Sunday, March 30, 2014

CocoRosie @ Venue

Venue - Vancouver
October 24th, 2013
Doors 8, Busdriver 9:30, CocoRosie 10:45

You grow into them. CocoRosie are an eclectic collection of performance art, poetry and music. Add in a complicated metaphorical storyline and you have the backdrop of an outstanding show.
The first time I saw them play at the Vogue Theatre in 2010. I didn't expect to be so moved to the point where it would change the course of my musical leanings. I was pleasantly surprised and forever grateful. Although that show will always be my favourite; their performance at Venue is a close second.
The venue didn't cater to their performance - a theatre setting would have suited them more.
I waited in line for an hour to snatch a spot at the front of the stage, and while I was waiting I realized that the last time I had stood in line for a show was in high school.

Inside the venue I chatted to fellow CocoRosie fans and it was refreshing being able to talk CocoRosie nonsense with others who knew what I was referring to. I planted my feet at the front of the stage and rebelled at the notion that people were so rudely pushing past to get to the front. Rowdy drunk concert goers aside, once Busdriver started his set everyone focused and listened in. His quick rap style and non-conventional sound expressed an intense need to be heard. He was energetic and forthright and it prepped everyone for CocoRosie.

The stage was decorated with a clothesline lined with torn t-shirts and aprons. The vanity table that stood centre stage served as the focus of their narrative. Once CocoRosie took to the stage the performance ensued. My favourite part of the night began when they played songs from their 2010 release 'Grey Oceans'. Smokey Taboo, RIP Burn Face, Undertaker all took on an exploratory composition. I was ecstatic when they played 'K-hole' a sure crowd pleaser for the long-time CocoRosie listeners. With Sierra's harp intro I could feel my body vibrating, my hands shaking and my vocal cords exploding. It was exhilarating!

I have habitually imagined Bianca and Sierra as mystical ethereal beings who weren't quite human. It's not possible for two people to create perfect pieces of imperfect art. Seeing them there in person just feet from me snapped me back to reality and it was brilliant. 

They ended their set with 'Werewolf' and while I wished that the audience would have sang along it was the sure way to end a set - with the song that introduced me to their music and drew me in. Infinitely, it will always be the song that gripped my consciousness and helped cycle my obsessive obsession with their aesthetic and stories told through their art.

While they skipped a few songs on their setlist the show is a memorable one.

I love this review from their past show at Webster Hall


Child Bride
End of Time
Harmless Monster
Tears for Animals
Ana Lama
Tez Solo
Far Away
Grey Oceans
God Has a Voice
RIP Burn Face
Smokey Taboo
K Hole
We Are On Fire
Turn Me On (Skipped)


I have been neglecting this blog. I just don't have time to sit down and write!

Here is a list of shows that I've seen since I updated last. 

March 6th 2013 - Thao + the Get Down Stay Downs + Sallie Ford + the Sound Outside @ Fortune Sound Club

October 11th, 2013 - Austra + ______ @ The Commodore Ballroom

October 23rd, 2013 - MSMR + Wildcat Wildcat @ Venue

October 24th, 2013 - COCOROSIE + BusDriver @ Venue

October 25th, 2013 - Laura Marling + Willy Mason @ Rio Theatre

December 17th, 2013 - The Punk Singer @ Rio Theatre

February 17th, 2014 - Ane Brun + Linnea Olsson @ Electric Owl

February 28th, 2014 - The Cave Singers + Hunting @ Rickshaw Theatre

March 21st, 2014 - James Vincent McMorrow +Aiden Knight @ Rio Theatre

March 25th, 2014 - St. Vincent + ____ @ The Commodore Ballroom

March 27th, 2014 - The Black Lips + THE COATHANGERS! @ Rickshaw Theatre

Future Shows:

May 4th, 2014 - Warpaint @ Rickshaw Theatre

May 24th, 2014 - Haim @ Malkin Bowl OR Banks @ Venue

June 9th, 2014 - The Jezabels @ Imperial

July 6th, 2014 - Sharon Van Etten @ Rickshaw Theatre

July 23rd, 2014 - The Julie Ruin @ Fortune Sound Club

Will update soon. No promises.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I love everything about this talk. Everything.

