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Outside the Startup Edmonton offices. / Doug Johnson
WOMEN MAKE UP A QUARTER OF STARTUP STAFFERS
Edmonton Startup FitMyLife Has a 50 Percent Female Staff, Which May Not Sound Like a Lot, but It’s Well above Average
ix of 12 staffers in Edmontonborn business FitMyLife are female—the 50-50 split marking something of a rarity in the maledominated world of tech startups. The term ‘startup bro,’ an epithet casting some shade on members of these traditionally masculine enterprises, has some weight to it—and it stems, in many cases, from the early days of a company where HR policies take a back-seat to other operations, experts in the industry say.
more culture, have those HR policies to develop that respect and professionalism.” According to Basilio, FitMyLife hopes to maintain this equilibrium going forward, while also finding the best candidate for each position. “It really helps us create a good product when we have different perspective,” she says. According to Tiffany Linke-Boyko, CEO of Startup Edmonton, startups tend to be 75 percent male and 25 percent female, in her experience.
work in September. In her absence, Leonardis says she delegated her duties out to other staffers. “You get a job; you get a job; you get a job,” she says, mimicking a famous Oprah quote. “You can’t replace a co-founder. It doesn’t work like that.” However, not every employee has that benefit. According to Leonardis, a company will likely hire someone to fill in for a person on maternity leave and then, hopefully, the company will have grown so both
“I feel like startups want to have more of a cool or relaxed culture, but as they increase their employee base, the culture needs to be more culture, have those HR policies to develop that respect and professionalism.” That said, FitMyLife made striving for an equal and representative workplace a priority from its early stages in 2016, says one of the fitness app’s founders and registered dietician Evita Basilio. “I think Edmonton, especially, is a place where technology and startup culture is starting to boom. We have a good place to start bringing up this conversation,” she says, adding that the company removed gender-biases from its hiring processes even for its leadership positions. “I feel like startups want to have more of a cool or relaxed culture, but as they increase their employee base, the culture needs to be
And, while many startups are entirely run by men, all-female businesses of this sort tend to be rare. The image of startups run by ‘startup bros,’ downing business beers, similarly, does not help diversity in the field. Startups tend to overwork their staff in many cases, Basilio says. As such, they rarely have policies in place for women who need to go on maternity leave. As vice president and co-founder of Edmonton-born Visio Media Nicolette Leonardis—who is currently on mat leave—doesn’t really need to worry about any threats to her work. She is returning to her
positions are still available when the person returns. This is what she has seen in Visio Media, she says. It’s also quite hard for smaller startups to do this, though, she says, and many of them don’t have HR reps—rather it’s kind of “ad hoc as you go.” Some startups do allow people to work from home, however, which can make negotiating the work-family balance a bit easier, she says. The downside of this is that employees do end up working a lot in their downtime, regardless of gender. “It definitely helps women in this day and age,” she says. Doug Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
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Vue Brief Province Hopes to Make Hunting Easier for Senior Citizens
he Government of Alberta is making hunting an easier prospect for senior citizens, by lowering the prices for licenses and permits. Starting this fall, the cost for a combination wildlife certificate and bird game permit, along with the white-tailed deer license, will cost seniors $8.25, down from $44.02 and $39.95, respectively. The partner license will cost $12. Similarly, the provincial government will work with the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors Association (AHEIA) to partner senior hunters with novices to help pass along their experience, a Government of Alberta press release says. “Not only is hunting part of Alberta’s cultural heritage; it’s a major economic driver and a wonderful pastime for thousands of Albertans. This year, our government is proud to offer new elk- and deerhunting opportunities, strengthen existing mentorship programs for youth, and support seniors living on fixed incomes by reducing the cost of hunting licences,” the release says. According to the release, hunting continues to grow in popularity in the province. Last year, 120,000 Albertans purchased a license, a
10,000 increase from the previous year. The province currently has 18,500 license holders age 65 and over. “Supporting high-quality mentorship programs helps lifelong hunters connect and share their skills with youth who are interested in hunting, but don’t know where to start. As Alberta’s leader in providing conservation and hunter education programs, AHEIA is excited to expand our partnership with the government to support the next generation of hunters,” the release says. The release also states that the government will create more opportunities for cougar hunting West of Edmonton; and will shift the province’s bear baiting season to the end of October to “better align with bear hibernation season and help prevent illegal harvest.” New hunting restrictions are also being introduced at Larch Island near Canmore, to align with firearm restrictions in Strathcona County. “These changes will help keep communities safe, while ensuring that hunting opportunities remain,” the release says. Doug Johnson email@example.com
The Alberta Legislature building. /Adobe Stock
JASON KENNEY V. INTELLECTUALISM UCP Leader’s Beef with Smart People Making Climate Change Policy Is Baffling and Worrying
ason Kenney was in fine form in a recent interview with Calgary Sun columnist Rick Bell about the Albertan and federal carbon taxes. “Our government is just about the last one standing in favour of this crazy tax on energy,” Kenney told
Bell, once again calling into question the UCP leader’s abilities when it comes to basic math. While it’s true that Ontario and Saskatchewan are in the midst of fighting the federal carbon tax in the courts, the other eight prov-
Vue Brief Stay Safe on the Accidental Beach, Don’t Be a Jerk: City, AHS
hile the City of Edmonton acknowledges that Edmontonians love the Accidental Beach, it hopes residents will bear a few things in mind while pretending they’re relaxing in a tropical paradise, rather than some construction leftovers. Last week, the city released a PSA stating that the beach has reared its sandy head again thanks to the water levels in the North Saskatchewan River. Made in conjunction with Alberta Health Services, the PSA informs beach-goers that the site does not have a lifeguard, it has no lifesaving equipment, and the water in the region is not being tested by AHS. “Although we do not encourage use of AccidentalBeach, we understand people will be visiting the site,” the release says. The city allows access to the beach from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The North Saskatchewan River may contain sharp objects or debris, and its speed and flow may vary from time to time. Similarly, the water qual-
ity may change due in part to bird and animal droppings. As such, the two government bodies do not recommend swimming in the river and advises against drinking the water, two activities many Edmontonians avoid just on principle. People who do may contract E. Coli, the release says. The statement recommends washing hands and bodies after exposure to the water. The city has also placed temporary portable toilets, garbage cans, and bike racks near the beach and the ad hoc trail leading to it in part to reduce complaints from residents of the Cloverdale neighbourhood. Similarly, park rangers and EPS will be patrolling the region. Alcohol, fireworks, and loud music are barred from the beach. Also: dogs must be leashed. The neighbourhood will also have a parking ban during Folk Fest, and the speed limit has been reduced from 60 km/h to 50 km/h. Doug Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
inces are still in support of the federal government’s framework on climate change. Somehow, however, Kenney’s math translates being on-side with eight out of 10 provinces and the federal government into Alberta being “just about the last one standing.” Kenney seemed to save his greatest vitriol in the interview, however, for the “elites” and the “selfappointed smart people” who support the Alberta and federal climate plans, and who have historically ridiculed and mocked him for his position on the carbon tax. The problem with Kenney’s statement is that he sadly doesn’t give us any actual information about who exactly these “selfappointed smart people” are, nor does he give us a sense of where he is drawing his information and data about Alberta’s economy and the impacts of the carbon tax. Despite the fact that Kenney seems to have an issue with “smart people” advising us on policy, the reality is that most of us don’t really understand the intricacies of how various carbon policies impact emissions and the economy—we haven’t crunched the numbers, we haven’t looked at results from other jurisdictions, and we certainly haven’t done the economic modeling of various options and scenarios. So, we have a responsibility to look at the folks who have done that work before we decide which policies we will support. If you start from a place of understanding—that polling consistently shows that a majority of Albertans and Canadians accept that climate change is real and humancaused, and that we all have a responsibility to do something about it—then we can move on the question of what exactly we should do. That’s where the experts who have actually done the work on
policy options and economic impacts come in, and when you look at the work and recommendations of those experts, the answer is clear. There is near unanimity among economists of all political stripes in Alberta and across Canada that the most effective and economically efficient way to reduce emissions in a free market jurisdiction is through the application of broad-based carbon pricing. Extensive economic modeling and studies of other jurisdictions have shown beyond the shadow of a doubt that if you charge consumers directly for their emissions, and you set the price high enough, consumer behavior will change over time and emissions will go down. Kenney mockingly told Rick Bell, “They really believe making you pay more to heat your home is somehow going to save the planet.” What he doesn’t understand is that it’s not “belief,” it is fact based on years of gathering evidence and studying results. What about Kenney’s assertion that the carbon tax is a “job killer” that is “destroying Alberta’s economy”? Well the same studies and modeling from Canada and around the world show that at worst the carbon levy will shave between 0.05 percent and 0.1 percent off of projected GDP growth each year. To put that in perspective, GDP in Alberta grew 4.9 percent in 2017, so without the tax that growth would have been between 4.95 percent and 5.0 percent. So, regardless of rhetorical and anti-intellectual assertions about “self-appointed smart people,” the reality is that the research, data, and real world examples all point to carbon taxes as effective and efficient tools for reducing emissions and combating climate change. The only possible point
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of contention or debate is whether Alberta’s carbon tax is actually high enough to generate the needed behavioural change, not whether it should exist or not. Kenney’s comments raise real concerns about his fitness to lead the province of Alberta. His statements and assertions to date have focused almost entirely on misrepresenting facts for the sake of riling up antigovernment populist fervor, and his positioning on the carbon tax is a key example of that. He has shown himself to be more than happy to discard thoughtful evidence-based policy recommendations as the domain of “elites” and “self-appointed smart people,” but has offered absolutely nothing that even closely resembles thoughtful public policy alternatives that could be implemented and ultimately have a positive impact on the public interest. Indeed, one has to ask, if Kenney would not rely upon the work of smart people whose recommendations are based on life-long studies of data and research, who would he turn to for advice on crafting public policy? Ultimately, with a provincial election less than 10 months away, it’s time for the Leader of the Official Opposition to stop relying on empty rhetoric and actually start putting forward some genuine and credible evidence to back his critiques of Alberta’s carbon tax. Articulating some well thought out policy alternatives wouldn’t hurt either. If he wants to be premier, Kenney needs to show Albertans that he actually knows what he’s talking about and not just another one of the elite self-appointed smart people. Ricardo Acuña
Is the NDP using rainbow or red tape? I
The Notley Government: They’re Not Inclusive of Trans Women, but That’s How They Identify
know there are people who get all the social justice terminology right, but are perpetuating deadly discrimination, and there are people whose words make me cringe, but who manage to demonstrate more real concern than those who hide their transmisogyny behind pink, blue, and white floodlights. I’m talking about the gap between Alberta politicians who marked the last Trans Day of Remembrance by appearing at a ceremony to mark opposition to anti-trans violence— like Health Minister Sarah Hoffman or Liberal Party leader David Khan—and those who actually say something about the most fatal and widespread form of anti-trans violence in the province of Alberta: The gatekeeping regime maintained by the Government of Alberta, entrenched with much fanfare and rainbow-tape by the Notley government. Danielle Smith, former leader of the Wildrose Alliance doesn’t get the progressive lingo like Mr. Khan, like Rachel Notley—when last I heard her talk about this issue, she was using the word ‘transgenders’ to refer to trans people, talking
about cis people as though only they’re born their sex. But—unlike Premier Notley and Mr. Khan, and Mr. Mandel—she actually talked publicly on the radio about how the NDP’s spending of public money denies access to estrogen, and antiandrogens like spironolactone/androcur, and progesterone.
