Review

SHOW REVIEW: Songs Carry On; Remembering Musicians Lost in 2016 - January 7, 2017

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Last Saturday at The Legion, took place the show Songs Carry On, to pay tribute to some of the great world-known musicians that died last year. Conceived by musician Britt Meierhofer, the concert brought together local artists to perform their favorite songs by legends like David Bowie, Prince and George Michael. “I chose songs by artists that have impacted and influenced me to some degree,” said Britt, who played The Bottle Let Me Down by Merle Haggard, 100 Days 100 Nights by Sharon Jones and Modern Love by David Bowie, among other songs. The Juno Lounge of the Legion Branch 43 is a place dedicated to the military veterans and their families. Everybody that enters the place is asked to take their hat or cap off in respect to those people who served the country. This act, in a certain way, helped all present demonstrate their respect for the amazing dead artists that contributed to transforming the music scene. “I think the show went well, the turnout was better than expected and everyone was very kind and supportive,” evaluated Britt.

Some of the poems by Leonard Cohen, such as My Mother Is Not Dead and This Isn't China, were read by Jordan Tucker between performances. Tucker opened the night with one of them and handed the microphone to Sean Wesley Wood, who created a melancholic atmosphere during his performance, playing his versions of songs like The Heat Is On by Glenn Frey. Nathan Kelly animated the audience, singing some of Prince’s, David Bowie’s and George Michael’s songs with great success, like TVC 15 (Bowie), Faith (Michael) and I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (Prince). Naomi Kavka kept up the vibrant climate by singing Life on Mars by David Bowie and Careless Whisper by George Michael. At some point, all the local artists played together making the crowd dance. The show that began minimalist and intimate ended joyful and vivacious, like a big part of the awesome musicians that were honored that night. 

- Photo and article by Fernanda Paulilo

2016! An Unpopular, But Not Entirely Bad Year!

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Happy New Year to you, our wonderful supporters and friends! While 2016 has been garnering rather unpopular reviews by most, we at CFUR look back on a year full of growth and good times here at the station! And the music! Egads, the music! 2016 may have taken a lot of greats off the bill, but there was a LOT of really good music released (both locally and otherwise), much to our delight.

Some of our favourite regional releases of 2016 include Blocktreat's Exciting New Ventures in Fucking Up, The Joey Only Outlaw Band's No More Trouble in the Peace, Flying Machine's Flying Machine EP and The Burden's Modern Disease.

As far as national and international acts, Tanya Tagaq's Retribution blew our minds, as well as Esperanza Spalding's Emily's D+Evolution, A Tribe Called Red's We Are the Halluci Nation, The Pack AD's Positive Thinking, Black Mountain's IV, and Damien Jurado's Visions of Us on the Land, amongst many other great albums released this year. Some of those are featured on Britt A.M.'s recent episode here:

[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/britt-meierhofer/this-is-britt-am-episode-39-my-2016-faves/ width=100% height=120 hide_cover=1 light=1]

We look forward to another year of fantastic music coming down the pipe, and we THANK YOU, our listeners, for continuing to support us in bringing you music that highlights our local and regional scenes, as well as delivering some of the best independent and alternative music from across the land!

Here's to 2017!

 

 

 

 

2016 Favourites!

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While 2016 saw a lot of great musicians off to the great gig in the sky, it was a great year for releases, as Britt highlights in her latest episode of This Is Britt AM. Check out some of her Top Picks of 2016 here: [mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/britt-meierhofer/this-is-britt-am-episode-39-my-2016-faves/ width=100% height=120 hide_cover=1 light=1]

C.R. Avery and Eliza Mary Doyle at the Legion

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C.R. Avery

On October 22nd, C.R. Avery travelled through space and time to close out his West Coast tour at the Legion, branch 43.

Backed by four musicians who brought with them a tight understanding of tried and true folk tunes and original songs alike.

Each song, whether formerly heard or not, was brought into a new understanding of what it means to truly perform a song that has been kicking around the folk world for ages and to craft one’s own work into a composition that fits it like a well built cabin in the woods would a hermit.

Eliza Mary Doyle, a supreme Saskatchewan banjo picker also took the stage as the opening act. A three piece harmonious experience with a pumped up vibe that kicked off the night.

