Top 5 Rock and Alternative Holiday Music Concerts in Vancouver

Anybody see The Office Christmas episode last week?  There’s one part where Dwight unplugs an iPod playing Christmas carols and starts rocking out to the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells (one of the few heavy metal Christmas songs).

That made me realize that my previous post on the Top 5 Holiday Music Events in Vancouver wasn’t very inclusive.  I missed a whole range of rock and alternative holiday concerts in the city.  So here goes a new Top 5 list geared more toward the hard-rockin’ holiday lover, with lots of help from a great Vancouver Sun article by Francois Marchand (Note: Many of these concerts support good causes, including local food banks).

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Top 5 Rock and Alternative Holiday Music Concerts in Vancouver

Best Rock and Roll Bars in Vancouver? You make the call!

Rich Hope

When it comes to nightlife, Vancouver is definitely no longer a “no fun” zone.  There are zillions of gastropubs, where you can sip away the night with gourmet grub.  There are plenty of chic lounges, where the girls in little black dresses and guys in muscle Ts flaunt their stuff.  And after midnight, there’s no shortage of clubs and Euro-inspired DJs.

A bit harder to find are good, old-fashioned rock and roll bars.  I’m talking about casual bars that play live music: places with a laid-back feel, cheap beer, good sound system and good bands. If the bar room is a little grungy around the edges, so be it.  And I’ve got no problem paying a cover charge, as long as it hovers around the $10 mark.

Now, I know there must be at least a few honest-to-goodness rock and roll bars in Vancouver – but they’re not easy to find.  So I’m turning this one over to you:

Do you have a favourite bar for live music?  A place you can grab a casual drink and hear some good tunes?  Please share your knowledge below.

I’ll start things off with a place I stumbled on recently.  It’s hardly a new find or a hidden gem, but it definitely fits the bill.  I’m talking about the old Fairview Pub, out on Broadway and Laurel Street.

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Best Rock and Roll Bars in Vancouver? You make the call!

Not Just Jazz: Vancouver Jazz Fest rocks, too

Five Alaram Funk gets the crowd going

Jazz is arguably North America’s greatest contribution to world music.  But I think it’s safe to say that not everybody is that into jazz.   Swing, bebop, free jazz (whew!), even jazz fusion are all acquired tastes.  But don’t let that worry you.  There’s a lot more to this year’s Vancouver International Jazz Festival (now through July 3) than hep cats and piano trios.

The lineup features lots of soul, funk and world music, as well as rock and roll and country.  I was surprised last weekend to hear what sounded suspiciously like pop music (albeit very sophisticated pop) during a free performance by the Vancouver-based group Jasper Sloan Yip in Gastown.  Here’s a video – You be the judge:

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Not Just Jazz: Vancouver Jazz Fest rocks, too