2012 was a spectacular year for spreading #EastVanLove. We had 4 great events which focused on a variety of topics important to us. It was held at 4 amazing locations, with wonderful hosts, and amazing and passionate speakers.

Check it out:

  • EastVanLove 5.0 - Food - March 2012 at Hai Phong [VIDEO]
  • EastVanLove 6.0 - Social Innovation - May 2012 at Calabash [VIDEO]
  • EastVanLove 6.5 - Music (& meet the EVL team) - September 2012 at Toby's [VIDEO]
  • EastVanLove 7.0 - Giving Back - December 2012 at East of Main Cafe [link]

Recap of #EASTVANLOVE Volume 7.0 - Giving Back

On a wonderful December evening, EastVanLove 7.0 was held at East of Main Café. Attendees were invited to share a small part of their holiday season and give a part of their heart to a non-profit organization. Featured non-profits include Project Limelight Society, The Kindness Foundation, and more!

The cozy gathering featured delicious food and drink specials from East of Main Café. The attendees were asked, "Why do you give?" Many responded/tweeted back their reasons.

"Why give? I give because I care. #EastVanLove" - @irvlau

"The earth and community need us. That's why I give. #EastVanLove" - @masalapuri

"Why give? Because we have all received. It is our responsibility to give back to one another and the earth. #eastvanlove" - @sandragarcia_pr

"@eastofMAINcafe givers gain. #EastVanLove" - @dennispang
"I like giving when it gets passed on and becomes a renewable resource #eastvanlove #EVL7" - @ethicalhustle
"Why I want to give: the more we pass on, the more we grow and help others grow. #interdependence #EVL7 #EastVanLove" - @sengsuriya
"Why give? share. And a Better understanding about the ppl around us. #eastvanlove" - @danixlim
"Giving is the mark of real humanity. #eastvanlove" - @englishcanuck
"I give to connect with people. We often take this simple, selfless act for granted. Sometimes, it OK to think with your heart. #EastVanLove" - @brendenchu

Brock Tully, from The Kindness Foundation, shared how kindness offers a sense of community. He mentioned that volunteering is giving from the heart. He was inspired to start the Kindness Concert after seeing the disconnected communities.

The second speaker, Helen Beyon, from Evergreen BC, showed us how Evergreen is great green initiative. Their initiative is to bring communities and nature together for the benefit of both and to create environmentally sustainable cities.

Next, Maureen Webb from Project Limelight Society and East of Main Café took the stage. The mandate for this restaurant is one of the reasons why customers love this place and recommend it to their friends. Project Limelight provides with healthy meals and snacks to their young participants. It is a free performing arts program for children in Vancouver's DTES and surrounding areas. Maureen teaches us that bravery, enthusiasm, and confidence is contagious.

Maureen then welcomed the Project Limelight students onto the stage. The students gave an amazing and heartwarming performance to the crowd.

After the performance was done, Brock Tully surprised the girls and told them that they will be performers for this year's Kindness Concert. Wow! Amazing!

Finally, everyone was encouraged to give back as part of #GiveYourHeart. They were instructed to jot down what they are willing to give on one side of the heart and on the other side, their contact info. After completing the hearts, they were posted on the wall. As the night wore on, more and more hearts filled the wall up.

For anyone that has completed the #GiveYourHeart tasks, they are rewarded wonderfully comfortable and light shoes from Native Shoes.

As 2012 was a wonderful year for spreading #EastVanLove, we look forward to spreading more for 2013!!

AuthorWells Stringham
Kristie Yung (@KristieYung)

Offering a unique ‘Ella Fitzgerald meets Taylor Swift’ sound, this acoustic-soul singer/songwriter marries music and lyrics with expressive lightness and sophistication. Kristie Yung is best known for her cover videos on YouTube and her performance and co-production of the International chart topper, ‘Keh Dena‘ (TV Series ‘Mangoes‘ Title Track). Kristie’s debut EP ‘The Setlist Project‘ (September, 2012) is already generating all sorts of buzz and features her hit singles ‘Won’t Let You Hurt Me Anymore‘ and ‘It’s You‘. Look out for Kristie on Facebook and Twitter.

Jeremy Lim (@JeremyLim)

Jeremy Lim is a professional photographer who specializes in events, action, and visual narratives. Not much for sleep, he moonlights as a music producer and DJ, and will be playing a blend of house, moombahton, and a few other surprises at EVL 6.5. Check Jeremy out on Soundcloud, Facebook, & Twitter.


