In The Future...The Main Stage Schedule @ Folk Fest; Simon & Garfunkle Conflict; And More!

>> Friday, 30 April 2010

(Emmylou Harris performs on July 7th while Andrew Bird drives into town on the 11th)

The main stage schedule for this year’s Folk Festival has surfaced, and it goes a little something like this:

Wednesday, July 7th
The Wailin’Jennys
Emmylou Harris
Jimmy Cliff

Thursday, July 8 
Romi Mayes
Tao Seeger
John Hiatt & The Combo
The Avett Brothers
The Levon Helm Band

Friday, July 9
Sonny Landreth
The Swell Season
The Peatbog Faeries

Saturday, July 10
Etran Finatawa
Works Progress Administration
Hot Tuna
The Cat Empire
Arrested Development

Sunday, July 11
Gord Downie & the Country of Miracles
Sarah Harmer
Andrew Bird

A few things to note…

If you haven’t heard, Simon & Garfunkle’s MTS Centre May 5th gig is postponed to July 8th, which is really really untimely.

Other than Gord Downie & the Country of Miracles, a few others were recently added to the whopping folk fest bill: Ghostkeeper, Kinnie Star, and Trio Bembe.

The short sets (between main stage acts) are still to be announced.  Personally, I’m hoping Europe plays a quick set right before Arrested Development, while GOB dazzles the eye with some magic tricks illusions. Yes, I'm in a goofy mood today.

In non-folk fest concert news…

Toronto pop-rockers Sweet Thing stop by the Pyramid on June 4th.

British folk-pop songstress Helen White is there on May 14th.

And lastly, Reflection Eternal performs at the Pyramid on June 2nd.


In Photos...Plants And Animals @ The West End; The Besnard Lakes @ The Albert

>> Thursday, 29 April 2010

Plants and Animals
The West End Cultural Centre
April 29, 2010

Plants and Animals frontman Warren Spicer nearly brought down the roof during the robust, driving "Mama and Papas", off their new record, La La Land.


On a night when the impossible turned out to be possible, even the Montreal-based trio expressed their happiness over the Habs win.  


The Besnard Lakes
The Albert
(Much) Later That Same Evening

The Besnard Lakes also consider Montreal home. Would they or wouldn't they? I declared "no way" to a friend. Sure enough, two songs into their set, bassist/singer/flutist Olga Goreas emphatically exclaimed "How about those Habs?" Hockey. It runs deep. 

Certain and good-natured Besnard Lakes leader/husband of above, Jace Lasek, hitting some disarming high notes. 


In The Future...Deerhoof! Buck 65! Kid Koala! The Roots! And Much, Much More!

>> Sunday, 25 April 2010

(Art-rockers Deerhoof pop by the Pyramid on June 28th)

The 2010 Winnipeg Jazz Festival schedule was released Friday, and, as always it encompasses a healthy mix of musical genres. Not simply jazz as its moniker implies. While the entire lineup can be viewed here, I figure I’d run down some exciting shows of note…accounting for this blog's natural leanings:

@ The Pyramid

June 25th: Hip-hop heavyhitters Freeway and Jake One with recent 11 questions participant Pip Skid.

June 26th: Buck 65 (Rich Terfry) takes a break from his enviable day job at CBC Radio 2 for a set at the Pyramid. Uplifting local Hip Hop troupe The Lytics start the party.

June 27th: Indie-dance-rockers Think About Life and electro-dancehall pair Bonjay.

June 28th: spastic art-rockers Deerhoof with Winnipeg’s own Mahogany Frog.

June 29th: Dance-party-band Sugar and Gold with resident art-poppers Old Folks Home.

June 30th: Kid Koala works alongside Dynomite D and the former rhythm section from Wolfmother. A few years back, Koala and D scored a documentary that never saw the light of day, fell in love with the music they created for the disregarded film, and are now touring the clubs, reproducing their titillating score in a live setting.


