Streaming Cafe

Saturday, October 1, 2011

POP Okanagan | Two packed nights of Indie music

by Malcolm Petch
Coming out of the success of the BreakOut West Festival last fall, POP Okanagan hits Kelowna this October 13th  through 16th  with performances at the Streaming Cafe October 14th and 15th.

BreakOut West was the music festival portion of the Western Canadian Music Awards held in Kelowna last year. It featured multiple artists in multiple venues, and was such a hit that local organizers realized they’d be smart to capitalize on the experience and host an Okanagan-specific festival with the same general format.

POP Okanagan (www.popokanagan.com) builds on the triumph of  BreakOut West and gives it a distinctly Valley feel, with as many of the artists as possible coming from right here in the Okanagan (with a few stragglers from that little V-town down in the Fraser Valley). Venues such as the Habitat, Doc Willoughby’s, and, of course, the Streaming Café will play host to these artists, squeezing several performers into each venue during each night of the festival.

While the wrist-bands for access to the whole festival are only $35, if you manage to pick one up before October 1 you can get it for only $20. The wristbands are available at Leo’s Videos and a couple of other locations, or online at the POP Okanagan website. One-evening single-venue passes will be available for $10 at the different venues.

Streaming Café will be presenting shows on Friday and Saturday evenings and will be streamed live online from 8pm to 12am (PST)– catch us online, or on your iPad/iPhone or BlackBerry.

At Streaming Café we will be pleased to play host on Friday to MauricePortage & MainRedBirdJayson Bendera and on Saturday to Sidney YorkSteph MacphersonZaac Pick and Kate Morgan.

Needless to say, this will be a mad-cap scramble of an event! We’re anticipating swift changeovers between artists and a high-energy flow of talent through each evening’s festivities. If this is anything like BreakOut West, seating will be at a premium at Streaming Café, and the ability to walk between different venues to catch favourite acts will make the whole weekend a marvelous hub of activity in Downtown Kelowna. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Video Overview of October Shows

by Michael Donley
We've got a packed month of music for October with over a dozen acts playing our room.
I've put together a few clips and short description of each artists so you can get to know a bit more about them. Happy listening!

OCTOBER 1st – Snailhouse
Very happy to have a solo performace from Snailhouse at the cafe on October 1st. Feuerstack is a singer/songwriter and guitarist who works on his own music and contributes greatly to the projects of others. He plays guitar in the band Wooden Stars, which won a Juno with Julie Doiron for their alternative album Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars. Snailhouse, the full band version, has included Gara on drums and fellow Arcade Fire alumnus Sarah Neufeld on violin. Mike Feuerstack has toured extensively with both Catherine MacClellanand Olympic Symphonium Feuerstack is part of the band Bell Orchestre. Feuerstack/Snailhouse’s album Lies on the Prize was nominated for a 2009 Polaris prize.

OCTOBER 8th – The Crooked Brothers
The Crooked Brothers are known for their diverse instrumentation, vocal arrangements, and a fascination with the past. Even their name has a contemplative, seasoned aura about it. “The brothers part of our name relates to the archetypical bluegrass, folk, family band idea. We’re essentially brothers every way but biologically,” explains The Crooked Brothers’ Jesse Matas. “The crooked part is derived from a book we all read called “Ironweed” by William Kennedy. He used the term “crooked” to described people after they’ve died. He says ‘they’ve gone crooked’, or ‘he was all crooked’. It seemed to fit with our band. One of our original goals was to see beauty in everything including death.”

OCTOBER 14th & 15th– POP Okanagan Music Festival - Two Nights, 8 bands of live streamed indie music!
POP Okanagan (www.popokanagan.com) builds on the triumph of BreakOut West and gives it a distinctly Valley feel, with as many of the artists as possible coming from right here in the Okanagan (with a few stragglers from that little V-town down in the Fraser Valley).
FRIDAY NIGHT LINEUP: Maurice | Portage & Main | RedBird | Jayson Bendera
SATURDAY NIGHT LINEUP: Sidney York | Steph Macpherson | Zaac Pick | Kate Morgan
Here's a few videos from some of the performers that will be performing that have performed at the cafe in past.

OCTOBER 22nd – Ryan McAllister & Daniel Huscroft
Daniel Huscroft is no stranger to Streaming Café, having played our venue back in November of 2010. This time around he’s bringing Ryan McAllister, a producer and songwriter from the Lower Mainland.

OCTOBER 29th – David Simard, Steel Audrey & Hannah Epperson
David Simard - Described as an avant-garde folk singer, David has been getting some due attention. His name recently appeared on the Montreal Mirror's list for “Best Country/Folk Act” 2009.

Steel Audrey from Vancouver BC is a rowdy-roots-folk band singing over-embellished tales of seedy characters, set to a gritty and energetic live performance.

With loop pedal, fiddle and voice, Hannah Epperson creates intricate and moving musical landscapes. As a talented collaborative artist, she’s been on the road and recorded with Canada’s Miss Emily Brown; performed with Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party, and in Vancouver she is a regular at Café Montmartre, opens for local bands at the Anza and other clubs, and has collaborated with theatrical, visual and musical artists including Zachary Gray of The Zolas.

As always if you can't make it out to the cafe in Kelowna to watch these shows in-person, watch them streamed live online at 7pm and send in your questions directly to the artists via our live chat.