While talking with C.R. Avery between sets, he expressed that he aims to find a new home for a song by experimenting with genres and styles. In short, to not bore and not to be bored. The night was visually stimulating with various lights being consciously chosen for segments of songs and a theatrical demeanour that occurs when you’ve got a musician who is also a performer. Not to mention the fantastic pre-recorded samples being played alongside live performance and futuristic harmonica beat-boxing that sounds like ocean, trains and all of these other things you don’t always get to hear from the short harp.

So you missed out this last weekend but want to see what the Legion has to offer next? Don’t worry, Mad Loon Entertainment and CFUR have got you covered. On Friday, October 28th there’s a hallowe’en show featuring Blackberry Wood and High Society.

Adam Farnsworth who was on keys and Chelsea Johnson who played bass, tambo and sang with C.R. Avery are both in High Society. While speaking with Chelsea, I learned she has a background in theatre that manifests itself somehow in every band she’s in. This coupled with the infamous Blackberry Wood means you best put on some kind of costume and get out there!

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CFUR Top 5 - Week of August 30, 2016

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WOW! Check out these beauties!

# 1 De La Soul - And the Anonymous Nobody

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmpGJ7P_xsw

# 2 The Frightnrs - Nothing More To Say

[embed]https://soundcloud.com/daptone-records/the-frightnrs-nothing-more-to-say[/embed]

 

# 3 The Warlocks - Songs From the Pale Eclipse

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQGjGlu4uTk[/embed]

 

# 4 Morgan Delt - Phase Zero

# 5 Pill - Convenience

 

More adds from this week:

Terra Lightfoot Every Time My Mind Runs Wild
Dyan Looking For Knives
Magic Trick Other Man's Blues
Dog Orchestra Meow EP
Crawling With Cops Oojah Cum Pivvy
Bear Mountain Badu
Mild High Club Skiptracing
Bibio The Serious EP
Sneaks Gymnastics
Quin Galavis My Life in Steel & Concrete
Ezra Furman Big Fugitive Life
Angel Olsen My Woman
Band Aparte Memory On Trial
KAYE Honey
The Album Leaf Between Waves
Air Traffic Controller Black Box
KYLO King Niko E-Phases
Wenches and Rogues s/t
Joseph I'm Alone, No You're Not

CFUR's Weekly New Music & Top 5 Picks

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Artist Album CanCon Date Notes      
The Julie Ruin Hit Reset   July 12, 2016 Lead singer of Bikini Kill, started up the Riot Grrrl movement, badass all around      
Ranch Ghost Lookin     Good fuzz/jam rock from Nashville      
Lisa Hannigan At Swim     Used to sing with Damien Rice, really pretty folk/shoe-gaze from Ireland      
Sofi Tukker Soft Animals     Dece electropop      
Deepakalypse Floating On A Sphere     Singer/songwriter/punk-folk from LA
Lee Bob and the Truth The Light
Red Martian Retrailing
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band 55
Dan Mangan Unmake X
Doctor Delia Purple Well
Hey Mercedes Every Night Fire Works
Tyondai Braxton Oranged Out
Dubamine String Up the Sound
New Portals Stay Here Tonight
Death Valley Girls Glow In the Dark
Sleeping Beauties Sleeping Beauties
Fea Demo
King Who Body
The Amazing Ambulance
Heliotropes Over There That Way

Mob Bounce - Download their new album FREE!

Mob Bounce is a duo of insanely talented indigenous men. You may have seen them in the Lheidli T'enneh Pavilion during the Canada Winter Games in 2015.If you didn't, don't worry, they made their first full length album FREE for your consumption. Visit www.mobbouncemusic.com to download it and find out more about their community work.

This album is a treasure trove of diversity - there are poems, acoustic renditions, hip hop jams. Throughout the whole thing is an incredibly clear expression of cultural pride and promise for the future.

BURN SAGE EVERYDAY.

Check it out loves - Riot Grrrl

[embed]https://www.mixcloud.com/C0untessbash0ry/listen-to-mob-bounces-2015-full-length-mob-medicine/[/embed]

Review: Hawksley Workman at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, October 29th

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There's always going to be a certain anxiety about seeing your heroes as people. Seeing your parents and teachers, for example, as living people, is devastating. Being a person instead of some kind of godlike authority means that they have flaws too, and they're probably just figuring it out as they go along too. .. And no one has the secret to being a good person or living life well and oh my god are we all going to die alone and confused? I was really worried about seeing Hawksley Workman in person, because what if he turned out to be a douchebag, and I had to like him less? Worse still, what if he turned out to be boring? I discovered Hawksley Workman in high school, and used to sit outside watching the moon, listening to his songs on my Zune (yes, I had a Zune). What mere human musician could match up to teenage angst being quelled by songs and a moonrise? It would take a hero.

