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Daily Aggregation: A Laughing Cockatoo

daily-aggregation-21 CITY SETTLES PLAZA LAWSUIT Big news. I remember when I was really excited about the idea of a multi-use plaza, but while the plaza we got has some uses, I think, as someone who sees it every day, its problems outweigh its benefits. Someone should write a book on it. (Dechene?)

2 IS THE GREAT, OILY SASKABOOM OVER? Read Regina’s Best Political Reporter’s column on it.

3 BIG PROPERTY TAX HIKE IN SASKATOON? That city’s council debates a 7.23 per cent increase to property taxes.

4 SAD A 70-year-old man was mugged for his groceries. Ugh. How bad does your life have to be to mug a 70-year-old man?

5 FINANCE MINISTER REPORTS TO CANADIANS Well, to the Canadians who pay $800 a plate to support the shittiest government in Canadian history. The rest of us can go fuck ourselves, I suppose.

6 SPEAKING OF CBC The Conservatives are destroying it. I’m sure they have a lot of support from those who vote for them. Darn CBC, reporting facts and paying journalists. Everyone knows media should only be owned by super rich people and used to tell the rest of us how to think.

7 IT’S JUST RESTING European Space Agency scientists say their comatose comet probe might wake up this spring. Huh. Maybe its tired and shagged out from a long squawk? It’s got beautiful plumage!

WHAT’S SO FUNNY? This cockatoo thinks that joke was pretty good.

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You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Peanuts, the famous comic strip by American cartoonist Charles Schultz, first appeared in 1950. It ran for 50 years, ending its original run shortly before Schultz passed away in February 2000. In total, 17,897 strips were published, and the comic continues to live on in re-runs.

In 1967 this musical, with words and music by Clark Gesner, debuted  off-Broadway. Gary Burghoff, who later went on to play Radar O’Reilly in the hit 1970s TV show M*A*S*H, played the original Charlie Brown. It ran off-Broadway for four plus years before moving to Broadway for a short run in 1971. Since then, its been remounted several times, and touring companies have performed in many locations in North America and Europe.

With the holidays approaching, the Globe Theatre is presenting You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown as its annual Christmas musical. The production debuted on Nov. 15 and runs until Dec. 28. For more information and tickets visit the Globe’s website or call 306-525-6400.

To give you a taste of what the musical’s like, here’s a scene as performed on the 1999 Tony Awards:

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Weekly Reckoning: Animal Planet Edition

weekly-reckoningAnimals. We eat them, we fear them, we love them, we are them. They’re cooler than vegetables, livelier than minerals and cuter than the machines that control our thoughts from a pocket universe located in the far future. They should have their own holiday or something. Let’s make today all about the animals.

1. RIP ZOOBOOMAFOO The titual lemur of the PBS children’s show Zooboomafoo has died at the age of 20, which is probably a healthy lifespan for a lemur. He appeared in 65 episodes of the show and fathered nine children. And he did it all without even learning to read.

2. WHEN IS A TIGER NOT A TIGER? When Parisians exaggerate, I guess. A recent search for a tiger in Paris, which at one point involved some 200 police officers, was called off when experts realized that the tiger’s tracks belonged to an ordinary cat. Let’s inform the gendamerie about our ongoing Glass Tiger problem in Canada.

3. THIS STORY INVOLVES ANIMAL TESTICLES A recent study suggests that infanticide and biger testicles go together in the mammalian kingdom. It’s an evolutionary thing, though, so don’t expect overnight success if you adopt this strategy.

4. KOALA DEAL HOPEFULLY BROKERED While the leaders of the world banged out solutions to global problems at the G20 summit in Australia, their spouses met with koalas at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. If we’re lucky, they reached some kind of agreement that lets hang out with koalas all day or maybe act like koalas.

5. RIP GLEN LARSON Glen Larson, creator of the original Battlestar Galactica, Magnum P.I. and Quincy M.E., has died from esophageal cancer at the age of 77. He looked a bit like a walrus and a lion blended together.

