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Issue #104 – November 15 to November 21

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culture

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a day of remembrance

VERY WE EE EK RE

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keep a fire Q+A with Amanda Rheaume the best man holiday + special ed Films reviewed

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WWII vet Gordon Wilson + the RAF

H READ & S

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Photo: courtesy of Annie Murphy


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On the cover:

hollerado

And so it goes. 12 / feature

Photo: courtesy of Christian Jaggi

NEWs + Opinion

culture

entertainment

Q + A with Amanda Rheaume Mining family histories. 10 / Q + A

Live Music listings Local music listings for November 15 through November 23. 16 / listings

a day of remembrance

the romantics

Nightlife Photos

Schumann, Brahms + Mendelssohn.

Gordon Wilson + WWII. 4 / Local

11 / Arts

We visit Lancaster Taphouse + McNally’s 18 / Nightlife

Raleigh explores the fringes of pop.

sonic expansion

the best man holiday + special ed

11 / Arts

We review the latest movies. 20 / Film

gunning for gold SK chefs compete in Gold Medal Plates. 6 / Local

cheers to that! Our thoughts on changing liquor laws in SK. 8 / Editorial

finding the right grind We visit Brewed Awakening. 14 / Food + Drink

on the bus Weekly original comic illustrations by Elaine M. Will. 22 / comics

comments

Music

Game + Horoscopes

Here’s what you had to say about curbside composting. 9 / comments

Chris Henderson, Dallas Smith + Big Sugar 15 / music

Canadian criss-cross puzzle, weekly horoscopes and Sudoku. 23 / timeout

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A day of remembrance Photo: courtesy of Gordon Wilson

Second World War veteran Gordon Wilson looks back on his days in the RAF by ADAM HAWBOLDT

T

he photo is black and white. It’s faded, too. In it, eight young Canadian airmen are assembled next to a Spitfire airplane. Some are sitting on the wing and some are crouching on the ground while others stand. Most of them are smiling.

side to side, laughs a gallows laugh and turns the photo over. On the back, scrawled with an unsteady hand in pen, are a list of names— Brook and Price and Wilson, among others. He flips the photo back over, image side up, and points to a young man in the bottom right-hand corner. The young fellow is smiling, left arm propped against the wing of the plane, right one stuffed in his pocket. “That’s me,” says Wilson. Then, pointing to a mustachioed gentleman

Gordon Wilson slowly leans forward in his chair. Gordon is 95 years old now, and doesn’t do anything quickly anymore. With a steady hand, Gordon points to the picture and says, “Out of all these guys, I’m the only one who survived the war.” Wilson moves his head slowly from

in the back row, Wilson says, “And that’s Borneo Price. He wasn’t killed overseas. Died during the war back in Canada, flying a Harvard.” That was after, Wilson had learned to fly in the clear skies above Portage La Prairie.

Gordon Wilson signed up to fight in the Second World War just after the Battle of Dunkirk. “There were seven of us at the Regina Tennis Club who

enlisted at the same time,” remembers Wilson. “We saw what happened overseas and thought, there’s Britain getting pounded, the Germans are probably going to invade. So the seven of us marched down and joined the Regina Rifles.” After that, Wilson transferred to the air force with the intentions of becoming a pilot. “My dad said to me ‘Gordon, you don’t have to be air crew. Why don’t Continued on next page »

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you get a ground job?’” says Wilson. “But I was young and stupid, just 21 years old. I didn’t tell dad, but my mind was already made up. I had a grade 12 education, so I was qualified to be a pilot. The next was to go to what they called the ITS in Regina.” That’s where they sorted out what kind of airman you’d be — pilot, gunner or observer. “They had these Link Trainers there. These little boxes sitting on the ground,” says Wilson. “They’d put a hood over it and tell you to have at it. There was a joystick in there. Some things to tell you your speed, altitude, banking. That’s it. They’d pull the cover over and tell you to go right, go left. An awful lot of people panicked when that hood came over.” But not Wilson. He passed with flying colours and was sent, by train, to Portage La Prairie for flying lessons. That was 1940. In 1941 Wilson shipped out to England on the Empress of Asia. “On the way over there we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. We didn’t know a damn thing that was happening around us,” remembers Wilson. “We’d be up on the deck and see all these flares off in the distance. Or at least, at first we thought they were flares. Turned out they were ships being torpedoed. The seas were full of German submarines trying to intercept us.” But the Empress of Asia made it to Britain unscathed. “I remember getting on a train in South Hampton

and going to Bournemouth,” says Wilson. “We got in there at 2 am. It was pitch black. The next morning a [Messerschmitt] 109 came right

the ground troops for 20 days. But it was no easy task to get there. “Not too long before El Alamein we were on the RMS Rangitata. It

I ran out of oxygen and my eyes went blank on me. gordon wilson

down the main street and dropped a bomb, as if to say, ‘Hey, we know you’re here!’” They wouldn’t be there long.

Gordon Wilson moves his finger across the black and white photograph, stopping on a man sitting on the wing of the Spitfire. Far right. “He was killed at El Alamein,” says Wilson. Then moving his finger back across the pictures, says, “And him, too.” The Second Battle of El Alamein took place in the autumn of 1942. There were heavy casualties on both sides (roughly 37,000 for the Axis, 13,500 for the Allies), but in the end the Allies prevailed. As Winston Churchill once remarked, “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.” And Wilson was there, flying in a front-line squadron, strafing the hell out of German lines and protecting

was after we rounded the Cape [of Good Hope] in Africa, just before we got to Durban. I was up on the deck and saw all these boats swerving everywhere. This way and that. I remember thinking that a submarine must’ve gotten in amongst our convoy,” remembers Wilson. “But I was wrong. Apparently, a British ship was captured by the Germans. They sailed it as a British ship, got into the strips there and dropped all these mines. So there we were, going through a minefield. There was panic everywhere.” Wilson pauses for a moment, looks down adoringly at the Spitfire in the photograph on his lap, and says, “They sunk two of our ships there. One of them had all our Spitfires on it.” Still staring at the photograph on his lap, Wilson moves his finger to the left and points to another pilot. “This fellow here, he was killed on a strafing mission after El Alamein,” he says.

Wilson also says one of the closest calls he had during the war was after El Alamein, escorting an American bomber out of Tunisia. “I ran out of oxygen and my eyes went blank on me,” he recalls, staring off in the middle distance. “The rest of me was fine, but there I was spiraling down out of control. I pulled it out. Went spiraling down again. Pulled it out. Got down to about 10,000 feet and my eyes finally cleared. I got my bearings and decided to join up with a group of Spit 5s and do you know happened? The Americans came along and started shooting at me. My mind still wasn’t up to speed, but I managed to get away from them.” Remembering this, Wilson chuckles. Reclines back in his chair and glances down at the black and white photograph. “You know,” he says, “War is a funny thing. You can go weeks and months with nothing happening. You form friendships with the other

guys. Then all of a sudden something happens and you lose a lot of people. They’re shot down or crash in the desert somewhere and you never see them again. They just disappear.” Wilson inhales. Exhales. Then he says, “Soon as they’re gone you get replacements and just go along your business. In war, you harden yourself to stuff like that. It’s just what you have to do.” When I talked to Wilson it was a few days before Remembrance Day. A couple of days before people will fill the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon or the Brandt Centre in Regina to show that “Lest We Forget.” And one thing is certain: Gordon Wilson doesn’t forget. Not even a little.

