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2 // UP FRONT

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010


INSIDE

COVER

#759 • May 6 – May 12, 2010

UP FRONT // 4/ Vuepoint Issues Dyer Straight ZeitGeist Bob the Angry Flower

4 7 7 8 8

DISH // 10/ 11

Are you interested in teaching overseas?

Veni, Vidi, Vino

The MacEwan English Language Institute offers a 10 week Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Workshop

ARTS // 14/ 17

Hopscotch

FILM // 20

s'ETANOVERVIEWOFCURRENTMETHODOLOGIES CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS PRINCIPLESOFLANGUAGE TEACHINGLEARNING NEEDSASSESSMENT LESSONPLANNING ANDMATERIALSELECTION

21 DVD Detective

MUSIC // 26/ 30 38 39 39

Enter Sandor New Sounds Old Sounds Quickspins

BACK // 40

14

s,EARNERSSHOULDBEFLUENTIN%NGLISHANDHAVEADEGREE Yann Martel unshelves a provocative idea

UP FRONT

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40 Free Will Astrology 42 Queermonton 43 Alt.Sex.Column

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EVENTS LISTINGS 19 25 28 41

Arts Film Music Events

5

Wiebo Ludwig

35

Scrapbooker

VUEWEEKLY.COM SLIDESHOW // Alice Cooper

MUSIC

• Slideshow Rob Zombie • The Classical Score A prevue of the Edmonton Columbian Choirs' Night on Broadway show—bridesmaids dresses included ARTS

• Audio Yann Martel discusses his latest novel FILM

• SideVue Robots, reboots and re-shoots: Brian Gibson discusses the box office infatuation with high-tech gadgetry DISH Alice Cooper performs live at Rexall Place

• Dishweekly.ca Restaurant reviews, features, searchable and easy to use

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

UP FRONT // 3


EDITORIAL

Vuepoint Women who behave samantha power // samantha@vueweekly.com

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t might surprise you that Senator Nancy Ruth of recent "Shut the fuck up" fame was the first openly gay woman to be appointed to the Senate. Ruth has actually spent her career campaigning for women's rights—a long-time supporter of queer rights organization Egale and the Legal Education and Action Fund, which assisted in numerous high-profile pro-life legal cases in Canada. Ruth is no stranger to voicing her opinion. Why then, would she tell aid agencies that she supports, at a meeting she had sponsored, to "shut the fuck up"? According to reports the comment was given as gentle advice, just shut up and this all will pass—a warning. Looking at recent Conservative actions on international aid agencies not following the Harper doctrine, it might help to explain Ruth's fears. Recently, international aid agencies found to have connections, in any form, to Palestine received devastating funding cuts. Despite a 35-year history with CIDA, international aid agency Kairos received notice in December of 2009 that its CIDA

INSIDE // FRONT

UP FRONT

5

Wiebo Ludwig

7

Dyer Straight

8

Zeit Geist

GRASDAL'S VUE

funding had been cut. It became obvious that due to Kairos' assistance to Palestinian aid agencies, it would no longer receive funding from a federal government set on eliminating aid toward Palestine. I imagine few Canadians knew of Kairos' support, or even of Kairos, so it must have come as a great surprise to read that its funding had been cut for those reasons. It certainly came as a surprise to Kairos. Abortion was on the agenda for maternal health plans at the G8­—agreed upon by Britain and Canada. Canada is the one changing its mind and the world is confused. Ruth's fear is that women will lose rights they have already won. It is disturbing that a friend to women's activism would find herself in a place where she felt this is the very advice she had to give. But shutting up will not put abortion back on the agenda where it belongs, and, as Ruth knows, shutting up has not advanced women's rights in any form, and it is in fact the very act of speaking up that we have often fought so hard for. If Kairos said nothing and lost everything, then now is not the time to be shutting up, now is the time to speaking up, as loudly as possible, because we have nothing to lose. V

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UNION DEMOCRACY

POWER IS WRONG

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'm a full time organizer for IBEW local 424 in Edmonton Alberta. We are the eighth largest IBEW in the world and the second largest in Canada, with 7500 members strong. I read your article ("Solidarity in Diversity, " April 29 – May 5, 2010) and I could relate to it very much. With 7500 members we have a very low member participation rate, for example we would only get about to 200 show up to a monthly meeting. I struggle each day trying to unionize non-union contractors, and inform and educate younger workers. Being only 34 I find the trend of activism does seem to be growing with people under the age of 35—I won't use the word "youth" I think it doesn't properly define the demographic. It was nice to see an article about unions and solidarity in a paper for a change.

ROD MCVICAR

4 // UP FRONT

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

n her Vuepoint ("Democracy is Choice," April 29 - May 5, 2010), Power suggests that what Albertans need is "a greater diversity of representation not loss of choice." But the choice Albertans need to make is whether they want to ensure [sic] the continued rule of a right-wing government or coalesce to create the potential of a government with different values. Power is simply wrong when she says that "Liberals are not New Democrats and New Democrats are not Liberals." Realism has caused many former New Democrat supporters, to join the Liberal party. Unsurprisingly most of the policies of these two parties are similar. It's time for progressives in Alberta to get serious, to admit their fortress mentalities have handed the province over to right-wing nutcases. ALVIN FINKEL Co-Chair, Alberta Democratic Renewal Project, Edmonton Chapter

POWER IS RIGHT

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n her Vuepoint ("Democracy is Choice," April 29 - May 5, 2010), Power poked some holes in the arguments presented by the Democratic Renewal Project. Despite the hard work of supporters, neither the Liberals or the NDP have proven that their parties have the ability to connect with Albertans outside already supportive urban enclaves. Perhaps the problem is not competition for votes, but that neither of the parties are seen as viable alternatives to the governing PCs? This is likely why we have seen people migrate to newer parties like the Wildrose Alliance and the re-branded Alberta Party. With declining voter turnout and a growing disconnect between citizens and the democratic process, the solution should be to provide more opportunities for meaningful engagement. Decreasing choice of candidates and limiting the opportunity for already engaged citizens to participate in the democratic system by running as candidates in their communities is not the smart choice. DAVE COURNOYER


FEATURE // ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM

Seeking justice

Wiebo Ludwig is back on the suspect list as BC searches for the EnCana pipeline bomber Byron christopher // byron@vueweekly.com

O

n a star-filled night in late November I pulled off a frozen dirt road and into Wiebo Ludwig's farm. Trickle Creek, as it's known, is tucked away in 324 hectares of prairie and bush, west of the hamlet of Hythe, Alberta, close to the BC border. I've written a number of stories on Weibo Ludwig and his conflicts with the oil and gas industry. I covered Ludwig's trial in Edmonton, where Justice Sterling Sanderman—largely on circumstantial evidence—found Ludwig and his right-hand man, Richard Boonstra, guilty of oil field vandalism. Ludwig was not found guilty of terrorism, as some media outlets report. Ludwig has been branded everything from an eco-warrior to an eco-terrorist. A local politician described the people of Trickle Creek as "country bumpkins." I wanted to see for myself what Wiebo Ludwig and his people were about, and so I finally made the trip up to Trickle Creek. I was first invited there 10 years ago. Fifty-two people—three generations of the families of Ludwig and Boonstra, including more than a dozen young children—call Trickle Creek home. Ludwig's and Boonstra's grandchildren, all

home-schooled, are much like other kids: some were shy and others outgoing; the boys proudly displayed their toys, mostly homemade, and the girls showed off their drawings and paintings. No one mentioned video games, TV sitcoms or the latest movies and fashions. Wiebo Ludwig and his son Fritz each gave me tours of Trickle Creek. I was impressed. I saw a modern, nearly self-sufficient society with a mix of old-fashioned values and strong religious beliefs. Much at Trickle Creek was high tech: solar panels that tracked the movement of the sun, and a functioning wind turbine. Both devices were connected to banks of batteries with digital readouts showing how much power was stored. The people at Trickle Creek maintain they're about 80 percent fossil-fuel free, and working toward 100 percent. Residents produce their own bio-diesel fuel from used cooking oil. They figure the cost of fuel production is about one-fifth the cost of what they'd fork out at the gas pumps. Trickle Creek has its own flour mill and makes its own bread. I saw over a dozen barrels of honey, two chicken coops, a pig pen, goats, sheep and milking cows. Horses and cattle grazed in fenced-in pastures.

OFF THE GRID >> Ludwig on his 324 hectare sustainable farm Large gardens and an area for growing berries and herbs sustain the population at Trickle Creek. The people of Trickle Creek pick wild berries and herbs from a swamp nearby. The folks at Trickle Creek not only produce their own food, power and clothing, but their own music as well. I noticed musical instruments—an old wooden piano, guitars, violin and a drum set—the latter with the brand name "Ludwig." Well-worn Bibles lay scattered through-

// Byron Christopher

out the complex. Ludwig, an ordained pastor, took out his reading glasses and read from the scriptures every now and then. He asked if I was religious. I joked, "I'm an atheist, thank God." I was puzzled why I hadn't come across stories about how the people of Trickle Creek were self-sufficient in the vast amounts of media coverage of Ludwig and Trickle Creek, especially considering how far north they live."It's not that reporters don't know," said Ludwig. "We've given

many the same tour. They just don't want to report it; guess they're just interested in the bombings." I too am interested in bombings and what police and concerned people have to say. My tour of Trickle Creek got me wondering whether the threat self-sufficiency poses to the status quo has played a part in it being omitted from coverage of this case. How much of the story of gas-well poisonings is the public really getting? CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 >>

News Roundup NOT-SO-FREE PRESS

C

anadian Journalists for Free Expression have released their first report after an uncommon number of incidents challenging the right to free speech here in Canada. The report, released on International Press Freedom Day, addresses attacks on journalists, access to information and the climate for free expression. The report considers the eight cases brought forward to the Supreme Court dealing with issues of freedom of speech. "Just look at the past year," Bob Carty, a CBC radio producer and CJFE board member. "It's risen above the radar. Ottawa refused to release information that's readily available in the United States about torture in Afghanistan. Journalists heading to the Olympics were stopped at the border and sometimes turned away because they might say something critical about the Games." The report gave its highest grade to the Supreme Court itself which, as the report states, had "met all our expectations in establishing the defence of 'responsible communications,'" The report especially considered the landmark case of Grant v. Torstar and Quan v. Cusson which established a legal defense by journalists when covering stories in the public interest. "Though still not as protective as the American model, the defence allows Canadian journalists to escape liability if they can show they diligently attempted to prove the facts,” says the report. Unsurprisingly the lowest mark went

Al-JEZEERA ARRIVES

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

43% 23%

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nternational news network Al-Jezeera will launch in Canada, now available to cable subscribers. Al-Jezeera hosts a number of renowned journalists, such as the BBC's David Frost, best-known for his groundbreaking interview with Richard Nixon in 1977, and Canadian documentary filmmaker Avi Lewis, who hosts a fortnightly feature news program. Al-Jezeera is owned by the Emir of Qatar and has broadcast centres in Washington DC, London, Kuala Lumpur and will soon open one in Toronto, making it the only international news organization to have a Canadian bureau. V

395 Number of federal access to information requests not met in the required 30 day time limit

Number of federal access to information requests not met after 60 days

Average number of days to resolve a federal access to information complaint

to the federal government—an F for the failure to provide open access to information. CJFE hopes the review will become "an annual reference document for examin-

70 bureaus

ing developments in free expression in Canada and for comparing ourselves with other countries.” Carty says it will provide "a tool to help us keep track of whether we're moving forward or backward."V

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

Headquartered in

180 million households

Doha, Qatar Online at vueweekly.com >>front SLIDESHOW // Day of mourning he Edmonton District Labour Council organized a memorial recognizing the 15th anniversary of the day of mourning for those who have been injured or lost their lives on the job in Alberta this year. On hand to commemorate the day was Mayor Mandel and President of the Alberta Federation of Labour Gil McGowan.

T

samantha power // samantha@vueweekly.com

UP FRONT // 5


ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM << CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

I asked both Ludwig and Boonstra whether they were behind the recent EnCana bombings at Tomslake in northern BC—or if they knew who the culprit was. Each answered, "No." They added, however, that if they did know they wouldn't be telling. Over the past couple of years somebody has been blowing up equipment owned by EnCana Corporation of Calgary. EnCana's pipelines carry hydrogen sulfide (H2S), also known as sour gas, which can be deadly if inhaled. Not quite an hour's drive from Trickle Creek, near the BC hamlet of Tomslake, six explosions have rocked pipelines and a shed owned by EnCana. The bombings began in the fall of 2008; the last explosion was in July. They have raised quite a stink, in more ways than one. The smell is unmistakable, and residents have raised their voices both about the bombings, but also to question the safety of sour gas pipelines in the area. The bomber has sent letters to EnCana, warning the explosions would continue unless the company stopped operations, including the drilling for and extraction of sour gas. EnCana offered a $1-million reward for information that would help to put the bomber behind bars. It's not known who is behind the fireworks at Tomslake, but there have been three main suspects. The first two were Ludwig and Boonstra, convicted in 2000 following a spate of well-head explosions in northwestern Alberta two years earlier. Both men ended up eating prison food; Boonstra for a couple of weeks, Ludwig for a year and a half. Last year, the RCMP approached Ludwig for help in solving the bombings. Ludwig agreed to talk with them. The first of several meetings was held at Trickle Creek, where cautious family members videotaped proceedings. Last fall a radio station based in Camrose, Alberta, broadcast a portion of a leaked letter Ludwig had sent to the EnCana bomber. Other media outlets soon followed, and because the story broke on a weekend, the open letter became big news. In his twopage letter, Ludwig expressed sympathy to the bomber's cause. He also asked the bomber to chill out for a while: "Give peace a chance." The third suspect was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Testimony at Ludwig's previous trial revealed the Mounties blasted an oil-company shed with dynamite in an elaborate attempt to convince Ludwig to trust one of their informants. After the shed was blown up, the RCMP issued a news release. Reporters, myself included, trusted the release about the terrorist attack and we went with the story. Local residents told us they were terrified and shocked. They were shocked a second time when they realized they'd been duped by the police and not served all that well by a media too trusting of authority. In Canada, it is unlawful to issue false information to the public; those who do are liable to be charged with mischief. When asked if any Mounties would face such charges over the fake press release, the crown's office responded that they were looking into it. That was 10 years ago. There hasn't been a report since. On November 22, 2009, a gas leak from an EnCana well near Pouce Coupe, close to Tomslake, caused a number of residents

6 // UP FRONT

to scramble. Company representatives arrived and hurriedly knocked on doors, only to find residents had already evacuated. While a spokesman from EnCana was quoted as saying the leak posed no danger, angry residents disagreed. They said the level of sour gas coming from the well was as high as 8200 parts per million—nearly 12 times the lethal level (700 parts per million). A public meeting to discuss the crisis was canceled by the regulatory group investigating the leak, the Oil and Gas Commission (OGC). Both the OGC and EnCana said they preferred to continue speaking with residents one-on-one to having a large meeting. About 50 concerned citizens turned up anyway and held their own meeting. In a letter to the Edmonton Journal, SD Gregg, a concerned citizen, wrote: "If the bombing of gas pipelines is environmental terrorism, then why isn't releasing sour gas into the air regularly considered the same? I'm totally disgusted with the hypocrisy displayed here and I'm not much of an environmentalist." Gregg has reason to be annoyed.

other friendly get-together to talk about Tomslake. According to Ludwig, immediately after he and his son parked their van in the hotel parking lot an unmarked RCMP police car boxed them in. Several other police cruisers pulled up. Ludwig was told he was being arrested for extortion. "I said, 'Extortion?'" Ludwig recalls. "Extortion has never come into my mind, unless you have access to my subconscious." Ludwig was put into the back of an unmarked police vehicle. He was not handcuffed. Instead of making a bee-line to the holding cell, the unmarked vehicle made a detour to a Giant Tiger big box store parking lot. The Mounties had a male suspect pinned to the ground. Ludwig says one of the officers then ran over to the ghost car he was in and announced they'd subdued a "cop-hater"—a guy who had just punched a police officer in the face. When he arrived at the station, there in the same cell was the cop-hater. Ludwig suspected the man was a plant, someone whose job it is to weasel information from people accused in high-profile criminal cases. According to Ludwig, when he saw

FARM LIFE >> Three generations call Trickle Creek home In December 2003, a sour gas well near Xiaoyang, China, ruptured. Parfitt wrote, "In what Chinese officials would later call a 25-square kilometre "death zone," 243 residents died and 9000 were injured and 40 000 people had to flee their homes." Victims suffered mainly from acid burns on their skin and throughout the respiratory system. Early on January 8, 2010, Trickle Creek was raided by the RCMP and Ludwig was picked up for extortion in connection with the EnCana bombings. I learned about Ludwig's arrest when an excited Boonstra called me at home to say Trickle Creek had been invaded by an RCMP tactical team. He said the officers, in full-body armour, were armed with high-powered rifles and a search warrant. At one point in the police raid, an estimated 150 RCMP were on site. Boonstra said the raid and the arrest of Ludwig caught them completely by surprise. Ludwig, along with his son Josh, had been on the way to a meeting with the RCMP at the Super 8 Hotel in Grande Prairie, which they thought was an-

did a wonderful thing there, he didn't try to sneak and say, 'No, I had nothing to do with it.' He just laid it out what he had done, why he had done it and he was respected around the globe for that. You know it would do your cause a lot of good if you would just lay this stuff out, you'd get a lot of respect, whatever your involvement has been.'" Ludwig says he listened for four hours but said nothing, except to tell the officers he was no Nelson Mandela. The RCMP claims to have DNA evidence linking Ludwig to the envelopes mailed to EnCana. According to Ludwig, officers told him there's a "liberal sprinkling" of his DNA on the envelope. Ludwig says he told officers, "That's impossible." Indeed, only after Ludwig had been arrested and was being held at the police station in Grande Prairie did the RCMP use a court order to get a blood sample for his DNA. Paul Joosse, completing a PhD at the University of Alberta on radical environmentalists and eco-terrorism, has also visited Trickle Creek. His theory is that police interrogators were "spinning tales," trying to scare Ludwig into giving up evidence or making a confession. According to Joosse, the RCMP raid at

// Byron Christopher

the man in his cell, he told an RCMP officer, "What's going on here? I saw this man in a violent take-down. You have a duty to make sure my life is protected." According to Ludwig, the officer responded, "Yeah, that's true, but go in the cell anyway." Ludwig says it didn't take long for his cellmate to boast how much he hated police and to try to engage Ludwig in a conversation. Ludwig says when he confronted his cell-mate about being a plant, the man became belligerent. The RCMP detachment in Grande Prairie has no report of an assault on an officer on January 8, let alone a report of a resulting arrest Ludwig says he was interrogated for about 10 hours. Some of that time, Ludwig watched a video of and listened to the RCMP talk about a man who rose from a convicted terrorist to a world-renowned statesman: Nelson Mandela. The eco-activist says Mounties tried to draw a parallel between Mandela's struggle and his own. "He [the officer] said, 'You know, the thing he did—and that's what I want you to listen to carefully, Wiebo—he

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

Trickle Creek and Ludwig's arrest had more to do with public relations than detective work. In an opinion column in the Edmonton Journal, Joosse wrote, "It does not look good for Canada to have unsolved cases of domestic terrorism when it is about to host a major international event [the Winter Olympics] for which security already is a major concern." Less than a day after the Mounties grabbed him, Ludwig was set free—without charges. Ludwig's understanding is that a crown prosecutor in British Columbia felt there wasn't enough evidence to warrant a charge. Upon Ludwig's return home he found 100 Mounties searching rooms, pulling out drawers, opening cabinets and hauling away things they figured could be the smoking gun in the EnCana bombings. Police seized two computers, filing cabinets, a video camera and tapes, among other things. The search warrant listed red and blue pens, writing paper, an ink-jet printer, explosives, a pair of shoes and regular postage stamps. Ludwig says the Mount-

ies also made off with a number of things not listed on the search warrant: a pellet gun, a decorative sword and some hunting knives, carting off 10 large Tupperware boxes of stuff. In spite of the police raid and the arrests (Ludwig's son Levi was also arrested on January 8, strip-searched and released the same day), Ludwig said he hasn't closed the door to helping dissolve the tensions at Tomslake. He appeared to display no contempt for the RCMP. I asked Ludwig why he would want to cooperate with the police. "I have seen in life the us-and-them syndrome and I've seen the kind of trouble we get in if we don't first treat each other as human beings," he said. Mounties told reporters that while they collected more evidence during their search at the farm, the evidence they had initially, in their opinion, had justified the raid. Police have indicated they believe Wiebo Ludwig is their man. Edmonton defence lawyer David Willson has a problem with police making such statements. According to Willson, "The Mounties have practically convicted the guy. That's bullshit." Dennis Sherbanuk, a retired agricultural reporter/producer with CBC Radio, feels that in Alberta there's a tremendous amount of dissent towards the oil and gas industry, and it's been that way for a long time. A group of farmers from British Columbia recently dropped by Trickle Creek at the tail end of the raid to express their support for Ludwig in his fight against what is seen as police harassment and concerns over the sour gas leaks. Ludwig said the BC farmers "related to the cause and were excited, in a healthy sense." Ludwig also says people should stop looking to last year's UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and instead clean up our own yards and gather together to find some way to stop this "craziness." Police should deal with the "real criminals," he adds, those who are responsible for the leaks of poisonous gasses. He calls his part of the country a "regular industrial site with flares all over the place, pipelines going everywhere, well sites, compression stations and constant emissions that poison the air." Over time, he says, even low-level emissions can do terrible damage on people's nervous system, lungs and memory. To add to the tension, a Calgary-based energy company is now digging a well just three kilometres from Trickle Creek. The company plans to drill diagonally to within about two kilometres of the ranch. According to Ludwig's son, Benjamin, the drilling is supposed to slice through an underground aqueduct that supplies Trickle Creek with its drinking water. I've sometimes described Wiebo Ludwig as a strict fundamentalist and an Old Testament kind of guy. "Not fair," he says. "But I can see today where anybody who speaks somewhat deeply spiritually, scripturally, is going to be identified with that. There's not much room for those discussions, unfortunately. The church itself has made it impossible to keep that discussion somewhat alive in society. The church has compromised and made itself a laughingstock of the intellectual world." "You've been through a lot," I told him. "Have you ever felt that God deserted you?" "Quite the opposite." V


COMMENT >> WORKPLACE HAZARDS

Issues

Issues is a forum for individuals and organizations to comment on current events and broader issues of importance to the community. Their commentary is not necessarily the opinion of the organizations they represent or of Vue Weekly.

Don't let your buddy down

Workplace safety a matter for government enforcement not PR Ricardo acuña // ualberta.ca/parkland

Workplace health and safety is a topic that tends not to be very well covered or sexy to the media, but by definition it is one that all workers should be keenly aware of. What makes the topic of occupational health and safety timely in Alberta is the coming together of three separate events: the release of the Alberta auditor general's report, the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job and North American Occupational Safety and Health Week which runs from May 2 to 8 in Canada, the US and Mexico. Here in Alberta it began in mid-April with the release of the auditor general's report. In the report, acting auditor general Merwan Saher strongly criticized the provincial government for its performance in the area of occupational health and safety monitoring and enforcement. In particular, the report points to a "small but high-risk group of employers consistently fail to comply with [Occupational Health and Safety] orders and have

disabling injury rates that are higher than the provincial average." The government's failure, said the report, comes from its inability, or unwillingness, to enforce those orders in any meaningful or significant way. In fact, the report suggested that the provincial department responsible for this does not even have a process for systematically tracking whether orders have been complied with or not. In some instances, compliance orders were actually suspended in order to make the safety statistics look better. According to the auditor general, these are employers that have injury rates that are three or four times the provincial average, and the province has been doing nothing to make them comply with safety orders. It is within that context that, on the National Day of Mourning April 28, Alberta's employment and immigration minister Thomas Lukaszuk released provincial statistics showing that there had been 110 workplace related deaths in Alberta in 2009. The government spun this as something of a good news story with the minister expressing pride at the fact that the number was down from 166 in 2008,

and pride at the fact that "whatever it is that [the government] is doing appears to be working." To make things clear, what it is that the government has been doing about workplace health and safety is running advertising campaigns which go out of their way to blame workers themselves for workplace accidents and fatalities. With slogans like "Don't let your buddy down," "Stupid," and "Spot the New Guy," the Alberta government clearly believes that sole responsibility for workplace safety rests with the workers themselves—not the companies that employ them. Of course, that blame-the-victim attitude seems par for the course in a province where a company like Syncrude believes it's a rational defense to blame the ducks for landing on their tailings lake and dying. Despite Mr Lukaszuk's assertions to the contrary, what the government is doing is not working. His pride should be tempered by the fact that the reduction in workplace deaths from 2008 is largely due to recession and accompanying eco-

nomic slow down—there were less people working in Alberta in 2009, and there was significantly less activity in areas like the tar sands and conventional drilling and exploration. Mr Lukaszuk claims that the government is serious about reducing workplace deaths and injuries, but the auditor general's report suggests otherwise. If they were serious, they would actually be doing something about those companies who are repeatedly ignoring safety orders, not reminding workers to put buckets away. For years, Alberta's labour unions and opposition parties have been demanding that the government release the names of the province's worst performers in terms of occupational health and safety. The government has repeatedly argued back that would accomplish nothing but damaging the reputations of those companies. Shouldn't their reputations be damaged? Shouldn't workers think twice before applying for jobs with them? Wouldn't a little public embarrassment go a long way to making them improve their performance? The minister is apparently currently

Canadians can shape the digital media future

It's not a question of if we can have a digital dustry to define its priorities. From what I've media revolution; it's a question of what kind heard, much of the independent media world of revolution we want to have. The signs of isn't being invited to contribute to this proa media system in transition are everywhere, cess. Most importantly, the industry consulboth in our use of media and in media policy. tation neglects citizens who will contribute Canadians now spend more time online than $134.7 million per year to the fund. Shouldn't in front of the TV, the government has we have a role in deciding how the collapsed the Canadian Television money is spent? Fund and the Canadian New MeBig Media like CTV, Canwest dia Fund into one $350-millionand Rogers/CityTV on the other dollar "Canadian Media Fund" hand have guaranteed "enveedia.ca raticm with a focus on content for "mullopes" of millions of dollars democ @ e v te s tiple platforms," and government each. Steve on is about to embark on a national As I've previously written, the Anders consultation concerning Canada's process of digital strategy policy digital strategy. formation presents us with a key point The question becomes: do we want a me- of engagement for the advancement of Cadia revolution where the same big media and nadian culture, innovation, and social justice. telecom giants re-establish and expand their Last month Industry Minister Tony Clement control, or do we want a media revolution announced a national consultation on Canthat provides new opportunities for Canadian ada's impending "digital economy strategy." media makers and consumers. The policies that come out of that consultaThe good news is that there are ample op- tion should address issues like broadband portunities for Canadians to get involved in access, Internet openness (Net neutrality), the transformation of media. If together we support for Canadian culture, media and engage at the right moments, we can work telecommunications ownership and mobile with policy makers and politicians to guaran- Internet/phone access, cost, competition and tee a new media ecology that is by and for openness. us. In 2009 Prime Minister Stephen Harper and The current challenge is that the govern- Industry Minister Tony Clement had a series ment is not openly inviting us into forthcom- of closed-door meetings with representatives ing key historic media policy decisions. For ex- from the Information Technology Associaample, the Canadian Media Fund is currently tion of Canada (ITAC). ITAC is Canada's most undergoing a consultation process with in- powerful lobby group for the Information

MEDIA

LINKS

Ricardo Acuña is Executive Director for the Parkland Institute, a non-partisan public policy research institute housed at the University of Alberta.

