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FREE MAR 2010

Restoring That Good Old Fashioned

Bulldog Pride Hamilton Sex Work— Changing Minds and Changing Laws Traveling Ireland—An Insider’s Perspective of the Emerald Isle 22tracks—Amsterdam DJs Changing the Face of ‘Free’ Music

COVER

Feature—George Pettit’s Wild Ride The Alexisonfire Frontman on Music, Touring, and Record Hunting

VOL 1 NO 4


2 / EDITORIALHAMILTONREVIEW

MARCH2010

Letters ‘Congrats to Hamilton on Showing your National Pride’

ANDREW BAULCOMB Editor-in-Chief and Publisher TOM SHEPHERD Advertising & Accounts Manager JEFF GREEN Technical Manager STEFAN NEW Web Design ANDREW BAULCOMB Layout and Design COVER PHOTO Pellerins Photography EDITORIAL Please forward all editorial inquiries to: editor@hamiltonreview.com ADVERTISING To obtain a copy of our current rate card, please email: managing@hamiltonreview.com LETTERS Please limit submissions to 250 words. letters@hamiltonreview.com Letters will be edited for length, clarity, and libel, only those selected will be publised. CIRCULATION Hamilton Review distributes 2,000 copies monthly in the greater Hamilton area. PRINTING Grand River Media, Guelph, ON. Hamilton Review is an independent publication distributed monthly in the greater Hamilton area. All enclosed content © 2010 Hamilton Review, unless otherwise specified. The opinions expressed within belong to the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, management, printer, or advertisers. We reserve the right to reject, condense, and/or edit all submitted articles. Grievances and corrections can be directed to info@hamiltonreview.com, and will be responded to as needed. Corrections will be printed in the following month’s issue. Please recycle where appropriate. www.hamiltonreview.com

Dear Editor, This letter is for anyone who hit the streets, had a few pints, or simply celebrated with friends following Canada’s win over the United States in the gold medal game on Sunday evening. Immediately after Sidney Crosby scored the game winner in a thrilling overtime victory, I headed downtown to take in some of the action. Passionate fans—all dressed in red and white—seemed to converge on the corner of King and James from all ends of the city. Flags were flying, strangers were high-fiving, and you could hear cheers echoing in the streets all throughout the downtown core. Congratulations to all of our Olympic athletes who competed so hard in Vancouver, you all deserve to be applauded. —James Faber, Hamilton

athlete, regardless of their gender. Women may not be able to play in the NHL, but they compete with just as much passion and fire as any professional team. Way to go, girls. —Claire Bouchard, Hamilton ‘Pan Am Preparations’

Ok, let’s not panic, Hamilton. The Olympics were great, and were a thrill to watch on television, but we shouldn’t stress about trying to duplicate the kind of environment seen in Vancouver. We don’t need to start building paper-mâché mountain ranges and converting the escarpment region into our very own coastal paradise. We don’t need to emulate anyone else’s beauty because, to be quite frank, we have our own. The awe-inspiring natural landscape that surrounds us is truly world class, we just need to make sure that its features are in tip-top shape once the rest of the world joins us in 2015. We only have five years left to make the waterfront something to be proud of—a place to gather, relax, and celebrate. Let’s all start ‘Way to go, Canada’ by taking a real interest in how the The Canadian women’s hockey City plans to tackle these issues, team deserves just as much credit and keep working together. as the men’s squad. —Ian Shelley, Stoney Creek Both teams competed hard at the Olympic Games, and both walked away with gold medals. Got Something to Say? Hockey is still our game, and we Send us your letters and editorials: should embrace each and every letters@hamiltonreview.com

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PHOTO / ANDREW BAULCOMB

A note on commitment and dedication The Olympics can still offer us valuable life lessons Every elite athlete strives to be the best they can be on any given day—no matter the circumstances, no matter the environment. More often than not, reaching that state of complete and utter preparedness involves blocking out all external distractions, tuning into your own strengths and weaknesses, and the innate knowledge that you’re simply that much better than everyone else. While your average weekend athlete is content to simply play for fun (and rightly so), we can all learn a thing or two from those who deliver their best performances when it matters the most. Joannie Rochette is a shining example of this kind of determination. Only days after the tragic death of her mother—a mother who travelled all the way out to Vancouver to watch her daughter compete in the Olympic Games—Rochette found herself in a position that most amateur athletes could have easily walked away from. No one would have batted an eye, but the pride of Montreal, Quebec tapped into some kind of otherworldly state, and forever cemented her legacy on the world stage. The same can be said of the heartbreakingly-stoic Georgian Olympic Team, who marched into BC Place only hours after their teammate had passed away in Whistler. For such a small, tight-knit group to muster that kind of courage on one of the most tragic days in Olympic history, the entire world should be proud. And even though the Games had their fair share of mishaps, glitches, and political controversies, the broad message—perhaps the spirit of the Games on a whole—is that everyone is capable of digging deep when it really counts. It may not be in a hockey rink or on a ski hill, but each and every one of us is faced with those rare moments in life that require our utmost patience, determination, and desire to simply push forward. To Canada’s Olympians—and to all of the athletes who put their minds and bodies on the line in Vancouver—the world salutes you. The Games may only last for two weeks, but some of the smallest and most touching moments end up staying with us forever. HR


