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a day of remembrance WWII vet Gordon Wilson + the RAF between the lines Q+A with Dinosaur Bones the best man holiday + special ed Films reviewed­

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Issue #266 – November 15 to November 21

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Photo: courtesy of Sarah Barlow


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NEWs + Opinion

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a day of remembrance Gordon Wilson + WWII. 4-5 / Local

gunning for gold SK chefs compete in Gold Medal Plates. 6-7 / Local

Cheers to this! We think Saskatchewan should revamp its liquor laws. 8 / Editorial

On the cover:

escondido

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Spacey, desert music. 16 / cover

Here’s what you had to say about curbside composting. 10 / comments Photo: courtesy of sarah barlow

culture

Q + A with dinosaur bones TO rockers dig deep. 12 / Q + A

rewilding modernity

sushi + more

Are artists still dealing with the industrial revolution? 14 / Arts

We visit Samurai Japanese Restaurant. 18 / Food + Drink

selling warfare

Music

New play Warriors comes to the Refinery. 15 / Arts entertainment

Shad, Johnny Reid + Pink. 19 / music

listings Local music listings for November 15 through November 23. 20 / listings

the best man holiday + special ed The latest movie reviews. 22-23 / Film

on the bus Weekly original comic illustrations by Elaine M. Will. 30 / comics

Nightlife Photos

Games + Horoscopes

We visited Sports on Tap + The Hose.

Canadian criss-cross puzzle, horoscopes, and Sudoku. 31 / timeout

24-28 / Nightlife

vehicles The Toyota Corolla, F150 Raptor, + more . 32-39 / vehicles

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Office Manager / Stephanie Lipsit account Manager / nathan holowaty sales Manager / Vogeson Paley Financial Manager / Cody Lang

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

T

Photo: Courtesy of Gordon wilson

he photo is black and white, faded. In it, eight young Canadian airmen are assembled next to a Spitfire airplane. Some are sitting on the wing while others stand. Most of them are smiling. Gordon Wilson slowly leans forward in his chair. Gordon is 95 years old now, and doesn’t do anything quickly anymore. With a steady hand, Gordon points to the picture and says, “Out of all these guys, I’m the only one who survived the war.” Gordon moves his head slowly from side to side, laughs a gallows laugh and turns the photo over. On the back, scrawled with an unsteady hand in pen, are a list of names— Brook and Price and Wilson, among others. He flips the photo back over, image side up, and points to a young man in the bottom right-hand corner. The young fellow is smiling, left arm propped against the wing of the plane, right one stuffed in his pocket.

“We saw what happened overseas and thought, there’s Britain getting pounded, the Germans are probably going to invade. So the seven of us marched down and joined the Regina Rifles.” After that, Wilson transferred to the air force with the intentions of becoming a pilot. “My dad said to me ‘Gordon, you don’t have to be air crew. Why don’t you get a ground job?’” says Wilson. “But I was young and stupid, just 21 years old. I didn’t tell dad, but my mind was already made up. I had a grade 12 education, so I was qualified to be a pilot. The next was to go to what they called the ITS in Regina.” That’s where they sorted out what kind of airman you’d be — pilot, gunner or observer. “They had these Link Trainers there. These little boxes sitting on the ground,” says Wilson. “They’d put a hood over it and tell you to have at it. There was a joystick in there. Some

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

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

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

things to tell you your speed, altitude, banking. That’s it. They’d pull the cover over and tell you to go right, go left. An awful lot of people panicked when that hood came over.” But not Wilson. He passed with flying colours and was sent, by train, to Portage La Prairie for flying lessons. That was 1940. In 1941 Wilson shipped out to England on the Empress of Asia. “On the way over there we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. We didn’t know a damn thing that was happening around us,” remembers Wilson. “We’d be up on the deck and see all these flares off in the Continued on next page »

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distance. Or at least, at first we thought they were flares. Turned out they were ships being torpedoed. The seas were full of German submarines trying to intercept us.” But the Empress of Asia made it to Britain unscathed. “I remember getting on a train in South Hampton and going to Bournemouth,” says Wilson. “We got in there at 2 am. It was pitch black. The next morning a [Messerschmitt] 109 came right down the main street and dropped a bomb, as if to say, ‘Hey, we know you’re here!’” They wouldn’t be there long.

Gordon Wilson moves his finger across the black and white photograph, stopping on a man sitting on the wing of the Spitfire. Far right. “He was killed at El Alamein,” says Wilson. Then moving his finger back across the pictures, says, “And him, too.” The Second Battle of El Alamein took place in the autumn of 1942. There were heavy casualties on both sides (roughly 37,000 for the Axis, 13,500 for the Allies), but in the end the Allies prevailed. As Winston Churchill once remarked, “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.” And Wilson was there, flying in a front-line squadron, strafing the hell out of German lines and protecting the ground troops for 20 days. But it was no easy task to get there. “Not too long before El Alamein we

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

Still staring at the photograph on his lap, Wilson moves his finger to the left and points to another pilot. “This fellow here, he was killed on a strafing mission after El Alamein,” he says. Wilson also says one of the closest calls he had during the war was after El Alamein, escorting an American bomber out of Tunisia. “I ran out of oxygen and my eyes went blank on me,” he recalls, staring off in the middle distance. “The rest of me was fine, but there I was spiraling down out of control. I pulled it out. Went spiraling down again. Pulled it out. Got down to about 10,000 feet and my eyes finally cleared. I got my bearings and decided to join up with a group of Spit

5s and do you know happened? The Americans came along and started shooting at me. My mind still wasn’t up to speed, but I managed to get away from them.” Remembering this, Wilson chuckles. Reclines back in his chair and glances down at the black and white photograph. A look of quiet remembrance falls over his face. “You know,” he says, “War is a funny thing. You can go weeks and months with nothing happening. You form friendships with the other guys. Then all of a sudden something happens and you lose a lot of people. They’re shot down or crash in the desert somewhere and you never see them again. They just disappear.” Wilson inhales. Exhales. Then he says, “Soon as they’re gone you get replacements and just go along your business. In war, you harden yourself to stuff like that. It’s just what you have to do.” When I talked to Wilson it was a couple of days before Remembrance Day. A couple of days before people will fill the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon or the Brandt Centre in Regina to show that “Lest We Forget.” And one thing is certain: Gordon Wilson doesn’t forget. Not even a little.

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

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rairieland Park is abuzz with people. Men are wearing freshly pressed suits, dress shirts, and ties, while the women are dressed up in dresses and heels. It’s Friday night. And everywhere you look, people clad in business chic attire are eating and drinking, talking and laughing. They’re all here for the same reason. They’re here for Gold Medal Plates — a culinary competition celebrated in cities across Canada, which features athletes, wine, music and food. Lots of food. Food made by some of the premier chefs in each city. A week before Saskatoon’s event, the Gold Medal Plates were held at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina. There, Crave’s Jonathan Thauberger took home the gold medal. His plate? Rabbit ballotine served atop a rectangular brioche that was smeared with whipped butter infused with rabbit drippings. Paired with Okanagan Valley Fairview Cellars 2010 Two Hoots Bordeaux blend, the dish will see Thauberger, as well as the other medallists from Saskatchewan,

move on to compete at the nation-wide Canadian Culinary Championships. The rabbit was Thauberger’s winning plate. Tonight, though, is a different city, and a different winner. All around the perimeter of the hall at Prairieland Park, tables are set up in a horseshoe formation. Behind them, chefs from various restaurants around the city are busy plating food and explaining the dishes they’ve created. There’s pancetta-wrapped duck confit with hoisin seared King Cole duck breast, crispy apple cracker and chokecherry jus. There’s turkey pumpkin sausage with root vegetables, pearl barley risotto, haskap berries and smoked lake trout. Next to each plating table is the wine that’s been chosen to accompany the dish. Reislings, pinot noirs, cabernet sauvignons — you name it. At the centre of the room, sectioned off from the hustle and bustle of the crowd and the chefs, a group of people are seated around a circular table. There’s Darren Craddock (who won the competition last year). There’s Amy Jo Ehman, CJ Katz, Renée Kohlman,

Janis Hutton and National Advisor James Chatto. There’s also dee Hobsbawn-Smith.

