2 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 24 â€“ 31 / 2017
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Buddha Barn, Canada’s first dispensary to disburse patient ready, lab tested cannabis
Dear ear Friends, After 3 years operating on West 4th Avenue in the City of Vancouver, Buddha Barn received a Business License in 2016 to operate as a marijuana dispensary. One of the reasons we have been successful in attracting thousands of Members over the years is because their health and well-being is our top priority. That is one of the reasons why Buddha Barn started lab testing our products last fall. Since then, Health Canada has started random testing, the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries is setting up a testing system and the Cannabis Canada Association of federally licensed marijuana producers is implementing new safety standards.
This is the future of our sector. It is time to insist on testing for all products now to protect the health of consumers. Buddha Barn has now gone recreational, so medical cannabis membership has never been easier! In addition to clear labeling and making test results available to our Members, Buddha Barn’s testing policy promotes alignment with these emerging national standards and ensures all our product is tested by a federal regulated laboratory. Read the policy at www.buddhabarn.ca or come visit us in person at 2179 West 4th Avenue. Yours truly, The Buddha Barn Team
2179 WEST 4TH AVENUE, VANCOUVER, BC • 604-739-9456
www.buddhabarn.ca #insistontesting 4 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017
Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #40009178, return undeliverable Canadian addresses to The Georgia Straight, 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9
AUGUST 24 â€“ 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 5
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Tantalus Labs managing director Dan Sutton says he’s cultivating cannabis sustainably with high-tech innovations that will reduce electricity demand by 90 percent and create superior buds. > BY AMANDA SIEBERT
From pad Thai to plant-based pizzas, here are our picks for the best picnic-ready takeout ahead of Dîner en Blanc and Ce Soir Noir.
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The Bottle Confessions Green Living I Saw You Movie Reviews Real Estate Savage Love Straight Stars Straight Talk
> BY TAMMY K WAN AND LUCY L AU
It has focused on horns, then strings. Now Hard Rubber New Music spotlights the human voice in its free summer series. > BY ALE X ANDER VART Y
20 Arts 29 Music
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> BY ADRIAN MACK
If Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson has learned anything over the years, it’s that you’ve got more than you think. > BY MIKE USINGER
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straight talk DRUG-DETECTING TEST STRIPS CURB OVERDOSES
Vancouver health officials are cautiously expanding access to drug-testing equipment that detects fentanyl, the synthetic opioid associated with hundreds of deaths in B.C. each year. Dr. Mark Lysyshyn is the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) lead on harm reduction and substance use. He told the Straight that authorities have deemed a yearlong trial at the city’s first legal injection facility, Insite, a success, and are now making the test strips available at additional locations. “We’ve had over 1,500 tests conducted [at Insite] and the results look positive,” he said in a telephone interview. “If you do your test before you use, you are more likely to reduce your dose and then less likely to overdose.” VCH statistics covering a ninemonth period of the trial show that when drugs test positive for fentanyl, a user is 10 times more likely to reduce their dose and 25 percent less likely to overdose. “They can reduce harm,” Lysyshyn said. “So now we’re in the process of training at various overdose-prevention sites. And hopefully, by the end of the summer, we’ll have them available there.” Vancouver officials recently announced the city hit an all-time high for fatal overdoses in a single year. As of August 14, there had been 232 suspected drug-overdose deaths in 2017. That puts Vancouver on track for more than 400 deaths by the end of this year, as compared with 231 confirmed deaths in 2016, 136 the year before that, and 101 in 2014. The first two locations to receive the fentanyl-test strips are facilities at 62 East Hastings and 380 East Hastings Street. Lysyshyn emphasized that the equipment has limitations. While it indicates whether fentanyl is present, it says nothing about how much is present. There is also uncertainty about how good the strips are at detecting drugs different from but similar to fentanyl—carfentanil, for example, which is significantly more toxic. However, Lysyshyn said on this question, there may be good news. “There is starting to be information available that suggests the strips actually perform better than we’ve thought they do,” he explained. Lysyshyn said that
the strips’ manufacturer, Ontariobased BTNX Inc., and a U.S. nonprofit called DanceSafe have been experimenting with fentanyl analogues like carfentanil, and while the results are not yet official, it appears the strips are finding them. “Informally, they believe that the strips detect many of the fentanyl analogues as well,” Lysyshyn said. “If the strips actually do detect all or most of the relevant analogues…then our hope will be to also offer these beyond the overdose-prevention sites.” > TRAVIS LUPICK
POLICE DON’T FOLLOW CITY ACCESS POLICY
On August 19, a small group of antiimmigration activists planned to hold a rally at City Hall. Barely a handful showed. And more than 4,000 people flooded the area to assert that North America’s so-called altright is not welcome in Vancouver. There, the Straight caught up with Jean Swanson, an independent candidate for council in a by-election scheduled for October 14. Swanson talked about Vancouver’s efforts to become a sanctuary city, a term that describes municipal policies designed to give undocumented immigrants safe access to local services such as health care and libraries. Vancouver city council—which is dominated by the mayor’s Vision Vancouver party—voted in favour of such a plan in April 2016, calling it “Access to City Services Without Fear”. But Swanson argued it doesn’t go far enough. “The city’s current access-withoutfear policy does not apply to the police, who can still tell people to reveal their immigration status,” she explained. “This means that many people without immigration status— largely racialized people who are the targets of white supremacists—are afraid to even go to the police. If they do, they could be detained and deported. This isn’t right.” In March 2016, the Straight reported that Vancouver police had referred more cases to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) than any other force in southern B.C. In 2014, that number was 321 and in 2015, it was 144. In a recent phone interview, Const. Jason Doucette, a spokesperson for the force, said the VPD generally only contacts the CBSA in the course of an investigation
of something more serious than a matter of immigration. Vision Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer noted that the police department operates with a degree of autonomy. She maintained that with the access policies adopted in April 2016, council went as far as it could. “We’re very aligned [with Swanson] wanting the police to get involved with an access-without-fear policy,” Reimer told the Straight. “My sense is the police are committed to doing that. It’s about figuring out how to do it.” > TRAVIS LUPICK AND LUCY LAU
Celebrate Canada 150 at Festival Park! Parades, live shows, bands, a ﬁlm fest and a nighttime ﬁnale await! DAILY AT 12, 2 & 5PM A Canadian cultural mosaic of dynamic dancers, exhilarating music and special guests! A daily on-site parade celebrating Canada 150!
SHUM RAISES PROSPECT OF NEW CIVIC PARTY
Independent park commissioner Erin Shum isn’t sure whether she’ll remain unaffiliated going into the 2018 Vancouver municipal election. Shum related that she has time to consider the proper vehicle for her young political career, including a new civic party. “I still have about 15 months to really get to know the community, so I think getting to know the community will show some of the leaders or people that are interested in running. Perhaps we could always, you know, group up and start a new political party,” Shum told the Straight in a phone interview on August 22. Shum broke from the NonPartisan Association in stunning fashion last year, accusing her former colleagues in caucus of bullying her. According to the first-term park commissioner, there is a desire among many, including those in established parties, to see a new political formation in the city. “There’s definitely conversations like, you know, when I go and have coffee with people from all parties, they all talk about something like, ‘Maybe we need something new.’… So it’s always a dialogue, a conversation we’re all having,” Shum said. For now, Shum intends to “build relationships with everybody”. “It could be a young new association or group, or it could be a brand-new party. I don’t know, but definitely, I think, people who come out and put their name forward and just have a simple coffee chat, just to get to know each other, set a little group, and you never know what could happen,” Shum said. > CARLITO PABLO
DAILY AT 1, 3 & 6PM
Prince Harry proclaimed Toronto as host of the 2017 Invictus Games, an international adaptive sporting event that honours wounded, ill and injured military service members & veterans SATURDAY, AUGUST 19 from around the world.
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT Enjoy a mix of cultural festivals, summer pop-up markets and community showcases.
DAILY FROM 11AM-6PM
AUG 25–27, 29 VANCOUVER’S LEGENDARY R&B ALLSTARS
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The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 51 Number 2590
EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod
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Intracorp hopes to develop a 10-storey mid-rise residential building at East 11th Avenue and Victoria Drive that will combine 68 condos and 76 market rental units.
East Van project to mix renters, owners
eparate entrances and amen- and unavailable for an interview ities for rich and poor people about the project, which had a comliving in the same building munity open house in July. are not unusual in Vancouver. Local resident David Carman The Woodward’s and L’Hermitage attended the public event, and he buildings, both located downtown, thinks having some rentals is better are two examples where condo than getting an all-condo project. owners and social-housing residents However, Carman, who is a don’t rub shoulders. member of the board of the citMore than two years ago, the so- izens’ group Grandview-Woodland called poor-door phenomenon gener- Area Council (GWAC), is conated fresh attention when the Jervis, a cerned that the new development 19-storey building in the West End, will not be affordable for many. was approved by the city. “It’s good to see more rentals, but at In this joint venture by Intracorp the same time, I think any new rentals Projects Ltd. and Inform Interiors that are going to be made with these that has been completed, condo new developments will be far more unowners will enter on Jervis Street, affordable than what is currently existand those in social housing will have ing,” Carman told the Georgia Straight to use Davie Street. by phone on August 21. It may be difficult to sell condo Carman also said that the developbuyers on the idea ment will loom over of sharing an enthe surrounding trance with people area, which is preof meagre means. dominantly a mix Carlito Pablo But mixing them of low-rise condo with renters who can pay market rates and rental buildings, and singlemay work, and this is what Intracorp family homes. “It does seem somewhat inappropriate intends to do in a new development. Intracorp has assembled eight in my opinion to be plunking a 10-storey lots on the northwest corner of East building at that location,” he said. The Intracorp project is one of the 11th Avenue and Victoria Drive, where it plans to develop a residen- first ones being proposed under the tial building that combines condos new Grandview-Woodland community plan that was approved by city and rental homes. In its application to rezone the site, council in July 2016. Carman’s GWAC group had raised the company states that it wants to set the “benchmark” for future mixed- concerns about the plan, citing fears tenure projects in the Grandview- that it may lead to the demolition of old rental stock to pave the way for Woodland neighbourhood. “There will not be separate en- more expensive housing. trances as the intent is to have one In approving the new plan, the main entrance and lobby,” according City of Vancouver claimed that the to a letter of intent signed by Evan Al- move will deliver 7,150 new homes, legretto, vice president of development. providing affordable housing for The development would feature people of various income levels over a 10-storey mid-rise building with the next three decades. a six-storey podium. It will have 76 However, Carman noted that market rental units and 68 condos, experience has shown that adding for a total of 144 homes. more supply doesn’t do the job, as According to Allegretto, the resi- housing costs have been increasing. dents will share amenity spaces in “Obviously, that formula is not the lobby and on the two rooftops. currently working,” Carman said. “In a City where outdoor space is Former GWAC chair Dorothy becoming a very limited commodity, Barkley said in a separate interview the rooftop is some of the most valu- that the Intracorp project will raise able space,” Allegretto wrote. “This land values in the area. application is unique as it is the goal “The effect will be to make surto make this valuable space accessible rounding properties less affordable,” to all residents of the building (both Barkley told the Straight by phone. renters and strata owners).” The rezoning application has Allegretto, who is also the com- yet to be referred by council for a pany spokesperson, was on leave public hearing. -
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Duo delves far beyond beauty into wellness Vancouver’s Green Beauty Collective is intent on educating local shoppers about holistic beauty that’s good for users and ecosystems show only items that perform. Often, they’re eyeliners, lipsticks, and mascaras that the duo ccording to the U.S.–based Environ- stock in their own professional kits. mental Working Group, one in eight “Part of our job is sifting through a lot of of the 82,000 ingredients found in the different brands and products that are out cosmetic, skin-care, and body-care there and learning what actually works with products contains toxins that pose a threat to cleaner ingredients,” explains Gangoso. “So human health and the environment. So it’s no that’s important for us, too, to be that resource wonder that, as this knowfor people.” ledge becomes increasingly In less than a year, the Green Living commonplace, more and Green Beauty Collective Presented by more people are making has grown to carry prodthe transition to naturally ucts from a dozen ecoconderived and plant-based scious companies, many of personal-care regimens. them homegrown. Sappho But with so many products on the mar- New Paradigm, a luxury natural cosmetic line ket, the abuse of terms like all-natural and founded by local Emmy-nominated makeup organic, and the rise of “greenwashing”—the artist JoAnn Fowler, and Elate, a Victoria-based act of advertising or promoting a brand as brand best known for its moisturizing lippies and environmentally friendly while failing to fol- sustainable bamboo packaging, are two longlow through with the appropriate practices or time favourites of Parker, Gangoso, and clients policies—it can be difficult to know what to alike. Other bestsellers include a nonabrasive, look for and where. Enter Vancouver’s Green ginseng-spiked exfoliating gel from Richmond’s Beauty Collective. Viva Health Products; a paraben- and gluten“We saw a need from women who just didn’t free mascara by Manitoba-based Pure Anada know where to shop [for natural beauty prod- that, according to Gangoso, does wonders for ucts],” Jacqueline Parker, cofounder of the Green small eyes; and an acne-fighting fireweed toner Beauty Collective, tells the Straight during an from East Sooke’s Wild Hill Botanicals. interview at the group’s Fraserhood studio. “And The Green Beauty Collective also carries they didn’t necessarily trust just going online be- sustainably and ethically crafted foundations, cause something might not be the right match liners, and concealers from labels like Evelyn for their skin or it might not be the right fit. So Iona, ZuZu Luxe, and Spela, plus natural hair care for us to actually be there physically, and have from Vancouver’s own Coast Beauty Co. Most of the products for them to try, has been huge.” the stock is produced in B.C. with ecofriendly Billed as an “education and shopping hybrid packaging. “The fact that we know who’s actually experience”, the Green Beauty Collective has making the products and where our money is gobeen helping Vancouverites discover, learn ing,” says Parker, “that’s a huge deal.” about, and sample a range of cruelty-free, vegan, Rather than carry each label’s entire and plant-based cosmetic, body, and skin-care range, Parker and Gangoso take care to curgoods since late 2016. As makeup artists who ate the Green Beauty Collective’s offerings are committed to holistic beauty—which con- to ensure a well-rounded assortment that siders your diet as much as your makeup rou- doesn’t overwhelm newbies to natural maketine when it comes to your health—cofounders up. By learning about their customers’ needs Parker and Amanda Gangoso are careful to and walking them through each product via Offers valid until August 31, 2017. See toyota.ca for complete details. In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between Toyota prices, rates and/or other information contained on www.getyourtoyota.ca and that contained on toyota.ca, the latter shall prevail. Errors and omissions excepted. Lease example: 2017 Prius c Automatic KDTA3P-A, MSRP is $23,815 and includes $1,840 freight/PDI and fees leased at 0.99% over 60 months with $1,555 down payment, equals 260 weekly payments of $55 with a total lease obligation of $15,706. Applicable taxes are extra. Lease 60 mos. based on 100,000 km, excess km charge is $.07. $1,000 in incentives to cash customers is available on 2017 Prius c models and cannot be combined with advertised lease offer. Incentives for cash customers on 2017 Prius c models are valid until August 31, 2017 and may not be combined with Toyota Financial Services (TFS) lease or finance rates. If you would like to lease or finance at standard TFS rates (not the above special rates), then you may be able to take advantage of cash incentive offers by August 31, 2017. Cash incentives include taxes and are applied after taxes have been charged on the full amount of the negotiated price. See toyota.ca for complete details on all cash incentive offers. Weekly lease offers available through Toyota Financial Services (TFS) on approved credit to qualified retail lease customers of new and demonstrator Toyota vehicles. Down payment and first weekly payment due at lease inception and next weekly payment due approximately 7 days later and weekly thereafter throughout the term. Visit your Toyota Dealer or www.getyourtoyota.ca for more details. Some conditions apply; offers are time limited and may change without notice. Dealer may lease/sell for less. Each specific model may not be available at each dealer at all times; factory order or dealer trade may be necessary.
