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Issue #111 – JANUARY 17 to january 23

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C O W P U N C H E R + voyage to the red planet Saskatchewanians eye trip to Mars ron burgundy’s ride Our monthly vehicle section is back jack ryan: shadow recruit + 20 feet from stardom Films reviewed­ Photo: Courtesy of geffrey hanson


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On the cover:

cowpuncher

Experiments in rock ‘n roll. 10 / feature

Photo: courtesy of Sebastian Buzzalino

culture

NEWs + Opinion

entertainment

Q + A with quinton blair

Live Music listings Local music listings for January 17 through January 25. 14 / listings

Writing songs that matter. 8 / Q + A

The times, they are a’ changin’ Strippers talk

edition addition

Nightlife Photos

The art of the numbered print. 9 / Arts

We visit Bushwakker’s.

new laws in SK. 3 / Local

15 / Nightlife

the magic flute

jack ryan: Shadow recruit + 20 feet from stardom

The RSO takes on Mozart’s masterpiece. 9 / Arts

We review the latest movies. 16 / Film

Voyage to the Red Planet Two Saskatchewanians turn to Mars. 4 / Local

off the rails

hot to trot

on the bus

Our thoughts on level crossings.

We visit Simmer Hot Pot.

6 / Editorial

12 / Food + Drink

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

comments

Music

Game + Horoscopes

Here’s what you had to say about flying in Canada. 7 / comments

Small City Blues, Binder Twine and the Balers + Dallas Smith 13 / music

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

vehicles The Dodge Durango + more. 20-23 / vehicles

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Business & Operations

Publisher / Parity Publishing Editor in Chief / Ryan Allan Managing Editor / Jessica Patrucco staff Writers / Adam Hawboldt + Alex J MacPherson Contributing writer / jeff davis + maxton priebe

Office Manager / Stephanie Lipsit account Manager / joshua johnsen Marketing Manager / Vogeson Paley Financial Manager / Cody Lang

contact Comments / feedback@verbnews.com / 306 881 8372 advertise / advertise@verbnews.com / 306 979 2253

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design Lead / andrew yanko Graphic designer / bryce kirk Contributing Photographers / Maxton Priebe, marc messett + jeff davis

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Photo: courtesy of ph

The times, they are a’ changin’ The Codette Hotel, new liquor laws, and stripping in Saskatchewan by ADAM HAWBOLDT

I

t’s Thursday, January 2nd, just after five o’clock in the evening. Earlier in the day, Secret and Mandy Mars had driven to Codette, a village of about 200 people east of Prince Albert, not far from Tisdale and Nipawin. The sun has just set, and in a room upstairs in the newly renovated Codette Hotel, Secret and Mandy Mars are showering, getting dressed, and preparing to perform. The day before, on January 1st, 2014, a new law came into effect in Saskatchewan. A new liquor regulation that allowed alcohol to be served during wet clothing contests and striptease performances. That’s why Secret and Mandy Mars are at the Codette Hotel. They’re exotic dancers who work for a company based out of Regina. In the upstairs room the girls rush to get ready. A few minutes before

showtime, the owner of the hotel comes to the door and tells them it’s time to go on. Secret goes first. A seasoned dancer who has worked stags and bachelor parties for the past few years, Secret walks seductively onto the stage. There’s a pole in the centre. In front of her are tables filled with people. On her far right is the bar, in the far back, left hand side of the room is a pool table. In between there are more tables. More people. The music starts up and Secret begins her routine. The first song ends and the second one kicks in. This is when Secret starts taking off her clothes, stripping down to her bra and underwear. Still dancing, still gyrating, still spinning and hoisting herself up on the pole. Engaging the crowd in an intimate, esoteric , erotic experience. When the third song starts, that’s when

Secret’s bra comes off. But not her underwear. According to the new law, Secret isn’t allowed to show her genitalia in places where liquor is served. No exotic dancers are. But she is allowed to take off her bra, provided her nipples are covered. And that’s what she does, revealing a pair of pasties. While she dances, Mandy Mars watches and waits. Her nerves are jangling, and butterflies are fluttering in her stomach. Soon it will be her turn to strip for the audience — something she has never done before.

The first strip club Mandy Mars ever went to was in Montreal. “They rooted me out and asked me if I wanted to strip,” she remembers. “But I refused. I asked them if I could just dance and

do privates, but they said if I really wanted to make money I’d have to put out a little bit. That’s not me. That’s not me at all.” But at the Codette Hotel, things are different. There’s no full nudity. No extras. No touching. “We’re not going in the back doing sexual favours,” explains Mandy Mars. “We’re just putting on a show. Our job is to tease them, not pleasure them.” Even so, in the moments leading up to her first exotic dance Mandy Mars is nervous. She struts back and forth off stage. To calm her nerves she takes a shot, then a couple more. Then it’s time to take the stage. “I’m a bit of an attention hog,” says Mandy Mars, “so soon as I got out there I sucked it up. They were all screaming and I told myself, ‘I got this.’” The day before Mandy Mars had invited Secret over to her house in Regina to learn some moves, learn how to exotic dance. Up there on the Codette stage, she puts the lesson to good use. A curvier girl than Secret, Mandy Mars plays to her strengths. “We both have different things that work for us. Secret is very thin. She does a lot of pole work and is an amazing dancer,” says Mandy Mars. “I have big boobs, big butt and thighs. So I shake my t**s or bend over and shake my ass to get them going. It makes them happy.” By the end of the first night, Mandy Mars is a bit tipsy. But for the next two nights, things are different. She becomes more comfortable on stage, more at ease with dancing and working the audience. And that’s not to say it’s easy work. By the end of the weekend, eleven stage performances and countless private dances later, both girls are exhausted and sore. Secret has taken to wearing duct tape around her wrists, which have been cut by the pole. Both have scrapes on their knees, which they have covered with make-up. After their sets, Secret and Mandy Mars will walk up the hotel steps and lay on the kitchen floor in their room to rest, too tired to move any farther. But for the girls, it’s worth it. “As much as people put stripping down, when I left the hotel my confidence was sky-high,” says Mandy Mars.

“It empowered me as a curvier girl. It made me feel good about myself.”

To hold a strip show at an out-of-theway place like the Codette Hotel may seem odd at first. But the more you look into it, the more it makes sense. In Regina, which both Secret and Mandy Mars call home, the introduction of the new liquor regulations have meant that city officials are scrambling to figure out how to deal with the situation. At the moment, it’s being recommended that zoning bylaws be adjusted so that “adult entertainment” establishments (like, say, strip clubs) are restricted to industrial areas. Farther north, in Saskatoon, such zoning bylaws are already in place. However, in Saskatoon existing bars will be allowed to hold strip shows once or twice a month. That’s what currently makes places like the Codette Hotel so attractive to strippers in Saskatchewan. Unhindered by municipal bylaws, the Codette Hotel can offer as many nights of strip shows as its owners see fit. The first time out it was a three-day affair. And while Secret, who is a talent manager at ReginaStrippers.com, is glad establishments like the Codette Hotel are stepping up, she admits it isn’t the ideal situation. “Where this club is, it’s a little difficult because it’s a little far,” she says. “In the winter it’s good for our girls because there aren’t as many stag shows, what we usually do. So it gives them somewhere to work. But when summer comes, it’s a little far to send our girls. They can potentially make as much money in one night in Regina doing a stag show as they would in a weekend [at the Codette].” Secret pauses. Her thoughts shift closer to home and she says, “If a club or clubs would open up in Regina, it would be great. A lot better for us.” And a lot better for anyone in Saskatchewan who wants to take advantage of the new laws and watch some exotic dancing. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbRegina ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Voyage to the Red Planet Two Saskatchewanians make it to the second phase of the Mars One project by ADAM HAWBOLDT

W

hen Justin Semenoff was young he was fascinated by space. Every chance he had he’d be outside gazing up at the stares, intrigued by what was out there, out beyond Earth. “I remember being a kid, outside looking up there, and my dad

would be like, ‘Oh, the Leonids meteor showers are happening,” recalls Semenoff. “Or we’d be out there and I’d see what I thought was a shooting star and Dad would be like, ‘No son, that’s a meteorite.’ So that’s where my interest in space and space programs sprang from.”

