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Issue #62 – January 25 to January 31

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rooftop of the world Local climber prepares for Everest june in siberia Q+A with Mark Berube movie 43 + parker Films reviewed­


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NEWs + Opinion

culture

entertainment

Q + A with Mark Berube

Live Music listings Local music listings for January 25 through February 2. 14 / listings

On the search for sound. 8 / Q + A

Beer Brewing 101

Nightlife Photos

Devastating Moments

Talking about the Saskatchewan craft beer movement. 3 / Local

We visit La Bodega.

15 / Nightlife

verbnews.com @verbregina facebook.com/verbregina

Daniel Romano faces our fears. 9 / Arts Editorial

sam milner

Movie 43 + Parker

Violinist on his struggle to find meaning in music . 9 / Arts

We review the latest movies. 16 / Film

The rooftop of the world

ART & Production Design Lead / Roberta Barrington Design & Production / Brittney Graham Contributing Photographers / tamara klein, danielle tocker, Adam Hawboldt + Alex J MacPherson

SK climber preps for Everest. 4 / Local

On the cover:

Whitehorse

Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland create new soundscapes. 10 / cover

Publisher / Parity Publishing Editor in Chief / Ryan Allan Managing Editor / Jessica Patrucco staff Writers / Adam Hawboldt + Alex J MacPherson Contributing writer / jessica Bickford

Business & Operations

Up, up and away

Molto Delizioso

on the bus

Cutting cushy corners to save on travel is a great way to go. 6 / Editorial

Trattoria Italiana serves up delicious Italian food. 12 / Food + Drink

Weekly original comic illustrations by Elaine M. Will. 18 / comics

comments

Music

Game + Horoscopes

Here’s what you had to say about privatizing liquor stores. 7 / comments

Tim Romanson, The Balconies + Martha Wainwright. 13 / music

Canadian criss-cross puzzle, weekly horoscopes and Sudoku. 19 / timeout

Office Manager / Stephanie Lipsit Marketing Manager / Vogeson Paley Financial Manager / Cody Lang

contact Comments / feedback@verbnews.com / 881 8372 advertise / advertise@verbnews.com / 979 2253 design / layout@verbnews.com / 979 8474 General / info@verbnews.com / 979 2253

Please recycle after reading & sharing Photo: courtesy of paul wright

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Beer Brewing 101

Photos: courtesy of Paddock wood brewing

Steve Cavan and craft beer in Saskatchewan by ADAM HAWBOLDT

W

you make beer, water is key. It’s the starting point. The base. The fundamental ingredient with which all other ingredients react. And, historically, the type of water you find in a certain region will dictate what kind of beer is best brewed in that area. Now here’s a question: what is the best kind of beer to brew right here? “We make an excellent black beer in Saskatchewan,” says Steve Cavan, owner of Paddock Wood Brewing

with Lorne Molleken or football with Corey Chamblin. The passion is unmistakable. But where did this passion for craft beer come from?

Here in Canada, the modern craft movement began to take its baby steps in the 1980s. The first modern craft brewer, Horseshoe Bay Brewing, opened its doors in Vancouver in 1982. Two years later, another brewery sprung up in Vancouver, called Granville Island Brewing. That same year, Brick

I’d travelled Europe … so I knew what a good craft beer tasted like. steve cavan

Company. “The water here is just calling for it. Our water has a very high PH, so you have to acidify it. You burn the malt, it gets acidic, and boom! You end up with wonderful black beers.” We make really good pilsner here, too. It’s just a matter of making a few tweaks here and there. “If you want to make a light beer, it won’t work as naturally,” says Cavan. “So you have to play with the water chemistry. You have to do something to get that PH down.” And Cavan should know. After all, he owns the Paddock Wood Brewing Company, and is a professional brewmaster. The kind of guy who not only makes one heckuva craft beer, but also loves what he does. To sit down and talk craft beer with Cavan is like talking hockey

Brewery opened its doors in Waterloo. It was followed by Wellington Brewery in Guelph (1985) and Big Rock Brewery in Calgary (1985). By the late ‘80s, the industry was slowly and surely spreading across the nation. Back in those days, Steve Cavan didn’t have his eye on bringing craft brewing to Saskatchewan. No, during the ‘80s Cavan was a grad student at Trent University in Ontario, with his eye firmly fixed on a PhD in Greek literature and philosophy. That’s not to say he didn’t like making beer, because he did. In fact, he liked it so much he once got his high school newspaper shut down for a spell because he published a how-to-make-your-ownsuds article.

But beer making was just a cut-andpaste hobby for him back then. And it remained that way until he and his wife moved to Saskatchewan to teach at the University of Saskatchewan. “I’d travelled Europe, drank craft beer in Ontario, stuff like that, so I knew what a good craft beer tasted like,” explains Cavan. “But when we moved here in 1992 there wasn’t any way to get it. The SLGA didn’t sell much craft or imported beer, so I decided to make my own.” What happened after that was almost a do-it-yourself manual on how to fumble and stumble your way into the craft beer industry. To get started, Cavan needed to buy malt, hops and yeast, but they weren’t available locally, so he imported. Once he got them, Cavan found out that making beer from scratch was illegal in this country without a license, so he applied to get one. But to get a license you have to be bonded and give the government a floor plan of your operation. While reading over documents, Cavan realized that to move from simply having a license to becoming a fullfledged brewery all you had to do was include where you’d put a fermenter in your floor plan. So he said to heck with it, and included a location for the fermenter. But because Paddock Wood wasn’t a brew pub (like, say, Bushwakker, which paved the way for brewpubs in Saskatchewan), or didn’t have a regional distributor (like Great West), the government wouldn’t allow them to sell beer. And so things went, hurdle after hurdle, stumble after stumble, until 2007, when Paddock Wood Brewing Company became the only full-blown craft beer microbrew-

ery in the province. And they didn’t just stop at a microbrewery.

These days, it seems wherever you turn in Regina and Saskatoon, establishments are making their own beer. And in 2012, Paddock Wood Brewing Company decided to get in on the action — sort of. This past September, Cavan opened The Woods Alehouse. Not only is it a place to get good grub and all the standard Paddock Wood beers, it’s also a place where Cavan can experiment. “I want to make all these different types of beers,” says Cavan, who has researched recipes for more than 100 different brews. “But it doesn’t make sense to make a full run of something

that might or might not sell. That’s why The Woods is so good. Now I can do a small batch of something, throw it in the kegs here, sell it off and get feedback from the customers.” The benefits of this are twofold. On the one hand, Cavan can get valuable input from people about his new products, the kind of input that can convince or dissuade him to put a new line out. And on the other hand, it allows Cavan to do what he genuinely loves — experiment with beer. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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The Rooftop of the World Photo: Courtesy of Steve Whittington

A Saskatchewan mountaineer aims for the highest point on Earth by Alex J Macpherson

L

unging upward from the jagged spine of the Himalaya, Mount Everest towers over the surrounding peaks, its massive bulk tapering to a pyramid of rock and corniced snow. It is not as striking as Ama Dablam, nor as forbidding as K2, but what Everest lacks in beauty it makes up for in sheer size. Its hulking profile inspires awe among even the most hardened mountaineers. At 29,035 feet, Everest is so high that its summit is buffeted by the jet stream, high altitude air currents that blast snow from its summit, creating the plume of spindrift that marks so many photographs of its upper reaches. There is so little oxygen in the air, about a third as much as at sea level, that the strongest climbers are left breathless after every step. It is into this inhospitable and often deadly environment that Steve Whittington plans to ascend. If everything works perfectly, if the weather holds and if his body doesn’t fail him, years of hard work will culminate in less than five minutes astride the rooftop of the world. “Take some video, take some pictures, and get the hell off the summit,” he laughs. “Hopefully five minutes.”