dee Hobsbawn-Smith, who stylizes her name with a lower-case “d,” is a writer. She is also an educator, a chef and a local foods advocate. Her latest book, Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet, won the Best Canadian English-language Food Literature award at the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Hobsbawn-Smith is a lot of things. But tonight, at the Gold Medal Plates in Saskatoon, she is one of the judges of the culinary competition. This isn’t her first time judging for the Gold Medal Plate. She’s been doing it since its inception in Saskatchewan. Before that she judged the same competition in Calgary. But no matter where she is, or what year she’s judging, Hobsbawn-Smith tends to approach most plates the same way. “I smell things first,” she says. “I can’t help it. The majority of taste comes through your nose. It’s a very complicated organ. That’s where most of the flavours first appear.” Continued on next page »

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Photo: Courtesy of adam hawboldt

of that. A little of x, y and z, and putting it all together. If it’s there on the plate, my assumption is, in a gig like this, it’s there for a reason. The chef put it all there for a reason and it’s meant to be eaten together. Eaten together with the wine.” At this point it would be prudent to mention two things. First, the dishes at the Gold Medal Plates aren’t judged solely on smell, sight and taste. There’s also texture to consider, technical expertise, the compatibility of the wine, original-

After smelling the dish, it’s time to give the plate the eyeball test. Is it visually appealing? Beautiful, even? Also a painter and a seamstress, Hobsbawn-Smith spends a good deal of time thinking about the visual component. About textures and contrasts. And as a chef and educator, she’s tried to teach people how to create beauty on a plate. “Sometimes you want things close together, sometimes you want things far apart. Sometimes you want colours in the same arc, other times you

If it’s there on the plate, my assumption is … it’s there for a reason. dee hobsbawn-smith

want contrasting colours. There are no hard rules about how to make a plate beautiful,” explains Hobsbawn-Smith. “I wish I had an easier, more concise answer for you, but there isn’t one.” After taking in the visual component of the plate, Hobsbawn-Smith digs in. But it isn’t just a willy-nilly free-for-all. There’s a method to how she goes about things. “I’m always interested in constructing the perfect bite,” she admits. “Which means on a plate with multiple elements, taking a little of this, a little

ity, the wow factor — that kind of stuff. The second thing that needs mentioning is that judging a culinary competition is a subjective exercise. How can it be anything else? Each judge has different tastes, different backgrounds, different things that stand out for them. “It’s up to each judge to determine what’s important to them. The complexity of the dish, how it eats. We all bring our own biases to the table when we sit down to judge a

dish,” says Hobsbawn-Smith. “Everyone is going to have a different opinion. But do you know what? The cream always rises.” This year, at the Gold Medal Plates in Prairieland Park, the cream of the Saskatoon crop was chef Trevor Robertson of the Radisson Hotel. His plate featured a slice of home-raised corn-fed Muscovy duck “press” mixed with duck foie gras. It also included a crisp strip of duck prosciutto, a sprinkle of dried blueberries, and a variety of corn garnishes: smoked corn sorbet, crisp corn paper, dots of corn gelée, liquefied corn made into corn ‘pearls,’ and corn shoots for fresh corn flavour. “The thing that stood out about Trevor’s dish is that it was a beautiful plate,” says Hobsbawn-Smith. “It had all those gorgeous shades of yellow. It was all about corn. It had a little bit of corn sorbet and corn greens. It was about the intensity of corn flavour. All the corn flavours played off against one another and underlying that was the richness of the duck. Just a lovely plate all around.” Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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

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t’s time we shake up liquor laws in this province. Look, we — as in many provinces in Canada — are used to dealing with archaic liquor laws. But recently there’s been a lot of talk across Canada about making beer and wine more accessible to consumers by stocking it in corner stores and grocery stores and gas stations, and we think that’s great. Victoria is considering putting local craft beer and wine in supermarkets. There is a movement in Nova Scotia pushing for the same. And in Ontario, a similar debate ended up ixnaying the idea of corner stores but proposed to broaden the availability of beer and wine by placing it in boutique and grocery stores. Well, all of that sounds pretty positive to us, which is why we think Saskatchewan should jump on board and bring certain alcohol to the more conveniently located corner stores and supermarkets. But not only that: we think that once we’ve changed up where we can buy alcohol, we’d also like to change how. And that’s why we think it’s time to revisit our stance on privatizing the SLGA. First, though, making alcohol more available to you: of-age adults. Although there are a number of different ways of bringing the sale of alcohol into more mainstream locations, we propose that Saskatchewan adopts the Quebec model of alcohol sales — selling locally brewed beer and wine in convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores. We think doing so would work well for everyone: the consumer reaps the benefit of convenience: a Mac’s or 7-11 is usually much closer than a liquor store, and there are far more of them scattered around the city. And because these stores only stock Saskatchewanmade alcohol — a compromise that doesn’t completely pull all business away from the existing liquor and beer and wine stores — you’re sup-

porting local industries at the same time. Win win. Now, we know change won’t be easy. One of the main reasons people like to maintain the puritanical liquor laws of our province is because they say it will be easier for underage or intoxicated people to access alcohol. But that is complete nonsense. Convenience store clerks already ask for ID from customers purchasing cigarettes, so why couldn’t they do the same for people buying alcohol? In fact, one study by the Commonwealth Foundation found that underage drinking was virtually the same in American states that had government run liquor stores as those that had privatized the industry. But just to be on the safe side, why not do like Alberta does and make everyone who sells alcohol — whether in convenience stores, restaurants or bars — take ProServe, a government-run course teaching safe liquor sales practices. Doing so would not only keep alcohol out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have it, but it would also make it more convenient for those of-age, responsible people who want it, while brewers like Paddock Wood, Great Western and Prairie Sun could get their products on more shelves around the province — if they so choose. And while selling alcohol in more locations around the city is one change we’d love to see, it’s only the beginning. We’d also like to see Saskatchewan privatize our province’s liquor industry. Our neighbour to the west already has. When Alberta privatized liquor stores in 1993, the number of products available jumped from around 2,200 to more than 19,000. The number of liquor stores more than doubled, from 803 to more than 1,900, and employment in retail liquor stores jumped from 1,300 employees to around 4,000. With all these increases, liquor tax revenue increased by a whop-

ping 77 percent. Since the same taxes and fees apply regardless of who owns the stores, more retailers selling more booze means more money for Alberta. So let’s get with the times! Let’s first make craft beer and wine available in corner stores, grocery stores and gas stations. Once we get familiar with that idea, it’s time to push for privatization, and bring our province in line with more progressive nations out there.

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

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you find that information? Thank you!

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

text yo thoughtsur to 881 ve r b

OFF TOPIC

8372

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

– Bringing curbside composting to Saskatoon is a great idea with the Sask Election nearing...it’ll make it easy to chuck out the Saskparty & NDP. Vote SDAP 2015!

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

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

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

– Please don’t allow your readers to think that a 40% debt to gross income ratio is sustainable. With the deductions off my paycheque, I would be using nearly 2/3rds of my income to service debt (mortgage or otherwise) with this limit. This is not even close to realistic, and it’s a number that is created by people who have a vested interest in getting you to borrow more. A more reasonable limit is 30% of net income, or 20% of gross income. In response to “To buy, or not to buy,” Spaces #265 (November 8, 2013)

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

– Very proud of the talent coming out of Saskatchewan despite continuous slashing of arts budgets by the province. WolfCop looks wonderful. Congratulations to the young men and women who are working so hard to put our province on the map. I’ll be buying a ticket when it comes to theatres for sure. In response to “It’s like Dirty Harry...only hairier,” Local #265 (November 8, 2013)

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

– Love me some Brendan Canning! He’s such an incredible talent, it’s great to see he’s still rocking it

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after all these years. Broken Social Scene was such an important band in Canadian musical history. Love to see old guys rocking out after all this time. More stories about guys like this please! In response to “It’s like Dirty Harry...only hairier,” Local #265 (November 8, 2013)

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

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

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

– When you’re faced with a pity party you need to say no thanks

outdoors now, especially as it can quickly get cold! Thank you :)

been there done that. I’m not going to sit around feeling sorry for myself.

and the world. He clearly needs help. I hope he takes a break and gets the attention he needs.

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

– Stop blaming everybody for your problems and take responsibility for your own joy.

– You can’t control what others do but you can control what you do.

– Those who leave us are never really gone. – When you know, you eat your shorts

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

– The storm comes before the calm. The clouds hide the sun but the sun is still there.

– Be slow to anger and be quick to forgive.

