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Issue #229 – March 1 to March 7

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cutting out static alex cuba

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tyler mane Saskatchewan-born actor on freaking people out with a twist Q+A with New Country Rehab Jack the giant slayer + 21 and over Films reviewed­

Photo: courtesy of christina woerns


contents

NEWs + Opinion

entertainment

culture

Q + A with new country rehab A new twist on old tunes. 12 / Q + A

Underground art

cricket’s last chirp?

Pushing the status quo with Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school. 4 / Local

Regina punk rockers look to the future. 13 / Arts

listings Local music listings for March 1 through March 9. 18 / listings

Jack the giant slayer + 21 and over The latest movie reviews. 20 / Film

(Dis)comfort

Nightlife Photos

New play Comfort explores the dissolution and creation of love. 13 / Arts

We visit Béily’s and Redzone. 22-25 / Nightlife

mane attraction

verbnews.com @verbsaskatoon facebook.com/verbsaskatoon

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

ART & Production Design Lead / Roberta Barrington Design & Production / Brittney Graham Contributing Photographers / Patrick Carley, Adam Hawboldt + Ishtiaq Opal

Actor Tyler Man on freaking people out. 6 / Local

Business & Operations

On the cover:

Alex cuba

On cutting through the static. 14 / cover

dead end

Chinese done right

on the bus

Our thoughts on the SGI/motorcycle insurance debate. 8 / Editorial

This week we visit Oriental Aroma.

Weekly original comic illustrations by Elaine M. Will. 26 / comics

16 / Food + Drink

comments

Music

Games + Horoscopes

Here’s your say about changing taxi service in Saskatchewan. 10 / comments

Diamond Rings, Hollywood Undead + Royal Canoe. 17 / music

Canadian criss-cross puzzle, horoscopes, and Sudoku. 27 / timeout

Office Manager / Stephanie Lipsit account Manager / nathan holowaty sales 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 the artist

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Underground Art

Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school challenges the norm by ADAM HAWBOLDT

W

hen you ask those who are uninitiated in the art world what comes to mind when they think of public art classes, invariably they’ll tell you of a couple specific images that pop into their heads. They’ll tell you there’s the image of a model at the front of the room. In their mind’s eye, some people see this as a simple bowl of fruit. Others see a woman about to doff a bathrobe. Others still may think of a man with a few extra pounds around the mid-section and a flaccid, dangling member. After that, they’ll tell you they picture artists sitting in silence in front of easels or with sketch pads on their laps, eyes alternating from model to paper. Then there’s the instructor: milling about the room, hands clasped behind back, whispering words of encouragement. Ask most people, and this is generally what they picture. Something quiet, calm, almost clinical. What few people imagine is the kind of loud, sassy, drunken classes

that are put on by the Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school in Saskatchewan.

Dr. Sketchy’s was founded in New York City by a 22-year-old art school drop-out named Molly Crabapple. The idea came while Crabapple was eking out a living as an artist model. The kind of model who just sat naked and still in big, bright, cold room after big, bright, cold

of a local dive bar in Brooklyn to host the first Dr. Sketchy’s class. A class that involved burlesque performers and music and liberal doses of booze. That was 2005. These days the Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art movement has marched clear across the globe. With more than 100 branches all over the world — everywhere from Sydney to London, from Tokyo to Rome — Dr. Sketchy’s is hands-

We’re open to people of all levels, from rank beginners to professionals. Jackie Latendresse

room while a class of artists silently sketched her likeness. Posing was too antiseptic, too stagnant an endeavour for Crabapple, so one day she got the idea to kill the clinical feel and make art class more kickass. Her idea? Take art underground and give it a hipper, more vibrant and alternative spin. Along with a group of friends, Crabapple convinced the owner

down the largest anti-art school on the planet. And, unbeknownst to many, four years ago it came to Saskatchewan. To the Free Flow Dance Centre in Saskatoon, to be precise. “Part of the draw, part of the reason we put these classes on, is to put the life back in life drawing,” says Jackie Latendresse, founder of the Free Flow Dance Company. “They Continued on next page »

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Photos: courtesy of adam hawboldt / verb magazine

take art out of the boring, sterile silent classroom environment and put it into a fun context for people.” Not only are the Dr. Sketchy’s classes more fun than formal art classes, they’re also more welcoming, too.

The first thing you notice when you walk into the Free Flow Dance Centre on anti-art night is the music. For this month’s Dr. Sketchy’s event (the one featuring Roller Derby girls as models), the music blasting from the sound system ranged from the Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right” to a fitting song that explained why “you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd.” Lying on her back in the centre of the room is a girl who goes by the roller derby name Spanx Givin. She’s dressed in zebra-print leotards, short black shorts, black t-shirt and a pair of black and yellow roller skates. Her left leg is lifted, pointed to the ceiling. With her hands, Spanx Givin is pulling her bright yellow skate laces towards her chest. This is the pose she’ll hold for the next five minutes. All around her tables fill with people draw-

ing. Most have sketch books, while some are using computerized drawing tablets. The crowd ranges in skill level from professional comic book artists to fine artists to ordinary folks with two left hands — so to speak. “That’s the other thing that really draws people to this,” says Latendresse. “Because of the atmosphere, it’s less threatening to people who aren’t necessarily skilled artists. We’re open to people of all levels, from rank beginners to professionals. We have someone who walks around and gives tips if you want them, and our contest (which is a staple of the Dr. Sketchy’s experience) isn’t based on skill or how good your drawing is. It’s all about how creative you can be.” From the sound system the music is interrupted, and a voice tells the crowd they have only a few more seconds to finish the drawing. Then, unexpectedly, Spanx Givin changes positions. “These events, they’re challenging to those who already have skill because the models move, so there are different angles and different shadows,” says Latendresse. “But it’s also nice for people who are just starting, too. It’s only five to ten minutes for a

drawing, so if it’s too tough an angle or you’re not happy with the pose, just wait a couple of minutes and another one will come up.” And come up they do. One after another, like clockwork. As more and more models pose, and the night grows later, more alcohol is imbibed. The

volume of the crowd increases; voices begin to rise over the music. And as you look around at the people — some clutching pencils, others clutching glasses of vodka, many smiling and laughing — you realize that Latendresse is right. Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art classes are more

fun than normal art classes. Way more fun. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Mane Attraction Saskatchewan-born actor and former pro-wrestler Tyler Mane brings world premier of his new movie to town by ADAM HAWBOLDT

H

ere’s the scenario: you’ve just started your own movie production company and you’re about to make your first film. It’s a horror flick. And you want to make sure the cast includes veteran and venerable names in the genre. How do you go about getting, say, the guy who played Jason Voorhees to be the bad guy in your project? Simple. You challenge him to a fight. Or at least that’s what Tyler Mane did. See, earlier last year Mane (who played the iconic serial killer Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween films) was sitting around his place in Los Angeles with Derek Mears — the guy who played Jason in 2009’s Friday the 13th. “Derek and I have been friends since I moved out here in ’88,” says Mane. “We live a block and a half away from each other. He’s always over at the house. So this one day we’re sitting around having a couple drinks, and joking around I say, ‘so … you wanna fight me?’” Mears, knowing his six-footnine, beast-of-a-friend was messing around, said sure. “Okay! You just signed yourself up,” Mane told his friend. “You’re doing our movie. You said you wanted

to fight me; in the movie you’ll have your chance.” The movie is called Compound Fracture. Produced, written and starring both Mane and his wife Renae Geerlings, it tells the story of a guy name Michael Wolffsen (Mane) who gains custody of his sister’s son after she was murdered by her husband. One day, Michael gets an enigmatic and urgent call from his estranged, paranoid father. He

guy who played Jason straight in the chops. More than once. After all, that’s what friends are for. Right?

