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ISSUE #65 – FEBRUARY 15 TO FEBRUARY 21

LAND & SEA SARAH SLEAN

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THE NEIGHBORS DOG Saskatchewan’s coolest film series OUTLAW COUNTRY Q+A with Eric Church A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD + AMOUR Films reviewed­

PHOTO: COURTESY OF IVAN OTIS


CONTENTS

CULTURE

NEWS + OPINION

ENTERTAINMENT

Q + A WITH ERIC CHURCH

LIVE MUSIC LISTINGS

On pressure and playing. 8 / Q + A

Local music listings for February 15 through February 23. 14 / LISTINGS

LESSONS FROM REMAND

THE LIVES OF OTHERS

NIGHTLIFE PHOTOS

Mark Stobbe opens up about his new book. 3 / LOCAL

Justin Rutledge, and writing about others. 9 / ARTS

We visit The Freehouse.

ZACHARY’S LUCKY SASKATCHEWAN

AMOUR + A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

Some things never change. 9 / ARTS

We review the latest movies. 16 / FILM

VERBNEWS.COM @VERBREGINA FACEBOOK.COM/VERBREGINA

15 / NIGHTLIFE

EDITORIAL

THE NEIGHBORS DOG

ART & PRODUCTION DESIGN LEAD / ROBERTA BARRINGTON DESIGN & PRODUCTION / BRITTNEY GRAHAM CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS / BAILY EBERLE, DANIELLE TOCKER, ADAM HAWBOLDT + ALEX J MACPHERSON

Behind the scenes of Saskatchewan’s coolest film series. 4 / LOCAL

ON THE COVER:

SARAH SLEAN

Slean opens up about her biggest project yet. 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

THE BUS STOPS HERE

LONGING FOR LOCAL

ON THE BUS

Our thoughts on changing bussing around Saskatchewan. 6 / EDITORIAL

This week we visit Crave Kitchen and Wine Bar. 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 Valentine’s Day. 7 / COMMENTS

Colt Ford, The Noble Thiefs + Skydiggers. 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 IVAN OTIS

2 FEB 15 – FEB 21 VERB MAGAZINE

CONTENTS

LOCAL

EDITORIAL

COMMENTS

Q+A

ARTS

COVER

FOOD + DRINK

MUSIC

LISTINGS

NIGHTLIFE

FILM

COMICS

TIMEOUT

VERBNEWS.COM


LOCAL

LESSONS FROM REMAND

PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARK STOBBE

Mark Stobbe’s new book examines what it’s like and what it means to be imprisoned in our country BY ADAM HAWBOLDT

I

t’s May, 2008, and Stobbe — a former political adviser to both Saskatchewan and Manitoba governments — has been arrested and charged with seconddegree murder in the death of his wife, Beverly Rowbotham. For the past week he was stuck in solitary at a remand centre in Saskatoon, but he’s just been transferred to Winnipeg and is entering the prison’s general population for the first time. In the room in front of him, roughly 75 accused and convicted criminals are milling about, all dressed the same. As soon as the door clangs shut behind him and Stobbe enters the common area, he’s greeted by people snarling at him, saying, “You don’t slam the f**king door!” But Stobbe doesn’t know that. Up until now, he’s never had run-ins with the law, never been locked up in jail. How is he supposed to know not to let the door slam? That the noise bothers people and, perhaps, reminds them that they are all locked up — potentially for a long, long time. “When I first walked in there, obviously I didn’t know this stuff,” says Stobbe of that day. “The door is on a fairly strong hydraulic and it locks immediately, but you know that. You don’t know you’re supposed to stop it from slamming.” Needless to say, this wasn’t the first impression Stobbe had hoped to make, as he’s escorted to the room in which he’ll spend the next six weeks or so. It isn’t big, this room. According to Stobbe, it’s “not much bigger than most people’s bathrooms.” When he’s settled

(or as settled as you can be in your first day in a new remand centre), Stobbe walks back to the common area. “There was a flurry of activity,” he remembers. “A couple people jumped up and started rummaging through the garbage. There was an old copy of the Winnipeg Sun with my picture on the front.” He remembers a whisper spreading through the room, then a couple of guys approach the newest inmate. “One of them asks me ‘Hey, are you that guy?’” recalls Stobbe. “So I told him, yep, I am. Then he asks, ‘So … did you kill her?’”

On certain nights in the Winnipeg Remand Centre, Mark Stobbe would lie awake in his cell thinking about the day’s events. “If something happened on a particular day, I spent that night committing it to memory,” explains Stobbe. “I didn’t have access to pen and paper or a computer to keep notes, so I would lay awake a few hours, going through the incidents, over and over again, until it was completely committed to memory.” Little did he know, but these memorization sessions were the genesis for a book he would soon write — Lessons from Remand. After Stobbe was released on bail in June of 2008, he began writing down all the events he had witnessed during his time in remand. “Then I had to fill each of these incidents with explanations,” he says, of the process he used to write the book.

One such occurrence took place during the week Stobbe spent in remand in Saskatoon. “This guy was in segregation, and you get half an hour outside of your cell in what basically is an empty room. That’s where you could get a shower or whatever,” remembers Stobbe. “But when his half hour was up, this guy refused to go back into his cell. They let him sit there for a couple of hours and he still refused, so they summoned the incident team, I think it was called. Half a dozen guys in riot gear showed up and tossed tear gas into the common room. Then they marched in, surrounded him with their shields so he couldn’t move, tossed him in the shower for some reason, then dragged him naked to his cell, threw him in and locked the door.” After this happened, Stobbe asked himself a simple question: why was this level of violence displayed by the guards considered normal and legitimate? This is one of the many situations upon which he ruminates in his upcoming book, which is due to be released next month. In it, he examines everything from jail house snitches to how communities can arise in the strangest of places. “Once I was able to shade in all these explanations I started to see a book was emerging, so I contacted some publishers,” he explains. Key Publishing House Inc. picked up what Stobbe was putting down. But the book had to wait until Stobbe stood trial.

“Even though it only took me a year or so to finish most of it, I couldn’t release the book until I knew what the ending was going to me,” he states.

Back in the Winnipeg Remand Centre, when Stobbe was asked if he had killed his wife, his answer was simple and straightforward. “No,” says Stobbe, who, in 2012, was found not guilty in the death of Beverly. That answer sufficed and Stobbe was left to serve the remainder of his time in relative peace. No one tried to intimidate him in a way that Stobbe (who admitted his preconceived notions of jail life were based on TV and movies) figured they would — even though, he recalls, he was sometimes treated differently.

