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Issue #253 – August 16 to August 22

TEChn9ne arts

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saskatoon

breaks all the rules

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into the void New SK gallery reimagines accessing art soso Q+A with artist and musician Troy Gronsdahl kick-ass 2 + I’m so excited Film reviews

Photo: courtesy of the artist


contents

On the cover:

tech n9ne

Breaking all the rules. 14 / feature

Photo: courtesy of strange music

NEWs + Opinion

entertainment

culture

listings

Q + A with soso

cricket + community How one sport has taken over Saskatchewan. 4 / Local

Local musician + artist Troy Gronsdahl on why it’s not for nothing. 12 / Q + A

Local music listings for August 16 through August 24. 18 / listings

the shoeless joes

kick-ass 2 + I’m so excited

SK rockers talk their new release, The Motions. 13 / Arts

The latest movie reviews. 20 / Film

Nightlife Photos

creatures in translation

We visit Jax Niteclub and the Yard + Flagon. 22-27 / Nightlife

Susan Shantz on process. 13 / Arts

into the void New SK gallery reimagines accessing affordable art. 6 / Local

let’s legalize marijuana

turducken done right

on the bus

We’ve said it before: it’s time. 8 / Editorial

We visit Prairie Harvest. 16 / Food + Drink

Weekly original comic illustrations by Elaine M. Will. 28 / comics

comments

Music

Games + Horoscopes

Your say on making parking meters smart phone-compatible. 10 / comments

Single Mothers, The Foggy Notions + Hollerado. 17 / music

Canadian criss-cross puzzle, horoscopes, and Sudoku. 29 / timeout

ART & Production design lead / andrew yanko Contributing Photographers / Patrick carley, taylor thomson, Adam Hawboldt, rhiannon herbert + Alex J MacPherson verbnews.com @verbsaskatoon facebook.com/verbsaskatoon

Business & Operations Office Manager / Stephanie Lipsit account Manager / nathan holowaty Marketing Manager / Vogeson Paley Financial Manager / Cody Lang

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

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cricket and community

Photo: Courtesy of neonbubble

Cricket, and easing the trials of immigration by ADAM HAWBOLDT

M

oving to a new country can be a trying experience at the best of times. Sure, there’s the excitement of experiencing something new, of being a stranger in a strange land. But that excite-

back in 2001. “Looking back on it, one of the hardest parts was the language. You come here and you’re not really comfortable speaking it. It can be difficult.” Toss some good old-fashioned homesickness on top of that, mix in

There’s been a ridiculous boom in the number of people playing cricket … prakhar shrivastava

ment and dither can, more often than not, be accompanied by a serious sense of bewilderment. Think about it. You pack your bags, leave everything you’ve ever known behind and settle in a place unlike anything you’ve seen before. A place with strange customs, a foreign culture, a language you don’t necessarily understand too well. “It was quite a cultural difference. A really big change, ” says Prakhar Shrivastava, who moved to Saskatchewan from Northern India

a pinch of culture shock, and what you have is a recipe for trying times. Put in a situation like that, what would you do? Some people might revert into themselves and become depressed. They withdraw from daily life and long achingly for their homeland. Others throw caution to the wind. They do whatever is needed to make the assimilation process easier. That’s what Shrivastava did. Back at the turn of the millennium when he arrived here, the then-16-year-old Shrivastava was Continued on next page »

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looking for a way to ease the transition. He found it in cricket. “Back then there were only three cricket teams in Saskatchewan,” says Shrivastava. “One was in Saskatoon, two were in Regina. I started to play and it really helped. It was nice to come and play a sport you love, hang out with people who have the same interests as you. It eases the process. You can still speak in your native tongue and feel at home.” In Saskatchewan, Shrivastava isn’t alone when it comes to his relationship with cricket.

When you mention cricket to most people in North America, one of the first things they’ll say is, “Oh, that’s the game you play for days and days. Seems crazy to me.” Which can be true. There are cricket games that last for five days. That’s called test cricket. But there are also shorter games for people who don’t have five days of their life to spare playing a sport. “In the Saskatchewan Cricket Association, we usually play oneday cricket, which lasts for about six hours,” says Shrivastava. “Or we play T20 too, which is about half as long.” But cricket isn’t traditionally played according to a clock. No. Instead, the duration of the game tends to depend on the number of pitches and outs. “For example,” says Shrivastava, “in one-day crick-

et each team gets 240 pitches. You have to try to make as many runs as you can in those balls. You either score or you get out. Each team gets 10 outs. Then the inning is over and it’s the other team’s turn at bat.” For those uninitiated in the rules and terminology of cricket, talking to someone like Shrivastava — someone who has been playing the game most of his life — can get confusing at times. With esoteric terms “googly” and “leg break,” “sledging” and “mullygrubber,” how can’t it be? “When I have a conversation with people [who don’t understand cricket], I basically tell them to think of baseball, but different,” says Shrivastava. Then with a chuckle he says, “I tell them baseball is lazy man’s cricket. Cricket is a lot quicker, there are fewer things to worry about.” And he’s right. In many ways, cricket is similar to baseball. There’s a bowler (pitcher, in baseball), a batsman (hitter) and a wicket keeper (back catcher). The bowler throws the ball, the batsman hits it, and the wicket keeper stands behind the batsman. There are also players who play the field, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The cricket ground is oval (the newest one in Regina measures about 150 yards by 140 yards), rather than a diamond. There are no foul balls. Once the ball is in play, people who play positions like “silly mid on” and “deep backward

square leg” are in the field trying to catch the ball while two batsmen (one striker, one non-striker) race back and forth along a straight dirt path (the pitch) in the middle of the grounds scoring runs. That’s just Cricket 101. “It is a very tricky sports,” admits Shrivastava. “It can be very complicated and complex.” It can also be a way for newcomers to Canada from certain, cricketplaying countries to make Saskatchewan feel a little more like home.

together, party together, and they’ll decide to put a team in the league. You’ll have a group of similar guys from Northern India or wherever do the same thing.” Shrivastava pauses for a moment, collects his thoughts and says, “The biggest plus that I’ve seen, in regard to cricket in Saskatchewan, is that once you start playing for a team they become your home away from home. They kind of become your family in the summer.”

Families that come from all different regions of the globe, brought together by two things — their love of cricket and the urge to bring a little piece of home to Saskatchewan.

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“There’s been a ridiculous boom in the number of people playing cricket in Saskatchewan,” says Shrivastava. “In 2007 there were still only three teams. In 2008 I think there were four, but in the last three years is just kind of took off. Now we have 10 teams in Regina, five in Saskatoon, and just last year we added a team from Yorkton.” And with this boom has come an increasing sense of community. A community that eases the trials of immigration and the tribulations that can come with living in a foreign country with a different culture and set of traditions from your own. “It really does help,” says Shrivastava. “Coming here, playing cricket with guys who share the same culture as you, the same language as you have, the same habits as you, it makes a big difference. You’ll have a bunch of guys from the province of Punjab who hang out

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into the void Photo: courtesy of void gallery

Small Sask gallery makes art accessible and affordable by ADAM HAWBOLDT

B

eneath 8th Street Books & Comics, down a flight of brown carpeted stairs, you come to a landing. If you turn right, walk a few steps and look to your left you’ll see a small room filled with art. The kind of room that, as soon as you enter, feels comfortable. Inviting. Cool and hip.

Tucked away in a corner near the entrance is a black mannequin dressed in steampunk garb. This is Void, a small art gallery in Saskatoon with a unique mandate: to show affordable, accessible art by new and emerging Saskatchewan artists. “Most galleries don’t show you until you have a sales history,

We don’t just place art we think will sell. We place art we like and believe in. Michael Peterson

On the walls, suspended from chains, hang a host of small, framed pictures. Silkscreen prints of butterflies on surveillance cameras, of faces kissing, explosion symbols superimposed on a swirling background, of white numbers in red circles arranged in a rectangle with the words “Not Even Sesame Street Will Prepare You For This S**t” scrawled below them. There are plinths strategically placed around the room, each topped with wooden and metal works of art.

but you can’t get a sales history if you’re not in galleries,” says Void owner Michael Peterson, pointing out a catch-22 of the modern art world. “And that just doesn’t seem right.” So rather than sitting back and complaining about how there was nothing out there for new artists, Peterson — along with fellow owners Kris Kershaw and Nelson Fraser — decided to do something about it. The idea of Void was born. The next step was to find somewhere to turn their vision into reality. The

small room under 8th Street Books & Comics proved the perfect place. “The first thing we liked about the space was its size,” says Peterson. “We wanted a space small enough that artists — especially emerging artists who don’t have a huge body of work — can fill without stretching themselves.” The other selling point was the price. “From a practical point of view, we wanted a place where the rent wasn’t too high,” says Peterson, “because with emerging artists, there’s no guarantee of sales. We don’t just place art we think will sell. We place art we like and believe in.” Kind of the way they believe in the art produced by the Regina-based collective Articulate Ink.

