SpArks Kenny vs Spenny HurrA Torpedo Rich Hope LoVe IS...
This MoNTh in Ion 10 12 14 48 49 50
Editor’s Letter Happy Valentine’s Day, haters. ION the Prize Of the Month Cats that look like Paris Hilton, Cylons, video games with zombies and movies about people getting eaten by bears. News From Nowhere Sam versus Hurricane Wilma. Horoscopes ION’s in-house astrologist Ernold Sane reads the stars. The Perry Bible Fellowship
ART 16 Performance Space Where to show your stuff when the gallery rejects you. 17 Nicole Sanches But is it art? 18 Love Is... Token Valentine’s Day cheese.
FASHION 20 21 22 24 32 33
Umeboshi A plum new store. Alife New York store invades Vancouver. They bring us shoes but forget the bagels, pirated DVDs and miniature American flags. Beauty Shake Beauty tips for you. The Night’s Tale You mean the panties your mother laid out for you? Sweet Soul Get Diva-fied. Morphine Generation Hopeless romantics since 1979.
FILM 34 Kenny vs Spenny Two friends slander each other for your amusement.
36 40 42 44 46
Rich Hope His love is a bullet and it’s coming straight to your heart like a death blow. Better watch out cuz he’s handy with a pistol, he knows where you live and the bullets he’s singing about aren’t metaphorical. Sparks In an epic career spanning many decades and 20 releases, Sparks finally reach their pinnacle: a chance to chat with Robert Dayton. Hurra Torpedo Just like your neighbors, they bang on appliances and they speak in a language you can’t understand. Dale Davies Poster art. Reviews All the latest releases that record execs knew wouldn’t make “best of 2005” lists.
Volume 4 Number 1 Issue 26 Publisher
Vanessa Leigh email@example.com
Editor in Chief Michael Mann firstname.lastname@example.org Arts & Culture Editor Jennifer Selk email@example.com Fashion Editor Vanessa Leigh firstname.lastname@example.org Film Editor Michael Mann email@example.com Music Editor Bryce Dunn firstname.lastname@example.org Photo Editor Fiona Garden email@example.com Advertising Kelly Hassen firstname.lastname@example.org Claudio Rubbo email@example.com Advertising Accounts Manager Natasha Neale firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Editors Marisa Woo, Maha Al Farra Art Department Danny Fazio email@example.com John Morrison firstname.lastname@example.org Website Andrew Bobic Contributing Writers: Sam Kerr, Ernold Sane, Chris Walters, Leszek Apouchtine, Natalie Vermeer, Filmore Mescalito Holmes, Marielle Kho, Emily Khong, Thomas Quinn, Robert Dayton, Tara Conley, Curtis Woloschuk Contributing Photographers: Dexter Quinto, Mark Maryanovich, Jason Levis, Kate Mills, Jason Lang, Nicole Sanches Original Artwork & Design: Nicholas Gurewitch, weakhand, 626, Kate Greaves, Everett Nolan ION is printed 10 times a year by the ION Publishing Group. No parts of ION Magazine may be reproduced in any form by any means without prior written consent from the publisher. ION welcomes submissions but accepts no responsibility for the return of unsolicited materials. The opinions expressed by writers and artists do not necessarily reflect those of ION Magazine. All content © Copyright ION Magazine 2006 Hey PR people, publicists, brand managers and label friends, send us stuff. High resolution jpegs are nifty and all but it’s no substitute for the real thing. Clothing, sneakers, liquor, video iPods (60 gig version only), CDs, vinyl, DVDs, video games, and an Xbox 360 can be sent to the address below. We’re serious about the Xbox 360. We really want one. 3rd Floor, 300 Water Street. Vancouver, BC, Canada V6B 1B6 Office 604.6969.ION Fax: 604.6969.411 www.ionmagazine.ca email@example.com Cover Photographer: Fiona Garden Model: Nicholes at Richard’s International Model Management
EDITOR’S LETTER Words Michael Mann
Happy New Year. With Maury Povich You-are-not-thefather-like jubilation, we bring you volume four of ION Magazine. The holidays were fun. I won’t elaborate any further because talking about the holidays in February isn’t very topical (apologies to our Chinese readers). But talking about relationships and Valentine’s Day in February is topical. So let’s talk about that. There are two types of people. Those who think Valentine’s Day is a shallow money grab perpetuated by Hallmark, FTD Florists and cinnamon heart manufacturers. A total commercialization of human emotion that attempts to reduce relationships to where how much you care about someone is correlated to how much you spend on them. A day to remind you that you aren’t content being single. And then there are people in happy relationships. Competition for a mate is tough stuff. Two men enter the Thunderdome, dip their hands in a bucket of glue, then dip their hands in a bucket of tacks, then punch the living crap out of each other until one man is dead. Then I was informed by a friend that this is not how it happens and courting is a bit more complicated than that. So I turned to television to give me some much needed perspective. So I’m watching a poignant episode of Sex and the City where Samantha slept with some guy and Charlotte was acting like a prude. Then Carrie wondered what it all meant and tried to make sense of everything. Then I changed the channel. So I’m watching the Discovery Channel and they’re talking about the mating habits of the cuttlefish. Don’t let its name fool you, it’s actually more like
an octopus. So this big male cuttlefish is guarding his mate from other horny cuttlefish. There’s a little cuttlefish there but he’s so small that the big one doesn’t see him as a threat. The marine biologists, tired of waiting to see what cuttlefish look like in “defend the mate” mode decide to bring in a mirror to scare alpha cuttlefish. So this octopus goes flying at the mirror, tentacles flared, ready to beat the shit out his reflection and spray ink all over it. But he stops short when he sees how equally matched he is with the other octopus and it just becomes a stand off, which proves we’re not dealing with an intelligent octopus here. While this is all happening the little guy moves in on the female octopus and proceeds to mate with her, proving we’re dealing with an intelligent octopus that probably has a great personality to boot. At this point the marine biologists take away the mirror and the octopus goes swishing back to guard his mate.The small cuttlefish is so small he blends in with the female and goes undetected. Which is ironic because the cuttlefish’s eyes are among the most developed in the animal kingdom. The small guy finishes planting his seed, swims away and ensures that a new generation of physically inferior cuttlefish will be born that will bring the extinction of the species. The point of this story is that marine biologists are bastards who like to play God and mess with His Intelligent Design. No, the point of this story is that there is hope for the little guy. Even if you don’t have any game. You just gotta be patient and pray that divine intervention will distract the more attractive competition. When that happens, be prepared to move in swiftly.
ION THE PRIZE
This month the folks at PF Flyer are offering up some of their GLIDE hi-tops. The PF Flyers GLIDE is the epitome of plush 1970s comfort and styling. Every detail of the original GLIDE hi-top has been faithfully reproduced in this authentic PF reissue. With these on your feet you’ll be the coolest kid on the block from the calf down. Go to www.ionmagazine.ca and click on contests to enter.
Of THe MoNTh
Contributor 1. Sam Kerr
Pet 3. Clem
Ticket Giveaway 5. Supergrass & Stereolab
Aside from having the honor of being our longest and most consistent contributor, Sam has the honor of being a really bad driver. Possibly the worst in the city of Vancouver. In high school he flipped a Rangerover in front of a big crowd of people and nearly killed everyone in the SUV as it nearly exploded. Sam is currently in the Developing World and it’s affecting him deeply. Good thing because this guy’s a total punk and saved us from having to tell him he should drastically change his personality.
