If you weighted the world 100 years ago…

Author: dav  |  Category: Uncategorized

If you weighed the world 100 years ago and weighed it now, created a fraction for people versus pounds, the world would have gained twice its weight (this, of course, is an uneducated guess on my part). So as North Americans we’ve been trying to figure out how this has happened and like everything else the path has led us to the children who are absorbing our learned ways. Go into any school cafeteria and you will find hot dogs filled with things I gag at trying to type, french fries so calcified that they should be identified as mineral not as vegetable, not to mention the 143 million pounds of ground beef assigned primarily for school lunch programs that’s just been recalled. There are pop machines in the hallways, ads for xbox in the washrooms and pizza assaulted by cheese on top, in the crusts and in between the corrugated cardboard. So when I was at a friend’s house the other night and her four and a half year old son suggested that maybe he should use Proactive to get rid of the little tiny spot on his face I almost fell off my chair. As I squished my lips together trying not to scream with a mixture of awe and shock I asked him where he had heard about Proactive. Apparently, instead of advertising for Spider Man action figures in between commercials for his favourite cartoon Jessica Simpson was extolling the virtues of the combination mask, cleanser, toner. What in the world is Proactive doing advertising on a children’s network? Cartoons are supposed to be the ultimate escape from reality, the place you go as a child to see superheroes tackling the bad guys, where good conquers evil and as an adult where you can go to forget the piles of bed clothes from your not yet potty trained kids sitting waiting to be laundered. It’s not the place you go to be told your kids will be embarrassed of you when you drop them off at Kindergarten if you don’t cleanse and tone your adult onset pimples.

Next they’ll have commercials for eye lifts, boob jobs and butt check enhancers for men. Is looking good what we want our kids to grow up thinking is important? It was bad enough when corporations were forcing plastic toys on kids and now it’s plastic implants, it makes me yearn for the simpler days. I’d give anything to go back to the golden age when people were punching each other out in the aisles for Cabbage Patch Kids.

The city of Fredericton turned out in full force…

Author: dav  |  Category: Uncategorized

Damhnait Doyle’s regular column is being pre-empted this week for a special report from the 20th anniversary of the ECMA’s from Fredericton, NB by special correspondent (and desperate manager), Sheri Jones.

The city of Fredericton turned out in full force to host a fantastic event. Volunteers were everywhere and looked after everything from ground transportation to registration. They were incredibly hospitable and great fun all the way around.

Newfoundland artists, photographers, designers and industry were out in full force and made a big impact on both delegates and Fredericton audiences. Duane Andrews was, as usual, everywhere. He brought the house down at the CBC taping of “The Shift” (their afternoon drive show) and played to a sold out house at the Concert Series. Hey Rosetta went over in a big way with the international delegates - with rumours of an upcoming Australian tour and release. Dolan’s was the official Music NL venue and was jammed every night with performances that truly showed the versatility and breadth of Newfoundland artists - with everyone from exceptional newcomers Trailer Camp to the godfather of Newfoundland music, Ron Hynes.

On the visual side, Chris Smith (FunkFactor) had a showing in the Delta which featured amazingly compelling and innovative photographs of some of east coast music’s leading lights. Designer mainstay Jud Haynes was greatly missed this year but his cd covers graced many award winning recordings and his design flair was evident in a lot of the delegates promotional material.

Ex pats were also in attendance with Damhnait Doyle promoting the release of her new recording “Lights Down Low” and Patrick Boyle flying in from Toronto not just to play all of Duane’s shows but also to accompany buzz act Meaghan Smith for her performance on the ECMA Anniversary Show.

As usual, Denis Parker was furthering the cause at every opportunity and Randy Follett was busy spreading his Newfoundland charm amongst the international delegates in support of NL artists. Unfortunately, ECMA past chair, Glen Tilley, had to cancel his trip due to illness and was greatly missed by all. Corner Brook representatives spent the week promoting next year’s event - not a difficult task as everyone always looks forward to returning to NL for the ECMA’s as one of the highlights of the rotation cycle.

The weekend ended on Sunday night with the industry awards and music awards. Charlotte Story of Landwash took home the Record Company/Distribution/Indie Label of the Year Award, beating out major label, Warner Music and The Ducats were awarded a Stompin Tom Awards for their influence on the east coast music scene. The ECMA Music Awards Show was hosted by the hilarious Mark Critch - we all know awards shows can drag on a bit but Mark kept it interesting and funny from beginning to end. All of the performances were great but it was the proud and powerful performance of Shanneyganook that struck the strongest east coast chord.

As this piece is being written a storm rages outside, delaying flights and closing roads so the weekend festivities may not be over.

When last seen, Damhnait was jumping up on stage with Lennie Gallant and Bruce Guthro in the Delta Pub for an impromptu performance. If you spot her back in St. John’s this week, give this writer a call!

I am not sure what’s uglier, a three hundred…

Author: dav  |  Category: Uncategorized

I am not sure what’s uglier, a three hundred pound defenseman pile driving the weight of his body into the crook of your neck or the presidential campaign that is currently touring the states with the ringside antics of a WWF match. The two biggest sporting events of the year are holding television watchers captive all over the world, It’s like watching Goliath pummel David and then David selling a stolen Goliath sex tape to get even.

There is not a high road in sight and it’s getting dirtier by the day and shows no sign of slowing down.

I’m someone who gets a little queasy with violence and blood so fifty percent of the little time I spend watching football I’ll have my ears plugged and my eyes shut, however after watching the presidential debates last week and not fainting I had no problem watching the Superbowl last night. I guess the head butting and snapping limbs had nothing on the Clinton and Obama brawl. Thing is one of them is going to lose and one of them is going to win and unless the loser moves to the Bahamas, the next term is going to be a tad uncomfortable in Washington. It reminds me more than a little of the hit MTV cult show ” The Hills” where cameras follow around a group of twenty somethings and chronicle (and fuel) their feuds and so called slights. I’m just not sure if Hilary is Lauren and Barack is Heidi or the other way around. I guess it makes the most sense if Hilary is Heidi so that way Bill could be Spencer (although Bill is infinitely more likeable then Spencer, but they both have nice teeth). Can you imagine the camera catching the trash talk Hill and Bill must do about Bar and Mich at home before they do their Starbucks run in the morning, and the nasty under the breath comments about plastic surgery, not accusing them of getting it but accusing them of not. It would be the most watched show on television and that way people could vote on things that really matter to them like what kind of cereal they eat and if they wash their hands frequently.

Seriously though it’s like two gladiators fighting each other at Rome’s Coliseum if they know what’s good for them they’d band together because when they least expect it a lion is going to rise from the ground and they will find out too late that it is the real enemy.