartz’s Deli before the Brooklynites went home was a true celebration of kindred spirits, uniting over fatty, fatty beef and cherry soda, followed by whiskey at Casa del Popolo. Was Bob happy? Here’s a quote from his “horinca” blog: “And for the Geoff Berner at the Barkerville Church. winner of the 2010 Deli Meat of the year Photo: Jodie Ponto

BC BC Musician Musician || January January -- February February 2011 2011

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adventures o f the festival arts bus by Alexander Ross A decade ago, small-town Australian singer songwriter Khristian Mizzi was slowly filling the manilla envelope under his mattress with cash – on the front was one word; ‘Canada’. However, children soon arrived and plans changed. Mid-summer 2010, Khristian is on his first overseas trip. It is the night of his 33rd birthday and he is in Banff, Alberta, the crown of the Rocky Mountains. Beside a raging log fire, by the light of the full moon, Khistian starts to perform his strikingly original folk music to a gathering of fifty townsfolk in a residential backyard. He is three hours late to his own gig – his backing singer has held the restless audience by playing every song she knows. Delirious and hurting, Khristian has come directly from the tattoo parlour where two large red roses featuring his daughters names have been etched into his forearms. After singing two songs, the police arrive to shut down the party, smacking the touring musicians with a $250 noise violation ticket. This is the story of Khristian and friends on the road trip of a lifetime. It takes a special kind of person to think that finding an old mini school bus, filling it with a dozen artists and taking off on a three month unpaid tour across 20,000 km of wilderness would be a great idea. That person was Alex Ross. When Khristian and his bass player Frank Pearce hit Vancouver - after a thirty hour flight via China with no working toilet - Alex was there. “G’day boys. I’ve got us a great deal on a tour bus!” With big dreams and the tightest of shoestrings, the newly formed Festival Arts Bus project put out the call to find emerging musicians and artists of the same ilk. The idea was that by pooling talents and sharing resources, it might just be possible to make it across the country, put on some quality collaborative shows and reach new audiences. The maiden voyage began well. With an empty tank, the bus would not start. Marleen, the lovely neighbour, did a


gas run in her pyjamas then stood by as the bus was jump started off her little car. “I told them that bus was a lemon...” she muttered, as it puttered off down the hill. On the outside, ‘Banane’ looked like a school bus. On the inside she was transformed into a wildly colourful creative playground, a little box of full of unchecked freedom, rolling down the Trans-Canada at 80km. She was also the world’s first bus named after a dog, who was named after a banana. The first stop was Entheos, a solstice gathering tucked away in the clouds. A place of radical community, filled with crystals and beast skulls, ceremonies and electronic sounds. Banane welcomed aboard anyone crazy enough to step inside, for a small contribution to her $150 a day gasoline addiction. This travelling circus became home to a half dozen folk musicians, graphic artists, a doctor of piano, a shamanic sexual awakening instructor, a photographer with a thing for weapons and a kiwi chef. Amongst all the guitars, backpacks and bedding, bikes and hula hoops, cello and double bass, recording gear, speakers and several heads of dreadlocks, there was no space on the road that wasn’t intimate. Along they went, across parries and through mountains, stopping hourly to frolic naked in each freezing lake and hot

BC Musician | January - February 2011

spring. They dined under the stars, in truck stop parking lots and on fires on river banks. They disagreed over stolen cheese, battled the omnipresent mosquito hoards and became family. It’s hard for foreign musicians to drive a bus down the wrong side of the road, it gets harder when the road signs suddenly turn French. Montreal was abuzz with jazz festival fever. The troupe had set up in a quirky artist-run space in the industrial district, where a small group of music lovers were lounging around enjoying the Mash Potangos classical quintet. WHAM!! The next moment the space was flooded with a full platoon of riot police, prepared for serious violence, barking and yapping and rounding everyone up. The problemo, it seemed, was that the friendly hosts may have been selling a few beers, without proper paperwork. The thick accents and legal mumbo-jumbo were hard to decipher, but the cops’ message was clear; ‘Welcome to Quebec. Don’t come back.’ The B.C. folk festival circuit was an absolute delight. By becoming professional volunteers, each artist earned free tickets, food, coffee and clean t-shirts each week. It proved to be a splendid way to experience each festival, run a muck in restricted areas and rub shoulders with all the right people. One morning at the Calgary Folk Festival, Khristian cruised up in a