> BY L UC Y LAU
Jacqueline Parker (left) and Amanda Gangoso’s Green Beauty Collective hopes to help make vegan, cruelty-free cosmetic and skin-care products more accessible for Vancouverites. Lucy Lau photo.
one-on-one shopping sessions, the pair are educating both men and women about the ingredients they’re exposing their skin to, how to more effectively apply makeup, and the factors to look for when browsing natural personal-care products in the future. “We want to be a relaxed place for people to come and feel comfortable,” says Gangoso, “because the word beauty…it doesn’t have to mean surface or shallow.” In addition to consultations and lessons, the Green Beauty Collective conducts howto workshops at its East Vancouver space (4225 Fraser Street), including an upcoming “glam eye makeup” session, where attendees will learn to create a glitzy, smoky
eye, on September 21. (Tickets are available via thegreenbeautycollective.com/.) A natural makeup pop-up will also take place at Silk Road Tea Shop (2066 West 4th Avenue) on September 23. Parker and Gangoso have dreams of opening a holistic beauty hub—complete with a dedicated retail space, on-site nutritionist, and hair and facial services—down the line. For now, they’re working to make natural beauty more accessible to Vancouverites, one shopping and education appointment at a time. “There is depth to beauty,” states Gangoso. “There’s much more to it than just putting products on the skin. I think we offer a lot more than that.” -
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AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 11
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12 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 24 â€“ 31 / 2017
straight stars > B Y R O SE MARCUS
August 24 to 30, 2017
he solar eclipse has come and gone, but in astrological terms, itâ€™s not over yet! Not by a long shot. Both Mercury retrograde and Mars act as dynamic triggers through September 5. Sparked by the exceptional life force of the solar eclipse, the now, the next three to six months, and the next two years are absolutely teeming with greater and/or auspicious creative potential. Take this statement to heart: stay confident and reach out to meet your life with the best of yourself, front and centre. Any moment could produce the gift. As of Friday, Saturn in Sagittarius ends a five-month retrograde tour. You may have felt the transit as a delay, frustration, or carrot just out of reach. This refortifying transit has allowed more time for a consciousness, a truth, a reality, and a future course to cement. As of the past few days, Mars in trine to Saturn has set sail on a more workable foundation and a more straightforward course. Mercury in Virgo continues in retrograde. While inconvenience, backtrack, or loss is typical of the cycle, thereâ€™s something positive to gain. By revealing what is f lawed, damaged, weak, missing, or in need of healing or repair, Mercury retrograde provides the opportunity to make improvements where they are most warranted. Revise, revisit, and redo. Friday/Saturday are locked and loaded. Mercuryâ€™s reconnection with the sun on Saturday marks the midpoint and informing peak of the retrograde cycle. At the same time Juno, the contract asteroid, ends retrograde. A contract renewal or revision is well timed. The trio also signs on for the next karmic term.
March 20â€“April 20
Whether the flint is planned, inspired, or provoked, Mars strikes it hot over this next week. The end of Saturn retrograde unlocks the brakes. Coming from the heart or going straight into the heart, Venus in Leo, starting Friday, enhances your ability to attract and make the most of it. Mercury retrograde fills in a missing blank and underscores karmic relive and/or fruition. April 20â€“May 21
Farther, faster, and more: Mercury retrograde and Mars keep all systems on strike-it-hot for these next 10 days. Feels good, feels right, do it. Venus in Leo shines bright on a new home or living-with-yourself chapter. Pointing you in the direction of onward and upward, Saturn direct helps you to widen the divide between what was and what is. May 21â€“June 21
Feel it, say it, do it; start to finish, Friday keeps you/it on full tilt. Saturday/Sunday, a revision, revisit, repeat, or revelation works to your advantage. Despite Mercury retrograde, the timing is good. Improvement is your net gain. Saturday sets the next phase of a contractâ€”actual or karmicâ€”into play. A compelling sense of must or dĂŠjĂ vu accompanies the here and now.
June 21â€“July 22
July 22â€“August 23
The solar eclipse is not yet done thrusting you into the spotlight and showering abundance on you. Mars and Venus in Leo extend the benefits package. The end of Saturn retrograde on Friday outlines the future in better-defined terms, giving you a better handle on how to play it next. Mercury retrograde on a replay puts karmic destiny into full swing.
August 23â€“September 23
The ongoing reviving effects of the solar eclipse and Mercury retrograde supply you with plenty of extra kick-start turbo. The process of reclaiming that part of yourself thatâ€™s gone missing has been long in the works. Plugged in and juiced up, youâ€™ll feel a striking sense of destiny in full swing, especially Friday to Sunday and Wednesday onward. Welcome to your new lifeâ€Śfinally! September 23â€“October 23
At work and/or at play Thursday/Friday, itâ€™s working for you like a charm. Itâ€™s up to you to pounce on it when you see the gift or saving grace present itself. The end of Saturn retrograde is a crystallizing influence. It makes your best course of action more clear-cut. It also infuses lasting impact regarding the words, meeting, or action. October 23â€“November 22
You can repeat a success, retrace a step or a conversation, and get more out of it this time. Mercury retrograde provides another chance to work it out. Saturday/Sunday, take your best shot, trust your intuition. You know what you want and how to make it happen. Mars and Venus in Leo show you off in the best possible light. November 22â€“December 21
Still riding the high of this extraordinary moment? Thereâ€™s plenty more on the way. Setting your future on its longevity course with better-defined signposts, the end of Saturn retrograde on Friday lends extra stay and sway to opportunity. Mars and Venus in Leo bless creative endeavour and all heart-centred actions. Thereâ€™s no need to secondguess. Love, live, and prosper. December 21â€“January 20
The past few months of biding time with Saturn in retrograde have allowed you to observe the shifting tides and to get better on track with what is in your best interest. Friday to Sunday clues you in to more. Next week, Mars and Mercury retrograde strike it hot regarding finances and matters of heart. January 20â€“February 18
So much can happen in the blink of an eye. Thanks to the solar eclipse in trine to your ruler, Uranus, perhaps it already has. Friday/Saturday can strike fresh flint. Take it moment to moment and go with all your heart. Someone special or something exceptional, perhaps out of the blue, sets destiny onto the fast track. February 18â€“March 20
Love what you do, do what you love. Donâ€™t hesitate to give up to get. Mondayâ€™s eclipse has set an excellent springboard for the launch of a new job, creative project, moneymaker, or health, education, or lifestyle upgrade. Mercury retrograde makes for special reconnections. A furry loved one can take you by hook, line, and sinker. -
No doubt you have felt the full-throttle effects of the momentous solar eclipse. Expect the fast-forward intensity to continue, especially for the next 10 days. The weekend is revealing, staging, or solidifying. The moment is infused with greater than average potential for making great gains. Want more? Go get it. Venus and Mars B o o k a re a d i n g o r s i g n u p f o r in Leo boost money prospects and Roseâ€™s free monthly newsletter at www.rosemarcus.com/. satisfaction quotients.
Tantalus champions sustainable cannabis
s Canada gets closer to cannabis legalization, one local licensed producer is taking a decidedly different approach to cultivation by embracing the tenets of sustainable agriculture. At SunLab, Tantalus Labs’ futuristic cannabis greenhouse situated on the outskirts of Maple Ridge, founder and managing director Dan Sutton oversees a team of experts who specialize in everything from quality assurance and e-commerce to commercial agriculture and, of course, cannabis cultivation. Here, Tantalus and its shareholders have spent five years and many millions of dollars constructing what might just be the most sustainability-minded purpose-built cannabisgrowing facility in Canada. Presently, just 500 seedlings have been planted—but over the course of the next few years as SunLab becomes fully operational, the 75,000-square-foot greenhouse will employ automated irrigation systems that utilize recycled rainwater, while a filtration system will cycle air every seven minutes to reduce the risk of pests and mould. Special sensors that hang from the ceiling will allow staff to monitor the greenhouse’s humidity and temperature, while remote-controlled partitions will help facilitate the separation of plants at different growth stages. At full scale, SunLab will be 120,000 square feet in size. The facility’s use of sunlight will not only reduce its electricity demand by 90 percent, Sutton says, it will also make for high-quality cannabis. “Just look at these pots,” Sutton says, pointing out a stack of planters while giving the Straight a tour. “It took us four whole months just to decide which ones had the best air-flow capabilities.” Indeed, the nuances of the greenhouse and the company are many, but the goal of SunLab is simple: to prove that top-shelf cannabis can be grown sustainably and at a commercial Tantalus Labs managing director Dan Sutton believes that the financial and environmental benefits of scale with sunlight. greenhouse-grown cannabis will inevitably make it the new industry standard. Amanda Siebert photo. “The core of it is certainly sustainability. We see the history of cannabis cultivation as one that’s Among the array of experts on the company’s the financial but also the environmental been closeted, one that’s been kept in the dark, kept roster is master horticulturist Jody Branter, costs associated with producing cannabis in out of the light and subjugated to the shadows,” whose move to Tantalus marks his 20-year an- warehouses, greenhouse cultivation will behe says. “This is a plant that thrives in sunlight, it niversary in the greenhouse industry. Before come the new standard. thrives in high-light-intensity environments, and this, Branter was employed by the largest for“It seems nonsensical to me that you’d grow it’s a fast-growing plant, so we really wanted to estry nursery company in North America, PRT, cannabis in a warehouse when you have the take that sustainability mission and attach it to a where he helped grow high-yield forest seed- option of growing it in a greenhouse, where product that has been given every biological, gen- lings, starter plants, and energy crops. you have almost the equal amount of control, etic, and agricultural opporBranter is one of many combined with the ability to utilize the sun tunity to thrive.” commercial horticulturists and save on energy costs,” he says. “Why would Location plays an imwho are finding themselves anyone want to grow in a bunker after that?” portant role as well. Sutton Amanda Siebert in unique positions as liUltimately, Branter hopes that by comis of the opinion that there’s censed cannabis producers bining the knowledge of more traditional no better place in Canada to grow cannabis seek out experts who know their way around cannabis growers with his understanding of than the Fraser Valley, where, he says, the com- large-scale growing operations. commercial horticulture, Tantalus and other bination of humidity, wind patterns, and mild He says one of the biggest challenges in producers like Aphria, Emerald Health, and seasonal changes in temperature provides ex- transitioning to cannabis has been “getting 7 Acres will help propel the industry “to a cellent conditions for cultivation. up to speed” with the underground growers place it’s never been before”. “It’s an environment that almost caters itself who have been building on their knowledge Kelly Coulter, a long-time cannabis writer, to cannabis, and that really is the origins of the since the 1970s. adviser, and representative of NORML Women’s storied history of B.C. bud,” he says. While the next-level technologies present Alliance of Canada, a nonpartisan pro-legalBy combining carefully employed technol- in SunLab might have basement growers ization coalition that originated in the United ogy with the area’s nearly ideal environmental wide-eyed and wanting, Branter says they States, has often compared the issues plaguing conditions, he says, it will be SunLab’s job “not represent what you’d see at any other large- the production of cannabis to Canada’s probto re-create that environment, but to take it scale horticulture outfit. He hopes that as lems with food cultivation and distribution. She and nudge it in the right direction”. more and more producers realize not only thinks that a much broader conversation needs
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to be had: one where cannabis is discussed in the context of agriculture. She argues that instead of modelling cannabis policy after that on alcohol or tobacco, we should create laws that reflect the errors we’ve already made in the food industry. She paints a Vancouver-centric picture to illustrate her point: “What I’m doing is I’m comparing cannabis to hops, where we make the mistake of comparing it to craft beer,” she says. “We know that the way food is being produced right now is not sustainable and it’s degrading our environment.…If cannabis cultivation remains indoors, we’ll also be looking at potential environmental issues.” For Coulter, who has advocated for the use of greenhouses by federally licensed medical marijuana producers since 2011, sustainable cultivation and distribution will also be vital to avoiding a monoculture in the cannabis industry once recreational use is legalized. Sutton agrees that, combined with an industrywide approach to growing cannabis more sustainably, a few calculated changes to federal regulations could mitigate the risk of such a monoculture. Despite a recent radio debate (and a propensity for Twitter wars) with local activist and dispensary owner Dana Larsen, he says Tantalus is not interested in “being everything to everybody”—he thinks an industry’s ability to include existing operators like growers that supply dispensaries is a critical marker of its success. For that to happen, Sutton says, security requirements need to be adjusted. “One of the broadest and most impactful changes that will enable new entrepreneurs and existing black-market entrepreneurs to embrace cannabis regulation and participate in this model, would be the specifics around the securitization of the facility,” he says. “The best security specialists within the ACMPR [Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations] will be the first to say that there are a lot of standards that Health Canada has implemented that don’t actually mitigate risk. There’s a lot of security theatre.” While those amendments might take years to implement, Sutton says the polarizing way we’ve positioned cannabis is at the core of what needs to change. “Right now we treat cannabis as somewhere between a controlled substance and a pharmaceutical, and really it is a farmable, agricultural crop,” he says. Sutton hopes that if organizations like Farm Credit Canada and the Agricultural Credit Corporation recognize cannabis as such, Canada’s industry will follow in the footsteps of California, where greenhouses are arguably the facility of choice among commercial growers. “The proliferation of greenhouse-grown cannabis is an absolute inevitability; it’s just when we decide to make it happen. Will it be over the next 20 years or the next five?” Ultimately, it comes down to offering consumers products that give them a sustainable option, and it’s up to retailers and consumers of cannabis to start demanding that differentiation. -
This project is funded by the Diamond Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, The Snider Foundation and the Provincial Government of B.C. We are an inclusive and diverse organization and encourage people from all cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds to apply.