Before Tyler Mane broke into Hollywood, the Saskatchewanian spent more than a decade working as a professional wrestler. He wrestled in leagues here in Canada, and in the United Kingdom

That audition was simple. Bryan [Singer] stood on the coffee table, I choked him and I got the role. Tyler Mane

packs up the family and travels to see his old man, only to find him in the midst of building an unbreachable compound where strange things are happening. Is it just a figment of Michael’s father’s imagination? Or is there something supernatural at play? You’ll have to swing by Broadway Theatre on March 14th to find out. But in the meantime, your inner horror geek can rest easy knowing that in the film, the guy who played Michael Myers does indeed bust the

and Japan. Eventually, he was signed with one of the major players in the wrestling industry — the WCW. But it was during a two-year stint with the Consejo Mundial De Lucha Libre in Mexico that Mane was first introduced to the film world. “I don’t really want to talk about that,” he jokes. “It was one of those old-time wrestling movies. I played an intergalactic vampire with three midget wrestler sidekicks.” Mane stops and chuckles about his inaugural role. “I couldn’t even read Continued on next page »

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Photos: courtesy of Mane Entertainment

the script,” he remembers. “But they didn’t care. They just told me to say whatever I wanted, they were going to dub over it anyway … It certainly wasn’t the greatest part, but at least I wasn’t getting dropped on my head.” The movie bug had officially stuck its teeth in Mane, and pretty soon his film roles would get better. Much better. In 2000, he landed a role of Sabretooth in this little movie called X-Men. “They originally wanted me to do some stunt work on the film, and wanted my former tag team partner, Kevin Nash, to play Sabretooth,” explains Mane. “But then someone saw a picture of me with my long blonde hair and was like, ‘Okay, that’s the guy we need.’” So Mane went in to audition for the part. To get more in character, he got some costume vampire teeth and polygripped them into his mouth, then went to meet with X-Men director Bryan Singer. “I walked in and there was this kid sitting on a couch, typing,” says Mane. “I said I was there to see Bryan Singer. The kid on the couch told me just a minute, and I wasn’t really sure what to think. A minute later the kid looked up and said, ‘Okay, I’m Bryan.’” Then and there, Mane learned not to judge anyone in Hollywood based on their appearance. He also

learned that some parts are remarkably easy to land. “That audition was simple,” he admits. “Bryan stood on the coffee table, I choked him and I got the role.” Other roles would follow. Ajax in the ancient Greek epic Troy, Michael Myers in Halloween, Rufus in The Devil’s Rejects. It was while filming the latter that Mane would meet another friend who, like Mears, he’d eventually convince to be in his new movie.

“We were all over at Rob Zombie’s house for a barbecue,” remembers Mane. “We’d just finished doing The Devil’s Rejects and we were sitting in the backyard. Leslie Easterbrook turned to my wife and said that we should try doing our own stuff, create our own projects.” Leslie Easterbrook, in case you’re wondering, is best known as the sassy, smouldering Sgt. Callahan of Police Academy fame. And when she gave Mane and Geerlings that tidbit of advice, they were grateful. So much so that when, after a year and a half of working on the script, Compound Fracture was ready for filming, they called Easterbrook. “I told her that we finally did it, we finally had a film of our own ready to go,” says Mane. “So I asked her if she’d be interested in being part of it.” Easterbrook jumped at the

chance. But the drive to recruit friends for the movie was far from over. “Basically, what I did was call all my friends to come over and play,” laughs Mane. “Todd Farmer (writer of Jason X, My Bloody Valentine) and Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals) are good friends of mine, so I sucked them into doing it. Tyler Bates, another friend of mine, was our score supervisor. He’s worked on 300, Watchmen, the Halloween movies.” Naturally, Mane’s wife Renae (an actress and wildly successful comic book editor) was cast in the movie. Throw Muse Watson, who played the serial killer in I Know What You Did Last Summer, into the mix and what you have is a movie filled with friends, featuring three legendary on-screen killers. “It was fantastic,” says Mane. “The whole experience. It was easily the best time I’ve ever had making a movie. We were all playing, working hard, having a good time. And it really shows up in the final product.” Compound Fracture March 14 @ Broadway Theatre www.compoundfracturethemovie.com

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Dead end

Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Paquet

SGI’s proposed hike on motorcycle insurance comes at the issue from the wrong end

O

h boy, motorcyclists in Saskatchewan are peeved! And for good reason. You see, recently SGI announced a proposal to hike the insurance rates on motor vehicles in this province. Specifically, the crown corporation is eyeing an overall vehicle increase of 1.03 percent, along with a 1.23 surcharge on rates. Wait a second. That doesn’t sound like something people should be up in arms over, does it? No, of course not. But the suggested increase of 73% on motorcycles is most certainly causing aggravation amongst some vehicle owners. To put that into some sort of perspective, there are an estimated 25,000 registered motorcycles in this province, and while all won’t experience insurance increases, some motorcycle owners could be paying over $1,000 more each year just to insure their bikes. Stop and look at that number again. Seriously. No wonder the motorcyclists of Saskatchewan are outraged. So outraged, in fact, they’ve formed a group called RAGE (Riders Against Government Exploitation). And on the petition website www.change.org they have come out against the proposed increases, stating, “It has been mentioned that this increase is to pay for the motorcycle accidents but by

the 2010 reports they have made available to the public, motorcycles accounted for 0.65% of vehicles involved in accidents and only 2.26% of injury claims comparable to 50.6% and 49.9% respectively in passenger cars.” And while the increase, and subsequent fallout to the proposed hike in rates is rather predictable, there’s obviously a bigger issue at play here. Whether SGI is right to increase the prices because “every year in Saskatchewan there are over 300 collisions involving motorcycles … [and] motorcycles are paying less than needed to cover their claim and expense costs,” or whether motorcyclists are indeed getting bent over a barrel isn’t our primary cause of concern, though. What we think is more important to focus on is the reactive nature of the proposal. Any company worth its salt (especially a crown corporation) should operate with a proactive strategy, not a knee-jerk reactive one — the latter simply attempts to band-aid a growing problem, without looking to the root cause of the issue and trying to stop it before it even gets started. We should be trying to keep the number of accidents down to begin with, rather than slapping every person who’s jumped on a bike with exorbitant insurance fees.

And with SGI, we think a proactive strategy that makes sense would begin by revamping its motorcycle graduated licence program. Did you know that all you have to do in order to get a motorcycle learner’s permit here is be 16 years old, have your parents’ consent, and pass a written test? You don’t even have to physically touch a bike to get your license. Sure, once you have that learner’s permit you face a number of restrictions, but even those are ridiculous. Case in point: no driving at night. Great, sure, but how about driving during the day? Are we really going to legally allow an inexperienced driver to hop on a motorcycle and drive around the city, as long as they’re home by sundown? That’s preposterous. Before anyone gets a learner’s permit, we think all new drivers should be required to take an actual road test (along with the written test) before you give them a licence to, you know, make sure they can actually drive and stuff. That only makes sense, right? And you know what else would make sense? A mandatory safedriving course. At the moment, SGI recommends an SGI-approved motorcycle training course, but you don’t have to take it if you don’t want to. Why not be proactive here? Why not make new motorcycle riders learn how to drive properly, teach Continued on next page »

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them how to react to dangerous situations, and how they should drive in a safe, but effective manner before allowing them on the streets? In fact, we believe there should be mandatory driving safety courses for all new drivers before they get their licences (motorcycles, cars, trucks, you name it). After all, the surge in accidents this winter (SGI is reporting 10,000 more incidents than last year) was not caused by bikers alone. And after that’s in place, perhaps we should incentivize existing drivers to get behind the wheel and take a defensive driving course — we could offer them a deal on insurance if they choose to comply. Implementing such a program would cut down on the number of reckless and unaware people behind the wheel in this province, while providing inexperienced drivers with a professional and competent resource that will benefit everyone on the road. It’s pretty simple: if you reduce the number of bad driver, you cut down on accidents. Which, in turn, would allow SGI to forego these proposed insurance rate hikes, and everybody would be happy. See, proactive approaches aren’t such a bad idea. Now it’s time for SGI to look at its policies and procedures and realize that, in the future, if they try to nip the problem in the bud instead of taxing

motorists after the fact, it would be a win-win situation for everyone.