MARCH2010

HAMILTONREVIEWNEWS / 3

Local

Long Range Forecast—w/e March 6 Daytime High—Saturday, 10 °C Evening Low—Friday, -7 °C Mainly sunny throughout the weekend

Society’s greatest taboo hits home Sex workers in Hamilton face constant harassment, danger, and harsh ridicule, but a group of local activists are striving to make big changes

PHOTO / ROBERTMICHAEL.CA

Misconceptions surrounding sex work can often lead to dangerous situations for full-time performers. Cory Ruf HAMILTON REVIEW A hasty, handwritten sign on the front door proclaimed that the evening’s event was full, turning dozens of people away into the cold winter night. The few who were lucky enough to gain admission into the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre were treated to a lively, frank discussion of one of society’s most pervasive taboos—sex work. The Sex Workers Event— February’s installment in the museum’s popular Labour Lounge series—brought together a panel of speakers who work in different

avenues of the sex industry. In case you’re wondering, “sex workers” are people who perform sexual or erotic acts for money, like exotic dancers, pornographers, and escorts. Ian Jarvis, the event’s main organizer, said the aim of the soiree was to dispel common misconceptions about sex work and the people who perform it. Throughout the evening, various speakers drove home one major point—working in the sex industry is a choice that sensible, ostensibly normal people make. “We’re people, too,” said Tim, a male escort dressed in a black V-neck shirt and dark jeans.

“[Sex work] is just our 9 to 5.” He said he resents it when friends and family tell him that he could “do better.” “People assume you’re an illiterate crack addict,” said panelist Classic Anya, a universityeducated woman who formerly performed in pornographic films. Kara Gilies—an activist representing Maggie’s (a Toronto peer advocacy group run by sex workers, for sex workers)—said that work in the sex industry is sometimes the best or only option for the impoverished. Though many panelists noted that the lives of sex workers do not consist solely of suffering and

humiliation, they also stopped short of glamourizing the profession. Jarvis mentioned a friend’s anecdote about a company that produces male-on-male porn in Hamilton. “Actors can perform a scene in Hamilton for $300 pay,” said Jarvis. The alternative? A trip to Fort Lauderdale and $1200—four times the payment. But there’s a catch involved. Performers looking to cash in on the sweeter deal had to perform without using a condom—a risky proposition given the wide array of sexually transmitted infections that one could be susceptible to. Additional threats also loom in the profession. Lime Jell-O—a Hamiltonarea escort with rosy cheeks and teased red pigtails—brought up the infamous case of Robert Picton, who was convicted in the murder of six women and charged with the deaths of an additional twenty. Many of the victims were prostitutes working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Several of the speakers agreed that Canada’s prostitution laws are the most significant barriers to the safety of sex workers. “The legal environment is causing danger for sex workers,” said Anya, noting that fear of punishment from police prevents escorts from reporting abusive clients. Laws that make it illegal to live off the means of prostitution (intended to crack down on exploitative pimping) can have their nasty side effects, too, often discouraging sex workers from hiring a team of security guards. Continued on Page 4

National News from across Canada Montreal—According to the Brazilian navy, students and crew aboard the capsized SV Concordia did not adhere to proper marine traffic control systems, prompting a slow response time from rescuers. Vancouver—A small gelato business and an adjoining banquet hall in downtown Vancouver are suing organizers of the 2010 Winter Games for disrupting regular business and public nuisance. Owners are blaming restricted access to the Olympic Village over the past year for area-related losses. Edmonton—A local slumlord has been fined $38,000 for failing to maintain his innercity property. Conditions were described as “decrepit” in the downtown boarding house, which was eventually torn down in April of 2009. The property was officially deemed unfit for human habitation. Ottawa—In an effort to save more than $2.4 million in budgetary expenses, the Ottawa public school board is expected to cut roughly 50 jobs in special education and English as a second language over the next two years. The public board is already forecasting a $14 million deficit for 2010/2011. Halifax—Two brand new hybrid busses were officially unveiled in Halifax last week—the first of their kind in the city’s history. The dieselelectric busses are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 49 tonnes each year.


