Best way to get more bands coming is to support local venues

By Jennifer Smith – Kelowna Capital News
Published: November 18, 2011 3:00 AM

Up for some live music this Friday and Saturday?

You’re in luck. There are 25 live shows on in this little city in the space of just two nights, and that’s not all that out of the ordinary these days, according to blogger Jason Lane whose been writing about the music scene since March of 2006.

“After Breakout West, I think a blueprint was laid out for how you can feasibly bring in a major event, 50 to 60 bands, and it was a success. All the venues had large crowds and I think the community did step up, did buy in,” he said.

Lane started his blog,, to fuel his own passion for music and help his friends figure out what is happening around town. He believes Kelowna’s music scene can and will continue to grow with the right support.

Lane had filed 1,000 posts by last month, earning an interview on CBC’s newly expanded station. Last year he helped with promotions for the Western Canadian Music Awards and Breakout West.

Following POP Okanagan this summer, he’s filed another 30• plus posts, feeding an average of 1,500 regular visitors to the site a regular dose of information on whose coming to town.

“More local businesses are opening up the option of live music. That wasn’t the case five or six years ago,” he said.

With a Cultural Plan now on the city’s books, and a new CBC afternoon show dedicated to culture in the community, it would appear the building blocks are in place to keep the momentum going.

But he does see issues on the horizon.

“I think promotion is still tough. And there are more venues, but there could be more,” he said.

And where venues like the Kelowna Community Theatre have really stepped up their lineup, Prospera Place still isn’t booking many big acts.

“They can sell out at $80 or $90 a ticket. That’s not a problem. It’s somebody recognizing who the big talent is and what they can do to attract that,” he said.

In the meantime, Lane says he figures the best thing music fans can do if they want to see more music in town is get out and show their support for musicians.

If you’re looking for something this weekend, here’s what’s happening:

Fri Nov 18
Raquel Warchol, Jane Eamon, Jennifer Jade Kerr, Teena Gowdy – Streaming CafeSongwriters in the Round 
Tim Williams – East Kelowna Community Hall
Damian Brennen – Vintner’s Poolside Grill
Blue City – Pheasant & Quail Pub
Treelines w/Portage & Main and Joyful Door – Habitat
Colt 45 – O’Flannigans Pub
Whiskey Jane – 97 Street Pub 
The Stowaways – Fernando’s Taqueria on Bernard  
Here in the Noise – Grateful Fed
Random Act with Uptown Hornz – The Blue Gator
Bucknife w/ Black Earth – Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub
One Wroe Back and Wicked Shift – Flashbacks
Little Birdie – The Minstrel Cafe

Sat Nov 19

Grateful Dads – Cabana Bar and Grille
The Malarkeys – The Old Bike Shop Cafe
Kim McMechan and Norm Strauss – Streaming Cafe
Gala For The Arts – Rotary Centre for the Arts
Patsy Cline tribute – The Minstrel Cafe
Damian Brennen – Vintner’s Poolside Grill
The Ernesto Cervini Quartet – Black Box, Kelowna Community Theatre
Blue City – Pheasant & Quail Pub
Matthew Good – Kelowna Community Theatre
Larry and his Flask w/The Porch Crawlers and The A. M.s – Habitat
Paperboy – Grateful Fed
Colt 45 – O’Flannigans Pub
Random Act with Uptown Hornz – The Blue Gator

Looks like a busy month of live music events around Kelowna!

Spring is in the air and Kelowna is gearing up for a busy month of live music events around town.  Let’s hope this momentum carries into the summer with lots of great festivals & events.  Since BreakOut West in October, we’ve been seeing more local venues supporting live music, and let’s hope that continues.

Here’s a few upcoming highlights! Launch Party at the Laurel Packinghouse April 16th!  The launch party will encompass all that Awesome Okanagan (A-OK) represents including live music, fashion shows, food and beverage vendors, art installments, local exhibitors as well as some great door prizes f…rom participating businesses

Lots of upcoming rock shows at Flashbacks and O’Flanigans – sixdecibels rocks Kelowna!

BC Interior Music Awards – Sat. April 23rd 2011 7pm at the Kelowna Community Theatre… 24 Awards… 8 Performances!!  See the regions best new music talent recognized for excellence.

Check out WHAT’S ON Podcast for music and info about local shows and touring artists passing through Kelowna in April!

Johnny Clegg, Buddy Guy and more at the Kelowna Community Theatre!

