Yea, good sirs and madams, with the third Tuesday of the month, the 57 Varieties open stage is upon us once again, this very evening of Tuesday, April 21st! Though it it looking like we will be trumped by a celebration of an empty building in the woods of Ontario (once inhabited by deceased poet Al Purdy), the ace up our sleeves is that this is also the fifth anniversary of the 57 Varieties series, having peregrinated from its birth at the Butchershop Floor to the Annex (briefly) and through two different locations of Spartacus Books, settling at its current location at 684 E. Hastings (at Heatley). From 8 through 10 pm, we will be serving the customary anniversarial carrot cake, squeezing some accordion, and seeing what performances come through the doors... as always.
A big thanks to last month's crew: with Chris, Ashley, Karina and Meagan in effect, it was almost like we were back on the Butchershop's unfinished floor... but it wasn't cold enough, fortunately. Mariana not only held down the essential duties of keeping the bookstore open, but also shared a story of fairy-tale terroristic acts. Most significantly, however, superjill's ukulele duo swept us off our feet and opened the door to a few delightful impromptu surprises.
As always, we aim to enrich our wider community by offering some further cultural options beyond our specific event. Some suggestions include:
* Wednesday, April 22nd: some of you may recall the live readings of Matthew Glick's radio-less "radio plays" that were an early highlight of the 57 Varieties series back in the Butchershop days. Well, another group is at it, The Thirsty Detective, mounting a similarly Noir endeavour at the Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir Street); the play's name is "5 Cents a Dance" and it starts at 7:30 pm!
* Friday, April 24th, that same Railway Club plays host to a musical night of some of Victoria's best, THE GRUFF, along with Saskatoon's "the Deep Dark Woods", from 8:30 on. $10, $8 for members.
* Also that night, the sorry mad geniuses behind Accordion Noir put the squeezeboxes aside for one night and mount a radio special promoting another underappreciated musical instrument. From 8 through 10:30 pm, CFRO Co-op Radio 102.7 fm will be hosting a one-off fundraiser drive special episode of Ukulele Noir, including a closing hour with Ralph Shaw, the King of the Ukulele! When the time comes (and after it passes) you can listen to it here through your computer.
* Saturday, April 25th, Prince George's musical philosopher-king Jeremy Stewart finds his way to the Bump 'n Grind (916 Commercial Drive at Venables) for an early show (4-7 pm) with Graham Lazarovich. By donation!
* Sunday, April 26th, Erin Graves once again joins forces with the jug band of the damned, the Creaking Planks, to present an evening of musical mayhem at the Little Mountain Studios (195 E. 26th at Main.) 8 pm on.
* Wednesday, April 29th, the Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway at Commercial) caps off its month of concerts with BIG SCREEN BARRELHOUSE, a riotous mix of music and screenings including performances by Tarran the Tailor, Blackberry Wood, Maria in the Shower, Mind of a Snail and other special guests for $15! 8 pm 'til past midnight!
* Thursday, April 30th, the old gang reunites the retro revival project for one night at last at THE '80S IN APRIL at the Cottage Bistro (4468 Main St), presenting musical highlights from the 1980s performed by spillious' Good Rockin Tonite! 9 pm, by donation!
* Friday, May 1st, is an international labour celebration. In addition to the standard rally (5 pm, starts at the Vancouver Art Gallery, makes its way down to Victory Square), there's an afterparty of sorts at the Rhizome Cafe (317 E. Broadway) celebrating a new graphic novel history of Canadian May Day history. Doors at 7, performances at 8, suggested (but not mandatory) donation of $5... including performances by Sean Carleton, Mark Leier, Grassroots Women, Sinag Bayan, and Aiyanas.
* also that night, Victoria's other major musical export, FISH AND BIRD, descend upon Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial) to share their spirited take on folk pealed out by young turks. Cameron Latimer, O'Mally and Danielle Lebeau Petersen will all be on tap from 9 pm on!
* the afternoon of Saturday, May 2nd, some outlaw fans of the writings of late children's author Shel Silverstein hope to gather and celebrate his works with new musical arrangements, controversially censured by Shel's estate even before they left the gate! The location is a secret, but let the organizer know you're interested at peppermillrecords.com/contact and he'll keep you posted!
* Proving everything old is new again, the DO_INK COMIC JAM (a collaborative drawing session) returns to the Little Mountain Studios in which it started, from 8 pm to midnight Sunday, May 3rd.