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Issue #273 – JANUARY 17 to january 23

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saskatoon

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


contents

On the cover:

cowpuncher

Experiments in rock ‘n roll. 16/ cover Photo: courtesy of Sebastian Buzzalino

NEWs + Opinion

off the rails

the times, they are a’ changin’ Strippers talk

Our thoughts on level crossings.

new laws in SK 4 / Local

8 / Editorial

voyage to the red planet Two Sas-

comments Here’s what you had to say about flying in Canada. 10 / comments

katchewanians turn to Mars. 6 / Local culture

Q + A with absofunkinlutely Funk music for fun. 12 / Q + A

all ellington

fast and healthy

SJO explores Duke Ellington’s body of work.14 / Arts

We visit Go Grill. 18 / Food + Drink

Music

the art of the sock monkey Trace Nelson’s Mendel exhibit 15 / Arts

The Canadian Brass, Aaron Adair + Black Sabbath. 19 / music

entertainment

listings Local music listings for January 17 through January 25. 20 / listings

jack ryan: shadow recruit + ride along

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

The latest movie reviews. 22 / Film

Nightlife Photos

Games + Horoscopes

We visited Stan’s Place + The Double Deuce. 24 / Nightlife

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

vehicles The Dodge Durango, Mazda3 + more

verbnews.com @verbsaskatoon facebook.com/verbsaskatoon Please recycle after reading & sharing

32 / vehicles

Editorial

Business & Operations

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

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

ART & Production

Comments / feedback@verbnews.com / 306 881 8372

Design Lead / andrew yanko Contributing Photographers / Patrick Carley, ishtiaq opal + Jeff davis

advertise / advertise@verbnews.com / 306 979 2253 design / layout@verbnews.com / 306 979 8474

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contact

General / info@verbnews.com / 306 979 2253

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Photo: Courtesy of brh images

The times, they are a’ changin’

The Codette Hotel, new liquor laws, and stripping in Saskatchewan by ADAM HAWBOLDT

I

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

parties for the past few years, Secret walks seductively onto the stage. There’s a pole in the centre. In front of her are tables filled with people. On her far right is the bar, in the far back,

According to the new law, Secret isn’t allowed to show her genitalia in places where liquor is served. No exotic dancers are. But she is allowed to take off her bra, provided her nipples

Where this club is, it’s a little difficult because it’s a little far. secret

left hand side of the room is a pool table. In between there are more tables. More people. The music starts up and Secret begins her routine. The first song ends and the second one kicks in. This is when Secret starts taking off her clothes, stripping down to her bra and underwear. Still dancing, still gyrating, still spinning and hoisting herself up on the pole. Engaging the crowd in an intimate, esoteric , erotic experience. When the third song starts, that’s when Secret’s bra comes off. But not her underwear.

are covered. And that’s what she does, revealing a pair of pasties. While she dances, Mandy Mars watches and waits. Her nerves are jangling, and butterflies are fluttering in her stomach. Soon it will be her turn to strip for the audience — something she has never done before.

The first strip club Mandy Mars ever went to was in Montreal. “They rooted me out and asked me if I wanted to strip,” she remembers. “But I refused. Continued on next page »

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I asked them if I could just dance and do privates, but they said if I really wanted to make money I’d have to put out a little bit. That’s not me. That’s not me at all.” But at the Codette Hotel, things are different. There’s no full nudity. No extras. No touching. “We’re not going in the back doing sexual favours,” says Mandy Mars. “We’re just putting on a show. Our job is to tease them, not pleasure them.” Even so, in the moments leading up to her first exotic dance Mandy Mars is nervous. She struts back and forth off stage. To calm her nerves she takes a shot, then a couple more. Then it’s time to take the stage. “I’m a bit of an attention hog,” says Mandy Mars, “so soon as I got out there I sucked it up. They were all screaming and I told myself, ‘I got this.’” The day before Mandy Mars had invited Secret over to her house in Regina to learn some moves, learn how to exotic dance. Up there on the Codette stage, she puts the lesson to good use. A curvier girl than Secret, Mandy Mars plays to her strengths. “We both have different things that work for us. Secret is very thin. She does a lot of pole work and is an amazing dancer,” says Mandy Mars. “I have big boobs, big butt and thighs. So I shake my t**s or bend over and shake my ass to get them going. It makes them happy.” By the end of the first night, Mandy Mars is a bit tipsy. But for the next two nights, things are different. She becomes more comfortable on stage,

more at ease with dancing and working the audience. And that’s not to say it’s easy work. By the end of the weekend, eleven stage performances and countless private dances later, both girls are exhausted and sore. Secret has taken to wearing duct tape around her wrists, which have been cut by the pole. Both have scrapes on their knees, which they have covered with make-up. After their sets, Secret and Mandy Mars will walk up the hotel steps and lay on the kitchen floor in their room to rest, too tired to move any farther. But for the girls, it’s worth it. “As much as people put stripping down, when I left the hotel my confidence was sky-high,” says Mandy Mars. “It empowered me as a curvier girl. It made me feel good about myself.”

To hold a strip show at an out-ofthe-way place like the Codette Hotel may seem odd at first. But the more you look into it, the more it makes sense. In Regina, which both Secret and Mandy Mars call home, the introduction of the new liquor regulations have meant that city officials are scrambling to figure out how to deal with the situation. At the moment, it’s being recommended that zoning bylaws be adjusted so that “adult entertainment” establishments (like, say, strip clubs) are restricted to industrial areas. Farther north, in Saskatoon, such zoning bylaws are already in place.

However, in Saskatoon existing bars will be allowed to hold strip shows once or twice a month. That’s what currently makes places like the Codette Hotel so attractive to strippers in Saskatchewan. Unhindered by municipal bylaws, the Codette Hotel can offer as many nights of strip shows as its owners see fit. The first time out it was a three-day affair. And while Secret, who is a talent manager at ReginaStrippers.com, is glad establishments like the Codette Hotel are stepping up, she admits it isn’t the ideal situation. “Where this club is, it’s a little difficult because it’s a little far,” she says. “In the winter it’s good for our girls because there aren’t as many stag shows, what we usually do. So it gives them somewhere to work. But when summer comes, it’s a little far to send our girls. They can potentially make as much money in one night in Regina doing a stag show as they would in a weekend [at the Codette].” Secret pauses. Her thoughts shift closer to home and she says, “If a club or clubs would open up in Regina, it would be great. A lot better for us.” And a lot better for anyone in Saskatchewan who wants to take advantage of the new laws and watch some exotic dancing. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Voyage to the Red Planet Two Saskatchewanians make it to the second phase of the Mars

W

hen Justin Semenoff was young he was fascinated by space. Every chance he had he’d be outside gazing up at the stares, intrigued by what was out there, out beyond Earth. “I remember being a kid, outside looking up there, and my dad would be like, ‘Oh, the Leonids meteor showers are happening,” recalls Semenoff. “Or we’d be out there and I’d see what I thought was a shooting star and Dad would be like, ‘No son, that’s a meteorite,’” Semenoff continues. “So that’s where my interest in space and space programs sprang from.” It was an interest that never wavered. As the years passed, Semenoff continued to be fascinated by space. Then late last year he found a way that maybe, possibly, there was an outside chance he’d be able to go to space. That chance came in the form of the Mars One — a space-exploration project that seeks to establish a human settlement on Mars. For Semenoff, a combat engineer from here in Saskatoon, the opportunity was too rare, too good, to pass up.

“When I first saw it, first read about it, looked at the business model … I was captivated,” says Semenoff. “But it’s not my nature to just jump into something blindly. Before I filled out the application, I took everything into consideration. How it would affect my life? What kind of impact it would it have on me?” Eventually, Semenoff decided the rewards outweighed the risks and submitted an application video. On December 30th he received an email saying he was one of the 1,058 applicants selected for a second round of interviews.

He wasn’t the only person from Saskatchewan to get that message. Four thousand miles away, in Oxford, England, Maegan Reed received the same email, telling her she’d made it to the next round of the Mars One selection process. It was an email that she wasn’t really expecting. “When I saw Mars One online, it looked like such an amazing project. I just wanted to be involved so I applied,” says Reed, who grew up in Dalmeny. “But I never thought I’d get through to the next round. I mean, I’m not massively qualified.

