Musical Matinee

27 10 2010

An Afternoon at the Orange Hall with David P. Smith and the Euphorians

By Nick Lyons

Every morning on my way to work, I walk past a little place called the Orange Hall. The hall, on Fernwood Road close to Vic High, would be easy to miss as it is about the size of an average living room. An old stone retaining wall frames the small plot of land on which the hall rests—a humble, symbolic defense against the greedy intentions of would be-developers. I’ve always wanted to see the hall from the inside and on Sunday afternoon (October 24), I got my chance as David P. Smith played a rare matinee show there, with Himalayan Bear supporting.

The always-engaging David P. Smith

I arrived early to check out the little place before the bands started to play and was greeted at the door by Smith’s wife and daughter who welcomed me to the show. Smith himself was meekly setting up the chairs for his audience, who started to filter in during the sound check. The hall lived up to every expectation: hardwood floors, obviously recently polished, gleamed in the dying light of a blustery October afternoon and groaned, somehow unobtrusively, under the sneakers of the packed hall’s patrons. After a brief sound check, Himalayan Bear took the stage.

Ryan Beattie (Himalayan Bear) is a cornerstone in Victoria’s music scene. He plays guitar for Frog Eyes, whose most recent album, Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph, stands as one of the year’s best albums and was long listed for the Polaris Prize. Beattie is also the lead singer for Chet, whose masterful Chelsea Silver, Please Come Home, has tragically not seen a fraction of the acclaim or radio play it deserves. A haunting and evocative testament to beauty and sadness, the album serves as the perfect soundtrack to a long, dark Victoria winter. Impossibly, Beattie still finds the time for his Himalayan Bear project, which is largely a solitary affair though, on occasion, he welcomes other musicians to the stage.

On this afternoon, the Himalayan Bear was alone, with only a sparkly black Gretsch guitar to keep him company. Beattie’s loneliness was befitting of the songs he sang—poetic accounts of people living and dying alone, with nothing but a bottle to bring solace to their solitude. Beattie’s is an incredibly literate music which owes as much to John Keats or Malcolm Lowery as it does to similarly tortured musicians such as Abner Jay. While the set was great, my thoughts kept going back to a show Himalayan Bear played earlier this year as opener for Julie Doiron, for which he brought a drummer on stage to join him. Drums added so much to Himalayan Bear’s sound, giving Beattie’s wistful vocal flights a much needed solid, rhythmic base. I look forward to seeing Beattie play with a drummer again someday soon.

After much applause and a quick smoke break, David P. Smith stepped onto the stage with his most recent band, the Euphorians. Like Smith, the band was all dressed in black save for the guitarist who obviously missed the memo. Featuring two violins, a bass guitar, trumpet, electric guitar and, sometimes, a baritone, the Euphorians provided a perfect accompaniment to Smith’s songs. The band’s drummer, unable to make the show, was replaced for the afternoon by a drum machine from the 19th century. A tangle of live wire and old wood with a metallic arm that slowly spun clockwise, the machine had tremendous stage presence, threatening to destroy us all while setting the tempo for Smith’s songs.

Smith’s music is as quirky and delightful as his makeshift drum machine. An accomplished visual artist, it should not come as a surprise that Smith’s songs are a veritable sketchbook of absurdist drawings. We see men blowing blood through a black rubber hose, fat kids with big tits eating ribs, and the freedom lovin’ folk dancing in the smoke of burning meat; all of these images packed into one song (Jackhammer Man, which he and his band played with tremendous gusto). While Smith’s music has been described as dark, it is equally hilarious—a kind of dada-esque misanthropy.

It was refreshing to see Smith and company performing an all ages show. Victoria suffers for not having much in the way of all-ages venues; children bring joy to the saddest of songs. One of the afternoon’s highlights was watching a two or three year old dancing giddily in the center aisle as Smith nonchalantly sang about cutting his head off and baking it in a pie before sending it to the moon in a rocket ship: it was an absolutely perfect contrast of innocence and insanity, as is much of Smith’s music.

