Field Notes

No fields or notes are safe, because Kerri Breen knows where they live.

Big Peg’s mainland debut
The Shrekish star of a Newfoundland folktale has made her way to the Textiles Museum of Canada, in Toronto.

Peg Bearskin is the ugly sister who came to be after her mother disobeyed a stranger’s advice and ate one too many berries.
According to Newfoundland textile artist Gillian Strong, it’s one of the few local folktales with a female protagonist—and that’s part of what interested her about Peg.

Her hand knit piece “And I Will Love You Peg Bearskin” was first shown at the Khyber art gallery in Halifax in the fall of 2007. The nine inch figure is nude and intimidating.

“She’s a fat, hairy monster,” Strong says.

Strong says she likes the character because she doesn’t seem to mind how she looks—even when everyone else in the folktale thinks she’s a hideous, hideous CHUD.

Allyson Mitchell—queen of feminist textile art and famous for her lesbianic sasquatch women—saw Peg at the Khyber and later approached Strong about her work being in the show.

“It was really overwhelming,” Strong says. “It was really, really crazy to get that phone call.”

Peg is part of a show called “She Will Always Be Younger Than Us,” which is being shown until the beginning of September.

Rocky on the rock
Call it a science fiction quintuple feature—Tada Events is presenting five shows of Rocky Horror.

That sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania and crew will appear at Holy Heart Theatre from March 20 to the 22.
“Rehearsals are going amazing,” says Phil Goodridge, who is playing Frank N. Furter.

A warning to die-hard fans: The stage version isn’t exactly like the movie. But from what Goodridge says, no one will leave disappointed, though.

“People who love the movie will really appreciate what we’ve done in the show, and people who have never seen it before will totally love it.”

Tickets are available at the Holy Heart box office.

Fine art, fine brew
John Haney brewed up the idea for the Eastern Edge’s Heaven = Art + Beer last year.

He was fishing around for a zany fundraiser idea and realized he wanted to do something involving art of a specified size. Then he thought about his downstairs neighbour who makes his own beer.

“Usually homemade beer can be pretty unpalatable, but he was pretty good at it,” Hanley says.

Beer labels it was, then. Bruce (the neighbour) was soon helping Haney brew beer, and getting artists to design five-by-eight inch labels, which were to be auctioned off with a free beer.

Last year’s fundraiser was a success, especially considering the miserable weather that day.

One label with a cowboy saying “douchebag” was among Haney’s personal favourites.

Heaven = Art + Beer 2 is happening on March 15 from 5 to 8pm.

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Curling rock
Around here, it’s Team Gushue. Curling has struck a nerve long enough to secure a section of highway in the name of the Olympic-winning team.

“It’s the same in Manitoba, people are crazy about [curling],” says Weakerthans guitarist Stephen Carroll. “They love it.” He’s proud to say Jennifer Jones—Winnipeg’s Brad Gushue—practices at the rink near his house.

The “Tourament of Hearts” band is kicking off a Canadian tour with a show in St. John’s on March 19. Their appearance at Club One will be their first-ever show in the province (they had one scheduled before but a friend’s wedding got in the way, Carroll says.)
The band is working on a live CD and DVD based on footage from this tour, including the St. John’s show.

The tour is taking the band as far as the Yukon. With over ten years and five albums behind them, you’d expect Weakerthans tour lore to be extensive, but Carroll downplays its existence.

“People always want to hear some kind of crazy road story but we don’t have that many crazy road stories. We kind of treat the band like our jobs,”

One peculiar aspect of life on the road would definitely take a little while to get used to, though.

“I think our bass player [Greg Smith] might be a vampire because if you’re on tour and you wake up at seven in the morning to get a glass of water he’ll be still up watching movies, making large meals like it’s 6pm.”

The band’s latest album, Reunion Tour, was nominated for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize. They have been shortlisted for a heap of Junos too.

Carroll, who joined the band on 2001’s Left and Leaving, seems unaffected by the success. He laughs at my questions in a way that suggests he’s steered clear of the hype.

Though he is grounded, being a member of the band is clearly not just a job for him.
“To have a really good career you have to kind of be singleminded and determined at the same time as being freewheeling, some kind of balance of being both. It’s a great life and we feel really privileged to be in the position that we have.”

School’s in
Finally, local drummer Curtis Andrews is in Africa awaiting the opening of the school his efforts helped build in Dzogadze, Ghana.
Through the Dzogadze Education Development Foundation, Andrews raised over $10,000 in two years.Donations are still welcome, as it is an ongoing project, he says.

The school will open in early April. Now that the building is complete, other goals are being set—like setting up a scholarship fund and a library.

Check out curtisandrews.ca to find out more.

Up to something field noteworthy? E-mail kerri@thescope.ca