Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Luck’s Hard, the story of Ron Hawkins recording a double CD with his band ‘The Do Good Assasins’, had it’s world premier on Sat June 14, 2014 as part of the NXNE film festival at the Bloor Cinema.

Ron Hawkins has been on the Canadian music scene for over two decades and is probably best known as the frontman for the well respected band, Lowest of the Low. Although Lowest of the Low broke up in 1994, Ron hasn’t stopped working his career either as a solo artist or in his band The Rusty Nails. The Lowest of the Low reformed in 2000, released cd’s and toured until they broke up again in 2007. As a result, Ron started a new band called Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assasins (Jesse Capon – drums, Alex McMaster – cello/keys/trumpet, Derrick Brady – bass, Steve Singh – guitar) and began working on a new CD.

The film doesn’t hide anything and really captures the essence of  what being in a band in Canada and what trying to make ends meet is all about. Being in a band is hard and luck is even harder to come by. Yes Ron has had success in previous efforts but the grind is still there. The film follows the band to performances in Buffalo where they are very well received, to Toronto where they are still finding their foothold.

 

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The band shares stories on how they formed and where they came from, how the songs came about and what they would like to achieve. Each member getting their share of screen time that shows their background and their role in the band. Guitarist Steve Singh is focus for a good part of the film as he has his own unique personality that translates well onto film including a health scare that ends up finding him in the hospital. I’ve known Steve for over a decade now, and recently was over to his studio, Steve just is a great guy with a wicked sense of humour and I can see how he brings life to the project. The film also highlights Steve’s passion for buying and selling guitars.

Following their was a Q&A with the band members, directors David Brown and Daniel Williams and festival programmer Cameron Carpenter, where Steve mentioned how he misses the days where songs were the focus.

There’s nothing like seeing a film about good old hard work, honesty, humility and courage surrounding an under dog that everyone wants to see come out on top. Luck’s Hard has that. Go see this film.

 

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Spiderman Homecoming

Spiderman Homecoming picks up where the last instalment of the Avengers left off.

From what we see in the trailer, Peter Parker (Spiderman) is looking to join the Avengers while hanging out with Tony Stark who has made a new suit for Spidey. From one cut scene, this is the suit that has the focusing eyes.

The villain in this chapter is one of Spidey’s classic villains, The Vulture played by Michale Keaton. Marvel is holding back on giving us a lot of screen time with Keaton building up suspense as we all know Keaton will raise the bar and deliver us a villain that we will all love to hate.

One other item to note is that at the start of the trailer we see an insect – could this be The Wasp?

The tone in the trailer shows that Marvel is keeping with the light hearted Peter Parker instead of the brooding love sick one that ruthfully, was not really entertaining in previous incarnations.

Being a comic book kid growing up I will be looking forward to this one!

RELEASE DATE: JULY 7, 2017

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On my last trip to Europe I spent a few days in London – this time not going to a couple places I haven’t been before. Taking a boat down the Thames to Greenwich and then spending a day at Brickworks – I really enjoyed the food market and ended up trying some food from the Lithuanian booth.

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Beer + Art + Music + DJ’s + Food…

How can anything be wrong with that??

I was invited to attend “The Alliance: Unity Makes Strength” event presented by Collective Arts Brewing & Fred Caron (artist and creative director of all art initiatives at Osheaga) at Location
Spazio Dell’arte Gallery 400 Eastern Avenue . Suite #201 Toronto , Ontario, Canada.

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The concept is simple but brilliant – artists submit entries of their work to be selected to have their art as beer labels. Then have an event showcasing the art with the beer AND with food supplied by a local vendor (Hot Bunzz in this case) AND have DJ’s spinning for entertainment. A grand slam all around for bringing art to the forefront while throwing a great bash.

THE ARTISTS: Bryan BeyungLindsay Campbell, Mathieu Connery aka 500mJamie LawsonLabronaKathryn MacNaughtonPeru 143Jon Todd, WhatIsAdamBruno SmokyNimit MalaviaFred Caron

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You can get the full rundown and more info here >> http://collectiveartsbrewing.com/events/collective-arts-presents-the-alliance-art-show/

 

Hanging with Artist and Spazio partner - Jason Mamone
Hanging with Artist and Spazio Dell Arte partner – Jason Mamone

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With my latest post in the Life section it made me think of this song by Age of Electric.

I can’t believe it would now be considered old, time flies, but I keep coming back to this song.

Age of Electric is a band that has a huge history in Canadian music – most people don’t even know it. Some do. Regardless listen up!

A little history.

I was in Grant MacEwan Community college in Edmonton living across the street in a 2 bedroom apartment with room mates. On top of that we had bands hanging out and often sleeping on the couch. This particular time is was Gerritt and Mark  who were from Estevan Saskatchewan and were in town rehearsing with a new band. They would go to the Londonderry Inn and rehearse all day, often stay at the bar and then come back. One day they said we have to check out the band playing this week called ELECTRIC (named after the Cult’s album of the same name). In those days originals weren’t really allowed and everyone played covers. It was the bands first time playing in Edmonton.

Electric were amazing, they took influences from Guns ‘n Roses, Aerosmith, The Cult and made it their own which lead to them being able to do their own music.

We hung out and partied many times, Ryan even came over once to listen to their demo because he didn’t have a cassette player (yes cassette player) and the rest of the band hadn’t even heard it yet. The deal was I got to tape it while listening – I still have that tape somewhere. My best friend from high school, Ray Weigelt, became their merch/light guy and went on the road with them.

The band went on to making it – almost making it – and the struggles of the industry eventually got the better of them.

There was so much talent in the band drummer Kurt Dahle is still playing with The New Pornographers, brother Ryan Dahle is producing in Vancouver and playing with Limblifter and Todd Kerns the singer is playing bass with SLASH (yes the one and only Slash from Guns n Roses)! John Kerns (another brother) plays around Toronto but has mostly kept a low profile.

Out of their catalogue this song has stuck with me. First of it’s Untitled which makes you come up with your own meaning but for me also make me listen to the lyrics.

The phrase “Destroy Rebuild Destroy Rebuild Destroy” seems to be the story of life in 2 words.

We hit a hardship in our life and we are forced to rebuild.

Other lyrics of the song also have hit home but I’ll let you listen and see for yourself.

Please listen as Age of Electric are an important part of Canadian indie music and while the band members are in other projects, still continue to have an impact on the music scene. Fans still ask for a reunion.

 

 

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