Page 1

#61 FREE

ion magazine + Third in a Series of Six Collaborative Artist T-Shirts “Butterfly Pie the Sky” by Camilla d’Errico Run of 100 T-Shirts. Available at

T-shirts printed by


Volume 7 Number 8 Issue 61 10 12 16 18 58 59 60

Editor’s Letter We survived the year. ION the Street Cool beanies, babe. Of The Month Movies about flamboyant reporters from Austria, documentaries about Ozploitation films, books with illustrated bible stories and The Good News have a new album out. Product Placement Stuff we’re saving our allowance money for. ION the Web Hey baby, what’s in your browser? Horoscopes What would a year at ION be without letting Ernold Sane write the horoscopes? Cartoons

CULTURE 22 24 28

Robert Mearns Every day is Robbie Mearns day! Brian Donnelly We actually had a lengthy discussion about how to show one of Brian’s paintings that grahpically depicts a vulva. A first for us! Tim Barber Takes photos like he does interviews. Quickly.


The Morning After This issue’s fashion editorial. Photography by Justin Borbely. Styling by Toyo Tsuchiya.


Hey Shorty A look at some of Canada’s top short filmmakers. We mean Canadians who make short films. Not Canadians who are short and make films.

MUSIC 46 48 52 54 56

Annie Welcome back Annie! We’ve missed you. Sondre Lerche Sondre Lerche bravely fends off the advances of one of writers. Monotonix One of our writers bravely fends of the advances of a Monotonic. Album Reviews Poster Art: Jesjit Gill More fluorescent than a pair of Oakley Blades.



I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

* Standard text messaging charges apply



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. 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


Publisher/Fashion Director Vanessa Leigh Editor in Chief Creative Director Art Director Music Editor  Fashion Editor  Designer Copy Editors

Michael Mann Danny Fazio Tyler Quarles Trevor Risk Toyo Tsuchiya Leslie Ma Steven Evans, Chelsea Moore, Alicia Wrobel

Office Manager Design Intern Editorial Intern Office Interns

Natasha Neale Sara Prestley Joni McKervey Daniel John Hardy, Alicia-Rae Light, Natasha Todrick



Nojan Aminosharei, Joseph Delamar, Bix Brecht, Rich Bucks, Louise Burns, Zia Hirji, Alicia-Rae Light, Chelsea Moore, Jules Moore, Kellen Powell, Ernold Sane, Danielle Sipple, Dr. Ian Super, Mish Way, Alicia Wrobel

ABOUT OUR COVER Band of Skulls SHOT EXCLUSIVELY FOR ION MAGAZINE On the cover this issue is England’s Band of Skulls. Band of Skulls have finally put the let’s-name-our-albumfour-words-that-have-something-slightly-similar-in-common idea to rest, mostly because Baby Darling Dollface Honey cannot be topped (sorry The Dudes and Gwen Stefani). At its best, the album wakes up the listener’s sleeping love for Elephant-era White Stripes, with added panache that only the English can provide. The best moments on the album may be the call and response, lady/man vocals between bassist Emma Richardson and Guitarist Russell Marsden. Add a backbone of Matt Hayward on drums and you’re left with a nearly perfect bar band. Oh, and if by the time this issue comes out, you’re not tired of teenaged vampires (AKA “The New Pirates”) slutting around and viciously emo-ing the shit out of each other, Band of Skulls are featured on the soundtrack for the next Twilight movie, New Moon.

Photographers and Artists Toby Marie Bannister, Justin Borbely, Joseph + Jaime, Hubert Kang, Geoffrey Knott, Shawna Lee, Tiffany Muñoz, André Pinces, Nadia Pizzimenti, Joseph Saraceno, Andrea Tiller 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 | |



Band of Skulls full length album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, is out now on You Are Here. Cover Direction: Vanessa Leigh, Photography: André Pinces, Make up and Hair by Andrea Tiller for TRESemme Hair Care/ NOBASURA



Illustrator [TIFFANY MUÑOZ]


Justin Borbely shot this issue’s fashion editorial. He’s always liked clothes and art so fashion photography seemed to be the appropriate career choice in life.

Joseph + Jaime shot Sondre Lerche for this issue of ION. Joseph and Jaime are both Seventies babies. Joseph is from B.C. and Jaime is from Ontario. They met in Toronto, went to school and married seven years later. They take pictures together. Their favourite cameras are the Hasselblad, Polaroid, Holga and Graflex. When on vacation they always make Super 8 movies. Joseph’s current obsession is disco radio and Jaime’s is tap dancing. They both really like the beach, postcards, bicycles and making pizza.

Tiffany Muñoz loves pop music and really enjoyed creating her first major illustration for ION’s Annie article. She is an artist/aspiring illustrator in Vancouver (apparently without credentials you can’t really call yourself an ‘illustrator’ straight up, yet an art book called Curvy seemed to think she was this year, oh well…). Normally, she draws weird animals, but sometimes letting loose to draw people is fun too. Currently, she attends Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s IDDS program in hopes of switching over to Capilano University’s IDEA program next fall. By then, there’s hope of becoming a proper illustrator and even a graphic designer (why the hell not?). Nonetheless, Tiffany has lots of ideas and not all of them are always appropriate. However, sometimes they’re put to really good use, which either makes her smile or smirk in amusement. At least she tries.

Mish Way wrote the Monotonix feature. She is very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very into The Replacements.








Michael Mann “You Are Safe” by Toby Marie Bannister

We’ve come to the end of the year. H1N1 hasn’t wiped us all out. North Korea didn’t hit us with nukes. The polar caps didn’t melt. And the economic crash didn’t leave us all unemployed. I predicted at the beginning of the year that come December we’d all be forced to join roving hordes of cannibals to survive—that the world would become a lifeless land of ash where you either eat someone or get eaten. But it didn’t happen. I will call that a good year. But looking back, it was actually a great year for us. We added a whole crew of new staff, we did a complete redesign, we increased our page count, we got a new website and we started a freakin’ clothing line. For me personally, the best part of 2009 was that not only did we get the most creative, talented and professional people in the country to work for us, but I’m also friends with all of these people. Can hanging out and doing fun stuff with your friends even be called work? Here are some fun facts and statistics about ION in 2009. New staff added to the core ION team in



2009: 2 (Toyo and Tyler). Core ION staff who moved from Vancouver to Toronto in 2009: 2 (Danny and Toyo). Tears shed at our awesome parties because the ION Toronto staff couldn’t attend: 0. Oddest album to be reviewed in ION this year: Tie between Papa Roach and a soundtrack for a Ken Burns documentary on America’s National Parks. Oddest swag: The package with the bejeweled Ed Hardy hat, Ed Hardy high-end wifebeater and Ugg slippers wins by a mile. Average number of seconds it took our Office Manager Natasha to re-tweet every tweet from the ION Twitter account: 7.3. Cans of salmon intended for our Creative Director Danny that his parents sent with an ION staff member who was flying to Toronto: 10. Pounds of granola and dried cranberries intended for Danny that his parents sent with an ION staff member who was flying to Toronto: 15. Total cans of salmon and pounds of granola and dried cranberries that Danny received: 0

(Sorry Anne and Franco, it was delicious). Number of people who asked me if I was quitting ION to become a DJ: 10. Number of people who asked where they should send their resume to apply for my job: 2. (The correct answer is ‘up your ass.’) Number of people who will complain to our staff that, “I’m pretty sure one of Ernold Sane’s horoscopes is directed at me”: 75. Times our Art Director Tyler annoyed me by being overly positive: Impossible to quantify. Times I cut Tyler down for no reason other than to attempt to spoil his mood: Also impossible to quantify. Times this worked: 0. Collective staff eye rolls over our Fashion Editor Toyo’s irrational love of Twilight: A billion. Models our Publisher/Fashion Director Vanessa made cry: 2 billion. Hyperboles used in 2009: A billion billion. Number of times our Music Editor Trevor Risk was pitched an article on his most hated “music” act, Girl Talk: 3. How many times Trevor Risk would call and

complain to me if I didn’t put music in quotation marks when describing Girl Talk’s “music”: 50. Grammatical mistakes our Copy Editor, Steven Evans, found in the first draft of this Editor’s Letter: 15. Google queens of ION Magazine: Jules Moore and Natalie Vermeer. (Seriously, they either love themselves and Google their names a lot, or they have stalkers checking up on them every day.) Most disturbing Google searches people used to find “flashyourtits,” “disturbing extreme porn,” “horror movie smashed hammer to the woman’s head,” “european porn movie ends with kitchen knife,” “movie and visual bestiality with dogs,” “shoot hitler face” and “what are capricorns like on meth.” Thanks for reading creeps! See you in 2010, hopefully.


Photography: Hubert Kang. Stylist: Toyo Tsuchiya. Styling Assistants: VCC Styling Boot Camp 2009. Models: Lauryn and Meg.