COMMENT >> SPACE

COMMENT >> MEDIA

A digital revolution

looking into whether he can legally release the names of the chronic violators or not. I, for one, do not understand what the legal issue is here. We release the names of violent offenders who are released back to the community for the sake of public safety, but we can't release the names of companies who are putting workers' lives at risk? The solutions here are fairly straight forward. There should be an annual public reporting of the worst offenders. There must be clear mechanisms at Alberta Occupational Health and Safety for following up on compliance orders and there must be serious financial and operational consequences for employers that fail to comply. And government reporting on workplace death and injury must be done in a context that truly reflects the extent and seriousness of the problem rather than seeking to hide and whitewash. Alberta's workers deserve better. V

and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Between January and November 2009, ITAC reported 21 meetings with top federal officials and cabinet ministers involved in developing national digital strategy policies. The government also plans to set up an advisory committee to interpret input from the public consultation. This makes sense, however, the advisory panel must be predominantly comprised of representatives from industry watchdogs, consumer groups and the public interest community in general—those who represent Canadians regarding media, culture and telecommunication issues. To date, it has been clear that the telecom and broadcasting industries have not prioritized the interests of Canadians and therefore it is imperative that this advisory committee not turn into yet another way to insulate the communications industry from democratic will and change. I have requested a meeting with Tony Clement and hope to speak with him on behalf of Internet users and Canadian citizens concerning media, culture and telecommunication issues. If the government can make time for 21 meetings with ITAC, as well as other industry groups, I think Clement can find time for one more meeting with someone who actually has the best interests of everyday Canadians and Internet users at heart. It can be a private meeting if that's what Clement would like, but I'd prefer to leave the door open. V Steve Anderson is the national coordinator of OpenMedia.ca. Media Links is a syndicated column supported by CommonGround, TheTyee, Rabble.ca, and VUE Weekly

Battlefield: Earth Stephen Hawking warns aliens will exploit humanity

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would tional Security Policy in the US State be much as when Columbus landed in Department, in 2005. The recent disAmerica, which didn't turn out well for covery of at least 400 planets orbitthe Native Americans," said the world's ing nearby stars makes the issue more most famous theoretical physicist, urgent, for we now know that planets Stephen Hawking, late last month. He are very common in our galaxy. warned scientists not to try to commuIn 2008, however, a high-powered nicate with extra-terrestrials, pointing message was sent to the Gliese 581 out that "We only have to look at oursystem, a five-planet system that is selves to see how intelligent life might only 20 light years away and has two develop into something we wouldn't planets in the "habitable zone" for life. want to meet." The message will get there in Hawking's concern is shared 2029. by others in the field. They Several messages have don't object to passive SETI: been beamed to other nearit can't do any harm to by planetary systems since .com weekly 'Search for Extra-Terrestrial then, in the blithe assumpe@vue gwynn Intelligence' by listening tion that anybody there e n n y Gw er with radio telescopes for the will be friendly. Scientist Dy radio emissions of civilizations and author Jared Diamond has around other stars. However, they said that "those astronomers now think that active SETI—sending out preparing again to beam radio signals messages saying "Here we are"—is just out to hoped-for extraterrestrials are asking for trouble. naive, even dangerous." "Active SETI ... is a deliberate attempt Michael Michaud was equally conto provoke a response by an alien civicerned, warning that "an active SETI lization whose capabilities, intentions signal ... might call us to the attention and distance are not known to us," of a technological civilization that had wrote Michael Michaud, former DepCONTINUED ON PAGE 8 >> uty Director of the Office of Interna-

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

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UP FRONT // 7


COMMENT >> INTERNET LAW

Blast from the past CRTC awakes to relive old decisions

Taking pot shots at Canada's national a recent decision involving a small new broadcast regulator has practically been a broadcaster devoted to emerging musinational sport for many years, as observcal artists in Quebec. Rather than giving consumers the opportunity to decide ers from across the political spectrum paint the Canadian Radio-television whether there is a need for such and Telecommunications Coma station, the CRTC blocked the mission as too interventionist, application for a broadcast too luddite, too slow or a comlicence in a decision that feam tured a spirited dissent from bination of all of the above. o .c ly k e vuewe In recent years, the commisQuebec-based commissioner mgeist@ l e sion has worked to shed its Michel Morin. Michast negative reputation by increasAt issue was Glassbox TeleGei vision Inc's licence application ingly adopting decisions that favour letting consumers and businesses for the launch of AUX TV, a national, decide broadcast winners and losers. French-language specialty programming Yet despite the new preference for broadcaster that planned to offer promarket-led solutions, that approach apgramming devoted to emerging music, pears to have been largely forgotten in including assistance for emerging artists.

ZEIT

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DYER STRAIGHT

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not known of our existence. We cannot assume that such a civilization would be benign, nor can we assume that interstellar flight is impossible for a species more technologically advanced than our own." One assumption embedded in all these warnings is obvious: that life and even intelligence are probably quite common in the universe. But the other implicit assumption, made even by an outstanding theoretical physicist like Hawking, is that light-speed or fasterthan-light travel may be possible. If it isn't, then there would be little reason to worry about hostile aliens. They would have no conceivable motive to engage in interstellar raids or conquest, or even interstellar trade, if travel between the stars takes hundreds or thousands of years. Our current knowledge of physics says that faster-than-light travel is impossible, but leading scientists in the field clear-

ly believe that today's physics may not have the final answers. We will have to leave that question open for a while, but there are two ways to test the assumption that life is common in the universe. It will be several decades before we can go to Mars and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn to see if life exists (or once existed) there, but if life really starts up almost anywhere that conditions are suitable, then it's unlikely that it would have emerged just once here on Earth.

The same company already offers a version of AUX TV in English. Given the CRTC's focus on the promotion of Canadian culture, this application would seem like a proverbial slam dunk. While the Astral Group's MusiquePlus has offered French music programming in the Quebec market for years, it provides little coverage of emerging artists. In fact, even though emerging music videos are required to constitute 50 percent of MusiquePlus programming, those videos are broadcast from 12:30 am to 9 am on weekdays and from 1 am to 8 am on weekends. Sensing a competitor in the marketplace, MusiquePlus objected to the AUX TV application, arguing the proposed programming would be directly competitive with its existing service. Avoiding direct competition has been a cornerstone of CRTC policy for many years, but it has typically been willing to define new offerings flexibly to allow for new entrants. CRTC skep-

BOB THE ANGRY FLOWER

All the familiar forms of life on Earth have the same biochemical make-up, which points to a single, common ancestor. But the vast majority of species on this planet are microbes, and we have scarcely begun to explore their diversity. Among them there may be species that have a different biochemical basis, perhaps living in isolated parts of the biosphere, or maybe even co-existing with mainstream life. If we ever found microbes of a different biochemical lineage, we would know that life here has arisen more than once. If so, then it's probably as common as dirt all across the universe. There is another way to test for extra-terrestrial life. As our ability to examine the atmospheres of planets circling other stars improves, we should eventually be able to detect the characteristic changes that abundant life of our kind causes in an atmosphere. Failing to find those changes would not be definitive proof that life is very rare in the universe, but it would be a very strong indication. In the meantime, maybe it would be wiser not to go looking for trouble. As astronomer Zdenek Kopal said 20 years ago: "Should we ever hear the space-phone ringing, for God's sake let us not answer, but rather make ourselves as inconspicuous as possible to avoid attracting attention!" V Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.

8 // UP FRONT

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MAY 12, 2010

tics will rightly note that true reliance on the market would welcome competitive offerings since that is the very definition of a market-led, consumer-driven system. Despite a clear opportunity in the Quebec market and a comparable service in English, the commission rejected the application, offering a terse opinion that AUX TV would compete with MusiquePlus and that it was "not convinced that the safeguards presented in the application are sufficient to eliminate this risk." That reasoning brought a stinging response from Morin. Noting the CRTC's concern with marketplace risk, he argued "the commission's role is not to eliminate competition in order to protect a service. Is ours a market economy or a statecontrolled economy? This is no longer the 1970s, when the commission worked to establish a regulatory framework designed to protect a budding industry. We are in the second decade of the 21st century. No, thank you. Bring on competition

as far as I am concerned!" Morin's dissent places the spotlight on a decades-long debate on the appropriate role for the CRTC. Protecting broadcasters from competitive entrants may have seemed like a good idea when there were a limited number of channels and Canada's specialty market was in its early stages, unready to do battle with well-established US giants. Today, specialty programming is the most profitable marketplace segment and competition comes from not only from other channels but unregulated Internet streaming as well. The AUX TV decision marks an unfortunate blast from the past and provides a reminder that market-led solutions are still not guaranteed in Canadian broadcasting. V Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. He can reached at mgeist@uottawa.ca or online at michaelgeist.ca.


VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

UP FRONT // 9


INSIDE // DISH

DISH

Online at vueweekly.com >>DISH

12

Restaurant Reviews

SOFRA

Check out our comprehensive online database of Vue Weekly's restaurant reviews, searchable by location, price and type.

REVUE // VIPHALAY

Overlooked exotic

Humble location aside, Viphalay has the power to whisk you away

JUMBO SHRIMPS >> A delicious oxymoron LS Vors // vors@vueweekly.com

T

he strip mall is an oft-haphazard compilation of businesses. In this city they invariably contain at least two of the following: a convenience store, a nail salon, a liquor mart, or a small restaurant. The lucky ones house hidden gems, the familyrun cafés that surprise and delight with cleverly-crafted dishes and the attention to detail too frequently absent from larger operations. One unusually lucky strip mall on the southern frontier of the Norwood neighbourhood houses a boîte of such skill, the venerable Viphalay.

10 // DISH

// Renee Poirier

A serene, rectangular room dressed in burgundy, black and off-white respectfully displays Southeast Asian artifacts and gives no inkling that a very busy roadway is just steps away. Scores of diners, their faces animated and voices lively, tuck into glistening mounds of rice and lashings of aromatic sauces. Which of the menu's temptations fuel their vivacity? It includes both Thai and Laos fare. The latter, incidentally, is the only land-locked country in Southeast Asia. That aside, the menu includes many nods to the sea, in the form of shrimp and fish. Tropical fruits, noodles, beef, chicken and pork are worthy ambassadors of the terrestrial realm.

Shrimp and pineapple triangles leap out from an appetizer roster that includes salad rolls, satay and crispy wontons. When they appear, ferried to the table by an especially affable waiter, their limelight is stolen by the garnish. The garnish is a hand-carved rose. Its deep crimson petals are carved from a beet, but it looks like a rare gemstone, an ethereal bloom coaxed from a giant garnet by a gentle hand. The triangles themselves are crisp and steaming. Careful dissection reveals a fat, creamy, pink shrimp curled around a cube of fresh, zippy pineapple. A tiny dish of sweet chili sauce allows one to add heat as desired. It is far more difficult to choose a main

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

course, but massamun curry is intriguing. It includes potatoes, peanuts and chicken in a thin curry sauce the colour of yellow ochre. This Thai staple marries coconut milk, tamarind sauce, cinnamon, fish sauce and turmeric with beautifully tender potatoes and gargantuan peanuts that tread the border between chewy and crispy. A variant of this curry features beef instead of chicken, but the more assertive taste of beef may very well overwhelm the nuances of this curry. Chicken, rather, is impressionable and easily takes on the essence of its flavourful counterparts. In this curry, strips of fork-tender chicken absorb the golden sauce, which is initially sweet

but finishes with a gentle bite. Garlic prawns, my second entrée, arrive with another stunning beet-rose. Here, a tumble of chubby crustaceans is deep-fried in a hint of batter. It is a far cry from the doughy, grease-laden, deep-fried shrimp that characterize far too many buffets. The prawns are adorned with a generous sprinkle of deep-fried garlic; the kiss of oil reveals a distinctly nutty flavour. A scatter of fried basil and kaffir lime leaves finishes the dish, infusing it with notes of citrus. Dessert, enthusiastically recommended by our aforementioned waiter, is nothing short of remarkable. Crepe-like roti are rolled, sliced, and pan-fried until seductively golden. They recline in a puddle of rich condensed milk and are dusted with sugar. The delicately crunchy exterior yields to a warm, sweet cloud. No other adjectives are necessary, or adequate. Evidently this is breakfast food in Laos. After devouring this marvel, how can pancakes ever again be satisfying? The cuisine of Laos and Thailand strives for harmony of flavour and texture; to that end, Viphalay excels. Each dish unites heat with sweet, crisp with smooth, zip with mellow, and not only emerges in perfect balance, but whisks the diner away from the mundane to the exotic. How many strip malls can do that? V Mon – Sun (11 am – 9 pm) Viphalay 10724 - 95 St 780.423.3213


WINE

Trusting palate

You can't believe everything you read about wine The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and other wine magazines across the globe have taken hold of popular opinion with their wine rating systems. VIDI Their ever-increasing popuVENI, larity has lead to a certain amount of power held by m ekly.co these media sources, and vuewe jenn@ it's possible for a wine rated Jenn under 80 points by The Wine ulford F Advocate's Robert Parker to be unsellable no matter what the price, while a wine rated over 95 points can become immediately iconic, with prices sky-rocketing because of it. Although there are many different wine rating systems, the 100-point system popularized by Parker, is the most well-known. This system rates wine between 50 and 100 points, based on SOMEONE ELSE'S OPINION >> No substitute for your own // File four different categories: colour, nose, palate and overall impression. Within these categories scores will be reflectagree—that it is unlikely that a refrom tasting to tasting." ed by concentration, strength, density viewer will give the same wine the So in the midst of all this wine clasand palate feel. In other words, big bold same score on two different tasting sification, what happens to the elegant wines equal big points. occasions. One wine maker from Sonowines? The lighter-styled complex Positively, this system has given conma told The Wall Street Journal, "Wine wines that may reflect terroir over sumers a guideline, or at least a reasonratings are influenced by uncontrolled fruit-driven boldness. As wine author able expectation of what characteristics factors such as the time of day, the Hugh Johnson, in his book Wine: A Life a wine will have before tasting it. Wine number of hours since the taster last Uncorked, says, "My fear has been that buyers don't need to be as educated ate and the other wines in the lineup." the process is irreversible. Once the about the product when they have an As a result, he says, "I would expect rule is established that bigger, stronger expert tasting for them, right? On the wines fetch higher prices, who can afdownside, many wineries have started ford to row against the current?" It is unlikely that a to make their wines in a style to score Parker himself states on his webhigh in Parker's rating system—somesite, "Scores, however, do not reveal reviewer will give thing that's accomplished with riper the important facts about a wine. The the same wine the grapes, longer skin exposure to juice written commentary that accompasame score on two and tons of new oak. In fact, certain nies the ratings is a better source of wineries from the acclaimed region of information regarding the wine's style different tasting Bordeaux have even changed their style and personality, its relative quality occasions. of wine. vis-à-vis its peers, and its value and aging potential than any score could Not only is it common for the most ever indicate. ... [T]here can never be concentrated wine to stand out in a any substitute for your own palate nor line-up, recent studies have proven— a taster's rating of the same wine to any better education than tasting the and wine makers across the globe vary by at least three, four, five points wine yourself." V

VINO

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

DISH // 11


REVUE // SOFRA

Garlic feast

Not a great place for first dates, but Sofra will impress JAN HOSTYN // JAN@VUEWEEKLY.COM

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arlic—oodles and oodles of garlic. That's what instantly pops into my head when I think about my recent dining experience at Sofra. There were other memorable moments, of course. But it's that glorious garlic that will be forever intertwined with the mere mention of this particular little dining spot. Sofra is a little Turkish restaurant lodged amidst the hodgepodge that makes up our downtown core. It sits there, quietly and unassumingly, acceding to the dominance of the vast concrete, the lingering grime and the desolate parking lots. So quietly that you might inadvertently drive right past it despite the help of a hastily scrawled address and the company of a supposedly competent navigator. Persevere. Once you've found it, drive some more to find parking. Once the parking issue is resolved and you've navigated the bleak streets, you'll find yourself in a somewhat cozy, somewhat funky, somewhat dark-ish restaurant dominated by a large Trojan horse. There are tables scattered over two levels; most are just to the left of the entrance but a few are in a loft area up a narrow set of stairs. On this very busy Tuesday night, we were seated in the loft area. Most of the tables there look out over the dining room and are quite lovely, but ours was in a little room just at the top of the stairs. Not only was it dark and kind of odd, but it elicited a slight but startled jump from one of my dining companions every time someone came up the stairs. The worst part of being seated there, though, was our inability to see into the open kitchen. And it's in that kitchen where owner Yuksel Gultekin works his magic and fashions the most amazing

12 // DISH

pitas ever. The menu is fairly simple: a few appetizers, some pizzas, the traditional kebabs and yes, those utterly amazing pitas. Our efficient waitress informed us that they were out of a few of the items on the menu. That only affected one of us—the one with her heart set on the chicken pizza. Evidently they could make other pizzas, but the ingredients for the chicken one are mixed together early in the day and they had run out. After a few pizza-related queries, we made our decision: an order of pita bread with haydari dip ($11), a bowl of lentil soup ($8), a chicken pizza minus the chicken ($14), the spicy beef kebab ($24) and the chicken kebab ($20). As for drinks, we consumed copious glasses of water—which our waitress was very adept at keeping filled—as well as a cranberry juice ($3), an apple juice ($3) and a glass of Turkish beer, Efes Pilsner ($7). The Pilsner turned out to be an okay choice, but it couldn't stand up to the flavours that were about to explode all around us. And thus began our garlic feast. Up first was the very above-average pita and dip: warm, soft, flaky and utterly heavenly pita with a thick, rich, tangy and ultra-garlicky pot of insanely addictive dip. We dipped so fast and furiously that our pita mysteriously disappeared and we simply had to order more ($5). It wasn't a skimpy serving; we just couldn't seem to get enough of it. Up next? More garlic. There was a big bowl of thick red lentil soup laced with garlic and other spices. On the side was more pita. This pita was thicker, softer and covered with a creamy layer of melted cheese. But just as delicious. There were two huge kebab platters, one with spicy beef and one with

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

OPEN KITCHEN >> The centrepiece of Sofra chicken. Both came with grilled veggies that had me reminiscing of summer barbeques, and each had an innocentlooking salad and a mound of bulgur. The sizeable chunks of chicken and beef were both impossibly tender and were blessed with a very assertive, very spicy and yes, very garlicky kick. That innocent-looking salad merits its own accolades. It was a simple mixture of lightly dressed organic greens, but whatever was lurking in the depths of that dressing should be patented. It was that good. There was also the chicken-less chicken pizza on a bigger and thicker version of Sofra's pita. Small chunks of tomato and green pepper were nestled in a massive

// Bryan Birtles

amount of melted cheese. The delicate pita struggled under the weight of the toppings and teetered on the brink of sogginess, but it was messily devoured nonetheless. Yes, the use of garlic, with its robust presence and heady aroma, was profuse. But it was utilized with such a deft hand that it never once threatened to hijack our taste buds and overwhelm everything else. Overall, dinner was a resounding success.V TUE – SUN (OPEN AT 5 PM); CLOSED MON SOFRA AUTHENTIC TURKISH CUISINE #108, 10345 - 106 ST 780.423.3044


PROVENANCE

History of pizza Most cultures have had their own version of pizza, or some sort of flatbread adorned with toppings, but the oldest known forefather to the pizza dates back to 997 AD. At that time, the pizza was merely a baker's tool: a dough used to verify the temperature of the oven before being discarded or given to the poor. Then, in June 1889, to honour the Queen of Italy, chef Raffaele Esposito created the "Pizza Margherita," a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag. He was the first to add cheese, and also the first to add tomatoes. Tomatoes were a late addition to the pizza evolution. First thought to be poisonous when introduced to Europe from the New World, tomatoes were ultimately embraced by the people of Italy who made it a cornerstone of their culinary culture.

So, contrary to what many believe, pizza was not invented in the United States. Pizza first appeared in the US with the arrival of Italian immigrants to large centres like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco in the late 19th century. The location of the first "official" pizzeria in America is disputable, but it is generally believed to have been founded by Gennaro Lombardi in Little Italy, Manhattan. Lombardi opened a grocery store in 1897 which by 1905 sold pizza exclusively. The word "pizza" is believed to have been derived from an old Italian word meaning "a point," which in turn became the Italian word "pizzicare," which means "to pinch." North Americans eat approximately 350 slices of pizza per second. Thirty-six percent of those pizza slices are pepperoni, making it the numberone choice amongst pizza toppings. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Pete Desrochers

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MAY 12, 2010

DISH // 13


INSIDE // ARTS

ARTS

17

The Gift

17

Working Title

18

Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?

Online at vueweekly.com >>ARTS

Audio Interview Yann Martel discusses his latest novel

COVER // BEATRICE & VIRGIL

Life after Pi

Yann Martel returns with the allegorical Beatrice & Virgil Paul Blinov // paul@vueweekly.com

A

fter Life of Pi's resounding success, Yann Martel's career must've seemed like a slice of the sweeter, non-mathematical treat. The novel's massive acclaim catapulted him onto the international stage as a major Canadian author: even now, praise for the book seeks Martel out. He recently received a letter from Barack Obama, who'd just read the novel with one his daughters, commending him on the work. Pi's meditations on faith, mostly seen through the lifeboat survivors of a shipwreck—recounted by the eponymous boy, but including a hyena and a tiger named Richard Parker—seemed to strike a rare universal note of wonder, sustained by Martel's own warm style of prose. It was a rare novel that, though not Martel's first, set up major expectations for whatever came next. Martel seemed unphased. On a booktour stop in Edmonton a few years back, he spoke at length about his next project: 20th-Century Shirt, an ambitious novel concept that aimed to examine perhaps the most sensitive subject in the 20th century's collective history, the Holocaust, using a storytelling style other than the usual historical realism. Back then, Shirt was envisioned as half fiction—the tale of two talking animals discussing the Holocaust on a shirt—with a second part, accessed by flipping the book over: a non-fiction critical essay about the same thing. But the first chapter of the end result, retitled Beatrice & Virgil, has a stand-in author named Henry—riding high on the success of a book with animal-based subject matter suspiciously similar to that in Life of Pi— given the thumbs down by his publisher for an identical flip-book idea. Introducing himself as "Martel" with a firm handshake in the lobby of the Hotel Macdonald, the author explains that his novel's opening conversation isn't exactly how 20th-Century Shirt became Beatrice & Virgil, but a very similar real-life rejection did become fuel for the book's main narrative, and alter its initial trajectory. "My publishers argued that to append an essay to a novel would drag a novel down, and also that if the essay was explicitly about the Holocaust, it would somehow narrow how people read the novel," he explains, sounding relaxed and without much remorse for the abandoned flipbook concept. "And that's a good point." Martel quite liked the idea of a writer being silenced, of trying to tell a story and having it blocked. "After all," he says, "the great struggle

14 // ARTS

with the Holocaust has been how to speak about it, and so far we've spoken about it in literal terms of just sheer witness, and then historical synthesis but no other kind of synthesis." He abandoned the essay and developed a single, unified work of fiction. (He does note he'd still like to see the essay published someday.) The style he chose was allegory, incorporating his old ideas into a new frame: after his rejection, Henry moves to a new city and ceases to write altogether, finding pleasure in a new, simpler life. That's disrupted though, when he receives a letter from a reader living in the same city, requesting his help. Help with what, the man doesn't elaborate, but Henry finds himself drawn to the letter, and eventally seeks out its sender—an old, abrasive taxidermist who shares Henry's name. He's stuck trying to craft a play about a donkey and a monkey, the titular Beatrice and Virgil, hiding on a shirt, a story he's been trying to finish ironing out for decades, and Henry agrees to help him; he's initally drawn to the man and his story, but what begins as him helping flesh out a humourous tale of two animals discussing food and hunger eventually degenerates into something much more harrowing. Beatrice & Virgil is an ambitious work, and it's doubtful the novel will find the same widespread praise that Pi did—Martel notes that American reviews have been extremely polarized, though critical opinion's been a bit more even-handed in Canada— but it's a remarkable tale regardless, different in scope than any pre-existing blend of fact and fiction on the subject. It tries to downplay the knee-jerk emotions the Holocaust typically conjures up and instead pause, take note and truly explore what devil lurks in the heart of the matter. It literally converts the cold, calculated murder of millions into strange, allegorical moral fable, and however that sounds on paper, his approach is far from tasteless and certainly has merit. It is, as he puts it, an attempt at intellectualizing an event that's almost always broached with blinding emotion. "It's inevitable that we will have an emotional approach to the Holocaust," Martel admits. "One quarter of the victims were children. I have a nine-month-old son, so the idea of harm being done to him just because he's something—Jewish, whatever—it's appalling. However, because the reaction is so emotional, most people, even now, when they read a book or see a movie they'll have this really emotional reaction— and then they'll forget it, because it doesn't seem to apply to daily life. "I'm afraid that the Holocaust is fading without the applicability having been found," he continues. "I think to most

people, the Holocaust is horrifying, but somewhat irrelevant. And this is not antiSemitism. This is just, 'It's a terrible thing, I saw such and such a movie and I cried,' or, 'I read this book and I cried,' but there's still a sense that it's irrelevant. And I don't think it is. I live in Saskatoon, and every day in Saskatoon there must be cases where a native person goes into a store, and all the white people there look and say 'Why are you here? Do you have money? OK, give us your money and then you can go. If you don't have money, what are you doing here?' And that kind of thinking, that kind of, 'Why are you here?' is exactly what happened to Jews going into shops in Germany in the early 1930s. "I'm not saying the same thing will happen here," he adds, "because there are social controls in place, but that sort of rejection, that sort of rejecting of the other, that stereotyping of the other, that disrespect of the other, is to me Holocaustal. Not the Holocaust, but it's Holocaustal." In preparing to write, Martel did abundant research—exorbitant amounts, by his own admission, given that he wasn't looking for historical facts or figures. He visited Auschwitz three times. The last trip was two weeks long, and during that trip, Martel found that spending so much time in an emotionally-charged place—one that most people only experience in a day-long tour, bussed in and out—allowed him to find a deeper, more complicated perspective than most would have the time to develop. Like taking note of the relatively quiet town of Oswiecim, which Auschwitz was located in. "And [I] spent two weeks there to realize that there's this normal town, and part of it is this hellhole, and they co-exist," Martel notes, "which to me is a good metaphor for the human heart: good and evil opposed in the human heart. Our own hearts are like Oswiecim and Auschwitz. And you start seeing that relationship [after two weeks], whereas when you just come in and come out, you just see the evil, and you leave." Of course, broaching the Holocaust through allegory proved a tricky task. Not just because of the subject matter's sensitivity, but also from a storyteller's perspective: the event has a built-in narrative that is uncompromisingly cold. "How can you build a story where personality is irrelevant?" he notes. "How do you tell a story of six million Jewish dead when nothing connects those six million except the fact that they are Jewish, which is a lot more of a tenuous link than people realize. In the sense that in those six mil would be right from the ultra-orthodox, really professional Jews, right to the other extreme,

