with Tough Age and B-Lines
November 22 @ Rickshaw Theatre

Mudhoney || Photo by Shane Burzynski

Mudhoney || Photo by Shane Burzynski

It’s been 26 years since Mudhoney defined Seattle grunge with “Touch Me I’m Sick.” The dirty distortion on both the track and their debut, Superfuzz Bigmuff, inaugurated a movement and made the Sub Pop darlings among the most influential groups on the scene.

Never wavering from no-bullshit rock ‘n’ roll along with the refusal to take themselves seriously are what’s cemented the group’s longevity. Especially frontman Mark Arm, who has recoiled at the suggestion his band is iconic — even though he’s credited with coining the term “grunge.”

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Is This A Joke?

with Dino Archie, Sunee Dhaliwal, Ivan Decker, and Graham Clark
November 19 @ Electric Owl

Dino Archie || Photo by Brandon Lal

Dino Archie || Photo by Brandon Lal

Dino Archie debuted his comedy showcase “Is This a Joke?” on Wednesday, November 19 at Vancouver’s beloved Electric Owl.

Before deking around the mic to start the show, Archie wandered through the tables like any audience member, mingling with the crowd. In spite of some of his material, which painted him as somewhat of a womanizer, Archie seemed to be a genuinely nice guy and admirer of his fellow comics.

Archie performed a few jokes between each comic’s set, but overall served as an emcee for the group that he had assembled.

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Bedroom Safari (Self-Released)

2013 was a year of grandeur. Across genres, artists and musicians pulled out all the cacophonous samples, snares, and bass they could get their hands on. 2014 has taken note of this and gone in the opposite direction: minimalist, light, atmospheric. Arbutus’ new release, Bedroom Safari, makes use of the barebones bedroom, jazzy synth aesthetic, but doesn’t make any great leaps to extend the genre. All the necessary elements are there, but as a whole the album sits comfortably on genre strengths without a secure establishment of originality. It’s well-executed, but forgettable.

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Dead Soft

Dead Soft (Kingfisher Bluez)

A debut album is like a snapshot of a band. It gives as complete a picture as listeners can find of a new group’s sound and sets the stage for future releases. Dead Soft’s first full length on the Kingfisher Bluez label succeeds for the simplest of reasons: the songs are well-crafted, loud, and memorable. Vancouver is not without its share of grunge revival bands —War Baby, Weed, Nu Sensae — but Dead Soft set themselves apart with a refreshing sonic blend of alternative rock styles. Switching between shoegaze, fuzz, and power pop as quickly as one triggers a distortion pedal, this three-piece has plenty to offer as a songwriting unit.
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The Flintettes

Open Your Eyes (La Ti Da)

The Flintettes’ debut EP, Open Your Eyes, is comprised of three energetic tracks. The songs juxtapose lead singer Michael Flintoff’s punk vocals with the blissful harmonies of Marissa Johnson and CC Rose, resulting in a unique blend of pop, punk, and rock, reminiscent of a ‘60s garage band.
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FLA (Romeda)

There’s something about anonymity in electronic music that gets me excited. One would be hard-pressed to argue that the name — or names — behind a project didn’t influence their own reception of that music, especially if those names belong to famous people, stalwart musicians, or friends. When a pseudonym is attached to the craft, however, with little emphasis on who stands behind it, it feels more about the music being produced and less about the person producing it.
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High Ends

Super Class (Dine Alone)

higheendsAs the lead singer of Yukon Blonde, Jeffrey Innes has plenty of experience writing catchy pop-rock songs. In his new solo project, High Ends, Innes flaunts his skills and brings listeners yet another album that has the makings of a commercial success. While the majority of his lyrics lack depth, High Ends’ melodies are so uplifting, you can’t help but shake your head and dance shamelessly. Despite this immediate appeal, Super Class employs stylization risks and sporadic tempo changes, making it most rewarding to the deeply attentive listener.
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Sinoai Caves

Beyond the Black Rainbow (Jagjaguwar)

Two major things are intensely bizarre about Sinoai Caves’ excellent soundtrack to the Vancouver art film, Beyond the Black Rainbow: the paranoid 1980s synthesizer dreamworld that artist Jeremy Schmidt has created, and that it’s taken four years for the score to be released separately from the film. Read More »


Moondance (1080p)

Since releasing their first tape just over a year ago, 1080p Collection has proven to be a adventurous trying ground for experimental bedroom producers from this city, as well as other parts of our hyperconnected world. From the more recent side of the the label’s steady stream of releases comes Moondance, a debut from an Ottawa-based producer, choosing to preserve some sense of anonymity under the moniker Riohv.
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All Them Witches

with Outside Dog and Eric Campbell & The Dirt
November 9 @ The Cobalt

Considering the crowd at All Them Witches, I can now confidently say that it’s a promising thing to walk into a bar and find that all the patrons are cooler, trendier, and better dressed than you are. Hint: it’s going to be a good show.

The hair was long, the denim was faded, the eyeliner was winged; these people really knew how to pull out the stops for a Sunday night. At risk of sounding trite, the Cobalt is a warehouse of cool, in regards to both the patrons and the décor.

Walking from the bar to the pool table I was struck by the dreamy glow that was cast over the space by the dim red lights and disco ball as it spun and illuminated the well-worn wooden beams and snug stage. Hypnotic twang-y psychedelic rock resounded from the speakers and it served as a suitable soundtrack for a crowd conjured up from what appeared to be a combination of the gritty urban core, the rural backwoods, and a Kevin Smith movie.

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