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STRAIGHT TALK

To curb the number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths, the Vancouver Police Department is taking a hands-off approach to the operators of pop-up injection sites in the Downtown Eastside. > BY TR AVIS LUPICK

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From handmade stockings to upcycledfabric dolls, festive gift ideas abound at Vancouver’s holiday craft markets. > BY LUCY L AU

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straight talk

COPS SAY INJECTION TENTS A HEALTH-CARE MATTER

In the rain last Saturday afternoon (November 27), a young First Nations man lay unconscious in a Downtown Eastside alley. The lower half of his body remained inside a tent that volunteers had pitched as an unsanctioned supervised-injection site. It’s one of two locations they’ve made available to drug users in response to the fentanyl crisis and an unprecedented number of drugoverdose deaths. “We gave the man four shots of naloxone, mouth-to-mouth, and [chest] compressions, and he came back,” recounted Laura Shaver, a volunteer with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) who was working at the tent that day. “Then the police officer walks up,” she continued. “And he starts interrogating me. Like, ‘Where do you live? What’s your name?...The guy is still on the ground, in the water, waiting for the ambulance. But the only police officer on-site is over here harassing me.” The first of two tents now operating seven days a week was pitched at 62 East Hastings on September 21. Since then, the group’s lead organizer, Sarah Blyth, estimates that they’ve used naloxone to reverse more than 200 overdoses that otherwise could have turned fatal. They’re operating outside the law, but the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is allowing the tents to function as supervised-injection sites and has not arrested anybody who has brought illegal drugs there. But the November 27 incident that Shaver described prompted Blyth to request a meeting with the VPD in the hope of ensuring that their tacit alliance holds. Interviewed shortly after that meeting, Blyth told the Straight she sympathized with the VPD. “It was just a stressful situation,” she explained. “They didn’t see that the person [Shaver] was a volunteer. They hadn’t called 911. So he [the officer] didn’t know what the situation was.” Blyth described the situation that frontline responders are dealing with as “completely unprecedented”. “In the past, you have one death or you have one overdose, and that is so traumatic that a frontline worker would just go home,” she said. “But now, it’s back to back to back, all day long.…So it’s very overwhelming for

Laura Shaver is concerned about police interactions with volunteers at Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users’ supervised-injection site tents. Travis Lupick photo. everybody, including police officers.” In the first 10 months of this year, 622 people died of an illicit-drug overdose in B.C. That’s up from 510 in all of 2015 and 370 the previous year. The dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl has been detected in about 60 percent of 2016 deaths. In a phone interview, VPD spokesperson Randy Fincham said police will not shut down the tents, as they are considered a matter for the health-care system and not an issue for law enforcement. “We haven’t been interfering with those tents in the Downtown Eastside,” he said. “Obviously, we do know they are there and we are monitoring them. But any decision as to whether they belong or where they don’t, we would leave that up to health officials.” > TRAVIS LUPICK

PROTESTERS CRASH PARK BOARD MEETING

The November 28 meeting of the park board was noisily interrupted when more than a dozen protesters voiced opposition to the Vancouver Aquarium for keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. “We ask you to immediately place a moratorium on the acquisition of any new cetaceans, move forward toward a full ban of keeping these intelligent and sensitive individuals, mandate that the Vancouver Aquarium is to become a facility that strictly only does rescue and rehabilitation without additional captive individuals performing shows, serving as exhibits or entertainment,” said the group’s leader, David Isbister.

Meanwhile, private security guards removed some demonstrators’ signs. The action was prompted by the recent deaths of two beluga whales. Since then, park board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung suggested Vancouver hold a public vote on cetacean captivity. She then started the city down that path by filing a notice of motion at the November 28 meeting. In a phone interview, Kirby-Yung said her goal is to put a “straightforward” question on the ballot for the civic election in November 2018. “The language I’ve used is to determine if Vancouver residents support keeping cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium,” she told the Straight. “It doesn’t talk about breeding or otherwise. It simply says if they support having them there or not having them there.” That was a policy shift for the member of the Non-Partisan Association, which has long maintained that the aquarium should run its operation without political interference. Kirby-Yung’s position as chair was previously held by Aaron Jasper, a member of the opposing Vision Vancouver civic party who tried to ban captive breeding at the aquarium. He criticized giving the organization so much time to campaign in favour of the status quo. “This park board shirks its responsibility by punting this down the road to a plebiscite,” Jasper said. “And a more cynical perspective is that it is actually a gift to the aquarium.” Kirby-Yung was vice president of marketing and communications for the aquarium from 2008 to 2010. > TRAVIS LUPICK

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The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 50 Number 2553 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 www.straight.com Phone: 604-730-7000 / Fax: 604-730-7010 / e-mail: gs.info@straight.com Display Advertising: 604-730-7020 / Fax: 604-730-7012 / e-mail: sales@straight.com Classifieds: 604-730-7060 / e-mail: classads@straight.com Subscriptions: 604-730-7000 Distribution: 604-730-7087 EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith SECTION EDITORS

Janet Smith (Arts/Fashion) Mike Usinger (Music) Steve Newton (Time Out) Adrian Mack (Movies) Brian Lynch (Books) EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATOR Doug Sarti ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Gail Johnson, John Lucas, Alexander Varty STAFF WRITERS

Tammy Kwan, Lucy Lau, Travis Lupick, Carlito Pablo, Amanda Siebert, Craig Takeuchi, Kate Wilson SENIOR EDITOR Martin Dunphy EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Jennie Ramstad PROOFREADER Pat Ryffranck CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Gregory Adams, Nathan Caddell, David Chau, Jack Christie, Jennifer Croll, Ken Eisner (Movies), George Fetherling, Tara Henley, Michael Hingston, Ng Weng Hoong, Alex Hudson, Kurtis Kolt,

Robin Laurence (Visual Arts), Mark Leiren-Young, John Lekich, Amy Lu, Bob Mackin, Michael Mann, Rose Marcus, Beth McArthur, Verne McDonald, Allan MacInnis, Guy MacPherson, Tony Montague, Kathleen Oliver, Ben Parfitt, Vivian Pencz, Bill Richardson, Gurpreet Singh, Jacqueline Turner, Andrea Warner, Jessica Werb, Stephen Wong, Alan Woo ART DEPARTMENT MANAGER

Janet McDonald SENIOR DESIGNER David Ko CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS

Alfonso Arnold, Rebecca Blissett, Trevor Brady, Louise Christie, Emily Cooper, Randall Cosco, Krystian Guevara, Evaan Kheraj, Kris Krug, Tracey Kusiewicz, Kevin Langdale, Shayne Letain, Matt Mignanelli, Mark “Atomos” Pilon, Carlo Ricci, William Ting, Alex Waterhouse-Hayward DIGITAL PRODUCT MANAGER

Chet Woodside LEAD WEB DEVELOPER Jeffrey Li WEB DEVELOPER Tina Luu WEB ADMINISTRATOR Miles Keir

PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR Mike Correia PRODUCTION

K.T. Dean, Sandra Oswald

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Jon Cranny, Lyndsey Krezanoski

DIRECTOR OF ARTS, ADVERTISING & MARKETING

Laura Moore SALES MANAGER Sharon Smith (On Leave) ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES

Steve Barmash, Glenn Cohen, Lauren Ellis, Robyn Marsh, David Pearlman, Patrick Ruel, Kathy Skelton

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The Georgia Straight is published every Thursday by the Vancouver Free Press Publishing SUBMISSIONS The Straight accepts no responsibility for, and will not Corp. Copies are distributed free every week throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, North necessarily respond to, any submitted materials. All submissions should be and West Vancouver, New Westminster, and Richmond. International Standard Serial addressed to contact@straight.com. Number ISSN 0709-8995. Subscription rates in Canada $182.00/52 issues (includes GST), $92.00/26 issues (includes GST); United States $379.00/52 issues, $205.00/ 26 issues; foreign $715.00/52 issues, $365.00/26 issues. Contact 604-730-7087 if you wish to distribute free copies of the Georgia Straight at your place of business. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Vancouver Free Press, Best Of Vancouver, BOV And Golden Plates Are Trade-Marks Of Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp.

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SUPPORT GROUPS Equal Parenting Group - North Vancouver Support group for fathers going through the divorce process needing help. Call 604-692-5613 Email:nspg@mybox.com

Anxiety? Depression? Free Mental Wellness Support Group held on Saturdays (10:30 am – 12:30) Promotes a holistic approach to healing (body, mind & spirit). Networking and interactive learning experience in a safe, non-judgmental environment. For more information call 604-630-6865 or visit www.mentalwellnessbc.ca ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION Looking to start a parent support group in Kitsilano. Please call Barbara 604 737 8337 Distress Line & Suicide Prevention Services NEED SOME ONE TO TALK TO? Call us for immediate, free, confidential and non-judgemental support, 24 hours a day, everyday. The Crisis Centre in Vancouver can help you cope more effectively with stressful situations. 604-872-3311 Join a FREE YWCA Single Mothers support group in your local community. Share information, experiences and resources. Child care is provided for a nominal fee. For information call 604-895-5789 or Email: smacdonald@ywcavan.org

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GEORGIA STRAIGHT STRAIGHT DECEMBER DECEMBER11––DECEMBER 8 / 2016 8 / 2016 8 THE GEORGIA

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) Do you have a problem with sex and love relationships. You are not alone. SLAA is a 12 Step 12 Tradition oriented fellowship for those who suffer from sex and love addiction. Leave a message on our phone line and somebody will call you back for meeting time and locations. 604 515-5423 Is your life affected by someone else's drug use? Nar-Anon Family Group Meeting Every Friday 7:30-9:00 pm at Barclay Manor, 1447 Barclay

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RECOVERY International FEAR? DEPRESSION? PANIC ATTACKS? Feelings that keep you from really living your life? A way out is where we come in. Weekly meetings. Call for info: 9am - 5pm Kathy 778-554-1026 www.recoverycanada.org The Compassionate Friends (TCF) Burnaby TCF is a grief support group for parents who have experienced the loss of a child, at any age. Meet the last Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. For location call Grace: 778-222-0446 "We Need Not Walk Alone" compassionatecircle@hotmail.com Burnaby@TCFCanada.net www.tcfcanada.net Healing Our Spirit B.C. First Nations AIDS Society has volunteer opportunities for hospital visitation, information booths, office assistance & preparation of pamphlets & condoms for distribution. We offer volunteer orientation, training & recognition & bus tickets. If interested, please call 983-8774 Ext. 13. We are dedicated to preventing and reducing the spread of HIV in the aboriginal communities of B.C.

IBD Support Group Suffer from Crohn's and ulcerative colitis? Living with IBD can often be overwhelming, but you're not alone! 3rd Wed of each month the GI Society holds a free IBD support group meeting for patients & their families to come together in an open, friendly environment. 7:00pm at RavenSong Community Health Centre (2450 Ontario St). or more information call 604-875-4875. Infertility Awareness Assoc. of Canada (IAAC) provides educational material & support to individuals or couples experiencing infertility. Meetings: 7 pm the 2nd Wed of the month. Richmond Library & Cultural Centre, 7700 Minoru Gate. Info 523-0074 or www.iaac.ca

MOOD DISORDERS

SUPPORT GROUPS We have peer-led support groups all over the Lower Mainland for people with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety led by well-trained facilitators. Group sessions during days, evenings, or Saturdays. For location and times of groups:

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Vancouver Society for Sexuality, Gender & Culture Educational group with monthly meetings are planned for: 1st Tuesday of each month, 6:30 PM 8:30 PM Vancouver Public Library - Firehall Branch 1455 W 10th Ave (by Granville St next to the Firehall) All are welcome, and we are looking for Board Members from the Health, Counseling, Education, and Business Professions Info: Michael or Darren: VSSGC@yahoogroups.ca

Fertility Support Group Discover new perspectives make positive changes and learn simple tools to take charge of your reproductive wellness while connecting with other women. The meetings provide a space for open discussion. 2nd Tuesday of each month 7:45 - 8:45pm (Sign up required) Reg & Info call: 604-266-6470 or www.familypassages.ca Healthy & loving relationships alluding you? CODA: Co-dependency Anonymous 12 step Recovery: 604- 515-5585

Parkinson Society BC

offers over 50 volunteer-led support groups throughout BC. These provide people with Parkinson's, their carepartners & families an opportunity to meet in a friendly, supportive setting with others who are experiencing similar difficulties. Some groups may offer exercise support. For information on locating a support group near you, please contact PSBC at 604 662 3240 or toll free 1 800 668 3330. LIVING THROUGH LOSS COUNSELLING facilitated support group for people who are grieving the death of a significant person. Monthly drop-in- last Wed of every month YLTLC #201 – 1847 W. Broadway Van. 604-873-5013 www.ltlc.bc.ca

Sex Addicts Anonymous

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GIFT GUIDE

Go sexy with Shunga Chocolate Body Paint from Womyns’ Ware and then monitor its effect on breathing patterns with a Bellabeat Leaf Fitness Tracker from Indigo.

A healthy collection of seasonal gift ideas

H

ere are a few suggestions to make the holidays holly, jolly, and healthy for the hale-and-hearty souls on your list.

Be sexy Santa with stocking stuffers like Shunga Chocolate Body Paint, a body cream that’s said to actually taste good ($18 for 3.5 ounces at Womyns’ Ware [896 Commercial Drive] ), or Honey Dust, CLASSY TRACKERS Fitbits are an edible dust made from honey that fantastic for tracking things like your you can sprinkle on your lover—it running pace and heart rate, but comes with honeysuckle powder ($35 they’re not exactly stylin’. Check out at the Art of Loving [369 West BroadBellabeat Leaf Fitness Trackers at In- way] ). If you’re ready to crank the digo (various locations). Made with a kink, consider some of the bestsellers wood housing and at Honey Gifts (3448 featuring a leaf Cambie Street and motif in silver 350 Water Street), ($159.95) or rose like Shibari Hemp Gail Johnson gold ($199.95), Bondage Rope ($22) the device monitors everything from or stainless-steel handcuffs in pink or daily steps taken and sleep quality black from Spartacus ($35). to breathing patterns and menstrual cycles, all while being a pretty piece of RUNNERS’ HIGH There’s a seemhardware that can be worn as a neck- ingly endless supply of gadgets and gear that every runner needs. lace, bracelet, or pin. Consider: the Armpocket Racer, a POSTWORKOUT PAMPERING You reflective arm band that lets jogcan’t go wrong with giving a spa treat- gers carry their phone, key, and ID ment, but massages are more appreci- ($35.99); the Classic two-litre Camelated by people who push their bodies bak, so you can hydrate without havto the max. Chi, the Spa at Shangri-La ing to carry a water bottle in your Hotel (1128 West Georgia Street) of- hand ($74.99); and the Yaktrax Run, fers luxurious all-inclusive suites with a traction device of spikes and steel their own fireplaces and private baths coils designed for use with running for treatments like Wushu massage shoes so you can keep training on ($225 for 90 minutes), which is in- those North Shore trails even when spired by Chinese martial arts. they’re snowy or icy ($44.99, at Running Room [various locations] ). SHAVASANA STUFF If you’d rather give your yoga-loving friend some- JUICY FRUIT A glass of brightly thing tangible, consider a theme gift: coloured, freshly pressed juice is a an Essential Studio Strap ($9) helps healthful way to start the day, and people settle into challenging poses; the range of juicers on the market Joy-A-Toes ($32.35), toe spread- is immense. If you’re in a position ers relax the feet and increase their to splurge, check out Breville’s Juice strength and flexibility; and a flower- Fountain Elite, a highly rated maprinted Lola cylindrical bolster fa- chine with an extra-wide feed tube, cilitates the opening of the chest ($75 which means you don’t have to slice from the Vancouver-based Halfmoon and dice your fruit and veggies before company [online at www.shophalf- tossing them in ($449.94 at Ming Wo [various locations] ). moon.com/] ). SEXUAL HEALING

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his holiday, why not distance yourself from the consumer craze that typically floods malls and big-box stores and give something with heart and history instead? That seems to be the trend hitting Vancouver, anyway, where dozens of craft markets are shining a spotlight on the city’s mind-blowing maker community. Ahead, find three B.C. artists to look for on the craft-fair circuit this December. Each specializes in arguably one of the season’s most festive mediums: felt. When it comes to the holidays, there are few things more merry or personal than a Christmas stocking. And textile designer Frances Dickinson ensures that no two are alike. “I just love the idea of it being a sort of mini art canvas,” she tells the Straight by phone, “where I can use all my sewing techniques and make each and every one special.” Since 2003, the Vancouver-born textile grad has run Frances Felt, where she crafts hand-felted scarves, shawls, and bags, as well as denim culottes, A-line skirts, and tops decorated with felt appliqués. It wasn’t until this year, however, that she began offering her handmade Christmas stockings. Sharing a ritual that she’s practised in her own family, Dickinson produces seasonal socks using elements like corduroy, vintage buttons, and ribbon. Felt poinsettias add storybook charm to a dark-wash denim stocking, for example, while jolly wreaths, button-nosed reindeer, and gingerbread men adorn others. Free-form embroidery illustrates antlers and snowflakes, and a combination of ribbons and fabrics decorated with

FRANCES FELT

doves, stripes, and plaid makes up the cuffs ($49 each). “I always feel that Christmas should be a hands-on, tradition-oriented time,” says Dickinson, “where you use your stocking year after year.” Next Saturday and Sunday (December 10 and 11) she’ll be at Shiny Fuzzy Muddy, a hip biannual market that she helped cofound in 2003, at Heritage Hall. Dickinson will also be offering on-site embroidery services there. FELTCANDY Take a peek at Alli Brumwell’s felt goods and you’ll notice one consistent theme: colour. Vivid blues, bold fuchsias, and electrifying violets swirl through her fuzzy nesting bowls, while sunshine yellow, Easter green, and pastel pink are splashed atop tea cozies and vases. “I find that when I look at colour, I can instantly be transported back to the emotion I had when I was a kid— when I first experienced that colour,” the artist and owner of Feltcandy says. “And it’s usually a positive emotion. So it inspires me to want to create something that will elicit that same response in other people.” Brumwell has been working with felt for nearly two decades now, fashioning an assortment of style and home objects from hand-felted and hand-dyed wool, in her Vancouver abode. With their energizing hues and whimsical shapes, Feltcandy’s toques and cross-body bags are fit for both tots and grownups, while her sophisticated dishes offer a handy place to store keys, loose change, and other easy-to-lose essentials. Brumwell loves the unpredictability of felting, which often results in unique textures and shade combinations—so much so that she doesn’t mind the time it takes one bit. “There’s a lot of labour involved but to me, it’s meditative,” she says. “I don’t look at it see next page


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Fait Pour Toi’s Anne-Marie Bélanger uses cotton Ts and jeans in all of her dolls; Frances Felt’s Frances Dickinson made unique Christmas stockings this year.

like an hourly-production thing.” In preparation for Make It! Vancouver, happening next Thursday to Sunday (December 8 to 11) at the PNE Forum, Brumwell has crafted a selection of pillows made from vintage wool blankets and hand-knit Aran sweaters ($125 each). The festive cushions are decked out with figures of star-topped evergreens. She’ll also have hand-felted bird ornaments (from $12) on hand, plus various storage bowls, canning jars, and vases (from $30) decorated with a traditional work-sock pattern that has been wildly popular with customers. “It’s a familiar thing that people recognize,” she says, “and then they see it with a new twist and they’re quite drawn to it.” FAIT POUR TOI For Anne-Marie

Bélanger a beat-up cotton T and a well-worn pair of jeans are more than just garments. They’re also the materials that make up her one-ofa-kind dolls. “I try to have, in every doll, at least one piece from someone else,” she says. Having inherited a love of crafting from her Québécois mother and grandmother—both of whom know their way around a spool and needle—Bélanger fell into toy-making when she stitched together a doll for a friend’s daughter upon moving to Vancouver in 2006.

STYLE

Comparing it to her more recent creations, the aspiring French teacher now describes that first plaything as “raggedy”. (“I would always end up with a crooked head, a wider head, or a longer arm,” she recalls with a laugh.) However, the adorable figure was enough to win friends over, and 10 years later, she continues to produce dolls under the name Fait Pour Toi. Treasured scarves, onesies, handkerchiefs, and other accessories and clothing items are transformed into snazzy dress shirts, stockings, and lacy headbands for her filles and garçons, or girl and boy dolls ($50 each). Antique buttons from Bélanger’s grandma complete many of the pintsized outfits. Felt—coloured in shades of red, brown, and even blue—is used for the hair, recycled-bottle polyester for the stuffing, and “super huggable” cotton for the skin, which comes in an inclusive range of hues. “So many times people say, ‘Oh, I had a pillowcase like this when I was a kid’ or ‘My grandma had curtains like that,’ ” Bélanger says of her vintage threads. For her third appearance at Got Craft?, taking place next Saturday and Sunday (December 10 and 11) at the Pipe Shop Building in North Van, Bélanger will be offering embroidery services for those who would like their dolls personalized. -

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HEAD START Claudia Schulz’s hats are made for the minimalist on your holiday list. Each coolly sculpted design is like a contemporary artwork. This season, the Berlin-born, Vancouver-based designer is showing Helga cap styles—sleek wool-felt numbers that mix a mod-Brit silhouette with playful earflaps and tassels. She’s also fashioned some new brimmed numbers: we love the Harlow, a felt bolero style. Prices range from $189 to $249, at the Shiny Fuzzy Muddy sale December 10 and 11 at Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street). > JANET SMITH RECYCLE, REVIVE, REPURPOSE Ever stumbled upon your pop’s old ties and wondered what it would take to don them in a more modern fashion? Enter Benjamin Bayle, a locally run company dedicated to repurposing retro designer ties from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. So how does one take paisley, floral, geometric, plaid, and polka-dotted neckties into the 21st century? Each tie is opened up, trimmed to modern standards, and resewn to create a statement piece. Ties range from $49 to $69 at Got Craft?, December 10 and 11 at the Pipe Shop Building (115 Victory Ship Way, North Van). > AMANDA SIEBERT

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DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 11


GIFT GUIDE

Yule Duel brings holiday cheer to Gastown > B Y C HA RL IE SM I TH

G

astown has a perfect antidote for those who are muttering the modernday equivalent of “Bah, humbug” at this time of year. All they need to do is head down to the cobblestone streets of the city’s oldest neighbourhood tonight (December 1) for the second annual Yule Duel. It will feature 22 choirs serenading the streets with carols to celebrate the holiday season—as well as competitive singing to wind up the evening in the main square where Powell, Water, and Carrall streets meet. Leanore Sali, executive director of the Gastown Business Improvement Association, told the Georgia Straight by phone that the fun begins at 6 p.m. and will continue until about 9 p.m. The Marcus Mosely Chorale

Choirs ranging from six to 60 members will be along Water Street east of Abbott Street and along parts of Carrall and Powell streets. A panel of nine judges—including Elektra Women’s Choir choral conductor Morna Edmundsont—will walk around the area before eventually selecting two finalists in three categories: best vocal, most creative, and best children’s choir. That’s when the duels begin, as the two choirs take to the main stage. There’s also a people’s choice award. Anyone who comes down to Gastown for the Yule Duel can buy a button for $5 and cast a ballot for their favourite choir. Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood will come alive with hordes of carollers. All the proceeds will go to May’s will perform on the main stage. and French carollers. There will also Place, which is a 10-bed hospice “Last year, it was absolutely amaz- be several children’s groups. operated by the Bloom Group at 333 ing,” she said. “It was totally magical.” “When they got to be up on the big Powell Street. According to Sali, last This year, there will be 22 partici- stage last year, they just sang their year’s Yule Duel raised $25,000 to pating choirs, including Venezuelan hearts out,” Sali recalled. $30,000. “Many of our businesses

