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Lambert And Stamp

Directed by James Cooper, this 2014 documentary tells the story of two aspiring underground film-makers in 1960s Britain. During the height of the mod era they meet a band called the High Numbers (later rechristened The Who) and, fascinated by their rebellious spirit, decide to manage and mentor them.

Lambert and Stamp screens at the RPL Theatre Thursday July 30 and Saturday Aug. 1 at 7 p.m., and Friday July 31 and Sunday Aug. 2 at 9:30 p.m. Here’s the trailer

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Geoff Berner

With over to 20 years under his belt as a musician, Vancouver-based Geoff Berner’s been through town a few times. He got his start with the punk band Terror of Tiny Town, and has long incorporated klezmer influences via his accordion that reflect his Jewish heritage.

Both in his studio recordings and live performances, Berner’s never shied away from taking politically provocative stances on progressive issues, and that’s contributed to his cult status as a musician and entertainer.

Tonight Berner’s in town to play a show at the Artful Dodger. The support act is the Whiskey Jerks. Here’s video from earlier this year of Berner performing the song “Condos” at a Downtown Eastside fundraiser in Vancouver:

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This Week At City Hall: More Taxis, More Evraz Buildings, More Schools, More Surprise Money

thisweekatcityhallRain-soaked bike ride. Ominous thunder. Wet pants. Must be city council.

Typhoon season has finally come to Regina but I live tweeted through the torrent. I may be damp but I still managed to assemble a whole Monday night’s worth of city hall news that you can click through…

Don’t like the slideshow? You can read the long form over here. And next month, if you want to follow a city council meeting in an onslaught of 140 character blurbs — as they happen — because WHY WOULDN’T YOU?? — I live tweet from @PDCityHall.

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When the M. Night Shyamalan supernatural thriller The Happening was released in 2008, the late legendary film critic Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars in his review. Currently, though, the movie “boasts” a 17 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it seems that Ebert was in the minority in liking the film.

The plot involves a neurotoxin of some sort that, once people are exposed to it, compels them to do something grisly. Tonight, Jayden Pfeifer is screening the film at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. as part of his Talkies series. The series is restricted to people 14+, and admission is free with a donation of non-perishable food items to the Regina Food Bank.

Here’s the trailer

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Queen City Ex

As per the last couple of years, the Queen City Ex kicks-off with a parade on Tuesday July 28 at 7 p.m. The parade will follow the usual route down Dewdney Ave. from Cameron St. to Broad St., then south on Broad to Broadway Ave., finishing at the Tartan Curling Club. The evening will culminate with fireworks in Wascana Centre.

The QCX opens the next day. You can find out all the details on the QCX websiteIn addition to the midway, attractions include Saskatchewan Express Minis & Expressions, Sinbad High Dive Show, Fishing Friendzy, Thomas & Friends, Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo and the RCMP Musical Ride on July 31-Aug. 2 at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Grandstand acts are free with gate admission, and the line-up includes: Wednesday 29 MAGIC! with Halfway to Hollywood (7 p.m.). Thursday 30 THE ROAD HAMMERS with Doc Walker (7 p.m.). Friday 31 GIN BLOSSOMS with the Rembrandts and Fastball (7 p.m.). Saturday 1 DAUGHTRY with Snake Oil Sinners guests (7 p.m.). Sunday 2 SHAWN MENDES with Francesco Yates (7 p.m.)

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Weekly Reckoning: Spectacular Fleeting Things Edition

weekly-reckoningEverybody! I was on my way home from Saskatoon this afternoon and I saw – I swear to God – a small bird landing on a hawk in flight, riding the hawk like a living conveyor belt for 15 or 20 feet, then flying off again. Why did it do that? The convenience of it all? The thrill? Was the sparrow or similar small bird feeling a little tired and looking for an extremely brief rest? Maybe the hawk had a stray seed or bug on its back? Or was it a Nietzschean demonstration of bird world power relations? Who cares? The clearest manifestation of Grace has been vouchsafed to me by chance, and it’s telling me that the lord of the cosmos is probably a bird of some sort. Probably a secretary bird or a piping plover or something.


2. OBAMA’S RESERVES OF GIVE-A-SHIT HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED During a speech at the University of Nairobi, Obama made a birther joke. I’m enjoying Obama’s take on lame duck presidency.

3. A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THE SPIELBERG FANS Behold the ultimate commentary for Raiders of the Lost Ark, chock-a-block with insight and trivia. Remember when you were 30 years younger and sitting in the theatre, wondering about production design decisions? Give yourself an extra kaddam and listen in. Then take back one kaddam for the Bird God.