“The nature of the charge I was facing was much more serious than most of them,” says Stobbe. “And that, in a weird sort of way, generated a bit more respect in there.” He pauses, thinks for a moment, then continues to speak. “I think, too, in the beginning, because of who I was they thought I might have had some magical answers that would help get them out of there.” He didn’t. Still doesn’t. But in his book, Stobbe raises questions about the theory and practices of the penal system in our country. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

3 FEB 15 – FEB 21 /VERBREGINA

CONTENTS

LOCAL

EDITORIAL

COMMENTS

Q+A

ARTS

COVER

FOOD + DRINK

MUSIC

LISTINGS

NIGHTLIFE

FILM

COMICS

TIMEOUT

NEWS + OPINION


LOCAL

THE NEIGHBORS DOG Behind the scenes of Saskatchewan’s coolest film series BY ALEX J MACPHERSON

T

he living room looks like an expensive garage sale. Bombproof road cases and milk crates overflowing with cables litter the floor. A disassembled drum kit is heaped by the window. A complicated soundboard and a dolly carrying a pair of television cameras lurk in the background. Every available surface is covered in equipment: monitors, speakers, microphones, lights, rolls of gaffer tape. In the corner, a musician named Hannah Georgas is idly strumming a guitar. Clad in an oversized grey cardigan, her face framed by a shock of red hair, she pauses to check her iPhone, seemingly immune to the chaos surrounding her. It is quarter past three on a Wednesday afternoon in January, and Stacey and Mark Loopkey have become strangers in their own home. The enormous lodge-style house with the spectacular river view has been commandeered by a professional film crew and a rock band. In just a few hours, Georgas will take the stage, performing two sets for a small crowd of dedicated fans. Every moment will be captured on film, a task that requires hundred of pounds of equipment and hours of work. The Loopkeys are standing in the kitchen, trying to stay out of the way. “This is the second one we’ve done,” Stacey says, her sharp laugh cutting through the noise of a dozen men and women installing cameras and lights. “We

had the Great Lake Swimmers here in 2011. We kind of knew what we would be in for, what it would be like.” Loopkey is referring to The Neighbors Dog, a film series that captures popular musicians playing to small crowds in the most intimate of settings — a real home belonging to real people. The Neighbors Dog, which has featured a host of prominent Canadian artists including Buck 65, Sarah Slean, and The Besnard Lakes, is currently filming episodes for its fourth season. A few months from now, Georgas’ performance, cut and edited into an hour-long episode, will be beamed into

pany. The idea developed after the pair filmed a music video for singersongwriter Carrie Catherine. “[John] and I were on the lookout for projects to develop at the time, and we discussed the unique nature of house concerts, as well as our affinity for music and music-related projects,” says Kesslar, who seems genuinely excited about shooting Georgas, even if it means an extremely long night of work. “The initial reaction was positive, and when SCN had an open call for productions, we submitted the concept for our series. Long story short, they were interested.”

We felt we could show artists … in a way that few people would have seen before. DARRYL KESSLAR

hundreds or even thousands of homes. The show’s fourth season has been picked up by Citytv, meaning major exposure for what began as a shot in the dark. Mark Loopkey, now a veteran of two house concerts, understands the appeal. “You don’t go to a concert and have this experience,” he says, gesturing toward his spacious living room. “There’s no way.”

The Neighbors Dog was conceived by Darryl Kesslar and John Mills, the creative partners behind plan9films, a Saskatoon-based production com-

Kesslar and Mills explored several concepts before settling on what has become the standard Neighbors Dog format: concert footage interspersed with interviews and backstage footage. Each episode is a revealing portrait of an artist at work. “The formal house concert was a fringe concept for many years,” he explains. “We felt we could show artists and performances in a way that few people would have seen before. We suspected the setting would be interesting for many of the artists, and that it would present interesting challenges for them.” CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE »

4 FEB 15 – FEB 21 NEWS + OPINION

CONTENTS

LOCAL

EDITORIAL

COMMENTS

Q+A

ARTS

COVER

FOOD + DRINK

MUSIC

LISTINGS

NIGHTLIFE

FILM

COMICS

TIMEOUT

VERBNEWS.COM


PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MICHAEL RAINE

If Georgas is anxious about performing for the cameras, she keeps it to herself. After admitting that it was only her second house concert, she changes the subject, asking questions about life in Saskatoon and the frozen expanse of the South Saskatchewan, visible through the spindrift blowing past the windows. As she launches into a story about a family outing gone wrong, Kesslar and his crew are making last-minute adjustments to the lighting — a pair of floor-mounted floodlights and several concealed theatre-style fixtures. This is a delicate procedure. Problems on the set, even seemingly insignificant ones, can dramatically affect the finished product. “Camera placement is often intuitive,” he says. “The lighting is more challenging. We want to light a show to make it look good in the edit suite but we also want to keep the lighting fairly realistic, and not rock and roll lighting, with color and movement.” He must do all of this while making sure the lights are kept out of sight. After several minute adjustments and much discussion with his crew, Kesslar pronounces it adequate and saunters back to his camera. Shooting an episode of The Neighbors Dog requires sustained effort from a large crew, most of whom won’t reach their beds until the early hours of the morning. The plan9films crew is friendly and professional, aware of the delicate balance between filming a television show and putting on a concert. Kesslar is proud

of his crew, but he can’t help but worry about the future. “The challenge that has been revealing itself more recently is the difficulty sourcing crew in this era of decreased Saskatchewan government support,” he says, pointing to a decrease in the number of available freelancers, many of whom “are forced to find other ways to pay their bills.” But these concerns are best kept for later. With the doors scheduled to open a few hours hence, Kesslar and Mills know that every second matters. As Georgas and her band conduct their soundcheck, a long and ridiculously involved process made more complicated by the shift from cavernous rock clubs to an intimate living room, they test their cameras and clear away the last of the equipment. What was once a mess is now a sleek and tidy television set. The crew knows they have done this dozens of times before, shot almost 40 concerts in every imaginable type of house, but nothing can dispel the feeling of nervous anticipation as the clock sweeps toward showtime.

The doors open a few minutes after seven. Small groups of guests trickle in, many carrying bottles of wine, some looking uncomfortable at the prospect of invading a stranger’s living room. Tickets for these concerts are hard to get, which means they usually go to people who really want them. Hardcore fans, in other words. Everyone seems excited at the pros-

pect of seeing Georgas play in such a small room. Of the 40 folding chairs Kesslar’s crew provided, few are more than ten feet from the stage. “Probably the strangest thing is that you have lots of people you don’t know coming in and hanging out in your house,” Mark muses, before Stacey chimes in. “The thing I get worried about is whether the house is clean,” she laughs before admitting that the novelty of the experience makes hosting a Neighbors Dog concert worth the hassle. Kesslar can’t afford to relax until the episode is edited, a process that begins with colour correction and ends weeks later with an hour-long portrait of Georgas at her best, a story that links together interviews and plenty of live performances. Each episode is different, Kesslar explains, likening editing to assembling a puzzle, piece by piece. “Often the challenge is having way too much material to choose from and squeezing it into the program length. A nice problem to have.” A few minutes before eight Georgas walks up from the basement. When she launches into her first song, the room swells with light and sound and joy. In the background, the cameras roll silently on.

( ) Feedback? Feedback? Text Text it! it! (306 306) 881 881 8372 8372 @MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

5 FEB 15 – FEB 21 @VERBREGINA

CONTENTS

LOCAL

EDITORIAL

COMMENTS

Q+A

ARTS

COVER

FOOD + DRINK

MUSIC

LISTINGS

NIGHTLIFE

FILM

COMICS

TIMEOUT

NEWS + OPINION


EDITORIAL

THE BUS STOPS HERE

PHOTO: COURTESY OF SRIMESH

It’s time we deregulated Saskatchewan’s bus system

W

hen it comes to travelling around this province by bus, we think enough is enough. Not only did the Saskatchewan Transportation Company’s (STC) 2011 annual report reveal that it operated at a serious net loss ($16.7 million in total revenue versus $28.1 million in total expenses … you do the math!), but now news has emerged that our government will be giving a record-breaking $13 million operating grant to the STC this year, presumably so they can continue to operate at a loss with ease. Bailing out the STC has a lengthy history in Saskatchewan. In 2003, the provincial government gave the company an operating grant of $1.6 million, a grant that has increased nearly every year for the past decade. Oh, and did we mention that, as of January 1st of this year, the STC increased its fares by 4.56%. So the cost for us riders is going up, the company is receiving significant amounts of cash, and somehow the STC still continues to lose money, hand over fist, fairly consistently. Like we said, folks, enough is enough.