Great Lake Swimmers are staying an extra night at the West End Cultural Centre and will now play there on June 29th and 30th. Local indie-rockers The Details open both shows.

Legendary hip-hop / Late Night with Jimmy Fallon band The Roots stop by the Pantages Theatre on June 29th.

Martha Wainwright performs Edith Piaf songs at the Pantages Theatre on June 27th.

Non-Jazz-fest-related shows…

Floor Thirteen are at the Cavern on June 26th w/ Redram and The Perms.

Elephant Stone is at the Albert on May 27th w/ The Telepathic Butterflies and The Middle Names.

St. John’s, Newfoundland's favourite polit-reggae-ska-rockers Idlers play the Lo Pub on May 26th.

Toro y Moi opens for Caribou's June 3rd show at the Albert.

Local denizens Broken Halo rock the Academy on April 29th.


In The Know...11 Questions With Pip Skid

>> Thursday, 22 April 2010

In one of the first 11 questions I conducted for this site, local singer-songwriter powerhouse Greg MacPherson named Pip Skid as one of Winnipeg’s best artists, describing the Western Canadian hip-hop icon as “uncompromising, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, and unpredictable.”

Oh his latest release, Skid Row, the veteran hip-hop artist is easily all those adjectives. And more.  Featuring skillful production by DJ Kutdown, Skid Row sees Pip unleash his intense energy, cogent delivery, and, at times, uncomfortably honest take on the world. It’s highly accessible material yet incisive and challenging...and all about the “hard beats.” Catch Pip Skid and his potent live show around town when you can.

I recently threw 11 Questions Pip Skid’s way and he fired back with some great answers. Some topics discussed: strange occurrences on the #17 bus, the provocative cover art of Ice-T’s 1988 release Power, and Pip’s take on the Lo Pub and the Pyramid.

1. Where are you right now?
I'm in Winnipeg smelling my roommate's old bong water.  It's gross & I thought you shouldn't have to smell those things after you leave your 20's.

Let’s talk Winnipeg…

2. Who is the most underrated Winnipeg-based band?
Greg MacPherson Band,  Skingerbreadman & Frek Sho

3. What is your favourite local venue?
To play....The LoPub....To see a show....The Pyramid when there's actually a sound person.

4. Where do you shop for music?
The internet & Birdapres' bizarre mind.

5. Where is the best place to catch a bite?
La Fiesta when it was on Ellice.  Now you need a passport to get there.

6. What is the worst bus route? 
I've been on the 17 a lot this winter. It's a janky route & I've seen a grip of gross things. The other day a woman eating chocolate pudding with a cookie. She'd slurp it off her cookie spoon & dip the wet cookie back in. It took her about 3 seconds to repeat that motion until finished. People shouldn’t eat anything more complicated than an apple on the bus. I've also see a large number of grownups eat their own snot on a busy 17.

And some hodgepodge…

7. What is one piece of equipment absolutely essential to your live show?
Hard rap beats....after that's going I’m good.

8. What are your top-five, all-time, desert-island records?
This would change everyday. I have enough trouble packing.  In no sensible order....
1. Big Daddy Kane - Long Live The Kane
2. EPMD - Unfinished Business
3. Eric B & Rakim - Follow The Leader
4. Al Green - I'm Still In Love With You
5.Max Romeo - War Ina Babylon

9. Of the albums you own, which has the best cover art?

Ice-T Power (as a kid it was not only a powerful image but you could wack off to it too)

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Just started Clockers & i can always read 100 Years of Solitude

11. And finally, a toughie…who is your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael)? 
Go Ninja Go Ninja Go!


In The Future...Juliette Lewis!?!, The Spill Canvas

>> Tuesday, 20 April 2010

From the Oh!-I-Didn't-Know-She's-A-Singer Files, Natural Born Killer Juliette Lewis is bringing her band The New Romantiques to Peg City for a Pyramid date on August 1st. Lewis is out promoting her new record, Terra Incognita (produced by the Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez).

Note to Jian Ghomeshi: if you have her band on Q, don't ask about the movie career.

