“Novelty music for the humiliated… laughing gas for music geeks.” — The Nerve

2014-03-28: with My Dearest Friends, Jimy Now and The Milk Pipes at the Railway Club

Posted: February 25th, 2014 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

After our anniversary extravaganza at the Railway, it was a surprise to get the phone call out of the blue from IMU Productions, whose shows you have assuredly seen postered all over the place. Their idea was to have a jug band support the ukulele-filled Milk Pipes, again at the Railway, and, by gum, they sure have found one. We aim to demonstrate to them that we really go for the jugular! The show will start at 9:30 pm, and the cover is $10. This is slated to be our only other public gig this winter, so bring your groundhog along and you can take turns checking each others’ shadows. Now please enjoy some potted blurbs!

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Friday, March 28th IMU presents MY DEAREST FRIENDS, The MILK PIPES, The CREAKING PLANKS & JIMY NOW @ The Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir . Show 9:30pm sharp! Cover $10 . Purchase advance tickets online @ http://www.imuproductions.com/tix

MY DEAREST FRIENDS – The stirring sounds of My Dearest Friends fall somewhere between The Beach Boys and Portishead, a 1950s burger joint with rollerskates and Radiohead b-sides blaring out under the covered parking lot. Like all great art, it’s indescribably focused, beautiful and irreverent, music that undeniably needs to be heard. Right. Now. http://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Dearest-Friends/6094869802

The MILK PIPES – Sounding like a ‘63 Impala comin’ sideways around a corner on two wheels, The Milk Pipes always drop the hammer on their original tunes with a joyful and reckless abandon. Tube amps and classic guitars slash against the solid punch of a rhythm section born to serve the song while keys and ukes underpin the whole cacophony with delicious counter melodies. http://www.themilkpipes.ca/

JIMY NOW – In this solo project, Jimy performs on electric ukulele and guitar. In re-creating the roots of classic rock, rhythm & blues, he captures the timeless music of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and many more in the 1950s to early 60s era. Prepare to be transcended. http://www.facebook.com/Jimy.Now


2014-01-19: the Creaking Planks’ fabulous 9th anniversary concert

Posted: January 10th, 2014 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

We did in fact make it to Horace Phair in Portland in October. And though we took November off, we managed to play a swell holiday concert to the Compassion Club in December. Now it is a new year and a chance for our first gig of the year — which happens to be our annual band birthday party at the Railway Club!

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doors at 7:30PM, show at 9:30PM (sharp…really!)
at the Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir Street (upstairs), Vancouver, BC
$9 at the door
Featuring The Creaking Planks, Glittering Kingdom, and Sidewalk Cellist.

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Nine years is a long time to keep on keeping on, but in recent years the Creaking Planks, East Van’s jug band of the damned, have made a tradition of throwing themselves an annual anniversary show at Vancouver’s ‘grande dame’ of venues, the Railway Club. Unwilling to allow themselves to be ground to a halt by the ravages of greying hair, sleepless toddlers, grad school and graveyard shift work, they aim to demonstrate that rock ‘n roll remains the most prematurely ageing influence of all. With their unruly assortment of underdog old-country instruments, they breathe a new rootsy life into monster pop anthems which have long since collapsed beneath their own sodden hubris and, despite being old enough to know better, compel the moldering leg-bones of also-ran B-side songs that history has unjustly forgotten to jiggle and caper like they are callow and spry again — some old trick involving a spike of shaved ginger root. Remember when you were young and foolish? You will.

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Glittering Kingdom grooves, taps and twinkles through tunes that meander from lonely circus swing to prohibition-era jazz, folk noir to post-apocalyptic acoustic. The sparkly foursome (Katheryn Petersen, Lindy Gray, Jen Rashleigh and Belinda Bruce) braid fine harmonies amidst guitar, accordion, saw, harmonica, snare and tinkly percussion. Glittering Kingdom is jazzed to debut the video of their bittersweet cover of Leonard Cohen’s “The Future” at the Railway.

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Vancouver’s Sidewalk Cellist takes the classics out of the concert hall and throws them into the streets, with the help of her nearly-indestructible carbon-fiber cello! She provides a musical mix of everything from Bach to Nirvana, jazz to heavy metal, and more, building bridges between genres for audiences of all shapes and sizes.


2013-10-25: SpookEasy HallowSwing Cabaret

Posted: September 29th, 2013 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Audio, Show announcements and recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

September has been a blast! The Accordion Noir fest was a winner (isn’t it always, though?) — in promotions it was nice hearing ourselves described as “festival favorites” on the CBC’s North by Northwest, and if you like you can find a link to (and, ahem, extensive analysis of) the debut of our interactive choose-your-own-adventure song suite performed over here. (Note: performance recording is not interactive.) Then we played a special dance set for Planks alumnus Venus Soberanes at the local reception for her wedding with Jeremy at the Little Mountain Studio, rounding out a variety show spiked with Al Mader himself! Hopefully we will be manifesting at the Horace Phair party this Columbus Day, but we’re getting a bit beyond the scope of this post — which is about our next public local gig you can enjoy!
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You are cordially invited to the Spookeasy HallowSwing Cabaret party on Friday Oct. 25th, a Prohibition era-themed Halloween Party!

It’s time to heed the bell’s toll for ghastly, ghoulish and grim Halloween partying with Vancouver’s Electro Swing Clubr.

Come in your best retro-horror garb: top hat & tails, flapper, Victorian asylum lunatics, boudoir, silent horror film characters, Carnivale freaks, steampunk, horror circus, Satanic burlesque, Voodoo, Day of the Dead, hospital horror, haunted forest animals, evil clowns, Halloween masks… etc.

