Tag Archive: Rifflandia


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?

And here’s the breakdown on where I’ll probably be at Rifflandia on Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be tweeting throughout the festival, check there if you’re looking for up to date information on all the action.


Royal Athletic Park

1:00 Sunhawk – Another Victoria group playing the festival, and another I’ve been told that has a killer live act.

1:30 Vince Vaccaro – You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Vince Vaccaro on stage doing just a set of his work. I’ve seen him tons of times in the audience at shows around town, and just as many times I’ve seen him jump on stage to sing or play guitar or do percussion to back up a friend. Huh.

2:40 Jets Overhead – It’s been ages since I’ve seen Jets Overhead, and it will be great to finally hear songs off their latest album.

3:20 Library Voices – Again, a great live band. They’ll bring lots of energy.

4:00 Awolnation – SAIL! Joking aside, people with varying tastes in music have all told me that they like this band and that they put on one heck of a show.

4:45 Hollerado – I know for a fact that these guys put on a killer live show. Be prepared to be showered in confetti.

5:25 Cold War Kids – They do that song Audience that you probably heard on the radio a bajillion times last year. Great, now that song is stuck in my head. Guess I’ll have to go to the set to hear it and get it out of there.

7:10 City and Colour – There’s something that falls a bit flat for me with Dallas Green’s records, but I saw City and Colour at Sasquatch this year and really enjoyed the live show.

Night Stages

8:30 Beekeeper @ VEC – Beekeeperuses rhythms a bit more quirky than what your average indie band uses. If you like your music a little weird, go to this show. Oh, and Beekeeper is fronted by the flippy haired guitar player of Hey Ocean, so that’s a bonus.

9:30 The Belle Game @ VEC – Big things are in the future for this band. In fact, just this week they opened up for the 2010 Polaris Prize winners, Karkwa. The group is just wrapping up putting together their first album and they’re in the Top 20 for the Peak Performance Project this year.

9:30 Olenka @ Metro Theatre – My Ontario friends have raved to me about this act. They tend to have good taste in music, so I’ll believe them on this one.

10:30 Suuns @ Metro Theatre – Admittedly I’ve heard mixed reviews of their live show but their album, Zeroes QC, is one of the most interesting things I’ve heard in the past year.

10:30 Hawk and Steel @ Wood Hall – A new Victoria group, composed of five guys who are no strangers to the scene. This is one of their first shows, get in on the ground level.

11:30 Acres of Lions @ VEC – Hopefully Acres of Lions will get a reaction (a reaction!) from the crowd. Seriously though, their song “Reaction” has got to be the catchiest thing I’ve heard all summer.

11:30 Old Man Luedecke @ Wood Hall – Banjo pickin’, knee slappin’ times. Even if you’re currently employed, singing along to the song “I Quit My Job” is a lot of fun.

12:30 J Mascis @ Alix Goolden – It’s J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. Need I say more?

12:30 The Pack AD @ Metro Theatre – I was disappointed in the turnout for their last show in Victoria. Hopefully the success of their new single “Sirens” will help improve the turnout for this one.

12:30 Royal Wood @ Wood Hall – Another handsome singer-songwriter. This one plays the piano though and wears a suit. Royal Wood recorded an album of cover songs, including a cover of Foster The People’s hit “Pumped Up Kicks”, and the album is only available for purchase at stops on the tour.


Royal Athletic Park

1:30 Kuba Oms – I knew that Kuba Oms was in the Top 20 of the Peak Performance Project in 2009 and 2010. What I didn’t know is that he’s from Victoria and years ago he used to hang in the same circles as then unknown Nelly Furtado. For some reason I’m intrigued by this.

2:40 Gomez – You may best know this English band from having provided songs for TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and House.

4:00 Blackalicious – The highlight of my weekend would be if I could hear Blackalicious perform “Alphabet Aerobics”.

7:10 De La Soul – Some old school hip hop sounds like a good way to wrap up the weekend.

