2017
Vancouver Sleep Clinic
May
28
Sunday
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $12adv/ 14
Tickets, please
Vancouver Sleep Clinic
Tim Bettison makes fearless music. The guiding creative force behind Vancouver Sleep Clinic, one of the great under-the-radar success stories of the last couple of years, he boldly blurs the lines between styles and genres, mixing elements of rowdy indie rock, sophisticated folk, bumping R&B, sweeping film soundtracks, and anything else at hand. More crucially, his full-length debut, evocatively titled Revival, never shies from messy emotions or big moments, but embraces them as the essence of affecting, deeply emotional, highly sophisticated music. This is music that reaches out unabashedly to the entire world. This is music that dares.

Yet, it was all created by a guy who describes himself as "average."

Bettison grew up in suburban Brisbane, Australia, where he got good marks in school, attended church with his family, played football, and dug into his parents' vinyl collection. "I haven't really had anything eventful happen to me," he says. "I'm part of the standard middle class, just an average person with an average background."

His ordinariness ends, however, as soon as he steps into the studio he built in his house, a small space where he makes big music. As a teenager he started writing songs and assembling them by himself, layering his vocals until they sounded somehow both inhuman and intensely human. The studio became a place where he could escape from the world but also where he could make sense of the world, and his early material marries the immense intimacy of Bon Iver with the intricate arrangements of Sufjan Stevens and the otherworldly grandeur of Sigur Ros. Although at the time he had never been to Canada, he settled on the name Vancouver Sleep Clinic, partly because the city held such a fascination for him and partly because he wanted to create music that was ambient and dreamy. In 2014 he quietly released an EP, titled simply Winter, to Soundcloud with few expectations.

The music, however, demanded attention. It attracted a grassroots audience of listeners who identified closely with Bettison's meditative lyrics -- as though he were writing to express not merely his own fear and hopes and dreams, but those of an entire generation. Within months, it was a runaway smash, and to date Winter has garnered an incredible 30,000,000 streams and 100,000 digital sales. He booked and sold out a tour of Australia and Europe. He became one of the most promising young musicians in the country -- all before he had graduated from high school.

That kind of success at such an early age is anything but average, but Bettison's insistence on his own normalcy reveals a lot about his character and his music. That's the perspective from which he sees the world and from which he makes art: Feeling no different from anyone else allows him to make music for everyone else. Music has always been his salve and salvation, a bright beacon leading the way forward, and he hopes his songs will have the same effect on listeners. Revival, he says, "follows the journey of finding my place in the world and finding my feet in what I was doing."

That journey took him far from home. As a break from touring, Bettison volunteered in Cambodia and then in the Philippines, where he taught English in rural orphanages, cooked meals, helped develop a school, and did whatever he could to help. The experience got him out of his own life and put his own circumstances into sharp perspective. "A lot of the songs actually came around that time. That was the turning point in the journey where I got some perspective and the songs starting coming."

One of the first songs he wrote following those trips was "Someone to Stay," a standout on Revival with its rumbling rhythms, iridescent production, and what sounds like a choir of our better angels. "Hear the fallen and lonely cry out: Will you fix me up, will you show me hope?" Bettison sings as the music swells into a shimmering chorus, ragged yet regal. Rather than end with a thundering finale, "Someone to Stay" drifts into a beautifully understated coda, whose restraint conveys a heartening optimism.

After crafting meticulous demos in his home studio, Bettison knew he would have to find new ways to realize the big sounds in his head. He would ultimately traverse the Pacific, landing in Los Angeles to work with producer Al Shux, who has helmed hits for Jay Z, Lana Del Rey, Alicia Keys, and Lianne La Havas. "Al brought everything to life," says Bettison. "When I started envisioning the album, I knew I wanted it to be very progressive and draw from different genres. I come from folk and instrumental music, and what I wanted was something more like hip-hop and r&b. So when I brought my demos to Al, he really understood what I wanted to do. I wanted to make big statements, and he helped make that possible."

Perhaps because he is a fan of films and soundtracks -- in particular the works for Hans Zimmer -- Bettison always works with visuals in mind. Songs are colors and textures, grain and gradient. "It's almost like I'm trying to paint a different color palette. I'm trying to create a different mood and atmosphere with each song. When I write, I picture the colors I want to convey, what the visuals would look like." As a result, each song on Revival has its own distinctive sonic identity, becoming a world unto itself.