This is Clem the cat. He’s multi-colored, has whiskers and likes cat food. Nothing too special. But take notice how he has the exact same lazy eye as Paris Hilton. Clem’s working that linoleum/carpet combination floor like it’s the runway for the Teen Choice Awards. firstname.lastname@example.org to enter
House of Blues have given us a whackload of tickets for two pop-tastic shows, Supergrass on February 26 at the Commodore and Stereolab on March 7 at the Commodore. These shows are weeks away and give you plenty of time to grow your sideburns or memorize all the words to “Ping Pong.” To enter to win a pair of tickets, go to the contest page at ionmagazine.ca. If you’re not lucky enough to win you can purchase tickets from etmaster
URL 2. Thesuperficial.com Speaking of Paris Hilton, The Superficial is pretty much the most amazing website for celebrity gossip ever conceived. It’s the best place for crass lies, slander, nipple slips, sex tape scandals, divorce, drunk photographs and speculation. This should probably be your new home page.
Drink 4. Beer from the Country of Belgium I probably couldn’t find Belgium on a map. I don’t know what their flag looks like, what language they speak or if they’re still battling the Black Plague. I do know they make really good beer like Duvel, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois. Drink it in one of those fancy goblets at a bar. It tastes better that way for some reason.
Games 6. Resident Evil 4 Go to a creepy eastern European town to save the President’s daughter, of they’re always getting themselves into trouble. But this time you’re not saving the President’s daughter from a night of binge drinking. No, you’ve got to save her from zombie villagers, scary monsters and infuriatingly difficult puzzles. This game is as good as the ads on
7 TV make it look. A word of advice, watch out for the dudes with chainsaws who try to cut your head off... they’re the worst.
7. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones So you didn’t get an Xbox 360 for Christmas. That’s okay, just because your parents don’t love you doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the next installment in the Prince of Persia series. Save a princess and kill the evil Vizier. Great graphics with tight controls that allow you to rewind in time whenever you miss a jump. You also morph into an evil Prince of Persia with a chain for an arm that’s handy for wasting bad guys.
DVD 8. Battlestar Galactica Season 1 The Cylons were created by men. They rebelled. They evolved. They look and feel human. Some of
8 them have been programmed to think that they are human. There are many copies. And they have a plan. This plan is to kill all the humans and possibly have sex with them before doing so. Having wiped out all of humanity and having had sex with a few of them, it’s up to a small convey of ships to find a mythological planet called Earth and start over. Amazing effects and great characters full of nuance. Loaded with subtle Cold War/War on Terror paranoia that keeps the storyline relevant. I don’t care if you think I’m a geek. This show rules even you don’t like sci-fi.
9. Grizzly Man Stories about complicated individuals always make the best documentaries. And there’s no one more complicated than Timothy Treadwell, a man who voluntarily lived unarmed among grizzlies in Alaska for 13 summers... until he got eaten. Much like Errol Morris, Werner Herzog tells the story and makes no effort to not get involved. At one point, he even advises Treadwell’s ex-girlfriend to destroy the digital audio recording of Treadwell getting mauled that
9 she refuses to listen to as it will haunt her forever if she doesn’t. Using the subject’s own footage and interviews with Treadwell’s friends and family, Herzog breaks down the tragic tale of a man who’s fatal flaw is his overly idealized view of nature. Treadwell should have heeded Stephen Colbert’s advice, bears are not a threat to be taken lightly.
Fan Mail We need to talk. Seriously. Every month I stumble across your mag and I love it. The design is spot on, the photos are fantastic and the articles are both interesting and informative. I can’t believe it’s free. Definitely a step above some other mags that I wouldn’t bother wiping my ass with and basically pollutes my city. So kudos to all the people who put it together. Style with substance indeed. Awesome work guys. Keep it up. John Adams P.S. Nice cover. This issue rocks. Pugs are soooo cute. Spot on kids. Oh and love the fashion spread as well. Peace on earth! IONMAGAZINE.CA 15
PERFORMANCE SPACE Words Jen Selk Photography Jason Lang
Whether you’re a busker, a writer, a painter or a tagger, if your art isn’t being seen by anyone besides your mom, you might as well be a seventh grader with a diary. Performance space matters. So where to show? In Vancouver, the possibilities are endless, but we asked around to find out what motivates people to choose the places and spaces they do. Cause it doesn’t matter if you can juggle flaming brains if you’re juggling them in the wrong place (burny). Here’s a little of what they said: (Hint: It’s all about exposure . . . dirty!) “Most street based artists choose locations based on two principles,” says Vancouver-based artist, the dark. “The first is visibility. How many people see your work, and what kind of people see your work, etc. If I am targeting a specific demographic, that will be reflected in the images chosen as well as the placement.The second is the amount of time the work is visible. Locations such as rooftops or walls that are less frequently painted are good choices.” Jesse Scott, part owner of the recently defunct Butchershop Gallery (a performance/gallery space in Vancouver) says what was great about a non-commercial venue like his was that it “encouraged experimentation and successfully brought attentive, engaged audiences to heed the show.” He called the Butchershop an elastic, non-cookie cutter, easily modifiable space, adding that the multifunctional nature of the venue meant they could cater to artists from many mediums, including ambient electronics, post-rock, video, poetry and books, theatre, contemporary dance, life drawing, variety shows, etc. the dark doesn’t have any gallery shows pending, but lots of street work planned. Keep your eyes peeled for big ass (10 ft x 8 ft) pieces. They may be his. His work is also at deadempire. com/dark.html The Butchershop Gallery closed its doors at the beginning of January due to “pressure from the City of Vancouver and subsequent financial pressures,” says Scott.Their website is still active at butchershop.ca
Words Jen Selk Photography Nicole Sanches
Obviously, photography is an art form. As is graffiti. So what’s photography of graffiti? Vancouver-based artist Nicole Sanches has been posting photos of discovered street art from Seattle and Vancouver on Flickr since August 2005. This month, ION spoke to her about appropriation, documentation, and yes, her own art as well. Is she stealing? She says she’s just trying to give street art a longer shelf life. “I put a disclaimer right on the profile page saying none of it is mine,” she says. “I’m just documenting it because it’s so temporal, you know? Because the rain washes it off, or it gets scraped off.” The said disclaimer reads, “None of the street art/ graffiti is of my doing. I just take photos of the things that catch my eye on the street.” So what about giving the prime artists their due? Sanches says after she started taking the photos she did some detective work and quickly found out who many of them were.“They definitely want to keep their anonymity,” she says. Apparently only one artist had any problem with her posting his work, and he just requested that she ask his permission next time. So what about her own work? Sanches graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1998 and her pieces are decidedly different from the street art she shoots. At the moment, she is primarily creating 1 x 1 ft. dioramas featuring super-tiny model figures, pieces, and found objects, like, um, severed doll legs, among other things. “This one day I was in Edmonton and I had just stepped out of my friends car and I looked down at the street and there was this Barbie doll leg, but it was just the knee,” she explains. “The other parts had been chewed off by some animal. So I picked it up and I was like, ‘wow, this is fantastic’. And of course my friends were like, ‘get that out of my car,’ but I eventually used it about a year later in a diorama called Accident.” Sanches likes playing with size and proportion in her work, but says dioramas aren’t her only medium. “I’m a conceptual artist, so whatever idea I have, I try to present it in the best way that it can be expressed,” she says. “Dioramas, right now, are working for me.” Nicole is participating in the Struts Gallery’s annual fundraiser, The Sweetest Little Thing, on Valentine’s Day 2006. You can bid for pieces online at www.strutsgallery.ca. Her diorama Lost Luggage will be on display at Blim, (197 E. 17th Ave.) throughout April. Nicole is at www.nsanches.net and www.flickr. com/photos/sanches.
