Saturday, November 05, 2011

Warners and Sealed With a Kiss' Upcoming Tours


Date: November 10

Place: The Rickshaw

Tickets: Red Cat Records, Zulu Records


Hey Rosetta

Date: Saturday, Nov 12

Place: Commodore

Tickets: Live Nation



Date: Tues/Wed Nov 15/16

Place: Commodore

Tickets: Live Nation


Tune Yards

Date Friday, November 18

Place: The Biltmore

Tickets: Red Cat Records, Zulu Records


Andrew WK

Date: Saturday, Nov 26

Place: Rickshaw Theatre

Tickets: Red Cat Records, Zulu Records, Scratch Records


The National

Date: Mon., November 28th/ Tues Nov 29

Place: The Orpheum

Tickets: Ticketmaster



Date: Tues. Nov 29

Place: Media Club

Tickets: Media Club


Blind Pilot

Date: Saturday, Dec 3

Place: Venue

Tickets: Red Cat Records, Zulu Records

Cass McCombs

Date: Tues., December 6

Place: Electric Owl

Tickets: Red Cat Records and Zulu Records


Date: Friday, Dec. 9

Place: The Waldorf

Tickets: Ticketmaster, Red Cat Records, Zulu Records



Date: Tuesday, Dec. 13

Place: Biltmore



Date: Sat. Jan 7

Place: The Vogue

Tickets: Live Nation



Date: Thurs/Fri Jan 19/20

Place: Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Tickets: Live Nation


Youth Lagoon

Date: Friday, Jan 20

Place: The Biltmore

Tickets: Red Cat Records, Zulu Records, Ticketmaster


Date: Sat Feb. 11

Place: Pacific Coliseum

Tickets: Live Nation



Date: Mon. Feb 20th

Place: Abbotsford Sports Arena

Tickets: Live Nation



Date: Thurs. March 15

Place: The Vogue

Tickets: Union Events



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rules For a Couch Gypsy by Lannon Mcgregor

There are several steps to ensure that you get sufficient rest while sleeping on a couch. Trust me, I know, I've grown up moving from couch to couch – belonging to family and friends whose hearts are way too big for human chests.

There was the Radonich era. Now THAT, was a couch. Double-wide, soft and nicely broken in. And faithful Buddy, my best friend, occasionally sleeping right at the foot.

Then there were the Riders’ Pub days. First with Jaymie, my cousin who occupied a bachelor suite. Coulda been trouble, but we were often too drunk to care.

And Chris down the hall. His couch was not quite as comfy, but a classy one nonetheless. (That is, until a lady friend and I had an accident and broke it. Sorry Chris).

Which brings us to Jenna and Ryan (who hold the glory of coining the phrase "couch gypsy"). These were (at least) four months of the most unforgettable couch surfing the world has to offer.

More recently, and not to be forgotten, the Topnik residence.

 So here’s some couch gypsy rules:

The first step is:

1. Forget it's a couch. It's really just a giant pillow of surreal comfort.

2. The backrest is your friend. Sure, you don’t have the full room of a bed in the conventional sense, but if you put yer leg up on that baby – POW - queen size!

3. Try and have clean clothes to slip into. This goes double if you've been drinking ‘cause you'll sweat like a bastard.

4. Always respect and honor those who have giving up their private comfort for your night of sanctity. Trust me, I've been on the other end, and it can be a real sacrifice.

5. Fold the damn blanket after you use it. These people were kind enough to share their space for the night, so do your best to clean u

p after yourself.

Follow these quick and easy rules for a night of unforgettable sleep. Whether it's a hide-a-bed or a love seat, just remember, it beats fighting off junkies in an alley for a piece of newspaper to lay on.

Peace out.

Little Miss Whalley

Through skin and scabs, 

In hopes of finding a vein; 

Beneath the bathroom’s light, 

Maybe this hit might, 

Kill off all her pain. 

The blood looks black,

But she pours it back, 

Through a hole between her toes; 

She rolls her eyes, 

With a pleasured sigh, 

Forgetting everything she knows. 