MARCH2010

4 / NEWSHAMILTONREVIEW

New MS research may yield a cure Italian surgeon hopes that vascular treatment is the answer Erin O’Neil HAMILTON REVIEW It won’t be official until summer, but Hamilton Health Sciences will soon be receiving increased funding from the MS Society of Canada. HHS wants to further explore a groundbreaking new theory in multiple sclerosis research, and a team of researchers from McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Hospital have already applied for increased funds. In late 2009, Dr. Paulo Zamboni received extensive news coverage for his novel approach to the study of MS. Since the release of his findings, doctors and patients around the world have been clamouring to follow in Zamboni’s footsteps. Zamboni, a renowned Italian researcher, has been working on a cure for MS ever since his wife was diagnosed with the disease over ten years ago. Originally a vascular surgeon, he has since focussed almost exclusively on the veins of

patients with MS—hypothesizing that the disease may be caused by blood and iron accumulating in the brain due to a narrowing of the surrounding veins. The research concluded that many MS patients do indeed have constricted veins, prompting Zamboni to coin the term “Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency,” or CCVI. Since then, Zamboni has developed a new procedure to “unblock” these veins in MS sufferers. The procedure, dubbed the “Liberation Treatment,” has successfully slowed or halted MS symptoms in several patients in Zamboni’s Italian trials. Regardless, most researchers and doctors still classify MS as an autoimmune disease—meaning that the patient’s immune system slowly attacks its own body. In regards to MS, a patient’s immune system targets the central nervous system. The most common symptoms among MS sufferers include extreme fatigue, problems with coordination and balance,

vision changes, muscle spasms, and chronic pain. The disease is most commonly diagnosed in two forms—relapsing-remitting and progressive. Only a handful of drugs are currently available for relapsing-remitting MS, but their effectiveness has been described as moderate to minimal. There are currently no drugs on the market for patients with progressive MS. Given the current lack of viable, long-term treatments for MS and after decades of slow progress in drug advancements, Zamboni’s research has fuelled a newfound interest in finally curing the disease. Countless Canadians have also spoken out in favour of Zamboni, pleading with the MS Society to fund more domestic research. MS currently affects over 50,000 Canadians, and three more people are diagnosed with the disease every day. Studies have shown that Canada has one of the highest prevalence rates of MS in the world.

Sex workers striving for new acceptance Big Susie’s may become a home for health, counselling and advice Continued from Page 3 Furthermore, laws against bawdy houses often deter escorts from renting a safe workspace— sometimes pushing their trade directly into the street. Lime Jell-O also expressed concern that preparations for the 2015 Pan Am Games will include a campaign to rid Hamilton’s streets of prostitutes. “Gentrification causes violence against sex workers,” she said. But all was not heavy at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre. The event’s controversial subject matter was countered by playful entertainment, featuring lively performances by the selfproclaimed “lesbian music diva” Nancy Rancourt, drag queen dancer Jasmine, and burlesque artist Demonica de Morte.

The event also served as a coming out party for “Big Susie’s”—a Hamilton-based peer advocacy group for sex workers that Jarvis and other activists are trying to establish. Jarvis wants to model Big Susie’s after Maggie’s, the sexual health organization in Toronto that provides legal advocacy, STI education, and sterile drug paraphernalia to its clients. Organizers say Big Susie’s will also feature a cooperativelyrun boutique staffed by sex workers. The storefront centre will sell toys, lube and literature to sex workers and the general public. The revenue from sales, he hopes, will finance the rest of Big Susie’s operations. Jarvis noted that he was motivated to organize the event and

spearhead Big Susie’s because he has a lot of friends in the industry. “In comparison to Toronto, there is little visibility for sex workers in Hamilton,” he said. Invisibility, said Jarvis, has resulted in a shortage of health and social services for sex workers in Hamilton. The social services that do exist simply can’t accommodate the many people working in the sex industry. Hamilton STI centres generally do not have evening and weekend hours, and there are no counseling services specifically geared towards gay or transgendered sex workers. According to Jarvis, reducing the stigma of sex work is the first step towards creating better support for sex workers. Treating a packed house to enlightening discussion was hardly a bad way to start.


MARCH2010

HAMILTONREVIEWNEWS / 5

St. Catharines’ own cake boss taking the world by storm Sarah Matthews MacDonald is putting her stamp on custom cake designs, one fondant layer at a time Ciara McCann HAMILTON REVIEW

PHOTO / SARAH MATTHEWS MacDONALD

A “Clockwork Orange” custom cake creation, with fondant top hat.

“Art causes someone to stop in their tracks and lose their breath, even if it’s only for a moment. It can be a painting, some music, and even words, so why not a cake?” For custom cake artist Sarah Matthews MacDonald, the growing acceptance of high-end sweets as “art” is long overdue. With her beautiful, humourous, and occasionally risqué creations, MacDonald is on the cutting edge of custom cake design—a trend made popular by reality shows like TLC’s Ultimate Cake-Off and the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes. On her Facebook group page, “Sarah’s Cake Creations,” MacDonald features endless photos of her delicious artwork, many of which are true replicas of landmarks, athletes, and pop culture icons. A Dark Side of the Moon album cover, a stack of law books, and a turkey dinner with all the fixings are just a few of the cakes