Conduit back with Ecotone

By Pyper Geddes – Kelowna Capital News
Published: January 25, 2011 6:00 PM

The Conduit Festival is back, this year bringing us Ecotone; a live showcase featuring over 100 artists from all around the Okanagan. For the second year, Conduit has partnered with En’ Owkin Centre and Okanagan Greens Society to bring us the one-day festival that will take place at the Rotary Centre for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 5

Ecotone, produced by the Cakewalk Collective, is a zero-waste, all organic festival that features various forms of art such as installation art, graffiti, sculpture, eco-activism, crafts, musical performances, poetry reading, fire spinning, and storytelling. The festival also features local and organic fare including delicious food prepared by Chef Grant Dumontreuil, organic wine from Summerhil Winery, organic beer from Crannog Ales and organic Mead from Meadow Vista.

Live performances will feature an all Okanagan cast including Jodi Pederson, The Capers, Little Jungles ,Yukon Blonde and many more. There will be original art work on display all around the Centre by a number of artists including Don Elzer, Jordan and David Doody, Meghan Wise, Malcolm Eidse and Brittany Falk. Exhibitors will include Curio Designs, Blowfish Glassworks, Leftover Hippies, and again, many more.

This festival has a little bit of everything for everyone. With numbers of artisans and performers filling each corridor, studio, and hall of the Rotary Centre for the Arts, Ecotone is truly a celebration of art and community.

This is the 4th annual festival that the Cakewalk Collective has organized, and was created for the purpose of being a grassroots co-operative community co-venture to support and nurture the Okanagan’s creative business community and burgeoning arts scene.

With so many artists leaving the Okanagan to take part in the flamboyant arts and culture scenes of larger cities, Conduit provides local artists with a support system of sorts. The festival continues to grow and become more successful each year which in turn attracts a larger audience to the festival. The bigger the audience, the more awareness there is for the Okanagan’s local arts and culture scene. Conduit is an integral part of the Okanagan events calendar, as no other event or festival has such a focus on sustainability not only in the arts community but in regards to our environment as well.

So if you only leave your house once a year, I would suggest making it Feb. 5 because this is an event you don’t want to miss. Ecotone will leave you feeling inspired, hopeful, and connected.

Doors open at 4pm with the festival going right until 2am. A minimum donation of $10 at the door is suggested, or whatever you are willing to pay to support the event. All proceeds will go towards the Okanagan Greens Society.

For more information on Ecotone visit

Pyper Geddes is the general manager at Habitat in downtown Kelowna and an A-OK Contributor.

David Vertesi Releases Mountainside Video, Takes Cardiography on Tour

Music recording artist from Vancouver David Vertesi has released the first video from Cardiography. Produced by Jose Miguel Contreras (By Divine Right) and on October 26th, Cardiography is the debut solo album for Hey Ocean! member David Vertesi. David will be taking his new album on the road to Alberta for dates with Victoria’s Aidan Knight.

Watch Mountainside:

Cardiography Tour Dates with Aidan Knight

Nov 30 – Kelowna, BC @ Benvoulin Church
Dec 01 – Calgary, AB @ The Marquee Room
Dec 02 – Edmonton, AB @ The Haven Social Club
Dec 03 – Lethbridge, AB @ The Slice
Dec 04 – Canmore, AB @ Communitea Cafe

Cardiography sees David Vertesi poised on the brink of popularity. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better singer-songwriter pop debut from anyone this year.” Nothing Sounds Better

“Cardiography is a way to record the heart; he puts his on display not on his sleeve, but on his album’s. Vertesi’s move is gutsy and successful; his charming baritone also helps. Vertesi’s played his cards right.” Exclaim!

“Vertesi is a man with the talent and genuine spirit to make it all work. He writes wonderfully resonant melodies…and has a subtle cool voice that makes these tunes turn magical. Eleven wonderfully inventive cuts” Baby Sue

“Every year there are a couple albums that catch you off guard, the type of album that when you here it you are instantly impressed. David Vertesi’s debut solo album Cardiography is one such album.” The Broken Speaker

MP3 for “All Night, All Night, All Night”, Media Materials and More Info:

The Habitat turns 5 years old – Happy Anniversary

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years.  Wow, time flies when you’re going to see a lot of live music.  The Habitat has been a mainstay in the Kelowna live music scene for 5 years.  Back in the spring of 2005, a few months before Habitat open their doors on Leon Ave, I was blogging about shows at the Mission Hall, Knights of the Columbus hall and even The Warehouse.  Sure, there were some great shows in town, and Miss T Promotion was bringing some cool artists to the Blue Gator.  However, the shows were few and far between.  The consistency wasn’t there.  That is something Habitat has been bringing since day one – consistent top-notch local, Canadian and International artists.

I wrote a review of the Duotone Arts festival on August 3rd, 2005 where Ladyhawk and Black Mountain performed (days before they toured with Coldplay).  It’s no coincidence that the newly opened Habitat was going to provide a venue for these bands, and approximately 600 other bands in the years to come.  From Polaris Prize nominees, Juno Award winners, and I’m sure a few future Grammy nominees have all graced the stage at Habitat.