festival golf cart with a giant grin on his face; “today I’m Michael Franti’s personal chauffeur!” The generosity of people throughout the journey was astounding. Some welcomed a dozen unwashed strangers into their home for the night, others cooked them all breakfast. When a middle-aged Albertan rancher found the dishevelled crew in a backwater parking lot, he purchased large coffees for everyone. When asked why, he simply replied “its been a long time since the sixties....” Following a blissful weekend at the Robson Valley Music Festival, Khristian’s band was dropped in Vancouver. They waved farewell to the little yellow bus, in time to play one last gig at the Railway Club, sleep late and miss their flight home.

BC Musician Magazine is a very different music magazine.

Everyone on the bus. Photo: Olivier Delausnay


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BC Musician | January - February 2011

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fo r a good time call: Vue studios By Christina Zaenker

Independent musicians have a lot to stay on top of. Besides writing their own music and arrangements, coordinating tours and musicians to join them on the road, booking accommodations and figuring out the logistics of travelling and performing, they also have to be experts at self-promotion. Most musicians tend to spend many hours per week creating or maintaining websites so their digital profiles stay current and they can stay connected to their fans and hopefully attract potential new audiences. But how much can one person do? If you were born with a FireWire cable instead of an umbilical cord like many youngsters these days, you might be already be running your own high tech media company and have all the latest gadgets to make you look and sound slick. But for most people, putting together a press kit and web site with video content that accurately reflects your sound and style is an important step in self-promotion, and it is an effort that should include enlisting the help of others. YouTube started just six years ago in February 2005 and there is no doubt that it is an amazing tool: you can promote yourself on your own video channel, and share your homemade videos with the world within a few easy clicks. But independent musicians should think about what they want their audiences to see, what kind of impression this will leave, and how useful really are some of those videos you still have online. For example, would you want promoters to see a clip of your band that was filmed on a night where the amps were too loud, the solos were off, and the stage was so dark you can’t even see the players? What kind of band should they expect to see live if they couldn’t hear, see or understand what you were doing in the video? Would you be comfortable knowing that the music editor of a newspaper or magazine is watching the grainy videos you earnestly made years ago, filmed by


The Old Wives, performing live at VUE Studios

your only fan- your mom, playing 90’s cover tunes to your empty living room? Those kinds of videos will only capture the attention of millions if you are a nine year-old boy with a bad haircut and a big voice (Justin Bieber); for everyone else they are just embarrassing and professionally unhelpful. Working independent musicians should have something that positively represents who you are on stage and in the studio, and this is why Vue Media is here to help. What began as a simple idea to film local musicians for a podcast to supplement the music editorial found in Vue Weekly’s newspaper has evolved to become a separate production company, Vue Media, which is specifically focused on enhancing a musician’s audio visual portfolio. “We want to help bands be successful,” says Eden Munro, who is the Managing Producer of Vue Media, and also the Managing Producer and Music Editor of Edmonton’s Independent Weekly Newspaper, Vue Weekly. Through his work he comes across a lot of emails from musicians looking for media exposure, so he knows what he is talking about when it comes to examining a musician’s online profile. Munro feels it is important for musicians to have high quality videos

BC Musician | January - February 2011

online as it helps people like him build a connection to the artist and get to know their actual stage presence. “There is a big difference between a cellphone video and a professional video,” says Munro. Musicians who are looking for press coverage or to win over audiences online “should be prepared to invest some money into a professional video.” Now, thanks his team of video and audio engineers, independent musicians have a wide range of options for getting a professional video done while they are staying in or touring through Edmonton. Vue Media offers musicians and bands a variety of options for creating videos, ranging from a simple one-camera shoot of one song performed live in their studio, to a multiple camera-shoot at a venue where you are performing in Edmonton, with a comprehensive DVD created afterwards from the footage. According to Mike Siek, Creative Services Manager: “Generally we like to meet or chat with the artist, to find out what they wish to accomplish with the video project. We ask you a few basic questions: Who will the video be targeted at? What would you like the video to accomplish? What tone should the video take (funny, serious, laid-back, energetic, etc)? Based