I still have a few decisions to make on what I’ll be seeing at Rifflandia this weekend, and I thought that some of you might be in the same boat. If you’re completely lost on what to see, here’s some acts I recommend checking out:


Night Stages

8:30 Circadian Kingdom @ VEC – I looked up this band because I was interested in some groups playing later at the venue. I like what I hear.

9:30 Kim Churchill @ Wood Hall – I saw Kim Churchill at the Live at Squamish festival a few weeks ago. He’s an amazing guitar player, I highly recommend seeing this set.

9:30 Wool On Wolves @ VEC – They’ve got that alt country thing going on and have drawn comparisons to the likes of the Band, Ryan Adams, and Wilco.

10:30 The Archers @ Wood Hall – The Victoria group was recently crowned BC’s Best Teen Band, worth a listen!

10:30 Man Made Lake @ VEC – Another Victoria band, I haven’t had the chance to see them live yet.

11:30 We Are the City @ Wood Hall – One of my favourite groups. The band just released their Mourning Song / Morning Song EP the other day. I think I have to go just to pick up a copy.

11:30 Young Rival @ VEC – Some good Canadian rock and roll.

11:30 Braids @ Metro Theatre – Braids played a fantastic set at the Polaris Prize Gala the other night.


Royal Athletic Park

1:30 Dinosaur Bones – They just passed through town back in April opening for Tokyo Police Club. I missed most of their set, so it’s nice to have a second chance.

2:00 Mike Edel – One of my favourite musical discoveries of the past year, and is an act from Victoria!

2:40 Cave Singers – I don’t know much about this band, but a lot of my friends seem to like this indie folk group.

4:00 Ra Ra Riot – I missed their last show in Victoria, looks like I get two second chances today.

4:45 The Besnard Lakes – Does anyone else think that 4:45pm outdoors at a baseball diamond must be the weirdest time and place to see the Besnard Lakes? They play again Friday night at 12:30am at the Metro Theatre. (OK, technically that’s 12:30am on Saturday, but you know what I mean.)

5:25 Mother Mother – Always a crowd pleaser.

6:30 Jakarta – The band recently signed with the Arts and Crafts label and this is one of the group’s first shows after changing their name from The Racoons to Jakarta.

7:10 Broken Social Scene – BSS recently announced that they will soon go on an indefinite touring hiatus. This is one of their last shows in North America and for me is one of the must-see shows of the festival!

Night Stages

8:30 Redbird @ VEC – I’ve been waiting for Redbird to come to Victoria after hearing my Vancouver friends rave about them so much.

9:00 Jeremy & Boitano @ Phillip’s Brewery – Word is that an act had to cancel and so local DJs from the 91.3 The Zone are jumping in to fill the spot. This could be interesting as I have no idea what to expect out of them.

9:30 Provincial Archive @ Alix Goolden – This band from Edmonton passed through town recently, unfortunately I wasn’t in town at the same time so I missed them.

9:30 Rococode @ Metro Theatre – One of my favourite new groups from the past year. They opened for Mother Mother’s two sold out shows a few months ago.

10:00 Michael Rault @ Phillip’s Brewery – A young musician who makes music that sounds like it came straight out of the 50s.

11:30 Library Voices @ VEC – A great live act. I’m glad they’re playing somewhere where all the band members stand a chance of fitting on the same stage.

11:30 Malajube @ Metro Theatre – It’s too bad that Malajube is playing at the same time as Library Voices. It’s been a while since they’ve passed through town, so this one might win between the two.

12:30 The Cave Singers @ Alix Goolden Hall – Like I said, I don’t know much about this group, but from what I’ve heard this seems like the perfect venue for them.

12:30 The Besnard Lakes @ Metro Theatre – A small, dark theatre? Yep, I’ll be there!

12:30 Matthew Barber @ Wood Hall – If handsome singer-songwriters are your thing, you should be at this show.

