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Volume 7 Number 5 Issue 58 8 10 14 47 48
Editor’s Letter Let’s do some Jager Bombs, brah. ION the Street It’s about time you stopped carrying all your stuff around in a green garbage bag and got something that’s a bit more stylish. Of The Month Movies about the mafia, games starring Bill Murray, a cat that lives in a gallery and the new Joss Whedon TV show. Horoscopes Chris Locke rubbed a talisman and repeated his mantra to help come up with this issue’s horoscopes. When that didn’t work, he just used Google. Cartoons
CULTURE 16 18
Sarah Joncas A young and pretty girl from Niagra Falls who creates haunting portraits of young and pretty girls. Heidi Taillefer Finally someone decided to paint a cat with a cephalopod tail, a beehive for a back and steampunk legs.
FASHION 22 24
Complexgeometries Pythagoras approved. In the Summer, In the City This issue’s fashion editorial. Photography by Norman Wong and styling by Toyo Tsuchiya.
MUSIC 34 38 40 44 46
Passion Pit It hardly seems fair that the album of original songs I wrote for my girlfriend only got me a restraining order, yet these guys do it and get a massive following and a record deal. The Juan MacLean Not to be confused with John McClane, Bruce Willis’ character in Die Hard. The Sonics From Seattle. Not only do they predate the NBA’s Sonics, they have also managed to last longer than them. Album Reviews Poster Art: Burlesque of North America Finally a BoNA you don’t need to be ashamed of.
I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
This year ION is introducing a fun new mobile component that will help enhance your experience with the magazine. Keep your eyes peeled for the ION Mobile Flag on pages where there is further mobile content available. For music-related mobile content, simply text IONMUSIC to 82442. You’ll immediately receive a text with a link to a mobile website. If your phone is compatible with iTunes, you’ll be able to preview and purchase all the music featured in the current issue of ION. In future issues, we’ll start recommending a few choice tracks you should consider purchasing. For fashion related mobile content, text IONFASHION to 82442. You’ll be directed to a website that lists where you can purchase all the clothing featured in the current issue. To make it easy for you, there will be Google Map links for all the stores. This is still all really new for us so expect a lot of exciting new mobile features to be added in the future. And apologies in advance, we don’t plan on accommodating people who still only own a pager.
We thought this whole internet thing was a quick passing fad. Turns out we were wrong. So we went and made ourselves a pretty new website. As awesome as a physical magaze is, there are certain constraints to it. On the new ION website, not only is all the magazine’s content on there, you’ll also find lots of web exclusive content and contests. Be sure to check out www.ionmagazine.ca
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ABOUT OUR COVER PERSONALITY Patrick Wolf
On the cover this month is Patrick Wolf. Hailing from London, Patrick is as charming and friendly as he is talented. This is saying a lot because he can play about 30 instruments and puts on an amazing live show. It’s impossible to pigeonhole Patrick to a single style of music as he plays as many genres as he does instruments. He’s comfortable rockin’ with a ukulele, getting the dancefloor moving with a viola, or crooning a ballad while playing a piano. Think of him as a modern day Prince but not as weird and slightly less flamboyant. Patrick’s fourth studio album, The Bachelor, is a melodramatic and genre hopping experience that shows this lad has a long and eclectic career in music ahead of him. In fact, it’s not hard to imagine that one day he’ll compose a rock opera with puppets like Jason Segel did in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Also, it should be added that while we were shooting Patrick, a chair fell on our Fashion Editor Toyo’s head... which nearly killer her. The Editor in Chief and the Music Editor watched this happen but did nothing to stop it and had a good laugh about it afterwards. Sorry Toyo, it wasn’t our place to intervene. To quote Alfred Pennyworth, “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up.” We’re happy to report that Toyo made a speedy recovery, did an awesome job styling Patrick and was able to make it out to his show that evening.
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. All content © Copyright ION Magazine 2009 Hey PR people, publicists, brand managers and label friends, send us stuff. High-resolution jpegs are nifty and all, but they’re no substitute for the real thing. Clothing, liquor, PS3s, CDs, vinyl, DVDs, video games, and an iPhone can be sent to the address below. #303, 505 Hamilton Street. Vancouver, BC, Canada. V6B 2R1 Office 604.696.9466 Fax: 604.696.9411 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ionmagazine.ca | www.twitter.com/ionmagazine www.facebook.com/ionmagazine | www.youtube.com/user/ionmagazine
The Bachelor is out now on Bloody Chamber Music. Cover Credits Photography: David Macgillivray Styling: Toyo Tsuchiya Hair and Makeup: Jon Hennessy for TRESemmé Clothing credits: Navy gromet sweater by Opening Ceremony from Holt Renfrew Pink button down shirt by Alexander McQueen from Holt Renfrew Shorts Patricks own Bow tie neckace by Bianca Barr c/o Dream Designs
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CONTRIBUTORS INTERN [DANIEL JOHN HARDY]
MAKEUP [JON HENNESSEY]
PHOTOGRAPHER [JEREMY R. JANSEN]
PHOTOGRAPHER [NORMAN WONG]
Aside from being our intern, Daniel John Hardy also wrote the article on Complexgeometries for this issue. Growing up in beautiful Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Daniel moved to Toronto and is currently attending the Fashion Arts program at Humber Institute of Advanced Learning. He loves Toronto, but also enjoys being in Vancouver where he can look at the mountains and the ocean and know everything is going to be okay. Daniel plans to work with ION in the future and also wants to learn how to cook, play tennis and speak Japanese, but not all at the same time.
Jon Hennessey is a longtime friend of ION and did the makeup for our cover shoot with Patrick Wolf. Jon is NOBASURA’s Creative Director and his makeup artist’s resume reads like a who’s who in the worlds of fashion, advertising, video and personality. Over the course of his 15-year career, Jon has traveled the globe working on hundreds of runway shows between the fashion capitals. His celebrity client list includes Lily Allen, Alicia Keys, Anna Paquin, Lissy Truly and Lady Sovereign. These days, he considers home where his kit is and sleep a rare prize.
Jeremy R. Jansen has photographed legendary old dudes such as the influential director of horror, George A Romero for Swindle, the esteemed Ted award winner, Neil Turok for The Walrus and now the O.G.’s of punk, The Sonics, for ION. In the last year, Jeremy has consistently documented journeys across Canada, Europe and the USA with both the Constantines and Ladyhawk, has self-published two photo-based books and continues to release zines and editions sporadically. Toronto is where he lives and works as a photographer.
Norman Wong shot our fashion editorial this month and Passion Pit. He graduated from University of Toronto for the Visual Studies and Semiotics program. While in school and shooting B-Roll footage for a still untitled Broken Social Scene documentary, Norman worked in the commercial and music video industry for over four years before switching his focus to pursue photography late last year. Since then Norman’s work has appeared in such publications as Flare, Under The Radar, Death + Taxes, Exclaim and Dazed and Confused. Norman continues to collaborate and photograph such bands as Broken Social Scene, Stars, Metric, Holy Fuck, and Charles Spearin’s Happiness Project. Recently, Norman has formed a visual collective called MIDDLESCHOOL with creative partners Aaron Kopff and Daniel Grant.