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

Yann Martel >> Back to the bookshelf with Beatrice & Virgil urban living, atheist Jews who would not speak Hebrew, might not even speak Yiddish, would speak fluent German. Their Jewishness would be as irrelevant as you and your glasses. "It was an incredibly bloody drama, but one that was entirely impersonal," he continues, noting that Hitler never visited a single concentration camp. "It's a drama with no personality. It's also a drama where the narrative's fixed: whereas a war can have many outcomes for an individual character, by definition, most people must die in a genocide. The Jews of Europe, roughly twothirds of them, died. And some of them were never in danger: Spanish Jews, Portuguese Jews, most of the English Jews, Scandinavian Jews. Some escaped from there out of it, so an even higher proportion died within the theatre of the war. It locks your narratives. It takes any sort of suspense and surprise away, and handicaps a story." And while Martel seems content with the allegorical approach he chose, it did take him a while to wrap his head around. Even now, he isn't totally sure he succeeded with what he set out to do, though he isn't too

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concerned with success so much as making sure these sorts of ideas continue to be discussed and examined instead of fading into obscurity. "Even if I didn't [succeed], it doesn't bother me," he says, "'cause the point of art is to ask questions, not to give answers. "The seeds of what happened in Germany 70 years ago to me are still …whether it's a native person going into a store, a gay man who's effeminate going into a bar, whether it's a woman going into a sports event, there are always instances now where someone is excluded, not for who they are specifically—knowing who they are—but for some characteristic. That happens all the time, and that's what makes the Holocaust," he explains." We always see the Holocaust in terms of finality. We don't see the beginnings, and to me it's the beginnings that are still pertinent." V Beatrice & Virgil Written by Yann Martel 224 PP Random House


PREVUE // BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Outer monster, inner beauty Beauty and the Beast returns to the Citadel stage Paul Blinov // paul@vueweekly.com

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or a muscle-popping, self-obsessed villain—perhaps the most ego-driven character in the entire Disney canon—Peter Huck can hold up his end of a pleasant conversation about being an unrepentant bad guy. "Awesome," he says with a chuckle, about donning the extra ego of Gaston for Beauty and the Beast. "It's totally awesome." It must be: the Citadel's remount of the musical marks the third time he's played the character. He rounds out the antagonistic end of the classic tale: imprisoned in an ancient castle filled with objects come alive, Belle finds herself repulsed by, then drawn to understanding the imposing lord of the castle, cursed into a hideous form that hides his true self. Gaston, the local hero in Belle's town with more than a touch selfaggrandizing arrogance, acts as an outerbeauty/inner-monster foil to the Beast. "They even have some of the same lines," Huck says, regarding the characters. "They're small, but they are present." It seems like careful analysis for someone playing one of the biggest characters in a spectacle-driven show that's also based on an animated film—not exactly a wellgrounded platform to launch into scene study with. But Huck notes he's found a

way to ground a cartoon in the real world performance. "Gaston is always about creating pictures," he says. "It seems that the challenge inherent in that is making sure that you are meaning what you say: If you're playing a character that you have to embody a cartoon, whatever you're saying, whatever your intention is on the line, you kind of have to embody that physically and also with your voice. So not only do you have to be truthful but you also have to try to create a frame or a picture around that intention, that makes the audience see what that intention is." A Grant MacEwan grad, Huck's back in Edmonton after further honing his chops at Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music, and working around New York. And Gaston might not get the girl, but Huck does: he's getting married in August. From his perspective, the Disney story's still so beloved—enough so to see this stage version get a remount in Edmonton

so soon after its initial run—because of the level of honesty in the writing that rings true in everyday life. "I think we're all sort of on that same path in life," he says, "It makes us feel less alien, about some of the things that you have to experience or go through as a person ... They sort of say, 'look, life isn't perfect, and here's how you can overcome obstacles to become beautiful or bigger or better'—in yourself I mean, not beautiful in terms of outside-in. Find happiness, find whatever it is that makes you happy. It's possible, and you're going to overcome obstacles in order to do that." V Until Sun, May 30 (7:30 pm) Beauty and the Beast Written by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, Linda Woolverton Directed by Bob Baker Starring Josée Boudreau, Réjean Cournoyer, Peter Huck Citadel Theatre (9828 - 101A Ave) $60 – $90

CHECK THE FLEX >> Gaston in Beauty and the Beast // David Cooper Photography

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

ARTS // 15


PREVUE // HOUSEBOUND

On the other side

Housebound frames a fading relationship with the paranormal

CHECK THE LIGHTS >> Paranormal forces are at work in Housebound David Berry // david@vueweekly.com

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team both on stage and in real life, James Hamilton and Catherine Walsh's partnership has been fruitful, ranging from the comic book send-up The Amaze-o-nauts Must Die! to the aphoristic, Sterling-nominated compilation show 50 Plays About Love. But while those have in their own way dealt with some of the pitfalls of relationships, the pair are heading into slightly more tricky territory with their latest, Housebound. Both written by and starring the newlyweds, Housebound is not just about a relationship, but one that is slowly unravelling: Brian (Hamilton) is caught in an indiscretion, and while he and Amanda (Walsh) move into his recently-vacated childhood home to try a fresh start, they slowly discover there's no such thing. The ghost of their past still lingers, and their love seems to slip away with every new misunderstanding and old wound pricked. Understandably, this lead to a little bit of domestic tension in the early drafts. "After the first couple reads, I can remember saying to her, and she said it to me in a different way, 'Am I really like that? Do you really see me like that?'" Hamilton explains with the comfortable geniality of someone still confident in his relationship. "I was writing for me and she was writing for her, and we were writing some pretty relatable characters on both sides, so we kind of needed to check in with each other and make sure we didn't actually see each other like that. Once we figured that out, though, it was, 'OK, here we go.' We're pretty much able to leave it on the stage." That ability is doubly beneficial for the fact that, in Housebound, the ghosts of the past are indeed quite lit-

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VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

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eral. Besides both their mistakes and the memories that Brian has from his childhood, there are spookier goingson—lights that turn on and off at will, moved boxes, mysterious phone calls—that mirror the psychological state of the damaged characters. It certainly isn't a jump-out-and-boo kind of fright, but there is definitely a creepy vibe—emphasized by the fact that the show is lit entirely practically, with lamps, flashlights and old Christmas lights taking the place of spots— something that invokes the existential disquiet of watching your love slowly disappear. "As long as we've been together professionally and romantically, we've always talked about a way that we could bring some scares and some chills to theatre, though not necessarily in the Grand Guignol sense," says Hamilton, who draws a link between the direct scare of poltergeist and the slightly harder to pin down dread of watching love wither and die. "We really wanted to bring that sensibility to the stage, and at the same time tell this really relatable story about a couple dying, basically, a relationship dying, and all the ways that an individual has to come to terms with that. Like an individual dying, there's really phases to a relationship dying. "One of the concepts that this play deals with is how you move on from something that was so predominant in your life, this love that was supposedly undying," he continues. "What happens when two mortals give up on that?" V Thu, May 6 – Sat, May 15 (8 PM) Housebound Directed by Ryan Hughes Written by and starring James Hamilton, Catherine Walsh TransAlta Arts Barns PCL Theatre (10330 - 84 Ave), $15 –$18


REVUE // THE GIFT

Unwrapping the past

The Gift's best interpersonal moments don't quite translate when the drama gets bigger David Berry // david@vueweekly.com

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here isn't a loaded gun in the first act of The Gift, but there are enough hints that something is about to go off that the explosion in act two feels tensely inevitable. Opening in a living room whose old couch and tiny table perfectly evoke the shabby-but-cared for Alberta Avenue home where we spend the entirety of the play, the first moment is a fairly simple disagreement involving some penis enlargement spam: Carson (Chris Bullough) has opened the computer to Lee's (Lora Brovold) still-open email window, and their ensuing scuffle pulls us into the understated tension in which they're living. It's a sharp scene, one that both works as a kind of quotidian domestic tiff—it could just be that Lee is generally private and Carson is kind of insensitive— and that lays some tracks for the drama to follow. The Gift could do with more scenes this ambiguous, but there are big things at stake here: Carson and Lee are so tense because this is the night they're fulfiling their suicidal friend Brian's last

request by opening the eponymous gift. They haven't seen his ex-wife, Bettina (Amber Borotsik) since the split, but one of the conditions is that she join the couple to tear off the wrapping; though they were once great friends, a rift has formed, and Carson and Lee seem to be as upset about Brian's death as at the prospect of revisiting their past, dealing with all these things they've left behind. The lead up to the crucial opening is where The Gift is at its best. Writers Collin Doyle, who's rather good at domestic drama, and Jeff Page have a sharp insight into old friends forced into close confines, and the uneasy circling and reminiscing is deftly explored, the tension typified by the scorn with which Carson treats Shane (Garrett Ross), Bettina's current beau and an uncomfortable outsider to the whole proceeding. It's also helped by Borotsik's performance: she is a tornado in a gaudy cardigan, and her unrestrained brassiness is effortlessly displayed, and goes a long way towards explaining the couple's reservations at seeing her again. Things don't fare quite as well once

the contents are revealed. Without giving too much away, initially piercing insights into character are replaced by drama that just feels too big for this intimate setting and space. Oddly, that's typified in Brovold's performance: she's an actress that I'm rarely disappointed to see in a program, but here her emotional scenes—especially her crying— are performed like she's doing outdoor Shakespeare, and it overwhelms any rawness or intimacy. It's not necessarily out of pace with the script, but that too would benefit from a more domestic scope: the ultimate reveals here are gargantuan, and seem overly dramatic and out of step with a play that, until then, is very adept with its interpersonal relationships. V Until Sun, May 9 (7:30 pm); Sun, May 9 (2 pm) The Gift Written by Collin Doyle, Jeff Page Directed by Page Starring Chris Bullough, Lora Brovold, Amber Borotsik, Garett Ross Old Cycle Building, (9351 - 118 Ave), $10 – $20, PWYC Tue, May 4

OPEN UP >> The Gift brings three friends together again after a rift

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HOPSCOTCH >> DAY OUT OF DAYS & THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER

PREVUE // WORKING TITLE

New developments The charm of the highway strip David Berry // david@vueweekly.com

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im McCaw pauses for a bit, seeming honestly stumped. I've just asked the University of Alberta drama professor and inaugural director of the Canadian Centre for Theatre Creation (CCTC) what, exactly, it is about finding new work that excites him so, given that he spent his days before the University commissioning new plays in Winnipeg, and now has a job that has him devoted almost exclusively to the same pursuit. "I've been doing it so long I just kind of take it for granted," McCaw says with a knowing chuckle. "I think it's just because new work is the most contemporary work, it's the work that's coming out of our own culture, coming out of our own community, coming out of the stories and concerns that we have about what's going on around us or where we came from. There's also a certain kind of excitement that comes from being involved with a playwright and doing it new and doing it for the first time and finding out how this particular piece of work engages with an audience and what kind of artistic needs it has." McCaw has had plenty of opportunity to indulge those particular pleasures with the planning of the second Working Title festival, an annual event that showcases some of the plays the CCTC has been helping find

their feet over the past year. Though it has expanded this year to include a full production along with several staged readings, all of the plays are ones McCaw has an intimate connection with. In the case of The Woodcutter, the festival's main production, McCaw has worked closely with writer and former U of A playwright-in-residence Don Hannah on this tale of a hardscrabble man who stumbles into a clearing in the woods and has to come to grips with what he's done. "It's a stunningly sad but exquisitely beautiful, lonely play," McCaw explains. "It tells the story of a man who has had a rough, rough life, and they're often kind of voiceless in this society. He's driven to these kinds of desperate lengths, but this is us just trying to understand him." Though that's the only proper play for this year's edition, the festival is rounded out by staged readings of works by local actors Eric Nyland and Ryland Alexander (Spot), Winnipeg novelist Armin Wiebe (The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz) and McCaw's Drama department's Jane Heather (Seasons). V Thu, May 6 – Sun, May 9 (7:30 pm; Woodcutter), Thu, May 13 – Sat, May 15 (Readings) Working Title Second Playing Space, Timms Centre, $10 (woodcutter), free (readings)

Urban and rural space link Sam Shepard and Jim Harrison When I was a teenager I'd hop in my ing at a table, and I don't even own father's rattling old work van, or later a car these days. But if the many brief stories, poems and fragmentary on the used Jetta he and my mother had helped me buy, and kill hours prose collected in Day Out of Days just driving along backroads alone, (Knopf, $32) are any indication, it around Olds, Cochrane and Black seems Shepard, now in his 60s, still Diamond, or across the foothills toacting, still writing, has kept up the ward Dead Man's Flats and Canmore. habit of driving all over the place, It was a form of escape, the forging without destination, and writing, a sort of endless existential commute of a connection with a landscape, and a way to figure out how to write. to work. (Though he portrayed US My mind was able to stretch out on Air Force Major General Chuck Yeathese short treks, and the stubborn ger in The Right Stuff, Shepard is words I sought with little fortune to this day famously uncomfortin my parents' house or in the able with airplanes, and thus high school hallways where drives himself to all his I'd hide while ditching class filming locations. His inwould finally emerge, ofsistence on roadways over m o kly.c ten just a few a time, and I airways was endearingly uewee v @ h tc would carefully write them hopsco transferred to the protagoJosef out with my right hand while nist of the Shepard-scripted n Brau steering with my left. Driving Paris, Texas.) around aimlessly in rural areas Several pieces in Day Out of with pen and pad by my side seemed Days could be attributed to the same like a magic method for coming up narrator, someone most often found with ideas, and my suspicions seemed behind the wheel of a truck on a road confirmed when I'd read about how somewhere in North America, someSam Shepard, whose plays kind of one who apparently is and isn't Sam blew my mind at an early age, was Shepard, who shares Shepard's occusupposed to have done the same pation, age and Midwestern roots, if thing. not his exact experiences or sensibilTimes have changed. I've gotten a ity. An aging actor becomes so disinlittle more disciplined about workterested in his work that he can't even

HOP H C SCOT

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

remember which movie he's working on. A man returns to his hometown many years after fleeing and becoming famous and finds another man who never left and still resents him. A traveller stops in a motel during a blizzard and meets an emotionally distraught woman who claims to be a lover from his days in New York in the 1960s. Ghosts from this narrator's past keep materializing, generating anxiety and interrogating his sense of identity. The result is often funny, and sometimes spooky. Not as spooky, perhaps, as a series of tales, dispersed throughout Day Out of Days, involving a seasoned professional assassin hired to cut off someone's face, an activity which forces him to reconsider his vocation. Nor as spooky as the story of the nervous man who finds a head in a basket while walking along the side of a highway. The head speaks to the man, and asks him for a favour. Savage, incomprehensible violence is a recurring theme here, with characters pondering events far off in the Middle East, or closer to home, in the drowned suburbs of New Orleans. In an especially hilarious story, a man talks about floating to safety in the CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 >>

ARTS // 17


REVUE // WILL THE REAL SLIM SHADY PLEASE STAND UP?

Personality crisis

Slim Shady examines socially constructed identities Amy Fung // amy@vueweekly.com

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inding both comfort and inspiration in the Eminem rap track that shares its namesake with her exhibition title, Vancouver-based Jody MacDonald presents her own series of perverting socially constructed identities. While the audacity and bravado does not translate from rap track to exhibition content, MacDonald offers up her own cohesive distortion of identity crises through a series of plush figurines. Gel transferring her own face in various shades of shadow and tone onto the cotton dolls and spending several years doing social experimentations by donning fake beards or flirty poodle heads, MacDonald suggests in her artist talk that she is more reactionary to circumstances, and it is in this discomfort where she has been guiding her work. Testing the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not, and perverting the perceived peculiarities of self and gender, the exhibition's greatest flaw is that the works are not deeply informed, and therefore not communicating beyond surface interpretations that challenge where the discomfort is rooted. While the notion of gender

SLIM LINE-UP >> Jody MacDonald examines socially constructed identities and identity existing on a sliding scale is by no means a new or even provocative concept in contemporary art, I do acknowledge the existence of MacDonald's work bursts the bubbles for those who think these concepts are a given, and perhaps engages those foreign to the idea of socially constructed identities. Creating a miniature world of androgy-

// Jody MacDonald

nous dolls that are half-human, halfbeast, MacDonald invites viewers to move through this maze of characters who literally wear their hearts on their sleeves and identities on their chests. Oddball humorous and morbidly crafty, MacDonald riffs off everything from twisting jargon like "Fishing For Compliments" to Jungian archetypes of self formation. Most of the individual pieces reveal this grappling of ideas

REVUE // IN BETWEEN SURFACES

Inaugural resurfacing

SNAP's new gallery offers a fresh glimpse of artist-run culture Amy Fung // amy@vueweekly.com

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lmost appearing as if the entire senior printmaking class had packed up and moved its studios from FAB to the studios-in-the-making at SNAP, the first exhibition inside of the new street-front Jasper Avenue studio offers the public a first glimpse of the working studio inside of the newly located SNAP Gallery just off of 121 street. With a gallery that just opened in March and a 4000 square foot communal studio around the corner on the ave, the new space not only offers nine individual studio spaces for rent, but gives working artists in this city a much-needed dark room. Livening up the new SNAP location with a vast array of work that takes up both wall and floor space, In Between Surfaces seems the ideal inaugural show to kick things off. Featuring the senior undergrads in printmaking and the firstyear print graduates working and honing a variety of styles, the exhibition as a whole also echoes the transition from an academic world to the real one. Demonstrating a sense of ownership and pride in sweeping the studio gallery last week as I randomly popped in,

18 // ARTS

Mindy Heins, a new BFA in printmaking doubling as gallery attendant for the day, is exemplary of the attitude fostering inside of SNAP. Originally hailing from Eagleshaw, just north of Grande Prairie and not quite to Peace River, Heins actually came to the U of A enrolled in the faculty of science. Being exposed to a fundamentals in art class—and art making in general—Heins eventually transferred in her third year and she hasn't looked back. "It goes without saying that art works a different part of your brain," she says, who favored chemistry in her general science studies, but with the encouragement of her mom, switched over to the fine arts. With an aptitude for the alchemic principles of printmaking and understanding basic analytical logic, Heins at the end of her BSc-turned-BFA remains rather excited about the endless possibilities in art, sharing, "You can always learn more in art making, and the results will always vary due to the subjective nature of art." Heins, along with fellow classmates Kelsey Stephensen, Colin Lyons, Jackie Wan and Camille Louis—to name a few amongst a strong graduating class—now get a well-deserved break, but looking to

their professors and peers in Edmonton's vibrant printmaking community, these aspiring artists have a firm grip on the realities of becoming a professional. "I see the interesting frontiers from my peers heading off to residencies around the world, and having our professors being international in scope does open up doors," Heins offers. 'They can point you off to a residency in Belgium or suggest a great wood cutting workshop in Osaka and help you build international exchanges. Seeing how they're internationally active and locally based, I see how being an artist is tangible." Just over six years ago, SNAP was operating out of the Great West Saddlery Building on 104 Street, facing a major move in its 22-year history. Having a six-year stint next to the failed arts hub of The Red Strap Market up until just this past winter, SNAP under the new helm of a new generation of passionate printmakers appears to be taking back the reigns of a tried-and-true artist-run culture. V Until Sat, May 22 In Between Surfaces SNAP Studio Gallery, (10123 - 121 St)

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

and theory with the straightforward use of text demarcating which identity they are expressing. Working as a whole, their messaging carries more resonance as each character exists in relation to each other, with some alienated by or away from each other. While some works are more concerned with the immediate and surface worries of spending too much money on a purse, there are attempts to reconcile how

HOPSCOTCH

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wake of Katrina with Chubby Checker, his bodyguard and his beloved piano. Fantasy, memoir and essay blend together in this absorbing, strange and elegant collection, an ode to restlessness, stray human connections and what genuinely open spaces we still have left to wander upon. Tensions between urban and rural space, between movement and stasis, between solitude and togetherness, are also a key feature in Jim Harrison's most recent collection of novellas, The Farmer's Daughter (Anansi, $29.95). The book also consumes a lot of mileage, covering much of the continent in just a few hundred pages. It's a spry, sensitive, sometimes sex-crazed book, which frequently drifts into evocative reveries centering around its author's love for nature and sport, a homage to basic instincts and refined tastes. Sarah Anitra Holcomb comes of age in the titular tale, set in rural Montana. She's a smart and highly literate girl, quietly lusted after by the amiable old farmer who becomes her best friend. A keen observer of nature, she witnesses numerous blood rituals that transpire in the wild, and eventually becomes familiar with similarly bestial encounters between men and women, which prompt an act of revenge. The sudden, somewhat incongruous swerve toward crime drama halfway through "The Farmer's

identities like drug addicts and pushers are perceived and judged, but again, they are surface perceptions that carry no weight. Artistically, "Shed" proved to be the most evocative work. Rendering the skinned corpse of a rabbit with all its fibrous sinews hanging from its toes and its corresponding skin casing lain languorously below, MacDonald gives form to the idea of "shedding one's skin" and conveys both the horror and exuberance of doing so. While there is some level of critique about consumer culture, embedded within the polyester fiberfills lies an awareness of social norms that still struggles with an internalized judgment or censorship of how we should behave and what should be allowed. Rather than focusing on what people may think, the works may benefit from focusing on forming and communicating their own identities, and standing up in their own right. V Until Sat, May 29 Will The Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up? Featuring works by Jody MacDonald Latitude 53 (10248 - 106 st)

Daughter" nearly upsets the tender tone of the whole, yet Harrison's eye for detail keeps things balanced, as does his attention to animals and humans and they way they sniff each other out, negotiate their terms of survival, violate their tacit contracts and meet with some natural form of justice. "Brown Dog Redux" marks the return of Harrison's titular horny Chippewa as he tries to flee Michigan social services with his stepdaughter, who, born with fetal alcohol syndrome, is to be placed in a home of disabled youngsters. Brown Dog gets dumped by a lady in Toronto before touring the prairies with an Indian rock 'n' roll band and gradually winding up in Michigan all over again. His journey is fun, if not the most memorable of Harrison's latest narratives—that accolade would be reserved for "The Games of Night." This final tale concerns a werewolf, afflicted as a boy after being bitten by a Mexican hummingbird, now living out his adult life largely in isolation so as to sequester himself from others during his monthly moonlight rampages. But the protagonist wearies of being a lone wolf, of only reading about romantic love in the poems of Ovid. He wants a girlfriend. Harrison renovates a familiar mythology to investigate the extremes of desire, and in doing so facilitates our suspension of disbelief by simply requiring us to recognize the network of impulses dictated by the beast within all of us. V


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THEATRE

GALLERIES + MUSEUMS

MUSĂ&#x2030;E HĂ&#x2030;RITAGE MUSEUM Â&#x153;-Kl9ff]Kl$Kl9dZ]jlÂ&#x153; /0(&,-1&)-*0Â&#x153;SEEDS IN DISGUISE: THE BIOLOGY AND LORE OF ORNAMENTAL SEEDS2>]Ylmjaf_gjfYe]flYd k]]\kafb]o]dd]jq$ljafc]lkYf\gjfYe]flkÂ&#x153;Until May 16

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VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MAY 12, 2010

ARTS // 19


INSIDE // FILM

FILM

21

DVD Detective

22

Fish Tank

24

Film Caps

Online at vueweekly.com >> FILM

Robots, reboots and re-shoots

by Brian Gibson Brian Gibson discusses the box office infatuation with high-tech gadgetry

FILM // GRAVYTRAIN

A generous helping of '70s style GravyTrain an oddball cop-show comedy David Berry // david@vueweekly.com

I

t's an odd little niche that Tim Doiron and April Mullen are carving for themselves. Edmonton audiences will likely remember them for Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser, a raucous and campy look at the fictional professional RPS world that was an Edmonton International Film Fest hit in 2007. That odd sensibility returns in GravyTrain, a '70s-cop-show-inspired comedy that follows the crude and slightly clueless Detective GravyTrain (Doiron) and his new, vixen-y partner Uma Booma (Mullen) as they try to track down the man that killed his father. Infested with a gaggle of odd town denizens—smooth-talking bartender Full Serve (Tim Meadows), horny mayor Chester Chubbins (Colin Mochrie), local burlesque house owner Harriette Handlescock (Jennifer Dale)— Gypsy Creek, the film's fictional setting, is an absurd little place, just the way Doiron and Mullen like it. But it's also one that rises above its laffinducing surnames thanks to a sharp eye for detail—the town is like a '70s Sears catalogue fed through an amplifier and made life-size—a blistering energy and a certain knack with a deadpan one-liner. Vue Weekly recently had a chance to talk with Doiron and Mullen about Gypsy Creek, their twisted bent and what it's like for independent filmmakers in Canada. VUE WEEKLY: I suppose to start off simply enough, where did this story come from? It's got some obvious touchstones, but a pretty unique sensibility. TIM DOIRON: I had this dream one night about this crazy '70s filmmaker guy and this weird cop story. It actually just started that simply, and from there the world of Gypsy Creek grew, and these out-of-the-box characters and this world grew from that, and kept going until the script was made. VW: It's interesting that you mention the world growing first, because it definitely seems like a place that's fully formed, sort of this odd little corner of the world that's its own thing entirely. TD: April and I are really into wonky characters and that sort of thing, so we wanted to make a film where Gypsy Creek was definitely its own world: this kind of place that was stuck in a bubble, it wasn't in the '70s, but it sort of never

20 // FILM

FLASHBACK >> GravyTrain captures the '70s cop-show vibe really developed after the '70s kind of feel, and we wanted to have fun with that and create an enclosed world for the characters to play in. APRIL MULLEN: I think the great thing about Gypsy Creek is that the world and the town allows for all of these crazy circumstances to happen, but it's in their day-to-day life. So the killer will leave a duct-taped note to the forehead of a murder victim, and that's just sort of what happens there. There's a very specific tone from beginning to end, it's very defined, and the tone of the acting and all that is in that bubble. VW: Do you think it would be fair to call it absurdist? I mean, it's not necessarily surreal or anything like that, but everything seems kind of off. These dead bodies keep popping up and GravyTrain is really the only one who seems to care: everyone else just kind of goes about their day. AM: There's an absurdity to the thing, but it's all based in truth. The stylistic choices and the acting throughout the film is not hammy in any way, which helps the audience really feel what the characters are

// Supplied

going through, because they're so believable and you really invest in their story. And that's what creates the crazy tone: the actors are truthful, but the circumstances around them are totally absurd. VW: Where did that sensibility come from for you guys? There's a similar vibe to The Way of the Tosser, so is it just a natural attraction for you to push things in this way? AM: As young filmmakers, we're always trying to do something fresh and innovative and new that audiences haven't seen and Canadian films haven't done yet. That's how we were coming at it, really trying to push the boundaries and really open up the big screen to something new. VW: I'm curious: do you think that aspect has anything to do with some of your success in getting it on big screens? Canadian films are kind of famously underwatched, and some of that is the perception that they're just kind of low-rent American productions, that we're kind of aping the style but doing

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

it cheaper. But a lot of the directors that do break through—David Cronenberg, or say Guy Maddin—here seem to have very identifiable and unique styles. AM: I think there's some truth to that. I think when people see the trailer, they don't know where it's from, and they're just excited by it. I think people sort of forget where, what, when and they just think, 'That's cool, that's something I've never seen before. I'll check that out.' And that's all you're really kind of hoping for. TD: It's weird, because we don't have a system in place to get Canadian films on big screens. This week, Iron Man is the big release coming out, and that had hundreds of millions of dollars going in to making it and pushing it, so to be a Canadian film going up against it, that's daunting. Actually, funnily enough, we were looking to do this radio show this weekend to promote GravyTrain, and the broadcaster actually said, 'Oh, that's when Iron Man is coming out, so we can't interview you, because that's a ... ' AM: Conflict of interest.

