Notes from the music world

Folk fest welcomes interim A.D.

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has announced the hiring of an interim artistic director. Until a permanent replacement is found, Linda Tanaka will fill the void left by the ouster of Dugg Simpson. Tanaka founded the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival in 1991 and had been its artistic director until this year. Her tenure ended on January 7 when the board of the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society dismissed her from her position. Tanaka declined to address why she was forced out of her former job, but she did tell the Straight about her plans for this year’s Vancouver folk fest, which will take place July 18 to 20 at Jericho Beach Park. According to Tanaka, it will pretty much be business as usual. “I think [it will go] in a bit of a different direction, but not really too much,” she said. “Maybe a few more mainstream artists, but that’s been done in the past too. So, nothing really too new. Maybe a little bit of acoustic blues, and the same world music and folk, and what’s been booked before.”

As the Straight previously reported, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society’s board of directors voted on January 30 not to renew the contract of Simpson, who had been the fest’s artistic director for 12 years.

Go berserk with Thor

Think you have what it takes to rock out with the god of thunder? Prove it by showing that you have the skills to join Thor on-stage. The veteran local rock warrior’s lead guitarist, Steve Price, has issued a challenge to other six-string sorcerers: match him note for note on the instrumental “Berserker” and you might win the chance to fly down to Orlando, Florida, or Hollywood, California, and perform the song live as part of Thor’s upcoming world tour. For full contest rules, and a video of Price showing off his own skills, visit the guitarist’s MySpace page,

To celebrate the release of his new album,Into the Noise, Thor will be muscling in to the Railway Club on March 5 for what promises to be a very loud show with his band. If we’re lucky, he’ll also blow up a hot-water bottle with his lung power and bend an iron bar with his jaw. Thor once told the Straight that he’d love to play stadium shows so he could perform such feats as throwing cars at giants. Sadly, the Railway’s stage is too small to allow for that, but maybe next time.