Monthly Archives: October 2012

Little Jungles – Voices

Local musician Little Jungles released a video for his latest song “Voices” and re-edited Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Mirror to the song. Happy Halloween!

OSIF presents 4th Annual Horrorfest

Last Friday I was privy to the Okanagan Society for Independant Filmmaker‘s 4th Annual Horrorfest. They premiered 11 short, locally produced films in the horror, thriller or dark drama genre. It looks like they’ve had a chance to upload the videos to their YouTube channel as well so we thought we’d post a playlist here in case you’re looking for something scary to watch this Devil’s Night.

METRIC Interview

In hot anticipation of the upcoming METRIC + Stars show at Prospera Place on November 12, I’m just getting off the phone with METRIC’s Jimmy Shaw. How we managed to nail down 15 minutes for an interview with multiple award nominated/award winning Canadian indie rock royalty may never be fully known to me. Both METRIC and Stars are two of my very favourite bands. Not favourite Canadian bands, favourite band bands. In the world. While my inner fan-boy rages inside I attempt to remain cool and collected as we discuss METRIC’s latest departure from the guitar-driven sound of previous albums to a more synth-filled concept for “Synthetica.”

“It’s something that just happened.” Shaw begins, “Setting up the studio in the beginning, I just sort of started finding all these crazy synths.” Where normally they would start to flesh out a song by grabbing a guitar or bass, he’d head into the control room, a place he dubbed, “Synth World.” To me it sounds like a magical world where TRON rides by on a Light Bike, contributing chords where he can. “I have a more difficult time writing on guitar, it quickly becomes referential.”

As a band, METRIC is one of a growing number of indie bands that broke into the mainstream without compromising their artistic integrity along the way. From personally mailing out each CD in the beginning to Instagram-ing the location of free show tickets these days. “As a band I think we’re fascinated by what’s possible. We’ve always been very interested in growth and development, I think we get bored easily.” Always trying new things and moving forward, METRIC has a hard time standing still.

“Touring is huge. I consider the truest form of music to be playing in front of someone else. It’s so important.” I mention to Shaw that 9 years ago my friends were going to METRIC shows in the Okanagan so often that I thought they were a local band. He laughs, “I heard stories when I was younger… …bands would play 325 shows a year and that’s just the way that it was. It’s inspiring to me.” Shaw seems convinced that METRIC’s crazy tour schedule has contributed a large part to the band’s current level of recognition and it’s hard to disagree. Their energy seems limitless.

It’s on this note—intensely fast-paced touring and a meteoric rise over the last few years—I’m reminded of Emily Haines’ line on ‘Breathing Underwater.’ “Is this my life?” I ask if it ever feels like they’ll wake up and this will all have been a dream? “I hope it wasn’t all a dream! But there are definitely elements of it where it seems like that.” Shaw goes on, “A couple weeks ago we played at Radio City Music Hall, Lou Reed came onstage with us and we played ‘The Wanderlust’ and transferred into the Velvet Underground’s ‘Pale Blue Eyes,’ and it’s then when I’m thinking ‘I can’t believe this is my life.'” I remark it truly sounds like a dream you’d never want to wake up from. He laughs again, “Then there’s those times you’re in a club in St. Louis and they’re fire-bombing for roaches and you can’t sound check for two hours and you’re thinking ‘is THIS my life?'” Shaw talks about being in-studio with Haines and really coaxing her on that line. “It’s so universal, you know? There’s so many times where you think ‘is this really my life?’ Maybe you’re on a yacht with Rhianna, or you realize you have 7 kids and hate your husband.”

I ask about the future, if they’ve even had time to think about what’s next. Shaw paints an idealistic image for me, they’re swimming in the ocean in the middle of being on tour (another ‘is this my life?’ moment) and he asked Haines if she had any plans over Christmas. “She started off saying she had a couple songs she wanted to record and as we kept talking we planned out the next three years of METRIC, the sound of the new album, the release strategy, all of it. I said to her, ‘Haines, you realized I only asked you what your plans were over Christmas?'” They can’t even talk about taking a week off. I’m assured this is typical Emily/Jimmy behaviour and the amount of METRIC albums in my iTunes attests to this. “Whether or not that album or those plans pan out only time will tell.”