And look, it’s not just us squawking away about this. Even the government has begun to publicly question the way and the extent to which it has subsidized the STC. In fact, Don McMorris (the minister responsible for

we feel it’s high time to take another crack at the issue. And that is: the Saskatchewan Transportation Company is a wasteful, inefficient enterprise that leans heavily on government subsidies while doing very little to nothing for

…there’s no doubt people in rural areas need access to a bus service, but … we’re going about it the wrong way. VERB MAGAZINE

the bus company) recently told a local newspaper that, “We’ve seen the grant increase significantly over the last 10 years. Is that sustainable into the future? Well, we have to look at every option that’s available to STC to manage their costs … But the bottom line is, this grant is not limitless and we need to keep that in mind.” And that is a sentiment with which we agree. Now, we know we have whipped this STC horse in the past, but given the new information that has come to light

our province’s economy. And we feel it’s time to put an end to this. The government can only throw so much coin at a money-losing industry before it’s time they pull up stake and walk away. But it’s not as simple as saying “to hell with this.” It’s wildly unrealistic to presume that everyone will then just hop in a car to get from point A to point B., so we’re not suggesting to do away with buses. That said, we do believe there is an obvious solution, and it’s this: the government should deregulate the bus market in Saskatchewan, and

open it up to carriers willing to provide services at competitive prices. In nearly every other province in this great country of ours, independent carries generate a profit without being subsidized by the government, so why in the heck can’t we do it here? Sure, one of the reasons is that it’s nearly impossible to compete with a crown corporation, since their subsidies effectively make them immune to market forces (like having to control costs or charge enough to cover their expenses). And that’s got to stop. Having a cheap, effective, reliable bus service is important to Saskatchewan — we don’t dispute that. But as we’ve said before, “the nature of our geography is such that the overwhelming majority of rural routes simply can’t make money: limited ridership and enormous distances make traditional bus travel inefficient and wasteful, like flying a 300-seat airliner with four passengers.” Now, there’s no doubt people in rural areas need access to a bus service, but as it stands we’re going about it the wrong way. If you look at it with the right kind of eyes you’ll see that what’s happening is that rural routes are essentially being subsidized by urban

riders. To quote the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, this “effectively (means) the urban poor subsidize the rural poor” because, well, it turns out that urban routes actually make money in this province. Go figure. So we think it’s time we fix the ills of the STC. It’s time to privatize, deregulate and allow for competition in the bus industry in our province, because handing out ever-increasing grants year after year to a losing enterprise is so obviously not the answer. As we mentioned, it does absolutely nothing to reduce prices. So maybe it’s time to encourage competitors to join the market and put the rural routes out to tender. It would be a good move for riders, and a good move for the province. 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

6 FEB 15 – FEB 21 NEWS + OPINION

CONTENTS

LOCAL

EDITORIAL

COMMENTS

Q+A

ARTS

COVER

FOOD + DRINK

MUSIC

LISTINGS

NIGHTLIFE

FILM

COMICS

TIMEOUT

VERBNEWS.COM


COMMENTS

OFF TOPIC

ON TOPIC: Last week we asked what you thought about Valentine’s Day. Here's what you had to say:

Text yo thoughtsur to 881 VE R B 8372

– Cops with tasers? Bad idea.With guns they have to think before they shoot guys. Much easier to zap em than to blast em.No sccontabilty. In response to “We’re stunned,” Editorial page, #63 (February 1, 2013)

– What’s wrong with celebrating a little love? Who cares what made this holiday happen it doesn’t matter. The important thing to do is remember to spread the love around, tell it to someone you’ve been meaning to for a while, repeat it to someone you say it to all the time. It doesn’t have to be romantic love, tell your friends, parents, everyone. Love is in the air people!! xoxo :D

– A person should show love all year round. Not just on Valentines Day. Also, I wish there was no Valentines Day. It’s just rubbing it in to the single people out there that aren’t in a relationship.

– Celebrating love is one thing. Celebrating a corporate idea of love, by feeling forced to be a super consumer, is another. I’m always surprised by the levelheaded, rational people in my life who are conscious of being a responsible consumer, yet feel the need to blow money on flowers, chocolates and the like. It’s not even original! I agree people should celebrate Valentines day however they want, but that’s not going to stop me from thinking less of your choices if you buy into the hype.

– To all the pathetic losers who think vday is just one day a year. No wonder you’re constantly crying about how bad your relationships suck. Use your brains. Relationships take hard work ALL YEAR LONG. Not just ONE DAY a year. Don’t feel sorry for you at all.

– Valentines day is a day where expectations are so high they can

never be met so to all the men out there let the women do the plans and see how they like trying to met the expetation bar and try to surpass it

– After this valentine day men let the women plan it and see how they do

– Women always say they don’t care about vday or presents but then there pissed if u don’t get them something sparkly. Cant go wrong with some jewels, guys!

– Not a big fan of Valentine’s primarily cause I got no one to share it with

– I luv valentines day! It makes me feel special and loved. My man knows how to treat me right. Maybe all u haters don’t have an awesome guy in ur life.

– Oh how original another article slamming vday what are u single or ugly stop hatin just cuz u dont have anyone that loves u

– I love valentines day and don’t care who knows it. Getting spoiled and spoiling my special is so fun!! Don’t care what u losers things if u don’t like it don’t do it. Happy Valentines day to my favorite Pete love u baby! xo

– Happy Valentines day to everyone out there who may not hear the words from someone . Spreading love can’t be a bad thing, so here’s a little bit for you all!!

– I love the idea of neo-burlesque ! Where do I sign up ;p. In response to “A Sexy Revival,” Local page, #64 (February 8, 2013)

SOUND OFF – Regina City has a shovel the sidewalks campaign. How do you clear your sidewalk when the snowplows cover your sidewalk with a windrow of heavy ice chunks?

– When I think about you, I think about 28. I think about your Pontiac Vibe. I think about the stars in the sky. Funny how watching hockey was our fondest memory Like a soundtrack to a May midweek night Bieksa

– Even if our votes for Jack Layton worked, he was sick and passed away. So therefore we would’ve had Stephen Harper next in power anyways.. I say let’s work with the government, (if they decide to work sh*t out with the people) we have no other choice do we? Next time vote and don’t be an idiot. Harper is corrupt and he’s a total ass. That is all. ;)

– Urban_Rural split? In Sask? Don’t we all come from a farm somewhere? Don’t City folks depend on rural folks to spend $ and grow food? Our MPs represent all of us and the changes proposed by the panel are wrong headed. Many voters reside in a City and have family and/or property in the country.

– Ok ur cougar txt ive got a question is it a cat u saw or a 45 to 55 lady please specify

– COUGERS by the river cougers in the Mall Cougers all around You! downtown W0w

– The Canadian Spy/VS/Spy agency Sissy! Sucks Steven ! Investigate YOUR SENATE!

– IDLE N0 MORE!! ST0P P0VERTY ! FREE V0ICE !!PEOPLE SPEAK UP FIGHT C0RRUPTION AB0RIGINAL PEOPLES PARTY!!!!

– When people asked my dad if he thought his kids were spoiled he always said “Naw! They always smell like that.”

