Archive for August, 2009

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Douglas College Summer Jazz Intensive (and other summer related stuff)

August 28, 2009

I just finished a summer jazz course at Douglas College, and it was really fun. I got a chance to meet various well-known musicians from Vancouver including Ross Taggart, Kent Wallace and Bernie Arai. It was a week full of musical intensity for all of us students. I met 5 other drummers, a few of whom I could definitely relate with in terms of the music I like. I don’t think anybody at this camp was a total beginner, and it seemed like at least half of these people were really good at their instrument. So after my very short audition, I was put in the intermediate combo. We played a few songs including “Blue Monk”, “Maiden Voyage”, and “Recordame”. Also, we got 2 master classes from Bernie, who was very down to earth and is an amazing drummer as well.

We played 3 concerts, one at the Java Jazz Cafe, one at the Cellar, and one at the college. The one at the Java Jazz Cafe was pretty fun, since it was a jam night and everyone was sightreading. The Cellar was very cramped, but it was a great show nonetheless, and at a great venue. And afterwards, me and some friends from the camp went busking near English Bay. It was really fun, and we made $6 each from only 40 mins of playing! But at the college it felt more like a real stage setting, which is what I’m more used to. The whole week was really fun, and I hope that I can do it again next year.

On the other side of things, I had a list of things that I knew I had to do before the end of summer. Here it is:

1. Study some math to prep for Grade 10. Check!

2. Not suck at jazz camp. Check!

3. Get a phone!! Check!!

4. Get “The Beast” sneakers by Gravis!! Check!!

5. Get a new hoodie. Check!

6. Get the BAPE X G-Shock watch. Uncompleted.

After all that, I think I’m ready for summer to end. Well, partially.

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Vans Warped Tour 2009: Vancouver

August 18, 2009

Last year, the Vans Warped Tour didn’t come to Vancouver and I was actually somewhat disappointed (besides the fact that Katy Perry was headlining). So this year I was pretty excited when I saw Vancouver as one of the stops on the tour. This year was still pretty disappointing in terms of most of the bands that were playing. I’m not exactly a huge fan of 3OH!3, Brokencyde, and other bands like that. As me and my fellow bandmate, Devin, walked through the gate, we saw a bit of Scary Kids Scaring Kids’ set. But the first band we actually watched was Black Tide. Might as well start off our morning with a little of metal eh? They’re a good band, but they sometimes screw around way too much, meaning playing random thrash classics for 20 seconds before starting a song. It basically sounded like they were in the middle of band practice or something. Next: Less Than Jake. Sadly I don’t know too much of their music, but Devin did, and we all had a good time watching their set. It was just pure ska punk goodness. After that, I was really excited to see a rapper I’m actually a pretty big fan of: Shad! Shad actually has a lot of positive messages in his songs, and I think he’s just a really cool guy. That was one of my favorite sets that day.

After lunch, it was time for some more metal. Local band Gross Misconduct were playing the Kevin Says Stage this year, and I was pretty stoked for that. Honestly, I’m going to assume that they had the largest crowd for that stage that day. It was very brutal indeed, with even a small circle pit going. Props to them for being the most metal band that day!! Next, was the second rapper of the day, P.O.S. He can really get the crowd going, and it was just a very intense live set. The DJ had the bass booming, and the messages in the rhymes were crystal clear. Now it was time to head back to the main stage to watch Bad Religion, NOFX, and Alexisonfire. Both Bad Religion and NOFX are great to see live, especially with the humor that NOFX provides, plus they don’t seem to be aging very fast. I was glad that Bad Religion didn’t end with Sorrow, because personally I don’t really like that song that much. The Alexisonfire set was full of energy, and you could tell that most of the crowd was really into it. George Petit was literally spitting all over the front rows of screaming fans. And I wasn’t planning to watch 3OH!3, so we headed straight to the Hurley stage to see Gallows. They really brought the punk energy back that this day needed in spite of all the pop/emo bands that had been playing all day. As expected, frontman Frank Carter was all over the place beating himself up. But that’s just the way it is with them. In general, there were quite a few bands playing that I really couldn’t care less about, but the ones that had caught my attention stood out tremendously among a sea of bands that all sound the same.