GOOD HEAD Okay kids, it’s that time of year to keep your precious melon warm. Can you think of a better way to do this than by wearing a colourful knit toque, beanie, hat or whatever you want to call them? Here are some that caught our eye. [1] lily + jae­— Hush Headband [2] Coal Considered — The Stockholm [3] Lira — The Rapid Beanie [4] Obey — Pom Pom Beanie [5] Bench — Duchess Ear Bobble Beanie


ION THE PRIZE The holiday season is coming up and the kind people over at Bench are offering up two outfits for our lucky readers. Just in case you’ve been living in a cave, we will bring you up to speed. Bench is one of the coolest street brands from the other side of the pond. Don’t stress if you’re not lucky enough to win this prize, you can go and check out what you’re missing at one of the many Bench stores across Canada. Don’t worry Vancouver, there’s a Bench store opening up just for you in mid-November. [] To enter text IONTHEPRIZE to 82442 or visit


Photography: Geoffrey Knott Styling: Toyo Tsuchiya Make-up/Hair: Shawna Lee, TRESemmé Hair Care/ Model: Will @ Elmer Olsen Models, Alona @ BNM



ion magazine +

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter [Fashion]—Limited Edit[ION] [Blu-ray]—Brüno [DVD]—Not Quite Hollywood [2]




T-shirts prin



[1] Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Yep, we are all over the fucking Internet! Everywhere! We’ve got a Facebook fan page where you can stare at pictures of all the sexy people who attend our parties. We’ve got a YouTube channel with videos of our cover shoots (including this issue’s Band of Skulls shoot). And we’ve got a Twitter account that mostly just tweets about weird movies. We’ve also got a Twitter list set up now so you can stalk all of our contributors. Basically we have all this stuff so you can more effectively stalk us. [] [] [www.twitter/com/ionmagazine]

in his wake look like a complete idiot. Though it doesn’t take much to make Ron Paul and Paula Abdul look like idiots, it’s Brüno’s interactions with “normal people” that bring the movie’s real (uncomfortable) laughs. Specifically, some PR bimbos who want to help Brüno get publicity by doing charity work for Darfur, and parents of child models who agree to make their kids lose weight and get liposuction so they can be on TV. Sacha Baron Cohen is a man who suffers for his art. With Brüno, it looks like he’s about to get his ass kicked a dozen times and murdered a half dozen times. In a lot of ways, Brüno is more extreme and funny than Borat. We can’t wait to see what he does next.

[2] Fashion—Limited Edit[ION] Have you seen that lovely two-page ad that’s at the front of our magazine? Quick! Flip to it then come back. We’ll wait for you while you’re admiring it. Back now? Great! So we’re doing limited edition t-shirt collaborations with artists we love. So far we’ve released shirts with Raif Adelberg, Michael DeForge and now, Camilla d’Errico. These shirts are high quality, they feature great designs and on the collar they’re all numbered and have the printed signature of the artist. Grab one (or three) before they’re gone. []

[4] DVD—Not Quite Hollywood Before Crocodile Dundee charmed the entire planet with his quaint ways, the chief cinematic exports of Australia were low budget, gory titstravaganzas known as Ozploitation films. This documentary is a celebration of gratuitous films from the Seventies and Eighties that are considered the red-headed stepchild of Australian cinema. Prepare to be shocked and amazed by movies like Long Weekend, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Howling 3: The Marsupials, The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and, of course, Mad Max. This slick and amusing documentary will entertain, teach you some new Aussie slang and make you yell “I need to see that!” at least four times. It’s the perfect history lesson before you see Mad Max 4. Oh yes, they’re working on a new Mad Max movie right now!

[3] Blu-ray—Brüno Join Sacha Baron Cohen as he plays a “flamboyant” fashion reporter on a quest to become the biggest Austrian superstar since Hitler. He fails miserably but he makes everyone



[Blu-ray]—Drag Me To Hell [DVD]—Tarantino: The Ultimate Collection [Book]—The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb [Music]—The Good News [5]



[5] Blu-ray—Drag Me To Hell Okay, Halloween has come and gone. But do yourself a favour and check out this movie about a gypsy curse. The story goes that Sam Raimi and his brother wrote this movie a decade ago. He was going to make it but then got distracted making three obscure films: Spiderman, Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3. Then he got around to making this film and Ellen Page was supposed to play the lead but she had to drop out due to scheduling issues. So Alison Lohman steps in. Big mistake Ms. Page! This movie is awesome, there are a ton of hilarious scares, it received rave reviews and made a shitload of money. Alison Lohman is so sweet and wholesome—she’s the perfect person to be terrorized by the curse of the Lamia. Will she find a way to break the curse before she’s dragged to hell? [6] DVD—Tarantino: The Ultimate Collection This box set contains Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, The Kill Bills and Death Proof. The only reason not to buy this box set if is you already own over half of the movies. I’m sure you have Kill Bill 2, but it’s unlikely that your DVD collection includes Jackie Brown, a highly underrated film that you should watch right away. But let’s get serious for a second here. Pulp Fiction came out in 1994. It’s probably been at least five years since you’ve seen it. Time to revisit this classic, as it hasn’t aged a day. This would be a great gift for the film nerd in the family, along with a copy of Inglourious Basterds, which is out on DVD in mid-December.


[7] Book—The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb Hey kids, gather ‘round the fire for a fun reading from the Book of Genesis. No, come back. We swear you’ll love this. These bible tales are illustrated by none other than Mr. Robert Crumb. R. Crumb, as he credits himself, is best known for his characters Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural, as well the ubiquitous Keep on Truckin’ cartoon. He’s the king of underground comix and one of the most talented artists of our time. R. Crumb spent five years illustrating all 50 chapters of the Book of Genesis. These certainly aren’t your parents’ bible stories, unless your parents did a lot of LSD back in the hippy days. [8] Music—The Good News Our music editor’s band has an album out. In fact, it seems like everyone in this band has written for the magazine at some point. It’s going to make them cringe to read this, but it’s actually a damn fine pop album. Entitled You People Have Carpet on Your Hearts, it was produced by Morrissey’s drummer, Woodie Taylor, and features the artwork of Nils Blishen. You can pick it up from our store. [] []

ION 17

PRODUCT PLACEMENT Photography: Joseph Saraceno Stylist: Toyo Tsuchiya





[1] Earrings by Harriet Grey Chain and clear crystal earrings by Harriet Grey. $25 from Propaganda [] [] [2] Betseyville Purse This Betseyville purse is surprisingly well priced considering it was made with the hide from a real golden zebra! $45 from Little Burgandy []



[3] Money Clip by Hoi It really sucks that, because you have so much money, it’s impossible to keep track of and it sometimes flies all over the pl ace. Why not get one with a cute little money clip with a chainsaw on it to fix that? $25 from Magic Pony []

[4] Ox Mini Ugly Doll by David Horvath Ugly dolls are the best gifts ever. They’re cool, they’re cheap and people ages 1-100 love them. $16 from Magic Pony []




[5] H&M Tie This teal, navy and pink skinny tie from H&M would look great on you or that Ox Mini Ugly Doll. $13 from H&M []

[6] Bobbo by Nick Fox Framed, limited edition,  hand-printed linoleum cut. $80 from Show & Tell Gallery “Pop-Up Print Shop”  [www.showandtellgallery]

[7] Suckpax Trading Cards From the mysterious Sucklord comes Suckpax, collectible art cards. Features hand drawn artist cards, paint splattered cards and cards that have been shot with a gun. Five packs for $25 or a full box for $175 from Suckadelic []

ION 19




[8] Rapture by Vladimir Kato Two colour screenprint. Edition of 25. $30 from Show & Tell Gallery “Pop-Up Print Shop”  [www.showandtellgallery]



[9] Salt and Pepper Shakers by Marcel Dzama Formerly of the Royal Art Lodge, Marcel Dzama is one of this magazine’s favourite artists. His work is in loads of important collections like The MOMA and The Tate but that’s not enough for this ambitious Canadian artist. He also wants to make our blood pressure soar! $90 from Magic Pony []

[10] Labbit by Frank Kozik Frank Kozik and Kid Robot release new Labbit characters in different colours, styles and sizes just about every month. Chances are there’s one you’ll love. $27 from Magic Pony []




[11] Gunmetal Dear Diary Necklace by Harriet Grey Features four layers of charms and chains all hanging from a crystallized circle. $45 from Propaganda [] []

[12] Headband with Coloured Feathers Far easier than buying a peacock. Those things eat a lot and make a huge mess when they start molting. $12 from Aldo []

[13] Wilfred Scarf Everyone needs a big comfy scarf for the winter. We don’t recommend pairing it with the skinny tie on the previous page. Plaid scarf $75 from Aritzia []

ION 21


Robert Mearns

six foot FIVE and rising Words: Chelsea Moore

Nothing about 25-year-old Vancouver artist Robert Mearns is ordinary. For starters, note that Robert is pushing the six-foot-five mark dramatically, complete with a wild mane of spectacular hair. And just in case that didn’t make him conspicuous enough, he’s got the head of a deer tattooed defiantly across his chest. Ordinary is not in Robert’s vocabulary, nor his DNA for that matter—and this trend follows into his work. Robert is a believer of “survival of the fittest” and in the art world he feels that following pretentious rules and ordinances neither aid his survival, nor fly with his mantra that, “Art should be for the people—available to anyone.” He explains, “I’ve always been a stubborn person, and I’ve never been good at doing something that someone tells me to do.” He then went on to admit he once showed up to a formal gala art auction in skinny jeans and an American Apparel v-neck tee and got drunk.