In the House Festival: Myriam Steinberg (@InHouseFestival) Myriam is the brains and the brawn of the “In the House Festival.” Now in its 10th year of bringing live performances of all kinds into people’s living rooms and backyards, “In the House” produces both public and private shows. Her passion for the arts in all its facets comes through in the eclectic programming that can always be found both at the festival and in the year-round shows. She believes that it is very important to not only expose the vast and varied talents of Vancouver, but also to create and foster community while exposing that talent. Check out "In the House Festival" on Facebook and Youtube.

Union Gospel Mission: Derek Weiss (@Derek_Weiss)

Derek WeissDerek Weiss is Manager of Community Engagement at Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where he has the privilege and pleasure of working with some of Vancouver’s most awesome people to create meaningful, long-term change. Derek lives in Mt. Pleasant, where he writes haiku and drinks far too much JJ Bean coffee. You can follow him on Twitter.

AuthorWells Stringham
2 CommentsPost a comment

The Tree. Movie Review by Andriy Mishchenko
Thursday Oct. 14, 3:30pm @ Granville 7 (VISA Screening Room) VIFF Blurb & Buy Tickets

The Tree Review

Director Julie Bertucelli has taken a bit of a step back since 2003's Since Otar Left. In this predictable production, Charlotte Gainsbourg puts in a strong performance, but she's swimming upstream. The characters' names and minutae of the plot might be different, but The Tree is another big-market "sensitive drama" of the kind we're pretty familiar with already. The movie is full of cliched drama devices which you'll recognize from other such titles. When gentle Hollywood-y strum chords set in, it's time to feel sad. A rear-view mirror shot of sleeping children is a moment of hope. The nature-gone-haywire subplot imparts a kind of M. Night Shyamalan sense of mystery. And so on. Still, there's really not a whole lot to dislike here, it just feels like I've already seen this before I stepped foot in the theatre.

Verdict: Just OK

AuthorWells Stringham

Rubber Film ReviewRubber. Film Review by Andriy Mishchenko
Thursday Oct. 14, 9:30pm @ Granville 7 VIFF Blurb & Buy Tickets

Rubber, as you may have heard, is a horror flick with a telekinetic car tire in its lead role. It's also a sometimes hilarious examination of the movie-making process and where the audience and suspense of disbelief fits in. It must be said that it is fun to see stuff viciously blown up by Robert the tire ... but only the first once or twice. The rest of the film might make you a bit tired of said explosions and the po-mo campus humour style (think Superbad, but not quite as funny). Still, nobody expects this to take itself very seriously. Rubber delivers - as promised - on the novelty factor and some cheap laughs. VIFF put most of the screenings later in the evening which works since this is sort of a movie that's good to drink beforehand then kick back and let the silliness ensue.

Verdict: Somewhere Between Recommended and Meh

AuthorWells Stringham

Winter Vacation Film ReviewWinter Vacation (Han Jia). Film Review by Andriy Mishchenko Monday Oct. 11, 10:45am @ Pacific Cinematheque (1116 Howe St.)

VIFF Blurb & Buy Tickets

If you see Li Hongqi's film, Winter Vacation, please come armed with lots of patience. It's not a bore, but you need to wait for things to develop. The screening I was in had lots of people leaving, they couldn't handle such waiting. Because, at its core, Winter Vacation is about nothing.

In a small factory town in northern China, school is out for winter vacation. The problem is there's not a whole lot to do. But, like in Seinfeld, 'doing nothing' is perfect comedic territory.

Chubby babies badmouth their elders and go on the run. Parka-clad adolescents sit around on abandoned sofas in the deep freeze discussing the ins and outs of their sex lives. One family's only piece of sort of formal attire goes missing and emerges re-woven into something else altogether. Doesn't sound like much, but just trust that it's hilarious.

The cinematography here is quite spectacular. Each crumbling Soviet-style housing block and non-descript path is given a deep, saturated treatment. The end result looks like the best urban decay photography; sometimes the action is almost a bit of an afterthought.

Go see this!

Verdict: Highly Recommended

AuthorWells Stringham

Carancho Film ReviewCarancho. Film Review by Andriy Mishchenko
Sunday Oct. 10, 9:30pm @ Park Theatre (1181 Seymour St.)
Tuesday Oct. 12, 2:20pm @ Granville 7 (855 Granville St.)
VIFF Blurb | Official Site

Carancho (Vulture) is a good old-fashioned crime thriller, done right. Ricardo Darin is always a strong character actor, as we've already seen in Kamchatka, The Secrets in Their Eyes, XXY, etc etc. His lead performance here is him at his best.

