So the problem with setting yourself up to write about something so precious and then leading up to it with MAD, SHAMELESS hype is that inevitably you get slammed with a champion-shized helping of un-ignorable shit-to-do. This blog entry got totally sidelined into a corner to hang out with the package I said I'd send to my mom like, 8 years ago and that giant pile of costumes-to-be... one day I'll learn how to sew, I swear to fucking god. Also I'll learn to keep my hot pink mouth shut about what I'll be posting about before I can actually make time for it. Although you know me. I like to open that pink mouth of mine. Heh heh.
You know what? Fuck it. Boring shit like invoicing can wait a sec. Here goes.
BassCoastProject - The Sequel was easily the best festival of the year for me, and quite possibly the best festival I've ever been to. OH SHEEEEET... yes I DID say that. I'm not joking either. There's a magic about these three BassCoast ladies that draws you in like 80s Jack Nicholson. They got this game locked down. Pay attention to their shit.
First and foremost - the setting, no compromises. And trust me, putting on a party in Squamish Valley is not easy; there's some grumpy old people there who like their peace and QUIET, ummmkay?? These bitches managed to make it happen anyway. Now, blah blah, you know I'm from Winnipeg and you're probably ready for the same old crap about how mountains and NON-brown rivers (gasp!) and trees and pro hockey teams and everything are a really big deal to me. GUESS WHAT. Doesn't matter if you grew up on Paradise Fuckin' Island... Squamish is just straight-up jaw-droppingly spectacular. It's pretty much the prettiest place on earth. Period. The end.
Now imagine a time when temperatures were high, sunshine was rampant, booze was flowing and clothing coverage levels everywhere were really really small. Sigh. Summer. The Squamish valley lays before you like a waiting lover. A fresh, crisp river of sass flows softly along the bottom of your frame of vision and pools into a soft sandy bank, where you dip and swim and grill your bronzed backside at perfect leisure.
Now picture there's an ideally raised sandbar sticking out of the river in your visions' forefront, and that several very attractive half-naked people have lugged eight thousand party-enhancing items onto it. There they sprawl, blissed out with the deep pleasures of simply existing on the West Coast, waiting for you to come share a laugh or two. Welcome to Party Island.
You feeling me yet? GORGEOUS mountain peeks kissing blue blue sky all blanketed in rich lush greenery spreading out as far as you can see... and in front of it some suuuuuper hot guy is running up and jumping on a skimboard to shred a spray of liquid sunlight up into your horizon. You giggle because after catching your breath to take him all in, you realize he's doing it kinda sideways... and you wonder if maybe he just did just a little bump of ketamine. Oooo those boys.... aaand BAIL. Yeah probably. Heh heh heh.
You turn to see a couple cute topless girls swaying their hips in time to the deep n' delicious bass waves hitting the water from the stage. Looking back you comtemplate going to dance... but then you see little blooms of cracked CDs lining the trees like sparkly flowers and decide maybe you feel like exploring instead. Perhaps a meander back to camp to make yourself a beverage. Grab that hash n' tobacco number you rolled earlier. A re-up, if you will.
Pathways take you from the Moroccan hooka tent to a massive hand-crafted pirate ship floating shredded sails high above sets of stacks; you carefully move through the crowd towards the splintered star burst platform and then up the spiraling forest trails to different camps all filled with friendly, intelligent, hot-looking people that you just seem to know. And they're all doing SUPER FUN stuff. Everywhere. All the time.
So in case you're just tuning in, BassCoast was DOPE DOPE DOPE. Such rad cross-representation from different crews along the coast... Van. Sunshine Coast. Squamption. Whistler. Pemberton. Cali. Portland. Good repping from the close Calgary crews as well. Different than Shambhala (which of course has its own qualities altogether which I'll get into in my next blog)... but BassCoast just had this inclusive intimacy and attention to detail; a specific and tangible magic.
I can't stress enough how STOKED I was that they really focused on local talent. FINALLY I felt like these women putting the show on understood that uh, actually, the people making music here are WORLD-FUCKING-CLASS and that we should maybe take a sec to honour that and fucking enjoy it instead of spending every ounce of hype, money and energy on giant headliners all the time. Think about it for a second. Mat the Alien? Puhlayse. KING. Vinyl Richie? Legend. And I mean, when was the last time Max Ulis DIDN'T show up a headliner he opened for? Uhhh, fucked if I can remember. Daega or Self Evidents tunes mad me grind lower than anything I've ever heard before. I've always said that this burly-q girl learned to bump in the moshpits... but it was DEFINATELY deep bass music that taught me my grind.
Adam Shaikh? Win. Neighbour? Genius. LongWalkShortDock? Don't even get me started. ALL TOGETHER??? Come ON. And I haven't even mentioned the Calgarians or the Kootenay crews or the Whistler kids or the Cali fam yet. Unbelievable. For real. There's so many names I wanna drop that I'm just gonna post the whole frickin' line-up again cuz it was BRILLIANT - and guess the fuck what - almost entirely LOCAL.
Honestly, sometimes I wonder if it's even truly conceivable to me how much awesomeness is squirting us right in the face over here. I gotta give the BassCoast girls mad props because they NAILED that. Especially because the music is super diverse and not everyone gets the dubstep thing.. and not everyone is open to the 4/4 thing, in response. I think it's hilarious because I am passionate about all of it and I get to hear all sides... then I just wanna go dance. But I think the girls are still working with that and trying to finetune the line-up and the back and forth between the stages so it works ideally and is smooth.