Also, Sioux-Falls, South Dakota alt-rockers The Spill Canvas play the West End Cultural Centre on June 21st w/ The Paper Lions.


In The Future...Bob Wiseman, The Paperbacks, Sleepy Sun, And More!

>> Sunday, 18 April 2010

Incomparable singer-songwriter-filmmaker Bob Wiseman entertains at Ragpickers on May 1st.

Local pop-rockers The Perms are at the Cavern on June 26th w/ Redram.

Speaking of tasty Winnipeg flavours, Lit-rockers The Paperbacks play the Lo Pub on May 14th w/ The Departures and The Ear Drums.

Californian genre-blenders (rock/pop/soul/blues) Sleepy Sun stop by the Albert on June 28th w/ Black Mountain.

Rising singer-songwriter Peter Katz performs at the Edge Gallery on May 2nd.

Nobunny swings by the Albert on May 12th w/ Bombchan.

Young Rival open for Born Ruffian on June 14th at the West End Cultural Centre.


In The Know...10 Questions With Jon And Roy

>> Saturday, 17 April 2010

After launching their sophomore release, Homes, in front of 772 people in their native Victoria, laid back folk pair Jon and Roy are hitting the road for a tour of Western Canada. And this brief trek of the West includes a stop at its gateway: the duo is at the Folk Exchange on April 24th. Plus, they'll be at Folk Fest this year!

Homes is the twosome’s follow-up to the acclaimed, Another Noon, an album chock full of breezy, island grooves. The relaxing rhythms and delicate harmonies of Another Noon were so well-received that Jon and Roy were invited to sing the national anthem at a Vancouver Canucks game. Their music was prominently featured on commercials and earned them heavy rotation on college radio.

Homes continues in the vein of Another Noon – it is mellow, accessible fare, music that instantly evokes a warm, beachside feeling. If you’re interested in winning a copy of Homes, I’ve got one for giveaway. To enter, fire me off an email (address on the side) by Friday @ noon with “Jon and Roy CD Giveaway” in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. I’ll draw the winner randomly and contact him/her shortly thereafter.

I had the pleasure of asking Jon and Roy 10 questions, a grueling interrogation that uncovered, amongst many things, the duo’s most memorable concert to date; some albums that changed their lives; and one film they can watch over and over.

(In case you’re wondering why I only asked 10 questions this time, the answer is simple and embarrassing: I only sent them 10. Counting. Not my forte.)

1. Where are you right now?
Jon: In James Bay, Victoria, drinking coffee.
Roy: At my desk at home still in my work clothes. (I’m a cook at an all day breakfast joint)

Let’s talk music…
2. What’s one piece of equipment absolutely essential to your live show? 
Jon: Usually instruments are a good thing to have.   A guitar pick is a good place to start, I usually don't have one.
Roy: Brushes, tamborines, sticks, shakers, beer...pick one?  If I had to perform a show on one instrument it would be either a conga or an upright organ.

3. What was the most memorable concert of your musical career so far? 
Jon: Playing the Commodore in Vancouver was memorable -- it’s one of those places you dream of playing, especially when you are doing gigs in bars with drunk people telling you to play 'Freebird.'
Roy: Playing the first holiday show at Alix Gooden Hall to 810 people was pretty memorable.  Mostly cause I almost **** my pants.

4. What are some albums that completely changed your life?
Jon: Nirvana/Nevermind, Tool/Undertow, N.W.A./Straight Outta Compton,  Sublime/40 oz To Freedom, Elliott Smith/ Self-titled, Bob Marley/Legend.
Roy: The Doors, Harry Belafonte on vinyl (not sure which album) and Cachaito (self-titled Cuban bassist).

5. Of the albums you own, which has the best cover art? 

Jon: Definitely our most recent (props to Evan Pine our designer).
Roy: Ween - Chocolate and Cheese.

And some hodgepodge…
6. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Jon: Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut.  It’s good.  Also Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.
Roy: A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (second time through).

