Destroyer / Pink Mountaintops / Riff Randells / Vote Robot / Dustin Cole Richard’s On Richards, Vancouver BC November 10

Destroyer / Pink Mountaintops / Riff Randells / Vote Robot / Dustin Cole Richard’s On Richards, Vancouver BC November 10
Twenty years in business spells success, no matter who you are. Since 1987, Scratch Records has made it their modest goal to get vinyl to discerning listeners; along the way they became a label, and home to many of Vancouver’s finest acts and they celebrated with three parties. A few of the finest were at Richards for the third celebration, and if this swatch of the Scratch cloth is as mosaic as another, it’s easy to see how 20 years flew by. Opener Dustin Cole came bearing smart lyrics and Decemberists-style baroque pop. Solo on guitar, Cole received the small gathering of early-evening listeners with lyrics like, "Walk around in your dirty shirt, show the girls you can’t be hurt.” By contrast, Kelowna duo Vote Robot served up moody electronica, heads down, to a chatty, puzzled crowd — save a few devotees up front. All-girl group Riff Randells arrived next, all rock stance and blasts of sunny punk. Singer/guitarist Kathy Camaro dumped her misbehaving guitar and borrowed one from Destroyer’s Dan Bejar; while tuning, she reasoned, "This must be the first time this guitar has been used this way,” before kicking into a raucous three-chorder. After a manifesto from a Scratch employee ("We’ve saved more vagrants than you ever will!”), Pink Mountaintops awed the room to silence with a bell-clear acoustic set. Stephen McBean, ever the Geico caveman/Jesus clone, belied his enjoyment only once. Grinning, he muttered, "We’re playing all the oldies,” before producing a flawless "Different Times.” Vancouver’s other Jesus, Destroyer, closed the lengthening evening with a six-piece and a lush, large set. Four hours in, Bejar’s warm, conspiratorial swagger still shook even the crustiest vinyl collectors out of their stupor. Sending us home, Bejar thanked Scratch founder Keith Parry and sang "Don’t become the thing you hated.” We promised we wouldn’t, and toasted 20 years of Scratch — something we love.