Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ear Food: Garrison Keillor & TAL podcasts

Some ear snacks.

You used to have to pay to listen to Garrison Keillor’s “News From Lake Wobegon” monologues, but lately they’re posted free at iTunes as a subscribable weekly podcast. I love the easter one.

And there’s more free stuff from Anoka’s Golden Boy at Writers Almanac (thanks Spencer), a bite-sized daily helping of poetry, birthday nods to authors and bio bits: I’ve posted a nibble from one of them at the Oblations blog, a beguiling little piece of poesy about the movies by Billy Collins. Also free and subscribeable at the iTunes store.

But the best thing on radio may be "This American Life," which even a Canadian can enjoy. If you don't believe me, check it out for yourself: you can stream the shows for free, or download them for 95 cents an episode at the TAL official website My favourites would include;
"Blame It On Art" (#73)
"Who's Canadian?" (#65)
"Music Lessons" (#104)
"Act V" (#218)
None of those particular episodes are particularly Soul Foodish (except in the most general sense), but there are some fascinating pieces about Christians, toward which the often hip-ironic show seems to maintain a sort of respectful affection. I just don't have any of those episode numbers handy at the moment...
And the new bit is that each new episode is now available for one week only as a free, subscribeable podcast through iTunes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

June 29: Miriam Jones at the Wired Monk

Visiting at a friend's a couple months back, I was very taken with a cd he played for me, so he sold it to me on the spot and bought himself a replacement copy. Miriam Brown, "Being Here." Favorite tracks are "Always Been Between" and "I Am One." Recorded in Nashville, Charlie Peacock producing. You can hear a few of the tunes at her website. She's somehow part of the Regent community, though I don't believe she's a full time student there.

My pal just sent me this email: "CBC Radio played one of Miriam Jones' songs yesterday afternoon and informed the listeners that she would be performing at the Wired Monk Friday evening. That's 2610 W. 4th Avenue."

Thanks for the tip!

Monday, June 25, 2007

July 19: Regent Filmmakers Show Their Shorts!

Thursday July 19, 2007 - 8-9:30pm
Regent College Mini-shorts Film Festival
Regent College Chapel

An evening viewing three original short films with responses by the filmmakers and film industry experts.

Directed by Murray Stiller (currently pursuing an MCS in documentary film)
Starring Craig Erickson
On the road, away from his family, a Bible salesman prays for a sale to save his job.

Produced and Directed by Elisa and Matthew Leahy (currently pursuing an MCS in documentary film)
In Vancouver's poorest neighborhood, a small group of gardeners choose to bring life to a desolate urban landscape by reclaiming an abandoned lot.

Directed byJason Goode (former Regent College student)
Produced by John Sullivan and Jason Goode; Based on the play by Kathleen Parsons
Starring Aleks Paunovic and Gina Chiarelli
A beleaguered hitchhiker discovers that getting a ride from the woman who just pulled over may require more than he'd bargained for.

Byron Lamarque (ONCE UPON A TIME ON THE BEACH Best Direction Short Drama LEO Award, HIDE Toronto International Film Festival)
Deb Sears (SUPER-ANON shorts film festival winner)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 22: Panic Squad on North Shore

Well it rarely occurs so I thought it best to let you know that The Panic Squad has a public performance in the Lower Mainland this Friday. It’s been a busy spring with lots of travel and so it will be nice to perform for familiar BC faces. Here are the details:

Friday June 22, 7:30 at West Vancouver Baptist Church. Tickets are $10 or $25 for a family of 4 and are available at the Sign of the Fish bookstore here in North Vancouver or at the door. All the proceeds from the event are going to help send kids to summer camp who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

Should be a fun night. Hope you can join us.


scott campbell
the panic squad improv comedy

Thursday, June 14, 2007

June 16: 24-Hour Theatre Festival, Pacific Theatre

Hello all!

