beekeeper (that's Devon on the right). Photo by Leigh Eldridge.
Tonight at the legendary Biltmore cabaret, local power-pop favourites beekeeper are hosting THEN & NOW, a musical journey into the pasts and presents of a variety of Vancouver musicians. Each artist will play two songs: one from ther past (THEN), perhaps something embarrassing or undeveloped for years, and one from NOW, a new piece they are proud of or excited about. It's as much about connecting with the past as it is about letting go.
In anticipation for THEN & NOW, Megaphone had a few words with beekeper's singer/guitarist and the man who wove this whole event together, Devon Lougheed.
Megaphone: Before we start, please provide a brief CV of your beekeeping experience so I know where we stand in case of a bee emergency.
Devon Lougheed: Well, I've played in a band called beekeeper for three years. As a result, about a hundred apiarists follow us on twitter. So, I know a guy.
M: What do you really know about bees, anyway?
DL: Honey and pollinating bees are going extinct; it's actually a pretty serious issue. Don't kill bees! But kill wasps, all of them.
M: I'm right there with you. Onto the show now, you've been diligent in communicating that the profits from this evening will go to benefit Megaphone Magazine, and we're extraordinarily grateful. Why Megaphone?
DL: We're a band of storytellers, and we are often telling stories in our music. I really value the way Megaphone provides the tools and an outlet for voices and stories that might otherwise go unheard.
M: This show is quite different from the kind of thing most of us are used to seeing. Can you tell us a little bit about the format, and how the idea came to be(e)?
DL: Music shows follow a pretty standard format. We wanted to run a music show that took on the structure and theme of a storytelling night, inspired by great local series like Rain City Chronicles and Teen Angst Poetry Night.
M: The THEN aspect of this show seems to be looking for pieces that, in your words, have "never seen the light of day." How deep did you dig for beekeeper's THEN song, and what kind of headspace were you in at the time you wrote it?
DL: My life is filled with THEN songs, although to be honest, I regularly mine those for the best bits and rework parts into new songs. So, I dug as far back as I could go into heavy teen angst territory without giving away any secrets from our new record.
M: Tell me about Rockin' Robin.
DL: Rockin' Robin is our manager. We somewhat cruelly like to have our comedian friends do impressions of him for online videos. He's a good sport... sorta.
M: If the video is accurate, it sounds like his accent starts Australian and then turns German... For the peace of mind of those of us who are sensitive to such intense cognitive discrepancies, can you guarantee that Rockin' Robin will not be present at the Biltmore at any time during the event?
DL: He might actually be there, trying to make people famous. But I promise you I'll keep him in check.
M: Was it difficult finding artists willing to share their older or more embarrassing songs? Or would that be more Rockin' Robin's job?
DL: It took some convincing. Some people are less interested in digging into the past for various reasons. The night will have very light and hilarious THENs as well as some pretty dark ones.
M: Lastly, any favourite Vancouver acts we should be keeping an eye on?
DL: Young Liars are great. The new Bear Mountain record is awesome. All the acts on THEN and NOW, of course. It's an exciting time to be a musician in Vancouver!
It's all happening tonight at the Biltmore: artists enjoy the lighthearted celebration and support of a Teen Angst Poetry night while performing their 'THEN' pieces, but there's also a chance at redemption as each artist performs their 'NOW', something brand new and exciting to them. As an audience, we'll actually witness the befores and afters of various artists' creative processes over months and years of their lives.
As Lougheed notes, THEN & NOW is all about storytelling, and since the proceeds from this event will go to benefit Megaphone's writing workshops and vendor programs, it will also serve to make the narrative of our vendors and workshop participants a little brighter. So get down to the Biltmore tonight and support your favourite street paper while digging deep into some as-yet undiscovered local gems.