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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Saxophones started blowing me down  / I was buried in sound / Taxicabs were driving me around
— Wilco, Handshake Drugs
October 28, 2010

Nadia von Hahn CD Release Party at the Media Club

Nadia von Hahn has a new album out called Wait and See What Happens. It’s a lovely collection of seven songs from the Vancouver based singer-songwriter. The album is available on iTunes as well as your local record store of course.

To celebrate the release she threw a party at Vancouver’s Media Club with a few of her friends including Chantel Upshaw, Christopher Arruda and City of Glass. On a damp Tuesday night the Media Club was packed, which was nice to see.

Posted by skooter at 8:29 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Chantel Upshaw, Christopher Arruda, City of Glass, Hip City Music, Media Club, Nadia von Hahn

October 24, 2010

Thrill the World Vancouver 2010

Thrill the World started in 2007 as a relatively small event intended to set the world record for the number of people to simultaneously dance Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance. When Jackson died on June 25, 2009 the event was vaulted into the limelight as a way to honour the memory of a performer who—whatever you think of his…antics…later in life—was the King of Pop at a time when that took real work to achieve, not just a few minutes of internet infamy. Jackson’s legacy is undeniable, and the Thrill the World dances that happen simultaneously world wide are proof.

Vancouver’s event was held on October 23rd, 2010 at the Roundhouse Community Centre and 284 people participated in raising funds for the Vancouver Food Bank. I shot stills during the rehearsals—a complete set is available on Flickr a video of the final dance performance.

Thrill the World Vancouver 2010 from Skot Nelson on Vimeo.

October 14, 2010

Superchunk - Driveway to Driveway at Zulu Records

Superchunk - Driveway to Driveway in store at Vancouver’s Zulu Records from Skot Nelson on Vimeo.

Superchunk dropped by Kitsilano’s Zulu Records for a rare acoustic performance yesterday that lasted about a half hour. The band took audience requests and played a few of their well known songs including Driveway to Driveway which you can see above.

Maybe the funniest part was when bassist Laura Ballance claimed to not know any of the songs when they were announced. She promised that she’d know them all at their Biltmore Cabaret performance in the evening.

Posted by skooter at 2:19 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Biltmore Cabaret, Superchunk, Videos, Zulu Records

October 13, 2010

Douglas Coupland’s Massey Lecture

Douglas Coupland delivered the Massey Lecture at UBC's Chan Centre The annual Massey Lectures are presented by CBC and since 1961 have featured a noted Canadian academic or scholar delivering a lecture on the topic of their choice each year. This year’s lecturer is West Vancouver’s Douglas Coupland, perhaps best known for his fiction writing but also a prolific artist and designer of all sorts of things (and a fan of platonic solids, I’m told.) His Digital Orca is a beautiful and welcome addition to Vancouver’s selection of public art. Coupland and I share a Lego fetish.

I’ve never been fond of Coupland’s fiction. Girlfriend in a Coma was the first book written by Coupland I read: it was horrible. It may be as simple as us having gotten off on the wrong foot, but I tend to think of him as writing witty dialogue wrapped in bad fiction. The slavish devotion of his fans to his wildly inconsistent body of work annoys me (though slavish devotion to anything tends to do so—it’s not specific to Coupland.) I’ve enjoyed his non-fiction and am particularly fond of pointing out that his role as an unrepentant whore for Vancouver and its charms is something I’m rather fond of.

I won tickets to see the lecture though, and so I went. He’s an engaging person in no small part because he sees the world through multiple prisms—including those platonic solids—and doesn’t narrowly define himself as a writer or a painter or a designer. Our world needs more of these people, before we develop too many silos.
Douglas Coupland delivered the Massey Lecture at UBC's Chan Centre

Posted by skooter at 7:33 PM This entry is filed under Books, Canada.
Tags: Chan Centre, Douglas Coupland, Massey Lecture, Paul Kennedy

October 12, 2010

Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle Justin Townes EarleJustin Townes EarleJustin Townes EarleJustin Townes EarleJustin Townes EarleJustin Townes Earle Justin Townes Earle has resumed his tour, which is good news for fans of the Southern roots music Justin calls himself a preservationist of. At the beginning of September Justin rolled through Vancouver and I caught his show at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret then headed down to Bellingham to see him the next night at the Wild Buffalo House of Music. I posted a video from the show earlier, but no photos.

Both shows were excellent. I’ve seen Justin every time he’s come to Vancouver—once at the Media Club and twice now at the Biltmore. This was the first time that the Earle name and legacy seemed to have been fully shed. Justin has really come into his own and out of the long shadow of his father (who’s Copperhead Road tour, incidentally, I count as the first live concert I saw.)

I almost skipped this show, after a long and tiring weekend at the Live at Squamish Festival. I’m glad I didn’t: it was the best concert I saw all summer.

Posted by skooter at 5:32 AM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Biltmore Cabaret, Concerts, Justin Townes Earle, Wild Buffalo House of Music

October 11, 2010

Yuca at the Peak Performance Project

Yuca at the Peak Performance Project Yuca at the Peak Performance ProjectYuca at the Peak Performance ProjectYuca at the Peak Performance ProjectYuca at the Peak Performance ProjectYuca at the Peak Performance Project

Yuca performed at the fifth and final showcase concert of the 2010 Peak Performance Project. The three piece band from Langley plays pretty straight ahead rock and roll.

