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Issue #282 – March 21 to March 27

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saskatoon

Kings Of Leon +

for all ages Arthur Slade talks YA fiction biggest year yet Q+A with Glorious Sons muppets most wanted + gloria

Films reviewed­

Photo: courtesy of dan winters


contents

on the cover:

kings of leon

Comeback story 14/ arts Photo: courtesy of DAN WINTERS

NEWs + Opinion

for young and old alike

privatizing problems Our thoughts on

Arthur Slade talks YA fiction. 4 / Local

privatization in jails

8 / Editorial

green bud down

comments

Candid conversation on changes to medicinal marijuana laws. 6 / Local

Here’s your say about housing for the homeless. 10 / comments

culture

Q + A with glorious sons On their big year. 12 / Q + A

Going Veggie

flamenco chill

We visit Spring Roll Restaurant.

World-famous artists bring hot dance, music + more 15 / Arts

18 / Food + Drink

Music

bend sinister On their biggest album yet.

Against Me!, Mudmen + Katy Perry.

16 / feature

19 / music

entertainment

listings Local music listings for March 21 through March 29. 20 / listings

muppets most wanted + alan partridge: alpha papa

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 + O’Brians. 24

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

/ Nightlife

vehicles Beemers, used motorbikes + 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

contact

Design Lead / andrew yanko graphic designer / bryce kirk Contributing Photographers / Patrick Carley, ishtiaq opal, Adam Hawboldt + Jeff davis

advertise / advertise@verbnews.com / 306 979 2253

music

vehicles

design / layout@verbnews.com / 306 979 8474 General / info@verbnews.com / 306 979 2253

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For young and old alike Saskatchewan author Arthur Slade talks about YA fiction, plot, and treadmills by ADAM HAWBOLDT

Photo: Courtesy of black box images

A

rthur Slade didn’t intend to become an author of young adult fiction. It’s something that just kind of happened out of the blue. “I blame the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild,” he says with a chuckle. “They have a reading service where you’d send in a novel and a published author would read it anonymously. The person who read the manuscript I submitted wrote back, said some encouraging things and then said that it would be a perfect book for young adults.” That line, the last one in the letter, shocked Slade. “I was kind of offended,” remembers Slade. “I’d written the book for adults.”

That was back in the early ‘90s, back before Slade was the author of seventeen bestselling novels, before he’d won the Governor General’s Award, before his Hunchback Assignments series won international acclaim. It was back when no less than six unpublished novels and stacks and stacks of rejection slips littered his home office. Once the shock of hearing his book would be more suitable for young adults wore off, Slade reread his novel and he came to a sudden realization. “I realized that my writing style was perfect for that age group,” says Slade. “I don’t spend a lot of time describing things. I’m very concise, my writing is very compact. The stories I tell are very plot driven.”

With this newfound epiphany in mind, Slade made a conscientious decision to write a book geared towards young adults. It’s something he’s been doing ever since.

Ask Slade to define young-adult fiction, and he’s hard pressed to come up with a concrete answer. And for good reason. The term YA fiction is notoriously difficult to pin down. Wikipedia defines it as “fiction written, published, or marketed to adolescents and young adults.” But that somehow seems limiting, not encompassing enough to define the whole of the YA ouevre. Continued on next page »

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See, recent research shows that the young-adult industry is driven largely by adult book buyers. Between December 2012 and November 2013, 79% of young adult books sold were purchased by people 18 years and older, with the largest demographic being the 18-to-29year-old crowd. The reason older people are buying these books is up for debate. Some people feel readers are attracted to YA novels because their central characters are young and experience thing very intensely. Some believe it’s because “adults” these days exist in a state of perpetual adolescence. Others think people, young and old, are drawn to stories about first experiences and transformation. For Slade, the reason he thinks so many older people are buying YA books goes hand-in-hand with how he attempts to define the genre. “Yes, part of what defines YA fiction is the age of the character,” says Slade. “But it’s also about the story. YA novels are more about this happens, then that happens. There isn’t a lot of time for introspection. I mean, there is time, you have to do that, but you don’t spend pages on it. So with older readers, on some levels it can be about reliving your youth. But I think the major part is how important the story is. The plot. YA books are generally shorter. Think of The Hunger Games. Those books are very compact. They have that main idea and you can get through them really quickly. Sure, it’s the story

of someone who is young, but it’s a quick, entertaining story that adults can enjoy too.” And enjoy it they do. Between adults, teens and kids, the readership of YA fiction has exploded in recent years. According to the Nielsen BookScan, in 2006 981,000 YA books were sold. Jump ahead six years, and that number ballooned to 2.4 million units. That’s nearly a 150% increase. And even though Publishers Weekly is projecting a slight dip in sales in 2013, the market for YA fiction remains robust and thriving. A market that Slade was wise to crack all those years ago.

Most of the writing Slade does these days is done while he’s walking. There was a time when Slade, like most writers, sat at a desk and pounded out his books. Hunched in his chair, he’d write first drafts, edit, then rewrite, all the while creating characters and propelling them through his stripped-down, engaging tales. Then a few years ago, Slade had an idea. He’d read about Dr. James Levine’s treadmill desk, about his theory that humans are meant to be upright and walking for most of the day, and he decided it was time for him give the whole treadmill desk, walk-while-I’m-writing thing a try. Instead of purchasing Dr. Levine’s desk, he went to Canadian Tire, bought a Tempo Evolve treadmill, secured it to a shelf and

jerry-rigged himself a makeshift treadmill desk. In January 2009, Slade became a self-professed treadhead. Since then, working at his treadmill desk, Slade finished up The Hunchback Assignments series rewrites. He wrote a novel called The Dark Deeps. And he’s currently working on his latest project — a YA novel called Flickers. “The idea behind this book was, well, I just got an image of these two twins,” says Slade, while walking on his treadmill. “I knew that one of them would end up in Hollywood. They are two twins from Alberta … one of them becomes a Hollywood star back before movies had sound. She works with director on all these silent horror films, then the director decides he’s going to make the first sound picture. And in it the young girl will scream. It’s the first time anyone ever hears a person scream in a movie, and the scream opens up a new dimension.” What happens after that, Slade doesn’t really discuss. He’s still in the final edits of the book. But a few things are certain: Flickers will be a stripped-down, plot-driven narrative; Flickers will feature teenage protagonists; and Flickers won’t be the kind of book that only appeals to a small teenage niche. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Green Bud Down Medicinal marijuana growers brace for big change by ADAM HAWBOLDT

Photo: Courtesy of facebook Continued on next page Âť

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F

or the past six years Jeff Lundstrom has been developing a new strain of weed. Called “aoku,” Lundstrom designed it specifically for himself and his ailments. In 2000, Lundstrom fell from scaffolding and did serious nerve and tissue damage to his lower back. He was prescribed Dilaudid to help ease his pain but soon found himself addicted to the opiate. He kicked the habit and began using medicinal marijuana to alleviate his aching body. Lundstrom has been using marijuana as medicine ever since. Eventually he started growing medicinal marijuana — legally — for himself and two other patients who, by law, he was allowed to supply. It was during this time that Lundstrom perfected the aoku strain. “I know that no other person has it because I’m the guy who developed it,” says Lundstrom. “I developed it specifically for what’s wrong with me. The cross we made from two different strains is unique. One of those strains doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s gone. But what I created is one of a kind.” Or it was one of a kind. That’s because two weeks ago, in accordance with a government mandate, Lundstrom had to cut down his crop. “It was a sad, sad day,” says Lundstrom. “I kind of panicked when I had to do it. [The government] made me destroy this breed I’ve worked on for years. We flowered out all our moms in that last crop. There were something like 35 plants we had to cut down. In terms of man hours, it took quite a while. A lot of time.” But time isn’t exactly on Lundstrom’s side when it comes to getting rid of his crop.

that small, independent medicinalmarijuana growers like Lundstrom must “provide written notice to Health Canada by April 30, 2014, stating that they no longer possess marijuana (dried marijuana, plants or seeds) obtained under the old program. Those that were authorized to grow marijuana must also attest that they have discontinued production.” Failure to do so will result in Health Canada notifying local law enforcement and swift action being taken. “When you think about it, it’s really a bunch of bulls**t. This is a transition we’re all afraid of,” says Lundstrom, talking about the government shifting medicinal weed production away from small growers and putting it into the hands of large, corporate entities. “We’re afraid the police are going to abuse their powers and take advantage of the new mandatory minimums [which are a result of a federal omnibus crime bill that came into effect in 2012]. A lot of people don’t think about that. A lot of people don’t think about how, if this happens, it will fill up our already full jails and court system.” A lot of people also don’t think about the more-than-300 individuals licensed to grow pot in Saskatchewan, and what they’re going to do with their crops. Recently Health Canada suggested that these people destroy their existing supply by mixing it with kitty litter (to mask the smell) and water, and tossing it all out with the garbage. “Not a chance,” says Lundstrom, chuckling about Health Canada’s suggestion. “I’m gonna burn all mine up into my lungs and my head. They can f**k right off.” But for Lundstrom and others in the province caught up in this medical marijuana maelstrom, it’s no laughing matter.

