DAN MANGAN CD Release Concert with MEATDRAW

Dan Mangan and the guy

Photo by Brenda Lee (kn0ttyn3rb)

29 August 2009 at The Cultch (East Vancouver Cultural Centre)
Photography by Brenda Lee (kn0ttyn3rb)

It’s safe to say that the ticking time bomb also known as “Dan Mangan” has finally exploded. After Nice, Nice, Very Nice was released in Canada on 11 August 2009, Dan has been critically acclaimed (with an unfortunate emphasis on critical, in this case). Haters aside, everyone else has fallen head over heels for Dan (the) Mangan, and I can’t stress enough how much he deserves the praise.

This CD release party weekend featured two shows at Dan’s favourite concert venue, The Cultch. Fellow correspondent and fangirl Brenda Lee attended the Friday night show, which was opened by Victoria singer-songwriter Aidan Knight. The Saturday evening show was opened by another of Dan’s picks, a band called Meatdraw (also from Victoria). Their setlist included “We Have The Nighttime,” “The Devil In Our Bones,” and my personal favourite, “In The Afterlife.” Let me try to describe Meatdraw for you. Imagine, if you will, a death-defying Tim Burton production of Mother Mother, mixed with some of the magical era-long-gone country music I’ve only heard from The Breakmen. Meatdraw’s music is as dark as their instruments, seen when Lily Fawn (also of Hank and Lily) pulls out a saw and begins to play it. Their finale also features chains in a bucket, and their uniform look of black and red really emphasizes the musical theatre feel of Meatdraw. This is one band you’ll find hard to compare, and I’d recommend checking out their MySpace music.

During an introduction by 100.5 The Peak, we were told that Dan Mangan had played their launch party less than one year ago. At the time, the Peak representative didn’t know who Dan Mangan was and had no idea how good he was. Now, The Peak is as exceptionally proud to present Dan Mangan as we are to hear him.

Dan Mangan was accompanied by his trust band of merry men: Kenton Loewen on drums, John Walsh on upright bass, and Aaron Joyce on electric guitar (his band A Ghost To Kill Again played The Cultch the next evening on their other stage). Dan Mangan is thoughtful and touching, from drinking out of a Vancouver Folk Music Festival water bottle to tossing his EP (strangely priced at $8.93) into the crowd, to remembering my name when I hug him after the show. It’s going to be hard to explain what you’ve missed if you didn’t get to see him in concert, but I’ll recount snippets of my favourite banter. Dan introduced his band members and explained that he sniped them all from different bands, and those bands have since gone to “band heaven.” Dan stopped short halfway through “The Indie Queens Are Waiting” to protest the 50% cut in Arts funding (read about it on The Vancouver Sun website). Dan is as fervent a believer in The Way Things Should Be on stage as he was when I interviewed him (article on its way).

Dan Mangan (with Shane Koyczan

Photo by Brenda Lee (kn0ttyn3rb)

Dan Mangan’s good friend and spoken word artist Shane Koyczan joined him on stage for “Fair Verona,” my favourite song. Shane’s poetic imagery and voice moves me to tears, especially when he comes out for “Tragic Turn of Events / Move Pen Move” during the encore. During their show finale, “Robots” (they still need love, apparently), a mistake is made and Dan stops to laugh. Kenton walks off stage in a false huff, and Aaron goes to fill in on the drums. Kenton runs back out and grabs Aaron’s guitar, then they return to their normal instruments and Dan announces them as Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. For the encore, Dan brings out everyone from behind the stage and all of his musician friends in the audience for “So Much For Everyone.” We still aren’t satisfied, so Dan comes out on his own for one final song. It’s a short little ditty called “Daffodils,” and it’s one of the sweetest love songs I’ve ever heard.

If you’re kicking yourself for missing this weekend, hop on the Dan Mangan band wagon as it sets off on a cross-country tour. Catch him in Victoria on September 24th when he plays the Rifflandia Music Festival with Said The Whale, or at the Inlet Theatre in Port Moody on October 2nd for only $20. He promises to return to Vancouver later this fall/winter for more shows, but buy your ticket already, you silly git!

1. Road Regrets
2. Sold
3. You Silly Git
4. Pine For Cedars
5. Journal of a Narcoleptic
6. The Indie Queens Are Waiting
7. Et Les Mots Croisés
8. Tina’s Glorious Comeback
9. Fair Verona (with Shane Koyczan)
10. Some People
11. Basket
12. Robots
1. Tragic Turn of Events / Move Pen Move (with Shane Koyczan)
2. So Much For Everyone
3. Daffodil

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