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The Obligatory Daily Foliage Report: Tuesday, May 26

FR 2015 (5-25-1601) Continue Reading →

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Attack Ad Review: The Interview (Conservative Party of Canada)

I’m beginning to think that Harper has proven himself so objectionable as a prime minister that even his trusted civilian advisers hate him and are out to sabotage his campaign.

Just look at that mess above.

Presumably, the goal here is to say that Justin Trudeau is inexperienced and would make a total hash of being prime minister. But after watching this a few times, I’m convinced that a winning electoral strategy for any of the opposition parties would simply be to hold this ad up and say, “Would you really trust the people who approved this disaster to run your country?”

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The Reverend Horton Heat

Born in Dallas in 1959, Jim Heath, who goes by the stage name “Reverend Horton”, has been described as the godfather of modern rockabilly and psychobilly. Along with upright bass player Jimbo Wallace, and a few different drummers, he’s been recording and performing since the mid-1980s.

The trio, which is fleshed out on this tour by drummer Scott Churla, whose history with the band dates back to 1994, has 11 studio albums to their credit — the most recent being REV which was released in January 2014.

As Heath’s stage name implies, the band does riff on the tradition of southern revivalist hellfire and damnation preachers and all the related schtick that goes along with that scene. On Thursday, May 28 the Reverend Horton Heat will be in town to play an all-ages show at the Exchange. Sharing the bill are two other pretty decent rockabilly/psychobilly acts: Nekromantix and Brains.

Tickets are $27.50, and to get everyone pumped here’s the burlesque-themed video for “Let Me Teach You How to Eat” off REV:

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The Obligatory Daily Foliage Report: Monday, May 25

FR 2015 (5-25-1523) Continue Reading →

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Queen City Catch Up: Chris Kailing On Engaging With Your City (Podcast)

Recently, Regina Advocates For Design wrapped up their Urbanity 101 discussion series about how people can shape their city.

Urbanity 101 was one of the things I was most annoyed to have missed while away so it was really important to me to get someone from RAD on this podcast. Fortunately, RAD’s Chris Kailing was willing to make the trek over to my place and endure my nerd-boy questions.

Now I’m just hoping RAD will put together an Urbanity 201 series this fall. And maybe even an Urbanity 222: Special Topics In Automobile Mitigation workshop.

Music for this podcast is from Malta’s Lost Voices, a collection of Maltese recordings from the early 1930s. You can get your own copy at

In the next episode of Queen City Catch Up, I’ll be speaking with Belle Plaine about what’s been happening in the local music scene. That will go up on Wednesday.

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More On The Divine Right Of Conservatism

In the most recent edition of prairie dog I postulated on what I called The Divine Right of Conservatism: the ability of the chattering classes and business leaders to overlook the most basic, the most stupid and the most egregious mistakes by right-of-centre political parties and governments in the name of preserving the political and social status quo. A couple of things happened between writing that and today which reinforces that theory.

In a recent Globe and Mail, Preston Manning talks about the future of conservatism in Alberta in the same tones used by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht in 1953, after Soviet troops used tanks and machine guns to put down anti-government demonstrations in East Berlin. When that happened, Brecht, until then a Communist, wryly remarked that since the people lost confidence in the government, the people shouldn’t get a new government, the government should get a new people. Except what Brecht said as gallows humour is Manning’s unironic stance.

Manning seems to have missed the point entirely: it’s not just the people promoting conservatism that were rejected by voters, it was conservatism itself that was rejected. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Puppet Underground Film Festival

In April 2013, you’ll perhaps recall, Regina hosted its first International Puppet Underground Film Festival. It featured short films by a mix of local, national and international artists who used different puppet techniques to create some really interesting cinema.

From Thursday May 28 to Sunday May 31, the second IPUFF is being held. It’s IPUFF+ actually, since the festival has expanded somewhat to include live puppet performance and workshops. Two venues are involved, Central Library and Artesian on 13th, and you can find out all the details (including prices for ticketed events) on the IPUFF+ website.

The festival kicks off Thursday with a free screening of Heather Henson’s Hand Made Puppet Dreams Volume 6 at Central Library at 7 p.m. Heather Henson, of course, is Jim Henson’s daughter, and she’s been a big supporter of puppetry as an art form since her father passed away.

