MY Place stages eclectic electric double bill 

Part urban MC and part West Coast folkie. Part slam poet and part guitar slinger – Vancouver solo artist Kinnie Starr has never been easy to pin down.

Who: Kinnie Starr with Fiamma Fumana

Where: MY (Millennium) Place

When: Tuesday, July 20

Tickets: $17/$20

Last year the Juno Award people didn’t know where to begin so they nominated her for Best New Artist even though the effervescent Starr has been performing for more than a decade.

Fans that have been by her side for some or all of that time know already the three albums she claims to her name – the most recent of which is the 2003 Maple Music release Sun Again . Starr co-produced the album, corralling a venerable who’s-who of West Coast collaborators such as Kia Kadiri, Lily Frost, Moka Only and Spek.

Sun’s downtempo grooves and sassy rhymes have garnered praise for being both "seductive and spiritual." Think a female version of Odelay-era Beck-able to flip from indie jangles to silky smooth beats with the snap of the fingers, in the blink of a flashing dark eye.

To throw everyone for even more of a loop, Starr also recently went off and joined the circus, performing with Cirque de Soleil’s erotic Zumanity show in Las Vegas.

She’s also a girl on film now too. Her music has shown up on the soundtrack for the attention-grabbing independent film Thirteen , starring Holly Hunter, and the spicy TV series The L-Word. And she reveals yet another musical side playing Reggie the drummer in the upcoming feature film Down and Out with the Dolls , which chronicles the rise and fall of an all-girl rock band.

The moral of the story is that it’s hard to keep up with Kinnie. But you can catch the West Coast Wonder Woman at MY Place this Tuesday.

Starr will take the stage for an eclectic double bill, which also includes Italian electro folk-rock band Fiamma Fumana.

The group’s unique sound is a perfect fit with Starr’s. Drawing inspiration from the traditional folk music of the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, vibrant young singer Fiamma Orlandi and her crew meld the rhythms of their roots with modern electronic music stylings.

The result is an intriguing mix that suggests the past, the present and the future all at once.

Fumana has released two albums since forming in 1999: 1.0 , which has more of an electronica influence and the more traditional-sounding Home .

Prior to Tuesday’s show the band will be performing at the Vancouver Folk Festival.

Tickets for the MY Place event are $20 for adults, $17 for students and seniors. Local event planner/go-go gal/DJ/filmmaker and creative tour de force Ace MacKay-Smith will put her touch on a pre-show lobby party before the performers take the stage at 8 p.m.

Local gal opening for Babe

Who: Babe Gurr with Susan Holden & Plan B

Where: MY (Millennium) Place

When: Friday, July 23

West Coast solo artist Babe Gurr’s easy rock sound has been compared to a lengthy list of illustrious females including Sheryl Crow, Shawn Colvin, Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde, Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie.

"I understand the comparisons and I’m very flattered by them," says Gurr. "Nobody has said I sound like somebody I don’t respect, so I’m happy about that..."

But amidst all the comparisons, there’s still a sound that is distinctly Babe – just don’t ask her to describe it.

"People often say they can pick my voice out really quickly," she says. "Not that it’s a weird sounding voice, but if they’re walking through a festival ground and they can hear me singing just slightly in the background they know it’s my voice right away.

"There must be something – I just don’t know what the hell it is."

Known for supporting well-known adult contemporary performers like Barney Bentall, Gurr’s distinctly familiar vocal stylings are getting top billing this time around when she takes the stage at MY Place Friday, July 23.

Susan Holden, a highlight of last February’s excellent Tuned Women showcase of local female performers performing all original music, will play the opening set. Well known as an acoustic solo artist, Holden will be joined by her recently formed supporting band Plan B, which includes drummer Mikey Lunt (Slow Nerve Action), "Creekside Phil" Richard (Whole Lotta Led) on bass and Catherine Batchelor (Pissed Ninnies) on lead guitar.

The show is set to begin at 8 p.m.

For more information call 604-935-8410 or go to www.whistlermillenniumpl.com.

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