Even though I’m stuck most of my days at school, it seems that summer is officially in full swing. Some great festivals have already happened this season (such as Sasquatch, Victoria Ska Fest, and Summer Live in Vancouver), but before we get too late in the year I thought I would give a preview of some great upcoming events.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Location: Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver, BC

Dates: Friday July 15th – Sunday July 17th

Website: http://thefestival.bc.ca/

Info: This is the 34th year of the Vancouver Folk Fest. The grounds at Jericho Beach have got to be one of the prettiest places ever to have a music festival. I can’t think of anything better to do on a summer day than to look at ocean, mountains, and the city skyline while listening to some superb music. Though the name of this festival says “folk”, the lineup has “indie” written all over it this year – just take a look at my list of highlights below. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Vancouver Folk Fest the past two years (check out my photos from last year’s festival here and here), and I’m looking forward to being able to cover the festival this weekend. Be sure to follow my tweets and check back here on EhBSeasides for the highlights. Ticket prices and daily schedules are posted on the festival’s website.

Who to catch: Dustin Bentall & Kendel Carson (they put on a great set at Summer Live in Vancouver last weekend!), Jim Bryson and the Weakerthans Band, Buck 65, the Burning Hell, Kathryn Calder, Elliott Brood, Imaginary Cities, Danny Michel, Joel Plaskett Emergency.

Kulth Music Festival

Location: Coombs (Vancouver Island), BC

Dates: Saturday July 16th – Sunday July 17th

Website: http://thekulth.ca/

Info: This is the first year for the Kulth Festival, and I for one am excited to have a new musical event on Vancouver Island (though next year the organizers should coordinate with the Vancouver Folk Fest so as not to book them on the same weekend!). I actually don’t know much about this festival, but with a lineup like they’ve got this year I’m thinking it can’t be that bad. Ticket prices and daily schedules are posted on the festival’s website.

Who To Catch: Stars, Ron Sexsmith, Aidan Knight, Memphis, Top Less Gay Love Teckno Party, Louise Burns, Current Swell.

Victoria Electronic Music Festival

Location: Centennial Square, Victoria, BC

Dates: Saturday July 30th – Sunday July 31st

Website: http://vemf.org/

Info: This is the 8th year for the Victoria Electronic Music Festival (VEMF). While I’m not up on my electronic music knowledge, I have to say that I really admire the model that this festival works on. VEMF operates as an all ages, non profit festival. In fact, up until this year it was absolutely free to take in the events at VEMF. (This year the price made the small jump up to $5 in order to cover the cost of security the city now requires of the festival.) If I stay in town for the BC Day long weekend, I hope to catch some of the VEMF events!

Who To Catch: I’m not even going to try pick anything here. Mostly because I have no idea where to start, but also because there’s no full line up posted yet.

Live At Squamish Festival

Location: Squamish, BC

Dates: Saturday August 20th – Sunday August 21st

Website: http://www.liveatsquamish.com/

Info: Live At Squamish is now in its second year and they’re looking to build on the success of last year’s festival by providing on site camping, booking some big headliners, and partnering with a major sponsor. I went to Live At Squamish last year and had a blast. (Check out my photos here and here.) One thing I especially loved about Live At Squamish was how the festival was big with a small festival feel. It was great to see some amazing acts like the Decemberists and Devo without being totally overwhelmed by swarms of people. The festival also does an awesome job of booking smaller local acts. (I am so excited to finally see the Zolas perform!) Ticket info can be found on the Live At Squamish website. EhBSeasides has secured a press spot for this year’s Live At Squamish festival, so be sure to follow my tweets and check back here for ongoing coverage.

Who To Catch: Metric, Bend Sinister, The Belle Game (they also put on a great set at Summer Live last weekend), Brasstronaut, Shad, Shane Koyczan, the Dudes, the Zolas, Black Mountain, Stars.

