Come hang with us on Dec7th at the Buckingham on Whyte for a night of funk and soul. Details on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/events/586933314712198
Western Canadian Premiere of “The Grand Seduction” Directed by Don McKeller
Words Penelope Wainwright | Photo Tom Kucy
Last night’s event was opened with a powerful vignette of the role Alberta plays in International Film and Television. It was much more vast than expected, but ingrained the fact that this province is not only driven by industry, but by culture as well.
The stage then shifted to James Pettigrew, CIFF’s President, where he introduced a surprise speaker, Mayor Naheed Neshi. He was enthusiastically welcomed and then proceeded to take a panoramic picture of the audience and then posted it to Twitter in Nenshi fashion. He then shared his love of film, art and culture and encouraged us to see as many films as possible and invited us to “think” more broadly thereafter. That moment reminded me why I left Toronto and chose Calgary as my new home.
James then introduced a short entitled Fresh Start/Old Blood, an Alberta grown production written and directed by Trevor Anderson. It’s a Broadway themed musical short that follows the story of addiction, and chance meetings all set to song. This comical short can be viewed on The Bravo! Fact website here: http://tinyurl.com/kxryqyd
The moment finally arrived when director Don McKeller finally took the stage and introduced his crew, cast and film. He remarked that he had been apart of CIFF over the year, but how this year he was intimidated by the number of attendees at the 2013 Gala. I took this as another testament to the cultural awakening that is unfolding here in Calgary. After actors Gordon Pinset and Taylor Kitsch were introduced, we moved on to the film.
Set in Tickle Head, Newfoundland this remake of the 2003 film, Le Grande Seduction (Seducing Dr. Lewis) follows the story of the residents of a destitute small harbour town who are determined to change their world. Upon being offered a deal for the creation of a petroleum based factory, the new town Mayor comes up with an elaborate scheme to land the deal which requires a resident doctor. The only issue for Tickle Head is that they have not had a doctor in over eight years. Coincidently, a disgraced big city Doctor serendipitously arrives in Tickle Head and the town goes wild creating the most ridiculous, elaborate scheme to keep the young, handsome Doctor for good.
The film was much more comical then I originally thought and had me and the entire audience in stitches. The plot line was down right ludicrous at times, witty, wry and in Canadian fashion, very tongue in cheek. Although, Gordon Pinset’s character is a man of few words, when he does speak, you cannot contain yourself. In terms of production, the film was quite well done, with wonderful use of light and great camera work.
“The Grand Seduction” is not only an excellent Canadian production, supporting our Country and innate talent, it is a heart warming, comedic story that all humans can relate to and definitely worth taking in.
Click for full photo album from the event here.
Words Nathan Marshall | Photos Natalia Bouzane
The annual Sonic Boom Festival got underway this weekend, once again taking over Northlands Park and marking the last music festival of the summer. This year’s event was even more impressive than usual stretching over 2 days with double the amount of bands on the lineup.
Music fans turned out in what seemed to be record numbers to take in this years festival. Starting with day one of performances featuring bands like Yukon Blonde, Cold War Kids, The Weakerthans, The Sheepdogs, Dan Mangan and City in Colour. The majority Canadian rock line up had a continuous chill flow that progressed seamlessly from throughout the day.
Day two brought a bit of a different pace with hard hitting acts like Phantogram, USS, Death From Above 1979, Awolnation, Mother Mother (who did a sick cover of Gouge Away), Passion Pit (dj set) Weezer and Blink 182. Have to hand it to Passion Pit, their gear got destroyed in a storm in Chicago on Friday. Most bands would have cancelled their appearance but they showed up to keep the party going regardless. It’s unfortunate they couldn’t perform live as a band, I’ve seen them before and was looking forward to hearing them perform tracks off their new album “Gossamer” but they did announce at the end of their set that they would be returning to play a true PP set.