All in all, an excellent afternoon. I cannot think of a better context in which to experience the little hall I pass by every day. Let’s hope that the hall will continue to be brought to life by musicians as talented and entertaining as David P. Smith for years to come.

Nick Lyons does concert reviews for Monday Magazine. To read Nick’s blog, visit

Calendar: Zombie Trilogy Nights

26 10 2010

It’s Halloween again, but never fear, Monday will keep you in the know.

It'll be gruesome!

Win tickets to Club 9one9’s Zombie Trilogy Night by emailing your favorite zombie facts to (SUBJECT:ZOMBIE TRILOGY). You’ll get to enjoy Night of the Living Dead THURSDAY with Team Canada DJs, Dawn of the Dead FRIDAY and Day of the Dead SUNDAY with DJs Kris Reign and Marshall A. $500 in costume prizes each night. Zombie stage, Go Go dancers and a free zombie make-up table!

Don’t forget that there’s more spooks to be had.

Festival Of Fear – Lots of spooky activities for Halloween, including the Festival of Fear, the Cornfield of Horror, the Crazy Train, Madame Isabella’s Seance and Carnevil, in addition to the Corn Maze, Pumpkinfest and Petting Farm. THURSDAY-SUNDAY. $10/$7. 250-477-5713,

ZombieFeast Horror Film Fest – Prepare to be scared at this second annual event featuring classic horror films, art show, door prizes and a zombie and  horror short film competition. FRIDAY noon-9pm, SATURDAY noon-midnight, and SUNDAY 1-9pm at the Absolute Underground Store (1215 Government) $5.

The Ghosts of Victoria Festival – Spooky ghost tours at St. Ann’s. FRIDAY and SATURDAY 6:30 and 8:30pm at St. Ann’s Academy (835 Humboldt). $12/$10. 250-953-8829.

Halloween Tango Masquerade Tango Ball – Celebrate your passion for tango with a special treat of acclaimed Buenos Aires dance couple Guillermo Salvat and Silvia Grynt. Workshop 1:30-5:45pm ($65/$30) and dance 8pm-midnight ($25/$20). SUNDAY at Lynda Raino Dance Studio (715 Yates). 250-802-1652.

Psychic Circle Fall Fair – Includes tarot, palm, aura mediumship, clairvoyants and more! THURSDAY-SUNDAY at the Bay Centre (1150 Douglas). Free. 250-478-4226.

Calendar: Cheesecake Burlesque Revue

20 10 2010

Even though Halloween is more than a week away, there’s still plenty to do. Enjoy some wine or take in some early spooks with this week’s events.

Win tickets to the Cheesecake Burlesque Revue’s All Hallows Peep Show on THURSDAY. Just email (SUBJECT:CHEESECAKE BURLESQUE) to win!

We’ve got extra prizes to give away this week, so check back regularly for updates.

Candlelight Conservation Dinner – Some of Victoria’s favourite dining establishments will be dimming the lights to raise awareness about energy conservation. THURSDAY.

Festival Of Fear – Lots of spooky activities for Halloween, including the Festival of Fear, the Cornfield of Horror, the Crazy Train, Madame Isabella’s Seance and Carnevil, in addition to the Corn Maze, Pumpkinfest and Petting Farm. THURSDAY-October 31. $10/$7. 250-477-5713,

Glitz, Glam and Ghoulish Charm – Your guide to dressing up (or down) for Hallowe’en, with the gals of Cheesecake Burlesque. Registration required. SATURDAY 1-3pm at the Crystal Pool (2275 Quadra). $35.

Zombie Walk – A zombie walk is an organized public gathering of people who dress up in zombie costumes. Most often taking place in a city center point, the participants lurch their way around the city streets and through shopping malls in a somewhat orderly fashion and often limping their way towards a particular hot spot for fresh human flesh. SATURDAY 2pm at Centennial Square. Free.
Tanzania gala – Enjoy an African buffet and entertainment. Proceeds support business development in Tanzania. SATURDAY 5:30pm at Oaklands Community Hall (2827 Belmont). $50. 250-294-3414.

