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#752 • Mar 18 – Mar 24, 2010

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

4 5 5 6 9 9

DISH // 10/ 11

To the pint

ARTS // 16/ 18 Prairie Artsters

FILM // 21 21 DVD Detective

MUSIC // 25/ 28 34 35 35

Enter Sandor New Sounds Old Sounds Quickspins

BACK // 36


No more sour grapes: the Enomatic Wine Preservation System keeps wine fresher longer, and marks an evolution in Edmonton's wine culture



36 Free Will Astrology 38 Queermonton 39 Alt.Sex.Column


Arts Film Music Events


Pilot Season twists the televised experience onto the stage


The White Ribbon sparks the fuse of soon-to-be-wartime Germany



Highlights of the week's classical performances FILM // SIDEVUE

Playing the Gaze Brian Gibson follows the evolution of the Stunning Woman's Approach scene in cinema ARTS // REVUE

Folie à Deux Go to to read the extended review DISH // DISHWEEKLY.CA

Restaurant reviews, features, searchable and easy to use. Vampie Weekend / Sun, Mar 14 / Edmonton Event Centre


VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY





ifty years ago aboriginal Canadians finally received the right to vote in federal elections without having to cede their Indian status or treaty rights. In the 2008 election, eight percent of aboriginal Canadians living on reserve lands voted. And that's double the number from the previous election due to a concerted campaign by Elections Canada to reach out to reserve voters. While voting and participation in the current democratic system is not always the most productive form of democratic action and certainly not the only way to participate in the system, it is an indicator of a community's interest and ability to participate in decision-making processes and certainly the current democratic system is ruling aboriginal Candians right to resources, environmental protections and access to basic human rights such as water. Research on women's participation in the political system has shown that a breaking point of at least 30 percent of women must be elected to a democratic body in order for issues traditionally thought of as women's to become part


Join Together


Bob the Angry Flower

of political discourse. So, a similar number could be thought to be true for aboriginal populations. Unfortunately, similar to women, issues such as economic inequalities and accessibility are affecting aboriginal Canadians' ability to participate and without resolution to those issues we cannot expect an increase in aboriginal Canadians elected to government bodies or an increase in voter participation. The last Auditor General's report recommended a drastic increase in aboriginal Canadians' control over their own treaty land including the natural resources contained within. Although the federal government inacted legislation stating aboriginal Canadians' rights to land and resources, very little has been done to implement the policy. And in many provinces aboriginal Canadians still only receive intervenor status when new industrial developments intrude on their land. If Canada is to recognize the rights of aboriginal Canadians they must put the money and resources into ensuring basic land and human rights are recognized in order for aboriginal Canadians to have an equal say in determining the future of this country. V


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Vuepoint More than a vote samantha power







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n Connie Howard's article, ("Well, Well, Well: Wakefield Questions", Mar 11-17, 2010) Ms Howard tries to explain the facts as she sees them concerning the retraction of the study published in the the Lancet by Andrew Wakefield. We at the Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS) for the Centre for Inquiry feel she fails to make a convincing argument of a persecuted scientist being silenced by a conspiracy of big business interests. Instead, she sets up a series of straw men arguments that reflect poorly the true harm done by Mr. Wakefield, the media who reported the study, and the many, misguided anti-vaccination groups that have sprung up since then. What is most distressing is Ms Howard's argument that measles is not all that bad and her implication that vaccines are not necessary. Her data concerning measles mortality contradicts actual scientific studies on the topic. The World Health Organization stated that in 2008, 164 000 children

Vue Weekly welcomes reader response, whether critical or complimentary. Send your opinion by mail (Vue Weekly, 10303 - 108 Street, Edmonton AB T5J 1L7), by fax (780.426.2889) or by email ( Preference is given to feedback about articles in Vue Weekly. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.

died from a measles infection, and they estimated that up to 10 percent of children with measles will die in communities with poor nutrition or health care. It can lead to dangerous encephalopathy, or brain swelling, and can leave the child deaf and cause life-threatening pneumonias. The idea that the Lancet retracted the paper due to pressure from big business does not hold any water either. I will take Ms. Howard at her word when she makes connections between the CEO of The Lancet and the board of directors for GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of the vaccine in Europe. However, if the company had wanted to quash the publication of the paper due to some threat to its business, you would think they would have never allowed the paper to be published in the first place! The storm of controversy over the MMR and other vaccines was put to the test by other labs and researchers and there was found to be no link between this or any other vaccine and autism or IBD. Vaccines are among the most-tested and safest therapies for disease prevention known to human kind, and manufacturing and

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

perpetuating the fallacy that vaccines are dangerous has a cost: it harms children. That should be a sobering message for us all.

michael kruse co-chair, the Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism - CFI Canada



want to thank you for writing your piece on Dr Wakefield. I cried reading it because someone finally wrote the truth. I am a mom with a son who has autism. You must already know the fight we are fighting and the powers we are up against. I know Dr Wakefield personally and I can honestly say that he is the most admirable man I have ever met. He has sacrificed so much for our children. Thank you for restoring my faith back in journalism. In this autism journey I have been heartbroken by the realization of what this country is all about. Or I should say our government! Money sure is more powerful than I ever imagined! LAURA CHOLLICK



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.

The right to water

World water scarcity makes the right to access a key question Sheryle Carlson //

As we enter into yet another spring facing a global water crisis, March 22nd marks the United Nations designated World Water Day. The UN reports an estimated 1.1 billion people still rely on unsafe drinking water, despite the fact that since 1990, 1.6 billion people have gained access to safe water. Vandana Shiva, author and environmental activist, believes, "Water wars are not a thing of the future. They already surround us." Melting glaciers, rising sea levels, droughts, water pollution, and a global population explosion charged the warnings and notions for the water wars many predicted. And while world-wide water shortages are being blamed on climate change, mismanagement, corruption and contamination play large factors in who has access to clean drinking water. Obtaining water rights is a high political priority and lobbying for water human rights is major popular movement and Alberta is no different. Last summer, 10 Albertan counties declared states of drought emergency and 2010 is being predicted as the seventh year of below average water supplies in the last decade. CBC reported that the last major drought in 2001 – 02 was one of Canada's most expensive natural disasters, costing the Canadian economy $5.8 billion. Alberta Environment recorded last year's major river basins water flows as being below to much below average, including the North Saskatchewan and Bow rivers. In January 2009, low flows in the Athabasca River finally spurred Alberta Environment to recognize the need to cap oil sand companies' water withdrawal during low flow times. And the Alberta government has no-

ticed. In September 2008, Minister of the Environment Rob Renner announced a re-examination of Alberta's water allocation system. In 2003 the "Water for Life: Alberta's Strategy for Sustainability" was released to provide the government with a roadmap focused on three main goals: safe, secure drinking water, healthy aquatic ecosystems and reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy. It also included evaluation of the use of economic instruments to manage water demand. Its predicted legislative changes may happen in this fall's sitting, although the government is uncertain about the exact timeline. Why a re-examination? Alberta Environment spokesperson, Cara Tobin answered, "Everyone knows that water is a scarce resource, so what we're trying to do here is develop an allocation system that takes that into consideration. This is to bring us forward to the next 100 years." In the wake of the announcement, Alberta Environment commissioned reviews this last winter to examine current water allocation systems by three groups: the Alberta Water Council, the Alberta Water Research Institute, and a Minister's Advisory Group. Environmental organizations have released their own reports and campaigns and are concerned changes to the provinces water allocation will fail to protect water as a human and ecosystem right by allowing water licenses to enter into a deregulated private market. Under the current allocation system, water licenses are distributed by firstin-time, first-in-right principles, known as FIT FIR, or the system of prior allocation. Industries and municipalities all own licenses, some over a hundred years old. Senior license holders have the first priority and new licenses must be negotiated.

In times of water shortages, this system of allocation presents potential water-sharing problems. Water licenses are not allocated by percentages but by amounts, and senior license holders have first priority to water regardless of what they use it for. Presently the Alberta Water Act includes a transfer system that allows the accommodation of new or alternative users in an area where the allocation of water has reached its limit. These transfers can involve a financial transaction. When asked whether there were any problems of over-allocation, Tobin stated, "I don't think that there were problems; we just understood that there needs to be a more robust system that could accommodate the allocation and re-allocation of water to high value users." "One of the fundamental questions to what is unclear is whether the government is going to open up the seniority system for water licenses holders in the FIT FIR system," Jason Unger from the Environmental Law Centre conveys. "It's of primary concern and interest because the South Saskatchewan River basin is considered over-allocated. There is potential for continued environmental harms to occur with a lack of easy or efficient mechanisms to protect the environment. The large licenses are for irrigation and cover a large chunk of the licenses." According to Tobin, in the government's review of the allocation management system, the Environment Minister said that everything's on the table. Sheila Muxlow from the Sierra Club (Prairie) believes this is a very encouraging remark which she says could suggest an opportunity for effective policy change to happen and bring our water policy into the 21st century. Muxlow

however, is sceptical that FIT FIR will be evaluated. "Senior licenses were not given because of a higher ordained purpose. License holders were given this water because they needed it for a diversity of uses and essentially they got there first. The transfer system which allows water licenses to be bought, sold and traded in a water market is giving them the right to make a profit on a public good that was given to them for free. The FIT FIR system provides no protections that ensure enough water is kept in our rivers and streams—meaning that legally a license holder could run a river dry." At the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul in March of last year, the ministerial meeting released a statement that recognized "access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a basic human need" while dissenting country members called for water to be recognized as a human right within the United Nations Charter. According to the UN, "this right has not been clearly defined in international law and has not been expressly recognized as a fundamental human right; rather, a right to water is interpreted as being an implicit component of either existing fundamental human rights, or is expressly included in non-binding instruments that are designed to achieve specific ends." Of course, Canada does not recognize water as a human right. By law this protects the right for governments to allow the selling of water in bulk and via licenses. Historically, Canadian water law has been held by common law, which claimed Crown ownership over any water in Canada, and licenses over water use were established on a first-come, first served basis, as they have continued to be here in Alberta also.

Council of Canadians and water activist Maude Barlow contends in her book Blue Gold that "because the world's fresh water supply is a global commons, it cannot be sold by any institution, government, individual or corporation for profit." The global water market is estimated to be worth between $400 and $500 billion. Water is considered a market of the future; while its demand is soaring, reserves are being over allocated and ecosystems around the globe are suffering. Barlow recently wrote that the privatization model has proven to be a failure, "high water rates, cut-offs to the poor, reduced services, broken promises and pollution have been the legacy of privatization." When asked whether the Alberta government considers water access a human right, Tobin replied, "I can't answer a question like that. That's a policy-related question that you have to ask the Minister. We already acknowledge that water is important for people and our recommendations will reflect that." Today, Unger believes we are "caught in a situation where allocation decisions contribute to a system whereby gaining environmental flows will be difficult to achieve. This raises ethical issues in terms of purchasing flows back to the river, and the money people will obtain for selling licenses will be considered as private gains." While the government won't make clear whether they will adopt a deregulated water market license system, Water Matters and Ecojustice have forthcoming recommendations in adopting a "share based" system currently being used in Australia and Colorado, which "would provide an entitlement to a "share" of the available water rather than to a fixed volumetric amount CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 >>


Competition, not culture

Online booksellers want a larger piece of the Canadian market Eight years ago, the federal government to create its own Canadian distribution faced a hot-button cultural policy issue channel. The plan requires government as online retail giant, which approval, which recently led to predictwas already selling millions of dollars able outcries from the Canadian Booksellof books to Canadians from its USers Association. The CBA wrote to based site, sought entry into the Canadian Heritage Minister James Canadian market. Canadian inMoore—who must decide the vestment regulations posed issue—to urge him to reject a significant barrier since the Amazon's application. law required government apIt argued that Amazon's eneweek u v t@ mgeis proval for foreign investment try would "detrimentally affect l e Micha in the book publishing and disindependent businesses and t s i e G tribution sectors. would raise serious concerns over Amazon was ultimately granted the protection of our cultural indusa form of non-entry entry. The compa- tries. Individual Canadian booksellers have ny established, but did not traditionally played a key role in ensuring set up shop in Canada. Instead, it out- the promotion of Canadian authors and sourced distribution to Canada Post, en- Canadian culture. These are values that no abling the government to rule that the American retailer could ever purcompany's plans fell outside the book port to understand or promote." distribution restrictions. The CBA's attempt to cloak the issue as a is now well-entrenched in the matter of Canadian culture is unsurprising, Canadian e-commerce landscape and seeks but Moore should recognize this for what



it is: a transparent attempt to hamstring a tough competitor that ultimately hurts the Canadian culture sector. Evidence of the benefits of major retailers to Canadian culture comes directly from a 2007 Turner-Riggs report commissioned by Canadian Heritage on the Canadian book retail sector. It pointed to a Quill & Quire study that found that consumers were far more likely to find Canadian titles in the large chains than in smaller independent stores. Moreover, a second study of sales from 11 small Canadian literary presses found that online sellers represented the largest source of sales growth, while both chain and independent booksellers experienced relatively static sales. Neither of these findings should come as much of a surprise. The scarcity of space in brick and mortar bookstores has long been a key concern for Canadian authors

and publishers, who fear that their titles might get squeezed off the shelves. Big chain retailers alleviated those concerns to some degree by offering up far more space for titles of all origins (though at a cost of greater reliance on those chains and a weaker bargaining position on commercial terms). Online sellers such as Amazon removed the scarcity concerns altogether, since the number of books the company can offer is unlimited. That undoubtedly means more competition, yet it also ensures that fears consumers will be unable to access Canadian titles have disappeared. Indeed, the report concludes "the visibility of Canadian titles—and Canadians' access to them—in online book retail rose significantly with the launch of and its considerable selection of Canadian-sourced inventory." In 2000, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage conducted hearings

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

on the Canadian book market. The resulting report—The Challenge of Change: A Consideration of the Canadian Book Industry—recommended that the government "ensure that no foreign investor is allowed to take over a Canadian firm in the book industry unless credible assurances are made that the investment will increase the availability of Canadian-authored books." The experience of the past decade has demonstrated that greater retail competition does increase the availability of Canadian books. While the book industry may still require support to bring Canadian books to market, restrictions on who may sell or distribute those books represent a harmful barrier from a bygone era. 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 or online at



Will Nigeria survive?

Incapacitated president creates a power vaccuum There are notable differences between passed and the unmade decisions piled Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of up in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, suspicions the United States, and Umaru Yar'Adua, grew that he was on life support and the current president (more or less) of might never resume power again. Nigeria. For one thing, Yar'Adua did not Finally, last month, the Nigerian Senfound the League of Nations or win the ate declared that Vice-President GoodNobel Peace Prize, whereas Wilson did. luck Jonathan should become the Acting For another, Woodrow Wilson President and carry out Yar'Adua’s was the president of Princeton duties until such time as he University before he entered might recover. Soon afterpolitics, whereas Umaru wards Yar'Adua was flown Yar'Adua's highest academic back into Nigeria and driven m o .c kly post was lecturer in chemto the presidential villa in uewee v @ e n gwyn istry at the College of Arts, the middle of the night. e n Gwyn Science and Technology in Statements by his aides r e Dy Zaria, Kaduna State. But there pointedly refer to "Vice-Presis one striking similarity between ident" Jonathan, implying that the two men. Yar'Adua is back in charge. However, he In 1919, about halfway through his spent his first week home in the back second term as president, Woodrow of an ambulance, while an intensive Wilson suffered a stroke that left him care facility was built inside the presiparalysed on his left side and blind in dential villa. His wife Turai has taken his left eye. He never recovered suffi- control of his agenda, and is allowing ciently to resume carrying out the dualmost nobody in to see him. Even ties of the president—but almost no- Goodluck Jonathan has been turned body knew it at the time. away repeatedly. Wilson's wife Edith safeguarded his Yar'Adua's return, however incapaciposition by allowing almost nobody tated he may be, has severely underelse access to him for the last 17 months mined Jonathan's ability to take major of his term. Even the vice-president and decisions. He may be the Acting Presithe cabinet almost never got in to see dent, but he cannot actually act. And him. In effect, it was she who acted as so the paralysis in Nigeria deepens. the country's chief executive. More recently, last November, Presi- What is really going on here is the dent Yar'Adua unexpectedly left Nilatest round in the perpetual power geria for medical treatment in Saudi struggle among Nigeria's ultra-rich Arabia—and didn't come back. He had elites. Political power matters greatly made no arrangements for the vice- to them, since their wealth mainly depresident to take over his duties while rives from stealing the resources of the he was gone, but he remained abroad state, and in practice the competition for three months, in a hospital bed and is between the northern elite, who are virtually incommunicado, while the Muslim, and the southern elite, who business of government was paralysed are Christian. Yar'Adua is a Muslim; in Africa's biggest country. Jonathan is a Christian. Very little information was released It is a competition that has sometimes about the precise nature of his illness, come close to tearing the country either. He already had serious kidney apart, and the animosities it generates problems, but this time it was said that play out at street level in the form of he had been struck down by acute perioccasional massacres that seem to be carditis, an inflamation of the tissue religious in motivation. Last week's surrounding the heart. As the weeks mass murders of Christian villagers in




VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

Plateau state, for example, were probably retaliation for a similar mass killing of Muslims in January—and the titfor-tat massacres actually go back for many years. But neither at the national or at the village level is this struggle really about religious differences. The desperate attempt to keep a (probably comatose) Umaru Yar'Adua in power is happening because replacing him in mid-term with Goodluck Jonathan violates a gentleman's agreement in the ruling party that Muslim and Christian leaders should alternate in power so that everybody who matters gets a fair turn at the trough. Similarly, the massacres in Plateau state, which lies on the border between northern, Muslim Nigeria and the southern, Christian half of the country, are actually due to a conflict over land between the local farmers (whose Berom ethnic group happens to be Christian), and Fulani-speaking pastoralists who happen to be Muslim. A struggle for power at the top, a struggle for land at the bottom, both defined as Muslims versus Christians: it sounds like a formula for breaking Nigeria in two. But it will probably never happen so long as Nigerian politics remains a conspiracy of the rich against the poor. The northern elite plays the Muslim card repeatedly to preserve its monopoly of power in the northern states, but it will never stop collaborating with the southern elite to maintain the status quo, because all the oil is in the south. The two groups compete fiercely over the division of the spoils, but if the north ever really seceded from Nigeria, the northern elite would lose its access to the oil revenues that keep it rich. V Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries. His column appears each week in Vue Weekly.