 

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Sunday Matinee: Glen A. Larson

Battlestar GalacticaGlen A. Larson passed away this weekend at the age of 77. For those who don’t know, Larson was a prolific TV writer and producer whose body of work was mostly in the 1970’s and ’80s.

His biggest hits were Quincy, M.E., Battlestar Galactica, Magnum, P.I. and Knight Rider, although he flooded TV sets with a ton of shorter lived shows throughout the ’80s. Manimal about a man who can change into any animal, Automan about a crime fighting hologram and The Highwayman which was kind of cross between Knight Rider and Mad Max were just some of the “jems” that Larson came up with.
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Dear John: David Louis Riel

JohnAMcDonaldAt left is a late summer photo of a statue of Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. MacDonald in Victoria Park in downtown Regina. A short distance away, there’s a cairn that commemorates the execution of Metis leader Louis Riel after he was convicted of treason in the 1885 Riel Rebellion/Resistance.

Today marks the 129th anniversary of Riel’s hanging, and this afternoon Regina artist David Garneau will do a performance in Victoria Park exploring the historical link between MacDonald and Riel and some of the broader political, economic and social issues that were in play when the Rebellion/Resistance occurred.

The performance is at 3 p.m., and it will be followed by a conversation between Garneau and Dylan Miner at RPL Theatre at 4 p.m.

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La Traviata

First performed on March 6, 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata is one of the staples of the operatic canon. It’s based on a novel by French writer Alexander Dumas, and concerns the tragic story of a Paris courtesan named Violetta and her suitor Alfredo who are denied their chance at happiness by the social pressures and prejudices of life in aristocratic France in the 17th century.

Today and Sunday at the RPL Theatre a broadcast of a London Royal Opera production of Verdi’s classic will be shown, Curtain is at 2 p.m. both days, and tickets are $15 Adults, $12 Seniors, Students $10.  

To give you a taste, here’s an excerpt from a orchestral presentation of the opera which was held at La Fenice in Vienna in 2013:

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Friday Afternoon Best-Of Kitty!

In honour of our latest issue, of course. Have a great weekend!

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Daily Aggregation: VGM Friday – Katamari

daily-aggregation1. WINTER ADVICE Is the approach of the season of snow and ice getting you down? This might put a smile back on your face.

2. GOVERNMENT WEED ADS If you’ve watched television lately you may have seen an ad talking about the dangers of kids smoking marijuana. A fair enough argument to make, but the ad itself and its existence don’t make much sense, argues Patrick McGuire.

3. DEALING WITH PARLIAMENTARY SEXUAL HARRASSMENT NDP leader Thomas Mulcair is proposing to the other political parties to come together, create a formal code of conduct and appoint a non-partisan officer to deal with sexual harassment complaints against Members of Parliament.

4. CLIMATE CHANGE President Obama is pledging $3 billion U.S. to an international fund for helping out poorer countries affected negatively by climate change.

5. SOLAR POWERED Looking to generate your own power but have a building that can’t handle bulky solar panels on the roof? Here’s some good news, a company in the U.K. is testing out their solar panels made of lightweight cloth that can be attached anywhere.

6. CBC LAYOFF REACTIONS Our public broadcaster, a fundamental part of our democratic society, is being demolished piece by piece – the CBC is set to lose close to 1,500 jobs in the next year and CEO/President Hubert Lacroix continues to brush it off like nothing’s wrong. When Lacroix went to present a President’s Award to the reporters of Radio-Canada in Sherbrooke, QC who covered the Lac-Mégantic disaster, they refused. Canadian Media Guild Vice-President Lise Lareau explains why.

7. NET NEUTRALITY Republican senator Ted Cruz called net-neutrality the “Obamacare” of the internet. Here’s a comic, both funny and informative, of why that’s bullshit.

8. KARDASHIAN VS THE SPACE PROBE Kim Kardashian posing nude didn’t receieve nearly as much attention as Rosetta landing the Philae probe onto a comet. There’s hope for humanity yet!