It was an interest that never wavered. As the years passed, Semenoff continued to be fascinated by space. Then late last year he found a way that maybe, possibly, there was an outside chance he’d be able to go to space. That chance came in the form of the Mars One — a space-exploration project that seeks to establish a human Continued on next page »

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applicants selected for a second round of interviews. He wasn’t the only person from Saskatchewan to get that message.

settlement on Mars. For Semenoff, a combat engineer from Saskatoon, the opportunity was too rare, too good, to pass up. “When I first saw it, first read about it, looked at the business model … I was captivated,” says Semenoff. “But it’s not my nature to just jump into something blindly. Before I filled out the application, I took everything into consideration. How it would affect my life? What kind of impact it would it have on me?” Eventually, Semenoff decided the rewards outweighed the risks and submitted an application video. On December 30th he received an email saying he was one of the 1,058

Four thousand miles away, in Oxford, England, Maegan Reed received the same email, telling her she’d made it to the next round of the Mars One selection process. It was an email she wasn’t really expecting. “When I saw Mars One online, it looked like such an amazing project. I just wanted to be involved so I applied,” says Reed, who grew up in Dalmeny. “But I never thought I’d get through to the next round. I mean, I’m not massively qualified. I have a degree in archaeology, I work in publishing here in Oxford. I’m not exactly a nuclear physicist or anything.” Thing is, the Mars One team isn’t looking for just nuclear physicists or astronaut types. “They are looking for different types of people, different personalities. They want normal people, normal citizens who are willing to take the adventure.” And should either Reed or Semenoff make it through, should they be selected to be one of the 24 people who may one day colonize Mars, what an adventure it will be. But it won’t be an easy one. Like the journeys taken by the ancient Chinese, the Vikings and all the famed explorers of Old World Europe before, the trip to Mars will be

fraught with danger, challenges and the unknown. “The project can be quite scary, if you think about it,” says Reed. “If you think about the radiation. If you think about the implications of leaving earth and never coming back.” Here Reed’s voice trails off a bit, as though lost in thought. Then she says, “But the opportunity to

simulation facilities for a few months every two years in groups of four. They will learn how to live in close quarters. Learn new skills like electrical repairs, cultivating crops, and how to deal with medical and dental issues. “At any given point you can back out,” explains Reed. “I don’t think until you’re put into training situations where you actually have to live that

…this is one of those sacrifices a person makes to fulfil their goal. justin semenoff

make history, to change history, it’d be worth any risk.” Risks that would linger every step of the way.

The plan to settle Mars goes something like this: once the final 24 candidates are selected, an unmanned mission will be launched in 2018. By the time the first team of four astronauts start their historic journey, the process by which they’ll enter Mars’ atmosphere will already have been tested and performed eight times. But before all that — before the unmanned mission, before humans ever set foot on Mars — there’s training to be done. Eight years of training. During that time, they will be isolated in

way can you know if you’ll be able to handle it.” If they can, and if they finish training, that’s when the journey begins. The flight from Earth to Mars will take about seven or eight months. Each team of four (they plan on sending six teams in total) will learn to exist aboard a spaceship for that long, eating dried and canned food. Wiping themselves down with wet towelettes in lieu of showering. There will be constant noise from ventilators, mandatory three-hour exercise routines a day, cramped living quarters. A tough way to spend a few months, to say the least. But not as tough as the job that’s ahead of them once they get to

Mars. Up there, where the gravitational field is 38%, where there’s radiation, and month-long dust storms and who knows what else what, the astronauts will have to build and maintain a settlement (inflatable components which contain bedrooms, working areas, a living room and a ‘plant production unit’). They’ll have to research and write reports. They’ll have to deal with severe isolation and the fact that there’s a damn good chance they’ll never see their loved ones again. This is a oneway ticket. At the moment we don’t have the technological know-how to bring them back. This isn’t lost on either Reed or Semenoff. They know what they could possibly be signing up for. Knew it all along. But it hasn’t deterred them. “You’d be leaving it all behind,” says Semenoff. “It weighs on a person’s mind. If someone says it doesn’t, they don’t know what a true friendship is or love. But this is one of those sacrifices a person makes to fulfil their goal. My goal is to see humanity progress and move towards trying to establish a footprint on Mars.”

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbRegina ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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editorial

Off the rails

We should not be running trains through the centre of town

A

nyone who lives in Regina knows one thing: trains running smackdab through the centre of the city can be a real nuisance. You know what we’re talking about. If you’ve done any amount of driving in this city, chances are you’ve found yourself stuck for a period of time at one of the numerous level crossings, watching the train cars as they pass. Waiting. Looking in your rear view mirror to see the line of traffic that has formed behind you. And chances are, while you were waiting, you were trying to get somewhere important. Like work. Or a meeting. Or an appointment. Yet there you are, stuck, watching the minutes tick by and cursing the train under your breath. We feel as though this problem has to be eradicated. Our city is growing, more people are moving about it every day, and frankly it seems counterintuitive that we still get hung up at level crossings. Which is why we propose that the rail yards and railways get relocated outside city limits, a move that will improve both safety and convenience for those living in Regina. Because believe it or not, level crossings can be kind of dangerous. Between 2003 and 2012, there were 2,162 level crossing accidents in Canada on federally regulated

railways. These accidents resulted in 266 deaths and more than 340 serious injuries. Ninety-four percent of said accidents involved a train and a motor vehicle. If you do the math, that’s an average of about 216 level crossing accidents, 27 deaths, and 35 serious injuries every year. Those are no small numbers, any way you want to slice it. Lac-Mégantic is of course the most prominent train disaster in recent memory, a tragedy that was magnified by the fact that when the train exploded it was rolling through the centre of town. But it is by no means the only example of a train causing mayhem. Last September 17 CN rail cars, carrying flammable petroleum, ethanol and other chemicals, derailed near Landis, Saskatchewan. In May, five cars on a CPR train derailed near Jansen, Saskatchewan, spilling more than 91,000 litres of oil. In April, 22 CPR train cars derailed near White River, Ontario, spilling 63,000 litres of oil. Luckily all these incidents occurred in rural settings and no one was injured. But still the risk is too high. Just imagine if one of those accidents occurred in the middle of our city — imagine if something like what happened in Lac-Mégantic happened here. It’s clear that we need to move the railways outside the city. And we’re not the only municipality that’s thought this. Places like Winnipeg and

Surrey, B.C., have brought a similar idea to the table, and we should too. So what to do with the existing infrastructure. You only need to look to Edmonton to see how they addressed the issue in a creative way that also helps stimulate the economy and recoup some of the costs. The Alberta city turned their old CN Yards into a hub of economic activity, and filled them with a college, condos, lofts, student housings, stores and a farmer’s market. Winnipeg took a similar approach, and turned its old CN yards into The Forks, a bustling green space that features river walks, tourist attractions, an extensive market and more. Undertaking a similar enterprise wouldn’t only benefit our community from a development/economic standpoint, it would also make our cities safer and rid us of the nuisance of waiting at a level crossing for the train to pass. Time and time again. 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 opening up Canadian skies to foreign carriers. Here's what you had to say:

– Flights might be expensive and timely in Canada but we’ve still got it pretty good here. Doubt this will fix the problem

– Flying in Canada is ludicrous you can go to Mexico for cheaper than halfway across the country. Something clearly needs to be done.

– Air Canada has a pretty terrible reputation, and if West Jet keeps going the way they are (smaller planes on shorter flights, less service) we are going to be left between a rock and a hard place if we want to travel by air in this country.

– Re Flight Fail Sounds great. Maybe Asiana will offer some cheap fairs and on time arrival!...or not. Obviously not aware of how good Canadians have it in a challenging and rarely profitable industry.

text yo thoughtsur to 881 ve r b 8372

families? Cry me a river. People everywhere got stuck nothing special. It happens.

– Two of the biggest problems facing Canada is the sheer size of our country and the number of people here. We don’t have the population density to support a third or fourth airline. Air Canada would crumble and take with it all those jobs.

