BUSTY AND THE BASS (Montreal, QC)

BUSTY AND THE BASS (Montreal, QC)

The Koop Tent Stage, 5:50-6:35 p.m. Busty and the Bass is a nine-piece collective of musicians from across North America who met during their first week studying music at McGill University. Originally born out of small Montreal house parties, over the last three years ‘Busty’ has evolved into a tight electrofunk band and become one of Canada’s most vibrant and exciting new bands. In October 2014, Busty and the Bass competed against hundreds of other bands to win the ‘Rock Your Campus’ competition, the search for Canada’s top university band, sponsored by CBC Music and TD Bank. The group won a $10,000 cash prize, and opened for the Arkells in a sold-out performance in Montreal. Busty is renowned for their energetic live performances that showcase their musicality, creativity, and camaraderie. Busty performs regularly across Quebec, Ontario, and the northeastern United States, and their brand of powerful original music and innovative covers has won them international...
THE SLACKERS (Brooklyn, NY)

THE SLACKERS (Brooklyn, NY)

The Koop Tent Stage, 7:40-8:30 p.m. The Slackers are self styled masters of Reggae, Ska and Rock’n’Roll from New York City. The Slackers began in 1991 in NYC. After years of local gigs and rehearsing in a dingy basement in Manhattan’s lower east side, the band released its debut album, Better Late Than Never, in 1996. The band’s success resulted in the release of a second album, Red Light, on the Epitaph label in 1997. Since then the Slackers have released 11 more studio albums (The Question, Wasted Days, Slackers & Friends, Close My Eyes, Slackers in Dub, Peculiar, Boss Harmony Sessions, Self Medication, Lost and Found, The Great Rocksteady Swindle, and The Slackers [self-titled, 2016] ) 3 live albums (Live at Ernestos, Upsettin Ernestos, Slack in Japan), several EPs (International War Crimminal, My Bed is a Boat), and numerous singles and compilation tracks. Since 1997 the Slackers have played over 100 shows every year in a total of 46 american states, 7 Canadian provinces, 22 European countries, 5 Latin American countries, and 2 Asian countries. The band’s musical style is distinct from their contempories; a mix of early Jamaican music with classic 50’s and 60s American styles. There are influences from 50s and 60s Rock’n’Roll, Rythmn and Blues, Jazz and Latin music. Singer Vic Ruggiero has coined the term ‘Jamaican Rock’nRoll.’ to describe it. He says, “The band might play a classic Jamaican style but the vocals are distinctly American east coast, revealing the obvious connection of Jamaican music to the Doo-Wop of Harlem and the...
THE ZOLAS (Vancouver, BC)

THE ZOLAS (Vancouver, BC)

Main Stage, 3:05-3:50 p.m. Swooner marks a major departure from both the cabaret rock of 2009’s Tic Toc Tic and the atmospheric minimalism of Ancient Mars. This time around the band dove headlong into vibrant, experimental pop, stirring modern production into the influences that surrounded them as kids growing up in the ‘90s. “This is the most ‘us’ of anything we’ve done,” Zach observes. “It’s fun to be in an era of music where people are ready to appreciate messed-up combinations of influences, and we had a good time pushing that.” Even just in the rhythm section you can hear these mispaired influences crop up in unexpected places. Drums that revolve from Queens of the Stone Age to Dr. Dre, bass textures evoking The Pixies or Kraftwerk. Instrumentally the album features flashes of grungy hard-panned guitars, Prince-like synth flourishes, eurodance vocal samples, watery electric pianos and arpeggiators, all of which feel shockingly comfortable in their new homes. Swooner moves on from Ancient Mars’ lost love and nostalgia into a cross-section of conversations between a generation of friends about life in 2015; the balancing act we all reckon with between fun and dread. “This album is about how fucked up it feels to step out for a cigarette and a quiet moment at a party, read about disease and climate catastrophe on your phone, finish your cigarette and go back in to dance,” says Zach. “Songs about pre-drinking in your apartment, party drugs in Europe, political arson, jerking off to internet porn, pure love in a group of friends, being single and how great it is, being single and how much...
JOHN RIVER (Mississauga, ON)

JOHN RIVER (Mississauga, ON)

Dine Alone Records Wax on Wheels Stage, 7:40-8:30 p.m. Born to Carribean parents, Matthew Johnathan Derrick-Huie comes straight out of Mississauga, which he affectionately labels the Row. 20 years Rowside has sculpted and shaped the passionate voice, the unguarded pen, and the loaded microphone of the lyrical marksman known as John River. In 2012, John River burst onto the music scene with the release of his first project, The Calm. Along with critical acclaim, The Calm was awarded ‘best Canadian project of the year’ by The Consignment Show on CHRW 94.9fm in London, Ontario. In 2015, Hope City II broke the internet. The, now viral, video has been viewed over 2 million times on Facebook and Youtube. The video earned River his first MMVA nomination for Hip-Hop video of the year. In September of the same year came the release of his second mixtape, The Storm. Once again, critics raved and the people indulged. The Storm has over 11,000 downloads through Hot New Hip Hop alone. A year later, River coined the brand name, “Let’s Save Matthew” under which he created his first clothing pieces. 2016 also saw John River’s inaugural tour, 14 Days In March. Stops in Ottawa, Kingston, Waterloo, and, his hometown, the Row were completely sold out. “Change the world, [that’s] the goal.” He’s more than a rapper; he’s an artist, and it is more than music; it’s a movement. A movement that sounds like promise wrapped in a cultural tapestry as diverse as the city that surrounds him. It sounds like power exhaled from a mind, tossed by a tongue, and consumed by an ear to...