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VOLUME 9 NUMBER 9 ISSUE 70
18. Anton Kannemeyer A is for art and also for Afrikaner.
34. Caught In The Act Photography by Evaan Kheraj and styling by Toyo Tsuchiya
42. Tim Heidecker What’s his dad like?
26. Focus André Pinces opens up a window.
48. The Suzan Suzie Q and A.
54. No Gold Before the gold rush.
32. Jonathan Lethem We wrestled and fought for six long minutes about whether to do a piece about a book about They Live
52. Tennis Come sail away.
56. Album Reviews 57. SelectION You can’t keep a good woman down, but it’s a lot of fun trying.
REGULARS 12. Editor’s Letter Growing up is hard to do. 14. ION Style Weeeeeeee!
16. Of The Month The roaring twenties could have used some Red Bull.
15. ION The Prize
58. ION the Web What’s up hot dog?
59. Horoscopes Dr. Ian Super 2: The New Batch. 60. Comics New newness!
Publisher/Fashion Director Editor in Chief/Music Editor Creative Director Arts and Culture Editor Office Manager Stylist at Large
Vanessa Leigh email@example.com Trevor Risk firstname.lastname@example.org Tyler Quarles email@example.com Douglas Haddow firstname.lastname@example.org Natasha Neale email@example.com Toyo Tsuchiya firstname.lastname@example.org
@ionmagazine www.facebook.com/ionmagazine www.ionmagazine.tumblr.com www.issuu.com/ionmagazine
Writers Jay Brown, Dana D, Jared Keeso, Gord McCullough, Kellen Powell, Emma Ruthnum, Dr. Ian Super Photographers and Artists Troy Alden, Willem Betts, Christopher Dombres, Ashley Gesner, Peter Hagge, Brian Heller, Evaan Kheraj, Mamiko Miyakoshi, Deanna Palkowski, Hana Pesut, AndrĂŠ Pinces, Andrea Tiller, Alan Wong 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 ÂŠ Copyright ION Magazine 2011 Hey PR people, publicists, brand managers and label friends, send us stuff. Youtube album art teasers are making too much e-waste, time-waste, and brain-waste. We prefer getting actual stuff. Butter our biscuits with: band t-shirts, PS3s, the Criterion collection edition of Kramer vs. Kramer, CDs, vinyl, left handed pill crushers, Blu-Rays, pilates balls, video games, Gillette Mach 3 bunion scalpels, and iPads can be sent to the address below. #303, 505 Hamilton Street. Vancouver, BC, Canada. V6B 2R1 Office 604.696.9466 Fax: 604.696.9411 email@example.com www.ionmagazine.ca | www.facebook.com/ionmagazine @ionmagazine | www.issuu.com/ionmagazine Advertising enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS PHOTOGRAPHER [BRAIN HELLER]
WRITER [Emma Ruthnum]
Styling Assistant [Gord McCullough]
PHOTOGRAPHER [Hana Pesut]
Brian is a 22-year-old living in downtown Los Angeles who did took the photos of Tim Heidecker for this issue. He grew up in an itty-bitty town named Wapwallopen and takes every chance he gets to promote this amazing place in Pennsylvania. In 2008, he graduated from photography school, went to another photography school where he quickly transferred to a photography school! After disembarking from the last stop on his educational train wreck, he left New York City and lived his days on a golf course under the Florida sun. Far too long later, but not long ago, he decided one payday to get in his car, drive and be happier somewhere. He settled in California where he happily works as a photographer. His biggest dream is to photograph Florence Welch this year and he just wants to put that out there.
Emma interviewed Tennis for this issue. Born in Glasgow and raised in Regina, she now lives in Vancouver. Sometimes she finds herself with a backpack full of Pilsner and has accepted that you can’t take the prairie out of the girl. With a journalism degree under her belt, Emma hopes to continue getting shifts as a nightclub door girl.
Gord McCullough interviewed The Suzan this issue (with the aid of a translator.) He recently clawed his way out of the pits of academic research and naturally began to dredge something (marginally) more vacuous, music writing. Usually found arms folded and denim clad somewhere at the very back or very front of a show, he often stammers his way through inventive yet tiring narratives about the good old days; extolling the virtues of The Frogs, Saccharine Trust and the first Boston record; or how important eye contact is or how nice most of the celebrities that he has met are. When Gord’s arms unfold however, he can be seen around city rinks coaching hockey, playing bass in any band that needs a bass player and talking to chicks.
Hana is a self-taught photographer raised in Whistler and currently lives in Vancouver. For this issue she did the photos of the band Tennis. She has been in various group exhibitions and is currently working on publishing her first book. Her main focus in photography is the “little moments” that people sometimes miss and later wish they had captured. She hopes to inspire others to take more photos in their day to day life.
EN ASSOCIATION AVEC | IN ASSOCIATION WITH
FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DU FILM SUR L’ART INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF FILMS ON ART
17 - 27 MARS / MARCH 2011 MONTRÉAL
CENTRE CANADIEN D’ARCHITECTURE | GOETHE-INSTITUT | CINÉMATHÈQUE QUÉBÉCOISE | UNIVERSITÉ CONCORDIA CINÉMA ONF | GRANDE BIBLIOTHÈQUE | MUSÉE D’ART CONTEMPORAIN | MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS | PLACE DES ARTS
Photo : Anish Kapoor, Ascension (Red), 2009, Exposition Contemplating the Void, Musée Guggenheim, 2010 | design affche : ektoplasme.com
29 FIFA e
ION has a new editor, and it’s me. Like most men in their late twenties, I’ve had a myriad of jobs, and hopefully this one will be a perverse amalgam of all of them. I grew up in a town of roughly six thousand people, and needing money to put gas in my father’s car (to drive around that town, and let the cops chase me around) I got a job. Pickin’s were slim for teens looking for work, so like many of my high school counterparts I took a job at McDonald’s; the one near our town’s traffic light. I only have a couple of memories from that job, one was that the employees had to refer to the garbage cans as “castle bins” and the day I quit. My routine on Fridays was to clean the restaurant from tits to toenails, including the Playland and toilets (which also had a code name that I’ve since forgotten.) I was forced to hand in my corporate branded polo shirt one Friday night because fighting through heavy laughter, I refused to clean excrement off the men’s room wall. Somebody had scatologically written “Help Me” and although hilarious, it wasn’t worth $6.30 an hour. I poked my arms through my Levi’s denim jacket and hit the street. When I was eighteen I moved to the west coast with hope that I’d never see snow again. My first job was working in a U-Vin which is like a wine store that produces designer batches of
Photo: Hana Pesut
wine for clients. It was owned by a man who had inherited money from his father and who thought that the booze industry couldn’t fail. Being the only one who could work a computer I soon became the manager. I dressed like I was in the band Flash Bastard but my country boy demeanor was endearing so the wealthy clients took to me right away. The problem was that the owner was never present, choosing instead to spend his hours at a pub a few blocks away, pumping coins into one of those machines which exist so older men can try and become the best virtual golfer in the country. He only ever came into the store to get me to check online for him to see if he cracked the top ten in scores. He never did, and he always blamed his struggles on the fact that he was a purist and never used a special glove that the “professionals” used. When all his money was gambled away on video game golf he fired me.