Until September 1st, all those silkscreen prints hanging on Void’s walls — the explosion symbols, faces kissing, and s**t Sesame Street didn’t prepare you for — are part of a show called Proof, created by the Articulate Ink collective. Comprised of Michelle Brownridge, Amber Dalton, Karli Jessup and Caitlin Mullan, this Regina-based collective is precisely the kind of Continued on next page »

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emerging, sometimes struggling artists Void gallery is looking to showcase. “Having founded our collective and shortly thereafter our studio in the last three years, each of the four of us has been running flat-out to keep up with our day jobs, running the studio, and the rest of our lives,” says Mullan. “This hasn’t always allowed us to work on our own artwork, which is ironic as we spent so much time getting the studio usable for other artists. We wouldn’t trade the journey of the last few years for anything, but we are finally reaching a plateau where we are able to maintain the studio, workshops, etc., and start to return more fully to our own personal practices as artists.” That return has resulted in their most recent show: Proof. In case you were wondering where the exhibit name came from, “proof” is a term used in printmaking in which you create a test print (basically, fiddling with colours and other processes) to make sure everything is copacetic before you move on to your printed edition.

That’s the literal definition. But for the women of Articulate Ink, the name of the show also holds another, more personal meaning. “For the four of us,“proof” also refers to the place we have reached as an organization. That we have “proved” that running our studio in Regina is not only possible, but there is a demand for it in the community,” says Mullan. “We didn’t always think it was possible in the beginning, or even sometimes in the middle, but we have emerged from our formative first few years having reached nearly all of our original goals as an organization.

Like Articulate Ink, Void gallery also has some goals it would like to reach. The first and foremost is to provide the art-loving public with a venue where they can purchase affordable art. “The reality is, a lot of people can’t go in and buy a $2,000 painting. It’s just not in most people’s budget,” says Peterson. “I don’t know why anyone would want only those who

can afford it, that small segment of society, to purchase art. We see that as a bit of a broken model, only relying on the richest part of society to support the art scene rather than trying to create an atmosphere and idea that anyone can afford art.” Standing next to the Void counter, Peterson shifts his weight from one foot to the other, crosses his arms in front of his chest and continues. “For us, we think you should be able to buy art. You should be able to buy local art and original art rather than going into a big box store and buying mass-produced art that everyone else has. We want to help grow the market.” They also want to help emerging artists like Articulate Ink to continue to grow, get their art seen, and to bolster the art scene here in Saskatchewan.

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editorial

marijuana should be legalized

Photo: courtesy of cannabis training university

It’s high time that Canada took this next logical step

W

hen it comes to marijuana, it’s clear attitudes are shifting — especially when it comes to governments. Previously, a certain fear (dare we say “hysteria”?) has been attached to marijuana use. It’s been touted as a gateway drug. It’s bad for your health and will lead to the deterioration to society. But as Bob Dylan once said, “the times they are a-changin’.” Legalizing marijuana is no longer the dangerous, morally corrupt act it was once perceived to be. And we think that’s great. And we’re not the only ones. South of the border, both Colorado and Washington states have legalized marijuana and President Obama seems content to let them be. High-ranking politicians in Switzerland and Denmark are pushing their governments for legalization. In Uruguay, the House of Representatives have passed a bill to make weed legal. And here at home, the Liberal Party of Canada has incorporated legalization as a part of their official platform. Heck, even once-ardent-and-vocal critics of marijuana are beginning to sing a different tune. In fact, a couple of weeks ago CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta — the same guy who, in 2009, wrote an article called “Why I would Vote No on Pot” for Time magazine — came out and said he was wrong. Gupta said that he “calculated about 6% of the current U.S. marijuana studies investigate the benefits of medical marijuana. The rest are designed to investigate harm. That

than they were in 2004, according to a 2011 Health Canada survey. And finally, the myth that pot is horrible for your health has also been blown out of proportion. In fact, in 1995 the British medial journal the Lancet concluded that “the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health.” So if the myths we’ve been taught about marijuana don’t hold much weight — and if all the criminalization of this drug has done is clog our legal system and waste taxpayers’ money on anti-drug resources — we have to legalize marijuana. Not only would it create thousands of jobs, it would also be a new, hefty source of tax revenue for the government. That’s right. You see, a member study from Stop the Violence B.C., a coalition of academics, politicians and public health officials, estimates that BC would earn around $500 million a year in taxes and licensing revenues, should pot be legalized. And that’s just B.C.! Imagine if all of Canada was on board. After all, you know what they say: if it makes dollars, it most assuredly makes sense.

imbalance paints a highly distorted picture,” and even said he was sorry for his previous stance. We think that was pretty big of him. And it would be big of our government (provincial or federal) to hop on this progressive bandwagon and legalize marijuana. Instead of, you know, cracking down hard, as has been the case in recent times. In fact, since the Conservatives came to power arrests for marijuana possession have increased 41 percent. According to a recent, pro-legalizing marijuana article in MacLeans, “In those … years, police reported more than 405,000 marijuana-related arrests, roughly equivalent to the populations of Regina and Saskatoon combined.” That is absurd. After all, since it was criminalized in Canada in 1923, we’ve been told that pot is a gateway drug. That it has a horrible impact on our health and that, should it be legalized, pot use will surely increase. False, false, and false. First, there is no evidence there will be a surge in use. The Netherlands have been permitting the public smoking of marijuana since the mid-’70s, and according to the 2012 United Nations World Drug report, only 7.7 percent of people aged 15-64 use the drug. Here the rate is 12.7 percent. As for pot being a gateway drug, again that’s poppycock. If so, there would be an increase of hard drug use that parallels the increase in marijuana users, but there’s not. In fact, the use of speed, ecstasy, cocaine and hallucinogens are actually lower now

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 making parking meter smart phone-compatible. Here’s what you had to say: – Smart phones for meters is bloody stupid. Just use change like everyone else. How lazy do you have to be?

– Citizens with Saskatchewan plates should not be charged for parking. Meter rates should be increased to $5/hour for all others.

– Re: parking meter story. Great idea! It would be so useful if I could pay for smaller amounts of time and only top up as needed, especially from far away. Bring this here NOW

text yo thoughtsur to 881 vE R b 8372

coffee shop, I may pick it up with a few others. After reading the above article, I had to really laugh when I read: “Verb recommends that you do not smoke salvia, ever”. But of course you do! Why else would you feature this article? That is like saying to a drug addict not to do drugs, yet you feature Adam Hawboldt’s frightening experience with Salvia. He is a fool to waste himself and you are also foolish for featuring it. Are there no other interesting ideas in the world that you could use your ink for? Buh-bye! In response to “Smoking Salvia,” Local, #252 (August 9, 2013)

OFF TOPIC – LOL at Adam Hawboldt’s salvia story! Loved it. Should do a series ;)

– How stupid does Verb have to be to make one of their writers smoke salvia? What if something terrible had happened?

In response to “Smoking Salvia,” Local, #252

In response to “Smoking Salvia,” Local, #252

(August 9, 2013)

(August 9, 2013)

– Salvia is legal even in anti drug US states but if some cancer patient there decides to smoke weed rather than use the meds flogged by big pharma they might end up doing time..that is stranger than tasting a silver pyramid.

– Salvia article was pretty hilarious nice peak into AH’s mind. An interesting approach to exploring why such a powerful hallucinogen is available to the general public. I’ll stick with my less intense drugs for now, though.

In response to “Smoking Salvia,” Local, #252

In response to “Smoking Salvia,” Local, #252

(August 9, 2013)

(August 9, 2013)

– Read the article on the salvia trip and really can’t see how this could be an experience on which one would blow good coin…but then there are those who buy a 26 and then think talking into the big white telephoner is fun. In response to “Smoking Salvia,” Local, #252 (August 9, 2013)

– WTF some crazy s*** like salvia is legal but weed isn’t thats messed up. In response to “Smoking Salvia,” Local, #252 (August 9, 2013)

– Where can I find the video of the salvia trip? And great collum. Well put together. In response to “Smoking Salvia,” Local, #252

I rarely read VERB, but every once in awhile, if I am waiting in a

(August 9, 2013)

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– Clancy is a gem thanks for profiling someone who did so much for our great province. More features on people like this please. In response to “Parks and Recreation,” Local, #251 (August 2, 2013)

SOUND OFF – The Canadian government should absolutely boycott the Russian Olympics. The human rights tragedies beyond the LGBT issues are horrifying. We should not condone this. If powerful countries start pulling out we can send a powerful message.

– I think we’re all pretty fed up with traffic, waiting in line, waiting for hours at doc’s offices, half hour waits in phone ques, all the problems of a crowded province. Enough is enough with growing the province! Our systems can’t handle any more people!