“As of April 1, 2014, producing marijuana in a home or private dwelling will be illegal. As of that date the only legal source of marijuana will be produced under secure and qualitycontrolled conditions by licensed producers. Licensed producers will have to comply with strict regulatory requirements to demonstrate security and quality.” That’s a paragraph from a Health Canada press release from March 14th. A press release that goes on to say

“These last few weeks, they’ve really been an emotional roller coaster,” says Lundstrom. “Not only am I dealing with the loss of my license, but with the loss of my two medicinal patients as well. It’s been emotional for them.” Lundstrom takes a deep breath and shifts gears. “This is going to be a complete nightmare,” he says, “and for no good reason. The government, they’re just looking at costs. Looking at how much money they can make.”

For Lundstrom, that’s the wrong way to consider things. After all, licensed pot growers have been producing outstanding medical strains for quite some time on the cheap. “I produce my cannabis for as little as 50 cents a gram,” says Lundstrom. “Now the government is talking about selling theirs at something like $7.50 to $13 a gram. That’s profiteering. Someone who sells on the black market, they have to raise their prices because of risk versus reward. If they get caught, they will go to jail. But these guys [the new large, governmentsanctioned growers] aren’t in danger of being incarcerated. So why are they inflating prices?” During the course of the conversation, Lundstrom talks about a lot of things: about government greed, and the pre-employment drug test for people at Prairie Plant Systems — one of the big corporations who can legally grow weed. About wanting to fight all these changes but not being able to because he’s a family man with a child (and another on the way). But mostly Lundstrom talks about the negative effects shutting down small medical marijuana growers will have on the people who need it the most — the patients. “You’re dealing with sick people who are emotionally and already physically broken,” he says. “Then on top of that you want to financially break those people as well. Makes no sense. You know, the only way to access cannabis under this new system is online ordering. But what happens if a patient lives in a rural community and doesn’t have access to the Internet? I have a patient I supply to who is 62 years old. He doesn’t own a computer, doesn’t have a cellphone. How is he going to get medication under this new program? Plus, now he’s going to be paying more. What used to be a few hundred dollars a month is now going to be a couple of thousand. It’s going to be a nightmare.” A nightmare that will soon be a reality. A reality that may very well leave people like Lundstrom and other users twisting in the wind. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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editorial

Privatizing problems

Photo: Courtesy of littleoffcentre.blogspot.ca

Food services in jail should not be for-profit

T

Saskatchewan government is moving forward with its proposal to privatize corrections and young offender food services here in this province, despite concerns. To put it rather bluntly, we think that’s a terrible idea. There are myriad problems when you begin making any aspect of corrections for-profit, and food services is not immune. Specifically, when you begin turning to the private sector to provide this service costs threaten to escalate, inmate training can be undermined, and local businesses could suffer. Oh, and all you have to do is glance at the United States to see what full-blown privatization looks like (hint: not good). Do we really want to start down that path? Let’s start with the dollars and cents of the proposal. Time and time again, the privatization of food services have caused prices to skyrocket when private contractors take over because they tend to overcharge and bill extra. It happened in Ohio at the turn of the millennium. Aramark Correctional Services was paid for providing 4.5 million meals, but they only served 2.8 million. Between 1998 and 2001, the company was overpaid by $2.1 million. Then there’s Florida, where private contractors cut corners to save some cash and ended up feeding fewer inmates. A report found that the state would save $7 million

if it made food services in-house like they used to be. In Kentucky, Aramark over-billed daily meals by up to $100,000 per annum. Oh, and in Wayne County, Michigan, where Canteen Correctional Services took over the food business, they overcharged $2.5 million dollars. And while the money side of things seems like an obvious reason not to privatize, there’s also the direct impact it will have on both the government employees and inmates who work in the kitchens. You see, the kitchen staff at corrections and young offender facilities tend to be journeyperson cooks. These cooks take inmates on as apprentices and help them get their SIAST Short Order Cooking Certificates. They help them develop culinary skills, build confidence and provide them with tools that can help them get a job and provide for themselves and their families when they are released. It also helps occupy some of their time while they’re behind bars, and provides a solid incentive for good behaviour. But if food services gets outsourced, then all this professional development — not to mention the jobs of the 60-plus government workers who work in the kitchens — will be gone. Another drawback to privatizing food services in correctional and young offender facilities is that it can potentially harm local business. While it has yet to be determined who will be taking over food services in Saskatchewan, there is a pos-

sibility the job could be outsourced to a different province, or possibly even a private contractor from the States. There is no guarantee this move will help the local economy. No matter which angle you approach this issue from, food privatization in our jails and young offender facilities will do more harm than good. But what’s really concerning is our provincial government’s traipse down the path to privatization. The problems with a for-profit jail system are real and well documented in the United States, including the oft-cited “kids for cash” scandal, whereby judges would jail juveniles for something minor in exchange for a kickback from a private prison builder. And if you think we’re overreacting, consider this: U.S. private prison corporations are already lobbying to enter the Canadian market. It seems obvious to us that privatizing the food services in our correctional facilities is not the way to go, and opens the door to a whole host of issues. It’s best to nip this problem in the bud, before it’s too late. These editorials are left unsigned because they represent the opinions of Verb magazine, not those of the individual writers. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon feedback@verbnews.com Continued on next page »

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ally do need assistance (children, mentally ill), but others are “victims” of their own folly and I’m not sure they deserve help. Those who can’t hold a job because of laziness and bad attitude, those who are disruptive and can’t keep peace with roommates, those who destroy other peoples homes and create disturbances so get evicted.. Should we really give these people free housing?? Seems like a kick in the face to all other low wage earners who are struggling, doing the right things, and scraping by comments

On Topic: Last week we asked what you thought about providing housing for the homeless. Here's what you had to say: – Didn’t they give people who needed shelter in Edmonton or Calgary access to homes or something and it helped reduce their homeless population? This seems like a good idea to me. Once shelter food and stuff is taken care

much could go wrong do they just get a house or do they have to apply?

text yo thoughtsur to 881 ve r b 8372

– They should refurbish old shipping containers into affordable housing! I saw on tv someone was trying to do that. Not the most comfortable but you can add windows and furniture and make sure it’s insulated enough to protect against being too hot/cold.

of you are able to focus on things like jobs, health issues etc.

– Just providing shelter for people who need it seems like a dangerous precedent to set because so

– Homelessness doesn’t just come out of nowhere. Some people re-

– Provide people with the basic necessities to survive and they will thrive it is as simple as that. You want people to stop being homeless then give them homes.

– Where would the extra housing go in the city? As someone who works with at-risk people in the community, many of them need to be in the downtown area to access other services, social workers, food, support groups etc. But downtown housing is at a premium, and there’s no way they are going to give it over to homeless people. Being out of the core though presents huge logistical problems for those in need. I would love to see something like this happen here but I would be interested in hearing more about the logistics.

– Its been proved time and again that if you give people access to the basics that they need they can move ahead in other areas of there life they couldn’t otherwise. Housing is so important you worry about sheltering your

kids etc. I would like to know where these houses are going. Thank you.

– Re: Home sweet home. Great idea. I imagine many people would like to believe the worst and keep the poor in a box where they are lazy and thus we don’t have to help them. We have responsibility to members of the city we live in! We should work hard to do what we can to help. Just my 2 cents.

– The logistics of your opinion article seem outrageous, if not coming from a good spot. Who would build sell these houses where would they go? Who pays for cleaning them and how do you get one. These are important questions but maybe in the answers we can make something happen that is more realistic. This is to idealistic. But wanting to help others is nice.

OFF TOPIC – Love Buffy St. Marie her music and message is so empowering and she is such a powerhouse. In response to “It’s all about perspective,” Local, #281 (March 14, 2014)

sound off – Man are the side streets tough driving now! No snow removal. This is what the new stadium will cost. 30 yrs of neglecting street maintenance and upkeep!

– Everyone is happy to see spring coming. Wait then you will be bitching how hot it is out side. Then you will be bitching about the bugs . Can t please every one .

Continued on next page »

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– Found $20.00 dollars sat 15 if lose call me ha ha ??? !!!!

– Non-”standard” “cocktails” are DOWNtown!

– So many selfish drivers on the roads. Trying to change lanes when signalling is no easy task. Almost nobody will stop. Think about the next time you want the same favor done for you. It’s not just your road, it’s for everyone to share. Let’s make it a good driving experience for all.

– You think we’d learn this every year: but watch out for puddles big puddles! Lots of hidden potholes don’t want to wreck your ride!

– Pizza pizza in my bely me so hungry oh yeah pizza lol drnk

– A.S. ur the best and i luv u lol :) Can’t wait for our adventure this weekend! U have been there 4 everything and ur the best friend I could ask 4. Luv u babe

– I heard u were thinking ur better than me guess again loser im over u and u r a a hole for letting me get away. Kiss it!

– Karaoke. Frack. One. Or. Two. Out. Of. A. Bunch. Can. Sing. Drunks. Think they. Can. Hell. Most. Of. them. You. Have. To. be. Drunk to. Listen. Too

– Happy St. Paddy’s Day, everyone! Have a green beer or 15, and remember to get home safe! Hope you all have good craic and aren’t minus craic

– I hate it when people don’t let you merge onto Circle Drive. Also when drivers stop to let anyone cross the road no matter if they are at a crosswalk or not. I understand they are being considerate but it’s dangerous! Please please obay the rules of the road.

