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Queen City Rocks

For the past two months local rock bands have been going toe-to-toe in a good old fashioned Battle of the Bands sponsored by a local rock station that shall remain nameless. During the five-part preliminary round a howling good time was had by all, I imagine, and the initial pack of 30 bands has been culled to five.

On Thursday, April 2 the surviving bands (League of One, Mother Night, Braindead Romeo, Majetik and Hello, Lady) will compete for alpha status in the Grand Finale at the Exchange. At stake is a prize package as juicy and delectable as a freshly killed caribou carcass — to borrow a lupine analogy.

There’s a $10 cover for the all-ages show, and partial proceeds go to Music Heals where therapists use music as a tool for promoting health and well-being — like say, if someone was attacked by a wolf when out for a hike in the wild, and ended up suffering physical and mental trauma. Music could be used as part of the therapy to help them heal.

To set the stage for the battle, here’s the video for Braindead Romeo’s 2012 tune “Comin’ Up Roses”

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Winner of the Golden Raspberry in 2005 for worst musical in the history of musicals — okay, I exaggerate, or maybe not, as it truly does stink — From Justin To Kelly was made to take advantage of all the hype around season one of American Idol.

It stars Kelly Clarkson, who won the title in that first year, and the dude she defeated for the coveted crown, as two crazy kids who meet cute in Florida and things proceed from there in typical teen rom-com fashion.

On Tuesday, March 31 at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m., comic Jayden Pfeifer will screen the movie and offer some insightful commentary on all the hi-jinks that Kelly and the dude get up to with their buddies/galpals. Admission is free with a donation to the food bank. To get everyone pumped, here’s the (mercifully short) trailer:

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Sunday Matinee: Nightbreed

NightbreedFollowing the success of Clive Barker’s 1987 horror film Hellraiser he adapted another of his novels into a movie. The result was 1990’s Nightbreed based on the novel Cabal. The film was heavily edited by the studio (Fox) and when it was released it was panned and it bombed. Barker blamed the cuts and the movie went on to slowly gain a cut following and the rumours of an original cut surfaced for years.

Eventually some of the missing footage had been found here and there and was eventually assembled into what became known as the “Cabal” cut. This cut contained poor VHS quality footage blended with the theatrical cut of the movie and was screened at several film festivals over the last few years. The success of these screenings lead to Shout Factory announcing that they were going to release it on DVD in 2013. It was then revealed that Shout had found the original film elements and with Barker restored the film to a new Director’s Cut that they released last fall on Blu-ray.
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Still Alice

At the Academy Awards in February, you might recall, Julianne Moore snagged the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of a 50-year-old professor of linguistics named Alice Howland who is struggling to cope with the effects of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

While dementia always exacts a terrible toll on person, the irony for Moore’s character is especially acute as she’s forced to confront the reality that her love of language and ability to communicate are slipping away and that there’s little medical science can to do slow, let alone halt, her decline. And that inevitably impacts on her relationship with her family, friends and colleagues.

Still Alice plays tonight at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. Here’s the trailer

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The God That Comes

Co-created by Canadian singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman and Christian Barry (of 2b Theatre in Halifax), this rock ’n’ roll cabaret premiered in 2013. You can read more about it in this Globe & Mail reportbut the cabaret, which stars Workman, is inspired by the figure of Dionysus/Bacchus from ancient Greek/Roman mythology.

In modern terms, he was pretty much the god of partying — or, at least, the harvesting of grapes and wine-making, fertility and religious ecstasy, with a bit of ritual madness and theatre thrown into the mix.

From April 1-4, Workman will be bringing his cabaret to the Artesian on 13th in Regina. Curtain each night is at 8 p.m., and tickets are $52 advance and $63 door. You can purchase tickets on the Artesian website, and to give you a sense of what to expect here’s video from 2012 when Workman and Barry were developing their project at the Banff Centre for the Arts:

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Thanks For Telling Me What Dudes Think About Strip Clubs, Media!

I was just catching up on all this coverage of strip clubs and massage parlours in Saskatchewan. I’m reading everywhere about how they create an environment ripe for human trafficking and the exploitation of women. But you know something I’m not reading?

Quotes from women.

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Friendly Update, City Hall: REAL Deal, Land Plan, Bypass Passed

This Week at City HallI stayed up Monday night to watch the council meeting on the city’s live-stream. Things started at 12:30 am Malta time, but I didn’t begin watching until just before 2 am.

