volume 1./ issue 7
Volume 1, Issue 7 Editor-in-Chief Dean Scott firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher & Business Development Fred Sorrell email@example.com Assistant Editor: Jessica Rupert Contributors Jill Thompson, Clara Musca, Damian Piper, Derek Harrison, John Hurst, Noah Scanga, Coley Coffman Mark Manson, Nikki Antic, Jamie Greer On the Cover: Young Galaxy p. 6 Want to contribute? Send us your reviews, interviews, news, essays etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org Dedicated to Blake Clifford. Always in our hearts.
Collage by: Kerri Mattatall
The Death of Sammy Yatim: A Wake Up Call for Canadian Policing By: Jimmy James The recent shooting death of Sammy Yatim has sparked outrage in the Toronto community and raised a lot of questions about lethal force use by police. For those of you not familiar with this story, Sammy Yatim was on a Toronto streetcar where during the ride he stood up armed with a knife in one hand and his genitals in the other screaming at passengers and making aggressive movements. Understandably the other passengers of the streetcar rushed off when possible, leaving Yatim on the streetcar by himself. The Toronto police then showed up to handle the situation which ended with Yatim being shot nine times resulting in his death after Yatim would not listen to police demands. After this tragic event many outraged Torontonians took to the streets to protest the lethal force used by the Toronto Police and the public demanded answers. Now whenever the police use deadly force on a citizen there are always questions that are raised regardless of whether or not it was a clean shoot. Was the victim a threat to the police or bystanders? Were the police justified in shooting the victim? Were there any alternative courses of action to resolve the situation? These types of questions always arise when lethal force is used by a government agency such as the police. These same questions were obviously asked after the Yatim shooting and the police have faced a large amount of criticism since the incident. Canadian police generally have had a somewhat poor track record when using lethal force often using such measures when it would appear to be completely unnecessary. For example there was the 2007 shooting death of Paul Boyd in Vancouver which in this instance the justification was that he was swinging a bike chain and that he posed an immediate threat to officers which required lethal force. Although a recent video that surfaced shows that Boyd was actually unarmed but was shot anyway. Another example is the 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski where the RCMP tasered him to death in the Vancouver International Airport even though he was unarmed. The policy of Canadian policing seems to
be very generous in regards to the use of lethal force. So what are the guidelines for lethal force use in Canadian policing? What the Toronto Police and many other agencies use to gauge situations and how to effectively respond to them is the National Use of Force model. This model allows the use of lethal force when a subject is exhibiting actions that are intended to or likely to cause serious harm. Although the problem with this is that it is an objective model which is placed upon a subjective situation. No two situations that police encounter can be considered exactly the same or fall within rigid guidelines which can be used to effectively dictate police action. This may be the reason for the hasty actions of the police in the three examples of lethal force used by Canadian police since according to the lethal force model a police officer only needs to believe there is a likelihood of serious harm.
I believe that the fact that Yatim was alone on the streetcar and confined made him no threat to the officers or any bystanders meaning that according to logic, lethal force was not necessary. There were many other options that the Toronto police could have used in defusing this situation such as negotiation, a Taser gun, or some other non-lethal tool. The real factor in this tragic event seems to be time and by this I mean the time to effectively gauge the situation. There was only roughly one minute between the arrival of the Toronto Police and the first shot being fired meaning that the necessary time was not taken. Had the Toronto police not acted with such haste then another avenue to deal with the situation could have been taken and Sammy Yatim could still be alive. This incident needs to act as a wake up call for Canadian police to seriously look at their policies and guidelines in their use of force to ensure that the power that is given to them is not abused. An SIU investigation is currently underway so only time will tell how the police plan to deal with this incident and the officer involved.
Q&A WITH BRIANA
Where did the name Athena come from? Athena is my middle name. I was named after my aunt in Athens, Greece, and it is for the Greek goddess of wisdom. Athena was always known to have an owl as her spirit guardian on her shoulder. It is kind of an alter ego, and something I have been really attached to since 2007. How would you describe your art? I can’t really put a label on it. I really touch base with the 1960’s era. I’m really into the psychedelics, but also the spiritual realm as well. I do a lot of meditation, and I think that my art is very vibrant, very full of life. Some people categorize it as pop art, but I am
hesitatnt to put labels on it because I am constantly changing and growing as a person. I don’t think that I am ever going to remain the same; I think that my art is going to constantly change. Though, my style stays intact. I will see what happens. Has it really changed from when you first started? Yea, drastically actually. I’m going into my third year of visual arts. I remember that in one painting class, there would be a lot of students who would say that I drastically changed from night to day. I had very vivid dreams of learning throughout them how to paint and work with strokes . I progressed at a rapid speed. Can you describe the process you go through when you are painting? I dive deep into my soul, with anything that resonates and has made a big impact in my life and made an imprint within me. I grab anything that is meaningful and I collaborate with it, I sit on it, and medidate and sleep on it. I come up with grand scheme ideas on
ways in which I can put that out to the public eye. What techniques do you use? I grab a lot of ideas and then I take some time out for myself and will do drawings in my sketch book to get the flow and to exorcize myself. Then, I usually do my canvasses by hand. I’ll nail it to my wall and put the gesso on and will sometimes draw it out and freestyle. Othertimes, I will have references that I can look off of. I just paint and go to town. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Lately I haven’t really been streaming other people’s art. I have been really digging into my own being. Though, I do like a lot of colourful, bright stuff. Anything that is funky. What can we expect to see in your next pieces of art? I think I am going to shake things up a bit. I think that I was being very safe and very sacred with my artwork, and that now I’m just going to let every-
thing fly. I’m going to be a little more at ease instead of trying to make everything crisp and clean. I have always been a perfectionist and I think that is something that I need to let loose of. As human beings you always want to discover the pieces of the puzzle. We are always trying to solve problems. I think that a little confrontation, a little conflict, a little disturbance is appealing to me. People are always used to things that are safe and sometimes when something is not that straight edge you might wonder what is going on. It tampers with your mind. I like a lot of mind boggling things as well. I’m into light beings and spiritual work, so I will have a lot of messages conveyed through me and my pieces. My first and foremost initial instinct is to put out the art that inspires and helps people to follow their dreams. I want to provide that energy and the inspiration to people so that when they see it, they realize that they are not too far off from achieving their dreams. Everyone has many gifts and potential. I am praying that everyone will tap into it.
By: Jamie Greer During the mid-2000’s, Montreal became Canada’s Seattle. Indie rock was booming and bands from one of Canada’s coolest cities suddenly became the rage on the college radio dial – Arcade Fire, Stars, The Dears, The Besnard Lakes, Godspeed You Black Emperor and many more suddenly became the measuring stick for not only independent music in Canada, but North America. Another of those acts was Young Galaxy. Emerging with their self titled debut in 2006, frontman Stephen Ramsey emerged from a touring gig as a member of Stars with his own project that steamrolled the indie pop scene. Alongside his bandmate and wife, Catherine McCandless, they’ve taken Young Galaxy far and above beyond your average indie rock bands. And after a 7 year gap, they return to Windsor to headline this year’s Phog Phest on September 14th. Windsor Independent spoke to Young Galaxy’s founding father, Stephen Ramsey, to discuss the past and contemplate the future.
we really made lasting bonds with each other. They taught me everything about performing live. Tears were shed. We’re still like family. WI: Your debut album was released on Arts & Crafts, who just had their 10 year anniversary party. You only stayed with them for the first album before leaving them. Now you’re on another well known Canadian label, Paper Bag. How have your experiences with both labels differed?
necessarily knowing how to get it. We signed the deal with A&C before we’d played a note of music live – so we had to go through some very public growing pains. I would say we were a well-intentioned but relatively poor live band in the early days! In hindsight, I was all over the place. I understood my desire for emulating the success of other acts I admired far more than I understood what YG was musically… Our endurance as a band for four albums has meant that I have learned a lot more about that, and the more I understand it, the less I care about success. I have a process now, and at the time I didn’t. I felt like it could go away at any second, or I’d wake up at a desk job to find it was all a dream. Haha. With Paper Bag, it just clicked right away. Trevor and I are in very similar places in our careers and in life, so we get each other. He understands our band – which is something we never had the luxury of with the people we had worked with up
SR: It was a bit of both – as I mentioned before, we’d never played live when we got signed, so it took a couple of years of playing shows to learn about what being live act does to shape the kind of music you make. We knew that after the first two records, we wanted to change the game up and make more visceral, kinetic music. There are few things better in the world than making people dance. Plus we have deep record collections, and felt like the first two records represented a very small segment of our influences… we were surprised to hear comparisons to The Verve and Slowdive on the first record – bands we’d listened to 10 years before. We were also club kids and hip hop fans and listened to all kinds of music by then, the internet had begun making it possible to hear all those records you had hunted for back in the pre-download era... We also wanted to challenge ourselves to get beyond our influences, to make thoroughly modern records. I think everyone appreciates the good bands of their time – it’s depressing to think all the good records were made in the past. Bands we love like New Order, Kraftwerk, Arthur Russell – they were trying to make futuristic records. Groundbreaking records. I’d love that to be our legacy, but we’ll see… WI: ‘Ultramarine’ and ‘Shapeshifting’ have gained a lot of attention in the electronic music world, getting remix treatment with a lot of the songs. Do you choose the DJs who are remixing your stuff or is it a case where DJs are coming to you to work on a specific track?
