Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meanwhile, back in Vancouver

Art by Jeffrey Lewis!

I've been forgetting to try to generate excitement about the Vancouver New Music Solus festival - the theme this year is solo virtuosity. The VNM fest - this city's high culture answer to the Fake Jazz/1067 scenes - is usually my favourite fest of the year, mostly because it's not huge, daunting, or exhausting; the jazzfest and film fest feel like binge eating, while the VNM fest is a few nights of refined dining for those with adventurous palates. I'll have something in The Skinny - interviews with three of the performeres: local analog electronics dude Josh Stevenson, who plays Wednesday; Frances-Marie Uitti, who plays the cello with two bows (one above and one below the strings), and will be performing Thursday; and Dutch vocal improv/electronics guy Jaap Blonk (Saturday). He'll be doing Kurt Schwitters' Dada sound-poem "Ursonate" (which does not rhyme, for the record, with resonate; it means the "ur" sonata, or proto-sonata); though really, people unfamiliar with Jaap's work or just wanting a fast entertaining peek at something unusual and very fun would be better advised to start here (a piece he references in The Skinny article, btw). As usual, there will also be several people whose work I don't know. Oh, by the way, would somebody please buy me Jaap's collaboration with Mats Gustafsson and Michael Zerang? I'm broke.

Also in The Skinny: a Jeffrey Lewis interview! The Nerve Magazine portion of my Peter Stampfel interview - during which he turned me on to Jeffrey's music, tho' it didn't make it into this particular article - is viewable here; to get the whole thing, Jeffrey Lewis references and all, you're going to have to hunt down Bixobal #3, which I wish you luck at (Bixobal #5 out soon with a Tunnel Canary feature! Gonna try to get this one stocked around town...). Jeffrey is a New York anti-folk musician and cartoonist who put out a very inspired recording last year, covering Crass songs; I posted links to some of my favourite video clips of his music here. If I recall correctly, he's got his new comic book, Fuff #7, complete. Jeffrey's band - featuring his brother Jack Lewis, also a songwriter - will play Thursday at the Media Club; tickets are about $16. It doesn't look like I'll have the wherewithal to blog more on Jeffrey before then but maybe I'll get something up after he leaves; we did have an interesting conversation - covering, in part, the art for the 12 Crass Songs release.

Also on Thursday - it's gonna be a busy night: Scott Beadle's talk about "The Early History of Vancouver Punk" - amusingly retitled "Vancouver and Its Counter-Cultural Music Scene" by the Vancouver Historical Society, who are putting it on. I wonder if the aim of the new title is to make the evening seem more palatable to academics, or less palatable to punks? If you don't know Beadle's history, check his Myspace - he's got some pretty interesting connections, Vancouver-punk-wise. The talk will be held at the Vancouver Museum in Vanier Park, and is free, starting at 7:30. Or something like that - see his poster below somewhere, beneath that gigantic, wasted attempt to give Warren Kinsella a chance to make good with Vancouver punks whom he has alienated (how disappointing his comments are - the last thing I expected from was for him to blithely reveal that he doesn't have a fuckin' clue what he's talking about!). Beadle does plan to take in a bit of the response to Direct Action/the Squamish Five, for the record. I don't think I'm going to have a chance to blog anymore of my interview with Scott, unfortunately, or at least not before Thursday...

What else is goin' on? Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein at the Rio, midnight on Friday? Like I'm going to have the stamina for that!

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