– Texting while driving is like allowing visually impaired people a license to drive.

– Back yard camp fires in a heavily populated urban center is hillbilly sh*t, made legal by a hillbilly mayor and city council. Anyone who does it is broadcasting hillbilly or bush hick ignorance! Self-indulgent MORONS!

– Jaywalkers are getting hit by cars. Good for them pedestrians should not be jaywalking

Next week: What do you think of legalizing marijuana? Pick up Verb to get in on the conversation: We print your texts verbatim each week. Text in your thoughts and reactions to our stories and content, or anything else on your mind.

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not for nothing

Photos: courtesy of the artist

soso mines personal histories for latest album by Alex J MacPherson

N

ot For Nothing is latest record from Troy Gronsdahl, a Saskatoon-based artist and musician who makes hip hop music under the name soso. Conceived as a catalogue of personal and family histories, Not For Nothing is an attempt to assess the present in terms of the past. I caught up with Gronsdahl to learn more about Not For Nothing and his notion of radical sincerity. Alex J MacPherson: You’ve written about how your last record demonstrated that what we call the music industry was not what you expected it to be. It feels like this record is a response to that. Troy Gronsdahl: I feel like I have a more mature perspective on that than I used to have. It can be easy to

to write from a personal place and use my experiences as a starting point for writing my songs. It’s a way for me to understand my experiences and place myself in the world.

get caught up in certain ideas about what it means to achieve success as a musician and what a music career should look like. In the past few years I’ve given that more thought and arrived at a place that works for me. I feel like I can have a music practice and I can make art and I can have a job, and those things don’t have to compete with each other … they can all complement each other in some way.

AJM: It seems that Not For Nothing is an attempt to examine your past and prove that life is not for nothing. TG: I think that’s fair because it’s searching for meaning, not only on the cosmic scale but also on the micro scale. The experiences we have, the failures, there’s a hope that it’s not for nothing. It is easy to be disillusioned about certain things. I guess I’m trying to be reflective and maybe hope that it was not for nothing, that some growth comes out of setbacks and you learn through disappointment.

AJM: And by stripping away all the excess you’re able to write an intensely personal record. TG: I was sort of thinking about my position in the independent hip hop landscape, and I feel like I’ve established myself through this radical sincerity. When I was thinking about hip hop when I was younger a lot of it was about posturing. It was very macho. I liked the idea that sincerity could be radical in some ways, so I try

AJM: You’ve written that “there are no real hooks” on the record, yet the beats

seem to match up with the songs — tension, unresolved figures, stress. TG: I worked with a producer named Maki. He currently lives in Kamloops and we finished the record together in Victoria. I’ve known him for quite a long time and I really respect his work. He makes these brooding atmospheric beats that I think really complement what I was thinking about for this album — he would share beats with me and it was more of a process of writing to certain songs, sort of feeling which ones would work the best. In some respects, it was me responding to the beats that he was sending me, picking ones that resonated with me or ones that harmonized with the lyrics I was working with.

TG: It was kind of cathartic, I think.Somehow putting words to this experience and naming it in some way, or even alluding to it, had given me sort of a place to move forward from. I guess maybe that’s the cathartic moment with the album. It’s something you can work with then. Sort of like once you can articulate that there’s something and you don’t know what it is, it gives you a place to move from. soso August 24 @ Amigos Cantina Tickets at the door

AJM: I’m curious how you feel about the idea that life is not for nothing now, after making the album.

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more than going through the motions

The Shoeless Joes on their debut EP

T

by alex J MacPherson

collection of five infectious rock songs called The Motions. “We like catchy stuff,” says Stork, explaining that in addition to the sounds of classic rock and roll, the band members have also been influenced by groups like Foo Fighters, the Black Keys, and Kings of Leon. “We all like the grooviness. And when we get together and jam, the four of us, that’s just what comes out.” These sounds and more are captured on The Motions, which will be released later this month. Recorded over the winter in a series of short, intense bursts, The Motions was conceived as something the band could give to club

he members of the Shoeless Joes have been playing music together for years. Growing up in Maple Creek, a small town tucked away in the southwest corner of the province, Dillon Currie, Ethan Stork, and Aspen and Greig Beveridge spent their time learning covers of songs by Ray Charles and the Beatles — catchy pop from the golden age of rock and roll. In early 2012, reunited after several years apart and motivated by the success of a one-off show in Maple Creek, the four young men moved to Saskatoon and began planning their first record, a

owners to improve their chances of securing a show, a perennial problem for young bands. “We just wanted to put out something that was a very accurate representation of what we sound like during a live show,” Stork says of the record, which feels raw and unrefined. “We wanted it to sound as live as possible with as little production as possible.” The Motions captures the sound and intensity of a live performance, but it also depicts a band in search of a sound. The strongest song on the album, and the one that best captures the band’s musical vision, is “Black Roses,” which uses a blast

Photo: courtesy of anna martens

of frenetic guitar and piano to show off a chorus as simple as it is effective — proof that the Shoeless Joes have a solid foundation on which to build.

The Shoeless Joes August 23 @ Rock Bottom Tickets at the door

things potentially it can’t quite do,” she says, alluding to the idea that her original intention was subverted by an exploration of technique and process.” Creatures In Translation is a meditation on the relationship between high and low culture, and an examination of the way status changes over time. It is also a look at our collective desire to domesticate wild animals, to transform them into objects to be hoarded. But the main thrust of the exhibition is the process itself. It provides unprecedented access to a respected artist’s studio — a look at the details most artists will never reveal.

“When I think about it,” she laughs, “it’s four teapots and then riffing off of them, endlessly riffing. Like a jazz riff: you start with these things and what comes out unfolds through my own attempt to remake them.”

creatures in translation

Experiments in process from Saskatoon artist Susan Shantz

M

ost artists would be horrified by the suggestion that their sketches should be put on display. But this is the essence of Creatures in Translation, an exhibition of works by Susan Shantz. Creatures in Translation uses Shantz’s sketches, and even her mistakes, to subvert the way we think about art. By emphasizing the process rather than the finished product, Shantz is able to ask probing questions about form and technique. “The project started by looking at website images of artifacts in collections of galleries,” she explains. “They’re more accessible now, through the internet. You can see

by alex J MacPherson

what’s in a collection and there’s a sense that you know something because of the digital representation of it.” Shantz spent months exploring archives and basement vaults using her computer. She looked at thousands of digital prints. But something wasn’t quite right. “You can’t have three dimensions on the internet,” she says. “You can get a photographic representation, but you miss a lot of what I like — the physicality of the thing. The somatic sense of things, what they’re like in space.” Shantz found the solution in an article about three-dimensional printing, a technique used by engi-

neers and architects to transform digital renderings into solid objects. Selecting images of four Japanese teapots shaped like animals, she set about trying to replicate them. Working from photographs and basic measurements, she spent hours learning how to carve virtual blocks of clay with virtual knives. The learning curve was steep and mistakes began to pile up, but Shantz saw value in every one of her creations. “I was interested in how there would be errors in the attempt to replicate, because maybe the scale isn’t quite right, but I was also interested in how the digital technology breaks down, and how there are

Creatures in Translation Through August 30 @ Kenderdine Art Gallery Free

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbRegina amacpherson@verbnews.com

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Breaking rules with Tech n9ne Photo: courtesy of Strange Music Inc

Missouri rapper on his most ambitious album and his love of music by Alex J MacPherson

A

aron Yates likes breaking rules. He’s good at it, too. Yates is a rapper from Kansas City, Missouri who performs under the name Tech N9ne. In a career spanning more than two decades, he has established himself as one of the most successful independent rappers in the world. And he did it by breaking the rules. In the early part of the last decade, when artists were still flocking to major record labels, Yates started his own. As singles and EPs made a comeback because of plummeting sales and ballooning costs, he began releasing records that ran past an hour. When the music industry turned to new technology, he embraced the traditional method of building a career: releasing good records and touring relentlessly. His latest project is no different. A sprawling concept album, Something Else is one of the most ambitious records Yates has ever made. Running well past 60 minutes and loaded with a diverse array of sounds and guest performers, Something Else is yet another milestone in a career defined by ambition, restless creativity — and a healthy contempt for rules

world is going to end in fire. I’m like, oh my God, meteorites are going to do it.” Yates uses the destructive force of a meteor shower as a metaphor for the chaos and confusion of the world today; the first section of the record unfolds like an endless reel of nightmarish footage, each frame rendered in horrifying detail.

