THE SHEEPDOGS (Saskatoon, SK)

THE SHEEPDOGS (Saskatoon, SK)

Main Stage, 8:45-10:00 p.m. Hailing from Saskatoon, three-time JUNO awarding winning artists THE SHEEPDOGS’ burst onto the international scene after beating out thousands of artists in 2011 to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Since then, The Sheepdogs have amassed six JUNO nominations, toured worldwide and earned Platinum certification for their 2010 LP Learn and Burn. The Sheepdogs’ latest self-titled LP produced by Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) debuted at #1 on the Top 200 SoundScan Chart, garnering another GOLD record for the band. “Our goal is two-fold,” Currie says. “We want to make killer albums that people really want to listen to, but we also want to have a really reputable live show. When we come through town we want to be the hottest ticket there. Those two elements are what make a truly great rock and roll band. Really, though, we just want to play to anyone who is willing to give us a shot and who wants to have a good...
HEY ROSETTA! (St. John’s, NL)

HEY ROSETTA! (St. John’s, NL)

Main Stage, 6:40-7:40 p.m. SECOND SIGHT, Hey Rosetta!’s first album in nearly four years represents the longest musical gestation in the band’s history. In part, the delay was due to the lengthy touring cycle following the success of their last album Seeds, which was short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize, and resulted in the band’s first JUNO nomination and a performance on the JUNO telecast. There was also the band’s determination to expand their sonic horizons and, as songwriter Tim Baker puts it, “let each song come on its own terms and become what it will, unencumbered by some predetermined structure or symbolism or thesis.” So when the band started recording at Montreal’s MixArt studio in late 2013 with producer Marcus Paquin (The National, Stars, Local Natives, Arcade Fire) SECOND SIGHT began as a long list of these new songs with “no real concept, no over-arching theme to the work,” says Baker. “We had enough songs for an album – but what was the album about? What were we trying to say as artists? How did these songs relate to one another?” As the session progressed, things got clearer, but another familiar hurdle arose, “We didn’t have a single, which seems a perennial problem for us. We’ve never really had a single, but boy do people want one” Baker says. “At first we kicked against it, but then, eventually saw it as a challenge.” A second studio session was booked at MixArt from which “Kintsukuroi” emerged. It’s a song about real, broken, messy love, the title drawn from the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold, thus producing a...
WINTERSLEEP (Halifax, NS)

WINTERSLEEP (Halifax, NS)

Main Stage, 4:50-5:35 p.m. “To me it feels like the best sci-fi novels,” Paul Murphy, Wintersleep’s lead singer and songwriter, said in a phone conversation Monday. “They evoke something that’s happening in your regular society. However, there’s a suspension of disbelief that makes it more palatable in a way. It feels a little more alien than a direct representation of the lyrics.” The main inspiration for those lyrics is a Walt Whitman poem “America.” Pieces of it appear in the chorus, but they’re twisted in such a way to suggest a disconnect between the country’s original values and where we stand today. “Are you alive, oh my Amerika?/ Perennial with the Earth/ And freedom, love, and law, and life,” Murphy sings, nodding to the poem, before adding his own twist: “My freedom, I don’t wanna die.” “The song made me think of civilizations that have come and gone in a way,” Scott Cudmore, the video’s director who also wrote its opening poem, said in an email statement. “Nations that have fallen from a kind of ‘golden age.’ So the opening reflects that idea. And Trump does too. But to me the video isn’t explicitly political. It’s about people and how we connect with one another, especially if we recognize that our time is...
YUKON BLONDE (Vancouver, BC)

YUKON BLONDE (Vancouver, BC)

The Koop Tent Stage, 5:45-6:30 p.m. Over the past two years, Yukon Blonde has earned no shortage of acclaim for its hook-heavy brand of pop rock. But despite their love of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, the members aren’t the kind of guys who cling to the past. Frontman Jeff Innes, guitarist Brandon Scott and drummer Graham Jones first joined forces in 2005 in their hometown of Kelowna, BC. Performing under the name Alphababy, they released two EPs and toured extensively while perfecting a slow-burning variety of synth-heavy rock. But when the project soured, the three friends abandoned all of their hard work and reinvented themselves as Yukon Blonde in 2008. Starting from scratch with a new name, they ditched their moody style in favour of a more raw, guitar-driven sound. Catchier and infinitely more fun to play live, Yukon Blonde’s new songs quickly earned the band a devoted following when it relocated to Vancouver, BC. It was in this city that Yukon Blonde cut its debut EP, Everything in Everyway, in 2009. Recorded live-to-tape with producer Shawn Cole (You Say Party! We Say Die!, Hannah Georgas), these sessions also spawned the band’s 2010 self-titled full-length. With its amped-up rock songs and sun-dappled vocal harmonies, the LP received rave reviews. CHARTattack called it “the soundtrack to your summer,” while Exclaim! declared, “The nuances that Yukon Blonde employ are utterly refreshing, and more compelling with each listen.” The record earned a nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, and the outfit embarked upon a gruelling live schedule that kept them on the road for nine months of the year and included...
54*40 Unplugged (Vancouver, BC)

54*40 Unplugged (Vancouver, BC)

The Koop Tent Stage, 7:50-8:35 p.m. 54-40 have roots reaching back to the early beginnings of the 1980 post-punk scene in Vancouver, BC; their very first gig was on New Year’s Eve 1981 at the Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret. In those days you’d have found them rehearsing at a decrepit jam space under a bridge deep in East Vancouver. In the true spirit of independence, the band screened their own t-shirts, sent photocopied newsletters to their fan club, and released their own recordings on tape, which would later be pressed to vinyl and cassette. They were immersed in the MuchMusic video craze of the 1990s and the growing digital worlds of CDs, MP3s, and websites. Through 2000 and beyond, the band have lived through the rise of filesharing and social media such as MySpace, Facebook, YouTube & Twitter and embraced it all, now releasing their very own mobile phone application. Indeed, 54-40 has seen many different changes over the past 30 years, and they have managed to remain constant and relevant in the ever-changing technological landscape of...