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2 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT MAY 10 â€“ 17 / 2018
MAY 10 â€“ 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 3
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Hinge Park, False Creek. Kerry Banks photo.
Canadian MSNBC broadcaster Ali Velshi is both alarmed and fascinated by the weaponization of cultural identity that is ongoing in the United States, and heâ€™ll be speaking about it in Vancouver. > BY CHARLIE SMITH
AJung Moon, director of the Open Roboethics Institute, considers the importance of instilling morals into artificial intelligence.
START HERE 12 25 31 13 22
I Saw You Movie Reviews Savage Love Straight Stars Visual Arts
> BY K ATE WILSON
A local designer put together a swimwear collection that women of all shapes can access and mix â€˜nâ€™ match for perfect fits. > BY LUCY L AU
23 Arts 28 Music
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SERVICES 29 Careers
Motherâ€™s Day is coming and now is the time to make that brunch reservation to avoid that drugstore shop of shame. > BY GAIL JOHNSON
GeorgiaStraight @ GeorgiaStraight
Les Filles du Roi brings settler and Indigenous history together in a trilingual musical by the same team that created Children of God.
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MAY 10 â€“ 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 5
Ali Velshi plugs pluralism The TV anchor and business correspondent worries about the rise of totalitarianism > B Y C HA R LIE S M ITH
SNBC broadcaster Ali Velshi has had a busy day by the time he gets on the line with the Georgia Straight from New York City. U.S. president Donald Trump is just about to pull his country out of the nuclear deal with Iran. And Velshi is gathering his thoughts about an upcoming visit to Vancouver to discuss the “weaponization of culture”. Velshi, an Ismaili Muslim born in Kenya and raised in Toronto, says he has always felt that having a cultural identity and exposure to others’ cultural identities are a positive thing for society. “I thought it was an additive,” he says. “I thought it was an enhancement to your citizenship.” But now he’s witnessing cultural identities being appropriated into political weapons that are pulling societies apart. He noticed it in the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum and in recent elections in several European countries. According to him, it’s also on display in America, where more people are voting on the belief that if another culture is making gains, then they must be losing. “It’s a zero-sum game,” Velshi emphasizes. “ ‘Make America great again’ was a slogan of a cultural war.…There was a clear undercurrent that said, ‘A lot of changes that you have seen have come at a cost to you economically. Let’s reclaim that for ourselves.’ ” It’s a viewpoint that Velshi adamantly rejects. And he worries that this type of thinking is laying a foundation for some potentially earth-shattering consequences. “I’m very alarmed at the similarities that we are seeing today to Rwanda, to prewar Germany, to other totalitarian environments,” Velshi says, referring to a 1994 African genocide and the rise of the Nazis in Europe. And he admits that he’s puzzled that it’s taking place in the digital age in the United States, which has a First Amendment to its constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.
Ali Velshi sees similarities between prewar Germany and current events.
“I truly still don’t understand why in democracies we struggle with this,” Velshi continues. He acknowledges that culture wars aren’t uncommon throughout history in places like Europe and India. But in America it’s more surprising to him, given the country’s relative prosperity and its overall labour shortage. “Rather than think of sophisticated immigration concerns, we create bogeymen on the southern border: rapists and murderers,” he says. “Culture is playing a part in creating the fear.” As Velshi has delved more deeply into this topic, he has come to appreciate the importance of building “bridges of empathy” with those with opposing points of view. In this regard, he’s been inf luenced by sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. She spent five years studying Tea Party supporters in Louisiana to find out why they would support politicians who identified with political causes that didn’t help them get ahead in life. According to Velshi, they identify with right-wing broadcaster Rush Limbaugh and Trump “because those people have so impregnated them with the view that their loss is specifically because of someone else’s gain in society”.
“So homophobic views, racist views, things like that have really been born out of the idea that they needed…a scapegoat,” the MSNBC broadcaster says. “Some in society have very successfully illustrated a scapegoat for them.” Velshi wants to become better informed about why people feel this need to have scapegoats so he is better equipped to bring them over to the side of pluralism. In this regard, he’s been inspired by the spiritual leader of the Ismailis, the Aga Khan, who is one of the world’s foremost advocates for pluralism. In fact, the Aga Khan spearheaded the creation of the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa with the goal of deepening understanding of factors that contribute to inclusion and exclusion around the world. “When the Aga Khan speaks of culture, it’s not just ethnicity and religion,” Velshi points out. “He talks about music and art and the built environment.” Another inspiration has been cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who synthesizes musical traditions from a variety of cultures. Velshi likes to cite examples like this to show how an intercultural approach can enrich society. Velshi has also paid attention to neuroscience, which is shedding new light on the structure and functioning of the brain and how demagogues can exploit this to fan the f lames of racism. However, because neuroscience is not his specialty, he prefers to speak about the political implications of the weaponization of culture. “I’m at the front end of this journey, and I’m truly fascinated by it,” Velshi reveals. “I had spent a few years focusing on the phenomenon of fake news—from an economic perspective—and how it grew. I’m realizing fake news is just a subset of this larger conversation. Fake news is employed very successfully in culture wars.”Ali Velshi will deliver the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Wall Exchange lecture on Wednesday (May 16) at the Vogue Theatre. For more information, see www. pwias.ubc.ca/.
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6 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT MAY 10 – 17 / 2018
EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith PRODUCT DIRECTOR
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Gail Johnson, John Lucas, Alexander Varty STAFF WRITERS
Piper Courtenay, Tammy Kwan, Lucy Lau, Travis Lupick, Carlito Pablo, Craig Takeuchi, Kate Wilson SENIOR EDITOR Martin Dunphy PROOFREADER Pat Ryffranck CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Gregory Adams, Nathan Caddell, David Chau, Jack Christie, Jennifer Croll, Ken Eisner (Movies), George Fetherling, Tara Henley, Michael Hingston, Ng Weng Hoong, Alex Hudson, Kurtis Kolt,
Robin Laurence (Visual Arts), Mark Leiren-Young, John Lekich, Amy Lu, Bob Mackin, Michael Mann, Rose Marcus, Beth McArthur, Verne McDonald, Allan MacInnis, Guy MacPherson, Tony Montague, Kathleen Oliver, Ben Parfitt, Vivian Pencz, Bill Richardson, Gurpreet Singh, Jacqueline Turner, Andrea Warner, Jessica Werb, Stephen Wong, Alan Woo CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS
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Just over two years ago, Microsoft released
BY KATE WI LSON
a chatbot on Twitter named Tay. Created to mimic the speech and spelling of a 19-year-old American girl, the program was designed to interact with other Twitter users and get smarter as it discovered more about the world through their posts—a process called machine learning. Rather than becoming an after-school chum for bored teens, though, Tay was soon tweeting everything from “I’m smoking kush in front of the police” to “I fucking hate feminists and they should all die and burn in hell.” She was shut down 16 hours after her launch. Tay’s rants—which featured racist slurs and Holocaust denials—tapped into people’s biggest anxieties about the future of artificial intelligence (AI). With no moral compass to guide them, the fear goes, machines will be unable to follow the same social rules as humans. In response, an industry is growing around robot ethics. UBC graduate AJung Moon, director of the Open Roboethics Institute, has dedicated her career to dissecting the tricky issues thrown up by
Should we fear the robots?
Open Roboethics Institute director AJung Moon points out that the creators of robots have the power to replicate their views and ideas over and over. Martin Dee photo.
and the company’s money, cers are in those areas, there will likely be more arbut if they chose not to send rests for crimes that might not have otherwise been a safety officer, a huge acci- seen. If you want to be fair in keeping everybody dent could happen in their safe, what should fairness mean in this particular absence. We conducted an context? If you don’t have a definition that’s loud AI ethics assessment, which and clear for everyone to see, you’re going to run An industry growing around robot ethics is dedicated to was the first one that we into trouble in the future.” Despite the potential failings of artificial intellidissecting the tricky issues raised by artificial intelligence know of in the world. That gave them an ethics road gence, Moon is optimistic about its future. At the artificial intelligence. A mechatronic engineer by map to break down why they make the decisions that upcoming B.C. Tech Summit, she plans to discuss trade, Moon became interested in the topic when they do. It’s available for everyone to see, so they are how robots and humans need to be working togetha mentor at her university mentioned how South able to justify their choices.” er to make decisions, with the machines offering A number of B.C. companies use AI technology suggestions and people making the final call. Korea was developing autonomous weapons to guard the demilitarized zone. Realizing that there but don’t let the public know how their machines “There should be a healthy amount of concern in were few discussions around what kind of robots make decisions. In Moon’s view, those systems can terms of what we should be doing about workers who companies should be creating, she delved into the be ethically problematic. High-profile organizations will be displaced or the amount of large-scale disruplike the Vancouver Police Department, for instance, tion that these technologies will bring,” she says. But morality of machines in her graduate studies. “I’m a woman in her 30s with a technology back- use machine learning to predict where and when I think we do need to point out the positives of the ground, born in Korea and raised in Canada,” she certain crimes are more likely to happen—but by technology. Not only can AI do tasks more effitells the Georgia Straight on the line from her of- failing to disclose how those choices are being made, ciently than us, there are also areas where we have fice in Seattle. “I have my own set of biases. Those they risk being accused of prejudice or profiling. huge shortages of employees. In the care sector, for “Based on data the Vancouver police has gath- instance, B.C. has big problems hiring people to supshould not be assumed to be reflective of everyone’s values—and yet, if I create robots that take on those ered in the past, its AI system can make accurate port the elderly, and that can be supplemented by standards, I have the power to replicate my views guesses about property crimes,” Moon says. “They robotic systems. There are definitely use-cases that over and over. Artificial-intelligence systems act as can then preemptively send officers to those loca- can change the world for the better.” a proxy for one person’s ideas, and a single set of tions. That’s when the idea of bias comes into play. opinions can become the rule. It’s incredibly im- The type of neighbourhood is often associated with AJung Moon speaks at the B.C. Tech Summit at the portant for us to be thoughtful about the decisions the type of people who live there, whether that be in Vancouver Convention Centre West on Tuesday we make when we program machines, and that’s terms of race or socioeconomic status. If more offi- (May 15). where ethics comes into play.” Moon focuses her work not just on chatbots or > BY KATE WILSON HOW BIG IS B.C.’S TECH INDUSTRY? physical robots but on any system that uses machine learning—the ability to get better at a task through $1,690 a week, compared to just Ask someone to imagine the EMPLOYMENT More than experience rather than direct programming—to $920 for the average B.C. employprovince’s technology sector 106,000 individuals work in the power its artificial intelligence. AI is already ubiee. That number has been rising and they’ll likely picture a room industry—an all-time high. quitous. Google Maps, for instance, uses machine for the past six years. of software developers tapping Representing five percent of the learning to predict how long a journey will take out lines of code. In reality, tech workforce as a whole, tech workers based on the information it interprets from others’ companies are full of individuals in the province outnumber those in LOCATION Technology companphones in real time and makes its own decisions from a wide variety of professions, mining, oil, gas, and forestry com- ies are concentrated on the mainabout the best route to take. With artificial intelall working to create products that bined, including the manufacturing land and in the southwest region ligence now underpinning everything from road influence every aspect of society. activities related to those resources. of the province—69 percent, to be safety to résumé-reading, Moon believes that comDuring the past seven years, According to the latest statistics precise—with the vast majority panies must interrogate the morality behind their the local industry has been released by the government—those in Metro Vancouver. The region is programming. steadily growing. Here’s how big for 2016—employment in the sec- home to the largest tech business“There’s many different ways to implement ethit has become. tor increased by more than four es in B.C., including Telus, Maxar ics into artificial intelligence,” she says. “I recently percent that year. Technologies, and Sierra Wireless. worked with Technical Safety B.C., which is an orECONOMY British Columbia’s Behemoths like Microsoft, Amazon, ganization which oversees the safe installation of tech sector generates about and Sony host offices in the city, COMPANIES The number of equipment. They wanted to take the huge amount businesses, too, saw a leap, with with Amazon announcing last week $15 billion in gross domestic of data that they gather and use it to make decisions that it will expand its representation product (GDP), which translates 331 new startups opening their about where hazards are most likely to arise. They in Vancouver by opening a second to seven percent of its economy. doors. That brought the total of could then send over a safety officer to do something high-tech companies to more than location with 3,000 new jobs. By comparison, the forestry about it before there was a danger. 10,200, a jump of 3.3 percent. “One of their employees pointed out that the sector (wood, pulp-and-paper Statistics from B.C. Stats report machine-learning system could throw up a false production, logging, and silviProfile of the British Columbia finding and make a wrong prediction about a hazard,” culture) is responsible for about PAY The average tech-sector Technology Sector: 2017 Edition. worker in the province earns three percent of total GDP. she continues. “If they were to send out a safety officer to that site, they would be wasting their time
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MAY 10 – 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 9
Mother’s Day confessions tell the real story (This article is sponsored by communYes, there are mothers who seem to ity partners highlighted in the Mother’s have the whole parenting thing comDay digital feature on straight.com/.) pletely figured out. And, Gwyneth, that’s fabulous. But below, real Vanhead of Mother’s Day this couver mamas dish the dirt on their Sunday (May 13), it’s only funniest confessions of motherhood. appropriate that we start by saying moms are amazing. SMELLS LIKE MOTHERHOOD “I’m While we could wax lyrical about so stuck on the notion of not being able the sacrifices they make, their uncon- to shower when the baby comes that ditional love, guidance, and undying I’ve been going multiple days without support, we thought we’d take the op- showering in preparation. Sometimes I honestly cannot remember when was portunity to hand them the mike.
the last time that I showered, which DADDY’S DOUBLE “When I first my husband thinks is disgusting—and saw my daughter (who quickly behe’s probably right.” > CARA, DUE MAY 28 came a beautiful baby, now 13), I was a little shocked to see this little MOMMY’S SECRET “My husband baby girl with the exact face of my foolishly thinks that I’m still wear- husband. I whispered to her as a ing the Victoria’s Secret underwear promise: ‘I will love you anyway!’ ” he got me for my birthday. But as > DIANNE, MOTHER TO 13-YEAR-OLD soon as he leaves for work, I slip on the extra-large hospital under- ONE SIZE FITS ALL “My four-weekwear that cleverly holds an enor- old daughter has a wardrobe that mous sanitary pad and ice packs!” would rival Carrie Bradshaw’s, but > TRACY, MOTHER TO TWO-WEEK-OLD since she’s been born I’ve put her in
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KATE, MOTHER TO 12-YEAR-OLD
“I only wash my son’s hair when it starts to look greasy or he’s going to the hairdresser. It’s usually more than a month in between washes!”