On Friday, there’s a live performance at Artesian at 7 p.m. followed by a film screening at 8:30 p.m. Then on Saturday there’s a free workshop called Paper & Tape at Central Library from 1:30-3:30 p.m. which will cover some of the fundamentals of puppetry such as character creation, storytelling and performing live and on film. It’s open to people 12 and up, and you’re asked to bring several items of spare clothing to make a puppet. You can preregister through the RPL website.

Saturday evening there’s three live performances at Artesian at 7, 8:30 and 10 p.m. Then on Sunday there’s a mix of child-friendly performances, workshops and screenings at Artesian starting at 11:30 a.m. and running until around 5 p.m.  To close, here’s a trailer that was produced for the first IPUFF

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The Obligatory Daily Foliage Report: Sunday, May 24

FR 2015 (5-24-1519)And here’s the view on May 24, 2014. And there’s another photo after the jump. Continue Reading →

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Sunday Matinee: Chamber Of Horrors

Chamber of HorrorsThe film opens with a narration by William Conrad as he explains that there are at least four scenes in this 1966 horror film so frightening that these four “fright points” have had a built in audio/visual warning system applied to the film you are about to watch.

When a terrifying scene is about to occur, the Fear Flasher will signal the audience by having the screen flash red. At the same time the Horror Horn will sound (it’s kind of a siren) thus warning squeamish audience members to close their eyes when something gruesome is about to happen. Sadly the warnings don’t live up to the actual movie.
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The Impressionists

Today, artists associated with the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movement such as Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas are among the best-known names in art history.

It wasn’t always that way, though. When they began to emerge on the art scene in Paris in the mid-19th century the vast majority of the art produced in the city tended to focus on neo-classical themes and style tied to Greek and Roman myth, Christianity, European history, the aristocracy and other approved subject matter.

When these artists began to depart from that tradition, focusing instead on the urban reality around them, and the play of light and colour in an environment that was being radically transformed by the Industrial Revolution, they were ridiculed.

To their credit, the artists didn’t become discouraged by the many snubs they endured. Instead, they continued to produce art, and developed alternate ways to put their work before the public. The most famous was the Salon des Refuses in 1863 where artists such as Manet, Camille Pissaro and James McNeill Whistler who had been rejected by the Paris Salon sponsored by the French government and the Academy of Arts displayed their work.

The artists also had champions among the Paris art community. Dealer Paul Durand-Ruel is one example. In 1886, he organized an exhibition of Impressionist work in New York that attracted interest from wealthy American collectors. On May 28 at 7:30 p.m. (with an encore screening May 31) Galaxy Theatre is screening a documentary called The Impressionists that celebrates work from the dealer’s private collection.

You can find out more information on the Cineplex website. And here’s the trailer

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Ireland Votes To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Hey Ireland, nicely done! From the Guardian:

Some 62% of the Irish Republic’s electorate voted in favour of gay marriage. The result means that a republic once dominated by the Catholic church ignored the instructions of its cardinals and bishops. The huge Yes vote marks another milestone in Ireland’s journey towards a more liberal, secular society.

Out of an electorate of more than 3 million, 1,201,607 backed gay marriage, while 734,300 voters said No. The result prompted a massive street party around the gay district of central Dublin close to the national count centre.

Directly addressing Ireland’s gay community, taoiseach Enda Kenny said the result meant that “a majority of people in this republic have stood up for them [those in the gay community]”. He said: “In the privacy of the ballot box, the people made a public statement. With today’s vote we have disclosed who we are. We are a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people who say yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to gay marriage.”

Irish deputy prime minister and Labour leader Joan Burton added: “The people of Ireland have struck a massive blow against discrimination.”

And quoting the late American politician and LGBT rights activist Harvey Milk, she said: “Hope will never be silent.”

Human rights should never be voted on but it’s nice that when they were here, empathy and facts beat fear and ignorance.

Catholic Church and other Christian leaders — as opposed to many actual Catholics — were on the wrong side of history and morality today. They’ll probably pay a very big price for it.

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The Obligatory Daily Foliage Report: Saturday, May 23

FR 2015 (5-23-1440) Continue Reading →

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I haven’t crunched all the numbers, but the film that Jayden Pfeifer is screening on Tuesday May 26 as part of his Talkies series is quite possibly the highest grossing movie he’s ever tackled.

Released in 1994, Junior grossed $108 million. Can a movie that earned that much money stink enough to be a ripe subject for satire? I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday.

