Tag Archive: Rich Aucoin


War Child Lounge (the Atrium building)

11:30 Current Swell – As much as the whole west coast folk rock scene isn’t really my thing, I just can’t hate Current Swell. Their last few singles have really grown on me and it will be great to see them in an intimate setting.
12:00 Rich Aucoin – I’m intrigued to see what Rich has planned for the setting of the Atrium building.
12:30 Sloan – After almost 20 years of being a fan, I finally get to see Sloan! I don’t know what has stopped me every single time I’ve had the chance to see them, but my plans were foiled every single time.

Royal Athletic Park

1:15 Zerbin – That song “New Earth” of his that I hear on the Zone all the time is darn catchy. I’m looking forward to hearing what else Zerbin has in his catalog.
4:15 The Jezabels – Quite a few people have recommended the Jezabels to me, so I’m planning on checking them out.
5:45 Dan Mangan – I’ve seen Dan Mangan quite a few times and I love his latest album Oh Fortune. The band that he’s been playing with lately is just fantastic.
6.45 Sloan – There are so many Sloan songs I need to hear live, there is absolutely no way I’d be able to hear them all in this short 45 minute set. As long as “Underwhelmed” makes an appearance, I’ll be happy.
7:30 Cake – If you knew how many hours of my life I’ve spent listening to Cake, you’d probably be embarrassed for me. I’m pretty excited to see them live again.

Night Stages

10:30 The Jezabels @ Alix Goolden – On the off chance I don’t make it to the early part of the Royal Athletic Park activities on Saturday, you might find me here.
10:30 The Ruffled Feathers @ Wood Hall – A band from Vancouver that features a trumpet. At times they remind me of Beirut with an infusion of pop.
11:30 Jordan Klassen @ Wood Hall – Jordan is one of the top 20 in the Peak Performance Project this year. I missed his set at Rock of the Woods the other month so it will be great to see him.
11:30 Chixdiggit! @ Victoria Events Centre – It was a pretty big bummer when Chixdiggit had to cancel their show back in March due to a family emergency. This is going to be a great show and I’m looking forward to reliving some songs from my teen years.
12:30 Carmanah @ Wood Hall – Carmanah is a local band I’ve been meaning to check out and still haven’t got around to seeing. Unfortunately I think the Antlers are going to win out in this time slot, but if that show is full I’ll end up here.
12:30 The Antlers @ Alix Goolden – I can’t believe this, but I totally forgot that the Antlers are playing Rifflandia this year. Their latest album is fantastic. The last time slot on Saturday at the Alix Goolden ended up being my favourite set at last year’s festival so I have high hopes for the final Saturday slot this year.


War Child Lounge (the Atrium building)

11:30 Hey Ocean! – You know, I don’t think I’ve seen a full set from Hey Ocean yet. That’s a travesty. This is where my wrongs will be righted.
12:00 Mother Mother – I guess it’s not Rifflandia unless Mother Mother plays. The intimate setting of the Atrium sounds like it will be a great place to see them.

Royal Athletic Park

12:30 The Archers – If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s super talented kids who are way younger than me and way more famous than I’ll ever be. The Archers are those kids. You should check them out.
2:00 Grand Analog – Grand Analog played Rifflandia two years and put on a great show. I hope he breaks out the kazoo again.
2:45 Current Swell – Current Swell played a great set at Rock the Shores the other month. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
5:00 Hey Ocean! – I really hope that it’s sunny this weekend because I can’t imagine listening to Hey Ocean! in anything other than sunny weather. Maybe they’ll bring summer back. Oh, and be sure to say hi to the flippy hair guitar player.
5:45 Reggie Watts – All you need to do to get excited to see Reggie Watts is watch his cover of Van Halen’s “Panama”. (You can find video of that here. Sorry for the stupid ad at the beginning of the video.)
7:30 Mother Mother – It will be pretty great to see Mother Mother close out the festival. Actually, I can’t think of an act that’s more perfect to have this time slot.

I put together a list like this last year and found it quite useful. It helped to get myself organized on which bands I wanted to see. Also, I have yet to make it through a year of Rifflandia without my phone battery dying at least one night, so this is a good way to tell friends where to find me when that happens again.