I’m feeling really good at this point, we’re nearing the end of my interview time and one question seems more important to ask here than any other. As a starving artist who works with starving artists (whether they be musicians, painters, graphic, video or other) I ask what’s one piece of advice they have for all of us. “It’s strange, people keep asking me that, which must mean we obviously did something right along the way. I think at the end of the day, we followed our own intuition. We followed our own path and we didn’t listen to anyone who said ‘if you want to be successful you have to do this.’ Some people sign a big record deal and end up being miserable touring for 5 years and seeing all their friends in indie bands, all they want is two hit songs and to cash out. Or vice versa! There is no right or wrong and there’s never been a time where there’s less right and wrong than ever before. In some ways it’s scary but in some ways it’s way more open. Stay true to yourself.”

Watch the video for ‘Youth Without Youth’

Catch METRIC at Prospera Place on Monday November 12th, 2012.

Where: Prospera Place (1223 Water Street, Kelowna)
When: Monday, November 12th – 8:00 PM
How Much: Varying
Tickets: Ticketmaster
For: Everyone

Aidan Knight Interview

Aidan Knight
On his influences, new album and his dad’s weird guitars.

I thought this was lost to me, but luckily I recovered it. So, here is the interview with the amazingly talented Aidan Knight, shortly before his show at The Habitat on October 18th.

Are you still involved with Adventure Boys Club and collaborating with Tyler Bancroft?

Yeah, Tyler and I haven’t put anything out since “High School” the We Are The City record. Mostly, we’ve been faced with the crippling realization that it takes money to run a record label.  We end up sinking thousand of dollars into our respective bands, so it’s difficult to get stuff going.

When did you first start getting interested in music and what made you want to pursue music as a career?

I think I’ve always had an interest, both my parents were musical. We had lots of instruments in the house, so I grew up with it.

Have you had any vocal training while you were growing up?

I never made the conscious choice, I just played in a lot of bands in high school and just stayed with it. 

When did you first start singing and enjoying it?

My mom used to do vocal lessons at our house, but I’ve never taken a lesson with her. I think it would be too intense, because she’d be harder on me than her own students and I don’t like that kind of confrontation *laughs*.

I think one of the first songs that I wrote, it was just after I met Ben from “Said The Whale”. I wrote it after that and it was around then I was feeling more comfortable about calling myself a singer of any kind. I was probably around 16 or 17. 

I saw your interview by Faire Play productions and wanted to know if you’re still into learning French?

Yes, Julian and I have been trying to learn since last Christmas. We started off really strong, getting really into it with verb conjugation and all that stuff . . . then our interest diminished. 

Would you ever want to put out a song entirely sung in French?

It would be really fun, Olivier would just have to translate it for us and I wouldn’t trust him with it because, he’d probably make me say something horrible *laughs*.

I really like your songs “Margaret Downe” and “Lands End”, do you think you’ll release “Lands End” on an album in the future, I see you’re releasing “Margaret Downe” on your newest album “Small Reveal”.

Yeah, there was always a plan to put “Land’s End” onto the Friendly Fires 7”, but the timing wouldn’t work. We would’ve had to cut the song in half, so we revisited it for “Small Reveal”, but it didn’t feel the same way. I feel like the bonus version of Friendly Fires on BandCamp is the closest we could’ve come to. I would like to have it on something in the future though. 

How would you say your influences have changed now, from back when you first started playing guitar?

They’ve changed a lot, I feel like I’ve learned a bunch more about music and myself since I’ve started playing. I’ve been exposed to a lot of amazing bands that not a lot of people have heard about. I think those people have inspired songs that I’ve written, and yeah I think there’s been a whole world of music that’s opened up just from being a musician. 

What other instruments do you play besides guitar?

I wouldn’t say I’m really a player of anything particularly well, but I do play guitar sometimes and I do sing sometimes. I used to play trumpet, and I’ve played drums in a few bands as well. 

Can you tell me a little bit about your song “A Mirror” and the album “Small Reveal”?