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Gunning for gold Photos: courtesy of adam hawboldt

Chefs in Saskatoon and Regina compete in Gold Medal Plates culinary competition by ADAM HAWBOLDT

P

rairieland Park is abuzz with people. Men are wearing freshly pressed suits, dress shirts, and ties, while the women are dressed up in dresses and heels. It’s Friday night. And everywhere you look, people clad in business chic attire are eating and drinking, talking and laughing. They’re all here for the same reason. They’re here for Gold Medal Plates — a culinary competition celebrated in cities across Canada,

which features athletes, wine, music and food. Lots of food. Food made by some of the premier chefs in each city. A week before Saskatoon’s event, the Gold Medal Plates were held at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina. There, Crave’s Jonathan Thauberger took home the gold medal. His plate? Rabbit ballotine served atop a rectangular brioche that was smeared with whipped butter infused with rabbit drippings. Paired with Okanagan

Valley Fairview Cellars 2010 Two Hoots Bordeaux blend, the dish will see Thauberger, as well as the other medallists from Saskatchewan, move on to compete at the nationwide Canadian Culinary Championships later this fall. The rabbit was Thauberger’s winning plate. Tonight, though, is a different city, and a different winner. All around the perimeter of the hall at Prairieland Park, tables are set up in a horseshoe formation. Behind them, chefs from various Continued on next page »

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restaurants around the city are busy plating food and explaining the dishes they’ve created. There’s pancetta-wrapped duck confit with hoisin seared King Cole duck breast, crispy apple cracker and chokecherry jus. There’s turkey pumpkin sausage with root vegetables, pearl barley risotto, haskap berries and smoked lake trout. Next to each plating table is the wine that’s been chosen to accompany the dish. Reislings, pinot noirs, cabernet sauvignons — you name it. At the centre of the room, sectioned off from the hustle and bustle of the crowd and the chefs, a group of people are seated around a circular table. There’s Darren Craddock (who won the competition last year). There’s Amy Jo Ehman, CJ Katz, Renée Kohlman, Janis Hutton and National Advisor James Chatto. There’s also dee Hobsbawn-Smith.

dee Hobsbawn-Smith, who stylizes her name with a lower-case “d,” is a writer. She is also an educator, a chef and a local foods advocate. Her latest book, Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet, won the Best Canadian English-language Food Literature award at the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Hobsbawn-Smith is a lot of things. But tonight, at the Gold Medal Plates in Saskatoon, she is one of the judges of the culinary competition. This isn’t her first time judging for the Gold Medal Plate. She’s been doing it since its inception in Saskatchewan. Before that she judged the same competition in Calgary. But no matter where she is, or what year she’s judging, Hobsbawn-Smith tends to approach most plates the same way. “I smell things first,” she says. “I can’t help it. The majority of taste comes through your nose. It’s a very complicated organ. That’s where most of the flavours first appear.” After smelling the dish, it’s time to give the plate the eyeball test. Is it visually appealing? Beautiful, even? Also a painter and a seamstress, Hobsbawn-Smith spends a good deal of time thinking about the visual component. About textures and contrasts. And as a chef and educator, she’s tried to teach people how to create beauty on a plate.

“Sometimes you want things close together, sometimes you want things far apart. Sometimes you want colours in the same arc, other times you want contrasting colours. There are no hard rules about how to make a plate beautiful,” explains Hobsbawn-Smith. “I wish I had an easier, more concise answer for you, but there isn’t one.” After taking in the visual component of the plate, Hobsbawn-Smith digs in. But it isn’t just a willy-nilly free-for-all. There’s a method to how she goes about things. “I’m always interested in constructing the perfect bite,” she admits. “Which means on a plate with multiple elements, taking a little of this, a little of that. A little of x, y and z, and putting it all together. If it’s there on the plate, my assumption is, in a gig like this, it’s there for a reason. The chef put it all there for a reason and it’s meant to be eaten together. Eaten together with the wine.” At this point it would be prudent to mention two things. First, the dishes at the Gold Medal Plates aren’t judged solely on smell, sight and taste. There’s also texture to consider, technical expertise, the compatibility of the wine, originality, the wow factor — that kind of stuff. The second thing that needs mentioning is that judging a culinary competition is a subjective exercise. How can it be anything else? Each judge has different tastes, different backgrounds, different things that stand out for them.

“It’s up to each judge to determine what’s important to them. The complexity of the dish, how it eats. We all bring our own biases to the table when we sit down to judge a dish,” says Hobsbawn-Smith. “Everyone is going to have a different opinion. But do you know what? The cream always rises.” This year, at the Gold Medal Plates in Prairieland Park, the cream of the Saskatoon crop was chef Trevor Robertson of the Radisson Hotel. His plate featured a slice of home-raised corn-fed Muscovy duck “press” mixed with duck foie gras. It also included a crisp strip of duck prosciutto, a sprinkle of dried blueberries, and a variety of corn garnishes: smoked corn sorbet, crisp corn paper, dots of corn gelée, liquefied corn made into corn ‘pearls,’ and corn shoots for fresh corn flavour. “The thing that stood out about Trevor’s dish is that it was a beautiful plate,” says Hobsbawn-Smith. “It had all those gorgeous shades of yellow. It was all about corn. It had a little bit of corn sorbet and corn greens. It was about the intensity of corn flavour. All the corn flavours played off against one another and underlying that was the richness of the duck. Just a lovely plate all around.”

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Cheers to this! We need to revamp Saskatchewan’s liquor laws

I

t’s time we shake up liquor laws in this province. Look, we — as in many provinces in Canada — are used to dealing with archaic liquor laws. But recently there’s been a lot of talk across Canada about stocking beer and wine in corner stores and grocery stores and gas stations, and we think that’s great. Victoria is considering putting local craft beer and wine in supermarkets. There is a movement in Nova Scotia pushing for the same. And in Ontario, a similar debate ended up ixnaying the idea of corner stores but proposed to broaden the availability of beer and wine by placing it in boutique and grocery stores. Well, all of that sounds pretty positive to us, which is why we think Saskatchewan should jump on board. But

not only that: we think that once we’ve changed up where we can buy alcohol, we’d also like to change how. And that’s why we think it’s time to revisit our stance on privatizing the SLGA. First, though, making alcohol more available to you: of-age adults. Although there are a number of different ways of bringing the sale of alcohol into more mainstream locations, we propose that Saskatchewan adopts the Quebec model of alcohol sales — selling locally brewed beer and wine in convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores. We think doing so would work well for everyone: the consumer reaps the benefit of convenience: a Mac’s or 7-11 is usually much closer than a liquor store, and there are far more of them scattered around the city. And because these stores only

stock Saskatchewan-made alcohol — a compromise that doesn’t completely pull all business away from the existing liquor and beer and wine stores — you’re supporting local industries at the same time. Win win. Now, we know change won’t be easy. One of the main reasons people like to maintain the puritanical liquor laws of our province is because they say it will be easier for underage or intoxicated people to access alcohol. But that is complete nonsense. Convenience store clerks already ask for ID from customers purchasing cigarettes, so why couldn’t they do the same for people buying alcohol? In fact, one study by the Commonwealth Foundation found that underage drinking was virtually the same in American states that had government run liquor stores as those that had privatized the industry. But just to be on the safe side, why not do like Alberta does and make everyone who sells alcohol — whether in convenience stores, restaurants or bars — take ProServe, a government-run course teaching safe liquor sales practices. Doing so would not only keep alcohol out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have it, but it would also make it more convenient for those of-age, responsible people who want it, while brewers like Great Western, Bushwakkers and District Brewing could get their products on more shelves around the province — if they so choose.

