Streaming Cafe

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Climbing THE PEAK!

by Malcolm Petch
Conspiracy theorists would love it. Is there a connection between an artist playing the Streaming Café and their then meteoric rise to the public eye through hitting the top 20 of the Peak Performance Project? Or is it just coincidence?

Treelines, Hilary Grist, Fields of Green, Redgy Blackout,… the list goes on with four more performers who either have played or will play at Streaming Café and who are among the top 20 finalists in this year’s Peak Performance Project.

Behind Sapphire, Maurice,… Some would say it’s merely coincidence, of course, and that this accidental concurrence simply demonstrates Streaming Café’s penchant for booking top-notch talent. Others would say “Hogwash!” to the thought of this being purely serendipity, and would instead declare that behind the scenes there must be something more sinister at work: perhaps the PPP judges are stealthily combing through Streaming Café archives for evidence of the best and most brilliant young performers, or perhaps there are clandestine meetings between the SC talent-buying agent and those in the upper echelons of the PPP, secretly plotting out career moves and advancements for these gifted artists.

Does looking at previous top-20 lists for Peak help things become clearer? Adaline, Ben Sigston, Christina Maria, Chris Arruda, Greg Sczebel, Jess Hill, Steph Macpherson… again the inventory of top-20 artists in Peak includes many who’ve also played at Streaming Café.

Coincidence or conspiracy? Whichever it is, there is no denying that in July alone there are three of the Peak Performance’s Top 20 finalists playing at SC: Jasper Sloan Yip and Behind Sapphire on July 2, and 41st And Home on July 30.

Behind Sapphire have a 2010 album release under their belt and a three month cross-country tour in their pocket, which they called “Oh My, What A Fine Tour” in a nod to their single “Oh My, What A Fine Day” that featured an appearance by Twilight actress Jodelle Ferland in the video. Rumours that Jodelle will be with Behind Sapphire at SC on July 2 are simply that: rumours only, with no basis in truth.

Jasper Sloan Yip has been through a remarkable year, even on top of his Top-20 placement in Peak, with two live performances on CBC Radio One plus a live-recording session of seven songs for CBC Radio 3. His second album, Every Day and All At Once, was released in March 2010, and singles “Kiddo” and “Slowly” received nation-wide radio play. “Today”, another song from the 2010 album, was featured on an episode of ABC’s Brothers and Sisters. Pretty good for a guy whose first album, White Elephant, was recorded at home with a single (and reportedly broken) microphone back in 2007. Yip is currently working on a new release with his band.

July’s schedule will be wrapped up with a performance by Vancouver’s 41st and Home on the 30th. This is a truly individualistic group, formed originally by two science students (Garth Covernton and Thom Kolb, who stumbled across a cello in Garth’s garage), and then brought further to life by the addition of a violinist, a pianist, and a bassist. Their debut album was entitled “Left in Places”, and in July 2011 they plan to release a follow-up EP called “Raised By Wolves”. The July 30th appearance of 41st and Home will be fresh off their Canada Day Peak Performance debut performance in Surrey.

Conspiracy? You’d get a denial on that no matter who you talked to. There were absolutely no behind-the-scenes collusions, say top officials. And we know that top officials are always to be believed, no questions asked. Yet the facts remain: eight of this year’s Peak Performance Project Top 20 finalists (and seven of last year’s finalists) have Streaming Café in their portfolio of venues-played-at. No matter what the top officials may say, it’s still very clear that the country’s highest quality live music is available each and every Saturday night at Streaming Café – and you can enjoy it live in-house or online… see you on Saturday!

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