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Issue #112 – January 24 to January 30

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+ one heckuva run Jungle Jim Hunter’s unorthodox road to the Olympics warning: spoilers Q+A with the Spoils the human scale + devil’s due Films reviewed­

Photo: courtesy of warner music canada


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On the cover:

brett kissel

From Alberta to Nashville. 10 / feature Photo: courtesy of Warner Music Canada

culture

NEWs + Opinion

entertainment

Q + A with the spoils

Live Music listings

Rock duo looks ahead to 2014. 8 / Q + A

Local music listings for January 24 through February 1. 14 / listings

the art of scouting

in praise of beer

Nightlife Photos

Russ Kutzak’s life on the road. 3 / Local

Festiv-Ale celebrates the best in brews. 9 / Arts

We visit The Owl.

tree line Amy Dryer’s expressionist paintings.

Devil’s due + The Human Scale

9 / Arts

We review the latest movies. 16 / Film

15 / Nightlife

one heckuva run Jungle Jim Hunter’s unorthodox road to the Olympics. 4 / Local

can we talk?

veggie delight

on the bus

Our thoughts on Neil Young and the oilsands debate. 6 / Editorial

We visit the Green Spot Cafe. 12 / Food

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

+ Drink

comments

Music

Game + Horoscopes

Here’s what you had to say about level crossings. 7 / comments

The Stillhouse Poets, Soulfly + Matt Webb.

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

13 / music

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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 / MJ DESCHAMPS

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The Art of Scouting Photo: courtesy of ingtersubjectiv

Russ Kutzak and the life of a WHL scout by ADAM HAWBOLDT

G

ames at the John Reid Memorial Bantam AAA Hockey Tournament start at 8am every morning. But for Russ Kutzak, the day starts a lot earlier than that. For Kutzak, the Regina Pats’ traveling scout, weekend hockey tournaments like this one mean he’s waking up well before sunrise, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6am. There’s a shower to be had, morning rituals to go through, breakfast to be eaten, and the day’s schedule to be prepared. “You have to line up all the teams you want to see beforehand,” says Kutzak, now in his 11th year as a WHL scout. “At a tournament like this, you’re running back and forth between three rinks. So you have to pinpoint the games you want to watch, the players you want to see, and have all your rosters in a row so when you get there, for the first game of the day, you open your book and you have the two teams that are playing looking right at you.” Once everything is organized, Kutzak heads to the rink. Usually he gets there about a half hour before the first game. He watches the warm-ups, and takes his seat. After that, after the opening face-off, that’s when Kutzak really dials in. He has to. There’s so much to watch. There are lots of players to see. Big ones, small ones. Fast ones, slow ones. Tough and tender. You have to watch

them while they’re on the ice and when they’re on the bench. You have to watch them when they have the puck, see what they do without the puck. You have to assess their skating, hockey IQ, and compete level. Watch all that, and eventually you’ll see something you like. Something your team will need. “It’s hard to explain, but some players just jump out at you,” says Kutzak. “Some players show themselves easy, others you really have to look at. Again and again. The ones that jump out, they’re the ones you want playing on your team. A good player, you’ll spot him. Think of it like this: say you’re at a race track and there are a bunch of old cars, then you have this brand new, souped up car sitting there too. You’re going to notice that vehicle. It’s kind of the same thing with scouting.”

The life of a WHL scout is a life of travel. Based out of Winnipeg, Russ Kutzak spends a good deal of his winter driving around Manitoba, and heading to tournaments in Regina and Saskatoon. And the winters in Western Canada being what they are, it’s not always easy. “Some days are tough,” says Kutzak. “Don’t get me wrong, most days you love it. It’s fantastic. But every now and then you get the

odd trip when it’s snowy and blowy and you ask yourself ‘What the heck am I doing?’” Kutzak had one such trip a few years ago. “One game I went to watch a team play in Brandon,” remembers Kutzak. “It was a beautiful day when I left. I got there, watched the game. And when I got out of the rink at about 10pm it was snowing like you wouldn’t believe. Took me almost five hours to get home to Winnipeg. It was white-knuckled the whole way. My wife was with me and she said, ‘You know what? You’re crazy doing this.’ And maybe I am, but like I said, most days you just love it.” It’s precisely that love, that passion, every good scout needs to be good at what they do. And Kutzak? He’s good at what he does. While scouting with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the early days of his career he helped bring in guys like Dustin Boyd, Troy Brouwer and Kyle Brodziak (all three of whom went on to play in the NHL). With the Saskatoon Blades, he scouted and helped bring in players like Duncan Siemens (taken #11 overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft), Dalton Thrower (#51 overall in 2012) and Josh Nicholls (#180 in 2012). Now he’s trying to find similar talent for the Pats organization. That’s why he’s at the John Reid

Memorial tournament in Alberta. That’s why he spends so many of his winter weekends on the road — he loves his job and he wants to make his team better.

The days spent scouting bantam hockey tournaments are long. The first games start at 8am, you don’t finish until 10pm. Other than a brief break for lunch, you’re in rinks the entire time. It’s hockey, hockey, hockey, all day long. And it’s not just a matter of watching each game, looking for the players that jump out. There’s an art to scouting. Not only are you studying players, you’re also formulating something called a projection. “A lot of guys are good, but you have to try to figure out how good they’re going to be down the line,” says Kutzak. No easy task when the players that you’re watching are just 14 years old. “The bigger guys, they’re a little klutzy at that age,” says Kutzak. “You look at a guy and think, he’s got to become a better skater. He’s got a good shot, smart with the puck, but he’s sluggish, awkward. Then you look at

a guy that’s 5’9” he’s a scooter. He’s going, he’s busy, you see him. But, at the end of the day, that’s all he’s going to be.” Here Kutzak pauses, and screams echo in the rink behind him. And he says, “You know, it’s almost like buying a lotto ticket. You might have the winning number, you might not.” Then it’s time for Kutzak to get back to work. There are more games to watch today, a late-night dinner with other Pats scouts, more hockey to be talked about before the weekend is over and he can head home to Winnipeg. But even then, even on the way home from the games, it’s still hockey, hockey, hockey. “You don’t just shut down when a tournament is over,” says Kutzak. “You’re sitting in the airport doing reports, chatting with other scouts. No matter where you are you’re always assessing the players in your mind. Always thinking hockey.”