She awakes,

To hunger pains,

But not ones for a meal; 

So she walks the streets,

A piece of meat, 

What she'll do just not to feel.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Terry Lowe's John Butler Trio Concert Review (repost of 2008)

As most of our readers are aware, Terry Lowe is no longer with us. However, Terry's words and photographs will always remain with swanktrendz. I have reposted Terry's John Butler Trio concert review, as, in 2008, he had never heard of the group and was very reluctant to go. Fortunately, I cajoled him into attending and by the end of the evening, he had commented several times about the obvious talent each of the band members possessed.

In hindsight, I am pleased Terry went with me; I'm relieved he enjoyed the music, and content with our pizza stopover. I was pleasantly surprised that he wrote his article the moment he got home, rather than take a break from an evening that had been 'forced' upon him.

We are reposting Terry's article because the John Butler Trio played last night in Victoria, and they're finishing up in Salmon Arm, Sunday night! (That should be amazing as it is a small city.)

I know a lot has happened to JBT since 2008, e.g. new bassist and drummer; as well as an album release - April Uprising - in 2010. Two of its songs reached the top 5 in Australia. I anticipate the songs, Close to You and One Way Road will be performed, and I would appreciate a post detailing what other songs from JBT 2010's album were played. In general, if someone would like to share Victoria's set list, that would be appreciated.

I'd like to think that Terry's concert review is still relatively applicable (re: talent). I'd like to thank you for indulging me with a memory of a friend.

Commodore Ballroom, Apr 12, 2008 - Sold Out

Visit Swanktrendz

Live Nation Listings

An email from Christine instructed me to meet her in front of the Commodore at 10 p.m. to see the John Butler Trio. "Who's the John Butler Trio?" I wondered, turning to Google.

I soon found that they are a platinum-selling band from Australia, best known for wide-ranging, eclectic, and somewhat improvised stage shows. Their best known release, to date, is 2003's Sunrise Over Sea. I also saw many plaintive queries on various message boards asking "Where can I get a ticket for this show? I NEED a ticket!" and so forth.

Here's what we saw: a giant drum set, a standup (i.e. acoustic) bass, and an amplified acoustic guitar. They were joined occasionally by a keyboard player, and I was certain there was a second electric guitarist in the background, but was informed it was a guitar tuning tech.

The word "trio" is usually reserved for jazz ensembles, and there were some similarities here: the upright-bass player, who also played a standard electric bass guitar, at times played his acoustic bass with a bow; they played extended instrumental pieces; and the musical range was all over the map. There, though, the similarities ended.

They are excellent musicians, far more instrumentalists than singers/"rock stars" who revel in mixing and matching genres and making it work. They are very versatile, imaginative, and well-rehearsed. John Butler is a superb string player (who also plays a banjo), and can coax an amazing range of sounds from an amplified 12-string acoustic guitar. The drummer was also very good, and even had a Jamaican steel drum that he played with pom-pons. And the bass player stood there and held it all together, as good bass players should.

The audience was thoroughly familiar with the material, even if I wasn't, and they loved it. This band is definitely original, and I was left wishing I'd known more about them going in (there's always time to learn), and was puzzled by the crowds' reaction at times.

I've been to any number of jazz shows over the years, and seen some famous players (Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Frank Zappa, and even Captain Beefheart). I've also been to classic punk shows and seen The Clash, Iggy Pop, DOA, and so forth. At jazz shows, the audience applauds solos, but there's no mosh pit and no one EVER pogos. At the punk shows, no one cared about solos ("Wankers!"), or even cared much about music - there it was all rebellious attitude.

Here, the crowd's reaction was a strange merger of the two. They both applauded the solo instrumental and pogo'd. I've never seen anything quite like it. And, outside of jazz shows, I'd never seen any band sit down and play an instrumental piece (Ocean) that went on for 15 minutes, yet still keep the crowd's rapt attention.

Image from

I was very impressed by this band, and admire their virtuosity and originality. If you're as clueless as I am about under-the-radar musicians, the John Butler Trio might just be the best band you've never heard of.