– Guitar! 19 frets 6 strings 10 fingers and 2 palms. Add a little technique bending hammers etc. So many possibilities for expression. Gotta like Guitar!

enforcement (city hall) and get a FREE inspection and finally have your place fixed. The slumlord CANNOT take revenge on you. It feels great!

– This place is bad for racism and prejudice. I can’t even f’in go for groceries without the punk ass RPS following me around. Get to a place you don’t go out!

NEXT WEEK: What do you think about changing bus service in Saskatchewan? 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.

– Since slumlords hate to fix their properties, call your local by-law

7 FEB 15 – FEB 21 /VERBREGINA

CONTENTS

LOCAL

EDITORIAL

COMMENTS

Q+A

ARTS

COVER

FOOD + DRINK

MUSIC

LISTINGS

NIGHTLIFE

FILM

COMICS

TIMEOUT

NEWS + OPINION


Q+A

THE OUTLAW

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF JOHN PEETS

Eric Church does things the old-fashioned way BY ALEX J MACPHERSON

I

n the glamorous world of mainstream country, where a slick image and radiofriendly singles spell the difference between success and failure, Eric Church presents as an outsider — a singer and songwriter who built a career the old fashioned way. After years of toiling in small bars and clubs, Church rocketed to fame aboard his latest record, Chief. Unlike most albums released last year, Chief is more than just a vehicle for two or three singles. Making the record nearly killed Church, who throws himself into the writing room and the recording studio like a man possessed, but it emerged as a breath of fresh air in an industry that is too often defined by sterility and shallowness. I caught up with Church to chat about making records. Alex J MacPherson: The world of mainstream country is dominated by

singles, yet you very consciously made an album. Why go that direction? Eric Church: I know in this day and time it’s a singlesdriven business, it’s a download-driven business. I guess I’m old school in that I don’t believe you can build

AJM: When it came time to choose singles from the record, you made unconventional choices. Was that a big gamble?

AJM: I don’t think it’s a secret that Chief astonished pretty much everyone. Do all the accolades and awards put you under a lot of pressure moving forward?

EC: I’ve never been focused on that part of it. Sometimes you have a song that you think is the most palatable, and it doesn’t do anything other than go up the charts. It’s always been im-

EC: I don’t know is the honest answer. Nobody is going to put more pressure on me than I put on myself. Nobody has a higher expectation than me. I have more expectation in my finger than most people have in their whole body about what I want the music to be. I’m going to make sure we get across that hurdle — or it won’t come out.

Nobody is going to put more pressure on me than I put on myself.

AJM: Which means that the process of making records is hard for you, right?

ERIC CHURCH

a fan base by only giving people one chapter of a book. I think they have to read the whole book. We’ve always focused on that, and it’s something that’s very important to me — and I feel like it’s integral to the success we’ve had.

portant to me that you have a song that not only can go up the chart, but it’s reactive, and people are going to want to buy the record, they’re are going to want to buy the ticket. If you have a song that just goes to number one just to go to number one, what’s the point?

EC: The big secret there, and I’ve said this a couple times, is I hate making albums. I love the result, I love playing them live, I love those things but I hate the process because of what I put myself through to get the record I want. It’s just a miserable time for me. I just about lose my

mind every time until we finally get it out and I can relax again. AJM: You also have a live record in the works. Why move in that direction? EC: It’s been a long time coming for us. We’ve been a live act more than anything else. We’ve built our career in small bars and clubs, and it’s grown from there … and it’s always been important for me to show that side. Instead of doing our show as it is now, we went back to a small theatre, where we really came from. We just turned the mics on, there was no scripting. Eric Church February 22 @ Brandt Centre $66.50 + @ Ticketmaster Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

8 FEB 15 – FEB 21 CULTURE

CONTENTS

LOCAL

EDITORIAL

COMMENTS

Q+A

ARTS

COVER

FOOD + DRINK

MUSIC

LISTINGS

NIGHTLIFE

FILM

COMICS

TIMEOUT

VERBNEWS.COM


ARTS

THE LIVES OF OTHERS

Justin Rutledge and the art of writing about strangers

I

think my life is pretty boring, and I don’t have much to talk about,” Justin Rutledge says with a laugh. This may or may not be true, but it explains why he spends most of his time writing about the lives of others. “I really get off on studying someone else, studying another situation. I really enjoy creating these characters, creating these scenarios. I’m trying to create another world.” In a career spanning more than a decade, Rutledge has released five thoughtful alt-country records — little worlds populated by characters everybody seems to remember. His latest, Valleyheart, is his most adventurous and creative to date. From the sombre strains of “Heather In The Pines” to “Out of The Woods,” an organ-driven rocker and the best song he has ever written, it is a musical masterpiece. The most arresting moment on the record, and the one that best underscores Rutledge’s approach to making

BY ALEX J MACPHERSON

music, comes midway through “Getting Away.” As the song builds to the second verse, a series of rich piano chords cascade through the mix — a touch that transforms a simple acoustic ballad into an expansive landscape of sound. “What I wanted to do with this record was really centre it around the piano,” Rutledge explains, adding that Hawksley Workman once told him even the simplest addition can dramatically change a record. “Even though I’ve had piano on my records in the past, I really wanted the piano to ground this record.” On the other end of the spectrum, Rutledge’s lyrics read like great fiction. His stories are redolent with emotion yet unencumbered by intent and direction. He thinks of lyrics as photographs — snapshots from stories that the audience can interpret however they like. “I think a little too highly of my audience to generalize or to tell them what to do or to say. I really work

PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

hard at what I sing, because I don’t like songs that tell me how to feel. Personally, as a music lover I stay away from that.” “Unless,” he laughs, “it’s disco.” Valleyheart is not a disco record and it doesn’t presume to offer answers. All Rutledge can promise is a tantalizing glimpse into his life — and the lives of others. Justin Rutledge February 22 @ The Exchange $15 @ Ticketedge.ca

ZACHARY LUCKY’S SASKATCHEWAN

Some things never change

Z

BY ALEX J MACPHERSON

achary Lucky’s Saskatchewan has changed. What was once a bleak and unforgiving place, a parched backwater scoured by the wind and pummeled by the drifting snow, has become a vibrant hub of commerce, lit by the bright lights of the big city. “Saskatoon isn’t the same city I grew up in,” Lucky recalls, a hint of regret edging into his soft voice. “Every time I leave and come home, there’s another building in downtown Saskatoon. Things are getting busier and busier.” His new album, Saskatchewan, is a collage of his feelings about the province, a series of snapshots that conjure up idyllic memories and a profound sense of longing.

Lucky had no plans to write a record about Saskatchewan; the songs that poured out of him slowly coalesced into a body of work, a road leading from his temporary home on the East Coast straight back here. “Sometimes,” he muses, “you just run into songs like a brick wall. I’ve taken the approach to just be prepared for when a song comes. If your hand isn’t up there to catch it, it’ll keep going. Somebody else will find it.” In a sense, Saskatchewan chose Lucky. Unlike his last record, Come & Go, Saskatchewan dispenses with elaborate arrangements, replacing drums and violins and pianos with sparse guitar chords and the mournful swell of a pedal steel. The songs themselves echo the arrangements; Lucky skirts shades of grey and deals

in black and white — open questions about past and present, leaving and staying, living and dying. Saskatchewan may be a record about change, but the last two songs show that some things stay the same. “Saskatchewan” is his ode to the province, “Saskatchewan (Eleanor’s)” his grandmother’s. “My grandparents were country musicians,” he says. “Growing up, I never really got to know them or got to know the music. The older I get, the more and more I was intrigued by it. When I was putting together Saskatchewan, I knew my grandmother had a song called “Saskatchewan.” After listening to it and looking at the set of songs I had, there was no way that song couldn’t be on there. It needed to be on there.”

