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Scene and Heard: Singer-guitarist Chan returns for hometown performance

Singer-guitarist Tim Chan has spent the better part of two decades in Vancouver, plying his trade with a number of mainland rock ’n’ roll outfits.
China Syndrome will play at the Copper Owl on April 25.

Singer-guitarist Tim Chan has spent the better part of two decades in Vancouver, plying his trade with a number of mainland rock ’n’ roll outfits. Next weekend, he will bring the best of those — China Syndrome — back to his native Victoria, the place where his career got off to a fast start in the mid-’80s.

Chan was the frontman for locals 64 Funnycars, a power-pop group whose sound at the time had much in common with The Posies and Big Star. The Funnycars became one of the better local draws at Harpo’s during the early ’90s, but the group wasn’t long for this world, and broke up arguably before its time. Chan moved to Vancouver soon after.

It all would have faded into history had Chan not formed China Syndrome. The Vancouver band began releasing records in 2007, and is now on its third full-length, the recently released The Usual Angst. Each recording was produced by David Carswell, of The New Pornographers fame, which gives you an idea of the power pop included therein.

Hometown gigs for Chan are few and far between, though he did return in 2011 as part of a 64 Funnycars reunion. Those who missed that can make good when China Syndrome performs at the Copper Owl (1900 Douglas St.) April 25.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Victoria bands RADco and Seven Minute Lull will open the show. China Syndrome will also perform Friday at The Vault (499 Wallace St.) in Nanaimo.

For details, visit


A contest aimed at discovering the best-kept secrets in Canadian music has whittled its list of 3,333 entries down to 545 semifinal acts, 25 of which are from Vancouver Island.

The second round of voting is now open for the CBC Music Searchlight contest, a countrywide talent search designed to connect independent artists with fans across the country. During the finals, the 13 regional finalists will battle for a grand prize that includes $20,000 worth of music equipment from Yamaha Canada, in addition to a spot on a high-profile music showcase.

The Victoria finalists, who are competing for 10 B.C. spots against artists from the Lower Mainland, Interior and North/Central coasts, are a typically varied bunch, from jazz singers to indie rockers. The list includes: Amelia Allen, Big Little Lions, Boondock, Brodie Dawson, Caesha McCollum, Coastal Giant Music, Dug Nugget, Fish & Bird, Gord Phillips, Heather Hutchison, Isobel Trigger, Kristina Helene, Mbira Spirit, Ms. Maxine, Nat, Nick La Riviere, Noah Edwards, PK Tessmann, Sean Baker, Sister Speak, Tango Lima, The Beautiful Wild, The Tumblin’ Dice, The Wild Romantics and Wil.

Online voting continues until Monday. The eventual winner from B.C. will compete in the national finals, which will be decided upon by a celebrity panel that includes Cowichan Lake’s Dan Boeckner, singer-songwriter Jenn Grant and rapper Saukrates. The winner will be announced on CBC’s Q on May 15. To vote, visit


Free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann will make a rare and much-anticipated solo appearance at the Copper Owl next month, organizers have announced.

The German saxophonist has collaborated on more than 100 recordings over his 48-year career, including work with Don Cherry, Bill Laswell and Hamid Drake. Brötzmann, 74, will perform at the Douglas Street club on May 19. Tickets are $15 at They are liable to be scooped up immediately.


Four of Victoria’s best-known theatre companies — Kaleidoscope Theatre, Intrepid Theatre, Puente Theatre with Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Theatre SKAM — will fill the Metro Studio with programming for the third annual Family Theatre Festival.

The two-day festival runs May 2-3 at the Quadra Street theatre and features performances of I Have Seen Beautiful Jim Key, Pinkalicious: the Musical, The Umbrella and The Runaway.

Festival passes are $40. Single tickets are $10-$12.

More information is available at 250-590-6291 and The Metro Studio is at 1411 Quadra Street.


A whopping 5,000 performers from Vancouver Island will showcase their skills at the Greater Victoria Festival of Performing Arts for five days next week.

Starting tomorrow and continuing through Friday, the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium will host daily Studio Dance Sessions at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Performances will feature dancers tackling styles ranging from tap, jazz, and hip-hop to ballet, lyrical, and song and dance.

Tickets are $7 (adult) and $5 (senior/student) per session. For information, contact the UVic Ticket Centre at 250-721-8480. Tickets are available online at or in person at the University Centre.

Information on the performances is available at


Toronto roots act Great Lake Swimmers will release their new album, A Forest Of Arms, on Tuesday via Nettwerk. To celebrate, the group has released plans for an 11-date tour that brings the celebrated band to Victoria’s Alix Goolden Performance Hall on June 3.

The tour will feature The Weather Station in the opening slot, making this almost a double-bill in terms of quality. Toronto folkie Tamara Lindeman — who performs as The Weather Station — is poised to break out with her forthcoming third record, Loyalty, which she recorded with Bahamas honcho Afie Jurvanen. The album arrives on May 12.

Tickets are $24 at Ditch Records, Lyle’s Place and