Night Stages

8:30 Royal Canoe @ Alix Goolden – Royal Canoe put on one of the best shows I’ve been to this year. They have some really interesting music and their song “Bloodrush” is definitely one of my favourite tracks of 2012. Their music is pretty dancy so I don’t know how this is going to work at the Alix Goolden. Actually the whole lineup at the Alix Goolden on Thursday looks like it should have been in a different venue.

9:30 Data Romance @ Alix Goolden – I’m not too familiar with the duo of Data Romance, but I have heard a few projects that Ajay Bhattacharyya has drummed with. Based on that alone, I’m going to guess that Data Romance will be fantastic.

9:30 Northcote @ Metro Theatre – I had seen Northcote before, but when Matt Goud played a short set at the Acres of Lions house concert back in January I think the whole crowd fell in love with him. I’m not sure if Northcote will be with a full band or going the solo guitar route again, but it would be great to see the full band arrangement.

9:30 Portage and Main @ Wood Hall – Portage and Main were part of the Tracks On Tracks tour that the CBC put together earlier this summer. While I wasn’t able to join everyone on the train, I had the pleasure of seeing Portage and Main perform in a park in Toronto.

9:30 Bonehoof @ Victoria Events Centre – Bonehoof has been one busy band in the past year. The band consists of staff from the Fort Street Cafe and Ditch Records, two of my favourite places in Victoria, and they put on one great rock show. My band had the pleasure of performing before them at the Rock Of The Woods festival this year and I would definitely go see them again. The Thursday night 9:30pm slot seems like it’s going to be a tough choice. Bonehoof might just win for me.

10:30 The Matinee @ Wood Hall – Another band that was part of the CBC’s Tracks on Tracks this summer. I also got to see the Matinee play in a park in Toronto. A video of that afternoon can be found here.

11:30 Good For Grapes @ Wood Hall – I haven’t had the chance to see Good For Grapes yet, but so many of my friends have seen them perform in the past few months and not one of them has come back without a head over heels rave review for them.

11:30 Rich Aucoin @ Victoria Events Centre – People! You have three chances to see Rich Aucoin at Rifflandia this weekend. I would highly recommend that you not miss any of those chances. Hands down, Rich Aucoin has the best live act in Canada. I don’t know how his show is going to work in the Victoria Events Centre with all those tables in the way of the dance party that will surely break out, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

12:30 Austra @ Alix Goolden – I saw Austra last year after they made the shortlist for the 2011 Polaris Prize. I can’t say that I was a fan when I walked into that show, I mostly went to see what all the fuss was about, but they totally won me over. The ladies in Austra have some mighty fine pipes and their singing talent blew me away.


Royal Athletic Park

3:00 The Xylopholks – Here’s what the bio on the Rifflandia website says: “The Xylopholks are a dynamic group of musicians who mostly play novelty ragtime music from the 1920′s (featuring the xylophone!). They do so while wearing furry animal costumes.” Sounds good and weird to me.

3:30 Brasstronaut – If you’ve read any of my old blog entries, you’d probably know that Brasstronaut is one of my favourite bands. I can’t wait to hang out with my friends again.


6:45 Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – I’m one of the whitest girls out there, and you could fill libraries with what I don’t know about hip hop. One of my friends is really into Macklemore though and has been talking him up for months. I’ve heard that a lot of his songs use a trumpet, so I’m sold.

7:30 The Flaming Lips – I’m guessing I don’t need to say anything about the Flaming Lips. They’re who I’m most looking forward to on Friday and I’m sure they’re who you’re most looking forward to as well.

Night Stages

8:30 The Wicks @ Metro Theatre – I first came across the Wicks at Rifllandia two years ago. I can’t believe I haven’t seen them since then and should probably fix that.

10:30 Snowblink @ Metro Theatre – Snowblink play some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard. If you’re looking for a time slot to just sit and chill out, this would be it.

10:30 The Chantrelles @ Victoria Events Centre – I’ve heard nothing but good things about this local band. And they have a horn section? Sold.

12:30 Fucked Up @ Sugar Night Club – It took me a long time to get into Fucked Up. I only just started to appreciate them with their last album David Comes To Life, and it’s a really good one. I’ve heard rumours that Fucked Up might break up after their next album, so I wouldn’t miss what could be one of your last chances to see them live. Plus, what better way to end an evening than by getting sweaty, sweaty hugs from Damian Abraham?

