Showing posts from May, 2010

A Few Minutes With...Colin Close

'I Heart' gets up Close & personal (sorry, I like puns!) with Whitehorse musician Colin Close


"MOVING into our first night in the 'real world' my stomach growls a fierce anticipation for my next meal. I'm warm enough to survive the night, but not full enough to lose my thoughts to achieve a few hours of sleep. This is our first night together and as strangers to these streets we all face a certain uncertainty."

Sounds like the rouse of a fictive novel, or perhaps the memoirs of a jilted past. Nope, it's actually the first entry of a young man's blog, recalling his accounts of spending five days in the life of a homeless person. And that young man is one Colin Close, an Edmonton, by-way-of Whitehorse, singer and songwriter, musician and humanitarian in the making.

But Close, 23, is modest about his spare time contributions.

"I haven't done much in terms of established volunteering. I did some through school, college, and n…

Old Ugly Presents...

Jesse Dangerously, Brzowski, H.W., and crew of local hip-hop maestros congregate at The Hydeaway


What:Multi-artist hip-hop pub concert
When:Monday, May 31, 2010 (doors @ 9PM/ show @ 10PM)
The Hydeaway (10209-100 Ave.)

WHENEVER I post these event announcements I research the artists as much as humanly possible...or until my ADD kicks in and I lose interest. This Monday's concert at The Hydeaway, headlined by Halifax rapper Jesse Dangerously, was no exception to the rule.

But, I have to admit, Mr. Dangerously is not what you might expect in a hip-hop connoisseur, as I learned. He's slightly on the hefty side, and he sports a beard and specs. He dresses down, no bling in site. He's Caucasian and hails from a town famous for its piers and as the birthplace of Alexander Keith's. Oh, and there's that subtle, but obvious lisp.

But none of that shit matters, because Jesse's got the goods to push past all of it and command whatever stage he appears on. …

ED Spot #14/ Alberta Aviation Museum

An important part of our city's (& province's) past comes to life at the Aviation Museum


YOU'VE probably noticed the giant aircraft reproductions protruding from the ground every time you drive down Kingsway Avenue, nestled on the southwest corner of the City Centre Airport. But how often have you stopped to see what else lies in the lot? That's what I thought!

But who am I to criticize? Last week was my intro to the Alberta Aviation Museum, which has been up and running since the early-'90s. So, really, I have no excuse, other than lack of awareness and interest. There, I said it!

I'll be the first to tell you that aviation history doesn't exactly spark my attention, but seeing the genuine articles up close & personal was, to say the least, pretty cool.

To be honest, what attracted me to the AAM wasn't its stockpile of more than 30 aircraft on display, or its Cold War jet fighter cockpit experience, or even their multi-screen fligh…

Previewing the Film Fest

The EIFF get local moviegoers involved in deciding what may or may not make the cut for this season's line-up


IT'S a brand new concept for the Edmonton International Film Festival. In fact, I was part of only the second (and most likely this season's last) group of local film buffs who were luckily chosen to pre-screen some of the shorts potentially up for EIFF selection.

I say potentially because their candidacy would be partially based on the opinions of us volunteers, who Ebert & Roeper'd our way through 128 minutes of short films from around the world last week (May 13).

Kudos to the EIFF for taking this logical route, allowing its own audience to partake in the selection process for its 2010 season (Sept. 24-Oct. 2). It only makes sense, afterall, to have us help choose what we want to see at this year's 9-day festival, now in its 24th season. What took them so long?

So, as I was saying, I eagerly and immediately accepted the invitation to sit…


Some of the latest happenings in Edmonton...


EDMONTON'S flourishing hip-hop scene has just gotten a major boost, with the recent concert announcement for the Edmonton Event Centre. Drake (see his latest video "Over" below), who's one of the most sought-after acts in the world right now, will make his way to our city on Saturday, July 24, as part of his Away From Home Tour. Tickets for the Toronto-born rapper (& actor) go on sale this Friday (May 21). This Sunday (May 23) the EEC will also host a no-minors concert by hip-hop legends Public Enemy, at 8PM. Contact Ticketmaster (780-451-8000) for tickets. There are a limited amount of half-price tickets ($19.99) available for Public Enemy until Friday at 10PM.