And while selling alcohol in more locations around the city is one change we’d love to see, it’s only the beginning. We’d also like to see Saskatchewan privatize our province’s liquor industry. Our neighbour to the west already has. When Alberta privatized liquor stores in 1993, the number of products available jumped from around 2,200 to more than 19,000. The number of liquor stores more than doubled, from 803 to more than 1,900, and employment in retail liquor stores jumped from 1,300 employees to around 4,000. With all these increases, liquor tax revenue increased by a whopping 77 percent. Since the same taxes and fees apply regardless of who owns the stores, more retailers selling more booze means more money for Alberta. So let’s get with the times! Let’s first make craft beer and wine available in corner stores, grocery stores and gas stations. Once we get familiar with that idea, it’s time to push for privatization, and bring our province in line with more progressive nations out there. 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

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On Topic: Last week we asked what you thought about curbside composting. Here's what you had to say:

– if we sell are compost to farmers and they use it on there farms and it in the long run make money from it. what’s in it for us besides a bill for the city to pick it up. hell no!

– Composting pick up would be greatly appreciated. The amount of waste I throw away that is organic is significant (and I live in an apartment with no room for a compost).

– Re: recycling. Being from Toronto, I was surprised at the lack of recycling facilities in Regina. I don’t blame anyone - the economics of recycling only make sense above a certain population, but my ingrained attitude of needing to recycle butting up against waste practices was most surprising. Instituting recycling right now may not help Saskatchewan. All it takes is ten years, though, for spinoff considerations (excess packaging in products, disposal and stewardship fees, etc) to really kick in, and that’s when environmental conservation becomes an automatic thought process, all the better to steward the resources we have.

– I get that being socially minded is a nice thing, but can we afford composting pick up? We have a lot of space in this province, so I don’t really think we need to be too concerned about the size of our landfill.

– Having read your article on curbside composting, it sounds like a great idea. I would be willing to help sort through the garbage, if there was some way we could get in contact. Truth is Power - Try It

text yo thoughtsur to 881 ve r b 8372

– I say give recycling pick up a few more years to see how it works for us and then roll out compost. Too much too soon might spin out of control. I say take it slowly but don’t write off curbside composting.

– I’m not sure about your composting proposal but I understand the sentiment behind it. I would like more information on how it all works on the east coast. Where did you find that information? Thank you!

– What is it that makes a person out to be left handed or right handed?

– When you’re faced with a pity party you need to say no thanks been there done that. I’m not going to sit around feeling sorry for myself.

– The biggest storm the planet has spawned in hundreds maybe thousands of years hit the Philipines this week. Climate change is fiction? Sure!

– Ontario Mayor Ford after Stevens Top Job ooohh canada

and the world. He clearly needs help.

– Let’s take a moment to appreciate the Rob Ford circus. We now have only the second most ridiculous mayor in Canada!

Next week: What do you think about changing liquor laws? Pick up a copy of Verb to get in on the conversation:

– Getting tired of the slavering that’s happening by media of Ford circus. It’s kind of sad to see an addict in such a public position deal with (or I guess refuse to deal with) his issues in front of the country

We print your texts verbatim each week. Text in your thoughts and reactions to our stories and content, or anything else on your mind.

– My prayers go out to those directly and indirectly afflicted by the tragic storm in the Phillipines. If you can donate, do so! Canadian government said they’d match (up to a point I think).

OFF TOPIC – Very proud of the talent coming out of Saskatchewan despite continuous slashing of arts budgets by the province. WolfCop looks wonderful. Congratulations to the young men and women who are working so hard to put our province on the map. I’ll be buying a ticket when it comes to theatres for sure. In response to “It’s like Dirty Harry...only hairier,” Local #103 (November 8, 2013)

sound off – You won’t feel so bad about yourself when you make mistakes if you don’t feel so good about yourself when you’re doing good.

– To those that want smokers to throw out their butts, i agree, trouble is, 1) how many ashtrays can you find around this city, and 2) we cannot just throw them in the garbage because of the plastic garbage bags. So where can we throw away our butts? Truth is Power - Try It

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Keep A Fire Photos: courtesy of Sean Sisk Photography

Amanda Rheaume explores personal and family histories on her new albums of catchy folk-pop songs by Alex J MacPherson

A

manda Rheaume’s sophomore album is about what it means to belong somewhere. And to better understand her place in the world, Rheaume turned to the people she knew best — her family. The songs on Keep A Fire attempt to extract universal truths from deeply personal experiences and memories. There is a chronicle of her paternal grandfather’s epic continental circumnavigation of North America aboard H.M.C.S. Labrador and a story about her maternal grandparents’ decision to choose exile rather than give up their love for each other. One song, the folk-influenced “A.G.B. Bannatyne,” tells the story of her Metis great-grandfather’s association with Louis Riel and his involvement in the creation of Manitoba. But Keep A Fire is more than a family photo album. Rheaume and her collaborator, John MacDonald, worked hard to craft simple yet effective pop songs, and Keep A Fire casts her gritty pop vocals against a rich backdrop of acoustic and electric guitars. The songs are scattered across the rock-country axis, moving further in each direction than Rheaume has gone before. It demonstrates that she is as comfortable singing straightforward pop and rock as she is delving into nu-folk and sizzling country.

But more than anything else the record is a vehicle for stories, stories Rheaume hopes point to a greater truth — what it means to belong in Canada.

ally tried to relate it back to being a human being. We both tried really hard to not make it so personal that no one could relate, but to still throw those personal things in, because I think that when you hear a song or a story and it’s written in the right way you start to reflect

ald, from Ottawa. We wrote that song and then I said, that was fun — let’s do another one. It just went from there, and we just kept going. I would literally show up to John’s place with song ideas: I remember my grandpa telling me this, or I remember my cousin telling me

Alex J MacPherson: I understand the idea for this album emerged after you flew to Alert and saw the Northwest Passage, the same passage your grandfather sailed aboard H.M.C.S. Labrador. Can you tell me about that?

This was an exercise for me to … learn more about myself…

Amanda Rheaume: I had this experience where I went to the high Arctic to play for the troops, and I was looking out the window of the Hercules plane I was in and someone said, ‘Look, we’re flying over the Northwest Passage.’ I thought, I know that. It was at that moment that I wished I could go home and explain to my maternal grandfather that I had seen it. It was such a big part of his life. But unfortunately he had already passed away. That’s where the song “Ancient Rime” came from, that whole feeling. I did not intend to write a family album by any means; it just started there.

amanda rheaume

that. I’d sit there and I’d have pages and pages of information. John and I would pick it apart, we’d talk about the stories we felt were the strongest, and we would then not just sing the details, but we’d try and put ourselves in the position of being where some of my family was, the circumstances and how we would have felt. AJM: Even though these stories are deeply personal, it seems like they all point back to a few broad ideas: adventure, resolve in the face of adversity, and the beauty of this country.

