Sunday, March 28, 2010

Return To Harpo's??? I've seen a buncha ads around Victoria for a blues gig tonight at the Upstairs Cabaret, billed as "Return To Harpo's"...and it got me thinking about the state of venues in Victoria right now. Of course, the Upstairs Cabaret, home of the weekend party in Bastion Square...wasn't always the go-to place for twenty-somethings looking to get drunk, listen to crap music and pick-up...from 1974 to 1995, it was known as Harpo's, and was Victoria's premier live music venue. I never saw a show at Harpo's (the first time I visited Victoria was a year or two after it closed...and I didn't move here until 10 years after that), but I had heard about the legendary venue from tons of people who'd played there in it's heyday. Harpo's was part of the bar circuit for bands touring Canada throughout the 80's and first half of the 90's, and played host to pretty much every Seattle band (known and unknown) during that period (ever wonder why so many Heats and Allies records turn up on the South Island?). Punk, Indie, Blues, Reggae, all went down at Harpo's over the years.

There's a Facebook Group for Harpo's where you can read people's memories of that bar, the shows, and the bands that played there...check it out. an obnoxious bar that caters to drunk college kids and tourists, tries to cash in on it's former glory as one of this cities most beloved music venues for one night, to promote some blues show. It just gets me thinking of how much this city could benefit from a venue like Harpo's right now. As is, Victoria has one venue that doesn't rely on club nights and big drawing bands to pay the bills, and that supports live music pretty much every day of the week. I think we could use another. Band's like Young Fresh Fellows, Fastbacks, Monomen, Headcoats, Phantom Surfers, the Mummies, Flop, Nomads, Cynics, Night Kings, Girl Trouble, etc...played Victoria over the years. I don't know how many of those bands would have ended up playing here if faced with the current musical landscape in Victoria. I mean...when was the last time you saw a no-name band from Seattle on stage at a bar in Victoria?

Next time you're taking a walk down Wharf or through Bastion square...imagine The Mummies playing the space now occupied by the Upsatirs Cabaret. The Mummies played Harpo's 3 times in 1990/1991...and those were probably 3 of the top 10 punk shows to hit Victoria in the past 20 years. Here's some pics...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Movies?

So...some folks in Vancouver have been working on a movie about the early punk scene there, called "Bloodied But Unbowed". I first heard about a while back, but I guess the filmmakers hit some snags with finances, backing, etc...and things were kinda on hold with the film for the past little while. Well, looks like things are up and going far as I know, the movie is complete, and there working on a couple different cuts for varying usage. The website went live last week...there's already alot of cool content up here:

Lemme just say...this thing was put together by people who were involved in the scene as it happened...all the right people were interviewed, and all the footage I've seen looks great. Can't wait for this one.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Movie Time....

Thanks to the magic of the internet, I've been watching a couple decent music documentaries over th last couple days...

First Up, a documentary on the Akron Ohio Music scene of the mid-late 70's called It's Everything and Then It's Gone. I've been facinated with band's like the Rubber City Rebels, The Bizzaros and Tin Huey, since I picked up that Akron comp with the scratch and sniff cover(on Stiff Records), years you can take a look into the scene that spawned all the bands I mentioned above (and Devo!) in this 55 minute movie....

Check it out here:

Next up is a full length BBC doc on Rough Trade records called DIY - The Story of Rough Trade. If you love punk-rock...chances are that you own at least a few records that were distributed or put out buy Roucgh Trade in the 70's and 80's. Well, this movie follows Rough Trade from there begginings as a small used record shop, to the height of their success, when they were moving hendred of thousands of independent records. Well worth a watch for sure...and it's all here:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Upcoming Shows!

Lotsa shows hitting Victoria over the next little while...I'll make a point of reminding you about them here. Here's a run down on a few things you should check out...

- COSMETICS /// MODE MODERNE /// TWO CABINS at Logan's Pub on Friday March 26th. Facebook Event

- TALK'S CHEAP #5...our monthly DJ night at Logan's Pub. Hundreds of punk-rock, garage, pop, etc records, with cheap beer, etc. Facebook Event

- PETROLEUM BY-PRODUCT /// ANIMAL BODIES /// NEW KRIME at Logan's Pub on Friday April 23rd.

- NOBUNNY /// SLAM DUNK /// MYELIN SHEATHS at Logan's Pub on Wednesday May 5th.

- SONIC AVENUES at Logan's Pub on Wednesday June 2nd.

- EARTHQUAKE SHAKE festival...a shitload of killer bands...June 11/12th. Stay Tuned for more info...