Polaris Music Prize – Short List Announced

Following the June anouncement of the Polaris Music Prize Long List the jury has cut the orginal list of 40 to the short list of the Top 10 Albums to vie for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. The ultimate winner will be selected by the 11 member Grand Jury and announced at a Gala presentation on September 19th.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Austra – Feel It Break

Braids ­? Native Speaker

Destroyer ­? Kaputt

Galaxie ­? Tigre et Diesel

Hey Rosetta! ­? Seeds

Ron Sexsmith ­? Long Player Late Bloomer

Colin Stetson ­? New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges

Timber Timbre ­? Creep On Creepin’ On

The Weeknd ­? House Of Balloons

New Movie Preview – The Change-Up

The Change-Up starring Ryan Reynolds & Jason Bateman
Having seen little fanfare or press about this upcoming comedy, other than a quick read to see that it starred, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman and it’s writers and director had been involved in The Hangover movies and Wedding Crashers, respectively. So with an open mind my friend took me to the preview, which we were advised before it started was an unfinished edit, music and title/end credits still to be completed.
The film started off with a scene of Jason Bateman’s straight-laced lawyer character Dave and wife (Leslie Mann) waking up to care for his twin infants. This scene seemed intended to set the tone of the movie and immediately launched us into some very cheap laughs involving bodily functions and baby’s diapers. (I’ll let you put two and two together).  Ryan Reynolds character, Mitch, is introduced next and seemed ready to carry on this tone with what could be a one-note ‘stoner’ character.   The movie’s basic premise is these two longtime friends switch bodies after a night of drinking and wishing for each other’s life. Body switching movies have been done many times before, and The Change-Up could easily have fallen into the pile of other interchangeable editions but it manages to avoid this pitfall.  The two lead actors display a great knack for being over-the-top when required but subtle and reserved at the same time.  The addition of a very capable and respected supporting cast including; the always solid Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde playing the sexy object of desire and Alan Arkin as Mitch Senior, prevents The Change-Up from becoming a run of the mill slapstick movie about a couple of ‘man-boys’.
After being lulled into thinking we were going to get a lot of cheap laughs and toilet humour (which would have been perfectly fine) the movie evolved into a thoughtful and sweet…while still including a lot of laughs…film about the perils of thinking the ‘grass is always greener’ and missing what you have right under your nose.

The Change-Up opens August 5th in theatres across North America.

Edible Canada At The Market

Last week the brand new Edible Canada at the Market officially opened its doors to the public. The latest evolution in a dream that began with one man and a 400 sq ft market stall to a team of 80+ and a 3,500 square foot culinary centre in the heart of Granville Island. I walked past recently and had a look at the bustling location!

Edible Canada at the Market is home to a vibrant bistro and artisan food retail store.  As with the former location dedicated Edible British Columbia, the new space expands the idea and promotes the best of BC and Canada.  This is reflected in the locally based menus, wine list and retail products.  Market-fresh seasonal cuisine determines the menus and fresh sheet – with Chef de Cuisine Jennifer Dodd searching the aisles of next door’s Granville Island Public Market for daily inspiration. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and while the ingredients are of the highest possible quality, prices are kept reasonable and the dishes accessible.

The bistro seats 170, including an expansive patio perfectly sited for prime people watching. For those on the go there’s a take out window with a menu of quick and tasty handheld bites, as well as a barista-staffed full-service Salt Spring Coffee bar. Inside is a glassed-in private demonstration dining room, the new site of Edible Canada’s popular Guest Chef Market Dinner Series, and also available for private dinners and events. Every facet of the space was designed with sustainability in mind – from the recycled fir table tops, to the beach-scavenged cedar hostess stands (carved by Granville Island carver Clarence Mills).

In addition to the bistro and retail & online artisan food store, Edible Canada offers daily chef guided Granville Island Market Tours, demonstration guest chef Market Dinners, Gourmet Kayaking Weekends, and the popular Amuse Bouche newsletter and blog. Visit their brand new website, for more information on Edible Canada at the Market

What’s On This Weekend? July 14-17, 2011

As we get closer to the peak of summer, we reach a peak of activities throughout the city.

Thursday July 14
– Stars frontman Torquil Campbell’s side project Memphis hits the intimate Media Club stage. Also playing Friday at Metropolis in Victoria
– The Cobalt on Main features bands, The Free City Collective, Alaska and Alli Sunshine & the Blue Sparrows
– An evening of small venue events continues with another edition of Thursday night’s “We Like Boys” at The Helm.