AJM: How did you get from one song to an album that explores your family’s adventures and experiences in Canada?

AR: Totally. What we really tried to do was connect it to whatever was human about the whole story. All this stuff happened — that’s interesting, but who cares? We re-

AR: I wrote the whole album with my very good friend John MacDon-

on your own life and your own self. This was an exercise for me to continue family stories and to learn more about myself, but it was also an exercise to encourage people to look into their past and learn more about where they come from. AJM: At the same time, this album is also quite a bit different musically from Light Of Another Day. Not only are the sounds bigger and richer, but it feels like you’re experimenting with different styles, too. AR: I struggle with that. I play as a duo on tour, and I always like to have a balance. I don’t want to blow the roof off with production, which is totally possible once you start getting in there and thinking about all the cool things you can

do. But I also want to embellish them enough so that they’re moving when you’re sitting at home or in your car listening to them. Basically, I’ll go into the studio with guitar and voice and play the tunes for the producer, Ross Murray, and talk about how to explore different grooves and different approaches — and try to pick one that stays the truest to the original feel. Because it’s really easy to take out the rawness of your first pass of the song, you can lose that quite easily when you start adding all this other stuff onto it. We just strip it down as much as possible. AJM: Ultimately what did you learn from making an album this personal? AR: I learned a lot about what my family went through to get to where they did, which made me reflect on the different times — having to travel these huge distances and awful scenarios and not really having a choice. I learned about myself, too. Amanda Rheaume November 27 @ The Club $15 @ the door

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The Romantics

Hope and despair in the music of Schumann, Brahms, and Mendelssohn

T

he decades following Beethoven’s death were dominated by a trio of young and immensely talented composers. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms were all profoundly influenced by the German titan, who bridged the gap between the classical and romantic eras. Their works built on the themes developed by Beethoven, musical ideas that paved the way for late 19th century composers like Gustav Mahler. Of the three, Robert Schumann is the least well-known, yet his majestic Symphony No. 3 is one of the finest pieces of romantic music ever composed. “He constantly fought battles in his life, and one hears these things in music,” says Raffi Armenian, one of the most prominent conductors

in North America and Victor Sawa’s former teacher, who will conduct the Regina Symphony Orchestra in a rare performance of Symphony No. 3 this November. “At the beginning he fought with the father of Clara, his wife, to be able to marry her. Then he had a disaster with his finger: he tried to play the piano but it did not work for him. And then the most horrible: in those days, people with mental illness were just treated like animals. It was a horrible ending.” (Schumann suffered from severe depression and delusions, and eventually institutionalized himself). Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, known as the “Rhenish,” is as turbulent as his short life, which cascaded between moments of unparalleled beauty and incomprehensible anguish. The first movement is gloriously life-affirming, a cavalcade of soaring melodies and

by alex J MacPherson

heroic ideas scored in E-flat major, a key known for its triumphant sound. Then it descends into contemplation and sober reflection, an acknowledgment of the stark realities facing its creator. But the fifth and final movement is a classic expression of the romantic ideal: “It’s very clever,” Armenian says, “it’s very lighthearted — we have the serious thing behind us, now let’s just enjoy the sunshine.” Armenian thinks Schumann has been overshadowed by his more luminous contemporaries, his symphonies unfairly maligned by generations of critics convinced he couldn’t write a decent score. But those same critics have quite rightly celebrated both Mendelssohn and Brahms, whose Hebrides Overture and Variations on a Theme by Haydn capture the growth and evolution of

classical music in the middle of the 19th century. “Mendelssohn is another example of one who inherited an incredible love for Beethoven and made it something which connected it to nature,” Armenian says of the Hebrides Overture (1830), which documents its composer’s visit to Scotland. “He was an incredible all-around talent, Mendelssohn, and a great influence to both Schumann and Brahms.” This influence is clear in Brahms’s Variations, which contains the unbridled imagination of high romanticism within a very formal classical framework. “There’s a connection to the classics,” Armenian says, “and we end in the fireworks of the romantics.” Together, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms represent

the apex of the mid-18th century. Their works capture the essence of the romantic era while pointing toward a future full of possibility, a place where the only constraint on creativity is the human imagination. Armenian’s upcoming performance with the R.S.O. offers newcomers an excellent introduction to romantic music and veteran concert-goers an opportunity to hear three pieces that are rarely performed. But more importantly, it is the apotheosis of emotional expression and a chance to reflect on the vagaries of human life — an eternal struggle between hope and despair. The Romantics November 23 @ Conexus Arts Centre $33+ @ mytickets.reginasymphony.com; 306 791 6395

Sonic Expansion

Calgary trio Raleigh explores the fringes of pop on Sun Grenades & Grenadine Skies

by alex J MacPherson

Photo: courtesy oF Kurtis Denne

T

he members of Raleigh are interested in exploring the outer reaches of pop music. Their latest album, Sun Grenades & Grenadine Skies, uses a fusion of unconventional instrumentation, complex arrangements, and jazz-inspired song structures to create music that is inventive and evocative yet somehow familiar. The band began life as a writing experiment, a chance for Brock Geiger and Clea Anaïs to escape the confines of straightforward

rock and roll. But it has since grown into a lively trio whose love of off-kilter pop music is eclipsed only by their desire to expand on it. Raleigh — which consists of Geiger, Anaïs, and drummer Matt Doherty — recorded Sun Grenades & Grenadine Skies at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango studio. According to Geiger, the band’s guitarist, the record benefited from experience gained on the road. “We toured the last one pretty hard, and I think we’ve gotten

that much more comfortable playing and writing as a three-piece,” he says, referring to 2011’s New Times in Black and White. “That first record has a lot of songs written just by Clea and I and the drums were kind of an afterthought. This time it was definitely more of a band effort.” Because Sun Grenades & Grenadine Skies was recorded in one frantic burst, rather than pieced together over several months, it is more consistent than its predecessor. The songs flow together easily, each one

building on the last. It demonstrates a musical vision that is much more clearly defined than it was when Raleigh was just a fun diversion from other musical commitments. If New Times in Black and White was an experiment, Sun Grenades & Grenadine Skies is the refined product of that experiment, cleanly packaged and ready for sale. The songs on the new record blur the line between jazzy experimentalism and the more familiar strains of pop and rock without ever sounding forced or gratuitous. Some, like “China Flowers,” cast Anaïs’s wistful voice against a surging backdrop of crunchy guitar, a disarming counterpoint to the drawn out cello notes that surface periodically. Others derive their power from rhythmic and melodic contortions. “Carebear” uses a syncopated beat and bizarre time signatures to build and release tension: imagine a tight jazz band putting their own distinctive twist on a spiky indie rock cut. More than anything else, however, Sun Grenades & Grenadine

Skies reflects the band’s creative freedom and urge to explore the furthest reaches of pop music. Raleigh makes music for the sake of making music, and it shows. “It’s pretty transparent if a band’s playing music that they’re writing to make people listen to, as opposed to music they believe in,” Geiger says. “It’s nice to feel like we don’t have to live up to any expectation or put out a hooky-ass pop record — we can wander and see what we can get away with. I mean, there are still some simple melodies and pop elements but we definitely don’t feel tied down to any one thing.” Raleigh November 30 @ Creative City Centre $10 @ the door