“I knew that I wanted it to be bigger than All 6’s And 7’s, and that’s an amazing feat, you know?” Yates says, referring to the first album he released in 2011, which received glowing reviews despite its staggering 76-minute length. “To think that you can get bigger than that is really a narcissistic thing. But it happened,

I don’t try to genre-bend. It’s just something I’ve always done … It’s like this is just me being the clusterf**k I am… aaron yates

you know?” Something Else unfolds in three distinct sections; they are titled “Fire,” “Water,” and “Earth.” The sections are broken up by simulated newscasts featuring Mark Alford, the voice of Fox News in Yates’ hometown of Kansas City. The album opens with Alford reading reports of fire raining from the sky. “It was inspired by something that scared the hell out of me,” Yates says of the first section. “In Revelations, in the Bible, they say the

The opening section of Something Else is anchored by the stunning “I Am Not A Saint.” Constructed from old spirituals and the rhythmic pulse of a muted drum kit, the song is wrenchingly, almost unbearably, honest. Yates says he was inspired to write it after Seven (the stage name of Michael Summers, who produced most of the album) sent him the beat. “When a beat talks to me, I usually tell Seven, ‘You’re going to make me tell Continued on next page »

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the truth on this beat, man, you’re going to make me tell the truth,’” he says with a laugh, pointing out that the song is a catalogue of past misdeeds framed as a plea for forgiveness. “I let loose a lot of the things. I’m saying too much on that song, man, entirely too much.” The track finishes with a stirring confession, spoken as the music fades into nothingness. “Damn,” Yates mutters. “To the people who love me, I apologize for me back then. I was intoxicated, I was on drugs, and now there’s a new me.” Something Else is a meditation on the world today, seen through the prism of Yates’ own experiences and desires. And, like the society in which we live, his humanity is rife with contradictions. On some songs Yates positions himself as an omniscient force for good; on others, like “I Am Not A Saint,” he seems almost helpless to stop the chaos unfolding around him. “I love it because that’s human,” he says. “We’re imperfect, you know what I mean? There’s just that duality, good and bad, and I’ve always had it — and I love my music to be human. I don’t like it to be perfect because I am imperfect as a man, you know what I mean? I don’t claim to be perfect.” After a pause he continues, “this album is as close to perfect as I can get. The next one will probably be even more perfect. I don’t know if I’ll ever reach total perfection, but we’ll see.”

Photo: courtesy of Strange Music Inc

The lyrics on Something Else are, like the man who wrote them, contradictory and confusing, aware of the fragility of human life yet fearlessly aspirational. Frightening scenes from the streets of Los Angeles repose alongside pleas for a ceasefire in the interest of humanity. These ideas are also reflected in the beats themselves. Some are straightforward rap beats; others deliberately reach into new territory, particularly the grungy sound

of modern rock and roll. Yates thinks of himself as a musical egalitarian, a point he drives home by telling a story about a karaoke bar. “When I’m drunk in the bar, doing karaoke and singing ‘Freebird,’ I’m the only black dude in there,” he says. “And the white folks in there are looking at me like, what the hell? That’s normal to me but abnormal to the other person seeing me in gang attire singing ‘Freebird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd.” Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Yates likes singing Lynyrd Skynyrd songs in karaoke bars. After all, he recruited a slew of unusual collaborators to work on Something Else. The album features appearances by a number of hip hop luminaries, including T-Pain, Wiz Khalifa, Cee Lo Green, and the Game. But it also includes parts by the aforementioned newscaster Alford, Serj Tankian of System of a Down, and music by the Doors. “I don’t try to genre-bend,” Yates says. “It’s just something I’ve always done. I love different types of music, so if these beats come to me, this is what I’m going to do. It’s not something I try to do, [have] Serj Tankian on this song and then have the Doors on that song and then have some gangsta ass s**t, with Trae tha Truth and Red Café and Big Scoob. It’s like this is just me being the clusterf**k I am, and I love it.” The sheer variety of sounds on Something Else makes listening to the album a lot of fun. Yates is good at exploring new ideas without it feeling forced or gratuitous. His unmistakable voice and unflinching honesty are the two constants, keeping the album on course whenever a barrage of sound threatens to detail it. After the horrorshow of the first section, Something Else moves into more placid territory. The second section, titled “Water,” is about simple pleasures; Yates characterizes it as a meditation on sex and dancing and money. “I like my albums to calm down if they start off hot, you know what I mean?” he laughs. “It landed in fire ­— boom! — where everything is dark, and then it gets calmer with sex and the things that people love. When you get to ‘Earth,’ I made that my heavenly level.” The last section is dominated by “Believe,” a final benediction for anyone who has survived the apocalypse and the garden of earthly delights.

“If you can believe it can get better, than it will get better,” Yates says of “Believe,” which casts his meditative rap verses against a rousing chorus sung by Kortney Leveringston. “I say some real serious stuff in there. Stuff like, ‘Racism is passed down and gay gives them mad frowns / But how they live and laugh now should be they biz and last sound from crass clowns.’ And ‘People should be free to be together / Should be free to be whatever you can see that we can better / When we give respect is good in any language.’ Respect goes far in any language, know what I’m saying? It’s a real thing man.” Something Else is sometimes a difficult record to figure out, but “Believe” drives home the idea that the world can be whatever we want it to be, and that humanity can extricate itself from the mess of the twenty-first century. Yates may think of himself as a walking, talking, rapping contradiction, but songs like “Believe” rise far above the fire and the brimstone, showing that at least one of his beliefs is unassailable. Something Else is much more than a long rap album packed with searing beats, musical experiments, and brooding lyrics; it is a reflection of Yates’ idea that people can come together to extinguish racism and hatred and fear, and that music is a conduit for understanding. “That’s how I would truly love to see the world,” he says. “It’s in disarray right now, know what I mean, and it’s been that way for awhile and it’s getting worse. So my wish, and that’s what Mark Alford said in the last skit, is that this burgundy mist would spread everywhere, for the better of mankind, and make a better place for all of us to live.” Being contradictory, a rapper who can talk about violence and poverty and hope and faith in a single sentence, might be against the rules. But Yates has never really had much patience for rules, anyway. Tech N9ne August 23 @ The Odeon Events Centre $35+ @ The Odeon Box Office Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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one of a kind

Photos courtesy of Adam Hawboldt

Prairie Harvest does turducken right by adam hawboldt

T

here are certain things every great burger needs to be. First off, it needs to be delicious (that goes without saying). It needs to be big. It needs to be messy (again, without saying). And, at least for me, it needs to be unique. There has to be something that sets it apart, a twist that makes it unlike any burger you’ve eaten before. Enter the turducken burger at Prairie Harvest. While sitting on the restaurant’s patio the other afternoon — sun beating down on my back, a warm summer breeze blowing through the flowers — I scanned the Prairie Harvest lunch menu. The Saskatoon fish burger with tzatziki sauce looked good. So did the beef

The bun is toasted to perfection, the patty is oh-so moist. And the burger as a whole? Well, it’s huge and messy and sweet and salty and savoury. Not to mention highly original — I can honestly say it was the first turducken burger ever to grace my mouth.

brisket and pulled pork sandwich. But when I got to the turkducken burger, about halfway down the menu, there was no need to look any farther. Consisting of an inhouse made patty of duck, turkey and chicken, topped with aged cheddar, thick strips of bacon, pick-

…the turducken burger is everything you want in a burger — and then some. adam hawboldt

And, in case you’re wondering, it was, in a word, fantastic. And the side dish was pretty darn good, too. You have the choice of either soup, salad or beet and potato chips. Me, I opted for the latter and was pleasantly surprised with the first beet chip I bit into. Crunchy and with a subtle sweetness, the beet chips at Prairie Harvest are unique and scrumptious. By the end of it I was full to the brim. But, just as I was about to take my leave, I heard someone inside the restaurant order doughnuts for dessert. Doughnuts, you say? Don’t mind if I do. What I ordered was better than I could’ve imagined. Two maple bacon doughnuts served

led onions, local berry relish and herb mayo, the turducken burger is everything you want in a burger — and then some.

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide washington apple

Ingredients

This drink is one of those versatile ones that can be served as a martini, a shooter, or a cocktail. But no matter which way it’s served, the Washington Apple never fails to please.

1 ounce Crown Royal 1 ounce Sour Apple Schnapps 1 ounce cranberry juice 1 apple slice

Directions

Pour the Crown Royal, Sour Apple Schnapps and cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass of your choice, and garnish with apple slice (unless you opted for the shooter).

with maple bacon glaze on a bed of maple crème fraîche and cranberry coulis. And talk about delicious. The doughnuts were warm and soft. And the combination of maple bacon with the cranberry and maple sauces was nothing short of ambrosial. Don’t take my word for it, though. Stop by Prairie Harvest sometime

and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. Prairie Harvest Cafe 2917 Early Drive | (306) 242 2928 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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music

Next Week

coming up

single mothers

the foggy notions

Hollerado

@ vangelis tavern saturday, August 31 – $8 (advance); $10 (door)

@ amigos cantina saturday, august 24 – $TBD

@ amigos cantina tuesday, november 5 – $10

Birds of a feather, they say, flock together. And while clichéd, that holds true for Single Mothers. All four members of the band (Andrew Scott, Emerson Thompson, Evan James Redsky, Brandon Robert Jagersky and Michael James Peterson) put on dangerously explosive live shows, where they blend punk and rock ‘n roll to create a palpable tension. The fourpiece has a lot in common — restlessness, anger, hunger and music — which infuses Single Mothers with a seductive, gotta-see-them-live kind of vibe. Some might say that’s the perfect recipe for a punk rock band, and from their howling lyrics to their blasting drums and guitars, they’re not far off. Single Mothers have a stage presence you won’t soon forget, so check them out at Vangelis next week.