Junior stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito as two doctors who end up experimenting with a new fertility drug which leads to a very surprising result. I won’t spoil it for you, although you’ll likely find a hint or two if you check out the trailer below.

The screening goes at 7 p.m. at the RPL Theatre, and admission is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item to the Regina Food Bank.

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The Obligatory Daily Foliage Report: Friday, May 22

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REVIEW: Tomorrowland Goes for Earnestness, Succeeds

They are really into corn in Tomorrowland.

They are really into wheat in Tomorrowland.

A surefire way to tell if a movie is any good is by keeping track of the physical reactions it triggers. The conclusion of Tomorrowland had me desperately trying to control my sobbing as I was surrounded by critics (they are judgy people, it’s in the job description).

Next to those dystopian scenarios that are all the rage today (Mad Max: Fury Road, young-adult franchises using teens as canon fodder), Tomorrowland is an anomaly. Here is a movie that stands for science and optimism. It doesn’t even question matters like evolution, social inequality or climate change (they’re a given). It targets those who know about mankind’s most pressing problems and don’t do anything about it.

It also works just fine as a sci-fi adventure for kids, in case you’re wondering. Continue Reading →

Comments: 11

Great Lake Swimmers

Based in Toronto (not surprisingly) this folk pop quintet is touring in support their latest album A Forest of Arms which was released in April. The band has been around since 2003, so their discography is becoming quite extensive.

According to a March preview in Exclaim!, the album has a strong nature or environment theme. Apparently, part of it was even recorded inside Ontario’s Tyendinaga Cavern and Caves.

When the Great Lake Swimmers hit town for this Regina Folk Festival Concert Series on Tuesday, May 26 they won’t be playing in a cave. Instead, they’ll be appearing at the Exchange. Sharing the bill is a second Toronto folk band the Weather Station which is fronted by Tara Lindeman. They have a new album out too called Loyalty, so concert attendees will be treated to plenty of new music.

The show on Tuesday will get going at 8 p.m., and tickets are $20 advance and $25 door. You can find out more on the RFF website.

Here’s Tony Dekker of GLS doing an acoustic version of “Don’t Leave Me Hanging” off the new album

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The Obligatory Daily Foliage Report: Thursday, May 21

FR 2015 (5-21-1349) Continue Reading →

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Queen City Catch Up: John Klein On The UPass, Downtown Buses And Not Dying (Podcast)

Before I say anything about this episode of the Queen City Catch Up podcast… I’ve noticed almost everybody listening is streaming it through the Souncloud window. That’s cool but I want to point out that I’ve enabled downloads so you can totally click that down-arrow link in the top right corner then put these podcasts on the listening device of your choosing.

As for episode two of Queen City Catch Up, it’s a conversation with John Klein, the Saskboy behind Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff blog. We talk about the UPass coming to the University of Regina, a surprise change to the buses downtown and the pros and cons of becoming a cyborg.

Once again, music for this podcast is from Malta’s Lost Voices, a compilation of Maltese music from the 1930s. Thanks to Filfla Records for giving me permission to use the tracks. (You can check them out at

In the next episode of Queen City Catch Up, I’ll be talking with Chris Kailing from Regina Advocates for Design about Urbanity 101. That will go up on Monday.

Comments: 3

Soul Sisters Concert & Benefit

This is a week away, but it’s a worthwhile event, so consider marking it down on your calendar. It’s presented by The Room in cooperation with Bushwakker, and proceeds raised go to support programming at the YWCA for women and children.

Tickets for the event, which goes Thursday May 28 at 6 p.m., are $30 and that entitles you to a burger, fries, salad and half-pint of beer. You also get some entertainment courtesy Roxie Lenton, Judith Morrissey and Poor Nameless Boy, and there’s a silent auction, raffle and 50/50 draw.

Here’s a video from two years ago of Poor Nameless Boy performing the song “Rush Me An Ambulance”

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Exciting Goings On In Victoria Park

Victoria ParkHere’s a shot of the north-east quadrant of Victoria Park. Last week, the city announced that it would be doing some work in the park this summer to improve the drainage after years of activity had caused soil in parts of the park to compact and water from snow melt and rain to pool. That was especially noticeable last summer when we had regular rain showers that left standing water in the park all season long.

The city announcement also noted that some trees would be removed and others planted to replace them. After work is done in the NE corner the city will turn its attention to the SW corner. If the weather is favourable work should be done by the end of June so well in advance of the Regina Folk Festival in August.

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