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Quick pick-me-ups for picnics in Vancouver > BY TA MM Y KWA N AND LUC Y L A U
and pad siew (fresh rice sheets with stir-fried pork or beef). We also suggest ordering a few of its snacks and sides to accompany your mains, such as crispy wings with Thai garlic, papaya salad, and roti and curry. If you have a sweet tooth, go for the Thai iced tea and the banana roti dessert—a perfect way to soothe your taste buds and end off your spice-heavy meal.
ith two alfresco dining events—Dîner en Blanc and its all-black counterpart, Ce Soir Noir—taking place this Thursday (August 24), you’re likely one of thousands of Vancouverites who will be breaking out the wicker basket for a feast before the sunset and stars. But let’s be real: ain’t nobody got time to cook up a three-course picnic after work, especially when you have a monochromatic outfit that needs throwing together. Thankfully, the always life-saving option of takeout is here to assist. And while, yes, fast food is allowed at both Dîner en Blanc and Ce Soir Noir, why not seize the opportunity to indulge in some slightly elevated—and equally transportable— fare? Ahead, a roundup of some of our fave spots to grab a mouthwatering meal to go. Plop your serving on some china or ceramic dinnerware and your dining neighbours will be none the wiser. We won’t tell. YUI JAPANESE BISTRO (102–1185 West Georgia Street) Sushi lovers will agree that this type of Japanese food is always a good pick, especially if you’re looking to order takeout for a fancy affair. Yui Japanese Bistro offers different types of rolls, salad bowls, and donburi (rice bowls). But its most popular menu item is aburi (flame-seared) sushi, pressed rice with a piece of seafood on top. Guests can choose classic options such as salmon with a signature housemade dressing, ebi (shrimp) with plum sauce, and saba (mackerel) with miso sauce. If you have these babies at your table during Dîner en Blanc, you’ll probably have more than a few eyeballs checking out your gourmet fare.
VIRTUOUS PIE (583 Main Street)
Pizza has that wonderful rare quality of working for just about any occasion, particularly large get-togethers, since you can easily take a box to go and trust that the entire crew will be satisfied. With its plant-based ethos, however, Virtuous Pie is an especially great fit for picnicking Vancouverites. We’re big fans of the Ultraviolet, an Italy-meets-West-Coast blend of pesto, cashew mozzarella, oven-dried tomatoes, onion, and kale, and the Stranger Wings, with Buffalo-style cauliflower, shallots, and blue cheese drizzle, served sans sauce. Bring a cooler and pack it with a pint of Virtuous’s vegan peanut-butter-cookiedough or lemon-and-lavender ice cream and consider your evening set. To add flame-seared fare to your Dîner en Blanc affair, consider Yui Japanese Bistro’s aburi sushi. Tammy Kwan photo.
crowd pleaser, and the convenient takeout window at Juke makes it a great option for diners on the go. (Plus, the casual joint’s Chinatown location is close to Crab Park, where Ce Soir Noir is held. If Dîner en Blanc continues its trend of taking place around downtown, Juke is not far off, either.) Nab a five- or 10-piece box of Juke’s signature gluten-free fried chicken or a set of chicken strips with black-pepper-ranch sauce for dipping. Cornbread, East Asian peanut slaw, and dirty fries—a gloriously gluttonous mix of cheese sauce, gravy, and pickled onions atop a generous JUKE FRIED CHICKEN (182 Keefer helping of skinny chips—are strongly Street) Fried chicken is always a recommended. Don’t forget to leave
the box slightly open on the way to zucchini, eggplant, and carrot with your event of choice to keep the fried- your choice of meat or tomato sauce, and the Platter Feast, a fat helping of chicken skin nice and crispy. salad, rice, and beans topped with CAVEMAN CAFÉ (88 West Pender your pick from a diverse range of proStreet) Huge portions, affordable teins that includes salmon, beef cheek, prices, and a menu catering to those and chicken. Don’t be surprised if you who follow paleo, vegan, or vegetarian have enough left over for lunch. diets are what make this unassuming spot—tucked inconspicuously SEN PAD THAI (70–1666 Johnston inside International Village Mall—a Street) Granville Island’s newest Thai hit among Vancouverites. From the establishment conveniently offers its veggie-crust pizzas and hearty zuc- food in eco-friendly takeout boxes, chini pastas to the tofu-stuffed mon- which is already a plus if you’re lookster burritos that weigh the same as a ing to grab easy-to-transport food for small newborn, most of the offerings outdoor dinner events. Its menu offers travel well, too. Check out the Cave- flavourful Thai noodle creations, inman Lasagna, which uses potato, cluding classic pad Thai with tamarind
MAMALEE MALAYSIAN DELIGHT
(3144 West Broadway) What’s the solution to avoiding a long wait for a table at a popular restaurant? Ordering takeout. This no-fuss familyowned restaurant is famed for its Hainanese chicken dishes—a Chinese-Malaysian culinary creation that uses boneless chicken and signature sauces. Most people eat this type of chicken with rice (blended with chicken broth, ginger, and garlic), but you can also order it with different kinds of noodle soup. Curry rice, veggies, and dessert are also available if you have a bigger appetite. The only problem you might encounter after you indulge in Mamalee’s Hainanese chicken rice is wanting more. -
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AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15
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> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < BLONDE AT B-BIN SUSHI
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 18, 2017 WHERE: B-Bin Sushi, Oak and 15th It was Friday night and I was enjoying some food with a couple of friends at B-Bin. I watched you cross Oak Street and come to the restaurant. You sat at the bar and ate your dinner. When you left, you looked over, we exchanged glances and then you were on your way down Oak Street. It was a tough position to be in, as far as speaking to you was concerned, so here is a chance to make up for it. If you see this and are interested, let me know where I was sitting or something about me or the people I was with and let’s meet!
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 9, 2017 WHERE: Canada Line SkyTrain I was sitting on the Canada Line SkyTrain when you sat next to me. We glanced at each other and watched as the couple in front of us had a curious little child. We kept looking at each other. I was lost for words and the best thing I could come up with is asking you if you had any kids, you shook your head and after a few more minutes you got off at the Broadway stop. This was earlier in the month and I wish I got your number or name. If you read this I would love to take you on a date!!
SEA TO SKY SUMMIT TRAIL
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 20, 2017 WHERE: Sea to Sky Summit Trail You: Tall, dark skin tone, long sleeved blue shirt, earbuds hiking with a guy Me: Tall, blonde, hat, light top green shorts, hiking with a male friend and small blonde dog. You’re super hot and I like your pace. Wanted to say hey but lost you halfway up, think you got stuck behind one of the big groups. What time did you finish?
GLIMPSES OF HUMANITY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 20, 2017 WHERE: Expo Line Eastbound You: great brown mane of hair, white cardigan, sharp eyes I caught just the once exiting at Edmonds. Me: red earbuds against a turquoise buttondown, brown-beard, tired eyes averted out the window and over the streetlights. We stood braced across one another for a decent stretch of track, fencing with eye contact. Something in the way you held yourself made me want to reach into the life of a perfect stranger and read a bit of their story, learn where your dreams and travels had taken you to wind you up on that train. It’s a long gap to breach on a train at night; perhaps throwing a line out like this is just a little less improbable.
TALL, BLONDE AT JOKES PLEASE COMEDY SHOW
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 17, 2017 WHERE: Little Mountain Gallery You were with three friends. You were the tallest, wearing a light blue dress and were laughing so hard it was contagious! I was the guy who held the door for you on the way out and said “Ladies first”. I really just meant to say hi or ask if you guys wanted to get a drink. I don’t know if I’ve ever said that before. Oh well! Want to get a drink sometime?
PROTESTER AT CITY HALL
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 19, 2017 WHERE: Vancouver City Hall This is really weird but I figured why not try? I saw you at the alt right protest at City Hall. You had a sign that said “it’s not too late to stop living a life of hate”. When I commented on it, you laughed and showed me the ‘less compassionate’ other side. You have a really nice smile. It would be nice to meet up some time. :)
MIGUEL CALABASH SAT AUG 19
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 19, 2017 WHERE: 428 Carrall St, Vancouver I met you and your roommate, Maya, at the Calabash Bistro. We danced together until closing and then you walked my friend and I to catch a cab (gentleman). I gave you my phone number but I believe I must have entered a wrong digit :-( The reason I think this is because you sent me a text so I would have your number too, but I never received it. Anyway, I would like to go on that date with you and hopefully there’d be more dancing. Michelle
I TOLD YOU MY HOPES AND DREAMS ON THE SKYTRAIN
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: JULY 3, 2017 WHERE: Vancouver City Centre Station We met after you asked me how many stops to take to get to Yaletown on the Canada Line. I think I started blushing immediately when we started talking on the train. We talked about my life goals, for some reason, and you encouraged me, making time for what you love, and made a cute joke about always dating ballerinas (I had just come from Ballet). I kicked myself afterwards for not asking for your number or something after you got off.
recently enjoyed a few days of vintage 2017 is rolling along fairly well, downtime in the Okanagan. Of so we should see many gems coming course, when I find myself in the out of it down the road. area, I’m destined to mix busiOn that first clear day once much ness with pleasure—since it’s only of the smoke had dissipated, I visproper to do a little wine touring ited JoieFarm Winery in Naramata while otherwise enjoying the sun to check out proprietor-winemaker and the odd swim in the lake. Heidi Noble’s new tasting room and The smoke and haze from local outdoor picnic area. The tasting room wildfires was rather intense for the is bright and breezy and likely to be first couple of days, but it wasn’t any buzzing anytime you visit. It’s quite more concentrated than what we a fun scene, with good tunes playing saw in Vancouver in the background during that same and many staff stretch of time. pouring samples Just as we went throughout the Kurtis Kolt a good couple of room. For those weeks without being able to see the wanting to do things alfresco, there’s North Shore mountains from most even a tasting bar outside. local vantage points, it was similarly It’s on the sunny lawn, where odd to be in Naramata and barely you’ll be surrounded by a few dozen see Summerland, less than four kilo- picnickers enjoying wood-fired pizza metres across the lake. and snacks from the outdoor kitchWhile things have cleared up lately, en, and sipping Noble’s crisp and as long as there are still wildfires burn- refreshing wines while lounging in ing around the region we’re not quite Adirondack chairs, or perhaps playat the “all clear” stage. For now, ac- ing a little bocce. I’d be lying if I said cording to winemakers I’ve talked to, JoieFarm’s 2016 Brut Quotidien ($25; there isn’t too much concern about www.joiefarm.com/) hadn’t hit the smoke taint affecting vineyards. Much spot while we tucked into our pizza of the valley is just beginning to go and schnitzel. Quotidien translates through veraison, which is the onset of to “your daily ration”, and the name ripening when grapes begin changing is meant to express the pleasure of colour on the vine. Grapes are more enjoying cheery, accessible sparkling susceptible to taint once they begin to wine any time of the week. A blend of hit optimal ripeness, when their skins Chardonnay and Riesling, the wine aren’t as sturdy and protective as they has peach, pear, and lemonade notes are earlier in the season. Since we’re that wonderfully echoed an Okanagnot there yet, we simply wait and see, an summer. while crossing our fingers that things A short ride north along Narawon’t flare up much more, or in too mata Road sits Nichol Vineyard, close proximity. Should that hap- which has long been one of my fapen, there are ways of dealing with vourite Syrah producers, perched it, whether through reverse osmosis right above Naramata Village. My techniques in the winery, or even by go-to for years has been its Old limiting the amount of time there is Vines Syrah ($40; www.nicholvineskin contact in the winemaking pro- yard.com/), which is made from the cess (particularly for reds). Otherwise, first vines of the variety planted in
Canada, way back in 1990. The wine is always laden with ripe, dark berry fruit, violets, and white pepper, and able to age for well over five years. Knowing its profile well, I wondered whether the winery’s newer Nate’s Vineyard Syrah (vintage 2014 is $28), with vines planted in 2006, could hold a candle to it. After giving it a whirl, I’m now torn as to which one’s my preference. The Nate’s Vineyard version is a little more savoury, and while there are touches of dark berries and violets here too, there are also nice meaty notes, a little fresh sage, and just a hint of sun-dried tomato. All in all, a fantastic duo. A five-minute walk up the hill from Nichol is Daydreamer Wines, where owner-winemaker Marcus Ansems is also crafting some wonderful Syrah, but it was his Daydreamer 2016 Riesling ($25; www.daydreamerwines.ca/) that stole the show for me this time out. Zippy pink grapefruit and ripe, juicy apricots are finely concentrated, with a few sprigs of jasmine blooming. A touch of Granny Smith apple skin brings some fine texture. Finally, down in the south Okanagan, I enjoyed a sneak preview of Tinhorn Creek’s 2014 edition of the Creek—its new flagship red wine, due for release on September 1 ($55; www.tinhorn.com/). A blend of 53 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 19 percent Merlot, 17 percent Cabernet Franc, 9 percent Malbec, and 2 percent Petit Verdot, the Creek is the culmination of the 23 years of Tinhorn Creek’s history and experience getting to know its vineyard land and its potential with these varieties. While the multilayered blueberry compote, raspberry, date, and mocha notes are quite pleasing at the moment, I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll integrate with age over the next few years. -
MCDONALD’S GRANVILLE & SMITHE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 15, 2017 WHERE: McDonald’s I doubt you’ll see this, but here goes. You work at McDonalds (usually early mornings) at the above mentioned intersection; are Asian and might have a bit of red in your hair. I always see you in the mornings, but never have the courage to spark up a convo outside my regular coffee order. You honestly have the most beautiful face I have ever seen; I wish I had the guts to ask you out.
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Even the most fearless musicians are some-
B Y ALEX ANDER VAR T Y
times scared by Jordan Nobles—not because of what the composer wants them to play, but where he wants them to play it. Take, for instance, his work for Aeriosa, the local movement company that specializes in suspending harnessed dancers high in forest groves and urban jungles. “I’ve had both [saxophonist] Colin MacDonald and [flutist] Mark McGregor up seven storeys on the outside of the Vancouver Public Library,” Nobles reports from the Scotiabank Dance Centre, where he’s conspiring with Aeriosa on another daredevil mix of music and movement. “They were not having it. It was a workshop thing, and they even had little harnesses for their instruments so they didn’t drop a saxophone seven storeys off the ledge, and they were just like, ‘This is not going to happen.’ The dancers were dancing outside, off the ledges, and they were like, ‘Come with us!’ But Colin and Mark were like, ‘Yeah. No.’ ” He laughs, and adds: “The musicians are always like, ‘You know what? I play better on the ground.’ ” Chances are, though, that the scariest thing about his new composition Memento Mori is its title, taken from the Latin for “reminder of death”. The as-yetunfinished score is inspired by the recent passing of a favourite pet, and also by the venue where it’s going to be performed as part of the third concert in the Hard Rubber New Music Society’s free summer series, Spacious Music at the Atrium. After a pair of programs devoted to horns and strings, respectively, this time the focus shifts to voices, with sopranos Dory Hayley and Camille Hesketh, altos Melanie Adams and Martina Govednik, tenors Ian Bannerman and Taka Shimojima, and basses Stephen Duncan and Steve Maddock joining pianist Nina Horvath to perform new scores by Nobles and emerging composer Dean Thiessen, alongside a selection of medieval choral masterpieces.
