Thursday, August 16, 2007
city of daughters: another poll of local favourites

Originally inspired by I (Heart) Music's Hottest 33 Bands in Canada poll, and following the first edition last year, last week I put out the call to some people to ask them about their favourite local acts. Fifteen people responded with lists of (up to) ten acts, and the results were tallied with 10pts given to first, descending down to 1pt for tenth.

Since a lot of your favourite bands tend to stay static, especially over a period as brief as a year, this year I asked people to stick to bands that were pretty active over the last 12 months (playing shows, putting out records, etc). I guess that means it's closer to the original list that it was emulating, and just might be a reflection of who's "hottest" in some sort of way. As you'll soon read, there ended up being a healthy mix of old favourites and some under-appreciated faces. But just like last year, the point of this little venture was less about coming up with any definitive statement about the bands in question, and more about having a little fun and hopefully giving some well deserved exposure to some of the many deserving local acts.

It probably goes without saying, but I strongly encourage you to head down to your local record store, as most of these bands have something to sell you. Failing that, they're all playing around town, so turn off the Heroes re-runs and get out to a show.

Oh, and this year Victoria was included as "local" and ties based on points were broken by number of votes.

Once again, a big thank you goes out to everyone who offered up their opinion:
Mike (from Tooth and Dagger), Shea (from AMS Events), Aaron, Steve, Josh, and Jordie (from Streethawk), Sean Orr (from Beyond Robson), Sean (from CJSF), David (from the Lamp [RIP - to the venue, he's still alive]), Pinder (from Deftone), Rob (from Vanmega), Bryan (from Hero Hill), Luke (from the Other Press), and Cam (from Only)

Once again, I would also note that like last year, I didn't ask all dudes, but in some eerie parallel with real life, the women I talked to chose to ignore me.

And with that, here's the top 21 (after ties) local acts. Points are listed, followed by the number of votes in (brackets) after that:

20 (tie). The Tranzmitors (10pts/2)
"All the mod goodness we've all come to love" - Sean (from CJSF)

20 (tie). Organ Trail (10pts/2)
I like their sound, and Vancouver can use some folk music that isn't just aiming to be cute. - Mike
Should've won Shindig, but Victoria, Victoria's power pop beat them out for it, somehow. - Jordie

19. The Choir Practice (11pts/3)
Blah blah blah, they're boring blah blah hate hate hate. Actually I like this band so you can all shut the fuck up. - Aaron (ed. note: I think he was talking to me)

The Choir Practice are the Railway tomorrow night and at the Vic Square Block Party on September 3rd.

18. The Doers (12pts/3)
Always fun when the doers are around. - David
Tried and true. There's no going back. - Sean (from CJSF)

The Doers celebrate the release of Gaiety on vinyl on August 24th at the Ukrainian Hall.

download: Art for $

16 (tie). Frog Eyes (15pts/2)
2007 has seen them expanding their palette, particularly in their rhythm section, whose repetitive three-four style was formerly the most potent complaint you could launch against the band. I caught their last show at the Media Club, and the guitar-heavy lineup sans Krug may have disappointed the boring Wolf Parade fans, but it was thunderously good. - Mike
Pretty obvious, I think. - Bryan

Frog Eyes headline the Vic Square Block Party on September 3rd.

download: Bushels

16 (tie). Pink Mountaintops (15pts/2)
Does this constitute a band that's active? Steve McBean is certainly keeping active in my MP3 player. - Aaron

download: New Drug Queens

15 (tie). They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (16pts/3)
I'm not sure if this band will ever really be "there," but I like the addition of Bruce on drums, and what other band is willing to hand trash out to the audience for more percussion? - Mike

download: A Place Called LA

15 (tie). You Say Party! We Say Die! (16pts/3)
I think they deserve even more punctuation in their name. - Bryan

download: The Gap

13. The Clips (19pts/3)
"Kassel" and "2nd Hand Deal" are basically the only reasons I visit myspace on a regular basis... in fact, i'm going to listen to them right now. - Luke

The Clips play Brad Gough Studios on September 15th.