itored treatment will save more lives than monitored treatment with long wait times. A right-wing party leader—who once called for the defunding of genital reconstruction—is, in a sense, more of a vocal ally to trans women trying to get the medicine they need than any of the leaders of
overdoses—was too important to be left to doctors to prescribe, because doctors refused to do their jobs without prejudice, so they made naloxone available over the counter without a prescription. Later, they said the same for mifegymiso, a pill that aborts early pregnancies, and added it to medi-
“The NDP’s spending entrenches a two-track system that allows general practitioners to abdicate their responsibility to provide this medicine without discrimination—as they do to cisfeminine patients.” The NDP’s spending entrenches a two-track system that allows general practitioners to abdicate their responsibility to provide this medicine without discrimination—as they do to cisfeminine patients. HRT is not a difficult medicine fraught with complications. There’s stuff to keep an eye out for, but compared to the risk of death from untreated dysphoria and its co-morbid conditions, it’s so minor that un-mon-
Alberta’s anti-Conservative parties. She provided an open forum for the debate on one occasion. Maybe that’s why the Notley government’s appeal to voters on the basis of their stance on social issues—which has become so performative it’d make Judith Butler blush—is increasingly falling flat. This government said naloxone—which is used to treat opiate
cine covered by Alberta Health Services, to boot. Never mind the stress and comorbidity-related conditions involved with opiate use—and to a lesser-extent, unwanted pregnancy. The NDP didn’t spend millions creating what they called a “dedicated home” for the provision of these medicines—making Albertans first get evaluated by a psychiatrist who decided if they
really needed this medicine, and then another expensive, not totally necessary, specialist. Probably because that’s the kind of crap that made early Canadian pro-choice advocate Henry Morgentaler put out a shingle and demonstrate any competent GP could perform an abortion. But that brand of Pierre Trudeau-era, condescending, sexist bullshit framed as caring is what the NDP does to trans Albertans—mostly women. Former Status of Women Minister Stephanie McLean hailed this subsidy to people who deny trans people medicine “an important incremental step.” It’s interesting how the Notley government gets righteously radical with the right of someone to do with a functioning uterus what they will, but gets invertibrate-ly incremental when anyone wonders aloud what part of ‘my body, my choice’ all these so-called strong feminists who support vulnerable women (save the one group of women they can never bring themselves to centre) don’t understand. Valerie Keefe
Strange days in south-east asia
Democracy Fizzles, Dies, or Is Otherwise Corrupted in Many States, But Efforts Remain Strong
quarter-century before the Arab Spring of 2011, there was a democratic spring in South East Asia: the Philippines in 1986, Burma in 1988, Thailand in 1992, and Indonesia in 1998. The Arab Spring was largely drowned in blood (Syria, Egypt, Libya), but democracy really seemed to be taking root in South East Asia— for awhile. But look at it now. The army is back in power in Thailand, and it never really left in Burma. The Philippines still has the forms of democracy, but President Rodrigo Duterte is a homicidal clown. And two weeks ago, we saw the demolition of the facade of democracy in Cambodia. What went wrong? In Cambodia’s case, democracy never was much more than a facade. Hun Sen, who was just ‘re-elected’ president with 80 percent of the vote, has been in power for 33 years—first as the leader of a Communist puppet government put in place during the Vietnamese occupation of 1978-90, later as the ruler of an independent country where opponents sometimes disappeared and his party unaccountably always won the elections. But there was a relatively free press and a real opposition party, so Cambodia was loosely counted as a democracy—until the
opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) did surprisingly well in the 2013 election. After that, the free media were shut down one after another, and in late 2016 the CNRP was dissolved by the supreme court. No wonder Hun Sen won again. So nothing much lost there, you might say—but actually the facade of democracy, shabby though it was, did provide some protection for civil and human rights in Cambodia. Now
way. But the reaction was ferocious: military-backed conservatives, including much of the urban middle class, fought that party in the courts and in the street. The populist party was forced to change its name and its leader several times, but it was still in business until the military coup of 2014 shut all political activity down. Each year the generals promise a free election for the following year, but it hasn’t happened yet.
with a pogrom against the Muslim minority in Rakhine state, the Rohingya, whom they falsely accused of being illegal immigrants. 700,000 Rohingyas were driven across the border into Bangladesh, Buddhist Burmese nationalists cheered the army on—and Aung San Suu Kyi, the long-standing leader and hero of the democratic movement, did not dare to condemn the crime. The army is basically back in the saddle. And then there’s the Philippines,
“In the century after the French revolution there were two emperors, one ‘directorate’, two monarchies and three republics, and most of the transitions were violent. The general direction of travel, in South East Asia and elsewhere, is still towards democracy, but it’s a longer journey than it looks.” it’s gone. “Whatever Mr. Hun Sen wants, he gets. People are so fearful,” said deputy CNRP leader Mu Sochua, who fled to Germany last month. (The CNRP leader, Kem Sokha, is in jail on treason charges.) Thailand went a lot further into the business of building a real democracy. A populist party that attracted peasants and the urban poor actually got power and started moving resources their
Next door in Burma, the army never lost power at all. The attempted non-violent revolution of 1988 was thwarted by a massacre of students worse than the one carried out by the Chinese Communist Party on Tiananmen Square the following year. It’s only in the past few years that the military were forced to hand some power over to civilians through free elections. But the generals then struck back
where the elections really are free. The trouble is that in 2016 the Filipinos elected Rodrigo Duterte, a self-proclaimed murderer, by a landslide. At least 3,000 death-squad killings of alleged drug-dealers later, he still has the highest popularity rating of any Filipino president since the ‘people power’ revolution of 1986. Vietnam and Laos, of course, are still Communist-ruled autocra-
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cies. Only two of the eight countries in the region, Indonesia and Malaysia, are real democracies. It falls far short of the high hopes of the late 20th century, but it’s a good deal more than nothing. Despite local scandals like the jailing of a non-Muslim mayor of Jakarta on spurious blasphemy charges, Indonesian democracy works, and is less corrupt than the regional norm. Malaysia has just voted out the most corrupt prime minister of its history, who is now in jail. And these two countries alone account for almost half the region’s population. As for the rest, it’s the old game of glass-half-full vs. glass-halfempty. The setbacks are clustering at the moment, creating the impression that the democratic experiment has failed in SouthEast Asia, but every retrograde regime still faces far stronger democratic resistance than existed in any of these countries a generation ago. In the century after the French revolution there were two emperors, one ‘directorate,’ two monarchies and three republics, and most of the transitions were violent. The general direction of travel, in South East Asia and elsewhere, is still towards democracy, but it’s a longer journey than it looks. Gwynne Dyer front 5
Some of Sweet Mango’s offerings: good not great. / J Procktor
Vietnamese Eatery in Mill Creek Came Highly Recommended, but Provided Little that Made It Stand Out
fter a hot streak in the spring, characterized by trips to favourite new places to eat— I’m batting my eyelashes at you La Patrona, Biera, and Bundok—I seem to have fallen on more tepid times in the summer months. In some ways a middling experience is worse than a terrible one, which at least leaves you with
a story to tell. The indifferent meal leaves little, but the sense of an opportunity missed to eat something really worth eating. So with a few weeks of feeble fare under my proverbial (and literal) belt, I was attracted to an instance of my perennial comfort food to make everything all better. Co-diner and I set a course for
not just a pretty beerlist
Sweet Mango—a place I’d never eaten but had heard endorsed— to partake in the familiar blessings of Vietnamese and/or Thai food, which I’ve long considered Edmonton to have an abundance of in terms of quality options. In fact, Sweet Mango is ambiance and selection-wise almost a textbook example of the reliable
noodle joint: strip mall location; clean and blandly presentable dining room; a lengthy list of soups, noodle bowls, stir fries and sizzling platters with all the expected appies; cheerful, efficient service; and modest prices in tune with the going rate around Chinatown. I had walked in thinking pho (beef noodle soup) or vermicelli with grilled pork and spring rolls would hit the spot, but a perusal of the menu made co-diner and I want to share some stuff. We ordered “summer rolls” (two for $4.95), and mango salad ($9.95) to start, for we were quite hungry, and were tempted by sizzling lemongrass coconut chicken and Singapore noodles ($15.95 each), the latter of which was proclaimed a house specialty on the menu. The first couple of plates announced a theme that ran throughout most of the meal: ‘something is missing.’ In the summer rolls, which you might know by the name salad rolls, there was definitely vermicelli and a bisected prawn, and there was certainly peanut sauce on the side. Perhaps they had avoided the usual moniker because there wasn’t anything green inside that rice wrapper— certainly not the leaves of basil or mint some folks consider an integral element of said rolls. And the mango salad was undeniably comprised of just-ripe
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Sweet Mango 9120 82 Ave. 780 462 8929 sweetmango.ca mango with sweet bell pepper strips, cucumber and onion with fish sauce for dressing. Once again, chopped herbs added some zesty freshness to the proceedings—if not some chilies in the dressing to elevate the salad to more than the sum of its parts. Our favourite dish was the sizzling platter of lemongrass coconut chicken with bamboo shoots, carrots, peppers, and onions enfolded in the superheated, rapidly reducing creamy sauce. It was nothing out of the ordinary, but twinned aromas of coconut and lemongrass added much interest to the tender slips of chicken breast—and the portion was generous enough to make a doggy bag. I feel awfully picky for pointing out that the Singapore noodles fell just short of expectations, especially when the skein of stir-fried vermicelli had been loaded with chicken, scrambled egg, onions, bean sprouts, peppers, and the requisite curry powder. But for me noodles can’t claim to be from Singapore without chewy curls of sweet, spicy, fennel-y Chinese sausage worked in to the mix. That is picky, isn’t it? Scott Lingley
Juggalos love to make it rain Faygo. /
BEHIND THE ‘FAYGO ARMAGEDDON’
It’s Becoming Easier to Purchase the Favoured Drink of Insane Clown Posse in Edmonton
hen Violent J (Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joseph Utsler) of Insane Clown Posse come to Edmonton, they’ll be bringing with them an arsenal of Faygo, an American soda brand that has become increasingly easy to get in the city. According to Kevin James Patterson, the admin of Edmonton’s Juggalo Facebook group, ICP concerts can see an excess of 200 two-litre bottles of Faygo sprayed on fans over the course of the show, culminating in what’s called the ‘Faygo Armageddon.’ Juggalos—a term coined by Utsler in an early concert that adherents use as a term of affection—adopted Faygo as a kind of cultural identifier. “Faygo’s a pop from Detroit. It’s kind of hard to get, normally. It’s recently been available more in Edmonton and some smaller towns in Alberta,” Patterson says. “ICP grew up with it; they always had
it around them. At a show back in the day, they really didn’t have much around them, so they started chucking it around. They used to have problems with people in the audience making fun of them, so
Faygo—which comes in a variety of flavours beyond most other soft drinks—can also be purchased in glass bottles. “It’s cheap. Juggalos usually aren’t the most well-off people,” he says.
His favourite flavour is Rock N’ Rye. Patterson, who has run the Facebook group for more than two years, has been listening to ICP since he was 12. Now 31, he has
“At a show back in the day, they really didn’t have much around them, so they started chucking it around. They used to have problems with people in the audience making fun of them, so they’d get a two-litre to the head ... It’s gotten bigger from there.” they’d get a two-litre to the head ... It’s gotten bigger from there.” According to Patterson, fans used to get extremely sticky at these shows, but ICP has since changed over to diet Faygo, which is less sticky and doesn’t ruin clothes— well, not as much, anyway.