TD: And we're like, how can talking about a Canadian, independent film, that has like one one-millionth of the budget of Iron Man be a conflict of interest? AM: Everywhere you look is Iron Man, and no matter what anybody does, if it's on the radio or not, people are going. To have a little bit of awareness of GravyTrain—we just didn't even know how to respond. We just couldn't help but find humour in that. But also, that's where the challenge lies. There's these big conglomerates, and who knows who owns what, so how do you break through that? I don't know. We're just trying to make entertaining films and thank god we've worked hard enough to get a theatrical release. V Opens Fri, May 7 GravyTrain Directed by April Mullen Written by Tim Doiron Starring Doiron, Mullen, Tim Meadows, Colin Mochrie Garneau Theatre (8712 - 109 St)

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DVD DETECTIVE >> MAMMOTH

Hidden costs

The costs of Western wealth play out in Mammoth In the middle of preparations for his fifth Besides being fairly fearless in its depiction feature, A Hole In My Heart (Ett hål i mitt of its subject's life, Lilya 4-ever is also a kind of indictment of a society that would let hjärta), Swedish auteur Lucas Moodysson this kind of thing happen, an exploration explained that he "was, like, hit by a truck—and that truck was Lilya of how forces beyond their control 4-ever." The impacts of that film, can lead to a life that is tragically his third, have been felt on all inevitable for the disadvantaged among us. That sort of critique his work since. Though he was om eekly.c has been present in all of Moodnever exactly politically tonew e u v ctive@ deaf, his features—about a dvddete ysson's work since then, but he d Davi secret lesbian crush (Show Me has largely yet to fulfill the promBerry ise of Lilya—although he gets closLove/Fucking Åmål) and life at a est to that masterpiece with his latest, quirky, '70s socialist commune (Together/Tillsammans)—were certainly lighter Mammoth. and less intent on questioning the audiences' At its simplest, Mammoth is one in a particular subgenre of liberal-minded message morality or ethics. That changed abruptly films, that being the film that tries to show with Lilya, an often-harrowing, based-on-atrue-story look at the life of an abandoned the wealthy West what our lifestyle is doing Russian teenager. to the rest of the world (think Babel or Syri-

DVCD TIVE

DETE

ana). It rises above most of them because for Moodysson "We're all connected" is rightly treated like a largely meaningless bromide, or at least a statement that needs an awful lot of unpacking (without getting too much into it, many of the films of this nature tend to treat it like a powerful and inescapable truth that we just don't recognize). Moodysson here is less interested in pointing fingers at people for their moral failings then he is in showing how the internalized values of our society lead us to certain inescapable and unpalatable consequences. The well-off, Western couple at the centre of Mammoth are guilty of exploiting those lower on the totem pole, but they aren't doing anything that most of us wouldn't celebrate them for. The somewhat awkward and childish Leo Vidales (Gael Garcia Ber-

nal) has followed his love of video games to the point where he now owns a gaming company, a job that takes him to Bangkok to sign off on a multimillion-dollar deal. His wife Ellen (Michelle Williams, who gets more impressive with every turn) is an ER surgeon, and seems exactly the sort of calm, capable doctor you'd want at your bedside in a trauma ward. They live a life of unspoken privilege—a spacious penthouse loft in Manhattan, private jets, a $3000 pen inlaid with mammoth ivory which gives the film its name—but they really haven't done anything untoward to get it. But, of course, this does come with a price. Their daughter is largely raised by their Filipino nanny, Gloria (Marife Necesito), who has left her two boys to come make enough money to buy them a proper house. She is hardly mistreated, but her boys feel no less abandoned, to the point where one of them gets assaulted while out on the streets, trying to make enough money that she can come home. (This is handled with a great

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

deal more care and subtlety than is usual for such a crucial point.) There is a spiritual cost, too. Besides Ellen's despondence at not being enough in her daughter's life, Leo gets lost in Thailand, the aforementioned pen throwing him into an existential crisis. Bored in his hotel room while his partner haggles over a $3 million difference in their business deal—Leo isn't very good at negotiating, we're told—he escapes to a Thai beach, where he pretends to be a backpacker and meets a good-natured prostitute who he pays to not have sex with anyone. Moodysson manages to unify all these threads while remaining remarkably restrained in his messaging. There is definitely a critique here, but it is one established through the weight of all these moments, and they feel more like realistic bits adding up to a whole than pieces manufactured out of a central message. He seems to understand that his audience has likely heard this before, and so the best way to drive it home is to just watch it all play out. V

FILM // 21


REVUE // FISH TANK

The depths of adolescence Fish Tank excels as a risky drama Jonathan Busch // jonathan@vueweekly.com

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here are teen movies, and movies about teenagers—two genres in almost complete opposition to one another, due to what grown-ups deem is appropriate for a juvenile audience. Differing portrayals of sex, drug use and domestic violence help frame either kind of film as though a specific message were being delivered to its respective audiences, one looking for representations of themselves and the other perhaps seeking an poignant scheme of their own reality. In the end, either crowd may very well end up watching both films regardless of their ages, and the tortured subject of teenagehood gets pulled back and forth between them like a child of a bitter divorce. In Fish Tank, acclaimed British director Andrea Arnold attempts to meld the conflicting forces, containing a teenage world of both identifiable angst and an apparent lack of maternal hope and nurturing. Mia (newcomer Katie Travis), a 15-year-old tough girl expelled from school, lives in a cramped public housing estate with her self-obsessed mother and younger sister. Spending most of her time hatching a breakdance routine and scoring cheap beer, she takes sudden interest in Mom's new boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender) as both a potential father figure and secret crush. At first, Connor is intrigued and endeared by Mia's dysfunctional independence, though as we witness their interactions solely through her perspective, the nature of his interest in her is uncertain. In a way, her attraction to him draws her momentarily closer with her

22 // FILM

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

NEED A RIDE? >> Fish Tank is a risk worth taking // Supplied family, not to mention some realization of a bittersweet teen dance contest narof her mother's emotional instabilrative. Arnold, a 2005 short film Oscar ity and resentment of her children. It is winner who won Cannes Jury Prizes here Fish Tank excels as an ambiguously for this film and one prior (Red Road), risky adult drama, trapping its vulneris so deeply in touch with the heart of able protagonist in a danger zone of youth culture, she maps out Mia's jouradult sexuality that is unmistakably ney with enough dark character twists seductive. that we're really not sure who the movie After a series of physical confrontais for. Let it be said that the question of tions occur, Mia finds herself intently who Fish Tank is addressing is one of pursuing Connor, to a point where the film's strongest knots to untie, but she discovers more about him than he due to a few explicit scenes and a couple wants her family to know. He attempts dozen F-words, the crowd most likely to to pull back, despite having remarkidentify with Mia may have to do so beably reached out by lending her a CD hind closed doors. V and video camera for a dance audition, Fri, May 7 – Mon, May 10 (9 pm) and only until she chooses to act out irFish Tank rationally can they really both be held written and directed by Andrea responsible for the conflict. Fish Tank hinges a tad on a Lolita-esqe discomfort within its gritty style of indie melodrama, and surprisingly frees itself from the easy shock by empowering its character with the hopefulness

Arnold starring Katie Travis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing Metro Cinema (9828 - 101A Ave)

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VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

FILM // 23


FILM REVIEWS 

ola a-c coc the ers los the e cas

Film Capsules Now Playing The Losers

Directed by Sylvain White Written by Peter Berg, James Vanderbilt, Andy Diggle Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Jason Patric  Comic-book movies don't come lazier than The Losers, which at least can't be accused of false advertising with that title. Based on the DC series about a CIA special-ops team gone rogue and out for payback after being betrayed and nearly killed on a mission, this flick is a low-rent A-Team—more like DTeam—with more inaction than action. The easy target's director Sylvain White,

24 // FILM

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

who must've given the go-ahead for stopand-start action scenes to be stuttered out. Baddies are shot but flash-frozen in middeath, their bodies not even fallen before the movie's zipped on. There's no build-up, just set-pieces—the fortress-invasion, the hijack, the break-in—dropped down like music videos, all pulsing backbeat, slo-mo glamourgrunge and isn't-this-cool? breathiness. One action-sequence plays like a commercial, with billboards for a credit-card company and a donut chain as prominent characters. It's all panting and no heat, the film's length artificially extended with moments like a pointless slo-mo Right Stuff shot of the Losers strutting towards us. In-between this action-figure posing is the non-action of the gang—super-stubbled leader Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), snarly second-in-command Roque (Idris Elba), gizmo-building Pooch (Columbus Short), IT geek-gone-wild Jensen (Chris Evans) and trigger-happy sniper Cougar (Óscar Jaenada)—bickering, bantering, or warily eyeing the slinky woman backing the vengeance-mission, Aisha (Zoe Saldana). But it's Jason Patric as Max, the nefarious mastermind, who tries to steal the movie. It's a different movie, though—a bad Bond flick (Moonraker or late-period Brosnan). Max is a super-villain who waxes sarcastic high up on grand engineering structures made for 007 crane shots, wears a glove on his badly burned left hand, and schemes to get hold of a ridiculous mega-weapon (a "sonic dematerializer" for today's "green terrorist," because terrorists are always so concerned about the eco-footprint they leave behind—just like anarchists these days prefer to carry their Molotov cocktails in paper bags, not plastic). White and co. seem to think a comic-book is a ready-made storyboard that's magically rematerialized as live-action. Cinematic pacing, suspense, smart dialogue, sharp camerawork and multi-dimensional characters are unnecessary. Any one-star pity The Losers might've garnered is lost when it wildly tosses Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" into this snoozefest.

That song was woven perfectly into the last scene of The Sopranos by David Chase and I hope Tony Soprano comes out of that diner to vengefully whack this chump of a flick for such artistic betrayal. If there's any sequel in the works—like The Losers 2: Dead Loss—it would be a mercy killing. Brian Gibson

// brian gibson@vueweekly.com

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Directed by Samuel Bayer Written by Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer Starring Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner

A Nightmare on Elm Street is 26 years old— about nine years older than its usual dreamslashed victims—but mustier than ever in this reboot, from Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes horror franchise-recycling studio. The original idea was self-conscious about the subconscious, turning the nightmare (which a horror film pretends to be) into an actual place where, in your worst dreams, a psychological stalker could slay you. This unimagining is super-serious, superclichéd and generic. The only twist in a tired tale of creaking doors, hallways of blood, closets to hide in and darkened bedrooms— on what look like backlot sets of schools, picket-fence neighbourhoods and industrial plants—is a lurid child-molestation subplot that's in awfully poor taste. Jackie Earle Haley, risking career-straitjacketing by playing yet another child molester, is Freddy Krueger. He's shown early on and his burnt-face appearance becomes unfrighteningly familiar. In the original, he was a child killer, but now he's a super-sicko returning to Springwood to kill those children (now teens) he sexually preyed on before. This is serious overkill and the movie descends into a seamy, sickening indulgence when it lingers over Krueger voicing his pedophiliac thoughts to his "favourite," Nancy (Rooney


FILM REVIEWS

Film Capsules Mara), nightmarishly dressed in her preschool clothes. Otherwise, when they're not wearing Uggs and nighties to investigate attics or driving VW convertibles home after learning about Pericles in class, these grim about-to-bereaped teens draw in charcoal to unearth repressed memories, wear Joy Division T-shirts while looking like emo-band frontmen, do quick online research to figure out sleep deprivation's bad, then guzzle Red Bull, down uppers or inject adrenalin to keep the sleep-stalker at bay. Y'know, just your average high-schoolers—who are really just photogenic pincushions for Freddy. With the usual teens, screams, dreams and blood-streams, plus your standard spooky score and same old settings, Freddy's popups, metallic snicking of claws, and gutting of victims become as predictable as the punchlines on a late-night talk show. The script scrapes along from kill to kill, offering cheap psychological excuses for superficial sadistic thrills. Why are Krueger's child-victims all starting to dream so fatally about him only now? Why would a murdered child-molester go back and kill his child-victims, not his killers? And how much can even a bad movie's climax, which the whole story had been supposedly building up to, be undercut by a blatant final-scene stab at a sequel? (Answers: who knows; who cares; a bloody lot.) Brian Gibson

// brian@vueweekly.com

Opening at the Metro The Coca-Cola Case

Wed, Feb 10 (6:30 pm) Directed by Carmen Garcia, German Gutierrez Featuring Daniel Kovalik, Terry Collingsworth, Ray Rogers



Andy Warhol once said that the nifty thing about Coca-Cola was how the President of the United States couldn't get a better one than the bum on the corner. He was speaking to the inherent democracy of mass-production: there's a kind of liberty in normalcy. Shame that liberty doesn't apply to Coke's actual production. The Coca-Cola Case follows the attempts of a group of lawyers, activists and unionists to bring the soft drink giant to justice for its (still technically alleged) involvement in the murder of eight union leaders at its Colombia bottling plant. And while The Coca-Cola Case does a great job in showing what's at stake—interviews with union members who have been personally threatened, some shots of a funeral where a bullet hole is clearly visible in the middle of one unionist's forehead, and an interview with two grossly underpaid, overworked and put-upon Colombian Coca-Cola employees—really what comes across is the endless frustration of attempting to battle a multinational in our corporate-controlled world. Directors Carmen Garcia and German Gutierrez do end on a note of moral victory, in a sense, but honestly watching everyone's struggles to get the most meagre kind of justice—an out-of-court settlement, which the unions ultimately reject because it doesn't include any admission of Coke's culpability—is just plain discouraging. David Berry

// david@vueweekly.com

FILM WEEKLY FRI, MAY 7 – THU, MAY 13, 2010 s

CHABA THEATRE�JASPER 6094 Connaught Dr, Jasper, 780.852.4749

THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language may offend) FRI�SAT 7:00, 9:00; SUN�THU 8:00 IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for young children) FRI�SAT 6:45, 9:15; SUN�THU 8:00

MON�THU 1:30, 4:45, 7:50, 10:45

violence) DAILY 1:20, 4:30, 6:50, 7:20, 9:20, 10:25

FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) FRI�SAT, MON�THU 12:20, GUNLESS (PG) FRI�WED 12:00, 3:00, 7:15, 10:00; THU

THE LAST SONG (PG) DAILY 7:05, 9:05; SAT�SUN 2:05;

THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory vio-

3:25, 7:15, 10:00; Star & Strollers screening: THU 1:00

may offend) FRI�WED 12:40, 3:40, 7:45, 10:20; THU 3:40, 7:45, 10:20; Star & Strollers screening: THU 1:00

THE LOSERS (14A violence) FRI�TUE, THU 1:10, 3:50, 6:30, 9:15; WED 1:10, 3:50, 9:30

Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre, Sir Winston Churchill Sq

KICK�ASS (18A brutal violence) DAILY 12:25, 3:20,

CINEMA CITY MOVIES 12 5074-130 Ave, 780.472.9779

BADMAASH COMPANY (STC) Hindi W/E.S.T. FRI� SAT 1:15, 4:35, 7:50, 11:05; SUN�THU 1:15, 4:35, 7:50

6:45, 9:50

DATE NIGHT (PG sexual content, language may offend) DAILY 1:15, 4:10, 7:10, 9:40 CLASH OF THE TITANS (PG not recommended

for young children, violence) Digital 3d DAILY 12:50, 3:45, 6:40, 9:35

HOUSE FULL (PG) Hindi W/E.S.T. FRI�SAT 1:20, 4:30,

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PG violence) Digital 3d DAILY 12:15, 2:40, 5:10, 7:45, 10:15

EKAM�SON OF SOIS (14A) FRI�SAT 1:10, 4:25, 7:40,

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE (18A substance abuse, crude content) FRI�SUN, TUE�THU 1:25, 4:55, 7:50, 10:40; MON 1:25, 4:55, 10:40

7:35, 10:50; SUN�THU 1:20, 4:30, 7:35 11:00; SUN�THU 1:10, 4:25, 7:40

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (G) FRI�SAT 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, 9:40, 11:55; SUN�THU 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, 9:40

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (PG violence, Frightening scenes) DAILY 12:45, 4:20, 7:05, 9:45

REPO MEN (18A gory scenes, brutal violence) FRI�SAT

LETTERS TO JULIET (PG) advanced preview SUN

1:45, 4:50, 7:10, 9:45, 12:15; SUN�THU 1:45, 4:50, 7:10, 9:45

SHE'S OUT OF MY LEAGUE (14A coarse language,

crude content) FRI�SAT 1:40, 4:40, 6:50, 9:15, 11:30; SUN� THU 1:40, 4:40, 6:50, 9:15

THE CRAZIES (18A gory violence) FRI�SAT 9:30, 12:05;

3:30

CARMEN (BIZET) METROPOLITAN OPERA� encore performance (classification not available) MON 6:30

CITY CENTRE 9 10200-102 Ave, 780.421.7020

SUN�THU 9:30

COP OUT (14A crude content, coarse language) FRI�SAT 1:25, 4:05, 6:40, 9:20, 12:00; SUN�THU 1:25, 4:05, 6:40, 9:20 PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF (PG frightening scenes, not rec-

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) DAILY 6:50, 9:15; FRI�SUN 1:50; THU at Midnight

OCEANS (G) DAILY 12:10, 3:10

WED 6:30

6601-48 Ave, Camrose, 780.608.2144

2:50, 5:20, 7:40, 10:10; SUN 12:20, 7:40, 10:10

CINEMA IN THE CENTRE 35 SHOTS OF RUM (STC) French w/English subtitles

DUGGAN CINEMA�CAMROSE

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) Digital presentation, No passes, stadium seating DAILY 12:00, 12:30, 2:00, 3:00, 3:30, 5:00, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 10:00, 10:30

Movies for Mommies: FRI 1:00

lence) DAILY 7:25 9:25; FRI�SUN 2:25

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PG violence) DAILY 7:10 9:10; FRI�SUN 2:10

THE LOSERS (14A violence) DAILY 9:00 FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) DAILY 7:00; FRI�SUN 2:00

EDMONTON FILM SOCIETY Royal Alberta Museum, 102 Ave, 128 St, 780.439.5284

THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (PG) MON: 8:00

GALAXY�SHERWOOD PARK 2020 Sherwood Dr, 780.416.0150 Sherwood Park 780-416-0150

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) No passes FRI 4:00, 7:00, 7:30, 10:00, 10:30; SAT�SUN 11:15, 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, 7:00, 7:30, 10:00, 10:30; MON�THU 6:30, 7:00, 9:30, 10:00

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) FRI 4:10, 7:45, 10:15; SAT 1:45, 4:10, 7:45, 10:15; SUN 1:30, 4:10, 7:45, 10:15; MON�THU 7:45, 10:15 FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) FRI 4:15, 6:45, 9:15; SAT

12:30, 3:30, 6:45, 9:15; SUN 12:30, 6:45, 9:15; MON�THU 6:45, 9:15

GUNLESS (PG) DAILY 7:20, 9:25 THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language may

offend) FRI 4:20, 6:50, 9:20; SAT�SUN 1:40, 4:20, 6:50, 9:20; MON�THU 6:50, 9:20

OCEANS (G) FRI 4:30; SAT�SUN 12:00, 2:20, 4:30 KICK�ASS (18A brutal violence) FRI 4:40, 7:10, 9:50; SAT� SUN 1:15, 4:40, 7:10, 9:50; MON�THU 7:10, 9:50

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) No passes, Dolby Stereo Digital FRI�WED 12:15, 3:10, 5:35, 8:05, 10:25; THU 12:15, 3:10, 7:25, 10:25

DATE NIGHT (PG sexual content, language may offend)

ommended for young children) FRI�SAT 1:20, 4:10, 7:15, 9:50, 12:10; SUN�THU 1:20, 4:10, 7:15, 9:50

VALENTINE'S DAY (PG language may offend) DAILY

KICK�ASS (18A brutal violence) Stadium seating, DTS

CLASH OF THE TITANS (PG not recommended for

9:55

TOOTH FAIRY (G) DAILY 1:35, 3:55, 6:35 THE SPY NEXT DOOR (PG) DAILY 1:55, 3:50, 6:45 THE BOOK OF ELI (14A brutal violence, not recommended for children) DAILY 1:40, 4:45, 7:25, 10:00

AVATAR 3D (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) Digital 3d FRI�SAT 1:00, 4:20, 7:45, 11:10; SUN�THU 1:00, 4:20, 7:45

CINEPLEX ODEON NORTH 14231-137 Ave, 780.732.2236

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) No passes DAILY 12:00, 1:30, 3:00, 4:30, 6:15, 7:40, 9:15, 10:45; DIGITAL CINEMA: DAILY 12:45, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) DAILY 12:30, 2:50, 5:10, 8:00, 10:40

FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) FRI�SAT, MON�TUE, THU 1:10, 3:30, 6:40; Sun 1:10, 6:40; WED 3:30, 6:40; Star & Strollers Screening: WED 1:00 GUNLESS (PG) FRI�TUE, THU 12:20, 2:40, 4:50, 7:20,

9:40; WED 4:50, 7:20, 9:40; Star & Strollers Screening: WED 1:00

THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language may offend) DAILY 12:40, 3:50, 7:05, 9:45 THE LOSERS (14A violence) DAILY 1:50, 4:40, 7:50, 10:30

Digital FRI�SAT, MON�WED 12:40, 3:30, 6:50, 9:40; SUN 12:40, 6:50, 9:40; THU 12:40, 3:30, 9:40

young children, violence) Digital 3d FRI, MON�THU 7:40, 10:10; SAT�SUN 12:15, 2:45, 7:40, 10:10

THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PG violence)

may offend) DTS Digital, Stadium seating DAILY 12:05, 2:35, 5:15, 7:50

Digital 3d FRI 4:45, 7:15, 9:40; SAT�SUN 11:45, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:40; MON�THU 7:15, 9:40

GUNLESS (PG) DTS digital, Stadium seating DAILY

LETTERS TO JULIET (PG) advanced preview SUN 3:00

10:20

THE LOSERS (14A violence) DTS Digital, Stadium seating DAILY 12:35, 3:05, 5:30, 7:55 DEATH AT A FUNERAL (14A crude content) Stadium seating, DTS Digital DAILY 10:35 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PG violence)

Digital 3d, Dolby Stereo digital, Stadium seating DAILY 12:10, 2:40, 5:10, 7:45

CLASH OF THE TITANS (PG not recommended

for young children, violence) Digital 3d, Dolby Stereo digital, Stadium seating DAILY 10:10

DATE NIGHT (PG sexual content, language may

seating, DTS Digital SUN 3:45

CLAREVIEW 10 4211-139 Ave, 780.472.7600

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PG violence) Digital 3d FRI�SUN 1:25, 4:00, 6:35, 9:00; MON�THU 5:10, 7:50

DATE NIGHT (PG sexual content, language may of-

KICK�ASS (18A brutal violence) FRI�SUN 9:30; MON�

fend) DAILY 1:20, 4:00, 7:10, 9:30

THU 8:20

CLASH OF THE TITANS 3S (PG not recommended

THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language

for young children, violence) Digital 3d DAILY 1:00, 3:40, 6:30, 9:00

may offend) FRI�SUN 1:10, 4:20, 7:10, 9:50; MON�THU 5:40, 8:45

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PG violence) Digital 3d DAILY 12:10, 2:30, 5:00, 7:45, 10:10

THE LOSERS (14A violence) FRI�SUN 1:00, 3:50, 6:45;

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (PG violence, Frightening

GUNLESS (PG) FRI�SUN 9:15; MON�THU 8:50

LETTERS TO JULIET (PG) advanced preview SUN

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) No passes FRI�SUN 1:50, 4:50, 7:20, 9:45; MON�THU 5:50, 8:40

CINEPLEX ODEON SOUTH 1525-99 St, 780.436.8585

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) No passes DAILY 11:30, 12:30, 1:00, 2:45, 3:30, 4:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30; Digital Cinema: FRI�SUN 11:00, 2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00;

GRANDIN THEATRE�ST ALBERT Grandin Mall, Sir Winston Churchill Ave, St Albert, 780.458.9822

MON�THU 5:35

FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) FRI�SUN 1:30, 4:15, 6:40; MON�THU 5:15

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) No passes, on 2 screens FRI�SUN 12:50, 1:20, 3:40, 4:10, 6:30, 7:00, 9:25, 9:55; MON�THU 5:00, 5:30, 8:00, 8:30