For this week’s piece, I picked a happy number from one of the strangest game series ever made (you roll junk up into a ball – sometimes making it so big you start rolling up people, cities and whole continents!). This week’s piece is Hello World from 2011’s Touch My Katamari for the Playstation Vita, composed by Hiroshi Okubo:

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REVIEW: Dumb and Dumber and Hopeless

DUMB AND DUMBER TO

I really wanted to like Dumb and Dumber To. The first one –which came out twenty years ago- was gross, weirdly sweet and full of catchphrases still quoted today (“so there is a chance!” is a classic).

Sadly, the sequel misses more than scores. As ridiculous as the original was, the demented script unfolded smoothly. Dumb and Dumber To stalls at every corner and comedic ideas are forced into the plot so clumsily, they only work half as well as they should.

The framing plot is not terrible, if designed mostly to get the characters back on the road. After spending two decades in a mental facility as a gag Lloyd (Jim Carrey) joins Harry (Jeff Daniels) in the search for his daughter, whose existence he was unaware of. Time is pressing as Harry is in need of a new kidney.  Of course the task takes twice as long thanks to Lloyd unfounded self-confidence and Harry’s off-the-charts obliviousness.

In spite of the mediocre script (basically, a washed up version of the original material), Carrey and Daniels go out of their way to make it work. The chemistry is there, and a few times they manage to generate some belly laughs. Kathleen Turner is the butt of a number of cruel jokes, yet she gets more to do than usual and delivers the single human performance of the entire movie.

Six writers (including the once sharp Farrelly brothers) took to deliver a screenplay so poor, even the recycled pranks are weak (the very last one is an embarrassment). Too bad, considering the franchise could have reached its full potential in more competent hands.

One and a half easily amused prairie dogs. Dumb and Dumber To opens today.

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Rossini, The Italian Mozart

Born in the Italian town of Pesaro on the Adriatic coast in 1792, Gioachino Rossini grew up in a musical household. His mother was a singer, his father a horn player, and from an early age he showed promise as a musician and composer. He also showed an early affinity for Mozart, even acquiring the nickname “the little German” while studying music at the Conservatorio di Bologna as a teenager.

Rossini went on to write 39 operas, with The Barber of Seville and Guillaume Tell among his best-known works. Because of his tendency to incorporate song-like melodies into his score, he continued to inspire comparisons with Mozart, who had died of illness at age 35 the year prior to Rossini’s birth.

As part of its Government House Concert series the Regina Symphony Orchestra is presenting this salute to Rossini Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. I’m not sure what works will be on the program, but compositions by Barber and Bruckner will also be featured. More information can be found at the RSO website.

To give you a sense of what to expect I was sorely tempted to go with the intro to the Lone Ranger TV show which uses part of Rossini’s famous overture from Guillaume Tell, or the hilarious Bugs Bunny cartoon Rabbit of Seville. The latter was blocked by copyright, though, and the former was a bit too disconnected from Rossini’s life and times to be appropriate. So here’s Figaro’s aria from an uncredited production of The Barber of Seville:

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Daily Aggregation: The Best!

daily-aggregation-21 HI AGAIN! It’s been about what, a month since I’ve done one of these? Maybe more? Well, let’s get back to it with short, late afternoon one. Harper sucks.

2 VICTIM’S MOTHER FORGIVES ATTACKERS A Winnipeg 16-year-old’s mom forgives the monsters who attacked and tried to kill her daughter. Maybe Stephen Harper can add her compassion and generosity to the list of reasons he won’t call an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

3 REGINA IS SO PRODUCTIVE Apparently we’re the most productive city in Canada? Okay then!

4 CITY COUNCIL SUPPORTS TESTING PHOTO RADAR Don’t drive, don’t care, maybe you do?

5 TOM THE BEARD PROPOSES PARLIAMENT ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY Sounds like a plan. Also, we have an interview with Beardy-M this issue.

6 PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND’S PREMIER RESIGNS Yup! Is he thinking about a federal run? I bet he iii-iiis!

7 AT LEAST ONE CANADIAN KNOWS THE TRUTH ABOUT REPUBLICANS A guy who wrote a letter to a U.S. newspaper essentialling calling U.S. voters a bunch of fucking morons is winning the Internet.

