If you take a random sample of 100 people you’ll find all of them can sing (and 30 or so could put a Welsh choir to shame), at least 12 can play guitar, and one diamond in the rough can play a Wurlitzer like he was born doing it. That’s what we were hoping anyway.
The story of PGI#4 goes back about four years to when we first came across Bend Sinister’s album Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers. Exclaim mag called it “possibly the most musically accomplished rock album by a Canadian artist this year”. It’s that good. And they’re even better live.
In January (a few days before PGI#3) Rob Calder of Boompa Records (boompa.ca) put us in touch with the band and the wheels started turning. Despite their heavy schedule of tour commitments, moving their jam space and some minor brain surgery (true story), the guys started deconstructing a song and rebuilding it with roles for an extra hundred band members.
The guys wanted lots of guitars, percussion, big vocals and someone to play a Wurlitzer. When we sent out the invite for the event, there was a fair amount of finger crossing that the people who RSVP’d would be able to pull it off. We needn’t have worried - especially as we had Watasun and Jeff Bryant in the crowd.
The venue was also a big score – Zulu Records has been an intrinsic part of the music community here since 1981, and as soon as the doors shut at 6pm we went to task turning the place into a make-shift recording studio. Doors for the event opened 45 minutes later so we had to haul ass. Luckily we had a team of volunteers who killed it.
The song for the night, The Road Divided, wasn’t written about a record shop, but it is layered in the nostalgia of small family-owned joints that got run over when the big box stores moved in nearby. In Vancouver, HMV has come and gone but Zulu Records is still standing proud after more than 30 years in business. You can take that as a single digit salute from Vancouver music lovers when it comes to buying tickets, vinyl, and CDs. We love local.
Speaking of local, this event’s libations were provided by the good people at Main Street Pilsner. Not content with just donating the beer, the owners came down and handed out the bright red cans of miracle liquid, and by the end of the night we’d quaffed the lot.
As a non-musician the song sounded pretty complicated, so we built a 12’x8’ map of all the parts and stuck it on the wall - Adam got the duty of pointing to each part as we went through the song. He originally wanted a big foam hand on a stick to aid in the pointing efforts, but the local dollar store didn’t sell hands. They did have bright yellow stuffed platypus, which once attached to a pole is obviously the next best thing. So if anyone ever needs a semi-aquatic mammal with a stick up it’s ass just drop us a note.
Special note: The band’s new album Small Fame came out on July 10th, and the album launch party is at Venue on July 19th. Get tickets from Zulu. And on the night keep asking for Main Street Pilsner. They don’t sell it at Venue, but they should.
Rob Hamilton of Side One (sideone.ca) - for lending us a truck full of sound gear, this really wouldn't have happened without him.
The Volunteers: Caley, Jamie, Michael, Duncan, Joyce, Corinne, Jeff, Kaleigh, Johanna, Joyce, Reid, Layla, Nick, Rebecca and if I’ve missed anyone please let me know asap!
Main Street Pilsner (mainstreetpilsner.com) – Nigel and the crew for not only refreshing our palettes but also serving up the delights.
Zulu Records (zulurecords.com) – Grant and Nick for welcoming us into their space and giving us their hospitality, flexibility and enduring patience with our ever-changing list of needs.
Rob Calder (boompa.ca) – For setting this whole collaboration going.
Bend Sinister (bendsinisterband.com) – Dan, Joseph, Matt and Dana for absolutely killing it.
Band: Bend Sinister (bendsinisterband.com)
Wurlitzer: Jonny Kidney (jonnykidney.com)
Guitars, Backup Vocals and Percussion: Todd Allen, Kayla Allen, Cam Anderson, Adam Bailie, Robin Bancroft-Wilson, Kaleigh Brown, Callie Brown, Ian Burns, Laura Burns, Rob Calder, Caley Campbell, Layla Casper, Trevor Chapman, Adam Charania, Lindsay Chetek, Juliana Christiansen, Jordan Christiansen, Camille Christiansen, Paul Clark, Becky Clark, Greg Cuchen, Abi Cuchen, Cory Curtis, Jake Czerpak, Clayton Dach, Johanna Dalgleish, Dianna David, Andrea Dowd-Dever, Jonathan Dy, Sean Eikerman, Joe English, Julie Ferguson, Abigail Flint, Ariella Fong, Jesse Galicz, Rachel Garrard, Jackie Garrard, Lana Gay, Marc Generoso, Devon Goldstein, Megan Gower, Duncan Greig, Lisa Ha, Sandy Hendrix, Shelley Hilliard, Thea Hoogstraten, Blair Kaplan, Marcus Kaulback, Jessie Kergan, Jonny Kidney, Christian Kieslinger, Naho Kondo, Rebecca Lam, Jennifer Lam, Robin Lee, Miranda Lievers, Reilly Lievers, Jodi Litzenberger, Jamie Lubiner, Nicolas Lypowy, Roger Mahler, Thijs Mathot, Leanne Matilda, Ali McCannell, Katrina McGee, Vanessa Mensink, Donya Metzger, Hilary Miller, Todd Mitchell, Kirsty Munro, Jasmin Parkin, Brian Paterson, Michael Paul, Bernice Paul, Ben Paylor, Tanya Petersen, Mindi Pettitt, Dave Pettitt, Jeremy Radick, Jemma Radick, Patricia Raye, James Rees, Erin Root, Kelly Schmidt, Michael Schwartz, Shana Selwyn, Jonas Shandel, James Shearer, Joyce Shen, Ryan Sherriff, Dawn Stenzel, Milan Stevulak, Kurtis Stewart, Caylee Stewart, Barron Sullivan, Sean Sullivan, Oscar Surla, Mark Tempest, Gill Tempest, Catalina Torok, Holly Truchan, Michelle Tsoi, Stephanie Walker, Hugh Wellman, DJ Wiebe, Vania Winrob
Greg Gillespie (passengerone.com)
Jem Garrard (jemgarrard.com)
Greg Crompton (artaban.ca)
Editing: Jem Garrard (jemgarrard.com)
Rich Smith (youngexecutivemusic.com)
Reid Hendry (reidhendrymusic.com / watasunmusic.com)
Rob Hamilton (robhamilton.ca / sideone.ca)
Rich Smith (youngexecutivemusic.com)
Guest Photographer: Jonathan Dy (behance.net/jonathandy)
The rest of the PGI Team:
Adam Schelle and Kev Holloway (adamandkev.com)
Erin Bishop (filosophi.com)
Teak Sato (teaksato.com)
Mark Parrott (markparrott.com)
Curtis Michael Davey (curtisdavey.com)
Blair Kaplan (blairkaplan.ca/)