Monthly Archives: February 2013

Festival in a Box

Carboard Box

Is nothing happening at your favorite venues? Do you take walks through public parks by yourself and sit down on their benches just because there’s nothing better to do? Why not make the party happen where you are by livening up those desolate parks and distinguish them from the solemn cemeteries across the street? This is exactly what local artist Corie Waugh did this Saturday at Knowles Heritage Park on the corner of Bernard and Ethel. What started out as a course project suddenly grew into something much more ambitious and involved.

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An experiment in the use of public space and community, the event involved what could be described as a portable venue. Unpacked from the back of her vehicle and set up by hand was the shell of a shelter that would soon be transformed into a vibrant hub for all kinds of creativity and talent. What was this foldable haven you may be wondering? It was a cardboard “house” complete with a door and a window. The ceiling consisted of a tarp that was set up during the short hail and rain that befell the party twice that day, and though the weather may have dampened the cardboard it did not dampen the spirits of the attendees.

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The interior walls of the structure were decorated with art pieces submitted by a dozen artists, sound equipment was set up on one side, and a piece of cardboard lying on the grass acted as the stage. When the sun was shining and the hail had ceased the rooftop was simply retracted to create that sensation of being at an open air performance while simultaneously being indoors.

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Performances were all voluntary, put on in a sort of open mic fashion. There were almost a dozen of them ranging across many varied disciplines. A performance art piece put on outside of the box (figuratively and literally) by performance artists Scott Mendonca and Kevin Jesuino (award nominee at the Okanagan Arts Awards being held March 2nd) involved them walking conspicuously around the park while having a conversation over cell phones.  At the end it was revealed to the somewhat bemused onlookers that the performance was in fact a critique on private conversations in public spaces. Acts inside the box (literally, not figuratively) involved many musical and spoken word performances.

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The parks tenebrous silence was lifted with zesty music put on by:

  • Liam Park
  • Jeff Ellum
  • Joshua Theobold
  • Sami Al-Khalili
  • Andrew Edwards
  • Colin Shand

Intoxicating spoken word performed by:

  • Nathan Hare
  • Nygel Metcalfe
  • Minka Wolanski
  • Cherie Hanson

And delicate visual morsels provided by:

  • Jeff Ellum
  • Heather Leier
  • Hanss Lujan
  • Julia Prudhomme
  • Anthony Ross
  • Jena Stillwell
  • Kristoff Steinruk
  • Dean Krawchuk
  • Abbey Cipes
  • Kelsi Barkved
  • Sylvia Miranda
  • Corie Waugh

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The line-up was all local and can be found around town being active in their pursuits at places like the Rotary Center for the Arts and events such as Inspired Word Café (which I intend to cover in the future!).

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If you’re wondering how you missed such an interesting convention it’s because it was not widely advertised except mostly through word of mouth. Hopefully this article will motivate you to get more involved in your local art community or start making some waves yourself. Next time you feel like complaining that “nothing ever happens around here”, just remember to think outside the box!

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Lois Lane

If you are bored with low cloud blues go snoop at Lois Lane in Kelowna interesting treasures to be found!

Wild Son Interview

On the evening of Friday February 22nd, I met a great group of artists known as Wild Son. After playing a well received, energy packed show I was pulled through the crowd, through the kitchen of Fernando’s pub, and out into the cold alley to find myself with the band. Between alcohol induced speech and some disorientation, we made it to one of the members vans to discuss their music and talk about their E.P as well as plans to tour.

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The band consists of four members: Aaron Desilva (bass), Mitch Howanyk (violin), Kieran McCaffrey (guitar/vocals) and Cam Wilks (drums). These guys are really nice, it was a pleasure to talk with them about their project and hear what they had to say.

(Keep in mind I mainly spoke with Mitch, however a few other members joined in the conversation).

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So how did this band come together?
A few of us grew up together and went to school together. Basically, it was two best friends times two that came to know one another, and as soon as we played together we knew that this was it.

Was it more of a collaboration in the beginning?
In the beginning to be honest, no one was butting heads, but we weren’t a band like we are now. After Erin joined in, it really filled out the group and we finally found our sound and acted as a band.