I have a degree in archaeology, I work in publishing here in Oxford. I’m not exactly a nuclear physicist or anything.” Thing is, the Mars One team isn’t looking for just nuclear physicists or astronaut types. “They are looking for different types of people, different personalities. They want normal people, normal citizens who are willing to take the adventure.” And should either Reed or Semenoff make it through, should they be selected to be one of the 24 people who may one day colonize Mars, what an adventure it will be. But it won’t be an easy one. Like the journeys taken by the ancient Chinese, the Vikings and all the famed explorers of Old World Europe before, the trip to Mars will be fraught with danger, immense challenges and the unknown. “The project can be quite scary, if you think about it,” says Reed. “If you think about the radiation. If you think about the implications of leaving earth and never coming back.” Here Reed’s voice trails off a bit, as though lost in thought. Then she says, “But the opportunity to make history, to change history, it’d be worth any risk.” Continued on next page »

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One project by ADAM HAWBOLDT Risks that would linger every step of the way.

The plan to settle Mars goes something like this: once the final 24 candidates are selected, an unmanned mission will be launched in 2018. By the time the first team of four astronauts start

plains Reed. “I don’t think until you’re put into training situations where you actually have to live that way can you know if you’ll be able to handle it.” If they can, and if they finish training, that’s when the journey begins. The flight from Earth to Mars will take about seven or eight months. Each team of four (they plan

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

their historic journey, the process by which they’ll enter Mars’ atmosphere will already have been tested and performed eight times. But before all that — before the unmanned mission, before humans ever set foot on Mars — there’s training to be done. Eight years of training. During that time, they will be isolated in simulation facilities for a few months every two years in groups of four. They will learn how to live in close quarters. Learn new skills like electrical repairs, cultivating crops, and how to deal with medical and dental issues. “At any given point you can back out,” ex-

on sending six teams in total) will learn to exist aboard a spaceship for that long, eating dried and canned food. Wiping themselves down with wet towelettes in lieu of showering. There will be constant noise from ventilators, mandatory three-hour exercise routines a day, cramped living quarters. A tough way to spend a few months, to say the least. But not as tough as the job that’s ahead of them once they get to Mars. Up there, where the gravitational field is 38%, where there’s radiation, and month-long dust

storms and who knows what else what, the astronauts will have to build and maintain a settlement (inflatable components which contain bedrooms, working areas, a living room and a ‘plant production unit’). They’ll have to research and write reports. They’ll have to deal with severe isolation and the fact that there’s a damn good chance they’ll never see their loved ones again. This is a oneway ticket. At the moment we don’t have the technological know-how to bring them back. This isn’t lost on either Reed or Semenoff. They know what they could possibly be signing up for. Knew it all along. But it hasn’t deterred them. “You’d be leaving it all behind,” says Semenoff. “It weighs on a person’s mind. If someone says it doesn’t, they don’t know what a true friendship is or love. But this is one of those sacrifices a person makes to fulfil their goal. My goal is to see humanity progress and move towards trying to establish a footprint on Mars.” Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Continued on next page Âť

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Off the rails

We should not be running trains through the centre of town

A

nyone who lives in Saskatoon knows one thing: trains running smack-dab through the centre of the city can be a real nuisance. You know what we’re talking about. If you’ve done any amount of driving in this city, chances are you’ve found yourself stuck for a

35 serious injuries every year. Those are no small numbers, any way you want to slice it. Lac-Mégantic is of course the most prominent train disaster in recent memory, a tragedy that was magnified by the fact that when the train exploded it was rolling through the centre of town. But it

[Edmonton] turned their old CN Yards into a hub of economic activity, and filled them with a college, condos, lofts…

college, condos, lofts, student housings, stores and a farmer’s market. Winnipeg took a similar approach, and turned its old CN yards into The Forks, a bustling green space that features river walks, tourist attractions, an extensive market and more. Undertaking a similar enterprise wouldn’t only benefit our community from a development/ economic standpoint, it would also make our cities safer and rid us of the nuisance of waiting at a level crossing for the train to pass. Time and time again. These editorials are left unsigned because they represent the opinions of Verb magazine, not those of the individual writers.

verb magazine

period of time at one of the numerous level crossings, watching the train cars as they pass. Waiting. Looking in your rear view mirror to see the line of traffic that has formed behind you. And chances are, while you were waiting, you were trying to get somewhere important. Like work. Or a meeting. Or an appointment. Yet there you are, stuck, watching the minutes tick by and cursing the train under your breath. We feel as though this problem has to be eradicated. Our city is growing, more people are moving about it every day, and frankly it seems counterintuitive that we still get hung up at level crossings. Which is why we propose that the rail yards and railways get relocated outside city limits, a move that will improve both safety and convenience for those living in Saskatoon. Because believe it or not, level crossings can be kind of dangerous. Between 2003 and 2012, there were 2,162 level crossing accidents in Canada on federally regulated railways. These accidents resulted in 266 deaths and more than 340 serious injuries. Ninety-four percent of said accidents involved a train and a motor vehicle. If you do the math, that’s an average of about 216 level crossing accidents, 27 deaths, and

is by no means the only example of a train causing mayhem. Last September 17 CN rail cars, carrying flammable petroleum, ethanol and other chemicals, derailed near Landis, Saskatchewan. In May, five cars on a CPR train derailed near Jansen, Saskatchewan, spilling more than 91,000 litres of oil. In April, 22 CPR train cars derailed near White River, Ontario, spilling 63,000 litres of oil. Luckily all these incidents occurred in rural settings and no one was injured. But still the risk is too high. Just imagine if one of those accidents occurred in the middle of our city — imagine if something like what happened in Lac-Mégantic happened here. It’s clear that we need to move the railways outside the city. And we’re not the only municipality that’s thought this. Places like Winnipeg and Surrey, B.C., have brought a similar idea to the table, and we should too. So what to do with the existing infrastructure. You only need to look to Edmonton to see how they addressed the issue in a creative way that also helps stimulate the economy and recoup some of the costs. The Alberta city turned their old CN Yards into a hub of economic activity, and filled them with a

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On Topic: Last week we asked what you thought about opening up Canadian skies to foreign carriers. Here's what you had to say:

density to support a third or fourth airline. Air Canada would crumble and take with it all those jobs.

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

text yo thoughtsur to 881 ve r b 8372

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

– Dec 16th’/13 Snow dropping in Vietnam! That’s better than bombs dropped daily more bombs than world war two it was operation Rolling Thunder

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

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

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

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

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

– Verb, I wouldn’t waste time talking about witchcraft. It’s of no benefit to society to write about it. In response to “The truth about witches,” Local #272 (January 10, 2013)

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

– You guys got stuck in airports getting home from Christmas holidays you probably spent with your families? Cry me a river. People everywhere got stuck nothing special. It happens.

– Two of the biggest problems facing Canada is the sheer size of our country and the number of people here. We don’t have the population

– Bringing more people here means duh! a smaller share for everyone of whats here. Greed is always kinda loopy like this.

– Tofu ain’t bad but what really cured me of being a vegetarian is tastebuds and a steak.

– Instead of looking for people’s mistakes, try looking at the good in people.

– Got Land? The rest of Canada is moving forward leaving Sask society behind, backward!

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

could lose your truck in an “accident”

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

– The reason why The Hobbit is turned into 3 seperate movies is because it is the last of the books so they wanted to extend it as much as possible, I personally love the movies and can’t wait to see them

– You! You’re my mask, you’re my shelter, my cover! You! You’re my mask and you’re the one who’s blamed!

– Hey pick-up truck drivers- you should drive more carefuly or you

– People freaking out about the Got Land shirt worn by that young girl need to find something else to worry about. It’s true. It might be uncomfortable to be confronted with but it’s not offensive. No swears or anything graphic. I say let her wear her shirt.

– THE 0UTTER LIMITS!! We control the horizontal we control the vertical DAMN ALIENS!! WHY CANT I WATCH WHAT I WANT TO WATCH? Maybe the SOB’s Are the CABlE C0MPANY!!!

– You guys should write about alien sightings in Saskatchewan lots here to see if you know where to look

– After 50 yrs I’m sick of the Israel and Palestine in the news. The scenario is always the same, endless conflict. The world is also weary, becoming indifferent!

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– Thinking of others is not always easy, but IS always worthwhile Truth Is Power-Try It

– How much dirt is in a whole three feet by three feet by three feet? None, there’s no dirt in a hole.

– If you haven’t seen the Wolf of Wall Street yet, you should go. Superb movie

– Downtown guy/girl has been missing from the texts for a while where you at? Loved your stuff!

– Verb brought to you by pep and ched lol pretty funny Tweets ;)

– This polar vortex is getting me down.

– To the txter that said 2014 sucks, it will turn around :) there’s always bumps in the road but then they smooth out you got this :)

– PINK was amazing she is such a good musician glad she made it back for this show

– Power out all over the city! Be carefull out there not many traffic lights working. Four way stops everyone!

– Anyone who thinks climate change is a myth just needs to look at the above zero temperatures we’re having here in January and tell me that’s normal weather patterns for the prairies in the middle of winter.