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

These editorials are left unsigned because they represent the opinions of Verb magazine, not those of the individual writers.

@VerbSaskatoon feedback@verbnews.com

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– If we are a growing city shouldn’t the number of taxis also increase?

On Topic: Last week we asked what you thought about taxi service in Saskatchewan. Here's what you had to say: – The taxi situation in this city needs to improve, was at the Saskatoon airport the other day and seeing line ups waiting for taxis and being told some had been waiting for hours and when a taxi cab parks from another company it’s chased off airport security, this is a black eye for our city and needs to change or people will stop coming here.

– Taxi drivers work hard to support and help people in this city. Putting more cabs on the road will negatively impact those who live and work here now working hard to bring you good service. This will put them out of business and is a bad idea.

– Yes! Yes to more taxis! Hailing a cab is an impossibility and even

text yo thoughtsur to 881 vE R b 8372

phoning ahead usually lands you with a significant waiting time. Another solution might be increasing the number of cabs at certain times/on certain days (like Friday Saturday late). If you didn’t want to put a bunch out right away.

– I agree on the issue of the need for more taxis in this city, why is it anywhere else but here in 2013 we still have this issue. I think if this city council can’t get this fixed by the time the civic election rolls around then its time for a change.

– This city needs to play catchup in a number of areas, and reliable transportation (better buses that run for longer hours, more taxis etc) is one of them. Also, bike lanes around the city is the way to go. Encourage more green ways to travel around!

– I can never get a cab when i need one but see so many cruising around empty are they choosing who to pick up

OFF TOPIC – Good idle no more article by Adam in feb 22 - 28 issue. Dave In response to “Don’t let me be misunderstood,” Local page, #228 (February 22, 2013)

– A Changing Taxi Service? Really? With Saskparty/Brad Wall created provincial debt now over $17 Billion & 20459 ppl leaving Sk last yr Verb picks “Taxi” issues?

– IDLE NO MORE Where were you last Federal Election? True change in a democracy happens in a polling station learn this please. In response to “Don’t let me be misunderstood,” Local page, #228 (February 22, 2013)

– Re stc ive recently been lookin into buses from sask to Ontario sadly it would seem it is only 5o dollars more to fly so a 36 hr bus ride or a 3hour flight for only 5odollars more i will be flying no point sitting on a bus for that long when i am only saving 5o$ n not even when u fax in the price of

Continued on next page »

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feeding myself on the trip it will be more then the flight it self. In response to “The bus stops here,” Editorial page, #227 (February 15, 2013)

sound off – Why doesn’t Saskatoon have a detox centre where the police can take drunks who they pick up, and for some its an every night thing so that those who need help get it and keep our jails free for law breakers, instead of a hotel which we as taxpayers pay for.

– Ya know its spring DOWNtown when kids start lighting garbage can fires.

– Timhortons trash every where rollup the rim is on f**k the enviroment im not gonna have kids what do i care

– Stephan Harper can kiss my natural Brown butt thanks for waking up the native people AHO

– A message 2 THE Gov’nt 0f Canada D0 THE MEMBERS 0F THE SENATE NEED F00D BANKS!!!

– my name isss blahh blah and u cut my hair over spring break would you go out with me Reallyuexpect a hair dresser to remeber you after doing 14 cuts a day you be the one to stand out ha

– POLITICS HAS LOST I’TS INTEGRETY THERE’S NO FOR THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE VOTE SMART

– I don’t understand how Merry Christmas on a bus sign or how a mayors prayer breakfast could infringe on the human rights of Ashu Solo. He is free to practice his religion any way he chooses. Merry Christmas is a general well wishing to everyone and means no

ill will to anyone. I wish Mr. Solo would learn to be tolerant of other religions or faiths. Mr. Solo also needs to focus on real issues. His efforts would be better spent on issues such as terrorism, gun control, child abuse or animal cruelty. Focus on something worthwhile. So tired of you being over sensitive!

– Gavin Martell Sr Jada.queen Lightfoot Martell n Gavin Martell Jr I love u all my heart my loves XOXO

– Too much hate not enough kindness. Too many love songs not

enough love. Too much vengeance not enough forgiveness.

– They don’t know they’re greedy. People never do. All they know is its gett’in harder n harder.

– Plus all oil can be replaced by Hemp oil but it has been buried by money grubbing oil barons since Henry Ford built the first car that ran on it. Plus it produces 4xs the amount of mulch pulp with 4-7 xs less pollution. Ford also made side panels with plastic and hemp that was 10xs the strength of steel panels. It is sad. Please continue.

Thank you for a chance to vent some of my frustrations out. That now I know I will never build another refinery again.

Next week: What do you think about changing the way SGI licenses new drivers? 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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New Country Rehab

Photos: courtesy of David Leyes

Putting a new twist on old music by Alex J MacPherson

I

n with the old and out with the new. That should be the rallying cry of Toronto’s New Country Rehab, a band whose raison d’être involves resurrecting timeless music, infusing it with the sort of manic energy normally reserved for teenage punk rock shows, and turning it loose into the world. By abandoning the brittle reflexiveness of contemporary rock for the universality of old country, New Country Rehab have made roots rock feel like a breath of fresh air. Now, after the success of their eponymous debut, the foursome is back with Ghost Of Your Charms, which is sharper and more focused than its predecessor — a romp through the melodies and ideas we can all identify with. I caught up with singer and violinist John Showman to talk about making records, making compromise, and making it in spite of expectations. Alex J MacPherson: Ghost Of Your Charms is richer and a lot more expansive than your last record. Was that intentional?

JS: Figuring out the ways in which you make studio music more effective or live music more effective is definitely a trick, and they’re different arts, unquestionably. I think maybe we just try to make stuff sound as good as we can. Once we had the skeletons of what we would do live, we started to think how we could really make it work as an audio experience.

John Showman: I think we basically just took more time in the studio. The process for writing the songs was much the same. Obviously we write music, and then we play it onstage. And when you’re in the studio it’s very tempting to try and get as much impact out of different moments in the

AJM: One thing I liked about Ghost Of Your Charms is the sequence. It seems to flow together really well. Is that always a battle?

…what we were formed around as much as anything was playing timeless music. John Showman

AJM: Is it difficult for you to balance accessibility and the more rootsy side of what you do?

song, so when there’s a change or a bridge or a repeat of a chorus — it’s nice to bring in the artillery to make it more exciting.

JS: I think that what we were formed around as much as anything was playing timeless music. When we started off we were interpreting a lot of other people’s music, old songs, and

AJM: With many bands there’s a huge divide between what they do onstage and what they do in the studio. Where do you come down on that question?

we were just trying to make them kind of exciting and fresh, and at the same time use elements that are somehow idiomatic. On this record what we tried to do was focus the sound a little more, so we could still have these stories. We’re still doing what we’re doing, except that it has to sound different, just by virtue of making new music.

