Streaming Cafe

Friday, September 28, 2012

Rococode: Guns, Sex and Glory

by Malcolm Petch

Very sorry, due to unforeseen circumstances Rococode had to cancel this show.

Guns, Sex & Glory. No, that’s not a promo for a new movie, nor is it the life-plan for a New York gang leader wannabe. Guns, Sex & Glory is the debut album from Rococode, a Vancouver-based ensemble that tours Eastern Canada as much as it does Western Canada.

Interestingly, the folks of Rococode describe themselves as ‘an evolving band of three Vancouver musicians’, yet all their publicity shots show four distinct members. That’s pretty efficient evolution.

The video for their song “Weapon”, posted on August 30, does a good job of capturing the essence of Rococode’s music. There’s an underlying darkness in the visual theme that supports the lyrical content of the song, yet the whole thing is wrapped in a robe of accessible and strong pop music that is engaging and enjoyable right from the start. Shades of  California pop bands slip through the track on occasion – in a good way.
Truth be told, all of Rococode’s videos are masterful and engaging. It’s clear these guys – or, rather, lady and gentlemen – know what they’re doing both with their music and with their visuals.

Dig a bit deeper, and it’s easy to see why the music seems so well constructed: it actually is well constructed. Laura Smith and Andrew Braun, founding members of the band, met at a Jazz school where, among other things, Andrew graded Laura’s Music History papers and played support in her solo project. And every bio that includes mutual time at a Jazz school is usually reflected in quality music.

As Laura and Andrew started collaborating more and began recording, the solo project transmogrified into something more like the Laura and Andrew Band (they even referred to themselves as LAB). Shaun Huberts (bass) and Johnny Andrews (drums) joined the line-up to help lay down tracks during early recording sessions after crossing paths with Andrew at a Victoria wedding where they were all faking their way through providing jazz background music. “The evening was highlighted by a 45-minute muzzak-inspired rendition of ‘Girl from Ipanema,’ ” says Andrew. “It was love at first note.” Andrew started bringing Shaun and Johnny in as backing musicians with Laura every once in a while, and when LAB started recording it just made sense to use Shaun and Johnny to round the tracks out.

Huberts and Andrews already had a good gig as bassist and drummer with Tegan and Sara, however, so when their LAB sessions in the studio ended they headed out on a T&S/Paramore tour while Braun and Smith were finishing up in the studio.

When Shaun and Johnny came back [from their tour with Tegan and Sara] and we started to play live shows it was quickly apparent that it was a project they also wanted to be invested in,” says Andrew.  “We all came BACK to the studio after a long hiatus and recorded two (and a half) more songs… including Weapon… to finish up the record.” Braun says it was obvious to all four of them that they’d settled into being a band.

Rococode credits producer Ryan Guldemond with having the biggest and most obvious influence on Guns, Sex & Glory. Like Shaun and Johnny’s inclusion into the family, Guldemond’s role came about after a chance meeting one day. That serendipitous street encounter morphed into a significant time of pulling apart the songs Andrew and Laura had written, piecing the arrangements together, and really shaping the sound for the band.

The final results of the whole recording project literally speak for themselves, and Laura, Andrew, Johnny and Shaun have been touring their album together from even before it was released. Johnny and Shaun still have to split their time between their work with Tegan and Sara and their time with Rococode – but get them in the right place at the right time, and the music comes together!

That music will be coming together here at Streaming Café on October 6. And for all those who have ever thought to themselves, “Man, why are the shows so early at SC?”, you’ll be glad to hear that for this rare occasion Streaming Café will be hosting Rococode at the special showtime of 10:00pm Pacific time! Yes, that’s right: ten o’clock in the evening.

Rococode. In person. Intimate setting. Rare opportunity.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cafe Art Display: Kristen Amy Cresswell

We are very happy to be displaying some amazing works on our cafe walls by the talented Kristen Amy Cresswell . Her art will be showcased for the next month, so come down and take them in. Visit Kristen's  facebook page for more information on her art.

Kristen Amy Cresswell was born in 1986 and raised in the Dutch dairy-farming community of Southern Ontario. In 2006 she made the move to Kelowna, BC where she now calls home! Living in two beautiful provinces has been a key inspiration to what she creates.

She has always found art in the things around her. A few of her earliest memories include making dandelion crowns during a baseball game, braiding strands of straw into little dolls, and drawing on her brand new jeans in ink during the ride home on the school bus, which her mom didn't quite appreciate as much as Kristen enjoyed doing it. Creating art has always been a vital part of her life.

