I never read The Decameron in any original, or complete translation. I have a bowdlerized edition I read in part some time ago, perhaps the 1970s. I recall seeing an art film based on the book, in the 1970s (directed Pier Pasolini). But I can’t recall it in any detail, except that it was subtitled. […]
Yes. I know I told you that I had given up reading and reviewing books for a bit. After a few decent ones came my way, I decided to withdraw my ultimatum on book reviewing , but rather be more mindful with the amount of books I was signing myself up for taking on. Would […]
This summer Shane Koyczan and his band the Short Story Long played at Yellowknife’s annual Folk on the Rocks Festival. There were some relatively well known artists playing (Tanya Tagaq, Corb Lund, Leela Gilday, for example) but even then, by most accounts, Koyczan stood out. Enthralling.
I can’t imagine how such a success and such praise is interpreted by Koyczan. He’s not, I wouldn’t think, unaccustomed to such positive recognition. He’s performed at the Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver; at festivals, tv shows, and radios around the world; and had videos of his work go viral—always to critical acclaim. Not bad for a spoken word poet.
But Yellowknife… Yellowknife is where Koyczan was born and raised and if you’ve followed his work at all, you know he went through a lot of bullying in his youth. I can’t imagine what returning, and returning as such a success, must do to a person’s psyche. Is there pride? Bitterness? Showing the bullies they were wrong? I have no idea and I don’t know that I’m in the right to psycho-analyze him.
From his poetry, however, it would seem that Koyczan is strong enough for whatever came his way and that his work, his art, has made him so. To This Day provides a clue as to where this stems. What first got major recognition as a video animated by over 80 animators is likewise turned into a picture book with over 30 illustrators from around the world. You might think that such a large smattering of interpretations would make for a disjointed project. You’d be wrong. Koyczan’s words— and not just the words but the rhythm and emotion— find such a resonance that all those artists seemed to relate and to understand their beauty, adding their own beauty into a cohesive mix. Usually when something has universal appeal it conjures up ideas of Top 40 style pandering, but oh man, not Koyczan. He holds us all in warm, non-threatening embrace and we connect on the cerebral. Even when the volume of his words fades away like so many songs.
A Star Wars fan club named itself after a coalition of bad guys aligned with Darth Vader. But they’re bringing some real goodness to the world.
The post Join the Dark Side: We’ll Silence Your Bullies appeared first on Trivia Books and Facts | Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.
Imagine, for a moment, if, during the tense final hours of the recently concluded negotiations…
Here are some fun facts about the VMA. Only two musicians have won the award for Video of the Year award more than once: Eminem and Rihanna.
The post 7 Fun Facts About the MTV Video Music Awards appeared first on Trivia Books and Facts | Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.
Keira, my 3 year old, often wakes up with the sun, she is a real morning person. This does not work well for me as I am decidedly not a morning person. We’ve come to the understanding that is allowed to wake up and take my phone or a tablet to play on […]
Celebrate family, friendship and fun in the surprise smash comedy hit of the year from the creators of How To Train Your Dragon and Shrek! In DreamWorks Animation’s HOME, Oh, a lovable misfit from another planet meets a girl named Tip. The two unlikely friends embark on the greatest journey of all time…the journey HOME. […]
Join Miles and His Family on Adventurous Super-Galactic Missions in Disney Junior’s Newest Hit! Disney Junior’s “Miles from Tomorrowland” is an intergalactic adventure that charts the outer space missions of young adventurer Miles Callisto and his family – mom and ship captain, Phoebe; mechanical engineer dad, Leo; tech-savvy big sister, Loretta; and best friend robo-ostrich […]
A long time ago, I discussed briefly my circa-2005 ideas for rebooting Impulse with a new character, as Bart was Flash and Wally was dead (followed, of course, by Wally being Flash and Bart being dead. They trade off every so often.) One of the stories I really wanted to do featured another Teen Titan, […]
Now that the real trailer for ‘Suicide Squad’ is out, I feel like I can make a better stab at predicting its ups and downs than when I was deeply unconvinced that I was actually watching a real thing made by real professional Hollywood types. (Which, don’t get me wrong, it was certainly a very […]
Here’s just a quickie post to link my two videos from yesterday’s busy day. There’s never any time before you’re off to the next thing! I have to start going to bed sooner and waking up earlier. Yesterday we went to the National Post building for an art show exhibit of Gina Godfrey’s amazing work, […]
Guest Contributor: Uryelle Dimailig
The Edmonton Folk Music Festival—as mentioned in my last article—is a pretty big deal. To illustrate exactly how big of a deal, tickets to the festival sell out within minutes while lotteries are drawn simply to enter the grounds when gates first open for the day.
