10.2 x 10: Interview with comedian, author, activist Charles Demers

by on January 17, 2014

I am delighted to bring you the second edition of our Paltry Sapien interview series, 10×10, this time with the multi-talented Charles Demers.

When I was about 18 I got a tattoo of Charlie Chaplin down the length of my right bicep. There’s probably no ‘meeting-of-worlds’ that I’ve spent more time thinking about than I have the space where politics meets comedy.

1)    You wear three distinct hats as comedian,
Read the rest


BC Film And Television – All Quiet On The Western Front?

by on April 17, 2013

BC FilmA precipice has been steadily building over the last five years and with the collapse of the global economy, parity of the Canadian dollar and an aggressively competitive marketplace, BC’s film and television production industry is teetering on the edge of it. What used to be the third largest producer of film and television in North America next to Los Angeles and New York is now slipping past fifth place. …
Read the rest


1000 Words, 1000 Days: Day 244 – Blockheads Of The World, Unite!

by on September 2, 2012

It was the summer of 1989. Tone Loc was doing his Wild Thing on the radio, western civilization was somehow finding its way forward after the series finale of Moonlighting, and a 14-year-old me wandered into an arcade on the University of  British Columbia campus in Vancouver. I remember the room, it was like an abyss of studious concentration, except the studies here involved Italian plumbers, Formula-1 racers, and pinball. …
Read the rest

Comments Off on 1000 Words, 1000 Days: Day 244 – Blockheads Of The World, Unite!

Role Mach

by on August 25, 2012

Let us be frank. [… snip… ] Thirdly, this performance (below) is intimate and awesome.

I spent a few years in Vancouver in the latter half of the 1st decade of the 21st century, and in those Vancouver years I tapped in to the best of Vancouver’s beleaguered underground music scene (pretty sure that’s true) and bands like the Apollo Ghosts (too important for me to even post about, …
Read the rest

One comment

Microwavin and Turducken with Graham Clark

by on June 28, 2012

I’ve plugged comedian Graham Clark’s beard paintings and I’ve plugged Stop Podcasting Yourself, which he cohosts with Dave Shumka, but I’ve yet to plug the man’s stand up comedy. Like Vancouver compadre Charlie Demers, Clark (himself a Calgary native) has a new online comedy special taped at East Vancouver’s Waldorf Hotel which you can watch in full here. If you’re me, which thankfully for you you are …
Read the rest

Comments Off on Microwavin and Turducken with Graham Clark

Liquor Kings – rock’n’roll that kicks like a mule

by on March 7, 2012

Liquor Kings Crest

The last time I saw the Liquor Kings, they were the Stoolies. The whole night made me feel like a teenager listening to the band my friends started in their basement. Back in reality, I’m over forty and so are they. Regardless, it was adolescent enthusiasm with egoless adult ability. I had a great time, bordering on wild abandon. So when the Stoolies became the …
Read the rest

Comments Off on Liquor Kings – rock’n’roll that kicks like a mule

The Anti-Capitalism of Michael Moore

by on October 21, 2011

These unemployed relief camp workers in Vancouver (1930s) have no problem conceiving of systemic change and specific demands simultaneously. Their mass protests prefigured the establishment of unemployment insurance, public pension, socialized healthcare and other reforms.

Liberal and more centrist friends and readers hesitant about the seeming “extremism” of anti-capitalist politics should recall there would be no public healthcare in Canada were it not for both the organizing and propagandizing of …
Read the rest


Greening Mental Health

by on June 9, 2011

Aerial View of Vancouver's Stanley Park

Of the cities I’ve lived in, Vancouver seemed the greenest, Chicago the least green. Unsurprisingly, I quickly grew weary in Chicago and felt a palpable relief upon moving to lush Vancouver. In the midst of mass urbanization Victorian city planners believed that public parks improved public health and morality, offering workers a restorative alternative to the pub. Victorian morality not withstanding, modern science and …
Read the rest

One comment

E.S.L. – You don’t need language when the music is this good.

by on February 25, 2011

The Waldorf's revamped exterior

The oncoming night was a creeping bruise and under the black-and-blue firmament, the Hastings sidewalk between Commercial and Clarke provided a perpendicular partner to skip-troweled edges wrapping an Armet & Davis fascination for basic shape in a 1947 Mercer and Mercer design. After sixty-three years of high balls and umbrella drinks, the Waldorf has once again gone home and wiped off its architectural make up, returning …
Read the rest

Comments Off on E.S.L. – You don’t need language when the music is this good.

10.3×10: Interview with artist/musician Mark Dahl

by on February 13, 2011

1. I would characterise your artwork as conceptual. Do you accept the label of conceptual artist?

No, simply because conceptualism is something that happened in the past. It is a moment in art history, and though its effect on culture and art history is certainly residual, it no longer has a practical presence as it was. That is to say my practice is not part of conceptualism or conceptual art …
Read the rest

Comments Off on 10.3×10: Interview with artist/musician Mark Dahl

Motorama – Garage Gods of Drag Strip Punk

by on January 30, 2011

Motorama Jan 2011 Poster

Funky Winkerbean’s is a blood red hallway, its vertical lines of cardinal geometry flying into false cornices and climbing into vaulted voids. This darkened corridor, paddocking its patrons in balustrade fences, is littered with seating and lined on one side by an extended Naugahyde bench the color of cigarette smoke. Opposite this, the bar sits huge and heavy, a patchwork walnut edifice of solid finish and …
Read the rest

One comment

Erin McSavaney: Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man

by on January 16, 2011

South Granville on an atypically sunny day

South Granville is a vaulted architectural proscenium keystoned by the dust-gray firmament that hangs over Vancouver like a wet velvet drape. Channeling access to the Downtown core, it has classically been a stretch of city viewed in passing. However, within this vanilla-rich square-wave skyline, there is a scattering of art galleries worthy of mention as they reveal the considerable reservoir of local talent …
Read the rest

Comments Off on Erin McSavaney: Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man