Michael Mann “Delicious Food” by Toby Marie Bannister
Summer is in full force. This means nothing but reruns on TV and soulless films that will make you stupider by merely thinking about them. This also means “A hotdog from 7-11 and a tallboy of Budweiser” is an acceptable answer to the question “What did you have for breakfast?” After you load up that delicious dog at the topping bar, you may notice a sinister presence at the counter of your favourite convenience store: shots! Not the delightful kind your friends try to force on you at bars which cause you to pick a fight with a bouncer or flash your tits to the man with a video camera for a free hat, rather, highly concentrated doses of energy drink. They come in 50ml vials, which is perfect because you’re too busy to drink a standard sized 250ml energy drink and getting caught
with amphetamines will violate the terms of your parole. They’re also the perfect size for dropping in a pint full of Jagermeister and chugging down with your brahs at the bar. With awesome names like Insane XXX, Blast, Xtazy, Monster Hitman and Talon… you’re not quite sure if you’re getting an energy drink or a WWE wrestler in liquid form. This concern will be quickly quelled when you knock it back and the taurine, guarana, creatine and glucuronolactone hits you. Screw caffeine or Mountain Dew—these bad boys will make you do things that are way more extreme, like ride your bmx off a canyon cliff into a whitewater river infested with sharks. Be sure to do a 360 as you fly off the ledge, points are awarded for style. It’s not just convenience stores that are
embracing the shot. Restaurants are getting in on the action too. They used to be called miniburgers but now they’re sliders or burger shots. Shots of beef and bun and condiment. Delicious and efficient! Where are the hotdog shots? (Note: writing an idea in an editor’s letter in a magazine is the same a registering a copyright for an idea. So send me my royalties after you take that idea.) Shots are a rather Orwellian Newspeak approach to food and drinks. Instead of our language getting smaller every year, what we’re ingesting is getting smaller. True, having a meal that consists of burger and energy shots has the same health benefits as injecting black tar heroin into your heart. But eating a burger the size of your head with a few cans of Redbull had the same effect anyways. So at least we’re saving
time. Sure we could all try and eat healthier, but that’s just not going to happen. When the economy completely collapses, we’re unemployed and hungry and martial law is declared to suppress the food riots, the powers that be will inevitably look to the shot to soothe the masses. After all, it’s what happened in the film Soylent Green. In Soylent Green, the solution to food shortages brought on by overpopulation was to give everyone their food in tiny wafer form. (Spoiler alert: the wafers are actually made of people, also reducing overpopulation.) I doubt the government will resort to feeding our friends to us in shots though. It’d be tough to keep that quiet as people would probably be tweeting about it on their iPhones as they went down the conveyer belt to the meat grinder. Na zdorovya!
Photography: Javier Lovera. Stylist: Toyo Tsuchiya. Hair + Makeup: Dee Daly at judyinc.com Models: Steph and Evanne
ION THE STREET
Handbags, dufflebags and backpacks are really growing into their own entity. You now can choose from all different sizes, colours and dimensions to match that outfit you want to sport. We won’t smirk when you are carrying everything you own in your bag of choice for a day because we are doing the same!  Kilo - PKG  Olivia Bag - Roots  Medium Field Bag - Filson  Backpack - Penfield  Tupac Et - Mimi and Marge
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ION THE PRIZE LADY DUTCH Go back to school being the most stylish one in your class courtesy of Lady Dutch. With fashion denim at its core, the collection is ready to go from runway, to everyday. So join the club and be that urban diva that will conquer the world, even if you’re just starting with your school. With Lady Dutch, you will never forget your ABC’s – Always Be Classy. [www.ladydutch.com]
Photographer: Geoffrey Knott Stylist: Toyo Tsuchiya Hair & Makeup Taylor Borris Model: Lindsay at Chantale Nadeau
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OF THE MONTH Youtube, Twitter, Facebook [DVD] Gomorrah [DVD] Dollhouse Season 1 [Game] Ghostbusters 
 Youtube, Twitter, Facebook By now you know probably know about our Twitter and Facebook accounts. But did you know we now have a Youtube channel? Yes, it’s ridiculous. We are masters of all social media. Check out our Youtube channel to see a behind the scenes look of our cover shoot with Patrick Wolf. Sadly, the chair that fell on our Fashion Editor’s head at the shoot wasn’t captured on tape. [www.twitter.com/ionmagazine] [www.facebook.com/ionmagazine] [www.youtube.com/user/ionmagazine]  Gomorrah What do garbage disposal, high-end fashion and drug dealing have in common? Besides being the focus of next month’s Ion Magazine, all are trades linked to the Italian crime group the Camorra, the subject of last year’s critically acclaimed Italian film Gomorrah. Based on the controversial book of the same name (whose author, Roberto Saviano, has been granted permanent police protection after receiving numerous high-level death threats), the film shows how entrenched the Camorra has become in and around Naples through five separate storylines. From garment manufacturing to toxic waste management and cocaine trafficking, the Camorra spreads its net wide and each of the characters of Gomorrah are each in their own way caught
in it. The film is at once a compelling human drama and a gritty crime story with a European flavour. Stripped of all the romance and over-the-top excess that tend to characterize its U.S. cousins, Gomorrah manages to be both authentic and, dare we say it, even more gangster than the Ed Hardy sequined hat and shirt combo we got sent in the mail this month. Strongly recommended. – Steven Evans  Dollhouse Season 1 No vampire slaying going in this new Joss Whedon series. Instead, you have Faith (Eliza Dushku) from Buffy starring as Echo, a hot waif who has her memory wiped by a secret underground laboratory called The Dollhouse. For a hefty price, you can have her body, a doll, implanted with any skills and memories you want. Example: say you’re really into adventure sports. You can make Echo really good at white water rafting and rock climbing. After the two of you go down a river, scale a mountain and have sex in your tent… you can then hunt her down with a bow and arrow for sport (spoiler alert: don’t, she’ll end up killing you if you do this). After this, her memory is wiped blank until the next assignment. Through the first season Echo becomes a brainwashed cult member, a bodyguard, a cat burglar and a sex slave. Everything is
[Pet] Sunday Girl Tough Economic Times Tips [Book] Generation A by Douglas Coupland 
going great until Echo starts to become aware of what’s going on and a mysterious ex-doll tries to take the place down. Totally addictive  Game—Ghostbusters Okay, you’ve have been waiting 20 years for another Ghostbusters movie. Maybe it’s time to move on. But if you still refuse to let go, this is the game for you. It’s written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd and features their voice acting (as well as Bill Murray’s). So really, even if this game sucked, how could you not play it? So charge up the proton packs and capture a variety of ghoulish specters around New York City. Oh yeah, and you get to toast the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. How awesome is that?  Pet—Sunday Girl Sunday Girl is the resident cat at the 107 Shaw Gallery in Toronto. Show up to say hi to her any day at any hour (the later the better). Might we suggest popping by on August 20th and you can catch Cody Cochrane’s show, who we featured in the last issue of ION. Send cute pictures to pet@ ionmagazine.ca to have your pet immortalized in print.