JS: Generally what happens is everybody will have an opinion where he’ll say, “Okay I like this here, but I really like this here.” Then it becomes a matter of figuring out what’s really important to the greatest number of people, and make things happen like that. It’s about compromise, and at the same time that in the spirit of compromise you don’t lose all the integrity — sometimes you can compromise things into oblivion.

AJM: After starting this band on a whim, did you ever expect it to come this far? JS: I think at a certain point we decided that we had something good we were doing, the four of us. That probably happened somewhere in 2011, right around the time when we did a big summer tour and were really wellreceived by a lot of big festivals. We realized the band was something that was special for all of us. It did exceed all of our expectations. Initially, we just wanted to have fun and play some music on a Tuesday night.

New Country Rehab March 9 @ Amigos Tickets available at the door Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

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The Cricket‘s Last Chirp?

Regina punk rockers contemplate the future

M

ost bands cite progress and innovation as their raisons d’être. Not Cricket. The Reginabased punk rock outfit doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a throwback, a tribute to and continuation of the golden age of Fat Wreck Chords — a seminal California label created by Fat Mike of NOFX, and renowned for its collection of catchy punk rock. “It’s a sound you don’t hear in today’s punk rock,” says Graham Cennon, who started the band with guitarist Justin Brooks in 2009. “There have been other bands, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the same. They’re not focusing on keeping their sound from that era. We love that era so much. We can’t let it go.” Cennon and his bandmates grew up on a healthy diet of California punk. Bands like Bad Religion,

by alex J MacPherson

NOFX, Pennywise, and No Use For A Name captured — and held — their attention. “As soon as I heard that drumbeat, I knew right away I had to do something with it,” he laughs. “I’d never heard something so fast and aggressive. You feel the energy from it.” Cricket bill themselves as the best arrangement of four chords you will ever hear. “We keep it fun, we keep it fast, we keep it simple,” Cennon says, making the case for their blistering debut, 220 Beats Per Minute. Short on minor chords and long on searing guitar riffs and shouted choruses, the record captures in 12 songs everything that is good and right about punk rock from the nineties — political anger, sophomoric humour, and no-holdsbarred volume. But despite their reputation for energetic performances, and despite

releasing another blistering EP just eight months ago, the band’s future is in jeopardy. Cennon says Brooks, a founding member and integral part of their sound, will be leaving the group in just a few weeks, after a short run of shows across the province. It was a decision prompted by “life stuff taking over.” Cennon isn’t bitter, and plans to keep going, but it is quite possible that this round of punishingly loud concerts might be the mighty Cricket’s last chirp. “It’s his last hurrah,” Cennon says with a wry laugh. “The rest of us are going to keep going and do what we can with what we have.” Which is exactly what punk rock is and always should be about. Cricket March 9 @ Vaneglis $5 at the door

(Dis)Comfort

The death and birth of a relationship by alex J MacPherson

Photo: courtesy oF Brad Proudlove

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nless you are James Murphy, relationships are a lot like rock bands. Very few people who start a rock band ever thinks about how it will end. The same is true of relationships: the honeymoon stage banishes dark thoughts to a place where only an awful lot of alcohol can rescue them. And too much thinking about the myriad ways a relationship can run off the rails upends the delicate balance we call love. Which is why Gordon Portman’s Comfort is so interesting. Instead of depicting the decline and fall of a love

affair –—which would be unremarkable — Portman adopts the Martin Amis approach. Reversing the narrative reverses the perspective; instead of watching a relationship crumble, viewers watch the incandescent light of new love emerge from the ruins of a marriage. It is an extraordinary perspective on the failure of love — and the death of feelings. “The thing about these two people is that they love each other,” says Heather Morrison, who stars alongside Matthew Burgess in the stripped-down production. “They just don’t love each other enough to give up what they ultimately want in life.” Morrison is one of the finest actors working in Saskatchewan, and Burgess is no slouch, either. But Comfort will challenge both actors in new and interesting ways. “The audience is very intimate,” Morrison muses. “Some people will be just a foot away from our faces at some points. It’s very real, and I

think that will get to some people. It gets to me.” According to Morrison, she and Burgess are performing in the Den at the Two Twenty — a 20th Street office building and cooperative working space — because it creates a degree of intimacy impossible in a larger room. “It’s almost like Theatre 2.0,” she laughs. “What we’re trying to do is place a demand on the audience that they haven’t experienced before.” That intimacy is only heightened by the rawness of the performance, the stark power of watching two people struggle with the death and birth of their relationship. “What happens when you love each other, but don’t love each other enough?” Morrison says by way of explanation. “Love is work, I think. And these people just stop working for it.” Comfort March 1-3, 7-10 @ The Den at the Two Twenty $20 @ Picatic or 716 8445

13 Mar 1 – Mar 7 @verbsaskatoon

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Static in the System Alex Cuba follows his heart by Alex J MacPherson

I

am obliged to begin this story with a confession. Apart from a few words crudely translated from my pidgin French and a handful of unprintable phrases I have never had occasion to use, I do not speak Spanish. This made me nervous about profiling Alex Cuba, the Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter whose sizzling blend of Latin rhythms and Western pop has been electrifying audiences for the best part of a decade, because virtually all of his lyrics are Spanish. I expected this to be a major obstacle — but it wasn’t. Listening to his latest album, Ruido en el Sistema / Static in the System, I was struck by how music bridges the gulf between languages and peoples. For years my appetite for foreign-language music was basically nonexistent. It never occurred to me that pop music could have the same effect as Wagner or Beethoven. Ruido en el Sistema / Static in the System destroyed forever the notion that meaning is derived from language. “When I translated it to English, I saw the universal connotation of the phrase, and the statement the phrase makes,” Cuba says of the album’s title. In Cuba, “ruido en el sistema” is a popular slang term that refers to gossip and conspiracy. “When you’re trying to get a gig, for example, and another musician [says], ‘Hey, I’m better than him and I’m going to do it for less money,’” he explains. “They’re putting static in the system, putting ruido en el sistema.” Cuba recast the phrase as the quintessential expression of our time,

as well as an emblem of his global musical vision. “If you say static in the system, noise in the system, it speaks to the pressure we’re feeling toward everything, whatever’s preventing us from living our life. We can’t focus anymore because we have so much noise, so much crap pushed onto us.” In other words: listen to the music for what it is, not what society wants it to be.