Crush: A Fine Wine Affair – Jurgen Gothe and Kathy McAree, are co-hosts of Victoria’s newest annual wine event. Celebrate the season of wine with tastings, food pairings and an international Fine Wine Auction. Sips will be offered by some of BC’s best wineries, including Peller Estates, Quail’s Gate, Joie Farm, Thornhaven Estates, Arrowleaf Cellars, Orofino, Hester Creek Estate, The View, Averill Creek and Sea Cider too. Wine tastings will be paired with savouries created by the Inn’s award-winning Executive Chef, Brad Horen, and complemented by the cool jazz of the Noah Becker Trio. Proceeds support the Belfry theatre. SUNDAY 5pm-8pm at the Inn at Laurel Point (680 Montreal). $65. 250-385-6815.

Calendar: Win Tickets To See CR Avery Band

6 10 2010

Win two tickets to see CR Avery Band at Hermann’s on October 22 by emailing (SUBJECT: HERMANN’S). And don’t forget to enjoy this weeks events.

Festival Of Fear – Lots of spooky activities for Halloween, including the Festival of Fear, the Cornfield of Horror, the Crazy Train, Madame Isabella’s Seance and Carnevil, in addition to the Corn Maze, Pumpkinfest and Petting Farm. THURSDAY-October 31. $10/$7. 250-477-5713,

Beautiful Fall Colour in Trees – Join a City arborist for a classroom session on the mechanisms of fall colour, then head out for a tour of interesting trees in the neighbourhood. Registration required. SATURDAY 10am-Noon. $35. 250-361-0732.

Beyond Missionary – An educational and informative afternoon catered towards helping you expand your sexual repertoire.. an opportunity to get in touch with your kinky side. Reservations required. SATURDAY 2-5pm at Euro Studios (1821 Cook, 3rd Floor). $80/$50.

Games Night – Play Jenga, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and more. MONDAYS 9pm at Ocean Island Café (791 Pandora). Free. 250-385-1784.

Afternoon Tea Dance – Live big band music, dancing, gourmet delicacies with fine teas. TUESDAY 2pm at the Ambrosia Centre (638 Fisgard). $20. 250-475-1948

Scrabble Night – Bring a board and a friend, or play on the in-house boards and find an opponent there. TUESDAYS 6:30-9pm at James Bay Coffee & Books. Free. 250-386-4700.

Check in each week, because the Monday Mag Calendar contests give away free stuff!

Ahead By A Century

6 10 2010

If you haven’t read our interview with The Top 100 Canadian Singles author Bob Mersereau yet, pop on over here and see what he has to say about this list. But if you have and are ready to start perusing, here’s the whole 100. Mull it over and let us know what you think.
Does kd lang deserved to be buried all the way down at #56? Does Bryan Adams really deserve three songs in this list? Should Neil Young’s songs even count as Canadian singles when most were released south of the border? Is it kinda embarrassing that Maestro Fresh Wes is, at #22, so far up the list? (According to his interview in the book, he thinks so. “I’m tired of having people look at me, reference me, what I’ve done, back in the day,” he told Mersereau. “I don’t need to stroke my ego . . . It’s two decades, man. It’s not funny no more.”)

Chime in and have your say. What would you put on this list, and why? What shouldn’t be on this list, and why not?