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY



Joining together brings success

Join Together Alberta redoubles efforts to change this year's provincial budget Tiffany Brown-olsen //


orkers in Alberta helped to prevent more severe cuts from happening in the 2010 Alberta budget, but the work is not over for the unions, advocacy groups, students and individuals comprising the campaign. Before the budget was released, it was assumed by many that it would contain cuts to the public sector in the range of $2 to $3 billion. Though the budget released on February 9th did contain significant cuts, they were not as large as some had feared. Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour and a partner in the Join Together Alberta coalition be-

lieves the public sector cuts were not as severe as they could have been. Through the organizing of town hall meetings, rallies and online campaigns, McGowan believes the work of the Alberta Teachers Association, the Alberta Union of Public Employees and the Join Together coalition helped to stave off some of the cuts that could have happened, and McGowan is convinced that, without the group's hard work, "the budget would have been much more brutal." And the budget was brutal enough according to those concerned with public sector spending. A total of $1.3 billion cut from 14 ministries, with a goal of cutting $240 million more over the course of the year. Headlines covering the budget focused largely on increased

spending on Alberta Health Services and school boards but the $1.3 billion cut will impact directly on many Albertans both as employees and as recipients of services. Areas hardest hit by this budget include housing, families, children, culture and education. Join Together Alberta spent the months leading up to the budget traveling across Alberta holding town halls, meetings and rallies against cuts to the public sector, and this Saturday the coalition will join together again to march to the legislature and show support for funding to the public sector. According to a budget analysis prepared for the Join Together Alberta coalition, the cuts, while spread over 14 ministries, target the things Albertans value "highly," including the environment, sustainable resource development, the arts, grants for post-secondary students as well as the vulnerable: children, youth, the unemployed, immigrants and seniors. The Edmonton Social Planning Council's budget analysis found that with this budget, "the province is providing less than one-third of the required funding" towards its stated goal of ending homelessness in the province. They also point out that the budget for income support is being cut by $47 million in the next yearsurprising, considering Statistics Canada released the latest employment numbers last week showing that job losses in Alberta are continuing. Grants to students in advanced education and technology were cut by $54



in acknowledgement of priority of water set aside for environmental protection, Aboriginal rights, and basic human needs." However, this proposed system would still incorporate FIT FIR and still allow senior license holders to make a profit from the transfer of their licenses. Of the three groups that provided reports to the Environment Minister, the Minister's Advisory Group concluded that, overall, FIT FIR "continues to be a reasonable basis for allocating and reallocating water in Alberta at this time," and recommended the removal of "barriers to the transfer of water allocations except those that are genuinely required to protect the environment and the rights of other water users." Twenty-five organizations from across the prairies criticize the FIT FIR system for not prioritizing human water needs and the environment, outlined in a 2009 report "The Prairie Water Directive." The groups compare Manitoba's licensing system that operates on a modified FIT FIR assigning priority to domestic water use. Saskatchewan no longer uses FIT FIR. Another of the three recommending bodies, the Alberta Water Council—a multistakeholder group—advocated an active water allocation transfer market that must be fair to all participants. Interestingly, the committee struck by the Alberta Water Council was given the restrictions that they weren't able to do away with the FIT


VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

million—this, while tuition increases are at the maximum allowable rate and universities are looking at non-tuition fees to increase revenues, making a university education in the province even less accessible. At the same time, $28 million of funding was cut from child intervention services, an area where advocates have complained for years of chronic underfunding. This 6.8 percent funding reduction is to a service that is fundamentally concerned with the health and safety of the most vulnerable children. There are cuts in many other ministries: Employment and Immigration has an almost 7 percent cut, Environment has over an 11 percent cut, and Culture and Community Spirit is facing a budget cut of 8.1 percent. Even in areas where there were little or no cuts, the possibility of growth in need was not accounted for. The assumption is that fewer children will require care, fewer unemployed people will require assistance, fewer immigrants will require support, and fewer people will require assistance to pay their rent. But these assumptions seem at odds with the most recent employment numbers, showing that Alberta is the only province to see unemployment continue to rise, with nearly 15 000 jobs lost in February alone. McGowan believes one of the lessons of this most recent budget is that "citizens can make a difference when they band together and speak out against deep cuts to public services." V

FIR system and had to give recommendations on how to improve the present allocation system by building upon it. In Sierra Club Prairie's "Got Thirst?" campaign addressing these issues, presentations are being made to the public. Muxlow says people's reactions are of shock and concern. "This government is not new to making adverse decisions to the interests of the public. This is just another example of where the Alberta government is working in the interest of a narrow economic agenda and not in the general public interest. When it comes to the impacts government decisions are having on water, maybe we'll start seeing people taking more direct action when it comes to demanding their rights are protected by the government." Unger, with the Environmental Law Centre which participated as a stakeholder in the Alberta Water Council, hopes "that the general public will become engaged in an informed and broad discussion in amending some fundamental issues to our water law." According to the Sierra Club, Alberta Environment will be deciding upon public consultations for the water allocation review and that official recommendations considered by the government will likely be put out within the next few weeks. V Sheryle Carlson is Associate Director with the Sierra Club Prairie Chapter. The Sierra Club is a member-based organization involved in environmental advocacy.



All about the draft Let's face it—the season's over The Oilers woes continued last week with four games and 42 losses. A four-game road trip saw the Oilers travel to Montreal and lose 5-4 after a shootout. The Oilers allowed Toronto to stay above them in the standings with a 6-4 loss in T-O. The Oilers traveled to Columbus and all we got was this stinking 5-3 loss. The defeat in Columbus was followed by a 4-2 loss in Minnesota. Fucking yawn.

Ryan O'Marra may never make it to the NHL and Ryan Whitney isn't a bad addition. Ryan Jones seemed to fit in perfectly in the Oiler system after being scooped up on waivers. By fitting in, I mean he managed to get injured. - The coaches I hope this season (which could wind up being the worst in Oiler history!) doesn’t result in losing this coaching staff. Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and m o .c kly Wayne Fleming are the stronuewee v @ x o intheb Apathy I don't think I've ever gest trio of coaches Edmonton e v Da cared less about Oiler hockey has seen in a long time. They deg n u o Y than right now. In talking to peoserve a second season. ple, I don't think I've ever seen Oiler - Obligatory dig at Calgary The fans in this city less interested in the team. Flames may join the Oilers on the golf The 2007 season was disappointing (espe- course as Calgary is in a tight race to secure cially after the miracle playoff run in 2006) a playoff spot and it is not looking very sewhen the Oilers failed to make the playoffs. cure at all. Odd trivia: Since the lockout, the Missing the playoffs in 2008 and 2009 left Flames have played 26 playoff games and fans fuming. Kevin Lowe was shuffled out have made the playoffs every post-lockout of the GM position. Coach Craig MacTavish season. Since the lockout, the Oilers have was let go. But fans cared. They may have played 24 playoff games but only made the been angry and irrational (as is the norm playoffs once (2005-06) in that stretch. for sports fans) but there was emotion and buy-in. No one complains about a team un- C for Strudwick Current Oiler captain less they care. Ethan Moreau remained an Oiler by the end of trade deadline day, surprising almost Bright side This stretch of four playoff-free every Oiler-watcher. Next season, whether seasons hasn't been a picnic. As someone the Oilers manage to end the Moreau era or who grew up watching the 80's dynasty not, I'd like to see Jason Strudwick wear the team do things no sports team should do, “C” next year. There are many arguments it's been humbling to watch playoffs from against it and they are valid (in fact, it's kind the sidelines and try to muster up enthusi- of a strange move when you analyze it). asm for other peoples' teams. This season Strudwick is occasionally a healthy scratch, hasn't been all bad (just 90 percent of the he doesn't log many on-ice minutes when way there). Here are some positives: he does play and he's definitely not a sta- Drafting a real blue-chipper Hall or tistical leader. But if this team is going to Seguin? Doesn't matter. Both look like the rebuild with youth, a cagey veteran like real deal. You can't draft potential stars like Strudwick would help shepherd the youngthat without a really bad season like this one. sters along and work on their character and - Dustin Penner Penner started strong professionalism. I also like the fact that he and then flagged a little but he has already is an NHL veteran but he is not a member scored more points (26 goals and 53 points of the "old guard". But, most importantly, a already) than his breakout 2006-07 season guy like Jason Strudwick strikes me as the in Anaheim (29 goals and 45 points) and the kind of pro that would happily hand over season is not over yet. He's under contract the "C" to whatever younger player evenfor two more seasons. tually earns it without making a fuss (Sam - Ryans Ryan Potulny and Ryan Stone Gagner perhaps?). "Struds" is a UFA at seaeach provided pleasant surprises this year son's end but will likely be a relatively painwith depth scoring and a bit of toughness. less re-signing. V



MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY




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Forever young

A new device keeps wine from spoiling and has the potential to remake Edmonton's wine scene quality versus quantity; they can still treat themselves to a fine glass of wine with dinner."

I WANT TO BE FOREVER YOUNG >> The Enomatic system keeps oxygen away from wine which keep it fresh Mel Priestley //


've seen the future, and it's by the glass. Gone are the days when restaurants and bars only offer one thing by the glass: some generic plonk doled out of magnum bottles. The arrival of the Enomatic Wine Preservation System to a handful of bars, restaurants and wine shops in Edmonton marks a new era in our city's wine culture. The Enomatic allows an establishment to serve several bottles— four, eight, even 16—by the glass, without any worry of spoilage for nearly an entire month. Think of the Enomatic as a way to have wine "on tap" like beer. Essentially, you plug an open bottle of wine into a slot in the Enomatic and the machine draws the wine out of the bottle and dispenses it from a separate spout. An inert gas, usually argon or nitrogen, is used inside the machine to keep the wine from coming into contact with oxygen. The machine also allows you to regulate the size of pours—it can be programmed to dispense precise amounts, such as a one-ounce taster or a six-ounce glass. Several models are also temperaturecontrolled, meaning that they keep the wines at proper serving temperature— 15 C to 17 C for reds and 7 C to 10 C for whites. The Enosystem works for any still beverage, so you can use it for most wines, as well as sakés, liqueurs and spirits, but sparkling wine, beer and other carbonated beverages are out. By keeping it oxygen-free, the Enomatic allows wine to stay fresh and drinkable for three or four weeks, something previously unprecedented. Normally a bottle of wine spoils after only a day

or two of being open. Though previous preservation techniques like vacuum pumps and inert gas sprays may keep a wine drinkable for about a week, spoilage is still a huge issue for any establishment serving wine—in fact, it is arguably the determining factor in a restaurant or bar's by-the-glass offerings. The Enomatic has had a rather slow entrance to this city. One arrived in 2007 at the Liquor Depot Magrath, but over half of the local places that have Enomatics received them in the last four months. The delay was partly due to the nascent state of Edmonton's wine culture—only recently has the city seen a handful of wine bars open their doors. A few specialty wine stores have been around for longer, but only by a couple years. With

// Renee Poirier

other wine bar that opened just weeks after the Bothy. Moriarty's also had an Enomatic installed from the beginning; general manager Michael Taufer notes that in addition to minimizing the spoilage issue, "the Enomatic also allows us to serve high end wines that other places would only serve by bottle." Moriarty's opted to have one eight-bottle unit for reds and another eight-bottle unit split between red and white wine. Certainly it makes sense for wine bars to use the Enomatic, but the system is also extremely useful for the restaurant industry, especially higher-end restaurants that invest extra time, money and care into creating a superior wine list. "For a restaurateur they are a godsend," declares Larry Stewart, owner of Hard-

If you're going to carry wine, it doesn't matter where you are or who you are, you should have one. Edmonton's ever-increasing number of wine stores, bars, festivals and other wine-related happenings, the time of the Enomatic is newly-arrived. "If you're going to carry wine, it doesn't matter where you are or who you are, you should have one," declares Douglas Townshend, owner of the Bothy Wine & Whisky Bar. "It guarantees the wines are going to be the way they should be." The Bothy opened its doors at the beginning of December and the Enomatic has been there from the beginning. Though the Bothy has certainly made its name as a whisky bar, it also offers plenty of wines by the glass—almost all of which are housed in its dual eightbottle Enomatic units. Moriarty's Wine Bar and Bistro is an-

10 // DISH

ware Grill. "I know I don't have to take a financial loss to serve somebody a special glass of wine." A spoiled bottle is a measurable monetary loss, and one that adds up very quickly in a restaurant. The Enomatic offers financial insurance against such losses, and the impact of this cannot be taken too lightly. Stewart also notes that many people would rather pay more money for a really good glass of wine than less money for a bottle of sub-par wine. "It's tied in with the recession," he notes. "It's no secret that restaurants are an area people have cut back on—people go out for dinner and they don't want to spend the money on a really expensive bottle of wine, but if they can get a good glass for $25 they are very happy with that. It's buying

Though the Enomatic clearly speaks to the restaurant and wine-bar industry, it also has a welcome home in wine stores. Gurvinder Bhatia, owner of Vinomania, received his Enomatic just over a year ago and has been thrilled with what it allows him to do. "I first saw it in Italy about four or five years ago, in a little wine bar in Como," he recalls. "Immediately my thought was, 'I have to get one of these!'" The average liquor store probably won't have as great a use for the Enomatic, but boutique wine stores will definitely be able to put it to good use. "Our philosophy has always been to expose people to different wines and allow them the opportunity to taste a range of different wines. The Enomatic fits in very well with that," Bhatia notes. The same issues of spoilage and wanting to offer customers a greater selection are present in any specialty wine store, so having an Enomatic is a practical business decision. Wine shops will also find the Enomatic invaluable for its ability to provide a useful insight into how a wine will age; for customers planning to make a serious investment into their wine cellar, the Enomatic allows a unique glimpse into how wine might change over the years. "The machine allows for a very slow oxidation process, similar to decanting," explains Bhatia. He offers a useful analogy: if you were to decant a bottle of wine at noon and then drink it at dinner, the changes in aroma and flavour over the course of those seven or eight hours are the same changes that happen in the Enomatic over a week or two. Furthermore, each hour that a bottle of wine is decanted roughly translates to about a year in the cellar, so having a wine open for a couple weeks in the Enomatic is like aging it for several years. "It's interesting to see what lasts and what doesn't last, because I think it gives you a little insight into how long you could keep that bottle," notes Bhatia. "The wines that tend to do really well in there are the same wines that tend to age well." He goes on to note that well-structured, full-bodied wines—and not necessarily the expensive ones—tend to fare best over the few weeks they are in the Enomatic. Perhaps the only real downside to the Enomatic is the price, which isn't cheap. If properly implemented and marketed, however, the machine will more than pay for itself in a relatively short period of time. Most restaurants and bars that have an Enomatic offer a separate "Enosystem" wine menu to highlight the machines; wine stores could integrate the system in a variety of ways, such as Vinomania's club card system.

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

Though it may sound a bit hackneyed, the Enomatic represents a new era in wine culture. You can literally taste the benefits of this system. With any luck, in the coming months we'll see these things popping up all over the city. Who knows, in a few years they may even be something that die-hard wine enthusiasts purchase for their own private use. I know I would love to be able to choose from a handful of wines for my evening glass of vino. As it stands, however, I'm more than happy knowing that there are at least a few places out there finally offering a decent and affordable by-theglass wine menu. V

The science of spoilage Oxygen is the biggest enemy of an open bottle of wine, aside from a thirsty person. Oxidation is the reaction of oxygen molecules in the air with chemical compounds, namely phenolics, in the wine and, once a bottle has been opened, happens immediately. Phenolics are largely responsible for the structure, aromas and flavours of wine; when they're broken down by oxygen a wine loses much of its structure, aroma and flavour. Oxygen also acts as the catalyst for various enzymatic reactions and protein decay, all of which alter the chemical makeup of a wine. Flavour is a casualty of these processes. The first few hours of oxidation can be quite pleasant—in reacting to oxygen, wine evolves in flavour and taste; in well-made, well-structured wines this process is both delicious and fascinating. Anyone who has left a bottle of wine open overnight, however, knows that wine tastes very different the next day; after a few hours of exposure a wine loses its primary flavours. Most of its subtle nuances are gone, and the longer it stays open the more it loses its primary flavours as well. After a couple of days, you're left with a bottle of unrepentantly acidic salad dressing. With the exception of the odd unique bottle, most wines taste decidedly worse the day after they were opened. Refrigeration slows the process of oxidation, so storing wine in the fridge will keep it fresher for a bit longer. A few other methods, such as the vacuum pump and inert gas sprays, also help extend an opened wine's life. These methods, however, will only keep the wine fresh for a week at most. Furthermore, you can always detect distinct changes— usually for the worse—within a day, no matter what method you use. V


Warm up

Trials remain ahead, best pack supplies The bittering levels are understated, but set at a level to create a balanced beer. This beer runs at eight percent alcohol, but I would be hard pressed to find out where that alcohol is lurking. Thankfully there is enough body and caramel flavour to keep one from drinking this beer too fast. It is best savoured slowly. It is, you will notice, a bit pricey, running at $25 a six pack. To make the cost more worthwhile, consider it a limited-edition beer. Plus, it isn't in many storesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Devine Wines or Sherbrooke Liquor are your best bets to find it. And, as winter is coming to an end, it won't be around much longer. So act fast. It might be a few extra bucks, but when that inevitable March snowstorm hits, you will be glad you invested in it. V

JUST IN CASE >> Sure it seems like spring, but you'd best be prepared

// Jason Foster

Paddock Wood Winter Ale Paddock Wood Brewing CoMPANY Saskatoon, Saskatchewan $24.99 for six pack

March. So, Winter Warmer it is, and how about one from a prairie brewery, someone who understands winter? Paddock Wood is a small, creative microbrewery from Saskatoon with a knack for March knows how to tease us on the making beers that stand out and remain prairies. It seems like our long, depress- wonderfully drinkable at the same time. ing winter is over. The sun is coming back This winter they put out, for the second slowly, the snow melts on some straight year, what they call Winter days. But we can get too comAle, a classic version of the Winplacent. Every year we get a ter Warmer. March snowstorm, and every Winter Ale slips into the glass year we seem shocked and m a gorgeous mahogany brown o .c ly k ewee surprised by it. with tinges of ruby. The light int@vu tothep Don't be. It is going to come. tan head builds quickly and s Ja on But I have your March snowsticks with you through the sipFoster storm solace ready at hand. On ping. It possesses a rich aroma of the day when the dump comes, crack caramel, raisin, plum, sherry and some open a bottle of Winter Warmer. It will soft spice notes. warm your spirits and remind you that The first taste is caramel and toffee spring isn't that far away. along with some breadiness. In the middle Winter Warmer was invented by the a sharper edge moves in, offering toast Brits to help them through their winter. and almost verging on roast. Then the It is darker, heavier and intended to shake part I like best about this beer: it balances the cold from your toes. But really, who itself out near the end with a soft bitterare we kidding? Winter in England is our ness and some lingering spice and hop.




MAR 18 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

DISH // 11


High hopes

Café Mosaics doesn't live up to expectations Bryan Saunders //


antastic new vegan- and vegetarianfriendly restaurants continue to spring up in Edmonton each and every year. Ask any Edmontonian to name the first veg-friendly restaurant that they can think of though, and they'll almost certainly reply, "Café Mosaics." The tiny, quaintly decorated hangout has become an institution in Edmonton over the years, well known for playing a loud, eclectic mix of music and for its proudly proclaimed motto, "Tofu Rulez." I've never quite been able to put my finger on it, but there's something nostalgic about Café Mosaics—regardless of the era in which one happens to have been born. Perhaps this is why my friend—recently back in town from studies in Australia—immediately replied "Yes!" when I asked her if she wanted to catch up over lunch at the Whyte Ave landmark. "Oh, I remember that place," she reminisced fondly. As we walked through the doorway I looked around the small restaurant—as is usual with Mosaics, most of the tables were already taken. We managed, however, to find an empty two-person table in the corner and we sat down. As soon as we were settled in, our server came over and dropped off some menus. The young man asked us if he could get us something to drink. My fingers still frozen, I asked for a cup of hot, rooibos tea. "We're out of rooibos," he matter-of-factly replied. A bit disappointed, but still chipper, I opted for some green tea ($2.50) instead. My friend quickly asked for the same. A few minutes later, our server came back empty-handed: he'd already forgotten what kinds of teas we wanted, he unapologetically explained. We cheerfully reminded him, and he came back a couple of minutes later—teas in hand— and asked if we were ready to order.