I think that song is escapism in a character, it’s a weight off my shoulders. But at the same time, it’s saying things that I don’t know how to say in my own voice, so saying it through another character. It’s a song about being alone with yourself, but wanting to relate to other people, wrapped up in a one-sided love story. 

I’ve read that your dad is the master of drop tunings, do you use a lot of drop or open tunings in your songs? 

Oh yeah, my dad is just the master of just the weirdest tunings. If you walk through his place and strummed the guitars on the walls it would sound, weird.
Yes, I do use an equal amount of drop tunings in my songs on this album as well as “Versicolour” actually. There is one song I never play just because the tuning is too weird to make it sound good. 

When you are writing music, where is your favorite place to do so?

Generally I’ve just written all the songs by myself in a room, and that room has changed locations, but it’s always in a room.

Who are your biggest influences?

For this album, big influences were: “The Last Waltz” by The Band, the screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, the Pho restaurant in Vancouver KPXL, R.I.P no longer and I would have to say “Bluebell Knoll” by the Cocteau twins. 

What is your favourite ride at the carnival?

I like the gravitron, it’s like this spinning centrifugal force ride, with beds that shift up and down inside this flying saucer thing, that’s my favourite.

For more information and to follow Aidan and the band on tour, visit: www.aidanknight.com
 

Fashionate: Cozy Up with Frakas

Walking through the doors of Frakas Boutique I was instantly transformed. It has a bit city feel with small town attitude, the girls are beyond friendly and the clothing is trendsetting and fashion forward. We all want to feel cozy and comfortable as the darkness sets in and the air chills our bone, yet we don’t want to compromise our signature style, whatever that may be.

 

 

 

 

 

Frakas has something to warm every Kelowna girl from head to toe.  When you set foot inside, neat and   organized racks will greet you, with only one size of each garment!  The warm winter wear Frakas is carrying this year, is runway worthy with warm cropped knits, or long over sized sweaters to pair with your favourite pair of printed leggings, A seasonal must have is your favourite Aztec, or animal thick cotton legging. Pair it with a contrasting printed top, or a muted coloured sweater. Deep burgundy, ox blood, or ruby red are your choice ‘red’ tones for winter. The darker hues with purple undertone can be paired with hunter green, royal blue, mustard yellow or your classic black, giving you many wearable options. Colour block knits are plentiful at Frakas this year, carrying the ‘mod’ look into the 2013 fashion season.

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have your tops and bottoms you can dress them up or down with accessories. Frakas has some of THE BEST jewellery in Kelowna when you are looking for affordable pieces to make your outfit unique. Adding a collar necklace to your favourite sweater to give a preppy look, or a spiked bracelet with an oversized cocktail ring to bring out you inner rock goddess.

Don’t forget November 23rd is their annual shopping night! Stay tuned for more details!!

Focus Friday: Pear Tree

Local orchards and vineyards are putting on quite a show this week — spectacular lemon-lime mixes on the vines, and oranges or reds starting to light up the fruit trees. The leaves will drop after the first couple of frosts, so enjoy ’em while you can. These pink-red beauties were from pear trees in Summerland, with no partridges in the vicinity.

Happy Halloween

Watch your back soon the creepy twins will come out to play…

Concert Recap October 18th Aidan Knight & Leif Vollebekk

Last week on Thursday night, Aidan Knight and Leif Vollebekk played their first show on their short Canada tour.

They played at the Habitat and despite the great venue, it wasn’t as busy as I was expecting.

Aidan Knight is promoting his new album on this tour “Small Reveal” and Leif Vollebekk has already released his album titled “INLAND”.

Vollebekk is originally from Montreal and has coupled with Aidan for the short Canada tour. He blends old rock and roll twang with refreshing new folk guitar riffs. With just his voice, guitar and harmonica, Vollebekk achieves a very cozy, atmospheric show.

The two played a great show and the most memorable moment of the evening, was when Aidan sang “Margaret Downe” unplugged and off the mic. Near the end of the concert, Aidan threw in a few old favourites such as “Jasper” and his performance was nothing short of amazing.

For more information about this tour please visit the bands websites or Facebook pages, as I highly recommend both — they are really talented musicians.