4. CARS ARE COMPUTERS WITH WHEELS Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall for 1.4 million cars after a security vulnerability was discovered.

5. YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF AND THE BIRD GOD TO READ THIS PIECE ON TA-NEHISI COATES It’s a long read and it’s a few weeks old already, which is five years in Internet terms. But are you doing anything with your life right now that would be as meaningful as the act of reading a piece on Coates, who is doing better and deeper thinking than any of us on issues of race and structural privilege? No, unless you’re fighting a fire in an orphanage right now, in which case the Bird God grants you license to get in there and save those kids.


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Sunday Matinee: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone At NightWhen I first heard about this movie which is advertised as the first Iranian Vampire Western, I assumed the movie was actually shot in Iran. This is not the case. Writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour is of Iranian descent but she was born in England and raised in the U.S. This is her first full length feature film and it was shot in California but set in a fictional Iranian town called Bad City. The cast all speak Persian.

The film is shot in black and white and follows a young man named Arash (Arash Marandi). Arash has a nice car that he’s worked 2,191 days for but his father is a junkie and owes money to a drug dealing pimp named Saeed (Dominic Rains). Saeed takes Arash’s car for payment. Saeed has prostitute named Atti (Mozhan Marnò) that he mistreats. Meanwhile a girl (Sheila Vand) has been watching Saeed. She allows him to pick her up and take back to his place. The girl is a vampire and she feeds on Saeed. Arash runs into the girl a couple of times and falls in love with her.
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Riders Vs. Tiger Cats

Game action from June 29, 2014 when the Riders prevailed over Hamilton 31-10

Game action from June 29, 2014 when the Riders prevailed over Hamilton 31-10

Last year, the Riders opened the season at home against Hamilton. They won that game, but then lost their next two games to fall to 1W-2L. Fans were getting grumpy, but then the Riders had a bye week which seemed to rejuvenate them, as they proceeded to reel off seven straight wins to move to 8W-2L before Darian Durant suffered a season-ending elbow injury in the Banjo Bowl and they more or less collapsed.

This year, the Riders are off to a similarly slow start, and could likely benefit from a bye week to regroup. The team’s first bye this year, though, doesn’t come until week eight (which covers Aug. 13-15).

Before then, the Riders play a home game against Hamilton later today, then go on the road for games against Edmonton on July 31 and Toronto Aug. 8. Unless the team finds a way to turn things around, they could be 0W-7L at that point and you’d pretty well be looking at starting a rebuild for 2016.

A win today would do wonders for the team’s confidence and help soften the criticism head coach Corey Chamblin the rest of the Green & White have weathered from some of the more hot-headed citizens of Rider Nation in recent weeks. It’s not an insurmountable task, either. To begin with, the Riders haven’t played since the team’s 27-24 loss at home to B.C. on July 17 so they have had a mini-break. As well, with the Pan-Am Games on in southern Ontario, the Tiger Cats, like the Argonauts, are on an extended road trip to open the season. Hamilton doesn’t play their first home game until Aug. 3, and currently sit at 1W-2L with a blowout win over Winnipeg sandwiched between narrow losses to Calgary and Montreal.

All four Rider losses have been relatively narrow as well. A play here, and a play there, and the result might have been different. But it’s a truism of sports that good teams, even when they don’t play well, generally find a way to win, while poor teams, even when they play well, often find a way to lose.

Right now, the Riders obviously aren’t a good team. But I wouldn’t automatically say they’re as bad as an 0W-4L record would seem indicate. But until they notch their first W the pressure is only going to build, and when you consider that their regular season and playoff record since Durant’s Banjo Bowl injury last year is an abysmal 2W-11L, the frustration of Rider fans isn’t unjustified.

Game time at Mosaic Stadium today is 5 p.m. You can find more on the Riderville website.

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Madame Bovary

First published in serialized form in a Paris journal in 1856, Gustave Flaubert’s novel about the wife of a country doctor who engages in all sorts of extra marital shenanigans to escape the banality of her small town life was attacked by public prosecutors as obscene. Flaubert was subsequently acquitted in a 1857 trial that drew further attention to the novel, and established his reputation as a writer of note in France.

Madame Bovary is now recognized as a literary classic, and an early example of the realist school of storytelling. The novel has been adapted numerous times for movies, TV, and even opera.

Today at 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., and Sunday July 26 at 7 p.m. a 2015 German/Belgium adaptation starring Mia Wasikowska in the title role is screening at the RPL Theatre. Here’s the trailer

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John Fogarty

This concert on Wednesday July 29 at Brandt Centre coincides with the start of Queen City Ex. If you have a ticket to it, you get free gate admission.