To heighten that sensation, Bettison recruited a crew of artists who crafted startling visuals for every aspect of Revival. The covers for the singles showcase digital sculptures by the Swedish artist known as Pandagunda. The first video from the album, for the song "Killing Me to Love You," was directed by David Helman (Glass Animals, Vince Staples, Shura) and features effects by the design firm Etc. (Beyonce's Lemonade). The song itself is a harrowing account of devotion in the face of death, punctuated by strident percussion and that heart-rending confession of the title. The video alternates between shots of a young woman wandering the desert -- Is she lost? Running from something horrible? Running toward something glorious? -- and overhead views of mountain ranges. The terrain is rendered strange and dizzying, both beautiful and alien -- much like the music itself.

It's a remarkable accomplishment, a pop album as a multimedia project and mission statement, life-size and human-scale and anything but "average." "I feel like I'm in a very similar spot to other people my age," says Bettison. "We're all still trying to work out what we want to do with our lives. Because I come from such a normal place, I feel like people will be able to relate to these things that I think and write and sing about. It's important for me to share my voice."
text list
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venue info
Froth
Apr
23
Sunday

Froth

w/ White Woolly, Breathers

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $10adv / $12

Tickets, please
rempis
Apr
24
Monday
Free Monday!

Dave Rempis

w/ Tashi Dorji

9pm - $Free

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Apr
25
Tuesday

Youth Eternal

w/ Brother Oliver, Robert Travis (Of Muscle and Bone)

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $5

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Apr
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Wednesday

Low Earth

w/ Pallor, VIA

Doors 8:00, Show 9:00 - $5

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Apr
27
Thursday

Ahleuchatistas

w/ Shana Falana

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $8adv /$10

Tickets, please
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Apr
28
Friday

Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts

w/ Stray Owls, Utah Green

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $8adv / $10

Tickets, please
the tills
Apr
29
Saturday
Free Album Release Show!

The Tills (Album Release)

w/ Pie Face Girls, No One Mind

Doors 8:30 Show 9:30 - $Free

mind
Apr
30
Sunday

Mind Over Mirrors

w/ Brokeback, Smelt Roe

Doors 8:00, Show 9:00 - $8adv / $10

Tickets, please
Ralph White
May
01
Monday
Free Monday!

Ralph White

w/ The Dead Tongues, Wes Tirey

9pm - $Free

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May
03
Wednesday

Sean Rowe

w/ Faye Webster

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $10adv / $12

Tickets, please
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May
04
Thursday
The Deep End Presents:

May the 4th Be With You: A night of intergalactic improv comedy.



8pm - $7

lingua franca
May
06
Saturday

Lingua Franca

w/ Spaceman Jones, Lucianna Ania

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $8

Tickets, please
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May
07
Sunday

Weedeater

w/ Horseflesh, Uktena

Doors 8:00, Show 9:00 - $15adv / $18

Tickets, please
unnamed-2
May
11
Thursday

Skunk Ruckus (Album Release!)

w/ The Dirty Badgers, Tinderbox Circus Sideshow

Doors 8:00, Show 9:00 - $5

onj
May
12
Friday

onj. (Album Release Show!)

w/ Ellipser, Mere Fever

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $5

sir-richard-bishop
May
13
Saturday

Sir Richard Bishop

w/ Robert Millis

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $10

Tickets, please
frankiecospc_matthewjameswilson
May
14
Sunday

Frankie Cosmos

w/ Uni Ika Ai

Doors 8:00, Show 9:00 - $15

Tickets, please
unnamed
May
15
Monday
Free Monday!

Trophy Dad

w/ Minorcan, Fashion Bath

9pm - $Free

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May
17
Wednesday

Doug Tuttle (formerly MMOSS)

w/ Nightlands

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $7

unnamed
May
18
Thursday

The Moth: True Stories Told Live (Theme: Karma)



7pm - $10

Tickets, please
xasthur
May
19
Friday

Xasthur (acoustic)

w/ Johanna Warren

Doors 8:30 Show 9:30 - $10adv / $12

Tickets, please
PressPic
May
20
Saturday

BASK (Ramble Beyond Record Release)

w/ Nest Egg, HAAL

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $10

unnamed
May
21
Sunday
David Joe Miller Presents:

WORD!



