10 Reasons Chris-A-Riffic Loves Vancouver

"Ten Reasons Why I Didn't Leave Vancouver Like a Lot of My Friends This Decade"

Chris-a-Riffic, art by Monashee Sun
Chris-a-Riffic, art by Monashee Sun

[ed. We asked a bunch of people to give us a list of their favourite Vancouver bands from the decade. In addition to doing that Chris-a-Riffic, from Parts Unknown and Bible Belts, also spontaneously decided to tell us why he loves Vancouver enough to stay. We really like this list so we decided to publish it, too.]

10) The amazing amount of Ethiopian Restaurants and Vietnamese Sub places around my neighbourhood.

9) The crazy posters I see that always get ripped down after a couple days but remnants of them remain all over Vancouver.

It must be by the same artist. They are always pictures of faces, like a weightlifter or homecoming queen, that are twisted and distorted and altered in crazy ways. No one ever knows what I’m talking about.

8) The Railway Club.

The last remaining venue of any worth in the city. It’s cramped and claustrophobic when it’s busy. They had to close the smoke pit outside, and you have to book your show eight months in advance if you want one on the weekend. But it’s great. I used to hate playing there, but if you can get the crowd on your side, and with D. Trevlon or Johnny Wildcat doing the sound, it’s awesome!

7) Shindig at the Railway!

Been going since 2001—love it. The hecklers. The bands. The same joke about Terry Fox during the jokes for beer. A Vancouver staple. [ed. How do you kill a one-legged fox? Make him run across Canada.]

6) Finch’s on Pender and Homer.

Great sandwiches. Great decor. The best chocolate chip cookies. Ever.

5) Kyle and Khol: show promoters of the highest design.

They stopped doing it, but their legacy is immense. They put on a benefit to raise enough money to get me to Pop Montreal. They MADE a stage for the They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? CD release. They put on the last Fun 100 show ever, and while all their grey hairs were because of that show, WHAT A SHOW! They were promoters for all the right reasons: they loved bands and wanted to help them out. Promoters like Twee Death, Chez Nous and No More Strangers have big shoes to fill.

They can fill them.

4) The Low Decibel Festival in my shed.

I’ve never been so happy about being a part of something. Twenty-five bands and 120 people filtered in and out of my shed as they were treated to some wonderfully intimate two, sometimes three song sets. My friends Elisha Rembold, Adrian Teacher, Sajia Kabir and Role Mach were highlights for me. Maybe next year.

3) Pop Drones on CiTR.

I love all the shows on CiTR: Anoize, Third Time’s the Charm, Steroscopic Redoubt, Radio Hell, but Mark Richardson’s new show on Wednesday’s starting at 10 a.m. is magnificent. I planned my trip to Solder & Sons (for an Andrew Raycroft) just to listen his show. And having Luke Meat’s show right after isn’t too shabby either.

2) Victory Square Block Parties. [ed. Someone ought to bring these back.]

A big schmooze fest, I know. No one pays attention to the bands until the last band. I know, but I love it. Even when the sprinklers go off. Even when it rains. A big honourable mention to Music Waste as well in the summer. I love you, Cam Reed!!!!

1) Little Mountain Studios.

I love every paint chip on the floor. I love the Cam Reed and Phil Spector portraits. That shitty old piano became the catalyst for my favourite show of all time. It’s got class and character and it’s got Ehren Salazer and his amazing cohorts!!!!!