– Ontario Mayor Ford after Stevens Top Job ooohh canada

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

– There was a kitty running down the sidewalk in front of my house. Be careful with your pets being

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

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

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

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Between The Lines

Photos: courtesy of Jeremy Jansen

Toronto rockers Dinosaur Bones make an angsty, unsettled record in the heart of Texas by Alex J MacPherson

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he title of Dinosaur Bones’ sophomore album says it all, really. After their 2011 debut, My Divider, earned a pile of enthusiastic reviews for its offbeat and inscrutable brand of guitar pop, the Toronto-based band decamped to Dallas, Texas to record their follow-up. Enigmatic and often downright cryptic, Shaky Dream flits between the familiarity of an old fashioned rock song and the spiky, off-axis melodies of more experimental music. This division is echoed in

through over the last two years. Musically sophisticated, packed with compelling lyrics, and delivered in short, concise phrases, Shaky Dream is a record that is difficult to ignore. It feels potent and urgent and immediate. And, like an oracle, it doesn’t reveal its secrets all at once. A few weeks ago I spoke with Fox about the aftermath of My Divider, travelling to Texas, and the raw beauty of uncertainty.

the lyrics, which concentrate on the chasm between knowledge of past success and uncertainty about the future. “There were pennies on our eyes / As we walked down the hall / So how it came as a surprise / That we were walking into walls,” Ben Fox moans on “Nothing Left Between The Lines,” a midtempo rocker that casts Fox’s penetrating voice against a surging wall of washed-out guitars, amplifier noise, and hypnotic drum beats — and sums up everything Fox and his bandmates have been

Alex J MacPherson: There’s a certain pressure that accompanies all

sophomore albums. After the success of My Divider, did you feel a heightened sense of pressure while making Shaky Dream? Ben Fox: I don’t feel the pressure in writing, generally also because as someone who makes music it’s kind of a fluid thing that’s always happening. So it’s not necessarily like you finish and it’s time to begin writing the second record and you haven’t even been considering writing music in that time. I tend to feel

the pressure more once you’re recording it and executing it: once you get into the studio and you’re finally nailing down what it’s actually going to sound like in its final form. But I really try not to let outside expectations or any sort of outside pressures or influences creep into my brain as I’m sitting down to write a song. AJM: It’s the recording, then, the final decisions about what people are going to hear that get to you. BF: Yeah, it’s licking the envelope. There’s no going back. And one of

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the kind of cool things for us on this record was we went in with a much more malleable approach to the songs; we went in knowing and hoping and encouraging the songs to morph and take shape in the studio. But then it’s that kind of thing, making the final decisions as to how the record overall is actually going to be introduced to the world. AJM: You recorded this album with John Congleton in Dallas, Texas. Why go all the way to Texas? BF: Part of it was logistical and logical: here’s the studio we wanted to work with, so we’ll go there. But it was also very much a conscious decision that we wanted to get outside of our hometown to make this record. We wanted to pull ourselves out of the comfort zone of our ordinary lives — girlfriends and social distractions that can get in the way of a band being focused, as a group, on one project, one task at hand. So that was definitely a goal we had even before we decided on who was going to produce the record. AJM: Did making My Divider convince you that you needed to work somewhere else?

AJM: Even though you insulated yourselves, do you think some of Texas or the southern vibe seeped into the album? I mean, did the location affect the finished product? BF: I personally find the United States quite inspiring and attractive and romantic in its own strange way, especially the South. And nothing makes you feel more Canadian than hanging

My favourite thing about music is being surprised. Ben fox

BF: The first album was very fragmented in how we recorded it, with people coming and going, or showing up to record their parts and then leaving. That was early on; people were working full-time day jobs at the same time, so it was very fragmented, very in-and-out. I wanted to have a place where we could just hunker down and get it done. And also there’s something very attractive about going to a city that we hadn’t spent time in. New York was one of the places that we were likely to record in, even Austin was more likely than Dallas. But that was attractive to us, to put down roots in a cool city we hadn’t spent much time in.

out in the desert in Texas. But truthfully I would say the influence came not so much from the city itself or the American South, but rather the sense of insulation — of having us away and feeling far away. It definitely intensified the idea that we were on a quest to be in a city miles and miles away with a distinctly different culture from our own. AJM: Speaking of the record, it feels much more confident and assured than My Divider. Like you’re more comfortable with the sounds that this band can produce.

and from experience. Part of it is truly being more comfortable, and part of it is being better at conveying that we’re more comfortable. A lot can come down to the translation of how you execute something. AJM: Which is not to say you’ve ironed out the uncertainties that laced the first album. If anything they’re more pronounced on Shaky Dream. BF: I enjoy uncertainty, particularly musically. My favourite thing about music is being surprised. So when music, or an album or an artist, sticks to one thing and just makes up their mind that that’s what they do, I tend to tune out and get uninterested. I enjoy conflict and tension, and I enjoy the in-betweens and being able to shift gears. We made an effort on this album to allow songs and ideas to go where they wanted to. We didn’t want to bog things down. I like the idea of having an album that pulls in multiple different directions at the same time, and doesn’t quite let you peg down what it is. That’s definitely a mantra we had going into it for sure. Dinosaur Bones November 25 @ Amigos $15 @ Ticketedge

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BF: For sure. Well, I think that just comes from playing and from time

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1. “Funkytown,” by Polly Apfelbaum. Dye + synthetic velvet. 2005-2012.

Rewilding Modernity

Photos: courtesy of the mendel art gallery

Are artists today still dealing with fallout from the industrial revolution? by Alex J MacPherson

R

ewilding Modernity is named for the ecological practice of allowing developed land to return to its former state, untouched by the steel and digital structures of the world today. The Mendel Art Gallery’s most ambitious exhibition of the year rests on the assumption that the modern age had not ended, and that postmodernism is simply another expression of the same ideas that have been plaguing society since the age of steam. In other words, the modern age is an unfin-

ished conversation — and Rewilding Modernity attempts to examine the past through a lens untarnished by the contortions of postmodernity. “What it did was change the identity of the worker,” Lisa Baldissera, chief curator at the Mendel Art Gallery, says of the dawn of the modern age in the late 19th century. “Before, the worker involved in a cottage industry would understand his product from its inception all the way through all the phases of production right to the end. Fordism meant that the intelligence of the worker gets stripped

away as he no longer understands his part in the role of production. And in doing that, there’s a detachment, a kind of leeching away of that ability to innovate and apprehend and create. That’s modern times.” Baldissera constructed Rewilding Modernity on the premise that the problems of the age of steam — urbanism, alienation, confusion — are as prevalent today as they were in the late 19th century, around the time North America was unified by the railway. The idea, she explains, “is to begin to talk about how we may have

not completely mined those modern works for all they were worth if we consider this new possibility. So if we go back to them and place them in the context of contemporary works that have this concern with modernity, we start to see some latent features in these works come forward.” In practical terms this means that some of the ideas or gestures in contemporary works build on those created more than half a century ago. One of the simplest is the idea of place. Just as artists in the 1950s grappled with the idea of the “global village,” which reached its frenzied apex on November 22, 1963, artists today struggle to understand the implications of the internet, which has eroded ideas of community rooted in human interaction. This is evident in “Star Blanket,” an elaborate sculptural wall hanging by Wally Dion. By crafting an early 19th century eight-pointed star blanket from the hard plastic and metal of circuit boards, Dion refers to changes in the way people interact. Just as the star blanket is the symbol of metaphysical space in the plains aboriginal community, so too is the Internet the symbol of a new sort of space — one that exists only as lines of computer code. The thread of place and placelessness is also picked up by references to the Emma Lake artist workshops of the 1950s and 1960s. These meetings allowed prominent artists and critics to escape the crushing loneliness of life in the city. “When you have something like Emma Lake happening, these artists had a romantic sense of what place was,” Baldissera explains. “Barnett Newman talked about it as the tun-

dra; he thought it was much closer to the north pole than it actually was. But it was a kind of metaphysical space he was thinking about, this anywhere-land.” But Rewilding Modernity does not stop there. The works feed into and build on each other. Baldissera chose to include Kenneth Lochhead’s “Grope Colour” and Robert Youds’s “Dirty words, salt air breath and all your midnight changes,” both of which address the gulf between high and low art — and changes in the means of production — by folding spray paint and cheap materials into very formal artistic structures. Other works, like Robert Christie’s “Red Studio,” mimic some of the techniques of famed abstract expressionists Helen Frankenthaler and Barnett Newman, while slumping off the wall — raising questions about what painting is, and when it becomes sculpture. Virtually every work in Rewilding Modernity references some aspect of modernity. By framing contemporary art as a continuation of art developed in the 1950s and 1960s, Baldissera changes the way we think about art and art history. “We’re looking at these artistic innovations or gestures — and they’re gestures that face into the future as questions — so in some ways we’re respectfully turning to that conversation,” she says. “It remains a live question.” Rewilding Modernity Through January 5 @ Mendel Art Gallery

