Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hipster madness, native dancing, straight edges, accordion girls and a bird that builds intricate houses!

(...or the rest of our Vancouver visit)
Our first night in town we hit the booze store and C. had the life-changing realisation that beer in America is both good and cheap. Not swayed by the watery expensiveness of the Canadian brew, Smock-Top and I found these giant containers, that are rather slimming as to the untrained eye they seem regular-sized and you, in turn, smaller.
We all got, as C. puts it, a little Drunkie Spice (i.e. tipsy, belligerent and inappropriate), went to a punk concert in a biker bar, where Mali's friend's band played a ten minute set of like six songs, and visited another friend's vertigo inducing apartment. Not to mention Wendy's. No evidence of the latter remains.

C. and I also visited, sans the Kid, The Museum of Anthropology, which rocked, but there was
some kind of a free day going on, with performances from Native dancers, music, lectures. This meant the place was packed. Paired with the overwhelming nature of the artifacts on display, we lasted a mere few hours before making promises to return next time we came up.
The First Nations kept masks like these covered when they were not used in a ceremony, in order to better keep their effectiveness in ritual use. Some members of the tribes these masks belonged to have objected to their being displayed for public viewing. I kind of agree. One mask is a thing of beauty, on which to meditate, a kind of three-dimensional representation of a god, especially when worn by a dancer. A hundred of them is gluttony, even for scientific purposes.
After seeing the dancers display their culture today, the sense that the First Nations, like the American Native Americans, are still vibrant living cultures, which should have the right to command over the artifacts that are still pertinent to their lives, was magnified .

This is what it may have looked like, in the beginning.
...but this is what it looks like now, for better or worse. Vancouver is actually a pretty nice North American city, or a city in general, as far as cities go. Lots of crazy, cracked out homeless people though.
Lots of hipsters too. I saw this expo as I was walking down to the grocery to get some breakfast supplies for the sleeping beauties, and damn near keeled over cracking up. Want to "wed your way"? Why not have some other enterprising hipster tell you how...Gol-ly!
Speaking of hipsters, I had tried time and time again to warn C. about his wardrobe, but to no avail. So, when we finally arrived to the Bowerbirds gig, he nearly had an aneurysm. Beards, hats and plaids, galore.
The opening band was Julie Doiron who was great live, though a little lifeless on record. Live the slightly hum-drum twee-pop turned into this totally rocking performance. Her and the drummer were really into it, and her guitar was awesome and kind of rough. The crowd loved it too.
This however was nothing compared to the things to come. The main act was as awesome as I had hoped, and being a little bit Drunkie Spice on (relatively) cheap BPR, I was pretty much moved to tears. If only the annoyingly cool crowd would have been conducive to dancing.
Beth Tacular played amazing accordion, but seemed rather grumpy all through the gig. Then again if I had to play to an army of too-cool-to-dance kids, I'd be grumpy too.
They played all my favorites, starting with In Our Talons, and a bunch of stuff I hadn't heard before too. House Of Diamonds was the best live as well.
Mali and I sporting our true colors, in form of band stamps. Can you tell who didn't shower after the punk show?
But man is she cuter than a box 'o buttons.
We were sure that this couple was on their first date. How romantic.
Charlie joins the hipsters since he can't beat them all.
By the end of the night we all did, making our Drunkie Spice way to Rony's Photobooth, frequented by the Goddess of Club Urchins, Cory Kennedy. LOL OMFG.
ps. Hopefully you'll have a great time seeing them tonight Gina! I'm sure they'll put on a wicked show.
pps. I didn't end up wearing my bday dress, because it proved too impractical. It's cool, I have another occasion to don it.


  1. Love your last photo. Looks like a moment in time snapshot.

  2. Oh man, that last photo is priceless. PRICELESS. Charlie IS the original hipstah.

    Mexico Missa sure wishes she could have been there ;)

  3. WAY TOO FUN! i love this whole trip and all the little details and info, but especially what you said about the natives' culture on display. it's a strange world we live in.

    i'm glad you found beer, got drunk, saw rad music, bumped hips with solemn hipsters and took the most amazing unforgettable photo booth shot of your life!

  4. you are awesome as awesome does Milla! I really enjoyed this trippy tribute to hipsters everywhere, and the last shot is classic :)

    thanks also for more great band recs, I don't think i realized the Bowerbirds involved accordians, that makes them all that much better!

  5. Thanks for this lovely post and sweet shout-out, Milla! The Tucson brand of hipsters, though bearded, hatted and plaided like my own non-hipster sweet bear of a man and yours, are a good deal more amenable to dancing. Which is a good thing, because that shiny red accordian was superb! You've just put "stepping into photobooths on long, silly nights with the ones I love" onto my to-do list. Happy Birthday, Milla!

  6. Man those hipsters are hip.

    I am SO saying Drunkie Spice from now on!