Windsor Independent: So Young Galaxy emerged in 2006-ish, after you’d had a stint as a touring member of Stars. Did you ever think you’d become a full fledged member of Stars or was Young Galaxy always an entity you were striving towards? Stephen Ramsey: It was always understood in my time with Stars that I would eventually focus on YG – Catherine and I had been working on the YG debut between Stars tours and had label interest based on the 5-6 songs we had done at that point - so once the Set Yourself On Fire tour cycle wound down, there was a natural break where it seemed like I should focus on YG. It was hard to leave Stars – they were a very intense band going through a very intense time, and
for the first two, and Dan Lissvik for the past two) was this a conscious decision to move a different direction or was it simply an organic pull?
SR: They’ve been very different experiences, but it has so much to do with the vast difference between where we were at in the beginning vs. where we’re at now. My entire perspective has changed about the music industry since we started. When we signed to A&C, we were so naïve and insecure. They were enjoying massive success with Stars, BSS and Feist, to name a few… and in the end, we probably wanted what those acts had without
to that point. Signing to Paper Bag turned everything around for us – it’s quite possible we wouldn’t exist still if it weren’t for them. WI: ‘Young Galaxy’ and ‘Invisible Republic’ were both very melodic indie pop, while ‘Shapeshifting’ and now ‘Ultramarine’ have more Euro electropop influences throughout them. Apart from the obvious switch in producers (Jace Lasek
SR: A bit of both, but typically we enjoy approaching acts we like to remix us. It’s an exciting way to collaborate with people you admire, and we’ve been lucky so far to have some of our favourite acts agree to do remixes. WI: ‘Ultramarine’ is the first recording that features Catherine exclusively on lead vocals. On the first album it was an even split and as the albums progressed, your voice became less and less a part of the mix. What lead you to remove yourself as a vocalist? SR: Let’s just say I have a problematic relationship with my voice – I’d love to sing like Bowie, to have all this character, but I think my voice is rather milquetoast when push comes to shove. But Catherine, Catherine is a capital S singer. She is a natural, so it made sense to focus on her. You can just see it when we play live everyone is mesmerized by her when she performs. It allows me to have a more curatorial role in the album process. I can focus on the overarching vision for the album a lot more easily when I’m not loathing myself trying to do vocal takes. Haha. WI: How would you describe the differences in working with Jace Lasek to Dan Lissvik? SR: They’re two of my very favourite people on the planet – and like apples and oranges to compare. They are both reclusive, tapped into some deep unseen
frequencies and they both live The Music. Jace likes working naked more, and drinks about one thousand times more whisky than Dan. Dan smokes a lot more cigarettes, but likes to ‘dance’ his musical directions at you. They’re both really handsome, strange and never on time too. WI: ‘Ultramarine’ made the shortlist for the Polaris Prize this year. How important do you think the Polaris is? When it started it seemed very much to be something that was to help push the “unknowns” and give credence to artistic merit over album sales or big name draw, but now we see people like Leonard Cohen or Metric in these lists. Is the Polaris still doing what it was intended or is becoming something more akin to the Junos or the MMVAs? SR: I don’t think about it much – I don’t love award culture in general, the insidious, self-congratulatory competitiveness of it all. But I am grateful that it exists for the reasons you mentioned above – it does help give more exposure to lesser-known bands even now, as I would categorize our own band firmly in that category. So in the end, what can I say? If it’s an award based on critical merit, I’m flattered to be amongst the few that have been singled out. WI: It’s been 7 years since you last played Windsor, at the Avalon Front with the Golden Hands Before God. Do you recall anything about Windsor? SR: Is that true?? That’s crazy. Once The Avalon Front closed, we just stopped coming I guess. I love Windsor – it’s down home and close to the bone. Catherine’s mother is from there, and her grandmother is buried there. I loved TGHBG, they were a rag-tag-bunch-ofyoung-cock-eyed-optimists-from-thewrong-side-of-the-tracks if ever there were some… I wonder where they are now?? Haha. WI: What can Windsor expect from Young Galaxy at Phog Phest this year? SR: “Precision:Energy:Judgement!” If we achieve one out of the three during the show then we’re happy. We also do a group accapella rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, and this is ALL before we even hit the stage! WI: Finally, in a strange coincidence, this year’s Phog Phest celebrates the 5 year anniversary of Phog Lounge winning CBC Radio 3’s Searchlight contest for “Best Live Music Venue in Canada”. CBC Radio 3 used your song ‘Searchlight’ as the contest’s theme song. Any chance we’ll hear you play that song at Phog Phest? SR: Haha, no. We could never play that song live, it is deceptively dense on record - we’d need 5 guitarists to pull it off! I keep bringing it up at rehearsals but Catherine and Kampy just roll their eyes at me. And Matt and Andrea probably have never even heard that song, let alone tried playing it! So unfortunately, we’ll have to let this golden opportunity to make the circle complete slip away… I will apologize to the gods of rock when my time is up, promise.
l the Yeti Bones has been earning respect as an eminent Canadian heavy metal musician for years with his tenure in such outfits as the Mighty Nimbus, Georgian Skull, and Mister Bones. His latest venture, Gypsy Chief Goliath, might just be his best yet, as the band gears up to release their second studio album in early October, having just signed with Cyprus based, independent label, Pitch Black Records. GCG blends aspects of heavy metal with stoner rock and blues influences to create a crushingly smooth sound. We sat down with Al over pint(s) of beer at the Manchester to discuss their recent signing, their previous efforts, and why they decided to add that sweet, sweet, harmonica. How did the band get started? I formed a band called Mister Bones here in Windsor and we were signed to a Montreal Doom label called Obskure Sombre Records. Through them, we released four albums. Eventually I joined a band from Minnesota called the Mighty Nimbus and was able to be signed to Candlelight Records in the U.S.A. Eventually I formed the Georgian Skull, and was signed to Scarlet Records/SPV and later to eONE Records. Through the demise of those mentioned bands, I ended up putting together Gypsy Chief Goliath, which is my most cohesive and probably best band to date. We are a six piece wrecking crew that is comprised of members from other bands in Canada, including three guitarists and a harmonica player. We released our debut album called ‘It’s a Walk in the Mist,’ on Black Vulture Records from Sweden. Recently we were just signed to Pitch Black Records for a three album deal. Our latest release is called ‘New Machines of the Night.’ How did you become signed with Pitch Black Records? We shopped the album around for about six months. It was recorded on analog tape at Shark Tank Studio by Mark Plancke. A lot of labels were interested in
us but Pitch Black was one that we came to know a great deal. Negotiations were smooth and everything seemed to fall into place perfectly for both parties. Pitch Black have distribution through Century Media, The End, Nail/Allegro Records and many more. How does the harmonica influence your sound? Why did you decide to add that element? The harmonica element in our music was brought in when Brodie and I were still in college in London. I asked him if he could come over and lay some down on a few demos that I was working on at the time. I was starting to move forward with Gypsy Chief Goliath and later when I formed the band, we started bringing Brodie on stage to play the stuff he had originally recorded. It just stuck. I couldn’t even imagine the band without the harmonica now. What can you tell us about the new album coming out in October? The new album is called, ‘The Machines of the Night.’ And will be released through Pitch Black on October 8th, worldwide. It is going to be available online, as well as in record stores. It’s ten songs of pure heaviness, with raw emotion, soul, and heart put onto the tape. It’s a unique collection of heavy riff and harmony driven tunes that have come to define our band as it sounds today. How is it different from It’s a Walk in the Mist? ‘Mist was a jam album. It had a lot of elements of Skynyrd and Allman Brothers with a southern tinged style to it. There was a Sabbath sound, with stripped back production. We were head first in a transition period at the time and had a lot of material that we were just trying to get recorded so that we didn’t lose the songs. We didn’t necessarily want to play a lot of them live. Having said that though, there is still a solid handful of songs on that first record that we still bring out live, that we kill with. The new album, ‘New Machines of the Night’ has a much more refined sound, with a direction that is cohesive and plays up the things that we are really good at doing, like being loud, and triple harmonizing. There are much more tempo and key changes on the new album. All around we do a lot more on this new album, without jumping too far out of the realm of what we are.