A vulture - ambulance chasing lawyer - by trade, Sosa (Darin) falls for a beautiful, troubled paramedic. Deciding he's had enough of his parasitically spending nights exploiting victims and their grief, he decides to quit to be with her. Of course, escaping a life filled with shady characters and large debts is easier said than done ...

I would love to break down the course of events more, but that would totally ruin the film for you. Suffice it to say the story captivates, and the cinematography and acting are top notch. Seasoned director Pablo Trapero delivers a solid film. While no masterpiece, it's a neat and enjoyable production.

I would warn those that are sensitive that the film is pretty graphic (but not gratuitous - violence/gore isn't just thrown in here for its own sake).

AuthorWells Stringham

Into Eternity. Review by Andriy Mishchenko
Saturday Oct. 9, 9:30pm @ Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.)
VIFF Blurb | Official Site

Into Eternity is one of the better documentaries in recent memory. The reason it's successful is equal parts its fantastic, fascinating subject matter and a cool, austere treatment by director Michael Madsen.

The film deals with a facility currently under construction in northern Finland. Slated to be built inside solid bedrock 500 meters underground, the Onkalo (Finnish for cavern) project is meant to safeguard nuclear waste for 100,000 (and beyond). After construction finishes in 2020, the ensuing 'encapsulation and burial' phase will last until 2120.

Madsen takes us on a tour through the vast vaults and tunnels being built, the forests outside, current-use water nuclear storage facilities, and scientific offices. Interviews with various scientists involved shed light on the thinking behind this tremendous project, the vast timelines involved, and the lithany of potential faults (main threat: human intrusion - but you already knew that). Considerations ranging from archaeological to semiotic come into play here. Interestingly, even one of the project's organizers is clearly conflicted about Onkalo in the filmed interviews. While she seems resigned to her role in organizing and 'selling' it, she also pipes in with a skeptical outlook pretty much every chance she gets. A human reaction to an unnatural monolith.

One of the real victories here is the brilliantly slow-paced, impeccably shot and laconically detached style of the filmmaker. Occasional silly cameos in the darkness with a match that's allowed to go out detract from that; yet they too serve a purpose. These little interjections are Madsen's cautionary missives to future generations - which are not likely to understand or even receive them.

It's fairly clear what the filmmaker thinks of all this. However, the film does not ram a cynic's judgment down your throat - leaving you free to reflect and imagine. For me, the strongest thing about this film was imagining the many, many scenarios and what ifs that could unfold in a distant future.

For me, this was a little difficult to watch, remembering that this coming April marks the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl accident (and having grown up less than 100km from there myself). It was also tremendous food for thought. I would recommend everyone to go see this, no matter where you stand on nuclear power.

Share/Bookmark Jonsi's bird headgear. Photo by Christelle FV.

Review by: Andriy Mishchenko

Yesterday, I felt very lucky. I went to the Jonsi show, his first concert away from Sigur Ros. I'll just start by saying it did not disappoint. If you have a chance to see him at the second show tonight (Apr 7) or later this week in Seattle, GO! I don't want to gush too much over it but it was really THAT good. If you miss these shows, just pretend really hard you went and just listen to the whole Jonsi "Go" album for free online right here (use player below). See end of page for set list. Enjoy!

I managed to score tickets below face value just the day before. With a good friend for company, I ended up in 2nd row centre - somehow ... That was a minor miracle, given the huge lineup in front of the Vogue (general admission for this show = first come first serve seating).

After sneaking some rum n coke cans in line, we snuck in all sorts of recording equipment into the theatre. Hee hee. Namely, My HD video DSLR and a fancy 4-channel audio recorder I borrowed (thanks, L!). Don't get too excited yet, I didn't actually capture anything worth posting.

My seat was far too central for filming the show with my bright white camera. As for the recorder, I McGyvered it in a perfect sport right under the first row chairs. I only wish I hadn't set the rec volume so loud. I ended up with a distorted, clipped soundwave. I massaged it a lot with SoundForge, but it's still no good.

As a consolation, you can play the whole album from this page. And, as a creative departure, I put my favorite track first.