Members of the band are: John Butler, Michael Barker, Shannon Birchall

Thanks to Aaron for supplying the following set list:
Company Sin
Used To Get High
Somethings Gotta Give
Treat Your Mama
Thank You
Gov Did Nothing
Good As Gone
Groovin' Slowly
Good Excuse
Losing You w/Mama Kin
Better Than
Funky Tonight

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Enter Shikari By: Ian Albrecht Band Review

Enter Shikari is an electronically influenced/ enhanced, hardcore ‘screamo’ rock band who have received a lot of play on my ipod during this last year.

Enter Shakiri formed in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, in 2003. Since then they have released three albums: their debut, Take to the Skies, Common Dreads, andDestabilise. Their label, Ambush Reality (est. 2006) currently only lists Enter Shakiri in their stable of artists. (The band recently noted that much of their stock was affected by a fire started during the 2011 England Riots.)

The members of the band are: Roughton “Rou” Reynolds (lead vocals, keyboards , acoustic guitar, synthesizers and programming); Liam “Rory” Clewlow (backing vocals and guitars);Chris “Batty C” Batten (backing vocals and bass), and finally, Rob Rolfe (drums and percussion). Their individual abilities and sounds mesh together into a perfect musical blend, similar to the group Story of the Year's members.

As I mentioned, I've been playing this CD consistently since last Fall and I consider each of its songs to be ‘gold’. (A hard feat, given how critical I can be.) Two songs I’d like to highlight (for anyone new to the band) are Mothership and Sorry, You’re Not a Winner.

Mothership has an all round cool, haunting sound combined with unnerving structure; reminiscent of System of a Down. Mothership charted as “single of the week” when released on itunes. It has an unpredictable blend of trance and hardcore. You cannot settle into an Enter Shakiri song, predicting the upcoming melody ‘cause they’ll deliver something totally unexpected.

Sorry, You’re not a winner (my favourite) is simply… awesome – great vocals, amazing guitar, wicked bass, thrashing drums, mad hook, intelligent lyrics and a good mix up of trance electronics. As well, another interesting feature is the band’s incorporation of the audience/crowd. Gamers should recognize this song from 08 NHL’s EA Sportsvideo, and Madden 08.

(Interestingly, Enter Shakiri’s released songs continue to chart high, despite not being released in a physical format e.g. CD or on vinyl. This was purposely done at the band’s request.) Another unusual fact - Enter Shakiri is the second unsigned (by choice) band to sell out a concert at London’s Astoria. Clearly, this is a band we’ll be shadowing for some time to come.

Get Destabilised today - you won’t regret it (you might regret the time you wasted not knowing of their existence).

Here is a sampling of Enter Shikari’s nominations and awards.

2010: Nominated for “Best British Band”

2009: Nominated for “Best Live Band”

2007: Won Breakthrough Artist of the Year

2007: Won “Best Band Live”

2007: Won “Spirit of Independence”

2007: Won Rock Sounds magazine’s poll for “Who’s going to make it?”

2007: Won John Peel Award for Musical Innovation

2006: Nominated for Best British Newcomer

Don’t be surprised if Enter Shakiri’s next release is less synthesizer and more post hardcore. They got our attention by blending two unlikely sounds (trance and hardcore); now wait for them to discover yet another spiraling, uncharted soundscape.

Enter Shakiri's quote: "If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Career Rehab by Lannon McGregor

Attention celebrities: Has your career lost its spark? Do you suddenly find yourself waiting in line, like a schmuck, at your favorite restaurants? Has your agent stopped returning your phone calls?

Well Dr. Drew has just the prescription to rejuvenate your career and help you get back on top. Well… at least to the middle.

The program’s called ‘Celebrity Rehab’, the unscripted television series that cuts right to the heart of your most private affairs. Just pick up your nearest crack pipe, and/or bottle of scotch, and check yourself into the Pasadena Recovery Center. Why detox in private when you can do it in front of the glamorous eye of the camera?

At the Pasadena Recovery Center you'll find yourself surrounded by some of the most talented professionals in the field as well as some of Hollywood's top D-list stars. People such as:

Michael Lohan, Amy Fisher, Dennis Rodman, Heidi Fleiss, and the great Tom Sizemore!