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are donating their services and their time to the event,” she said. The resource-development and communications manager for the Bloom Group, Darius Maze, told the Straight by phone that May’s Place actually came about because of the AIDS crisis. “We have this history of working with the marginalized located in the Downtown Eastside.” Coincidentally, this year’s Yule Duel takes place on World AIDS Day. Maze explained that it costs about $33 a day, including medication, to take care of people who are spending their final days in the hospice. “A lot of the people who stay there wouldn’t be able to afford that minimal cost themselves, so we subsidize that,” he said. “So all the money from Yule Duel allows us to continue to operate the hospice and provide a service free of charge.” -

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Robertson goes on the record with Testimony > B Y A D RIAN MACK

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o what’s scarier? Having an ice pick waved under your throat by a notoriously sadistic mobster, getting chased out of Arkansas by racist cops during the height of segregation—or going on-stage with Bob Dylan in 1966? “Ha! It’s up there! I’d never seen anything like that before,” says Robbie Robertson of the tour that shook the world, when a hardscrabble rock ’n’ roll outfit from Canada called the Hawks hooked up with a speed-gobbling Bob Dylan and declared war on their audience. (“The emergence of a new species” is Robertson’s impression of the Mighty Zim at the time.) “I’d never seen people charging the stage with… ”—he pauses, and chuckles again— “venom coming out of their eyes. So angry! And they not only charged the stage—they got on the stage. I thought, ‘Ah! It’s a revolution! Okay! Then we’ll treat it as a revolution.’ ” Pondering that notorious chapter in the lives of both Dylan and the Band in his newly published memoir, Testimony, Robertson writes, “Either the audience was right or we were right.” History would determine the winner, and 50 years later, the man who composed “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “The Weight” (inspired, he reveals, by Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana, of all things) has set it all down in prose, from his upbringing divided between the Six Nations Reserve and Toronto—that’s where the surprisingly deep organized-crime connections come in, a career opportunity from the Jewish side of the family tree that Robertson didn’t pursue—to his last stand with his Band-mates at rock promoter Bill Graham’s Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco in 1976. Speaking of The Last Waltz, that star-studded affair pales beside the dizzying array of cameos crammed into Testimony’s breathless 500 pages. Inside the first four chapters, Robertson is taking advice on guitar tone from Buddy Holly, and he’s barely past adolescence by the time he’s watching a junk-sick Ray Charles try to record in New York. From there Robertson crosses paths with everyone from Ornette Coleman and the Beatles to Bobby Kennedy, Marlon Brando, and Salvador Dali (who pleads: “Play some good music, not that noise”). Jack Ruby even makes an appearance in this parade of major cultural figures from a legendary time, while an affair with Edie Sedgwick reminds us that there’s still some Band history left to pick over. Or maybe to adjust. “Well, there’s been so much written about the Band and about me and about Bob Dylan and about what

was happening in this journey, and so much of it is absolutely wrong and bullshit,” Robertson says, calling the Straight from Los Angeles. “I was there. These other people weren’t there, you know?” Robertson avoids citing the title of arguably the primary reader on the Band, published by a well-known British music journalist in 1993. “I didn’t get 20 pages into it. It was so wrong that it made me nauseous,” he says, adding that past attempts to work closely with other biographers were no more satisfactory. “Each time that I tried it, I had to walk away from it. I gave the money back. I just couldn’t tolerate them trying to find my voice,” Robertson explains. “Finally, a few years ago I just thought, ‘I can’t carry around all these stories anymore. It’s too heavy, it’s weighing me down, and I have to set them free.’ And so then I did and I thought, ‘Ah, you see? There! Now that’s honest. That’s truth. That’s what happened.’ ” Band fanatics will immediately note that Robertson’s truth differs in some significant and painful ways from Levon Helm’s, which was set out in the vocalist-drummer’s 1993 autobiography, This Wheel’s on Fire. Where Testimony shines is in Robertson’s vivid descriptions of the Hawks’ hard-up road years, of capers including revenge arson and a mercifully aborted armed robbery, and, best of all, of being holed up with Dylan and the boys in Woodstock in ’67, a period of near-supernatural creativity that produced The Basement Tapes and the Band’s Music From Big Pink. “A feeling of beautiful indulgence” is how Robertson describes it to the Straight. If it all comes with the niggling sense that giants of this magnitude have never roamed the Earth again, that popular music post Elvis, Dylan, and the Beatles has been a game of diminishing returns, Robertson offers: “Well, it’s all about a test of time. Some people might think quite differently about it. Some people might think, ‘What about Prince? What about Kurt Cobain?’ I dunno—it’s not for me to judge. I’m just here to do my own shit.” Fair enough; both on the phone and in the book, Robertson talks a lot about being “open” to what life has to offer, and it helps to make sense of a career that’s been marked by forward momentum, experimentation, and more than a few risks— including the monumental one he took with Dylan half a century ago. “Yeah. Yeah,” he snorts. “Open, but not stupid.” Robbie Robertson discusses Testimony at a Vancouver Writers Fest event at Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday (December 6).


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ouTube videos are great for home cooks seeking recipes and cooking tips, but there’s still nothing like ink on paper, a hold-in-your-hands cookbook with pages to flip through and photos to drool over. It’s also much easier to wrap a cookbook than a URL link. Here are a few must-finds for the foodie on your gift list.

SWEET TOOTH Know someone who loves making their own cookies, cakes, and pies? Make their holidays bright with Bake With Anna Olson: More Than 125 Simple, Scrumptious and Sensational Recipes to Make You a Better Baker. The Food Network celeb shares recipes for everything from low-fat granola bars that actually taste good to croquembouche (that grand tower of cream puffs) to THE BOMB Got more than one chocolate-mousse cups to opera torte. food-loving friend on your list? Pick up multiple copies of Anthony Bour- PLANT POWER Time-strapped dain’s Appetites: A Cookbook and vegetarians will love the fact that the you’re done. The charismatic rock dishes in Minimalist Baker’s Everyday star of the food and culinary-travel Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, worlds shares a few Easy and Delicious exotic recipes in Recipes require his latest (Budae 10 ingredients or Jjigae, or Korean Gail Johnson fewer or a single army stew; Szechuan Ma Po tripe and pork), but for bowl or pot, including corn-bread chili the most part he keeps it real with stuff potpies, cashew soba-noodle salad, he enjoys at home with his wife and Thai peanut burgers, and classic vegan daughter: po’ boys and other sand- lasagna. Made With Love: More Than wiches, black-bean soup, goulash, 100 Sweet and Savory Plant-Based Relasagna Bolognese, and chicken satay cipes for Every Moment in Life covers with “fake ass” spicy peanut sauce. everything from a tempeh Reuben and Provided your mom isn’t offended by vegan quiche to frozen chocolate cake F bombs and similar wording (“with- to salted-caramel cheesecake. in an hour of consumption, I’m shitting like a mink,” Bourdain says of the THAI DELIGHTS Never mind the nastily delicious Italian sausage-and- spectacular beaches and friendly pepper hero sandwiches you can find people: a trip to Thailand is worth on the streets of New York, the chef it for the food alone, and anyone sharing a recipe to be prepared in the you’re buying for would flip for presumably more hygienic confines Pailin Chongchitnant’s Hot Thai of your own kitchen), this hardcover Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine beauty is a cookbook collector’s score. With Authentic Recipes to Make at Home. With fascinating content to LOCAVORES’ PICK British Col- help you understand the country’s umbia From Scratch: Recipes for culinary styles, techniques, and Every Season is a celebration of the traditions as well as info on how astounding bounty this province of- to make any Thai dish vegetarian fers. Chef Denise Marchessault and or vegan, the book features recipes photographer Caroline West ex- ranging from tamarind shrimp to plored B.C. to come up with a collec- massaman curry with lamb shoultion of solid, wholesome, and mostly der to lemongrass soup with shrimp simple recipes made with fresh, local and young coconut. ingredients. Spot prawns in lemon and herb butter, asparagus soup, TRADE SECRETS There’s a reapoached halibut in a light broth, son Earls is so successful after 35 smoked duck with autumn salad, years in business, and with Earls and salmon rillettes are just a few. the Cookbook: Eat a Little. Eat a Standout dessert recipes include cu- Lot. 110 of Your Favourite Recipes, cumber sorbet, strawberry ice cream, fans of classic dishes like Hunan chocolate-hazelnut tarts, cranberry Kung Pao chicken, potato skins, and maple-glazed salmon can whip meringue, and fall apple tart.

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them up at home. Remember the mocha-Kahlua pie? There’s a recipe for that, too. CinCin: Wood-Fired Cucina came out this year in celebration of that restaurant’s 25th anniversary, the book featuring recipes for such elegant dishes as Haida Gwaii halibut with crosnes, sunchokes, and Brussels-sprout leaves; chicken-liver pâté with prosciutto di Parma and pickled Romanesco; and rhubarb-and-ginger cannoli. Gordon Ramsay once called Whistler’s Araxi Restaurant and Oyster Bar the best in Canada, and Araxi: Roots to Shoots, Farm Fresh Recipes is a reminder why. Here are recipes for standout dishes like chorizocrusted lingcod with tomato fondue, whole wild salmon baked in a salt crust, and slow-cooked beef cheeks in port wine. Vij’s Indian: Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes, by Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij, features dishes, many of them vegetarian, that the two offer at their restaurants and that they regularly eat at home. These include Bengali-style black-bean-and-corn curry, lentil-and-basmati-rice pilaf with fried eggs, and steamed arctic char with cauliflower curry. HEALTHY EATING For the health-

conscious food lover on your list, consider Amelia Freer’s Cook. Nourish. Glow.: 120 Recipes That Will Help You Lose Weight, Look Younger, and Feel Healthier. She’s a best-selling nutritional therapist whose clients include Sam Smith and James Corden, and her book features recipes for wholesome dishes like roasted peppers with baked eggs, Boy George’s raw soup, and grilled sardines and tomatoes with a crunchy herb dressing. Registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom and culinary instructor Nettie Cronish zero in on the health benefits of legumes in Nourish: Whole Food Recipes Featuring Seeds, Nuts & Beans. They prove those ingredients are delicious, too, when used in dishes like cod-andwhite-bean chowder, underground stew (with root vegetables), Moroccan chicken and pistachio-studded quinoa, and more. -

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DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15


GIFT GUIDE THE OPEN

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Beer cheer for the holidays Just in case it’s not clear, this is for the beer drinker on your list who is black at heart—but hopefully not as darkhearted as that guy Jon Stewart once called “the first openly asshole president” of the United States.

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SEASON PASS The artwork on Tree

Consider sampler packs as gifts for beer lovers. Valentyn Volkov photo.

IPA, and 100th Meridian Lager) and two seasonals (the German-style rye ale Schleimhammer Roggenbier and Bob’s Bearded Red ale). Lucky for you, Mill St.’s Winter Sampler is being made available across Canada for the first time ever this year. If you’ve always been curious about how the rest of your countrymen survive Old Man Winter’s yearly visit, now’s your WINTERLUDE PACK Bowen Island Brewing could arguably be a little chance to find out. more festive in both the packaging and CARTON OF COAL Don’t let the the contents of its Winterlude sampler. name mislead you—as much as a car- There’s nary a snow-dusted tree or froton of coal is what Donald Trump’s zen pond to be found on the box; look probably getting for Christmas this closely, though, and you’ll see ski gogyear, Howe Sound Brewing’s sampler gles and part of a purple tuque. Conis for those firmly ensconced on the tentswise, look for reliable favourites nice list. Instead of a box of Victorian like Artisan IPA, Snug Cove ESB, Deep England’s favourite fossil fuel, you get 6 Lager, and Twisted Trail Extra Pale a selection of the Squamish-based craft Ale. None of them particularly scream brewery’s dark-end-of-the-scale offer- “Christmas”, but that’s perfectly okay. ings. So skip supper and instead crack After 24 straight days of drinking open a bottle of oak-aged Wee Beastie heavier-than-bricks brews like PortScotch Ale, or hold on to the furniture side Brewery’s Yule Shoot Your Rye and try your luck with the ominously Out and Butcher and the Brewer’s named Megadestroyer Imperial Lico- Spice, Spice Baby, sometimes you just rice Stout. You can also relive mem- want to sit by the fire with something ories of what the Sea-to-Sky Highway that’s a little less outside-the-box, no was like before its fancy 2010 Olympics matter how beautifully wrapped that overhaul with the Pothole Filler Stout. box happened to be. -

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16 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016

Brewing Co.’s Season Pass is enough to get you right into the spirit of Xmas, with the Puck Drop Pilsner illustration depicting old-timey hockey players playing shinny on an outdoor pond, and Yard Sale Pale Ale showing a skier on his postcrash rump in a snowbank. Bringing back memories of lost weekends at Big White, the Bluebird Lager features an illustration of a snowboarder on a sunlit run that looks gloriously deserted, while snowshoers step up to star in the art for Backcountry Nut Brown Ale. Each sampler comes with 12 cans. For the skis, snowshoes, hockey skates, and snowboards required to bring each panel on Tree Brewing’s Season Pass to life, you will unfortunately have to make the trek to Sport Chek.


GIFT GUIDE

From books to bottles: gifts for wine lovers

A

s I was researching great gifts for wine enthusiasts, I’d pretty much assembled things I’d love to receive myself. I guess that, yes, wine fans would truly enjoy receiving the following holiday cheer, ’cause you’re reading the words of one right now.

varieties to how our hydration level affects the astringency of wine on the palate. All of this is woven together in a fresh examination of our relationship with the good stuff.

a book written by a wine lover for wine lovers.” Perusing the pages certainly transports the reader to wine country, and any book that does that is worth curling up with over a couple of rainy or snowy days. With a glass of wine, of course. Always with a glass of wine.

VOLCANIC WINES: SALT, GRIT AND POWER, by John Szabo.

Whether or not one knows much about wine, I think the cool factor of wine made from grapes grown on the Let’s start out with a book for the geek- slopes of active or dormant volcanoes iest of wine geeks on your list, those is pretty obvious, yeah? In his latest who are sponges for knowledge and book, Toronto-based John Szabo, MS fascinated by every unique aspect (Canada’s first master sommelier), covof wine. Jamie Goode, the London- ers a category of wine of which he has based, globally respected wine writer long been a fan. Whether we’re talkand speaker, looks ing about the wines at wine through a made from inscientific and acadigenous grapes demic lens in his of Mount Etna in Kurtis Kolt latest book. There Sicily or the Caberare, of course, many ways we examine, net Sauvignons and Syrahs grown in enjoy, and articulate the flavour and the Red Mountain AVA (American style of various wines, and he delves viticultural area) just south of us in deep into many of the components Washington state, there’s an obvious that affect our senses as we taste. How fascination here. The jury is still out we perceive a wine is the result of num- on many aspects of planting vines on erous factors, from the power of sug- volcanic soils: how they drain, how the gestion (“Do you get notes of Granny biological composition of the soil afSmith apples in this one?”) to personal fects ripening, and the long-term busihistory and opinion of certain grape ness aspect of knowingly planting in I TASTE RED: THE SCIENCE OF TASTING WINE, by Jamie Goode.

The Bottle

Master sommelier John Szabo shares his expertise in Volcanic Wines.

an area prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity. Szabo travels the world, talking to winemakers, growers, and more, presenting his findings with wide-eyed curiosity and some stunning photography, too. Although the subject is somewhat niche, as with Jamie Goode’s I Taste Red (noted above), it’s simply another lens through which to look when reading about wine. You needn’t don a tweed jacket and bifocals to crack it. “When it comes right down to it,” Szabo told me by phone, “this is

RIEDEL GLASSWARE (www.riedel canada.ca/ and local retail stores) The glassware manufacturer is known for its varietal-specific series of wineglasses, an assortment of shapes ideally suited for expressing the character of several grape varieties (balloon-shaped Pinot Noir glasses versus narrow, taller Riesling glasses, for example). Due to space and budget constraints, I’ve always been a fan of the simple 12-pack it offers: four glasses for white wines, four larger ones for red wines, and four that are taller and slimmer for sparkling. Those, or even their “O”-series stemless glasses, do the trick just fine and look mighty smart on the table. No matter the shape or style, the glasses offer enough room for a good swirl and for you to get your nose in there. If those you’re shopping for don’t have decent glassware, they’ll be stoked to receive any of these, and for those who like to keep some on hand, I can

almost guarantee extras are always appreciated because of that whole thing of drinking plenty of wine (occasionally a bit more than intended) and floors being hard surfaces. I usually get mine at Welk’s on Main Street; they almost always have some sort of deal or discount happening. PIERRE PAILLARD LES PARCELLES BOUZY GRAND CRU NV

(Champagne, France; $119.99/1.5 litre, B.C. Liquor Stores) Any wine lover you know will be happy to receive Champagne for Christmas (or their birthday, or on a Wednesday), and there are many reasons this should be the one for them. This is a grower’s Champagne from grand cru parcels of land, farmed and crafted by the Paillard family, who have been doing this since 1768. Second, it’s an incredibly toasty, citrusy, nougaty, and delicious blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. And third, this is a killer deal, particularly because it’s a 1.5-litre magnum, twice the size of a regular bottle. It doesn’t get much more fun than that. Now all that has to happen is for someone to please forward this column to my wife… -

The holiday season just got a little more enjoyable… Warm up this season with a Legacy gift basket, customized to suit all holiday desires.

WITH COMPLIMENTARY TASTINGS 7 DAYS A WEEK DURING DECEMBER. HOLIDAY HOURS DECEMBER 21-24 | 9AM-11PM DECEMBER 25 | 11AM-7PM JANUARY 1 | 11AM-7PM MAKING ENTERTAINING AND GIFT-GIVING EASY

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FINAL WEEK OF FALL FOR ARTS 2016!

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18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016


ARTS

Creeps is legendary BY JANET SM IT H

in Canadian theatre. The raw, subversive little play upended both people’s notions of disability and the stage scene itself when it debuted in 1971. As Rena Cohen, managing artistic director of Vancouver’s Realwheels Theatre, puts it: “If you were to ask Canadian theatre artists which play changed theatre forever, they would tell you David E. Freeman’s Creeps.” Freeman, who lived with cerebral palsy, wrote the savagely funny play on a typewriter he operated with a stick held between his teeth. Factory Theatre premiered it, and soon after, it became the first play ever performed by Toronto’s iconic Tarragon Theatre, with a young John Candy starring in one of the roles. Creeps takes viewers into the world of the sheltered workshop—a term that’s largely fallen out of favour today, referring to a supervised workplace for people living with disabilities. Four men who work there stage a revolt against their treatment and the mundane tasks they have to endure, venting their rage and barricading themselves in the bathroom. The language is raw and uncensored. Those words reveal the characters as real, flawed people who abhor pity. And it gives a rare glimpse into the lives of people living with disabilities in the ’70s. Freeman himself had lived in one of these sheltered workshops and saw that people were spending their entire adult lives doing menial tasks for a pittance. At the same time that it took a bold political stance, Creeps gave a strong, subversive new voice to Canadian theatre, which was just starting to find its own identity and to free itself from British tradition. A lot has changed since then. And that’s part of the reason why Cohen and her team have decided not to update anything about Freeman’s work. “When we started to look closer at the play we saw elements very much situated in the time

Going deep with Creeps

Aaron Roderick (left) and Adam Grant Warren star in Creeps, in which several men with cerebral palsy revolt against the institution where they work. Tim Matheson photo.

actually live with cerebral “We’ve come a long way. But if you talk to palsy—a condition that anyone who works with the disability comcan take many forms— munity, there’s still a long way to go.” coming in to advise the You need look no farther than the theatre scene, The play that shocked and provoked a nation returns more cast on how to realistic- where Realwheels is attempting to effect change than four decades later with an integrated cast bent on truth ally move and speak. but still doesn’t see many members of the disability The production has also community appearing in shows. Recently, the comof the play—aspects that would be considered of- brought in movement coaches to make sure the pany tried to help by doing an inventory and anfensive today,” explains Cohen, who’s working as performers don’t injure themselves in the process. alysis of accessibility in local cultural facilities—not producer and dramaturge for the play. “We’re not To help accommodate the actors’ varying lev- just for patrons but for artists, Cohen says. trying to change the time period or modernize it. els of stamina, the production also has gotten “Now there is a greater awareness, and at some We invited other folks who might be specifically a concession from Equity to spread rehearsals theatre institutions, the infrastructure is better,” offended by the subject matter, and their response across six weeks at four hours a day, instead she says, but adds: “Keeping disability on the was that what we had was this great play and we of the usual eight-hour days across table for the diversity conversation has should honour the play the way it was written. three tight weeks. “Almost every time been a challenge.” “It’s rooted in the 1970s—there’s casual mis- an accommodation is made for disCheck out… So the question remains: does Creeps STRAIGHT.COM ogyny that runs through the play, racist com- ability, everybody benefits,” Cohen still hold the ability to shock audiences, Visit our website ments, and casual homophobia. We’re not holding observes. “Actors generally have even in 2016? Cohen recounts that a few for morning-after up the play as a model for human behaviour.” more time to have an idea explored visitors to a recent rehearsal were definreviews and local Realwheels, a company devoted to deepening and tested and to gestate.” itely startled by at least one strong scene. arts news its audiences’ understanding of disability, is staThat’s been especially important “I’m aware of other academic instiging Creeps with a fully integrated cast. And it with a show this provocative and poltutions and venues that have considered says something that, 45 years after Creeps rocked itical. It’s a chance to dig into a historical doing Creeps but got too scared,” she adds. the theatre world, this is the first time the play period when, perhaps with the best intentions, “But why are we doing this if we’re not prepared has been staged with that mix of pro actors, some society placed daunting limitations on the em- to take artistic risks? What feels true? What from the disability community and some not. ployment of people with disabilities. But Real- doesn’t feel true? And what do we still need to “Realwheels has also gone to great lengths to wheels also wants to provoke questions about address as a society?” make sure prior to rehearsals and during rehearsal how far we’ve come and how much farther we that we have people living with disability to give us need to go. On the employment front for people Realwheels Theatre presents Creeps at the feedback on the actors’ choices,” Cohen explains. with disabilities, there’s no question progress Cultch’s Historic Theatre from Thursday (Decem“We’ve asked them, ‘Is this authentic? Is any of this has been made, Cohen points out. “The pro- ber 1) to December 10. Two-for-one admission offensive to you?’ We’ve really pushed ourselves to grams in B.C. now focus on what a person can for the International Day of Persons With Disdeliver an authentic production of the play.” do and not what they can’t do. It’s much more ability on Saturday (December 3); ASL and audio description on Sunday (December 4). That push for truth has involved people who person-focused,” she says.

THINGS TO DO

ARTS High five

Editor’s choice STELLAR STELLING She is simply the Beth. That’s the name of her second (and better, according to her bio) album. But she’s got a last name, too, and it’s telling: Stelling. The Chicago native was named best standup in the Windy City in 2010 and has gone on to perform everywhere with everyone (give or take). A great combination of joke-writing and storytelling, Stelling’s act was overshadowed last year when she went public with allegations of abuse against her ex-boyfriend. But with that ugliness in the past, we can get back to the laughter. Stelling makes her Vancouver debut headlining the Comedy MIX. Should be a stellar show, with Kevin Banner hosting and Gavin Matts middling. Beth Stelling is at the Comedy MIX from Thursday to Saturday (December 1 to 3).

Five events you just can’t miss this week

1

EAST VAN PANTO: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (To December 31 at the York Theatre) A loonie must-see for anyone who lives east of Main.

2

YULE DUEL (December 1 along Water Street in Gastown) Twenty of our top local choirs carol in their own style.

3

HANSEL AND GRETEL (To December 11 at the Vancouver Playhouse) Opera made familyfriendly and surreal with strange puppetry.

