VANCOUVER

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

° ยป 5 day

Because we have been waiting for you for a decade

Second-hand in 1981

The Crowd-Surfing Is Getting Way Out Of Hand

Last Thursday I was at the Exclaim showcase at the Commodore and the thing was surprisingly packed. The place was almost full when Montreal’s solo electronic pop act, Montag, got on stage. His material sounded a lot like stuff you’d hear in a Super Mario game, but I’m not speaking about the cool tunes you hear during the boss battles or even in the ice caves – I’m talking about the lame music you hear when Mario is flying in the clouds or walking in a field. So I hid in the back until it was time to see Apostle of Hustle. The band contains members of the much-acclaimed Broken Social Scene, and there was no shortage of art rock anthems throughout. I enjoyed much of the set except for the first song, which droned on with a boring horn section. Next up was Feist and it was obvious that she was the big attraction of the night. I remember seeing her a year ago at Richard’s where the crowd was very nonchalant, but not this evening – people were nuts about her, not a minute went by without someone screaming “I love you!” or the sorts. She used that to her advantage successfully, getting the audience involved in many of her songs. The night ended with Stars, which I’ve seen more than a few times. They always manage to put on a nice pop show, it’s too bad that they started around 1 AM, which was way too late and many people left before their set even started.

A few days later I caught the Death From Above 1979/Controller.Controller/Elizabeth all-ages show at the Mesa Luna. I don’t remember ever attending an indoor gig during the afternoon, and it was odd seeing the place so bright inside. All three bands were pretty good, sort of what I expected. Controller.Controller and DFA got the kids dancing and moshing with their heavy bass and drum beats. Eventually the bands had to tell the kids to stop crowd-surfing when it got out of hand.
This Friday if you want something weird there’s a pretty interesting show with Matador’s Dead Meadow and Sub Pop’s Jennifer Gentle at the Brickyard. Note that Jennifer Gentle is an experimental pop duo from Italy and not some female singer-songwriter – the guys took the name from a Pink Floyd song. If you want something heavier look no further than the Asbalt with Harrow and Foster Kare. And if you want some pop fun, P:ano is over at the Anza. There’re quite a few things happening Saturday night with Panurge and Beekeepers at the Railway, Bontempi and Girl Nobody at the Media Club, Transylvanian Polka and Human Hi-Lite Reel at the Waldorf, and oh yeah, Hot Hot Heat with The Futureheads at the Commodore. One of the best things about seeing Hot Hot Heat is that Steve Bays won’t stand right in front of you and block your view of the stage with his planet-sized head of hair, since he’ll be singing on it.

There’s stuff to do the rest of the week too. Sunday night there’s a kick ass show with the Collapsing Opposites CD Release Party at the Railway. Collapsing Opposites is Ryan from They Shoot Horses Don’t They?’s solo side project. The Horses will be on the bill that night, as will Gangbang – there’s a good chance that the ladies will have a surprise guest or two during the show. The Transmitors have a heavy connection to the Smugglers and New Town Animals and they will be at the Railway on Wednesday, joined by The Abbot Street Racket whose lineup includes Henri Sangalang from The Flashing Lights. On Thursday, give The Notes From Underground a nice tour send- off at the Media Club. They’re with The Quiet Numbers, The Nervous Breakdowns and You Say Party! We Say Die!, the everywhere band.

Keen CiTR listeners might have noticed some signal improvements over the past few weeks. The radio station has recently purchased and installed a new transmitter. The old transmitter was bought second-hand in 1981 and lost much of its broadcasting power due to extensive damage over the years. According to the station manager, this all means that now CiTR will be easier to pick up and the audio will sound noticeably better for many people. Unfortunately geographic location still plays a big part; for those in the suburbs or those blocked by mountains you’re probably still out of luck.

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