Alex Cuba works in an industry obsessed with arbitrary distinctions and neatly-defined categories — a problem for artists struggling to break out from under the penumbra of what

This philosophy, so apparent on Ruido en el Sistema / Static in the System, reflects Cuba’s outlook on life. Just as he wrote the album without regard for genre or style, he lives his life without thinking too much about where he comes from or where he’s going. “One thing that I’ve done in order to live my life in present time is focusing on where I am,” he muses. “The only reason why it speaks to people who have never heard it before is because I’m choosing to live in present time in Canada and showcase my roots in more of an international way, rather than thinking I’m Cuban and only Cuban.” This is the key to unlocking

If you say static in the system, noise in the system, it speaks to the pressure we’re feeling toward everything… alex cuba

the industry calls “world music.” Cuba was born in Cuba before immigrating to Canada in 1999, but he looks sort of like Jimi Hendrix and plays searing Latin rock riffs on a shiny black Gibson. His music similarly resists classification. “I believe music is an international language,” he says. “I believe [I] can be good enough as a musician that people from anywhere can recognize that, can see that, without having to try too hard. I believe all of those things, and I guess that’s what makes my music the way it is.”

the record, which ought to be deemed “world music” only by people who think Spanish lyrics and spicy horns do not deserve mainstream attention. “I know that I have taken on a huge fight in terms of changing people’s perspectives,” he laughs. “I don’t even call it Cuban, I don’t even call it Canadian — I call it Alex Cuba music.” Cuba spent more time than usual making Ruido en el Sistema / Static in the System, his fourth record since the critically-acclaimed Humo De Tabaco, which he released in 2006. He thinks of Continued on next page »

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Photos: courtesy of Christina Woerns

the finished product as an amalgamation of his earlier work and a conscious attempt to expand his sound. “In terms of creativity, in terms of exploring new musical territories. I was very ambitious about pushing it forward, you know?” On a more practical level, the album took a long time because Cuba paid attention to every detail. He chose to record the Latin sounds in Havana and the rock and roll instruments — guitars, organs, and a Fender Rhodes — in North America. “I keep going back to Havana and recording the horns there and the percussion, because they are real sounds,” he says. “I think it comes from being a musician

Photo: courtesy of the artist

way before I became a singer-songwriter. I pay a lot of attention to what goes underneath the voice.” Cuba’s attention to detail and the wide-ranging musicality of the record come to a point on “Nadie Como Tu,” a scorching collaboration with Nelly Furtado dominated by Cuba’s buttery voice, punchy guitar riffs, and the sort of syncopated rhythms that demand dancing. The power of the music — the pure unalloyed joy of two voices singing together — cuts through the language barrier and dispels the usual

craving for translation. Yet Cuba admits blending Latin and Western influences has never been easy for him. “One of the most terrifying things for me since I became a recording artist has been to sound like fusion,” he says, “Trying to marry two worlds and making it come out like they are sounding fused.” I have no idea what he and Furtado are singing about on “Nadie Como Tu,” but it doesn’t really matter. Cuba’s music is fusion in the truest sense of the word — two entities coming together to create something entirely new. Something meant to be understood.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Ruido en el Sistema / Static in the System and Cuba’s other records is that his latest effort includes several English songs, including “Are You,” an English rendition of a Spanish song called “Eres.” Rather than grapple with the difficulties of translation, Cuba enlisted a New York-based lyricist named Alexis Foxe to rewrite the snarling guitar anthem without sacrificing the sound and feel of his sinewy Spanish lyrics. “It never works, really,” Cuba says of straight translation, adding that it was important to keep his identity consistent while crossing into another language. “It was very important to pay attention to that, and I think I came out of this very pleased.” Cuba, who is perfectly bilingual, waited many years before singing in English. “I still see it as a challenge,” he explains. “No matter what, I wasn’t born in this country — and, in fact, I came here when I was twenty-four years old. My main goal remains to

listen to my heart when it comes to making my own music and recording.” Cuba’s English songs, many of which were not included on the record but will eventually be released as singles, are uniformly excellent. His smooth and liquid vocal style eased the transition, and he sounds comfortable working in his second language. The best use of English on the record comes at the end of “Creo,” a simple folk song that builds into a towering rock

anthem, complete with fuzzed-out guitars, pounding drums, and a soaring synthesizer line. The bulk of the song is sung in Spanish, but Cuba switches to English for the coda: “I believe / I believe in love / I believe / it’s the only way.” It is a truly universal message, and one that captures everything he stands for — in English and in Spanish. Cuba’s music is from his heart. Maybe, if we are lucky, his vision for a modern musical landscape where

language doesn’t matter and feeling is everything can cut through the static in the system. Alex Cuba March 12 @ The Bassment $29/34 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@MacPhersonA amacpherson@verbnews.com

15 Mar 1 – Mar 7 /verbsaskatoon

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Chinese done right

Photos courtesy of Adam Hawboldt

Oriental Aroma, a new and delicious authentic Chinese restaurant by adam hawboldt

O

riental Aroma isn’t your average, everyday Chinese restaurant. You won’t find much of the standard fare there. You know, items like sweet and sour chicken balls, chicken fried rice, that kind of stuff. No, Oriental Aroma specializes in authentic Chinese food. Sure, you can get ginger beef and a few other staples, but for the most part, their extensive menu consists of authentic Sichuan, Shanghai and northern Chinese dishes. Oh, and when I say specialize, I mean they really specialize. See, instead of having one main chef make everything, Aroma has three main chefs— one to make the northern dishes, one to cook Sichuan fare, and a third to handle the Shanghai menu. And while this isn’t what you’d see in most restaurants, it’s a system that seems to be working well.

How well? Well, let’s just say that Oriental Aroma has become one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in the city — and it’s only been open a month. Located on the corner of 8th and Clarence, Oriental Aroma has a little bit of everything for those who want to see what real Chinese food tastes like. If your personal preferences skew to the familiar side, there are dishes like the aforementioned garlic beef jerky, stir-fries, and sweet and sour pork. For those of a more adventurous culinary bent, there are dishes like gold medal crispy fried pork intestine or pork belly stew. Myself, being about as adventurous as they come, I simply closed the menu and asked a friendly woman named Vivian to bring me whatever she felt like. And what she chose was certainly interesting.

The meal started with a chrysanthemum radish salad. Served in a delectable orange vinaigrette, this starter salad was fresh and light and crisp. The radish didn’t overwhelm the vinaigrette, and vice versa. If you’re a fan of radish, you have to try this — so, so good. Up next was a spicy chicken hot pot. A Sichuan specialty, this dish offered up large pieces of juicy chicken, peppers, onions, cilantro, garlic, celery and more, all served in a metal bowl with a flame underneath. The spicy chicken hot pot isn’t only delicious, it also stays warm throughout your entire meal. Which, in case you’re wondering, is kind of awesome. Not to stop there, Vivian also brought me some kung pao shrimp, which were pretty tasty. Plump shrimp, served in kung pao sauce, with peanuts, red peppers, onions and broccoli … how can you go wrong? After being turned on to Oriental Aroma by a friend, I’ll for sure be back soon. I wonder if they have mapo tofu?

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide SHANDONG MARY COCKTAIL

Ingredients

If you like a Bloody Mary, you should give this drink a try. Whether it’s to combat a hangover or simply for pleasure, this Asian cousin of the Bloody Mary is a delicious spin on an old classic.

1/2 cup Tsingtao Lager beer 1/2 cup tomato juice 2 tablespoons vodka 1/4 teaspoon chili garlic sauce lemon wedge, for garnish

Oriental Aroma 928 8th St. E | 477 7757 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

Directions

First, fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add the beer, tomato juice, vodka, and chili garlic sauce; stir well. Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve.

@AdamHawboldt ahawboldt@verbnews.com

16 Mar 1 – Mar 7 culture

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music

Next Week

coming up

Diamond Rings

Hollywood undead

Royal Canoe

@ Louis’ Pub Friday, March 8 – $17.50

@ The Odeon Events Centre Wednesday, March 13 – $25

@ Amigos Cantina Saturday, April 27 – $TBd

Writing, recording, producing: this electronic/pop musician out of Toronto does it all. Also known as John O’Regan, Diamond Rings got his start in the music biz by performing shows for friends at loft parties and hole-in-the-wall bars. That didn’t last long, though, and once he released his home-recorded video for his song “All Yr Songs,” people began to sit up and take notice. Two albums later, audiences have come to love this talented musician’s quirky, whip-smart songwriting and his over-the-top glamorous live sets. On stage, John O (as he was once known) gives heartfelt performances while dancing around with all the ease of a care-free teenager in front of a mirror. Advance tickets available at Ticketmaster or at Louis’ Pub.