As it turned out, I was in time for two items I was curious about: the Southeast Lands, the Regina Bypass project. Once they were done and I got to bed, it was past four in the morning.

The next day, I woke after two hours of sleep and tried to help with getting the kids off to school. Mostly that involved me banging at things with hands that didn’t really work properly. By 9 am, I realized I wasn’t just tired, I was actually sick. My joints ached. My guts were in knots. And I had this brutal headache.

At one point, my wife was showing me something she’d written down and I had to shield my eyes because the light reflecting off the paper was too bright.

I feel somewhat better today but I haven’t fully recovered.

So there you have it… my first encounter with Regina city council in seven months left me physically ill.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere. Maybe I should ask Steve to move me to a new beat? Something more fun and less illness-inducing?

Well, until I decide what that’ll be, here’s a rundown of what I caught from Monday’s meeting…

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House Of Dance

House Of DancePictured are a few of the performers who will be taking the stage at New Dance Horizons this weekend as part of its House of Dance series.

There are three works on the bill. They include Caribou by Meredith LaRocque, Warrior’s Dream by Terrance Littletent and Buffalo Pound Round Dance (Summer Version) by Robin Poitras, Edward Poitras and Yvonne Chartrand.

The performance will be held at New Dance Horizons (2207 Harvey St. in east-central Regina) on March 28 at 8 p.m. and March 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20, with Students & Seniors $15. You can find out more details on the NDH website.

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Keep On Rocking in the Art World

It’s another action-packed weekend in the art world. The clad-in-black crowd should bring along their lint brushes as they stagger from event to event. (If you forget yours, I actually do carry one around with me.) Hey print this out and use it as your weekend program guide. We are good with that.

Thursday, March 26

Starting off at 5 p.m. at The Slate Fine Art Gallery, Joe Fafard unveils a new exhibition, Mes Amis. This must-see show celebrates fellow artists, past & present, which have inspired Fafard throughout his career as one of Canada’s most well-known artists. I shook his hand once. Maybe he sculpted that moment for posterity. I’m certain he remembers that fondly.

7 p.m. Mackenzie Art Gallery: Vertigo Series Thursday Night Live Enjoy a lively evening of music and poetry, featuring performances by Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Moe Clark. Open Stage. Admission $5.

Friday, March 27

Noon-4 p.m.  Mackenzie Art Gallery: A “Sewing Action” by Leah Decter and Jaimie Isaac.  An ongoing interactive project initiated by artist Leah Decter, curated by Jaimie Isaac, and activated in collaboration, ‘(official denial) trade value in progress’ enacts exchange and elicits dialogue about contemporary conditions of settler colonialism and processes of decolonization and reconciliation in Canada. The project is carried out in recognition of the imperative for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to be involved in these processes.

Noon-1 p.m.  U of R, Visual Arts Department, Riddell Centre 050: Cheryl L’Hirondelle, artist talk

4:15-5:15 Mackenzie Art Gallery: Peter Morin, performance, “de-colonizes my heart (part two)”.

4 pm Friday – 4 pm Saturday, Creative City Centre: Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre, 24 hour playwriting competition.  Writers of all levels are encouraged to sign up and bring their laptops, thinking caps and muses. I have done this before at different venues in Canada and I can tell you it is much more fun than it sounds. There is nothing like a 24 hour adrenalin rush to get you addicted. $45 entry fee.

Saturday, March 28

The day begins early so load up on espresso-infused coffee washed down by a vodka-infused redbull. (That’s how I start my Saturdays.)

9 a.m. to noon. Mackenzie Art Gallery – Moving Forward Never Forgetting Forum. As a gathering for all people interested in forging ideas and creative partnerships, this forum will explore possible futures for Indigenous creative production and curation. This engaging morning will feature a presentation by Megan Tamati-Quennell (New Zealand), a tour of Moving Forward, Never Forgetting, and a performance by artist Julianne Beaudin Herney.

7 p.m. Dunlop Art Gallery:  Publication Launch & Bad Art Night. Read the aforementioned article by Gregory Beatty for full details.

(Edit) 8 p.m. New Dance Horizons: House of Dance. Gregory Beatty will provide the full details in a separate blog on Friday.

Sunday, March 29

Nothing will top off your Sunday brunch than a visit to the art gallery for fine culture before you fill your zombie brains with the season finale of The Walking Dead tonight.

