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Now located in Brooklyn, Vice has matured into a media powerhouse from its humble roots as a free street paper in Montreal. The latest expansion is into the trendy world of food. Launching a new web portal and YouTube channel called Munchies, the media conglomerate is looking to lure viewers away from the bland and increasingly boring Food Network, which seems to have drifted into game-show territory, abandoning its focus in the kitchen.

"People ask us all the time why we don't do more with food, because there's not a lot of programming for Gen-Y, which is the cohort that goes out and spends the most on food," said chief executive Shane Smith, speaking at the channel's launch.

Shows including Fresh Off the Boat with Eddie Huang, Chef's Night Out and F*ck, That's Delicious with rapper and food lover Action Bronson demonstrate the network's willingness to take a few risks and shake up the food TV landscape. Like Anthony Bourdain before them, Huang and Bronson have a complex understanding of food culture, both as chefs and as unabashed food lovers. Huang's free-flowing style is well suited to web content, but they could easily package up the show for more adventurous networks to take the plunge into Vice's world.

"These are big personalities: funny people, interesting people, but people who all have a real passion for food, and take it to different ends," said Eddy Moretti, Vice's chief creative officer. "Ten years ago, something happened to food culture. Now, the cool kids with the tattoos want to cook to be cool. That's a huge shift: there is real passion for food culture, but no one is capturing it. That's what our job is."

"To rip out the infrastructure of traditional food shows -- cooking competitions and all that stuff -- is incredibly difficult to do," added Smith. "The reason young people are leaving TV is they don't do things like this: take chances, switch things up and give the cameras over to 24 year-old kids. TV missed the boat on this kind of content."


Stream of the Week: Anion -- The Last Installment


If you still have some energy left after fighting the crowds at the annual Record Store Day sales on April 17, Winnipeg's heaviest, most uncompromising imprint, No List Records, is hosting a vinyl release party for Vancouver's Anion. Openers Dead Ranch, Cetascean and Endless Chaos all have vinyl releases they will be selling at the show, making it the perfect way to cap off a busy Record Store Day.

No List has been supporting independent music and releasing vinyl since 1995. Tickets are $8 at the door. The venue for the evening will be the Frames Arts Warehouse (318 Ross Ave.). All ages welcome.


Video of the Week: Nirvana with J Mascis -- "School" Live


FOLLOWING the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where surviving members of Nirvana Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic performed with a number of guest vocalists, the group showed up with touring member Pat Smear and a handful of alt-rock luminaries to run through more than 15 songs from the legendary group's catalogue at an unannounced after-party in a tiny club.

J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), Annie Clark (St. Vincent), John Mccauley (Deer Tick) and Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) all contributed vocals to the set. More than 200 people managed to cram into the venue in Brooklyn and cellphone videos from the night have been circulating.

The official 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be be televised on HBO on Saturday, May 31.

Anthony Augustine is a freelance music, technology and pop culture writer who spends way too much time in front of a computer. Got a site you think he should see? Email him at or follow him at

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 17, 2014 C19

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