Murphy Farrell

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Longtime blues and punk drummer at venues like the Yale and the Smilin’ Buddha. One of our key interviews for and my personal favourite photo from that project.

Vancouver Opera gives Lillian Alling world premiere

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If you’re thinking about heading out for a walk this weekend, you’re probably planning on a few hours, tops – and likely on pavement, or at very least a well-worn path.

But when Russian émigré Lillian Alling went for a walk in the 1920s, she strode clear across North America – through dense bush and over steep mountain passes – with nothing but the clothes on her back and an iron pipe for protection on her way from New York to British Columbia, then north to the Yukon.

Complete article here.

Stunning commitment to original work from the Vancouver Opera.  Here is another example of their innovation.

kd lang steals show in opening ceremonies

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kd lang’s performance of fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” absolutely stole the show, hitting just the right balance between celebration and mourning last night. I’ve never seen the song rendered so soulfully. One of the most memorable moments of an often truly inspired opening ceremonies, and especially moving given the moment of silence given to the Georgian Luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili.

Below is a version recorded earlier in concert since the OL version is not available …

I thought the Georgia Straight really nailed it with this list of remarkable events in the Opening Ceremonies. I especially agree with the choice of slam poet Shane Koyczan:

Vancouver Olympics opening ceremonies: the top five surprise artsy moments
By Janet Smith

Usually Olympics opening extravaganzas are about pomp and ceremony—big stars and obvious symbolism.

So imagine the Straight ‘s arts section’s surprise to see some genuinely eccentric, even subversive choices on the roster at last night’s big bash at B.C. Place Stadium—and no, we’re not talking about Bryan Adams.

Here, then, are the top five moments that made us proud:

1. A visit by Brock Jellison, former Tap Dog, head of Vancouver’s Ruckus Company Productions: great to see this rock ‘n’ roll rebel in tap shoes.

2. A surprise appearance by Shane Koyczan, representin’, unimaginably, for the city’s thriving slam-poetry community—a gang usually relegated to coffee houses.

3. Jean Grand-Maître’s inventive choreography: hard to know if it translated to the folks watching it live at B.C. Place, but the Alberta Ballet maestro crafted some truly transcendent moments.

4. One-time cowpunker k.d. lang singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah : sublime, in the most un-extravaganza-ish way.

5. Mohawked fiddler-bad boy Ashley MacIsaac stomping his combat boots and kicking up his kilt .

Georgia Straight

Sings like the Grinch but he Must Be Santa

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Or is that Shane McGowan of Pogues reknown he’s channeling?

Rollicking good Christmas offering from Bob Dylan.


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A strong case for arts funding at the Arts Umbrella rehearsal studios on Granville Island yesterday. This was an afternoon preview of “Samsara”, choreographed by Margo Sappington, music by Tony De Vit, and performed by their Senior Dance Company. All of these dancers are between 16-19.

"Samsara", originally uploaded by inklake.

The video clip was shot on my iPhone.

A call for photos!

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Some extraordinary photos are being uploaded to the Alliance for Arts and Culture’s flickr photo group here.

We’re working on a video to promote the arts in BC and we need your photos.

If you have photos of your work, or photos of artists performing, painting, dancing or creating, please follow the link to our group and post the photos there. We’ve already had some great contributions, but we need more.

“You’ve seen us when we’re grey, now you’re going to see us when we’re working!

Fund-raiser for Arts Umbrella “nothing short of perfection”

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Photos by Rebecca Blissett
Photos by Rebecca Blissett

Summer Sessions with Sarah McLachlan in West Vancouver nothing short of perfection
By Sarah Rowland
At Ambleside Park on Saturday, September 12

To say Saturday was the perfect day for an all-day benefit concert at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park would be a grotesque understatement. Not even the best set decoration crew in all of Hollywood could have created a more picturesque setting. The short walk to the venue’s ticket booth offered a spectacular view of a glistening ocean, warm sandy beaches, and lush greenery. Once inside the concert grounds, ticket holders were surrounded by mountains, trees, and a clear blue sky. Yes, mother nature, you done us proud on this fine day.

And so did the musicians.

All proceeds from this event—billed as Summer Sessions at Ambleside—went to the Sarah McLachlan Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making music education accessible to inner city youth.

Read the entire article here.

No Sunlight

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deathcabStill thinking about the Death Cab for Cutie concert at GM Place a few weeks ago and it reminded me of this video.

Does it get better than an acoustic concert in the back of a London Cab?

Obviously the folks at Black Cab Sessions don’t think it does.

Take a look/listen …

These Black Cab Sessions are fantastic. Here’s a link to their website and a blurb from their facebook page:

Conceived and produced by just so films, artist selection by hidden fruit. The sessions are all about great music and the venue strips this to its essence. We aren’t picky about genre and will happily open the cab door to anyone who blows us away.

btw, here’s the song performed onstage by the band.