When voices meet spaces
If you see a guy with headphones walking around the Woodward’s Atrium, it may be Jordan Nobles putting final touches on Memento Mori. Marina Hasselberg photo.
gives the piano a lot was also easy to tap improvising virtuoso Paul Plimof the tune so that the ley to contribute a short solo set to Sunday’s event. The Composer Jordan Nobles writes sounds for a specific place at chorus can pick up what Piano Teachers Federation’s Pianos on the Street proto do from the piano, no ject has placed a handsome grand in the Woodward’s Hard Rubber New Music’s Spacious Music at the Atrium series matter where they are in Atrium, and, as Korsrud notes, “I really wanted that Will the singers be asked to disperse themselves the room. Still, we haven’t rehearsed in the space piano to be used, and if you want someone to improvise on the piano, who better than Paul Plimley?” around the cavernous Woodward’s Atrium, or as- yet, so I don’t know how far we can stretch.” Picking Thiessen as the other featured composer cend into its soaring skylights? Probably not, says For Hard Rubber New Music Society artistic Nobles, although that’s still up for debate. director John Korsrud, staging concerts in the is more of a left-field choice: he’s only just begin“I often visit the spaces that I’m writing for,” he Woodward’s Atrium has been no stretch at all. ning to make a name for himself after graduating from Capilano University, where Korsrud is an explains. “I like to compose in the space as much “The Hard Rubber office is right next door, instructor in the jazz-studies program. “He as possible, so I’m going to go there in a couple of so I pass through there all the time,” he writes really, really well for voices,” the hours, just to finish things off. What I do is I walk says, in a separate telephone interview Hard Rubber main man says. “He’s got a through the venue privately—no one has to know from his Chinatown flat. “And they Check out… STRAIGHT.COM really advanced and very beautiful harthere’s a composer in the space—while listening already have a community piano in Visit our website monic language. That’s the best way to on headphones to what I’ve already got, and I’ll there, so we’re always hearing music for morning-after describe him; he really knows harmony try to use that as inspiration.” there all the time, anyways. It’s a reviews and local very well, so I’m expecting something Were he writing for brass or reed instruments, wonderful, super-reverberant space; arts news nice from him.” Nobles continues, he’d almost certainly scatter it’s very reverberant and very large. Maybe the best part of Voices at the Atrithe players through the room, using the built-in And what happened was that at the end um, though, will be watching casual passersby echo to provide a fully immersive listening ex- of last year, Hard Rubber had a few dollars perience. Voices, however, demand a different ap- left over, and we were trying to figure out how to stop, stare, and sink into the unexpectedly lush proach, and so it’s unlikely that any of the singers spend them. So I said, ‘Let’s just do a little concert sound of the Downtown Eastside venue. Beauty is will need to bring their climbing gear. here, with just horns, no rhythm section.’ And it a rare thing—and rarer still in Vancouver’s gritti“It’s hard for singers to be spatialized because went so unexpectedly well that we said we’ve got est neighbourhood, which makes this Hard Rubber initiative an especially welcome gift. choirs normally sing together,” Nobles says. “They to do it again.” Commissioning Nobles to create a new work for tune together, they stand together, and they blend together, because that all makes sense. So when I this installment was a no-brainer, Korsrud reports. The Hard Rubber New Music Society presents say, ‘You stand over there; you stand over there; you “What I’m asking the composers to do is to write Voices at the Atrium, at the Woodward’s Atrium go up on the big stairs,’ it thins them out and makes something that’s very simple, that can be rehearsed o n S u n d a y ( Au g u s t 2 7 ) . Th e p e r f o r m a n c e it a lot harder for them to blend.…But we’re going in a half-hour—just something that’s kind of ambient begins at 5 p.m., with an open rehearsal running to have a piano in the mix as well, and my piece and spacious, and that’s what Jordan specializes in.” It from 2 to 4 p.m.
THINGS TO DO
ARTS High five
Editor’s choice OCEANSIDE OPERA The sparkling music of Gioacchino Rossini, sung as the sun sets behind the open-air tent stage of Bard on the Beach: we challenge you to think up a more elegant way to spend a late-summer evening than attending Opera & Arias. The young talents of the UBC Opera Ensemble sing an in-concert version of The Barber of Seville, accompanied by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, in Vanier Park for two Mondays in late August and early September. UBC’s Nancy Hermiston directs, with conductor Leslie Dala wielding the baton. The added draw: charismatic Christopher Gaze, Bard’s artistic director, accomplished thesp, and master storyteller, hosts the performances. Opera & Arias takes place Monday (August 28) and September 4.
Five events you just can’t miss this week
BOB GRUEN: ROCKERS (To August 25 at the Pendulum Gallery) Your last chance to catch iconic photographs of Johnny Rotten, the Stones, John Lennon, and more.
NOMADIC TEMPEST (To September 3 on South False Creek) Multimedia, acrobatic rock opera on a tall ship—’nuff said.
LITTLE MOUNTAIN IMPROV (August 29 at Little Mountain Gallery) Cheap cover charge, cheaper beer, and entertainingly warped improv comedy.
A GAME OF YOU (To September 15 at Harbour Centre) We dare you: enter the labyrinth, star in your own theatre show, and face some hard questions.
TOBY HARGRAVE (August 24 to 26 at the Comedy MIX) Expect laughs as big as his beard from the standup dubbed “a happy Hagrid”.
In the news CHOPIN SHINDIG The Vancouver Chopin Society has announced some big names in the piano world for its 20thanniversary season. South Korean Seong-Jin Cho (shown here), gold medallist at 2015’s International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, joins the 201718 roster with his Vancouver debut (November 12 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts). Janusz Olejniczak, the famed keyboardist on the soundtrack of the popular 2002 movie The Pianist, will perform Chopin on both a historic instrument and a modern one (February 2 and 3, 2018, at Christ Church Cathedral). Elsewhere, Maria Pomianowska and her folk band (in two shows on October 14 at the Vancouver Playhouse) make their first appearance in North America, showing the influence of folk music on Chopin’s compositions, and joining other musicians to imagine how Chopin’s songs might have evolved if he’d moved to present-day Paris. There’s more; info is at chopinsociety.org/. AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17
ARTS TICKETS FROM
Opera & Arias – Photo by David Blue
Celebrate the Georgia Straight’s
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OPERA & ARIAS: The Barber of Seville Rossini’s masterpiece of the comic opera stage!
The music you know and love, in a costumed concert staging featuring the UBC Opera Ensemble and accompanied by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. Hosted by Christopher Gaze.
Mondays, August 28 and September 4 | 2pm and 7:30pm (both dates) • Global BC Youth Price available
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Sas Selfjord (left) is staging her last Vancouver International Tap Festival, presenting Caleb Teicher’s Johann Sebastian Bach riff, Variations (right).
Tap fest founder to say goodbye in style Having put Vancouver on the art form’s map, Sas Selfjord brings in two heartfelt shows for her final installment > B Y JAN ET SMITH
September 7-17, 2017 On and around Granville Island & East Vancouver.
100 shows. 700 performances. 11 days.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! VancouverFringe.com
18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017
hen the Straight reaches Vancouver International Tap Festival artistic director Sas Selfjord at her home on Gabriola Island, she’s preparing to transport a special goodbye gift for the final rendition of the 18-year-old event. In her back yard sit 14 four-by-eight-foot pieces of birchwood flooring, a perfect, portable dance surface the tap society will be able to use long after her departure. “I’m hauling it over with a truck from Gabriola and then taking it to the [Orpheum] Annex’s stage door on Friday,” she relates, expressing joy that the world-class dancers she’s bringing in won’t have to click their soles on less-than-ideal Masonite. “It’s pristine birchwood—a beautiful honey colour.” The f loor is, in many ways, an apt symbol of the professionalism and gleaming artistry she’s been able to build at the festival, known over the years for its range of styles and creations by big names like Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. “Tap-dancing is about timing and so is the festival,” explains Selfjord, who will also step down in June 2018 from running the Vancouver Tap Dance Society, centred in the Hastings Sunrise heritage space on East Hastings Street she helped catalyze the group to buy in 2011. “I truly believe the festival in its creative capacity has run its course and we need new roads. “It has been about money and you can’t stand on that platform, because it starts to compromise all your programming,” she clarifies, pointing to the ever-ballooning costs of staging a fest, with the high U.S. dollar, travel bills, and hotel fees. “Your programming becomes diluted. You either see that or you limp out. And I’m not going to limp out. All our classes will be filled, the Annex will be sold-out, and then it will end. It feels like a brave decision. It’s the right one and it will serve the community well. We take this wonderful infrastructure we’ve built for 18 years and snowball it into something richer.” As ever, Selfjord has programmed her last festival from the heart, bringing in Caleb Teicher and Company Bach’s Variations, which plays physically and rhythmically with Johann Sebastian Bach’s complex compositional structures in the Goldberg Variations; and Jason Janas’s Resonance, a highly personal look at how tap has affected and shaped him, performed with dancer-drummer Channing Cook Holmes. The key to Selfjord’s programming, as the event has evolved, has been not to stage
piecemeal mixed shows by masterclass teachers, as so many similar events around North America do, but to spotlight full-length productions that have vision—“a beginning, middle, and end”, as she puts it. Her unique fest reflects the fact that Selfjord, who dreamed of tap-dancing from the time she was a little girl but only attended her first class at 40, is not a professional performer herself. “I think the number one thing is that I am not a dancer. A lot of fests are run by professional dancers, and as a dancer you might lean toward what you like,” she says. “I’m not in that place of bringing in my peers. I am a producer and I am really there to serve the artists.…Not being a dancer opens up my lens a little wider. “It also just comes from my passion for tap,” she adds. “I love it. And I love the whole range; I’m not in one genre. I love Broadway, rhythm, jazz… And that has been a joy to share. Ironically, she’s choosing to leave the tap fest and society at a time when the art form is exploding around the world—and when Vancouver has a firm place on that map, thanks in large part to her work. But as she sees it: “We need to catch up to it in Vancouver. Artists here have very limited performance opportunities.” Just what form a new festival might take is up for intense discussion amid her departure. If reborn, the event might offer a richer immersion in training, collaboration, and performance opportunities, she suggests. Selfjord also sees the potential for tap to make its way into broader-range festivals of contemporary art around the city, as it has in other centres and as it did recently in Telemetry, a piece combining the talents of tap star Danny Nielsen and contemporary dancer Shay Kuebler at February’s Chutzpah Festival. “There could be more cross-pollination of the dance genres,” Selfjord offers. “The other thing with the festival is we’re preaching to the choir.” But there’s no doubt she’s left a legacy—one that stretches far beyond that beautiful birchwood floor. “We’ve attracted international artists here and we’ve raised a community of tap dancers who are aware of the global context,” she says. “It’s raised the bar and it’s introduced the complexities of the art form—for artists and audiences. I hear audiences leave a show and they’ll say ‘I didn’t know tap could be like this.’ ” The Vancouver International Tap Festival presents Variations on Friday (August 25) and Resonance on Saturday (August 26) at the Orpheum Annex.
22 VICTORIA SHOWS: SEPT 13 - 24 • Inner Harbour at Foot of Fort Street
AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19
ar ts/ timeout THEATRE 2JUST ANNOUNCED THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FRINGEFOR-ALL Get a two-hour preview of this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival shows as 40 artists each have two minutes to prove why you should see their show. Hosted by Travis Bernhardt and Chris Ross. Sep 6, 8 pm, Performance Works (1218 Cartwright, Granville Island). Tix $10, info www.vancouverfringe.com/.
2ONGOING MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents
THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY LITERARY EVENTS ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS
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William Shakespeare’s comedy set in 1959 Italy, where a group of actors and filmmakers celebrates the wrap of their latest movie. To Sep 23, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www. bardonthebeach.org/2017/much-adoabout-nothing/.
THE WINTER’S TALE Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s drama in which the love of two young people becomes the catalyst for reunion, redemption, and a family’s healing. To Sep 22, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardon thebeach.org/2017/the-winters-tale/. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s drama, set in modern-day Venice, that exposes the consequences of how we treat outsiders in our
midst. To Sep 16, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardon thebeach.org/2017/the-merchant-of-venice/.
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s tale of two best friends who are in love with the same woman. To Sep 17, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardonthebeach.org/2017/the-twogentlemen-of-verona/. THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Theatre Under the Stars presents director Gillian Barber’s staging of the musical that sees characters spring to life in a Jazz Age journey of love, laughter, and libation. To Aug 25, 8 pm, Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park). Tix $30-49, info www.tuts.ca/.
don’t miss out! For up-to-the-minute, searchable Arts Time Out listings, visit
MARY POPPINS Theatre Under the Stars presents director Shel Piercy’s staging of the musical about a magical nanny who teaches the Banks family a lesson in love and imagination. To Aug 26, 8 pm, Malkin
Bowl (610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park). Tix $30-49, info www.tuts.ca/.
info www.palstudiotheatre.com/event/ midnight-meow-album-launch/.
SEA OF STORIES Peninsula Productions presents a musical about life in smalltown Canada. To Aug 26, Coast Capital Playhouse (1532 Johnston Rd., White Rock). Tix $13-27, info www.peninsula productions.org/.
OPERAS AND ARIAS: THE BARBER OF SEVILLE The UBC Opera Ensemble and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra present Rossini’s masterpiece of the comic opera stage. Hosted by Christopher Gaze. Aug 28 and Sep 4, 2 pm, 7:30 pm, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info 604-739-0559, www.bardonthebeach.org/.
LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST Alchemy Theatre and Vagabond Players present William Shakespeare’s comedy in which youthful notions of love encounter the challenges of adulthood. To Aug 27, Bernie Legge Theatre (Queen’s Park, 1st St. and 3rd Ave., New West). Tix $15, info www.vagabondplayers.ca/.
DANCE 2JUST ANNOUNCED VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FLAMENCO FESTIVAL Take in workshops and ticketed performances featuring a lineup of local and international flamenco artists like Fuensanta “La Moneta”, Calle Verdi, Christina Tremblay, Fin de Fiesta, and Flamenco Rosario. Presented by Flamenco Rosario. Sep 11-24, various Vancouver venues. Tix from free to $60, info www.vancouverflamencofestival.org/.
2THIS WEEK VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL TAP FESTIVAL Celebrate tap dancing with three days of performances and master classes. Aug 25-27, 9 am–10 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie). Info www.vantapdance.com/vancouvertap-dance-festival/about-the-festival/.
MUSIC 2THIS WEEK VOICES AT THE ATRIUM Hard Rubber New Music presents new commissioned work by Jordan Nobles, Dean Thiessen, and Paul Plimley. Aug 27, 2-6 pm, Woodwards Building (111 W. Hastings). Free admission, info www.hardrubber.com/. HOMECOMING Vancouver violinist Jonathan Chan launches his contemporary-project CD Detour. Aug 27, 7 pm, PAL Theatre (8th floor, 581 Cardero). Tix $25/20,
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. 2TOBY HARGRAVE Aug 24-26 2DAVE WILLIAMSON Aug 31–Sep 2 2ANDY HAYNES Sep 7-9 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 $20. 2JOHN CULLEN Aug 25-26 VANCOUVER THEATRESPORTS LEAGUE Some of the world’s most daring and innovative improv. #NoFilter (Thu, 9:15 pm); Oh, Canada: The True North Strong and Funny (Thu, Fri, and Sat, 7:30 pm); Ok Tinder (Fri and Sat, 11:15 pm); Rookie Night (Sun, 7:30 pm); TheatreSports (Tue and Wed, 7:30 pm; Wed, 9:15 pm; Fri and Sat, 9:30 pm). Aug 23-30, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/.