My first blog post about the Habitat was on August 30th, 2005 for an upcoming Underoath show.  Within a few months many more shows were starting to happen at the Habitat.  So I keep track of all the shows I’ve seen over the last 10 years, and with many of them being in Kelowna and many of them happening in the last 5 years, it’s no wonder Habitat has been the most commonly visited venue for live music for me and my fellow music-loving friends.  Some of the earliest performance from Alphababy (now known as Yukon Blonde and signed with Bumstead Records) took place at Habitat.  Several other up-and-coming Canadian artist that played several shows, before gaining nationwide attention included In-Flight Safety, Dan Mangan, Hey Rosetta, Pride Tiger, Tokyo Police Club, The Novaks, The Most Serene Republic, Library Voices, Rah Rah, Plants & Animals, Matthew Barber,  Pack AD, Said the Whale, illScarlett, Mother Mother, You Said Party, We Say Die and the Sadies to name just a few.  Then there was the classic Joel Plaskett performance in May of 2009 where the lucky people in attendance at this sold out show got to hear Joel tell the real story behind “Love This Town”.

Supporting local artist
Along with Yukon Blonde, there’s been no shortage of great Kelowna bands that have been playing at Habitat, maybe 3rd on the bill with a 25 minute open set, only to return 6 months later to be headlining their own show.  Bend Sinister, Kingdom Cloud, Treelines, Windborn to name just a few.  Kelowna’s We Are the City won top honours in the Peak Performance Project in 2009, a province-wide talent search sponsored by 100.5 the Peak FM.

So a big Happy Anniversary goes out to Quinn and Katrina at the Habitat, all the great staff over the years and to all the music lovers in the community who keep coming out to support live music in Kelowna!

Voted ‘Top 20 Venues in Canada‘ CBC Radio 3 Searchlight Contest
Winner ‘Best Venue Supporting Live Music‘ BC Interior Music Awards
Winner ‘Best Venue‘ Off-Centre 2006-2009

Feat. live music by Familia and Ange Alero
$10 – Limited number of tickets available – Buy yours here!
Media meet and greet: 4pm-6pm
Doors open to the public at 6pm, live music at 8pm

Wax Mannequin announces Canadian tour…and line of scented candles

(Hamilton, ON) – Wax Mannequin announces Canadian tour dates throughout July and August. The shows also mark the debut of Wax Mannequin shaped scented candles. Dates are as follows:

July 21 – Sudbury, ON                    The Townehouse
July 22 – Sault Ste Marie, ON          Bottoms Up
July 23 – Thunder Bay, ON              Crock’s
July 24 – Brandon, MB                    Brandon Folk Festival
July 25 – Brandon, MB                    Brandon Folk Festival
July 26 – Bruno, SK                        All Citizens
July 27 – Medicine Hat, AB             Ottoman Lounge
July 28 – Fernie, BC                       TBA
July 29 – Cranbrook, BC                 Finnigan’s Wake
July 30 – Kootenay’s, BC                TBA
July 31 – Penticton, BC                  Voodoo’s
August 01 – Wells, BC                    Artswells Festival
August 02 – Kelowna, BC               The Grateful Fed
August 03 – Vancouver Island, BC TBA
August 04 – Victoria, BC                Logan’s Pub
August 05 – Vancouver, BC            Railway Club
August 06 – Nelson, BC                 The Royal
August 07 – Calgary, AB                Palomino
August 08 – Canmore, AB              TBA
August 09 – Lethbridge, AB           The Slice
August 10 – Edmonton, AB            Likwid Lounge
August 11 – Regina, SK                 The Club
August 12 – Brandon, MB              TBA
August 13 – Winnipeg, MB             Lo Pub
August 14 – Thunder Bay, ON        Black Pirate Pub
August 15 – Sault Ste Marie, ON    House Concert

In 2009, Wax Mannequin released the acclaimed, Saxon (Zunior). Recorded with Andy Magoffin at the House of Miracles, Exclaim claimed, “…the masterful Saxon, [is an] earnest batch of songs, most of which are performed on classical guitar and blend Wax Mannequin’s trademark theatricality and darkly humorous perspective like nothing he’s ever issued.” He is also releasing a line of Wax Mannequin shaped scented candles. Available in wintermint, sandlewood, coffee, and pine, the candles will be available at all tour dates.

Wax Mannequin was born in the smoke and industry of Hamilton; a damaged, underdog town; a perfect breeding ground for strange, variant things. Incorporating folk, scrappy prog-metal and a tireless creative ethic, Wax infused his local influences with road-broken experience to forge something unsettlingly new. Solo (accompanied by heavy devices and an angry, nylon-string guitar) or band-backed (with Mark Raymond on bass and Aidan Campbell on percussion), he has toured constantly throughout Canada over the past six years, with more recent forays into Europe and Australia.