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one heckuva run

local

Jungle Jim Hunter talks about his life, career, and the ’72 Olympic Games by ADAM HAWBOLDT

J

Photo: courtesy of the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame

ungle Jim Hunter’s ski racing career began with a punch in the face It was the winter of 1964. The eleven-year-old Hunter was at the Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana with his family. He had these old wooden skis he’d inherited when some friends of the Hunters moved from Saskatchewan. Fearing nothing, Hunter strapped the wooden skis to his feet and went bombing down the hill.“I’d done maybe two or three runs, and when I got down to bottom of the hill this ski patroller pulls me out of the lift line and says, ‘Hey kid, I’m taking your lift ticket.’” The young Hunter assured the man he was most definitely not taking his ticket. The ski patroller thought otherwise. This is when the punch was thrown. “Dad had

always taught us to stand up for ourselves,” says Hunter. “And at that time, I didn’t realize the ski patrol actually had the right to take my lift ticket so I turned around and went after the guy. Surprised him and caught him with a shot in the nose. He was bleeding all over the snow.” The head of the Whitefish ski school intervened, told Hunter to stay put and pulled the ski patrol to the side for a chat. When he returned to talk with Hunter, he asked the young boy how long he’d been skiing. Hunter told him the truth: three days. Understandably shocked, the ski school instructor was incredulous, telling Hunter he’d just out-skied his best patroller. “I can’t help it,” said Hunter. “It’s not my fault he’s slow.” After that, things happened quickly. The head of the ski school Continued on next page »

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had a chat with Hunter’s father, asked if his son could be on his ski team. Seeing as they lived in Saskatchewan that wasn’t an option, but the invite lit a spark in Hunter’s dad’s mind. Next thing Hunter knew, he had a new pair of skis (metal this time) and his family was moving from the Saskatchewan to Calgary so that Jim could become a ski racer. Which is pretty amazing, considering that barely two years earlier Jim Hunter was in a coma.

Sometimes all it takes is one moment, one brief, fleeting second to forever change the trajectory of your life. For Jim Hunter, that moment came when he was nine years old. It was spring time. Flowers were blooming, trees were budding, and Jim Hunter was horsing around with his brother at their parents’ farmhouse in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. Jumping up and down on a bed. “I was doing flips,” recalls Hunter. “And at one point I missed the bed entirely and hit my head on the cement floor. Split it wide open. I ended up in a coma.” Before the accident Hunter had been a star hockey player in Shaunavon, a straight-A student, too. But after the accident, after he cracked his skull open on that floor, everything changed. “All of a sudden I went from this kid with so much potential to a kid

in a coma,” says Hunter. “At first the doctors told my parents I probably wasn’t going to live. It went from that to ‘He’s stabilized and may live, but when he wakes up he’ll be a vegetable,’ to ‘He might be okay, but you’ll have to change his diapers and feed him the rest of his life,’ to ‘He’ll never do anything active again, but if the swelling goes down he may be okay. He just may never be the same again.’” Then one day, about three months after the accident, Hunter woke up. “I looked up and said ‘Who are you?’,” recalls Hunter. “I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t know names. I didn’t know how to add or subtract. How to read or write … everything was scrambled, everything was a mess. Basically, I was starting over with the intellect and mindset of a four year old.” Turns out that was both a blessing and a curse for Hunter. A curse because Hunter went from being a star pupil to the kid who was terrified he was going to be called on in class. The kids teased him, calling him names like blockhead and retard. “I couldn’t remember things. I didn’t fit in,” says Hunter. “I used to be the first person to put my hand up in class, but after the accident I just wanted to hide. My personality changed. I became very withdrawn.” Hunter’s parents looked for ways to bring him out of that. They

found it in skiing. That’s where the blessing part comes in. “You have to realize, I was only about four years old mentally. I had no fear. When I started skiing I felt alive. I had a second chance at life. So I said ‘Let’s go! Let’s rock it!’” And rock it he did. Hunter perfected his tuck in the bed of his father’s pick-up truck as it sped down country roads. Practiced his slalom turns while being pulled behind the truck down corduroy

“My mindset heading into those games was really quite silly,” says Hunter. “I went there with the attitude I was going to win. Nobody could convince me otherwise. The thing is, I’d never really done anything to prove that I could beat the best in the world. My best finish internationally, to that point, was a second place finish in a run in California.” But Hunter was young, he was brash, and he was confident. He placed twentieth in the downhill at

When I started skiing I felt alive. I had a second chance at life. jim hunter

roads, across stubble fields. Honed his jumping skills launching off a six-foot-high jump and flying 150 feet to the opposite blue line of the snow-covered backyard rink his father had built. Hunter did all this because he dreamt, one day, of being an Olympic athlete. His dream came true less than a decade later, when he became part of the Canadian ski team known as the Crazy Canucks.

At the age of 18, Jungle Jim Hunter represented Canada in 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.

Sapporo, eleventh in the giant slalom, nineteenth in the slalom. Good enough results to earn him a bronze medal in the alpine combined event. It was a medal that, because it was awarded by the FIS (the International Ski Federation), some don’t consider it an Olympic medal. Hunter isn’t one of those people. “If you look at my results, racing at the Olympics against the best in the world, and put them together, look at the combined, I was third best in Sapporo,” says Hunter. “If you’re in the Olympic Games, competing, and you finish third overall, well, I think that’s an Olympic medal. It’s just not the way they did it in those days.”

When the games were over Hunter returned home to Canada expecting a hero’s welcome. It didn’t happen.“I got off the plane and nobody was there to greet me,” remembers Hunter. “That was heartbreaking. You get told you’re going to represent your country, you’re going to wear the maple leaf over your heart, over your head, over your hands … and then I come home, got off plane and had to take a taxi home. It made me wonder why I did all of it.” That didn’t deter Hunter, though. He kept training and in 1976 represented Canada again, this time at the Innsbruck Olympics in Austria. In part due to an injury (cracked ribs) sustained in his last practice run before his first race, Hunter failed to duplicate his Sapporo performance. But when he looks back on it now — on his Olympic days, his racing career, the legacy he left behind as the catalyst for the Crazy Canucks ski team — Hunter is still kind of amazed that a kid from Saskatchewan, a kid who once spent three months in a coma, could accomplish all that. And to think it all started because of a punch in the nose. Go figure.

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Can we talk?

editorial

Measured, rational dialogue is the only way to move forward in the oilsands debate

I

f you have picked up a newspaper lately, turned on the television, or visited a news or social media site on the Internet, chances are you’ve heard about Neil Young and this whole oilsands debate/pissing contest. If not, a quick recap: the legendary rocker has recently completed his fourstop Honour the Treaties tour, aimed at raising money for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations’ legal defense (the Alberta First Nation wants to halt further oilsands development on their land). And we think that’s fine. If celebrities want to raise money for causes that matter to them, go for it. It’s even fine if Neil Young wants to hold a news conference and say he’s anti-oilsands. It’s a free country, and people can say what they want. But when both sides of the debate — or any environmental issue for that matter — come out using incendiary and hyperbolic language, reducing the situation to an us-or-them derivative, then progress, in any direction, is halted. And that’s why we think people on both sides need to chill out on the rhetoric and work towards meaningful and productive dialogue. Unfortunately for the sentiment behind Young’s Honour the Treaties tour, that didn’t happen. Instead of looking at the situation facing the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation pragmatically, from whichever side of the debate you fall on, Young likened the oilsands to Hiroshima. And that’s when the problems started. In case you haven’t noticed, the oil industry is a very divisive issue in