But don’t sign him off as a total rebel—Robert appreciates the structure his BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr has given to his work, and he’s en route to get his Master’s at UBC in order to stay active, further his networking capacity and, “help create a larger art community full of healthy competition and opportunity.” Robert confesses his education has allowed him many opportunities that have contributed to his extensive resume of work—including the current album cover for Felix Cartal on Dim Mak Records. His other work to watch for is his photorealistic portraiture. These portraits are literally larger-than-life sized, and as described by Robert are, “like getting a really honest look out of somebody. Like catching somebody in the middle of a sneeze. Like when people let their guard down and kind of relax around you.” Not only are they extremely impressive aesthetically—a priority on Robert’s list of importance—but they beg the question, ‘Who IS this person?’ Which is exactly what Robert has

set out to do. “I want people to see these strange and interesting people as I see them, and to want to know more about them.” As for what Robert’s setting out to do next? He laughs that “Half the fun of being an artist is getting to the future,” adding, “I think of Bob Dylan saying, ‘When I wake I’m one person. When I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else.’ My opinion is changing all the time as I learn and develop my skills. I feel like a dog chasing cars. Art is the only thing I know for certain that I want to chase, and each new project that whizzes by keeps me excited.” Robert, a self-proclaimed über-hipster-womanizer-painter, is sure to finish anywhere but last in the art world, where only the fittest survive. “I feel pretty excited about being an artist,” he says optimistically. “I’ll probably never stop doing it even if I don’t want to anymore.” []

ION 23

CULTURE Brian Donnelly

You’re a Strange Animal Words: Danielle Sipple

When Brian Donnelly titled his most recent show “Blasphemies, Monstrosities and other Perversions,” he was bound to start some dialogue. Factor in his actual artwork, which consists mostly of large portraits of nude people with animal heads, and you’ll have more dialogue than a Tarantino movie. This young Toronto painter’s relationship with his work is complex in reception and creation, which can often lead to polarized audience reactions—sometimes intrigue, sometimes disgust, sometimes both. The body of work in Blasphemies, Monstrosities and other Perversions that was on display at Show & Tell Gallery in Toronto this past September was stunning. Starkly blank canvases with nude male and female models were presented in random states of pose, all with their heads whitewashed out and replaced with animal heads. I had a chance to sit down and talk with Brian. The majority of the animal heads in your show have open mouths. Is this on purpose? Well open mouths are more fun to paint. I get more out of it because it’s more fun to do. The most fun is painting the inside of an animal’s mouth. With figure painting, people can be hypercritical, but not with animals. People are not hypercritical about animals. No one looks closely at animals so you get to play around. You can get more out of an open mouth because it writes its own story line. The act of using white paint seems to be a crucial element in the pieces. Is it directly related to vandalism? The white paint is not directly influenced by vandalism. Primer white is what all painters use to start working on a piece. I just use it to wipe out what already exists. White allows you to destroy



a lot of stuff and create a lot of stuff. It provides the right visual message—the message that I am treating them like actual people yet doing disgusting things to these people. It is kind of like twodimensional torture, which is just really fucked up. I saw it as cum. That makes sense. Cum is one half of creatorship. Your art is grotesque and sexualized. Were those the main intentions behind the pieces? Grotesque? Yes, but there is not sexual thinking around the art. It might kind of be there but what I do to them kind of desexualizes. Like the coyote one, if the girl’s face was there it might be sexual but who is going to want to fuck the head of a coyote? Nudity is important, though I get criticized about the female nude. They get upset because I don’t paint enough dicks. Some people get really upset about the females nudes and comment that they have never seen vulvas before. How has your audience received your work and this show in particular? The first question was about the vulva on one of the subjects. Seriously. The great thing about painting is that it creates dialogue. Liking it or hating it, people are interested. People either love or they hate it. No middle ground. You don’t gain anything from middle ground. I don’t like to make totally palatable art. I’d rather have someone be totally pissed off at me than be indifferent. Only one of your subjects in this show has a human face and the owner of the gallery had mentioned something about someone being critical of your ability to paint human faces. Was this piece a direct response to this critique? I wouldn’t replace a human face with a deer head. I crop things

down to fit, but a deer’s head would look like a pinhead on a human. But around the criticism, I didn’t have any personal worries. Though there was this other painter who always painted his subjects holding stuff in front of their face. You never knew if he could paint a face because you never saw one. So I just didn’t want to have that worry from anyone else so I planned the painting and made it. I blew my own perception with this piece. I found out that white tail doe grow antlers, sometimes 10-point, which are very rare. I found out that I don’t have to paint just guys with antlers, I can paint women as well. What is the difference between painting men and women? Guys are a lot more fun to paint because I can be rougher around the edges. With females there is sensuality about them so there has to be a bit more of a softness. But with guys I can be rough, use rags with thinner, scratch out the paint. I take my time with women. When I first started painting figures, I was only doing paintings of myself standing in front of canvas. I was dressed in most of the paintings. I was a bit rough with the females that became slowly included in those images as well. I was rough with them initially, but when I wasn’t, I often pulled off something more believable. Men have more angular shapes and women have great curves. With a million little curves, there are spots you like to paint and spots you can’t stand to paint. You find this all out when you paint a lot of women. What is your least favourite thing about your medium of painting? I used to hate painting hands. I usually leave the hands to the very last. They are a centralized focus point and people will pick on you for this. Hands are something that you see everyday. You know the distances and the lengths, what a hand looks like,

ION 25

“Some people get really upset about the female nudes and comment that they have never seen vulvas before.�



the thickness, everything. People will go straight for hands and eyes—they are really drawn to both. I usually end up leaving them to last because they are a daunting task. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you fuck it up and then you have to destroy the painting. And then the painting dies. It makes or breaks the painting. Once you are there, you can’t look at it. It is something you definitely notice and I am working on it, but overthinking can kill you. Your pieces are striking but the simplicity of the composition points towards minimalism. Is this intentional for the audience’s focus? I don’t paint on backgrounds. I’m not a minimalist but I just care about the meat and potatoes. I want your central focus to be on

the subjects. The animal faces make the human bodies so much more emotive and makes you read into them. What was the first piece created in this show’s collection? The coyote face was the first painting for this show. This image is the only one with feet, so basically she is out on the loose and is out to do what she normally does. It’s pretty violent. I mean she is the only one with another animal in her mouth. Kind of like she just made a kill. Coyotes are not vegetarian. I feel like this body is going to keep going and either become more violent or lead me to a new idea. Or just dead. How did you choose what animal heads to paint?

I tend to paint a lot of pumas and ironically the puma was the downfall of Dr. Moreau from the Island of Dr. Moreau. There are four pumas, not on purpose, not really based on anything. Moreau is a guy that is bull-headed and does whatever he wants. But then he dies. I didn’t want to do what he did which was shape animals into humans—I wanted to take two things together. This work is all mine and I think about how to wreck things. How to be as cruel as possible. But really, I am a nice guy. []

ION 27


Tim Barber

POINT AND Shoot Words: Zia Hirji

Tim Barber takes pictures for “Me and You.” I’m not sure if Tim knows me well enough to make a statement like that, but I’d say it’s fairly accurate. Tim’s interest in photography started at an early age and his work and subjects range from shooting fashion campaigns for the likes of Stella McCartney, to a series called “Kitty City,” which contained a number of kittens in urban diorama-like scenes. His most recent show, titled “Mystic Heather & Virgin Snow,” contained a number of his personal photographs, all evoking a feeling of eeriness... plus the series contains a lot of boobs. Apart from his own photography, Tim was the photo editor at Vice Magazine for a number of years. He landed the gig by meeting “Terence Koh in college and he introduced me to Ryan McGinley,



who was the photo editor at Vice at the time. He put my work in the magazine and I continued to contribute to Vice after that. When I graduated, Ryan had moved on to other things, so I started working there as photo editor.” As photo editor, Tim championed the look of the point and shoot aesthetic (think Terry Richardson), but it should be noted its more of an aesthetic than a movement. According to Tim, “I wouldn’t call it a movement. It’s just a style that has become more popular and accepted. Movements are organized and have objectives.” So whose photography is Tim interested in? “I have to answer that question.” Tiny Vices is an online gallery curated by Tim and driven by user submissions. The purpose of Tiny Vices is “to have an accessible place where

I could show my work and the work of others that I thought was interesting.” Along with Tiny Vices, Tim launched the New York based publishing house TV Books, whose catalogue includes books from the likes of Patrick Griffin (resposible for the infamous zine, Frenemies), Chris Dorland and Gordon Hull, amongst others. Tim is currently in the process of re-launching Tiny Vices, which doesn’t leave him much time to find the subject he would shoot if he could take pictures of anything, “The girl of my dreams, because I’d like to meet her.” []

ION 29



ION 31

the morning after Production/Direction: Daniel Fazio Photography: Justin Borbely Styling: Toyo Tsuchiya Model: Dara Main, Elmer Olsen Make-Up + Hair: Shawna Lee, TRESemmĂŠ Hair Care/ with makeup by MAC Styling Assistant Nadia Pizzimenti, Judy Inc.