– The ruts in the roads around the city are horrible and make driving on roads that aren’t main ones really hard thought that the extra tax we were all paying was supposed to make the roads like they were paved in gold thanks again Atchison

– It’s important to be true to who you are and not confirm to what society wants you to be. Everyone is unique and that is great!!!!

– Paid it forward :) Bought coffee for person behind me in line at Tim Horton’s told them to pass it on to. We can make a difference!

– To texter about not putting yourself down good for you! Start the year off right

– Ready for summer yup

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

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

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Absofunkinlutely

Photos: courtesy of krystian olszanski

Saskatoon funk group makes music for dancing by Alex J MacPherson

T

here was a time when nearly every nightclub featured a live band playing funk, soul, and pop classics. Dance floors were packed with gyrating bodies. The air was heavy with a mixture of sweat and cigarette smoke. The vibe was intoxicating. Those days are gone now, a relic of the twentieth century. But funk music is as potent now as it was in the sunbleached seventies, and a group of Saskatchewan-based

than nine years and three albums, the six-piece band is tighter than ever. Their latest album, 2012’s Residential Gas Leak, is overflowing with tightly-wound Stratocaster licks, soaring horn blasts, and sizzling grooves. From the manic pace of “Aunt Jemima” to the quirky humour and falsetto pyrotechnics of “Darling of the CBC,” Residential Gas Leak is an eclectic and compelling collection of dance-inducing funk songs. I recently caught up

musicians are determined to bring it back to the stage. Absofunkinlutely is a group of six musicians who want to resurrect the art of groove, to get audiences dancing again. Armed with a palette of traditional sounds and decidedly nontraditional lyrics, the members of Absofunkinlutely have pushed the music they love — beginning with Motown and Stax records, and ending with the rise of disco — into the twenty-first century. After more

with guitarist and vocalist Randy Woods to learn more about this most unusual band. Alex J MacPherson: Absofunkinlutely has changed quite a bit since the beginning. Can you tell me about how the band has evolved since it was created? Randy Woods: Well, honestly, the band’s been around for about nine years now, which

is crazy. You never put together a band thinking you’re going to be playing that long, right? The real primary goal was to just play stuff that people could dance to. There were and still are so many classic rock cover acts around, and we tried to do something different. We were strictly a cover act for awhile, and then we just decided to start recording. That’s really how it happened. AJM: What prompted the move toward writing and recording original music?

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RW: Why did we do it? First of all, I run a little studio for a living so it was easier for us to record than maybe some other bands. And we had a backlog of songs. The other thing was we really felt like we wanted to have something that we could sell to people, quite honestly. At that point we had nothing, just t-shirts and stuff. People inevitably ask, ‘do you have a CD we can buy?’ And at the start we didn’t. So that’s how that came to be. AJM: And then things sort of took off for the band after you made Blues Kid City in 2011. RW: Honestly, I thought [2008’s Funk Shui] was going to be a one-time deal. Quite a few years passed until we did the second one, and things kind of happened with the second one. It did okay for us. We got nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and stuff. We thought, this is great, let’s do another one, and we recorded the next one very quickly after, and recorded it in the same way in that the rhythm section plays live in the room and all those tracks are kept — what you hear is what the band actually sounds like. We were really keen to keep that. AJM: That can be a real challenge. Is it ever tempting to take advantage of all the effects and sounds you can produce in the studio?

their own specific qualities and sounds. What allows you to do that effectively? RW: When you have a band with, say, two guitar players and no horn section and no organ player, it’s tough for every song to sound different. For us, we have a keyboard player. He plays a lot of organ and he can play Rhodes and Wurlitzer, and he can do Moog sounds, so we have that whole other palette of things we can do there. And then we have the horn section. We’re called Absofunkinlutely, but really funk is such a small part of what we do: we do our

It’s not like … Cat Stevens didn’t exist, but I guess no one was dancing to [him]. randy woods

RW: It really is an exercise in restraint in a lot of ways, because you can go in and tune every last vocal and move every note if you want. Trying to leave the essence of what the band really sounds like can be challenging sometimes in this digital world. Back in the analog days it was a lot harder. I recently bought a big analog reel-to-reel machine so if we do another album I’m going to do it analog — considerably more old school than the last few. AJM: At the same time, the songs — especially those on Blues Kid City and Residential Gas Leak — tend to have

very best to do reggae and ska and soul and straight-up R&B stuff, too, so we’re drawing on a bunch of different genres so that when we play them hopefully it sounds like us. AJM: Which leads into the question of dancing. Why do you think dancing to live music, especially funk and R&B, is so rare?

always felt right if the dance floor was packed. It felt like we were doing our jobs. I guess in a way you’re right: in the old days of the big bands and the orchestras it was all about dancing, wasn’t it? Even in the seventies, with disco and funk and all that, it was all about dancing, you know. It’s not like guys like Cat Stevens didn’t exist, but I guess no one was dancing to them. AJM: But there’s a certain appeal, something very visceral to hearing a band play music that was meant for dancing. RW: Gosh, what is it about it? I don’t know. If you walk into a club and there’s a six-piece band with a horn section playing, it’s bombastic and it’s loud and it’s got a whole different kind of energy. It’s mostly pretty positive, whereas in other genres it isn’t always positive. Maybe that’s a part of it, that usually the message is pretty positive. It just makes you feel like moving, and our little goofy bio says groove is essential, and as corny as it is, it’s true. Absofunkinlutely January 24 @ The Bassment $17/23 @ Showclix.com, The Bassment

RW: Yeah, I guess it seems like there’s a lot — especially now and especially in this province — of singer-songwriters. That doesn’t lend itself to dancing. And for us it

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All Ellington

Photos: courtesy of Louis Christ

The Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra explores one facet of Duke Ellington’s immense body of work by Alex J MacPherson

J

azz is one of the most potent and powerful forms of expression ever conceived. But even within the confines of jazz a few composers stand apart from the rest. One of these is Duke Ellington, whose contribution to the strength and diversity of the canon cannot be overemphasized. Ellington is regarded as a seminal figure in the evolution of jazz, but he considered himself and his work beyond definition. In addition to a fine collection of smooth jazz compositions, Ellington also wrote concertos and operas; he even reworked Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. His ability to draw on literature and the other arts for inspiration is the subject of an upcoming Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra concert — a perfor-

mance designed to showcase just one side of the great jazzman’s sprawling body of work. “With each generation of jazz we find that it’s a difficult word to nail down,” says Dean McNeill, a professor of music at the University of Saskatchewan, and artistic director of the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra. “It changes over the years, means different things to different people, and Ellington is what you could call an anomaly. He’s an important figure in that he is original, he’s an important figure in that continually throughout his career he broke the mould and stayed away from convention, he’s important in that he was an extremely prolific composer and wrote music in all sorts of styles. He’s just one of those guys that is beyond category.” Rather than attempt to summarize Elling-

ton’s expansive career, McNeill and his colleagues created a concert to capture just one facet of his life and works — the influence of art and literature on his music. The group’s upcoming concert, titled All Ellington, will feature Ellington’s arrangement of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite as well as two compositions based on famous works of literature. Suite Thursday, which was released in 1960, is Ellington’s tribute to John Steinbeck’s novel Sweet Thursday. Such Sweet Thunder, on the other hand, draws its name from a line in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and its inspiration from countless other Shakespearean characters. McNeill likes to point out an interesting Canadian connection: Such Sweet Thunder was commissioned by and premiered at the Stratford Festival. (“Shakespeare was

down,” Ellington once said). To bring these pieces of music to life, the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra has enlisted the help of alto saxophonist Mark DeJong, pianist Jeff McLeod, and trombonist Brad Shigeta, a former member of Ellington’s band. Jazz music has always been rooted in interpretation, the art of transforming a piece of music from one performance to the next. Despite their immense respect for Ellington and his works, the members of the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra are not interested in replicating what he achieved during his lifetime. “The way this group works, and the way in my opinion jazz works,” McNeill says, “is that you have one foot sort of looking backwards in a respectful, honouring-the-tradition kind of way, but then you have one foot in the twenty-first century, looking forward. We’re not trying to recre-

ate museum pieces; we’re trying to breathe life into and create a new version of these monumental works that are important and that people need to know about.” And while the pieces on the program are not among Ellington’s most famous or successful works, the Peer Gynt Suite, Such Sweet Thunder, and Suite Thursday represent just a few of the reasons why the bandleader from Washintgon, D.C. ranks among the greatest composers of all time. SJO Presents: All Ellington January 26 @ Broadway Theatre $20+ @ Broadway Theatre, broadwaytheatre.ca

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The Art of the Sock Monkey Trace Nelson explores the boundaries of art in Walls of Intrigue and Cabinets of Curiosity by Alex J MacPherson

Trace Nelson, Installation Detail, 2010.

