We’re set to have music in the streets of our city with Uptown Live, an event to take place on multiple stages in uptown New Westminster on May 26, from 12PM to 5PM.
The performances will take place an on four sponsored stages, free to the public. This includes a “kid zone”, making this a family event for children and adult music fans alike. Entertainers Gary Oliver of Cinemazoo, Gina Marie Frazier, Clare Brett, and Keith Bennett will be on hand on the VanCity Kids Stage from 1-4PM.
On three other stages, nine Vancouver-based acts will entertain crowds with music that spans the pop/rock spectrum. This is a chance to discover some of the incredible and versatile talent this region has to offer. Check the Uptown Live map to see where the stages are to be set up.
Many local vendors and businesses will be out on the street too. This is a great chance to show local business your support as you take in the music.
Besides the wheres and whens of the event, I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about the acts you’ll be seeing during Uptown Live, and to provide some links so you can preview some of the music you’ll be hearing, and plan out your day to catch each act.
Who: Dan Moxon Trio (1PM, CIBC Main Stage; 3PM River’s Reach Stage)
What kind of music is it?: folk rock, baroque pop
Being a side project from his other musical outlet Bend Sinister, Dan Moxon Trio represents an earthy and melancholic side to Moxon’s songwriting, with a decidedly acoustic approach. Think Iron & Wine, and Elliott Smith for musical reference points here, and be prepared for a crystalline acoustic sound that will catch your ear for the unassuming, yet compelling melody.
Listen/buy: “The Corner”
Who: Earlstown Winter (2PM, CIBC Main Stage; 4:30PM River’s Reach Stage)
What kind of music is it?: roots rock, country rock
Loose, free, and easy country-influenced rock which is not a million miles away from Blue Rodeo or Ryan Adams is what you can expect to hear from Earlstown Winter. The music suggests road trips taken in order to forget lost love, or the quest for one yet to be found.
Listen/buy: “Porch Lights”
Who: The Gay Nineties (3PM, CIBC Main Stage; 5:15 ,River’s Reach Stage)
What kind of music is it?: post-punk, power pop
If you hear something of a Hot Hot Heat-style spiky-yet-sunny nu-new wave in The Gay Nineties, then it may be because this band follows a similar stylistic path. This is influenced in part by ex-HHHeater Parker Bossley who plays guitar and sings in this band, adding some joyous spiky sunshine that is unique to them.
Listen/buy: “Favourite Game”
Who: No Sinner (4PM, CIBC Main Stage)
What kind of music is it?: classic R&B , rock n’ soul
Sweet soul music mixed with rock sounds has been a potent brew for decades. No Sinner continues the sacred tradition with a phenomenal handle on the kind of music that is perfectly suited for open air performance; funky, physical, primal. Fans of Etta James, Susan Tedeschi, and Bonnie Riatt take note.
Listen/buy: “Call My Name”
Who: We Are The City (5PM, CIBC Main Stage)
What kind of music is it?: art rock, cinematic pop
We Are The City adds cinematic scope to texturally varied rock music along the lines of the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. The music from this band is in places hypnotic, lyrical, spacious, epic-scale, and is sublime all-around.
Listen/buy: “Mourning Song”
Who: The New Values ( 1:30PM, Safeway Main Stage; 3:45, River’s Reach Stage)
What kind of music is it?: punk
Named (presumably) after an Iggy Pop record, this is the sound of energetic punk rock that changes direction at any moment, infused with the vigour and spirit of early West Coast punk traditions for which this region is famous. The New Values continue in that tradition proudly, despite any misleading biographical information you might have heard about this band online.
Listen/buy: : “Axe On Your Doorstep”
Who: Fine Times (2:30PM, Safeway Main Stage )
What kind of music is it?: post-punk, new wave
There is something of ’80s post punk to be found in the music of Fine Times, mixing electronics, with jagged guitar, with big drums in the spirit of Echo & The Bunnymen, and Psychedelic Furs. Sonic contrast between light and dark will keep your musical ears interested.
Who: The Left (3:30PM, Safeway Main Stage; 6PM, River’s Reach Stage)
What kind of music is it?: radio rock, anthemic pop
If you crave big, radio-friendly hooks on an epic scale to shout along to, then the Left will deliver. Taking their cues from classic traditions of melodically-driven pop tunes in a rock vein made for heavy radio-play, this band is ready to become a part of your mainstream.
Listen/buy: “Love Don’t Work”
Who: The Zolas (4:30PM, Safeway Main Stage)
What kind of music is it?: art pop
The Zolas musical home is held up by similar foundations to that of The Shins, mixed with the poptastic groove of Franz Ferdinand. A sort of Ray Daviesesque approach to songwriting that is laced with sumptuous irony are only one of the treasures to be found in the music of this band.
Listen/buy: “Cultured Man”
Music is an essential part of being human. It doesn’t matter who you are; you enjoy some form of music. It’s a necessity to life. Spiritually speaking, it’s how we nourish ourselves, and how we bring our communities together in celebration.
Music in the streets is how things should be, friends.
For more information about Uptown Live and the artists who will be playing, check out the Uptown Live official website. Also, don’t forget to investigate the individual sites of the artists above, and seek out their work to buy online!
See you all in the streets on May 26th!