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#74 FREE





34. Fashion: Clou-clux-clamation.

40. Fashion: Photography by Andre Pinces and styling by Tanus Lewis

24. Chip and Pepper: Covering our asses.




20. André Azevedo: Full Brazilian.

50. Hanni El Khatib: Making me foreign.

60. Album Reviews

26. Focus: Michelle Ford

54. Razika: A skalorship to skallege.

61. SelectION: I say “rent it.”

56. Shimmering Stars: Like Amy Millan’s band but prettier.

REGULARS 14. Editor’s Letter: I’m a punk rocker yes I am. 18. ION Style 19. ION The Prize


16. Of The Month

62. Horoscopes: Maxwell Maxwell double dips, like his namesake. 64. Comics






Publisher/Fashion Director Editor in Chief/Music Editor Creative Director Arts Editor Office Manager

Vanessa Leigh Trevor Risk Tyler Quarles Rachel Zottenberg Natasha Neale


Web Editor Douglas Haddow Design Intern Andrew Palmquist Writers Alexia Anastasiou, Jay Brown, Chris Dart, Gen Handley, Sinead Keane, Maxwell Maxwell, Kellen Powell, Sutherland604 Photographers and Artists Alan Chan, Ashley Gesner, Kristine Jakobsen, Tanus Lewis, James Muscles, Deanna Palkowski, Andre Pinces, Marlayna Pincott, Conan Thai 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 Š 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, Magnetic Gak, the Criterion collection edition of Masters Of The Universe, CDs, vinyl, Paul Lynde biographies, Kirby Dar Dar jerseys, Blu-Rays, video games, rose-scented boxes to keep our treasures in, 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 | @ionmagazine | Advertising enquiries can be directed to COVER: Chip and Pepper [shot exclusively for ION Magazine] Photography: Conan Thai []




Photographer [CONAN THAI]

WRITER [gen handley]

Every time Alexia feels suffocated by fashion, she remembers the day her childhood friend showed up in bright purple Guess jeans, beat up sneakers, and a baggy shirt falling off her shoulder, and then she falls in love all over again. Her road to fashion was long, passing by a degree in French literature, three years in Paris and a semester of broadcast journalism to finish with a diploma in fashion merchandising. Alexia dreams of making it, looking like Jean Shrimpton, dressing like Jane Birkin, dancing like Michael Jackson, living in Europe and creating beauty in the unexpected. If you need her, you can find her with a heavy stack of fashion magazines in the corner of a bookstore.

Clou is a playground for creation, exploration and experimentation. It is a creative studio that faces challenges side-by-side with their clients to develop one-of-a kind creations. Clou offers strategic craft and art focused business solutions that attain client goals with the ferocity of a puma. Art, design, branding, advertising, film and interactive – choose your poison. Clou is a studio that flourishes in versatility. Clou is not a client execution tool, but rather a multi-disciplinary conduit that delivers distinct messages with artistic juice.

Conan Thai is a portrait photographer based out of the Los Angeles area who shot Hanni El Khatib and Chip and Pepper for issue 74. Raised in Garden Grove, he graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in studio arts. In his spare time, he enjoys things that fly, explode, or go really, really fast. He's ecstatic whenever he finds activities that includes all three.

Gen Handley is many things – a brother, a drinker and on occasion, a writer. A very long year of teaching high school language arts inspired him to pursue his love of writing further and go into journalism. He has since contributed his words to an eclectic number of organizations and publications including, Metro News, 24 Hours, The Edmonton Journal, the BC government, Vue Weekly and most recently, ION. His many loves include honest music, gyoza and animals.



[] @okheyday

[] @Gen_and_Tonic



lthough officially this is issue 74, it’s been referred to for the last while as “The September Issue” which apparently means something specifically about fashion. I can’t say I know a hell of a lot about fashion. I have over fifty band t-shirts (and am half owner of with our creative director) and I just live in those, especially at the gym. If you’re at the YMCA and you see a guy in a My Bloody Valentine Glider shirt, that’s me. I own a watch, a pair of boots, and a few jackets. To me “Lookbook” is a sweet band from Minnesota, “Fashion” is a song by David Bowie, “Fashionable People” is a song by Joel Plaskett (which you can bump butts to as archieved in a past selectION), and Right Said Fred did his little turn on the catwalk… on the catwalk yeah, he shook his little tush on the catwalk.


I know the exact day I tipped over the waterfall with fashion. I was at a house party when I was nineteen. I was wearing an Iggy Pop shirt covered in safety pins and probably a little bit of brazen man-makeup. Okay, fishnets may have been used as sleeves. Well, as the sun was rising some crusty bros gave me shit about not being a real punk. They sidled up beside me and loudly lamented the times where real punks ruled the city. Then they glowered at me until I received the point. I was embarrassed. I was a poseur making reference to a time I didn’t experience. I went home and put on a tie. We all had that period in personal style. My buddies and I enjoy reminiscing about cargo pants and flex fits before some predictably cooler older girl pointed us in the

right direction. The more I hark back though, the more I realize that those snots who hazed me were counterfactual. So maybe I didn’t get my Iggy shirt from a dumpster, I basically lived in one. My home had two people to a bedroom. We never had any toilet paper. We stole food from the supermarket because when we would scrounge up enough money to eat, we’d spend it on liquor and Fugazi records. We lived with one guy who always thought the cops were after him and regularly smashed found cell phones, and another guy who cleaned up and made dinner instead of paying rent. We stole cable, furniture, and vintage clothing. We shared clothes to keep the stealing of them to a minimum. To pass the time we tried to learn the harmonica and figure out ways to make

money without having to work. We got in arguments with the landlords about painting the entirety of the house’s interior flat black. I in fact, was a punk, I only dressed like a photocopy of one. Regrettably, I started wearing sweaters, got a job, and moved out on my own. Decade-younger me would not be proud of my current cloth stamp. “Where’s your Lou Reed jacket?” he’d say to me before pissing on my Oxfords. Oh I still have it. Wanna get loaded in the park till the sun comes up? “With you? Go suck a lemon.” -Trevor Risk Editor in Chief

When you have a serious food allergy, birthday cake is just one more thing you can’t have. Visit


STORE OPENING-7 FOR ALL MANKIND 7 For All Mankind will be opening their first flagship store in Yorkdale, Toronto. In celebration, 7 of Canada’s most visionary artists will create 7 works of art producing one powerful group show titled Seven Senses. Caitlin Cronenberg, Curtis Santiago, Justin Broadbent, Elicser, Phoebe Lo, Bryan Espiritu and Julie Moon will each create a modern installation inspired by sight, smell, sound, taste, touch, intuition and style, using denim as their medium. Store opens On August 31st, at 3401 Dufferin Street.

