Posts in Music

Okanagan Summer Festival Report

Here in the A-OK we love summer festival season and it’s just getting started! Line ups are being announced, tickets are on sale, and with all that commotion it felt like a great time to let you know about some of our highlight festivals and events that happen in the Okanagan. This list isn’t comprehensive but if your looking for an event worth going to here’s a starter list for you.

Not only that, but there’s a bit of a Giveaway at the end of this article for some lucky winner!

Parks Alive, Music in the Park, Lake Country Open Air Performances, etc:

July and August, Parks throughout the Okanagan! For any of those new to our region you really need to know about our free live music concerts in our various communities. Almost every community in the Okanagan hosts free community concerts in one of our parks.

Every evening throughout the summer there is a free concert somewhere. So get out there and discover some great live local entertainment. Call your local Parks and Recreation office for more information on free concerts in your community.

Funtastic: June 28th-30th, Vernon

Billed as “Canada’s Greatest Slo-Pitch Tournament & Music Festival” this is Vernon’s signature Festival. Headliners this year include: Honeymoon Suite, Sweet, and Aaron Pritchett.

More information after the jump.

Celebrate Canada Day Kelowna 2013: July 1st, Waterfront Park/Jim Stuart Park/Kerry Park, Kelowna

Join over 50,000 attendees celebrating Canada’s Birthday. Over 50+ activities and performances that are multi-generational and family- friendly.

The Hot and Dry Canadian Summer: July 4-6th, Kelowna

We’d be remiss not to post one of our own festivals on here. We’re working with BC brewery Cariboo Brewing the first weekend of July to celebrate our love of local music, too-hot days and festival-ready style. Featuring 10 local, up-and-coming musicians over 3 days we are chomping at the bite to get this party started!

Tickets available with bands or you can get a $30 weekend pass online.
More information here.

Keloha: July 5-7th: Waterfront Park, Kelowna

I recently interviewed the producer of this event. The full story can be read here.

Continue Reading…

Picture The Ocean Back In Peach City

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L-R
Matt Blackie (Drums, Vocals), Jacquie B (Keyboard, Accordian, Vocals) Jess Dee (Guitar, Vocals)

A musical trio called Picture The Ocean, who happen to be three of my favourite musicians will be arriving in Penticton on Thursday (May 23rd) for another intimate performance at The Elite. Special guests this go-around will be local favourites Jack Rabbit & The Beetles.

What makes this visit by PTO extra-special is their return from international touring visiting the UK, Europe and India for the first time together. Before embarking on such a stretch of travel they did a tour across Western Canada and even up to Anchorage, Alaska… Then across the northern US with some stops in Ontario before catching their flights to the UK. I need a nap just thinking about the miles they’ve put in!

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Taking time off since setting foot on home soil has afforded some much needed R&R and family time, as well as a whole flood of new material which I can’t bloody well wait to experience! PTO can’t be put into a shoe box, categorized or labelled. They are their own unique creation of substantial musicians and performers. They are singers, songwriters, players, and storytellers. They’re the drivers and mechanics of a well oiled machine; evident in the nature of their songwriting with tales of insight and adventure on the exciting but often lonely open road. Most important to be on this road with those you love, and with that I offer another CONGRATULATIONS to Jesse & Jacquie on their engagement last summer!

I strongly urge everyone to check out PTO’s tunes on their site by clicking here… Perhaps purchase their debut album (or anything in the catalogue!) and show support for this insanely hardworking and talented band.  And then pop on down to The Elite at 340 Main Street in Penticton on Thursday, May 23rd to see your new favourite band perform LIVE!

Joey Ryan of The Milk Carton Kids Interview

After being caught in an awkward introduction I met Joey Ryan last Friday evening at The Media Club in Vancouver, which is on the corner of Cambie and Georgia. After coaxing the bartender to letting me stay before the doors opened, I was invited backstage to chat and drink a beer. Ryan is a really nice guy, who seems to know a lot about the music scene — or at least the scene of americana and folk. I wasn’t able to get a conversation with Kenneth, but I met him as well and briefly passed the other members of The Barefoot Movement, who were also playing that same evening. Ryan and I talked briefly about Kacy and Clayton a band he’s really been digging lately, we then got into a conversation on Orwell and Melville and of course his band The Milk Carton Kids.

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So, tell me about the tour so far
Ryan: It has exceeded all our expectations and it’s very encouraging. Musically it goes up and down still, we struggle some nights and some nights are incredibly inspiring and inspired. All we can ask for is a nice room full of quiet fans and the rest is on us.

What’s one place you’ve wanted to play that you haven’t yet?
To answer truthfully there’s two venues in the US that I’ve wanted to play at. The Ryman in Nashville and the Greek Theatre in Berkeley California.

Tell me how you started playing guitar?
My dad taught me how to play The House of the Rising Sun, and after that I kind of picked up guitar when I was around fifteen. Not taking it too seriously as I still do.

What’s next for you guys as a band?
Well, I’d like to release another album and see where it goes from there. I mean, I want to stay with what we’ve done so far and keep things as simple as possible.

Favourite authors?
Right now I’m doing all the Melville short stories. Over the years I’ve had infatuations with Vonnegut and Huxley, José Saramago’s “Blindness” was great too.

Have either of you had vocal training or music lessons?
Neither of us has had vocal training, but musically Kenneth is trained as a cello player, and I’m not trained in either respect. But that really shapes the way Kenneth plays and hears music which brings a good quality to our process.

What is it about music that you find appealing?
In the very beginning, when I was deciding to play music right after college, which was a really conscious decision. I thought to myself, if I could create for somebody else just one time, the transcendent revelatory experience that I’ve had with music, then it would be worth while. Realizing that one truth or something about yourself, some emotion that’s felt, is what draws me to music.

