The Revolution — Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z, BrownMark and Dr. Fink — is most commonly known as the versatile band behind the music icon, Prince. Merging funk, rock n’ roll, rhythm and blues, pop & psychedelia genres, the band is considered to be one of the most successful music acts of all time. The Revolution rose to international fame and prominence in the mid 1980s with Purple Rain, a rock operatic project centred around Prince that catapulted him and the group to instant stardom.
Reggie Watts is an internationally renowned vocal artist/ beatboxer/ musician/ comedian who wows audiences with his live performances which are 100% improvised. Using his formidable voice, looping pedals, and his vast imagination, Reggie blends and blurs the lines between music and comedy. No two performances are the same and to that end, ”genius” is the word most often used to describe Reggie Watts. LA Weekly crowned him ”the most wildly inventive new talent of the past five years” while New York Magazine hailed Reggie as “Spectacularly original,” Rolling Stone featured him as “Hot Comedian,” SPIN named him as “Best New Comedian” and the LA Times praised Reggie is “a superstar.” Rolling Stone also listed him as one of the “50 best stand-up comics of all time”.
Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Kelis Rogers, better known by just her first name, first came to prominence singing the hook of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s hit Got Your Money. Years of chart dominating songs and thrilling, boundary-pushing music followed resulting in millions of albums sold and numerous top 10 hits. She has released six albums, won Brit, Q, and NME Awards, and been nominated for two Grammy Awards. Her latest album Food, made with a live band and horn section, mints a sound that is rootsy, raw, and soulful without ever being retro. Upon release the album was praised as one of her most adventurous works yet. Kelis has toured every corner of the world, performed at every major festival, and shared the stage with the world’s top artists.
Too Many Zooz’s songs are marvels of simplicity born of musical complexity. Pellegrino, Doe, and King of Sludge condense multiple–what might be considered clashing styles–into a riveting jackhammer brew. King of Sludge’s staccato eighth-note rhythms performed on a unique bass drum/cowbell/jamblock/cymbal setup forms the music’s gritty rhythmic bed. Matt Doe’s trumpet is a constant, providing melody and harmony, while Leo Pelligrino’s saxophone follows an unusual path before blasting into solo revelry. A question as to why Matt never solos results in unexpected insight.
!!! (generally pronounced “chk chk chk”) is a dance-punk band that formed in Sacramento, California, in 1996. The band’s name was inspired by the subtitles of the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, in which the clicking sounds of the Bushmens’ Khoisan language were represented as “!”. However, as the band members themselves say, !!! is pronounced by repeating thrice any monosyllabic sound. Chk Chk Chk is the most common pronunciation, but they could just as easily be called Pow Pow Pow, Bam Bam Bam, Uh Uh Uh, etc.
Hollie Cook combines her unique vocal talent with charming charisma to craft her own dynamic strand of lovers rock with enduring tropical vibes, weaving a path from her West London roots to an arena of diverse collaborations, critically acclaimed records, and iconic live appearances around the world. Cook’s ability to continually surprise, delight, and progress solidifies her position as one of the most exciting voices in reggae, and this is crystal clear on her third full-length and Merge debut, Vessel of Love.
It is told in the creation legend of a DJ called Shub that a great Council was held along the muddy banks of the mighty Grand River in which the influences of Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, A-Trak, and Craze held sway. For one reason or another, that nobody remembers, all of the musical heavyweights from the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga and Tuscarora also joined this Council and humbly offered teachings, harmonies, drum patterns, leads, and drops to this young man in their own good ways. This Council raised the boy and the boy cared for them too. And that was how it was supposed to be and it was that way for a long time.
Singer, rapper, and writer Dessa has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations—her résumé as a musician includes performances at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury, co-compositions for 100-voice choir, performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, and a top-200 entry on the Billboard charts for her album Parts of Speech. She contributed to the #1 album The Hamilton Mixtape; her track, “Congratulations,” notched over 5 million streams. As a writer, she’s been published by The New York Times Magazine, broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio, published two literary collections of her own, and is set to release her first hardcover collection with Dutton Books in the fall of 2018. She’s been covered by Pitchfork, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal amongst others. The LA Times says Dessa “sounds like no one else.”