Photos: courtesy of the artist

T

race Nelson’s Walls of Intrigue and Cabinets of Curiosity exists at the intersection of domesticity and public life, of memory and experience, of formal and informal. The exhibition is dominated by a single image, that of the sock monkey. A novelty from the Victorian age, Nelson chose the sock monkey for its nostalgic qualities, as well as its relationship to popular culture and traditional art practice. The show represents the culmination of her work to date, which is rooted in the psychologically charged notions of childhood and identity, as well as the importance of daily practice, an idea she gleaned from artist and architect John Hejduk. These elements

combine to make Walls of Intrigue and Cabinets of Curiosity, which at first glance appears to be a simple collection of odd toys, a moving exploration of human nature and a subtle challenge to the way we think about art. “I’m very much interested in popular culture images, like toys, comic books, all those kinds of things,” Nelson says from her home in Victoria, British Columbia. “I hit on this idea of the sock monkey, this idea of something from your childhood you might remember.” The works in the show, which is essentially one big installation, began life in 2008. That was when Nelson resolved to make one sock monkey each day for one hundred days. The

project was a chance to experiment and manipulate a simple image. Before long, the combination of repetition and Nelson’s boundless curiosity led to evolution; each sock monkey emerged as a unique

at the same time, you don’t.” The act of distorting a familiar image is an important tool for artists, who use it to unbalance viewers, opening them up to new ideas. Nelson uses her sock monkeys to examine the twin concepts of memory and experience — and the unreliability of recollection. The show strips away the faded glow of nostalgia and lays bare the raw material from which we are made. Walls of Intrigue and Cabinets of Curiosity also represents a challenge to the world of art galleries, which is governed by unwritten rules and presided over by theorists, historians, and curators. The works in the show spring not from an academic concept, but from the deeply populist do-it-yourself movement. Nelson is an egalitarian, and her belief that art should be inclusive is reflected in the exhibition,

I’m very much interested in popular culture images, like toys, comic books… trace nelson

object, similar yet different from the others. As the monkeys piled up, the familiar became increasingly abstract. “You recognize things,” she says, “but

which challenges the perception that fine art is both by and for a cultural elite. And by transforming a spartan gallery into a warm, if slightly odd, domestic space, she further blurs the

line between the formal world of art and the informality of domestic life. “By using furniture pieces and upholstering things and even the drawing machine that’s going to be included in the exhibition,” she says, “which is a stand-in for the artist but also the artist’s assistant drawing and working but also cleaning up after itself, point to that domestic idea: how do we balance our domestic lives and our artistic lives. They kind of collide with each other.” These collisions are the great strength of the exhibition. From the simple act of extracting a symbol from an earlier age and then distorting it, painting it, sculpting it, replicating it, Nelson is able to create a world in which the poles are reversed and opposites attract. Domestic life and art practice are united by the act of making. Formal and informal are linked by the tension between art movements. And memories clash with reality as the warmth of the familiar is displaced by the cold uncertainty of the unknown. Walls of Intrigue and Cabinets of Curiosity Through March 30 @ Mendel Art Gallery Free (donations accepted) Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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Feature

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

I

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

the country mode and we’re leaning more into the experimental rock mode now — and again, that wasn’t something we planned. It’s just what happened as we kept playing and kept writing.” Olah formed Cowpuncher in 2009 as an outlet for the country songs he was writing at the time. The group quickly grew into a loose collective

of Hammer Of The Gods. It proved a potent combination, and Cowpuncher began to attract attention after the 2010 release of The Brown Album. “When I go see a show, I like to go and pump my fist and I want to see some guy sweating” he says, explaining that live performance has always been central to the band’s musical vision. “A lot of what I go see in the

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

of like-minded musicians, talented instrumentalists joined by their love of roots music. But while the band played edgy folk and rock-flavoured country, their shambolic live performances were straight from the pages

folk realm is so fey and precious and low-key that it just puts me right to sleep. For better or worse, we like to sweat it out and put on a rock show and jump around and hurt ourselves and wreck stuff and kick over beers Continued on next page »

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Photo: courtesy of Sebastian Buzzalino

and ride around on people’s shoulders and have a good time.” After a pause he laughs and says, “That’s what I like and what I go for.” The release of Ghost Notes moved the band’s sound into line with its chaotic, beer-drenched live performances. As the spiky double guitar lick that opens “Raised On Rock ‘N Roll” crashes into the grinding rhythm and shouted chorus anyone who has done time in a dank rock club will recognize, it becomes clear that Ghost Notes is an unabashed rock record,

Photo: courtesy of Sebastian Buzzalino

beautiful in its simplicity. Although most of the record sounds like it was recorded live off the floor, Ghost Notes took Cowpuncher more than a year to make. The bulk of the record was cut in a Calgary machine shop by

Josh Rob Gwilliam using a decommissioned CBC recording truck repurposed as a mobile studio. “We didn’t really take time off to do it,” Olah says. “We did a weekend here, a weekend there. There was a lot of, ‘So we’re off this week, Josh, do you have any time? Come by and we’ll do guitars.’ We’d show up wherever he had his truck and worked around everybody’s schedules that way.” Multi-tracking also gave each member of the band time to shine, Olah continues. “You went in maybe with one or two other guys to be like, ‘no, you can do that better,’ until you got it right. It was kind of neat to have your coach from the team to be that second set of ears.” The problems associated with getting a bunch of musicians into the same room at the same time — a difficult task under the best of circumstances — also contributed to the stripped-down lineup that appears on the record. Although the band began life as a collective and frequently performed as a seven-piece, Olah says scheduling problems and varying degrees of commitment drove the decision to cut Ghost Notes with just five musicians — himself, bassist Haley Hoeft, drummer Jeff Sulima,

and guitarists Ryan Kelly and Scott Martin. “We’d play here and there but when we were on the road it was hard to get all seven guys to go out,” he says. “The more we played out of town, the more we realized that it was a five-piece band.” Last December, the band released a seven-inch single to test-drive the new lineup. The release, titled Hoosecow, became a prelude to Ghost Notes, a pair of rock songs featuring crunchy guitar chords, choppy solos, the relentless thump of Hoeft’s upright bass, and the unmistakable adenoidal blast of Olah’s vocals. Ghost Notes benefits from a similarly stripped-down sonic palette. According to Olah the band avoided overdubs, preferring to keep the record true to what audiences can expect to hear on stage. “The seven-inch we did had a keyboard on it, an organ sound. But on this one it’s just what the band sounds like. A lot of times, especially with singer-songwriters, they have this huge orchestral sound on their record, and then you go see them and it’s just them by themselves with an acoustic guitar. With us, what you see is what you get.” This is apparent from the opening chords of “Raised On Rock ‘N Roll,” a dystopian

view of rural Alberta masquerading as a slice of feel-good Canadiana. “It’s almost misleading, because when my friends were into Iron Maiden I was into Jim Croce,” Olah says of the song, a simple two-minute fusillade of overdriven guitars and gang vocals. “It’s almost like a David Lynch song, where you look at a small town and from the outside it’s idyllic, but you don’t have to look too hard to see the ugly underbelly.” A staple of the band’s live show for the last twelve months, “Raised On Rock ‘N Roll” sets the tone for Ghost Notes, demonstrating how the best rock songs need little more than four chords, two licks, and a machine-gun bass line to flourish. The rest of the album unfolds in similar fashion. “Acetaminophen” is a fuzzed-out ballad about the trials of living on the road, “Brazilian Summer” a rollicking ode to the highway that conjures up the image of Bob Dylan at Newport. “Country Maiden” evokes the spirit of Stan Jones’s classic “(Ghost) Riders In The Sky,” complete with guitar pyrotechnics and simple metaphors for love lost and found. Although Olah farmed out some songwriting duties to his bandmates — Hoeft wrote the punky surf-rock anthem “Ride My Wave” that brings the record to a close — he penned most of the lyrics himself. On Ghost Notes, Olah flits between earnest romanticism and profound cynicism, a combination that tends to manifest as bleak humour. “Backs Of Vans,” for example, is a tongue-in-cheek ode to rockstar excess: the drinking, the drug-taking, the uninhibited sex of the sort described in sordid rock memoirs. “Bridesmaids,” on the other hand, is a tender love song disguised as a snarky parting shot: “Always a bridesmaid, never the doom / I’m saying the c-word, it’s the last time

you will hear it,” Olah wails over a bed of grinding guitars. If Ghost Notes has a theme, it is the fundamental problem facing anybody who plays in a rock and roll band. That is, the contrast between the temptation of life on the road and the desire to maintain something resembling a stable life at home. “The one thing musicians love to do is complain about being a musician,” Olah says with a wry laugh. “It’s easy to look at how far you have to go and get discouraged by that side of it. We were talking with a buddy — he’s a visual artist, so he’s also in the game — and he was saying, ‘What are you talking about? You guys are on the cover of magazines and you’ve got all this press and you’ve got all these awesome shows.’ But from where we are we have a long way to go to be where we want to be.” Although it has only been available for a few months, Ghost Notes has catapulted Cowpuncher onto the radio and made bigger, longer tours possible. Which is where it all starts to make sense, according to Olah. “We’re not young or pretty,” he says. “We’re really based on the live performance and we spend so much time writing and working on songs and rehearsing and playing shows that we don’t really have the time, frankly, to say we should do this or that. This is who we are and this is what we run with.”