Have you started work on your next release? Not in the traditional sense. But, we have all been compiling our demos and riff ideas already for the new one. We’re all aware that there is a much bigger brew happening for this next record. It will be a bit more ‘rootsy,’ but at the same time much more diverse. It will be different from the last two albums, that is for sure. What is your take on the music scene in Windsor? I like the scene, I really do. I have my complaints and I have excitements. One thing I can say is there is no other scene out there quite as tightly knit and low key. It seems something has been ready to explode here for a very long time, and I think it’s just a matter of time before a few bands from the Windsor scene really start to take off and bring the scene right up into the forefront of Canada’s music culture. We’re just too far away from all the other “action” in Canada as we’re closer obviously to Detroit then we are to any other city in Canada that means anything in the regards to a bigger music community. We’re the city that Canada left behind. Do you have any horror stories from the road? Too many to list, but… one that comes to mind right now is after a show in Montreal, we were on tour with 10 guys(2 bands, 2 vans, and a trailer), and we couldn’t find anywhere to stay. No hotel was letting us book a room at 4am with 10 people on camera in the parking lot. They just weren’t buying it. So, we ended up sleeping outside in a grocery store parking lot. That was the first of many moments where I thought to myself, “I’m too old for this shit.” I don’t know many people that could go through what I’ve endured. I believe that if you think you could, you should just try it. Guaranteed you come back band-less. It is definitely character building, and makes you realize whether you want to do this or not. You may say you want this, but once you’re put in that position, where you have no money, no clean clothes, no gas, no payment from the venue, no place to sleep, foreign city, and no shelter from the weather conditions, only to wake up and make it happen in another city the next day, your mind set can definitely change and force you to become someone you may never have seen yourself as.
OPEN MICROPHONES IN WINDSOR I By: Jamie Greer
’m sure you’ve seen them advertised at various bars around the city. Chalkboards and signs announce their dates and Facebook statuses promote them - “Tonight, Open Mic!” But what does that mean to you? Do you immediately dismiss it as a venue’s lack of creativity in booking? Something that takes advantage of the inexperienced entertainer for free live music under the banner of promised exposure? Or, do you look at is as an open platform where some of the city’s most experienced performers host an open outlet for musicians to gain confidence within a live situation or to stage test new original material. If you side with the latter, you’d be a far step closer to the truth, especially at this moment in Windsor’s musical landscape. For the first time in decades, Windsor not only boasts an exorbitant amount of Open Mic nights at a multitude of venues, but the experience of the hosts – as performers and original songwriters – makes these nights an invaluable asset to the musical scene of the city.
Rehearsing in your jam room is one step of musical performance development. But so often musicians and bands will leap right from the basement to the stage, deciding to hone their confidence through actual live shows – which while entirely educational for the performers in question, can often prove awkward or even painful for the audience. Mannerisms may fall flat, and song choice mistakes can become poignantly apparent, things which can be tweaked and refined at nights such as Open Mics. Yes, you are going to see a lot of “hobbyist” musicians at Open Mics – the weekend warrior rock stars who have just recently learned Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android,’ or Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall,’ and are simply dying to show their friends that they can sing and strum at the same time. But at the Open Mics currently running in town, these are few and far between. Now they are fertile song-fields, where new writers are just as likely to be waiting in line with the veterans, for the chance to stage test a new composition, perform with a new musical collaborator or simply jam with a musician of mutual admiration. These are the nights that nurture the creative juices, stimulate the scene’s chemistry and give the audience members glimpses of not only what’s right with the music scene this moment, but also a taste of what sounds may be coming next. Here’s a quick look at some of the leading Open Mics around town, and the musical pedigree of the hosts that command the stage.
Open Mic Surgery with James OL (Mondays at Phog Lounge, 157 University Ave. West, starting at 10pm). James Oltean-Lepp, better known under the stage moniker James OL, has been a member of some of Windsor’s finest musical acts the past few years, most notably the roots rock ensemble James OL & The Villains, with whom he’s toured Canada with and released several strong albums (with a new release produced locally with Brett Humber up soon). Also a solo performer, not to mention a member of the shock metal outfit The Sean Connery Supergroup, Oltean-Lepp’s stint as host of Phog’s weekly Open Mic has proven to be a great learning experience for James as well as those who have frequented it. James OL had big shoes to fill – past hosts of Phog’s Open Mic Surgery have included Ron Leary, Ray Whimsey and The Locusts Have No King’s Tara Watts – but he’s handled it in his usual calm and cool demeanour and turned it into a night all his own. It’s a beautifully intimate night where everything from simplistic folk to noisy garage rock has been born and nurtured.
Open Mic with Daren Dobsky (Mondays at The Manchester Pub, 546 Ouellette Ave., 10pm). Daren Dobsky has been a veteran of the Windsor music scene since the mid-1990’s, fronting such acts as Royal Dose, not to mention stints in such collectives as The Golden Hands Before God, Magic Hall of Mirrors and his current outfit, the unquiet dead. With the latter, he’s performed at a multitude of local and national festivals, including back to back appearances at Canadian Music Week and North By Northeast (NXNE). Always ready to offer the stage to new and upcoming musicians, he’s just as likely to stay up and jam with them, offering up suggestions on arrangements or simply joining in as part of the ride.
Open Stage with Andrew MacLeod & Leigh Wallace (Tuesdays at The Dominion House Tavern, 3140 Sandwich St., 10pm). Two musical juggernauts in the local music scene, Andrew MacLeod and Leigh Wallace host an interactive jam session every Tuesday night on the
west side. MacLeod was a successful and respected singer/songwriter for years before hooking up with threefifths of The Locusts Have No King to form Years of Ernest a few years back, one of which was guitarist/vocalist Leigh Wallace. Wallace, no slouch himself, has been a mainstay in Windsor’s original music circuit for over a decade. Prior to Locusts Have No King, he was in several of Windsor’s most popular and successful local bands, such as The Butterfield Gateway and Caught In The Moss. You never know who will make a West End trek to share the stage with MacLeod and Wallace on a Tuesday, but you know it’s going to be a jam more akin to “The Last Waltz” than your daddy’s garage.
Tuesday Night Music Club with Jamie Reaume (Tuesdays at The Manchester Pub, 546 Ouellette Ave., 10pm). The frontman for various acts over the past decade, including The Golden Eagles, the newly reformed Foreign Film Star, and his most recent outing, Cowboys In Cardigans, Reaume has lead his Tuesday Night Music Club for well over five years, originally starting out in the West End before shifting downtown three years ago. Joined by a revolving cast of local scene players, the TNMC offers a full band atmosphere, complete with drums, bass and guitar amps, for more complete bands to come and jam their newest songs.
Villains Open Mic Instrumental Talent (VOMIT) with Eric Welton (Tuesdays at Villains Beastro, 256 Pellisier Ave., 10pm). Eric Welton has been a fixture on Windsor’s singer/songwriter circuit for well over a decade since his relocation from Chatham, as both a solo performer or leading the Eric Welton Band. He also learned a lot about band dynamics as a member of Chatham’s legendary psychedelic prog rock band Square Root of Margaret. Welton’s open mic night on Tuesdays also features a full band situation, complete with drums, bass amps, guitar amps and the like, offering a live audience opportunity for full bands to try out new material...although it’s just as likely to see members of various established acts jamming in ad hoc “one night only” ensembles and create some pretty unique moments musically.
Open Mic with Anderson Lunau (Thursdays at FM Lounge, 156 Chatham St. West, beside Pogo’s, 10pm). Anderson is another of Windsor’s long time musical veterans. He’s cut his teeth in such acts as Mister Bones and Somatose, was a part of the touring musical collective The Golden Hands Before God, and most recently fronted the alt. Rock ensemble Vultures! He’s collaborated with a multitude of the scene’s most prolific performers, so it was only natural he’d make an excellent host of an open mic environment.
Open Mic with Conor Allard and Cody Howard (Thursdays at Maroon Bros., 39 Chatham St. East, 10pm). Although newcomers in comparison to the other hosts on this list, singer/ songwriters Conor Allard and Cody Howard (brother to local songstress Rayven Howard of The Wyandotte St. Family Band) have been making their presence known with their thoughtful and emotional performances, at their own Thursday open mic night as well as other open mics, not to mention their own gigs at original music venues.