 

I didn't have very high expectations going in, because one of my friends told me she saw him live once and that he was basically just a drunk mess. Add to that Hawksley's tendency in recent years to wear white tank tops to his shows , and I was sort of expecting the alt indie version of Trailer Park Boys: The Musical. I went with an old friend of mine. We planned the trip together: well, basically, he planned the trip and I gave him money. The one time I tried to contribute to the planning phase, I sprained my ankle falling over while answering his phone call. It was decided that it was safer if I did not help.

We got there an hour early, because we'd already spent all of our money on tattoos and comic books and also we were both soft touches for homeless people who wanted bus tickets. We had had an inordinate amount of beer to drink the night prior, so part of our preshow adventures involved me elegantly retching for five minutes into a storm drain. That ritual complete, we decided that sobriety would be a good state from which to enjoy the show (see also: we gave all of our money to whomever asked us for it).

The entire ballroom was full of people in their forties; "it's like when I saw the Barenaked Ladies in concert", Connor, my companion, noted. A man who looked like Santa had a shirt from Hawksley Workman's first tour in 1999... or maybe it actually was Santa, I've never met the man personally. We parked at the very front of the stage, and when the concert started, we used our elbows to keep us there. I now know what the Romans felt like on the battlefield. For dreamy indie types, Hawksley Workman fans can be quite vicious. Also, they all had spears and battle armour. It was weird. I felt under-dressed.

There were two openers. One was an electronic guy who didn't introduce himself at all. He played dreamy experimental house music with trilly highs and moody lows that would have been great if they hadn't kept maxing out the speakers. At the end of his set, someone shouted, "your family loves you, Dave!" No one was clear on whether this was shouted by Dave's family or whether a kind group of strangers felt the need to remind him. My companion said, "Why are they clapping for the soundcheck?" I corrected him, but also kind of thought he was right.

Next came a talented English singer-songwriter named Fiona Bevan. She had a gorgeous voice, she was warm and had a really cool blonde afro. I didn't particularly like her music because it seemed to be mostly about falling in love and hanging out in London, two things which I've done but not particularly well. Way to rub in your success stories, Fiona.

Hawksley Workman's band finally appeared onstage at about 10:45. Everyone in his band looked exactly as they should. They were all at least in their forties, which satisfying.  Hawksley Workman put out his first album, "For him and the girls", when he was twenty-four. This fact didn't matter to me when I was in high school, but now that I'm in my early twenties, it fills me with a certain existential anxiety. The synth player wore skinny jeans and a long tshirt and looked like he despised everyone. The bass player looked like Alan Davies from the English game show QI and had a ruffled shirt and bellbottoms. The xylophone guy looked like someone who lived in my building in first year. This was shaping up to be excellent.

Hawksley Workman appeared with his toque tucked over his eyes and a white tanktop. I think that his toque was tucked over his eyes due to shyness, because as his wine glass depleted, his eyes emerged, like twin alcoholic tortoises emerging from their shells. At one point, he implored for the roadie to bring him more wine. The roadie looked annoyed but complied, similar to a serf, or housewives in fifties Christmas movies.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQuQppbsimc[/embed]

The band played a variety of songs from Hawksley's catalogue, including my personal favourite, Paper Shoes. Hawksley Workman is best when he's able to flirt with the audience-- their want turns into an opportunity for him not to provide, which makes for more want, which makes the ultimate payout so much better. At one point, he stopped right before the chorus and started rapping. It was weird, but creative and cool. You didn't know what was going to happen-- the band members would all raise their eyebrows as they kept time whenever Hawksley stopped to fall on the floor and writhe, or to start beatboxing, or to tell a girl in the audience she was his favourite. During "Safe and Sound", one of his classic love songs, Hawksley stopped to mime a penis and a vagina when he sung the line "we fit together like the ignition and the key." His range has diminished somewhat, but he was still able to thunder out the cries and lines that have become his trademark. He can go from a low and menacing bass to a mocking falsetto, and seeing him perform is more similar to seeing a theatre performance than a music show.