Upon seeing the Hollywood Undead, the first thing you’ll notice is their masks. One guy wears a bandana over his face and sunglasses, another guy has a nacho libre mask on, there’s a dude in something that looks like a dual gas mask, and the other three look as though they’re going to that party in Eyes Wide Shut. First time I saw a picture of them years ago, I was sure they were some kind of punk or death metal band, but I wasn’t even close. An American rap/rock group from LA, Hollywood Undead hit the music scene with a bang when they released their debut album, Swan Songs, in 2007, and they’ve been entertaining audiences ever since. Advance tickets are available at www.theodeon.ca.

If you’re into falsettos, guitars, effects pedals, drums, basses, tambourines, shakers, five-keyboard superweapons, and one awesome, poppy sound, then Royal Canoe is a band for you. Heck, even if you have no conceivable idea what all that would sound like together, you should probably check out this Winnipeg six-piece anyway. Consisting of Matt Peters, Bucky Driedger, Matt Schellenberg, Brendan Berg, Derek Allard and Michael Jordan, Royal Canoe produce inventive, infectious music that’ll make you want to get up and move your dancing feet. Defying convention by mixing and mashing rock, pop and hip hop, this band puts on one heckuva live show. They’ll be appearing this spring with Rococode. Tickets at the door. – By Adam Hawboldt

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

Sask music Preview The SaskMusic investment Program’s deadline of March 15 is fast approaching! The program enables artists and music industry professionals to engage in activities that will enhance their music and/or professional careers. Applications may come from commercial artists and recording industry professionals, and will be evaluated by a peer jury of industry professionals. For more information, or to apply, please see: http://www.saskmusic.org/index. php?p=Investment%20Programs Keep up with Saskatchewan music. saskmusic.org

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March 1 » March 9 The most complete live music listings for Saskatoon. S

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House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven up the atmosphere at 6Twelve. 9pm / No cover Trust / Amigos Cantina — A synthpop music group from the Big Smoke, these guys’ll have you getting your groove on

Sask Blues Fest / Hilton Garden Inn — Featuring David Boxcar Gates and Steve James. 8pm / $30 (www.saskatoonbluessociety.ca) DJ Eclectic / The Hose & Hydrant — Local turntable whiz DJ Eclectic pumps snappy electronic beats. 8pm / No cover DJ Sugar Daddy / Jax Niteclub — Able to rock any party, this local crowd favourite has always been known to break the latest and greatest tracks in multiple genres. 9pm / $5 cover Banjo Van / Lydia’s Pub — Any band that features a banjo as the lead instrument is good enough for us. 10pm / $5 Drew Tofin Band / Louis’ — It’s going to be a proper, jazzy party. 9pm / Cover TBD Sask Blues Fest / The Odeon — Featuring Steve Strongman, Shakura S’Aida, and the Transcontinental Blues Band. 7:30pm / $30 (www.saskatoonbluessociety.ca)

all night long. Also appearing is economics. 10pm / $12 (www.ticketedge.ca) Piano Fridays: Neil Currie / The Bassment — Feel like taking in some smooth jazz stylings? Come check out Neil tickle the ivories of the Kinsman Yamaha S6 grand piano. 4:30pm / No cover Roots Series: Zachary Lucky, The Karpinka Brothers / The Bassment — A night full of fantastic folk music, courtesy of these wildly talented gentlemen. 9pm / $15/20 Gong Show / Béily’s UltraLounge — Come down and rock out with this great band, appearing at Béily’s the first Friday of every month. 9pm / $5 cover Penny Reign / Buds On Broadway — Hard-hitting power pop music. 9pm / $6 Mo’ Love / The Fez on Broadway — A tribute to Motown. Also appearing will be The Shoeless Joes. 10pm / Cover TBD

DJ Big Ayyy & DJ HENCHMAN / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Round up your friends ‘cause there’s no better country rock party around. 8pm / $5; ladies in free before 11pm Glenn Sutter / Prairie Ink — Roots music for the mind and soul. 8pm / No cover Just the Boys / Stan’s Place — Come out for a night of rocking tunes. 9pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King belt out classic tunes and audience requests, from Sinatra to Lady Gaga. 10pm / $5 Nick Thayer / Tequila Nightclub — Come cut loose with this eclectic DJ/producer. 7pm / $5 Blues Fest / Vangelis Tavern — Feeling blue, or just like listening to good music? Come on down. 10pm / $5

Roger Dorey / Woods Ale House — A singer/songwriter playing blues you can’t refuse. 9pm / No cover

Saturday 2

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes all night. 9pm / No cover Omfest 2 / Amigos Cantina — Featuring Robot Hive, The Spoils, Ones, Gunner & Smith, Ryan Stinson, and Charly Hustle. Come out and celebrate Ominocity’s 2nd birthday! 10pm / Cover TBD Guitar Series: The Alex Goodman Chamber Quartet w/ Bassavoce / The Bassment — A sound that falls somewhere between jazz, chamber and acoustic music. 9pm / $15/20 DJ CTRL + Austen Roadz / Béily’s UltraLounge — DJ CTRL throws down a high-energy top 40 dance party along with Austen Roadz every Saturday night. 9pm / $5 cover Penny Reign / Buds On Broadway — Hard-hitting power pop music. 9pm / $6 Platinum Blonde / Dakota Dunes — This platinum-selling group from Toronto is back to rock you. 8pm / $35 (www. tickets.siga.sk.ca) Bad Dog / The Fez — Come out for a rockin’ good time. 10pm / Cover TBD Sask Blues Fest / Hilton Garden Inn — Featuring Blind Boy Paxton and Ross Neilsen. 8pm / $30 (www.saskatoonbluessociety.ca) DJ Kade / The Hose & Hydrant — Saskatoon’s own DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover DJ Sugar Daddy / Jax Niteclub — Able to rock any party, this local crowd favourite has always been known to break the latest and greatest tracks in multiple genres. He is sure to have you on the dance floor in no time. 9pm / $5 cover Cowpuncher / Lydia’s Pub — A blend of rock, honky tonk, country and psychedelica. 10pm / $5 Skylab / Lydia’s Loft — Hit up Lydia’s to enjoy a chill and cosmic DJ night with a deep space theme. Styles include house, techno, bass, breaks and more. No cover before 10pm Legacy Arcade / Louis’ — A Daft Punk tribute. 8pm / Cover TBD Sask Blues Fest / The Odeon — Featuring Bill Durst, Marcia Ball, and the BC Read Big Band. 8pm / $30 (www.saskatoonbluessociety.ca) DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Round up your friends ‘cause there’s no better country rock party around. 8pm / $5

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Roger Dorey / Prairie Ink — Acoustic blues and roots music. 8pm / No cover Just the Boys / Stan’s Place — Come out for a night of rocking tunes. 9pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King belt out classic tunes and audience requests, from Sinatra to Lady Gaga. 10pm / $5 Sask Blues Fest Windup Party / Vangelis Tavern — Send the Blues Fest off in style. 1pm / $10

Sunday 3

So You Think You Can DJ 2 / Béily’s UltraLounge — Come out and test your skillz, or show up to support some local talent. 8pm / Cover TBD DJ KADE / The Hose & Hydrant — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover Don Virtuosi / Mendel Art Gallery — Featuring Marla Cole and Terence Sturge, a spectacular duo. 2pm / No cover SUNDAY JAM / Vangelis Tavern — The Vangelis Sunday Jam is an institution, offering great tunes from blues to rock and beyond. 7:30pm / No cover

