The Straight’s picks to click

The Georgia Straight - - Skookum -

> BY JOHN LU­CAS, MIKE USINGER, AND KATE WILSON

The great thing about SKOOKUM—WELL, okay, one of the many great things about the fes­ti­val that takes over Stan­ley Park from Fri­day to Sun­day (Septem­ber 7 to 9)—is that there’s more to it than just the names you know. Oh, sure, you’re there to see the Killers and Florence + the Ma­chine and Met­ric and all the rest. But you’ll also have a chance to dis­cover your new favourite act among the lesser-known artists on the bill. Check out our six picks be­low and you’ll be able to say you saw them be­fore any of your hip­ster friends even knew who they were.

DAYSORMAY (For­est Stage at 1:30 p.m. on Sun­day The mem­bers of daysormay started mak­ing mu­sic to­gether when they were still in ele­men­tary school—be­cause what the hell else are you go­ing to do when you grow up in Ver­non?—and while they still don’t look much older than that, they craft im­pec­ca­ble alt-pop like well-sea­soned pros. Killer tunes like “Hu­man” and “Deso­la­tion Sound” make a good case that these boys would do well to re­lo­cate to Van­cou­ver so they can rub el­bows with the likes of Said the Whale, the Zo­las, and We Are the City. Mind you, they prob­a­bly have to grad­u­ate from high school first.

MISSY D (Meadow Stage at 2:30 p.m. on Satur­day) Diane Mutabaruka grew up in Zim­babwe and other places in Africa and some­times raps in French, but those cross-cul­tural sell­ing points aside, her brand of R&b–flavoured hiphop will ap­peal to all of you who have the com­plete works of Missy El­liott, Jill Scott, and Lau­ryn Hill on per­ma­nent ro­ta­tion. How em­pow­er­ing and up­lift­ing are Missy D’s jams? Let’s just say the ti­tle of her de­but al­bum, When Mu­sic Hits You Feel No Pain, is a pretty ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of the tracks found on it. She con­sid­ers her mu­sic to be ther­a­peu­tic, and if it works for her, it can work for you.

(Meadow Stage at 9:15 p.m. on Fri­day) Re­gard­less of what the Top 40 might tell you, there’s more to hip-hop than guns, cars, money, and misog­yny. For those will­ing to em­brace a more so­cially con­scious mu­si­cal fix, First Na­tions duo Mob Bounce is a gate­way to a higher level of lyri­cism. Front­man Craig Frank Edes (Gitxsan) and pro­ducer Travis Adrian He­bert (Cree/métis) started off the project play­ing gui­tar and drums, but have since sprin­kled their ar­range­ments with el­e­ments of bi­groom EDM. In per­for­mance, the pair show­case their cul­tural iden­tity by dab­bling in In­dige­nous chant­ing and sam­pling sounds from the wilds of Bri­tish Columbia, mak­ing Mob Bounce one of the most un­usual acts on the SKOOKUM bill.

MOB BOUNCE

(For­est Stage at 8 p.m. on Fri­day) One of the un­de­ni­able re­al­i­ties of the live-mu­sic ex­pe­ri­ence is that, no mat­ter how great your songs might be, no one wants to watch you take root on­stage while per­form­ing. On that front, Black Pis­tol Fire has built a rep­u­ta­tion that’s more in line with Death Grips or Jack White than Art Gar­funkel crossed with a 600-yearold Cal­i­for­nia red­wood. For­get com­ing off-stage sim­ply sweat­drenched—the white-trash tur­boblues duo of drum­mer Eric Owen and singer-gui­tarist Kevin Mcke­own have been lauded for fin­ish­ing up sets blood­ied and bruised, jeans torn and T-shirts 50 shades of filthy grey. As Owen told the Straight

BLACK PIS­TOL FIRE

last year, “We’re ba­si­cally fuck­ing gassed af­ter we play a show.” Stand back—you’ve been warned.

SNOTTY NOSE REZ KIDS (Meadow Stage at 7:15 p.m. on Satur­day) As names go, Snotty Nose Rez Kids is as bril­liantly evoca­tive and in­flam­ma­tory as N.W.A or Pub­lic En­emy. Com­ing straight outta Ki­ta­maat Vil­lage on B.C.’S north coast, Haisla MC Yung Try­bez (a.k.a. Quin­ton Nyce) and Young D (Dar­ren Metz) of­fer proof that mod­ern hip-hop has so much more to of­fer than Post Malone and Xxxtenta­cion. Check out the G-funked anti–kinder Mor­gan call to arms “The War­riors”. Or the wickedly woozy “Sko­den”, the video that starts with “Fuck Justin Trudeau” and then mar­ries the past (long­houses and cer­e­mo­nial masks) to the present (mod­ern street protests) as Snotty Nose Rez Kids roll out lines like “My peo­ple get­ting mauled and put on by the dogs/and we’re still get­ting cuffed like out­laws.” Yes, some­one is still will­ing to rep­re­sent at a time when hip-hop is over­run with guns, cars, money, and misog­yny.

JU­LIAN TAY­LOR BAND (For­est Stage at 6 p.m. on Fri­day) Even more im­pres­sive than front­man Ju­lian Tay­lor’s mighty fine dread­locks is his band’s ver­sa­til­ity. A funk group first and fore­most, the eight-piece stands apart from other out­fits in its abil­ity to fuse its choppy gui­tar chords and brass stabs with other gen­res. Hard rock, folk, hip-hop, and more aug­ment the band’s records, cre­at­ing a melt­ing pot of sounds and feels be­fit­ting its Toronto home. With its deep ros­ter of ma­te­rial, the group’s live set cov­ers a dizzy­ing amount of ground, from hip-shak­ers to tunes that will leave you weep­ing into your Bud­weiser.

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