Growing up in Manitoba, Whittington spent his time in the wilderness, not on the heights. His love affair with the mountains began a decade ago, when a friend invited him to climb in south-

ern Alberta. He was hooked by the raw intensity of the experience. Since he moved to Saskatchewan to start a life and a career, Whittington has spent many weeks in the mountains, developing his skills as a technical ice climber and participating in several major expeditions. He has climbed four of the seven summits, the highest peak on each of the continents. His upcoming trip to Everest will take him one step closer to completing his goal. “Why climb Everest? I want to be on that mountain because there’s so much history on that mountain,” Whittington explains. “I want to be on that mountain because it’s a symbol of mountaineering, and I want to be a part of that.” Everest has been on Whittington’s horizon for years. “It became an obsession almost, or a dream, something that is a driving force in my life,” he says. Some climbers criticize Everest for being overly commercial, a slag heap that attracts dreams with no real alpine credentials. Whittington thinks otherwise. “I don’t necessarily want to promote that I’m a great climber because I climbed Everest. I don’t think those two statements actually go together when you look at the people that climb Everest. It’s something I want to do and I want to do it in a safe way.” And now he is preparing to realize that dream.

Everest was identified, its height calculated, in 1856 by the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India, but almost

a century passed before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay straddled its windswept summit. Their route up the southeast shank of the massif, known as the South Col route, remains the most popular way of ascending the mountain. It is the route Whittington’s team, which includes a pair of American climbers and Himalayan veteran Wally Berg, will follow. The route begins at Base Camp, a sprawling tent city at 17,500 feet, where climbers spend several weeks acclimatizing. This is crucial. By allowing their bodies to adjust to the brutally thin air, Whittington and his teammates will be able to climb higher without passing out or developing altitude sickness, a debilitating condition that frequently ends in coma and death. Whittington knows body management is critical. “For two and a half months I won’t be able to go inside, other than a tent,” he says. “So there’s no going inside, no going to a nice warm bathroom — you have to control and regulate your body for two and a half months to stay functioning properly.” An expedition-style ascent of Everest cannot be completed in days or even weeks. Teams besiege the mountain, establishing a series of progressively higher camps and making repeated trips up and down to hasten acclimatization. Only when everything is in place will Whittington and his teammates depart Camp IV, a miserable place huddled against the icy wind at 26,000 feet, for the summit, half a mile above. “It’ll be a lot of anticipation, Continued on next page »

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On the summit of Aconcagua.Photo: Courtesy of Steve Whittington

anxiety about it, because you’re going to put yourself through potentially one of the hardest days of your life,” he says. “I can’t recall a time before a summit bid that I’ve actually slept well. Your mind is running through all the things that could happen or could go wrong, and all the things you need to do.” Whittington expects to begin his summit bid early, leaving Camp IV before midnight. Because altitude suppresses the appetite and makes

High on Everest, even the strongest climbers can only manage a few steps each minute. Whittington has an advantage in that his experiences have taught him to move slowly and conserve energy. “It’s really interesting when I take people out to the mountains,” he explains. “I go at a nice measured rate. They’ll burst ahead of me and have to take a break, and literally within a couple hours they’re

Take some video, take some pictures, and get the hell off the summit. steve whittington

sleep all but impossible, he will be dehydrated, hungry, and profoundly tired — yet he will do everything in his power to keep ascending into the night, his headlamp casting eerie shadows and his crampons crunching through the brittle snow. Climbing at night is important because it allows plenty of time for the descent. But it has other, less tangible advantages. “One of the nicest things about it is that you can’t see what’s ahead of you,” he says. “I’ve looked at the North Face of Athabasca and some of the other faces that I’ve climbed, and if I had seen what I was attempting to do in the morning light, I might have quailed in terror and not done it.”

having a hard time keeping up with me. And then they start to call my pace relentless.” High on the mountain, where energy reserves are low, Whittington’s experience could save his life.

Climbing Everest is extraordinarily dangerous. Since 1922, the mountain has claimed more than 200 lives. Because recovering bodies from high altitudes is practically impossible, the route to the summit is littered with corpses, each one a stark reminder of what happens when ambition outstrips ability; they reflect the slim

margins inherent to high altitude mountaineering. Avalanches and falls kill climbers, but the single biggest danger is the thin air. Climbers call altitudes above 26,000 feet the death zone because there is not enough oxygen in the air to sustain human life. Above Camp IV, acclimatization is impossible and with each minute the risk of cerebral and pulmonary edema increases. The danger is compounded by the slow decline of vital cognitive functions; at that altitude, thinking clearly is extremely difficult. Supplemental oxygen, which Whittington and his teammates will breathe above Camp IV, makes 29,000 feet feel like 26,000, providing just enough of an edge to carry climbers to the summit and back. But even with a steady supply of bottled oxygen, Whittington knows the margins are frighteningly thin. “There’s a chance you may not come back, although I think that’s quite low for me,” Whittington says, explaining that few climbers who attempt Everest have his skills and experience. “I don’t worry about myself. I’m not worried about my ability to do what’s right or to make the move or to turn around when needed. I worry about my ability to get everyone back safely.” Whittington has spent the past several months making promises to the fathers and mothers of climbing team members. “You take that quite seriously, even at

additional risk to yourself,” he says. “I’m a strong climber. I’ll make sure other people are okay.” But Whittington doesn’t want to get ahead of himself. He can’t afford to think too much about his time on the roof of the world. “I never actually envision summit moments, because my experience tells me they’re so brief,” he says. “I envision the journey, getting there.

