Yeah! Slates are returning to Winnipeg this Friday, Mar. 29 at Negative Space! Woohoo!
As you can tell from my liberal use of excited noises and exclamation marks, this news has me all riled up. Please indulge me momentarily while I give you the lowdown on these “Denim Daddies” from Edmonton, Alberta.
Slates (started in 2008) have taken their brand of socialist punk rock everywhere from Cuba to Eastern Europe, and have criss-crossed Canada too many times to count. Maximum Rocknroll has called them “A nod to the Replacements before they traded in their chucks for cowboy boots,” and their newest single was recorded and mixed by Jesse Gander of Japandroids and White Lung.
But I digress; this column is called “Locals to Look Out For,” not “Gushing Over Touring Acts,” so let’s turn our attention to the Winnipeggers on the bill because there is more than enough home-grown talent to go around.
Drawing you in with a gentle sense of heartfelt wonder and overwhelming beauty, Ian La Rue proves that Heartbeat City is not your typical boring-ass, dude with an acoustic guitar, bullshit.
La Rue has something to say and says it with a pop sensibility that creeps into your mind and sets up shop. Sure, he can slow strum with the best of them—and he works the vocal/piano/guitar arrangement to elicit maximum bittersweet pleasure—but he’s not feeding empty calories. The emotions evoked are earned through thoughtful wordplay and inventive song craft.
The Vibrating Beds
I don’t think it would be hyperbole so say that the Vibrating Beds are one of the best bands on Transistor 66, a label renowned for showcasing some of the best rock n’ roll this country has to offer.
The Facebook event cheekily describes them as “Local Dirtbags” but in my book, the Vibrating Beds are pure class. From the audio visual delights of their two 7” releases—two rock n’ roll artifacts that I know for a fact inspired more than one band to go, “Wow, I wanna make a release just like that”—to a live show that is second to none, the Vibrating Beds have proved time and again that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Topping the bill on a night already jam-packed with awesome, we have Warsaw.
A juggernaut of rock, comprised of Darren Achorn (Sandfly Fever, Meatrack, Projektor), Josh Bedry (Electro Quarterstaff, El Diablo), Curran Faris (Husk, Hide Your Daughters, Greenhouse), and Ethan Osland (Burnthe8track, At Sea). As you can see this band has Peg rockin’ pedigree that is second to none. By mixing catchy hooks and an aggressively technical disposition, Warsaw creates a sound that is metallic without ever giving themselves over any one genre. This keeps their songs fresh and allows a freedom of composition that a lot of bands could learn from; it has also been known to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
As a final note, Negative Space is not your usual venue. It is not a bar; this is a volunteer-run communal space, so be respectful. There is a strict no shithead policy, so please act accordingly.