Tag Archive: Versa


Facts and Kermode

I’ve seen Colin McTaggart’s band Kermode a few times now. Does this make me a super fan? I don’t know, but it seems that they’ve played quite a few shows with other bands that I really like. In fact, the first time I met Colin was also the first time I saw Versa, the band I now play with. He of course was up on stage performing with the band. (Because really, where else would he be? I’ve lost count of the number of bands that Colin performs with.) The lineup in Kermode has changed every time I’ve seen them, but the band does a great job of pulling it together with all the changes. One of my favourite staples of Kermode’s set is their cover of “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by the Talking Heads. Posted below is a video of the band playing that one. (Sorry for the crummy audio – totally my fault for standing so close to the speakers.)

 

[youtube http://youtu.be/8aDgLNJeBhY]

 

Opening for Kermode was the Vancouver band Facts. I first heard of Facts through last year’s Peak Performance Project. Of the bands I hadn’t heard of before in the competition, they were the only ones I liked and found interesting. I was super excited when I learned that they would be playing this show, which just so happened to be their first show in Victoria. Hopefully they can make it back here for another show soon! Posted below are some videos I took during their set. You have no idea how super hard it was to stand still and not dance and ruin the video! Included are “Body Break”, “Retro Oceans”, and “Colourful Box”. Enjoy!

 

[youtube http://youtu.be/ss1oet3ouSI]

 

[youtube http://youtu.be/ENa2Y1VOMQw]

 

[youtube http://youtu.be/xmLtO-vn_UA]
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Catching Up

Alright, it’s February already and I haven’t posted anything here since November. I could tell you that I’m in the last phase of my degree right now and that my time is consumed with research and writing up my results and giving talks about my research and teaching two very large classes. Instead I’m going to go with the cooler excuse:

Last year I made the change from just writing about music to getting out there and playing music. (Actually, I’ve been playing music for quite a few years, but last year I joined an honest to goodness real rock band.) I’m sure I’ve mentioned this here before, I play trumpet in the Victoria rock band Versa. The band has been crazy productive these past few months.

[youtube http://youtu.be/c_ODXzeatrU]

First, in December we released a video for our new song “Lantern Season”. The title of the song comes from the Dresden Codak comic Lantern Season. The video had a bout of popularity when Dresden Codak and a few other internet comic forums gave us a shout out. Thanks comic fans for taking the time to watch and give us some us some amazing feedback!

Then on January 4th, we released our new Common Things EP. The EP features a radio edit (more trumpet!) of our song “Common Things” that originally appeared on our 2010 album The Decline And Fall Of…. In addition we have three new songs (“Love In Idleness”, “Lantern Season”, and “Flew The Coup” ) and remix of “Common Things” done by our friend Olav (Colin Liseth). You can take a listen to the EP version of “Common Things” below and you can download the entire release for free from our website here.

Last week we played a show at Lucky Bar with local bands Small Town Villains and Bloody Wilma. Both bands were great and the evening was a ton of fun. We gave CDs away to audience members who could keep up with our crazy time changes while bustin’ a move. I’m happy to report that some people out there do in fact have rhythm. Thanks to everyone who came out to the show! Our friend Adam from Magmazing Music joined us that night and took some great video of our set. Hopefully we’ll have that posted somewhere soon for you to see. Our friend Meg of Meg Super Photography was also at the show and has some excellent photos of the evening posted here and here.

Next up Versa maybe has a new video in the works, and we have a show at the Cambie in Nanaimo on Saturday March 3rd, and an all ages show here in Victoria in April. So basically, a lot of fun things are happening that will keep me from posting here regularly!

Enough of the shameless plugs, hopefully I’ll get some new photos and songs posted here soon. …Is February too late to put up my “Best of 2011” list?

Versa Update

Hi friends! My band Versa has been hard at work the last little while, so here’s a quick update:

Back in June the band released a music video for the song Dusk.

We were also featured in the Saanich News! (Thanks to the writer, Natalie North, for giving EhBSeasides a shout out too!)

Photos by Matthew Dolmage

We’ve been busy, busy, busy recording music and videos the past month too. Our EP Common Things is in the finishing stages and should be out in a few weeks. (Finally, there will be proof that I’m in this band!)

To top it all off, we’ve been hard at work prepping for some shows this weekend. On Saturday June 16th we’ll be at the Fort Street Cafe (Facebook event page) and on Sunday June 17th we’re heading over to Vancouver to play the Backstage Lounge (Facebook event page). At both shows we’ll be joined by the groups Boy, Nun, Boy, Nun and Redrick Sultan. We have a full line up of seven musicians for the Victoria show, so at the very least you should come to watch us try fit on the stage! Tickets to these shows are just $7 and are available at the door. Hope to see you there!

I had the fortune of seeing my friend (and fellow Versa band member) Matt play an acoustic show at the Solstice Cafe the other week. Joined by Claire Coupland, the two billed themselves as Hot Stalin.

I think it’s kind of weird to write reviews of friends (my last review of Versa was before I met the group), so rather than do that I’ll just share some videos from the show. Enjoy!

