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It’s Sorta Batman’s 75th Anniversary

84C_3631Celebrations are afoot for the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in, um, May 1939… so wait, what? Well, never mind. For whatever reason today, DC Comics has declared today, July 23 to be Batman Day to celebrate three-quarters of a century of caped crusading. The Globe And Mail has a story here, while the Telegraph marks this somewhat peculiarly dated occasion with a list of 10 things you didn’t know about Batman. More importantly, comic book shops are having fun with cosplay and other shenanigans. I was down at ComicReaders south (4603 Albert St.) earlier today, where I met a seedy, stubbly version of Batman and his friends Robin and, um, Ghost Rider? I’m confused. Anyway, there was cake and pop and an opportunity to donate to Souls Harbour. And Darrol Hofmeister took some great photos. Here they are!

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How are you guys celebrating Batman Day?

Comments: 4

Modest Mouse

Fronted by Isaac Brock, Modest Mouse got their start in Washington State in 1993. The band’s long been indie darlings, although they do have a bit of a spotty recording history. In 20 plus years, in fact, they’ve only released five full-length albums — their last being We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank in 2007.

They’ve been active on the festival circuit, though, and have debuted two or three new tunes to audiences there in the last few years. On Friday Modest Mouse is in town to play a show at the Conexus Arts Centre Convention Hall. Sharing the bill with them are Kevin Drew, one of the founding members of the Toronto collective Broken Social Scene, and the Portland, Ore rock group Mimicking Birds which released their second album called Eon in May.

Doors are at 7 p.m., and tickets are $42 advance and $47 at the door. To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s video of Modest Mouse performing one of their bigger hits “Float On” at a festival in England in 2010:

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Observations Of An Outsider

My annual Regina trip is in full swing.  Here is what I have discovered thus far.

When the Riders have a bye week, people actually think of other things!  Normally, during my week-long July visit, I note Rider clothing adorning  19.2% of adults and 24.7% of youth/children/toddlers/babies.  This week  however, the numbers are drastically reduced to 11.8% and 9.3% respectively. 9.3!  That is outrageous! I assume the week off for the team partly explains the absence of Kelly Green (of course you knew that Kelly Green is the specific colour tone of the Roughriders) but as I pointed out to a new friend at O’Hanlon’s, the team also sucks.  Shame should not be ruled out as a contributing factor. The positive here is that folks have headspace for things other than football, so I hope to see a big crowd at the Red Sox game tonight.

My second observation; the traffic lights on Arcola Avenue heading South East are horribly synchronized.  Fix it.  Why am I stopping so much on what is practically a highway?  Do you have city councillors that are invested in brake repair shops?  Fix it.

Observation 3.  The Knotted Thistle  serves beer in great big test tube things they call “yards”.  It’s funny to look at and ridiculously inconvenient to drink from and of course completely compromises the taste of your beer.  Even so, part of me wants to try it.  The same part of me that wants to post a teaser on facebook about what an incredible day I am having just to see if I can suck anybody into caring.  Fortunately, 47 years has taught me to supress that urge.  I will have a pint of Rogue Farms Seven Hops please.  Jesus, that’s a lot of hops in one beer.

Finally, there are fewer “gingers” in Regina than Saskatoon.  Are they banished at adulthood?  Saskatoon is flush with these fascinating mutants and dare I say Regina, you are missing out on something special.  Speckly orangey reddishness goes brilliantly with Kelly Green! Observe…

Beautiful colours.

Beautiful colouring.

Comments: 8

Bend Sinister

Based in Vancouver, this indie rock band has been through a town number of times over their roughly 13 year history. Tonight they’re playing a show at O’Hanlon’s Pub. For this gig, they’ll likely be featuring some tunes off their latest album Animals which was released in March.