NAILPHILIA If you happen to be in London, England from September 1st to 25th, be sure to check out Nailphilia, one of the first art shows based on nail art. The show is curated by Ryan Lanji, an ex-Vancouverite who now calls London, England home. The show will feature the works of Nick Knight, Marian Newman, Sophy Robson, Andrea Fulerton, and even Sue Marsh, who created nails for Alexander Mcqueen and the Spice Girls. The show will be taking place at 12A Vyner Street, London.

THE TENTS-DOCUMENTARY Every year there is a film based on the fashion industry that has people talking. This year is no exception. James Belzer’s The Tents is set to be released in September during NYFW. This documentary takes a look at the history of NYFW and the tents at Bryant Park that have become as iconic as the designers that show their collections in them. Lots of fashion luminaries, from NY Fashion Week’s founder, Suzy Menkes, Betsey Johnson, Caroline Herrera, Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi, and many more reveal the chaotic and dangerous truth behind the Bryant Park tents.

TAILFEATHER HAIR EXTENSIONS One of the biggest trends in hair is the feather extension, and taking it one step further are the hair artists over at IS Salon in Vancouver. They have released a selection of hand painted, human hair extensions in a variety of animal patterns. Don’t live in Vancouver? Don’t worry, they also sell them on online. [photo: Eric Cairns]



FASHION POP AT POP MONTREAL Celebrating its fifth year, Fashion POP is a juried show that features up-and-coming Montreal designers, each presenting a 6-look mini-collection to a panel of industry judges for a cash prize courtesy of Le Chateau and a four page editorial in Worn Fashion Journal. Past winners include Anomal Couture, Dane Richards, Norwegian Wood and By Thomas. The fashion show takes place on September 21st to kick off POP Montreal.

DENIM GALLERY CAFÉ This unique concept café/retail location is the brainchild of Michel Menard. He uses his showroom as a retail location where clients can shop for brands such as Timex, Levis, Ray Ban, Converse, Landyachtz Longboards and Vancouver designed Herschel Bags, while drinking Lavazza Coffee and noshing on grilled cheese sandwiches. Food and fashion-what could be better? 906 Main Street, Vancouver.


ION STYLE Photography: Alan Chan Styling: Deanna Palkowski @Lizbell Makeup and Hair by: Ashley Gesner @Lizbell Models: Miki Heaps @ Rad Kids by NOBASURA Bag: Matix T-shirt: Verse & Theory Jacket: BB Dakota Shorts: Gentle Fawn Boots: Tretorn Earrings: Little Burgundy Scarf: Pink Martini


ION THE PRIZE TOYWATCH Our friends over at Toywatch have given us a couple of the Jelly watches to put on our readers wrists. With eight different choices for strap colour and nine choices for watch colour, you can create seventy-two different combinations. Just pop the watch right out of the strap to mix and match. What a cool way to spruce up your fall wardrobe without breaking the bank. Check us out at [] for details.



‘RAF SIMONS #15’ Words: Rachel Zottenberg

Should we talk about how cool embroidery is? Your grandma does it. We did it in kindergarten. It was awesome! André Azevedo fuses several artistic techniques; drawing, painting and even sewing over fabrics to build layered pieces. Azevedo’s work reflects his observations of the small gestures and actions of people and the manipulation of the human form. The many textures and layers create an illusion of frozen movement in the eyes of the viewer. In his current series titled Raf Simons #15, Azevedo works with pen, pencil, watercolor paint, and tulle on canvas to pay tribute to iconic designer Raf Simons and his 15 year legacy in the fashion industry. André Azevedo was born in Curitiba, Brazil. He went to the Universidade Federal do Paraná, where he studied design. He began a career as a Ford Model agent, and then moved into art direction, where he began winning awards for his work. Now he’s moved into mixed media and at only 32, the Brazilian’s work has already been seen all over the world. In 2009 he began to garner attention when his work appeared in The NYC Affordable Art Fair at the Living With Art


gallery. The next was a big year. Azevedo’s work appeared in the 2010 Brazillian Design Biennial and was accepted into the Brazilian Sculpture Museum of Sao Paulo. This was also the year he collaborated with luxury car brand Alfa Romeo and was contracted by Lacoste to participate in a unique art project, PEACETU. The project´s aim was to highlight fashion, music and art in the French-Brazilian cultural axis. Eight artists (three French, five Brazilians) gathered in a homestudio in Santa Teresa to create the exposition, Héritage, a creative experience between the two countries, inspired by the story of Rene Lacoste and its brand. Azevedo’s times in the fashion industry appear to heavily influence his work by his demonstration of his love for the human form. It was a fashion journalist friend of Azevedo’s who suggested combining his two passions, fashion and art. In his new series, Raf Simons # 15, he does just this. He utilizes three seemingly disjointed mediums in an extremely subtle way. His use of bold colours and a heavier hand than in his previous work demonstrate Simons' industrial




stylistic influence. Like Simons' work that celebrates youth, Azevedo uses layers to highlight the nuances of body shape and line. Although Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons may not be all that well-known to the average consumer, he's worshipped by fashion industry insiders and considered by many in the business to be the top menswear designer working today. Simons was born on January 12, 1968, in Neerpelt, Belgium in a small Flemish village near the German border, in a world he describes as devoid of arts and culture. “I was an only child. My family was more working-class. My dad was in the army and my mom was a cleaning lady her whole life. I was completely unaware of the possibility of art.” The one and only music shop in his small town became his main means of escape. Artists such as David Bowie, as well as bands like Kraftwerk and Joy Division were among his favorites and remain influential in his current design. At the time though, becoming a musician was out of the question. Simons parents had worked hard to earn enough to support him through higher level study to help him get away from his small town. They didn’t care what he became; whether it was a doctor, a teacher or a lawyer, as long as he went and studied it at university. Then, just before high-school graduation, Simons found a book at

