I should have know this was overly optimistic. Word tonight from my pal Wendy 13 (mentioned in that linked post) that what many believe to be the best jamspace in the city (in the notorious pot block) and the El Dorado, one of our better East Van live dives, are both being closed down. Fuck AROUND! See what we have to put up with? (pic via FB)
I’m too pissed off at hearing this to even be judgy about all the “unnecessary quotation marks” in that sign.
No Fun City is a film about the underground music scene in Vancouver and its ongoing struggle in a city that seems hell-bent on shutting down all the fun. Witnessing the ups and downs of life behind the scenes, we watch as venues are closed, parties are raided, and musicians resort to playing in illegal venues, warehouses and even parking lots. NFC focuses on the lives of local promoters such as Wendy 13 from the Cobalt and Malice Liveit from the Sweatshop as they try to overcome city bylaws, condo owners and sleazy landlords in order to keep Vancouver’s underground music scene alive.
Autoreblog. Even though I’m not in this documentary, I am passionate about its subject matter for the following reasons:
1) I had a column about civic politics in a couple of local alternative mags in the late ’90s and early ’00s called Civixen (hence the title of this blog) and the accompanying editorial cartoon, drawn by my good pal Mike O, was called “No Fun City.” We used to get off-sales from the Cobes on production days during our first year, and a lot of these people, including the aforementioned Wendy 13 and one of the filmmakers, Liss James, are friends of mine.
2) For the first time in a long time, the world is paying attention to the kind of bullshit fuckarounds the civic liquor licencing authorities inflict on businesspeople and citizens here. Liquor licences in Vancouver cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take literally years to be approved. It is FUCKED. Alarmingly, economically and scene-crushingly fucked.
3) For the first time in a long time, it IS a fun city. People are seeing how red tape can be forcibly detangled when the big 5 ring circus comes to town (a circus I love, unlike some of the hardcore crusties in this documentary), and people actually have a reason to hope things might start to change in the future for everyone’s benefit, not just to fill the coffers of the most hated Kafkaesque microbureaucracy at city hall.
4) Of all the things you could make fun of about Vancouver, THIS is the one we want you to talk about, because it will embarrass our politicians into changing it.