Studded leather jacket — H&M. Bodysuit — H&M. Thigh high boots — Aldo. Bullet earrings — Mimi and Marge from Propaganda.

Vintage fur bomber — House of Vintage Private Collection. Studded tank top — Ben Sherman. Shorts — Pink Cobra from Carte Blanche. Earrings — Harriet Grey from Propaganda.

Sequin cropped jacket ­— House of Vintage Private Collection. Dress — Evil Twin from Aritzia. Studded leather bangle — H&M.

This Page Cropped jean jacket — Horage from Carte Blanche. Sequined dress — H&M. Bullet earrings — Mimi and Marge from Propaganda. Black ankle boots — MICHAEL Michael Kors from Little Burgandy. Opposite Page: Cropped blazer — Ben Sherman. Dress — H&M. Chain necklace and chain bracelet — Harriet Grey from Propaganda.

Opposite Page Lace Bra ­— Talula from Aritzia. Mesh tank top — H&M. Leather pants — Horage from Carte Blanche. Studded heels — MICHAEL Michael Kors from Little Burgandy. Chain earring — Gay Isber. Vintage mink fur jacket — House of Vintage Private Collection. This Page Cheetah print fur jacket — H&M. Distressed white tee — Wilfred from Aritzia. Sequin leggings — Zara. Studded gloves — H&M.

FILM Canadian Short Filmmakers


Another film festival season has come and gone. Also coming to an end are the celebrity sightings, the million dollar acquisitions and the parties you didn’t get into (and even if you did get into them, the people there wouldn’t be very impressed by you). With all the madness going on, often overlooked is the exciting young Canadian talent producing excellent short flms. Here are a few of our favourites.

JAMIE TRAVIS THE ARMOIRE The Armoire is the final instalment in Jamie Travis’ Saddest Children in the World trilogy. Like the other films in the trilogy, Why the Anderson Children Didn’t Come to Dinner and The Saddest Boy in the World, it highlights the lives of what the filmmaker refers to as “disenfranchised children.” Jamie is perhaps better known for another trifecta of short films he’s made, The Patterns Trilogy. With The Armoire, he builds on his unmistakable style in which environment and dress are married to create a calming and aesthetically pleasing backdrop. The more you watch, the more you appreciate the care he puts into every layer of detail. The Armoire tells the story of a young boy named Aaron whose friend Tony goes missing during a game of hide and seek. The events leading up to Tony’s disappearance are uncovered when Aaron undergoes a session of hypnosis revealing an array of hyper-symbolic



elements teetering over the line between tragedy and comedy. Though the film deals with the development of a young child’s sexual identity, it also pokes fun at the fact that parents and adults alike tend to ignore and underestimate the degree to which children are comfortably self-aware. For Jamie, this film is particularly important as young Aaron pays homage to his own childhood—he says the two “share a sense of displacement” and a “vulnerability waiting to be squashed.” Though he has always seen his craft as a form of therapy, Jamie says The Armoire is his “crispest case study yet,” outlining his first sexual relationship and its “painful and yet joyous series of power struggles that I can’t deny has affected all of my adult relationships.” Jamie Travis’ films have earned him some serious credit in the film community. In 2008, the Toronto International Film

Festival Group honoured his work by placing him in Canada’s Top Ten, a yearly event held to recognize excellence in Canadian cinema. In addition to this, he has also been referred to as “one of the most original voices in Canadian cinema” (The Toronto Sun). Jamie believes these accolades stem from the fact that his “emphasis is not on character and performance but on mood and look and design… in a way that is still narrative and hard to label experimental.” I would agree with this assessment, but would add that his unashamedly open and real approach to storytelling is what makes The Armoire particularly refreshing. -Alicia Wrobel

JEREME WATT EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSIE Thirty-three-year-old Jereme Watt had not always planned on becoming a filmmaker. After receiving a diploma in Outdoor Pursuits at Mount Royal College, he moved to Fernie, B.C. to improve his snowboarding skills. But after two years on the slopes, he decided to make a change and go back to school. Jereme went to the Fernie library intending to research a post-secondary program, such as physiotherapy, that would allow him to expand on and nurture his love for the outdoors. However, the library’s collection of academic calendars was quite sparse, and instead Jereme encountered information on a film program in Calgary. He has since graduated from the program and worked on several projects. Everything’s Coming Up Rosie is his first short that has generated buzz outside the realm of YouTube. The film centres around the life of a young autistic girl who

struggles to communicate with her family on the most basic of levels. Jodelle Ferland of Nanaimo, B.C., star of horror flicks Silent Hill and Tideland, plays the leading role (she’ll also be in the third Twilight movie). While we get a glimpse into the life of a loving family experiencing strain due to frustration, the film is slightly atypical in that it employs both animation and actors to tell its story. What arises from this is a sort of Alice in Wonderland-type feeling where the viewer not only has the opportunity to see what the parents of the autistic girl see, but also to view the trials and tribulations that the girl herself has to sift through in her own mind. If you do shed a tear at the end of the film as I did, Jereme would be pleased—not because he enjoys watching his audience cry, but because this is a way of measuring success. He says, “I have heard from some people who have seen Everything’s Coming

Up Rosie that there was an emotional nerve struck and that is very satisfying to me because it’s all about storytelling … I am very proud of this project overall in that regard.” Although this is Jereme’s first major short, there is certainly no visible lack of experience in the film. Humbly, he credits much of its success to the creative people he worked with on the project, who allowed him to learn more about the filmmaking process. He adds, “finding the reasons for doing the things that we do, can be a very entertaining aspect of life.” -Alicia Wrobel

ION 43

Dusty Mancinelli SOAP Caught lugging around a big, bulky VHS camcorder when he was just two feet tall—Dusty Mancinelli was a kid obsessed with cameras. “I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker, even though as a kid I didn’t always know what that meant,” says Dusty who, at age 23, now holds a BFA in film production from York University. His 15-minute short, Soap, was in the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Using strategic dark humour and highly tensioned scenes, Soap explores the choices that people make and the consequences of their actions in moments of vulnerability. “For me, it’s that life is full of choices and consequences. The moral of the story is, the further you run away from your troubles, the harder it is to reconcile them.” With the help of film editor Darby MacInnis, Soap was born.



“Darby pitched me a one-liner,” says Dusty. “A woman’s lover slips on a bar of soap and dies in her bathroom.” Immediately, he was drawn to the idea and developed it further. Eileen is a stay-at-home mom in an unhappy marriage. Her young lover on the side comes over after a morning of unsatisfying sex with her husband. Their afternoon rendezvous has an unexpected surprise when he slips on a bar of soap, forcing her to take drastic and oddly humourous measures to conceal her affair. The response to Soap has been overwhelmingly positive for Dusty. “We had three sold out screenings and a great response from the audience at TIFF, which is more than I could have hoped for.” After watching Soap I woke up from a nightmare. I was the damsel in distress, figuring out what to do with the body—going

on my own series of ill-fated events to conceal my actions. It took a while to get a hold of my thoughts before I could get out of bed that morning and face myself in the mirror. Talk about throwing myself into my work. The Toronto-based Dusty owns a production company called ‘Inflo Films’ and is also a photographer with work published in newspapers across Canada. “I want to tell the stories that I want and make a living off it.” Before he’s 30, he plans to have made a feature film. Keep an eye out for his next project: a film about a man on the verge of dying from a broken heart. -Alicia-Rae Light