– F**k off with Rob Ford reporting! Sick of it! Who cares about that druggie? The press has to stop feeding such people!

– Think good thoughts do good deeds live a good life.

Next week: What do you think about privatizing food services in correctional facilities? 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.

– Everyone is so hard on bus drivers. They are doing there best and deal with tons of people every day. Lots of times things slow them down a little that is out of their control. Please try to have a little patience and compassion.

– Spring will be here in a couple of days and literally not one thing will change in terms of weather. Get ready for a bunch of disappointed people!

11 mar 21 - mar 27 /verbsaskatoon

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A Big Year

Photos: courtesy of Jess Baumung

In 2013, the Glorious Sons took their classic rock sound from the garage to the mainstage — and beyond by Alex J MacPherson

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I

AJM: What was the process of making your first EP, Shapeless Art, like?

t has been an unforgettable year for the Glorious Sons. Although the five musicians from Kingston have only been playing together for two years, they have already released am EP of energetic, upbeat rock songs, organized a national headlining tour, and started work on a full-length record. The band’s journey from grimy garage to massive mainstage began after they won the Whiskey Rocks Showdown, which generated a fair amount of publicity for the band and, more importantly, resulted in a friendship with JohnAngus MacDonald of the Trews. Besides helping the band navigate the murky waters of the music

JE: We did it over the course of eight days at a studio in Newmarket, Ontario called the Shop. John-Angus MacDonald produced it, and the owner-operator [and engineer] is Nick Detorro. John-Angus helped us build all the songs from where they were going into the studio into what they turned out to be. It was basically eight days in the studio, and we came out with five, six good songs we were all happy with. AJM: You’ve been working pretty closely with John-Angus. How important is it to have someone who knows how to make records and navigate the business?

JE: It was good. I think we did three shows up in Niagara Falls. They were all outdoor shows. We competed against some great bands and we were lucky enough to come away at the end with the win of the whole competition. Especially in the Niagara Falls area it really generated a lot of publicity for us. AJM: What it is about your music that has brought so much attention already? JE: This is just a gut feeling, but the way Brett and Andy write their lyrics, I think people can really identify with the songs. I think it’s just classic rock with a touch of the new music style in it – it’s not really far-fetched

for everyone to feel comfortable listening to it. AJM: And now you’re heading out west on the biggest tour of your career. JE: It’s our first headlining tour, so it’s a big step for us. But I mean going out with Head of the Herd a few months ago, that was a big step for us as well … There’s a little bit more on the line now that we’re headlining, so we’ve got to make sure we do our best to get everyone out to support us. I guess you could say it’s a pretty important tour for us. AJM: What are you most looking forward to?

JE: All the aspects of tour life are pretty sweet. You’re just cruising around with your buddies every day and your responsibility is to make it to the rock show and play the show. It’s not too stressful, you know?

The Glorious Sons March 28 @ Vangelis Tavern $10 @ Ticketedge.ca

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@VerbSaskatoon amacpherson@verbnews.com

We competed against some great bands and we were lucky… jay emmons

JE: Very important. I mean, lots of times when it comes to a tough decision we’ll give John-Angus a shout and get his take on the whole thing before we nail down our final move. It’s very helpful. I mean, he’s brought us from being an amateur garage band to the point we are now.

business, MacDonald also produced Shapeless Art, which was released in November. Anchored by the Southern-influenced “Mama,” the EP reflects the band’s love of classic rock and roll. Although the Glorious Sons still jam in the same garage, their world has changed dramatically over the last twelve months. And according to Jay Emmons, the band’s bare-footed lead guitarist, he and his bandmates are looking forward to yet another busy year.

AJM: You met him after winning a contest, which in terms of getting your name and music into the world seems like a viable alternative to touring for years.

Alex J MacPherson: It’s been a pretty wild year for the Glorious Sons. Does it feel like things have been happening really quickly? Jay Emmons: Really quite quickly. It kind of all started when we won the Rocksearch competition with 97.7 HTZ FM, and that gave us an opportunity to get our first single, “Mama,” on the radio. It took off and basically behind the strength of “Mama” and our manager doing some hard work to make some industry contacts we’ve really moved along quite far in the last six, eight months.

JE: It seems like it doesn’t matter how good your band is or what you’re doing. It seems like you have to jump through these hoops to get peoples’ attention nowadays. After we had recorded the EP we were doing our thing, writing some songs, going around south-eastern Ontario a bit — and then John-Angus recommended we enter the Rocksearch contest, because the Trews had apparently won that in the early 2000s. He said, ‘It was a big springboard for us, maybe you should try your luck at it as well.” AJM: What was the experience like? Was it unusual?

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Comeback Story

Photos: courtesy of dan winters

Kings of Leon return to centre stage with new LP Mechanical Bull by Alex J MacPherson

T

here are few bands able to boast about having developed a sound that is entirely their own. Kings of Leon is one of them, and it transformed their career. Today, the family rock outfit is one of the most famous and popular bands in the world. But Kings of Leon has had problems, too. After a calamitous 2011 that spawned rumours of rehab, hinted at serious internal problems, and featured a chaotic end to at least one show, the band’s prospects looked bleak. But the band appears to have recovered. After a brief sabbatical, the four musicians returned to the studio and produced the appropriately titled Mechanical Bull. Heavy on anthemic choruses, brooding introspection, arena-ready riffs, and Caleb Followill’s ragged blue-collar vocal delivery, Kings of Leon’s sixth album builds on everything the band

time away from each other, the band regrouped to cut Mechanical Bull. Featuring the steamy summer anthem “Supersoaker” and the pensive, brooding “Beautiful War,” Mechanical Bull emerged as the most Kings of Leon-ish record Kings of Leon have ever released. It is a distillation of the

has accomplished to date. Which is a lot by any measure. Kings of Leon was formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1999 by three brothers and a cousin: Caleb, Nathan, Jared, and Matthew. They began playing a bouncy mix of blues and southern rock. By 2008, it was clear that the band was changing direction, incorporating slicker production values and more pop influences into its mélange of rock sounds. This was evident on Only By The Night, which included the hit singles “Use Somebody” and “Sex On Fire.” By the time Kings of Leon released Come Around Sundown in 2010, it was clear that the Followills had transformed their band into a commercial success. Then things started to go awry. At a concert in Texas in 2011, Caleb Followill announced that he was leaving the stage “to vomit” and “to drink a beer;” he left and didn’t come back. But after some

This winter, Kings of Leon embarked on one of the biggest tours of the year. Early reviews have been mixed, praising the musicianship and setlist while taking issue with the band’s disconnectedness. The Hollywood Reporter characterized a recent show in New York

…the twenty-seven-song, two-hour setlist is a rarity in the world of arena rock… alex j macpherson

sounds and ideas that made them one of the biggest bands in the world, a collection of slick, propulsive riffs and Caleb Followill’s distinctive jagged lyrical ideas. On “Comeback Story,” he sings: “Race isn’t over ‘til the finish line / It’s a comeback story of a lifetime.”

City as a “no-frills evening,” albeit one tempered by the fact that “the music’s sheer power effectively compensated for the band’s emotional reticence.” On the other hand, many reviewers agree that the twentyseven-song, two-hour setlist is a

rarity in the world of arena rock — a comprehensive look at the band’s path to success as well as a chance for fans to hear a good chunk of the new record. Ultimately, Kings of Leon are still one of the most popular bands in the world — and for good reason. Few other acts are as capable of producing songs as good as the ones that light up Mechanical Bull — and if the relentless optimism of “Comeback Story” is any indication, many more records to come. Kings of Leon April4 @ Credit Union Centre $39+ @ Ticketmaster

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Flamenco Chill

Photos: courtesy of Tim Matheson

Local and international artists collaborate to create a cool evening of hot singing, dancing, and music by Alex J MacPherson

T

he origin of flamenco is difficult to pin down. Little is known of the art form’s beginnings, except that it emerged in Spain, largely from Andalusian and Romani culture; flamenco was first described in the late 18th century. Today, flamenco — which refers to both a style of music and a type of dancing — is one of the most popular art forms on the planet, a rich culture that has transcended its home in Spain and embedded itself in countries around the world. Kari Alba, artistic director of the Saskatoon-based flamenco group Alma Flamenca, thinks the form’s popularity stems from the wide variety of influences and sounds bound up in its pulsating, driving rhythms. “Generally speaking, the art form was created by gypsies that migrated or immigrated to Spain, and nothing’s written about them,” she says, add-

ing that flamenco is relatively easy to learn yet almost impossible to perfect. “In Spain, it’s believed that they were people that were kicked out of India and had to [spend] years and years travelling and passing through various countries, and with each moment they spent in each country they

Traditional flamenco music has three main components: toque, a form of guitar-playing that emphasizes pacing and percussive strumming; cante, which refers to both songs and singing; and baile, the fiery dance, which includes castanets and what Alba calls

The art form is extremely passionate, extremely explosive… Kari alba

were picking up various influences. The singing in flamenco sounds uncannily similar to, say, Arab music or even Indian music as well. The rhythm is unbelievable, maybe reflecting African rhythms and things like that. I think people can find something to relate to [in] it.”

