#festivalseason - The Phillips Backyard Weekender delivered all I expected...And then some.

There was a ridiculous amount of great music at Phillips Brewery for the annual Backyard Weekender in Victoria this year and I could go on and on about it. I could tell you how The Revolution was better than anyone could have thought, laying down a set comprised entirely of some of Prince's best tracks – and even a couple surprises... “America,” anyone? Or how Victoria OG s, Murge and Verse – The Champion Sound, held it down between sets all damned weekend. Or I could tell you about the fiery and relentless disco assault of !!! (Chk Chk Chk) lit up a mostly unsuspecting crowd. In a weekend packed with highlights, here are the four acts that inspired my own lazy ass to get back to important work, like creating things and loving live music even of a fraction of how I used to.

Reggie Watts is so good at what he does that people now believe non-facts about Victoria.

Ask anyone who was there - apart from the two dudes I saw walk out early declaring, “This guy's a fucking weirdo.” - and they'll tell you that Reggie Watts' Saturday night performance at The Phillips Backyard Weekender was a incendiary force of creativity. It was funny, fresh and relentless. It demanded attention to mine its deep rewards. During his set, which my words will never do justice to, Watts told the potted “history” of spare ribs. We all had a good chuckle. Early the next day, whilst in the smoke-pit, I overheard a discussion about the improvised glory that Watts laid down the previous night. “He must have done a lot of serious research about Victoria. Like, he talked about the history of the spare rib and how it came from Victoria. I didn't know that!” “I'm from Victoria and I didn't know that!” These are actual things I overheard. Are there hundreds or possibly thousands of people out in Victoria now spreading the wholly false idea that Victoria is the legit home of the spare rib? God, I hope so.

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#festivalseason - The Phillips Backyard Weekender rides once again, groovier than ever.

I remember when I used to go to the Phillips Backyard Weekender and see a few people I know. And by 2018 it's grown into one of the crown-jewels of Victoria's rich musical summer, a place where I am bound to see countless familiar places, while – and this part is of the utmost importance – we get down with a full-slate of fantastically chosen music. With the return of the Pinic-er Stage featuring a lineup boasting some of Vancouver Island and Vancouver's freshest talents, as well as a full slate of afterparties each night, the good folks behind The Weekender, Atomique Productions, have doubled down on making this one of Vic City's best dance parties this year. The main stage at the Weekender is absolutely dripping with groove and that's where we're going to be focusing our attentions here. It doesn't matter which stage you're spending your time, if you're paying attention you're going to see some great music. And while I'd like to recommend everything here, that would be ridiculous. But if you pay particular attention when I tell you to, you're probably going to have a helluva time – bolstered by your own, wonderful decisions as well.

It all starts right off the bat as music opens with the mighty GROSSBUSTER. Both one of Victoria's finest beatmakers and owners of one of the city's most immaculate beards (A true feat considering how many people in this place make beats and/or have beards), Grossbuster has impressed me every time I've caught one of his sets over the last half decade. Even, hell especially, when he comes out with a set comprised of stuff you've never heard him play, seemingly out of nowhere. With an endless arsenal and roots in hip-hop (Just like I like), you can rest pretty assured that his set is going to be the perfect way to start your weekend. So, don't be a pylon and make sure to get down to site early.

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5 Questions with Rags #3 - Joshua Szirmay-Corrales

Josh is a rad guy. He's one of the youngest music-nerds I've ever met and he knows his shit. His passion for the shit is seemingly limitless and he's even managed to set down the path of Music Promoter, helping with the curation of the Studio CMCT Stage at this year's Rifflandia Festival. Actually, I met Josh at Rifflandia a couple of years ago when I overheard a conversation he was having with the mighty Dane -the fearless head of the Victoria Ska Society- about Reggie Watts. Reggie was set to play later in the day and Dane hadn't a clue what Watts was all about. I couldn't help but chime in and Josh wholeheartedly agreed with all of my gushing. See, good people like Reggie Watts. You can't deny that shit!


Usually I end with the question from the last person, but I’m going to ask this one first because of the nature of the question. Alain Williams, comedian who used to be around town and now he’s in Vancouver, he asked this question and it’s simply…“Sup?”

 Sup?....WHAT?! Ummm…wow. Oh my god. Nothing much, I guess. Not much. I feel like I should answer more but the fact is just…wow. I was not ready for that.

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Reggie Watts will defragment your brain.

I had the privilege of talking to the artist-extraordinaire and all-around great dude Reggie Watts before his mind-altering set at the 2012 installment of Rifflandia. We didn't have a lot of time on the phone together but we still managed to cover audience expectations, Comedy Bang! Bang!​ and the mighty Doob. I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it. Long live art! Long live Reggie!​

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