I'm also super happy about how it wasn't all about DJ glorification, because I'm kind of bored of that. I mean I LOVE music obvs, and hot DJs, TOTES obvs, but here the stages were works of art in their own right and the forest was super beaming with awesomeness from all kinds of contributors and mediums.. everything from what people were wearing to how they were moving... live painting, Mcing, a live band here and there... covered.
And then there's the vibe. I don't know about you, but if I'm gonna go to the trouble and the expense and the energy to go to an event like that, at least for me, there's some stuff that "I wanna". Insert pouty princess face here (just kidding). But for real. For it to be a quality escapism experience for me that truly refreshes and resets my sass levels, a couple things need to go down in my head.
First, I wanna feel excited about interacting with the people there.
Second, I wanna feel like there’s shit to explore, places to discover, settings to peak my curiosity, inspire me, make me feel like I'm are in a different world than the one I experience every day.
Third, I wanna feel like at some point, I can let go. I wanna just be happy to be alive. I wanna feel like any drama and difficulties and struggles and injustice aside, the world is an unfathomably wondrous place and that there is so much beauty around me that I can’t believe I get to experience what life has to offer on a daily basis. You know, that feeling you try to make stick.
Aside from that, I wanna feel a sense of unity with the people around me. Like I'm a part of something bigger, like I'm are among people that understand and accept and forgive me for all the things about myself that I'm not quite sure fit into "the real world" I was born into.
And then I wanna be provoked to contribute to this sense of sanctity; to trust that if the people I'm so close to can share the things that come out of them, I can too. Even if I'm just getting started, or evolving, or attempting, or whatever. You know?
Yeah yeah, surprise surprise, I’m a big fucking hippie raver. Whattya know. (Don't die of shock, just settle down now). But believe me when I say that I'm being 100% genuine. Now imagine for a sec what a tall order it is for ALL of those things to happen at a party, and now imagine how rad it must have been that I actually felt all of those things go down in my heart.
K I'm just gonna do one more thing and go ahead and give a few sentences worth of props to Michael Red's sunrise set on Monday morning. Ask anyone who was there - it was thick magic. Just the vibe confirmed to everyone this sense that, well, uh, us here arty kids... we actually make up a real COMMUNITY, not just a scene. And it just seemed so perfect to look around at everyone so elated and blissed out on each other and being together. I'm serious though! Please don't barf. It was awesome. We all swayed around with giant Chesire grins on our faces while the sun started to kiss the earth and one of Vancouver's most respected future-music pioneers carefully squeezed little hearts out of the speakers.
I'd just never felt SO INSPIRED to go home and CREATE after a festival. My good friend Dano and I drove the whole way home in silence, all dreamy-like... ACHING to get home to write... him music, me words... and we both agreed that Bass Coast was IT. The highlight. The future. What's it that Kelsey Faery calls it? The JUICE.
Anyway. I wanted to give huge propz to these women who somehow made that festival happen for me and for so many of the people I love. I really respect them. And I know what they do isn't easy... it goes wayyyy beyond the obvious tasks of decorating a tent or booking a headliner. It means canvassing for unobtainable permits, coming up with non-existant money, becoming a politician to your colleagues and (occasionally) a warden to your friends (never fun).
It also means keeping the flame burning bright even when it's cold and raining and yucky out and maybe last weekend someone set fire to your stage by accident (which barely affected the party because everyone was having such a great time anyway, but still). FOR THE LOVE OF SASS, I'm here to say... keep that fire going ladies. I think I can speak for many when I say that we fucking love you and appreciate what you do so so SO much. Thank you for being the glue that bring us together. It's so so SO of the rad. High sass ups. Foreves.
Speaking of burning. My friend Karlis, who, btw, incurred about $800 in traffic fines to drive his self-built mobile-sauna up to the BassCoast festival this summer (love him... but man do those BC police sure do need a sense of humour), was telling me that one of the things that bothers him a bit about the Burning Man community is that all too often, some of most creative, inspiring and rad people he knows are suddenly putting all their free time and resources into the Playa instead of bringing that same fire into their everyday universes. As someone who has yet to venture to Black Rock City and who thinks often of many beloved peeps who will most likely never go... I'm REALLY grateful for projects that are bringing magic to everything around them all the time. It's the dopeness.
Okay here's some pix:
A sic shot of the valley:
Big love to my ever-loving domestic/platonic husband Shamik for always getting great shots and bringin' em home:
Nothing but hot sass in one direction...
...and the other...
Tank Girl (see Female Action Hero of the Mother Flippin' Moment, right of blog text) playing at sun-down.
here's one of the Librarian from the back..
and here's one of the BassCoast stage from the front (at least this is what the stage was looking like to most people at this point, heh heh heh)
Here's one of me rapping at the Pirate Ship stage..
...it was super gorgeous, a true Pirate collab (I think Kelsey at the helm). Chili Thom and Ace (Foxy Moron) killing it 45's style all Sunday morning.
Shamik & I chilling over coffees Sunday after K-Tel's Sunday Sermon before jamming a bit onstage:
Me lounging with the Bitchin' ladies (where the crap have THEY been all my life) and Kristi, who regularly gives people sick boners. Party island is starting to happen there in the background..
Who's that in the water? This shot got caught by Eradik...
Me dipping my bitz in the river & schnapped by Brian Keith...
The sun over the flag... sigh. L'amour.
Click here to see ome AMAZING shots by Rebecca Danielson, who's SUPER talented... just click through to her Flickr set. I really like these shots, they are amazeballs.
See if that warms y'up for a minute like so many homemade perogies.