Obviously it’s the pinnacle, the apex of it, and you get a sense of elation when you reach that summit, but you’re only halfway there. You still have to get back down.” Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

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Up, up, and away

Cutting cushy corners on travelling is a great way to drop the cost

I

f you’ve done any air travel around Europe, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of RyanAir. You know, the no-frills, nononsense airline with the seats that don’t recline, the flight attendants who try to peddle smokeless cigarettes, and flights for cheap-asdirty prices. Yeah, that RyanAir. Recently, the airline launched an idea to make flights even more affordable by proposing a standingroom-only section, which would sell space for as low as £1 (roughly $1.57 Canadian) a flight. But don’t be mistaken, this isn’t the first time someone has bandied about the concept of standing-room-only airplanes. In the summer of 2011, a low-cost airline called Can-Fly was announced; their aim was to offer fliers in this wonderful country of ours affordable flights (from $59) by offering standing slots. Given these hard economic times we live in (and considering the astronomical cost of air travel in Canada), we think doing away

way to roll back some of the expenses? And what better way to do that than to sacrifice a modicum of comfort in the name of saving a few bucks? For instance, travelling from Nova Scotia to the aforementioned

with some of the frills of travel — such as sitting — in exchange for a more affordable travel experience is a fantastic idea. Sure, standing up on a flight from Regina to St. John’s, Newfoundland, wouldn’t be the most comfortable thing in the

…why not offer passengers discount tickets if … they’re willing to … grab an oar, and help row that sucker… verb magazine

Newfoundland via ferry will set you back $216.78, before taxes — one way with a car. That, in our opinion, is entirely too high. So let’s get that price down by doing a bit of the work ourselves. Instead of just lazing around the lounge, shooting Screech and staring out the window at the harsh, black Atlantic, why not offer passengers discount tickets if, every now and then, they’re willing

world. But we bet there are throngs of people who’d be willing to give it a try for a few hours to save a few hundred dollars. So yeah, we put our support behind this idea. You know what, though. Why stop there? If you sit back and really think about it, the cost of nearly all forms of travel is high in this recessive day and age. So why not find a

to go down into the bowels of the ship, grab an oar, and help row that sucker across the strait? The vessel saves on fuel, we save on the cost. On a note closer to home, have you ever taken a taxi in this city? Now we’re not blaming the cab companies, it’s the price of gas at the heart of the problem here. And if you believe the hype about peak oil, there’s a good chance we won’t see the price of petrol fall too low anytime soon. So why not lower the price of our cab rides by taking a cue from the Flintstones? That’s right, to help cut the cost of travelling by taxi, a few cars should have their floors cut out and we could have the option to use two-feetand-a-heartbeat to get from point A to point B while being sheltered from the elements. And in winter? Throw on a pair of Sorels. Need to get somewhere fast? Have a bike option, so you can pedal, rather than jog, to your destination. Ok, maybe not. But how about modifying train travel? After all, it costs nearly $300 to get from here

to Vancouver, so let’s bring that price down by tearing out all the seats, extracting all the luxuries and packing people into train cars, again standing-room only — shoulder to shoulder, chest to back. Cozy! And if you run out of room, offer discounted fares if you’re willing to hang on to the outside of the train (and free transport if you ride on the roof). Alright, so perhaps some of these ideas aren’t really viable for obvious reasons. But paying less to stand on a short flight rather than sit? That just might be worth checking out.

These editorials are left unsigned because they represent the opinions of Verb magazine, not those of the individual writers. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbRegina feedback@verbnews.com

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On Topic: Last week we asked what you thought about privatizing the liquor industry in Saskatchewan. Here's what you had to say:

– Why should we as tax payers be paying civil servents to sell booze when it would be cheaper to have private stores open and pay taxes.

text yo thoughtsur to 881 ve r b 8372

would go for a good amount and the families should be the ones making the profit not the governments or who will make profit from such developments. In response to “The Dearly Departing,”

– The privatizing of the liquor industry in Saskatchewan is just the Saskparty trying to hide the =$7b in debt the created by making everyone too drunk to notice

Editorial page, #60 (January 11, 2012).

– Who will be the ones to profit from such developments families of the departed ?? They should. In response to “The Dearly Departing,”

– Privatization of liquor stores in SK is a great idea. No job lost for gov’t employees if you make all future stores private, good for consumers to have options of where to buy. Win win don’t see why we haven’t done this before

off topic – Just read “A Better Way” in Verb. It got me excited…my wife and I are hosting our first home concert thru the Home Routes tour. Oh Susanna is playing our living room on April 15th. That’s so cool. Can’t wait. I agree with your assessment of the drawbacks of other venues. We’ll let Verb know how it goes! Cheers. In response to “A Better Way,” Local page, #61 (January 18, 2012).

– Need feed back on a better way article on the house party with cool music and the cool music is the musicians. How do i get ahold of them? In response to “A Better Way,” Local page, #61 (January 18, 2012).

– Seems to me once a person has bought n paid for the plots it is there land @n the remaining relations should be reimburse money im sure prime property like that

Editorial page, #60 (January 11, 2012).

sound off – Psychoactive drugs are part of everyone’s life. No getting away from it. From coffee and cigarettes to cocaine and heroin add ALL the pharmacorp products. So like wow big surprise people with mental health problems also have drug problems. They can’t be written off as junkies or not wanting to get better. It’s completely out of their control with their health problems in this culture.

their vehicles, you would think it was the latest thrill. I have never seen people so careless and reckless!

– I don’t understand weather forecasting. If they say it is -22C but feels like -29C why wouldn’t they just say it is -29C?

– The bigger they are the harder they fall.

– I speak my mind because it hurts to bite my tongue. – The posted speed limit signs around the city and province should have ‘weather permitting’ underneath because people seem to think you can drive 90km/h on icy roads. Slow down people! Avoid a crash and save your ass!

– Be patient with truck drivers in training. You had to learn to drive in your vehicle at one point too. Where else are they to get experience driving in the city? Maybe realize that the world does not just revolve around you.

– With all these drivers who are getting into accidents and rolling

– People wouldn’t have to tailgate if you would only learn how to drive a decent speed.

– You can be angry for what you don’t have or thankful for what you do have - Nick Vujicic

– Empathy and compassion mirror neurons are the markers of high order intelligence. If you don’t have these feelings for the homeless you’re low order for sure!

– Well the NHL is back Saturday the puck drops Go Habs Go! – Yellow light isn’t slow down it’s fishtail/freak out. Hate winter – FINALLY HOCKEY BACK!! Lol can’t wait to see the Flames kick ass this year

– Boycotting NHL bastards wanted more money u millionairs! U got lots ease up

– Why is it in saskatchewan we have people telling others we cant have strip joints and yet you can you can take kids to horse racing tracks.

– IT’S SO DAMN COLD OUT I SAW A PENGUIN WEARING MUKLUKS

Next issue: What do you think about cutting cushy corners to reduce the cost of travel? Pick up a copy of Verb to get in on the conversation: We print your texts verbatim each week. Text in your thoughts and reactions to our stories and content, or anything else on your mind.

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June In Siberia

Photos: courtesy of Frédérique Bérubé

Mark Berube & the search for the perfect sound by Alex J MacPherson

M

ark Berube may masquerade as a singer and a songwriter, but he is also a composer and arranger, a writer and a poet. His latest album, June In Siberia, layers thoughtful folk and pop melodies over rich sonic textures. June In Siberia is something of a departure for Berube and his band, The Patriotic Few, who have dabbled in grandiose orchestral arrangements. His latest record is simple yet effective, and achieves a lot with very little. I caught up with Berube to ask about sonics, sounds, and songwriting.

AJM: And I have to ask: why call it June In Siberia?

I’m still a sucker for the big band arrangements. They’ll be back someday. Mark Berube

Alex J MacPherson: Tell me a bit about the balance you strike between conventional melodies and sonic textures on June In Siberia.

AJM: One of the strongest songs on the record is “Side Of The Road.” Can you tell me about that one?

