Posts Tagged ‘Commodore’
The rain was crazed. The line up was long. The door people bored and uncooperative. But Friday night was very, very young. We ran into the lovely Ethan Kath of Crystal Castles, waiting at the door for a friend trying to convince the disgruntled staff to let him/her in upon arrival. He introduced us to Kontavoid, the Toronto-based project of Cam Findlay. His music is played over synths while wearing a dark masque and is what Purgatory or maybe ghost dialect probably sounds like (in a really good way). Having previously drummed for Crystal Castles and currently drumming for Trust, as well as working on his solo and prominent work, Findlay has every right to come across as a pompous busy-body, but instead was all smiles, suits, and slicked hair.
We slid down the handrails to the crowds on Granville and ran up and down the carpeted stairs of the venue until we found a quit-ish corner to conduct the interview. Having to shout over the loud tunes and the first few screams of Crystal Castles, this is how weee goooo:
Winnie Cooper- Where’s your mask?
Cam Findlay- I only wear it for the first half of the show but then it gets too sweaty and gross.
WC- Your from Toronto, how’s the music scene holding up at the moment?
CF- Toronto’s cool. I like it a lot. I’ve grown up there so I don’t really know anywhere else but I think its got a great music scene and despite whatever snobby stereotypes people may have about the city, it’s a really great scene.
WC- A lot of the best Canadian bands hail outta there
CF- Yeah! It’s funny because there are a lot of bands from the city, and they branch out elsewhere and then make it big and you realize they are from Toronto later. But, I mean the stuff I’ve been doing, we really stick together and do shows. There’s a community and it’s awesome.
WC- And the underground stuff?
CF -There was a big rave scene, a lot of after hours that kinda died out and that has been almost destroyed because of the development of condos. But there were some warehouses where we had parties. None of those after hours are there anymore. There’s a lot of electronic stuff coming out of Toronto though.
WC- When did you start making music?
CF- I started drumming for Crystal Castles in 2007, I was their original drummer. They were my first professional band.
WC- What about your first non-professional bands?
CF- I used to play in some shitty punk bands. There was a place called the Q-bar that I used to play at back in Toronto. They didn’t care about serving alcohol and you could do whatever you wanted, if your band existed for like 3 days you could play there and all our buddies would come out and the bar tenders would give out free pitchers at the end of the night if door sales went well. But its like a martini bar now…
WC- Is Trust your side project?
CF- No, they are just my friends from Toronto, its very small, you either know someone in a band or someone else, it’s a very small scene, I got tied up and worked with them in the beginning of this year, I did a few European shows.
WC- Where do you see Kontravid going?
CF- I don’t creatively contribute to Trust or Crystal Castles. Kontravoid is my main thing. So I want to pursue this mainly.
WC- If you had to tour with one person who is alive right now, who would you tour with?
CF- Oh man…maybe Skinny Puppy but I would feel very intimidated; none of my stuff stands up to them…
WC- Whose your biggest music crush?
CF- Gotta say Bowie
WC- Is there a theme that carries throughout your music? Even a mistake theme?
CF- None of my songs are subjective, I feel like I combine words that don’t tell a story.
WC- So the meaning develops afterwards.
CF- I guess so, I leave it open for people to take it how they want.
WC- A lot of electronic music is not obvious anyway, the music is usually profound and moody itself.
CF- Totally. I work with the instrumentals and then the vocals, so I try to let the instrumental parts come through. Maybe if I started as an instrumentalist or lyricist it would be different, but I started as a drummer.
WC- Do you ever look back at your early stuff like, “Eww I thought that was cool.”
CF- Yeah! It’s mostly terrible to be honest. But it has a nostalgic value.
WC- So you’ve materialized different parts of your life, or your own personal history, through recording…
CF- Yeah totally! It’s cool to see where you come from. I have a lot of stuff recorded, stuff that should be scrapped but its cool to go back to it.
Interview by: Josefa and Paulette Cameron
I’ll admit, when this remix first came through my inbox a few weeks ago I wasn’t entirely impressed. After all, “Passive Me, Aggressive You” was one of my favourite albums from 2010 and their sold out show at the Commodore this past April was magically beautiful.
However, over the course of several listens it’s really grown on me and the song especially kills around the 2:30 mark. I suggest pumping this jam during an intense areobics session if you’re skeptical, it worked for me.
posted by @clarkbs
Girl Talk aka Gregg Michael Gillis can only be described as a musical revolutionary. In just over a decade, the Pittsburgh native has transformed the way we see and hear music, while simultaneously giving birth to a new genre.
Oddly enough, I first heard about Girl Talk during a Communication lecture at SFU, where my Professor gave Gillis props for continuing to make art under the intense confines created by copyright infringement. After said lecture, I immediately returned to my dorm room and downloaded ‘Night Ripper’ and ‘Feed The Animals’, two albums that have been in heavy rotation ever since, along with his most recent release ‘All Day’.
In terms of critical acclaim, Girl Talk is in a league all by himself. No other DJ/Producer/Musical Mastermind can sample the way he does. And if the rumors are true, which I’m pretty sure they are, nobody puts on a live show quite like Gregg Michael Gillis.
If you want to see what all the hype is about, Gillis will be playing at the Commodore in Vancouver on September 7. You better hit the gym beforehand, this show is gunna be an aerobic workout.
posted by @clarkbs
I wasn’t planning on writing a review for Frank Ocean at the Commodore this past Saturday. However, after a few unfavourable, (and unjust), reviews started popping up on the World Wide Web I thought this was necessary.