Open Mic with Travis Reitsma (Thursdays at Green Bean News Cafe, 300 Ouellette Ave., second floor, above Honest Lawyer, 10pm). Travis may be one of the most soft spoken members of the local music scene, but musically he carries a big stick. He’s been one of the most politically passionate singer/ songwriters in the area for nearly a decade, releasing two gorgeous solo albums, collaborating live with the engimatic Johnny West, and serving as musical event co-ordinator (and often soundman) for The FM Lounge. He not only knows how to write and perform with the best of them, he’s worked and seen some of them grace FM’s stage. He brings that knowledge to one of the newer venues downtown that has spared no expense on the atmosphere.
MADCHILD - Lawn Mower Man By: Noah Scanga Earlier this year platinum-selling Canadian hip hop group Swollen Members released their latest album called Beautiful Death Machine. It is obvious that work is no challenge to this group as Madchild also released his 9th solo endeavour earlier this month on August 6th. This effort has various artists on the album, including Rob the Viking and C-Lance as producers, as well as Prevail and Slaine slinging verses. Madchild’s lines on this album are incomparable to any other rapper out there right now, with countless recognizable comic book, music, movies, and life analogies that will make anyone pause for a second and think. If you are someone who likes listening to rap with strong lyricism, this is an album for you. Although, caution for those faint of heart, because he employs a wide variety of vulgar and graphic language. This album isn’t limited to just sharp tongued lines, but also contains some strong beats that any b-boy or girl can break too. Rob the Viking does some great work, with strong beats that all have their own identity. He connects the album together with repetition that carries over when other producers step in. Something he’s done that I thought really stood out from any other work out right now is the extensive use of arpeggios throughout. It’s almost like an underlying theme that fits appropriately with Madchild’s fast aggresiveness. Madchild is known in the past for excessive drug use, alcohol consumption and addiction to oxycodone. He’s been staying clean for the past few years, and “It Gets Better” is a reminder to keeping clean, regardless of your current situation. Madchild discusses recovery and rebirth after addiction. This album incorporates a lot of new
techniques and sounds that have been appearing, but Madchild blends them together with traditional hip hop concepts.. I’ve been anticipating this album since the start of the summer, and I can say it didn’t disappoint what-soever! He’ll be only 45 minutes away in Mt.Clemens Michigan October 30th!
DAVE RUSSELL & THE PRECIOUS STONES Deep Talk in Shallow Water By: Noah Scanga Windsor’s own Dave Russell and the Precious Stones have released their long overdue album , featuring Dave Russell on vocals and guitar, accompanied by Christina Bell on keys and vocals. Chris
Pace and Vin Vicious hold their own in the rhythm section. The band has shared the stage in the past with acts the likes of The Sam Roberts Band and Our Lady Peace, now it’s time for them to be front and center, with their album Deep Talk In Shallow Water. This 5 track EP is all easy listening, with relaxed mellow harmonies, solid rhythm sections, heartfelt vocals, and the occasional harmonica. Give and Take is by far my favourite track. The harmonies are rich, with subtle bits of layering. There are little guitar tones in the background which bring out the harmonica by adding contrast to the tone. A lot of this album contains rich textures, which makes it easy to kick your feet up and enjoy the music flowing out of the speakers. Deep Talk in Shallow Water is the title track and is more upbeat then the rest of the album. Too bad this song wasn’t released earlier in the summer, with a line like “put another long on the fire,” this tune makes a perfect summer time anthem to listen to while out camping, or in the backyard having some brews. It should be added to your essential patio playlist. One thing I can say about this album that is disappointing is that it doesn’t compare to seeing them live. They have so much more energy on stage that the recording process didn’t capture. Experience Dave Russell and the Precious Stones for yourself, they’ll be performing this month at Balloonapalooza, the weekend of August 17-18th, and at the Festival of Good things in Sarnia on the 31st.
INDEPENDENT FASHION By: Jill Thompson
A FASHIONABLE EVENING INDEED
vogue Boutique debuted their fall collection on Aug. 1 at La Zingara Restaurant, reminding us that fall is coming. (This doesnâ€™t bother me at all after seeing the pieces in this show).
The collection, hand-picked from Europe by owners Ewa Biniarz and Dorota Sax, contained a range of sleek pastel leathers, studded dresses, lazer-cut silk designs, tan/neon colour-blocking and light-as-air knits. Everything in the show could be used as perfect transition pieces from summer to fall. Biniarz and Sax keep it real in a small city by only ever ordering one size of each item to ensure uniqueness for women 15-85. Most of the models walking in the show were workers from the Hotel Dieu Psychiatric department. All looked stylish and edgy in POP makeup and hair-doâ€™s. Local Country crooner, Crystal Gage, hosted the event and sang some upbeat country tunes while guests noshed on a luxurious spread of both unique and rustic Italian finger foods. Also making a singing appearance at the show was the uber-talented singer/pianist April Letourneau, 16, who is reminiscent of a younger, yet more soulful, Taylor Swift. Head over to the Ottawa Village and check out Bvogue Boutique located at 1437 Ottawa street or visit them at bvogue.ca
FLIGHTS OF FANCY Fall Head Over Heels For Fall Fashion
Surpass the Salad By: Amanda Sinasac Vegetarianism is becoming increasingly rampant, and most restaurants accommodate this shift by offering at least a few veggie-friendly options. As a long time vegetarian myself, I appreciate the convenience of being able to enjoy a meal out with friends almost anywhere. However, some establishments take it a step further by catering specifically to vegetarians, or providing a separate menu encompassing far more than just the standard salads. This allows us herbivores a luxury that we often find severely lacking: selection. This past month, I scoped out a few such places right here in Windsor, with gratifying results. Pause Café occupies a cozy space on Chatham Street, unexpectedly nestled between a strip club and a suit shop. I was initially intimidated by the darkened windows and primarily French menu, but their ample assortment of teas, and array of vegetarian and vegan eats eventually lured me in. Their menu comprises a selection of paninis, soups and salads, colourfully displayed on a trio of large chalkboards. Taloola Café, which calls charming Olde Walkerville home, is another local favorite. Featuring exposed brick walls, mismatched upholstery and many other eclectic details, this place has no shortage of character. The quirky décor and welcoming staff give the café a relaxed and homey atmosphere, whether you’re
Model Greis wears a Bvogue Boutique dress $320 and a Bras by Jillish headpiece $30. Melissa-Rae W Makeup Artist Photography MJLKA
settling in for a meal, or just stopping by for a quick cup of coffee. With a focus on healthy eating, Taloola offers not only a variety of vegetarian and vegan fare (personally, I recommend the tofu wrap), but also gluten-free options and numerous fair trade organic coffees and teas. While their menu is by no means extensive, popular music venue Phog Lounge deserves honorable mention for being one of the few places in the city one can indulge in a heaping plate of savory vegetarian poutine. Their “Meat Is Murder” pizza, topped with tomato, red onion, mushrooms and green pepper is also a definite winner. These tasty dishes combined with live entertainment on any given evening make Phog an ideal stop for dinner and drinks.
My latest culinary quest has not only encouraged me to revisit old haunts, but also led to the discovery of new places to appease my adventurous appetite. Being that we are a modestly sized city, Windsor offers a fairly considerable assortment of vegetarian cuisine. With local establishments serving up specialty food spanning every meal of the day, there really is something for everyone.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE NOT SO HAPPY The Color Run Review
attended The Color Run in Windsor a couple of weeks ago with some friends. It was a good time, and the colours definitely helped. It was a novel experience for most Windsorites, and even for most participants of other various carbon-copied colour run events around the world. The Color Run, the prototype of all other similar runs, has brought some interesting twists onto the themed running scene. And I do appreciate the freshness of some of these ideas. But I can’t not comment on the overly peppy image painted in most media coverage following the overnight explosion of the trend. It is lacking in substance and quite frankly, the hype confuses me.
By: Nitati Shah
by a line-up of volunteers and at the Finish Festival after the run, as the music blares, everyone is encouraged to throw open their own packet of colours (received before the run) to create a massive cloud of colours blanketing participants huddled by the stage. That was pretty cool. The five-kilometre distance and untimed features of the run are indeed great ideas and have worked quite well—the events have attracted people of all ages, runners and non-runners alike. The Windsor event, an early morning gathering of thousands of participants playing with colour in the backdrop of a riverside setting, undoubtedly made for a lovely experience.
were being sold before the run at The Color Store. More “free” t-shirts, hoodies and drawstring bags were being excitedly scattered across the cheering crowd of people who most likely have no need for any more t-shirts, hoodies or drawstring bags. It is the same old message that has driven our modern consumerist culture for the past several decades: everything is better and more fun with more stuff. Of course, this isn’t something characteristic of only The Color Run; businesses have created and fed our stuffloving-lifestyles for a long time. But I believe things are changing and people are waking up to these realities—we are no more a society that can be swayed as easily by commercials and marketing gimmicks. We are demanding more socially conscious products and services. Then why are we supporting— with such enthusiasm— the regressive business habits of companies like The Color Run? The Windsor event, I must add, was also hugely deficit in the realm of waste management. Colour packets and plastic water bottles were scattered everywhere, while waste bins were hard to find and recycling bins almost nowhere in sight Not too much has been written about the rapidly expanding company yet, but from what can be found in the media, a vast number of people who have participated in the runs have loved them. Some however have questioned or commented on its for-profit status and on some controversy regarding its charity partnership approach.