Mark Berube: I love trying to form a hybrid between orchestral pop music and folk melodies that leaves lots of space for the lyrics. Sometimes it’s not easy. The orchestration can sometimes be too busy for relatively dense lyrics. It becomes the whole “less is more” situation. I think we’ve all learned a lot about restraint over the years.

MB: We played Winnipeg the night Obama was elected. It was the last date of the tour. While performing and seeing the TV screen in the back of the room showing the results, I had a flash of the bar in Toronto called “The Communist’s Daughter” — a bar I love to stop by and have a drink at when we pass through. Mix those two moments and the Canadian road life for independent musicians, and voilà.

AJM: And speaking of lyrics, yours read more like poetry and less like traditional lyrics. Was this a conscious decision?

AJM: The album is quite spartan compared to your earlier work. What prompted the change?

MB: That’s always been a goal. I was greatly influenced by my friends

album live as a quartet. That reason alone makes me feel that the shift was successful. But I’m still a sucker for the big band arrangements. They’ll be back someday.

and peers in the spoken word scene when I was a part of The Fugitives. They really challenged me to go deeper with the lyrics and find a midway between lyrics and poetry. Kind of like a vocal melody has to stand on its own a cappella before I add instruments, the lyrics have to stand on their own … as well.

MB: When I first played the songs … the feedback I got was that the songs were dark. Musically, I see that, but lyrically, the songs are very positive and satisfied. I say satisfied in the sense that the lyrics express for me a feeling of real contentment with the ordinary. Siberia has always been a very suggestive word to me: gulags, harsh winters, etc. …Also, being from Manitoba originally, and that northern Manitoba is much like the topography of Siberia, I felt I had the right to use it.

Mark Berube February 6 @ The Exchange $15/25 @ Globe Theatre Box Office Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

MB: Full and grandiose doesn’t necessarily mean powerful. The other thing, we can do everything on the

@MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

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Devastating Moments

Daniel Romano chronicles the human experience

D

aniel Romano understands that we all have a comfortable fear of devastating moments. This idea is the essence of everything he does, every song he writes, every concert he plays “I think that at the same time people take comfort in the fact that it’s not happening to them but is a really great story, they understand that it could happen to them — and this is what it would be like,” Romano says from a gas station in Guelph. “It reaches a part of your brain that you try not to use, but can also be pretty liberating if you go there.” Romano writes and sings country songs. “There’s nothing new about anything I do,” he laughs, cheerfully admitting his love of first- and second-generation musicians. Although he started out playing rock and roll with Attack in Black, Romano found himself helplessly drawn to country music. “I grew up with this kind of music,” he says. “It’s always been in my heart.” To date, Romano has released three albums of country weepers, simple yet

by alex J MacPherson

penetrating stories told in a wavering voice reminiscent of Gram Parsons, and animated by a soaring steel guitar. The changes are simple, the instrumentation sparse, and the ideas both common and profound. Romano’s second album, Sleep Beneath The Willow, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize. Come Cry With Me is even better, mostly because Romano’s experiments in vocal delivery have paid off. It is his strongest performance to date, a fine example of how vocal techniques that are frowned upon in any other genre pay dividends in country and western. But Romano is above all else a storyteller. “I love good stories,” he laughs. “It’s getting away from personal things and making it a universal experience, something that’s relatable to everyone, which is what country music is supposed to be.” Country music is unlike any other type of music because it resists interpretation. Romano writes and sings what he means; searching for hidden meaning is a waste of time. “It’s the straightest and most truth-

Photo: courtesy of vanessa heins

ful music that there is,” he says. “If something really bad happens, you just say it.” Which is why Romano’s songs are so powerful and so relatable, and why listening to Come Cry With Me explores our comfortable fear of devastating moments. And why Romano, like those fears, is impossible to ignore. Daniel Romano (appearing with Whitehorse) February 7 @ The Exchange $20/25 @ Bach & Beyond, Vintage Vinyl + Buy The Book

A Conduit to UnderstanDing

Samuel Milner’s struggle to find meaning in music by alex J MacPherson

Photo: courtesy of Samuel Milner & the RSo

S

amuel Milner was forced to reconsider his career in classical music when he learned he might never again play his beloved violin.

“We have all sorts of clinics for sports injuries, and sports injuries are expected,” the 19-year-old virtuoso explains. “With musicians, you really don’t think about it — and so that was something I was pretty unaware of, until I started having pain in my arm three years ago.” Repetitive stress injuries can be devastating. Time away from the violin compelled Milner to think about life beyond the classroom and the concert hall. “One of my biggest struggles has been coming to terms with the fact that the violin doesn’t make up my identity,” he says. “When it was sort of taken away, when I couldn’t do much playing, it really forced me to consider what really is meaningful in my life.”

But the unexpected break also led Milner to conclude that he loved playing the violin, and that he was prepared to work hard to continue. His patience and dedication will be rewarded when he joins the Regina Symphony as a soloist, leading a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, under the direction of Patricio Aizaga. Mendelssohn’s concerto, which was premiered in 1845, has long been considered a benchmark in classical music. It has been performed thousands of times by hundreds of orchestras. Although it incorporates several technical innovations, notably an oddly-placed cadenza, Milner thinks the piece is important because it highlights

two very different sides of classical music. “It bridges the gap between classical and romantic eras,” he explains. “It’s been exciting to work on it because I have to have the precision of tone that you need for the classical era, but also the emotional intensity of the romantic era. It’s fun to blend those two.” Most importantly, Mendelssohn’s concerto is easy to appreciate. Each of its movements explores a range of sounds and ideas, from turbulence to tranquility. “I think it can speak deeply to everyone who listens to it, and plays it as well,” Milner says. “It has a variety of moods and tones which I think lend themselves very well to me expressing myself as a person, and not just as a classical musician.”

Ultimately, the beauty of music is that it can become a conduit to understanding ourselves and our place in the world. And sometimes it takes years of pain to reach a moment of clarity — something everyone who hears Milner play will understand. RSO Bohemia February 9 @ Conexus Arts Centre $33+ @ RSO Box Office, tickets.reginasymphony.com, 1 866 973 9614

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

9 Jan 25 – Jan 31 @verbregina

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A Work In Progress

Photo: courtesy of paul wright

Whitehorse and the search for sonic expansion by Alex J MacPherson

T

he most surprising thing about Whitehorse, the gutsy roots-rock partnership of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, is that it took so long to develop. The pair married in 2006, merging their personal lives as well as their solo careers, but it took five years before they released a true collaboration. Their long-anticipated eponymous debut was worth the wait. The record was widely acclaimed, generated plenty of airplay, and spawned a successful tour. The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss, which hit stores in August, picks up where Whitehorse left off, solidifying the band’s sound and their place in Canadian music. “The first record was for obvious reasons maybe more of a continuation of our previous solo work,” Doucet says from a van bound for Manhattan. “I know we definitely endeavored to push the boundaries a little bit more on the new record.” What makes The Fate Of The World so interesting is that it is an evolution of the Whitehorse sound, despite the fact that it was recorded simultaneously with its predecessor. “It kind of feels like one big project, it almost feels like a double album,” McClelland chimes in. “To me, they come from the same time and place, the same motive.” In practical terms, the difference between the two records is that they were mixed a year apart. And that year, the bulk of which was spent on the road, made a big difference.