The Arkells are playing Sugar nightclub in Victoria (tonight) Saturday November 12th. Opening for them is Rich Aucoin. Be sure to arrive early – Rich puts on quite the live show.

This post marks a couple of firsts for EhBSeasides: it’s the first interview for us, and it’s the first contribution by a guest writer. My friend Lucas Kitchen had the chance to chat with Max Kerman of the Arkells back in October 2010. Part of this conversation was published in CFUV‘s magazine Renegade Radio. Here’s the full interview:

Lucas Kitchen: What drives you guys to tour so much?

Max Kerman: We connect most when we play the songs live, and we really enjoy playing live. We get a lot of joy being able to travel from city to city, and trying to win people over. The band is at its best when we’re playing live.

LK: What have you learned about touring across the country, about touring in general?

MK: There’s a good attitude within the band about how seriously we take touring, I mean we have fun doing it, but the reason we have fun doing it is because we take it seriously, and because we do everything in our power to make sure the show is good because if the show is good then we’re going to feel good. Touring in Canada especially, you’re out driving 8 hours a day between cities so its tough to show up to a venue and play a half ass show. It’s something we try never to do because what’s the point otherwise? If you’re gonna be hauling all your gear somewhere and show up and not take it seriously and not put on an energetic show, then there wouldn’t be any point in doing it. I think the one thing we’ve learned is that you have to take every show seriously and try your best
every night.

LK: What have you learned about the country from criss-crossing it so many times?

MK: I find we always end up fueling up in the same spots ’cause our gauge gets low at the same points on every trip. There’s a gas station in Chamberlain Saskatchewan (which is between Regina and Saskatoon) which we always fill up at. There’s little truck stops we become used to. We found out there is no reception between Sault St Marie and Thunder Bay which is like 10 hours and kinda strange for people used to having their cell phones on them at all times. We’ve found that even if its not snowing, the Rocky Mountains can be terrifying because of fog. We’ve had a couple of really frightening experiences going down the mountain between Kamloops and Kelowna and not being able to see anything. We’re probably better drivers now because we’re used to each land formation that the country has to offer. The prairies can be pretty easy, but they can also get really slippery on the roads.

We’ve also gotten better at occupying our time on the road, listening to a podcast or an audio book. The guys have computers out and get into their movies and TV shows. The first couple of tours everyone was really excited and just kinda anxious the whole time but now its like I don’t mind getting in the van for a long period of time because I know I can send some emails, watch a movie, read a book, stuff that I like doing anyways.

LK: Anywhere you haven’t been yet that you’d like to go?

MK: In Canada we’ve been basically everywhere except for PEI which I’d love to see. We got to tour America this past summer with Tokyo Police Club and that was a great experience, they’re one of our favourite bands. Just getting to see other places around the world is something the band allows us to do, so that’s just really the next step, getting to see other cool places.

LK: How important is Hamilton to the band?

MK: The band was formed here and it’s the band’s home. Everyone comes from places just outside of Hamilton but we met in Hamilton. The band’s become such an important part of our lives and Hamilton is such a big part of that.

LK: Does a band lose a little part of who it is if it’s forced to relocate?

MK: If a band loses its connection to where it’s been sleeping every night for the past 5 years it’s because they’re not sleeping there, it’s ’cause they’re on the road all the time, feeling a little lonely. I don’t think we’re at that point yet but I understand that bands don’t always have the same connection they once had to their home towns, just because the nature of being in a band is that you’re not at home. But that’s not a bad thing, it just shapes a man differently. Every band remembers their first gig and starting off playing awful shows and it’s one thing we haven’t forgotten. It feels like in recent memory that we were playing to nobody at the Casbah in Hamilton but still really liking it. It’s all part of the process of growing up as a band.

LK: I know that the band members all have degrees of one sort or another. What was the plan back then when you were at school, what were you thinking of doing when you were working towards those degrees? What would you have been doing if the band hadn’t popped up?

MK: I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that I’m smart enough to surround myself with people much smarter than me. That’s the only thing I really got going for me is that I pick the best and the brightest to hang out with. I don’t know exactly what I’d be doing. We all have our own interests, journalism is something I think of few of us might get involved with, Mike is a really excellent graphic designer, Dan could be at law school, Tim is a fantastic recording engineer – we record a lot of our demos with Tim – and everyone could have gone to grad school. Everyone would be keeping busy, I’m sure of that.

