Sled Island Post-Mortem July 5, 2010

Sled Island started hitting it’s stride right when I left it’s host city. I think if it had matured to what it is today, I would have been less likely to move away. Not much less, but a bit. The “island” bit of the title is it’s most appropriate, standing as this weird island, isolated in the calendar with the disintegration of the Calgary Jazz Festival and with a long stretch before the Calgary Folk Festival (who are really bringing it these days, even at the expense of their theme). The year is relatively dead, aside from a smattering of events spread so thin as to be nearly invisible.

Sled Island makes no sense really. I had a lot of fun living in Calgary, but for most people, the city is a “wasteland” (to quote Japandroids), a partially deserved qualification. But for a weekend in July, it’s the home of arguably the best music festival in the Pacific Northwest, if not the entire West Coast. Plus it gives me an excuse to eat my parent’s food for a weekend.

What I Saw, And How Good It Was (in chronological order, starting Thursday afternoon):

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Vancouver Choice Cuts 2009 December 8, 2009

Originally in Beatroute Magazine. Choice Cuts is a list of the top local albums of the year, and these are the ones I did reviews for.

Pink Mountaintops – Outside Love


Always defying shoegaze, the ever-inventive Pink Mountaintops issued the intensely layered and evocative Outside Love to a storm of praise. Equal parts rousing and introspective, late album standout “The Gayest of Sunbeams” closes out one of the year’s best with a track that’s as infectious as it is skillfully written.

You Say Party! We Say Die! - XXXX


The Abbotsford five-piece has finally decided on a sound, ditching dance-punk textures for a little more shine and gloss. Becky Ninkovic’s vocals ring clear over their tested formula of charismatic guitars and punchy beats. Howard Redekopp lends his expertise to craft a sound that remains fresh and vital.

Yukon Blonde  - Everything in Everyway


A massively promising EP from an already exciting band, veteran go-to opening act Yukon Blonde showcase their talents in this new offering. Thesis track “Nico Canmore” showcases a method and energy that excites and leaves you wanting more. The band formerly known as AlphaBaby is all grown up.

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Live Review – Sea Wolf/Sara Lov October 6, 2009