– I don’t get the problems: it costs money to fly. Cheap airlines in Europe etc charge a ton if you want to even bring a bag so they don’t really work out being cheaper in the long run. Sometimes planes are late. Sometimes you get bumped. Sh#% happens. Stop being crybabies everyone and realize that this is part of it. You get traffic jams if you drive. Similar things.

– Another big explosion at the refinery. Whole city felt the blast. Nobody hurt. 40 years of hiring just smart enough!

OFF TOPIC

– What did the police do when they had to get rid of the fly? They brought in the S.W.A.T. team

– Verb, I wouldn’t waste time talking about witchcraft. It’s of no benefit to society to write about it. In response to “The truth about witches,” Local #110 (January 10, 2013)

– On some level greedy and jealous people know its wrong. Thats why they try so hard to hide it spin it as something else. Must be awful living with such feelings

– The reason why The Hobbit is turned into 3 seperate movies is because it is the last of the books so

they wanted to extend it as much as possible, I personally love the movies and can’t wait to see them

Next week: What do you think about getting rid of level crossings in the city?? Text in your thoughts to 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.

sound off – Air Canada: kinda works of you are with the government. Otherwise pass.

– A lot of people use work to try to make greed and self interest seem noble. Its just work. Everybody does it. Nothing special. Neither are you!

– The government should stop subsidizing Air Canada and put that money into improving the flying experience of the rest of Canadians.

– Contrary to popular belief most men have rich and deep emotions. They know what they’re feeling and why. Know what to do about it. Not suppressed, acted on.

– Very much agree with your ARTICLE FLIGHT FAIL. We are tired of the gougging of our air travels in Canada.

– Problems every now and then with flights cancelled or getting bumped I can deal with I understand the reason behind overbooking and I know that it can be hard to make money in that industry (though as a passenger I hardly feel like that’s my problem). What is a problem though is the cost and that is the biggest issue we need to address in this country.

– You guys got stuck in airports getting home from Christmas holidays you probably spent with your

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Blues Man Photos: courtesy of Ora Walker Photography

Manitoba country singer Quinton Blair on writing songs that matter by Alex J MacPherson

Q

uinton Blair is in an unusual predicament. A devotee of the titans of country music, from Hank Williams to Merle Haggard and beyond, Blair has struggled to get his music on radio stations dominated by pop music played by dudes wearing cowboy hats. After struggling to promote his first record, 2009’s Alone Under The Stars, Blair rethought his approach and emerged last year with Blues Man. A simple yet endearing collection of strippeddown story songs, Blues Man builds on the music its creator loves. Packed with stories of jilted lovers, wandering tramps, and the vast expanse of rural Manitoba, Blues Man imbues country music with new life. There are songs about drinkers and gamblers and farmers — the people we meet every day — all of them illuminated by simple guitar riffs and tasteful pedal steel licks. Blues Man marks a big step forward for Blair, who has succeeded in carving out a space for himself in a land dominated by big-budget productions and power chords. This is country music as it was meant to be played: simple, affecting, real. Earlier this month I caught up with Blair, a man who makes his living “one honky tonk at a time,” to talk about the fate of the music he knows and loves.

Alex J MacPherson: You’ve got a new album out, Blues Man, and it feels quite a bit different — more mature, more fully realized — than your last record. What led to the change?

country. And I can’t even listen to that. You’re faced with this battle: there’s money and notoriety in getting songs on the radio. And I have songs on the radio, but they’re in small markets because they’re small-town kind of songs. Blues Man is more of a honkytonk dive bar kind of thing. I need something where I can go in and say,

Quinton Blair: What ended up happening is I put out the first record, and the feedback that I got was it was a little bit too agricultural to be considered for radio play and then too glossy to get any kind of roots traction. It came out really, really great and sparkled, but it wasn’t a true representation of what my band was like. The second record we did with my band completely in-house: my producer is my guitar player, it’s my pedal steel player, my upright bass player. It’s very much a representation of what a live show is like. We played those songs for a year before we ended up putting them down in the studio. The John Hiatt mentality: you tour the record and then you go and record it.

country band.’ It’s this paradox, breaking down the definition, which is why I refer to it as honky-tonk. AJM: Which brings us to songwriting. It seems like what you tried to do on Blues Man is tell stories about real people without looking too hard for redemption or meaning — just telling the stories.

I have such a passion for the roots of country music… quinton blair

‘this is real, this isn’t manufactured or constructed in any way; this is real life.’ AJM: It’s a very strange problem, one that might even be unique, when songs with rural content aren’t necessarily considered country. QB: I have such a passion for the roots of country music, and part of what gets me so worked up — I get a little soapbox-y — is that the genre of country has absorbed classic rock, modern rock, and hip hop, and it has lost its identity as country. People in the music industry know that country, the bona fide definition of country, is actually Americana. But I play at a lot of rodeos and a lot of country fairs and if I phone them and go, ‘I play Americana,’ they’ll go, ‘Oh shoot, we were looking for a

AJM: That’s a thorny problem for a lot of musicians working in the vein of Hank Williams and Merle Haggard, balancing the need for radio play against a very strong songwriting tradition. QB: It can be tough. “Real” country, I’ll always sort of use that tagline, but when I’m calling a venue to book I actually call it honky-tonk, because when you call it country you think I’m going to play rock country and modern

QB: There are some songs that were hard for me to write and are hard for me to play. I want everything to be a reflection of me but there’s a lot of people who come to my shows that deal with different things. I had a song called “Honky Tonk Christmas” that was written in a George Jones style. I was sitting in a dive bar because that’s where I end up playing most of the time and this lady walks in. She’s brokenhearted, just hurting, and it’s December. It affects you. You’re sitting there going, ‘tomorrow night I’ve got to go to a family gathering.’ But I leave it completely open to what you want it to be about. Whether he’s cheating, whether he’s beating her up, whatever the case, she is at the lowest of lows at Christmastime and trying to deal with that. I want to

leave it open so it can connect with someone who’s really hurting. AJM: You also play a fair number of covers. How important is it to you to keep those songs, as well as the traditions of country music, alive onstage? QB: The songbook of music that has influenced me is so vast. I’m a guy who makes his living playing three hours a night and I hang on every minute of every song. I’ll play a ton of my own material which means I’ve only got room for maybe fifteen tunes by other people, which really means those songs have to mean the world to me. The hard part is the list of songs on that rotation. You’re looking at probably a hundred songs I want to play every night. Keeping that tradition alive is extremely important, and part of the way I do that is playing with the best musicians around — and leaving it completely open to them. I don’t like rehearsing, I don’t like beating a song to death: let’s play “Working Man’s Blues,” key of A, go. We’re going to deliver it in our own voice. It’s expression in the moment. Quinton Blair January 30 @ Artful Dodger $TBA Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbRegina amacpherson@verbnews.com

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arts

Edition Addition

The art of the numbered print

L

ast year, Timothy Long attended an opening for an exhibition by Micah Lexier, an artist from Winnipeg whose unorthodox work explores the nature of process, labour, and art itself. At the end of the evening, Long, who is head curator at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, decided to buy a limitededition multiple of the work, titled “Coin in the Corner.” Unusually, he was given the opportunity to select his own edition number, a privilege usually reserved by the artist. “I was just joking, but I said, ‘I’d hate to be stuck with an ugly edition like twenty-six out of fifty,’” he says with a laugh. “So I looked through and there was ten out of fifty, a nice elegant, round number. Then I was thinking about what it would be like to do a show where you just chose the works based on their edition number, just went through the sequence. Micah showed up a little bit later. I said to him, ‘by the way, I bought one of your multiples and

by alex J MacPherson

it gave me this idea for a show.’ He said, ‘That’s effing brilliant!’” Edition Addition is the show that emerged from Long’s idea. It consists of thirty prints from the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s permanent collection, each with a sequential edition number. These numbers are at first glance simple, practical things. The first number describes where in a series that specific print falls, the second the number of prints in the series. Edition Addition unfolds in numerical order, beginning with one and ending with thirty. Mining the permanent collection for the right edition numbers proved to be a daunting task. But after hours of painstaking research, Long discovered that he could construct a series the ran all the way to fifty-two. And for the first thirty pieces, he had several choices, often as many as fifteen — a testament to the strength of the gallery’s collection. But Edition Addition is not merely a random jumble of unrelated artworks. Unlike most exhibitions, which

are constructed around a theme or concept, the works in Edition Addition are connected by little more than the fact that they fit into a particular sequence. But Long’s selections are far from arbitrary. “Up to [the number] thirty I had multiple choices,” he says. “That brings up the whole question, what’s your methodology? On what basis are you making your selections? I thought about what would make a varied and interesting selection. I didn’t want it to look predictable; I wanted it to have an appearance of randomness, but within that I wanted some works with colour so that the wall wouldn’t be grey or black and white. In certain places I thought, I’ll punctuate with certain works that have an immediate visual impact.” Long also elected to include works that had not been shown, including an image of a woman sitting in a chair by the British artist Henry Moore, as well as pieces that contributed to the overall rhythm of the show. The works in Edition