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Feature

So It Goes

Feature

Hollerado, Holland, and the search for meaning in music by Alex J MacPherson

E

arlier this year Hollerado, the prodigal sons of Canadian guitar rock, travelled to Holland to shoot a documentary and a music video. The project revolved around a song called “So It Goes” from the band’s sophomore album White Paint. Menno Versteeg, the band’s buoyant lead singer, wrote “So It Goes” the day his grandfather died. A four-minute blast of edgy guitars and crashing drums that cascades into one of the most memorable choruses the band has ever written, “So It Goes” captures the essence of Hollerado’s pop-influenced sound. But “So It Goes” is more than just another infectious guitar rock song: its lyrics relate a scarcely believable story of human decency in a time of great strife, a story that begins with the German invasion of Holland in the spring of 1940.

mals in his care tended to die. He was quickly arrested and hauled before an interrogator. In most cases, suspected resistance fighters were tortured for information and then taken outside, stood up against a wall, and shot. Versteeg escaped this fate when his interrogator, an officer with an agreeable temperament and considerable influence, decided to spare his life. As Menno Versteeg explains, the two men spoke “soldier to soldier.” The young Dutch soldier asked his German captor what he would do if the situation was reversed; the anonymous interrogator conceded that he, too, would join the resistance. A tenuous connection began to develop between the two young men, who in better times might have been friends. In an astonishing act of mercy, the German saved Versteeg from the firing squad and instead had him imprisoned. Versteeg spent two years in the Oranjehotel,

Our productions are pop and we’re a very pop band, but we kind of have a foot in the indie world, too. Menno versteeg

Menno Versteeg grew up listening to his grandfather’s stories of living in Holland at the outbreak of the Second World War, joining the Dutch resistance, and ultimately serving time in a German prison. After the collapse of the Dutch government in May 1940, Karel Versteeg joined the resistance. To avoid being identified by the German occupiers, he disguised himself as a veterinarian, complete with forged papers. It was a useful cover for smuggling machine guns and generally causing havoc among the invaders. As it turned out, his plan was a little bit too clever. Versteeg’s elaborate cover crumbled when the Germans noticed that ani-

a notorious prison for quarrelsome Dutch natives. But the story does not end there. “The story really gets heavy after the war,” Menno Versteeg says before describing an act of compassion so profound it boggles the mind to think about, even seventy years later. After the war, he says, “the German officer who spared my grandfather’s life was on trial for his own life. My grandfather went to his trial and he told this story. He testified on behalf of his enemy.” Karel Versteeg’s testimony was enough to save the German officer from an ignominious end on the gallows of Allied justice. Growing up, Menno Versteeg heard Continued on next page »

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this story countless times. When his grandfather, whom he describes as a brave man and a close friend, died, the song poured out. It became the centrepiece of White Paint, Hollerado’s second album. The members of Hollerado — Versteeg, Dean Baxter, Jake Boyd, and Nixon Boyd — have always made music for the right reasons. Since forming in Ottawa in 2007, they have worked tirelessly to build a career and keep their delightfully chaotic guitar rock free from outside influence. Today, the band is recognized as a leader in the do-it-yourself community. Their 2009 debut, Record In A Bag, was exactly what it purported to be: a CD or a vinyl record encased in a plastic bag and accompanied by handwritten liner notes. But in the beginning, Versteeg says, the choice to go alone was necessary rather than aesthetic. “When I was a kid playing in punk bands, no one wanted to sign us, no one wanted to book us. People would say they’d design us a poster but it would cost a hundred bucks, which I didn’t have, so we just did everything ourselves. And I’m glad that through being crappy we were forced to do that. It’s helped us forge our own path.”

Photo: courtesy of Marc Riccardelli

Shortly after releasing Record In A Bag, the band’s commitment to making music on their own terms was vindicated when they won the Big Money Shot, a music competition sponsored by an Ottawa radio station. Versteeg and his bandmates pocketed a quarter million dollars, which they promptly re-invested in the band. Then they began a touring odyssey that would last until late 2012, when they began laying down the tracks that would make up White Paint. Unlike its D.I.Y.-chic predecessor, which was closer to garage rock than polished pop, White Paint is mature and much more dynamic. Record In A Bag was raw and anxious,

each song a tightly-coiled bundle of nervous energy. White Paint is more measured. The songwriting is more refined, the arrangements more sophisticated, the performances more confident. “With Record In A Bag we were like, put the chorus in, put the riffs in, make sure we like all the parts,” Versteeg says of the band’s gloriously uncomplicated approach to making their debut. “On this one, instead of just playing a guitar solo in the studio and seeing what comes out, which was what we did on the first record, on this one we were like, let’s write this thing and really stand behind the notes that we’re playing. We put thought into it, but I guess it’s about finding that balance.” Which is not to say Versteeg and his bandmates have strayed far from their image as scruffy rock musicians known for exuberant live performances. White Paint was not born from some Sisyphean desire to achieve pop perfection: its songs emerged from the simple urge to make something permanent. “I hate calling myself an artist,” Versteeg says, “but for anyone making stuff, you want to make something that’s going to transcend changing tastes and time. And I think you can do that by talking about human stories. Humans will always be humans.” At its most basic White Paint is a record about big ideas. “So It Goes” is the most personal song on the album, but most of the lyrics refer to loss and love, despair and hope, redemption and the fall. “I got a little bit overwhelmed,” Versteeg says. “When we were writing White Paint I got a little bit too obsessed with those kinds of ideas. I think the next record’s going to be more about what I had for lunch. If you think about it too much, it can drive you crazy.” What separates White Paint from other records that deal with similar themes is Hollerado’s refreshing lack of gravitas and pomposity. The band have always embraced brash and enthusiastic guitar pop — Versteeg is open about his admiration for Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen — and while White Paint evokes comparisons to London Calling, its ideas are never overwhelming. Moments of poignancy and pathos are subverted

by unapologetically poppy guitar licks and playful lyrical ideas that twist and turn and run through each track on the album. But finding the right balance is never easy. “I love pop, we all love pop, we want to make pop songs,” Versteeg says. “In trying to write pop songs, something we can stand behind, by putting some thought behind it, it’s kind of put us in a strange position. Our productions are pop and we’re a very pop band, but we kind of have a foot in the indie world, too. It’s an interesting, kind of strange place to be.” This is the same problem that forced Hollerado to become, reluctantly or otherwise, members of the D.I.Y. community. Today, it causes Versteeg to question the decision to avoid major record labels and the other apparatus of the music industry. “I wonder sometimes, too, if we put this album out with a major label, with that approach to it, if it would have

done better. I see some of our peers doing better than we are with that approach, so I wonder if that would have been better. I don’t regret it, but I do think about it.” Financial gain is not the only measure of success, however. Versteeg likes to express his desire to make music that matters, a criterion more than fulfilled by White Paint. Before he and his bandmates travelled to Holland, he succeeded in tracking down the grandson of the German officer who saved his grandfather’s life as the world exploded into war. The two men spoke on the phone and arranged to meet in Munich, Germany. Almost seventy years after their grandfathers had their momentous meeting, two young men met for a beer in a German café. They sat and talked about their families, bound together forever by an act of common humanity — something anyone, anywhere can understand.

