Best of bands 2013: Fake Shark Real Zombie

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      Remember that ADHD kid who sat in the back of your math class, who always pissed off the teacher by wanting to be the centre of attention, and who knew about all the cool bands long before anyone else? He grew up to be Kevin James Maher, the ever-colourful frontman for Fake Shark Real Zombie (which also includes guitarist Louis Wu, bassist Tony Dallas, and drummer Jason Crockford). The band’s latest, Liar, is a stunning car crash of a record littered with everything from codeine-soaked hip-hop to funk-king metal to art-student alt-pop. And yes, it totally deserves your attention.

      Best local release other than yours:
      “Louise Burns—The Midnight Mass. I love the production on this record—it sort of reminds me of Cocteau Twins meets Slowdive. And Louise has always been, and will always be, one of my favourite lyricists. She’s due for a Polaris win.”

      The year’s best gig:
      “Adam Carolla at the Commodore [on July 26]. ‘You people sure drink a lot in this city!’ said the man, in town toting his own custom alcohol concoction, Mangria, trying to get a word in edgewise over a rowdy crowd of people feeding him shots. A runner-up would be Method Man, also at the Commodore [on March 7], which oddly enough had a similar response—drunk crowd and people throwing weed on-stage. Maybe Henry Rollins wasn’t off the mark calling Vancouver ‘Drunk City’ in his book Get in the Van.”

      Your house is on fire. What album are you saving?
      “Nirvana—In Utero, which was originally titled I Hate Myself and Want to Die, and originally planned to only be released on 8-track and vinyl. It still sounds as sarcastic, sneering, and melodic as it ever did. The greatest drum sounds ever and the whole thing recorded in a week’s time, the vocals being recorded almost entirely in one sitting. Long live Steve Albini.”

      Chip Wilson’s paying, so where’s dinner?
      “The Eatery [3431 West Broadway]. Stare at bizarre sea life as you take a bite out of some. The food is gimmicky and delicious, like my band. Watch the episode of Epic Meal Time where they make fast-food sushi and you’ll begin understanding the menu.”

      We’re reshooting the video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. Who’s your topless costar?
      “Anami Vice. His diet of bark mulch and playground gravel is really paying off on those sculpted abs. He also has a song called ‘Take Your Shirt Off’. It’s like he’d been waiting for this list with bated breath.”

      Let’s make this city more fun by opening a venue. Where?
      “Re-open the Mesa Luna [1926 West Broadway] and make it all ages!”