that can be easily mistaken for the real thing—a common reaction for MacDonald. “While delivering a cake one day, my husband and I passed a lady on the street who said ‘Mmm, I could go for some sushi.’ My husband turned to her and said, ‘Yeah, but could you go for some cake?’ She couldn’t believe that we were carrying a cake, and not a real sushi boat.” MacDonald’s love of cakemaking started at the ripe old age of eight, when her mother enrolled her in a class that taught the basics of cake decorating. “I went with a friend of mine, and we ended up being the only two kids in a classroom full of adult women. It was pretty funny,” explained MacDonald. “I stuck with it for a while, but eventually grew out of it.” MacDonald’s early practice caught up with her later in life, when she began making birthday cakes for close friends and family. “They started out pretty basic, just flat cakes with icing piped on,

but eventually I was carving cakes into 3D creations and teaching myself to work with fondant.” MacDonald’s wide range of ideas often come from her truly thoughtful and personal approach to cake decoration. “I would draw inspiration for my cakes from the first thing that came to mind when thinking of the recipient. Sometimes it was an object, like a toy, a book, or a tool. Other times it was a movie or a song,” said MacDonald. With an active imagination and a knack for fine details, the Niagara-based cake artist has truly found her niche. MacDonald hopes that her small business will one day blossom into a large shop— one with plenty of room to create new cakes. However, she’s quick to note that the “custom” aspect of her cake designs is simply too important to give up—no matter how big her business may become. “I love the small glimpse that clients allow me to have into their lives, and I hope that continues for years to come.”

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6 / FEATUREHAMILTONREVIEW

Photo Jess Baumung Article Andrew Baulcomb

‘Old Crows, Young Fans’

George Pettit’s Wild Ride As the frontman of Alexisonfire for nearly ten years, George Pettit has seen it all— and what a long, strange trip it’s been

MARCH2010


MARCH2010

The first time I ever met George Pettit,

HAMILTONREVIEWFEATURE / 7

he told me he was in Aerosmith. That was back in the fall of 2002, when his band (the now multi-platinum, award-winning, and internationally revered Alexisonfire) had only just released their self-titled debut album. Pettit was walking into a coffee shop in the Westdale area with a group of friends, and paused momentarily at the front door to chat with a nervous fan. “Excuse me, but are you in a band called Alexisonfire?” The lanky, bespectacled, 20year old punk from Grimsby took a moment to gather his thoughts, and the rest—as they say—is history. >>> Seven and a half years later, Pettit is easily one of the most recognizable figures in the Canadian music industry. His band has released no less than four gold records, shot a dozen music videos, and have toured the globe several times over. His unique vocal style is virtually unmistakable—a heavy mixture of punk rock snarl and metal venom. His attitude? For all intents and purposes, is still polite, engaging, and witty. It was Pettit’s trademark grace that really shone through one early Monday morning, when the half-asleep singer and brand new father answered a phone call from that same nervous fan. Panicking, and sensing that a sleep-deprived Pettit may have forgotten about our interview, I nearly blew the whole deal. But thankfully—after a quick shuffle at George’s end and a nervous laugh at mine—I was invited to fire away. “This will be our fourth time out to Australia, and our second time playing at the Soundwave Festival,” said Pettit, who was busy gearing up for yet another globespanning jaunt with Alexisonfire. “I think the new stuff will go over quite well. In terms of record sales, Old Crows/Young Cardinals is on par with all the other stuff we’ve put out there. The kids should be generally pretty excited—we’ve been playing those songs in Europe and America, and people respond to them there, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t in Australia.” Pettit wasn’t basing his new theory on a simple hunch, either. Old Crows/Young Cardinals was voted the number one release of 2009 on a popular Australian music

website—bombshellzine—and the band has always maintained a very strong relationship with Triple J— the country’s largest national radio station. “I don’t think we’re a band that bends to pressure. We’ve been doing it for eight and a half years now, and you just kind of go out there and play. I think I’d be more nervous to go there if people had really shit-talked the new record.” All kidding aside, Pettit and his four bandmates have evolved into true media darlings over the years—both at home and abroad. It wasn’t long after the release of 2002’s Alexisonfire that the band began making regular appearances on MuchMusic to promote new videos and hang out with VJs like Rick Campanelli and George Stroumboulopoulos. With no real local radio backing, the band relied heavily on television and hardcore touring to relay their sound to a broader audience.

full creative control. It was very easy-breezy, and they were very accommodating, so we signed up.” As an engaging and wellresearched host, Pettit clearly has a future in broadcast journalism—if he wants one. But for now, the focus is still squarely on Alexisonfire, a fact made evident by the amount of pride the singer has in his body of work. “In the last few years, we’ve really been striving to be the best we can be, especially on stage. I think we’re the tightest we’ve ever been right now, as far as playing live goes.”

