Archive for the ‘Live Shows’ Category

Olympocalypse! The Colbert Report!

Ever wanted to see The Colbert Report live?

Well, if you can get down to Science World by 9:15AM on Wednesday and Thursday, you can!

Start Time:
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 9:15am
End Time:
Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 9:15pm
Creekside Park next to Science World
The Colbert Report is taping at Creekside Park next to Science World on Wednesday 2/17 and Thursday 2/18 at 10am to a live audience. Please arrive by 9:15am if you would like to participate. Keep in mind there is no parking in the area so public transport is the best option

Olympocalypse! The Shane!


“We Are More” by Shane Koyczan
When defining Canada
you might list some statistics
you might mention our tallest building
or biggest lake
you might shake a tree in the fall
and call a red leaf Canada
you might rattle off some celebrities
might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie
might even mention the fact that we’ve got a few
Barenaked Ladies
or that we made these crazy things
like zippers
electric cars
and washing machines
when defining Canada
it seems the world’s anthem has been
” been there done that”
and maybe that’s where we used to be at
it’s true
we’ve done and we’ve been
we’ve seen
all the great themes get swallowed up by the machine
and turned into theme parks
but when defining Canada
don’t forget to mention that we have set sparks

Please don’t take this person-aaaaaaallllllll

Never Not Funny Live

Pardo & Woods - the world's worst Vaudeville team. I didn't realize until later that Scott Adsit from 30 Rock was in the background. Ha!

Photo by Me!.

I’m always impressed with people who can maximize a festival, particularly the ones that go longer than just a day or two – like the Vancouver Film Fest or Global’s growing comedy festival. But, I do what I can and go when I can. Yesterday, Chris from the Speedway Squad podcast invited me along to a taping of Never Not Funny live. LA comedian (warm-up man for the Tonight Show) Jimmy Pardo and company sat down in a conference room at the Westin and yukked it up for well over an hour. Chris got to talk to Pardo et al, as well as get some words in with surprise arrivals like Scott Aukerman, and I got to clunk up the show by taking them serious when they said “What’s Weird Al’s real name – let’s look it up.”

It’s not my fault I have an iPhone. It’s… Fido… no, sorry, it is my fault.

The episode of their podcast that was being taped should be up next week – I’ll make you wait until then to find out what Al’s real name is. You will be disappointed. The rest of the episode, fantastic. And it’ll be just like being there, only you weren’t and that means you didn’t give Jimmy any money, you jerks.

I’m not sure how many people would consider themselves comedy fans, other than everybody insisting that they like to laugh, but if you’re not inclined to hit the Yuk Yuk’s every once and awhile, you should consider the Comedy Festival, seeing as it’s a one week period where a lot of heavy talent from around the world come to Vancouver to play.

The festival wraps up today, with David Cross, Steve Martin, and Carol Burnett – however, there’s a second show added for Carol Burnett this coming Tuesday, where the audience gets to ask her questions. A great evening for anyone over 40 or idiots like me that watched too much TV as a kid.

Music, Movies, and Madness!

Saturday December 6th, there’s a lot going on at The Rio Theatre (Broadway and Commercial), all of it part of Cthulhupalooza (kuh-too-loo-pah-loo-zah) – I’ll see if I can break it down for you.

For starters, there’s a Rock Band contest, sponsored by the game creators, Harmonix – if you’ve got some pals, and think you can rock it out, the contest is open to all attendees. Finalists get to rock it out on stage, and the winners, besides winning sweet prizes, can perform with The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. The Thickets have a track on Rock Band, so that’s the connection.

Then later there will be a screening of the HP Lovecraft Historical Society’s Call of Cthulhu (which is done as an old-school, silent movie) along with other visual fun.

And then the evening is capped by a performance by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets! Lead singer and chief instigator Toren was recently a guest-host on CITR’s We All Fall Down, helping to get the word out and drive some funds for CITR’s on-going funding donations (listen here.)