Noon-4. Mackenzie Art Gallery: A Sewing Action. In case you missed Fridays gig because you work for a living you can catch it again today.

1:30 p.m. New Dance Horizons: House of Dance matinee

7 p.m. Creative City Centre: Awards Ceremony for the 24 hour playwriting competition participants. Readings, prizes, booze and dainties. I might win so I should get my speech ready right now as it is going to be one crazy weekend.

All events are free to the public except where noted.

Tuesday, March 31

Yeah, the weekend is over but if you long for the good ol’ days you can check out Chicken & Wine at The Creative City Centre at 8 p.m. C&W is an informal lecture series co-hosted by Wanda Schmockel and Mark Wihak. I’ve been to these gigs before and not once did I see a single drum stick.

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Daily Aggregation: Food, Crashes and Raffi

daily-aggregation-21. GERMANWINGS CRASH WAS DELIBERATE. It is a sad day when 150 people die in a plane crash, it is even worse when it was done intentionally.

2. ONE STEP CLOSER TO PROHIBITION. The Saskatchewan government has changed its mind, again. This time repealing the law that says alcohol can be served in strip clubs, because the people who go there want to be sober.

3. MASSAGE PARLOURS ARE INDECENT. Premier Brad Wall says massage parlours are a hotbed of human trafficking in Saskatchewan, or at least potentially. That means they aren’t just a place where people go to relax?

4. HOT KITCHEN POT CAUSES TROUBLE. A pot left in the oven caused Souls Harbour to be evacuated because someone forgot they not only left the oven on but that there was something in it. Luckily everyone is alright.

5. CHICKEN RECALL, AGAIN. It seems that the people who make our food has let a contaminated batch slip through. This feels a bit like Deja Vu, anyone else?

6. MORE MONEY FOR NASA TELESCOPE. Canada is going to spend an extra $2.6 million on top of the already given $160 million on the James Webb Space Telescope. It’ll probably have ‘Canada’ written across it just like the arm did.

7. RAFFI IS STILL AROUND. Not only is he around but still a strong advocate for children and their rights, even after being a child entertainer since the 70s.

8. ACCUSED TERRORIST WORRIED ABOUT CAT. An accused terrorist took the well-being of his cat into consideration while making his plans. At least he wasn’t just going to leave another poor cat in the street in his bombing plans.

9. “BRONCO BUSTER” CAUGHT AT THE CANADIAN BORDER.  The store owner of a Seattle antique shop praised the two thieves walking out of a store with a 60 centimeter-tall, that is nearly 2 feet, bronze cowboy statue before realizing the theft.

10. WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT: PEANUT BUTTER CUP. The Candy Factory in Hollywood made a 400 pound peanut butter cup in a kiddie pool.

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Publication Launch & Bad Art Night

On Saturday, March 28 the Dunlop Art Gallery will host a launch for four catalogues that have been published for exhibitions that were at the gallery in the last year.

Three of the publications are in-house productions. These include Who’s Afraid of Purple, Orange and Green? which was held at the gallery last May/June; Tragedy Plus Time  which was on last summer; and Material Girls which is on at the gallery now.

The fourth publication, the Bill Burns biography Hans Ulrich Obrist Hear Us, is published by XYZ Books with the support of the Dunlop and Rodman Hall Art Centre. Burns’ show Beatrix Ruf Protect Us was at the Dunlop in December. All four publications contain full-colour illustrations, critical essays and commissioned artist projects.

As part of the launch, the Dunlop will host a party that includes complimentary food and drinks and an opportunity to participate in informal drawing and colouring sessions. The launch and party go at Central Library on Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

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The King Stag

Starting tonight, and running until Saturday March 28, the University of Regina Theatre Department is presenting a student production of Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi’s 18th century commedia del’arte fairy tale The King Stag.

You can learn more about the production in the YouTube video below. But the main narrative thread involves the search for a bride for Prince Deramo. Palace politics soon rears its ugly head, though, as key players in the court put forward candidates to marry the prince so that they can gain further power.

Using an enchanted bust, the prince interviews the candidates, and discovers which one truly loves him. But because the woman he ultimately selects does not have high standing in the court further palace intrigue follows.

The King Stag is directed by Joey Tremblay, who has a well-deserved reputation for taking classic works of theatre and re-envisioning them in an imaginative way for a contemporary audience. For this production, steam-punk is apparently one of the influences Tremblay drew on.

