Posts from Kelowna

Hot and Dry Canadian Summer: Night 1

Hot and Dry Canadian Summer - Thursday 002

Need to cool off from the hot heat and quench your dry, dry throat? Awesome Okanagan and Cariboo Brewing have your solution. They’ve teamed up to bring you three nights of killer entertainment in a row and provide you with a cold beverage companion. All of your favorites are here, playing the stage at Habitat. The shows are even better than before with knock-out staging. Billows of cotton candy curtains engulf the stage, pillowing the performers as they seduce you with their sweet sounds. Tonight was host to three performances: The Winter Provincial, My Kind of Karma, and JoyfulDoor.

The Winter Provincial lit up the stage as soon as the sun went down and My Kind of Karma followed shortly after. This was my first time experiencing MKOK, and I was pleasantly surprised by their interesting style paying homage to groovy funk rock and reggae. Their performance was a feast of strings consisting of a Ukulele, Guitar, and Banjo. If it sounds like a strange combination they’ll surprise you!

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JoyfulDoor was last, and they were the storm that rocked the venue. The calm clouds took on an ominous presence as the vocals rose and washed over the crowd like a powerful wind. The drums thundered and smashed against your body, sending you reeling into spirals of movement. And the bass guitar trembled throughout your whole being. When the ride was over the audience was clamoring for more.

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This night couldn’t have been a success without the participation of all three of the bands. They opened for all the sweet sounds of summer and set the bar for all live shows to follow. Make sure you catch Van Damsel, Windmills, Manual Scavengers, and Tiger Moon tomorrow night (technically today) at the same place and same time. Doors at 8, show at 9.

A-OK Rooftop Sessions: JoyfulDoor

For this A-OK Rooftop Session, JoyfulDoor and Awesome Okanagan climbed a mountain at a time of day A-OK isn’t usually awake at (especially after working until 4am the night before). The view was incredible from the top of Layer Cake even if the weather wasn’t entirely co-operative. We got in a few takes of their song “Calcium” before we were rained out. Silver lining: we lucked out on the best audio take with some perfectly timed thunder.

Neat little history lesson, Layer Cake Hill is a volcanic land form composed primarily of Dacite [day-site], volcanic rock with a high silica content. It shows unique layering that has not been seen anywhere else.

Like what you hear? Catch JoyfulDoor opening our Hot and Dry Canadian Summer Kick-Off on Thursday July 4th. Awesome Okanagan and Cariboo Brewing invite you to join us the first weekend of July to celebrate our love of local music, too-hot days and festival-ready style with 10 bands over 3 days.

A-OK Mixcast Twenty-One

A-OK Mixcast 21

A-OK Mixcast 21 - Albums

Guys. I’m still coming down off the high from the We Are The City/Nuuka/Belle Game/Hannah Epperson show at the KCT on Thursday. What a beautiful night. What a beautiful temperature. What beautiful people. It was a perfect start to the long-weekend. Now, here we all are, back at work. Bummer.

I don’t know about you guys but I’m ready to live out the remainder of my life — a good 60 or 70 years if my family’s genes are to be believed — laying on a beach with a good BJ. Butler DJ. Y’know, someone to make you food, drinks and pick all the best music for you while you sit there and love life.

But you know what, I love life today because THURSDAY IS THE FIRST NIGHT OF THE HOT AND DRY CANADIAN SUMMER KICK-OFF! Do you have your tickets yet? You can grab them from bands at about $10 (I hear some have a couple left) and at the door before 10pm. $15 after 10, or get a whole weekend pass for $30 now! Some of those artists are even featured this Mixcast, including:

  1. The Sunshine, Girl (Radio Edit) by Van Damsel
  2. Fjords by Nuuka
  3. Legs Give Out by We Are the City
  4. Shadowless by Hannah Epperson
  5. Threads of Light by Oceans Apart
  6. Stolen Boat by My Kind of Karma
  7. Things Fall Apart by Windmills

Remember, if you’re listening to this Mixcast in iTunes or on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad there will be a link to where you can buy these great tracks! If you dig the song it’s only $0.99 in the iTunes store! If you’re an artist hoping to be featured in a future Mixcast please contact me!