our country. On the one side you have those who are anti-oil, who think the oilsands are all that’s wrong and rotten in this country. And there are those who fall on the opposite end of the spectrum. There are people out there like Brad Wall (who came out and condemned Young for his comments), who stand firmly in support of the oilsands. Some believe the oilsands are the economic engine that drive this country, and that they must continue to grow at all costs. It’s time both sides stopped all the hyperbolic blustering and, instead of taking potshots at one another, sit down and begin a healthy dialogue on the subject. After all, wildly partisan approaches to the issue harm the overall intentions of both sides. Look: no productive activity comes out of trading barbs. And we’re not the only ones who think that. In 2012, the Canada West Foundation, a Calgarybased research group, released a report titled Keeping Pace: Improving Environmental Decision Making in Canada. In it, the foundation argued that, “People are defaulting to polarized positions rather than seeking deep engagement on solutions. People are not coming together but drifting apart. Conflict is easier than problem solving.” The report goes on to say that,“the debate has become characterized by deeply divided camps that hinder attempts to achieve consensus” and that “we need to break down the silos that hamper effective … cooperation; [and] move beyond the polarized thinking that smothers consensus.” Here, here!

If both sides were able to effectively do that, maybe they’d realize some things. Perhaps the anti-oilsands group could recognize that while there is admittedly still a lot of work to be done on the environmental front of the oil industry, Canada still has some of the most stringent regulations on the planet when it comes to the oilsands On the other side of that coin, perhaps sensible dialogue would make the more ardent, right-wing supporters realize that Canada isn’t a petro-state. That the oilsands don’t drive our economy (industry experts pegged it at approximately 2 per cent of the GDP in 2012, based on Stats Can figures). In fact, oil, gas and mining account for just 8.3 percent of our total economy. All that we know is this oilsands debate can’t stay as good versus evil. If any progress is to be made — and it’s clear things can’t stay as they are — then cooler heads must prevail. We need discourse that’s inspired purely by emotion and visceral reaction to take a backseat to intelligent, rational discussion, so that public opinion is no longer woefully misled. As the oft-misquoted Rodney King once said, “Can’t we all just get along?” 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 moving level crossings out of the city. Here's what you had to say:

text yo thoughtsur to 881 ve r b 8372

OFF TOPIC

– We’ve been hearing about plans to relocate the railway for 40 yrs. One included replacement with electric rapid transit. I’ll believe it when it happens!

planning and urban outlook now to understand how our city will grow and where best to move them to where they won’t have to do this in the future.

– Yes! I can’t believe in 2014 we can be driving through a bustling city and actually be stopped because of a train. We are only getting bigger. We need to adress this now!

– The times of day I get stuck at a crossing in the city seems to be around lunch or shortly after five when everyone is trying to get home. It’s bloody ridiculous.

– Agree get the trains out of the city. We have enough smart city

of the city that is always busy. Good pedestrian space, a real asset to our city. Would love to see it happen here.

– I think looking to what Winnipeg did with the Forks is brilliant. It’s a beautiful greenspace in the heart

– I disagree with the texter who wrote in about the Wicca story. I think it’s wonderful to read about something that I don’t have any experience with personally. It seems like a spiritual and connected relationship to nature. People need to be less bigoted and judgemental and more open to what’s different from them. In response to “The truth about witches,” Local, #110 (January 10, 2014)

ing Space Jam on the big screen.. In response to “Voyage to the red planet,” Local, #111 (January 17, 2014)

– It is terrifying to think of going up to space, not knowing what you’re really in for when you get there but knowing you are for sure never ever coming back to earth or going to see your loved ones. I totally couldn’t go. In response to “Voyage to the red planet,” Local, #111 (January 17, 2014)

– The buses that have the windows covered suck ! I like to look out the window ! Take the transit .take the crap off the windows !

Next week: What do you think about the oilsands debate? Text in your thoughts to Verb to get in on the conversation:

sound off – It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

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

– Could not leave Earth to start a new life on Mars. The thought of going into space terrifies me. The closest I will get to space is watch

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Warning: Spoilers Photos: courtesy of Chris Graham Photography

Regina hard rock duo the Spoils plan on turning 2014 into a banner year by Alex J MacPherson

T

he Spoils, a rock duo from Regina, have been playing lively, energetic, and hard-hitting rock music for more than a year. But while the band, which consists of members of Saskatchewan bands Sylvie and Tomorrow Starts Today, has already established a reputation for putting on raucous, beer-drenched shows, it has little in the way of recorded material. In fact, the Spoils have released just two rough demos. “What You Want” is an upbeat indie rock cut that casts Riva Farrell Racette’s throbbing bass against a wall of Dustin Gamracy’s solid drumming. “Social Climbers,” on the other hand, is an exercise in stripped-down riff rock, a titanic wave of fuzzed-out bass that threatens to overwhelm the drums and Farrell Racette’s gritty vocals. Both tracks demonstrate just how much noise Farrell Racette and Gamracy can make with two instruments, and how reducing a song to its essence can actually make it more potent. “Social Climber” and “What You Want,” as well as a few other punchy rock songs, have formed the basis of the band’s searing live performances — and inspired two batches of recordings that will be released this year. The first is a pair of songs the duo cut in

RFR: I guess first of all you have more say. So anything melodically I’m the only one that does that, playing the bass. It’s all on me. You have more say as to what melodies are being played. Songwriting is pretty efficient with just the two folks. I guess the consequence of that is when you hit a wall, there’s only two people to get beyond it creatively. There’s a bit of a tradeoff. But I knew it would be

Saskatoon this summer, the latter an EP they are planning to record and release later in the year. A few weeks before the Spoils play a fundraiser in Regina I caught up with Farrell Racette to learn more about the band’s history, the appeal of playing as a duo, and their plans for a big year. Alex J MacPherson: You and Dustin have played in a bunch of other bands. What led you to start playing together under the name the Spoils?

Just taking it from super loud to just nothing, maybe just a kick. And then you find you have to rely on other things, too. Vocals. I have this idea of trying to write a song where it’s just a really straightforward drum beat and then the vocals — just drums and vocals.

RFR: Because that’s where Matt Bayles lives. Why Matt Bayles I assume? He’s just worked with a ton of bands that we really look up to. The records that he’s worked on are just awesome — louder rock bands. He’s also worked with Minus The Bear, who I think are awesome.

AJM: You released a couple of pretty rough demos last year, but I under-

AJM: What can audiences who have seen you live in Saskatchewan and maybe heard the demos expect to hear on the EP?

…we’re actually going to Seattle on February 12 to record an EP…

Riva Farrell Racette: I guess it’s been just over a year that we’ve been a band. I think we formed in August of 2012. My initial idea was to have a two-piece. I don’t think I conveyed that to Dustin. Apparently he thought the first couple of jams were just the two of us and then eventually we’d be phasing in a third member, which didn’t happen. It was just the two of us and I’d had a couple song ideas that I showed him. We jammed them out and it sounded pretty deadly.

riva farrell racette

possible to make a big sound with just the drum and the bass.

stand you did some recording in Saskatoon and have an EP planned.