Addition also show off the many different techniques used to produce fine art prints. In addition to a single photographic print by Stephen Livick, the exhibition includes what Long describes as “a cross-section of printmaking techniques of the last century.” From posters in editions of seven hundred or more to delicate lithographs in editions of ten or fewer, Edition Addition captures the breadth of a form that has been widely overlooked, probably because it blurs the line between unique objects and mass-produced posters — itself a question about the nature of art and artworks. The show also draws attention to what Long describes as “the framing device,” in this case the numbers used to organize the exhibition. “We should be aware of these frames,” he says, explaining that understanding presentation contributes to understanding the whole. “Maybe they don’t have a huge influence in how you look at an artwork, but never-

theless they are part of the whole apparatus. I like the edition number. Maybe people don’t look at all the writing at the bottom of the print, but it’s significant. It has a meaning.” In the end, Edition Addition is an unconventional and deeply interesting exhibition. Long’s decision to buy a limited edition artist multiple from Lexier spawned a show that addresses the often-overlooked art of printmaking and explores the murky waters of art and exclusivity. Curating the exhibition also gave Long a rare opportunity, the chance to include a work from his personal collection in the show. “That’s the other thing unique about this show,” he says with a laugh. “Usually the curator isn’t allowed to put their own artworks in a show, but with this one I thought I’d make an exception. It’s the Micah Lexier piece. It’s 10 out of 50.” Edition Addition Through February 23 @ MacKenzie Art Gallery

The Magic Flute

Regina Symphony Orchestra wind octet tackles one of Mozart’s masterpieces

I

n the late 18th century, moderately wealthy European aristocrats faced a problem. Unlike their much wealthier friends who could afford to hire an orchestra whenever a social occasion demanded music, these minor nobles risked squandering the inheritance every time they entertained. Instead of bankrupting themselves in an age when money and social status were essentially the same thing, these lords and ladies dreamed up the wind octet. Hiring eight musicians was much cheaper than hiring forty, and the wind octet allowed the good people of Prussia and Austria to enjoy fine music at a fraction the price of an orchestra. The idea gained traction, and for forty years reputable courts across the Continent employed

wind octets. Eventually, tightening budgets and European wars pushed residential performances into obscurity. But the form lived on in arrangements of works by, among others, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. “All of these things were arranged for wind octet, almost all courts had these wind octets, and it was a genre that came about in the 1780s and 90s,” says Jim Fitzpatrick, principal clarinetist in the Regina Symphony Orchestra. “And then it sort of died out a little bit. But thousands of these things are arranged for wind octet.” Last January, the Regina Symphony Orchestra performed a similar arrangement of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro as part of its Government House chamber music series. This year, the orchestra’s unconventional wind octet — which features both a

by alex J MacPherson

violin and a flute in addition to the usual complement of oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns — will tackle The Magic Flute, a singspiel opera premiered in 1791. Although it has been lavishly decorated on the stage and adapted for the big screens of Hollywood, Fitzpatrick says the stripped-down arrangement allows The Magic Flute’s score to shine. “Well, it’s Mozart,” he says with a laugh. “It’s understandably great music. It’s tuneful.” Mozart is undoubtedly the best known composer of his era and one of a few whose music has transcended the world of classical music. Fitzpatrick says there were plenty of talented composers working alongside Mozart who are virtually forgotten today, and attributes this to the primacy of melody. “I listen to a lot of lesserknown music,” he says, “and a lot

of it is excellently written and well crafted. One of the weaknesses I will point out is that they lack melody. There’s a melody there, of course, but they lack the tuneful folk concept of a melody that’s intrinsic when people hear it.” This is not the case with The Magic Flute, which has worked its way into the popular consciousness because its melodies are so potent. The wind octet arrangement consists of excerpts from various arias in the original operatic production. Unlike a symphony, which develops several themes over the course of half an hour or more, each section of The Magic Flute is self-contained. But by stripping away the excess — the huge sets, the sumptuous costumes, even the words themselves — Mozart’s melodies are given the opportunity to shine,

each note ringing clearly through the hall. “That’s one of the advantages of Government House,” Fitzpatrick says. “It’s an intimate setting. [The audience] is right there. Maybe it’s a little hard to see all the musicians because we’re sitting on the same level.” But it will not to be difficult to hear Mozart’s splendid melodies as they waft through the air, as fresh and vibrant in 2014 as they were in 1791. The Magic Flute January 25+26 @ Government House $40.95 + @ Regina Symphony Box Office, 791-6395

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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Feature

Ghost Notes Photo: courtesy of Sebastian Buzzalino

Calgary band Cowpuncher experiments with rock and roll on its latest LP by Alex J MacPherson

I

n late November, Cowpuncher released Ghost Notes, a collection of snarling alt-country songs tinged with the spirit of rough, honest rock and roll. The third album to emerge from Cowpuncher’s Calgary skunkworks, Ghost Notes marks a significant change of direction for the band. What began live as a loose folk-rock collective has evolved into a lean, tightly wound rock band. But according to Matt Olah, the group’s gravelvoiced and splendidly mustachioed frontman, the new record was never meant to change anything. “That’s just what we sound like,” he says from a McDonald’s restaurant in Edmonton, a fixture of the touring musician’s peripatetic lifestyle. “We don’t have the forethought to be like, this is the sound we’re going for. Maybe we’re getting better at it, but we’re not even really good at being, like, let’s make this kind of song. It’s more like, this is the idea and let’s

go with it. We used to be more in the country mode and we’re leaning more into the experimental rock mode now — and again, that wasn’t something we planned. It’s just what happened as we kept playing and kept writing.” Olah formed Cowpuncher in 2009 as an outlet for the country songs he was writing at the time. The group quickly grew into a loose collective of like-minded musicians, talented instrumentalists joined by their love of roots music. But while the band played edgy folk and rock-flavoured country, their shambolic live performances were straight from the pages of Hammer Of The Gods. It proved a potent combination, and Cowpuncher began to attract attention after the 2010 release of The Brown Album. “When I go see a show, I like to go and pump my fist and I want to see some guy sweating” he says, explaining that live performance has always been central to the band’s musical vision. “A lot of what I go see in the folk realm is so fey and precious and

low-key that it just puts me right to sleep. For better or worse, we like to sweat it out and put on a rock show and jump around and hurt ourselves and wreck stuff and kick over beers and ride around on people’s shoulders and have a good time.” After a pause he laughs and says, “That’s what I like and what I go for.” The release of Ghost Notes moved the band’s sound into line with its chaotic, beer-drenched live performances. As the spiky double guitar lick that opens “Raised On Rock ‘N Roll” crashes into the grinding rhythm and shouted chorus anyone who has done time in a dank rock club will recognize, it becomes clear that Ghost Notes is an unabashed rock record, beautiful in its simplicity. Although most of the record sounds like it was recorded live off the floor, Ghost Notes took Cowpuncher more than a year to make. The bulk of the record was cut in a Calgary machine shop by Josh Rob Gwilliam using a decommissioned CBC recording truck repurposed as a mobile studio. Continued on next page »

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record true to what audiences can expect to hear on stage. “The seveninch we did had a keyboard on it, an organ sound. But on this one it’s just what the band sounds like. A

