PRE-POP 2017

Category: music 195

HUGE week of music coming up at The Capital Complex as bands migrate east for Halifax POP Explosion.

Image: The Capital Complex

October is a pretty special time of year for music in Fredericton, specifically at The Capital Complex. As the city’s most popular music venue for touring acts, The Capital annually plays host to an unusually high volume of performances this time of year as bands make their way to Halifax to play the Halifax Pop Explosion. Pre-Pop, as it’s come to be known, brings with it a full week of performances and often gives New Brunswick music fans a chance to see some of the country’s top indie acts up close and personal. This year is no exception. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the week to come. 

October 14

Julie Doiron + LUKA

Julie Doiron started playing music in 1990 with Canadian Indierock band Eric’s Trip. They were the first Canadian band to sign to Seattle’s Sub Pop Records. After the break up of the band in 1996, Julie started performing on her own. In 2001, Julie became the first Canadian to sign to Jagjaguwar records releasing 8 albums on the label. Over the years she has had the great fortune of playing with so many wonderful musicians. Some of her collaborators include The Wooden Stars, Herman Dune, Shotgun and Jaybird, Mount Eerie, Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles , Daniel Romano , and Rick White of Eric’s Trip with whom she made her three most recent albums.

The Voice of Luke Kuplowsky, aka LUKA, has that rare ability to register love and hurt in a tangible and tactile manner. It is a voice of quiet intensity, capable of producing an ASMR-like response: an embodied and euphoric rush through the subtle wavering and control of his words. At times, recalling the conversational deadpan of Lou Reed and at others the airy lightness of Arthur Russell, LUKA’s voice is a nuanced and rich tenor that is comforting as it is arresting. 

Julie Doiron + LUKA | The Capital Complex | Fredericton, NB | Doors: 7:00 p.m | Show: 8:00 p.m | View Event 


October 16

Bat Sabbath + Which Witch Is Which + Death Valley Driver

Cancer Bats Frontman Liam Cormier has previously spoken about his love for Black Sabbath, telling Metalhammer they had the “darkness that so many bands aim for.” He added: “Black Sabbath have that 70s sound but the songs are so heavy that they transcend time. “When you listen to Black Sabbath, that intro is still so creepy and undeniably heavy – and there are a million examples like that.

“For us, diving back into those records, when you listen to those albums as musicians, you can only listen and say, ‘Woah, you guys were onto something that was so next level!’ It is timeless’.”

Moncton’s With Which Witch Is Which and Death Valley Driver open the show. 

Bat Sabbath + Which Witch Is Which + Death Valley Driver| The Capital Complex | Fredericton, NB | Doors: 8:00 p.m | Show: 9:00 p.m | View Event


October 17

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan + Whoop Szo + Motherhood

YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN are an Asian diasporic and Indigenous art cult that creates maximalist, genre melting rock. They infuse heavy metal with a dark, psych-pop sensibility and incorporate traditional forms of Iroquois social song, Filipino percussion, and Asian opera. This self-styled “Noh-Wave” collective combines their music with ambitious DIY stage shows, designing monochrome paper sets and elaborate performances.are an Asian diasporic and Indigenous art cult that creates maximalist, genre melting rock.

WHOOP-Szo from away buds, what else can we say? Ok, ok, At one listen, you might latch onto their folkie regionalism and proclivity for place-based storytelling, and then, two tracks later, it might be the thoughtful architecture of their noise-building that reels you in. For some, it’s the psychedelic tint that captures them.

Motherhood our hometown babes. They make shit weird and loud and we love ’em.

Yamataka Sonic Titan + Whoop Szo + Motherhood | The Capital Complex | Fredericton, NB | Doors: 8:00 p.m | Show: 9:00 p.m | View Event


October 18

Look Vibrant + Gianna Lauren + Pony Girl + Kylie Fox

Look Vibrant is a noise-pop project founded by longtime friends Justin Lazarus and Matt Murphy. Their songs contain complex arrangements, unusual harmonies and an abundance of vocal effects; For live shows, Look Vibrant expand from a duo to a quintet, which adds to the group’s mountain of noise and exuberance.

Gianna Lauren is a project of atmosphere, voice and warm guitar tone. The onstage charisma and the aura within her tenor is remarkable. Adaptation, longing, and displacement; melodies breathe as if they pulse, sharing space with stringed instruments and thoughtful tendencies.

Warm guitar tones, brooding melodies and remarkable tenor are the cornerstones of Lauren’s sound. Her songs are laced with themes of human behaviour and adaptation, and are delivered with thoughtful and charismatic performances.

Pony Girl explores the tension between what we want and what we have on their sophomore album FOREIGN LIFE. Guy-girl pop vocals score the foreign lives we create when we cheat on a partner, lose a friend, force a smile, and further divides separating fantasy from reality. Pascal Huot and Yolande Laroche’s alluring harmony is our paradox as we struggle to close the distance.

Kylie Fox is from Saint John, NB. Tongue and cheek story telling of cities, drugs and Canada. 

