Music Waste: Some Like it Wasted

Vancouver music event promotes local bands that go against the grain.

Credit: Steve Louie

Pictured: SSRIs will play at

Music Waste on Thursday,

June 11 at Funky Winkerbeans

in Vancouver.

“Vancouver’s music scene” is one of those nebulous descriptives like “Minnesota’s pie culture”; it makes dim sense unless you’re an actual part of it and probably slightly less sense when you’re in it.

The ad hoc, DIY mentality of many of the city’s bands tends to overtake the very idea of there being one big homogenous scene. Where Seattle had its Grunge movement, Vancouver is a mainstream marketer’s nightmare; a place where bands are more or less only definable by a shared geography and college kids in weird hats. And really that’s all part of its charm.

Music Waste, June 9–13

Music Waste website

Music Waste schedule

View a full map with all Music Waste venues

$15 full festival passes can be found at:

Zulu Records (1972 W 4th Ave)

Scratch Records (726 Richards Street)

Limelight Video (2505 Alma Stree)

Red Cat Records (4307 Main Street)

Audiopile (2016 Commercial Drive)


Vancouver has consistently put out irreverent and eclectic artistic work while being largely unmoved by corporate trends, and for over a decade Music Waste has worked to sustain this side of community art that often gets overlooked. Started in 1994, Music Waste was created in response to corporation-backed music festivals that tended to neglect experimental music. Since then, the Vancouver music event has helped to promote local bands that go against the grain.

With over 300 submissions of wildly varying independent bands this year, Music Waste proves the point that Vancouver’s scene is sincerely led by its own diverse community values. Starting June 9, the festival hosts nearly 100 bands over five days, with two comedy revues and five art exhibitions.

This year’s lineup offers dozens of stand-out acts, including the likes of Twin Crystals, Analog Bell Service and The SSRIs. Taste-test a bit of these local Vancouver band’s music below: click to download an MP3 of each.

Twin Crystals

Twin Crystals has the sound of punk rock glued to a synth like its drunken Siamese twin. It’s half oozy-electronica, while the other half is the product of sweat, stink and guitars. You can check them out on June 13 at The Astoria (769 Hastings Street East).

DOWNLOAD their song “Two Girls” here


Analog Bell Service

Analog Bell Service make indie rock without falling into the usual indie rock platitudes. Pop without the bore, introspective without being cloying, they manage to perpetually find gold nuggets of catchy melody and sew them into winding, complex structures throughout every song. It also helps that the lead guitarist is so good it makes me genuinely angry. Check them out on June 13 at The Secret Loft (exact address and venue information pending. It’s a secret!).

DOWNLOAD their song “I guess” here



Throwing out punches of high-energy noise cross-stitched with sweet, sweet harmonies, The SSRIs bring art-rock song structure to dank pub punk. They’re at Funky Winkerbeans (35 Hastings Street West) on June 11.

DOWNLOAD their song “Oh me oh me” here

Emily Gera

Emily Gera is a music and video game reviewer from Vancouver. She has previously contributed to Beyond Robson, Tiny Mix Tapes and Adbusters.