> ANNIE, MOTHER TO FIVE-YEAR-OLD AND SEVEN-YEAR-OLD THREE-SECOND RULE “I’ve applied the three-second rule when my kid has dropped food on the f loor. Some germs are good, right?” > ROSE, MOTHER TO SEVEN-YEAR-OLD
“I’ve secretly CRAFT TRASH thrown out my son’s crafts. There’s not enough room in our apartment!” > AMY, MOTHER TO SIX-YEAR-OLD
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LIAR, LIAR “As moms, we lie all the time. For years, my daughters thought that fish was chicken, that leeks were cucumbers, and that every vegetable under the sun was an apple.” > TARA, MOTHER TO 14-YEAROLD AND 23-YEAR-OLD
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“My daughters don’t think I kissed a boy or drank alcohol until I was 23. And they certainly don’t know that I’ve smoked pot.” > KELLY, MOTHER TO 12-YEAR-OLD AND 15-YEAR-OLD -
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Julia Church created Nettle’s Tale Swimwear with the goal of making bikinis and one-pieces for a variety of body types.
Swimwear for every body Crowdfunding helped the Vancouver-based Nettle’s Tale get in the swim
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> B Y LU C Y LA U
n a world where women are trained to squeeze, twist, and contort their bodies to fit into itsy-bitsy bikinis and skintight one-pieces, local designer Julia Church had a revolutionary idea: why not make swimwear that moulded to a wide assortment of body types, rather than the other way around? A seemingly obvious notion that you would think the multibilliondollar fashion industry would have cashed in on by now, the inclusive concept certainly struck a chord with women around the world, who, together, pledged $70,000—seven
times Church’s initial goal—in a crowdfunding campaign to make such swim apparel a reality. That was in 2014; following the success of the fundraiser, Church immediately got to work on Nettle’s Tale Swimwear, a line of Vancouver-designed and -made pieces named after the women in her life they’re crafted so lovingly to fit. Last year, the designer achieved another milestone: opening a stand-alone boutique where customers could see, touch, and try on Nettle’s suits. Situated at 330 West Cordova Street, the warm, wood-panelled space stocks the brand’s full West Coast–inspired collection, which
MegaJobFair.pics.bc.ca > Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < CANADA LINE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: APRIL 24, 2018 WHERE: Canada Line
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You pulled me out of a day dream. Your name is Adam. We both work in Yaletown and both live in Mt. Pleasant. Haven't seen you since.
SUZ ON BUMBLE. RED HAIR AND KIND EYES.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 7, 2018 WHERE: The Internet
Hi Suz, This is sort of a long shot... I matched with you on Bumble about a year ago. You were the first and only person I was actually excited to meet since I started using that silly app. Unfortunately our match expired before you sent a message. I can’t explain why, but I have thought of you ever since. I’ve let too many opportunities pass me by, and rather than mourn the loss of another potential connection, I thought I’d reach out and take a chance. If you see this and have any idea who I am, drop me a line and let’s grab a drink :)
OLD AQUA COLORES BIKE EARLY MONDAY MORNING
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 7, 2018 WHERE: Across from Birds and Beets in Gastown I saw you checking me out. I am too shy but I am head over heels about you. You are so beautiful I wanna get to know everything about you. I hope you see this and we meet up for ice cream, maybe more. I was wearing camo shorts, grey shirt with black sleeves and had glasses on, listening too tunes. I live next too where u work.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 2, 2018 WHERE: A&W
Message if you’d like to meet for coffee.
CUTE QUEER IN A STRIP CLUB
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 5, 2018 WHERE: Vancouver
You, blonde with shorts and a ball cap, me with the curly hair. You complimented me and told me you were from White Rock. You honestly may not even have read me as queer, most people don’t. I tried to find you later to give you my number, but by the time I’d gathered my courage and gotten my act together, you’d already left. Hopefully you see this!
STORMY @ DONALD’S MARKET
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 6, 2018 WHERE: Donald’s Market Commercial Drive I think you’re such a friggin babe. I’m looking for an excuse to go back and get more veggies so I can see you again.
BLONDE GIRL DOWNSTAIRS @ THE AMERICAN
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 5, 2018 WHERE: The American on Main You almost went into the mens bathroom. I was at the ATM. We started talking and you told me about the weird things girls do in bathrooms. You had blonde hair and thought you were rambling. I didn't think so, but didn't ask your name. I looked for you after, but you were gone.
GREEN PARACHUTE PANTS
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 1, 2018 WHERE: Kitsilano
You were the pretty blonde working construction in Kitsilano on Tuesday I was the tall dark haired guy working at the shop next door. Didn’t get an opportunity to talk but, how about drinks and a show sometime?
99 IN KITS
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 3, 2018 WHERE: 99 B Line
Saw you on the 99, we smiled at each other, first at the MacDonald stop, then on the bus, then again after I got off. Me: slim, dark skin, black curly chin length hair, carrying something. You: slim, caucasian, long & straight black hair, red lipstick, floral shirt, cute. Where did I get off and what was I carrying?
WAITING ROOM REGRET
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: APRIL 18, 2018 WHERE: Westview Drive We were both waiting to see the doctor and you overheard me talking to my brother about my age. You were so cute the way you told me that I have nothing to worry about. I was with my family and I didn’t have the guts to ask you for your number in front of them.
HERE’S THE OLD SCHOOL, WITH THE NEW SCHOOL
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: APRIL 14, 2018 WHERE: Gastown
We were in the same physics class one summer in BCIT. I was studying at the bench right outside our building when you passed by riding your skateboard, rocking your old school Walkman looking headphones and shoes. In lab that same day you said my new short hair looked good. Saw you again recently at the Charles Bar where we danced all night to old school tunes. I think you’re pretty cool and I love vibing with you. You make me feel like 90's RnB. I wish we were closer in school.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: APRIL 24, 2018 WHERE: Waterfront
In front of Waterfront St., waiting for transit. You passed by and gave me a beautiful smile, you made my day! I’d love to buy you lunch/coffee. Beautiful hair btw.
Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ 12 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT MAY 10 – 17 / 2018
includes comfy high-waisted bottoms, surfer-chic tops, and colourblock one-pieces. Among the shop’s bestsellers are the Britney ($70), a reversible crisscrossing top that can be manipulated six different ways to create varying looks, and the Kelsey ($149), a wrap-style one-piece with flattering ruching and a plunging neckline designed to accommodate a range of bust sizes. For the summer, Nettle’s has also released a number of its classic suits in playful, limited-edition prints like polka dots and blackberries. All items are designed to be mixed and matched so that customers can find the sizes and styles that work best for the top and bottom portions of their bodies. “They’re designed to fit all the different women in our lives and all different body types,” store manager Katie Anderson tells the Straight during an interview at the shop. In addition to offering women a safe, comfortable space in which they can shop for locally made swimwear—Church took extra care to ensure fitting rooms were bright and open but still private— Nettle’s offers a range of ethically produced apparel, cosmetics, and home goods from Canadian makers like Camp Brand Goods, Harlow Skin Co., and Hollow Tree. For the upcoming spring edition of the Gastown Shop Hop, which will see over 40 retailers in the ’hood offer special deals from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday (May 10), Nettle’s will have an assortment of swimsuits on hand that aren’t typically available in-store. If you’re looking to expand your swimwear search during the Shop Hop, One of a Few (354 Water Street) carries a selection of minimalist tops and bottoms (from $98) from the Cali-based Nu Swim; Arc Apparel stocks ecofriendly line Vitamin A (from $88); and Nouvelle Nouvelle (302 West Cordova Street) has maillots covered in adorable illustrations of fruit and f lorals ($218 each) from beloved Danish label Ganni. Guys looking to get swim-ready should turn to the Block, where trunks (from $78) drenched in juicy hues like yellow, peach, and tangerine from brands such as Minimum and Nikben are sure to impress. Some are even covered in prints of banana leaves and insects. Thanks to its dedication to making the dread-inducing experience of swimwear shopping as painless as possible, however, Nettle’s is worth a stop. “It’s been great meeting all the women and working with them,” says Anderson, “and finding suits that make them happy.” -
straight stars > B Y ROSE MA RC U S
May 10 to 16, 2018
eep on watch for Tuesday. The new moon in Taurus fuels all matters to do with money, self-worth, ownership, resources, and survival. Invigorated by two planets on significant sign changes, it is no ordinary new moon. The big news of the day is the ingress of Uranus into Taurus, a transit we havenâ€™t seen in 84 years. Anyone born from 1934 to 1942 will have Uranus in Taurus as a natal signature. Uranus in Taurus, a transit that will extend to 2026, revolutionizes everything we consider of value, from actual money to the worth we place on person, place, concept, or thing. The proliferation of the bitcoin industry and the legalization of recreational pot are well aligned with this transit. The renewable-energy industry is also; it is one of the most fruitful abundance-generating potentials of forward thinker Uranus in Taurus. Uranus in Taurus is also a destabilizing influence. As the shock-andtrauma planet makes its way through the sign of the Earth, it also describes what weâ€™ll face if the decision makers continue to stubbornly insist on burying their heads in Alberta oilsands. Also, on new-moon Tuesday Mars begins an extended tour of Aquarius. Mars on the move is usually a six-week transit, but due to a retrograde cycle (end of June through end of August), Mars will tenant Aquarius through to the middle of November. Social trends, revolutions, and politics will stay dialled up. Explore more; experiment; liberate yourself. Personal and lifestyle reinvention is well timed.
March 20â€“April 19
Saturday/Sunday and Tuesday/Wednesday can jettison you someplace unexpected. Mercury, Mars, and Uranus prompt a quick reaction or snap decision. A key someone could play catalyst or instigator. What is it worth? Uranus in Taurus and Mars in Aquarius catapult you into a new line of thinking and feeling your way along. Theyâ€™ll prompt a major shift regarding how you process, relate, and create.
April 20â€“May 20
A new chapter begins now. Something sudden, unexpected, exceptional, or even life-altering could be headed your way. Youâ€™ll feel the fullest effect of Uranus entering Taurus if you are born on or near April 20. Saturday/Sunday can be instigating. Tuesday/Wednesday hits Go on a new career path or lifestyle, a severing of ties, a major shift of priorities, or another important upgrade. GEMINI
May 21â€“June 21
Mercury, Uranus, and Mars aim to shake, not stir, especially on Saturday/Sunday and Tuesday/ Wednesday. All three are good for clearing the air, setting the record straight, freeing yourself of it, and exploring more. All three add more tangibility to the ripe-and-ready potentials. Take a risk on something or someone new. Intuition, creativity, courage, and initiative serve you well.
June 21â€“July 22
This next week or so can jettison you someplace in a way you did not anticipate. Uranus and Mars can fast-track a circumstance and/or personal reinvention. Both can radically alter your finances or relationship status. To the plus, Tuesday/Wednesday can spark fresh incentive and opportunity. Now or soon, watch for new prospects, people, clientsâ€”or perhaps a special someoneâ€”to enter your life.
