Upcoming Events

Chad VanGaalen

Chad VanGaalen - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 8:01pm

Chad VanGaalen -- Light Information

 

Nobody cared about their old heads, because the new ones work just fine now, don't they?.... they have the same size mouth and eyes.

 

The song “Old Heads” is a sci-fi space anthem to technology that constantly replaces itself, proving both necessary and unnecessary at the same time. It’s also a jangly pop gem, a trip through the fantastical that is ultimately warm and relatable. This remarkable coexistence is one of many achievements of Chad VanGaalen’s Light Information, his sixth record on Sub Pop, due September 8th.

 

For an album that’s about “not feeling comfortable with really anything,” as Van Gaalen says, Light Information is nonetheless a vivid, welcoming journey through future worlds and relentless memories. The rich soundscapes and sometimes jarring imagery (“I’ll be the host body, yes, for the parasitic demons. They can eat me from the inside out, I already hear them chewing.”) could only come from the mind of a creative polymath--an accomplished visual artist, animator, director, and producer, VanGaalen has scored television shows, designed puppet characters for Adult Swim, directed videos for Shabazz Palaces, Strand of Oaks, METZ, Dan Deacon, and The Head and the Heart, and produced records for Women, Alvvays, and others.

 

While alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen’s music, Light Information draws on a new kind of wisdom--and anxiety--gained as he watches his kids growing up. “Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that's happening through the internet,” he says. “I didn’t have that growing up, and I’m maybe trying to preserve a little bit of that selfishly for my kids.”

 

As always, VanGaalen wrote, played, and produced all of the music on Light Information (save Ryan Bourne’s bass part on “Mystery Elementals” and vocals on “Static Shape” from his young daughters Ezzy and Pip), and designed the cover art. The product of six years’ work, going back even before 2014’s Shrink Dust, Light Information emerged from the experimental instruments that fill the VanGaalen’s Calgary garage studio. Among them is a beloved Korg 770 monosynth, which VanGaalen coveted for years before fixing one up and devoting a lot of recent energy to recording “duets” with it. One of these, “Prep Piano and 770,” is the lone instrumental on Light Information, more atmosphere and chord bursts than the rest of the album’s hooky rock narrative.

 

“If I was going to go out and buy a record, I would probably want it to sound only like that,” says VanGaalen. “That one’s for me.”

 

Throughout the dark-wave reverb of Light Information are stories of paranoia, disembodiment, and isolation--but there’s also playfulness, empathy, and intimacy. “I sit and do a drawing, a portrait of my dad,” sings VanGaalen on “Broken Bell.” “I should really visit him before he is dead. Cuz we are getting old. Our cells just won’t divide like they told us. But I’m not really good at this kind of thing.”

 

But VanGaalen is good at a lot of things--and he’s trying to pursue them for the right reasons. “I'm just trying to get over the weight of feeling like I have to be making something of my time constantly,” he says. “Especially with kids, you get these small breaks where you get to make stuff, and now I try to say ‘you know what, I'm going to make something for me.’”

 

And if he could make anything for himself, it would be without constraint. “I would love to build a living structure from scratch,” he says. “I've slowly been ripping my studio apart and building additions, but you're always kind of down to this box. I’d love to explore more open forms of architecture, with an endless supply of materials to use, even garbage. Building codes keep us in these boxes--You can't just build a giant hand made out of wood that's the size of a house to live in. But we really should be able to do that.”

 

 

--Evie Nagy

Licensed 18+, No Minors

Commonwealth Bar and Stage

Jenn Grant

Jenn Grant - Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 7:45pm

“Music is the connector that binds us all”, says Grant. “To be able to create music, and share the power it can hold is one of life’s greatest gifts.” This is the very essence behind the voice and songs of Jenn Grant. A heralded singer and songwriter from Prince Edward Island, in Canada’s Maritimes, Grant has four albums and one EP under her belt; she is about to embark on a brand new journey with her best collection of songs to date.“The time is here and now, I’m over the moon.”