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Lille Gard Music & Arts Festival

Happening this weekend at the Bottega Farm Inn is the 4th annual Lille Gard Music & Arts Festival. The festival opened tonight with Ten-Ten-Ten “Under the Stars,” a display of assorted performances by musicians, poets, dancers and artists. Tickets were ten dollars to see ten performances each ten minutes long. Thirty dollar weekend passes were also available, which would allow you into the festival for all three days.

Saturday will feature thirteen new performances and end with an Open Mic hosted by the Streaming Café. Sunday will feature a Pancake Breakfast hosted by Metro Community and six more performances. Visual Arts will also be exhibited in the gallery and on the grounds during the course of the event.

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Tonight consisted of musical performances by Singer Songwriters Norm Strauss and Brent Tyler, family east coast fiddle group Chloe, Kyle & Co., opera singer Sandra Babbel (with accompaniment by classical guitarist Alan Rinehart), and Caroline Mackay on Celtic Harp. Nygel Metcalfe performed his Spoken Word poetry, Burnet Mclean spun a nine minute story, Dylan Ranney and Liz Dumontet created a mural, Hailey Neufeld performed ballet, and Jordan McAlpine’s dance group performed an original modern dance piece.

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Lille Gard is organized by the TribeHouse Artist Collective, which is “a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the relationship between the Christian faith, Art, and Social Justice”. All profits raised by the festival will be donated to two charities, “Hands in Service”, which helps people in Kelowna with health concerns or disabilities, and the Najenga Congo Project, which helps build schools and homes in the Congo.

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Lille Gard runs on Saturday  from twelve o’clock noon until 11pm and on Sunday from 9am until 3pm. Day Passes are still available at the gate and online, so grab yours while you’re reading this and don’t miss out on the fun. Treat yourself this Saturday and Sunday to local favorites, including the likes of Andrew Judah, JoyfulDoor, Ari Neufeld and much more!  Bring friends, family, and a lawn chair (or blanket) and be prepared to have a good time.

Concert Tonight: We Are The City

We Are The City - Back in Kelowna

We Are The City are a local success story. They return home to play an exclusive show tonight (Thursday) at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Lets start today’s columnn with my interview with Andy (drummer).

First off congrats on succeeding in carving out a career in the music industry. For those of us in Kelowna that were over the moon to see a Kelowna band win the PEAK Performance Project and the $150,000 top prize can you give us an update of what you’ve been up to since the win?
Thank you very much. Still working hard at “carving out a career” but what has happened thus far has been greatly rewarding, and I’d like to think purely based on the manner of work alone. I’m really trying hard to not base my gratification in numbers, like how many people come out to a show, or how many views a video on YouTube has, or how many people buy our record. I’d be fooling myself if I said that those things don’t factor at all into my happiness, but I’m working on it. You know, trying to realize that those temporary things don’t mean anything. I’m feeling very satisfied in the things that the band has created and been involved in creating, and I’d like to leave it at that.

Since the PEAK Performance Project we’ve toured across Canada three times, toured the United States twice, made an EP called “High School,” worked in conjunction with Amazing Factory Productions to make a music video series for High School, spent two years writing and recording our sophomore full length album called “Violent” that’s now released, and we’ve also been working on a film again with Amazing Factory, but this time it’s a full length narrative movie, and it was shot in Norway. So all of those things feel good.

Did I hear correctly that you were off in Norway shooting a feature length film? Details are greatly desired? Any snippets from You Tube I can share?
Haha you did hear correctly! Well, early last year we all decided that making a movie to go hand in hand with the album was the thing that we wanted to do. So we did it. Now, a year later, we have sent away the final edit for sound mixing. Not really sure what the plans for release are yet, but we’d like to have it run in some festivals first and maybe look towards distribution with a film house. It’s a little more departed from the album than we initially thought it would be, which is actually pretty exciting, because it stands well on its own and doesn’t require the album as a crutch. The film itself is a pretty wild idea, we actually shot in Bergen, Norway and the majority of the dialogue is in Norwegian, despite none of us understanding it. I like to think of it as a pretty absurd experiment that seems to have worked. We’ll have to wait and see what people think of it.

