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If Charlie Daniels had to start all over gain today, he’s not sure what his approach to the music industry would be.
“Today, it’s very visual. It’s about looking good in a pair of tight jeans – which I never did,” said the legendary country star.
But Daniels is good at following his instincts. “When opportunity knocks, it doesn’t stay there long.”
It’s just one of the many lessons he’s learned after five decades in the business. But Daniels doesn’t expect young musicians to learn from him.
“You have to beat your head against the wall,” he said. “You can pass on advice, but you can’t make anyone take it.”
When he got his start in 1958, the concept of being a professional musician in his home state of North Carolina was rare.
“A lot of people didn’t understand,” said the 75 year old. There were no venues, no other musicians’ footsteps to follow in. “My first few formative years were pretty much on my own.”
The wealth of information available to emerging musicians today was unheard, so Daniels surged forward with little more than his fiddle, guitar and the burning need to perform.
“Desire is where everything starts,” he said and that desire has led him to a career as leader of The Charlie Daniels Band, which has yielded hits such as Devil Went Down to Georgia and Long Haired Country Boy, garnered him multiple awards and an induction in to the Grand Ole Opry.
Daniels brings his band to Prince George on Oct. 28, where he’ll spend his 76th birthday onstage at CN Centre. “Retirement is not in my vocabulary,” he said.
One does not simply walk into Barkerville – you party like its 1869 meets stardate 5490.
From Sept. 28-30, things are going to get weird at the historic site as Geeks After Dark, the Vancouver-based purveyors of nerdy nightlife, brings their party up north for a 72-hour, space-time continuum clash where cosplay meets historical interpretation.
What was originally conceived two years ago as a party for a convention has exploded into a semi-regular night out for people who are looking for something different.
Geeks After Dark creator Fairlith Harvey said the party, normally held at The Cellar nightclub is fulfilling a need.
Those with nerdy inclinations aren’t the basement dwellers TV shows and movies make them out to be and they are looking for an excuse to socialize.
“But when we do go out, we don’t want to listen to Lady Gaga. We’d rather hear Ghostbusters and the Bill Nye theme,” Harvey said.
Bringing the party to Barkerville for a three-day convention seemed like the perfect fit, bringing together a variety of fandoms that involve time travel and a living museum.
Participants, taking the party bus up from Vancouver or making the short trek down from Prince George, will be kept busy all weekend. There’s a pajama party with 90s cartoons, an after-dark game of capture the flag, scavenger hunt, dance party with sexy ‘nerdlesque’ dancers and of course historical interpretations of Barkerville – all with costumes welcomeand encouraged.
“I don’t know of a single geek who doesn’t love interacting with normals while in costume,” said Harvey.
The weekend will also feature two performances by acclaimed Charles Ross, who will do both his one-man Star Wars and one-man Lord of the Rings shows.
For more information, or to register, visit www.barkerville.ca/geeksafterdark.htm
by Charelle Evelyn
The members of Faith in the Fallen have their eyes on a big prize. Already making their mark on the local metal scene, they’re on track to play bigger shows, build more hype as they launch off the release of their first EP Only Mountains Pierce the Sky.
“I want to get to a point where kids listen to our music and relate to it,” said lead vocalist Nick Romanuik. “What music’s done for me, I want to do for them.”
Guitarist/vocalist Jake Olexyn shares Romanuik’s vision, dreaming of the day when a young person joins a band because they were inspired by his work.
But there’s one milestone all five band members have to reach first – graduating high school.
At a show, Romanuik, Olexyn and bandmates Cole Franz, Cameron Cochlan and Devin Vassallo blend seamlessly into the crowd as 16- and 17-year-old music fans.
But once they’ve made it to the other side of a performance, they can tell they’ve made their mark.
“We’ve been taken way more seriously in the scene,” said Olexyn. “We’re not just that little kid band.”
With music described as metal/screamo meshed with electronic elements, Faith in the Fallen is on a mission to make audiences remember them when they play with respected groups names like We the Martyr and Structures.