PARKLAND CINEMA 7 130 Century Crossing, Spruce Grove, 780.972.2332 (Spruce Grove, Stony Plain; Parkland County)

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for young children) DAILY 6:45, 7:00, 9:25, 9:30; SAT�SUN, TUE: 12:45, 1:00, 3:25, 3:30; Movies For Mommies: TUE 1:00 THE LOSERS (14A violence) DAILY 9:05; SAT�SUN, TUE

3:05

THE BACK�UP PLAN (PG language may offend, crude content) DAILY 6:55; SAT�SUN, TUE 12:55

DATE NIGHT (PG sexual content, language may offend) DAILY 6:50; FRI�SUN, TUE 12:50

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3D (PG violence) DAILY 6:45, 9:00; SAT�SUN, TUE 12:45, 3:00

FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) DAILY 7:10 9:20; SAT�SUN, TUE 1:10 3:20

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) DAILY 7:05, 9:15; SAT�SUN, TUE 1:05, 3:15

GUNLESS (PG) DAILY 9:10; SAT�SUN, TUE 3:10

PRINCESS 10337-82 Ave, 780.433.0728

MAX MANUS (14A violence) DAILY 6:50, 9:10; SAT�SUN 2:30

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (18A sexual violence, disturbing content) DAILY 6:45, 9:30;

SAT�SUN 2:00

SCOTIABANK THEATRE WEM WEM, 8882-170 St, 780.444.2400

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) No passes FRI�SAT 11:30, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30; SUN�THU 11:30, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30; FRI�SAT, MON�THU 12:15, 3:15, 7:00, 10:15; SUN 12:15, 3:15, 6:55, 10:15; Digital Cinema: FRI�SUN 10:45, 1:45, 4:45, 7:45, 10:45; MON�THU 1:45, 4:45, 7:45, 10:45

IRON MAN 2: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE (PG violence, not recommended for young children) No passes FRI�SAT 10:00, 12:50, 3:40, 6:30, 9:20, 12:00; Sun 10:00, 12:50, 3:40, 6:30, 9:20; MON�THU 12:50, 3:40, 6:30, 9:20 A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) DAILY 11:45, 2:20, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) FRI�SAT, MON�TUE, THU

12:20, 3:10, 6:40, 9:10; Sun 12:20, 6:40, 9:10; WED 3:10, 6:40, 9:10; Star & Strollers Screening: WED 1:00

GUNLESS (PG) DAILY 9:40 THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language may offend) FRI�TUE, THU 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 9:50; WED 4:10, 9:50; Star & Strollers Screening: WED 1:00 THE LOSERS (14A violence) DAILY 12:00, 2:40, 5:15,

8:00, 10:45

DEATH AT A FUNERAL (14A crude content) DAILY 1:20, 4:00, 7:20

KICK�ASS (18A brutal violence) DAILY 1:30, 4:30, 7:40, 10:30

THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language may

DATE NIGHT (PG sexual content, language may offend)

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PG violence)

CLASH OF THE TITANS 3D (PG not recommended for young children, violence) Digital 3d DAILY 12:40, 3:50, 7:30, 10:20

offend) DAILY 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:15 DAILY 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00

DAILY 9:00

DATE NIGHT (PG sexual content, language may offend) FRI�SUN 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:20; MON�THU 5:45, 8:25

3:30

SAT�SUN 2:00

LETTERS TO JULIET (PG) Sneak preview, Stadium

KICK�ASS (18A brutal violence) DAILY 7:30, 10:20

scenes) DAILY 1:40, 4:10, 6:50, 9:20

8712-109 St, 780.433.0728

GRAVYTRAIN (PG crude content) DAILY 7:00, 9:00;

KICK�ASS (18A brutal violence) DAILY 8:30

DEATH AT A FUNERAL (14A crude content) DAILY

9:10

GARNEAU

offend) Dolby Stereo digital, Stadium seating DAILY 12:20, 2:50, 5:05, 7:20, 9:50

CLASH OF THE TITANS 3D (PG not recommended for young children, violence) Digital 3d FRI�SUN 1:40, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40; MON�THU 5:20, 8:10

OCEANS (G) DAILY 11:50, 2:00, 4:20

FRI 3:45, 7:30, 9:55; SAT�SUN 1:10, 3:45, 7:30, 9:55; MON� THU 7:30, 9:55

FREEDOM FILM NIGHT (STC) TUE 9:00 HOUSE (STC) THU 7:00, 9:00

DATE NIGHT (PG sexual content, language may offend) DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (G) DAILY 1:15 A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory vio-

DAILY 1:00, 3:30, 6:50, 9:30

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PG violence) Digital 3d DAILY 12:30, 3:20, 6:30, 9:00

LETTERS TO JULIET (PG) Advanced preview SUN 3:30

WESTMOUNT CENTRE 111 Ave, Groat Rd, 780.455.8726

lence) DAILY 1:25, 3:25, 5:25, 7:25, 9:25

FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) DAILY 1:10, 2:55, 4:45, 6:30 IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) No passes DAILY 1:30, 4:05, 6:50, 9:10

LEDUC CINEMAS Leduc, 780.352.3922

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for young

children) Dolby Stereo digital, No passes FRI 6:50, 9:45; SAT�SUN 12:45, 3:50, 6:50, 9:45; MON�THU 5:20, 8:20

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) Dolby Stereo Digital, No passes FRI 7:15, 9:55; SAT�SUN 1:00, 4:00, 7:15, 9:55; MON�THU 5:30, 8:30

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON DIGITAL 3D (PG

GUNLESS (PG) DTS Digital FRI 7:05; SAT�SUN 1:15, 3:40,

violence) DAILY 7:05; SAT�SUN 1:05

7:05; MON�THU 5:10

ALICE IN WONDERLAND 3D (PG violence, frighten-

THE BACK UP PLAN (PG crude content language may

ing scenes) DAILY 9:25; SAT�SUN 3:25

offend) DTS Digital FRI�SUN 9:25; MON�THU 8:10

LOSERS (14A violence) DAILY 9:30; SAT�SUN 3:30

THE GHOST WRITER (PG violence, coarse language)

BACK UP PLAN (PG language may offend, crude content) DAILY 7:10; SAT�SUN 1:10

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for

young children) MIDNIGHT THU 12:01am; DAILY 6:55, 9:35; FRI 4:00; SAT�SUN 12:55, 3:35

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) DAILY 7:00, 9:30; SAT�SUN 1:00, 3:20

METRO CINEMA 9828-101A Ave, Citadel Theatre, 780.425.9212

DTS Digital FRI 6:35, 9:35; SAT�SUN 12:30, 3:30, 6:35, 9:35; MON�THU 5:00, 8:00

WETASKIWIN CINEMAS Wetaskiwin, 780.352.3922

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (18A gory violence) DAILY 7:00, 9:25; SAT�SUN 1:00, 3:25

LOSERS (14A violence) DAILY 9:30; SAT�SUN 3:30, FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) DAILY 7:05; SAT�SUN 1:05 THE LAST SONG (PG) DAILY 7:10, 9:20; SAT�SUN 1:10,

THE COCA�COLA CASE (14A) FRI�TUE 7:00

3:20

FISH TANK (STC) FRI�MON 9:00

IRON MAN 2 (PG violence, not recommended for young children) MIDNIGHT THU 12:01am; DAILY 6:55, 9:35; FRI 4:00; SAT�SUN 12:55, 3:35

DIFF & CIA FILM NIGHT PRESENT: HEALTH

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

FILM // 25


INSIDE // MUSIC

MUSIC

30

Enter Sandor

33

Music Notes

35

Kobra and the Lotus

Online at vueweekly.com >>MUSIC Slideshow: Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie The Classical Score: A prevue of the Edmonton Columbian Choirs' Night on Broadway show—bridesmaids dresses included

FEATURE // WORDS AND MUSIC

Two worlds collide

INTERVUE >> SHANE KOYCZAN

In the poet's words

Poetry and music share an uneasy relationship Robin Durnford // robin@vueweekly.com

U

nlike the 1960s, when Bob Dylan was "Tangled Up in Blue" and loving his "Rainy Day Women," music these days isn't known for profound lyrics. Coldplay's Chris Martin— whom The Guardian's Johnny Sharp called a "man who uses rhyme like an OCD sufferer uses soap"—sums up this less-than-lyrical (non)quality when he waxes: "Just because I'm losing / Doesn't mean I'm lost / Doesn't mean I'll stop / Doesn't mean I'm across." Huh? Today's music is in desperate need of more poetry. At the same time, modern poetry's becoming less musical. A lot of contemporary verse can seem like a tedious academic exercise, where prose chopped into lines gets labelled "poetry." The form's also lost touch with its roots in song and oral traditions. The folk music culture that brought us Woody Guthrie and Dylan has mostly been pushed to the margins. Canada's most musical poet is Leonard Cohen, but his most lyrically-sophisticated songs, like "Suzanne" and "Hallelujah," are now well behind him. His nearest popular successor here, Gord Downie, has been poetically quiet since his bestselling 2001 collection + CD Coke Machine Glow. Nowadays Homer's muses seem muzzled on the lonely pages we've had to read for English classes, or in the obscure spaces offering us the dreaded "poetry reading." Initially, rap was a happy exception, though mainstream acts now give us such toilet-door scrawl as Kanye West's lines from "Gettin' It In": "Don't try to treat me like I ain't famous / My apologies, are you into astrology / 'Cause I'm, I'm trying to make it to Uranus." Perhaps the lyrically-challenged could employ penniless poets to write for them. That way Chris Martin could croon some lovely meaningfulness, bringing a poet's words to life while avoiding, as Sharp puts it, "wilful obscurity, vague platitudes, and in-jokey nonsense." In the meantime, spoken-word poets, part of a decades-long movement combining performance art, rap and Beat poetry, have been playing with new ways to yank poetry off the page and onto the stage, to return poetry to its melodic essence. The form's been enjoying a surge in popular-

26 // MUSIC

ity. It turned up recently in the Jennifer Aniston stinker, Love Happens, where her predictably adorable best friend is into spoken-word. Even the Obamas have caught on, hosting a Spike Lee-attended "poetry jam"— featuring jazz musicians and spokenword artists—a couple of months after moving into the White House. Yet spoken-word still gets little respect. The Daily Show skewered the Obamas for the event, "Old Man Stewart" grumbling at the pretentiousness. I, too, was skeptical when I picked up Ellyn Maybe's Rodeo for the Sheepish and Robert Peters' Going Down the River in A Hayloft Coffin, two new spoken-word discs out of California's Hen House Studios. Both attempt to fuse poetry and music, juxtapose the cadence of an utterance with a sonic mood, blend voice and beats. But the engaging lyrics of Maybe and Peters dwarf the jarringly '80s-ish muzak of Harlan Steinberger (who scored both). In music, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker can politely admonish us in the liner notes: "Please do not read the lyrics while listening to the recordings." But with spoken-word I wanted to read the lyrics while listening, if only to block out that chirpy music! Still, I was surprised by the power of these spoken-word poets' voices to stand on their own, even if I wished they'd gone a capella. Hearing Maybe and Peters might not be as aweinspiring as listening to, say, Yeats' crackly 1932 recording of the "Lake Isle of Innisfree," but these very 21st century voices—one old, one new— create a loud intimacy that shakes us from our inner monologue. Maybe quirkily proclaims as much with one of her best pieces from Rodeo for the Sheepish. Although sometimes verging on the Miranda July/ Diablo Cody side of contrived LA eccentricity, Maybe strikes a more delicate tone in "Sylvia Plath," where she considers the famously confessional poet's 1962 radio recitation of "Daddy," recorded a month before she killed herself. If you ignore the campy background chorus of "Sylvee-aa," there's Maybe, in her own Plath-like American accent, offering her impressions with wry humour and honesty. "She sounded so old," says the youthful Maybe. She "sounded like Hedda / A lady who wears hats and has many socials." Plath is someone "Dad met before Mom / And found too complicated

to date." But the sensitive, smarty-pants poet can detect a false note when she hears one. Beneath her social graces and photographed ponytails, Plath is tense, even terse: "She sounded like she had removed a piece of herself on that record." Maybe senses the intensity lurking beneath Plath's "trill" because she knows that, in these last months of her life, the poet ripped herself open on the page and on vinyl, scratching her lines into us. "Every woman adores a Fascist," Plath wrote, "The boot in the face." For Maybe, Plath's art is striking because "Nobody sounds that vulnerable / On phonograph anymore." In other poems on Rodeo for the Sheepish, Maybe's geeky girl-power voice seems to hide its own vulnerabilities. There's a preoccupation with art here, especially the artistfigure in contemporary society. And though "Being an Artist" is one of the more disappointing poems on the CD, there are glimpses throughout— among the heaping piles of dropped names—of a persona/woman who identifies with Plath, with another female artist "in the struggle to stay alive / to stay in a world we create." Like Plath, Maybe also has boy troubles. In "All My Life I've Wanted a Great Love" and "There Were Two Girls Who Looked a Lot the Same," she can't find a lover to share art with because, even as she speaks "about the use of cinematography in Days of Heaven," he wants to know if she believes "in giving head or are you not that type of girl?" In "Picasso," she contemplates the cubist's 1921 painting "Girl Sitting on a Rock" and finds comfort in the fact that "nobody was screaming fat chick at the frame." Unlike with Plath, we get the feeling Maybe might just be able to "flutter her troubles away." Unfortunately, though her entire CD is about the need for artistic connection, as in her final poem, "Parallel Universe," the marriage between music and poetry on Rodeo for the Sheepish is decidedly not made in heaven, detracting from the work of a spoken-word poet who deserves a more passionate liaison.

Shane Koyczan talks openness and Olympics Canadian Shane Koyczan, an internationally-renowned spoken-word poet most famous for his recent performance of "We are More" at the opening ceremonies for the Vancouver Olympics, offers one of the best examples of an artist finding the right jive between music and poetry. The Vancouver-based Koyczan even has his own band, Shane Koyczan & the Short Story Long, and he has collaborated with Vancouver indie-folk singer Dan Mangan on the track "Tragic Turn of Events—Move Pen Move," a searing meditation on the death of his mother, for Mangan's short CD, Roboteering (2009). But Koyczan's often funny, gut-wrenching performances hinge mainly on the expressive vocals of an artist unafraid to connect intimately with audiences and leave everything, emotionally, on the stage. Koyczan says his "emotional nudity" comes from the autobiographical nature of his poetry. He has a personal stake in what he's saying and people respond to the honesty. "Sometimes that connection goes much deeper than you originally intended," says Koyczan, "and you even end up forgetting that there is an audience there with you." Sometimes the penetrating nature of his work can create surprising reactions, such as the time a divorced couple contacted him after listening to a performance of Koyczan's poem, "Promise," about how a break-up can actually bring a couple closer together. "I got an email from them telling the story of how their separation was ugly and hateful but a mutual friend had sent them a recording of this piece. Since then they have come together as tremendous friends," Koyczan says. Still, the Penticton-bred artist was not prepared for the overwhelming, enthusiastic response he received after his performance at the Olympic opening ceremonies, an event he was torn about in the beginning. "I worried about my involvement with the Olympics because I am not someone who can simply perform and then disappear behind a wall of security. My fans have direct access to me and I know that not all of them were in support of the games because of the high political cost that would of course be shouldered by the public. I can understand this because I share these same concerns. That being said ... I could not pass up the opportunity to perform on the world's largest stage." In the end, he was "blown away" by the reaction. "I'm glad I did it," he says. V

Robert Peters found his voice decades ago, in 1967, with the writing and publication of Songs for a Son following the death of his boy, Richard, from spinal meningitis. Many CONTINUED ON PAGE 37 >>

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

THE OLYMPIC POET >> Shane Koyzcan

// Supplied


PREVUE // STARS

Stars aligned

Band wrote its latest over a two-week period Mike Angus // mikeangus@vueweekly.com

T

uesday night, Stars will be performing material from its forthcoming album, The Five Ghosts, to a sold-out Starlite Room. This tour will be Canadians' last chance to see the Montréal pop darling before the band heads south for the summer, with tour dates across the US and ending at this year's Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. The Five Ghosts is the result of a trying year for the band: two of the members have relocated to Vancouver; frontman Torquil Campbell lost his father around the same time as becoming one himself; and Amy Millan has been busy putting out solo records. With life and all its messy, swirling currents, it's easy to see how Canada's most (self-described) melodramatic band found ample inspiration for the writing and recording of its fifth fulllength. Recorded at Jace Lasek's (Besnard Lakes) Break Glass Studio in Vancouver, the band wrote the album as a collaborative whole over two weeks before heading loosely into the studio. "Every other record we've done demos for," Millan explains over the phone. "We had punishingly organized ourselves so we knew exactly what we were doing when we went into the studio, which I think sometimes takes away from some creation that can happen in the studio. "So for this one I said, 'I don't want to do demos,'" she states matter-offactly, before admitting, "I've never been comfortable [writing collaboratively] … I've finally learned to trust my band, and know they just want to be a part of the process with me."

To write and record outside of the comfort zone, it made sense then that the group would bring in Tom McFall, producer of the band's third album, Set Yourself on Fire, to help push the band while guiding the players through the more difficult parts of creating in the studio. "We worked heavily with Tom in studio, so a lot of this was written on the floor," Millan notes. "We actually wrote one song in the studio two days before recording it, which we've never done before. It's also the first time we've really given the reins to anyone else. We told Tom, 'We're not going to take any production credit. It's all in your hands.'" The result is a confident collection of outwardly downcast, yet still somehow uplifting, songs, lushly arranged with economy and grace—in a word, it's a signature Stars record. "It's more compact. We wanted to make a record that's concise, but it's lush, too," Millan explains. "We knew we didn't want to make another record that's an hour and a half long. "When we played it for our buddies Kevin Drew [of Broken Social Scene], Murray Lightburn [of the Dears], and Liam O'Neill [of the Stills], Murray turned to us and just said, 'It sounds like Stars.' And I think that's something we've accomplished in our career, is that we actually have our own sound," she reveals proudly, adding, "the band's drive is still the same: to make music that is going to connect with people, and make them feel alive. Even if you're talking about death." V

SOUNDS LIKE STARS >> The Montréal band is happy to have a unique sound

// Supplied

Tue, May 11 (7 pm) Stars Starlite Room, sold out

Has Stars "made it"?

the Bush years

I think we still think of ourselves as an underdog. It's a day-to-day life being a musician. Things go up and they go down. There's still places we go where we struggle to have our music played in North America and the world. Playing Canada's been incredibly supportive—we couldn't be where we are without Canada—I still feel we can go farther.

We're always influenced by what's around us, and by our fans around the world, but those years were grim. It was hard being in one of the politically worst times in US history, but there's still a lot of work to do. Obama isn't Jesus. He's trying to do great things, but he's got a big fight. There's no economic stability, there's still a lot of poverty and there are a lot of things still to fight for. So I think there's always a voice for the meek, and politics will always be a part of our blood.

ON WORKING WITH PRODUCER TOM MCFALL Chemistry is a tough thing to come by, and we definitely missed him on In Our Bedroom After the War. We missed him kicking our ass, not letting us get away with anything. It's difficult to be impartial sometimes when you're in a band—you lose your opinion in that. You're wondering, "Is this my opinion because I've been on a bus with you for two years, or because [a song idea is] actually not working?" When you have someone there to be an impartial judge, and at the end of the day it's all about the song, he became a sixth member of the band who would make the final decision.

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

MUSIC // 27


MUSIC WEEKLY FAX YOUR FREE LISTINGS TO 780.426.2889 OR EMAIL LISTINGS@VUEWEEKLY.COM DEADLINE: FRIDAY AT 3PM

THU MAY 6 BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ Thu Nite Jazz: Jim Findlay Trio; 7:30pm; $8 BLUES ON WHYTE Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys BRIXX BAR Radio Brixx: Tommy Grimes spinning rock and roll CHRISTOPHER'S PARTY PUB Open stage hosted by Alberta Crude; 6-10pm CROWN PUB Crown Pub Latin/world fusion jam hosted by Marko Cerda; musicians from other musical backgrounds are invited to jam; 7pm-closing

JEFFREY'S CAFÉ Brandon Baker ( jazz, rock, folk roots); $10 JUBILEE AUDITORIUM Charley Pride JULIAN'S�Chateau Louis Graham Lawrence ( jazz piano); 8pm L.B.'S PUB Open jam with Ken Skoreyko; 9pm LIVE WIRE BAR Open Stage Thu with Gary Thomas MARYBETH'S COFFEE HOUSE�Beaumont Open Mic Thu; 7pm NAKED CYBERCAFÉ Open stage every Thu; bring your own instruments, fully equipped stage; 8pm

DRUID IRISH PUB Dublin Thu; DJ at 9pm

NEW CITY LOUNGE Hot Blood Bombers, Battlesnakes, Panik Attak

DUSTER'S PUB Thu open jam hosted by the Assassins of Youth (blues/rock); 9pm; no cover

NORTH GLENORA HALL Jam by Wild Rose Old Time Fiddlers

DV8 Open mic Thu hosted by Cameron Penner/ and/or Rebecca Jane ELECTRIC RODEO�Spruce Grove Open Stage Thu: Bring an instrument, jam/ sing with the band, bring your own band, jokes, juggle, magic; 8-12

PAWN SHOP Undiscovered: Singing Competition; 7pm (door) RED PIANO BAR Hottest dueling piano show featuring the Red Piano Players; 8pm-1am RIC’S GRILL Peter Belec ( jazz); every Thu; 7-10pm

ENCORE CLUB With A Latin Twist: free Salsa Dance Lessons at 9pm

SECOND CUP�Varscona Live music every Thu night; 7-9pm

HAVEN SOCIAL CLUB The Trade, Wacousta; 7:30pm; $10 (door)

SHERLOCK HOLMES� Downtown Lyle Hobbs

HOOLIGANZ Open stage Thu hosted by Phil (Nobody Likes Dwight); 9pm-1:30am HYDEAWAY�Jekyll and Hyde Metal Thursday: Fleeting Arms, Domitian, Black Axis; 8pm J AND R Classic rock! Woo! Open stage, play with the house band every Thu; 9pm JAMMERS PUB Thu open jam; 7-11pm

SHERLOCK HOLMES� WEM Tony Dizon TAPHOUSE�St Albert Alberta’s Last Band Standing–Round 1; 8pm; $5

on 3 levels–Topwise Soundsystem spin Dub & Reggae in The Underdog

FRI MAY 7

BRIXX BAR Radio Brixx with Tommy Grimes spinning rock and roll

180 DEGREES Sexy Fri night

BUDDY'S DJ Bobby Beatz; 9pm; no cover before 10pm; Shiwana Millionaire Wet Underwear Contest

AVENUE THEATRE Funky vs. Fresh: Ray Mailman, Tiff Hall, The Consonance vs. The Joe, Jonek; 5:30-11pm

CENTURY ROOM Underground House every Thu with DJ Nic-E

AXIS CAFÉ Ruth Purves Smith (CD release) The 581; 8pm; $20

DRUID IRISH PUB Dublin Thu; DJ at 9pm

BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ Le Fuzz; 8pm; $12

FILTHY MCNASTY’S Punk Rock Bingo with DJ S.W.A.G.