“machine-gun” footwork. Together, these elements combine to create a spectacle that can be seen, heard, and felt. When done properly, it is both powerful and affecting. “The art form is extremely passionate, extremely explosive,” Alba says. “There’s no emotion being

kept hidden; we reveal everything, and I think that can be a huge attraction and bring people to experience that energy.” “Flamenco Chill” features three international artists: Ricardo Diaz, a guitarist who splits his time between Spain and the United States; Jesús Muñoz, a dancer from New Mexico; and the Spanish singer Celedonio Garrido. Alba is particularly enthusiastic about seeing Muñoz dance: “He’s performed all over the world, including Spain,” she says. “He’s been winning awards in various competitions [and] he’s danced with the top flamenco companies in the States as well as in Spain.” Perhaps more importantly, she adds, “it’s nice to see a male doing dance, which maybe we’re deprived of a little too much in this culture.” This is just one of the reasons why Alba wants to introduce flamenco to a new audience. Saska-

toon is home to a small but thriving community of singers, dancers, and musicians; she wants to expand it by demonstrating how raw and passionate flamenco music can be. “I think the first time someone sees it, if they’ve never seen it before, it’s a chance to be completely floored,” she says. “I’ll say exactly the same thing to someone who is very well versed in flamenco and has seen many shows: I don’t think it will disappoint.” Flamenco Chill March 28 @ Roxy Theatre $20+ @ Roxy Theatre, picatic.com

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Feature

Animals Vancouver rockers Bend Sinister return with biggest, most ambitious record to date by Alex J MacPherson

T

he last time Bend Sinister released an album, the Vancouverbased rock band was still trying to figure out what, exactly, it was going to become. Small Fame, which emerged in the summer of 2012, provided a partial answer. By mating frontman Dan Moxon’s fondness for classic pop and progressive rock with the edgier sounds favoured by guitarist Joseph Blood, drummer Jason Dana, and bassist Matt Rhode, Small Fame infused the band’s sound with new energy and verve. Most of the songs on the album animated conventional pop structures with punchy guitar licks, bouncy organ lines, and clever, heartfelt lyrics; the album felt like a more exuberant take on the band’s traditional sound, a hybrid of straightforward pop and proggy rock. A few tracks, however, hinted at the shape of things to come. “It’s a really good dynamic changeover,” a plaid-shirted and headbanded Moxon said in 2012, referring to the album’s towering centrepiece, the pairing of “Hot Blooded Man” and “Black Magic Woman.” “One about hot blooded

men and one about evil women, one slow and one crazy fast and chaotic.” Sprawling across nearly ten minutes of tape, “Hot Blooded Man” and “Black Magic Women” suggested a musical vision as innovative as it was ambitious. That vision came to fruition on Animals, which was released earlier this month. Threading together even more influences than its predecessor, Animals built on the foundation laid by Small Fame to become the most expansive and fully realized album Bend Sinister has ever released. The lyrics are more compelling, the arrangements

Bend Sinister was formed in Kelowna, British Columbia in 2001 by Dan Moxon, whose angelic falsetto and penchant for upbeat pop and technical rock placed the band in a category of its own. Its first album, The Warped Pane, was released in 2002; a second, Through The Broken City, followed three years later. In 2008, the band released a concept album, Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers, that tackled friendships and relationships, both good and bad. But there have been problems, too. Like many bands, Bend Sinister has been plagued by

A big part of Animals is that we were co-writing all the songs, hashing out all the lyrics in workshops with the band… dan moxon

more complex, and the technical sections more expertly executed. In other words, Animals is the product of a band working as a unit to create some of the strongest, strangest songs of the year.

near-constant lineup changes; by 2010, Moxon was the only remaining original member. Things started to turn around in 2008. Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers marked the first appearance of Jason Dana, Continued on next page »

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whose versatile drumming has kept the band on course ever since. The band was further stabilized in 2010, when guitarist Joseph Blood showed up toting a black Gibson SG and wearing tight leather jackets . Bend Sinister’s current lineup was completed a year or so later, when Saskatoon expat Matt Rhode came onboard to play bass. “I think everybody’s gotten a lot more comfortable with each other and more tight as a band,” Moxon says of the current group of musicians, which feels more stable — and able — than any of the band’s previous iterations. This is reflected in the process that produced Animals. In the past, Moxon wrote most of the songs himself before the band thrashed out the arrangements. Working this way was in some respects a necessity, a reaction to the band’s unstable cast of musicians. But with Blood, Dana, and Rhode eager to contribute, the band was able to take advantage of a much deeper pool of ideas. “A big part of Animals is that we were co-writing all the songs, hashing out all the lyrics in workshops with the band, figuring out all the parts, and building the album as a whole,” Moxon says. “Which is good, because it also pushes you as a songwriter to kind of finish things and have a song finished in an evening, in terms of the lyrical content, because you’re all working together to hash it out.” This approach is evident on the album’s opening track, a sprawling nine-minute opus titled “Best Of You.” According to Moxon, the song was constructed around a single

Photo: courtesy of ed spence

melodic idea. Then, he says, “we sort of filled in the blanks. Joseph told a personal story of his about being downtown in Vancouver and sort of bumping into a homeless guy who asked him for a cigarette. We ended

up making that interaction the start of that song, and it sort of grew as we went verse by verse. [We] just built it however it came at the time.” Other songs were constructed in similar ways from similar ideas. “Thunder and Lightning,” which kicks off the second side of Animals, emerged from a thirty-second riff played by the band Small Fame, which featured Moxon and Dana, and later inspired the title of the last Bend Sinister record. “We were just like, this is great, so we should make it a song,” Moxon says. “So we went in, wrote some verses, put together the structure of the song as a band, to this intro we loved to do back in the day.” The upshot is that the songs on Animals are extremely diverse. Because so many originated not as fully realized songs but as melodic fragments or short lyrical ideas, transforming them into finished songs was a collaborative process — one that produced unexpected results. A few songs, like the manic “I Got Love” and the relentlessly upbeat kiss-off “Better Things To Do” echo the pop sensibilities of Small Fame. Most, however, explore new ideas. “Best Of You” unfolds in distinct sections, including a languid stoner-rock introduction and a middle section featuring the sort of rock and roll histrionics popularized by bands like Queen. “Fancy Pants,” on the other hand, takes its cues from upbeat cabaret pop, transforming some brooding Oasis lyrics, an enthusiastic trumpet line, and a drawn-out gang vocal breakdown into a lighthearted summer anthem. “Thunder and Lightning” is a hazy nod to metal sounds from the late 1970s and 1980s that casts Moxon’s spiky vocals against layer after layer of grimy guitars. From a production standpoint, Animals is the best-sounding record Bend Sinister has ever released. After joining forces with producer Joe Marlett, whose résumé includes records by the Foo Fighters and Blink-182, the band cut the album in San Diego, California in just twelve days. The time frame was calculated to minimize distraction and maximize creativity. Put another way, the band wanted to produce a polished album that preserved the raw en-

ergy of a live performance without risking a Chinese Democracy-style catastrophe. “It sort of pushes you to not sit on a record over a year and just think about it too hard and for too long,” Moxon says with a laugh. “With spontaneity, I think, you get a better and more live-sounding record.” Marlett was also responsible for the final mixes, which are warmer and richer and more evenly balanced than those on Small Fame; each instrument sounds like an indispensable part of a greater whole rather than a part that can be easily added or subtracted. “I think we gave him a lot of latitude to sort of have a go and bring in some different elements, like horn players and things, which we hadn’t used in the past,” Moxon says. “We would listen to the mixes and so on as they came in, and just go with what sounded best for the song.” Because the songs were already so diverse, and because the band was open to going with whatever ideas happened to suit each particular song, Animals emerged as a compendium of rock and pop influences that combine in interesting and unusual ways. Although it cannot capture the band’s onstage antics, it is the best representation of Bend Sinister’s notoriously energetic live performance to date. But perhaps more importantly, Animals is evidence that Bend Sin-

ister continues to grow and evolve with little regard for anything apart from making fun, engaging rock and roll. It takes rather a lot of courage to open a record with a track as long as “Purple Rain,” especially in an age dominated by cagey three-minute pop songs and radio-friendly kitsch. But Blood, Dana, Moxon, and Rhode didn’t hesitate to do what felt right, even if it meant ignoring convention and precedent. Bend Sinister has always been defined by a willingness to do the unusual, and Animals is the purest expression of that sentiment to date — an album made by four musicians eager to explore new sounds, investigate old ones, and, most importantly, create music that moves people. Moxon, though, is characteristically modest. “We certainly didn’t mind the idea of having songs that were six minutes or eight minutes long, or had long intros or more intricate parts on this one,” Moxon says. “We were just doing whatever we felt like, really, and wanted to cover our bases — all the sounds and influences that we have.” Bend Sinister April 3 @ Vangelis $8+ (advance @ Vangelis, Beaumont Film + Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

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food + drink

Going Veggie Photos courtesy of Adam Hawboldt

The vegetarian meals at Spring Roll Restaurant hit the spot by adam hawboldt

I

was going to go with the ginger chicken. I really was. Prior to eating at Spring Roll Restaurant (this new little place on 33rd, located where the old Rice Bowl used to be), I’d heard good things about the ginger chicken from a few friends of mine. I heard

Steak, pork loin, chicken, roast beef, turducken, bacon, lamb — you name it, I had recently eaten it. I was feeling heavy and lethargic, two tell-tale signs of a lingering meat hangover. So when it came time to order something from Spring Roll, even though I really, really wanted to try the ginger chicken I decided to go with something lighter. Something vegetarian. Like most other pho-VietnameseChinese-Thai restaurants, the Spring Roll offers a plethora of vegetarian dishes. Seeing as the place is called Spring Roll, I knew I was going to order the vegetable spring rolls as a side. But what else to get? I perused the vegetarian section and a few things caught my eye. But in the end I went with vegetable rice noodle soup and the sauteed vegetables and tofu (which was under the Sizzling Platter section of the menu, not the vegetarian part). First thing I dug into was the vegetable and tofu dish, and it was delightful. It had a good contrast

it had a big ginger taste and that for just under $12 it was a pretty darn good deal. But here’s the thing: in the week or so leading up to eating at the Spring Roll Restaurant, I’d eaten a bit more meat than I’m accustomed to. And by “a bit,” I mean “a lot.”

let’s go drinkin’ Verb’s mixology guide The Side Car

Ingredients

The origins of this classic cocktail are unclear. All that’s really known is that it was created sometime during the end of the First World War (most believe in Paris, some say London) and was named after, well, the sidecar that was attached to motorcycles.