The concert’s a freebie, and it should get going around 10 p.m. To give you a sense of what Bend Sinister’s new album sounds like, here’s the video for a single called “Teacher”:

Comments: 0

The Trial Of Louis Riel

Trial of Louis RielApparently, this is the second-longest running theatrical production in Canada. It’s entering its 48th season, and remaining dates in this years run at the MacKenzie Art Gallery include July 23-25 and July 30-Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

The play, of course, is based on actual court transcripts of the Metis leader’s trial on charges of treason in Regina following the 1885 Northwest Rebellion/Resistance. In March, you’ll perhaps recall, New Dance Horizons co-presented a dance work inspired by the life and times of Louis Riel’s sister Sara. We ran a preview of the performance if you want to refresh your memory.

Tickets for this performance are $15 Adults, $12 Seniors & Students and $10 for Youth 12 and under. More info can be found here. And if you want to take a guess at what Canada’s longest running theatrical production is the comments section awaits.

Comments: 1

Sunday Matinee: The Terminator

Terminator1984 was a good year for movies. Not only are Ghostbusters, Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Beverly Hills Cop celebrating their 30th anniversaries, so is a certain James Cameron classic. The Terminator.

It’s 1984 and two individuals arrive from the future. Resistance fighter Reese (Michael Biehn) and the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, an evil cyborg sent to kill Linda Hamilton who will give birth to a person who will save the world after evil machines nearly wipe out mankind thanks to an evil computer called Skynet. Reese tries to protect Hamilton, who is naturally a little skeptical about the whole future/time travel thing until Arnold shows up killing everything in sight.
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Five Alarm Funk

Tonight there’s a rare Sunday show at O’Hanlon’s Pub in downtown Regina. I’m not sure how that will mesh with their usual Trivia Night activities but I’m sure it’ll get figured out. And a crowd of at least ten is guaranteed. I know that because there’s ten guys in this Vancouver-based band. So the big stage at O’Hanlon’s is going to get a work out.

Actually, there’s going to be a lot more than just ten people in attendance. Five Alarm Funk have played here several times in the last few years, and if you like funk, they’re definitely a band to catch.

To illustrate my point, here’s video from last summer of the band performing a song called “The Critic” at a club show:

Comments: 2

North American Indigenous Games

The first North American Indigenous Games were held in Edmonton in 1990. Since then, there’s been six other games held at various locations in North American. July 20-27, Regina is hosting the competition.

You can read more on the NAIG here. In a nutshell, what it involves is Regina will be hosting athletes and teams from 26 regions of North America representing different indigenous communities. Competition was originally going to be in 16 sports, but boxing got dropped because of a lack of registrations in the various weight categories. Swimming was also dropped due to a lack of certified swim officials to certify the event.

Sports that are being staged include some with ties to traditional indigenous culture such as archery, canoeing, kayaking and lacrosse, along with other sports like golf, basketball, volleyball and baseball that have historical roots outside of the indigenous community.

In addition to the athletic competitions there’s a cultural component to the 2014 NAIG as well that will showcase traditional and contemporary indigenous artists. Musician Ramses Calderon, performance artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle, theatre artist Earl Kinistino, visual artist Jason Baerg and sculptor Lyndon Tootoosis are some of the artists participating. In the lead up to the games there’s been a lance run through the province that recalls the torch run that precedes the Summer and Winter Olympics. And the games themselves will kick-off with an opening ceremony at Mosaic Stadium on July 20 at 2 p.m. that will include entertainment by George Leach, Crystal Shawanda and Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company.

There’s also a cultural village at First Nations University that will feature live music throughout the week from a range of performers including Don Amero, the Dead South Leela Gilday, Amanda Rheume, Eekwol and more. The closing ceremonies will also be held there on Saturday July 26 starting at 7 p.m. A Tribe Called Red are one of the acts scheduled to perform that night.

To close, here’s a video for Crystal Shawanda’s 2013 song “Not Without A Fight”:

Comments: 1

Friday Afternoon Kitty: The Synchronized Seven

H/T Everyone on Facebook. Have a good weekend!