 Tough Economic Times Tips This is a really simple way to make some quick scratch here. Start a magazine and bust your ass to keep it afloat. After a couple years, PR companies will start to send you a lot of cheap promotional crap and maybe a few DVDs if you’re lucky. By the time you hit year six, PR companies will sporadically start sending you really expensive crap that you can then sell on Craigslist or eBay.  Book — Generation A by Douglas Coupland: The Post-Pop Superstar What the hell is a book doing in this magazine? Believe it or not, sometimes the ION crew put away our laptops and iPhones to enjoy a little summer reading. Douglas Coupland’s much-awaited follow up to Generation X takes place in the future where bees are extinct and consequently, most plant life is also extinct (turns out we need bees to pollinate stuff!). Most of the world is indifferent because they’re all strung out on a drug called Solon. Global apathy is put on hold when five people from different parts of the world are all stung by bees, making them overnight celebrities. It’s written in Douglas Coupland’s easy to read and amusing writing style, so you’ll feel smart as you breeze through this witty examination of the Youtube/Facebook/Twitter crowd.
Haunted Ladies Words: Patricia Matos
At first glance, Sarah Joncas’ paintings of pouty, buxom damsels in distress seem like intense glimpses into the mysterious mind of a tortured Robert Smith-infatuated artist. But the reality is quite the opposite: Sarah’s artwork really reflects her love of pop surrealism, dichotomy and subjects that provoke a second look. Whatever her inspiration may be, it’s obviously working as Sarah who, at 22, has already had multiple showings in L.A.’s Thinkspace Gallery, including her recent series called “Beneath the Seams.” “Working with my usual atmospheres of anxiety and melancholy, I wanted to turn vignettes of the private and mundane into spaces more haunted,” says Sarah. “The actual title, Beneath the Seams, was inspired by the phrase ‘Behind the Scenes’—that kind of cinematic voyeurism.” The pieces bleed a sense of dejection and helplessness, with influences from Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the Mechanical Bride (though the women at the forefront of Sarah’s surreal pop art seem to be at the same time mysteriously in control). Dense emotion emanates through minute details in eyes, brows and angles—most of which are not unlike the artist’s own features. Though she understands the self-portraiture correlation people make between herself and her subjects, Sarah insists they are not one in the same, “People have dragged it far enough into presuming I’m vain or conceited, which really isn’t my character; and it’s past the point of being a criticism on my work anymore.” Her tendency towards portraiture bent runs contrary to the relative
shyness she presents, though there is nothing reserved about her work. “I can’t help but be captivated by imagery that concerns identity, whether it’s cultural, sexual, social, or all of the above,” she says. “I’ve always felt that if you could become more selfaware, then it would also allow you to be more open-minded and understanding about others.” The sinewy women with their long necks and carefully placed hands are supported (and occasionally encumbered) by recurring imagery: religion, dusk, bare trees, technology and her favourites, goldfish and hearts. Unsurprisingly, this adds to the “goldfish bowl” feeling one imagines her Girls encased in. There’s an attachment Sarah feels to her symbols, likening them to the comforting feelings of sentimentality and sweeping adolescent emotions, “When juxtaposed with my darker characters, which still hold a cartoon-esque mannerism, it makes the feeling of the hearts both frivolous and serious to me,” quickly adding, “I don’t think it’s necessary to have a complete idea of the ‘why’ all the time anyhow—something of the mystery to it is a drive in keeping it alive.” Surrounding herself with music is another important aspect of Sarah’s creation period. “It’s a linking tie between me and these temptress women I paint…music is something of a lubricant to escapism, as well.” Music varies from Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, to Bat For Lashes and film scores (Vanilla Sky, Fight Club). And the viewer completely gets it. There aren’t simply feelings and
expression present in her paintings; Joncas imprints sound through saturated colours, dark whimsy, and a sort of glowing heat that radiate from the hues on the skin she paints. It is at once pulsating and still. Sarah will soon be embarking on another set of trips in early 2010 to support a future show, but relishes the free time she now has since “Behind the Seams” finished its run and art school is well behind her. “At the moment, I’m working towards another body of work for a solo show at the Roq La Rue Gallery this coming February in Seattle. I’ll also have some work for Art Basel this winter, a show at the M Modern Gallery this April in Palm Springs, then another solo next summer back at Thinkspace… I keep wanting that sudden surge of inspiration and drive to shove me back into daylong paint-a-thons, but really all that’s happening is fatigue and distraction.” For now she will focus on taking a step back, maybe even trying her usually brush-occupied hand at sculpting, and keep an open mind when it comes to the possibility of commercial work. Whatever it is, Sarah maintains a simple mantra designed to keep her grounded, “Remember why you started creating things back as a kid in the first place.” Plus, she says. “I don’t want to work at Wendy’s ever again.” [www.teapartylove.digitalinkz.com]
Animal, Vegetable, OR Mechanical Words: Joni McKervey
There is something of the Old World in Montreal artist Heidi Taillefer’s work, a reminiscent and romantic air. So it was no surprise when she disclosed that just the other day, as she was walking through the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, she found herself daydreaming about being a member of the Medici family during the birth of the Italian Renaissance. She had wandered its marble halls and imagined rubbing elbows with Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, envisioned taking part in the creation of one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the western world. This seems only fitting coming from an artist who populates her paintings with figures from ancient myth, religion and history. Her classical figurative style of painting and her archetypal, legendary subjects—the medieval Chinese Empress Wu Zeitan, the Marquis de Sade, Salome, Damocles, Aphrodite— couple to convey a practice that is steeped in historical and religious study. The work is nostalgic, aglow with reverence, up to here with the charm of the archaic.
And then it isn’t. The tails to Heidi’s classically styled heads is her preoccupation with technology and the way it is changing the landscape of human existence. Her subjects are chimerical assemblages of human and animal body parts, springs, light bulbs and antiquated clockwork, which seem almost to float with anticipatory tension in their surroundings. The artist herself claims to find technological advancement “exciting,” and asserts that we humans “are on an inevitable course toward a greater merging with technology.” But her paintings communicate the kind of ambivalence that one feels when faced with something that is at once very powerful and very mysterious. Viewing Heidi’s paintings one feels the magnetizing appeal of the bionic, hybridized and freakish subjects, and there is often a transcendent and magical aspect to her pieces too. But a creepingly fearsome side to her work can also be found: the nauseating fascination of an open wound or a set of conjoined twins. In Power Hive she portrays a ginger tabby-cat-cum-bee-
hive figure whose articulated and armored tail is comprised of eyeballs. Its legs and haunches are made up of antique-looking brass gears, dials and levers, and from its chest two ridged, tongue-shaped tentacles protrude like the feelers of a blind mollusk. Parts of the creature’s body are wrapped in twine, and from the domed hive of its back bees flit to and fro, forming a cosmic particulate swirl in the air above. The image is almost charming, insofar as we recognize the familiar form of the cat, the way that its rear leg is raised to swipe forward at its jaw to relieve that ever present cat-itch. But the eyeballs. And the tentacles. The two dead or dying bees laying in the shadow of the feline machine-hive. The overall effect is disquieting, to say the least. The juxtaposition of solid, metal machinery with vulnerable, fleshy tissue and the porous combs of the hive provides an inside-out vision of the modern relationship between body and technology.
