Page 1

MADE IN WINNIPEG

WINNIPEG in WINTER

insulationissue

the


top 5 KELLY 1. Ladytron - Softcore Jukebox 2. Plastikman - Closer 3. Kraftwerk - Tour de France Soundtracks 4. Metric - Old World Underground, Where are you now? 5. Miss Kittin - Radio Caroline Vol. 1

MICHAEL 1. Breakfast with friends 2. Hella - Hold Your Horse Is 3. Under Pressure 4. Shepherd’s Pie 5. Chester Brown

CATHERINE 1. Aqua Books (89 Princess St.) 2. CBC Radio One’s Saturday programming 3. Reading anything that isn’t a text book 4. Cranberry juice 5. Artificial decorative birds

LISA 1. Safeway Select Great Escapes “Maui Maca Maca Roon” Ice Cream 2. Peter Saville 3. Adrian Tomine 4. Bitch Magazine 5. www.yayhooray.com

DON 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

outer space and the wars that take place beyond the stars conspiracy theories/ubiquity of surveillance cameras deified celebrities; both living and dead pink floyd and what’s really on the dark side of the moon cockatiels named billy

MARK 1. Any comics by Jordan Crane 2. The Apartment Music - film 3. Non-Prophets - Hope 4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon 3. Meiji Sushi’s umekyu maki

2 6 8 12 14 16 19 24 28 34 36 40 44 48 54 56 58 61 64 68

CONTRIBUTORS

pleasures URSINE URGES: HIBERNATION TIPS THE PARKA AN E-MAIL FROM PARIS

travels:

MONTREAL

FEVER PRESS CHICKEN OF GOD SURVIVING THE SMALL TOWN UNDERGROUND... ARTWORK BY LISA RAE SWAN PEANUTS

&

CORN

habitat: ONE ROOM LIVING: HONOURÉ habitat: ONE ROOM LIVING: STACEY my neighbourhood: OSBORNE VILLAGE STREET FASHION MEGAN’S BIT-BY-BIT RECIPES THE TRUE WINNIPEGGER TEST OUR GAME ARTWORK BY DON RITSON TOP

5 MADE IN WINNIPEG.

cover models

JOHN TOEWS

& MEGAN BRESCH

photo MICHAEL MACDONALD

68


contributors M

ILO IS AN INDEPENDENT, QUARTERLY PRINT MAGAZINE BASED IN

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA. OUR PRIMARY GOAL IS TO PROVIDE A SHOWCASE FOR GREAT PEOPLE DOING GREAT THINGS RIGHT HERE IN OUR FINE CITY, AND TO DOCUMENT THE RATHER EXTRAORDINARY SIDE-EFFECTS OF THE SEEMINGLY ORDINARY WAYS IN WHICH WE LIVE, WORK, PLAY AND CREATE. QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND SUBMISSIONS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME, AND CAN BE SENT VIA E-MAIL OR POSTAL MAIL (SEE ADDRESSES PG.

darren stebeleski

2

deco dawson

4).

carlos quinonez

catherine toews

kelly money

lisa rae swan

lorne roberts

mark saunders

don ritson

iris yudai

megan bresch

michael elves

michael macdonald

neil burnby

3


What’s the most bizarre thing that’s happened to you in the wintertime?

+ meera singh + ethelbert street

samantha marcelo

sean konrad

stacey abramson

I was living in Regina and I was about 3 or 4 years old. I was bundled up and playing in about 4 feet of snow. My dad built me a snow fort. I had a Tonka truck and I was playing in it, when suddenly the entire fort caved in. I was encased in snow. I’m not sure if I was breathing but it felt like being underwater. I heard sniffing and whining, followed by a rustling, and suddenly the nose of my cocker spaniel, Sandy, met mine. He had seen what happened and dug a hole to get to me. - KELLY MONEY

I used to get my tongue stock to frozen metal ALL THE TIME. Somehow, no matter how many times it happened I just didn’t learn. The most memorable occasion was when, for some reason, I decided it might be a good idea to lick a frosted bike rack during recess when I was about 6 years old. I remember frantically running into school and crying to my teacher about how my tongue had “fallen off ” and I didn’t know what to do. Kids these days… - CATHERINE TOEWS

The Blizzard of ‘86. I spent three days playing “Expedition”, roaming the neighborhood in ski goggles while toting a shovel in a sled. However, I was a seven year-old only child; it’s probably not so bizarre in that context. - LISA RAE SWAN

CALGARY

What is your most miserable winter memory?

design & editing catherine toews

online

http://milo.porridge.ca

e-mail

milo@porridge.ca

mail

MILO MAGAZINE PO BOX 221 RPO CORYDON WINNIPEG MB R3M 3S7

4

special thanks michael macdonald allison woo samantha marcelo stacey abramson jeff johnson

My mom used to make me wear this 1960’s snow-child white poof hat. It looked like the fur of a biscon frise and I kind of resembled a ceramic ornament, but with a one piece hot pink snowsuit and Sorels. It was quite embarrassing. But now I wish I had that hat and that it fit me ... it would be pretty hip now. - STACEY ABRAMSON

I used to deliver flyers, and the thought of having to go out of my nice warm house for three hours to trudge around in the freezing cold for pennies filled me with dread. ah, the good old days.... - DON RITSON

paula mcleod rick herrera

What do you like most about Winnipeg winters?

korbin grae

I like that winnipeg HAS winters. there is a certain beauty in untouched sparkly snow and the quietness of it all. I just hate that they last for so bloody long. - MEGAN BRESCH 5

andres nieto brad smyrski


mixtape

FAT

-

BABIES

SIMIAN

SIMPLE

mixtape

-

BOURBON TABERNACLE CHOIR I WILL GIVE YOU EVERYTHING

-

- CHRISTINE

#1 –

SKYDIGGERS FACE DOWN, FEET FIRST FELLOWS OH WINNIPEG

UNHAPPY SONG

-

- TED

STRAUSS

PLEA FROM A CAT NAMED VIRTUTE WHY MUST I ALWAYS EXPLAIN BREAK

YOUR

pleasures iris yudai, 31

STEPHANIE PLUM NOVELS American novelist Janet Evanovitch has created a sleuthing role model who’d blow all three Angels right out of Charles Townsend Detective Agency. Stephanie Plum books are page-turners, and I’m not just saying that because my friend Stephanie recommended them. RAM WOOLS On a long wintry Saturday afternoon, I can think of nothing nicer than taking my imagination and a pocketful of money to Ram Wools. The last time I was there, the knitting gurus who run the store asked if I wanted any help. “No,” I replied, “I’m just going to frolic among the yarn.” After an hour or so of fondling balls of chenille and angora, I headed home, armed to knit up a cable-knit sweater and a few funky scarves. 6

HEART

-

-

VAN

MORRISON MERCHANT

LOMOGRAPHY (www.lomography.com) Lomos are compact cameras that use Russian spy technology, or so the legend goes. But Lomographers, like most fanatics, have their commandments: Don’t think. Be fast. Get close. Shoot from the hip (or the ground). Don’t worry about rules. Be unique and find your own way. Not bad rules to live by. SUN WAH If you’re going to throw a makeyour-own-sushi party, Sun Wah on King Street is the place to start. Sure, a standard grocery store will sell you sushi kits including nori wrap, wasabi and pickled ginger. But it’s all way cheaper at Sun Wah, and as a bonus, you can pick up some miso soup mix, sushi plates and bamboo rolling mats. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also buy a bit of roe and barbecued eel. That’s one-stop shopping at its best.

JOE

OVERLOOKED

VITAMINSFORYOU

LOVE

– –

HENRY

DAVID BOWIE STARLITE THE

VIBRATION BELLE

THE

&

& –

POETS NICKY JOSH

SEBASTIAN

SINGLES ENCORE

– JAY-Z THE ONLY ONE – DANGER MOUSE & JEMINI SINNERMAN (FELIX DA HOUSECAT’S HHOUSE MIX) – NINA SIMONE RHYTHM WITHOUT A PAUSE – TERRANOVA TONIGHT (NEW JAZZ VERSION) – KOOP BROTHER – VICTOR DAVIES AMORE COME DOLORE – NEEDS

- SERENA RYDER - WEAKERTHANS

NATALIE

THE WRENS ANNIE

I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU

ME FIRST AND THE

GIMME GIMMES MELANCHOLY BLUE

3 –

AFTERNOON

ROUSE IF SHE WANTS ME

KINDNESS - BILLY BRAGG SEE A LITTLE LIGHT - BOB MOULD

-

MOJAVE

SHE SENDS KISSES

LLOYD COLE MILKMAN OF HUMAN

DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA

THIS

BRING ME THE DISCO KING

pleasures

michael elves, 27 “RESTAURANT ROTATION” My girlfriend and I have a few favourite restaurants and a few favourite dishes at each. Despite trying new places and dishes, we’re becoming “regulars” with fixed eating habits as we always seem to come back to these few places for our favourite dishes. SALSA AND SOUR CREAM ON A BAKED POTATO If you’ve never tried this, you need to do it, now. MY MP3/CD DISC PLAYER I know everyone loves their mp3 players, but I like the versatility of playing a single disc when I want to, but also being able to load a dozen albums onto one disc to listen to. MY NALGENE BOTTLE Whether it’s full of water, iced tea or even slurpee, this goes with me nearly everywhere.