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Tonight: Ryan Hicks Presents Prairie Ocean

 

praire oceanAre you waiting in vain for Brian Wilson to come out with a new album? Ryan Hicks may not own a theremin or occasionally spend weeks in bed (as far as I know), but he’s definitely taking a page from Wilson’s book with Prairie Ocean, an album about memory, maturity and place.

The record, created over the span of a year and a half, traces Hick’s roots back to his childhood and youth in California and Saskatchewan. Full of vocal harmonies and Beatlesque bass lines, Prairie Ocean sometimes feels like a lost piece of dreamy early ’70s California pop (until you hit the crashing power chords of “I-5,” which feels like a Deep Purple interpretation of “Ventura Highway).

The CD release party for Prairie Ocean is being held tonight at The Artesian on 13th, featuring Squeeze of Scotch, Leland and Brass Buttons. Tickets can be purchased online for $15 or $20 at the door.

Comments: 1

Daily Aggregation: If Men Were Women

daily-aggregation-21. SOMEONE SHOT DOWN A PLANE “Someone” almost certainly = the Russian-equipped Ukrainian rebels who fucked up and confused a passenger airline with a military plane. Thanks to their stupidity, 298 people, including a renowned AIDS researcher and a Canadian, are dead. International investigators have arrived on the scene.

2. ISRAEL HAS SENT IN THE TROOPS Great, just great. Here’s what it’s like to be on the receiving end of this invasion. There’s a rally tonight at the legislature if you’d like to express your unhappiness with Israel.

3. WHAT THE DUFFY CHARGES MEAN FOR STEPHEN HARPER Trouble. Good.

4. A PRICEY SURPRISE FOR TEAM SASK Fundraising efforts for Saskatchewan’s North American Indigenous Games athletes flopped, so provincial athletes need to suddenly find $600 each.

5. GORMLEY ON THE AWFUL FAKE-CHRISTIAN HATE-PREACHERS He makes some good points though of course he wasn’t here to see the shouty creeps in action and I think his column would’ve been more nuanced if he had been. Our take? We’ll weigh in next issue.

6. CANADA’S STUDENT LOAN SYSTEM: “COMPLEX TO THE POINT OF NONSENSICAL” Read all about it.

7. NEW BRUNSWICK IS VIOLATING WOMEN’S RIGHTS The province is beset by anti-abortion bullshit disguised as reasonableness.

8. HOSPITALIZED EX-DICTATOR SUES VIDEO GAME COMPANY Manuel Noriega is not happy that his likeness appears in Call Of Duty: Black Ops II. This from the guy whose riot police painted smurfs on their water cannons.

9. A DEPRAVED ASSAULT ON FLORIDA HABITAT Walmart and some homophobic chickeneers are going to pave over a critically endangered forest.

10. THE FINANCIAL AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS AUTHORITY OF SASKATCHEWAN IS LOOKING AT CANCELLING REGISTRATION IN REGINA’S PENSION PLAN Aieeeeeee!

VIDEO! Buzzfeed is behind this consciousness-raising confection called, “If Men Were Women”.

Comments: 3

Review: This ‘Purge’ Lacks Pull

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It seems The Purge saga is destined to not live up to its premise. The notion that America would agree to an ‘anything goes’ evening of murder and mayhem in exchange for economic prosperity is quite revolutionary, particularly for a summer movie. The franchise, however, stops short from advocating gun control or denouncing extreme right policies. This half-assed job becomes counterproductive when all kinds of weapons end up on display in almost pornographic fashion.

At least The Purge: Anarchy attempts to expand the universe we were introduced in the first movie. If the original focused on an affluent neighborhood (mostly because of budgetary reasons), the sequel deals with the rest of the population, unable to buy the protection required to survive the night.

The movie follows five characters in distress: A couple stranded in Downtown Los Angeles a.k.a. purge central; a mother and her daughter forced out of their home by overly enthusiastic radicals; and a well-armed and prepared man (Frank Grillo) gunning for the guy who run over his kid. Turns out the vengeful father is not necessarily a bad guy and becomes the protector of the ragtag group as they try to survive the twelve-hour “celebration”.