A cover of the Versa song Common Things:

A cover of the Platinum Blonde / Crystal Castles song Not In Love:

Pumping On My Stereo*

It’s been a while since I last posted something, so I thought it would be fun (or at least easy) to write about of what I’ve been listening to lately. I’m not keeping any strict rules here. The albums can be new or old, Canadian or not – they just have to be in my rotation of current listening.

Teen Daze – Beach Dreams

I got this album off the Teen Daze Bandcamp page a few months ago when it was offered for free. Since then I’ve been hooked on the song Let’s Fall Asleep Together. The song starts off with a super summery harmony and is just dreamy pop the whole way through. I’m pretty sure you are in fact supposed to listen to this album while on a beach. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Teen Daze.

 

 

 

Peter Bjorn and John – Gimme Some

Outside of the song Young Folks I never really got into Peter Bjorn and John. That may have changed the moment I saw them on Conan last month. That night they performed Second Chance, a song off their upcoming album Gimme Some. I’ve had Second Chance stuck in my head pretty much for the past two months straight. I don’t know why this song hasn’t hit the radio airwaves yet, but I’m calling it now: this is going to be the earworm of the summer.

 

 

 

The National – High Violet

I admit: I hadn’t heard a single track from the National until just a couple weeks ago. I know, I fail as a hipster. This was one of the best albums of 2010 according to… well, everyone really. In any case I’m glad I finally clued in. I still haven’t had the chance to sit down and listen to the album all the way through in one go, but my favourite tracks so far are Afraid Of Everyone, England, and Bloodbuzz Ohio. (Versa may have a cover of Afraid of Everyone in the works. It involves me singing backup, you’ve all been warned.) Here’s a fun extra: Aaron Dessner of The National appears on Q with Jian Ghomeshi and shows us all how to play the piano part to England (video).

 

 

The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

This is definitely one of my favourite albums of 2011. The last Decemberists album, Hazards of Love, didn’t really win me over. It wasn’t bad, I just never really got into it. I’m glad the band took a different direction on this album. Calamity Song is one of my favourite songs this year.

 

 

 

 

Explosions In The Sky – The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

I think I may have found a new favourite band. This album clocks in at just over 45 minutes, contains only 5 tracks, and has no vocals. I think the word I’m looking for to describe The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place is “epic”. My stand out track is The Only Moment We Were Alone. I’m definitely going to pick up another Explosions In The Sky album on my next trip to the record store.

 

 

 

We Are The City – High School

It’s hard to believe this just came out yesterday. I picked up my copy of High School back in January when the boys played a show here with Aidan Knight. Parts of High School pick up right where the band left off with their debut release In A Quiet World, and parts head in a bit of a different direction. It all fits together quite well though, and the first single Happy New Year is incredibly catchy. You can download Happy New Year off of any number of music blogs, including this one I found here.

 

 

*Internet points to anyone who gets the reference here.

Hello friends, and a very belated happy 2011 to you all! I thought I’d just check in and give you a quick update on what’s new with me.

CBC Radio 3 Searchlight 2011

Well first of all, some exciting news: it looks like EhBSeasides has made the long list for CBC Radio 3‘s annual Searchlight Competition! Searchlight takes a different form each year. The inaugural award in 2008 was for Canada’s Best Record Store and went to Meow Records of Prince George BC. The year 2009 was dedicated to Canada’s Best Live Music Club and the title went to the Phog Lounge of Windsor ON. Last year the hunt was on for Canada’s Best Music Festival and ultimately the Evolve festival of Antigonish NS won. This year the search is on for the Best Music Website In Canada.

I am extremely honoured to be nominated. Thank you to any of you who put my name forth for the list. I’m even more honoured to appear aside some heavy hitters like Exclaim, AUX TV, Chartattack, Mint Records, Nardwuar, and Zunior. I’m also happy for all of my friends who made the list: 3 AM Revelations, Earbuds and Ticket Stubs, Vancouver Is Awesome (Indie), Canada Is A Music Mecca, Christine McAvoy Photography, Go North To Detroit, South To Windsor, Indie Craft Attack, Island SoapBox, and North by East West. Now there’s no shortage of voting choices and there’s clearly some crazy competition, so I won’t beg you to vote for me. In fact, you should really almost put your voting powers to one of the sites I just listed above. However if you feel like throwing a vote or two my way, that would be pretty awesome of you.

To vote, head on over to the poll on Radio 3. You don’t need to register for anything and you can vote once every 24 hours. The next round of cuts is next week when the Top 50 is announced, with the final winner for 2011 being announced on March 10th.

And now my other exciting news: I joined a rock band! I’ve been playing trumpet with the Victoria band Versa, and we just had a big show at the Metro Theatre last Friday. Thanks to everyone who came out to support us! Two weeks ago we also did a quick set on CFUV; you can find the audio here. It looks like no one wants to kick me out of the band yet, and in fact we have a show coming up on Saturday February 5th at Felicita’s Pub on the UVic campus. Details for that show can be found here. So as you can see, even though I haven’t been writing about music here lately, I’ve still been involved in music in some way. And I’m not ignoring the blog, I swear. In fact, I’ve got a ton of upcoming shows and upcoming albums listed, and a pile of photos waiting to get put up on Flickr. Looks like spring 2011 is going to be one exciting time for Canadian music!