Both glass and plastic bottles are banned during ICP concerts, outside of the ones brought in by the band. Venues are particularly adverse to bringing in glass bottles, Patterson says. Patterson tries to keep a few two litres of the soda readily available.
seen the group countless times in concert, and has gone to The Gathering of The Juggalos, an outside music festival put on by ICP four times. Glass bottles of Faygo are banned at these events, but twolitres are allowed. “Man, they throw everything at
The Gatherings,” he says. Canadian shows tend to be pretty tame, compared to American ones, he adds. Mostly in Edmonton, Faygo can be found in smaller convenience stores and various Co-ops. According to Patterson, the drinks popularity is drawing more stores to keep it in stock. The Italian Centre Shop confirmed that it sells Faygo out of its downtown location, and has done so for the past few years. The shop tracked it down via a specialty drink distributor. “It’s a reasonably priced drink with a wide range of flavours making it quite popular among our customers,” reads an email from Ryan von Eschen, the business’ sales and marketing manager. ICP will play Union Hall in Edmonton on Aug. 18. Doug Johnson email@example.com
Kitchen Tips Chef Levi Biddlecombe Makes a Better Pickle
ickles: to many, they are just a sour cucumber that adds a little pop to their favourite cheeseburger. Throughout my culinary career, however, the pickle is something that has always intrigued my culinary creativity. What can be pickled? In what ways can a pickle elevate a dish? Can they be both sweet and savoury? And can the process be simplified? These are all questions that I ask myself almost daily at the restaurant, where among many other things, pushing the boundaries with pickled ingredients in savoury dishes as well as desserts is something on which we pride ourselves.
The traditional pickling process—that many of us know from our grandparents—provides a delicious end product, but it can be a long process that is usually done in large batches. And—let’s face it—waiting for grandma’s pickled carrots to mature always felt like an eternity. There is a technique that we use at the restaurant to get delicious pickles overnight that is incredibly simple, requires no recipe, and requires no cooking of any kind. To add these delicious, bright bursts to any dish, you first
need an ingredient that you want to hold all this seasoned acidity. Bell peppers, blueberries, shallots, apples, and even mandarin orange are all examples of items I have pickled with great success in the past. For this process, firm ingredients like peppers, fennel, or shallots need to be sliced thinly; softer things like blueberries or mandarin oranges can be left as is. Once you have your items ready to go you need to season them. Add salt and sugar to taste: for savoury pickles go heavy on salt; if they’re for dessert use heavy amounts of sugar. Always use at
least a small amount of salt. Once the seasoning hits the item, it will start to release liquid and dissolve the seasoning. Start to mix very thoroughly until all seasoning is dissolved. At this point you have a chance to check your seasoning and make sure you are headed where you want to go. Now you can add flavouring—beer, citrus zest, garlic purée, even maple syrup. After you have added flavouring, add a mild vinegar—we use rice vinegar at the restaurant—just to barely cover the item. Place a paper towel on top and make sure it is fully saturated in the liquid to
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make sure every bit is covered in pickle juice. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning you should have a delicious pickle, seasoned exactly the way you intended, still crisp, and ready to add a burst of life to any dish you could imagine. In my opinion this is the simplest form of pickling, and it creates a great result every time. The combinations are endless—the only way to find out how far you can go is to start experimenting! Happy pickling. Levi Biddlecombe, owner and head chef at Why Not? Cafe and Bar
ILIZA SHLESINGER’S COMEDY
Elder Millennial Comedian Talks Physicality, Spotify Playlist, and Performing in front of the Military
resh off the stage of filming Netflix comedy special Elder Millennial, Iliza Shlesinger is taking her show on the road, and will be bringing her frantic, energized brand of comedy to Edmonton. Throughout her work, Shlesinger commands the stage through her kinetic, expressive body language and physicality—a decidedly unsubtle form of non-verbal communication. This, and the voices she does— both as her character ‘Party Goblin,’ and the croakily wizened voice she wields to mock her designation as an “Elder Millennial”— set her apart from many comics, particularly women comics in the mainstream. It’s something akin to Dane Cook in approach, but more woke, and substantially less abrasive—and, anyway, Shlesinger doesn’t particularly care about appearances. “I kind of just focus on my own standup. Cartoons were a big thing for me growing up, and I certainly don’t look to society for permission to be weird or do voices or be ugly,” she says. “It’s something I’m very OK with. If I’ve carved out my own brand of comedy by accident, then that’s OK too.” It looks exhausting on stage, and it takes place underneath undoubtedly hot stage lights, but, her efforts stem from a desire to convey thoughts and characters—she has trouble sitting still anyway, she says. That said, her expertly-timed bursts of energy rarely tire her out; she enjoys performing too much. “I’m tired all the time anyway, and I think I would be just as tired without standup, just from living. I do a lot of thinking, a lot of running around, a lot of travelling. Getting dressed is exhausting,” she says. When asked if she practices these movements in the mirror, she quips, “No, it’s not like kissing.” Rather, it’s something that has grown with her as she continues to take the stage.
Iliza Shlesinger’s comedy is very physical. / Supplied
Elder Millennial was filmed on the USS Hornet, a retired military aircraft carrier that now acts as a museum in Alameda, California. Netflix approached Shlesinger, asking if she had any ideas on an interesting venue for the special, something that would push the envelope a bit. Shlesinger has no military in her family, minus a grandfather who fought in the Second World War—something almost everyone can claim, she says. Shlesinger has worked, and continues to work, with the United Service Operations (USO) and performed in front of troops VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
Sat., Aug. 18 (9 pm) Iliza Shlesinger, Elder Millenial Tour River Cree Casino Tickets start at $34.99 at rivercreeresort.com from the United States, Canada, and other allied nations numerous times—a few times on active aircraft carriers. “I thought that would be a really cool homage to them. We donated a portion of the ticket sales to Team Rubicon [a veteran service organization],” she says. Years ago, the USO approached the comedian and asked if she wanted to perform, and she recalls being honoured, and the two “kept coming back to each other.” “It is—as someone who believes in freedom, and someone who believes in her country, and our allies—it’s a charity where you can directly affect people’s happiness, and give something back to people who sacrifice so much for us,” Shlesinger says. When performing in front of the military, comedians generally have less time on stage, she says, so as a bit of prep work before a show, she parses her work for the best bits, and condenses things. “When I’m doing a military show, I am there just to get laughs. I will cut jokes in half; I will scour my set just to find the biggest laugh. We’ve done, like, three shows in a day. You have to get in, make them happy, and get out. It’s a little more rapid fire—no pun intended—with the military crowd.” Shlesinger also drafted an Elder Millenial Spotify playlist, boasting bangers from the early 2000s like Wheatus, Backstreet Boys, and Our Lady Peace. The odd feather in her cap has received a lot of attention among the bands it features. “All these songs that, when you hear them, they make you remember your youth,” she says, adding that it has around 13,000 followers. “I’m not a music connoisseur. I typically only listen to music when I work out, so it’s upbeat.” The comedian is also appearing in Instant Family, a film staring Mark Wahlberg; and has released a book called Girl Logic. “I’m going to do this 31-plus-city tour for Elder Millenial,” she says. “It’s a lot, but I’m happy to be working.” Doug Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
This isn’t your usual road trip. / Supplied
CIRCUS ACT CROSSES THE COUNTRY Machine de Cirque’s Truck Stop Gets Meta, Crossing Canada Literally and Narratively
mark of the contemporary circus is a narrative or theme, and for Truck Stop—the latest show from Québec City’s Machine de Cirque—the central concept emerged early, based on the director’s vision for the stage. A few years ago, Vincent Dubé, Machine de Cirque’s artistic director, wanted to create a truck that becomes a stage and do a tour of the country. “And then thanks to a grant by the Canadian Arts Council, he was finally able to make that dream a reality,” explains Adam Strom, one of Truck Stop’s performers. In the family-friendly show, five acrobats and a musician travel across Canada, starting on the East Coast, making their way through cities, forests and the prairies, before ending their journey on the West Coast. The journey the six take in the show is mirrored by their real life tour, which has taken them as far east as Dartmouth, N.S. and will take them as far West as Burnaby, B.C. “It’s sort of this meta concept—
what the characters go through in the show, we as people are also going through, through the tour,” Strom says. “So it’s a really great way for the show to evolve as the tour continues.” Edmonton’s audience can expect to see acrobatics, juggling, and tricks on the trampoline and Chinese polls. There’s also a musical component to the show. Musician Éric Savard wrote and performs Truck Stop’s musical numbers, but two of the acrobats—Strom and Nate Armour also exercise their musical talents for one song. Strom says he sings and plays the ukulele in the show. All of Truck Stop’s acrobats are graduates from l’École de Cirque de Québec. Though, being older than the others, Frédérique Hamel graduated well before them. But the circus community is fairly small, so they all already knew each other. Dubé also knew all of them, and asked them to be part of the show. Hamel says they are all general-
Sun., Aug. 12 (7 pm) Truck Stop Machine de Cirque Kinsmen Park Free ists—with a variety of acrobatic skills—and so they came together with their varying talents to build the act, rather than being hired for their specific skill sets as circus artists. “We were not [hired] because of the discipline, we were more [hired] because of who we are as performers,” Hamel says. Both Hamel and Strom started learning circus performing when they were young children. Hamel began as a student at l’École de Cirque de Québec when she was six or seven.
“And I just never quit, actually. I was just really passionate about it, and over time it became … a passion, and then I was like ‘Oh, I can make it a career,’” she says. Strom is from Brisbane, Australia, and when he we was five his parents decided he needed an outlet for his energy, so they enrolled him in classes with Flipside Circus. But being a shy kid, Strom wasn’t into it at first. “But they told me that if I stayed in the program for three weeks, I could have this new Spider-Man toy,” he says. “So I thought I could stick it
out for the toy, and by the end of the three weeks I was hooked.” The acrobats have been sharing their stories with kids on the Truck Stop tour. “We also have parents asking what they can do for their children to be either more active, or in the stage world,” Hamel says. Both she and Strom encourage everyone to come out and see the show. “We’ll have a lot of fun together,” Strom says. Chelsea Novak email@example.com
6 2 6 A U G U ST 1 YOUR UNEQUALLED GUIDE TO EDMONTON'S FRINGE FESTIVAL SEARCH REVIEWS BY VENUE • GENRE • DATE • RATING VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
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Siren of Scandal Shirley Gnome Discusses Her Humour, Mentality and Style
t’s happened to most of us—you’re invited to a night out to see some comedy, you arrive at the venue, and the act pulls out an instrument. More often than not, one is overwhelmed with a sense of almost immediate regret and the exits become more enticing. However when it comes to music and comedy—no one does it quite like Shirley Gnome. Gnome knows better than most that the combo of comedy and music has a tendency to be a train wreck when in careless hands. “I’ve seen a lot of bad musical comedy, and I can see the reaction in people’s eyes when I grab my guitar,” she says. Yet, with her beautiful range, and hilarious approach to her subject matter, she is able to reel in audiences with precision. Her bait? Her experiences, her humour, and her capability as a trained musician. What matters most to her, however, is her keen ability to mold all of these factors together. “Comedy has the ability to transmute. You can say things that are difficult to talk about socially, politically or interpersonally, and you can process them better with laughter. Music on the other hand, has the power to make bullshit sound like magic. You put the right moving sounds behind it, and you can make a lot of things sound pretty amazing,” Gnome says.
Shirley Gnome’s ridin’ into the Grindstone Theatre on Aug. 9. / Pinup Perfection Photography
Gnome’s style is one beyond compare, and armed with her guitar and immense personality, she weaves such songs as “Horrible Sex Dream,” “Yappy Dog,” and “Using it Wrong (Vibrator Blues).” All of which may seem a little crass to the uninitiated but just give them a listen—you wouldn’t think such hilarity, authenticity, and heart could come from a song about ending an irritating dog’s suffering, but it does.