Much has been said about the production values in stage sets for this tour and the great, taxidermy-inspired theme. The theatre company Jonsi hired to do the videos/lights/images/etc really knows what they're doing. I really did feel like I was in a an eerie magical forest throughout; I'm not the type to get easily impressed nor do I have very good suspension of disbelief. I think that's saying something for the caliber of their stage decoration. The racing wireframe wolves were spectacular, set against the intense delivery of 'Kolniður'. The recurring owl and firefly leitmotifs were memorable as well. Those weird animals alone were worth the 40 bucks right there.

Of course, hearing that trademark alien high-pitch falsetto voice up close was icing on the cake. It was also something special to see Jonsi & co. really get into their act. They seem like a bunch that knows one another's strengths and can play well together. Towards the end of the show, Jónsi got really into his persona and got all trancey on stage. His singing while rocking out in sync with the flashing waves of visuals in his crazy bird headgear, was something that will be hard to forget, let's just say that.

The set was strong from start to finish and the crowd was uber-appreciative. There was none of that Vancouver douchebaggery - for lack of a beter word - that can and often does mar a good show. The cutest part of all was the band coming out after their encore to mirror the audience's standing ovation. Then they came out once again as agroup to take a final bow - just like after a brilliantly performed stage play. Which this was.

Setlist (courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan blog): * stars in still water * hengilás * icicle sleeves * kolniður * tornado * saint naive * sinking friendships * go do * boy lilikoi * k12 * new piano song * around us * jonsi new guitar song * animal arithmetic * grow till tall

Some have tried to label Vancouver as a city with nothing fun or interesting to do. Well East of Main knows this ain't true and is here to change that! There are so many amazing off-beat and mainstream things to do around town including festivals, rallies, underground parties and dances, and random people-powered events. East of Main is here to help! Check our Calendar of Events [updated on a regular basis for your reading pleasure!]

East of Main Calendar

East of Main Calendar

Hope you enjoy FUNcouver!!

Have an event you'd like to list, please leave a comment and we'll post it

AuthorWells Stringham

Are you into dance / electronica / nu disco? Well then, I would like to introduce you to Pat Lok. Pat spins nu disco and electronica on Thursdays and Saturdays at Shine. If you haven't already, come by there for some great dancing. Or download his mixes [FREE!] from DJPatLok.com I've heard Pat spin lots over the last few months, and I like the music more and more each time. Pat's genres are really in tune with what I like ... it's hard to explain exactly what that is, but it has a lot of synth, very catchy dancy beats, people singing in high key, all permeated with that lovely 80s Madonna feeling. + a dash of Care Bears.

Pat Lok's new mix called Cotton Candy is really fantastic. I've heard it a number of times by now. The first time I listened, I loved that it was pretty much half tracks I already couldn't get enough of before and the other half new ones that I had not discovered yet. It's like he got inside my head and found just about all my musical obsessions and then mashed it all up. The hour-long mix starts off with a neat little piano-driven beat and builds from there ...

Some standouts on here are PNAU and Empire of the Sun (they feed nicely into each other on the mix, just like the acts did in real life). "Walking on a Dream" has got to be one of the catchiest, funnest tracks of 2009 and the remix version here rocks! Then there's fantastic offerings from The Knocks, N.A.S.A and Amanda Blank - beats I have been obsessed with for a long time. The tail end of the mix was mostly new territory for me, artists I haven't heard (or heard of) before, but the sound fit well with the earlier songs and carried that lovely fuzzy cheezy dancy feeling further.

You could say the real talent here is the transitions. Each track only plays for a minute or two, but the one following complements it really well and Pat's transitions are butter-smooth. So the fact you're moving around from track to track is hardly noticeable. You're just aware of being inside one huge sappy dancefest and you can't help but move your feet ... or at least your head (when listening at work).

Good work and can't wait for the next mix!

Full track list for Cotton Candy: Pat Lok – Babybot Piano Intro PNAU – Baby (Breakbot) Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream (ODahl) Priors – What You Need (DCUP) Jupiter – Starlighter FM Attack – Yesterday ZZZ – Lion (Bag Raiders) DVAS – Inner Sanctum Amanda Blank vs VEGA – No Reasons To Like You Better (Hood Internet) The Knocks – Can’t Shake Your Love Chew Lips – Salt Air (Jupiter) Pablo Calamari – I Bought My Wife on the Black Market (DCUP) Bag Raiders – Shooting Stars (Shazam) Mimo – Running Out (Vega Dub) Empire of the Sun vs Sneaky Sound System – Standing on the Shore I Love (pat lok sloppy sand edit) Theatre of Disco – YOA (The Twelves) Grafton Primary – I Can Cook (Miami Horror) Database – Must Be Love Groove Armada – Drop The Tough (The Twelves) Play Paul – Spaced Out 2 Killa Kela – Everyday (LifeLike) Edwin van Cleef – I Want U (Justin Faust) Xinobi – Diamonds & Rings N.A.S.A. – Gifted (Aston Shuffle) Classixx – I’ll Get You (Royal Rumble) Nightriders – End of Time (Xinobi) Paul – B2Luv