Officially I was canned because I downloaded about two gigabytes worth of Kaleidoscope Records-era breakbeat tracks onto the business computer. I slipped on my tight, leather, motorcycle jacket and caught the bus. Soon after I became a local nightclub DJ. However, it didn’t provide enough of a living and the manager at one of the dingy clubs I played at set me up with a meeting at an even dingier strip club. Until I went in for the interview, I had never even been in a strip club before. I was hired on the spot and my job was to MC and DJ for the girls. I quickly learned that howling “Stick your ass in the meat seats, and put your hands together for DA-KO-TA!!” was an inappropriate way to hype the club. My go-to line became “It’s hot outside but it’s hotter in here gentlemen!” and the dancers eventually ended up loving me. My friends regularly said things like “What a great job!” and “Couldn’t happen to a better
guy!” However, I was doing the day shift, which isn’t really the A-squad of ladies. A routine shift would basically be a club inhabited by myself, a bartender, three dancers, and a motley crew of mouth breathing taxi drivers and construction workers. I was also in charge of visuals, so the Discovery Channel’s b-rolls of mating rhinos were a favourite of mine, smoothly wiped away with the occasional baseball game. The best part of the job was when the dancers would let me choose the music. Seeing a mother of two gyrate nude to DJ Assault’s “Ass ‘N’ Titties” was a real pleasure. My final shift happened when I went into the basement to help lift flats of domestic beer and “Tatiana” (whose real name was Victoria, a decent stripper name in itself) sitting in her bra and panties asked me in her Baltic slur “Trevor… do you smoke drugs?”. I walked out that afternoon, throwing my velvet blazer over my shoulder, surrendering my remaining pay cheque. Now I’m the editor in chief of ION, and I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be a hectic blend of shit, gambling, pussy, and drugs. I wish I knew what I know now, when I was younger. -Trevor Risk Editor in Chief
COMPASS[ION] is ION Magazineâ€™s charity initiative that helps established youth charities raise awareness and money. With the generous donations from the sponsors above and a fundraiser at Guilt & Co. we were able to
outfit all of the teens in both Vancouver Covenant House facilities with new shoes, jeans, hoodies and socks. Thank you to all of the people that helped make this project possible.
ION STYLE Photography: Alan Wong | Styling: Deanna Palkowski | Makeup and Hair by: Andrea Tiller for NOBASURA using TRESemmé Haircare Models: Sam Lee, Christie Burke, David Mattatall @Rad Kids for NOBASURA
SAM: Cardigan: WESC | Tank: Lifetime | Skirt: Cacharel @Gravity Pope Tailored Goods DAVE: Cardigan: Fred Perry @Boysco | T-shirt: Comune | Jeans: Levi’s CHRISTIE: Dress: Marc by Marc Jacobs @Holt Renfrew | Sweater: WESC
Keds @Little Burgundy Converse @Livestock
Backpack: Jansport Hat: Brixton
ION PRIZE CONVERSE This month we are giving away a pair of sick kicks from Converse. These sneakers are part of a collaboration with Finnish design company, Merimekko, and features the patterns Tarha (1963), Pikkusuomu (1965), and Kirppu (1980). This collaboration also marks the launch of the Chuck Taylor All Star PJ, a more feminine version of the traditional Chuck. You can win them here or look for them in stores in mid March. To enter visit [www.facebook.com/ionmagazine]
OF THE MONTH
José Parlá If you are in Toronto, check out José Parlá’s two massive murals commissioned by Concord CityPlace. Inspired by anonymous art found in the streets, Parlá layers plaster, paint, posters and calligraphy elements to create his pieces. The larger commissioned piece, The Names That Live And Sometimes Fade While Time Flies is a homage to the hundreds of artist that Parlá has met over the years. The smaller painting titled “The Bridge” shows an arch of writing that resembles a bridge. Parlá is also the 8th artist to be featured on Incase products as part of a curated project in collaboration with Arkitip. [www.goincase.com]
The Walking Dead Season 1 on DVD and Blu-Ray If you didn’t hear about this show, you’ve either been living under a rock or are totally uninterested in both television and zombies. The Walking Dead explores familiar territory for sci-fi horror fans; a group of survivors struggling in a zombie infested post-apocalyptic wasteland. However, this is the first time we’ve been given the opportunity to see how this scenario might play out over a longer time frame. The episodic nature allows more time for character development, and how a survivor might cope day to day. The writing is a little uneven and corny in some parts, but all the people responsible were fired so it’s forgivable. — Kellen Powell
Puma x Opi x Browns Shoes Puma has joined forces with Opi to create a nail colour called “Puma Red” which will be available exclusively at select Browns Shoes and B2 Locations starting in April. There are only 50 bottles of the nail polish at select locations and this marks the launch of the Puma ballerina flat for Browns Shoes. The limited edition Opi nail polish is your gift with purchase.
ION’s version of Storage Wars If you have seen “Storage Wars” then you know that the show is about guys that go around to storage facility auctions and bid on the contents of a locker that has been abandoned without knowing what is inside. The catch is you have to take everything inside the locker. We are going to do the same thing on a weekly basis starting this month with the 3 years worth of CD’s and DVD’s that we have in boxes, but instead of money we will trade you for something that you deem worthy of trading. Follow us on twitter @ionmagazine to find out when the trades will begin.
OF THE MONTH
Red Bull Music Academy If you produce songs, or DJ, or love traveling and meeting your idols, grab your pen, download the application to this year’s Red Bull Music Academy, and answer the questionnaire accordingly. If you’re selected to participate you will be whisked away to the magical country known as Japan, where along with other producers and taste makers, you’ll be treated to the most inspiring two weeks of your life. From performing in nightclub settings, to sitting in on lectures from the world’s best (past speakers include the likes of Chuck D), the Red Bull Music Academy is your dream fantasy camp… with drinking! Apply before April 4th. [www.redbull.ca/rbma]
The Great Gatsby for NES From the clever, Gen X, minds of Pete Smith and Charlie Hoey, the internet was recently treated to a combination of what kept our little minds busy in junior high. Who doesn’t remember racing through page after page of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic, to get in an hour of Tecmo Super Bowl before bedtime? Finally, we can blend our love of NES with our hatred of every character in The Great Gatsby, as the player is expected to boomerang blast through levels inhabited by Flappers and Dutchmen. We can’t wait for the Tender Is The Night TurboGrafx-16 game. [www.greatgatsbygame.com]
Japanesestreets.com The kids in Japan have always had a style all their own. They mix the craziest clothing together in ways that bend the western mind but it just seems to work. The sad part is if you ever tried to duplicate the look on yourself it would result in fits of laughter. Case in point: put on a pair of pants, layer on an oversized skirt in a clashing colour, follow this with a patterned shirt, two different coloured socks and a pair of sunglasses with one of the lenses popped out, now stand in front of a full length mirror. Want to see more amazing outfits that you will never be able to wear? [www.japanesestreets.com]
The Town & The Fighter on DVD and Blu-Ray I love genre movies, but what I love even more are weirdly specific genres that burgeon out of existing ones. In this case we have two Oscar darling films both examining the insidious underbelly of Massachusetts (in Charlestown and Lowell respectively.) You probably know the plot of both of these movies (banks robbers and boxers) but mainly I love them because it’s fun to listen to people with Boston accents swear at each other. It’s Massploitation! They’re both great movies in their own right, and I get an extra thrill anytime anyone lets loose a ‘Fack you!’. — Kellen Powell
This is How it Works: Michael Stevenson Gallery
WHITE FRIGHT Words: Douglas Haddow
Some satirists gently prod society with a pointed finger. Others are more severe, slapping their subjects across the face with the backhand of ridicule and then gouging their eyes with scornful fingers. Anton Kannemeyer, aka “Joe Dog”, invites his target to gently rest their head within the vice of familiarity, squeezing its jaws shut until everything hidden away spills inside out. The results are often terrible, funny, and viciously comic. Kannemeyer developed his style while co-editor of Bitterkomix; a South African cult comic magazine that was founded in 1992 and has insulted and dismantled South African politics ever since. Kannemeyer built a reputation on his machete-sharp wit and aesthetic versatility. In 2010, he published a collection
of work under the title Papa in Afrika in which he flawlessly imitated the style of Hergé and repositioned the beloved Tintin as a symbol of colonialist violence. These days, Kannemeyer is collaborating with fellow Afrikaners Die Antwoord, and preparing for a solo gallery show at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City. He has a new book out, The Alphabet of Democracy – “an A to Z guide to the absurdities of life in the democratic South Africa.” ION caught up with him recently from his laptop in Cape Town and talked about the state of pretty much everything. What do you make of the recent spike in popularity of South African pop culture?
