Like Christmas when it gets to be the end of November, and Easter when the trees start to sprout leaves after a long winter, it’s starting to feel like it’s almost here. Just so there’s no confusion, we’re not talking the night when the fat bearded guy stuffs himself down the chimney or when a white rabbit breaks into the house to strew chocolate offspring and rainbow coloured eggs everywhere.
No, we’re talking about the Squamish Valley Music Festival, taking place August 8-10 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields. In anticipation of the big day, we’re spending the next few weeks rounding up local artists who’ll be playing this year’s event, and getting them to answer some important questions.
Like who they’ll be cueing up on the iPod for the Sea to Sky drive to the site, what they’ll be making sure to pack to make it through their set, the all-time dream festival lineup, and who they plan to stalk backstage. And that’s just the start of our probing. Read on, but not before you pick up your Squamish Valley Music Festival ticket. The last thing you want to miss is today’s featured local artist....
If all goes according to plan, Squamish will become a throbbing, orgiastic, single cell organism when Fine Times pulls out the woozy fuckpop of “Hey Judas” on Friday. Here’s vocalist Matt Moldowan (with a little help from bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell) to provide a little pre-concert foreplay.
Sea To Sky Playlist
I like my Sea-to-Sky playlist to chronologically summarize my entire day as I have it planned.
Lionel Richie “All Night Long”
The pre-game warm-up. We're going to party, Karamu, fiesta, forever.
Sparks “Prayin' for a Party”
‘Cause we are, right?
Kriss Kross “I Missed the Bus”
Somehow managed to miss that 11AM shuttle. Thankfully there's another one at 3.
Adam Green and Binki Shapiro “Here I Am”
We made it. Jeff slept in, but we caught the second shuttle.
Jay-Z and Kanye West “Welcome to the Jungle”
Technically it's a valley, but whatevs.
Bryan Ferry “Let's Stick Together”
Wise words. There's going to be a lot of people there. We should partner up with a buddy, and plan a specific meeting place in case we get separated!
Prefab Sprout “Appetite”
Feeling pretty famished after all that dancing. Remember, Squamish Valley Music Festival allowed us and our friends to bring a small lunch-sized container. Also: let's stay hydrated, we don't want to pass out and miss Fine Times' set.
Style Council “Shout to the Top!”
Because, unlike Prince at the Vogue Theatre, if we shout loud enough, they might come back for a second encore.
R.Kelly “Ignition (Remix)”
After Vampire Weekend encores with "Walcott", we should probably head back to the tent, yes?
The Weeknd “Coming Down”
I know, Lionel said we were going all night long, but let's be real here.
- Cool moves
- Thick skin
- Your claustrophobia, tackled
- A healthy amount of tolerance for the heavily intoxicated bro next to you
- The patience to bear with your favourite band’s new songs
- Knowing that the band on stage is saving that hit you love for the end of their set
- A mental note of the whereabouts of the festival’s porta-potties
- Enough cash for yourself and at least one bro, who will forget to bring cash
We'd Love to Hang With:
The sound tech at the Meadow Stage (where we’ll be playing). For 20 or so minutes, they’ll be our master, so I’d wanna make sure we’re tight with them. Plus, everyone knows that techs have the best stories.
First Festival Experience:
Jeff: The first festival I ever attended was Edgefest at Winnipeg Stadium in 1997, but that story begins and ends with teenage me, flanked in a Headstones t-shirt, picking boogers and popping zits in a men’s washroom. The first one worth remembering was the Chicago stop of Lollapalooza in 2003. I’d made the 16 hour trek from Winnipeg with a friend, with the sole purpose of catching Queens of the Stone Age, whose album Songs for the Deaf had been tattooed into my Panasonic Shockwave.
I still remember standing in the amphitheatre, and out they strolled: all four of them blowing darts and guzzling beer. Joey Castillo takes to the kit and just starts mashing the opening skins to "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire" and boom! The guitar kicks in and my eyes split apart; one’s on Josh, gyrating like metal Elvis, and the other is on Nick, who’s screaming so loud that the vibrations literally shave the hair off my head.
One after the other, they’re just rolling out the hits, bang, bang, bang. Then, out comes Mark Lanegan, who looks like he just got pulled out of a coffin, and he just RIPS it for three songs. By the time “Into the Fade” rolls in, I’m crying golden tears made of $12 Miller Lite. The set ends on “No One Knows,” and I just collapsed into a heaving pile of Winnipeg.
The rest of the festival was kind of a blur. I remember you couldn’t bring in a camera (but, you could buy a disposable camera for $25), bottled water was nine bucks, and somewhere on a side stage, Steve-O from Jackass was jamming beer bottles into every available orifice. But ya’, Queens was the shiiiit. One of the only times I can ever recall where an event I’d highly anticipated got blown out of the water.
As stellar As This Year’s Squamish Bill is, What’s Your Fantasy Fest Line-up?
Start to finish*:
- Michael MacDonald 1978, performing Minute by Minute front to back without the Doobie Brothers
- Lionel Ritchie 1986
- Hall and Oates 1983
- Ludacris 2004
- Pulp 1998
- The Rolling Stones 1971
- ACDC 1977
* Go West (1991) would come out to perform a karaoke rendition of “King of Wishful Thinking” between each and every set to keep the crowd’s spirits high
What's Your Official Rider Request?
Pretty chill list:
- Access to a private, sterilized toilet (for Matt to hang his head on and puke)
- 5 bottles of hand sanitizer (for Matt)
- 5 bottles of moisturizer (for Matt)
- A marble fountain that rains Smarties
- 1 small model house made entirely of Cool Ranch Doritos, for the purpose of crawling into it and eating your way out (for Jeff)
- 5 bottles of Coke, chilled to the point that it’s barely consumable
- Go West’s “King of Wishful Thinking” played ad infinitum over the hospitality area speakers
Trivia time: What’s Squamish’s official slogan?
“Not in your Bandsintown app, but we’re workin’ on it!”
The Festival takes place at Hendrickson Fields & Logger Sports Ground. Quick—what’s your favourite logger sport?
The one where you jump from log to log and try not to drown. First prize would have the winner’s likeness drawn into a 2013 reboot of "The Log Driver’s Waltz".
Fine Times plays the Squamish Valley Music Festival’s Meadow Stage at 5 p.m. on Friday (August 19).