One of the biggest reasons I dig this festival is it’s laid back pace. The festival grounds are large, leaving a ton of room to walk around while you soak in the last few days of summer and the music vibe is always solid. You won’t find yourself trekking through a sea of people to see two bands that share the same time slot. With a single stage it takes the guess work out of what sets you are going to check out.
Sonic Boom has easily become a local summertime favourite, getting bigger and better every year. I think its a matter of time before this quint labour day weekend festival turns into a 4 day long weekend shaker. To check out our pics from this weekend head over to our FB page.
Words: Omar Reyes Photos: Margo Klimowicz
Gallagher Park is transformed once again into a majestic hive buzzing with flurried activity from local food vendors, die-hard volunteers, devoted festivalgoers and an eclectic variety of musical performers. So far, Mother Nature has cooperated with the Edmonton Folk Music Festival team in ensuring that the weather is just right. Thursday evening, when festivities kicked off, was a perfect blend of sun and cloud. Not that the weather can dampen the tarp-ready, MEC-apparel wearing “folkie”. Rain or shine, the show always goes on. In its 34th year, there is still a sense of anticipation and excitement in the air. Even as people wait in long lines, you realize that it’s possible for humans to have a good time while waiting! It also helps if members from Mercury Opera serenade you complete with a four-string Quartet.
It’s little flourishes like this that makes ticket-buyers feel like they are being taken care of. I’ve heard many people admit that it’s not just the music that keeps them coming, year after year, but also the family-friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Don’t get me wrong though, the diversity and quality of musical artists is what sets this festival apart. Delhi 2 Dublin is a prime example of this. With their frenetic energy set to Bhangara beats, searing Sitar and bouncing fiddle; it’s no wonder they had the honor of inaugurating the festivities. As Folk Fest “favorites”, they quickly had the crowd pulsating with the need to move. Although this time around, understanding the laborious process of laying tarps on the hill, Sanjay (vocalist) did let us off the hook by not asking us to stand up to dance. Their mixture of rock, reggae, dance, Bhangra and Celtic sounds seems like an odd pairing on paper, but once witnessed on stage, you realize the brilliance of their fusion.
Next to take the stage was American folk and blues artist Ruthie Foster. The power of her voice is undeniable. She commanded the stage with confidence and fluidity from one song to the next. Her band was enviably talented, helping provide some energy to an otherwise subdued set. The struggle I found with her performance had little to do with her ability, but more so with the execution. There seemed little connection between her and the audience. It may have been the timing of her set, the lack of name recognition among the younger crowd or the stark contrast from the previous musicians.
To keep the flame of soul and blues alive, Charles Bradley humbly carried the torch to give us a performance worth waiting for. His effortless raspy boom of a voice was beautifully weathered as the skin on his face. Each note carried with it a back-story of heartache, loss and redemption that was palpable beyond words. He was a gentleman, a lover and a preacher. We, (his audience, love interest and congregation) were swept away into an era not often visited. It wasn’t just the hip thrusts, the middle-of-the-set-costume-change or the interlude that left me enthralled, but it was the honesty in his face that seemed near tears. He beckoned us to “find who we are” and live out our purpose. Without sounding cliché he ended his performance by reminding us, “it’s all about love”. From where I was sitting he suddenly disappeared, only to discover that he had gone to the floor of the stage and had begun to hug many in the front row. It seemed both fitting and triumphant to see him getting the love he so deserved. Let’s hope this isn’t only time Mr. Bradley visits Edmonton.
Like the long-awaited dessert at the end of a hearty meal, Feist was a welcomed presence. With the darkness of the sky as her backdrop, she felt near. From a catalogue of many songs that she could have sung, she opted to connect with us rather than just sing the “hits”. In fact, she didn’t even touch her famous “1234” pop gem. Instead, she delved into her new album while also touching on old ones like “Limit To Your Love.” Her voice was as crisp and crystal as the cold air that kept me huddled under a blanket. It’s no wonder why she’s as successful as she is. A rare voice like hers paired with an affable personality is a killer combination that could win over any stubborn haters. Not that there were many of them last night as many waved their candles and phones in the air leading her to confess that she felt like Bon Jovi.