DEVELOPING BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS A friend recently taught me how to do this and I’ve quickly become obsessed with making my own prints, particularly of pics I’ve taken at shows. YOGHURT-COVERED RAISINS I know girls who ask “why yoghurt-covered when you can get chocolate-covered?” but damn are these addictive. MUSIC TRADER ON CAMPUS As if I needed one more thing to do at university other than schoolwork – now I can rent movies and shop for CDs. NEWSPAPERS Whether it’s reading the weekday editions on the internet or settling in to read the Saturday Globe, I’m a junkie for the print-press. 7


Ursine Urges HIBERNATION TIPS FOR THE IMPENDING WINTER text by MICHAEL ELVES

W

HILE SCIENCE HAS GIVEN US CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT OUR CLOSEST RELATIVES IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM ARE THE CHIMPS, FROM TIME TO TIME WE HUMANS EXHIBIT SOME BEHAVIOURS THAT

ALIGN US MORE CLOSELY WITH OTHER ANIMALS (SUPERFICIALLY AT LEAST).

IN

A CLIMATE LIKE OURS, AS THE LEAVES BEGIN TO DROP ALMOST AS

DRAMATICALLY AS THE THERMOMETER, THE ANIMAL WE MOST CLOSELY RESEMBLE IS NOT THE CHIMP BUT RATHER THE BEAR WITH ITS ANNUAL AUTUMN PREPARATIONS FOR A WINTER SPENT IN HIBERNATION.

I’M NOT SAYING WE ALL BECOME SHUT-INS AT THE FIRST SIGN OF

FROST, AND

THERE ARE SEVERAL ENJOYABLE ACTIVITIES THAT HINGE ON THE EXISTENCE OF SNOW, BUT LET’S FACE FACTS

WITH

THAT IN MIND,

I’VE

WINTER CAN BE UNBEARABLE AT TIMES.

COMPILED A LIST OF ITEMS THAT WILL COME IN

HANDY WHEN YOU’RE FORCED TO SPEND A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF YOUR SPARE TIME INDOORS.

8

WHITE TEETH BY ZADIE SMITH MIDDLESEX BY JEFFREY EUGENIDES Both of these novels deal with questions surrounding identity. Smith’s novel tackles race, class and generational identities in contemporary London, through the persons of three families. The strength of this novel lies in the way Smith capably creates a multiplicity of wholly realized characters – each and every one of them has a distinct personality and pulse. [I’d also recommend Michael Ignatieff ’s Blood & Belonging as a complementary, non-fiction, read]. Eugenides won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel that, at root, tackles the issue of gender identity. Middlesex finds narrator and central character Cal relating the history of his family, and of the genetic mutation that made its way from Asia Minor and into Cal’s blood. The mutation appears when Cal is born and is raised as a girl, Calliope. Throughout the novel, Eugenides displays humour and compassion for the members of Cal’s extended family while subtly tackling the debate on nature versus nurture in gender identity. [For a non-fiction read on that topic, see As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto]

JAZZ: A HISTORY BY KEN BURNS Acclaimed documentarian Burns may have an overwhelming soft spot for Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington as THE key figures in the history of “America’s art form” but this lengthy and authoritative series is worth the time required to watch it. Tracing the history of Jazz through scratchy old recordings, photographic stills, interviews, film clips and more, Burns delves deep into this musical form and comes up with some surprising facts and intriguing history. I for one didn’t know just how many Jazz artists were heroin addicts – including purveyors of California’s Cool Jazz movement (that never struck me as a Horsefriendly form). 9


PUBLIC LIBRARY CARD I sincerely hope you already have one of these – the public library is a tremendous resource that can be tapped for numerous things. There are novels and documentaries like the ones I’ve just mentioned available, along with feature films, CDs, magazines and other materials. In addition the library hosts events like book readings and poetry slams (mind you, this would mean leaving the house temporarily).

TV ON DVD Nothing kills time quite like binge-watching a favourite television program, and with the tremendous number of titles now available on DVD, there’s something for all tastes. Personally I enjoy the edgepushing humour of the Family Guy, but whether you’re looking for comedy, drama, or action – it’s available for you to binge on.

HUDSON’S BAY BLANKET If you’re going to ensconce yourself in front of the television, why not wrap yourself in one of these historic blankets. Their capacity to provide warmth has been historically proven, and according to that arbiter of style, the Globe & Mail, those four coloured stripes against a white background are this season’s cats’ pajamas. Remember that understanding the point system is pivotal to purchasing a blanket – and I’m not talking about HBC Rewards. It’s the number of points on the blanket itself you have to be mindful of. 10

SONGS WE KNOW BY FRED HERSCH AND BILL FRISELL Pianist Hersch and guitarist Frisell take a quiet journey through some Jazz standards, including “My One and Only Love,” “Blue Monk,” “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “It Might as Well Be Spring.” While the latter title may leave you a tad melancholy for the season you’re stuck in, this album will leave a warm feeling in your heart.

STRING QUARTET NO. 12 IN F MAJOR, OP. 96 “AMERICAN” BY ANTONIN DVORAK If you can get past a reflexive resistance to anything with “American” in the title, you’ll be treated to one of the best string quartets ever written. From the sprightly Allegro ma non troppo to the reflective, restrained Lento, this is a captivating piece of work.

OOLONG TEA This tea has a real earthy flavour to it (but it’s not “dirt tea” as some would lead you to believe), and is a solid choice for warming you up from the inside out. Any brand of oolong will suffice, but look for Golden Sail brand if you get the chance.

ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS REISSUES ON RHINO Who better to kick at the darkness that comes earlier and earlier with each day, than the poet laureate of the pissedoff ? While he has mellowed in recent years, these reissues of classic Elvis Costello and the Attractions albums have more than enough energy to keep you going until spring thaw. Each of the original albums is accompanied by a bonus disc containing alternate versions, demos and live cuts. And in fine Rhino reissue tradition, the liner notes are a treat in themselves.

A FAVOURITE SUMMER PICTURE Whether you get yourself a fancy frame or just stick it up on the refrigerator, find a memorable summer snapshot to remind you of the good times you enjoyed in the sunshine and will one day enjoy again.

11


senseless for having the gall to wear one. Then - at least in small town Manitoba - it strangely became cool for the tough kids to wear them, with either Sorel snow boots or mukluks on their shuffling feet.

T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T

Of course there is the whole Mod association, which I’ve never really understood. Sure it looks undeniably cool to have all those Who badges, target pins and scooter club logos sewn on there, but still - parkas in England? Does it ever really get Canada cold in the UK?

text & photo by DARREN STEBELESKI

W

HEN

I WAS TOLD THAT

the same caché.

THE THEME FOR THIS ISSUE WAS INSULATION,

I THINK THAT OF COURSE THE FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF WAS FIBREGLASS PINK. MY SECOND THOUGHT WAS OF A PARKA.

Parka. There’s barely a more universally Canadian sounding word, other than perhaps “touque.” And where Americans will call the latter a “knit ski cap” (or the equally weak “beanie”), I’ve also often seen the parka referred to as a “snorkel jacket” or “hooded coat with fur” in American print. Just doesn’t have 12

So like the stubbie beer bottle and the touque, parkas are an inexorable part of our culture. Parkas conjure up images in our national subconscious of snowball fights, toboganning, playing king of the castle - of being so cold in the outdoors, but praying you never got called in because it just can’t get any better than this. There was a time when it was uncool to wear them, and they only served as a large, unwieldy sack to be pulled over your head whereupon you were beaten

Parkas are a blanket, best friend and baggage handler all in one. Protection from the elements, from what could badly hurt you, AND they will carry all you can cram into their many deep pockets. Simply put, parkas are the perfect Canadian garment. And they are as Canadian as hockey, maple walnut ice cream, and employment insurance fraud. They are OUR personal insulation. AS A SIDEBAR, WORDS MY AMERICAN SPELLCHECK CAUGHT IN THIS ARTICLE:

TOUQUE, STUBBIE, MUKLUK, TOBOGANNING, SOREL

T

HIS IS MY WINTER JACKET. IT AT A

I FOUND GOODWILL

I MOVED TO CALGARY. I WAS ATTRACTED JUST AFTER

TO ITS MATTED FUR HOOD, WHICH PROBABLY CONTAINED THE SNOT OF A SEVEN-YEAR OLD BEFORE

I WASHED IT. OTHER NOTABLE FEATURES ARE THE HAPHARZADLY SEWN-ON PURPLE BUTTONS AND THE EASILY RIPPABLE POCKETS.

MY BOYFRIEND HATES THIS JACKET BUT I ADORE IT. SURE, IT’S A BIT RATTY, BUT IT IS SO WARM. IT’S BEEN A GOOD COMPANION ON LONG WINTER WALKS.

PLUS, WHEN I PUT

ON THE HOOD IT IS A CONE OF SILENCE.

/AND/ I LOOK E.T.! IT’S A WIN-WIN SITUATION! text & photo by SAMANTHA MARCELO 13 LIKE


AN E-MAIL FROM PARIS

- 28.10.03 ere I sit, my second last evening in the city of lights, known to many as Paris, typing a three hundredword essay on the economic crisis facing bullfighters in Spain. However, two hundred words in, I double check my initial request and notice that I wasn’t asked to write on Spanish bullfighters, and instead the domain remains open, in fact Parisian experiences are encouraged.