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Selling warfare, selling souls

Photos: courtesy of Sandra Lauzon

Warriors explores advertising, communication, and the military-industrial complex by Alex J MacPherson

T

he term “military industrial complex” was first used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address, on January 17, 1961. Today it is a pejorative, a sneering reference to the culture of armament and the close relationships that exist between arms producers and national governments. It is well known that each year governments spend billions of dollar on military hardware: guns, airplanes, tanks, and other tools of warfare. What is not well known is the extent to which governments promote their armies using advertising. But it happens all the time, and it is big business. The marketing of war is a central theme in Warriors, a play by Michel Garneau that explores the lives of ad-men in the final days of the Cold War. “The premise of the show is that two admen land a contract to come up with the new slogan for the Canadian Armed Forces,” says Eli Ham, director of the Stuck In The Mud Productions performance of Warriors. “The play takes place over nine days while they are locked in a hotel room with about three or four ounces of cocaine and six bottles of scotch. It goes through their process of trying to come up with a slogan for the Canadian Armed Forces.” Warriors exists in the context of the Cold War, a period defined by the

tenuous relationship between the United Staes and the Soviet Union — and the constant threat of a nuclear holocaust. It explores the excesses of advertising culture and attempts to make sense of what it means to sell the idea of national defense. But according to Ham, “this play is both a period piece and not a period piece.” In other words, there are echoes of the current political climate in its descriptions of war and peace. “When you talk about conflicts all over the world, from the Middle East to Africa or even the ageold Palestinian debate, everyone has an agenda and they’re selling one side or another of that agenda,” he says. But the context only tells half the story, and the slogan is something of a McGuffin. As the two admen, played by Alden Adair and Geoffrey Pounsett, work to generate ideas, to sell the idea of war in a time of relative peace, their relationship starts to unravel. Warriors is at its core a play about communication, a story about two men grappling with the world outside from the stifling confines of a darkened hotel room. “What ensues is what you’d call communication chaos,” Ham says. “Neither one of them seems to be able to speak understandable truths to the other, and because of that things deteriorate to the point that these two co-workers and friends, their relationship is almost destroyed.”

Communication and its failures will always be important, and Warriors strips away the excess, leaving the audience with nothing more than two men, one room, and a host of problems. In the tradition of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, Warriors uses simple conversation to dismantle bluster and pretension, exposing certain indelible truths. It is a play about honesty and openness, but most of all it is a play about the importance of communicating — which, in personal relationships as in international relations, is everything. “Gilles and Paul, the two admen, can serve as a bit of a microcosm for society at large, and for governments,” Ham says. “If these two men can’t get along individually because they’re either afraid to tell the truth or can’t tell the truth or need to hold something back in terms of leveraging an idea, then how can we hope to interact and find peace as sovereign nations with dozens of people making decisions?” Warriors 15–17 & 21–24 November @ The Refinery $18.50+ @ ontheboards.ca

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The Ghost of Escondido

Photo: courtesy of dana loftus

Nashville duo push spacey desert music into new territory on their expansive debut by Alex J MacPherson

T

he opening bars of The Ghost Of Escondido evoke the washed-out horns and gently churning strings of an Ennio Morricone spaghetti western soundtrack. This is no accident. Tyler James and Jessica Maros have always been inspired by the stark beauty of the southwestern United States, and their debut album is an attempt to fold the sound of the desert into a collection of supple alt-country songs. Maros and James began making music together after meeting at a house party. Maros was sitting in the corner, playing a spacey song she’d written called “Rodeo Queen.” James overheard, and was entranced by her moody voice and the raw beauty of her writing. That night, they recorded a demo of the song; within a few weeks they were working on an album. Earlier this year, Maros and James recorded The Ghost of Escondido in a single wild afternoon. By the end of the day the band was drinking whiskey

straight out of the bottle. But they got it finished. The Ghost of Escondido casts the sort of darkly introspective melodies made famous by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris against a bed of gritty horns and vibrato-laced electric

commercial giant. But these songs are not reliant on radio-friendly hooks or vapid clichés. Maros and James learned from the best, but they are not beholden to them. The Ghost of Escondido is ultimately about atmosphere. It evokes the

I love Morricone and the people who made those soundtracks. It’s just huge, vast landscape music. tyler james

guitars. The sounds are at once familiar and foreign, traditional and contemporary — timeless. Inspired by the band’s adopted home in Nashville (Maros is from British Columbia, James Iowa), The Ghost of Escondido reflects the songwriting traditions that have transformed country music into a

loneliness of the desert and the huge, unchanging sky. It is a record about the things that its creators love: timeless songs about love and loss and the vast expanse of the American west. Alex J MacPherson: I love the story of how this band came together. When Continued on next page »

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did you realize that it was going to be a band, rather than just a fun side-project? Jessica Maros: All these years I’ve been working on music and it was always difficult to find someone that could make it sound the way I’ve been hearing it in my head. Tyler just nailed it. At first it was just supposed to be a solo record. I was going to have him produce something. The more in-depth we got, the more we started writing, Tyler just sat down one day and said, have you ever thought about being part of a band? He was like, what do you think of the name Escondido? I literally was like, right away, hell yeah.

AJM: Working quickly and recording live off the floor often produce great results. But does it put a lot of pressure on you and the musicians to deliver? JM: There’s pressure with everything. The money behind music and labels and trying to make a song for radio — all that stuff we just set aside. Like, screw this, we’re making an album that we want to do. No pressure. If it sucks, we’ll go back in and do it again, no big deal. We just wanted to have fun with it. AJM: I wonder if that has anything to do with the tension between dark and light that seems to be at the heart of most of the songs.

Tyler James: We’re not 21 anymore. I’m 31 now and you just know what you want more. You act on things more than you would have when you were younger. I don’t waste as much time anymore. You know what you want and you know when you feel good about something.

JM: Yeah, I mean I think at the time for me personally I was going through a change in my life. I was going through the end of a relationship, just in the middle of one of those pit stops in life. And I needed to just choose a direction, and Escondido was the direction I chose. In that month when we recorded the album it was just a tough, tough month for me. It was definitely an outlet.

AJM: You made the record in a single day. What was that like? JM: It was pretty crazy. The day before we ran through all the songs with the band, and we actually had a late start on the day of the recording. It took awhile to get all the drum sounds and stuff, so we actually didn’t start tracking until 11:30am or noon.

TJ: Maybe Jessica going through a dark time and then me coming from not a dark time, I’m just like, let’s make a fun record with dark songs. So it’s weird how a lot of the songs are dark lyrically, but musically they have this fun summer vibe.

TJ: We only booked a day. We weren’t saying like, this is do-or-

AJM: That contrast seems to work really well in music, as well as musical partnerships.

Photo: courtesy of Sarah Barlow

die. We could always book another day, but let’s just see how much we can get done. And I think after we did the first song, even the first take, we all came back into the room and listened to it — and because we’d done the vocals live you could hear almost how the record was going to sound.

JM: We’re always pulling. We’re opposites. Tyler’s very positive, just like writes very positive, light lyrics. I’m the opposite. I’m very dark and haunting and minor, and all the minor chords you can possibly think of. I think we complement each other in that way. He brings the light into the dark songs and the dark ideas that I have.

JM: I’ve been in Nashville for like seven years now, and it’s a songwriting community. That was one of the things that led me out of the music industry — music row and the country world where everyone wanted to write a song for a specific reason. Like, okay, we need a Rihanna song like “Umbrella” and it has to have a country tinge to it. You’re catering to that demographic and not really writing from your heart. It led me out of that world and I’m like, if this is what music is I don’t want to be a part of it. I took what I learned from that, the songwriting craft, and started writing my own songs in my own way, but adding that structure, a little bit of that formula, that songwriting thing that I learned. TJ: There’s just so much great music happening in Nashville right now, and a lot of it’s great. A lot of the bands kind of sound the same, which is great because they all sound like my favourite kind of music now. And so I think it’s a challenge for all of us — not only in Nashville but everywhere. It’s like any art: you have to try and break new ground, and we don’t know if we have, but that’s our goal at least. AJM: And then there’s the influence of soundtrack music on the album. TJ: I love music like that. I love Morricone and the people who made those soundtracks. It’s just huge, vast landscape music. But I’m not going to pretend like I’m a huge student of all the composers of that genre. A lot of people are like, name your ten favourite spaghetti western soundtracks. I just listen to whatever’s out there, like, go on Spotify and play it. We don’t pretend to be like, since the age of three we grew up listening to these soundtracks and we’ve studied the idiosyncrasies of the scales and all that. It’s just that my dad watched Clint Eastwood all the time. Escondido November 27 @ Broadway Theatre $28 @ Broadway Theatre box office Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

AJM: I’m curious about how living and working in Nashville affected the record. Could you have made it without that experience?