Besides being a barrel of monkeys, the event is helping to raise money for Child’s Play, which helps provide hospitals around the world (including BC’s Children’s Hospital) with video game systems, toys, and other fun things that make time spent in a hospital that much less sucky.

There’s a website for the event, which has information on where to pick up tickets (RX comics, Elfsar comics, Scratch, Red Cat, Zulu, and Neptoon records, etc. plus online sales via PayPal), how to enter the Rock Band contest, and more as the day of the event gets nearer!

Please spread the word, as the event benefits from having as many people as possible in attendance!

Full disclosure – I am helping to organize this event. It’s a charity event, so I’m not sure if you give full disclosure on that sort of thing. But let’s just say I a lot of my heart invested in this event, and I wish it to go well. Hope to see you there.

Walk with the illuminated dead tonight

It’s the Parade of the Lost Souls on Commercial Drive (Grandview Park) this evening. Assemble at 6:30 pm, parade at 7. Shut-ins and the antisocial can watch the live stream.

The Stanley Park Ghost Train Rides Again

glowing skulls, originally uploaded by cathycracks.

Every year Lydia talks me into going into Stanley Park on a late fall evening and ridding around on the Ghost Train [vpb]. Since 1999 the train has run throughout the fall celebrating Halloween. Since I’m too old to put on a costume and go trick-or-treating it’s pretty much the only thing I do for the holiday. It’s a shot of child-like goodness, as the ride and the other things going on around the park really capture what made Halloween one of the best holidays back when we were kids.

If you’ve got kids then this is almost a must. Apart from free admitance into the petting zoo, and the chance to make their own pirate hats the ride is really for kids. It’s still enjoyable without children, as we’ve gone the last few years. If you don’t need to worry about getting the kids into bed by a certain time then going later on at night is a good idea because the lines seem to subside by 8:30.

If you do have kids this year is a pirate theme, and dressing up for ride is encouraged.

For times and ticketing information visit the Vancouver Park Board’s website [vpb].

Matthew Good Live At Massey Hall: Review

Matthew Good

“Hello Time Bomb” was at the top of MuchMusic’s charts when I tried to request it during a phone in request hour back in Kelowna.  I was working an extra long shift at the Uptown Cinema Centre, and wanted to hear the new Matthew Good Band track.  The DJ at The Lizard, which at that point was what passed for the alternative rock station, had never heard of the song.  He offered to play “Crash” by The Dave Matthews Band.

The Matthew Good Band was fast becoming one of my favorite bands, and since they toured British Columbia a lot more than U2 and charged a lot less for tickets I ended up going to a lot of shows.  At that point I’d already seen them at EdgeFest in Edmonton and since then I’ve seen the band and Matthew Good solo nearly twenty times.  My first time at the Commodore Ballroom was to see one of the band’s five shows that they played over the holidays between the release of Beautiful Midnight and The Audio of Being.  I’ve been to Kamloops and Penticton far more than I’d like simply to catch a show.

So Tuesday’s release of Matthew Good’s Live At Massey Hall album was an obvious buy for me.


PAX – show of hands

So, who all here in town is headed down to Seattle for the Penny Arcade Exp…

…sorry, what? Oh, right. Vancouver angle. There’s a good one – this year, local Lovecrafty rockers, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets are playing at the Penny Arcade Expo! It’s been a long trip since they played in an arcade parking lot in Burnaby for a proto-PAX Necrowombicon, but they’ve…

…what? Yes, I realize it largely gibberish. Hang on, I’ll see if I can help a bit.

So, there’s a web comic called Penny Arcade, which some, as I do, find hilarious. It’s creators have grown it into a yearly convention, attended by 40K+ people, called, The Penny Arcade Expo. There’s lots of video games, board games, games games, panels about gaming, panels about web comics, and a concert, with performances by people like Jonathan Coulton, Freezepop, and The Thickets.