AJM: After seeing you play live last year I was impressed by how you’re able to produce such a wide variety of sounds using just two instruments — it keeps each song fresh and exciting.

RFR: Those were some pretty rough demos. And then we did a couple songs with Barrett Ross in Saskatoon, he’s in Foam Lake. I’ve known him for awhile and we recorded a couple tunes. We’re hoping to include a download code to one of those songs as part of admission to our fundraiser show on the 31st. So now the plan is we’re actually going to Seattle on February 12 to record an EP with Matt Bayles, so that’s really exciting.

RFR: For sure. It forces you to try and approach songwriting differently, experiment with different ways — how much you can get away with by subtracting, dynamically, versus how much you can add to it or how loud you can get, and then just playing with the dynamics in between.

AJM: As you start to subtract things you confront this musical problem: how to produce a full-sounding song with less and less. What’s the appeal of keeping the Spoils very minimal rather than adding more instruments?

RFR: Hopefully big sounds, but also [songs] that capture the live sound. I’m really excited about it. I think the demos are good, I think they sound awesome, but I just know instrumentally for sure the sound is going to be bigger. Maybe we’ll be a bit more open to a few overdubs — nothing that would take away from the fact that we’re a two-piece, though. I think it’s going to be a good, bigsounding record.

The Spoils January 31 @ The Exchange $10 at the door

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AJM: Why Seattle?

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In Praise of Beer

Festiv-Ale is Regina’s biggest celebration of finely brewed refreshments

O

ver the last ten years, Adele Lohmann has watched the Saskatchewan beer market grow and evolve. What was once the province of a handful of large manufacturers has been overrun by microbreweries, small producers specializing in unusual or offbeat beers. This glut of specialty products can be traced back to the dawn of the craft beer movement, which began in Britain in the 1970s before finding a home on the American west coast. The first group of upstart breweries to challenge the major producers — notably Great Western and Big Rock — paved the way for a host of much smaller companies. Today, the beer market is as large as it is diverse — and many of the newest products to hit shelves in Saskatchewan will be

on display at Festiv-Ale, the beer exposition Lohmann helped start nine years ago. “Everybody is more sophisticated,” Lohmann says of the evolving beer market, the driving force behind events like Festiv-Ale. “Not in a snooty kind of way, but more sophisticated in their choices and selections on everything they consume, whether it’s food or technology products. Everybody is way more knowledgeable now, and the information is out there so people can make their own choices. I think it’s just the way the world is evolving, where people are more selective and not just taking what’s right there in front of them. They are going and looking for something to inspire them.” A yearly event, Festiv-Ale offers discriminating drinkers an opportunity to sample some of the

by alex J MacPherson

two hundred or so available beers while enjoying live entertainment by several Saskatchewan bands. The show features a wide variety of conventional beers — from lagers and ales to thick, creamy porters and sharp pilsners — as well as many more exotic selections. Lohmann expects fruit-based beers (which are made from fruits and vegetables rather than the usual grains like wheat and barley) to be a major force at the 2014 event. She also plans on sampling several unusual stouts (a type of dark beer made from roasted malt or barley hops). But, she says, “We have had a good cross-section every year.” Festiv-Ale, which runs over two consecutive days, also offers drinkers a chance to discuss and learn more about their favourite beers. Fans of the microbrew movement are almost always eager to discuss

the technical aspects of making beer. Brewers eager to make inroads in Saskatchewan, meanwhile, are more than happy to discuss their craft. And while Festiv-Ale is meant to offer everybody involved a chance to experiment with and enjoy drinking a wide selection of beer, Lohmann says it also serves as a reflection of changes happening in Saskatchewan. “I have noticed quite a bit of change,” she says. “Just from social events, now you see a lot more products. You see a lot more selection on

the menu in every restaurant you go to. Ten, fifteen years ago, you’d have maybe five or six mainstream beers and that was basically it. Now almost everywhere you go, whether it’s a newer restaurant or an older restaurant or a chain, they have a lot of choices. Even in the liquor stores it’s very visible. I think people really are responding.” Festiv-Ale Jan 31 + Feb 1 @ Conexus Arts Centre $35 @ Conexus Box Office, conexusartscentre.ca

Tree Line

Amy Dryer’s vibrant expressionist paintings were inspired by a burned out forest in Montana

I

t began with the trees. In the summer of 2012, Amy Dryer and her husband, Aaron, spent several days driving through Montana. One afternoon they discovered a vast expanse of burned-out forest. It was a giant arboreal graveyard, the charred husks of dead trees casting their spindly shadows over the barren landscape. But even fire could not stop nature, and blades of fresh green grass were emerging from the sooty earth “We stopped along the highway and just walked through the forests,” the Calgary-based artist says. “It was really kind of haunting. The wind blew through the trees and had this strange whistling echo. I just thought the space was amazing, almost sacred. I was really inspired by that. I wanted to go back to my studio and reflect that in my work.” 1. Amy Dryer, Lit, 2013, oil on canvas.

Photo: courtesy oF amy dryer

by alex J MacPherson

The sketches Dryer made that afternoon became the inspiration for Tree Line, a collection of large canvases painted in her distinctive expressionistic style. Dryer became interested in German expressionism — a theory designed not to capture reality itself, but a subjective emotional response to reality — while studying at Alberta College of Art and Design and, later, the Glasgow School of Art. She cites Egon Schiele and his jagged, tortured portraits as a major influence. Most of her paintings, whether of anonymous figures, distinct individuals, or skeletal urban structures, are big and open and raw — emotion channeled through the brush. “What I like most about German expressionism is the distortion of reality, and [the] magical interpreation of people and place, body and architecture,” she says. “I’m interested not in darkness all the time, but finding hope within that

darkness, bits of light, new grass coming up after a forest fire. This under-layer of possibility.” This hint of possibility is the essence of Tree Line. By using contrasting colours, vigorous brushstrokes, and expansive, enveloping canvases, Dryer is able to evoke the stark contrast between charred remains and fresh green leaves, between violent death and miraculous rebirth. A deeply personal memory distilled into a universal feeling.