I’m not sure why South African pop culture has suddenly become quite a thing internationally. Firstly, I guess, it took a bit of time since the end of apartheid and cultural isolation to get standards on a par with what’s happening internationally. The one thing that Neil Blomkamp, Die Antwoord and myself have in common is Afrikaans, and the Afrikaners are an interesting bunch. On the one hand you have a large conservative group, on the other you have those (like us) who have rejected Afrikaner culture and traditions. I think the break with our culture is traumatic and severe, and therefore it’s normally an all-or-nothing kind of situation. To give you an anecdote (and I do this to explain, even though I don’t think you’ll understand it really, you’ll probably consider it an isolated incident, but it isn’t, there are many!):
CULTURE ANTON KANNEMEYER
I remember I had a drawing lecturer at university who was English - I really liked him; he was witty, articulate and very critical of Apartheid. I soon started to work on my Bitterkomix series and in 1994 we made a very explicit sex comic that looked at taboos and fears in Afrikaner culture. I remember he asked if he could buy a copy from me, then returned it the next day and NEVER spoke to me again. At that stage I was a part-time lecturer (doing my MA) and he just ignored me. What I realized was that I had overstepped a certain boundary with him, maybe something about decency or a moral standard that he couldn’t accept. This I found to be quite typical in South Africa: white English speakers generally came from a liberal background, which always kept them more or less in that position - there was a lot to reject and fight, but not as much as Afrikaners had to reject and fight. I think once Afrikaners start rejecting, they'll go all the way. There are quite a few examples, like Breyten Breytenbach, who was a poet, but eventually he tried to plant a bomb. Anyway, this does not explain why South African pop culture has become interesting... I think I get what you’re saying, that this break with the culture allows Afrikaners to get an entirely new perspective. Which also speaks to your work – how it can engage on a purely visual level, but also belongs to a specific South African political context that most people aren’t familiar with. if there is one thing the average Canuck should know about South African politics, what is it? Generally speaking, I think the South African political scene is quite a complex one. We have 11 official languages, and that should be an indication of the complexity of the political situation. Before the fall of Apartheid only white people had the right to vote. These white people were (and still are) divided into two linguistic/cultural groups: Afrikaans and English. It’s common knowledge that the Afrikaners had the political power
since 1949 and the English had the economic power since, well, since the Anglo Boer war in 1899. Needless to say, the white English speakers benefited handsomely from Apartheid, even though most of them always claimed to be “liberal” and critical of Apartheid. Since 1994 (the first democratic elections in SA) the ANC has been the dominant party, consisting mostly of Xhosaspeakers, like Nelson Mandela, and Zulu speakers, such as our current president Jacob Zuma. The various ethnic groups are of course spread across the country, but the Xhosas are originally from the Eastern Cape, and the Zulus from KwaZulu Natal. Cape Town, where I live, has a large group of coloured (mixed-race) people. To give you an idea of numbers, I would say that the white population consists of about 10% of all South Africans, the coloured population about 5% and more than 80% of all South Africans are black. There is also a substantial Indian population, and then various other minority groups. One of the most arresting aspects of your work is how you approach horrendously complicated topics with a simple, satirical comic style. What do you like about working in the comic aesthetic? I think that a comic style allows one to easily access stereotypes, which is important if you’re a satirist. The simpler the image becomes, the clearer it is for the viewer to read the image. The problem, however, is that the image may look simple, but the message is often complex. It so happens that a lot of people, especially visual illiterates, may think they understand the image because it’s drawn in an accessible comic style, but the meaning may be ambiguous or hidden. This often leads to misinterpretations and controversy. In Alphabet I have used the black stereotype, or “blackface,” less often than in Pappa in Afrika, so you’ll find more “realism” in the Alphabet series. But it still uses a lot of comic devices. Another reason would
simply be that I come from a comic background - I used to draw comics primarily. And in some instances you’ll have a “blackface” character and a more realistic character occupying the same frame, as in “This is how it works.” What is the significance of this contrast? Personally I don’t think this is one of my stronger works. It’s probably interpreted as if I’m siding with the “round” character (the realistic guy) and I’m saying that the stereotype is the bad one ripping the “worker” off - and therefore he deserves to look like a stereotype. This was a bit obvious, and although I am personally outraged by the greediness of many politicians across Africa, I do not want to be a moral crusader on behalf of the poor. I believe this to be dishonest, and as a satirist it’s problematic to jump on a moral high horse - as if I’m not complicit at all (and here I’m not talking about racism, I’m talking about a deepseated sense of guilt and of course the fact that I’m white - so I cannot appropriate the position of the black worker.) I think this is very important in my work, to show my complicity, to check and recheck my own fears and prejudices. What sort of reactions have you received from the South African political establishment, if any? I don’t think my work has had much impact on the political establishment. Unlike Zapiro, our most famous political and editorial cartoonist, my work is primarily seen in art galleries and not in newspapers. Therefore I’m probably preaching to the converted, although I do get a lot of flak from white liberals, and occasionally black liberals. I think you would provoke a fair amount of Canadian liberals as well, as talk of race or racial politics is a rare occurrence in Canada, the prevailing self-image being one of multicultural harmony. if a Canadian were to produce a similar style of dark, challenging racial satire, the artist would probably be brought in front a human rights tribunal for disrupting the peace, which begs
The Devil of the Equator from the series Papa in Africa Michael Stevenson Gallery
Jack Shainman Gallery
Jack Shainman Gallery
CULTURE ANTON KANNEMEYER
the question - is it necessary to create art capable of provoking discomfort? I think this has to do with the way I approach my work. I feel strongly that my perspective should be as unique as possible, and maybe therefore I also don’t always address the most obvious situations or incidents. I’m programmed to make work that makes people uncomfortable; to a large extent that’s the aim. I want people to think about my work. I’ll never be satisfied with a mediocre response. I want them to be angry and hate it, or feel the opposite and love it. Personally, I feel the Alphabet series to be a bit more moderate, and at the moment it looks like it’s doing very well in South Africa, meaning, the reviews and sales are all very positive. Which is rather weird for me - I’m moving into the mainstream it seems... The racial harmony in Canada sounds a bit unreal... My experience is that racism is everywhere. But I have never been to Canada, so I can’t tell! Following that up, there seem to be two primary reactions to your work - either that it’s a subversive critique of bigotry and political correctness, or, that it’s cynical and racist. Both readings boil down to where you, personally, sit on the spectrum of “progressive” politics. But it feels like these two readings are inseparable when it comes to the subject matter. My question being, is it necessary to indulge racism in order to examine it? Firstly, I think the work should read as an investigation of race and a critique of racism. It’s satire. Also, I think in terms of a body of work, isolated parts could be misinterpreted as being racist. I can understand that, but it’s like taking one panel from a comic and criticizing it independently - which is wrong. I mean, you wouldn’t take a paragraph from a novel and then try to prove the writer is a racist on that basis - you would read the novel
as a whole. Pappa in Afrika has many jarring juxtapositions, jumping from realist imagery to very iconic imagery - and that’s very deliberate. And it should be read as a whole. My political position should be irrelevant and the work should stand on its own, reading as a body of work that attacks white people and white interference in Africa firstly. If it doesn’t, I have failed as an artist. If it only depends on me saying afterwards “hey, I’m actually anti-racist,” it’s not enough. The main problem with my approach is that I’m not following current PC-protocol, and that’s why white liberals are angry with me. Regarding the actual question: I have made a lot of work looking closely at race, and I found that reducing the image(s) to stereotypes deals most directly with the problems I’m addressing. The one thing I tried to do in Pappa was to create a white stereotype as well. It’s a black vs. white or white vs. black realm that I deal with and stereotypes are the most effective. It’s also common knowledge that stereotypes form part of the satirist’s armoury. I am aware, and this is of course very ironic, that I’m “indulging” racism as I’m examining it. I don’t think this is a necessity, but it certainly helped to clarify a particular body of work. You mention how you deliberately jump between realist imagery and iconic imagery - this is interesting as I find some of your work to have a very journalistic feel to it. For example, the Cursed Paradise series, various pieces from Alphabet of Democracy in which you frame politicians next to statements they’ve made, and works like Boy Soldiers in which you quote journalists verbatim. Would you say that there is a documentary component to your more realistic work? Certainly! I remember when I first saw Fernando Bryce’s work and I thought "Wow! It’s amazing that someone can do this!"