July 22â€“August 22
midâ€“next week, Mercury, Uranus, and Mars can kick-start something unexpected. Impulse or reactive emotions can get the better of you. A conversation can touch a nerve or strike flint on a great idea. Think outside of the box; seize opportunity.
August 22â€“September 22
Uranus in Taurus can be good news for your sign. Look around; thereâ€™s fresh opportunity for the taking. A new job is well-timed. Explore alternative healing or seek the help of a specialist. Uranus and Mars can reinvent your day-to-day and your future. A growth spurt starts now; even so, there are rough spots to iron out over this next week.
September 22â€“October 23
Mercury, Uranus, and the new moon in Taurus can boost financial prospects. All three can enhance prospects in the intimacy department, too. Goodbye and hello is in the mix; Uranus will continue to help you break new ground in affairs of heart and wallet for a good length of time to come. Mars in Aquarius pushes Refresh on creativity, love life, and social involvement.
October 23â€“November 21
Wants, needs, and interests are changing. Uranus in Taurus will prompt you to reinvent the way you show up for yourself and forge your way in the world. There are new markets to explore, new ways of doing business and making money, and also new people to meet. The weekend could bring something to hash out/work out. Tuesday/Wednesday sets a new reality into play.
November 21â€“December 21
Mercury, Mars, Uranus, and Tuesdayâ€™s new moon favour all new initiatives, undertakings, and projects, especially those that upgrade your health or wealth. Experimentation is in the mix, but you should feel that the learning curve is worthwhile. Saturday/Sunday and Tuesday/ Wednesday, an impulse, exchange of words, discovery, or sudden flash could get you moving and/or fast-track you. Someone could surprise you.
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P E T E R WA L L D OW N TOW N L E C T U R E S E R I E S
LIVE LIVE LI VE
December 21â€“January 19
BREAKING BR REA R RE E EAK EA AK A K ING KI ING N IN NEWS EWS
LIVE LI VE
LIV LI VE E
January 20â€“February 18
Youâ€™ve reached breakthrough: itâ€™s shatter-the-silence or bust-up-the-concrete time. Uranus, your ruler, is on the move. Mars is too. Saturday/Sunday and Tuesday/ Wednesday can set you full-thrust into something sudden or unexpected. Moment-to-moment is your best play. As best you can, keep tabs on impulsiveness, anger, or reactive emotions. Stay cool-headed.
Uranus in Taurus sets you up for an exceptional journey of the heart, this regarding love life, children, your futureâ€”in other words, the bigger-picture stuff. Despite the uncertain times ahead, the transit can boost your career prospects and financial success. Through November, Mars in Aquarius also prioritizes financial and personal reinvention.
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February 18â€“March 20
Uranus in Taurus prompts a new way of seeing, evaluating, and communicating. Along with fresh insights, inspirations, and attitude, you can find a new appreciation or interest level for things or folks you have previously nixed. Mars in Aquarius keeps you feisty and energized, perhaps a bit cranky or moody, too, especially Saturday/ Sunday and Tuesday/Wednesday. -
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THE WEAPONIZATION OF CULTURE Ali Velshi:NBC Business Correspondent, Host of MSNBCâ€™sLive with Ali Velshi A world that has striven to elevate the role of cultural diversity is now undergoing a backlash in which change, adaptation, and pluralism are being subjugated by bigoted and nativist ĹžĹ…ÄŹÄœĆ‹ÄœĂ?ÂąÄŹÄľĹ…Ć´ĂĽÄľĂĽÄšĆ‹Ĺ¸ĹŁ:ÄŹĹ…Ă†ÂąÄŹeĂ˝ÂąÄœĹłĹ¸ÂąÄšĂš)Ă?Ĺ…ÄšĹ…ÄľÄœĂ?Ĺ¸ÄŁĹ…ĆšĹłÄšÂąÄŹÄœĹ¸Ć‹eÄŹÄœÂšĂĽÄŹĹ¸Ä˜ÄœĂĽĆťÂąÄľÄœÄšĂĽĹ¸Ć‹Ä˜ĂĽĹ¸ĹžĹłĂĽÂąĂšĹ…Ăź culture wars, and cultureâ€™s role in both curbing and spreading populist ideals.
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Motherâ€™s Day could be B o o k a re a d i n g o r s i g n u p f o r eventful. Do something special; go Roseâ€™s free monthly newsletter at out of your way to make it so. Through rosemarcus.com/. MAY 10 â€“ 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 13
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Memorable meals with Mom
other’s Day is this Sunday (May 13), people, and the last thing you want to do is end up at a drugstore finding a last-minute gift. Now is the time to figure out where you’re going to take Mom for a memorable meal. Here are a few options to show her you care over a delicious dinner or brunch. UMAMI MOMMY Ma gets her pick
of gyozas (pork or chili-shrimp teppan or lettuce-wrapped crispy-chicken taco) as just one part of the celebratory dinner ($60 for two) at Gyoza Bar (622 West Pender Street). The meal also includes a “bao board” with maplegarlic chicken or soy-garlic tenderloinbeef skewers, Korean spiced pork rib, or miso-baked “scallop dynamite” and more. For dessert—drum roll, please—a platter with mochi ice cream Enjoy penne con gamberi e zucchini (frozen treats consisting of ice cream at Sopra Sotto on Commercial Drive. wrapped in various flavours of rice dough) and green-tea cheesecake. At MAMA MIA Be one of the first Minami (1118 Mainland Street), the in town to visit the newly opened Mother’s Day Premium Zen lunch Sopra Sotto Pizzeria (1510 Com($45) features eight seasonal kobachi mercial Drive) in the heart of Little (“small bowl”) items, such as Fraser Italy. Choose tagliatelle with truffle, sausage, and Valley miso-dongmixed mushpo (sweet, soyrooms (it sounds braised) pork belly so much more with togarashi Gail Johnson divine in Italian: chicharron (spice blend), and miso-sakekasu (sake lees) tagliatelle con funghi, salsiccia, e king salmon with marinated Japanese tartuffo) or penne with prawns and eggplant, as well as aburi (flame- zucchini as part of a three-course seared) sushi and green-tea opera cake meal ($35) that ends with tiramisu for dessert. Dinner centres on chef or torta della nonna (lemon cusSeigo Nakamura’s premium sashimi tard with almonds and pine nuts in shortbread crust). Cibo Trattoria platter ($40 per person).
(900 Seymour Street) is offering its regular menu for brunch and dinner as well as an evening fourcourse prix fixe ($65). For the latter, pick a primi: prosciutto-andmascarpone ravioli made with beet dough and served with nettle-andalmond pesto and Parmesan fondue (yes, please) or preserved-lemon tagliatelle with dried tomato, arugula, chili, garlic, and olive oil. Secondi choices are bison tenderloin with braised kale, crispy-roasted mushroom polenta with asparagus salad, and pan-seared halibut with spring-pea risotto. THE PIE’S THE LIMIT There’s nothing wrong with pizza for Mother’s Day, given the quality of pies you can find in Vancouver. The tiny, cozy Corduroy Pie Company (758 West 16th Avenue) nails it with crazy-good combos like bacon and Brussels sprouts with capers and roasted onions or cured pork, roasted butternut squash, and parsley-walnut pesto with Parmesan and goat cheese. (Plus, beer on tap.) Mom really gets a break over dinner at Rocky Mountain Flatbread (4186 Main Street and 1876 West 1st Avenue): the kids get to go off and make their own pies, rolling the dough and all, so she can sip wine and have an actual conversation with her partner. That’s from 5 to 7 p.m.; the rest of the day, she gets a free, warm double-chocolate brownie with her meal.
Brunch and dinner both come in extravagant East-meets-West buffet form at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (845 Burrard Street) in the Sutton Place Hotel ($80 for adults, $35 for kids). Look for mimosa trolley service and seafood selections such as smoked steelhead trout and albacore tataki during the day; evening options include stations with carved prime strip loin, roasted leg of lamb, and porchetta, as well as others serving up clam chowder, West Coast paella, and smoked sablefish. At the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, YEW Seafood + Bar (791 West Georgia Street) sets up several wow-calibre carving stations for its Mother’s Day brunch ($99 for adults, $50 for children aged six to 12, $25 for those under five): beef Wellington, salt-baked salmon, porchetta with fennel slaw, and chorizo-and-B.C.-clam pasta. Then there are raw-seafood and oyster bars, prawn hash, and cheese and charcuterie boards with honeycomb, house-made pickles, Mediterranean olives, pecan bread, and more, all alongside traditional dishes like salmon Benny and French toast. Retro desserts include Grandma’s old-fashioned chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake, caramelized apple pie, trifle, pecancaramel tart, and bananas Foster with house-made ice creams. -
The year is 1665, B Y A L EX A NDER VAR TY
and from the shores of the St. Lawrence River, near Montreal, two Mohawk children, Kateri and Jean-Baptiste, are witnessing an increasingly frequent spectacle: the docking and unloading of a European galleon. This one, however, is carrying an especially rare and valuable cargo in the form of young women. The filles du roi, as they’re known, have been chosen to join their male countrymen in what must seem a strange and forbidding new land—but at least one of them will also find an unexpected affinity with her Indigenous welcomers. That’s the starting point for Les Filles du Roi, the new musical from Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac, and while it’s not a prequel to Payette’s powerful residential-school saga, Children of God, it can be seen as exploring the roots of the system that allowed for the systematic abuse of Aboriginal children. “What stands as a connecting piece for the two is that they’re really about shifting our perspectives to allow ourselves to experience these histories through an Indigenous perspective, or through the perspective of women, who’ve been underrepresented and whose stories haven’t been documented in the same way as the standard white-male perspective,” Payette explains, on the line with McIsaac from a Granville Island rehearsal space. “That’s definitely a through-line that’s carried in both works.” What’s different is that Les Filles du Roi intertwines Indigenous and settler experience in eye-opening new ways, pointing out the connections between cultures as well as the clashes, and perhaps positing a way of moving forward through those shared histories. “It’s a big ‘What if?’ ” McIsaac says, pointing out that the young Frenchwomen were coming into a world that, unlike their priest-ridden
Remembering Les Filles du Roi
Both Julie McIsa ac and Corey Payette have personal connections to 17th-century history and languages in their new musical Les Filles du Roi.
Lespérance. And for complexities, it really has been such a fulfilling both artists it’s been an experience, both personally and artistically— opportunity to explore and one that I feel like I’m not alone in. There not just a multicul- are Indigenous people all across Canada who Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac follow up his Children of God tural perspective, but a are reclaiming their language, and I feel like with a musical trilingual tale of women shipped to a new land multilingual one. The this piece will speak to all of those people’s exstory is told in French, periences and what they are drawn to, as well.” homeland, was organized around matriarchal English, and Kanien’kéha, and the mere act of McIsaac’s connection to the story is even lines. “What if, on arrival, the European set- putting this Mohawk dialect on-stage has pro- more intimate: in researching Les Filles du Roi, tlers, as opposed to trying to assimilate the found ramifications, Payette feels. she found that one of her own forebears, on her people that were already here, what if they lis“It’s groundbreaking,” he says. “The francophone mother’s side, was on that 1665 tened and learned from the people living here language holds so much culture, and ship, or at least one much like it. on the land at the time? What if they learned it inspires me because I know that “It’s a piece of our history that even from those teachings and incorporated those language holds our songs, and those Check out… my mom and her sisters didn’t know STRAIGHT.COM teachings instead? What might our contempor- songs hold our dances, and then about. Was there something in me Visit our website ary society look like?” those dances will tell a new story. or something in my family’s history for morning-after McIsaac links her take on the story, which And so, for me, I feel like there’s a that was urging me forward before reviews and local she’s been interested in since first hearing about movement coming where, through I even knew?” she asks. “So if other arts news the filles du roi in a Grade 8 history class, to that language, our entire culture will Canadians are inspired to dig into contemporary social movements such as #Me- be shifted, and our entire culture will their own family history by virtue of Too. “Think about the things that women are be able to build outwards, and we will see coming to see this show, I think that would still dealing with in terms of violence, in terms ourselves differently in the future.” be wonderful. Like Corey says, our ancestors of not feeling respected and not feeling honThe long process of creating Les Filles du Roi aren’t that far away from us; some people beoured and feeling afraid all the time,” she says. has led both Payette and McIsaac to see them- lieve that they’re right here with us at every mo“If we had learned more from the societies ex- selves differently, too. Payette is Oji-Cree, with ment. So that’s there to be found out; it’s there isting here on the land when we first arrived, some French-Canadian heritage, but he’s re- to be connected with—and I think it can only maybe that wouldn’t be the case today.” cently learned that one side of his family moved strengthen us and help us move forward.” Les Filles du Roi is a true collaboration: Payette to northern Ontario from Mohawk terrain. has composed the music, for a small ensemble of “My great-grandmother spoke Kanien’kéha, Fugue Theatre and Raven Theatre, in associapiano, violin, viola, cello, and a variety of First English, and French,” he says. “So now, re- tion with Urban Ink and the Cultch, present Les Nations drums; he and McIsaac wrote the book turning to the language and trying to under- Filles du Roi at the York Theatre from Tuesday and lyrics; she plays the central fille, Marie-Jeanne stand it and trying to learn all of its internal (May 15) to May 27.