How was the reception to your E.P “Franklyn Road”?
The E.P went over very well, we sold the venue out and are really happy with the reception we got. I think that’s lent a large part to where we are now. It’s been great thus far, we’ve had a lot of old fans as well as new fans coming up to us and attending our shows and seeing new faces engaged in our performance was really great too.

Why did you guys choose the cover of the E.P?
I walk across Franklyn road everyday on my way to work, so I thought that was a great place to start. We call our house the “lions den”, it’s a place where we would meet and play together. We became friends there, we ate together, and wrote music together. So we thought it was a good way to keep that in mind as we go forward.

Any plans to tour in the future?
We are currently in the midst of planning our summer 2013 tour here. We collaboratively know enough people and musicians and self-manage ourselves. So our plan is to head out to Vancouver, play a show in Kelowna and then head out West.

All the members seem to have a dynamic set of influences, how does that translate into the music?
I think through this band we’ve all had a struggle with our influences, because they’re different. But having  music backgrounds that are educational as well as self-taught is a good thing because we help each other learn and grow with what we contribute.

What’s your opinion of the music scene in Canada?
I think honestly, growing up here it’s always lacked a music scene. Lately, I’m impressed with the growth, because now it’s become so robust and there is so much music here, and we feel that it will only get better. 

Describe Wild Son in one word
You can’t say what it is in one word hence the name, but our phrase is “what it is”, or we could go with “happening”. The one thing that holds this band together are the times we share, writing music. Socially and musically that connection as friends has helped us a lot.

How was playing with Kara Funk on November 23rd?
That was a great show, we had just met her not too long before that. She performed a great duo performance, and we really liked seeing her perform.

How was the E.P release show on January 18th?
*Laughter* that was a crazy show, it was great. You can check out a music video we did with The Business Limited, that’s a culmination of a few shows and you can capture what it was in that video.

Check out Wild Son’s music here.

Wild Son & Windmills

What a hectic Friday night. After a brisk walk to buy cigarettes, amongst the glowing lights of passing cars. I arrived at the Chevron station near the highway, got hijacked by a few friends and driven towards downtown in a swerving concoction of burning rubber and smoke. Between two strange faces and my friend borrowing my phone, I was in complete ambiance. Shortly after, I arrived at a packed venue, Fernando’s pub. After finishing another smoke and getting a Tanqueray logo pushed onto my leather jacket, I allowed myself inside — having to sweet talk my way past the doorman with my plus one. Reluctantly, I got inside and witnessed the concert.

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Windmills was first, and Myraas always puts on a great start to any evening. I don’t have much more to say about this artist, except if you still haven’t heard all the buzz surrounding his name, get out of your cave and listen to his music! Some of you are probably thinking, a one man loop artist… trust me, Myraas is redefining that genre all for himself.

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After a few more drinks, laughter, some inappropriate behavior, more cigarettes and crazy dance moves, the crowd was settling in for a good evening. I was amongst great people, a lot of friends and equally pleasant strangers. The pub was packed, as well it should be and people had driven in from all over to see these guys play and who could blame them.

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Shortly after Windmills set, Wild Son came on and that’s when things got interesting. From standing on tables, leaning across lamps and peoples drinks to get photos, I was bombarded from all angles by the dancing crowd. The energy had reached a new level and seeing Wild Son perform for the first time, was a great experience.

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Their music is rhythmic, catchy and unexpected. Delivery is a mash up of high-energy reggae infused melodies, tied nicely together with beautiful violin work and slamming bass riffs, that had the walls vibrating. Yet another band I’m really glad I came out for. I highly recommend you all to go see their show. I was lucky enough to snag an interview with the band afterwards, so that’ll be a bit tricky to piece together — I’ll try my best, stay reading for that. In the meantime, check out Wild Son here.

Focus Friday: The Pond

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Focus Friday fans know that we love images of people embracing winter in the Okanagan. Looking at this Black Mountain pond, you just know that it was a serious labour of love to get all that snow cleared — this took commitment, maybe even passion. You can almost taste the anticipating of getting out there for a skate and a rousing game of pond hockey with friends. Better enjoy it while it lasts!