7. What’s one film you watch over and over again?

Jon: Nacho Libre.
Roy: The Big Lebowski, Three Amigos, Nacho Libre.

8. What is your current ringtone?
Jon: Lo-Fi casio classical gangster rap, circa 96.
Roy: Some sweet random LG tune.

9. Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart?
Jon: Colbert, I suppose.

10. And finally, a certified toughie…who is your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael)? 
Jon: That is a tough one, I used to like different turtles at different times. I remember liking Michelangelo the most though.
Roy: Not sure, how ‘bout SPLINTER!


In Review...Courtney Wing, MGMT

>> Thursday, 15 April 2010

Courtney Wing
Bouquet of Might and Fury

When you need assistance, it helps to have lots of friends to count on. Just ask Montreal singer-songwriter Courtney Wing. During the recording of his third release, Bouquet of Might and Fury, Wing assembled a talented, diverse crew of over 30 musicians – including members of Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Bell Orchestre, and the opera collective Liederwolfe – to help him reach his grandiose vision.

Bouquet of Might and Fury, then, is an expansive, ambitious affair with lavish textures and orchestral arrangements held in check, for the most part, by well-attuned production.

Album opener “The Cruel of Fair” is staggeringly beautiful: its lush, symphonic-folk sensibilities are joyous, melodic and complex enough that the song merits replays to excavate it fully. Unfortunately, no other track matches the songwriting gale of the lead-off track, but a few, the choral-driven “Jolie in July” and the stripped-down-but-still-potent “Holler”, come close.

While there a few hiccups – “Chloe’s” buildup is painfully slow and some melodies are lost in arrangement – Bouquet of Might and Fury is an impressive release that officially puts Courtney Wing on the map, and I’m curious what Wing’ll do next.

Might I suggest a Ten Provinces (and Three Territories) project?

-Mykael Sopher

Rating: 3.25/4.0
Choice Cuts: “The Cruel of Fair”, “Jolie in July”, “Holler”
R.I.Y.D. Great Lake Swimmers, A Northern Chorus, Sufjan Stevens if he were Canadian
Label: Proxenett Records


Nothing on Congratulations, MGMT’s second trick after the dazzling-but-uneven Oracular Spectacular, is as accessible and catchy as “Kids”, “Time to Pretend,” or “Electric Feel.”

(That’s bad!)

Instead, Congratulations is more cohesive, playing like a proper album as opposed to a collection of some-great, some-okay, and some-bad tracks.

(That’s good!)

But the psychedelic-loving rockers go mad scientist all over Congratulations, grabbing bits of pop, prog, art-rock, new wave, and glam (to name a few), tossing them into their massive sonic cauldron, and standing back to observe the results. Surfeit with colours, flavours and textures, the record contains some unpalatable songs, like the bloated “Siberian Breaks” and the meandering, uneasy “Lady Dada.”

(That’s bad!)

Yet in the end, there’s no question the talented songwriting duo of MGMT are just being their truly eccentric selves on Congratulations.

(That’s good!)

Which means it probably won’t move 500,000 units like Oracular Spectacular did.


-Mykael Sopher

Rating: 3.5/4.0
Choice Cuts: "Flash Delirium," “Congratulations,” and “Brian Eno.”
R.I.Y.D. Yeasayer, Of Montreal, Mind-altering substances ‘n’ music
Label: Columbia


In Photos...Greg MacPherson w/ The Playing Cards @ The West End Cultural Centre

>> Sunday, 11 April 2010

Greg MacPherson w/ The Playing Cards
The West End Cultural Centre
Saturday, April 11th

For over two hours, Greg MacPherson tirelessly delivered the sonic goods, generously drawing from his entire discography. 

Even when MacPherson played songs off the just-released Mr. Invitation, enraptured fans sang along with every word. This speaks volumes to the immediate impact and connection Mr. Invitation has had on ears around town.  

After a quick costume change (read: a dry shirt), MacPherson returned for not one, but two encores. Special guests included an extra drummer (right), and Jackie Hogue and Molly McCracken from Greg's side project, Nova. 