a friends house. Inside there was one page about industrial design. It’s amazing how something so small can have such a massive effect on someone’s life. Inspired, Simons began studying industrial design in university. During these years the Belgian fashion industry was growing rapidly and Simons found himself captivated by all the novelty and excitement. He began his career with an internship with Walter Van Beirendonck in Paris, where he was exposed to the work of Martin Margiela and Jean-Paul Gaultier. At the age of 27 Simons released his first independent collection on his label Raf by Raf Simons and immediately attracted a huge underground following. Achieving commercial success takes a backseat to moving fashion forward when it comes to his vision for the labels he directs, and that’s the main reason Raf Simons has gained a godlike stature within the fashion community. The Belgian designer has long been the headlight for radical menswear. His ultimate fixation on youth culture in his earliest collections for his eponymous label found a niche market of young European hipsters, but more importantly, influenced other brands' more mainstream designs. Throughout the 90s and the early 2000s, he showed how innovative design can embrace new technologies and fabrics and rethink traditional structures. In 2005, Simons

turned from rogue independent to the man behind a megabrand, taking the reins of the men's and women's lines at Jil Sander and likely saving the Jil Sander mark. His highly influential vision might be best summed up by stylist/ editor Marie-Amélie Sauve, who, in a 2005 New York Times Magazine piece, commented, "He did everything before anyone else, and everybody has copied him." Simons is anything but typical in the fashion industry. In fact he makes great effort to avoid the typical structured fashion world in general. In the series Raf Simons #15, André Azevedo’s fusion of multiple mediums including embroidery also step outside his worlds typical structure and form. The series serves as a compelling tribute to the iconic designer Raf Simons and his 15 year legacy in the fashion industry. Azevedo’s exceptional synthesis of fashion, and art have most recently landed him the prestigious fashion illustration book by Martin Dawber The Great Big Book Of Fashion Illustration. No doubt we’ll be hearing more from him soon. To see André Azevedo’s series Raf Simons #15 in full, check out []



BULLDOG SKIN Words: Alexia Anastasiou

Photography: Conan Thai

A name is important. Just like a good pair of jeans and a great haircut. They all have the potential to make you a star, or vice versa. Case study: Chip and Pepper Foster, names with star power. So much so that I was convinced they couldn’t be real until I did my research, which consisted of watching any and all of their youtube videos and realized their success was inevitable; a perfect symbiotic relationship between name, person and star potential. And did I mention they are twins? There is not one, but two of them. Identical twins with perfectly neglected, shaggy blond locks, blue eyes and enough energy to kill a moving horse. In everything they do, they exude a genuine, passionate, infantile excitement and exuberance. It makes one wonder how these clothing designers have managed to build a multimillion dollar enterprise while staying so damn cool, and (let’s face it) adolescent. It came as no surprise when Chip offered this explanation: “We puke first, check each other’s pockets for cash, then head to Tim Horton’s for a double double.” Coming from these two, what surprised me most was where they were headed; Tim Horton’s. Seemingly insignificant, it says everything


about who they are: two guys who have made their livelihood from capitalizing on the California culture, who call Malibu home, yet who remain distinctly Canadian and proud of it. With Canadian wives and children lucky enough to be carrying two passports, they make regular visits to Canada, specifically Lake of the Woods, where they do everything Canadian – beer-drinking, lake-swimming, wake-surfing, helicopter-flying, followed by more beer-drinking. With the recent launch of their new Wet Wear line, Chip and Pepper are celebrating the past while looking to the future. They have brought back their original sunglasses-wearing bulldog and put him on modern fitting t-shirts, tank tops and hoodies in new light-weight fabrics. How did they come up with the idea for the bulldog? They first toyed with the idea of two gorillas, then two sharks, and finally a joint-smoking crab. In the end, the bulldog was the best fit. “The dog is a mix of good and bad. And a bulldog with shades is just super badass.” Only a year shy of their 25th anniversary in business, Chip and Pepper are proud to know their bulldog is a pop culture icon, right next to the Campbell’s soup can. To what do they attribute their success? “We basically try to do everything to the best of our ability and

develop strategic partnerships.” This is true of the recent Wet Wear line that launched in conjunction with S3 stores across Canada and is promoted by their new skate team based in Venice Beach, California. They add, “We want things to be organic and develop naturally – just catch the wave,” a fitting analogy coming from a surfer who makes clothes for surfers. It doesn’t hurt that they have all the right people wearing their Chip and Pepper denim line either. Their work has been all over the hottest bodies in Hollywood, from Beyonce, Rachel Bilson, and Sandra Bullock to Josh Duhamel and Gisele Bundchen. Then there was that one time when they ran into their friend Tommy Hilfiger – a king of denim – actually wearing their jeans! All Chip and Pepper can say of the experience is “Amazing!” When they met him again for lunch, he asked them to make jeans for his son. No big deal. Then there was the time Pepper was in a restaurant with his wife and they saw Sandra Bullock wearing Chip and Pepper denim. Never one to shy away from an opportunity, he felt he should honour this celebrity’s brand loyalty with an explicit insult fitting for a cheating ex-husband. His wife quickly shushed him, stepping in to ask if she liked her Chip and Pepper jeans, to

which Bullock exclaimed, “Oh, I LOVE my Chip and Peppers!” Although Chip and Pepper continue to look for success, they think it’s a good sign everyone from power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z to all the cool kids (the real skaters, surfers and boarders) are wearing their clothes. “It’s the Chip and Pepper movement.” The tandem, who hail from Winnipeg, Canada, started their business in 1983, selling their t-shirts out of the back of a van. In ‘87, they came out with their first clothing line entitled Wet Wear, and then started chipping away at the denim industry in ‘89. Beyond designing, they are also known for their charity