Come help us kick off the Canada Day long weekend with We Were Lovers, Dj’s Nik 7 and Sheri Barclay. Event info at https://www.facebook.com/events/177624555736059/
Photo: Lindsey Byrnes | Words: Nathan Kawulka
If you look back to when I was 21 and hearing the first notes of Tegan and Sara’s second album and then fast forward to today- ten years will have passed. In those years I have had the opportunity to go and see my favourite band of twin lesbians from Calgary like a zillion times, I actually purchased rather than stole all of their releases and yet in those same ten years I have not ever seen these lovely musicians in person. Yesterday that crime was undone. I got a solo ticket for T + S and went. Along the way I saw some fans I knew, some family I knew, some parents, kids, some other twins and I most definitely saw Tegan Quin and Sara Quin. I saw a father of forty singing along with his nine year old daughter and having every bit as much fun as those clapping, shakin’ and just generally smiling throughout the rest of the Shaw Conference centre. It seems like the sisters have found a way to carve their own path with touching, heartwarming, catchy and just general joy at being part of this whole “big music” kind of world. The lights were bright, the show was packed and it seems like Tegan and Sara have grown their way, along with their fans, into a new place, a new success.
So as I kept on hearing about all of those shows that I missed from my friends; as I saw footage of them playing live on the internet; as I saw videos on youtube and as I listened to their pirated live songs I knew I was missing out like crazy! So after 10 years I finally got to hear the spot on song delivery and the crispness in their singing; I got to hear the funny, awesome and generally wonderful banter of the Quin twins. Within yesterday’s show we had all of the above and more. The lighting, vocals, timing of songs, the mix between old and new tracks as well as their encores were all spot-on. Their ability to draw back through a pretty large discography (7 albums and 3 mix tapes) for a couple of 32 year-olds really allows for some great track-list opportunities which were fully flaunted with their final encore- a mashup-esque hit reel that covered the last 10+ years of my fandom. After having seen them live my appreciation for the show they put on, the music they make and the people they are has been forever changed for the better.
At the end of the show Sara asked the crowd to all take a couple of steps back so that the paramedics could attend to someone. Like a syncro-swim team you could see them all comply, politely, to make sure that their fellow injured concert-goer was well taken care of. Maybe that’s not very rock and roll but it is very “Tegan and Sara” of us all: Atypical, but awesome nonetheless.
Words: Nathan Marshall | Photo: ©Dale MacMillan/Northlands
“Good evening Edmonton, I have a feeling we are gonna have a party tonight.” The first words out of Paul McCartney as he began his 3 hour set and party we did. He started the show with “Magical Mystery Tour” which hadn’t come as a surprise because I had creeped on the set lists of the 3 prior “Band on the Run” tour stops and each had started the same. No matter how much I thought I had spoiled it for myself by anticipating nothing had skewed the impact this show had on me. I should have considered the fact that I was about to see a Beatle perform the songs that defined my childhood music experience.
For this particular show there was no warm up band. Once you have reached the music caliber that is attached to Paul Mccartney the standard show proceedings just doesn’t seem logical anymore. When the lights went down and the spotlights lit up, Sir Paul stepped onto the stage to a a sold out 14 thousand + show of screaming fans. An ear piercing rupture from the ecstatic crowd filled the coliseum and show had just begun.
The former Beatle and Wings front man showed no signs of slowing down at his age of 70. He ripped through a ton of beatles classics like “All My Loving” “Paper Back Writer” “Let it Be” and wove it in and out of Wings classics like “Jet” “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Let Me Roll It”. All the while I could not help but think if he is this good now, what was he like in the 60’s? I thought I understood the phenomenon surrounding Beatlemania but until you see McCartney live you really can’t appreciate the fandemonium.