The Duchess Park and Prince George secondary school students recently made the trip to Vancouver for a whirlwind recording session with Matt Roach for their eight-song debut.
“Those were very long days in hot, sweaty rooms,” Vassallo recalled.
But once bitten by the bug, it’s hard to stop. The group is constantly writing and hope to record a full-length album next year. And as they draw closer as friends, they band says they also become better performers.
“We can do nothing but grow,” said Olexyn.
DJ Dan can understand why his friend Deadmau5 is dismissive.
The Canadian producer created a minor controversy this summer when he trivialized DJs as mere button pushers.
But for Dan, who started making waves in the west coast dance music scene in the early 90s, there is an art to DJing that’s getting lost.
“Without a real DJ – a DJ who’s a storyteller – you wouldn’t have such fluid nights,” he said. The trick is to take the crowd on a journey of energy and emotion, to tell them a musical story – something Dan would like to see more DJs take seriously.
“You can smash up the top 10 Beatport tracks, but thing that’s going to keep you in the scene, in the game, is to be a little bit more adventurous.”
That sense of adventure has kept Dan at the forefront of dance music since he got behind the decks in Seattle and earned him his first platinum record in 1999 with his remix of Orgy’s Blue Monday.
“There could be a fusion of polka music and dubstep or acid house,” he said. “Think with your wildest imagination and really push the boundaries of it and make your statement.”
When Dan comes to College Heights Pub date TBA, he will be spinning some of his newest stuff off of new record Disco-Funk Odyssey.
His Prince George stop marks the new era of College Heights Pub, which recently underwent renovations to turn it into a hybrid pub-nightclub venue, complete with LED dance floor.
“All day long, it’s just going to be a really nice, modern but with a really good atmosphere,” explained Entertainment Group owner Dave Mothus.
“But at night it will convert to a place where people can go to dance without shelling out to go downtown.”
Tickets to Dan’s show are only available by filling out an entry form at one of the Shooters locations by request or with the purchase of long island iced tea.
DJ Dan is appearing at Shooters on Ospika on Sept.22 with Nelos and Afreakwent.
After wrapping up a long day of hitting the books, many college or university students enjoy downing a beer or two to unwind. Besides affecting your studying ability for the next day, those drinks might have more of an effect on your body than you think.
Some studies have suggested that there is an association between moderate alcohol use and life expectancy. In these cases, the association has shown that those enjoying moderate amounts of alcohol live longer than non-drinkers. However as Dr. David Bowering, Northern Health medical health officer, points out, the key word is association, meaning the correlation between moderate drinking and living longer has to be taken with a grain of salt. For example, drinking alcohol is typically done in a social setting, and it is known good social networks lead people to live longer, so it is questionable if it’s actually the alcohol that is making the difference, or the socializing around the alcohol consumption.
Combining an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise is not good in the first place, but adding alcohol into the equation causes the unhealthy factor to go off the map. Alcohol is a toxin in our bodies, but what else does it carry with it? Taking beer as an example, there are a lot of extra calories and carbohydrates in a can of beer comparable to other tasty treats we enjoy.
A six-pack of light beer that has about four per cent alcohol content has 100 more calories than a banana split. Drinking a six-pack of dark beer at 5.1 per cent is equivalent to more than three apple fritters when it comes to calories. Even though a lot of us pay attention to our diet, a lot of times we do not take into consideration the sheer amount of extra carbs and calories in beer. Let’s be honest, if we were to eat a banana split or three apple fritters, we would be thinking hard about either modifying our diet and/or getting to the gym to work it off. People typically don’t take the same steps after enjoying a beer as a treat.
A table with more details on the calories and carbs in beer is on the left page.
On a positive note for people that enjoy alcoholic beverages, Dr. Bowering says that if you do live a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet and regular exercise, having an alcoholic drink is one of the simple pleasures in life you might choose to enjoy.
Write what you know. It’s the most common piece of advice given to any scribe.