LK: Where does the band name, Arkells, originate?

MK: Mike and I lived on Arkell street. For a period of time we were called Charlemagne but then we got a cease and desist order from an American singer/songwriter. When we started working with Dine Alone Records we had to tell them our dirty little secret that someone else had the name. We had about half an hour to change it because there was a deadline we had to meet about the promotion of our EP and we didn’t realize it was coming up so soon, and it was like “oh we’re just heading off to the printer, what’s the new band name?” Arkells had been kicking around for a while ’cause it kinda sounded like a 60s doo wop group. We could never fully decide because changing your name is kind of a painful process, not everyone in a band will completely agree on a name ’cause it’s just too tricky. But with half an hour we had to make an executive decision and so that was what it was gonna be.

LK: You’ve always been a band that enjoys hanging out after the show and talking with fans. Do you think that connection with your fans is important to build?

MK: When it comes down to it, we’re the biggest fanboys of our favourite bands and we’ve been lucky enough to have some really good experiences with Canadian bands. We opened up for Cuff the Duke and they were super kind to us and treated us really well. I’ve seen Joel Plaskett who’s probably my favourite songwriter in Canada and I’d go to his shows and stick around and he’s just as charming in person as he is on stage. I think there’s a real humbleness that a lot of Canadian musicians share. The fact that people are paying 20 bucks to come out to a show and buying a shirt, the least we can do is come hang out a bit if people want to talk. We’re really happy to do it, and people get a kick out of it as well.

LK: Jackson Square came out just over 2 years ago now and we’ve heard some new stuff at your last concert, is there a new album in the works?

MK: Yeah we’re just in the process of figuring out who we’re gonna do it with and then hopefully we’ll be recording in January or February. We’ve been practicing a lot in the last few weeks and getting really excited about the new stuff. The new stuff has been super fun to play live and it’s going to be a little prettier I think. I’m really excited and can’t wait to show people when its finished.

LK: One more anecdote for Victoria:

MK: We’ve always been pretty aware of having to try our best when it comes to playing live. I remember the Waking Eyes tour when we played Victoria, we came off of a Vancouver show that went really well, and then the club that we were playing at in Victoria had bumped our show earlier, and we got these ticket counts and we hadn’t sold too many tickets. So the whole band was feeling kinda bummed out after coming off this high at the Vancouver show: here we are in Victoria, we haven’t sold that many tickets, the show’s been bumped early ’cause they wanna get a band in later that’s gonna bring in a lot of people. I remember the first three or four songs of that show I wasn’t even really looking up which is uncharacteristic for all of us not to be engaging with the crowd. And
then I looked up four songs in and a really nice crowd had formed and people were getting into the music. The show was going really well and I was kicking myself because
we came in with a really bad attitude and by the end of the show it ended up being a wicked show. It taught us a lesson about not really caring about anything other than
putting on a really good show. Since then we’ve said, alright guys, we gotta bring it no matter what.

Alright. Here it is. I’ve finally written up my last post on the Rifflandia festival. And it only took me a good four months to get it done. Sigh…

Here’s the sight I came upon when I got to Market Square for the last big night of Rifflandia:

Rich Aucoin in Market Square

This pretty much lived up to everything I had heard about Rich Aucoin’s live show: video projections, audience participation, beach balls, parachutes (think along the lines of those parachutes from elementary school gym class), and music that can really only be described as “fun”. Oh, and there was a keytar! Go read any other review out there on Rich’s live shows. I guarantee you, they are in no way hyperbolizing how great they are. You have no idea how much I kicked myself for showing up late and only catching the last two songs. My only complaint for this set was the ridiculously early time slot. I’m sure the place would have been packed to the rafters had it been later in the evening. The crowd that did show up didn’t care though. They called and called for an encore. Unfortunately there was not enough time to spare before the next set of the night, so there was no encore for us.

