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DEATH at FALL DOWN/GET DOWN weekender - tiina liimu photo


The Fall Down/Get Down weekender owned up as triathlon of music and revelry. A frenzied relay with incredible legends passing on the sonic torch. Tim Kerr’s primitive and inspiration driven artwork line the walls of Antisocial Skate Shop marking the start. A relatively new Nervous Talk gets the go ahead from the audience. Nardwuar pulls out all the stops with the seasoned Evaporators as they work the skate shop into furious sweat.

While Friday sports dinner sets at LanaLous, Sex Church and Fist City hold down the house at the Rickshaw Theatre with Memphis TN, Tiger High, a who’s who of Goner Records’ roster readying stage for the revered protopunks. Detroit’s Death, flew in just for this event. By the second number you knew this was incredibly special.
A view from the stage revealed an audience well beyond the front row singing along to all the words. Astonishing for a band that almost never was. Working through “Keep On Knockin” and  “Rock N Roll Victim” as clear and as timely as ever. Two-thirds into the set bass player Bobby Hackney introduces  “Politicians In My Eyes” as a song they wrote when they were young men not wanting to be drafted into the military. Bobby JR, Hackney’s son on guitar, joined the trio for a full set. They left the audience with a racey little encore rocker written about a girl and a taste of their new song titled “Relief”. Then a sprint to the Zoo Zhop and the Mammoth Records Showcase is still going strong and Korean Guts surfs Friday into Saturday. And there was more for those who ventured east.

THE REACT! @ FALLDOWN/GETDOWN weekender - tiina liimu photo

Who needs sleep anyway and by noon was something not to be missed at the upper main record shop as Friday’s headliners, Death dropped in at Neptoon to play and greet fans and revelers alike. Present and accounted for, Bryce Dunn hands over the lowdown.

“Three more acts shake the walls. Beginning with the freak-beat fanatics of The React!, who continue to impress with each show, the energy was high and the songs sonically pleasing to the ears with each frenzied down-stroke and smash of cymbals. With a genre that relies on melding garage, psychedelia and punk with aplomb. Next up were the siss-boom-bang of Olympia, Washington strum and drum duo Matt Murillo and Kelly Norman and within mere minutes it was hard not to be swept up by their pearly whites and infectious garage-pop jams as evident by more than a few heads bobbing to songs like “Drugstore” and “Heartbeat” making hearts race just a little faster with each passing chord. Then, the arrival of everyone’s favourite human-hating, trap-baiting anthropomorphs. The Mants arose from the humid depths of their anthill to annihilate our eardrums with their heinous hybrid of surf/garage/rock. As they wriggled and writhed around inside our pants, the power of not one, but two numbers by the Mants’ hero (and possible Mant himself) Billy Childish compelled us to obey or be eaten, helpless but to dance and be enslaved by their command to join the rebel set and be friends to none, despised by all as we stared bewildered into their huge yellow eyes.” Thank you Bryce.

Pointed Sticks with the Dishrags @ FALLDOWN/GETDOWN - tiina liimu photo

Only time for the quickest nosh on a downtown dash to catch Greenback High warming up the big event at the Rickshaw Theatre. Reviewer, Rene Milord passes a folded report card of the evening’s activities as Vancouver’s granddaddies of pop-punk school the listeners. Pieces of the note read something like this.

 “This event had a bit of magic, as it was the Pointed Sticks at their last dance. By 9:30 Chains of Love were already rocking with female vocal soul power and Felix Fung on guitar raising the bar with those riffs. Followed by local favorites, the Tranzmitors who were on next slamming out a set of high-energy mod rock and “Dancing in the front Row” got the crowd moving. More people arrived into the theatre as the Ballantynes, a seven-piece groove bonanza with two drummers, two female singers and a blasting Hammond organ guaranteed to turn gyrations took the stage! And it did, they did, one of the best and by then the atmosphere was getting crazy. The Pointed Sticks set up. This venerable band who played their first show in 1978 are much loved the world over, while coming out of retirement in 2006 they have delighted many and gave us a long set of their signature romantic pop/rock tunes from all over their career. Members of The Dishrags, Vancouver’s the first all female punk band joined them onstage to sing along.  It was a beautiful night - thank you Bill, Tony, Gord, Ian and Nicholas for the memories!” Thank you Rene!

While the Rickshaw send off party hands over the burning ember. The Astoria was ripping into orbit with and pumped for Portland’s Mean Jeans. After the clock had rounded twelve and if only by the sheer numbers gathered outside was any indication, this pursuit was indeed a triumph. But, it wasn’t finish yet, as there was still a victory lap in store as you round the corner at 360. Maybe it was the endorphins, maybe it the Capital 6 psychedelia or just maybe it was glam infused power pop of Warm Soda as they shook the stage. I think it’s pretty clear what you were in for, when the tab was pulled on that thirst quenching drink.

-More Betty, Rene Milord, Bryce Dunn