Folk fest ousts artistic director At its annual general meeting on January 30, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society’s board of directors voted not to renew the contract of Dugg Simpson, the fest’s artistic director for the past 12 years. VFMF managing director Barbara Chirinos told the Straight that she is not privy to all the details of the board’s decisions so she could not comment on the reasons for Simpson’s ouster. She did say, however, that the search for his successor is under way. “The board actually is very confident that they’ll have a replacement—in terms of an interim artistic director—very, very soon,” she said. Before becoming its artistic director, Simpson had a long association with the festival, first as a volunteer and then as volunteer coordinator. He helped renew public interest in the event by booking acts—including the likes of Buck 65 and Feist—that would attract those who wouldn’t normally be interested in folk music. Simpson is also credited with helping the festival pay down the massive debt it was burdened with earlier this decade.
This year’s edition of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival is scheduled for July 18 to 20 at its traditional home, Jericho Beach Park.
> John Lucas
D.O.A. rocks with rock In a case of one local legend teaming up with another, Vancouver punk veterans D.O.A. have hired Bob Rock to produce their next album. The band, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has announced that Rock will be behind the recording console for a new CD called Northern Avenger, slated for release in May on singer-guitarist Joe Keithley’s Sudden Death Records. The sessions are scheduled to start this month at the Warehouse Studio in Gastown.
Rock, of course, is also a veteran of this city’s underground-music milieu, both as a member of the recently reunited Payola$ and as the producer of such notable records as the Young Canadians’ Hawaii EP and the Pointed Sticks’ Perfect Youth album. He even assisted producer Ron Obvious during the creation of some early D.O.A. singles. Rock went on to helm big-budget efforts by Bon Jovi, Mí¶tley Crí¼e, and Metallica. He has been nominated for the 2008 producer of the year Juno for Michael Bublé’s “Everything” and the Payola$’ “Bomb”.
Working with such a heavy hitter might sound a little pricey for D.O.A., which has remained steadfastly DIY for three decades. Keithley, who declined to talk numbers, told the Straight that Rock considers it a labour of love, and a way to give something back to the pioneers of the scene that launched his career. “When I talked to him and finalized this thing, Bob said, ”˜I’m enormously proud of my roots and where I came from, and I think that this would be a good thing to do because the band has got a great stature and great history. And I think it would be a fun thing to do.’ ”
> John Lucas
All the metal you can eat “We don’t care in the least/’Cause our metal is a feast,” Judas Priest’s Rob Halford sang on 1986’s “Rock You All Around the World”. Surely that sentiment would be contradicted by the bands playing the first New Wave of British Columbia Heavy Metal (NWOBCHM) Alliance Charity Festival, recently announced for the Cobalt on March 15. They’ve realized that the hungry cannot live on metal alone, and will donate proceeds from the show to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. The NWOBCHM moniker is a tongue-in-cheek allusion to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, whose riff-heavy early 1980s adherents included Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head, and Def Leppard. Andrew Bak, the drummer for Antiquus, describes fellow participants like Entropia, Dead Soldier, Archon Legion, Retrofire, and Flood of Fire as “up-and-comers that, like us, are inspired by classic metal and early thrash.” Check out the NWOBCHM Alliance group on Facebook for details.
> Lucas Aykroyd