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

2015-1-16: 10th anniversary concert update!

Posted: January 15th, 2015 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps | No Comments »

Greetings to the Plank Nation! The time is nigh upon us! Tomorrow night, Friday, January 15th, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first meeting at the inaugural performance of the Creaking Planks at the Western Front’s “raw and cooked” showcase curated by Sarah Macdougall, along with Chrystalene Buhler, Joanna Chapman-Smith, and the freak performance poetry revue “That’s My Brain… And You’re KILLING It!” There the Planking of Ole and Heather — “a droney song, a noisy song, a short improv; all with a touch of pirate” — met Rowan’s arrangement of Al Mader’s “I’m A Lousy Lay” … and the rest was, if not exactly history, ten years of occasionally-inspired obscurity.

We celebrated the decade-long musical experiment on the Accordion Noir radio program last night, featuring a series of rare recordings and concert bootlegs from various nadirs and zeniths of our varied history, and you can enjoy them as well… by following that link. We’ll be breaking into the vault of time and playing a few similar selections from our vast back catalogue Friday night.

So, you know that it’s all going down at the Emerald, right? 555 Gore, upstairs at the site of the old dim sum restaurant the New Diamond? Here, perhaps the poster that Ehren Salazar designed will help to cement the details in your memory:

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That’s right: not just the Creaking Planks, but also their Jewish wedding band klezmorim alter egos Der Royshiker Krokves opening! The prime mover Al Mader, the Minimalist Jug Band! New tunes from Victoria’s newly electrified improvised genius, Ehren Salazar! Plus a set of magical tricks from Travis, gosh wow! Ten dollars (for ten years) — two dollars per act — is basically a criminally undercharged rate, and audience members will be getting away with, well, a very good deal. Speaking of good deals… do you like accordions? Of course you do! Do you like octopuses? Duh! Why not both at the same time! “You got your octopus in my accordion!” “You got your accordion in my octopus!” “Heey….”

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“…NOT BAD!” But wait, this is a pointless digression!

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That’s more like it. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, for the low, low price of another ten dollars, you could go home wearing this — the first in what will assuredly be a long, long line of Creaking Planks fashions. This t-shirt is from the fabulous 7th anniversary poster design by Daisy Jones-Locher. No longer need you wear the tattered poster! Spare yourself the paper cuts! But that’s not all… for further whimsical and otherwise-unavailable goods that will be sold at our concert, read on!

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That’s right, it’s the 2015 edition of Renee de la Prade’s long-running Accordion Babes cheesecake pin-up calendar/album. We’re not represented therein, as the “Accordion Dudes” beefcake calendar has had a long and bumpy trip getting off the ground, but we are great friends with the Babes and run on similar wavelengths as their strange sensibilities. Each month’s babe is represented by a track on the accompanying CD album, so you can buy it to listen to and then later on you can pull out the magnifying glass to better examine which make and model of squeezebox each babe is rocking. A handful of these will be for sale for $20 a piece, and we can guarantee you won’t find them in any store in town. Only in the strange chaos bubble surrounding the Planks do these bizarre alternate worlds manifest.

See you there!


2015-01-16: the Creaking Planks’ 10th anniversary extravaganza!

Posted: December 31st, 2014 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Our first anniversary went entirely unnoticed. Our second, likewise. By the time we had reached our third anniversary, we’d seen fellow traveller acts throw in the towel and several of the vital musical venues who had given us our first struts and frets upon the stage closing their doors, launching under new management or (worst of all) changing format to exclude live music in favour of MMA on numerous big-screen TVs. We felt we had achieved something merely by hanging in there and keeping on keeping on. Our third anniversary was an occasion worth celebrating, and celebrate we did (well, tried our hardest to), with a star-studded cabaret at the Western Front, one of the first posts on our blog here — before which, we tracked our gigs on MySpace and on a long-extinct bespoke Geocities page. (Geocities? I know, Internet time moves so quickly, it’s hard to believe music existed at all back then. We liked to bang rocks together and hit tanned animal skins with Smilodon tusks of different lengths.)

Now we are ten. We have been a going concern for over three times as long as that naive band of three, excited to be invited to play on the radio and basically trying to trick people into giving us opportunities to play for free as many nights a week as possible. We’ve played individual gigs whose fees have netted us as much dosh as entire years of playing for exposure got us; we have flown on airplanes to perform at festivals in other countries we never even applied to appear at. We have gone into studios to make recordings and then forgot about them. The level of success we have achieved has exceeded any heights we might ever have reasonably expected to reach with our improbable format, and yet, not a single one of our dozen-odd members is able to make a living in Vancouver making music. It’s a funny, contradictory existence, to be true.