Thu., Aug. 9 (9 pm) Shirley Gnome Grindstone Theatre Tickets $15 “What I do is I sing little lullabies about things we think about, but don’t talk about. With the intent to reveal that at the end of the day, it’s not really a big deal,” Gnome says. With this ethos in mind, Gnome has been touring across the world providing a muchneeded medical regiment for the soul through laughter. Numerous aspects of her style make her stand out from the rest, right down to her folk/country approach, and her Dolly Parton-esque outfits that she wears on stage. When it comes to her technique not being universal, Gnome has no real concerns. “I’m lucky that I get to traverse a lot of different scenes in my work. I don’t want to generalize too much when it comes to who likes my act and who doesn’t. I’ve seem 70-somethings laughing to the point of almost wetting themselves to my songs, and I’ve seen 20-somethings crossing their arms and walking out. When it comes to audience, it’s never that simple,” she says. What Gnome provides is a authentic approach to the genre of musical comedy, making it her goal each show to hold the attention of an audience and ensuring that they are laughing—without ever needing to sacrifice the authenticity of the music or humour. For those looking for the ballads of one fed up country gal living in a world that has done her wrong, look no further than Shirley Gnome. The jokes are spot on, and delivered with as much subtlety as a slowpitch deliveryman, the chords are catchy and toe-tappy as hell, and the experience is one that will surely not disappoint. Jake Pesaruk
Chelsea Novak firstname.lastname@example.org
YOU WIN / Until the end of Aug. For anyone experiencing a growing sense of doom in these troubling times, local artists Dara Humniski and Fish Griwkowsky offer the latest instalment in their THE END project. The second piece in the series features the words “you win” in all caps, backlit through parchment paper in an otherwise black window. It’s on display in the Jobber Arthole at 10520 Jasper Ave. The project’s first piece, “THE END,” can still be seen in the top corner of the McLeod Building, and Griwkowsky writes in an email that it will stay there “FOREVER. And if not, we’ll find somewhere else for it.” Humniski and Griwkowsky each see different meanings in both
pieces, but both link the pieces to a building sense of dread. “THE END for me is a concentrated version of ‘I want to get to know you better before we melt,’ a sentiment I shared on social media when I linked to a climate science article,” Humniski says. “YOU WIN is about resignation, apathy, frustration, maybe a grasp for closure—an ending of sorts.” “THE END meant to me a ‘there goes the neighbourhood’ reaction to the new arena and all that,” Griwkowsky says, “and YOU WIN takes it a little more personal in our era of constant, performative friction and rising fascism and surveillance—though it’s actually not about anything specific at all.” Two more pieces are forthcoming.
“YOU WIN” is open to interpretation. / Fish Griwkowsky
VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
One will be displayed at Mossy Trails Art Residency near Athabasca, and the other at the Green Brush Gallery in Brussels, Belgium. “The recipe for these is two, threeletter words at high contrast that convey a sense of tense finality or doom. But they’re still meant to be ambiguous — you can find them funny or horrifying, depending on how your night’s going,” Griwkowsky says. “So future instalments will fit, and we’ve already come up with a growing list. The letter lines are the exact width of Annie’s Macaroni boxes!” “THE END” originally stowed away during Nuit Blanche, and there may be a chance that “YOU WIN” will do the same on Sept. 29.
ARTIST BRINGS WOMEN’S STORIES TO THE SURFACE
VUEPICKS Where Goku at? / Supplied
Wendy Tokaryk’s Doilies the meaning of life Uses Screenprinting and Textiles to Tell of the Overlooked
Until Sat., Sept. 8 Doilies the meaning of life SNAP Gallery Free
Tokaryk’s artistic practice is devoted to printmaking and paper
Animethon 25 // Fri., Aug. 10 – Sun., Aug. 12 Animethon celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Prepare for cosplayers, gamers, vendors, artists, and special guests—all celebrating your favourite anime. This year’s celebrity guests include Monica Rial—voice of Bulma from Dragon Ball Z Kai and Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura—and Mela Lee—Tiki from Fire Emblem and Yuki Cross from Vampire Knight Guilty. (Shaw Conference Centre, Event Pass $50, Friday Pass $40, Saturday Pass $40, Sunday Pass $30, Gaming Pass $20) // CN
Art Market and Tea Party // Wed., Aug. 15 (12 – 7 pm) A fundraiser for the Art Mentorship Society of Alberta, this event features tea, food, music and art. The family-friendly art market will feature local artists’ work, both for sale and exhibition. Be sure to dress a little fancy for the tea party, which starts at 5 p.m. (St. Andrews Centre Garden Atrium, Suggested $5 Donation) // CN
making—she is the print and paper facilitator supporting Visual Arts Residencies at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity—but her use of doilies and similar textiles is more recent, having started with some experiments in 2012. During an artist talk at SNAP Gallery last Friday, she explained that her work with the textiles has changed since she began. Originally, the images she created related to marriage, but now a lot of her work is about women’s overlooked stories. “[T]he dominant … overarching cultural voice has typically been patriarchal,” she says, “so [it’s about] just allowing the voices of women to maybe come through, through stories—whether it be my own or some of the images represent the images of historical women, like Clara Wolcott Driscoll or looking at the work of Hilma af Klint.” Driscoll designed lamps for the Tiffany Glass Company between 1888 and 1909, and Tokaryk creates an homage to Driscoll in some of her pieces. Af Klint was a Swedish artist, credited as being the first abstract painter, whose paintings often featured a heart motif. An artist book included in the exhibition also includes two commissioned pieces by two contemporary writers—one fictional, one per-
sonal account—to which Tokaryk responded in her work. There are two copies available for anyone who wants to read the short pieces while checking out the exhibit. Chelsea Novak email@example.com
VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
FREE CIRCUS FROM QUEBEC!
12 2018 AUG
“Birthstone Ring” was inspired by a piece of family jewellery. / Supplied
Dog Daze of Summer // Wed., Aug. 15 (4:30 pm) The Citadel Theatre is going to the dogs—raising funds for itself and Dogs with Wings, an organization that provides Albertans with disabilities with highly trained assistance dogs and aftercare. Dogs with Wings will have some of its pooches on the premises, and will give a training demonstration at 5 p.m. Rapid Fire Theatre will then perform some puppy improve at 5:30 p.m. There’ll be a cash bar, hotdogs (which seems a little wrong), and a silent auction—plus all well-behaved puppers are welcome to attend on leash. (Citadel Theatre, Shoctor Lobby, Free Admission) // CN
andwork such as knitting and crocheting were long designated as women’s work, and even after textile production industrialized, women were still encouraged to pursue it as “an extremely feminine thing to do,” according to The New York Times Archives. But Banff artist Wendy Tokaryk has been using hand-crafted textiles to dig deeper into women’s stories—both factual and fictional. In her latest exhibition, Doilies the meaning of life, Tokaryk created screen printed images from doilies and other scraps of handmade textiles, such as blankets and tablecloths. She starts by cutting and laying out the pieces she wants—sometimes using a template to cut against so she gets the desired shapes. Then she inks each individual piece with a brayer and roller—two tools that look like large paint rollers, and are used to break up and roll out the ink. She then transfers the piece onto the press bed, places a dampened piece of paper on top, and runs it through the rollers of the etching press, so that the ink is transferred onto the paper. It’s not just the ink that transfers. The process also leaves detailed impressions of the textiles in the paper—though that’s harder to make out in photos of the work. “The paper is 100 percent cotton rag paper,” Tokaryk explains. “It’s made from the same cotton as your bed sheets or your t-shirts, and so when it’s soaked it has an elastic and stretchy quality that allows it to take that impression—that embossed form.” Tokaryk left the pieces unframed for the exhibition because she wanted viewers to see the quality of the paper, and related the sheets of paper to the pages of a book. “I also want people to be able to see the surface, because there’s a lot of service quality,” Tokaryk says. “I didn’t want to cover it with glass.” She says she can ink any textile piece about three times, but after that she starts to lose the thread quality as it becomes covered in layers of dried ink. Tokaryk says the first piece she collected, a heart-shaped doily that appeared a few times in her early work, has been retired. “I’ll probably just put it in its own frame and hang it on my wall, and keep it,” she says.
7:00-8:00 pm KINSMEN PARK 9100 Walterdale Hill FREE , Family Friendly PRESENTING PARTNER:
* Show is outdoors and weather dependent. Seating is General Admission - bring your own lawn chair or blanket.
Tessa Thompson as Detroit and Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius “Cash” Green. / Annapurna Pictures
Boots Riley’s Absurdist Sorry To Bother You Is the Must-See Indie Film of the Summer
very so often the film industry gives a brand new director and writer a chance to create something utterly terrible or weirdly wonderful. The latter refers to Boots Riley’s—known as lead singer of The Coup—debut film Sorry To Bother You. This abnormal, beautifully shot comedy takes place in an alternate
version of present-day Oakland, and centres around Cassis “Cash” Green (played by Lakeith Stanfield, known for his work on the hit FX series Atlanta), a humble man who will do whatever it takes to make rent and find some excitement in this lonely thing we call life. In his vibrantly-muted bedroom— which turns out to be his uncle’s
FRI, AUG 10– THUR, AUG 16
THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
FRI & MON TO THURS: 6:45PM SAT: 1:15 & 6:45PM SUN: 1:15 & 6:15PM RATED: PG
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU FRI & MON TO THURS: 9:00PM SAT: 3:30 & 9:00PM SUN: 3:30 & 8:15PM RATED: 14A, SC, N, CL
LEAVE NO TRACE
FRI & MON TO THURS: 7:00PM SAT: 1:00 & 7:00PM SUN: 1:00 & 6:00PM RATED: PG
DON'T WORRY, HE WON'T GET FAR ON FOOT FRI: 9:30PM SAT: 3:45 & 9:30PM SUN: 3:45 & 8:30PM MON TO THURS: 9:15PM RATED: 14A, SC, SA
(Terry Crews) garage—pasted with magazine covers of fake and real idols, he squabbles with his performance artist girlfriend Detroit (played by Tessa Thompson, who is just a delight to watch, making every scene she’s in shine that much brighter) about the human dilemma we all face—what difference will we make on the world? It’s quickly apparent that Cash wants to make an imprint on society. And he will. He quickly finds a job at a horrid telemarketing firm called RegalView where his bosses are human reprobates, just the scum of the Earth, who treat their employees like un-watered houseplants. They tell Cash that if he sticks to the script and sells, sells, sells, he could become a member of the “power callers,” a mysterious league of telemarketers who have their own gold, chromed, and personalized elevator to the top of the building. The first call Cash makes sets the absurdist tone of the film perfectly. As he calls his first customer, the Earth begins shaking and he is physically transported into their living room. After rejection after rejection (although we never are told what he’s trying to sell), Langston (Danny Glover), a vet at RegalView tells him customers won’t give him the time of day unless he “uses his white voice.” It’s a wacky, hilarious situation that highlights Riley’s autopsy of racism and identity politics, quickly
divulging into scripted lunacy as Langston unveils his white voice (that sounds shockingly familiar to Steve Buscemi, although this has never been confirmed.) Stanfield is authentically entertaining to watch in Riley’s curious world. It’s almost as if instead of acting as a character in a scene, he acts as a character trying to exit one as quickly as possible. If you’ve seen Atlanta where he plays Darius, Paper Boi’s avant-garde roommate, you get a taste of what Stanfield’s acting is like. We soon hear Cash’s white voice (David Cross) and he slowly rises to the top of the ranks at RegalView. It feels like Riley approached making his movie like making a concept album. Sorry To Bother You has three parts to it and loves to change tone, genre, and plot to an extent, in a flavourful way that keeps you entertained. Much like Donald Glover’s Atlanta, Riley’s universe features the eccentric depravity of society. His Oakland is a world where the highest watched show is I Got The Shit Kicked Out Of Me—which is exactly what its title suggests—and a lifestyle company called WorryFree is housing down-on-their-luck people (i.e. slaves). Detroit’s earrings also somewhat foreshadow the coming events of the film while Cash’s apartment literally transforms as he uses his
VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
Sorry To Bother You Directed by Boots Riley Now Playing as a limited release at select theatres white voice to reach higher on the power caller ladder. Then there’s part three, which may actually lose some viewers. The world is already weird by this point in the film—especially when you figure out who the power callers’ clients are and what they “sell”— but once the owner of WorryFree, Steve Lift (played by Armie Hammer), reveals a huge plot point to Cash, Sorry To Bother You becomes a hilarious take on sci-fi body horror. As said, Riley loves genre-hopping. The shift is reminiscent in feeling to David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, where the plot is easy to follow until the halfway mark when each character suddenly starts playing the other characters and the viewer is left wondering what the fuck is going on. The difference is that in Sorry To Bother You, each character knows how fucked up the situation is and starts rolling with the punches, keeping it thoroughly entertaining. Riley’s debut film is made to make a statement, and if it’s any indicator of what he has coming next, the world might not be ready. Stephan Boissonneault firstname.lastname@example.org
A PRINCESS, AN ELF, AND A DEMON WALK INTO A BAR...
