Posts in Music

Monster Energy Center of Gravity 2013

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This weekend Wet Ape Productions hosted their 6th annual Monster Energy Center of Gravity event in downtown City Park. Thousands of people from BC, Alberta and abroad flocked to Kelowna to participate in or spectate at the three day event. Tickets for the event sold out quickly online at around $200 a pop. Individual passes for the sporting and musical sides of things were available.

COGVolleyball/Dunk Contest/Break Dancing

The musical line-up, catering to party goers, consisted of DJ’s, rappers, and rock stars. Like Keloha, another Wet Ape Productions festival hosted earlier this summer, MECOG2013 featured several stages. The Beach Stage was a 19+ beer garden that hosted the Bikini Model Search on Saturday and Sunday, the Dirt Stage hosted live music throughout the weekend, and the Sun FM Main Stage hosted all the major DJ’s including world renowned artist Tiësto.

COG Sunday 020Bikini Contest Finalists

The festival was also a great place to catch a wide arrangement of sporting events in one place. Competitions consisted of “Best Trick”, “Best Line”, and “Tournament”. Several areas were dedicated to their particular sports. The Dirt Zone featured massive dirt jumps for Mountain Bike and Moto Cross sports, The Water Zone had pools and jumps for Wake Board and Wake Skating, Urban Zone was a course that hosted Skateboarding, BMX, and Break Dancing, Hot Sands had Volleyball and Hoop Zone had basketball.

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Wake Boarding/Mountain Biking

Like at Keloha there were plenty of vendors and merchandise tables. The layout of the grounds was a bit awkward with limited walking paths to get between areas, usually separated by fences or tents, but it’s understandable considering the scope of COG.  Throughout my time there I witnessed a few athletes take some spills and cuts (one which occurred at the Urban Zone was particularly bad) and I think that medical atttention could be improved for next year. Security presence was up to par with plenty of contractual support and police officers patrolling the grounds and it felt pretty safe for spectators. The event is intended as an all ages outing and I highly recommend families to come out and attend the sporting events during the day, but the music portion of the festival is undoubtedly a bigger draw for adult audiences.

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Lights

The full line-up for the festival was as follows:

  • TIESTO, KASKADE
  • Dada Life, Wolfgang Gartner, Cazzette, Tommy Lee & DJ Aero w/ SOFI, Lights, Just Blaze
  • Hopsin, Hoodie Allen, CLOCKWORK, Le Castle Vania, DVBBS, Keys N Krates, Robbie Rivera
  • Prok & Fitch, Project 46, LOUDPVCK, M O D, MAK J, Manufactured Superstars
  • The Wild, Kytami, Mishap & Phonik Ops, Kai Sky Walker, Cityreal, Immaculate

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Just Blaze

After the gates were closed festival goers could continue the party at the COG House, Kelowna’s very own Curling Club transformed into a night club with more live DJ’s spinning tunes until late into the night. Afterwards people could get home or to their hotels safely thanks to a shuttle program put in place specifically for the festival that ran to stops and hotels along the highway. It’s easy to see why Center of Gravity is “Canada’s Hottest Beach Festival”.

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Tiësto

Contagious Smiles

It’s no secret that building a career as artists is nothing short of exhausting work that takes full dedication, as with any entrepreneurship one wants to succeed at. Making  the arts a full time job often means that you must live without many of todays luxuries. Combine this career with the personal need to make a difference in peoples lives that rivals that of some of the worlds philanthropists and making a living is five times the work.

This however doesn’t stop two Shuswap based musicians, Aimie Laws and Shelby B, as they are continuously donating performances, and often all the proceeds from these performances, to charities. Even after making the plunge to full time musicianship, basically deleting the safe haven of a day job from their means of living, the two are hitting the road with the goal of once again raising funds for charity.

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The charity of choice this time around seems to be a no brainer for those that have seen the “million dollar” smiles of these two young professional musicians. Operation Smile, after all, changes lives in children on an international level, simply by providing reconstructive surgery on many of those born with cleft lips, something that, in many cultures, results in a lonely life lived in shunning, and often ridicule. Something that both girls say “breaks our hearts to hear, so it’s only natural for us to do something about it, and this is the only way we know how to help”.

So what does any of this have to do with the Okanagan?  Laws and “B” have chosen Kelowna to be the city that they kick start this tour in. Minstrel Café has graciously provided the venue for August 6th, as the kick off party begins, with live performances by both Laws and “B”, including plenty of new songs on the set from both, the show runs from 8-10:30 PM.

Hot and Dry Sessions: Windmills “Clocks”

As part of our own Throwback Thursday and keeping the #aokendlesssummer going strong, today and every Thursday for the next 10 weeks we’ll be releasing a live video by bands who performed at our Hot and Dry Canadian Summer Kick-Off at Habitat on July 4-6, 2013.

Here is Vernon’s Windmills covering Coldplay’s “Clocks.”

High Tide Fashion Show

Awesome Okanagan recently paired with CREAM Salons to board the high seas* (otherwise known as Habitat) together with some of the freshest talent the A-OK has to offer. We set sail in nautical clothes for “High Tide,” the 2013 Summer Fashion Show & Fundraiser benefiting the Elizabeth Fry Society.

