Khatsahlano is going down in Kitsilano Saturday, July 11.

You’re probably looking at the line up at Vancouver’s biggest free music and art festival and feeling overwhelmed. Curated by Zulu Records, this is your chance to see the best bands of Vancouver’s music scene. From old school punk rockers to Pitchfork’s new darlings, here’s a last-minute cheat sheet to help you decide which bands to see and when.

The Enigmas – 3:30pm at BURRARD STAGE

Formed back in 1981 in Vancouver, The Enigmas swept Western Canada’s underground music scene with legendary performances until lead singer and saxophonist Paul McKenzie formed The Real McKenzies in 1992.

The band released two 12” EP’s, the second ‘Strangely Wild’ on Vancouver’s Zulu Records label. A video of their song ‘Windshield Wiper’ from that record received regular airplay on Muchmusic. They also appeared on a number of compilation records.

The Real McKenzies went on to be international stars and tour the World extensively to this day. The other members went on to perform in The Scramblers, Cane Toads, The Fiends, JP5 as well as many others.

The Courtneys – 4:30pm BURRARD STAGE

The Courtneys drift back to the sound of the early ’90s while reflecting a fun-in-the-sun west coast mentality – delivering a special blend of fuzzy slacker pop that draws comparisons to Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and The Clean.

The Pointed Sticks – 5:30pm BURRARD STAGE

Pointed Sticks are a Canadian punk band from Vancouver. Originally active from 1978 to 1981, they reunited to perform in 2006 and have remained together since then.The band continue to make vinyl records.The latest self titled LP will be released in 2015.

The original band consisted of vocalist Nick Jones, guitarist Bill Napier-Hemy, bassist Tony Bardach and drummer Ian Tiles.Keyboard player Gord Nicholl and drummer Robert Bruce joined soon after,replacing Tiles.Robert left after the Real Thing 45,and was replaced by Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery. The band released four singles before releasing their only full-length album, Perfect Youth in 1980. After the release of the album,Scott Watson replaced Tony on bass,and John Fereira joined on saxophone.They were the first Canadian band signed to Stiff Records, although the label was going through financial problems and the album they recorded in England was shelved.It was finally released in 2008 by Tokyo’s Base Records.

Most of the bands early recordings were re-released in 1995 on the Zulu Records compilation Part of the Noise. In 2005, Perfect Youth was reissued by Sudden Death Records, followed the next year by a compilation of singles, outtakes, and other rarities, entitled Waiting for the Real Thing. The original band members reunited in 2006 for a Japanese tour, and they continued to play sporadic concerts in Canada and the United States through 2012. In 2009 the band recorded an album of all new material,”Three Lefts Make A Right”.This will be followed in 2015 by a self titled LP of new songs.

Belle Game – 6:30pm BURRARD STAGE

Led by the hypnotic vocals of Andrea Lo, The Belle Game weave intricate soundscapes into shadowy, dark-pop rumblings.

Over the past two years, The Belle Game has toured throughout North America and Europe, quickly earning a reputation for their emotional live performances, prompting Paste Magazine to name them one of the 10 Great New Bands from CMJ.

Their debut album Ritual Tradition Habit is a journey through 12 beautifully layered tracks; among them the spooky ballad, ‘River’, a song Pitchfork deemed a “showstopping, extroverted piece of musical theatre”.

They released the Wait Up For You through Bella Union (UK/EUR) and Ritual Tradition Habit on Boompa Records (CAN) in April 2013.

Yukon Blonde – 8pm BURRARD STAGE

Yukon Blonde’s Tiger Talk was released in the spring of 2012. Having played over 200 shows in 2011 behind their debut self-titled LP and their Fire//Water EP, the band moved seamlessly into the release of this new album and continuing to tour around the world. In 2012 alone, the band has toured Europe twice, several USA tours (including opening for The Jezabels at 30+ shows in 300-600 cap rooms, fall 2012), performed at countless summer festivals, completed one almost entirely sold-out headlining Canadian tour (25 shows) and are currently on tour supporting friends The Sheepdogs. This album represents the next adventurous step in Yukon Blonde’s career. Its ten tracks are short and punchy, as the band trimmed the fat and packed hooks and brisk tempos into streamlined arrangements. “Radio” assaults the speakers with a brash stomp worthy of early Elvis Costello, while “Oregon Shores” blends its bouncy rhythm and sunny vocal harmonies with an epic, face-melting guitar solo. Elsewhere, a robotic drum pattern anchors “Breathing Tigers,” and “My Girl” taps into powerpop greatness with its “whoa-oh” refrain. The album was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2012. The band has performed with bands such as: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, The Sheepdogs, The Sadies, Good Old War, Bedouin Soundclash, Ladyhawk, Zeus, The Jezabels among many more.

Last modified: June 29, 2022

Comments are closed.