Tree Line Through January 31 @ Sarah James Gallery (exclusively online) / Assiniboia Gallery

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Feature

From Northern Alberta To Nashville Photo: courtesy of Warner Music Canada

Brett Kissel’s rise up the country charts and his major label debut, Started With A Song by Alex J MacPherson

O

ne morning, a few summers ago, Brett Kissel awoke to a persistent knocking at his bedroom door. A glance at the clock revealed the time: 6:45 a.m. Kissel had been asleep for just a few hours; getting up was a distinctly unappealing proposition. The night before, Kissel and his band had played to a capacity crowd at the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alberta, one of the largest country music festivals in Canada. His set ran long and the autograph line was longer; by the time he returned to his grandparents’ ranch, near Flat Lake, Alberta, the first rays of sunshine were streaking across the eastern sky. But instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, Kissel hauled himself out of bed and went to work. “No matter what

I do, even if it’s playing in front of twenty-five thousand people, once I get home, work needs to be done,” he later said. “It doesn’t matter who I am onstage.” Kissel grew up on a ranch and can drive

With A Song, his major label debut, and sent a pair of singles spiralling up the charts. Even today he seems bemused by his own success. On “Canadian Kid” he sings, “It was northern Alberta

I believe that you really only get one chance … you are either going to hit and succeed, or you won’t. brett kissel

a tractor as well as anybody, but lately his life has been consumed by a very different kind of work. Late last year, the twenty-threeyear-old singer released Started

and nobody thought / That the kid from the farm would amount to a lot.” But he has. Kissel’s music career began shortly before his seventh birthday, when Continued on next page »

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his grandfather presented him with a guitar ordered through the Sears catalogue. Three years later, Kissel was performing Johnny Cash songs at talent shows, his young voice ringing out two octaves higher than the Man in Black’s original recordings. Just two years later, Kissel played his first paying gig, a show at the local 4-H club that netted him a cool $50. From that moment, he knew how his life would be spent. And he worked hard to make it happen. Between 2003 and 2008, he recorded and released four independent albums and played shows in bars and clubs across western Canada. His strong songs, enthusiastic performances, and easy charm began to generate attention in the country music world. His burgeoning career received a significant boost in 2012, when the NHL lockout prompted him to write a plea to his beloved Edmonton Oilers, “Hockey, Please Come Back.” The song was an unexpected hit; it was picked up by radio stations across the country, the music video viewed thousands of times online. And in 2013, Kissel inked a deal with Warner Music. Less than a year later he released Started With A Song, “It’s interesting, because in some ways making a record is making a record,” Kissel says of writing and recording Started With A Song, which he made after moving to Nashville, Tennessee, the beating heart of the country music world. “You need to work hard, you need to find or write great songs, and being in the studio is similar no matter what part of the world [you] may be in. On the flipside of that, it was a night-and-day difference for me in terms of quality. The records I made in the past were

Photo: courtesy of Warner Music Canada

always independent projects. They might have been made in a little bit of a rush and I never had the access to write with really great songwriters and I never had the opportunity to

work with the top musicians in the world. Whereas with this project, being signed to the major label and having an incredible producer, [I could take] the music to the next level. I felt that it was night and day in terms of what we got out of the project from previous experiences.” Started With A Song, which was released in October, is the best album Kissel has ever made. It is also the most unusual. Kissel grew up within the modern country tradition, an industry dominated by the specific guidelines of radio program directors, and the record is not short of country-tinged pop songs. But the best songs are those that explore his other influences — the music his parents and grandparents exposed him to. “You just have to put the best songs forward, but at the same time it was very important for me to showcase who I am and where I’m from,” he says. “There are people that may have never heard of me out on the east coast or in Saskatchewan or wherever it may be, so I wanted to make sure there were songs on there like “Country In My Blood,” like “Canadian Kid,” that say, ‘this is who I am,’ while at the same time we have songs like “Started With A Song” and “Raise Your Glass,” that can be great party anthems.” Put another way, Started With A Song explores both sides of country music — brash, upbeat rock songs and simple country weepers. Kissel co-wrote most of the songs on the album with professional songwriters, including Craig Wiseman, a legend who has also worked with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. Co-writing is common in Nashville, and tends to yield the slick, polished country-pop songs that have transformed modern country from a musical genre into a commercial behemoth. But the best cut on Started With A Song is the only one that doesn’t feature any additional songwriting credits. Kissel wrote “Together (Grandma & Grandpa’s Song)” after his grandparents were killed in a car wreck two years ago. It is a touching story about how young love strengthens with time, how two people come to rely on each other for so much, and how loss leaves a gaping wound that can never be fully closed. After he finished writing the song, Kissel had another idea —

something that would have meant a lot to his grandparents. “Being such a traditional country fan, and given that my grandfather was a huge George Jones fan, I was able to get George Jones’s band to play on that track,” he says. “A very special thing I was able to do.” “Together (Grandma & Grandpa’s Song)” is just one manifestation of Kissel’s desire to write songs that matter — and songs anybody can connect with. Started With A Song covers a fair amount of musical territory, but the songs are linked together by Kissel’s fondness for simple, profound stories. Some, like “Canadian Kid,” are about the raw experience of growing up in a small town. “Tough People Do” distills the lessons Kissel learned growing up on the ranch into an ode to his father. “3-2-1,” which evokes a decade of modern country with its entwined guitar and piano lines, is about a relationship that wasn’t met with acclaim, or even acceptance. “It’s a completely different side of country music,” Kissel says of the song, which is slated to be released as a single in the coming weeks. “It’s rock- and pop-driven with a melody, but that’s another side of the industry that’s really influenced me and another song I’m very proud of. It talks about myself and my girlfriend at the time — we didn’t get any kind of support from our friends or our family, then fast-forward a couple of years and I was able to make her my wife. It was just one of those things, we had to stick together, and I think a lot of young couples face that.” Started With A Song is the biggest, most ambitious project Kissel has ever taken on, and he is understandably excited about it. But the music business is fickle, and he is not unaware of the risks inherent to any major release. “I believe that you really only get one chance when it comes to the music industry,” he says. “You’re either going to hit and succeed, or you won’t. Rewind thirty, forty years. One of my heroes, Buck Owens, had, I think, four records — four full records out — before he finally hit on his fifth record and became a gigantic star. Same thing with Johnny Cash. But that’s not the way the music industry is today. It either works, or it doesn’t. And I was crossing my fingers, just hoping that

this brand of country music was going to work. Why it worked or how it worked, I don’t know. But I’m very happy and proud that it did.” The reason Started With A Song survived the gauntlet all successful albums must run is simple. Brett Kissel knows where he came from and who he is, and he refuses to pretend to be anybody else. He may live in Nashville, sing the anthem at NHL games, hobnob with the most popular singers in the world, and make successful country albums, but in the end he is just a kid from a ranch in Alberta — a kid who loves hockey, cold beer, and his wife. And it never occurred to him to be anybody else. Which is why he got up, got dressed, and went to work after playing a sweaty set for twenty-five thousand screaming

country fans at the Big Valley Jamboree. “Believe me, I’ve had some cool experiences,” he says with a laugh. “But at the end of the day, when I’m back at home around Christmastime, I still have to wake up at quarter to seven, bundle up in the cold, and drive the tractor and do chores. That’s just the way it is in our family. It doesn’t matter who you are.” Brett Kissel February 5 @ The Pump $20 @ Ticketedge.ca

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VEGGIE DELIGHT

food + drink

The Green Spot Café prides itself not just on good food for vegetarians, but good food – period by mj deschamps

W

ith so many people going gluten-free nowadays, restaurants everywhere are increasingly tweaking their menus to include wheat-free options for those with sensitivities. In the not-so-distant past, unfortunately, growing up glutenintolerant often meant stomachaches and turning down dinner invitations — unless, of course, you were eating at the Green Spot Café. A pioneer of sorts in its field, the downtown vegetarian eatery has been serving up a lengthy gluten-free menu since it opened its doors six years ago. Longtime vegetarians Sunshine Cheang and husband Gary Hsu own the café, and always had plans to create an entirely vegetarian menu. In their first year of business, however, they discovered that their daughter, who was four years old at the time, had intolerance to gluten — a good enough reason for them to revamp their menu to suit the café’s (arguably) most important taste-tester. But while the café may have been one of the only spots in Regina for those with vegetarian and gluten-free diets during its humble beginnings, Sunshine said that the majority of their customers now stop by simply because they love the food.