Like Lucky’s Saskatchewan, his grandmother’s Saskatchewan captures themes familiar to anyone who grew up in this province, a place where love changes to despair as quickly as summer fades into fall. But, he sings, Saskatchewan is “the home I will always call mine.”

Zachary Lucky February 27 @ The Club $10 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

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LAND & SEA

Sarah Slean dives headfirst into the biggest project of her life BY A

T

here is a story about Beethoven, probably not true, that explains why Sarah Slean elected to make an expansive double album, the most complex and difficult project she had ever undertaken, when confidence in the music industry was at an all-time low. When violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh complained about a particularly difficult passage in one of Beethoven’s late string quartets, the fiery German shot back: “Do you think I give a damn about your miserable violin when the muse strikes me?” “That’s so wonderful,” cackles Slean, who clearly enjoys telling the story, her composure collapsing for the briefest of moments. “It’s like this music is just picking you to come to earth through. You just have to be as accommodating as possible. And it’s terrifying: the music industry has collapsed and I want to make a double album with an orchestra?” She wanted to, and she did. The hugely ambitious Land & Sea was recorded and released in 2011. It marked a watershed for Slean, eclipsing her not inconsiderable earlier achievements — two volumes of poetry, a pair of tightly-wound string quartets, and a stack of contemplative piano pop records — and positioning her as one of the most driven and determined artists in the country. Land & Sea emerged as a fully-realized expression of her musical vision, but the raven-haired

songstress readily admits she had no idea what she was writing. “That’s the way it is every time,” she says, struggling to describe the ineffable process of creation. “You start feeling like you have ideas, little snippets start coming to you, but you have no idea what you’re making. About halfway through I realized the songs were coming from two very different perspectives, and they had two very

Sea is different. Cast against the swell of an orchestra and punctuated by the delicate rage of Slean’s piano, the album explores the mythology and metaphor of the ocean — connective tissue for the bones and ligaments of land on which we live. “It comes from that intuition that we all kind of have, that though we do very viscerally experience being separate from each other, we all intuitively feel

All of the great people in art and science were outrageously unrealistic, and I think that’s where great things get made. SARAH SLEAN

different temperatures or flavours.” Packaged as a double album, Land & Sea is actually two distinct records, parallel ideas expressed through two contrasting musical aesthetics. Land is all pop. Recorded live and produced, in part, by Joel Plaskett, it feels warm and energetic and bright. “Life,” a stormy song for the end of history, establishes the central idea around which the record unfolds: the end of one epoch and the promise of another. “Land is all about our times, our moment in history,” Slean says, hinting broadly at a deeper meaning, “the difficulties we often encounter being a separate ego or personality.”

that we’re one phenomenon,” she explains, sounding truly excited at the hint of some greater truth, “the phenomenon of life, this forward motion of this creative energy that’s ceaseless, relentless, and constantly in motion.” Slean could have, and perhaps even should have, released the records a year or two apart. It would have minimized her exposure to the risk of gambling on records in a time of turbulence and uncertainty. She actually considered it, but eventually decided to release them together, convinced Land and Sea complemented each other. It was a good decision. Today, Land & Sea sound like two sides of the CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE »

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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF IVAN OTIS

ALEX J MACPHERSON same coin, joined together for all time. But releasing them together was not an easy decision. Slean knew the record would dominate the next two or three years of her life. After its release, she hit the road with a rock band to play Land. Then she flew to Europe for a series of concerts with string quartets, a teaser for the grandiose Sea tour on the horizon, a trip from Pacific to Atlantic and back again, complete with tour-

PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

ing musicians and additional players recruited from local orchestras. Slean understands that the project is risky and ambitious, but that knowledge only seems to energize her further. “The artists I admire are people that never succumbed to the conformity of ideas,” she says, her voice rising. “All of the great people in art and science were outrageously unrealistic, and I think that’s where great things get made. My project is to push myself.” She does not say it, but Sea will also push her listeners. Conceived in part as an antidote to the saccharine and shallow pop that has for years dominated the airwaves, the record reflects her

faith in the people who buy albums — and her anger at the business itself. “I think the mistake of the music industry, and the reason it is a pile of embers now, is because they have insulted our intelligence for so long,” she says, with more than a hint of anger. “I’ve had people in the music industry tell me to make it simpler, to make it dumber basically. I just think that’s a colossally arrogant assumption to make about the general public.” Slean prefers to think of Land & Sea as a complete work, a piece of art that can survive multiple plays without surrounding it secrets. This is particularly apparent on Sea, which attempts to unravel what she calls “the shocking wonder of existence.” Struck by the spectacular improbability of life on earth, she dove into the history of philosophy, science, and religion. Eventually, she found an answer in the simple act of appreciation, the idea of experiencing everything with eyes wide open. “We tune out most of what the world is in order to function and survive and get thing done and take out the garbage and have children,” she says. “But what’s going on, and what we take for granted, is not mundane by any stretch of the imagination. Everything around us is a colossal miracle.” This idea runs through the record, rising to the surface for air before plunging beneath the waves. It is expressed on “The Cosmic Ballet,” the soaring opening track (“There’s more wisdom in the iris bud / than all our

centuries of words”), and gets its most thorough airing on “Everything By The Gallon,” a tender love song for the earth itself (“Everything by the gallon / Nothing at all half-way / He said to me / It’s the only way, only way”). Slean’s grand ideas expand and evolve as the record unfolds. Informed by her study of eastern religions and mythology, as well as modern physics, Sea explores a continuity that transcends birth and death — a timeless cycle that positions humans as but one drop in a sea of lives. “Think about physics, the fact that light behaves like a particle and like a wave,” Slean urges,

after explaining that she keeps abreast of developments in science. “That’s exactly what we are: we behave like particles, like these little isolated confined beings that are separate, but we also behave like we’re on a continuum. We’re like that wave in the ocean that goes up, has a life, appears to be a separate object or entity, and then dissolves back into the allness.” Ultimately, Slean’s project — particularly the haunting strains of Sea — is reminiscent of a line from David Mitchell’s towering Cloud Atlas, a penetrating novel that captures the spirit of what Slean set out to achieve. Land

& Sea will shine bright for a time, but it will eventually become a tiny speck on the great arc of history. But, as Mitchell writes, “Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?” Beethoven would be thrilled. Sarah Sleen February 22 @ The Artesian on 13 Sold out! Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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LONGING FOR LOCAL

Photos courtesy of Danielle Tocker

Crave features upscale cuisine with a focus on in-house preparations and local goods BY JESSICA BICKFORD