BLUES ON WHYTE Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys

FLUID LOUNGE Girls Night out FUNKY BUDDHA�Whyte Ave Requests with DJ Damian GAS PUMP Ladies Nite: Top 40/dance with DJ Christian HALO Thu Fo Sho: with Allout DJs DJ Degree, Junior Brown KAS BAR Urban House: with DJ Mark Stevens; 9pm

ARTERY Under Cover: Wet Secrets

BRIXX BAR Options with Greg Gory and Eddie Lunchpail CARROT Live music Fri: Tim Lovett; all ages; 7pm; $5 (door) CASINO EDMONTON X-Change (pop/rock) CASINO YELLOWHEAD Lisa Hewitt (county)

LEVEL 2 LOUNGE Absolut Thu: with DJ NV and Joey Nokturnal; 9:30pm (door); no cover

CENTURY CASINO Honeymoon Suite; $29.95/$34.95 at TicketMaster, Century Casino

LUCKY 13 Sin Thu with DJ Mike Tomas

COAST TO COAST Open Stage every Fri; 9:30pm

NEW CITY SUBURBS Bingo at 9:30pm followed by Electroshock Therapy with Dervish Nazz Nomad and Plan B (electro, retro)

DEVANEY IRISH PUB Jeremy Borshna

ON THE ROCKS Salsaholic Thu: Dance lessons at 8pm; Salsa DJ to follow PLANET INDIGO�St Albert Hit It Thu: breaks, electro house spun with PI residents PROHIBITION Throwback Thu: old school r&b, hip hop, dance, pop, funk, soul, house and everything retro with DJ Service, Awesome RENDEZVOUS PUB Metal Thurzday with org666 SPORTSWORLD Roller Skating Disco: Thu Retro Nights; 7-10:30pm; sportsworld.ca

DRUID IRISH PUB DJ at 9pm

JEFFREY'S CAFÉ Dr. Blu (blues); $10 JEKYLL AND HYDE PUB Every Fri: Headwind (classic pop/rock); 9pm; no cover JULIAN'S�Chateau Louis Graham Lawrence ( jazz piano); 8pm LEVA CAPPUCCINO BAR Live music every Fri NAIT'S SHAW THEATRE Tanner Gordon, Erin Faught; fundraiser to support the hearing-aid assistance fund; tickets online at tannergordon.com, yeglive. ca NEW CITY SUBURBS Forbidden Dimension, The Benders, The Split-Ups (feat. former members of New Town Animals) NEW CITY LOUNGE This City Defects, Man Your Horse, Team Building PAWN SHOP KO, Vince Vaccaro; $12 (adv) at Ticketmaster, Blackbyrd, Listen NORWOOD LEGION Uptown Folk Club: Shane Chisholm, Twisted Pickers; 8pm; $12 (adv at TIX on the Square, Alfie Myhre's, Acoustic Music)/$15 (door) O'MAILLE'S IRISH PUB The Kyler Schogen Band ON THE ROCKS Connors Road, DJs; 9pm

DV8 Evoleteah (metal rock); 9:15pm

RED PIANO BAR Hottest dueling piano show featuring the Red Piano Players; 9pm-2am

EDDIE SHORTS GT Blues featuring Glenn Turner

ROSE AND CROWN PUB Dwayne Spark's Project

EDMONTON EVENTS CENTRE Our Lady Peace; Clumsy Set; 8pm; $49.50 at TicketMaster

SHERLOCK HOLMES� Downtown Lyle Hobbs

ELECTRIC RODEO�Spruce Grove The Mishaps

WEM Tony Dizon

ENCORE CLUB 4 Play Fri FRESH START CAFÉ Live music Fri: Rob Taylor; 7pm; $7 HAVEN SOCIAL CLUB The Bird Sang Song, Jake Ian Duo; 7:30pm; $10 (door)

SHERLOCK HOLMES� STARLITE ROOM Oh Snap: All Blown Up and Party Alarma present Bassface featuring Nero, Doorly, Ed Solo, DJ Degree, Phatcat, guests STEEPS�Old Glenora Live Music Fri TAPHOUSE�St Albert Alberta’s Last Band Standing–Round 1; 8pm; $5

STOLLI'S Dancehall, hip hop with DJ Footnotes hosted by Elle Dirty and ConScience every Thu; no cover

HYDEAWAY�Jekyll and Hyde Bani Jean, Throttle, Mars and Venus; 8pm

TOUCH OF CLASS� Chateau Louis Dan Coady (pop/rock); 8:30pm

BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Big Rock Thu: DJs

WUNDERBAR DJ Thermos Rump Shakin' Thu: From indie to hip hop, that's cool and has a beat; no cover

IRISH CLUB Jam session; 8pm; no cover IVORY CLUB Duelling piano show with Jesse, Shane, Tiffany and Erik and guests

WILD WEST SALOON Steve Arsenault

U of A, 780.492.3611 COPPERPOT Capital Place, 101, 9707-110 St, 780.452.7800 CROWN PUB 10709-109 St, 780.428.5618 DIESEL ULTRA LOUNGE 11845 Wayne Gretzky Drive, 780.704. CLUB DEVANEY’S IRISH PUB 9013-88 Ave, 780.465.4834 DOCKS BAR Londonderry Mall, East Entrance DRUID 11606 Jasper Ave, 780.454.9928 DUSTER’S PUB 6402-118 Ave, 780.474.5554 DV8 8307-99 St, DV8TAVERN.com EDDIE SHORTS 10713-124 St, 780.453.3663 EDMONTON EVENTS CENTRE WEM Phase III, 780.489.SHOW ELECTRIC RODEO�Spruce Grove 121-1 Ave, Spruce Grove, 780.962.1411 ENCORE CLUB 957 Fir St, Sherwood Park, 780.417.0111 ENTERPRISE SQUARE 10230 Jasper Ave 7:30pm FIDDLER’S ROOST 8906-99 St FILTHY MCNASTY’S 10511-82 Ave, 780.916.1557 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 10037109 St FLOW LOUNGE 11815 Wayne Gretzky Dr, 780.604.CLUB FLUID LOUNGE 10105-109 St, 780.429.0700 FRESH START CAFÉ Riverbend Sq, 780.433.9623 FUNKY BUDDHA 10341-82 Ave, 780.433.9676

GAS PUMP 10166-114 St, 780.488.4841 HALO 10538 Jasper Ave, 780.423. HALO HAVEN SOCIAL CLUB 15120A (basement), Stony Plain Rd, 780.756.6010 HILL TOP PUB 8220-106 Ave, 780.490.7359 HOOLIGANZ 10704-124 St, 780.452.1168 IRON BOAR PUB 4911-51st St, Wetaskiwin IVORY CLUB 2940 Calgary Trail South JAMMERS PUB 11948-127 Ave, 780.451.8779 J AND R 4003-106 St, 780.436.4403 JEFFREY’S CAFÉ 9640 142 St, 780.451.8890 JEKYLL AND HYDE/HYDEAWAY 10209-100 Ave, 780.426.5381 KAS BAR 10444-82 Ave, 780.433.6768 L.B.’S PUB 23 Akins Dr, St Albert, 780.460.9100 LEGENDS PUB 6104-172 St, 780.481.2786 LEVEL 2 LOUNGE 11607 Jasper Ave, 2nd Fl, 780.447.4495 LIVE WIRE 1107 Knotwood Rd. East MARYBETH'S COFFEE HOUSE– Beaumont 5001-30 Ave, Beaumont MCDOUGALL UNITED CHURCH 10025-101 St MEGATUNES 10355 Whyte Ave MORANGO’S TEK CAFÉ 10118-79 St NAKED CYBERCAFÉ 10354

Jasper Ave NEWCASTLE PUB 6108-90 Ave, 780.490.1999 NEW CITY 10081 Jasper Ave, 780.989.5066 NIKKI DIAMONDS 8130 Gateway Blvd, 780.439.8006 NORWOOD LEGION 11150-82 St, 780.436.1554 NORTH GLENORA HALL 13535109A Ave O’BYRNE’S 10616-82 Ave, 780.414.6766 ON THE ROCKS 11730 Jasper Ave, 780.482.4767 ORLANDO'S 1 15163-121 St OVERTIME Whitemud Crossing, 4211-106 St, 780.485.1717 PAWN SHOP 10551-82 Ave, Upstairs, 780.432.0814 PLANET INDIGO�Jasper Ave 11607 Jasper Ave; St Albert 812 Liberton Dr, St Albert PLAY NIGHTCLUB 10220-103 St PLEASANTVIEW COMMUNITY HALL 10860-57 Ave PROHIBITION 11026 Jasper Ave, 780.420.0448 REDNEX BAR�Morinville 10413100 Ave, Morinville, 780.939.6955, rednex.ca RED PIANO BAR 1638 Bourbon St, WEM, 8882-170 St, 780.486.7722 RED STAR 10538 Jasper Ave, 780.428.0825 RENDEZVOUS 10108-149 St RIC’S GRILL 24 Perron Street, St Albert, 780.460.6602 RITCHIE UNITED CHURCH 962474Ave, 780.439.2442

ROSEBOWL/ROUGE LOUNGE 10111-117 St, 780.482.5253 ROSE AND CROWN 10235-101 St ROYAL GLENORA CLUB 11160 River Valley Rd SECOND CUP�Mountain Equipment 12336-102 Ave, 780.451.7574; Stanley Milner Library 7 Sir Winston Churchill Sq; Varscona, Varscona Hotel, 106 St, Whyte Ave SIDELINERS PUB 11018-127 St, 780.453.6006 SPORTSWORLD 13710-104 St SPORTSMAN'S LOUNGE 8170-50 St STARLITE ROOM 10030-102 St, 780.428.1099 STEEPS�College Plaza 11116-82 Ave, 780.988.8105; Old Glenora 12411 Stony Plain Rd, 780.488.1505 STOLLI’S 2nd Fl, 10368-82 Ave, 780.437.2293 TAPHOUSE 9020 McKenney Ave, St Albert, 780.458.0860 WHISTLESTOP LOUNGE 12416132 Ave, 780. 451.5506 WILD WEST SALOON 12912-50 St, 780.476.3388 WINSPEAR CENTRE 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square; 780.28.1414 WUNDERBAR 8120-101 St, 780.436.2286 WYE COMMUNITY HALL� Strathcona County

WILD WEST SALOON Steve Arsenault

DJs BILLY BOB’S LOUNGE Escapack Entertainment

YARDBIRD SUITE Andrew

VENUE GUIDE 180 DEGREES 10730-107 St, 780.414.0233 ARTERY 9535 Jasper Ave AVENUE THEATRE 9030-118 Ave, 780.477.2149 AXIS CAFÉ 10349 Jasper Ave, 780.990.0031 BANK ULTRA LOUNGE 10765 Jasper Ave, 780.420.9098 BILLY BOB’S Continental Inn, 16625 Stony Plain Rd, 780.484.7751 BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE 1042582 Ave, 780.439.1082 BLACKJACK'S 2110 Sparrow Driv, Nisku, 780.955.2336 BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ 9624-76 Ave, 780.989.2861 BLUES ON WHYTE 10329-82 Ave, 780.439.3981 BOHEMIA 10575-114 St BOOTS 10242-106 St, 780.423.5014 BRIXX BAR 10030-102 St (downstairs), 780.428.1099 BUDDY’S 11725B Jasper Ave, 780.488.6636 CAMERON HEIGHTS 2553 Cameron Ravine Landing CASINO EDMONTON 7055 Argylll Rd, 780.463.9467 CASINO YELLOWHEAD 12464153 St, 780 424 9467 CHATEAU LOUIS 11727 Kingsway, 780 452 7770 CHRISTOPHER’S 2021 Millbourne Rd, 780.462.6565 CHROME LOUNGE 132 Ave, Victoria Trail COAST TO COAST 5552 Calgary Tr, 780.439.8675 CONVOCATION HALL Arts Bldg,

28 // MUSIC

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

780.922.2360

Y AFTERHOURS 10028-102 St, 780.994.3256, yafterhours.com YESTERDAYS PUB 112, 205 Carnegie Dr, St Albert, 780.459.0295


Glover Sextet (original composition night); 8pm (door), 9pm (show); $14 (member)/$18 (guest)

Classical ROYAL GLENORA CLUB Night on Broadway Dinner Cabaret: Edmonton Columbian Choirs; 6:30pm; tickets at 780.780.6806

DJs AZUCAR PICANTE Every Fri: DJ Papi and DJ Latin Sensation BANK ULTRA LOUNGE Connected Fri: 91.7 The Bounce, Nestor Delano, Luke Morrison BAR�B�BAR DJ James; no cover BAR WILD Bar Wild Fri BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Fri DJs spin Wooftop and Main Floor: Eclectic jams with Nevine–indie, soul, motown, new wave, electro; Underdog: Perverted Fri: Punk and Ska from the ‘60s ‘70s and ‘80s with Fathead BOOTS Retro Disco: retro dance BUDDY’S DJ Arrow Chaser; 8pm; no cover before 10pm CENTURY ROOM Underground House every Fri with DJ Nic-E CHROME LOUNGE Platinum VIP Fri EMPIRE BALLROOM Rock, hip hop, house, mash up; no minors ESMERELDA'S Ezzies Freakin Frenzy Fri: Playing the best in country FUNKY BUDDHA�Whyte Ave Top tracks, rock, retro with DJ Damian GAS PUMP Top 40/dance with DJ Christian LEVEL 2 LOUNGE Formula Fri: with rotating residents DJ's Groovy Cuvy, Touretto, David Stone, DJ Neebz and Tianna J; 9:30pm (door); 780.447.4495 for guestlist NEWCASTLE PUB Fri House, dance mix with DJ Donovan NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE DJ Anarchy Adam (Punk) PLAY NIGHTCLUB The first bar for the queer community to open in a decade with DJ's Alexx Brown and Eddie Toonflash; 9pm (door); $5 www.playnightclub.ca REDNEX�Morinville DJ Gravy from the Source 98.5 RED STAR Movin’ on Up Fri: indie, rock, funk, soul, hip hop with DJ Gatto, DJ Mega Wattson ROUGE LOUNGE Solice Fri SPORTSWORLD Roller Skating Disco Fri Nights; 7-10:30pm; sports-world.ca STOLLI’S Top 40, R&B, house with People’s DJ STONEHOUSE PUB Top 40 with DJ Tysin TEMPLE Options Dark Alt Night; Greg Gory and Eddie Lunchpail; 9pm (door); $5 (door) WUNDERBAR Fri with the Pony Girls, DJ Avinder and DJ Toma; no cover Y AFTERHOURS Foundation Fri

SAT MAY 8 180 DEGREES Dancehall and Reggae night every Sat ALBERTA BEACH HOTEL Open stage with Trace Jordan 1st and 3rd Sat; 7pm-12 AVENUE THEATRE Callahan, Farewell to Freeway, Capture the Hills, Maryland, Exits and Trails, Throttle; all ages; 6:30pm (door); $10 (adv)/$12

(day of ) AXIS CAFÉ Thea Neumann Trio, Thea Neumann, Keith Rempel; 8pm; $10 BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Hair of the Dog: Greg Cockerill Band (live acoustic music every Sat); 4-6pm; no cover BLACKJACK'S Mr. Lucky (blues, roots); 9:30pm1:30am

O’BYRNE’S Live band Sat 3-7pm; DJ 9:30pm O'MAILLE'S IRISH PUB The Kyler Schogen Band ON THE ROCKS Connors Road, DJs; 9pm OVERTIME Jamaoke: karaoke with a live band featuring Maple Tea PALACE CASINO Huge Fakers

BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ The Love Bullies (CD release party); 8pm; $12

PAWN SHOP Divinity, Kobra and the Lotus, Miskatonic; 9pm (door); $10 (adv)

BLUES ON WHYTE Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys

RED PIANO BAR Hottest dueling piano show featuring the Red Piano Players; 9pm-2am

BRIXX BAR Evil Ebenezer and Snak The Ripper Evil Eye Album Release Tour with Gzus Murphy and Rellik, Touch and Nato, Essence MC and DJ Shortop CARROT Open mic Sat; 7:30-10pm; free CASINO EDMONTON X-Change (pop/rock) CASINO YELLOWHEAD Lisa Hewitt (county) CENTURY CASINO One 31 Restaurant: UFC 113; $10/$5 (with Winners' Zone Card) COAST TO COAST Live bands every Sat; 9:30pm CROWN PUB Acoustic Open Stage during the day/Electric Open Stage at night with Marshall Lawrence, 1:30pm (sign-up), every Sat, 2-5pm; evening: hosted by Dan and Miguel; 9:30pm-12:30am DEVANEY IRISH PUB Jeremy Borshna DRUID IRISH PUB DJs at 9pm DV8 Tomas Marsh, Syn Psycle, Party Martyrs, Fantastic Brown Dirt (alt); 9pm EDDIE SHORTS Saber Jet EDMONTON EVENTS CENTRE Our Lady Peace; Spiritual Machines set; 8pm; $49.50 at TicketMaster ELECTRIC RODEO�Spruce Grove The Mishaps EMPRESS ALE HOUSE Jody Shenkarek, Fear and Worry; 4pm GAS PUMP Blues Jam/ open stage every Sat 3-6pm, backline provided HAVEN SOCIAL CLUB Laura Bachynski (CD release show), Terry Bachynski; 7:30pm; $10 (door) HILLTOP PUB Open stage/ mic Sat: hosted by Sally's Krackers Sean Brewer; 3-5:30pm HYDEAWAY–Jekyll and Hyde Fish, Bird and Friends; 7:30pm IRON BOAR PUB Jazz in Wetaskiwin featuring jazz trios the 1st Sat each month; $10

ROSE AND CROWN PUB Dwayne Spark's Project SHERLOCK HOLMES� Downtown Lyle Hobbs SHERLOCK HOLMES� WEM Tony Dizon STARLITE ROOM Sonorous Odium (CD release party), Quietus, Samandriel TAPHOUSE�St Albert Alberta’s Last Band Standing–Round 1; 8pm; $5 TEMPLE Oh Snap: Degree, Cobra Commander, Battery, Jake Roberts, Ten-O, Cool Beans, Hotspur Pop, P-Rex TOUCH OF CLASS� Chateau Louis Dan Coady (pop/rock); 8:30pm WILD WEST SALOON Steve Arsenault WYE COMMUNITY HALL�Strathcona County Family Dance: The Suitable Men; 6:30m (door) YARDBIRD SUITE John Stetch Trio; 8pm (door), 9pm (show); $18 (member)/$22 (guest)

Classical CONVOCATION HALL Salute To the Proms: Mill Creek Colliery Band; 7:30pm; $18/$14 (student/senior) at door, TIX on the Square ROYAL GLENORA CLUB

Night on Broadway Dinner Cabaret: Edmonton Columbian Choirs; 6:30pm; tickets at 780.780.6806

WINSPEAR CENTRE Symphony for Kids: Mozart, Boy Genius: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Lucas Waldin (conductor); 2pm; $21-$29 (adult)/$13-$17 (child) at Winspear box office

DJs AZUCAR PICANTE Every Sat: DJ Touch It, hosted by DJ Papi BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Sat DJs on three levels. Main Floor: Menace Sessions: alt rock/electro/trash with Miss Mannered BUDDY'S DJ Earth Shiver 'n' Quake; 8pm; no cover before 10pm

IVORY CLUB Duelling piano show with Jesse, Shane, Tiffany and Erik and guests

CENTURY ROOM Underground House every Sat with DJ Nic-E

JAMMERS PUB Sat open jam, 3-7:30pm; country/rock band 9pm-2am

EMPIRE BALLROOM Rock, hip hop, house, mash up

JULIAN'S�Chateau Louis Dennis Begoray ( jazz piano); 8pm MEGATUNES Instore performance: Madison Violet, The John Henrys; 2pm; free MORANGO'S TEK CAFÉ Sat open stage: hosted by Dr. Oxide; 7-10pm NEW CITY SUBURBS Black Polished Chrome Sat: Electro/Alternative/Industrial with DJs Blue Jay, Dervish, Anonymouse NEW CITY LOUNGE The Rigormorticians, The Mange, Zero Cool, Down the Hatch

ENCORE CLUB So Sweeeeet Sat

and Mr Wedge; 9:30pm (door); $3; 780.447.4495 for guestlist

O’BYRNE’S Open mic Sun with Robb Angus (Wheat Pool); 9:30pm-1am

NEWCASTLE PUB Top 40 Sat: requests with DJ Sheri

ON THE ROCKS 7 Strings Sun: The Drew and Lindsey Band, Erica Vlegas and Jordan Jones; 9pm

NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE Punk Rawk Sat with Todd and Alex NEW CITY SUBURBS Black Polished Chrome Sat: industrial, Electro and alt with Dervish, Anonymouse, Blue Jay PAWN SHOP SONiC Presents Live On Site! AntiClub Sat: rock, indie, punk, rock, dance, retro rock; 8pm (door) PLANET INDIGO�Jasper Ave Suggestive Sat: breaks electro house with PI residents RED STAR Sat indie rock, hip hop, and electro with DJ Hot Philly and guests RENDEZVOUS Survival metal night SPORTSWORLD Roller Skating Disco Sat; 1pm4:30pm and 7-10:30pm STOLLI’S ON WHYTE Top 40, R&B, house with People’s DJ TEMPLE Oh Snap!: Every Sat, Cobra Commander and guests with Degree, Cobra Commander and Battery; 9pm (door); $5 (door) WUNDERBAR Featured DJ and local bands Y AFTERHOURS Release Sat

SUN MAY 9 BEER HUNTER�St Albert Open stage/jam every Sun; 2-6pm BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Who Made Who–The Rock and Roll Resurrection: The Maykings (revive The Who), The Dirty Dudes (revive AC/ DC); 10pm; no cover BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ Mother's Day Brunch: Jim Findlay; from 10am; donations BLUE PEAR RESTAURANT Jazz on the Side Sun The Brothers Cramer; 6-9pm; $25 if not dining BLUES ON WHYTE True north BOHEMIA McGowan Family Band, MmmBerta, Analog Apocalypse; 8pm; $10/$5 (with NCF shirt or Bohemia membership card), North Country Fair fundraiser B�STREET BAR Acousticbased open stage hosted by Mike "Shufflehound" Chenoweth; every Sun evening CENTURY CASINO Mother's Day Brunch: Sentimental Journey; 10am-1:30pm (1.5 hrs per seating); $24.95 (adult)/$13.95 (child); reserve at 780.743.4031 CROWN PUB Latin/world fusion jam hosted by Marko Cerda; musicians from other musical backgrounds are invited to jam; 7pm-closing DEVANEY’S IRISH PUB Celtic Music Session, hosted by Keri-Lynne Zwicker, 4-7pm

ESMERALDA’S Super Parties: Every Sat a different theme

EDDIE SHORTS Sun acoustic oriented open stage hosted by Uncle Jimmy

FLUID LOUNGE Sat Gone Gold Mash-Up: with Harmen B and DJ Kwake

HYDEAWAY�Jekyll and Hyde Sun Night Songwriter's Stage: hosted by Rhea March

FUNKY BUDDHA�Whyte Ave Top tracks, rock, retro with DJ Damian

J AND R BAR Open jam/ stage every Sun hosted by Me Next and the Have-Nots; 3-7pm

HALO For Those Who Know: house every Sat with DJ Junior Brown, Luke Morrison, Nestor Delano, Ari Rhodes LEVEL 2 LOUNGE Signature Sound Sat: with DJ's Travis Mateeson, Big Daddy, Tweek

NEWCASTLE PUB Sun Soul Service (acoustic jam): Willy James and Crawdad Cantera; 3-6:30pm NEW CITY Open Mic Sun hosted by Ben Disaster; 9pm (sign-up); no cover

ORLANDO'S 2 PUB Sun Open Stage Jam hosted by The Vindicators (blues/rock); 3-8pm PAWN SHOP No Bunny, Bombchan, Hang Loose; 8pm; tickets at Blackbyrd, Megatunes, TicketMaster RITCHIE UNITED CHURCH Jazz and Reflections: Rhonda Withnell Trio; 3:30-5pm; collection at door ROYAL COACH�Chateau Louis Petro Polujin (classical guitar); 5pm SECOND CUP�Mountain Equipment Co-op Live music every Sun; 2-4pm TAPHOUSE�St Albert The Waxbills, guests; 8pm

Classical CAMERON HEIGHTS Showhome Symphonies; 2-4pm; $20 at Winspear box office FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH Ring Out, Wild Bells: Da Camera Singers, Spiritus Chamber Choir with Jeffrey Neufeld (piano); 3pm; $20 (adult)/$15 (student/senior) at door WINSPEAR CENTRE Eternal Chopin fundraising gala dinner and silent auction: Jan Lisiecki (piano), David Eggert (cello), Polonez Dance Ensemble; 5:30pm (cocktails), 6:30pm (dinner); $130 at 780.415.5582, 780.732.3599 ext.4

DJs BACKSTAGE TAP AND GRILL Industry Night: with Atomic Improv, Jameoki and DJ Tim BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Sun Afternoons: Phil, 2-7pm; Main Floor: Got To Give It Up: Funk, Soul, Motown, Disco with DJ Red Dawn BUDDY'S DJ Bobby Beatz; 9pm; Drag Queen Performance; no cover before 10pm FLOW LOUNGE Stylus Sun NEW CITY SUBURBS Get Down Sun: with Neighbourhood Rats SAVOY MARTINI LOUNGE Reggae on Whyte: RnR Sun with DJ IceMan; no minors; 9pm; no cover SPORTSWORLD Roller Skating Disco Sun; 1-4:30pm; sports-world.ca WUNDERBAR Sun: DJ Gallatea and XS, guests; no cover

MON MAY 10 BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Sleeman Mon: live music monthly; no cover BLUES ON WHYTE Eddy Shaw DEVANEY IRISH PUB AJ Goodvin HYDEAWAY�Jekyll and Hyde Evolution Solution; 6pm NEW CITY This Will Hurt you Mon: Johnny Neck and his Job present mystery musical guests PLEASANTVIEW COMMUNITY HALL Acoustic instrumental old time fiddle jam hosted by the Wild Rose Old Tyme Fiddlers Society; 7pm PROHIBITION Chicka-DeeJay Mon Night: with Michael Rault

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

MUSIC // 29


COMMENT >> MARKETING

Ads will tear us apart

It's a different world today when it comes to selling out As part of its ongoing campaign to proan alternative universe in which I would mote the value of recorded material, the not care to live." Recording Industry Association of AmeriWhile I wholeheartedly agree that more ca featured the words of executive viceneeds to be done to compensate artists president Neil Turkewitz on its blog. for songs downloaded or streamed, to He's concerned that many consumers suggest that the rise of licensing will argue that artists have new revsomehow drive legions of musienue streams, such as merchancians to write hooks simply to dise and the licensing of music attract ad reps is hyperbole. for commercials, to replace The Flaming Lips are on a the money lost from shrinking major label. Radiohead has ly.com k e e w @vue royalties for recorded works. legions of fans. I don't think steven n "One last question: how is Steveor either Wayne Coyne or Thom generating revenue from licensYorke are cranking out songs in Sand ing of music to sell other products hopes that a car company is gomore socially useful than the sale of music ing to come calling. But, even with that itself?" wrote Turkewitz. "It seems to me in mind, both Mitsubishi and Land Rover that this is the worst of all worlds, one in shilled cars to the tune of the Flaming which all artistry will not be rewarded— Lips' "Do You Realize??"—a song that reand one in which only music that works minds us that everyone we know some well in selling diapers and cars will be day will die. commercially produced. Is this supposed You don't need to be consciously writto sustain the diversity of music that we ing for commercials to have an ad agency want? Would we have Bob Dylan, Leoncome your way. ard Cohen, Patti Smith, the Sex Pistols under this kind of system for compensatI think that Turkewitz is still working ing artists? Not remotely. Exactly what under the theory that some songs, some kind of product licensing would have susartists, are sacred. Unfortunately, in the tained the Smiths or Nirvana? Was there world of marketing, that went out the anything on Springsteen's first record window when Nike used the Beatles "Revthat would have drawn the attention of olution" in its marketing campaign back in advertising companies? In fact, we never 1987. As in, 23 years ago. would have had Elvis (either one)! This is As soon as a sneaker company got away

ENTER

SAND

ROSE BOWL/ROUGE LOUNGE The Legendary Rose Bowl Mon Jam: hosted by Sean Brewer; 9pm

DJs BAR WILD Bar Gone Wild Mon: Service Industry Night; no minors; 9pm-2am BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Main Floor: Eclectic Nonsense, Confederacy of Dunces, Dad Rock, TJ Hookah and Rear Admiral Saunders

Open Mic; Hosted by Ben Disaster; 9pm O’BYRNE’S Celtic Jam with Shannon Johnson and friends OVERTIME Tue acoustic jam hosted by Robb Angus PAWN SHOP No Bunny, guests; 8pm (door)

TUE MAY 11 BLUES ON WHYTE Eddy Shaw BRIXX BAR Troubadour Tue

WEM Stan Gallent SIDELINERS PUB Tue All Star Jam with Alicia Tait and Rickey Sidecar; 8pm SPORTSMAN'S LOUNGE Open Stage hosted by Paul McGowan and Gina Cormier; every Tue; 8pm-midnight; no cover STARLITE ROOM Stars, The Five Ghosts (preview show); 7pm (door); $25 at Unionevents.com, TicketMaster; Sold Out

CROWN PUB Underground At The Crown: underground, hip hop with DJ Xaolin and Jae Maze; open mic; every Tue; 10pm; $3

STEEPS�Old Glenora Every Tue Open Mic; 7:30-9:30pm

DRUID IRISH PUB Open stage with Chris Wynters; 9pm; with guest Brandon Edward

Classical

L.B.’S PUB Ammar’s Moosehead Tue open stage; 9pm MCDOUGALL UNITED CHURCH The Wailin' Jennys; 7pm (door); $23.50 (adv) at Ticketmaster, Megatunes, Blackbyrd NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE

ESMERALDA’S Retro Tue; no cover with student ID FUNKY BUDDHA�Whyte Ave Latin and Salsa music, dance lessons 8-10pm

PROHIBITION Tue Punk Night

SHERLOCK HOLMES�

NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE Daniel and Fowler (eclectic tunes)

HAVEN SOCIAL Open stage with Jonny Mac, 8:30pm, free; Civil Twilight, Elias, Wool on Wolves, 6pm

SECOND CUP�Stanley Milner Library Open mic every Tue; 7-9pm

FILTHY MCNASTY'S Metal Mon: with DJ S.W.A.G. LUCKY 13 Industry Night with DJ Chad Cook every Mon

8pm-12

BUDDY'S DJ Arrow Chaser; 9pm

NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE ‘abilly, Ghoul-rock, spooky with DJ Vylan Cadaver

SHERLOCK HOLMES� Downtown Tony Dizon

YARDBIRD SUITE Tue Night Session: Furious Works Quartet

ENTERPRISE SQUARE J. S. Bach's The Art of Fugue: The Enterprise Quartet; free

DJs BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Main Floor: CJSR’s Eddie Lunchpail; Wooftop: with DJ Gundam BRIXX BAR Troubadour Tue: The Balconies and Sean Brewer, hosted by Mark

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

Steven Sandor is a former editor-in-chief of Vue Weekly, now an editor and author living in Toronto.