work, hosting a cartoon show, playing games of celebrity hockey, hosting TV style segments, playing cartoon characters (bulldogs dressed as humans, naturally) and singing songs about their brand (most notably, “Chip and Pepper Get Hip or Get Out”). I was even privy to a solo concert via Skype. So what’s next for Chip and Pepper? Besides world domination through denim and sportswear, they’re about to begin shooting a docudrama entitled 8 Days with Chip and Pepper, and, they tell me none of it is staged – only their house is cleaner than usual and everything from their garage is now on

their driveway; a list that looks something like this: cars, vintage denim, caribou, and Hawaiian chandeliers. In case you still haven’t got a grip on just how cool Chip and Pepper really are, you should know they wrote a letter to Paris Hilton (a friend) while she was in jail offering her premium denim in which to greet fans, friends and foes after her stint behind bars. And yes, she replied. She wanted the jeans. So what’s the next step for Chip and Pepper? Getting Obama into their jeans, obviously!




Michelle Ford focuses on the idea of nostalgia. Her most current work deals with the importance of what once-was, what-is, and what will-be; whether it be focusing on the solus hidden in a landscape or encapsulating that endless moment of summer bliss.














Vladimir Shirt + Chino: Ben Sherman



Gwyneth Sweater and Skirt: Fred Perry

Sonora Cardigan: Fred Perry


Thomas Jacket, Blazer, Shirt + Cords: Ben Sherman


Blouse: Tucker @ Violet Boutique Dress: Sofie D'Hoorie @ Gravity Pope Boots: Marc By Marc @ Gravity Pope

FASHION Dress: Dace Panties: Obakki Cardigan: Jack

Blouse: Allison Wonderland Cap: Robert Rodrigeuz @ Holt Renfrew Skirt: Jack Boots: Aldo


FASHION Blouse: Paul Smith @Gravity Pope Dress: Cacharel @ Gravity Pope Pumps: Aldo

Blouse and skirt: Marc by Marc Jacobs @ Holt Renfrew Shoes: Aldo Bangles: Nuvo @ Zebra Club



Blouse and skirt: Rachel Comey @ Violet Boutique Sweater: 3.1 Philip Lim @ Holt Renfrew Shoes: Moma @ Gravity Pope Socks: H&M



Shirt: Maria Cornejo Dress: Paul Smith IONMAGAZINE.CA Sunglasses: Karen48 Walker- all @ Gravity Pope

Dress: Staple @ Zebra Club Blouse: Etoile Isabel Maranti @ Gravity Pope Cardigan: Theory @ Holt Renfrew Tights: @ Gravity Pope




GUNS BLAZING Words: Gen Handley Photography: Conan Thai

During one of several opening shows for Florence and the Machine last year, Hanni El Khatib shared a revealing moment with his drummer. “I looked back at him and was like, ‘What the fuck are we doing here?’” says El Khatib over the phone, sounding a little weary from a video shoot and celebration the night before. That comment was revelatory as he understood that the casual music career he led before had become something much bigger than he ever imagined as a 10-year-old, when he first picked up an old acoustic guitar his parents had lying around the house. “I didn’t think anything would happen other than releasing a 7-inch and playing some shows in my home town. That was my goal,” says El Khatib, who will be releasing his first full-length, Will The Guns Come Out, on September 27. “Music was just something that kept me from going insane at my desk job.” His desk job, for nearly 10 years before all of this, was not as mundane as you would think.



MUSIC He was a skateboard and apparel designer for a California company called HUF. During that time, El Khatib stayed productive as a musician, playing the occasional local show and festival while releasing a couple of singles – some of which have appeared in movie soundtracks and a Nike “Just Do It” commercial. But it was his whisky-fueled wails, scorching live shows with his sole bandmate and long-time friend, drummer Nicky Fleming-Yaryan as well as candid, gritty songs that gradually gained more and more attention from fans. “The live shows are insane,” he says. “A lot of the time we’ll just wing it or make up songs on the fly. We’ve actually done that.” Will The Guns Come Out is El Khatib’s declaration of embracing whatever life has to offer – the good and bad – with open arms, and likely a pair of middle fingers. “It’s about never knowing what to expect every day,” he explains. “You could get fucked over by your boss or your best friend could get hit by a car. The title is an internal question.” He describes the album as “songs written for anyone who’s ever been shot or hit by a train,” – that is, for those who have gone through tough times. The recording process of the new album was comparable to his live performances. “I had one rule,” he says about recording the album. “If it sounds fine, then leave it. It may not be perfect, but don’t worry about it. I would rather use the recording with the best emotional take rather than the one with the perfect timing or whatever.” “I can’t even count how many mess-ups there are on the album,” the 30-year-old adds. Hanni El Khatib finds real beauty in imperfection and in the damaged, and is a refreshing voice in a music industry so focused on the polished and pristine. In addition to a range of inspirations including The Misfits, Lou Reed, and David Bowie, El Khatib is also moved by the darker, marginalized aesthetics of 50s and 60s Americana from the likes of Bizarre Magazine and fetish illustrations of John Willie. In his bio, El Khatib describes his music as “knife fight music.” While he admittedly acknowledges that he has never been (nor would like to be) in a knife fight, his use of imagery references a certain era to which he envisions his music as a soundtrack. He maintains this theme covering his releases with colour-treated images of violent 50s car wrecks, which he admits having a strong fascination for. “I like things that are a little fucked up,” he says, pausing for a couple of seconds. “There’s some beauty in that.” You can hear this type of beauty in his growing list of unbridled songs. These songs could easily be categorized as punk, indie, doo-wop, garage rock, and/or jazz, yet they