Saskatoon’s The Foggy Notions formed in 2009, forging ahead with their own take on pretty pop music. Featuring the talents of Kalon Beaudry (vocals, guitar), Janice Weber (bass) Charles Lemire (drums), Drew Davies (keyboard) and Chris Laramee (guitar), the group got down to work. The result? A snappy little debut EP called Beginning to See, which hit the top of the charts at CFCR 90.5 FM. Though they’ve since seen their share of rotating members, the Notions offer up a sound that’s light and catchy, poppy and romantic, and they’ve been winning over fans around the city and beyond. This talented group and their exciting brand of pop-rock music will be rocking Amigos Cantina next week. Don’t miss it.

It’s easy to see why Ottawa’s Hollerado have so many fans. With infectious melodies, catchy hooks and heavy guitars, the kind of indie rock/ power pop they play is the stuff radio stations love to air — and music listeners like to hear. Case in point: since releasing their first LP, Record in a Bag, in 2009 and again in 2010, this indie four-piece has had a handful of songs crack the top 20 on the Canadian Alt charts. Their latest single, “Pick Me Up,” from 2013’s White Paint, climbed the highest. Made up of Dean Baxter, Jake Boyd, Nixon Boyd and Menno Versteeg, Hollerado was nominated for Best New Group at the 2011 Juno Awards. And while they didn’t win, just to be nominated proves they’re an up-and-coming band to watch. Tickets available through ticketedge.ca – By Adam Hawboldt

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

Sask music Preview

Photo: courtesy of telekhovskyi

Drummers, get ready! The Regina Drum Festival, which takes place Sept 28 - 29 in The Exchange and The Club, will feature a tradeshow, clinics and performances. This year you’ll see the talents of Kenny Aronoff, Matt Halpern and Richie Gajate Garcia, with more huge names being announced very soon. For more information, please see http://www.jaysonbrinkworth.com/ regina-drum-festival-2013/ Keep up with Saskatchewan music. saskmusic.org

17 Aug 16 – Aug 22 @verbsaskatoon

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august 16 » august 24 The most complete live music listings for Saskatoon. S

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Friday 16 House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven it up. 9pm / No cover Old Man Canyon / Amigos — Also appearing is Kirby Criddle. 10pm / TBD DJ Aash Money / Béily’s — It’s a high-energy top 40 dance party. 9pm / $5 cover

Stuck in the ‘80s / Buds on Broadway — High energy classic rock. 9pm / Cover TBD BPM / Diva’s — Resident DJs spin electro/vocal house music. 10pm / $5 DJ Eclectic / The Hose — Local turntable whiz pumps snappy beats. 8pm / No cover DJ Stikman / Jax — Kick off your weekend with all your favourite party hits. 9pm / $5 DJ Big Ayyy & DJ HENCHMAN / Outlaws — Round up your friends. 8pm / $5 JoMama / Piggy’s — A rock and country trio. 9pm / No cover Neil Roston / Prairie Ink — A blues and folk duo to rock your socks off. 8pm / No cover Dr. J / Spadina Freehouse — This local DJ knows how to get the party started. 8pm Terri Anne Strongarm / Stan’s Place — Country music for your soul. 9pm Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — With Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King. 10pm / $5

Party Rock Fridays / Tequila — Featuring DJ Anchor. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ NICK RUSTON / Uncle Barley’s — Come and check him out! 9pm / Cover TBD Purdy Bird + more / Vangelis — Come out and start your weekend off right. 10pm / $8

Saturday 17

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes. 9pm / No cover Dumb Angel + more / Amigos — Four hot acts for one hot price. 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Aash Money + DJ sugar daddy / Béily’s — It’s a dance party. 9pm / $5 Stuck in the ‘80s / Buds on Broadway — High energy classic rock. 9pm / Cover TBD SaturGAY Night / Diva’s — Resident DJs spin exclusive dance remixes. 10pm / $5 DJ Kade / The Hose & Hydrant — Saskatoon’s own DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover

DJ Stikman / Jax Niteclub — Ladies’ night with the Jax party crew. 9pm / $5 cover DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman / Outlaws — Round up your friends. 8pm / $5 JoMama / Piggy’s — Rock and country. 9pm Wires n Wood / Prairie Ink — A local trio that is sure to entertain. 8pm / No cover The Usual + more / Rock Bottom — A night of heavy, awesome tunes. 8pm / $15 Cam Weist, Emilio Del Canto / Freehouse — It’s a Fuse Collected event! 8pm / No cover Terri Ann Straongarm / Stan’s Place — Country music for your soul. 9pm Dueling Pianos / Staqatto — With Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie + Brad King. 10pm / $5 DJ Anchor / Sutherland Bar — It’s the world famous video mix show! 10pm / Cover TBD sexy saturdays / Tequila — A night of hot tunes. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Thorpdeo / Uncle Barley’s — Spinning hot tunes all night. 10pm / Cover TBD

Close Talker / Vangelis — Also appearing is Boreal Sons. 10pm / $10 Brian MacAreavey / The Woods — Acoustic is where it’s at. 9pm / No cover

Sunday 18

Industry Night / Béily’s — With DJ Sugar Daddy. 9pm / $4; no cover for industry staff Selena Gomez / CUC — This pop star is well worth the price of admission. 7pm / $50+ DJ KADE / The Hose & Hydrant — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover

Monday 19

Three String Fretless / Buds — A talented local band fronted by Kelly Read. 9pm DJ Audio / Dublins — Spinning dope beats. 9pm / Cover TBD

Tuesday 20

DJ SUGAR DADDY / The Double Deuce — Able to rock any party, this crowd favourite has always been known to break the latest and greatest tracks in multiple genres. 9:30pm / $4 cover DJ Nick Ruston / Dublins — Spinning dope beats. 9pm / Cover TBD Open Mic / The Somewhere Else Pub — Come out to show your talent. 7pm / No cover

Wednesday 21

HUMP WEDNESDAYS / 302 Lounge & Discotheque — Resident DJ Chris Knorr will be spinning all of your favourite songs and requests, every Wednesday night. 9pm / No cover until 10pm; $3 thereafter Three String Fretless / Buds — A talented local band fronted by Kelly Read. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Memo / Dublins — Spinning dope beats. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Kade / The Hose & Hydrant — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover buck wild WEDNESDAYs / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Come out and ride the mechanical bull! 9pm / $4; no cover for industry staff The Avenue Recording Company presents Open Mic / Rock Bottom — Hosted by Chad Reynolds. Sign up and play at this weekly event. 10pm / No cover CJWW Karaoke / Stan’s Place — Your talent, aired on the radio! 9pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — With Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King. 10pm / No cover

Thursday 22

Cruel Young Heart / Amigos Cantina — Vancouver pop-rock trio. Also appearing: Lords Kitchner, Jumbo and Chersea Ring. 10pm / Cover TBD Continued on next page »

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From the Founding of the Day / Buds — Come rock the night way. 9pm / Cover TBD Throwback Thursdays / Earls — Come experience the best in retro funk, soul, reggae and rock provided by Dr. J. 8pm / No cover DJ Kade / The Hose — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover The Proclaimers / Odeon — How far would you walk to see this UK duo? 7pm / $29.50+ (theodeon.ca) Thunder Riot w/Conky Showpony / Rock Bottom — This DJ plays the kind of music that’ll get your feet moving. 9pm / $5 Triple Up Thursdays / Tequila — Featuring DJ Dislexic. 9pm / Cover TBD Animal Teeth, Tommy Alto / Vangelis — A night of indie and pop rock. 10pm / $10 Open Stage / The Woods — Hosted by Steven Maier. 9pm / No cover