4

JOYCE DIDONATO (November 30 at the Orpheum) Could be the classical-music event of the year; she left audiences sobbing in Europe.

5

VANCOUVER SPECIAL (December 1 to April 17 at the Vancouver Art Gallery) A definitive survey of contemporary art in this city—right here and now.

In the news

LAUGH LINEUP The JFL NorthWest comedy fest has just announced its lineup of laugh-getters for 2017, and it includes big names like The Daily Show star Trevor Noah and author, actor, and comedian Sarah Silverman (shown here). Between February 16 and 25, more than 20 standup, sketch, and improv shows will be presented at various venues throughout the city. Standup stars include Iliza, Tom Segura, Chris D’Elia, Brian Posehn, Jon Dore, Nate Bargatze, K. Trevor Wilson, and Barry Crimmins. Other, more offbeat draws include Feral Audio’s true-crime podcasters My Favorite Murder, dragon-suited YouTube nut Piff the Magic Dragon, and joystick addicts Game Grumps Live!. Find the full sched at www.jflnorthwest.com/. DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19


ARTS

SantaLand has holiday bite > B Y JA NE T S M ITH

D

PUSH PASSES & TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

ecember is just beginning, so maybe it hasn’t set in yet. But at some point this month, chances are you are going to hear one too many mall Christmas carols, max out on holiday reruns on TV, and feel like you’re seeing spots from all the blinking light displays. Enter Crumpet, the razor-tongued department-store elf—the sarcastic character in the candy-striped tights who’s at the centre of SantaLand Diaries. “I’m calling this emotional insulin for the Christmas saccharine,” quips Bill Allman, who’s codirecting the show with Alan Marriott. Marriott also takes on the role of the wickedly funny elf—and about a dozen other characters the script calls for. The comedy has its roots in an essay by writer David Sedaris, based on his true experiences working as an elf at Macy’s one Christmas to make ends meet. Joe Montello adapted his acerbic observations into a one-act play. As for the idea to mount the show here, at North Van’s Presentation House Theatre, it had its origins when Allman and wife Kathleen Gibbs attended Sedaris’s packed appearance at the Vogue Theatre in May. The Famous Artists Limited cofounder saw the author’s big following and was familiar with the seasonal play. He and his company were also looking to change up from the tradition of staging Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen at this time of year. And then there were Allman’s own fond associations with mall Santa displays. He and Gibbs both grew up a few minutes away from Oakridge Mall and fondly remember visiting the old Santa and his reindeer there each Christmas. This was a way to summon all those memories again— while seeing them from a different perspective, of course.

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Sandra-Mae Luykx joins Alan Marriott, turning The SantaLand Diaries into a two-hander with music. Jeffrey Gibbs photo.

“The fact is we all need a little Christmas spirit,” Allman says. “It’s that the holiday is not just for kids. And there’s an angle to SantaLand Diaries that often gets missed: the reflective ‘I may seem like a bad persona but I’m actually not.’ Between the sarcasm, he’s a frustrated optimist; David Sedaris is the quintessential good human being, with a nasty tongue! I don’t want to spoil it, but there are a few parts in the show that are reflective on the way we relate to the holidays in general. “So it’s not Bad Santa, but it’s not Charlie Brown,” he summarizes with a laugh. The other key to putting the show together was finding an actor who could carry multiple roles. Enter Grand Theft Impro’s Marriott, who’s played an elf in Famous Artists’ Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen for a few years, even leading a rollicking, ABBA–inspired “Dancing Queen of the Sugar Plum Fairies” at one point in that show. “He has 25 years in London. He’s the real deal—and this is his third year as an elf,” Allman says, adding Marriott

WITH THE VSO

SantaLand Diaries is at Presentation House Theatre from December 8 to 17.

utstanding Production” “An O

A TRADITIONAL

CHRISTMAS

is well-suited to pulling off the various characters, from naughty kids to the Man in Red himself: “He does a thousand voices, with a lot of animation and commercial voice-overs.” In a fresh twist, the production has also added another player: vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sandra-Mae Luykx, who brings a new dimension to the normally single-handed holiday show. “There are a number of places that lend themselves to carols or a little Manhattan jazz,” Allman explains. “I’d seen it before as a pure one-man show, but I said, ‘There’s a whole other level we can explore here as well.’ ” Expect the multitasking Luykx to appear as a hysterical mother, a little girl, and a few other characters, as well as pull out two types of sax, keyboards, guitar, and percussion. In all, staging SantaLand seems to have filled its creative team with warmth and joy—without the saccharine aftertaste, of course. -

– THE VANCOUVER SUN

GOHNUTCRACKER.COM

William Rowson conductor Christopher Gaze host UBC Opera Ensemble EnChor

WILLIAM ROWSON

It is the Holiday music tradition: The VSO’s Traditional Christmas concerts, featuring the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performing beautiful Christmas classics and carols, and host Christopher Gaze, EnChor, the UBC Opera Ensemble, and the VSO’s Assistant Conductor, William Rowson.

SWEET SEATS FROM

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ST. ANDREW’S-WESLEY CHURCH, VANCOUVER Thursday, December 8 at 7:30 pm Friday, December 9 at 4 pm & 7:30 pm Saturday, December 10 at 4 pm & 7:30 pm Sunday, December 11 at 7:30 pm

SOUTH DELTA BAPTIST CHURCH, DELTA Wednesday, December 14 at 7:30 pm CHRISTOPHER GAZE

BELL PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE, SURREY Thursday, December 15 at 4:30 pm & 8 pm

CENTENNIAL THEATRE, NORTH VANCOUVER Friday, December 16 at 4 pm & 7:30 pm

KAY MEEK CENTRE, WEST VANCOUVER

DECEMBER 15–20 PRINCIPAL DANCERS from the NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA LIVE MUSIC performed by THE VANCOUVER OPERA ORCHESTRA

THE CENTRE IN VANCOUVER. 777 HOMER ST.

Saturday, December 17 at 4 pm & 7:30 pm

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MICHAEL J. FOX THEATRE, BURNABY Sunday, December 18 at 4 pm & 7:30 pm @VSOrchestra

TICKETS:

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20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016

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DECEMBER 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21


22 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8 / 2016


ARTS

Ballet BC presents

Nutcracker Royal Winnipeg Ballet Dec 8 9 10 7:30pm Dec 10 11 2:00pm

Company 605 throws its two dancers into nonstop motion and contact in Albatross, a piece inspired by a Renaissance painting. David Cooper photo.

Albatross pushes the bounds of partnering > BY JA NET SM IT H

C

Jauregui explains on a break. “I always try to find a concrete thing to work from, like a painting or a book. And the more concrete it is, then all the things in my head are able to materialize. It allows me to go deep in the work, using it as a starting point. “It’s not a literal representation of it, clearly not,” he stresses, “but I felt an attraction to this painting; it was like there was a secret hidden inside it.” Jauregui describes this dance work, called Albatross, as prying open the world of the painting and expanding it into an hour of movement. “It’s like a moment of suspension,” he says. “There are a lot of layers to this painting, a lot of emotion and gesture, and there are a lot of doors that open when you do this. That’s why it’s so possible to go inside and suspend it.” The intensity of the action is somehow emphasized by the silence: Jauregui prefers to work without mirrors and without music, though Stefan Smulovitz will be creating an atmospheric score for Albatross. “For me, the music is not something that decorates the movement or just paints the space, but something that has its own voice,” Jauregui explains. “I also work in silence because it pushes you to find the inner tension and inner rhythm that can hold by itself. So you don’t need the music or the light to hold the scene.” That inner tension is evident as Martin and Maxwell meticulously work to find ways to hurtle and fall and twist while staying entangled. It looks difficult and complex, and Martin says, still breathing hard at the break, “It’s hard, but only because we’re not used to it.” And then he adds: “That’s why we brought German here to do it.” And with that, it’s clear again that 605, whether it’s working in groups or pairs, is always up for new challenges. We’ll see what that looks like this spring, when it debuts its own choreography with Ballet BC for the first time—probably back in group form again. But for now, the troupe is happy to have Jauregui helping them push what two can do. -

ompany 605 is not known for duets. Since exploding on the local scene in 2006, the troupe formerly known as 605 Collective has made its name mostly for hyperathletic pieces that explore group dynamics. In Vital Few, that meant six dancers joining as a single moving organism. In Audible, modern communication became brutal contact sport. In New Animal, social interaction unleashed its inner beast. That may be why, on this day in the Scotiabank Dance Centre rehearsal studio, the partnering of Josh Martin and Hilary Maxwell looks so little like any pas de deux you’ve ever seen. A game of contact improvisation taken to physical extremes, the piece throws them into perpetual motion and continuous contact. Like a living, breathing crash course on the physics of momentum, they hurl each other around the floor, never losing touch. They seem to always be falling but never fully succumbing to the ground, pushing each other up for another round. The challenge is not so much the tumbling and force—Company 605 members are used to that—but doing it all while so intrinsically linked. The person taking them into this new territory is choreographer German Jauregui, a Belgian dance maverick, originally from Bilbao and a long-time member of Brussels troupe Ultima Vez. Company 605 met the innovator at Vienna’s ImPulsTanz contemporary-dance festival and, always keen to collaborate with new voices, brought him here to create a duet using his distinctive partnering style. Though it was clear from the outset, Jauregui says, that this would be a duet playing with the physical language of contact, his inspiration for the piece was a painting. And knowing which one gives the movement on display here a rich new dimension: Masaccio’s Renaissance fresco The Expulsion From Paradise, in which Adam and Eve fall from grace, an angel expelling them from the Garden of Eden as they Company 605’s Albatross is at the Fireshudder in grief and shame. “I don’t start with a physical idea; hall Arts Centre next Wednesday to the painting was a real starting point,” Saturday (December 7 to 10).

Choreography Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon Music Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Queen Elizabeth Theatre balletbc.com | ticketmaster.ca MEDIA PARTNER

SUPPORT FOR BALLET BC HAS BEEN GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY

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FOUR SEASONS FRIDAY & SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 & 17

8PM, CHAN CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, UBC Mark Fewer leader/violin Roger Cole oboe* BIBER Battalia BACH Concerto in C minor for Violin and Oboe* VIVALDI Il grosso Mogul (Concerto in D Major for Violin and Strings) VIVALDI The Four Seasons The VSO’s annual presentation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at the Chan Centre. Former VSO Concertmaster Mark Fewer returns to perform Vivaldi’s timeless classic, in one of Vancouver’s most enduring and beloved music traditions.

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DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 23


ARTS

East Van Panto finds fresh new fun in ’hood TH E AT R E EAST VAN PANTO: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD By Mark Chavez. Directed by Anita Rochon. Musical direction by Veda Hille. A Theatre Replacement production, presented by the Cultch. At the York Theatre on Friday, November 25. Continues until December 31

Thank you, Theatre Replacement

2 and the Cultch, for giving East

Vancouver families a holiday tradition that joyously skewers convention. This fourth installment, Little Red Riding Hood, has a little more polish and a little less chaos, but it’s as fresh, irreverent, and fun as its predecessors. Musical director Veda Hille is back with her reliably witty reworkings of pop classics; as in the past, her contributions are some of the show’s highlights. New to the creative team this year are playwright Mark Chavez and director Anita Rochon. In this version of the tale, Grandma’s house is in the Woodward’s building and the forest is the Adanac bike route. When her two helicopter dads accidentally leave Little Red at home alone, she heads off to Grandma’s house, but en route, she meets the Big Bad Wolf. Chavez’s script includes a few references to local politics, not all of which land, but the strength of his comedy is its absurdity, rooted in West Coast sensibilities. The Wolf explains his huffing and puffing, for example, as “conscious breathing”. After her bike wheel is stolen, Red takes a paper clip and makes a series of trades that eventually nets her the Gastown Steam Clock. And there are plenty of fart jokes for the kids. Rochon’s staging is equally inventive. As Red rides her bike, actors hold up little paintings of the houses and East Van landmarks she passes

East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood takes on that oh-so-Vancouver passion for bicycling. Emily Cooper photo.

(the exquisitely colourful work of scenic illustrator Laura Zerebeski). A scene of the Wolf chasing Grandma takes place in the dark, with nothing visible but two pairs of glowing eyes moving around the stage. With the exception of an overly long playwithin-the-play late in the second act, the pacing is crisp. Everyone in the cast is terrific. Rachel Aberle combines pluck and innocence as Red; she’s playfully responsive to the audience, and she sings beautifully. Playing the Wolf, a bike cop, and an orange-prisonjumpsuited “Holiday Claus” who works up the audience at the top of each act, Andrew McNee is a hoot. As the Wolf’s hostage, a pig named Owen, Chirag Naik delivers a knockout chorus of “Don’t Squeal

Out Loud”. And James Long has great fun as both randy Grandma Roxy and a hyper–PC gay dad. In a variety of supporting roles, three Studio 58 students—Elizabeth Barrett, Mason Temple, and Stephanie Wong—sing and dance like pros and wear a parade of outrageous costumes. The cast and the mayhem are rounded out by a rotating group of kids. Hille on keyboards and drummer Barry Mirochnick provide an irrepressible sonic engine, and in their witty details, Marina Szijarto’s vivid costumes are a source of endless delight. If the East Van Panto isn’t part of your holiday tradition yet, what are you waiting for?

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS By Charles M. Schulz. Based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson. Stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer. Directed by Carole Higgins. A Carousel Theatre production. At the Waterfront Theatre on Sunday, November 27. Continues until December 31

This stage adaptation of the 1965 special A Charlie Brown Christmas is extremely faithful to its source material. But given that the original defies conventional expectations of plot, conflict, and action, that faithfulness is a mixed blessing. With the exception of a few added bits (more on that in a moment), > KATHLEEN OLIVER Eric Schaeffer’s script appears to be

2 TV

virtually identical to the 50-year-old teleplay, whose relevance hasn’t aged one bit. Charlie Brown is looking for the meaning of Christmas behind all its tacky commercialism, which doesn’t seem to faze his friends or even his dog, Snoopy. On the advice of his psychiatrist, Lucy, Charlie Brown agrees to direct the kids’ Christmas play, but the spirit of the season still proves elusive. What works: the music, the visuals, and the ensemble scenes. Vince Guaraldi’s jazzy score is the most listenable Christmas music I know. The show starts with the characters “skating” onto the stage in vibrantly coloured winter coats to a bright cascade of piano notes: cue the nostalgia. And when the whole crew dances in the auditorium to “Linus and Lucy”, the infectious bass line and Kayla Dunbar’s goofy choreography offer pure delight. What doesn’t: the TV special is 25 minutes long, and this show has an hour to fill. The solution is to add a couple of dream-sequence songs in the middle and tack on a long medley of holiday tunes, whose connection to the play is purely seasonal, at the end. Carole Higgins directs an energetic mix of veterans and newcomers who inhabit the material with varying degrees of success. Rebecca Talbot brings high style to Sally, and Emilie Leclerc is an imperious Lucy. But Andrew Cownden doesn’t find a lot of comedy in Charlie Brown’s haplessness; he’s just kind of there. More problematically, Allan Zinyk’s genius is wasted in the role of Snoopy: the decision to make Snoopy a puppet leaves this gifted actor with far less to do than he’s capable of. The musicians are solid: music director Steven Greenfield doubles as Schroeder, playing a bright-yellow toy piano surrounded, in Al Frisk’s elegant set design, by a curving stone wall. Steve Charles’s Pigpen plays bass, and drummer Nick Fontaine, as Shermy,

SHOP

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FOR THE HOLIDAYS this holiday season. The valet is on Thursday, Friday & Saturday from noon-6pm. Spot the over 200 mistletoe in the shops, restaurants and on the street. Mail your letter to St Nick in one of six Santa Mailboxes on the street. Snap a photo of your holiday fun on West 4th & tag #kitsmas for an automatic chance to win a $500 shopping spree! Happy Holidays from the merchants of West 4th Ave.

RYU

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WEST COAST SPORTS

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www.gravitypope.com 2205 West 4th Ave. DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25


ARTS

East Van Panto finds fresh new fun in ’hood TH E AT RE EAST VAN PANTO: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD By Mark Chavez. Directed by Anita Rochon. Musical direction by Veda Hille. A Theatre Replacement production, presented by the Cultch. At the York Theatre on Friday, November 25. Continues until December 31

Thank you, Theatre Replacement

2 and the Cultch, for giving East

Vancouver families a holiday tradition that joyously skewers convention. This fourth installment, Little Red Riding Hood, has a little more polish and a little less chaos, but it’s as fresh, irreverent, and fun as its predecessors. Musical director Veda Hille is back with her reliably witty reworkings of pop classics; as in the past, her contributions are some of the show’s highlights. New to the creative team this year are playwright Mark Chavez and director Anita Rochon. In this version of the tale, Grandma’s house is in the Woodward’s building and the forest is the Adanac bike route. When her two helicopter dads accidentally leave Little Red at home alone, she heads off to Grandma’s house, but en route, she meets the Big Bad Wolf. Chavez’s script includes a few references to local politics, not all of which land, but the strength of his comedy is its absurdity, rooted in West Coast sensibilities. The Wolf explains his huffing and puffing, for example, as “conscious breathing”. After her bike wheel is stolen, Red takes a paper clip and makes a series of trades that eventually nets her the Gastown Steam Clock. And there are plenty of fart jokes for the kids. Rochon’s staging is equally inventive. As Red rides her bike, actors hold up little paintings of the houses and East Van landmarks she passes

East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood takes on that oh-so-Vancouver passion for bicycling. Emily Cooper photo.

(the exquisitely colourful work of scenic illustrator Laura Zerebeski). A scene of the Wolf chasing Grandma takes place in the dark, with nothing visible but two pairs of glowing eyes moving around the stage. With the exception of an overly long playwithin-the-play late in the second act, the pacing is crisp. Everyone in the cast is terrific. Rachel Aberle combines pluck and innocence as Red; she’s playfully responsive to the audience, and she sings beautifully. Playing the Wolf, a bike cop, and an orange-prisonjumpsuited “Holiday Claus” who works up the audience at the top of each act, Andrew McNee is a hoot. As the Wolf’s hostage, a pig named Owen, Chirag Naik delivers a knockout chorus of “Don’t Squeal

Out Loud”. And James Long has great fun as both randy Grandma Roxy and a hyper–PC gay dad. In a variety of supporting roles, three Studio 58 students—Elizabeth Barrett, Mason Temple, and Stephanie Wong—sing and dance like pros and wear a parade of outrageous costumes. The cast and the mayhem are rounded out by a rotating group of kids. Hille on keyboards and drummer Barry Mirochnick provide an irrepressible sonic engine, and in their witty details, Marina Szijarto’s vivid costumes are a source of endless delight. If the East Van Panto isn’t part of your holiday tradition yet, what are you waiting for?

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS By Charles M. Schulz. Based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson. Stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer. Directed by Carole Higgins. A Carousel Theatre production. At the Waterfront Theatre on Sunday, November 27. Continues until December 31

This stage adaptation of the 1965 special A Charlie Brown Christmas is extremely faithful to its source material. But given that the original defies conventional expectations of plot, conflict, and action, that faithfulness is a mixed blessing. With the exception of a few added bits (more on that in a moment), > KATHLEEN OLIVER Eric Schaeffer’s script appears to be

2 TV

virtually identical to the 50-year-old teleplay, whose relevance hasn’t aged one bit. Charlie Brown is looking for the meaning of Christmas behind all its tacky commercialism, which doesn’t seem to faze his friends or even his dog, Snoopy. On the advice of his psychiatrist, Lucy, Charlie Brown agrees to direct the kids’ Christmas play, but the spirit of the season still proves elusive. What works: the music, the visuals, and the ensemble scenes. Vince Guaraldi’s jazzy score is the most listenable Christmas music I know. The show starts with the characters “skating” onto the stage in vibrantly coloured winter coats to a bright cascade of piano notes: cue the nostalgia. And when the whole crew dances in the auditorium to “Linus and Lucy”, the infectious bass line and Kayla Dunbar’s goofy choreography offer pure delight. What doesn’t: the TV special is 25 minutes long, and this show has an hour to fill. The solution is to add a couple of dream-sequence songs in the middle and tack on a long medley of holiday tunes, whose connection to the play is purely seasonal, at the end. Carole Higgins directs an energetic mix of veterans and newcomers who inhabit the material with varying degrees of success. Rebecca Talbot brings high style to Sally, and Emilie Leclerc is an imperious Lucy. But Andrew Cownden doesn’t find a lot of comedy in Charlie Brown’s haplessness; he’s just kind of there. More problematically, Allan Zinyk’s genius is wasted in the role of Snoopy: the decision to make Snoopy a puppet leaves this gifted actor with far less to do than he’s capable of. The musicians are solid: music director Steven Greenfield doubles as Schroeder, playing a bright-yellow toy piano surrounded, in Al Frisk’s elegant set design, by a curving stone wall. Steve Charles’s Pigpen plays bass, and drummer Nick Fontaine, as Shermy,

SHOP

Kitsmas on West 4th Ave makes shopping easier and a little more magical. With Valet Parking by donation to Canuck Place you don’t have to count on Parking karma

KITSMAS Meet me under the mistletoe November 24th - December 24th SPOT THE MISTLETOE SANTA LETTER MAILBOXES FREE GIFTS WHILE YOU SHOP DONATIONS IN SUPPORT OF CANUCK PLACE COMPLIMENTARY VALET PARKING (THURS/FRI/SAT)

TAG YOUR #KITSMAS PHOTO TO WIN $500 SHOPPING SPREE

#KITSMAS

WEST 4th

FOR EVENT DETAILS

SHOPWEST4TH.COM

see page 26

FOR THE HOLIDAYS this holiday season. The valet is on Thursday, Friday & Saturday from noon-6pm. Spot the over 200 mistletoe in the shops, restaurants and on the street. Mail your letter to St Nick in one of six Santa Mailboxes on the street. Snap a photo of your holiday fun on West 4th & tag #kitsmas for an automatic chance to win a $500 shopping spree! Happy Holidays from the merchants of West 4th Ave.

RYU

WHOLE FOODS MARKET PBS KIDS Rubberwood Toys and Aurora Plush Animals PBS KIDS toys includes the best-selling plush animals from Aurora, as well as a line of design-forward, sustainably sourced wooden toys from PlanToys. These are gifts that give more as 100 percent of the net proceeds will support PBS KIDS mission and Whole Foods Market will donate one percent of product sales to the Whole Kids Foundation. Prices vary.

www.wfm.com 2285 W 4th Ave.

gravitypope For over 25 years, gravitypope has been a Canadian institution for quality footwear. Made in Italy with premium leathers, gravitypope updates the classic slip-on sneaker with a leather bow. A festive touch for the busy holiday season.

www.gravitpope.com 2203 West 4th Ave. 24 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016

WEST COAST SPORTS

VIP of the Candide Thovex series, the multi-award winning Candide 3.0 has been updated to include micro-cap construction and Titanal mounting plates. With a versatile 108-millimetre waist, lightweight balsa and flax hybrid core, slight camber underfoot, and rockered tip and tail, the Candide 3.0 takes you from buttering lips to dropping cliffs. $859.95

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Everywear Warm-Up Jacket Everything, Everyday, EveryWear. This jacket is the fresh take on your staple warm-up piece. Engineered to move and built with the toughest stretch fabric to withstand your harshest use. Made in Vancouver, Canada. $177

THE RIGHT SHOE

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Give The Gift Of Comfort With 230 years of shoe-making experience, it’s safe to say that Birkenstock has footwear figured out. Striking the perfect mix of comfort and style, they make the perfect gift for him or for her. There’s a lot to choose from at The Right Shoe with Birkenstock’s collection of sandals, clogs, shoes, and boots. Online or instore.

