So, this is your first Rifflandia, and perhaps it’s even your first time in Victoria. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by four days of music, food, beverage, and adventure; and I understand if you have no idea where to begin. Fear not, because not only have I lived in this lovely city my whole life, this is my eighth Rifflandia. Here’s how to do it.
Over the past decade, perhaps no Victoria band has gathered more acclaim and adoration than Current Swell. Originally formed in 2004, the band’s amalgam of blues, folk, reggae, and ska found a fast audience among Vancouver Island’s beach-loving crowd. Tapping into the same audiences that adored the likes of Jack Johnson and Sublime, the boys’ early lo-fi recordings about partying, surfing, and island life made them a rising act. And with the internet’s assistance, Current Swell started building a fan base in far-away locations like Australia and Brazil, despite never having played outside of Canada.
This piece appeared in a 2017 issue of Absolute Underground.
From the punishing death metal of Dying Fetus to the mosh-fueled mayhem of the Cro-Mags, the Modified Ghost Festival’s 2017 lineup has truly outdone itself. The titular concert promoter has quickly established itself as Vancouver’s premier supplier of heavy, repulsive music, and this year’s four-day event is sure to occupy the eyes and ears of the British Columbia’s head-banging contingency. Gone is the last year’s frantic schedule that saw festival-goers venue-hop between The Vogue, Astoria, Biltmore, and Rickshaw. Instead, this year’s event offers a streamlined approach: one venue per night packed to the brim with loads of ripping bands.
For the second June in a row, Vancouver is transforming into a music-lover’s paradise. Local concert promoter Timbre, in a partnership with the Texas-based Reverberation Appreciation Society, is presenting another iteration of the Levitation Vancouver. The four-day event, which also occurs in Austin, Chicago, and Paris, is mainly a celebration of psychedelic-focused music; however, it also crosses over into other disparate musical realms. Sure, there are a handful of bands featuring scruffy hippies goofing off with wah wah pedals, but the lineup also takes turns into experimental dance music, ear-piercing shoegaze, sloppy garage, punishing sludge metal, and rapid-fire skate-punk. Headliners Flying Lotus and Tycho, are sure to provide standout performances, but their electronic-focused offerings don’t really fit in with what we at Absolute Underground do. With that, here are some under-card picks for the punks, metal-heads, weirdos, and scumbags.