Dream Warriors And Alanis In Focus On Polaris Podcast Episode 24

Polaris Podcast EP7 was live from Ottawa.

Episode 24 of the Polaris Podcast was the third in a four-part series dedicated to albums that received Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize designation.

For this episode we talked about Dream Warriors’ rap classic … And Now The Legacy Begins and Alanis Morissette’s zeitgeist-riding Jagged Little Pill.

This and other Polaris Podcast episodes can be found on iTunes, Google Play or Spotify.

Or, to make it easy, you can listen to it right here:

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Shameless Promotion

Sigma Derby: The Beloved Mechanical Horse-Race Game That’s Running Out Of Time

2013 Sigma Derby Tournament

One of Sarah’s favourite things in not only Las Vegas, but perhaps the whole world, is a busted old mechanical horse racing gambling game called Sigma Derby.

Unfortunately, over the years these games have slowly broken down and disappeared until the point where there’s only one known working one left situated at The D Las Vegas casino.

Sarah wrote about the game and the culture that’s developed around it in a piece for Atlas Obscura.

To read it go here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Shameless Promotion, Travel

The Connection Between ‘Greetings From Tim Buckley’ And Thrash Metallers Anthrax

Penn Bagdley as Jeff Buckley and Frank Bello being metal

Penn Bagdley as Jeff Buckley and Frank Bello being metal

Anthrax bassist Frank Bello’s appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival is going to be a whirlwind. He’ll be flying in on Sunday morning, attending the world premiere of Greetings From Tim Buckley, his feature film debut where he plays the role of punk icon Richard Hell, and then he’s right back on the road in support of Anthrax’s latest album, Worship Music.

It’s hectic, but that’s just the way Bello likes things.

“I’m not a downtime kind of guy,” Bello tells Spinner. “I get nuts when I’m home too long.”

It’s also appropriate, given that the making of Greetings, a film about the late Jeff Buckley’s life- changing performance at a 1991 tribute show for his father Tim Buckley, was also a pretty wild and fast-paced adventure. The theatrically-trained Bello auditioned for the Richard Hell role, who also performed at that concert, on a Thursday and got the role the very next day. By the following Monday he was on set.

With no time to spare, the thrash metal pioneer set out to learn as much as possible about Hell.

“Thankfully, the internet exists,” Bello says with a laugh. “I read up on Richard Hell. I did everything I possible could.”

He also discovered that some of the film’s crew members had worked with Richard on the original concert and talked to them at length about the experience.

“I asked them about all of his personality traits, little quirks and things you wouldn’t think to ask, but I just wanted to know how he reacted to certain things, and music,” he explains. “They had a lot of great stories.”

In the midst of all of Bello’s research and filming — not to mention teaching himself to sing in French so that he could perform Tim Buckley’s “Moulin Rouge” — he had to steal away from the set to play the biggest show of Anthrax’s career: a Yankee Stadium concert with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer as part of the Big Four tour.

Bello had a major scene to film the next morning, but the crew were willing to accommodate him. At least a little bit.

“The people from Buckley rule. They knew that I had to play Yankee Stadium, so they took pity on me. They didn’t give me a 6 a.m. call time, they gave me a 7:30 a.m. call time! That night at Yankee Stadium, though, it’s the biggest show we’ve ever done. There’s a party after and you have to go to the party, be cordial, and all of that stuff. So I’m at the Metallica party after the show and all of the bands are hanging out, everybody’s talking and all of a sudden I get a tap on my shoulder and it’s my manager telling me ‘Frank. It’s 3 a.m. You have a 7:30 set call.’ And I just looked at him with big eyes. It went that fast.”

Getting up that same morning wasn’t the best experience.

“Let’s be honest, I had a couple of beers. I wasn’t drunk, but I celebrated a little bit and then I had two hours of sleep and I went right to set.”

Bello and the Buckley crew made it all work in the end, though. There was even a cot waiting for him between takes.

Greetings From Tim Buckley isn’t the only film about tragic cult hero Jeff Buckley that’s set to come out in the next while. Another film, which features Jeff’s mom, Mary Guilbert as an executive producer, is also in the works. Unlike Greetings, which focuses on Tim Buckley’s songs, the other film, tentatively called Mystery White Boy, has exclusive rights to the use of the younger Buckley’s music and the blessing of his family.

