- Vancouver, British Columbia - I’m beginning to really enjoy the Biltmore Cabaret. The venue, on Kingsway and 12th in Vancouver, has a vibe that I thought of as rundown, rustic, but charming. Now, I feel that my initial assessment wasn’t fair and that the Biltmore has a very legitimate atmosphere that doesn’t just rely on the past but on the current true music scene in the Lower Mainland. Although the vast majority of our population listens to trendy radio, torn between pop princesses and passive-aggressive rock tunes, there lies a very legitimate need for music that challenges us, and music that showcases talent above all else.
Music Reviews and Commentary
Entries in Portland (5)
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Well, it's that time of year again. No matter where you go, you hear the inevitable Christmas tunes playing in shopping malls, television, Starbucks, and anywhere else you find yourself visiting around December. There is a charm to it all, but often it can get repetitive. And just about every popular artist has recorded a Christmas song, if not an entire album. Some of these songs are original, but for the most part you'll hear the same old traditional songs with a slightly different voice. And I have to say, I can't take anymore contemporary versions of Silent Night or The First Noel, or those other songs. Occasionally they're done very well and in a unique way, but more often than not it's just the same old song with maybe a country twang, or new beat or something. Christmas is a wonderful time of year and should continue to be a source of inspiration from artists so I don't understand why there aren't more original Christmas songs.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - With the music industry in a state of flux, it can sometimes be a bit challenging to find new music that is engaging, innovative, creative, and fully developed. While by no means do I praise the old ways that music was produced and marketed, I can still appreciate how the old record labels made it easy for music fans to be, dare I say, lazy with simply allowing labels to tell fans what was good music. Today, things are a little different. Many honest music fans can recognize that what they hear on the radio simply is not good music, but instead music that will sell. The music that is the most profitable today is hip-hop and pop music, neither of which are showing many reasons to have hope for the future. Since mainstream record labels are cautious and are dropping the ball, it has resulted in new avenues to develop to fill the gap for distributing good music. Among them Bandcamp and Noisetrade stand out as the most promising in my opinion, but even still, that doesn't mean that everything that is on these free music sites is good, in fact, some of them make it quite clear as to why the music is free: because no one in their right mind would pay for such garbage. Nevertheless, there are many wonderful gems to be found on both of these sites. A music colleague of mine recommended that I check out Josh Garrels, so I did, leading me to feel that I must review this album to get the word out about this fantastic album. There, I spoiled the surprise. You already know what I think about this album.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Portland, Oregon, is a town of 2.3 million people, and boasts of being one of the greenest communities in the United States. They claim to be one of the few cities in the US that seems to have a handle on integrating urban living into a feasible and sustainable system, with an enviable land-use plan. The climate is wet, but pleasant with beautiful architecture framed against the Willamette and Columbia rivers.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - The music industry is still very much in a time of transition, but not all in bad ways as record executives might have you believe. Independent bands have been able to pull in fans like never before thanks to the internet. Granted, there is more music available to the world than ever before, as such, it's difficult in different ways to get your band's music heard. Portland, Oregon's Hello Morning are a group that made some smart moves and are starting to reap the benefits as they have released their first full length album, 2011's A Fiction. Their self titled EP got them a fair bit of recognition and a fan base loyal enough to fund the new album entirely. I was actually one of the proud contributors. (What can I say? They had me at Hello.) I enjoy that they've purposefully kept an active relationship with their fans. These days, it is crucial for independent acts to keep people invested in their work.