The Weal » The Scene

By: The Weal  09-12-2011

The Weal » The Scene

Despite what Dr. Hook says, The Sheepdogs didn’t need “blue-eyed groupies,” “cocaine Katy,” or “all kinds of pills” to land on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Last August, Saskatoon band The Sheepdogs became the first unsigned act to be featured on one of the world’s most recognized magazines.

The small Canadian band accomplished the feat thanks to the help of more than 1.5 million people across the globe who voted in Rolling Stone’s Choose the Cover competition.

Each month in the heart of Kensington, the Market Collective helps local artists get recognized.

Founded by Angela Dione and Angel Guerra, just days after meeting one another over breakfast in 2008, the Market Collective (MC) has been a stepping stone for Calgary’s young artistic and musical talent.

On October 28, Tom Waits released his new album Bad As Me, his first studio effort of new material since 2004’s, Real Gone.

While there are many who waited eagerly for this release and think Waits is one of the most influential artists of all time (he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), there are many reading with no idea who Tom Waits is.

There’s something classy about seeing someone with a long stem held gracefully between their fingers, bold flavours and aromas filling their glass.

As long as that dainty sip isn’t followed by a round of shooters.

Once consumed only by royals and those of the church, wine has never lost its association to the aura of higher class.  For many students the sophisticated libation can offer a hit to fading bank accounts at semester’s end.

The Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) is holding its bi-annual Show and Sale, Nov. 24–26. The ACAD Students’ Association hosts the event to showcase student work each November and March.

“The show is always all student work,” says ACADSA vice-president academic Ryan Tang.

“We’ll have work from every different department, about 11 departments.”

The show and sale features work in mediums such as painting, photography, sculpture, glass and drawing.

ACAD students volunteer for the event in order to showcase their talents.

Vancouver based trio Hey Ocean!, composed of lead vocalist Ashleigh Ball, guitarist David Beckingham and bassist Dave Vertesi, may battle it out when it comes to creating their sound, but the outcome results in nothing but positivity.

“We are all extremely different, it makes things crazy but also very rewarding,” said Vertesi.

Many may have heard Ball’s voice without realizing it.

Labelled one of the buzz-worthiest indie albums of 2011, tUnE-yArDs’ w h o k i l l, is a unique and eclectic sound, paired with one hell of a powerful voice. Although it may not be for every taste, there is no denying that front-woman Merrill Garbus is one talented lady.

The city will soon be up in smoke with the return of Tommy Chong to Calgary.

Much like the man himself, the Canadian’s comedy is iconic and synonymous with marijuana culture. Over the past 40 years, Chong has garnered laughs and rave reviews for poking fun at the stoner experience, such as accidentally eating a roach on the last toke or a giggly red-eyed encounter with cops, all while keeping it relatable and funny for audience members who have never smoked-up.

Lindsay Lohan was hauled off to prison on Nov. 7 for once again violating her parole.  It is astonishing how many times the above statement has been written in the past four or five years, but yes the Lohan circus marches on.

Here is a woman who, when not completely black-out drunk or higher than a 747, is beautiful, talented and has had plenty of resources at her disposal to become a major star.

Lights, born Valerie Anne Poxleitner, has been a Canadian music mainstay since releasing her 2009 gold-selling album, The Listening. Maintaining a strong presence, Lights has released her second album, Siberia, and is breaking the rules and changing her sound with new influences.

As a female, it can be tough to be taken seriously in the music industry. However, Lights is breaking the boundaries.

Maybe it’s due to all that porn on the Internet, but over the last decade, sex and sexuality, once viewed as forbidden subjects, has now veered into an accepted and mainstream topic.

Running for its 11th year, the Calgary Taboo Sex Show offers a mischievous look into the depths all modern day sexuality has to offer, creating an ambiance that helps diffuse the drama that still surrounds it.

Long gone are the days of Perry Farrell making films about finding his dead wife (a fictional story), sporting dreadlocks and wearing vinyl clothing, but still apparent is the fascination and pedestal-like showmanship that has followed Farrell and his manic band, Jane’s Addiction.

“I’m not a reject,” sings Farrell on ‘Twisted Tales.’

Rowdy fiddling, marching men with faces of stone and bagpipes might be the images Albertans conjure when we think of East Coast music. But for Paper Lions, these stereotypes are ones they don’t adopt, despite growing up in the Maritimes.

“Fiddles don’t really find a home with our music, nor do bagpipes,” says John MacPhee, vocalist for the indie pop-rock band.

What do you get when you combine AC/DC with Daft Punk? Throw in a sprinkling of Led Zeppelin and Justice, with an irrepressible amount of noise, and you’ll find Australian electro-rock outfit, Art vs. Science.

Vocalist and keyboardist Jim Finn names the aforementioned range of acts as influences and inspiration in creating the group’s loud dance music that just so happens to rock. And rock pretty damn hard.

After taking his chances in Hollywood while working alongside Grammy award winning David Foster, Jean-Paul Maurice has returned home to make music the way he intended.

“The label was not doing anything for us. That’s when we started making things happen for ourselves,” he said.

Now released from this contract with Warner Records, the departure has brought nothing but good things for him and his band of the same name, he says.

I’ve always hated consignment stores. The aroma of used clothing takes me back to my adolescent years when I was forced to spend my summer vacations holed up in my grandmother’s basement watching YTV children’s programming and spreading I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter on Wonderbread.

Maybe it’s the tight pants, or the sexy stare accompanied by an aura of cockiness. Perhaps it’s butterflies that come with the knowledge that this attraction is wrong.

The pull towards a bad boy/girl has been an exciting fixation for as long as tales of romance have been documented.

On Oct. 28, Fubar’s Deaner will invade the Gateway, bringing with him the band, Nightseeker which first sprung to life in the most recent installment of the cult-followed mockumentary films.

Nightseeker’s sound is definitely their own but Dean “The Deaner” Murdoch (actor Paul Spence), lead singer, has a somewhat similar vocal likeness to Steppenwolf. So far, the tour has gone well and Deaner is excited about passing through their hometown.

Most Calgarians are familiar with the Calgary International Film Festival, but they might be surprised to find that Calgary has over 15 film festivals, including the upcoming Calgary Arab Film Festival (CAFF).

Now in its second year, CAFF features documentaries and feature films from the Middle East. This year, CAFF is screening films from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.

It happens to the best of us: we grow up, start a family, and get a real job, leaving our foolish dreams in the dust along with our youth.

But former punk-rocker Arif Ansari has found a way to shoot himself back onto Calgary’s music scene.

The Weal recently caught up with one of Canada’s most consistent rock stars of the past decade, Sam Roberts. He discussed his new album and the advantages of knowing a second language.

The Weal: Some of your fans aren’t aware that you speak both English and French fluently. How important is it to you to carry the francophone torch in Canada’s music industry?

Imagine a world where fans – not production companies – decide what films or records are released.

This is the world of crowd-funding, where artists are increasingly turning directly to the fans for financial backing.

According to Melanie Jones, 35, the writer, star and creator of a one-woman show called Endure, this concept is not completely new.

“Art has always been crowd-funded, but it’s only recently that someone made up a word and created a website for it,” said Jones.

Weal writer Vincent Musial was sent to ScreamFest to experience all of the haunted houses; he recounts his experience.

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