“We were a bit more exploratory in the way we mixed the new record,” Doucet says. “We might have been a little bit conservative on the first outing.” This is an understatement. Whitehorse was an experiment, an exploration of the sounds two people can make with a couple of guitars, a bunch of old drums, and a looper. When it was mixed, neither Doucet nor McClelland knew if the project could work. The Fate Of The World was mixed and released with the knowledge that Whitehorse was viable, that

step ahead of anybody else as far as figuring that out.”

The Fate Of The World is a record in two parts. The front is gritty and fractious, a romp through the annals of roots music sharpened to a razor edge by the snarl of Doucet’s guitar. The back delves into country matters. Sparse arrangements and reverbdrenched vocals combine to create a series of haunting vignettes, snapshots from the lives of downtrodden lovers

I long ago abandoned the need to at all costs sound original, because that usually sounds contrived or pretentious. luke doucet

an experimental roots-rock duo could have both commercial and artistic merit. “We toured the first record a lot, so we knew we already had this chemistry,” McClelland says. “But I think as Whitehorse we really developed that voice, and so [when we] finished the second record we were more comfortable in that.” But Whitehorse is and always will be a work in progress. “It’s taking on a life of its own,” Doucet says. “Its got its own voice, and its got its own sound. We’re learning that we’re only half a

and blue collar roughnecks. Although Doucet says neither he nor McClelland planned to write a record in two parts, he thinks it reflects the duality of the duo. “We spend half our live show in a fairly intimate musical environment,” he says. “Old-school microphones, the two of us playing more of our country material. And then we go back to what we call our rock and roll stations, and we have loops and keyboards and drums and all kinds of stuff. That paradox is built right into the band and the way we make music.” Continued on next page »

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Photo: courtesy of raina + wilson

The most compelling song on the record is “Achilles’ Desire,” the opener and first single. The song grew out of the opening riff, a simple hook played on open strings, which Doucet had been fiddling with for weeks. “It’s funny, the way we write together,” McClelland laughs. “I find it’s more that we rewrite each other’s songs over and over again. There are a lot of songs on this record that, in the studio, we redid three or four times, and “Achilles’ Desire” is definitely one of them.” Besides including one of the most evocative

Photo: courtesy of raina + wilson

lines the pair have ever come up with (“The pull of the moth to the fire / Your Achilles desire”), the song blends steamy love with the stubborn pride of the powerless and the poor. The record changes gears between “Jane” and “Out Like A Lion.” The former is an offbeat love song dominated by a hypnotic guitar riff, the latter a simple ballad that highlights McClelland’s smoky voice. The last four songs on the record — “Radiator Blues,” “Annie Lu,” “Wisconsin,” and “Mexico Texaco” — explore similar themes, but

with different instrumentation. The punchy drums and stomps that power “Achilles’ Desire” and the working man’s anthem, “Peterbilt Coalmine,” give way to minimalistic arrangements and haunting vocals. The back side of the record highlights the less-is-more aesthetic that has come to define Whitehorse’s sound. “If there is an arc at the back end of the record, it’s more a sequencing thing,” Doucet says. “We just found songs that sound good together.” When asked if one song can summarize not only the record but also the history of the project, Doucet pauses before settling on “Devil’s Got A Gun,” a straightforward rock song featuring looped percussion, a mesmerizing guitar riff, and one of the most passionate performances on the record. In the same way that “Killing Time Is Murder” set the stage on which the rest of Whitehorse unfolded, “Devil’s Got A Gun” bridges the gap between the two sides of The Fate Of The World. “The elements are there,” he says. “There’s intimacy in the story, and in some of the singing, and the sound of the guitar is pretty traditionally Whitehorse — if such a thing were possible.”

Every solo act or duo eventually runs into the problem of sonic expansion. Artists want to explore new ideas and push the boundaries of their form, but there is a practical limit to how much sound two people can make. McClelland says she and Doucet seriously

considered bringing a full band on the road, but killed the idea at the last minute. “We just spent the last week rehearsing and picking some songs on the new record to play live on this tour, and I feel like we’ve really come to a new place with our setup,” she says. “We’ve really got a handle on it. We know how to get the best sounds out of it. We know how to play with it in just the right way. To abandon it at this point would be too bad because I think we’re really coming into our own when it comes to that.” Which is probably a good thing, because Whitehorse has proven that a duo can expand beyond the traditional

two voices and two guitars. Plenty of artists have used loops to great effect, and dozens of duos have experimented with percussion, but Whitehorse has succeeded in using a wide array of elements to create a very focused and concise sound. And while McClelland and Doucet are quick to point out that their influences are very important, they have a habit of breaking trail. “What I’ve learned over the years is that the best way to have your own sound is to learn from other people, and eventually your own thing will come through,” Doucet muses. “I long ago abandoned the need to at all costs sound original, because that

usually sounds contrived or pretentious. The fact that we’re now doing something that, lo and behold, looks like it hasn’t really been done before, that’s as much a surprise to us as it is to anybody else.” Whitehorse February 7 @ The Exchange $20/25 @ Bach & Beyond, Vintage Vinyl + Buy The Book Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

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Molto Delizioso

Photos courtesy of Danielle Tocker

Trattoria Italiana is serving up Italian food that’s even better than what Mama makes by jessica bickford

I

can’t imagine what it would be like to move from beautiful Tuscany to freezing, snowy Regina, but that is exactly what Simona Kaur and her family did to open their two restaurants — Taste of Tuscany and Trattoria Italiana, which is their new casual dining spot. The food at the Trattoria is incredibly fresh, and their menu offers up pizza, paninis, bread and pasta, all made from scratch. Simona says that she doesn’t cook for customers, she cooks for family, and the love and care she puts into her food really shows through. I started with fettuccine in rose sauce, which came with Italian sausage and mushrooms, and was baked with a nice bit of cheese. The pasta was perfectly al dente, firm but not chewy, and the sausage had a hint of spice and a great texture. The rose was creamy and luscious, with a wonderful sweetness and a hint of acidity that was likely from a bit of wine. I had all this with some of Trattoria’s homemade bread, fresh from the oven, which was great with a bit of olive oil, or to mop up all of that delicious sauce. Next was some thin crust pizza cooked in the Trattoria’s stone oven.

Trattoria Italiana has both lunch specials and a buffet, with an eye toward getting those downtown for lunch in and out as quick as they can. While convenient, I would recommend giving them a try for a leisurely

The pie came topped with a bit of tomato sauce, cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and kalamata olives. The crust was crisp and the cheese was wonderfully gooey. This was a fantastically authentic Italian-

… I would eat this gnocchi topped with just about anything… jessica Bickford

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide meal, choose a few things off the menu and do some sharing. Simona says she wants to “make people happy with real food” and she is certainly succeeding with the help of her family, and her deliciously authentic Italian food.

style pizza with great flavour and a light, thin crust that I truly enjoyed. I imagine their paninis are just as good. Lastly was a plate of gnocchi (which are kind of a cross between pasta and a dumpling) in the same sauce as the fettuccine. Finally I have somewhere to get sensational gnocchi! These were just perfect — light and fluffy little pillows that were slightly chewy. They are also clearly homemade, just like everything else on the menu, which makes them even better. The creamy sauce and wonderful texture of the gnocchi matched perfectly, but honestly I would eat this gnocchi topped with just about anything, or even nothing at all!