805 Thurlow St

MOVEMENT GLOBAL

Designed Globally, Made Locally A perfectly cut jacket fetches endless compliments while keeping you warm. Gift the Wj4 Roma jacket, which reverses for the opposite colour way and can be worn with an open neck for another look. The cutting-edge design is made of sustainable bamboo, and each purchase supports the Pamoja Foundation. $158

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gravitypope Established in 1999, Australia’s Grown Alchemist’s unisex organic skin and body care products achieve real beauty without harmful chemicals. The Alchemist Travel Kit contains facial, body and hair treatments in convenient travel sizes and ensures any journey to be an exquisite experience.

www.gravitypope.com 2205 West 4th Ave. DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25


Charlie Brown

and

JFL NORTHWEST present

GREG PROOPS

from page 24

holds down the rhythm. Barbara Clayden’s costumes pay Technicolor tribute to the two-dimensional versions, and Darren Boquist’s lighting elegantly evokes the snowy season. There’s enough that works here to satisfy both kids and adults with fond memories of the animated special. But its devotion to the original means that A Charlie Brown Christmas fails to breathe new life into it.

> KATHLEEN OLIVER

THE THREEPENNY OPERA Book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. Music by Kurt Weill. Directed by Jay Hamburger. At the Russian Hall on Wednesday, November 16. No remaining performances

In many ways, Theatre in the

2 Raw is right on point with its THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION

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production of The Threepenny Opera. The three-act musical tells the story of those left on the margins of society while capitalism prevails in Victorian London. Using a unique, in-your-face approach, Theatre in the Raw’s production effectively takes its audience into the seedy 19th-century world of beggars, prostitutes, and criminals, with some English-music-hall flavour to keep things from getting too dark and heavy. East Vancouver’s Russian Hall is a clever choice for this musical. Viewing the show in the minimalist, no-frills atmosphere of what is essentially a multipurpose gymnasium, audiences sit right in the heart of the action. As the cast emerges and surrounds the viewers during opening number “The Ballad of Mack the Knife”, you feel like you could be in the middle of an early20th-century East Hastings. The Street Singer (Adam Olgui) guides the audience through the show with a persona similar to that of the MC from Cabaret, mixed with the Droogs from A Clockwork Orange. As a result, the opening number resembles what might have happened if Stanley Kubrick had decided

to direct and transport Cabaret’s “Willkommen” number to Oliver!. As a whole, the cast sounds terrific singing Kurt Weill’s score. Given the intimate nature of the production, no microphones are needed, and it’s lovely to hear the cast sing inches away from you, accompanied by the sixpiece band behind them. The acoustics in the venue work very well for this. Stephen Aberle delivers a standout performance as Peachum, who runs an organized begging ring. Aberle’s strong vocal projection and animated physical comedy, including shimmies and butt shakes, help make his Act 3 monologue a highlight. Katie Purych is fun to watch as Peachum’s daughter, Polly, a young woman longing for adventure. When she sings “Pirate Jenny”, you can see her face light up and her breathing quicken with excitement as she fantasizes about killing all the people she dislikes. It doesn’t hurt that her crystalclear voice also soars like a nightingale. Less successful is Kevin Armstrong as Macheath, the show’s elusive criminal. While Armstrong has a beautiful operatic voice, he sings with almost no emotion for most of the show. He also lacks the charm to convincingly play a predatory mastermind who lies, cheats, and flirts his way through life. The best parts of Theatre in the Raw’s production of The Threepenny Opera are the musical numbers where characters reminisce about the past and we learn their stories. The dimming of the lights, the captivating storytelling by the actors, and Anna Kuman’s dreamlike choreography serve as an eerie bridge between present-day reality and memories. Still, we don’t learn enough about the impoverished characters to really care about them. Thus, the show’s commentary on social injustice never gains the legs it needs to stand on. However, the intimate and creative approach, along with some fine performances and production elements, makes Theatre in the Raw’s Threepenny Opera a commendable effort. > VINCE KANASOOT

A Firehall Arts Centre Residency Presentation Company 605/German Jauregui

ALBATROSS World Premiere

German Jauregui In collaboration with Company 605 Performed by Josh Martin & Hilary Maxwell Created & Directed by

“SUMPTUOUS PRODUCTION”

—The Vancouver Sun

DEC 7-10

playing at stanley industrial alliance stage

granville island stage

goldcorp stage at the bmo theatre centre

Wed - Sat 8pm

604.689.0926

firehallartscentre.ca

26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016

280 E Cordova St Hilary Maxwell & Josh Martin David Cooper Photography


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in the Judge Alfred Scow Gymnasium

December D b 16 16-18 18 Vancouver Playhouse

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by David E. Freeman

Preview November 30

Matinee December 4, 2pm ASL Interpretation & Audio Description December 4 Post-show talkbacks December 4 & 6

CHOR LEONI/MEN’S CHOIR Erick Lichte

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

The Cultch Historic Theatre 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver, BC

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DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27


ARTS

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Surreal wonders bring Hansel and Gretel to life M U S IC HANSEL AND GRETEL

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Do you remember the way,

SCROOGE?

By Engelbert Humperdinck. Directed by Brenna Corner. A Vancouver Opera production. At the Vancouver Playhouse on Thursday, November 24. Continues until December 11

Vancouver Opera’s wildly im-

2 aginative new Hansel and Gre-

tel creates breathtaking moments of magic—both visual and musical. This production’s joys rest in the element of surprise, and we won’t give the best ones away here. Suffice it to say you’ll feel at one point like you’re sitting in a dark forest with glowing will-o’-the-wisps floating over your head. Other scenes are like Salvador Dali dreams: you’ll swear you just saw tree trunks blinking, or the Sandman’s eyes and ears floating through space. And we haven’t even mentioned the strange, moss-furred bog creatures that lumber out to stare quizzically into the orchestra pit, let alone the towering witch with red ostrichplume eyelashes to match the scarlet fingernails on her oversized claws. These visual treats come courtesy of the creative brains at Alberta’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop, who have crafted not only deliriously weird puppets to populate the show, but atmospheric sets and costumes, too. The collaboration brings a cool new twist to a work that’s more than a century old. As director Brenna Corner told the Straight in an interview before the show opened, this is a production that allows you to see the craft of theatre even while you’re losing yourself in it. The puppeteers here—the “Trouts”, along with the children’s chorus—are always visible, wearing old football-style leather helmets and high-top sneakers, but their manoeuvring becomes a fascinating dance all its own. And at the same time that they’re challenging your notions of what an opera can be, they’re also pushing puppetry as an art form. But on to the operatic elements. Here, too, the feel is decidedly different: wunderkind director Alex Prior and Vancouver Opera commissioned a new arrangement from Russian composer Anatoly Korolyov. It brings in nontraditional instruments—saxophones, percussion, and guitar—that reflect the offbeat, contemporary staging and yet maintain 19th-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s rich, romantic melodies. It’s a beautiful score, with shades of Johannes Brahms and even Richard Wagner. Prior ferrets out all the nuance in it, from

The bog deer roams the forest in Hansel and Gretel. Tim Matheson photo.

the lightest flute trills to the deepest, haunting strings. Pascale Spinney and Taylor Pardell bring a kidlike charm to the title characters, especially Spinney’s touslehaired, rough-and-tumble Hansel. They make the vocal acrobatics here sound easy, and have gone to great lengths to find the physical language of children. In the latter, they’re hugely aided by the ingenious overscale sets and puppets, which make them look small. Ryan Downey rips into the role of the cannibalistic witch, and it’s a feat considering he’s performing inside such a giant puppet contraption. Still, he’s visible enough that you can appreciate what he’s bringing to the part: watch him tear into a cackling song, enthuse “Plump and juicy, mmm-mmm-mmm!” and maniacally manoeuvre a gigantic hand around little Hansel’s torso. There is only the odd misstep along the way, and that’s probably to be expected in such a bold experiment. At one brief moment in the score, the electric guitar sounds harshly out of place; occasionally, the new English translation’s rhymes clunk; and the witch’s house appears two-dimensional and cartoonish amid the rich forest set and creatures. But when all of this show’s diverse elements come together, the experience is nearly awe-inducing—no matter what your age. There’s a scene where Hansel and Gretel call out to an ominous, redplumed cuckoo, a big whirligig puppet up in a gnarled tree, and with the woodwind birdcalls and serene voices echoing through the theatre it casts a bigger spell than the gingerbread witch ever could. The parade of wonders here—most of them blissfully low-tech—will easily entertain children around eight and up. The only question now is, will families in Vancouver bring their kids out to the opera? The bog creatures and the wicked witch will have to wait and see. > JANET SMITH

in Opens ek! one we

Nava Intercultural Community Orchestra

East Meets East

Melodies from a place far away

December 10th, 2016 - 7:30 pm Pyatt Hall, 843 Seymour St, Vancouver Tickets: $20

Info: 778-998-5375

GoldenPearl Ensemble

Background image: Richard Tetrault Alley Variations #3 Woodcut and metal print 2012 with photo of actor Stephen Lytton by David Cooper, digital collage by John Endo Greenaway

28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016


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ARTS

VANCOUVER SPECIAL OPENS DECEMBER 3 Derya Akay

Colleen Heslin

Ryan Peter

Maya Beaudry

Julian Hou

Sylvain Sailly

Raymond Boisjoly

Allison Hrabluik

Rachelle Sawatsky

Eli Bornowsky

Gareth James

Walter Scott

Rebecca Brewer

Garry Neill Kennedy

Krista Belle Stewart

Colleen Brown

Tiziana La Melia

Angela Teng

Matt Browning

Khan Lee

Mina Totino

Mark Delong

Arvo Leo

Ron Tran

Kim Dorland

Lyse Lemieux

Tristan Unrau

Barry Doupé

Glenn Lewis

Charlene Vickers

Michael Drebert

Anne Low

Brent Wadden

Julia Feyrer

Elizabeth McIntosh

Alison Yip

Jeneen Frei Njootli

Jordan Milner

Tamara Henderson

Antoni Oko

Generously supported by:

Supporting Sponsor:

Artworkers Retirement Society Chan Family Foundation Phil Lind Michael O’Brian Family Foundation

Simon Starling’s Three White Desks is a copy of a writing desk designed by Francis Bacon for Australian writer Patrick White. Blaine Campbell photo.

Artist reveals creative process of artworks Each of Simon Starling’s works has an in-depth history that involves extensive research and examination V IS U AL AR TS SIMON STARLING: COLLECTED WORKS At the Rennie Museum until March 25

In a recent artist’s talk, Simon

2 Starling spoke initially about,

well, artists’ talks. The Turner Prize– winning, Copenhagen-based British artist characterized the illustrated lecture—a mainstay of art-world education—as a medium unto itself. It is, he said, a way of reconciling exhibited images and objects with “the realities that have driven their making”. His art practice could be described in similar terms. Much of what he does is interpret—or reinterpret—works of modern art and design by a long and probing journey through the social, political, economic, and material conditions of their creation and display. Given the complexity of Starling’s art and the depth of research and learning behind each piece, viewers are grateful for—even needful of—access to his process. For those who missed his low-key but fascinating description of the works in his exhibition at the Rennie Museum, there are tours by docents and explanatory labels to more fully open the art to our appreciation. Each work has an elaborate back story, involving, again, deep and prolonged research, whether Starling is exploring the acquisition of a Henry Moore sculpture by a Canadian art gallery, remaking a desk Francis Bacon designed for the Australian writer Patrick White, or restaging a groundbreaking performance by Pilar Pellicer at an interdisciplinary art centre in Mexico City. Starling’s media and materials vary from project to project, ranging across photography, film, sculpture, theatre, furniture, and even mollusks. (For Infestation Piece (Musselled Moore), he immersed a copy of Moore’s Warrior With Shield in the zebra-mussel-infested waters of Lake Ontario.) Although he creates new images and objects as he reveals a series of curious histories, it’s the uncovering of these histories that becomes the true artwork here. Starling’s Self Portrait (As Henry Moore), mounted on the wall opposite the entrance to the exhibition, sets us up for the most complex and dramatic work in the show, Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima), installed in a darkened gallery on the 30 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016

second floor. The small self-portrait is a brownish-toned photograph, a chryso-uranotype print of Starling wearing a wooden mask that depicts the renowned British sculptor. The mask was created by the Japanese master Yasuo Miichi, whom Starling names as a collaborator in the Masquerade project. Starling also speaks of Moore as a creative collaborator, albeit a dead one. The work has many aspects, including a dramatically lit installation of eight masks and a top hat, mounted on tall, thin, humanheight tripods in front of a mirrored wall. The masks represent real-life and fictional characters, including Moore, art historian and Soviet spy Anthony Blunt, financier and art collector Joseph Hirshhorn, and James Bond, whom Starling has folded into a story of Atomic Age intrigue. Masquerade also includes a gorgeous film that shows Miichi carving and painting masks while a narrator recites a drama in which the characters of an ancient Noh play are conflated with the 20thcentury characters depicted by the masks. The starting point for this complicated and intriguing work was Moore’s 1965 sculpture Nuclear Energy, installed at the University of Chicago, and a smaller version of it, Atom Piece, in the collection of the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. The film and the installation, supplemented by drawings and photographs (more chryso-uranotype prints, made using uranium oxide), are richly layered, revealing unexpected connections and conflations. Not all Starling’s artworks are equally effective. In Pictures for an Exhibition, he employs digital collage techniques to photographically re-create an exhibition of Constantin Brancusi sculptures, curated by Marcel Duchamp for the Arts Club of Chicago in 1927. Despite what this work reveals about the collections in which the original Brancusi sculptures now reside, despite, too, what Starling observes about the absorbing of avant-garde art into mainstream economies, Pictures is just not that interesting to look at. It’s one of those widely researched and painstakingly reconstructed projects that seem to fascinate the artist more than the viewer. Still, delight far outweighs tedium in this important exhibition. > ROBIN LAURENCE


four disabled men who rebel against the way they’ve been treated and barricade themselves in a washroom. Dec 1-10, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Tix $18-40, info www.thecultch.com/events/creeps/.

ar ts/ timeout THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY LITERARY EVENTS ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS OUT OF TOWN

HOLY MO! A CHRISTMAS SHOW! Pacific Theatre presents director Kerry van der Griend’s irreverent re-imagining of the Nativity story. Dec 1-31, 8-10 pm, Pacific Theatre (1440 W. 12th). Tix $34.95, info www. pacifictheatre.org/season/2016-2017-season/mainstage/holy-mo-a-christmas-show/.

< < < < < < < < <

THEATRE 2OPENINGS CREEPS Realwheels Theatre presents David E. Freeman’s dark comedy about

JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL Four actors bring to life the characters of Charles Dickens’s classic Christmas tale. Appropriate for ages five and up. Dec 2-18, Jericho Arts Centre (1675 Discovery). Tix $20-25, info www.facebook.com/ jacobmarley2016/. MARY POPPINS The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film. Includes songs like “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Chim Chim Cheree”. Dec 3–Jan 1, 2017, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub.com/. A CHRISTMAS CAROL IN GAY APPAREL Leaping Thespians presents an original parody of Charles Dickens’s

see page 34

A CHORAL FIESTA! SAT. DEC. 3 @ 8 PM & SUN. DEC. 4 @ 3 PM Misa Criolla by Ramirez and the potent Romancero Gitano feat. Capilano U’s 150-voice choir & orchestra

B3 KINGS WITH DENZAL SINCLAIRE WED. DEC. 14 @ 8 PM

Celebrate the holiday season with local jazz-funk royalty Chris Gestrin B3 organ, Cory Weeds sax, Bill Coon guitar

THE (POST) MISTRESS SAT. JAN. 7 @ 8 PM

The small-town cabaret of sealed secrets

Tickets: 604.990.7810 • Online: capilanou.ca/centre Capilano University • 2055 Purcell Way • North Vancouver

HANDEL’S MESSIAH

The Christmas Masterpiece 8pm Friday, December 9, 2016 | Orpheum Theatre Martha Guth, Soprano Susan Platts, Mezzo-soprano Colin Balzer, Tenor Tyler Duncan, Baritone Vancouver Chamber Choir & Orchestra Pacifica Singers Jon Washburn, Conductor Experience the power and glory of the world’s favourite choral masterwork, given a unique performance by Jon Washburn, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Orchestra, Pacifica Singers and our four outstanding Canadian soloists.

1.855.985.ARTS (2787) vancouverchamberchoir.com

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1.877 CURE 533 DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31


32 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8 / 2016


MOVIES REVIEWS AIM FOR THE ROSES A documentary by John Bolton. Rating unavailable

The roses of this title are a huge bed planted

2 on a small U.S.–border island, intended to

cushion the landing of Ken Carter, a now-forgotten daredevil who attempted to outdo Evel Knievel by shooting a rocket-powered car from the Canadian side, across the St. Lawrence River. Even as metaphor, that notion is thorny, and it’s made more so by amplifying the 1979 stunt through the music of Mark Haney, a Vancouver doublebassist and composer with a penchant for the weird and wonderful. Haney’s long-form piece, released in 2010 and also called Aim for the Roses, was augmented by singers and musicians, some of whom appear here in this feature debut for John Bolton, who has made many stylish documentaries and shorts, including several built on classical-music titles. Bolton’s colour-saturated film mirrors Haney’s sardonic approach, and album, in which high seriousness is dressed up with pop-culture trash. Or

Mark of the Devil

Andrew McNee plays Ken Carter, “the world’s greatest daredevil”, as Vancouver composer Mark Haney presides from behind in John Bolton’s Aim for the Roses.

An established actor him-

Sarasota, Florida, Chubbuck desperately wanted to

get this passion project off the ground for years, so it naturally arrives fully formed in lots of ways. Broken by the disappearance of his little brother, Cullen’s Nickie is a Brit who’s exiled himself to a dull, grey Toronto, a parttime taxi driver (consider it a reference) whose explosive bouts of violence keep him as alienated as cinematographer Bobby Shore’s discomfiting compositions would clearly like us to think. The funniest moment in the entire film, and it’s not exactly a gut-buster, is when Nickie silently drives down the street flipping the bird to everyone he passes. Maslany’s Emily is an artist with severe bipolar disorder, a grandstanding role if ever there was one, but not in this impressive young actor’s hands. Klein puts these two together and offers no easy way forward. They separate when she spirals too far; they reunite under a very uncertain peace. There’s not much more to The Other Half besides its slight story and these performances, and one wishes that Klein had paid as much attention to Deragh Campbell and especially Mark Rendall, as her friend and his cousin, respectively. He neither acts nor talks like a real person in a movie that otherwise strives hard for emo> KEN EISNER tional truth. (As Emily’s embattled parents, Henry Czerny and Suzanne Clément fare much better in THE OTHER HALF sequences pitched for high drama.) Cullen’s wallto-wall brooding might also have benefited from Starring Tatiana Maslany. Rated PG another note or two, but in the end it’s a show that beHaving witnessed his new lover Emily (Tati- longs to the other half, and boy, does she ever own it. > ADRIAN MACK ana Maslany) succumbing to a long and exhausting manic episode, Nickie (Tom Cullen) steps outside to find clouds of lightning billowing silently CHRISTINE on the horizon, as if nature above is sending an Starring Rebecca Hall. Rated 14A ominously majestic tribute to the misfiring human Christine is the second feature this season exneurochemistry below. That’s no CGI; it’s a young ploring the circumstances surrounding TV reand mobile film crew responding to a brief moment of serendipity, captured the same day as Maslany’s porter Christine Chubbuck’s on-air suicide in 1974. big scene, which should inspire similar feelings Where the docudrama Kate Plays Christine focused of wonder. The Toronto actor is entirely your best on the process of assuming an essentially unknowreason to catch this homegrown effort, modestly able character, this one has a highly charged Rebecca undertaken between friends and actual lovers (Cul- Hall finding the bruises beneath a brittle surface. A capable field reporter and producer in len and Maslany are a couple in real life).

era is perfectly evoked, and Christine has her own Lou Grant in a curmudgeonly, chain-smoking station manager (Indignation’s terrific Tracy Letts). She probably needed to leave the on-camera stuff to people like her in-house crush, George—the local Ted Baxter, played with empty-headed jollity by Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall. A 29-year-old virgin still living with her mother (J. Smith-Cameron) in a motel-like apartment, Chubbuck was apparently someone who imitated life more than she experienced it. In the hands of director Antonio Campos, who previously made a couple of crime thrillers, and first-time screenwriter Craig Shilowich, her fixation on Karen Carpenter underscores a crisis of self-image suggestive of a moment that found women tentatively penetrating male bastions. Despite its dead-on snapshot of the decade, the script has a few jarring anachronisms, of the “reupped” and “doubled-down” kind. But overall, the smartly crafted, two-hour movie takes in a panoply of characters and social issues. This was when Nixon was mired in the Watergate scandal—a mere blip by Trumpian standards, but relevant as a starting point of the moral corruption and tabloid journalism killing us today. And the sequence in which our tightly wound antihero buys her gun from a (seeming) white nationalist is shockingly prescient. The use of that weapon was captured on videotape—something that was famously locked away, if not destroyed. But the movie, more witty than condescending, is never sensationalistic. In fact, the mood is downright serene once Christine realizes something crucial: she just won’t make it, after all.

A local muso and a ‘70s stuntman both Aim for the Roses; self, writer-director Joey be an anchor, despite displaying all the warmth of a The Other Half draws a shattering turn from its talented star Klein has been trying to middle-school hall monitor. The Mary Tyler Moore is it the other way around? That question is deliberated by the sartorially blessed bassist himself, sharing highballs with Bolton, playing bartender at Vancouver’s red-lined Emerald Room. It is also illustrated with nicely shot and choreographed musical numbers, reenacted set pieces, and clips from an earlier NFB doc about this Canadian rocket man, The Devil at Your Heels. Haney is at pains to find parallels between his career and that of Carter, who proved to be a kind of Steve Fonyo to Knievel’s Terry Fox. Of course, the musician admits that his own path is “not fatal—hopefully”. The project is put into critical perspective by the Georgia Straight’s own Adrian Mack, who adds wry and appropriately pink-shirted commentary to the movie’s flowery, highly fragmented structure. (Full disclosure: I’ve worked and/or played with at least three of the participants here, and know them to be stand-up guys.) This all happens at perhaps too much length—more than an hour and 40 minutes—further narrowing the audience for such an esoteric enterprise. But by now we know that the definition of daredevil changes every day.

2

2

WEEK IN WIDESCREEN

2 Don’t miss THE APOLOGY Three elderly “comfort women”, forced into sex slavery by the Japanese imperial army during World War II, battle shame and official indifference in this searing doc, hailed by POV magazine as “a landmark film for its subject matter” and “one of the best films ever produced by the NFB”. Filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung will be there to present The Apology for two not-to-be-missed nights at the Vancity Theatre, starting Saturday (December 3 and 4). -

3

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Starring Amy Adams. Rated 14A

Tom Ford’s movies are strange and baffling with big thematic ambitions mixing with campy melodramatic turns.

2 paradoxes,

see page 36

MOVIES

The projector

1

> KEN EISNER

What to see and where to see it

Sister Chance

WHEN ELEPHANTS WERE YOUNG

An indigent man in Bangkok bids farewell to his elephant, sending her back into the wild in Patricia Sims’s touching doc, coming to the Vancity Theatre with the director in attendance for one night only on Saturday (December 3). So long, Stampy!

TWO TRAINS RUNNIN’ The murder of

three civil-rights activists is paralleled with the concurrent tale of two separate parties trying to track down Son House and Skip James—all of it converging in Mississippi in 1964. DOXA brings this VIFF hit to the Kay Meek Centre on Monday (December 5).