o t o c a t g m h w t v p o

p M

Ron Hawkins, live at VUE Studios

on that discussion, and the answers to those questions, we will offer our advice on the type of video you might want to create, and listen to any ideas you have about the video. Once we decide on the type of video, the audience, and the goal of the video, we can discuss how many songs you would like to record, how many hours of extra recording we will need and how much mix-down time we will require. The raw audio and video files are yours to keep, and we can provide a one-time re-mix of the audio or video for you as well if needed.” Their basic package is an “In-studio performance, live recording, at the Vue Media studio” and includes: *Two-cameras, SD video, with lighting set to best match mood of recording. *3 songs or 30 min of recording time. *Audio and Video professionally produced and edited together into three separate songs. *Graphics and text credits. *File formats created for Web, CD,

DVD, etc. - for use in many different situations. The Vue Media team is filled with talented, creative producers and editors, all of whom are passionate about live music, so you won’t find a more approachable team to work with. They can also create artist bios, do press photos, and give tips or advice on how to improve your marketing materials. As Eden Munro says, “There are so many possibilities in what we can do for musicians, it all depends on what they are looking for.” The service helps even the established and well-known musicians give fans and media a taste of their current act. Artists such as Gordie “Grady” Johnson (Big Sugar), Ron Hawkins (Lowest of the Low), and Justin Rutledge have each recorded live performances with Vue Media. There are too many homemade videos on the internet that really don’t showcase what an artist or band can really look or sound like, so Vue Media offers

a way for artists to perform and make a positive, lasting impression online. Maybe it’s time for artists to start putting aside some of their merch money and investing it in something that will offer them longer benefits than a tank of gas: a fun, high quality, low stress video shoot in Edmonton where you can perform your songs, invite your friends, work with great people and in a few hours be finished, knowing that skilled and savvy media people are putting the finishing touches on a performance that is fit for the world to admire. When you receive the finished video that nicely shows off your actual looks and talent, you can upload it to YouTube or Facebook and then see what happens to your view count. I anticipate that the video produced by Vue Media will be “liked” and viewed more often than that fuzzy, dark, 40-second clip you posted after that show you did last summer. For more info, email Eden Munro at

BC BC Musician Musician || January January -- February February 2011 2011

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tips for running a successful venue By Carla Stephenson In the process of putting this issue together I realized how many great Kootenay venues have died this year. We lost both the Velvet Underground in Nelson and the Old Firehall in Rossland. On the flip side there has also been a huge renaissance of house concerts and alternative venues popping up that are working. Having run two successful 60-80 seat venues I wanted to share with you some of the most important things we have learned through trial and error. We would love to support the emergence of great places to hear and play music in BC. The Space To start with, it is best to use a space that is already paying the bills another way, for example a space that is a store, studio or cafe during the day. It is almost impossible to sustain a space that is only a venue without alcohol sales. There are tons of great bonuses for stores who chose to host music: free press, a new customer base that you would not otherwise reach and the inherent cool factor of your business being increased by the proximity of musicians. If you do not own a space you would be surprised to find how many spaces would be open to you running shows there during off hours for a fee. As long as you do all the promotion and are respectful, and pay them a nominal fee for usage it can mutually beneficial. It ultimately allows them to make money without being there. The sound If it is a small intimate space, it is possible to run events completely unplugged, however it certainly adds more value to the ticket to have a properly amplified show. Sound is the most important thing at a show. By investing in good sound gear and knowing how to use it or finding someone who does, you can make a greater experience for the listeners and for the musicians. Nothing is better than sounding great in front of an attentive crowd. Musician experience We have made it our business to take care of musicians, and provide what they need most on the road. We found generous people in our community who were willing to house them for the night in comfy beds. We always home cook a healthy meal that is ready when they get here, internet access is also a bonus, and treating them like part of the community makes them comfortable. We have been very lucky to live in two beautiful towns where many of the local business owners were music fans and were willing to donate things for tickets to a show. No, it didn’t put more money in musicians pockets but it did get them whale watching, back country skiing or trout fishing and made memorable moments on their tours. Networking To make shows more worthwhile for musicians, we began hooking up with other venues in our area. We learned that by working together we get better talent and are able to share in creating a bigger fan base for the artists. If you are a little venue