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Sushi, sake and sizzling teppanyaki Photos courtesy of Adam Hawboldt

Samurai Japanese Restaurant serves up good food, great times by adam hawboldt

T

he Samurai Japanese Restaurant isn’t so much a restaurant as it is a culinary experience. An experience that entices the eyes, nestles in your nose, and tantalizes the taste buds. Soon as you walk through the door of the Samurai and look around, you know you’ve entered an interesting place to dine. From the sushi to the sake list to the teppanyaki tables, Samurai is unlike any other restaurant in the city. Off to the right of the main door, there’s a sushi bar where you can grab a seat, relax, and grab an Asahi and a bite to eat after a long day’s work. But this isn’t just any sushi. Sure, you can get your standard fair: unagi and tobiko sushi, sashimi, dynamite rolls — that sort of stuff. But at Samurai,

sushi. We drank a bottle of Zuiyo, a full-bodied Junmai sake, and a couple bottles of Honjyozo (which is local or ordinary sake). After we finished our sushi and a bottle or so of sake, it was time for the teppanyaki — a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle and cooks the food right at your table. The first course was sautéed chicken livers with shiitake mushrooms, done up with onions and a sweet soy-based sauce that was all-get-out-of-here good. Starter finished, our chef got busy making the main course. With smoke rising and knives clanking against the hot grill, he sliced and diced and served me up the Shogun — a “AAA” filet of beef and lobster tail served with bok choi, mushrooms, onions and a side of mustard and ginger sauce. Boy oh boy, was it delicious! The steak was cooked perfectly, as was the lobster. Add in all the sauces and veggies, and you have yourself one heckuva meal. So the next time you want to experience something a little different — something more interactive and fun — give the Samurai a try. Wo tanoshinde kudasai!

their kitchen is your kitchen. So if you want a special kind of sushi, something that’s not on the menu, all you have to do is ask. If they have the ingredient, your sushi gets made. And they’re not stopping there. At some time in the near future, Samurai is thinking about an omakase option (pronouced oh-mah-kah-say), which basically translates into “I leave it to you.” That means you’ll be able to go into Samurai, and the chef will prepare you off-menu sushi made up of seasonal ingredients. Then you have the sake menu. With its history of the drink and description of each bottle, the sake menu is amazingly informative. When I was there the other day myself and the manager, Sunil Poswal, indulged in a few bottles while snacking on

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide Wasabi Mary

Ingredients

Hungover after a hard night of partying? Need a little hair of the dog that bit you, but the old faithfuls don’t sound appetizing? Try this Japanese twist on the Bloody Mary, and you can’t go wrong.

2oz sake 3oz tomato juice 1 dash Worcestershire sauce 2 dashes Tabasco pinch of wasabi 1/2oz lemon juice salt and pepper

Samurai Japanese Restaurant 601 Spadina Cresent East | (306) 683 6926 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

Directions

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add the sake, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, wasabi and lemon juice. Stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a celery stalk and serve.

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music

Next Week

coming up

Shad

Johnny Reid

Pink

@ Amigos Cantina Saturday, November 23 – $15

@ TCU Place Thursday and Friday, November 28-29 – $42.50+

@ Credit Union Centre wednesday, January 15 – 37.25+

Man, how can you not love Shad? No, seriously. Is it even possible? The guy is seven shades of awesome — and then some. Born in Kenya, raised in London, Ontario, Shad has a sound that’s full of positivity, clever wordplay and provocative messages. And do you know what? With all due respect to rappers like k-os and Classified, Shad (aka Shadrach Kabango) is arguably the best MC in this country. When his first album, When This Is Over, dropped in 2005 it marked the emergence of a bold new voice on the Canadian rap scene. Then came The Old Prince, which wowed us, and TSOL, which totally bowled us over. His newest album, Flying Colours, is the work of a mature artist taking his moves to new levels. Catch him next week at Amigos. Tickets through ticketedge.ca.

If you’re a country music fan and you’re from Canada, chances are you know who Johnny Reid is. Heck, seeing as Reid won CCMA awards for his 2007 album Kicking Stones, 2009’s Dance With Me and 2010’s A Place Called Love, chances are you probably bought one or two of Reid’s records. Born in Lanark, Scotland, Reid’s family moved to Canada when he was 13; nine years later he released his debut album Another Day, Another Dime, and from there he was off and running. From “Sixty to Zero” to “Missing an Angel,” Reid has pumped out hit after Canadian country hit. Don’t miss out on your chance to see him when he brings his abundant stage talents to Saskatoon at the end of November. Tickets available at www.tcutickets.com.

Here’s a question: do you know Pink’s real name? If you said Alecia Beth Moore, take your right hand, reach around and pat yourself on the back. Born in Pennsylvania, this singer/songwriter rose to fame at the turn of the millennium with the release of her poppy R&B debut album, Can’t Take Me Home — which went double platinum in the U.S. From there, not wanting to be a cookie cutter pop act, the songstress with soaring vocals broke ranks and began making the type of music she wanted to make, critics be damned. What followed has been a career that many feel changed the face and scope of modern pop music. Pink will be in town in January to make up for the show she had to cancel in the fall. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster. – By Adam Hawboldt

Photos courtesy of: the come up show/ the artist/ the artist

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

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

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Friday 15

House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven up the atmosphere at 6Twelve. 9pm / No cover Ken Mode / Amigos Cantina — A hardcoreinfluenced hard rock band from Winnipeg. 10pm / $10 (ticketedge.ca) Marion Mendelson / The Bassment — Feel like taking in some smooth jazz stylings? 4:30pm / No cover Eileen Laverty / The Bassment — Singing heart-warming ballads. 9pm / $20/$25 DJ Aash Money / Béily’s — DJ Aash Money throws it down. 9pm / $5 cover The Nightrain / Buds — A Guns N’ Roses tribute. 9pm / Cover TBD BPM / Diva’s — Resident DJs spin electro/ vocal house music. 10pm / $5 DJ Eclectic / The Hose & Hydrant — Local turntable whiz DJ Eclectic pumps snappy electronic beats. 8pm / No cover

DJ Stikman / Jax Niteclub — Kick off your weekend with all your favourite party hits.. 9pm / $5 cover Drew Tofin Band / Louis’ — Local jazz musician doing his thing. 9pm / Cover TBD Mocha Girls / O’Brians — A singing/dancing all-girl group from the Philippines. 7pm / $45+ (theodeon.ca) DJ Big Ayyy & DJ HENCHMAN / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Round up your friends ‘cause there’s no better country rock party around. 8pm / $5; ladies in free before 11pm Marty Grambo / Piggy’s — County music and vocal soul. 9pm / No cover Doug Boomhower Trio / Prairie Ink — A jazz trio playing jazz standards. 8pm / No cover Fountains of Youth / Rock Bottom — Some local rock/blues/soul music to start the weekend. 10pm / Cover TBD Dislexik / Spadina Freehouse — A local DJ spinning songs that’ll make you wanna move. 9pm / No cover  Rusty Men / Stan’s Place — A rockin’ good time at Stan’s. 9:30pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King belt out classic tunes and audience requests,from Sinatra to Lady Gaga. 10pm / $5 Party Rock Fridays / Tequila — Come tear it up on the dance floor. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Nick Ruston / Uncle Barley’s — Come and check him out! 9pm / Cover TBD

PandaCorn, Minor Matter, The Northern Light / Vangelis — Indie rock, jazzy folk ... you name it. 10pm / Cover TBD

Saturday 16

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes. 9pm / No cover Nobunny / Amigos Cantina — A poppy/ surfy/punky rock sound. 10pm / Cover TBD The Jack Semple Band / The Bassment — Incendiary guitar like from a virtuoso. 9pm / $23/$28 DJ Aash Money + DJ Sugar Daddy / Béily’s UltraLounge — These two DJs throw down a dance party every Saturday night. 9pm / $5 cover The Nightrain / Buds — A Guns N’ Roses tribute. 9pm / Cover TBD Neon ‘90s / Diva’s — Hottest retro hits, remixed! 8pm / $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 DJ Stikman and the Jax party crew. 9pm / $5 cover DJ Goodtimes / Longbranch — Playing the hottest country music all night. 8pm / $4 cover Josh Martinez / Louis’ — With Cquel MC. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Round up your friends ‘cause there’s no better country rock party around. 8pm / $5

