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....
Dan Mangan has interestingly enough, unless we are mistaken, never played Vancouver's fabled Commodore Ballroom, this having everything to do with the fact that he jumped from intimate venues like the Cultch right to 2,800-capacity soft-seaters like the Queen E. and the Orpheum. "Robots" off 2009's Nice, Nice, Very Nice got the juggernaut started. The brilliantly adventurious 2011 follow-up Oh Fortune kept the momentum going.
Sea To Sky Playlist
David Bazan “Strange Negotiations”
I can’t stop listening to this song. Bazan has a way of being simultaneously right on the nose and somehow subtly coded. He just pegs all the bullshit all the time.
Fela Kuti “Expensive Shit”
Sometimes this is the only song that will make my kid go to sleep, which is weird because it’s pretty dance-y. Maybe because it’s so repetitive. I love the dull kick drum shots. The horns are insane.
Father John Misty “Now I’m Learning To Love The War”
Tillman has an ability to be dire and hilarious at the same time. It’s important for those to have strong opinions to be able to laugh at themselves (myself included). This song points the finger outward and inward at the same time. Not so much blaming anyone in particular for our ravenous consumption, but discussing the chaos of the blame game.
Tony Scherr “Sacramento”
Feist covered this song on Let It Die and renamed it “Lonely Lonely”. The banjo, the rain, the vibe. It’s out of this world. Beautiful.
Constantines “Trans Canada”
No road trip is complete without this song. Love the electric guitar tone in the choruses. This is one of Canada’s best bands ever.
Plants & Animals “Good Friend”
This is another song that must be played on every road trip. I love the line “I want to wake up and see your shoes in the stairwell”—it’s so Montreal. Because everybody lives in these narrow apartments with outside walkups and they leave their filthy ass snowy shoes in the stairwell instead of mucking up the apartment.
Aidan Knight “You Will See The Good In Everyone”
Why didn’t this album blow up??? It’s so good. Aidan separates himself from the singer/songwriter pack so nicely.
Grizzly Bear “A Simple Answer”
Love the rambling piano here. This song gets stuck in my head for weeks at a time.
Deleted Scenes “A Litany For Mrs. T”
Underrated band from Washington DC. We played with them once in Manhattan. Really dig this album. It’s lo-fi experimental pop with this weird Primus angle. But it never falls into wankery. It’s killer.
Chad Vangaalen “Sara”
One of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard. The chorus eats your brain. Your brain tastes delicious.
Counterfeit an artist pass. That’s where the food and showers are. If anybody looks at you funny, just tell them you’re Questlove...
We'd Love to Hang With:
We met Questlove once when we played with The Roots in Croatia. After every single one of us approached him throughout the day with a very Canadian, “Sorry to bother you, but...” he responded to me “How come you all start conversations with the word SORRY? How about HELLO?”
First Festival Experience:
Children’s Festival on Granville Island. I got to do hand signals on stage with Charlotte Diamond. Suck on that.
As stellar As This Year’s Squamish Bill is, What’s Your Fantasy Fest Line-up?
Got my fingers crossed Kevin Federline will be making a surprise appearance. Best rapper ever.
What's Your Official Rider Request?
I’m not saying we WON’T play if there isn’t a cute dog to pet, but we WILL play if there’s a cute dog to pet.
Trivia time: What’s Squamish’s official slogan?
"Straight Outta Squampton"
The Festival takes place at Hendrickson Fields & Logger Sports Ground. Quick—what’s your favourite logger sport?
Axe-throwing. Reminds me of grandma.
Dan Mangan plays the Squamish Valley Music Festival’s Stawamus Stage at 6:35 p.m. on Friday (August 9).