“I wanted to share it,” Versteeg says of the song and the story. “It’s crazy, the world that we live in with all these mistakes that have been made by people — and are still being made. We go through two giant world wars and all these other wars, and there’s still people killing each other over the stupidest s**t. A story like this, a story of two people being able to forgive each other in a terrible time, I just thought you can never have enough of those until all the bad things stop.” Hollerado November 22 @ The Exchange $15 @ Ticketedge

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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Photos courtesy of Maxton Priebe

FINDING THE RIGHT GRIND

Brewed Awakening offers more than just caffeine with that all-important morning coffee by MJ Deschamps

A

s a strong proponent for local coffee shops and cafes, I will never understand how fast food-type coffee chains perpetually have long lines and packed drive-throughs at all hours of the day. At the risk of sounding like a snob, I’d rather pay an extra 50 cents for freshly ground espresso versus something that comes out of a machine at the push of a button. Luckily, the fact that independent coffee shops have

— it also has a pretty interesting story behind it, too. Doi Chaang coffee beans are “beyond fair trade,” meaning that the company isn’t just ‘certified fair-trade,’ but 50% grower-owned. The beans, which are roasted in Vancouver, come from the Doi Chang Village in Northern Thailand, where the company is working towards economic sustainability and growth with its farmers and throughout the village. Brewed Awakening owner Lisa MacMurchy says that visiting the village is on her bucket list — but for now, she’s glad to contribute to a cause while being able to boast some pretty outstanding blends of coffee at the same time. You can really taste the difference in an espresso drink made with a quality grind of beans — and the latte I sipped on was one of them. Smooth, nutty, sweet and balanced espresso in frothy milk requires no frills or extra flavours, and is delicious in its simplicity.

been popping up all over Regina in the last little while — and going strong, too — means that I’m not alone in my desire for a handcrafted brew. In its few years in business, Brewed Awakening has become a popular fixture in Regina’s east end, where it prides itself on a cup of coffee that really stands out. The 100% Arabica, organic, fair trade coffee from Doi Chaang Coffee Co. that Brewed Awakening is serving up isn’t just rich in flavour, however

But while the coffee may come from afar, everything else behind the counter at Brewed Awakening is made in-house. The shop’s glass case is full of homemade cakes and pastries, including a long list of wheat-free treats such as carrot cake, lemon crumble, muffins, cookies and more. “We’re all about that great cup of coffee, along with Grandma’s kitchen baking,” said MacMurchy. Big slices of layered red velvet cake, cinnamon buns and pumpkin loaf with chai cream icing made me slightly regret showing up at 7:30 am, rather than later in the day where I could (attempt to) justify to myself that eating two or three pastries in one go was no big deal. But it was early morning. Thankfully, Brewed Awakening also offers a small breakfast menu for those on the run, along with a revolving door of lunch options including grilled sandwiches, homemade fromscratch soups, and quiches.

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide ESPRESSO MARTINI

Ingredients

The delicious scent of freshly brewed espresso isn’t just for waking up to. Coffee works just as well in martinis as in mugs.

1 ounce freshly brewed espresso 1 ounce vodka 1.5 ounces Kahlua

It’s always nice to learn there are more to-go breakfast options out there (besides the usual suspects), and Brewed Awakening does a good job with its morning sandwiches and wraps. I tried the egg and ham breakfast sandwich on a warm, homemade, buttery biscuit with melted cheddar and fresh eggs, along with a lighter option: a breakfast wrap with tangy salsa, ham and scrambled eggs. Both are fresh and filling, and won’t bog you down for the rest of the day. For those who are especially health conscious, Brewed Awakening also blends up protein shakes and serves protein bars made in-house. It’s a good place to end your night as well as start your morning, too — the shop runs occasional acoustic nights and also has a really unique feature: its ‘screen room,’ which is a large, enclosed glass sitting area (heated in the winter, of course), where you can enjoy patio season all year-round. All I have to say to Regina is to keep these neighbourhood coffee shops coming — especially those ones worth venturing far beyond your neighbourhood for. Brewed Awakening 3115 Woodhams Dr. | (306) 565 2739

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372 directions

Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Drink and repeat!

@VerbRegina mdeschamps@verbnews.com

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music

Next Week

coming up

Chris Henderson

Dallas Smith

Big Sugar

@ Whiskey Saloon Thursday thru Saturday, November 28 - 30 – cover tbd

@ The Exchange Saturday, November 23 – $100+

@ Casino Regina Tuesday, December 31 – $60+

A regular on Whiskey’s stage, Chris Henderson got his big break in 2006 when he won the 620 CKRM Big Country Talent Search. From there his career began to take off. In March of the following year he put together the Chris Henderson Band — featuring himself, Tyler “Buzz” Wanner, Darryl Carver, Kylee Glover and Sean Hayward. After recording his first full-length album, Follow the Signs, which was well received, Henderson was nominated for four Saskatchewan Country Music Awards. Henderson followed that up by winning the Big Dog “Saskatchewan’s Next Big Thing” contest in 2010. He isn’t slowing down, so head on over to Whiskey Saloon and spend the weekend with Chris. You won’t regret it.

For a decade or so, Dallas Smith was the lead singer of the post-grunge/alt-rock band, Default. From 2001 to 2010, Smith and his bandmates pumped out hits like “Wasting My Time,” “Deny” and “Count on Me.” These days, however, Smith — who hails from Langley, BC — has taken his musical talents in a new direction. Having grown up in a house where country music played alongside classic rock, Smith decided to try his hand at the former, and released his first solo album, Jumped Right In, in 2012. For the former Default frontman, country music has always been about the “special combination of voice and song.” Come join Dallas Smith at the Gregg Zaun 2013 Grey Cup Bash. Tickets available through www.ticketfly.com

In the ‘90s and early 2000s, Big Sugar had quite a run. Their second album (Five Hundred Pounds) went gold, the next two records (Hemi-Vision, Heated) were certified platinum, and their fifth studio LP went gold as well. Then they called it quits. But a decade later they reunited, and are currently in the middle of their crosscountry Eliminate Ya! tour, visiting old favorite venues and bringing their blues/rock/reggae-tinged tunes to fans from coast to coast. Oh, and speaking of reggae, Big Sugar will be joined on tour by reggae legend Willi Williams. Be sure to check out the show when it rolls into Regina on New Year’s Eve. Tickets available at the Show Lounge Box Office or online at www.ticketbreak.com/casinoregina. – By Adam Hawboldt

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

Sask music Preview SaskMusic supports the Imagine No Bullying provincial schools tour! MultiSCMA award winner and CCMA nominee Codie Prevost, and National Philanthropy award winner Stephen Maguire will be visiting schools across the province starting November 14 as part of the Imagine No Bullying campaign. Both musicians will be sharing their own personal stories about bullying. Presented by Studio XII Music & Dance Co, the tour will include a presentation during the day for students and teachers, and a show for parents and the community in the evening. For a list of venues and times, please see www.saskmusic.org Keep up with Saskatchewan music. saskmusic.org

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november 15 » november 23 The most complete live music listings for Regina. S