Notice the instant changes in your popularity as people get to see a depiction of the real you instead of the spoiled celebrity they're used to seeing. Take Steven Adler for example (the original drummer for Guns N’ Roses). Adler was kicked out of GNR for his drug problems (which is akin to being kicked out of Rome for being Catholic) but with Dr. Drew’s help, he has become one of the most lovable heroin addicts on television.

So don't hesitate. Visit the Doctor and get your name back on the B-list where it belongs.

Monday, April 04, 2011

None Share by Lannon McGregor

She cuts her skin,
With a razor, so thin
To bleed out all the pain...
which hides inside,
and won't subside,
'til she cuts herself again.

She demonstrates,
a luv for hate,
with words scratched into her arm.
Those words she chose,
Changed as often as clothes,
But they continue to spell out harm.

Nobody felt,
She could love herself,
So why should she even try?
They called her strange,
Tried to blame her age,
While missing the beauty she hides.

Sky Train by Lannon McGregor

I hit the Main Vein Sky Train,
where the public's plague is spreading.
Packed like sardines,
In Electric Death cars -
Downtown bound.

Changin' Lane Season Lannon McGregor

The new months eyes may seem wide,
But they stare backwards to the past.
In no year, I confide...
moves along too fast.
'Cause no day can last a month,
And no month can last a year.
So bring on Autumn's slump,
And Winter's frosted cheer.

Emo Kid by Lannon McGregor

Emo Kid
With a head full of angst
Tries to tell me he aint' got no one to thank;
Painted nails in a fistful of colours.
Looks so different, just like all the others.

Image from all4myspace

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Monkey Trick Songs for the Lost CD Review (By: Ian Albrecht)

Songs For the Lost – CD notes by: Ian Albrecht

I would give Monkey Trick’s CD, Songs for the Lost an overall 8/10. Its mixing misses in a couple of songs, losing sight of the tune’s lyrical significance by drowning either the vocals, or the guitars. That being said, poor mixing rarely happened, and when you combine the band’s killer drumming, attention grabbing guitar, and vocals that exceed any expectations; I predict Monkey Trick has officially begun its rise to musical dominance.

The CD’s title does the song tracks justice. There is a song on Monkey Trick’s CD for every listener out there. The album dares you to stay loyal to one genre. By the end of the CD, you’ll find your loyalty’s slightly schizophrenic.

Here’s a list of some of the songs I consider 'winners' on this CD. Swanktrendz’s rule of thumb is “If the CD has at least 3 ‘keeper’ tunes, buy it. If not, pass it by.” Given the following six recommendations I've made, it’s time to get your wallets out.

The CD opens with Lights and Tunnels (7.5/10), a track whose sound is reminiscent of R.E.M’s Losing my Religion. The drumming consistently unifies the sound, however, the guitars are a bit jangly (exception to the solo), and the bass is not even noticeable. Vocals are as impassioned as the lyrics intended.

Song 2, Scars (9/10), is a keeper. Its dark lyrics will appeal to the alternative-type listeners, although I've still not decided its genre (and who needs labels, anyways?). The vocal and drumming intensity complement each other, making this one of two perfect release songs for media promotion.

Song 4 Suits N’ Alcohol (8/10) highlights how Monkey Trick has a talent for starting their songs with a musical opening that says, “Hey! Pay attention!” The lyrics subconsciously urge you to take inventory of your life. For some reason I was reminded of Buckcherry’s sound. Again – yet another song that is different from our force-fed radio pablum.

Song 6 Pendulum Swing (8.5/10) Excellent guitar riff at the beginning, then delves into a solid marriage between the guitars and drums. Add amazing vocals and lyrics and it’s a tune that sticks in your head.

Song 9 The Expedition (9.5/10) By far, this is my favourite song on the CD. The mixing was done to perfection. As I was enjoying the entire band’s contribution to this track, I was pushed even further by a solo that came out of nowhere. I’ll never tire of this song – definitely a keeper and also made for media promotion.

