Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jason Eisener will battle some New York City Outlaws

Hobo With A Shotgun director to bring cult ‘80s comic to the big screen.

Posted By on Sat, Jul 30, 2016 at 9:43 PM


Five years after Hobo With A Shotgun blew us away, Dartmouth’s Jason Eisener is gearing up to deliver the New York City Outlaws to the big screen.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Eisener will be directing the feature-length adaptation of the little-known ’80s comic book by Robert Hussar and Ken Landgraf.

The five-issue series follows a gang of vigilantes who rise up to restore NYC from the chaos of a city-wide police strike.

It sounds kind of like The Warriors meets The Purge, which is exactly the orgy of retro rampage we’d love to see Eisener sink his teeth into.

The film is being written by Zack Carlson (Vice’s Outsider) and Bryan Connolly, and produced through Toronto’s Rhombus Media (of Antiviral, Into The Forest and Closet Monster, amongst others).

Eisener is currently working as second unit director on the hotly-anticipated Netflix adaptation of cult manga series Death Note.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Argyle Fine Art to host Pokémon Go hunt

The gallery's Adriana Afford wants to bring both Poké newbies and fiends together.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Pokémon Go madness at the waterfront.
  • Pokémon Go madness at the waterfront.

On a warm evening last week, the waterfront gleamed with moonlight as hundreds of eyeballs reflected the glare of phone screens. A large crowd was lured to this spot by a treasure hunt to catch creatures. Virtual creatures.

If you’ve been hiding under a rock at the bottom of an ocean on another planet the past few weeks, these next two paragraphs are for you: The augmented reality app Pokémon Go has gained a huge fan base worldwide, and Canada hasn't been an exception even though the app only became officially available here last week. Released by Japanese gaming giant Niantic, the app swiftly became an international hit, breaking the record for most downloaded app in the first week of its launch, and has been downloaded by an approximate 75 million people.

Pokémon Go is a location-based game developed for iOS and Android phones. The app uses the player’s GPS and camera to reflect their real-world location onto a map, enticing its users to capture, train and battle virtual characters. Couch potatoes beware— you have to physically move around to various locations in order to advance in this game.

Adriana Afford, owner of Argyle Fine Art Gallery, is getting to know the Poké community, and thinks you should join the fun. This Saturday, the gallery is hosting a “Pokémon Go hunt” happening from 12:30-1:30pm, rain or shine. Afford says it’s a chance for newbies and pros alike to come together: to share gaming tips or even to learn the game for the first time. It’s also an excuse to get the heck outside.

“The great part about it is that people will explore their downtown a little bit more,” she says. “Once you get more into it, it becomes about exploring places that you didn’t already know.”

The event will begin with a training session inside the gallery at 1559 Barrington Street, where Poké veterans will offer up their expertise. The gallery will be equipped with charging stations to prep that virtual juice, as the game eats up battery life. When it’s time, the crew will head out on a pre-planned one-hour route, checking out nearby downtown Pokéstops and lure hotspots. The event will end with a prize draw back at the gallery, with time allotted to chat over a beverage about the coolest Pokémon you caught.

Afford has been pretty addicted to the game herself.

“It wasn’t as solitary as I thought at first,” Afford says as she reflects on a night of creature-wrangling at Hydrostone Park where she saw players of all ages involved. This opened her eyes to the wide accessibility and appeal to the game. She also noticed a ton of social interactions taking place offscreen.

“What I saw was that people were going inside and getting coffee, or getting a slice of pizza, and then they’d go back to the park," she says. “Suddenly I realized, ‘hey, this is way more interactive than I thought.’”

That’s when Afford saw the game with through a new lens: as an intergenerational tool for community and adventure. She hopes her gallery’s event on Saturday will introduce new players the app, and also provide a communal opportunity to catch ‘em all.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Would you like to come inside for some art?

This weekend, check out a province-wide celebration of creative spaces.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Photo from Alexa Jaffurs, a blacksmith in Middleton, NS. - SUBMITTED
  • Photo from Alexa Jaffurs, a blacksmith in Middleton, NS.
  • Submitted

This weekend is the 24th annual Nova Scotian Artists Studio Rally, inviting regular Joes to take a look inside creative spaces across the province—a chance to see where blacksmiths, weavers, woodturners, potters, stain glass artists and painters flourish their talents.

