Every city needs a band that thinks rock ’n’ roll peaked in 1963 with the Kingsmen, and Thee Manipulators (singer-guitarist Mike Roche, guitarist Alex Angel, keyboardist Melissa Lee, bassist Mike Park, and drummer Ben Frith) have the job amply covered for Vancouver. Their album Ease Up on the Breakdowns! gets you drunk, sweaty, and stoopid inside a raging 35 minutes of organ-juiced shoutiness, leaving you pumped enough to smuggle Neidermeyer’s horse into Dean Wormer’s office. All that’s missing is a letterman sweater on bug-eyed frontman Roche.
Best local release besides yours:
“Way too many good ones within the last year, but most notable would be the Pack a.d.’s We Kill Computers. They’ve really found their own sound, although they still don’t clean their ashtrays out at the practice space.”
The year’s best gig:
“The Night Marchers at the Rickshaw [on July 25]. John Reis, from Rocket from the Crypt, it’s his newer band. I’m just a big fan of anything the guy does. They actually opened for the Obits, but the Obits were really boring.”
With apologies to Ke$ha, who would turn you on if they took it off?
“I’ll have to go with Steve Ferreira, the drummer for Timecopz and Manic Attracts. If only for his soft yet manageable Afro. I wonder if the carpet matches the drapes?”
Michael Buble donated the profits from tonight’s show to you. Where’s the party?
“The Morrissey [1227 Granville], because they’ve always been really good to all of us and it’s a quick stumble home. It’s always a good night when you catch [manager] Paul [Douglas] in the right mood. And by that I mean drunk.”
What classic album needs a 180-gram-vinyl rerelease?
“A full-length LP of all the unreleased tracks by Vancouver’s ’60s garage-punk kings the Painted Ship, 180 grams or not!”
Your Lotto Max numbers came up. Where are you opening a venue?
“Pimp my McBarge!”