Nicole’s street art photography can be viewed at www.flickr.com/photos/sanches. One of Nicole’s diorama pieces.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just a way to squeeze in one more commercial holiday between New Year’s Eve and St. Paddy’s. It’s also a time for reflection. . . or something. We asked four Canadian artists to battle Hallmark by creating pieces inspired by the words “Love is . . .”They threw their fairly abstract (sometimes bitter, and black-hearted) selves headfirst into the task. Here are the results.
1: WEAKHAND Artist’s Statement: The poster is meant to suggest the harder parts of being with someone. The white lies, or the instances when someone is faced with a situation which could involve ‘hurt or pain’ and instead chooses to lie to protect that person. It is more a focus on an occurrence within love instead of an attempt to encompass love on a whole. It would be arrogant of me to try and suggest what love is. White lies are something I believe everyone at some point has experienced or done, whether it was for love, or simply to keep the love of a friendship. Love isn’t just fun and flowers, and this piece is trying to touch on that. weakhand’s work can be seen in the group show “Plumage,” running at Midtown, 438 Pender St. Vancouver, throughout February 2006. You can check out more of his works at flickr.com/photos/one-weakhand. Weakhand is also available for commissions and can be reached at email@example.com
3: EVERETT NOLAN
4: KATE GREAVES
Artist’s Statement: Love is . . . tap, tap, tap, peck, peck, peck. The birth! No, seriously. Love, particularly when it’s commercial, and especially around Valentine’s Day, shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Love is prehistoric, problematic, and vastly improved with the calculated consumption of alcohol, but it’s also a beautiful thing. No really. It is. It makes your beak shine. It makes your feathers fluffy. If you don’t use a rubber, it makes you wish you had. And if it’s lurking behind your living room curtains, waiting to jump out at you, so what? When you’re as ugly as I am, you take what you can get. W.T.M. is a Toronto based cartoonist and fashionphile. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist’s Statement: Love, is something that, ultimately, can’t be defined within the parameters of an absolute fraction, as love has no specific guidelines and is completely open to interpretation. Love is an emotion and therefore completely intangible, defined by individual perspective and experience, be it a chemical reaction to chocolate, a soft kiss on the beach (beset by the ambience of the early eve) or a dry hump in a dimly lit wreck room; high school - summer of 1992. All we can truly know about love is that it’s a marketable commodity; everything else is an important dramatization. Everett is a Vancouver based artist and co-founder of Misanthropy gallery. More of his work is available at: flickr.com/photos/626
Abstract painter Kate Greaves says her piece was inspired by the following poem written by her friend, Ethan Canter. in the avalanche of what hung while you were here i drown now
that i have done and re-dream the dreams i left undone Kate’s current show, Abstract Rhetoric, is running at Taf’s Café, 829 Granville St., Vancouver, until February 28th, 2006. Her website can be viewed at www.paintergreaves.ca
in your leavingness my lungs fill-filled with breath with breath for words for words i wish i could reach be-through the rust be-through the hard ness of fear so take me from and out of place me back and into to clean the things
Words Leszek Apouchtine Photography Jason Levis After a few years of life in London, Stephanie Gorrell found that unlike England’s metropolitan capital, Vancouver had too few options when it came to shoe shopping. Her solution was to make fashionable Euro and New York styles available in a boutique shop on Main Street. Accessories are also available, including jewelry designed by Stephanie, but it is the fancy footwear that will continue to be the prime focus of Umeboshi - named after a type of plum, which Stephanie learned about while working for a natural remedies company. The dried form of the plum is used me20 IONMAGAZINE.CA
dicinally and is meant to be very healing. Her selection of footwear, which includes Diesel, Le Coq Sportif and Fly London, has seemed to find an eager customer base for people who are looking for styles not available in the malls. “I would like to become known for having more unique stuff and for being a little more daring,” says Stephanie. Some brands, such as Fly London, which almost sold out in the first two weeks of opening, have obviously struck a chord with the Main Street shoppers. The same faces are already making several repeat visits to the shop and with new brands on the way for spring, including Ted Baker, it seems this little boutique has found its niche.
Umeboshi Shoes 3638 Main Street 604-909-8225
Words Leszek Apouchtine A taste of New York is sitting in the heart of Vancouver just a few steps away from the cheesy tourist shops of Gastown. Alife is only the second location of this clothing store brand, but will probably not be the last as plans are to continue to expand around the globe. Nate Sabine, one of the owners of the Vancouver store, has found that it’s location has helped it see a lot of foot traffic from curious tourists - including some surprised New Yorkers who didn’t know Alife had crossed the border. The two stores are very similar, with most of the
clothing and shoes being Alife’s own label or collaborations with bigger brands like Levi’s and Adidas. “In New York they can’t keep this shit on the shelves, but it’s a little different here,” says Nate.“It’s going to be a little more uphill for us but that’s no big deal.” Nate is confident that as word starts spreading more Vancouverites will seek out the store. Word of mouth is important to Alife as there are no big plans to advertise or market heavily. “We don’t want to blow it out. Alife’s not about full exposure,” says Nate.“We would rather have people come to us. We’re not going to put ourselves out there. It’s kind of like; if you know, you know.” And now you know.
Alife 411 Cordova Street West 604-685-6400
Model Aleisha at Lizbell Agency
BEAUTY SHAKE Words and Makeup Yasmin Morshedian. Photography Dexter Quinto
SKIN Why cover your gorgeous skin with heavy duty foundation? Let natural beauty shine through with highlighting your skin by using M.A.C sheer Face and Body foundation to even out the skin tone. Take time to conceal the areas you don’t enjoy with M.A.C moisture cover concealer. EYES Rock the eye with M.A.C fluidline in black and zoomlash mascara. Clear brow set was used for eyebrows.