Arguably one of the most popular festivals of the year, it boasts an army of over 2,500 volunteers alone, not to mention the thousands more who attend as guests. But whether volunteer, concert-goer, performer or passing observer, this annual event is indeed a magical time for all: four days of stunning scenery, world class music, united community, and general feel-good vibes unique to the one and only “Folk Fest.” For those of you who missed last weekend’s festivities (or have never been), here is my round-up of highlights from my time there on Saturday and Sunday to get you caught up to speed.
For those of you who are regulars, well, consider this fond nostalgia.
My first day was mainly spent exploring the festival and getting acquainted with the grounds. First thing you’ll undoubtedly notice is the sea of tarps sprawling over the steep hills of Gallagher Park on one side and the stunning view of Edmonton’s downtown core perched on top of the river valley on the other—the view alone is a big draw for many. You feel like you’re in an oasis in the middle of the city!
My quick tour of the market saw unique local vendors selling crafts that follow the “folk” sensibility: leather satchels, handmade jewelry, wooden décor, the works. The food pavilions provided hungry concert-goers with international fare including Thai, Chinese, German, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Canadian and more, with (of course) vegetarian and vegan options.
There were plenty of kid friendly amenities in the festival as well including a spray park, face painting and a family fun area. For us grownups, our fun area was known as the beer gardens, which offer up pitchers of beer, hotdogs, and great conversation with new and old friends. Stick around after the sun sets and take in the glorious sight of a hill filled with twinkling lights and a night sky full of stars. Truly magical.
As for the shows, my goal on Sunday was to catch as many as I could and I feel my mission was accomplished, having caught seven concerts that afternoon. Here are a few of my favourites:
Emmanuel Jal: So I stumbled on this show by accident. I was actually on my way to find ice cream but I couldn’t help but stop as I passed by Emmanuel Jal’s stage. This guy had energy for days, jumping up and down, dancing in the crowd and pulling the audience on stage to join the show. Jal’s empowering songs affected the crowd too—everyone was up on their feet dancing along as the park resounded with anthems of love and peace, such is his mandate. The incredible story of Jal’s past life as a child soldier in Sudan, turned hip-hop artist and activist hailing from Toronto made for an uplifting performance that not only entertained but inspired all those who watched. For music with a message, an artist with a story, and an entertainer with passion, Emmanuel Jal’s your guy—his show was a definite highlight of the festival and it’s all thanks to ice cream.
I’m With Her: Shifting musical stylings somewhat after the Emmanuel Jal show, I drifted over to Stage 2 where the ladies of I’m With Her began their soft-spoken, gentle set of folksy originals and cover songs. These ladies had the most angelic voices which, when paired with their delicate instrumentals, served as the perfect complement to the sunshine and stunning view of the river valley behind the stage. Considering you were surrounded by thousands of people, the I’m With Her set had a magical way of feeling intimate and close, as every live performance should.
Fairfield Four: So funny story. While I was in the media tent sorting through the day’s photos, a group of older gentlemen arrived and media volunteers were busy trying to get them to their assigned stage. One of the men took a seat beside me, smiled and said, “How do you do,” in the smoothest, southern baritone voice I have ever heard. Being a newbie to the folk music scene however, I couldn’t quite place what kind of music they would be playing.
