Showing posts from 2010

Oil + Octane

Our Oilers welcome Canada's first NHL cheer team, the Octane


19 beautiful young ladies stepped out onto the ice at Rexall Place tonight, to perform as Canada's first cheer team in hockey. The squad, christened Oilers Octane, will appear at Oilers home games, special events, and charity functions as ambassadors of both Edmonton and the Oilers Hockey Club.

Meant to "enhance the in-game experience," according to Oilers president Patrick LaForge, Octane are nothing new to the National Hockey League though, joining 23 other squads in the league. All south of the border. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Calgary jumps on board.

Aged 18-29, the ladies competed amongst more than 100 hopefuls, and were selected with the help of some of the Oilers' wives. All but two are from Alberta, including 13 from the Edmonton area. You can watch videos, check out photos, or buy Octane merchandise at their official club page.

By the way, the Oilers los…

Music Clip of the Month/ 12-10

Colin Close's "I Don't Need (Your Bentley's)" (2010)

"IT was only just this morning when local musician Colin Close was "talking with a friend of mine who is really gonna run the world he lives, plays, and works in someday soon. He was having a hard morning," Close explains. "And some stuff had gotten him down. So he asked me, 'how many Bentley's you want when things go good?,' and all I could say was 'I don't need no Bentley's, man'."

Close, who participated in an interview with I Heart Edmonton back in May, told me that when he got off the phone with his buddy, "I started thinking about my own life, and all the things I don't really need." And, in the words of one Emeril Lagasse, 'BAM!' A song was born.

In his humble apartment, Close picked up his guitar, set up his camera, and shot this video earlier today. When he posted it on Facebook I suggested he name the untitled song "Luxurie…

Edmonton's 'Top 40 Under 40,' 2010

Once again, Edmonton's Avenue magazine names our city's 'Top 40 Under 40' who are making a difference right here at home
LAST year Avenue tried something new. The local monthly magazine set out to find our city's "brightest and most talented individuals under the age of 40 who are excelling in their careers, giving back to the community and raising our city's profile." In other words, Edmonton's "Top 40 Under 40."
The fine folks over at Avenue put out the call early off, asking readers to nominate worthy candidates. They responded with more than 200 nominations, each of which would have to submit a list of accolades and references, as well as some background information, a resume, and reasons why they should be considered for the Top 40.
Once that task was complete, Avenue staff set out to determine who was the most deserving, trimming the selections down to a short list of 65. The Top 40 was chosen from there by five jud…

@ the Movies/ 127 Hours

James Franco explores the edge of desperation in Danny Boyle's rousing take on a real-life journey of survival
IT takes a movie like Danny Boyle's 127 Hours to open our eyes to just how integral the right director is to a story, and to developing it for the big screen. Essentially, Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later) takes a true story that easily could have burnt out half way through, and converts it into a visionary chronicle, pierced by the enticing and peculiar score of Oscar winner A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire).
That true story belongs to mountain climber (& now public speaker) Aron Ralston, who spent...wait for it...127 hours pinned by a boulder against a canyon wall in Utah's Blue John Canyon, in 2003. Ralston spent the next five days drinking his own urine, videotaping his goodbyes, and drifting in and out of delusion, until he realized his last resort.
His exhaustive trial climaxed when Ralston, now 35, pulled out his dull pocket kni…

Music Clip of the Month/ 11-10

Tupelo Honey's "Not Alone" (2008)
OKAY, technically, Tupelo Honey hails from that town next door, St. Albert, but we're gonna go ahead and take credit for them. That goes for Mark Messier and Jarome Iginla, too.
The band, christened after a popular Van Morrison song, was formed while the members were enrolled in Grant MacEwan's music program. They had each performed in other bands prior to starting Tupelo Honey, in February 2003.
From there the band--made up of vocalist Matt Landry, drummer Greg Williamson, bassist Steve Vincent, and guitarists Dan Davidson and Tyler Dianocky--issued a self-titled EP (2006) and played their first live show, at Stage 13 in Camrose.
They've since opened for the likes of Bon Jovi, Three Days Grace, Billy Talent, Sam Roberts, Default, and Theory of a Deadman, and released a couple more EPs on Fontana Records. Their last effort, '08's Machines & Robots, featured national hits in "Morphine" and "Not Alone.…