But for Prince George native Bryce Lokken, that means he’s writing about pain.
“I can only write music when I’m really, really unhappy. It’s almost always driven by something I’m going through.”
In September Lokken, who now splits his time between P.G. and Vancouver, releases his first album under the moniker Swaggerwolf.
“I’m a big fan of songwriters who kind of leave it in the hands of their audience to decide [who a song] is about … but anyone who knows me will have a pretty good idea,” he said.
“The Adulteress EP is a bunch of shit I needed to get off my chest.”
Lokken made the leap from enjoying and playing music to writing his own at the age of 18. And while he’s mainly stuck to rock and pop songs, his new environment facilitated a change to Swaggerwolf’s acoustic sound and a moniker he calls the “most poorly named musical project in the history of time.”
But that’s not because he was swept up in the city’s yoga-granola vibe when he made the move for work.
“When you live in an apartment in Vancouver, you can’t have a drum set, a full band or even an electric guitar plugged in to anything,” he said.
Recorded in Prince George, the new album for free and by donation online on Bandcamp.com – a move Lokken said is good for creating a fan base since someone doesn’t have to be invested in him to want to hear his stuff.
“If someone says ‘I want to listen to this,’ I don’t want to put a price tag on that. Hey, cool, at least they’re going to listen to the music, that’s what it’s there for.”
Photographer Shawn Daniel Mcleod finds his light in darkness.
He’s drawn to characters underrepresented in the fashion and beauty industry; those with tattoos and piercings or a certain menace are where he finds his inspiration.
But just because he likes the look of darker images, doesn’t mean he’s a morbid person.
“I’ve had a ridiculous amount of death in my circle,” Mcleod said. However, he doesn’t let himself get bogged down by grief. “Literally, all my best friends have passed away. That has really sparked inspiration for me to get shit done.” In August, Mcleod made the move from Prince George to set up shot in Calgary where he has access to a greater variety of models and creative personnel. He was first introduced to photography in high school and was drawn to the ability to create art without needing the skill of drawing.
But the cost of experimentation was high before the digital age, and Mcleod put down the camera for a decade, focusing instead on graphic arts.
But after having picked the camera back up about five years ago, Mcleod has been shooting steadily and on a professional level for the past two years – but don’t ask him to do normal.
“I don’t like doing the standard cookie cutter thing,” he said. “I like my characters to have some character.” Mcleod takes that character and creates an entire experience around a moment, a facial expression, a feeling. His shoots take weeks or even months to put together and he designs every aspect of them, from the model’s outfit and accessories to the set.
“I want to be known for what I do when I die,” he said.
Afreakwent has long been a name attached to local house music in Prince George. Now that name has expanded into part of his newest music label Funkvine Recordings. For those of you who don’t know, Afreakwent is local DJ Anthony Voitik and Funkvine Recordings is his latest venture in accessing and promoting local, national and international musical talents.
Anthony is no stranger to the workings of the house music industry. He has played to thousands of people over the years and his resume includes working with Instinct Records (NYC) formerly Shadow Records who are best known for releasing some of Moby’s early work. He also has a single that was remixed by FTC (UK). One half of FTC, Simon Langford received a platinum record for his remix of Maroon 5’s Move Like Jagger.
It was Voitik’s passion for producing and promoting musicians that led him to launch Funkvine in February. “Originally, I started the label to release deep and funky house music.
As the label started to evolve it began taking a broader range – more house music to make you move entered the picture .” he notes.
Part of the label’s growth included the addition of 5 DJ’s to the roster including Shane Patrick Riley (locals will recognize him as UGLY), Lulu Fonda, Didier Banse (from New Zealand), Gavin Morley (based in Leeds, UK), and Ed Herbst (a hip hop turned house DJ based in Berlin, Germany). This year, they also had a guest remix of Tyler Johnson from Blueprint events (VAN).
Anthony attributes the internet to providing the access and networking capabilities to build a worldwide audience for any musician.
Check out everything Funkvine at www.funkvine.com