I think the problem with recent African history is that there are not enough books out there. I was looking in Strand in New York for historical books on 20th century Africa and there was maybe a single, half-empty shelf reserved for all of African history. There were shelves and shelves of books on the Holocaust in the same sectionn They even piled them up in the corridors to accommodate them all. A visual history of 20th century Africa is even less available. You have several on tourism in Africa, beautiful books on animals and so forth, but nothing with a visual history. "Why is this?" I thought. Is no one interested? Are white people too ashamed of the legacy of slavery and the plundering of Africa? So in a sense I thought that the documentary aspect is crucial, although it’s very fragmented and selective. So is Alphabet of Democracy intended to serve as something of a historical text? I started the Alphabet series when I read several pieces on Bitterkomix in the media commenting on the fact that Bitterkomix gives a good account of the transition between Apartheid South Africa and the new South Africa. I thought that I’d make an extended work dealing with this change of power. The selection of images and ideas are all very random from my scrapbooks, focusing mainly on things that I find interesting. So in a sense it’s a bit of a personal account, and if it becomes of any historical significance I’ll be delighted.
FOCUS ANDRÉ PINCES André Pinces’ work reveals an elegant style spanning fashion, portraiture and contemporary art. His cinematic vision comes from a continually developing approach to photography and a keen sense of the human condition. Here are excerpts from two recent projects, a morning out on a Vancouver harbour tugboat, and a motorcycle trip with friends last autumn to Canada's farthest western point on the coast of Vancouver Island.
CHECK OUT MORE AT [WWW.PINCESPHOTO.COM]
Photo: Willem Betts
JONATHAN LETHEM’S THEY LIVE
ZIZEK-VISION Words: Douglas Haddow
They Live, John Carpenter’s low-rent dystopian masterpiece, has accomplished much in its 23 years of existence. It inspired a generation of ne’er-do-wells to wear sunglasses at night and it can surely be blamed for us all having to be subjected to Shepard Fairey’s painful career. According to Jonathan Lethem, celebrated American novelist and author of Chronic City, it’s probably “the stupidest film ever made on the explicit subject of ideology.” And now it’s also a book. Seeing as most people have still for some god-awful reason never heard of They Live, How would you explain the film to someone completely unfamiliar with the film, and why should they go out of their way to watch it? No, no, you’ve completely misunderstood me. I strongly advise you not to see this terrible, terrible film. It contains a Canadian wrestler pretending to be a construction worker, who gets into fights with aliens and never manages to sleep with the leading lady; it contains sunglasses that reveal the truth about advertising and capitalism and the fact that we have been overrun by an alien species -- it also contains very meretricious ‘80’s hairdos and cheesy special effects and lame jokes about the facial ugliness of the aliens who actually run the world. Believe me, the movie may be somewhat
entertaining in an embarrassing way, but it isn’t worth it. Don’t go anywhere near this film because learning the truth about the world you live in by watching a Canadian wrestler mow down rubber-suited ghouls just isn’t a comfortable way of learning those things. Avoid it at all costs. Well...allegorizing the unbearable truths of the capitalist democratic system is a specialty of the Canadian wrestler, no? One need only look at how Rick Martel deconstructed the marketing of machismo with his character “The Model” to confirm this. You draw a comparison between Godard’s Alphaville and They Live. I find this a bit curious, if not a bit cheeky, as you have in a sense “Alphavillified” Carpenter’s film by providing for the viewer a literary voiceover. By writing this book, you have become the Alpha 60 to Carpenter’s musclebound Lemmy Caution. So are you attempting to destroy Nada? Well, I came to my SF cinema entirely backwards. I’d seen Alphaville, Solaris and 2001 before I was even informed about the existence of Attack of the Crab Monsters or Forbidden Planet. So I had to infer the B-movie lurking in Godard’s. It didn’t seem that hard. I always tune out voice-over anyway. I suppose my book could be seen as rather hostile to Nada, but my intention is the opposite. As you’ve demonstrated with the link, we’d all
understand capitalism much better if we gave tenure to the Canadian wrestlers. The book fits snugly into a back pocket or fanny pack. Is there an ideal setting in which They Live should be read? Well, since you asked, and in total sincerity -- it’s really as much a “commentary track” as a book, and all other things being equal, why not read it while screening the film on a DVD, with the pause button handy? Or you could just watch the film. How do you feel about the prospect of your book being studied in film theory classes? Sounds fine to me. Or just film classes. Or revolutionary cells. You quote Slavoj Zizek a number of times throughout - did his rhetorical style influence how you approached the structure of the book in any way? He’s influenced me all sorts of ways in the past few years, though I find his insights strangely like a drug-effect -- intoxicating sense of epiphany, very difficult to remember after foggy interval during which I usually binge on leftovers. He was certainly one of the tutelary spirits of Chronic City, and I suppose you could say that Perkus Tooth is the real secret author of They Live.
A street preacher’s warning and a pirate television broadcast. The demolition by riot policeman, helicopters, and bulldozers of an open-air homeless-persons’ compound in a vast vacant lot. A brazen assault on a ghetto church. The hero, a wrestler garbed as a construction worker. A pair of sunglasses that reveals yuppies as alien ghouls. A chilly, enigmatic beauty, her intentions toward our hero unknown. The black and the white guy. They begin in distrust, but soon they’ve got enemies in common. From that point they’ll cover each other’s backs. Machine-gun fire in a television studio. A surprise with tits.
Illustration: Christopher Dombres
- Opening paragraph of Jonathan Lethem's They Live Soft Skull, 164 pages, $16.50
PHOTOGRAPHY: Evaan Kheraj CREATIVE DIRECTION: Vanessa Leigh STYLIST: Toyo Tsuchiya MAKEUP AND HAIR: Ashley Gesner @ Lizbell Agency MODELS: Brennan and Geordy @ Richards Model Management
JEAN VEST - LEVI’S PLAID BUTTON UP - FRED PERRY SHORTS - LIFETIME BELT - ALDO
LEATHER JACKET - SCOTCH & SODA STRIPED CARDIGAN - G-STAR RAW STRIPED TEE - G-STAR RAW BUTTON UP SHIRT AND NECKLACE - COPY PAJAMA PANTS - SCOTCH & SODA BELT - KEN DIAMOND FOR LIFETIME
MOTORCYCLE JACKET AND JEANS - G-STAR RAW BUTTON UP SHIRT - SCOTCH & SODA BELT - KEN DIAMOND FOR LIFETIME
JACKET - SCOTCH & SODA CARDIGAN - LIFETIME TEE SHIRT - COPY HUNTER HAT - NEW ERA
BUTTON UP SHIRT AND SUNGLASSES - COPY JEANS WITH SUSPENDERS - LEVI’S
PLAID BUTTON UP SHIRT - FRED PERRY STRIPED LONG SLEEVE TEE - SCOTCH & SODA JACKET TIED AROUND WAIST - BENCH JEANS - G-STAR RAW SHOES - SEBAGO FROM LITTLE BURGUNDY
MUSIC TIM HEIDECKER
RHODES WARRIOR Words: Trevor Risk
Photography: Brain Heller
Tim Heidecker is more awesome than his television program with Eric Wareheim could even suggest. In between production of the last season of Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! and the Tim and Eric movie, he’s just released an album with his musical partner Davin Wood. Play Heidecker and Wood’s Starting From Nowhere for your dad and he’ll probably nod his head and quip something like “Ah, I remember these guys. Your mother and I used to just get in our Buick Skylark, put on this record and drive for days. Of course that was before you were born.” Starting From Nowhere although comedic, rides the wild line between dry and blatant humour both musically and lyrically. The album is proof that if artists from the late seventies released these records today, we would play them only ironically.