We would love to invite you to attend Pacific Theatre's 24hr Theatre
Festival, featuring some of PT's favourite emerging artists! There are five
10 minute plays that are being written, directed, and produced in a period
of 24hrs, to be showcased at 8pm on Saturday, June 16th. Tickets can be
purchased through our box office (604 731 5518) for $10 in advance, or
pay-what-you-can at the door. Please remember that this is only a one night
event with A LOT of participants, so if you would very much like to
guarantee a seat, it would be advisable to pay the $10 and book a ticket in
advance. Thank you!

Kirsty Provan

Box Office | Pacific Theatre

Pacific Theatre |
1440 West 12th Ave Vancouver, BC V6H 1M8
Charitable Registration: 11891-8556 RR0001
Phone: 604.731.5483 | Fax: 604.733.3880 | Box Office: 604.731.5518

June 16: 24-Hour Theatre, Pacific Theatre

Hello all!

We would love to invite you to attend Pacific Theatre's 24hr Theatre
Festival, featuring some of PT's favourite emerging artists! There are five
10 minute plays that are being written, directed, and produced in a period
of 24hrs, to be showcased at 8pm on Saturday, June 16th. Tickets can be
purchased through our box office (604 731 5518) for $10 in advance, or
pay-what-you-can at the door. Please remember that this is only a one night
event with A LOT of participants, so if you would very much like to
guarantee a seat, it would be advisable to pay the $10 and book a ticket in
advance. Thank you!

Kirsty Provan

Box Office | Pacific Theatre

Pacific Theatre |
1440 West 12th Ave Vancouver, BC V6H 1M8
Charitable Registration: 11891-8556 RR0001
Phone: 604.731.5483 | Fax: 604.733.3880 | Box Office: 604.731.5518

Saturday, June 09, 2007

June 10: Concert & Benefit for Rwanda

A note from Kathleen Nisbet about a swell concert she'll be playing, for a good cause.

hey folks!

This is a fundraiser I'm playing at for my friend's Mona and Ezra who do great work in Rwanda. They're back in Canada, just had a new baby boy and are heading back to Africa soon. Ezra is a wonderful songwriter and musician, he'll be joined by a few of us Canadians for a great evening of music. Please come out and support!


Kathleen also plays with Viper Central, a bluegrass outfit that'll be part of "Whiskey Hollow Bound" at St James Hall, June 17. Details about the gig at the Rogue Folk Club site. And while you're surfing, check out Kathleen's site.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Help us find venues for "Fools Tongue" (Luke Ertman)

Hey soulfoodies,

You probably know that Morris Ertman has been my creative partner at Pacific Theatre since the very earliest days, directing so many of Pacific Theatre's most memorable shows. His son Luke is a gifted musician, doing a BMus at U of Alberta. He did the sound design for HUNGRY SEASON and THE QUARREL, and will be lined up to do the same on either THIS WONDERFUL LIFE or THE WOODSMAN next season.

And he has a band. "Fools Tongue." He plays the stick (Bruce Cockburn fans will need no explanation: for others of you, it's sort of a bass with a bunch of extra strings so you can do a whole lot of other stuff, percussive and melodic and all that), the other guy plays guitar. I've heard their demos, am very eager to hear them live.

They're booked for July 19 at The Nelson Cafe in Vancouver. So, all you musoids out there, where else can they play? Can any of you put Luke in touch with folks at, I don't know, The Railway Club, that Arts Club venue, places on Commercial Drive, whatever?

Thanks for any help you can offer.



Here's the note Luke sent me, with links...


Not quite sure if you?re able to help with this but it doesn't hurt to ask. My band Fools Tongue is playing a show on July 19 in Vancouver at The Nelson Café. We are currently trying to set up some last minute shows around that date to make the trip out there more worthwhile (and cost effective). I'm e-mailing you in hopes that you may be able to lend a hand and put me in contact with venues, people etc - anything really. I know that this may not be possible but it doesn't hurt to ask. If you need more information or just want to see and hear what is happening with us you can check out our new website.

Thanks so much,

Luke Ertman

Fools Tongue

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fieldwork, a novel by Mischa Berlinski

Spencer Capier recommended this one to me and, obedient servant (to Mr Capier) that I am, I bought it quick and read it. He was right.

