Best of bands 2016: Seven Nines and Tens

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      Dave Cotton wields a wicked six-string, and occasionally sings, with Seven Nines and Tens, in which he’s joined by guitarist Riley McGuire, bassist Max Madrus, and drummer Drew Christie. The postrock outfit’s latest EP, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Slums, alternates between hazy, shoegazing ambiance and skull-crushingingly heavy riffs.

      Best local release other than yours: Blessed by Blessed. We played with them and Behold… The Arctopus, of all bands, when two of ’em were in GSTS!. I just remember thinking, “Who are these kids? Why are they so good? How do they have such good taste in gear?” Same as it ever was. Blessed rule.

      The year’s best gig: The Tragically Hip at Rogers Arena on July 24. They were a bit loose and I was sitting in the nosebleed section, but the atmosphere was tremendous and made for an unforgettable show. I wish I had listened to their last two albums more, because the tracks they chose to play from those records are as first-rate as anything that’s currently contemporary.

      Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes is paying. Where’s dinner? The Ovaltine on East Hastings between Main Street and Gore [251 East Hastings Street]. There are a few reasons for my selection. One, it’s a two-minute walk from my apartment and the food is decent. Two, the New Pornographers took a promo pic in front of it in all its neon-lit glory. That band is so brilliant. Three, Tobe Hooper—the director of one of the best films of all time, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—shot an episode of the 2005 Masters of Horror series there. Insane!

      We’re road-tripping. Who’s on the stereo? Air by Astronoid, Tidals by Spotlights, the Radio Dept., Alcest, the Tragically Hip, Amusement Parks on Fire, Camera Obscura, Atlas Sound, Cave In, Pink Floyd, Failure, and Sunny Day Real Estate. I could continue.

      like that weeknd song, who makes you feel like you can’t feel your face? Anne Emberline, the bassist from Craters. She’s a quadruple threat. Beautiful, brilliant, a stellar person, and she’s from the same county as me back home in Ontario. Craters are so good, too.

      You’re a creative type. Where are we opening a venue? In the Craft Beer Market barn in Olympic Village [85 West 1st Avenue]. Not because I like craft beer, but because it reminds me of the classic venue KEE to Bala in the Muskokas in Ontario. I saw Kim Mitchell, April Wine, and Sloan there, among other legends. Classic.