Rich Aucoin at Market Square

After Rich Aucoin’s set I headed over to Club 9ONE9 to catch an artist who had been getting a lot of hype: Diamond Rings. I’m often skeptical when an artist receives so much press without even releasing a full album. I can tell you though, the hype for Diamond Rings is well deserved. (Of course, now that a few months have passed and the album Special Affections has been released, I can very surely say that he deserves every bit of praise he gets.) OK, maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised at how good Diamond Rings was. After all, John O’Regan is no stranger to the stage, what with being the lead singer of the D’Urbervilles and all.

Diamond Rings at Club 9ONE9

The dance floor for this show was packed, with lots of people singing along to songs. As was all too often an occurrence at this year’s Rifflandia, the crowd called for an encore to no result. I chatted briefly with John O. after his set, and am happy to report that he is really friendly and approachable. Your next chance to catch Diamond Rings in Victoria is Saturday March 12th at Sugar along with PS I Love You.

rainbow unicorn keyboard - what does it mean??

Diamond Rings at Club 9ONE9

Now it was time for my failed attempt to see Times Neue Roman. I showed up at the Upstairs Cabaret just ten minutes into what should have been their set and I was greeted with an empty stage. Hoping that things were just a few minutes behind schedule, I stuck around. Unfortunately it seemed that things were way ahead of schedule and I had missed out on seeing the band. (Has this ever, in the history of all concerts, happened??)

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald was next to take the stage at Upstairs. Since I was already there, I stayed for a couple of songs. I loved the fact that he had a horn section. His style of music reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on. If you’re interested in hearing some of his songs, my recommended listening is Maxine, Movie Life, and Brand New Spaces. Your next chance to see him in Victoria is this Tuesday February 8th at Lucky Bar.

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald at Upstairs Cabaret

I had just enough time to rush back to Market Square to see a bit of Hey Rosetta’s set. Last year at Rifflandia I had to listen to them while stuck in the line outside Market Square on Johnson Street. This year I was able to walk right in to the venue, not a single person was waiting in line. Success! …Or so I thought. To fit with the running theme of this night of Rifflandia, I was greeted by a stage not running on time. I don’t know what happened during the last two sets at Market Square but the set times were a good 20 to 30 minutes late at this point. Now I had a real decision to make. Do I stick around for one or two songs, or do I head over to Sugar to meet up with friends and rock out with Hollerado? Having already seen Hollerado twice in the past few months, I decided to gamble and stick around for Hey Rosetta. I made the wrong choice. The soundcheck took another 10 or 15 minutes and by the time Hey Rosetta took the stage I had to run to catch the last band of the night I wanted to see. After two misses two years in a row, I am so looking forward to seeing a regular non-festival style set from Hey Rosetta. They will be in town on Monday March 7th at Sugar in support of their new album, Seeds, which is out on February 15th. If you haven’t already heard it, you should check out their first single Welcome.

Hey Rosetta (not Hot Hot Heat) at Market Square

Well, I finally made it to the end. The Dodos were the last band I saw at Rifflandia. Walking into Sugar for this show it would be hard to tell that the crowd had been partying for the last three days straight. They had the same level of energy as the crowds on day one of the festival. It was amazing. The downpour of rain outside didn’t even dampen their spirits. Going into the show I didn’t know much about the Dodos. I knew that they had recently opened up for the New Pornographers on their tour, and I knew that one of the guys in the band played the vibraphone with a bow. That was enough to get me to the show. In writing this post I looked back on my tweets from the festival to make sure I didn’t miss anything. What I wrote about this show was “The Dodos: three guys, lots of percussion”. For only having three members with an instrumentation consisting only of guitar, drums, and a vibraphone, it’s amazing the sound that these guys can get. This set went a long way to turning around the foul mood I was in after missing out on so many sets earlier this night.

The Dodos at Sugar

The highlight of the set for me was the encore of Fables. It’s an incredibly catchy song. If you haven’t heard it, check out the video on the link I posted.

The encore came after the crowd started up the enthusiastic chant of “Ten more songs! Ten more songs!”. No one was ready to call it a night and no one was ready to call it an end to the amazing weekend that was the Rifflandia festival.

The Dodos at Sugar

To wrap this all up (since I spread it out over so many months) here’s the rest of my coverage on Rifflandia 2010:

Rifflandia Recap: Day 1

Finally!… Rifflandia Recap: Day 2

Photos Day 1

Photos Day 2

Photos Day 3