Photos: courtesy of Maxton Priebe

“I would say more than 95% of our customers come by not because they’re vegetarian, but because they just enjoy our menu,” she said. It’s true that labelling it as a ‘vegetarian eatery’ would be oversimplifying the Green Spot. Although the style of the food is mostly western, Sunshine and Gary have made sure to incorporate some of their roots into traditional Chinese offerings, such as steamed buns and dim sum. Absolutely everything the café serves (soups, sandwiches, salads and baked goods) is made from scratch each day — largely by Gary himself, who wakes up at the crack of dawn to bake fresh muffins, cakes and breads. The Green Spot is also known for its different sweet treats featured on different days of the week: you may have heard of the café’s famous buttery cinnamon buns — baked tirelessly by Gary, of course — that customers line up for on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays it’s all about gluten-free scones, while Fridays are dedicated to an extremely moist, gluten-free cake that takes about a week to make, complete with dripping caramel and soft pecans. The café’s thick quiches are a favourite with the lunchtime crowd,

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide CUCUMBER AND GREEN TEA MARTINI

Ingredients

A garden-fresh meal warrants a cocktail of the same genre, no? This fresh and bright drink makes for a refreshing finish to any veggie feast.

2 oz. citrus vodka ¾ oz. green tea cucumber slice simple syrup lemon juice fresh ginger piece basil leaves sea salt

and I gobbled up my own slice of sun-dried tomato, spinach and feta pie, full of sautéed veggies and cheese during my visit last week. Their grilled sandwiches also deserve a particular mention: while veggie sandwiches can sometimes be a bit of a hit or miss — with the most common complaint for me being that they often end up too dry — these ones comes slathered in extra virgin olive oil, spices and house-made spreads (i.e. sundried tomato, pesto, kalamata olive). As a carnivore, I can be skeptical of a meatless sandwich, but their Italian-style offering, made on house-made, crusty, whole-wheat focaccia, leaves nothing lacking — and is loaded up with cottage and feta cheeses, olives, cauliflower and tender, roasted red peppers. And with everything on the menu made in-house, does it come as a surprise to anyone that the café roasts its own coffee, too? It’s hard to miss the giant roaster in the back of the store, which stands next to shelves and shelves of different jars of coffee beans. The café has 40 different blends that they roast and sell in-house, the majority of which are organic and fair trade. Having gotten their start at farmer’s markets way before they even conceived of a bricks and mortar business, it’s clear that Sunshine and Gary still incorporate all the values they hold dear into the Green Spot: using fresh, local and organic products whenever and wherever possible, and making everything they serve — right down to the espresso — entirely from scratch. The Green Spot Cafe 1838 Hamilton St | (306) 757 7899

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directions

Muddle together ginger and cucumber slice with a pinch of salt and a dash of simple syrup. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix together in a shaker with ice. Strain into glass and garnish with cucumber.

@VerbRegina mjdeschamps@verbnews.com

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music

Next Week

coming up

The Stillhouse Poets

Soulfly

Matt Webb

@ The Artful Dodger Friday, January 31st – $10

@ The Exchange thursday, February 6th – $20

@ The Exchange Sunday, March 16th – $15

There’s a certain theme that runs through the heart of the music The Stillhouse Poets make. Call it Prairie Gothic, call it what you will, but with songs about blood, dusty bibles, barbed wire and oh so much more, this duo from Regina play the kind of music you want to kick back and drink a beer to. Consisting of Brent Nielsen and Kirk Hextall, The Stillhouse Poets create stripped-down songs about desperation lined with hope. Songs that have been influenced by music from the Mississippi Delta to the Appalachian Mountains. Songs with backwoods harmonies and a kick-drum beat. The Stillhouse Poets recently finished their first album and will be throwing a CD release party at the Artful Dodger. Come on down and check it out; tickets at the door.

When Soulfly started out, they were a metal band that played songs about religion and spirituality. But like so many bands, this four-piece from Arizona has waded into new thematic territory. Sure, they still make songs about spirituality, but on later albums they’ve also dealt with themes like violence, hatred, anger and war. Speaking of albums, all six the band has released have debuted on the United States Billboard 200 — with their highest position being #32 for their second album, Primitive. Made up of Max Cavalera (the only original member left), Marc Rizzo, Tony Campos and Zyon Cavalera, Soulfly incorporates many different styles of metal to create a sound that’s distinctive as hell. Tickets are available online through ticketedge.ca.

If you’ve heard Vancouver poprock band Marianas Trench, you know their music, and the way it’s constructed, is precise, expertly produced, and meticulously planned. And while lead guitarist Matt Webb digs this kind of music-making, he is also looking for something else. Something with a few more mistakes, something raw. That’s one of the reasons he started performing solo. He wanted to make simple music. Nothing too flashy, nothing over produced. That aesthetic can be seen on his four-song EP, Right Direction — a groovy, pared-down album that Webb recorded in a make-shift studio in his parents’ house. Right Direction is, without a doubt, Webb’s most mature work to date. Swing by the Exchange in March to see what it’s all about. Tickets through ticketedge.ca. – By Adam Hawboldt

Photos courtesy of: the artist/ truncata/ amanda ash

Sask music Preview SaskMusic is putting out a call for love songs to include on Valentine’s Day playlists. Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so to celebrate these opposing views SaskMusic has decided to curate two very different online playlists — “Love Rocks” and “Love Sucks” — featuring original Saskatchewan music, which will then be located on the radio player at www.saskmusic.org throughout February. Interested artists who have recorded songs that relate to either topic can submit them for consideration to https://saskmusic.wufoo.com/forms/valentines-radioplaylist-submissions/ by January 31 at 4pm.