12. Twin Crystals (22pts/3)
One of the only local bands to be featured by the best music blog ever, 20 Jazz Funk Greats. - Sean Orr
The best drones and yelps in the city. Trinity = more pills. - Sean (from CJSF)

11. White Lung (22pts/4)
Broken beer glasses and lipstick everywhere. - Sean (from CJSF)
I have a crush on all of them. - David
Shear hype. - Sean Orr

White Lung plays Pub 340 tomorrow night, the Cobalt on the 31st, and the Vic Square Block Party on Sept. 3rd.

download: Local Garbage

10. Japandroids (22pts/6)

Because every night is a bonafied rock n' roll party -- they're like east van in a bottle. - Luke
I just like how they spell there name. - Sean Orr

download: Coma Complacency

9. No Gold (formerly Yukon) (23pts/3)

What Don Caballero should have done after the breakup. - David
They got back from tour and it came out magical. - Sean (from CJSF)

No Gold are at the Vic Square Block Party on September 3rd. They're also apparently playing in the woods somewhere on Saturday.

8. Mutators (24pts/3)

Noise band mosh pit. - Sean (from CJSF)
They slay - David

download: What Cuts Want

7. Immaculate Machine (24pts/4)

I saw them for the first time at a Mint Records Christmas Party, where their drummer made me forget about every other band that night. - Mike
Because with the New Pornos gone, the Machine is Mint's most bankable band - Luke

Immaculate Machine plays the Plaza on September 2nd.

6. Pride Tiger (25pts/4)

They'd be higher on the list but they didn't play a single show during pride week... you'd think that would be a no brainer - the boys are back in town after all - Luke

5. 1/2 Alive and Salbourg (29pts/3)

A brief explanation on this one: I didn't even think about putting DJs on a list of bands, but I think it speaks volumes that three people not only did that, but also ranked them really highly. I should note that one of the votes was just for Paul Devro, but it seemed to make sense to tally things together.

They regularly throw the best parties in town and I probably end up seeing them more than any band. - Jordie
When we were stumbling to the Daft Punk after party I watched a bunch of kids ID and then fawn all over My!Gay!Husband!... and that was in Seattle. - Rob

Salbourg happens every Saturday at the Royal Unicorn. 1/2 Alive happens every Friday at Richard's.

download: Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere (PD Re-fix)
download: Frankie Valli - Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (TF's 1/2 Alive Mix)

4. Secret Mommy Quintet (29pts/5)

Another note on this one: people were pretty keen on Secret Mommy, but almost everyone made sure to stress the "Quintet" part. Andy's SM stuff is great on record, but the consensus seems to be that the current live rendition of Secret Mommy is totally next level. I would agree whole-heartedly.

That was so insanely good at (Music) Waste - David
Because Andy Dixon's a friggin' genius and always signs his emails with "Love, Andy" - Luke
Most talked about local show this year. - Sean (from CJSF)

watch: Music Waste Sound Check

3. Ladyhawk (30pts/3)

I know they only put an EP out this year, but the after affects of the
debut and the filthy/feedback chaos of the EP made people really take
notice. I'm new to Vancouver, but these guys sum up just about
everything I love about living here.
- Bryan

download: The Dugout

2. Fake Shark - Real Zombie (30pts/5)

They're pretty much our city's only "larger than life" band... and they wear clothes with cuss words on them - Luke
They're always twice as drunk as everyone else at the show, and usually having twice as much fun. - Mike

FSRZ plays the Cobalt on August 31st and Library Square on September 7th.

download: Wolf is the New

1. Bison (63pts/8)

I like fighting when they play. - David
Yeah, metal is okay. - Sean (from CJSF)
I never realised how much I liked metal or violence, apparently
very much.
- Aaron

I'll also note that Sean Orr simply wrote "Bison" in 78pt impact font in the body of the email he sent. It encapsulates the band quite well though.

Bison is at the Cobalt on August 24th.

download: Wartime

The other 53(!) acts that got at least one vote, in no particular order:
Meat Draw, L. Abramson, Lightning Dust, the Battles, Mohawk Lodge, Bend Sinister, Run Chico Run, Greenbelt Collective, Fond of Tigers, the Paper Cranes, Winning, Blood Meridian, Victoria Victoria, Bella, Cloudspitter, Elias, Baby Control, Piper Davis, the Yesterdais, Hey Ocean!, Portico, Sports, Defektors, Montag, Shearing Pinx, the Awkward Stage, 3 Inches of Blood, Ice Palace, Suspiria, Memphis, the National Shield, Maurice, PRIM3S, Ghosthouse, Modern Creatures, the Great Outdoors, Huge Manatease, Elizabeth, Theset, Black Mountain, Lions in the Street, Wintermitts, Shukov, Ok Vancouver Ok, Taxes, Owl Drugs, Destroyer, the New Pornographers, Mark Berube, Precious Fathers Neko Case, the Evaporators, Small Fame

now playing: Ex-Dead Teenager - It's Only a Three



good poll...good bands.
i was kind of surprised that no one mentioned colourbook (victoria).

