Column: Chilling curbside among astromen

Column: Chilling curbside among astromen

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

Hot, tired, ears still buzzing from a night of sonic exhilaration, we sat on the curb outside the Starfish Room, stretching our legs while making small talk with Star Crunch.

It was July 1996, and Crunch (aka Brian Causey), was the singer and guitarist for the sci-fi surf rock trio Man or Astro-man? from Auburn, Alabama, which had just taken a Vancouver audience, including me, my brother and several of our buddies, on a rip-roaring journey through space and time, complete with space suits, projected visuals and a stage full of retro special effects (think Tesla coils, laboratory monitors, random wires, etc.). Prior to their sensory assault, my fellow travellers and I were scouting the merch table for vinyl or CDs from the opening act, The Subsonics from Atlanta, Georgia, whose sound could be described as low-fi rockabilly/surf/Velvet Underground-in-a-high-speed-blender.

Read more: Bar brings back live music as B.C.’s top doc warns singing spreads COVID-19

Read more: Shuswap Shake the Lake concert cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns

After the concert, I managed to speak with Crunch, Birdstuff (drummer) and bassist Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard, letting them know my brother was a fan, we’d driven from Kamloops for the show and he’d be thrilled to say hi. Minutes later, we were all seated on the curb, exchanging words while cooling down in the summer night air.

I’ve been listening to people share their favourite concert experiences on the radio and started sorting through my own. This one stood out above all – the perfect mix of family, friends, exciting live music and a post-concert chat with the band topping it off.

I’ve seen a fair number of concerts, from coffee shop gigs to big stadium shows. I prefer the intimate settings, like the long-extinct Starfish, where artists can connect to their audience. This brings to mind another memorable night, when Canadian musician Patrick Watson, and opening act Plants and Animals, played the Salmar Classic. Watson had just won the 2007 Polaris Prize for the album Close to Paradise. A fan of the album and the band, I was thrilled when I got to interview him prior to the show and then see him play the Classic. Watson and company did not disappoint.

I missed being at the fairgrounds this year for Roots and Blues, and I hope we’ll be able enjoy more memorable musical moments in 2021.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm RCMP officers responded to two public COVID-19 demonstrations held in Salmon Arm on Saturday, Nov. 28. (File photo)
Organizer of Salmon Arm COVID-19 demonstration fined $2,000 by RCMP

Police said some participants weren’t aware of the public health order prohibiting gatherings

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Salmon Arm RCMP say patrons are harassing local businesses over mask requirements. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Police urge respect after Salmon Arm businesses report being harassed over mask rules

Wearing of masks in businesses and public spaces is currently mandated by the province

The video was used for (KGH Foundation - YouTube)
Okanagan filmmaker, poet win at L.A. Film Awards

Spoken word artist Shane Koyczan wrote and filmmaker David Nault produced the commercial

The Salmon Arm Observer’s annual food drive is underway. For donations of one or two bags of non-perishable items, donors receive a gift certificate from one of several participating local merchants. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm merchants, Observer team up for food drive

Gift cards and certificates available for donations of non-perishable items

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Join Rob Dinwoodie and bandmates for a Cowboy Christmas, Dec. 11 and 12 at Vernon and District Performing Arts Center. Seating is cabaret style on the stage for an intimate concert. (Contributed)
North Okanagan cowboys go virtual for Christmas

Cowboy Christmas streamed Dec. 11-25

Vernon is getting in the Christmas spirit with many homes decorating with lights and extras. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Christmas lights tour mapped out by Vernon realtor

More than 20 of the community’s best lit houses make up annual tradition

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Sunny the cat, who jumped out of the truck at the Revelstoke Landfill earlier this month, was quickly reunited with his owners. (Contributed)
Cat returns home with the help of two landfill workers

Sunny jumped out of the truck at the landfill in November

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Most Read