Little known fact is that PAX (the expo, short form) started as a fan gathering called Necrowombicon (for reasons I do not remember, nor will you care) here in Vancouver. Or, more accurately, Burnaby, thanks to things like hotels hooked up to malls with big arcades. The Thickets, as mentioned, played one of those gatherings. In a parking lot. It rocked.

More Vancouver ties, Vancouver companies, such as Hothead Games (who worked with Penny Arcade to produce their recently released video game) will be there, or are at least sponsors.

Which brings me full circle – I’m going. I would like to see The Thickets rock thousands of people. I want to meet Wil Wheaton. I want to meet Felica Day. I want to meet the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters (whom/which I will marry and run away with – if I’m turned down, Felicia Day is my second choice. I don’t know if Wheaton is my alternate third – we’ll see how it goes day-of.)

So, surely others from Vancouver are going? Anyone? I’m not there Friday, but I’ll be there Saturday and Sunday, most likely helping man the Thickets merch table… because I promised.

Or is everyone going to Bumbershoot instead?

[UPDATE] Triangle Productions (as you may have spotted in the comments – you do read the comments don’t you?) will be at PAX and posting some video here. So if you can’t be there, keep an eye out there for vids. Then start saving for next year.

Radiohead soaks up the atmosphere at Thunderbird Stadium

Black and white, originally uploaded by rvnix.

Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height… height…

– Radiohead, “Paranoid Android”

Those lyrics from Radiohead’s final song followed us up the hill as we left the field at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium. It had indeed rained down on us, and while facing the elements to watch a great rock and roll show can be a beautifully uniting experience every inch of my body was soaked and I was pretty much tired of beautiful communal experiences at that point.

Any other show I would have before the first encore, but this was a great show despite the weather. A good rock and roll show can remind me why I love music, and there’s none better than Radiohead right now. Their music is big, soaring and operatic the music of motion picture soundtracks meant for laying on your bed in the dark with good headphones. I’d go to watch someone like Matthew Good play a stripped down acoustic show any day of the week, but when you’re watching the best band in the world at the top of their game it’s something else.

It’s incredible.

So incredible that Thunderbird Stadium stayed packed right up until the end, whereas another audiance would have abandoned the show early on we stayed clamouring for a chance to actually see the stage and catch sight of Thom Yorke and company as they performed the non-radio friendly hits that make up the band’s back catalogue. It’s challenging music at its best, and while the band have yet to vere from the road laid down by their Kid A reinvention they’re still one of the most interesting bands out there.

And did I mention they’re awesome live?

All in all even with a few misteps by concert organizers, the exit plan seemed to be having concert goers scramble up a muddy hill and over wet metal pipes that had been laid down in our path for no apparent reason other than to cause injury, the show was a great success. I even picked up the best bit of tour merch ever [jks].

Two turntables and a brass trombone

While the selection of Summer movies is starting to pick up, the weather is promising to be most excellent – so, given the choice between air conditioned cold in the dark for $12 and cool sunset for free, which would you pick? Oh, did I mention option B has live music?

Given the continued, ritual scarification of the city – better known as the building of the new Canada line – Yaletown will not be holding it’s annual outdoor car show this year (a terrible blow, as that’s when Elfsar Comics has its annual sale – hopefully some good news on that later.)

(photo by Urban Mixer)

Instead, they will be holding Hot Fridays, which are a series of live music performances on a closed off street until late August. Tomorrow… sorry, today, July 11th, DJ Leanne and friends will be spinning and winning on the 1000 block of Mainland (that’s by the Subway, at Nelson, I think.) Don’t sweat it, if you miss out this week, Leanne is up for the following two Fridays as well. No word on the bands playing in the weeks following.

And the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is performing at Deer Lake Park on Sunday – I don’t know that much more need be said. People in evening wear playing a selection of very old, kind of old, and movie soundtrack music (in this case, West Side Story – do come and rumble, won’t you?) In a lovely park, for free – so, bring a blanket and nom noms, and enjoy.

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