Adult Cartoonist Extraordinaire Matt Groening’s Newest Netflix Series Disenchantment Holds Up
pon watching the first episode of Matt Groening’s upcoming animated Netflix series Disenchantment, I was hit with a vortex of worries. What if it’s garbage? Will it hold up to The Simpsons or even Futurama? Will it be funny? Will it be any good? I’m happy to report that yes, it is good. Does it hold up to its predecessors? Yes and no, but honestly, it’s too early to tell, and to be put on the same pedestal as those two shows in your first season is a nearimpossible task. Disenchantment focuses on Bean (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), a buck-toothed, heavy-boozing princess who loves gambling, sneaking out, and pissing off her father, The King (voiced by John DiMaggio). Bean is set to be married—not by choice as it’s for political reasons— which, to her, means the end
Disenchantment Created By Matt Groening Available on Netflix Aug. 17
Matt Groening gets medieval on Netflix. / Netflix
of her young world. She then meets her two companions and the other main characters of the show—Luci (voiced by Eric Andre), a personal demon who sees the cynicism and dark in everything, and Elfo (voiced by Nat Faxon), an elf who comes from a society that only knows how to be happy. The show leads on that each episode will be its own story, and they are to an extent. But mostly, the show is chronological, which is something new and, at first, a bit jarring for Groening.
Right after the opening credits, the world of Dreamland feels very reminiscent of Groening’s other works, stylized by wide shots of a vividly detailed medieval cartoon world with odd-looking characters and shops whose names are peppered with puns. At first, the show feels like an episode of Futurama where the Planet Express crew is visiting a medieval world, but by the end of the first episode, the three main characters—Bean, Luci, and Elfo—are wonderfully whimsical and vul-
nerable. Making your characters likable is a difficult feat, but it seems to be something that Groening has mastered. Disenchantment’s humour summons a few sensible chuckles, and is a great mixture of the old smart comedy style found on The Simpsons and some very 2018 references. A quick example of this is Groening’s classic scenario where two characters are in the dark and you only see their eyes while their speech is full of double entendres. Instead of it being Homer and
Marge, in this case, it’s Elfo and his squeeze, Kissy. It’s an old bit, but it works. Then there are the references to Game of Thrones and Monty Python, which never really come across as cheap. Netflix might be Groening’s new calling card, as he and the other writers (made up of The Simpsons, Futurama, and Gravity Falls alumni) can focus on making more serialized, emotional arcs as opposed to the creature of the week style. Stephan Boissonneault email@example.com
POP-PERFORMING MERMAID HITS SOME OF THE RIGHT NOTES
Lu Over the Wall Delivers Charm, but Gets Overly Frenzied
Thu., Aug. 9; Sat., Aug. 11 Lu Over the Wall Directed by Masaaki Yuasu Metro Cinema Dubbed $15, kids under 13 free
ome movies are so zig-zaggingly oddball that a basic map of plot-points can’t provide enough guidance. For example: morose teen in drowsy harbour town reluctantly joins a pop band, Seiren, only for a fish-girl to become their lead singer. (Imagine Jem and the Holograms crossed with The Little Mermaid and you’re still only halfway there.) Still, the kookiness and wonkiness of anime teen dramameets-ocean fairy tale Lu Over the Wall supply much—sometimes most—of its charm. Kai Ashimoto works secretly on his music until two schoolmates find out and arm-twist
him into playing with them. Soon enough, warbling Lu, in her water-bubble, crashes the dance-party. This wonderwater-land’s wacky first hour is best: Kai serenades mermaid Lu from his seafront balcony with a tape of his dad’s band’s music; scenes channel Japanese teens’ tech-worlds with popup images, viral YouTube clips, retro video- game graphics, and kitschy, catchy pop; Kai goes floaty and woozy, underwater, after his first kiss. It turns out the love-filled innocent Lu’s also vampire-like: she can’t be exposed to sunlight and changes a creature into her kind (dogs become “woof-maids”!) by biting it. And Lu’s shark dad not only flip-flops ashore in a suit but enjoys a pipe and sports a moustache (a petit handlebar, no less). Faces are more loosely, casually drawn, with Lu (a hint of 1930s cartoon-character
Little Lulu there?) and others given crinkly, Charlie Brownlike smiles. A few flashback sequences resemble Matisse cut-outs. Plot-wise and tonally, though, Lu Over the Wall gets like Lu’s compulsively danceable warbling—which turns listeners frenzily festive. It can be overly frisky, bopping around too much (angst to romance to wild abandon to fear to rage). And there’s not enough visual daring, even as characters get too gaga. There’s a Japanese concern about success without hard work—the band getting a shortcut to fame because Lu’s the freakshow-attraction—and a more translatable concern about commercial exploitation (efforts to tourism-trap Lu). These can be muddied up a little in the churning plot. Its composers toss too much at the screen, but this siren-song still manages to hit some high notes. Brian Gibson
It’s so hard to sleep when someone’s staring at you. / GKIDS
AUG 9 - AUG 15 PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME
LU OVER THE WALL THUR @ 7:00 SAT @ 1:00 – ENGLISH DUBBED – KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE WED @ 7:00
GETTING GRACE SAT @ 7:30, SUN @ 9:30AM, SUN @ 12:30, MON @ 6:30
TICKETS AT GETTINGGRACEYEG.COM. Q & A WITH FILMMAKERS FOLLOWING EACH SCREENING. NIGHT GALLERY
JAPANESE WITH SUBTITLES
MIDNITE TIL DAWN: POST-APOCALYPSE! SAT @ MIDNIGHT
RBG THUR @ 9:15
DO THE RIGHTS THING
RECLAIMING OUR NARRATIVE
NEW MUSLIM COOL FRI @ 6:30
TRIPLE FEATURE: A BOY AND HIS DOG, LOGAN'S RUN, LAST MAN ON EARTH.
VILLAGE OF WIDOWS SUN @ 3:30 TICKETS $5
PANEL DISCUSSION FOLLOWING THE SCREENING
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST FRI @ 9:30, SAT @ 3:30, MON @ 9:30, TUES @ 7:00, WED @ 9:30
VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
50TH ANNIVERSARY / SCI-FI CINEMA
BARBARELLA SUN @ 9:30, TUES @ 9:00
Metro Cinema at the Garneau: 8712-109 Street WWW.METROCINEMA.ORG
Shakey Graves, in all his glory. / Cal Quinn
Sun., Aug. 12 (7 pm) Shakey Graves (Edmonton Folk Music Festival) Gallagher Park (Main Stage) tickets at edmontonfolkfest.org
Alejandro Rose-Garcia Talks Death, Life, and Future Musical Ventures
ow to live and die honestly— it’s not something Alejandro Rose-Garcia mulls over all the time, but enough that the maudlin musings seep into his music. Better known as Shakey Graves, the Texan singer-songwriter’s latest album Can’t Wake Up marks a departure in sound from his earlier work, and, similarly, tones down the overtly macabre imagery and lyricism of previous albums. But in many ways, Can’t Wake Up is his most death-centric record to date, he says. Death—which RoseGarcia calls the great unifier, the final mystery, the “ultimate big scary”—is kind of an obsession for the singer-songwriter. No one’s found an answer for what happens after—not the Ancient Egyptians whose culture had elaborate myths and rituals surrounding it, which Rose-Garcia brings up as a case study. “I think that’s one of the good parts of living: figuring out how to die eventually, and be comfortable with it,” he says. “I would say Can’t Wake Up is a direct response to that.” These are reoccurring themes on Can’t Wake Up: the fear of wasting life, and wasting life being afraid; trying to come by growing old and dying as honestly as one can. “That’s the other part. I try to embrace it in an honest and philosophical way. I’m just looking for answers like anybody else should be, I guess,” Rose-Garcia says. “I 14 music
think life is really beautiful, and some of my favourite parts of life have been when I was, in retrospect, in the bottom swing of things, times where nothing was going right.” It wouldn’t blow Rose-Garcia’s mind if there was some kind of afterlife, but maybe the truth is far stranger. Maybe it’s just a loop people go through over and over again. When Rose-Garcia started off as Shakey Graves, he was in his early 20s. Now, he’s 31, and sees his friends and family realizing that life just caries on day after day— “lightning might not strike,” for them, or anyone, he says. At face value, though, lightning seems to have struck for Rose-Garcia. He’s a successful, lauded musician; he has his own day; he was in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, and wrote some music for an upcoming Robert Rodriguez project called Red Eleven. But, he hasn’t stopped world hunger; saved his neighbourhood from bandits; he hasn’t given the clothes off his back for homeless people; he’s not a farmer who grows food; he’s not a firefighter. “I haven’t changed the world, I guess—maybe I have, in a small way,” he says. “I feel like lots of wonderful, magical things have happened. Some of them are egotistical goals, but I’m able to sleep at night, and I’m happy.” The world is an intense place, he says. People need to suffer getting
older. They see their families die, have kids or don’t have kids, live or not live in a house. This is where the depression sets in for some people: fretting what’s done and what’s left undone in a life, focusing on the negatives over the positives, always wanting more. Some of this comes through in his song-writing, which can take a fairly bleak, almost Mike Judge-ian view on the mundanities of nine-tofive jobs, and white picket fences. The ‘burn out or fade away’ question arises on Can’t Wake Up, and a 27 club reference appears in “Tin Man,” along with a sinking feeling of irrelevance that comes with age in “Kids These Days.” It’s not a confession for RoseGarcia. These aren’t direct narratives from his life, but he pours some fears and insecurities into his work in the hopes that someone listening may get the same kind of emotional response from his music that he does. Four years ago at SXSW, in a recording of “Dearly Departed,” Rose-Garcia sang a duet with And the War Came collaborator Esme Patterson. Prior to the pair’s crooning, Rose-Garcia joked that his next steps as Shakey Graves would be a career in trip-hop or jazz metal. Can’t Wake Up is a departure from Rose-Garcia’s early basement recordings, and even the somewhat polished And the War
Came, though it’s a far cry from Portishead or Atheist. Really, as far as Rose-Garcia is concerned, his musical ventures are only limited by what he thinks he can get away with, with himself—it’s less a sense of loyalty to one genre or another. “I wasn’t raised with a banjo on my lap. Finding of my own roots and my interest in strange acoustic music all kind of came as a surprise,” he says. “I think whatever you hear is the fact that I try to stay true to whatever I listen to.” Can’t Wake Up, then, is kind of a mashup of the kind of music he wants to listen to, not that all of his fans have enjoyed the shift the album represents. Even after And the War Came, some listeners tuned out, preferring the rawness of Roll The Bones, his debut. “It was too shiny for some people,” he says. “I get a kick out of anybody assuming any intentional sonic step is the final step.” But there are still nuggets from the basement of Shakey Graves, and the musician says those will probably stick around. The opening riff in “Dining Alone” sounds a lot like “Built to Roam,” an earlier track of his—it’s wasn’t an intentional call, but Rose-Garcia sees the comparison, in hindsight. It was a melody he wrote years ago, maybe in 2009, he says—he was just waiting for the right words to accompany it. “Sometimes things don’t find a
VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
home for a long time,” he says. Maybe Can’t Wake Up is this home for Rose-Garcia’s words for awhile. It is, after all, the kind of album he had wanted to make before his first ventures as Shakey Graves. If he went back to his original, densely acoustic work, it would be more like playing a character at this point, he says—it’s just not where he’s at anymore. “I knew that I had to just hear for myself what it would sound like if I made a record like this,” he says. “All the rest of the music that I’ve made has been just what happened as I’ve played songs ... Whatever comes out next, it will sound like both, but not exactly like either of them.” Last year, at Edmonton’s Folk Music Festival, Shakey Graves set, among others, was interrupted by a huge wind storm that took down some speakers and TVs, pushing his set to the now closed Needle Vinyl Tavern. “It was so sad, we were really ready ... Edmonton was the first folk fest I played in Canada and it had a big effect on me,” RoseGarcia says. “In a sense, it felt like a homecoming, and I was excited to show what I’d been working on ... I’m more excited to show my stuff now than the stuff I had even five months ago.” Doug Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
ST. ARNAUD’S HELL OF A YEAR
Sat., Aug. 11 (3 pm) Edmonton Folk Fest School of Song (St. Arnaud, Dana Wylie, Rebecca Lappa, and Travis Matthews) Gallagher Park (Stage 2) tickets at edmontonfolkfest.org
Ian St. Arnaud Chats about Almost Dying, His Friend’s Death, and the New Project before Playing Folk Fest
his past April, local musician Ian St. Arnaud almost died. What was supposed to be a mini family vacation to the mountains to combat his stress with University finals for his neuroscience degree, and his grief from the loss of his friend/North of Here bandmate six months prior, quickly turned into a chaotic trip to the ER. “It started after breakfast. I asked them [his parents] ‘How much coffee did I have this morning?’ I think they said ‘Two cups,’ but my head felt really hollow,” he says. The situation got worse after breakfast when St. Arnaud stumbled out of his parents’ car and almost collapsed. After dazing in and out, he started throwing up and his parents decided to rush him to the hospital. “We get in and they separate me from my family. You ever get that feeling where your body cavity just feels hollow? That’s what it felt like. So they’re [nurses] asking me if I’m worried about being a victim of domestic abuse and I’m like ‘where is my family.’ I live with my friends I’ve had a bad year,” he says. Soon after they took some of his blood for tests, St. Arnaud saw the reading on his EEG and really started worrying. “It was really slow like beep … beep … beep,” he says. Someone shouted for a naloxone kit, which was clearly alarming for St. Arnaud who still had no idea what was happening. “I was like ‘I’m alive. Hello? What is going on?’” They told him he had “very high levels of oxycodone” in his blood. Earlier that morning, St. Arnaud had taken half a pill of what he thought was his antidepressant/ anti-anxiety medication that he had been using for close to three years. After his dad brought the pills to the head doctor, he confirmed that they were in fact oxycodone, meaning that St. Arnaud was given the wrong pills by his pharmacy.
“He [the doctor] calls the pharmacy in Sherwood Park and says ‘Count your pills,’ and a couple minutes later they say ‘Yeah this isn’t good for us. We gave him Oxycodone,’ and I can hear the doctor in the hallway losing his shit at this pharmacist,” St. Arnaud says. A few months after, he sought legal action against the pharmacy, and was met with some dissatisfying news. The pharmacy essentially showed no remorse and their representative lawyer told St. Arnaud, “No injury, no nothing.” This turbid story was one of the many that St. Arnaud has had to deal with in his life, but none compare to losing his friend, roommate, and bandmate Luke Jansen. The morning of Oct. 6, 2017, should have been a normal day for the two. St. Arnaud had breakfast with Jansen, told him he wanted to show him three new songs after his classes, and the two went on their separate ways. Sadly, St. Arnaud was never able to show Jansen his songs after his friend was fatally struck by the LRT while on his morning run. St. Arnaud learned of his friend’s passing later that day, and fell silent for months—and North of Here slowly dissolved. “It just felt empty. I wanted to keep playing music after. Stuff we played together, stuff I wanted to show him. The few songs he had started to write,” St. Arnaud says about trying to go back to music after his friend’s death. Sometime after, St. Arnaud started a new project under his last name, grabbed his old North of Here bandmate Will Holowaychuk to back him up on drums, guitar, and vocals, and is now in the process of releasing an EP this October (a year after Jansen’s death) and a full album titled The Cost of Living (originally planned to release under North of Here) in the spring.
Ian St. Arnaud wants to be the “Dark Horse.” / Travis Sargent
“It started after breakfast. I asked them [his parents] ‘How much coffee did I have this morning?’ I think they said ‘Two cups,’ but my head felt really hollow.” “Will was out for months so that’s why I was like ‘OK pony up Ian,’” he says. “ The EP will be four songs and will be called Morning Buddy, which is from a really nice moment between Luke and I. There’s an Instagram post we put up as North Of Here in a hotel. I would sleep in and Luke would get the banjo and wake me up. The post said ‘morning buddy.’ St. Arnaud’s sound is somewhat of a departure from North of Here’s previous folk trio tone. While there are still trickles of North of Here, St. Arnaud’s vocal delivery on a song like “Morning
Dreamers”—backed up by fullsounding acoustic guitar, horns, a vintage drum machine, and minimal percussion—sounds relatable and eerily nostalgic. “Morning time is totally weaved throughout the album,” St. Arnaud says. “The other song ‘Dark Horse’—I stayed in the house that we were living at when Luke died until two days ago,” he says. “Luke’s room became the music gear room which is where I wrote the demos for the EP and album and that’s where the ‘Dark Horse’ thing came from.” “Dark Horse,” the EP, and the al-
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bum are all about resiliency, turning grief into art, and the shitty situations St. Arnaud has faced during this hell of a year. And it’s safe to say the young musician can’t wait for people to hear them. “I realize what I’m doing in continuing with this,” he says. “I carry this story with me and I could have left and become an accountant or something. I got a degree and I could go do that, but I chose this. Now it’s August, I’m angry at the world, and I’m ready for people to hear this album.” Stephan Boissonneault email@example.com
10442 whyte ave 439.1273 10442 whyte ave 439.1273 CD / LP
WAR AND TREATY
EVERYTHING’S BIGGER IN THE LAND DOWN UNDER Folk Outfit All Our Exes Live in Texas Discuss Its Origins, Democratic Creative Process and Sappy to Sorrowful Songs
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Not all of All Our Exes Live in Texas’ exes live in Texas, probably. / Supplied
part from the stereotypes of sweltering heat, animals that can easily kill you, and marmite, the consensus about Australia is that it produces some of the best art and artists that are currently working across media and genre. This mentality rings true with All Our Exes Live in Texas, a folk powerhouse hailing from Sydney. The band has one album under their belt titled When We Fall, and has only been around for a handful of years—yet even with just a pocketful of work they have been bringing their minstrel-like sounds across the globe to cries of immense praise. The group consists of four members who were all trained musicians in the Australian music scene. Through the close nature of their artistic community, each one of them began working with each other’s strengths and what started off as a one off show for an Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? tribute concert turned into something much more. “It all started with us being asked by a friend to do a tribute show back home a couple a years ago back—it was kind of a happy accident that this band became our full-time gig,” says Hannah Crofts, vocalist and instrumentalist for the group. From that point on, they were asked to do more and more shows,
and eventually made the decision to begin writing original tracks— something that the group pulls off with all the heart and soul of a balmy summer night bonfire. The group’s songwriting process is a rather democratic affair, with each member bringing a composition that they have written and then the other members adding and subtracting certain inspirational bullet points until it has been crafted to completion, a process that is further refined through the band’s constant touring tendencies. “We’re never like ‘oh that one’s crap,’ we go over it in the rehearsal room and as we play them more and more live we really get a feeling for which ones we like,” says Crofts. All of the staples of traditional folk are there: the plucking of ukuleles tango with gentle accordion accompaniment, all culminating into beautiful harmonies courtesy of the band, collectively. All one needs to do is look up track names to get an immediate sensation of the symbiotic nature of the band. “The Devil’s Part” is a bleak, almost existential, folk ballad that is sprinkled with a light garnish of lovelorn sensations; “Boundary Road” is a more light and gentle nostalgia trip; and “Tell Me” is almost a tongue-in-cheek break up
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Sun., Aug. 12 (7 pm) All Our Exes Live in Texas The Almanac Tickets $12 song. When it comes to her own song writing, Crofts has a pretty honest approach. “All my songs are about things that have happened in my life, some of the songs are reminiscent of ‘oh man I really miss home’ or ‘oh no I had a break up,’” Crofts says with a laugh. “I’ve promised myself that I’ll never date any more musicians.” The outfit has a second album in the works that will hopefully emerge some time next year— the groups plans the release to be something of a departure from their current sound. “We are still working on traditional folk aspects and story telling, with kind of a more poppy sound. We’re midway through now, so we’re all very exited to see how it turns out,” Crofts says. All Our Exes Live in Texas provides almost an old-guard approach to folk with all of the benefits of modern song writing. The stories told in their songs can be dreary, heartfelt, and droll—providing both a musical and emotional range that will without a doubt stick around for a long time. Jake Pesaruk
WAX MANNEQUIN SEES BEAUTY IN THE SURREAL
SOUTH EDMONTON COMMON
Growing up in a House of Artists Had a Profound, Musical Effect on Christopher Adeney, a.k.a. Wax Mannequin
KLUSTERFUNK W/ MY SON THE HURRICANE
B*LES W/ LYRIQUE, K-RIZ & CARTEL MADRAS
WEST EDMONTON MALL
Tue., Aug. 14 (7:30 pm) Wax Mannequin w/ Celeigh Cardinal and Emily Bachynski The Aviary $10
ANDRE PETTIPAS & THE GIANTS
Tickets and full listings TheRecRoom.com The Rec Room® is owned by Cineplex Entertainment L. P.