Cowpuncher January 25 @ Amigos Cantina $10 at the door Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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food + drink

Fast and healthy Photos courtesy of Adam Hawboldt

Go Grill offers a new dining experience for Saskatoon by adam hawboldt

H

ave you ever been to one of those yogurt restaurants? You know the ones I’m talking about. The place where you take as much yogurt as you want, put as much

and as many toppings on it as you want, place your concoction on a scale, then pay according to how much it weighs? Well, that’s what a new restaurant in town, called Go Grill, is like. The

only difference? They serve stir fry, not yogurt. Now, before we get into this, let me say this: the idea of choosing the size and ingredients of a meal is highly appealing to me. Especially when dining out. Sometimes I feel like eating a lot, sometimes I feel like pecking. Sometimes I want loads of meat, other times I want an abundance of veggies. At Go Grill you can get exactly what you want. There are no set dishes, no set size. And with more than 30 ingredients to choose from (along with 10 sauces), the possibilities and variety of meals you can eat are epic. Feeling like it’s a meaty kind of day? Go up to the counter, grab the tongs, and throw a heaping mound of hot, spicy pork on your plate. Top that with teriyaki beef, smoked salmon, squid, sausage and chicken, then give

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide Tangertini

Ingredients

Want a cocktail that’s light, refreshing and so good it hurts? Try this martini. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

3 oz of freshly squeezed tangerine juice 1.5 oz vodka 1 tsp orange-flavoured liqueur (like Cointreau) ice

Directions

Put ice in a martini shaker. Add tangerine juice, vodka and orange liqueur. Cover. Shake vigorously until frosty. Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of tangerine. Serve and enjoy.

it to the chef, select your sauce (they range from curry to teriyaki to oyster), and in just a few minutes you have yourself a meat stir fry extravaganza. Same goes for the veggies. Me, I like my stir-fry with a bit of balance, so when I stopped by the Go Grill one cold, blustery day last week I tried to create the perfect stir-fry. Well, perfect for me at least. What did I chose? First I started with the veggies. With so many to choose from I didn’t really know where to start. But after a bit of hemming and hawing, I started my plate with a handful of bean sprouts, followed by mushrooms, bok choy, onions, broccoli and carrots. Then I grabbed a couple of cubes of tofu and topped the whole thing off with a liberal amount of hot and spicy pork. Selection made, I weighed my meal (it came to about $10), handed

it to my chef and asked him to cook it with some sweet and sour sauce with a dash of garlic. The result was a huge, healthy, delicious meal. Good choices all around, if I do say so myself. And the best part? I was in an out of there just as quick as if I went to, say, McDonald’s or any other restaurant like that. And there’s the rub of a place like Go Grill: it’s fast food that doesn’t taste like fast food. Oh, and it’s a lot healthier and tastier, too. In case you were wondering. Go Grill 3510 8th Street East | (306) 954-3663 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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music

Next Week

coming up

Canadian Brass

Aaron Adair

Black Sabbath

@ Roxy Theatre Thursday, January 23 – $40+

@ The Bassment Friday, January 31 – $15/$20

@ Credit Union Centre Friday, April 18 – $39.25+

To say Canadian Brass is a hardworking, prolific band is an understatement. Since being formed by Charles Daellenbach and Gene Watts in 1970, the brass quintet has maintained a heavy, world-wide touring schedule and recorded more than 100 albums and DVDs. They’ve also made albums consisting of music by Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, and nearly every other composer you can think of. And while the quintet has experienced a host of line-up changes over the years, Canadian Brass is still going strong. These days the band consists of Daellenbach, Caleb Hudson, Chris Coletti, Bernhard Scully and Achilles Liarmakopoulos, five musicians who never fail to leave audiences satisfied. They’ll be in Saskatoon later this month. Tickets at www.persephonetheatre.org.

When you go to an Aaron Adair show you won’t just see a guy on stage by himself. Okay, maybe you will. But not for long. That’s because an Aaron Adair show is multi-faceted. One minute he may be up there playing solo, the next he’s performing in a stripped down trio, then he’s out front singing with a seven-piece soul revue show. Hailing from right here in Saskatoon, Adair is a singer/songwriter with a talent for music — music that combines the elements of funk and soul that’s groovy as all-get-outof-here. His first full-length album, AANALOG, is an infectious, up-beat, feel-good record full of songs that’ll make you want to get up and dance. He’ll be performing at The Bassment towards the end of the month. Tickets available at www.showclix.com.

Quick question: do you know what Black Sabbath was called before they were Black Sabbath? The correct answer is that the band — which consisted of Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Bill Ward — used to be called Earth, and played a brand of heavy blues rock music. That was in 1968. Soon though, they began incorporating occult themes in their music, singing horror-inspired lyrics, tuning down their guitars, and in the following year they became Black Sabbath — a band that’s widely considered to be the pioneers of heavy metal. A band that released such epic songs as “Paranoid,” “Iron Man” and “War Pigs.” A band that, while on tour in April, will be stopping in Saskatoon to rock the Credit Union Centre. Don’t miss it. Tickets through Ticketmaster. – By Adam Hawboldt

Photos courtesy of: the artist/ Karyn Kimberley/ the artist

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

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listings

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

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Friday 17

House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven up the atmosphere at 6Twelve. 9pm / No cover Wool on Wolves, Shred Kelly / Amigos Cantina — A night of folk and rock. 10pm / Cover TBD Brett Balon / The Bassment — It’s piano Friday! 4:30pm / No cover Too Darn Hot / The Bassment — Sultry, risque songs from the 20s and 30s. 9pm / $15/$20 DJ Aash Money / Béily’s — DJ Aash Money throws down a high-energy top 40 dance party every Friday night. 9pm / $5 Johnny Don’t / Buds on Broadway — A local rock/pop outfit. 10pm / 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 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 Jatino / Prairie Ink — Smooth jazz/latin/ pop music. 8pm / No cover Travertine and The Rebels / Rock Bottom — A night of great music to get you moving. 9pm / Cover TBD Evening Shift / Stan’s Place — A rockin’, feet-tapping 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 Nightclub — 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 Sound and Silence Collective / Vangelis — Featuring The Faps, Caves and more. 7pm / $10

The Gillian Snider, Neil Currie Quartet / The Bassment — Smooth jazz licks to warm you up on a cold Saturday night. 9pm / $15/$20 DJ Aash Money + DJ Sugar Daddy / Béily’s UltraLounge — These two DJs throw down a dance party every Saturday night. 9pm / $5 cover Seven Strait / Buds on Broadway — A night of rockin’ tunes. 10pm / Cover TBD Al Morrison / Bugsy’s — Playing smooth blues. 9pm / No cover SaturGAY Night / Diva’s — Resident DJs spin exclusive dance remixes every Saturday. 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 DJ Stikman and the Jax party crew. 9pm / $5 cover DJ Goodtimes / Longbranch — Playing the hottest country music all night. 8pm / $4 cover J. Cole / O’Brians Event Centre — An upand-coming American rapper. 8pm / $45+ (tickets.obrianseventcentre.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 No Hurry Trio / Prairie Ink — Easy listening and classic rock. 8pm / No cover Fuse Collective / Spadina Freehouse — Spinning music that’ll make you move. 9pm / No cover

Saturday 18

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes all night. 9pm / No cover Comments and Concerns / Amigos Cantina — Also featuring Family Affair, Niklas Winnitowy and Chloe Berge. 10pm / Cover TBD

Evening Shift / Stan’s Place — A rockin’, feet-tapping good time. 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 DJ Anchor / Sutherland Bar — It’s the world famous video mix show! 10pm / Cover TBD Conexus Pops Series: The Music of Pink Floyd / TCU Place — Music from The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. 7:30pm / $35+ (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  Sound and Silence Collective / Vangelis — Featuring Pandas in Japan, Little Criminals and more. 7pm / $10