Now living in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia with her husband and producer Daniel Ledwell, the wilderness of the forest and eastern seas helped them to settle into creating a new body of work based on time, courage, healing, wonder, and of course love. For this album, she wrote everyday for a month in a camper trailer near their house. Reflecting on the events since the making of 2012’s ‘The Beautiful Wild’, an immense current of loss and love spun together into something so beautiful; into her new album ‘Compostela’.

All Ages

Theatre Junction Grand

Bahamas

Bahamas - Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 8:00pm

To whom it may concern,
Re:
BAHAMAS EARTHTONES
Earthtones is the newest and totally most best album yet from Bahamas, aka me, Afie Jurvanen.

I wasn't feeling too inspired in 2016. I’d been in a seemingly unbroken cycle of recording and touring for 6 years. I know, you're saying to yourself "that's so clichė, all musicians complain about being tired..." But wait, there's more!

Not knowing exactly what type of album to make, I was feeling pretty low. But at that very moment, my longtime manager and confidante Robbie Lackritz called and said "dude, you should make an album with D'angelo's rhythm section." And just like that, the juices were flowing and the songs started coming.

I wrote songs about having success, having kids, and having depression. I wrote songs about going on tour, going back in time and going in circles. I wrote songs about my other worldly wife, my jerk dad and my garbage relationship with my brother. Crazy right?!

In Sept of 2016 I flew to Los Angeles and spent three days in the studio with the bass boss Pino Palladino and the titan of time keeping, Mr. James Gadson. No rehearsals, no charts, no rules. We worked fast and came away with 10 songs that sounded fresh and strange and warm and free of any genre. The results were so inspiring to me that I quickly pulled my road band (Felicity Williams, Christine Bougie, Darcy Yates, Jason Tait, Don Kerr) into a Prague studio to record a few more songs. And here's the best part...the whole thing is produced by my longtime producer and confidante Robbie Lackritz, so you know the sound is correct, totally modern and completely familiar at the same time.

Whoa!
I know! You're saying to yourself "wait what? The same Robbie from earlier??"

Yes! It's a story about friendship come full circle, and how great it is to have someone in your life that can lift you up when you're feeling down.

It’s a very positive album about having a joie de vivre for the joys of life. Okay, full disclosure...there’s a few slow jams too...

Hope you enjoy the music as much as I enjoyed making it.
Look forward to speaking with some of you soon (you know who you are.) haha

Sincerely, Afie Jurvanen

ps. see below for super important stats about awards, sales, streaming and all that business stuff that you probably see all the time.

-Multiple Juno award nominations
-Juno wins for Songwriter of the Year and Adult Alt Album of the year 2015
-A streaming juggernaut who averages over 1.6 million monthly streaming listeners, “All The Time” generated a staggering 32 million streams and counting as “Stronger Than That” cracked 9 million.
- Don’t even get me started on Lost in the Light.....
- So far 0.00 users on Tidal.
- Received an honorary high school diploma from Barrie Central Collegiate in 2016.
- Successfully landed a kickflip in front of Jack Johnson, earning a “right on dude.”
- Afie is currently planning on winning the polaris prize in 2018 and he would appreciate it if the Juno’s could change their rules about landed immigrants and just give Robbie one already.
- Other cool stuff that Robbie can tell you about. 

Licensed 18+, No Minors

The Palace Theatre

Kim Churchill

Kim Churchill - Friday, March 9, 2018 - 6:37pm

When you first encounter him, soft-spoken Kim Churchill seems like an archetypal blond, blue-eyed surfer from southern New South Wales. But behind his laidback demeanour and even tone, the 26-year-old singer-songwriter has a secret: he’s an extreme risk-taker.

 

Churchill spent 18 months working on the follow-up to his breakout LP, 2014’s Silence/Win, and received a stamp of approval from his record label. Album-release plans were drawn up and Churchill began to field offers from festivals and concert promoters around the world. But the new record – polished and accessible – didn’t quite feel right. At the last minute, Churchill decided to throw it out and start again.