THINGS TO DO
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Editor’s choice THE KEYS TO HAYDN Primo piano star Paul Lewis wants to show you the lighter side of Franz Joseph Haydn when he closes the Vancouver Recital Society’s season. The artist’s usual deep research into his subject has revealed a composer with a quick wit and a feel for the absurd. On Sunday, he’ll juxtapose Haydn’s sonatas with those of two other Austro-German masters: the late piano works of Johannes Brahms and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Bagatelles and Diabelli Variations. There’ll be more: the concert is the second in a four-part odyssey into the works of Haydn, Brahms, and Beethoven. Prepare to hear all of them in a moving, and sometimes funny, new light. The Vancouver Recital Society presents Paul Lewis at the Vancouver Playhouse on Sunday (May 13).
Five events you just can’t miss this week
THE SHOW (To May 20 at Emily Carr University of Art + Design) Art grads put on an epic, immersive journey into media arts, painting, sculpture, film, and much more.
MOM=WOW (May 13 at the Improv Centre) Vancouver TheatreSports League helps you laugh your way through Mother’s Day.
KLANGFORUM HEIDELBERG (May 11 at the Red Gate Revue Stage) Two stellar German ensembles of contemporary and ancient music make a rare visit.
WET (To May 27 at the Russian Hall) An audience of just 28 moves from a military tent to a living room, amid the fallout of the Afghanistan war.
BEST BROTHERS (To May 19 at the Kay Meek Centre) Daniel MacIvor pens a sibling showdown like no other.
In the news
AUDAIN ACCOLADES Patkau Architects’ design for the Audain Art Museum in Whistler has been named a winner of one of this year’s Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. It’s the only B.C. building among the dozen named in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and Canada Council for the Arts announcement. It joins a cross-country list that includes an international airport, a park pavilion, a small hospital, and a library in a 170-year-old church. The biennial awards celebrate outstanding design in recently completed projects by Canadian architects. In its comments the jury stated: “This is a structure that is, among other things, a total response to site conditions. The architects have taken exceptional care to position the building in deference to the existing trees and over the seasonal flood plane, keeping the building’s footprint at a minimum.” MAY 10 – 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15
In Bears, pipeline politics meet personal journey > B Y JAN ET SMITH
A F U G U E T H E AT R E / R AV E N T H E AT R E P R O D U CT I O N I N A S S O C I AT I O N W I T H U R B A N I N K & T H E C U LTC H
FROM THE CREATORS OF THE MUSICAL “CHILDREN OF GOD”
MAY 15 - 27 TICKETS FROM $20! THECULTCH.COM
18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT MAY 10 – 17 / 2018
Adding to that journey, MacKenzie, with the help of producers at Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts, spent time listening, firsthand, to the Cree origin story from elders Jerry and Jo-Ann Saddleback—two of only a handful who know the full creation tale. That’s ref lected in a lot of the animals and plants he’s woven into the work. “I sat down with the elders for a couple hours every day. And it was just incredible to hear about the porcupine, the wild strawberry, and all those things,” he says. But the nature and wildlife that permeate the play were all around MacKenzie in Canmore, too. “I was very, very in tune with nature there,” he recalls. “In the paper there, often the front-page news is animal news, so everybody knows these really weird facts about cougars and wolves.” All of that inspiration has fed a play that defies genre—it’s a blend of chase story, identity search, ode to Indigenous spirituality, dark comedy, interdisciplinary spectacle, and ecoactivist plea. Multimedia projections create the settings with an immersive electronic soundscape as former tarsands worker Floyd makes his way to British Columbia via the pipeline trail. And eight dancers join him, acting like a kind of Greek chorus while taking the forms of various animals and supernatural beings. “That spiritual awakening that Floyd has, and that I had, is really hard to put into words—and so is that relationship with nature,” MacKenzie explains. “For me, dance is magic and that just made sense.” And as for the heated issue of the Kinder Morgan pipeline? In Bears, Floyd starts to see the effect of his role in the oilpatch on the natural world. But MacKenzie does hope to prompt discussion amid all the issue’s divided sides. And actor Sheldon Elter, who just appeared here in his one-man show Métis Mutt, plays a big role in that. “The character in the show has worked in the oilpatch his whole life and a lot of his jobs, Sheldon has done,” MacKenzie says. “He’s worked in the patch and his family has. We were very keen not to damn the working man, I guess you’d say. “That was so oil workers could come and see the show and relate to it and talk about it—just like an activist could.” -
atthew MacKenzie couldn’t have predicted how much the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline would dominate the headlines when he chose it as a subject for his play Bears. A previous iteration of his script had found its protagonist, an Indigenous oil worker from Alberta, f leeing a workplace accident along the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline. When that project died, he relocated Bears to the proposed Kinder Morgan route between Edmonton and Burnaby. And then all hell broke loose between B.C. and Alberta and activists exploded into action. The show, which has played Toronto and throughout Wild Rose Country, now opens here, ground zero for the fight, at a time when the conf lict is peaking. “It’s been quite something for that issue to keep going and growing, with things reaching a ridiculous level with the threats to B.C.,” the playwright tells the Straight from the Alberta capital, which has warned of an oil embargo against this province. “It’s that thing artists often strive for; you want to be talking about the here and now. We never expected it to reach this level. And doing Vancouver last—we’re excited to share the piece.” Still, it’s not as if MacKenzie sought to write a play ripped from today’s headlines. It turns out the genesis for Bears was much more personal than political for the young Canadian playwright and director. The journey started back around 2013, when he was living in Toronto and “feeling kind of spiritually empty”, he explains. He dropped everything and went to live with friends in the mountains of Canmore. While there, he delved deeply into the writings of his grandfather, Vern Wishart, who had meticulously pieced together the family’s longhidden Métis heritage. “He’d lost his father before he learned he was Métis,” MacKenzie says. “And when he was at the hospital with his mother passing away, there was a woman from her small town in the bed beside her, and he heard her saying, ‘Those are Wisharts—they’re half-breeds, you know.’ ” That sent MacKenzie’s grandfather and his great-aunt on a journey of research that would uncover Cree, Ojibwa, and Métis Bears plays the Cultch’s Historic Theatre until Saturday (May 12). ancestral roots.
Vancouver Moving Theatre in association with Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre and EartHand Gleaners, and with the development assistance of PTC and Native Earth Performing Arts, invites you to witness l Tour • M ay 17 t o June 17 2018 Nationa
Dream our Future. Understand the Present. Remember the past.
May 17-19 & May 24-26 2018 Thursdays and Fridays 7:30pm | Saturdays 2pm Doors & Pre-show weaving 7pm & 1:30pm – EartHand Gleaners
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Chief Simon Baker Room • 1607 East Hastings
Tickets: at the door only • sliding scale $2 – $25 • limited seating - first come, first served 604-628-5672 • weaving-reconciliation-our-way.ca
MAY 10 – 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19
“BRINGS HAPPINESS WHEREVER IT GOES” —Time Magazine
THE SMASH-HIT MUSICAL BASED ON THE SONGS OF ABBA
Now playing till Aug 12!
Vancouver Cantata Singers artistic director Paula Kremer will take on themes of life and death for the Kantatefeier program to mark the occasion.
Cantata Singers tap joy for their 60th A celebratory new work by Jocelyn Morlock joins the likes of J.S. Bach on a rousing birthday program > B Y A LE XAN DER VAR TY
I presenting sponsor
The cast. Photo by David Cooper
playing at stanley industrial alliance stage
HAVE YOU BEEN TO...
20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT MAY 10 – 17 / 2018
granville island stage
goldcorp stage at the bmo theatre centre
t’s a bright Saturday morning, the scent of summer is in the air, and in her South Surrey townhouse Paula Kremer is thinking of… Well, she’s thinking of death. But she’s also thinking of life, and light, and most of all she’s thinking about Kantatefeier, the program she’s assembled to mark the 60th anniversary of the Vancouver Cantata Singers, the ensemble she’s helmed since 2013. It is not, she admits, a particularly rah-rah confection. Musical scholars suggest, for instance, that opening number “Lieber Herr Gott, wecke uns auf ”, by Johann Christoph Bach, was sung at Johann Sebastian Bach’s funeral, in 1750. And J.C.’s sober message will be echoed in J.S.’s concluding piece, “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”, although in that work, which posits Jesus as “the bridegroom of the soul”, there is an underpinning sensuality and joy. “So much of this music, even though it’s almost funeral music, could be done at Christmastime as well,” Kremer tells the Straight. “It’s just so interesting!” She explains that the Bachs’ music—which was intended to be performed in a liturgical context, whether funereal or not—is largely about the radiant awakening believers can expect in heaven. “So how do I relate that to someone who isn’t Christian, or who doesn’t have that belief?” she asks. “Well, one thing that unites us all is that it’s a given that we all are going to die. So that is, right there, something that unifies all of us on this Earth.” We should probably specify that Kremer doesn’t sound particularly downcast about any of this. In
fact, she’s bubbling with so much enthusiasm for her choir and its music that trying to explain it, she says, leaves her almost “tonguetied”. Still, she makes the point that the deep feeling in the Bachs’ music encompasses vernal excitement as well as autumnal rumination, “wecke uns auf ” and “wachet auf ” both translating, more or less, as “Wake up!” And in that spirit of the fresh and new, Kremer decided to bolster the Cantata Singers’ program by commissioning a piece, Io, Io, from Vancouver Symphony Orchestra composer in residence Jocelyn Morlock. “It’s really a beautiful connection,” she explains. “I met with Jocelyn a year ago and said that we would love to have her write a celebratory piece for us—for the Vancouver Cantata Singers, as we celebrate our 60th—to have on the last program of the year. But here’s the sticker: it’s all Bach, and Jocelyn doesn’t write, obviously, in Bach’s choral style. So how could we fit it into the program design? I love designing programs that tell a story or have thematic threads, so it isn’t just a program of beautiful, beautiful music to listen to.” Morlock’s answer was to quote Philipp Nicolai’s text for “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”. “It’s ‘No eye has ever seen/no ear has ever heard/such joy,’ ” Kremer says. “And on behalf of the Cantata Singers, I would say that speaks to our joy that we’ve made it to 60 years, and that we’re singing together, and that we’re able to do this concert.” The Vancouver Cantata Singers present Kantatefeier! A Cantata Celebration at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday (May 12).
Local dancer fetes work of beloved Japanese teacher > BY JA NET SM IT H
o understand why Vancouver’s Colleen Lanki is staging a concert celebrating the life and work of a late Japanese dance master, you have to understand how their paths intersected. That, and how Fujima Yūko effectively changed the course of Lanki’s life and career. Lanki moved from Toronto to Tokyo in 1995, planning to teach English and take in live Japanese performing arts for a year before moving home again. “But then I saw a kabuki play and it moved me so much,” Lanki tells the Straight on a rehearsal break. “I asked artist friends about finding a teacher, which is not easy—you really have to be introduced and you commit to the long term.” She was finally introduced to traditional-Japanese-dance teacher Fujima Yūko, and they instantly hit it off—despite the fact that Lanki was from a country far removed from Japan. “I loved her. She was amazing,” Lanki enthuses. “She had had one other foreign student, a ballet dancer from Paris. And she thought, ‘Wow, people can do this from overseas. This should be practised everywhere.’ “She was completely open, but a very traditional teacher,” the artistic director of Vancouver’s TomoeArts says. “She was the reason I stayed in Tokyo for six-and-a-half years.” Before Lanki left for Canada again, Fujima Yūko bestowed on her one of the highest honours: a dance name, Fujima Sayū—symbolically, one that uses the same “ū” character as her teacher’s name does. “That puts me in one of the larger Japanese traditions and also means I’m her deshi, or her disciple.” Fujima Yūko died in 2003, but in the past few years, Lanki has been working her way through boxes of archival
An archival photo of Fujima Yuko joins an exhibit in the theatre lobby.
materials, like old photos and VHS recordings of some of her dances. Yūko-kai: A Concert of Japanese Dance actually revives two of Fujima Yūko’s original choreographies that Lanki found in old videotapes. Lanki herself will join dancer Ryan Caron in Ama, a dance-play about a diver who steals a magic pearl from an underwater dragon king. Elsewhere, Japan’s Fujima Shōgo will dance the battle tale Yashima. Also on the program is Lanki’s “sister disciple”, Fujima Minako, dancing the elegant geisha-style Kane no Misaki. Audience members can also take in an exhibit of photographs of Fujima Yūko in the lobby of the Dance Centre. “I’ve got a postcard of her dancing at 12 years old,” Lanki says of the epic project, “and the last one is dated January 17, 2003. The next day she was leaving the dressing room and collapsed in the hallway.” She danced right till the end—and if this devoted deshi has her way, Fujima Yūko’s creations will continue to live. TomoeArts presents Yuko-kai—A Concert of Japanese Dance at the Scotiabank Dance Centre on Saturday (May 12).