1 1/2oz cognac 1oz Cointreau 1/2oz lemon juice lemon twist sugar

Directions

Rim a chilled cocktail glass with sugar. Pour cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until frosty. Strain the concoction into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist and serve.

of crunchy (water chestnuts, baby corn, carrots) and soft vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, onions) that sopped up the delectable soy-based sauce. But what absorbed the most sauce was the tofu — as soon as you bite into a piece, flavour explodes in your mouth. Next up was the soup. Filled with broccoli, onions, green onions, cauliflower and a host of other veggies, this soup is like something my grandma would’ve made — just a tad sweeter, and with more of an Asian bent. Finally, the veggie spring rolls. Now, I have to admit, I’ve never had one of these before. At restaurants like this I always go with the meat-filled options. But you know what? Veggie spring rolls aren’t so bad. They’re not as taut and stuffed as the meat ones, but they’re pretty tasty nonetheless. Meal finished, I was pleased with my selections. But next time I go to the Spring Roll Restaurant, I think I’m going to lay off meat in the preceding days and get me some ginger chicken.

Spring Roll Restaurant 516 33rd Street West | (306) 933-2889 Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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music

Next Week

coming up

Against Me!

Mudmen

Katy Perry

@ Louis’ Pub Monday, March 31 – $25

@ Rock Bottom Thursday, April 3 – Cover TBD

@ Credit Union Centre thursday, august 28 – $39.25+

Righteous rage, fear, doubt, anxiety, regret, sadness and joy. Like any good (and by good we mean “damn good”) punk rock band, the songs Against Me! play are filled with all the aforementioned qualities, and so much more. Consisting of Laura Jane Grace, James Bowman, Atom Willard and Inge Johansson, this punk-as-hell quartet from Gainesville, Florida are one of those bands that you just have to see in a smaller venue like Louis’. Their in-your-face kickass sound is made for environments like that. Their 2007 album, New Wave, reached #57 on the Billboard 200. Their 2010 album, White Crosses, hit #34. And their raw, driving punk sound, well, it’s just something you have to see in person to fully appreciate. Tickets at www.ticketedge.ca.

St. Patrick’s Day may be over and done with for another year, but that shouldn’t stop you from going to see Mudmen — a kickass Celtic rock band that formed in Toronto way back in 1998. Featuring the talents of Steve Gore, Steve Volk, Alex Maletich, Mario Bozza and bagpipe-playing brothers Robby and Sandy Campbell, this energetic six-piece’s name comes from the occupation the Campbell brothers had before they formed the band. Back then they were mixing mortar and hauling bricks. These days, though, the brothers and the rest of the band are busy making jig-anddrinking worthy singles like “5 O’Clock” and “Saturday.” The Mudmen will be playing Rock Bottom on April 3; check them out!

It is just me or is Katy Perry, like, everywhere these days? She’s on television, in magazines, and featured on more sites than you can count on the Internet. And you know what? Good for her. She worked hard to get where she’s at. She’s come a long way since being the gospel musician who released her self-titled Katy Hudson album back in 2001. And yes, that’s Perry’s real name: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. But that’s beside the point. Since 2001, Perry has gone on to superstardom. She has sold more than 11 million albums and 81 million singles worldwide. If you’re a fan, you probably already have tickets to this concert, but even if you’re not you might want to consider going. Word on the street is she puts on one heckuva show. Tickets through Ticketmaster. – By Adam Hawboldt

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

Sask music Preview The deadline entry for the BreakOut West Festival, Western Canadian Music Awards and Industry Awards has been extended to April 1! Taking place from October 2-5 in Winnipeg, MB, the Western Canadian Music Awards and BreakOut West Festival And Conference will see musicians, fans and delegates descend on a Western Canadian city for a weekend of information sharing and live music.

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listings

march 21 » march 29 The most complete live music listings for Saskatoon. S

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21 22

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Friday 21

House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven up the atmosphere at 6Twelve. 9pm / No cover Head Hits Concrete / Amigos — With Cetascean and more. 10pm / Cover TBD Neil Currie / The Bassment — Feel like taking in some smooth jazz stylings? Come check out Currie tickle the ivories of the Kinsman Yamaha S6 grand piano. 4:30pm / No cover Rosie and the Riveters / The Bassment — A local powerhouse vocal collective. 9pm / $17/$23 Flashback Fridays / Béily’s UltraLounge — The best of the 80’s, 90’s & top 40 hits of today. 9pm / $5 cover Screamlyne / Buds — A hard Saskatchewan rock quintet. 10pm / Cover TBD

BPM / Diva’s — Resident DJs spin electro/vocal house music. 10pm / $5 West My Friend / Gillian Snider’s House — Third-wave indie prog chamber folk-roots music. 8pm / $10  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 University Cup Cabarets / O’Brians Event Centre — Featuring DJ Charly Hustle. 8:30pm /  $10  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 Penny Reigh / Piggy’s — Hard-hitting power pop! 8pm / Cover TBD The Standards Trio / Prairie Ink — A local jazz ensemble. 8pm / No cover Marchmallow Treat / The Refinery — Featuring Sylvia Chave. 10:30am, 1pm / $7+ Blackwater / Rock Bottom — With Bye Bye Baby. 8pm / Cover TBD Oral Fuentes Band / Somewhere Else Pub and Grill — A little bit of reggae for the weekend. 9pm / No cover DJ Ivar / Spadina Freehouse — Coming all the way from Edmonton for your listening pleasure. 9pm / No cover Red Blaze / Stan’s Place — A rockin’ country good time. 9pm / No cover

VIP 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 Whiskey Songs / Vangelis — With DJ Market Mall. 10pm/ Cover TBD

Saturday 22

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes all night. 9pm / No cover Untimely Demise / Amigos Cantina — With Vulture Kult and Singularity, come down for a night of kick ass music 10pm / Cover TBD Solstice / The Bassment — Some of the finest jazz vocal stylings around. 8pm / $15/$20 DJ Aash Money + DJ Sugar Daddy / Béily’s UltraLounge — These two DJs throw down a dance party that will get you moving and grooving, every Saturday night. 9pm / $5 cover Then Benny Stirs / Bon Temps — A local quartet you should hear. 8:30pm / No cover Screamlyne / Buds — A hard Saskatchewan rock quintet. 10pm / Cover TBD 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 University Cup Cabarets / O’Brians Event Centre — Featuring Tim Hicks. 8:30pm /  $10  DJ Big Ayyy & DJ Henchman / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Round up your friends ‘cause there’s no better country rock party around. 8pm / $5 Penny Reigh / Piggy’s — Hard-hitting power pop! 8pm / Cover TBD Rayney / Prairie Ink — A contemporary, local folk artist. 8pm / No cover Misterfire / Rock Bottom — With The Population + more. 8pm / Cover TBD Oral Fuentes Band / Somewhere Else Pub and Grill — A little bit of reggae for the weekend. 9pm / No cover Charly Hustle / Spadina Freehouse — Local DJ spinning songs you can groove to. 9pm / No cover Red Blaze / Stan’s Place — A rockin’ country good time. 9pm / No cover DJ Anchor / Sutherland Bar — It’s the world famous video mix show! 10pm / Cover TBD Amati Quartet / Third Ave United Church — Various selections by Beethoven. 2pm, 7:30pm / $15+ Saturday Night Social / Tequila — Electronic Saturdays will have you moving and grooving. 9pm / Cover TBD Amati Quartet / Third Avenue United Church — Playing a variety of songs compositions by Beethoven. 2pm, 7pm / $15+ (persephonetheatre.org, Remai Arts Centre box office) DJ Thorpdeo / Uncle Barley’s — Spinning hot tunes all night. 10pm / Cover TBD  Absofunkinlutely / Vangelis — Groovy stubble-funk and northern soul. 10pm / Cover TBD

Sunday 23

Islands / Amigos Cantina — Montreal indie rockers joined by Escondido. 10pm / $10 (ticketedge.ca)

Industry Night / Béily’s UltraLounge — Hosted by DJ Sugar Daddy; 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 Greystone Singers / Knox United Church — It’s their spring concert! 3pm / $10+ Sunday Night Jam / Stan’s Place — Bring an instrument and join in the fun. 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 24