The Purge: Anarchy is at its best whenever portraying the surreal environment: A Bible spouting woman venting her resentment; One-percenters using their riches to purge with impunity. These moments are few and can be characterized as subtle next to middling action sequences that seem straight from a straight-to-video Steven Seagal romp.

Instead of fleshing up the dystopian environment, this universe-expanding sequel creates new holes at every corner (from an economic perspective, purging makes no sense). Maybe creator-writer-director James DeMonaco could benefit of a second pair of eyes next time.

Two prairie dogs armed to the teeth. The Purge: Anarchy is now playing.

Comments: 3

Hot Blood Bombers

Veteran observers of the Regina music scene have a couple of chances to take a stroll down memory lane tonight. The first comes in the form of a reunion gig for one of the city’s top garage rock bands the Hot Blood Bombers. A few years ago, James Brotheridge did a cover story on the band. It’s got a sidebar discography which reveals that the band released its first album in 2005.

Hot Blood Bombers went on to release four or five more albums before going on extended hiatus in 2011. Tonight, though, they’re playing a “no cover” show at O’Hanlon’s Pub with Black Thunder and Tender Hearts. Things should get going around 11 p.m.

Also in the vein of memory lane is a show by Heidi Little. In the late ’90s and early ’00s she fronted the Heidi Little Band, and gigged around town for a few years before heading down to the U.S. to live and continue her work as a musician. Tonight she’s in town to play a show at the Exchange. Doors for that show are at 8 p.m. [Update: apparently this show was cancelled due to a family illness]

To close, here’s an uncredited video that includes the HBB’s tune “Why Do You Have To Love Me” as the soundtrack:

Comments: 0

World Snake Day Wrap-Up

World Snake Day (children and snakes-2)I went to a World Snake Day party last night and had a lot of fun. Not as much fun as these guys, though!

It’s great to see animals and children together. Can’t wait for the Shark Week pool party!

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Daily Aggregation: Word Crimes

daily-aggregation-21. AUSTRALIAN FOOLS REPEAL CARBON TAX Ugh. I guess politicians down under don’t listen to scientists either. No wonder Harper likes PM Tony Abbott.

2. PASSENGER PLANE SHOT DOWN IN UKRAINE Two-hundred ninety-five passengers and crew are presumed dead. Story here, updating blog here.

3. KEEP ON KILLING No ceasefire in Gaza.

4. IT’S LEGAL FOR GOVERNMENTS TO RAID EI SURPLUSES Whatevs. This is just robbing unemployed Canadians to pay for unsustainable low taxation rates.

5. FRAUD! BRIBERY! BREACH OF TRUST! Expert scandaler Mike Duffy faces 31 charges. Note to all the children reading this: “scandler” is a made-up word. It’s okay when I use it, though. I’m a professional editor!

6. MEANWHILE IN MARVEL-VILLE All kinds of changes! Thor’s a lady! Captain America’s black! And more! It all sounds mildly interesting I guess, but I think I’ll stick to indie comics.

7. IT’S GETTING SMOKY OUT THERE Ninety per cent of Saskatchewan will get smoke from Northwest Territory fires today. Yup, including Regina. Northern Saskatchewan will be hit the hardest. Here’s what you can do.

8. POWER DUMB Here’s a story about SaskPower’s so-called smart meters.

9. MUCH ADO ABOUT FLAVOURED CIGARETTES Read all about it. If anyone cares/wants to yell at me, I’m opposed to banning flavoured cigarettes. No marketing them to children? Sure. rules for packaging? Definitely–what’s happening now should not be allowed. No advertising? Okay! Penalize the crap out of people who provide tobacco to children? Go for it. But at a certain point, after all the anti-tobacco public education (which is fantastic!) and all the restrictions and regulations (which I support!), adults ought to be allowed to smoke their goddamn gross flavoured cancer-candy. There must be better solutions than outright bans.