1. American Woman, The Guess Who
2. Heart of Gold, Neil Young
3. The Weight, The Band
4. Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams
5. Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
6. Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf
7. If You Could Read My Mind, Gordon Lightfoot
8. Takin’ Care of Business, Bachman Turner Overdrive
9. Four Strong Winds, Ian and Sylvia
10. Snowbird, Anne Murray
11. Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell
12. Tom Sawyer, Rush
13. Try, Blue Rodeo
14. New Orleans Is Sinking, Tragically Hip
15. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot
16. Suzanne, Leonard Cohen
17. Life Is a Highway, Tom Cochrane
18. These Eyes, Guess Who
19. Sundown, Gordon Lightfoot
20. Underwhelmed, Sloan
21. Up On Cripple Creek, The Band
22. Let Your Backbone Slide, Maestro Fresh Wes
23. Tired of Waking Up Tired, The Diodes
25. The Spirit of Radio, Rush
25. Oh What a Feeling, Crowbar
26. High School Confidential, Rough Trade
27. Echo Beach, Martha and the Muffins
28. Sweet City Woman, Stampeders
29. Wake Up, Arcade Fire
30. If I Had $1,000,000, Barenaked Ladies
31. Lindberg, Robert Charlebois
32. I’m an Adult Now, The Pursuit of Happiness
33. Nothin’, Ugly Ducklings
34. Coax Me, Sloan
35. Closer To the Heart, Rush
36. Picture My Face, Teenage Head
37. Shakin’ All Over, The Guess Who
38. Signs, Five Man Electrical Band
39. Lost Together, Blue Rodeo
40. Sonny’s Dream, Ron Hynes
41. The Safety Dance, Men Without Hats
42. Claire, Rheostatics
43. One Fine Morning, Lighthouse
44. (Make Me Do) Anything You Want, A Foot In Coldwater
45. Sunglasses at Night, Corey Hart
46. Working For the Weekend, Loverboy
47. Raise a Little Hell, Trooper
48. Rise Up, Parachute Club
49. Black Velvet, Alannah Myles
50. Seasons In the Sun, Terry Jacks
51. Montreal 40C, Malajube
52. Cinnamon Girl, Neil Young
53. You Oughta Know, Alanis Morissette
54. 1234, Feist
55. Rebellion (Lies), Arcade Fire
56. Constant Craving, k.d. lang
57. Rockin’ In the Free World, Neil Young
58. Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy, Michel Pagliaro
59. Lovers In a Dangerous Time, Bruce Cockburn
60. Bobcaygeon, Tragically Hip
61. A Case of You, Joni Mitchell
62. New York City, The Demics
63. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, Bryan Adams
64. Ahead By a Century, Tragically Hip
65. Five Days In May, Blue Rodeo
66. I’m Moving On, Hank Snow
67. Pour un instant, Harmonium
68. Magic Carpet Ride, Steppenwolf
69. Money City Maniacs, Sloan
70. My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion
71. Crabbuckit, kos
72. This Beat Goes on/Switchin’ To Glide, The Kings
73. Old Man, Neil Young
74. 1990, Jean Leloup
75. Eyes of a Stranger, Payola$
76. Hasn’t Hit Me Yet, Blue Rodeo
77. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Bachman Turner Overdrive
78. Wondering Where the Lions Are, Bruce Cockburn
79. You Could Have Been a Lady, April Wine
80. Let’s Shake, Teenage Head
81. Help Me, Joni Mitchell
82. We’re Here For A Good Time, Trooper
83. Sunny Days, Lighthouse
84. Le petit roi, Jean-Pierre Ferland
85. Cuts Like a Knife, Bryan Adams
86. The Hockey Song, Stompin’ Tom Connors
87. Wheat Kings, Tragically Hip
88. Mon pays, Gilles Vigneault
89. Home for a Rest, Spirit of The West
90. Letter from an Occupant, New Pornographers
91. No Time, Guess Who
92. As the Years Go By, Mashmakhan
93. Hey Hey My My, Neil Young
94. Diana, Paul Anka
95. The Maker, Daniel Lanois
96. Nova Heart, The Spoons
97. La complainte du phoque en Alaska, Beau Dommage
98. Secret Heart, Ron Sexsmith
99. Run to You, Bryan Adams
100. Weighty Ghost, Wintersleep

%d bloggers like this: