The Value of Thrifting

It’s the holiday season, right? This means you’re looking to buy things.

Hey, you also may want to be looking for things for yourself too!

That’s why I want to write this article today about a place that I think could really help you on those things.

Let’s talk about thrifting.

Yeah, that’s right.

Going to thrift stores, and buying things.

Now, the thing about thrift thing is, if you know how valuable thrifting and can be, you know exactly what I’m going to highlight in this article. You know why thrifting is cool, and you know why it makes sense.

However if you don’t, then that’s OK. Because it’s the end of November and there still loads of time to go out there shopping either for yourself, or for the people that you know and love.

1. The Prices

The best thing about thrifting is the prices. Hands down, it’s the quality that you get for the amount you spend. Thrifting at its core is about saving money. You buy things at a low cost that can be comparable to mainstream store items that would traditionally cost much more. Whether you’re in it for a new sweater, some funky pants, or an interesting piece of decor, there’s something for everyone to be found at a thrift store.

2. The Finds

Once in a while you’ll come across something that you’d never even expect to be at a thrift store. Super rare products will show up once in a while, from name-plated sports jerseys to vintage toys, you never know what some people would be willing to donate. Even things that you may deem as “too good” for a thrift store may find their way into your search. Believe me, the moment you stumble upon these items, you know you’ve found an absolute gem.

3. The Philosophy

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a big fan of the philosophy of thrifting; being able to buy other people’s used items after they have no use for them anymore, putting life back into said item and giving it a purpose once again. Instead of buying something brand new and contributing to the ever growing economy of factories and materialistic production, you can help give meaning to the relics the world already has to offer. Now, I know not everyone’s going to agree with that, but that’s life, right?

And don’t give me that “but the clothes are dirty and I might find something in the pockets” stuff.

If they’re on the shelf, they’ve most likely been looked over and examined. Besides, an normal laundry session shouldn’t be too difficult to do, wouldn’t it?

So hey. Go at it. Try your luck at a thrift store, either for yourself or for the holidays.

I can guarantee that they’ll be something you’d be into.

A Quick Recap Of: “Proper Dose” – The Story So Far

You ever have that perfectly awesome moment when you’re driving home, you’re blasting your favourite song on the speakers, and right as you pull into your parking space, the song fades out into its end?

That’s exactly what I experienced this morning when I was getting off the 25 at BCIT. I was jamming out to The Story So Far‘s newest studio album Proper Dose, and right as the end of the last track, Light Year, was phasing out, the bus pulled up on campus and I got off.

Let’s talk a little bit about that album. Now, Proper Dose has been one of The Story So Far’s more notable records, since it recently turned one year old. As their latest LP, it’s the one with the most star power for the punk rock band.

You may have heard one song from this album on the Evolution 107.9 playlist, as the serenadingly haunting melodies of “Let It Go” pop up once in a while. That song features a really creative and pleasant riff, while Parker Cannon’s vocal performance remains stellar as always.

The rest of the album though has a nice blend of lighter acoustic performances, and its fair share of harder tracks, each carried with compelling singing and the same fast-paced and precise drum performances.

When the going gets hard, it gets real hard. Some of their heavier tracks like the lead Proper Dose, Keep This Up, and If I Fall, all feature similar elements but are all equally as enjoyable. The guitars are loud, the melodies are easy to sing along to, and the drums can pound on for days.

“If I Fall” is my personal favourite track, and if I’m being honest, a lot of that has to do with the imagery induced by the really unique music video. The song by itself is an aggressive yet vocally astounding performance, carried through with a classic sounding riff that isn’t all too complicated. It’s almost as if the guitars make way for the vigorous yet calming vocals, which, combined with Ryan Torf’s rapid drumming, make for an emotionally compelling anthem. The music video features lead singer Cannon walking around both rural and metro Japan. Something about the aesthetic really gets to me, and it’s one of my favourite music videos in punk rock music.

All in all though, Proper Dose is definitely an easily accessible album if you’re a fan of rock music in any fashion, and if you’re primarily a pop punk or punk rock person, it’s a must-listen in every sense of the word.

It’s a 4.5/5 for me.

Cooler Times Are Calling – A Sudden Realization

You know, I made a pretty piquant realization this morning on my way to school.

The moment I stepped out of my front door at 6:40 AM, I felt like something was a little bit off compared to what I was used to.

Now, I will say that it took quite a while for me to actually process what was going on, but by the time I got on the 25 after getting off at King Edward station on the Canada Line, it really started to settle in.

