A new live music series is giving those interested in the independent scene the chance to check out three local acts for $5 on Friday nights, off the beaten entertainment district path.
Website VanMusic.ca and the University of B.C.'s radio station CiTR 101.9 FM have been presenting the Indie Pop Vancouver Series Friday nights at the British Ex-Servicemen's Association on Kingsway near Knight since mid-October.
Daniel Deorksen, guitarist with the Frank Zappa-inspired theatrical funk rock band Two Apple Tobacco, enjoys playing the "really warm-sounding room."
"The British Legion is a great venue and the fact that they're willing to put this series up on Friday nights is fantastic for musicians and groups like ours because we just need more places like that to rock out on a Friday night," he said.
Although the nearly decadeold band has rocked local venues including the Railway and Media clubs, the Croatian Cultural Centre and the Waldorf and Yale hotels, there's always a need for more venues, especially those where Two Apple Tobacco is free to play its "reasonably atypical, eclectic style of music" to a receptive crowd.
"[It's] always just such a pleasure to be able to snag a date like that on a weekend night and bring people out," Deorksen said. "Many bands in town, with that size of venue, will end up playing on a Tuesday through Thursday night in order to get a chance to play."
Oswaldo Perez Cabrera, who has hosted The Morning After Show on CiTR for 11 years and lives near Commercial Drive, said he constantly heard bands bemoan a lack of venues. So he and four friends, including a graphic designer and the bass player of Joyce Collingwood, started the VanMusic site three years ago to promote underground local musical acts of various genres. When Perez Cabrera heard the British Ex-Servicemen's Association, which accommodates 130 punters, lacked customers on weekends, VanMusic and CiTR devised the Indie Pop Vancouver Series.
Each installment spotlights a different genre and most start with a singer-songwriter followed by two bands.
The next show, which happens Nov. 12, instead of Friday, Nov. 11, which is Remembrance Day, features psychedelic bands Sunny Pompeii and Places with Faces. On Nov. 18, Two Apple Tobacco plays with another Frank Zappainspired band, Redrick Sultan, and The Rain and the Sidewalk, which Perez Cabrera compared to Joy Division. Perez Cabrera expects reggae and ska groups to get music lovers dancing, Nov. 25.
Cover is $5 and drink specials start at $2 a glass.
"We want to attract a younger crowd, people that are not necessarily making a lot of money," Perez said. "They don't have the resources to go out and pay a $20 cover to see a band."
Ultimately, VanMusic hopes to create international buzz about Vancouver's music scene.
"It's a very big music scene," Perez said. "Some bands are already touring Europe, like The Pack a.d., You Say Party was there, Brasstronaut, Black Mountain, so there's potential to have a big movement that is recognized all over the world happening right here in Vancouver, [like] Seattle with grunge."
The British Ex-Servicemen Association is at 1143 Kingsway. Shows start at 8 p.m. For more information, see vanmusic.ca.