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15 16

17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Friday 15

Anabelle, The Young PIxels / Artful Dodger — Two great acts. 8pm / No cover Smokey Robinson / Casino Regina — He’s a Motown legend. 8pm / $90+ The Slim City Pickers / The Exchange — With The Dead South, Val Halla. 8pm / $10+ DJ Pat & DJ Kim / Habano’s — Local DJs spin top 40 hits. 9pm / $5 cover Big Chill Fridays / Lancaster Taphouse — With DJ Fatbot. 10pm / Cover TBD Big Bad Storm / McNally’s Tavern — With Speed Control. 10pm / $5 Diana Desjardins / The Pump — A sassy country songstress. 10pm / Cover TBD Albert / Pure Ultra Lounge — Appearing every Friday night. 10pm / $5 cover DJ Longhorn / Whiskey Saloon — Come check out one of Regina’s most interactive DJs. 8pm / Cover TBD Jess Moskaluke / Whiskey Saloon — She has one heckuva voice. 9pm / $10

Saturday 16

Francotronik / Carrefour des plaines — With Fatal Fox, DJ IZN, + more. 9pm / $5 The Celtic Tenor / Casino Regina — A hot Celtic trio. 8pm / $25+ Finntroll / The Exchange — With Blackguard, Metsatoll. 8pm / Cover TBD PandaCorn / Lancaster — Come out to this awesome CD release party. 9pm / No cover Big Bad Storm / McNally’s Tavern — With Speed Control. 10pm / $5 Diana Desjardins / Pump — A sassy country songstress. 10pm / Cover TBD Drewski / Pure Ultra Lounge — Doing what he does best, every Saturday night. 10pm / $5 cover Jess Moskaluke / Whiskey Saloon — With one heckuva voice, this country songstress is not to be missed. 9pm / $10

Monday 18

Open Mic Night / The Artful Dodger — Come down and jam! 8pm / No cover Monday Night Jazz / Bushwakker — Shane Reoch Blues Duo. 8pm / No cover

Tuesday 19

Saturday 23

The Fugitives, White Ash Falls / Artful Dodger — Folk and indie tunes for a cool Tuesday. 8pm / Cover TBD Troubadour Tuesdays / Bocados — Come check out some live tunes from local talents. 8pm / No cover Alestorm / The Exchange — With Trollfest, Gyspsyhawk. 7:30pm / $20

Special Grey Cup Event / Artful Dodger — Come celebrate the big game. All day/ night / Cover TBD Grey Cup Festival Series / Brandt Centre — Featuring Big and Rich. 8pm / $51+ Romantics / Conexus — By the RSO. 8pm / $66.15 (reginasymphony.com)

Dallas Smith / The Exchange — With Cash Crawford, One Bad Son. 8pm / $100+ Grey Cup Party / Lancaster House — Featuring Green Zone Cabaret. 9pm / No cover F.O.G.D.O.G. / McNally’s Tavern — Time to break out your dancing shoes. 10pm / $5 BILF / Sip Nightclub — Playing your favourite cover songs. 10pm / Cover TBD

Alex Runions / Whiskey Saloon — An urban country singer/songwriter. 9pm / $10

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

Wednesday 20

Wednesday Night Folk / Bushwakker Brewpub — Featuring Kory Istace vs. The Time Pirates. 9pm / No cover Peter Noone / Casino Regina — A musical icon. 8pm / $37+ (ticketbreak.com) Jam Night / McNally’s — Come on down and enjoy some local talent. 9pm / No cover

Thursday 21

Jeff Boutlier / Artful Dodger — With Lizzy Hoyt + more. 8pm / No cover The Milkman’s Sons / Exchange — With Gilvis and CC Riders + more. 7pm / $20 Decibel Frequency / Gabbo’s Nightclub — A night of electronic fun. 10pm / Cover $5 PS Fresh / The Hookah Lounge — With DJ Ageless + DJ Drewski. 7pm / No cover Open Mic Night / King’s Head — Come show Regina what you got. 8pm / No cover Grey Cup Week Party / Lancaster House — With Kevin Roy. 9pm / No cover Grey Cup Kick Off / McNally’s Tavern — Featuring Johnny McCuaig Band. 8:30pm / $5 Alex Runions / Whiskey Saloon — A locally base urban country singer/songwriter. 9pm / $5

Friday 22

Barenaked Ladies / Brandt Centre — Kick off Grey Cup weekend. 8pm / $37+ Hollerado, The Zolas, PUP / The Exchange — Everything to indie rock to prog-pop and punk rock. 7:30pm / $15 DJ Pat & DJ Kim / Habano’s — Local DJs spin top 40 hits. 9pm / $5 cover Grey Cup Week Party / Lancaster House — Featuring The Project Jazz with Megan Nash. 9pm / No cover F.O.G.D.O.G. / McNally’s Tavern — Time to break out your dancing shoes. 10pm / $5 BILF / Sip Nightclub — Playing your favourite cover songs. 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Longhorn / Whiskey Saloon — Come check out one of Regina’s most interactive DJs as he drops some of the best country beats around. 8pm / Cover TBD Alex Runions / Whiskey Saloon — A locally base urban country singer/songwriter. 9pm / $10

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nightlife

sunday, November 10 @

Lancaster taphouse

The Lancaster Taphouse 4529 Gordon Road (306) 570 2323

Check out our Facebook page! These photos will be uploaded to Facebook on Friday, November 22.

Photography by Marc Messett facebook.com/verbregina

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nightlife

sunday, November 10 @

McNally’s

McNally’s Tavern 2226 Dewdney Avenue (306) 522 4774

Check out our Facebook page! These photos will be uploaded to Facebook on Friday, November 22. facebook.com/verbregina

Photography by Marc Messett

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Photo: Courtesy of universal pictures

Christmas Chaos The Best Man Holiday an entertaining holiday flick by adam hawboldt

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hen director Malcolm D. Lee’s The Best Man was about to be released in 1999, it was pegged as a cross between The Big Chill and Waiting to Exhale. But, in truth, not many people gave it a chance to succeed. Yet it did. One of the big sleeper hits of the year, The Best Man brought in more than $34 million at the box office. And rightfully so. It was a sophisticated, smart, funny and charming rom-com that was well worth a watch. In case you haven’t seen The Best Man, it’s about a group of friends getting together for a wedding. One of the friends, Harper (Taye Diggs) wrote a book about the group’s college years, and, well, let’s just say hijinks and fisticuffs are in abundance. Only reason I mention any of this is because that whole group is back

climbed the ranks of MSNBC and is dating a white dude (Eddie Cibrian). Julian (Harold Perrineau) now runs a private school with his exstripper wife Candy (Regina Hall). Julian’s ex-girlfriend Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) is on the TV show Real Housewives of Westchester). And Quentin (Terrence Howard) is still a ladies man. Then there’s the soon-to-beretired pro football player Lance (Morris Chestnut) and his wife Mia (Monica Calhoun), the pair who got married in the first film and who invited the old gang to their house for the holidays. Drama and zany antics ensue. Lance is still upset at Harper for sexing his wife, people keep walking into conversations at the exact wrong moments, gestures are constantly being misread, panties are thrown and penis pics are taken.

for the new Christmas film, The Best Man Holiday. Fifteen years have lapsed since the first fight-filled

