Five Vancouver Concerts to See (January 11 to 16)

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      Now that you’ve proven you can do it with 10 straight days of Dry January sobriety, there’s nothing wrong with getting back on the horse. Think about what sounds better—sitting around the house counting down the days until the hell ends, or hitting the clubs for a couple of beers and live music? Don’t feel you need to answer, because we already know where you’re at. This week’s installment of shows to see once again places a premium on local talent, which dovetails nicely into our new year promise to ourselves: pausing daily to appreciate the brilliance, and endless variety, of Vancouver's endlessly fertile music scene. Cheers. 

      Georgia Lee Johnson

      At Guilt and Company on Thursday (January 11) 

      The Straight has been championing the brilliance of homegrown heroine Georgia Lee Johnson for at least a half-decade, flagging her as one to watch after the release of 2015’s Wanderling, which bridged ’70s AM-radio pop with unvarnished DIY folk. Think: the most gorgeous parts of the Carpenters and Gillian Welch, Johnson coming on like someone born to run with Weyes Blood and Julie Jacklin. Last year’s January Mind continued to showcase the singer as master of the gorgeously understated, the album’s nine songs made for soft-focus Sundays, lazy-summer sunsets, and snow-dusted winter mornings. January's the one month of the year when you don't have to feel guilty about wanting a break from the endless noise and chaos that is modern life. More than most, Johnson seems like someone who understands. (Tickets: Guilt and Company)

      Elevate Music Project Night Two

      At the Biltmore on Friday (January 12)

      Every musician has to start somewhere, with the sad reality that for every Violent Femmes discovered on the street by the Pretenders, there are a million artists who’ve had to build an audience one fan at a time. Heavyweight promoter MRG commits to—hopefully—expediting that sometimes-long journey with Elevate Music Project, where new and emerging artists are given the spotlight at one of the city’s most-loved venues. Taking the stage at the Biltmore in this second installment will be Grade School, Kers, Mammarudegyal MTHC, Emma Alves, Riun Garner, and Clay Orange. Always remember that someone saw Nirvana at the Community World Theatre in April of 1987. Your future possible bragging rights just might start here. (Tickets: MRG)

      3 Inches of Blood

      At the Commodore Friday to Sunday (January 12 to 14)

      As has been proven repeatedly by bands ranging from Soundgarden and the Misfits to Blink-182 and Blondie, sometimes the best way to remind people how much they love you is to go away for a while. And, when you come back, holy shit, talk about being missed. Vancouver metal warriors 3 Inches of Blood discovered that last year, announcing a reunion after an almost 10-year break. The first two comeback shows at the Commodore sold out overnight, but that means you’ve got a great excuse to call in sick Monday morning, namely by throwing back the Jägerbombs and hoisting the horns Sunday night. Welcome back—by Odin, you were missed. (Tickets: Live Nation)


      At the Harbour Convention Centre on Saturday (January 13)

      If there’s one thing the world could use a little more of at this point in history, it’s peace, love, and understanding. Dear Elvis Costello: you were ahead of your time. Scandinavian producers Marcus Schössow and Thomas Sagstad have been doing their part with anamē, whose blend of progressive house and dream-world trance is showcased on last year’s debut Beautiful World. The duo describes the record as follows: “It captures moments of joy, love, heartache, and everything in between. We hope that the album acts as a reminder, that despite the darkness the world is beautiful, and it is worth sharing.” Overly optimistic and somewhat simplified, given everything going on across the globe these days? Probably, but if music’s good for anything it’s bringing people together, and anamē is on a mission to do just that. (Tickets: Harbour Theatre)

      Odie Leigh

      At The Pearl on Sunday (January 14)

      Continuing with the Elevate Music Project vibe, sometimes you get lucky enough to be there right at the beginning. The White Stripes at the Pic Pub. Adele at the Red Room. Halsey at the Rio Theatre. Odie Leigh first surfaced as a TikTok sensation, with “Crop Circles” speaking to, well, everyone who’s ever sat there staring at a phone that refused to ring on a Saturday night. Flash forward a couple of years, and the New Orleans–based singer-songwriter today has carved out a reputation as a musician who makes magical connections with fans in a live setting. Part of the attraction is Leigh’s plaintive take on American blues and spartan country. But for the real selling point, consider lyrics that would impress no less than Courtney Barnett, starting with, “I don’t think your girl gets off/I think she’s lying to you.” Somehow, you know she’s probably right. And the best part of her being at the intimate Pearl is that you can get close enough to ask how she knows. (Tickets: Modo-Live)