10. STILL MORE ON THE SHOUTY, FAKE CHRISTIANS Hey look, it’s another news story that doesn’t address the fact that the Scarth Mall evangelists were saying homophobic, misogynistic and culturally bigoted things. I think the free speech angle is important to cover too, but what’s more important is that these jerks oppose same-sex marriage. Would a protest against interracial marriage be legal? It definitely would face zero tolerance. Same-sex marriage is analogous. Love is love and same-sex attraction is normal. Infinitely more normal than joining a so-called “Christian” cult and shouting at strangers to repent.

11. A PRE-EMPTIVE OBITUARY FOR MUCH MUSIC Good article in Now.

VIDEO: WEIRD AL SCHOOLS I don’t think this has been on the blog yet. That’s not right. Barb Saylor, this one is for you!

Comments: 6

Anciients

Heavy metal madness at the Exchange tonight with a triple bill headlined by the Vancouver quartet Anciients. They released their debut album Heart of Oak in 2011, and their sophomore release Seasons of Mist was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Prize.

Joining Anciients on the bill are the San Francisco sludge metal duo Black Cobra (Jason Landrian and Rafael Martinez) and the youngish Vancouver acid metal band Black Wizard which has been around since 2010.

As noted, the show goes at the Exchange. Doors are at 8 p.m., and to get you pumped here’s a video from 2012 for Black Cobra’s song “The Crimson Blade”:

Comments: 0

Speaking Of World Snake Day

Don’t know what YOU people are doing tonight, but I’M going to a barbecue to celebrate this wonderful day. And I’ll be bringing friends. SLITHERY friends. There will be children at this barbecue, and I will be giving them snakes to pet and play with, because children are the future and I want the future to be snakey.

ITEMS!

1.) If you haven’t read this issue’s Bonus Column, now is the time! Celebrity guest contributor Bronx Zoo’s Cobra wrote a column celebrating World Snake Day. It’s great:

Snakes have gotten a bad rap from the very beginning. Literally. Remember the Garden of Eden? A helpful snake simply suggests to Eve that an apple might be a nutritious snack, and boom: snakes are evil. This snake didn’t suggest some processed junk food with high fructose corn syrup. Apples are high in fiber, full of antioxidants, and paleo diet friendly. Celebs like Miley Cyrus and Jessica Biel swear by the paleo diet. Is Miley evil? Well, evil for suggesting an apple?

I don’t think so.

Read it!

2.) It wouldn’t be World Snake Day without a photo of my newest pet snake, Spooky P. Hiss. He’s actually heading into shed right now, so he’s not as photogenic as usual, but here’s a picture taken a couple of weeks ago. Spookers is pretty great and, like his name, REALLY hissy. Doesn’t bite though! Well, not yet.

Snakes (spooky)

“Hissssssssss”

I’ll probably tweet pictures from tonight’s “snake-ecue”, so look for those on here. If you have ophidiophobia you might want to avoid Prairie Dog corners of Internet this evening.

Comments: 5

Daily Aggregation: Happy World Snake Day!

daily-aggregation-21. HOT. Tell me about it. Our air conditioning is out.

2. IN RELATIVE DOLLARS THE MINIMUM WAGE IS ROUGHLY THE SAME AS IT WAS IN 1975 And for a long time is was much lower. Ugh.

3. UGH, WHY IS MARC GARNEAU ON THE SAME TEAM AS JOHN BAIRD? Israel doesn’t need rallies of support right now. The innocent kids Israel is bombing do. Meanwhile, Israel has paused attacks to allow humanitarian aid to get into Gaza. Least they can do.

4. BILL WHATCOTT ENDORSES ROB FORD FOR TORONTO MAYOR Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Just keeping you in the loop. Don’t feel obliged to visit the creepy website.

5. SPEAKING OF ROB FORD He said 14 untrue things in last night’s Toronto mayoral debate. Trying to remember what the Bible says about lying but coming up blank. Anyone? You reading this, Whatcott? Is it okay that Rob Ford, whom you endorse, says things that aren’t true? More on the debate here.

