Month: December 2016

Noise Pollution

Portugal. The Man released this song on December 1st following what they considered to be a rough month for everyone.

“Not to be dramatic and shit, but there’s a flood of noise right now that feels like it might drown us all. And it’s harder and harder to tell what’s fact, what’s opinion, and what’s just straight up bullshit. We’re not able to make sense of it, much less tell you how to make sense of it. Thank God there’s music for that. We’re in this together.”



They are working on a new album, “Gloomin and Doomin,” with Michael Diamond (aka Mike D of The Beastie Boys). No news of when it will be released, but we’re hoping real soon.

Dance and Democracy

Mik and I caught Andra Day on the Granville Strip last night. Remarkable show; super glad I went, despite the fact that I hadn’t heard her name before, learned it off the sign above the Commodore Ballroom’s box office roughly 9.87 minutes before she took the stage. Was fully under the impression that Mik had said “Andrew” on the phone.



Andra Day bantered a lot. One of the things that caught our attention was “This is a conversation: we’re not just up here singing for you.” With that sort of thinking she encourages audience engagement, reminding us about our role in making meaning of the music.

This kind of attitude to art is democratic. She introduced her cover of Simone’s “Mississippi Goddamn” by calling for a reopening of nonpartisan dialogue in the wake of Trump’s election.

The Commodore was nice enough to offer Hannah Robertson (Torben’s sister) a free ticket to the show. Was it because of our good looks or wry charm? Probably both; but Hannah was “too tired” to attend.

Day certainly brought it for the last stop of her tour. See our pics as evidence. Maybe the vocals were mixed a tad too loud, and the keyboard too quietly, but nonetheless her performance was emotionally impactful.



c u all (minus Hannah Robertson) on the dancefloor of emotions.

Review: Torben Robertson

Photos: Mikhail Din

TANGLERS @ Backstage Lounge


It was such a pleasure to see some friends I’ve known for over half my life up on stage, in the form of TANGLERS. I hadn’t heard much from these guys before the show, as they are fairly new to the scene, but these psychedelic local rockers had me grooving.


Their first EP is set to release in mid December, called “Light Slips In.” If it’s anything like their live set, I recommend keeping an eye out for it. (More info here).


Their smooth sounding, so-cal rock vibes are not one to miss. Catch them at the Wise Hall on December 16th as a part of BeatRoute’s Holiday Hustle.

c u there 🙂

Review + Photos: Mikhail Din


The Rural Alberta Advantage

The Rural Alberta Advantage have been on my radar since I first heard their hit, Frank, AB, in grade 12. I’d dabble with their music from time to time and jam out to some of their songs.

In 2014 they released their third full length album, Mended with Gold, which had a couple of heavy hitters imo. If I had to choose one favourite off the album it would be On the Rocks, for sure.

They just recently announced their return to Vancouver 😀 and they will be playing The Fox Cabaret on February 25th, 2017. (Tickets here)

Their fourth studio album is on its way, and they’ve given us a little teaser 🙂

Here you have it:

Dear Rouge’s Album Recommendation

I got in a quick word with Dear Rouge (a local alternative dance-rock duo worth checking out if you like to feel good and dance at the same time) and asked them if they had any albums stuck on repeat / would recommend for music lovers to check out this holiday season.

Their recommendation was none other than Childish Gambino‘s third studio album, “Awaken, My Love!” 

Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover (actor, writer, musician, rapper, singer-songwriter, comedian, astronaut (probably)), came in strong with this soulful album, taking a different approach to his previous, more hip-hop dominant works.

As Dear Rouge put it, “We would recommend the new Childish Gambino record. It’s an important record for any music fan to listen to.”

Have a listen for yourself 🙂


July Talk // Victoria







jtt I first saw July Talk at the 2013 Squamish Valley Music Festival and they’ve been busy since – touring the world, winning a Juno, releasing their second album (Touch) and just being dope af. These guys are the epitome of Canadian alt-rock at the moment. The stark contrast between the angelic vocals of Leah Fay and the deep growl of Peter Dreimanis creates a sound like none other. Together, they create a show that is both music and performance, as they dance with choreiform movements, flip each other off, and genuinely just seem to be having a great time up there. Their chemistry is undeniable and the result is a passionate, high-energy show. Guitarist Ian Docherty, bassist John Warburton and drummer Danny Miles killed it throughout the set, hitting all the right notes and keeping the two manic vocalists in check. This is a must-see show, but may be difficult as most of the shows on their Canadian tour are sold out – and for good reason!


Review + Photos: Ashley Yip



Every one of my friends and I listened five times daily to the ‘Starboy’ single in the weeks preceding the album’s release, because of its ‘straight crack’ quality.  Unfortunately, the single was not prescient of the album’s overall quality, but still, there are lots of moments worth mentioning, and the whole Starboy is worth your attention.  

Like many, here at Nine Eight Seven we are album people, and we always argue that you should listen to an album cover-to-cover once minimum.

The title track and the final track are produced by Daft Punk, Martin ‘Doc’ McKinney, and Cirkut. McKinney we love because he worked on House of Balloons and Thursday (two of the three Trilogy mixtapes, which invariably remain Weeknd’s best work, imo), and we’re happy to see that the Doc has returned to the fore. Cirkut we don’t care about because his work is shamelessly mainstream and even if you like pop music, like we like pop music, you still don’t really like Kesha’s shit.  

Daft Punk can basically do no wrong, to my mind, so if you only listen to two tracks off the tape, listen to the first and the last.

But if you’re going to listen to a third song, listen to ‘Love to Lay,’ which is my nomination for most danceable beat, and the Jacksonian influence (an influence that we know operates because of Weeknd’s ‘Dirty Diana’ cover) is at work.

Kendrick’s verse on ‘Sidewalks’ is quite good. Future’s feature is decent, and the beat on which he sings / raps / mumbles (as only Future can mumble) is well suited to his singing / rapping / mumbling. Lana Del Rey sounds quite breathy, but somehow pulls ‘breathy’ off on her ‘Stargirl Interlude.’ Weeknd, however, did not need to join in on the vocals for the last few bars of the song, though: I don’t see why he didn’t just let Lana do her thing, as if she fucking needs your permission to be a Stargirl, Abel.

anyways, c u on the dancefloor when he comes on April 25th, 2017

Review: Torben Robertson