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listings

january 24 » february 1 The most complete live music listings for Regina. S

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T

24 25

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

Thursday 30

Quinton Blair / Artful Dodger — Genuine honky tonk music from southern Manitoba. 8pm / Cover TBD 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 All Mighty Voice / McNally’s Tavern — With Gunner and Smith, The Dead South. 9pm / $5 High Ridge Road / Pump Roadhouse — A lady-fronted country band. 10pm / Cover TBD A Fiddle Feast / Unitarian Church — Featuring Troy MacGillivray, Karrnnel Sawitsky + more. 7:30pm / $15 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 Amy Nelson / Whiskey Saloon — Catchy country music from one of Regina’s own. 9pm / $5

Saturday 25

Carson Aaron, Small City Blues, 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 Port Noise / The Exchange — A night filled with rock music. 8pm / $10 Mailmen’s Children / Lancaster Taphouse — Swing on by for a rockin’ good time. 9pm / No cover Dave Gunning / Artful Dodger — A The Steadies / McNally’s Tavern — talented folk singer/songwritCome get your reggae on. 10pm er from the east coast. / $5 8pm / Cover TBD The Valentinos Vince Neil / Pump Road/ Casino house — A Regina Winnipeg— Forbased mer party Motband. ley 10pm / Cover TBD WafCrue flefronthouse man / Pure Ulplaying tra Lounge spoils all your COURTESY OF chris graham photography — Doing favourite what he does Motley Crue hits. best, every Saturday 8pm / $55+ (ticketnight. 10pm / $5 cover break.com) JJ Voss / Whiskey Saloon — Outlaw DJ Pat & DJ Kim / Habano’s Martini & country from Queen City. 9pm / $10 Cocktail Club — Local DJs spin top 40 hits every Friday night that are sure to get you on the dance floor. 9pm / $5 Open Mic Night / The Artful Dodger — cover Come down and jam! 8pm / No cover Big Chill Fridays / Lancaster TapMonday Night Jazz / Bushwakker house — Come out and get your weekBrewpub — Featuring Uptown Jazz. end started with DJ Fatbot, who’ll be 8pm / No cover doing his spinning thing every Friday night. 10pm / Cover TBD The Steadies / McNally’s Tavern — Magneta Lane / O’Hanlon’s — Three Come get your reggae on. 10pm / $5 gals from Toronto playing alt-rock Cowpuncher / O’Hanlon’s — A taltunes. 9pm / Free ented band playing roots rock and roll. 9pm / Free The Valentinos / Pump Roadhouse — Wednesday Night Folk / Bushwakker A Winnipeg-based party band. 10pm / Brewpub — Featuring Ben Winoski and Cover TBD Jeff Storry. 9pm / No cover Albert / Pure Ultra Lounge — AppearJam Night and Open Stage / McNaling every Friday night, come listen to ly’s Tavern — Come on down and enjoy Albert as he does his spinning thing. some local talent. 9pm / No cover 10pm / $5 cover

Friday 24

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. There’s no better way to get your weekend started! 8pm / Cover TBD Amy Nelson / Whiskey Saloon — Come out and listen to some catchy country music from one of Regina’s own. 9pm / $5

Saturday 1

Suckerpunch Phyllis / Lancaster Taphouse — A local fusion/funk rock band. 9pm / No cover Sonic Orchid / McNally’s Tavern — Get ready to rock! 10pm / $5 High Ridge Road / Pump Roadhouse — A lady-fronted country band. 10pm / Cover TBD Wafflehouse / Pure Ultra Lounge — Doing what he does best, every Saturday night. 10pm / $5 cover Amy Nelson / Whiskey Saloon — Catchy country music from one of Regina’s own. 9pm / $5

The Mid-Winter Ceilidh / The Exchange — Featuring Wendy MacIsaac, Mairi Rankin + more. 8pm / $20 (www. crpb.org) Lost Souls / Italian Club — Food, fun and entertainment at the Taste of Cathedral. 6pm / $20

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

Friday 31

The Stillhouse Poets / Artful Dodger — Also appearing: Binder Twine and the Balers. 8pm / Cover TBD Spoils, the Florals, Bermuda Love, White Women / The Exchange — A night of indie rock and hardcore. 8pm / $10 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 — With DJ Fatbot. 10pm / Cover TBD Pimpton / O’Hanlon’s Pub — A badass night, also featuring DJ IZN and DeeJay Quartz. 9pm / No Cover Whatever / McNally’s Tavern — Come out and support local rock bands. 10pm / $5 High Ridge Road / Pump Roadhouse — A lady-fronted country band. 10pm / Cover TBD Albert / Pure Ultra Lounge — Appearing every Friday night, come listen to

Monday 27

Tuesday 28

Wednesday 29

14 Jan 24 – Jan 30 entertainment

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Nightlife

Thursday, january 16 @

the owl

The Owl 3737 Wascana Parkway (306) 586 8811

Check out our Facebook page! These photos will be uploaded to Facebook on Friday, January 31. facebook.com/verbregina

Photography by Marc Messett

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film

Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Not another demon baby?

Devil’s Due suffers from unoriginality, terrible script by adam hawboldt

I

n 1968 Roman Polanski released his first Hollywood feature. It was called Rosemary’s Baby. Based on a book by Ira Levin, it told the slow-burning story of a nice Catholic girl named Rosemary Woodhouse (played by Mia Farrow), who was impregnated with a devil spawn. The film was terrific. One of the best horror movies of all time. So good, in fact, that not only was Rosemary’s Baby nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay), but it also launched an entire sub-genre of horror flick — the devil baby genre. In the years that followed there have been no shortage of these types of movies. Think It’s Alive or The Omen or Demon Seed, and you’ll get the idea. But the thing is, nobody has been able to do it better than Polanski. He set the bar so damn high, it’s nearly impossible to clear.

provided was a derivative, inept take on Rosemary’s Baby with a little bit of Paranormal Activity thrown in for good measure. To say Devil’s Due is the least original film you’ve seen

But that didn’t stop filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett from trying. In their directorial debuts, the duo attempted to update the devil-

…Devil’s Due suffers because of one major thing — its script. Adam Hawboldt

in years is a stretch, but not a very far one. The story centres around newlyweds Zach (Zach Gilford) and Sam (Allison Miller). These two are so madly in love that Zach wants to capture every moment of their lives together, so he breaks out the video camera. He tapes the wedding reception, their time at home,

baby genre with the film Devil’s Due. What they did was take the devilbaby sub-genre, mix it with another horror sub-genre — that of foundfootage film — and hoped like hell it would work. It didn’t. Instead of giving the audience something updated and refreshing and hip and terrifying, what they’ve

their honeymoon to the Dominican Republic. That’s where the trouble starts. One night a local taxi driver takes them to an underground club. When they wake up in the morning they are groggy and can’t remember anything. Instead of being worried or (major plot hole here!) checking the video they took, they figured they just drank too much and go about their merry way. When the couple arrives home, Sam finds out she’s pregnant. And you’ll never guess what: spoiler alert — it’s not Zach’s baby. Anyone who has seen a devilbaby movie can probably guess what ensues. There’s a demon child (naturally), a Satanic cult, a priest, and a lot of odd goings-on. And while there are some moments that may make your heartbeat quicken, Devil’s Due suffers because of one major thing — its script. There are more holes in the plot that in a pound of swiss cheese and,

devil’s due Matt Bettinelli-Olpin + Tyler Gillett Starring Zach Gilford + Allison Miller Directed by

89 minutes | 14A

to make matters worse, the characters in the movie are boring. There’s no background, no emotional depth, no reason whatsoever to care about them. And the fact that they keep making one stupid decision after another, well, you’re almost rooting against them by the end of the film. Rosemary’s Baby, this is not.