Trattoria Italiana 1851 Scarth Street | 525 9911 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@TheGeekCooks jbickford@verbnews.com

Angelo Azzuro

Ingredients

This bright blue beverage is appropriately titled a “blue angel” in Italian not only because of its colour, but because it packs a serious alcohol punch. This drink is a great way to finish off an evening.

1 ½ oz gin ½ oz triple sec 1 tablespoon blue curaçao ice

Directions

Shake together all the ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Strain into a chilled, clear cocktail glass of your choice to best enjoy the stunning blue colour of this drink.

12 Jan 25 – Jan 31 culture

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music

Next Week

coming up

Tim Romanson

The Balconies

Martha Wainwright

@ Whiskey Saloon Thursday, January 31–Saturday February 2 – $5-10

@ pump Roadhouse Friday, February 8 – $TBD

@ the Artesian on 13th Sunday, March 3 – $32 in advance, $37 at the door

We all have to start somewhere, and for Tim Romanson, his journey into country music began when he was young, playing weddings, cabarets and jamborees around the province with his fiddle-playing father. From there he became the drummer for Lenny Bilinski, a gig that lasted nine years. Then one day Romanson decided to strike out on his own and venture solo into Saskatchewan’s robust country music scene. A singersongwriter, Romanson is also able to play a host of instruments, from drums to steel pedal guitar. His songs are down-home good with a distinct and traditional country twang. Come see Tim Romanson play at Whiskey Saloon; he’ll be performing all weekend. Tickets for the shows will be available at the door.

If you like good rock music and energetic live shows, you’re really going to dig The Balconies. A three-piece hailing from the nation’s capital, The Balconies have a very classical, yet in-your-face approach to making music. With frontwoman Jacquie Neville, her voice ethereal and strong, backed the hard-charging rhythms of Steve Neville and Liam Jaeger, this trio has a way of steamrolling audience with a sweet yet heavy, gritty yet clean sound. The Balconies’ debut EP, Kill Count, was excellent, and the group is currently hard at work on a full-length album. Not to worry, though, it’s not all studio work and no play. The Balconies will be in Regina to rock the stage at the Pump Roadhouse. Also appearing will be Rival Sons.

The slow strum of a guitar and a powerful, sweet soaring voice — those are two of the things that really jump out at you the first time you hear the music of Martha Wainwright. The next thing you’ll notice, especially if you’re listening to one of her better-known songs, like “Bloody Motherf*cking Assh*le,” is the delicate yet interesting way her lyrics are married to the music she’s making. Daughter of folk legends Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, sister of ever-popular singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, Martha has been able to carve out her own niche in the folk music landscape while still finding time to perform with her brother every now and then. She’ll be hitting the Artesian in early March; tickets at artesianon13th.ca. – By Adam Hawboldt

Photos courtesy of: the artist / the artist / the artist

Sask music Preview Saskatchewan artists are showcasing their skills all over: Andy Shauf, Belle Plaine, Carrie Catherine, Kacy and Clayton, Rosie and the Riveters, and Young Benjamins are playing the 25th Annual International Folk Alliance Conference, while the Sheepdogs, Rah Rah and Jordon Cook will hit up SXSW. Shauf pops up again at the Canadian Music Fest, as does Fur Eel, The Pistolwhips, Rah Rah, and We Were Lovers.

Keep up with Saskatchewan music. saskmusic.org

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Friday 25

land takes to the stage to rock it! 9pm / Cover TBD (free if you have your Tragically Hip ticket stub) Albert / Pure Ultra Lounge — Come on down and listen to Albert as he does his spinning thing, every Friday. 10pm / $5 cover Tequila Mockingbird / The Sip Night club — Classic rock covers for your listening pleasure, all night long. 10pm / Cover TBD Chris Henderson / Whiskey Saloon — Crisp, cool country music for you to enjoy, from this incredibly talented musician. 8pm / $10

Tragically Hip / Brandt Centre — Come check out one of Canada’s preeminent rock groups. 8pm / $37.75+ (Ticketmaster) Kenny Rogers / Casino Regina — The one, the only: Kenny Rogers. What more could you possibly want to hear? 8pm / SOLD OUT DJ Juan Lopez / Envy Nightclub — This DJ loves requests, nothing is off limits. As long as you’re dancing, he’s happy. 10pm / $5 Hannah Georgas / The Exchange — Infectious pop/rock music from this wildly talented singer-songwriter. 8pm / $13 (available at Vintage Vinyl, Madame Yes, www.ticketedge.ca) DJ Pat & DJ Kim / Habano’s — Local DJs spin top 40 hits all night long. Come on down and get your party on, Regina! 9pm / $5 cover Big Chill Fridays / Lancaster Taphouse — Come and chill with DJ Fatbot, every Friday night. 10pm / Cover TBD Alley 14 / McNally’s Tavern — Classic rock and blues in a relaxed and laidback setting. 10pm / $5 Wonderland / The Pump Roadhouse — Come on out and join the official Tragically Hip afterparty, as Wonder-

Glenn Sutter / The Artful Dodger — A night filled with good music and good times! Also appearing will be Rebecca Lascue, Mark Ceasar, and Michael Paul. 7:30pm / Cover TBD The Tilted Kilts and the Fraser Pipe Band / Bushwakker Brewpub — Come out and celebrate Robbie Burns Day in style. 8pm / $5 The Northern Pikes, Grapes of Wrath / Casino Regina — Two classic Canadian bands will be performing under one roof. A night of nostalgia and hard rocking will definitely ensue. 8pm / $30-37 (www.casinoregina.com) RSO Masterworks: Une Soiree a Paris / Conexus Arts Centre — A night full of wonderful French music, brought to you by the talents of the Regina Symphony Orchestra. 8pm / $ 174-315 DJ Juan Lopez / Envy Nightclub — This DJ loves requests. 10pm / Cover $5 In Darkness / The Exchange — A CD release party for this local rock band. 8pm / Cover TBD PandaCorn, Friend Friend / Lancaster Taphouse — Two bands, one excellent show. 10pm / Cover TBD

January 25 » February 2 The most complete live music listings for Regina. S

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27 28 29 30 31

25 26 1

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Jack Semple / McNally’s Tavern — This guy is hellfire on the guitar, best to see him do his thing live! 10pm / $5 Wonderland / Pump Roadhouse — Come on out and join the party, as this talented local act takes to the stage to play you all your favourite one-hit wonders. 9pm / Cover TBD Drewski / Pure Ultra Lounge — Doing what he does best. 10pm / $5 cover Tequila Mockingbird / The Sip Nightclub — Classic rock covers for your listening pleasure, all night long. 10pm / Cover TBD Jam Sessions / Smokin’ Okies BBQ — Drop by for a jam or to just listen. Regina, come on out and show off what you’ve got! 3pm / No cover Chris Henderson / Whiskey Saloon Crisp — Crisp, cool country music for your listening pleasure. 8pm / $10