Doors: 7pm, Show 7:30pm - $12

Tickets, please
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May
23
Tuesday

Tobin Sprout (ex-Guided By Voices)

w/ Elf Power

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $12adv / $14

Tickets, please
gringo star
May
24
Wednesday

Gringo Star

w/ Shantih Shantih, Shaken Nature

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $8adv / $10

Tickets, please
13697294_1105338816205318_4959762952940775989_n
May
27
Saturday

Faun and a Pan Flute

w/ Giant Giants, Cyboman

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $8

Vancouver-Sleep-Clinic-IMG_9808-NEW-SQUARE
May
28
Sunday

Vancouver Sleep Clinic



Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $12adv/ 14

Tickets, please
kikagaku_moyo_europe_2016_jamie_wdziekonski_174
May
29
Monday
Free Monday!

Kikagaku Moyo

w/ Al Lover, Acid Reign

9pm - $Free

tim-kasher
May
30
Tuesday

Tim Kasher

w/ John Bradley, Campdogzz

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $12adv / $14

Tickets, please
Leif_Vollebekk_720x720
Jun
02
Friday

Leif Vollebekk



Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $12adv /$14

Tickets, please
mothers
Jun
03
Saturday

Mothers

w/ TBA

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $10

Tickets, please
paladin
Jun
05
Monday
Free Monday!

Paladin

w/ Aether Realm, GnarlScar

9pm - $Free

richardlloyd
Jun
06
Tuesday

Richard Lloyd (of Television!)



Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $8adv / $10

Tickets, please
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Jun
09
Friday

House and Land (Record Release Show!)

w/ Nathan Bowles, Emmalee Hunnicut

Doors 8:00, Show 9:00 - $8

GGFO_PhotoByShervinLainez_4
Jun
11
Sunday

Great Good Fine OK



Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $12adv / $14

Tickets, please
peterbroetzman2
Jun
12
Monday
The Mothlight & Harvest Records Present...

Peter Brötzmann & Heather Leigh Duo



Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $15

Tickets, please
Black_Marble-2-Credit-Joseph_Jagos
Jun
13
Tuesday

Black Marble

w/ Body of Light

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $12adv /$14

Tickets, please
unnamed
Jun
15
Thursday

The Moth: True Stories Told Live (Theme: Cheating)



7pm - $10

Tickets, please
David-J-hero
Jun
16
Friday

David J



Doors 8:00, Show 9:00 - $15

Tickets, please
399_thumb
Jun
21
Wednesday

Daniel Romano

w/ TBA

Doors 8:00, Show 9:00 - $10adv/ $12

Tickets, please
unnamed
Jun
23
Friday

Knives and Daggers (Album Release Show!)

w/ Cobra Horse

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $5

shane-mauss
Jun
24
Saturday
Highcountry Music and Arts Presents...

Shane Mauss: "A Good Trip" Comedy + Science + Psychedelics



Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $15

Tickets, please
chastitybelt2
Jun
25
Sunday

Chastity Belt

w/ TBA

Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $10adv / $12

Tickets, please
unnamed
Jun
25
Sunday
Highcountry Music and Arts Presents...

Here We Are w/ Shane Mauss (A Live Podcast Recording)



Doors 1pm, Show 2pm - $10

Tickets, please
jenny besetzt
Jun
26
Monday
Free Monday!

Jenny Besetzt

w/ KONVOI, Acid Reign

9pm - $Free

cindy-wilson
Jun
27
Tuesday

Cindy Wilson (of The B-52s!)



Doors 8pm, Show 9pm - $15adv / $20 (VIP Meet-n-Greet $35)

Tickets, please
woods
Jul
11
Tuesday
The Grey Eagle and The Mothlight Present...

Woods **at The Grey Eagle**

w/ John Andrews and the Yawns

Doors 8pm - $13adv / $16

Tickets, please
strandofoakspress
Jul
15
Saturday

Strand of Oaks



Doors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $11adv / $13

Tickets, please
unnamed
Jul
17
Monday
Free Monday!

Jonah Parzen-Johnson



9pm - $Free