JACKIE It opens wide on December 16, but

Vancity Theatre members get a sneak preview of Pablo Larrain’s biopic on Mrs. Kennedy, starring Natalie Portman in the pink Chanel suit and skull fragments. There’s a two-tix max, so get there early for the 1 p.m. screening on Tuesday (December 6).

POSSESSION We’re highlighting Possession because it’s the most notorious of Polish madman Andrzej Zuławski’s films—the one with Isabelle Adjani, the electric carving knife, the subway miscarriage, and the lover with the tentacles—but anyone with a taste for visionary Euro cinema will want to catch all four of the films playing in this sweet retrospective at the Cinematheque, including the filmmaker’s restored sci-fi epic, On the Silver Globe. Starts Thursday (December 1) and runs until December 9. DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 33


Arts time out

from page 31

classic holiday tale. Dec 6-10, 8 pm; Dec 11, 2 pm, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Tix $23, info www.leapingthespians.com/.

on the web!

For up-to-the-minute, searchable Arts listings on your phone, visit

www.straight.com

2ONGOING AVENUE Q The Arts Club Theatre Company presents the musical story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate who arrives in New York City looking for love, a job, and his purpose in life. To Dec 31, Granville Island Stage (1585

Johnston, Granville Island). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub.com/.

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA Director Kevin Bennett puts a modern spin on Shakespeare’s drama in which lovers yearn to be true and warriors strive to be brave. To Dec 4, 8 pm, Studio 58 (Langara College, 100 W. 49th). Tix 15-25, info www. langara.ca/studio-58/current-season/ index.html. EAST VAN PANTO: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD Theatre Replacement presents a pantomime that sees Little Red Riding Hood bombing down the Adanac bike trail to deliver a basket of goodies to her granny, while battling bike thieves, distracted drivers, and the Big Bad Wolf. To Dec 31, York Theatre (639 Commercial). Tix from $20, info www.thecultch.com/events/an-east-vanpanto-little-red-riding-hood/.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 Refreshments & Special Introduction 7:00 pm - On the Silver Globe Introduced by Helena G. Kudzia

straight choices

BACH TO THE FUTURE The future looks to be in good hands, judging by the lineup for the Vancouver Bach Choir’s annual Yuletide gala. Joining the senior ensemble in Christmas With the Bach Choir will be 330 members of the choir’s various youth programs, encompassing kids from kindergarten through to high school. Leslie Dala (shown here) is at the podium. It all takes place at at 2 p.m. on Sunday (December 4), at the Orpheum, naturally—where else would accommodate 400-plus singers, organist Ellen Ay-Laung Wang, and the A Touch of Brass quintet? And don’t forget to bring your own voice: the program will feature a great selection of seasonal sing-along favourites, in addition to music by Johann Sebastian himself. TOPDOG/UNDERDOG Seven Tyrants Theatre presents the Western Canadian premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks’s darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity. To Dec 3, 8 pm, Studio 1398 (1398 Cartwright, Granville Island). Tix $20-28, info www.seventryants.com/. BAKING TIME Presentation House Theatre and Oily Cart Theatre present the adventures of a pair of bakers who encounter mischievous doughy characters and venture through forests of breadstick trees and magical floury storms. To Dec 11, Presentation House Theatre (333 Chesterfield Ave.). Tix from $15, info www.phtheatre.org/.

ON THE SILVER GLOBE ・THE DEVIL ・ POSSESSION THE THIRD PART OF THE NIGHT

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS Carousel Theatre for Young People presents a stage adaptation of the holiday classic. Includes live music by a jazz trio. To Dec 31, Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St., Granville Island). Tix $35/29/18, info www.carouseltheatre.ca/ production/a-charlie-brown-christmas/.

DANCE 2THIS WEEK SMALL STAGE: INCUBATOR PROJECT, SALON SERIES: VOLUME 4 The Small Stage: Incubator Project develops works with a unique range of dancers and musicians who are experimenting with new forms of technology. Dec 1, 7 pm, The Emerald (555 Gore). Tix $15, info www.smallstage.ca/. THE NUTCRACKER Goh Ballet presents a preview performance of the beloved holiday tradition. Dec 3, 10 am, Oakridge Centre (650 West 41st Avenue). Info www. oakridgecentre.com/. ALBATROSS German Jauregui, in collaboration with Company 605, presents a dance duet in which the two performers surrender to circumstances and their interdependence. Dec 7-10, 8 pm, Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova). Tix $12-33, info www.fire hallartscentre.ca/onstage/albatross/.

ET CETERA

CHRISTMAS AT THE CHAN CENTRE Four choirs and a full orchestra per2THIS WEEK form Christmas music from around the world. Includes an appearance by the TOTAL WORK OF ART An open-house Vancouver Chamber Choir. Dec 4, 2:30 pm, art and fashion show to generate interChan Centre for the Performing Arts (6265 est in the school and provide a venue Crescent Rd., UBC). Info tickets.ubc.ca/. to showcase and support for students’ work. Dec 1, 12-10 pm, Makeshift Spaces TAKÁCS STRING QUARTET The Friends (89 Smithe). Info www.facebook.com/ of Chamber Music present the Coloradoevents/707999436032701/. based classical group in a program

of music by Beethoven. Dec 4, 3-5 pm, Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton). Tix $50/15, info www.friendsofchambermusic. ca/concert/takacs-string-quartet-3/.

COMEDY 2JUST ANNOUNCED JFL NORTHWEST Comedy festival features performances by Sarah Silverman, Trevor Noah, Chris D’Elia, Iliza, Tom Segura, Brian Posehn, Jon Dore, Nate Bargatze, Aparna Nancherla, K. Trevor Wilson, and Barry Crimmins. Other program highlights include SiriusXM’s Top Comic Showcase, Comedy Short Shorts, Piff the Magic Dragon, My Favorite Murder, the Just for Laughs Showcase, and the Best of the West Series, which showcases local comic talent. Feb 16-25, various Vancouver venues. Tix on sale Dec 2, 10 am, at www.jflnorthwest.com/.

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. 2BETH STELLING Dec 1-3 2BRENT MORIN Jan 12-14 2SCOTT THOMPSON Jan 26-28 2NIKKI GLAZER Feb 3-4 2BRIAN POSEHN Feb 16-18 2JON DORE Feb 24-25 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. 2GREG PROOPS Dec 1-3 2PATRICK HAYE Dec 8-10 2LORI GIBBS Dec 15-17 VANCOUVER THEATRESPORTS LEAGUE Some of the world’s most daring and innovative improv. Christmas Queen 3 (Wed, Thu, Fri, and Sat, 7:30 pm); Firecracker! (Wed, 9:15 pm); Improv After Dark (Wed, Thu, Fri, and Sat, 11:15 pm); OK Tinder (Thu, 9:15 pm); Rookie Night (Sun, 7:30 pm); TheatreSports (Fri and Sat, 9:30 pm). Nov 30–Dec 7, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/.

2THIS WEEK AMY SCHUMER American standup comedian, writer, actor, and star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer performs on her world tour. Dec 2, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix $109/39 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. HARI KONDABOLU Brooklyn-based comedian tours in support of recently released sophomore album Mainstream American Comic. Dec 3, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway). Tix $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

straight choices

CHUTZPAH ON SALE The Chutzpah Festival has just announced the lineup for its 17th annual edition, from February 16 to March 13, 2017, and it includes big names like Italy’s Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Israeli superstar singer-songwriter David Broza, and comedian Mark Schiff. The dance programming includes Spellbound’s epic new Carmina Burana, the U.S.’s Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion in a Western Canadian debut, and new works by local talents Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg and Shay Kuebler. Other highlights include the Klezmatics’ 30th-anniversary tour, Israeli rocker Shalom Hanoch, Palestinian musician Ali Paris, and high-speed improv-ers Folk Lordz, and much, more dance, theatre, music, and comedy. Tickets are on sale now; see the full lineup at chutzpahfestival.com/.

GALLERIES BILL REID GALLERY OF NORTHWEST COAST ART 639 Hornby, 604-682-3455, www.billreidgallery.ca/. 2JUDY CHARTRAND: WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD (ceramics by Judy Chartrand reveal her personal history and provide insights into life in the Downtown Eastside) to Feb 19 ELISSA CRISTALL GALLERY 2239 Granville, 604-730-9611, www.cristallgallery. com. 2JESSIE MCNEIL, TRAVELLERS: NEW COLLAGES (Jessie McNeil’s collage work addresses themes of place, collective and personal memory, language, landscape, and value with an emphasis on cultural history and identity) Dec 1-23 VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/. 2STARE (exhibition features photographic works that evoke a fixed and concentrated gaze on the part of artist and viewer) to Jan 22 2WALKER EVANS: DEPTH OF FIELD (exhibition features more than 200 blackand-white and colour prints from the 1920s through to the 1970s) to Jan 22 2JUXTAPOZ X SUPERFLAT (exhibition offers a unique insight into contemporary art and its place in cultural life) to Feb 5

LITERARY EVENTS

MUSIC

2THIS WEEK

MUSEUMS

2THIS WEEK

CHERIE SMITH JCC JEWISH BOOK FESTIVAL Annual celebration of Jewish

MUSIC OF THE MASTERS The VSO, cellists Cristian Márkos and Luke Kim, bassist Warren Long, violists Emilie Grimes and Andrew Brown, and violinists Byron Hitchcock, Yi Zhou, and Ann Okagaito perform works by Rossini, Haydn, Beethoven, and Verdi. Nov 30–Dec 1, 7:30 pm; Dec 4, 2 pm, Pyatt Hall (843 Seymour). Info www.vancouversymphony.ca/. THE MUSIC OF TCHAIKOVSKY AND BRUCH Mikhail Agrest conducts the VSO and violinist Simone Porter in a performance of Dvorak’s Othello Overture, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, and Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in G Major. Dec 3, 8 pm, Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe). The event also runs Dec 5, 8 pm, at the Bell Performing Arts Centre, info www.vancouversymphony.ca/.

34 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016

literature features meet-the-author opportunities, readings and panel discussions, an annual book-club event, a screenwriting workshop, and two onsite bookstores. To Dec 1, Jewish Community Centre (950 W. 41st). Info www.jewishbookfestival.ca/.

VISUAL SPACE GALLERY 3352 Dunbar. 2FEAR, HOPE, AND LONGING III (paintings of Vancouver Island’s western coast by Vancouver artist David A. Haughton) to Dec 7, 12-5 pm

HANSEL AND GRETEL The Vancouver Opera presents the musical story of two children who find themselves on a magical adventure. Score by Engelbert Humperdinck. To Dec 11, Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton). Tix from $25, info www.vancouveropera.ca/Hanseland-Gretel/.

PG

CHRISTMAS WITH THE BACH CHOIR The Vancouver Bach Choir, the Touch of Brass Quintet, and organist Ellen Ay-Laung Wang present an afternoon of Christmas carols. Dec 4, 2-4 pm, Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe). Tix from $29, info www.van couverbachchoir.com/events/christmaswith-the-bach-choir/.

UBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The UBC Symphony Orchestra performs Arvo Pärt’s Sequentia, Glière’s Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Dec 3, 8 pm, Chan Shun Concert Hall (6265 Crescent Rd., Chan Centre at UBC). Tix $8, info www.music.ubc.ca/student-ensembles/symphony-orchestra/.

straight choices

THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604822-5087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2IN THE FOOTPRINT OF THE CROCODILE MAN: CONTEMPORARY ART OF THE SEPIK RIVER, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (exhibition features the carvings of Papua New Guinea’s Iatmul people) to Jan 31, 2017 2LAYERS OF INFLUENCE: UNFOLDING CLOTH ACROSS CULTURES (exhibition features more than 130 diverse cultural garments, from Japanese kimonos, to colourful Indian saris, to the elaborate feather cloaks of the Maori people of Aotearoa/New Zealand) to Apr 9

OUT OF TOWN POST-ELECTION LAUGHS Hari Kondabolu has always been a political comedian with a progressive agenda. With the election of the least progressive U.S. president in forever, you know he’ll have lots to say. If he was able to make politics funny BT (Before Trump), just imagine what he’ll be able to do now. The New York Times (or a writer therein) called him “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today”. A frequent visitor to Vancouver stages, Kondabolu is bringing his act to the Rio Theatre on Saturday (December 3). Give ’em hell, Hari!

2THIS WEEK WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL The 16th cinematic celebration features 81 films, special guests, a spotlight series, contender conversations, gala parties, the Big Rock music showcase, an awards celebration, an industry summit, and talent programs. Nov 30–Dec 4, various Whistler venues. Info www.whistlerfilmfestival.com/.

TIME OUT ARTS 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.


MOVIES

Love and darkness tango in The Other Half Tatiana Maslany dives into a portrayal of a bipolar woman who falls in love with a man suffering with PTSD in Joey Kleinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drama > BY A DRIA N M A C K

S

heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s constitutionally incapable of giving a bad performance, but Tatiana Maslany breaks her own ceiling in The Other Half. Playing a person with mental illness is a risky business for any thespâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taking on rapid cycling bipolar 1 disorder in this caseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but her biggest scene in the Toronto-set indie is a tour de force thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jaw-dropping even by Maslanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standards. Her character, Emily, is in the throes of a manic episode while her parents (Henry Czerny and Suzanne ClĂŠment) struggle to contain the situation, and her new boyfriend, Nickie (played by Maslanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real-life beau, Tom Cullen), looks on. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an exhausting scene to watch, let alone perform.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was also Tomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birthday,â&#x20AC;? Maslanyrecalls,joiningwriter-director Joey Klein and the Georgia Straight at the Sutton Place Hotel during the Vancouver International Film Festival. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was the darkest birthday,â&#x20AC;? she adds with a bright grin thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s familiar to anyone who knows Maslanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work, from her breakthrough performance in 2012â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Picture Day to the weekly high-wire act she performs in Orphan Black. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an indomitable vein of humour in everything the improv-trained actor does, and Emilyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s big blowup is both horrific and horrifically funny. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think that any humour that comes out of that scene, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s her,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s who she is. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a full, albeit manic, expression of who she is, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s every part of her just out loud.â&#x20AC;?

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The Other Halfâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen play troubled souls in love.

Klein adds that he shot the scene at least eight times, a painful figure to keep in mind when you watch the film, which opens Friday (December 2). Maslany reports that there were no bruises, miraculously. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I felt a bit

nauseated, but as much as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a dark place to go toâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;she pauses, leans forwardâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such a rush to do that kind of work.â&#x20AC;? Bringing up Gena Rowlandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance in A Woman Under the Influenceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the same movie she breathlessly talked about when the Straight spoke to her in 2013â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Maslany adds: â&#x20AC;&#x153;That is the epitome. Joey showed me that movie six years ago. I still watch it. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a kind of joy in getting to go to those places.â&#x20AC;? As an actor himself, Klein says, he felt a twinge of jealousy whenever Maslany or Cullen went to those places. Having lost his brother in especially painful circumstances, Cullenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nickie is the PTSD-suffering half in a soul-deep tango of mad love. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a story Klein pored over for years, and for good reason.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kind of like you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a choice about being an artist, I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the same with this film,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t choose to do it; it just started as a very personal and autobiographical thing. I never lost my brother, but I lost someone, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I started writing. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had very serious struggles in my life connected to the loss. Nickie and Emily started out as two sides of myself.â&#x20AC;? Klein was 13 when his best friend was hit by a car, and he adds that after 26 years of grieving, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I never felt that time made things easier.â&#x20AC;? But he also, rather significantly, describes the experience of making his debut film as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;joyousâ&#x20AC;? one. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Getting to make a movie with your best friends and such wonderful artists?â&#x20AC;? He beams. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crazy!â&#x20AC;? -

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MOVIES

More to Whistler than La La

T

he Whistler Film Festival kicks off in high style on Wednesday (November 30) with the Western Canadian premiere of Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, although there’s plenty of great stuff to see at the high-altitude fest that doesn’t come with Ryan Gosling’s happy feet or the full-spectrum attack of a Hollywood marketing department. Here are a few choices from the more humble yet no less worthy section of the program. Go to Straight.com for even more. BEFORE THE STREETS (Canada)

An evocative look at life on one of Canada’s First Nations reserves, Before the Streets is the brainchild of debut feature director Chloé Leriche. A brave undertaking that tells a story almost never examined on film, it utilizes a cast of Atikamekw nonactors, making it all the more vivid. Shawnouk (Rykko Bellemare), a young man living on Quebec’s Manawan Reserve, leads an aimless life rife with familial tension, alongside his sister, Kwena (Kwena Bellemare-Boivin, Bellemare’s real-life sister), their mother, and their mother’s boyfriend, a police officer on the reserve. When Shawnouk is caught up in a robbery and accidentally shoots and kills his accomplice in a struggle, he disappears into the woods, a hyperventilating mess awash in guilt. Seeking redemption, he fearfully turns to smudging, sweat lodges, and the medicines of his culture in an attempt to absolve himself of his transgression. The first feature filmed in the Atikamekw dialect of Algonquian Cree, Before the Streets is a study of a life entrenched in violence, and asks whether one can truly be redeemed by cultural practices. Intelligent cinematography and flawless sound editing put the viewer smack in the middle of Shawnouk’s world, making the plodding pace of the story tolerable, at the very least. Not everyone will appreciate the director’s approach to casting, but if her goal

Before the Streets is one of the worthy indies at the Whistler Film Festival.

was to convey truth through a fictional narrative, it was certainly the key to doing so. Village 8 Cinemas Theatre 7, December 3 (8:30 p.m.); Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre, December 4 (12:30 p.m.) > AMANDA SIEBERT CHOKESLAM (Canada) Few others

would have the metaphorical balls to combine a distinctly Canadian narrative with the theatrics of professional wrestling, a cheesy romance, and subtle but chuckle-worthy comedy, but if there’s one thing director Robert Cuffley possesses, it is ambition. Set in small-town Saskatchewan, Chokeslam, Cuffley’s fourth feature film, tells the story of 28-year-old Corey Swanson (Chris Marquette), a deli clerk whose high-school sweetheart turned heartbreaker, Sheena DeWilde (Amanda Crew), returns home for their 10-year reunion. Moonlighting as a pro wrestler who goes by the awkward stage name Smasheena, DeWilde is the yin to Swanson’s yang: loudmouthed, aggressive, and larger than life. Swanson, a hopelessly obsessed nerd who still lives with his overbearing mother, sees her homecoming as a chance to win her back by arranging her retirement match at a local venue. If you’re wondering how a movie set in a wee Prairie town has even a speck of credibility when it comes to pro wrestling,

think again: along with real-life wrestler Chelsea Green and former WWE wrestler Lance Storm, Cuffley legitimizes the film to a degree with the casting of WWE Hall of Famer Mick “Mankind” Foley. Though predictable and at times slow to progress, Chokeslam makes for a strangely entertaining fusion of comedy, romance, and sport that stands out in a sea of repetitive rom-coms. Village 8 Cinemas Theatre 6, December 1 (8:30 p.m.); Village 8 Cinemas Theatre 7, December 2 (1 p.m.) > AS MELODY MAKERS, SHOULD’VE BEEN THERE (Canada) Although

a tad threadbare in the talking-head department (here comes Eric Burdon, again), this cheerful history of the British music weekly Melody Maker has enough inside dope to maintain interest. At its peak in the ’60s and ’70s, as a small handful of former contributors fondly recall, the hugely influential rag could make or break an act, with the Strawbs, Genesis, and Jethro Tull all receiving a massive career boost because somebody at Melody Maker happened to dig them. It was, in fact, the writers who kept MM vital, habitually overriding the diktats of their bosses, who would demand the Monkees for the cover and end up instead with some fresh-off-the-boat freak named Jimi Hendrix. Speaking of which, the Maker’s brilliant in-house photographer Barrie Wentzell—whose images might be the best reason to see this—speaks very movingly of Hendrix. Mick Jagger, among others? Not so much. Village 8 Cinemas Theatre 6, December 3 (2:30 p.m.); Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre, December 4 (3 p.m.) > ADRIAN MACK

The Whistler Film Festival takes place from Wednesday (November 30) to December 5. More information is at whistlerfilmfestival.com/.

Nocturnal Animals

from page 33

Nocturnal Animals feels like a tawdry paperback but looks like a Taschen coffee-table book. Its polished surfaces and lush orchestral strains make you think of Douglas Sirk and Alfred Hitchcock, but then he takes an abrupt left turn into gritty Coenbrothers brand violence. Ultimately, Nocturnal Animals is a beautiful, and beautifully acted, train wreck—and like a train wreck, you won’t be able to avert your eyes from it. Amy Adams plays Susan, a rich L.A. gallery owner who is deeply unhappy. She lives in a gaping architectural masterpiece with cold concrete walls. Her marriage feels equally empty, with a handsome husband (Armie Hammer) who’s philandering and losing his business. Then, one day, Susan receives an envelope with a manuscript in it. The book was written by her ex-husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), and as she reads it, its plot becomes a film within the film. It’s a harrowing story of a family driven off a desert road one night and terrorized by a Texas gang. What follows is the father’s struggle with guilt and ugly revenge. As Susan reads it, she casts Edward in the lead role; the character’s wife and daughter have the same red hair she and her daughter do, and it’s clear she’s populating the thriller with people and things from her own surroundings. In the scenes where she has to stop reading because they’re so intense, her thoughts wander back to her own fraught past with Edward. Adams brings more to Susan than the script gives her, conveying an abyss of sadness and amorphous regret in every far-off gaze. But her world is so artificially well-appointed, it’s impossible to empathize with her. She’s not likable and she’s surrounded by a parade of cartoonishly shallow fashion victims. Ford’s films are so stylized, they’re distancing. That may be the mood he’s going for, but after a while, it all feels irritatingly affected.

Amy Adams manages to ground the fascinatingly awful Nocturnal Animals.

Gyllenhaal, in both roles, is Susan’s opposite: passionate, honest, tormented. The Texan plot is all dingy desert trailers, with a mind-blowing turn by Michael Shannon as a gruff cowboy cop who helps Gyllenhaal’s character track down the nocturnal animals who wronged him. The violence in the book’s story feels real and horrific, and that poses a problem when we switch back to the artificial world of the main plot. Even the memories of Edward and Susan’s romance follow melodramatic, soapopera turns. But the former Gucci designer aspires to much more. Ford wants to talk about art and selling out: Susan has lost faith in Edward’s ability to write, and she’s abandoned her own creativity for commerce. The story, based on the 1993 novel Tony and Susan, ends up raising big ideas about money, art, and revenge, and the traits that make us strong or weak. But everything is warped by the obsessive production design and swelling orchestral music. Most damagingly, the climactic finale, set in the kind of over-the-top restaurant that only exists in movies, becomes high camp in the process. Not that you’ll be able to look away. > JANET SMITH

ADVANCE SCREENING details at straight.com

With the aid of last year’s MEC Adventure Grant, Benjamin Jordan will paraglide from Vancouver to Calgary, camera in tow.