>>> During the band’s two-night stand at the Hamilton Convention Centre last winter, a sweaty and energetic Pettit hammered home this point to the fullest. Classic tracks from the band’s first three records took on a life of their own, as Alexisonfire tore through a set of old standards and new favourites. With a musical catalogue >>> In recent years, Pettit has stretching as far back as the band’s taken his own original stab at the high school days, the continued medium, doing several guest spots success of Alexisonfire is a small on Much’s Video on Trial and feat not lost on Pettit, especially hosting the popular Strange Notes with so many bands struggling to music series on AUX.TV. remain relevant for longer than The latter and most recent is an eight-month stretch, let alone an online, interview-driven series eight long years. But even when that chronicles the lives of artists the band isn’t touring, recording, like Fucked Up, Constantines, or rehearsing, you can be sure that Attack in Black, and Shad— George Pettit is still devoted to his many of whom are close peers and lifelong love affair with music—in friends of Pettit’s. one form or another. “I was getting a little fed up with seeing good bands on TV >>> “I’m not like a ‘DJ,’ I don’t who only got a five minute spot. I scratch or mix or anything. I’m wanted to do a half-hour interview just a selector. But when I do DJ, program with some live footage or I definitely use two turn tables and a performance.” a mixer. It’s more fun with records, Fortunately for the budding trying to line it up and get a decent producer, AUX.TV’s Jeff Rogers sound. You don’t get a perfect mix cold-called the singer not long every time, but maybe eight times after the pilot segment had been in the night you really nail it. I like shot, and George’s dream was soon that.” Interested club owners have a reality. been instructed to inquire within. “The stars kind of aligned, For fans of Pettit in his regular and we sat down with Jeff and capacity, Alexisonfire will be at the Raja Khanna from AUX. What Air Canada Centre in Toronto on we were doing seemed right Mar. 28 in support of Old Crows/ up their alley, and they gave us Young Cardinals.

PHOTO C/O YOUNG WIDOWS

Spotlight—Young Widows Evan Patterson discusses the punk scene in Louisville, and his band’s new record label “Musicians and music in Louisville have always been thriving. Even at times when it seems like no one is really involved, bands always seem to exist and create.” An idealistic scene for any young musician, but for Evan Patterson—guitarist and vocalist with Louisville, Kentucky’s Young Widows—it wasn’t always the best environment in terms of inspiring new bands. “We didn’t draw a lot of influence from local music, maybe just a little. Most of our influences are from artists and bands that we haven’t had the chance to see live yet.” Formed back in 2006, the trio of Patterson, bassist Nick Thieneman, and drummer Jeremy McMonigle have been steadily climbing the post-punk ranks in North America, most recently thanks to some major attention from their sophomore record Old Wounds (2008). Released on Temporary Residence Limited, the record is a blistering snapshot of everything good about the band’s math-rock and punk inspired sound—tight, precise, and undeniably heavy. But according to Patterson, the record would have been all but lost without the group’s new home. “The record label opened a door to a more relaxed approach towards creativity. They are very up-front and personal with us, and even helped us sequence the order of the songs on Old Wounds. Young Widows will forever be a part of Temporary Residence Limited.” The band has also been issuing a series of 7” singles through their new label, featuring splits with groups like Melt Banana, Pelican, and My Disco. For Patterson and his two bandmates, the split series has been a real treat to record and promote. “Sharing a record with our friends and favourite artists is more than a pleasure. It’s rewarding to be a part of their history,” said Patterson, commenting on the intimate nature of split singles. “We picked them out with our teeth, not our hands.” HR Young Widows are online at www.myspace.com/youngwidows, and will be touring the United States throughout March.


8 / LIFESTYLEHAMILTONREVIEW

Lifestyle

MARCH2010

Freshly Pressed—DVDs in March New Moon—Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson The Fourth Kind—Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas Brothers—Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal

Luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day Ireland through the eyes of a true Belfast boy, one tall black pint at a time

New Brews A look at some of the best local breweries in Southern Ontario and Niagara Falls Railway City Brewing 168 Curtis Street St. Thomas, Ontario If you’re looking for a strong, sweet beer, check out Railway’s Dead Elephant Ale—a new favourite at select bars in the Hamilton area. Makers of the popular Iron Spike line of beers, this small town brewery is proving that it can hold its own in the competitive Ontario beer market. Delicious and unique. Tours Available. Niagara’s Best Brewery 6863 Lundy’s Lane Niagara Falls, Ontario

PHOTO / DAVE HARKIN

Patrick Casca HAMILTON REVIEW We’re all a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right? Parents born there? Both sets of grandparents? A great aunt, twice removed on your mother’s side? Let’s face it—it’s ultra cool to be Irish on “St. Paddy’s,” but how many of us have actually crossed the sea to the Emerald Isle? If you haven’t yet made the journey but checked off any of the above, shame on you. And even if your blood is totally devoid of Celtic roots, go anyway. You’ll never regret it. By all means, do the touristy thing first—kiss the Blarney Stone, gaze at the cliffs of Mogher or the Giant’s Causeway—but do go off the beaten track and get away from the coach tours as well. The following is an honest, loving rendition of what I believe is