8 FEIST DONATES $10K TO A DOC ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Rock on, Feist.

9 LOOKING FOR LIGHT IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES The Rosetta spaceship’s solar-powered lander is in the dark. Uh-oh.

10 SSSUICIDE SSSOLUTION Can some venomous snakes kill themselves with a bite? The answer is “maybe”.

11 NATHAN HORTON’S NHL CAREER IS PROBABLY OVER Sad and cruel.

YOU’RE THE BEST The 2014 Best Of Regina issue is being distributed throughout Regina as I type this! Look for your copy at any of our 400-ish distro points. Not there yet? Swing by our office for a copy or check out the results online here. And now let’s celebrate the best the Queen City has to offer with some Queen.

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Behold! The 2014 Best Of Regina!

Best Of Regina editor Greg Beatty inspects his work. GREG IS PLEASED.

Best Of Regina 2014! It’s here! Soon it will be online, too! Desperate for a copy and can’t find one? We have ‘em at the office, #201 1836 Scarth St. Feel free to drop by and grab a copy!

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Buck 65

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Buck 65 was a pioneer on the Canadian hip hop scene in the early 1990s. The last few years he’s kept himself busy as a producer and host of a weekday “Drive” show on CBC Radio 2 (under his birth name Richard Terfry). Friday night, Buck 65 is in town to play a show sponsored by the Regina Folk Festival as part of its Concert Series.  The gig is at the Exchange (doors at 8 p.m.) and tickets are $20 $25 advance and $25 $30 at the door.

Somewhat last minute while winding up production on our gargantuan Best of Regina 2014 I got a chance to do a phone interview with him from Victoria about the gig. You can read more in the issue that comes out today, but the album he’s touring is called Neverlove. It was inspired by the break-up of his marriage, and contains a lot of dark material.

Below is the first video single “Super Pretty Naughty”. In the context of the album, I read it as a takedown of the Justin Bieber-style celebrity that exists in the music business, and as a possible parody/commentary on the pressures of being a musician and trying to maintain a relationship.

When I asked Terfry about the song, he said it started as a joke in the studio to help lighten things up a bit. “I’d been feeling bad for a long time and was sort of sick of myself. I thought ‘I need a break from feeling this terrible.’ So as a way to do that I just sat down with a friend to make the stupidest thing I could make in the hope I’d make myself laugh.”

While he was doing that, he added, he remembered a girl he’d liked years ago. “She loved music, and it seemed to play a big part in her life, but it seemed so different from what music meant to me and I couldn’t understand. For her, music was mostly to go out to clubs and dance to. So I asked her to put into words what it was specifically that she liked about the music because I couldn’t hear it.”

When Terfry was in the studio, he said, he stumbled across the notebook with the girl’s comments and incorporated them into the song. “It sounded like the music that I knew she liked, and the lyrics are just the most lurid stuff I’ve ever written. I played it for the first time in London two years ago. It was toward the end of the show, things had gone well, so I felt I had the crowd in the palm of my hand. So on a whim, I asked ‘Do you want to hear the silliest thing ever? The dumbest song I’ve ever written.’

“Everyone was in a great mood, I think it was a Friday night, and they said ‘Yeah.’ I said ‘Okay, you’ll hate this, and I apologize in advance.’ But to my surprise everyone loved it. Before, I’d been thinking the song would get discarded. But the reaction was so strong that I decided to give the song another look because the response was unbelievable. And I got to say, as outside from the rest of my body of work that it is, it’s a blast to perform every night.”

 

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1914: A Turning Point In History And Culture

More World War One lecture action at the University of Regina related to the centennial commemoration of the war’s outbreak.

Tonight, the speakers are James Daschuk who will discuss “The 107th Timber Wolf Battalion and Indigenous Participation in the Canadian Expeditionary Force During World War One”; and Thomas Bredohl, whose talk is titled “War and Revolution: Berlin and the Bolshevik Revolution”.