Curtain each night is at 7:30 p.m., and the production is being held at the University of Regina Theatre. Tickets are Adults $15, Seniors & Children $10, with University Students free with ID. More information can be obtained by calling  306-585-5562.

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Stapleford Lecture

osullivaThis lecture, which is hosted by the University of Regina’s Faculty of Arts through the Ernest William Stapleford and Maude Bunting Stapleford Lecture Fund, is being held on Thursday March 26.  Guest-speaker is Brock University associate education professor Michael O’Sullivan (pictured).

O’Sullivan’s talk is titled “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Global Education as a Gateway to Creating Critically Informed, Motivated and Globally Competent Citizens.”

I don’t have a precis of the talk handy, but it seems likely based on the title that O’Sullivan will be championing the idea of education as pretty much the only way we can overcome all the challenges we face in a world that, because of factors such as globalization, advanced technology, ongoing environmental degradation and scientific innovation grows more complicated every day.

The Stapleford Lecture goes Thursday at 7 p.m. in RIC119 at the University of Regina. For more information call 306-585-4226.

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Watch The Skies Regina

An Alien Get-togetherThe aliens known as the Second Conclave gather after the game finished in Regina on Saturday, March 21, 2015. The aliens succeeded in their goal of creating mass mayhem in the world ultimately ending in nuclear war between the nations. (Photo by Megan Roth)

An Alien Get-Together The aliens known as the Second Conclave gather after the game finished. The aliens succeeded in their goal of creating mass mayhem in the world. (Photo by Megan Roth)

On Saturday April 21, 2015 the Queen City was subject to aliens known as The Second Conclave invading the city.

Aliens, presumably from Mars, came to Earth in what appeared at the time to be in the name of peace.

If you missed out on the spectacle, you are in luck! We at Prairie Dog were lucky enough to be on the scene the entire time, and we recorded everything that went on. Lucky you!

The leaders of the worlds and the United Nations were tasked with figuring out how best to deal with the discovery of extraterrestrial life here on Earth.

The day was full of crazy happenings. Everything from proclaiming aliens are not real, even with clear evidence, to threats of war, nuclear war between the world’s nations and even an attempt to blow up Mars.

Waiting and Watching Team China taking a break between all of the chaos of the day in Regina on Saturday, March 21, 2015.The nation of China held fans and spoke largely in fortunes from fortunes cookies. (Photo by Megan Roth)

Waiting and Watching Team China taking a break between all of the chaos of the day.The nation of China held fans and spoke largely in fortunes from fortunes cookies. (Photo by Megan Roth)

Players were strongly encouraged to dress up to increase their enjoyment as well as increase the overall experience of the game. As you would expect many took this prompt to heart and wore some crazy things, looking at you aliens.

Also to be expected were the different costumes of the nations. Some were tact, if drab. Many chose to wear the dull grey suit of a politician. Some expressed their nation through props.

The Russian team drank vodka, the Chinese team spoke in fortunes found in fortune cookies while waving paper fans, and the U.K. sounded like Australians making fun of the British.

One thing can be said about each player in the game; they were each very committed to the game and their character.

 Security Council A meeting of the U.N.'s security council at the Artful Dodger in Regina on Saturday, March 21, 2015. The security council's job was to assess global issues and crisis and decide what to do in order to make the world safer for everyone. (Photo by Megan Roth)

Security Council A meeting of the U.N.’s security council. The security council’s job was to assess global issues and crisis and decide what to do about the aliens. (Photo by Megan Roth)

This was the very first game of this caliber, and the first ever mega-game played in Saskatchewan.

Watch the Skies was a mega-game put on by Sask Games as the kick-off event for Play With Your Food 2015.

By the end of the game it was estimated roughly $40,000 had been raised for Play with Your Food 2015.

There was a registration fee of $25 to play in Saturday’s game, though all proceeds, minus production costs, were donated to Souls Harbour.

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Daily Aggregation: More Interview Fun

daily-aggregation-21. RINGO STARR IN REGINA. “All I’ve got to do” is get tickets to see Ringo Starr at the Brandt Centre on Oct 14.

2. REGINA’S CHINATOWN LIKELY TO SEE GROWTH. With the Saskatchewan Immigrant Program set to reopen again Regina may see some new businesses, and maybe just, maybe some awesome Dim Sum.