Rifflandia Festival

Location: Victoria, BC

Dates: Thursday September 22nd – Sunday September 25th

Website: http://2011.rifflandia.com/

Info: It’s year four for Rifflandia, and they just keep building with no signs of stopping. This year Rifflandia has secured the use of Royal Athletic Park and plans to host some big headliners at this large outdoor venue. Word has it that Royal Athletic Park has the capacity of the entire festival, so this means no more standing outside in the rain being disappointed that you can’t get into that full venue to see your favourite band. The first couple waves of performing artist announcements have been made, and so far it lives up to the expectations set by previous years’ line ups. (My photos of last year’s festival can be found here and here and here, with written coverage here and here and here.) I’m really excited to see the return of Rifflandia alumni like Hollerado, Mother Mother, and We Are The City, as well as some new faces like Karkwa and Suuns. I’m hoping that more local acts get announced in the coming weeks; discovering local bands like Forestry, the Wicks, Maurice, and Aidan Knight is definitely one of my favourite things about Rifflandia. My ticket for this year’s festival is already purchased, info on how to get yours is available on the Rifflandia website.

Who To Catch: City and Colour, Broken Social Scene, Mother Mother, Besnard Lakes, Hollerado, Matthew Barber, The Pack AD, Royal Wood, Braids, Jets Overhead, Karkwa, Library Voices, Malajube, The Racoons, Suuns, We Are The City, Mike Edel, Rococode.

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

OK, the guilt is really setting in. It’s been two months and I still have to report on two more days of the Rifflandia festival. Stupid work and life getting in the way. Anyways, here goes:

Day 2 of the Rifflandia festival started off early by checking out Treelines at the Victoria Events Centre. Their new EP Young Man received some heavy play on my stereo this summer, so this was one of the sets I was most looking forward to at Rifflandia. The first song I caught from them, Summer Song, had just that morning been awarded the title of the CBC Radio 3 Song of Summer for 2010. The fool that I am, I showed up a few minutes into the set and ended up missing my favourite song, Ghost Towns. That’s just one more reason for Treelines to make a quick return to Victoria I guess. This was actually the first show I had been to at the Victoria Events Centre, and let me just say that this venue has really got some potential. It was a pretty good space to see music, with some good sightlines, and it had a bar even though it was an all ages venue (a double win!). Back to the music though. Treelines put on one rocking set chock-full of energy. I think the almost full venue of people would have agreed with me on that. The band did not disappoint my high expectations for this show; I can’t wait to see Treelines again.

Treelines at the Victoria Events Centre

Up next at the Victoria Events Centre was a local band, The Wicks, who played some laid back country. It was nice to hear a local band I hadn’t heard before, but after that rocking set by Treelines I couldn’t sit down and give the Wicks the attention they deserved so I decided to move on. I did pick up their EP before I left though, so I’m looking forward to giving it a listen through.

The Wicks at the Victoria Events Centre

At this point I moved over to see another local band, Maurice, at Market Square. This was clearly where the party was going on, with the beer garden lineup growing by the second. The whole set culminated with one unforgettable moment of the festival in which the bass player Mark leaped off a stack of speakers. The next day it was revealed that he sprained his ankle – ouch! As proof, the band posted some photos up on their Facebook page of a pretty bruised and swollen foot.

Yukon Blonde were up next at Market Square and to put it bluntly, they rocked the joint. I was impressed that the band’s great harmonies transferred so well from the album to the stage. At this point Market Square was almost at capacity, and everyone seemed really into the show. I would not be surprised if Yukon Blonde walked away with more than a few new fans that night. Near the end of the set Aidan Knight and the boys of We Are the City joined the band on stage for a song.