MUSIC TIM HEIDECKER Take me through the process of writing this record and how it differs from your comedy process. Basically, the process of putting this record together took over two years sort of on and off. My partner Davin and I would get together on a weekend or at night at my house and based on little song sketch ideas and little melodies that either I or Davin would jot down at some point during the week, we would sit around, have a couple of beers and write a song and try to do as much work on the song as possible so after an evening together we kind of had a song written and recorded. Davin would take the song and clean it up and do some overdubs and make it passable, but it was a thing where I was in the middle of producing Awesome Show and other projects so it was a hobby. It was a fun distraction. After several months of doing this, songs just began to accumulate and it kind of became apparent that we should do something with this, we should get it out. As far as what’s different about the creative process, all this stuff is very subliminal kind of subconscious stuff; writing songs or coming up with ideas. It’s a hard thing to control when or how ideas are going to come. You just have to put yourself in a place whether it’s just sitting at the piano for an hour and plucking away, and you end up singing something that sounds right. The same goes with writing comedy. You just have to be open to knowing that when ideas come you should be writing them down. How did you get hooked up with producer Pierre de Reeder? I didn’t know Pierre. I got his information from Greg Kurstin of The Bird and the Bee who I’m friends with. We had gotten a demo of the album together and so much of the record is Davin making these sounds and making it sound as real and polished
as possible. As I played them to some friends who made records for real, they said this is good but I think it would really stand to get another ear to mix it and possibility add some drums, and do a little bit of professional work on it. I was a fan of Rilo Kiley and he (Pierre) had a really nice disposition to him so he ended up being the perfect fit. He’s also putting the record out now so we got a little bit more than just a guy who comes in as a day player. He’s part of the project now. Tim and Eric Awesome Show has so many guest comics. How come there aren’t any guest musicians on the album? Is Davin your only musical buddy? Again it goes back to the fact that originally this was just something for Davin and I to do as a fun thing and I guess maybe we should have. We never even thought about it. We wanted something that we made basically from scratch. I tried to not make this about work for me, which as much as it’s fun to work with other famous people, that’s just part of my job. This was just something that came from me and Davin and didn’t need anything else to it. It’s become vogue in the past few years to mock the smooth music of the late seventies. Is this album tongue in cheek or is it a tribute? I think there’s definitely parts of it that are referential to that music and Davin and I have a love/hate relationship with it where there’s things about it that we love musically and there’s a lot of really genuinely stupid shit that they ended up doing that is obnoxious or over the top. So we definitely were going in a parody kind of direction with some of the styles of music and then of course lyrically it’s all pretty silly. For the most part
it’s pretty stupid and meaningless and it manages to make you laugh if you listen really closely. “A Song For My Father” has lyrics that obviously honour fathers, but the music is also a nod to the hits from our parents’ era. Was that intentional? Did your father’s musical taste affect this song or the entire record at all? I guess what I’m asking is, what’s your dad like? (Laughs) I grew up around a lot of music from the sixties and seventies like the Beatles and Zeppelin and the Stones, and my dad loved that music. We played it all the time in the car and at home and it’s some of my favourite music too. Davin and I would start a song by just strumming the guitar and making up words and when you start singing the first lyrics of the song you realize “I guess I’m writing a song about my dad and I gotta finish this now.” Were there giggles in the studio while writing this album? Definitely. We were just playing to each other really and Davin is an incredible encyclopedia of that kind of music. I write a lot of the music for Awesome Show and a lot of it’s very simple, with almost nursery rhyme simplicity. It’s three chords kinda music and Davin is a little more sophisticated. He can add all these layers and texture to it that are really funny. Forget the idea of a studio, we’re in my little office in my house with a laptop. None of this is being done professionally. We’re sitting there and I’m writing the lyrics while he’s making the songs more interesting and yeah we’re making each other laugh. Do you feel that there’s something wrong with the music of today? I don’t listen to any of it. I probably couldn’t tell you any of the
MUSIC TIM HEIDECKER
MUSIC popular acts or any songs. I don’t listen to the radio and I don’t watch MTV so there’s almost no way for me to experience any popular music. I’m sure it’s appropriate for somebody. What separates you from other comics? My style and my voice. Eric (Wareheim) and I don’t try and do somebody else’s act. This is the shit that whatever it is, whether it’s the show or the music or the work we do, it’s a very simple thing. It’s just what we want to do. They’re not too pre meditated, the choices we make. Do you think that the Tim & Eric voice has been imitated by Vimeo and Youtube comics or is your brand of absurdist comedy just the current style? I think our work has been influential to people and we see it, but I don’t know. So what’s been influential to you in terms of comedy? There seems to be a congruency between you and Kids In The Hall. Kids In The Hall I used to love and watch consistently. All the staples like SCTV, and (Monty) Python and a lot of local TV in my area in Pennsylvania like the local news broadcast, infomercials and that kind of stuff. Music I’ve always used as an expression of my humour. You know I’m certainly not the first person to do that, but it’s a way for me to do something that I really do enjoy. I’m not interested in being taken seriously as a musician though. What was your first concert?
I think it was the Monkees reunion tour. When was that? I think it was in ’88, a long time ago. It was their first reunion tour. I think Michael Nesmith was there. They had a song at the time called “That Was Then, This Is Now”. They were back being aired on MTV in the states. I thought the Monkees were the real deal. I also like pro wrestling. I thought that Michael Nesmith never did reunion stuff because his mother invented White Out so he didn’t have to do any tours? That’s what I thought, but I think he was around for this one. I might be wrong. Definitely something that I should check the facts about. If you were talking with six year old Tim Heidecker, what would you say to him? I’d say keep acting like an idiot, it’ll pay off. A lot of this stuff is letting yourself put yourself out there and look like an idiot and just be naked. I guess I’ve always been not too afraid of what people are going to say or think and just try and do things that make me laugh. What’s next for you? Well we’re just about to get started shooting our Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, a low budget feature film which we’re starting in a few weeks. After that it’s up in the air. We’re gonna see how making a movie feels and maybe make another or
maybe go live on a farm somewhere. Who knows? Who’s your favourite artist from the era that this album is a tribute to? I’m a big Elton John fan, specifically his records from the seventies. I think I’m always writing thinking about him. It doesn’t end up sounding like him in the end but sitting at a piano working on ballads, I think his stuff is great. This album is written around the Fender Rhodes it seems. Yeah it really was. It’s a testament to Apple’s Logic Studio which is their version of Pro Tools which has a lot of built in midi sounds. They’ve got incredible sounding Rhodes. You just play the Rhodes and it immediately transports you into an era of music which is very specific sounding. You can get away with a lot just by using a Fender Rhodes with a major seventh chord. It’s a good way to start writing songs. Starting From Nowhere out March 15 on Little Record Company
MUSIC THE SUZAN
SUZAN SURROUNDSOUND Words: Gord McCullough
Photography: Mamiko Miyakoshi
2010’s Golden Week for the Poco Poco Beat (Fool’s Gold) is the debut LP from Japan’s all-girl group The Suzan. Produced by Bjorn Yttling (Peter, Bjorn and John) - whom also brought the group into the public eye after discovering them on some website called MySpace – Golden Week for the Poco Poco Beat finds the band harvesting from several different genres, resulting in a varied set of accessible confections which are accentuated further by an energetic live performance, honed after several months of touring the world.
With the help of a translator, Ion Magazine recently interviewed The Suzan (Saori, vocals and guitars; Rie, guitars and keyboards; Nico, drums; Iuke, bass) in order to investigate their love of classical music, Japanese holidays and nicknames. In recent interviews you mentioned that Mozart and the Beatles were your biggest musical influences. How do these particular artists inform The Suzan’s approach to songwriting? Your song “Rondo” for instance, is that an homage to Mozart (known in
MUSIC part for his use of the Rondo musical form)? Rie: I learned songwriting from the classics and excitement of arrangement from Mozart. However, “Rondo” is not a song or homage to Mozart. Repeating the rhythm of drums is very impressive, so I named the song “Rondo” from this technique of repetition. The Beatles taught me the interest of the sounds. As they had used various sounds, I am also trying to use various interesting sounds, such as the sound of electric musical instruments and the sound of the native musical instruments besides the sound of the orchestra. Bjorn Yttling (of Peter, Bjorn, and John) engineered and produced all the songs on your record and is someone known for his sharp understanding of melodies and bass lines. To what extent was he involved in shaping The Suzan’s songs? Rie: He didn’t touch the melody or bass lines very much, though he gave us ideas to choose the sounds of instruments for (the) arrangements. For example, on the song “Nice Code”, Bjorn recommended (for) us to use a trash can for drums and we did, which made the song more melodious. Also, to emphasize melody, he stripped off some bars and sounds on several songs. You were essentially discovered after Yttling contacted you via MySpace. What was the timeline of events leading to you being signed by Fool’s Gold? Saori: First, our good friends, UK band, The Whip told (Bjorn) about us when they met at Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. Then Bjorn checked our MySpace page, and we started (to) contact each other. We still doubted if he was really Bjorn of Peter Bjorn and John or another Bjorn guy, so we decided to see him in Stockholm in the summer of 2007, but it was him! Then soon (after) we planed to record in Stockholm in the spring of 2008 and did. We eventually got to know A-Trak who is owner of Fool’s Gold, through their (Bjorn and A-Trak) common friend, Kanye West. The core of your band (sisters Rie and Saori) has been writing music since 2003. What has been the biggest change in your musical output since then? What has stayed the same?