SPENCER MAYBEE MAN VS. MINIVAN Stories and images have always gone hand in hand for Spencer Maybee. Well-known as an actor from many films and the TV series The X-Files, Spencer has spent an unusual amount of time around film. “I watched a lot of films and began to take in stories that way,” he says. “When it came time for my turn to tell a story, I was like, ‘Okay so where’s my camera?’” His Toronto International Film Festival short, Man vs. Minivan, plays on the cold-footed groom cliché. The sheer horror of being given a minivan on the morning of his wedding day leaves Shane, who has spent his life abiding by the rules, questioning whether he’s doing the right thing. A troublemaking brother, a kind-hearted stripper and the extended family all get involved. The idea for Man vs. Minivan is personal. “I’ve been at weddings where I felt the two people were getting married for all the wrong reasons,” says Spencer. “They’re going to fuck up

whatever love they have for one another.” Drawing from this thought was the idea for a story about a guy who doesn’t want to get married. With help from producer Jordan Gross and editor Dane Clark “banging the story around the room,” the idea finally came together. “I wanted to make a film that said to guys out there about to get married, you should really examine whether you’re doing it because you want to, or because it’s what is expected of you.” Shane doesn’t stop asking that question until he gets a definitive answer. Shane’s feelings come from his family’s notions of what he is “supposed to do,” rather than his fiancée Jen. Like Spencer, he grew up with divorced parents and had to take the role of the adult in the family. “I’m a romantic,” Spencer admits. “It pisses me off that people expect marriage to do something for them. It’s like a university

degree: it’s not going to do shit for you unless you make it.” He hopes that people will come away feeling like relationships are less about the roles two people are supposed to play and more about the bond between them. A new style is adopted for every project he does. Little Miss Sunshine influenced his filming techniques, mixing comedy with sincere human struggle—a true-to-life sort of humour, with a happy ending. When asked whether his future plans involve features or short films, he responds, “It’s like, are you making sandwiches or are you cooking dinner?” -Alicia-Rae Light

ION 45


SCANDY POP Words: Nojan Aminosharei

Illustration: Tiffany Muñoz

Hey Annie! Two words to greet a pretty girl. But for the girl, a renaissance. Annie, the blonde beauty and mononominal pop star from Norway, emerges from the London Underground on the third day of autumn, and she’s met with those words – the very same that open her long awaited sophomore album, Don’t Stop. There, the opening track begins with an emphatic roll of drums, the long sounding of an apito whistle, and then, “Hey Annie!” It’s a chorus, a call to arms to stop waiting around and do something. In this case, dance. And after more than a year of delays, disputes with her former label, Island Records, and at least one tracklist shuffle, there’s perhaps an element of surprise in those words too. Because they don’t just signal an introduction—they signal a hard-won reintroduction. And they’re not just for any pretty girl. They’re for Annie, bubblegum pop’s comeback kid. Crossing Piccadilly into Green Park for a quiet place to chat, she breathes a sigh of relief. Last September, the scheduled release date for Don’t Stop came and went without an actual release. Then, for two months, Island Records steadfastly refused to set a new date and fans were left holding their breath. In November, frustrated with the delays, Annie left Island and took control of the album with her own label, Totally. “I’m so much happier now,” she says. “I feel much stronger since I started my own label.” This month, Annie finally releases Don’t Stop through Totally and Smalltown Supersound, a small label based in Oslo. The scale-down, Annie says, was a relief. “When you’re on a label, they say, ‘Oh, we really like you because you know what you want, and blah blah blah,’” she says. “But when it comes down to it, they don’t want what you want.” And Annie knows what she wants. “Hey Annie,” the album’s opener, is the song she’s always wanted to make. Something powerful, something forceful. “Lots of drums!” she chimes. The beginning of a new direction. “It’s a little different than Anniemal,” she says, referencing her 2004 debut album, which drew praise for



layering synths, electronic blips and drum machine beats on top of one another and then somehow transforming them into perfectly measured, gossamer pop songs. That “Hey Annie” never appeared on Island’s tracklist for Don’t Stop is no coincidence. When Nick Gatfield, Island’s UK president, left to join EMI, Annie was left spinning with a revolving door of newcomers that took over the project and didn’t share her vision. When it became clear that the label didn’t know what to do with her, the two parted on creative differences. “Too many cooks, too much mess,” she says now, sweetly. (Less sweetly: “I think they realized that they fucked up.”) Now, with a clean slate, the masters to the roughly 60 tracks she’s recorded since 2007, and a new honest-to-God-out-now album, Annie sits in a deck chair on this 47-acre expanse of grassland in the middle of London ready to stop talking business, and start talking music. But before she can, park watchmen inform her that those deck chairs aren’t free – 1.5£ for two hours, 2£ for four – and she decides to get up for a stroll. “I’ll just run away from the people that want my money,” she says in the best deadpan her bubbly Scandinavian accent will allow. Even talking about her albums, it seems, takes more than one false start. But Annie is no stranger to false starts. While it’s been five years since her debut album, it’s been 10 years since her debut single. It was in the late Nineties that Anne Lilia Berge Strand met her boyfriend, Tore Andreas Kroknes, famous in Bergen’s local club scene as DJ Erot, and downsized from four names to one to become Annie. In collaboration with Kroknes, Annie recorded her first single, “Greatest Hit,” an erratic, infectious Eighties techno throwback that sampled Madonna’s debut, “Everybody.” In 1999 it was released in 500 limited edition, 7-inch vinyls that spread among Europe’s underground music aficionados and launched Annie’s career. But two years later, everything crashed. Kroknes, who was born with a degenerative heart defect, was hospitalized and passed away in April 2001. His death halted Annie’s life. But after a three-year reclusion, she began recording Anniemal. Though the album was

full of catchy, witty pop songs and disco beats, its soul was “My Heartbeat,” a simple, punk-tinged ode to Kroknes. It was a pop song, like all pop songs, about love, about dancing with a boy: “Feel my heartbeat, feel my heartbeat now,” sung over a pulsing drum machine and breathy synths. Then, a pop song about not dancing with a boy: “Feel my heartbeat now, somehow.” The beauty was that, despite its palpable sadness, it was still the perfect pop song. Catchy, sweet, and affecting. Annie’s saccharine bubblegum pop and her wide, elastic smile, it seemed, belied a genuineness so rudely overlooked in modern pop. With Don’t Stop, the genuineness is there again. But this time, it’s a different beast. It shows itself in a newfound aggressiveness—in tight melodies and thumping beats that would approach Eurotrash disco if not for Annie’s steady hand over the synthesizers. (The demo for “Take You Home,” an intense R&B-inspired track, was recorded on Annie’s computer using nothing but GarageBand.) “This time around, I was much more secure,” says Annie. “Much more me.” In “My Love Is Better,” a classic power-pop song with Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos on guitar, she sings with a new exuberance that would make the lesser women on the dancefloor cower. Then “Bad Times,” another personal dance rhapsody that Annie says is still “a little bit scary” to perform, follows like the climax of a love story in a downpour. But where Annie finally bares her teeth most fiercely is “I Don’t Like Your Band,” another track absent from Island’s original list, and one in which she throws every beat and blip, every noise in her electro-pop arsenal into creating an enrapturing dance opus. And when she proclaims that she doesn’t like your band, she spits it out like a bullet. There’s a tenacity in Don’t Stop that surely existed before the album took so literally to the challenge in its name. But it’s hard not to see how it’s transformed into a sort of promise. As if making up for lost time, Annie says that she’s already started work on a third album. And then, as if preempting another round of introductions, she adds, “It’s not going to take that long.”

ION 47



Still Dre Words: Steven Evans

Photography: Joseph + Jaime

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Norway. With its abundant natural resources, one of the world’s highest standards of living, universal health care and subsidized university education, Norway is a bit like Canada’s smarter, more attractive, Scandinavian cousin. We know that if we just hit the gym a little bit more, maybe learned a new language or two, we might be interesting and popular like Norway—heck, maybe we’d even get to pick a Nobel Prize winner—but we don’t and we resent them for their accomplishments. Sondre Lerche encompasses much of what is potentially loathsome about Norway. Charming, talented and boyishly handsome to boot, the indie pop singer/songwriter from the Norwegian coastal city of Bergen has been performing since the age of 12 and earning raves since the release of his first album, Faces Down, at the age of 18. That album won over



critics both at home and abroad, landing the just-out-of-high school singer a spot on Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of 2002 and garnering him the Best New Act award at the Norwegian Grammys. Since then he’s been recording and touring pretty well non-stop, with a string of acclaimed albums, E.P.s and even a film soundtrack (for 2007’s Steve Carell vehicle, Dan in Real Life). This September, at the ripe old age of 27, he released his fifth proper album, Heartbeat Radio. It’s a departure from the one-off experimentation of recent works like 2006’s jazzfocused Duper Sessions and the guitar rock sound of 2007’s Phantom Punch. This time around, Lerche has embraced a grab-bag of different styles, from Sixties pop (think Beatles, Bacharach, etc.) to Bossa Nova and indie rock, creating an album that’s both irresistibly catchy and almost as hard to

pin down as the correct pronunciation of his name (just go with “Sawn-dray Lair-kay”—the Norwegian pronunciation has proven far too difficult for English mouths to speak.) I meet up with Sondre at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver, a few hours before he is to take the stage on the last stop of his North American tour. An artist the venerable Guardian newspaper described as “outrageously gorgeous” is looking relaxed in jeans and a grey hoodie, his red Chuck Taylors matching the red upholstery of the comfortable armchair he’s seated in. Averting my eyes from his outrageous gorgeousness, I look down at my notes and ask how Heartbeat Radio relates to his previous work. “More than anything I’ve done before, it sort of sums up a lot of things that I’m interested in and a lot of things that I’ve tried out on the other albums,” he says. “This one has


