If you hadn’t noticed, we at Stylus like to get out, go to shows, and sometimes even take pics for you wonderful readers.
Now that the year is done, as is the tradition, a handful of our writers picked their favourites, and some even wrote about their very favourites. This is our way to let you know what’s been hip in the indie world, big arena world, and which holes-in-the-walls we’re frequenting, but this is all subjective of course and you’re always more than welcome to volunteer for Stylus yourself.
Stay tuned tomorrow for everybody’s top albums!
– The Crackling, Dan Mangan, Delhi 2 Dublin @ the Kaslo Jazz Festival July 29:
The entire atmosphere of the Kaslo Jazz Fest made every performance special. The stage is on a picturesque mountain lake in B.C., the sitting (and dancing) area is on the beach, and through the open back of the stage you can see the lake, fir covered mountains, and vast chunks of sky. This is simply a magical place, and when you place three incredible acts on the same stage in one night, it was one of those nights which are impossible to forget. This location also brought out the best in the performers, because of the occasions I have seen Dan Mangan and Dehli 2 Dublin this time was surely the best show of them all!
– The Crackling, The Daredevil Christopher Wright, Dan Mangan @ The Garrick November 1
– SoCalled @West End Cultural Center October 12
– Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long @ The Winnipeg Folk Festival July 10
– Tasseomancy, Young Galaxy, Austra @ West End Cultural Center November 24
Taylor Burgess (Stylus’ Editor)
– Kram Ran, Auntie Dada, Mallory Knox, and David M. Sweatman @ the Warehouse, November 4:
If I weren’t about to embark on a road trip to Toronto the next day with Kram Ran, I certainly written something about this show with the same amount of vigour as the still-recent In Tents! show. Twas strange; of everyone who was there, there couldn’t be more decisive cliques—Kram Ran’s old Winnipeg friends, Mallory Knox and J.R. Hill’s crew of hippie-punks, a small group of filmmakers including Les Supnet, Aaron Zeghers and Ryan Simmons, and friends of Auntie Dada and David Sweatman—yet we were all there in the name of “art” or “music” so despite our facades of strong fronts, the show still felt communal, somehow. Kram Ran unleashed a handful of songs from The Idiot Prince, devastating the P.A. and taking us to dark, dark places. Armed with a guitar, pedals, and a computer, Kram Ran went the gambit of guitar drones to digital manipulation—all encapsulating. Compared to the album, the mixes sounded crazy different live, and “Parrot Pauper Prince” nearly became a fist-pumping dance song which closed out the set. Then weirdos Auntie Dada went onstage, half Hendrix/classical improvisation and half drone and primal poetry. I haven’t seen such a digestible night of arty, decisive sets all year, and remain impressed.
– In Tents! featuring Absent Sound, Mahogany Frog, Tim Hoover, DustAdamDust, SoHoly HeadCase, Philia, The Blisters, and SeaFreezing @ the Warehouse, October 22
– White Lung, Nu Sensae, Self-Interest, and White Wash @ The Death Trap, July 11
– space)doxa’s Midori Showcase featuring Fletcher Pratt, Diabetes Foot, Dusth and Philia @ Graffiti Gallery, September 24
– send+receive featuring Mattin, Julie Rousse and White Dog @ The Atomic Centre, October 7
1| The Residents @ WECC, March 24
2| No Means No @ WECC, October 21
3| Black Joe Lewis and Sharon Jones @ Garrick Centre, May 20
4| Breath Grenades @ Elice Street Theatre and Café, August 20
5| Honest John Reunion Show @ Royal Albert Arms, March 5
1| Tearist @ Home Sweet Home, April 5
2| Kram Ran @ Dickens St Theatre, October 27
3| Angels in America @ Double Double Land, June 8
4| Diamond Black Hearted Boy / Salem @ Santos Party House, March 19
5| Mi Ami / Laurel Halo / Psychic Reality @ Glasslands, March 26
– Valleys, Big Troubles, Suuns, and Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Lo Pub, September 28:
This show was just huge, and I still get goosebumps listening to Suuns’ gothic sexy “pie ix” off their 2010 Polaris shortlisted Zeroes, QC. Because of the Albert’s closer, the Lo ended up hosting a double bill that night: Valleys & Suuns and Big Troubles & Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The show offered interesting contrasts all night: Valleys’ shoe gazey rock started everything off, with the beach fuzz pop rock of Big Troubles to follow up. All four bands sounded great, but Suuns’ creepy electric rock could not be topped. They were loud, intense and ohso dark & brooding, with a sound that crawled under your skin and sent shivers from head to toe (in the best way possible). Arguably their performance overshadowed POBPAH, and made all their cutesy pop work seem tame and safe in comparison (not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing). I strongly recommend foregoing all commitments in the event of Suuns returning to Winnipeg.