simultaneously show us how inconsequential and rigid these definitions actually are. “I guess I like to keep people guessing with my music,” he says. “When people ask me what my music’s like, I say, ‘It’s kind of like this, and it’s kind of like that', but it’s still very straightforward and not too experimental.” This indefinable quality is clearly a product of El Khatib’s eclectic pool of inspiration and may also be the result of a culturally rich background. Raised by a Palestinian father and a Filipino mother in the Bay Area, he never identified with one group or category. “I feel connected to both [cultures] equally and wasn’t raised in any particular way. I was raised American. My parents were pretty open-minded and my mother’s very artistic and let me try whatever,” says the San Francisco-native/LA-transplant. “I didn’t fit into a race. On forms, I would always check the ‘other’ box. I just learned to adapt into any culture. There were no lines dividing culture and race and I was taught to like and accept everybody. Maybe that is why I’m into whatever now.” His philosophy of boundlessness not only applies to his music or the people he meets, but to basically everything else in his life as well. “If I’m going to paint something, I don’t like to think about it. Or if I’m designing a skate deck, I’ll make a graphic that says ‘fuck you’ and not be too worried about who sees that,” he says unapologetically. “I try not to limit or restrain myself.” This relentless, honest work ethic is what has led him to this album and to his “what-the-fuck-are-we-doing-here?” moment on stage last year. While the album has been coming together for close to two years, these are songs that El Khatib has been playing for many years before. These songs (aside from a melancholic cover of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”) were written by a man with no intention other than to get some words off of his chest. These songs that radiate honesty are completely free of pretention and do not carry the weighty expectation to be enjoyed. This album is a form of closure for El Khatib. “I’ve been performing and playing them for a while so it’s time for them to be released,” he says. “It’s time to move on.” When asked what his name means, his answer is borderline ironic. “My mom tells me it’s Middle Eastern for ‘peaceful and content,’” he says. “I don’t know if she’s making it up, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.” Does he live up to his namesake? “It really, really depends what day you catch me on,” he replies with a laugh.



SKA-NDINAVIAN BABES Words: Sinead Keane Photography: Kristine Jakobsen

Speaking to Razika’s lead singer, Marie Amdam, over a fuzzy phone connection to Norway, it is clear that something is amiss. Having stumbled from bed to make the early morning phone call without so much as checking the news headlines, it only becomes apparent towards the end of our call, that this day of our interview, Norway was on everyone’s lips for all the wrong reasons; a massacre which left 77 people dead – many of the same generation as Razika’s four members. Prior to this tragedy that struck her home country, Marie believes it is the relentless rain storms and intense heavy metal scene that placed Norway on the global map. The music created by the endearing female members of Razika could be no further from the dark sounds of metal from their homeland. Their snappy, breezy, classic pop tunes are as fresh and pure as the youthful faces of the band members who have succeeded in reaching a global audience with their melodies at the tender age of 20. Their debut album Program 91 is not in reference to the year they cut their teeth on the touring circuit, nor when they lost their virginity at a drunken party. No, 1991 is the year they were born. Try not to feel as under accomplished or incompetent as I did when I spoke with the delectably sweet Marie. It is not many 14-year-olds who dedicate their entire lives outside high school to fine tuning their musical abilities. And having played the breezy sounds of their debut offering on repeat since acquiring it, I for one, am glad they made such a sacrifice. With their catchy, high energy Norwegian and English tunes, the girls have been compared to everyone from The Specials to The Slits. Just don’t call them bubblegum pop. Marie describes


their sound as a unique mix between digital pop and ska. With such a diverse sound, the lead singer and songwriter claims their shows host a wide and diverse audience from teenage boys eager to catch a glimpse of the pretty quartet rocking out on stage to one enthusiastic 60-year-old man who once proclaimed them the best band he had seen live since the swinging 60’s. Teenage heartache, romance and young love are themes most people can relate to, even if a number of their songs are sung in their native tongue. “This is something that just happened naturally,” says Marie. “We started off writing all of our songs in English, but after a while we tried to write in Norwegian and it was then that people began to notice us more.” Despite pressure from their record company to pick one language and stick to it, Marie believes it is this unique combination of languages that helps them stand out, even if they do have to constantly deal with ardent fans and journalists attempts to decipher their lyrics resulting, quite often, in a case of lost in translation. “It is so funny for us when people write to us and try to understand our lyrics by using Google Translate. Although lyrics are really important, we are proud that the music alone can work for us; that people don’t have to understand the lyrics to like our songs.” A tight clique since their prepubescent days, the girls formed Razika in 2006. Back then, in the early days, they learned their instruments by trial and error, they didn’t play by notes and together they explored a whole catalogue of music trying everything from The Beatles to heavy punk rock in attempt to define their sound. Striking a fine balance between jamming and homework, the girls were offered their first record deal at

age 18, only to turn it down. “Our manager was really into the idea of releasing an album when we were young to capture our youthful spirit, but we just didn’t feel ready,” explains Marie. “We wanted to wait until our songs were good enough and we felt more confident.” Recording the album in 2010 took longer than expected, as with schoolwork, it could sometimes be months between bouts in the studio. What has emerged is 11 heartbreakingly good tracks with a youthful naivety that transports you back to those magical days when lying in a sunny park daydreaming about falling in love was enough in life. No matter how mature and accomplished their record may sound, however, it is hard to forget just how young the members of Razika are. Their name was taken from a secret code they used to describe a cute guy when at school, and their website gallery is scattered with photos of the foursome as kids before they adopted their current American Apparel style image. On tour last year, between giggles, Marie admits to feeling more nervous about meeting her teenage idol, Alex Turner of Arctic Monkey fame than she was about Razika playing to an audience of nearly 2000 as their support act. While Alex Turner and co. may have moved on from their days of heavy partying with female fans, Marie makes a point of not ruling out groupies. With party invitations following every show and eager male fans falling at their feet, perhaps Razika are a little less sweet and a little more ska than they convey. One thing for sure, their ambitions are anything but fluffy.