Marty Grambo / Piggy’s — County music and vocal soul. 9pm / No cover South of North / Prairie Ink — Indie/ acoustic folk music. 8pm / No cover Fuse Collective / The Freehouse — Music to make you move. 9pm / No cover Rusty Men / Stan’s Place — A rockin’ good time at Stan’s. 9:30pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — With Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King. 10pm / $5 DJ Anchor / Sutherland Bar — It’s the video mix show! 10pm / Cover TBD Czech-Mate / TCU Place — Playing Dvorak’s masterpiece. 7:30pm / $32.50+ Saturday Night Social / Tequila — Electronic Saturdays will have you moving and grooving. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Thorpdeo / Uncle Barley’s — Spinning hot tunes all night. 10pm / Cover TBD  The Motorleauge / Vangelis — With Jumbo. 10pm / Cover TBD

Sunday 17

Industry Night / Béily’s — With DJ Sugar Daddy. 9pm / $4; no cover for industry staff DJ KADE / The Hose — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover Stan’s Place Jam / Stan’s Place — Bring your instrument, all music types welcome. 8:30pm / No cover Blues Jam / Vangelis — Offering great tunes from blues to rock and beyond. 7:30pm / No cover

Monday 18

The Midnight Roses, Anabelle Chvostek — A night of spectacular roots music. 8pm / $17/$23 DJ Audio / Dublins — Spinning dope beats. 9pm / Cover TBD

Tuesday 19

The Blue Mules / Buds on Broadway — Blues music to chill to. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ SUGAR DADDY / The Deuce — This crowd favourite rocks. 9:30pm / $4 cover DJ Nick Ruston / Dublins — Spinning dope beats. 9pm / Cover TBD Verb presents Open Mic / Rock Bottom — Come and rock the stage! 9pm / No cover Open Mic / Somewhere Else Pub — Come out to show your talent. 7pm / No cover DJ Carlos / Stan’s Place — Playing your favorite songs. 9:30pm / No cover

Wednesday 20

DJ Modus / 302 Lounge & Discotheque — Spinning all your favourite tracks. 9pm / No cover until 10pm; $3 thereafter DJ Aash Money / Béily’s — Spinning dope beats all night. 9pm / Cover TBD Touch / Buds on Broadway — A rockin’ way to spend a weekday. 9pm / Cover TBD Souled Out / Diva’s Annex — Featuring the spinning talents of Dr. J 9pm / $2 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 — Ride the mechanical bull! 9pm / $4 Josh Palmer / Rock Creek (Willowgrove) — Local alt-rock/pop for your listening pleasure. 8pm / No cover DJ Carlos / Stan’s Place — Playing your favorite songs to lighten the work week. 9:30pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto Piano Lounge — With Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King. 10pm / No cover

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Thursday 21

Open Stage / The Woods — Hosted by Steven Maier. 9pm / No cover

Twin Forks / Amigos — With The Treasures. 10pm / $10 (ticketedge.com) The SJS Jazz Education Workshop / The Bassment — Evening performances with Wycliffe Gordon and Rodney Whitaker. 8pm / $10/$15 Touch / Buds on Broadway — A rockin’ way to spend a weekday. 9pm / Cover TBD Throwback Thursdays / Earls — With Dr. J. 8pm / No cover DJ Kade / The Hose — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover DJ Goodtimes / Longbranch — Playing the hottest country music. 8pm / $4 cover Partycat / Rock Bottom — Also featuring Thresh, Dusty Tucker, BHO and more. 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Carlos / Stan’s Place — Playing your favorite songs to lighten the work week. 9:30pm / No cover Triple Up Thursdays / Tequila — Featuring DJ Dislexic. 9pm / Cover TBD White Ash / Village Guitar and Amp Shop — A pre-weekend show you don’t want to miss. 9pm / Cover TBD

House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven it up. 9pm / No cover Carbon Dating Service / Amigos — With Maybe Smith + more. 10pm / $15 Sheldon Corbett / The Bassment — It’s Piano Fridays! 4:30pm / No cover The SJS Jazz Education Workshop / The Bassment — Evening performances with Wycliffe Gordon and Rodney Whitaker. 8pm / $10/$15 DJ Aash Money / Béily’s — DJ Aash Money throws down a high-energy top 40 dance party every Friday night. 9pm / $5 Screamer / Buds on Broadway — Highenergy classic rock. 9pm / Cover TBD BPM / Diva’s — Resident DJs spin electro/ vocal house music. 10pm / $5 DJ Eclectic / The Hose & Hydrant — Local turntable whiz DJ Eclectic pumps snappy electronic beats. 8pm / No cover DJ Stikman / Jax Niteclub — Kick off your weekend with all your favourite party hits.. 9pm / $5 cover

Friday 22

DJ Big Ayyy & DJ HENCHMAN / Outlaws — Round up your friends. 8pm / $5; ladies in free before 11pm Straight / Piggy’s — Come get your rock on. 9pm / No cover The Standards Trio / Prairie Ink — A jazz trio playing jazz standards. 8pm / No cover The Gaff / Spadina Freehouse — Local DJ spinning fresh beats. 9pm / No cover Red Blaze / Stan’s Place — A rockin’, good time at Stan’s. 9:30pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie + Brad King. 10pm / $5 Party Rock Fridays / Tequila — Come tear it up. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Nick Ruston / Uncle Barley’s — Come and check him out! 9pm / Cover TBD Evil Ebenezer / Vangelis — With Factor, Kay the Aquanaut and more. 10pm / $10

Saturday 23

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes. 9pm / No cover Shad / Amigos Cantina — With We Are The City. 10pm / $15 (ticketedge.com) The SJS Jazz Education Workshop / The Bassment — Evening performances

with Wycliffe Gordon and Rodney Whitaker. 8pm / $10/$15 Big Shiny Tunes 4 / Broadway Theatre — Local musicians performing the best of Big Shiny Tunes 4. 8pm / $20 DJ Aash Money + DJ Sugar Daddy / Béily’s — These two DJs throw down a dance party every Saturday night. 9pm / $5 cover Screamer / Buds on Broadway — Highenergy classic rock. 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 Goodtimes / Longbranch — Playing the hottest country music. 8pm / $4 cover DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman / Outlaws — Round up your friends. 8pm / $5 Straight / Piggy’s — Come get your rock on. 9pm / No cover Ben Schenstead Duo / Prairie Ink — Classical/Latin guitar and piano. 8pm / No cover

Chris Cole, The Take Over / Freehouse — Two great acts. 9pm / No cover Red Blaze / Stan’s Place — A rockin’, feettapping good time. 9:30pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie + Brad King. 10pm / $5 DJ Anchor / Sutherland Bar — It’s the video mix show! 10pm / Cover TBD SSO Presents: Cue the Candelabra / TCU Place — A night of music by Liberace. $18.50+ (tcutickets.ca) Saturday Night Social / Tequila — Electronic Saturdays will have you moving and grooving. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Thorpdeo / Uncle Barley’s — Spinning hot tunes all night. 10pm / Cover TBD

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

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Christmas Chaos

Photo: Courtesy of universal pictures

The Best Man Holiday an entertaining holiday flick by adam hawboldt

W

hen director Malcolm D. Lee’s The Best Man was about to be released in 1999, it was pegged as a cross between The Big Chill and Waiting to Exhale. But, in truth, not many people gave it a chance to succeed. Yet it did. One of the big sleeper hits of the year, The Best Man brought in more than $34 million at the box office. And rightfully so. It was a sophisticated, smart, funny and charming romcom that was well worth a watch. In case you haven’t seen The Best Man, it’s about a group of friends getting together for a wedding. One of the friends, Harper (Taye Diggs) wrote a book about the group’s college years, and, well, let’s just say hijinks and fisticuffs are in abundance. Only reason I mention any of this is because that whole group is back for the new Christmas film, The Best Man Holiday. Fifteen years have lapsed since the first fight-filled weekend, and we get brought up to speed on what’s happened to everybody during the opening credits. Harper has yet to write a followup novel. His wife Robyn (Sanaa Lathan) is pregnant. Harper’s close gal-pal Jordan (Nia Long) has climbed the ranks of MSNBC and is dating a white dude (Eddie Cibrian). Julian (Harold Perrineau) now runs a private school with his ex-

stripper wife Candy (Regina Hall). Julian’s ex-girlfriend Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) is on the TV show Real Housewives of Westchester). And Quentin (Terrence Howard) is still a ladies man. Then there’s soon-to-be-retired pro football player Lance (Morris Chestnut) and his wife Mia (Monica Calhoun), who got married in the first film and who invited the old gang to their house for the holidays.