Based in Utah, The Color Run was founded by 35-year-old Travis Snyder, a triathlete and experienced athletic events organizer. The concept of the run is inspired by cultural festivals around the world like Holi, and events like Disney’s World of Color, among others. It is also based on Snyder’s idea of wanting to create an athletic event that focused more on the pleasures of running and fitness and togetherness than on the competitive element of most existing races that he believed tended to intimidate novice or inexperienced runners. “I think sometimes people get tired of being so competitive,” Snyder says. “In a running event, the person next to you is the tool that you are going to compare yourself to; whether or not you run faster than them or they run faster than you. The Color Run still has running in its basis: people still get to be out and be active. But instead of it being an exclusive experience, it’s an inclusive experience where the people next to you are part of that.” The run is an encouraging 5 kilometres in distance and is un-timed so participants are not ranked and can choose not to run the whole distance. At every kilometre mark, participants are showered with coloured cornstarch powder
But I must say, it was this experience wrapped up in an over-the-top glossy commercial package that, to me, was a bit off-putting and took away from the simple joy of it. The Festival Plaza was filled with signs and slogans that screamed the words “color” and “fun” and “happy.” We were all decorated in tattoos of the word “happy.” The Color Run products on its website have captions like “Stay happy and hydrated” (for water bottles) and the company is tag-lined “the Happiest 5k on the Planet.” It was cute and all, but the amount of “fun” and “happy” I have since read in media stories and participant comments is a bit eerie. I mean, yes, I had fun, but just like I have fun at a theme park or at a good show. Maybe all the hoopla is based on its relative newness. But still, it was nothing out-of-this-world special. Yet The Color Run seems to have effectively made itself almost synonymous with “happy.” It is either a brilliant marketing strategy or a perfectly happy accident. Whatever it may be, it is corporate branding at its finest. Then there were all the Color Run branded things. A variety of Color Run paraphernalia like sunglasses, socks, tutus, bracelets, lip balms, hats and more
In just its first year, The Color Run has become the biggest 5k run event in the United States. In 2012 alone, it attracted 600,000 participants and is expanding, rapidly. In Windsor, 11,000 attended, paying between 30 to 50 dollars to register. That means an immense amount of profit at each event. Some reporters have commented that the cost of organizing such an event (renting space, police officers, renting portable toilets, employee wages—although most were actually volunteers) is far less than what the company acquires in profit. It certainly is an ingenious business model, but is registration really worth the cost? Is The Color Run really delivering something that is worth 30 or 40 or 50 dollars or is it ripping us off? Some other races have yet higher registration fees, but people want to participate because the races are held in support of charitable causes.
of Windsor-Essex. “An undisclosed donation—agreed upon by both parties prior to the event—is given to the charity,” according to an article in the Windsor Star. “In exchange, volunteers are provided by the charity to help run the event.” When I emailed the company to ask how much was donated to the Alzheimer Society, my question was politely dodged and the reply I got was this: “We do several things for our charity partners and each contract is unique as we build it together with each charity.” This usually means that the donations are based on the number of volunteers or level of help that the charity organization provides for the event. The small percentage of donation, in my opinion, is not the problem here. The company very clearly states that it is a for-profit LLC (limited liability company), so its charity partnership system is its way of practising corporate social responsibility. But what’s with the secretive nature of the system? Why hide how the company will contribute to the charity? Participants have a right to know where their money is going. Some, however, don’t mind this approach of The Color Run regarding its charitable partnership policies. Countless comments under articles on The Color Run advise the critics and the questioning to leave the company alone. The Color Runs are all about having some fun, then why criticize it so much, they say. I understand why they had fun, because I was there too and like I said, it was a good time. But do we turn a blind eye to the company’s questionable tactics just because we had fun, in the process normalizing such business models? Aren’t we as citizens responsible to hold powerful entities like governments and corporations accountable when they forget their own responsibilities? With some changes, The Color Run can possibly make for an interesting and truly enjoyable community experience, but as it now stands, I have no interest in supporting an event company that hardly provides much for the price it demands and only contributes to a culture of consumerism and commercialization of everything possible.
The Color Run too partners with different charity organizations in different cities and helps to raise funds for the chosen organization in different ways. Some commentary has frowned upon the fact that the percentage of charitable donations from overall event profits has been insignificant (a ratio of 90 to 10 per cent was noted in the Color Run held in Syracuse, New York. In Windsor, The Color Run partnered with the Alzheimer Society Photos by: Katrina Haug
By: Jamie Greer
bands to stop by and perhaps add Windsor to their destinations while on tour. Little did Tom or Frank expect the end result.
Back in early 2009, CBC Radio 3 announced their latest Searchlight contest – these contests, which are essentially polls conducted amongst CBC Radio 3 listeners and musicians across the country, shed light on such topics as who the nation perceives to be the country’s best new act, best video, best single, etc. Well, this particular
On 4pm on Wednesday February 25th, with a few die hard enthusiasts huddled around them and the lap top on which they were listening, Tom and Frank were elated to hear CBC Radio 3 personality Grant Lawrence announce Phog Lounge had been voted Canada’s Best Live Music Venue. In winning this title, CBC Radio helped Phog organize a celebration concert. Dubbed “Phog Phest”, it took place July 11, 2009 and was headlined by such Phog stage
hat began as a shot in the dark in a CBC Radio 3 Searchlight contest to discover where “Canada’s Best Live Music Venue” is has resulted in one of Windsor’s coolest indie music festivals: Phog Phest.
Photo by: KEVKAVPHOTO
contest was for “Canada’s Best Live Music Venue”. Windsor’s Phog Lounge – owned by Tom Lucier and Frank Incitti – had long been a magnet for some of Canada’s best indie music, attracting the likes of such indie darlings as Tokyo Police Club, Holy Fuck, Great Lakes Swimmers, Cuff the Duke, Yukon Blonde, Said the Whale and so much more, even long after these acts had progressed to far bigger stages. There was something about Phog’s intimacy and the level of musical attentiveness of it’s patrons that enticed these acts to consistently return to Phog’s humble abode (after all, capacity is slightly above 65 people). So when CBC announced this contest, social media savvy Lucier decided to put forth Phog Lounge and hoped that the enthusiasm of its patrons, as well as the loyalty of some of these acts, would at least open up the doors for future
alum Holy Fuck, Arkells, and The Pack AD on a stage outside on University Avenue West. A concurrent smattering of music continued inside between acts, and prior and post the main stage festival, featuring a “who’s who” of Windsor’s top indie acts, such as Yellow Wood (who were the only local band to play the main stage), Michou, Orphan Choir, Field Assembly and more, not to mention other out of towners such as Megan Hamilton & The Volunteer Canola, Fjord Rowboat and The Kramdens. The event was a monstrous success, not just from the attention the CBC Radio 3 prize brought, but from the hardwork and dedication of Tom and Frank and all the volunteers who brought the festival together. The following year, Lucier and Incitti decided to turn that community feeling and outpouring into an annual cel-
ebration, not just celebrating another successful year of Phog Lounge’s operation, but a testament to Canadian independent music. While they would secure national headlining acts, their mandate was also to find the cream of Windsor’s own vibrant independent scene and show just how comfortably homegrown talent could fit alongside more “experienced” or well-known acts. Young Rival, The Mark Inside and Lindy rubbed shoulders with Windsor’s Magic Hall of Mirrors, Bulletproof Tiger, Locusts Have No King and James OL & The Villains on August 14, 2010 at Phog Phest 2, to create a memorable debut for the festival in its new location in the parking lot next to Phog Lounge. Phog Phest 3 began the trend of holding the festival in September, occurring on September 17, 2011, headlined by hometown Juno nominated roots act Elliott Brood, Winnipeg’s Grand Analog and Detroit’s The High Strung, alongside local acts What Seas What Shores, Explode When They Bloom and The Swillingtones. It also featured the controversial cover act BALLS, that featured fiftywatthead teaming with Poughboy’s Adam Craig in performing a set of AC/DC covers. Last year’s Phog Phest 4, held September 15, 2012, continued the upwards attendance and mainstream media coverage, headlined by Toronto’s Rural Alberta Advantage and featuring New Country Rehab and Montreal’s Cobra & Vulture, alongside Windsor’s the unquiet dead, James OL & The Villains, Gypsy Chief Goliath, Vultures, Cellos and Learning, for the most successful Phog Phest yet. And now everything culminates with this year’s Phog Phest 5, happening on Saturday September 14th, with their most ambitious undertaking yet. Three simultaneous stages, staggered with some pretty incredible music, at the historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Windsor (plus a parallel Phog Phest showcase at Phog), headlined by a couple of Montreal heavyweights – Young Galaxy and Suuns – and featuring a top level crop of some of Windsor’s finest independent acts, such as The Blue Stones, The Nefidovs, The Fisher Kings, Locusts Have No King, Dead Samaritans, What Seas What Shores, Years of Ernest, Silent Movie Type, Eric Welton and the newly reunited Vaudevillianaires, plus a smattering of some of the freshest new acts on the scene, like Of The Pack, Middle Sister, Heavy Suns, Menos Mal, Tea Leaves, This Machine Kills Robots and Toque. While there are still a few more names to finalize (including one more potential national headliner), Phog Phest 4 is shaping up to be one of eht strongest indie music line-ups Windsor has seen. And considering that CBC Radio 3 used Young Galaxy’s song “Searchlight” as the theme song for the contest, it only seems fitting that on the 5th anniversary of claiming the title “Best Live Music Venue in Canada,” Phog can finally say Young Galaxy has played The Little Venue That Could.