Words: Sutherland604 Photography: James Muscles

For years now Vancouver (and the surrounding areas of British Columbia) has been a bit of a melting pot in the Canadian musical landscape. Countless bands rehearse, record and perform in the venues in the region and every so often one of them gains popularity and they stretch beyond the “friends and family in attendance” vibe at shows. For each band that makes it big, dozens of others are on the cusp of finding success. It is a combination of luck/timing/skill/dedication and some bands have it and some don’t. One of those bands on the rise in this region is Shimmering Stars. I had the pleasure of chatting with the guys in Shimmering Stars; Rory McClure, Andrew Dergousoff & Brent Sasaki over some drinks before their recent performance in Vancouver. After listening to the band’s sound check it was clear that the music they listened to and were inspired by is very diverse. Rory touched on that once we sat down. “Yeah. We listened to a lot of Beach Boys and Phil Spector


stuff but we were also really into indie rock like Pixies and Sonic Youth. So we kinda pull from both ends.” You can definitely notice the influence of Brian Wilson era music on their album Violent Hearts. The band is based in Vancouver but they did all the recording back in Rory’s parent’s garage (which has been dubbed “The Garage Majal”) in Kamloops. What truly interests me is where the inspiration comes from for these bands. “We get most of our writing done in a dark alley, around 3AM when Rory is near black out. We could call it parking lot-inspired music”, said drummer Andrew. “We are very economical people. Some people go to clubs or to pubs; we just spend a lot of time drinking in parks and parking lots” he continued as he took a drink of his pint. “Shows are different obviously. These beers are all free.” We moved out to the patio of the venue to have a smoke and talk about what is up next for the band after this show in Vancouver. They were signed to the label


MUSIC Almost Musique out of Paris and they are getting ready to head across the pond for a tour of Europe. “We just played a show in Merritt last week and the next logical step was to go play Paris. Almost Musique has been very supportive of us since day one and they have set up this entire European tour for us.” Being a small band from Vancouver, Canada it seems weird to see that they got signed to a small indie label in Europe first. Since signing with Almost Musique they also became a part of the Hardly Art label out of Seattle Once we got back to our table there was a plate of nachos waiting for us. “Did you order these?” asked Brent “Nah man. I ate before I came down here” I said as I looked around for a waitress. “Whatever, we can eat them” said Brent as we all sat back down. “Rory doesn’t like olives or tomatoes” said Andrew as we dug into the food. Brent forced “Worst vegetarian EVER!” through a mouthful of nachos. “A vegetarian that doesn’t like tomatoes? Isn’t the tomato like your cow?” I asked. Rory responded with saying he is “a fair weather vegetarian. It is hard on the road." The band might not all agree on the food on the road but they all see eye to eye on the beverage of choice: Beer. “That is the one thing we are looking forward to the most, well aside from playing the shows, with this tour. Belgium has some far out flavours.” The band also was quick to agree on who was most likely have issues getting through the international customs. “Hands down it is Rory. Tell them about how you managed to travel to the shows in Seattle, Portland and SXSW without your passport”, joked Brent. “I knew this was going to come up. We had all these shows booked in advance in Washington State through our North American label Hardly Art, including a showcase in Austin for SXSW and I managed to travel across the border and within the


US using only my crumpled up birth certificate.” Once the band makes it back to North America they are going to be focusing on their CD release party at The Waldorf in Vancouver. Rory commented “Once we are all back safe and sound from the Europe tour we are going to be releasing this album then most of our focus all goes back to school.” That being said it really all depends on how well the tour goes, and once that CD comes out, every parent of a musician’s worst nightmare might come true when they put the education on the back burner to focus on the music. Despite having a pair of record labels representing them now, the guys in Shimmering Stars recorded their debut album independently before they signed with either label. “It was weird, 'cause we were done recording the album and we were taking our time just slowly releasing a few songs online then we were contacted. We never went out and solicited labels. These guys (Almost Musique) wanted us and that made the decision even easier to make. It was just a perfect fit for us at Hardly Art too”, noted Rory. When asked about the people at Almost Musique Andrew quipped “They are all dicks! Kidding. They came down to Austin for SXSW and they are all really cool. That helps since we will be sleeping on their floors in Europe. It was good that they came down to Austin so we’ve had some really good shared experiences with them.” As I said, it takes a mixture of things for a band to break out of the local “scene”. With the support of Hardly Art in Seattle and Almost Musique in France, a growing fan base in Vancouver, a debut album ready to be released and an always-appreciated matching outfits look, Shimmering Stars have all the pieces in place to make the next step.




[1] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Hysterical Apparently in the age of immediacy, when you take two years to follow up an album, people think your band broke up. Such is the case for Brooklyn/Philly band CYHSY. Guess what?! They never broke up! They just took some fucking time (2 years used to be industry standard) to create a record. Sorry Professor Youtube Tweety McFacespacer. Sorry they can’t create ART fast enough for you. Sorry your MTV-ADD-ADHD-OCD-fake DD’slove- for-Justin Biebs-sense-of-decorum won’t allow you to sit and wait patiently for a new body of work from an artist you used to love fifteen minutes ago... when it was cool. Sorry not everyone can put out a new album every 30 seconds like Ryan Adams. Maybe if you stopped living life at a hysterically unsustainable pace and listened to CYHSY’s new album Hysterical you would hear how they’ve expanded their sound, incorporated lush strings, beautiful synths, and generally taken their song writing up like six notches. Slow down and listen to Hysterical as it was meant to be heard - long play, start to finish. It’s called an ALBUM. - Jay Brown [2] NewVillager - S/T So many girls I know adore Kate Bush. I like her enough, but she can be at little too ovulate-y for me sometimes. She re-



minds me of my girlfriend’s mum; totally cool and I am always pumped to have lunch with her, but sometimes I wanna watch Doctor Who and discuss the inner workings of time travel. NewVillager is Kate Bush for nerdy guys. Finally we boys have a band we can listen to while cloudbusting. Riding the razor’s edge between artsy fartsy and party hardy, NewVillager’s self title debut is both calming and exciting and finds an astral plane to live on next to Yeasayer and a bottle of ouzo. - Trevor Risk [3] The Rapture - In The Grace Of Your Love With their new album, The Rapture have decided to dance with who brought ‘em. Returning to DFA, the band are reunited with James Murphy and Tim Goldworthy who produced their debut album Echoes. On In The Grace Of Your Love they give their fans a healthy reminder of what made them appealing to begin with. Producer Philippe Zdar (Phoenix, Chromeo) makes you recognize immediately that it’s The Rapture, which is the most a band can ask for. With a little play in the clubs hopefully we can relive those moments from 2003 when nighttimers would claw over each other to fist pump the hardest to “House of Jealous Lovers.” - Trevor Risk