Wax Mannequin has a strange, surreal side to him./ Supplied
hristopher Adeney—known on stage as Wax Mannequin—refers to his music with a variety of descriptors. It can be called experimental rock, or avant-garde folk, but it’s always a little weird. “It’s catchy music that ends up having a bit of surreal or cerebral edge when I’m finished with it,” Adeney says pulled over on his way to perform at the ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art. Adeney also throws a healthy dose of punk into the mix, especially in concert, which he says came out of playing noisy pubs and trying to connect with people in a live setting. “There’s a much harder edge when I play it live,” he says. On stage, his acts can get just as surreal as his music. In many of his past shows, Adeney would perform with a burning candle on his head. “It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time,” Adeney says. “It was a concept that held my interest, and gave me a certain degree of focus on stage. It was a good sense of risk as well—because I
might burn the place down. That was exciting to me.” For inspiration, Adeney draws from the likes of Leon Redbone, Pete Seeger, and Frank Zappa. “Zappa, early on, inoculated me against normal music. At this point I think I’m writing pop songs, so I guess I wasn’t completely cured of the pop disease,” Adeney says. But Adeney has his own reasons for writing pop songs, which he says is “to infect the minds with disruptive sentiments.” This strange and surreal side of Adeney may be, at least in part, due to the fact that his mother was an artist when he was young. Early on, he grew accustomed to the stranger side of art, and often talked with his mother’s other artist friends. “It helped me get interested in upsetting ideas, helped me see the beauty in uncomfortable situations—things that everybody experiences but can’t quite put into words.” Last month Wax Mannequin released his seventh album titled
Have a New Name. Edwin Burnett, a long time friend of Adeney, recorded the album at a warehouse in Hamilton. Burnett was also the producer of Adeney’s first album. “We parted ways for a number of years, but Edwin approached me about recording this one,” Adeney says. “It was a really natural fit. There’s some of that same experimentation we were enamoured with early on.” The album began with Adeney and his friend Mark Raymond (who usually plays bass but decided to pick up drums for this album) playing songs and recording them in a ‘live-off-the-floor’ manner. “Our idea was to plant a bunch of microphones around the room, and capture rough and ready and loudy, scratchy versions of the songs,” Adeney says. But partway through the recording process, Burnett got involved and the album became more nuanced and produced. Due to Burnett’s involvement, the album is similar to Wax Mannequin’s earlier albums. Alexander Sorochan
Some conditions may apply. Promotion subject to change without notice and AGLC approval.
VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
NEWSOUNDS Lovelet Couple’s Fight Night Double Lunch Records Couple’s Fight Night from Edmonton’s Lovelet is a gorgeous downtempo pop statement. The album takes its time, keeping a mellow vibe from start to finish. Guitars make up the bulk of the sonic palate, with both acoustic and electric being used together in perfect unison. Tracks can have a vicious feedback layered into subtle strumming that is best appreciated with headphones, as effort was made to ensure the noise underpowered the other sounds. The best example is found on the title track, which gently builds into a frenzy without ever sounding abrasive. The patient tone of the album comes through in the vocals with words being sung and stretched out, sometimes over multiple bars. Frontman Tim Biziaev sings in a near whisper at times, requiring the listener to pay attention. A truly impressive debut, Couple’s Fight Night hits the
mark on all levels, and demands an attentive listen so one doesn’t miss the gorgeous layers to these eight tracks. Jeff MacCallum
Not Of Hypocritic Oath No List Records
Not Of’s sophomore album should come with a Surgeon General advisory that reads, “Do not listen if pregnant or suffering from a heart condition.” This Toronto two piece plays a ferocious brand of noise rock that can switch between catchy and abrasive. Their latest effort entitled Hypocritic Oath is a thrill ride that will get your pulse racing with powerhouse drums serving as the backbone for feedback and crunchy guitar riffs. They have sonically grown in leaps and bounds since their debut album Pique was released in 2015. The song craft is more challenging, but the biggest improvement comes with a new found patience that slows the album, and gives the listener room to breathe. There is more going on within the layers of fuzz and feedback than one would expect, so the slower moments offer slight reprieve for the mind. Their pedal to the metal urgency still makes up most of the album, but it’s the downtempo sludgy track called “The Goat” that steals the show. High-
lighting Not Of’s new side, the song moves between a quiet spoken word verse and a screaming blitzkrieg assault chorus. Having taken three years to release this record, it was easy to expect songwriting growth from Not Of, but one could never predict their sound would become so immense and so vital. Jeff MacCallum
Alex Zhang Hungtai Divine Weight NON Worldwide Alex Zhang Hungtai composed Divine Weight, the first album under his own name, out of scraps— discarded saxophone recordings that hadn’t materialized into anything concrete. Laying there, unused, they had to be radically changed, pushed to their limits; cut up, looped, re-synthesized again and again until they became the building blocks of a spectral cathedral of the unknown. The result is simultaneously surreal and ethereal. The recordings—influenced by ChileanFrench mystic and filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky—show Hungtai moving beyond the noir-ish and often roguish instrumentation of his David Lynch-ian roots, to explore a wider celestial and cinematic scope. Jodorowsky’s Psychomagic or shamanic psychotherapy was a teaching force throughout these ambient soundscapes as they attempt to prod and explore the subconscious for trauma, and its release. The album’s cover shows a distorted image of the recently deceased Japanese Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno—who once said of his own work: “The best thing someone can say to me is that while watching my performance they began to cry. It is not important to understand what I am
doing; perhaps it is better if they don’t understand, but just respond to the dance.” The title track—a staggering 20 minutes of music—sets the drone of church organ against a climbing sonic cacophony, before resending back into blissful silence. Hungtai, much like his literary and cinematic peers, has helped define the avant-garde using soundscape as a way to explore the undefinable curiosity of creating art. Levi Gogerla
VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
VUEPICKS Blimp Rock w/ l.n. baba // Thu., Aug. 9 (8 PM) Blimp Rock, or Blimp Rock Enterprises as they are now legally called, is a Toronto-based indie rock group that has the life long goal to raise enough money to host the world’s first blimp-based music festival. The members need to raise $700,000 (where that number comes
The Ashley Hundred w/ Lovers Touch // Fri., Aug. 10 (8 PM) The Ashley Hundred sounds a bit like The Kooks, mixed with a few watery, psychedlic undertones. This Calgary
Colby and the Catastrophes // Thu., Aug. 16 (7 PM) Hot off the release of its newest album Dystopian Dopamine, Colby and the Catastrophes is ready to bring its lone style of Canadian garage rock to Edmonton. Self-described as a “monkey
Posers In The Basement Fest 3 // Sat., Aug. 11 (7 PM) Punk (Posers) in the Basement III, is going to be at the Sewing Machine Factory this year with local killer cookie cutter pogo pUNK outfit Chips OV Oi, supporting the vinyl pressing of their debut LP, Make Pogo Great Again. Punk in the basement is all about taking the energy of the basement
from is a mystery) and their website cites having raised $2,300 so far. Every art project needs a cause right? On the other side, their music is rooted in antifolk. Kind of like Beck, but with less drugs and Scientology. l.n. baba will open the show and he’s got a calm, collected style. (The Sewing Machine Factory, $10) // SB
five piece has a pretty tight sound, perfect for head bobbing and intoxicated shuffling. A song will incorporate a lap steel guitar, horns, and some fresh R&B beats, and somehow, it all works. (The Aviary, $10) // SB
on speed flying a World War One fighter plane,” the group sings about drugs, terrible relationships, death, and sinking in the Pacific. You know, all the stuff needed for a hearty dose of garage rock ‘n roll. (The Mercury Room, $15) // SB
DIY gigs and cramming a venue with more bands then they know what to do with. This banger festival has previously been held previously at DV8, and Latino’s in earlier years—Sewing Machine Factory is this years logical home as they’ve long since been a staple in Edmonton’s growing DIY music foundation. (Sewing Machine Factory, $15) // LG
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Colby and the Catastrophes sound like a monkey on speed / Lidi Giroux
Can You Read This? Help Someone Who Can’t! Volunteer 2 hours a week and help someone improve their Reading, Writing, Math or English Speaking Skills. Call Della at P.A.L.S. 780-424-5514 or email email@example.com
1999. Participants Wanted! WANTED! Register to join us in an charity adventure obstacle race (3 km or 5 kms) of trails and terrain at the Canadian Forces Base on August 25th, 2018. Your support will help Easter Seals Alberta fund programs and services for children, adults and seniors with disabilities and medical conditions in your community.
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Artist to Artist
ART CLASSES FOR ADULTS, YOUTH, AND CHILDREN Check The Paint Spot’s website, paintspot.ca/events/workshops for up-to-date information on art classes for all ages, beginner and intermediate. Register in person, by phone or online. Contact: 780.432.0240 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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To Book Your Adult Classifieds, Contact James at 780.426.1996 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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SAVAGELOVE BLINDED BY, UH, SCIENCE
I’m a 27-year-old woman living on the East Coast. I’ve been sexually active and on birth control since I was 16—almost always on the pill. I recently switched to the NuvaRing, which I had a bad reaction to: I had no libido at all and extreme mood swings/ bouts of depression I could not live with. My boyfriend and I decided it would be a good idea to go off hormonal birth control for a while, just to see what would happen. We’ve been together for almost four years, so we agreed condoms would be fine, and I would try the route of no more supplemental hormones. I stopped a couple of months ago, and it’s been a mix of good and bad. The good is that my moods are more even. Another good thing is I feel like I’m having a sexual awakening. My libido came back! But the bad thing is … my libido came back in a way I wasn’t expecting. My sexual appetite is insane. I want to have sex with everyone! Men, women, friends, colleagues, acquaintances. My boyfriend has been amazing through all of this. He’s agreed to let us open up our relationship under specific terms. I agree with the terms we placed, but I still feel like my urges are going to get me in trouble. I know not to have sex with friends and colleagues, but a lot of situations come up that make it hard to resist—especially when alcohol is involved. I’m very good with self-policing, and I don’t think I’ll actually act on my urges. My question is one you get a lot: Is this normal? Can removing a cocktail of hormones from my life really change me this much? I used to want sex, but now I WANT SEX. I want a lot of it, and it’s overwhelming. I don’t want to blame it all
on the birth control, but I can’t help but feel it to be true since it was the only variable in my life that changed in the last couple of months. I want to be faithful to my boyfriend, who has been great and understanding—allowing us to open our relationship to casual encounters with strangers. (Also: No friends, no one we both know, DADT, and no intimacy with anyone—it must be purely sexual/physical.) But I’m feeling sexual connections to so many more people now, and often to people I’ve known for a while. I see this all as mostly positive, but the adjustment to the new sexual hunger has been strange and difficult to wrap my head around. SUDDENLY HORNY AND GOING GAGA ISN’T NORMAL “I’m so glad to hear this woman sees the increase in her libido as positive,” said Dr. Meredith Chivers, an associate professor of psychology at Queen’s University, a world-renowned sex researcher, and—I’m proud to say—a frequent guest expert around here. “At the same time, I understand how overwhelming these urges can feel, especially when they are new.” Luckily for you, SHAGGIN, you’re with someone who’s secure enough to let you feel the fuck out these new feelings. Whether or not you act on them is one thing—DADT agreement or no DADT agreement—but not having to pretend you aren’t suddenly interested in fucking men, women, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances is a real gift. Another example of your good luck? Dr. Chivers is about to give you the actual science download on hormonal birth control— complete with qualifications about what we know, what we
don’t know, and areas that require more research! “It’s difficult to say what is and isn’t normal when it comes to the effects of hormonal contraception (HC) on women’s sexual interest,” said Dr. Chivers. “To my knowledge, researchers have not specifically examined the question of what happens to women’s sex drive after stopping HC.” But lots of women have stopped using hormonal contraception for the exact same reason you did, SHAGGIN: worries about how it might be affecting their libido—and there is some indirect evidence that HC can negatively impact a woman’s desire for sex. “The NuvaRing is a combined hormonal contraceptive containing synthetic estrogens and progestins (the same as many birth control pills),” said Dr. Chivers. “HC like the NuvaRing works, in part, by raising and stabilizing progesterone levels throughout the menstrual cycle, which helps to prevent ovulation and implantation.” And it’s those stabilized progesterone levels that could be the culprit. “Progesterone is one of the hormones involved in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy; levels are highest in the week before menstruation (called the luteal phase) and are also high during pregnancy,” said Dr. Chivers. “A recent, large-scale study reported that women with higher progesterone—women who weren’t using HC—had lower sexual interest, on average. Because using HC is associated with reductions in sexual interest, we could predict that stopping HC, and thus progesterone levels returning to more typical lower levels, could be associated with increases in sexual motivation.” Since you definitely experienced an increase in sexual desire after
you removed your NuvaRing and started using condoms, SHAGGIN, Dr. Chivers was comfortable saying … that you definitely experienced an increase in sexual desire and that might be related to going off HC. “Given that she has been using some form of HC since she became sexually active, my guess is that she’s never had the chance to experience her sexuality while naturally cycling,” said Dr. Chivers. “Part of her process could be learning about her unmedicated hormonal cycle, her sexuality, and the variations in her sex drive. For example, does her sexual interest fluctuate over her cycle? She might want to consider collecting some data with a cycle tracker app. Flo, Clue, and Period Tracker are among those that my women sex-researcher/educator colleagues recommend. This might help her notice patterns in her libido, attractions, and sexual pleasure—and help her to develop strategies to manage, and perhaps even capitalize on, her sexual desires.” As for your boyfriend, SHAGGIN, and your desire to be faithful to him: So long as you honour the terms of your openness agreement, you are being faithful to him. But check in with him more than once before you fuck someone who isn’t him. Because when a partner agrees to open the relationship but then places a long list of restrictions on who you can fuck—a list that excludes most of the people you wanna fuck—that can be a sign your partner doesn’t actually want to open the relationship. The last word goes to Dr. Chivers: Whether you’re having fun with others or you decide to remain sexually exclusive with your boyfriend, “Have fun!”