The evening was overall fantastic- any time Hawksley sang a song from his newest album, members of Mounties, his other band, came out to sing it with him. I got the impression that a lot of the audience didn't really know who these people were, but eventually everyone learned to cheer whenever Ryan Dahle of Limblifter or Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat came out onto the stage. They sang Tokyo Summer together to many cheers. Even the girl next to me, who was using her phone to videotape the whole evening, looked up and watched for once. I was annoyed with her for most of the night, but as soon as I pretended that she had a dying friend who couldn't make it to the show, I realized that her motivations (that I had made up for her) were good, and stopped paying attention to how irritating she was.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAq1EUg15bk[/embed]

If you were a Hawksley Workman superfan, as I am, it was a perfect evening. I wished that he had played more of his eccentric songs, like "The Government Shall Protect The Mighty" or "we ain't no vampire bats", or  "When You Gonna Flower", but his catalogue is so extensive and multi-genred that any set list had to cover at least a few of his various musical iterations. Hawksley seemed really happy whenever he could see people singing along to his songs, which was basically every song. It was an awesome performance.  He only seemed annoyed at one point-- he asked for requests, and someone who was almost certainly me said, "play Google Jesus." Google Jesus is the worst song that has ever been made. It is so bad that it has been erased from the reissues of Milk, the album it was originally on. He shot me a dark look, as if he wasn't to blame for releasing the horror that is Google Jesus upon the world. For every sowing, there is a reaping, Hawksley. For every "Jealous of your cigarette", a "Google Jesus" to keep you humble. I am your greatest fan, but also your greatest critic. #LestWeForgetGoogleJesus when we start to feel immortal, Hawksley. Do not fly into the sun on your wings of wax.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUWUkxf3XVk[/embed]

 

It was a gorgeous night, despite all of my criticism, I nearly cried a few times, and soppily thought about how there is no true equality among humans, and how the best we can do is be the truest and weirdest we can be to ourselves, and hopefully it will resonate with someone. When he was 24, Hawksley Workman started making music, probably because he didn't know what to do with himself. I started listening to music, because I didn't know what to feel about myself, and I felt less alone. On the 29th of October, I got to see one of my musical heroes play, and I felt a part of something.

Drum & Bell Tower w/ Blocktreat @ The Legion

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"I've never heard anything so... full." My friend stammered. His eyes were wide. We were standing in the middle of the dance floor. It was his first Drum & Bell Tower and Blocktreat show.

This past Saturday, Brent Morton (D&BT) and Brandon Hoffman (Blocktreat) graced the stage at the Legion, filling our ears with hearty folk-rock introspection and mesmerizing electronica.

"Full" is indeed one of many ways to describe Brent's music. Others are "electro-fusion," "folk-stomp," and "dusk-rock." With lyrics like We sell our souls/When the price is right/We sell our souls, his songs are genuine, well-crafted, and sure to stay in your head long after the set. However, the weighty content doesn't affect Drum & Bell Tower's enjoyability on a lighter level; his shows bode well for those who like to sing and dance along.

Similarly, Brandon's sound is one that blends genres and crosses lines - in the best way possible. His sample-based style fuses electronic and acoustic, creating a soundscape of lush textures and dreamy plot lines. Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of Brandon's music is that it belongs to many worlds: organic, electronic, dreams, and bittersweet reality. Blocktreat isn't bound to a particular genre, scene, or audience - this became evident in the success of his show at The Legion, where the audience comprised of students, elders, and everyone in between.

For the entire length of Saturday night's show, there was a solid smattering of people glued the dance floor, swaying and singing and watching the two musicians in awe. Brent and Brandon are BC gems, to say the least. Their unique yet complementary sets boast a level of honest talent and wholesomeness that all live shows strive for.

If you missed these guys in Prince George (or just can't get enough of 'em), D&BT and Blocktreat are playing at Sunset Theatre in Wells on October 31st and at a house concert in Smithers on November 7th.

To Brent and Brandon: Prince George would love to have you back! Until then - safe travels and happy music-making :)

 

Drum & Bell Tower: http://www.drumandbelltower.org Blocktreat: http://www.blocktreat.ca

Post by Dara Campbell