Rifflandia! Part one.

Last week, yours truly was at Rifflandia 3.  For those not in the know, Rifflandia is a multi-day, multi-venue music festival, chock-full of super amazing awesome indie rock bands.  Basically, you can go from venue to venue, watching the bands that you like, and all it costs is $65.00 ($75.00 after taxes).  Considering that you could conceivably see up to twenty bands over the entire weekend, we're talking a price of less than four dollars a band!

Now, I wanted to give you guys a rundown on the awesome bands I saw, in the hopes of getting even more people to show up next year, at Rifflandia IV:  A New Hope (apparently, that is the name they are going for, which should give you an idea just how awesome this festival really is).  It's going to be a long list of bands, so I figure I'll spread it out over the course of the week. 

This has nothing to do with the fact that I can't think of anything else to write in this blog right now.

Um....  Anyways...

Each band name links to their website, and I'm trying to include youtube links to their music (if possible, an actual peformance from Rifflandia - maybe you can even see me in the video!?).

Day One:  Thursday, September 23rd.  Club 9One9.

I got here early.  In fact, I was the first person in line.  I said to the guard "Um, where's the line?" and he said "Uh, you're it."  I looked at my clock.   It was 7:15.  The show started at 7:30. 

"This is weird.  I'll be back in ten minutes," I said, and then walked around the block.  When I came back in, the doors were open, and I grabbed a really good seat.  The Shlesbian and Moon Rock joined me a little bit later, and we watched a bunch of bands.  And drank.  We left early, because it was thursday, and we all had to work the next morning.  Also, the bands were not really that good.

Geoffrey Lundstrom:  I only figured out this guy's name because it was on the Rifflandia website. Not once during his set did he say his name, or why he was there and not the band on that silly little schedule that was given us.   Because the guides said it was supposed to be a band named "Vicious Cycles" - which doesn't seem to fit a guy that played acoustic ballads on an old guitar.  I have a feeling Mr. Lundstrom was a last-minute fill-in, because the Vicious Cycles group didn't want to be the openers for a thursday night show that was guarenteed to have a fairly small showing.

This was probably good in the long run, because Geoffrey Lundstrom was actually pretty good.  He made a few quiet jokes, played some nice-enough music, and didn't seem too annoyed by the fact that most of the crowd wasn't paying him the slightest attention and were, in fact, trying to talk over him while they jostled for their seats.  They did shut up when he did a Springsteen cover, which made me feel bad for the guy - if the only time you get a good reaction from the crowd is when you play someone else's music, it can't feel good.

So, yeah, he was a decent enough musician, but his single ear ring, jean jacket, and silly little fedora made him look like a douche.   No, really, it did. 

The keyboardist from We Are the City looks suspiciously like
Peregrin Took, if "Pippin the hobbit" shaved his feet and wore
skinny jeans. 
Acres of Lions:  Indie rock band that plays, well, energetic indie rock.  I had never seen them before, but a lot of locals were excited about seeing these guys, because they are all Victoria boys.  Their lead singer was a little chunky, and after two songs, he was sweating rather heavily - which I prefer to the alternative (bands that just sit there and have absolutely no energy whatsoever).

Thing is, I didn't really like these guys, but that's entirely because they were playing a type of music I'm not really into (energetic electric indie rock).  I would recommend them to friends in a heartbeat, and they were probably the nicest band I saw thursday night... but their music isn't really my cup of tea.  To put it bluntly, they're Earl Grey, whereas I'm more of a Chai type of guy. 

Or something. 

Best part was when the singer declared "this song is about a tv show that got cancelled way too early".  I bet the Shlesbian that it was about Firefly.  We listened to the song, and the only lyric I heard was "The Yellow Sun was retarded".  Then, the lead singer told everyone afterwards that the song was about Firefly.  I stood up, pointed at Shelley, and yelled "HA!  I'M RIGHT!". 

I acted like a douche... and I didn't need a jean jacket or a hat to do it. 

We Are The City:  A three man group (drummer, keyboardist, and guitarist) that sort of remind me of a stripped-down Cold War Kids.  Imagine songs that are super soft, mixed with parts that rather frenetic.  They were the best band we saw that night.  I bought their CD, which has a title that makes is sound a lot more pretentious than it actually is.  Thumbs up for that.

Plus, they had a buttload of energy, and I think the keyboardist actually played using his foot for a little bit.  These guys won a music award a few months ago, winning something like a hundred thousand bucks in a city-wide contest in Vancouver (the band, by the way, is from Kelowna).  I have a sneaky suspicion they're going to be around for a while, and we'll see even better albums from them in the future. 

Of course, maybe I'm just crazy, because after this set, Moon Rock shook his head and said "fuck it, I'm going home," and left.  So maybe not everybody was as jazzed by these guys as I was. 

The Hounds Below:  The Shlesbian and I wanted these guys to be good.  I mean, one of their band members was in a wheelchair.  And when we see handicapped people, we always seem to root for them in whatever it is they're doing.  Granted, I did crack a joke or two when I wondered if it was a smart idea for a handicapped keyboardist to use so many foot pedals, but I was generally on my best behaviour.

Unfortunately, their music sucked.  Imagine generic rock and roll from the late nineties.  Now, let's strip it of any energy it may have.  Okay?  Now, let's lose any originality.  Following me?  Alright, cool - let's also make everyone in the band wear dress like they're replacements for The Strokes, and let's have this indie band that no one's ever heard of swagger like they're The Rolling Stones.  After all, they have to be cool - they have a cripple on keyboards. 

After a few songs, the Shlesbian and I decided to head home. 

We missed the closing band, an energetic punk band that used to be named "You Say Party... We Say Die".  After the unfortunate death of their drummer, they changed the name to "You Say Party".  Considering my streak of douchiness throughout the night, I'm actually kind of glad I didn't see them, because I have a sneaky suspicion I'd just make Spinal Tap references

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