Bello is aware of the controversy surrounding the two films, but he stands by Greetings, both as a member of the cast and as a Buckley fan.

“This is a great story,” he says. “If I wasn’t in the film, I would want to see it. I’m a Jeff Buckley fan and I want to see the journey he took and, let’s face it, this really did start him off in his career.

“I don’t know what their story is [Mystery White Boy]. I know it has a lot of his songs in it. But this is a different kind of story. It gets you to where he started his career and that’s really interesting.”

Perhaps most importantly to the musician, though, Greetings From Tim Buckley cast a Jeff Buckley who could pull off the musical side of the role in Penn Badgley. The actor, best known as Dan “Lonely Boy” Humphrey on Gossip Girl inspired some raised eyebrows and doubt when he landed the role, but Bello wants to everyone to know that Badgley is for real.

“Penn kicked ass. I was so proud of him, man,” he enthuses. “This kid can sing. So I think that people will see that he’s actually got the chops, and this is from a music guy saying this.”

This interview was originally published September 12, 2012 via AOL Spinner

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Music

Friday Student Strikes Explained

Greta Thunberg

Unless you’re a science-denying idiot you may have noticed that agitated young people have started regularly striking from school to draw attention to the looming climate crisis.

Inspired by teen activist Greta Thunberg, students around the world are making their voices heard for this cause.

Fridays For Futures is one of the organizations that’s helping coordinate these student activists. I spoke to FFF’s Cathy Orlando to learn more.

Read the piece at Samaritanmag here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Environment, Politics, Shameless Promotion

GSP Retires

GSP

GSP

Georges St-Pierre, one of the top three mixed martial arts fighters of all time, has announced his retirement.

GSP has little left to prove in his career and says the only fight he’d be willing to take is with undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. The UFC refused to book this match, though both fighters wanted it.

Sarah wrote about GSP’s legacy for Asian World Of Martial Arts.

Read it here.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Jock Stuff, Shameless Promotion

Polaris Podcast Episode 23 Takes On Rush And Bruce Cockburn

Polaris Podcast EP7 was live from Ottawa.

Episode 23 of the Polaris Podcast was the second in a four-part series dedicated to albums that received Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize designation.

For this episode we talked about Rush’s 2112 and Bruce Cockburn’s Stealing Fire.

This and other Polaris Podcast episodes can be found on iTunes, Google Play or Spotify.

Or, to make it easy, you can listen to it right here:

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Shameless Promotion

Dave Grohl Takes Canada

Foo Fighters

“When I was young I cut off the tip of my finger in a shop class accident, so I have to wear plastic tips,” says Dave Grohl, the leader of the Foo Fighters, on the morning of Summersault 2000’s first show in Vancouver.

His guitar playing is remarkable considering his disability so you’ll have to get real close to the stage to tell if what he’s saying is true, but it’s the cross-Canada tour he’s really excited in talking about. Going on at length about his favourite aspects of Canada, you just want to give him a little hug, hand him a toque and jug of maple syrup and give him a free “Good through all of Canada” bus pass.

Here’s what he had to say:

Getting excited about the tour yet?
Dave Grohl: I’m excited to do it. I’m really looking forward to it. The Deftones are playing today and I’m extra looking forward to seeing that. I’ve never seen them play and I really do like their record a lot. And, um, everybody else can go fuck themselves.

What’s the deal with the “Foo-B-Cue”?
We brought a barbecue tech with us on this tour. We are traveling with our own barbecue on this tour. So we’re going to set up right outside our bus and have a barbecue at every stop on the tour. We don’t have a pig on a spit or anything but, I wish…

Are you gonna play Molly Hatchet at the barbecue?
There’s gonna be a whole lotta Skynyrd, Foghat and a lot of fuckin’ death metal while we eat ribs.

Shouldn’t you eat the ribs raw for death metal?
We’ll just eat each other’s hearts or something.

