The Sweet Lowdown CD Release
Victoria’s timeless roots string band, The Sweet Lowdown, is flourishing with its new album, May, being released Thurs., Nov. 15 at the Victoria Event Centre.
The trio — Amanda Blied on guitar, Shanti Bremer on banjo and Miriam Sonstenes on fiddle — who share vocal and songwriting duties, are excited about the possibilities to perform, tour and teach that may accompany their second album.
“We’ve got that springtime of life feeling,” says Bremer. “We’re all really excited. We’re on the same page and we feel like the opportunities are endless.”
The album features 10 original compositions and two traditional numbers, exploring previously unchartered territory and a greater range of influences.
“We’ve musically been exploring some new areas as a band, in addition to the new songs,” says Bremer.
“Miriam knows quite a lot of Celtic music, so she wrote an Irish jig and I love East Indian music, so I wrote a song influenced by that,” she says.
Bremer has visited India many times, but a recent trip to the city of Lucknow for a friend’s wedding inspired a song by the same title on the album.
“It was complete craziness. That’s sort of what the tune is like as well,” she says with a laugh.
The band worked with a new producer on this album, recording on Mayne Island (in May) with Adrian Dolan (The Bills, Ruth Moody).
“We’ve known him for a long time and we’re so excited and honoured he would work with us,” says Bremer.
Dolan plays mandola and viola on two tracks. Sam Howard also played bass on a few tracks.
Dolan set up a three-storey recording studio, with each musician on a separate floor playing live together.
“We couldn’t see each other, but it has the energy of playing live,” says Bremer.
The live show features The Sweet Lowdown’s hard-driving bluegrass, old-time groove and sugar-sweet harmonies, and also a few special guests. M
Ghosts of the Plaza
Get ready for an interactive theatre experience exploring our very own Victoria Plaza Hotel (formerly the Century Inn) in Ghosts of the Plaza, opening Nov. 16 at the Oddfellows Hall (1315 Douglas).
Hear stories of suicide, suspence and the supernatural told from the perspective of some of the women who lived and worked there.
Ghosts of the Plaza follows the hotel’s 101-year history as a prohibition-era Speakeasy, an Arabian nights-themed hotel and a beatnik coffee house in an interactive series of vignettes. They may have been silent until now, but ultimately, the Ghosts of the Plaza will have their say.
Shows are Fri., Nov. 16 at 7 and 9:30pm and Sat. Nov. 17 at 4:30, 7 and 9:30pm. It’s also on the following week Nov. 23 and 24 (same showtimes). M
The Mo Show
We’re mid-way through Movember and patchy whiskers are making way for full-on moustaches. To celebrate, head down to the Fernwood Community Centre (1240 Gladstone), Mov. 16 (5-10pm) and 17 (10am-5pm) for the first annual Mo Sho.
The event features a unique artists’ market, local food, beer, live bands and other entertainment.
Proceeds will go to change the face of men’s health through the Movember campaign.
Tickets are available at Lotus (Bay Centre), Ditch Records, Wolf/Sheep Art House and The Milkman’s Daughter. All tickets are by donation. M
Dry Wit ACT ii
Creative producer/director Rod Crawford and executive producer Michael Walsh bring together funnymen Wes Borg and Morgan Cranny for the world premier of the sketch: DETOX The Musical; recording artist Janet Panic; musical guests The New Souls and much more for an evening of entertainment that will benefit LifeRing alcohol and drug addiction support groups on Vancouver Island in Dry Wit Act II, a comedy variety show and silent auction hosted by CTV’s Stephen Andrew, Fri., Nov. 16 at the Metro Studio (1411 Quadra). Doors at 6pm, silent auction until 7:30pm and show at 8pm.
Advance tickets are $20 at ticketrocket.org or $25 at the door. M
Revolutionary musical collective The Coup will bring their new album Sorry To Bother You (released October 30 via Anti- Records) to Club 9ONE9 Sun., Nov. 18.
The Coup consists of vocalist-writer and activist Boots Riley accompanied by a versatile cadre of musicians. Sorry To Bother You is an audacious new work by a visionary band that features guests such as Das Racist, Vernon Reid, Jolie Holland, Anti Flag and more. The tracks merge danceable beats, punk urgency and the astute social commentary of hip-hop to craft a refreshingly unique sound that draws from the past but never sounds anything but futuristic.
Tickets for this show are a measly $9. Now that’s some value!
Get em at Ditch Records or Lyle’s Place.