The complete set of photos of Yuca is on Flickr along with the rest of the Peak Performance Project photos.

Posted by skooter at 8:20 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Concerts, Peak 100.5, Peak Performance Project, Red Room, Yuca

Kuba Oms at the Peak Performance Project

Kuba Oms at the Peak Performance Project Kuba Oms at the Peak Performance ProjectKuba Oms at the Peak Performance ProjectKuba Oms at the Peak Performance ProjectKuba Oms at the Peak Performance ProjectKuba Oms at the Peak Performance Project

Kuba Oms brought his brand of soul infused pop to the final Peak Performance Project Showcase this week performing for an obviously appreciate audience. Kuba is one of this year’s returning artists from the 2009 edition of the project, and his experience from previous years showed.

The complete set of photos of Kuba’s performance is on Flickr in addition to the full set of photos from this year’s Peak Performance Project Showcases.

Posted by skooter at 7:59 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Concerts, Kuba Oms, Peak 100.5, Peak Performance Project, Red Room

Greg Sczebel at the Peak Performance Showcase

Greg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance ShowcaseGreg Sczebel at the Peak Performance Showcase

Greg Sczebel has apparently won a Juno award in 2005, which just goes to show how long it’s been since I paid attention to the Juno’s as a tool for finding music to listen too. Greg kicked off the final night of the Peak Performance Project Showcase concerts at the Red Room with a show that included a lightboard, a group of well coordinated dancers in the crowd, a keytar and Hank Insell on bass. Greg’s brand of bouncy happy pop music got the crowd moving nicely.

The complete set of photos of Greg’s performance is on Flickr as well as others from the Peak Performance Concert series.

Posted by skooter at 4:43 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Concerts, Greg Sczebel, Peak 100.5, Peak Performance Project, Red Room

Kyprios at the Peak Performance Project Showcase

Kyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance ProjectKyprios at the Peak Performance Project

Kyprios drew the closing slot for the final concert of the Peak Performance Concert Series last week and he certainly made good use of it. With a sound like nobody else at the showcase concerts—none of the other acts even really had a hint of hip hop to them—the Vancouver based hip-hop artist had the crowd hopping in no time with the help of a backing band that consisted of something like 10 musicians. Despite a friend’s tweet that she “…still refuse[s] to accept that jumping is a dance move” it was pretty hard to deny that the crowd was having a good time. As a performer Kyprios delivered one of the most kinetic shows I’ve seen in a while. This made it hard to shoot with my usual lens from my initial seat right in front of the stage and I switched to a wide angle 20mm lens for a while.

The complete set of photos of Kyprios’ performance is on Flickr. as well others from the Peak Performance Concert series.

Posted by skooter at 4:22 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Concerts, Kyprios, Peak 100.5, Peak Performance Project, Red Room

October 5, 2010

Yukon Blonde and the Wooden Sky at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret

Yukon Blonde and the Wooden Sky played a killer set at Vancouver’s Legendary Biltmore Cabaret to kick off their national tour. Calling the crowd for this show packed doesn’t do justice to the number of people there. The only reason I was able to move was a front row full of Vancouver’s independent musicians who graciously let me move around to get the shots I wanted.

A complete gallery of Wooden Sky photos can be found at Guttersnipe News.

Posted by skooter at 4:12 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Biltmore Cabaret, Concerts, Guttersnipe News, Live Music, Wooden Sky, Yukon Blonde

October 4, 2010

Steph Macpherson at the Peak Performance Project

Steph Macpherson opened the fourth of the Peak Performance Project Showcase concerts at Vancouver’s Red Room. The Vancouver based singer/songwriter played to a packed crowd and was obviously moved by the crowd’s response to her performance.

One of the challenges the Peak throws at the artists is a requirement to do a cover song by a Canadian artist. Steph very bravely chose Stan Rogers’ North West Passage and performed a beautiful down tempo rendition that I couldn’t help but sing along too. My sincere apologies to those in the audience near me.

The complete set of photos of Steph Macpherson is on Flickr in addition to the photos from all the Peak Performance Project showcases.

Posted by skooter at 1:54 AM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Peak 100.5, Peak Performance Project, Red Room, Steph Macpherson, Stephanie Macpherson

October 3, 2010

Said the Whale at the Peak Performance Project

Said the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance ProjectSaid the Whale at the Peak Performance Project Said the Whale at the Peak Performance Project Said the Whale at the Peak Performance Project

Said the Whale closed out the fourth Peak Performance Project Showcase with a rocking set that hit all the right notes and featured guest appearances from the boys in We Are The City as well as Aidan Knight for the grand finale. Watching these guys live is one of the most entertaining ways I can think of to spend time. Each and every one is a fine musician and has great stage presence (Peter Carruthers on bass stands out in particular—a lot of bassists are relatively stationary and not that interesting to watch play.) They also happen to be about the nicest collection of people you could hope to meet, so there’s that going for them.

At least one of the artists in the competition has fingered Said the Whale to win this thing. If the judges have made up their minds it hasn’t shown yet. There’s still a week left.

The complete set of photos of Said the Whale’s performance is on Flickr in addition to the complete Peak Performance Project photos.