You see, I’m always paying attention to my surroundings, so when I was looking out the window on the bus ride to school this morning, I noticed one thing, and pretty much one thing only.

The fog.

This bus was completely, involuntarily encapsulated by layers and layers of this sea of fog.

I couldn’t see past about two or three meters away from the bus’ milky windows, and everything beyond my vision was just a wall of opaque, unfiltered, indomitable grey.

That’s when it really hit me right then and there.

It’s pretty much winter already.

Now, to be honest, I had kind of, subliminally been preparing for this.

I would dress in thicker clothes and layer up a little bit more, but this morning was the point that I actually realized: 2019 is coming to an end, and the warm and relaxing days of the year are already long gone.

So I guess this article could serve as your little wake up call.

Hey.

Fall’s almost over, and winter’s getting ready to come right in.

So layer up.

It’s cold.

The last thing we’d want to do in this weather is to go out unprepared, because we know that snow’s on its way.

By the time the frost settles in and your breath becomes visible, it’s time to really acknowledge that we’re on the verge of the end of 2019.

Woolworm’s Album-Release Party is Tonight – Let’s Talk About That Album (Awe)

Tonight marks the album-release party for the Vancouver rock band Woolworm, at the Red Gate Arts Society!

With this special event in place, let’s go over the band’s latest LP, “Awe”, and why it’s worth the listen.

The common theme I’ve picked up with the Awe project as a whole is distortion, heavy chord delivery, and smooth melody performances.

Let’s start this one from the ground up.

The drumming on this record, and for most of Woolworm’s discography as a whole, remains impressive as always. The intensity and complexity of the percussion layout really adds a layer of aggressiveness hidden underneath the instruments.

Speaking of those instruments, the guitars run rampant throughout the record, with the distortion cranked, and power exuding behind every strum.

The bass is definitely notable and plays an underrated part throughout the record. People always say the bassist’s job is to make the music feel more thick and full, contributing to the rhythm and the harmony. This is accomplished really well on Awe, with the bass setting the tone for each track.

The vocals aren’t necessarily strong in a dominating way, but they’re strong in that they convey a sense of calm and precision among the powerful sound of the instruments.

Another underrated on this album in my mind are the background vocals and harmonies, which definitely establish its place throughout many songs, adding to that gentle delivery of the vocals.

The titular track sets the biggest example of all these things, blending it in a way that sets the tone for the rest of the album.

Some songs are groovier than others, in particular “Hold the Bow” presents a faster paced and classy sounding riff.

“Finally” presents a heavier rift and instrumentation delivery, with a simple yet effective guitar solo that portrays the melancholic theme presented in the lyrics.

The final track, “Woe is Me” strays away from the distorted guitar-driven approach of the rest of the album, and instead goes with a distorted bass, domineering over the remaining power-chords left with the 6-strings. The vocal performance on this track is deep and leering.

Overall, Awe by Woolworm feels like a complete and well thought out experience that rock fans, punk rock fans, and alternative rock fans could easily pick up and enjoy.

Mint Records has set up the album release party for the band later tonight at 8pm, with tickets being $10. The album available on the band’s bandcamp page, and for streaming on YouTube.

Choir! Choir! Choir! is Coming to Vancouver to Take Over Your Vocal Cords

Let’s paint a little scenario right here.

Your house? It’s empty.

Your neighbours? They’re gone.

In this little scenario you’re all by yourself; the world is yours, and there’s nothing holding you back.

Now. What if, in this scenario, I asked you to sing a song—and I asked you to sing this song to the best of your ability, absolutely capitalizing on every nook and cranny and every little note that you memorize.

What song would you sing?

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey? Hey Jude by The Beatles? Maybe something newer?

You see, the thing is, it doesn’t really matter what you would sing. What matters to me, is the fact that you will sing. That’s what matters the most to me. Because everyone has that little spark within them waiting to burst into a flame of song, but not all of us have the willingness to let it burn.

But that’s okay.

Because “Choir! Choir! Choir!” is kicking off a tour, and they’re coming straight to the Vogue Theatre on January 18th.

What exactly is Choir! Choir! Choir! though? Well, it’s an event started by Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman. Their website describes the event as:

A weekly drop-in singing event… [with] equal parts singing, comedy, and community-building.

That’s right, Choir! Choir! Choir! is an event dedicated entirely to singing, and its purpose is to allow you to release that flame.

You’ll be given the lyrics, you’ll be taught the melody, and you’ll be singing your heart out.