Song 11 Enjoy the Silence (8.5/10) This track is an excellent cover of Depeche Mode’s original. In fact, I’d venture to say I prefer it to DM. Sacrilegious, I know.

Who is Monkey Trick? Time to find out for yourself. Go to their site, visit them on Youtube, and then vote for them on Alternative Addiction’s Next Big Thing.

I’d have to say that I am most impressed with the band’s songwriting ability. It’s enough to have musical talent, but as a studio head once said to Swanktrendz, “You can always help train a band to sound better, but if a band can write their own songs, they’re worth signing.”

You can buy their CD on their site; support these up and coming bands. Buy, don’t just download!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Swimmer BY: Lannon McGregor

I'll swim Autumn's seas,

‘til my skin’s biting numb;

I'll leave behind the trees...

and what the world’s become.

I’ll say goodbye to family,

to friends and enemies;

I’ll put everything behind me...

‘til it’s me against the sea.

Let the city go.

It can rot for all I care.

Along with stuff that people bought,

from apathetic millionaires.

My arms will soon grow tired...

and ya, I'll probably sink. 

But I'll be free from all defilers,

adrift in my utopic drink.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Upcoming Shows for Sealed with A Kiss By C. Albrecht

I have found Sealed with A Kiss Productions’ (also known as SWAK's) stable of enviable talent, to always appear cutting edge, or at least three steps ahead of other alternative scenes. SWAK is also the most difficult company for a writer to comp tickets from, to review upcoming concerts, or to facilitate interviews. to date I have ony been granted one review and one interview. compared to my ‘too-numerous-to-count’ partnerships with Livenation, Universal and WindUp Records (A hearty thanks to those three companies)

Here is a listing of upcoming shows and events promoted by SWAK Productions. Please take in one of the listed venues; as you won’t be disappointed. In fact, tell the venue that Swanktrendz is encouraging as many people as possible to attend the shows...

(The tickets for SWAK shows are available at: Red Cat Records, Zulu Records, and Ticketmaster. *Please note:For Vogue Theatre events– see the Vogue Theatre for times, and dates.

2011 Upcoming Events:

Feb 11

Chromeo at The Commodore Ballroom (sold out)


Feb 16

Godspeed You! Black Emperor at The Vogue Theatre (sold out)


Feb 25

Swans Wooden Wand at Rickshaw Theatre


March 4

Yann Tiersen, Breathe Owl Breathe at the Vogue Theatre


March 7

Crystal Castles at the Commodore Theatre

March 12

Born Ruffians at the Rickshaw Theatre


March 17

Destroyer at The Commodore Ballroom


March 19

The Residents at the Rickshaw Theatre


March 20

Akron Family, Delicate Steve at the Biltmore Cabaret


March 31

The Dodos at the Rickshaw Theatre


April 1

The Dodos at the Sugar in Victoria

April 2

Dom at the Biltmore Cabaret


April 8

Bright Eyes at the Commodore Ballroom (sold out)


April 21

The Cave Singer at The Biltmore Cabaret


April 29

Fleet Foxes at The Vogue Theatre
 (sold out)


April 30

Fleet Foxes at The Vogue Theatre (sold out again)


May 3

Zola Jesus at The Biltmore Cabaret


May 11

Peter Bjorn and John at Venue


May 13

Yelle at the Commodore Ballroom


June 4

Friendly Fires at the Venue


June 18

Keren Ann, Chris Garneau at The Biltmore Cabaret


October 15

The Legendary Pink Dots at the Venue Nightclub


October 17

The Murder City Devils at the Venue Nightclub


October 27

The Shilohs, Lord Beginner at the Media Club


October 29

Avi Buffalo with Fences at The Biltmore cabaret


November 4

Stars with Young Galaxy at the Vogue Theatre


November 12

Brasstonaut with No Go at Rickshaw Theatre


November 13

Delorean with guests Lemonade at the Biltmore Cabaret


November 13

The Cave Singers with Guests at the Richshaw theatre


December 23

Bikini/ Humans/ Teen daze At the Cobalt