So what’s it like to be back in Canada?
We were actually just here with the Chili Peppers a couple months ago. Canada to us is one of the best places to play only because, for whatever reason, they’ve embraced our band here more so than almost anywhere else in the world. The audiences here are greatly enthusiastic, so I’m looking forward to it. There’s a lot of things I like about Canada… not only is it beautiful country, the people seem to be genuinely, nice.

Now you’re sucking up.
I’m serious! There’s few countries in the world where people are actually warm and receiving. There’s Italy, there’s Spain and then there’s Canada.

How’s dealing with Our Lady Peace?
I don’t deal with anybody and you know what? We’re the easiest fucking band in the world to negotiate with because we just don’t give a shit! We don’t care! All we need is a barbecue and Crown Royal. That’s it. And some Coors Light.

Well, you are in the home of Crown Royal.
I know, that’s why I’m fucking psyched! This tour’s gonna be great!!

What do you think about Canadian chicks?
Canadian chicks are fuckin’ hot!

…As you say that winking.
Yeah. I know a Canadian chick that’s REALLY hot.

Ever heard the Fred Schnieder & The Shake Society song “Monster?”
I haven’t heard it. But anything Fred does is solid gold anyway.

It goes [singing] “There’s a monster in my pants/And he likes to jump and dance/When he comes into the room/People hit it with a broom [chorus] Oh no monster, Oh no monster…”

Wow!! Swe-eet! We have a song called “Watershed” and we went to do it acoustic on radio once but on record it’s this wild, fast, screaming punk rock song and we tried it acoustic and I realized there was no way I could scream over it. There wasn’t really any way I could sing it so I thought that I would tell a story in the voice of Fred Schnieder. The story was actually about coming to Vancouver.

More and more Canadian angles!
See what I’m talking about! I love Crown Royal! Canadian chicks are hot…

At what point do we have to declare you an honorary Canadian?
I guess whenever I get my green card. Do you have those here? I guess once I become spokesman for Crown Royal.

You could get your bus in the shape of a Crown Royal bottle.
Now that’s going a little too far man, c’mon. I don’t want the kids drowning themselves in Crown Royal every night. I’ll just wear a fuckin’ crown every night, how’s that?

That could work.
And I could make a cape out of all those purple bags! I think all the Crown we’ve drank in the last six months we could probably make a blanket or something.

What are your favourite Canadian cities?
I really like Montreal a lot and I really like Vancouver. Montreal’s good if you want to score some sticky and hang with death rockers.

Yeah, Montreal’s big on that.
I know. I love it. One of my favourite bands ever was this band Voivod. I worshipped them when I was a kid.

Iron Maiden and Rob Halford played here a couple days ago.
Hey, run to the hills everybody.

In honour of Iron Maiden and Rob Halford I stole this idea from a website called Metal Sludge. I’m going to give you a list of records for you to rate, 1 being something you should burn to keep from the ears of children and 10 being a record that’ll make you want to bust stuff in a real cool way:

Motley Crue Shout At The Devil
I give that probably about a 7.

Heart Dreamboat Annie
Ooh. That’s a fuckin’ 9!

Culture Club Kissing To Be Clever
That’s a 1.

Iron Maiden Powerslave
I’m not too familiar with that, but because it’s Maiden I give it a 6.

Judas Priest Turbo
That’s probably gonna have to take a fuckin’ 8. He was comin’ out record by record. It was gonna happen. Everybody knew, everybody fucking knew, but all the dudes that liked the music didn’t want to admit it to themselves. “He’s not gay, this rocks. No way man, no way, he’s not a fag.”

Depeche Mode People Are People
I give it a fuckin’ 2.

WASP The Last Command
2. I hate WASP.

Styx Kilroy Was Here
That’s gonna get a fuckin’ 8.

David Lee Roth Eat ‘Em And Smile
10 baby! 10 right there! That one never goes away. Did you ever hear the Spanish version of that record?! It’s so hilarious.

Foreigner Double Vision
Dude. That gets a fuckin’ 20! That’s off the chart! You can’t get any cooler than Foreigner. On that list Foreigner’s the baddest! There are legions of Foreigner fans in America.

This interview was originally published August 4, 2000 via Chart Communications.

Leave a comment

Filed under Concerts, Music