Not all of her work is body-based, however. In The Most Proximate Cause Taillfer re-presents the figure of Damocles, who in Greek Mythology schemed his way to the throne only to discover that always above him a sword hung from the finest of threads, constantly threatening his life at the peak of his power. In Heidi’s arresting graphite composition an agglomeration of saw-blades, gears, swords and beams hangs like the proverbial dark cloud above a cowering naked man, whose grip on a single rope is the only thing between him and total annihilation. Here the artist reminds us that despite our good intentions, our vigorous pursuit of self-improvement and success, the catalyst for tragedy has a hair-trigger and we are living just a knife’s edge from destruction. When asked to assess the level of moral or political message in her work Heidi speaks in almost mystical terms. There isn’t a message, you see, or at least, there was no original intention of a message; her ideas condense most often from the churning and tempestuous cloud of her own lived experience. Or, as she describes it, an “initial impression is triangulated off of a catalyst (usually a relationship or experience) where frustration or necessary resistance increases intensity and channels feeling into a higher place.” That within the final product, one could read a social, political or moral message is, in the eyes of the artist, just the type of happy coincidence that points to the interwoven and universal nature of human life. In fact, the title of her most recent show “An Uncanny Lineup of Serendipitous Connections,” held this past June at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York, summarizes neatly Heidi’s views on human nature and destiny. She speaks of a “golden thread,” a unifying principle that exists beyond the ken of individuals caught up in the hurly burly of modern existence. “I have found a way to weave universal principles which are common to everyone into my work,” Heidi says. “The moral or political commentary is [merely] a corollary of my own preoccupations, I think we’re all living out the same version of the same thing to different degrees.” [www.heiditaillefer.com]
â€œI have found a way to weave universal principles which are common to everyone into my workâ€?
DO THE MATH! Words: Daniel John Hardy
Photography: Geoffrey Knott
August. What does this mean? Heat. Boiling hot weather that seams to never end. It may be absolutely gorgeous outside, but the downside is we all have to resort to the basic cotton t-shirt and shorts. If you try accessorizing with something that will remotely add to the heat of the summer, you’ll be sweating bullets within minutes. So, the question is, how do you look super stylish and still survive this summer heat? The answer is Complexgeometries. This brand has synthesized the comfort of cotton and is rebelling against the classic design principles. Complexgeometries takes simple staple items and turns them upside down. Based out of Montreal, designer Clayton Evens created the line in 2006. Clayton grew up in a very small town in northern Canada and relocated to Calgary to study Fine Arts. He realized that his true creative
passion was in clothing design, rather than fine arts. Using streetwear as a starting point, Clayton gives it a new spin. More than just additional trendy items for your closet, Complexgeometries offers a completely different look and feel on basics with results that won’t go out of style in the next 10 minutes. While the look of the line is unique, every aesthetic choice is very much a conceptual one. Clayton looks at clothing as more than a piece of art that he has designed, but a method of communication that will impact the people that wear and see it. Now the question is, what about fall? Complexgeometries Autumn/Winter 09 collection, entitled “...between good and evil,” is full of oversized beauties, with the colouring full of hazy hues of pink and purple, along with lots of black and white. The designer’s vision was to examine the conflict and co-existence of moral
ideals and the grey area that exists between right and wrong. Some pieces in the line are designed without a clear front or back, so they are wearable either way. The collection also features large collars, oversized scarves, leggings and even capes! Complexgeometries is sold in select stores around the globe including Barney’s New York, Browns London, Henrik Vibskov Copenhagen, Roborn Montreal and many more. Clayton and his growing team of staff, are all looking ahead to a new era of mixing high fashion and functional basics. [www.complexgeometries.com]
Model: Asha at Ford. Makeup: Taylor Borris
IN THE SUMMER, IN THE CITY PHOTOGRAPHY NORMAN WONG
STYLING TOYO TSUCHIYA
Makeup + Hair: Dee Daly, TRESemmé Hair Care, judyinc.com | Models: Liam and Kristi at Elmer Olsen and Kirsten at Ford | Stylist Assistant: Aurielle St Cyr and Nadia Pizzimenti at judyinc.com
Shoes throughout - H&M Accessories throughout - H&M Kirsten: White Embroidered Dress – Pink Martini Kristi: Purple Tube Top – Cheap Monday Jeans – Mavi Liam: Teal Cardigan – Cheap Monday T-shirt – Sixpack Striped Pants – Ben Sherman
Kirsten: Plaid Dress - Firetrap Fushia Tank Top - Fullcircle Lace Tights - Cheap Monday Liam: T-shirt - Lifetime Jeans + Backpack - Obey Kristi: Tie Dye Cardigan — Firetrap White Tank — Cheap Monday Black Ripped Jeans — Obey Kristi: Black Bodysuit + Jeans — Cheap Monday Liam: Purple T-shirt — Lifetime Collective Jeans - Ragwear
Kristi: White Knit Tank + Ripped Jeans - Cheap Monday Purple Tank — Obey Bracelets — H&M Kirsten: Plaid Shirt — Ben Sherman Black Dress — Cheap Monday
Kirsten: Fushia Tank Top — Fullcircle Gray Parachute Pants — Cheap Monday Flip Sunglasses — Photographer’s Own Liam: Jeans - Ragwear Purple T-shirt — Lifetime Collective
Kirsten: Tee Shirt — Ben Sherman Black Cropped Jean Jacket — Obey Purple Skirt — Firetrap Kristi: Blue T-shirt — Ben Sherman Black Skirt + Black Check Shirt + Lace Leggings— Cheap Monday Liam: Plaid Button Down - Sixpack T-shirt — Ben Sherman Jeans — Obey Sneakers — New Balance
Kirsten: Silk Dress — Firetrap Fuschia Tank Top — Firetrap Kristi: Striped Sweater — WESC White Tank Top — Cheap Monday Grey Skirt — Cheap Monday Liam: Plaid Button Down - Sixpack T-shirt — Ben Sherman Jeans — Obey Sneakers — New Balance From Heel Boy
Kirsten: Striped Top — Mink Pink Kristi: Peach/Blue Windbreaker — Obey White Tank Top — Cheap Monday Light Blue Denim Skirt — Mavi Liam: Striped Purple Sweater — Original Penguin T-shirt — Six Pack
IT’S THE PITS Words: Nojan Aminosharei
Photography: Norman Wong