H

SIDEWALKS I’ve always been told to use web space sparingly as there is hardly enough to go around, and I don¹t want to use the precious space allotted to me for complaints, but for a topic concerning Parisian “sidestanders” I must. Now, please heed this warning, as it applies not only to comatose Parisians but may in fact apply directly to you too! As an artist I have always been interested in the human mind, the way it works, and at times, the ways in which it doesn’t work. However, I have never, in my exhaustive studies been able to find the neurological key for a disease I call “unconscious sidewalk standing.” Surprisingly enough it is an affliction a great deal of people seem to have, let me illustrate specific attributes. 14

A person who exits the metro, then stops and stands at the top of the stairs, for apparently no reason other then to bottleneck the rush of traffic ascending the stairs behind him. A person who exits onto a sidewalk from a store, then turns around and keeps on a conversation with the shopkeeper ten meters still inside the store. Two or more people who walk side by side by side down a sidewalk at a lethargically slow pace, smoking their cigarettes in triplicate, causing both pedestrians behind and approaching to step out into the constant flow of angelically humming scooters and motorbikes of the street, to get around the Chatty Cathys (usually of the male persuasion, please, don’t let the term Cathy be misleading). Please, for the sake of adverting a civil war, identify yourself, and seek neurological treatment immediately, (I anticipate it is too late for Parisians and unless the Isle of France helps out, the country is headed for civil unrest)! CINEMA SANITY Have you ever cried at the movies? Now I mean cry, to really cry at the movies. I have, for about three weeks now. I am crying at the unrelenting

fact that leaving Paris means I will not longer be afforded the opportunity to watch the greatest classic films ever made, on 35mm, in the cinema. For three weeks I have been attending the cinema, twice a day, that’s right, twice a day for three weeks my mind has been blown. Twice a day for three weeks I have seen the most amazing prints, projection and theatres in the world. I feel like the luckiest little fellow outside a Max Linder film. Great cinema at my doorstep, being presented the way it was intended, and people in the audience to boot! Each day, twice a day, noon and night there is an audience for these films. People, other than me are enjoying the work of Howard Hawks, Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, the Marx Brothers, the writing of Raymond Chandler and Ben Hecht. I’m not crazy, real people love these movies too! Why, I have only to step into the nearby music and video store to find the same titles available on DVD, that’s right, right there, in the store, no special orders, no outlandish import costs, in fact the DVDs are on sale! No, my mind for the past three weeks has been determined on keeping me based in reality. Knowing fully well

that my return to Winnipeg will result in depressing trips to the local Roger’s Video (whom have recently merged their “classic section” in with their regularly banal comedy and drama sections I believe it to be an attempt to slowly morph the collective consciousness into believing that no movies existed before Encino Man (which is duly titled “California Man” in France, a very inadvertent, humorous stab at Californian culture if you think about it). So instead, 40 movies from the real cinema in a cinema supportive city must last me through the long, cold, dry, Winnipeg winter. The great thing about having watched so many films in such a concentrated period of time is that the inside of my mind now looks like a theatre, long, velvet curtains running down the sides like Pippi Longstocking’s pig tails. My own private theatre in which I am allowed to recreate, as best I can, frame by frame, in my mind, the movies I have seen. I sit in my cold, hard, easy chair watching the films stored in my mind, striking back at my logical brain, convincing it that I am still in the city of lights, watching the moving images flicker, the way they did so many years before. deco dawson filmmaker


travels:

MONTREAL text & photos by SEAN KONRAD

M

ONTREAL IS A WEIRD AND WONDERFUL PLACE.

It seems appropriate to begin with something that my Canadian history professor / academic idol said one day while discussing her times at McGill with my seminar group (I’ve heard seminars at the University of Winnipeg referred to more as sharing circles than academically driven discussions, and it is rather hard to deny). When I made the decision to come to Montreal to study French and live a different kind of life for a while, it was rather impulsive (actually, the decision flowed out of me in a bizarre dream I had about studying Russian in Moscow and meeting a French 16

person who ended up being my best friend while staying there – the dream got kind of wacky after that, so let’s just avoid that tangent), and it seems that was the proper way to go about things, otherwise I might not have built up the motivation to come here. I should warn you now, this is much less a travel report as it is an observation of people. But let’s get back to Montreal. When I first got here, one of the most striking things about the city was the way people would talk about it. I’ve met very few people who’ve lived here all their lives, but I’ve met a few who have had fairly long stints in this place. All

of them seemed to get this postcoital kind of glow about them when they’d begin to talk about Montreal. That kind of affection for a city doesn’t really happen too often in Winnipeg, let’s be honest here. It’s as though Montreal is a torrid lifelong romance for its residents while Winnipeg is more like an old marriage that people don’t put enough time and effort into. Of course this is a touch sanguine – there are currently fairly substantial forces of people unsatisfied with the way the mega-city Montreal has worked since large areas have become merged into the main city, and are now trying to move to remove themselves.

IT ’S AS THOUGH MONTREAL IS A TORRID LIFELONG ROMANCE FOR ITS RESIDENTS WHILE

WINNIPEG IS MORE LIKE AND OLD MARRIAGE THAT PEOPLE DON ’ T PUT ENOUGH TIME AND EFFORT INTO.

That’s also another thing. In the last three months, I’ve seen people argue on street corners about politics. I’ve seen more drivers flipping off other drivers and pedestrians than I’d care to see in my lifetime (be wary of Montreal drivers if you ever find your way here). I’ve seen a woman yelling down at a pathetic looking man from her balcony, telling him to go home. I’ve seen the head coach of the Expos almost throttle a reporter for suggesting that it looks as though the team might be moving next year on the evening news. I’ve seen lovers passing kisses through open windows. I’ve seen

17


people yelling loudly draping Montreal Canadiens flags on their backs after the team lost a game. I’ve had people just smile and say hello politely on the street in a way that only usually happens in Winnipeg in Wolseley. Some people call it the “joie de vivre” that’s part of this place. My friends from Europe have oft remarked that Montreal is the most European city they’ve been to in Canada, in terms of the way people act. I can’t really comment on that, because I can only compare it to Germany, and Montreal is no more Berlin than Winnipeg is, but what I do see is a raving passion that spills out into the streets. There’s music and art and love everywhere, practically bleeding out of the blend of new and old architecture that lines the streets. In Winnipeg it seems as though sometimes we have an infatuation with our feet. I love Winnipeg, and I love Montreal. I love that in Winnipeg you can walk down Osborne Village on a Friday night and run into people you know, and through them you’ll somehow meet half the city. It doesn’t seem to happen in Montreal. I’ve never haphazardly run into anyone I know on the street. The only weird coincidence I’ve 18

had where I find out that I’ve got bizarre connections through such and such a person has been when I found out that a friend was the acquaintance of someone I used to know through The Red Herring back in Winnipeg (Winnipeg connectivity regularly blows my mind). The only way to beat off missing those things has been to call friends; my one sense of home in this place has been the voices at the end of a phone. But this is a weird and wonderful place. I’ve seen several of my favourite musicians play live, I’ve experienced the kind of nightlife Winnipeg can only dream of, I’ve met so many interesting fellow transients, and had one of the best times of my life doing it. Montreal is a beautiful place. I’d recommend anyone spend some time here. Don’t be afraid of the French factor; a good quarter of the city seems to be comprised of Anglo students, and therefore nearly everyone can speak English. Check out the Jupiter Room on a Thursday night, walk down Saint Denis in the day, visit the old port, and have a romance. It’s good for the soul.

--------------------------------------------------------

� FEVER PRESS interview & photo by CATHERINE TOEWS

RELATIVELY SPEAKING, WINNIPEG IS A SMALL, CLOSELY-KNIT CITY. AT TIMES, THE SMALLNESS OF OUR PRAIRIE TOWN MAKES IT FEEL SUFFOCATING… OVERWHELMING. AT OTHER TIMES, IT FEELS JUST RIGHT. ONE OF THE GREATEST BENEFITS OF WINNIPEG’S SMALL POPULATION IS HOW EASY IT IS TO TRACK DOWN AND COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS WHO SHARE YOUR INTERESTS AND GOALS. 23-YEAR-OLD NEIL BURNBY,

FEVER PRESS, WE FIRST LINKED UP ALMOST A YEAR AGO, IN MILO’S EARLIER DAYS. HOWEVER, WE DIDN’T ACTUALLY, PHYSICALLY MEET UNTIL THE DAY OF OUR INTERVIEW. THANKS TO STUNNING TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS SUCH AS RADIO, E-MAIL, ONLINE WEBSITES AND LETTER WRITING, NEIL AND I WERE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE, SHARE IDEAS AND KEEP TRACK OF EACH OTHER ON A SEMI-FREQUENT BASIS FOR MONTHS WITHOUT EVER ACTUALLY GLIMPSING EACH OTHER. ON A BLUSTERY DECEMBER EVENING AT THE FYXX ESPRESSO BAR ON ALBERT STREET, NEIL AND I FINALLY MET FACE TO FACE AND HE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO ANSWER A FEW QUESTIONS… EDITOR AND PUBLISHER OF

WAS THE FIRST LOCAL INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER

I

EVER MET.