AuthorWells Stringham
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<< UPDATE >> Looking for our VIFF 2010 film reviews? Click here

Here at East of Main, we get real excited about Vancouver's film fest each year. Hours of circling and double-circling the program + a healthy dose of gut instinct (trust us, our VIFF hunches have been pretty much right on in the past) = our hand-picked flicks for the 2009 festival. "Regular" movies go first; we will follow up with selections from the documentary program.

Autumn (Sonbahar) Director: Özcan Alper, Turkey A strong debut for first-time filmmaker Alper. A political dissident, just released from one of Turkey's repressive prisons, returns home to the seaside. His interactions are limited to seeing an old friend until he meets a Georgian prostitute in a nearby town. A bit like Gus van Sant, Alper uses long, unhurried shots of the surroundings to (in large part) tell the story. Sat. 10/10 @ 12:00 PM ($9) | Tue. 10/13 @ 6:40 PM ($11) | Wed. 10/14 @ 9:15 PM ($11) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

Backyard (El Traspaito) Director: Carlos Carrera, Mexico A timely drama that sheds some light on the ongoing disappearances of women in Juarez, Mexico. A lone detective fights against ever-increasing odds to unravel this mystery. Subject matter that hits close to home for BC viewers, with local tragedies still very resonant - the Highway of Tears, Pickton murders, and ongoing disappearances from the Downtown Eastside. Early reports say both the cinematography and actors' performances in Backyard are top-notch. Wed. 10/07 @ 9:30 PM ($11) | Sun. 10/11 @ 12:00 PM ($9) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

Be Calm and Count to Seven (Aram bash va ta haft beshmar) Director: Ramtin Lavafipour, Iran After his father goes missing while delivering "cargo" for human traffickers, with his whole family now left for him to support, a boy in a fishing village in Iran gets more and more involved in the dangerous business of smuggling. Tue. 10/06 @ 7:15 PM ($11) | Thu. 10/08 @ 11:20 AM ($8) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

Breathless (Ddongpari) Director: Yang Ik-June (Korea) Can't wait for this one! One of my personal favorite picks, Breathless is another directorial debut - with a twist. Ik-June also wrote, produced, and played the male lead role in this story of a loan collector that meets his match in a high-school girl. Both have damaged, traumatized personalities and a precarious dance develops while they get to know each other. The film deals with the themes of violence (domestic and otherwise) quite directly - so it's not for the squeamish. Fri. 10/09 @ 1:15 PM ($8) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

Extraordinary Stories (Historias Extraordinarias) Director: Mariano Llinas (Argentina) LLinas' first drama offering (sense a trend here?) weaves together numerous sub-plots that spin off from a few central stories. More like a good novel (its structure brings to mind Perec's Life: A User's Manual, while the themes of bureaucracy are a nod to Kafka), this four-hour feature promises to be an epic of plot and character development. ADD-ness is one of the movie's more alluring features - the various stories are allowed to unfold and taper off almost at random, tangents are explored freely. The unassuming, mundane settings and ever-present narration are other elements that could easily be a flop, but apparently work well here. Impressive flick, especially given its relatively small budget. Thu. 10/15 @ 6:45 PM ($11) | Fri. 10/16 @ 1:30 PM ($8) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

The Market - A Tale of Trade (Pazar - Bir ticaret masali) Director: Ben Hopkins (Turkey) This movie plants you right in the no-holds-barred world of Turkish black markets in the early 90s. Familiar territory for this reviewer who has very colourful memories of buying and selling in the 90s markets just across the Black Sea, in Ukraine. A small-time merchant has big dreams of having a legitimate business. His hopes of having start-up capital are hedged on initial good luck in some shady deals. When those go awry, he is forced to make some tough choices. While this kind of "shit hits the fan" premise is a bit overused in the world of foreign film, it works to desired effect here, producing some good laughs and moments of serious reflection. Fri. 10/09 @ 11:40 AM ($8) | Wed. 10/14 @ 7:00 PM ($11) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