ION 49

MUSIC everything, in a way, that I’m into.” “Back when I did an album like Duper Sessions (which was recorded with the backing of a jazz quartet), it was fun to just do something that was just getting some musicians in a room and just recording it and not building these big constructions, you know … This one I wanted there to be no limitations and no deadlines … I wanted to make a record where there wasn’t any point where you said, ‘Yeah, I’d like to do this but I don’t think it will fit on the record.’ I didn’t really care.” Despite some of the songs taking as long as seven years to come together, the album never feels difficult. In fact, “effortless” is a term that has been used to describe Sondre’s music and it fits. He says “effortless” is a tag he doesn’t mind at all. “I like the fact that it sounds effortless—it certainly isn’t … I find it really challenging to do something that I really like and that is up to a standard that I want to strive for. And I find it really difficult … especially as you get a little older and you’ve written a couple songs and there’s stuff that you really like and then there’s stuff that you think, ‘Oh, that could have been better if I was more patient and disciplined,’ you know? So it’s a mixture of things, but in the end, I’d like it to sound effortless and natural and just sort of a free flow.” Sondre, who has been based out of NYC for the last three years, returned to his native Norway for the recording of the album. He says that Norway made sense for a number of reasons, the first of which being that he wanted to work with friend and longtime collaborator Kato Adland, who happens to own a recording studio in Norway. Since Sondre was working for the first time in his career without the support of a record label, working with Adland at his studio was “sort of a nobrainer.” And having musically talented friends in Norway made the recording process that much easier. “I do have a lot of friends and they’re good musicians, so Kato and I played what we could between the two of us and then when we needed help we would just call up friends in Bergen, or even Sean O’Hagan from The High Llamas, who lives in London and who also was very gracious to help out,” he says. It’s O’Hagan’s string arrangements that can be heard



bolstering standout tracks like “Good Luck,” “Good Night” and “Lazenby.” The latter title, for those unfamiliar with the name, is a reference to onetime Bond star George Lazenby. The protagonist in the song repeatedly wishes for a second chance after having “messed up my lines and stumbled just like Lazenby.” Sondre describes himself as a fan of the Bond films and says his interest in Lazenby stems from having watched an interview with the actor on the DVD of In Her Majesty’s Secret Service. “I found it really interesting ‘cause he had a contract for many more movies, you know? And he was not an actor—he was a model. But he was a good fighter and he sort of convinced them at the audition.

“I like the fact that it sounds effortless—it certainly isn’t.” And then of course people shrug when they hear about him ‘cause he’s the guy that only played James Bond once and there are lots of stories that he sort of blew it ‘cause he backed out. Apparently somebody said that his managers advised him to pull out after one film ‘cause the whole hippie thing was happening and he thought that there was no way that a slick, sort of old-school character like James Bond was going to survive this revolution, you know? So he backed out and the producers got angry at him so they said they fired him … A lot of people didn’t like his performance as James Bond—I think it’s alright—but also he didn’t go on to become a famous movie star. And people hold that against him … I just found it interesting. I thought George Lazenby was a sort of character that the protagonist of

my song would identify with—looking back at his life, his highs and lows.” Having already worked on one film soundtrack and score, I ask if he would ever want to put together the music for a Bond film. His eyes light up at the idea. “That would be fantastic,” says Sondre. “I’d love that… the Bond soundtrack. There’s a lot of good ones … Yeah, that would be a dream come true.” Another dream of his would be to actually hear his music played on the radio. The title track of the album makes a couple digs at the monotony of FM radio, though Sondre’s quick to say that he’s not angry or bitter. “You know, radio is what it is, but I did think it would be funny if … you applied sort of the commercial radio way of thinking to a romantic relationship where you have constant focus groups figuring out what will the listener tolerate. It’s not so much about what do they want, but what will they tolerate? Like, where’s the threshold before they switch the channel, you know? What can we get away with?” he says. Adding to my envy/resentment of all things Norwegian, Sondre then points out that radio in Norway is, in fact, less bad than radio in North America. “You know, Norway is getting more and more formatted, more in the way it is over here, but still, there’s no Nickelback… Well, you know, that one song was on some radio stations, but I’ve tried to switch channels around here, and I know what you mean, but it’s not that bad at home.” Finally, I have to ask him, how does it feel being described as outrageously gorgeous in the pages of The Guardian? He laughs and ponders for a few seconds. “The Guardian? Of all newspapers… Well, if The Guardian says it, I’ll take it.” Heartbeat Radio, featuring attractive jacket photos of Sondre Lerche, is available now on Rounder Records.

ION 51




Photography: Sarah Hamilton

I’ve never been to Israel. I’ve never dated an Israeli man. I haven’t even fucked a guy who could have possibly been so much as a quarter Israeli. Maybe my vagina is kinda racist? I had heard that Israeli men approach women differently than those in North America, that they can be dominating, forward and archaic when it comes to sexuality and gender. But these are just stereotypes. I’m not one to take any of this hearsay as irrefutable fact. But I’ll reluctantly admit that when I went to meet the three Tel Aviv musicians who make up the rock band Monotonix, I felt like I was walking in with a boob-related handicap. Over the last few years of touring worldwide, Monotonix have developed a reputation as charismatic and insane musicians who destroy every club they enter, set fire to their own equipment and, moreover, put on a shockingly interactive performance that leaves the audience soaked in sweat, spit and debauchery. Kids head bang, shimmy and squirm while the aggressive, garage rock anthems of Monotonix take over the entire room—mobilizing the space and the people in it is what Monotonix are known for. I was waiting, sipping my beer, when the Monotonix men arrive. Two of them are dressed in Sunday-afternoon-dad outfits (sweats, lounge gear) and they have thick curly brown manes that match their broad necks. The one with the childlike grin is beastly tall and sporting a gigantic chain. His name is Haggi (drums). The other one



is Ami (vocals). The last Monotonic, Yonatan (guitar), slid up to me, pushed his frizzy hair out of his eyes and locked them with mine. He shook my hand and smiled. “Hi, I’m Yonatan.” “Nice to meet you,” I replied. “I’m looking forward to the interview.” He hadn’t let go. Hand or stare. “Me too,” he purred. Monotonix are on yet another tour to promote their new album, Where Were You When It Happened?, out on Drag City Records. Their first release, Body Language (2007), was recorded with Tim Green of The Fucking Champs, a band all three admit to adoring. Its success launched a diet of year-round touring. We got into a chat about our all-time favourite albums (Dire Straits’ Love Over Gold for Haggi, The White Album for Yonatan) but Ami fondled with the silence before revealing his. “Frampton Comes Alive.” Final answer. “Peter Frampton?” I gasped. Then, I remembered that Ami was born in the late Sixties. “I remember when it came out,” he spoke in pauses and wild hands. “I looked for it in every record store. No one had it. You hear about something great, you must really search for it. Not like here in North America where you can have anything you want. The record

was hyped and in those days if there was a hype in Los Angeles it would take almost 20 years to get to Israel!” He waved his arm like a dictator. During our conversation, Ami hogged the spotlight. He was animated, charming and exhausting—the typical frontman. I thought about him as a child and suddenly I felt a telepathic admiration for his mother. He was constantly singing Hole songs and pointing his finger in my face while shouting words of wisdom about the new cool way to pronounce the word awesome. “Awe-some,” he explained. The first part hi-pitched, the second low. “Two words now! ‘Awesome’ as one is dead.” He learned this in Los Angeles, the city that is, according to him, the hybrid of cool and new. He then asked me how long I thought the trendy pronunciation of ‘awe-some’ would take to get to Vancouver. “Because, you see the ‘awe’ gets to Israel in three years and the ‘some’ two later.” As the others bickered about the mobility of trends, Yonatan perked up from his hunched, distant position, leaned in and smiled at me like he did when we first shook hands, “Does love travel faster than hype?” he asked. “Does what travel faster than hype?” I replied. “Love.” He said slowly, romantically. The word rolls off his tongue and into the palm of my hand.

