West settles and Waste grows

The Province (Vancouver) May 2, 1996

By Tom Harrison

As one gets smaller, the other gets larger.

While Music West, which starts tonight, has scaled down its yearly festival of indie rock and pop acts, Music Waste has scaled up.

Where Music West has reduced its past volume of 300 acts appearing in approximately 30 venues to 200 in 20, Music Waste, the anti-festival that kicked off last night at the Mighty Niagara, has ballooned into three nights of 100 bands appearing at nine clubs.

Perhaps it's a force of nature, such as the one that says for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, or perhaps it was meant to be, but what started as a goofy prod at the structure and the image of Music West as hip tastemakers has taken on a life of its own.

It's growing and that fact alone speaks loudly for the number of bands that abound here, about the practical limits of Music West, about the initiative of bands that either weren't accepted by Music West or those who have refused to play by the larger festival's rules.

Three years ago, Kris Mitchell of the band Smak and Gilles Zolty of Zolty Cracker lined up a couple of other bands and a venue and did their end run around Music West by calling it Music Waste and voicing their disapproval of that system.

Music Waste's modus operandi simply is to take as many local bands as it can and fit them into as many venues as it can find. No applications, no fees. The bands play for the admission minus some overhead costs and appear in the spirit of the music and Music Waste.

In the end, Vancouver now has two concurrent modern rock festivals that, by their character, complement one another - and, who knows? If Music Waste gets any bigger, it could face the same logistical challenges Music West deals with each year.

For a complete Music Waste schedule, pick up the May 1 edition of Terminal City.

Otherwise, potential Music Waste highlights could be: Smak, Zolty Cracker, The Sweaters and Cowards (Fri., Mighty Niagara), Bughouse Five, Coal, Surfdusters (Fri., Cafe Deux Soleils), Terror of Tiny Town, knock-down-ginger, Daytona, Spiritual Heroine, Guppy (Sat., Samoos), Cinnamon, Underwater Sunshine (Sat., Malcolm Lowry Room), Bloomsday, Genius, Velour, She Screams, Aural Sects (Sat., Columbia), aGNELLI and rAVE, 10 Foot Henry and more (Sat. evening Vancouver Press Club.)

Finally yet another option in the form of the Vancouver Press Club has presented itself for acts not appearing at either Music West or Waste.

The small watering hole on Granville across from the Pacific Press Building is opening at 1 p.m. on Saturday in order to provide brief showcases for, among others, the excellent Circus in Flames, BMX and Daniel Rhodes.


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