The music industry, more than any other, is known for its constantly changing astrology. There are those few stars that have found a permanent home in the shifting constellations of music history— indelible pinpricks in the sky, whose perfectly coiffed and carefully managed images take years to arrive down on Earth. And even after they die, or disband, or otherwise go gently into that good night, their fame lingers like a beacon, their traveling reservoir of light not yet up. But more often, new artists are nothing but shooting stars. They appear suddenly and vanish just as suddenly. But for that moment before they crumble under the weight of a fickle industry, they glimmer and sparkle—and are inevitably proclaimed the “It Band.” And that’s exactly what Passion Pit was when they played New York’s Bowery Ballroom this June, playing songs from their debut album Manners. When they came to the Bowery last year, armed with only a six-track repertoire from their much-lauded EP Chunk of Change, they arrived with the advantage of buzz and excitement, an army of bloggers all hungry to proclaim them the Next Big Thing. This year, they arrived with the pressure of actually being the Big Thing. “We had to live up to a pretty high standard,” says frontman and founder Michael Angelakos. “It was our first time saying, ‘This is us. We’re actually playing these songs as a band that’s touring, that’s signed, that’s doing this for a living.’ It was scary.” The sold-out stop in New York was part of what Michael calls Passion Pit’s “reckoning,” their last stateside show before playing raucous festivals throughout Europe, with avid eyes on them at
Styling: Richard Autio
every step, as if for fear that they might burn up in the atmosphere. Throughout the tour, the band’s kicky synth pop, Michael’s dreamy, childlike falsetto and their whiplash ascent up the indie grapevine all made for easy comparisons to Hot Chip, Vampire Weekend and last year’s sudden smash MGMT. And just as those bands reached an assumed downturn, Passion Pit arrived, fighting against the same eventual fate. “I think anyone would get a little nervous,” says Michael, who along with his bandmates has rejected any labels resembling an It Band. “I’m just trying to make sure our shows are going.” If there is any anxiety in their minds, the boys of Passion Pit don’t show it. At a photo shoot in Toronto a week before their New York shows, the group proved to be a band of brothers as much as a band, not hesitating to blow glitter on one-another, or bundle together for a group hug. “There’s a kind of ‘We’re all in it together’ attitude, and I feel a lot better going out on stage because of it,” says Michael, whose whiplash ascent from club band to festival headliner hasn’t given him time to manage his stage fright. (“I shake a lot,” he says. “I mean, I shake A LOT.”) While they’ve become indie darlings together, it’s Michael’s story of how he started the band that precedes them wherever they go, told and retold by journalists, bloggers and fans. And retold here once more, because if you’re going to one day find yourself wedged somewhere in the starscape among the King of Pop, Mother of Soul and the many Princesses of Meltdowns, you need a mythology. In 2007, holed up in his Emerson College dorm room, Michael
recorded a CD on his laptop for his then-girlfriend. It was a Valentine’s gift and an apology letter and it would later become Passion Pit’s debut EP, Chunk of Change. “The lyrics are about me being an asshole,” he says. Sung with Michael’s trademark exuberance, however, the EP plays like a dance party—in fact, when he recorded “I’ve Got Your Number,” the opening track that includes the lyrics, “Can you see me cry / tears like diamonds,” he called his roommates into his bedroom for an impromptu dance party. While the story goes that he began giving out the CD and later charging money for it, Michael actually reveals, “It was the other way around. I sold a few of them and then I felt so bad about it that I gave the money back a week later.” Soon after, he began playing shows around campus and was shocked to find the venues packed to fire capacity. “It was the most baffling thing in the world!” he says. “I don’t think I knew a quarter of the people there.” If it were a wonder that a mob of strangers would want to share in Michael’s private (but oh so chipper) lament, it’s more of a wonder to Michael that his relationship history has become tangled with Passion Pit’s creation story. (“Isn’t it insane that on our Wikipedia page, it says that I’m no longer with my girlfriend?” he asks, bemused. “Why? Who cares?”) Like it or not, the myth has become part of their charm. But ironically, the realities that the myth overlooks are what reveal the kismet quality of Passion Pit’s inception and attest to their longevity. Growing up, Michael wanted nothing more than to be in a band, writing songs about ninjas and motorcycles. “Electropop is the last
“Isn’t it insane that on our Wikipedia page, it says that I’m no longer with my girlfriend? Why? Who cares?”
thing I thought I’d be playing,” he says. “I’ve played folk and slowcore. I was in a bossa nova band. I played jazz for money in high school.” He adds, “It’s the project you least expect to do well that does well, I think.” Even when Ian Hultquist, a friend and now one of the band’s three keyboardists, approached Michael to form a band to flesh out Chunk of Change, Michael said, “Absolutely not. There’s no way at all.” After a lifetime of wanting to write music, Michael had decided to stop. “The second I decided I didn’t want to do this, this happened,” he says, “I swear to God.” Still thirsting for change and growth, Michael is now working as a lyricist with other artists, and planning quietly for a far-off second album while his bandmates pursue their own busy projects. Now signed to major labels in both the States and the UK, with a strong following, a buzz and a myth, the stars seem to be aligned behind them for the long haul. But what’s refreshing about Passion Pit is that none of that matters—they have steered clear of their own hype and preempted backlash by simply being five guys from Boston with a story and some damned catchy songs. “I’m trying to put it out of my mind as much as possible and try to enjoy what we’re doing now, because it’s pretty fun,” says Michael. “Something like that would just put a damper on things.”
The Juan MacLean
JUANA DANCE? Words: Zia Hirji
Photography: Ryan Rey
If you haven’t yet heard of The Juan MacLean you’ve probably been sitting in a nuclear bunker waiting for shit to hit the fan or eroding in Middle America. With their latest effort, The Future Will Come, released in April on the acclaimed DFA records, The Juan MacLean are now touring, leaving kids from city to city whistling their tunes. If you like to dance to robot-tinged lyrical content and club/dance songs with actual melodies and instruments you will probably be into them. The Future Will Come can best be described as an if-they-mated Gary Numan, The Human League and your favourite Nineties piano house jams. “I guess the idea was to use dance music production techniques to make pop songs,” Juan explains. This is most evident in the biggest track off the LP thus far, “Happy House,” a 12-minute piano-fueled dance epic with dreamy vocals and a 303 bassline breakdown at the end which translates into a 20 minute jam session at their live shows, and if you haven’t heard this you’re hanging out at the wrong places. Now if Juan MacLean looks familiar to you it’s because he probably is. Before he formed his current band he played guitar in Six Finger Satellite, which was signed to Sub Pop throughout the Nineties. “That was my first and only band I was ever in. In between music careers I was actually a music teacher for a little while, for three years, in Massachusetts, in a juvenile detention facility. I had to quit when The Juan MacLean started taking off.” Hailing acclaim from music media heavyweights, The Juan MacLean’s first album Less Than Human certainly did take off.
