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Full text of "The Gateway (2007-10-25)"

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enlerl;iinrm'iil@galewi\.iiall> • Ihursttiy. 25 ik-IoImt. 20(1/ 

Wintersleep welcomes the Night Sky 

The Halifax-based quintet may not be eager to discuss their new album, but it's given them 
radio play, notable producers to work with, and even an international release in Japan 



Lessons from a Seven Foot Penis 

Thursday, 25 October at 9pm 
Jekyll & Hyde Pub 00610100 Avenue) 

Occasionally, a story comes along that gives hard¬ 
working, committed entertainment lojmalists a 
bit of a break—|,ist some time to kick back with¬ 
out having to develop ledes and article motifs 
Unfortunately, this isn't one of those stones. What 
possible angle could anyone take to provoke inter¬ 
est in a comedic stage show that coniures up images 
of a Tony Robbins-sized phallus in a dapper Armani 
suit giving an educational seminar to a packed audi¬ 
torium, complete with pie charts and a self-help 
book 7 

Norman Nawrocki stars—though not. as one 
might expea, as a mountainous Bluetooth-mic- 
toting tallywhacker—as a standup comedian who 
discusses such pertinent issues as homosexuality, 
gender identity, safe sex, and more with a h.imorous. 
positive bend His "educational comedy cabarets 
include other heroically titled programs such as Sex 
Toys! and My Dick and Other Manly Tales. 

Second City Trojan "Condomy" Tour 

Thursday 25 October at 8pm 
Myer Horowitz Theatre 

Yes, there are not one, but two sex-related comedy 
tours visiting Edmonton, not only in the same week, 
but on the same night. Oh, the calamity of having 
to choose between one erotically inclined comedic 
schtick and another side-splrttingly farcical exercise 
in sensuality! Though, to be fair to the giant one¬ 
eyed-monster act. this performance only offers indi¬ 
rect sexual connotations, as it's sponsored by Troian 
Condoms, allowing for a play on words several times 
less clever than the organizers probably assjmed it 
would be. 

The Second City comedy squad, descendants of 
the SCTV legends, helms this tour, the only one in 
North America that can be tested prior to viewing 
through application to a ripened banana (or plantain, 
if the tour is less comically endowed) 

Hey Ocean! 

With the McGowan Family Band 
Thursday, 25 October at Spm 
Starlite Room 

If you're in the mood for something a little less organ- 
based this Thursday night, head down to the Starlite 
to catch this easy-listening pop-funk band from 
Vancouver Combining Sublime and .amiroquai 
with a female lead singer, the group is currently on 
a Canadian tour and released their first full length 
album, Stop Looking Like Music, last year 

Sander Kleinenberg 

Thursday 25 October at Spm 
Empire Ballroom (WEM) 

Holland's Sander Kleinenberg brings his Dung skills 
to West Ed's Empire Ballroom. Mixing both audio and 
video during his performance, this fly Dutchman is 
riding the success of his club hit 'This is No: Miami." 

Oh Susanna! 

Saturday 27 October at 11pm 
Varscona Theatre 00329 83 Avenue) 

A game and vanety show, the ninth annual season of 
this Halloween-themed parry' is upon the Varscona 
Theatre Susanna Patchouli stars along with several 
co-performers all eager to express their playful exas¬ 
peration with the lead, including wacky magician 
Blizzard the Wizzard and cunningly named Fringe 
buskers the Be Arthurs, among others. It also features 
the Oh Susanna! Jug Band, a definite highlight for 
fans of local |ug music. Best of all. if you're financially 
disadvantaged, you can get a two-dollar discount by 
wearing a Halloween costume—which should only 
run you about 20 bucks. 

Practices safe Soda! Intercourse 



With Wooden Stars 
Sunday, 28 October at 8pm 
Starlite Room 

Arts&Entertainment Staff 

One has to wonder if Wintersleep's apparent lack 
of enthusiasm in discussing their new album, 
Welcome to the Night Sky. is due to the over¬ 
whelming number of questions they repeatedly 
get asked by journalists or genuine disinterest 
in talking about the finished product, lx's prob¬ 
ably the former—although the soporific attitude 
associated with the latter would reflect the band 
name well. 

