Squamish Valley Music Festival Band of the Day: Jordan Klassen

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      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....

      A concern for an Enya-related affliction and an appreciation for deodorant are two things we just learned characterize Jordan Klassen. Sort of a less-delicate version of Sufjan Stevens, Klassen brings depth to diverse arrangements that promise to make something intimate of every outing.

      Sea to Sky Playlist:

      Kathleen Edwards "Empty Threat"
      An essential starting point for any JK road trip playlist.

      HAERTS "All the Days"
      The Jordan Klassen band is very sexy so we need sexy summer jams. This is my favourite so far this year.

      Lord Huron "Time To Run"  
      What a lift! What a chant! Sing-along to Mexican cowboy horse chase anthems.

      Jon Hopkins "Sun Harmonics"
      This is the point in the trip where we're out of Vancouver traffic and need to just cruise, man.

      Enya "Caribbean Blue"
      I cannot be dazzled by the sun glaring off the ocean and not be listening to this song. Actually. Like it's a condition I'm kind of concerned about.

      Phosphorescent "Song For Zula"
      This is the point in the trip where we start talking about our hearts.

      Kishi Bashi "Bright Whites"
      This is the point in the trip where we realize that our hearts are boring and we want to sing along to something again.

      Passion Pit "Carried Away"
      More sing-alongs please. A real zinger.

      The Magician And The Gates Of Love "I Want It All"
      These guys are our good pals in Vancouver and I have no idea how this song is not making millions of dollars.

      We Are The City "Baptism"
      We are now arriving in Squamish and it's time to get serious about setting up gear. This song is serious and pretty and focused. 

      Outdoor essentials:

      • Ear plugs: an essential for any show. Take care of your drums, bums.
      • Beer tickets: we are the most beer-snobby band that I know, so these may or may not come in handy.
      • Deodorant: Please, please. For the sake of the hundreds of people who will have their face shoved into moshpit armpits. Please.
      • T-shirt to be signed by favourite band: S, M, L, and XL are available at www.JordanKlassen.com

      We'd Love to Hang With:

      Jordan Klassen: Ezra? Ezra Koenig? Are you out there somewhere?

      Ezra Koenig: (Flies in from outer space on a cloud of Epiphone Sheratons accompanied by a singing African Boys Choir. Ezra is singing falsetto trills.)

      JK: Wow, what a great privilege to meet you. Would you like a beer ticket? (Beer being served happens to be lager)

      EK: You mean one of these? (snaps his fingers, produces a fountain of golden beer tickets)

      JK: Oh, Ezra!

      EK: Who me? I'm not Ezra (removes Ezra mask), I'm Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

      JK: Paaaah! Can we go thrift shopping?

      M&RL: Here's a microphone. Join us on stage, Jordan.

      JK: (Overshadows Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in hyping the crowd all night long.)

      M&RL: We hate you, Jordan.

      First Festival Experience:

      The first festival I ever attended was Creation Festival, a Christian music festival at the Gorge in Washington state. I saw Switchfoot, The Newsboys, The Ws, Project 86, and Five Iron Frenzy. This was during a time when Christian music was all about two streams: ska and hardcore and I was pretty sure that anything that didn't fall into those categories was incredibly lame. 

      As Stellar As This Year’s Squamish Bill is, What’s Your Fantasy Fest Line-up?

      My fantasy festival would be called "Cry Fest". Everyone would go and talk about philosophy and theology and art and be introspective. There would be scheduled sharing times and no one would be allowed to wave their arms in the air like they just don't care, unless it was because they were letting go of something significant in their past. The line-up would include Joanna Newsom, Daughter, Phosphorescent, Patrick Watson, the Oh Hellos, Sufjan Stevens, and Nick Drake.

      What's Your Official Rider Request?

      Our official rider is pretty boring. We ask for tea, a veggie platter, sandwiches or sandwich-making supplies, water, and, of course, craft beer. Also moistened, dark green, medium-sized towels that have been used to dry the tears of a lamb.

      Trivia time: What’s Squamish’s official slogan?

      "Squamish: We are a Town Between Vancouver and Whistler."

      The Festival takes place at Hendrickson Fields & Logger Sports Ground. Quick—what’s your favourite logger sport?

      My favourite lager sport is beer pong.

      Jordan Klassen plays the Squamish Valley Music Festival’s Market Square Stage at 6:10 p.m. on Friday (August 19).