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Tofino music: Sound from the end of the road

by Ron Weeks, Tofino

the letter 'A'

A few days ago I was sitting in small garage/ office in the outskirts of Tofino and I witnessed a transformation. A channelling of sorts. It was the movement of sound through a small sampler, across an impressive array of analog ‘noise toys,’ through tiny speakers and into my awaiting ears. It was a powerful moment that reflected the motion of the coast. There were no flashes of light, no supersonic booms, only Duncan Booth sitting patiently listening for the next 16 measures to contact him. DJ Roboforce had arrived.

The thing that made me feel fortunate about this particular piece of time, was that lately I have been getting these musical moments quite regularly. There seems to be lots of local music going on around town which is good because this place has always been kind of ‘feast or famine.’ I remember many times in the past when Tofino was full of musicians, but no one really put on any shows. So it’s nice to see the local talent getting out there and playing some tunes.

This past month Rob from the sushi bar and his bluegrass band played down at the Weigh West and rocked the pub until it closed. Brendon, Natascha, and Nye have been running the open mic at the Maq every Thursday and the Weigh West runs its open stage every second Monday. So there is opportunity to get out there if you have any songs to play. Kevin West is still spinning records around town and even made it down to Victoria this month. Shazam shook some winter cobwebs off and grooved for the groms at the Schooner, little punks better not drop in on us anymore just because we surf like old men, guess what we are and we’re not going anywhere. Hope you guys represented Canada well in Ecuador!

The Legion shows started up again with Sweatshop Union and the Ghost Brothers, both bands from Vancouver, and Adam even did some Djing at the Martini Migration spinning some tunes before the Tina Jones band. Andrew Poirer & Smalltown Empire opened up for Canadian folk singer Ian Tamblyn at the Greenpoint Theatre in the Pacific Rim National Park to help kick off the Whalefest. The Ukee boys Rob, Dave, Bill and Paul aka the Usual Suspects closed the festival down with a couple of sets at the Wickanninish Interpretive centre in the park for the wrap up sponsor dinner.

As winter rolls through spring and moves toward summer the local music scene seems to be gaining momentum and there are lots of things to look forward to in the upcoming month. Smalltown Empire spent a little bit of time in the studio this month producing a five song demo CD which will be coming out in the middle of April. The duet will be releasing the CD at Darwins Café in the Botanical Gardens where admission gets you a copy of the recording, so keep your eyes out for that one.

Alison Crowe is playing some music as a fundraiser for the West Coast Community Resources Centre at the Community Theatre on April 3rd and on April 4th Rob Thoms, Bill Morrison, Dave Hurwitz, Roger Plant and Bryden Ashton put on their ‘For the love of Gord’ show. This is a tribute to Gordon Lightfoot, so all the songs played at the concert were written and performed by Gordon himself.

DJ Roboforce with the Mutuals of Omaha will be playing at the Floathouse in Ukee on April 10 starting at 8:00 pm. Duncan is teaming up with Chris the Dread and Shawn Lennon so go grab some sushi and listen in.

The second annual ‘Live at the Weigh West’ takes place on the 20th of this month at the Coho room and will include quite a few of the people already mentioned, as well as Matt Lovegrove and Miles Howe. Matt lived in Tofino for a few years and spent some time in northern British Columbia recording ‘Woodland Telegraph’ which I’m sure will be available for purchase when he plays at Sobo on Wednesday, April 22.

Check out the concert listings for any more live music acts around town this month, there are always many good shows at the legion. And don’t forget top keep on playing music cause it makes you feel good. Random acts of art are being encouraged this month around Tofino and Ucluelet so why not rock some random acts of music. Wail into the sweet spring air!

Ron Weeks has been strumming, singing and surfing around Tofino for quite some time now. He still enjoys long walks on the beach, the smell of fresh bread, and long, luxurious bubble baths.

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Tofino music at the end of the road. Ron Weeks writes about the music scene and the state of musicians in Tofino.

tofino time april 2009

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