Let me start off by saying this; who Frankie is fucking or rather not fucking should not enter the conversation of his artistic achievements. While I understand the notion of celebrity and living in the public eye, good music cannot be defined by race, sexuality, or gender. Moreover, Frank Ocean is in a genre all his own. He’s given R/B a much needed facelift by opting to tell his own story without any vocal aids from a high profile rapper. Alright, now onto the review.
I was first introduced to Ocean’s remarkable talents almost two years ago. A friend sent me We All Try via twitter and I instantly fell in love with the voice coming through my headphones. Needless to say, I was more than a little excited/nervous/anxious for his first Vancouver solo performance.
Although I waited over an hour for Ocean to finally perform, all but was forgotten when he graced the stage with his signature white-and-red bandana and an orange tie-dye t-shirt. He looked content, almost as if he knew that with every song he was going to prove the homophonic haters wrong.
By the third song Ocean had a sold-out Commodore hooked. As the opening vocals for Thinkin Bout You filled the venue, the chronic haze was almost as intense as everyone’s musical goosebumps. The crowd quickly fell silent as we watched Ocean hit every note, making both the girls and boys swoon with envy.
Ocean’s relatively small set included all my favourites off Channel Orange, including Forrest Gump, Bad Religion, and the previously mentioned Thinkin Bout You. He also included Novacane, Strawberry Swing, and American Wedding from Nostalgia, Ultra. In-between songs Ocean was sure to thank the crowd for supporting him through this difficult time. And while he didn’t directly mention his “coming out”, it wasn’t necessary, as his music said it all.
Review by @clarkbs
There are very few people in this world that possess all of the following qualities 1) artistic 2) exceptionally athletic and 3) cool as fuck. Trevor “Trouble” Andrew just happens to be one of these people.
After a childhood spent skateboarding on the coast of Nova Scotia, Andrew turned to snowboarding and would eventually go pro at the tender age of 12. He then spent the majority of his later adolescence traveling the world, participating in two Winter Olympics and the 2000 X-Games. Sometime during this craziness he met Santi White, who you all know as the fabulous Santigold. The two started dating, fell madly in love and finally made their courtship official roughly two years ago.
Now rewind to 2004, when Andrew’s suffered a tragic knee injury that forced him to explore different avenues. Being influenced by his ladylove and a SP1200, he began experimenting with different mixes, fusing together his love for punk rock, southern crunk, and gangsta rap.
Shortly after his musical awakening, Andrew started the “Trouble Andrew” band, who released their debut album in 2007. Since then, Andrew’s has gone on to become a brand ambassador for Native Shoes, designed for the likes of Burton, Monster Energy and Nixon, as well as collaborate with some of the music industries biggest names.
Not only has he hooked up with his wife on a few tracks, but he’s also been featured with pretty boy Diplo, Curren$y and Spankrock to name a few. Oh, I should also mention that he’s started his own record label entitled Trouble Records and rocks a ripped denim jacket like none other.
All in all, the dudes a Canadian prodigy and while spending time with him on Saturday, (before he performed with Santigold at the Commodore), it also became apparent that he’s one of the chillest artists around. Check out my interview with him below.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Honest, loyal, driven, athletic, and creative.
You’ve spent a lot of time in Vancouver and Whistler, what’s your favorite thing about living in British Columbia?
I love the lifestyle out here, being surrounded by the mountains and the water. To me it’s one of the most peaceful places in the world. Some people are pulled towards certain places and when I’m out here I’m just so calm.
Do you think being bi-coastal influences your music and personal style?
I don’t know, maybe. I think traveling and being always on the move in general has influenced me. Being exposed to different things, different cultures, has introduced me to so much that has in turn affected my music and my art.
If you could only have three pairs of shoes in your wardrobe, what would they be?
I would have a pair of Native shoes because I’m part of the company and it’s something that I’m super proud of, plus they’re awesome; I know I could rock them anywhere. Then I would have a pair of combat boots or Docs. I’d also have a pair of dope Gucci slip on’s, black on black, just in case I had to go somewhere.
When you’re in the pipe or shredding pow what music do you have coming through your headphones?
When I was younger I would listen to the Descendents “Coolidge” a lot and their whole “Somery” album. Also Tupac’s “All Eyez on Me” really pushed me, I wrote a lot to that record too. I used to just make mixes. I don’t know if you remember mini disc players but I would make mixes for the Olympics, U.S. Open, X-Games etc. I still have them all too.
You’ve worked with everyone from Diplo to Stunnaman, who else would you love to collaborate with?
There are tons of people I’d love to work with, like Trent Reznor or Iggy Pop. Drake would be dope too.
If you could go back in time and spend one day with Tupac, what would you plan for the two of you?
I would love to be in L.A. with him, rolling around in a Phantom or vintage Bentley, cruising down sunset, throwing money out the window, top down. But then another part of me would want to take him out here and go to fucking Whistler. I’d love to teach him how to snowboard.
In your opinion, what’s the mot romantic thing you’ve ever done?
(Blushing)…that’s a question you’d really have to ask Santi.
Do you think you’re a romantic guy?
I think I’m defiantly romantic. Sometimes my crazy life and ADD gets in the way but I don’t think romance is something you do a couple times a week, it’s being thoughtful, and it’s the little things. I’m really good with my words so I write some pretty romantic text messages.
When can we expect the Trouble Gang compilation?
I think probably by the end of the summer, August maybe. But I’m going to start putting songs out from it right now. I want to drop this song I did with my new artist Mulller St-Cyr, he’s from Brooklyn and is one of the illest rappers I’ve ever heard.
Interview by @clarkbs