Sunday 19

Industry Night / Béily’s — This crowd favourite has always been known to break the latest and greatest tracks in multiple genres. 9pm / $4; no cover for industry staff DJ KADE / The Hose & Hydrant — 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 Tavern — The Vangelis Sunday Jam is an institution, offering great tunes from blues to rock and beyond. 7:30pm / No cover

Monday 20

DJ Audio / Dublins — Spinning dope beats. 9pm / Cover TBD Blue Rodeo / TCU Place — Come check out the In Our Nature Tour. 7:30pm / $55+ (tcutickets.ca)

Tuesday 21

Feeding Fiction / Buds on Broadway — A local heavy rock band. 10pm / Cover TBD 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 Verb presents Open Mic / Rock Bottom — Come and rock the stage! 9pm / No cover Open Mic / The Somewhere Else Pub — Come out to show your talent. 7pm / No cover

Continued on next page »

20 Jan 17 – Jan 23 entertainment

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Friday 24

DJ Carlos / Stan’s Place — Playing your favorite songs to lighten the work week. 9:30pm / No cover

Wednesday 22

DJ Modus / 302 Lounge & Discotheque — Spinning all your favourite tracks. 9pm / No cover until 10pm; $3 thereafter DJ Aash Money / Béily’s UltraLounge — Spinning dope beats all night. 9pm / Cover TBD Feeding Fiction / Buds on Broadway — A local heavy rock band. 10pm / 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 Country Rock Bar — Come out and ride the mechanical bull! 9pm / $4; no cover for industry staff The Nobles / Rock Creek (Willowgrove) — Great songs from a local duo. 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 — Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie and Brad King belt out classic tunes and audience requests, from Sinatra to Lady Gaga. 10pm / No cover Magneta Lane / Vangelis — Also appearing: Anna Haverstock. 9pm / Cover TBD

House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven it up. 9pm / No cover Dumb Angel / Amigos — With Ride ‘til Dawn and Rick Reid. 10pm / Cover TBD Troy MacGillivray / The Bassment — It’s piano Friday! 4:30pm / No cover Absofunkinlutely / The Bassment — Purveyors of stubble funk. 9pm / $17/$23 DJ Aash Money / Béily’s UltraLounge — DJ Aash Money throws down a high-energy top 40 dance party every Friday night. 9pm / $5 cover Screamer / Buds on Broadway — Come rock the night away. 10pm / Cover TBD Pokemon Stadium Pre-Party / Crown + Rok — EDM music to kick of the weekend. 8pm / $8 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 — It’s all your favourite party hits.. 9pm / $5 cover DJ Big Ayyy & DJ HENCHMAN / Outlaws — Round up your friends. 8pm / $5; ladies in free before 11pm Zeljko Bilandzic / Prairie Ink — Flamenco and classical guitar. 8pm / No cover The Rebels / Stan’s Place — A rockin’ good time at Stan’s. 9:30pm / No cover Dueling Pianos / Staqatto — With Terry Hoknes, Neil Currie + Brad King. 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

Saturday 25

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes. 9pm / No cover Cowpuncher / Amigos — Awesome altrock/roots music. 10pm / Cover TBD The Bob Klassen Octet / The Bassment — With Grant Currie. 8:30pm / $15/$20

DJ Aash Money + DJ Sugar Daddy / Béily’s UltraLounge — These two DJs throw it down. 9pm / $5 cover Activists Maguire / Buds — Rock from the 70s, 80s and 90s. 10pm / Cover TBD BC Read / Bugsy’s — Local roots and blues. 9pm / No cover 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 — Ladies night with the Jax party crew. 9pm / $5 cover DJ Goodtimes / Longbranch — Playing the hottest country music. 8pm / $4 cover Robbie Burns Concert / Louis — Featuring Wenches and Rogues and Across the Pond. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman / Outlaws — Round up your friends. 8pm / $5 New Born / Prairie Ink — Acoustic folk/ rock. 8pm / No cover Iron Bison / Rock Bottom — Blues + rock from this Regina band. 9pm / Cover TBD

Fuse Collective / Freehouse — Spinning music to move you. 9pm / No cover The Rebels / Stan’s Place — A rockin’ good time at Stan’s. 9:30pm / No cover Pokemon Stadium / Sutherland Hall — An EDM extravaganza. 8pm / $15 (@ Jupiter, Vinyl Exchange, Lawson Mall) 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 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

Thursday 23

Roots Series: Dave Gunning / The Bassment — A talented east-coast folk musician. 8pm / $17/$23 Big Bang Baby / Buds on Broadway — A tribute to Stone Temple Pilots. 10pm / 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 & Hydrant — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover DJ Goodtimes / Longbranch — Playing the hottest country music all night. 8pm / $4 cover 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 Open Stage / The Woods — Hosted by Steven Maier. 9pm / No cover

21 Jan 17 – Jan 23 @verbsaskatoon

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Guess who’s back?

Photo: Courtesy of paramount pictures

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

I

‘ll never forget the first Jack Ryan movie I watched in theatre. It was Ottawa. The year was 2002. The movie was The Sum of All Fears. Prior to that, I’d seen all the Jack Ryan films — The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games. Clear and Present Danger. But I saw them all on VHS or DVD. And I dug them. There was something about Jack Ryan (whether played by Alec Baldwin or Harrison Ford) that I found compelling. Something in the way they portrayed the reluctant, uber-intelligent hero that appealed to me. So when The Sum of All Fears came out I decided to see it in a theatre. And if you’ve ever seen the movie you’ll know that, at one point in The Sum of All Fears, a nuke is dropped on a football field. The moment that explosion went off I looked around the room and every

a pretty young nurse named Cathy (Keira Knightley) — whom he eventually marries.

last face was frozen in shock. Not a word was spoken. Now, you have realize this wasn’t long after 9/11, and seeing something like that blew people’s hair back. Reminded them of a not-so-distant event that they were still trying to come to terms with. Right. And the only reason I mention this is because Kenneth Branagh’s latest film, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, begins with the destruction of the World Trade Towers being watched on television by Jack Ryan (this time around being played by Chris Pine). Seeing as this is a reboot, a reimagining of Tom Clancy’s vision, Ryan is still a student when 9/11 happens, at the London School of Economics. He doesn’t like what he sees so he enlists in the Marines, gets shot down in a helicopter while on tour in Afghanistan, and meets

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

Soon he’s recruited by the CIA (by Kevin Costner, to be precise), and is set up, under cover, as a financial intelligence analyst on Wall Street. He does that for 10 years. Then one day he’s told he’s going to Moscow.

Why? Because there’s a dastardly Russian who is trying to bring about the collapse of the American economy, as well as the destruction of lower Manhattan in a terrorist attack. The bad guy, we later find out, is a scheming oligarch named Viktor Cheverin (played by Branagh, who did double duty as director). Jack Ryan’s goal? To stop Cheverin, naturally. And that’s about as much of the plot as I’m willing to give away at the moment. But rest easy knowing that Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is neither the worst nor the best of the series. The worst was easily The Sum of All Fears. The best, no doubt, was The Hunt for Red October. This one fits in there nicely, right around Patriot Games. Maybe not that good, but close. Pine is solid as Jack Ryan, Costner is good in his role, Knightley and

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

106 minutes | PG 13

Branagh, too. The only thing that isn’t good about the movie is the script. It’s too formulaic, too predictable. A tweak here and a twist there and who knows how good this movie could’ve been. That said, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is still a decent spy movie. It just won’t blow your hair back.

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An enjoyable ride

Ride Along a good addition to the buddy cop genre by adam hawboldt

Ride along Tim Story Starring Kevin Hart, Ice Cube +Tika Sumpter Directed by

100 minutes | PG

T

he formula for creating a good buddy cop film isn’t exactly rocket science. All you need is a plot involving two characters with wildly different personalities who are forced to work together to solve a crime or get the bad guy. They can be two cops, a cop and a criminal, a cop and an Average Joe. Doesn’t matter. All that matters is the two characters are different, there is a liberal amount of gun play, and a heavy dose of funny moments. The more funny moments, the better. This is a formula that has been used over and over again in Hollywood — often to good effect. Think Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop, Rush Hour or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and you’ll get an idea of what kind of movie I’m talking about here. Actionpacked and funny as hell. Films in which one liners zing quick as bullets. In the last couple of years, there have been three new, commendable installments in the genre’s pantheon — The Heat, 21 Jump Street, and 2 Guns.