Monday 4

Roots Series: Martha Wainwright / The Bassment — This singer/songwriter from the legendary Wainwright clan puts on one heckuva show. 8pm / $25/30 Metal Mondays / Lydia’s Pub — If hard, heavy awesomeness is your thing, swing by, listen to some killer music and get in on some concert giveaways. 9pm

Tuesday 5

DJ SUGAR DADDY / The Double Deuce — Able to rock any party, this crowd favourite has always been known to break the latest and greatest tracks in multiple genres. 9:30pm / $4 cover VERB PRESENTS OPEN STAGE / Lydia’s Pub — The open stage at Lydia’s has hosted many of Saskatoon’s finest performers, and is a chance for bands, solo artists and even comedians to showcase original material. 9pm / No cover Open Mic / The Somewhere Else Pub — Come out to show your talent. 7pm / No cover

Wednesday 6

HUMP WEDNESDAYS / 302 Lounge & Discotheque — Resident DJ Chris Knorr will be spinning all of your favourite songs and requests, every Wednesday night. 9pm / No cover until 10pm; $3 thereafter

The Avenue Recording Company presents Open Mic / The Fez — Hosted by Chad Reynolds. Sign up and play at this weekly event. 10pm / No cover DJ Kade / the Hose — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover Dr. J ‘Souled Out’ / Lydia’s Pub — Dr. J spins hot funk and soul every Wednesday night. 9pm / No cover WILD WEST WEDNESDAY / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — This is Saskatoon’s top industry night, hosted by DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman. Don’t forget to ride the mechanical bull! 9pm / $4; no cover for industry staff Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King belt out classic tunes and audience requests, from Sinatra to Lady Gaga. 10pm / No cover

Thursday 7

Roots Series: Hayes Carll / The Bassment — A spellbinding performer of ‘degenerate love songs.’ 8pm / $15/20 Throwback Thursdays / Earls — Come experience the best in retro funk, soul, reggae and rock provided by Dr. J. 8pm / No cover Thunder Riot w/Conky Showpony / The Fez on Broadway — Come dance the night away as this local DJ plays the kind of music that’ll get your feet moving. 9pm / $5 DJ Kade / The Hose — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover DJ Sugar Daddy / Jax Niteclub — Local DJ Sugar Daddy will be rocking the turntables to get you dancing on the dance floor! 8pm / $5; free cover with student ID before 11pm

Friday 8

House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven up the atmosphere at 6Twelve. 9pm / No cover Slow Down, Molasses / Amigos Cantina — Drone folk/dream pop with a side of Little Criminals and Wasted Cathedral. 10pm / Tickets at the door Piano Fridays: Brett Balon / The Bassment — Feel like taking in some smooth jazz stylings? Come check out Brett tickle the ivories of the Kinsman Yamaha S6 grand piano. 4:30pm / No cover UofS Jazz Ensemble / The Bassment — Classic jazz standards and original compositions. 9pm / $7/10 DJ Aash Money / Béily’s — DJ Aash Money throws down a high-energy top 40 dance party. 9pm / $5 cover

Whiskey Songs / The Fez on Broadway — The talented duo of Paul Kuzbik and Mark Ejack. 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Eclectic / The Hose — Turntable whiz pumps snappy beats. 8pm / No cover DJ Sugar Daddy / Jax Niteclub — This local crowd favourite is sure to have you on the dance floor in no time. 9pm / $5 Diamond Rings / Louis’ — An indierock/electronica-synthpop act from Toronto. 8pm / $17.50 (ticketmaster.ca) The Mudmen / Lydia’s Pub — A celtic rock outfit from Toronto. 10pm / $5 DJ Big Ayyy & DJ HENCHMAN / Outlaws — There’s no better country rock party around. 8pm / $5; ladies in free before 11pm F.E.R.N. / Prairie Ink — Folk/acoustic music for the mind and soul. 8pm / No cover Sylvia Chave, Wilma Groenen, Bonnie Logan / The Refinery — Songs and stories, guitar and banjo. 7:30pm / $12(advance), $15 (door) Last Call / Stan’s Place — Come out for a night of rocking tunes. 9pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King belt out classic tunes and audience requests. 10pm / $5

Saturday 9

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes all night. 9pm / No cover New Country Rehab / Amigos Cantina — An awesome alt-country band from the Big Smoke. Also appearing will be Massey and the Fergusons. 10pm / Tickets at the door Guitar Series: Jack Semple / The Bassment — An incendiary guitar player from Regina. 9pm / $15/20 Adolyne w/Dead Ranch and Soul Mates / Beaumont Film + Record — A night of oh so good music. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ CTRL + Austen Roadz / Béily’s — DJ CTRL + Austen Roadz throw it down. 9pm / $5 cover DJ Kade / The Hose & Hydrant — Saskatoon’s own DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover DJ Sugar Daddy / Jax — This local crowd favourite rocks. 9pm / $5 cover Kelly Read Band / Lydia’s Pub — Rockin’ blues for the soul. 10pm / $5 DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Round up your friends ‘cause there’s no better country rock party around. 8pm / $5 One More Troubadour / Prairie Ink — A talented fingerstyle guitarist. 8pm / No cover

Last Call / Stan’s Place — Come out for a night of rocking tunes. 9pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King belt out classic tunes and audience requests, from Sinatra to Lady Gaga. 10pm / $5 GYRO Masters Series: Rana & the Russians / TCU Place — Playing music from Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. 7:30pm / $11.50-53.50 (www.tcutickets.ca) Cricket / Vangelis — Come on down to check out this wicked Regina punk outfit. 10pm / $5

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Fee-Fi-Fo Fun

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Jack the Giant Slayer is a light, easy adventure flick for the whole family by adam hawboldt

Y

ou all remember the old Jack and the Beanstalk folktale, right? The one about the young boy who trades his mother’s cow for a bunch of magic beans? You all know that his mom, who is pissed, throws the beans out the window, where they grow into a beanstalk. Jack climbs it, finds the house of a giant, steals a hen that lays golden eggs

based on the original folktale there are a lot of things that are, umm, wildly different, thanks to Singer’s use of another closely associated fairy tale, Jack the Giant Killer. For starters, instead of having one giant as the villain, Jack the Giant Slayer features an entire race of giants who live in a kingdom in the clouds. We first learn of these giants in the movie’s opening scene, when

Jack the giant slayer Bryan Singer Starring Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Ian McShane, Stanley Tucci + Eleanor Tomlinson Directed by

115 minutes | PG

gry, not-to-be-trusted advisor (Stanley Tucci), and a swashbuckling soldier (Ewan McGregor). Oh, and Jack’s reason for going up the stalk has changed, too. In Jack the Giant Slayer, when the magic beans sprout they grow heavenward, and the princess gets caught up in the stalk. Of course, Jack has to go rescue her. What ensues is another all-tohell-and-back war between the giants and the humans. Now, the question is: do all these changes help or hamper the movie? Personally, I dug them. Jack the Giant Slayer (which is filmed in 3D) is a cool, modern spin on the tale most of us heard as kids. What’s more, the battle scenes are fun, the cinematography is excellent and Stanley Tucci plays a terrific villain. But the best thing about the film is that it knows exactly what it is. It isn’t trying to be dark or profound or revelatory. It’s just trying to be a light

…the battle scenes are fun … and Stanley Tucci plays a terrific villain. Adam Hawboldt

and a magic harp that plays itself. Then Jack cuts down the stalk while the giant is chasing him, and the giant plummets to his death. What am I thinking? Of course you know the story. Nearly everyone in the Western world has heard it at one time or another, in one form or another. And now that story is being brought to life on the big screen — kind of. You see, while Bryan Singer’s new flick, Jack the Giant Slayer, is

a young Jack is being told the story of these mythical figures, who were banished centuries ago and who have vowed revenge on the human race ever since. Fast forward 10 years. The cow in the original becomes a horse, the magic beans are still in play, but in Singer’s version of the fairy tale there’s also a princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) who falls for the farm boy, Jack (Nicholas Hoult). Also appearing is a king (Ian McShane), his power-hun-

and easy adventure that will entertain kids and hold the attention of adults. And it succeeds. Don’t be mistaken, Jack the Giant Slayer isn’t a classic. It isn’t in the same ballpark as, say, The Princess Bride (which sits atop this genre’s heap.) But, overall, it’s an entertaining flick the whole family can enjoy.