Phog Phest 1 July 11, 2009 Holy Fuck (Toronto), The Pack AD (Vancouver), The Kramdens (Guelph), Arkells (Hamilton), Green Go (Guelph), Yellow Wood, Locusts Have No King, Megan Hamilton & The Volunteer Canola (Toronto), Michou, Orphan Choir, Field Assembly, Ron Leary & Kelly Hoppe, Eric Welton, Peace Leeches, Pat Robitaille, What Seas What Shores, Vultures, (wh)y.m.e.(??), Fjord Rowboat (Toronto), Citywide Vacuum, James OL & The Villains, Square Root of Margaret (Chatham), Tara Watts, ASK
Phog Phest 2 Aug 14, 2010 Young Rival (Hamilton), Magic Hall of Mirrors, The Mark Inside (Toronto), Bulletproof Tiger, Locusts Have No King, Jams OL & The Villains, Lindy (Toronto), Red Rows, VEX
Phog Phest 3 Sep 17, 2011 Elliott Brood (Toronto/Windsor), Grand Analog (Winnipeg), What Seas What Shores, The High Strung (Detroit), Explode When They Bloom, Balls, The Swillingtones, ASK
Phog Phest 4 Sep 15, 2012 Rural Alberta Advantage (Toronto), James OL & The Villains, New Country Rehab (Toronto), Vultures, unquiet dead, Club Thunderbolt, Cobra & Vulture (Montreal), GCG, Cellos, Learning
Phog Phest 5 Sep 14, 2013 Young Galaxy (Montreal), Suuns (Montreal), The Blue Stones, Nefidovs, Fisher Kings, The Vaudevillianaires, Middle Sister, What Seas What Shores, Heavy Suns, Years of Ernest, Eric Welton, Toque, Paul Jacobs, This Machine Kills Robots, plus more TBA
It’s Not Just the Alcohol Talking
THE ONLY BEER IN TOWN By: Derek Harrison
indsor is comfortably tucked between Southern Ontario and Michigan, two major forces in the craft beer world. Michigan alone sports over 200 breweries, while Ontario has caught up to and surpassed the more traditionally beery provinces to the east in variety, quality and enthusiasm. Yet somehow, until last September, we had no brewery of our own, not even a specialty beer bar.
Then Walkerville opened. Not the one we thought we knew, but a totally new Walkerville Brewery in the hands of operations manager Chris Ryan and brewmaster Nick Posloski. Another brewery by the same name had a false start in 1998, declaring bankruptcy 10 years later. This is the Walkerville many of you remember. It seemed like their timing was right, getting into the craft beer scene just as it was beginning to bloom, but there was one problem with their business plan: the beer was terrible. I headed to Walkerville to find out if the new owners had fixed that fatal problem. I parked at the corner of Brant and Devonshire, to the rear of the brewery. Walkerville is a small brewery, with a capacity of only 25 hectolitres, or about 800 kegs. Through the half-open loading dock door I could see the four huge, stainless steel fermenters. Dean, who set up my meeting with Chris Ryan, rode up on his bike just as I was walking up the ramp to the entrance. I remember the old Walkerville, housed in the same building, as a single counter with a tap, the rest of the brewhouse walled off. Ryan has completely opened it up; you can see the whole facility the moment you step through the door. There are offices to the right and a fridge full of growlers to the left, with a single round reception desk straight ahead. To the left behind the reception desk is the taproom, while the remainder of the building is the brewhouse
proper, only a half-wall partitioning the two. We spotted Ryan up ahead, busy mingling with a tour group a dozen-orso strong.
burger’s line of house-brewed beers, new lakeside brewer The Lonsbery Brewing Co. in the planning, and Chris Ryan’s Walkerville, which will be remembered as the first craft brewery in Windsor.
The Craft Beer Renaissance in Ontario While craft beer is enjoying a renaissance all over the world, the transformation in North American has been especially extreme. Prohibition wiped out variety and craftsmanship in one fell swoop. Only the largest breweries survived, and the ramifications were
ville in 1956. The original brewery was demolished in 1962. Carling was later bought by Coors, which in turn merged with Molson. In the 70s the number of breweries in North America was at an all-time low. But when one of the last vestiges of Prohibition, the law against homebrewing, was repealed in 1979, things began to change. Suddenly, all the closet brewers who were privately drinking illegal, full-flavoured beers were finally able to go public and start sharing the love. Since then the number of American breweries has climbed from less than 100 to more than 2,500.
The Beer While we waited, the bartender/receptionist showed us to a seat in the taproom and poured us a taster each of their three tapped beers. We started with the Kölsch, a German-style lagered pale ale at 4.5%. It was refreshing, light and hoppy but not bitter. It could make for an excellent gateway craft beer; better and more flavourful than the standard corporate fare but not a radical departure from it either. Following the Kölsch was the amber lager, often known simply as “Walkerville.” It’s their original beer and the only vestige remaining from the former incarnation of the brewery. The current lager is stylistically similar to how I remember it, but vastly improved in quality and drinkability, with a prominent, creamy malt character. It’s smooth, sweet and balanced – really quite excellent. When I brought home a couple growlers to share with a half dozen friends and family members, everyone agreed that Walkerville has come a long way from the swill of the previous incarnation. The IPA, cleverly branded as “Indie Pale Ale,” is a nice counterpoint to the competitively hoppy fare available at the LCBO, with a relatively low ABV of 6.3%. It was a specific goal of the new Walkerville to produce a much more controlled, balanced beer than the super-hoppy, aggressively bitter IPAs on the shelves. A very drinkable beer and my favourite of the three. Like in any good brewery tour, Dean and I were poured a complimentary beer of our choice. We chatted over our beers while tables of two flowed in and out of the taproom. We spoke briefly to Mark Boulay, another of the throng of Windsor businessmen helping to finally bring craft beer to this town. His Barrel House Draught Co. & Grill, open at 3199 Sandwich St. in the west end as of August 15th, has joined downtown’s Windsor Beer Exchange as one of the first craft beer bars in town. I think 2013 is the year that craft beer final hits our little peninsula, partially thanks to the LCBO finally giving beer some much-deserved attention. We now have two craft beer bars, Motor-
felt around the world. Meanwhile, the Walkerville Brewing Company, founded in 1885 by Hiram Walker, did quite well at the time. By hopping into bed with Al Capone and his ilk, the brewery helped Detroit to earn the reputation as the wettest city in the US during the height of Prohibition. However, once Prohibition ended, the big three American brewers began a campaign of consolidation and globalization which allowed them to buy out the few small struggling breweries that were left. Walkerville was bought by Carling after the Second World War and started brewing Red Cap and Black Label. After Carling entered the UK marketplace, they shut down Walker-
The pioneer of modern Ontario craft beer was Jim Brickman, who founded Waterloo’s Brick Brewing Company in 1984. Brick’s beers are not winning any awards, but they were the first ones to the scene and helped to inspire dozens of others to get into the business of putting flavour back into beer.
