Get the lowdown on Vancouver's music scene

Immaculate Machine has recorded and released a Mandarin-language version of "Dear Confessor", a song that appears in its original English form on the Mint Records act's most recent CD, Fables . No one in the group speaks Mandarin, however: the whole thing started with a joke from CBC Radio 3 host Grant Lawrence. In response to the 2006 EP Les Uns Mais Pas les Autres –which featured French versions of six of the Victoria-based band's songs–Lawrence announced to his audience that the next Immaculate Machine album would be in Chinese.

"That was before Fables had come out," IM singer-guitarist Brooke Gallupe told the Straight , "So we were like, 'You know what? We've really got to do something from Fables in Chinese.' And so our high-school friend, who lives in Vancouver and is studying Asian studies at UBC translated 'Dear Confessor' for us, and we learned it phonetically. We just kind of learned the sounds and she explained what we were saying, but it sounds more like gibberish than anything, to us." According to Gallupe, Mandarin speakers have responded well to the band members' pronunciation of the translated song, which has been retitled "Wo Xiang Tanbai". "Apparently it's pretty good," he said. "It definitely makes sense. People understand what we're saying." Hear "Wo Xiang Tanbai" at .

> John Lucas

By itself, rock 'n' roll is never going to save the world, but that doesn't mean musicians can't help make life better for the planet's poorest dwellers. Tonight (October 18), Oxfam Canada will present a lineup of five local indie bands in a benefit show at the Plaza Club. , , , the , and will all perform at Music 4 Change, a fundraiser for Oxfam. The organization works to eliminate poverty, injustice, and inequality around the world, with a particular focus on empowering women to effect change in their own communities. Music 4 Change will also feature a set byand talks by representatives of Oxfam Canada and Canadian Students for Darfur.

> John Lucas

How to get live music happening in venue-starved parts of the city? It's an old question, and Kevin Mooney has an imaginative answer: he's putting on a series of concerts in Vancouver's firehalls. "The music will be very eclectic–everything from blues and traditional folk to mainstream jazz and pop," said Mooney, director of the Neighbourhood Fire Hall Concert series. "We'll also have quite a lot of shows specially for kids." The inaugural event will be at Firehall #9 (1805 Victoria Drive), on November 17, featuring the stellar world-music trio of Celso Machado, Sal Ferreras, and John Reischman. Proceeds from the concerts will go to the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund. For ticket info go to .

> Tony Montague