the true, magical and undiscovered Ireland, especially for those who consider themselves Irish (or want to be) but have yet to experience the real thing. Faerie Hill Legends Believe it or not, there truly are real faeries in Ireland. They’re everywhere in the rural areas, especially around Cushendall, Count Antrim. The locals will laugh if you bring up the faerie hills, but they won’t deny their existence, either. Cushendall is only a few hours drive north of Belfast. Sit yourself down in Joe McCollams Bar, and ask the locals about the funny looking hill outside of town. They’ll tell you that you must be referring to Tievebulliagh—a hill inhabited by faeries. If you’re brave enough, climb to the top of the hill at midnight and

sing a song to the faeries, telling them what you wish for and your wish may come true. If not, order another pint of Guinness like I did. Belfast, Northern Ireland My birthplace and the apple of my eye. It’s a striking vista from the top of Ligoniel Road on the Black Mountain—a view I know St. Patrick saw while a slave in the glens of Antrim. These days, the downtown core is rebuilt, trendy, and safe. Seek out one of the black taxicabs and ask for a tour of the murals in the Falls Road or Ardoyne. You’ll likely get a running commentary on Bobby Sands and other Irish martyrs and legends portrayed in the streets. The Troubles are still fresh in everybody’s mind, but it’s obvious that the people want peace. There is new hope for the future when

people like Ian Paisley (staunch Protestant Unionist) and Martin McGuiness (former head of the I.R.A.) can share a joke and laugh. Twenty-five years ago, such a suggestion would have prompted a head examination. Dublin’s Many Pubs A must for any first-time visitor— Dublin is crowded and has lots of traffic, but is steeped in rich music, history and literature. I’ve never seen the Irish Tourist Board flaunt it as a “must see,” but go to the General Post office on O’Connell Street. This was the location of the defining moment in modern Irish history— the Easter Uprising. In 1916, a few brave souls stood up and demanded an independent Ireland. After a week-long siege it ended in the death, imprisonment and execution Continued on Page 9

With a wide variety of beers to choose from and a reputation for great quality, Niagara’s Best Brewery has been garnering a lot of attention lately. Check out the brewery’s signature Blonde Premium Ale—a traditional lager brewed with large, hearty seafood or steak meals in mind. You won’t be disappointed. Tours Available. Nickel Brook Beers 864 Drury Lane Burlington, Ontario Featuring the extremely popular Apple Pilsner alongside a nice assortment of other unique brews, Nickel Brook has been making waves in Hamilton and beyond over the past few years. Fans of European-style bitters may enjoy the Nickel Brook Uniek, and the citrus-infused Organic White is perfect for relaxing summers on the patio. Tours Currently Unavailable.


MARCH2010

HAMILTONREVIEWLIFESTYLE / 9

Amsterdam DJs are changing the face of ‘free’ music 22tracks allows music lovers to enjoy free online playlists, but frowns upon illegal pirate radio Andrew Baulcomb HAMILTON REVIEW

PHOTO / ILJA MEEFOUT

Deep within the heart of the Netherlands, two local DJs are working hard to change the face of “free” online music. For Vincent Reinders and Gilles de Smit—founders of the popular “22tracks” website—the concept of free, downloadable music is in desperate need of a cultural overhaul. “People should pay for the music they like,” said de Smit. “Artists need their income to keep putting new tracks out there, end of story.” While the true glory days of pirated music may be long behind us, there’s no questioning the fact that millions of illegal downloads are still performed every year— accounting for millions of dollars lost in the music industry. Some bands are for it, some are against it. Even more so tend to be generally indifferent. But for de Smit and Reinders, the issue of “free” music goes well beyond the seemingly victimless crime of downloading songs. According to the DJ duo’s website, if you like a song featured on 22tracks, you should use the iTunes link provided and buy it. Otherwise, you can enjoy it for free in a streaming format only. Apparently, it’s a new formula

that has been working quite well so far for de Smit and Reinders. “Once you find a track, you’ll notice that it slowly goes down the playlist. People know that it won’t be available later on, so they may want to buy it before it’s deleted. It’s something that people actually do.” But what makes 22tracks so special, especially with the amount of music available for free download? According to the website’s founders, it’s the added perk of having real DJs selecting, mixing, and presenting a series of tight playlists for your listening pleasure. “We think that people need some guidance via our experts and curators,” said de Smit. “New music is being heard, selected by experts who do all the work for you, and you’ll be able to hear the best in new music in an easy way—without being hassled about registering.” True to the website’s name, 22tracks offers listeners a selection of 22 different playlists, each with 22 individual songs. Tags like “Beats, Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Electro and Reggae” line the top banner, with a wide variety of other genres and styles to choose from. Each playlist runs in a highspeed stream, and features some of the best in current, classic, and original DJ tracks. With weekly

updates and no one song available for more than a month, users are bound to come across something fresh and new. “We both have a broad network of DJs, some of them are friends,” said de Smit, when asked about the site’s main contributors. “The DJs are proud to be a part of 22tracks, and they are all experts in their genre.” Do a quick survey of the Hip Hop playlist you’ll find names like Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg alongside a nice variety of choice nuggets—mash-ups between the Beatles and the Wu-Tang Clan, Jay-Z and Bono, Rick Ross, Green Lantern, Freeway, and more. With new songs and remixes posted every week and separate international playlists with even more rare gems, it’s easy to get lost in 22tracks. For the more technically proficient user, a new feature called “My22” allows budding DJs to create their own unique playlist and share with friends. Registration is required, but the feature is perfect for last-minute house parties or even making a playlist for the office. “As far as we’ve heard so far, the music industry loves our promotional approach to music,” added de Smit. 22tracks is available online at www.22tracks.com.

