Late Nights for Cool People: Ironworks, China Cloud and Jam

Years ago, I heard a band of Bill Frisell’s at our festival. Before starting his second encore, he stepped up to the mic and asked, “Where do you get your energy from?!”.. Someone then yelled back, “from YOU!”… I have a hard time believing that to be true, but in any case.. if the box of tiny bottles of ginseng, or the daily yoga bending and breathing, or the tequila and sunshine, or the redbulls, or the sleeping ’til noon doesn’t do the trick, hopefully these late night shows will keep your attention.

It starts on opening night with Receptacles at The Ironworks. Receptacles is led by a true-blue dry-wit mystery man who travels to us from Stockholm, but is originally from the great lands of Burquitlam, and whose parents I am told grew up in boom town Port Alberni. I first met Joe Williamson on a NOW Orchestra gig that involved 3 guitarists, 1 Skye Brooks, and an assortment of puppets from Calgary. He was commissioned to write a piece for the ensemble. He arrived wearing a suit. His instructions were clear. Try and imagine what it would sound like if Talking Heads, Captain Beefheart, and Fela Kuti were all rehearsing at the same jam space with thin walls. He slowly counted the piece in, “1, 2… (*paused), then rapidly continued, “3,4”. Joe brings us his trio, Receptacles, with Anton Toorell on guitar and Denis Egberth on drums.

Receptacles play the Ironworks at midnight on June 21

The following night we are pleased to welcome Kaja Draksler to our festival for the first time. Kaja is a heavily versatile pianist who has comfortably immersed herself in the reputable Amsterdam scene, but has made a name for herself all over Europe as a composer, bandleader, and improvising musician. Her trio recording from the Swiss label INTAKT,  Punkt.Vrt.Plasti, with Christian Illinger and Peter Eld is well worth hanging out with for a listen. There will be a handful of chances to hear Kaja collaborate this year, but for this performance we are excited to invite her to join Vancouver’s favourite anything goes, 5-string bass and drum combo, Torsten Müller and Dylan van der Schyff.

Catch Kaja Draksler, Torsten Müller, and Dylan van der Schyff at the Ironworks at midnight on June 22.

The next 5 nights, we take a trip down the street and up the stairs to the cozy living room setting that is the China Cloud: an underground skyloft that has kept Vancouver’s creative-jazz, psych-rock, confessional-folk, and heroic-comedy scene in motion for over 10 years. This will be the 3rd edition of the late night series at the Cloud during the festival. This year is once again very full on, with Freedom Muzik “Amsterdam meets Vancouver” – a new trio with John Dikeman, John Brennan, and Jake Hardy – Tiny Pyramids with Berlin based Tyson Naylor – Jeff Younger’s Devil Loops – and Tony Wilson’s 60th birthday featuring double trouble Zubotta and an opening solo set by Ava Mendoza.

Shows at the China Cloud start at 11pm and cost $15 at the door.

The second weekend, we’re locked back at the Ironworks in another ad hoc setting between Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock and Dylan van der Schyff. Those that caught Kris and Dylan last year might be excited to hear how things change shape with Ingrid in the mix. Those starting to get shaky with the heavy schedule of  “just making it up as they go along”, might I suggest paying another visit to the INTAKT label, which released an album of orchestra works by Ingrid, called Contemporary Chaos Practices.

Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock, and Dylan van der Schyff play the Ironworks at midnight on June 28

We have arrived at the second Saturday night. Perhaps you’ve been drinking in the sun all day and you think you’ve got the strength to keep it straight for the midnight show. How many drummers do you see? Tomas Fujiwara brings a stacked band from the NYC scene, which features 2 drummers, 2 guitar players and 2 trumpet players. Not to be missed. The promo pic is also not to be missed. Go, Raptors, go.

You can see Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double on June 29, midnight at the Ironworks.

If you make it all the way to Sunday night, you’ll be rewarded with a hit of Swedish LSD. Lindborg, Sjöstedt and Daniel (Fredriksson). Burning and hilarious, so I’m told. I’ve also just been told that Martin Sjöstedt is being subbed out for Eric Revis for this performance. “LRDy, LRDy”.

If you got to the end of this blog, and these late night suggestions all feel bogus, you still have plenty of other options that could include a handful of heavy hits at the Imperial with some great local support, the Frankie’s JAM, or waiting outside of the Wu-Tang’s tour bus for a glimpse of the MuthaF*ckin ruckus. Or Netflix. There’s always Netflix.