Friday, July 14, 2006

Getting Festive With The Folkies

Dearest Friends, many thanks for all your kind expressions of support, both public and private - they are of great comfort. I have relayed your messages to the rest of the family, and they in turn send their gratitude by way of reply.

And life goes on, as well it should. We will now attempt (but do not guarantee) to return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

The 29th Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival kicked off this evening and will be running throughout the weekend. Dearest Wife granted me a one-day freedom pass, so tomorrow I will be pootling on down to the lovely Jericho Beach Park for tomorrow's proceedings. The adjective 'folk', as applied to the fest, has become rather stretched over the years, and the lineup actually includes an impressively wide range of performers, not just your Appalachian fiddlers and dessicating 60s protest singers. Still, I have spent the evening distressing my birkenstocks, dyeing my tie, and braiding granola into my hair so as to blend in with the crowd.

I had been particularly looking forward to seeing Ari Up, (she of the seminal, primordial 1977 punk band The Slits) weave her tribal reggae magic, but unfortunately she has cancelled for unspecified personal reasons. Still, there will be plenty to enjoy. On my 'must-see' list are self-described subversive acoustic traditionalists The Mammals , heavy dubsters Big Bass Theory and Dubblestandart, the raw punk folk of Hammell on Trial, Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, and Broken Social Scene vocalist Feist. I'll let you know how it all goes, but until then please enjoy this smallest of tasters:

Feist - Mushaboom (buy here)

Onto more bits and pieces, odds and sods...

A bit late in the week to tell you, but Contrast Podcast 15 is out and up. It features a whole bushel of Beatles covers, and once again the magnificent Tim Young was kind enough to include my contribution, Laibach's stonking version of Get Back. Nope, I'm not going to post it (Boo, Hiss!) but please do download the 'cast here.

Oh, alright, stop whining. I'll give you a Beatles cover:

William Shatner - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (buy here)

There, satisfied now?

Rachel, Coxon, look away now. I mean it. Not looking? OK. For the rest of you, Sufjan Stevens has announced a North American/European tour starting in October (dates here). Tickets have only just gone on sale, but are being snapped up quickly by hordes of wan, wee indie kids. He will be playing Vancouver's lovely St Andrew's Cathedral on 15 October, and I'm pleased to say that I secured my two tickets today to mass at the Church of Sufjan. Only say the word, and you shall be healed. So now I've got four months to indoctrinate Dearest Wife into the ways of Sufjan, otherwise I'll need to find one of those wan, wee indie kids to take along instead.

Sufjan Stevens - The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts (buy here)

Speaking of Coxon, each time I visit his impeccable blog I notice that he hails from Wolverhampton. The only other association Wolverhampton brings to mind are 1970s uber-glamsters Slade. I must admit I quite like them. Indeed, I also like Coxon. So by extension Wolverhampton can't be as bad as everyone says it is...

Slade - Cum On Feel The Noize (buy here)

Tomorrow is St Swithin's Day, and according to folklore whatever the weather is that day will persist for the next 40 days. I'm hoping it won't hail. Actually, the only reason I mention this is to give me an excuse to post an otherwise gratuitous Billy Bragg track. He too is coming to Vancouver, though at over $37 the tickets are a bit rich for my blood. But I do love him so. Sigh...

Billy Bragg - St Swithin's Day (buy here)

Oh dear, that's QUITE enough from me. Frankly I'm surprised you didn't stop me sooner. You are indeed all so kind - thank you for indulging me...