CHEEKS Harmony blush from M.A.C plus Belightfull iridescent powder on top for highlight. LIPS M.A.C frosti! lipstick with burgundy lip liner (Blankety lipstick for the nuked look) and M.A.C clear lip glass for high shine. Yasmin’s beauty tip: For an amazing glow mix a bit of shimmer powder with a lighter shade of your foundation to highlight your skin.
bra and knickers by Agent Provocateur
bra, thong and garter by Jezebel bra and panty by Bill Blass Lingerie
bra and knickers by Elle MacPherson
bra and thong panty by La Perla bra and thong panty by Agent Provocateur
Words Tara Conley Photography Kate Mills Who doesn’t want to celebrate their inner diva? Sweet Soul Designs is at it again with a Spring line of street wear that incorporates Japanese styling and graphics, with burlesque flair. Not only does this line show off a woman’s assets, but it also makes them feel as sexy as the 50s pinups that inspired it. Owner Cara Long says the collection is guaranteed to bring out the “va-va-voom” in every woman, hugging in all the right places. She says the line has been described as “urban glam meets retro vintage pinup queens.” Spring 2006 has a flirty feminine feel and features fitted pants, tailored shorts, blaz32 IONMAGAZINE.CA
ers, stylish tops, skirts, dresses, and casual hoodies. This is the second full collection for Sweet Soul Designs, the first being Fall 2005. However, Sweet Soul has been creating funky designs for the past four years, once starting with decorated pasties, then expanding to an accessory line, and finally clothing. The collection, which is, targeted at young, hip, edgy women, hits stores at the end of February. You can find it locally at Zebra Club, Room 430, Front & Co., and Lark. Cara strives to create unique pieces made of fabrics sourced worldwide, ensuring something truly different. She encourages upcoming designers to stay true to their inspirations rather than just creating something that is the trend of the moment.
MORPHINE GENERATION Words & Photography Fiona Garden
Model Curranne at Richard’s International Model Management Makeup Lucyanne Botham at THEYrep.com
“It has nothing to do with drugs!” Erik Hart, the LAbased designer and founder of label Morphine Generation, responds to the controversy surrounding his label’s name and marketing.“We’re supposedly this generation of people who are detached and numb and desensitized… that’s where the name came from – I try to do all these creative things to push that limit; to break that stereotype.” Morphine Generation began in 2003 as a line of t-shirts, born, as Erik says, because “something was missing.” A musician and a graphic designer, he emphasizes that as far as fashion, he’s “not a designer” that he came into it originally through styling his band, Suicide Club, and in response to the ageold, ‘Where’d you get that?/I made it’ conundrum, as well as because he wanted to make things that he and his friends would wear. As he says, “I am my customer.” That’s why he uses luxury materials: “You know you go and buy a cool t-shirt and then it feels like shit… It’s about touch and feel. I mean, what’s better than your favorite 10-year old t-shirt?” The plan was to initially establish Morphine Generation as a brand with well-made t-shirts, using exquisite fabrics. But it was never going to be just a t-shirt line.“It’s a collection,” he says.“Every season I challenge myself, adding something new.” For example, for the Summer ‘06 collection, he has branched out into denim because, he says, he and his friends would look for minimal, really goodfitting jeans and couldn’t find ones that weren’t embellished and embroidered to death. So he has answered that call with amazing quality jeans, skinny legs and all. Similarly, this summer’s collection will, for the first time, feature Brazilian-inspired women’s swimwear, as a response to the women around him lamenting the difficulty in finding great bikinis. Erik is also already excited about what’s going on for Fall… among other forays into tailored outerwear, he will be adding a line of jewelry. The important thing for Erik was, and remains, not compromising his creativity. Morphine Generation is, he says, “a creative umbrella to do whatever I want… I want this brand to be around in 20-30 years as an alternative to Prada and Gucci.” IONMAGAZINE.CA 33
Kenny VS. Spenny
Words & Interview Mike Mann
Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice have been getting a lot of attention lately. And rightfully so, their show that airs in a timeslot known as “after Trailer Park Boys” is quickly becoming known in its own right and is winning audiences in Canada and around the world. Kenny vs Spenny is a reality television show with a simple premise: Spenny, a neurotic nice guy, and Kenny, an arrogant asshole, compete in mundane competitions. The winner of the challenge gets to pick a humiliation that the loser must perform. For example, on the “Who is Funnier?” episode the winners were going to be judged based on how well they can do standup. To psyche out his opponent, Kenny sends Spenny a carefully forged letter from the Ministry of Health informing him that one of his former sexual partners has tested HIV positive. Spenny got so depressed he couldn’t finish his stand up routine and Kenny was proclaimed the winner. Spenny is then forced to fellate a cucumber. The end. I had an opportunity to chat with Kenny and Spenny on separate occasions at their homes in Los Angeles and they had a lot of nice things to say about each other.
SPENNY ION: How do you explain the show’s popularity? I think the way that Kenny and I’s relationship breaks down in terms of a scumbug versus a “trying to be nice guy,” which is me. I think people relate to one of us. I think it’s funny which always helps. There’s a winner at the end, which I think helps. People love to watch competitions. How do you come up with the challenges? We basically come up with ideas that we think would be funny competitions. Otherwise they’d be golf and tennis and those wouldn’t necessarily be funny. We brainstorm on those together and then we separate and decide how we’re going to approach the competition. And then we submit our plans separately to the production and go from there. 34 IONMAGAZINE.CA
Well, what makes you a good victim? Well a few reasons, I don’t consider myself a victim. I like to see the show as good versus evil. I’m the kind of person who is not going to become like Kenny to win a competition cuz then I’d really be a loser. I have my heroes and the people I admire and the way I wanna live my life and conduct myself and I’m not going to change that. There’s a philosophical truth about our show: cheaters prosper. And I think it’s a sad reality and I’m not going to become a cheater to prosper. How real is the show? I know a lot of people have become skeptical of reality television. It’s real. It’s a comedy show too. And that’s where most people might be suspicious because most reality shows aren’t comic driven. The most I can say is that it’s in the interest of comedy for me to remain steadfast in my good guy role. And that works fine for me, as that’s who I’d be anyway. So that’s very real to who I am. Alternatively, I think it’s very good for Kenny to be a scumbag and a liar and a cheat. So we both stick to who we really are. Otherwise, you’d end up with a show where I’d lock myself in a room as soon as the competition started so he couldn’t get to me. Well did you really believe you were HIV positive for a while? Yeah. Fuck, yeah. Maybe I could get you to speak about that for a bit as that seems to be the high point of the season so far. Well we have all engaged in acts that weren’t as safe as we thought they were. The actual letter I got looked quite legitimate so I didn’t really suspect that it was a hoax. There you go. He always finds a way to fuck me. How do you go about picking a fitting humiliation? I’m looking for two things. One, it’s gotta be something he doesn’t want to do. And I’m sure he thinks the same thing. We both try to think of something that’s thematically connected to the show. It’s just embarrassing. As great as it is that you have a TV show you don’t want to do a humiliation, they suck. When you’re actually doing it, it just sucks. Because Kenny is much more in your face and gregarious I have to really think of things that he’s going to hate doing. Because his whole thing is he doesn’t like it
when I win because I get more airtime. Which is a pretty ridiculous way of thinking about it.
