The Record Club is bringing back album-listening parties

Now let’s sit down and talk about how we feel

August 9, 2016

By Jenni Baynham

Tickets to this Thursday’s (Aug 11) live event featuring Neil Young’s Harvest sold out in ten days (don’t cry about it, you can still add yourself to the waitlist). A new take on the classic “album party”—when a group of friends would sit around and listen to a full album before discussing each track into the wee hours of the morning—The Record Club has evolved from Vancouver’s Rain City Chronicles (with a little help from Here There events studio) to create a storytelling album-listening hybrid that locals seemingly can’t get enough of.

We sat down with one of the founders Lizzy Karp to find out more about Vancouver’s latest craze.

How did the idea to throw album-listening parties come about? Live music has always been a big component of Rain City Chronicles. After David Bowie died last fall I noticed the kinds of personal stories people were sharing about how his albums had impacted their lives. Previously, our Rain City nights had themes like “luck” or “hotels,” but there was something in the idea of telling stories using a particular album as the theme.

So should we expect? We always start the night by listening to the full album as guests arrive, then we follow the Rain City Chronicles style of letting people go on stage to tell stories based on that album; the cool thing is it combines comedians or actors with people who have never been on stage before. We pair them with a co-host for the evening; it makes the whole thing about genuine experiences.

How do you go about picking the albums? We try to find seminal albums in various genres that impacted lots of different people. We can’t do anything too new as the albums have to have touched people in a way that they can reflect on that time. We ran a pilot in the spring that was based on The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead. Lisa Christiansen from CBC is a die-hard The Smiths fan, so she co-hosted our first one.

So who’s co-hosting the Neil Young event? Kevin Chong. He’s a local writer who did creative writing at UBC then published a book about Neil Young.

Is there any music that’s actually live? Definitely, there’s the opportunity there for local musicians to perform and also do covers of the featured artists’ work. Skye Wallace is performing at the Neil Young listening party; she fell in love with him when she was younger. He’s basically why she learned to write songs.

Any idea yet what the next album will be? Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know. The co-host for that one will be Andrea Warner, a local author who published a book called We Oughta Know about Canadian women in the music industry.

Sounds like people will need to book their tickets pretty quickly… Yes, they go on sale for that one mid-September.

The Record Club is a volunteer project. Can people still get involved? Absolutely, we are always looking for volunteers. The show doesn’t have a home, meaning we have to set up from scratch at different venues across the city. There’s plenty of work to go around!

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