DJ Audio / Dublins — Spinning dope beats. 9pm / Cover TBD

Tuesday 25

Flathead / Buds — We want to rock and roll all night. 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 DJ Carlos / Stan’s Place — Spinning karaoke tunes. 9:30pm / No cover Travis Tritt / TCU Place — A GrammyAward winning country singer. 7:30pm / $47.50 (tcutickets.ca) Carsick Cars / Vangelis — With Blue Powder, Enrique Maymi + more. 10pm / $15 (ticketedge.ca)

Wednesday 26

DJ Modus / 302 Lounge & Discotheque — Spinning all your favourite

Continued on next page »

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tracks. 9pm / No cover until 10pm; $3 thereafter Salsa Night / Béily’s UltraLounge — Latin music and salsa dance lessons. 8:30pm / Cover TBD Flathead / Buds — We want to rock and roll all night. 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Memo / Dublins — Spinning dope beats. 9pm / Cover TBD DJ Kade / The Hose & Hydrant — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover Buck Wild Wednesdays / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Come out and ride the mechanical bull! 9pm / $4; no cover for industry staff Sean Hogan / Rock Creek (Willowgrove) — Come good ol’ down-home music. 8pm / No cover DJ Carlos / Stan’s Place — Spinning karaoke tunes. 9:30pm / No cover James Buddy Rogers / Vangelis — Modern electric blues from Vancouver. 8pm / $20

Thursday 27

Brewsters and Roosters / Buds — Get the weekend started early. 10pm / Cover TBD DJ Kade / The Hose & Hydrant — Saskatoon DJ lights it up with hot tunes. 8pm / No cover DJ Goodtimes / Longbranch — Playing the hottest country music. 8pm / $4 DJ Carlos / Stan’s Place — Spinning karaoke tunes. 9:30pm / No cover John McDermott / TCU Place — An international recording star on his Looking Back ... 20th Anniversary Tour. 7:30pm / $45.50+ (tcutickets.ca) Triple Up Thursdays / Tequila — Featuring DJ Dislexic. 9pm / Cover TBD Jay Malinowski and The Deadcoast / Vangelis — With Astral Swans. 9pm / $12/$15 Open Stage / The Woods — Hosted by Steven Maier. 9pm / No cover

Flashback Fridays / Béily’s UltraLounge — The best of the 80’s, 90’s & top 40 hits of today. 9pm / $5 cover The Hung Jury / Buds — Come rock the night away. 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 Punk Rock Cover Party / Louis’ Pub — Featuring Myles and the Blanks, SWAYZE and Le Papillion. 9pm / $8 Young the Giant / O’Brians Event Centre — A California indie rock fivepiece. 7pm / $31 (ticketmaster.ca) DJ Big Ayyy & DJ HENCHMAN / Outlaws Country Rock Bar — Round up your friends ‘cause there’s no better country rock party around. 8pm / $5; ladies in free before 11pm Big Bang Baby / Piggy’s — A fun night of sweet tunes. 9pm / Cover TBD Doug Boomhower Trio / Prairie Ink — A local jazz trio. 8pm / No cover Negativearth / Rock Bottom — With Feeding Fiction. 8pm / Cover TBD

Eddie Robertson / Somewhere Else Pub — Playing electric blues. 9pm / No cover Chris Cole + friends / Spadina Freehouse — Dropping dope beats. 9pm / No cover Terri Ann Strongarm / Stan’s Place — A rockin’ good time. 9pm / No cover VIP 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 The Glorious Sons / Vangelis — With Teenage Kicks and Lab Coast. 10pm / Cover TBD

Saturday 29

House DJs / 6Twelve — Resident DJs spin deep and soulful tunes all night. 9pm / No cover The Extroverts / Amigos Cantina — With Delta Throats, Herb and the Humans. 10pm / Cover TBD Melissa Lauren / The Bassment — Smooth jazz styling out of Toronto. 8pm / $17/$23 DJ Aash Money + DJ Sugar Daddy / Béily’s UltraLounge — These two DJs throw down a dance party that’s sure

to get you moving and grooving every Saturday night. 9pm / $5 cover The Hung Jury / Buds — Come rock the night away. 10pm / Cover TBD 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 Red Rat / Louis’ Pub — A dancehall reggae superstar from Jamaica. 9pm / $25+ (ticketedge.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 Big Bang Baby / Piggy’s — A fun night of sweet tunes. 9pm / Cover TBD Lost Keys / Prairie Ink — Eclectic easy listening. 8pm / No cover Rend / Rock Bottom — With Lavagoat, Chronobot and Electric Grapevine. 8pm / Cover TBD

Eddie Robertson / Somewhere Else Pub — Playing electric blues. 9pm / No cover Bounce / Spadina Freehouse — Local DJ spinning songs you can groove to. 9pm / No cover Terri Ann Strongarm / Stan’s Place — A rockin’ good time. 9pm / No cover DJ Anchor / Sutherland Bar — It’s the world famous video mix show! 10pm / Cover TBD 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 Pop Quiz Party Jam 2014 Vol. 2 / Vangelis — Featuring Economics, Form + more. 10pm / Cover TBD

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

Friday 28

House DJs / 6Twelve Lounge — Funk, soul & lounge DJs liven up the atmosphere at 6Twelve. 9pm / No cover Mounties / Amigos Cantina — With Rich Aucoin and JPNS GIRLS. 10pm / $18 (ticketedge.ca) Sheldon Corbett / The Bassment — Come check out Corbett tickle the ivories of the Kinsman Yamaha S6 grand piano. 4:30pm / No cover Caladh Nua / The Bassment — Irish music all the way from the Emerald Isle. 9pm / $20/$25

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A classic, campy caper

Photo: Courtesy of walt disney studios motion pictures

Muppets Most Wanted a fun, song-filled romp by adam hawboldt

W

hen writers Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, along with director James Bobin, rebooted the Muppets franchise in 2011, they really hit a chord. It was the soft, sweet, funny chord of nostalgia. The kind of genuinely touching chord that reminded everybody why they loved the Muppets so damn much. This year’s sequel, Muppets Most Wanted, hits a very different note. Sure, nostalgia still lingers in the air, but this time out the gang goes for a more rollicking, whacky adventure flick — reminiscent of, say, The Great Muppet Caper. So is this sequel to the reboot as good as the first one?

Well, because the gang have hired a manager named Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), wants to take the show on the road. Unbeknownst to the Muppets, while their tour is kicking off, a Kermit lookalike named Constantine (who also just so happens to be a criminal mastermind) has escaped from a gulag in Siberia. Long story short, Kermit (who is mistaken for Constantine) gets thrown in the gulag, while Badguy and Constantine start robbing museums in different cities on their tour. From there the movie unfolds along two story lines — a crime caper and a prison movie. On the caper side of things, there’s song, dance, laughs, and more cameos than you can shake a stick at. Tony

Well, no. And the Muppets aren’t afraid to admit it. Picking up where The Muppets left off, this film begins with “The End” and fades into the Hollywood Boulevard ending the first reboot ended on. Then comes a song. And not just any song. It’s a musical number in which Kermit & Co. flat out confess to the audience that “ “Everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good.” But here’s the thing: even though Muppets Most Wanted isn’t as good as the last film, it’s a pretty darn good movie in its own right. The story (which, in truth, is merely a vehicle on which all the gags, songs, dances and cameos hitch a ride) shows the Muppets touring the world with their act. Why are they touring?

Bennett makes an appearance, as does Celine Dion, Tom Hiddleston, Lady Gaga, Christopher Waltz and Salma Hayek. But pound-for-pound, the most entertaining cameo comes during a song featuring Danny Trejo (apparently playing himself) and Ray Liotta. Brilliant. And while all this is going on Kermit is in Siberia, hanging out with a Broadway-musical obsessed camp commander named Nadya (Tina Fey). At first Kermit is upset, but eventually he accepts his fate and takes over the annual prison stage revue — at the adamant behest of commander Nadya. You can probably guess how all this ends up, but it won’t matter a lick. Muppets Most Wanted is like eye (and ear) candy for any die-hard

Muppets Most Wanted James Bobin Starring Starring Rickey Gervais, Tina Fey + Steve Whitmire (as Kermit) Directed by

112 minutes | G

fan. It’s one of those classic, campy Muppet movies that will entertain both young and old with its excellent songs, chuckle-worthy gags, and zany premise.

