30. Pride Tiger
This beer-soaked, ‘70s-influenced riff-rock quartet (made up of former members of 3 Inches of Blood and S.T.R.E.E.T.S.) is, sadly, no more. If you never got a chance to see them live, you really missed out; rarely have you seen four guys having so much fun on stage. The crowd always had a pretty killer time, too.
29. Dan Mangan
Dan Mangan is one of those artists who comes around every once in a blue moon and is especially difficult to classify. Conveniently tucked into the “indie rock” genre by the media, Mangan’s refreshingly folksy, poppy, rootsy sound complements insightful lyrics sung with a most righteous voice. It is best described as belonging in the musical genre of Completely Most Awesome.
28. Channels 3&4
Everyone involved with Channels 3&4, a band somewhat ignored in this city during their brief lifespan (though they garnered some attention overseas), has gone on to form some of the city’s most recognized groups: Twin Crystals, Shearing Pinx and, recently, Gang Violence. Now that the above-mentioned bands have done well for themselves, the current resurrection of Channels 3&4 should reap the attention they have always deserved.
The Tranzmitors took the best sounds of decades past and brought them together in a harmonious union of sound. Blending power pop, garage rock and punk feelgoodery, the Tranzmitors are exactly what we’ve been searching for these ten long years. If there were a Best Dressed Band of the Decade category, they’d win that as well.
26. Kids These Days
Though this quintet collective only released one album in 2004, the folky-proggy-synthy-tinged rocker All These Interruptions, is a definitive, yet still entirely unique, Canadian power-pop masterpiece. The members of Kids These Days accomplished this and banged out some mind-blowingly epic live shows too—all while maintaining high profiles in such other prominent local bands as Octoberman, Mohawk Lodge, Bells Clanging and Tailor Island. The fact that all five regularly took turns fronting Kids These Days and playing different instruments, live and on the album, added to their charm.
25. Tegan & Sara
Tegan & Sara (and their devotees) were teenagers in 2000. Hardcore fans remember them then: rounder, folkier—miles from the sleek, sexy rock machines they are today. Then, both (not just Tegan) called Vancouver home, and could be seen in multiple venues the year over. This was, for Vancouverite fans, a golden age. All those nights together, that confessional stage banter? As they get famous, it’s like we’re watching our cool friends get the attention they deserve.
24. Shearing Pinx
This No Wave/punk/noise trio have proven that you can have a successful band in this city without any management or label help. With countless self-promoted shows, handmade releases and several self-booked tours across Canada and the U.S., Shearing Pinx have inspired a new generation of local bands looking to do it for themselves.
23. The Pack A.D.
The Pack A.D. play gritty, soulful blues with the powerful thrust of garage and punk. The tight-knit duo of singer/guitarist Becky Black and drummer Maya Miller have released two excellent albums, but it’s their live show that inspires religious devotion (or,fanaticism?). Leaving crowds with their hands in the air, whooping and hollering. Testify! Amen!
22. Fun 100
There are so many memories I have about the Abbotsford pop-punk fivesome. At the Shindig finals, they wore Canucks jerseys and their friends waved towels throughout their whole set. On the final chord, singer Ryan Dyck dove over the drum set and onto his brother Bruce’s lap. There was also the final show, Feb. 3, 2007. One hundred people too many flooded the Mt. Pleasant Community Centre, a guy busted a window with his head and had to be taken to intensive care, the cops came, and the sound guy cut the power before Fun 100’s set even started. Then Johnny Hughes, at the top of his lungs, started singing a Fun 100 song, 200 people joined along, and four or five songs later, I’d just witnessed the best show of my life.
21. The Clips
Matterhorn is an under appreciated classic. The less than favourable Pitchfork review comparing the band’s music to Radiohead (as if that’s a bad thing), and stunted release didn’t help. But the album feels like a rainy Vancouver night with its textured layers and Edo Van Breemen’s ghostly voice over “dance to stay warm” drum beats.
20. AC Newman
If you like the poppiness of the New Pornographers then you’ll love Carl Newman’s solo project in which he indulges his sugary side. His songs have everything you could ever want in terms of catchy hooks and memorable choruses. His two albums are so easy on the ears they can be called, without question, some of the best power pop you’re likely to hear.
19. Twin Crystals
A fixture in Vancouver noise-punk and the epitome of the scene’s d.i.y. aesthetic, Twin Crystals boast a near-constant stream of cassettes, CD-Rs and 7″ singles, as well as being our city’s most reliably chaotic live act. Buy their shit and go to their shows, because this band fucking rules.
18. The Evaporators
The Evaporators deliver energized garage punk that has nothing to do with serious and everything to do with fun. Notwithstanding a rock-solid recorded output, Nardwuar’s righteous visual impact is unquestionable and it’s onstage where they spread their joy thickest. No one can remember a time when this band was not peaking. To see the Evaporators live is to turn a sweaty mass of hair and nylon screaming about cheese into a cherished lifetime memory.
Combining exotic Middle Eastern and World music sounds with cut up drum- machine beats, Basketball ends up tapping into something primal, creating their own genre. You really have to see them live to experience it firsthand; like an orgy, it’s very much a communal thing.
16. Nasty On
What can you say about Vancouver’s favourite drinkin’ band? Remember when vocalist Jason Grimmer had us all chanting “Fuck The Pic” at said venue because the staff wouldn’t let him drink his 26 of Crown Royal? Remember guitarist Allen Forrister barfing a neat little puddle onstage at The Brickyard without missing a lick? Remember the Nasty On kicking ass every time they played? If you don’t, you were probably as drunk as them.
15. 3 Inches of Blood
Should you ever find yourself defending Helm’s Deep against thousands of marauding orcs and facing almost certain death, put on some 3 Inches of Blood right before riding into the thick of things. You will fight valiantly and crush the enemy; you won’t even need Gandalf.
14. Apollo Ghosts
Perfectly crafted pop songs delivered by a band oozing with zest and spontaneity. When one considers the impressive collection of projects Adrian Teacher has previously been involved in, it’s easy to see that Apollo Ghosts’ swift ascension to the upper echelon of the Vancouver music scene was no fluke.
13. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
“Orchestrated chaos” might be the best descriptor for this dearly-departed oompa band’s distinctive brand of circus pop. Their delirious live shows were awe-inspiring spectacles that not only traded in cacophonic melodies and mildly menacing anthems, but also some of the most frenzied playing this side of a music therapy session.
Nick Krgovich is the closest Vancouver has had to a pop genius this century. Starting with their debut in 2001 through three more albums, Krgovich, P:ano’s lead songwriter, along with bandmates Larissa Loyva, Justin Kellam and Julia Chirka, showed remarkable range and inventiveness. These are albums worth listening to for the rest of your life. Though they’ve since broken up, P:ano’s spirit lives on with No Kids (Krgovich, Kellam and Chirka) and Kellarissa (Loyva’s solo project).
11. Pink Mountaintops
The bearded Steve McBean’s efforts as an individual songwriter have a more personal feel, and are definitely less riffy than his more famous project, Black Mountain. Pink Mountaintops have come a long way since their 2004 self-titled release, which had eight songs about sex (even so, some of them are quite good). With this year’s Outside Love the band has cemented themselves as one of the best Vancouver has to offer.