Friday 23

House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven it up. 9pm / No cover Canyon Rose Outfit / Amigos — An Edmonton band bringing rock n’ roll back to life. 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Aash Money / Béily’s — DJ Aash Money throws it down. 9pm / $5 cover The Hung Jury / Buds — Covering everything from AC/DC to Michael Jackson. 9pm / Cover TBD BPM / Diva’s — Resident DJs spin electro/vocal house music. 10pm / $5 DJ Eclectic / The Hose — DJ Eclectic pumps snappy beats. 8pm / No cover DJ Stikman / Jax — Kick off your weekend with all your favourite hits. 9pm / $5 cover Tech N9ne / Odeon — Rap come at ya straight out of Kansas City. 9pm / $35+ DJ Big Ayyy & DJ HENCHMAN / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Round up your friends. 8pm / $5; ladies in free before 11pm Brewster and the Roosters / Piggy’s — This band will rock you. 9pm / No cover One More Troubadour / Prairie Ink — Instrumental acoustic guitar. 8pm / No cover The Shoeless Joes / Rock Bottom — It’s their EP release party! 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Fink / Spadina Freehouse — EDM done right. 8pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto — With Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie + Brad King. 10pm / $5 Party Rock Fridays / Tequila — Featuring DJ Anchor. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Nick Ruston / Uncle Barley’s — Come and check him out! 9pm / Cover TBD Soul Mates + more / Vangelis — A night of good company and great tunes.10pm / $10

Saturday 24

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes all night. 9pm / No cover

Soso + more / Amigos — It’s soso’s album release party! 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Aash Money + DJ sugar daddy / Béily’s — It’s a dance party. 9pm / $5 The Hung Jury / Buds — Covering everything from AC/DC to Michael Jackson. 9pm / Cover TBD SaturGAY Night / Diva’s — Resident DJs spin exclusive dance remixes. 10pm / $5 DJ Kade / The Hose — Saskatoon’s own DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover DJ Stikman / Jax Niteclub — Ladies night with the Jax party crew. 9pm / $5 cover DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman / Outlaws — Round up your friends. 8pm / $5 Brewster and the Roosters / Piggy’s — This band will rock you. 9pm / No cover The Lost Keys / Prairie Ink — Eclectic easy listening. 8pm / No cover Warsenal / Rock Bottom — Thrash/speed metal from Montreal. 9pm / Cover TBD

Charly Hustle / Spadina Freehouse — A local DJ who gets the party started. 8pm Dueling Pianos / Staqatto — With Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie + Brad King. 10pm / $5 DJ Anchor / Sutherland Bar — It’s the world famous video mix show! 10pm / Cover TBD Sexy Saturdays / Tequila — A night of hot tunes. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Thorpdeo / Uncle Barley’s — Spinning hot tunes all night. 10pm / Cover TBD Haunter / Vangelis — Rock ‘n’ roll five piece from Winnipeg. 10pm / $8 Kelly Read / The Woods — Get down and dirty with this talented bluesman. 9pm / No cover

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

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Photo: Courtesy of universal pictures

Not so kick ass Kick-Ass 2 is fun but lacks oomph of the original. by adam hawboldt

T

here’s a scene in the original Kick-Ass that seems to capture the entire movie in a nutshell. It happens when Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) confronts a group of drug dealers, drops the C-word, then proceeds to kick the ever-loving s**t out of her adversaries. That scene was violent, foul-mouthed, irreverent, dark and highly original — especially when it comes to superhero movies. I mean, really. In an age of superhero movies like Spider-Man and Superman, a scene like that really stands out. Really sets a movie apart. That’s why the original Kick-Ass did so well at the box office (nearly $97 million worldwide), and garnered the film a cult-like following. Chances are, the same won’t happen with its sequel, Kick-Ass 2. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. But the biggest of all is the uneven, fragmented nature of the film. Directed by Jeff Wadlow (Cry Wolf, Never Back Down), Kick-Ass 2 picks up pretty much where the original left off. Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) is dead, Hit Girl is being cared for by her dad’s old cop partner, Marcus (Morris Chestnut), and Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is still doing his regular-guy-wants-tobe-a-superhero thing. But whereas the first Kick-Ass film moved all these characters along a coherent, tightly-knit plot line, the second installment sees fit to separate them. Not the wisest move, I tell ya.

On the one hand, you have Hit Girl (aka Mindy) laying down her weapons, putting her ass-kicking ways aside, and trying to become a normal high school girl with normal high school girl problems — mainly, the queen mean girl at school (Claudia Lee). On the other hand, there’s Dave: still inept, still looking to foil bad guys. He has since joined a rag-tag super-

Kick-ass 2 Jeff Wadlow Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz + Jim Carrey Directed by

103 minutes | 14A

of subverting the superhero genre and doing the unexpected at times (the training montage, the effects

…the biggest [problem] is the uneven, fragmented nature of the film. Adam Hawboldt

of losing a parent, the being pulled in two directions at once), it occasionally falls into the trap of being remarkably like other superhero movies. Which isn’t to say it’s squeaky clean or anything. There’s still gratuitous violence, the language is still saltier than the Atlantic Ocean, and there are still some raunchy-yet-hilarious moments. But for the most part it doesn’t quite live up to the original. Then again, most sequels rarely do.

hero group called Justice Forever (led by none other than Jim Carrey) and desperately wants Hit Girl to train him. Eventually Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), aka Red Mist from the first movie, comes along and forms a bad-guy group of his own. He’s still pissed that Kick-Ass killed his mobboss father so he takes on a new villain persona (The Motherf**ker), dresses up in his mom’s bondage gear, and vows revenge on Kick-Ass and everyone he knows. Things heat up and soon Hit Girl has a serious decision to make: remain a normal teenage kid or put on her spandex and lend a helping hand. What happens next, well, it’s to be expected. Kind of. And therein lies another small problem with Kick-Ass 2. Instead

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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I was so excited… … but no more. I’m So Excited misses the mark by adam hawboldt

Photo: Courtesy of ph

I

f you’ve never heard of director Pedro Almodóvar, you should look him up. Give his movies a watch. In the early going, his films were highly stylized romps about cultural and sexual freedom. Full of colour and élan, these early comedies were funny and racy and made Almodóvar the toast of Spanish cinema. Rightfully so. Anyone who has ever seen his first film (Pepi, Luci, Bom

fact, they were damn fine movies. All of them. But when it was announced that his new film, I’m So Excited, was a return to his old, screwball, sex-farce ways, Almodóvar fans had high hopes. Too bad I’m So Excited didn’t live up to them. Sure, there are parts of the movie that work. The premise of the thing is that a plane, traveling from Madrid to Mexico City, gets its landing gear stuck and must circle round and round the airport. The crew and

It’s too full of camp. Too light and clichéd and full of stock…characters… Adam Hawboldt

y otras chicas del montón) knows what I’m talking about. The scene featuring a golden shower during a knitting session alone is enough to warrant the director a cult following. He followed that up with the hilarious, screw-ball movie Labyrinth of Passions. Then things took a turn for the darker. When he put out The Skin I Live In and Broken Embraces, many Almodóvar fans sat straight up in their seats and thought, “What the hell is happening here?” To understand it in more North American terms, it’d be like John Waters doing a PG comedy or Quentin Tarantino putting out a romantic comedy. And that’s not to say Almodóvar’s darker films were bad. They weren’t. In

business class folk talk of sex and corruption after the coach passengers on the plane have been drugged to sleep. That, in and of itself, is a splendid allegory for Spain’s economy these days. So that works. So too does the film as a somewhat serious meditation on life and death. But other than the big, over-arching aspects of I’m So Excited, everything else falls flat. It’s too full of camp. Too light and clichéd and full of stock, onedimensional characters to be good. There’s the three flamingly gay flight attendants, the movie star, the dominatrix, the virgin psychic, the embezzler, the Mexican dude with the glorious moustache. There’s a bag of

i’m so excited Pedro Almodóvar Starring Javier Camara, Antonio de la Torre, Raul Arevalo + Hugo Silva Directed by

90 minutes | NR

mescaline someone has stashed you know where, there’s the flight attendant (Javier Camara) who drinks too much tequila, there’s a pilot, a wife, and a homosexual affair. Yep, I’m So Excited is that kind of movie. Think Airplane! … but in Spanish, and nowhere near as hilarious. But let’s not be too harsh. There are one or two genuinely funny parts in the film. The acting is okay and, as with almost all Almodóvar movies, the sets are loud, glamorous, and eye-catching. Yet when you sit down to watch this and the words “Everything in this film is fantasy, and bears no relation to reality” show up on the screen, take them seriously. There’s nothing real about this movie. It’s just a light-hearted romp created by a director who aimed for something and didn’t quite hit the mark. I’m So Excited is currently being screened at Broadway Theatre.