[4] Ladytron - Gravity The Seducer On their latest album, Gravity the Seducer, Liverpudlian synthpopsters Ladytron have done the unthinkable and gotten even sadder. The ‘Tron have more or less had a lock on the angsty-yet-danceable market since the early ‘00s, but on Gravity, they largely throw away the first half of that equation and just focus on feelings. Don’t get it twisted, Ladytron haven’t completely abandoned the dancefloor. Songs like “Ritual,” “Melting Ice” and “Ace of Hz” will definitely get waify, black-clad girls to bust a semi-ironic, noncommittal move, but the rest of the album is a marked departure from the accessible, pop-y sounds of 2008’s Velocifero. That’s not to say Gravity is a bad album. There’s actually a lot to recommend on it. The building, atmospheric “White Gold” is a one song journey, while the skittery, minimalist “Ambulances” is a perfect example of how a band can evoke a lot of emotions with relatively little sound. Folks who got into Ladytron because of their alt-dance anthems like “Seventeen,” “Ghosts” and “Destroy Everything You Touch” will find Gravity The Seducer a little tough to swallow, but fans of smart, deep, dark pop music will love it. – Chris Dart


MOVIES A movie that should only be seen once isn’t necessarily a bad movie, just like the movies we watch over and over again aren’t necessarily good ones. All it means is that for some reason something about it makes for unpalatable second viewing, even if it might be an important film or one that we initially enjoyed. If you've only seen these movies once so far, consider yourself warned against second viewings. If you haven't seen them at all, you probably shouldn't read this because this short list might actually spoil your first viewing in some cases too. - Kellen Powell

[1] 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick’s masterfully crafted film about the nature of human achievement and search for intelligent life in the universe is an undeniable classic. I love to come back to it every now and then in small doses. I’ll always watch a scene or two if I walk by it playing at an HMV or on TV. It was a huge technical achievement that introduced the genre to a headier, more philosophical approach. It also featured visuals that are unrivaled even by films made nearly 50 years later. That said, I can watch it for about as long as I can look at a painting, which is appropriate because the film only strives to be as engaging as one. I might give it coffee table book status if I was in a generous mood, but the film certainly doesn’t earn its 141 minute running time. [2] Amelie It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Amelie but I remember that the first time I saw it I was oddly moved and thought it was delightful. When I saw it a second time and its artifice became a little more apparent, I was overwhelmed with how hard this movie was working to be adorable. It was sickening in the same way as a little kid that’s just figured out he can get what he wants from his mom if he talks in a baby voice. To this day I can’t look at Audrey Tautou without becoming slightly nauseous. Fun fact - Mathieu Kassovitz, who played the adorable nebbish love interest, went on to

direct Vin Diesel movies in Hollywood. [3] The Blair Witch Project Maybe a more topical example of this type of movie would be Paranormal Activity, but I wouldn’t know because when that came out I just thought to myself “I’ve already seen The Blair Witch Project, I don’t need to watch it again in someone’s bedroom.” That The Blair Witch Project only needs to be viewed once isn’t really a strike against it. It knows exactly what kind of movie it wants to be, and it offers a gimmicky thrill that, when it came out, had everyone raving about it for 15 minutes. It has the makings of a great horror movie; tension, ambiguity, elements of the supernatural and realism. However, because of the deliberate stylistic constraints the film puts on itself as a “documentary” assembled entirely of found footage, it has no re-watch value. The plot is driven entirely by the question “what’s happening?” Once the film provides that answer, there’s no point coming back to it. [4] Requiem For A Dream This movie is hard to watch. The first time you see it you assume that’s a reaction to the dark territory the film graphically explores; addiction, prostitution, amputation, loneliness, mental health... it’s a real trip. The second time you watch it you

realize it's actually because it's a movie starring a Wayans brother and Jared Leto (Elen Burstyn and Shooter McGavin are slumming it in this one). The film doesn't even have the decency to make its nihilistic self-destructive characters colourful or charming in any way, like say, Trainspotting. It’s a visual achievement, and it has an amazing score by Clint Mansel, but once that wears off the lack of depth becomes aggravating. [5] Any Star Wars movie made after 1989 (including special additions, prequels and sequels) I'm not even going to bother explaining why these movies aren't worth watching twice. They aren't worth watching once! But they could make 9 more Star Wars movies, film them all in a day starring Kate Hudson as every character, and if you're like me you'd have to see them all. No matter how bad you'd be able to guess the movie was going to be, no matter how bad the track record was at that point, you would still see it at least once. Because if you’re like me, you can't deal with the uncertainty of not knowing exactly how you might feel about a particular Star Wars movie. Sprinkle that desperate curiosity with the slightest bit of hope that somehow, some way, it might manage to be as special one of the original films and you've got a recipe for the audience equivalent of enslavement.