Ryan McAllister & Daniel Huscroft: Oct 22nd

by Malcolm Petch
Daniel Huscroft is no stranger to Streaming Café, having played our venue back in November of 2010. This time around he’s bringing Ryan McAllister, a producer and songwriter from the Lower Mainland.

McAllister is one of the underground undersung heroes who’s had a taste of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow only to have it all vanish like vapour when the weather changed. As lead singer and primary songwriter for the Vancouver band Dakona, McAllister was along for the ride when the band was the focus of a seven-label bidding war about ten years ago. Madonna’s label Maverick Records stood strong, snapping up the band and sending Dakona on a whirlwind of touring around North America. An album, Perfect Change, hit the market in 2003. But even while they were out on the road, a massive internal shuffle at Maverick resulted in the band’s deal melting into nothingness, and the Dakona world-domination experience came to a close.

The band’s choice to sink its early advance from Maverick into setting up a recording studio in Abbotsford paid out some longer-lasting dividends for McAllister, though, by allowing Ryan to follow what he calls his “accidental occupation” of recording and producing other artists’ music.

In an interview with the Aldergrove Star last month, McAllister says he’s taken the knowledge he picked up while working with top-notch engineers and producers during Dakona’s high-flying trajectory and expanded on it in establishing his home-based business, Five Acres Studio.

“When we were recording at Capitol Studios in L.A. we were spending $15,000 a day, and that kind of pressure is counter-productive to creativity,” says McAllister. He prices his own services much lower than that, but don’t be fooled into thinking Five Acres Studios is a typical ‘home studio’ – it may be home-based, but it’s a well equipped professional space. And creativity is more of a focus than ever for McAllister and some of the friends he works with, so all of that equipment gets put to good use.

However, even with all that experience, it was only when he got a push from his fellow former-Dakonian, guitarist Brook Winstanley, that McAllister started working on an album of his own material. Music for a Rainy Town was released at the end of April, and the track ‘This Black Heart’ got enough airplay right out of the gate to make it into the Shore FM Song Search top ten.

McAllister will be featuring his album when he comes through the café on October 22nd along with Daniel Huscroft. The two of them also perform in a trio called Cowboys and Indians with fellow singer-songwriter Barnaby McRae, though McRae won’t be with them this time through. Showtime is 7pm at 596 Leon Ave in Kelowna, and as always you can catch the show online (and even talk to the artists!) if you can’t be there in person.

The Crooked Brothers "...an altogether different breed of folk."

by Malcolm Petch

“Music full of hips and hearts.” Who describes their music that way? “…a heartache stripped and unadorned” …welcome to The Crooked Brothers. If this is the language they use for the website description of their music, can you imagine what their lyrics are like?
The Crooked Brothers stand out. Jesse Matas, Darwin Baker and Matt Foster are a trio of multi-instrumentalists from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and as The Crooked Brothers they craft amazing music with their guitars, mandolins, dobros, and banjos. And the harmonies – you’d almost think these three really were brothers the way their voices blend and complement each other.

A little bit of digging on their website and blog reveals a couple of interesting facts: their first album, Deathbed Pillowtalk (2009), was recorded in a warm log cabin during a cold Manitoba winter. Their newest album, Lawrence, Where’s Your Knife? (released on September 23) was recorded in a warm log cabin during a cold Manitoba winter. Seems to be a bit of a theme happening. Here’s the kicker: all three of The Crooked Brothers spent May and June out in the woods building (wait for it) an 18-foot by 18-foot log cabin destined to be a rental property at Falcon Trails Resort in Falcon Lake, Manitoba, where Jesse runs the ski shop and Matt cooks during the non-folk-festival season (otherwise known in Canada as ‘the wintertime’). If you look closely at the video they’ve posted about their log-building activities, however, you’ll note that there are way more than three guys hauling the logs up to the top of the walls on the cabin. There’s also no mention on their website as to whether working with heavy logs all the time is the reason the brothers became crooked.
Okay, so these three guys spend their winters living in log cabins, and spend their summers (well, one anyway) building log cabins (and playing in folk festivals from coast to coast). Can you get more canadiana than that?
It’s the music that really stands out, though. The Crooked Brothers have a distinctly folk sound, yet it’s refreshingly different from a distinctly folk sound; tight harmonies, yes, and lots of natural instrumentation–very straight-ahead bluegrass, actually–but there are touches and elements in The Crooked Brothers’ music that inject a fresh spark into what they do. Listen to 17 Horses, the opening cut on their new album, and right after the opening bluesy dobro and folksy banjo there’s some foot-stomp/hand clap action that sounds more like, well, … hmm. I don’t know what it sounds like, but it doesn’t sound like bluegrass. But it sounds good.
The Crooked Brothers release their music via Transistor 66 Record Company, a self-described “happily dysfunctional” label who are home to punk bands like Cripple Creek Fairies, rock’n’roll/rockabilly groups like the Hot Live Guys, and folk artists like The Kent Boys or Scott Nolan. It’s a combination that reaches an eclectic audience, obviously, and one that seems to keep the various artists happy. 

Catch The Crooked Brothers at Streaming Cafe on Saturday, October 8th at 7pm (PST). Click for more info.