Every year, the producers of the project create a guide to discovering fine art and craft across areas like the Fundy Shore, Halifax Metro, the Acadian Shore, Cape Breton, the South Shore, Annapolis Valley, the Eastern Shore and the Northumberland Shore.

This year’s panel was produced by culture lover Paul Slipp and acclaimed potter Janet Doble. The rally is something Doble believes in—it’s a special chance, she says, for artists to build relationships with their communities.

“I think many artists work alone, often in isolated situations, and there is no tangible way to connect with them with people—it’s not like dance or theatre, or other performance art,” says Doble.

“The rally is a good tool to bring public awareness and visual images to what goes on across the province in private studios and galleries.”

Doble urges people to take this weekend to explore unique nooks and crannies throughout both metro and rural areas alike. To meet diverse creators, and maybe be invited in for tea! If this weekend doesn’t work for you, no sweat—the public is invited to use the guide year-round. But be sure to extend a phone call before showing up on doorsteps.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

NS comic artist Kate Beaton receives Eisner Award

Hark! This is a big deal!

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 2:43 PM

  • via Twitter

Kate Beaton, a Nova Scotian comic artist, received a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award at Comic-Con in San Diego on Friday. The prestigious award, considered to somewhat of an Oscar in the comic world, was granted to Beaton for the “Best Humor Publication” category, in recognition of her latest book Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection.

Beaton started her popular historically-inspired and modernly witty webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant about a decade ago, a few years after she began drawing and editing comics for her student newspaper, The Argosy, at Mount Allison University, while studying history and anthropology. Step Aside, Pops is comprised of most comics Beaton's written since her first book hit the stands in 2011.

Published in September 2015, Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection spent six months on The New York Times bestseller list. The book was published by Drawn & Quartley— an internationally renowned publisher of cartoons.

Beaton was born in Cape Breton, and is currently based there. She's lived all over Canada and in New York.

Beaton's newest comic collection. - AMAZON
  • Beaton's newest comic collection.
  • Amazon
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Friday, July 22, 2016

Dark for Dark is back

Check out the harmony folk trio's new vid and album release.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

  • Submitted

Harmony-driven, folk-pop vocal group Dark for Dark returns to Halifax tonight. They're touring on the heels of dropping their newest album, All Dressed.

Dark for Dark, comprised of Rebecca Zolkower, Jess Lewis and Melanie Stone, formed in 2012, and All Dressed is their second album. These sweet honeybees will whisk away the work week's stress at The Bus Stop Theatre this evening, accompanied by local acts The Everywheres and Cactus Flower (Lewis' solo project).

To prepare your mind and soul for the band's only tour stop in Hali, enjoy Dark for Dark's video for "Blue Morning," released today: it's a Southern Souls session filmed in Toronto.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Heather Gibson lands new job at the National Arts Centre

We’re sad to see this music guru go.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Heather Gibson is leaving Halifax to produce the NAC Presents concert series. - TIMOTHY RICHARD
  • Heather Gibson is leaving Halifax to produce the NAC Presents concert series.
  • Timothy Richard

Heather Gibson, executive director of Halifax Jazz Festival and founder and producer of folk fest In the Dead of Winter, has been appointed the new producer of NAC Presents, a concert series at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

The Halifax music industry giant will relocate to Ottawa soon, beginning her post at the NAC in September. Gibson, originally from Manitoba, built her 24-year career here as an artistic leader and entrepreneur. She spent almost a decade working for the Jazz Festival, advancing the fest to be the largest in our region, and co-opened The Company House, the beloved north end bar and music venue, in 2009.

Gibson says this job will be a new challenge for her, and a chance to continue her work with emerging musicians at a national level. “It’s a bit daunting after I’ve lived here for so long, to make this kind of move, but it feels like the right thing to do."

“I think it’s the next thing, to be really honest. I’m not sure what the next step here would have been,” she says. “I think this is something we hear from people all of the time, that we’d love to be able to stay here. But I probably have another 20 years left in my career and I think this is the best professional move I can make right now.”

NAC Presents is a six-year-old concert series, focused on showcasing Canadian talent. It runs from October to May, hosting about 60 concerts. Familiar Hali faces like Jenn Grant, Matt Anderson and Joel Plaskett have played at the series in the past.