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T H E F EST I VA L . B C . CA MAY 10 – 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21
Artist carved wonders from wood V IS U AL AR T S BEAU DICK: REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT At the Audain Art Museum until June 11
Speaking in the documenfilm Meet Beau Dick: Maker of Monsters, the esteemed Kwakwaka’wakw artist mused on the enduring importance of the cedar tree to his people. Dick, who died last year at the age of 61, also considered the sense of spiritual connection he experienced when he carved a block of wood taken from an ancient cedar. Early on, the understanding came to him that what he was making—a mask, perhaps—was an ongoing part of the tree’s life. As form emerged through his carving, he realized that “Something else was making this all happen. It wasn’t me—I was just part of it.” Then he added, “This art form is ceremonial… It’s given to us as a gift of the Creator.” An excerpt from the film is playing at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, a moving complement to the museum’s retrospective exhibition Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit. Dick had a larger-than-life presence, reflected in the impressive scale of some of his later depictions of Kwakwaka’wakw entities and elements, such as his Wind Mask, a work both subtle and powerful, made in 2016 and some four-and-a-half feet in height. Yet, in the film, Dick speaks softly and gently, almost reverently, in keeping, it seems, with the reverence he felt not only for his cultural heritage, but for all life. A sense prevailing throughout the show is that his works emanate the energy and commitment of the man who made them. Still, it isn’t all seriousness and solemn respect here. Woven into Dick’s art are strands of Trickster-like humour and bawdiness: a skeletal Winalagalis puppet with an erect penis and dangling tes-
A large Dzunukwa mask is part of the Audain’s Beau Dick retrospective.
ticles; a slyly named grouping of four painted deer skins; a Killer Whale headdress with a plastic action figure standing on its back. Curated by the AAM’s Darrin Martens and the artist’s daughter Linnea Dick, Revolutionary Spirit celebrates a man who was much more than an artist. To his creative persona, add hereditary chief and community leader, teacher and mentor, political and cultural activist, storyteller and ceremonialist. The big and ambitious show surveys his career across some four decades, from a leather purse carved and painted with a Sisiutl design to dance masks produced not long before his death. It outlines the unbroken line of Kwakwaka’wakw carvers who taught and influenced him; reveals his interest in mastering styles outside his particular cultural heritage; gives examples of the artists he studied and collaborated with; and highlights younger artists who were
mentored by him. It also points out some of the themes and characters to which he kept returning, such as the bloody-lipped Dzunukwa, the Wild Woman of the Woods, and the ghostly Bukwus, who captures the souls of the drowned. Dick died unexpectedly in March 2017, just before his art’s international debut at Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece. An entire gallery is given over to Undersea Kingdom, the cycle of 18 masks exhibited there, which tell the story of Yo’lakwame, his adventures in the underworld, and his travels on the back of a supernatural whale. Imbued with environmental as well as cultural meaning, most of the lively and characterful masks on view had been or were intended to be danced, although a couple of them, such as a big, red Sculpin, were designed to be hung on the wall. Their diverse display here exemplifies Dick’s ability to create ceremonial works for use by his own nation and more “secular” art meant for exhibition and sale. This dual approach to art-making is evident throughout the show, with works such as his impressive Hamatsa dance masks, executed in more “traditional” Kwakwaka’wakw scale, style, and palette, and some of his Dzunukwa and Bukwus masks, again, monumental in size and bearing Dick’s particular and innovative way of working. His carving here is often subtly modulated, his paint application is matte and his colours muted, often ranging through blacks, greys, and whites. The pigments appear to have been sparely applied and then carefully rubbed or sanded down, giving them the patina of old age. Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit is a moving tribute to a beloved artist and multifaceted human being. It ably demonstrates the wonders he realized from the gift bestowed upon him by his Creator. > ROBIN LAURENCE
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ay 10 11 12 Queen Elizabeth Theatre balletbc.com PERFORMANCE SPONSORS
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22 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT MAY 10 – 17 / 2018
CHINESE-CANADIAN MIRACLE CONCERT Under the direction of conductor Peggy Hua, more than 60 members of the B.C. Chinese Orchestra will perform a wide variety of Chinese traditional instruments. May 12, 12, 7:30-9:30 pm, Gateway Theatre (6500 Gilbert Rd., Richmond). Tix $30/$45, info www.bccma. net/2018/04/16/2018-chinese-canadianmiracle-concerts/.
ar ts/ timeout THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS
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THEATRE 2OPENINGS MAMMA MIA! The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a feel-good musical featuring the music of ABBA. May 10–Aug 12, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub. com/shows/2017-2018/mamma-mia/. MARION BRIDGE A Wing and a Prayer presents a play about three estranged sisters who return home to Cape Breton to care for their dying mother. May 10-16, 7:30 pm; May 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 2 pm, Kay Meek Centre (1700 Mathers Ave., West Van). Tix $29-45, info www.kaymeek.com/. TOLKIEN The tale of how Narnia and Middle Earth came to be is chronicled in a new play by Pacific Theatre artistic director Ron Reed. May 11–Jun 9, 8-10:40 pm, Pacific Theatre (1440 W. 12th). Tix $2036.50, info pacifictheatre.org/season/20172018-season/mainstage/tolkien/. LES FILLES DU ROI (THE KING’S DAUGHTERS) Urban Ink presents the world premiere of a new Canadian musical by Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac. May 15-27, York Theatre (639 Commercial). Tix $10-46, info www.urbanink.ca/. TRUE WEST Sam Shepard’s classic 1980 tale of sibling rivalry. May 15-19, 15-19, 8-10 pm, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Tix $30, info www.sonderhouseproductions.org/.
2ONGOING BEARS Comically dark. Unapologetically political. A play about pipelines. May 8-12, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Tix from $22, info www.thecultch.com/events/bears/. WET ITSAZOO presents the western Canadian premiere of David James Brock’s drama, set during the height of Canada’s involvement in the Afghanistan War. May 8-27, Russian Hall (600 Campbell). Tix from $25 at www.theatrewire.com/, info itsazoo.org/wet-by-david-james-brock/.
DANCE 2THIS WEEK BALLET BC’S PROGRAM 3 Ballet BC concludes its 32nd season with a program of choreography by Cayetano Soto (“Beginning After”) and Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar (“Bill”). May 10-12, 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix from $35 to $100 (plus service charges), info balletbc.com/performance/pro gram-3-2018/.
don’t miss out! For up-to-the-minute, searchable Arts Time Out listings, visit
TOMOEARTS: YUKO-KAI TomoeArts presents a dance-theatre work that’s steeped in Japanese forms and aesthetics. May 12, 8 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie). Tix $39/29, info www.thedancecentre.ca/tomoearts/. NEW WORKS AT NIGHT New Works closes its 2017-2018 season with a double bill featuring the work of three local artists who explore essential questions of what it is to be human. May 12, 8-9:30 pm, Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St., Granville Island). Tix $20 advance, $25 at the door, info www.newworks.ca/.
IN PRAISE OF WOMEN Roedde House Classical Series presents a concert featuring music by women composers, including Vancouver’s Dorothy Chang and Eileen Padgett. May 13, 4-5 pm, Roedde House Museum (1415 Barclay). Tix $15/12, info www.roeddehouse.org/website/ index.php/en/. DR. LI JIA Pipa recital features both traditional and new solo pieces, including The Emperor Discards His Armor, Reflection of the Moon, Gold and Sand, and Wild Geese Descending on Sandbank. May 14, 7:30 pm, Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 W. 41st). Tix $30, info www.bccma. net/2018/04/18/may-14th-2018-li-jia-pipasolo-concert/. ALEXANDER GAVRYLYUK The Vancouver Chopin Society concludes its 20th anniversary season with a recital by the Ukrainian pianist. May 16, 7:30 pm, Vancouver Playhouse Recital Hall (601 Cambie). Tix $15-$49, info chopinsociety. org/alexander-gavrylyuk-2017.html/.
COMEDY 2ONGOING THE COMEDY MIX 1015 Burrard, Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, 604-684-5050, www. thecomedymix.com/. Comedy club with pro-am night Tue at 8:30 pm, showcase Wed at 8:30 pm, and featured headliners Thu at 8:30 pm and Fri-Sat at 8 and 10:30 pm. Cover $8 Tue, $10 Wed, $15 Thu, $18 Fri, $20 Sat. 2CHAD DANIELS May 10-12 YUK YUK’S COMEDY CLUB 2837 Cambie, 604-696-9857, www.yukyuks. com/vancouver/. Comedy club with Top Talent Tue at 8 pm, amateur night Wed at 8 pm, and professional headliners Thu-Fri at 8 pm and Sat at 7 and 9:30 pm. Cover Tue $10, Wed $7, Thu $10, and Fri-Sat $20. 2RON JOSOL May 10-12
2THIS WEEK KEVIN SMITH AND RALPH GARMAN Director-actor Kevin Smith and actor– radio host Ralph Garman share the mike for Hollywood Babble-On, which takes a comedic look at show-biz news. May 11, 8:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $59.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. MOM=WOW: THE MOTHER OF ALL MOTHER’S DAY SHOWS Vancouver TheatreSports League presents a momthemed comedy show. May 13, 4 pm, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Tix $25, info www.vtsl.com/show/ mothers-day/.
ET CETERA 2THIS WEEK IGNITE! Youth-driven arts festival features music, dance, spoken word, the world premiere of two one-act plays, and a visual-arts exhibit. May 8-19, 8-19, 7:30 pm, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Adults $10/15 youth and seniors $2/4, info thecultch. com/youthprogram/ignite-youth-festival/.
GALLERIES VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/. 2BOMBHEAD (thematic exhibition explores the emergence and impact of the nuclear age as represented by artists and their art) to Jun 17 2EMILY CARR IN DIALOGUE WITH MATTIE GUNTERMAN (new exhibition features the paintings of Carr with 48 photographs by U.S.–born photographer Gunterman) to Sep 3
MUSEUMS MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER 1100 Chestnut Street, 604-736-4431, www.museumofvan couver.ca/. 2HAIDA NOW: A VISUAL FEAST OF INNOVATION AND TRADITION (exhibition guest-curated by Kwiaahwah Jones features more than 450 works by carvers, weavers, photographers, and print makers, collected as early as the 1890s) to Jun 15
NEW ORFORD STRING QUARTET Canadian classical ensemble composed of violinists Jonathan Crow and Andrew Wan, violist Eric Nowlin, and cellist Brian Manker. May 12, 7:30 pm, Kay Meek Centre (1700 Mathers Ave., West Van). Tix $29-45, info www.kaymeek.com/.
THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604-822-5087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2CULTURE AT THE CENTRE (collaboration between six First Nations communities offers insight into the work Indigenous-run cultural centres and museums in B.C. are doing to support their language, culture, and history) to Oct 8
KANTATEFEIER: A CANTATA CELEBRATION The Vancouver Cantata Singers present cantatas and motets by Bach, plus an anniversary commission by B.C. composer Jocelyn Morlock. May 12, 7:30 pm, Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard). Tix $10-30, info www.vancouver cantatasingers.com/.