In the Cabaret room:
* Every time the Tim Sars Band plays a show, they know it might be their last. While the band is swingin’ hot, the lyrics always seem to go to the dark side. The very talented Brendan Krieg on drums and vocals, Roisin Adams on piano and vocals, and Russell Sholberg on bass are complicit in Tim’s evil musical plot, and those on the dance floor shall be the victims. During their set we’ll have a Hot Beat Swing Dance and Black Bottom Stomp performances.

* Burlesque retro ghost number by Riannaconda

* Sword-swallowing sideshow by Kata Sita, Human BlockHead, Bug eating and more… If this performance doesn’t give you goosebumps nothing will!!!

* Haunted Go-Go Flapper Girls

* VooDoo DJs: From Montreal, Speakeasy Electro Swing gang Eliazar Hason. From the Island – AppleCat and local crew Rudy.

* In the Hideaway Room we’ll have 3 bands: The Creaking Planks, Meg A Tron and Sound Architecture:

The jug band of the damned, the Creaking Planks, salvage festering songs from the mass grave of popular music, binding their festering choruses together with a thread spun from extinct instruments, making them move once again by perversely introducing the strange spark of life.

* In the Tiki room, we’ll have the bad boys SideShow, Doe Ran and DJ Spaz. They’re guaranteed to rattle your bones… and reanimate your zombie hearts It won’t mean a thing until the zombies start to swing!

Also expect the visuals to captivate and twist your mind with images from the past and future blended together in one cocktail.

Advance tickets are $15, $20 at the door. Here’s the Facebook event announcement.

Creaking Planks: Awkward Family Photos Edition


2013-09-12: 6th annual Accordion Noir Festival launch party

Posted: September 12th, 2013 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Whoops, never got around to making a post about tonight’s show on our own website! We’ve been very, very busy working on our debut performance piece for tonight.

The show will be great all-around; the out-of-towner performers are simply phenomenal and this chance to see them shouldn’t be missed. So, ah, here’s the promotional boilerplate from the festival’s website.

This year’s Festival kicks off with the Accordéon Café, a presentation of accordion artists who boast equal gifts as storytellers, humourists, and genre-bending instrumentalists.  Featuring casse-croûte by Crêpe Bohème the Café is a chance to slow down, listen close, and be transported by the special intimacy that flows whenever musicians and audiences gather under the influence of each other.

Steve Normandin-296Award-winning Francophone accordion legend Steven Normandin from Montreal makes his hotly anticipated return to Vancouver, following his hit performance at the 2011 MusicFest Vancouver. Fans of Normandin know to expect riveting renditions of traditional chansons from France and Québec, enlivened by touches of jazz and swing and performed with a uniquely theatrical flair. Audiences discovering Normadin for the first time will find themselves in the hands of a true master: an artist who can make you laugh, cry and dance in the space of one set of music. Equally accomplished as an instrumentalist and as a songwriter, Normandin has performed in work by Robert Lepage, appeared as a soloist with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and toured internationally with a host of musical projects and theatrical productions.
imagesThe raw feel of blues and country music meet the sensibilities of a first class storyteller in renegade accordionist David P. Smith. Hailed as one of Victoria’s most captivating and original songwriters, Smith is known for visceral, often hilarious narratives that crack open the boundaries between humor and despair. Appearing with his talented accomplice, violinist Rachelle Reath, David P. Smith’s performance promises to reveal why EXCLAIM! Magazine went so far as to call his accordion music a “siren song.”
321719_10150446377135033_1007322036_oThe Creaking Planks, East Vancouver’s jug band of the damned, are the best at what they do.  (Not coincidentally, they are the /only/ ones who do what they do.) A well-heeled crew of folk music misfits, they bring their instruments together to challenge the ghettoizing expectations of their respective traditional repertoires through détournement, the mash-up, and their specialty, the outright train wreck.  This festival’s program sees them boldly charging off into uncharted territory (as usual) with an unprecedented audience-interactive suite of songs inspired by the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure children’s book series of the 1980s.

(And a tip ‘o the hat to Erin & Abe, whose wedding reception we performed at late on September 7th at The Ticket downtown!)


2013-08-07: Trout Lake — One Year Later

Posted: July 23rd, 2013 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps | Tags: , | No Comments »

It’s been eerily quiet here, though we’ve actually played quite a bit of private functions since we last wrote… Matt Kennedy and Meagan’s Canada Day yard party on June 30th (thanks, Lucy!); the West Van klezmer birthday party on July 14th (mazel tov Mark!) and David’s wedding to Jennifer at the Fat Moose in Merville this past weekend, just outside of Cumberland on Vancouver Island — a great time at an amazing venue (…plus perhaps most importantly of all — the first time we’ve ever played on the island without totally taking a bath on ferry expenses.) Private functions, alas — we can’t pack our audience along! But here, finally, we have a gig we can tell you about — the first in months:

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It’s true — we had so much fun last year, we had to come back and play another installment in this free outdoor concert series. There’s really nothing else like it. Against a backdrop of incomparable natural beauty, sixty empty chairs are set up. An extension cord is run out from the community centre, and then a band sets up a PA and plays two sets, beginning at 6:30. Somehow, from somewhere, sixty bottoms find those chairs and occupy them until the sun goes down. It’s magical. Heck, it might even be fun for the audience members!

Hope to see you there! 6:30 pm, Wednesday August 7th, at Trout “John Hendry Park” Lake.