6. SPEAKING OF BIGOTED CREEPS WHO CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIAN Obnoxious loudmouths saying hate-crimey things about gay people besiege Regina.

7. A REGINA MAN HAS BEEN INJURED IN A GO-CART CRASH Hope he’ll be okay.

8. EARTH’S BUTTHOLE? Science has discovered a great, big hole in Siberia.

9. A FOUR WINGED DINOSAUR! COOL.

IT’S WORLD SNAKE DAY! It really is! Let’s celebrate with an episode of the Internet’s best reptile show: SnakeBytes TV! Now this is evangelism I can get behind.

Comments: 2

Buffalo Nights Fest

We’ve had a few mini-festivals pop up lately in Regina. In early June, for instance, there was Queen City Riot. Buffalo Nights Fest is another new festival on the block. It goes at the Exchange  and SCES Club on Saturday July 19 and the line-up includes Rah Rah, Library Voices, the Dead South, Jay Arner, Shitty Dream, Wolf Willow and more.

Buffalo Nights carries the tag line “a festival of prairie pop oddities”, and more acts have doubtlessly been added to the bill since the event was announced in early July. Tickets are $18, and the music should get going at the two venues around 6 p.m.

The first three acts listed above likely need no introduction to Regina music fans, so to close here’s a video by Vancouver’s Jay Arner with his band performing “Midnight On South Granville”:

Comments: 2

Daily Aggregation: One Of The Guys

daily-aggregation-21. RECORD NUMBERS OF MOZZIES Mosquitoes everywhere! Aieee!

2. DON’T DESTROY RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL ABUSE RECORD: LAWYER Read all about it.

3. ANTI-CHOICE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION PUNTED FROM EDMONTON CLASSROOMS Good.

4. CONSERVATIVES REVISE PROPOSED PROSTITUTION LAWS They’re still really, really set on keeping sex work illegal.

5. ISRAEL VS. GAZA CORPSE JAMBOREE The Palestinians finally killed an Israeli, so the score in this grim “conflict” (i.e., totally one-sided beat-down) is now in the ballpark of 193-1 in favour of Israel. I hope Israel’s bombing party continues for a while; I’m curious to see exactly how many Palestinian lives each Israeli is worth!

Meanwhile, no ceasefire. Also, the fact that Hamas are assholes does not make wiping out families okay. Also, wiping out families does NOT make Israel safer.

An organization called Independent Jewish Voices calls on the federal NDP to condemn the bombings here.

6. ENEMY OF THE STATE The freedom-loving U.S. detains a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist.

 

7. AW, IS MY FAVOURITE PERSONALITY TEST NONSENSE? “People aren’t exclusively extroverts or introverts – and where they fall on the spectrum can fluctuate widely based on how they are feeling at the moment,” says this story. R.I.P. Meyers-Briggs. You gave me a lot of entertainment over the years.

8. “DON’T RUN FROM BEARS”: SASKATCHEWAN GOVERNMENT Feh, what nonsense. EVERYONE knows the best way to not be eaten by bears is to run from them! Does Environment Minister Scott Moe WANT Saskatchewanians to be eaten by bears? What isn’t he telling us? Also, “Scott Moe”??? Why does the minister have two first names? The public demands answers!

Disclaimer: SCOTT MOE IS RIGHT!!! LISTEN TO HIM!!! DO NOT RUN FROM BEARS!!! THEY WILL RUN YOU DOWN AND MANGLE & DEVOUR YOU!!! NEVER, EVER RUN FROM BEARS!!!

VIDEO: NOW THAT’S A MOUSTACHE Jenny Lewis’ directed this video for the new song, “Just One Of The Guys”,  from her upcoming album, The Voyager, which I’ll review in the paper soon. Good song. “All our friends are getting on/But the girls, they’re still stayin’ young”. Ouch!

Comments: 4