Was he flirting? I felt like I was in between the pages of a Danielle Steele novel or even The Game for that matter. Wait, did Yonatan know about The Game? Sarging? Did The Game go worldwide? If ‘awe’ and ‘some’ would be delivered to Israel at least two years apart, maybe only the first half of The Game had made it over? My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by Ami. “The hype is too fast for the love!” he proclaimed, before breaking into an a cappella rendition of Haddaway’s “What is Love?” We progressed onto new topics such as the jazz culture in New Orleans, Steve Martin, their new favourite band Brutal Knights and Adam, their Vancouver host who pampers them with Hello Kitty waffles each time they stay at his place. Haggi revealed that before Monotonix started he was a lion tamer. When I asked him to expand on that topic, he laughed and said, “It’s best not to mention it.” This led me to believe that ‘lion taming’ might have been code for some pussyrelated joke I was clearly not a part of. When I asked whether the involvement with the audience was conceptual, perhaps holding an artistic purpose, Ami shook his head. “It’s about money. See this?” he pointed at Haggi’s thick plastic chain. “This is supposed to be gold.” The lavish necklace. Peacocking? “Money? Really?” For some reason it seemed hard to believe. I suddenly felt Yonatan staring into me. “Why did mankind land on the moon?” he retorted. “We just do what is natural. We played [a show] on the floor once and it felt like nothing else. I do what I want. Always.” As they left to prepare for the show, I grabbed another drink and wandered around the bar while contemplating where I should stash my computer bag. I ran into Yonatan and he offered to keep it for me. “Only rule is you can’t get it until after the show.” He flashed me that smile again.

I met my friend Michelle and we sat down in a quiet corner as the bar filled up with young and hyper fans. I overheard conversation after conversation peppered with the words ‘craziest band ever.’ This better be good, I thought. Suddenly, Yonatan appeared. He sat down beside me. I noticed he was chewing gum. I asked him for a piece and he smirked at Michelle. “The bag, the gum. She’s just demanding everything tonight!”

Excuse me? Did I just experience a classic ‘neg’? Yonatan gazed at me as he asked a million questions. He alluded to the fact that he wanted a drink later. Whiskey. Did I like whiskey? He showed off his shirt that said ‘Bob Marley’ with a picture of Jimi Hendrix underneath. He asked me about my name. Was it Polish? He had some Polish in him too. He told me that Mish-mish was a slang way of saying ‘apricot’. “I’m going to call you my little apricot,”

he cooed. It was hard to take him seriously now that he had changed into short-shorts. Then Monotonix delivered to a packed house. I watched the madness from a perched position. Ami swung from shoulder to shoulder, grabbing kids’ hair, pulling them down, making them sing after he had wiped the microphone on his ass. It was the perfect display of machismo rock stardom. Just three dudes who had mastered the ultimate way of controlling attention: make the audience feel special. At one point Yonatan and his guitar pushed over to where I was standing. A crowd fish-tailed around him as he slammed down the kick drum and began pounding with his foot while his hands noodled across the guitar. He locked his eyes with mine, winking at me as the sweat poured down his nose. Flirting mid-set? He had it down to an art. Ami told the audience to “Shut the fuck up and sit down‚” only to then command them to chant “Hi-hat, hi-hat, hi-hat!” after his lead. They followed willingly until he yelled, “Zeek?” In the closing song, Ami pulled down his shorts and spread his ass cheeks on a dude’s head. After the show I thanked Yonatan for the interview, but insisted I had to go. He told me I was great and I got his email (securing a contact, nice). He said to write, you know, if I had any further questions or anything. He was stinky, wet and panting sweetly. I went to shake his hand but he pulled me into an aggressive hug marking his territory with sweat all over my favourite blazer. “There, now you smell forever, little apricot.” My vagina may still be racist, but at least my blazer is now totally P.C.

ION 53


Michael Bublé [Crazy Love] Echo & the Bunnymen [The Fountain] El Perro Del Mar [Love Is Not Pop] Fuck Buttons [Tarot Sport]


[1] Michael Bublé Crazy Love Reprise Michael Bublé should have been a hockey player. My mom told me this. While the documentation of Bublé’s amour d’hockey is biblical, it’s the message of Adult Contemporary (AC) that Bublé tries to preach en mass. Sadly the results on Crazy Love are as flaccid as a baby’s penis on Bris milah. Peppered liberally with his bread-and-butter big band arrangements (working with the brain-trust of David Foster and Bob Rock), Crazy Love asks for more pop and fails boldly. “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” attempts to explore new territory, but falls far short of the AC benchmark set by stalwarts of the genre like Josh Groban and Daniel Powter. Bublé is a hockey man making music for hockey moms (a demographic sadly underrepresented by this publication). On the road to the rink, this is the soundtrack. While he excels for the Oprah-class-warriors, it is beyond the editorial scope of this contributor to recommend Crazy Love to anyone besides, ahem, my mom. —Joseph Delamar [2] Echo & the Bunnymen The Fountain Ocean Rain Disappointed— it’s a four-syllable word that describes the sadness we endure when something fails to fulfill our hopes. It’s also the word that best describes my feelings after listening to the musical upchuck that is Echo & the Bunnymen’s new album, The Fountain. For those who don’t know, Echo & the Bunnymen is a British post-punk band


that started in the late Seventies and swam alongside bands like The Cure, New Order and Devo. “WELL, THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO!” shouts their 11th album. It seems they are back with blazers, shades and a sack of poppy, middle-aged rock that is as palatable and contemporary as California rolls or CSI DVDs. Gone are the swirling tummy tickles that came through in such beloved songs as “Killing Moon” and “Lips Like Sugar.” With the exception of the title track, there’s really nothing post-punk, avant-garde or even interesting on the album to speak of. Sorry Bunnies, but The Fountain sounds like Coldplay with street cred. —Jules Moore [3] El Perro Del Mar Love Is Not Pop Control Group Sarah Assbring, the mastermind behind El Perro Del Mar, has made a career out of heartbreak. Gifted in her subtleness, she manages to make this breakup record sound melancholy without the melodrama—Morrissey, take note. Minimal layering (an art the Scandinavians have so skillfully mastered—Lykke Li and Fever Ray for example) consisting of acoustic guitars, piano, retro synths and sexy drumming, along with Assbring’s girlish-yet-wise voice, equates this record to a warm Swedish hug. It’s like a friend offering comfort when you’ve had your heart freshly torn apart. From the hopeful swell of album opener “Gotta Get Smart” to the icy soundscape of “Let Me In”, she unites her album with the



charm of sing-a-long melodies. Love is not pop, no, but heartbreak certainly is. —Louise Burns [4] Fuck Buttons Tarot Sport Atp Jesus, what is this? I, of course, paid no attention to anything with the “Fuck” word in its name when all this shit started breaking back in 2007, or 08, or whatever, just like I almost ignored all the “Crystal” bands. Now, just like I realized Crystal Stilts were totally fucking awesome and designed to be my favourite band of the year, I’m finally put in a position to listen to Fuck Buttons and to realize that I’ve been missing out on something bordering on ‘mindshitting.’ Here’s a list of adjectives/adverbs to use when describing Tarot Sport: epic, martial, thundering, sprawling, shimmering, propulsive, multi-layered, grandiose, and atmospheric. Genre tags include electro/techno, shoegaze, noise, and/or experimental, with the modifier ‘post-‘ fixable to any of the above. Also worth noting is that this is an ‘album’ and that all the songs essentially bleed into each other, meaning you may feel pressured to listen for the duration of its just-under-an-hour runtime. Not sure how I feel about that, but I think Tarot Sport might be convincing enough to twist my arm into letting it roll through a few more times. —Rich Bucks

Gift of Gab [Escape 2 Mars] Eugene Mirman [God Is A Twelve-Year-Old Boy With Asperger’s] RJD2 [The Colossus] Tegan and Sara [Sainthood ]