Kenny ION: How has being after the Trailer Park Boys been? It’s been a big boost for you guys? I think it’s a big boost for those guys. Aren’t you a smart ass. I’d be happy being on fucking al-Jazeera. Honestly, no shit, Showcase is Canada’s HBO. They’re the best broadcaster in Canada. Trailer Park Boys? It’s one of the biggest shows. It’s our audience, but I think we have a pretty broad audience. Old ladies are watching the show and really young girls too. Really young girls huh? REALLY young pubescent hotties. Okay, well what makes Spenny such a great mark for you to be a bastard to? Spenny is a stressed out, lanky, neurotic, pedophile who’s honest, he’s a moralist, he’s an adult, he’s everything that we all hate. He’s your principal. He’s the uncle that molested you. He’s your asshole camp counsellor. And he’s that bitchy girl who wouldn’t let you take her to the prom. He’s all of that rolled up into one. Well what makes you such a good bad guy? Because I get so much pleasure out of his pain. You know, I love to destroy him and I love entertaining my audience. For me, the show is really Kenny vs Kenny. I try to out do myself diabolically every episode. Spenny’s secondary. He doesn’t even matter to me it’s just like ‘what can I do to blow people’s fucking minds?’ and ‘ how can I up the ante within my own game play?’ Well how do you top your self after tricking Spenny into believing he was HIV positive? Hmmm. Maybe burying him alive. You’d have to drug him. Honestly, tricking Spenny into believing he’s HIV positive is 10% of what I’m capable of doing. I’m scared to top it cuz if Spenny quits, the show is over. I have to be careful as his mind is very fragile. So I can’t break his psyche. It’s like skating on thin ice. I gotta be very careful.
FILM How do you think the viewers perceive you? Are you more popular? Totally. Chicks dig me cuz I’m the bad guy. But I’m not really bad. The first episode or two you root for Spenny and you’re all “Oh Kenny, he’s a bastard.” After watching a few episodes you realize I’m the good guy and Spenny is the psychopath. What are his good traits? Neurosis? Paranoia? These aren’t good traits. Good traits are enjoying life, being a cordial fun loving person, having fun, being cool, being hip. That’s me. I won the likeability factor on this show. You’ve got a background in documentary film making, so you know that merely putting a camera in front of someone affects their behavior. So how real is this show? Well there are two shows. One’s a voyeuristic look at this dysfunctional guy Spenny. That’s true, real, cinema verite documentary. Me? My stuff’s hammed up. I gotta create comedy out of nothing. Spenny is funny because he reacts to what I do to him. That’s natural. Spenny is real. Me, I gotta prepare things. Not that it’s fake but I ham it up on camera .I do my shtick to make people laugh. Have you folks got a third season in mind? Yeah, it’s 99% gonna happen. I’m hoping they’re going to let me do “who can do more acid?” I understand you’ve been writing episodes of South Park. Yeah. How has that been for you? Fucking wicked. I see our shows and Matt and Trey are very similar to us. There are very few shows in the world that are viral and go around. We’re in this group of shows that has this very cool cultish audience. South Park was unbelievably wicked for me to get the credit and sit in a room working with those guys. But the reality of it is, I’m not a staff writer, I’m not an employee. I want my own South Park. I can’t work for anybody. It was my first job ever and you know what? I was bouncing off the walls. I think they’re fucking geniuses and they’re the only show in the world that does not need my help.
Being a waiter is not exactly a job you can impress your friends with or be remembered fondly for or get into a lot of trouble while doing. But with singer/guitarist Rich Hope, along with his Evil Doers (Adrian Mack on drums and bassist Ryen Froggatt) you will definitely find the opposite is true. They will impress you with their musical chops, you will remember them for their incendiary live performances and you will get into a lot of trouble if you are in the same room as them (as recent attendees of a show at The Lamplighter will attest). Rich Hope’s sophomore self-titled disc Rich Hope And His Evil Doers is a barnstorming, foot-stomping good time packed with raunchy blues and stripped down soul and it will make you secondzzguess every person that serves you your next meal–you could very well be in the presence of greatness, or a plate of grits, your choice. www.maxmusic.com www.myspace.com/richhope
Photography Mark Maryanovich Visual Mechanics Sxv’Leithan Essex Hair , Makeup, Styling Jon Hennessey for THEYrep.com
Words & Interview Robert Dayton As you probably already know, brothers Ron and Russell Mael are the core crux of Sparks. Their new album Hello Young Lovers is due out in North America on In The Red Records in March. Because of the impending release Robert Dayton recently got the chance to talk to Russell Mael, the man with the impossible falsetto, via telephone. You are one of the most influential acts ever, and there are new acts coming out all the time that you influence. With your sound, it seems that very early on you overcame your influences. How do you feel that happened? We’ve never done self-analysis on what we were doing in that sort of way. We liked a lot of other acts. I think we were probably thinking that we were emulating those acts, then just by the nature of what we were capable of and what came out when we played music, it didn’t sound like any of those people. We had our own thing for better or for worse. We always wanted to be someone else but we were miserable failures at being anybody but ourselves. You’re very impossible to pigeonhole. Is that a benefit? We think it’s the ultimate compliment to not be able to be pigeonholed. It’s only a problem for other people like radio programmers and record companies when they want to be able to say what you are. Most reviews you read of bands, they tell you what they are a mixture of. If that’s what everything is, a distillation of things that have come before it, I think that’s bad. I’d rather have the original Velvet Underground than someone that’s like The Velvet Underground. What was it like having Queen open for you? I always like to remind people of the fact that Queen did open for us because sometimes people say, “You must enjoy Queen because some stuff occasionally sounds Queen-like” and I tell them that Sparks had two albums out prior to Queen even recording an album and that Queen supported us at the Marquee in London. Your last album Li’l Beethoven seems very orchestral artificiale. Was that due to the current technology that you had at your disposal? We just wanted to do an album that was abandoning a lot of the conventions in pop music and conventions that we used and to try to explore working in ways that weren’t relying on verse-chorus-verse and having guitar, bass, and drums on everything, to find ways to keep a lot of the aggression that is there with pop music that we like but replace it with other things like using big vocals and having aggressive-sounding strings to replace guitars. To find other ways to work that weren’t relying on the tried and true.
album that they come across of yours. It’s got to be that that’s the only thing that matters, that one album and that it’s something that’s really striking and that is hopefully as forward thinking as some of the older things were when they came out. If it’s not that then it just seems pointless to be making albums. How is your new album different from the last? Some of the goals we set on Lil’ Beethoven were we decided to take further, we upped the ante at what it had hinted at, the approach that things didn’t have to be typical song structures. This album is grander and bigger, a lot of people have said despite that it’s even more accessible in a way. There’s more melodic singing. It’s a real hodge podge but a methodical hodge podge. A lot of my favorite music dares to experiment but never forgets the hook. I thought that you were from Europe when I first heard you. The type of music, I think, is bigger than life and there’s an image involved and it seems that all those things are more European in nature and I don’t know why that is. Maybe the levels of lyrical meaning are more appreciated over there. Yeah, I suppose so. Where people actually listen to the words and care. Yeah. Although Sparks In Outerspace from 1983 sounds very much about California teenage life especially due to the deceptively surface level lyrics. It’s really simple but there’s substance behind it. I truly feel like I’m driving around L.A. with a bunch of teenagers. Ironically that album did really well in Los Angeles, too. Tell me about vocal training and what do you do for your voice? I don’t have any formal training. I really try to take good care of myself physically. Lots of water. I keep my fingers crossed. Sparks can never break up due to you and Ronald being brothers. We can’t break up. You can scratch that one. When are you playing Vancouver? We’re going to try to play more dates in North America. I’m hoping we’ll get there one day. Can my act open? (Amusingly) Yeah, speak to my agent, yeah.