“[These musicians] have been a really good example of what the NAC series is about,” says Gibson. “They come and play the smaller stages, and then progress through, and then they end up playing in the hall or theatre.”

Gibson announced she was leaving the Halifax Jazz Festival last week. The news of her job acceptance in Ottawa was released today.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

The Mist: Spike TV’s Steven King adaptation begins filming in Halifax

This TV show wants our weather.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 4:00 AM

  • Spike TV

The Mist, a multi-million dollar television show, based off of the Stephen King novella begins filming today in Halifax. The 10-episode series will premiere on Spike TV in 2017. The show is being produced by Magic Rock Productions (based out of Halifax) and TWC-Dimension Television (New York).

According to a press release, The Mist "tells the story of a foreboding mist that arrives in one small town ushering in a terrifying new reality for its residents, putting their humanity to the test.  What will people do to survive when blinded by fear?”

The cast includes Morgan Spector, Frances Conroy, Alyssa Sutherland, Gus Birney, Dan Butler, Luke Cosgrove, Danica Curcic, Okezie Morro, Darren Pettie, Russell Posner and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.

The show will be filmed mainly in Halifax, with some additional shooting in Windsor. Exact locations could not be released for security reasons.

Nova Scotia will serve as a double of Maine, where the story is set. Filming will go through until late fall.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Q&A with Waxahatchee

Katie Crutchfield on “punk ideology,” and reconnecting with her past.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 2:16 PM

  • Michael Rubenstein

Waxahatchee is the indie solo project of Katie Crutchfield— a project she formed in 2010, after years spent playing in her twin sister’s punk band, P.S. Eliot. Listening to Waxahatchee is like hearing someone read their diary aloud: it’s a sound that’s characterized by melancholy and heartbreak, but it's still tough as nails.

This weekend, Crutchfield is preforming solo in Halifax, headlining Gridlock's Saturday all-ages show at Spatz Theatre. We talked to her over email to get a sneak peak of Waxahatchee's story before she hits the stage.

1. What’s been inspiring you lately in your music? Has it been themes which have been constant over your career, or have you seen a recent shift in your inspiration?

I think it's a little of both. My real life experiences always inform my lyrics to some degree. On Ivy Tripp, I looked at bigger themes and ideas that were sort of broad. Lately, I've sort of been writing directly about my own heartache and grief and my newer songs feel like possibly the most earnest things I've ever written. It feels like very much the polar opposite of Ivy Tripp, lyrically speaking.

2. Tell me about your release of Early Recordings. Why did you decide to re-release the songs? What is it like playing songs that were written at what was likely a really different point in your life and your career?

I think lately I've been reconnecting with songs I wrote from that period in my life. Waxahatchee was such a solitary endeavour, with literally no audience for a long time. Since then, I’ve had many ups and downs when it comes to letting people into the creative process. I'm at a point where I'm trying to reclaim some creative autonomy and refine the practice of a solitary process. It was always very sacred to me and I got sort of far away from it for various reasons. Re-releasing that music sort of serves as a nice reminder to myself of the past and as a segue into the next album.

3. Have you played in Canada much before? What made you decide to come to Halifax?

I’ve played in Canada a lot, actually, but never Nova Scotia. I'm coming to Halifax because I was asked to! I'm really excited about it—my sister has played in Halifax before and she really enjoyed it.

4. Who are some of your musical idols, and why do you look up to them?

I literally always answer this question with the same person, and I was going to attempt to talk about someone else here but at this moment it feels appropriate to say Jenny Lewis. I think her new band is so sick, and I think it's really cool for someone with such an established solo career to start a new and musically very different band and just go for it. It’s inspiring.

5. How do you think your career has shaped you as a person? You have been making music from a young age. I’m curious how you think working (in your formative years) as a female punk musician in the industry shaped your identity.

I think being a woman who came from a punk scene has shaped me as a person more than my career in music. Coming from punk informs a lot of my decision-making. Punk ideology and the music business are sort of natural enemies. I go into a lot of situations ready to fight but I think that's ok. Honestly, my life isn't that different than it was when I didn't make music as a job. It’s felt like a gradual transition.

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