Field Notes

In addition to touring and writing fiction and music, Ian Foster plans to “stop and smell the roses a bit more” in 2009. Photo by Frank Fagan.

Kerri Breen peers into a new year of cul-cha.

New year, new plans
After the fireworks, the champagne, and the awkward midnight kisses comes the other new year’s tradition—realizing you kind of suck and resolving to change. It’s also a logical time to make plans for the future.
Here’s what a convenient sample of musicians will be getting up to in ‘09.

Chapel Ruin, singer of the psychobilly treat the Satans, is hoping “to finally bring down organized religion this year. And government.”

The Satans plan to write new songs and work on video projects this year. They’re also embarking on a cross-country tour this summer.

Benjy Kean, DJ of Distortion’s Musique Nonstop is resolving to do sit ups. He’s keeping us in surprise about his musical plans for the new year.

“I don’t wanna give too much away before it happens but all I can say is two drummers!”

“My new year’s resolution is to be an asshole in 2009,” says Atlantis Prize-shortlisted multi-instrumentalist Victor Lewis.

He has yet another EP coming out this month with a band called The Outfit.

“It features my brother Pete on vocals. It’s a pop-punk record somewhere between the Buzzcocks and Guided by Voices.”

Kujo, another of Lewis’s projects, is going to try to start playing again in January. Hopefully, they’ll be recording early this year, he says.

Sing songwriter Ian Foster’s resolution is to “stop and smell the roses a bit more.” This year he’ll be working on writing (fiction and songs), touring (as usual) and perhaps making a tour-only CD.

But can they act?
St. John’s ‘suits’ will silence their Blackberries for two nights only to perform CODCO sketches in support of the Resource Centre for the Arts.

A growing list of performers—including City of St. John’s Councilor Debbie Hanlon and Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy—are learning the best of CODCO from CODCO itself: Mary Walsh, Greg Malone, and Andy Jones.
With CODCO’s Newfoundland following rivaling that of most deities, the pressure to not screw up the skits must be intense. Hanlon, who is being directed by Jones, says she’s not nervous, however.

“I’m really looking forward to it… because it’s all about fun, right. These guys are really easy to get along with.”

Suits Do CODCO will run at the Holy Heart Theatre on Friday, Jan. 23, and Saturday, Jan. 24. Tickets are $32.50. There will be an opening night reception at Smitty’s Family Restaurant at the Marriott Hotel.

Santa NLAC comes but twice a year
If the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) fall grant announcements mean anything, the province’s artistic output for 2009 will be interesting to say the least.

This season the provincially funded organization is supporting 79 projects for a total of $295,150. NLAC, which gives out grants in spring as well as fall, has had significant funding boosts from government in recent years.
This time around Duane Andrews received support to make music videos for two songs off of his latest album, Raindrops.

Lois Brown got funding to write “How are You?” a script about getting hit by a car in Vancouver — no doubt inspired by her own accident last year.

In visual art, Kym Greeley got support to create a series of paintings called Overpass, which will show Newfoundland scenery from the often-underestimated viewpoint of the highway. Wallace Ryan will be working on a graphic novel called The Mad Widower.

Click here for a complete list.

Local blog, national award
There was no real prize, but the distinction of writing Canada’s third best political blog was award enough for Ed Hollett.

The Sir Robert Bond Papers is a gutsy, occasionally humourous blog that provides colour and depth to politics and current events.

Bond Papers is written by Ed Hollett, a pundit who is sometimes a few steps ahead of the news.

That’s why he started the blog: To call attention to stuff that the media and the public were missing.

“There are so many things going on that just don’t get covered in the mainstream and it’s not just a matter of different view points it’s a matter of in some cases basic fact,” he says.

His blog receives 350 to 400 views a week.

“It covers sort of a broad swath of people,” he says. “There’s are lots of people I don’t know but I also see a lot of federal and provincial government departments, banks, major businesses.”

To see a complete list of Canadian Blog Awards winners check out Hollett’s blog is at

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