R: On songwriting, we haven’t changed. But I think our skill of playing music has improved. So now we can challenge (ourselves) to make more difficult melodies or arrangements to play. For your debut (Golden Week for the Poco Poco Beat) are most of the songs newly written or have you been developing them for a long time? S: We have been developing them for a couple of years. Your record incorporates several different genres and styles in each song’s composition. Was the confluence of jazz, garage, and funk (among others), intended all along or was that something that came about in the recording process? S: Some arrangements came about in the recording process. However, we didn’t intend to mix these genres when we were making songs. We always make songs without thinking (about) composition. We believe that it is good way to make songs if you wanna make new and innovative sounds. Your lyrics are in English, but you are speaking to us through a translator. How comfortable are you with speaking English? Is it a challenge for you to write your songs in a language that isn’t Japanese? R: Well…writing lyrics in English is still challenging for us. Japanese and English are completely different. We feel it is difficult to compose lyrics in English, though it’s (a) good way to learn another language and it’s even fun. So we keep studying English. Your Twitter page says that you are currently based in both Tokyo and New York City. Are you living mostly in America at the moment? Has that been an adjustment? S: Actually we’re not living in NYC now. We stay in NYC when we have plans for gigs and some promotion things though. We are quite adjusted already, I guess. What has been your favourite place to visit while on tour? Why? Nico: We love to eat good food! Anytime! Anywhere! In NYC, our favorite place is this $1 pizza place. We don’t have $1 pizza shop in Japan. Stopping by a pizza shop in midnight is really exciting!!!!
You are generating buzz everywhere from America to Europe. How has the response been back in Japan? Iuke: The response in Japan is bigger and more supportive than we expected. After our new album Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat was released last month, iTunes Japan selected our single “Home” as the single of the week and spread that around Japan. On the other hand, we found that most comments or reviews in the US are focusing on our race or how we look. However, comments from people in Japan ignore our race and outfits. They are just talking about songs on the album and focusing just on our music. Now we come to think we should thank and refer to such honest comments from Japanese listeners very much. The name The Suzan, refers two of your bandmates’ (Rie and Saori) family’s nickname, does anyone else in the band have a nickname? N: My name “NICO” is a stage name. I got the name from my favorite bassist’s daughter’s name. NICO is also a very catchy name for the people of the world. “Golden Week” is a Japanese term for an extended vacation. How would you ideally spend your next Golden Week? I: We’ve spent Golden Weeks playing shows in Japan almost every year, but we really hope we can play in the place we haven’t been to next Golden Week!! There is no eagerness for us to have a vacation, we wanna keep moving!! Was it the band’s decision to cover the Strokes and Kanye West and if so, how did that come about? R: Bjorn recommended us to play cover songs and we picked up those songs because they have a good pop melody and easy to cover for us. Also they’re well known artists, you know. We wanted the challenge to play different kinds of music because we thought it would be great chance to show a different aspect of (ourselves) through these cover songs. It was an interesting trial indeed. [www.myspace.com/thesuzan]
ADVANTAGE: SAILORS Words: Emma Ruthnum
Photography: Hana Pesut
The story behind the relatively new retro-pop outfit, Tennis, may be charming, but don’t call them a buzz-band. It begins back in Denver, when Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore met in their junior year of college, both studying philosophy. The landlocked Riley already had aspirations of becoming a sailor — and upon graduation, would realize his dream. “I at first, had no intention of joining him because the ocean is probably my greatest fear,” recalled Moore. “I still to this day can’t swim, but I learned that actually would be no obstacle to me learning how to sail and he convinced me with visions of tropical paradise.” Aside from a week-long sailing course, Moore and Riley were self-taught sailors who spent their time on land devouring how-to books and quizzing each other on sailing vernacular and various boat skills. Saving throughout college, the couple graduated in January 2009 and immediately set off on a seven-month voyage along the north Atlantic coastline in their 30-foot Cape Dory boat. The trip was a chance for adventure before the two would have to answer the inevitable calls of post-university adulthood. Sailing gave Moore and Riley a chance to throw away their calendars and embrace the minimalist lifestyle that boat living required. With no instruments on board the boat, days at sea were not spent writing dreamy love songs, but once they returned, and got
married, making music became another activity for Moore and Riley to do together. “We could have very well done any other hobby, like painting or something, but we thought it would be fun to make music and everything we wrote ended up reminding us of our trip,” said Moore. Still having no future aspirations as a “real” band, the couple returned to their jobs. It wasn’t until a friend posted a Tennis song to his small Seattle-based blog that the newlyweds would have to navigate a new course for their future. Almost instantly, the tracks were being posted everywhere. “We didn’t really understand how music blogs worked because that whole phenomenon kind of took place and exploded while we were on the boat and didn’t have Internet access and were very disconnected,” said Moore. “The word blog just meant 'diary' to us. Then we were totally defined, against our will as a buzz band. We got like really quickly categorized,” added Riley. Finally realizing that the whimsical, love-filled Tennis tracks could be another outlet to fulfill their wanderlust, the band started to take the project more seriously and signed with Fat Possum Records. Deciding on this new course, they quit their day jobs, and released Cape Dory, in January of this year. At the beginning of their sailing adventure, Riley recalls being advised to have as little plan as possible being that you’re always
at the mercy of external forces. “But that’s exactly the way it is with the music industry. Nothing’s changed. We can’t have a plan,” he noted. “We kind of just take the temperature of our surroundings,” said Moore. “What kind of response are we getting? Should we take the next step? That dictates what the next step would even be. It’s been a lot of work and it’s a weird life path digression at first. That’s the dream you grow out of when you’re 15, and then here we are college graduates. We already went on our sailing trip which was like, that bohemian moment where you just throw responsibility to the wind and now suddenly we’re in a band. I feel like we keep putting real life, adult decisions off to the side. But actually, this has kind of become a real thing.” With the release of Cape Dory, Tennis are currently on tour and have added drummer James Barone to the band. Touring until SXSW, Tennis plan to take their boat on a short trip south in April. The next big trip is set for right before 2012. “We plan on being on our boat for 2012,” said Moore. “We’re not that apocalyptic, but we like to buy into it because it makes us feel like adventurers,” added Riley. [www.myspace.com/tennisinc]
MUSIC NO GOLD
LOUSY PROSPECTORS Words: Jay Brown
Photography: Peter Hagge
There’s no gold in Fort Knox. I read it. I read it in some book about conspiracy theories... I think Mel Gibson wrote it. Whether it’s true or not I have no idea, but one thing I NOW know is that it has absolutely nothing to do with why a certain Vancouver electronic indie trio go by the name No Gold. The fact that the band (Jack Jutson, Liam Butler and Ian Wyatt) were willing to endure my David Icke-ish theory confirmed my suspicion that not only are they talented musicians, they’re also good humored enough not to take themselves too seriously. They’re the kind of guys you want to have a beer with. Good thing we were at a bar. “We’re always open to hearing theories about what our name means,” laughs band bassist Liam Butler sitting across from me at a Vancouver watering hole, “because it doesn’t mean anything. That’s the best [interpretation] I’ve heard.” They may not have put a lot of thought into their moniker but it’s clear from listening to their debut, a self titled release for Unfamiliar Records, that more than enough attention was paid to their intricately crafted songs. From the lush soundscapes of “Rainforts” to the hypnotic slow build of “Resolver” or the sun-kissed album closer “Puluti,” No Gold is full of nuance and detail, consistent and cohesive yet varied enough to defy easy classification. However, one element of their sound often stands out.