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21 Aug 16 – Aug 22 @verbsaskatoon

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monday, august 12 @

the yard & flagon The Yard & Flagon 718 Broadway Avenue (306) 653 8883

Check out our Facebook page! These photos will be uploaded to Facebook on Friday, August 23. facebook.com/verbsaskatoon

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Photography Photography by by Taylor PatrickThomson Carley

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saturday, august 10 @

jax

Jax Niteclub 302 Pacific Avenue (306) 934 4444

Photography by Patrick Carley

25 Aug 16 – Aug 22 @verbsaskatoon

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nightlife

Check out our Facebook page! These photos will be uploaded to Facebook on Friday, August 23. facebook.com/verbsaskatoon

Photography by Patrick Carley

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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 30. Lack of interest 34. Unable to agree on a verdict, as a jury 35. Colour of the clear sky in daylight 36. Wife of Adam 37. Big coffeepot 38. Turn sharply 39. Prove to be true 40. Tricky question 42. Pay no attention to 44. Selected as the best 45. Part of a pig 46. The Munsters’ pet dragon 47. Chase game

A

. Half-domesticated 1 animal 2. A microwave is one 3. Showery 4. Ballerina’s garment 5. ‘___ on a true story’ 6. Statement of what to do and not to do 7. Baseball stat. 8. Hit very hard 9. Let stay behind 11. Faithful 12. Elimination round 14. Measure out 17. Of laughter 20. Employment extra 21. A rooster is one

23. ___ Kong, China 24. Dark area on the moon 26. Feed 27. Block entrance to 28. Blender button 29. Records kept in chronological order 31. Deeply religious B 32. Done openly 33. Nothing more than 35. Cap with no brim 38. Vote that blocks a decision 39. Nameless, for short 41. Drink slowly 43. Animal with a beard

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

1. Poultry 5. Use a coffeemaker 9. River embankment 10. Pertaining to the ear 12. Regarding this matter 13. Skiing race downhill 15. Get through hard work 16. Arboreal animal’s home 18. Caustic soda 19. Address abbreviation 20. Word on a receipt 21. Castle’s protection 22. Ties to a stake 24. Flooring wood 25. A number showing the place in a sequence 27. Punish a naughty child

© walter D. Feener 2013

sudoku answer key

DOWN

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

ACROSS

Horoscopes August 16-august 22 Aries March 21–April 19

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

It’s time to take that leap of faith, Aries. There may be some detractors saying it can’t be done, but you never know until you try.

Some long term plans could finally come to fruition this week, Leo. You’ve been working for this for a long time, so enjoy the rewards.

Something from your past could rear its head this week, Sagittarius. It would be a good idea to deal with this, once and for all.

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

Communication with someone you haven’t thought of in a very long time could lead to a relocation. Taurus, this is the week to pursue adventure!

Someone close to you could have a huge secret they want to share. They may be nervous to spill the beans, so try to be open to what they have to say.

A new hobby or pastime could yield an unexpected surprise. It’s time to brace yourself for new and exciting things, Capricorn!

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

Confrontations might not be your thing, Gemini, but it’s time you stood up for what you believe in. Speak your mind.

You could be traipsing over some uncharted territory this week. Enjoy it! Getting off the beaten path has its rewards.

Your longing to see someone or something has been growing lately, Aquarius. Never fear: soon all will be resolved.

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

You could experience an enormous life change this week, Cancer. For good or bad, it’s hard to say, so get ready to roll with the punches.

Don’t be afraid of trying new things, Scorpio. Variety is the spice of life, and now is the time to flavour things a little differently!

Your creative energies are soaring this week, Pisces. Be adventurous with them — it’s time to try something new.

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

crossword answer key

A

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

B

29 Aug 16 – Aug 22 @verbsaskatoon

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cross on over 2013 Rav 4 by rhiannon herbert

R

emember the nineties? Pleated pants, Alien 3, people that cared about Oasis…and the introduction of crossover vehicles. What a time it was! The Toyota RAV4 was among the original crop of compact crossovers in the mid-nineties, and has enjoyed steady success ever since. In the early 2000s, cars got bigger. The SUV was hot, and little cars were not. As a result, crossovers increased in size, offering car/SUV hybrids to meet the demand for size. Now in its fourth incarnation, 2013’s RAV4 SUV crossover continues the legacy of managing former outsized expectations within contemporary parameters of scale and cost.

Photo: Courtesy of rhiannon herbert

they’ve done anything particularly innovative, the results are largely pleasing. The old side-hinge gate has been replaced with a roofhinge, enabling curbside loading of cargo, children, and what have you, and the XLE comes with a set of roof rails. The available colour pallet is also nice, offering a range of deep earth tones or classic, multi-tonal metallics. The overall impression is sleek and light, delivering a high-end look and feel for a car that’s essentially a really big grocery-getter. No small feat.

interior

Styling

Photo: Courtesy of rhiannon herbert

I

Photo: Courtesy of yorktontoyota.com

T

he 2013 RAV4 is a large vehicle, at least by my standards, but it carries the weight well. It’s essentially the same size of its predecessor, but it’s sexier than last year’s model. Maybe that’s why they have the girl from Big Bang Theory peddling it on T.V. in a purple pantsuit? Who’s to say, really. In certain terms, the body is decidedly more stylish and sculpted, making for a sleeker, less bulky, and more aggressive look. The tailgate-mounted spare tire is gone from the back and moved under the cargo floor, simplifying the exterior profile into a hatchbackreminiscent line. Toyota says they “threw out the SUV rule book” for this one, and while I can’t see that

nterior styling is what can often win over a potential buyer — the inside of the vehicle is, after all, where we spend all our time as drivers, and a well designed cabin makes all the difference in determining how at home a person feels in their car. To this end, the RAV4 has placed a lot of emphasis on providing a comfortable environment replete with technological goodies. Digital time display and a sizeable audio display/navigational screen available in the XLE model are definite attention grabbers. There’s speakerphone settings on the wheel, a usb input and disc player — kind of a ‘90s throwback there — and power adjustments for everything inside and out. The dash is stylishly arranged and doesn’t appear cluttered despite the mind-boggling abundance of controls, including a setting for dual zone automatic climate control between the front Continued on next page »

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tivities for all that room have been considered by Toyota’s designers. As SUV crossovers continue to encroach on the sedan in the market for family-friendly cars, the sheer amount of space sure helps explain the trend. This year, the optional third-row seat of previous models has been abandoned, yet the RAV4 still promises to seat five individuals very comfortably. One other nice touch: these are some of the most comfortable seats out there. For those with bad backs, the RAV4 offers a driver’s seat with amazing lumbar support that seems to have been crafted with the frequent driver or long trips specifically in mind.

driving experience Photo: Courtesy of rhiannon herbert

and rear ends of the vehicle. That would be a godsend on family roadtrips. It was too cold to make use of the sun roof, but in the event of one last heat wave, that feature would be just dandy. Space-wise, there’s more than enough. There was practically an echo. The back seat is immense, and the trunk looks like it could house a kennel of huskies.

With the rear seatbacks still in their upright position, one can get up to 38.4 cubic feet of cargo in there. I think that was the size of my last apartment. With the seats down and back ajar a little, it’s possible to fit 4x8 foot sheets of plywood, or whatever other material you may so desire, at one of the lowest load angles available. Despite the size, human-scale ac-

Photo: Courtesy of yorktontoyota.com

T

he 2013 RAV4 rates well with consumers, having already earned high scores with Kelly Blue Book and Edmonds, as well as earning a 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick Award. It also has great resale value, which is always a nice thing to have in your back pocket down

the line. In terms of how it feels to drive, I would go with the word “easy.” The RAV4 hasn’t offered a stick-shift in quite a while, and the six-speed automatic transmission is brainless to operate. The previous 3.5-litre V6 has also since been replaced with a port-injected 2.5-litre four-cylinder, which is just fine for the average driver’s needs and really helps cut down on the gas bill. The ‘Eco Mode’ button, located on the driver’s end of the dash, can also be activated during cruising for added efficiency, while the Sport mode makes nice use of all 176 horses. City driving is a synch. The handling was nimble, the electrically assisted steering was responsive, and the high positioning of the seats creates a good sense of view over the road and other traffic. It really is quite high; I made eye contact with a woman in an Escalade, and for once, giant heavy duty trucks felt like peers. Highway driving felt smooth and comfortable, and cabin noise at higher speeds was moderate. I suppose in the midst of listening to your favorite songs on the stereo system or yelling at the shenanigans in the back, such a thing may be easily overlooked anyway. The Entine multimedia system with voice control, satellite radio, LCD touch screen, backup camera and Bluetooth connectivity will

also take the mind off of any other shortcomings you may notice.

bottom line

Photo: Courtesy of yorktontoyota.com

O

verall, the RAV4 comes across as an ideal family car or just a big boss vehicle for those who like a lot of cargo space. It’s an improvement on the previous model in terms of arrangement and driveline configuration, and while this isn’t the type of car you necessarily want to take out on the track, it’s a well-received urban task buggy with proven reliability and rather dashing good looks. A big step up from the ‘90s.

