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Friday, October 31, 2008

MacIvor’s money bag

Posted on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 1:27 PM

Even though the press release refers to him as a Toronto playwright, I’m claiming Daniel MacIvor’s $100,000 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre a local (and well-deserved) victory. There’s one more reason to make a trip to see the premiere of his new play Confession, which moves from Guysborough’s Mulgrave Theatre to Truro, Wolfville, Antigonish and Chester over the next week. Visit for details.

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The Fantods burn wizards, not bank accounts

Posted on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 10:53 AM

“The last couple records were done out at Soundmarket with Dennis Field, and they’re really good-sounding records, but they didn’t capture the immediacy of The Fantods,” says Jay Methot, who plays guitar in the Halifax spook-rock quintet. He’s also a graduate of the recording arts program at NSCC, with access to a top-shelf studio, and so on January 5 of this year, the band piled in for a day and came out with its new record, Burn, Wizards, Burn. The process took “13 hours right through,” says Methot. “We did a total of 11, songs eight of which ended up on the record. The other three are covers—“Tame” by The Pixies, “With My Own Bare Hands” by Ween and an old rock song called “Christina.”” The covers became their own EP: “We’ve used them as a promotional CDs at our last couple of shows. We must’ve given away about 100 in the last couple of weeks leading up to the CD release.”

Though the band hadn’t planned to make a record, it liked what it heard, “even unmixed it sounded pretty good,” says Methot, who was asked to join the band after the record was made. It was his first major gig as an engineer, which has led to interest from other local acts. “I did various projects in school, but as far as tracking an album and recording it,” he says, “this was the first time. And I mastered it because we couldn’t afford to get it mastered. But it was intimidating. This is what I’m going to be judged on, so I spent a good seven, eight months making it sound good.”

Art school friends lent their photography and graphic design skills, resulting in an economical project overall, especially in terms of studio time. “If we were to rent it, it would’ve cost $150 an hour,” says Methot. “To get to do it for free was pretty nice.”

As far as that immediacy goes, expect the unexpected at tonight's show, which will go down at Gus’ Pub with a stellar support line-up of No Flyers Please, ECT, Journalist Wolf and Nerd Army. “You never really know what he’s gonna do,” says Methot of singer Dan Gallant. “Sometimes he’ll come out wearing a crow costume. Not Brandon Lee’s The Crow, but the bird. One time at the Speakeasy he decided to break a beer bottle over his head, but it didn’t break so he ended up splitting his head open. They finished the song and took him to the hospital.”

Burn, Wizards, Burn will be available at the show for five bucks.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Garter State: fashion and burlesque

Posted on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 1:56 PM

In keeping with the Halloween fashion thing we’ve got going on this week, I spoke to Cadence Macmichael, owner of Pretty Things Boutique and founder of Pink Velvet Burlesque, about whether the city’s popular burlesque scene has had an impact on Halifax fashion. “I find that people take the opportunity to get dressed up for the burlesque shows and maybe dress a little more daringly than they usually would---it's a chance for them to come out of their shells,” she says. “We'll often have women show up in their corsets and garters looking like they're ready for the Moulin Rouge themselves and it's also not uncommon to see men dressed in their suits and fedoras!”

Macmichael says that as more people come to burlesque shows, they become more tuned into the retro-revival/rockabilly culture and fashion that’s been happening in bigger cities. And with the burlesque revival of the past five years, performers such as the ridiculously gorgeous Dita Von Teese have become mainstream fashion icons. “Dita choses clothing that is very classic and timeless which is sort of a backlash against what is happening with a lot of mainstream fashion; the never-ending dime-a-dozen trends that leave you with disposable clothing you won’t wear a year from now because it will seem so dated.”

If you’re looking a reason to tighten up that corset, there’s Pink Velvet Burlesque’s proud Halloween-themed "Things That Bump & Grind In The Night" on Saturday, November 1 at the Halifax Feast Dinner Theatre (1505 Barrington). Doors open at 11:30pm and the fun begins at midnight. Apparently there are dead ghouls. (Get it??) Buy your advance tickets for $12 at Pretty Things Boutique (5685 Cunard) or Venus Envy (1598 Barrington), or be all dangerous and pay $15 at the door.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Thursday, Oct 23, 1:38, Gus' Pub

Posted on Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 8:39 PM

Thursday, Oct 23, 1:38, Gus' Pub
Scott Blackburn

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All videos ever, except for almost everywhere

Posted on Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Andy Murdoch dropped a tip bomb on us yesterday that's sure to halt work the world over: MTV has posted its entire video library. Except that part about "the world" -- you can only play them if you're in the US, just like Hulu! WTF America? WTF!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Helen Hill doc tomorrow night

Posted on Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Just a reminder that After the Storm, the documentary on Helen Hill's life and a post-Katrina New Orleans, is on CBC tomorrow night at 9pm.