To learn more about Dr. Chivers’s research, visit the SageLab website (queensu.ca/psychology/sexuality-and-gender-lab) and follow her on Twitter @DrMLChivers.
I’m part of a nonhierarchical polycule. In a few months, one of my girlfriends will be marrying her fiancée. I’ll be attending as a guest with my other girlfriend. What are the guidelines or expectations for purchasing a gift for your girlfriend’s wedding? Surprisingly, the other advice columnists don’t have guidance on this one. WEDDING ETIQUETTE DILEMMA Get the couple something nice, something you can afford, maybe something from their gift registry. Or give them a card with a check in it so they can spend the money on whatever they might need for their household or use it to cover the expense of the wedding itself. In short, WED, wedding-gift guidelines are the same for people in nonhierarchical polycules as they are for love-muggle monocules. I’m not slamming the poly thing for overprocessing and overthinking—most people process (aka communicate) too little, and it’s often better to overthink than to under-think or not-think— but not everything needs to be dumped into the poly processor and pureed. Congrats to your girlfriend (the one who’s getting married) and her fiancée! On the Lovecast, the kink phenomenon of “sub drop”: savagelovecast.com. email@example.com @fakedansavage on Twitter ITMFA.org
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“Even Chances”-- the odd one’s out.
1 Worker’s compensation 5 “M*A*S*H” actress Loretta 9 Wilson of “The Office” 14 Have ___ in the oven (be preggers) 15 “What ___ God wrought” (first official Morse code message) 16 Muppet wearing a horizontally striped shirt 17 2000 movie with the quote “What we do in life echoes in eternity” 19 Box lunch? 20 Relative that might be “once removed” 22 Wood for baseball bats 23 Removed 27 Mustard sometimes mixed with mayo 31 “Out of the Cellar” glam rockers 33 ___-de-France (Paris’s region) 34 1998 skating gold medalist Kulik 35 In-between feeding time invented for a Taco Bell ad campaign 38 Olympus ___ (Martian volcano) 39 Come together 40 90 degrees from norte 41 Intuitive power 43 “Don’t change” 44 Suffix similar to -let 45 Painters’ mediums 46 Lunar cycle segment 47 Present-day 49 Act like an old-timey suitor 51 Honorific for landmarks like the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, or Empire State Building 58 Cable movie channel owned by Lionsgate since 2016 61 Lou Gehrig’s nickname, with “The” 62 TV input or output component 63 Appellation 64 Johnny of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” 65 Color for rolls of dimes 66 Actress Natalia of “Stranger Things” 67 “Undertale” character named for a derided font
1 Tail movements 2 Skilled 3 Burrito bar side, for short 4 Prefix with plasm 5 Sardine cousins
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Palestinian American writer Susan Abulhawa writes that in the Arab world, to say a mere “thank you” is regarded as spiritless and ungenerous. The point of communicating gratitude is to light up with lively and expressive emotions that respond in kind to the kindness bestowed. For instance, a recipient may exclaim, “May Allah bless the hands that give me this blessing,” or “Beauty is in the eyes that find me beautiful.” In accordance with current astrological omens, I propose that you experiment with this approach. Be specific in your praise. Be exact in your appreciation. Acknowledge the unique mood and meaning of each rich exchange.
6 Look after 7 “Was ___ harsh?” 8 “No ___ Traffic” 9 Renaissance 10 Bowl game venue, maybe 11 Roadside rest stop 12 Insect egg 13 Keanu, in the “Matrix” series 18 “___ ever-changing world ...” 21 Living room piece 24 Short nap 25 Makes happy 26 Leave out 27 Chinese restaurant style 28 Repetitive-sounding province of the Philippines 29 Brought bad luck to 30 Brewer’s dryer 31 Archaeological site 32 The “A” that turns STEM into STEAM 35 Joining with heat 36 Harvard-set Turow book 37 Fit together 42 Range of perception 46 “Christopher Robin” character 48 Like feelings from ASMR videos, for some 49 Mock-innocent reply 50 Team VIP 52 Golden ___ (Sir Francis Drake’s flagship) 53 Airplane seat attachment 54 Head bobs 55 De Matteo of “The Sopranos” 56 Channel with a “Deportes” version 57 Sales force members 58 Succumb to gravity 59 NBC News correspondent Katy 60 Ending for Power or Gator ©2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you need this advice from mythologist Joseph Campbell: “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” He says it’s “a rescue land … some field of action where there is a spring of ambrosia—a joy that comes from inside, not something external that puts joy into you—a place that lets you experience your own will and your own intention and your own wish.” Do you have such a place, Taurus? If not, now is a great time to find one. If you do, now is a great time to go there for a spell and renew the hell out of yourself. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When he was 20 years old, future U.S. President Thomas Jefferson had an awkward encounter with a young woman who piqued his interest. He was embarrassed by the gracelessness he displayed. For two days afterward, he endured a terrible headache. We might speculate that it was a psychosomatic reaction. I bring this up because I’m wondering if your emotions are also trying to send coded messages to you via your body. Are you aware of unusual symptoms or mysterious sensations? See if you can trace them back to their source in your soul. CANCER (June 21-July 22): There’s a zone in your psyche where selfishness overlaps generosity, where the line between being emotionally manipulative and gracefully magnanimous almost disappears. With both hope and trepidation for the people in your life, I advise you to hang out in that grey area for now. Yes, it’s a risk. You could end up finessing people mostly for your own good and making them think it’s mostly for their own good. But the more likely outcome is that you will employ ethical abracadabra to bring out the best in others, even as you get what you want, too. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You probably gaze at the sky enough to realize when there’s a full moon. But you may not monitor the
VUEWEEKLY.com | AUG 9 - AUG 15, 2018
heavenly cycles closely enough to tune in to the new moon, that phase each month when the lunar orb is invisible. We astrologers regard it as a ripe time to formulate fresh intentions. We understand it to be a propitious moment to plant metaphorical seeds for the desires you want to fulfill in the coming four weeks. When this phenomenon happens during the astrological month of Leo, the potency is intensified for you. Your next appointment with this holiday is Aug. 10 and 11. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In her poem “Dogfish,” Virgo poet Mary Oliver writes, “I wanted the past to go away, I wanted to leave it.” Why? Because she wanted her life “to open like a hinge, like a wing.” I’m happy to tell you, Virgo, that you now have more power than usual to make your past go away. I’m also pleased to speculate that as you perform this service for yourself, you’ll be skillful enough to preserve the parts of your past that inspire you, even as you shrink and neutralize memories that drain you. In response to this good work, I bet your life will open like a hinge, like a wing—no later than your birthday, and most likely before that. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran fashion writer Diana Vreeland (1903-1989) championed the beauty of the strong nose. She didn’t approve of women wanting to look like “piglets and kittens.” If she were alive today, she’d be pleased that nose jobs in the U.S. have declined 43 percent since 2000. According to journalist Madeleine Schwartz writing in Garage magazine, historians of rhinoplasty say there has been a revival of appreciation for the distinctive character revealed in an unaltered nose. I propose, Libra, that in accordance with current astrological omens, we extrapolate some even bigger inspiration from that marvelous fact. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to celebrate and honor and express pride in your idiosyncratic natural magnificence. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Maybe happiness is this: not feeling like you should be elsewhere, doing something else, being someone else.” This definition, articulated by author Isaac Asimov, will be an excellent fit for you between now and Sept. 20. I suspect you’ll be unusually likely to feel at peace with yourself and at home in the world. I don’t mean to imply that every event will make you cheerful and calm. What I’m saying is that you will have an extraordinary capacity to make clear decisions based on accurate appraisals of what’s best for you. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I’ve compiled a list of new blessings you need and deserve during the next 14 months. To the best of
my ability, I will assist you to procure them. Here they are: a practical freedom song and a mature love song; an exciting plaything and a renaissance of innocence; an evocative new symbol that helps mobilize your evolving desires; escape from the influence of a pest you no longer want to answer to; insights about how to close the gap between the richest and poorest parts of yourself; and the cutting of a knot that has hindered you for years. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “It has become clear to me that I must either find a willing nurturer to cuddle and nuzzle and whisper sweet truths with me for six hours or else seek sumptuous solace through the aid of eight shots of whiskey.” My Capricorn friend Tammuz confided that message to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were feeling a comparable tug. According to my assessment of the Capricorn zeitgeist, you acutely need the revelations that would become available to you through altered states of emotional intelligence. A lavish whoosh of alcohol might do the trick, but a more reliable and effective method would be through immersions in intricate, affectionate intimacy. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Not even five percent of the world’s population lives in a complete democracy. Congratulations to Norway, Canada, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Sweden. Sadly, three countries where my column is published— the U.S., Italy, and France—are categorized as “flawed democracies.” Yet they’re far better than the authoritarian regimes in China and Russia. (Source: The Economist.) I offer this public service announcement as a prelude to your homework assignment. According to my astrological analysis, you will personally benefit from working to bring more democracy into your personal sphere. How can you ensure that people you care about feel equal to you, and have confidence that you will listen to and consider their needs, and believe they have a strong say in shaping your shared experiences? PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Mystic poet Kabir wrote, “The flower blooms for the fruit: when the fruit comes, the flower withers.” He was invoking a metaphor to describe his spiritual practice and reward. The hard inner work he did to identify himself with God was the blooming flower that eventually made way for the fruit. The fruit was his conscious, deeply felt union with God. I see this scenario as applicable to your life, Pisces. Should you feel sadness about the flower’s withering? It’s fine to do so. But the important thing is that you now have the fruit. Celebrate it! Enjoy it!
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YOUR WEATHER NOW
WEEKNIGHTS 6 Josh_Hot 24 youSummer_10.5x13.9.indd look nice today1
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