DASHED >> Reality doesn't live up to expectation at Café Mosaics Craving something warm, my friend and I ordered a plate of vegan spring rolls ($8.50) to start. For my main course, I ordered the vegan loaf ($13.95). My friend, meanwhile, opted for the falafel with a side of vegan tomato garlic soup ($11.95). This, after finding out that the only soups available that day

12 // DISH

// Renee Poirier

were the "tomato soup" and the "vegan garlic tomato soup." Before I finished chuckling over the not-so-diverse soup choices though, our server came back out with the spring rolls, still piping hot. I quickly snatched one of the steamy rolls off the plate, and dipped it in the thick, sweet,

plum sauce. A grin spread from one eye to the next as I happily crunched the perfect little morsel in my mouth. My friend and I devoured the spring rolls in record time, but before we were even done polishing them off, our server plopped down our entrées, refilled our teas, and quickly dashed off. I looked around the restaurant to see if perhaps he was in a hurry to check on the other tables, and was surprised to see that there were actually only two other groups still in the restaurant, and that, no, he was actually just in a hurry to text message someone on his phone. I looked down at my vegan loaf and frowned. The huge, thickly-sliced, dill potatoes that came with it were burnt around the edges. Popping one of them in my mouth though, I was pleasantly surprised as it melted away on my tongue. The flavour had not suffered one bit. My friend, noting that she doesn't usually like dill, tried one as well. "That's actually pretty good!" she beamed. My vegan loaf came with a salad as well, so I gave it a try. The salad's viscous, raspberry vinaigrette definitely hit the spot, but I had no idea what to do with the two enormous rings of purple onion placed atop the salad, nor was I too pleased with its lack of any real vegetables. Save for a thin slice of cucumber and a lonely little piece of tomato, the "salad" was just cabbage and lettuce. Brimming with anticipation, I moved onto the vegan loaf itself and was less than impressed. A bland mix of breadcrumbs, tofu and random bits of vegetables, the loaf was much too dry, and the small amount of mushroom gravy that topped the loaf did little to add muchneeded moisture and flavour to dish. My friend reported much of the same of her falafel: the giant chickpea "meatballs" inside the pita bread were on the bland and dry side, and the chef had been way, way too skimpy on the tza-

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

tziki sauce. Her soup was a dull-tasting paste, close in consistency and taste to garlic-flavoured ketchup. She was not impressed, and it showed, as she didn't even finish half her dish. After what must have been a 40-minute disappearing act, our server finally came back to the table to ask if we were all done. At this point, my friend was a bit morose, and I was a bit stuffed, but we decided to try and end things on a sweet note and ordered Café Mosaics' famous vegan chocolate cake ($5.95) for dessert. Quick as ever, our server brought an enormous slice of the cake back to the table. Opinions on the cake—moist, fluffy, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and topped with strawberries—were divided. My friend loved it, but after a few bites insisted she was much too stuffed to have another forkful. Meanwhile, I was impressed with the texture of the cake, but not so much with the flavour, which I found went from being overly sweet to bland and homogenous after just a few bites. Flakes of actual chocolate inside the dough would have done well to break up the homogenous monotony of the cake, I thought to myself. Adding some raspberries or some other tangy fruit to the topping would have brought a wonderful bit of bite to the overly sweet cake as well. Pushing my wishful thinking aside, I half-heartedly finished the cake off and paid the bill. As my friend and I walked back out into the cold though, I quietly wondered to myself if nostalgia is sometimes better left as nostalgia. Perhaps, I thought, this is one memory worth leaving in the past. V Mon – Fri (11 am – 7 pm); Sat (10 am – 8 pm); Sunday Brunch (11 am – 2:30 pm) Café Mosaics 10844 - 82 Ave, 780.433.9702

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

DISH // 13


Release the mainsail! Kite sport in Alberta requires perseverence JEremy Derksen //


strong gust catches the kite and I'm yanked forward by a cord anchored at my navel, reeling blue and white past my vision. Raising my snow-caked face from the drift, I glare across the white, frozen surface of Cooking Lake. About five metres in front of me is a six-metre wide, dark blue Flysurfer kite with big, black sinister eyes. It smirks back. I struggle into a standing position and get the kite airborne again. I'm able to crank up my velocity to about several kilometres per hour, tootling through the crusty drifts. Visions of hitting one of the kickers and spinning a weightless 360 like the expert riders zipping back and forth across the lake with one hand on the bar have long since disintegrated. Local Flysurfer representative Mike Dowie tells me the mistakes I'm mak-

ing are common for beginners. It's good to know I'm not totally incompetent but the frustration makes me wonder how many first-timers keep at it. In the end, I'm sure it's no different than learning to snowplow and stop on skis, except I was four years old when I learned that. Delaying gratification was easier then. In all, on a blustery -15 C day, there are about 50 to 70 people out for the second day of the eighth annual Pipeline Surf Kiteboarding Festival on a sunny Sunday, February 14. Most are kiting, with varying degrees of success. A few are speeding effortlessly across the snow, popping off jumps and floating through the air, looking graceful and free. And, unlike me, landing on their feet. For those like me, who are unfamiliar with sports like windsurfing or summer kiteboarding, the first step is to understand how to work the wind.

VISIONS OF ONE-HANDED 360s >> Quickly dashed First is the training kite, where you learn to steer on solid ground, in a stationary position rather than on skis or board. Movement comes later, after you've mastered steering. And with good reason: wind, as I've learned repeatedly this day, is powerful and can catch you off guard. Capturing it and using it to generate momentum is challenging. For skiers and riders, it's a significant departure from the force of gravity. Creating flow is more about driving the kite the right way, not your skis. In winter, to have enough strength to pull the average adult, winds have to be at least 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 15 km per hour, says Andreas Dahle of Pipeline Surf. That can mean occasional lulls between good riding days but on the other hand, there are no lift lines and the Edmonton region has plenty of wideopen space. "Because you can do it anywhere, there are just endless places to go," says Dahle, who's been kiteboarding for approximately nine years. "People get kind of spread out versus other sports where you have to go to a specific spot. That's why we have the festival, to try to bring everyone together in one area for one weekend." The learning curve, while potentially steep at first, can also be part of the appeal. No matter how many times I get knocked around, I keep going. I suspect the rest of the riders out on this lake have a similar story.


// Aaron Mohl

SWEET JUMPS >> Kiteboarding can take you places "Originally I thought it would be like getting towed behind a snowmobile, which tends to wear off quickly," Dahle recalls. "But the first time I tried it I was out there for what felt like 15 minutes but it was actually four hours. The power of the wind in your hands and the ability to go anywhere, it's just a

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MAR 24, 2010

// Aaron Mohl

ton of fun." Ultimately, there are no bounds to where a good kiteboarder can take the sport, says Dahle. "Once you incorporate terrain it adds a lot to the sport, especially snow. You have enough wind to pull you up a mountain." Or, sweep you off your feet. V

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY




The Science of Disconnection

17 18

Prairie Artsters


Folie À Deux

Surprise me TV

Pilot Season twists the televised experience

Fawnda Mithrush //


h, if only TV would up and jump out at you once in a while—perhaps we'd see more well-dressed people on the streets. Mad Men, anyone? Putting a live, theatrical spin on the TV experience is something writer/ producer Neil Grahn (who you might remember from funny ventures like the Irrelevant Show and Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie) has always wanted to do. So when Grahn and his pal Chris Craddock started batting around hypothetical ideas for TV pilots, they decided to give themselves a real challenge: make the pilots into actual theatre shows. "As far as I know, nothing like this has ever been done before. As Chris said to me, 'this is the craziest-ass thing I've ever done in theatre,'" boasts Grahn, noting that they've not only assembled a killer ensemble cast for the two pilots to be fea-

// Ian Jackson, EPIC

tured at the Roxy this weekend, they've also put it all together at lightning speed. "I thought doing a show would push us and make us work harder. We're naturally lazy people, so you know we are inspired by deadlines," he says. "I thought this would be a good test for us because it would make us work on the scripts right through to when we go up—we'll be polishing and honing it as we go. Our cast is amazing, and they're putting their butts on the line too because we have one week to put it together. If there's not a crash on the Thursday night show at some point I'd be amazed. The thing is we've got such funny people, if there is a crash and I've got Jesse Gervais and Donovan Workun out there, it'll be probably funnier than if we did it right." The two shows co-written by Craddock and Grahn, "The Realtors" and "Out And About," will take place in TV time but without the exorbitant production costs—

16 // ARTS

Arts Reviews Find reviews of past theatre, dance and visual arts shows on our website. Folie à Deux go to to read the extended review



ONSTAGE TELEVISION >> Pilot Season mixes mediums

Online at >>ARTS

they'll shift scenes with projected set images and script notes. The Realtors' premise follows one downand-out realtor (Donovan Workun) and his unethical business shenanigans. "It's kind of like if Glengarry Glen Ross was really laugh-your-ass-off funny," says Grahn. Things get weird as Workun's co-realtor (Jessie McPhee) becomes convinced that they're about to sell a house to serial killers, when the prospective buyers are really a dominatrix (Davina Stewart) and her submissive partner. The second pilot, "Out and About," examines the tale of two guys living on Church Street in Toronto; Louis (Jesse Gervais) and Ben (Ryan Parker) are just your average gay couple living in the big city. This time, things get weird when Ben's homophobic father (Brian Dooley) has to move in with them, and even weirder when Pa discovers that Louis is a famous former NHLer— of course, Pa can't help but proclaim his ultimate fanhood. Rounding out the ensemble are Sheldon Elter, Trevor Schmidt, Anna-Maria LeMaistre and Leona Brausen. The shows will be taped with an additional cast of studio execs sitting in the theatre, too, but the main focus will remain the actors onstage. "Really these are one-act comedy shows. It's not like a taping where the studio audience is the cattle—'do what we say when we say it!'" says Grahn. "It'll be very theatrical that way, which I'm totally into because I hate going to theatre that just stops at the edge. You go 'oh fuck you, you're not going to come off the stage!' I like it when they surprise me." V Thu, Mar 18 – Sat, Ma 20 (8 pm) Pilot Season Written by Chris Craddock and Neil Grahn Roxy Theatre, (10708 - 124 St) $19.99

Mandel-approved The Mayor's Celebration of the Arts an evening of entertainment Bryan Saunders //


here will be an incredibly high concentration of talent at the Winspear on Monday as the city's finest musicians, actors, dancers and comedians take to the stage for the 23rd annual Mayor's Celebration of the Arts. Presented by the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton (PACE) and Mayor Stephen Mandel, the event will offer Edmontonians of all stripes a unique chance to not only watch a diverse array of local talent perform, but also to mingle and chat with leaders within the city's artistic community. As PACE chair Daniel Cournoyer explains, the annual event started out over two decades ago as nothing more than a quick luncheon but has since evolved into much more: "When Mayor Mandel came into office as mayor he really changed the event," Cournoyer emphasizes. "It used to just be a business luncheon and, for the last six years, he's really changed the optic of it; he's made it more of a showcase, a night of entertainment." The event also celebrates the partnerships that exist between the arts and business communities, with companies such as Telus, PCL, Stantec, Atco, Molson and Northlands sponsoring a number of awards to be presented throughout the evening. "I think businesses here in Edmonton realize that [having a great arts scene] attracts employees with creative and intellectual mindsets," Cournoyer notes,

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

adding that local businesses have long recognized that Edmonton's arts scene is also a burgeoning source of civic pride. "So, it's about bringing community together," he quips. It also raises some money for a good cause: half of the evening's proceeds will be donated to the Youth Emergency Shelter and the other half will go to support PACE's ongoing advocacy of arts in the community. "We're a city of many festivals, you know? But you can't have these festivals without having the infrastructure to support and develop them ... and I think it's the smaller organizations and the independent artists that are fueling all of that, that are bringing that leadership and that creative vision to the city." Unfortunately, funding for these organizations and artists is seen as expendable by some politicians and businesses, Cournoyer remarks. Hopefully, he notes, this event will not just entertain but also help government and industry alike see the value of investing in the arts. At the very least, a celebration this starstudded guarantees to be a good time. If past incarnations of the celebration are any indication, there may even be part of a post-performance dance party led by the mayor himself. V Mon, Mar 22 (7 pm) The Mayor's Celebration of the Arts Featuring the Yellow Ribbon Dancers and Vinok Worldance, Andrew Grose, the Wheat Pool and many more Winspear Centre (9720 - 102 Ave), $15 – $60



First lady of physics

Dancing ahead

David Belke finds inspiration in an overlooked figure of science Paul Blinov //


o say Lise Meitner wasn't given her just dues during her lifetime would be understating it. A brilliant scientist in spite of her own crippling shyness, she not only became a particularly successful PhD— discovering nuclear fission, among other things—but did so in a time when a woman's academic education usually ended before high school. Yet the scientific community of the time largely snubbed her— she never saw a well-deserved Nobel Prize for her advances in physics—and it's only in recent years that scientists have started giving her proper respect. Meitnerium, element 109 on the periodic table, was officially named for her in 1997, which is how David Belke first discovered her. "I was reading a book on elements," he recalls. There was only a short blurb about her next to Meitnerium, but Belke was intrigued, and searched further. "Her life was just fascinating, full of setbacks and triumphs and partnerships and betrayals. I mean, the very fact that she became a scientist was a major, major achievement at that time. At that time in Austria, when she was growing up in Vienna, it was against the law for girls to go past junior high school." Belke's personal interest in Meitner's

THE SCIENTIST >> Lise Meitner discovered nuclear fission, among other things // Ian Jackson, EPIC story has now shaped itself into a one woman play, The Science of Disconnection, presenting her life's ups-and-downs through her own eyes. In it, Belke's partnered with Darrin Hagen to craft a musical score as much a part of the storytelling as the words. And in his already sizeable canon of plays, Disconnection marks a first: he's never before tackled a straightup historical account without spinning off into fiction. "I've written another [play] that was based on an historic incident, but certainly not in the same vein as this one, where I'm really trying to give a sense of

the woman and her mind and her world," Belke explains. "I couldn't get started on it until I understood her as a woman, as a human being. If you're going to give a voice to someone, you should have some point of view, some connection, some idea of who she is, if you're going to do right by her." And with that in mind, Belke, despite the lacklustre recognition she saw in her lifetime, sees her as a rare success, living the life that she wanted to lead. "There is a measure of tragedy," he says. "Certainly she was quite horrified at the uses that nuclear fission were put to. But on the other hand, she is a triumphant figure as well. She set out to become something, and became it, and succeeded at it. She wanted with all her heart to become a scientist, and she became a great one. So, yeah, there's some dark corners in her life, and certainly she didn't get the support, celebration she deserved. But at the same time, she led the life that she dreamed of. Who among us can say that?" V Thu, Mar 18 – Sun, Apr 4 (7:30 pm) The Science of Disconnection Written by David Belke Directed by John Hudson Starring Cathy Derkach Varscona Theatre (10329 - 83 Ave), $10 – $25

Mile Zero's latest Salon looks to the future Fawnda Mithrush



eeing into the future is a skill Gerry Morita has honed over the years. The artistic director of Mile Zero Dance knows that planning ahead is important not only in terms of grant applications and securing performers for the coming season, it's also something that becomes ingrained into the psyche of a career artist. When Vue caught up with her last week she was busy finalizing the plans for MZD's Salon #16: Future World—but she was also juggling plans for next season. "Actually I can't help it. I just think that way," Morita says. "It's a bit of a split-personality that develops. You're working on a Salon that has to be done next week and then planning the year ahead, too." For the futuristic-themed Salon coming up this weekend at the Westbury Theatre, Morita has assembled a list of performers that will use the Arts Barns space in sitespecific ways, including a rare, up-close appearance by Edmonton's granddaddy of contemporary dance: Brian Webb. "Yup, B.W. will be there," Morita chuckles. "He'll be doing a structured improvisation as a riff off of the work he was doing with Nancy Sandercock in the Fall—a very barebones version of it," she explains, harking back to Webb's November presentation of The Effects of Sunlight Falling on Raw Concrete. "This is kind of rare, he doesn't often

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

show stuff that way anymore."

Another rare treat will be a Bharata Natyam performance by Malavika Venkastubbaiah—known for its unique counting style and statuesque poses, this classical method is one of the oldest dance forms originating in India. "Everybody's seen belly dancing now, but people haven't really seen a lot of this kind of dance, and it's so rhythmically complex that it kind of blows your mind," Morita says. Other highlights of the Salon will include the Good Women performing in the lobby of the Arts Barns, a circus-style acrobatic act by Lynn Gosselin, plus appearances by Matt Wood (aka DJ Cree Asian, who Morita notes has "the best voice in the city"), John Lachlan Stewart and Surreal SoReal Theatre, video stylings by VJ Carrie Gates and Clinker, as well as Jennifer Mesch and Scott Smallwood in an interactive music/dance mash-up. Oh, and John Armstrong will be supplying some kooky sci-fi sounds via theremin—nothing gets more Future World than that. Don't forget your tin-foil uniforms. V Sat, Mar 20 (8 pm) Mile Zero Salon #16: Future World Westbury Theatre, Transalta Arts Barns (10330 - 84 Ave), $10 – $15

ARTS // 17


On a Shanghai

When abroad, whether for work or leisure, designers from all over the world to work or often for both, I inevitably drift towards and live here. a city's culture, be it the usual museums, Similarly, in 2002, Shanghai's municipal cuisine or architectural landmarks. Pretty economic committee officially took over typical, as one glance over any city's trade- 41 000 square meters of former industrial mark postcard often demonstrates factories and warehouses along Suits most unique elements of art zhou Creek and turned it into anand design as one can visually other creative industry park now cram into a single image. Findinternationally known as M 50. ing myself on break in ShangWhile trendy condominiums m o kly.c hai, I gladly admit I have been are currently for sale and entire uewee v @ y am shamelessly riding a culture complexes sat demolished as my A bender, wandering this magnifipiles of debris and rubble, there Fung were cent city's endless streets satiatalso rows upon rows of gallering my non-stop curiosities. ies and design studios under repair and Standing tall as one of the most spectacu- overflowing from the old mill factories. lar and modern cities at the start of the 21st Home to spaces such as Island 6, Shangcentury, Shanghai has certainly shifted rap- hart and Twocities, the park features more idly into one of the world's leading urban than 130 artists from over 10 Mainland centers—a conscious move that has drawn provinces and 16 foreign countries and its fair share of praise and criticism for its districts, including the United Kingdom, development and displacement. With close France, Italy, Swiss, Israel, Norway and to 20 million people residing in this old Hong Kong. Wandering around the vast port city, its skyline has been infiltrated by network of open air spaces was certainly an assortment of gorgeous and gaudy steel a very different feeling than one gets from and glass towers looming over many of its a typical museum or gallery experience, as heritage buildings from its British colonial here, there is an integration between art, era. Along the most infamous strip of old the city and its history. and new is the Bund, a stretch along the Same goes for the art shown. While it's west side of the Huangpu River dominated consistent to note that bad art exists evby old banks now filled with high-end shops erywhere, the strong works to surface and some of the city's most innovative gal- were simply phenomenal in their honesty leries, 18 Gallery and the Shanghai Gallery and engagement with the rapid developof Art. Like everything else in Shanghai, art ment of the region. Being far more imis driven by reputation and market value, pressed by the young photographers who which creates an output of mostly objectrange from the fantastical to performancebased works riding market trends. But here based, Luo Dan's solo exhibition, The North on the Bund of all places, contemporary and The South, at Epsite stood out for me art has flourished as a process-orientated in its limitless sentimental bewilderment. experience dealing directly with the district Documenting ordinary moments with a and the city. profound clarity, the photographs hold a starkness that do not attempt explanaTurning its old industrial areas, such as tion at the strange and estranging. As an Tianzifang, into a "creative industry park," emerging artist with a unique voice, his Shanghai has really succeeded in balancing work, along with hundreds of others each and capitalizing tourism, functionality and year, has been given a venue to communiits own history. As a series of average lane cate its own sense of identity while being factories from the 1930s, Tianzifang is be- able to dialogue with each other as well as ing touted as what New York's Soho used an international art audience, all the while to be for good reason. Spanning a maze-like proving to be be economically viable and area of 20 000 square meters filled with culturally enriching. V galleries, boutiques, studios, restaurants and cafes, the area has become a hugely Amy Fung is the author of successful venture attracting artists and




Murder they wrote Paul Blinov //


very teenage girl hates their mother, dreams of killing her," utters Juliet. "But they don't," replies an exasperated Pauline, her childhood friend and teenage accomplice to murder 40odd years ago. Though decades have passed, Trevor Schmidt's skillful, fascinating Folie à Deux emphasizes that when together these two were far from being everyday teens, and reunited, are still far from being everyday adults: fantastic imagination still clouds their judgement after such a long time apart, leaks into the real world, becomes ways of acting out guiltlessly. Not just in murder, either; sex, love, danger-

18 // ARTS

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

ous memories. It just went a little too far, decades ago, and now they're revisiting the time. Together again, old scars unravel into fresh wounds.