TIME OUT ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
LOVE, LUST AND ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FRIDAY & SATURDAY, MAY 18 & 19 8PM , ORPHEUM Michael Krajewski conductor
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Join powerhouse vocalist Storm Large and the VSO for a pulse-racing tribute to Love, Lust & Rock ‘n’ Roll, spanning the greatest hits from the ‘30s to the ‘90s including classics such as I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Kashmir, Somebody to Love, and more! VSO POPS SERIES SPONSOR
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FESTIVAL DATES: JUNE 14-16 Image: Infinite Digressions, 2015, Ileanna Cheladyn and Diego Romero, performed by Ileanna Cheladyn. Photo: Ash Tanasi
MAY 10 – 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 23
Doc reveals Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity of will The 89-year-old artist achieved celebrity despite a difficult childhood, mental illness, and the deeply ingrained prejudices of the art world > BY JA NET SM IT H
mid all the dizzying, looped-and-dotted works that American director Heather Lenz has managed to capture in her new documentary Kusama—Infinity, perhaps nothing stands out so much as images of the artist today in her Shinjuku studio. Interviewed in the film, the 89-year-old Yayoi Kusama sports a signature scarlet bobbed anime wig and hot-pink polka-dotted dress, sitting with her marker at a drawing table, and set against the recent creations on her wall—a sea of blackand-white spots and jaggedy lines. “The boundary between Yayoi Kusama and her art is not very great,” Lenz tells the Straight from her home in Orange County. “They are one and the same.” It was as a young student majoring in art history and fine art that Lenz was first drawn to Kusama— who stood out as one of few female artists in her textbooks. She saw an underappreciated talent whose avant-pop works anticipated Andy Warhol and others. And as Lenz dug deeper into the artist’s story, she found a woman whose struggles with a difficult childhood and mental illness made her achievements all the more remarkable. Today, Kusama is one of the world’s most celebrated female artists, her kaleidoscopic, multiroom show Infinity Mirrors drawing throngs of visitors to galleries like the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Seattle Art Museum over the past year. But when Lenz set out to make her film 17 long years ago, few had ever heard of Kusama. “Had I won the lottery, at a certain point I might have made the film sooner,” Lenz quips. “At a certain point you put so much time and
she’s able to focus on something she loves to do all day long,” Lenz says. Still, she wonders if Kusama would be here at all if her path had been different—an idea echoed by the small army of curators and colleagues she interviews in the film. “Had she gotten the success that her white male colleagues did sooner, would she be in this place?” she asks. “What is the impact of someone getting beaten down over and over?” Lenz celebrates Kusama’s vast, prolific range in her film, from the polka-dot pop art and mirrored rooms she’s best known for to the phallic soft sculptures and intricate abstract paintings she created in the ’60s. But it’s Kusama’s inner drive that speaks to her most. It’s the defiance Kusama showed as a child when her mother took her art supplies away; it’s the resolve she displayed when she first wrote a letter to Georgia O’Keeffe, who went on to give her ongoing advice; and it’s the stubbornness she summoned when she’d complain about her work getting poorer hanging space than her male colleagues’ in the 1960s. “It’s her will and ambition and determination to succeed,” says Lenz, who clearly showed similar tenacity in getting this documentary made. “You see that in the film, when she comes to New York as a woman— and frankly, there are parallels to Hollywood right now. It’s her absoYayoi Kusama was already dotty when she joined the pop art scene of the ‘60s, in this still from Heather Lenz’s Kusama—Infinity. lute refusal to give up and refusal to Kusama, who worked her way into believe that she’s anything less than effort and money into it, it’s hard to to do interviews in Japanese. It wasn’t turn back.…It’s not easy to apply for until 2007 that she was finally able to the New York City art scene from 1957 her male peers. She doesn’t take no grants if an artist isn’t famous.” meet the artist, after studying con- to 1972, has continued to produce work for an answer.” in her Tokyo studio since the midLittle by little, Lenz put together versational Japanese and etiquette. the funding she needed to pay for “But when I met her she extended 1970s. It’s two blocks from the mental Kusama —Infinity closes the DOXA Documentary Film Festival on Saturtravel to Japan, to gain the rights her hand and was very pleasant,” hospital where she lives by choice. “To me, it is the ultimate triumph day (May 12) at SFU Woodward’s (7 to Kusama’s artworks, and to hire Lenz recalls. “And I told her it was that she found this place where p.m.) and the Vancity Theatre (9 p.m.) translators, because Kusama prefers the happiest day of my life.”
Geeking out about Freaks
> B Y JO HN LU C A S
here’s a moment in Brent Hodge’s new documentary about Freaks and Geeks when Judd Apatow suggests that the primary force that has driven his career since that short-lived TV series was cancelled is a burning desire to flip its naysayers the proverbial bird. That’s why, he claims, he continued to work with—and make bona fide, bankable stars of—series cast members Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, and James Franco. “Part of me thinks the only reason I was in Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin is so Judd could prove some NBC executive wrong—which is totally okay with me,” a deadpan Rogen says in a separate interview in Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary. “It doesn’t diminish it, in my eyes. I’m totally okay to have a career that’s based on vengeance and rage.” Apatow is possibly joking (well, maybe half joking), but the fact is that he probably did feel he had something to prove when NBC axed Freaks and Geeks in 2000 after a single season, despite near-universal acclaim from critics. The high-school dramedy set in the early 1980s, which Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) created and for which Apatow served as producer in addition to writing and directing several episodes, has since been hailed as classic and has developed a considerable cult following. If Freaks and Geeks was cancelled before its time, it also existed before its time—or so Hodge argues. “In 1999, it was probably really different, in the sense that it wasn’t a sitcom, it wasn’t a drama,” the Vancouver-based filmmaker says when the Straight reaches him in New York, where Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary is slated for its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. “It was kind of in between. It was filmed differently.” By 2018 standards, Freaks and Geeks hardly seems out of place if viewed alongside HBO’s Girls, Netflix series like Atypical and Everything Sucks!, and even latter-day NBC shows such as Community and Parks and Recreation. In its day, though, it seemingly came out of left field, with its focus on the minutiae of the teenage experience and its cast of mostly very regular-looking kids. (You definitely weren’t seeing anyone who resembled Martin Starr or Stephen Lea Sheppard on Beverly Hills 90210 or Dawson’s Creek.) “You were seeing a different kind of high-school show back then, where people in their 20s were playing high-school kids,” Hodge says. “They were super good-looking; it was just that typical, cookie-cutter high-school story. This was something very different. It was before its time in the sense that it didn’t really have a chance. There weren’t that many places for it to go, like there are today. I think it would have really 24 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT MAY 10 – 17 / 2018
Seth Rogen shows us what vengeance and rage look like in Brent Hodge’s film Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary.
succeeded if it came out today.” If Freaks and Geeks had continued past its 18-episode run, mind you, its young cast might never have gone on to have the remarkable careers they did, both onscreen and behind the scenes. In addition to the aforementioned Rogen-Franco-Segel triumvirate, the show’s stars included Linda Cardellini (ER, Mad Men), John Francis Daley (Bones), Samm Levine (Inglourious Basterds), and Busy Philipps (Cougar Town). “That’s wild to think that the entire cast has gone on to do such great things,” Hodge marvels. “Like, you look at so many shows back then—like Saved by the Bell or Boy Meets World. Where is everyone? But these guys—they weren’t even on a popular show, but they’ve all lasted. They’ve all continued to have careers in this industry.” It’s safe to say we can call that a win for the Apatow vendetta. As part of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary screens at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on Friday (May 11) at 8:15 p.m. and at the Cinematheque on Sunday (May 13) at 8 p.m.
Female power gets Revenge Annette Bening gives > BY A DRIA N M A C K
pening Friday (May 11), Revenge is as lean as they come, pitting a single woman against the three men who left her for dead, impaled on a tree at the bottom of a desert canyon. Itâ€™s also an exercise in high style, shot in hot ochre and cool blue, with its protagonist stalking her prey like an avenging immortal in bikini underwear, stripping the power from these men bit by gory bit. (And allegedly sending one patron into a faint when the film went megabuzz at TIFFâ€™s Midnight Madness screening last year.) Talking to the Straight from Los Angeles, French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat name-checks Kill Bill, Mad Max, and Duel as movies that worked the archetypal turf she was aiming for. â€œI thought that the desert would
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not the guyâ€?, it becomes impossible to ignore the looming presence of raperevenge flicks like 1978â€™s I Spit on Your Grave, which Revenge trounces in terms of the graphic violence inflicted on its characters. You wonâ€™t see a bloodier film this year. But the director is quick to make a distinction. â€œItâ€™s really just a revenge movie,â€? she says, pointing out that the sexual abuse, when it comes, is barely depicted at all. The sequence derives its power from the unbearable tension that precedes it and the appalling indifference to Jenâ€™s suffering that follows. â€œSo for me, the rape scene isnâ€™t the core of the movie,â€? Fargeat says. â€œI think the psychological violence and the moral violence is even stronger, with the character who does nothing and is gonna put the TV on, and the guy who is gonna tell the girl that itâ€™s her fault.â€? -
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Chekhov tale its wings
REV IEWS THE SEAGULL Starring Annette Bening. Rating unavailable
Anton Chekhovâ€™s oft-revived
2 play gets a mild makeover in this
take on The Seagull. A set of whirring romantic triangles that overlap in ways that are alternately funny and tragic, it is pure Mozartian farceâ€”minus most of the singingâ€”with a piquant tone that has informed many movies, most notably Jean Renoirâ€™s The Rules of the Game. This one is pleasant without being on that level. Directed by TV veteran Michael Mayer, it centres on fading actress Irina Arkadina, played with monstrous charm by Annette Bening, and
takes place at her rambling lakeside estate not far from Moscow. Irinaâ€™s son, Konstantin (Billy Howle), is a classic 19th-century handwringer who writes futuristic plays so full of symbolic overreach, the outdoor summer staging of his latest is halted when his mom wonâ€™t stop laughing. The headstrong youngster is infatuated with his lead actress, Nina (Saoirse Ronan), who has more ambition than talent, as we see when she gradually latches onto Irinaâ€™s latest consort, a famous author named Boris Trigorin (Corey Stoll). Later, Konstantin, who has a thing for guns and moping, shoots a hapless gull out of the sky and presents it to Nina as yet another obscure symbolâ€”an act that surely gave rise to the ageless aphorism â€œIf you love see next page
â€œYOU CAN FEEL THE HEAT, TEMPERATURE AND OTHERWISE. DELIVERS SENSUALITY IN SPADES.