Tell No Gold that their music makes you think of "Mother and Child Reunion"-era Paul Simon partying with the Happy Mondays on a tropical beach and it won’t even phase them. They’ve heard it all before. Well, the tropical beach part anyway. “We hear a lot about tropical climates. Who wouldn’t want to go on vacation in the winter?” dryly jokes percussionist and sound wizard Ian Wyatt. “But there’s a lot more going on too, and I hope it’s a chance for people to check out other music we really like. When I think of the song ‘Rainforts’ I think of (70‘s experimental German band) Can quite a bit.“ Wyatt replaced No Gold’s original drummer Haley Pearse a couple of years ago and helped usher in a new direction for the group, one that builds on the electronic, minimalist and avantgarde in a similar fashion to Can and other groups from that time period. “Something was going on in Germany in the 70s. I wasn’t there but they made some amazing records. There’s definitely a cool connection between that stuff, the way they used synths, recording equipment and technology and how that became a part of dance music in America and the roots of house music. I think that’s a connection people are starting to make now that’s really strong. That’s part of what I’m happy about when I listen to our record. I can hear that [influence] in it.” The same experimental spirit they share with their German ‘hairera’ heroes in the studio is also translated into No Gold’s live set.
“It wouldn’t be very rewarding if we were trying to recreate the recordings in front of the crowd. I would wonder why we were there I guess.” suggests Wyatt. Butler adds, “It also seems kind of egotistical to pretend the show you’re playing isn’t going to effect what you’re doing. To try to recreate the album in a live setting would just be ignoring (the audience).” You can bet that reacquainting audiences with their energetic live sets is high on the group’s priority list. They took a six month hiatus from playing live after Wyatt joined to get the album made and released, a process that was fraught with a number of obstacles, the most severe of which was when their jam space burned down with all of their equipment inside. But that’s the past. No Gold have persevered and in doing so created a stunning and challenging piece of work. Where a lesser band might have imploded after a member change or losing gear, No Gold fought to exist. When you have something valuable you’ll do what’s necessary to protect it. Just like Fort Knox...right? No Gold play SXSW in March. [nogold.net]
MUSIC REVIEWS 1
 …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Tao Of The Dead ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead come together for their seventh longplayer entitled Tao Of The Dead. Enlisting original producer of their first album Chris “Frenchie” Smith as well as producer Chris Coady, the man behind recent Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeah and Blonde Redhead records. The result is nothing but amazing. It's a fusion of great indie fuzz, melodic vocals and a layered texture of progressive rock and experimental sounds that keep the listener engaged and buzzing. Songs like “Pure Radio Cosplay” and “Summer of All Dead Souls” are great examples of this. The epic closer “Tao of the Dead Part Two”, is a fifteen minute long sonic odyssey that should have old and new fans lining up to see these guys live. We are not sure what’s in the water in Austin but band mates Conrad Kelly & Jason Reece need to keep drinking it. —Dana D  Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will Most Mogwai album reviews are interchangeable and read something like this: Mogwai are a Scottish post-rock band who like dynamics, not a lot of vocals and are indebted to Slint. They’re new album ______ is cool. It picks up where the last one left off. Blah, blah, blah funny song titles, blah, blah, blah amazing debut album Young Team blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I’m not going to write a review like that because reviews like that piss me off. It’s like, why slap people in the face with the obvious just to fill space in a magazine? What the shit?! Why tag a genre onto a band that clearly are not genre specific? Why do people who have NO INTEREST in music critique it? Am I the only one who gets pissed off about this?! WHAT THE SAMUEL L. JACKSON IS GOING ON HERE?! Sometimes I get so mad thinking about how unimaginative and boring music critics are that I fly into a violent, gonzo, blackout rage. When I come to I’m usually in handcuffs or Mexico... My favorite song on the new Mogwai album is called "Mexican Grand Prix". —Jay Brown  Mother Mother - Eureka I listened to this record three times: once for each of their two mothers and once for mine. Word to yours. I was mildly familiar with this band when I heard them played over the nightly laser-light show held in downtown Vancouver during the Olympics. This was a fitting venue for a band that is reminiscent of Electric Light Orchestra and it was apparent by the crowd’s reaction to their song “O My Heart” that the pyrotechnics around me weren’t the only things blowing up. Mother Mother has undeniable depth as a band but the highlight for me, continually, is the vocals. Bro/sis
tandem Ryan/Molly Guldemond are terrific singers. Molly is the lone exception to my distaste for baby voices in any capacity. In an interview with CBC Radio, Ryan’s speaking voice alone was enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (so I shaved them off before shit got weird). Eureka is complex yet relatable, remains vibrant in its darkness and is not to be outhooked. This is pop music worthy of a liberal generation with an appetite for sonic bedlam. That said, my girlfriend’s parents have seen them twice. —Jared Keeso  Siriusmo - Mosaik This guy is probably a lot smarter and more interesting than you. An accomplished electronic music producer, Siriusmo has said he will not DJ or appear live because it “conflicts with other interests.” He’s also apparently working on something called "Virtual Studio Technology", and may or may not be a prolific graffiti artist. So yeah, he’s too busy to DJ your party, he’s inventing some brilliant piece of recording technology and he constantly vandalizes things. This album is more or less what you would expect from someone with the above description. Some songs seem deliberately abrasive, others are sweet and gentle, but it’s always interesting and sometimes catchy. There’s even the obligatory euro-thrash dance track “Feromonikon”. —Kellen Powell
ION has added a new feature where we make an arbitrary list about an even more arbitrary musical subject. Some call it lazy, others call it derivative. We just think we hang out in bars too often. This issue’s list is of the most misogynist songs we could think of. Music is usually either made by women, about women, or to get women, but these are the tunes to keep away from any mixtape you’re planning on making for a belle. Also, we tried our darndest to make sure it wasn’t entirely made up of rap.
Illustration: Troy Alden
 The Rolling Stones “Under My Thumb” – Sniff past that sexy marimba line and you’ll find Mick Jagger bragging about his pet Siamese cat of a girl. Recently it was placed perfectly in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World in the scene where Jason Schwartzman’s character steals back a buxom Mary Elizabeth Winstead from Michael Cera with the use of a mind control device. Key lyric: It’s down to me/The way she does just what she’s told.  Too $hort “Freaky Tales” – Ten full minutes of line after line of Too $hort (or Todd as his mother calls him) spitting about his conquests and disgusting sexual anecdotes. Too $hort can rhyme girls’ names better than even Stuart Murdoch. Key lyric: She’s like another freak named Renee/You get her alone and she’ll make your day/Like Burger King, she knows the play/But a freak like Renee, you can have it your way.
 Dave Porter “I’m The Boss” – Using bossa nova as the medium to proclaim your dominance over your wife generally doesn’t win you points in the bedroom or the charts. Peppering the refrain with “Do Do Do Do Do Do Do” might fool some into thinking it’s a swanky love song, but with deeper analysis, it’s a commanding statement about who’s wearing the pants in Dave’s house. Key lyric: Who spanks the baby whenever he’s so bad?/Baby it’s you, I know it makes you sad/But remember I’m the boss.  Johnny Thunders “Little Bit Of Whore” – Ex-guitarist for the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders, puts his sleazy stamp on the world with his solo, post-Heartbreakers boogie rock anthem. Apparently Johnny believes that deep down, every girl is ready to be his backstage blow up doll. Key lyric: Well you talk about Jackie, I talk about Jackie-O/How she goes down lower than
anybody else you bet/Well there’s a little bit of whore in every little girl.  DJ Deeon “Suck It” – Really any track off of the late Disco D’s famed mix A Night at the Booty Bar could have been included, but maybe the rap demands of “Suck It” trump them all. Too bad ghettotech hip hop faded away. It walked the tightrope of tongue-in-cheek versus serious filth better than any BET comic, and it was pioneered by a skinny white boy from Detroit. Key lyric: Dick and balls/In your jaws/Drop them drawers/So I can bang them walls. Okay, now call your mother and tell her you love her, then later serenade your lady with a rendition of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby”. We’re going to go have a shower.
