Who else is playing Crankworx? 

Meet Arkells and Jets Overhead

click to flip through (2) Jets Overhead
  • Jets Overhead

So, for this year's Kokanee Crankworx, three Canadian bands will perform for free at Whistler Olympic Plaza. We've already profiled one such band, Said the Whale, but were unable to reach the other two, Arkells and Jets Overhead.

And yet, there's so much we don't know about these bands. Who are they? What are their virtues and priorities? Can my child listen to them? What about my grandfather? Are any of the members Tiger Beat magazine material? What do I need to know?

Arkells (Friday, Aug. 10, 9 p.m.)

Who are they?

Arkells are an alternative rock band from Hamilton, Ont., consisting of Max Kerman, Mike DeAngelis, Nick Dika, Tim Oxford and Dan Griffin. After winning a radio contest in Toronto, Arkells have enjoyed a steady rise in popularity, having won two JUNOs (one in 2010 and another earlier this year) and performing with Shad and Kesha at the Horseshoe Tavern during a freestyle, sing-along cover of Outkast's "Ms. Jackson."

What do they sound like?

If the Foo Fighters and Wintersleep teamed up with Hall & Oates, you might hear something similar.

What have they done lately?

They won the 2012 Juno Award for Group of the Year in April. Their most recent album, 2011's Michigan Left, was also nominated for Rock Album of the Year.

Will my grandfather like them? Unless your grandfather is fond of whatever's being played on MuchMusic these days, it's highly unlikely.

What about my child?

Their inoffensive brand of alt/indie rock might appeal to children 10 and over. They're meter reading on the highly scientific Rock and Roll Danger Meter rests at a comfortable three — a little flare and swagger with zero vulgarity — so even the more wary parents will have little to complain about.

Jets Overhead (Saturday, Aug. 11, 8 p.m., opening for Said the Whale)

Who are they?

Jets Overhead is an alternative rock band from Victoria, B.C., consisting of members Adam Kittredge, Antonia Freybe-Smith, Jocelyn Greenwood, Piers Henwood and Luke Renshaw. They were one of the first bands to make an album (2006's Bridges) available on a "pay what you want" scale, over a year before Radiohead popularized the model with In Rainbows. They've performed at nearly all the major music festivals in North America, including Coachella and Bonnarroo.

What do they sound like?

Imagine Metric if they ditched Emily Haines and shacked up on a beach near Tofino and you'll get the idea.

What have they done lately?

They're latest album, Boredom and Joy was released in July and features the lead single of the same name, a glorious slab of dream-pop that conjures images of a cotton candy steamship sailing on a sea of liquid metal. Practical and delicious.

Will my grandfather like them?

Possibly — despite himself. They have enough of the headiness of late-60s bands to keep him appeased but too much of the Gary Numan / New Order influences to dismiss them as "some bloody punks."

What about my child?

Sure! Their dream-like soundscapes are inoffensive and pleasant enough for the whole family to enjoy. Now, is this what they had in mind when writing each album? Probably not.


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