SPEAKING of hip-hop, the Louise McKinney Riverfront Park (9999 Grierson Hill Road) will welcome thousands of locals this Saturday (May 22) for the third annual 'Hip-Hop in the Park' concert. Mostly local rappers and DJs will perform from …

Hip-Hop in the Park 2010

Thousands are expected to take in the summer heat and hip-hop beats during this free river valley concert

What:Outdoor hip-hop concert
When:Saturday, May 22, 2010 (12-8PM)
Louise McKinney Riverfront Park (9999 Grierson Hill Road)

DURING the third week of every May for the last three years, (mostly) local rappers and DJs come together to spit rhymes and spin beats in the great outdoors of the Louise McKinney Riverfront Park. It's called Hip-Hop in the Park, and it's Edmonton's largest locally-organized urban concert.

About 4,000 people are expected to turn out for the free, all-ages show, which coincides with International Hip-Hop Appreciation Week (May 16-23). the one-day-only event is currently put on by the non-profit Hip-Hop in the Park Foundation, which endorses positive, non-violent expression through urban sounds.

The 2010 season will see a line-up of rappers and DJs that includes Joe Maze, DJ Shortop, Lazarush, Politic Live, Brandon Brown, Ricca Razor Sharp, Rellik

Local Art Showcase #6/ Jen Danger

Homegrown tattoo and canvas artist proves that Danger can be a good thing!


A GIANT snake slithers through a mound of cracked skulls on the left side of her rib cage. There's a self-inked Jem (as in '...and the Holograms') slogan that covers one of her ankles, and a pair of suspect cats perched upon her collarbone. Even her inner bottom lip has been coated in tattoo ink, but she refuses to tell I Heart what it says!

Though Jen Danger, 27, may resemble a living canvas of dazing needle work, she's also the artist. Not necessarily behind the very designs that are gradually immersing her flesh, but the Edmonton-born 'n' raised tattooist (& painter) has left her own mark on dozens of satisfied patrons over the last few years.

"Every person has a story," said Jen, who currently works out of Capital Tattoo, and has since 2007. "Tattooing is a way to have their stories live remember the good, the bad. It is the biggest honour to …

Old Ugly Presents...

Jaded Hipster Choir tape (yes, tape!) release concert

What:Tape release concert/party
When:Wednesday, May 26, 2010 (8:45PM)
Where:Likwid Lounge (10081-Jasper Ave./ 780-429-2582)

GOT plans for next Wednesday evening (May 26)? Well, if you do I say you cancel them and head out to the downtown Likwid Lounge instead, where the Jaded Hipster Choir is launching their synth pop cassette (remember those?!), I Will Not Sing Your Praises Here.

The tape is yours free when you ante up the $10 cover at the doors of the Lounge, which will also host performances by Methadone, Philip Dickau, and Old Ugly Recording Company head honcho The Joe.

"Tonight, we're taking the name 'Synth Pop', and we're doing it for all the right reasons, for all the grinding melodic fankensteins who couldn't help but be the way they are." The show's promoters continue: "Tonight, we exalt the creak ensconsed looping pedals and the moaning crystalline keyboards to a strata of musical society …

EDvent/ Funky vs. Fresh Concert

Cover to get into the Avenue for 'Funky vs. Fresh': $10. A four-hour musical hybrid of local endowment: priceless!


I RECOGNIZED him the moment I walked into the men's room at the Avenue Theatre (9030-118 Ave.) last Friday night (May 7) for the all-ages "Funky vs. Fresh" concert. And I know there are all kinds of dirty thoughts & images popping up in your head right now, but let me finish before you jump to your perverse conclusions.

The Joe (a.k.a. Joe Gurba) stood at the mirror, trying on his new cap, clad with the words Gateway Screen & Press. I fleetingly debated whether or not to say something like "hey, I know you."

As I stood at the urinal, my back to the charismatic local rapper, I bit the proverbial bullet: "I just bought your CD last weekend," I joyously admitted. I wasn't lying either. In fact, I was listening to Ut Oh in my car on the way to the Avenue.

"Oh, really?!"

As I washed my hands I told …

Music Clip of the Month (05/10)

"Welcome to the Heart" (2009) by Eamon McGrath


LIKE with Caleb Followill or Ray LaMontagne, it's Eamon McGrath's grating vocals that you first notice when you listen to one of his songs. And when he's fronting one of the many bands he's become associated with, he tears into the mic like it's some bitch that broke his heart.