To outsiders, New York City seems like a magical wonderland where the majority of decent music, fashion and cultural phenomena emanate from, which is why it makes sense that The Juan MacLean formed there. According to Juan, “Nancy [Wang, The Juan MacLean’s dreamy, lead female vocalist] and I just met each other from being in New York, probably around 1999, through James Murphy first. When I was making my second 12-inch “You Can’t Have It Both Ways,” I knew I wanted to have a female vocalist and Nancy was around so we just called her in to do it and it started there. Jerry as well, our drummer, was just someone that’s a friend of ours in New York who had played in different bands, and D.J., the keyboard player, was actually the first assistant engineer at the DFA studios. So it’s all just a group of people who are friends.” Two key instruments are central to the sound of The Juan MacLean, “The [Roland] SH101. We have two of them on stage that we play and it’s all over all of my recordings. It’s my main lead synth, I use it for bass lines a lot, and the [Roland] TB303 as well gets used a lot.” Now this doesn’t mean anything to you unless you are A) a gear nerd or B) trying to figure out the band’s influences. Both of these instruments are heavily used in early Detroit techno, and fittingly Juan cites this as one of his major inspirations. “My primary influence was early Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May. Derrick was the first one I met and I played with Kevin a number of times and Juan Atkins and I are going to do a series of shows called ‘Juan vs Juan.’” But the roots of Juan’s sound go back earlier, “I mean that’s how I first discovered all those [early Detroit Techno
producers] was by being into Kraftwerk.” Apart from musical influences, literature and films have contributed to Juan’s future-themed lyrical content. “I guess even though I’m not a fan of science fiction as a genre in general, two science fiction writers I’d say have been big influences are Philip K. Dick and William Gibson. And subsequently the movie Blade Runner or Logan’s Run and one we were just watching in the van again the other day, THX 1138, which is a little bit unknown. It’s George Lucas’ first movie. Those are probably the biggest ones.” Which is how one would fuse images of a dystopian future with dance music to make something amazing. So, being on the label that helped kick start the interest in disco and house in the early 2000’s, how does Juan feel about the sudden hype surrounding its resurgence now? “It’s good. I feel like when we put out “Happy House” for example and it blew up the way it did—which totally took me by surprise—I think people were really getting tired of what’s been called ‘electro,’ like really slamming, hard, distorted Ed Banger style electro stuff. I think people are really craving a return to melodic music, vocals again and that kinda thing.“ It’s The Juan Maclean who are satisfying those cravings crafting dark, catchy, pop inspired dance tunes. Basically if you have feet that like to move rhythmically and are a fan of amazing production you will be into The Future Will Come.
Styling: Toyo Tsuchiya Makeup and hair: Jenny Kanavaros, TRESemmĂŠ Hair Care, judyinc.com
MUSIC The Sonics
SOUND OF THE SIX SIX SIXTIES Words: Trevor Risk
Never meet your idols. Something that’s been said by me (or to me) so many times in my urban second life that it’s beginning to sound like a bile-producing cliché. I’ve listened to local, professional defencemen crassly put down the quality of women in my city, I’ve nearly got in a fist fight with a certain action star’s famous “Entourage” and I’ve seen a “black eyed” rap (or “rap”) star pass out in his own throw up. In hindsight, none of these people were MY idols, they were yours, or at least they were the idols of the people whose bubbles I was respectively trying to burst. I don’t know why I wanted to squash your hero worship, maybe I should work for TMZ, or maybe I should just be less of a dick and stop trying to blatantly make the world’s opinion follow mine. As far as MY idols go, they’ve all pretty much been cordial, cool and competent, and the reunited Sonics will probably end up being ranked number one in all three categories. Interviewing an older artist has its
Photography: Jeremy R. Jansen
overwhelming benefits. The artist rarely puts on a façade of too-cool-for-Christmas, and has no problem outing the hijinx of artists of the same era. Interviewing five of them at the same time is five times more candid. “Well we could’ve done it like Pat Boone or something...” quips frontman Gerry Roslie when I ask him about his dark-themed lyrics a few hours before their show at Toronto’s North By Northeast festival. The band functions like a group of friends from a golden era Hollywood flick. Gerry Roslie is the quiet lyrical genius of the band, Rob Lind towers over the rest in size and in words, guitarist Larry Parypa has an understated bravado but shreds so hard that his counterparts obviously worship him, bassist Don Wilhelm admirably only talks when he has something to say and drummer Ricky Lynn Johnson can’t help but be the group’s silly prankster, constantly giggling like he should be flanking Biff Tannen and wearing 3D glasses. Together, it’s more charming than
“Well we could’ve done it like Pat Boone or something...”
Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace. Gerry may be the band’s frontman (and organ wizard), but he is hardly the voice of the band in an interview. That title belongs very clearly to their saxophone maniac, Rob Lind. A man who talks like (and slightly resembles) James Garner, an association I probably make due to him leaving the band in the late Sixties to become a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War. “Three of us had to be convinced that it was going to be good, because we had a good reputation and a good legacy, and we didn’t wanna blow that. We didn’t wanna go up and be bad and destroy what we had done when we were younger,” shrugs Rob when I ask him the obvious first question of “why?” Later, I ask Rob about how Jack White’s praise helped them gain contemporary fans. “Jack White’s been real nice to us. We appreciate Jack, he’s said some nice things about us.” Ricky: “I thought that was Jack Webb?” Gerry: “Go wait in the truck.” Rob: “Lock yourself in the bathroom too.” The Sonics tease each other like brothers, and if that simile is accurate then Gerry is the eldest brother, a man who has consistently captained the band by singing about themes that at the time were considered taboo and morose. Asking them about having the balls to hit the airwaves with songs about strychnine and witches, Rob defers to Gerry, “That which you’re discussing comes from this guy,” to which Gerry silently makes devil horn motions at me. “It’s a little bit twisted and it’s a little bit out of focus,” says Rob. Larry Parypa explains, “It was just different than what the other groups
were doing. That and a combination of doing a 1-3-4 minor progression instead of major. It made a different sound. The very first song, ‘The Witch,’ couldn’t get airplay until there were a lot of call-ins from people. The guy who actually first started playing was playing for the housewives in the morning hours and it just wasn’t an appropriate song.” Rob continues Larry’s thought, “‘The Witch’ at its best in the Seattle market got to number two, right behind Petula Clark’s song ‘Downtown.’ That’s as high as we got. Years later in the Seattle realm of things we started finding out... and then the radio station confessed that ‘The Witch’ was actually number one, and number one by a big margin, but they couldn’t put it up there because they didn’t wanna scare the housewives and they thought it was a little bit... not nasty, but they thought it was about devils, so they only played it for the high school kids at about 3:30 in the afternoon. We found out 25 or 30 years later that it actually was number one.” Formed in the early Sixties, The Sonics played harder and louder than anyone before them. There are stories about them pulling the soundproofing off the walls in their studio sessions and turning up amps and levels louder than was considered appropriate. Like most turning moments in history, this wasn’t a plan, it was a gut feeling. “There wasn’t a lot of studio magic in those days,” Rob Lind admits. “Our whole thing, OUR WHOLE THING, was to play hard. We’ve been asked questions in interviews before like, ‘How did you guys decide to become the godfathers of garage?’ Well, we never did. All we wanted to do was play hard. We played three set shows and we didn’t like people just standing around