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

122 minutes | 14A

But here’s the thing: the break-neck unpredictability and plot twists Malcom D. Lee throws at you totally work. How? That’s simple. In a huge ensemble like The Best Man Holiday, the entire thing, the whole kit and caboodle, rests on the chemistry between the actors. If the chemistry isn’t there, you flop. If it is, you stand a much better chance of success. And fortunately the actors in this franchise (I’m guessing there’ll be a third Best Man flick, what with the marriage proposal at the end of this one and all) have chemistry in spades. Now all this isn’t to say The Best Man Holiday is a great movie. It’s not. But like the first one it is enjoyable and funny and touches on some real human emotion. Something a lot of Christmas movies fall short on.

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

Drama and zany antics ensue. Lance is still upset at Harper for sexing his wife, people keep walking into conversations at the exact wrong moments, gestures are constantly being misread, panties are thrown and penis pics are taken. If all that sounds slightly off-kilter and chaotic, well, there’s good reason for that: it is! Especially the last 15 or so minutes of the film. In this short span we see a record being broken, a death, a post-funeral hook-up, water breaking, a marriage proposal, and more.

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Eccentric Obsession

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

T

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

Photo: Courtesy of merit motion pictures

The Facebook page for the documentary describes Ed Ackerman as a “composite of Don Quixote, Peter Pan, Chaplin’s Tramp, Job and Sisyphus.”

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

ent: an intimate and touching portrait of a man who is a dreamer. A man who is hard-headed, idealistic and wildly ambitious. A portrait of a man who isn’t what you’d call a finisher.

And you know what? That’s a very apt description of the man — especially the man we see in Special Ed. When we first meet Ed Ackerman in the documentary, he has cast

aside the animation project for a new one. This time he aims to restore three dilapidated houses in downtown Winnipeg. The reason? He wants to leave them as an inheritance for his three grown children who, because of failed marriages and whatnot, he doesn’t know too well. But there’s a problem. In fact, there are a few problems. Ed is broke, his renovation project begins to conflict with city bylaws and, to make matters worse, he has no idea how to do home renovations. What follows is as funny and entertaining as it is poignant. With no real amount of money to put into the houses, Ed starts using salvaged materials and whacky doit-yourself reno techniques to try to

get his project finished — no matter how quixotic it may seem. Windows get smashed, metal I-beams get dragged up the road behind a truck, planks break, no small amount of things fall over. Oh, and then there are Ed’s feuds. At one point of the film he rattles off a list of groups he’s feuding with. They include, but are not limited to: the City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg police, Revenue Canada, Manitoba Hydro, etc. and etc. And yet for all this contrariness, Ed Ackerman remains an optimist. An idealist hellbent (some might even say obsessed) with leaving a legacy for his kids. To watch Special Ed is to enter the world of a special and interesting man. It’s not necessarily a world you or I

special ed John Paskievich Starring Ed Ackerman

Directed by

100 minutes | NR

are familiar with, but it does make for interesting viewing and reveals a story well worth telling. Special Ed is currently being screened at Broadway Theatre.

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friday, november 8 @

the hose

The Hose & Hydrant Brew Pub 612 11th Street East (306) 477 3473

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

Photography by Patrick Carley

facebook.com/verbsaskatoon

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Photography by Patrick Carley

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nightlife

sunday, november 10 @

sports on tap

Sports on Tap 2606 Lorne Avenue (306) 683 8921

Photography by Patrick Carley

27 Nov 15 – Nov 21 /verbsaskatoon

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

Photography by Patrick Carley

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comics

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

30 Nov 15 – Nov 21 entertainment

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timeout

crossword canadian criss-cross DOWN

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

© walter D. Feener 2013

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

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

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

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

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

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

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

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

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

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

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

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

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

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

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

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

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

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

. Fusible alloy 1 2. Energy unit 3. Shorten a sail 4. Chemical test 5. One in charge of a team of workers 6. Kind of tea 7. Kampuchean coin 8. Made lace 9. ___ mignon 11. Central post of a winding staircase 12. Tries to catch floating apples, as a game 14. Boat used for cod fishing 17. One who conducts a parade 20. Tall round tent 22. Tree with peeling bark 24. Ingenious humour

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

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

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

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

ACROSS

crossword answer key

A

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

B

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Ford’s Rippin’ Raptor

Off-road tuned blingmobile the Cadillac of the Prairies  by jeff davis

M

ost urbanized Canadians with, say, $60,000 to blow on a flashy new ride might think Porsche, Mercedes or perhaps Maserati. But since few of these could survive a trip to the hunting camp or tow a trailer, Prairie gearheads with cash to blow want something

and “Raptor” badges all over it, inside and out. The Raptor carries some serious cultural significance here in Saskatchewan — the capital of Truck Country — where more trucks are sold per capita than anywhere. This beast attracts bewildered stares of admiration and envy everywhere it rolls, especially from men driving ordinary trucks. Groups of boys on the sidewalk, meanwhile, literally jump, point and cheer at the sight of it. Standing at curbside, the first thing you notice is how wide the Raptor is. It is six inches wider than a standard F-150, which is very noticeable on narrow roads,

both rugged and luxurious at the same time.  Enter the Ford Raptor. The Raptor is a specially outfitted F150 cooked up by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, which also makes the Shelby GT500 version of the Mustang. And in case any passersby may not know this is a Raptor (and not an ordinary truck), there are SVT

all Photos: Courtesy of jeff davis Continued on next page »

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field for some off-roading. After all, that’s what the Raptor is made for.

where just keeping it between the lines takes some attention.  But why didn’t they make it even wider? This is the widest truck that they could squeeze through the assembly line. On a quiet Friday afternoon I checked out this eye-popping arctic camo Raptor and headed out of the city. Once out on the back roads, it was all I could do to resist the temptation to crank the wheel over and charge into a cut wheat

and large, aggressively treaded tires. It’s also got a sophisticated

I was really quite blown away by the Raptor. There was honestly nothing I didn’t like about it…

Its unusual height is explained by the Fox-brand Baja suspension

electronic locking rear differential which, in plain English, means

it can crawl through even the craziest terrain. If you don’t believe me, check out some YouTube videos of it climbing over massive boulders, tackling steep inclines and sloshing through deep mud pits. One really cool offroad perk is the front facing camera, which works only at slow speeds, to help negotiate any really hairy off-road maneuvering. There are also reinforced tow loops (two each at front

and back) and a four wheel drive “low” setting for towing your buddies’ lesser trucks out of the muck. Under the hood it’s got a 6.2 litre V8 gas engine, which cranks out 411 horsepower and 434 torques. Enough said. With no cars in sight, I came to a stop on a secluded grid road. I turned off the traction control — by holding down a button on the dash for 10 seconds — turned on four wheel drive and took a deep breath. 

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vehicle

I stomped the pedal, and the Raptor spun its tires in the gravel and lunged violently forward. The engine screamed, with a bowelshaking high pitched note that sounds more like a tuned motorcycle than a 6,000 pound behemoth. Moments later I was cruising at 140, with my heart racing even faster.  The raw power of the Raptor makes driving it an alarming, almost frightening experience. Perhaps for this reason it is particularly popular with moneyed, single young oil workers wearing Oakleys.  The cab is very high off the ground, but tough-looking black running boards and handholds help the step up. The interior is very roomy, even for big guys, with more headroom than any other car I’ve ever sat in. The extra width of the Raptor makes it especially spacious, and the gap between the seats is huge, making it feel almost like a Humvee on the inside. Comfortable, wide leather seats are sewn with bright metallic blue thread, and “RAPTOR” is embroidered into all four of them. The floors and surfaces, meanwhile, are made of tough black rubber and brushed steel-looking plastic, giving you the sense you could probably

hose the inside down after a day of mudding. Other perks include electronic folding rearview mirrors, power sunroof, backup camera, towing package, a sweet sound system and 12 and 110 volt plugins in the central console. This contrast between luxury seats and simple floors gives the impression Ford really understands the mindset of its customers, and is focussed on delivering what they want. I was really quite blown away by the Raptor. There was honestly nothing I didn’t like about it, though I did think the horn pitch was too high and squeaky for this Darth Vader of trucks. If I had the $63,449 to buy the truck in the tested configuration (and a similar amount to pay for gas) I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Next time I see a guy doing burnouts in his Raptor in downtown Saskatoon, I’ll know how he’s feeling. Though I’ll still pass on the Oakleys.