Kristen is a self-taught artist who isn't afraid of colour. She pairs bright & bold colours with sharp clean lines. Her current fascination is with sunlight and how it affects the colours we see. The lack of light voiding the subject of colour, and the light during different times of day sometimes changing the colour itself! The result is beautiful, full-of-life, spectacularly coloured paintings.

This year, Kristen has shown her work at both Bean Scene coffee shops in January and May, at Art In The Park in August, at the Riot On The Roof event in August and now at Streaming Cafe for September.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September Performers | Video Overview

by Michael Donley
To start off the fall we've got an epic month of indie music, featuring a couple amazing mid-week performances along with our Saturday night shows. Have a look through videos from this months performers and take in some shows - online or live in person at the cafe!
If you missed out on a show, have a look through clips from hundreds of our past shows.

Raleigh - SATURDAY, SEPT. 8th 
Raleigh's lush composition draws on the finer elements of earthy folk and chamber pop with delicate melodies that hold the whole thing together. Cello, guitar, drums, and boy - girl duets weave through dynamic, newstyle prog-folk resulting in a sound that has been described as "a more thoughtful, elegant indie", and "dynamic, quirky folk." All three members have spent time playing with illustrious company, including Woodpigeon, The Dojo Workhorse and The Dudes.
Tickets: FREE SHOW
Time: 7pm (PST)

Krief - THURSDAY, SEPT. 13th
Guitarist for The Dears, Patrick Krief made his frontman mark with his solo project Black Diamond Bay. The April 2012 release of Hundred Thousand Pieces (Pirates Blend), presented the Montrealer at his finest, with beautifully heartbreaking, cinematic arrangements, and soulful lyrics and songwriting. Though Krief performed almost everything himself during the recording of the album (drums, piano, keys, bass, guitar, percussion, and vocals), he takes to the stage with a full band during his live shows, kicking his ornately instrumental music up a notch, creating a fuller, rocking sound, jam‐packed with soul. Have a look at Krief’s online concert series for a little taste of his music live off the floor.
Eventbrite - Krief (of The Dears) live at Streaming CafeTickets: $12 available @ Streaming Cafe
Time: 8pm (PST)

Dogwood and Dahlia - SATURDAY, SEPT. 15th
Dogwood and Dahlia, hailed as “Vancouver’s youngest poet singers,” have captivated the Vancouver indie folk scene since their formation in the spring of 2011. With two EPs under their belt (“Nice to Meet You” in May 2011 and more recently, “The Sea” in December 2011,) the band is excited to meet new people, see new places, hear new music and get people dancing as they tour this summer, before returning to Vancouver to record a full length album in early 2013.
Tickets: FREE SHOW
Time: 7pm (PST)

Zaac Pick - SATURDAY, SEPT. 22nd
When Zaac Pick sings about the inconstancy of time, you can’t help but believe he has the experience to back it up. The Vancouver singer-songwriter brings an older-than-his-years wisdom to every melody his new four-song EP, Whitewater.  2012 has seen the Whitewater EP nominated for a West Coast Music Award for Best Solo Roots Recording, the title track added into regular rotation on CBC 3, and the accompanying video on MuchMusic. With a cross-country tour behind him, Zaac is currently working on his first full-length album.
Tickets: FREE SHOW
Time: 7pm (PST)

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald - THURSDAY, SEPT. 27th 
There’s a lot to love about Michael Bernard Fitzgerald (MBF). His sweet, approachable disposition gives way to an undeniable confidence onstage. He is a man who can break hearts playing solo with an acoustic guitar and in equal measure, make venues soar with full backing bands, choirs and dancers. From his modest first show at a tiny folk club in 2005, to the heights of Virginfest, touring the country with Hey Ocean and playing shows with the likes of Stars, k-os, and a fall 2010 Canadian tour supporting Lights, the course is now charted for Michael to embark on his next musical journey; the release of his new record in the spring of 2012.
Eventbrite - Krief (of The Dears) live at Streaming CafeTickets: $10 available @ Streaming Cafe
Time: Two Seatings - 7pm (Early Show) + 10pm (Late Show)

The Jon Cohen Experimental - SATURDAY, SEPT. 29thh
The Jon Cohen Experimental is the brainchild of Montreal musician & songwriter Jon Cohen. Having been a key member of such diverse and popular bands as The Dears, The Social Register and many more, Jon formed his own group in the spring of 2006 as a response to over a decade of service to the prolific Montreal music scene. Arming himself with looper pedals, drum machines, casio-like keys, a bass guitar and trippy projected visuals.
Tickets: FREE SHOW
Time: 7pm (PST)

MBF: 2 Shows - 1 Night

by Malcolm Petch
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald (MBF) blew through Streaming Café the first time as part of Breakout West, the music fest surrounding the Western Canadian Music Awards. The WCMAs were held in Kelowna in October of 2010.