“We didn’t really take time off to do it,” Olah says. “We did a weekend here, a weekend there. There was a lot of, ‘So we’re off this week, Josh, do you have any time? Come by and

trials of living on the road, “Brazilian Summer” a rollicking ode to the highway that conjures up the image of Bob Dylan at Newport. “Country Maiden” evokes the spirit of Stan

…we like to sweat it out and put on a rock show and jump around and hurt ourselves and wreck stuff and kick over beers… matt olah Photo: courtesy of Sebastian Buzzalino

we’ll do guitars.’ We’d show up wherever he had his truck and worked around everybody’s schedules that way.” Multi-tracking also gave each member of the band time to shine, Olah continues. “You went in maybe with one or two other guys to be like, ‘no, you can do that better,’ until you got it right. It was kind of neat to have your coach from the team to be that second set of ears.” The problems associated with getting a bunch of musicians into the same room at the same time — a difficult task under the best of circumstances — also contributed to the stripped-down lineup that appears on the record. Although the band began life as a collective and frequently performed as a seven-piece, Olah says scheduling problems and varying degrees of commitment drove the decision to cut Ghost Notes with just five musicians — himself, bassist Haley Hoeft, drummer Jeff Sulima, and guitarists Ryan Kelly and Scott Martin. “We’d play here and there but when we were on the road it was hard to get all seven guys to go out,” he says. “The more we played out of town, the more we realized that it was a five-piece band.” Last December, the band released a seven-inch single to test-drive the new lineup. The release, titled Hoosecow, became a prelude to Ghost Notes, a pair of rock songs featuring crunchy guitar chords, choppy solos, the relentless thump of Hoeft’s upright bass, and the unmistakable adenoidal blast of Olah’s vocals. Ghost Notes benefits from a similarly stripped-down sonic palette. According to Olah the band avoided overdubs, preferring to keep the

lot of times, especially with singersongwriters, they have this huge orchestral sound on their record, and then you go see them and it’s just them by themselves with an acoustic guitar. With us, what you see is what you get.” This is apparent from the opening chords of “Raised On Rock ‘N Roll,” a dystopian view of rural Alberta masquerading as a slice of feel-good Canadiana. “It’s almost misleading, because when my friends were into Iron Maiden I was into Jim Croce,” Olah says of the song, a simple two-minute fusillade of overdriven guitars and gang vocals. “It’s almost like a David Lynch song, where you look at a small town and from the outside it’s idyllic, but you don’t have to look too hard to see the ugly underbelly.” A staple of the band’s live show for the last twelve months, “Raised On Rock ‘N Roll” sets the tone for Ghost Notes, demonstrating how the best rock songs need little more than four chords, two licks, and a machine-gun bass line to flourish. The rest of the album unfolds in similar fashion. “Acetaminophen” is a fuzzed-out ballad about the

Jones’s classic “(Ghost) Riders In The Sky,” complete with guitar pyrotechnics and simple metaphors for love lost and found. Although Olah farmed out some songwriting duties to his bandmates — Hoeft wrote the punky surf-rock anthem “Ride My Wave” that brings the record to a close — he penned most of the lyrics himself. On Ghost Notes, Olah flits between earnest romanticism and profound cynicism, a combination that tends to manifest as bleak humour. “Backs Of Vans,” for example, is a tongue-in-cheek ode to rockstar excess: the drinking, the drug-taking, the uninhibited sex of the sort described in sordid rock memoirs. “Bridesmaids,” on the other hand, is a tender love song disguised as a snarky parting shot: “Always a bridesmaid, never the doom / I’m saying the c-word, it’s the last time you will hear it,” Olah wails over a bed of grinding guitars. If Ghost Notes has a theme, it is the fundamental problem facing anybody who plays in a rock and roll band. That is, the contrast between the temptation of life on the road and the desire to maintain

something resembling a stable life at home. “The one thing musicians love to do is complain about being a musician,” Olah says with a wry laugh. “It’s easy to look at how far you have to go and get discouraged by that side of it. We were talking with a buddy — he’s a visual artist, so he’s also in the game — and he was saying, ‘What are you talking about? You guys are on the cover of magazines and you’ve got all this press and you’ve got all these awesome shows.’ But from where we are we have a long way to go to be where we want to be.” Although it has only been available for a few months, Ghost Notes has catapulted Cowpuncher onto the radio and made bigger, longer tours possible. Which is where it all

starts to make sense, according to Olah. “We’re not young or pretty,” he says. “We’re really based on the live performance and we spend so much time writing and working on songs and rehearsing and playing shows that we don’t really have the time, frankly, to say we should do this or that. This is who we are and this is what we run with.”

Cowpuncher January 24 @ O’Hanlons Pub Free Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbRegina amacpherson@verbnews.com

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Photos: courtesy of Maxton Priebe

Hot to trot

Simmer Hot Pot hits the spot by maxton priebe

O

ur story begins amongst the perilous rugged beauty of the mountain ranges of far north China, some 1,000 years ago. As many of us know all too well, a bitter winter chill mixed with dangerous levels of cabin fever can

lead to moments of pure genius. While it can also lead to moments of insanity, eating out more often can help curb this (and besides, this is a tale of the former rather than the latter). It is said that soup is good for the soul, and while technically at

Simmer Hot Pot Restaurant the feast is more of a delicious steamy broth or stew, it’s an authentic traditional and downright entertaining way of preparing a meal. Now this might be a bad analogy, but bear with me. I’m a selfconfessed packet mix chef. I get a kick out of adding my two eggs and cup of water and watching the world rise before my eyes. While this may barely count as graduation from the school of the microwave meal, it’s the unmistakable feeling of being a part of something greater that keeps me cooking. I guess where I’m going with this is that Simmer Hot Pot Restaurant is about more than just getting served a great meal. You take part in an authentic and unique feasting art form. Presented with a veritable hot pot ready surf ‘n turf platter, I began by cautiously placing pieces of premium rib eye into a bubbling broth of ginger,

pepper and spices. Richard, the restaurant manager explains, “Care must be taken to slice the meat finely, allowing for as little cooking time as possible.” I’m told that from plate to pot it’s little more than seconds until the meat is good to go. ‘”It has to be healthy, good quality and fast, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your time!” Tender and delicious, the meal was complemented with flavourful ginger, garlic and cilantro dip, and for the less-faint-of-heart, a specially prepared house 3 pepper sauce. While at first I’ll admit I was a bit taken aback by the arsenal of utensils at my disposal, a quick bit of trial and error ensured this young grasshopper quickly mastered the tools of the trade. It wasn’t long before I was gleefully dunking fish, squid, pickled radish and vermicelli noodles into the mix. Once I really had a good thing

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide Mango Margarita

Ingredients

Even though we’re smack-dab in the middle of winter, you can enjoy the taste of summer with this delightful refreshing take on a classic margarita.

1.5 ounces of tequila 1 ounce mange liqueur 1/2 lime juice ice

going, I had a moment to take in my surroundings. Warm and inviting, the interior is furnished with a bevy of imported Chinese décor. Walls adorned with an impressive, detailed Chinese tapestry depicting the simple pleasures of the daily grind are balanced with an array of Chinese characters expressing various ‘words to live by.’ Richard jokingly adds, “Balance, family, harmony and eating at Simmer Hot Pot Restaurant are all an important part of a good life.” He just might be onto something! Dining at Simmer is as much a lesson in relaxation as it is a culinary experience. As Richard and I chat I began to understand that what makes Simmer special is that it provides a chance to appreciate the fine details of living in the moment. Strange as it may sound, there’s something almost spiritual about the craft of preparing one’s hot pot. It’s easy to imagine the ritual of gathering with friends and loved ones to share in the timeless experience, and for a truly unique, healthy lunch or dinner I couldn’t recommend it any more! Simmer Hot Pot 2201 Broad St. | 306 543 0008

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372 directions

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in all ingredients, and shake well. Strain into a chilled margarita glass and enjoy.