Federale is a seven-piece ensemble based in Portland, OR. Spearheaded by longtime Brian Jonestown Massacre bassist Collin Hegna, the band was conceived as an outlet to channel inspiration from ‘60s & ‘70s European soundtracks, particularly those from Italy made famous by the Spaghetti Western & Giallo genres. The group has always operated under the guidance of a larger story arc. 2007’s La Rayar is a classic tale of betrayal and vengeance. 2009’s Devil In A Boot centres on a small town terrorized by a railroad company baron’s expansion and destruction. 2012’s The Blood Flowed Like Wine tells the supernatural tale of an evil so powerful that not even hell can hold back its wrath. All The Colours Of The Dark continues this tradition while breaking new musical terrain.
Miami Nights 1984 is Michael Glover from Victoria, BC, Canada. His obsession with the 1980s has led to the founding of Rosso Corsa Records and a revival of synthesizer music. With Rosso Corsa he is championing many artists such as Mitch Murder, Lazerhawk, Jordan F and Lost years to make 1980s-inspired music with modern fidelity.
Nested in the freedom inducing Kootenay mountains of British Columbia, Canada, comes a duo encapsulating the roots of the provincial spirit with the fires of sonic soul, blended into such a righteous form that their sound only goes by one name, Moontricks. Taking dancefloors and audiences by storm, Nog and Sean Rodman serve up their own original sound of boot-stomping grassroots blues meets underground bass music, creating in unison, a brand of folklore fun that has crowds ranting and raving throughout the west coast. Whether it’s the riffs that catch you and won’t let you go, or the jig that just won’t quit, Moontricks packs a punch as one of the best not-so-secret treasures in the festival and live show game.
Proficient in his craft, he has conceived an operatic exploration of sound, unlike anything previously seen. Knowing no genre, the music defies classification and instead invokes awareness and perception of streetwise sights and sounds. Grossbuster’s live electronic performances are second to none. A classically trained pianist, known for his ability to synchronize beats to cultivate live sets, has lead him to grace stages at festivals like Shambhala, Sled Island, Tall Tree and Rifflandia among others.
Louise Burns is already a 20-year vet of the music industry and she’s barely 30 years old. She witnessed the heady last gasp of the majors in the late-’90s (Burns co-founded pop band Lillix at 11 and signed to Madonna’s Maverick Records at 15), and was front and centre for Canada’s indie renaissance. Now Burns is an in-demand collaborator (Gold & Youth), high-profile hired gun, an acclaimed solo musician (2011’s Mellow Drama, long listed for the Polaris Music Prize, and 2013’s Midnight Mass), and multi-instrumentalist whose celebrated songwriting is equal parts grit and gloss.
Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers play a mix of originals and their own arrangements of rockabilly, western swing and country blues songs from the 30’s to the 50’s. Lead vocalist Slim also plays guitar and harmonica, and is joined by Willa Mae on vocals and washtub bass, and German Ebert on drums. The band is touring in Canada and Europe in 2018 to promote their new album, BOOGIE WOOGIE FEVER!
The Champion Sound consists of DJs Murge and Verse. Murge has been playing and touring the club scene in Canada for over 10 years holding down several residencies and playing festivals such as Shambhala, Tall Tree, Jazz Fest, Folk Fest, and Rifflandia. He was enlisted to perform for the 2010 Winter Olympic Torch Ceremony and for the Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Party. DJ, producer, label owner, and founder of Victoria’s first ever DJ school, Murge has navigated to notoriety in almost every aspect of the music industry.
Diamond Cafe is the solo project of 19 year old Tristan Thompson from Victoria, BC. Thomspon channels a smoothness that only comes around ever so often. Prince, 80s synth pop and R&B are obvious points of reference; but his buttery falsetto, liquid synths, yearning lyrics and confident delivery stand out on their own. Be prepared to have your heart melted, it might get sexy.
Dia-Nos, the duo of Dia and Nostic, have been making beats together since 2012. Using ancient sayings, symbols, and instruments, Dia-Nos explore languages and genres combined with modern beats. Their music is an eclectic mix of hip-hop, house, trap, and chill; a constant exploration of sound and lyrical themes.
