TRU Actors Workshop is ‘starving’

Review of the play Curse of the Starving Class, written by the American playwright and actor Sam Shepard in 1978 and performed by students of the Theatre program at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

Playwright and actor Sam Shepard wrote the play Curse of the Starving Class in 1978 but in the words of Wesley Eccleston, a professor with the TRU theatre arts program, it is still relevant because “families still struggle with the (same) challenges.” Eccleston directs the production, which starts Feb. 28 at the Actors Workshop Theatre in Old Main.

The characters are part of the Tate family, a dysfunctional American family where the dad, Weston (Michael Hogg), spends long periods away from home and comes back drunk and aggressive while son, Wesley (Justin Hall), pees on the floor of the kitchen, daughter Emma (Allison Clow) plans her escape and mother Ella (Alley Barton) wonders how to work it out and go to Europe.

“These characters are starving for the things they think will make them happy,” Eccleston said.

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Vincent Moon c’est Creative Commons!

Profile of the independent filmmaker from Paris, the original creator of La Blogothèque’s Concert à Emporter (Take Away Shows).

Mathieu Saura, better known as Vincent Moon, is one of the greatest and more respected filmmakers you can find, nowadays, licensing his work under Creative Commons, allowing its use and remix for derivate works. His work is available for free on Internet, he is a nomade artist building an audience on social media and keeping his projects alive by donations (crowdfunding).

Early on his career – not using Creative Commons, yet – he became known adapting filmmaking style ‘cinema verité’ to document bands playing one or few songs off the stage, on acoustic, in streets, parks, flats… anywhere. This music video subgenre, that was known as ‘Concert à Emporter’, or Take Away Shows, started in La Blogothèque. The list of bands Moon’s lenses captured includes: Arcade Fire, Phoenix, REM, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, St. Vincent or Bon Iver.

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VICE: The Hipster Media Empire

The business model of VICE Media Inc., from its foundation in 1994 to its expansion, in late 2013, through partnerships with Viacom and more.

Looking for a definition to hipsters, this is roughly what you’ll get: “Hipsters are hard to define”. Urban Dictionary gives, nonetheless, a fairly precise definition:

“Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.”

Further, the definition includes: “Hipsters reject the culturally ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers”. Mainstream media products are usually rejected by this sub-culture, too, and hipsters were seeking for media products that appeal to their interests. That is how hipsters found VICE and VICE editors found a fleet of needy consumers worldwide.

VICE's timeline
What is VICE? Screenshot from the SlideShare presentation (full presentation bellow).

In 2008, The Observer interviewed Shane Smith, VICE‘s co-founder, about the story of the magazine: “We wanted to be the first international voice for the universality of youth sub-culture,” Smith said. Continue reading “VICE: The Hipster Media Empire”

Locarno brings Latin sound to TRU

Review of the Live at TRU! show that the Latin music band Locarno brought from Vancouver to Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

A cold winter day provided a great opportunity for people to head inside the TRU Alumni Theatre for the first Live at TRU! performance of the new year.

From Vancouver, Tom Landa, front man of multi-Juno nominee The Paperboys, was introduced to the TRU campus and Kamloops audience with his side project, Locarno on Jan. 17.

Locarno is his new band, started about two years ago.

“We played a lot on the festivals season, all around Canada and in short tours like this weekend,” Landa said. The recent short tour included shows in Ashcroft on Jan. 18, and Kelowna on Jan. 19.

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Thought provoking Wave

Movie review of the German sociopolitical thriller Die Welle (2008), shown at a movie night organised by TRU Intercultural Council to discuss acceptance in social groups, unity, conformity, bullying and the chances of a dictatorship in first world societies.

German movie Die Welle (The Wave) was shown on campus at the TRU Intercultural Council’s second monthly event, held Wednesday, Nov. 21, at the Alumni Theatre in the Clock Tower.  Approximately 50 students and some faculty left studying for midterms and assignments aside to enjoy an evening of film and discussion with free popcorn and drinks.

The Intercultural Council, which aims to integrate domestic, international and aboriginal students into the university culture, organized a movie night after an on campus DJ event last month.

“We wanted to do something that would be interesting, thought provoking, entertaining and [with] a cultural relevance,” said Andrew Dalgleish, a TRU student and member of the Intercultural Council.

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Music Makes Meals goes bigger

Preview of Music Makes Meals, a one-day music festival headline by Colleen Rennison’s No Sinner to raise funds for Kamloops Food Bank.

In its seventh year, Music Makes Meals presents a lineup of local talented musicians to raise funds for the Kamloops Food Bank.

Saturday, Nov. 10, three local bands — Solara, Matt Stanley & The Decoys and Henry Small Band — plus special guests No Sinner from Vancouver, will be playing a show at the Kamloops Convention Centre.

The event started six year ago, according to Kamloops This Week’s Dale Bass.

“The food bank in Kamloops was having significant problems,” Bass said. “We ran a story in our paper where the executive director said they may have to shut down.

“Two friends of mine [TRU alumni Joey Jack and local singer-songwriter Danie Pouliotte] e-mailed me and said, ‘We need to do something, let’s do it with music.’ We called up a few friends and put together the first Music Makes Meals night at The Blue Grotto, where we had been until this year.”

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Shred Kelly folking on Heroes

Review of the live show that Shred Kelly brought to Kamloops on a cold Wednesday night to introduce their second album In The Hills.

Coming from the East Kootenays of British Columbia, Fernie’s Shred Kelly visited Kamloops on Wednesday, Oct. 24 as part of their Fall Album Release Tour to perform songs from their second album, In The Hills, recorded in May and released in September.

Heroes Pub was more full than what could be expected on a cold Wednesday night. Supporting local band Van Damsel warmed up the stage offering a 40-minute set of their energetic indie-rock songs.

Shred Kelly started with the title track from its latest album, following that up with “Goodbye July.” The audience fervently joined, clapping and tapping to the mixture of folk, rock and country.

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