with Aidan Knight and We Are The City

Yukon Blonde at Market Square

At this point the night was in full swing and I went from one capacity crowd to another to see Aidan Knight at the Metro. Even with my media pass I got stuck waiting out in the hall for this massively popular show. Luckily I was able to make it in partway through first song so all worked out. For this set Aidan and his band played a mix of  old songs, new songs, and songs from his most recent release Versicolour. After catching him a few times this summer with the Malahat Revue it was nice to see him play such a well rounded collection of material. Partway through the set Aidan asked how many of us saw him at last year’s Rifflandia festival. Considering this was such a breakout performance for him, I was surprised that the answering applause was so quiet. I guess this just goes to show how the love for Aidan Knight has spread so much in the past year. This evening Aidan was joined by a five piece band which was a nice expansion from his solo set at last year’s Rifflandia festival. The band grew even more for the song Knitting Something Nice For You when they were joined by the boys of We Are The City and by Matt Kelly of Treelines. The crowd leaped to their feet for this number, and they even got the clapping part of the song down without any prompting. To finish off the night Aidan asked the crowd to have a seat, at which point he expressed how genuinely happy he is to just be playing music. He also gave the Rifflandia organizers a heartfelt thanks for bringing something so great to our city, and mentioned some of the amazing shows he had seen so far. The band finished the night off with Jasper, and though the crowd started off sitting it didn’t last long. By the end of the song everyone was on their feet singing along, and Aidan finished the whole thing off from somewhere in the middle of the crowd.

Aidan Knight at the Metro

When I left the Metro there was a long line to see Men Without Hats. I grossly underestimated how popular that show would be and I’m quite interested to hear how that it went. Since I was in the area I decided to make a quick stop at the Alix Goolden Hall for Great Lake Swimmers. There was a long, long lineup to get in. Before the show the crowd was a little on the rowdy, restless side which made me think this show would be a disaster, but everyone quieted down as soon as the band took the stage. Unfortunately, things were running about 15 minutes late so I decided to only stay for two songs: She Comes To Me In Dreams and Everything Is Moving So Fast. If I had to hear only two songs from the Great Lake Swimmers, those are two pretty good choices.

Great Lake Swimmers at the Alix Goolden

To finish off the night I headed over to Sugar to catch the last half of Shout Out Out Out Out’s set. Once I got inside the club I was greeted with one sweaty dance party that was well underway. The whole crowd was basically jumping up and down for the entire show. Somehow or another I managed to navigate through the mass of people to get up to the front row where my friends were camped out. This was such a great way to wrap up the evening and get out all my extra energy from seeing so many hours of amazing music this weekend. Shout Out Out Out Out’s show was another one of my most anticipated sets of the festival and with two drummers and three bass players (insert double rainbow joke here), you can surely imagine that they did not let me down. In fact, the band said that it was probably their best show in Victoria so far. The crowd was so riled up by the end when they demanded an encore that the band decided to play Forever Indebted, a song that they claimed to have not played in a long time. This is one of my favourites from them, and it was such a great way to end the night.

Shout Out Out Out Out at Sugar

Now, I know this is supposed to be a music review, but after the show we wandered down to West Coast Waffles on Broad Street. I only found out that weekend that they have late night hours. They served up some amazing after show food that was such a nice change from the old standby of pizza, and they even had a mix CD of Rifflandia artists on the stereo! En route to West Coast Waffles my group ran into Zach from the Zolas and members of Treelines. I must say, it’s been a real treat so have so many musicians in town, and to have them hang around after their shows are over without needing to rush for the ferry, giving us the chance to chat with them while wandering the streets. Also spotted throughout the weekend were members of We Are the City and Aidan Knight.

Shout Out Out Out Out at Sugar

Up next in Day 3: Rich Aucoin, Diamond Rings, (a failed attempt to see) Times Neue Roman, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Hey Rosetta, The Dodos.

Rifflandia Recap: Day 1

Sunday Buckets at Market Square

Hometown boys Sunday Buckets kicked off year three of the Rifflandia festival Thursday night at Market Square. The stage started off with a few technical problems, but they were quickly fixed and the show was underway. Despite the rain and the early time slot the band had no problem drawing an audience and they seemed really happy with the turnout. Near the end of their set the band threw some merch into the crowd, including copies of their new album. So far, it was a pretty good start to the festival.

Brasstronaut at Market Square

Up next on the Market Square stage was Brasstronaut. If you know me, it’s no secret that I love this band. I can’t wait for the day that people here know them well enough so that I’m not the only weirdo in the crowd singing along to all their songs.