19


-------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------WHAT IS FEVER PRESS? An independent publisher looking to print mostly young and kind of gritty writing. Stuff that’s just not out there. Like, whenever I read a book… I kind of find the odd one that seems to fit my taste, but really not as many as there could be. HOW IS THE ORGANIZATION STRUCTURED? It’s kind of an organization of one person. I’m the publisher, and I have people who help me out. Crystal Carlisle is an associate editor… when I accept a manuscript, she’s there to help me with some of the editing. Sort of fine tuning anything I may miss. Shannon Palmer is based in Louisiana and helps out with design and ads and Julie Parell does the spoken word stuff. We’re really looking to publish some spoken word. Julie’s always going to local spoken word events and she got me hooked. The fact that a fairly small city like Winnipeg can have a successful spoken word team… it’s pretty cool. HAS BEING BASED IN WINNIPEG SHAPED OR INFLUENCED FEVER PRESS? I don’t know… I’m not sure if it has or not. If there was more to do here and the winters weren’t so long and cold maybe I wouldn’t have so much time to think about stuff like putting together a small 20

press. Winnipeg’s actually got a pretty good writing scene, though – again, especially spoken word. DO YOU ULTIMATELY SEE YOURSELF CONTINUING FEVER PRESS AS A BUSINESS WITHIN WINNIPEG? I don’t think we’d find a better home than Winnipeg. Ultimately, I’d like to publish Winnipeg writers… we have two scripts right now that are due for release in the spring or summer of next year. One’s from Montreal and one’s from the U.S. I’ve received a couple from Winnipeg and they just didn’t seem to fit into what I envision for the press. Part of the problem with some of the writers here seems to be that they follow a kind of… Margaret Atwood doctrine of writing – really heavy stuff… and I’d kind of prefer it if they didn’t. WHAT TYPES OF WRITING DO YOU LIKE PUBLISHING? I tend to lean towards young authors writing kind of… I hate to use terms like “gritty”, but yeah – slightly grittier writing. Honest stories about drugs and sex… things that are more story and character-based than idea based. DO YOU FEEL CONNECTED TO WINNIPEG’S PUBLISHING INDUSTRY? No! I’ve even approached some key figures but nobody seems to

IF

THERE WAS MORE TO DO HERE AND THE WINTERS WEREN ’ T SO LONG AND

COLD MAYBE

I WOULDN’T

HAVE SO MUCH TIME TO THINK ABOUT STUFF LIKE PUTTING TOGETHER A SMALL PRESS.

want to respond. I think there’s a definite gap. It seems like there’s really new stuff coming up and a lot of the older publishers don’t want to get involved at all. DO YOU AIM TO REACH A LOCAL AUDIENCE, OR HAVE YOU SET YOUR SIGHTS FURTHER AWAY? Yeah, I mean – I hope that local people will get into the books. I’d like to hold events in Winnipeg with the authors, but if you have an author from New York you have to focus on U.S. promotions. It’s a lot more difficult to break 21


-------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------into the U.S. I imagine that having a local author would be so much easier. It would be easier to plan and organize a book launch. Jozril Dahl, our first author, is from Athens and it’s definitely a lot more expensive to ship him out here. If he was from Winnipeg he could just sort of… show up. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING? Through zines, mostly. I started reading zines and realized that there’s a lot better writing going on underground than there is within mainstream publishing. WHO GAVE YOU YOUR FIRST ZINE? Oh, gosh… I think I got my first zine at Corefest back in about 1994 or 1995. I got it and I didn’t know what the hell it was. After being nice and sheltered in the suburbs it was kind of like, “What the hell is this thing?” But I really liked it. It wasn’t until a couple years later, after learning that there were more and more zines out there, that I started making my own. FEVER PRESS RECENTLY PUBLISHED ITS FIRST PAPERBACK BOOK, JOZRIL DAHL’S HAPPY BIRTHDAY. TELL ME MORE ABOUT IT... The script was actually originally 22

longer. Jozril’s been involved in the whole process, and it took about a year and quite a few drafts to pull everything together. The fact that Jozril doesn’t punctuate properly made the whole process a bit tougher, but after a while I kind of got a feel for when the mistakes were intentional and when they weren’t. It’s written more like a conversation than a run-of-the-mill novel.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BY JOZRIL DAHL published as a zine in 1999 and I ended up getting the last copy from a distributor in California. They had it kicking around and because it’s a thick zine it was a bit more expensive so people had slowly been picking it up. I read it and it kind of blew me away to think that it might be going out of print with me. To think that something of that quality might disappear and never come back just didn’t seem right to me. So I contacted Jozril about reprinting it. The more we started talking about it, we sort of inadvertently began working on it – re-writing it. He actually had stuff that he’d written that hadn’t been included in the first edition, so it ended up being a little bit

THE BOOK ITSELF IS REALLY IMPRESSIVE. HOW WAS IT PRINTED AND BOUND? I found equipment to print it myself on E-Bay and bout it slowly over the course of a year. Everything except the cover was printed on my laser printer at home. It’s a really simple glue binding and the most expensive part was the industrial paper shear, which was about $500. I’m still trying to work out how much it cost to produce each

ACTUALLY, I’M ALLERGIC TO CATS PRINT BY NEIL BURNBY

copy, but in the end, it was still a lot cheaper than printing it elsewhere. I’ve produced a couple hundred already and my goal is to produce 500. Right now I’m working on getting a distributor, and if that doesn’t work out the distribution will mainly happen through the website (http://www.feverpress.com) and independent bookstores. Obviously, the goal wasn’t to generate a profit, although I’m hoping that both Jozril and Fever Press will make at least a little bit. ARE YOU STILL WORKING ON ZINES OF YOUR OWN? Yeah… I haven’t done one in a while, but Mumbles #2, a collaborative zine, will hopefully be out in the new year. I also spend a lot of time making silkscreens and blockprints, and I do writing of my own but it’s been a bit slow recently. Some people definitely get inspired by the winter but I find that I write better in the summer for some reason. I’m kind of a nervous person and I like pacing and walking around while I’m thinking. In the summer I can go for a walk, but walking around my room in the winter gets pretty old pretty fast. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.FEVERPRESS.COM OR E-MAIL NEIL@FEVERPRESS.COM

23


W

TIMES CHANGE(D) HIGH AND LONESOME CLUB RECENTLY CLOSED ITS DOORS, THERE HEN THE

WERE MORE THAN A FEW BROKEN

of text by LORNE ROBERTS photos by CARLOS QUINONEZ

HEARTS IN THIS CITY.

PERHAPS THE

MIGHTIEST HEART OF ALL TO BREAK, HOWEVER, THE HEART THAT BEAT

JIM BEAM AND A DREAM OF FREEDOM, WAS THAT OF THE SO-CALLED CHICKEN OF GOD. WITH ITS LIFEBLOOD OF

A twenty-two foot, four and a quarter inch long rubber chicken, this gentle beast was the creation of three madmen at A Label for Artists Gallery (aka the Label). James Culleton, Josey Krahn, and the enigmatic Knick Knackerson all conspired to build the chicken for a show of farmrelated art the gallery hosted this past September. Krahn talked recently about the origins of the chicken. “Really,” he says, “there was no particular reason at the time. It just seemed like fun. And that was what the chicken was all about: fun.” “It’s made from 300 copies of the Uniter, chicken wire, sticks, cardboard, and roloplex. And we built a heart to put inside it too, that we christened with bourbon.”

24

for the slaughterhouse. But there were other forces at work, mysterious forces that sometimes move us in ways we can’t understand.

Once the chicken had outlived its usefulness as a part of the farm show, some feared it was destined

“It was built without anyone realizing it would become the Chicken of God,” says Carlos Quinonez, the Label Gallery’s theologian-in-residence. “But we quickly understood that, as you take time and care to build such an idol, there has to be reasons beyond humanity. Due to its size and structure, we all came to understand that that was indeed a chicken of god-like proportions.” With that in mind, a plan was hatched to move the chicken to the Times Change(d), where it would become a permanent display piece. A rally was staged in which representatives of the Times, the Label, and several local bands including members of Rudimental, the D-Rangers, Nathan, and the Rhythm and Blues Revue carried the idol from the gallery (across the street from the U of W) down Portage to Main street, ending at the Times where it came to roost. Those involved with the rally were quick to stress that, despite appearances, the “flight of the chicken” was not a protest. “No, it really wasn’t a protest

25


at all,” says Dan Saidman, director of the Label, “it was a celebration. It was about having a sense of humour, about rattling a few cages without offending people.” John Scoles, janitor and president of the late Times Change(d), agrees with this assessment. “It’s about freedom,” he adds. “And it’s about community. We knew it would take a lot of people to pull the flight of the chicken off, and we got that. The bird can’t fly by itself. It needs a lot of help.” Krahn says that moving the chicken he lovingly helped to create provided those at the gallery with a sense of closure. “We didn’t want to see it just vanish,” he says, “but even when we built it we knew it couldn’t stay at the Label. The Times had the chicken toss, so it just fit with that idea. And we got to block traffic. How cool is that?” Gallery theologian Quinonez says that, upon its arrival and installation in the Times, the chicken quickly began to assume even grander mythological proportions. “It speaks to what we at the gallery, and our revolutionary wing called the Manitoba Art Militia, are trying to get across: art is fun, art is accessible. Everyone can do it and 26

appreciate it.” Quinonez adds that the chicken now serves as symbol for the gallery’s dream of the prairie provinces separating from Canada. “It’s about restoring a notion of community,” he says. “Long live the independent Prairie nation of Manisaskerta!” Sadly, a dispute with its landlords recently forced the Times to close its doors. No new home was found for the chicken and, at last report, it was lying broken on the floor of the now-vacant space. Despite expectations to the contrary, it did not rise again on the third day. However, a report has circulated amongst those who believe that, late one night, two brave souls (was Knick Knackerson one of them?) slipped into the Times, and cut out the stillbeating heart of the Chicken of God. Somewhere, then, perhaps, its mighty heart sits preserved in a vat of Jim Beam, where it beats on, waiting, waiting, waiting…

IT SPEAKS TO WHAT WE AT THE GALLERY ARE TRYING TO GET ACROSS: ART IS FUN, ART IS ACCESSIBLE. EVERYONE CAN DO IT AND APPRECIATE IT.