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Contrived pushed back, but just a bit

Posted on Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 11:17 AM

For all you Contrived fans headed out to your local record shop to pick up the band's new record (ZOMFG!!!!1!!!), blank blank blank, originally slated to drop today, stay calm: it'll be out online November 11, and waiting for you when stores open post-holiday on November 12. For now you can listen to a new track here.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

For the Dead

Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 12:34 PM

We know Halloween competition is stiff, especially when it's on a weekend -- we are from the country and can recall actual Halloween being moved to a weekday when it was technically on the weekend, so as to theoretically reduce destruction and shenanigans; this is the same hometown that banned Simpsons shirts from school once -- so here's a potential highlight:

"For The Dead"October 31 with The Grateful Undead (Phil Sedore + Erin Costelo + Benn Ross + Lukas Pearse), Amelia Curran as Edith Piaf + Don Brownrigg as Frank Sinatra + Tanya Davis as Karen Carpenter + Erin Costelo as Nina Simone + John Mullane as the Ramones + Daniel Ledwell as John Denver + Dave Scholten as Nick Drake + and Jenn Grant as Patsy Cline.

Sounds like a highlight of the year, no big deal. Shit be going down at the North Street Church at 9pm. Get your tickets at Lost and Found or at the door if they're still available.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Naughty by Nature. November 20. Marquee.

Posted on Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 12:31 PM



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Posted on Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 12:27 PM

We know it's hard here on All GZA's Eve to think of the future, but we must remind you to save some energy for Sunday at the Cunard Centre, when Mr. GZA's bandmate Raekwon will be joining the honourable Sir T-Pain which is pretty fucking ridiculous if you think about it.

Tickets here.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

David Harper and Cathy Busby win art awards

Posted on Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 7:40 AM

On Friday night at Visual Arts Nova Scotia’s fundraiser, artist and Coast cover animal David Harper received the first-ever Mayor’s Emerging Artist Award. Just like on reality TV shows, Harper kept the news to himself until the big night, even though he was “really happy” to receive the honour. Currently artist-in-residence at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, where he’s working on an ambitious piece that involves the taxidermy of a life-size racing horse (out of cow hide), Harper has a new trophy for his mantle---made out of Nova Scotia crystal, of course---which apparently Peter Kelly picked out himself. “I might make a movie about my trophy,” Harper jokes, still in awe of the “physical object. Or maybe encase it inside my sculpture.” That night, Cathy Busby also received a huge honour as VANS’ 2008 Outstanding Artist of the Year Award, which “celebrates a visual artist who has enjoyed an exceptional year, with much artistic growth, at least one exhibition and critical recognition.” Over the past year, Busby’s passport has been stamped numerous times: her collection of north end Halifax posters appeared at Toronto’s Art Metropole and the updated version of Sorry, an exploration of public apologies, was shown during the Sydney Biennale. As part of her residency at the Pickled Art Centre in Beijing, she collected and documented English-language messages found on t-shirts (“Rage Against Unavoidable Obligations,” “Be What You Want”), and created wall-stencils similar in style to Chinese Cultural Revolution propaganda. So it wasn’t any surprise that Busby, along with Garry Neill Kennedy, also had another exhibition opening at Pickled on Friday. Busby emailed me photos of the installations from Beijing. Check them out:

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Monday, October 20, 2008

World Animation Day--October 28

Posted on Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 4:08 PM

If you’re Tintin or Madame Tutli-Putli, I’m guessing October 28, World Animation Day, is marked on your calendar. The National Film Board is celebrating the occasion with a country-wide tour of free international screenings. On Tuesday, there’s a children’s program at Dartmouth High School (95 Victoria), and a future all-ages screening is scheduled for November 12, 7pm at the CBC Radio Room (5600 Sackville). For info on all the films, make like Buzz Lightyear and go to

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nocturne nabs popular vote

Posted on Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 11:59 AM

It occured to me, watching groups of people walking around downtown Halifax enjoying Nocturne, why people don't vote in elections (and why there was little enthusiasm for any of our leadership candidates, federal or municipal)---there's no real engagement with other people, with our senses, and our need for beauty, vision and creativity, or the unexpected. I suppose politics is like going to the dentist, really (I'll stick to the arts, thanks). With people so disengaged with our political system and anxiously watching their mutual funds plummet, Nocturne couldn't have come at a better time.

The city had an energy that I haven't witnessed before. Even leaving Nocturne for awhile to go see Daniel Lanois, and then coming back downtown at around 11:30pm, people were still consulting maps, waiting for buses and packing the Khyber for a final performance by Lisa Lipton. According to Tonia Di Risio at Anna Leonowens, her staff clicked in over 2,000 people--the most the gallery has ever seen in one day.