2THIS WEEK OH, CANADA: THE TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FUNNY The Vancouver TheatreSports League presents a show that pokes fun at Canadian stereotypes through a series of vignettes and improv games. To Sep 2, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/.
see page 22
Amber Lewis and Kevin MacDonald
Images: David & Emily Cooper
Charlie Gallant and Nadeem Phillip
Howard Family Stage
Tickets Selling Fast! bardonthebeach.org
20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017
(limited run in September)
Season Brochures at Media Sponsors
AUGUST 24 â€“ 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21
Arts time out
1660 EAST BROADWAY @ COMMERCIAL MEDIA SPONSOR
ADVANCE TICKETS AT WWW.RIOTHEATRETICKETS.CA CA BRIGSBY BEAR SPÂ³$QRGGEDOOFKDUPHURIDPRWLRQSLFWXUHDERXWQRVWDOJLDWKHSXUVXLWRIDUWLVWLFSDVVLRQ DQGDFRPLQJRIDJHEL]DUUHO\GHOD\HGDQGXQLTXHO\IXOILOOHGÂ´The Globe and Mail :LWKKyle Mooney, Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Andy Samberg & Greg Kinnear TENACIOUS D IN THE PICK OF DESTINYSPÂ³&$87,217KH6XUJHRQ*HQHUDOZDUQVWKDWYLHZLQJ WKLVEDQGLVHTXDOWRRUJDVPVÂ´Jack BlackDQGKyle GassVWDULQWKLVPLQGEORZLQJFXOWFODVVLFRIDPXVLFDO FRPHG\DGYHQWXUHDERXWWKHÂ³JUHDWHVWEDQGLQWKHZRUOGÂ´Tenacious D THE BEGUILED SP7KH%HJXLOHGLVSofia Coppola'sEORRGLHVWPRVWYLVFHUDOPRYLHWRGDWHDQGLWLVDOVR RQHRIKHUEHVWThe Globe and Mail Colin FarrellVWDUVDVDQLQMXUHG8QLRQVROGLHUWDNHQLQE\WKHVWDIIDQG VWXGHQWVDWD6RXWKHUQJLUOVERDUGLQJVFKRROZKHUHWKHVKHOWHUHGJURXSRIZRPHQNicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst SURYLGHUHIXJH6H[XDOWHQVLRQVEORRPDQGGDQJHURXVULYDOULHVJURZLQDQXQH[SHFWHGWXUQRIHYHQWV
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TOBY HARGRAVE Standup comedian known for performing at the Whistler Comedy Festival, Atomic Comedy Festival in Washington state, and the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Aug 24-26, The Comedy MIX (1015 Burrard). Tix $20/18/15, info www.thecomedymix.com/. LAST PODCAST ON THE LEFT Live recording of the comedy podcast in which three comedians investigate spooky and violent events in history using gallows humour and detailed research. Aug 24, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $30 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat Records and www.livenation.com/.
DIRTY DANCING SP1RERG\SXWV%DE\LQDFRUQHU+DYHWKHWLPHRI\RXUOLIHDQGPD\EHFDUU\DZD WHUPHORQ WRDVSHFLDO30th Anniversary Screening RIRQHRIWKHVELJJHVWDQGPRVWHQGXULQJEORFNEXVWHUV 0LQRUVZHOFRPH
JOHN CULLEN Standup comedian performs a solo show. Aug 25-26, Yuk Yukâ€™s Comedy Club (2837 Cambie). Tix $19.05, info www.yukyuks.com/vancouver/.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEADSP:HWRDVWDQGKRQRXUWKHODWHGeorge RomeroZLWKD)ULGD\/DWH 1LJKW0RYLHVFUHHQLQJRIKLVFODVVLF]RPELHVFDUHIHVW
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CHERIE SMITH JCC JEWISH BOOK FESTIVAL The community-wide event brings together prominent and emerging Jewish writers and non-Jewish writers with Jewish-interest subject matter in literature, the arts, philosophy, theology, history, and current events. This yearâ€™s featured authors include Nathan Englander, Ruby Namdar, Elan Mastai, Rachel Kadish, Pnina Granirer, and Stephen Tobolowsky. Nov 25-30, various Vancouver venues. Info www.jewishbookfestival.ca/.
ET CETERA 2THIS WEEK NOMADIC TEMPEST Caravan Stage Company presents a show that celebrates the mythical saga of monarch migrants searching for refuge on a drowned planet. Performance is sung in English, Henqeminem, Arabic, Mandarin, and Spanish. To Sep 3, 9:45-11 pm, Shore of South East False Creek just west of Olympic Village. (West of Hinge Park on South East False Creek). Free admission, info www.caravanstage.org/portfolio/ nomadic-tempest-2017/.
LANDLINESPGillian Robespierre2EYLRXV&KLOG UHWHDPVZLWKJenny SlateLQWKLVFRPHGLFFRPLQJ RIDJHWDOHVHWLQV1HZ<RUNIROORZLQJWZRVLVWHUVZKRGLVFRYHUWKHLUGDG VJohn Turturro DIIDLUEXWOHDUQ KH VQRWWKHRQO\FKHDWHULQWKHIDPLO\$OVRVWDUULQJEdie Falco, Jay Duplass $OVR$XJXVWDWSP
RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLDSPCatherine Bainbridgeâ€™sIDVFLQDWLQJ GRFXPWQDU\H[DPLQHVWKHUROHRI1DWLYH$PHULFDQVLQFOXGLQJCharley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jimi Hendrix, Redbone, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Taboo LQFRQWHPSRUDU\$PHULFDQSRS PXVLFKLVWRU\H[SRVLQJDFULWLFDOPLVVLQJFKDSWHUWKDWUHYHDOVKRZLQGLJHQRXVPXVLFLDQVKHOSHGVKDSHDQGLQIOXHQFH WKHVRXQGWUDFNRIRXUOLYHV
THE CRITICAL HIT SHOW: A LIVE, IMPROVISED EPIC FANTASYSP1RZLQLWVWK\HDU7KH VPDVKKLW #DNDLIVEFRPHG\UHWXUQVIRUDQRWKHUURXQGRIPRQWKO\PHGLHYDOPHUULPHQWDQGVQDFNV-RLQVRPH RI9DQFRXYHUÂ¶VEHVWFRPHGLFSHUIRUPHUVDVWKH\YHQWXUHRQDTXHVWIRUFRPLFJORU\LQDOLYHLPSURYLVHGVSHFWDFXODU LQVSLUHGE\WKHZRUOGÂ¶VPRVWSRSXODUUROHSOD\LQJJDPH
VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/. 2PICTURES FROM HERE (photographs and video works by Vancouver-based artists) to Sep 4 2CLAUDE MONETâ€™S SECRET GARDEN (exhibit showcases 38 paintings that span the career of the French artist who is regarded as a master of the impressionist movement) to Oct 1 2PERSISTENCE (exhibition draws together three recent contemporary installations by Canadian artists Julia Feyrer, Tamara Henderson, Shelagh Keeley, and Germaine Koh) to Oct 1
SEPTEMBER 28 - OCTOBER 13, 2017 AUG 28
VIFF Pass + Packs on sale at viff.org SEP 7
VIFF Single Tickets on sale at viff.org SEP 14
In Person Box Office opens at
The Vancouver International Film Centre MON-SAT: 12PM - 7PM, SUN: 2PM-7PM
Taiwan Fest â——
Fringe Fest â——
To advertise contact 604.730.7020 or firstname.lastname@example.org 22 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 24 â€“ 31 / 2017
FIVE FOR FIGHTING With String Quartet And Special Guests SP TENACIOUS D BURLESQUE TRIBUTE SP,WLVZLWKERWKJUHDWEUDLQSRZHUDQGHOERZJUHDVHWKDWThe GeekendersDQGKitty GlitterSUHVHQWDQH[WUDYDJDQ]DWKDWZLOOEORZ\RXUIUHDNLQJPLQGDQHSLFMXLF\ IXOOWKURWWOHPXVLFDQGGDQFHWULEXWHWRWKHJUHDWHVWEDQGLQWKHZRUOG)HDWXULQJWKHThe Hot and Heavy Band$OO \RXUIDYRXULWHVRQJVRIThe DZLOOFRPHWROLIHLQWKHVH[LHVWZD\SRVVLEOH THE BREAKFAST CLUB SPJohn Hughes VFODVVLFDERXWDEUDLQDQDWKOHWHDEDVNHWFDVHDSULQFHVV DQGDFULPLQDOVSHQGLQJD6DWXUGD\LQGHWHQWLRQJHWVWKH)ULGD\/DWH1LJKW0RYLHWUHDWPHQW DYSFUNCTIONAL DISNEY CABARET SP%XUOHVTXH&LUFXV$UWV/LYH6LQJLQJ'UDJ&RPHG\7KH0DJLF .LQJGRPZLOOWXUQWRSV\WXUY\ZLWKZLOGDQGZDFN\WULEXWHVLQWKLVIXQDQGVH[\KRPDJHWR\RXUIDYRULWHSULQFHVVHV YLOODLQVDQGHQFKDQWHGDQLPDOV:LWKORFDOOXPLQDULHVApril Oâ€™Peele, Burgundy Brixx, Vixen Von Flex, Diva Fandango, Rose Butch, Justine Sane, Ginger Avenue & Miss Kiss
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THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604-8225087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2TRACES OF WORDS: ART AND CALLIGRAPHY FROM ASIA (multimedia exhibition examines the physical traces of words, both spoken and recorded, that are unique to humans) to Oct 9 2IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: REFLECTING ON NORTHWEST COAST ART (exhibition presents more than 110 historical Indigenous artworks and explores what we can learn from these works and how they relate to Indigenous peoplesâ€™ relationships to their lands) to spring 2019
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Of the two
BY ADR IAN M ACK
dozen–plus feature films coming to this year’s Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, Christian Sida-Valenzuela’s personal favourite opens with what you might call softcore tentacle porn. From that eye-popping intro, The Untamed only gets more darkly and artfully transgressive. How often does SidaValenzuela get to indulge his more outré tastes in this way? “Not as often as I would like,” answers the artistic director, with a chuckle. “’Cause I really want to take care of the audience.” Case in point, he adds, is the charming Gael García Bernal comedy You’re Killing Me Susana, which SidaValenzuela confidently expects will emerge as this year’s most popular title. “They come,” he says, “not strictly from our curatorial point of view, but learning through Vancouver audiences what they have liked in the past.” Indeed, it’s precisely this kind of close attention to viewer taste that brings us to the increasingly popular festival’s 15th year. Assembled by Sida-Valenzuela and his partners on the sixmember committee, VLAFF once again offers a program that’s long on both crowd-pleasers and
The tentacled movie show
An uninhibited Simone Bucio stars as Veronica, a woman who just can’t give up on her slithery, off-planet lover in the eye-popping Mexican horror, The Untamed.
industry and the erosion of “It’s hard, because Latin America can be labour protection. Ditto the very far from Vancouver culturewise, but we vicious São Paulo housing do try to find those films that have a link to crisis depicted in The Hotel local audiences.” Cambridge. Now there’s a Even our small and too often ignored communWild programmer picks and a nose for crowd favourites help theme that’s going to have ity of tentacle fetishists would have to agree. some resonance for anyone to distinguish the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival runs at living here. smartly curated art-house and festival favour“This is a film that addresses an issue that Van- various venues from August 24 to September 3. ites from the region. couver faces every day,” says Sida-Valenzuela. More information is at vlaff.org/. If you’ve missed, for instance, recent raves like Pablo Larrain’s mischievous biography of Film festival opens with story about Nobel Prize–winning novelist Chilean poet Pablo Neruda or Sônia Braga’s acclaimed twilight performance in the BrazilAllow us to recommend four of the best at this year’s Vancouver Latin American ian film Aquarius, VLAFF’s got you covered. Film Festival. For the full schedule, visit vlaff.org/. The rest of the fest is rife with titles—many from its killer new directors series, most getTHE DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN (Argentina) Uncomfortable questions about paroting their Vancouver premiere—that are likely chial small-mindedness, exploitation, class, and the very meaning of “culture” (look out for a searingly to win the same kind of international attenbrilliant speech about that) swirl around inside this wonderfully ill-tempered film, which gets the gala tion. Among these: the Chilean Bad Influence, opening spot at this year’s VLAFF. It all starts with famed novelist Daniel Mantovani accepting the Nobel a coming-of-age tale set inside the fractious Prize for literature with the declaration of his own artistic death. Declining much grander offers of attengrey zone where city life meets Indigeneity, and tion, the depressed, Barcelona-based writer gradually returns after 40 years to his Argentine hometown of director Nele Wohlatz’s formally daring tale Salas, whereupon The Distinguished Citizen morphs into something like a backwoods horror film, offset, of young Chinese immigrants in Argentina, naturally, by some of the finer cinematic devices (witty compositions, punchy dialogue) at the disposal of The Future Perfect. With Cuba as this year’s guest country, Sidadirectors Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn. Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, August 24 (7 p.m.) Valenzuela took the liberty of adding one of his THE UNTAMED (Mexico) As with Kill Me Please (see below), the use of oblique storytelling strategies favourite movies to the schedule with Tomás gives Amat Escalante’s libidinous sci-horror flick a convincingly arty sheen. All you need to know goGutiérrez Alea’s 1968 hit Memories of Undering in is that a tentacled thing from another world is holed up in a barn, pleasuring (for the most part) development. Carlos Lechuga’s ’80s-set Santa its ecstasy-drunk human visitors. A young wife, her violently closeted husband, and her gay brother & Andrés closes VLAFF, meanwhile, with a provide the narrative moves in a super-perverse setup that finally signs off with a killer punch line. Espointed critique of the Castro era, featuring a calante’s film is wild and disturbing enough to hold its own in inevitable comparisons to Under the Skin gay central character placed under house arrest and Andrzej Źuławski’s Possession, but if that’s what it takes to get you genre nerds into the theatre… by the intolerant regime. Remarkably, the film Cinematheque, August 25 (9:15 p.m.) and September 2 (9:30 p.m.) was banned by the Cuban Film Institute and removed from a New York–based festival at the YOU’RE KILLING ME SUSANA (Mexico) The ubiquitous Gael García Bernal puts his coninsistence of the Cuban minister of culture. siderable charm and equally substantial comic chops to good use as TV actor Eligio, who’s a “We are strongly LGBT,” states Sida-Valenbit too busy hitting on his soap-opera costar to realize that the titular wife, played by Spain’s zuela, who divides his time between Canada luminous Verónica Echegui, has split for a writer’s college in wintry Iowa. He tracks her down, and his native Mexico. “I’ve been here for many near-slapstick encounters with the TSA and Midwestern taxi drivers providing laugh-out-loud years and it’s easy to forget that the rest of the entertainment along the way, but the infidelity keeps impinging on both sides. You might want to world is not as open as Vancouver. In Mexico slap them both, but the film’s intense likability wins out in spades—this is a mighty hard movie or other countries in Latin America, this film to resist—with added spice coming from its gentle lampooning of Mexican machismo and more would be very provocative. We really like to trenchant (and satisfying) barbs at the expense of American bigotry. Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, show this other face of Latin America. It’s a very August 26 (5:15 p.m.); Cinematheque, August 29 (9 p.m.) complex region, very big, very diverse—this is another part.” KILL ME PLEASE (Brazil) A series of killings in Rio de Janeiro’s tony Barra da Tijuca neighbourThe fest’s progressive streak is most in evihood grips the imaginations of a quartet of teen girls, especially dark-eyed and horny Bia, whose dence in its annual ¡Activismo! series, focused ghoulishness eventually starts to look like possession. Not that anything is all that explicit in this this year on women’s issues with titles like hyper-stylish (think recent Nicolas Winding Refn) not-quite horror movie, which manages to unsetTatiana Huezo’s hauntingly poetic account of tle with something like the cinematic equivalent of negative space. In short, coming-of-age trauma human trafficking, Tempestad, and the docuand the fear of sex get an unforgettable, synth-drenched makeover in director Anita Rocha da mentary Dolores, about United Farm WorkSilveira’s outlandishly good debut. Cinematheque, August 26 (9:30 p.m.) and September 1 (9:15 p.m.) ers firebrand Dolores Huerta. And there’s a > ADRIAN MACK winning universality baked into something like Panamerican Machinery, a Buñuelian satire from Mexico that takes on the decline of
F O I LING ALL THE FI NKS >>> REV I E W S THE FENCER Starring Märt Avandi. In Estonian and Russian, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable
Although somewhat boxed
2 in by its own physical beauty, The Fencer is so uniformly wellcrafted, it should be shown in film schools as a model of technical artists operating at the highest level. For his fifth feature, Finnish director Klaus Härö—who’s been at it long enough to have received an award from Ingmar Bergman—chose a little-known true story about an Estonian fencing
master who survived both the Nazi invasion of his country and its long Soviet occupation thereafter. As in many nations annexed by Hitler, young men were immediately conscripted to fight alongside the Germans. This happened to our sword-swishing protagonist Endel Nelis, played here by rangy, ginger-haired Märt Avandi, who resembles a young Max von Sydow. (The real guy didn’t, by the way.) We meet Nelis around 1952, after he has survived some years in the wilderness and then in Leningrad, under an assumed name, while pursuing his love of fencing. Now he has returned to Estonia,
Märt Avandi cuts down the fascists and the commies in The Fencer.
