The Blue Note & Rose Blog


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5 Reasons to Catch Ekali

When: Tuesday, December 5thDoors at 7:00 p.m., show at 8:00 p.m.
Where: The Blue Note
Tickets: $15
Opener: Medasin + JUDGE

Finals are right around the corner, but here are some great reasons to skip the half-assed study sesh you might be planning and check out Ekali…

1. Significant musical past

Starting out in the Vancouver music scene as a bassist for the band Said The Whale, Ekali’s (Nathan Shaw) band earned a JUNO Award for Breakout Group of the year. As individual efforts kept him making beats, he gained SoundCloud recognition displaying a handful of tracks with over a million streams. This ability to remix all sorts of genres is most likely what paved the way to his invitation to The Red Bull Music Academy, beating out 4,000 other applicants.

RBMA is a world traveling music series where 60 hand-selected singers, DJs, producers and other musicians collaborate to further their advancement within music. Ekali is part of the 2014 Tokyo class, where he joins other notable musicians, Flying Lotus, TNGHT, Ta-ku and even Aloe Blacc, as alumni.

2. Highly hip-hop influenced

In 2015, Ekali earned the writing credits to the songs “Preach” and “Wednesday Night Interlude” off of Drake’s album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late  from samples of his original SoundCloud release “Unfaith”.

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This hip-hop involved background seems to be a direct influence on his collection of hip-hop releases like “Threatz” by Denzel Curry (Ekali & Gravez Remix) and his newest song, “Babylon”. If you are a hip-hop or trap fan and aren’t accustomed to electronic styles, this is a good show to catch.  

 3. Knows how to bring a crowd

Last semester, Ekali opened up for Troyboi right here at The Blue Note and showed how he deserves to be the main act. From the moment Ekali started, a crowd of about 100 slowly expanded to about 650 as he rounded off his set. As more and more people filled in, the set became so much more involved and you could feel the energy all around, especially in the catalyst himself, Ekali.

Among the many festivals he toured this past season, I caught his set at Middlelands.

Here he is turning a crowd from nothing to a mob:

4. The Babylon Tour

The USA production involves floral stage designs to match most of his song releases and strategic light placings that give the off a modest club vibe. The Babylon Tour contains an abundance of dates in cities all around the world, and nearly all are in venues with a capacity of less than 1,000. These two factors make for an original show that is highly dependent on both the artist and the crowd. Look to see more risks taken by Ekali to match the diversified crowd.

5. Mix master

Evident in almost all of his live sets and recorded mixes, Ekali demonstrates his ear-catching ability to mix some of the calmest trance and future bass tracks into D&B and heavier trap/grime beats. This ability to jump bass genres while staying in key and keeping the beat will blow the minds of fans of all genres. He has series of awakening mixes that convey his niche of music. He also shows his vast abilities across the entire electronic spectrum displayed in several credible live mixes like Diplo & Friends and triple j, featuring all sorts of artists and genres.

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Emo Royale: Bring eyeliner and angst

When: Friday, December 1stDoors at 8:30 p.m., show at 9:30 p.m.
Where: Rose Music Hall
Tickets: $5
Featuring: Conman Economy, Zach Sullentrup, Between Elsewhere and Blue Jay

Flashback to 2007: your favorite pair of shoes is a worn-out pair of Converse with song lyrics written on them, “Sugar We’re Goin Down” is your Myspace Song, your AIM username reads something like xXRAwR123Xx, and there’s no such thing as too much eyeliner.

Sadly, ten years has passed. A lot of your favorite bands have since broken up (or even worse, they sold out and are releasing radio-pop records), while AIM and Warped Tour are on their deathbeds.

However, there’s good news!

You can relive all your teen angst at Emo Royale on Friday December 1. I’ll be there, and you’ll probably find me scream-crying the lyrics to “You’re So Last Summer” and reminiscing the time I met Adam Lazzara after Taking Back Sunday’s set at Warped Tour circa 2011.

The newest edition of the Royale family will include sets of Taking Back Sunday performed by Conman Economy, Fall Out Boy (pre-hiatus, obviously) performed by Zach Sullentrup & His Terrible 20s, Paramore performed by Between Elsewhere, and Never Shout Never performed by Blue Jay.

RIP AIM & WARPED TOUR </333


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The Last Waltz: A Thanksgiving Tradition

THIS FILM SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD!

On November 25, 1976, an audience of 5,000 packed in to Winterland Ballroom — an ice skating rink that also served as a concert venue — to watch The Band perform for one last time.

It was an extravagant event. The audience was served a Thanksgiving dinner with live music, ballroom dancing and readings from various poets under the lavish lights of the chandeliers in the hall.

But the true beauty of the event was the fact that a group of people that certainly had their differences managed to work through them and come together to deliver a night of celebration.

It was dysfunctional, but human.

And isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about? Even though you may not enjoy your uncle’s company sitting next to you at the dinner table — whether he’s discussing his political views or refuses to put down the bottle of Jack — he’s still family and you recognize that both of you are there for one common purpose.

The Last Waltz gave viewers a glimpse at these unstable relationships but showed that the musicians forgot about all of that bad blood before coming on stage and giving it all they had.

From Van Morrison’s high kicks in his tight maroon suit to Eric Clapton and Robbie Robertson trading a series of guitar licks during “Further On Up The Road”, what occurred on stage that night transcended any drama that occurred off of it.


THE IDEA

On Friday night, The Blue Note will be presenting its second annual live recreation of the film with no detail spared.

Over the years, Blue Note local talent buyer Pat Kay frequently covered songs from the legendary concert in his various bands. But he craved more — a more complete production for a film that deserves to be seen and heard by all.

For years, Kay saved a place in The Blue Note’s booking calendar for the event — dreaming of a way to successfully pull off a worthy tribute for the historic night. But year after year, he was forced to remove the pin from the calendar — until last year.

Kay enlisted the help of former Columbia musician Sean Canan to play as The Band with his “Voodoo Players”. And slowly but surely, the parts began to assemble as Kay pieced together all the details from the film to eventually create his fantasy.

Between finding the chandeliers to mimic the original set and putting together a cast of local musicians to serve as the famous guests, Kay worked tirelessly to produce a quality product that even Richard Manuel would be proud of.

What was once just a pipe dream for Kay became a reality.


THE SHOW

The design of the show allows for creativity and adaptation with a lighter focus on Robbie Robertson and instead more on the overall community that came together to honor the legacy of The Band’s career.

The set is structured very similarly to the original concert. The first part of the set will feature songs from The Band’s discography performed and backed by Sean Canan’s Voodoo Players and the The Funky Butt Horns. The second part of the evening will make room for the plethora of local musicians on hand to portray the iconic guests from the film. The guests were hand-picked by Kay to match the vocal styles and on-stage personalities of the artists they were chosen to portray.

Each performer left it all on the Winterland Ballroom stage 41 years ago. You can expect the same from this batch of artists on The Blue Note stage Friday night.

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Listen to last year’s recording here to get you ready for Friday’s show!