My Dog Tulip Directors: Paul & Sandra Fierlinger (USA) This endearing chronicle of an older gay gentleman and his beloved pooch features a compelling and unique direct-to-screen animation style, giving the film a very DIY crafty look. Voiceovers are provided by a star cast, among them Christopher Plummer and Isabella Rossellini. Go see this to feel all warm and fuzzy. Sun. 10/11 @ 4:00 PM ($9) | Mon. 10/12 @ 6:40 PM ($11) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

Police, Adjective (Politist, adj.) Director: Corneliu Porumboiu (Romania) Romanian cinema continues to shine. Porumboiu follows up his excellent 12:08 to Bucharest with this tale of crime and observing crime. A street cops stalks a youth believed to be a drug dealer, but comes to different conclusions in the end. Observation is encouraged with use of silent shots, while another interesting narrative device involves the incident report appearing on screen bit by bit. The long ending scene makes unexpected revelations and memorably wraps the film up. Winner of Jury Prize at Cannes 2009. Sun. 10/11 @ 9:15 PM ($11) | Wed. 10/14 @ 12:00 PM ($8) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

The Prophet (Un Prophete) Director: Jacques Audiard (France) The Prophet shows the makings of an underworld figure. Young Arab men in a French prison must pay their dues by turning on fellow Muslims. When one is strong enough to challenge the kingpins, he can carve out his own piece of the pie. Sat. 10/10 @ 6:45 PM ($11) | Sun. 10/11 @ 12:45 PM ($8) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

Son of the Sunshine Director: Ryan Ward (Canada) Our pick for best Canadian film at VIFF this year. Another first-time filmmaker, Ryan Ward, plays Sonny. In this original, compassionate look at living with Tourette's, Sonny has the disorder and it frequently makes his life difficult. Then an operation to ameliorate the condition has other, less expected effects ... Tue. 10/13 @ 6:30 PM ($11) | Wed. 10/14 @ 2:50 PM ($8) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band) Director: Michael Haneke (Austria) Master of dystopia Michael Haneke (Seventh Continent, Funny Games, Piano Teacher &c.) brings us his masterpiece. The White Ribbon has stunning B&W cinematography, excellent performances - especially from its younger cast members, and is genial at creating a sense of suspense. In a small German town after WWI, sinister events and the roots of fascism are all tied to what goes on inside a school. Viewers are kept on the edge of their seats by a myriad hints and details that all might help discover the truth - but which of them do? With its unsettling, paranoid tone reminiscent of The Name of the Rose and the subject matter, this film is definitely food for thought. Winner of the high-roller Golden Palm prize at Cannes 2009. Mon. 10/12 @ 9:00 PM ($11) | Thu. 10/15 @ 3:00 PM ($8) VIFF Screenings & Tickets

Honourable Mention:

  • 1999 (Canada) - Young Tamil immigrants cope with life after escaping civil war and the realities of gang life in Toronto. | 10/14 @ 6:30 PM ($11) | 10/15 @ 3:45 PM ($8) | VIFF Link
  • Crackie (Canada) - Drama about growing up tough in small-town Newfoundland. A family of women try to reconcile their relations, with some help from the titular dog. | 10/12 @ 6:45 PM ($11) | 10/15 @ 12:00 PM ($8) | VIFF Link
  • Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl (Portugal) - go see this love story from Manoel de Oliveira if only because the man's been making great films since the 30s and is now 100! | 10/06 @ 1:30 PM ($8) | 10/14 @ 7:00 PM ($11) | VIFF Link
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (USA) - Terry Gilliam's latest epic is only down here because you can easily see it after VIFF. Watch out for appearances by Tom Waits and Heath Ledger.
  • Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (USA) - Now sold out and rush only, line up early if you decide to go. I'll be honest, I used to own 'Push' and just gave it away after a while; it didn't seem like it'd be worth my time picking from my big TBR pile. The cynic in me wishes I kept it, the first edition would be worth something now everyone's raving about this film adaptation. It's kind of a coming of age story of a woman from Harlem, one we can always go see when it's released widely after VIFF [cough]torrent[/cough] | 10/07 @ 9:15 PM ($11) | 10/09 @ 2:30 PM ($8) | VIFF Link
AuthorWells Stringham

Piper Davis @ The Bourbon. Photo by TheFuturists.ca Friday was another busy day for East of Main at the Olio Festival - 4 venues, 5 shows. Thoroughly enjoyable and whoever's in charge of this fest was wise to put all this stuff close by together. By bike, it was a breeze to get around.