Wax now finds himself a forerunner in a strange new movement: roaming recluses and attention-seekers — solo-performers, equipped with laptops, damaged instruments and decaying minivans, making new sounds, informed by hard travel and rough living. Wax’s thought-provoking live performances and acclaimed recordings have garnered the fervent support of the creative underclass in his home country as well as a burgeoning international reputation. Now fully rested from his third foray overseas, a wiser, drunker Wax Mannequin readies himself again for the glories and pitfalls of the trans-Canada, and the trans-atlantic. Wax’s new release Saxon, out now on The Zunior Label, marks a gritty return to the psych-folk roots of this rambling iconoclast.

“By training his inner animal enough to let it run free with his muse, Wax Mannequin has given birth to a brilliant bestial gem of audio mythology.” – Exclaim!

“Part wandering minstrel, part rock animal, Wax Mannequin combines a fine sense of prog-rock parody with intense sincerity and lyrical smarts. ” – dB Magazine

“I could start off with a catch-all like ‘shockingly good songwriter’ or ‘eclectic artist,’ and while that would partly describe Hamilton’s Wax Mannequin, it would do the man a great disservice to leave it at that.” – Now Magazine

For more information on Wax Mannequin, visit:

MP3 “Something To Hide” from Saxon:

Friday Night Live – lots of live music options in Kelowna tonight

13 options from 13 venues supporting local live music!

Double Magnum @ the Bunkhouse at Orchard Green

Tony Dizon

The Grateful Fed
Broken Down Suitcase

Minstreal Cafe
Calgary’s Tim Buckley and the Tim.buck.two

Kerry Park – Parks Alive
6:30      Alt Arab (duo; middle eastern music)
7:00      Mystic Dance (belly dancing troupe)
8:30      The Blues BrothersToo & Show Band (6 pce; R&B)
9:30      Windborn (duo; acoustic alternative rock)

Blue Gator
John Lee Sanders

OK Mission Hall
4409 Lakeshore Road

@ Mars Hill Cafe (ALL AGES)
Treelines w/ Midnight & Patrick Kelly
– $8 cover  7pm

Yellow House Restaurant
Danielle Kozlowski

The Coast Capri Hotel, 1171 Harvey Ave., Kelowna
Blue City

Cush Supper Club
Matt the Alien

Pheasant & Quail Pub
Donovan Sweet, free at 7:30pm

The Green Room
Curtis Parry

Kate Miller-Heidke @ the Habitat, June 30th

Austrailian singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke, hot off a nation-wide tour with Ben Folds, is playing the Habitat on 6/30 (in between Lillith Fair dates in Edmonton & Vancouver).  Opening act:  Jody Glenham
$12 (+$2.50 tx & sc) – Buy your tickets for this show here!
Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm

Kate got a great review from Sasha Frere-Jones at the New Yorker of her second album. You can listen to some of her music at her Myspace page.

Polaris Prize Long List

Congratulations to Kelowna’s Yukon Blonde for making the long-list of the 2010 Polaris Prize.

Here is this year’s Polaris Music Prize long list:

Apollo Ghosts – Mount Benson
Bahamas – Pink Strat
The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
Blue Rodeo – The Things We Left Behind
Brasstronaut – Mt. Chimaera
Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
Basia Bulat – Heart Of My Own
By Divine Right – Mutant Message
Caribou – Swim
Jason Collett – Rat A Tat Tat
Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
Amelia Curran – Hunter, Hunter
Fred Fortin – Plastrer La Lune
Frog Eyes – Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph
Hannah Georgas – This Is Good
Ghostkeeper – Ghostkeeper
Holy Fuck – Latin
Karkwa – Les Chemins De Verre
Lee Harvey Osmond – A Quiet Evil
Greg MacPherson – Mr. Invitation
Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice
Misteur Valaire – Golden Bombay
The New Pornographers – Together
Owen Pallett – Heartland
Plants And Animals – La La Land
Radio Radio –
Belmundo Regal
Justin Rutledge – The Early Widows
The Sadies – Darker Circles
Shad – TSOL
Elizabeth Shepherd – Heavy Falls The Night
The Slew – 100%
Meaghan Smith – The Cricket’s Orchestra
South Rakkas Crew – The Stimulus Package
Tegan And Sara – Sainthood
The Wooden Sky – If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone
Hawksley Workman – Meat
You Say Party! We Say Die! – XXXX
Young Galaxy – Invisible Republic
Yukon Blonde – Yukon Blonde
Zeus – Say Us