It seems that you set up challenges with yourself to do something different with each album. In our little world we try to shake people up a lot and not go through the motions. When you’ve had 20 albums (Hello Young Lovers is our 20th album) you’ve got to. Not only for yourself but for the people that are into the band and then also for the people that are hopefully going to discover you and this might be the first 40 IONMAGAZINE.CA
Words Emily Khong Photography Name Here
They wear matching tracksuits and use appliances all day long. No, they’re not the new incarnation of housewives, they’re Hurra Torpedo. Part recycling. Part foreign. Part avant-garde. All rock. While label reps scour Sweden for the latest “it” band, Norway has quietly been nurturing its own. There may be no Ikea, but the Norwegians have gone one step further with the band, Hurra Torpedo. Once the smoke and lights clear to expose three men amongst a stage of old appliances, one might think that some repairmen got lost on their way to the local depot, but this is the norm for these rockers. As the bassist/guitarist and vocalist for Hurra Torpedo, Egil Hegerberg explains how a term had to be coined for their indescribable music: Hvitevarerock. Hegerberg explains there’s “no good word for it in English. The closest you can get is ‘kitchen appliance rock’.” This could cause potential meltdowns in iPod directories.
Hurra Torpedo isn’t some marketing gimmick. In fact, Hegerberg knew his bandmates, Kristopher Hugh Martin Schau and Aslag Guttormsgarrd, long before he could grow his facial hair into his distinctive bushy beard. “I met Kristopher in high school where we formed the band Gartnerlosjen nearly 20 years ago,” the singer recollects. “Later Kristopher and Aslag went to the same drama school, and so I met Aslag through Kristopher. We started playing together in the early 90s.” Unlike composer John Cage, who altered his piano’s sound by physically changing its structure and parts, the trio alters their instruments by bashing them with weapons of choice as “we are willing to do anything with an appliance as long as it brings out an interesting sound.” It seems that the trio will play everything including the kitchen sink but they know where to draw the line as the one thing that they will absolutely not play: microwave ovens. “We are not a fucking techno band!” exclaims Hegerberg. The band’s music consists of popular retro English cover songs like Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” The covers, sung by Hegerberg’s dron-
ing vocals, are like slow industrial metal tunes enhanced by crashing beats. But Hurra Torpedo is not just a cover band. Vocalist and appliance instrumentalist Guttormsgaard writes and sings their original Norwegian songs. Sounding very dark and mysterious, Hegerberg leaves the lyrical interpretation alone: “You better ask [Guttormsgaard] what they’re all about.” Giving themselves equal exposure to international and local fans, Hegerberg explains the reasoning behind their song repertoire: “We enjoy playing the mix of both originals and covers. Back in the old days we would play a new cover song at each show, and the other guys would not know which song we were going to play before I started it. But now we only play the same songs over and over again. We have become old and lazy, and besides; we have found the ultimate cover songs for us. Never change a winning team!” Hurra Torpedo could easily trademark Hvitevarerocker as most bands prefer traditional instruments: “Well, I know there have been some imitators over the years. Some bands have done covers of our cover version of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart.’ But aside of that I don’t know of any other ‘Hvitevarerockers.’”
MUSIC They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Maybe soon, Maytag Rock will follow suit. With no major competition in sight, why doesn’t the whole band just play appliances? “Why doesn’t Rolling Stones just play the drums?” asks Hegerberg. Poor Mick would have nothing to do. Lucky for the Norwegian trio, someone thought it was a good idea to capture this new musical genre while it was still fresh from the prying hands of record execs: “It certainly wasn’t [my idea], but it was such a wonderful idea so I was all for it,” says Hegerberg. Documentary filmmaker Pip Simon was the visionary that approached the band and as a result, the rockumentary The Crushing Blow was made. Although the band has been together since the early 90s, they only recently decided to do a movie: “The time seemed ripe for a film now. We have always been so far ahead of our time that it would have been meaningless to make a film about us before now. Unfortunately we will probably be passé before we will have time to make another one, so I guess it will only be this one.” With no regrets, Hegerberg describes the filming process as “a great and fulfilling experience. I enjoyed absolutely every part of it. The
crew was fantastic and they did a very good job with capturing the magic that is Hurra Torpedo.” The good, the bad, and the ugly were all captured on film including the band’s breakup and eventual reunion. Hegerberg describes what it felt like to be exposed: “We quickly got used to having cameras around us all of the time and they left us alone while we were sleeping, so that was no problem.” Giving up privacy was one luxury the group was willing to abandon as the film provided many benefits. The singer explains how “it was great to get a chance to travel across the USA and see all the magnificent sights and meet all the wonderful people.” The film was the perfect way to introduce Hurra Torpedo to the world. It was an obvious step for the band to move into visual territory with their entertaining shows and snazzy blue tracksuits. For the time being, The Crushing Blow is only available on the Internet in downloadable clips on the director’s blog, but Hegerbergs hopes “it will both be screened in theatres and sold as a DVD, and possibly also Laserdisc, VHS, and Betamax!!!” While the rockumentary allowed new fans to discover the “magic” of Hurra Torpedo, Hegerberg is
eager to tour the U.S. again, and hopefully the rest of North America, to expand his ever-growing fascination with American vocabulary, including, “Puppet, travel, television, and is.” Touring overseas has been a change of pace from their hometown fans in Oslo:“We have a very big following so it’s hard for me to generalize too much. I would say [the fans] are about 5” tall, greenish hairy people who like to dance and cross-dress and have a good time.” They have nothing to lose by setting their sights on the world… except maybe Hegerberg’s beard. When asked if fans have made attempts to see if the beard is real by tugging at it, Hegerberg admits that “a couple of hundred people have done that over the years, but I’m not sure if they were fans.” While their first U.S. tour has wrapped, Hurra Torpedo mania has yet to hit the airwaves yet. The band is recording an album right now that will be released in North America by the summer. Before The Crushing Blow turns the group into international superstars, Hegerberg only wants people to think of one thing when they hear the name, Hurra Torpedo:“Us.”.