Apollo Ghosts - Friday @ Anza Club

Wasn't really sure what to expect from this set. Like many of the other Olio shows, the crowd was small, but intimate and the show was slow to get started. This one's energy didn't kick in for a while.  But once it did, we were carrying around the singer on our arms (like a crowdsurf minus a huge crowd) and doing a huge bonga-line all around the floor. This group's brand of indie rock is infectious, you can tell they're not trying very hard, just being themselves and enjoying playing for others. Check out Apollo Ghosts on Myspace

Jesse Matheson & The Midnight Snacks - Friday @ The Woods

Once again, showed up to find the place virtually empty. Some more folks filtered in after I came, but it was a small group. Based on their kind of raunchy songs I heard on the interwebs, I was expecting Jesse Matheson to be a little more raucous, but the band did their best with the crowd on hand. They even tried to get some dude they knew to dance, but he was much too cool for it. Nice venue still - way better than its previous incarnation aka No Tofu. Love the rooftop 'patio' in particular. Hear some songs by Jesse Matheson on Myspace.

[TO BE POSTED] Gang Violence - Friday @ Biltmore Cabaret

[TO BE POSTED] Sex Attack - Friday @ Astoria Hotel

[SADLY MISSED] 4 Korners @ Fortune Sound Club, Short films & Shoe Show @ Grace Gallery

[Ed. - The above is Friday's Oliofest events only. Wow, so much more Olio fun took place on Thursday (check out our post on Thursday Olio Festival events) / Saturday / Sunday - Andriy]

AuthorWells Stringham
2 CommentsPost a comment

Piper Davis @ The Bourbon. Photo by TheFuturists.ca Thanks to the folks who organized Olio Fest - a great way to showcase the amazing talent we have in this city. Vancouver is not the easiest city for live music and alternative venues. It can be real easy to bitch about as 'no fun city', but then something like Olio comes along to show us it's not bad at all, you just have to dig a little harder perhaps. $25 for a festival pass was a reasonable price; I certainly got lots of mileage out of mine. If you can make it to the closing party at Venue tonight, it promises to be fun fun fun. Here are some impressions about the acts so far:

The fest started with some free, all-ages outdoor music and art in Gastown. Unfortunately, this kind of got rained out and not that many people were there. It was still nice to color in the humongous MJ portrait with markers and chat to the peeps that brought Michael there. Made me look forward to my MJ 2-month wake later this month. RIP!

The SSRIs - Thursday @ Funky Winkerbeans

I had high expectations for this show at Funky Winker show, with memories of these kids being pretty good when they played Pat's Pub some time back. The SSRIs didn't disappoint and played a really spirited punk set. The crowd packed in close and people did some great crazy dancing up front. Check them out on Myspace

Piper Davis - Thursday @ The Bourbon

I've loved Piper Davis tunes since the first time I heard them. Never managed to get to a show of hers before this though. It was pretty good times, hearing "Academics" in particular. Too bad the Bourbon crowd didn't get dancey for this; it was pretty much myself and two of her co-workers up front going crazy dancing away. The $5 I doled out for her EP was totally worth it, given how many plays I've already gotten out of her tracks that I pilfered from Myspace. Piper told me there's a new album on the way - can't wait! Listen to her tunes - Piper Davis Myspace page

Fine Mist - Thursday @ Red Room

This is a cool duo whose music is a little hard describe. My friend called it 'New New Wave'. To me, it was reminiscent of early Madonna (I love early Madonna). If you're into 80s synth pop, you will love these two. Even though there was a fairly small crowd at the Red Room, Fine Mist got us huddled close for some singing and dancing. The amazing golden lasers made it all that much better. Fine Mist on Myspace

Sex With Strangers - Thursday @ The Lamplighter

Sex With Strangers always amazes. I love their frontman and his frequent forays to dance in the crowd, also their tunes about robots. This was the best way to wrap up Day 1 of Olio, people actually danced danced danced at this show. Even with fewer people in a smaller venue, I say this was even more fun than their show at Biltmore for Juno Fest. Sex With Strangers on Myspace

16 MM - Thursday @ Lamplighter > 16MM sounds awesome, but I keep just missing their shows by a few minutes. Maybe next time ...