– Cannon Bros, Departures, and Imaginary Cities @ Lo Pub, February 11
– Terrier and the Liptonians @ WECC, February 13
– Nova, Les Jupes, the Liptonians, Royal Canoe, and Born Ruffians @ the Cube, June 16
– Aidan Knight and Karkwa @ WECC, September 29
Andrew Mazurak (Stylus’ Artistic Director)
1| Pixies @ Concert Hall, April 27
Doolittle is a top 3 album of all time for me.. soooo this is a pretty easy placement at number one. “Silver” was absolutely insane live.. as were the rest of the songs that I didn’t catch in Saskatoon ’04.
2| Blonde Redhead @ Pyramid Cabaret, June 20
3| Jonathan Richman @ Pyramid Cabaret, Oct 2
4| Dâm-Funk @ Pyramid Cabaret, June 21
5| Murs @ Pyramid Cabaret, March 1
1| Frank Turner @ WECC, October 22
2| Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears @ Garrick Theatre, May 20
3| Lyle Lovett @ Burton Cummings Theatre, August 9
4| Robert Plant & the Band of Joy @ Centennial Concert Hall, June 21
5| Chuck Prophet @ The StuDome, July 11
– Condominium/Self-interest/whitewash/Cross-rage @ Negative Space, September 10:
Condominium from Minneapolis is one of the best active bands. They consistently have outdone themselves with every record they have made and thankfully they come to Winnipeg after they release anything and blow everyone’s minds. This show in particular stood above the other times they have been here. After recently becoming a three piece, the band has taken their music to a new level of quality and their performance has undoubtedly done the same. Condominium expands upon traditional punk and hardcore opening up the usual forms of the genre to new and unique ways. This new territory thankfully includes a lot of room for drumming because Condominium brandishes one of the best drummers around. All of this was demonstrated at this show. They even did a Negative Approach cover better than any band I’ve seen to boot, probably even better than Negative Approach could do now. Seriously go see them next time they are here. Buy their records from them directly at http://condominium-hellotomorrow.blogspot.com/
– Napalm Death @ the zoo, October 17
– Nomeansno @ the WECC, October 15
– GZA @ the pyramid, March 30
– Motorhead @ the Burton Cummings theatre, February 12
Nicholas Van Doeselaar
– Neon Indian @ the Pyramid, May 20
– tUnE-yArDs @ WECC, November 14
– Arctic Monkeys @ Burt, October 1
– The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Lo Pub, September 28
– Library Voices @ Lo Pub, May 4
1. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ the Garrick Centre, May 20:
At the Garrick with Sharon Jones… the party was pumping, soul was oozing from every corner of the place it was just a fantastic night. Whether you were dancing away on the floor, being haled on stage or laughing along with the incredible show woman that is Sharon Jones you had a great time. Fucking step aside Beyonce/Adele cuz Sharon Jones is tearing it up and making a name for herself. Nothing could have possibly ruined this night, the old school sound and incredible voice were captured perfectly and the Dap Kings can keep things cool. Step on this soul train, you will not regret it.
2.Frank Turner w/ Andrew Jackson Jihad and Into it Over it @ the WECC, Oct. 22
3.Protest the Hero w/ Maylene and The Sons of Disaster & Tessarct @ the WECC, Mar. 30
4.Elliot Brood w/ One Hundred Dollars @ the WECC, Oct. 29
5.Arkells w/ San Sebastian @ The Pyramid, Nov. 19