Mountain equipment co-pro Lacesse, who will travel from Bute Inlet to the Chilcotin A MOUNTAIN OF FILM GRANTS If you’re a Plateau; and Evan Guilbault, who hopes to travel the filmmaker who loves outdoor adventures, there are two Tahumming Traverse in record time. grants from the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival that you might want to consider applying for. The VIMFF has joined with outdoor-clothing company AIDS AWARENESS When the HIV/AIDS epidemic Arc’Teryx to create a new film grant designed to help first hit, it impacted numerous communities in devastating emerging directors get a start in adventure filmmaking. ways. Things have changed since that time, with numerous The chosen filmmaker will receive the VIMFF Adventure medical advances as well as greater social understanding. Film Grant of $5,000 to produce their proposed project However, it remains a pressing issue, with some younger about self-propelled wildernessgenerations growing up not as aware of oriented expeditions. The finished film what’s involved. will premiere at the following VIMFF. World AIDS Day is on Thursday The recipient will also be mentored (December 1), once again drawing Craig Takeuchi by the Arc’Teryx professional and inattention to the state of HIV and AIDS. house media team. The winner will be announced at the Here in Vancouver, there'll be a few events that will be held VIMFF in February. in conjunction with the awareness day. Meanwhile, interested filmmakers can also apply for Local organization Reel Causes will present the the MEC Adventure Grant, offered by the VIMFF with film Last Men Standing , as part of an evening entitled MEC. The grant will help local adventurers undertake an Remembering the Survivors, in support of the Positive exploratory and human-powered outdoor journey that Living Society of B.C. It'll start at 7 p.m. on December involves such activities as hiking, trail running, cycling, 1 at SFU Woodward's. The documentary explores the climbing, skiing, and paddling. The expedition must lives of eight men with HIV who survived and even include high-quality video or photographic coverage. thrived. Participants in the film, as well as HIV/AIDS The deadline for both grants is December 31 and details survivors in Vancouver, will be part of a discussion are available at the VIMFF website, at vimff.org/. about life and love after the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Tickets are $15 (or $5 with a Reel Causes In 2017, the VIMFF will showcase the results of last membership). year’s recipients of the grant: Benjamin Jordan, who For more information and tickets, visit the Reel Causes planned to paraglide (fly-camp) from Vancouver to website at reelcauses.org/. Calgary; Jeremy Williams, Stuart Kohut, and Peyal

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MOVIES

Taylor’d for major success > B Y A DRIA N M A C K

A

few years from now, Hunting Pignut will be seen as a small but significant station in Taylor Hickson’s inevitable journey to stardom. The 18-yearold actor started to creep onto the general public’s radar earlier this year with a small role in Deadpool, but she carries the low-budget indie feature from Newfoundland. In writer-director Martine Blue’s raw but poignant (and quasi-autobiographical) tale—which gets its Western Canadian premiere at the Whistler Film Festival on Saturday (December 3)—Hickson plays Bernice “Story” Kilfoy, a wounded teen who sets out to track down her late father’s stolen ashes and ends up finding uneasy shelter inside a community of squatting gutter punks in St. John’s. Hickson’s performance is astonishingly confident, not least of all because the Kelowna-born performer is still in the very earliest stages of a career. Hickson considers herself a musician first; acting is something she got into a whopping two years ago on the advice of an aunt. “Bernice is very blunt, and her admiration for a world she knew nothing about really reminded me of myself,” Hickson tells the Straight in a call from Winnipeg. “I resonated with her because I walked into an industry that I knew nothing about and said, ‘Take me or don’t,’ and she walks into the gutter-punk world with that same headspace.” The character is a familiar mix of “sarcasm, vulnerability, and desperation to be liked”, she adds. “I think everybody’s been there.” In this case, it seems that Hickson—bright, chatty, and self-possessed on the phone—was at least fairly desperate to win the approval of her costar, Pignut himself, played with an equivalent degree of brass

Finkleman’s wild American nightmare > B Y A D RIAN MACK

I

Behold the future. B.C. teen Taylor Hickson’s performance in the Newoundlandset indie drama Hunting Pignut points to a big future. Ryan Orange photo.

by Republic of Doyle’s Joel Thomas Hynes. The de facto and sometimes bullying honcho of a gang of ardent outsiders, Hynes’s explosively charismatic Pignut is as fascinating to the young runaway as he is repellent. In real life, Hickson was apparently just as eager to connect with her seemingly impenetrable screen partner. “He went very Method,” she says with a giggle, describing her first meeting with Hynes on a bizarre hiking trip arranged by their director. He showed up in character, accompanied by his dog, Bruno. “He slept in his costume, actually. Oh yeah,” she continues. “The whole nine yards. Everybody has their knack for what works for them, and he definitely goes all out. He was very quiet and moody and I didn’t know how to approach it. He had

“Tom Cullen and Tatiana Maslany give outstanding performances as two wounded souls in this anguished love story.”

this temper that could borderline snap at any moment. At first I was quite afraid of him.” A year or so later, with the sleeveless hoodie and combat boots retired along with the face tats, Hickson gushes about Hynes as “a cool, intricate, complex personality” who “taught me a lot”. It follows that Hickson’s rapidly advancing chops come from a willingness to learn, both oncamera and off-. Recalling her view of the street punks she used to see in Kelowna as “dark and gloomy people you don’t want to associate with”, Hickson credits Bernice for opening her mind. “She sees life and energy and colour and spirit,” Hickson says. “I realized how easily I’d dismissed them. I’d never taken a second look because that’s what I was taught to do. You’re taught to not understand.” -

OFFICIAL SELECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2016

“Evocative, transformative, complex and completely honest.”

n one of the best scenes in An American Dream: The Education of William Bowman—which gets its Canadian premiere at the Whistler Film Festival on Thursday (December 1)—a small-town meeting begins with the mayor proudly preaching about the Second Amendment. The assembly then praises Jesus Christ and “small government” before cheerfully congratulating itself for decommissioning its metal detectors (a taxpayer saving of $1,500!), closing down the “socialist” library, and privatizing its schools and refuse collection. That’s when a disgruntled shooter enters the building (“You never picked up my garbage!”) and a massacre unfolds to a soundtrack of banjo music. “That’s good company, thank you very much!” writer-director Ken Finkleman exclaims when the Georgia Straight mentions that his new film makes a fine addition to a growing subgenre of gonzo satires like Mike Judge’s horribly prescient Idiocracy and Bobcat Goldthwait’s righteously pissed-off God Bless America. Finkleman cites the influence of picaresques like O Lucky Man! and Preston Sturges’s The Great McGinty on his tale of a college football player who is variously dogged by gun nuts, mad government scientists, an outof-control media, and state-manufactured terrorist events. But, as for most of us, even his imagination has been exceeded by our current reality (if that’s the right word). “When that script was written a couple years ago, Donald Trump wasn’t on the horizon. It’s odd,” he remarks, with theatrical understatement, during a call to the Georgia Straight from his home in Toronto. Finkleman’s time as a Hollywood

filmmaker in the ’80s, however—he wrote and directed Airplane II: The Sequel and watched Madonna mangle his script for Who’s That Girl— has left him with a strong sense of where America’s decline really began, if not where it might end. “The Reagan era? I was right there,” he says, “and I tell you, and it’s no secret, I was one of the people that benefited from it because I was making Hollywood money at that time. I was in the top tax bracket, and I think my taxes were something like 27 percent. That’s when the huge shift happened in the divide between the haves and the have-nots. That’s when it started in America, under Reagan.” Corporate deregulation and a big middle finger to our planet were the era’s other big hits, he adds. “Even in the ’80s, when we weren’t that conscious of it, I remember Reagan’s secretary of the interior [James G. Watt] had the reputation of not giving a shit about the environment. They were drawing the line between those who cared and those who didn’t.” The Winnipeg native has had a considerably better time, careerwise, since returning to Canada in the ’90s. His series The Newsroom is still considered to be among the CBC’s greatest achievements, and you can hear the giggle in his voice, or maybe it’s just relief, when he asserts: “Making movies in Canada is a fool’s game. “If it wasn’t for an organization like Telefilm, nobody would get involved,” he says. “It would be insane. It would be like selling real estate on Mars. ‘Fine! Sell it! Great prices, but you can’t get there!’ You end up being a shitty businessperson doing something you shouldn’t be involved in. You should be smarter at my age.” You should, but let’s hope not. -

“A MASTERPIECE.” “++++

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GIFT GUIDE

Get ready to rock around the Christmas tree > B Y J O HN L UC A S, MIK E USIN GER, A ND K AT E W IL S O N

Dot is powered by Alexa. Connecting to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or an aux cord, Alexa can fire up tracks from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn and can pick out your voice commands from all over the house. Sure, it might seem like an FBI conspiracy to gather data from your conversations. But who really cares that the Echo Dot is always listening when you can ask it to drop the intro to “Crazy in Love” at any moment? Besides—what have you got to hide? Right? ($39.99 at amazon.ca/)

O

nce upon a time Christmas was simpler—you’d spend all fall waiting for the Sears catalogue to come, frantically leaf through the 25-page toy section when it did, then send your wish off to Santa. Now it’s flat-out mind-bending. Thanks to the world-wide Interweb there are literally millions of websites to scour for that perfect gift. And the problem is that the dazzling array of choices kicks our OCD into overdrive. As appealing as a Sonos PLAY:3 might be, who’s to say that a Harman Infinity One isn’t the way to go? Let the following gift guide help you make some informed decisions, with our recommended presents designed to appeal to everyone from old punk rockers to the most techsavvy of gearheads.

I SURVIVED D.O.A. It’s a question that’s long fascinated anyone interested in Vancouver’s deservedly fabled punk scene: what the hell is up with Randy Rampage? The bassist born Randall Archibald was there on the frontlines for D.O.A.’s seminal early singles, and then left when the group was becoming one of the most notorious acts in first-wave punk rock. After rejoining halfway through the recording of 1980’s landmark LP Something Better Change and contributing to the genre-defining Hardcore ’81, Rampage ended up on the outs again. He was back, unexpectedly, in 2005 and then seemingly acrimoniously given the boot by D.O.A. founder Joe “Shithead” Keithley in 2008. Working with notable punk author Chris Walter (SNFU: What No One Else Wanted to Say), Rampage gives a largely unsanitized history of his time in D.O.A., along with the metal years that followed with acts like Annihilator. Think of it as a fill-in-the-blanks companion to more family-friendly history lessons such as I, Shithead: A Life in Punk. And enjoy the dirt, starting with Chapter 1 revelations like “there was always some friction between [original D.O.A. drummer] Chuck Biscuits and me. He hated my guts for some reason—maybe because I fucked all his girlfriends.” ($17.50 at www.punkbooks.com/) ARIANA GRANDE CAT-EAR HEADPHONES These wireless Bluetooth

headphones have a frequency response of 20 to 20,000 Hz with 32 ohms of impedance, which means that, functionally speaking, they’re not much different than a set of comparably priced Audio-Technicas. One unique feature is that the cat ears are actually external speakers. Let’s face it, though—whoever it is on your list that you’re buying these for is unlikely to have any interest in the technical specifications. What they’ll want to know is that the things light up, and that you can change the colour of the lights (from blue to orange and all points in between) to match your mood or your outfit. And also that they will make the wearer look either adorable or ridiculous, which—like the question of whether Ariana Grande’s voice is the sublime instrument of an angel or the ear-splitting punishment of a vengeful and pitiless God—is a matter of opinion. (US$149 at brookstone.com/)

LOST IN THE SUPERMARKET: AN INDIE ROCK COOKBOOK Contrary

to every balding, middle-aged man’s fantasies, being a touring rock musician in a tiny van is actually pretty tough work. The worst thing about it? The shit food. No stove means a daily choice of McDonald’s, Subway, or Tim’s, or sometimes all three—which, if you’ve seen the movie Supersize Me, doesn’t bode well for the longevity of the band. A few artists, however, have managed to conquer cuisine on the road. Lost in the Supermarket—named after the Clash’s seminal London Calling track—by Bozich Owens and

MAJOR-SCALE MUSICAL WINEGLASSES Remember that scene in

Miss Congeniality when Sandra Bullock starts playing Doctor Zhivago’s “Lara’s Theme” on the rims of halffilled wineglasses, and then stagedives onto an unsuspecting pageant enthusiast? You can now relive that classic moment yourself. Fill your goblet to the desired line (or, better still, drink until you reach the correct marker), and run a moistened finger around the top of the glass. Soon your touch will cause the glass to vibrate, creating a musical note. Each goblet accommodates a full Amajor scale, allowing you to perform tracks like Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine”, ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”, or even Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, all in their original keys—because nothing could be better than spending Christmas Day re-creating disco-house classics on tableware. ($91.62 for a set of two at uncommongoods.com/) This Christmas season offers gifts for punks, mobile music fans, concertgoers, Beatles obsessives, and coffee nuts.

Lynn Owens is a creative collection of recipes that blends music and eating: the two elements needed for a full and happy life. Breaking down some of the favourite meals of indie rock’s biggest bands—we’re talking Sonic Youth, Fugazi, and Belle and Sebastian, among others—Lost in the Supermarket presents 187 pages of easy-to-follow, tasty recipes. Because if you can’t play like them, you might as well eat like them. ($23.04 at amazon.ca/) How cool is this thing? It’s a sensor that plugs into your smartphone or tablet, where it picks up vibrations and converts them into digital sounds and on-screen actions. The unit comes with a range of apps, including Pulse, a game that teaches the building blocks of rhythm, and Keys, which lets users turn their captured vibrations into melodies and chords. You can attach the sensor to pretty much any object, from a water jug to your own head, but if you happen to have an eight-year-old boy in your house, we can pretty much guarantee it will end up stuck to the side of a toilet sooner or later. (US$49.99 at amazon.com/)

MOGEES PLAY

POLK BOOM BIT God knows we’ve all been there—stuck next to that jackass at the beach, at a bus stop, or on a public campsite who’s cranking Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll” on his Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 portable speaker. Such displays of ignorance are never going to change, so if you can’t beat ’em you might as well join them. Weighing in at eight ounces and measuring around three inches in length, the Polk Boom Bit bills itself as the “world’s first truly wearable Bluetooth speaker”. It’s also stylish, coming in a variety of colours including mint grey, sport blue, and lava. Use the steel-spring clip to attach it to your clothes and share your favourite songs with the world, whether you’re on the golf course, standing in line at the bank, or attending your great-aunt Ethyl’s funeral. That’s right: after years of keeping to yourself with headphones, the Polk Boom Bit means you can now screech “I love this song, and you will too,” then crank up the Geto Boys’ immortal “Gangster of Love” for all around you to hear. If someone starts complaining, tell them it could be worse, namely “Old Time Rock & Roll” by Bob Seger. (US$29 at www.polkboom.com/)

THE RCA ALBUMS COLLECTION BY ELVIS PRESLEY It’s tempting to say

that this 60-CD collection is for completists, but that would not be entirely accurate. The folks who compiled this supposedly comprehensive box set have conveniently forgotten that, in 1974, RCA released a little something called Having Fun With Elvis On Stage, which was sort of like a concert album with all the music excised, leaving 37 minutes of inane and mostly incomprehensible banter. Actually, leaving that one out was a good call. Since this is pretty much everything else RCA released with Presley’s name on it, from his signing with the label in 1956 to his death in 1977, you get the best and worst of the King, plus everything in between. You also get three discs of rarities, a 300-page book, stickers, and lovingly detailed reproductions of LP sleeves and inserts. The only thing missing is a recipe for fried peanut-butterand-banana sandwiches. ($345.97 at HMV [1148 Robson Street]) HYPERCAFFIUM SPAZZINATE COFFEE As snobby as we are about

coffee in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve got nothing on legendary SoCal punk band the Descendents. The quartet, which dates back to when punk was a public menace instead of a reason to visit Hot Topic at the mall, has a well-documented obsession with the dark bean. Drummer Bill Stevenson described its first recordings as a “coffee’d-out blend of rock-surf-poppunk music”. The Descendents would quickly become faster and louder, helping invent West Coast hardcore, attributing its newfound aggressiveness to massive coffee consumption. And that’s been backed up over the years by songs like “Kids on Coffee”, lyrics such as “Thou shalt not partake of decaf” (from “All-O-Gistics”), and album titles like the new Hypercaffium Spazzinate. As a tribute to the Descendents, Chicago’s roasters Dark Matter Coffee worked with the band to come up with Hypercaffium Spazzinate coffee, which blends select beans from El Salvador and Guatemala and then tweaks their flavour profile by putting them in beer and spirit barrels. Dark Matter promises that each cup will “Make the coffee drinker reexamine the idea of roast and carmelization in coffee.” And, presumably, want to put on some punk rock. (US$18 at www.darkmattercoffee.com/)

THE LYRICS: 1961–2012 BY BOB DYLAN When it was announced in

October that Bob Dylan had won the Nobel Prize in Literature—the first person to be awarded that honour for song lyrics—it caused some controversy. We are, after all, talking about the man who came up with such deathless lines as “Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a bowl of soup/Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a rolling hoop.” That ain’t exactly William Butler Yeats (who won the Nobel in 1923). Then again, Dylan also wrote “Hurricane”, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”, “All Along the Watchtower”, and “Like a Rolling Stone”, which is more than enough reason to cut the man some slack. Weighing in at nearly 700 pages, The Lyrics: 1961–2012 is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the work of the pop icon whom Kurt Vonnegut called “the worst poet alive” and of whom Leonard Cohen once said, “Dylan is not just a great poet, but a great man.” We’re with Cohen on this one. ($41.71 at chapters.indigo.ca/)

THE COMPLETE SONY RECORDINGS BY PHILIP GLASS The 24

discs in this box set include recordings of some of Philip Glass’s seminal works, including his operas Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, and Akhnaten; his 1990 collaboration with Ravi Shankar, Passages; and his most calculatedly populist chamber suite, Glassworks. There’s a reason Glass is one of the most acclaimed and influential composers of his time—his music is melodic and accessible, and despite his status as an icon of postmodern minimalism, he’s really a classicist at heart. So, that headbanger cousin who asked for the new Dio box set? Forget that swords-and-sorcery bullshit and stick this in his stocking instead. He’ll probably thank you for it by “accidentally” knocking over your eight-foot noble-fir Christmas tree. ($129.76 at amazon.ca/)

ECHO DOT Eliminating the need

for you to ever leave the couch again, Amazon has just released the second generation of its game-changing Echo Dot: a hands-free, voice-controlled device that can play any song on demand. Unveiling the latest in a line of great but slightly creepy personal assistants like Siri and Cortana (ask Siri about “where to hide the bodies” if you don’t believe us), Echo

VIBES HIGH-FIDELITY EARPLUGS

When it comes to live music, the closer you get to the stage the more transcendent the show is likely to be. That’s why people fork out hundreds of dollars for the best Kanye West and Coldplay tickets at B.C. Place and why they elbow their way to the front of the room at the Commodore. The only downside to getting a contact buzz from being within touching distance of your favourite performer is the irreparable hearing damage that inevitably results. Those who haven’t blown every bit of their disposable income on concert tickets solve the problem by springing for custom-made earplugs at places like Vancouver’s Hearing Precision Clinic. The rest of us stuff waddedup napkins or foam earplugs in our ears. A smart and economical alternative is Vibes earplugs, which are designed to make the loudest of concerts 22 decibels quieter and fit those with small, medium, and Dumbo-sized ears. Built-in fi lters help ensure superior sound quality, meaning that you can enjoy the majestic nuances of Deafheaven without going deaf. (US$23.99 at www. discovervibes.com/) LEGO YELLOW SUBMARINE It’s been nearly half a century since the Beatles’ unrelentingly trippy movie Yellow Submarine first graced the world’s screens. For those a little hazy on the story—and let’s be honest, if you can remember the plot, then you probably weren’t doing the ’60s right—the film follows the journey of the Fab Four as they travel from Liverpool to a colourful underwater world, trying to save cheerful Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies. (We’re told it makes more sense on acid.) After 10,000 people suggested that they’d like to relive the bizarre movie in Lego form, the company dutifully obliged. The Yellow Submarine kit splits the titular vessel into 553 pieces, which, when assembled, create a ship with a removable top, a cockpit that fits all the characters, four rotating periscopes, two rotating propellers, and an adjustable rudder. Also found in the box are Beatles mini figs of John, Paul, George, and Ringo and a bonus figurine of Jeremy Hillary Boob: the weird creature with a painted clown face, brown furry body, and pink cottontail. LSD tabs not included. ($69.86 at amazon.ca/) -

DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 39


MUSIC

ATTLAS twists EDM on Bloom Eighteen months ago, prodi-

2 gious Canadian producer Jeff

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40 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016

Hartford didn’t exist—at least according to a Google search. Probably the last person on Earth to join social media, Hartford bucked the trend that up-and-coming musicians must use the Internet to build a comprehensive fan base before shopping for a label. Creating an unprecedented buzz without anyone outside his inner circle knowing his identity, Hartford managed to launch his first EP under his stage name, ATTLAS, to much popular acclaim. “The music came out before I’d even made a personal Facebook profile,” the producer tells the Straight on the line from his studio in Toronto. “The Internet was never a huge part of my life. It wasn’t meant to be a huge statement on technology or privacy—it was more that most of my hobbies were offline pursuits. When I sent my music to deadmau5’s label and he [Joel Zimmerman] chose to release it, people started assuming that my music was actually his side project, because it was really inconceivable that anybody could be putting music out there on a label like mau5trap without any online presence.” While the rising producer was flattered that his work was being compared to that of one of the most famous performers in the industry, Hartford quickly realized that he had to cultivate his own musical persona. “That response was such a big compliment to me,” he says, “because Joel has always been a huge inspiration. But while it was fun for a bit, I suddenly thought about how I had to start being Jeff, so that I wasn’t being disrespectful to the brand that deadmau5 has built over the years. I didn’t want anyone to think that they were being sold something that wasn’t genuine, or for Joel to think I was just leeching off his creative, professional, and social-media efforts over the last decade, which have given him a unique throne in the industry. So I’ve been coming to a point over the last year or so where I’ve realized that it’s time to find my own voice on social media and in my production.” Realizing his latest EP, Bloom, in July of this year, Hartford traded the techno-influenced tracks of his first three records for five piano-based soundscapes. Rooted in complex chord progressions and powerful vocals, the producer’s new offering taps into his background as a composer of film scores, drawing on techniques he acquired when interning under industry luminaries like Trevor Morris. With his unique twist on the EDM genre, Hartford has mastered how to combine his classical training with electronic sounds. “Bloom was definitely crafted to have that softer vibe,” the producer says. “I was on the road for a long time, performing in a lot of big club landscapes. Those venues want the big, heavy tracks over and over—which is really exciting, but when you’re on

ATTLAS does not care how many times he hears “Look at the camera.”

tour you don’t necessarily have the ability to have lots of instruments around you. When I went home, I went right back to the acoustic guitar and the piano—two tools that I use for writing which I didn’t have on the bus. “It’s up to me to create music that people stay interested in,” he continues, “and I want to keep pushing the boundaries with my sound, and changing the way people interact with my music. Last week, for example, we shared the MIDI files for my track ‘Blood Work’. You can load that into your synth, and modulate it up and down a few keys, slow it down, and speed it up. In terms of the live experience, I’d like to draw on elements from art galleries. There are installations there that allow you to experience the music in completely different ways, depending on where you sit in the room. Dolby has just released the Atmos system, which is a new kind of surround sound where the music doesn’t just come from in front and behind you, but also from on top and below. There are a lot of ideas out there to explore.” > KATE WILSON

ATTLAS plays Fortune Sound Club on Saturday (December 3).

