Today in Victoria

My city, Victoria, BC, can feel a little boring more often than not. While a lot of the cool kids like to pretend we’re all metropolitan and diverse, the truth is there isn’t always  lot going on. And then there are days like today.

There is Dine Around. Restaurants all over town participate, offering their best 3-course dinners for $20, $30, $40 or $50. I’ve only been to Catalano and Olo by Ulla so far. Both were incredible.

There is Urbanite, where I will be. A cocktail party at the Art Gallery celebrating and inspired by their latest exhibit, the Marimekko Design Company.

And there is James Vincent McMorrow, whose voice is absolutely lovely.



I know people are kind of over it, but I still love that folky-roots rock that gets attention these days. Tonight both Reuben and the Dark (from Calgary) and Boy and Bear (from Australia) are playing Sugar Nightclub in Victoria. I’ll probably be the oldest one there and one of the few people not wearing some sort of hemp. But that’s okay because I’ll be off in the corner sitting at the VIP table, far away from all the patchouli. Oh heck yes.

Check it out and if you’re in the area maybe come.



My top three concerts:

  1. Bruce Springsteen
  2. Paul Simon
  3. Bonfire Ball featuring Jason Collett, Zeus and Bahamas

I wish I was telling you that The Boss was rolling through Victoria, BC tonight, sadly he’s not. But as a consolation prize, I will gladly take Bahamas, who is in town touring his latest album Bahamas is Alfie. I’m not sure that he alone can top the magic that was the Bonfire Ball tour, but I’m looking forward to finding out. So is most of Victoria, because this show sold out in about 15 minutes. Fortunately for me, my friend Megan has free tickets and she is fun and awesome and generous, so I will be there too, singing along and swaying with the rest of the city.


The Wooden Sky

About a hundred years ago The Wooden Sky used to be called Friday Morning’s Regret and whenever they came through Calgary I would have to help put up posters for their show even if I didn’t want to. I used to know someone who knew someone in the band, that’s why.

The Wooden Sky played Victoria last night. I would have loved to go, but I fell asleep at 8pm instead. They’re touring their latest album Let’s Be Ready, which is good. Really Good. But not as good as 2009’s If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone which I think might be in my top 20 albums of all time.

This is a really pretty song from that album.


While the weather might be arguing otherwise, it’s fall now. In my city this means boots and sweaters and pumpkin spice and, most importantly, music. All the bands off of their festival tours start slowly making their way out to the west coast stages. I’ve been kicking off fall with a great show for several years now…

…Two years ago it was Father John Misty. The night involved whiskey and a break up, but the music was great. Here’s hoping he tours my way again soon and I can have a redo without the drama.

…Last year it was The National. I sang along in the pouring rain with my boyfriend’s arms around me and best friend by my side. Not much tops that.

…Tonight it’s Beach House. I don’t know much about these guys, but Kurt’s a huge fan. We’ve got a good crew and reservation at the VIP table (thanks to my young/cool/hip friend James) because how awesome is it to sit down at a concert? Sigh…I think I’m showing my age.

My Top Picks for Rifflandia 2014

If you live in Victoria, BC and run in a crowd of music snobs like I do, your social media feeds probably look something like this:

Rifflandia Super Pass for sale: $75 obo. Please someone, take it off my hands. 

Rifflandia just keeps getting bigger and worse. 

Rifflandia, proving that underwhelmed is, actually a word. 

Haters gonna hate. I don’t think there’s anyone out there would whole-heartedly argue that the line up this year is awesome, but it’s not the worst. There are a few gems amidst the noise. And if you bought your Super Pass early (or get one for under market value from a jilted fan), then it’s definitely worth the money spent. Here are the 10 bands I’m most looking forward to seeing:

Lightning Dust. Their new stuff doesn’t really sound like their old stuff which I’m madly in love with, but whatever. This is still going to be a highlight. Sunday 3:30pm at Royal Athletic Park

Reuben and the Dark. I’m a fan of this band. I love this style of music. I’m happy it’s having it’s time in the spotlight. Friday 3pm at Royal Athletic Park

Zeus. This is the best cover song of all time.  Sunday 1:15 at Royal Athletic Park

Pickwick. Love these guys. Friday 12:30 at Alix Gooden Hall

Old Man Canyon. I just heard this for the first time while doing my Rifflandia research, but I love it. Friday 9:30 at Public Market

Death Cab For Cutie. C’mon. If you’re under 35 I know you secretly liked these guys 8 years ago when they were actually relevant. I sure did. And I’m going to love seeing them play Saturday 7:45pm at the Royal Athletic Park.

Fox Glove. I’ll admit that there’s a bias here. One of the members of Fox Glove is my coworker and friend. But still, how beautiful are they? Thursday 11:30 at Studio CMCT

Dum Dum Girls. Kurt is freaking out about these guys. I think this could be one of the top shows of the festival on Saturday 5pm at Royal Athletic Park. 

Danny Brown. I don’t actually know anything about Danny Brown other than he didn’t show up to play Rifflandia last year, and when he was in Canada a few months ago he said he was never going to come back. I also know that people who have good taste in hip hop are pretty stoked to see this guy on Thursday 10:30pm at Phillips. I’m pretty sure that everyone with a wristband is going to try to be here, so come early.

The New Pornographers. Classic Canadiana on Saturday 5:45pm at Royal Athletic Park. 






Pink Mountaintops

My most listened to album of 2009 was easily Outside Love by Pink Mountaintops. I listened to it non-stop, start to finish, over and over again. It both confirmed my sadness and filled me with comfort at the same time. Like, even though I was miserable, when I listened to this album I knew that someone out there, like, totally understood me. There’s just something so satisfying in having your sorrow legitimized, I mean, c’mon:

And if I could find your heart
I would pull it from your chest
And smash you with my fist
Til it was beating

I’ve changed a lot since 2009, thankfully. Let’s hope the Pink Mountaintops are still as beautifully haunting as they were five years ago. I feel sure they will be.

The Pink Mountaintops play tonight in Victoria at Upstairs Cabaret.