Discover the epically visual new video they just released with a glimpse of their upcoming feature film and a sampler of their sound.

Your band is now back to the original 3 members. I recall seeing your first EP for sale at a coffee shop in Glenmore for $2 in 2009. Its been an amazing journey for you guys since then. Do you have any advice for new bands from Kelowna looking to follow in your footsteps?
What a memory you have! That must’ve been at Perc’s right? To be very honest with you, I’m not entirely sure how we found ourselves here, but I’d like to humbly suggest a large amount of discipline, spending a lot of time in front of your instrument, pushing out all material — good and bad — and being kind to everyone. That last one’s the most important one, I think, but that’s a universally good thing to practice.

You have a show on Thursday at the Kelowna Community Theatre. I think the last time you played the venue was a triple header with Said the Whale, Aidan Knight and Kingdom Cloud. It was truly magical evening. How did you select the bands to play along side you for this show?
Thank you, that night is magical in my mind too. We are very fortunate that people with such talent don’t mind being friends with us. I have so much respect for those bands. Same goes with the bands playing with us on Thursday. Hannah Epperson came with us on our entire Canadian tour and I had the pleasure of watching her blow away every audience. The Belle Game are a really cool band from Vancouver that have an excellent album out called Ritual Tradition Habit. Nuuka are good friends of ours, and I’ve actually never seen them live. I’ve heard their music and heard a lot of good things about their show so maybe having them on the bill was a selfish choice. I just want to see them play! It’s going to be very special.

Ticket are available at the door or online here on A-OK. The show is at the Kelowna Community Theatre tonight (June 27th) for $18.

I must also mention that we have another stellar show coming to Kelowna this Saturday at the Habitat:

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald

I would also highly recommend checking out the show with Michael Bernard Fitzgerald at the Habitat this Saturday night. Here’s the Facebook event link.

I’m absolutely loving his new EP “Firecracker.” It’s been my playlist on the way to work for the past month.

We Are The City – Baptism

Those boys in We Are The City did it again with their sophomore release, Violent. Here is their latest video for the single ‘Baptism,’ which uses scenes from their feature-length, foreign-language film of the same name as the album (Violent) which the band — whose members don’t actually speak Norwegian — wrote, translated, and directed in Norway.

Music video created by Amazing Factory Productions.

A-OK/CREAM Salons present “High Tide”

High Tide Poster

*Nautical themed, not actually on a boat

Windmills – Her’s Place

Windmills releases a live recording of his previously unreleased song “Her’s Place.” From the man himself:

“Her’s Place” is a nostalgic reflection on the summers of my youth spent in Northern Ontario surrounded by family on a small lake north of Timmins. It is far and away the most personal song I’ve ever written.

Lee Watkins and I talked about creating a video and I wanted to challenge us both to do something we hadn’t done before. So Lee set up his cameras, I recruited Cameron Lutz on percussion and Rob Raybould on bass (who also recorded the live audio) and we set out one hot evening in Lee’s studio with a 15 pack of Pabst to record a song with instrumentation we’d practiced the day before. This is the result.

Catch Windmills at some upcoming tour dates:

  • June 20th, Vernon BC, Talkin’ Donkey with Ghost Lights – 7pm
  • June 21st, Kelowna BC, Good Earth Coffee House – 7pm
  • June 24th, Vancouver BC, Guilt & Co. – 9pm
  • June 28th, Kelowna BC, Milkcrate Records – 7pm
  • July 4th, Kelowna BC, Diner en Blan (invite-only) – 8pm
  • July 5th, Kelowna BC, Hot and Dry Canadian Summer Kick-off – 10pm
  • July 13th, Vernon BC, TBA
  • July 19th, Kelowna BC, High Tide – 9pm
  • July 25th, Edmonton AB, Taste of Edmonton
  • July 26th, Edmonton AB, Private-House Show
  • July 27th, Calgary AB, TBA
  • August 2nd, Kelowna Bc, The Orchard 7pm
  • August 24th, Vernon BC, Riot on the Roof