watching us at the beginning. We never even sat around and said ‘Hey we gotta play hard’ that’s just what we DID. You hear Gerry’s voice on those records and he sang as hard as he could, you hear Larry’s guitar and he played as hard as he could. We just tried to do that, we just wanted to rock.” Piping up for the first time, Don Wilhelm slowly agrees with Rob while the rest sitting at the table listening closely, “I was a fan at the time, I wasn’t an original member of The Sonics. The one difference between The Sonics and a lot of other bands is that it wasn’t like an intent to be evil, or anything like that at all, it was that they just sounded tough. Even in the Northwest it was something that a FEW bands had, but not too many.” The Sonics aren’t about to start playing casinos for sit-down clap-alongs. They aren’t back together to re-stake their claim to the garage crown. The reunion isn’t about merchandising, licensing, or their personal boredom. They just missed hanging out and playing hard, both of which usually get old about one year into a band’s life. Forty-five years later, they’ve still got their priorities straight, and are even making a new record. When I ask Rob about it he lights up, “Good question, yeah we are. We’re actually in the process of it right now in Seattle. We’ve got one song that’s pretty much done and we’re gonna work on some more songs this month. The one song we have now is an original. It’s not a supernatural song, but it’s a song called ‘Bad Attitude’ which pretty much sums it up.” To read more about Ion at NXNE, visit [www.ionmagazine.ca]
Au Revoir Simone [Still Night, Still Light] The Dandy Warhols [The Dandy Warhols ARE Sound] The Gossip [Music For Men] Hayden [The Place Where We Lived]
 Au Revoir Simone Still Night, Still Light Our Secret I like Au Revoir Simone for all the same reasons I could critically dismiss them if I felt so inclined. ‘Pretty, patient, delicate-sounding music by three pretty, patient, delicate-looking girls from New York, singing three-part harmonies about love and heartbreak and sometimes getting drunk in the back of taxi cabs. Then placing those harmonies over rudimentary synth/keyboard/drum machine combinations, stretching the combination over 12 songs and almost 50 minutes, sounding completely sincere, as if irony never existed and love was real…” Reading that synopsis (my own) on paper without already having the history with the band I do, I’d probably sneer and turn that new Thee Oh Sees record back up a few notches. But somehow, a couple years ago, I stumbled on Verses of Comfort, Assurance & Salvation and found my romantic, confused little post-teenage heartstrings gently having the shit plucked out of them by these girls. For some reason I thought I had changed and that Still Night, Still Light would fall on uninterested ears. Now, despite my anticipated cynicism, here I find myself, a man solidly embedded in his mid-20s, unable to tough-guy my way out of liking this album. — Chad Richard Buchholz  The Dandy Warhols The Dandy Warhols ARE Sound Beat The World Records A great bassist said recently, “I love the music industry right now, it’s like post World War II. All the Nazis are now in jail and everybody is deciding how they’re gonna pay.” Nothing proves this statement correct like the “new” release by The Dandy Warhols. In the
Spring of 2003 the Dandies released Welcome to the Monkey House, a record co-produced by Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes. It was then mixed by Russell Elavedo, Grammy award winning producer of Alicia Keys, The Roots and D’Angelo, a tutor and producer in last year’s Red Bull Music Academy, and all around great guy. Capitol Records didn’t like it. “Who’s gonna play this on the radio? It’s not black. It’s not white. What is it?” said Andy Slater, former president of Capitol, and they released some other mix of it, that admittedly, was kind of okay. Well Capitol, you can eat it. The Dandy Warhols run their own label now and have treated us to the record the way it was meant to be heard. The album and a few song titles have been re-named, and the entire record is a moving experience peppered with nostalgia, which will leave the listener with a brand new feeling about albums. The business is new again, and it’s a butt-load of fun. Capitol, pretty soon your iconic building is all you’ll have left. — Trevor Risk  Gossip Music For Men Columbia Beth Ditto wears many hats. She is a fierce fashionista, a cult hero, but first and foremost, Beth Ditto is an amazingly soulful singer. She carries the soul of Gossip while projecting pure emotion through every note that comes out of her mouth. Music for Men is nothing short of a picturesque landscape for a full gender spectrum. Vocalized with an intensity that appears to have grown up out of the fiery ashes of Standing in the Way of Control, Music for Men is a systematically apathetic tsk tsk where SITWOC was a bratty “fuck you.” With opening track “Dimestore Diamond,”
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Music for Men sets the tone for a musical story that is a call-out to our inner selves that live on the fringe. Love-tainted ballads “Love Long Distance,” “For Keeps” and “Love and Let Love” all drip with angst that is devoid of puberty but rather that of a well-rounded femme militia. Every song hits upon each heavy topic with the accessibility of a high school journal kept private for fear of misunderstanding. Music for Men gives a peak into that comfort like a well-worn coat that fits perfectly. — Danielle Sipple  Hayden The Place Where We Lived Universal Last night I stayed out until three in the morning making rather merry for a friend’s birthday and this morning at around seven I was made to wake by a rather thunderous storm. So I got out of bed and made some coffee and prepared myself to make some peace with Hayden. Some 10 years ago I saw him at Zaphod’s in Ottawa and for whatever reason he disowned “Bunk Bed” on stage and for whatever reason that didn’t sit well at the time. So this is my first listen to the man since then. I’m not a man who deals in connotations so you’ll know what I mean when I say this album is pleasant. My first-listen favourite is “Let’s Break Up,” a catchy little number with a hook about “a half glass” that I liked. I review all these albums but few of them make it into rotation. Early morning, thunderstorm, coffee, a good book maybe in a shuffle with Basia Bulat, Loretta Lynn and Deltron 3030 instrumentals (for balance). Grown up and relevant without being adult contemporary. Friends again. - Bix Brecht
Major Lazer [Guns Don’t Kill People... Lazers Do] Minto [Lay it on Me] Mos Def [The Ecstatic] Moto Boy [S/T]
 Major Lazer Guns Don’t Kill People... Lazers Do Downtown The debut album from Major Lazer is predictably a hit. The song “Pon De Floor” has a fun, fresh, catchy and unique sound that has inspired legendary DJ acts like Benny Benassi and 2 Many DJs to include it in their sets at high-profile parties around the world. The album, produced by top 40/club music darlings Diplo (M.I.A) and Switch (Santigold) marks the first significant collaboration by the two. It has the kind of sound you’d expect from two boundary pushing producers with appetites for electro and world-music featuring guest vocals by underplayed artists like Vybz Kartel and Mr. Lexx. The only thing a bit weird about it all is that Major Lazer is a cartoon character. For whatever reason Dilpo and Switch decided to make up an imaginary Jamaican guy with a laser gun for an arm that wears a matching vest and beret, and then have that guy release a full album. Not only did they release it as a cartoon character, Major Lazer maintains a Twitter account, appears in photos with Jack Nicholson at Lakers games and does interviews in half-assed patois. If you’re able to ignore the racially suspect context, the end result is an album that you can simultaneously laugh out loud at and shake your ass too. Easily the party album of the year. -Kellen Powell  Minto Lay it on Me Minto Music Meet Minto. Formerly called The Smokes, Minto are a Vancouver five-piece who got their name from a mining town in New Brunswick. It’s a fitting moniker as they’re a hardworking band whose brand of rock has a distinct blue collar Canadian