Wait. Make that four. Because Tim Story’s new buddy cop film, Ride Along, is worthy to stand alongside the pillars of the genre. No, Ride Along isn’t as good as, say, Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. And yes, the plot is predictable, clichéd and derivative of nearly everything that’s come before it. But Ride Along is still a good buddy cop flick, mainly because of one thing — Kevin Hart. Now, I don’t know about you, but I find this tiny munchkin of a comedian absolutely hilarious. Whether he’s playing a boxing promoter in Grudge Match or one of the boys in Think Like a Man, Hart always does what he does best: play Kevin Hart and make people laugh. And in Ride Along, playing the video-game-loving, high-schoolsecurity-guard-working Ben, he’s at it again. In the movie, Ben is in love with his beautiful girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter). He wants to marry her, but there’s a problem: Angela’s over-protective brother James (Ice Cube.) James is a tough-as-boot-leather detective in Atlanta who doesn’t really like his sister’s boyfriend. Ben knows this. But when he gets accepted into the police academy he works up the gumption to ask for James’ blessing to marry Angela.

Unconvinced that Ben can provide for his sister (or has what it takes to be a cop), James takes him on a ride along to the roughest, grittiest parts of Atlanta. All hell breaks loose. People are shot, things get blown up, and Kevin Hart drops lines like, “My stomach’s in my ass.” (Trust me, it’s way funnier in context.)

Now, don’t be mistaken. This isn’t the funniest movie you’ll ever see, but there are a lot of laughs, the onscreen chemistry between Hart and Ice Cube is solid, and with the right mindset (realizing that you’re going into a buddy cop flick) Ride Along is a thoroughly enjoyable movie. It’s just not for everyone.

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23 Jan 17 – Jan 23 /verbsaskatoon

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monday, january 15 @

stan’s place

Stan’s Place 106-110 Ruth Street (306) 665 9000

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

24 Jan 17 – Jan 23 entertainment

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nightlife

Photography by Patrick Carley

25 Jan 17 – Jan 23 @verbsaskatoon

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Photography by Patrick Carley

26 Jan 17 – Jan 23 entertainment

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nightlife

tuesday, january 14 @

Double deuce

The Double Deuce 3510 8th Street East (306) 477 7000

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

Photography by opalsnaps.com

facebook.com/verbsaskatoon

27 Jan 17 – Jan 23 /verbsaskatoon

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nightlife

Photography by opalsnaps.com

28 Jan 17 – Jan 23 entertainment

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comics

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

30 Jan 17 – Jan 23 entertainment

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timeout

crossword canadian criss-cross DOWN

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

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

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

sudoku answer key

A

B

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

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

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

ACROSS

© walter D. Feener 2014

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

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

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

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

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

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

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

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

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

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

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

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

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

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

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

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

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

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

crossword answer key

A

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

B

31 Jan 17 – Jan 23 /verbsaskatoon

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The New Zoom

Mazda’s hot hatchback just got hotter by jeff davis

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

32 Nov 15 – Nov 21 vehicles

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M

azda has been on a bit of a hot streak in recent years, producing cars that aren’t just good looking and well built — they’re also a hoot to drive. The Mazda3 is now the fourth best-selling car in Canada, accounting for more than half of all Mazda’s sales. So when it gets a full stem-tostern redesign, as the new 2014 edition has, it’s worth a closer look. (Full disclosure: I drive a 2011 Mazda3 hatchback and like it a lot. It’s peppy, fun to drive, easy on gas and is deceptively large, which I discovered on runs to Ikea in Edmonton.) After even a few minutes at the wheel, you get the sense that Mazda really grasped why people buy the Mazda3, then doubled down on all these things. The result is what people who buy these really want: a genuine hot hatchback. The first thing you notice is some big changes in the Mazda3’s appearance. It’s all swoops and bulges, and almost looks like it’s moving even when sitting still. These visual genes have been passed down from the

Mazda3 Sport GT 2.5L L4 Skyactiv-G DOHC 16-valve Horsepower: 184 Brakes: 4-wheel ABS trunk size: 572 L (seats up) Engine:

“Kodo — Soul of Motion” concept car, based around a design theme of “motion inspired by nature.” In short, it looks fantastic, especially in Soul Red. To these eyes, it looks far better than competitors like the Hyundai Veloster or even the Volkswagen Golf. The well-equipped Mazda3 Sport GT we drove costs $28,435, and came with some really great looking 18-inch alloy rims, which are available in silver or black. For stock rims, these look awesome, and might just save tuners from blowing their money on aftermarket rims down the road. Beyond the cosmetic, the 2014 Mazda3 has lots of small improvements that add up to a big leap forward. For example, when you locked the previous version the horn honk

was obnoxiously loud, whereas this model hoots at a civilized volume. The black leather interior with red highlights is stylish and youthful, but not overly distracting. The new dash is very clean and minimalist, with few knobs and buttons. This makes it somehow more calming to sit in and drive than the previous edition. Real gearheads will love the instrumentation. Instead of the speedometer being in the central position, there is a tachometer, so you can easily monitor engine speed. Speed, meanwhile, is displayed in digits on a small LED screen. The GT model also has another totally rad feature: a heads-updisplay! Speed is projected in ghostly holographic blue onto a small plastic panel in front of the steering wheel. This is super cool and makes the car seem very futuristic. When you’ve got the navigation system on, it also tells you about upcoming turns. When you feel like really letting it rip, you can push the “Sport” button on the dash. This makes the engine

Continued on next page

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rev higher and faster, and gives it a big boost in responsiveness. The engine note changes too, giving it a satisfying pitch and volume. Handling and driving stability appear to have improved marginally as well, thanks to a slightly longer and wider wheelbase. The GT version we tested has a 4-cylinder, 2.5 litre engine producing 184 horsepower, enough to give this light hatchback decent acceleration. Smaller 2.0 litre, 150 horsepower engines are available in lower-end versions, which start off at just $17,000. New to the Mazda3 is a decently-large

navigate, and synchs easily enough to smartphones. Unlike many others on the market, this is not a touchscreen, and is instead operated with a little knob located between the seats next to the cup holders. This is not necessarily a bad thing. While touchscreens are all the rage these days, they tend to get greasy and dirty in cars, and can be distracting to use. In the glove box are two USB ports, which make charging phones a snap. There’s also an SD card port, auxiliary audio jack and cigarette lighter-style power plug.

flat screen on the dashboard. The software on this console computer is mercifully intuitive and easy to

The backseat in the 2014 Mazda3 seems to have gotten smaller somehow, despite its larger footprint. This makes seating four adults comfortably a challenge, particularly if the driver is tall and needs the seat all the way back. The back row has a fold down armrest with cup holders, which is a nice touch. Rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split, to make an unbelievably very large trunk. Though it might not look it, all sorts of unwieldy furniture and even two bicycles can be squeezed in.

Given the wide range of improvement and its decent starting price, the Mazda3 shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone in the market for a small car. It offers a combination of performance, quality, functionality and fun that’s quite simply hard to beat.

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@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

34 Nov 15 – Nov 21 vehicles

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Local builds Snakebit F-100 for charity

Hot rod a cross between truck and Shelby Mustang by jeff davis

W

hat happens when you crossbreed a vintage Ford truck and a tire-peeling Shelby Mustang? Saskatoon’s very own homemade hot rod: the Snakebit F-100. The built-for-charity custom truck grabbed the attention of the automotive world in November, when it was featured at a major Las Vegas car show called the Specialty Equipment Automotive Show. KISS bassist Gene Simmons unveiled the custom truck, alongside his Saskatchewan-born wife Shannon Tweed, taking the hype to the next level. Now the Snakebit has clinched a coveted premium position at this year’s Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, to be held in Scottsdale, Az in January. The Snakebit was dreamt up by Saskatoon’s Tom Foster, president of Industrial Machine and Manufacturing. He said all profits will go to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, as a gesture of thanks for

the help they provided his daughter shortly after she was born. Watson initially aimed to raise $55,000 for the hospital by selling the F-100. After recent coverage on some influential American auto blogs, Watson is hoping the one-ofa-kind roadster can pull in upwards of $500,000. “Gene stated he’s not going to be happy unless the truck raises over a million dollars,” Foster said. Foster said the project began simply as a team building exercise for the men in his fabrication shop, and has gone far beyond anyone’s expectations. “We’re in the business of building and repairing mining and oil and gas equipment,” he said. “Automotive was new to us, but we have all the equipment needed to do it, and a lot of our staff are motor heads.” Watson’s project began with a 1956 Ford F-100 he and his staff purchased from a dealer in Washington State back in 2010. The idea soon evolved from a mere restoration to transforming it

into a sort of homage to the legendary Shelby Mustangs. The build team pitched the idea to Vaughn Wyant, owner of Jubilee Ford, and before long the Saskatchewan Ford Dealers Association was on board. They offered a new Shelby Mustang to cannibalize, but the team decided to take the equivalent value in parts instead. Now with a paid account at the Ford racing store, Foster’s team selected a new supercharged 5.4 litre V8 engine producing 550 horsepower — the same one found in the new Shelby Mustang. Next they widened the truck by five inches, dropped in a high-performance drivetrain and exhaust system, added a six speed manual gearbox and fitted 20 inch rear wheels. To give the Snakebit that wow factor, they called in Byron Thiessen of Creative Concepts and Restoration. He designed the final body concept and put on the finishing touches: custom lights, tonneau

box cover, faux-wood highlights and a unique leather interior. The name, by the way, is a nod to the king cobra snake decal that storied customizer Carroll Shelby put on all the Fords he tuned. Brynn Boback-Lane, president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, said the Snakebit project has been an inspiration to raise the remaining funds needed to build the new hospital. “Just like the hospital, this concept

car project started as an idea and a desire to do something better for our community.” If you are interested in more details about the Snakebit, and the story behind it, check out its website: www.wheelsofdreams.ca. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

