A local Sunday at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Not to be outdone by out of town acts, Seattle’s own were represented on Sunday at Bumbershoot. First up was the funky hip-hop stylin’ of Theoretics.  Backed by a five-piece rhythm section and fronted by two emcees, Theoretics are representative of what is Seattle’s ever-growing hip-hop scene.  It’s progressive, backed as much by melody as it is by beat, with roots growing beyond hip-hop, but also into funk, soul, and electronic.

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Atari Teenage Riot by Dean Belder

Photographers are usually content to stay on the sidelines, just outside of the action, and just close enough to any free-food-baring table to be safe and well fed.  However one of the things they hold in great regard is access, and if that access is denied it’s the photographers who are likely to resort to their own, nerdy, sweaty, and bitchy version of violence.  This is exactly what happened.

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Edmonton's SOSfest 2011 by Dean Belder

Last year at this time I returned to Edmonton to attend a music festival.  At the time I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after a weekend of attending shows and listening to music I realized I had attended another of Edmonton’s great summer festivals.

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A reaction to Ezra Levant by Dean Belder

I’m not sure where Ezra Levant is coming from in his article in the Toronto Sun today.  I’m not sure if he’s being serious, or if he’s being satirical, because he certainly isn’t being professional.  Calling someone a loser, in a national newspaper chain, there are better ways to do it.  I’ve already done it.

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Edmonton's SOSfest by Dean Belder

Now I don’t mean to harp on Edmonton, or Alberta for that matter, but I feel that I’m due some space to make a critique, after all it’s the place of my birth and the first 26 years of my life.  I return often to this province and this city, and I’m always struck upon my arrival at how unapologetically grey it is… Well that’s a little unfair as there are shades of beige.  This was the case when I arrived there last summer to visit family and to document a new festival that was happening.  SOSfest, the Sounds of Old Strathcona

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The Heavy by Dean Belder

The Heavy

If you are not familiar with The Heavy then it means you missed their Jazz Fest performance at the Commodore Ballroom on Tuesday night opening for the Kid Koala project The Slew.  They delivered an amazing, and energetic performance, driving the crowd into a frenzy, proving themselves worthy of a top billing at any venue in this or any other city.  Simply put I love The Heavy.  I want to marry The Heavy, buy a house, with a white picket fence, and a dog, have barbecue’s in the summer, with The Heavy playing to our friends in the backyard.  Well one can dream.

Originally appeared on Vanmusic.ca

Interview with John Wright of NoMeansNo by Dean Belder

The great thing about phone interviews is you can conduct them anywhere.  You can be in a park, in a bar, or at home not wearing pants.  There’s just something liberating conducting an interview without any pants on.  You feel in control.  It’s too bad job interviews can’t be done like this.  Well Tuesday morning I did just that, I woke up free from my normal constraints of an evening of too much drink and not enough sleep, brewed a pot of coffee, and called John Wright, drummer from iconic Canadian band NoMeansNo.  We talked vinyl, Europe, and wine making.  Here is the transcript.

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Made in Japan by Dean Belder

or the amount of references to Japan, and Japanese culture there are in western music, it’s surprising how little we know about the Japanese music scene.  I’m not talking the cutesy sweet J-Pop, or the traditional folk music we’ve all heard, those are just stereotypes, I’m talking the rock and roll, the punk rock, and the independent groups that thrive across the pacific.

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NoMeansNo by Dean Belder

To say NoMeansNo is very good at what they do is an understatement.  For thirty years they have been releasing music that is original, it is their own, and over the years they have adapted and changed, and somehow stayed the same.

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Fuck Buttons at the Biltmore. May 14 2010 by Dean Belder

Apart from all the plaid, and the thinly mustachioed kids, looking barely old enough to grow facial hair, I was transported back to the 90’s and all my time spent at raves. The music tried and often did manage to get it’s hold on me, and found myself riveted to the side of the stage, swaying back and forth, and letting the beat take hold and dancing as best I could.

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