The following was covered and contributed by Rob Jones of The Delete Bin on behalf of Miss604.com.
The reason that the arts are so vital is that they capture the nuances of a culture that are not transferable by any other means. And this is what hyper-local publication and website One Cool Word is all about, dedicated to the promotion of the music and art made right here in Vancouver.
I attended the 2nd annual Spring Fling Party hosted by OCW on Wednesday evening at the fabulous Biltmore Cabaret (395 Kingsway, Vancouver). The crowd gathered to catch local bands, and to join in with the celebratory spirit of the hyper-local publication and website that seeks to highlight vital Vancouver talent. Some ‘guest models’ from Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School Vancouver were also on hand for everyone’s artistically (or perhaps anti-artistically) inclined sketching pleasures.
This is not a one-off event. One Cool Word’s Jake Tobin Garrett has helped to organize other events like this one in local venues in the past. “Each time a quarterly issue of the print magazine is published, we have a party,” he says. “This is the first one we’ve had at the Biltmore, which is a great venue for us.”
Along with short stories, Twitter poetry, and photography, the spring issue of One Cool Word includes an 18-track sampler of local bands. The magazine and these events are a great platform for Vancouver bands that are finding an audience. When the music started we were treated to four, count ’em, four local bands, and all from radically different points on the musical spectrum which only goes to show the impressive range of local talent right here in our own backyard.
The Contemporary Lovers took to the stage first, with a winsome fusion of club date jazz and indie-pop. The group’s sleepy feel on some of the numbers might have set the proceedings at a slower pace than was required. But, the band’s sterling musicianship, demonstrated by an almost telepathic instrumental interplay and a deft feel for mood, kept everyone’s interest.
If jug band music as played by Tom Waits’ feral stepchildren is your thing, then the Creaking Planks should be right up your street. The ‘Planks ripped into cover versions of Radiohead (‘Creep’), Britney Spears (‘Toxic’) Cypress Hill (‘Insane in the Membrane’), and my favourite: ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads, while also quoting the riff of Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’. They got the crowd on their feet.
Analogue Bell Service kept the momentum going, with a prog-rock approach that reminded me of Mogwai on their opening instrumental, if Mogwai had a flautist/saxophonist in tow. The group focused on jams, and threw in a welcome dash of ska to the proceedings.
My favourite band of the evening was the Fur Bearing Animals, with an emphasis on highly danceable grooves in post-punk packaging. The crowd responded, and furiously so, on the spacious dance floor of the Biltmore, while guitarist, drummer, and keyboardist/programmer/electric violinist worked them into a frenzy. Too soon, they were finished, and the evening was concluded.
The event was a real celebration, with a warm communal feel to the proceedings. Be sure to check the events calendar on the One Cool Word site for upcoming issues of the magazine, and for launch party information too.
Thanks to Jake at One Cool Word for the invitation, to Rebecca Bollwitt who invited me to attend on behalf of Miss604, and to April Smith of AHA MEDIA who took all of the images you see here along with video footage. Check out the full Flickr stream of the event here.
Rob Jones is a Vancouver music blogger who has helmed his own blog The Delete Bin since 2003, nominated for best cultural/entertainment blog in the 2008 Canadian Blog Awards.
By day, he works in social media marketing for online building materials company BuildDirect.