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Collaboration and creativity at CFMF

This was written for the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s 2015 program guide, so it’s a little all over the place in trying to combine a preview of certain festival artists with some wide-ranging thoughts on the nature of creativity. Still, it does have a few thoughts on collaboration and creativity that seemed worth archiving somewhere online. (Image taken … Continue reading

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Interview: Raphaelle Standell from Braids

From their early days performing in Calgary as the Neighbourhood Council, the members of the now-Montreal-based Braids have always had a knack for balancing pop hooks with musical sophistication. The band’s third album, Deep in the Iris, is easily their best work to date, a collection of richly textured songs that explore themes of heartbreak, … Continue reading

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Mr. Yeti’s Fast Food

File under: Quick distractions PS users of a certain vintage are bound to remember SkiFree, a free game where you’d waggle your way down a ski hill, slaloming around trees and backflipping off of ramps until you were inevitably devoured by a stick-man-like yeti. It was cute, fun, and aggravating enough to be its own kind … Continue reading

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Duke Ellington and plagiarism: Remixing Brain Pickings

First things first: Go read this Brain Pickings article on Duke Ellington’s habit of remixing/plagiarising his band. And while you’re at it, consider following Brain Pickings if you don’t already, because it is one of the more thoughtful sites out there when it comes to culture and creativity. I wanted to piggyback a little off that post’s … Continue reading

photo via CTV News

Breaking the chain: What the NDP means for Alberta

Maybe we should have seen it coming. Even though all of the polls indicated it was coming, an NDP majority in Alberta seemed entirely unbelievable. Not because Alberta as a whole is too conservative—a look at the last mayoral races in the province’s major cities show that a good portion of the population is pretty … Continue reading

Image by Drew Anderson

It’s not just paper: A farewell to Fast Forward

It’s a strange fact that physical things are now a niche. Books, records, magazines and alt-weeklies are all just so much clutter given the convenience of digital. Compare a board game to an iPhone app, never mind a next-gen console game; it’s hopelessly clunky and anachronistic by comparison. But if you break out a deck … Continue reading

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Space Cadets Dice Duel: Panic in deep space

“Frantic” isn’t a word that comes into play in most board games. This is a hobby that gets its kicks from things like maximizing the efficiency of your electrical grid, after all. Absorbing? Entertaining? Challenging? Sure. But frenzied? Hardly. In the last few years, though, a handful of games have been kicking at board games’ … Continue reading

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The Philadelphia Story: A pretty, pretty sight

“The prettiest sight in this fine, pretty world is the privileged class enjoying its privileges.” So says Macaulay Connor, an author slumming it as a tabloid writer in Philip Barry’s The Philadelphia Story, and while Connor has firmly established himself as an opponent of America’s de facto aristocracy, he seems sincere in that champagne-tinted moment. … Continue reading

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Super Motherload: Mars needs miners

Board games are very much an international hobby. Your biggest games — Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Ticket to Ride — all hail from overseas, and North American designers are only starting to catch up. So it’s nice to be able to start the year by recommending a local creation. Awarded the Canadian Game Design … Continue reading

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Chelsea Hotel: Leonard Cohen inspires stories

Leonard Cohen is an artist who demands to be reinterpreted. Like the hundreds of remountings and reworkings of Shakespeare, new takes on Cohen’s canon emerge with frightening regularity, with everyone from Johnny Cash to the Pixies covering the bard of Montreal. Maybe it was inevitable, then, that his influence would extend to the world of … Continue reading

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