Vancouver’s next big musical export – Tobias Jesso Jr

Tobias Jesso Jr

Tobias Jesso Jr plays the Electric Owl in Vancouver March 30.

Tobias Jesso Jr. is blowing up.

The North Vancouver-based singer/songwriter recently performed on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The 29-year-old has been profiled in the Vancouver Sun, the New York Times and Vogue (in which he calls rumours that he’s dating Taylor Swift “ridiculous”), and his debut album Goon, released this week, is receiving glowing reviews across the board.

And for only $12, you can see this rising star play a hometown show at the Electric Owl in Vancouver March 30.

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Vancouver’s next big musical export – Tobias Jesso Jr

Celebrate Keithmas IV in Vancouver: Boozy holiday tribute to Keith Richards

Photo credit: Kris Olin | Flickr

Photo credit: Kris Olin | Flickr

It might be Vancouver’s strangest holiday tradition.  Once every December, in the midst of all the shopping and decorating, Vancouverites set aside a moment to celebrate one of the more obscure events of the season: Keith Richards’ birthday.

Keithmas, the annual holiday tribute to Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards, is back for its fourth instalment this year, Dec. 20 at the Electric Owl pub on Main Street. At least nine bands will take the stage in a charity concert marking the 70th birthday of one of rock’s timeless (if not ageless) icons.

The concert serves as a fundraiser for the Greater Vancouver Foodbank Society.  Bands, all of whom play a short set of Rolling Stones or Keith Richards covers, perform for free. All proceeds from ticket sales go the food bank, and guests who bring non-perishable food to donate get discounted admission.

True to its namesake, Keithmas is usually quite the rager of a show.   Continue reading:
Celebrate Keithmas IV in Vancouver: Boozy holiday tribute to Keith Richards

Hanni El Khatib at the Electric Owl, Sept. 22 (Free Ticket Giveaway!)

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When Hanni El Khatib started out, he was just a skater kid playing the world’s worst guitar and singing by himself. Inspired by a long line of determined do-it-for-themselves musicians winding back through punk and psychedelia to rock ‘n’ roll and early r&b and finally the first scratchy years of the blues, he’d record song after bare-bones song—in between day jobs and night life—just because he had things he wanted to sing about. Then in 2010 from a chance meeting, up-and-coming indie label Innovative Leisure recognized that there was something huge hiding in those little songs. And so El Khatib made his official full-power soul ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll debut (on vinyl too) in 2010.

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Hanni El Khatib at the Electric Owl, Sept. 22 (Free Ticket Giveaway!)

Joyce Island album release party at the Media Club

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The first time I met local songstress Lisa Joyce, she was in her natural element: singing acoustically with her guitar on her lap. We were both attending “Nu Grass”, a (now defunct) weekly night organized by local musicians (including members of Black Mountain and Lightening Dust) who would gather in John Rogers Park to sing traditional folk songs. While I’m not exactly a musical person, I was struck and inspired by the joyfulness and ease Lisa exuded while she performed alongside the group. In the years since our musical meet up, I’ve seen her Lisa perform on several stages around town, both big and small. Yet the one thing that’s consistent is the uplifting energy she puts out when she’s singing. (It’s no surprise that she’s also a vocal instructor.) That will likely be evident when she takes the stage at the Media Club,  under her stage name Joyce Island, for her album release party on April 19. I recently spoke about what it’s like to be a singer/songwriter in Vancouver.

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Joyce Island album release party at the Media Club

October concert highlights

Grimes concert photo

Photo – Grimes at Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver, Feb 19 2012. Photo credit – Tamara Lee

The fall is usually a great time for shows in Vancouver, and this October is no exception.

From traditional singer/songwriters like Alanis Morissette to groundbreaking electropop act Grimes, from homegrown talent like 54-40 to French pop artists Nouvelle Vague, the month’s concert highlights include a varied bunch of terrific shows.

One you definitely don’t want to miss if you can help it even features the head of one of the all-time best new wave acts teamed up with a hot young guitarist. Find out more…

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October concert highlights