Fogarty, of course, is a founding member of Creedance Clearwater Revival. Since that group broke up, he’s also found a fair bit of success as a solo act.

This concert is part of what’s billed as the “1969 Tour” which commemorates the three albums that Fogarty wrote and produced with CCR in that year: Bayou Country, Green River and Willy and the Poor Boys. Those albums produced such hits as “Proud Mary”, “Bad Moon Rising” and “Fortunate Son”.

Fogerty will be playing songs from his entire catalogue during the show, but the focus will be on the three albums from 1969. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m., and tickets range from $20-$79.50.

Here’s video from 1970 of CCR playing “Fortunate Son” at a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall


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Getting Bribed Is Sweet, I’m SO Voting Harper This Fall*

pierep01Our family received our Universal Child Care Benefit notice yesterday. We’ve two kids — one under six — so our payout is ENORMOUS. Man, being bribed is AWESOME. I had no idea. No wonder FIFA runs on this stuff. And runs like a stallion. Do you know how much beer I can buy with the kind of scratch that’s coming my way all because I reproduced?

Friggin’ loads. Thank you, sperm.

The only disappointing thing about this UCCP mailer is that it doesn’t come with nearly enough Harper Government™ branded advertising material. Considering this payout to Canada’s breeders is costing $3 billion, I was hoping to get a foldout poster of Pierre Poilievre that I could hang on my wall.

Wotta man, that Pierre Poilievre! He’s the minister in charge of this pre-election payday and proof that there’s nothing sexier than naked, naked hypocrisy. Have you checked out his website lately? That’s a screen cap from today at the top of this blog post. But the details can be a little hard to pick out. Here, let me blow it up for you…

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Structures And Artifacts

Don Hall (Structures & Artifacts)Above is a shot from Don Hall’s exhibition Structures and Artifacts that’s on display at Mata Gallery until Aug. 1.

In our July 9 issue we had an interview with the Regina photographer. The western plains, including Saskatchewan, Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas, is the focal point of the show, but there’s also some images that were taken while on trips to Mexico and Cuba.

Some photographs have people in the them, but the majority concentrate on buildings and objects that offer traces of a human presence in the landscape.

Again, Structures and Artifacts is on at Mata Gallery until Aug. 1. 

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fpg-842x321I don’t know what the exact origin of this Regina thrash band’s name is. If you Google FPG, though, the first hit you get is an abbreviation for the term Fantasy Points per Game related to fantasy sports leagues. Another abbreviation is for a diabetes test called Fasting Plasma Glucose.

Regardless, FPG, which is composed of Adam Horvey (drums), Dirty Poncho (guitar & vocals) and Yianni Pantel (bass) has been around since 2012.  On Friday July 24, the band (yes, that’s them pictured above) is having a release for their new album Sonic Awakenings at the Exchange.

The album apparently has 20 tracks, so you can expect some fast and furious fret and skin work at the show. Joining FPG on the bill are local bands Stepping Stone (hardcore), Stoop Kids (hip hop) and Hoodoo Men (instrumental).

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Five Alarm Funk

This nine-piece Vancouver funk band has been through town a few times now. Last July, I caught them at O’Hanlon’s on a rare Sunday night gig. With horns, percussion, guitars and high energy vocals, they definitely know how to get the dance floor grooving.

In early June Five Alarm Funk released their fifth studio album Abandon Earth which the band describes as a concept album with a narrative tied to the destruction of Earth by a giant robot.

On Wednesday July 22 Five Alarm Funk will be in town to play a show at McNally’s Tavern. Here’s the video for the first single off the new album called “Robots”

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Happy Belated “I Love Regina Day”

I Love Regina Day IIOn Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the City of Regina hosted its annual “I Love Regina Day” in beautiful Victoria Park in downtown Regina. Included was a free BBQ, children’s activities, giveaways and other treats.

If you missed it, don’t despair, as of Sunday night at 8:30 p.m., cake was still available at the central Scarth St. entrance to the park (photo above) — although to grab a piece you might have to engage in a squawking match with the seagulls first to shoo them away.

The BBQs had long been put away, unfortunately, but as a second late Sunday evening photo after the jump shows, you could still sort of bask in the general atmosphere of the day if you happened to be passing by the Cenotaph. Continue Reading →

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Based out of San Francisco, Journey has been around in one form or another (outside of a hiatus from 1987-95) since 1973. Over the years, 21 different musicians have recorded and toured with the band.

Lead guitarist Neal Schon and bassist Ross Valory are the only two original members still with the band. Outside of Schon, the most recognizable member of Journey during their heyday from 1977-85 was vocalist Steve Perry. But he left the band in 1999.

