Project Wingman Pt. 2

Date: Thursday, May 15

Name: Roseanna

Age: n/a

Occupation: Magician’s assisant

Assignment: the second night of the annual New Music West music festival in Vancouver, including a schmooze and several bands at various venues, including a jazzy hangout and blues bar

Assessment: Roseanna was thrown into the whole wingman thing last minute, that very afternoon in fact, and carried it off with much aplomb. At the schmooze, she mingled easily. When we first arrived I suggested we each pick one person in the room for the other to talk to. She didn’t hesitate when I pointed to a bearded dude, who turned out to be a musician in a visiting Utah band called Good Morning Maxfield. As a result, we went to see them play at the Yale, a downtown blues bar, where we ran into Lillian, whom I know from seeing around at music shows all the time. The three of us set out for the Libra Room on Commercial Drive, the city’s organic foods/drum circle neighbourhood. There we saw an amazing Icelandic pop band, Sprengjuhollin. The keyboardist was hysterically funny explaining song lyrics between numbers: “This one’s about hockey and maple syrup,” he pretended, baldly pandering to us Canadians. After their blistering, Icelandic version of “Heatwave” I told Roseanna to go up onstage and talk to them so I could get a shot for my blog. She did so without hesitation. Bonus points for keeping up drink-wise, talking about flashing her friends at her birthday party last week, and admitting, a propos of nothing, “Weed makes me horny.” 9/10

Date: Saturday May 17

Name: Jessica H.

Age: n/a

Occupation: student (feminist studies)

Assignment: a strip club; a local music hub

Assessment: For someone who was recruited stealthily, and in fact probably doesn’t even know she was recruited, Jessica acquited herself rather well. I met her at a show by British indie-rock act Clinic and invited her out to join in the New Music West festivities with Lillian and I. Following an abortive attempt–it was absolutely dead at 10:30 p.m.–to check out the Penthouse, a local strip club given over to NMW bands for the weekend, we lost Lillian. Nevertheless, Jessica was up for continuing the adventure, despite my obvious lack of a plan. At the Railway Club, a local music hub, she seemed comfortable being left on her own to watch the bands while I talked to semi-important music industry folk I knew. Also, the idea of feminist studies never fails to intrigue me, so conversation between bands was interesting. Bonus points for having songs by my all-time favourite band on her iPod, for offering me gas money for the ride home, and for bopping her head, very un-Vancouver-like, to the music for each band. 8/10

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