For a bit of background on the two talks, I interviewed Daschuk about a book he published through University of Regina Press last year called Clearing the Plains which examined strategies employed by Ottawa to weaken indigenous people on the prairies to clear the way for colonization. And in this year’s Labour Day report I interviewed Charles Smith of St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon about the state of labour relations during WWI.

The lectures are being held at the John Archer Library at the university starting at 7 p.m., and more information can be obtained by calling 306-585-4213.

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Wintergreen

Wintergreen is hosted by the Saskatchewan Craft Council and is held annually in Regina around this time of year. It’s been around for around 40 years or so now, I believe, and always offers shoppers a great opportunity to stock up on unique, hand-made holiday gifts from over 80 Saskatchewan artists and artisans who work with clay, wood, metal, fabric, glass and other craft materials. The exhibitors are all juried by the SCC, so you’re guaranteed top-quality craft goods.

Wintergreen 2014 goes at Conexus Arts Centre on Friday Nov. 14 from 1-9 p.m., Saturday Nov. 15 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 16 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is Adults $5, Seniors & Youth $3, while Kids 12 and under free. In addition to all the craft displays, there’s also craft demonstrations, musical entertainment and other types of holiday cheer.

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Twin Forks

Formed in Boca Raton, Florida in 2011, this folk rock band is now based in Nashville. The frontman Chris Carrabba previously played in the U.S. rock band Dashboard Confessional.  With that band on hiatus, Carrabba teamed up with handful of other musicians to form Twin Forks and release an EP on Dine Alone Records in September 2013. That was followed up by a full-length last February.

On Wednesday, Nov. 12 Twin Forks are in town to play a show at the Exchange. Sharing the bill are singer-songwriter Northcote and the Toronto pop band HIGHS. Doors are at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20 advance and $25 door.

To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s the video for Twin Forks’ song “Back to You”:

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Sunday Matinee: Planet Of The Vampires

Planet of the VampiresTwo spaceships in deep space receive a distress signal from an uncharted planet. Trouble arises when the ships try to land on the planet. Something tries to possess the crew and crash the ship Argos. Fortunately Captain Markary (Barry Sullivan) manages to resist and help his crew. They land safely on the misty planet but their sister ship Galliott isn’t as lucky.
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Kira Isabella

Born in Ottawa, Kira Isabella is a rising star on the Canadian country music scene. She just recently turned 21, but she’s been performing since she was 14 years old so she’s a bit of a music veteran. I’m not sure if her style is comparable, but she apparently considers Shania Twain a big inspiration.

Monday. Nov. 10 Isabella is in town to play a show at the Pump Roadhouse. Canadian country duo Autumn Hill are also on the bill, and tickets are $20. To give you a sense of what Isabella is like here’s the video for her first single “Quarterback” off her latest CD Caffeine & Big Dreams which was released in October:

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Kim Churchill

When folk/blues singer Kim Churchill hits the stage at the Exchange on Thursday, Nov. 13 he’ll be a long way from home. That’s because home, for him, is Canberra, Australia. Fortunately, he’s young, and is up for the rigors of touring countries as expansive as Canada and his homeland.

As it happens, he has a particular following in Canada, where he’s played the Ottawa Blues Festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Canadian Music Week. For this gig, he’s being joined by Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Mo Kenney, who was last in town for the Regina Folk Festival in August.

Doors at the Exchange next Thursday are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15. To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s the video for the single off Kim Churchill’s 2014 album Silence/Win – a tune called “Window to the Sky”:

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Herb &The Humans, Switches, The Florals, The Lad Mags

The Lad Mags

The Lad Mags

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend that isn’t brunch or a craft fair, please consider Rock And Roll.

I’ve got just the thing for ya: two rad bands from our fair city, The Florals and Herb & The Humans, playing with another couple of rad bands from Edmonton, Switches (Romantic Soul’d Out Punk Rock n’ Roll) and The Lad Mags (Bizarro Garage-Soul Transmissions). Best of all, the Edmonton groups have lots of ladies playing in ‘em.

So yeah, the show is tomorrow the 8th at The German Club (1727 St. John St.). $5 will get you in before 9pm and $10 after. Turn it up!

 

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