Saturday 26

Monday 28

Open Mic Night / The Artful Dodger — Come down and get your jam on! 8pm / No cover Monday Night Jazz and Blues / Bushwakker Brewpub — Featuring Regina jazz vets Uptown Jazz, playing great jazz standards for you all evening. 8pm / No cover

Wednesday 30

Wednesday Night Folk / Bushwakker Brewpub — Featuring Buffalo Narrows, playing bluegrass, folk and blues. 9pm / No cover Dala / The Exchange — A folk duo from Ontario you simply have to check out. 8pm / $20 (advance tickets available at Bach & Beyond, Buy the Book, Vintage Vinyl), $25 (door) Jam Night and Open Stage / McNally’s Tavern — Come on down and enjoy some local talent. 9pm / No cover

Thursday 31 A Winter’s Evening of Stories / Artful Dodger — Word and song to celebrate the season. Come and enjoy something a little different in this intimate space. $10/$12 Decibel Frequency / Gabbo’s Nightclub — A night of electronic fun. 10pm / Cover $5 PS Fresh / The Hookah Lounge — Featuring DJ Ageless and DJ Drewski. 7pm / No cover The Tilted Kilts / McNally’s — Some Celtic, kitchen party fun for your listening pleasure. 8:30pm / $5 Wonderland / Pump Roadhouse — Come on out and join the party, as this talented local act takes to the stage to play all your favourite one-hit wonders. 9pm / Cover TBD Tim Romanson / Whiskey Saloon — Some good ol’ country music from a talented local musician. 8pm / $5 (students in free with valid student I.D.) DJ Longhorn / Whiskey Saloon — Come check out one of Regina’s most interactive DJs. 8pm / Cover $5

Friday 1

The Association / Casino Regina — This platinum selling folk-rock act has been going strong since the ‘60s, and now’s your chance to see ‘em in person! 8pm / $30-35 (www.casinoregina.com) DJ Juan Lopez / Envy Nightclub — This DJ loves requests, nothing is off limits.10pm / $5 DJ Pat & DJ Kim / Habano’s — Local DJs spin top 40 hits every Friday night. Come on down and get your party on, Regina! 9pm / $5 cover Big Chill Fridays / Lancaster Taphouse — Come and chill with DJ Fatbot. 10pm / Cover TBD

Tequila Mockingbird / McNally’s Tavern — Classic rock covers. 10pm / $5 Albert / Pure Ultra Lounge — Come listen to Albert every Friday night. 10pm / $5 cover Tim Romanson / Whiskey Saloon — Some good ol’ country music from a talented local musician. 8pm / $10

Saturday 2

Mike Tod / Creative City Centre — A talented folk troubadour from Calgary. Also appearing will be Chris Gheran. 7:30pm / $10 DJ Juan Lopez / Envy Nightclub — This DJ loves requests, nothing is off limits. 10pm / Cover $5 The Mid-Winter Celtic Festival / The Exchange — Put your dancing boots on and get ready to do the jig. 8pm / $20 (available at http://www.crpb.org, Bach & Beyond, Swanson Music, Magpie’s Kitchen) Break Down Party Band / McNally’s Tavern — Classic rock favourites, all night long. 10pm / $5 Drewski / Pure Ultra Lounge — Doing what he does best. 10pm / $5 cover Jam Sessions / Smokin’ Okies BBQ — Drop by for a jam or to listen. 3pm / No cover Tim Romanson / Whiskey Saloon — Some good ol’ country music from a talented local musician. 8pm / $10

Get listed Have a live show you'd like to promote? Let us know! layout@verbnews.com

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monday, january 21 @

la bodega

La Bodega 2228 Albert Street (306) 546 3660

feature deals / Monday night

Tasting Menu, featuring nine courses for $35 Drink of Choice / Baileys + coffee top eats / The Tasting Menu, designed for the adventurous palate coming up / Valentine’s Day will feature a nine-course Tasting Menu, and check out the ice bar, open Wednesday-Saturday

15 Jan 25 – Jan 31 /verbregina

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Hilarious or heinous?

Photo: Courtesy of Relativity Media

Movie 43 brings together an all-star cast for one outrageous endeavour by adam hawboldt

I

f I told you there was a new movie in theatres with Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Richard Gere and Terrence Howard in it, what would you think the film would be like? A dramatic (perhaps period) flick with a fantastic ensemble cast? A potential darling come the next awards season? Nobody would blame you if this is where your mind went. After all, between the seven of them, they have accumulated 12 Oscar nominations and two wins. Now, what if I told you that same movie also featured the hilarious likes of Chris Pratt, Jason Sudeikis, Anna Faris, Seann William Scott, Justin Long and Emma Stone? Oh, and that Gerard Butler, Kristen Bell, Liev Schreiber, Kate Bosworth, and Johnny Knoxville were also in it?

going to end up loving or loathing. There’s no middle ground here. Directed by Peter Farrelly, Elizabeth Banks, Brett Ratner, Steve Brill and eight other people (I sh*t you not!), Movie 43 is about, well … the plot is unimportant here. All you have to know is that Movie 43 is a series

If you’re anything like me, your thoughts would’ve went something like: holy crap! This movie has more famous thespians in it than a Hollywood rehab centre … How in the name of all things holy are they going to afford all those A- (and not so A) listers? I don’t care if this flick

…you’re either going to end up loving or loathing [Movie 43]. Adam Hawboldt

of interconnected episodes that are linked by a general story line. A story line that accentuates what, at its heart, this film is really about — crass, outrageous, sophomoric humor. And this is precisely where things get dicey. See, every part of my being wants to let the clichéd cat out of

is about a tea party (and not the kind they had in Boston), come hell or high water, I’m going to watch this movie! And all I can say is that the film — called Movie 43 (presumably because that’s how many Hollywood stars are involved with the project) — is one of those films you’re either

the bag and tell you about the three or four scenes in this outrageous flick that literally made me choke with laughter. But that might ruin the experience for you. So here’s what I’ll say: before you decide whether you want to see this movie or not, check out the red band trailer. When you’re finished doing that, rest assured the clips featuring Anna Faris asking Christopher Pratt to poop on her, Gerard Butler (as a leprechaun) head-butting Johnny Knoxville or Christopher MintzPlasse suggesting a friend of his stop the flow of her period with frozen peas and a sponge are by no means the funniest in the movie. Nor are they the most outlandish. Suffice it to say, this flick isn’t for everybody. If you’re easily offended by racist jokes, sexist jokes, penisand-poop humour or if you like deep and meaningful plots, don’t waste your time with this movie.

Movie 43 Peter Farrelly, Brett Ratner, Elizabeth Banks + more Starring Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler + Uma Thurman Directed by

96 minutes | 14A

You’ll hate it. But if your sense of humour is anything like mine, you’ll enjoy Movie 43. It’s not the funniest film you’ll ever see, and you probably won’t rave about it to your friends, but it made me laugh, and in the end, that’s all that really counts with a movie like this.