VUEOnline To read the full review of Folie à Deux, go to Until Sun, Mar 21 (8 pm) Folie à Deux Written by Trevor Schmidt Directed by Sandra Nicholls Starring Vanessa Sabourin, Kristi Hansen Catalyst Theatre (8529 Gateway Blvd), $15 – $20





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MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

ARTS // 19

20 // ARTS

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010




The Ghost Writer

Online at >> FILM


Alberta Student Film Festival

Playing the Gaze Brian Gibson follows the evolution of the Stunning Woman's Approach scene in cinema in this week's SideVue.


Film Capsules


Innocence lost

The White Ribbon sparks the fuse for soon-to-be wartime Germany geance, though the worst brutality we witness is verbal—a savage speech by the doctor (Burghart Klaußner), so odious a figure he threatens to blot the film in devilish darkness.

Brian Gibson //


ichael Haneke's The White Ribbon—at last winning the director a Palme d'Or, at the end of his most acclaimed decade—is subtitled A German Children's Tale. Children linger outside windows, romp about in an adult-free schoolroom, sit dutifully at the dinner table, or ask older siblings what death is. They're a strange force—watching and waiting, roaming, sullenly obeying, naïvely wondering—that will become Germany's leading generation, if they survive. For the war's coming. It's 1913, but the village of Eichwald's already beset—as the narrator, a schoolteacher (Christian Friedel), recalls—by violence in ominous eruptions: the doctor (Rainer Bock) felled by a wire strung between trees; a barn-burning; the Baron's son hung upside-down and whipped. The film's even more austerely shot than Haneke's usual work, thanks to Christian Berger's cinematography and its post-production alteration to black-and-white. Close-ups alternate eerily with long shots of landscapes or

WALK AWAY >> The White Ribbon shows a society on the brink striking medium shots (the glimpse of a farmer's grief, sobbed out around the corner of a dingy room). Moments chill: a boy walking down the hall and back to fetch the cane for his own whipping; the search party for a missing child. Of-

// Supplied

ten, scenes are lit only by lamp or candle and characters framed by doorways, though any escape from this darkened, out-of-the-way village seems difficult. Here's a society on the threshold of a greater explosion of murder and ven-

The perpetrators of the violent incidents remain unknown yet their motives seem clear. Fathers punish children for their own good, turn white ribbons of innocence into bedside shackles that prevent adolescent selfabuse, or ill-use their children even more horribly. As Haneke's masterpiece Caché (2005) suggested, scatter-shot vengeance is being wreaked on the patriarchy for its sins. Surprisingly, some sunlight slants into the frame, as the schoolteacher awkwardly, sweetly woos young Eva (Leonie Benisch). There is, though, some mystification—a suicide's obscured, while it's easy to confuse lecherous Georg and the Baron's steward—and the film's a little misty-metaphorical. Haneke takes one small step too far back from the story, trying to make it a parable for terrorism and fundamentalist violence, rather than just gaze relentlessly at the horrors of a time and place, letting us

draw the parallels. When timely anxieties are etched out, on a boy's tired face or his sister's clenched jaw at communion, the film crackles to life-and-death. "The world won't collapse," two different people shrug as August 1914 nears. The White Ribbon numbs deepest in its suggestion that the war and its aftermath only fanned flames already burning within. Religious severity, a silent conspiracy, talk of "purity," some dark looks at immigrant workers, a community's open secrets, interference or punishment masked as concern, even the village's name (mixing "Eichmann" and "Buchenwald," another critic suggests) ... it's clear what the '20s and '30s will spark the fuse to in Germany, after Haneke has shown us, tick by tick, the little bombs within little lives and little lies, both black and white. V Opens Fri, Mar 5 THE WHITE RIBBON written & directed by michael haneke starring christian friedel, burghart klauSSner, rainer bock



Mexican New Wave

Voy a explotar a youthful homage to French film tropes It starts, rather misleadingly, with Román's in Hell" that falls miserably flat but maninterior voice, diary entry-cum-psychic ages to catch Maru's attention nonetheyawp addressed to a mass of "Hijos de less. "A perfect accomplice, a twin," she puta." It's Román's aberrant fantasy we calls him. Román is both real and a being then watch play out, the one where he conjured by Maru's dreamy desperation. enters a classroom and blows away both Maybe that's why, despite young Juan of the trembling religious instructors be- Pablo de Santiago's perfectly apt perforfore turning the gun on himself. This mance, Román leaves less of an impresfantasy is what got him kicked sion, why Maru seems so much more out of boarding school and the fully realized of the two censent into the arms of destral characters. In any case, she's tiny. Then it's Maru's turn: our heroine, and Voy a explotar it becomes her voice that marks an auspicious debut for k e e w vue we hear express similar dvddetective@ Maria Deschamps, the young inner turmoil. Like Román actress who surrenders coms Jo ef she's an exhilaratingly alienpletely to Maru's fascinated abanBraun ated teenager, anxious to rebel don, and does so with a remarkable, with a cause, her face and body alindividual humour. ternately resembling those of a young The French New Wave is a half-century woman and a four-year-old boy. It'll be old but for Mexican writer/director GeMaru's voice that we stick with for the rardo Naranjo the tropes and techniques remainder of Voy a explotar (I'm Gonna are still buzzing with freshness and auExplode). She describes Román's sudden dacity, still useful tools. Voy a explotar appearance in her life as a sort of rev- is an unabashed homage to the Jeanelation, a phenomenon, this sleazebag Luc Godard of the early to mid-1960s– politician's son riddled with uncontain- Pierrot le fou (1965) especially, with its able angst. He does a presentation at delirious romance juxtaposed with cool the school talent show called "See You formalism, its breathless, lovers-on-the



-run narrative, its flurry of jump-cuts and playful dissonance of image, voice-over and music, some of which is the work of composer Georges Delerue, ripped directly from Godard's own iconoclastic interjections in the aforementioned film. Naranjo's third feature, the follow-up to Drama/Mex ('06), may look backward for its modus operandi, but the material this approach gives birth to feels perfectly contemporary, an irreverent reflection of Columbine culture and other recent manifestations of adolescent nihilism. It's imbued with what might be a uniquely Mexican cynicism and some terrifically black humour. It also departs radically from other similarly themed movies, like say, Badlands ('73), and from Godard's Pierrot le fou casting of Anna Karina and Jean-Peal Belmondo especially, by using actors who really look like little kids, youngsters not fully grown into their bodies, a fact which doesn't fail to inject the proceedings with an unnerving sense of the real. Set in Naranjo's native home of Guanajuato, Voy a explotar offers a portrait

of the picturesque colonial city, with its houses that climb the surrounding hills, as seen from the central rooftops and subterranean tunnels that Román and Maru traverse in search of the feeling of escape as much escape's actuality. They, and we, see Guanajuato from above and below, a sly visual strategy that mirrors the kids' mischievous plan, to pretend that they've fled the city when they're actually camping out on the roof of Román's family home, hiding in plain sight, fumbling their way through sex or snatching booze and junk food while everyone else is asleep or out, while their parents, either lazily indifferent or hysterical and useless, go about their negligent search. (Román's father is hilariously played by Mexican veteran Daniel Giménez Cacho, probably most familiar to Anglophone viewers as a disembodied voice—he was the anonymous narrator of Alfonso Cuaron's Y tu mamá también ('01).) I saw Voy a explotar at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and have since been patiently wondering when it might resurface. The film played the New York Film Festival that same year,

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

and eventually returned to NYC screens last summer. It never received any theatrical release anywhere in Canada that I know of, but at least, unlike a number of other equally worthy recent Latin American films, it's now been granted a DVD release from Paradox/E1 in a no-frills package but featuring a decent transfer. The film was co-produced by Canana, the Mexican company overseen by Y tu mamá también's stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna. They recently re-teamed for Rudo y Cursi ('08), which was kinda fun but not nearly as exciting a film as Voy a explotar. It did however get some limited Canadian distribution, presumably in the hopes that García Bernal and Luna's allure could result in another art house hit (it didn't). I don't know that Voy a explotar could have generated the sort of box office that potential distributors require to justify such a gamble, but with any luck its appearance on DVD will help to keep viewers alert to the fact that, 10 years after Amores Perros ('00), Mexican cinema is still very much alive and kicking and ready to explode upon the international scene. V

FILM // 21


Spectral thrills

The Ghost Writer escapes allegory as a chilling thriller onto itself Josef Braun //


e has no name, and offers very little with regards to his past. He's supposed to be a ghost: anonymous, invisible, not really here. But this ghost, brought to an island oppressively cloaked in wintry clouds to infuse some flavour into the insipid memoirs of a former British PM, will be punched, pressed, provoked and prompted to delve deeper into his subject's past than professional etiquette would have it. Just as the ghost arrives his subject is hurled into a maelstrom of disgrace, accused of handing over terror suspects to the CIA for torture and subpoenaed by the international tribunal in the Hague. The ways in which The Ghost Writer mirrors real life are numerous. Though the PM is dubbed Alan Lang, this is clearly the next-best thing to an explicit indictment of Tony Blair by Robert Harris, former BBC journalist and author of the source novel. Lang's disillusioned Foreign Secretary Richard Rycart seems loosely based on the late Robin Cook. There's a US Secretary of State that so carefully resembles Condoleezza Rice as to almost be camp. And yes, the scenario eerily evokes the ongoing house arrest of director and co-scenarist Roman Polanski. But however tempted one might be to read The Ghost Writer as allegory, the movie demands to be appreciated as exactly what it is, an engrossing,

somewhat artificial thriller, rendered by Polanski with inspired classical economy. He imbues the whole with characteristic wit, cynicism and a billowing dread that somehow remains playful. Look at how Polanski opens the movie: cars are ushered off the Woods Hole ferry that connects Martha's Vineyard, where Lang holes up, to mainland Massachusetts. But one car that seems to have been abandoned. Night falls, and the car is towed away. As gray dawn exhales upon a local beach a body washes up on the shore. The sequence is a shrewd, disarmingly detached vestibule to the main action. No central characters are introduced. Well, not exactly. That body belonged to one Mike McAra, Lang's former press aide and his first ghost writer. McAra's ghost will haunt all that proceeds, his nameless replacement retracing his footsteps, recovering his research, even sleeping in his bed. The protagonist lured into assuming the role of someone perished under mysterious circumstances is a theme familiar from some of Polanski's finest work, most notably The Tenant. It's a condition to which Polanski displays a deep affinity, one that interrogates the hazy region where free will dissolves into the caprices of merciless destiny. Crucially, the protagonist is neither innocent nor fully cognizant of what sort of trap he's slipping into. No one's ever innocent in a Polanski film, but that doesn't mean knowledge will save you.

As Lang, Pierce Brosnan is a perfect blend of exhausted diplomacy and draining charm. Olivia Williams and Kim Cattrall play Lang's spouse and secretary, and both—sexy, smart and a little scary—exude far greater control over Lang's affairs than Lang himself. As the ghost, Ewan McGregor makes up for the protagonist's dearth of conventional character development by playing each and every moment as potentially decisive, his actions at once motivated by a fatal curiosity driven by frustrations over a sub-mediocre literary career and the intoxication of letting oneself be dragged under by an overpowering wave. Polanski, working mostly on a German soundstage, handles everything with supreme confidence, unconcerned with the scattered holes in Harris' labyrinthine plot and staging minor key set-pieces with bold efficacy, including a clever use of GPS that Hitchcock would surely have appreciated and a final, brilliantly staged single shot so chilling that Hitchcock would never have been allowed to end a movie thus in his Hollywood heyday. V Opening Fri, Mar 19 The Ghost Writer Directed by Roman Polanski Written by Robert Harris, Polanski Starring Ewan McGregor



Get together

The Alberta Student Film Festival lets budding filmmakers meet the likeminded David Berry //


n the week preceding the Alberta Student Film Festival, it's lucky to catch festival director Erik Kline at all. Besides the already impressive dual role of being a student and the president of the U of A Society for Creative Filmmaking, thanks to a last-minute exodus of volunteers, Kline has also taken over planning for the Society's biggest undertaking, the ASFF. When we spoke, he was just out of another meeting to make sure things are running smoothly, and he sounded very

22 // FILM

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

much like a man who was slowly starting to get the exasperated hang of not having free time. But maybe that's just because he knows that the storm will eventually be giving way to a relaxing and fun kind of calm. Though Kline admits the organizing has been a little more chaotic than usual for the fourth annual incarnation of the festival, he also expects that momentum garnered will keep things on a relatively even keel. "Last year we had four volunteers, and this year we just have myself, so that's been a challenge," Kline admits. CONTINUED ON PAGE 23 >>




"But the atmosphere should still be good: a lot of people bring their friends and family and crew members out, so it should be pretty lively." That will be key for the festival, which counts on engaged participants. Though it was conceived with more of a showcase in mind, like the Society itself, the festival was also started to bring together filmmakers for the purposes of creating more films. Unlike other artistic mediums, which can get by in relatively solitary circumstances, even the smallest of films needs a crew to get off the ground, and so a large part of the mandate of both entities is bringing people together so they can then get out and start creating. In the ASFF's case, that entails bringing in a wide variety of entrants—this year's edition drew films from across the province and into a few others, with young filmmakers always hungry for the rare chance to get up on a big screen—but also providing plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle. Because, after all, if you're going to continue having a student festival, you're going to need to have student films. "We have a lot of after-parties at our event, and you grow a lot of friends out of that," explains Kline. "People who are producing films derive a lot of relationships with other filmmakers that come in handy down the road. A lot of films probably wouldn't have happened if those people hadn't met through our festival and our society. It creates a venue for more work to be able to be done. There's a lot of skill out there, and you might need that skill in your next film, so the chance to meet that and make that connection is really important." V Fri, Mar 19 – Sat, Mar 20 Alberta Student Film Festival


SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE (14A, coarse language, crude content) Daily 7:10 9:10; Fri, Sat, Sun 2:10

COP OUT (14A, coarse language, crude content) Sat, Sun, Tue 12:45, 3:30

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REPO MEN (18A, gory scenes, brutal violence)

REPO MEN (18A, gory scenes, brutal violence)

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Creative Filmmaking

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No passes Fri 4:15, 7:45, 10:30; Sat-Sun 1:30, 4:15, 7:45, 10:30; Mon-Thu 7:45, 10:30

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THE METROPOLITAN OPERA: SIMON BOCCANE� GRA ENCORE (Classification not available) Sat 11:00

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WESTMOUNT CENTRE 111 Ave, Groat Rd, 780.455.8726



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MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

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FILM // 23




Paul Greengrass is the auteur filmmaker of systemic breakdowns: how air-traffic control, the military and the White House miscommunicated about the hijacking of United 93; how an agent can be made, broken, then pursued by the CIA and its surveillance network in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. But how to make a film of the brutal, sprawling systemic breakdown that is



the ongoing war in Iraq? Greengrass and writer Brian Helgeland have bitten off more than we can believably swallow in Green Zone, which never perfects the balance of thriller and political docudrama. Yet it never dips below "watchable" on the cinematic alert level, often reaches "gripping" and shows more political smarts than most films on Iraq, let alone action movies (including a recent Oscar winner that tried to defuse political complexity). Green Zone lands us in Iraq in April 2004. Bush is about to declare "Mission Accomplished," the Iraqi Army's foolishly about to be disbanded and teams of soldiers are still searching for WMD, the premise for the invasion. Head of one team is Chief Roy Miller (Matt Damon), fed up with finding empty sites and sus-

picious of the intelligence source. An Iraqi civilian, Freddy (Khalid Abdalla), gets Miller on the trail of former General Al Rawi (Yigal Naor), high on the US Army's wanted list. As Miller pursues him, he nears the truth of the WMD intelligence, even as CIA man Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson) helps and Pentagon neo-con Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) covers up. That kinetic, in-your-face camera-work, cutting to the chase and bursting around corners, has lost almost none of its force since the Bourne movies—a climactic chase scene done as well as the one here makes you forget the basic cliché of a climactic chase scene. But the chase's conclusion is predictable and overstated. The film's end—where the laptop's mightier than the pistol—is just the sort of "naïve" idealism that Miller and Brown are mocked for, and flies in the face of the gullible press and PR-spin Poundstone's been playing before and during the invasion. The story veers away from a kind of retrospective tragedy. Although, in its shrapnel scenes, Green Zone is one of the best battlefield films for avoiding war-glorification; any of Miller's complexities are buried by the action, while thriller and political docudrama sometimes clash—one sequence doesn't advance the plot but does give a chilling epitome of how savagely many Iraqi prisoners were interrogated. Still, Greengrass often manages to show just how blindly the US soldiers have to follow orders, how bubbled-off from street-level reality are the Coalition Provisional Authority decision-makers in their protected Green Zone and how much Iraq, and Iraq war films, have nothing to do with the US. "This is my country," Miller's reminded by Freddy, who lost his leg in the Iran-Iraq war. "Whatever you want here, I want more than you want!" At bottom, this ultimately over-ambitious film still offers an historical message that Iraq death-knells out almost every day: if the chain-of-command and its talking-point lackeys try to weave a lie too big, justify a war too large, they'll end up pulling the hood over their own eyes and the eyes of men, like Miller or Freddy, caught in a war with no end in sight. Brian Gibson


Remember Me

Directed by Allen Coulter Written by Will Fetters Starring Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper

Robert Pattinson of Twilight is probably the 2000's Leonardo DiCaprio. But if this avant-garde romance about two rebellious college students is supposed to be the 24-year-old's entrance into serious film, he's got a long way to making it

24 // FILM


Directed by Paul Greengrass Written by Brian Helgleland, Rajiv Chandrasekaran Starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Khalid Abdalla


