Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/12/2019 (243 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On Dec. 7, 1949, a boy by the name of Thomas Alan Waits was born in Pomona, Calif. As an adult, he’d go on to carve a unique path through the world of popular music that continues today.
Nearly 70 years later — on Friday, Dec. 6 — Winnipeg musicians will pay tribute to singer, songwriter and musician Tom Waits at a birthday party sure to rock the Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club (234 Main St.) into the wee hours.
Artists taking part in the tribute, which gets underway at 10 p.m., include singer-songwriter Kipp Kocay and his Nighthawk Diners (a reference to Waits’ 1975 album Nighthawks at the Diner), as well as Mayor Matt Allen and the Little Buddies.
For nearly a half-century, Waits has been blazing a musical trail on the strength of his signature gravelly voice, as well as his often-eclectic songwriting style. Albums such as 1973’s Closing Time, 1985’s Rain Dogs, 1987’s Franks Wild Years, 1999’s Mule Variations and more have earned Waits heaps of critical acclaim, especially from his peers, albeit without any massive commercial breakthrough.
Downtown Train (from Rain Dogs) is arguably his best-known tune, thanks to the cover done by Rod Stewart in 1989. The song Way Down in the Hole, from Franks Wild Years, was used as the theme song for the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire.
Beyond his musical contributions, which have earned him numerous Grammy Awards, as well as a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Waits has appeared in a number of films, including Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, plus a number of Jim Jarmusch films such as Coffee and Cigarettes, The Dead Don’t Die and Down By Law.
Tickets for the Tom Waits birthday party festivities are $15 plus fees, and are available at eventbrite.ca.
— Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
Local folk roots-pop trio Sweet Alibi will play a free show at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Friday, Dec. 6. The event is part of the museum’s ongoing Friday Night Rights promotion, which allows free entry into the museum on the first Friday evening of every month and $5 admission every other Friday after 5 p.m.
Sweet Alibi’s soulful harmonies are courtesy of Winnipeg singers Jess Rae Ayre, Amber Nielsen and Michelle Anderson. The women have been performing together since 2009 and received a Western Canadian Music Award in 2014 for roots group of the year.
The band is getting ready to release its fourth studio album, Confetti, this winter with producers Matt Peters and Matt Schellenberg of Royal Canoe. Sweet Alibi’s set starts at 7:30 p.m. at the museum’s Bonnie and John Buhler Hall.
All of CMHR’s exhibits will be open during the event and visitors can explore the galleries at their leisure. Snacks and a cash bar will be available in the Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation.
Admission is free, but tickets are required and can be reserved in advance at humanrights.ca. Reservations for ERA Bistro are recommended.
— Eva Wasney
Friends and family are welcome to attend a celebration of life for much-beloved Winnipeg musician, writer and all-around talent Gerry Atwell, who died suddenly on Nov. 23 at the age of 60.
Atwell had been a fixture of the city’s music scene, both onstage and behind the scenes working on the administrative side of things, for decades and was known to be a kind, brilliant and generous man who was always ready to lend a helping hand to whoever asked it of him, especially to young artists in need of mentorship.
The celebration of Atwell’s life will be held at the Burton Cummings Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 1-4 p.m. Doors will open at noon. "Please be mindful this is a memorial service for friends and family. Many more honorary events will be held in the near future to remember dear Gerry," relatives advise in Atwell’s obituary.
In lieu of flowers, the Atwell family asks that donations be made to establish a scholarship fund in Atwell’s name to "continue his work fostering young people to achieve their personal creative potential." Contributions can be forwarded to the St. Norbert Arts Centre, where Atwell served various senior roles, including president of the board and artistic director.
— Erin Lebar
Cellist Nick Photinos is bringing his debut solo album, Petits Artéfacts, to the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Friday, Dec. 6, for a concert in collaboration with GroundSwell, Manitoba’s pre-eminent new music series.
Photinos is the founder/co-artistic director of Chicago’s four-time Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird. As a solo artist, he’s toured with Björk and recorded with Wilco on their Grammy-nominated album The Whole Love.
On Friday night, Photinos will perform pieces from his solo album, which features never-before-recorded works by some of the biggest names in new music, including David Lang, Andrew Norman, Jacob TV and Bryce Dessner. He will also treat concertgoers to a performance of Steve Reich’s classic 2003 work Cello Counterpoint for amplified cello and pre-recorded audio.
The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range in price from $15 to $25 and are available at eventbrite.ca.
— Jen Zoratti
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