Journey never really was on my radar much, although I do recall the band being a favourite of some people I hung around with in university. But the band’s profile was boosted in 2005 when their mega-hit “Don’t Stop Believin” became the theme song of the Chicago White Sox during their playoff run to the team’s first World Series title since 1917.

On Tuesday, July 21 Journey is in town to play an arena show at Brandt Centre. The first note should drop around 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $62-$116.  For a blast from the past, here’s footage from 1979 of the band performing another big hit “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”

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Sunday Matinee: The Friends Of Eddie Coyle

The Friends of Eddie CoyleOne of the great things about companies releasing movies all the time on Blu-ray/DVD is that you get to find films you might not find otherwise. For example The Criterion Collection just released the 1973 crime thriller The Friends of Eddie Coyle. If they hadn’t just released it, I might have never found out about this excellent movie.

Based on a novel by George V. Higgins (whose only ever had one other novel adapted into a movie, Killing Them Softly) and directed by Peter Yates (Bullit) the movie follows Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum) a small time hood who got pinched hijacking a truck. The cops want him to inform for them and if he does he might avoid jail time.
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Live Cinema Season

Later today, there’s a screening of Richard Wagner’s 1843 opera The Flying Dutchman as performed at London’s Royal Opera House. The story itself is based on an old nautical legend about a ghost ship condemned to sail the seas forever, the sight of which was supposed to portend doom for any ship who crossed paths with her.

Wagner is reputed to have been inspired to write the opera after enduring a harrowing sea journey from Riga (Latvia) to London with his wife in 1839. The opera is generally regarded as a turning point for Wagner in his move toward more fully realized dramatic narratives in his compositions.

The screening is at Central Library Theatre at 2 p.m. Tickets are Adults $15, Seniors $12, Students $10. 

Here’s a short interview with bass-baritone Bryn Terfel on his role in the production

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The Canadian punk band SNFU got their start in Edmonton in the early 1980s. Outside of a couple of short-lived break-ups in 1990 and 2006, they’ve been staples on the punk/hardcore scene ever since, albeit with a rotating roster of musicians that’s topped 30 now. The one constant, of course, has been lead vocalist Kenn Chin (a.k.a. Mr. Chi Pig).

On Monday, July 20 the latest incarnation of SNFU is in town to play a show at the Exchange that’s being presented by local label Harvest King Records with support from Skull Central in Montreal. The tour celebrates the 30th anniversary of the band’s debut album … And No One Else Wanted to Play. The plan is for the band to play the album in its entirety during the concert.

Joining SNFU on the bill are Regina punk legends The Extroverts along with local hardcore heroes Royal Red Brigade. Doors are at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 advance and $20 door.

To get the mosh muscles loosened up here’s video from 2008 of SNFU playing “Cockatoo Quill”

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Riders Vs. Lions

Game action from July 12 2014, when the Lions prevailed over the Riders 26-13.

Game action from July 12 2014, when the Lions prevailed over the Riders 26-13.

It’s only the fourth game of the season, but the rematch tonight against B.C. pretty much qualifies as a must-win for the Riders. The team is off to a nightmare 0W-3L start, and with four of their first five games at home that means they’ll be on the road a fair bit after next Sunday’s home game against the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

Despite last Friday’s 35-32 OT victory against the Riders in Vancouver, the Lions aren’t generally regarded as one of the top teams in the league. If the Green & White lose both ends of the home-and-home with B.C. they’ll have dug a pretty deep hole for themselves.

In fairness to the Riders, they haven’t played horribly this year. In all five losses, including two in the preseason, they held leads well into the second half before wheels of various types (turnovers, failed third down gambles, special teams gaffes, shoddy defence, penalties) fell off and they ended up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

A win tonight and the Riders can start to build on some of the positives they’ve displayed in earlier games. Another loss, though, and the disgruntlement level in Rider Nation is bound to rise. So far, head coach Corey Chamblin has taken most of the heat, with some fans arguing that his self-assumed role as pseudo defensive coordinator (along with official DC Greg Quick) has caused him to lose sight of his broader obligations as head coach and that the team has suffered as a result.

Whether that criticism is fair or not, it does seem that sometimes, both this year and last, the Rider braintrust (which includes more than Chamblin, of course) could be accused of outsmarting themselves with some of their moves both on and off the football field. And when you consider that since Darian Durant’s injury in last season’s Banjo Bowl the Riders regular season and playoff record stands at 2W-11L the angst/frustration is not unjustified.

Game time at Mosaic Stadium is 8 p.m. For more information, visit the Riderville website.

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