2013 Rav 4 specs: FWD 4dr XLE 14 2.5L/152 engine 176 horespower 24 City / 31 Highway MPG

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon rherbert@verbnews.com

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are plenty of places to stop, get a snack and rest your legs. Got a need for speed? Friday will feature street legal racing, with gates opening at 5:30 pm and races at 6pm. Auto Clearing motor speedway races also take place that night, at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway at 7pm. Saturday features ‘Alcohol Funny Cars’ starting at 2pm. Don’t know what that is? Intrigued? The only way to find out is to go. I dare you. Aerosmith tribute band ‘Aerosmith Rocks’ also plays Saturday night, but the only way to get tickets is to phone it in and win through Rock102 fm. If that’s your bag, work on getting those tickets and celebrate your love of microphone scarves. It’s not too late!

rock 102 show & shine weekend Rock 102’s Show ‘n Shine will feature over 900 classic cars, bikes + more

Rock 102’s Show ‘n Shine August 23-25 @ Downtown Saskatoon ssw.rock102rocks.com

by rhiannon herbert

M

ark your calendar, because soon downtown Saskatoon will be filled with eye candy of the automotive variety. Rock 102’s Cruise Weekend, kicking off

Friday August 23rd, will feature a ton of classic and hotted-up vehicles, events, and live music. Pick your poison and enjoy part or all of what Cruise Weekend has to offer.

For those interested in checking out the rides, head downtown to gawk at over 900 classic cars, trucks and motorcycles that will be on display. Cars will be on display from 11am to 5pm, in the areas between

22 and 23rd street, and 1 and 4th Avenues. This is an excellent way to see amazing cars up close, peek under the hood, and chat with owners and car club members here in town. Take your family, and take all day — there

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turn it up! Prairie driving songs we love by rhiannon herbert

Photo: Courtesy of Roxana Gonzalez

D

efinitive best-of song lists are never definitive. Debating such things is a time-honoured tradition and one that I routinely enjoy yelling about. However, the following list of classic driving songs has been developed in consultation with many esteemed driving and music listening experts, and has undergone thorough field testing over a prolonged study period. So now, we present to you, the awesomest songs of evertime, to drive or ride to on the prairies.

4. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones Featuring one of the best intros to a song ever written, this song works best on a twilight drive into fading light and untold possibility. You’re singing along halfway through and feel at one with the beautiful chaos of the world.

5. Wheat Kings – The Tragically Hip An anthem written just for us. Best listened to on the way back from a long day on the job, with your dog (or human better half) sitting shotgun.

1. La Grange – ZZ Top

6. Heard it Through the Grapevine - CCR

This doesn’t even need explaining. It just is.

2. Radar Love - Golden Earring You’ve been driving all night, hands wet on the wheel. Relevant lyrical content to the task at hand, plus it’s got that driving beat that all good road songs require. Best done while prepping for an imaginary bank robbery getaway. “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood is an ideal follow-up. Just sneaking that in there.

Picking one song of CCR for such a list is a fool’s errand; they all make sense. It is quintessential driving music for a prairie road trip, preferably in a truck or big old car with friends.

7. Stuck in the Middle With You – Stealers Wheel Because we all know the words, at least for the refrain. Even your mom likes this one. It’s fun for the whole roadtripping family!

3. Highway to Hell – AC/DC

8. Cinnamon Girl – Neil Young

You’ve now robbed the imaginary bank and are speeding on your way to Mexico while hundred dollar bills fly out the back. Life is great. So are you.

Another true classic. Even if you’re not a die-hard Young fan, when this one comes up on the radio, the volume goes up.

9. Run to the Hills – Iron Maiden

10. Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac

This is my personal pick. It gives one a chance to reflect on the colonial turmoil and loss that took place in the land we now live and work in, and it also provides me with the opportunity to air-drum.

The only track in this list to feature a female vocalist. Stevie Nicks: need I say more? This one is classic inspirational soundtrack material for your drive off into the sun. Roll the end credits!

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F is for fun 2013 Fiat 500 by rhiannon herbert

F

iat, as you may know, is an Italian auto manufacturer. Founded in 1899, Fiat has grown for over a century, building everything from tractors to aircraft. But what they’re best known for in North America are their superb little cars. The original Fiat 500s were sold as economical town cars in the 1950s, and while the model has come a long way in terms of refinement and styling, the premise of creating a driver-centric, well-engineered, and affordable car has remained core to the Fiat ethos. Fiat Canada is currently the leading provider of European compact cars, indicative of the growing trend towards both fuel-efficient compacts as well as the growing reach and appeal of European makes in the North American market. The 500 was re-released in 2007, on the 50th anniversary of the original model launch. The 500 has since been presented as a stylish, affordable, and distinct vehicle in the compact market, and its genuine appeal has translated to considerable suc-

cess in a country (and province) where bigger is often understood as better. It was great in 2007, and after testing out the current model, I can say it’s been getting better ever since.

Styling Photo: Courtesy of www.motortrend.com

interior

Photo: Courtesy of Rhiannon herbert

T

he Fiat provides a strong lesson in what correct proportioning can do. While a very small car, the Fiat avoids looking tiny by being made up of proportionally sized parts (e.g., 15 to 16 inch wheels) and well-formed curves. I wouldn’t say this is a “girl’s car,” either, though I hate that term — the 500 isn’t overly cutesy and the almost innumerable options for interior and exterior colour assure one’s tastes can be well represented.

Photo: Courtesy of Rhiannon herbert

T

he interior of the 500 is a smart and punchy complement to the exterior. Refraining from too many distracting bells

and whistles, the focus of the 500 interior is on driving: controls and switches are placed intuitively to keep your mind and eyes on the road. A good example are the volume adjustments, placed on the underside of the steering in order to naturally meet your fingers as they curve around the wheel. Another great interior feature is the instrument cluster, placed in classic chrome-lined rings in centre view, displays both travel and engine speed that one can effectively monitor while busting through the gears on the pool ball knob.

The dash materials are made of a mix of shiny and grained plastic material that are attractive and unpretentious. No fake wood marbling here, just bright, clean colour set against muted, textured tones. Did I mention how many colours there are? Well over a dozen are available for both the inside and outside, and Fiat keeps coming out with new colours all the time. You can literally style your own interior. Choice! It’s the stuff of a well-dressed burger, as well as a well-dressed car. Real chrome details throughout the 500 really

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drive the deal home, pairing its distinctly modern look with classic European nostalgia. Which is, of course, a total win. Other features include Fiat’s own wireless communication system, Apple and Mp3 compatibility, and a host of design features geared towards maximum safety in the event of a fender-bender, like special circular head-rests. Oh, and here’s another clincher: Dr. Dre’s own Beats Audio system is available for both the Sport and Lounge models. I’m guessing it can handle a lot of bass.

driving experience

have all but obliterated blind spots and ensure you don’t feel dwarfed by surrounding traffic. Gas-wise, the 500 offer the greenest petroleum engine on the market. City driving gets you 6.4 L per 100km, while highway promises an impressive 4.9 L per 100km. That’s something a person could really get used to. Highway speeding should be approached with reason, however — the firm suspension and short wheelbase that make the 500 so fun to zig and zag in can be tricky to handle at higher speeds. That said, the 500 is also one of the safest cars on the market. Winner of the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety (IIHS) 2013 Top Safety Pick, the 500 boasts a total of seven air bags. There’s even a set just for your knees.

bottom line

Photo: Courtesy of Rhiannon herbert

2013 Fiat 500 specs: 1.4L 16V I-4 MultiAir® engine

5-speed manual transmission Available 6-speed automatic transmission

CITY: 6.4 L / 100 km; HIGHWAY CITY: HIGHWAY: 4.9 L / 100 km

T

his, in brief, is an extremely fun car to drive. The 500 Pop , Sport and Lounge editions come with a 1.4L 16V engine and a smooth-shifting 5-speed manual transmission. It isn’t much for horsepower, but it’s more than adequate for quickly navigating city traffic while keeping your engine revs up. The gear shift is placed slightly higher than where you’d expect it, sitting at an outward angle from the front-end of the interior instead of sitting down below. The result is a shifting experience more in line with the reach and position of the right arm, and is indicative of the research Fiat has put into ergonomic design. This attention is also evident in the feel of the cabin. The bucket seats are propped up nice and high in the cockpit, providing a sense of view and control in what could otherwise be an insecure experience. The driver’s seat is also adjustable for height to better accommodate each individual. Overall, the visibility in the 500 is excellent — plenty of glass and thoughtful internal arrangement

Photo: Courtesy of www.kbb.com

F

or those looking for an affordable compact that’s still a quality drive, the Fiat 500 is a strong contender. Starting as low as $13, 495, it’s well within reach of those with expensive taste who don’t have that much to spend. And perhaps most importantly, the 500 offers consumers a car that’s extremely engaging to drive. You may want to purchase a set of leather fingerless gloves. Just saying. Just make sure they match the interior.

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Verb Issue S253 (Aug. 16-22, 2013)  

Verb Issue S253 (Aug. 16-22, 2013)

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