to the nowhere coastal town of Haapsalu, and is hired to teach phys-ed classes to disconsolate children who lost parents in the war. The Soviet-toadying school
principal (a Steve Buscemi type named Hendrik Toompere) sniffs at Nelis’s inclusion of fencing in his skill set, since it’s “not very proletarian”. But when this apparatchik fails to supply any decent sports equipment, the new teach gathers reeds in the forest and fashions foils for his excited students, including a fatherless lad (Joonas Koff) who admires him, and a tiny blond preteen (cast standout Liisa Koppel) whose ferocity sparks the whole class. The director builds dread masterfully, but screenwriter Anna Heinämaa softens the edges by replacing dangerous realities with crowd-pleasing tropes. The upright,
necessarily cagey Nelis exhibits few flaws—okay, he doesn’t like kids at the start—and he’s given a handy love interest in the form of a fellow teacher (Ursula Ratasepp). It’s this sort of by-the-numbers storytelling that lets us down. In fact, there’s little evidence that Nelis was actually chased by the KGB, and the film’s view of him as uncomplicated hero hollows the experience somewhat. Still, the f lawless casting, softly radiant lighting, dusty yellow-and-green palette, and extraordinary wide-screen compositions are ceaselessly engaging, and the tale builds to a satisfying sports-movie finish. see next page
AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 23
causing the brutal part of the title to come true. You don’t have to be Bruno Bettelheim (remember The Uses of Enchantment?) to figure out what’s going on in this family, especially if you subtract the satanic foofaraw from the story. Some versions of this tale, which has origins on three continents, find the handless maiden rescued by a benevolent king, who fashions fresh appendages from precious metal. Laudenbach opts for a more age-appropriate prince who, despite his outward sensitivity, can’t avoid the siren song of war. This affords that devilish male spirit several more chances to mess with things, and the movie, in contrast to its gentle artistry, is unsparing in its vision of human privation. And it’s pretty frank about sexuality and bodily functions in general. Disney it ain’t. But its view of the ceaseless struggle for female agency depicts a kind of arms race we’re only starting to recognize.
from previous page
Above all, The Fencer is a reminder that the simplest gestures can be lethal to authoritarians of any stripe. > KEN EISNER
THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK Starring Callum Turner. Rated PG
While it’s always a pleasure to
2 encounter a literate script deliv-
ered by a surprise roster of A-list actors, the wordplay in The Only Living Boy in New York stays ahead of any real connection to somewhat stock New York characters. Up-and-coming Brit Callum Turner (Queen & Country, Tramps) goes American, in a Dustin Hoffman–meets– Jason Biggs kind of way, to play Thomas Webb, namesake of director Marc Webb, although the script is from Allan Loeb (Collateral Beauty). The under90-minute film is efficiently handled by Webb, previously responsible for the influential 500 Days of Summer as well as two Spider-Man efforts. He gives this a Woody Allen–style structure, with an off-screen narrator introducing us to mostly white, upper-crust Manhattanites lucky to have amusing problems. The narrator enters the frame when Jeff Bridges shows up as W. F., a scruffy,
> KEN EISNER
Loose lines and washes of watercolour bring The Girl Without Hands to life in this frank animated effort from France.
hard-drinking new neighbour to Thomas, whose business he soon gets all up in. The boy already lives in the shadow of his dashing publisher daddy (Pierce Brosnan) and is overly attached to his neurotic mom (Cynthia Nixon). Currently, Tommy Boy is betting everything on a not-very-manic pixie dream girl (Kiersey Clemons)
who wants to keep their dialogues on the platonic side. But he drops that bauble when he discovers that his father has been proofing manuscripts with gorgeous freelance editor Johanna (Kate Beckinsale). He follows her, and next thing you know, this post-Graduate postgrad has another daddy issue to deal with.
While it is setting all these pawns in motion, the film has plenty of amusing things to say about Big Apple strivers, all of whom are or wish they were writers, or are perhaps a little embarrassed that they are only good at business. The cast throws a lot into these overly familiar types, with Bridges, of course, well-chosen as a bourbon-soaked mentor. Unfortunately, his advice, romantic and writerly, is pure boilerplate, and most of the male-female dynamics here smack of old-school, Philip Roth–style misogyny. Everyone talks about talent, but aside from the Yeats and Dylan quotes, not much is entered into evidence. A late-in-the-game plot twist doesn’t really add that much to a story that has more wit than emotion, which is surprisingly absent in some of the big payoff scenes. This places more burdens on the Simon and Garfunkel title tune and various ’60s ditties than they can bear. This Boy is clever enough, but it’s no Baby Driver.
> KEN EISNER
THE GIRL WITHOUT HANDS Directed by Sébastien Laudenbach. In French, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable
Putting the grim back in Grimm
2 Brothers, this deceptively simple
animated effort turns a lesser-known fairy tale into an edgy meditation on gendered views of nature and society. A first feature for French shortmaker Sébastien Laudenbach, The Girl Without Hands uses loose, gestural lines and smooth watercolour washes to follow the travails—and eventual triumph—of the title character. Anaïs Demoustier (Bird People) gives voice to the unnamed heroine, virtuous daughter of a miller currently cursed by drought. When a mysterious stranger (voiced by the director’s father, Philippe Laudenbach) offers to help restart his grinding wheels, he appears to be asking for the miller’s big apple tree in exchange. Actually, what he wants is the daughter who loves that tree and spends her days in its enveloping branches. After the river starts running again—with gold, in fact—the miller can hardly renege, even after he realizes his huge mistake. He agrees to follow through over the protestations of his heartbroken wife (Françoise Lebrun, The Mother and the Whore). The devilish stranger can’t take such virginal prey, it seems, so Dad tries to dirty her up. Even then, constant tears keep her hands clean,
THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD Starring Ryan Reynolds. Rated 14A
If Deadpool were revamped
2 as a buddy comedy, the movie
would look a whole lot like The Hitman’s Bodyguard—and that’s by no means a bad thing. With a slick script and a healthy dose of tongue-incheek wit, filmmaker Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) appears to have co-opted the best elements of lead Ryan Reynolds’s Marvel smash, injecting a sly humour into the movie’s stunt-heavy gunfights and barbed banter between the protagonists. Starring as an eye-twitching contract killer with a steadfast love of his insult-slinging wife, Samuel L. Jackson cuts a grizzled yet likable figure as Darius Kincaid. Reynolds is his partner, Michael Bryce, a safetyconscious control freak who, despite spending his days as a bodyguard for high-profile targets, is terrified of risk. Burning through a whirlwind of cities in choreographed car chases— London, The Hague, Manchester, and Amsterdam all appear within the first half hour—the duo pitch their roles perfectly, with an on-screen chemistry that is sometimes endearing and often laugh-out-loud funny. The movie’s flatter moments appear when the director dives too deep or relies on shallow clichés. Hughes’s attempts to broach questions of morality—“Who is more wicked: he who kills evil motherfuckers, or he who protects them?” Jackson asks at the film’s midway point—deserve to be sketched out in more detail or cut from the story line. The clunky actionmovie tropes of the eastern European villain (Gary Oldman) and the onesecond-to-go deadline, too, miss an opportunity to be treated with the same dry comedy as the movie’s more sophisticated jokes. And, for all their breakneck energy, some of the stunts come off as a little commonplace. Nevertheless, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a high-paced romp that touches all the bases of an odd-couple chase movie: generous explosions, high-speed mayhem, and excellently played, tangled love interests. For that, moviegoers can thank Salma Hayek (Frida), whose prison-dwelling Sonia Kincaid, wife of Darius, has a mouth like a sewer and carries much of the movie’s supporting comedy. High art this is not, but as summer movies about lethal frenemies go, Hughes’s film is suitably entertaining. > KATE WILSON
MOVIES ARTS MUSIC THEATRE FOOD Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the latest entertainment scoop Signup at straight.com/newsletters 24 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017
Perspective is everything, even though
BY MIKE US IN G ER
many North Americans never realize that. Drummer Bill Stevenson—whose tenures with Descendents, Black Flag, and All have made him punk-rock royalty—is one of the lucky ones. As fans might deduce from the lyrics on Descendents’ successful 2016 comeback album, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, there’ve been some challenging times for members of the veteran punk band in recent years. Nowhere is the turmoil more evident than on “Smile”, where singer Milo Aukerman clocks in with “I can see your pain has left you locked up, beat down/I can see the fear has made you desperate, burnt out/Too much regret and shattered hope/Sent you slipping down that slope.” Reached at home in Fort Collins, Colorado, Stevenson acknowledges that the song was very much written for him and about him. In recent years the 53-year-old has survived a series of major health scares, including but not limited to a massive brain tumour, a pulmonary embolism, and significant blood clots in his lungs that cut his oxygen intake to 50 percent of a healthy person’s. With Descendents often inactive after 2004’s Cool to Be You, Stevenson found himself devoting most of
Out of the blue and smiling
The secret to the Descendents success, says drummer Bill Stevenson (far right), has been treating the band as a geniunely fun diversion rather than as a job.
having a little brush with depression. And right now I feel great—I don’t have any complaints in my life, whether they be medical, The Descendents have survived personal traumas psychological, physical, or to return recharged and refreshingly relevant otherwise.” his time to his other job: producing other bands at That lust for life shines through big-time on the Blasting Room, the studio he co-owns and runs Hypercaffium Spazzinate, which ended up the highin Fort Collins. Sitting in front of a recording console est-charting record in Descendents’ long career. is nowhere near as physically demanding as playing The album hit No. 20 on the Billboard charts, an acthe drums for a couple of hours a day, which probably complishment that was flat-out unfathomable back contributed to him eventually hitting 400 pounds. when Aukerman and Stevenson were writing hardAll this would be mentally taxing on anyone. core blitzkriegs like “Weinerschnitzel” and “I Like Famously upbeat though he is, Stevenson was Food” that burned out in under 20 seconds. no exception. And eventually those around him What’s most noticeable is that Hypercaffium began to see that something was wrong. Spazzinate sounds like the work of a band that’s “I’ll tell you about ‘Smile’,” Stevenson says openly. not only totally recharged, but—in a geniune “When Milo sent me the demo for it, and told me it punk-rock rarity—every bit as relevant as it was was about me, I remember kind of going, ‘Hey, easy, during its initial run in the ’80s. For much of this century, the members of Desguy. I’m fine.’ But the thing about a true best friend is that he was able to see things that were going on with cendents were busy with other pursuits, including me that I could not yet see. Really, the big thing was raising families. Aukerman, as is well-known, was a that I was kind of in a dark place. That sounds really successful scientist, working in the biochemistry divcliché, and I don’t even really know how to say it, but I ision at DuPont as well as teaching at the University guess maybe I was feeling like a failure in some way.” of Delaware. Admirably refusing to grow up, bassist As folks often do when the black clouds of self- Karl Alvarez toured steadily with bands ranging from doubt roll in, Stevenson began looking for ways to Gogol Bordello to the Real McKenzies and dabbled in cope, and the bottle provided a crutch for a while. painting. Guitarist Stephen Egerton has raised two But eventually, as his various health problems were kids with his wife in Tulsa, where he’s concentrated straightened out, he was able to see the absurdity in his on recording bands at his Armstrong Studios. Given everything that’s been going on in the self-pity, inspiring Hypercaffium Spazzinate offerings like “Victim of Me”. A four-on-the-floor shot of clas- personal lives of Descendents’ members, Stevensic Descendents punk-scorched pop, the song features son says it’s no accident that Hypercaffium Spazlines like “Complain about everything in my life/And zinate ended up being so strong. The best thing blame everybody I know/I make every decision laced that ever happened to the band is that no one had in panic/Regrettable but I know it’s amendable.” to write a record or pile into a tour van simply That’s one of the many moments on Hyper- because there were bills to pay. “We’ve found a correct amount of time to spend caffium Spazzinate inspired by real-life events among band members. Over the course of 16 doing this,” Stevenson says. “In other words, we don’t mostly triple-caffeinated tracks, the band deals let it become a job. It’s still based on fun. Even the way with everything from family deaths (“Feel This”) we’re touring is fun. If you look at our tour dates you’re to in-the-red cholesterol readings (“No Fat Bur- probably thinking, ‘Oh, those guys are out there in the ger”) to raising children in a world where Ritalin van at age 55.’ But it’s a little misleading. If it’s an overseas thing, we’ll go out for about two weeks. But if it’s a is pushed on kids like Smarties (“Limiter”). Stevenson says “Victim of Me” stemmed from a U.S. thing, what we’re doing is flying in on a Thursday night out with a friend—the doctor who had admit- night, playing Friday and Saturday in a couple of citted him months earlier when he came into the hos- ies, and then flying home Monday. “And we don’t do it every week,” he continues. pital on a gurney during one of his big health scares. “We were shooting pool and both had to take a “So for us the band is almost like a little vacation leak,” he recounts. “We’re lined up at the urinal, and thing whenever we fly out. We live in different I’m grumbling about this or that. He’s at the urinal states, so we get to hang out. The way we’re doing it next to me when he turns and goes, ‘Dude—you’re is born of what the band itself was born of, which is the victim of you.’ I thought about it later that night fun and camaraderie.” Except now there’s a bonus. Descendents have and I was like, ‘I am the victim of me.’ ” Having come through a rough patch, Stevenson been embraced as true visionaries, their genius figures whatever problems he had pale next to what lauded by more famous icons ranging from Dave Grohl to Ian MacKaye. Although it would have less fortunate people are going through. “It’s rich people’s problems,” he argues. “They are been unthinkable back in the early years of grimy not real problems. I totally believe that, even after hall gigs and beer-soaked house parties, they
draw crowds of thousands today, something that continues to amaze every member of the group. Stevenson knows that he’s been blessed. And he knows that the same goes for his bandmates, who are also able to appreciate that; check out the love letter to each other that is “Beyond the Music” and its lyrics “And there’s nothing in this world/Not a dollar, dream or girl/That can rival what we have between us.” Everything changes once you put things in perspective. That is something Stevenson has grown to have no shortage of. “I have this theory, and of course it’s not true 100 percent of the time, but I feel that the bands that started for the right reasons are able to stay together longer,” he says. “As for bands that started simply to get popular or get famous or cool—those goals don’t carry you for 38 years. In the beginning it was us guys jamming in the garage together, convinced that there was never even the likelihood that we would get a show booked. And yet we still did it anyway. Because that was our first motivation, we don’t get let down very easily. Anything beyond that early joy of just being friends jamming has been icing.” Descendents play the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday and Friday (August 24 and 25) as part of the Straight Series.
in + out
On “Beyond the Music”: “I said, ‘I’m going to write a song about just how thankful I am for my guys.’ And not only for my guys, but for what we’ve been allowed to do: express ourselves artistically and make connections with so many different people.” On late-period success: “We’re sort of acclimating to it now. But I do remember when we first started doing shows together again, not long after my brain surgery. We got up at one of these big festivals which are so common now and there were thousands of people in front of us. Milo kind of looked back at me, and I was like, ‘What?!!’ We were pretty much in shock—we thought it was just a fluke because it was our first show back.” On finding a life balance: “Thankfully, I’m doing more drumming and less sitting behind a mixing desk. That [studio work] is certainly a harmful thing in too high of a dose for a person with my tendency towards health problems. For the past few years, I’ve been producing four or five records per year. Before I went into the hospital— all through the 2000s—I was doing 10 to 15 a year.”