Pat and the Pond by Melanie Wolczuk

Fields of Green Release EP

Local band Fields of Green released a new EP today, produced by legendary Canadian Producer GGGarth Richardson. See them at the Kelowna Community Theatre tomorrow night!

Fashionate: Viva Diosa by Gypsy Soul

Like the rest of Kelowna, I cannot get enough this summer’s for-sure festival clothing: Gypsy Soul.

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Nestled within the brand of Gypsy Soul is one of the most fabulous lines of suede and leather clothing and bags I have ever laid my eyes on; Viva Diosa.

Viva Diosa is a sub-brand within Gypsy Soul. With all of her suede and leather coming from Bali, it plays like butter in your hands. Each bag item is unique to itself. I was scared I would wreck everything in sight. Chelsey, the lead designer and brains behind the line assured me all of her items are very durable and wearable.

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If you don’t have your new bag for spring, come pick up one of her brightly colored over-the-shoulder suede fringe bags. Chelsey strives to stay away from black, replacing it with brilliant colors such as soft rose, tangerine, or my personal favorite, a piercing teal.  A color clashing bag with your outfit is the ultimate trend setting style this season.

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Pick up a mulit-textured leather and suede clutch for a night out, or a fringe cell-phone holder. Each piece has a one-of-a-kind quality to it. You can’t help but prioritize it as a spring MUST-HAVE for your wardrobe.

If bags are not your thing, check out her clothing line that compliments the rest of Gypsy Soul immaculately, something Brandi and Chelsey tack into account when developing the Gypsy Soul brand. My absolute favourite item to date is the mustard poncho. I can’t help but need it!

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The poncho goes perfect with a hot slit maxi skirt or a pair of silk Gypsy soul pants. This line within a line is absolute perfection, my staple for spring is going to be my teal over the shoulder fringe bag, what will yours be!?

Upon many other events, you can find Gypsy Soul at both Keloha and Center of Gravity this year, check out their Facebook page for all the latest updates and showroom times.

Shithead on Stage

You never go to a bar to see a shithead, well at least I don’t. But last night was different, because as any punk fan knows, D.O.A frontman Joey Keithley’s nickname is Joey Shithead.

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I got to the show a lot earlier than I had anticipated. While having to pay cover, I waited around for over two hours before D.O.A took the stage — not the best start to the evening. Sound check was way off schedule and no one was even in the bar. Let’s face it, Doc Willoughbys is a horrible venue for a punk show, not only are the regulars a bunch of idiots, the venue is cramped and the seating arrangements are awkward — not to mention the small stage, which allows for nothing more than a stagnant performance.

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By the time D.O.A were about to start the show, everyone attending was drunk and acting obnoxious. People were spilling each others drinks, yelling at the band, crashing into the intimate stage, knocking over the microphones, bashing into the walls and each other — falling on the floor and pushing people around. Definitely what you would expect at a punk show, but in my opinion I wouldn’t have done so at this show — keep in mind D.O.A is playing a “farewell tour”. The bouncers ruined the night, by getting in everyone’s way and it’s not that I’m blaming them (that’s their job) but when you’re trying to watch a band and see someone in the way, it gets irritating.

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D.O.A’s set was great, they played a lot of old songs and a couple new ones as well. “World War 3” and “Police Brutality” were my favourites, of course “Slumlord” was great too. I was surprised by the energy and amazing solo’s done by Keithley — and what an approachable guy. Doing shots, drinking beers, signing shirts, vinyl and even… my leather jacket. Just super friendly people all around.

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Overall, after the show started the energy increased and I felt a lot better, there was something lacking up until D.O.A took the stage. I think it was the venue and drawn out waiting time, that half-spoiled my evening — I would not recommend this venue for a show of this nature, to anyone.

That being said, listen to this band, follow them on their farewell tour. Keithley is getting into politics and once this tour is over, the band is never going to play another show. So while you have the chance go see them live, I did and it was definitely worth it. I have nothing but good things to say and you reading this review won’t help the cause because, their music speaks for themselves.

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Click here to follow D.O.A!