O

h Crave, you had me at charcuterie! If you offer made-inhouse charcuterie, you can just leave me alone with that big, rustic slab of assorted meat products, perfect french bread, pickles, olive tapenade, and sun-dried tomatoes. The chorizo was beautiful, crisp and smoky, and the mortadella was full of sweet pistachios. The beef bresaola had a wonderful saltiness and great mouth-feel, and the playfully named tongue in cheek terrine was smooth, full of incredibly tender meat, and had a great flavour. The chicken liver

parfait was so rich and indulgent it was like savoury dessert. I was sad to leave the meat fiesta behind, but a pickled local beet salad was waiting patiently to be tasted. The incredibly colourful red and yellow beets (organic from Heliotrope farms) were vinegary and tart, and matched nicely with the arugula and spinach in a blood orange vinaigrette. Bits of crumbled chevre gave everything a perfect richness, and the spiced candied nuts added great texture. On to the entrées, and red winebraised lamb shank with cardamom carrots and ricotta gnocchi was

first. The sides were unique, and the carrots were sweet, tender and buttery. The gnocchi were made with ricotta instead of potatoes, so they were a bit more dense than usual but had much more flavour, and the sun-dried tomato and garlic sauce they were served in was fantastic. The lamb was served on the bone, and the meat was fall-apart tender. The sauce it was in had hints of star anise, and was bold, absolutely rich and wonderful. Steelhead trout with pesto polenta and forest mushrooms was the last savoury item, and this was served with a side of white asparagus, beans, carrots, and snap peas. The flaky pink fish was moist and flavourful while the mushrooms added a bit of richness. The polenta was seared crisp on the outside, and had a buttery, herby flavour that went well with the trout. I finished the meal with an artfully presented orange and almond flourless cake with a white chocolate mousse. This super moist cake had large pieces of almond, as well as a great fresh orange flavour. The mousse was so creamy, fluffy, delicious and sweet that it was almost better than the cake! Crave has a new patio space in the works for next summer, and their

LET’S GO DRINKIN’ VERB’S MIXOLOGY GUIDE CRAVE’S SMOKED ANISE

INGREDIENTS

This icy blue cocktail packs a serious alcohol punch along with its fragrant, slightly smoky aroma. This cocktail comes on strong, but mellows out nicely once some of the ice starts to melt, and is a classy drink through and through.

1 oz Ketel One vodka 1 oz Absinthe dash of Laphroaig scotch whisky whole star anise for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a tumbler full of both crushed and whole ice, mix the vodka, absinthe, and scotch. Garnish with whole star anise.

event spaces are great. Their chef, Jonathan Thauberger, has a passion for using local ingredients, pays great attention to detail, and has an interest in nose to tail eating that is certainly played upon in his fantastic charcuterie (which has me dreaming of chorizo and chicken liver).

Crave Kitchen and Wine Bar 1925 Victoria Ave. | 525 8777 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@TheGeekCooks jbickford@verbnews.com

12 FEB 15 – FEB 21 CULTURE

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MUSIC

NEXT WEEK

COMING UP

COLT FORD

THE NOBLE THIEFS

SKYDIGGERS

@ THE BRANDT CENTRE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – $65.50+

@ THE ARTFUL DODGER SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24 – $TBD

@ THE EXCHANGE FRIDAY, MAY 10– $TBD

Colt Ford is one of a kind. Seriously, how many other people can say they’re a former professional golfer turned rapping country musician who just so happens to be one heckuva songwriter to boot? Yep, any way you slice it, Colt Ford is unique. And maybe it’s that quality that has served him so well in his music career. Born Jason Farris Brown, Colt Ford has charted six times on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, and co-wrote Jason Aldean’s hit single “Dirt Road Anthem.” His latest album, Declaration of Independence, hit #1 on the US Country chart. Oh, and if his name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe his song “Chicken and Biscuits” will. Ford will be bringing his talents to Regina when he opens for Eric Church. Tickets at www.ticketmaster.ca.

Ever walk into a bar, hear some live music and instantly your head starts bobbing up and down? Pretty soon your feet are moving, you’re on the dance floor and screaming at the top of your lungs? Well, that’s the kind of music The Noble Thiefs play. Hailing from Winnipeg, this band — Myron Dean, Riley Hastings, Ian Lodewyks, Joel Armstrong and Tim Jones — has a sound that is part rock, part soul, part garage and all awesome. With an upbeat ‘50s vibe playing behind silky smooth vocals, The Noble Thiefs put on an electric live performance that fills dance floors and wins fans wherever they play in the country. They are currently touring western Canada, so if you feel like having a good time, stop by and check ‘em out!

The 1980s was a special time for music in Toronto. With bands like Blue Rodeo and The Cowboy Junkies cutting their teeth on the city’s music scene, the singer-songwriter tradition of music making was alive and well in the Big Smoke. This is also when the band that would eventually become Skydiggers began to form. It started with singer Andy Maize and guitarist Josh Finlayson in a duo called West Montrose. They soon added guitarist Peter Cash, drummer Wayne Stokes and bassist Ron Macey, and the Skydiggers started to record albums. Now 12 records and a new line-up later, they’re still going strong and wowing crowds across Canada. Skydiggers will be hitting up The Exchange in early May. – By Adam Hawboldt

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: THE ARTIST / THE ARTIST / THE ARTIST

SASK MUSIC PREVIEW Calling all Saskatchewan performing artists! Submissions for the Breakout West Festival, Western Canadian Music Awards and Western Canadian Music Industry Awards are now open. What’s more, the WCMAs have announced two new categories: Electronic/Dance Recording of the Year, and Metal/Hard Music Recording of the Year. Please have your submissions in no later than April 1, at 11pm CST.

Keep up with Saskatchewan music. saskmusic.org

13 FEB 15 – FEB 21 @VERBREGINA

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will impress you with her amazing voice. 8pm / $10

will impress you with her amazing voice. 8pm / $10

sassy group with a serious pop vibe, this winsome and witty act is unstoppable. Get out and see ‘em while they’re in town! 8pm / $15 (advance), $20 (door) BOREAL SONS, JULIA AND HER PIANO / Artful Dodger — What better way to enjoy your weekend than with a night listening to these two captivating acts? 7:30pm; $15 cover RSO POPS: THE OSCARS / Conexus Arts Centre — Music from classic and contemporary films, to get you in the movie award mood. 8pm / $69-99 (www. tickets.reginasymphony.com) DJ JUAN LOPEZ / Envy Nightclub — This DJ loves requests. 10pm / Cover $5 ENSLAVED, PALLBEARER, ANCIENT VVISDOM, ROYAL THUNDER / The Cultural Exchange — Things are gonna get loud tonight, as these hard core acts take to the stage! 7pm / $20 (www.ticketedge.ca) THE MONTAGUES / McNally’s Tavern — Big band, great sound! Come out and enjoy this much-loved band playing funk, R&B, Motown and pop classics. 10pm / $5 CRAIG MORITZ / Pump Roadhouse — Come out and rock with this Alberta born and bred country musician. 9pm / Cover TBD DANGEROUS CHEESE / The Sip —  Come out for a night of sweet tunes. 10pm / Cover TBD  JAM SESSIONS / Smokin’ Okies BBQ — Promoting blues and country blues, come in and play or listen and be entertained. 3pm / No cover JESS MOSKALUKE / Whiskey Saloon – A young country musician, Moskaluke

Come down and jam! 8pm / No cover

FEBRUARY 15 » SATURDAY 16               MONDAY 18 FEBRUARY 23 CHIC GAMINE / Artesian on 13th — A OPEN MIC NIGHT / The Artful Dodger — The most complete live music listings for Regina. S