Originally I admit I thought it was "typical Halifax" to not have the event go all night, like Nuit Blanche in other cities, but turns out midnight was just fine to wrap things up, and still feel like you had a full night. Next year (I hope there's a next year! Is that too bold?), it would be great to see other areas animated, in particular, the Common and the Public Gardens. Everyone involved in putting together last night should be proud. Hopefully you're catching up on well-deserved sleep today.

Here are just a few highlights:

Adriana Kuiper's Capsule temporary shelter at Dal campus, made out of PVC pipe, wood and metal. It was a bit hard to find, so I hope you made the effort--it's totally worth it.

A detail of the shelter--there's a peephole and mailboxes for the residents.

My lovely model tests out the architectural installation outside the Dal planning & architecture centre. I don't think it was supposed to be one of those executive toys, but people will see what they want.

Inside the centre, the place was jammed with people creating a cardboard vision of Halifax. New mayor and council take note: the people have spoken. Gotta love whoever made the tall towers though--you know what they say about guys with tall towers...

YOung COmpany dancers take a short break.

Suzanne Caines' Door Knocking. I wish you could hear the giant BANG, BANG. If you checked out the hockey and art show earlier this year at the AGNS, you might remember Caines' video of cheering on the Mooseheads, while living in a small French village. She has a show coming up at MSVU Gallery, so don't miss it.

Scott Saunders & Nikolai Gauer's video projection. Saunders isn't new to projecting a vision onto Barrington: A couple of years ago, when he was working at Chives, he set up a camera in the kitchen (Chives doesn't have any street windows) and projected it outside. Chives has now permanently adopted a smaller version in its entranceway.

Crowds admire The Loop's spinners. Not often is knitting an audience sport.

I have an Armstrong Fox scarf, but I want them to make me one like this that lights up.

Speaking of lighting up a room, Sherry Jollymore's EL outfit, modelled by Heather, didn't make it out to the street until late, but that's OK. It's so much fun--there's a battery pack where you can change colours and speeds. It's like wearing a disco party.

HHAHAHAHAA. Funniest gallery opening photo ever!! As if their printmaking couldn't get any finer, Yo Rodeo goes 3D. I have my eye on Softopolis, which is classic Yo Rodeo--raccoons, spirals and skyscrapers--awesome. Seth is off today to New York to mix the next Dog Day album with John Agnello, who's worked with Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.,The Hold Steady and Cindy Lauper, and Paul is all over Pop Explosion with 6015 Willow. Get some talent already. Gheesh.

Kids' songs on the bus. And they're not even drunk. When I lived in Toronto, the 24-hour Yonge line (vomit comet) used to get a lot of singing too, but not so sweet.

My cover guy, David Harper's embroidered fly papers. Did you know he won the Mayor's first emerging artist award on Friday? Why yes he did.

Heather Keeling's ceramic menagerie. I wanted to take this little guy home, but he already has a red dot. But you should go check them out--her bats, hanging upside down off the wall, are the first bat replicas to not send me into a panic attack.

Some guy did a bunch of 3-minute video portraits of important people. I think his name is Warhol...

Lisa Lipton's performance at the Khyber, composed by Will Robinson. It was jam-packed, but the music was captivating. It was not a good time to check out the installation though, and the video wasn't on, so I will have to come back when there aren't a couple kajillion people in the space.

With Eleanor King on drums. All were wearing lederhosen-style suspenders. Lipton has a Sound of Music fascination, and mine is, well, ridiculous. I have been to Salzburg. Just sayin...

Climb every mountain...

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Nocturne tomorrow night!

Posted on Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 4:13 PM

Don't forget! Tomorrow night is Nocturne: Art at Night. We'll be there, roaming the streets, taking in all the art you possibly can, all night, from 6pm to midnight. And whatever happens afterwards. To grab a program, they're around the city at various coffee shops and galleries, or download a copy at and check out some of our picks here. Don't forget to come back here for a full round-up of the night.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Emerging artist award on Friday

Posted on Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 2:22 PM

This Friday at Saint Mary’s Boat Club, we’ll know the first recipient of The Mayor’s Emerging Artist Award--will this be Peter Kelly's last big handshake???--which will be presented at Visual Arts Nova Scotia’s fundraiser, along with several other prizes. The fundraiser sounds like hands-on fun: a collaborative night spent painting and drawing a large spontaneous art piece, inspired by a literary passage. The finished work will be on display at NSCC’s Dartmouth campus, and then it moves to the airport until next October. To get your hands dirty, call 423-4694. $15members/$35non.

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In Print This Week

Vol 28, No 1
July 9, 2020

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