@VerbRegina feedback@verbnews.com

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music

Next Week

coming up

Small City Blues

Dallas Smith Binder Twine and the Balers

@ The Exchange Saturday, January 25 – $10

@ Artful Dodger Friday, January 31 – Cover tbd

@ Brandt Centre Saturday, April 19 – $50+

What’s in a name? When it comes to musical acts, sometimes you can tell right away what kind of music they play, what kind of band they are, strictly from their name. For instance, how could a band named Blitzkrieg or Black Death play anything but metal? How could MC Ren be anything other than a rapper? But with Small City Blues it’s not that simple. When you first see the name you think they play blues tunes, but here’s the thing: they don’t. Hailing from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Adam Hoffart, Austin Kot, Dalton Lemon and Izak Keller play a high-energy brand of hard rock music, with epic guitar solos and an in-your-face rhythm section. They’ll be appearing with Carson Aaron next weekend at The Exchange. Tickets available at www.carsonaaron.com.

Bluegrass music was born in the Appalachian region of the United States, a region that stretches from southern New York to northern Alabama. Back in the 18th century this area was settled by many English and Ulster-Scot immigrants who brought with them the music of their homeland. Soon this music began to evolve and bluegrass was born. And lucky it was, because if you’ve ever seen Regina’s Binder Twine and the Balers you know just how awesome and entertaining it can be. Consisting of Jack Dublanica (banjo), Sean Farr (mandolin/vocals), Trevor Bennett (bass), and Anthony Bzdell (guitar vocals), Binder Twine and the Balers play an infectious, all-acoustic brand of bluegrass that’ll make you want to take a slug of moonshine and dance the night away.

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 — 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. In 2012 he released his first solo country album, Jumped Right In. For the former Default frontman, country music has always been about the “special combination of voice and song,” a combination that immediately stands out on his latest record. Come join Dallas Smith when he opens for Florida Georgia Line in April. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. – By Adam Hawboldt

Photos courtesy of: the artist/ truncata/ amanda ash

Sask music Preview SaskMusic is pleased to announce the call for submissions for their 2014 compilation album, In Tune. Intended for promotion and distribution to Canadian media and industry professionals, as well as some international markets, In Tune will represent the best new music by Saskatchewan’s diverse array of artists. Interested musicians are asked to apply online at https://saskmusic.wufoo.com/forms/intune-2014/ by Monday, January 20 at 4pm. Artists must be current members of SaskMusic, Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, and permanent residents of Saskatchewan. Keep up with Saskatchewan music. saskmusic.org

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january 17 » january 25 The most complete live music listings for Regina. S

M

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T

17 18

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Friday 17

White Woman / Artful Dodger — Along with Rainbow Puma and Peanut Butter Genocide. 8pm / Cover TBD Neil Young / Conexus Arts Centre — A Canadian icon appearing with special guest Diana Krall. 7:30pm / $57+ Hugh Poorman, the Snake Oil Salesmen / The Exchange — Deep feeling rock with an alt-country opener. 8pm / $10 DJ Pat & DJ Kim / Habano’s Club — Local DJs spin top 40 hits. 9pm / $5 cover Big Chill Fridays / Lancaster Taphouse — Come out and get your weekend started with DJ Fatbot, who’ll be doing his spinning thing every Friday night. 10pm / Cover TBD Darcy Playground / McNally’s Tavern — Classic rock and pop covers. 10pm / $5 Longshot / Pump Roadhouse — Country rockers who will have you moving and grooving. 10pm / Cover TBD Albert / Pure Ultra Lounge — Appearing every Friday night, come listen to Albert as he does his spinning thing. 10pm / $5 cover 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 Chris Henderson / Whiskey Saloon — One of the good guys of country music. 9pm / $10

Saturday 18

Shred Kelly / Artful Dodger — Playing rockin’ folk tunes. 8pm / Cover TBD The Band Perry / Brandt Centre — This country music trio is in the middle of their We Are Pioneers World Tour 2014. 7:30pm / $43.25+ (ticketmaster.ca) RSO Mosaic Masterwork Presents: Scheherazade / Conexus Arts Centre — The music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. 8pm / Tickets at reginasymphony.com Casey Stone Band / Lancaster Taphouse — Swing on by for a rockin’ good time. 9pm / No cover Darcy Playground / McNally’s Tavern — Classic rock and pop covers. 10pm / $5

Longshot / Pump Roadhouse — Country rockers who will have you moving and grooving. 10pm / Cover TBD Wafflehouse / Pure Ultra Lounge — Doing what he does best, every Saturday night. 10pm / $5 cover Chris Henderson / Whiskey Saloon — One of the good guys of country music. 9pm / $10

The Steadies / McNally’s Tavern — Come get your reggae on. 10pm / $5 The Valentinos / Pump Roadhouse — A Winnipeg-based party band. 10pm / Cover TBD Albert / Pure Ultra Lounge — Appearing every Friday night, come listen to Albert as he does his spinning thing. 10pm / $5 cover 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

Monday 20

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

JJ Voss / Whiskey Saloon — Outlaw country from Queen City. 9pm / $10

Saturday 25

Carson Aaron / The Exchange — A night filled with rock music. 8pm / $10 Mailmen’s Children / Lancaster — These guys rock — HARD! 9pm / No cover The Steadies / McNally’s Tavern — Come get your reggae on. 10pm / $5 The Valentinos / Pump Roadhouse — A Winnipeg-based party band. 10pm / Cover TBD

Wafflehouse / Pure Ultra Lounge — Doing what he does best, every Saturday night. 10pm / $5 cover JJ Voss / Whiskey Saloon — Outlaw country from Queen City. 9pm / $10

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

Wednesday 22

Wednesday Night Folk / Bushwakker Brewpub — Featuring Chad Kichula and the Garage. 9pm / No cover Jam Night and Open Stage / McNally’s Tavern — Come on down and enjoy some local talent. 9pm / No cover

Thursday 23

Paddy Tutty / The Club — Folk artist from Saskatoon. 8pm / $15 Decibel Frequency / Gabbo’s Nightclub — A night of electronic fun. 10pm / Cover $5 PS Fresh / The Hookah Lounge — DJ Ageless started spinning in Montreal, DJ Drewski started in Saskatoon. They both landed in Regina and have come together to sling some bomb beats. 7pm / No cover Open Mic Night / King’s Head Tavern — Come out, play some tunes, sing some songs, and show Regina what you got. 8pm / No cover The Valentinos / Pump Roadhouse — A Winnipeg-based party band. 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Longhorn / Whiskey Saloon — Come check out one of Regina’s most interactive DJs. 8pm / Cover TBD JJ Voss / Whiskey Saloon — Outlaw country from Queen City. 9pm / $5

Friday 24

Dave Gunning / Artful Dodger — A talented folk singer/songwriter from the east coast. 8pm / Cover TBD Vince Neil / Casino Regina — Former Motley Crue frontman playing all your favourite Motley Crue hits. 8pm / $55+ DJ Pat & DJ Kim / Habano’s Martini & Cocktail Club — Local DJs spin top 40 hits every Friday night that are sure to get you on the dance floor. 9pm / $5 cover Big Chill Fridays / Lancaster Taphouse — Come out and get your weekend started with DJ Fatbot. 10pm / Cover TBD

14 Jan 17 – Jan 23 entertainment

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Nightlife

saturday, january 11 @

Bushwakker

Bushwakker Brewpub 2206 Dewdney Avenue (306) 359 7276

Check out our Facebook page! These photos will be uploaded to Facebook on Friday, January 24. facebook.com/verbregina

Photography by Marc Messett

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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Guess who’s back?

