Five Shows To See This Week: Armin Van Buuren, BYOP, Charlotte Cardin, and Vancouver icons Skinny Puppy

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      If there’s a loose connecting thread to this week’s must-see shows, it’s that sometimes “goodbye” doesn’t mean for good. So, as you wait for the return of Grinderman, Talking Heads, the Smiths, White Stripes, R.E.M., and Led Zeppelin, celebrate not only those who are back, but those who are about to say farewell—at least for now. 

      Charlotte Cardin 

      At the Commodore on November 16 and 17

      There are high-achieving multi-taskers, and then there are, sadly, the rest of us. Montreal’s Charlotte Cardin is one of those rare folks who stands out from the common rabble on multiple fronts, starting with a genetic makeup that separates the beautiful people from those of us who take public transit. Starting out as a model, Cardin has made a seamless transition into a musical world that combines the best parts of Bristol trip-hop, sultry Motown soul, and throwback Paris jazz. The best thing about Cardin? On her new 99 Nights, the songwriter once again casts herself as someone who is completely fresh out of fucks to give, not to mention convinced that few things are more painful that meaningful human relationships. Going through a rough patch? If 99 Nights lyrics like “Scars on my feet from the egg shells/But why would you care?” drive home anything, it’s that Cardin understands your pain. (Tickets: here

      Armin Van Buuren 

      At the PNE Forum on November 17

      Hang around long enough with something to say and you will become an icon. Over the decades, Armin Van Buuren has made it crystal-clear he has zero interest in coasting on past glories, starting with his continuing to spotlight the best in electronic music to 40 million listeners on his A State of Trance radio show. The Dutch master’s last full-length, Balance, earned accolades for a willingness to colour outside the boundaries of traditional trance. His latest three-part trilogy, Feel Again, “focusses on re-establishing the connection to and between friends, family and fans,” which is another way of saying the 46-year-old still cares while others are just showing up for the paycheques. Remember when the Chemical Brothers helped introduce the term “superstar DJs” to the world on 1999’s Surrender? They could have been talking about Van Buuren. (Tickets: here)

      Be Your Own Pet

      At The Pearl on November 18

      There are a couple of ways of looking at Be Your Own Pet, which made a surprise return to action in 2021 after a 13-year break. One is a story that—for a while—came to a fiery close right when things couldn’t have been more interesting. For a five-year period in the early ’00s, BYOP were the most punk garage band on the planet, hitting the stage—including a famous show at the Commodore—with a mission to fuck shit up in the most thrilling of ways. And then, as soon as things were getting insanely great on the music side of things with Get Awkward, it was suddenly all over. The rock ’n’ roll landscape is, of course, littered with acts which subscribe to the belief it’s better to burn out than to fade away. And funnily enough, the more notorious the band—whether you’re talking the Sex Pistols, Stooges, or the Refused—the more there sometimes ends up being a feeling that there was unfinished business. And that explains Be Your Own Pet not only getting back together in 2021, but actually realizing it still had something to say, which explains this year’s Mommy on Jack White’s Third Man Records label. Welcome back—you’ve been missed. (Tickets: here)

      Deap Vally

      At The Pearl on November 18

      “It’s been an incredible adventure, but it’s time to move on.” And with that statement, Deap Vally’s Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards have served notice that, after a decade of playing together in one the American underground’s most underrated two-pieces, things are coming to a close. As runs go it’s been a deepy rewarding one, with the Los Angeles-based musicians starting out in scuzz-blues territory, and then eventually going on to embrace their inner art stars. The brilliance of 2021’s Marriage was the way those two worlds collided beautifully on tracks like the mystical thumper “Magic Medicine”, which is just one reason why Deap Vally will be missed. Until, that is, the reunion 10 years from now, which we’re already looking forward to. (Tickets: here)

      Skinny Puppy

      At the Commodore on November 23

      Here’s a question for which there is no real answer, except perhaps a potentially sold-out Commodore: has Skinny Puppy got the respect it deserves in Vancouver? That’s not to say the long-running project of cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre isn’t loved. For proof of that, consider the local outrage earlier this year when Skinny Puppy announced the initial dates for its Final Tour to coincide with the group’s 40th anniversary. Conspicuously absent was a Vancouver show. As happy as we are now to be able to see Skinny Puppy in the intimate confines of the Commodore, given the band’s status as alternative legends, perhaps the Forum, Rogers Arena, or BC Place would seem more fitting. Why? Guess whose grinding dark-garden blueprint for electro-industrial helped convince Ministry’s Al Jourgensen that he was meant for something more nightmarish than foppish synth-pop? Grimes, Moby, Foals, and Front Line Assembly are just a smattering of the acts who’ve cited Skinny Puppy as one of the reasons they became fascinated with art and music. Trent Reznor has lovingly admitted to using the group’s work as an early template. Still unclear on why there is so much love? How about this: “Tin Omen”, “Assimilate”, “Dig It”, “Stairs and Flowers”, “Spasmolytic”, and—holy fuck, we could go on an on and on. Sometimes respect is something that’s truly difficult to put into words. (Tickets: here)