M

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W

T

15 16

17 18 19 20 21 22 23

FRIDAY 15

SWEET / Casino Regina — An old-school glam rock band from the UK, featuring new and original members. 8pm / $3035 (www.casinoregina.com) DJ JUAN LOPEZ / Envy Nightclub — This DJ loves requests, nothing is off limits.10pm / $5 DUSTIN BENTALL AND THE SMOKES, LINDI ORTEGA / The Exchange — A night of kickass folk and country. 8pm / $12 (www.ticketedge.ca) DJ PAT & DJ KIM / Habano’s — Local DJs spin top 40 hits. 9pm / $5 cover BIG CHILL FRIDAY / Lancaster Taphouse — Come get your chill on with DJ Fatbot, every Friday night. 10pm / Cover TBD THE MONTAGUES / McNally’s Tavern — Big band, great sound. Come out and enjoy this much-loved band playing funk, R&B, Motown and pop classics. 10pm / $5 CRAIG MORITZ / Pump Roadhouse — Come out and rock with this Alberta born and bred country musician. 9pm / Cover TBD DANGEROUS CHEESE / The Sip —  Come out for a night of sweet tunes. 10pm / Cover TBD JESS MOSKALUKE / Whiskey Saloon – A young country musician, Moskaluke

TUESDAY 19

MICHAEL WOOD BAND / The Artful Dodger — An energetic rock band from Vancouver. 7:30pm / Cover TBD THE TENORS / Conexus Arts Centre — This Canadian band pumps out everything, from power anthems to beautiful ballads. 7:30pm / $52.50-105 (www.conexusticket.com)

WEDNESDAY 20

WEDNESDAY NIGHT FOLK / Bushwakker Brewpub — Featuring The Blue Montegos. 9pm / No cover JAM NIGHT AND OPEN STAGE / McNally’s Tavern — Come on down and enjoy some local talent. 9pm / No cover

THURSDAY 21

JJ VOSS, SHANDEE NOBLE / The Artful Dodger — Voss is rolling out his new hit single “Playing for Keeps.” 8pm / $10 (advance), $15 (door) DANGER CAT, ELDER ABUSE, HOLIC / The Exchange — Things are gonna get loud and heavy when these bands hit the stage. 7pm / Cover TBD 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 VUDU HOUNDS / McNally’s — Come support live local bands. 8:30pm / $5 THIRD DEGREE BIRNZ / Pump Roadhouse — Come on out for some sweet party music. 9pm / Cover TBD

TIM ROMANSON / Whiskey Saloon – Some good ol’ country music to get the party started. 8pm / $5 DJ LONGHORN / Whiskey Saloon — Come check out one of Regina’s most interactive DJs. 8pm / Cover $5

FRIDAY 22

SARAH SLEAN / Artesian on 13th — A Juno-nominated singer/songwriter you don’t want to miss. 8pm / SOLD OUT ERIC CHURCH / Brandt Centre — The bad boy of country is here to rock Regina. 7:30pm / $44.50-77.50 CHARLIE MAJOR / Casino Regina — Country music done right by this musician from Quebec. 8pm / $25-30 (www. casinoregina.com) DJ JUAN LOPEZ / Envy Nightclub — This DJ loves requests, nothing is off limits. 10pm / $5 JUSTIN RUTLEDGE / The Exchange — A CD release party for this talented roots singer/songwriter who may very well be the second coming of Ron Sexsmith. 8pm / $15 (available at Vintage Vinyl, Madame Yes, www.ticketedge.ca) DJ PAT & DJ KIM / Habano’s — Local DJs spin top 40 hits all night long. 9pm / $5 cover CORTEZ AND THE KILLERS / Lancaster Taphouse — A Neil Young tribute band. 9pm / Cover TBD BIG CHILL FRIDAY / Lancaster Taphouse — Come get your chill on with DJ Fatbot, every Friday night. 10pm / Cover TBD WONDERLAND / McNally’s Tavern — One-hit wonders and classic rock. 10pm / $5 THIRD DEGREE BIRNZ / Pump Roadhouse — Come on out for some sweet party music. 9pm / Cover TBD WU-BLOCK / Pure Ultra Lounge — Featuring the legendary talents of

Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch. 9pm / $20-35 (www.ticketedge.ca) BILLY GRIND / The Sip — Come out for a night of alt. country. 10pm / Cover TBD TIM ROMANSON / Whiskey Saloon – Some good ol’ country music to get the party started. 8pm / $10

SATURDAY 23

SUPER NOVA / The Artful Dodger — The industry showdown finals featuring Suffersugre, The League of One, Port Noise, The Dustin Ritter Band and so, so many more. 7:30pm / Cover TBD DJ JUAN LOPEZ / Envy Nightclub — This DJ loves requests. 10pm / Cover $5 LUNACY, THIS DOG MUST DIE, ELECTRIC MOTHER / The Exchange — Three excellent bands, one hella good time. 8pm / $10 WONDERLAND / McNally’s Tavern — One-hit wonders and classic rock. 10pm / $5 THIRD DEGREE BIRNZ / Pump Roadhouse — Come on out for some sweet party music. 9pm / Cover TBD BILLY GRIND / The Sip — Come out for a night of alt. country. 10pm / Cover TBD JAM SESSIONS / Smokin’ Okies BBQ — Promoting blues and country blues, come in and play or listen and be entertained. 3pm / No cover TIM ROMANSON / Whiskey Saloon – Some good ol’ country music to get the party started. 8pm / $10

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

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NIGHTLIFE

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8 @

CATHEDRAL FREEHOUSE

The Cathedral Freehouse 2062 Albert Street (306) 359 1661

MUSIC VIBE / A good mix of everything,

including reggae and old school funk FEATURED DEALS / All Big Rock beers were on special, and pizza for $12 DRINK OF CHOICE / A dill Caesar TOP EATS / Pizza — many unique toppings to choose from COMING UP / A menu change will be coming up this spring, and the drink menu is getting revamped

Photography by Bebzphoto

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ON LOVE AND DYING...

PHOTO: COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Amour is a heartbreaking look at a couple in the twilight of their lives BY ADAM HAWBOLDT

D

isclaimer: Michael Haneke’s latest film, Amour, isn’t for everyone. I repeat: it is not for everyone. See, if you’re the kind of filmgoer who needs action and explosions and edge-of-your seat suspense, chances are you won’t enjoy Haneke’s latest flick. But if you’re the kind of movie watcher who prefers excellent acting and an unflinching glimpse of real-life trials and tribulations, then you’re probably going to love Amour. (Sorry, couldn’t resist). The film tells the story of an old, octogenarian couple — Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anna (Emmanuelle Riva). Georges and Anna, both retired and respected music teachers, live in a nice Parisian apartment and enjoy a comfortable, middle-class life. That is until one day, when Anna has a small stroke. Naturally

Georges takes her to the hospital, where the doctor suggests Anna have surgery to stop another stroke from occurring. Anna goes under the knife, but there’s a catch: the operation isn’t a success, and it leaves her partially paralyzed. Once she’s released and arrives home, she

shrugs off the idea of their daughter helping him, and goes it alone. Right. And that’s basically the entire plot of Amour. Not much to it, huh? But here’s the thing: this movie — if you give it a chance — will punch you straight in the stomach. It’s cruel and beautiful. It’ll break your heart and

[Trintignant and Riva] light the screen on fire with their incredible performances. ADAM HAWBOLDT

makes Georges promise to never take her back to the hospital. From here on out, the film maps the ever-deepening spiral of not just Anna’s health, but of Georges’ struggle to take care of the love of his life. A stubborn old bugger, Georges

make you smile. It will make you think about old age, your own demise and the meaning of true, ever-lasting love. And the best part? It does all this in a way that is different than most love stories you’ll see. A Nicholas Sparks flick this is not. Under the cool,

even hand of Haneke, Amour is completely void of overblown romantic gestures and syrupy sentimentality. So, without those romance film tropes, how does Haneke manage to make one of the best love stories you’ll see this year? Well, he allows the heart-breaking realism of the story to shine through by using a very sparse, non-manipulative approach to filmmaking. Oh, and he also lets his two main actors carry the weight of this heavy-as-hell picture. Lucky for him, he has two legends of French film to lean on. First, there’s Trintignant, one of the best actors to come out of the French New Wave, whose films include classics like Three Colors: Red and Les liaisons dangereuses. Then there’s Mrs. Riva, the star of Three Colors: Blue and Hiroshima mon amour, who is equally as talented as Mr. Trintignant. Together they light

AMOUR Michael Haneke Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva + Isabelle Huppert DIRECTED BY STARRING

135 MINUTES | PG

the screen on fire with their incredible performances as aged lovers on the brink of decline and death — a situation that most of us will face if we’re lucky enough to find someone and live that long. No two ways about it, Amour is the kind of film that really hits home. Amour will open at Regina Public Library on February 21.