The place here was packed and the atmosphere was more than electric – which was strange, because MBF only had an acoustic guitar with him. But he tore up the crowd, blazing through a high-energy set that had people literally on their feet dancing by the end of the show.

Dancing doesn’t usually happen at SC. And dancing people crowding the stage with surging motion that blocks the streaming cameras definitely never happens. But it did. We loved it.

MBF is no stranger to the road, having toured the country with Hey Ocean and playing shows with folks like k-os and Stars. And MBF usually goes onstage in a big way: herding 40 musicians and artists through an Alberta-based University Theatre tour, playing at Grand Theatre in Calgary with a 26-person backing band, returning twice more to play with 54 performers on the stage at the same time, taking a 25-member choir on tour through Lethbridge, Kelowna, Edmonton, and Vancouver, plus two sold-out shows at Knox Centre Theatre in Calgary, and generally blazing through the landscape without much regard for musical decorum.

We were happy to find that MBF’s experience at SC was as enjoyable for him as it was for us; he worked with us to stream his album-release ‘party’ gig live in June of 2011, and we brought him back again in February of this year.

Now it’s time for another show! Michael will be joining us for two mid-week shows on Thursday, September 27. We’ll be live in the café and streaming the early show at 7pm, and it’ll be in-house only for the second show at 10pm. Tickets for either show are $10 plus fees in advance, or $15 at the door. They’re available at Streaming Cafe or online at http://mbfsept27.eventbrite.com/

Join the crowd who love MBF – check out his previous performance videos, and get your tickets for September 27
...just added to the bill is the amazing Ali Milner! - The Province praised her “powerful vocals, command of the stage and fiery red locks,” while Discorder called her “a soulful, old-fashioned jazz singer, with style and talent beyond her years.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Zaac Pick | On the heels of a WCMA nomination.

by Malcolm Petch
There was a full house at SC this past Saturday, and an out-of-town visitor asked me about the pre-show music.

“Who are we listening to?” asked the guest. “This is good!”

The music on tap was by Zaac Pick, and the visitor’s reaction to it was common to first-time hearers of Zaac’s music.

Here at SC we first heard Zaac live when he visited Streaming Café in February of 2010. The gear got hauled in and set up, we were doing our normal soundcheck routine, and it seemed like a typical show setup. Until Zaac started playing.

The camera and lighting guy paused in his setup routine. The sound guy actually looked up from the board. The web sound guy came in from the van. The baristas stopped barista-ing and came out from behind the counter to watch and listen.

“Wow,” we said to each other. “This guy is really good.”

Since Streaming Café opened in 2009 we’ve had literally hundreds of artists come through our doors. The fact that we can remember Zaac’s first appearance testifies to the quality of his music and the tastiness of his appearance. And he’s been back twice since that first gig.

And on Saturday, September 22, we have the privilege of hosting him again.

This time out, Zaac is fresh on the heels of a nomination in the Best Solo Roots Recording category for this year’s Western Canadian Music Awards. His new four-song EP, Whitewater, was released last November as a follow-up to 2009’s Fierce Wind.

And lest you think our enthusiasm for Pick is just an in-house Streaming Café thing, you should know that others have been quick to pick up on the quality and freshness of his songs, too: My Century, from the 2009 EP, won top prize in Vancouver’s Shore 104FM Song Search contest. And three TV dramas, One Tree Hill, Degrassi, and Ghost Whisperer, all featured other tracks from the Fierce Wind EP.

That Song Search win helped Zaac with his latest EP, as part of the prize got him off and running into Nimbus Recording School to work with Canadian producer GGGarth Richardson. Richardson – engineer for Motley Crue, Nickelback, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others – runs the school as a way to pass on his expertise, and worked on Pick’s project with Shawn Cole, producer of other SC alumni including Yukon Blonde.