Tag Archives: Vancouver

Ep. #263: Jay Arner (& Jessica Delisle)

Jay Arner is a gifted rock and pop songwriter and musician based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over the past five years or so, Arner has garnered critical acclaim for his solo records, which tend to feature synthesized instruments and cloudy vocals but are ultimately infectious and thoroughly satisfying. His new album is an excellent, endlessly enjoyable one called Jay II, it’s out June 17 via Mint Records, and he’s playing a couple of shows in Calgary at Sled Island on June 24 and June 25 with more tour dates to follow to tell people about it. Here, Jay and I discuss Music Waste in Vancouver, Adrian Teacher and the Subs, Apollo Ghosts II, roman numerals, enrichment and remedial classes, a 3-D Parthenon, boredumb, belonging and being in your head all the time, Vancouver’s lack of support for underground music venues and its punk scene, venue closures, the Railway Club, Vancouver real estate and rich people, purposeful psychology, happenstance carpentry, mangling mansions, Vancouver’s punk and pop legacy, Burnaby born, adolescent anxiety, no direction, super cool parents into home recording and guitars, Pavement, the drumming in Led Zeppelin but also the singing in Led Zeppelin, tennis racquets, I invent the term post-prog, punk myths, late 70s/early 80s music and songwriting and melodies, synthesizers and drums, the golden age of studio recording and the advent of multi-tracking, it’s a brand new era it feels great, Neu! and Harry Nilsson, the song “Earth to Jay,” Jessica Delisle joins us, her popular podcast Retail Nightmares, their band Energy Slime and Mint Records, their working dynamic, practice makes better, how they met, being a creative couple, what Jessica thinks Jay is like, touring the U.S. during a Presidential election year, Jay’s sense of humour and sense of self, the joy of being self-absorbed, lyrical misinterpretations, not going to clubs on the Granville strip, the story about my son mishearing a curse on “Back to School,” clean versions, all all the rules, cussing on your hits, one percent punk, including legit digits in a song, screening his calls, giving everyone in the world your phone number versus your email, Shotgun Jimmie’s ‘kids only text’ story, more than the bio, playing Sled Island and touring with Supermoon, the video for “Crystal Ball,” my 18 month-old daughter is not a huge Jay II fan, Beastie Boys, the song “Earth to Jay,” and then it was time to drive away in our flat cars.

Related links: jayarner.bandcamp.com mintrecs.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #237: Geoff Berner

Geoff Berner is a tremendously gifted songwriter and musician known for his outspoken work and 100% belief in the klezmer tradition. Based in Vancouver, he received a scholarship for being the top student in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing program and has gone on to pen scripts for Sesame Street, make several acclaimed recordings, write a book about How to Be an Accordion Player, as well as the acclaimed novel, Festival Man. His latest album is called We Are Going to Bremen to Be Musicians, it’s out now via Oriente Musik and Coax Records, and so Geoff is touring the world. We recently caught up with each other in Guelph at CFRU’s studios where he performed three songs live and discussed things like his performance of the song “We Are On Our Way to Bremen,” finding hope in darkness, the Brothers Grimm, don’t be a chicken turn musician, making a living as a musician and whether or not that’s possible, motherhood and sexism in the cultural industry, taking some joy in the deaths of people like Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and other demented old people who seemed to relish destroying poor and disadvantaged people, recalling his politically charged song, “Probably NDP,” which sort of encouraged people to vote for the NDP in the last federal election, Tom Lehrer and Jon Stewart, when satirists burn out, affecting change and laughing ideas out of the room, Joey Shithead and the origin of the Vancouver-inspired song “Condos,” which he performs live on the show, the real estate fiasco and housing crisis in Vancouver, how displaced people are ending up in Surrey, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games and their impact on the city, the cycle of nonsense that is the housing market, the media collapse and how songs are the new newspapers, the rise of fascism, his Vancouver background and its impact on his artistic perspectives, getting into punk, Billy Bragg, acoustic D.O.A., the Vancouver Folk Festival and its leftist leanings, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Justin Trudeau smokescreen, his romantic side, a live performance of “I Don’t Feel So Mad At God When I See You in Your Summer Dress,” mixed messages, his novel Festival Man and his next novel, which is a continuation of the aforementioned story of sorts, upcoming shows, the time Geoff and I ran into each other in Oslo, the long talk, Coax and not Kochs, Socalled is a genius, a Yiddish rendition of David Bowie’s “Always Crashing in the Same Car,” the song “Ich Krakh Tomid Arayn In Der Zelber Mashin,” and then it was thank you, no thank you.

Related links: geoffberner.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #215: Destroyer

Destroyer is the music-making moniker of Dan Bejar, a very gifted lyricist and musician who originally hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. He has been creating an idiosyncratic kind of pop music as Destroyer for almost 20 years and can also claim membership in bands like the New Pornographers, Swan Lake, and Hello, Blue Roses among others. His latest work as Destroyer is a startlingly great new album called Poison Season, it’s out now via Merge Records, and has prompted him to tour the world over the next few months, including Canadian stops in Toronto at the Danforth Music Hall on September 30 and in Montreal at Theatre Fairmount on October 1. Here, Dan and I discuss sitting in a park in Vancouver, gearing up for tour, inspiration from the road, fiction and film, plays and theatricality, American songwriting and show tunes, whether pop or rock music is inherently theatrical, banal music, writing and performing, Bruce Springsteen and/or Meat Loaf, things Springsteen likes, Joseph Shabason’s sexy sax, Dan’s history with musicals, surreal Indian movies, how Poison Season is a reflection of his true interests, Brecht’s Threepenny Opera and “Mack the Knife,” “I Loves You Porgy,” singing other people’s other songs, Five Spanish Songs, the song “Forces From Above,” salsa disco, bringing the string sections to life, word countometre and sparse vocals, Poison Season is a weird, emotional roller coaster, Times Square as a place and a muse, a second look, evolution and iterations, Taxi Driver, thinking about New York, “Times Square” as an anchor notion on Poison Season, the song “Bangkok,” and scene.

Related links: mergerecords.com/destroyer vishkhanna.com

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