27


� SURVIVING THE SMALL TOWN UNDERGROUND MUSIC SCENE text by KELLY MONEY photos by MICHAEL MACDONALD

I

’VE

HAD AN EPIPHANY.

THOSE

THAT KNOW ME UNDERSTAND

THAT MY ALLEGIANCE TO A CERTAIN MUSIC SCENE HAS BEEN

BEYOND LOYAL FOR OVER A DECADE. PERHAPS FOR A KID IN DETROIT, CHICAGO, NEW YORK, LONDON OR BERLIN, IT’S NOT SO UNUSUAL AND QUITE LATE, BUT 12 YEARS AGO IN WINNIPEG, I ENTERED THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE AS ONE OF THE FEW ENTHUSIASTIC FANS OF TECHNO MUSIC CULTURE. SYNTHPOP AND THE

“MADCHESTER”

HAVING

FLIRTED HEAVILY WITH

ROCK SCENE IN MY TEENS,

MYSELF BEING LIFTED INTO SOMETHING

I

I

FELT

FELT WAS MEANT FOR ME.

As the years progressed, I found myself being present for events and nights which broke ground, the underground, and I gained acquaintance with those who would shape the future. Some, years later, through selfish motives and sheer ignorance would help to drive it to its knees. Once upon a time we stood in line for an hour to get into a seedy dark club to hear sounds from across the ocean; we paid forty dollars for an import and didn’t complain, and we were eager to meet new people and explore the lifestyle that accompanied the music. We wore black or simple street clothes and were inconspicuous. Then suddenly, neon glow-sticks, wide bottomed pants and PLUR invaded like a plague. The kids that were supposed to carry on the spirit twisted the meaning to the point of no return, and negative popular opinion grew. It was our fault; we were too headstrong to provide honesty and guidance. A few of us endured, but eventually, as the drugs, DJ’s, promoters, politics and Ibiza compilations flooded the city, a bitter taste remained with every bite. 28

Bitter. Not entirely, although the social politics did blind me to many truths, my taste in music deepened and my appreciation for the little things grew. Today, being the introspective and retrospective person that I have always been, I understand what happened. This little article isn’t about the “rave” scene and how things can go horribly wrong, and it’s not how to build something good from the ground up - as we’re not likely to see any new ‘scenes’ for a long time. This is about all existing music scenes. This is about keeping what remains, and growing it based on the one simple truth; to continue being entertained, it always has to be about the music, especially in small communities like Winnipeg, where very quickly you come to know the people around you, and things rarely last forever. So, we’re shivering, we’re bored, what are we supposed to do? We’re people who typically do not blend into the everyday Muchmusic/MTV profile. We’re drained after overexposure to Hollywood news and pop culture icon profiles. Often the beats, rhythms, lyrics and melodies we listen to are too deep, distorted, rowdy or loopy for the moms, pops and Joe Shmoes to understand. We don’t settle for out of the way meat-market clubs attached to

FIG. 1 Wellington’s Nite Club hotels. Okay, so, we’re different. Mission accomplished, but we live in the middle of nowhere. While larger cities hundreds of kilometres away are frequented by our favorite musicians, our local scene seemingly remains fragmented, disorganized, unfocused, or generally unaware of the actual demand. This is further antagonized by the fact we’ve only got loose change and some lint in our pocket. It’s the middle of winter, not everyone can start a band. What the hell are we supposed to do? Don’t get distracted by that deep thinking character in the chat-room, and for crying out loud you sick bastard, keep your hands above the sheets. It’s time 29


YOU NEED TO EXPERIENCE YOUR MUSIC IN A SOCIAL SITUATION.

YOU NEED

TO MAKE SURE THERE IS SOMETHING INTERESTING TO DO TONIGHT, NEXT WEEK, AND NEXT MONTH.

I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE INTO. WHEN YOU’RE TRAPPED WITHIN THE PERIMETER OF A TOWN YEARS BEHIND THE PACK, YOU NEED TO REALIZE THE POWER OF YOUR PRESENCE, THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR OPINION AND ENTHUSIASM.

to think about this. You need to experience your music in a social situation. You need to make sure there is something interesting to do tonight, next week, and next month. I don’t care what you’re into - techno, punk, ska, emo, hip hop, jungle, folk, Russianghetto-polka-core, whatever - when you’re trapped within the perimeter of a town years behind the pack, you need to realize the power of your presence, the importance of your opinion and enthusiasm. If you are in a city like Winnipeg, frozen over, with 30

its best years seemingly behind us, you’ve got an existing scene that rears its ugly head from time to time, mixed with a small yet poignant artistic community. You’ve got one place to see under-the-radar bands in a larger capacity, and one or two smaller venues to hang and see local acts. What do you do to keep things going and evolving - without getting your hands dirty into the filthy politics of promotion? I’m going to tell you. First, allow me to share a little thought. I recently had a discussion with an individual who left Winnipeg for Montreal a year ago, in hopes that his artistic passions would be allowed to flourish. This person helped to create a music scene and watched it as it slowly disintegrated. We compared other scenes which involve creativity, experimentation, emotion, or passion - to that of a fruit. The fruit can take any shape or form, and inside it, the flavors are varying degrees of sweet and sour. The artists are the core, the seeds where new ideas may fall to the ground and grow. The often tasty, juicy exterior is the population of people which also define its shape and cohesiveness. Outside of that, the visible skin and texture the general public first acknowledges (but it often never defines the true taste inside). If the music community is the fruit

itself, then the soil below must be the music shops, magazines, promoters, record companies, cabarets and clubs. The nutrients, sun and water, well, I can only offer that these are the things which make the world go ‘round. Of course, there is always the risk of being plucked and put out to market, but let’s not think about that this moment. It’s a simple allegory, but very true to the circumstances. In time, some part of the whole may be allowed to take on more than its share, altering the natural development of the scene for its own purpose. Later, we find this fruit rotting or being eaten away, exposing the artists and leaving them un-nurtured, left in areas where they can’t simply fall away and create new things. Artists are forced to submit, move away, or fade out. In small cities and towns, often, this is how it is. It’s not my intention to paint a bleak picture, in fact, its all about individual perception. So, I will go directly to my point. In this age, we’ve found ourselves in a position where in the interests of getting a quick fix for boredom, we don’t think about the consequences, we get fat and desensitized. We leave the power up to the things we should be in control of. The soil, the dirt, the established businesses are

meant to service us, however, due to lack of feedback and the interests of preservation – they take it upon themselves to direct our focus, usually into an easy to maintain, generalized version of the scene. As people with passion and influence, we must not allow scenes to atrophy and decay because of pigeon-holes and blanket markets. Not that I encourage anti-consumerism, conservatism or any sort of passive demonstration, just the opposite. We need to realize the strength our voices have to shape the future, and to acknowledge the truth - that promoters, CD shops, and the clubs are only tools. They must not be allowed to distance themselves from the evolving interests of the core and the scene. They should never have a say in the direction of the music. This is a crucial point in places where the population is too small to establish regular tours, club nights, or specialized music stores. In a small community, when it comes to the places we go, we often have to accept compromise, but we still have to maintain control. In order for promoters and clubs to acknowledge our needs, we need to let them know what is going on, and be persistent. There is room to develop unique music scenes as long as we use some common sense. 31


HERE ARE A FEW OBVIOUS SUGGESTIONS OF HOW WE CAN STEER OUR RESPECTIVE MUSIC SCENES TOWARDS THE PATH OF GREATER ENJOYMENT AND MEANING. THIS IS YOUR “SURVIVAL GUIDE”:

FORGET ABOUT CD STORE FRANCHISES AND CLUB CHAINS

– THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU, SO DON’T CARE ABOUT THEM. BUY LOCAL IF YOU CAN. WHY SPECIAL ORDER MUSIC AND MAGAZINES? TELL THE CLERKS TO CARRY IT, NO MATTER HOW OBSCURE. ENCOURAGE THE GROWTH OF LOCAL AND IMPORT SECTIONS. DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE FLYERS AND LOCAL SCENE MAGS

THE MOMENT YOU STOP CARING, YOU BECOME A LAMB IN THE HERD. STAY TRUE TO WHAT YOU LOVE, OR MOVE ON AND FIND SOMETHING NEW. SUPPORT THE MUSIC YOU LOVE, NOT THE STORE, CLUB OR PROMOTER.

BEFORE LEAVING. IF THE CLUB OR STORE DOESN’T CARRY THEM, QUESTION IT AND SPEAK UP.

WHEN YOU SEE FLYERS FOR AN ACT YOU LIKE – PICK UP A COUPLE AND HAND THEM TO YOUR FRIENDS.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO STAND OUTSIDE

EVEN THOUGH IT MAY BE A RATINFESTED HOLE-IN-THE-WALL AND THE SOUND SYSTEM IS SHIT, DON’T LET IT

OF THE BIG CLUBS WHEN THE CROWD

STOP YOU FROM GOING TO SEE A NEW

GENERALLY, PROMOTERS AND

ACT.

ACTS LIKE ATTENTION AND A LOT

STARTS FILING OUT.

OF IT.

DON’T SUPPORT ELITISM BY TELL THEM WHAT YOU THINK BUT DON’T GET TOO CLOSE. DON’T GET UPSET ABOUT HIGH TICKET PRICES – IN THIS CITY IT’S NOT

MP3’S ARE EVIL, ADMIT IT. BUY YOUR MUSIC, OR WAIT UNTIL YOU CAN AFFORD IT. CALL YOUR LOCAL RADIO STATIONS AND REQUEST MUSIC OFTEN! GET

STROKING THEIR EGOS.