Make It! Edmonton, 2010

For anyone looking for an alternative to the mall scene, Make It the city's "hippest" craft show, this weekend at the Aviation Museum
What:Urban craft show/ live music When:Thur., Nov. 25 (4-9PM)/ Fri., Nov. 26 (Noon-9PM)/ Sat., Nov. 27 (10AM-5PM)/ Sun., Nov. 28 (11AM-5PM) Where:Alberta Aviation Museum hangar (11410-Kingsway Avenue)
IT'S that time of year again, when the malls fill up with eager and frantic Christmas shoppers, scrambling to check off each name on their gift lists. Many, such as myself, have no idea what to get, probing the countless shops of the local mall to find something other than what the recipients might come to expect. Who wants to spend a weekend at West Ed a month before the big day?!
Well, you don't have to! That's because Jenna & Chandler Herbut are returning to Edmonton for the fifth annual 'Make It! The Handmade Revolution,' which will take over the Alberta Aviation Museum hangar from Thursday (Nov. 25) to Sunday (Nov. 28…

@ the Movies/ Unstoppable

Tony Scott borrows from a so-so true story for a worthier film set--mostly--on a set of train tracks

I ADMIT, I formed my opinion of Tony Scott's Unstoppable before the trailer even ended, writing it off as another not-bad-but-forgettable Scott effort. His fifth with Denzel Washington. Calm down, Scott fans, opinions are like assholes....
Anyways, I know when I'm wrong and I'm not afraid to confess such. Unstoppable, which had a budget of about $100 million (!), wasn't a flawless spectacle by any stretch of the imagination, but it exceeded any expectations I had of a Scott film. Of a Washington film, for that matter.
Two-time Oscar winner Washington plays train engineer and single father of two Hooters waitresses Frank Barnes in Unstoppable, itself inspired by true events. In 2001 Ohio was put on alert when an unmanned train, full of toxic materials, barreling down the tracks at 47 mph, until it was finally brought to a stop by trainmaster Jon Hosfeld.

A Few Minutes With...Daryl Bonar

It's been nearly a month since his 3rd-place finish during the election, but mayoral candidate Daryl Bonar has no plans on giving up on his political future.
"I ACTUALLY, genuinely thought I could win," Daryl Bonar said after coming in third during the recent election that had the 32-year-old real estate investor running for Edmonton's Mayor. "I was under no illusions. I knew I was a long shot, but I was in it to win it."
Insistent on not fading into the murkiness that rarely eludes electorals after their exhaustive campaigns, Bonar has not exactly thrown in the towel when it comes to his political hopes. But rather than running for the Mayor's job next time, Bonar is considering a seat in City Council three years from now.
Bonar, a former mixed martial arts fighter and Canadian Forces communications officer, has also been encouraged to run for both provincial and federal parties. And why not? Entering a race as a "young & inexp…

@ the Movies/ Catfish

Slow-moving documentary has the potential to take the road less travelled, but ends up in the ditch instead
WE'VE all been told never to judge a book by its cover, right? But a movie by its trailer? You'd think that one could develop an accurate opinion based almost entirely on those two-minute teaser clips that are essentially the synopsis of its parent film.
Not always.
Case in point, Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman's "documentary" Catfish that presents itself as a suspense thriller that is "not inspired by true events...just true." But its own authenticity as an actual docu-film isn't the issue at hand (though lets put a tac in that). I can't sit here and condone distorted depictions, not when I'm spending something like twenty bucks every time I go to the theatre. And especially not when my anticipation gets the best of me.
You see, it was this film's trailer--and a few choice words by "respectable" critics-…

E-Spot #16/ Bogato Custom Cake Design

St. Albert-based custom cake business caters to anyone in need of a dessert out of the ordinary
"I REMEMBER trying to make angel food cake," said local cake designer Michelle Andrade (pictured below), reminiscing about her earliest memories in the kitchen. "I tried three times and ended up going through three dozen eggs trying to make it...we ended up picking up an angel food cake at the store."
That last resort is no longer an option these days, as people now come to her when they can't seem to figure out how to construct a cake recipe. But the recipe is the easy, almost manual part of the picture. The design, now that's the icing on the cake. Pun fully intended.
Michelle is everything behind the scenes of Bogato Custom Cake Design, a "fusion between cake and art" that has been the Edmonton-born dessert chef's baby since early '09. That's when the Toronto-trained cakexpert (new word...copyright pending!) had an idea.