AIDS Wolf The Lovvers LP Lovepump United
Destroyer Destroyer’s Rubies Merge
You might have the coolest dad in the world but I assure you he won’t understand AIDS Wolf. Your dad may have taken you out of school when you were young for a day trip to the States to Frank Zappa, after which you went to one of those awesome US steak houses where he proceeded to tell you about the first time he did acid and came to understand that entire galaxies, the size of a pinhead, exist on our fingernails. But he will not understand AIDS Wolf. The Lovvers LP is experimental art-rock noise with exquisitely designed packaging by Montreal poster art pimps, Seripop (conveniently members of the band as well). This album is a challenging listen as it’s primal, noisy, chaotic, obnoxious, completely devoid of anything resembling any sane person’s definition of a traditional song or coherent lyrics, which kind of sound like Leeloo from Fifth Element being stabbed in the stomach. But at the same time, The Lovvers LP is unbelievably awesome. I will confess that, much like your cool dad, I’m not sure I understand AIDS Wolf, but I know I like it and not just because no one else will. I’ve listened to this album over 20 times and am going to buy two copies of this as soon as it’s available on vinyl. One to cherish and one to eat if I lose this bet I made and AIDS Wolf start packing 1000 person venues. Michael Mann
Bright Eyes Motion Sickness: Live Recordings Saddle Creek The full impact of what’s happening on this record may not hit you the first time you listen but, if you keep listening a couple of times per week it will come to you in a final flash of revelation. I don’t even care where I am right now or if I got shit kicked last night because the Catholic message on this record makes me feel complete for the first time since 1996. Oh did I mention he covers Elliott Smith and Leslie Feist? Thomas Quinn
This is the Destroyer album some listeners have been waiting five years for. While seemingly a model follow-up to 2001’s Streethawk:A Seduction, Destroyer’s Rubies is heavily indebted to its two occasionally (and unjustly) maligned predecessors. This Night saw Dan Bejar exploring the excess of anthemic songcraft. Next, Your Blues returned the emphasis to his idiosyncratically structured lyricism. Drawing here from both spheres of influence, Bejar produces an outstanding work that is – as he self-effacingly chides during the opening treatise: “Typical me.” The songwriter again plays irascible ringleader armed with serrated barbs like: “a life in art and a life of mimicry/they’re the same thing.” A five-piece culled from past corroborators has his back and their accompaniment plays out as highly orchestrated calamity. Warbling guitar leads, nimble percussion and lithe piano all set the sonic tableau. Lyrically, the album is unabashedly self-referential and reflective. While an open appraisal and reconciliation of the past (“I wanted you/I wanted your blues”), it’s also an inspiringly progressive effort. Destroyer’s Rubies furthers the rich mythos in which this artist’s tower of song finds its foundations. Bejar claims he “cast [himself] towards infinity.” One senses that his dizzying freefall has suddenly gained new momentum. Curtis Woloschuk
Richie Hawtin DE9: Transitions Mute If you believe official sheriff reports following rave busts and films like Groove or Kevin & Perry Go Large, you’d think the only reason anyone would want to be a DJ is to get laid. And if you listen to most funky house and hard/dark/fast drum & bass these days, you’d have a lot of evidence to back up that fact. But there are still many electronic producers out there who value intelligence over, though I’m sure not exclusive to, blowjobs. Richie Hawtin (a.k.a. Plastikman, F.U.S.E.) is one such artist, often mentioned in the same breath as Aphex Twin and Luke Vibert as one of the biggest and best producers going. The third installment in his decks and EFX series showcases the best of what Hawtin is capable of in fine multimedia fashion. Including two videos, live footage, a 5.1 version of the Ableton Live/Protools created minimal techno mix, Transitions is a nice CD/DVD package meant for appreciation well beyond the heights of raver
MUSIC candy and temptations of the flesh. As I fondly remember Amadeus, I’m sure Mozart wouldn’t have passed up every opportunity he received, but that’s not the only reason he created. Filmore Mescalito Holmes
Bill Hicks Salvation: Oxford November 11, 1992 Rykodisc There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Bill Hicks. If so, you probably think Denis Leary is pretty funny. I know I did. But the moment I heard Rant In E Minor, much of the credit I bestowed Leary as an original dissolved. A big part of the reason Hicks is probably unknown to you is he died of pancreatic cancer a month before Kurt Cobain in ‘94 and remains a cult hero in North America. His memory and legacy have been carried on by his fans, which include album dedications from Radiohead (The Bends), Tool (Ænima), and Shpongle (Tales Of The Inexpressible), as well as the lucky few who inherited his personal archive. A true artist in the sense his work was not truly appreciated until after his untimely demise, Bill’s efforts were, like most bands, recognized much sooner and more willingly in the UK (ask Jimi Hendrix). As such, his performance that night in Oxford, though up to Bill’s standards, was in front of a fairly friendly crowd while purists would argue he was at his best in front of audiences who didn’t get him. Regardless, everyone would agree you’re best off starting at Rant or Arizona Bay as most of the material here is available on previous recordings in some form… once you hear one, though, you’ll need to hear them all. Bill Hicks is unquestionably the greatest stand-up philosopher since Jesus. Squeegee your third eye. 5/5
Filmore Mescalito Holmes
Honeyhander Wooly Mannerisms S.A.F. I’ve had this CD for months and I’m still not sure what to think. Part of me keeps thinking of Meat Beat Manifesto hitching up with Depeche Mode while the other part is trying to figure out how peo-
ple refer to this as post-punk. Isn’t everything postpunk now? Punk references don’t explain anything to me just like alternative labels became useless so fast. I guess this album is the result of people getting sick of the same old thing. This gritty five piece explores At the Drive-In guitar and pulsing beats with hissing and slithery (yes I’m thinking of snakes here) vocals. Bonus points for using Andy Dixon for the booklet design and layout. Natalie Vermeer
Morcheeba The Antidote Echo To anyone who’s even remotely aware of Morcheeba (the group responsible for 1998’s Big Calm, which is without question one of the greatest trip-hop albums ever released), The Antidote will cure you from ever wanting to hear them again. Sure, the instrumentals of tracks like “Ten Men” are basically as good as anything they’ve produced since their keynote album, but there’s something wrong with this album being released under the Morcheeba name. Skye Edwards, the woman most responsible for their sound and image since the mid ‘90s, has been replaced by a nearly identical sound-alike and is not on this album. When Ian Curtis killed himself, Joy Division had the sense to become New Order but when Jim Morrison died, The Doors continued to release two albums of utterly forgotten wank and milked their legacy through the millennium. Could you imagine Portishead releasing an album without Beth Gibbons? Same deal here. It’s just not cricket. Under a different name, this would merely be an average release from a reformed band. Instead, with the new girl drowning in poorly imitated Skye mannerisms, The Antidote is the worst “Morcheeba” album since Fragments Of Freedom. Weakness. Filmore Mescalito Holmes
Our Mercury From Below Smallman Records
when they were 15. I hadn’t even heard of these bands when I was 15. But maybe that’s because I was too busy “maturing.” Their first album on Smallman sounds very much like something Rancid would have released years ago, but vocally, much more coherent. The whole album manages to vary from song to song, while still creating a consistent urge for the listener to get up and dance. The infectiously catchy “Shawna Don’t Wanna” could very well be the next “Sheena is a Punk Rocker.” What are you waiting for? Get up off your ass and shake the PMS blues! Marielle Kho