3. DANGEROUS BIKER MISTAKENLY RELEASED FROM JAIL. Son of a Hell’s Angel’s boss was accidently released from prison in Quebec. He apparently just walked out. Umm… What?

4. INTERVIEW DEBACLE NOT OVER. North Korea is up in arms over a planned air-drop of the rather terrible movie The Interview saying that it would  be considered an act of war.

5. NO MORE QUEEN FOR BARBADOS. The island nation plans to out Queen Elizabeth as head of state in favour of a constitutional president by November 2016.

6. WOMEN AREN’T THE WORST DRIVERS. A new study shows that more men have died in collisions than women. So you can stop with the jokes now.

7. STUDENT PROTEST OVER TUITION.  Students at the U of S and across the country seem to have finally had enough of rising tuition costs. Wasn’t there supposed to be a tuition freeze?

8. FUTURE HACKERS AND CODERS. Moose Jaw’s Sacred Hart Community School is teaching kids grade 4-6 how to use code, launching the career of tomorrow’s industrious troublemakers and programmers.

9. TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE ABOVE THE CLOUDS. A Russian plane flies to the arctic to let passengers see last week’s eclipse unobstructed.

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A Night At The Civic Museum

The odds of Ben Stiller, who’s starred as security guard Larry Daley in three Night at the Museum movies, showing up at this event, and subsequently having various artifacts and historical personages come to life to torment him, are likely pretty long.

Although now that I think about it, it could be kind of fun to have something like that happen at the Civic Museum of Regina. It would probably take a lot of organizing, not to mention some visual trickery, but it would be neat to see some of the city’s history come to life in that way.

Which isn’t to say that this event, which goes at the museum on Wednesday, March 25 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., won’t be fun either. It’s a joint production between the museum and Regina Public Library. The free event is geared to all ages, and will explore how Regina has changed over the 135 years or so that it’s been around.

The Civic Museum of Regina is located at 1375 Broad St., and more information can be obtained by visiting the museum website or calling 306-780-9435.

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Friendly Update, City Hall: That Time Blogging Got Me In Trouble

Little Ball of Housing MoneyTonight, council is going to make a decision about what to do with the Southeast Lands. I’ve written loads about this already (such as: “Fantastic Tales from the Southeast Lands”). And Wanda wrote an awesome piece in the paper about it too — with quotes from important people and everything. So, I’ll skip the rehash.

Instead, for today, I’ve got a story — a personal tale — that I’ve been itching to tell. It’s about the last time I wrote at length on this blog about the Southeast Lands.

And about the trouble that blog post got me in…

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The Once

This Newfoundland folk trio has played Regina before. The group, which consists of Geraldine Hollett, Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale, play a mix of traditional and original tunes. In fact, since there last appearance in Regina, they’ve released another album called Departures.

On Wednesday, March 25 the Once will be back in Regina to play a show at the Artesian. Whitehorse-based singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall is the opening act. The show should get going at 8 p.m., and tickets are $25 advance and $30 at the door.

To close, here’s video from 2014 of the Once performing the traditional folk song “By the Glow of the Kerosene Light”:

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Sunday Matinee: The Boys From Brazil

Boys from BrazilAnd now returning you to your regularly scheduled Sunday Matinee with the entertaining 1978 thriller The Boys from Brazil.

Steve Guttenberg discovers a clandestine meeting of former Nazis in Paraguay. Also at the meeting is master criminal and wanted murderous fugitive Dr. Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck). Guttenberg calls Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier) who is skeptical and says it’s a known fact that Mengele is in Paraguay.

Guttenberg finds out when the next meeting is and sneaks in and records part of the meeting but is discovered and killed while making a call to Lieberman playing the tape. Lieberman over hears one the phone that the Nazis are planning on killing 94 men in several different countries around the world. Finally the aging Lieberman leaps into action.
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Amelia Curran

On Friday March 27, the Regina Folk Festival will be presenting Newfoundland singer-songwriter Amelia Curran in concert at the Exchange. Curran released her debut album in 2000, and has since released six more albums, her most recent being They Promised You Mercy in November 2014.

Backing up Curran will be Ryan Boldt of the Saskatoon alt-country band Deep Dark Woods. Boldt released a solo album called Broadside Ballads in November 2014. He’ll hit the stage at 8:30 p.m., and tickets are $20 advance and $25 at the door. You can find out more info on the RFF website.

Here’s the video for “I Am The Night” off Curran’s 2014 album:

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