Music Clip of the Month/ 10-10

Kreesha Turner's "Dust in Gravity" (2009) (with Delerium)
EDMONTON-born & bred Kreesha Turner broke into the music business after winning a singing contest on local radio station The Bounce (91.7 FM), which in turn led to a trip to Vancouver to record four tracks with Hipjoint Productions (Kelly Rowland, Shiloh). One of those songs, "Bounce with Me," caught the attention of music manager Chris Smith (Nelly Furtado, Fefe Dobson).
Soon enough Turner had inked a deal with Virgin Records and an accompanying R&B album in Passion resulted soon after, featuring singles in "Simple," "Shattered," "Lady Killer," and "Don't Call Me Baby." The latter broke into the Canadian Top 10 (#8) in '08, and even crossed the border to top the Billboard dance charts.
By 2009 Turner had earned a pair of Juno nods, took home the Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Artist, and even appeared in a Kit Kat commercial with her hit &q…

@ the Movies/ The Town

Ben Affleck sheds his flop-ridden tinseltown past and shows us what he's learned over the years, in The Town
LET me be the first to admit that it seemed implausible to forgive the guy who starred in Gigli (!), in Jersey Girl (!), in fucking Surviving Christmas (!!)--for crying out loud--but here I am, bowing before the man once co-known as Bennifer.
Ben Affleck, victor of four Razzie Awards, has redeemed his unfortunate and somewhat dizzying Hollywood past (with the exception of Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone and, of course, Dazed & Confused), with what's got to be one of the best films of the year, so far. The Town sheds Affleck's daunting trail of disastrous silver screen faux pas' and proves he's developed into something more than a tabloid junkie or some Matt Damon sidekick. He's all grow'd up!
Not only did Affleck, 38, co-script The Town--based on Chuck Hogan's Prince of Thieves novel--but he also leads the cast of his sophomo…


Long-awaited, locally-filmed sequel will help kick off this year's International Film Festival
IN 2002 Michael Dowse directed and co-scripted what is now recognized as a Canadian cult classic, FUBAR, itself an acronym for 'Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition." The $400,000 mockumentary starred David Lawrence (Terry) and Paul Spence (Dean), as lifelong friends and the subjects of a documentary film that details the lives of the "common man."
Based partially on a Lawrence-Spence comedy routine, FUBAR premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, but really struck a chord with Western Canadians. In particular, Albertans. FUBAR, with the mullet ratio of a Poison video, was shot and based in Calgary, although that's no reason to avoid it.
But that was eight years ago and Terry & Dean have since matured. Well, not really. FUBAR 2, the long-awaited sequel, was shot predominantly in Fort McMurray and partially in the fine, ridiculously sexy town of Edmont…

@ the Movies/ The Last Exorcism

Controversial director's documentary approach on a fatigued story proves a vast improvement from its slick, polished counterparts
IN 1980 Italian director Ruggero Deodato introduced moviegoers to a new subgenre of exploitation cinema, in Cannibal Holocaust. Its touchy narrative tip-toed in the domain of snuff films, a scripted tale chronicled to come off as a documentary, a true story in other words.
It wasn't, of course, but nonetheless an intriguing discourse that was never really appreciated until 1999's The Blair Witch Project. Although the movie's directors--Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez--denied Deodato's pioneering effort had any influence on their now-iconic horror film, there's no ignoring its (or 1998's The Last Broadcast) similar plot structure.
Since then we've been exposed to a long line of compatible efforts, fooling (some) audiences into believing that what they are watching is "found footage" from amateur or …


Some of the latest happenings in Edmonton (EIFF, EIA, CCMA...)
"EVERY Night Is Opening Night!" That is the slogan for the 24th annual Edmonton International Film Festival, which will take over Edmonton City Centre mall Friday, September 24 to Saturday, October 2. The 9-day fest will kick off with Opening Night Film Score: A Hockey Musical (Sept. 24) and will tread on with dozens of other features and shorts from across Canada and abroad to our very own backyard. Another returning favourite will be the 6th annual 24/One Challenge, in which filmmakers will have just one full day to put together their own movie, and the top 10 films will premiere at EIFF on Oct. 2, the final day of the festival. Tickets for EIFF 2010 are available at the Empire Theatres box office in City Centre, or at Tix On the Square. Each individual film (or Short Film Package) will cost $13.75, though there are various multi-show passes to choose from as well, including the all-access Reel …