JEN ZORATTI / MUSIC
Bird is the word
Hyper-literate Winnipeg MC Birdapres (a.k.a. Dane Goulet) has teamed up with Grey Jay (a.k.a. Andy Rudolph from instrumental prog-rock act Mahogany Frog) for a stellar new album called If and Only If. Bird's smart, agile rhymes and smooth delivery flow beautifully over textural, ambient soundscapes that make his vivid language -- "the world's a caved-in pumpkin in November" -- all the more evocative. You can download the nine-song collaboration at marathonofdope.com or pick up a physical copy at Music Trader and Into the Music.
BRAD OSWALD / TV
Super Bowl not so super for Canuck viewers
With Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2) upon us once again, sports fans on the chilly side of the border face the usual good-news/bad-news situation -- on the up side, Canadians who tune in to Super Bowl XLVIII (5:30 p.m., Fox and CTV) will get to see opera star Renee Fleming perform the national anthem, and Bruno Mars, right, and Red Hot Chili Peppers share the stage during the halftime show. The game, featuring the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, shows promise, too. But those much-anticipated Super Bowl commercials? Not so much, as CTV will exercise its option to override the Fox signal, so we'll see the same few Canuck ads and CTV-show promos over and over and over again. Someone call an offside penalty, please!
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson / BOOKS
Salinger sales surge following PBS doc
It's not as if the late J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye needed a sales bump, but it appears it got one last week thanks to the airing of the documentary Salinger on PBS. The film, written and directed by Shane Salerno, details the life of the reclusive author through interviews with colleagues, friends and fans. The film clearly struck a chord with viewers -- Catcher jumped to No. 1 on Amazon.com's bestseller list, while Franny and Zooey and short-story collection Nine Stories both experienced jumps in sales as well.
KEVIN PROKOSH / THEATRE
Girls, girls, girls
The focus of the second week of ChekhovFest is on Olga, Masha and Irina Prozorov, made famous in the Russian playwright's Three Sisters, one of his masterworks being saluted with two revivals. Starting Jan. 30 at the St. Boniface Hotel is Three Sisters: A Black Opera in Three Acts, which is being described as a little Chekhovian freak show on the Prairie. Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre opens a more traditional telling, based on the adaptation by former Winnipegger Susan Coyne, Wednesday at Université de Saint-Boniface.
JEN ZORATTI / MUSIC
Indian City, the local supergroup founded by Eagle & Hawk's Vince Fontaine, first burst on the scene in 2012 with Supernation, a debut that went on to win a Western Canadian Music Award, an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award and a pair of Indian Summer Music Awards. Now, the collective is making good on the promise of that first release with its sophomore album, Colors -- a collection of infectious pop-rockers tailor-made for radio. While there's no shortage of hooks here, it's the vocal performances by Pam Davis that will make people sit up and take notice. Fontaine says, "I really wanted to feature Pam's talent and bring her up front." Indian City is holding a CD-release bash on Jan. 30 at the Pony Corral Downtown. Admission is $10.