Look Vibrant + Gianna Lauren + Pony Girl + Kylie Fox | The Capital Complex | Fredericton, NB | Doors: 9:00 p.m | Show: 9:30 p.m | View Event


October 19

Quality Block Party brings its traveling musical showcase to Fredericton October 19.

Quality Block Party brings its traveling musical showcase to Fredericton this month. Much like the tap-takeovers that have helped build brand awareness for local breweries, Quality Block Party 1.4 will occupy both stages at The Capital Complex on Thursday October 19 showcasing a lesser-known side of East Coast music.

While it’s not an official Pre-POP show, Quality Block Party 1.4 will fill both stages for a full night of music equal in strength to everything else happening this week. Read about their show here: Quality Block Party 1.4 – The Fredericton Edition

Quality Block Party 1.4 | October 19, 2017 | The Capital Complex – Fredericton | 9 p.m. | $10 | View Event



October 20

Dead Heavens + New Swears

The first thing usually noted about Dead Heavens is the hardcore, punk and post-hardcore provenance of its members, from its revered frontman and guitarist Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Rival Schools, Vanishing Life, Quicksand) to guitarist Paul Kostabi (Youth Gone Mad, White Zombie, Psychotica), bassist Nathan Aguilar (of Cults), and drummer Drew Thomas (Youth of Today, Bold, Into Another).

The next thing noticed is how fully and freely Dead Heavens stands apart from those earlier projects. Whatever Witch You Are, their first full-length, plays effortlessly as a new-classic blues rock album— a new-millennium Fresh Cream or Let it Bleed— only with sharp-angular sounds, noticeably psyche inflections, and melodies that seem wrought out of rebar: strong, pared down, and purposeful at every point. If anything, their musical origins have permitted Dead Heavens to approach blues and psyche rock unnostalgically, arriving at an audibly honest sound, stripped of any of the tassels or affectation. The drums hit heavy. The guitars hit heavy. Yet hovering above them both is always Schreifels’ sandier vocals, urging us on through life’s endless freakishness and frustrations.

While New Swears’ destructive self-released videos landed them on the radar of local law enforcement, the band also earned a rep for their riotous performances, releasing two DIY LPs, and raging across Canada, the US, and Europe.
Late 2016 saw New Swears sign to Toronto’s Dine Alone Records with the release of their “Brand New Spot”/“Sugar Heavy Metal” 7”. Now, they’re racing out of the gate with their latest LP, and the Magic of Horses. With a title inspired by the classic adventure stories of the Hardy Boys, these songs combine the swagger of Thin Lizzy, the refined, hook-heavy songwriting style of Nick Lowe, and hazy country-fried laments in the vein of Kurt Vile, all delivered with the manic energy of the punk bands with whom they often share the stage.

Dead Heavens + New Swears |The Capital Complex | Fredericton, NB | Doors: 9:00 p.m | Show: 9:30 p.m | View Event


October 21

Partner + Casper Skulls

Partner is the “mature” effort of two best friends named Josée Caron and Lucy Niles. Borne of their bizarre and fortuitous friendship, Partner confidently harnesses the infinite power of Rock to explore a variety of niche yet strangely universal themes.After a freakishly productive year of writing, recording, and touring, Partner are ready to release their debut to the world, titled In Search of Lost Time (September 08, 2017). Their enthusiastic and actionpacked live set has led to them being named the “best new band in Canada” in the Globe and Mail.

Casper Skulls have built a reputation as one of Toronto’s most exciting new bands on the back of their self-released “King of Gold” 7″, their first Buzz Records single “Mink Coats,” and their intense live shows with acts like Dilly Dally, Screaming Females, SUUNS and Greys. Following an early 2016 Canadian tour supporting Solids and the The Dirty Nil , the band began working on the EP in February. Vocalist/guitarist Neil Bednis describes the EP as “a document of some of the earliest songs we worked on together,” and as such the EP functions as a snapshot of a young band at a moment of discovery, harnessing for the first time the depth and direction of their considerable potential.”

Partner + Casper Skulls |The Capital Complex | Fredericton, NB | Doors: 10:00 p.m | Show: 10:30 p.m | View Event


October 23

The Courtneys + Versing

The Courtneys drift back to the sound of the early ’90s, drawing from strong influences including Teenage Fanclub, Pavement, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, and The Clean. Courtney Love’s dreamy guitar riffs add a timeless power-pop element to the punk backbone formed by Sydney Koke’s driving basslines, while drummer/lead singer Jen Twynn Payne delivers heartfelt lyrics with a powerful vocal style. These components come together through a passionate collaborative songwriting process to deliver a special blend of fuzzy “artisanal grunge.”

Versing craft a more spacious, shoegaze-informed guitar sound, coming across like an amalgam of Flying Nun Records-y melodic post-punk, loud-soft Swirlies-inspired gaze-pop, and Pavement-esque collegiate nonchalance.” – Brittnie Fuller, The Stranger

The Courtneys + Versing |The Capital Complex | Fredericton, NB | Doors: 10:00 p.m | Show: 10:30 p.m | View Event

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