And like any good artist can, Edmonton-born McGrath is able to veer from manic punk rocker to mellow folksy blues singer-songwriter in the same time it takes for him to put down the electric guitar and sit down to the piano.

But even more impressive is McGrath's undeniable dedication to his craft, compiling more than two dozen self-recorded albums barely into his twenties, including nine in 2008 alone. He records all of his albums at his home in Edmonton.

Compared to the styles of Ryan Adams, Tom Waits, and Black Flag, amongst others, McGrath broadens his musical scope by lending his talents to various backing bands, i…

Some Good News For Once...

Local headlines usually focus on the bad and the ugly, but not these ones...

I HEART Edmonton is fully aware that there's an abundance of shitty things going on all over the world, as well as right here in our own neck of the woods. But our days are crammed with these ongoing updates of car accidents, earthquakes & hurricanes, homicides, suicides, war & terrorists, etc., etc., etc. So, let I Heart bring you some good news for once.

The Edmonton Examiner
-Fashion industry going eco-friendly
-Bike-a-thon helps build new home
-Students design recyclable dresses
-Thunder capture bronze at Esso Cup

The Unknown Studio
-Episode the 23rd: Music, Edmonton and Erica Viegas (pictured below)

Citytv Edmonton
-Helping a family a world away (video)
-Her memory lives on/ Katherine Hay (video)

The Edmonton Journal
-Mandel proposes LRT expansion without raising taxes
-Edmonton city council gives thumbs up to Jerry Forbes Centre
-Korean foundation eyes multicultural centre
-Project's goals to reduce spe…

ED Spot #13/ Play Nightclub

Even if you aren't exactly sure which way you swing, this downtown nightclub welcomes you, and anyone else to come out and play!


MY club days are long behind me, and although I had a hell of a ride during those late teens and early twenties, good riddance I say.

Good riddance to spending $20 bills quicker than I care to remember, and to waiting for cabs in 20-below snowfalls at three in the morning. Good riddance to hangovers, toilet diving, and professing things I wish I hadn't. And good riddance to stressing over what everyone else in the bar thinks about you...especially once the toxins have encouraged you to take to the dance floor.

But last Sunday (May 2) was my good friend Amanda's birthday, and so I knew I'd be spending the night before chugging hiballs on some crowded dance floor to celebrate the occasion.

I braved the porcelain hugging, the nonchalant cash dispencing, and exaggerating compliments while under the unfluence that night, but knew that…

Pub Posters

This week's line-up for The Brixx Bar & Grill...


THIS Tuesday (May 4) will see Mark Feduk host "Troubadour Tuesdays" with Everything Nicks and Blake Paul at the Brixx Bar & Grill (10030-102 St.), which is located just below the Starlite Room. The show starts at 9PM and is $8 at the door.

On Wednesday (May 5) DJ Degree headlines "Really Good...Eats and Beats," which is explained as "a weekly gathering of Edmonton's bassline community." There is no cover for the show, which starts at 6PM and goes until Midnight. Wings are just 35 cents.

Tommy Grimes will be "spinning new school and old school rock n' roll" on Thursday (May 6) as part of "Radio Brixx," starting at 8PM. There is no cover for this event.

For just $5 you have "Options" with Greg Gory and Eddie Lunchpail this coming Friday (May 7) at the Brixx. The show starts at 9PM. For more information on these and other events at the Brixx visit …


Some of the latest happenings in Edmonton...


IT'S "Free Comic Book Day" across North America today (May 1), so put those Xbox remotes down and put on some pants people. "Canada's Best Comic Store" Happy Harbor Comics is among the participating stores offering complimentary comics "to celebrate the amazing world of comics in all of its forms!" There are three Happy Harbor locations in Edmonton, at 12226-Jasper Avenue, 180 Manning Crossing, and 10326-81 Ave. Happy reading Edmonton!

THEY'VE sold 30 million albums, scored 20 #1 hits, and have won dozens of major awards along the away, and now Brooks & Dunn are done! But before the world's most successful duo of all-time call it quits, B&D will bring their "Last Rodeo Tour" to Rexall Place this Wednesday (May 5), eight months after officially announcing their retirement. Georgia-born singer-songwriter Jason Aldean will open for B&D, and Ontario's Jason B…