Green Zone

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onto an Oscars ballot. His portrayal of Tyler Hawkins, a sensitive and defiant professional brooder still reeling after a family suicide, is delivered with an awkward fluttering of over- and under-emotion that, in the real world, wouldn't even get someone with Pattinson's cheekbones past the first date. But in the world of Remember Me, where ordinary sucks, a simmered James Dean persona garners him a steamy romance with Ally Craig, played by Lost's Emilie de Ravin. Their love ignites immediately and hardly flickers. Perhaps so because Hawkins spends most of the summer with a kick-ass shiner (from her dad, a cop, but shhhh—she doesn't know); perhaps it takes off because Craig, too, understands life's fragility, since her mom was killed by muggers on the New York subway 10 years ago; or maybe it's because the shoddy script barely interrupts the romance and all but forgets to remind the viewers of what's at stake if they lose each other. Oh, how strong their love is. Just like the scrappy Hawkins character who loves to tell his workaholic father (Pierce Brosnan) where to stick it, Remember Me is also quite unpredictable. The opening scene depicting Craig's mother being murdered in a horribly lifelike instant sent me into the common area of the Cineplex to make sure this was theatre seven. Yup, just as the ticket reads. This movie wants to be so anti-cliché, it actually manages to unnecessarily complicate a story otherwise easy to understand, because the characters act so irrationally. Imagine, after 90 minutes, learning that their romance actually hinged on something that was never pronounced to the audience (though we're expected to have known it all along). And why? Probably because it would remind us too much of She's All That. There is clarity, however, in Remember Me's conclusion. Truly, the "me" in the title refers to the ending. It's not a particularly good or bad ending, it's just an ending so worked that you won't forget it. It's as if the story was written backwards: our hero in a climax that turns the movie-watching experience on its head, preceded by hours of very basic drama. It's then you realize you just sat through a first-year philosophy student's essay on existentialism. And that quote by Ghandi he reiterated was supposed to be more than just a ramblings. And the slices of romance, those were meditations on living in the moment. And the movie's tagline, "Live in the moments," was a blatant indicator that no matter how different it tries to be, it's really the Chinese character tattoo of movies. Oh, it might resonate with shallowly poetic youth, swept away by unrealistic passion. It won't, however, mean much to mature people who acknowledge that predictability is a much more attractive trait than erraticism. Omar Mouallem

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010


She's Out of My League

Directed by Jim Field Smith Written by Sean Anders, John Moris Starring Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, TJ Miller


A film only gets billed as a "romantic comedy" if its intended demographic is female or in the older quadrants. If you're trying to get young men to come see your film, you have to have enough sex jokes or other men-behaving-badly behaviour to call it a "gross-out comedy," or something to that effect, because otherwise they'll stay away in droves (note: you can also make it excessively precious and existential and give it an indierock soundtrack, but then you can't have comedy). But just because Jay Baruchel's attractiveness-challenged hero creams his jeans and has boneheaded friends doesn't mean She's Out of My League isn't a classically constructed rom-com, complete with preposterous obstacles and a finale at an airport. That said, it doesn't mean it's bad. You should be able to figure out what's going to happen here from the poster—brief recap: boy and impossibly hot girl meet, begin unlikely relationship, overcome several daffy obstacles related to minor personality flaws, grow enough to overcome those personality flaws and finally live happily ever after—but She's Out of My League has a certain life and charm that at least makes the familiar ride fun. A good portion of that is due to Baruchel, who cut his teeth as a weedy, confidence-challenged nerd on Undeclared, and is certainly in his element here. He's fairly believable as a guy who doesn't much believe in himself because no one's ever told him he should, and the combination of defeated expectance of things turning out shitty and puzzled enjoyment of things going well tempers even the cruder comedy with a kind of humanity. A perfect example of that is in the aftermath of the jizz-in-his-pants scene. There's something sweet and refreshing about a comedy that uses its main character admitting to premature ejaculation as a kind of grand romantic gesture. And the hopelessness with which Baruchel walks away really sells it. That kind of Charlie Brown-ish quality also helps when the ex of the gorgeous girl he's unexpectedly dating shows up and emasculates him repeatedly and accidentally: he can't even muster the stuff to assert himself, never mind actually stand up to this guy, and his hangdog defeatism is consistently funny. Also pretty good are his friends, especially the button-downed optimist who insists he should maintain a positive outlook, and has a way of comparing romance to Disney movies. It's goofy, but it's performed with enough aplomb to keep things moving briskly, which in this case is a major help. There isn't much in the way of surprise or nuance at stake here, but She's Out of My League is consistently funny, and not always in a crude vein, and that at least ranks it above most other rom-coms out there. David Berry





The Blame-its


Nothing post-Postdata

Edmonton's one and only chance to see the electronic duo James Stewart //


est known for his work as singer and guitarist for Halifax-based rock band Wintersleep, Paul Murphy has recently been making more subdued folk and electronic noise under the Postdata moniker with longtime collaborator and lifetime brother, Mike Murphy. When Paul's hectic touring schedule and Mike's school schedule allowed for a two-week window to open around the Christmas season, the two were able to revisit the days of goofy recording projects of their youth. This time, however, Paul brought a series of songs both directly and loosely based on the recent passing of the pair's grandparents. "I started having really lucid memories about them," explains Paul. "I started writing—well, I don't know if it made me write or if I was writing anyway—and it just kind of bled into it. A couple of the songs were written specifically about them, and the rest of the songs seemed to follow with the general tone of the project. They weren't written with a full band in mind. I could take any song to Wintersleep and have them work on it, but these songs were

FOR THE LAST TIME >> Postdata is a very interesting one-off pretty complete as they were. I thought a more stripped back approach would be the best for them, and they would suit a lower production value." Blessed with an obvious familiarity, the two were able to work quickly, making the most of their limited time and resources. And, as Paul explains, the process of working with Wintersleep compared with the

// Supplied

process of working with his brother had more similarities than differences. "Working with my brother is a pretty similar process to working with the band," he says. "I mean, it was different in the sense that we had no producer or anything, so we were basically responsible for how everything came across. But overall CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 >>


Danger! Pigeonholes! Electric Six is not a one trick pony David Berry //


and chemistry is a tricky thing to figure out, especially crammed into a van on a cross-country tour, but according to Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine, the members of the Detroit rock band have found the tricks to get by: they include learning the most recent album's songs at their first soundcheck and keeping themselves as unburned as possible, in every sense. "We spend a lot of time not thinking, not worrying, not feeling," explains Valentine in his sonorous baritone, decidedly less gravelly but just about as arch as his highly recognizable stage voice. "We've only had one major, wholesale lineup change, and it was just kind of a case of, the three guys who left, everyday was a new crisis. I heard terms like, 'This is our lives' or 'Our lives are at stake here,' and it was all over someone thinking the drummer was speeding up on one song. I've never approached music that way. And there's not a lot of bands that are trying to sound like Electric Six, so we kind of have the Electric Six market cornered." Valentine speaks with the candour of someone who has a level-headed appreciation of being able to work as a musician, although not everything is quite so easy for a band like Electric Six. Thanks

in large part to a sound—flavoured with other bits, but most simply a pounding, sweaty rock that sounds very much born of their Detroit, industry-town roots—that's bombastic as their stage presence—Valentine tends to wear a cape, which might count as one of the more subtle elements of their raucous live show—they tend to get slotted as a kind of tongue-in-cheek, prank band, as though everything was a big joke. More accurately, this is a rock band with a cynical sense of humour, something that people just aren't quite ready to deal with in music, where bands from the wussiest of indie shoe-gazers to the heaviest of industrial metalheads approach nearly everything with an unshakeable sincerity, if not outright pretentious solemnity. "We've been dealing with that the whole time. When we first went to the UK, I can't tell you how many times I read in a review, 'They're a novelty band' or something like that, and I didn't understand what made a band with a drummer, a bass player, two guitarists, a keyboard and a singer a novelty," says Valentine, with a kind of nonchalant sarcasm that often comes across in his songs. "It's not like we were lighting pigeons on fire or anything like that: we were going out there and playing rock

'n' roll music. There are different types of humour, and we've always been on the kind of darker side: you might have to listen to it a couple times before you realize that we're being cynical about stuff, as opposed to some kind of Barenaked Ladies, 'My God, look how funny we are.' We're not that kind of funny." That's been amply displayed over six proper albums—including the latest, the propulsive KILL—but the band's early success, especially the hypersexual, dance-rock gems "Gay Bar" and "Danger! High Voltage," have kind of cemented a certain image in people's minds. And while those songs have lost none of their glam-in-the-back-alley brilliance over the years, you don't make it a decade with one note. Not that Valentine, rather characteristically, loses any sleep over it: why worry when you can rock anyway? "People kind of say, based on 'Danger! High Voltage,' clearly this band is not capable of doing anything else. Based on hearing this one song," Valentine says with a chuckle. "You just get perceived that way. And fair enough, I do it, too." V Fri, Mar 19 (8 pm) Electric Six With Paper Lions Starlite Room, $14

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

MUSIC // 25



ARTERY Rob Taylor (adult pop/ folk/rock) BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ The Proper Charlies; 8pm; $10 BLUES ON WHYTE George Taylor, Russell Jackson BRIXX Radio Brixx: Tommy Grimes, Greg Gory; 8pm; no cover CHRISTOPHER'S Open stage hosted by Alberta Crude; 6-10pm CROWN PUB Latin/world fusion jam hosted by Marko Cerda; musicians from other musical backgrounds are invited to jam; 7pm-closing DRUID Live music with Darrell Barr; 5:30-8:30pm, DJ at 9pm DUSTER'S Thursday open jam hosted by the Assassins of Youth (blues/rock); 9pm; no cover DV8 Sons of No One, The Pine Tarts, Miesha and the Spanks; 9pm ELECTRIC RODEO�Spruce Grove Open Stage Thursday: Bring an instrument, jam/sing with the band, bring your own band, jokes, juggle, magic; 8-12 ENCORE With A Latin Twist: free Salsa Dance Lessons at 9pm HAVEN Open jam; 6:30pm HOOLIGANZ Open stage Thursdays hosted by Phil (Nobody Likes Dwight); 9pm1:30am HYDEAWAY�Jekyl and Hyde Evolution Solution Open Jam Thursdays; 7pm JAMMERS Thursday open jam;

26 // MUSIC

7-11pm J AND R Classic rock! Woo! Open stage, play with the house band every Thursday; 9pm JEFFREY'S Lora Jol (rock); $10 JULIAN'S�Chateau Louis Graham Lawrence (jazz piano); 8pm L.B.'S Open jam with Ken Skoreyko; 9pm LIVE WIRE Open Stage Thursdays with Gary Thomas LUCKY 13 Toolroom Knights, Chris Lake, Funkagenda, Kim Fai, Ryan Wade; $20 (d) at Foosh, Rock it Out Salon, The Occulist (WEM), TicketMaster, Lucky 13 MARYBETH'S COFFEE HOUSE�Beaumont Open Mic Thursday; 7pm MACLAB CENTRE JeanSébastien Roy and Mathieu Gaudet; 7:30pm; $27 (adult)/$22 (student/senior) NEST�NAIT Souljah Fyah (R&B), Goodbye Beatdown NEW CITY SUBURBS Real McKenzies, The Dreadnoughts, Let's Dance; no minors; 8:30pm (door); $15 (adv)/$20 (door) NORTH GLENORA HALL Jam by Wild Rose Old Time Fiddlers PAWN SHOP Project Hope: Viking Fell, Gab'n; 8pm (door) PRISM Althea Cunningham Duo (soul, r&b)s; 10pm RED PIANO Hottest dueling piano show featuring the Red Piano Players; 8pm-1am RIC’S GRILL Peter Belec (jazz); every Thursday; 7-10pm SECOND CUP�Varscona Live music every Thursday night between 7pm and 9pm

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

SECOND CUP�Ellerslie Landing Victor Graves (country/folk); 7pm STARLITE ROOM The ECSA Ensemble Presents: A Romp In The Woods ft Heaviside, Rheubius, Viathyn; 9pm (door)/$10 (adv) at ECSA office U of A/$12 (door) TAPHOUSE Burning Borders, Short Of Able, Five Years Further; 8pm; $5 WILD WEST SALOON Gary Shade

DJs BILLY BOB’S LOUNGE Escapack Entertainment BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Big Rock Thursdays: DJs on 3 levels–Topwise Soundsystem spin Dub & Reggae in The Underdog BUDDY'S DJ Bobby Beatz; 9pm; no cover before 10pm; Shiwana Millionaire Wet Underwear Contest FILTHY MCNASTY’S Punk Rock Bingo with DJ S.W.A.G. GAS PUMP Ladies Nite: Top 40/ dance with DJ Christian HALO Thursdays Fo Sho: with Allout DJs DJ Degree, Junior Brown KAS BAR Urban House: with DJ Mark Stevens; 9pm LUCKY 13 Sin Thursdays with DJ Mike Tomas NEW CITY SUBURBS Bingo at 9:30pm followed by Electroshock Therapy with Dervish Nazz Nomad and Plan B (electro, retro) ON THE ROCKS Salsaholic Thursdays: Dance lessons at 8pm; Salsa DJ to follow PROHIBITION Throwback Thursday: old school r&b, hip hop, dance, pop, funk, soul, house and everything retro with DJ Service, Awesome RENDEZVOUS Metal Thurzday with org666 SPORTSWORLD Roller Skating Disco: Thursday Retro Nights; 7-10:30pm; STARLITE ROOM Music 1st and The Techno Hippy Crew: Bassnectar, Kush Arora, Shamik

and guests; 8pm STOLLI'S Dancehall, hip hop with DJ Footnotes hosted by Elle Dirty and ConScience every Thursday; no cover TEMPLE Surely Temple Thursdays: with DJ Tron, DCD, Optimixx Prime, Miyuru Fernando; 9pm (door); $5 (cover) WUNDERBAR DJ Thermos Rump Shakin' Thursdays: From indie to hip hop, that's cool and has a beat; no cover


180 DEGREES Sexy Friday night every Friday ARDEN Cooper Brothers (country rock); 7:30pm; $35 at Arden Theatre bsox office AVENUE THEATRE Battle of the Bands: On Your Mark, Finding February and others; 5pm (door) AXIS Alba (Celtic); 8pm; $10 (door) BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ Harpdog Brown and Graham Guest; 8pm; $15 BLUES ON WHYTE George Taylor, Russell Jackson BRIXX Postdata featuring Paul Murphy (Wintersleep) with Brian Borchedt (Holy F*ck) and Julie Fader, Clinton St John; 8pm (door); $13 at TicketMaster, Blackbyrd, CARROT Live music Fridays: Alberta Playboys Mike Chenoweth); all ages; 7:309:30pm; $5 (door) CASINO EDMONTON The Classics; 9pm-1am CASINO YELLOWHEAD Toshi Jackson and the Silouettes(Supremes tribute) CENTURY CASINO Shanneyganock; 7pm (door); $29.95 COAST TO COAST Open Stage every Friday; 9:30pm CROWN AND ANCHOR Huge Fakers DEVANEY'S Patsy Amico and Brian Gregg (roots); 9pm-1am; no cover DRUID Live music with Darrell Barr; 5:30-8:30; DJ at 9pm

DV8 The Mange and Zero Cool; 9pm EDDIE SHORTS Blue Bones (rock and roll) EDMONTON EVENT CENTRE Gravity Events Presents Razmatazzle's Full Moon Beach Party; 9pm ELECTRIC RODEO�Spruce Grove Mourning Wood ENCORE 4 Play Fridays FRESH START Live music Fridays: Sherry-Lee Wisor Trio; 7-10pm; $7 HAVEN An evening with John K. Samson (Weakerthans); no minors; 9pm; two solo shows; tickets at TicketMaster Blackbyrd, Megatunes HOOLIGANZ Light Travels, Sekston Slang; 7pm (door), 9:30pm (show); $6 (door) HORIZON STAGE Stephen Fearing; 7:30pm; $20 (adult)/$15 (student/senior) at Horizon Stage box office, TicketMaster HYDEAWAY�Jekyll and Hyde's Micelli and friends; 7pm IRISH CLUB Jam session; 8pm; no cover IVORY CLUB Duelling piano show with Jesse, Shane, Tiffany and Erik and guests JEKYLL AND HYDE Every Friday: Headwind (classic pop/ rock); 9pm; no cover JEFFREY'S Wes Yaciuk (jazz guitar); $10 JULIAN'S�Chateau Louis Graham Lawrence (jazz piano); 8pm LEVA CAPPUCCINO Live music every Friday NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE Bastard Son, The Vicious Cycles (of Les Tabernacles, Blackjacks and Battlesnakes), Soundcity Hooligans, Sons o f No One (of Balls Out Face First); no minors; 9pm (door); $10 (door) NEW CITY SUBURBS Dub-Step Party; Haiti fundriaser NORWOOD LEGION Uptown Folk Club open stage; 7pm (door), 7:30pm; $4 (door) ON THE ROCKS Dirty Penny with DJ Crazy Dave; 9pm PAWN SHOP Soulicitors: Goodbye Beatdown, Sly

Business, Throttle; 9pm (door) RED PIANO Hottest dueling piano show featuring the Red Piano Players; 9pm-2am RENDEZVOUS Empire Assassins, Burning Borders, Short of Able ROSE AND CROWN Boogie Patrol ST BASIL’S CULTURAL CENTRE Full Moon Folk Club: Dave Alvin, Robin Hunter and the Six Foot Bullies; $17 (adv) at TIX on the Square/$20 (door)/ child under 12 half price at the door SNEAKY PETES Tribal Garage (featuring ex members of SNFU, Disciples of Power), The Nolanes STARLITE ROOM Electric Six, Paper Lions; 8pm (door); $14 (adv) at TicketMaster, Blackbyrd, Freecloud, Megatunes STEEPS�Old Glenora Jaded hipster choir, Donald Fenniak; 8:30-10:30pm TAPHOUSE The Fury, Hands of Stone, The Southern Pink, Bohdi TOUCH OF CLASS�Chateau Louis Lyle Hobbs (pop/rock); 8:30pm WILD WEST SALOON Gary Shade YARDBIRD SUITE Darren Sigesmund Sextet; 8pm (door)/9pm (show) $16 (member)/$20 (guest) at TicketMaster Event

Classical MCDOUGALL UNITED CHURCH Edmonton Recital Society–Canadian Western Bank Vocal Gala: Jane Eaglen (soprano), Gordon Gerrard (piano); 7:30pm; $40 (adult)/$35 (student/senior) at TIX on the Square, door

DJs AZUCAR PICANTE Every Friday: DJ Papi and DJ Latin Sensation BANK ULTRA LOUNGE Connected Fridays: 91.7 The Bounce, Nestor Delano, Luke Morrison BAR�B�BAR DJ James; no cover BAR WILD Bar Wild Fridays BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Friday DJs spin Wooftop and Main Floor: Eclectic jams with Nevine–indie, soul, motown, new wave, electro; Underdog: Perverted Fridays: 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 Friday with DJ Nic-E NEWCASTLE PUB Fridays House, dance mix with DJ Donovan NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE DJ Anarchy Adam (Punk) RED STAR Movin’ on Up Fridays: indie, rock, funk, soul, hip hop with DJ Gatto, DJ Mega

Wattson SPORTSWORLD Roller Skating Disco Friday Nights; 7-10:30pm; STOLLI’S Top 40, R&B, house with People’s DJ TEMPLE T.G.I Psydays; 9pm WUNDERBAR Fridays with the Pony Girls, DJ Avinder and DJ Toma; no cover