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Pure action hero

Jason Statham is back doing what he does best in Parker by adam hawboldt

J

ason Statham may very well be the best pure action star working today. Please keep the word “pure” in mind as I explain. See, I’m not saying Statham is better than, say, current action king, Bruce Willis. Only a fool would think that. In the history of on-screen badassery, few people can hold a candle to Bruce. But here’s the thing: Bruce isn’t just an action star. With movies like Moonrise Kingdom, Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense and Twelve Monkeys under his belt, the man best known as John McClane has proven that he’s no one-trick pony. That, when needed, he can step up and show his acting chops. Statham, on the other hand, seems to have no intentions of doing any such thing. In fact, he’s gone on record saying he doesn’t take himself seriously as an actor and that he’ll take nearly any script that comes his way — provided it looks like fun. And his resume certainly attests to that. Outside of two of his first films (the fantastic Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and the equally good Snatch), Statham has made action mov-

Photo: Courtesy of Film District

robbery, is doublecrossed by his partners, shot and left for dead. He doesn’t die, of course. And once he recovers, Parker sets out for revenge. Going against the advice of his mentor in crime (Nick Nolte), Parker sets out for Florida, to foil a heist his old partners have planned. Action things happen. He meets a realtor named Leslie (Jennifer Lopez) who is down on her financial luck. To reverse her monetary

I can think of few people I’d rather see blow stuff up and sarcastically beat the sh*t out of bad guys than Statham. Adam Hawboldt

ie after action movie: The Transporter, Crank, Death Race, The Mechanic, The Expendables. The list goes on. And that’s why I would go out on a limb and say he’s the best “pure” action star, because it seems that is the only kind of film he does. And now he’s back at it again — rugged charm, bulging biceps and all — with his new release, Parker. In it he plays a master criminal named Parker who, after a state fair

situation, Leslie decides to help Parker as a partner-in-crime of sorts. More action things happen. So basically, Parker is like any other movie you’d expect to see Statham star in. And I don’t say that with any kind of negativity attached. Because, as you all know, from time to time it’s fun to shut your brain off and just watch a bang-’em-up, knock’em-down, to-hell-with-survivors action flick.

Parker Directed by

Taylor Hackford

Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Clifton Collins Jr. + Michael Chiklis Starring

108 minutes | 14A

When that mood strikes — when I don’t care about plot or character development or anything of that nature — I can think of few people I’d rather see blow stuff up and sarcastically beat the sh*t out of bad guys than Statham. The added bonus of this film is that it actually has a fairly decent cast. Nick Notle is the real deal, Clifton Collins, Jr. (Capote, Babel) can act the hell out of a role, Michael Chiklis (The Shield) is fun to watch, and Jennifer Lopez has had her moments (not lately, but she has!) Then there’s Statham at the centre of it all. Doing what he does best. And if you like what he does, then chances are you’ll like this movie.

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@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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crossword canadian criss-cross 47. Pitcher with a flaring spout

DOWN 1. Baby’s toy 2. Atop 3. What tree rings indicate 4. Lying asleep 5. Very small 6. Object of worship 7. What to call a knight 8. Fourteen-line poem 9. Hooked claw 11. Intended 12. Tortilla dough 14. Primates 17. Affirmative vote

20. Congenital blemish 21. Fence opening 23. Bring about 24. Moving ridge of water 26. Take some 27. Brake part 28. Coronet 29. Downright 30. Happened 31. One-dimensional 32. Throw out, as a tenant 33. Use a keyboard 35. Flat hat 38. It has a ringing sound 39. Filly’s father 41. Go downhill fast 43. Handle roughly

sudoku answer key

A

B

4 8 1 2 9 6 5 3 7 3 7 2 4 8 5 9 1 6 5 6 9 1 7 3 4 2 8 7 1 3 5 4 2 6 8 9 2 4 8 9 6 1 7 5 3 6 9 5 7 3 8 1 4 2 8 3 4 6 1 7 2 9 5 1 5 7 8 2 9 3 6 4 9 2 6 3 5 4 8 7 1

1. Street 5. Single woman’s title 9. Communications word for T 10. Under the weather, is one 12. Be of importance 13. Eye part 15. Choir member 16. Soil with fertilizing properties 18. Raised pile on velvet 19. Personification of the sun 20. Village in the Yukon 21. Unit of heredity 22. Windflower

24. Units of power 25. Keyboard key 26. Bit of consolation 27. Fence part 30. Ripple 34. Put on the payroll 35. Exposed to view 36. Climbing plant 37. Rowing pole 38. Most excellent 39. Scissors sound 40. Pencil end 42. For each 44. Common place for a sprain 45. Unit for measuring the fineness of gold 46. Fight with lances

9 6 5 3 1 4 8 7 2 7 4 8 2 6 9 5 3 1 1 2 3 7 8 5 4 9 6 5 9 6 4 3 8 2 1 7 2 8 1 6 5 7 3 4 9 3 7 4 1 9 2 6 8 5 8 5 2 9 7 3 1 6 4 6 3 7 5 4 1 9 2 8 4 1 9 8 2 6 7 5 3

ACROSS

© walter D. Feener 2012

Horoscopes January 25 – January 31 Aries March 21–April 19

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

Are you currently working on a project that you’re oh-so-close to finishing? If so, this is a good week to make that one final push.

Prepare to be stimulated! This could very well be one of those weeks where you witness something that’ll blow your hair back. Enjoy.

Sure, it may be cold outside and the weather isn’t what you’d call ideal, but try to get out and have an adventure this week, Sagittarius. You won’t regret it.

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

Your head is going to be flooded with ideas this week, Taurus. Some will be good, others will be simply horrible. Do your best to figure out which is which.

Been thinking about taking a trip lately, Virgo? If so, don’t bother. Travel is not advised. Best to stay inside and enjoy the comforts of home.

If you’re looking to meet a new person who is intellectually compatible with you, it could happen this week, Capricorn. Just keep your eyes peeled.

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

This week you’re going to expend a significant amount of both physical and mental energy, Gemini. Be sure to find time to unwind when you can.

As little orphan Annie once sang, “The sun will come out tomorrow.” Maybe not in a literal sense, but metaphorically — for sure.

Stay away from hospitals and police stations this week, Aquarius. Why? Well, that’s top secret. Just heed these words.

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

Beware the ides of March, Cancer. Oh, wait. It’s not March. Okay, well, beware of speeding cars and falling ice. That better?

Your powers of persuasion are running high this week, Scorpio. Use them wisely, but don’t abuse them. It could come back to haunt you.

Feeling like getting your groove on, Pisces? Now is the time to jam out. You might march to the beat of a different drummer, but that drummer rocks!

sudoku 9 1 4 8 2 4 8 2 6 3 3 6 9 8 7 1 5 7 3 3 4 2 6 5 8 5 9 7 1 4 7 9 1 2 6 5

crossword answer key

A

8 9 5 7 7 4 8 9 5 6 3 2 3 2 4 8 9 6 5 3 6 8 1 4 1 7 2 9 1 5 2 6 3 4 7 1

B

19 Jan 25 – Jan 31 /verbregina

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Verb Issue r62 (Jan. 25-31, 2013)