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The Georgia Straight presents BUCK 65 and guests
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The Georgia Straight presents...
BUCK 65 + guests ROLLA OLAK
Friday, May 18th
Tickets are $20 and are on sale now at Ticketweb.ca, Zulu Records + Red Cat Records.
Rolla Olak’s self-tilted debut was recorded by Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Cave Singers) and released independently. His songs have appeared in TV and films including Vice’s motorcycle documentary “Doin it Baja”. Rolla is currently preparing to release his follow up album and is playing live regularly in Vancouver.
They call me Buck 65.
I grew up on a dirt road in a small town called Mt. Uniacke in rural Nova Scotia. That's on the east coast of Canada. When I was a kid, there was a ferryboat that ran between Nova Scotia and Boston, if that helps.
I mostly kept to myself as a kid. I did well in school but all I really cared about was baseball. I tried my hand at scratching on the family stereo system when I was 13 years old. Around the same time, I started writing little raps to impress the girls in my homeroom class. For some inexplicable reason, I demonstrated an innate ability in both disciplines right out of the gates. I was a natural. I was also a nerd.
In 1990 I lost my virginity and baseball broke my heart. I overreacted by recording an album and inflicting it on the public. The effort was largely ignored. But those who took notice were split evenly among those who hated it and those who loved it. Since then, I have had numerous sexual encounters and my music still divides people evenly. I don't play baseball much anymore because I wrecked my shoulder. But I still follow the professional game closely and I collect baseball cards like an idiot.
Having been a confused hip hop fiend-slash-fascist as a teen, my attention began to wander sometime around the middle of the 1990s. At that point, I began to aggressively seek inspiration in cinema, weird art and other kinds of music - mostly that made by losers and pariahs with an eye for beauty. These perverted pursuits began to corrupt my own creative emissions. I deluded myself into believing that it would be a good idea to apply sundry art theories to hip hop boneheadedness. I took a post-punk philosopher's approach to b-boy-ism. I decided to try to break the world by making the most beautiful rap song ever heard. After a few years of perfuse bleeding to the beat, I came to realize that only mutants go for that kind of thing. But there were just enough of these deviants to keep me going and I haven't looked back.
Recently I came to realize that I've been getting weird on tape for 20 years. I decided to celebrate and invited a bunch of my fellow sub-normals to the party. We ate paste and pretended we knew what each other was talking about. It was uncomfortable a lot of the time, but lots of exciting music was frankensteined.
The first person I called was Jenn Grant. She's from Prince Edward Island and was Anne of Green Gables when she was a kid. She's a capital 'O' weirdo, but has the most beautiful voice you'll ever hear in your life. We made a handful of songs together. Some you'll hear now, some you'll hear later.
Gord Downie is one of the most successful oddballs in the history of Canadian whimsy. When I thought to invite him, I never imagined he'd actually show up. But he came early with a bag of cheese puffs and a box of blank Valentine's Day cards. We made a waltz for people to dance to alone. It's called "Whispers Of The Waves". I'm still amazed by how fast it happened.
John Southworth arrived by hot air balloon, wearing a paper hat. Safe upon the ground he removed the hat and on it we wrote a song about estranged fathers and sons, computers, democracy and Christopher Cross. It's called "BCC" and is the only song on the album that features both flute and marimba. It's accidentally exotic.
Once upon a time, Nick Thorburn had a band called The Unicorns and made an album called "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?" He came to the party with craft supplies and we made a song called "Gee Whiz" out of popsicle sticks, macaroni, sparkles and pipe cleaners. These days, Nick has a whole bunch of bands, it seems.
Olivia Ruiz came all the way from France and brought scary movies. We made a fort out of cushions and blankets and we made a song about vampires called "Tears Of Your Heart" in our sleep. We woke up in the morning and there it was! Neither of us has any memory of making it.
When all was said and done, an album called 20 Odd Years was constructed. Flip through its pages and see photos of beautiful faces like that of Hannah Georgas and Marie-Pierre Arthur. We cut out a picture of Leonard Cohen's face from a magazine and pasted it on my face. We played dress-up and spun the bottle. When the party was over, we agreed to never do that again.
Undoubtedly, I'll make another album in a year or two. And one of these days I'll throw a party to celebrate 50 years! But in the meantime, please enjoy 20 Odd Years.
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