CLOSE TO THE COLLEGE STATIONS

LIKE ANYONE IS GOING TO MAKE ANY

AND MAKE THEM KNOW YOU EXIST.

REAL MONEY.

TALK TO THE STORE CLERK ABOUT THE MUSIC YOU ARE BUYING. IF THEY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT – BRING THEM UP TO SPEED .

THEN AGAIN, IF IT REALLY IS TOO MUCH, DON’T GO – BUT FIRST LET

32

THE PROMOTERS AND CLUBS KNOW ABOUT IT.

FIG. 2 The Zoo

No one can do everything I’ve suggested, and maybe you don’t care to take action. So, for those who have dismissed most of what I have said, the most important piece of advice I can give is to make sure you have fun, always, and on your own terms, and never be dependant on others to provide you with a good time.

If you are still reading and you do care, my conclusion is - if EVERY SCENE NEEDS FRESH MEAT. ENCOURAGE PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T you communicate and let people EXPERIENCED THE MUSIC TO LISTEN. know how things are and what LET THEM MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS. you are into, these ideas will TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE MUSIC. flow and pool together. In a small city, word does get around, HELL, YOU MAY EVEN GET A DATE and eventually those with the OUT OF THE DEAL. facilities and resources will make it happen. If they are bombarded HOUSE PARTIES! C’MON PEOPLE. by people who want something better or different, they won’t CRITICISM IS A FINE ART. VOCALIZE succumb to dishing out what is YOUR PASSION, BUT STOP SHORT OF foolishly deemed ‘popular’. As we USING YOUR VOICE AS A PLATFORM all know, to remain entertained FOR PREACHING. YOU’LL OSTRACIZE YOURSELF. in a small city, sometimes the best we can hope for is a mixture RESPECT AND TOLERATE OTHERS of compromise and general WITHIN THE SCENE, BUT DON’T BE appeasement. This can be A FOOL. KEEP YOUR TRUE FRIENDS tolerable as long as we constantly CLOSE. communicate and ensure our unique flavour is integrated. In my HARDCORE ENTHUSIASM AND opinion, outright persistence and LOYALTY IS GREAT, BUT NEVER candor will help prevent the good FORGET YOU’RE IN A SMALL TOWN. things from disappearing, and IF YOU CAN, VENTURE OUT INTO prevent its final memories from OTHER SCENES AND SEEK OUT NEW being encased in embitterment. MUSICAL EXPERIENCES. 33


artwork: LISA RAE SWAN www.lisaraeswan.com


M

AYBE IT’S BECAUSE OUR CITY IS SO SMALL.

MAYBE

IT’S SOMETHING TO DO

WITH THE WEATHER OR WITH OUR HISTORY.

&

WHATEVER THE REASONS,

YOU JUST CAN’T BE IN THE ARTS IN

WINNIPEG AND BE PRETENTIOUS. IF YOU ARE, THE FACT IS THAT NO ONE WILL TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY. Perhaps no one exemplifies that lack of pretension better than the crew at Peanuts and Corn Records, those white kids who started out in Brandon paying homage to the music they loved, and have since built a mini-empire (by Winnipeg standards, at least) in the rap game. DJ Hunnicutt and Pip Skid of the P&C posse talked recently about what they do, and why they do it. Despite their many successes, they insist it’s all about enjoying what they do. And if they sell a few records along the way, all the better. “It’s a business,” says Hunnicutt, “but we’re interested in doing things for ourselves. A business, yeah, but we’re there to have fun.”

interview by LORNE ROBERTS photos by MEERA SINGH 36

seems to dominate the rap world these days. Just a bunch of guys who love the music, and want to have a good time doing it.

Skid agrees. “There have been lots of big moments, but really the whole thing is just a blessing. We have this creative outlet and we get to have fun.” So none of the posturing that

Currently composed of six members, the Peanuts and Corn crew represent collective decades devoted to perfecting the art of rap. With new addition Yy on board, the crew--also composed of McEnroe, Gruff the Druid and John Smith-- has a certain tightness borne of experience and dedication. The origins of the group trace back to Hunnicutt and Skid’s early teen years in Brandon, when the two of them discovered rap music. “The first time I heard real rap,” says Pip Skid, “I was in grade 8. It was LL Cool J’s ‘I’m Bad.’ And right away I was hooked. After that, I got every single rap album I could get my hands on.” Hunnicutt’s love of the genre began with Much Music, seeing what directions people were taking rap in via their video work. “I remember seeing Public Enemy’s ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’ in 1988 and just being blown away by it. The James Brown samples they were using, the dancing, everything. And De La Soul, too. Sonically, and in their videos, 37


they were just so different than anyone else.” With dozens of albums to their credit as solo works, or under their various group aliases-Hip-Hop Wieners, Park-Like Setting, The Break Bread Crew, Fermented Reptile Collective, and others--these guys have made the rap game into a fulltime art. Despite their humble beginnings as Farm Fresh in 1994 (“We sucked really bad!” says Pip Skid), the group has since received consistently favourable media coverage, enjoys a devoted fan base, and recently completed their largest and most ambitious tour to date.

It’s this, along with their funky, socially aware and hilariously selfdeprecating rap that has made the Peanuts and Corn crew a mainstay on the local and national scenes for nearly a decade. And with a new label compilation just out, a solo album by Pip Skid in January, and two new videos to be pitched at Much Music, you get the sense they’ll be around for a while to come.

THERE HAVE BEEN LOTS OF

BIG MOMENTS, BUT REALLY

THE WHOLE THING IS JUST A BLESSING .

WE HAVE THIS

CREATIVE OUTLET AND WE GET TO HAVE FUN.

No attitude, no pretension. Just hip-hop, Prairie style. All beef, no chicken.

Hunnicutt currently handles most of the business end of the label. “As far as day to day running of it, I do all the marketing and publicity and grunt work,” he says. Pip Skid interrupts. “Yeah, he makes my hair appointments, too.” Hunnicutt hangs his head in shame. “Once, I screwed up and scheduled a manicure and a pedicure for him at the same time. It was awful.” So you get the sense that, true to their roots, these guys don’t take themselves too seriously. 38

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.PEANUTSANDCORNCOM

39


habitat: ONE ROOM LIVING interview & photos by CATHERINE TOEWS

DESCRIBE YOUR HABITAT. My habitat is small because I live at home with my parents. It is cozy, very lived in and the walls are covered with my favourite artists. My bed is the central focus and most of my time spent here is when I am sleeping. Even though I live in the whole house, my habitat is defined here – in my room, because every element is an expression of me. WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT IT? My bed and my walls. My walls have art from great artists – Dali, Alphonse Mucha and Waterhouse. All of my books are also on my walls and each book holds a special memory for me. WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT IT? Hmm… the size? It would be nice to have my own bathroom! And I wouldn’t mind more desk space.

EVEN THOUGH I LIVE IN THE WHOLE HOUSE, MY HABITAT IS DEFINED HERE BECAUSE EVERY ELEMENT IS AN EXPRESSION OF ME.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO START THE DAY? I like to start the day by not having to jump out of bed. Hitting the snooze button a few times is ideal. Then I pick out my clothes and stumble into the shower – hoping not to fall back asleep while showering. HONOURÉ, 19 STUDENT/RECEPTIONIST @ ROUGE (HAIR SALON) 40

…AND HOW DO YOU WIND DOWN IN THE EVENING? Unfortunately, I come home

41


alone, sleep alone, and don’t wake up beside anyone. But that means I get to steal all the covers and hog the bed! I like to read before turning off the light and falling asleep. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE AREA OF THE CITY THAT YOU LIVE IN? I live in River Heights. I love it! The neighbourhood has such character and the old houses are so beautiful. It is also quite a central location and I feel quite safe at night.

ALL OF

MY BOOKS ARE

ALSO ON MY WALLS AND EACH BOOK HOLDS A SPECIAL MEMORY.

42

NAME 3 OF YOUR CURRENT PLEASURES. • Double Stuff Oreos • Developing as many crushes as I can in the hopes of finding a possible suitor • Alphonse Mucha

THE WALLS ARE COVERED WITH MY FAVOURITE ARTISTS.

43


habitat: ONE ROOM LIVING interview & photos by CATHERINE TOEWS

DESCRIBE YOUR HABITAT. A very small square cube contained in the larger cube which I reside in. It’s the third bedroom of a three bedroom apartment and it is the second smallest. But it’s good for sleeping. WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT IT? The loving chaos that it creates. It’s always a mess but I always know where to find things. And little things in it ... my Jeff Tweedy photo, my hot pink pom pom wall decoration, my over abundance of handbags and head scarves, and my collection of various potions and lotions to make me smell pretty all day long. The closet is also a good place to hide all the junk that I am too lazy to organize. My bed is super comfy and huge. It takes up most of the room and it is the most inviting part of it. And my stereo... of course. The combination of comfort and music is quite nice actually. There are many things that I love about my room ... too many to pick just one.

STACEY, 23 STUDENT/CULTURAL EDITOR @ THE MANITOBAN 44

WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT IT? Its size. I used to have a huge room and I really miss that now. And the wheels on the feet of the bed. I’ve been too lazy to get the ones that won’t roll around on hardwood floors. I have devised a plan that involves taking the

MY BED IS SUPER COMFY AND HUGE. IT TAKES UP MOST OF THE ROOM AND IS THE MOST INVITING PART OF IT.