One of the most enjoyable parts of watching Paul McCartney was how personable he got with the crowd. He shared stories about meeting a Russian president before unleashing “Back in the U.S.S.R” on the crowd. Gave back stories on songs like “Blackbird” which was inspired by the 60’s civil rights movement in the States. The night would not have been complete without some special tributes to some of the amazing artists he had the chance to play with. A guitar solo of “Foxy Lady” for the late Jimi Hendrix, a ukulele version of “Something” for George Harrison and the arena went particularly crazy when he performed “Here Today” for John Lennon. A song written in 1982 a couple years after John’s death. It’s written in form of a conversation the two never had, if inclined look up the touching lyrics.
Big surprises were held for the end like when he brought out a kilted Edmonton Police Service Bag Pipes and Drums band to help him perform the Wings Scottish classic “Mull of Kintyre” (which I found out he usually reserves for performances in Canada and Scotland). “Live or Let Die” was accompanied by fireworks and explosions and the 3 hour, 2 encore set was brought to a close with an explosion of red and white confettie that blanketed the room.
I think I am going to find it extremely difficult to find a performance that will top that show.
Magical Mystery Tour
All My Loving
Got to Get You into My Life
Sing the Changes
The Night Before
Let Me Roll It
The Long and Winding Road
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I’m Amazed
I’ve Just Seen a Face
And I Love Her
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
I’ve Got a Feeling
A Day in the Life /Give Peace a Chance
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Mull of Kintyre
Carry That Weight
Words: Nathan Marshall | Photo: Ashley Champagne
Diamond Rings brought his retro-electronic beats to the Pawn Shop last Wednesday night. Art’s & Crafts’ Gold & Youth started the evening off with a chill melodic indie/electro dance vibe.
In between sets John O’ better known as Diamond Rings and cousin Lisa, creative director responsible for all DR’s imaginative looks took over the DJ booth in a dance frenzy. When the speakers started pumping the likes of Infinity Ink and Azari & III the sparse dance floor quickly filled with wildly dressed characters engaged in some fancy footwork.
Once the room was properly prepped and ready to dance John O’ disappeared and curtains were drawn around the stage as the DR crew set up. When the curtains pulled back they revealed a tall, head to toe wrapped foil figure moving around the stage with a mic in hand. An interesting introduction to say the least. After the first song was complete John O’ changed into his usual glam rock fashion and continued his set dancing and partying on stage while working through all new material from the album Free Dimensional.
DR’s solid performance was backed by a beastie boys throwback trio (drums, base, synth) dressed in matching black & white Adidas tracksuits, sunglasses and black diamond embroidered snapbacks. A new approach for Rings who usually performs on stage solo.
As the set began to wrap up John eventually removed is studded white leather jacket to reveal a custom designed gold triangle necklace from local jeweler designer, Amor. To the crowd’s anticipation, he closed the night with Special Affections classics “All YR Songs” and “It’s Not My Party”. It was the perfect sweaty way to spend the otherwise cold November night.
Photos & Words by Lyuba Kirkova
This past Saturday, the AGA transformed into a ballroom where mystical monsters and gods danced with opulent princesses under the beat of DJ Girls Club’s tunes. It was an exquisite night of art, drama, exuberance and grandeur. I have to say this was my favourite Refinery night so far and even though the cost of attendance has gone up in the past couple of years, it is still a great alternative to a cultured night out in town filled with things to do and see. It seems that the further back in time the theme of Refinery moves, the more interesting the merge of past and present becomes. I found it particularly interesting to see the Misled by Nature: Contemporary Art and the Baroque exhibit and the emergence of the “neo-baroque”. It is fascinating how much inspiration we can draw from historical moments and how past trends, patterns and ambiances can be revived and recycled. The entire night, my head turned left and right. There was so much to look at. Some of the dresses and hair pieces were walking, live artworks. Four lucky winners got their costumes rentals from the Garage Theater theatregarage.ca which I am definitely going to keep in my for the next theme party or photoshoot.
For more photos visit our FB album at facebook.com/georgiemagazine