SAN CISCO SEIZ ES ON ITS S TRE NG THS >>> Four-piece San Cisco has a
2 serious drawing power in its
native Australia. Masters of social media—455,000 SoundCloud followers don’t lie—the youthful indiepop darlings have jangled their way to three Top 20 albums and a touring schedule that’s taken them all over the world. Ask guitarist Josh Biondillo about their seemingly swift rise to prominence, however, and he’ll point out that the group has been plugging away for nearly a decade. “We started when we were in high school,” he recalls, speaking
to the Straight from Fremantle, Australia. “We’ve been pretty much working at it that entire time.” The results of that labour are apparent in the group’s latest record, The Water. First rising to prominence with DIY earworm “Awkward” in 2012—a track that saw fresh-faced frontman Jordi Davieson trade lines about a failed date with drummer Scarlett Stevens—the band has made sure that its growth has gone beyond its increasingly profound lyrics. San Cisco’s two-chord riffs have given way to everything from the funky
bass lines and off-beat guitar stabs of “Kids Are Cool” to the wonky Wurlitzer-style synths in “Waiting for the Weekend”, all without compromising the catchy choruses that won the group a much-coveted spot on Fat Possum’s label roster. “I would say that we are definitely starting to realize our strengths as songwriters and producers, which has contributed to our releases feeling more mature,” Biondillo says. “Our interests and what we listen to have changed as well, and that’s made for a more advanced sound.
Bill Stevenson sounds off on the things that enquiring minds want to know.
I think, especially recently, it’s become very important that the songs stand on their own as great pieces of music. It’s become more about getting the melodies and lyrics to connect better and evoke emotion.” The band’s new focus is clear even on a cursory listen to the album. While previous LP Gracetown saw the group reaching for more raw decisions—including recording in a washroom for acoustic-guitar-led track “Skool”— The Water allows San Cisco to channel that experimental spirit into its choice of gear and uncommon synth sounds.
“The album came about after a bunch of seven- or eight-day stints in the studio,” Biondillo recalls. “The songs are made in a different way every time, but usually it’ll be a riff or chord progression that Jordi or I have come up with, and it’ll be brought to the band and fleshed out into a song from there. I definitely think that we were pushing the technical aspects of recording a bit harder this time.” One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the band’s ability to connect with a younger crowd—which, see next page
AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25
from previous page
given its own youth, is hardly surprising. Making it a priority to play at allages venues on its North American tour, San Cisco is catering to the kids as much as their over-19 counterparts. “There have been some funny shows in the past,” Biondillo says, “like when we have the odd stage invasion, or organize a bunch of friends to come up on-stage and dance around for the last song. It’s always a great atmosphere.”
> KATE WILSON
San Cisco plays the Fox Cabaret on Saturday (August 26).
A scary world leads to the raging birth of Dead Cross The world is an ugly place right
2 now, with things getting grimmer with each passing day. North Korea and the United States of America are locked in what seems to be an
extended nuclear-weapons pissing match. Neo-Nazis and fourth-wave Ku Klux Klansmen march through the streets of America to—insanely— find themselves defended not only by Fox News but also by President Donald Trump. And, in a reminder of the tragic 2015 Bataclan attack in Paris, each new month seems to bring a truly horrific terrorist attack on innocent people in Europe. There are days when it all seems too much for Dead Cross mastermind Dave Lombardo, who is deservedly famous as the punishingly inventive drummer in bands such as Fantomas, Suicidal Tendencies, and Slayer (the last of which he helped found). We’ve all got a choice: sit there in mute horror while watching the nightly news, or do something to channel the insanity. Lombardo has chosen the latter. “Dead Cross was a long time coming,” says the 52-year-old, on the line from his home in Los Angeles. “I had a previous band [Grip Inc.] that I was working on and experimenting with different styles, but there was
something missing, and that was that hardcore edge. When that band fell apart, all sorts of stuff started going down. There was the Bataclan attack. I had personal shit going on at home that was really pissing me off. All this stuff was happening, so I said, ‘This is it. It’s time to put together something heavier and harder than I’ve ever done before.’ And somehow, in a very strange way, it all fell together.” What you hear with the band’s debut, Dead Cross, is outrage distilled into a strain of hardcore heavily indebted to the ’80s—a time when Ronald Reagan was locked in a cold war with Russia and hundreds of thousands regularly marched in the streets against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Think blunt fury and double-adrenalized aggression designed to detonate mosh pits right from the first note. Duck and cover when cuing up the shrapnel-throwing “Gag Reflex” and marvel at Lombardo’s tireless work in savage assaults like “Idiopathic” and “Seizure and Desist”. Lombardo isn’t the only heavy hitter in Dead Cross, which might
explain why the band is so blindingly powerful. Fellow legend Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, and Fantomas) is on vocals, with guitar and bass handled by Mike Crain (Retox) and Justin Pearson (the Locust, Head Wound City). If the various projects of all involved have one thing in common, it’s that they serve up art at its most viciously uncompromising. Forget reacting to the various miseries of the modern world with melancholy introspection. “My fiancée tells me that I handle adversity really well when things go down,” Lombardo says. “I do get introspective and I do keep things inside. But I also channel it. The emotion of anger is something that can be controlled and redirected, and that’s what I did. The way that everything went down created this perfect environment to create this kind of band.” His wish for making the planet a little better? That’s easy—if you’re understandably pissed off at today’s world, express yourself somewhere other than Facebook and Twitter.
“Get creative,” Lombardo says. “Obviously, art imitates life in a lot of ways, and right now life in the States is a little unnerving. You’re a little bit angrier than before and a lot of things tick you off. It’s interesting how we were able to capture that and put it on an album. We definitely got lucky.”
> MIKE USINGER
Dead Cross plays the Vogue Theatre on Friday (August 25).
Curious mind is the key to Roots sideman’s success If you’re looking for backstage
2 stories about Lady Gaga, Bob
Dylan, U2, Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones, or Ed Sheeran, consider buying Ian Hendrickson-Smith a drink when he visits Vancouver next week; the saxophonist has worked with them all. When it comes to dishing the dirt in an onthe-record interview, however, the see next page
SAT AUG 26
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New York resident turns out to be blessed with as much tact as he has talent—or else his memory is starting to go after spending more than 700 days on late-night TV. “It’s tough, you do it so much,” says Hendrickson-Smith, who’s the guy sporting a flat cap and a tenor sax that Tonight Show devotees will have noticed on-stage with Jimmy Fallon and his house band, the Roots. “If you asked me who was on the show yesterday, I would have no idea.” Picked for the gig after working with Roots bandleader Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson on soul star Al Green’s 2008 album, Lay It Down, Hendrickson-Smith is less reticent, or forgetful, when it comes to the details of his high-profile job. “We tape at 5 o’clock every day, Monday through Friday, but on Monday we get a schedule of what guests are appearing over the week and what they’re promoting,” he explains, on the line from a festival show with the Roots in Burlington, Vermont. “And then Questlove goes through that and picks whatever music we’re going to play to walk them onto the set.…We spend maybe two minutes on each cue; one of the challenges of the job is that you have to learn a lot of music really quickly and efficiently. “There’s no charts,” HendricksonSmith adds. “Nothing is really ever spoken about.…You have to be quick on your feet and your ears have to be pretty strong.” This impromptu approach will also be on the menu when HendricksonSmith joins an all-star cast of Vancouver jazz musicians at Frankie’s Jazz Club; with no time for rehearsals, the quintet will have to suss out his mix of blues, standards, and originals on the fly. One difference, though, is that he’ll get to play his first love, the alto sax, as opposed to the tenor and baritone horns he usually deploys on money gigs. “It’s the instrument that I put the most time in on,” he says. “A lot of my favourite saxophone players are alto players: Jackie McLean and Bird [Charlie Parker] and Johnny Hodges and Charles McPherson.”
THU AUG 24 Ian Hendrickson-Smith is an old soul who is quick on his feet.
Split the difference between those swing-to-bop legends and the work that Hendrickson-Smith does with the Roots, and you’ve got a clue to his character: he’s got an old soul and a curious mind, a combination that serves him well in his other job as a graphic designer. Most notably, he devises the majority of the album covers for Vancouver’s own Cellar Live imprint, a role that came about through his friendship with his fellow saxophonist, local jazz impresario Cory Weeds. Weeds, in fact, is one of the reasons Hendrickson-Smith will be playing alto here: the label boss and Coastal Jazz programmer will be performing on tenor in the band, which also includes pianist Miles Black, bassist Jodi Proznick, and drummer Jesse Cahill. The relationship dates back to when Weeds heard and loved HendricksonSmith’s 2003 debut, Up in Smoke!, and suggested they go for coffee. “We met up in New York and became fast friends because we both love the same things,” Hendrickson-Smith says of his B.C. counterpart. “And I ended up marrying his bar manager and having a love affair with Vancouver, so it’s a long but simple story!”
Boogie Nights presents
FRI AUG 25
Toddcast Podcast presents
THE WILD! w. COBRA RAMONE & NO LIARS
SAT AUG 26
Lust for Life presents
TUE AUG 29
The Railway Stage presents
Aug Sep Sep Sep
CLOUDHOOD W. Brutal Poodle & MORE DRAG CLUB F. Karmella Barr, Dust & MORE 31 01 05 09
Boogie Nights w. FLOW N MOTION & TONYE The Railway Stage w BB + TEENAGE WEDDING BAND Jokes w. ANDY HAYNES Lust for Life w. TULIP + HERON
> ALEXANDER VARTY
Ian Hendrickson-Smith plays Frankie’s Jazz Club on Wednesday (August 30).
579 Dunsmuir St
see next page
Bronze Age Records presents
Madou Diarra Vocalist and n'goni player from Mali performing his new album
Djandjon Hunter songs from the precolonial Mandinka Empire
Saturday, September 2 at 9:00 (doors open at 8:00)
WISE Hall - 1882 Adanac Street
Free concert; LP’s and CD’s available at the show AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27
EVERY 2ND FRIDAY AUGUST 25th ■ SEPTEMBER 8th & 22nd
F RI DAY
THANKS FOR VOTING US BEST STRIP CLUB!
MALE DANCERS: 8:30-10PM FEMALE DANCERS: 10PM-CLOSE
The Georgia Straight Confessions, an outlet for submitting revelations about your private lives—or for the voyeurs among us who want to read what other people have disclosed.
Scan to confess Standards I think the problems that people tend to encounter surrounding their current relationships, and failed relationships, is that they don’t hold these significant others to the same character standards that they hold for themselves. They either hold them to higher standards, or to lower standards. But it’s never the same.
It’s great !! I was so happy to see punk fans bringing their kids to the rancid and dropkick murphy show! I can’t imagine how much fun that would have been, especially for the ones who got to go up on stage with the band!!! And big up to the guys carrying the dude in the wheelchair above the crowd! Kinda makes me want to meet a punk dude, where you guys hanging out when there’s not a show!? :p Everyone was awesome keep it up and stick it to the man!
Foodfads Avocado Toast? I’ve been eating that since 1994. Who’s the Real Hipster now?
Energizer bunny I’m not; but I do have way more energy than my partner and it leads to some slight resentment on my part. I would love to spend all my hours away from work in the summer running, or walking, or hiking, or picnicking, or exploring new neighborhoods but my partners idea of downtime is sitting on the couch. How did we get here? It wasn’t like this years ago. Confused and depressed.
to post a Confession
28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 24 – 31 / 2017
from previous page
The battle lines continue to shift for Pokey LaFarge Despite horns that could have
2 been lifted from a Two-Tone ska
anthem, Pokey LaFarge’s “Riot in the Streets” is not exactly a call to arms. Written in the tempestuous days that followed the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown—a black teenager from Ferguson, Missouri—by a white police officer, the last track on LaFarge’s new Manic Revelations is more of a sorrowful meditation on strife than pointed political commentary. “Right or wrong, battle lines are drawn/Like the difference ’tween dusk and dawn,” LaFarge sings. “Black and white in the light of day/But at night there’s only shades of grey.” LaFarge is clearly willing to consider all sides of an ugly scene—but if he wrote that song today, with open-carry fascists marching in the streets of America, it might tell a different story. “Of course it would, because it’s a different time—but I couldn’t say how, exactly,” the St. Louis–based songwriter says, talking to the Straight from a tour bus somewhere in rural California. “Perhaps I would take more of a stance. I would have been more harshly critical of the institutionalized racism, and of police brutality as a whole.” There’s a sense, though, that the musically peripatetic LaFarge—whose sound has evolved from westernswing-inflected Americana to a more diverse mix of jazz, rock, country, and Caribbean influences—finds the role of protest singer both necessary and an uncomfortable fit. He readily admits that he’s torn between the need to say something and the desire to escape politics altogether—a dichotomy that plays out across Manic Revelations’ 10 songs. For every ode to the simpler life, like the self-explanatory “Going to the Country”, there’s a lyric rooted in LaFarge’s gritty experiences in the days before tour buses, when he was a hitchhiking, street-corner-busking modern-day hobo. Finding a balance between addressing and escaping reality, LaFarge says, isn’t easy. “Living in St. Louis, living in the Midwest, living in America, being alive today in the world, you’re just inundated with information,” he contends. “There’s just so much fucking stimulation all the time, and I don’t think that’s always a good thing. It is if you need it and you crave it, but you can’t possibly need it and crave it all the time. Yet we’re just pouring this digital cocaine into our brains all the time, right? So, for me, I need to get away from time to time. All I need is a guitar, a book, a notebook, and a pen. But you also have to go out and experience life. You have to go out and open your mind up to new things.” And what LaFarge is finding when he’s out on the road is that maybe he was right to paint things in shades of grey, no matter how black-andwhite Michael Brown’s killing might seem today. “In terms of inspiration in this country, there’s never been less— and there’s never been more,” he says. “The one thing I would tell Canadians is that there’s a lot of people here who are very separated from the regime, from the current institutions. They’re creating beautiful music, they’re raising great families, they’re renovating beautiful old buildings, they’re making great food, they’re helping the community. There are still a lot of great things happening here, and it’s still a beautiful country. “I mean, I’m not Billy Bragg; I’m not trying to beat people over the head with any message,” he adds. “I would rather be a little bit more subversive—and to be subversive, poetry is the best medicine.” > ALEXANDER VARTY
Pokey LaFarge plays the Imperial on Thursday (August 24).
