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This article was published 28/4/2016 (1437 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Local shoegaze pop duo Basic Nature garnered buzz last year with its debut release, Circles & Lines, a six-song album packed with "shimmering slow-burners" that contained a near-perfect balance of soft and hard.
Riding that wave, Lizzy Burt and Claire Bones have just released the first single, Love Won’t Always Be There, from their upcoming full-length (a release date has not been set) and will head out on tour this spring, kicking things off on Friday at the Handsome Daughter.
"It has a blissful melancholy in the way that it is kind of about unrequited love, and the feeling of knowing we can’t always have what we want lyrically but the feel and vibe of the song gives us hope," says Burt about the single.
Burt also notes Love Won’t Always Be There is just a "small piece of the pie" of what’s to come with the new release, called Mom Bodies, saying the album mirrors who the two women are as people, "dramatic and dynamic."
"We’ve evolved since Circles & Lines... even some of those songs have evolved too as we keep playing them," says Burt. "Using music an expressive outlet is really neat that way. As we evolve — and I tend to change dramatically and quickly in life — as we change and grow, so does our expressive output.
"The new full-length will have a more robust disposition with some songs stemming from jams, and lyrical content that hits on infatuation, astral travel, drug abuse, rehabilitation and more," she continues. "Some of the songs were written around the time of releasing Circles & Lines. This album is going to be a great release of pent-up stagnant energy."
As for the title, Burt says the term "mom bodies" was something that the pair had been playing around with for about a year, and over time became something they were both drawn to.
"We are all mom bodies. It’s basically natural. We all create in some form or another; we are all mothers. Let’s embrace that," she says.
Fellow local musicians Lev Snowe and Lone Lakes will join Basic Nature Friday, April 29, at the Handsome Daughter. Tickets are $10 at the door and music starts at 10 p.m.
— Erin Lebar
He has been one of Britain’s hottest comedy acts for more than a decade, but unless you’ve been to Just For Laughs or are a viewer of the Montreal festival’s televised standup specials, it’s very possible you’ve never heard of Jimmy Carr.
That could change, in the funniest way possible, if find yourself at the Burton Cummings Theatre on Wednesday, May 4, when Carr’s first cross-Canada foray stops here for a single show (7:30 p.m., tickets $39.50 at Ticketmaster). Known for his measured pacing, deadpan style and understatedly naughty perspective on world events and social behaviour, Carr has toured extensively in Europe since 2003 and has won top-standup honours at both the British Comedy Awards and the LAFTAs (a comedy-prize spin on Britain’s screen-focused BAFTAs).
Carr, 43, has also carved out quite a career in the U.K. as a television host/presenter, lending his talents to more than a dozen shows, including such British TV titles as Your Face or Mine?, Big Fat Quiz and 8 Out of 10 Cats. He also made a celebrity-guest appearance on the car-culture series Top Gear, which prompted the show’s hosts to declare him as "the worst driver we’ve ever had" and, after a particularly perilous test drive, "the luckiest man alive."
Carr has appeared at Just For Laughs in Montreal 10 times, but the seven-date Funny Business 2016 Tour represents his first coast-to-coast (from Halifax to Vancouver) Canadian venture. By the way, if you miss his Canadian shows but still want to catch his act, Carr also has upcoming tour dates in Lithuania (May 12), Finland (May 13-14), Estonia (May 15), Norway (May 19-22), Latvia (May 23), the Netherlands (May 27-30) and Belgium (June 4-5). He’ll return to Canada in July for five shows at Just For Laughs.
— Brad Oswald
Over the course of his career, Toronto cartoonist Chester Brown has written and drawn his share of controversial content.
He first came to widespread popularity thanks to his acclaimed 2003 "comic-strip biography" Louis Riel — a re-telling of the Métis leader’s life and the Red River Rebellion. It was the first graphic novel to become a bestseller in Canada.
In, 2011’s Paying For It, Brown turned to a subject much closer to home — his sex life. The book explores Brown’s decision to abandon traditional relationships in favour of hiring prostitutes.