Currently on a cross-Canada tour in support 
of Welcome to the Night Sky. the guys from 
Halifax only have time to respond to questions 
in brief, which guilarist/keyboardist Tim D'eon 
reveals that the band name has gotten more 
interesting comments beyond people listing 
unflattering sleepy synonyms back to them. 

"Tltis summer, we were playing at the Evolve 
Festival in Antigonish, Nova Scotia," D'eon writes 
via email. "I was riding with Brian [Bortherdt] 
from Holy Fuck and [Mike] Bigelow [formerly 
of Holy Fuck and new Wintersleep bass player] 
in Brian's van. 

"We were blasting Slayer's 'Reign in Blood' 
when we were stopped at the gate of the festival 
and [were] told to go see this lady about getting 
our artist passes." he continues. “She asked what 
band we were, and Brian said 'Holy Fuck.’ She 
replied, ‘I really hate your hand name. I come 
from a Catholic town, and we ripped down all 
of your posters.' She looks at me and asks my 
band’s name. I told her and she replies, ‘Now 
that is a beautiful name. You guys must make 
nice music.’ ” 

Although they make nice music according 
to a lot of fans and music critics, D'eon doesn't 

seem to fully share this opinion quite yet. When 
asked if a hypnotic, singable song like "Dead 
Letter and the Infinite Yes" could become a 
single for the album, he seemed doubtful. 

"i don’t know how well it would do as a 
single, but I’d be up for releasing any of these 
songs as a single. The reality of it is that it's very 
difficult to get a song on the radio, especially 
since most of our songs don’t follow the sort 
of verse-chorus-verse type of thing they like to 

"[This ladv] asked what band 
we w ere, and Brian said ‘Holy 
Flick.’ She replied. ‘1 really hate 
your band name. 1 come from 
a Catholic town, and we ripped 
down all of your posters.’ [._] 

I told her [our name] and she 
replies. ‘Nowthat is a beautiful 
name. You guys must make 
nice music.'" 



if the growing amount of airplay that 
“Weighty Ghost.” the first single of the 
hand's new release, is any indication, D'eon 
is dead wrong. Wintersleep has never before 
obtained as much radio attention, with both 
of their previous two untitled albums as they 
are currently getting with Welcome to the 
Night Sky. 

Perhaps the label jump last year from 
Yarmouth-based Dependent Music to 
Labwork, a product of the marriage between 
major label EMI Canada and independent 
Sonic Unyon is to thank for the renewed 
interest in Wintersleep as a band. But the 
move helped the band to gain some recog¬ 
nition in the US by re-releasing their two 

previous studio efforts. 

That doesn’t really explain the change of 
the hand's sound from mellow and melan¬ 
cholic to more lively and epic. Perhaps pro¬ 
ducer Tony Doogan—who’s worked with 
bands like Mogwal and Belle & Sebastia n—is 
the one to praise. It appears the man has 
some psychic abilities beyond his musical 

“It was great working with [Doogan]," D’eon 
says. "It's nice to have suggestions from someone 
who knows very Utile about the band and the 

Under Doogan's guidance. Welcome to the 
Night Sky was sent across the pond to Doogan’s 
ominously named personal studio to be mixed 
and prepaired for release. 

"Castle of Doom is actually [Doogan's] Studio 
in Glasgow. He co-owns the place with the guys 
in Mogwal It's a nice old townhouse that was 
converted into a studio." 

The album itself was recorded at Halifax's 
Sonic Temple, but Wintersleep has spent so 
much time touring that they rarely bang 
around their hometown. D'eon admits that it's 
due to lack of time spent in the city that he 
doesn’t pay much attention to Halifax’s local 
music scene, although the entire hand loves 
fellow Halifax band Dog Day. 

Maybe it’s for the best that Wintersleep 
keep on trekking, as they now have another 
opportunity to tread on international waters 
again. While the band continues to search for 
American labels, they’ve taught the attention of 
a japanese label. Although D’eon’s tight-lipped 
on the subject—”1 probably shouldn't name 
[it] until it’s official." he says—that label will 
release their albums in Japan. 

So while Wintersleep are silent on topics 
discussing what concepts are behind the new 
record or what stories shaped its sound, dis¬ 
interest isn't the reason why. Not only has the 
band pushed hard to attain recognition beyond 
Halifax and consequently, Canada, they’ve 
managed to develop music that’s more acces¬ 
sible to those outside of the hipster crowd but at 
the same time remains imaginative.