Edo Reminding Us to Vote for the Echo Prize

This was my third time seeing Brasstronaut in Victoria and it seems that their audience here grows each time. I was glad to see that the technical problems from earlier in the evening just meant that the set times were shifted by 15 minutes, rather than having someone’s set cut short. One moment I found kind of funny was when the trumpet player Bryan Davies hit that high note at the end of Six Toes and raised his arms in triumph to celebrate. (You can see that moment at the end of this video.) The band tried out a new song that for now is untitled.

Sam Davidson of Brasstronaut

Before leading into Hearts Trompet the keyboardist and lead singer Edo van Breemen gave us all a gentle reminder that the song is nominated for the fan decided Echo Songwriting Prize and that we should all go put a vote in. If they win, the band plans to put the $5000 towards their upcoming European tour. Brasstronaut closed their set with Slow Knots. I swear, if the album version hasn’t won you over, you need to see them play it live.

I decided to stick around Market Square for a few songs of the next act Grand Analog. Brennan Saul of Brasstronaut joined in on drums for this set. The crowd was instantly into what Grand Analog had to offer and without much prodding everyone was dancing and waving their hands in the air. Throughout the first few songs Grand Analog hinted that he brought his kazoo with him, so I knew that I had to hang around for a bit. The now capacity crowd at Market Square did a fine job of the call and response in Electric City. (“Music makes the world go round, world go round, world go round. Music makes the world go round, we ain’t going nowhere.”) During a break in the song I Play My Kazoo, Grand Analog and his DJ took turns showing off their dance moves. (Air kicks! Handstands!)

Grand Analog at Market Square

About halfway through Grand Analog’s set I decided to try make it to Club 9ONE9 for the last part of We Are The City’s time slot. Unfortunately because the Market Square stage was running 15 minutes behind schedule, I underestimated how late it was and I made it just in time to hear the last chord from We Are The City. Darn. The band currently has no upcoming shows scheduled, so I really hope I didn’t blow my last chance to see them for the next few months.

When I started the evening I wasn’t too sure what to see in the 10:30 time slot. With many venues filling up for the evening I decided to head over to the Metro Theatre and check out local band Forestry. The only thing I knew about Forestry was that they were featured in CFUV’s magazine Renegade Radio this past year and I picked this show based purely on that fact. This is why I love festivals like Rifflandia. Not only do I get to see numerous bands that I’m already a fan of, I also get bands that I might not otherwise be prompted to see live. As it turns out, I really liked Forestry. If Band of Horses ever come back to town these guys would make for a great opening act. The two bands seem to write songs from the same manual where they start off quiet and by the end everyone is rocking out. I was not the only person to rush to the merch table right after Forestry’s set to pick up their album.

Lee Ranaldo at the Metro Theatre

Since I was already at the Metro Theatre I stuck around to see a few minutes of Lee Ranaldo. I mean really, how could I pass up the chance to see one of the founding members of Sonic Youth? Even as the stage was being set up you could tell that we were all about to witness something unique; in darkness a guitar hung from a wire in the middle of the stage giving the appearance of floating midair. Even though Ranaldo is heralded as being one of the greatest guitar players of all time, not once did he play the instrument in any sort of traditional way. Lots of effects were used, and everything from a bow, to fingers, to a drumstick, to a handheld media device was used to get sound out of the instrument. The theatrics of the performance provided just another level to the set. Ranaldo not only played the guitar, he danced with it, sometimes swinging his partner wildly across the stage as video images flooded the backdrop behind him. This was truly an unforgettable performance.

Lee Ranaldo at the Metro Theatre

I finished off the night back at Club 9ONE9 for You Say Party. I arrived partway through their set, but was just in time to catch the band launch into Laura Palmer’s Prom. The night played out much like their set at the Live At Squamish Festival a few weeks prior, and I mean that in the best possible way. The dance floor was in full swing the entire time, and there was a good mix of new songs and songs from their most recent release XXXX, with some old gems sprinkled in for good measure. The band finished off their set with Like I Give A Care, and left the stage with the crowd calling out for an encore. With the applause not letting up after a good couple minutes, lead singer Becky came back on stage and said “aw, thanks, that was our encore”, smiled, waved and left. We were out of luck that night, but what a great way to end Day 1 of Rifflandia.