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City woes

The Human Scale examines the grown of urban centres and the problems they face by adam hawboldt

Photo: Courtesy of Final Cut for Real

A

t the moment, 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. In a few decades, by 2050, it’s estimated that close to 80% of the people on Earth will be urbanized. Or so says Andreas Dalsgaard in his new documentary, The Human Scale. Dalsgaard also says this is a problem. Why? Well, because most cities around the world are poorly designed. Since the 1960s, cities have been built around traffic flow and automobiles, and since most big cities lack the money and time to expand in order to properly handle the influx of people moving there, livability and quality of life in urban centres is deteriorating. In laymen’s terms: because most cities are so car-centric, human interaction is limited and, hence, city dwellers come to feel more and more isolated as urban areas continue to grow. But The Human Scale doesn’t merely point out this problem. No. It offers a solution, which sprung from the mind of architect Jan Gehl. See, Gehl believes cities should be designed and redesigned to decrease the space given to cars and increase space for pedestrians, whereby encouraging more human connection. To illustrate Gehl’s concept, The Human Scale takes us to Copenhagen. With its plethora of no traffic zones and penchant for bicycles over cars, Denmark’s capital city is the living embodiment of what cities should be. A perfect example of Gehl’s vision.

But the documentary doesn’t stop there. From Copenhagen the documentary moves to Melbourne — 2013’s most livable city. For Dalsgaard, Melbourne provides the ideal before-and-after example. An example, he believes, other cities should follow. In the 1980s Melbourne was a metropolis in its death throes. City planners had to figure out how to attract people back to the urban centre. So what they did is create laneways (alleyways, formerly

…because most cities are so car-centric, human interaction is limited … Adam Hawboldt

used to store garbage, that have been converted into pedestrian streets complete with cafes, shops and whatnot). From there The Human Scale moves to cities like Chongqing, China; Dhaka, Bangladesh; New York; Siena, Italy; and Christchurch, New Zealand. All places where Gehl’s vision is being put to use. And never once does Dalsgaard waver from his original intention: to show that today’s cities are destroying our quality of life.

the human scale Andreas Dalsgaard Starring Jan Gehl, Rob Adams, He Dongquan Directed by

83 minutes | PG

Using a quiet, clipped-voice for narration and bleak violins to bang home the core message, The Human Scale, at times, feels repetitive. And while Dalsgaard makes an exceedingly valid point, it’s a rather myopic standpoint. A fascinating standpoint, yes. Thought provoking? Sure. But he doesn’t ever really leave the Gehl bubble. Doesn’t take into consideration things like energy, tourism, transportation, water. He clings too tightly to Gehl’s vision and, as a result, The Human Scale comes up short. Maybe a few more interviews with people outside of Gehl’s inner circle would’ve helped. Maybe a few different ideas about how to solve this problem we’re facing would’ve broadened the scope and made it better. That’s not to say The Human Scale isn’t a good documentary. It is. It’s just not the best it could’ve been. The Human Scale opens at Regina Public Library on January 30.

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@VerbRegina ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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crossword canadian criss-cross 30. First letter of a name 34. Heavy waves 35. Surgeon’s garment 36. Attorney’s advice 37. Bristlelike appendage 38. Canned fish 39. One-piece garment 40. Jamaican music 42. Sandwich made with corned beef and sauerkraut 44. Gets the juice out of a lemon 45. Keep from being admitted 46. Cereal grasses 47. Char, as a steak

Horoscopes january 24 – january 30 Aries March 21–April 19

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

Certain situations may seem more serious than usual this week, Aries, but don’t fret. Things aren’t always what they seem.

If you’ve been having problems at work or school lately, Leo, don’t expect them to get any better this week. Just ride this out for now.

Take some time this week, Sagittarius, and reflect on the past. You may learn something really important from it.

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

It’s time to deal with some important questions that you’ve been avoiding for some time, Taurus. Good luck.

Good thing you’re not afraid of work, Virgo, because this week threatens to be rather laborious. Put your nose to the grindstone and get ‘er done!

Lately you’ve been expressing your emotions more freely, Capricorn. Keep it up — someone close to you needs to hear what you have to say.

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

It will be easy for you to influence and manipulate situations this week, Gemini. Tread carefully, and don’t get taken in by your own power.

Do you find it difficult to make decisions because you fear people will judge you? If so, it’s time to turn over a new leaf.

There’s no need to pound your head against a wall, Aquarius. Sometimes you just have to know when to give up.

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

Today will mark the beginning of a new and exciting epoch in your life, Cancer. Hang on tight — it’s going to be quite a ride.

It would do you well to be a bit more rational than usual this week, Scorpio. Especially when it comes to your personal life.

This week will be a productive one for you, Pisces. Don’t be afraid to take on more work than usual — there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.

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

A

1. Monetary unit of Hungary 2. Put down, as carpet 3. Corroded 4. Cold, dry wind of France 5. Pond plants 6. British writer of nonsense verse 7. Make imperfect 8. Metallic netting, of some doors 9. SenatehouseinancientRome 11. Plants valued for their medicinal properties 12. Baby deer 14. Genealogical diagram 17. 1 followed by nine zeros 20. Part of the face above the eyes

21. Of the highest quality 23. Flying saucers 24. One of two babies born at the same time to the same mother 26. In a positive direction 27. EmperorofRussia,until1917 28. Lumberjack B 29. One in charge of a forest 31. Line on a weather map 32. Tool shaped like a corkscrew 33. Rely on for support 35. Estimate based on little or no information 38. Lacking in excitement 39. Marching band instrument 41. Happy 43. Wide shoe size

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

1. Double-note drumbeat 5. Charitable contribution 9. Animal with a long flexible snout 10. Dissolve out by percolation 12. Megaera, Tisiphone, and Alecto, collectively 13. Attic 15. Rarely rained on 16. Ski lift 18. Be inaccurate 19. First-place finish 20. Creamy white cheese 21. French infant 22. Roll of 7 or 11, in craps 24. Stretched tight 25. Travels behind 27. Lose deliberately

© walter D. Feener 2014

sudoku answer key

DOWN

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

ACROSS

crossword answer key

A

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

B

19 Jan 24 – Jan 30 /verbregina

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Verb Issue R112 (Jan. 24 -30, 2014)