35 Nov 15 – Nov 21 /verbsaskatoon

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Winter Tire Tips

Stay safe, save cash with these pointers by jeff davis

less ice and snow tire.” This will ensure you’re getting a true winter tire made for the conditions we have here in Saskatchewan. They’re made with rubber designed to stay gummy and grippy even in the deepest cold snaps.

Don’t cheap out

D

uring these coldest winter months, road accidents here in Saskatoon reach their peak. Packed snow turns to sheer ice, and ruts get so deep that changing lanes is like something out of the X-Games. Everyone knows a decent set of winter tires is a must. But what exactly should you be looking for? John Lupul is the son of our regular automotive advisor Jerry Lupul, and heir to the Lubrication Station crown. He knows his way around a car, not to mention a Saskatchewan winter. Because of the extreme low temperatures here, he says, there are some unusual

Inexpensive winter tires are often just all-seasons in disguise, John says. Though they might have aggressive treads like the pricier ones, they are still made of cheap rubber than freezes up in cold temperatures. You really get what you pay for, he says, so cheap tires can leave you sliding. John says his top picks are the Bridgestone Blizzak, the Michelin X-Ice and various models from the lesserknown Finnish brand Nokian.

things we must consider where the rubber hits the snow.

Get dedicated winter tires John says the most important tip about winter tires is obvious: get some. All-season tires might cope yearround in the Southern climates, but simply can’t hack it up here. This is mostly because the rubber in them freezes, greatly reducing traction. By the time temperatures dip to -5 or -7 degrees, John said, all-season tires are as solid as hockey pucks. The key phrase to look for, John says, is “stud-

Invest in winter rims

your winter tires on a set of winter rims instead. Canadian Tire sells standard black steel winter rims for $45 each, so you can invest in a full set for around $200. These will quickly pay themselves off, John says, since getting your tires taken on and off a single set of rims gets expensive at $10 or even $50 per wheel.

Skip the studs For decades, the ultimate in winter driving was studded tires. These are, for the most part, regular winter tires that have short metal pins inserted into them. When you brake, they scrape along the ice, providing additional traction and stopping you sooner. In recent years, John says, studs have become less necessary. The technology in regular ice and snow tires has made huge advances, so studs won’t stop you much quicker. Plus they hurt fuel economy and make the ride louder and bumpier.

seep out of your tires far faster in the winter than it will in the summer. It’s good practice to keep a handheld pressure gauge in your glove box, John says. Check your tire pressure at least once a month (John checks his every week) to ensure you’re not driving flat. Lastly, because cold air is denser, you’ll need more of it. Put in three to five pounds-per-square-inch more pressure than usual to account for this, John says.

Take them off Nothing will trash your winter tires quicker than leaving them on too long, John says. Since they’re made to stay supple at very low temperatures, they get too far soft in warm temperatures. This means they’ll wear down incredibly fast come spring. Once temperatures start hitting the zero degree mark in the afternoon, John says, think about putting your summer tires back on. This way you’ll enjoy your winter tires for years.

Mind your pressure

Road salt will wreak havoc on your spinners, John says, leaving them looking dull and unattractive. It’s better to leave those shiny rims on your all-season tires, and mount

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Your rims will expand and contract as the temperature fluctuates, especially if they are aluminum. Because of this, John says, air will

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Ron Burgundy’s Ride

Phony newsman driving huge sales for Dodge Durango by jeff davis

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W

hat happens when you combine the world’s sexiest local news anchor with a tired old Dodge SUV? Pure auto industry magic. In October, Dodge released a series of 70 television spots featuring actor Will Ferrell in the role of Ron Burgundy, star of the beloved Anchorman movies, endorsing the Durango. The zany ads are flakes of comedy gold, providing a longawaited shot of Burgundy, and comparatively little about the Durango. Appearing in character for a late night interview with Conan O’Brien,

2014 Dodge Durango Limited

Dodge. Web searches for “2014 Durango” jumped by 89 per cent, and sales blasted upwards by an amazing 59 per cent. So while Ron Burgundy certainly does have exquisite taste in whiskey and (dare I say) women, should we really be taking his advice on cars? We decided to take a 2014 Durango on the road and find out for ourselves. The all-wheel drive “Limited” version of the Durango we took out would cost $52,645 to drive off the lot. It had a 3.6 litre V6 engine producing 290 horsepower and claims it can do 25 miles per gallon on the highway. The first impressions was that this is a very big, pretty darn serious ride. It has seats for seven, the back two of which fold down for a cavernous trunk. It is also superbly equipped, with a few features that would make life awful easy in our cold climate. It has heated seats, sophisticated climate control and — best of all — an exquisite heated leather steering wheel that makes winter driving a pleasure.

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

Horsepower:

Burgundy (in a stunning feat of reverse psychology) commented that the only thing amazing about the Durango is how terrible it is. “They gave me one for free … I drove it four feet and the thing cracked in half,” Burgundy said. “Just horrible craftsmanship.” The whole stunt amounted to an out-and-out publicity coup for

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Head and leg room is ample in all but the third row, and the seats are comfortable and roomy. The large centre console touch screen features some mercifully intuitive software, and syncing smartphones takes mere seconds. The console computer can apparently support for-purchase Dodge apps as well, though none were loaded when we took it out. Another large screen appears behind the steering wheel, in place of a traditional instrument panel. This is customizable to show speed in miles or kilometres per hour, and can also show tire pressure, range or virtually whatever else you’d like to see. The traditional gear shifter on this 8-speed automatic has been replaced by a clever selector knob,

which is round and flat and takes up very little room. Turning this knob to switch gears was a new and novel experience, while paddle shifters on the knob provided additional engine control when desired. A smart key fob and push button start, plus a driver’s seat that remembers the seat and mirror positions for multiple drivers, make a powerful impression. It’s clear Dodge has gone to some lengths to make driving the Durango a pleasurable and relaxing experience, with a minimum of effort required. To keep your kids distracted during long trips, this wellequipped Durango had an impressive backseat entertainment system with CD/DVD and two sizable flat screens. Each came complete with

power plugs plus USB, HDMI and RCA hookups. Conceivably, you could hook up two game systems at the same time. In a similar vein, the centre console has an auxiliary audio jack, and also accepts USB and SD cards. Add these to standard Bluetooth, and the Durango accepts virtually every audiovisual format except cassette tape. Gadgetry aside, the Durango is a decent vehicle to drive. The driving position is very high, and there is ample ground clearance, giving a sense of safety and control. It drives through six inches of snow like it’s not even there, and doesn’t have as severe a body roll as expected in hard turns. Given its significant weight and girth, the Durango isn’t a fast vehicle. It emits a hearty growl when you put the pedal down, but it’s nothing too exciting. To keep the Durango’s thirst in check, there is an eco-mode button on the centre console that limits RPMs to 3000, ensuring reasonable fuel consumption. Long road trips are made easy and safe thanks to a system called

adaptive cruise control. With this engaged, the Durango will match the speed of cars ahead of it, instead of merely plowing into them. Other sensors are located on the rear corners, and sound an alarm when they detect cars coming from odd angles in parking lots. For many years the Durango was more or less overlooked by the lion’s share of the North American SUV market. This is likely because it somehow doesn’t quite pass the price versus value sniff test. For the $52,000 you’d shell out for a wellequipped Durango, you could have a true luxury ride like the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 or BMW X5. Compared to the Dodge, these have much better quality and breeding. All in all, the Durango is a lot like Burgundy himself: charismatic, charming and certainly well groomed … but just a little lacking in class. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)