Whatever other beats we have and haven’t been able to hit (gonged off stage: check; provided soundtrack for a live sex show: check; played on the soundtrack to the video game World of Goo: almost, but didn’t quite happen), one constant for the last several years has been that we’ve had at least one show annually where we get to have it our way, on our terms — to play on a bill stacked with acts we will enjoy, getting to pick our set times to accommodate our numerous twisted schedules. To wit: our anniversary show. Members turn up out of the woodwork to play just this one show all year round. We expect to be playing with 4 Planks and end up performing with 11, thereby kiboshing any chance of performing any material picked up since the previous anniversary show! We know that whatever we earn will end up as bus fare when split a dozen ways, so we ensure that we are paid amply in the only other currency with any weight to the unruly band of loose cannon musicians: fun.

For the first few years we were too scattered in our neurotic attempts to give away all the music as often as possible to worry about occasions on which to have shows that were guaranteed to be good, and for the first five years, that 3rd anniversary was the only one we celebrated. (It gave all anniversary celebrations overall somewhat of a bad aftertaste in our collective mouths, but eventually we learned to love again.) For the second five years, it has been mandatory: we had great, fun shows for our sixth anniversary, our seventh, our eighth, ninth and now, coming up next… the tenth anniversary of our first gig… to be our greatest, most fun anniversary show yet?

And now, apropos of nothing, I’d like to casually drop in a random photograph that assuredly has nothing to do with anything I’m talking about:

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Here are the vital details you will need to know:

    Accordion Noir presents
    the jug band of the damned
    Friday, January 16th, 8 pm
    THE CREAKING PLANKS
    10th anniversary extravaganza

    plus Ehren Salazar,
    Al Mader, the Minimalist Jug Band,
    Der Royshiker Krokves,
    magic by Travis
    and special guests!

    at The Emerald (555 Gore Avenue)
    Admission $10 (for ten years!)

Bring at least a $20 bill along, because for the first time anywhere, we will also be selling Creaking Planks T-shirts featuring the poster artwork from our 7th anniversary concert, at very competitive prices.

What more is there to say?


New video: Sometimes All The People

Posted: October 14th, 2014 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

We missed our chance at our anniversary show a couple of years ago, when Rod Matheson set up to record us playing “Music Music Music” and had the shot ruined by overenthusiastic dancers enjoying themselves at the cost of posterity. But we had a standing arrangement to set up another video shoot of a live music performance in an unconventional situation, and after only two and a half years, we managed to make good on it! Finally, a good YouTube clip (we already have a popular one, now we need a good one) of our band looking and sounding more like it does today, a complete take of a song we actually know how to play, more or less.

Also, a bit of catchup: congratulations to Loren & Marisol whose wedding reception at 5 International we performed at in late April; hats off to the folks at the 6th annual Stainsbury Block Party we entertained Sept 7th while a real fire truck dazzled all, and greetings to all our old friends in Portland we partied with this Columbus Day weekend as well as the new ones from the Low Tide Drifters and Girls’ Rock Camp we made in Eugene at Plank Town! (And thanks to Rachael & Ben for setting us up there, again!)
Did you know we have a Google+
page?


2014-09-28: Oktoberfest II: Bier Hierder

Posted: September 24th, 2014 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps | Tags: , | No Comments »

Did you know that Oktoberfest actually begins in late September? We are sticklers for authenticity, as the photo below attests, so will not feel compromised at all when don our ‘Clinking Pints’ hats and show up to Bomber Brewing (1488 Adanac Street) on Sunday, September 28 to entertain the beery masses from 2-6PM. You can get advance tickets here, which guarantee you 2 beers, a commemorative stein, and food!

Creaking Planks at our first Oktoberfest

We may even revisit our classic rendition of Father Abraham’s traditional Oktoberfest tune, Smurfing Beer. You can learn the words for the sing along portion by watching the video below. Putting it on repeat works best!

Get the full rundown, and follow the HTML breadcrumbs to purchase your tickets here: http://www.beermebc.com/2014/09/03/bomber-brewing-hosts-east-vancouver-oktoberfest-celebrations/.


2014-09-17: Planks support teachers!

Posted: September 14th, 2014 | Author: Blackbox Squeezebeard | Filed under: Show announcements and recaps | Tags: , | No Comments »

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It’s been some time since we performed at Bandidas Taqueria (2781 Commercial Drive). Let’s be fair, it’s a taqueria, not a performance venue. But due to regrettable recent events, we find ourselves aligned again: in support of the striking public school teachers, Bandidas is donating 100% of its Wednesday night proceeds (weekly, until the strike ends) to support Families Funding Teachers. They debuted this initiative this past week, did their briskest business in their history, and the charitable diners lined up outside the front door were entertained by Emma and Roland.

This Wednesday evening, it will be a small contingent of Creaking Planks out on the sidewalk helping the keep high the spirits of hungry teacher-supporting diners. Come for the social justice, stay for the music!

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The @creakingplanks entertained the lineup outside Banditas tonight, as all their proceeds went to supporting BC teachers!

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