Music, whisky, and more—Modern Ireland can offer something for everyone Continued from Page 8 of many rebels. Martyrs were born, and 26 former counties found their independence. Check out the bullet holes in the outer pillars, a constant reminder of Ireland’s past struggles.

If you do as well, check out the oldest and best whisky distillery in the world, Old Bushmills, or the Guinness brewery in Dublin. If you don’t feel like a drink before the tour starts, you will after. While in Dublin, take your pick of the many pubs where people like James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Cheers to Friends Oscar Wilde and the Duke of “Drink! Get me a fekin drink!” Wellington tied one on. Of course, shouts Father Jack Hackett in the the Irish also have an illegal drink irreverent and brilliant comedy, called “poteen.” There’s a place in Father Ted. Yes, the Irish love to Connemara called Dan O’Hara’s Famine House where they’ll give tip a few glasses.

you a stiff one. A bit touristy, but worth the shot. Traditional Irish Music Okay, this is a big one, so I’ll boil it down to a few personal favourites. Traditional Irish music may be an acquired taste of sorts, but there are two classic bands that truly define the Irish sound and feeling. The Bothy Band—they were together just a few years in the ’70s, and nothing has touched them since—and Lunasa,

a current group of phenomenal instrumentalists who come a close second. We also have O’Carolan, John McCormick, Christie Moore and even Bono to thank, but today’s voice of Irish folk music belongs to a young pugilist with a big heart, Damien Dempsey. The man simply dreams music and shares its wonder on stage with luminescent vigour. Check out “Shots” and “To Hell or Barbados.” Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!


10 / SPORTSHAMILTONREVIEW

MARCH2010

Sports

NBA This Month—Toronto Raptors Tuesday, Mar. 9—Raptors @ Lakers, 10:30 p.m. Wed., Mar. 17—Hawks @ Raptors, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mar. 26— Nuggets @ Raptors, 7:00 p.m.

Bulldogs look strong down the stretch

Tiger-Cats acquire several new faces for Tough, well-rounded team gearing up for another run at the Calder Cup the 2010 season

PHOTO / PELLERINS PHOTOGRAPHY

Adam Gdyczynski HAMILTON REVIEW

here’s a look at some of the highs up impressive numbers. Ranked and lows of this year’s team. just three spots behind Desjardins in the overall league standings, For years, the Hamilton Bulldogs Strengths Sanford is no doubt mentoring the have been quietly getting it done young goalie, and is more than in Southern Ontario—posting As any hockey fan will tell you, capable of keeping pucks out of the more wins and titles than any of the best way to win is to keep the net if duty calls. the major sporting franchises, with puck out of your own net. For that, Offensively, the team has only a quarter of the fanfare. you need a goaltender who can no real problem putting points Currently sitting high atop keep up with the grind of a lengthy on the board. With players like the North Division standings schedule and still remain at the top Brock Trotter, David Desharnais, with a double-digit points lead, of his game. Mike Glumac and Ryan Russell the Bulldogs have once again The Bulldogs have an elite consistently lighting the lamp, the assembled a great team with skilled goaltender in Cedrick Desjardins, team poses a real threat up front on players at every position. who currently holds a GAA of any given night. The AHL affiliate of the 1.93 and an impressive .925 save On defence, the Bulldogs are Montreal Canadiens has achieved percentage. The four-year veteran anchored by two-time World Junior a lot of success through solid recently played in the 2010 AHL Championship gold medallist P.K. drafting, consistent goaltending, All-Star Classic, and is clearly the Subban (who was named an AHL and most recently, the brilliant man Boucher will lean on heading All-Star in his rookie year with mind of team head coach Guy into the playoffs. the ‘Dogs), and Yannick Weber, a Boucher—but there’s always room Backing up Desjardins, Curtis key member of Team Switzerland for improvement. Sanford has clearly found his niche during the Vancouver Olympics. With the playoffs looming, within the club and is also putting Subban was recently called