i am sorely disappointed, however, that DJs/promoters are being raised to the level of musicians. ugh.
ESPECIALLY the ones who use fucking laptops to DJ from.
i guess things have been progressing this way for a while now...
i could go into a whole big rant, but ill leave it at that.
maybe its particularly irritiating cos M!G!H! is fucking ridiculous. i can not understand the appeal.
cam dales is ace, though.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:21 p.m.  

Nice list Quinn. Is it bad that I've never even heard of the top two? I think so.

By Blogger Pinder, at 2:33 p.m.  


though I did just get the Lightning Dust cd in the mail yesterday from their Aussie label. Will have to give it a listen.

By Anonymous Sean, at 2:23 a.m.  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger Anne-Mette, at 7:20 p.m.  

White Lung, Ladyhawk and BIIIISON. Yes, yes, YES!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:44 p.m.  

whoa, bison #1? crazy. sorry for not putting in my two cents, but I think I misunderstood "active". since I actually don't go to that many local shows, I tend to think of active as meaning "has put out an album". oops. I've still never seen FSRZ (or White Lung or Twin Crystals or No Gold, though I bought their EP when they were still Yukon). I would be super stoked for the Secret Mommy Quintet show at Victory Square, but I have to work til six and probably won't make it. Frog Eyes is probably making my year-end top ten. And I like the Clips more every time I see them! I think those guys have real potential.

to the anonymous poster who is "sorely disappointed, however, that DJs/promoters are being raised to the level of musicians", where have you been for the last 20 years?

also, no one mentioned the new pornos? I've never been a huge fan anyway, but Challengers is out this week. It's a big deal, is it not?

By Blogger Saelan, at 2:30 a.m.  

i'm pretty clued in to the local scene, and yet only The Clips, Ladyhawk and YSP! were on my list and made the Top 20. weird.

Has no one else seen Bend Sinister?

By Blogger Josh, at 11:49 a.m.  

'to the anonymous poster who is "sorely disappointed, however, that DJs/promoters are being raised to the level of musicians", where have you been for the last 20 years?'

yes, im aware that its not only this list which glorifies the DJ, and yes, i am aware that it has been happening for a long time.
obviously, there are some people who are notorious DJs, such as oh, i dont know, john peel. he was on the radio, but no bother. the point is the same.
when i think of john peel, i think of a very forward thinking person who in a sense, revolutionalized music in england. maybe its just me.
i dont think that 1/2 alive is revolutionizing 'the scene' in vancouver,
which is the main problem that i have with them being on the list, more than the actual fact that there is a DJ night on this list of "bands".

aside from that, let me say this:
i both DJ and play in a band.
i would way rather be recognized for my bands efforts than that of a DJ night.
personally, i am embarassed to tell people that i DJ. it just seems so wanker-ish to me, like its supposed to be a big deal or something.
but then again, maybe that just says something about my uh, "skills" as a DJ, or lack-thereof...but thats another matter.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:24 p.m.  

Man I had no idea you had such a large number of 50somethings reading this thing.

By Blogger Chuck, at 6:00 p.m.  

No mention of the Fugitives? My favourite band discovery of the year.

By Blogger Chris, at 7:30 p.m.  

if we're talking commercial drive stuff then i best mention mother mother.

and if a bunch of dj's are causing stir in vancouver, something that the bands arent doing, better djs than nothing. i love those guys and go to all the nights

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:58 p.m.  