[Ed. - The above is Thursday's events only. Wow, so much more Olio fun took place on Fri/Sat/Sun, to be posted shortly ... - Andriy]

AuthorWells Stringham
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Juno Now - 2009 Juno Fest Vancouver Photos Flickriver After you learned to dart past bouncers in those ubiquitous wristband lineups, this weekend's Juno Fest turned out to be inexpensive, had tons of variety, and really strong performances from local and out-of-town bands. I wish I could say the same for the Juno awards in general, but they were a yawn moment - basically what everyone has come to expect.

As far as the JunoFest goes, Newfoundland's Hey Rosetta! really impressed. Other bands that played strong sets were (Just off the top of my head) Beast, Shout Out Out Out, The Trews, You Say Party! We Say Die! I'm sure there are other shows I didn't get to myself - or haven't heard any feedback from - that I'm missing in that list.

East of Main brings you a ton of photos from Juno Fest - click through on the images at the top of the post to see the whole album. Here's what's uploaded so far: Friday's Black Betty and The Manvils performances at The Penthouse /that place could tell some stories/. + Shots from the packed show over at the Media Club (The Midway State, Hey Rosetta!).

A bunch of Saturday photos are coming shortly: Tanya Tagaq, bringing back warm memories of her summer Folk Fest performance here with her appearance at the Red Room, Acres of Lions at the Bourbon; You Say Party! We Say Die! + Sex With Strangers at the Biltmore.

AuthorWells Stringham

Vancouver - The movement tonight was tremendous; more than 1500 people came out to Canada Place in trying to build up the grassroots and unite the centre, centre-left and left spectrum.

Video: Vancouverites Rally for a Progressive Coalition (courtesy of Evan Leeson)

Photo courtesy of Ric Ernst

The rally was organized by the Make Parliament Work | Canadian Labour Congress who had line up some great speakers including Heather Deal, Herb Dhaliwal, Peter Julian and great up-beat live entertainment. Added to this, amongst the crowds were many other supporters including top Liberal staffers and members, NDPers, and also many non-partisan people and groups such as the Canadians for a Progressive Coalition (which hosted a nation-wide vigil tonight to mourn the loss of democracy but also lighting hope for the future).

Despite this positive energy it has to be put into context. With Harper shutting down democracy earlier today and not allowing progress to happen, the next one week will be hard as all us pro-coalition organizers. Feeling drained and at a loss are common themes. But it'll give us time to heal and reflect on how historic this movement has been thus far and where we need to go.

Would love your commentary, reflections and ideas.

AuthorWells Stringham
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Kiosk Live in Vancouver; November 30, 2008 Global Zoo [Baghe e Vahsh e Jahani] Tour Richards on Richards November 30, 2008

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Had the fortunate chance to see the amazing Iranian Rock band, Kiosk, tonight. The show was simply amazing.

I haven't been to Richards on Richards in quite some time, probably since my early twenties and certainly not on a Sunday; but when I was invited to hear a gypsy band singing in Farsi was quite intrigued. As I walked into the night club I saw a sea of stylish and beautiful Iranian fans all over the club. Most were hip students or well dressed youth but there was also many middle aged and older couples excited to see this traditional yet contemporary band play.

Kiosk I should mention is a six-member Iranian Rock band based in Tehran. To learn more about them I highly suggest their website or Wikipedia. But I wouldn't just label them as a Rock band - after hearing them play I would certainly say they blend in some Blues, Jazz, Traditional Farsi Music and with their new album Global Zoo they have also mixed in Gypsy Folk. This is certainly shown as they have 4 guitarists (Arash Sobhani, Ali Kamali, Anoush Khazeni, and Babak Khiavchi), a keyboard player (Ardalan Payvar) and a drummer (Shahrooz Molaei). This has helped them create such a unique eclectic sound. And even though I couldn't understand the lyrics as it was all sung in Farsi the beat was mesmerizing and rhythmic.  As the night went on, the fans became increasingly crazy as they sang along louder and louder, rocked their heads back and forth faster and faster and even participated in the party train dance [note: this extra excitement could have been because the lead singer, Arash Sobhani, challenged the crowd in saying that they were so much more tame than his LA crowd!].

Click below to see to one of their popular music videos, eshgh e sor'at [Need for speed], which on YouTube has over 450,000 hits! It is an interesting video as it follows the lyrics through the people of Tehran:


Next time their in town I highly suggest seeing them live, the show will definitely captivate you. Rock on Tehran!

What is a Kiosk? According to Wikipedia, a Kiosk is a separated garden pavilion open on some or all sides1. They were common in Persia, India, Pakistan, and in the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century onward.

AuthorWells Stringham
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