 

“I worked really hard on the follow-up record for a long time,” he explains – “and it sounded good. But some very subtle layer of my consciousness was saying to me, ‘It’s not all that inspiring.’”

 

So Churchill picked up his guitar. He wrote a second version of the album in one frenetic week, then spent two months piecing together the new recordings with ARIA-winning producer Ian Pritchett in a garage in Western Sydney. The resulting LP, Weight_Falls, is a kaleidoscopic collection that is bound to take both fans and critics by surprise.

 

Those familiar with Churchill’s radio smash “Window to The Sky”, which reached number 42 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2014, will recognise signature elements in these new recordings: intricate guitar work, intuitive vocal melodies and a wonderful feeling of space and warmth. New single “Second Hand Car” is immediately identifiable as Churchill’s with its retro keys, propulsive guitar line and rousing chant-a-long chorus.

 

What sets Weight_Falls apart from Churchill’s previous releases is its sense of adventure and unpredictability, characterised by chopped-up drum samples, unusual harmonies and moments of disarming lyrical honesty.

 

Churchill credits two years spent “growing up” for much of the shift in sound. After touring Silence//Win around Australia in 2014 and 2015, he embarked on a series of high-adrenaline overseas trips that included performances at the Glastonbury and Telluride Blues Festivals and adventures in the Peruvian Andes and along the coast of Sri Lanka.

 

He wrote plenty of songs during this time – three of which survived the album reboot and appear in re-recorded form on Weight_Falls. But most of the on-the-road material seemed too obvious by the time it had been recorded and mixed back in Australia.

 

“The travel was all about honing in on the person that I was,” he says. “And those experiences really do shape you. But when you spend a year experiencing things for the first time, it takes a while for everything to sink in. By the time I scrapped the first version of the album, I finally felt ready.”

 

True to form, Churchill decided to make the new recording process an adventure, tasking himself with learning production skills for the first time. Incredibly, much of what you hear on Weight_Falls came to life on simplistic home software. Churchill then took the recordings to Pritchett, who has previously helmed albums by Angus & Julia Stone and The Beautiful Girls.

 

“I think there's a certain charming, childish quality that comes with doing something that you're really not very good at,” he explains. “I was making these really weird beats with a little drum kit on my iPad and cutting up my guitar parts and overdubbing things. I ended up creating my own style of production.”

 

With only his instincts to guide him, Churchill turned his limitations into advantages. “I can’t play bass so I was forced to use these really odd Moog bass samples and I couldn't tap out any proper bass part, so I was just holding long bass notes. That started to create an almost Bristol trip-hop quality.”

 

The song structures are similarly inventive. On “Heart of You”, Churchill pairs a sinister guitar line with propulsive hand claps before introducing a monstrous chorus that locks in perfectly. Later, on the delicate “Rosemary”, he ruminates on love and death against a guitar/strings backdrop that rises and falls like ocean waves.

 

“That song was written from the perspective of this old guy called George, who was in the same hospital ward as my grandmother and died within the same week,” Churchill says. “He saw my grandmother in her bed and decided she was the love of his life for some reason. They decided to keep each other company in the hospital.”

 

He adds: “When I play that song live, nurses and doctors will come to me and tell me that it’s an incredibly common phenomenon, especially for old men. These hardened old men that showed no emotion during their lives, finally their psyches begin to break down and they start throwing enormous amounts of love at nurses or anybody they can find.”

 

If there’s a common thread tying Weight_Falls together, it’s Churchill’s self-belief. Whether he’s blazing through a distorted guitar solo or harmonising with himself over feather-light instrumentation, there’s a sense that this music, this album, is authentic. Ultimately, he hopes, it’s that authenticity that will secure his place as an artist to remember.

 

“I just want to write music to entertain and to move people and to be the soundtrack to their lives,” he says. “I want to become a figure in the world that helps people see that it's all ok, and the world is what it is – the best and worst parts of it.”

 

Licensed 18+, No Minors

Commonwealth Bar and Stage