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Here he comes to save the day Beloved British character hits the big screen in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa by adam hawboldt

Photo: Courtesy of studio canal

A

lan Partridge is kind of a big deal in England. He has been for nearly 20 years now. Partridge first arrived on the British scene back in 1991 as an utterly inept sports reporter for BBC Radio 4. From there he went on to host his own talk show called Knowing Me, Knowing You … With Alan Partridge. In the years that followed, he had a few more radio shows, a few more television shows, he hosted a number of specials, made more than a few live appearances and even wrote a book. But all good things must come to an end, and eventually the shine on Partridge’s multi-talented halo began to dim. When we meet him in his first movie, titled Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, he’s in the middle of a full-on midlife crisis, working as a lowly DJ on a radio station in Norfolk. Oh, and for those of you who don’t know:

Alan Partridge isn’t a real person. Not even close. He’s the comic creation/ alter ego of Steve Coogan (In The Loop, Philomena). But as the hilariously self-assured Alan Partridge, he really did all those things. He really wrote books and hosted radio and television shows. And now as Partridge, Coogan is starring in his first movie (as the Partridge character).

timing is spot on. His catchphrases, social ineptitude and mangled, strangled metaphors are stronger than ever. So what is Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa about? Well, as previously mentioned, it begins with Partridge at his nadir, hosting a morning talk show with his sidekick Simon (Tim Key.) Things

[Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa] strikes a terrific balance between character, story and comedy. Adam Hawboldt

It goes without saying that, with more than two decades under his belt as Partridge, Coogan fully inhabits the character. His comedic

are plodding along mundanely until, one day, the employees at the Norfolk radio station find out the network is being taken over by

a huge corporation. Layoffs loom large on the horizon. Taking a cue from the underrated Adam Sandler comedy Airheads, the workers decide to revolt. When Alan’s work pal Pat (Colm Meaney), is fired, Pat grabs a shotgun and takes the station hostage. He chooses Partridge to act as the mediator between himself and the police. Hijinks ensue. But they’re not the kind of hijinks that TV-to-silver-screen projects tend to devolve into. Instead of expanding the narrative to preposterous proportions, Coogan — along with writers Peter Baynham, Armando Iannucci, and Neil and Rob Gibbons — opt to fill the time with character development and carefully constructed laughs. We’re not talking choke-onyour-popcorn laughs here, though, more like laughs that will make you chuckle from start to finish. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is one of those movies that never really

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Declan Lowney Starring Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney + Tim Key Directed by

90 minutes | PG

goes in for the big score, preferring instead to strike a terrific balance between character, story and comedy. It’s a balance made possible by Coogan who, as the inept and egotistical Partridge, shines big and bright at the film’s centre. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is currently screening at Roxy Theatre.

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saturday, march 15 @

stan’s place

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

Photography by Patrick Carley Continued on next page »

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nightlife

Check out our Facebook page! These photos will be uploaded to Facebook on Friday, March 28. facebook.com/verbsaskatoon

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saturday, March 15 @

O’Brians

O’Brians Event Centre 241 2nd Avenue South (306) 651 1000

Check out our Facebook page! These photos will be uploaded to Facebook on Friday, March 28.

Photography by opalsnaps.com

facebook.com/verbsaskatoon Continued on next page »

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Photography by opalsnaps.com

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comics

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

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crossword canadian criss-cross with flames 32. Make into a law 36. Elevator part 37. Felt crummy 39. On the yes side 40. Rural township located along the Rainy River In Ontario 41. Be suitable to 42. By means of 43. Known only to a few 46. Cabin in the Swiss Alps 49. Shoe with a blade 50. Stumbled in speaking 51. Point of light in the night sky 52. Despite this

DOWN 1. Brown-skinned or red-skinned vegetable 2. Exclamation of discovery 3. Big bang maker 4. Loss of hope 5. Night before a holiday 6. Permit 7. Not having been moved 8. Old Testament book 9. Trucking rig 11. Gownlike garment 12. Pied Piper’s followers 14. Attention-getting sound 17. Teeth sockets 20. One born in October

21. Gave in 24. Coffee, in slang 26. Cozy room 28. Brandy glass 29. Cold desserts 30. Appellations 31. Robes worn by monks 33. Program used within a web browser 34. Religious belief 35. Wrongful act 38. Draw on metal 44. Sneaky one 45. Airport info 47. Bale contents 48. Feeling of amazement

sudoku answer key

A

B

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

1. Lump of butter 4. Supermarket section 8. St. ___, Newfoundland 10. Part of a program of contests 12. Turn in a circle 13. Plays matchmaker 15. Collection of anecdotes 16. Navigational aid 18. Keyboard key 19. Make lace 20. Fragrant flower 22. ‘Deck the Halls’ contraction 23. Japanese sliding door 25. Railroad bridge 27. Watch attentively 29. Very hot place

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

ACROSS

© walter D. Feener 2013

Horoscopes March 21 – march 27 Aries March 21–April 19

Leo July 23–August 22

Sagittarius November 23–December 21

If you’ve been longing for a romantic encounter lately, Aries, things may happen this week that will bring a little love to your life.

Be polite and congenial in the next few days, Leo. You could meet a very influential person, and you don’t want to rub anyone the wrong way.

Body and soul might seem a little out of sync this week, Sagittarius. Do whatever you can to get them back in alignment.

Taurus April 20–May 20

Virgo August 23–September 22

Capricorn December 22–January 19

Conflicts between your professional and personal lives will abound this week, Taurus. Try your best to maintain a little balance.

A powerful wind of inspiration is going to blow in later this week, Virgo. Your artistic energies will be ready to go, so give in and get creating!

Strange, vivid dreams will come your way at some point this week, Capricorn. Pay attention. They could hold some deeper important meaning.

Gemini May 21–June 20

Libra September 23–October 23

Aquarius January 20–February 19

You might have problems communicating at some point in the coming days, Gemini. Don’t get too frustrated; speak from your heart.

Go get yourself involved in group activities this week, Libra. Resist the urge to hunker down and spend some alone time. People will energize you.

You will soon be forced to make a choice between your social and professional lives this week. Think carefully and choose wisely.

Cancer June 21–July 22

Scorpio October 24–November 22

Pisces February 20–March 20

Have you been working on a pet project lately, Cancer? If so, get ready to enjoy the fruits of your labour. It will start paying dividends soon.

Aspects of life could become a real drag this week, Scorpio. Try not to get too down, for it will pass soon. For now, it’s best to just grin and bear it.

You may end up being the butt of everyone’s joke this week, Pisces. Don’t get upset. It’s best to take it all with a chuckle.

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

crossword answer key

A

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

B

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The Baby Beemer

Even the lowest-end BMW proves a thrill by jeff davis

Photos: courtesy of jeff davis

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T

here is a lot of slick advertising and hype out there about German cars, focussing primarily on that intangible benefit of being exciting to drive. BMW claims to offer “The Ultimate Driving Experience,” but is there a way to get this without breaking the bank? To find out, I went out in search of the cheapest four-wheeler BMW had to offer, to see if the more affordable Beemers live up to the hype. This turned out to be the BMW X1 xDrive28i. A baby brother to the X5 and X3 model SUVs, it’s called a Sports Activity Vehicle, but looks and feels more like a large hatchback. I requested an as-near-to-basemodel X1 as Bema Autosport had in stock, and this still had a fairly steep bottom line of $44,623. (To put this in perspective, that is in the same price range as a top-

of-the-line Toyota Highlander, Jeep Grand Cherokee, or Acura RDX). First impressions of the X1 were good, and the overall effect conveyed quality and attention to detail. It was a pleasant surprise to see that even this lower end model included a very impressive array of standard features. This included heated seats, heated steering wheel, dual climate control, rain-sensing automatic wipers, auto headlamps and those little blinkers on the side mirrors. The “leatherette” (i.e. fake leather) interior was convincing and apparently very durable. This material appears in all lower-end BMWs, since they no longer use cloth seats in any vehicle. The only real extra option on this X1 was the $1,500 “premium package,” which added a very nice panoramic sunroof and backup sensors. The metallic paint job added another $900.

As for the drive train, the X1 was powered by a 2.0-litre four cylinder producing 240 horsepower, thanks to a Twinpower turbo. The transmission is a very clever 8-speed automatic. The X1 simply blows away any other four cylinder reviewed in these pages thus far. By all outward appearances it is a sensible, entry-level luxury car with a degree of sophistication, maybe even a little mundane. But get behind the wheel and you’ll experience another side of the X1. It’s blazing fast, and jumps off the line like a crazed bronco and handles like a demon. I can’t go on without mentioning the range of intense physical sensations I felt while driving this car. Screaming around corners and roundabouts had me lurching back and forth violently, and the acceleration has me glued to my seat. After slamming on the brakes at 120 on a country road, the car stopped

so fast that I felt my brain pushing against the inside of my skull. For about 15 minutes later, my eyes and head ached from the pressure. In short, BMW’s driving experience lives up to the hype. Like most proper roadsters, it has a 50/50 weight distribution and a nice trim suspension producing very little body roll in tight corners. The turn radius is also shockingly small, making it extremely maneuverable at slow speeds and in places like parking lots. For an extra dose of adrenaline you can pop the transmission from drive to “DS” mode, and you’ll see the coasting RPMs rise from around 1500 to 2500. This mode gives an immediate boost to acceleration response and power, sending the X1 past speed limits in a heartbeat. The 8-speed automatic shifts buttery smooth, and the turbo has no perceptible power lag. And unlike most automatics on the road, the manumatic

2014 BMW X1 xDrive281 Compact Luxury Crossover $36,990 transmission: 8-speed automatic Fuel Capacity: 63 L Fuel Economy (2.0L Engine): 7.9 L/100 KM Cargo Volume: 56 cu.ft.

