By Tim Bogdachev
Christmas RAGER is an annual show to which I invite bands that released my favourite local releases of the year and new bands which made the biggest progress in my opinion. Kinda like a summary of the year. As usual, this year has been fantastic for new punk rock in Vancouver and I heard very many fantastic local releases in 2018. There were so many bands I wanted to invite to the Christmas RAGER that I ended up extending the show over two days and making a mini DOUBLE RAGER festival out of it.
Here’s the menu for Christmas DOUBLE RAGER and a few words on each band’s release from 2018.
You Big Idiot – Mega Donair
“Mega Donair” is the Chinese Democracy of the Vancouver Punk scene. I think Steve recorded drums for the album like four years ago. The album finally came out this April and it’s great! If you like bands which sound like NOFX and sing about ’90s pop culture references and donairs then you should check out You Big Idiot.
The Corps – Tales from 2814
Our friends from Sector 2814 used an absolutely different strategy from You Big Idiot – they went into Rain City Recorders and just banged out a hit record in a few days under the professional patronage of JJ Heath. I guess Dan Garrison can write an unlimited amount of hits about comics in very short periods of time. The album is great and got a lot of well-deserved attention all over the world.
NEEDS – Limitations
These kings of egg punk released a new record, Limitations, via File Under: Music. NEEDS are a band to see live for their energy, charisma and performance. They just got back from an East Coast US tour and shot an amazing video for “Rage Against the Miami Sound Machine.” Take a look if you haven’t seen the video. It features Lauren Ray from Jock Tears and Macey Budgell from Needles//Pins!
Russian Tim and Pavel Bures – SuperHIT & The Other Song
Well of course if I’m organizing a DOUBLE Rager and I’ll invite myself to play. But my band honestly had a very good year. We started last year as a one-off show band, but ended up being a proper band. We played four shows last year and DOUBLE Rager will be our 24th show. 20 shows per year? Not bad. Including shows with The Dreadnoughts, 88 Fingers Louie, Punk Rock Karaoke, Ten Foot Pole, Red City Radio and even The Greatest Sons! We released a couple of SuperHITs and even started our own official Instagram page. I hope all that justifies our appearance. We had a good year and we’re part of the Rager not only because we have good connections!
RONG – Moving On
Rong is simply the best band in Vancouver right now. If you haven’t seen them you’re missing out, but this is your chance. Kristy is a genius musician who started a band with other genius musicians. Result? Its obvious, they are VERY good and very genius. Their first single SuperHIT “Moving On” was featured on the “Punkover vol. 2” compilation. Don’t miss them on Day 1 of the Rager. You will be blown away. I promise.
Dead End Drive-In – Mea Culpa
I’m usually very skeptical of punk bands with three guitars and songs longer than three minutes. Dead End Drive-In are guilty of both, but I still love their new album, Mea Culpa. They just got back from West Coast tour in support of their new album. We celebrated the release of the album in September and it was one of the most fun shows of the year.
Modern Terror – Hardcore’18
Modern Terror had a very exciting and busy 2018! They released their debut album Hardcore’18, recorded it with legendary GGGarth Richardson, toured with Pennywise and Strung Out and played with Pavel Bures at Pub340. I’m not sure what’s their biggest highlight of the year, but it seems like DOUBLE Rager is a perfect way to wrap up this great year!
Dadweed – I Dreamt I Was Running
Dadweed are great – funny, good songs, costumes and the band does some of the most creative promo for themselves in Vancouver. I think its very important for a band to have a good sense of humour and self-irony and Dadweed are really good at this.
Mooshy Face – Are You Ready To Be Cool?
Speaking of fun, Mooshy Face is a definitely fun band. Even I have no idea what their songs are about and what kind of preparation needs to be done in order to be cool but they definitely are fun live.
The Highsides – Put It Out There
I have a rule that I don’t invite to play shows bands that i haven’t seen live. But the Highsides album, Put It Out There, is so good so I decided to make an exception and take the risk. In my defense, their first show was on my birthday and DOUBLE Rager is their second show. So let’s all hope they are as great live as they are on their great album!
P.S. Not all great local bands who released amazing music this year were available to play this show. To name a few Jock Tears, Pet Blessings, Dead Soft, Club Sofa, Dead Cells, Lie, Chain Whip, Corner Boys, Youth Fountain, Sightlines, The Staggers & Jaggs. Check out their new records, they’re all GREAT!
For more information about Russian Tim’s CHRISTMAS DOUBLE RAGER, check it out online here.
Astoria, Christmas, Dadweed, dead end drive-in, Modern Terror, Mooshy Face, NEEDS, RKK, RONG, Russian tim, Russian Tim and the Pavel Bures, SBC, The Corps, The Highsides, You Big Idiot