180 DEGREES Dancehall and Reggae night every Saturday ALBERTA BEACH HOTEL Open stage with Trace Jordan 1st and 3rd Saturday; 7pm-12 AVENUE THEATRE Supernova presents: Band on the Run BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Hair of the Dog: live acoustic music every Saturday afternoon; this week Marie-Josee Houle; 4-6pm; no cover BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ Tiff Hall, The New Fabulous; 8pm; $10 BLUES ON WHYTE Saturday Afternoon Jam; George Taylor, Russell Jackson BRIXX Oh Snap: Battery, Cobra Commander, Ten-O, Hotspur Pop, Cool Beans, Jake Roberts, P-Rex; 9pm (door) CARROT Open mic Saturdays; 7:30-10pm; free CASINO EDMONTON The Classics; 9pm-1am CASINO YELLOWHEAD Toshi Jackson and the Silouettes(Supremes tribute) COAST TO COAST Live bands every Saturday; 9:30pm COLAHAN'S Mr Lucky (blue/ roots); 9:30pm-1:30am; no cover CROWN AND ANCHOR Huge Fakers CROWN PUB Acoustic Open Stage during the day/Electric Open Stage at night with Marshall Lawrence, 1:30pm (sign-up), every Saturday, 2-5pm; evening: hosted by Dan and Miguel; 9:30pm-12:30am DOW CENTRE�Fort Saskatchewan Boogie Wonder Band (disco); 8pm; $49.50 (adult)/$46.50 (senior/ student) at Dow Centre tickets, TicketMaster DEVANEY'S Patsy Amico and Brian Gregg (roots); 9pm-1am; no cover DV8 Murray Taylor's Anolog Apocalypse, Sean Brewer's Acoustic Trio; 9pm EDDIE SHORT The Apresnos, Travolta (rock and roll) EDMONTON EVENT CENTRE Bounce Birthday Bash; 7:30pm; tickets at TicketMaster ELECTRIC RODEO�Spruce Grove Mourning Wood EXPRESSIONZ Open stage every Sat, 12-6pm FESTIVAL PLACE Mark Sterling 11th Anniversary Blues Show; 7:30pm; $36 (table)/$34 (box)/$30 (theatre) at Festival Place box

office, TicketMaster FORT EDMONTON PARK Blatchford Airfield Hanger; Rock and Roll Society of Edmonton: David Gogo, Carson Cole, Flying Saucers; no minors; 7pm (door), 8:30pm (music); tickets at Acoustic Music, HAVEN John K. Samson (Weakerthans); no minors; 6pm and 9pm; tickets at TicketMaster Blackbyrd, Megatunes; Cam Latimer, Reuben DeGroot HILLTOP Open stage/mic Saturday: hosted by Sally's Krackers Sean Brewer; 3-5:303pm HYDEAWAY�All Ages Art Space Water Day: Bridges of Light (indie rock jam), The Killdears (alternative rock country), Nick Guiton (acoustic folk rock blues), John Spearn (Canadiana folk roots Celtic); John Spearn (MC), Charles Gahl (comedian); 7pm; $10 (donation at door)/children free IRON BOAR Jazz in Wetaskiwin featuring jazz trios the 1st Saturday each month; $10 IVORY CLUB Duelling piano show with Jesse, Shane, Tiffany and Erik and guests JEFFREY'S Jerrold Dubyk (jazz); $10 JULIAN'S�Chateau Louis Petro Polujin (classical guitar) L.B.’S Molsons Saturday afternoon open stage hosted by Lenny and The Cats; 5pm NEW CITY SUBURBS VNV Nation, iVardensphere, DJ Greg Gory, Black Polished Chrome Saturdays Club Night; no Minors; early show: 7pm (door), 8pm (show); $30 (adv) O’BYRNE’S Live Band Saturday 3-7pm; DJ 9:30pm ON THE ROCKS Dirty Penny with DJ Crazy Dave; 9pm OVERTIME Jamaoke: karaoke with a live band featuring Maple Tea PALACE CASINO�WEM Ransom PAWN SHOP Daniel Wesley; 5pm and 8pm (door); $15 at TicketMaster, Megatunes, Blackbyrd QUEEN ALEXANDRA HALL Northern Lights Folk Club: JP Cormier, Lizzy Hoyt; $18(adv)/$22 (door); at TIX on the Square, Acoustic Music, Myhre’s Music RED PIANO Hottest dueling piano show featuring the Red Piano Players; 9pm-2am RENDEZVOUS Nobody Likes Dwight, Hands of Stone, The Fury ROSE AND CROWN Boogie Patrol SERBIAN HALL Latin Gala: Sonora Tropical, DJ Papi; 7pm (door); $15 (adv)/$20 (door) STARLITE ROOM Tech N9ne, Krizz Kalico, Big Scoob, Peter Jackson; 8pm (door); $25 at TicketMaster, Blackbyrd,

STENCIL HALL Bluegrass Circle Music Society: Special Consensus (bluegrass), Cabin Fever; 7:30pm (door), 8pm (show); $20 (member)/$25 (nonmember) at TIX on the Square, Myhre’s, door TAPHOUSE Suicidal Bride, NinjaSpy, All Else Fails; $10 (adv)/$15 (door) TOUCH OF CLASS�Chateau Louis Lyle Hobbs (pop/rock); 8:30pm WILD WEST SALOON Gary Shade YARDBIRD SUITE Flora Ware; 8pm (door)/9pm (show); $14 (member)/$18 (guest) at TicketMaster

Classical CONVOCATION HALL High School Honor Band, U of A Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Angela Schroeder (conductor); featuring the winner of the 2010 Concerto Competition; 7pm; $15 (adult)/$10 (senior/student) ROBERT TEGLER STUDENT CENTRE Jubiloso! Bells of Concordia; 7:30pm; $12 (adult)/$10 (student/senior) at TIX on the Square WINSPEAR CENTRE University of Alberta Mixed Chorus spring concert with the University of Alberta Faculty of Education Handbell Ringers; 8pm; $19 (adult)/$15 (student/senior) at TIX on the Square

DJs AZUCAR PICANTE Every Saturday: DJ Touch It, hosted by DJ Papi BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Saturday 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 CENTURY ROOM Underground House every Saturday with DJ Nic-E HALO For Those Who Know: house every Saturday with DJ Junior Brown, Luke Morrison, Nestor Delano, Ari Rhodes NEWCASTLE PUB Saturdays: Top 40, requests with DJ Sheri NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE Punk Rawk Saturdays with Todd and Alex NEW CITY SUBURBS Black Polished Chrome Saturdays: industrial, Electro and alt with Dervish, Anonymouse, Blue Jay PAWN SHOP SONiC Presents Live On Site! Anti-Club Saturdays: rock, indie, punk, rock, dance, retro rock; 8pm (door) RENDEZVOUS Survival metal night SPORTSWORLD Roller Skating Disco Saturdays; 1pm-4:30pm and 7-10:30pm; STOLLI’S ON WHYTE Top 40,

R&B, house with People’s DJ TEMPLE Oh Snap!: Every Saturday, Cobra Commander and guests with Degree, Cobra Commander and Battery; 9pm (door); $5 (door) WUNDERBAR Featured DJ and local bands


BEER HUNTER�St Albert Open stage/jam every Sunday; 2-6pm BLUE PEAR RESTAURANT Jazz on the Side Sundays: Audrey Ochoa BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ Sunday brunch: Jim Findlay Trio, donations; Sunday Dinner: Jan Randall; 6:30-9pm B�STREET Acoustic-based open stage hosted by Mike Shufflehound chenoweth; every Sunday evening CROWN PUB Latin/world fusion jam hosted by Marko Cerda; musicians from other musical backgrounds are invited to jam; 7pm-closing DEVANEY’S Celtic Music Session, hosted by Keri-Lynne Zwicker, 4-7pm EDDIE SHORTS Sunday acoustic oriented open stage hosted by Uncle Jimmy; all gear provided; 9pm-1am HYDEAWAY�All Ages Art Space Water Day; 7pm J AND R Open jam/stage every Sunday hosted by Me Next and the Have-Nots; 3-7pm JOJO’S�la Piazza Dasee House concert; 2-4pm JOHN L. HAAR THEATRE Jazz Choir/Jazz Combo Concert: MacEwan's annual Music Concert; 7:30pm; $7 (adult)/$5 (student/senior) at TIX on the Square NEWCASTLE PUB Sunday Soul Service (acoustic jam): Willy James and Crawdad Cantera; 3-6:30pm NEW CITY Open Mic Sunday hosted by Ben Disaster; 9pm (sign-up); no cover O’BYRNE’S Open mic Sunday with Robb Angus (Wheat Pool); 9:30pm-1am ON THE ROCKS Battle of the Bands: Rheubius, Despite the blindness, Owls by Nature ORLANDO'S 2 Sundays Open Stage Jam hosted by The Vindicators (blues/rock); 3-8pm PAWN SHOP Jay Malinowski (Bedouin Soundclash), Kinnie Starr, Michael Rault; 8pm (door); $14 (adv) at TicketMaster, Blackbyrd, Megatunes REXALL PLACE Samantha King; 6pm ROYAL COACH�Chateau Louis Petro Polujin (classical guitar); 5pm SECOND CUP�Mountain Equipment Co-op Live music every Sunday; 2-4pm STARLITE ROOM Hammer Fall, Power Glove; no minors; 8pm (door); $28.50 at TicketMaster,

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

MUSIC // 27


For the kids

Yo Gabba Gabba awesome for everyone There is a television series out there that on, get in silly costumes, and then play has become the destination for the hotsongs aimed at the kids. Just last week, test bands in North America. my two-year-old and I watched DJ Lance Over the past couple of years, its Rock introduce the Killers without menguests have included the Killers, tioning the fact the band was named MGMT, the Aquabats and Lathe Killers (just used the group's dytron. This past week, as first names) and the band, all the show launched its third dressed up in shiny spaceseason, it announced a lineup suits, broke into song about m that included mega-huge acts how much fun it must be to vuewe @ n e v ste such as Weezer, New Wave fly on a rocketship. n e Stev or legends Devo and hipster Obviously, a show aimed at Sand buzz-acts such as Of Montreal kids couldn't mention a band and super-psychedelic American name like "Killers." ensemble Black Moth Super Rainbow. "Son, what are you watching?" Also scheduled to appear later in season "Killers, dada!" three: The Flaming Lips, Band of Horses "What?" and Blitzen Trapper. "Killerskillerskillerskillers kill-ERS! DadWhat show has such booking power? dy killers!" Yo Gabba Gabba, that's what. The MGMT segment, "Art is EveryYup. In Canada, Treehouse—not AUX, where," from season two, saw the band not MuchMusic—is the home to the hipdon dayglo Viking costumes, sailing pest music show in North America. through the cosmos on a multicoloured For those of you who don't have small viking ship spewing flumes of kaleidochildren, Yo Gabba Gabba is a Nickelodescopic smoke. Yup. Straight out of a bad on kids' show aimed at adults (or is that acid trip. the other way around?) who grew up with The YGG album, Music is Awesome!, Intellivision and really dig electronica and released in 2009, features tracks from indie rock. DJ Lance Rock, an orange-clad the Roots, Chromeo, the Shins and clubber, hosts five creatures—including Mark Kozelek, the man behind the Red a Martian and a robot—who never blink House Painters. and love techno music. As you read this, Yo Gabba Gabba is As part of the show, bands are brought bringing its touring show to Toronto, and



Blackbyrd, TAPHOUSE Hardcore Sundays: Awkward Silence, guests; $5

Classical CONVOCATION HALL University Symphony Orchestra, Academy Strings, Academy Winds and Percussion, Tanya Prochazka, Angela Schroeder, (conductors); 8pm; $15 (adult)/$10 (senior/student) DOW�Fort Saskatchewan Festival Gala concert; tickets at Dow Centre tickets, TicketMaster WINSPEAR CENTRE Música Latina: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Alondra de la Parra (conductor), Pius Cheung (marimba); 2pm; $20-$65 at the Winspear box office

DJs BACKSTAGE TAP AND GRILL Industry Night: with Atomic Improv, Jameoki and DJ Tim BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE 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 NEW CITY SUBURBS Get Down Sundays with Neighbourhood Rats SPORTSWORLD Roller Skating Disco Sundays; 1-4:30pm; WUNDERBAR Sundays DJ Gallatea and XS, guests; no cover


BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Sleeman Mondays: live music monthly; no cover BLUES ON WHYTE Twisters CITY HALL OUTDOOR PLAZA World Water Day: Tribal Garage (world fusion folk rock jam), John Spearn (folk roots Celtic); 12-12:45pm; free all ages DEVANEY'S Open stage Mondays with Ido Vander Laan and Scott Cook; 8-12 MACLAB CENTRE Samantha King; 8pm; Tickets: $27 (adult)/$22 (student/senior) at TIX on the Square, Leduc Recreation Centre

28 // MUSIC


NEW CITY This Will Hurt you Mondays: 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 Monday Night: Soul, R&B, British Invasion, Ska, Rocksteady, and more with Michael Rault ROSE BOWL/ROUGE LOUNGE The Legendary Rose Bowl Monday Jam: hosted by Sean Brewer; 9pm STARLITE ROOM Everytime I Die, Four Year Strong, Polar Bear Club, Trapped Under Ice; all ages; 7pm (door); $20 at TicketMaster, Blackbyrd

Classical CONVOCATION HALL Monday Noon Music–Celebrating Chopin: Magdalena Adamek, piano), 12pm, free; Contempo Concert, 8pm, free

DJs BAR WILD Bar Gone Wild Mondays: Service Industry Night; no minors; 9pm-2am BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Eclectic Nonsense, Confederacy of Dunces, Dad Rock, TJ Hookah, Rear Admiral Saunders BUDDY'S DJ Dust 'n' Time; 9pm FILTHY MCNASTY'S Metal Mondays: with DJ S.W.A.G. LUCKY 13 Industry Night with DJ Chad Cook every Monday NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE Daniel and Fowler (eclectic tunes)


BLUES ON WHYTE Twisters BRIXX Troubadour Tuesday: Kamila (Cracker Cats), The Jams. Host Mark Feduk; 9pm (door); $8 (door) CROWN PUB Underground At The Crown: underground, hip hop with DJ Xaolin and Jae Maze; open mic; every Tuesday; 10pm; $3 DRUID Open stage with Chris Wynters; 9pm DV8 Quebec Punks The Hunters Hit; 9pm

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

HYDEAWAY�Jekyll and Hyde's Owen Steel, friends; 7pm L.B.’S Ammar’s Moosehead Tuesday night open stage; 9pm1am; featuring guests; hosted by Mark Ammar and Noel (Big Cat) Mackenzie; this week with Drew Hazlett and Robert Fernandez NEW CITY LIQWID LOUNGE Every Tuesday open stage: Hosted by Ben Disaster; 9pm O’BYRNE’S Celtic Jam with Shannon Johnson and friends OVERTIME Tuesday acoustic jam hosted by Robb Angus SECOND CUP�124 Street Open mic every Tuesday; 8-10pm SECOND CUP�Stanley Milner Library Open mic every Tuesday; 7-9pm SIDELINERS Tuesday All Star Jam with Alicia Tait and Rickey Sidecar; 8pm SPORTSMAN'S LOUNGE Open Stage hosted by Paul McGowan and Gina Cormier; every Tuesday, 8pm-midnight; no cover STEEPS�Old Glenora Every Tuesday Open Mic; 7:30-9:30pm TAPHOUSE Brew N Taphouse YARDBIRD SUITE Tuesday Session: Sandro Dominelli Trio; 7:30pm (door), 8pm (show); $5

Classical ENTERPRISE SQUARE Enterprise String Quartet: Guillaume Tardif, Virginie Gagné (violins); Charles Pilon (viola), Joanne Yu (cello); 4:30pm; no cover

DJs BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Main Floor: CJSR’s Eddie Lunchpail; Wooftop: with DJ Gundam BUDDY'S DJ Arrow Chaser; 9pm GINGUR SKY Bashment Tuesdays: Reggae music; no cover NEW CITY LIKWID LOUNGE ‘abilly, Ghoul-rock, spooky with DJ Vylan Cadaver PROHIBITION Tuesday Punk Night


BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Main Floor: Glitter Gulch Wednesdays: Ronnie Hsayward; 9pm; no cover BLUE CHAIR CAFÉ Showcase: Michael Reinhart (singer

my wife and I scooped up tickets on the first day they went on sale. Actually, we jumped the line because we're on the YGG mailing list. We have to do it, you see, for our two-year-old. We just want to be good parents, and make sure he gets the chance to see the secret band that will be unveiled at the performance. A review of the Los Angeles show indicated that Mix Master Mike of Beastie Boys fame got behind the decks to chop up some tracks. What scares me—and I will update this in an upcoming column—is that I get the feeling that not all of the people going to YGG are going to be parents with young children. I suspect that there are more than a few teens and adults who enjoy watching YGG because it's the trippiest, most ear-to-the-ground music show on TV at the moment. All I know is that they better have shirts and merch. Adult shirts. I am so going to do my next talking-head TV appearance with a Plex shirt. I haven't looked forward to a show this much since I saw Future of the Left last year. Wait, did I mention that I'm only doing this for my son? Right. Wanted to make sure we got that straight. V Steven Sandor is a former editor-in-chief of Vue Weekly, now an editor and author living in Toronto.

songwriter), Bri-Anne Swan; 8pm; $10 BLUES ON WHYTE Twisters BRIXX Really Good…: Eats and beats with DJ Degree; a weekly gathering of Edmonton’s Bassline Community; 6pm (music); no cover COPPERPOT RESTAURANT Richard Monkman (jazz); 6-9pm CROWN PUB Creative original Jam Wednesdays (no covers): hosted by Dan and Miguel; 9:30pm-12:30am EDDIE SHORTS Wednesday open stage, band oriented, hosted by Chuck Rainville; 9pm-1am FIDDLER'S ROOST Little Flower Open Stage Wednesdays with Brian Gregg; 8pm-12 HAVEN SOCIAL Open stage with Jonny Mac; 8:30pm; no cover LEVEL 2 LOUNGE Open mic NEW CITY Circ-O-RamaLicious: Gypsy and circus fusion spectaculars; last Wednesday every month NEW CITY SUBURBS The Lustkillers (of Sham 69, The Damned, Black Halos), Fuquored, Old Sins; no minors; 9pm (door); $10 (door) OVERTIME Dueling pianos featuring The Ivory Club PAWN SHOP Oh Snap Presents: Let's Go To War, Degree, guests; 9pm (door) PLEASANTVIEW COMMUNITY HALL Acoustic Bluegrass jam presented by the Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society every Wednesday evening PROHIBITION Wednesdays with Roland Pemberton III RED PIANO BAR Jazz and Shiraz Wednesdays featuring Dave Babcock and his Jump Trio RENDEZVOUS Throttle, Columbia, Radio Direction Finder RIVER CREE Wednesdays Live Rock Band hosted by Yukon Jack; 7:30-9pm SECOND CUP�Mountain Equipment Open Mic every Wednesday, 8-10pm STEEPS TEA LOUNGE�College Plaza Open mic every Wednesday; hosted by Ernie Tersigni; 8pm STEEPS TEA LOUNGE� Whyte Ave Open mic every Wednesday; 8pm

TEMPLE Wyld Style Wednesday: Live hip hop; $5

Classical EDMONTON MORAVIAN CHURCH Jubiloso! Bells of Concordia; 7:30pm; $12 (adult)/$10 (student/senior) at TIX on the Square, Concordia Student Accounts, door MCDOUGALL UNITED CHURCH Music Wednesdays at Noon: Diana Nuttal and Lillian Upright (cello and piano); 12:10-12:50pm; free

DJs BANK ULTRA LOUNGE Wednesday Nights: with DJ Harley BLACK DOG FREEHOUSE Main Floor: Blue Jay’s Messy Nest Wednesday Night: Brit pop, new wave, punk, rock ‘n’ roll with LL Cool Joe BUDDY'S DJ Dust 'n' Time; 9pm; no cover before 10pm DIESEL ULTRA LOUNGE Windup Wednesdays: R&B, hiphop, reggae, old skool, reggaeton with InVinceable, Touch It, weekly guest DJs FLUID LOUNGE Wednesdays Rock This IVORY CLUB DJ ongoing every Wednesday; open DJ night; 9pmclose; all DJs welcome to spin a short set LEGENDS PUB Hip hop/R&B with DJ Spincycle 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 Wednesday RED STAR Guest DJs every Wednesday STARLITE ROOM Wild Style Wednesdays: Hip-Hop; 9pm STOLLI'S Beatparty Wednesdays: House, progressive and electronica with Rudy Electro, DJ Rystar, Space Age and weekly guests; 9pm-2am; www. WUNDERBAR Wednesdays with new DJ; no cover Y AFTERHOURS Y Not Wednesday

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

MUSIC // 29


Do it (for) yourself Sweden's HammerFall bucked the trend and found success

STAYING POWER >> HammerFall has kept going 17 years Mike Angus //


hen Sweden's HammerFall formed in 1993, being a heavy metal band was the lowest step on the music ladder, explains guitarist and founding member Oscar Dronjak. "It was the lowest form of metal music known to metalheads. People didn't like heavy metal anymore," he states matterof-factly. "HammerFall was formed partly as a reaction to that, because grunge was the only aggressive, rhythm-based music that was popular in metal in those days. No one else was playing this type of music, so we wanted to do it ourselves." Since then, the band has gone on to worldwide tours, and seven albums later HammerFall is enjoying a revival in power metal, thanks in part to the longevity and rebirth of '80s metal gods like Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Metallica. The band's recent album, 2009's No Sacrifice, No Victory, is a straight-up heavy-metal album in that vein. "At first it wasn't easy getting gigs—metal wasn't just an outcast, it was ridiculed— so it took us a couple of years before something happened. But when it did happen, it happened really quickly," Dronjak explains. "We got a record deal, and we didn't have to release two or three records before everyone knew about us. When



it was very similar—we just had different tools to work with and different personalities to shape the songs. But the guys in Wintersleep are like brothers to me, so it wasn't all that different." Originally conceived as a way for the brothers to spend time together, the songs came to demand more attention. The pair re-recorded the finished versions of the songs with a better set of microphones and a little less Scotch, the album was picked up and suddenly Paul had an offer to tour Europe with David Bazan, best known for his work under the Pedro the Lion banner. "I hadn't really planned on touring behind the songs at all, but I was asked to do two weeks in Europe with David Bazan, and I couldn't really turn that down," he laughs. "And then I'm doing two weeks in Canada, playing more intimate venues, and that'll be about it."