MacPherson could be the new spokesman for P90X.

Above is Alannah Walker of Winnipeg's own The Playing Cards. Handpicked by Greg MacPherson himself, the fresh-faced quartet warmed up the crowd with some entertaining pop-rock numbers that suggest good things to come. 


In The Future...The Sadies, Awesome Color, Myxlodian, More Folk Fest Acts, And More!

>> Thursday, 8 April 2010

Toronto’s The Sadies are packing their bags and riding their horses on into town for a date at the Pyramid on May 25th. The band is touring in support of their brand-new record, Darker Circles (street date: May 18th).

Dubbed by Rolling Stone as “a grimier version of Sonic Youth”, New York’s Awesome Color is at the Albert on April 12th supported by Hair Police. Will Canadian posters read Awesome Colour?

Idiosyncratic synth-pop band Mixylodian play there on May 15th.

More confirmed acts from this year’s Folk Festival: Jimmy Cliff, Delhi 2 Dublin, Depedro, Jim Bryson with The Weakerthans, Aaron Nigel Smith, Michael Kusugak, and Flyin’ Bob.

On  June 11th, The Magnificient 7's and DJ Co-op perform at the Pyramid.

Metal act Dark Tranquility is there on May 23rd.

And finally, a reminder to those lucky enough to have snapped up tickets for Stars now-sold-out intimate gig at the Pyramid: you can vote for the songs you’d like to hear during the encore at the band’s new site. I just cast votes for 'Tru', 'What The Snowman Learned About Love', 'Calendar Girl', and 'Time Can Never Kill The True Heart'.

You can also trade your email address for a free download of the synthacular “Fixed”, a track off the soon-to-be-released Five Ghosts.

Infinite Playlist: Stars - Nightsongs


In The Know...Chattin' It Up With Greg MacPherson

>> Tuesday, 6 April 2010

It’s always a buzzed-about event whenever local singer-songwriter Greg MacPherson releases an album; that it’s been five year since his latest LP, Night Flares, means the buzz is understandably deafening.

Saturday night at the West End Cultural Centre sees MacPherson launch his eagerly anticipated fourth album, Mr. Invitation. It is an evening of firsts for the seasoned musician: it’s his first full-length in half-a-decade, his first cd release at the beautifully revamped WECC, and it’s MacPherson’s debut under the banner of upstart Winnipeg label, Smallman Records. And, really, there’s no venue better suited for MacPherson’s devastating live show – his effusive punk-rock energy and commanding storyteller voice, backed by an always-tight band, have earned the singer-songwriter the reputation as one of Winnipeg’s most riveting live entities.

I recently spoke with MacPherson about the gap between records, his approach to this release, his band’s current lineup, and a few other things.

Painting Over Silence: First, it’s been five years since Night Flares was released – what have you  been up to over the past half-decade?

Greg MacPherson: When Night Flares came out I went on tour for the better part of three years. I lived out of a suitcase, slept on floors, traveled constantly and took every opportunity I could find to be on the road. I've always loved to travel but at the end of that stretch the novelty started to wear off and I figured it was time to do things differently. That shift in perspective coincided with my old record label, G7 Welcoming Committee Records, shutting down operations. I kept touring, writing and recording through the ensuing years but with a much more considered approach. I've also started playing in a few side projects and I think my music overall has progressed a good deal as a result.

PoS: How did your approach to writing and recording music for Mr. Invitation differ from previous outings? Did the end result match your vision?

GM: After Night Flares was released I started pushing myself to learn more about the production side of recording. I bought a computer and a couple of mics, recorded my own demos and really tried to demystify the process. As a result, making Mr. Invitation was really enjoyable for me. I was able to relax more than in previous sessions because I understood exactly what was going on and I could communicate my ideas more clearly. I also had Cam Leoppke and Shawn Dealey (the engineers at Prairie Recording) working with me and I can't say enough about the level of professionalism they brought to this process. In all honesty, I don't think this record could have been any more fun to make or have turned out any better.

