Vancouver in February
February in Vancouver, those three words somehow have less zest than “April In Paris”, lets change that-shall we? Here we have a short month that is generous with rain yet frugal on days. It’s not quite winter and it’s not quite spring; if February were a day in the week it would be Wednesday. St. Valentine’s gives it a certain tone, which typically perpetuates disappointment and loneliness, as there is no way to meet the expectations of an unnecessary holiday created by capitalists. However, music remains alive and well as these 28 solemn days are seeping with performances waiting for you to witness.I now present a list of concert I suggest you find yourself at.
The Devil Makes Three- The Commodore Ballroom- Feb 6
The Devil Makes are a three-piece ensemble from Santa Cruz, California. Their music is old time whiskey infused bluegrass with a rockabilly garnish and punk rock gravy. Although, they are a contemporary band that formed in 2002, they have created a loyal cult following and their songs are like anthems to the beautiful rejects. Going to their concerts is much like the imagery created in the Who’s 1973 album “Quadrophenia.” There is a noticeable divide of folks who have conflicting ideologies but somehow find themselves in the same place, on the same night, enjoying the same music but somehow remain fundamentally divided. It’s quite entertaining to witness and the band’s performance is excellent too. Their music is fun and accessible yet contains complex layers of diverse genres. This all exudes smoothly from a trio that sweats out composition and havoc.
Ariel Pink-The Rickshaw- Feb 11
Despite Ariel Pink being a questionable person there is something distinctively fascinating about him. He embodies that person we all know who dresses exuberantly, creates esoteric art and isn’t particularly benevolent yet their approval means everything to us, or am I the only who experiences that? Ariel Pink, is an L.A Based musician who has been around since the mid-nineties, although his most recent album “Pom Pom” reached the greatest success to date and put him on the international music map. His music is a low-fi, avant-garde, psychedelic and cassette culture inspired journey. Although this journey is eccentric and at times unfriendly you just want to get invited along.
Lucinda Williams- The Vogue- Feb 12
She is a heroine amongst women, she is the real deal, she is dark yet sweet, she wails like a broken angel, she makes you crumble then puts you back together- she is Lucinda Williams. On tour with her 12th album “ Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone” which, like every single album before, is an astonishing piece of bluesy folk music that breaks your heart in all the right places. She is an exceptional performer, ever evolving before your eyes. Her band is like a machine that turns her folky lullabies into rock and roll masterpieces. Each concert of hers I have witnessed is perpetually stronger, she moves forward while freezing you in your seat while you are filled with chills.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones- The Rickshaw – Feb 19
You really don’t want to miss this, although if you don’t already have tickets you may have to as this concert sold out in a day. Originally they were to perform at the Electric Owl, however the tiny venue would melt from the fire ignited in us all from this performance, so now we can burn down the house at the spacious Rickshaw.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones are a seven piece Alabama based ensemble that formed in 2012. They are a contemporary soul band with so much goddamn soul, which is hard to come by this day in age. Lead Singer Paul Janeway has one of the strongest voices around, he appears possessed by Mo-Town gods when he sings, ruling the audience in this Sacred Communion. The band is a flawless arrangement of otherworldly musicians. It’s beautiful, non-pretentious music that elevates the spirit.
The Church-The Rio-Feb 21
The Church is an Australian four piece that formed in the 80’s and they are everything enchanted about new wave music. Certain bands get tragically lost in history yet contain all the elements that could declare them timeless, the Church are one of those bands. The Church are similar to Joy Division, The Smiths and New Order yet completely authentic and the strongest of the bunch in my oh so humble opinion. They paint imagery of an 80’s film score, dancing to a jukebox in the middle of a desolate bar in Seattle and falling in love over mix-tapes all at once. The best part is that they haven’t stopped making music since 1981 and maintain the beauty of new wave music in an EDM world.
I say we take back February and make it the new July! Happy February, we finally made it, maybe someone will even write a timeless jazz song about it.