be a perfect metaphor and mirror for whatâ€™s going on in the minds of the characters,â€? she says. â€œTheyâ€™re becoming more and more wild, they are more and more alone, far from civilization, far from humanity, and connecting with a more visceral part of themselves. So the landscape could really reflect the soul of the movie.â€? The setup here is that Jen (Matilda Lutz) has been shipped to a remote compound as the mistress of ultrawealthy libertine Richard (Kevin Janssens). When his two hunting buddies show up for their annual desert killfest, itâ€™s assumed sheâ€™s there for the taking, and things get nasty. It gives nothing away to mention that one of these men is, rather potently, completely nude and leaking gallons of blood by the time he finds himself in Jenâ€™s crosshairs. Besides this â€œtraditional reverse of always showing the girl naked and
ANNETTE BENING SCORES ANOTHER TRIUMPH. SAOIRSE RONAN DELIVERS A KNOCKOUT TURN. ELISABETH MOSS IS FIERCELY DEFIANT. EXCELLENT PERFORMANCES GRACE THIS FAST-PACED, LUCID SCREEN VERSION.â€? -Frank Scheck, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
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something, set it free, kill it, and offer it to someone you want to intimidate.” The other would-be, could-be, or used-to-be lovers include an urbane doctor (Jon Tenney) still juggling numerous affairs, including a past one with Polina (Mare Winningham), married to the boorish estate keeper (Glenn Fleshler). Polina’s daughter, Masha (Elisabeth Moss), is crazy about Konstantin. Or maybe just crazy. She drinks away her days and dresses in black—“I’m in mourning for my life” is the play’s most famous line—while ignoring an impoverished schoolteacher (Michael Zegen) who lives for her. Meanwhile, Irina’s elder brother (Brian Dennehy) casts a jaded eye on the white-people problems at hand. Stephen Karam’s script feels rushed and has a curiously modern ring to it, as does most of the acting. The sense of Romanov Russia on the eve of revolution is lost here. Howle, soon to be seen opposite Ronan in another period piece, On Chesil Beach, seems particularly miscast—too mature to convince as the wobbly, immature Konstantin. Fortunately, Bening isn’t bothered by any of that. Her Irina is an undying swan, and not about to be put off by lowlier birds. > KEN EISNER
REVENGE Starring Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz. In English and French, with English subtitles. Rated 18A
The bluntly titled Revenge is
2 about just one thing. Its people
are two-dimensional characters acting out primal urges in a nameless place. For her feature debut, French writer-director Coralie Fargeat has come up with something so brutally atavistic, specifics would only get in the way. Events centre on a woman called Jen. She’s played by Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz—not multiple Scandinavians but just one Italian, speaking English here, if very little of it. Jen might be in show biz. Our first glimpse of her is while she’s descending from a helicopter in Lolita shades with matching lollipop. The craft has landed on a promontory in the middle of a vast desert (Moroccan, in fact), just by a luxury villa so supermodern it has a giant painting of the Virgin Mary competing with the infinity pool. Jen arrives with a handsome millionaire named Richard (Kevin Janssens), who could be some sort of politician. He’s definitely married, judging from cellphone conversations with someone about table settings at an upcoming dinner party. Things are okay until Richard’s hunting buddies show up a day early. Do I really need to go on? I mean, “hunting buddies” should be enough, but Jen decides to keep partying with this macho claque. And if that includes wearing next to nothing while dancing around them like a manic sex pixie, they shouldn’t make assumptions. They do, though, and when Richard leaves for a few hours, Fargeat sets in motion a cruel match that’s as much about sexual politics as about survival. This is where the young filmmaker shows talent for more than bloody provocation and wide-screen geometry: the instigator (Vincent Colombe) turns out to be the least violence-prone of the three; the nonparticipant (Guillaume Bouchède) is a sadist; and the supposed boyfriend is the one who wants her erased from the picture. What follows is a kind of Tomb Raider–meets–Mad Max: Fury Road, with our pussycat heroine reborn as an avenging angel. She even ends up with scars that resemble gothic wings. The pain comes amid techno music and rapid-fire editing, and some tropes are upended in striking ways. The principal male antagonist, for example, spends the last battle entirely naked. Some viewers will certainly find the whole subject too loaded a topic for even the most kinetic comeuppance. But there’s a case to be made for adrenaline as an antidote to toxic masculinity. > KEN EISNER
A YouTuber gave Yung Heazy a big boost Jordan Heaney might be the
2 most famous local indie rocker
you’ve never heard of. The 23-yearold musician, who releases music under the name Yung Heazy, may have a fairly low profile at home, but online he’s something of a viral sensation—a status he owes almost entirely to Alona Chemerys. “Who the hell is Alona Chemerys?” is a perfectly reasonable reaction to that last statement, and the short answer is that she’s a YouTube tastemaker who regularly posts videos that consist of nothing more than a still image soundtracked by a song she likes. Chemerys’s channel has around 208,000 subscribers, which is not a huge number by YouTube standards, but her musical selections evidently resonate with those who happen upon them. Her most popular video—which features “My Jinji” by Taiwan-based popsters Sunset Rollercoaster—has over 5.6 million views. Last July, Chemerys uploaded a video that included a Yung Heazy song called “Cuz You’re My Girl”; that video has accrued almost three million views to date. “She’s a girl from the Ukraine,” Heaney says during an interview with the Straight at West Broadway’s Storm Crow Alehouse on a recent Friday afternoon. “I have no idea how she found the song. I just put it up on SoundCloud, and it had, like, 100 plays or something. She somehow found the song through the depths of the Internet and decided to put it on her channel. And it just happened organically. People started sharing and listening to it. I didn’t even know it was up there for, like, a good two weeks. No one contacted me about it. It’s a weird story. I didn’t have any control over it.” Indeed, the song—a mini masterpiece of bedroom indie pop that conjures visions of Mac DeMarco jamming to the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down”—has taken on a life of its own. Fans have uploaded their own cover versions to YouTube, someone put the lyrics on Genius.com (with annotations), and if you’re itching to learn it yourself, you can find the chords to “Cuz You’re My Girl” on Ultimate-Guitar.com. Not bad for something that started life as a Valentine’s Day gift for Heaney’s girlfriend. In other words, the song has become a hit without the benefit of airplay or even a release on a physical format. The latter will be rectified on June 1, when Yung Heazy releases its first album, Whenever You’re Around I Hate Everything Less. It’s essentially a one-man project, as Heaney explains. “Yung Heazy is me, Jordan—I record everything, I produce it, I wrote all the songs.” On-stage, Heaney is joined by guitarist Cole Frizell, bassist Ken Clarke, and drummer Christopher Marriott. In the studio—or, more precisely, in his parents’ North Vancouver basement—he prefers to go it alone. “I like kind of being the dictator of everything with the music,” Heaney notes. “Being the only person to record and produce and do all those things, I find it’s a lot quicker for me. I like collaborating, and I like working with other people. I just find that with this process, I can output the most music in the quickest amount of time.” Heaney is refreshingly forthcoming about his influences, which include not only the aforementioned Beatles and DeMarco, but also Arctic Monkeys and Father John Misty, and especially the artist known to his parents as Ariel Marcus Rosenberg. “For a lot of these songs I was trying to write from the mindset of Ariel Pink,” Heaney says. “I just see him as getting as many hooks as he possibly can into one song. I love that, and I love how he can do weird musical timing and stuff like that, and it still gets away with authentic catchiness.” Heaney is no slouch in the catchiness department himself, spiking numbers like “Comfort Mix” and “Baby Don Chu Worry” with hooks as potent as his playing is loose and
Yung Heazy (left) is a one-man operation; Pharis and Jason Romero lost a workshop but gained a new love of humanity.
slippery. These qualities should serve him well when Yung Heazy sets off on a tour that, from the middle of this month to the end of next, will take him and his band all over Canada and the U.S., hitting cities that include Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, and Austin. Oh, and also Revelstoke, Guelph, and a few other places that might not seem like live-music hot spots. “I think it’s sweet,” says Heaney. “I’d love to play for people in Revelstoke and Guelph and smaller places, or maybe venues that don’t usually get bands. I have no idea. I’ve never actually been to either of those places. But I’m just down to tour, man. I’m down to play as many shows as possible for whoever wants to come out.” > JOHN LUCAS
Yung Heazy plays 333 on Saturday (May 12).
Generosity helped Romeros recover from traumatic fire As life traumas go, it’s right
2 up there as one of the scariest:
waking up in the middle of the night to a fire that’s taken hold. Today, the husband-and-wife Americana duo of Pharis and Jason Romero are able to look back at the time their lives changed with a strange sense of gratitude. Out of something horrible came good things, including a renewed faith in humankind and the feeling that life’s short, so you might as well take some chances. That thinking would eventually have an impact on Sweet Old Religion, the fourth—and quite arguably best—album the two have released under the banner of Pharis and Jason Romero. But first, the fire. The nightmare started in 2016 in a workshop on their property in Horsefly, B.C. Having welcomed a second child, the couple started a major renovation on their house, moving into an adjacent cabin during the construction. Also on the property was Jason’s workshop, which happened to be headquarters for his booming business as a maker of high-end banjos. “We started the reno in May in earnest, ripping the house apart but keeping the kitchen and bathroom, for obvious reasons,” Jason says, on the line with his wife and musical partner from Horsefly. “One night in June, after we got back from a party, I woke up at about 3 a.m. and saw a glow that I shouldn’t have seen.” Along with their two small kids, Pharis and Jason were in a cabin they’d built on skids between the house and workshop, the structure giving them a place to stay during the reno. Jason bolted from bed while Pharis grabbed the kids, who were two months old and twoand-a-half. “The fire was in the corner of the
shop—I’m pretty sure it was started by a compressor that shorted out and had run itself red-hot,” Jason says. “There was enough ambient dust in the room that it caught fire. It was a very old building and it went up really quick. We tried to put it out with a garden hose, but then the fire got so big that it burned our power lines, which killed our pump. There was a live wire in the driveway, which caused all sorts of chaos. It burned down very efficiently.” The collateral damage included five banjos that Jason had finished and was about to ship to customers, as well as a collection of prewar Martin and Gibson guitars. Also lost were countless personal items, which the Romeros had stored in the workshop for the renovation. But the couple eventually gained a different perspective on that night. “In this day and age it’s insane how quickly news spreads,” Pharis says. “We got up the next day and went to our friend’s house to use the Internet and contact the insurance company for whatever insurance we had. I put up one post, that our shop burned down, on our personal page. That day, I talked to four different CBC Radio stations, and people just started sending help. Small towns are amazing when they rally around their people. We live in this expanded version of a small town when it comes to the music community and the banjobuilding community, and the luthier community in general. “I would never, ever wish for anyone to go through a summer like we went through, because I think it took a few years off both of our lives due to the stress,” she continues. “But I also wish for everyone to experience the kind of community support that we got. It fills your heart with a belief in the core goodness of humanity. It inspired Jason and I so much—to be able to get back on our feet, and then to be able to give again ourselves.” In a weird way, then, the fire, as well as friends coming together afterward to help them rebuild their home and lives, inspired Sweet Old Religion. The palpable sense of easygoing joy that’s been unmistakable on past records is there once again, but this time out the two seem extra locked-in when singing together. Something magical happens when they join forces vocally, whether it’s on the rollicking banjopowered “Salt and Powder” or the still-waters acoustic reverie “You Are a Shining Light”. “Personally, I think both of us feel this is our best record yet, for a bunch of reasons,” Pharis says. “We just rehearsed everything like crazy. We sang together so much leading up to this record—not a lot of live performing, because of the kids and how life was structured, but more singing together every day for two hours for months. All the vocals on the record are live, and most of the playing is. There’s not
a lot of overdubbing on purpose.” What makes for a noticeable departure from past releases is the injection of some grit into the duo’s work. That gives an extra shade of darkness to the haunting “Age Old Dream” and a weathered charm to the harmoniesfrom-heaven “Come on Love”. “I love a little scuff, but trying to figure out whether I want a little scuff, or having a note sounding right in tune, has always created a little bit of a conflict for me,” Pharis says. “But I think I might be finally leaning towards a little scuff. Jason, because he doesn’t have all these years of musical training hammered into him, has scuff all over his stuff, and that’s what makes him so freaking great.” Ultimately, Pharis agrees, what you hear is two people who couldn’t be more on the same page. That she and Jason pretty much do everything together—make music, raise children, pile into the tour van, run a home business—suggests a bond as unbreakable as that of Johnny and June Carter Cash. That, evidently, is how you not only survive a fire, but come out on the other side stronger than ever. “We’re full-on 24/7 between kids and being on the road and living and loving and owning a business together,” Pharis says. “Everything we do is in this little world. And we still really like each other, which is a good sign.” > MIKE USINGER
it was actually a THC drink. Fuck, I just drank it down in one go, and then I dealt with the consequences! I had no idea—it was the one single healthy thing I tried to do all weekend, and even that was tainted. But at least I tried!” That this is almost the first thing that comes up in our conversation gives credence to Moonboots’ claim that he’s “just a goofy son of a bitch”, and that there’s no point in scanning his lyrics for mystic significance. “I just like things to sound visceral,” he says. “I like it to sound like it comes from the belly. If I sit down and actually pay real attention to the lyrics and put in loads of effort, I feel like every word becomes contrived and calculated, and it just stops sounding like me, as a person. I mean, the scatterbrained, abstract nature of the lyrics is exactly what I am, right? I’m a scatterbrained, abstract kind of dude, and I’m not going to sit down and present lyrics that make me out to be Leonard Cohen or Nick Cave.” However self-effacing Moonboots might be, the Orange Kyte is serious about its music. The band makes a big, warm, and enveloping noise, best heard on its highly entertaining new release, The Orange Kyte Says Yes!. And while its sound references elements of the past—keyboardist Mat Durie often channels Pink Floyd’s Saucerful of Secrets organ tones, while the decision to add saxophonist Matty Reed to the lineup was directly inspired by Moonboots’ fondness for the Stooges’ secret weapon, Steve Mackay—it’s never annoyingly retro. There is, however, no doubt that the quintet’s swirling, electronically enhanced tones would go well with a bottle of psychedelic soda. “Phase makes things sound gooey and melty and kind of like the way your brain feels when you’ve maybe taken something and you’re having a good time,” Moonboots says. “Those kind of sounds echo those feelings of being chemically altered and not really thinking too much about your real life and the stresses and strains of whatever you do outside of having a good time.” And having a good time, he continues, is one thing that Desert Daze’s various acts—which include Ariel Pink, DIIV, Dead Ghosts, and Frankiie—all have in common. “The whole aim of it is to go see some bands and enjoy yourself,” Moonboots concludes. “When you’re going on tour, you’re basically bringing the party, or you’re bringing the good times to the audience—and that’s the way I want it to be.” > ALEXANDER VARTY
Pharis and Jason Romero play St. James Hall next Thursday and Friday (May 17 and 18).
Orange Kyte plays the Commodore Ballroom as part of Desert Daze Caravan II on Saturday (May 12).
