Canadas premier freeride mountain bike festival, Crankworx, ups the entertainment ante in year three with eight days of live concerts, DJ shows and mountain bike films Saturday, July 22 to Saturday, July 29. While the big coup for this years lineup is New Yorks hip hop troupe De La Soul performing the second Saturday night at the GLC (tickets can only be won by visiting Aftershok Apres parties), there are plenty of free mainstage shows to take advantage of. With the exception of Sweat Shop Union starting at 5 p.m., all mainstage shows located at the base of Whistler Mountain begin at 4 p.m.
She Stole My Beer
Saturday, July 22
Whistlers She Stole My Beer was a nationally recognized sound in the bands pre-1996 heyday when the seven-piece group lived out the roadie rock lifestyle with their percussion-heavy rock n roll punched up with country, blues and jam-band influences.
The single-minded pursuit of rock stardom was left behind in the mid-90s, as the members opted to pursue real lives, jobs and families.
The road dogs have retired from touring vans and instead play the odd show, a sort of reunion for both band members and devout fans who cant get enough of the hard-to-label sound.
Country, rock, blues, 60s psychedelica, whatever listeners call it; it is all good music just the same.
Join percussionist Franco Diligenti, keyboardist Jordan White, guitarist/vocalist Tom Taylor, drummers Dean Waisman and Geoff Hicks, and guitarists Chad Chillbeck and David Hughes for the Whistler reunion with plenty of originals and a few covers to go around.
Sunday, July 23
You probably have already heard the music of songstress Catlow and didnt even know it.
Fans of the Whistler television series on CTV tune into the singer/songwriter every Sunday with her vocals on the Dirtmitts track Ordinary Day.
Catlow, alias Natasha Thirsk, lead singer of The Dirtmitts, is now going solo with many more tracks from her debut CD Kiss the World played on various Whistler episodes. She also performed at the Whistler Series launch party at the GLC last month.
Check out her provocative lyrics and textured vocals again or for the first time at Crankworx.
Yuca and On Holiday
Monday, July 24
Yuca and On Holiday were two of 10 finalists battling it out at the 99.3 Fox Seeds Indie Music Competition in Vancouver earlier this year. The two bands beat out 400 other bands vying for a finalist spot.
Yuca is all about creating relevant accessible rock music for listeners everywhere.
Three years ago, singer Matt Borck, bassist Jeremy Friesen, drummer Mike Newman and guitarist James Pendleton came together to create what they describe as "original sound with honest lyrics charged with pure emotion."
On Holiday is about escape with an aggressive live show to get the blood pumping with hard-driven guitar licks, punching bass lines and slamming drum beats topped off with unforgettable lyrics enticing listeners to scream along.
If you are a fan somewhere between Nirvana and The Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath and Green Day, these Vancouver rockers are for you.
Tuesday, July 25
The four-piece Vancouver band spans everything from modern rock to power pop to punk. The new rockers just released their first self-titled EP, however the Vancouver bands frontman, Carmon Leeson, is a seasoned pro having toured with the likes of Nickelback, 54-40, Big Sugar and Default. The single Does Anybody Really Care from the new EP is currently in rotation on both Canadian and American airwaves.
Wednesday, July 26
Mexican musicians, Jamaican beats: the 10-piece Rastrillos band from Mexico City fuses multiple music influences into their musical quest for basic human values: friendship, respect, love and communication the rasta way.
As they follow the reggae route to self awareness the troupe, made up of band members from across the globe, including Celaya, Cuba, Argentina, Tepalcates and Coyoacanos, has performed with numerous Latino American and Mexican luminaries throughout its almost decade old career.
The band has shared stages with the likes of Jimmy Cliff, Michael Franti, Black Uhuru and Chololo, just to name a few.
Boasting everything from rhythmic guitar to trumpets, trombone and saxophone, the group is currently touring North America promoting their fourth album, Se acabo el reve (The Party is Over).
Expect to hear their new music from the album at the concert, which melds Mexican popular music with reggae, jazz, funk, indu and ska.
A Whole Lotta Led
Thursday, July 27
Its all about putting the pedal to the metal.
Get your dose of Zeppelin from Whistlers favourite head-banging tribute band A Whole Lotta Led at the Thursday show.
Frontman Grateful Greg, a.k.a. Greg Reamsbottom, returns for the Crankworx debut after touring the Big Apple with Guitar Doug as The Hairfarmers.
Whistler doesnt need Robert Plant with the wailing, high-reaching vocals of Reamsbottom. Combined with guitarist Phil Richard rocking out Page solos on a dual neck as if channeling Jimmy himself, A Whole Lotta Led touts sold-out concert after sold-out concert in Whistler.
Bass player J.P. Trottier and drummer Tom Rimmer make up the rest of the team.
Coming up on half a decade of Zep worshiping, the A Whole Lotta Led fan base extends from just turned-legal teens to grizzlies who remember rocking out the 70s.
Expect all the classics: Dazed and Confused, No Quarter and Immigrant Song.
Friday, July 28
West Coast conscious hip hop crew Sweatshop Union returns to Whistler. As the name implies, the Union built its reputation as a hip hop band with a conscience, concerned with the state of the union and the perils of consumerism, rather than the usual gangsta posturing.
The Juno nominees strike out with thoughtful socio-political musings amidst a mish mash of booty grooving beats with catchy choruses and humorous tongue-in-cheek jibes.
The group sell tens of thousands of albums worldwide on the Battle Axe Records label. Theyve toured with Jurassic 5, Blackalicious and Black Eyed Peas as well as with label mates Swollen Members and Abstract Rude.
Award nominations keep piling up with Canadian Radio Music Award, MuchMusic Video Awards and Juno nominations to their credit.
The Vancouver collective toured the U.S. for the first time this year, opening more than 50 shows for Swollen Members.