PoS: Were there any tracks that didn’t make it onto the album? If so, do you have plans to release these songs at a later date, perhaps on a rarities compilation disc (or download)?

GM: There are a number of tracks that didn't make it onto the record. I wrote about 35 songs in advance of this recording and in the end we tracked 14 of them during the Mr. Invitation sessions. I believe Smallman will be releasing one of those, a song called Got It All Wrong as a digital download sometime in the next month or so... beyond that, there's talk that my European label, Play/Rec might want to release a whole new full length album of my music this fall, perhaps one or two of these extras from Mr. Invitation will make it out on that release.

PoS: Who is in your band these days?

GM: Steve Bates has been a recording (and occasional performing) member of my band for over 10 years. He played guitar and lap top on this record and wrote the music for track two, Outside Edge. Mike Germain has been playing bass and lead guitar with me for about 8 years. Ryan Ahoff's been our drummer since 2007. Jason Tait has been playing drums on my recordings since 1999 and he appears on a number of these latest tracks as well.

PoS: What’s the meaning behind the album title, Mr. Invitation?

GM: I usually try not to explain this kind of thing, it's much more interesting to leave things open ended and let the listener figure things out for themselves. That said, in a nut shell the title of the record refers to the capacity of human beings to be both good and evil, dependable and unpredictable, intelligent and self destructive. Mr. Invitation could be your best friend, someone who invites you to a party, someone who robs you in the street. Mr. Invitation could be me or you. We're all capable of greatness and we're all capable of brutality. I personally like to think that we're all inclined to be productive and positive creatures most of the time though.

PoS: And finally, what are your plans for the summer?

GM: Play some festivals, do a tour out to the west coast, maybe release a recording with my side band, Nova.

Tickets for Saturday night’s show are available at Music Trader or Ticketmaster. Get them soon…before this sells out. Local act The Playing Cards open.  


In Photos...The Bonfire Ball @ The West End Cultural Centre

>> Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Bonfire Ball Featuring Zeus/Bahamas/Jason Collett
West End Cultural Centre
Saturday, April 4th

Jason Collett kick started the show with a few touching folk-pop tunes.

Then Bahamas - Alfie Jurvanen - performed and evoked much awe.

While these guitars awaited...

...eventually getting their turn, once the all-mighty quartet Zeus joined Bahamas.

While Collett and Bahamas rested up, the dynamic Zeusians tore through some scintillating, classic-rock-leaning songs. 

All together now!

Toward the end, the impossibly energetic Zeus drummer - awarded the evening's MVP by Bahamas - took a breather behind the synths. 

During the encore, Bahamas experimented with sound, miking a Zeus guitarist's electric.

Infinite Playlist: Goldfrapp - Head First


In The Future...Wolf Parade, The Buzzcocks, And Núna!

>> Friday, 2 April 2010

Well, another April Fools has come and gone.  I suspect I didn’t fool any of you, but hopefully the inanity of my post made you laugh at least once. It sure was fun to write, dream, and make up fake dates (April 31st). 

Unfortunately, there are no Winnipeg-centric indie-rock festivals in our future, and there’s even less likely a chance of Nickelback taking part (mass protests would happen); John K. Samson was not named the U of W’s poet-in residence (yet); and the owner of the indie-world’s most polarizing voice, Joanna Newsom, has not been cast in the live action Care Bears pic since, well, the film doesn’t exist (but she’d get my vote!). 

There are, however, a few exciting, really-gonna-happen shows on the horizon:

Montreal-based indie-supergroup Wolf Parade (above photo) – featuring members of Sunset Rubdown, Handsome Furs, Swan Lake, and Moonface – play the Garrick on July 19th.

Aging-yet-still-virile, influential English rockers the Buzzcocks pay a visit to the Pyramid on May 26th.