You Say Party

Up next in Day 2: Treelines, the Wicks, Maurice, Yukon Blonde, Aidan Knight, Great Lake Swimmers, and Shout Out Out Out Out.

Hot off the heels of a massive live-streamed concert at Madison Square Garden (not to mention a #1 album in Canada, the US, and the UK), the Arcade Fire have announced a pile of North American tour dates which fall between two blocks of European dates. Looks like it’s time to get out that bucket list and cross off “see Arcade Fire live”! Calexico, who have been working the summer festival circuit for the past couple months, will be the opening act for all stops on the North American leg with the exception of the Los Angeles dates.

September 22nd 2010 – St. Paul, USA – Roy Wilkins Auditorium

September 23rd 2010 – Winnipeg, MB – MTS Centre

September 25th 2010 – Saskatoon, SK – Credit Union Centre

September 26th 2010 – Calgary, AB – Stampede Corral

September 28th 2010 – Vancouver, BC – Pacific Coliseum

September 29th 2010 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena

September 30th 2010 – Portland, OR – Memorial Coliseum

October 2nd 2010 – Berkley, CA – Greek Theatre

October 5th 2010 – Big Sur, CA – Henry Miller Library

October 7th 2010 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium

October 8th 2010 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium

October 10th 2010 – Mexico City, Mexico – Palacio De Los Deportes

October 12th 2010 – Monterrey, Mexico – Banamex Theatre

Though ticket information is not listed on the band’s webpage, some information is available through Ticketmaster. Tickets for the Vancouver show go on sale Friday August 20th 2010 at 10am with presales starting Wednesday August 18th 2010 at 10am.

The music event that Victorians look forward to all year is nigh! Though an initial line-up has been public for a few months now, this past Sunday Rifflandia 3 announced their full line-up and schedule. With 157 bands playing at 11 different venues over 4 days, it looks like there is some tough decisions to be made on who to check out the weekend of September 23rd-26th. The best part? Wristbands for the entire weekend are only $65! I’m sure that I’ll be making many more posts about Rifflandia in the coming weeks, but in the meantime catch all the festival details at the Rifflandia website.

The Rock of the Woods Festival is relocating to the city and is now being dubbed the Rock of the Hood Festival. The acts initially booked to fill one day of music in the wilderness near Mill Bay, are being spread amongst three nights in Victoria.

From the festival’s website: “Due to a lack of support from the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and Mill Bay RCMP, the Rock of the Woods festival is not able to take place in Mill Bay this year. Local authorities deliberated the event application for several weeks, and in the end decided to reject it, due to fears about potential safety risks. The Mill Bay region has never hosted a comparable event before and was uncomfortable with it going ahead. The ROTW organizers made several attempts to adjust the event plan to mitigate the municipalities concerns… When this still did not convince the RCMP and municipality that the merits of the festival outweighed the potential risks, Surge Ahead & the Oswego Arts & Cultural Society ( the event organizers), regretfully submitted to the CVRD’s wishes. The show will go on, but in an in-town location.”

Tickets purchased for the initial festival near Mill Bay will be honored for the new incarnation in Victoria, or they can be refunded by contacting the organizers. Tickets for the Victoria shows are still available and go for $45 for the entire weekend, with tickets for individual nights available at the door. Purchase information can be found on the festival’s website.

The line-up and schedule for the festival:

Friday August 20th at Sugar
Brasstronaut, The British Columbians, Sunday Buckets, Acres of Lions, and Smith & Lyseng

Saturday August 21st at Sugar
Junior Boys, Mat the Alien, The Mohawk Lodge, Humans, and Celebrity Traffic

Sunday August 22nd at Lucky Bar
Wrap-up party with Run Chico Run, Espionage, Bloody Wilma, and JP Maurice