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@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

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Heavy Lifting

A brief primer on lift packages for trucks by Rhiannon Herbert the vehicle, leaving the suspension a few more inches up from the surface you’re driving on. It also raises the profile of the vehicle, which just means that it’s going to ride higher. Lastly, a lift kit allows for further modifications (like bigger, off-road wheels) to take on rougher driving.

what you’re doing is ill-advised, and if left to a pro, one will avoid damaging the existing suspension and get it done right the first time — which is important given that any mods may nullify your vehicle’s warranties. Types of lift kits fall in to three main categories.

If it isn’t a time-tested adage already, it should be: higher ain’t always better

Now, some really large tucks and 4x4 vehicles may already come with a modified kit, and sometimes the suspension just needs to be tweaked to get a little higher, or adjusted with a leveling kit. In any case, there’s a lot of kits to choose from, and each manufacturer requires its own type of kit. Undertaking this job without really knowing

Leveling kits are also what they sound like: these raise only one part of the truck body, adjusting for the typically higher rearend on most trucks and SUVs. Again, not necessarily off-road ready once applied. Suspension lift kits are what we’re really talking about here. These lift the whole suspension system, suspending the engine, powertrain and all other major parts in order to create further space between the chassis and the axles of the truck. There is more room between the driving surface and the axles, which is what you want in order to tear around off-road safely. A suspension lift will not only increase ground clearance, but improve vehicle handling as well. For those wanting to get as high as possible, say 18 inches higher, stabilizers are a good idea in order to reduce chances of a roll over. Four to 6 inches are much more likely

O

k, so I don’t know a lot about truck lifts. I know people lift their trucks… and that when they do, they ride significantly higher. But for why do they do this?  A bit of research has yielded some insight. Provided here for your information is a brief primer on truck lifts. Enjoy. First of all, lifting your truck makes it look pretty sweet, if you’re into that kind of thing. But the functional purpose of a lift is to enable your vehicle to properly go off-road. Though most truck commercials show various models barreling through rocky streams and rearing up on a rocky outcrop like a wild stallion (on a steel horse I ride, wanted, dead or alive) many trucks have only standard suspension systems when driven right off the lot. Simply put, a lift kit is an aftermarket product that raises the suspension of the truck.  This gets you three things: it increases the clearance of

Body lift kits are the cheapest route to get a little higher. These are what they sound like: the body is lifted away from the frame by way of blocks or spacers. Mostly an aesthetic treatment, though it may result it being able to accommodate larger tires.  Further modification would be required to be ready for off-roading.

heights to aim for, and will reduce the need for further costly adjustments and safety risks. If it isn’t a time-tested adage already, it should be: higher ain’t always better. Also, keep it legal. There are laws about being high, people … in terms of the height of your truck. Once you’ve determined the type of lift you’re looking for, the remaining steps are to determine the kit for your make of truck, your price range, and the best professional to do the job. With a modification as serious as this, it’s best to invest: a better kit will last longer and deliver a notably better performance in terms of both lift and driving experience.

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What’s that paint job?

I

n fact, it’s not a paint job at all — it’s a wrap! Sean Heitmar is the young entrepreneur behind the wrap, and went into business a few months back as Vivid Auto Graphics. Heitmar says his wraps, which cover the entire painted surface of the vehicle, are made from vinyl by materials innovator 3M. Off-the-shelf wraps come in a wide range of solid colours, Heitmar says, or he can print off any custom pattern, such as the arctic camouflage seen on the Raptor.

Photo: Courtesy of jeff davis

“The camouflage thing is really popular with guys with big trucks, the riggers and all that,” he says. “There are a lot of camouflage options and a lot of guys are wanting that kind of thing on their skidoos and other toys.” Wraps benefit from more frequent cleaning than paint, since dirt and grime can get into the adhesive and cause it to unstick, Heitmar says. But even without meticulous cleaning, the wrap should last for around five or seven years. Since it is basically a huge sticker, the wraps can also be easily removed. “When you decide to finally peel it off, all you need is a heat gun or a hair dryer even, and it comes off pretty easily,” Heitmar says. “The paint is mint underneath.” Full wraps begin around the $3,500 price point, and climb up to about $5,000 for custom jobs. Heitmar says this is cheaper than a quality paint job,

and helps preserve the resale value of your ride. “Once people start customizing their vehicles, you don’t really get much return on the money you put in,” he says. “By keeping it a stock vehicle, you’ll get a better resale price.” Besides enthusiasts gunning for a flashy look, wraps are also popular with businesses looking to turn their vehicle fleets into rolling billboards. This is especially popular with small companies trying to look like big ones. For those with smaller budgets, Heitmar says he sells vinyl in spray cans, which can coat a vehicle for a fraction of the cost of a full wrap.

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

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A Sexier Corolla  Toyota injects a pinch of spice into a perennial favourite  by jeff davis

Continued on next page all Photos: Courtesy of jeff davis

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I

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t may not be the fastest, nor the best looking, nor the cheapest, nor the most fuel efficient car on the road.  But with over 40 million sold, the Toyota Corolla is indisputably the best-selling car ever, and can be found on virtually every inhabited corner of the earth.    They’ve blazed through desert rallies, and zoomed around stock car tracks. They’re racked up staggering mileage as taxicabs in Africa — or in Greece, or Portugal, or any other number of countries. 

And while you may not get up to anything that exciting in your Corolla, rest assured you’ll get what Toyota is known for: quality, reliability and value. The 2014 Corolla has been totally redesigned, for the first time in a decade, and is much better for it. The Corolla’s Japanese designers said they were aiming to appeal to the emotions, not just logic, and in this they have only partially succeeded. As such, the Corolla is likely to remain a favourite with those who value simplicity and

durability over eye-catching looks and an exciting ride. The previously bland exterior styling has come a long way, and the new version looks as good or slightly better than other cars you can buy for a base price under $18,000, freight included.  The body is sleek and includes small protrusions that help the wind slip along with minimal drag. This contributes to an impressive 52 highway miles per gallon fuel economy in the base model, and 61 in the ECO version. This makes the Corolla the most fuel efficient

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gas-powered compact sedan on the road in Canada today. The Corolla’s four cylinder, 1.8 litre engine is astonishingly quiet, barely audible at ordinary driving speeds. In fact, all outside noises are very muffled inside the Corolla, which is quite soothing and will be greatly appreciated by commuters. Stomp the gas and you get a decent boost of acceleration and a pleasing exhaust note, much less wimpy than you might expect. Steering the Corolla is oddly … relaxing. The steering wheel and driv-

ing position are comfortable, and you get the sense of just pointing it where you want to go and it will get you there without too much work. The ride is equally comfortable and forgiving, though the Corolla is hardly exhilarating too drive. The $28,500 Sport model I drove had a faux-leather Softex interior which, despite my general aversion to pleather, didn’t seem too tacky. The back seat is generously sized, and the trunk is too. The interior is subdued in that typically Toyota way, without any bold

colour highlights, as are the instruments. Bluetooth, as well as a USB and auxiliary audio jack come standard. The Sport package — which includes nice alloy wheels, moonroof, chrome highlights and fog lights — looks good enough that it could become popular on the drift/ tuning scene. It also features a backup camera and proximity key, which make an appearance on all fully-outfitted cars these days. Since it was first introduced in 1966, and became the world’s best-

selling car in 1974, safety has been a major priority for Corolla. This new edition ups the ante with eight airbags, including one for the driver’s knees and a few side curtain airbags as well. So while the Corolla may not be the most exciting car you could buy, rest assured it will provide long and loyal service. And when it comes time to sell, it will command a respectable price, holding its value far longer than similar models by other manufacturers. Bottom line is the Corolla is an excellent, practical family car that you could hand off to the kids

after 10 years, knowing it’s still safe, cheap to operate and not fast enough to be super dangerous. …Basically, it’s the complete opposite of the Raptor reviewed in this issue. So there are all sorts of logical reasons to buy a Corolla … but will it turn your emotional crank? Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

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Verb Issue S266 (Nov. 15-21, 2013)