Feduk; 9pm; $8

SECOND CUP�124 Street Open mic every Tue; 8-10pm

BUDDY'S DJ Dust 'n' Time; 9pm

FLUID LOUNGE Mon Mixer

30 // MUSIC

OR

with using the voice of a dead icon and totally used his lyrics out of context, it was a message that any song is fair game. It's one thing to choose an obvious pop song. But it's clear that pitch men would rather choose something esoteric, something that causes a stir. You had Wal-Mart linked with Band of Horses. You had the Pogues used in car commercials. So, unlike Turkewitz asserts, I don't think ad reps would have killed Elvis. Just think how much dog food "Hound Dog" would have sold! Yup, that's the cynic in me. And it doesn't stop there. If I'm a divorce lawyer who places cheesy ads on late-night TV, I'm wondering if I can get my hands on Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." If I own a shopping mall with plenty of parking, I want to flaunt the fact that I've paved paradise and put up a parking lot. I'd try to licence Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" in a heartbeat. And, reader, you're likely not offended at all that I'd suggest that classic songs from a dead songwriter and a seminal Canadian folkie could be used to shill the kind of things that would make their hearts break. V

RED STAR Tue Experimental Indie Rock, Hip Hop, Electro with DJ Hot Philly

WED MAY 12 BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Main Floor: Glitter Gulch Wed BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ Joe Nolan, Brent McCleod; 8pm; $12; fundraiser for Lukemia BLUES ON WHYTE Eddy Shaw BRIXX BAR Really Good… Eats and Beats: DJ Degree every Wed, Edmonton’s Bassline Community; 6pm (music); no cover COPPERPOT RESTAURANT Live jazz every Wed night: Modo Trio; 6-9pm CROWN PUB Creative original Jam Wed (no covers): hosted by Dan and Miguel; 9:30pm-12:30am DEVANEY IRISH PUB Duff Robinson DOCKS BAR Open Rock Jam every Wed night EDDIE SHORTS Wed open stage, band oriented, hosted by Chuck Rainville; 9pm-1am EMPRESS ALE HOUSE Jesse Dee; 9pm FIDDLER'S ROOST Little Flower Open Stage Wed hosted by Brian Gregg;

LEVEL 2 LOUNGE Open mic

(drums, vocal); 7:30pm; $20$79 at Winspear

DJs BANK ULTRA LOUNGE Wed Nights: with DJ Harley

NEW CITY Circ-O-RamaLicious: Gypsy and circus fusion spectaculars; last Wed every month

BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Main Floor: Blue Jay’s Messy Nest Wed Night: Brit pop, new wave, punk, rock ‘n’ roll with LL Cool Joe

NEW CITY Punk Pub Wed Kick-off party: SNFU: with Savannah Geister; $5

BRIXX BAR Really Good... Eats and Beats with DJ Degree and Friends

OVERTIME Dueling pianos featuring The Ivory Club

BUDDY'S DJ Dust 'n' Time; 9pm; no cover before 10pm

PLEASANTVIEW COMMUNITY HALL Acoustic Bluegrass jam presented by the Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society every Wed evening

DIESEL ULTRA LOUNGE Wind-up Wed: R&B, hiphop, reggae, old skool, reggaeton with InVinceable, Touch It, weekly guest DJs

PROHIBITION Wed with Roland Pemberton III

FLUID LOUNGE Wed Rock This

RED PIANO BAR Jazz and Shiraz Wed featuring Dave Babcock and his Jump Trio

IVORY CLUB DJ ongoing every Wed; open DJ night; 9pm-close; all DJs welcome to spin a short set

RIVER CREE Wed Live Rock Band hosted by Yukon Jack; 7:30-9pm

LEGENDS PUB Hip hop/R&B with DJ Spincycle

SECOND CUP�Mountain Equipment Open Mic every Wed; 8-10pm STEEPS TEA LOUNGE� College Plaza Open mic every Wed; hosted by Ernie Tersigni; 8pm STEEPS TEA LOUNGE� Whyte Ave Open mic every Wed; 8pm TEMPLE Wyld Style Wed: Live hip hop; $5

Classical WINSPEAR Live And Let Die: A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Martin Herman (conductor), Tony Kishman (guitar, piano, vocals), Jim Owen (guitar, keyboard, vocals), Chris Camelleri

NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE DJ Roxxi Slade (indie, punk and metal) NEW CITY SUBURBS Shake It: with Greg Gory and Eddie Lunchpail; no minors; 9pm (door) NIKKI DIAMONDS Punk and ‘80s metal every Wed RED STAR Guest DJs every Wed STARLITE ROOM Wild Style Wed: Hip-Hop; 9pm STOLLI'S Beatparty Wed: House, progressive and electronica with Rudy Electro, DJ Rystar, Space Age and weekly guests; 9pm-2am; beatparty.net WUNDERBAR Wed with new DJ; no cover


VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

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Fri, May 7 (7 pm) / Tanner Gordon "I was just driving around one day back from West Ed and I saw a man holding a brown sign," recalls Tanner Gordon of the inspiration for his second album, Calm Down This Is Only The End. "He couldn't have been 19 or 20 and he's holding a sign that said, 'I'm sorry could you spare a dime?' on the side of the road. [The first single] started from there."

Gordon adds that the album's combination of grunge and folk was inspired by the sounds of Nirvana, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. He says that the combination is referred to as tattoo folk, as it's a little darker and a bit more personal but still has the same stories behind it as folk music at the same time as it harbours the dark tone that lurked within grunge. "Tattoo folk has a certain feel to it ... like a tattoo it's ripped into your skin—forever," says Gordon. "You see these kids coming out to the shows and the first time they hear the sound, you can really tell that it sticks with them." While Gordon is thrilled at the chance to be part of a unique genre, he says that it's not always easy: while writing songs for his second album, he struggled at times. "After I wrote 'Lynn' I didn't touch anything for four months. It just completely shook my existence. I started playing a little bit differently on stage—I talked a little different," says Gordon. "That starts to really wear on you as a person." However, with the struggles come positive moments. Gordon recalls a time when he stood and watched a series of orchestra sections playing over his songs. "It was really special," he exclaims. "A really exciting time for us. I can't wait until the next [album]!" (Shaw Theatre, $10) —HEATHER SKINNER

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it's true: 'The hardest thing about being in a band is keeping it together.' It's hard! It's like a marriage mixed with a business partner mixed with creative partners; it's like having a five-way marriage or something. It can be difficult, but we all have a lot of respect for each other and that's really key." (Edmonton Event Centre, $61.25) —KRISTINA DE GUZMAN

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Fri, May 7 & Sat, May 8 (8 pm) / Our Lady Peace For Our Lady Peace guitarist Steve Mazur, learning how to play 1997's Clumsy and 2000's Spiritual Machines in their entirety for the current tour has been an enlightening experience. "Not being in the band when they did Clumsy originally, it's really cool for me to learn all those songs," reflects Mazur, who replaced guitarist Mike Turner in 2002. "I kind of feel like it's a snapshot of time of what was going on in the band at that time, and that to me is what an album should be." Mazur, who was a fan before joining Our Lady Peace, first saw the band live during its tour to support Spiritual Machines. In fact, when the band was trying to decide which two records to dedicate this year's Canadian tour to, Spiritual Machines and its predecessor Happiness ... Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch were at the top of Mazur's list. "[Raine Maida, vocalist] was definitely just in one sort of mindset where he had that one kind of vision for [Spiritual Machines]," Mazur explains the album's appeal. "It's partially the way that record sounds and then also, many of the lyrics kind of [relate] to a similar theme of people and machines eventually blending." While Mazur may not have been around during the beginnings of Our Lady Peace, he can provide insight as to how the band has managed to last more than 15 years while its contemporaries from the '90s faded away. "Uh ... maybe stubbornness? I know I've heard Raine say before in interviews and,

Sun, May 9 (8 pm) / Nobunny Having performed since 2001, Nobunny shot to fame on the indie-garage scene with his 2009 LP Love Visions. Since that time, the musician and his similarly-attired band have taken to touring relentlessly, continuously delivering a balls-to-the-wall performance that leaves the members both drenched and drained. A man who eschews categorization as much as he eschews clothing, Nobunny is best-known for the neverwashed, grimy and likely disease-ridden rabbit mask he has taken to performing in. No matter how much of a fight your nose may put up, your ears and eyes will thank you for taking them to Nobunny. (Pawn Shop, $14.50) —BRYAN BIRTLES

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PREVUE // KOBRA AND THE LOTUS

Take two

Metal singer finds her voice on the second go Bryan Birtles // bryan@vueweekly.com

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here are perils to doing something before you are ready, as Calgary metal band Kobra and the Lotus discovered while recording its debut CD, Out of the Pit. Without a lot of touring under its collective belt, the band hit the studio to lay down the songs it had written. What came out was a bit flat, especially the vocals, admits vocalist Brittany Paige, and it wasn't the kind of thing the band was comfortable releasing. So the band did a little soul searching, as well as some touring. Over time, Paige found her voice and around Christmas of last year headed down to Malibu to rerecord the album's vocals with none other than Kevin Shirley, best known of late for his work with Iron Maiden. "I had this idea of a voice that I wanted to create for myself instead of what I actually had—it was kind of tight and high. It just didn't have the power behind it that it could have had," Paige explains of the original vocals. "The vocals that are on the end result, they're more open, they're more my chest voice, I sang completely naturally. That's the difference—it's between being yourself and making up something for yourself. I didn't know ex-

actly who I was as a musician before, so I was making a character voice." Paige's greatest strength in creating a voice for herself might just be the years of training she underwent as a child in singing. A veteran of Kiwanis music festivals, her training was of a much more classical bent than what she would end up howling with her band. Still, she says, the two are more closely related than you'd think. "I feel that I know a lot more about how to compose a song because of my history in writing. I know the theory of music and I know how to compose it. I knew music and how to work with it since I was a little girl, so that's really helped," she says. "It's actually been the easiest transfer ever from classical into metal and hard rock. That's why I like metal, because it's so musical. You see people like [Iron Maiden's] Bruce Dickinson and he can sing because the music permits it, the style permits it. I didn't have to change that much because I can sing. Obviously it's a little harder and it's a different sound, but it's still singing." The band has been seeing a fair amount of success recently, which doesn't come without its detractors or challenges for a

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS >> Like a night at the opera, but way louder female-fronted band in the midst of a testosterone-fuelled genre. But Paige looks at the gender gap in metal as a challenge and an opportunity. "It's been really great, but it's been a challenge. It's absolutely a challenge to be a girl in heavy metal—a lot of people don't think it's the way it should be and I think even though some people don't think that it's a good thing, at the same time it sometimes helps us to get gigs because I am a female front," she explains. "We just got

// Supplied

this metal festival in Detroit this Summer that's called Sirens of Metal and we only had a chance to play that because we're female fronted. There's some good things that come out of it that you can only get because you're a girl." V Sat, May 8 (9 pm) Kobra and the Lotus With Divinity, Miskatonic Pawn Shop, $12

PREVUE // SCRAPBOOKER

Paste and cut

Scrapbooker eyeing the shelf life of rock 'n' roll Mike Angus // mikeangus@vueweekly.com

E

dmonton noise-rock project Scrapbooker has had it. The members have grown up playing in bands, paid their dues and they get it: rock 'n' roll has a shelf life, and they're here to deliver the eulogy. "The whole thing with this new band is I think this will be it for playing rock music. There's an age limit to playing rock 'n' roll, and this is the last step," explains drummer Sean Taylor. "I don't want to repeat myself, and there's definitely a time limit with this band, and when it's done, it will be done. "There's a start, and there's going to be an end." The start: Scrapbooker's debut album, Lying for the Sake of Lying, will see its digital release this Friday at Teddy's. Recorded with local producer Braden Sustrik, it's a jarring collection of blistering noise rock that's one part spoken-word, two parts reckless assault of howling protest and rupturing guitars. The end: the band, which includes bass player Noel Taylor and guitarist Elliott Schelske, has sidestepped plans to go bankrupt touring or pressing hard copies of its records. "We've been in bands before where we recorded and released albums in a physical format, and I think that time has come

TIMES CHANGE >> Scrapbooker's debut is free of physical limitations and gone," Taylor points out. "And I have no desire to drive to Regina to play to three people for no money." Twelve dollars at the door gets you the access code for a digital download copy of Lying for the Sake of Lying, along with all the lyrics and liner notes, although it hasn't been an easy sell for most people accustomed to coming away with a hard copy, he adds. "You get all the lyrics and liner notes with

// Supplied

the digital download, but it's been odd convincing people you don't need CDs anymore," he laughs. "It's new territory for us—time to do all the things we never did, and that's it." V Fri, May 7 (8pm) Scrapbooker With Party at the Moontower, Sadeeq Teddy's, $12

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

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PREVUE >> THE JOHN HENRYS

It's a little bit country

But a whole lot of rock 'n' roll for the John Henrys

THE JOHN HENRYS >> Driving guitars like a hammer into a mountain There's a line that runs somewhere between rock 'n' roll and country, with the details becoming rather blurred the closer you come to it. There are those bands that sway back and forth across that line, never resting for long on one side or the other. The John Henrys are one of those groups, hitting hard but unashamed of any country influence that might shine through in the music. The band's guitarist/vocalist Rey Sabatin Jr spoke with Vue Weekly while crossing the country from east to west on the No Ordinary Highway tour.

// Supplied

really heard or worked on the material prior the studio, so we ended up with a lot of great surprises. VW: What were the recording sessions like for this album? Did you record as a band live off the floor or did you piece it together one track at a time? RS: Both, because some songs needed to be approached with a live sound and some needed a more polished sound.

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VW: Were there any other songs written that were left off the album? RS: Oh yeah, seven total. It hurts, but it is necessary.

vuewe VUE WEEKLY: How long did eden@ it take to make White Linen, Eden o from the initial songwriting VW: How did you decide Munr which through to the end of the resongs to include on the cording? album? Did you have an idea of what REY SABATIN: It's really hard to tell you wanted White Linen to be when because some of those songs had been you started, or did the finished shape with us for years. If I were to put all the emerge as the writing and recording hours and days together and add them went along? up, it would probably be about three RS: You really only know once you start months. sequencing, though some album tracks were already decided before we started VW: When you were writing the songs, cutting and helped decide which ones did you come at them in a particular to cut. way? Lyrics first? Music first? RS: No, I dont limit myself that way. VW: You produced White Linen as a I tend to let the whole process direct group rather than bringing in an outitself. I cant say there is a formula, and side producer. How did that affect the if there was I probably would not use recording process and the final album? it—I am a firm beleiver in letting it hapRS: We are used to that approach—I pen naturally. think it always helps to have a producer, but we all trust each other's ears and VW: Did you take the songs into the take each other's advice close to heart. studio fully formed, or were they One day we will use a producer, but we sketches that were then filled out while really have to be sure about them. Who recording? knows, maybe next album. RS: They were arranged for the most part, however, each member had not VW: Why did you choose White Linen

36 // MUSIC

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

as the title for the record? RS: As a kid my mother would sing that old cowboy song "Streets of Laredo," and the line goes, "As I walked out on the streets of Laredo / I saw a young cowboy all dressed in white linen." You see, they used to wrap the dead cowboys in white linen and I always thought the John Henrys were rock 'n' roll although everyone seems to want to call us country, alt-country, roots or whatever, so I guess it was a bit of a statement, like we were trying to bury that label. VW: The album artwork depicts a horse emerging from a city at night. What's behind the cover concept? RS: Kind of the opposite of the above, that same kind of desire to rebel is what pushed this cover. It's like the name of the album says we are not country, and the cover says we are not void of playing music that is inspired by the people who came before us even if they are country influences. VW: If you were to trace the musical map that led you to White Linen, what would it look like? RS: That continent does not exist yet, so explaining it would kind of tough. I will say this: the roads on that map have some pretty interesting pit stops on the way, and I'm fortunate to have good drivers in the car with me. V Fri, May 8 (7:30 pm) The John Henrys With Madison Violet Blackjacks Roadhouse (2110 Sparrow Drive, Nisku) $15 –$20


PREVUE // KO

KO blazes away from drugs Toronto rapper channels rough past into debut album David Berry // David@vueweekly.com

F

or an artist, having a rough childhood almost comes with the territory, but even by those standards, Toronto acoustic-rapper Ko Kapches, stage name KO, has had a rough life. On the streets and doing drugs when he was only a teenager, at the tender age of 22 he's already been through rehab and found a path on the straight and narrow (or, at least the straighter and narrower). And while no one would wish that kind of youth on somebody, KO has at least managed to turn his tough experiences into something productive, specifically his debut album Let's Blaze. Filled with stories quite literally from the street, it's as much a document, Kapches explains, as a way of putting his past to rest. "This one, it's my first one, so it's kind of all about just getting all that stuff out," Kapches says over the phone from Niagara Falls, where he's enjoying a brief pre-tour chillout. "But it's kind of a greener pastures thing, too: I don't want to be back there, but now that I've moved

WORDS AND MUSIC << CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26

poetry books followed, but with the splendidly titled Going Down the River in a Hayloft Coffin, we're treated to the 84-year-old Peters sitting back in his "pumpkin recliner," sharing memory flashes and vignettes, all with his folksy, grandfatherly, midwestern twang. So he remembers the "Halloween night we spent / Under planking in a hole/ In the school yard where/ Hiram masturbated me." These are the memories a grandpa has but will never tell. Unfortunately, there is that music— annoying, pseudo-New Order beats threatening to turn one of Peters' lovely opening poems, "Dietrich in Wisconsin, 1934," into a late-disco/ early-New Wave number. As Peters talks of tangoing with a blond German lover wearing "Luftwaffe insignia / To a scratched vinyl record," Steinberger's music (perhaps trying to be campy?) evokes blond Swedes instead, in the form of ABBA. Once again, though, if you can block out the intrusive instrumentals, you'll find strangely tender moments in Peters' poetry. In fact, the words themselves whimsically channel a past—he grew up in a poor part of rural Wisconsin—that's sensual and earthy. In "Wisconsin Deer-Hunting Tale," he conjures an unsqueamish world where sex and death collide as hunters eye their prey in the snow: "His veins, frozen curlicues / Were hemoglobin crystals / Melting in Brad's

on and made a better life for myself, I'm able to kind of look at what it was and talk about it." KO's document of that life is fairly unsparing, detailing lives torn apart by drugs, though never losing kind of a Everlast-y, white soul/urban folk vibe. If he seems like someone who is able to remain remarkably zen about his tumultuous past, though, it might be at least partially due to one substance he hasn't given up from his younger days: as you might have guessed from the album title, Kapches is a committed pot smoker, and as someone who has experienced a lot of the harsher things that drugs have to offer, he's happy to sing the praises of something he considers an overwhelming positive in his life. "I don't even consider weed in with hard drugs," he explains. "I've done just about everything except heroin. And nothing makes me feel like weed. It just makes the world better. I make music better, I write better, I

listen better, I—shit, I have sex better. I know some people don't think so, that's just my personal opinion, but for me it just makes everything better. I think a lot of the world's problems would go away if more people smoked." V Fri, May 7 (9 pm) KO with Guests Pawnshop, $12

LET'S TOKE ABOUT IT >> KO weeds the good drugs from the bad

// Supplied

mouth./ With sugar maple leaves / Brad wiped blood from his hands." The tension between the words alone makes for the most powerful juxtapositions in this collection. Peters is at his ribald best when he describes aging. In two of his finest lyrics, "Poet and Century Both Turn Geriatric" and "Traipsing Through a Cemetery," he somehow makes xerosis elegant and swollen capillaries sexy. He tells of the beauty and horror of "being shagged by death" as "Boschian faces dangle from the bellies of devils," his "geriatric rump in wipe-position." Maybe, Peters, and other spokenword poets, with their command of the lyrical, have an opportunity to add much meaning to melody in today's verse-deprived music markets. More Canadian spoken-word poets should move from stage to studio and mix it up with some word-shy musicians. Calgary's Sheri-D Wilson has already been experimenting. Her two CDs, Sweet Taste of Lightning (2000) and Re:Cord (2007), are witty trysts with Jann Arden-collaborator Russell Broom. Unfortunately, the spoken-word discs of Maybe and Peters rely too much on stirring words to cover for the hollow clang of Steinberger's music. For spoken-word poets to find a niche in music stores, they'll need to strike a better balance between compelling verse and cutting-edge sounds. Or else hold out for Chris Martin to write them a decent riff. V

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

MUSIC // 37


ALBUM REVIEWS

New Sounds

The New Pornographers Together (Matador) 

David Berry // david@vueweekly.com

I

t is with great disappointment that I give the battle of the Canadian indierock supergroups releasing records on May 4 to Broken Social Scene. Despite the fact that, on a purely musical basis, I've probably enjoyed BSS more than the New Pornographers—not to take anything away from the West Coasters, and notwithstanding their frequent occasions of sheer power-pop brilliance—I've always wanted to like the Pornographers more. It's really just a matter of component parts: outside their expansive collaboration, I think the BSSers are pretty much roundly uninteresting, almost pandering adult contemporary rockers masquerading as indie poppers: their music isn't necessarily bad—OK, Apostle of Hustle and Do Make Say Think are—but it's just so safe and flavourless and boring I wish they didn't have this one interesting, absorbing thing to point to and build their careers from. In contrast, when not formed up like Voltron, the New Pornographers are capable of some of the sharpest indie

music of any nationality. AC Newman has saved most of his best stuff for his big group of late, but Neko Case is hamstrung by the limits of alt-country and still makes compelling and powerful albums, and Dan Bejar is a weirdoliterary-pop genius willing to push the limits of a creaky-voiced guy with a guitar to the limits. Which makes it all the more disappointing that the reason Together seems kind of flat is that it's so safe. This is an album that, besides its usual roster, draws in contributions from Beirut, Will Sheff, St Vincent and the endlessly funky Dap Kings, but you'd be hardpressed to find any kind of growth or difference from Challengers. That was a fine album, but immediacy counts for something when you're blasting hooks as big and bold as they like to, and Together more often feels like friends on a camping weekend than a group of artists with something to say. Which isn't to say that there aren't moments. Bejar acquits himself nicely with the hazy jangle of "If You Can't See My Mirrors" and the appropriately bleary, melancholy penultimate song "Daughters of Sorrow." Case is, as ever, in fine form, rescuing "Your Hands (Together)" from excessive bombast with her concise chanteuseness, turning "My Shepherd" into something off a Fox Confessor B-side and contributing a soulful duet to two of the album's highlights, "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" and "Valkyrie in the Roller Disco." Actually, the success of those two gives some indication of how the band could have screwed with a successful formula a bit more: Newman obviously likes things big, but here they reveal themselves as adeptly intimate, and if they really want to avoid the pitfalls of getting too safe, they might want to tone down the energy and reveal a softer side. It certainly works for them on their solo stuff. V

Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record (Arts & Crafts)  Whatever else can be said about Broken Social Scene, insincerity is not one of its faults, and the hydra-headed Toronto collective cannot be convicted for abuses of memory in the rock idiom. Since its 2001 founding, the group's approach has been unabashedly constructive and reverent, consistently demonstrating an intense communion with music-making. If that means they sometimes fly too close to the sun, well, the ecstatic path always has a bitch of a comedown. On Forgiveness Rock Record, the group continues to create music of astonishing reach. While such fervent striving may not always translate into excellence, it animates the band's records and replenishes its hive mind. It also connects with a community of listeners more powerfully than a rational accounting of the band's strengths would suggest, fans extending them boundless goodwill that re-reads flaws as proof of genius. In turn, that phenomenon breathes another layer into its work, even for non-believers: you can write the band off as the height of wank, but its audacity impresses, and you're sucked in. While Canada's other supergroup, the New Pornographers, has individual songs that are more impeccably wrought, satisfying and perfected, the desperate effort of articulation that materializes across BSS albums is more gripping on the whole. The album fastens stubbornly to its own language, crafting improbable hybrids from myriad references without descending into nerdy sonic scrapbooking or deconstructive flippancy. The album contains perplexing constructions and sublime moments, sometimes within seconds of each other, and it sprawls all over. The first track slowly coalesces into an anthem simmering with wounded pessimism, and "Highway Slipper Jam" dissolves from reggae into laidback skittering beats and whistling. "Ungrateful Little Father" is part nursery rhyme, part slack-hop, dotted with claps, squeals and virtuoso piano, giving way to an energetic instrumental, while the next three songs are triumphant pop, wistful gems that recall '70s AM radio ballads. Had FRR ended there it would've been an exceptional album, but it goes onto an unfinished-sounding cliché-riddled confection (no white guy should sing "let's shuck and jive") and a bizarre stoner haiku. Yet "Forgiveness Rock" could become a genre in itself—one based on redeeming references from vintage music that have been ill-used by lesser artists, say, by wasting them on the creative bankruptcy of empty irony, shanking them with turgid homage or devaluing them through boastful name-checking in hopes that small ideas could be covered up by a large enough record collection. BSS references the best and worst of rock with such earnestness and ferocity that it transcends the sins of others. Mary Christa O'Keefe