Chris Ryan’s Walkerville Brewery In Chris Ryan’s purchase of the Walkerville Brewery, he has inherited all the original recipes, but so far Nick Posloski, his brewmaster, has focused on creating original but true-to-style beers. The Kölsch and Lager are tapped year-round, while the IPA is one of many seasonals presented throughout
Ryan, a long-time restauranteur and more recently the CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, has plans for the future of the brewery, but he isn’t in a hurry. In his own words: “We’re getting the liquid right first, the rest will follow.” There is no plan to start a bottling line in the near future, so the beer is only available at the brewery and at local bars and restaurants for the time being. This fits perfectly with Ryan’s idea of what a brewery should be: a part of its community. He’d rather have people walking into the brewery for a growler than developing a distribution chain. Ryan took a risk by reopening Walkerville. The 1998-2007 version of the brewery was in very recent memory – I’m only 26 and have drunk my share of that incarnation of Walkerville Lager – so Windsorites still remember that lackluster brew. But he took that risk because he knows that beer isn’t just beer, it’s also tradition, terroir, and community. By inheriting the brand, he has inherited the history. He’s willing to take the long road in changing peoples’ perceptions of the brewery. He’s willing to build brand loyalty from the ground up on a solid foundation of good beer and respect for tradition – a good man to set an example for the rest of the breweries we’ll be seeing in Windsor soon enough.
the year. There are no plans to expand their year-round line-up, and while I’d love to taste some of the original recipes, I was very impressed by what this young brewery is pouring. The quality is of course a testament to Posloski, but some credit has to go to Ryan for having his priorities in order. When Ryan made it through the throng of people vying for his attention and finally got to our table, he ordered a lager and joined us. No tour, no spiel, no direct marketing – he just spoke to us unrehearsed, face-to-face over a beer. I don’t think there’s anything else he could have done which would have shown me any better that this is a man who truly understands the craft industry. Neither geekery nor marketing was allowed to get in the way of beer’s true role in society: to ease uninflected, open conversation as equals.
By: Damian Piper
Only God Forgives (2013) Crime/Thriller
This film isn’t for everyone. It’s incredibly violent and gruesome. A follow-up collaboration with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling takes things to a whole new level in this incredibly cool and stylish film. The story takes place in Thailand where he runs an underground Muay Thai Club. Things start to go a little crazy when his brother is killed by a cop. This is a deep story of revenge and brutality. The reason you should watch this:
July 23 //2013
Booker T Sound The Alarm
Ryan Gosling is a hometown hero, a Southwestern Ontario boy who made the big time. And he just gets better and better in every role. Little known fact, the year Bradley Cooper won sexiest man alive; it was only because Ryan Gosling turned it down. How sexy is that?
Little Shop of Horrors (1986) Musical/Comedy
Canadian Comedy legend Rick Moranis stars as Seymour Kelborn, a nerd who friends a giant man-eating plant and hopes to win over Audrey, the girl of his dreams. The reason you should watch this: Bill Murray, Steve Martin, James Belushi and John Candy. Not to mention the Jim Henson Company, who created and orchestrated the plant.
July 30th // 2013 Austra Olympia
Rust and Bone
(2012) France Drama/Romance Jacques Audiard is one of the most prolific film makers in this century. He’s from France, and if you don’t know French films, this is an excellent place to start. A modern day love story that takes beauty, sex and love to places you don’t see in American Rom/Coms. Marion Cotillard (Big Fish, Dark Knight Rises) stars as the lead as a marine biologist who loses her legs in an accident. The reason you should watch this:
August 6th // 2013 The Nefidovs Better Wake Up!
Hey, I’ve used Garden State as my standard, but sooner or later you have to realize high school is over (for some of us) and switch it up to something new. Marion Cotillard dropped all other projects to take this role on, just so she could work with the director. So it’s okay to have some high-expectations.
Cool Hand Luke (1967) Classic
An absolute classic, starring the All American Hero, Paul Newman. This is the story of a man who just can’t conform to life in prison. The reason you should watch this: If you’ve ever hated your boss, you should watch this.
August 13th // 2013 Femi Kuti No Place For My Dream
If you’ve ever disagreed with the public school system (or institutionalized anything).If you’ve ever loved Guns n’ Roses enough to know the Use Your Illusion album(s).
n this issue of Windsor Independent, the spotlight is on Mike LeClair; a university student of Developmental Psychology and an avid writer known for his dark and ominous tones, mixed with his unique splash of grime, wit and humor. I sat down with Mr. LeClair on the porch of his west side home to discuss the origins of his dark toned writing, his passions, and what he enjoys most about the community we all know as TOAST Open Mic Poetry. Anyone who has ever witnessed Mike upon the stage and has heard his spoken word, knows one thing, it is very unique. He is best known for writing very short, but also very dark and witty pieces. One distinct thing about having short pieces is that it leaves room and time for explanation. Living down the street from the university, he really wanted to capture the grime of the city. He mentioned multiple times about the GRIME, and even coined the term “garner the grime”. “I wanna take what people would normally hate about Windsor, [things like litter, rubble and graffiti] and write about it.” On top of “garnering the grime” he enjoys writing about inner struggles. Any poet can attest to the fact that we all go through struggles, and poetry is a great way we all deal with it. A few of the struggles he mentions include his inner struggles with conformity; growing up in a Roman Catholic household, and finding his place outside of Religion. “I NEVER captalize the G in god.” Inspiration is something that any artist needs to in order to write. It’s what drives the tones and direction of our pieces. Other poets inspire us as well, so I asked Mike who and what inspired him. He noted that he doesn’t really follow any well-established poets, but gains inspirations from the poets in the Windsor community. He also has taken it upon himself to set up a collaborative writing session entitled, “The Porch Poems,” where a number of different poets of all different styles collaborate in an epic session of writing. Being a part of the whole experience, it was truly rad to see how as many as seven or nine poets can come together to create something radical. “I was inspired once I dove into the substances. I would just have a cigarette and out of nowhere I would have a slew of words that had to come out. It would become overbearing. And I just had to write.” One form of writing that Mike loves to play with is alliteration, which is the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected word. Mike spits out a favourite alliteration made from the tip of his pen almost instantly.
“Sabotage Sodomite Slipping through the salt slum Sucking spirit from a hidden rule Within the gun” When asked what he liked the most about poetry, it was clear; it’s all about the reactions. As a poet, that connection with your audience is the best feeling. Rather it is connecting through humor, or through a common personal experience to generate any number of different emotions. “When you read you know where you want to put the emphasis and what stands out most to you….I find it nerve racking, you’re up for grabs and your mind is on display.” Mike never wrote as a kid, he mostly drew, and it was mostly in dark and heavy ink. Black and white is something he has a true passion for; rather it is the roots as a drawing artist or as a photographer. One of the aspects of black and white that Mike points out is that you “are forced to feel within the simplicity of the contrast.” Apart from poetry, he likes to act, play his guitar and partake in photography. On top of all that he has a soft spot for blues, and enjoys the genuine sincerity with the music, and how it’s all about the struggle. Like the poets that have come before him in this Open Mic Spotlight article, I have a standard question that I always tend to ask, which is; if someone needed to know you in one sentence, what would you say: “Diverse; People always say I got places to go and people to see. I like to play with the words and say I got places to go and people to be. I don’t really know who I am. I like to do and not dwell”
If you want to catch Mike LeClair, or any other poets of the TOAST Open Mic brigade, come to Phog Lounge every 3rd Tuesday of the month to experience something truly unique and awesome. By: Benny Alexander
Spikes on the fence for defense or aesthetic? I have had dreams I wished I would wake from sooner. In which I lay flat on the spikes on the fence by the church down the road And they make their way slowly into my body, And I cannot scream because my mouth is filled with The body of another. Impailed by a thought, Raised out of water, Then raised sheltered
From decisions, Deliberate Moral incisions. Then the dream again, In which I attempted to lift myself From fence spike outside of the church Down the road from the house I used To live in. Finally, a sound of my scream first With cough, then gag, as the body fall in pieces Onto long grass without the months cut, Followed by blood.