[5] Gift of Gab Escape 2 Mars Cornerstone My first response to Gift of Gab’s latest effort was that it was soft, like it gave me that feeling I get when hip hoppers do a slow ballad for their girl and try to sing the chorus. Luckily I don’t review things until I’ve listened to them at least four or five times. So let’s be serious for a second. Gift of Gab has one of the best flows ever (YouTube him freestyling with Tom Green and tell me otherwise), and could probably rap over baby’s-firstReason-beat and still come out the other end cooler than everything on the radio. On top of amazing flow, this album has a level of future anxiety reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield or Marvin Gaye, but with heavy, twitchy future beats to match, namely on the seventh track “Electric Waterfalls” where G.O.G. tells you how corporations killed the electric car. The first single, “El Gifto Magnifico,” comes to your house with a heavy kick and a Cubano-bop feel that’ll get your head bobbing, but the standout track in my mind has to be “Rhyme Travel.” But then I’ve always been a sucker for the bounce. —Bix Brecht [6] Eugene Mirman God Is A Twelve-Year-Old Boy With Asperger’s Sub Pop There are varying theories on why comedy started to suck and when exactly it happened. Some blame cocaine culture, some blame the lack of comics who were dedicated to coming up with fresh original material and others blame the virtual explosion of comedy


clubs across North America. Whatever it was, stand-up comedy had become a joke. What nobody realized was that a lot of the younger comics had been taking their acts to non-traditional venues. Comics were performing in coffee shops and community theatres and being billed with musicians and poets instead of standing in front of a brick wall. Troupes like the highly influential Upright Citizens Brigade were established and a whole new generation of “alternative comedy” was blossoming. This was where we got our Sarah Silvermans and our David Crosses from. Incredibly, we now find ourselves almost at the point where the ‘alternative comics’ are the status quo. Although Larry the Cable Guy still probably outsells either of the aforementioned, we’re lucky that we get to enjoy the fruits of alternative comedy’s maturity without having to reach too far for it. I implore you to enjoy this particular fruit. It is hilarious. —Kellen Powell [7] RJD2 The Colossus RJ’S Electrical Connections I’ve been a big fan of RJD2 for a minute now, and the one thing that has struck me is that with every release he shows that his talent is maturing and evolving. I like the diversity of sounds and genres as well as the collaborative feel of the album. RJ brings in some great brass and strings players who really provide a lot of depth. It should be noted that while listening to The Colossus there are a multitude of events that can be successfully


undertaken with the songs serving as a backdrop. These include: making things that have melted cheese, getting low off some dank, booby touching and general fondling, hitting dingers, moving your bodily rapidly upwards then letting gravity take hold then repeating, “guzzling”, asking a friend about dating their sibling, hardening the fuck up, twisting and then shouting, and so forth. It’s a great album—buy it. He wrote the theme to Mad Men for fuck’s sake. —Dr. Ian Super [8] Tegan and Sara Sainthood Sire You either love or hate Tegan and Sara, and by hate I mean secretly love. They are adorable and fierce in their musical abilities, with lyrics that hit you in your emotional loins. Their new album Sainthood is no exception to the excellence that Tegan and Sara strive for. Sainthood is packed with the crooning of woes of relationships and the struggles of just being human. Their lyrics consistently remain accessible while their band is constantly developing a more mature sound. Tegan and Sara have always made the kind of music that could pull you through a breakup, all while making you dance in your room alone completely content. They are the musical equivalent of best friends that you can put on repeat. Perfection. —Danielle Sipple

ION 55


Jesjit Gill



Looking at Jesjit Gill’s poster art, it should come as no surprise that his answer to the question “What makes a good poster?” is “Fluorescent screenprinting inks.” Jesjit learned how to create hypercolour screenprints in high school so that he could make, as he humbly puts it, “dumb t-shirts.” But he soon saw that there were people out there, like Michael DeForge

and Seripop, working in a similar style and he decided to run with it. Jesit’s posters, which he describes as, “Somewhere between trying to experiment within the limits of screenprinting and exploring psychedelic and grotesque imagery,” can be seen on telephone poles in Toronto and art galleries across Canada.

ION 57

ION THE WEB [Arrested Motion]




This site has it all. Studio visits with awesome artists, interviews and art news. However, the most impressive thing about Arrested Motion is how they somehow manage to be at every art opening on the planet that you should care about. The amount of content added to this site every day is almost overwhelming. But hey, it’s mostly pretty pictures and who doesn’t have time to look at those for a few minutes everyday? []

A fun but simple online game to play in your spare time. They list the name of a cheese or a font and you have to select which one it is. Most of the time you’ll end up guessing and most of the time you’ll be wrong. For the record, the body font in this magazine is Akzidenz Grotesk. We’d advise against ever buying a cheese with that name. []

Shopping at Wal-Mart is great. What they sell is mostly crap and the savings really aren’t that great. But the people watching is amazing! []

Online craft fair is great because it has empowered craft makers all over the world, even the most computer illiterate, to promote and sell their homemade wares over the web. Regretsy is the website where the rest of us laugh at all of these people. []



HOROSCOPES THIS MONTH: Ernold Sane Ernold Sane is a DJ who gets the editor of this magazine in trouble every time he writes our horoscopes. [] [] Capricorn: It’s been a great year! You’ve successfully made yourself look amazing in your online photos and people are starting to forget that you’re a socially handicapped pole smoker with man boobs who’s incapable of receiving or giving a handjob. By uploading pictures of yourself wearing headphones, people really believe you’re a skilled DJ and are lining up to ask you questions like “Why don’t you go fuck yourself?” Aquarius: Your prescription-less glasses are letting us know you’re completely clueless on how to do something different and so you’ll do whatever a 12-year-old came up with. You know it’s a bad idea, you know we’re all laughing at you, but you did it, and now we can’t look at you the same way. Why not just get cornrows? Enjoy your glasses, hope it was worth it, but you can’t polish a turd. Pisces: Your existence is as depressing as a high school shooting and you smell like a yeast infection. May the passing of Farah Fawcett be a reminder to you that when you’re gone, your life and death will also be forgotten immediately. Except when we are so relieved of your absence that we drink five kegs of beer, then piss every last drop of it on your $300 grave.

Aries: You’re decrepit. You’re such an embarrassment that even the junkies are judging and scoffing at the outfit you picked for the day. Since you went traveling ALL THE WAY through the beaches of Mexico, you’ve noticed it’s not just local judgment being passed on you. You’re a loser even to men in “1 Tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila floor” shirts.

Cancer: You’re a bloated washed up midget. When you open your chubby mouth your jowls give us wood because they look like bouncing tits. It’s time for that gastric bypass surgery because you’ve gone gordo, which is Spanish for fat. All the king’s hookers and all the king’s blow, can’t trim your gunt… to the gym you must go. Just to be clear: lose weight.

Libra: The people in your gym are calling you “pork back with no ribs” which I guess is better than those in your workplace that call you “Devil wears Winners.” If defeat had an image, it would be you. The last time you went to an all-you-can-eat buffet the chef blew his leg trying to keep up with your orders. Put all your clothes in a suitcase, hold it over your head and round around the block 10 times.

Taurus: It’s people like you that created the inbred. You’re such a self-obsessed Twitter whore fuckhead that the only person who’s impressed with the pointless drivel you spit is your baby sibling/ soon-to-be best friend because no one else can look you in the eye. Go find a room with fluffy animals you can make pretend picnics with, you loser. Next time you send a Twitter, just remember: everyone hates you and doesn’t give a fuck what you’re doing.

Leo: Nice v-neck tee. Keep bleaching those denim tights and no one will ever see the mounds of blow that’s fallen from your nose. The emo music will help keep your head down while you proceed to bullshit everyone on how much “work” you do and all the “art” you’ve been creating.

Scorpio: You’ve been mentally scarred since your grandma caught you masturbating as a child. How do you think SHE feels? She’s been as dry as a desert since, developed a stutter which makes her teeth fall out and had to start wearing Depends the very next day. Tip: next time you play happy and get caught, don’t finish… it’s frowned upon.

Gemini: Next year you’re finally gonna make it to the big screen! Unfortunately, it’ll be on an episode of Cold Case Files. No one will know, or really care what happened to you. But we’ll get to see our city and surroundings on A&E and hear the sweet, soothing, ‘whiskey and peanuts’ voice of Bill Kurtis. You’re lucky numbers are nine, one and one.

Virgo: There is a ghost lingering in your residence. It watches you pick your nose, stretch your genitals and play doctor with yourself. That ghost that used to be repulsed by you is lately so intrigued with you that while you sleep it picks your nose, stretches your gentials and plays doctor with you. At night it sleeps inside your bacon cave, and when you fart in the morning: that’s actually you blowing the ghost out of your ass. There’s nothing wrong with having a ghost give you the feelies, but your one in particular was a sodomite.

Sagittarius: It’s time to get yourself a dog so someone will respect you. The next time you search for love, your prey will be the perfect balance of ‘high enough on drugs’ and ‘low enough selfesteem’ to do sex with you… during which you’ll cry. Date rapists are less creepy than you. No one should wear sunglasses in a club—but you SHOULD, so we don’t have to see your beady, bedroom, Jon Gross-elin eyes. The similarities between you and foreskin are uncanny.

ION 59





www . qwantz . com

ion magazine + Third in a Series of Six Collaborative Artist T-Shirts “Butterfly Pie the Sky” by Camilla d’Errico Run of 100 T-Shirts. Available at

T-shirts printed by

w w w . f o xD E L U x E . c A

ION Magazine issue 61 featuring Band of Skulls  
ION Magazine issue 61 featuring Band of Skulls  

Issue 61 of ION Magazine featuring Band of Skulls on the cover. Includes articles on Robert Mearns, Brian Donnelly, Tim Barber, Jamie Travis...