feel to it. Think of it as the aural equivalent of Tim Horton’s coffee. Lay it on Me was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini who’s famous for being at the helm for Nirvana, The Pixies, Low and, most importantly, Bush X. Their trek to his studio in Chicago proved to be worth way more than the cost of plane tickets and lodging as this is a damn fine rock record. When it’s loud it rocks. When it’s quiet it’s soothing. The guitarmanship is ridiculously catchy and lead singer Ryan Hoben, easily Vancouver’s most huggable frontman, comes across as your friend, your coworker and your preacher. Better listen to the man and accept Minto into your heart. -Michael Mann  Mos Def The Ecstatic Downtown Okay, if Mos Def wants you to take anything away from The Ecstatic it’s that he’s a Muslim. I mean it’s cool, I’m one too, I just choose not to remind everyone that I am every three minutes for the duration of a 50-minute album. Oh yeah, he also wants to remind you that he’s still pretty good at rapping. I mean, with the exception of the Slick Rick cameo this is a lackluster Mos Def album. But keep in mind that a lackluster effort from Mos Def is the equivalent to the best shit any of these ringtone rap kids will put out. If you once carried around a backpack a lot, you will be interested to know that Oh No, Madlib and the late J Dilla all contributed beats for this album. The Dilla track being the highlight because it features Talib Kweli and will make you want to listen to “Respiration” a million times, which is a decent trac... oh hold up guys, Mos just called me. We’re trying to figure out which way Mecca is... -Zia Hirji
 Moto Boy S/T Songs I Wish I Had Written I’m starting a rumor and this is how it goes: Back in the Eighties, before her leap into Hollywood, Cameron Diaz was one of The Cure’s biggest groupies. She and Robert Smith would have wild, unprotected sex until one day she became pregnant. They decided to put the baby (and some lotion) in a basket and send him upstream to Sweden, never to be spoken of again. Well, the baby grew up and looks just like his mother with a voice reminiscent of his father. His name is Oskar Humlebo, the unapologetic drama queen known as Moto Boy, and he has recently released a debut album of the same name. Motivated by such things as love, longing, sex and dirt, his sound is as enchanting as it is disturbing, something like a cracked-out choirboy. If you have a sense of humor when it comes to melancholy, you’ll enjoy songs like “Beat Heart” and “Blue Motorbike”. If not, don’t bother. Although I’ve tried to resist the comparison, it’s impossible to ignore the ghost of Jeff Buckley on almost every track, and for that reason as well as the Diaz-Smith imprint, have three stars you flamboyant Swedish meatbawler. -Jules Moore
POSTER ART Mike Davis of Burlesque of North America Mike Davis is part of a graphic design/ screenprinting collective (group? troupe? I dunno...) called Burlesque of North America, and is a self-proclaimed lover of Canada. BoNA are a neat-o assortment of young men who appear to rival the ION staff for the title of having the most fun at their jobs. Here’s the creation story from the mouth of Mike. “I was a freelance graphic designer living in St. Louis, Missouri, and knew Wes through graffiti and Life Sucks Die, a magazine he and some other graffiti writers from Minneapolis were working on. Around 2003, they were no longer working on the magazine but were doing graphic art for hire. St. Louis was getting pretty boring, so I packed up and moved up to the Twin Cities to start Burlesque with Wes and our incredibly talented friends George Thompson, Aaron Horkey, and Todd Bratrud. Wes had been screen-printing in his basement and his posters eventually started to catch on at local shows. I had designed fliers and posters, but never anything for screen-printing, so this was a great chance for me to learn as it was taking off. I’ve been into art my whole life, whether it was cartoons, video game art, action figures, packaging, album covers, graffiti, whatever.” The Twin Cities have Prince, Paul Westerberg, Soul Asylum, and now Burlesque of North America. Saint Paul is the new Berlin. [www.burlesquedesign.com]
THIS MONTH: Chris Locke Chris Locke is a nine-year vet of acting silly for strangers in Toronto. He’s also performed his unique brand of humour for people in New York, Montreal and Halifax. He is one half of the Cream of Comedy nominated sketch troupe, “The Gurg.” He hosts the critically acclaimed monthly comedy variety show, “Let’s Get Hot!” at the Rivoli and has acted on such TV shows as Cock’d Gunns, The Jon Dore Show and The Border (which was kind of funny because he got shot in the head). Currently he is busy at work writing a ton of great ideas and filming a ton of great ideas. [www.chrislockecomedy.blogspot.com]
LEO: Leo, this month is looking up for you! After a long winter of getting really really fat from eating only tropical Skittles and drinking grape juice from concentrate, you will be forced to run for your life when the whole city chases you for accidentally knocking a child in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs. You will lose five pounds. Forty more to go! VIRGO: Virgo, try not to be so lackadaisical this month. It will only work against you when no one lets you crash on their couch anymore because you’ve been a lazy freeloading bum ever since you dropped out of high school and tried to become the next Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray. LIBRA: Put this in your pipe and smokeydoke, Libra. People have been talking about how awesome you are at making them feel good about themselves! Congratulations! That’s so nice that you can help. They say they couldn’t have felt better if it wasn’t for how messed up you’ve become since that Burger King sign fell on your head. SCORPIO: Scorps! What’s up, guy? Word from the Intergalactic Astrology Highway has it that
you’re about to score some big time lovin’ this month! Nice! Finally, a little of the good stuff for a person who rarely ever truly deserves it. Trust us, we all know what images you masturbate to. SAGITTARIUS: Wow, your luck is about to take a turn for the wackiest! Hang on, folks! We’re making a wacky left! Wacky wacky wacky month for you, Sagittarius! Okay, I’ll let you in on why this month is going to be so wacky for you... As you leave a late night flick with a date you want to jam with... you will receive what the Hawaiians call, “Moctezuma’s poopy pants!”
CAPRICORN: Capricorn, I don’t know how to say this, but you’re going to get married this month! I know! Crazy, right? It just snuck up on you, I know. Well, before you go crazy and start buying a ton of appliances for that new special kitchen, let me just warn you of one thing... you’re going to marry a person who used to be a goth. AQUARIUS: This is the dawning of the age you, you knucklehead! Yes. Things are good. First there’s that guy who almost shot you from
behind that you never saw. And then that group of work friends you had that were trying to frame you for embezzlement all got busted before they could forge your signature! Keep up the good work! PISCES: Pisces: two fish swimming either way. I don’t get it? What is it some kind of magical 69 joke? That really makes me feel like the universe is retarded, you know? It’s like, what does the universe want us to do with all this crap, right? Make some t-shirts, sell a few buttons? I don’t know? I’ll tell you one thing... I got too many t-shirts, buttons, and crap already. ARIES: Bon voyage, Aries! You will meet a friendly mountain goat on your journey through the Alps this month. Befriend him. His name will be Jason. Give him a piece of that cake you always carry with you. He will prove himself very useful when it comes time for you to have pots carried.
that you’ve got something really big happening this month. Like, a new birth... or like a big vomit session. Either way, enjoy it up! GEMINI: Gemmy-Wemmy, you will be awoken in the middle of the night this month on a Tuesday. Go downstairs to the basement. Something very important is waiting to greet you behind your furnace. Do you see it? Yes, there it is. The first evidence of an unfortunate cockroach infestation. Sorry, buddy. CANCER: You will receive a ton of cash from a long lost friend that you forgot you had. Unfortunately the cash will be handed to you on the street corner as your old pal is gunned down in front of the corner store he just tried to rob. The money will be confiscated by the police shortly after. Go justice!
TAURUS: Taurus! The bull! Awesome. You are tough. You are strong. You are... huge. And you have a nose ring. So, the astrology vibes are blowing through my ears and they’re telling me
DINOSAUR COMICS BY RYAN NORTH
www . qwantz . com
LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER
AUGUST 31–SEPTEMBER 2, 2009