TERRA COTTA By: Fred Sorrell
Terracotta, an Italian word loosely translates to, “baked earth”, refers to one of the world’s oldest forms of pottery. Terracotta was the only form of pottery in the western world until the late 14th century and would continue to be passed down through generations for hundreds of years. No wonder the owners saw value in this well established name when taking over in late 2012. Windsor has always been known for its great pizza. I don’t know why or how it happens but have heard speculation that the secret is in our water (as if a chemical used strictly in our filtration system is what makes the difference). Other opinions are that it is our altitude above sea level, or our humidity. A quick glance at these wild accusations and you could actually believe the nonsense. But, truth be told, it comes down to the people! Terra Cotta has been a part of our community for over two decades and remains to be one of my favorite places to grab a slice in the downtown area. With fresh local produce, a hot wood burning oven, and vegan gluten free options, it is certainly one of the city’s finest pizza establishments. While walking up to the restaurant you are greeted before even making it to the door, as you pass by the kitchen staff working away behind a large pane glass window directly in the front of the building. It’s not unusual to catch a wave. The color scheme within the restaurant resembles the vibrancy of its name sake pottery technique, with burnt reds and oranges that instantly make you feel warm and at home. The menu will also be sure to bring comfort to your wallet and belly with large portion sizes and a remarkable price. The menu includes appetizers, salads, a wide range of pizzas (including a “create your own” section), and of course dessert. I have eaten at Terra Cotta enough to tell you about almost every item on the menu, but here is my favorite order to share with friends. As a starter, I enjoy the Focaccia Verde, a warm and creamy spinach and artichoke dip served with fresh stone baked pita for dipping. As we move on to salad, I have to point out the Nero. The Nero salad is a generous sized romaine topped with red onions, green pepper, roasted red peppers, black olives, capers, tomato, walnuts and a fresh house balsamic. The possibilities are endless when you are deciding which pizza is right for you and your friends, but I have a few go-to options. The LaBruna, a menu
favorite with tomato sauce, a fresh made tapenade, mozzarella, asiago, mushroom, eggplant and spinach ( I like mine on whole wheat and with daiya instead of mozzarella). Before you roll yourself out the door, remember to try the delicious, light, and chocolaty Tiramisu, you will not regret it. So, next time you are looking for great pizza with a smile, stop by Terra Cotta. Also, don’t forget to book your reservations every Tuesday night for two-forone pizza night Downtown Windsor at 318 Pelissier St.
Photography by: Fred Sorrell
windsorindependent.com/ Joey “The Wiseguy” Desroches, best known as the drummer for The Locusts Have No King and Years of Ernest, trades in the skins for the microphone as the frontman for London’s new punk rawkers Cease & Resist. He leads his new project at The Coach & Horses on Friday August 23rd , with Toronto’s Omaha also on the bill.
Several years ago, BLURT was arguably the highest drawing punk band in Windsor. Their powerful live shows and catchy punk anthems made them favourites across the scene. But BLURT dissolved, with members forming Shared Arms. Well, on Friday August 23rd, Shared Arms performs at FM Lounge, with a full Blurt reunion set planned alongside their Shared Arms set. Dangerfield will be releasing their new CD that night as part of the show, which also features Syzslak opening up.
he Windsor Scene has been Windsor’s premiere information source for the city’s independent and original music scene since its inception in 1999, originally as a website, by musician and journalist Jamie Greer. Over the years it’s made its way to Upfront Magazine, WAMM Magazine, The Windsor Star, as well as the airwaves of CJAM 99.1 FM (where it’s still airing, currently hosted by Lauren Hedges). It continues its legacy by now calling Windsor Independent home. Windsor lost a couple of talented musicians, who have departed for other cities. David Zelko moved to Calgary for work, ending the brief run of the brilliant indie pop of Better Weather, while drummer James Brown (Toque) heads to Peterborough for school. Best of luck to both as their contributions to the local music scene will be missed!
Local stoner metal giants Gypsy Chief Goliath have signed with Pitch Black Records to release the band’s second album, New Machines of the Night. Home to such bands as Blynd, Diphtheria, Prodigal Earth and Silent Fall, Pitch Black will be releasing the new GCG album digitally and on CD on October 8th worldwide.
Supermansion, the hard rock project created by Dave Houle (The Jet Trio, Lone Locust) and collaborator guitarist Nikos Belulis (the unquiet dead, Porcelain Mary, Royal Dose), is back in the studio recording Supermansion 3 already, with a planned release by the end of the year. This will be a direct follow-up to Supermansion 2, which topped the charts at CJAM 99.1 FM earlier this year, sticking around on the Top 30 for months. Still no plans to perform live yet.
Walkerville Brewery will be launching Walkerville Mix Tape Volume 2 for free download on Friday August 30th. The Walkerville Mix Tape series began in
March of this year as a free compilation of locally produced music for free. Just head to betruewindsor.com to download your free compilation. Volume 1, featuring The Blue Stones, The Walkervilles, Gypsy Chief Goliath, Cellos, the unquiet dead, and much much more, is still available for download. Volume 2 participating bands will be announced on their Facebook page, FB.com/WalkervilleMixTape, beginning August 15th.
Toronto’s Teenage Kicks returns to Windsor with their high energy rock and roll for a free show at FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, beside Pogo’s) on Saturday August 17th. Touring in support of their new EP, Singles Club Vol. 6, they’re joined by locals Silent Movie Type and Syzslak.
South Florida doom metaller’s Denouncer hit Windsor for their Bad Faith tour on Saturday August 17th at The Coach & Horses (156 Chatham St. West, below Pogo’s), alongside Windsor’s Blackheart.
The Dominion House (3140 Sandwich St.) hosts a Monday night punk show on August 19th, featuring Whitby’s Mad Murdocks and The New Outcasts from London. Locals EarthBound round out the bill.
Richochet Sound recording artists Light Bulb Alley from Montreal bring their psychedelic garage punk stylings to Windsor on Monday August 19th with a show at FM Lounge.
Vancouver’s Arctic, the solo project of Marcus Martin, returns to Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West) on Thursday August 22nd to deliver another set of heart felt indie pop. Opening the show is Sasha Applier (Michou).
Mint 400 Records USA recording artist R.Y.E., featuring Ryan Yoker, perform their first Windsor show since 2011 with a showcase at Villains Beastro (256 Pellisser Ave.) on Friday August 23rd. R.Y.E. are gearing up to release a new album to follow up 2011’s R.Y.E. Everyone in attendance will receive a free download of the single “So Oh No Now” from R.Y.E.
Many may remember earlier this year when Paul Lawton launched the website Slagging Off and made headlines by ripping apart this year’s Canadian Music Week (systematically going through and savaging each participating band). Well, Lawton’s also more importantly known for fronting the Vancouver punk rock band Ketamines. Ketamines are on the road in support of their latest LP, You Can’t Serve Two Masters, and hit Windsor on Saturday August 24th with a stop at Phog Lounge. Fellow Vancouverites Tough Age join them, with local support from garage rock maestro Paul Jacobs.
The Coach & Horses features a great local metal line-up on Saturday August 24th, headlined by Beastmode and Reasons Lost, with Make Haste To Mutiny and Seven Thrones filling out this strong bill.
Noise rock duo Toque headline a Sunday show at the Coach & Horses on August 25th as part of their tour with Ottawa’s Shahman and Montreal’s Head Honcho. As noted earlier, this will be one of Toque’s last area shows before drummer James Brown’s academic adventures take him to Peterborough.
Shock rock/stoner metal veterans The Vaudevillianaires reunite for their first show since 2011 as part of a benefit show to raise money and food for Windsor Youth Centre. The show takes place on Friday August 30th at the FM Lounge and, alongside the Vaudevillianaires, is headlined by Gypsy Chief Goliath, plus Poughboy and The Nefidovs. Suggested $5 donation at the door or canned goods to help WYC, this is sure to be a sweaty night of mayhem.
Was that Days Fade rehearsing at Jam Space a few weeks back? Sounds like the hardcore legends may be returning to the scene...
Last seen opening for Big Sugar at a sold out Loop show earlier in the year, Toronto’s indie rock sensations The Balconies return for their own showcase at Phog Lounge on Sunday September 1st.
The band that launched the careers of the likes of Brian Borcherdt (Holy Fuck), Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene) and Leslie Feist, By Divine Right returns to Windsor and the Phog Lounge on Friday September 6th. Jose Miguel Contreras and company are currently on tour in support of their latest release, Organized Accidents.
Hamilton’s Dead City Soul Revue bring their swampy soul and gospel sounds to Windsor with a show at FM Lounge on Friday September 6th.
Fans of 90’s rock like hHead or early Sloan will dig Ajax’s Mother Leads, who will be hitting The Dominion House for a Wednesday night of rock and roll on September 11th.
Vancouver’s The Pack AD have had a long standing love affair with Windsor, going back to the inaugural Phog Phest. Their shows are constantly standing room only and the high energy duo never fails to bring their blues rock A-game each and every time. This time they’re hitting Villains Beastro with a show on Thursday September 12th.
If heavy celtic rock is your bag(pipe), then the Dominion House will be your desired destination on Friday September 13th as Toronto’s Mudmen make their highly anticipated return.
Former Windsorite’s Bulletproof Tiger make a hometown appearance at Phog Lounge on Sunday September 15th. These instrumental math rock wizards constantly blow minds and in the intimacy of Phog Lounge, it’ll be a great homecoming for them.
Written by Jamie Greer. For information pertinent to the Windsor Scene, please email Jamie Greer @ email@example.com