Here's what Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times had to say;

February 7, 2007

MISCHA Berlinski's first book, "Fieldwork," is that rare thing — an entertainingly readable novel of ideas.

Berlinski's narrative is brilliantly plotted and builds to a shattering but entirely credible conclusion. There's a particular authenticity attached to the settings and to the lives of the Dyalo, though they are a fictional people. [W]hat sets Berlinski's book apart from others like it is its utterly contemporary evocation of a compelling old dichotomy: faith and reason. Martiya, the anthropologist, speaks for that latter tradition, the missionary Walker family for the former. Both make their cases in an entirely American idiom, and it is the great strength of Berlinski's novel that he lets them do so on an intellectually level playing field on which two competing ways of understanding the world and its people contend. Berlinski, however, is too interested in both viewpoints to caricature either, and the result is a genuinely unsentimental empathy that gives his narrative its real propulsive force.

"Fieldwork" is a notable piece of first fiction — at once deeply serious about questions of consequence and refreshingly mindful of traditional storytelling conventions.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jun 29 to Jul 1: Two night poetry retreat on Bowen Island

Richard Osler sends this. If you think you might be interested, please contact him right away as he needs to determine if there might be enough potential participants to carpe this particular diem.

“Poetry, for me, is a way to converse with my experience of raw, complex reality in the midst of all the rationalizations I use to try to understand it. It is really a response to a call, and a calling out. It is a way of making noise to keep the bears away, of speaking to the deep spirit of cow dung and snotty babies, of arguing with her, singing in the dark, trying to out-shout the yapping, yowling all night-dogs outside my hotel window, calling the light, demanding her ministrations, until finally she comes and I awake, exhausted, nervous, and full of hope, for another day.” David Waltner-Toews.

No longer shy, feet crossed in nervousness, finger nails chewed to the quick, Summer
has arrived, full-bodied, hips swinging as she walks, struts across the long-grassed lawn.
Do I stay here inside peering out or (was that a wink) join her on that promising lawn.

I think I will join Summer out on that lawn! but before I do I wanted to throw out an idea for a different way of welcoming Summer this year.

There is a good chance that Rivendell Retreat Centre ( here on Bowen might have enough rooms available for Friday and Saturday night of the July long weekend to make possible a poetry reading and writing retreat. Not just any old retreat but one that could be a feast of community, words and contemplative reflection. Rivendell sits on the top of Cates Hill on Bowen affording a panoramic view of Bowen, Howe Sound and the North Shore Mountains.

Here’s the opportunity. The group that was looking to take up the 12 or so first-class rooms is having a struggle filling them. I have agreed to be the back up if that group cancels. There is a strong liklihood they will.

If I can gather up to 10 of us I think we would have a great chance of grabbing this incredible facility and enjoying a time of great fellowship and poetic exploration.

Weekend Structure. We would start with dinner on Friday and a one and a half hour session on Friday night. Using the words of some of the outstanding poets of the past century as a way to trigger our own thoughts and words we would begin to write.
We would continue this journey through a morning and evening session on Saturday and a final time together on Sunday morning. Retreatants could be on the 12:35 ferry off Bowen. We would prepare our meals together and have lots of down time for writing, walking and great conversations.

Retreat facilitator. That would be me, Richard Osler. I am a poet and semi-retired businessman living and working here on Bowen. I hosted and facilitated a successful weekend retreat at Rivendell among 16 participants this past January. Using poetry as the prod for an exhilarating plunge unto our own words the retreat fished out memorable words, lines and poems for all of to feast on. So much so I would love to do it again! Since that retreat I have led a number of morning workshops at a recovery centre on Bowen, again using poems as way to open others to the great wonder of discovering a conversation with the selves of the self they may have never known was possible.

Cost. As cheap as possible. The cost of the rooms at Rivendell is by way of donation with a suggested range of $20 to $50 per night. Since we will be preparing our own food it should be no more then $100 per person. For those who live close by or on Bowen we will ask one or two people per meal to bring and prepare a meal. Including facilitation and organization fee, food and accommodation the cost should not exceed $250 per person and could be as low as $190 per person. The idea is to make it as low as possible! The return ferry cost to Bowen (car and driver) is $22.40. Foot passenger : $7.10.