ION THE WEB I LOVE HOT DOGS Throw your phone in the ocean, bolt the door and draw the blinds. Now take off your clothes and get in bed. Curl up with your laptop because I’m about to introduce you to your new best friend. Meet Shannon Maldanado, the creator and curator of ilovehotdogs.net, a film blog of such depth, scope, taste and breadth that you’ll never again be in want of anything un-cinematic ever again. In preparation for this interview I searched your name on the internet and a Facebook profile came up with a photo a bearded dude running a marathon, giving two thumbs up. You seem like a cool guy. But if that isn’t you can you please describe yourself and what you’re all about? This guy sounds pretty chill. The thumbs up part sounds right but I’m actually a girl. I live in New York, in my twenties, designer, film nerd, overly curious person, and most recently a drum and screenwriting student. Right now I’m all about working hard, playing harder, and trying not to take myself too seriously. And I really do love hot dogs. On your blog you once mentioned that you’ve never seen Titanic. I was forced to see it three times when it came out, as were many others. Having been spared the experience, do you feel a bit guilty? When Titanic was released there was just so much pressure to see it. It was THAT movie that everyone was talking about it: the romance, the old lady, Leo, and that goddamn song! I just decided I wasn’t going to see it on principle. I feel some guilt for missing Avatar in theaters, but Titanic is on TBS every other day. At this point I just don’t own a television and there’s no way in hell that’s creeping onto my Netflix queue. Japanese-style hot dogs are huge right now here in Vancouver. Line-ups at the carts all day long, and we’re talking $7 hot dogs, just dripping in wasabi mayo. Are there any hot dog trends taking New York by storm right now? And how do you dress your dog? I’m a mustard man myself. Seven Dollars for a hot dog!? We’re in a recession! There’s a place called Crif Dogs here that is all about fixings and a traveling hot dog service, Asia Dog, which is all about adding Asian flare to a standard dog which is cool. I am pretty humble in my toppings choices, just Heinz ketchup and preferably grilled. Fries and an Arnold Palmer or a Gremlin are a must. I guess there’s also something about the rubbery nostalgic taste of a movie theater hot dog that comes off one of those rolling grills, and I’m not mad at Ikea’s fifty cent hot dog. Surfing I Love Hot Dogs, it feels like you’re paying very close attention the contents of the frame, the mis-enscene if you will. Are you looking for anything in particular when choosing a still? I think composition is really important, and I often wonder if a shot is intentional or if I’m seeing more than is there. It can also be the feeling the still gives you, the way a photograph can transport you to another time or place. Other times it’s the way colour is used and then sometimes simply because it’s funny, like a ridiculous car explosion or the huge joint from Up In Smoke.
Yeah I can dig that. It almost feels like you are photographing these films, and folding them up into tidy little packages like so much cinematic origami. How do you decide on what to include and exclude? Editing is the toughest part. I try to tell a story but not give everything away. Sometimes it comes down to the difference of a frame or two and lately I’ve been more lenient in editing the amount of images. People have been responding to some of the larger posts of thirty or more stills, which is awesome. What film has nobody seen that everybody should see? There is a Japanese film called House (or Hausu), which I became completely obsessed with last summer that everyone should see. It’s equal parts strange, wacky and inspired. I won’t take stills from it because it will ruin it for me a little. It’s a one of a kind film experience and a case where the images or a review wouldn’t do it justice. Do you have a particular film that you keep on hand for terrible hangovers? My favorite “always makes me feel better” film is Jesus Christ Superstar. I have seen it so many times that I could perform the entire musical single handedly. I love the costumes, the music, and the fact that it makes Jesus into this relatable guy who’s questioning his destiny. He’s like the heir to a trucking throne who wants to be a painter. You kinda feel for him. And it’s shot among the ruins in Israel, which is beautiful. I’ve never seen that. I’ll put it in my queue. I typically go for Groundhog Day or, if completely catatonic, the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy and a protracted Advil-vodka-milkshake-drip. Recently, Land of the Lost was a great no-brainer, no matter what the critics say. I haven’t seen Groundhog Day in forever. Someone told me a friend of theirs has Bill Murray’s face tattooed on him simply because of that movie/character. And an “Advil-vodka-milkshake-drip” sounds amazing. I haven’t seen Land of the Lost but I love Danny Mcbride. Favourite Canadian filmmaker? OMG, just realized Norman Jewison (director of Jesus Christ Superstar) is from Canada (head explodes)! Nice! And James Cameron is also Canadian!? (W-H-A-T!) [ilovehotdogs.net]
HOROSCOPES THIS MONTH: Dr. Ian Super Mystic. Pioneer. Icon. Known for his remarkably accurate predictions, this is Dr. Super’s second time doing the horoscopes for ION. Not limited to the occult, Dr. Super is known internationally as the creator of the dance craze “The Dizzy Step” and his wildly successful IM 6S series of motivational tapes and dance apparel. He can be found either with your third eye, or with the promise of Jameson shots. ARIES: You should be ashamed of yourself. That thing with the person in the place… you know what I’m talking about. It’s only a matter of time before everyone finds out. Go to my place and grab a spare tire, a carton of Marlboros, and the inflatable raft. You’ll know what to do. TAURUS: Oddly, this month will resemble the Ford Taurus, to which you lent your moniker. People settle on you in the hope of upgrading in the future, and you are a stepping stone between dreams and crushing reality. Bright side! You’ve been in the game since the mid-80s and still have a cult following in trailer parks! By the way, I’m saving up for a Taurus *wink*. GEMINI: Well, well, well, if it isn’t a puddle of self pity. We get it, life’s hard. You never get a break. You’re destined for greatness. Now given this, why are you reading this while scratching your crotch? That is not how Rockefeller got his start.
CANCER: This month will culminate in a form of mediocrity seldom known in this realm. I don’t know what to say, just phone this one in. Hell this month is so boring that if you got a box of macaroni with two flavour packets I would be fucking stunned.
LIBRA: Keep things in perspective and don’t fly off the handle when something doesn’t go your way. By “perspective” I mean your love partner. By “fly off the handle” I mean get a harness. By “go your way” I mean secure it to a beam and not just through the drywall.
LEO: Your Luddite ways don’t make you look intriguingly intelligent, just retarded. Your “BookFace” idea is just a phone book with Post-It notes and will not catch on… ever. And what’s with all the satin capes and shit? Stay away from everybody.
SCORPIO: You are well prepared for the journey ahead. Keep on the path laid before you and all will be well. Just sort out the personal hygiene thing and you’ll be fine. And no, a tin of mints is not considered a pack of mini-toothbrushes. Dolt.
VIRGO: I don’t know when the five dollar subs will stop, but slooooow down. Anytime you can give an approximate length of food that you have consumed in a given period you are not doing so hot. Everyone is appreciative of the charity work you do, but please your “Marathon of Subs for Childhood Obesity” is confusing and gross. Fuck Jared, but not literally.
SAGITTARIUS: Your presentation at work/ school doesn’t go over that well. While courageous, your liberal, graphic and incorrect use of the term “fisting” could be viewed as the culprit. Chin up! You’ll find a Silverchair T-shirt in your laundry hamper the day after you “accidentally” drink all of your mouthwash. CAPRICORN: No matter the tests that you face this month, be true to yourself. Being
inconsistent will prove to be disastrous and will have long reaching consequences. Remember, you are like UK speed garage; not very popular anymore, but still absolutely fucking awesome, with beats so chunky you wonder if you need a fork or a spoon. Bigginup MASSIVE! AQUARIUS: You want a fucking vacation? Take that shit! You got a crush on somebody? Date that shit! You can do no wrong for the foreseeable future. This month is going to be like winning a jet-ski, but the jet-ski is actually a talking dolphin-genie-unicorn that also can fly in space! Grab that gold ring bitch and do the damn thing. PISCES: Hang out with an Aquarius. Seriously, do you even read other people’s signs? If you choose not to heed this advice, your month will be spent consuming an unhealthy amount of nacho cheese. This is a very bad call. That shit stays liquid at room temperature, and so will you. Barf.
LUNCHBREATH Lunchbreath is the illustration and cartoon brand belonging to Chicago-based creative director Tony Ruth. His projects range from corporate infographics and explanatory storytelling to illustrated travelogues of trivial adventures and other pointless drivel. [www.lunchbreath.com]
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Published on Feb 23, 2011
Published on Feb 23, 2011
Issue #70 features comedian/musician Tim Heidecker on the cover. This issue also includes articles on Anton Kannemeyer, The Suzan, They Live...