His new book Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus, which he launches at McNally Robinson Booksellers Tuesday at 7 p.m., continues his exploration of sex work, this time his belief that prostitution has been whitewashed from scripture — among other positions he takes, Brown posits that Jesus’ mother Mary was a prostitute. "The main point of the book is that Jesus was connected to prostitution in various ways that aren’t generally recognized — that the profession was much more important to him than scholars usually or ever admit," Brown explains from his Toronto home.
The initial idea for Mary Wept emerged from a book of religious scholarship Brown was reading by Jon Dominic Crossan called The Power of Parable. "It’s not unusual for me to read books of biblical scholarship or about Jesus," Brown says. "I was just reading that book for pleasure. I didn’t expect it to be the catalyst for me creating a new book."
Brown found an alternate telling of the parable of the talents, which incited his research into the relationship (or lack thereof) between biblical passages and sex work. Mary Wept features a series of nine biblical stories told in comic form, followed by about 100 pages of extensive, hand-written endnotes.
And while the subject matter has the potential to incite strong feelings from believers and those in the religious community, so far Brown has found the reaction to be fairly tame. "The closest thing I’ve had to a negative reaction was at the Toronto launch the other night, when a guy in the audience said asked why I felt the need to pervert these stories," he says.
Brown believes repealing Bill C-36, the 2014 law that criminalized sex work, would go a long way towards ending the stigma around prostitution. "The thing that really turned around people’s thinking on homosexuality here in Canada was when Pierre Trudeau changed the laws in the mid-1960s," he explains. "He made his famous declaration that the government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation."
Brown’s not optimistic things will change anytime soon. "Justin Trudeau has said he considers prostitution to be a form of violence against women, so I don’t think he’s going to be more friendly to sex-worker rights than Stephen Harper was. His focus might be slightly different, but he doesn’t see sex work the same way that I do or that sex workers do."
— Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
Wine lovers of all stripes will once again descend on the RBC Convention Centre this weekend for the Winnipeg Wine Festival’s public tastings.
Now in its 15th year, the event has grown to become one of the biggest wine festivals in Canada, with thousands swirling, sniffing and sipping reds, whites, bubblies and more every year.
Every year the festival features a theme region, and this year sees the fest turn once again to the Golden State. From Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to Sonoma County Chardonnay to Zinfandels and beyond, the theme region (as well as the rest of the fest) offers the chance to try wines currently in the Manitoba market as well as potential new listings.
Find something you like at the wine festival? The on-site store means you can grab and go, or orders of six or more bottles can be shipped to the Liquor Mart of your choosing.
Organizers anticipate capacity crowds similar to last year’s event, which bodes well for Special Olympics Manitoba, the beneficiary of the festival. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are directed to Special Olympics Manitoba every year as a result of Winnipeg wine lovers.
The Saturday evening tasting is already sold out, but tickets for the Friday night (7-10 p.m.) and Saturday matinee tasting (1-4 p.m.) can be picked up at Liquor Marts or through Ticketmaster.
Britain is known for its mysteries, from Agatha Christie whodunits to the long-running Midsomer Murders TV series, not to mention endless iterations of Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson. But those aren’t the kind of clues Camerata Nova will be unravelling at its British Mysteries concert, where the Winnipeg choir will plumb musical enigmas that are far from elementary: early and modern English choral repertoire.
Led by Morden-born, Montreal-based conductor John Wiens, the choir will present works by 16th-century composers John Taverner, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, as well as music from the "modern mystic" John Tavener and Camerata Nova artistic director Andrew Balfour.
"I’m very excited about this repertoire. Camerata Nova is offering Winnipeggers an opportunity to hear exceptional music that is rarely performed," says Wiens in a release.
There are two shows: Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 1 at 3 p.m., at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church. Tickets are $30 (adults), $25 (seniors) and $15 (under 30), available at McNally Robinson Booksellers, at www.cameratanova.com and at the door. Admission also includes an art show by Paul Toews and Lily Lim on the theme of British mysteries.