Orange Kyte makes music for brain-melting fun times Michigan Rattlers’ hearts belong to Middle America When the neopsychedelic road
2 warriors of Desert Daze Cara-
van II roll into Vancouver, Stevie Moonboots will feel right at home— and not only because he lives here. Last year, the affable Irishman admits, he and his band the Orange Kyte made their Desert Daze debut at the touring festival’s Joshua Tree home base, and it was a memorable occasion in more ways than one. “We were, like, the first band on for the whole weekend,” he tells the Straight on his cellphone while strolling through Fairview Slopes. “We played on one of the cool outdoor stages on the way in, so we were like the first port of call.” Being first on the bill also let the singer-guitarist check out other acts— including Spiritualized, Iggy Pop, and the Make-Up—without the pressure of pre-performance anxiety. “It was just a dream come true,” Moonboots recalls. But it’s the complimentary beverages that really stick in his mind. “The backstage hospitality was absolutely incredible,” he explains, laughing. “At the side stage they had what I thought was a kind of pop, but
Los Angeles is where Michigan singer-guitarist Graham Young finds himself based these days, but home will always be Middle America. That much is obvious from the punchy Americana he specializes in with bandmate and childhood friend Adam Reed. If song titles like “Illinois Sky” don’t give you an idea of where he sometimes dreams of being during his more melancholy moments, then consider the driving love letter that is “Brutus Road”. Over country-punk guitars that suggest a deep appreciation for Uncle Tupelo’s Anodyne, Young wrings every bit of emotion out of lines like “And the stars ain’t like I remember them/Out Brutus Road in northwest Michigan.” “It’s definitely a bittersweet relationship with Los Angeles,” the singer says, reached at home in the City of Angels. “I think all of us in the band definitely miss living up north in Petoskey [Michigan]. It’s a case of missing family, and missing friends. Still, I completely dig Los Angeles. You can always find something to
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MAY 10 – 17 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27
from previous page
do, and you can’t beat the weather.” The singer was the first to move to California, with Reed following him after wrapping up his schooling. “I lived in Chicago for a while and loved it a lot—I was there for three years,” Young says. “After playing in a band there, it kind of ran its course and I was looking for something new. Los Angeles seemed like an option despite being far away from home. It somehow seemed more accessible than New York City.” It would be hard to imagine Michigan Rattlers setting up in NYC, mostly because the group seems to have deep roots in Californian soil, despite Young and Reed being transplants. Michigan Rattlers sound as comfortable turning Leonard Cohen’s “On the Level” into an overproof roadhouse rambler as they do injecting heartland rock with an extra layer of Americana twang on “Strain of Cancer”. Whether intentionally
What stands out is the attention Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $22.50 (plus service charges and to little things, whether the band fees) at www.livenation.com/. (which includes multi-instrumental2 ist Christian Wilder) is celebrating THIS WEEK Michigan’s Brutus Road, or nameEAGLES American rock band from the checking the Mustang Lounge in ’70s (“Take It Easy”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, and “Hotel California”), with guests JD & the Straight the stardusted “Sweet Diane”. Sure Shot. May 10-11, 8 pm, Rogers Arena (800 enough, those places exist, proof that Griffiths Way). Tix at www.livenation.com/. while Young might be on some level KIP MOORE American country singerloving L.A., that doesn’t stop him songwriter, with guests Drake White and the from thinking about his real home. Big Fire and Fairground Saints. May 10-11, “I guess what I set out to do was doors 7 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). write songs for myself,” says the singer, Tix $59.50 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat Records and www.ticketfly.com/. who’s just finished a full-length with his bandmates. “That meant writing MGMT Indie-rock band from Connecticut performs tunes from new album Little Dark about things that were personal to CONCERTS . May 11, doors 7 pm, Orpheum Theatre Age me. It’s kind of strange, but when you (601 Smithe). Tix at www.ticketmaster.ca/. do something that’s super personal, 2JUST ANNOUNCED COLIN LINDEN Canadian roots singerit can also be super relatable for a lot songwriter-guitarist and member of of people. Even if only about one per- IMPRESSIONS OF LIGHTFOOT A jazzy Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. May 11, 7-11 tribute to Gordon Lightfoot conceived cent of the people who’ve heard ‘Sweet by James McRae with local luminaries Michigan Rattlers name-check real pm, ANZA Club (3 W. 8th Ave). Tix $35, Diane’ have been to the Mustang Rene Worst, Jennifer Scott, and Bill Coon. info www.colinlinden.com/. places in their Americana tunes. Lounge, they’ve got their own Mus- Experience Lightfoot’s iconic songbook P!NK International pop star performs on with fresh and innovative interpretations. or not, 2016’s eponymous Michigan tang Lounge that they can plug in.” Presented by Coastal Jazz. May 18-19, 8 pm, her Beautiful Trauma World Tour 2018. May 12, doors 6:30 pm, show 8 pm, Rogers > MIKE USINGER Frankie’s Jazz Club (765 Beatty). Tix $15 at Rattlers EP came across as part of a Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix $260.10/210.10 lineage stretching from the legendary www.coastaljazz.ca/. /170.10/120.10/90.10/60.10 (plus service charFlying Burrito Brothers to the under- Michigan Rattlers play the WISE VACATIONER American electronic-pop ges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. Lounge on Thursday (May 10). appreciated Long Ryders. band performs tunes from new album
Mindset, with guests Sego. Jul 28, 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $18 (plus service charge) at www.ticketfly.com/.
HEALY Singer-songwriter from Memphis, Tennessee. Aug 4, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $15 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. JADE BIRD Country singer-songwriter from Northumberland, England. Sep 1, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $15 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. RAYLAND BAXTER Alt-country artist from Nashville. Sep 5, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $15 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. BIG THIEF American indie-rock band plays tunes from latest album Capacity, with guests Iji. Sep 20, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $20 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/. FIRST AID KIT Folk duo from Sweden tours behind latest album Ruins. Oct 2, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $40/35 (plus service charge) at www.ticketmaster.ca/. FLINT EASTWOOD Indie-rock duo from Detroit, Michigan. Oct 3, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $15 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
DESERT DAZE CARAVAN II Featuring performances by Ariel Pink, DIIV, Nick Hakim, SUUNS, and JJUUJJUU. May 12, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $35 (plus service charge) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.
don’t miss out! For up-to-the-minute, searchable Music Time Out listings, visit
JOEY BADA$$ New York City hip-hop artist tours in support of latest release AllAmerikkkan Bada$$, with guests Boogie and Buddy. May 12, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix at www.ticketfly.com/. THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS The Pacific Bluegrass & Heritage Society presents Canadian bluegrass band. May 14, 7:30 pm, ANZA Club (3 W. 8th Ave). Tix $25/20, info www.pacificbluegrass.ca/. TRICKY MRG Concerts presents English producer, with guests Young Magic. May 14, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $32.50 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat and www.rickshawtheatre.com/. SLAYER American metal band performs on its farewell tour, with guests Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament. May 16, doors 4 pm, show 5:30 pm, Pacific Coliseum (Hastings Park, 100 N. Renfrew). NOTE: Moved from previous venue of the PNE Forum. Tix $77 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
PAUL SIMON American folk-rock singer-songwriter (“You Can Call Me Al”, “Mother and Child Reunion”) performs on his Homeward Bound—The Farewell Tour. May 16, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix $189/129/89/59 (plus service charges and JOEP BEVING Dutch pianist and compos- fees) at www.livenation.com/. er tours behind latest album Prehension. Oct 27, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Biltmore TIME OUT MUSIC LISTINGS Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on are a public service provided free of charge, based sale May 11, 10 am, $27.50 (plus service on available space and editorial discretion. Submit charge) at www.ticketfly.com/. listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it TOKYO POLICE CLUB Indie-rock quartet into the paper due to space constraints will appear from Newmarket, Ontario, with guests on the website. Fleece. Oct 29, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, HYUKOH South Korean indie-pop quartet, with guests Inner Wave. Oct 3, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale May 11, 10 am, $45 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
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savage love First let me say that I think you give excellent advice, even if it is a bit pedestrian at times. I have a small problem: last fall, my penis bent up and to the left at an almost 90 degree angle. I know from Google that this is not an unusual problem. And at 59, I am thankful that things are working as well as they are. But I fly gliders, and the relief system is a “Texas catheter” with a drain line to outside the glider. I believe that the bending on my penis may be the result of trauma caused by removing the catheter. In your many years of dealing with penis problems—I know you are not a urologist, but still—have you run across problems of a similar nature? Is there a way to remove adhesive from the penis that will not cause trauma? Gliding season will be starting soon, and I dread using the same system if it will cause more damage. My partner is an amazing woman—70, by the way, and by far the best partner I have ever had (oh, my brethren, do not look only to youth!)—but I dread further damaging my member. > HANGING UNDER NICE GLIDER
First let me say thank you for the qualified compliment—you sure know how to flatter a girl—and I’ll try to keep my trademark excellentif-pedestrian advice coming, HUNG. Also, you’re right, I’m not a urologist. But Dr. Keith Newman is. He’s also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and my go-to guy for dickrelated medical questions. “It is not likely that HUNG’s drainage system caused the problem,” said Newman. “His condition
sounds like Peyronie’s disease, a possibly autoimmune disease thought to be related to microtrauma, though some penile fractures may result in similar deformity.” Men with Peyronie’s disease come down with, well, bent dicks. Sometimes the bend is slight and doesn’t interfere with reasonable penile functions. Sometimes the bend is severe enough to make erections painful and intercourse impossible. “Most sufferers will return to within 10 to 20 percent of their baseline curvature within two years without intervention,” said Newman. “Thus, it is considered best to defer therapy until such time has elapsed. Ninety degrees is quite a big bend, however, and less likely to resolve spontaneously, but its still worth waiting.” If your big bend doesn’t resolve spontaneously, HUNG, there are treatment options. “The only real therapies are Xiaflex injections and surgical repair,” said Newman. “The former is not approved for patients less than two years from diagnosis or with less than 35 degrees of curvature. The latter is fraught with increased complication rates due to scarring so near the tip. Both can straighten the penis, but at a cost of length in many cases. As for drainage alternatives while gliding, I suggest the following product: freedom.mensliberty.com.”
I’m a 37-year-old
male. I’ve been with my wife for 15 years. I know that passion transitions in a long-term relationship, but I’m having a hard time finishing lately. Yes,
> BY DAN SAVAGE I’m on SSRIs—antidepressants—but that has only exacerbated the issue. We all know that a lot of people who own a vagina enjoy foreplay to help the orgasms along. Will foreplay help people who own a penis get to the moment faster? I’m pretty sure I know the answer, and I figured you’re the one to ask what the best foreplay options are because your sexual knowledge is vast and you regularly deal with two penises at a time. As someone who pleasures a penis and who has a penis that is pleasured, what is the best preparation to get guys off before the insertion happens? > SEEKING WEAPONS OF MALE PENILE SATISFACTION
Foreplay isn’t just for vagina havers, SWOMPS! Penis havers have nerve endings all over their bodies—inside ’em, too—and while many younger men don’t require much in the way of foreplay, older men and/or men taking SSRIs often benefit from additional forms of stimulation both prior to intercourse and during intercourse. Like tit play. I know some men can’t go there because that tit-play shit— like feelings, musicals, sit-ups, and voting for women—could turn you gay. But if you’re up for it, SWOMPS, have the wife play with or even clamp your tits, and then shove a plug in your ass that stimulates your prostate while also remembering to engage what’s often called “the largest sex organ”: your brainz. Talk dirty to each other! If you’re already proficient at JV dirty talk—telling ’em what you’re about to do (“I’m going to fuck the
shit out of you”), telling ’em what you’re doing (“I’m fucking the shit out of you”), telling ’em what you did (“I fucked the shit out of you”)—move on to varsity dirty talk: talk about your fantasies, awesome experiences you’ve had in the past, things you’d like to try or try again with your partner. To get your dick there—to push past those SSRIs—fire on all cylinders (tits, hole, brain, mouth, and cock) before and during insertion.
I’m a 32-year-old English guy,
and this morning I was diagnosed as HIV-positive. I’m in a bit of a state. I haven’t told anyone, and I needed to get it out. I’m in a long-term, mostly monogamous relationship, but my boyfriend is overseas for work at the moment, so I can’t really talk to him about it. So I’m talking to you. > DIAGNOSED AND DAZED AND CONFUSED
I’m so sorry, DADAC. I hope you have a friend you can confide in, because you need a shoulder to cry on and I can’t provide that for you here. What I can provide is some perspective. I’m just a little older than you—okay, I’m a whole lot older than you. I came out in the summer of 1981—and two years later, healthy, young gay men started to sicken and die. During the 1980s and most of the 1990s, learning you were HIV-positive meant you had a year or two to live. Today, a person with HIV is expected to live a normal life span—so long as they have access to treatment and they’re taking their meds. And once you’re
on meds, DADAC, your viral load will fall to undetectable levels and you won’t be able to pass HIV on to anyone else (undetectable = uninfectious). Arguably, your boyfriend and your other sex partners are safer now that you know than they were before you were diagnosed. Because it’s not HIV-positive men on meds who are infecting people, it’s men who aren’t on meds because they don’t know they’re HIV-positive. I don’t mean to minimize your distress, DADAC. The news you just received is distressing and lifechanging. But it’s not as distressing as it was three decades ago, and it doesn’t mean your life is over. I remember holding a boyfriend on the day he was diagnosed as HIV-positive more than 25 years ago, both of us weeping uncontrollably. His diagnosis meant he was going to die soon. Yours doesn’t. You have a lot of time left , and if you get into treatment and take your meds, DADAC, you will live a long and healthy life, a life fi lled with love, connection, and intimacy. Spend some time feeling sorry for yourself, feel the fuck out of those feelings, and then go live your life—live it for all the guys who didn’t get to celebrate their 33rd birthdays. P.S. Don’t wait until your boyfriend returns to tell him. He needs to get tested right away. On the Lovecast, Dr. Lori Brotto on asexuals: savagelovecast.com. Email: email@example.com. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.org.
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