Pugs and CrowsPosted: September 28, 2011
I was completely devastated by the realization earlier this week that a big event I’m organizing for work happens to fall on the exact same day as the Portishead concert I purchased tickets for waay in advance. (I must emphasize that I NEVER purchase tickets in advance for anything but my crazy excitement for said show overtook my usual inability to commit to events set more than a few hours in the future. Note to self: do not sway from your backwards ways, it’ll only lead to heartbreak). Luckily – things do seem to balance themselves out in the Universe and this musical tragedy was evened out by a recent pleasant discovery: The Pugs and Crows band.
I stumbled upon the experimental jazz band this past weekend while seeing my fabulous friends the Red Hot Icicles Burning on Fire play the Olio Festival. The Pugs and Crows came on after and within the first song I found myself stop talking over them in order to actually listen to them (the ultimate new band compliment). The band has been described as “dramatic, cinematic music drawing inspiration from experimental forms of Eastern European folk and modern jazz”. For me that can be translated to: eerie Twin Peaks music meets a caravan of gypsies. I half expected the little man in the red suit to appear on stage and start speaking backwards (this frightful image was aided by the red-curtained stage at Cafe Deux Soleils). What I found particularly mind-blowing was that the four-piece band before me often sounded like a full blown orchestra. The Pugs and Crows were awarded the Galaxie Rising Star award at last year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival and it’s easy to see why. Their sound is equally cheerful and moody – the perfect thing to pick you up and let you wallow in a rainy Vancouver day. Plus, they’re really freakin talented musicians.