CLASS:

bass price:

shift is actually responsive and fun to use. To manually shift up you pull the stick back, like in real race cars, and it’s a hoot to use while passing. Because of the increased sense of control, you’ll find yourself driving at much higher speeds than you would in other cars. Doing 100 feels like 50, and 50 feels like a crawl. Passing through 30 km/h school zones is simply torturous. For those more concerned with saving fuel than burning it, the X1 has a few more clever tricks up its sleeve. The coolest is called Auto Stop-and-Go, and when this is

Continued on next page Continued on next page »

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turned on, you’ll feel the car gently switch off when stopped in traffic. With the slightest touch of the gas or a gear shift, it quickly and quietly rumbles back to life. When “EcoPro” mode is turned on, it will limit the RPMs to a civilized minimum, keeping you from burning too much gas on straightaways.

There is a decent amount of functional space in the back as well. Larger passengers will feel cramped in the back, but this is made up for in versatility. Instead of a 60/40 rear

Despite having roughly the same wheelbase as other small crossovers, the cabin in the X1 is spacious and comfortable. The driver’s legs have tons of room, and the seat can be rolled far back and lowered to accommodate tall drivers. With a fully adjustable steering wheel, you’ll be sure to find a comfortable driving position.

Besides the hard-to-swallow price tag, the X1 has a few other drawbacks. It won’t take standard gas, so you’ll need to fill up with mid-range or premium fuel. This expensive taste

Doing 100 feels like 50, and 50 feels like a crawl. Passing through 30 km/h school zones is simply torturous. jeff davis

seat split, these seats split down in a 40/20/40 pattern and can lock in different positions. This means you could take four people and a few pair of skis to the hill without a roof rack — awesome! Up to four years or 80,000 kilometers after purchase, all maintenance on a new BMW is provided free of charge by the dealership. This includes all scheduled maintenance and even oil changes, which is pretty sweet.

will certainly add up over the years, especially in the summer, when premium fuel gets expensive. It also does not have a touch screen console, and the two-tone stereo displays and knob controls look sort of outmoded. And while Bluetooth phone pairing is standard, you’ll need to fork out extra for advanced Bluetooth that allows you to wirelessly play music from your phone. There is also only one USB jack, which could

cheese off heavy smartphone users or families. BMW also apparently considers cup holders to be déclassé, so there is only one, and it’s located awkwardly under the centre armrest. But all in all, these quirks do little to darken the overall picture. The base model X1 is a magnificent piece of engineering, seething with intensity, precision and latent power. Car dealerships make lots of money up-selling customers on optional features that can add tens of thousands of dollars to the bottom line. Then, before you know it, a mid-range car can start pushing the $40,000 mark. So before signing the dotted line on such a vehicle, do yourself a favour and check out the low end of the high end. You may find a bargain in the unlikeliest of places.

Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

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Buying a used motorcycle: Part 1

My personal road to two-wheeling by jeff davis

F

or a couple of years now I’ve wanted to ride a motorcycle, and after being egged on by my 59-year-old motorbike enthusiast father, decided this year I’d bite the bullet. Over the years I’ve ridden a handful of bikes, but never owned one. The first one I rode, as a 10-yearold, was a Honda 50. During my teens I rode some larger 125 dirt bikes and ATVs around fields and forest trails. Then, while living overseas in Africa and Asia, I drove a range of quirky and underpowered scooters and road bikes. I started my search on Kijiji, casting a wide net and sifting through the thousands of local ads for used motorcycles. Quickly overwhelmed by the options, I turned to the old man for some advice.

“First decide on what type of bike you want,” he said. “If you don’t know a ton about bikes, it’s a good idea to focus on one model, so you’re at least comparing apples to apples.” To help narrow down my thinking, he rattled off a lot of good focus questions: what would this bike be used for — commuting? Long highway trips? Where would it be driven? Are you concerned more with form or function? What style suits you? How confident are you riding? How much do you weigh? And, of course, how much do you want to spend? Considering these questions, I stepped back from Kijiji for a while to do some research and reflection. I decided I was going to ride every day to and from the office, and would like to do some recreational riding as

well, likely on grid roads and across country. I’d like to do some weekend trips on the highway, but don’t like crotch rockets. The image of the Harley-Davidson cruiser doesn’t suit me either, nor does the $10,000 price tag. After all, I figured I would like to spend around $2,000. After watching tons of YouTube tests and reviews, I settled on the Kawasaki KLR 650. It’s a large streetand-trail or “enduro” style bike, known for its reliability and long life. It has an upright posture with high ground clearance, can be used for off-roading or long highway trips, and is big enough to haul around my 235 pound frame. I also love that between 1987 and 2007, the KLR’s design was left virtually unchanged by Kawasaki. Consequently, there are lots of

Photos: Courtesy of m jamil + j srayko

parts around, and if repairs are needed it won’t be hard to find a mechanic. Finding literally zero KLR 650s listed locally on Kijiji, I posted a wanted ad called “Is your KLR 650 gathering dust?” Over the next five weeks, four men contacted who quoted me between $2,500 and $3,500 for bikes between five and 15 years old. If you’re in the market for a used bike, consider what your wants and needs are before wading into

the world of online sales. Now that the snow is melting, I’ll soon begin checking out the options I found, and as I continue down this road I’ll share the conclusion of my bike hunt and what to look for when you check one out in person. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

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Whopper Junior  Tacoma dominating the small truck field by jeff davis

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

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2014 Toyota Tacoma Compact Pickup $22,350 transmission: 5, 6-speed manual 4, 5-speed automatic Fuel Capacity: 80 L Fuel Economy: 8.8 - 13.1 L/100 KM Towing Capacity: 1500 kg

CLASS:

Base Price:

fast, and it felt like it was floating over potholes and bumps thanks to the TRD off-road suspension. Stomp the gas and you’re treated to a satisfyingly manly engine note, somehow bolder and brasher than you’d expect from Toyota, which is normally so civilized.

With a few customizations, the Tacoma just starts to look dropdead gorgeous. The local Toyota showroom featured one with the TRD off-road package, big knobby wheels and a three inch lift kit. Add on a hood scoop and some running boards and you’ll have one of the dopest-looking trucks on the road. At the wheel, the Tacoma handles more like a big car or a crossover than a full-size truck. It’s got a fairly short turn radius, so it’s far easier to maneuver and park than a full size. Plus it’s a few inches narrower, which makes it less stressful to drive on narrow roads. These factors make it better suited to Saskatchewan’s increas-

Something about the lean athleticism of this truck just does it for me, making full size trucks look bloated…

C

ompact trucks used to be pretty popular in Canada, but in recent years automakers have fled from this segment. One-time bestsellers like the Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota, GMC Canyon and Chev Colorado have all been unceremoniously cancelled. One of the few left standing is the Toyota Tacoma, which not only dominates the compact pickup market, but is probably one of the best

you are), this is not an option to be overlooked. Highly customizable, the Tacoma prices start around $23,000 and can climb north of $45,000 for a fully equipped, high powered off-roader. Lately I’ve found myself gawking at passing Tacomas like I gawked at my middle school crushes. Something about the lean athleticism of this truck just does it for me, making full size trucks look bloated and fleshy by comparison.

all-round autos on the road today. It’s got stunning good looks, versatile functionality and the best resale value out there. And when it comes to getting the best work-andplay payoff per dollar, the Tacoma leads the pack. Drivers here in Saskatchewan have a dire case of truck fever, but the simple fact is not everyone needs full size capability. So for anyone who wants a truck but doesn’t really need one (you know who

ingly urban driving conditions, and it can navigate stop-and-go traffic much easier than the big boys  The standard 2.7 litre fourcylinder engine in the Tacoma puts out just 159 horsepower and 180 torques, and is probably underpowered, especially if you intend to do any hauling.  The optional 4.0 litre V6 we tested produces 236 horsepower and 266 torques. It was nimble and

Interior finishes are surprisingly refined and the cloth seats appear very durable. The overall effect is of quality, and the dash setup is attractive and functional. The optional double cab can seat four, but not four big people like a full size can comfortably accommodate. The “access” cab option is basically a storage area with two jump seats that kids could sit in.

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The box is obviously smaller than you’ll find on a full size, but only by a few inches in any direction. What it lacks in size, the Tacoma definitely makes up for with a durable plastic box liner and tons of accessories. There are really handy steel tie-down hooks that would be great for tying down recreational equipment, motorcycles or small loads. There are handy, covered storage nooks built into the sides of the bed, perfect for stashing dirty items you’d rather not put in the cab, but don’t want bouncing around the box either. Finally, there is also a 12 volt power plugin in the box that would come in real handy whenever you’re out in the bush. Form and function aside, another major reason to buy a Tacoma is the resale factor. In 2014 Tacoma got second place in the Kelley Blue Book’s 2014 Best Resale Value Awards. After three years, they predict you can resell your ride for 74 per cent of purchase price. Even after five years,

you’ll still fetch 62 per cent of what you paid originally. To put how amazing this is in perspective, a Dodge Durango resells for only 24 per cent of sticker price after five years. On average, new cars retain only 35 per cent of their value over five years. Resale value alone keeps certain clever drivers selling their used Tacoma every three years, then using the cash to purchase a brand new one. But make no mistake: this is a real truck, built on a real truck chassis. It has proven towing and off-road capabilities, and will suit the needs of many drivers far better than a full size. Plus it will be cheaper to buy, cheaper to operate, handle better, do any of the work you need, and will sell for a pretty penny on the used market. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

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Verb Issue S282 (Mar. 21-27, 2014)