Jack Ryan returns in a reboot of an old favourite by adam hawboldt

I

‘ll never forget the first Jack Ryan movie I watched in theatre. It was Ottawa. The year was 2002. The movie was The Sum of All Fears. Prior to that, I’d seen all the Jack Ryan films — The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games. Clear and Present Danger. But I saw them all on VHS or DVD. And I dug them. There was something about Jack

Ryan (this time around being played by Chris Pine). Seeing as this is a reboot, a reimagining of Tom Clancy’s vision, Ryan is still a student when 9/11

back. Reminded them of a not-sodistant event that they were still trying to come to terms with. Right. And the only reason I mention this is because Kenneth

Ryan (whether played by Alec Baldwin or Harrison Ford) that I found compelling. Something in the way they portrayed the reluctant, uber-intelligent hero that appealed to me. So when The Sum of All Fears came out I decided to see it in a theatre. And if you’ve ever seen the movie you’ll know that, at one point in The Sum of All Fears, a nuke is dropped on a football field. The moment that explosion went off I looked around the room and every last face was frozen in shock. Not a word was spoken. Now, you have realize this wasn’t long after 9/11, and seeing something like that blew people’s hair

The only thing that isn’t good about the movie is the script. It’s too formulaic… Adam Hawboldt

Branagh’s latest film, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, begins with the destruction of the World Trade Towers being watched on television by Jack

happens, at the London School of Economics. He doesn’t like what he sees so he enlists in the Marines, gets shot down in a helicopter while on tour in Afghanistan, and meets a pretty young nurse named Cathy (Keira Knightley) — whom he eventually marries. Soon he’s recruited by the CIA (by Kevin Costner, to be precise), and is set up, under cover, as a financial intelligence analyst on Wall Street. He does that for 10 years. Then one day he’s told he’s going to Moscow. Why? Because there’s a dastardly Russian who is trying to bring about the collapse of the American economy, as well as the destruction of lower Manhattan in a terrorist attack. The bad guy, we later find out, is a scheming oligarch named Viktor Cheverin (played by Branagh, who did double duty as director).

jack ryan: shadow recruit Kenneth Branagh Starring Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh Directed by

106 minutes | 14A

Jack Ryan’s goal? To stop Cheverin, naturally. And that’s about as much of the plot as I’m willing to give away at the moment. But rest easy knowing that Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is neither the worst nor the best of the series. The worst was easily The Sum of All Fears. The best, no doubt, was The Hunt for Red October. This one fits in there nicely, right around Patriot Games. Maybe not that good, but close. Pine is solid as Jack Ryan, Costner is good in his role, Knightley and Branagh, too. The only thing that isn’t good about the movie is the script. It’s too formulaic, too predictable. A tweak here and a twist there and who knows how good this movie could’ve been. That said, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is still a decent spy movie. It just won’t blow your hair back.

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In the background

Fascinating new documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom, looks at the life and times of renowned back-up singers by adam hawboldt

Photo: Courtesy of The weinstein company

R

ape, murder! It’s just a shot away It’s just a shot away.” Quick, what song is that from? If you answered “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones, you’re absolutely right. Now for a tougher question: who sang that line, right around the three-minute mark of the song? Here’s a hint. It wasn’t Mick Jagger. It wasn’t Keith Richards, either (though there is an eerie version in which he does sing those lyrics). Okay, do you give up? The lady’s name was Merry Clayton. A former Raelette with

Ray Charles, who also sang on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” Clayton is one of the back-up singers interviewed in

There’s Lisa Fisher, who sang with Sting and won a Grammy, but didn’t seize the moment to launch her solo career. There’s Claudia

…for one reason or another, not everyone is destined to be a star. Adam Hawboldt

Morgan Neville’s new film, 20 Feet from Stardom. She’s not the only one.

Lennear, a former Ikette with Ike Turner, who Mick Jagger wrote the song “Brown Sugar” about. Then

there’s Darlene Love, a staple on records by everyone from Frank Sinatra to James Brown, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. These are just a handful of the dozen or so back-up singers that Neville sits down and chats with during the 89-minute duration of his film. And their stories, well, they really are something. Some are sad, some are uplifting, some are enlightening. But all are entertaining, giving the viewer an intimate look into the oft-overlooked world of back-up singing. But don’t be mistaken. 20 Feet from Stardom isn’t just some woeis-me tale about a bunch of talented people who didn’t make it as far as they liked in the industry. No. It’s also an examination of how important these singers are to the creation of timeless songs and just how damn hard it is to make the leap from background to centre stage. According to Bruce Springsteen — one of the many frontmen recruited by Neville for the film — to make that leap: “You gotta have that narcissism … You gotta have that ego.” And even if you have the aforementioned things, along with the necessary musical chops, making it in the music industry is definitely no easy task.“It’s not a level playing field,” explains Sting, on the documentary. “It’s not about fairness, not really about talent. It’s circumstance, it’s luck, it’s destiny.”

20 feet from stardom Directed by Morgan Neville Starring Darlene Love + Judith Hill 89 minutes | NR

Therein lies the theme of 20 Feet from Stardom: for one reason or another, not everyone is destined to be a star. In fact, there isn’t even one particular star of this excellent documentary. All these renowned back-up singers share centre stage, tell their stories and leave the viewer with the feeling that “Hot damn! These singers may not have made it to the apex, but without them some of our favourite songs just might not be our favourite songs.” And while the film drags a bit at times, and will remind some of 2002’s Standing in the Shadows of Motown, there are enough snappy interviews and clips of lost footage that it’s one of those must-see documentaries. 20 Feet from Stardom will be playing at the Regina Public Library starting January 23; see reginalibrary.ca for more information.

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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

29. Rich game stew 32. Annoying 36. Before prefix 37. Book in French 39. Argue noisily 40. Formerly 42. Flower necklace 43. Quote as an example 44. Japanese condiment 46. Dashboard dials 48. Photograph pigment 49. A repeated behaviour 50. Tear into pieces 51. Soon afterward

. Respectful greeting 1 2. Allowing access to the inside 3. Cambodian coin 4. Brownish songbird 5. Chaotic situation 6. Charged particle 7. Forehead 8. Layers 9. Arum lily 11. Widespread devastation 12. What oolong and pekoe are 14. Hung onto 17. Stop blaming 20. Be of use to 21. Male duck

24. Unit of electrical resistance 26. Printing measures 28. Ideal future husband 29. Pour out forcefully 30. Tapestry curtain 31. Not as important 33. Source 34. Church composition 35. Farm animals 38. Poem by Homer 41. Kind of measure 43. Object with four sides, a top and a bottom 45. Compost container 47. Sound of relief

sudoku answer key

A

B

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

1. Not bad 5. Brothers and sisters 9. Reckless adventure 10. Direction in which a compass needle points 12. Above average ability 13. Jacket worn in arctic regions 15. Spirit 16. No longer scheduled 18. Informal greeting 19. In the manner of 20. In a spoken voice 22. Uppermost part 23. Russian tea urn 25. Change chemically 27. Letter game

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

ACROSS

© walter D. Feener 2014

Horoscopes january 17 - january 23 Aries March 21–April 19

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

You will enjoy an enlightening discussion at some point this week, Aries. It will stimulate your mind and could open your eyes to new things.

Have you been putting off a creative project lately, Leo? If so, this week is a great time to start it — your creative juices will be flowing.

Don’t be too quick to congratulate yourself this week, Sagittarius. Though you have done a good job, it could prove costly in the near future.

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

A get-together will provide you with the perfect outlet to unwind this week, Taurus. Let the worries of the world roll away, and relax.

Good news should be coming your way this week, Virgo. You will spend the rest of the day basking in its glow.

You will be particularly positive and charming this week, Capricorn. Put this to good use — your powers of persuasion will know no bounds.

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

Take it easy the next couple of days, Gemini. There is much change looming in your future, so take the time now to recharge your batteries.

Success and good fortune will be bestowed upon you this week, Libra. Enjoy it while it lasts, for like everything in this universe, it is fleeting.

Your enthusiasm and energy may be running extremely low this week, Aquarius. But don’t let that stop you or slow you down. Now’s not the time.

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

Your relationship with someone — friend, lover, family — may be strained in the coming days. Avoid making any remarks you can’t take back.

Make sure that you’re thoroughly informed about all matters this week, Scorpio. You won’t regret it, that’s for sure.

Is there a trip you’ve been wanting/planning to take, Pisces? If that’s the case, remember: there’s no time like the present.