BC Musician | January - February 2011

Corb Lund at Spirit Bar, Nelson. Photo: Jodie Ponto.

starting out, it is great to find a “big brother� venue to team up with. The big city venue is usually booked for the Friday or Saturday night and the musician is offered a guarantee, so offer a Thursday or Sunday gig in your spot as a companion gig. If you are surrounded by small towns without a big venue in sight, then team up with places that are within driving distance but not close enough to split the crowd. These little mini tour circuits are perfect for musicians who are either going across country or ones who only want a little two week tour. The cash Of course it all comes down to the bottom line of cash. Nothing is sustainable for very long if the numbers are not adding up. We have certainly run the gambit of experiences and tried endless formulas to make it fair for everyone. This is the one that we have come up with that has worked to keep the musicians happy and the venue open. For a 60-80 seat venue in small town Canada, be it a house concert or a little venue, 80 tickets at $10 a head= $800. We do a 70/30 split with the band. The band makes $560 and all of merchandise sales, they have a great place to stay and a warm meal. This leaves $240 for to split between the venue, maybe a rental fee of $100/ per show. The sound guy $100 and $40 for promotion. This combination keeps the lights on, the venue happy, the music sounding great, and the band on their way with pretty good money for a weeknight show. The Internet The Internet has become the most powerful tool for selling house concerts and small shows. Make sure to put out a mailing list at shows and harvest some e-mail addresses to contact for future shows. Start a social network group to connect with other venues and keep local music fans up to date. Passion If you scratch the surface of any great venue that I know, there are a few very dedicated music lovers holding it all together. We do it to bring great music to our community and for the love of sharing our town with musicians. We know that by working with other like minded people we can keep the live music scene in BC going and growing strong.

The Kootenays...

a great place for live music

Home of Live Music in Nelson Food and Music to live by 330 Baker Street, Nelson

Cup and Saucer Café Live music Home cooked food Historic building Great coffee

206 Lake Ave, Silverton

The Goods 7108 First Ave Ymir, BC 250-357-2587

After a night of fantastic live music in the Kootenays, satisfy your food and caffeine cravings nearby. The morning after, when you pull yourself out of bed after an amazing show, and wonder how you’re ever going to find the perfect combo of coffee, juice and food to enable you to drive 7 hours to your next gig and do it all over again. Every town has its secrets here are a few in the Kootenays. In Nelson you can go back to the scene of the crime, the Royal. In daylight,this stellar venue is magically transformed into an espresso bar offering great coffee and a perfect place to reminisce about the show last night. Then for nourishment you’ll need to go to the Bent Fork. This is the new breakfast pride of Nelson. These guys have somehow managed to satisfy the most passionate bacon lovers and the die hard vegetarians all in under one roof. Just point anywhere on the menu and you’ll know that what the server brings will be great. After you’ve woken up a bit you can spend hours reading the super clever menu. In Ymir, the Goods is open early across from the river and full of incredible baking, made to order sandwiches, espresso and enough road snacks that you won’t have to stop driving until your sound check in the next town. Finally, at the end of the road at the Cup and Saucer in Silverton, you’ll find the best coffee and butter tarts in the Kootenays or sit down for a delicious home cooked meal. The only thing better than the food here is the music.

All day breakfast. Lunch and Brunch 318 Anderson Street Nelson, BC, V1L 3Y1

Check out these fantastic restaurants!


BC Musician |



January - February 38


“The audio sounded great. It sounds like the record, man. You guys did a great job. I was so pleased with that.” Gordie Johnson (musician/producer) Grady, Big Sugar

ALSO FILMED BY ThE VUE MEDIA CREW: Corb Lund, Rodney DeCroo, Ann Vriend, Falklands, Ron Hawkins, Tim Hus, Eamon McGrath, Spoon River, Jay Malinowski, Geoff Berner, Manraygun, Devilsplender, Joel Plaskett


This service is for people in and around Edmonton, Alberta or those passing through Edmonton on tour. We cannot bring this service to other areas at this time

BC Musician 84  

Online Edition of the BC Musician Magazine for Jan/Feb 2011

BC Musician 84  

Online Edition of the BC Musician Magazine for Jan/Feb 2011