ARIES People don't "get" you sometimes, and that's okay. Just keep doing your own thing, and try not to get any blood or feces on anybody who didn't sign up for it beforehand. TAURUS If you're born to a rich family on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, then sent to an exclusive performing arts school, then have your first album get released by Interscope and sell over 12 million copies, it comes across as incredibly grating when you talk about what an amazing journey it's been and how much of an outsider you are as a slender young blonde who wears revealing clothing and makes pop music about "being in the club" and "wanting to have sex with guys." That's not to say that your music is objectively bad, but being a fan of something listed under "Great CDs for Your Collection" on doesn't make one part of any kind of "movement." GEMINI Everybody sometimes has the fear that they are totally, completely incompetent at and unqualified for something; a relationship, their job, maybe a hobby. That fear keeps people from writing a novel, asking for a raise, or maybe just being happy. Look at Milli Vanilli, though. These guys were faking it, and they managed to have a pretty good run, despite getting caught. Sure, the Grammy people took away their award, and they


Maxwell Maxwell is a music fella and sometimes DJ who is working on a fancy new project which is so secret he can't tell you about it.

eventually broke up, but they had a good few years of limousines and free drugs. Besides, how many pop acts from 1988 are still around today anyway? Take a page out of their book and try a little fake confidence (after all, it's not like anybody else isn't faking it). Cocaine helps! CANCER Amy Winehouse was a pretty good singer with a serious hard-on for Billie Holiday, which led to her being too constantly fucked up to do any singing, putting on a series of terrible concerts, and then dying. Like so many people, Amy let being a drama queen get in the way of actually doing anything with her life (making more than two songs in the last four years, for example). Your life, unlike Amy's, is probably not going to be the subject of a made-for-TV movie or an episode of Behind The Music (do they still do that show? I don't have cable), so all that drinking you do because of your mean, mean ex-boyfriend or whatever isn't making anyone feel sorry for you because they just don't care. Put down the crack pipe, get a haircut, and stop drinking before noon. Then get out there and do something. This obviously doesn't apply if you're not particularly good at anything; in that case, feel free to smoke all the crack you want. LEO Some people are brilliant. Some people are immensely talented. You, on the other hand, have

an interesting haircut and fifteen minutes of fame. Use it! Release an album (Can't sing? No problem, just mumble about champagne into a microphone and let AutoTune do the rest!) Write your memoirs! (Totally illiterate? No problem, so's your fanbase!) You're going to have an opportunity to make a bunch of money thanks to a brief stint as a D-list celebrity, so take it and don't let go. And remember, when you're on Celebrity Rehab a year from now, always make sure the camera's getting your good side before you throw a handful of your own steaming urine at Latoya Jackson. VIRGO You're not cool, and you're never going to be, and that's okay. You're making money and clearly enjoying yourself. When was the last time you saw a really cool person who looked like they were having a good time anyway? They're all dumpy girls or bearded elfin man-children hanging out at depressing parties, drinking shitty beer and listening to either "ironic" rap or indistinguishable punk bands who all sound like early Joy Division. LIBRA If you've got a functional set of fuck parts and you're working a day job, you're a sucker. Get out there and find a sugar daddy/momma who's willing to trade the temporary use of your bum, vagina, and/or peen for cold, hard cash! Getting jizzed on by an aging, conservative politician to

make rent money might not seem like a tonne of fun, especially to the less adventurous fellas, but would you really rather spend 60 hours slinging burgers in a hot, filthy kitchen? Side Note: While there's nothing wrong with sex work, fucking some guy who bought you a $4 gin and tonic makes you a prostitute who is working for less than minimum wage. SCORPIO You think you're going to make a big dramatic exit and then your loser ex (or whoever) will pay attention to you! Too bad something much more important happens the next day, making sure that no one will ever care about your drama queen bullshit. Whether it's an attention-grabbing intentional heroin overdose or a really nasty email to that former BFF who's DEAD TO YOU FOREVER, try and remember that dramatic exits are totally pointless and will just end up limiting you in future. SAGITTARIUS You smug, smug cunt. Everyone with half a brain can see that you're a smug cunt, and your false displays of humility are pathetically transparent. Being a smug cunt all the time must have pickled your brain, because there's no way a normal person would think that dressing up like somebody's dad going as a “rock star� for an office Halloween party and playing bland, shitty music for stadiums full of middle-aged white

guys makes you in any way qualified to act as some kind of representative of the third world. Also, when you go talk to the United Nations about how rich people need to stop being stingy fucks and contribute more to the nation's poor, and your band moves all its business operations to another country so you don't have to pay taxes in your native Ireland (you know, so those gross poor people can't get their hands on any of the money you make selling shitty CD’s full of bland admonishments to contribute to the poor), you look like an enormous hypocrite in addition to being a smug cunt. CAPRICORN Oh man, it's that guy again. Shit. You were going to go see an awesome band or DJ or something

and here's this guy, playing the worst music in the world, fist-pumping away on stage beforehand. He totally sucks and nobody likes him and he's obviously never going to get any more popular despite having been a DJ for the past decade, so why does he keep getting booked? The answer is persistence and schmoozing; two things which are really useful for anybody. Keep fucking doing what you're doing and eventually you'll go somewhere with it (even if, as with this guy, you totally suck ass.) Also, schmoozing people is really important. Turns out that this guy is bros with the people who bring in the acts you actually want to see, so that's why you have to suffer through an hour of shitty Dutch house every time you get to the venue early. Learn from this!

AQUARIUS Cheer the fuck up. You can't waste your entire life upset about how some girl wouldn't touch your dick, or how mean your dad was. Shitty things happen to everybody, but they're a lot shittier if you don't make an effort to get over them. Go see a shrink. Get some Zoloft. Get a gym membership. Buy a nice outfit and force yourself to go to a party and make conversation that doesn't revolve around how mean your ex was. It's tough, but spending your whole life a no-fun, emotional wreck means the terrorists win.

and YouTube, incredibly embarrassing shit done by 13 to 17-year-olds can now humiliate them for the rest of their lives. Just a few years ago, the only record of someone's misspent teenage years would be a My Chemical Romance t-shirt found crumpled beneath a dresser when visiting their parents. Nowadays, idiocy lives forever on the Internet, and that “how to do scene hair” video you make now will be viewed with howling derision by the grad school admission people in ten years, right before they reject you.

PISCES Everybody does embarrassing stuff when they're a teenager. Here's a hint though: try not to let the entire world watch it. With the advent of Tumblr







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Issue #74 featuring Chip and Pepper  

Issue #74 features interviews with Chip and Pepper, Andre Azevedo, Hanni El Khatib, Razika and Shimmering Stars. Also includes a photo essay...

Issue #74 featuring Chip and Pepper  

Issue #74 features interviews with Chip and Pepper, Andre Azevedo, Hanni El Khatib, Razika and Shimmering Stars. Also includes a photo essay...