With summer winding down, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the summer music scene. What were the top songs to listen to at the lake or in the car? Who were the breakthrough bands? What were the big music events in the Kootenays?
To help me out, I’ve enlisted Mountain FM afternoon DJ Matt Williams.
Craig: Alright, I’ll start with the Bob Dylan concert in Cranbrook. Obviously, you don’t see legends like that touring small towns very often. I didn’t get to go, but from what I’ve heard the show was decent but Bob’s getting even harder to understand as he gets older. The other major musical event around the Kootenays was Shambhala, which, unfortunately, was overshadowed by the death of a 23 year-old from Sidney. I got to go on the Friday and caught hip-hop star Chali 2Na, who is known as part of Jurassic 5. Chali (Mr. 2Na?) put on a great show and really had the audience going. So Matt, what are some of the concerts and events you caught this summer?
Matt: I’m surprised you didn’t get an interpreter at the Bob Dylan concert to decode all his lyrics. Either that, or a giant LED screen behind him so you can sing along. One of the musical highlights of my summer was catching the band ‘Zeus’ at The Royal in Nelson. Think of them like the Sheepdogs before all the fame, and with a tad less facial hair. Even though they’re relatively new to the music scene, they sound like a classic rock supergroup out of 1972. I also had the chance to bring local band ‘Roy has Fire’ on my show on Mountain FM, and they were a delight. Plus, they have a ton of talent. They were all over the West Kootenays this summer performing at various chartiable events. Last but not least, I made the trip to Kelowna for ‘Keloha’. Great music, scorching weather, and it was on a beach. Which, for a bachelor like myself, had all the ingredients for a great weekend.
Craig: I saw Roy Has Fire at the Canada Day party at the complex. Very talented teens, that’s for sure. Okay, let’s talk about top songs for the summer of 2012. If you’re talking about ubiquitous ear candy, you look no further than Call Me, Maybe from Vancouver’s own Carly Rae Jepsen. The song is everywhere. Even hot “it” couple Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez can be found lip-syncing on YouTube to the song. Other inescapable summer jams were Gotye’s Someone That I Used to Know and Fun’s We Are Young. Hey Matt, did you notice at the start of that Fun song, the singer says, “My seats been taken by some sunglasses, asking about a scar. And I know I gave it to you months ago. I know you’re trying to forget.” So is this song about something deeper than just being young and partying? Is there an underlying tone of abuse here that perhaps the singer is trying to forget by drinking? How’s that for a happy, summer tune?
Matt: I think with a band name like ‘Fun’ you could write about the darkest topics and still have the song come out sounding like a Pop-Ballad. Plus, Nate Ruess (the lead singer) sounds like a dead-ringer for Freddy Mercury. Sans-moustache.
On the rock side of things, it’s a tie between the Tragically Hip and Big Wreck. How could you not love a new tune from The Hip, this time naming their new tune ‘At Transformation’? Craig, do you think this name could be a sign of things to come? Maybe Gord Downie and the boys are at a ‘genre-bending crossroads’ in their musical career. Though I wouldn’t expect to see them lip-syncing to Carly Rae Jepsen anytime soon. Their rock competition? Big Wreck and their new tune ‘Wolves’. It’s nice to hear Big Wreck reunited, not so nice to hear every girl I talk to say they have a crush on leading man Ian Thornley. Maybe my chances would be better if I picked up a guitar as a kid, instead of a Clarinet?
Craig: Don’t underestimate the rock star potential of the clarinet. I mean if Jethro Tull can make flutes popular, why not clarinets?
Some great Canadiana there. Maybe the two bands can merge and become Tragic Wreck. Or Big Hip? For rock, I really like the Black Keys Gold on the Ceiling. Lots of crunchy, power chords. Perfect summer tune. As is Flo Rida’s Whistle. Such subtlety there with his double entendres. Also, you can’t miss Maroon 5’s super-catchy Payphone featuring Wiz Khalifa. Although, part of it is because I just like to say Wiz Khalifa. That’s a great name. How could he not be a star? Back to Fun, that’s a lot of pressure to put on your band having that name. People just expect a great, energetic show. My other favourite band names: Of Monster and Men – Little Talks is a cool, catchy song with some great sax in it, and Five Finger Death Punch. Darn, looks like we’re running out of time to discuss One Direction.
Matt: Then it looks like I won’t have time to talk about my One Direction doll set. I mean… album collection. You mentioned some definite tongue twisters though Craig. Another musician’s name that’s fun to say is ‘Dan Mangan.’ Try saying that 10 times fast. I had the chance to catch him in Kelowna, and his show was as high energy as you can get singing about trees, and memory loss. It’s not often you see a folk-rock singer crowd surfing over a thousand people, while he belts out a full tune. That’s usually reserved for the punk rockers, and Dave Grohl. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited for Mangan’s appearance in Nelson come November. His music is my excuse for an attempt to grow a lame beard, and my fascination with hiking and granola. Where I get my pop inspired wardrobe? That comes from the One Direction ‘Albums’.
Craig: I’ll have to check out Mangan. As for your doll collection, the less said the better I think. And at that note, we’re out of time and room. Thanks for your input Matt. this was a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can do this again some time.