Young and Sexy Panic When You Find It Mint By this point, Young and Sexy have all but abandoned the bravado that once saw them calling out cities as ugly and offering assurances of impending better days. In its stead are implorations to “lay aside your armor” and “turn on your weakness.” Vulnerability appears to be a prerequisite for this broken winged offering. “The Curious Organ” – truly the band’s crowning achievement – has its sights squarely set on the swooners in the crowd. For those who’ve hazarded utter heartbreak, Paul Hixon Pittman and Lucy Brain serenade you. Panic When You Find It boasts a musical assurance that the band has long aspired to. Concise and focussed, it ably delivers on the atmospheric promise of their previous records. Furthermore, lyrical and thematic reprises transform the proceedings into an enthralling, interconnected sprawl. Buoyant bass melodies, soaring guitars lines and resplendent harmonies coalesce to imbue the songs with a raw eloquence. Kindly refer to “Conventional Lullabies” for a textbook example of a thinking person’s pop song. Elsewhere: “Without Your Love” is darkly sultry while “Satellite” provides a forlornly rustic finale. Young and Sexy are beginning to sprout some distinguished grey. If only maturity and soulfulness were always this beguiling. Curtis Woloschuk
They say that girls are maturing into women at alarmingly young ages now. I have recently found that the same rule applies to bands as well. I don’t mean that I’ve noticed more bands growing into mature women; I use the word ‘mature’ in a more metaphorical sense. Take Our Mercury, for example. These Canadian lads were opening for Guttermouth and 88 Fingers Louie
Life doesn’t make sense, and neither does this article. Being a sugar baron in Brazil is a pretty good gig. It’s like owning all the hookers in Holland or all the heroin on Hastings. If you’ve got the goods you’ve got it made. As I write this article I am smoking a cigarette on the veranda of a chic penthouse apartment facing the beach in Maceio, Brazil. For most this would be paradise, yet for me something here is terribly wrong. My friend Mauricio is the heir to a massive sugar fortune and by most accounts he lives the greatest of the good lives. He has platinum toilet paper and gold plated tooth paste. You want servants? Forget about it. His servants have their own servants to do the shit that they don’t want to do. The lavish luxury of his lifestyle is bountiful beyond belief, yet somehow something still seems sour. On New Year’s Eve, Mauricio took me to an exclusive party at his friend Diogo´s summer home in Barra San Miguel. Diogo´s father is a powerful politician who is allegedly responsible for the deaths of over 50 of his enemies. I am not an expert on Brazilian politics but, according to Mauricio, this type of behavior was entirely normal. I had nothing to worry about. ¨Relax Jack, he hasn’t killed anyone in years.¨ Upon arrival, all apprehensions were quickly forgotten thanks to a simple fact: Murderers throw fucking awesome parties. It was like I had just walked onto the set of a music video with a really big budget and a terrible director. The band on stage was rocking out, the party was losing its collective mind, the booze was free, and all the girls were Brazilian. However, it lacked something on a less tangible level. I needed a moment to get to the root of what was bothering me, so I found a chair on the fringe of the action and ordered a drink from one of the numerous waiters. The moment my Rye on the rocks arrived, something profound presented itself to me. The Beach house was enclosed on all sides by a three meter high wall topped with barbed wire. The wall was made entirely of stone, other than a small section near a corner where a chain-link fence was the only thing separating the outside world from our oasis. I was trapped in a platinum prison with golden bars. At the chain-link section, there was a horde of starving children begging with outstretched arms for leftover cans. These kids were struggling, not only to gather money, but also to catch a fleeting glimpse of a life that they would never have. As I thought more deeply about the situation I became uprooted from my place in life and carried adrift through formerly unexplored regions of my soul. I came to a bitter conclusion: I needed a change. Faced with these hard truths, I decided to challenge myself to be better, on a spiritual level. Then and there, I became a vegetarian. The choice was difficult because I love meat. The last meal I ate in 2005 was a Brazilian delicacy: chicken hearts. I ate 30 of them. I devoured them all without a fork, knife, or napkin. I tossed them into my mouth by the handful and then rubbed their savory blood all over my face. I usurped their life force. I consumed their souls. Afterwards, I went into the kitchen, killed the chef and ate his heart. It was not nearly as good. Like Ted Williams, I hit a Homerun on my last at-bat. So how does the tragically poetic image of begging children at a posh party drive someone to vegetarianism? I’m not sure. But I can tell you this: Life doesn’t make sense, and neither does this article.
NEWS FROM NOWHERE Words Sam Kerr
Words Ernold Sane
AQUARIUS Jan 21-Feb 19
The water bearer in you is taking hold as you continuously drink your face into oblivion. It’s okay for you have the odd celebration drink while you’re Kate Moss-ing yourself around town. Just remember that you’re nine times fatter, nine times poorer, and nine times this week people will forget your name and call you “fatty fatty what’s his face?” behind your back.
Feb 20-March 20
Still loafing around in your pajamas telling everyone you’re sick isn’t getting you any closer to finding someone with low enough self-esteem to go home with you. The fact that over the holidays you emailed a bunch of lame-ass Christmas greetings, is putting you at the butt of family jokes, and last week your Granny took her teeth out, and did an impression of you giving head.
March 21-April 20
You’re on fire this month. Endless messages in your inbox have you believing you could put out a CD, call it “Urban” something, and all the kids in the mall would check you out, and bounce their arms at you as you cruised by with the new staff member you took home from the Cactus Club. Remember these days, and in two years you’ll know you have no talent.
April 21-May 21
The prescription drugs you’ve been on are the same ones you’ll need when you pass them through as kidney stones. Although strangely enough, they’ve helped assist you in the lost art of conversation. Now you’ve finally
shut up about your shitty band, and have moved on to yammering about your shitty job. Your lucky color this month is blood red.
May 22-June 21
It’s time for some changes. How about a new toothbrush? It’s been a year and we all know it. I know you’re trying to express how ‘real’ you are and you’re just ‘one-a-the-people’ but that nasty perfume you’re burning us with, and your fake leather jacket make you look like Ice-Cube still trying to prove he’s badass. Give up man. Go spend your Bay vouchers and donate blood for free cookies.
June 22-July 22
You are ruled by the moon and these days the moon has better conversation than you. You’re way cuter when you’re not running your mouth off about how you ‘just’ got back from LA. No-one cares you flew three hours to go pick your nose in front of Urban Outfitters. Oh and those new Chuck Taylors don’t make you hot potatahs.
July 23-Aug 22
I am ALL for the artist, but seriously dude, the only one appreciating your art is your Grandma and that’s only
cuz she’s hopped up on happy pills. Even your Mom’s unimpressed cuz she saw your same “trying to be six year old sketches” when you were 10. You can burn incense and listen to Feist all you want.
aton (except you’re twice as ugly). Have you ever seen that fake-ass dude called Common? This is you except your rhyming in the shower is way tighter and you have better stage presence.
Sagittarius Nov 23-Dec 21
Aug 23-Sept 23
Your need to shoplift proved successful over the season of holiness. You have slicker hands than Tom Cruise in a soccer changing room, and they’ve saved you enough money to buy yourself some new friends. While searching out your new crew, make sure that you’re the good looking one.
Sept 24-Oct 23
The cold of winter has dried your crusty Libra skin and your athletes feet smell like homeless dog. You need to sort your life out, coz Oprah ain’t gonna knock on your door and buy you a new TV and dishwasher. While you complain about the price of a drink in a bar, there’s a kid in a bar in Tehran who wants you dead.
While you watch The Gilmore Girls and look back in regret over your last year of bad decisions, there is a man in Russia pounding his fist into a wall to get the heating on. Although you think you’re in your prime, so does Mariah Carey, and Mariah Carey in a tight dress looks like a stuffed sausage.
Capricorn Dec 22-Jan 20 Mission accomplished, you and your degenerate friends are exactly like those people in the Bailey’s commercials. All you need is someone who plays ‘down tempo’ with a bad hairline and for your parents to be outta the house long enough to get spin the bottle going and you can try for kids.
Oct 24-Nov 22
You’re a couple of years late on the vintage suit thing and the size you have makes you look like Diane KeIONMAGAZINE.CA 49
Published on Jan 27, 2010