If only there were more laughs!

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Overdone

New teen comedy, 21 and Over, misses the mark more than it hits it by adam hawboldt

D

o you remember the birthday when you were finally legally allowed to drink? Remember that party? All the nasty shots, the spinning rooms, the stumbling, fumbling, bumbling your way home? The trash can next to your bed and the projectile vomiting? Yeah … me neither. And chances are Jeff Chang, the main character in the latest teen comedy 21 and Over, won’t either. Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (two of the dudes responsible for The Hangover), 21 and Over follows Jeff Chang (played by Justin Chon of Twilight fame) on the night of his 21st birthday. In his day-today life, Jeff Chang is a straight-laced, straight-A student with a domineering father. He’s the kind of guy who says please and thank you and is sh**baked scared to do anything risky. But on his 21st birthday his friends Miller (Miles Teller of Project X) and Casey (Skylar Astin of Pitch Perfect) decide to help Jeff Chang to change all that. What follows is a drunken odyssey. Which makes perfect sense — once you get to know Jeff Chang’s friends.

Photo: Courtesy of Relativity Media

movie, so much so it becomes a chorus of sorts. So that’s what we’ll do here. Right. On to the birthday party. What begins with a few casual beers soon devolves into the inebriated threesome stumbling from one misadventure to another. Pep rallies, sorority parties, a dorm where some

But what makes 21 and Over stand out — not in a good way — is the level of absurdity it reaches. Adam Hawboldt

When we first meet Miller and Casey they are naked as the day they were born, strolling across campus swearing the time-honoured oath, “This never happened.” And before we cut to Jeff Chang’s birthday let me say something: throughout this review Jeff Chang will always be referred to by his whole name. That’s what they do in the

strange video-game-like drinking games are being held, and more. Naturally, things go awry, and soon it’s up to Miller and Casey to get Jeff Chang home and ready for his med-school interview the following day. And that, dear reader, is by no means as easy as it may sound. If all this sounds a tad familiar (a bunch of friends fumbling from one

21 and over Directed by Jon Lucas + Scott Moore Starring Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon + Sarah Wright 93 minutes | 14A

misadventure to another, encountering shenanigans and hijinks along the way), it’s because it is. Think about it: Road Trip, Euro Trip, Sex Drive (and a whole host of other “teen raunch” comedies) all use the same formula. But what makes 21 and Over stand out — not in a good way — is the level of absurdity it reaches. How absurd? Well, let’s just say that the amount of punishment Jeff Chang takes is almost on par with, say, Wile E. Coyote. It’s that preposterous. Sure, there are some funny moments in the film (almost all coming courtesy of either Jeff Chang or racially charged humour), but for the most part, the only people who will truly find this film funny fall into two groups. First, those who aren’t old enough to go on a bender like this. And second, those

who are old enough but still think it’s hilarious to drop your friend out of a second-storey window whilst you’re filled to the gills with beer and tequila. Needless to say, five years from now people won’t be saying “21 and Over, maaan … that sh*t was epic!”

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(highballs, cocktails, beer and shooters) Drink of Choice / Jack Daniel’s top eats / Appies something new / So You Think You Can DJ 2 semi-finals will take place in March, and the finals will go down March 24

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tuesday, february 26 @

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Red Zone Premium Sports Bar 106 Circle Dr West (306) 978 6514 Music vibe / Rock Featured deals / Wings for $4

and pints for $5.25 Drink of Choice / Pints of Great

West’s Original 16 top eats / Wings Coming up / UFC on March 16 featuring Georges St-Pierre — come down for poster and prize giveaways. NASCAR is on the TVs on Sundays, and there’s a CIS ticket giveaway coming up soon

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Š Elaine M. Will | blog.E2W-Illustration.com | Check onthebus.webcomic.ws/ for previous editions!

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timeout

crossword canadian criss-cross

DOWN 1. Foot part 2. Stop being alive 3. Taking too much time 4. __ level 5. Mixture of gypsum, sand and water 6. Pretentiousness 7. Unhappy 8. Minor earthquake 9. Treatment 11. U-shaped part of a drainpipe 12. At a great distance 14. It has branches and leaves 17. Charges with carbon dioxide

20. Packs of cards 22. Unborn baby sudoku answer key 24. Drink like a cat A 26. Gave grub to 28. Job incentives 29. Doorframe piece 30. Love deeply 31. Scaredy-cat 33. Riding horses 34. Sheets of glass 35. Slide sideways B 38. Larceny 41. Surrender possession of 42. One of the Ivy League colleges 45. Acting more shy than one really is 47. Went fast on foot

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

32. Throws away 36. Fusses 37. Remaining after expenses 39. Ask an unreasonable price 40. Cut the grass 41. Soft and comfortable 43. Single prefix 44. Suspenders 46. Part of ERA 48. Destroy by slow disintegration 49. Alternative to high heels 50. Gives a new colour to 51. Till compartment

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

ACROSS 1. Not in use 5. Time gone by 9. Organization of employees 10. False witnesses 12. Give one’s approval 13. Passionate 15. On the heavy side 16. Cows eat it 18. Spoil the beauty of 19. Old-looking 21. In spite of that 22. Golfer’s warning 23. Fight off 25. Hockey official 27. Moulin Rouge is one 29. Top prize in a lottery © walter D. Feener 2012

Horoscopes March 1 – March 7 Aries March 21–April 19

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

Cat Stevens once sang, “It’s not time to make a change / Just relax, take it easy.” These are words you’ll want to live by this week, Aries.

Has something been puzzling you lately, Leo? If so, here’s some good news: this week all the pieces are going to fall into place. Or nearly all of them.

Productivity is the name of the game this week, Sagittarius. Good thing for you it’ll come easy. Just try, and you shall succeed.

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

Someone is going to try to rain on your parade this week, Taurus. Better bring an umbrella, or else you’re going to get drenched.

Time to get down and dirty this week, Virgo. There will be some tasks that need seeing to, so roll up your sleeves and have at ‘em.

Conventions are going to try to stifle your unconventional nature this week, Capricorn. Don’t let that happen. Fight for your right to party!

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

Your moods are going to swing more than a bathroom door at the Credit Union Centre this week, dear Gemini. Be prepared.

Smile, you’re on camera! Okay, not really, but you should try smiling more this week, Libra. It’s healthy and good for you.

Has your head been in the clouds lately? If so, don’t fret. Something will come along this week and send you crashing back into reality.

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

You know that old saying about the calm before the storm, Cancer? Well, this week is the calm. So enjoy it. The next little bit might get tumultuous.

Is there a lot of drama in your life, Scorpio? If so, don’t let it bog you down. Take a step back and see if there’s something you can do about it.

If things get a bit strange this week, Pisces, don’t have a crap attack. Keep your head level and do what Tina from Bob’s Burgers would do.

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

crossword answer key

A

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

B

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Verb Issue S229 (Mar. 1-7, 2013)