This is different from karaoke. This is different from singing at home in solitude. In fact, it’s like a weird combination of both, because when you’re singing is drowned out by all the others around you belting out the same notes and words, it doesn’t really feel like you’re being singled out, and you’re given the biggest opportunity to just let it all release.

Check it out. It seems like a really unique event, and that’s because it is.

If you want to sing, I think Choir! Choir! Choir! is the place to do it.

Check out their website here: https://choirchoirchoir.com/

Songs of Peace: A Remembrance Day Concert — An Overview

Yesterday was Remembrance Day.

As we took some time to step back and remember those who sacrificed their lives to give us the freedoms that we enjoy today as Canadians, there was a panoply of events yesterday that honoured our soldiers.

Some of us went to our local monuments, decorating them with flowers and poppies.

Victory Square in particular was filled with bystanders and supporters. From veterans to cadets to politicians, many gave heartfelt speeches and paid their tributes.

One event took place on West 7th Avenue in Studio 16, two blocks removed from Granville and West Broadway.

“Songs of Peace: A Remembrance Day Concert” featured many Vancouver artists from a variety of musical styles and backgrounds, all coming together to perform songs that acknowledge and commend those in the armed forces.

Let’s go over a few of those artists.

Deidra Ann is an Albertan / BC artist who blends smooth and powerful female vocals with rock instrumental elements. She was a finalist in the 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition.

Lee Nichols is a Vancouver multi instrumentalist, with a background in guitar, vocals, bass, mandolin, and the piano.

Paul Clifford is a man you’ve definitely seen before. He’s the guy playing the electric guitar on the corner of Granville and Robson once in a while, in downtown Vancouver. It’s not often that a street artist can be so recognizable, but Clifford’s got that reputation.

Sarah Ann Chisholm is an actress and environmental short film director, who took the stage with a vocal performance.

Other musical acts included Jordan Christopher, Bruce Newton, Catherine Ho, Pauline Doyle, and a plethora of instrumentalists, spanning pieces played on the fiddle, harp, cello, bero, oud, and bagpipes.

The overall concert was a beautiful collection of music. The website highlights that the purpose of the concert was to showcase Vancouver artists coming together to remember lives lost due to conflict and share the hope for a better world.

A Quick Look At: The Black Keys (And How They’re More Relevant In Vancouver Than You May Think)

We’re just under two weeks away from The Black Keys finishing off their first North American tour in four years, coming into town to rock Roger’s Arena once again; and trust me, when I say again, I mean, AGAIN.

Why exactly should you care though?

Well, let’s go over a bit of who The Black Keys are, and why they’re buzzing in the conversation of Vancouver concerts.

The Black Keys have been a mainstay in the indie rock and garage rock spotlight for over a decade now, after bursting onto the scene with their first album “The Big Come Up” back in 2002. That album received quite the cult following, and it’s been up and up for The Black Keys ever since.

Mainstream LP releases like Rubber Factory, Brothers, and El Camino have done plenty to set The Black Keys forward in the eyes of rock fans today. The duo’s increasing popularity contributed to the tremendous hype when they first announced their tour earlier this year.

You may have even heard a few of their hits on Evolution 107.9 once in a while. We’ve got our fair share of Canadian charting singles in the rotation, like Fever, Tighten Up, and Little Black Submarines.

However, I think many Vancouverites would know of The Black Keys through other means; not the radio or the concerts, or the album streams or the YouTube videos. Sure, those are all great ways to discover and delve into new artists, but I think where The Black Keys received a bulk of their popularity in this city, is with another instance that presents itself frequently in Rogers Arena.

I’m talking about the Vancouver Canucks.

That’s right—the catchy, mechanical, and overdriven guitar riff of “Gold on the Ceiling”, a certified gold single in Canada, was the Canucks goal song for a span of 2013 to 2014.

You’ll know it when you hear it, and if you’ve seen any Canucks game from that time frame, there’s no chance you’ve missed out on it.

With that being said though, The Black Keys have an impressive and beloved discography that extends much beyond one song that most NHL Fans would recognize.

Mark your calendar if you’re an alternative rock fan: November 24th is the date that The Black Keys wrap up their tour, and it’s all going down at Rogers Arena.

Our Planet Earth – Carbon & Emissions

On this episode of Evolution 107.9’s Our Planet Earth, Gio Palermo gives a brief overview on the element of carbon, and how it allows life to form on earth as we know it. Further on, the focus shifts towards carbon emissions, and how the element that we know provides us with so much, could also potentially take away so much as well down the line.