// marychrista@vueweekly.com

38 // MUSIC

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010


The Hold Steady Heaven Is Whenever (Vagrant)  Franz Nicolay joined the Hold Steady on keys for the band's third album and immediately transformed the group, his instrumental additions rising to the fore, intertwining with the guitars to push the band upward and onward from its roots. The effect of Nicolay's keys was undeniable, so that meant that when Nicolay departed the band prior to the recording of its latest, there was a rather sizable hole left behind. Not that the Hold Steady was coasting on Nicolay's contributions: the band was simply firing on all cylinders with every member working to make the music better, sketching in plenty of instrumental landscapes which were then filled out by singer/guitarist Craig Finn's wordy, detailed tales. With Nicolay gone, Heaven Is Whenever feels a little like the work of a band that has circled its wagons: in large part it plays to the Hold Steady's biggest strengths of the past, with big guitar chords ringing out while the band sticks together tightly. The Hold Steady has always been a guitar band at heart, but Nicolay's keys were otherworldly, sometimes obscurring that fact. There are still keys on this new record, but they don't push their way into plain view as on the last couple of albums and tours. Instead, the keyboard parts are texturizers emerging occasionally. While Heaven Is Whenever seems to capture a band turning inward somewhat, it would be wrong to label it as a retreat. Sure, there are some hallmarks of the Hold Steady sound here—the whoawhoa-wo background vocals that have long coloured the band's music—but there are also cautious steps forward into new territory, found in the likes of the creaking acoustic slide guitar that opens the album before spreading out into an atmospheric tidal wave, or even in the record's production: for a band that has so long been singled out for Finn's lyrical complextities, the specific words work in an entirely new way here. No longer are they up front, each song hinging on the twists and turns that Finn unveils. Instead, the words are pulled back, Finn's voice becoming another piece of the music, sometimes buried amongst the riffing. In an odd way, though, that actually serves to increase the value of the words, making each one that is heard a valuable piece of the puzzle that is Heaven Is Whenever. (The lyrics are certainly audible, of course, just mixed in a way that forces the listener to re-evaluate the contribution of the words to the whole.) On first listen, Heaven Is Whenever doesn't come across as quite as forceful a statement as the Hold Steady's last few albums—it's not weak, just slightly reined in—but the new directions that the music points towards might be an indicator that this is the sort of record that is essential for the band to make if it's to continue evolving. Eden Munro

// eden@vueweekly.com

ALBUM REVIEWS X Wild Gift (Porterhouse)

setting that has ultimately unfolded: pop punk makes the most noise on the commercial landscape, and louder Originally released: 1981 hardcore bands rock the boat from beneath, all but obliteratThe repeating crack of a series ing the view of X's less-overtly of sliding chords—with a deaggresive approach. kly.com e e w e vu eden@ scending bass veering off here But the idiosyncratic combin e Ed o nation of Doe and Cervenka's and there while the drums Munr off-kilter almost-harmonies is at rat-a-tat-tat along underneath— marks the opening of Wild Gift, the the heart of the band's sound, their second LP from back-and-forth, the Los Angeles over-under and punks in X. sideways dueting In the years taking a punksince the Doors' country mashRay Manzarek up and turning first produced it into a poetic X's initial albums, charge. country music has Obviousness reared its head in is not a qualthe music of the ity that X values band—recording here: Cervenka as the Knitters— sings, "Let's not and its two singtalk about bombs ers, John Doe and or the brain imExene Cervenka, pulses of severed in their solo limbs / You will works. But while X MARKS THE SPOT >> One Wild Gift always subtract the sound has eased into a comfort zone your arms from my arms" on "Some Other of sorts, drifting easily on the waves of Time," while the two singers offer "Every often-lazy country strums, the influence other week I need a new address / Landwas more than apparent as far back as lord, landlord, landlord cleaning up the X's early years: on Wild Gift's opening mess / Our whole fucking life is a wreck" number, "The Once Over Twice," there's on "We're Desperate," a steadfast refusal the guitar that breaks the rattling beat to spell thoughts out in explicit detail runto hint at a spaghetti western melody; ning thorugh the record's spine. Interprelater, on the retro '50s-sounding "Adult tations are up for grabs throughout, influBooks," there's the guitar's wavering enced just as much by the uncomfortable tremolo bar colouring the song's solo; merging of Doe and Cervenka's voices— and there's the chopping, Texas guitar as on the mournful wailing the two toss line on "Beyond and Back." between them on "Adult Books" and the But througout Wild Gift the band keeps undertow of their pushing-pulling voices the country rolled tightly in a punk aton "Universal Corner." tack: those guitars are relentless, even Other punks might make louder noise, when they're fine-tuned into a stop-andbut on Wild Gift X conjures a compelling go workhorse, as on "We're Desperate," and twisted sonic tapestry with writhing when they tumble along the gutter guitars and vocals, tapping into the unin "When Our Love Passed Out on the derbelly of early-'80s LA. Couch" or when they duck and jab on "It's Wild Gift has recently been re-reWho You Know." leased—with the new edition featuring Looking back and surveying all that punk the original artwork and stunning audio has laid out over the years, X doesn't overseen by the band—on Porterhouse seem all that comfortable in the Records' Prime Vinyl imprint. V

OULNDDS

SO

QUICK

HAIKU Holy Fuck Latin (Young Turks)

SPINS

Noisey mish-mashers Have made a near masterpiece Out of mish-mashed noise

kly.com

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quicksp

Whiteoyn Houst

Child Abuse Cut and Run (Love Pump)

Oddball noise makers Indescribable racket Bubblebath fart rock?

Oona McOuat Milk and Holy Water (Independent)

Celine Dion Taking Chances World Tour (Sony)

Soothing harp music Perfect for frollicking while Wood nymphs feed you grapes

This contains medleys Shitty shitty shit medleys AKA Shmedleys

Barbara Streisand and quartet One Night at the Village Vanguard (Sony)

Mantler Monody (Tomlab)

Hypodermic Babs The first lady of schmaltz jazz Gets under my skin

It's cool guy soft rock Like if Wayne Coyne was obsessed With Christopher Cross

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

MUSIC // 39


PREVUE // THE WAILIN' JENNYS

Cottage season

Trio retires to the country to record its latest Bryan Birtles // bryan@vueweekly.com

I

f a change is as good as a rest, then Winnipeg's the Wailin' Jennys has got to be the most kinetically charged band in the country right now. After nearly constant touring from the band's 2002 inception, the group took a career break that spanned the better part of 2009. During that time band cofounder Nicky Mehta gave birth to twin boys. For a band with such a sonically charged name, however, it should come as no surprise that the break wasn't exactly all quiet: the band not only released a live album, it also recorded a brand new studio effort

and it was in good shape and we knew we'd be going off the road for a bit. We went into it pretty loosely as a matter of fact because we weren't positive we were going to release it—we were just going to try it and see what happened" she says, noting that the engineer hired to do it wasn't even sure he could make it until the day before the show. "It was probably a lot more relaxed than it would have been otherwise, which was good. I think that ended up working out." When time came to get the band back together and make a new studio album, the Wailin' Jennys tapped producer Mark Howard to man the controls. Being fans of his studio work with the likes

Everybody being together made for a cohesiveness that I think was good for the album.

that should hopefully see the light of day this fall. The live album came as a way to release something during the break, but almost didn't happen at all explains Mehta. "We'd had a lot of fans asking for [a live album] over the years and it was just the right time. We'd been on the road for a really long time, so the show had gotten polished

of Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan and the Tragically Hip, it was an easy decision to make explains Mehta. The band was also enthused by Howard's somewhat peculiar but ultimately rewarding recording style. "His sister had a cottage in the Haliburton area in Ontario and his process is to

band, Spearhead, released a catchy romantic pop ditty titled "Say Hey (I Love You)," which reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. I predict a comparable development for you in the next six months, Leo: moving from a state of raw, dark, obscure power to a state of bright, refined, accessible power.

the interpersonal intellectual orgasm is far more likely than usual to occur.

get a building, an old house or a building with a good vibe and bring all his gear in and record and have everybody living there. That's the way he likes to do it—he doesn't like studios," she says. "It was really good, it was such a beautiful environment and because everybody was living there it was really focused. I really liked that experience—everybody being together made for a cohesiveness that I think was good for the album." With all the changes that have taken place in the band between studio albums—in addition to the changes in Mehta's life, the band itself added a new member, Heather Masse, to replace the departed Annabelle Chvostek—you might think that the group's writing style would shift significantly. Not so, explains Mehta: while it has grown, it's themes remain largely the same. "Definitely the stuff I wrote—one of the songs in particular was a lullaby which was written with the boys in mind—thematically has changed a little bit but not so much," she says. "We've been pretty consistent even with member changes with our overall bent on life. Though we've had member changes, our members have always had a similar way of exploring our humanity on earth and trying to figure out our place in the world and how we fit in with the larger natural world. Those themes are all still there." V Tue, May 11 (8 pm) The Wailin' Jennys McDougall United Church, $23.50 – $30

HOROSCOPE ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

lems? Do you imagine you'd enjoy life more if everything was pure fun and smoothly easy? Here's an astrological perspective: People who have an over-abundance of positive aspects in their natal horoscopes often turn out to be lucky but lazy bums who never accomplish much. So I say, be thankful for the complications that are visiting you. I bet they will make a man out of you if you're a woman, or a woman out of you if you're a man. Catch my drift? As you do your best to solve the knotty riddle, you'll become better balanced Y and more versatile than folks G O L O m who are rarely challenged. ASTR ekly.co

"In a recipe for salsa published recently, one of the ingredients was misstated, due to an error," said an apology run by a local newspaper. "The correct ingredient is '2 tsp of cilantro' instead of '2 tsp of cement.'" This is an example of the kind of miscue you should be alert for in your own life during the coming week, Aries. As long as you pay close attention and spot the tiny booboos as they arise, you won't end up dipping your chips into a gritty, gravely mess.

TAURUS (Apr 20 – May 20)

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l@ A little knowledge can be danfreewil gerous. I constantly meet people CANCER (Jun 21 – Jul 22) Rob y who have boxed themselves into Here's the most important rule r B ezsn tight spots by misusing their smatfor you in the coming week: Keep tering of astrological information. There's your eyes fixed on a vision of your shinno better example of this than the supersti- ing destiny. If you do, you'll be unflappable, tion about Mercury retrograde, which is sup- indefatigable, and irrepressible. Your luck posedly a bad time to begin anything new. will be so crazy good it'll be almost spooky. During one such period last year, an acquain- Noble deeds you did in the past will finally tance of mine decided to delay accepting a bring the rewards you deserve. Allies will dream job offer as editor of a magazine. By conspire to assist you, sometimes in ways the time Mercury returned to normal, the you couldn't have predicted. I'm not exaggermagazine had hired another applicant. I wish ating, Cancerian. If you stay focused on the I'd have known, because I would have told highest prize, you'll live a charmed life. her what I'll tell you: Some of America's biggest, most enduring Fortune 500 companies LEO (Jul 23 – Aug 22) began when Mercury was retrograde, includ- In 1990, my rock band World Entertainment ing Disney, Goodyear, and Boeing. The moral War played at a San Francisco nightclub on of the story: Of all the signs of the zodiac, the same bill as the Beatnigs, an assemblage it's most important that you Tauruses don't fronted by Michael Franti. Their avant-garde worry about launching new projects during industrial music featured band members the current Mercury retrograde. rhythmically hitting a steel bar with a power saw and slapping a long chain against a piece GEMINI (May 21 – Jun 20) of sheet metal hanging from the back wall. Would you really prefer it if you had no prob- Fast-forward to 2009, when Franti's latest

40 // MUSIC

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

Mangosteens and rambutans are exotic fruits that grow in faraway places. The mangosteen is creamy and purple, with a peachy citrus taste, while the rambutan is like a big hairy red grape. This is a perfect moment, astrologically speaking, to invite them into your mouth. Likewise, the time is right for you to consider welcoming other colorful, striking and foreign elements into your life. So maybe consider making friends with a Paraguayan acrobat, sing Vietnamese folk songs, read the memoirs of an Iranian exile and exchange conspiracy theories with an Icelandic fairy.

LIBRA (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

A reader named Emory proposes that we add a new meme to the cultural lexicon: interpersonal intellectual orgasm. Here's how he describes it: "It happens when your conversation with another person becomes so intense that nothing else matters except the dialog you're creating together. The two of you are so in-tune, so intellectually bonded, that the sensation is almost like making love. For that time, it's like that person is in you and you are in that person; you are one because you understand each other so completely." I bring this to your attention, Libra, because you're in a phase of your astrological cycle when

VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

Unlike people who cheat on their mates, polyamorists carry on two or more intimate relationships but don't lie about it. Their lovers know about each other and have agreed to the arrangement. I applaud those who have the inclination to pull off this tricky work, even though I personally couldn't manage it. Handling just a single intense bond takes improbable amounts of my ingenuity. If I were trying to weave my fate together with more than one partner, I wouldn't have any energy left over to write these horoscopes or do anything else. How about you, Scorpio? You're in a phase when splitting your attention might be tempting, not just in regards to your love life but in other areas, too. Whether that's the right thing to do, I can't say. Here's what I do know: You can either go deeper or wider, but not both.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

"Never bear more than one trouble at a time," wrote author and clergyman Edward Everett Hale. "Some people bear three kinds: all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have." That's good advice for you, Sagittarius. Please just stick to the trouble you have, and drop the other two kinds. There's no need to fill up your beautiful head with extra torment. Besides, you're much more likely to wrestle the current trouble into submission if you're not weighted down by unnecessary extras.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

What excites you? What makes you itch

with a longing to be surprised? What fills you to the brim with curiosity and an agitated sense of wonder? You may not know even half of what you could potentially realize about these matters. Have you ever sat down and taken a formal inventory? Have you ever dedicated yourself to figuring out all the things that would inspire you most? Do it sometime soon, please; attend to this glorious task. According to my reading of the omens, it's prime time to do so.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

It's a good thing Margaret Mitchell suffered a broken ankle back in 1925. She got so bored as she lay around the house recuperating that she started writing a book. Eventually it blossomed into the 423 000-word blockbuster Gone with the Wind, which sold 30 million copies and won her the Pulitzer Prize. Judging from your current astrological omens, Aquarius, I suspect that you too may soon be offered an opportunity disguised as a ho-hum problem.

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

I was pleased when I discovered a website with a video of quirky songstress Cat Power singing David Bowie's iconic song "Space Oddity." I love her, I love Bowie and I love the tune. And yet a wave of disappointment broke over me when I realized, 30 seconds into the performance, that it was actually a car commercial. I felt duped. Appalled. Outraged. Any pleasure I'd gotten from the experience was ruined. Don't be like me, Pisces. You, too, may soon receive a blessing that has some minor annoyance. Don't overreact like me. Look past the blemish and enjoy the gift. V


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COMMENT >> LGBT

Misplaced trust I used to live in a different world, where my rather pleasant and peaceful one. I live near life didn't ever rub shoulders with crime and Ritchie and I used to teach there. If the reall my interactions with cops were positive. sponding officer had arrived sooner than 30 minutes after the ambulance treating Barry's I tried to tell other people that they should trust as I did, that police got a bad rap. How serious injuries had left, he probably needed things change. only to stand very still and listen to find The EPS Hate Crime Unit seemed a rowdy crowd of boys who'd just committed an assault. Instead, he to do its job pretty well. Chief took names but not witness stateMike Boyd seemed really interested in taking care of the gays. ments, gave his name and card m o .c ly ek vuewe It was odd, really—you didn't only when asked, and then left for tam@ a his days off. If Shannon Barry was see him out there advocating for Tamar ka less courageous, things would have aboriginals or Muslims or women Gorzal the way he so often did for queers. ended there. If she hadn't had the supEPS's healthy relationship with LGBTQ port of friends and family, the crime would people was a mark of pride for the force. That not have been investigated. It seems to me is, until one officer's inaction brought a whole that without her work and that of Charles Rusnell, an intrepid reporter for the CBC, the case lot of failure to light. Shannon Barry and five of her friends were would never have been recorded. Why did this attacked two weeks ago. It occurred in the officer so clearly not give a damn about what happened to Barry? middle of a residential neighbourhood, a

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While not caring about the assault, EPS sure does seem to care about damage control. Within a day of the story getting picked up, Boyd suggested that the responding officer would be investigated. This was some small measure of solace. I speculated then that the easiest way out for the cops would be to claim he was just one bad apple, or a "rogue cop" as one report stated. They could shift the blame to him and ignore any possibility of systematic homo/transphobia in their organization. The next day, the story changed. It would be a review, not an official internal investigation, conducted, of course, by other officers. An arrest was made—shockingly that of a 14-year-old boy. Finally, police announced, the attack had not been a hate crime. Despite the fact that it started with the boys calling the victims "faggots and dykes," this was not an attack motivated by bigotry. The definition of a hate crime in Canada is vague. No matter how many times I read the wording or how many people I talk to in the law community, no one can be sure of

whether the assault on Barry constituted a hate crime. But notably, no one I talked to saw any reason why the police could be sure that it wasn't. If the attack was in any small way motivated by hate, prosecutors could seek lengthier sentencing. It's odd then that the top cops feel it so necessary to convince everyone that this was not a gay bashing. There's a marked difference between saying that hate crimes charges will not be pursued rather than saying, unequivocally, that the attack was not a hate crime. Without getting into that teenage boy's head, no one can know for sure. As co-columnist Ted Kerr pointed out, a press release issued by the EPS LGBTQ Liaison Committee refers to Barry's attack as an "alleged assault" five times. There is no alleged assault. No one thinks Shannon Barry attacked herself. The motivations, the perpetrators, those can be alleged, but the existence of the assault is clear. As Kerr said, "Their denial of what happened is an act of violence in and of itself." Mainstream media has no problem specu-

ARTIST TO ARTIST

New Works 2011 submissions! Deadline for new plays for the 2011 festival is May 15, midnight, E: newworksfestival@gmail.com for info

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lating it was a hate-motivated attack, but leaders in the queer community have appeared far more interested in protecting the police. Officials keep reminding us not to jump to conclusions. Yes, she was a lesbian, yes, they yelled homophobic slurs, but maybe it wasn't about that. What's that saying about walking like a duck? Sometimes it is as obvious as it seems. I was lucky enough to attend a response meeting with 40 other concerned members of the community. If there's a light in any of this, it's the way that segments of the queer and allied community have rallied around Barry, who was in attendance. A week later, she still radiated pain. This was not some scuffle, this was an attack that required reconstructive surgery. Shannon may have been brutalized by a teenage boy. But she was re-victimized by the Edmonton Police Service and everyone else more concerned with saving their asses than serving the community. I encourage everyone to contact EPS and ask how they plan to make amends. V


COMMENT >> ALT SEX

Keeping it real Dear Readers: course women in their 40s and 50s still Much interest, as I might have expected, in the want sex. They just, apparently, don't want recent column about the guy who keeps it with that guy. hearing from "middle-aged women" that they are no longer interested 2) You hit it right on the bud in sex and would just as soon when you brought "46-yearhave a nice cuddle. Or nothing. Old Man" up to speed on the Here is some of what you had to advanced sex lives of today's om .c ly k e vuewe say, interrupted rudely, by me: 40+ woman. Unlike my mothaltsex@ a Andreson er and generations of sexually 1) You said, "many women in oppressed women before her, Nemer their 40s and 50s are still pretty my generation continues to forge interested in sex ... " Um ... is my wife a new paths of female pleasure, intimacy freak of nature? She's very close to 70 and sexual diversity. and I'm past it and we are both not only Sadly, in the global picture, women still still "interested" but still having it. Is it be- endure the torture of bad sex, religious cause we're New Yorkers by birth? What oppression, male domination, gender reare we over here, weird? pression and sexual ignorance. We are Ah, no, just a little tone-deaf. That line a bridge and an icon of hope for what a was meant to be read, not literally, but as sexually advanced woman should be, inunderstatement for effect, since, duh, of spiring present and future generations.

ALT.

SEX

MUSICIANS Andy the Traxxman 25 yrs exp looking to join band or duo. Would like to play gigs on south side of city. Guitar, bass, vocals, all styles. Goal to have fun and make some money, 780.980.9515 Singer/songwriter/front man/guitarist with pro level gear and experience looking for serious players or project. Leave a message at 780.418.6352 Jordan; Bassist. We worked 2gether @Factory @ Motorhead show. iHav work 4U. Contact Grag. mansfastmusic@hotmail.com Guitar player/drummer looking for a malcolm/angus guitar/bass player for ac dc cover band. Please call 780.263.6660 Professional metal band is seeking a dedicated bass player. Please, no cokeheads, etc. Contact Rob at 780.952.4927 Metal band Looking for vocalist to gig and record! Call Jon at 780.920.3268 Upright bassist with 20 years playing experience available for session work, festivals and concerts. Call Steve at 780.718.2269

VOLUNTEER Volunteer Edmonton invites Edmontonians to find their perfect fit at the third annual Festival Volunteer Fair on Wed, May 12, 11am-7pm at the City Room, City Hall Mediation & Restorative Justice Centre Edmonton: Vol Facilitator Recruitment 2010; mrjc.ca/mediation/volunteering/ complete a volunteer application form; 780.423.0896 ext. 201 Volunteer website for youth 14-24 years old. youthvolunteer.ca International Children's Festival: call vol info line 780.459.1522; childfest.com to register online. Must be at least 12 yrs. Register by Fri, May 21 Volunteer with Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, help immigrant Children and youth of all ages–volunteer in a homework club. Contact Phillip Deng at 780.423.9516 or pdeng@emcn.ab.ca The Edmonton Immigrant Services Association is looking for new volunteers to help with its Youth Tutoring & Mentorship, New Neighbours, Language Bank, and Host/Mentorship programs. Please contact Alexandru Caldararu (Volunteer Coordinator) at 780.474.8445 for details

The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts: looking for artists to provide mentorship to our artists with developmental disabilities. Share your talents and passion while gaining work experience. Info: Anna at volunteer@ninahaggertyart.ca E]YdkgfO`]]dkºNgdmfl]]jkf]]\]\œLg\]dan]j nutritious meals (vehicle required) Weekdays )(2,-Ye%)heœLgYkkaklafl`]cal[`]fO]]c\Yqk .YeYf\*he3k`a^llae]kYj]^d]paZd]œ/0(&,*1&*(*( Canadian Mental Health Association/Board Recruiting 2009 Learn about our community work: cmha-edmonton.ab.ca S.C.A.R.S.: Second Chance Animal Rescue Society. Our dogs are TV stars! Watch Global TV every Sat at 9:45 AM where new, wonderful dogs will be profiled. scarscare.org CNIB's Friendly Visitor Program needs volunteers to help and be a sighted guide with a friendly voice. If you can help someone with vision loss visit cnib. ca or call 780. 453.8304

The Learning Centre Literacy Association: seeking an artist or arts & crafts person who would be willing to commit 2 hrs weekly to the instruction of their passion to adult literacy learners in the inner city. Denis Lapierre 780.429.0675, dl.learningcentre@shaw.ca Dr.’s Appointment Buddy–Accompany new refugee immigrants to their medical appointments to give support and assist with paperwork. Thu, 10:30am2:30pm. Transportation not required. Leslie 780.432.1137, ext 357 P.A.L.S. Project Adult Literacy Society needs volunteers to work with adult students in the ESL English as a Second Language Program. Call 780.424.5514; training and materials are provided

4) Thank you so much for your response. I am a 39-year-old female and I am amazed that 40- and 50-year-old men have no

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clue how to woo a woman. It's like they just think sex is supposed to fall out of the sky. I haven't had sex in years and with idiots like 46-year-old man it looks like I'd better stock up on batteries. I really hope some guys read this and maybe spark up some neurons in their Neanderthal brains. Hmm. Well, If I'd left your name on this I could pretty much guarantee that you wouldn't be getting any dates any time soon. I understand the frustration, but the bitterness and especially the contempt are not going to get you what you want. If you have something to say to the gentlemen, for instance, "Women do not owe you sex, and moreover usually need to know, and like, you a lot better before we even know if we'll ever want to have sex with you, so please let's try to have some civilized social intercourse before you start angling for the other sort" please say it, don't snarl it. Now let's move on. Love, Andrea

ADULT

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Volunteer Edmonton is looking for Edmonton Festivals to participate in the third annual Festival Volunteer Fair on Wed, May 12 at the City Room in City Hall. Call 780.732.6649

3) Your response to the guy who thinks all middle-aged women are uninterested in sex really hit a nerve. I've quit dating be-

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cause of that attitude of "either bonk me already or quit wasting my time". Guys, if you need to get laid that bad, go see a professional. Those of us who want meaningful long-term relationships would like to have people in our lives who enjoy our company WHETHER OR NOT we've agreed to bonk them. Anyone who tells me that my company is a waste of time unless they get laid that same evening has just committed suicide in my book. I feel you. A guy who expects sex the first time like it's payback for the favour of allowing you to bask in his magnificent male presence for half an evening is an obvious pig. A guy who wants to make sure that you're looking for a relationship that will eventually become sexual is in a far trickier position. It's a legitimate question, and a nearly impossible one to ask without looking like a total douche bag, so I feel them, too.

Bicycle Mechanic Volunteers for Bissell Centre community homeless or near homeless members on Mon, Wed, Fri, 9am-12pm. Contact Linda 780.423.2285 ext 134

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I'm free to explore my desires, without guilt, shame or justification. And those who TRY to persecute powerful wise women like me will encounter a more determined, compassionate and confident gender—our souls, like our passions, are invincible and ever-evolving— Eek! Mercy! Look, I am glad you liked it, and I'm glad you're still having all that determined and compassionate sex. I don't think, however, that it's safe to assume that your generation invented the female libido. Full agency to pursue pleasure for pleasure's sake and admit publicly to doing so may have been rare in the past, but it's unseemly and even disrespectful to assume that none of your foremothers had an inkling what their clitoris was for. It's fine to feel proud of the accomplishments of modern feminism but one doesn't want to pat oneself too hard on the back, especially if one is getting on in years and might strain something.

Have you been affected by another person's sexual behaviour? S-Anon is a 12-Step fellowship for the family members and friends of sex addicts. Call 780.988.4411 for Edmonton area meeting locations and info, sanon.org SACE–Public Education Program: Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (sace.ab.ca) provides crisis intervention, info, counseling, public education. T: 780.423.4102/F: 780.421.8734/E: info@sace.ab.ca; sace.ab.ca/24-hour Crisis Line: 780.423.4121 Are you an International Medical Graduate seeking licensure? The Alberta International Medical Graduates Association is here to help. Support, study groups, volunteer opportunities–all while creating change for tomorrow. aimga.ca Have you been affected by another person's sexual behaviour? S-Anon is a 12-Step fellowship for the family members and friends of sex addicts. Call 780.988.4411 for Edmonton area meeting locations and information, or visit sanon.org

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VUEWEEKLY // MAY 6 – MAY 12, 2010

VUE WEEKLY #759 | May 5, 2010  

Yann Martel, Wiebo Ludwig, workplace safety, Stephen Hawking, CTRC, Gwynne Dyer, Viphalay, Sofra, GravyTrain, Mammoth

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