45


laundry on the floor surrounding the bed, and placing it under the wheels so they won’t roll around. It works!! Go figure... HOW DO YOU LIKE TO START THE DAY? Someone comes to put a quarter in my back and then I am ready to go for the rest of the day. A quarter goes a long way you know.

THE COMBINATION OF COMFORT AND MUSIC IS QUITE NICE ACTUALLY.

…AND HOW DO YOU WIND DOWN IN THE EVENING? After putting on my smoking jacket, I retire to the bedroom to read and doze off regaling in the events of years gone by. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE AREA OF THE CITY THAT YOU LIVE IN? The abundance of wonderfully homemade and fattening Jewish cuisine found in the small independent grocery stores in my area.

IT ’S ALWAYS A MESS BUT I KNOW WHERE TO FIND THINGS.

NAME 3 OF YOUR CURRENT PLEASURES. • Talking Heads • Magic Hour by Fruit Bats • Ice cold drinking water

46

47


Any lunch/breakfast suggestions for downtown Winnipeg and surrounding area should include STELLA’S. Although they do not have a huge extensive menu, the few options available taste like homemade and definitely hit the spot. The kitchen is sensitive to vegans and they make some of the most delicious French toast. After having a dinner at MOON RIVER CREPERIE I’ve always figured that they would serve up a kickin’ breakfast or that I should take advantage of BUCCACINO’S buffet more often but something always pulls me to Stella’s.

my neighbourhood: OSBORNE VILLAGE text & photos by MICHAEL MACDONALD

H

ELLO KITTENS.

I’M

GOING TO BE YOUR PERSONAL

MR. ROGERS

AND LET YOU KNOW ABOUT SOME OF MY FAVOURITE PLACES IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD. THAT

THEY SAY OZ IS THE MOST DENSELY

POPULATED PART OF TOWN AND ALTHOUGH THERE ARE AT LEAST

5 BARS AND DOZENS OF VILLAGE

RESTAURANTS, THE

LACKS ONE IMPORTANT FEATURE: A MOVIE THEATRE.

PERHAPS ONE

DAY SOMEONE WILL REOPEN THE

PARK THEATRE. I’M NOT A

CULTURAL/HISTORICAL EXPERT BUT HERE’S MY TESTIMONY ABOUT HOW MUCH

I LOVE THIS PLACE.

Although I’ve only recently started eating at SUKHOTHAI, it’s usually high on my list of options when I am considering take-out. The portions are more than fair and absolutely flavourful. I’ve found that I can get one dish along with rice and spring rolls (enough for two people) for just over 20 dollars. Their food not only hits the spot but it also fits the budget quite well. The dining room is pretty cute. You can still kind of imagine what it looked like when it was a KFC but the floor is cleaner and it doesn’t smell like tacos.

Another place of note is OZZIE’S, which used to be a pretty incredible venue for shows. The space was split in two. One half housed the stage and an all ages area and the other part was licensed and 18+. I’m not sure what caused them to change to an 18+ only bar but I think Winnipeg’s live music scene has suffered as a result. Now this bar seems to host mostly karaoke and fetish parties. They call it the Purple Peanut now. It will always be Ozzie’s in my mind. 49


Just upstairs from the Peanut is THE ZOO which has got to be one of the best live music venues in this city. Although quite dirty and kind of sleazy this bar has played host to many well-respected bands and a few infamous ones as well. This bar gets the prize for surliest serving staff (they’re some of the most efficient as well) and some of the regulars are more fascinating than can be described. I’ve seen everything from King Cobb Steelie to some of the worst metal known to man performed in this venue. There’s always an exciting vibe at every show and it’s impossible to predict what kind of random weirdness will occur while you’re in attendance.

50

THE TOAD is a village standard. Everyone has camped out here in a booth for an entire evening and drank pint after pint after pitcher, laughed long and loud, met new people and even gotten reacquainted with old friends. I think I’ve had longer more serious conversations in this bar than in any other bar or venue I’ve ever been. There’s something warm and inviting about the Toad that says, “It’s ok. Let loose. You’re among friends.” I guess it’s better now that they don’t allow smoking but it’s hard to sit in one place and zone in on a good conversation when someone is getting up every ten minutes to go outside for a smoke.

I regret the thousand times I walked past THE CANISTER without going in. I love drinking tea and this place must be the best source in the city for the necessary supplies. They have coffee too, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Life is less interesting without nachos. When you need a nacho fix, CARLOS & MURPHY’S delivers. C&M’s is another popular hangout with a very popular patio (in the summer). The food here is quite good, they have vegetarian options and the Sangria is highly recommended.

Once upon a time, there was DIE MASCHINE and it was good. People would flock from all parts of the city and line up along Osborne to get inside to dance and sing along to good underground music. They would eat $2 slices of pizza and drift from floor to floor looking for the best place to be. Most of my experiences with DM came after they opened the first floor as part of the bar but I do remember the cage and the scrolling marquee. That marquee helped me to learn about new music I never would have thought to check out and I never had to worry about bothering the DJ to find out the names of my favourite tracks. When I go to the VILLAGE CABARET now, or the CHAOS CHAMELEON I can remember those great times. And I still have a great time. Somehow, however, it’s different. It’s not fair to say that these new bars are worse than their predecessors. I’d venture to say that the lower level is better now than it ever was in the past. This bar along with The Zoo and The Albert are definitely the three best live music venues in the city. Everyone talks about seeing their favourite bands play to small crowds and in small venues and how much more intense the experience was. It takes a special kind of venue to foster that kind of feeling. The Cabaret is one of those venues. 51


If you want a good feed, go to PAPA GEORGE’S. A longtime favourite of post-bar-lager-zombies and regular people alike, they serve dinner right up until 4 am. They have some of the best pizza available anywhere in the city and delicious Greek food as well. Praising the virtues of Papa George’s in a magazine about Winnipeg is like preaching to the choir but it’s important to mention this restaurant just in case someone from outside the Perimeter decides they want some tips on where to eat when they come to the city. 52

I like movies. I could spend my life watching them and boring everyone around me with my opinions about them. MOVIE VILLAGE feeds my addiction. I have not yet found a video rental shop with a collection to match MV. Every movie I can think of is available (although sometimes not checked in). I can usually find something worthwhile to watch when I go in here and their back catalog is extensive. Nothing is more boring than a life full of New Releases.

Every city needs an independent music store; in Winnipeg we have MUSIC TRADER. There are always a few things that I hope to see in stock when I go there and I think about special orders but I never have the guts. I was recently surprised to find out that people still special order from record stores. I guess the Internet hasn’t completely taken over our lives. MT definitely gets extra points for instore shows and for hosting the best bands at StreetFest. It would be nice if they could use the courtyard hidden behind Desart for midsummer outdoor shows. There are probably bylaws against it. It is also worth mentioning INTO THE MUSIC. Although they’ve left the neighbourhood there will always be a place in my heart for them. Where Music Trader is an excellent source for new and exciting music, Into the Music provides a vast selection of classic and time-tested favourites on vinyl and cd.

I

’M LUCKY TO LIVE IN A PLACE WHERE I AM SURROUNDED BY SO MANY OPTIONS WITHIN

SHORT WALKING DISTANCE AND THIS WAS FAR FROM AN

I like to eat and in particular I like to eat at VILLAGE DONAIR & SUB. VDS is my fave place to get a cheap lunch. There aren’t many places where you can get a huge pita full of vegetables sauce and meat for around five dollars. Its quite filling and they’ve got falafel too. If this article encourages anyone to check out one place in Oz it should be this one.

EXHAUSTIVE EXAMINATION OF WHAT’S AVAILABLE.

I’D LIKE TO

ENCOURAGE EVERYONE READING THIS TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THEIR HOME NEIGHBOURHOOD AND TAKE NOTE OF ALL OF THE LITTLE TOUCHES THAT MAKE IT UNIQUE FROM THE REST OF THE CITY.

I HOPE THAT YOU CAN

REGARD YOUR HOME WITH AS MUCH PRIDE AS

I DO. 53


street fashion photos by STACEY ABRAMSON

MORGAN ANDREA

KATY

MICHELLE

TARA

54

MELANIE & LAURA

55


megan’s BIT-BY-BIT RECIPES text & photos by MEGAN BRESCH

N

OTHING SAYS “INSULATION” QUITE LIKE A GOOD, WARM SLICE OF

SIFT DRY INGREDIENTS TOGETHER.

ADD PUMPKIN & MOLASSES.

BEAT INGREDIENTS TOGETHER.

ADD EGGS & VANILLA.

POUR INTO 9 X 13 PAN.

BAKE AT 350° FOR 50 MINUTES.

FAT SAUCE!

MMMMM...