Friday July 15
– Canadian staples The Tragically Hip rock Deer Lake Park in Burnaby
– Classic rock takes over the Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam as The Steve Miller Band perform.
Vancouver Folk Music Festival for three days multiple acts spread over 7 stages take over beautiful Jericho Beach

Saturday July 16
– As Pride Season approaches more events will start to take place. One of the first is Gay Day at Playland, hit the park for amusement rides, picnics, and the Queentastic Legends show to wrap up the day.

Owl City At The Centre

– Feel like getting wet? Head to Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park and take part in the Vancouver Waterfight!

– Legendary Australian band INXS comes to River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond.
– The one man band Owl City comes to The Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver

Sunday July 17
– get our your boots and belt for the return of Big Gay Rodeo at The Bourbon Country Bar

Matthew Morrison – Triple Threat

Matthew Morrison – Rogers Arena – July 9/10, 2011

Entering the stage to the strains of the James Bond Theme Song, wearing a tuxedo, followed by two sultry backup singer/dancers, Matthew Morrison certainly set the tone of his performance. Class and quality seem to be the words to best describe how this performance went.
Although most are familiar with his TV work on Glee, Morrison is an accomplished Broadway performer and was right at home singing and dancing before a live audience.  Perhaps realizing his audience was mostly from TV, his set list consisted of a number of covers and mash-ups as performed on the hit show.
Mixed throughout the covers were some of his own tracks from his self-titled debut album.  Telling a little background story about them helped us get an idea of his style and where his writing evolves from and how he wrote them on his ukulele.  Perhaps most significant is “Don’t Stop Dancing”, his tribute to the ‘triple threat’ entertainers who inspired him, Gene Kelly, Patrick Swayze and Michael Jackson. To highlight his own talent he wraps up the tune by putting aside the microphone and performing the signature dance moves of each icon before taking his well deserved bows.

Neverest – new Canadian music.

Neverest – Rogers Arena – July 9/10, 2011

Scoring an opening slot on the iconic NKOTBSB concert might be a near impossibility for a new up and coming Canadian band with just a seven song EP to their credentials but Neverest did it! It might have helped that the Toronto group is managed by 3 Street Management, Backstreet Boy Howie Durough’s artist management company.

Introduced to the stage by Howie, himself, perhaps to ensure the NKOTBSB audience paid attention to ‘his’ act, they didn’t need him. Neverest rocked a quick set but showed the great stage presence and skill of some seasoned pros. For a band that’s hasn’t even been around a year yet they boys show great confidence and poise.  The short set culmulated with Neverest’s debut single ‘About Us’, which got the attention of the mostly female crowed.

With the multi-talented Matthew Morrison from Glee and mega group NKOTBSB still to perform it takes a certain kind of band to prove memorable on a night of pop icons. Neverest met the challenge and I look forward to seeing the quartet to headline their own gig sometime in the future.

Underwear Affair 2011 – Uncover The Cure

On a bright sunny Sunday evening in Vancouver, hundreds of people dropped their pants and ran through the streets!

Brian Webb and Alex Mentele display their Maple Leaf and Stars & Stripes!

No, it’s not a flash mob or the latest social craze, it’s the 6th Annual Underwear Affair! The 10km run or 5km walk to raise awareness of cancers below the belt is one of most fun and sexy fundraising events of the year.
This was my second year attending, no not as a runner, but as a supporter of friends running…someone has to document the event with the photos.  Brian Webb and Alexander Mentele got into their skivvies and represented their cross border friendship (Alex is from Seattle and the sole USA runner registered at the event).
It’s a super fun atmosphere around the run site at the Seaforth Armory as everyone gets into (or is it out of) costume.  Prizes for best costumes and team challenges really makes some people

Creative Team Costumes Abound

get creative with their outfits.
The run begins at 6pm (the walk startsimmediately after) and the first runner was back across the finish line in about 35minutes.  As I was photographing near the finish line I was surprised to see Brian approaching so

Some Costumes Required Extra Balance To Wear Running?

soon, he’d had a great run, finishing in a personal best 10km time of 44:59, good enough for 15th place men’s finisher and 18th overall! Alex had a great run too, beating his goal with a time of 49:45, within the top 50 men.  Impressive results from a field of 598 runners!
Most importantly, the boys combined to raise $2000 (and growing) to help Uncover The Cure!  Overall the event raised an impressive $630,000 for Cancer research.

If this sounds like the kind of event you’d like to participate in, registration for Underwear Affair 2012 is already open.

BC Lions "Felions" Cheerleaders Are On Hand At The Finish Line