Dylan Stone is an honest musician who writes, plays and sings from the heart. He is a restless songwriter who is constantly pursuing new sounds and collaborations. He was raised by an old record collection, and his guitar that has put food on his table for his entire adult life. An interesting and storied career has led him to share the stage with one of his musical icons Alejandro Escovedo, open for Keith Urban at BC’s largest country music festival, play onstage with Robert Randolf & The Family Band, and perform his songs for Lou Reed in Nashville, Tennessee. A troubadour in the truest sense, he has lived and toured across Canada and toured the West Coast extensively. He is most at home on stage with guitar in hand.
Electric Sex Panther have been supplying a heavy dose of funk, soul, R&B and jazz for their weekly residencies at Canoe Brewpub for the past few years. The hard-working, hard-hitting band of young, multi-talented musicians are based out of Victoria, BC. The band recently upgraded to a six-piece with the addition of Downtown Mischief/Fernwood Coalition members Von Stokes (guitar) and Michael Huerta (saxophone). ESP have quickly established themselves as a talented up-and-coming R&B outfit, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot from them in the near future.
FRANKIIE is an independent dream-rock band from Vancouver, BC. They formed in December 2013 for a one-off gig where they had only met a few weeks before. The chemistry between them was undeniable and over the last several years the four members have become amazing friends and adventure seekers, taking their music from Haida Gwaii near Alaska to the southern tip of the Baja in Mexico.
Vancouver’s I M U R has become synonymous with bass-heavy beat and sultry RnB vocals, and “is one of the raddest acts you’ll find out of Vancouver” (Earmilk). The future-rnb trio’s eclectic mix of instrumental melodies and “slick hip-hop production” (Georgia Straight) transcends genre and “induces true goosebumps” (All Things Go). Recently, I M U R performed on the Bumbershoot Festival main stage, playing alongside acts like Flume, Solange and Odesza, and was nominated for Electronic/Dance Artist of the year by the Western Canadian Music Awards.
Jason Verners, the 19 year-old from Victoria defines himself as a “West Coast Magician.” Growing up, Jason had one goal in middle school, he wanted to make magic cool again, and so he did. Recently finding a love for exploring the westcoast, Jason changed his show to feature not only amazing magic, but also stories of wonder that he has experienced on tour that has shaped him to become the young man he is today. Jason creates magic for himself, and other magicians to perform all over the world and on television. Jason finds inspiration in the artists he looks up to and aims to create magic with as much emotion and meaning as their music.
Small Town Artillery is the final permutation of a project that is over a decade old. Founded by brothers Tom and Derek van Deursen, STA began in the small Kootenay town of Meadow Creek, BC. It is now supported by Carson Webber (Bass) and a revolving door of countless other musicians. Small Town Artillery’s sound was born from experimentation almost free of influence and has grown into mature, high energy Rock music. Since the time they were young teens, Tom and Derek have been throwing their own shows, writing their own music, and recording it all in the hopes to make a crowd move and a soul smile.
Tan and Hide are a Vancouver Island born trio consisting of Jake Winter on guitar and vocals, Kevin parks on drums and now Kirk Borger on the bass. Their music is bluesy, hard hitting and rocking, yet punctuated by sweet and soulful vocals with catchy instrumentals and lyrically driven songs that will get you thinking, Tan and Hide will take you to a dusty place out west with there music and will have you tapping your toes and out of your seat in no time.
The Funkee Wadd has been doing his best to ensure The Funk is always kicking over the past 10 years. In this time he has had some of the most incredible experiences due to music, from travelling to England to perform for the Ghetto Funk Familia, alongside some of his idols, to performing harmonica at 2:00am on his dream stage, The Fractal Forest at Shambhala, alongside Defunk. The Funkee Wadd loves nothing more in the world than breaking the stereotypes surrounding DJ’ing and Electronic music, by always surprising the crowd with songs that you would never expect to hear in a nightclub/festival/lounge from a DJ, integrating live instrumentation into performances such as harmonica, guitar, and live vocalists, and generally making as many people smile as possible with the non judgemental medium that is music.
Zee and the Empties is the alias of Zac McMillan, a local singer song writer who grew up in Burnaby, BC. His music has been influenced by Hip-Hop, Blues, R&B and Rock & Roll. For three years Zac was involved in writing, recording, and touring with the band Real Mad Decent. Now, you can find him at his home studio recording a solo EP. Zac’s solo music is a combination of rap driven melodies, hip hop beats and smooth guitar licks. Music from the soul, for all ages.