Revelers understand that folks just want to dance Musicians are not known for

2 their willingness to rise early,

with an irresistible perk: access to the finest Cajun andouille known to man. “Bruno, Blake’s dad, makes sausage,” saxophonist Chris Miller explains. “Actually, he makes the best sausage in the world. I wouldn’t say it’s a typical day, but sometimes we’ll get up at 7 a.m. and start grinding pork sausage, and it’s a big group effort. That takes four or five hours, and we get it all smoked, and then we pack it all up and split it all up amongst those who took part in helping make it.” Food also plays a big part in Revelers rehearsals, which might also be described as parties. “Any given night of the week it’s sort of like ‘Alright, who’s cooking?’ And everybody goes over to somebody’s house and they’ve got a pot of stew on, gumbo or salpicon or something, and then we just hang out and play tunes,” Miller tells the Straight from his girlfriend’s place in Maryland, where he’s escaping “the crazy disaster that is American Black Friday”. “People are dancing in the kitchen or the backyard; it’s like a community thing,” he continues. “And dinner’s ready when it’s ready—which might be midnight! Without the music and the food I don’t know what there’d be, but on the surface it’s incredible how inextricably linked they are.” Miller—a transplant from Florida to the Revelers’ home base of Lafayette—isn’t related to his accordionplaying namesake but says he and his bandmates have been welcomed into that other Miller’s family, and into Cajun life in general. “If you want to come in and respect their tradition and learn it, then people are happy to have you,” he notes. “It’s really a melting-pot culture, and I consider it to be like a second home to me now.” Cajun music’s expansiveness is well-served by the Revelers’ approach. Although Miller, with his French-language songs and robust squeezebox—which he built himself—is more or less the heart of the band, Memphis-born guitarist Chas Justus adds a swinging jump-blues approach to the mix, and fiddler Daniel Coolik, an Atlanta native, is fluent in a variety of styles from beyond the bayou. Clever tricks, like throwing a Count Basie–style jazz riff into a Cajun waltz, keep the music from ever being narrowly traditional, yet Miller says even the most rural audiences enjoy these experiments—as long as the Revelers remember to include one key traditional ingredient. “Ultimately, it’s dance music, and people in Louisiana, they don’t really care what you play as long as they can dance to it,” Miller points out. “Yes, there are purists who would say that what we do isn’t Cajun enough, or it’s not zydeco enough, but there are always going to be people like that. We just play what we like, and if the dancers are happy then we’re happy too.”

but if you’ve got the right incentive, anything is possible. And when it comes to keeping Louisiana zydeco > ALEXANDER VARTY and swamp-pop specialists the Revelers together, singer and accordionist Blake Miller clearly has the right re- The Revelers play St. James Hall cipe. Membership in the sextet comes tonight (December 1).


MUSIC

Aurora learns not to sweat things Fear was a great motivator for the writing of All My Demons, but Norway’s next big thing has moved on

music/ timeout

> BY M IKE USING E R

A

s career choices go, there’s a very valid argument to be made that Aurora Aksnes has made something of an odd one. Her rapid ascension as a synths-and-beats-oriented singersongwriter has not only taken her away from the places that she loves most, but also pushed her right out of her comfort zone. When the artist who performs simply as Aurora is reached in San Francisco, she admits that alone time is in short supply these days—life has become a blur of hotel rooms and concert halls. Where that becomes challenging is there’s nothing the 20-year-old cherishes more than being by herself, preferably out in nature in her native Norway. “Early in my life I really depended on my alone time because I really needed it,” Aurora says in charmingly mellifluous English, speaking on the phone from a San Fran hotel room. “I’d be like, ‘I’m really stressed now, but later I’ll be alone for the whole evening so I will be fine.’ Right now I don’t have that promise of being able to hang by myself, which can be difficult because I love my own company. I’m my own best friend.” Her love of solitude, and walks on the shores and in the forests of Norway, can perhaps be traced back to a childhood when she wasn’t exactly one of the incrowd at school. Like many who end up making art, Aurora was introverted during her younger years, and in some ways that hasn’t changed today. Stage fright was a major problem when she began performing, between-songs banter remains a work in progress, and as endlessly charming as she is during her talk with the Straight, interviews can

Although she’s not world-famous quite yet, singer-songwriter Aurora sometimes has to resort to the simplest of disguises to maintain her privacy.

sometimes be challenging. Looking back at her childhood she remembers finding solace in music, that removing some of the sting of being on the outside looking in. “I was afraid as a kid—I think that everyone is afraid from the ages of 8 to 14,” she opines. “It’s scary being alive—everything is so simple and so complicated at the same time. So it’s absolutely logical that if you find someone that’s easy to pick on and to laugh at it will make you feel bigger about yourself. It’s about finding an easy target, and I definitely was.”

Greeting Me As a Friend straddle two different worlds, the music lush and ethereal, the lyrics suggesting someone had some dark times that needed working through. Aurora—who’s been writing songs since she was nine—has drawn comparisons to folk-pop giants like Sia, Of Monsters and Men, and Lorde, CONCERTS < all of which are understandable. The CLUBS & VENUES < hazy heart-of-pain synths and her OUT OF TOWN < wonderfully wounded delivery will also resonate with those desperately CONCERTS wishing Lana Del Rey would get back in the studio. Major fans have 2JUST ANNOUNCED included everyone from Howard 20TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT Stern and Katy Perry to the editors Canadian folk-fusion band the Wheat in at Rolling Stone, who pegged her as the Barley presents a 20th-anniversary concert in support of the St. James Hall one of 2016’s artists to watch at the Restoration Fund. Dec 9, 8 pm, St. James beginning of the year. Hall (3214 W. 10th). Tix $24/22, info www. The hype is more than justified. wheatinthebarley.com/. Where things get fascinating on All B3 KINGS WITH DENZAL SINCLAIRE My Demons is that the songs never Jazz-groove group composed of come across as depressing, despite vocalist-drummer Denzal Sinclaire, organlyrics like “All I need is to remem- ist Chris Gestrin, saxophonist Cory Weeds, and guitarist Bill Coon. Dec 14, ber how it was to feel alive,” from the 8 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for lightly trip-hopped “Winter Bird”. the Performing Arts (2055 Purcell Way). That dichotomy is entirely intention- Tix $30/27, info www.capilanou.ca/ al. As much as she loves being alone, blueshorefinancialcentre/16-B3-Kings/. Aurora has learned how to cope MUSIC FOR THE WINTER SOLSTICE Music on Main salutes the solstice with around her fellow human beings. by Veda Hille, Caroline “Things could have turned out performances Shaw, Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, and Adrian badly for me—like, I used to be ter- Vardejo. Dec 15, 16, 8 pm, Heritage Hall rified of people who wanted to hug (3102 Main Street). Tix $25/10, info www. me,” she says. “I did not like to be musiconmain.ca/concerts/music-for-thehugged as a child. And I used to winter-solstice-2016/. be terrified of one of my teachers COOL YULE WITH VAN DJANGO The at school, but then I met him a few Rogue Folk Club presents the Canadian band in a festive mix of nosmonths ago, and it was really nice. Gypsy-jazz talgic favourites, jazz standards, pop tunes, It’s weird how things change. I used classical elements, and sing-alongs, plus a to really be afraid of playing live on- few surprises Dec 18, 8 pm, St. James Hall stage, and now I look forward to it (3214 W. 10th). Tix $22, info www.roguefolk. every time. Sometimes it’s about get- bc.ca/concerts/ev16121820/. ting to know your fears and realizing that things really weren’t that scary after all.” For up-to-the-minute, searchable

If there’s a silver lining to that, it’s that Aurora has connect with others just like her with her debut album, All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend, the very title of which suggests she’s capable of turning dark moments into something positive. (And in case the record’s title doesn’t get the message through, consider how the cover art depicts Aurora swaddled in pale mummylike fabric with her eyes closed, beige butterfly wings sprouting from her back, the whole picture suggesting someone Aurora plays the Vogue on Saturday caught in mid-metamorphosis.) The songs on All My Demons (December 3).

Prolific Mathias is positively heavy

M

athias is on an ambitious quest to boost our economy. For starters, the rapper and the other members of the Lower Mainland’s Lazy Weekend collective are out promoting hip-hop events across the city, including this week’s release party for his new Pray for Nyx EP. Backed by a club-ready boom, the digital release’s opening track, “North West”, reps all the glories of Beautiful British Columbia, “from the valley to the coast”. Considering the party track’s bushel of references to “smokin’ trees” and puffin’ “the mary”, the producer is also a serious consumer, one who’s clearly bought his fair share of local green. “I definitely have a very passionate relationship with weed,” the North Vancouver–based MC tells the Straight in a Gastown coffee-shop conversation just hours ahead of hitting the studio for his next recording session. Adhering to the ethos “Write high, edit sober,” he continues: No matter whether his sound is jazzy or face-melting, North Van rapper Mathias is all about sending “My most powerful, creative efforts usually inout an uplifting vibe—but you’re going to have to go through him if you want to see what’s in his garage. volve some weed in my body.” As the conversation wraps, the frizzy-haired On a surface level, the THC count would seem “I want to help inspire healthy change in people, high enough in Mathias to warrant that Lazy and help them wake up, but at the same time I want to wordsmith pulls out a notebook, pledging to jot Weekend tag, but the musician is in his most pro- make people rage. At my shows, I want to see people down some ideas ahead of getting behind the ductive phase yet. Born and raised in Kelowna, he moshing and just going crazy,” he says of handing mike. Though Pray for Nyx has just arrived, he’s got began as a drummer in a high-school jazz band, out a thicker block of beats this time around. “I other projects coming down the pipeline. A newly but progressed to producing beats after falling guess that goes back to my dubstep roots—I love that launched website’s blog section will have him waxing on social issues he doesn’t touch on in his music. for the deep drops of the dubstep scene. While he heavy, melt-your-face-type music.” While the EP’s sonics are ready to crack domes with (“There’s so much shit going on in society that I’m took a shot at studying science in college, a family hammer-down drum-machine just not down with,” he notes.) Next year, he’s aimmember’s cancer scare shook claps, or keep you twisted with ing to drop two more releases. The first, titled Zeus, Mathias enough to make him hazy smears of synth, Mathias’s will have him tapping into more trap-style sonics follow his heart and head into lyrics have a gentler spirit. His and a “larger-than-life vibe”. Following that, he’ll the arts. He moved further Gregory Adams spitting style’s got a brag-heavy deliver The Reward Pathway, named after the huwest to attend the North Shore’s Harbourside Institute of Technology to study au- swagger, but he’s generally pushing a positive mes- man brain’s regulation of dopamine. “If you’re hungry and you eat a meal, your body dio engineering, where he linked up with future sage. The rapper’s on-his-grind ethic surfaces on most tracks, whether he’s talking about hitting the is going to signal that it feels good to eat that,” Lazy Weekend associates like producer Moxsa. “I just realized that I’ve got to make the best booth in “North West” or working his fingers bloody Mathias explains. “At the same time, I feel that of this time,” Mathias recalls, adding that his writing rhymes on the faux-brass-blastin’ “No Ene- I’m on the reward pathway. Since I’ve chosen to brother has since recovered from the disease. mies”. The golden swirl of “Alchemy” also finds him follow this calling within myself, not listening to “All these futures that I had planned out for my- pushing his onward-and-upward agenda: “If you’re anyone else and believing in myself, the place that I’ve gone to now feels surreal. self that were given to me by other people, my pessimistic, we can’t be friends.” “If you’re going to be outspokenly negative, or “You make these decisions, and you follow parents for example, they didn’t feel right. It just talk down on what I believe in, I’m not going to yourself,” he adds. “Even if it seems totally unrealgave me fire to follow my dreams.” Pray for Nyx is Mathias’s third EP to drop since bother to tell you that you’re wrong; you’re never istic and impossible, in some way the universe is he moved to the Lower Mainland at the end of 2014. going to see me again. I don’t have time to waste going to make that happen for you.” While last year’s Moxsa-produced Saga Birth release on trying to explain it,” he says. “I just try to surtrafficked in left-field beats and jazzy flourishes of round myself with the most positive people that I Mathias headlines a release party for Pray for sax and guitar, the self-prepped Pray for Nyx deliv- can. I try to surround myself with people I look up Nyx tonight (December 1) at Studio Records (919 Granville Street). to, so I can learn from them.” ers a series of energized AutoTune symphonies.

Local Motion

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TRUE NORTH Vancouver’s official New Year’s Eve Party features performances by the New Pornographers, Yukon Blonde, Humans (Live), Delhi 2 Dublin, Meghan Patrick, and DJs Andy Clockwork, Kevin Shiu, and Hebegebe. Dec 31, 8 pm, Vancouver Convention Centre. Tix from $99 (plus service charges and fees) at www.nyevan.com/truenorth/. T.I. American actor and rapper tours in support of his latest EP release Us or Else. Jan 12, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Nov 28, 10 am, $55-125 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/. DREAM WARRIORS Toronto jazz-rap duo composed of King Lu and Q performs on its Legends of the 6ix Tour. Jan 24, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Fortune Sound Club (147 E. Pender). Tix on sale Dec 2, 10 am, $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. VINCE STAPLES American rapper performs on his Life Aquatic Tour, with guest Kilo Kish. Feb 28, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix on sale Dec 2, 10 am, $34.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. THE PHILOSOPHER KINGS Canadian alt-pop band (“I Am the Man”, “Hurts to Love You”) performs in support of the 20th anniversary of album Famous, Rich, and Beautiful, with guests Jonathan Roy and Jordan Alexander. Mar 6, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Dec 2, 10 am $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. MOTHER MOTHER Canadian indie-rock band performs on its No Culture Tour, with guests K.Flay (Mar 25-26), We Are the City and Beach Season (Mar 28), and We Are the City and Little Destroyer (Mar 29). Mar 25, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm; Mar 26, doors 2 pm, show 3 pm; Mar 28-29, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Dec 2, 10 am, $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. BILL AND JOEL PLASKETT Canadian father-and-son rock duo performs on its Solidarity Tour, with guests Mayhemingways. Apr 1, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix on sale Dec 2, 10 am, $30 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. COLONY HOUSE Tennessee rock band tours in support of latest release Only the Lonely. Apr 1, doors 7 pm, show 8:30 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on sale Dec 2, 10 am, $15 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/.

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DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 41


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2THIS WEEK MARC VAN VUGT AND INEKE VANDOORN Dutch Grammy-winning jazz musicians Ineke Vandoorn and Marc van Vugt perform with bassist André Lachance and drummer Jesse Cahill. Dec 1, 8 pm, Frankie’s (765 Beatty). $15, info www.coast aljazz.ca/marc_van_vugt_ineke_vandoorn/. THE BALCONIES Toronto-based altpop group, with guests the Living and the Benton Roark Band. Dec 1, 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $10, info www.rickshawtheatre.com/. THE REVELERS The Rogue Folk Club presents American roots group composed of founding members of the Red Stick Ramblers and the Pine Leaf Boys. Dec 1, 8-10 pm, St. James Hall (3214 W. 10th). Tix $32, info www.roguefolk.bc.ca/. THE JAPANESE HOUSE London singersongwriter tours in support of latest EP release Clean. Dec 1, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Cobalt (917 Main). Tix $14 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat Records and www.ticketweb.ca/.

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MERCHANDISE Florida-based shoegaze trio tours in support of fifth album A Corpse Wired for Sound, with guests Gun Outfit. Dec 2, doors 7 pm, Fortune Sound Club (147 E. Pender). Tix $13 (plus service charges and fees) at www.bplive.ca/. ANCIIENTS AND AUROCH Vancouver heavy-metal band coheadlines with Vancouver death-metal group, with guests Ahna, Wormwitch, and Graveolence. Dec 2, 7 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $10, info www.rickshawtheatre.com/. THE MODELOS 10TH ANNUAL FOOD BANK FUNDRAISER Live music by the Modelos, Daniel Wesley, Rodney DeCroo, Buckman Coe, Slip Ons, Terminal Station, Ana Bon-Bon and Taylor Little, Steve Kozak, Sandy Bone, and the Boomchix. Proceeds go to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Dec 2, 8 pm, Fairview Pub (898 W. Broadway). Tix $10, info www.the modelos.com/. THE FOGHORN STRINGBAND The Rogue Folk Club presents the traditionalroots band from Portland, Oregon. Dec 2, 8 pm, St. James Hall (3214 W. 10th). Tix $26, info www.roguefolk.bc.ca/concerts/ ev16120220/. PERE UBU Cleveland rock group performs songs from recent box-set releases Architecture of Language 1979-1982 and Elitism for the People 1975-1978. Dec 2, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Cobalt (917 Main). Tix $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketweb.ca/. THE CAVE SINGERS The Georgia Straight presents Seattle indie-rock quartet touring in support of latest album Banshee, with guest Ashley Shadow. Dec 2, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix $22.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

NEW ORLEANS INSPIRED CUISINE

THE DEAD SOUTH Regina-based fourpiece acoustic ensemble, with Rodney DeCroo & the Wise Blood and Stetson Road. Dec 3, 7 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix $12 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketfly.com/. THE SLACKERS Brooklyn ska band celebrates its 25th anniversary, with guests the Sentiments, the Valuables, and Space Chimp. Dec 3, 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $22, info www.rickshawtheatre.com/.

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42 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016

AURORA Norwegian pop singer-songwriter tours in support of debut release All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend, with guests Foreign Air. Dec 3, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $20 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketfly.com/. FLOR AND LOSTBOYCROW Los Angeles pop-R&B band tours in support of upcoming debut album. Dec 4, 7 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix $13 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat Records and www.ticketfly.com/. BLUES FOR CHRISTMAS The 31st annual concert features performances by Biscuit Blues Band, Jayleen Stonehouse, Billy Dixon Soul Train Express, Cecile Larochelle, Keith Bennett, Murray Porter, and Les Is More (Dec 4), David Gogo, Jason Buie, Dalannah and Owen, Mike Machado Band, Steve Kozak Band, Cannery Row, Steve Sainas, and the Bobcats (Dec 5). Proceeds go to the Drew Burns Commodore

Musicians’ Fund. Dec 4-5, doors 7:15 pm, show 8 pm, Fairview Pub (898 W. Broadway). Tix $20 (plus service charges and fees) at www.brownpapertickets.com/.

MARC E. BASSY American hip-hop singer-songwriter performs on his Groovy People Tour. Dec 4, 9 pm, Fortune Sound Club (147 E. Pender). Tix $15 (plus service charges and fees) at www.bplive.ca/. THE HEAD AND THE HEART Seattle indiefolk band tours in support of upcoming fulllength album Signs of Light. Dec 5, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe). Tix $55/39.50/32.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. WILD CHILD Indie-pop sextet from Austin, Texas, plays tunes from latest album Fools. Dec 6, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix $18 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. THE DANDY WARHOLS American altrock band tours in support of ninth studio album Distortland. Dec 6, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $32.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. MICHAEL KIWANUKA Soul musician from Britain performs material from new album Love & Hate. Dec 7, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). NOTE: Changed from previous venue of The Imperial. Tix $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. AGAINST THE CURRENT American poprock band tours in support of premiere studio album In Our Bones, with guests Cruisr and Beach Weather. Dec 7, doors 6:30 pm, show 7 pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway). Tix $18 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. LEE FIELDS AND THE EXPRESSIONS American soul-R&B legend tours in support of upcoming release Special Night. Dec 7, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). NOTE: Moved from previous venue of the Biltmore. Tix $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketweb.ca/.

2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS KEITHMAS VII: A FOOD BANK FUNDRAGER Celebrate the birth of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and help raise money for the Vancouver Food Bank. Performers include Rich Hope, Bif Naked, No Sinner, Pigby, the Rentalmen, La Chinga, Sister Morphine, the Orange Kyte, and Greenback High. Dec 16, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $15 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Highlife Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/.

ORIGINAL UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER PARTY Dec 23 DOOLIN’S IRISH PUB 654 Nelson, 604605-4343. Live music Sun-Thu, with acoustic soloist or duo Sun-Wed and live band Thu DJ Fri-Sat. FORTUNE SOUND CLUB 147 E. Pender, 604-569-1758. 2MERCHANDISE Dec 2 2MARC E. BASSY Dec 4 2MACHINEDRUM Dec 29 2DREAM WARRIORS Jan 24, 2017 2THE KNOCKS Feb 3, 2017 2PROF Feb 11, 2017 2THE STAVES Feb 17, 2017 2P.O.S Mar 3, 2017 2ISAIAH RASHAD Mar 22, 2017 FOX CABARET 2321 Main. 2FOX HOLE COMEDY Nov 30 2URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT FOUR-YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY Dec 8 2HAYLEY SALES Dec 13 2ISABELLE DUNLOP FASHION SHOW Dec 14 2THE ORCHID CLUB VIRAGO NATION TAKEOVER Dec 20 THE IMPERIAL 319 Main, 604-868-0494. 2LEE FIELDS AND THE EXPRESSIONS Dec 7 2ROY WOODS Dec 15 IVANHOE PUB 1038 Main, 604-608-1444. Pub with live bands on weekends and open jam night Sun from 4 to 8 pm. Open at 9 am with breakfast and daily food specials. Pool tourney Thu. No cover. LAMPLIGHTER PUBLIC HOUSE 92 Water, 604-687-4424. Pub trivia with Nice Guys Inc. Tue; bourbon and bingo Wed; Rocksteady with DJs Arems, Hoppa & Rexx Thu; FKYA DJs Fri; DJ Antonia & Friends Sat. MOLSON CANADIAN THEATRE AT HARD ROCK 2080 United Blvd., 604-5236888. Thousand-seat venue showcases leading Canadian and international acts. 2BURTON CUMMINGS Dec 29 PRINCETON PUB & GRILL 1901 Powell, 604-253-6645. Live music on Thursdays with the Palomars (first Thu of every month), the Honky Tonk Dilettantes (second Thu), Sick Boss (third Thu), and Gabriel DuBreuil (fourth Thu). Jam session Tue, trivia night Wed, live local bands Fri-Sat, and karaoke Sun. No cover. 2THE NEW BLACK Dec 2 REPUBLIC 958 Granville, 604-669-3214. House, hip-hop, EDM, chart, and reggae. Open nightly from 10 pm to 3 am. RICKSHAW THEATRE 254 E. Hastings, 604-681-8915. 2THE BALCONIES Dec 1 2ANCIIENTS, AUROCH Dec 2 2THE SLACKERS Dec 3 2COUSIN HARLEY Dec 9 2DOUSE Dec 10 2LUCITERRA WHITE RAVEN REVUE 2016 Dec 11 2THE ALBUM LEAF Dec 13 2THE FIRST OH WELL Dec 15 2KEITHMAS VII: A FOOD BANK FUNDRAGER Dec 16 2HED PE Dec 18 2BLACK WIZARD, BLACK BREATH Dec 31

RIVER ROCK SHOW THEATRE River CONTACT WINTER MUSIC FESTIVAL Rock Casino Resort, 8811 River Rd., 604Electronic-music festival features perform247-8900. 2DONNY & MARIE Dec 20-22 ances by Flume, Zeds Dead, Gareth Emery, 2KIM MITCHELL Dec 30 Getter, Mija, Drezo, Audien, Big Wild, Shaun Frank, Sleepy Tom, Disclosure DJ, THE ROXY 932 Granville, 604-331-7999. Marshmello, W&W, Slushii, Vicetone, Botnek, House band Tattoo Alibi Sat & Mon; counBaauer, Hucci, Grandtheft, and Pusher. try band Locked & Loaded Sun; the Bulge Dec 26-27, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific and DJ Joe Pound Tue; Troys ‘R Us Wed-Thu. Boulevard). Tix from $99 (plus service char2DIEMONDS AND PIGEON PARK Dec 16 ges and fees) at www.contact-festival.com/. ST. JAMES HALL 3214 W. 10th, 604-736MASSIVE GALA 2017 The Georgia 3022. 2DROP IN ROCK CHOIR Nov 30 Straight presents a New Year’s Eve con2THE REVELERS Dec 1 2THE FOGHORN cert featuring performances by Fetty STRINGBAND Dec 2 220TH ANNIVERSARY Wap, Young Thug, Monty, and Daijo. Dec CONCERT Dec 9 2COOL YULE WITH VAN 31, Pacific Coliseum (Hastings Park, 100 N. DJANGO Dec 18 Renfrew). Tix at www.solidevents.ca/, info VENUE 881 Granville, 604-646-0064. www.solidevents.ca/. 2MARKUS SCHULZ Dec 10 2LITTLE INDIA Dec 16 2AESOP ROCK Dec 19 2NEUROSIS CLUBS & VENUES Dec 20 2NYE 2017 Dec 31 BACKSTAGE LOUNGE Arts Club Theatre, 1585 Johnston, Granville Island, 604-6871354. Hot Jazz Jam night on Tue. 2DEVON O’REILLY, ROLLINTRAINWRECK Nov 30 2THE PHONIX Dec 1 BILTMORE CABARET 2755 Prince Edward, 604-676-0541. 2CRX Nov 30 2THE RUFFLED FEATHERS Dec 1 2THE CAVE SINGERS Dec 2 2THE DEAD SOUTH Dec 3 2FLOR AND LOSTBOYCROW Dec 4 2WILD CHILD Dec 6 2ROONEY Dec 10 BLUE MARTINI JAZZ CAFE 1516 Yew, 604-428-2691. Live jazz, soul, and blues. COBALT 917 Main, 778-918-3671. 2THE JAPANESE HOUSE Dec 1 2PERE UBU Dec 2 2THE LEMON TWIGS Feb 1, 2017 2SERATONES Feb 4, 2017 2CHERRY GLAZERR Feb 7, 2017 2HIPPO CAMPUS Feb 23, 2017 2MOON DUO Mar 4, 2017 COMMODORE BALLROOM 868 Granville, 604-739-4550. 2BROTHERS OSBORNE Nov 30 2THE DANDY WARHOLS Dec 6 2MICHAEL KIWANUKA Dec 7 2ANDRA DAY Dec 12 2IN FLAMES AND HELL YEAH Dec 14 2FUNK THE HALLS Dec 21 2THE

VOGUE THEATRE 918 Granville, 604-5691144. 2BECAUSE IT’S 2016: NIMBUS GRAD Dec 2 2AURORA Dec 3 WISE HALL 1882 Adanac, 604-254-5858. 2THE ODDFELLOWS GETS SCROOGED Dec 3 2PETUNIA & THE VIPERS Dec 512, 19 & 26 2LIVING MADE EASY Dec 16 2NO B.S. NEW YEARS EVE PIZZA PARTY Dec 31

OUT OF TOWN 2THIS WEEK TOMMY EMMANUEL Australian acousticguitar wizard performs a Christmas show Dec 3, 7:30 pm, Moore Theatre (Seattle, Wash.). Tix US$47/32 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.