Who should come? Anyone who has a pen! Whether you are an accomplished poet or accomplished in the art of living this time will be for you: safe, yet as challenging as you choose, invigorating and life giving.

Who to Contact: Email or phone Richard Osler ( or 604 947 2247.

Response Time. ASAP! Since I only heard about this opportunity on Friday! I would like to get a fast sense as to whether or not there is enough interest at this late date to try and make a go of this!

“Most people…think that writing means writing down ideas, insights, visions. They feel that they must first have something to say before they can put it on paper. For them writing is little more than recording a pre-existent thought. But with this approach true writing is impossible. Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals what is alive…The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know. Thus, writing requires a real act of trust. We have to say to ourselves, ‘I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust that it will emerge as I write.’ Writing is like giving away the few loaves and fishes one has, trusting that they will multiply in the giving. Once we dare “to give” away on paper the few thoughts that come to us, we start discovering how much is hidden underneath…and gradually come in touch with our own riches.” Henri Noewen

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Jun 30, Jazz Festival: Jim Byrnes & The Sojourners / Blind Boys Of Alabama

Jim Byrnes & The Sojourners / Blind Boys of Alabama
June 30, 7:30
The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts, 777 Homer Street
Ticket information

Jim Byrnes 'House of Refuge'
A local legend in both music and television, blues guitarist/vocalist Jim Byrnes is one of Vancouver’s most respected and beloved entertainers. With the release of Fresh Horses (Black Hen Music) in 2004, a fantastic collaboration between Jim and well-known “strang-sters” Steve Dawson and Jesse Zubot was born. A refreshing project, the ensemble mixed tunes by Neil Young and Bob Dylan with some country blues and original instrumentals. With the recent release of his CD House of Refuge (Black Hen), Jim has come up with arguably the most inspired and soulful project of his career. This is gospel-tinged music filled with deep reverence and passionate expression. Whether it’s the gorgeous Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid (a nod to the 27th Psalm) or the ghostly conjuring of Robert Johnson’s Last Fair Deal Gone Down, Byrnes takes us on a stirring musical journey. With Keith Lowe bass, Elliot Polsky drums, Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders, Ron Small vocals. A double bill with the Blind Boys of Alabama.

The Blind Boys of Alabama
“Call it catharsis, call it testifying…but by whatever name you wish to call it…[it’s] one big, barn-burning, roof-raising, heaven-rocking, jubilation-generating show.”—Chicago Tribune
The Blind Boys of Alabama have spread the spirit and energy of gospel music for over 60 years. These living legends predate Elvis, Little Richard, and Al Green, yet even in their 70s they’re still at the top of the gospel charts and have won four consecutive Grammy Awards (2001–2004). In recent years, the Blind Boys have proven themselves masters of bringing out the most spiritual aspects of mainstream music, while at the same time bringing the music of the church straight to the roadhouse. They’ve recorded moving renditions of songs by everyone from Tom Waits to Prince side by side with their traditional material, and they’ve appeared as guests on record and stage with an equally diverse array of artists, from Peter Gabriel to Ben Harper. Led by founding members Ben Moore and Billy Bowers, this nine-piece vocal powerhouse is set to shiver your timbers and sear your soul with the gospel truth. Amen!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

REMNANTS: Bits and pieces

Hey Ron!

Just in from seeing Remnants this evening with a very dear friend. Wow. Fabulous production. Fascinating layering of stories, brilliantly woven together. Interesting cross gender play - or ignorance of gender! And loved having a woman of colour play King. Brilliant. One of my all time favourite PT productions. Well....there are so many favourites!




Just thought I should tell you how impressed I am with Remnants. The production really comes together with strong acting, beautiful lighting and a killer script. I frequently found myself in that ideal theatregoing position of thinking "Wow, OK what happens next?" And even with all the cross-gender casting, everyone seemed very well suited to their roles.

Very powerful, affecting stuff.

Adam Bergquist