The lineup for this year’s núna (now) festival was released earlier this week. Now in its fourth year, the four-weekend-long celebration of Icelandic and Canadian art is once again bringing some quality Icelandic talent to New Iceland. 

Music highlights include:

Icelandic electro-pop act FM Belfast at the Albert on April 30th w/ Old Folks Home.

Dubbed as “Reykjakiv’s answer to Kate Bush”, Icelandic multi-instrumentalist/singer Ólöf Arnalds performing at the WECC on May 7th w/ Christine Fellows and Blunderspublik. 

Gisli Galdur Thorgeirsson, aka DJ Magic, guaranteeing to make you trip the light fantastic at the Lo Pub on May 21st, accompanied by the always enjoyable Mama Cutsworth. 

The full festival lineup can be found here.

Infinite Playlist: Greg MacPherson – Mr. Invitation


In The Future...The First-Ever Golden Boy Music Festival! John K. Samson As Poet-In-Residence! Joanna Newsom As Shreeky!

>> Thursday, 1 April 2010

Toronto has NXNE. Calgary = Sled Dog. And for Vancouverites, Sasquatch is a quick US-border-crossing trip south.

And Winnipeg? Well, of course there’s the fantastic, immensely popular five-day folk festival, but when it comes to indie-rock (slash indie-film) festivals, the Gateway to the West is sorely lacking. Until now.

The Golden Boy Music Festival takes place over The Civic Long Weekend – July 31st to August 2nd – in Oakbank, Manitoba at the town’s Bill Blaikie Amphitheater. Organizers for the inaugural three-day event have thrown around some serious green, attracting such indie luminaries as Broken Social Scene (headlining the Saturday!), Vampire Weekend (headlining the Sunday!!), and The Weakerthans (headlining Monday!!!). Day passes are a lofty $71.50 with a full festival pass running for $175 plus service fees and taxes. Presale starts April 31st, so be ready! At a capped attendance of 10,000, these’ll be snapped up fast.

The full lineup, which includes a robust mix of local, national, and international acts on side and main stages, is as follows (full schedule to-be-released):

  • A.C. Newman
  • Air
  • The Awkward Stage
  • Basia Bulat
  • Benni Hemm Hemm
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Cadence Weapon
  • The Choir Practice
  • El Guincho
  • Elliott Brood
  • fanshaw
  • Grappling Hook
  • Haunter
  • Islands
  • Japandroids
  • Jenn Grant
  • Jim Guthrie
  • Jimmy Ray
  • jj
  • La Roux
  • Leif Vollebekk
  • Library Voices
  • The Lytics
  • mum
  • Myxolodian
  • Nathan
  • The National
  • Nickelback
  • Passion Pit
  • Patrick Watson
  • The Raveonettes
  • Said The Whale
  • She & Him
  • Shout Out Out Out Out
  • Sunset Rubdown
  • Superchunk
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Todd Hunter
  • Tokyo Police Club
  • Vampire Weekend
  • The Weakerthans

And speaking of the Weakerthans, John K. Samson has been named the University of Winnipeg’s first-ever Poet-In-Residence. According to English Department Chair, Fitzwilliam Darcy, the decision was easy, “Samson’s work speaks for itself; his keen insight into the inner workings of this unique, complex, and unquestionably great city are tremendously beautiful and occasionally heartbreaking. The department is thrilled to have a wordsmith like John on board.” The residency runs over the summer, so don’t worry Weakerthans fans, Samson & the boys will be back in the studio come fall!

And speaking of the fall, I just gotta mention this since her new record has been flooding my ears of late: Joanna Newsom has jumped on board the Kevin-Smith-penned, Michael-Bay-helmed live-action Care Bears movie, with filming expected to get underway sometime in late-September. No stranger to acting – Newsom landed the starring role in MGMT’s really-weird-even-for-them “Kids” video – the elfin singer is assuming the role of Shreeky, main henchwoman of the Care Bear’s unfeeling nemesis, No Heart. Versatile SNL funnyman Fred Armisen will play Beasley.

Always loved that Good Luck Bear.


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