Most beautiful city you’ve played in?
I love Amsterdam. We just went to Europe for the first time and that city feels like no place else. Cobblestone streets and canals, the downtown area is shaped like a semi-circle, it’s charming and enchanting.

One instrument you’ve always wanted to own or play or both?
Just yesterday, I got to pick up Noah Wall’s fiddle from The Barefoot Movement and got her to teach me a scale and a melody, it sounded terrible, but felt so good. I guess being able to play all the string instruments would be nice.

What’s the songwriting process look like for you?
Usually for me, if I’m by myself the lyrical idea inspires the creative outburst that becomes the song. I’m not somebody that wakes up hearing a melody or is struck by a progression that imposes itself. I’m usually struck by an idea that I need to express or a problem that I need to solve, it always comes out in words. For Kenneth it’s the complete opposite, sometimes he listens to a song thirty times before he hears the lyrics. That’s just one of the many ways we fill each others negative space.

Studio or home recordings and why?
We’ve never done home recording, neither of us is a professional recording engineer ha ha. We’ve had the good fortune to work with some great people.

The Milk Carton Kids & The Barefoot Movement

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I was introduced to The Milk Carton Kids only a few months ago and it all happened so fast after that. I was home from work and checked their tour dates, found out they were playing in Vancouver and was lucky enough to do a phone interview with Joey (on the left in the photo above). I then got a chance to see them perform live at The Media Clubon Friday night. Currently touring with The Barefoot Movement, which are an outrageously talented group of bluegrass, americana inspired folks.

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The venue was small, simple and really dark — which created a warm atmosphere for the music to take hold. I really appreciated the dialogue in between songs that was shared between both Joey Kenneth and this laughing lady. Their solemn take on music which combines simplicity with gracious undertones of careful execution, creates something really special. Something that you all should go check out if you get the chance — their music is bringing something back to the olden ways of performance and there’s something about that raw quality, that pureness which pushes their music into a new reality.

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Before I leave you to ponder, listen to both of these bands. I’d also like to let you all know that I was a bit courageous after I arrived at this venue. It was about an hour before the doors were to open and I snuck in and caught up with Joey Ryan, got a free PBR and went backstage for an off the cuff interview — so stay tuned for that, it’ll be in the next post.

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For more information on these two acts, click their names above — and discover some new talent. Both bands are making one last stop in New York on May 19th at The Bowery Ballroomand the Milk Carton Kids join up with Melody Pool for a spring tour of Australia which starts on June 4th.

A-OK Giveaway: We Are The City A-OK VIP Package

A-OK Giveaway: WATC

Local boys We Are The City are set to release their new album VIOLENT on June 4th, and will be touring to support the release. They’ll be at the Kelowna Community Theatre on June 27th and we’re selling a VIP Package for that show with a value of $32.50 that includes:

  • A ticket to the show
  • A commemorative poster
  • A signed copy of VIOLENT

What’s more, we’ve got two pairs (4 total) of this package we want to give you! How do you win? Well, we’ll randomly select a pair of packages from our Facebook page, and a pair from Twitter, here are the two ways you and a friend can win:

Tweet this: I need to win an @awesomeokanagan VIP Package to @wearethecity at the Kelowna Community Theatre on June 27th – http://awesomeokanagan.com/2013/05/a-ok-giveaway-we-are-the-city-a-ok-vip-package/

or

Visit our Facebook page and share this post!

Contest closes June 21st, we’ll contact the winners by June 24th at the latest and let you know the good news.

Get in a VIOLENT mood with this promo video for the album.

Not willing to risk not winning the tickets? Purchase your package now!

Hot and Dry Canadian Summer – Official Lineup Announced!

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Know the bands playing but not sure when? We just announced the days you can catch your favourite local acts for The Hot and Dry Canadian Summer Kick-Off!

Thursday July 4th

Friday July 5th

Saturday July 6th

Tickets are available by contacting the bands, and a limited amount of Weekend Passes are available now for $30 (+$2.50 tax & service charge). Once purchased, just show up the first night of the events with your ID and you will receive a wristband to wear for the weekend.

Andrew Allen’s “Loving You Tonight” Covered On International Music Competition

This is pretty cool, Vernon’s Andrew Allen has a taste of worldwide fame when an international talent competition entry (not sure from where exactly) covers his song “Loving You Tonight.”

Shred Kelly Release “The Bear”

Shred Kelly is a formulation of friends and foot stomping good times born in the East Kootenay’s of British Columbia. Hailing from the town of Fernie, the five piece band is best known for mixing clawhammer banjo riffs that tear the fabric of space and time with ambient synth, high voltage guitar, fierce drums, and hauntingly sweet vocal harmonies to produce a sound that has been properly coined “Stoke Folk”.

For this music video we toiled in our backyards in frigid January temperatures building a full roster of ice instruments and over 55 snowmen/woman spectators of all shapes and sizes to create a night time moon lit winter concert. The ice instruments were made by making instrument shaped molds in snowbanks, hardening the molds into ice, and then lining them with plastic and filling them with water to freeze. All together we made ice microphones, ice bass guitar, ice electric guitar, ice keyboard, ice banjo, and the most challenging instrument of all, an ice drum set complete with ice cymbals – all in the backdrop of a stage built of packed snow.
We hope you enjoy! – Shred Kelly

Having recently been awarded 2012 Artist of the Year at the Kooteney Music Awards and winning a spot on the Green Couch Sessions/CBC Radio 3 ‘Tracks on Tracks’ train adventure from Vancouver to Toronto, Shred Kelly is turning banjo doubters into sweaty indie folk rock believers on the dance floor, one town at a time.