"iO Tillett Wright is an artist whose work focuses on the leading margins of contemporary life and culture. Her photography is regularly featured on two blogs at the New York Times: “Notes from the Underground” and “The Lowdown.” iO created the Self Evident Truths project—an ongoing document of LGBTQ America, which she continues to work on. She had her first solo show at Fuse gallery in New York City in 2010, and exhibited her latest work at The Hole Gallery in early summer of 2012. She has published three limited edition books of photographs; Lose My Number, which is presently sold out, KISSER, and Look Ma’, No Hands. iO has directed several music videos, and worked as a professional film actor for nineteen years, in addition to founding the world’s first nationally distributed street art magazine."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Guests: Doldrums
September 12th, 2012

Austra had been a band that I had to slowly grow with. I remember listening to Katie Stelmanis and putting her music aside. I go back now and then and hear a developing artist. Austra's unique blend of electronic, synth, and opera are what drives and separates them from other bands.

Once Austra came on stage they were met with technical difficulties, but that aside they opened strongly with "The Choke." Katie's operatic inspired vocals blended and contrasted perfectly live. Their sound was large and memorable. With only one album out they played crowd favourites and unreleased gems.
"Lose It," "Spellwork" and "Beat and the Pulse" were met with the loudest cheers.

Their large sound mesmerized the audience and we swayed along. Sari and Romy who stood on either side of Katie stole my attention for most of the show. Their dancing was hypnotizing.

"Painful Like'

St. Vincent & David Byrne @ The Centre

Who: St. Vincent & David Byrne
Where: The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts
When: October 20th, 2012

St. Vincent is a gloriously talented multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter. Now that's a mouthful to say. But how else would you describe St. Vincent? Alongside David Byrne (best known for being part of Talking Heads) they created eclectic and unique sounding music. A mix of genres ranging from jazz to rock to blues to soul.

They entered the stage at 7:30pm sharp and began an engaging show that would last close to 3 hours.
St. Vincent danced awkwardly whilst playing her electric guitar and David Byrne commanded the stage with his legendary presence.
They were accompanied by a horn section that added a soul and volume. The choreography that occurred on stage was entertaining and engaging.
The audience was a mix of old time listeners of Talking Heads and David Byrne and St. Vincent fans. This collaboration between the two distinctly unique artists created a blend of genres and sound.
It was electric.

For other reviews of this show click here and here

"Like Humans Do"

Scissor Sisters / Rye Rye - Commodore

Scissor Sisters
Guest: Rye Rye
Commodore Ballroom
June 20th, 2012

Some shows exude a kind of excitement that is palpable. You can almost grab at it and contain it in a glitter-filled bottle. My friend Dan and I were beyond excited for this show. We made our way to front of stage with some clever maneuvering and held our ground.
The last time we saw the Scissor Sisters was at Malkin Bowl in the pouring rain. Grrl it was pouring down and it wouldn't let up. That was a memorable show because we were in the presence of Queens. The Scissor Sister should be teaching glam lessons -- they are that fierce. They have managed to create a language that isn't degrading  but celebratory. That in itself is worth the mention.

Rye Rye opened up the show and brought two incredibly handsome dancers with her. Her infectious dance tunes were contagious and had the entire audience dancing up a storm. I loved her unique aesthetic and her style. The back-up dancers though could hold their own. Rye Rye is the perfect opener for Scissor Sisters. Loved it.

Once Scissor Sisters hit the stage sounds from all around us erupted. I remember being really excited. It's just a visual dream being in front of such personalities. Jake Shears, Ana Matronic, Del Marquis and Babydaddy together create a symbol of freedom and fun. Favourite moments include "Let's Have a Kiki" --- that song became my dance jam for a while afterwards.
What is a Kiki you ask? Well... a kiki 'is a party for calming all your nerves"
It was so. Much. Fun. 

i want to learn this dance. Notice how adorable Del Marquis is with his tambourine.

Let's Have A Kiki - Scissor Sisters


The XX
Guests: John Talabot
Vogue Theatre
October 5th, 2012

I last saw The XX at Zulu records several years ago.
Their fame from then on grew quickly and they began to sell out shows.

The band, despite their assumed small sound had a great and memorable stage presence.
I remember them as timid and shy. They showed none of these attributes at the live show at the Vogue Theatre.
I loved their aesthetic. Romy, Oliver and Jaime were all clad in black and in stark contrast to their white stage design. Jaime's percussive collection grew three sizes since and their sound has evolved.
With their newest album 'Coexist' they managed to keep their signature lull and mysterious sounds.
They opened with Angels and throughout the set the audience met them with enthusiasm.

Oliver swayed and swooned the audience with his deep vocals and this bass lines.
Romy stares intensely out into the audience as if she is searching for something or someone.
Jaime is focused and with his head down he beats out the heart of the band. With his drums and his kicks. 
Romy, Oliver and Jaime together create a cohesive and engaging sound that invites the listeners into their hearts and their souls.

They put on an inspiring show.

XX - Live at KEXP