New Photos on Flickr

EhBSeasides now has its own Flickr page! Feel free to peruse some of the photo sets posted so far:

  • Versa CD Release Party (includes photos of Versa and Les Monstres Terribles)
  • Malahat Revue in Duncan (includes photos of Jeremy Fisher, Said the Whale, Hannah Georgas, and Aidan Knight)
  • Vancouver Folk Fest 2010 Day 2 (includes photos of Matt Epp, Bahamas, Shane Koyczan and Short Story Long, Timber Timbre, the Deep Dark Woods, and the United Steelworkers of Montreal)
  • Vancouver Folk Fest 2010 Day 3 (includes photos of the Deep Dark Woods, the United Steelworkers of Montreal, Timber Timbre, the Gertrudes, Matt Epp, Colin Hay, and the Malahat Revue)

Enjoy!

Well I guess it’s better late than never to get this up:

Though most of this week has been spent doing my listening homework for the Vancouver Folk Fest, I somehow managed to cram in a few shows last weekend. First up was the CD release party for Versa at the beautiful Alix Goolden Hall. Showing a bit of bad etiquette on my part, I ended up missing the first two openers and arrived just in time to catch a set by Les Monstres Terribles.

Les Monstres Terribles

In full disclosure, I’m friends with one of the members (heck I went to his wedding even) and I’ve had a drink or two with a few of the other members in the group. Don’t let my positive bias toward this band dissuade you though, back in March Les Monstres Terribles were voted the Most Welcome Addition to the Arts Scene at this year’s Monday Magazine M Awards.

The band pulled out all the stops for their first show at the Alix Goolden Hall. While the group normally consists of five core members, this set was backed by the Playing Dead Orchestra which consisted of a keyboardist, a brass section, a string section, and even a choir. The entire group of 15 or so musicians were decked out in black and white duds with white masks. Though the outfits were borderline gimmicky, the group looked pretty sharp all together.

Versa

After a quick intermission Versa took the stage. The whole evening was to celebrate the release of their sophomore album The Decline and Fall of…, which was included for free in the modest $10 admission. In all honesty I hadn’t heard of them prior to last week, but when I got a message from the fine folks at Ditch Records saying they had tickets to give away I entered my name into the draw on a whim. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I was one of the lucky winners, and more so when I discovered that Versa plays some pretty awesome music to boot. Without the slightest bit of exaggeration, I’m really tempted to say that they are one of my great musical finds this year. Though the dark lighting in the hall didn’t bode well for my photos, it set the perfect mood for the largely instrumental set that Versa unleashed on us. One highlight of the show for me was the encore performance of LCD Soundsystem’s hit All My Friends. The band invited all the other musicians on the bill as well as any audience members so inclined to join them on stage. The result was an amazing stage party of controlled chaos.

You can next see Les Monstres Terribles at the Solstice Cafe on Tuesday August 3rd (event details). Keep your eyes peeled for new shows from Versa to be announced soon. The full collection of photos from the evening can be found can be found on the EhBSeasides Flickr page here.

Right after the Versa CD release party I ran over to Sugar Nightclub to catch the Victoria stop of the Malahat Revue, which combined the musical forces of Jeremy Fisher, Said the Whale, Hannah Georgas, and Aidan Knight. As what happens all too often at Sugar, the crowd that night was extremely rowdy. For some reason Said the Whale really brings out the drunk talkative types in Victoria. The girl behind me decided to scream to her friends throughout every single Hannah Georgas song. To the group’s credit they kept the set full of upbeat tunes that kept the crowd under control by jumping and singing along.

the Malahat Revue

On Sunday night I made the trip to Duncan to catch the Malahat Revue stop at the Duncan Garage Showroom. The vibe in Duncan was the total opposite of Victoria. The sold out crowd was so appreciative for the visit from the group. The night was broken up into two sets that rotated through songs from the catalogs of the four groups. When the second set wrapped up with Aidan Knight’s Jasper, the crowd leaped to their feet to dance and sing. The musicians were enthusiastically called back for an encore of a few more songs. The whole evening wrapped up with an unplugged unamplified rendition of Said the Whale’s Curse of the Currents. Even though I’ve seen Said the Whale a few times now, this was the first time I have heard Curse of the Currents live. It was perfect. I know that I wasn’t the only one in the audience with tears in my eyes by the end of that song.

The Duncan Garage Showroom provides a live video stream for all of their shows, so even if you are not planning a trip to Duncan any time soon you should definitely check out their webpage. While you do so, you can find the link for the archived stream of the Malahat Revue here.

There was a photography ban at the Victoria stop of the Malahat Revue, but you can check out the Flickr set from the Duncan show here.