THIS GINGERBREAD, SMOTHERED IN CARAMEL SAUCE. IT’S MODIFIED

– TINNED PUMPKIN REPLACES APPLESAUCE AND MOLASSES TO GIVE IT THAT GINGERBREAD GOODNESS. FOR FUN, WHY NOT TRY ADDING AN OUNCE OR TWO OF GRAND MARNIER TO THE SAUCE? FROM AN APPLE SPICE CAKE

MEG’S GINGERBREAD 3 CUPS FLOUR 1 1⁄2 CUPS SUGAR 1 1⁄2 TSP BAKING SODA 1⁄2 TSP SALT 1 TSP (OR MORE) CINNAMON 1 TSP GROUND GINGER 1⁄2 TSP CLOVES 1⁄2 TSP ALLSPICE

3⁄4 CUP SHORTENING 1 1⁄2 CUPS CANNED PUMPKIN (NOT PIE FILLING) 1⁄2 CUP MOLASSES 2 EGGS 1 TSP VANILLA 1 CUP RAISINS (IF YOU LIKE THEM)

1. Sift dry ingredients into large bowl. Add shortening, pumpkin and molasses. Beat for 2 minutes (or stir by hand until well blended). 2. Add eggs, vanilla and optional raisins. Stir of beat until all mixed. 3. Pour into a greased & floured 9x13 pan and bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a knife plunged in centre comes out clean. Cool and serve with caramel sauce. FAT CARAMEL SAUCE 1⁄2 CUP WHIPPING CREAM (35%!) 1⁄2 LB BUTTER

3 TBSP CORN SYRUP 3⁄4 – 1 CUP BROWN SUGAR

Place all ingredients in saucepan, heat & stir until sugar dissolves and sauce thickens. 56

57


B

WINNIPEGGER TAKES MORE THAN KNOWING PORTAGE AVENUE FROM PEMBINA HIGHWAY, OR KNOWING A NIP FROM A QUARTER POUNDER. IT’S AN ELUSIVE AND SOMEWHAT SUBTLE QUALITY, DIFFICULT TO MEASURE. THE FOLKS AT ETHELBERT STREET (WWW.ETHELBERTSTREET.COM) HAVE DEVELOPED A SOPHISTICATED LITMUS TEST OF WINNIPEGNESS. THEY CALL IT THE TRUE WINNIPEGGER TEST. AND WE’VE GOT THE SHORT AND SWEET MILO VERSION FOR YOUR TASTING PLEASURE. EING A QUINTESSENTIAL

THE TR UE

quiz by ETHELBERT STREET artwork by MARK SAUNDERS 58

TEST

QUESTION 1: Your memory of Hallowe’en involves: a) Yelling “Trick or treat!” b) Yelling “Hallowe’en Apples!” c) Wearing your winter coat over your Hallowe’en costume and yelling “Hallowe’en Apples!”

QUESTION 5: You’ve bought movie tickets and popcorn at: a) the Convention Centre Cinemas b) the Metropolitan Theatre c) Eaton Place Cinemas d) All of the above

QUESTION 2: Basil’s in Osborne Village used to be: a) Adi’s Video b) Basil’s c) The Tap and Grill d) All of the above

QUESTION 6: Have you ever gotten drunk: a) Anywhere in Osborne Village? b) At a house party in Charleswood? c) On a Paddle Wheel/River Rouge tour boat? d) All of the above?

QUESTION 3: Have you ever attended: a) a social? b) a debut? c) a ditch or floodway party? d) all of the above?

QUESTION 7: Have you ever been given a speeding ticket on: a) Kenaston Boulevard? b) Stafford? c) Pembina Highway? d) All of the above?

QUESTION 4: Have you ever bought: a) those little donuts at the Red River Ex? b) books from Mary Scorer? c) clothes from If You Have To Get Up In The Morning? d) all of the above?

QUESTION 8: Which of the following actors (we’re using the term loosely) has not shot a film in Winnipeg: a) Holly Hunter b) Jane Seymour c) Shannen Doherty d) Keanu Reeves 59


THE TRUE ANSWER KEY:

TEST text & photo by SAMANTHA MARCELO

QUESTION 1: Give yourself zero points if you said yes to (a), two points for (b), and three points for (c).

QUESTION 5: Give yourself one point if you said (a), (b) or (c), and three points for (d).

QUESTION 2: Give yourself one point if you said (a), (b), or (c) and three points if you said (d).

QUESTION 6: Give yourself one point for (a), two points for (b), three points for (c) and four points for (d).

QUESTION 3: You get one point for (a), two points for (b), three points for (c) and 4 points for (d). QUESTION 4: Give yourself one point for (a), two points for (b), three points for (c) and four points for (d).

QUESTION 7: Give yourself one point for (a), (b) or (c) and four points for (d). QUESTION 8: Give yourself two points if you answered (d).

SCORING:

0-9 points: You have obviously lost touch with your Winnipeg roots. It might help to spend some quality time at the Paddlewheel Restaurant in The Bay building downtown, observing how real Winnipeggers live. 10-18 points: You have Winnipeg commitment issues. On one hand, you love a cup of hot chocolate after a speedy trip down Garbage Hill. On the other hand, you keep checking whether you have enough Air Miles for a one-way ticket to Vancouver. Just remember what the Buddha says: you can’t cross a chasm in two steps. 19-27 points: Anyone who disses Winnipeg in your presence is in for a serious slapdown. Your life path may take you to the four corners of the earth, but as that Krevko woman says, Winnipeg feels like home to you. 60

OUR

GAME MADE JIMMY DIFFERENT; he was so revitalized. He

was happy again, and laughing, and glad to be with me. He was the way he was when we first met, him turning circles in the parking lot and me with knots in my hair. I didn’t believe him when he’d told me his name.

“But you’re too old for that name,” I’d accused, squinting at him, “You’ve got facial hair.” “Yeah, I know. But who wouldn’t trust a Jimmy?” I wasn’t sure how to take that. We started dating shortly afterwards, even though I think that’s too proper a word for what we did. We spent most of our time with each other, we moved around in parked cars a lot, but we never held hands in public or anything like that. After about the fourth month he started to get these really dark circles under his eyes, and would go for several minutes without saying anything to me. We’d sit on his couch and I would stare at his milk crate shelving unit for a long time, unblinking, until the straight blue gridlines started to wave and blur. If I asked him something, he just slowly shook his head from side to side. One day I was walking around in Jimmy’s trenchcoat; it was fall and I liked feeling the sharp air piercing my lungs. With nowhere in particular to go, I soon found myself in a bookstore. One of those small independent ones where there’s always someone reading behind the counter who smiles at you when you walk in. I just kind of meandered up and down the aisles, listening to the creaking of the 61


warped floorboards, when a certain book caught my eye. I picked it up and turned it over and over in my hands. It was a fairly old copy of Player Piano that smelled like dust. It was also the only Vonnegut book that Jimmy didn’t have. Without moving my head, I looked over the top of the bookshelf at the store employee, who was engrossed in a book of his own and tapping a highlighter against the counter. I casually picked up another book with my right hand and read the back cover, while I slipped Player Piano into the trenchcoat’s inner pocket with my left hand. I made a show of looking at a few other books, and then wound my way outside. As I passed the employee my heart started pounding and my throat constricted, but he didn’t even look up from his book. Outside, the cold air stung my sweat-coated back and it took all I had to walk down the street at a normal pace. The adrenaline started to take over, and I squealed in the back of my throat. I couldn’t believe I had just stolen something! And didn’t get caught! Running now, I burst into Jimmy’s apartment and shoved the book into his hands. He smiled for the first time in days, and when I told him how I’d got it, he actually whooped and spun me in a circle. “You?!” He cried, “You stole something? I can’t believe it!” It made me proud. Then he looked at me like he was seeing me for the first time, and I stopped listening for the sound of sirens in the distance. It became our new game, our contest to steal bigger and better things for each other. CDs, sweaters, shoes. Things we didn’t even need or want. We’d made shoplifting an art form. We used diversion, sleight-ofhand, divide and conquer. And we never got caught. Not even close. Things were exciting again. Not just with Jimmy, but all things. I would sit at work, typing away, my fingers shaking with restlessness. Everything looked different, like I knew something that nobody else did. I was bursting with it. Jimmy and I would meet by the back door of the restaurant where he was a chef, and we would plan our evening in excited whispers. We squeezed each other’s hands and could communicate by simple gestures and expressions. It was the most alive I’d ever felt. 62

So maybe that’s why I did what I did. It’s hard to say. The headiness of our game made my brain feel clean and white, and sometimes that’s the only thing I remember. What I do know is it was spring, and I was in Sears. I was passing my fingers lazily over a rack of thin gauzy dresses, imagining the way the wind would pick them up and make the hem dance around my shins as I walked. There was a mother nearby with her two children. One, a boy, was about three years old and throwing a tantrum. The other was a baby in a stroller who was watching the scene with interest. I was too. The mother was rifling through the baby’s bag as the boy stood next to her and screamed, his little body stick-straight. He started to stamp his feet, and then jump up and down. Then without warning he took off running. “Adam!” The mother yelled, “Oh my god! Get back here now!” She ran after him, but the child had the advantage of being both fast and small, and I saw the mother’s head zipping around the store as she searched for him. I got down on my knees and caught the baby’s attention. She had big brown eyes and I wiggled my fingers in front of them, making silly faces. She giggled and clapped. I felt the soft downy hair on her fragile skull, and she looked at me with those beautiful eyes and extended a chubby hand at me, smiling. I smiled at her. Her skin was so soft and warm and she smelled like baby powder and milk. Rising to a crouch, I gingerly picked her up and cradled her. I could hear her mother across the store continuing to chase her son. Feeling the familiar hammering in my chest, I shifted the baby to one arm and covered her with my jacket. Making sure nobody was watching, I stood up and hurriedly walked out of the store. She didn’t cry but I could feel her tiny arms pushing against my ribs and I started running and the sun was shining and all I could think about was Jimmy and our perfect new family and how happy we would all be. 63


to create...

the unexplainable, unrelenting compulsion to produce that has been fated to rule my life; never to be fulfilled, never to be understood.

DON RITSON solo exhibition opening: 13 january, 2004 seven o’clock graffiti gallery, 109 higgins, at gomez

Let each man exercise the art he knows -Aristophanes


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milo Magazine Issue #4  

milo was an independent print magazine based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Seven issues of the magazine were published between 2003-2005. O...

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