Clothes by Man + Woman
Live music by Windmills
Choreography by Zebra Eyes Contemporary Dance / Cosmic-co-motion
Donations by Kelowna Actors Studio / CREAM Hair and Makeup Lounge / DunnEnzies Pizza / Mosaic Books

Music by DyE, their song “Fantasy.”

Hot and Dry Sessions: The Fangles “Concrete Wave”

As part of our own Throwback Thursday and keeping the #aokendlesssummer going strong, today and every Thursday for the next 10 weeks we’ll be releasing a live video by bands who performed at our Hot and Dry Canadian Summer Kick-Off at Habitat on July 4-6, 2013.

For lovers of punk get to know Kelowna’s The Fangles with their song “Concrete Wave.”

Hot and Dry Sessions: My Kind of Karma “Ho Hey”

As part of our own Throwback Thursday and keeping the #aokendlesssummer going strong, today and every Thursday for the next 10 weeks we’ll be releasing a live video by bands who performed at our Hot and Dry Canadian Summer Kick-Off at Habitat on July 4-6, 2013.

We’re stoked to hear Kelowna band My Kind of Karma cover The Lumineers with “Ho Hey.”

Interview with By Divine Right

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Canadian alternative indie band By Divine Right played Fernando’s pub last night as part of their coast to coast tour promoting their ninth album, ‘Organized Accidents’.  Formed in 1989, the group’s only consistent member has been original founder Jose Contreras, well-known for leading the alternative rock revolution throughout the nineties, and for his collaborations with other big name Canadian artists. Past members of By Divine Right have included Brendan Canning and Feist. BDR now plays as a trio with Jose accompanied by drummer Geordie Dynes and his nanny Alysha Haugen on bass. After the show I got to catch up with Jose for a quick off-the-cuff interview.

When you started By Divine Right in 1989 where did you want it to go? What were your intentions?
I thought BDR would be a mostly improvisational Psychedelic band. When I was younger I was so influenced by the 80’s, I had a band that was synthesisers and drum machines, then at one point I saw Apocalypse Now and I heard the Doors again so I started listening to all of my 60’s albums and realized I loved the 60’s more, so my goal was to somehow steer it back to something real. I really just wanted to make a cool psychedelic record and listen to it, and I did.

What do you think about what BDR has become?
The weird thing is how time changes how you view things. In the States we were considered alongside with all of the other Canadian bands that were blowing up at the time so we were playing all of these really over the top shows and getting great reviews, whereas in Canada it was like people just wanted us to go away. Then just 5 years ago I began getting all of this credit for stuff because I was there and I didn’t stop. I think my last couple of records are really cool and fresh sounding. They’re honest and they’re creative and they’re not marketed. There are a lot of peers right now that are going a little too hard. They could be weirder and sound a lot less manufactured. There’s something to be said for the idea that obscure music is better. I believe in what I am doing, and when I pour it on it feels real.

You also produce? I heard you collaborated with Hannah Georgas?
Yeah, we wrote a song together, Bang Bang You’re Dead. It was like song 4 on CBC 3 which is cool. I have a lot of friends who are really good at marketing what they do. I’m not really like that. Out here I’ve worked with the likes of Hey Ocean, and in Toronto I’ve worked with my wife Lily Frost, the Meligrove Band, Bicycles, St. Sebastian etc.

Your ninth album just came out, are you already working on anything else?
Yeah, I’ve got three records that are almost done. One’s a new BDR record which is super off the cuff, but it’s really fun, and also I have an improvisational record in the works. The third project is a secret which nobody knows about. The new BDR record is tracked live. It’s really unexpected. Its super scrappy, super amazing and we’ll probably just release it digitally.

BDR has really paved the way for Alternative and Indie rock, and they will continue to do so with their experimental style and ambient sounds. The current line-up is a formidable trio of honest, outgoing and sincere musicians who have a great passion for their art. Even after two decades Jose is still animated and fun when he gets up on stage, and has a modest outlook on his life and achievements that make him very personable. I look forward to what he has in store for us.

Larry, His Flask, a Wild Son and a Canyon Rose Outfit

I caught the great Larry and His Flask last night along side them played Wild Son and another band originating from Edmonton, called The Canyon Rose Outfit.

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All three of these bands were great, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen Wild Son perform and remembering their talent was a perfect start to the evening. Being a Wednesday night, I was surprised at the turnout of excited fans that showed up.

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After a short tear down, The Canyon Rose Outfit came on stage and brought the energy on. This band consists of: Christan Maslyk (Guitar,Vocals), Justin Perkins (Guitar), Matt Harrison (Bass,Vocals), Jesse Gauthier (Drums) and Alex Pelletier (Trumpet). Their sound was different and I liked the trumpet solo’s that Alex pulled off towards the end of their set.

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This band was good, I liked their blues style and the energy was amazing for a mid-week show. Anyways check these guys out, they’re worth a listen.

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Next was Larry and His Flask and this was when the night got pretty rowdy. Dancers everywhere, spilled drinks, the venue was packed and the band was: loud, powerful and extremely talented. They had people buzzing, and grooving along to all their songs — it was awesome.

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If you haven’t heard of these bands before, get out from behind your rock and get involved. Click any of the band names above to be directed to their respective websites and do yourself a favour by listening to some great new music!

Until next time, support your local artists!