TIME OUT MUSIC LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.


HOUSING

Granville Island evolves

T

here are a lot of ideas about how Van- including artists, designers and digital industries, couver’s Granville Island should look recognizing that Granville Island has always been in the future. Suggestions like a 24- a place where things are made,” the paper notes. hour public market have been taking It also notes that the Granville Island Club shape this fall in advance of a renewal of the could be constructed out of shipping containers. popular urban destination. The 17-hectare Granville Island is a former One of the emerging ideas listed in a dis- industrial site that was transformed, starting cussion guide prepared by the team behind in the 1970s, into a shopping and cultural desthe Granville Island 2040 planning program tination in Vancouver. is the inclusion of housing. The document An open house will be held on Saturday (Denotes that there are only a cember 3) about the evolving few families in float homes vision for the island, which that reside in the area. is managed by the CanAlthough the original ada Mortgage and Housing Carlito Pablo plan for the site called for Corporation. The event starts 25,000 square feet of residential development, at 10:30 a.m. at the Revue Stage at the east side this didn’t happen. of the public market. Last October, the Georgia Straight asked the person leading the federal planning exercise THE CITY OF Vancouver has received a subabout the prospects for future housing. Michael mission to conserve the historic Royal Bank Stevenson indicated at the time that nobody building downtown. The proposal is part of a rezoning application has been pushing for residential development as part of the island’s planned revitalization. to build an adjacent 28-storey office tower. The However, the former SFU president offered his new glass-and-metal structure will be located at own “stargazing idea” of temporary housing for the vacant site east of the Royal Bank building on West Hastings Street that was completed in artists and workers in innovative industries. The discussion guide explains why some 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression. Project architect Musson Cattell Mackey housing makes sense: “Bringing more people to live on Granville Island could keep the island Partnership prepared a design rationale stating more lively in evenings and off-peak seasons.” that the old building will benefit from a “seisEchoing Stevenson’s thoughts, the paper mic upgrade”. “The proposed construction of a new ofgoes on to state: “In the future, Granville Island could be a place for short-term affordable fice tower at 625 West Hastings will create a housing, including places for temporary artist unique opportunity to design a new lateral load resisting system within 625 West Hastresidences or even student housing.” The document also raises the possibility of a ings that can support both towers,” the docu“Granville Island Club”, which it describes as ment notes. Donald Luxton and Associates Inc. put an “intentional community for artists”. According to the guide, grants may be used together a heritage study recalling that as the to create studios and gallery spaces for rotating Royal Bank of Canada became the nation’s artists in residence, plus a communal kitchen biggest bank in the 1920s, it moved to build and social hall to “allow for support and en- a stone-clad home at the northeast corner of West Hastings and Granville streets. courage collaborations”. “The new tower would symbolize the powerThe paper goes on to state that the club “would be part of and physically linked to” a ful bank and become a beacon of hope, even “creative exchange laboratory”, which is also as the tower’s construction progressed at the one of the emerging ideas for a revitalized onset of the Great Depression,” the study notes. The proposed office structure will have five Granville Island. The discussion guide describes the creative levels of underground parking for 67 cars. According to the rezoning application, the lab as a potential “centre for innovation across new building will have at least 150,000 square a variety of industries”. “Spaces should be allocated for makers, feet of office space. -

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DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 43


straight stars December 1 to 7, 2016

D

ecember opens on the upswing. For the next couple of weeks, Mars in Aquarius will keep the social and political action stirred up. Thursday evening, mission-driven Mars/Jupiter are game to get out to enjoy the local action, talk it up, share a few laughs, and spread good cheer. It’s a more hopeful, optimistic influence. God knows, we could use more of both! On Friday, Mercury advances into Capricorn. The transit puts more attention toward the duty call and to added pressure, financial restraints, or the short amount of time you have to work with. To the plus, it can help you to get a better handle on things. Effort nets reward. There are bargains to be had. Don’t scrimp on quality, though. Keeping the pace industrious and lively, Mars is in good shape with Saturn on Saturday and Uranus on Tuesday. It’s the peak weekend of the month for making the most of it before Christmas and Hanukkah. Friday through Sunday is also stagesetting for next week’s U.S. election recount, which coincides with a super full moon in Gemini. On Wednesday, Venus leaves Capricorn for Aquarius. We’ll notice this as a fresh wind regarding everything to do with socializing, shopping, the holidays, and the political climate. This first half of the month provides your best window of opportunity. You are wise to aim for a step ahead with your holiday shopping, plans, and extras. On December 19,

> BY ROSE MARCUS

Mercury turns retrograde, which, as your good mood, especially Thursyou probably know by now, is not the day and Saturday to Monday. best transit for shopping or decisions. CANCER ARIES June 21–July 22 March 20–April 20 Something fresh and new You are a good idea fac- hits the mark very well on Thursday. tory Thursday. Conversation and In fact, that’s your best play for the connection are in good flow too. Fri- weekend and for the next couple of day can be one to get through, but weeks. Mercury in Capricorn, startSaturday onward, the stars keep to ing Friday, gives you something more a smooth track. Mercury into Cap- tangible to go on. You’ll find it’s easier ricorn reminds you to stay practical to make up your mind, get an answer, and to put time to good use. Venus or know where you stand with others. into Aquarius, starting next WedLEO nesday, keeps the money in motion July 22–August 23 and the social spark well lit. You’ll now hit a social and TAURUS activity upswing. With fast-track Mars April 20–May 21 in good shape through mid next week, You’ll track it down and you’ll time it right, do it right, and say figure it out with relative ease over it right. Venus into Aquarius, starting this next week. Busier days and a Wednesday, extends that good trend. longer must-do list are no surprise. While the spur of the moment can see Even so, the work, planning, and caution thrown to the wind, Mercury, problem-solving hit a smooth track. freshly into Capricorn, reminds you to Saturday through Monday puts you keep practical and budget-conscious. or it on a fresh spin. Go, do, and get VIRGO while it’s working for you so well.

‫ﺑ‬

‫ﺎ‬

‫ﺒ‬

‫ﺏ‬ ‫ﺐ‬

‫ﺓ‬

GEMINI

May 21–June 21

Mars, Jupiter, and Venus keep you in spirits bright and moving from next to next without skipping a beat. Take full advantage of the next two weeks while the getting is so good. Despite the fi nancial stretch and busyness everywhere that are so typical of the holidays, it’s near impossible to put a dent in

August 23–September 23

Mars/Jupiter set you onto a productive upswing. Get on it and you’ll get the job done without too much sweat. There’s absolutely no reason to buy into stress. No matter what pressure or challenge you face, you’ll gain good traction from helpful stars, especially through the following weekend. Mercury in Capricorn puts you in the driver’s seat and loans you excellent smarts.

‫ﺔ‬

LIBRA

September 23–October 23

Synchronicity works like a charm for you on Thursday. Say yes to a spontaneous invite, purchase, or whim. In fact, great timing should keep rolling for you through the weekend and into next week’s start. As of Friday, Mercury in Capricorn helps you to better manage time and money. It also sets a backdrop for better results and reward.

‫ﺕ‬

SCORPIO

October 23–November 22

As of Thursday, you should feel you are gaining on yourself and that it falls into place naturally and well. Mercury in Capricorn, starting Friday, can draw more attention to timelines, deadlines, and duty will also help you get the responsibilities handled, the message conveyed, and the plans nailed down. Saturday through Wednesday, you’ll make good headway.

‫ﺖ‬

SAGITTARIUS

November 22–December 21

‫ﺊ‬

CAPRICORN

December 21–January 20

Ready, set, jump on it. Thursday/Friday, you’re hot stuff. Mars/Jupiter and Mercury into Capricorn boost you with a fresh burst of energy and can-do. All new initiatives are especially well timed. Don’t hesitate; don’t delay. Take charge; be the first to say it or do it. Good timing gifts you through mid next week.

‫ﺋ‬

AQUARIUS

January 20–February 18

Mars in Aquarius in excellent shape with Jupiter kick-starts a happening week or two. Thursday brings news and/or puts it into full swing in some happy or official way. Socially, creatively, and activity-wise, Saturday through Monday keeps you going strong too. Venus into Aquarius, starting Tuesday, brings more favoured attention and good feedback your way.

‫ﺌ‬

PISCES

February 18–March 20

You’ll get a much better handle on it as of Thursday/Friday. Mercury into Capricorn helps you to be more practical and use time more efficiently. It will also help you stay on budget. There’s no need to put yourself under pressure. Mars, Jupiter, and Venus keep it stimulating, social, upbeat, and, mostly, smooth-rolling. -

Something out of the blue could fill it in for you quite nicely Thursday/Friday. Saturday/ Sunday is also good for making it up as you go along. Mercury in Capricorn helps you to get a better handle on spending, health, or other important stuff. We may not see much of you for most of Tues- Book a reading or sign up for Rose’s day. You’ll resurface once Venus free monthly newsletter at www. treks into Aquarius on Wednesday. rosemarcus.com/astrolink/.

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redhotdateline.com 18+ 46 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT DECEMBER 1 – 8 / 2016


savage love My boyfriend of almost two

years is wonderful, and we have had very few issues. But there is one thing that has almost been a deal breaker. He fiddles with his penis almost constantly—in front of me and in front of our roommates. I’ve confronted him about it a number of times. He said he should be able to fiddle with his dick in every room of the house if he wants to and he should feel comfortable doing so. I told him that he is being “comfortable” at the expense of the comfort of those around him. We’ve had a number of confrontations about this, and he does it a lot less, but he still does it. If he doesn’t stop when I tell him to, I just leave the room. My question to you: is this behaviour unacceptable or am I being unreasonable? > FRUSTRATED WITH THE FIDDLING

Until a few weeks ago, I would have said that neo-Nazis sieg-heiling around Washington, D.C., was unacceptable and any elected official or pundit who didn’t immediately condemn neoNazis would be finished politically and professionally. But it turns out that neo-Nazism is just another example of IOIYAR—“It’s okay if you’re a Republican”—and relativism reigns. In other words: “unacceptable” is a relative concept, FWTF, not an objective one. That said, FWTF, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable: fiddling with your dick in every room of the house is inconsiderate and childish. It sounds like you’re doing a good job of socializing your boyfriend—better late

> BY DAN SAVAGE

than never—and I would encourage other people in the past three months. I think if he really wanted to do someyou to keep it up. thing with me, he would have asked I’m a straight man in a mostly by now. I know you can’t ask someone healthy marriage. Our sex life is aver- to give you closure. I’ve also got a shit age, which I understand is better than ton of pride that prevents me from some people can hope for, and we asking him directly how he feels. communicate well. For example, I felt Should I just move on? > CONFUSED AND PATHETIC comfortable admitting to my wife a few weeks ago that I would like more blowjobs. She in turn felt comfort- Yup. able admitting to me that she would prefer if I showered more often. So I am a queer trans woman in my we made a deal: I would shower every mid-20s, and I am in a monogamous day and she would blow me twice a relationship with a queer cis woman. month. But the first month came and We have been dating for about three went with no blowjobs in sight. I’ve months now. We have had an absoshowered every single day. Should I lutely amazing sex life since day one, except for one caveat: she has never in bring this up to her? > BATHE LONGER OR WITHHOLD her life had an orgasm. For most of the SEX time she has been sexually active, she has felt ambivalent about getting off. It Your wife doesn’t wanna suck has only been in the past month that your cock, BLOWS, squeaky clean she has started feeling a “sexual awakor stinky cheese. I would recom- ening”, as she calls it. We have been mend outsourcing nonbirthday making progress, but she has been blowjobs—if your wife is okay with having issues with getting caught up that, BLOWS, which she won’t be. in her head when I am pleasuring her. This has been causing dysphoric feelI’m a mid-30s bi woman in an ings for her. We have had a few discusincredible poly marriage with a bi sions about what we can do about the guy. A few months ago, I learned that situation, but we are feeling lost. We one of my closest friends (also poly) know there isn’t going to be a quick fix, has a crush on me. I also have always but what do we do about this? > CONFUSED AND NERVOUS had a crush on him. My crush friend TRULY CAN’T OVERCOME MUCH needed to ask his other partners how EXASPERATION they felt about him being involved with me. Three months have gone by, and he’s not yet told me how his other Pot. partners feel. One of those partners is under a lot of stress—not the best I’ve been in a long-term relationtime to bring up potential new part- ship with the girl I’m going to marry. ners to her—but my friend has dated While I’ve had a few relationships

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.

in the past, she has had only one other relationship before me, who also happened to be her only other sexual companion. My girlfriend is very vanilla in the bedroom, which is fine for me, but the issue is that currently the only way for her to have an orgasm is to grind (dry hump) on my boxer shorts until she climaxes. This obviously causes her a little bit of embarrassment, along with some heavy rug burn on both of our ends. My question for you: is there any toy or something that may help with this? > GIRLFRIEND DRYLY HUMPING

Pot and sex toys—they might not help, but they couldn’t hurt.

I’m a woman

with a small build who has never had children. During sex, my current partner frequently says, “Squeeze your pussy,” as in he expects me to do Kegel exercises during sex (and hold it), which I will not do because it’s not pleasurable for me to tense up like that during sex. He doesn’t have the biggest or the smallest dick I have ever had, and I have never had this comment before. I have actually been told many times how “good and tight” I feel. We both enjoy anal, so we tried that. Same request: “Squeeze.” I have no abnormalities. I’m not sure if there is a work-around for this, other than doing Kegels every minute of my life. Help!

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 28, 2016 WHERE: 99 UBC Bus We were sitting in front of each other, your beauty caught my attention and then you caught me staring at you. You smiled at me, but I dunno if it was just for being polite. The curious fact is that you have an old cell phone just like mine, lol. BTW, you made a comment about the noise that the bus made. I want to know you :)

Honestly

AT GOURMET WAREHOUSE

The thought of letting someone sleep in my bed with me seems inconvenient, for lack of a better word.

I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 27, 2016 WHERE: Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 E Hastings

This Time Of Year

You: very attractive man in orange jacket... Me: attractive woman in black boots & jacket.

I don’t understand those dudes who insist on wearing shorts all year-round.

Hopefully this too shall pass I have this overwhelming feeling that my life is about to fall apart. Or change dramatically, if I want to be positive.

Thank you Public Washrooms A big thank you to all the clean public washrooms in our city! McDonalds, Starbucks you are life savers for people like me who drive to clients homes during the day and need a little pit (piss) stop during the day. I honestly don’t know how I would survive without all the beautiful clean public washrooms!

4 Year Meth Binge I was an addict. I met my girlfriend in the first year of being addicted to crystal meth when it wasn’t that noticeable. She had figured it out soon after when I started acting a little crazy. She always knew where to find my stash and my pipes. I could no longer hide it. She left me on two occasions and had me committed to hospital twice as I had drug-induced psychosis by this stage. I spent months at St Paul’s Psych ward for meth addicts. Even the doctors said I had ruined my life. I couldn’t stop and finally she gave up on me and moved back to Australia. She gave me an ultimatum. I was fortunate to have enough money for a plane ticket and I sold everything I owned to move there in order to be with her. She believed in me. She continually challenged me and sometimes I even hated her for that. We’ve been together 14 years now. I’ve been clean for 11 and since then have completed a degree with honours, have a good job as a social worker, good relationships and make art and music. Moral of the story, if you see potential in a person, invest in them by helping them.

Visit

to post a Confession

I had to write after reading your

recent Savage Love Letter of the Day from a woman who spotted a friend’s husband on Tinder and didn’t know whether she should say something to her friend. My (single and Tindering) friend has been mistaken for his identical (married and nonTindering) twin brother more than once on the app. They live in Seattle and Los Angeles, and so most people in their lives don’t realize they have a twin. My friend has freaked out his sister-in-law’s friends by popping up on their Tinder feed. It came out after the sister-in-law posted a photo of the twins together on social media and multiple people expressed extreme relief that her husband was not a cheater but an identical twin! > DELUDED ACQUAINTANCES NEEDED ANSWERS

Thanks for sharing, DANA! On the Lovecast , Dan chats with the kinksters from the NoSafeWord podcast: savagelovecast.com. Email: mail@savagelove.net. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage.

> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < I WANNA SEE THAT SMILE AGAIN...

Scan to confess

> SEX PARTNER’S ANNOYING REQUESTS

You have two options: you can tell your current sex partner you aren’t going to “squeeze” his dick with your pussy or your ass, as the sensation isn’t pleasurable for you, or you can lie to him. Tell him you’re squeezing your pussy/ass—you’re squeezing so hard—without actually squeezing your pussy/ass. Odds are good he’ll notice a difference even if you’re not doing anything differently, SPAR, so great is the power of suggestion.

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CRAZY TAXI AND SCINTILLATING N9 RIDE

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 27, 2016 WHERE: Cambie & Broadway. On N9 Hey! Keira! Thanks for making my bus ride a little more wonderful. Couldn’t stop looking into your eyes, and laughing at your off kilter sense of the world! I wish there were more great convos like that around; the world would be a better place. See ya around! PS. Do you kiss your mother with a mouth like that?! Zac

TO THE SEABUS CUTIE WHO CAUGHT MY EYE

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 24, 2016 WHERE: Seabus Now, believe me when I say I never do this. But after today, I absolutely had to. I’m kicking myself for not saying anything to you earlier so I guess this is my best bet... I was getting the vibe that the attraction was mutual, but I can’t be too sure, so, here I am. Walked past you and sat down on the seats along the back window, nervously shuffling through my backpack trying to make myself look busy. This is a complete long shot, but if you’re out there and you read this... Well, I guess you know what to do.

ROGER H

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 26, 2016 WHERE: River Rock Show Theatre Roger H on Saturday night in Richmond. You blonde in black with two friends. Me in silver vest, button down shirt, and jeans. Us at front of stage for concert, pretty much in front of Roger. After the show ended we locked eyes a number of times as I was leaving, you stayed behind with aforementioned friends. Thought we had a “spark” (for lack of better word). Wanted to talk with you more than we did, wasn’t sure how to approach you or if you’re single. At first I thought both friends were platonic before one planted a big kiss on your lips during the show - had me wondering. In any case if you are, and by chance you (or anyone you know) read this (crossing my fingers) and want to chat/discuss our mutual admiration for a certain band, please get a hold of me.

BROCK HOUSE CHRISTMAS FAIR

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 26, 2016 WHERE: Brock House We chatted in the book room while your daughter was buying fashion accessories until we were turfed out by an irritable bookseller. I’d like to carry on our conversation about psychology, wisdom and your Kiwi connections over a glass of wine. I hope you’d like that too.

STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 22, 2016 WHERE: W. 12th Avenue Across From City Hall We smiled at each other as we crossed paths. Maybe it was just the fact I moved my umbrella out of your way, or maybe there was something more to it. Either way, your world stopping smile made my night. I would love to see you and your smile again, but if not I’m glad we shared that brief moment in time.

BLACK FRIDAY BEATING HEART

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SILVERY WHITE TIED UP HAIR.

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 25, 2016 WHERE: The Bay Downtown It was at The Bay downtown on the escalator, you were ahead on the way up in a light blue suit. My heart skipped a beat. You stopped on the 5th flr. at the store index and were waiting for me... I know we’re meant to meet. Get back, I’m there for you this time...

BEER TASTING

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 24, 2016 WHERE: East Van Brewery tour - November 24. I drank several beers with my friend. You’re English and I’m a Kiwi, who was charmed. Let’s meet up for a drink.

BRENTWOOD SKYTRAIN WINK NOVEMBER 2ND

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 2, 2016 WHERE: Brentwood Station You: Blond, shortish hair with a cute toque on. We traveled on the SkyTrain towards Lougheed station exchanging glances and smiles. I got off at Production Way and as the train clicked closed you gave me the sexiest wink ever. Can I see it again?

COULD YOU READ MY POKER FACE?

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 18, 2016 WHERE: Vancouver We were playing poker in a giant mansion. 5 hours later, you ended up taking second after scoring the last of my chips. You seemed like a cool cat, and I wanted to chat more, but the cab arrived so quickly that I never got your info. I’d love a rematch.

LAPTOP WARRIOR AT THE CASCADE ROOM

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 16, 2016 WHERE: Cascade Room You asked me for a last drink at Cascade as I was leaving. I was thrown too off guard to say anything other than “sure!” before fleeing. It’s rare for me to find a complete stranger interesting, so if you still want that drink, I’m game.

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 21, 2016 WHERE: Passing Burnaby in Expo Line SkyTrain I must have been passing by Metrotown area, and you must have been skipping cars for a seat. You briefly made an eye contact and quickly sat in front of my seat. You had two friends and you sat side ways to talked to them. I glanced at your face and saw your smile while you were chatting. I thought you glanced at me while I was trying to act normal looking outside of the window. At least I thought you were looking, we managed to make direct eye contact once. You and your friends had to get off and go back to Joyce station. I headed downtown. I came across you at Granville station on my way back from downtown. I didn’t manage to talk to you, I keep thinking about it hoping that I run into you again. You had tied up pale bleached hair and pretty smile.

DJ FOR CULTURE CRAWL AT 1000 PARKER

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 19, 2016 WHERE: 1000 Parker Street Culture Crawl I was a DJ at the Culture Crawl and we kept glancing at each other every time I looked up from my controls. I tried to walk over to say hi and ask what you thought of the crawl after transitioning to a new song, but I was too slow and you were already gone by the time I was ready step off for a minute. How about we grab a coffee and talk about music sometime?

THANK YOU

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 21, 2016 WHERE: Seymour Building Seymour Building, Monday evening. You had just come out of the elevator; I was leaving Ruby’s Ukes. You gave me a great smile and held the door open even though I lagged behind. I wish I took the chance to talk to you instead of just saying a quick thanks and going about my way.

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