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VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

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[Glory to the Brave] came out, everybody knew about it. From that point on, we just rolled with the flow. We always had a clear concept of what we wanted to play, and there's never been any compromise in the course of what we're doing." After 17 years, the key to the band's staying power has been the members' own self-confidence, their belief in what they are pursuing. "Like I said, when we started, heavy metal was not looked upon favourably, so we decided we gotta do this for our own sake and nobody else's," he reiterates. "We've never compromised, and never listened to anybody else. Our goal has always been, first and foremost, to satisfy ourselves. There's never been any outside interference. That's one of the reasons metal music died out in the '90s: because too many people who didn't know what the hell they were talking about had too many opinions. "We play this music because we love to play it," he explains. "The second it's not fun anymore, I think we'll just call it quits." V Sun, Mar 21 (8 pm) HammerFall With Powerglove Starlite Room, $28.50 – $60

With no intention to attempt to recreate the circumstances that led to the formation of Postdata, this Friday could very well be the one and only chance Edmonton audiences will get to experience the intimacy of the brothers Murphy song cycle, though Tim D'eon of Wintersleep will be filling in for Mike, who has since returned to his studies. "I always just take things one batch of songs at a time. I haven't even really thought beyond this record, there was no three-year grand plan or anything—or for anything that I do. If I get thinking like that I'll just start to stress out," he chuckles. "It really feels like this record was the result of a very specific and unique set of circumstances. It happened very naturally, and I really can't see it repeating down the road. I'm happy to leave it at that." V Fri, Mar 19 (8 pm) Postdata With Clinton St John, Julie Fader Brixx Bar & Grill, $13


Spreading the blame

Rearranging the lineup allowed the Blame-Its to flesh out its sound Mike Angus //


hen Edmonton punk band the Blame-Its decided to record its new album Panic Plus Planet, the band felt it was time to finally pursue something the members had always talked about: the addition of a rhythm guitarist. The move turned out to be an easy one, with drummer Chris Workun stepping out from behind the drums to fill out the front end, while the band recruited long-time friend Marco West to take over drumming duties. "It's awesome, especially for me playing guitar now," Workun confesses. "It's fun to be up front with [frontmen/brothers] Tye and Trav, since we've been the core

members for 13 years now. We've always talked about having a second guitar player, and once we started recording more, we decided we'd rather it was me than get another guitar player." The transition was smooth, thanks in part to all four members knowing each other from their days in their hometown of Hinton, AB. But heading into the studio to record, given the new member and the shifting dynamics that come with it, could have been more daunting were it not for the group's long-time producer Jesse Gander at the Hive Creative Labs. The overall familiarity came through in what Workun says is the Blame-Its' best album yet. "We had two or three songs already written, so the rest we wrote with Marco," Workun recalls. "It was nice to see how

he'd do in a punk band, not knowing the songs. He'd always been in a hardcore band [Blacklisted], so he was fast. It was nice to see that come out in our new songs." As for Gander, he already had a taste of what to expect heading into the recording sessions. "The sound has changed a bit, but as soon as we got in there he already knew what he wanted to do with the album," Workun acknowledges. "And Marco did outstanding. I used to simplify it in the studio, but every time we'd do a take, he'd change everything up, and get bigger and better. We had a lot of fun that way, because everything would change every take." The result, Workun points out, is the band's strongest album to date. "The writ-

I DIDN'T DO IT >> Oh yes they did

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ing [on Panic Plus Planet] is way better than anything else we've written. It's more mature—not lyrically, but musically," he says, adding, "Travis is using his role as lead guitarist more seriously. The writing is better, and we had more time in the studio, so it ended up sounding way better. "We had so much fun, too. We got hammered one night with friends of ours—the ska-dance band Whitey from Chilliwack— and got them in the studio," he chuckles.

"Basically, we woke up the next morning, we had horns on one track and added percussion on other songs from those guys. It couldn't have turned out better." V Mar 20 (8 pm) The Blame-Its With Let's Dance, Nervous Wreck Avonmore Hall, $10 All ages


Sick 'cycles

The Vicious Cycles roars into town

EASY RIDERS >> Van's Vicious Cycles

// Michelle Verbeek

Bryan Birtles //


t's no surprise that one might find some overlap between rock 'n' roll enthusiasts and motorcycle enthusiasts; both pursuits share an appreciation for loud noise, a lax attitude towards body hair and a general penchant for bad-assery. Vancouver's Vicious Cycles have blended the two together, forming a hybrid motorcycle club/rock 'n' roll band that will roar into town this weekend looking to rock out and generally being unafraid to cut you and take your woman. Vicious Cycles bass player and Edmonton ex-pat Rob Wright knows a thing or two about rock 'n' roll, having spent much of his time in this city as the frontman for the legendary Les Tabernacles as well as the long-running and still-together James T Kirks, but admits he knows next to nothing about motorcycles, something he thought might work against him when he tried out for the band. "I'm the only guy in the Vicious Cycles who doesn't own [a motorcycle]—I wasn't sure they were going to let me in without one actually," he says. "There's a lot of MCs [motorcycle clubs] in Vancouver these days and a lot of them come to our shows. The Nightfighters, the Majestic

Unicorns—an all female MC—Scorpions, East Van Rats, etc. The Vicious Cycles is technically an MC too—that's why sometimes you'll see us called the VCMC or Vicious Cycles Motorcycle Club. With a seven-inch record coming very soon and a full-length following hot on its heels, the Vicious Cycles figured that now was the perfect time to hit the road and spread the band's message of the primacy of two-wheeled transportation, as well as see some old friends along the way. "The mini tour started with our pals in Calgary, Knucklehead, who are playing their 15th anniversary show. Billy [Bones, vocals and guitar] and I have played with Knucklehead many times over the years in our various bands, and the Vicious Cycles have done a couple with Knucklehead too," Wright explains before getting worked up about returning to Edmonton. "I'm super excited for the Edmonton show, and for all of my friends to see my new band. It'll be blast seeing lots of old friends and rocking out!" V Fri, Mar 19 (9 pm) The Vicious Cycles With Bastard Son, Sound City Hooligans, Sons of No One New City Likwid Lounge

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

MUSIC // 31

32 // MUSIC

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010



Hello hard work CAROLYN NIKODYM //


f one of the ingredients of success is working freaking hard, Vancouver's Goodbye Beatdown has that quality in spades. And it isn't just about writing catchy party melodies or touring relentlessly. It's also about shameless self-promotion—in a good way, of course. Like there's the time vocalist Dustin Overhill had George Stroumboulopolous and Rick Campanelli cornered in a hotel bathroom, getting their takes on a possible name for his then two-week-old band. Strombo created a hybrid of the possibilities he was presented and Rick the Temp suggested that the moniker could signify the forces of adversity. "Basically, on a silver platter, a name and a meaning from two ex-MuchMusic types," says bassist Mark Luongo (formerly of Daniel Wesley). "It had to be the name at that point." More recently, the band got an interview on noted music journalist Alan Cross's ExploreMusic because of Luongo's last name. His distant relative Roberto helped Canada achieve one of its gold medals by being a rockstar in the net. "Now that the Olympics have happened and everyone's gotten to embrace him as a Canadian asset, not just a Canucks player, it's been really cool," laughs the avid Canucks fan. "It's definitely good for business. Just because we won. I shudder to think what would have happened if he totally choked and let in eight goals." Goodbye Beatdown probably would have found a way to turn even that situation

Hustle and flow

into its advantage—judging from the way the band has taken the bull by the horns in its short one-year existence. Indeed, just a couple of months after forming, the fivepiece machine won the 30th annual CFOX Vancouver Seeds contest, the same contest that launched the careers of Nickelback, Default, Bif Naked and Matthew Good. Despite the win the guys know that nobody is going to hand them a golden ticket to fame and fortune—and signing a record deal does not automatically mean a limo ride down Easy Street. "I've heard that since I started playing rock music," Luongo says. "Everyone's, like, 'Man, when we get this label; we just want to get signed; all we want to do is get signed; I know our lives will be so much different.' And then you talk to bands that are signed, that are maybe a few steps ahead of where we're at, and they're, like, 'Man, this sucks! I wish that we hadn't thought that this would be the be-allend-all. I wish that we had made ourselves more appealing so we could have bargained better,' because if you just step up and sign a deal, and then think that everyone's going to do everything for you, you're sadly mistaken. And it's a myth that continues to be perpetuated." V

Hip-hop artist Peter Jackson not letting up David Berry //


eing beside the massive American industry, Canadian hip-hop artists have always had to work a bit harder to get noticed, but Peter Jackson might be taking it to extremes. Already this year, the Ontario-based MC has produced two mixtapes—his own Boombox & A Tape, featuring guests Royce Da 5'9 and Treach of Naughty by Nature, and another from his 90Nickel collective—and that's just a warm-up. Less than a week after he's done his current cross-country tour opening for Tech N9ne, he'll take off from coast to coast again supporting Pharoahe Monch, right before his debut full-length, In My Life, drops in May. It's a punishing schedule, but Jack-

son doesn't seem to mind the work—in fact, he seems to be downright relishing it. Surely a part of that comes from a work ethic developed while hustling for shows in his native Ajax—not exactly Canada's hip-hop hotbed—though, as he explains, there's a much deeper, personal reason for his tirelessness, too. "I think everything changed when my best friend was killed a few years ago. From that point, I really didn't take any time or anything for granted: it was, 'I gotta move now, I gotta go now,'" Jackson says while on his way to Ottawa, where he's kicking off the first tour. "I just don't want to be left thinking or wishing about what I could have done." There's definitely not a lot of room in his life for "coulds" at this point. With

his streetwise, history-steeped take on hip hop gaining him attention on both sides of the border, he is a man that's not just doing, but doing well. Not that it's slowing his drive any: he isn't exactly nervous about the coming release of In My Life, but he does sound like someone who knows what's at stake with his debut record. "The album is called In my Life, and it's very personal to me, so every song has a meaning, every song fits a certain formula to build this puzzle of what this album is, which is basically my life up to this point," Jackson says. "With mixtapes, I'll spend a week listening to beats, a week writing and a few days recording. But I've been working a year and a half on this album, because I want to make sure this one is around for a long time." V Sat, Mar 20 (8 pm) Peter Jackson With Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Big Scoob Starlite Room, $25

Goodbye Beatdown Thu, mar 18 (8 pm) With Souljah Fyah NAIT Fri, mar 19 (9 pm) With the Souliciters, sly business, throttle Pawn Shop, $10


A different Starr Mike Angus //


he title of Kinnie Starr's latest album, A Different Day, is also an apt one for her career at this point. Known as a groundbreaking electronic and hiphop artist, her fifth album is a departure: it's a collection of scaled-down lyrics and gorgeous acoustic arrangements that couldn't be farther from the bravado and posturing of your average rap artist. Having just returned from a series of shows backed only by a string quartet, Starr is refreshed, energized and at her outspoken best. "The shows I played recently with Borealis String Quartet were some of the best shows I've played in the last five to eight years," she states. "It was fresh for me. It's new." As a versatile artist with a visual-arts background, Starr continues to search for inspiration. And while she concedes she's still interested in hip hop, she had to take a break from it. "The focus of the new record was to make a record that was free of bling, glitz, overproduction, hip hop. No extra languages, no flash, no loop stations. I needed to return to that feeling that I used to have when I was just starting to make music, where it was all art," she reveals. "I really needed to revisit that, because I was like, 'Fuck, I'm gonna kill myself if I see anoth-

er artist who's fashion-first, with all their gear and shit that's covering up the fact they can't play an instrument. "So I pulled back from that with this record, and it really helped me remember the craft of songwriting," she offers. "I don't feel like I've written my best song yet, but I feel like I'm right on the edge of it." This is a stunning confession, coming from Starr, who has arrived as an icon to a whole new generation of Canadian talent, from Tegan and Sara to Nelly Furtado. And while she shyly admits she's only just starting to get comfortable as a musician, she sees her accolades and influence as an exciting, if humbling, part of her development. "It's been very flattering to see people doing similar things that I do," she admits. "It's a lot of younger kids that are just discovering music and have a lot of energy for it. They're lapping me, teaching me shit too. I see them using gear and styles that I was part of a founding group of musicians who started that wave, but I see them using the tools better, so it's like I'm learning from them what they learnt from me. It's a cool exchange." V Sun, Mar 21 (8 pm) Kinnie Starr With Jay Malinowski, Michael Rault Pawn Shop, $14

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

MUSIC // 33


New Sounds

The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (Warner) 



good live album has a difficult line to walk: it should cast the artist in a light that differs from what can already be heard on studio albums while also capturing performances that are worth preserving. While in a perfect world that would mean hitting record as a band takes the stage, that's rarely the case in real life. Innumerable groups turn in live performances that rely on technological support in order to keep the sound as close as possible to the record, leaving one to wonder why you wouldn't just put on the studio version instead. Then there's the simple fact that not every show—and often not every song within a single show—is so good, so compelling, that it should live on forever. And, in fact, the proliferation of live releases over the last decade or so has devalued the form more than ever. It seems as though nearly ever artist feels the need to document every single tour they carry out with a commemorative live release, either on CD or DVD. Sure, there are shows that are standouts, worthy of immortalization, but there are more live albums that are pieced together with the same sort of consideration as the best studio releases: which songs will make the best album?

In the White Stripes' case, the duo certainly can't be accused of releasing an abundance of live material: Under Great White Northern Lights is its first official live album, with a 2004 live DVD being its only other contribution to the field. And the Whites—Jack and Meg—have seen fit to pull only the most combustive takes from their 2007 Canadian tour, constructing an album that is racked from beginning to end with a series of performances that work together as a whole, each one as tough as the next. True, it's not a tiny slice of time, a single-night experience captured on tape, but it's an accurate enough representation of the band's live show, and it might be better to consider it as a slice of that 2007 tour instead. Whatever piece of time that it captures, though, Northern Lights is ultimately an experience unto itself, with the various songs tied together by an unbreaking audience track, giving it the impression of a single show. And what a show it is. The album is a throwback of sorts for the duo: over the years the White Stripes' studio work has become more layered, expanding the band's guitar-and-drums instrumentation with subtle additions. On stage, though, it's just Jack and Meg doing it all, and Northern Lights turns a spotlight on that fact, exposing the band's heart to be one that remains as unpolished and heavy thumping as it was when it began over a decade ago. The White Stripes has evolved from its roots as a Detroit garage-rock band, and that's a welcome thing on the studio albums. The alternative would be for the duo to spin its wheels and regurgitate over and over what it's already done a fine job of capturing in its early days. That said, it feels pretty good to hear the band digging into its past on the stage, unafraid of leaving holes in the sound, or altering the approach—the revamped "Seven Nation Army" is a good example of this—in order to give songs that were bulked up in the studio a new life on the stage, relying upon the same tools that the band began with. V

Lou Rhodes One Good Thing (Motion Audio)  Since leaving the electric duo Lamb for the relative calm of a rural English farm, Lou Rhodes has released her second solo album. From the soothing opening notes of the title track, the mood is set for this collection of contemplative acoustic ballads, complimented nicely with subdued dissonant textures and soaring string arrangements. Her sensual, sighing ruminations on love and love lost are suited to her voice, which rarely rises from a whisper. Like 2006’s Beloved One, One Good Thing delivers sombre, rainy-day music suited to quiet afternoons in the café, recovering from a hangover or heartache. Mike Angus


Young Rival Young Rival (Sonic Unyon)  Back-to-the-land movements have occurred plenty of times throughout human history as members of certain societies sought to be released from what they felt was the ignoble or decadent grip of the civilization they were living in and return to something more primitive, peaceful or virtuous. Hamilton's Young Rival feels like the same sort of thing, only in rock 'n' roll form. The steel city three-piece has created a sound that is classic but not backward-looking, a return to the roots of what made rock 'n' roll great in the first place while not falling into the kitsch of nostalgia, something that feels recognizable but fresh. Blending elements of doo-wop and jangle-pop with the harder edges of indie rock, the band's songs pop with a vitality and a grit not exactly in abundance these days in music. Bryan Birtles


Pat LePoidevin moon wolves (Independent)  Recorded in the winter of 2009, Pat LePoidevin's album moon wolves suffers a bit from a case of bad timing; a record well-suited to the quiet contemplation of a coming winter, its early-spring release means that it loses some of its effect. Still, if you're in the mood for the kind of melancholy that comes with long nights and cold mornings, you could easily do worse—the introspection and picture painting on moon wolves is top-notch storytelling. Bryan Birtles


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VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