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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A GOOD DAY TO DIE OFF

If this is where the Die Hard franchise is heading, maybe it’s time to end things BY ADAM HAWBOLDT

T

his is going to be the hardest review I’ve ever written. No, I don’t have writer’s block. I’m not sick. And my hands aren’t broken. The reason it’s going to be so hard is because I love the Die Hard franchise. I mean, c’mon. They set the gold standard for action movies, combining tense action with zippy one-liners, catchphrases and good, engaging character drama. Oh, and they also featured this guy named John McClane, who just so happens to be one of the most badass characters in the history of movies. Seriously: McClane is so badass that, when asked how he wants his steak cooked, he answers “Still breathing.” So badass he uses hot sauce as eye drops, uses steel wool to wash his genitalia, and has a record of 14 wins, 4 losses in Russian roulette. Okay, so maybe McClane doesn’t do any of those things, but in the first four movies he has killed 58 people, uttered one of the greatest lines in movie history (Yippee ki-yay, motherf*cker!) and oozed cool menace like very few before him. And here’s the good thing about the latest installment of the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard: police detective John McClane is back and as cool as ever.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF 20TH CENTURY FOX

Hard is a rambling, messy film that never really finds its footing. In it, John McClane goes to Moscow to find his son. While there, naturally, he runs into bad guys (this time terrorists)

[A Good Day to Die Hard is] too generic and wooden, with too many big set pieces and a subpar, complex story. ADAM HAWBOLDT

But that’s where the goodness ends. Written by Skip Woods (The ATeam) and directed by John Moore (Max Payne), A Good Day to Die

who have nuclear ambitions. That stuff doesn’t happen on John McClane’s watch. Explosions and epic car chases ensue.

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD John Moore STARRING Bruce Willis, Mary Elizabeth Winstead + Jai Courtney DIRECTED BY

98 MINUTES | 14A

Eventually, McClane finds his son, realizes he’s a CIA operative and the two spend the last half of the film bonding (McClane has never been the world’s greatest dad) while running around the Chernobyl power plant where one of the world’s worst environmental disasters occurred in 1986. And while a plot like that maybe doesn’t sound entirely preposterous, the movie never really figures out what it wants to be. On the one hand, it aims to be a balls-to-the-wall action flick. On the other, it

tries its damnedest to be a father-son bonding film. And in the end it ends up being a mashed together mess. Now, while I have your attention, let me say two more quick things about A Good Day to Die Hard. 1) It is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the worst installment in the Die Hard series. 2) The reason it pales in comparison to, say, 1988’s original Die Hard is because it tries too hard. It’s too generic and wooden, with too many big set pieces and a subpar, complex story. The original, conversely, was so

awesome because it was simple. Good guy locked in a building with a dozen bad guys, good guy must kill bad guys to save the day. It was a cool, taut, nononsense action flick. T’is a shame A Good Day to Die Hard couldn’t be the same.

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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18 FEB 15 – FEB 21 ENTERTAINMENT

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CROSSWORD CANADIAN CRISS-CROSS 26. Spray can 28. Mitten part 31. Place where relief pitchers warm up 35. Parts of eyeglasses 36. Cleaning appliance, for short 37. Hindu woman’s dress 38. Everything 39. Subway system 41. Went fast on foot 42. Tableware 44. Be against 46. Grease in sheep’s wool 47. Jacket material 48. Spreads newly mown grass for drying 49. Catch sight of

DOWN 1. Girl with fair hair 2. Use oars 3. Accustomed 4. Breed of small dog 5. Put at risk 6. Fork prong 7. Exclamation of mild alarm 8. Young hen 9. Control the discussion 11. An annoyance 12. Things stolen 14. Playthings 17. Circus performer 20. Places where pieces join 22. Proposed laws

24. Bird’s beak SUDOKU ANSWER KEY 25. Mountain pass A 27. Table sugar 28. Confining situation 29. Birch ___, Saskatchewan 30. Change in vowel sound, in Germanic languages 32. An amusing imitation 33. Delete recorded data 34. Half of a golf course B 36. Parts of three piece suits 39. Become better 40. Musical work 43. Put a bow in 45. Vim

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

ACROSS 1. Very dry, as wine 5. Way of walking 9. About to happen 10. Place for mooring a boat 12. Party for a mother-to-be 13. Short sock 15. Unhealthily pale 16. Male duck 18. Summer sign 19. Helps out 21. Winter driving hazard 22. Bunch of beauties 23. Like the grass on the other side 25. Orders to appear in court

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

TIMEOUT

© WALTER D. FEENER 2012

HOROSCOPES FEBRUARY 15 – FEBRUARY 21 ARIES March 21–April 19

LEO July 23–August 22

SAGITTARIUS November 23–December 21

The planets are going to align this week, Aries, and as they do you’ll slowly feel your fortunes turning for the better. Enjoy! It won’t last long.

This week should be all about learning, Leo. Focus on teaching yourself something new, and indulge your curiosity. You’ll be glad you did.

One or more of your relationships will be strained this week. And whether you’re the problem or it’s the other person, it doesn’t matter. Be open-minded.

TAURUS April 20–May 20

VIRGO August 23–September 22

CAPRICORN December 22–January 19

Feeling rather intuitive this week, Taurus? Is your gut constantly sending you messages? If so, don’t listen. It will lead you astray.

When the road in front of you gets bumpy, Virgo, say to hell with it and turn around. No shame in taking another route.

When opportunity knocks, it would be best if you opened the door, Capricorn. If you don’t, you’re going to live to regret it.

GEMINI May 21–June 20

LIBRA September 23–October 23

AQUARIUS January 20–February 19

This is a great week for friendship, Gemini. Whether it’s getting closer to the friends you already have or making new ones, you’ll enjoy success this week.

It’s time to get social, Libra, so get out there, do your thing, meet new people, or go to new places. It’s the best way to combat the winter blues.

Well, well, well … look who is going to be uber-popular this week. Enjoy the attention while it lasts, Aquarius, for it will come and go.

CANCER June 21–July 22

SCORPIO October 24–November 22

PISCES February 20–March 20

Reach for the stars this week, Cancer. And if you don’t quite get there, don’t worry. As long as you can still see them you’re in the game.

Expect the preposterously unexpected this week, Scorpio. But don’t worry too much if you get sideswiped (figuratively, of course). It’s all for the best.

Here is something to ponder this week, Pisces: “Do you think horses get songs stuck in their head?” Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

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

CROSSWORD ANSWER KEY

A

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

B

19 FEB 15 – FEB 21 /VERBREGINA

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Verb Issue R65 (Feb. 15-21, 2013)