[The movie] is enjoyable and funny and touches on some real human emotion. Adam Hawboldt

weekend, and we get brought up to speed on what’s happened to everybody during the opening credits. Harper has yet to write a followup novel. His wife Robyn (Sanaa Lathan) is pregnant. Harper’s close gal-pal Jordan (Nia Long) has

If all that sounds slightly offkilter and chaotic, well, there’s good reason for that: it is! Especially the last 15 or so minutes of the film. In this short span we see a record being broken, a death, a post-funeral hook-up, water breaking, a marriage proposal, and more. But here’s the thing: the breakneck unpredictability and plot twists Malcom D. Lee throws at you totally work. How? That’s simple. In a huge ensemble like The Best Man Holiday, the entire thing, the whole kit and caboodle, rests on the chemistry between the actors. If the chemistry isn’t there, you flop. If it is, you stand a much better chance of success. And fortunately the actors in this franchise (I’m guessing there’ll be a third Best Man flick, what with the marriage proposal at the end of

the best man holiday Malcolm D. Lee Starring Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut + Terrence Howard Directed by

122 minutes | 14A

this one and all) have chemistry in spades. Now all this isn’t to say The Best Man Holiday is a great movie. It’s not. But like the first one it is enjoyable and funny and touches on some real human emotion. Something a lot of Christmas movies fall short on.

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Eccentric Obsession

New doc Special Ed is the portrait of a man on a mission by adam hawboldt

Photo: Courtesy of merit motion pictures

T

his isn’t the documentary John Paskievich intended to make. The Winnipeg documentarian first met Ed Ackerman years ago while working at the National Film Board together, Ackerman talked about making teaching tools for teachers. One specific project in particular: an animated film about the alphabet. But Ackerman was fired before he could bring the project to life. That didn’t deter him, though. He still had an idea to raise money in China to help fund the project and make a film that would help Chinese kids to read and write. After learning that Ackerman had a hard time spelling, Paskievich had an idea — make a sweet little documentary about a man helping kids to spell because nobody had helped him. At least that was the initial idea. What Paskievich ultimately ended up with in his latest documentary,

Special Ed, was something radically different: an intimate and touching portrait of a man who is a dreamer. A man who is a contrarian, who is hard-headed, idealistic and wildly

man — especially the man we see in Special Ed. When we first meet Ed Ackerman in the documentary, he has cast aside the animation project

[Ackerman is] an idealist hellbent (some might even say obsessed) with leaving a legacy for his kids. Adam Hawboldt

ambitious. A portrait of a man who isn’t what you’d call a finisher. The Facebook page for the documentary describes Ed Ackerman as a “composite of Don Quixote, Peter Pan, Chaplin’s Tramp, Job and Sisyphus.” And you know what? That’s a very apt description of the eclectic

for a new one. This time he aims to restore three dilapidated houses in downtown Winnipeg. The reason? He wants to leave them as an inheritance for his three grown children who, because of failed marriages and whatnot, he doesn’t know too well. But there’s a problem. In fact, there are a few problems. Ed is

broke, his renovation project begins to conflict with city bylaws and, to make matters worse, he has no idea how to do home renovations. What follows is as funny and entertaining as it is poignant. With no real amount of money to put into the houses, Ed starts using salvaged materials and whacky doit-yourself reno techniques to try to get his project finished — no matter how quixotic it may seem. Windows get smashed, metal I-beams get dragged up the road behind a truck, planks break, no small amount of things fall over. Oh, and then there are Ed’s feuds. At one point of the film he rattles off a list of groups he’s feuding with. They include, but are not limited to: the City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg police, Revenue Canada, Manitoba Hydro, etc. and etc. And yet for all this contrariness, Ed Ackerman remains an optimist. An idealist hellbent (some might

special ed John Paskievich Starring Ed Ackerman Directed by

100 minutes | NR

even say obsessed) with leaving a legacy for his kids. To watch Special Ed is to enter the world of a special and interesting man. It’s not necessarily a world you or I are familiar with, but it does make for interesting viewing and reveals a story well worth telling. Special Ed will be screened at Regina Public Library beginning on November 21.

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@VerbRegina ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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

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32. Sharp to the taste 36. Leave far behind 37. Unnaturally pale 39. Leading man 40. Away from the middle 41. Parcel out 43. Fashion-conscious man 44. Stereo knob 46. Municipality in Quebec 48. Looks like 49. Word used in closing a letter 50. Lack of regular arrangement 51. Sock part

© walter D. Feener 2013

. Fusible alloy 1 2. Energy unit 3. Shorten a sail 4. Chemical test 5. One in charge of a team of workers 6. Kind of tea 7. Kampuchean coin 8. Made lace 9. ___ mignon 11. Central post of a winding staircase 12. Tries to catch floating apples, as a game 14. Boat used for cod fishing 17. One who conducts a parade 20. Tall round tent 22. Tree with peeling bark

24. Ingenious humour 26. Green vegetable sudoku answer key 28. Anarchic A 29. Thick lump of blood 30. Day divisions 31. Regard with respect 33. Second cup of coffee 34. Saying the opposite of what one means 35. Drugs in general 38. Direction in which a B compass needle points 41. Donations given to the needy 42. Weight of a vehicle without cargo 45. Community social gathering 47. Pool stick

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

DOWN

. Medicinal fluids 1 5. Clenched hand 9. Golf course shouts 10. Pacific is one 12. Places for stagnant water 13. Like most apartments 15. Nearing the end of the normal life span 16. Well-known 18. ___ Hills, Alberta 19. Red vegetable 21. Thanksgiving vegetable 22. Keg contents 23. Spread by scattering 25. Fast 27. Lager beer 29. Cat resembling a leopard

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

crossword canadian criss-cross

ACROSS

Horoscopes november 15 - november 21 Aries March 21–April 19

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

Have you been feeling blue lately, Aries? If so, good news: something will happen this week that’s going to lift your spirits.

If you aren’t careful this week, Leo, people will end up annoying the ever-loving hell out of you. Don’t let that happen.

At some point this week a friend may need you, Sagittarius, but they might not know how to ask. Be sure to be there for them.

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

Your week will be a real humdinger, Taurus. Topsy-turvy and wildly unpredictable. Be sure to hold on for the ride.

Look at you! All of a sudden this week your popularity will soar amongst friends, family and strangers. Enjoy the social life, Virgo!

Group activities will be fraught with confrontation this week, Capricorn. It’s best not to take things too personally. Tread very carefully.

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

Are the pressures of work or school getting to you, Gemini? If so, take time this week to blow off some steam.

You’ve been working hard at something lately, Libra. And it’s about time your work has been acknowledged. This week it will be.

Your confidence may be waning at certain times this week, Aquarius. Do whatever you can to boost it, and remember: you rock!

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

Romance is in the air, Cancer. No matter if you’re in a relationship or single — things are going to get lovey dovey. Enjoy it while it lasts.

If you find yourself in a great mood, just raring to go, at any time this week, don’t fight it. Give in and let loose.

You deserve a trip, Pisces. Long or short, it doesn’t matter. So why not start planning it this week? No time like the present.

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

crossword answer key

A

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

B

23 Nov 15 – Nov 21 /verbregina

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Verb Issue R104 (Nov. 15-21, 2013)  

Verb Issue R104 (Nov. 15-21, 2013)

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