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I blame the weather
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I blame the weather

So, how about this weather, eh? It is simultaneously enraging me and draining the life from my body. (And please don’t tell me about the time we had snow in May in 2004; I know all about it and it alters how I feel about this soul-sucking slog of a month NOT ONE IOTA.)

Anyhoo, I’m clinging to what I can to brighten my outlook. Tonight I’m going to my first indoor rock show in two years, Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Ben Caplan at the Park Theatre. (Ironically — if I’m using that word correctly — my friends and I were so used to having wide-open social calendars that we actually bought tickets to the Caribou show on the same night. Double-booked like some kind of socialite!)

I’m also looking forward to chatting with Winnipeg author Anita Daher about her young-adult novel You Don’t Have to Die at the End as part of the Free Press Book Club on Monday at 7 p.m.. (You can sign up for this free virtual event here and submit questions for me to ask on your behalf.)

I’ve been reviewing books for the Free Press since the early 2000s (a fact that calls to mind this hilarious tweet from Jennifer Morrow: “The most depressing part of Little Women (1869) is not when Beth dies but when Jo's short story wins a prize of $100, reminding any fellow writers reading the book that freelance rates have remained roughly stable SINCE THE RECONSTRUCTION ERA”), but it’s not often I get to talk to authors, and I always find it fascinating to hear about the creative process. According to Daher, You Don’t Have to Die — a coming-of-age story about a tough Alberta teen that is both dark and hopeful — is probably her favourite among her novels. I hope you’ll join us to find out why!

Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson

What’s up this week

As mentioned, Ben Caplan is at the Park, touring in support of Recollection, a collection of stripped-down reinterpretations of songs from his catalogue that showcase his inimitable vocal prowess. Tickets are $31 at Ticketmaster; the show starts at 8 p.m. tonight.

As part of Canadian Film Day, which was Wednesday, Urban Shaman Gallery is presenting Brettan Hannam’s Wildhood, a two spirit coming-of-age story about Link, who runs away from home with his younger brother when he discovers his Mi’kmaw mother is still alive. The film screens free at Cinematheque until April 28.

Still from ’Wildhood’. (Supplied)

Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers are back, and it's a laughing matter. Artistic director/choreographer Jolene Bailie's In Between Here and Now uses laughter — revealing, relieving, uncomfortable and contagious — to address the tension of being in the moment. The show opens Friday and runs to Sunday at the Rachel Browne Theatre. Tickets are available at winnipegscontemporarydancers.ca.

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Dancers (from left to right) Carol-Ann Bohrn, Shawn Maclaine, Kira Hofmann, Shayla Rudd and Julious Gambalan perform a media preview at the Rachel Browne Theatre. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

Recommended

Music: Dan Mangan’s new song, In Your Corner, is a heartbreaking track dedicated to Scott Hutchinson, the late singer of Scottish band Frightened Rabbit, who died by suicide in 2018. “We’d only met once but Scott’s passing eviscerated me. He was my age and very close with several dear friends of mine,” Mangan says in a release. “Either he couldn't see how deeply he was loved by the world, or he didn’t feel worthy of it. How come he could bring joy to so many people but not to himself? I remember weeping as I poured cereal for my boys that morning. This song came very quickly in the days that followed.” The Vancouver-based singer-songwriter plays the Park Theatre on his twice-rescheduled All Together Now Tour on Tuesday, April 26. Georgia Harmer (Sarah Harmer’s niece) opens the show.

Books: As a dyed-in-the-wool gen-Xer (I actually appeared in a cringe-worthy photo on the front of the Free Press arts section in 1992 to illustrate a feature on the care and feeding of this unique cohort and I would like you to know I still own those army boots), I feel personally acknowledged by Chuck Klosterman’s The Nineties. The new non-fiction outing from the North Dakota-born cultural critic weaves together a fascinating mish-mash of events — the success of Titanic, steroids in baseball, the release of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit — to illustrate the singularity of the last decade where a monolithic pop culture existed. (I can hear Free Press books editor Ben Sigurdson saying, “If you liked it so much, why haven’t you submitted your review yet?” Can I blame the weather?)

Winnipeg Free Press File Photo

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