An hour later, there I was swaying to the stylings of the legendary Fairfield Four as their airtight four-part acapella harmonies and rolling bass lines took you through a journey of gospel tales and rich southern history. Incredibly humble for a group whose songs have won them Grammies and major Hollywood soundtracks, these talented vocalists are the third generation to hold a place in the Fairfield Four’s almost century long history. What a privilege it truly was to watch them live in concert.
The McCrary Sisters: Continuing on the gospel note, the McCrary Sisters took to the stage shortly after. As daughters of one of the founding members of the Fairfield Four, it was clear that musical talent ran through the family. The sisters, with their pitch perfect harmonies, powerful vocal riffs and impeccable showmanship, took turns sharing the spotlight with their spirited set of blues, soul and gospel songs. My personal favourite was their song “Let It Go” which was an anthem of positivity and love. To top it all off, the Fairfield Four joined the Sisters on stage for an amazing joint performance that had everyone on their feet dancing and singing along.
All in all, I LOVED every second of my Folk Fest experience. Yes, the music was amazing but even more important was the incredible spirit of community, inclusion and support you felt when you were there. If you have a chance to make it to next year’s festival, I highly recommend it. Cheers to all the Folk; see you next August on the hill!
So, finding ourselves with a rare childless evening, Erin and I rented Ex Machina yesterday. This is a story about an uber-genius software billionaire having invented AI (played by Alicia Vikander) bringing aboard this brilliant computer coder to perform a…
(Collects Son of Hulk #s 13-17)
Earlier this year my daughter noticed me reading World War Hulk: Frontline and, knowing that I was interested in the Hulk character but finding it hard to get into that particular book, went looking for another one for me for Father’s Day. The result of that search was Son of Hulk, Dark Son Rising.
She didn’t know, of course, that Hulk himself would not appear in these pages, but that was okay. I was more hesitant for the fact that it began with #13 in the Son of Hulk series. If I complained that Frontline was difficult to get into as a casual fan, surely staring at #13 wasn’t going to me much easier.
That turns out not to have been much of a problem. Apparently issues #1-12 focused on one of Hulk’s son’s, Skaar, while the 13th marked the beginning focus on Skaar’s twin brother, Hiro-Kala, so I didn’t feel that I missed too much back story to understand this one on its own.
But it did have other problems for me. Hiro-Kala is a violent young man. Perhaps even crazy violent. He’s hellbent on killing Galactus for having destroyed his home planet, and part of his mysterious plan for revenge involves destroying another planet, poisoning it, before Galactus consumes it. That planet’s inhabitants be damned.
No, Hiro-Kala isn’t a likeable character. He may also be a bit on the crazy side, thinking he’s a god—though he does get godlike powers, so maybe not completely crazy. I’m a little unclear about that stuff. He seems to have mastered control over something called the Old Power, which sounds a bit like the Force from Star Wars, and… well, anyway, it’s strange and as I say, I didn’t really understand it all.
I was also put off by all the angry violence. He’s the son of Hulk, so you might wonder what I expected. Hulk’s the big green rage monster, after all. But I’m starting to realize that what I’ve liked about the Hulk is the play with Bruce Banner, Hulk’s calmer alter-ego. Banner provides balance. Hulk’s Earth pals provide balance. But when there is no Banner and when every alien character seems to have been lifted from Frank Miller’s 300, only interested in fighting and killing, it gets tiresome fast.
That said, there were some aspects I liked. I especially enjoyed the pseudo-Biblical tone of the book. As well, Guinaldo’s art, while not particularly inventive, had a scratchy, classic semi-realistic style that lent to the air of mythical importance I think Jenkins was going for. That said, there’s a bizarre amount of phallic imagery sprinkled throughout and I’m not sure what that was all about…
Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom Hardy spent a lot of time in Alberta over the last year filming The Revenant with the Oscar winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Birdman). Most of this was filmed just outside of Calgary.