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

crossword answer key

A

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

B

19 Jan 17 – Jan 23 /verbregina

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Ron Burgundy’s Ride

Phony newsman driving huge sales for Dodge Durango by jeff davis

W

hat happens when you combine the world’s sexiest local news anchor with a tired old Dodge SUV? Pure auto industry magic. In October, Dodge released a series of 70 television spots featuring actor Will Ferrell in the role of Ron Burgundy, star of the beloved Anchorman movies, endorsing the Durango. The zany ads are flakes of comedy gold, providing a long-awaited shot of Burgundy, and comparatively little about the Durango. Appearing in character for a late night interview with Conan O’Brien, Burgundy (in a stunning feat of reverse psychology) commented that the only thing amazing about the Durango is how terrible it is. “They gave me one for free …

I drove it four feet and the thing cracked in half,” Burgundy said. “Just horrible craftsmanship.” The whole stunt amounted to an out-and-out publicity coup for Dodge. Web searches for “2014 Durango” jumped by 89 per cent, and sales blasted upwards by an amazing 59 per cent. So while Ron Burgundy certainly does have exquisite taste in whiskey and (dare I say) women, should we really be taking his advice on cars? We decided to take a 2014 Durango on the road and find out for ourselves. The all-wheel drive “Limited” version of the Durango we took out would cost $52,645 to drive off the lot. It had a 3.6 litre V6 engine producing 290 horsepower and claims it can do 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

2014 Dodge Durango Limited 3.6 L V6 engine 290 Brakes: 4-wheel ABS trunk size: 487 L (seats up) Engine:

Horsepower:

The first impressions was that this is a very big, pretty darn serious ride. It has seats for seven, the back two of which fold down for a cavernous trunk. It is also superbly equipped, with a few features that would make life awful easy in our cold climate. It has heated seats, sophisticated climate control and — best of all — an exquisite heated leather steering wheel that makes winter driving a pleasure. Head and leg room is ample in all but the third row, and the seats Continued on next page »

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all Photos: Courtesy of jeff davis

are comfortable and roomy. The large centre console touch screen features some mercifully intuitive software, and syncing smartphones takes mere seconds. The console computer can apparently support for-purchase Dodge apps as well, though none were loaded when we took it out. Another large screen appears behind the steering wheel, in place of a traditional instrument panel. This is customizable to show speed in miles or kilometres per hour, and can also show tire pressure, range or virtually whatever else you’d like to see. The traditional gear shifter on this 8-speed automatic has been replaced by a clever selector knob, which is round and flat and takes up very little room. Turning this knob to switch gears was a new and novel experience, while paddle shifters on

the knob provided additional engine control when desired. A smart key fob and push button start, plus a driver’s seat that remembers the seat and mirror positions for multiple drivers, make a powerful impression. It’s clear Dodge has gone to some lengths to make driving the Durango a pleasurable and relaxing experience, with a minimum of effort required. To keep your kids distracted during long trips, this well-equipped Durango had an impressive backseat entertainment system with CD/DVD and two sizable flat screens. Each came complete with power plugs plus USB, HDMI and RCA hookups. Conceivably, you could hook up two game systems at the same time. In a similar vein, the centre console has an auxiliary audio jack, and also accepts USB and SD cards. Add these to standard Bluetooth, and the Durango accepts virtually every audiovisual format except cassette tape. Gadgetry aside, the Durango is a decent vehicle to drive. The driving position is very high, and there is ample ground clearance, giving a sense of safety and control. It drives through six inches of snow like it’s not even there, and doesn’t have as severe a body roll as expected in hard turns. Given its significant weight and girth, the Durango isn’t a fast vehicle. It emits a hearty growl when you put

the pedal down, but it’s nothing too exciting. To keep the Durango’s thirst in check, there is an eco-mode button on the centre console that limits RPMs to 3000, ensuring reasonable fuel consumption. Long road trips are made easy and safe thanks to a system called adaptive cruise control. With this engaged, the Durango will match the speed of cars ahead of it, instead of merely plowing into them. Other sensors are located on the rear corners, and sound an alarm when they detect cars coming from odd angles in parking lots. For many years the Durango was more or less overlooked by the lion’s share of the North American SUV market. This is likely because it somehow doesn’t quite pass the price versus value sniff test. For the $52,000 you’d shell out for a well-equipped Durango, you could have a true luxury ride like the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 or BMW X5. Compared to the Dodge, these have much better quality and breeding. All in all, the Durango is a lot like Burgundy himself: charismatic, charming and certainly well groomed … but just a little lacking in class. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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Out with the old, in with the new Ford Taurus replaces classic Crown Vic Interceptor by jeff davis

F

or anyone under the age of 30, the Crown Victoria is perhaps the only police car you’ve ever really known (or sat in the back of). Since it entered service in 1992, the venerable Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor — better known as the ‘Crown Vic’ — has been, by far and away, the most widely used police car in North America. And now it’s being put out to pasture, for good. On September 15, 2011 the last new Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line and manufacturing stopped altogether. Since then, police forces have been searching for a replacement.

all Photos: Courtesy of jeff davis

an easy car to love. “I’ve always liked it,” he says. “They’re a really hardy vehicle, and I have no complaints about the Crown Vic at all.” Despite his affection for the Crown Vic, Boensch says he’s quite impressed by the first new — and for now only — Ford Interceptor that the SPS has put into service. Compared to the Crown Vic, the new Interceptor is lighter and faster. Its V6 cranks out 305 horsepower (or 365 with the EcoBoost engine), while the Crown Vic’s big block V8 produces just 250. And since many police cars are driven 18 or even 24 hours per day, sometimes for weeks on end, the new

But now they are embracing a new ride that we will all doubtless become familiar with, though hopefully not for the wrong reasons. It’s called the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan, and it’s perhaps the first car to be specifically built from the ground up as a police car. Before going to the drawing board, Ford engineers talked to cops all across North America and asked what they really need in a vehicle. What they got back was a pretty long list of demands, and a lot of praise for the old Crown Vic. Sgt. Tony Boensch is a driving instructor with the Saskatoon Police Service, and says the old Crown Vic is

Interceptor has an extra-large cooling system to extend engine life. It’s also got side airbags and a reinforced alloy “safety cell” to protect officers in crashes, even if the car is rear ended at 75 miles per hour. For chases it has a tuned suspension and heavy duty wheels, plus other perks like a huge alternator to power electronic police gadgets. For patrolling particularly rough neighbourhoods, cops can get Level III ballistic plates built into the front doors that can stop an AK-47 bullet. Staff Sgt. Keon Sproule, commander of the University of Saskatchewan Protective Services, says his force put its first new Interceptor on the road about a month ago. He said the new Interceptor came highly recommended by police in Regina and Prince Albert. “We’re all looking at this vehicle,” he says. “The biggest thing is how it handles.” You can really tell this was built to be a police car, Sproule says, since all the extra wiring and power outlets needed to run computers, radios, lights and in-car cameras come standard. This is far better than buying a civilian car, then drilling holes everywhere and ending up with a bulky mess of exposed wires. The Interceptor handles nimbly, Sproule says, even in heavy snow. One very noticeable difference — one that will be particularly noticeable

to perps — is the much, much smaller backseat. From the looks of it, this would be a very uncomfortable ride, even for medium sized people. “That entire vehicle is not made to transport people too far, too long in the backseat,” Sproule says. “But it is what it is.” Boensch says many younger police recruits find it difficult to adapt to the large, cumbersome Crown Victoria, and the different type of steering rearwheel drive requires. The new car, by contrast, will feel much more familiar. “Not a lot of 25-year-old people who’ve been driving for 10 years have driven a big, rear-wheel drive sedan,” he says. “They’re most used to Honda Civics and Accords and things like that — smaller, front wheel drive sedans.” For heavier duty and more demanding driving conditions, Ford has also made an SUV: the Police Interceptor Utility. Based on the Ford Explorer it has more cargo space, can handle off-road conditions and is the first pursuit-rated SUV available to police. The sedan and SUV model have cleverly been designed to share many parts. “That’s what our mechanics really like — it’s all interchangeable,” Boensch says. “So if one gets wrecked or decommissioned, they can use parts from the car on the SUV.” Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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Profile for Parity Publishing Inc.

Verb Issue R111 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)  

Verb Issue R111 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)

Verb Issue R111 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)  

Verb Issue R111 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)

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