up by the Bulldogs’ NHL affiliate HAMILTON—Nick Setta, Prechae Montreal Canadiens, and may Rodriguez and Dan Goodspeed are now officially “former” Hamilton round out the season in Quebec. Tiger-Cats. The team cut ties with all Weaknesses three players in February, making For better or worse, the team’s room for a wide variety of new major weaknesses don’t involve talent heading into the 2010 players, coaches, or management, campaign. Veteran Sandro DeAngelis but a series of external factors. With players like Subban, is expected to replace Setta as the Trotter and Desharnais likely to team’s go-to kicker. The Niagara be plucked up by the Canadiens Falls native was named Most in the near future, the losses will Valuable Canadian at the 2008 ultimately affect the chemistry of Grey Cup, kicking five field goals the first-place Bulldogs and their in a win over Montreal. Also new to the team this overall playoff aspirations. To make matters worse, month are WR Maurice Mann, Hamilton currently sits a pitiful DB’s Will Poole and Jason Shivers, 14th in overall attendance, with OL Jason Jimenez, and WR Adam an average crowd of just under Nicolson—most recently acquired 4,500 ranking lower than cities like from Saskatchewan as part of a Grand Rapids, Providence, and trade for Rodriguez. HR even Houston, Texas. The ‘Dogs largest home crowd this season—a staggering 15,529—was ironically for a game held at the Bell Centre in Montreal. In all fairness, the team deserves to have at least 6,000 fans in the stands for the remaining TORONTO—In an effort to bolster regular season games, and double their opening-day lineup, the Blue that for the playoffs—especially if Jays have signed veteran catcher Hamilton wants to be considered a and former New York Yankee Jose Molina to a one-year deal. true hockey town (NHL anyone?) Molina will compete with With just under 20 games remaining before the playoffs Raul Chavez and John Buck for a begin, the Bulldogs need to remain staring role with the club, and is the second new catcher signed by focused, consistent, and feisty. The team ultimately has one the Blue Jays in as many months. The 10-year veteran has a goal on their mind—the Calder Cup—and should be gearing up career batting average of .235 with an on-base percentage of .292. and for another deep playoff run If the ‘Dogs can rally against a 37.4 caught-stealing percentage powerhouses like Rochester, on defence. Molina won a World Series Chicago, and the defending Calder Cup Champion Hersey Bears, title with the New York Yankees another Cup title isn’t out of the last season, serving as the primary question—especially the way this catcher for former Blue Jays pitcher A.J. Burnett. HR group is playing.

Molina signs one-year deal with Blue Jays


MARCH2010

HAMILTONREVIEWSPORTS / 11

Road warriors­—Staying fit and healthy all over Canada Max Kerman HAMILTON REVIEW I’ve often wondered how James Hall, eccentric bass player with the Sam Roberts Band, manages to stay trim and fit on such a heavy touring schedule—especially one that isn’t conducive to a healthy lifestyle. With lengthy drives between shows, late nights, and ample amounts of free beer at your disposal, it’s easy to feel like your body is on the verge of a physical breakdown. But sure enough, when we arrived at our hotel in North Bay last summer to play a festival with Sam Roberts, there was James in the lobby, dressed in running shorts and sneakers and about to go on a jog. Clearly, his strapping figure wasn’t just a coincidence. Our band has toured a healthy amount over the past year and a half, but we’re still learning how to stay healthy on the road. As a new band with little financial freedom, there are a number of obstacles that impede our ability to stay fit and healthy— but all is not lost. Touring Western Canada, the drives are generally between five

and nine hours per day. Basically, you wake up at 9:00 a.m., drive to the next city, load in, sound check, play the show, and load out around 2:00 a.m. After finding a hotel and catching a little sleep, you do it all over again. To confuse your body even further, it’s the type of physical exertion that is so unnatural—from being completely docile in the van to loading heavy equipment to prancing around on stage for an hour and then falling asleep. Its not exactly the kind of routine you can “train” for, but there are still a few ways to stay fit for the constant traveler. Traveling by bus is very helpful in getting the proper rest that is needed to function. More importantly, you’ll have the energy and desire for regular exercise at every single stop. Because buses usually drive through the night, you can actually catch some sleep and be awake and well rested in the next city. There are countless other ways to stay fit and healthy on the road, even when you can only sneak in a quick hour or two. Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo is a hockey fanatic, and is always booking ice time at local arenas

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so he can lace up his skates before show time. When we played with the Tragically Hip in London last summer, bassist Gord Sinclair arrived on site in full golf attire, making a point to play one round every day while touring. When we played Edgefest a few years ago, we even heard that Linkin Park had their very own workout facility in one of their trailers—a nice perk, for those who can afford it. In terms of food, it doesn’t get any easier—but there are healthy options. Touring Canada is often regarded as the most physically and emotionally draining circuit in the world, and usually the only option for food is Tim Hortons or Subway. So every time we take our Chevy through a truck stop, we do our best to get whole wheat bread, lay off on the cheese, and go easy on the iced cappuccinos. Fresh fruit and vegetables are also a plus, whenever you can sneak them. Keep it simple—a few small steps can go a long way towards ensuring good health on the road. Happy travels. Check out Canada’s Physical Activity Guide for more tips.

PHOTO / JEFF GREEN

Staying fit can be difficult on the road, but there’s always a way.


Hamilton Review - Vol 1 No 4  

Around Town and Beyond