This movie looks really intense…and Leo looks really dirty. I don’t really approve of that aspect of the film.
I went to my very first Edmonton Folk Music Festival last year and I was blown away. It quickly ranked to the top of my Alberta music festival chart and this year’s line-up is promising more of the same!So this year, if you are planning on spending a f…
Justice League United made Canadian headlines last year when Jeff Lemire announced he would be using the series to introduce the first Cree superhero to the DC roster, Equinox. Given that importance, and coming from Jeff Lemire, of whom I’m clearly a f…
Hi all! This post is slightly delayed as I was spending last weekend attending CONvergence (which is, to the best of my knowledge, the largest entirely volunteer-run convention in the country). While there, in addition to all the other things I was doing, I saw a trailer for ‘Suicide Squad’, which I didn’t even realize […]
Summer is here, and I’m excited about going back to Greece with my family. Despite the Greek economic instability, the sea, the mountains, the way of life, and the beauty of Greece is calling my name. And I desperately need a vacation.
Parenting is always an adventure, no matter how old the children are, and even every day activities—like a visit to the grocery store—can lead to unexpected adventures. (Like the time I walked out of the grocery store with my children only to notice my car was being driven away by a stranger!) No matter what, though, we make the best of any crazy situation.
Whether we’re on vacation or spending a quiet night at home watching shows on Netflix, we’re having fun together making new memories. Now that my boys are older, there are more movies and television shows we can enjoy watching together, including movies that I remember loving when I was a child, like Annie and The Goonies. I was excited to see that The Goonies is playing on Netflix right now—and so were my boys, because of course, they love this movie as much as you’d expect they would. It’s a classic, after all.
My boys also love How to Train Your Dragon, and they are looking forward to watching the all-new Netflix original series Dragons: Race to the Edge. Dragons: Race to the Edge will introduce some new exciting dragons, each with its own amazing abilities. I can’t wait to snuggle up on the couch with my boys for this one!
Other shows your kids can look forward to watching on Netflix right now? Puss and Boots, Penguins of Madagascar, and National Treasure. Happy Netflix-ing!
Disclosure: I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with Netflix and as part of the Netflix Canada Stream Team. All views and opinions are my own.
I’m probably showing my age when I say that ‘The Love Boat’ was practically ubiquitous when I was a kid. Even if you didn’t make an effort to watch it, it seemed to run in some sort of bizarre, perpetual loop that meant you always wound up catching at least a half an episode here […]
It was a cold and rainy morning but despite the weather it was a great day to shop for plants.A little rain was no matter for these shoppers. Just put on your wellies and pick your plants!I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all the many many people …
As I’m sure you’re at least dimly aware if you read this blog, Marvel is…decidedly NOT rebooting the Marvel Universe! Because Marvel never does that! That’s the sort of thing DC does, heh heh heh. We’d never ever do a ‘Crisis’ style reboot, not when we can just mush all of the parallel universes together […]
It’s June, which means everyone is gearing up for summer. Which means, you need to start ramping up your summer time playlists. Summer is fun, happy and fleeting. This is what a look for in a summer playlist song.The Griswolds just released a new video…
Meet Me Under the Disco Ball: A History of Nightlife’s Most Enduring Symbol
Spoek Mathambo’s ‘Future Sound Of Mzansi’ (Part 3)
Toxic Babes and Slime Monsters Live on at Troma Studios
Spotify Just Discovered That Heavy Metal Is More Popular Than Pop Music
Roc of Ages: Dame Dash’s Second Chance at a Second Act
It’s a sure sign of Spring.The Plant Sale is coming….. and that means a raffle featuring a locally made birdhouse, canteen with fresh baked goodies, aged manure and compost, used garden books, a playground for the children…..and PLANTS. lots …