FRANKIE’S JAZZ CLUB 765 Beatty, 778-727-0337. 2A TRIBUTE TO ARETHA FRANKLIN Aug 26 2IAN HENDRICKSONSMITH Aug 30
producer performs a 3-D show. Nov 20, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix on sale Aug 25, 12 pm, $35 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat Records and www.ticketfly.com/.
FUNKY WINKER BEANS 37 W. Hastings. Evil Bastard Karaoke Experience seven TENNIS Denver-based indie-pop duo days a week. tours in support of latest release Yours Conditionally, with guests Wild Ones. Dec THE IMPERIAL 319 Main, 604-8682, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Cobalt (917 0494. 2POKEY LAFARGE Aug 24 Main). Tix on sale Aug 25, 10 am, $22.50 2JOHNNYSWIM Aug 31 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/. IVANHOE PUB 1038 Main, 604-608-1444. Live bands on weekends and open jam SHANIA TWAIN Canadian countrynight Sun from 4 to 8 pm. No cover. pop star tours in support of upcomRAILWAY STAGE AND BEER CAFÉ 579 ing album NOW. May 5-6, doors 6:30 Dunsmuir, 604-564-1430. Comedy Tue, live pm, show 7:30 pm, Rogers Arena (800 music Wed, Thu, Fri, and all day/night Sat. Griffiths Way). Tix on sale Aug 25, 10 am, 2BOOGIE NIGHTS Aug 24 2TODDCAST $189.95/139.95/89.95/59.95 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. PODCAST FRIDAY NIGHTS VOL.1 Aug 25 2CLOUDHOOD Aug 26
CONCERTS < CLUBS & VENUES < 2 THIS WEEK OUT OF TOWN <
CONCERTS 2JUST ANNOUNCED LOSTBOYCROW WITH PRELOW American indie-pop/R&B singer-songwriter performs on his Spin the Globe tour. Oct 20, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix on sale Aug 25, 10 am, $15 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/. MAYDAY Taiwanese rock band performs on its Mayday [Life] World Tour. Nov 8, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix on sale Sep 8, 10 am, at www.livenation.com/.
JAWS OF LOVE American indie-rock musician Kelcey Ayer tours in support of upcoming solo-project release Tasha Sits Close to the Piano. Nov 11, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, St. James Hall (3214 W. 10th). Tix on sale Aug 25, 10 am, $22 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/.
HOME & GARDEN SERVICES
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Moving & Storage, Free EST. Visa Okay. 604-628-7136
RECEPTION/ADMIN/CLERICAL Hiring One Full-time ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE CO-ORDINATOR $23/hr, High school/equivalent, Good command in English, Speak Thai is an asset, 1yr exp. in administration, coordinator or in a related field. Duties: Co-ordinate office administrative procedures, review, evaluate & implement new procedures. Carry out administrative activities associated with admissions to educational institutions. Co-ordinate & plan for office service such as accommodation & relocations. Co-ordinate marketing efforts with potential Thai speaking students & participate in education fairs. Conduct analyses & oversee administrative operations related to contracting. Assist in preparation of operating budgetary controls. Assemble data & prepare periodic & special reports. Email: email@example.com St. George International College 605 Robson St. Suite 200 Vancouver, BC V6B 5J3
PNE SUMMER NIGHT CONCERTS Featuring performances by ZZ Top (Aug 24), Chicago (Aug 25), Colin James (Aug 26), Huey Lewis and the News (Aug 27), Tom Cochrane and Red Rider (Aug 29), and the B-52s (Aug 30). PNE Amphitheatre. Free with PNE admission (reserved seats available), info www.pne.ca/.
CLUBS & VENUES BACKSTAGE LOUNGE Arts Club Theatre, 1585 Johnston, Granville Island, 604-6871354. Hot Jazz Jam night on Tue. BILTMORE CABARET 2755 Prince Edward, 604-676-0541. 2ALLIE X Aug 26 2MIDDLE KIDS Aug 31 BLUE MARTINI JAZZ CAFE 1516 Yew, 604-428-2691. Live jazz, soul, and blues. COBALT 917 Main, 778-918-3671. 2FRANKIE COSMOS Aug 24 2VERITE Sep 2 COMMODORE BALLROOM 868 Granville, 604-739-4550. 2DESCENDENTS Aug 24-25 2JEDI MIND TRICKS Aug 26 2CHARANGA HABANERA Aug 27
Hiring one full-time Cook
$17/hr, high school, speak basic English, several yrs. of cooking exp. Duties: Prepare & cook complete Thai meals or individual Thai dishes & foods, oversee kitchen operations, schedule, supervise & train kitchen staff, maintain inventory & records of food, supplies & equipment, plan menus, determine size of food portions, estimate food requirements & costs, clean kitchen & work area Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Baibua Thai Cuisine 1-2443 E Hastings St. Vancouver BC V5K 1Y8
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24THE PHONIX 27 25 CATS ONLY CLUB 31 TOY ZEBRA THURSDAY
LEGENDS VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL Music by Body Count, House of Pain, Magic!, Sloan, Five Alarm Funk, the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Delinquent Habits, Forgotten Rebels, Funkdoobiest, Mat the Alien, Kytami, Bend Sinister, Dayglo Abortions, the Gaff, Illvis Freshly, Caleb Hart and the Royal Youths, Power Clown, Antipolitic, Cocaine Moustache, Getaway Sticks, and Ganjo Bassman. Aug 23-27, Laketown Ranch Music and Recreation Park, Lake Cowichan. Tix $30-329, info www.legendsvalleymusicfestival.com/.
LAINE BUTLER, FIREWOOD POETRY, MOXSA, TUSK, MICHAEL RED FEATURING FLAVIO • DRINK SPECIALS DOORS 9PM SHOW 10PM
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MEDICAL CANNABIS The CannaMom Society of Canada
is a maternal medical cannabis organization licensed by The City of Vancouver for females & their families since 2014. Members include social workers, enforcement, infants, youth, and males. There are ways to use medical cannabis without smoking it or experiencing any psychoactive effect. You may book a consultation with one of our female cannabis consultants for any medical cannabis-related issue orinquiry by callingTOLL-FREE 1-877-355-3586 from anywhere in Canada. Online sessions: $35/30min, $55/hr. CANNAMOM.CA
NOTICES WITNESS NEEDED FOR HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
If you saw a taxi swerve into a bike lane causing a male bicyclist to swerve and hit a pole in the evening of July 28 or 29, 2017, at the intersection of West Pender and Beatty Street in Vancouver, please contact Michelle at 604-628-8955
FREE STUFF Wild Bee House Workshop In this free workshop we will learn about local native wild bees. Then we will build wild bee houses out of recycled materials. Feel free to bring your own empty tin cans or pop bottles. Workshop funded by Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants. Date: Aug 24. Time: 7-9pm. Location: Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, 2305 W. 7th Ave, Vancouver. Call/text 604-339-5696
RECORDING STUDIOS M R & D Studios Vancouver's most comfortable 2"-24 track, ADAT & ProTools HD. Mastering $55/hr eng, prod. & arranger incl. 604-421-2988
POP AND ROCK COVERS
SHAH DJ’S PRESENT
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TIME OUT MUSIC LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. We can’t guarantee inclusion, and we give priority to events taking place within one week of publication. 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.
Helmcken St. 778.886.3675 www.leelawadeethaispa.com
PLAYING 45’S ON THE PATIO CEASARS ON SPECIAL • 1-5PM
VOGUE THEATRE 918 Granville, 604-5691144. 2DEAD CROSS Aug 25
W/ DJ K-TEL
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For up-to-the-minute, searchable Music Time Out listings, visit
RICKSHAW THEATRE 254 E. Hastings, 604-681-8915. 2LAST PODCAST ON THE LEFT Aug 24 2DIAMOND HEAD AND THE AGONIST Aug 25 2GREEN JELLO Aug 26
OUT OF TOWN
don’t miss out! www.straight.com
SONREAL Canadian hip-hop artist performs on his One Long Dream Tour. Nov 10, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix on sale Aug 24, 10 am, $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
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AUGUST AUGUST24 24––31 31//2017 2017 THE THEGEORGIA GEORGIASTRAIGHT STRAIGHT 29
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savage love A few years ago, my dad was busted by the cops for using an online forum to solicit escorts. The arrest and infidelity destroyed his marriage to my mom. My brother and I were in our mid-teens at the time and were angry enough with him that we asked him to not seek custody. He obliged, and neither of us has seen him since. I miss my dad—or the man I thought he was. I know part of my anger comes from how badly he hurt my mom. As I mature, I’m wondering if I was unfair to my dad by cutting off all contact. I don’t think sex work is immoral. I don’t think people who see sex workers are bad. But because my dad was involved in this bust, and because I had to become aware of the double life he led, I felt uncomfortable around him. It doesn’t help that some of the girls were not much older than I was at the time. I think I’d like to get to know my dad again, but I’m not sure what kind of relationship I’m ready to have. He was a wonderful father—and on some level, I recognize I cut him off when he showed me he was human. How do I reach out to him?
father’s truths. That he failed as a husband and hurt your mom—with an assist from laws criminalizing sex work— is another of your father’s truths. You don’t say why your dad was seeking sex outside the marriage, PH, and I can’t imagine that was a conversation you wanted to have with your dad in your mid-teens—and it may not be one you ever want to have. But it’s possible your parents’ marriage was more complicated than you know. (“The victim of an affair is not always the victim of the marriage,” as Esther Perel says.) But you’re not an awful daughter for refusing to see your dad during a contentious, confusing, and most likely humiliating time. (I imagine there was press). As for how to reach out, I think email is the best way to reestablish contact after an estrangement. You can take your time crafting what you want to say, and your dad can take his time crafting a response. And you’ve already written a good opening line for your first email to your dad: “I’d like to get to know my dad again, but I’m not sure what kind of relationship > PLEASE HELP I’m ready to have. But I’d like to start talking—via email, for now.” Each of us is a writhing mass of conGive your mother a heads up, PH, so tradictions, PH. We all have public per- she doesn’t feel blindsided. Good luck. sonas and private personas, and there are always gaps between the two. And I’m a female masochist and super while those gaps, when exposed, can subby—I see nothing wrong with that. be mutually negating, that’s not always For the last couple of months, I’ve been the case. It is possible for someone to pursuing “death wish” fantasies. When be a good dad and a shitty husband. I start feeling low, I seek out guys on The good dad you knew your dad to hookup sites who are sadistic enough be? That wasn’t a lie. It was one of your that they might potentially help me
> BY DAN SAVAGE carry it out. I’ve even gone so far as to put together a “blackmail package” for them, in case they start feeling like I might tell on them. I honestly wouldn’t want anyone to get in trouble just because I’m not thinking right. My therapist knows about the masochist end of things, but I’m afraid to tell her this other part because I don’t want to be put on any crazy pills. Is there a way for me to switch my brain from thinking about this and somehow find my way back to normal BDSM or something else entirely without turning off my sexuality completely? > RATHER NOT SAY MY NAME
There are fantasies that are simply too dangerous to realize, RNSMN, even with a willing victim/sub and a reckless perp/Dom. And any person who pushes a woman’s “death wish” fantasy into potentially carrying-it-out territory deserves whatever trouble comes their way. Murder is wrong, even if the person wants it. And taking advantage of someone who isn’t in their right mind doesn’t magically make manslaughter not criminal—“blackmail package” or no “blackmail package”. You must open up to your therapist about the risks you’re taking, RNSMN. Some people with extreme and/or dangerous sexual obsessions have been successfully treated with talk therapy and low-dose antidepressants—meds, not “crazy pills”. A good therapist and/ or the right low-dose medication could help you find your way back to safer and saner BDSM practices without shutting off your sexuality completely.
I’m a woman
in my early 30s having sex with a guy in his early 20s. The sex is more than casual, and we really care about each other. My concern is this guy has some alt-right sympathies that reveal themselves in our political discussions. He’s a Trump guy but hesitates to admit it because he knows I’m anti-Trump. He shares memes created by Mike Cernovich and Milo Yiannopoulos; he gets his news from hard-right publications; and his sister and brother-in-law are Holocaust deniers. This concerns and confuses me because he’s such a sweet guy and, honestly, so goddamn good in bed. He might be the best lay I’ve ever had. I can’t reconcile these two sides of him, but I also can’t help trying to enlighten him a little bit. One of his best features is his open-mindedness. He’s read books and watched documentaries I’ve recommended. I feel a responsibility to this young, confused, and, frankly, not-too-bright person who’s surrounded by bad influences. I want to be understanding and gently guide him in a better direction, but sometimes his ignorance is aggravating. I can also sense that he’s beginning to feel a little judged, which can only make things worse. I keep thinking of your Campsite Rule, and I wonder at what point does one give up throwing logic and articles at someone who thought Hillary Clinton ran a child-sex ring out of a pizza parlour? Can I continue to have sex with someone who thinks the left is conspiring to turn everyone communist? > CONFLICTED LOVER
Don’t fuck Nazis. If someone you just met tells you they’re a Nazi, don’t fuck that Nazi. If you’re already fucking someone and they reveal themselves to be a Nazi, stop fucking that Nazi. If someone tells you they’re a Nazi and you fuck that Nazi anyway and keep fucking that Nazi because they’re good at sex (for a Nazi), your effort to “gently guide” that Nazi away from being a Nazi doesn’t make it okay for you to fuck that Nazi. Okay, okay: this guy might not be a Nazi at all—although it sure as fuck sounds like his family is, and they probably have more influence over him than you do. It’s possible this young, confused, and not-too-bright boy is merely a Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist and maybe I’m still too upset about Charlottesville to be impartial. Or, hey, maybe this guy is already a Nazi and hasn’t revealed the full extent of his odious political beliefs to you, CL, because the sex is good and he’s hoping to fuck the Nazi into you before you can fuck the Nazi out of him. Finally, good people don’t worry about making Nazis “feel judged”. Nazis should be judged—à la Judgment at Nuremberg, an old fi lm with a feel-good ending that’s worth watching right about now. Another thing good people don’t do? They don’t fuck Nazis. On the Lovecast , women in gay bars—we have a problem: savage lovecast.com . Email: mail@savage love.net . Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.org.
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