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upcoming shows
2/8 Twin Sister, Eleanor Friedberger, and Ava Luna @ the Media Club
2/9 David Choi @ the Rio
2/10 Secret Chiefs 3 and Dengue Fever @ the Rickshaw
2/13 White Buffalo @ the Media Club
2/14 The Ballyntines and Pleasure Cruise (TT) @ the Biltmore
2/18 Grimes w/Born Gold @ Fortune (early)
2/18 Cruel Young Heart, Young Liars, the Oh Wells, and Matiation @ the Dodson Rooms (AA)
2/18 Cursive w/UME @the Media Club
2/19 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour w/Vacationer @ Venue
2/20 Veronica Falls w/Bleached @ the Media Club
2/26 DJ Krush @ Fortune
2/29 Trevor Hall @ the Media Club
3/6 Slow Club w/Signals @ the Media Club
3/7 Cloud Nothings w/Mr. Dream @ the Media Clubr
3/8 Islands @ the Rio
3/10 Memoryhouse @ the Waldorf
3/17 William Fitzsimmons @ the Biltmore (early)
3/18 Magnetic Fields @ the Vogue (AA)
3/21 Plants & Animals>/b> @ the Rickshaw
3/22 Drive-by Truckers @ the Commodore
3/23 White Rabbits @ the Biltmore
3/23 Loney Dear @ the Media Club
3/24 Sharon Van Etten and the War on Drugs @ the Biltmore (early)
3/25 Nada Surf and An Horse @ the Rickshaw
3/27 The Ting Tings @ the Commodore
4/5 House de Racket @ the Electric Owl
4/6 Chairlift w/Nite Jewel @ the Electric Owl
4/7 Heartless Bastards @ the Media Club
4/8 Metronomy @ Venue
4/8 Gotye @ the Vogue (AA)
4/9 Cults @ Venue
4/10 First Aid Kit @ Venue
4/10 Andrew Bird w/Laura Marling @ the Vogue (AA)
4/13 The Odds and the Grapes of Wrath @ the Rickshaw
4/14 The Joel Plaskett Emergency @ the Vogue (AA)
4/24 School of Seven Bells w/Exitmusic @ the Electric Owl
4/26 Justice @ the PNE Forum (AA)
4/27 M83 @ the Vogue (AA)
4/27 Yukon Blonde @ the Commodore
4/28 Neon Indian @ Venue (early)
5/6 Delta Spirit w/Waters @ the Electric Owl
5/9 Yann Tiersen @ the Rickshaw
5/11 Great Lake Swimmers w/Cold Specks @ the Commodore
5/12 The Boxer Rebellion> @ the Biltmore
5/27 Coeur de Pirate @ Venue

AA = all ages
DG = @damaged goods
DFTK = @dirty for the kids
FJW = @fake jazz wed
EN = @easy now
GD = @glory days
HL = @higher learning JH = @junior high
JY= @junkyard
RRPP = @rocknroll pizza party
SD = @shindig
TT = @toonie tuesday
NW = @no worries

more shows
the biltmore
the railway
the red room

club action
culture club
damaged goods
east van soul club
glory days
ice cream social
no more strangers
wild zero

local favourites

mostly music
a day in the life of...
a reminder
chipped hip
duncan's donuts
expressway to my skull
goodnight neverland
hero hill
the indie files
my indie world
radio zero
the skinny
weird pop vancouver
winnie cooper

red cat

formed a band
the abramson singers
black mountain
the clips
fine mist
no gold
nu sensae
twin crystals
white lung

dj kicks
betti forde
cam dales
dg djs
expendable youth
john cougar
paul devro
tyler fedchuk

everything else
beyond robson
chez nous presents
linds & nicola
ryan walter wagner
safe amplification site society
the straight
twee death
urban diner
vancouver is awesome
vanity presents

everywhere else

brooklyn vegan
copy, right
feed your habit
for the 'records'
good weather for airstrikes
gorilla vs. bear
i am fuel, you are friends
i (heart) music
largehearted boy
mad decent
mcnutt against the music
more cowbell
music (for robots)
my old kentucky blog
the outernet
palms out sounds
pop (all love)
rock, paper, pixels
said the gramophone
soul sides
songs: illinois
weird canada

you ain't no picasso

cbc radio 3
coke machine glow
glorious noise
schedule two
tiny mixtapes




on repeat
i'll make you a tape
one song
promo pile

previous posts
your light is spent
we've got more songs than a song convention
already gone
i can't see straight
art crime
the flames rose to her roman nose and her walkman ...
another one bites the dust
disco drive


mp3s are for preview purposes, if you like what you hear, buy it at your favourite indie record store. please don't direct link to photos. click for more.

writing by Quinn
unless noted

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