Field Notes

Kerri Breen gets sea sick.

Victory cuts comedy
Andrew Ivimey feels fresh talent will suffer the most from the Victory Tavern’s open mic comedy Sundays being reduced to one night a month.

“A lot of people coming out [for the] open mic just once a week who are not looking at other bars or for paid shows or anything like that, they definitely feel like they’re missing out,” he says.

He knows because that’s where he cut his teeth as a comedian not so long ago.

“It’s something I always wanted to do and I never had the opportunity to do before the Victory,” he says.

The bar is now interested in trying different things on Sundays, including improv nights.

The announcement to cut back comedy came suddenly, but Ivimey appreciates the bar’s side of things.

With many of the same comedians showing up every week, the jokes got a little old, and attendance was sometimes good, and sometimes not so good.

“It’s better to have a crowd once a month than to have three shows a month that nobody shows up to,” he says.

Ivimey also says that the reduced amount of shows will give the up-and-coming comedians more time to think up new material. But new opportunities are emerging for Ivimey, and other comedians in the city, with the opening of Yuk Yuks comedy club on Kenmount Road.

 

Free music alert!
Kent Burt’s music might sound straight out of the ‘80s, but his attitude is purely of this generation.
Burt’s new wave/electro project just released a new album which is available online only.

Burt has been releasing music as the Linger Effect since 1999—first with a series of cassettes and then through free downloads over the Internet.

He’s “not too interested” in playing live.

“Everything is recorded at home—very DIY/indie—and thus there’s no real investment to recoup,” he says. “Art should be free, anyway.”

In the early ‘90s Burt jammed with an industrial band called Draize Eye Test, but his real passion is for British post-punk and new wave, Krautrock, and the golden age of indie rock.

“So when I started writing my own music that’s what started coming out,” he says.

Check out the album, which is called I Hope You Die First, at tinyurl.com/hopeyoudiefirst

 

HR! dominate nominees
Familiar names have gotten the bulk of the nominations from the MusicNL awards—with some artists getting nods in multiple categories.

Hey Rosetta! are nominated five times (out of a possible seven categories they could have been nominated in) including entertainer of the year, and group of the year, and album of the year for Into Your Lungs.

The Idlers are nominated in both the entertainer and group categories, plus the emerging artist award.
Gulliver’s Spree are nominated in four categories, including the Folk/Roots Artist of the Year.

The MusicNL conference is happening in Gander this year, with showcases, a songwriters’ circle, and seminars. It’s all taking place from Nov. 7 to the 9.

 

Keeping boat culture afloat
Back in the day, boat building was essential, explains Hal Barrett, project manager at the Wooden Boat Museum of NL, but now, the skill is being lost as those who never had a need to teach it to their sons (or daughters) pass on.

The Museum has been working against this trend for about ten or twelve years—expanding its scope to the entire province just recently—and now it’s hosting a conference to connect traditional boat builders and discuss ways to preserve the culture.

“At one point there were literally thousands of boat builders in Newfoundland building thousands of boats every year,” Barrett says. “Some of these boats were large schooners that carried our fish all over the world. I suppose it was the single most important feature of retaining a culture in Newfoundland entirely… the only interest that was here was the fishery.”

People from as far away as coastal Labrador are coming to demonstrate their skills.

“We’ve been able to fill and bed and breakfasts and all the motel beds in the entire area from Hant’s Harbour to down the coast the other way to Heart’s Delight and beyond.”

Barrett says the positive response is indicative of the concern that this aspect of our culture is being lost.

The conference happening from Nov.1 to 2 in Winterton, NL (just 90 minutes outside St. John’s).

 

Writers wanted
Piloted last year, MUN’s creative writing journal, Paragon, is back for a second edition.

Managing Editor Keagan Schopfer has begun accepting submissions for Paragon2, to be published sometime in February. The opportunity to be published is open to the community as well as the university, including emerging and professional writers, and the deadline is Dec. 21.

For more information check out paragonjournal.ca

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