Airbourne No Guts No Glory (Roadrunner)  It's easy to be critical of Airbourne for its blatant appropriation of AC/DC's style but, on its second album, the Australian band makes it clear that there are no plans to veer off into prog-rock territory anytime soon. And, really, these guys are pretty good at knocking off AC/DC knock-offs that at least come within spitting distance of the originators of the threechord approach. (Truthfully, though, singer Joel O'Keeffe doesn't have quite the same bloke-at-the-pub charm of Brian Johnson, and the guitars are lacking the undeniable punch that Malcolm Young brings to AC/DC.) The biggest flaw here is the same thing that plagued AC/DC's latest album: there are simply too many tracks treading on the same ground. Cut a few off to bring the album closer to the half-hour mark and there'd be a fairly solid hard-rock album here. Eden Munro


Karnivool Sound Awake (Sony)  Metal is often known for pushing the speed limit on a human's ability to riff, or how heavy a bass line can actually become. Unfortunately, metal is not know for its vocals, and for good reason. Vocals can mess up a great guitar riff, or the heaviest of bass lines, and Karnivool is no exception. Falling into the category of what could be called emo-metal, Karnivool follows the tradition of nu-metal bands by crying out vocals that belong more to Celine Dion than Rob Halford. Most songs will tease you with a fantasticly deep bass to open but as soon as those lyrics break in you'll be reaching for the latest Gojra album to satiate your metal desire. Looking at the bio you'll want to stick with a metal rule I hold pretty closely—never trust a metal band with short hair. Samantha Power


ALBUM REVIEWS Bonnie "Prince" Billy I See a Darkness (Drag City)

Witness a song like "Nomadic Revery (All Around)": it's maybe the sexiest song Oldham's ever written, and fairly exOriginally released: 1999 plicitly about exploring his m o .c ly k e vuewe partner, but there's still this The darkness alluded to in david@ the title of Will Oldham's creeping dread, this recogniDavidy masterpiece is never really tion that having sex is fighting Berr against oblivion, and its ultimate explicitly laid out. When Johnny Cash covered line is a plea for clemency: "I just the title track, it became the laneed an evening ment of a fading / With someone nice to hide me." alcoholic, though that speaks more The easy shuffle of "Today I Was to the song's non-specific but an Evil One" deeply felt dread hides a sinister strain, too: Oldand regret than what it might be ham's only sin is ambling about, about. For the album, anyway, wasting the day, death seems to suffering only having fun, and be at the forefront of Oldyet this is a kind of sin (though, in ham's mind, and not just because THERE IT IS >> Yup, that's a darkness all right some sense, one of the obvious signs (the childlike skull no less enjoyable than sex). That said, I See a Darkness is really at on the stark cover, the song "Death to Everyone"). A very strong part of I See a its best when that darkness starts to creep to the fore. "Death to Everyone," Darkness, really, is a sort of celebration again, has a gothicly warbling guitar and of light, albeit one resolutely couched in the pain and fear of knowing those a horrible, wonderful refrain—"Death to times will eventually pass. Not that he's everyone is gonna come / And it makes necessarily all down about it. As Oldham hosing much more fun"—that's indicative of an utterly profound ambivalence also puts it on "Death to Everyone," actually: found in lines like "Every terrible thing is "And since we know an end will come / It makes our living fun." a relief / Even months on end buried in That is indicative of the album's asgrief": that's "I'd rather be a day labourer" tounding ambivalence to coming to an territory. end. Both the zen-like acceptance of all But of course nothing matches the title track, one of the most harrowing, mournthings passing and the mortal fear of the unknown end exist side-by-side, someful songs ever written, and Oldham's times in the same ambivalent line, which contribution to the pop canon. Precisely grants a lot of this album an otherworldwhat makes it so poignant is the dual recly kind of power. Taken alone, both those ognition that infects the entirety of the album, but is distilled here. While a folk drums have been beaten enough to be reduced to background noise in unskilled orchestra slowly builds behind him, Oldhands. Thumped alternately, though— ham explicates not only his relentless will especially by a folk craftsman as articuto live, but the equally ceaseless opposilate and effortless as Oldham, especially tion, the ever-present knowledge that life isn't all grand no matter how much he in that wispy-but-rooted, creaking-butfoundational drawl of his—and each just enjoys it. Even the hope he offers in the amplifies the other: the inevitability is form of brotherhood is tempered and unundercut by the rapture of the moment's convincing. It's a full realization of what enjoyment, but the moment is darkened death means, which is rare and scary no by the knowledge of the inevitability. matter the medium.V




HAIKU Poirier Running High (Ninja Tune)





Whiteoyn Houst

Broken Bells Broken Bells (Columbia)

Tommy Babin's Benzene Your Body is Your Prison (Drip Audio) 

Favela Dancehall Plus synths goin' nuts equals Freak out in my pants

A free-wheeling experiment into music, Your Body is Your Prison delves into sound and cuts it up with a razor blade, then reassembles the pieces into a rather haunting testament. Generally free of discernable time signatures, this isn't for the faint of heart as it can be frustrating, but it does reward those looking to get weird.

Krang They Came From Planet D (Cassettes)

Mark Sultan $ (Last Gang)

Lay back and enjoy Sweetest slacker soundtrack for Bong hits and black lights

Old time greaser jams Played in a fucked up manner For fucked up humans

Delerium Remixed: Definitive Collection (Nettwerk)

Beth Arrison Chasing Butterflies (Rawlco)

It is what it says Remixes, all pretty much Sweet dance floor fillers

Chanteuse gets busy Shows off some amazing pipes Like a proud plumber

Bryan Birtles


Destined for great things Assume the position for Band hype enema

MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

MUSIC // 35


BILL CARLEY performing live at the Vue studio on

FRI, MAR 19 (6:30 PM) / THE BUSKER'S BALL / NAKED ON JASPER / BY DONATION Now in its eighth year, the Busker's Ball provides an indoor platform for musicians and performers whose normal turf is the great outdoors and the streets. Organizer and busking activist Bill Carley stopped by the Vue Studios to give a sneak peak at what can be expected from the night's festivities. go to to see the performance.

HOROSCOPE ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

commitment to discipline and righteousFrom what I can tell, your excursion to ness is sometimes at odds with my rebelFake Paradise didn't exact too serious lious itch to give you mischievous nudges a toll. The accidental detour may have and outrageous challenges. Like right now, seemed inopportune in the moment, but the conscientious teacher in me might preyou know what? I think it slowed you fer to advise you to keep a lid on debauchdown enough to keep you from doing ery, voracity, excess, uproar, slapstick, wisesomething rash that you would have re- cracking, fireworks, and limit-pushing. But gretted later. And are you really sorry the rabble-rousing agitator in me feels you were robbed of your cherobligated to inform you that at no ished illusions? In the long run, other time in 2010 will the karI think it was for the best. As Y mic price be lower for engaging for the scratches on your nose OLOG m in such pursuits. R T S .co from when you stuck it into A weekly l@vue freewil business you weren't "supCANCER (Jun 21 – Jul 22) Rob y It's time for you to stop speposed" to: they're a small price n s z Bre to pay for the piquant lesson you cializing in furtive glimpses and got in how not to live. start indulging in brazen gazes. You're ready to phase out your role as a TAURUS (Apr 20 – May 20) peripheral influence and see if you can be Some people are here on the planet to more of a high-intensity instigator and orfind success, while others are here to find ganizer. Yes, Cancerian, you've earned the themselves. In the big scheme of things, right to claim more credibility and clout— I'm not sure which category you fit into, to leave your tentative position outside Taurus. But I'm pretty sure that for the the magic circle and head in the direction next few weeks you'll be best served by of the sweet hot spot. acting as if you're the latter. Even if you think you've found yourself pretty com- LEO ( Jul 23 – Aug 22) pletely in the past, it's time to go search- "Nature seems to exult in abounding ing again: there are new secrets to be dis- radicality, extremism, anarchy," wrote Ancovered, in large part because you're not nie Dillard in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. "If who you used to be. So for now at least, I we were to judge nature by its common encourage you to give your worldly ambi- sense or likelihood, we wouldn't believe tions a bit of a rest as you intensify your the world existed. In nature, improbabiliself-explorations. ties are the one stock in trade. The whole creation is one lunatic fringe ... No claims GEMINI (May 21 – Jun 20) of any and all revelations could be so farBeing a paragon of moral behavior can be fetched as a single giraffe." Reading this fun and rewarding. It's amazing how many passage is a good way for you to prepare interesting people want to play with me for the immediate future, Leo. Why? Bejust because they think I'm so #%&@ high- cause you'll soon be invited to commune minded. But I've got to confess that my with outlandish glory. You'll be exposed



36 // BACK

to stories that burst from the heart of creation. You'll be prodded to respond to marvelous blips with marvelous blips of your own. But here's the catch: it may all remain invisible to you if you're blinded by the false belief that you live a boring, ordinary life.

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

The storm is your friend right now, Virgo. So are the deep, dark night and the last place you'd ever think of visiting and the most important thing you've forgotten about. So be more willing than usual to marinate in the mysteries – not with logical ferocity but with cagey curiosity. The areas of life that are most crucial for you to deal with can't be fully understood using the concepts your rational mind favors. The feelings that will be most useful for you to explore are unlike those you're familiar with.

LIBRA (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

Here's your mantra for the coming week: "I disappear my fear. I resurrect my audacity." Say it and sing it and murmur it at least 100 times a day. Let it flow out of you after you've awoken each morning and are still lying in bed. Let it be the last sound on your lips as you drop off to sleep. Have fun with it. Dip into your imagination to come up with different ways to let it fly – say it as your favorite cartoon character might say it, like a person with a Swedish accent, like your inner teenager, like a parrot, like a grinning sage. "I disappear my fear. I resurrect my audacity. I disappear my fear. I resurrect my audacity."

SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

Have you ever heard about how some all-

night convenience stores blast loud classical music out into the parking lot in order to discourage drug dealers from loitering? In the coming days, use that principle whenever you need to drive home a point or make a strong impression. Your aggressive expressions will be more effective if you take the darkness and anger out of them, and instead fill them up with forceful grace and propulsive compassion.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

The Hebrew word shalom means "dream." In his book Healing Dreams, Marc Ian Barasch notes that it's derived from the verb "to be made healthy and strong." Linguist Joseph Jastrow says that shalom is related to the Hebrew word hachlama, which means "recovery, recuperation." Extrapolating from these poetic hints and riffing on your astrological omens, I've got a prescription for you to consider: to build your vitality in the coming weeks, feed your dreams. And I mean "dreams" in both the sense of the nocturnal adventures you have while you're sleeping and the sweeping daytime visions of what you'd like to become.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

I just found out the American shipping company UPS has legally trademarked the color brown. The grassroots activist in me is incredulous and appalled. But the poet in me doesn't really care; it's fine if UPS owns drab, prosaic brown. I've still got mahogany at my command, as well as tawny, sepia, taupe, burnt umber, tan, cinnamon, walnut, and henna. That's especially important for this horoscope, Capricorn, because I'm advising you to be very down to earth, be willing to get your

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

hands dirty, and even play in the muck if necessary in order to take good care of the basics. But don't do any of that in a boring, humdrum "brown" way. Do it exotically and imaginatively, like mahogany, tawny, sepia, taupe, burnt umber, tan, cinnamon, walnut and henna.

AQUARIUS ( Jan 20 – Feb 18)

You are hereby excused from having to know a single nuance about the inside story of Angelina Jolie's secret love tryst with Lady Gaga, or the addictions of conspiracy theorists who lose huge sums of money gambling on the end of the world, or the agony that millionaires suffer from having to support social services with their taxes. In fact, it's a good time to empty your mind of extraneous, trivial and useless facts so that you can clear vast new spaces for more pressing data, like how you can upgrade your communication skills, why you should do some upkeep on your close alliances, and what you might do to streamline your social life.

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

In my astrological opinion, you don't need anything that shrinks you or deflates you or tames you. Influences that pinch your imagination should be taboo, as should anything that squashes your hope or crimps your life force. To make proper use of the vibrations circulating in your vicinity, Pisces, you should gravitate toward situations that pump up your insouciance and energize your whimsy and incite you to express the most benevolent wickedness you can imagine. You've got a mandate to fatten up your soul so it can contain a vaster sense of wonder and a more daring brand of innocence. V




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MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

BACK // 37



Why limit the win?

ism. Our bridged comments held the air for a few seconds and then collapsed, whisked away by the flow of conversation—going the opposite direction. The thrust of people's comments kept relating back to the ways in which gay men were disadvantaged within the Canadian health and education systems—true, but not just true for gay men. The remedies being volleyed about to increase healthy outcomes seemed, to privileged gay men, to be addressing only the ways in which gay men were being disadvantaged. Focusing only on gay issues with an inability to see how struggles are interconnected, nor able to recognize the strides forward that have been made in the last 30 years, along with their collateral implications and complexities, seemed archaic to me, and ironic since so many of the men in the room were

responsible for the leaps forward that gays have made. It was like talking to soldiers who could not see the victories for their own wounds (later this in itself seemed like an issue worth talking about). Earlier in the day, when we were all still defining ourselves within the group dynamics, I said the only way I can conceive of focusing on gay men's health was if I understood the work was being done in concert with other groups working to establish health equity. The comment was informed by the idea that if you solve a simple problem you only positively affect those directly involved; if you solve a more complex problem you help those directly involved and those affected by related issues that are less complex. Why limit the win? If we are working towards health equality for gay men and we understand we must improve the overall quality of life for gay men to improve health, why just open the door enough for ourselves? Why not work with others to take apart the doorframe, ensuring everyone can get in? This may sound overly simplistic but so too is focusing on just one community or hoping


Give glory to God and forgive me

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Health equality for gay men should be health equality for all "Where is the anger?" was a recurring ques- portion of the gay community who now felt tion a few weeks ago at the Deliberative there was nothing more to fight for. The Dialogue on Gay Men’s Health – a search for the anger was thick with conversation in Montréal that the implied idea that some gays brought together some men are now so enshrined in the working on health and gay issystem that they don't even sues from across the country know the ways they are still rem e w e u in one room. A few of those pressed and disadvantaged. On ted@v Ted assembled wanted to know this we all agreed. Kerr where the fire that once fueled At this point, sensing an openthe gay rights movement had gone. ing, I spoke up and shared that, as far Throughout the day my often already rosy as I could tell, the anger regarding health face moved to violent shades of red. When and other inequalities existed in the belly I spoke it felt as though a caged bird was let of emerging queers and other diverse comout, too dizzy with space to do much more munities. From across the room someone than flap its wings. These were the ways I agreed. Where he is from, he said, the anger answered the question—the anger is here. is being directed towards gentrification and At one point the anger was raised right other issues that affect queers and marginafter someone rightfully bemoaned the fact alized communities in insidious ways, includthat same sex marriage had assuaged a large ing and beyond homophobia and heterosex-





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38 // BACK

McMullen Gallery seeking proposals for May 2011-Apr 2012. Deadline: Mar 31, 4pm; info: Diana Young Kennedy 780.407.7152;

Metalcore band seeks serious vocalist and bass player, an open mind, commitment and proper gear (100+ watts) is a must. Contact Aaron at 780.974.8804

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VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

that anger will push us forward. In a speech entitled "At the Same Time," collected in a book by the same name, writer Susan Sontag shares her thoughts on what it takes to be a great writer. Happening to read the speech upon returning from Montreal I can’t help but apply her wisdom for authors to some gay men's health advocates who may be singly focused: "A great writer of fiction both creates—through acts of imagination, through language that feels inevitable, through vivid forms—a new world, a world that is unique, individual: and responds to a world, the world a writer shares with other people ..." With the gains gay men have made in the last 30 years it is not enough to continue forward in just our own name. We need to work at creating a world for gay men to flourish, where others can thrive, and at the same time, be responsive to a world that both wants, and does not want, true progress. Gay men will succeed. We are strong. But if gay men do not work with other communities for health equality the question will not be about where is the anger, but rather, why are they angry with us? V


No quick fix Dear Andrea: so that i could read your letter without My boyfriend and I have been dating for gagging myself. We all have our little senthree years now. From the beginsitivities, be it peanuts or itchy labels ning we have always had the or unnecessarily pornoriffic spellsame issue. It takes a really ing conventions. long time for him to come I understand that you want to whether I am performing oral be the one who "makes" him om .c ly k e vuewe sex or we are having anal sex. come, I really do. And if it's blowaltsex@ We've talked about it a bunch Andresaon job-to-ejaculation you're after of times and I am always tryand not getting I also understand Nemer ing to understand what I can do to that there could be some considermake him come. Since it takes so long able loss of sensation/pay-off/money he always ends up finishing off himself. I shot for you, too, so wanting more direct would really like to be the one that makes involvement in the finale isn't necessary him come when I am giving him a blow job all altruism on your end. And I understand but I don't know what to do. Please help. that we (that would be humans) often enLove, joy the giddy sense of accomplishment and Spectator mastery we get from creating and controlling an enjoyable experience for our partDear 'Tator: ners. I don't imagine, though, that this is the I hope you don't mind that I changed ev- first time I have had to sing this old song ery instance of the word "cum" to "come" to one of my correspondents, and I don't




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imagine it will be the last: you really can't always get what you want. However ...  There may be something going on with your boyfriend physically or emotionially that can be addressed (Does he need more or different sensation? Did he have a traumatic experience or an anti-sex upbringing? Is he holding himself back out of guilt or other negative emotions? Is he mad at you?) but I actually kind of doubt it. I'd imagine that after three years (and probably more processing of the problem than either of you finds entirely pleasant), he would have come out with it by now or you would have sussed it out yourself. I'm going to assume that all of the "a little harder/softer/shallower/deeper/faster/ slower/wetter/drier/firmer/softer/did I miss any?" issues have already been addressed. Next up, we ask if he's on any medication that could cause the unfortunately-named "retarded ejaculation" (SSRI antidepressants like Paxil or Prozac are the most likely culprits). One kind of hopes so, since for a lot of people a medication change can just wave the problem away like a magic wand.

If no such insta-fix is available, what are the quickish fixes, and what are the more gradual, therapy-based approaches, and are any of them likely to work? The answer, as usual, is a resounding "maybe!" And since I have no idea what might be up with him in particular, all I can do is throw a bunch of suggestions at the nearest wall and see what sticks. It's somewhat painful to admit that one's partner is insuffiently aroused, but as long as you take care not to end that sentence with "by me" you should be able to work through this without too much ego-bruising. It's not at all the same thing as "just not that into you." If he weren't that into you, he probably wouldn't still be there gamely making a go of it after three years, would he? He does need something extra, though, so figure out—together—if there's a fantasy component missing that you could help supply (just talking might do it; you probably won't need to run out and buy a Mountie's uniform and a rubber apron) Or, (sort of) conversely, maybe he has accustomed himself to some form of arousal

or fantasy that you can't reasonably imitate for him, and you will need to work together to replace that with something you can supply. You can find books and sites for these kind of desensitization/resensitization exercises; I'm not expecting you to reinvent them entirely on your own. Maybe he has control issues. What often looks, to the frustrated partner, like an inability to give turns out to be, on closer inspection, an inability to take. There are all sorts of reasons why a person might find it difficult to just lie back and enjoy, and in some sense it doesn't even matter. You can work on the "how" without even delving too deeply into the "why." And finally, maybe he just wants a hand job? That wasn't on your list of things that aren't working, so ... ? And even more finally, have you tried just doing what you're doing, then turning it over to him as though for the big finish, and then, on his signal, jumping back in, or on, as it were? That isn't cheating. That's timing. Love, Andrea


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MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010 // VUEWEEKLY

BACK // 39

40 // BACK

VUEWEEKLY // MAR 18 – MAR 24, 2010

Vue Weekly issue 752 Mar 18 - 24 2010  

Vue Weekly issue 752 Mar 18 - 24 2010

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