8EAST - Petit Avant-Garde
Saturday, February 02, 2019
|Peggy Lee's cello|
On February 2, 2019 my daughter Ale and I attended a concert at 8EAST
(on Pender). The-just written music featured works by Lyle Hopkins with Ron
Samworth, guitar, Skye Brooks, percussion and François Houle, clarinet. There
was also a set of duos between Peggy Lee, cello, Torsten Muller,bass, and Viviane
surface in Vancouver and have so for years. In the early 80s when I might
attend a punk concert at the Smilin’ Buddha some of us would be informed that
there was a concert at some place or house nearby. These were underground
concerts. In one of them I won the door prize which was a Pontiac hearse. I
opted for $500.
believe that Vancouver is staid and boring. But this is not the case if you
happen to know a few people. I found out about the 8EAST (On Pender) concert
from my cellist friend Marina Hasselberg. The line-up was stellar and
especially so for my guitar playing daughter as virtuoso electric guitar man, Ron Samworth was part of it.
|François Houle, Marina Hasselberg and Ron Samworth|
The concert (to begin at 8)
was fashionably late as it began at 8:45. Most of the music featured musicians
who were good and keen on improvisation. The second half of the concert
featured music by bassist Lyle Hopkins. In one unusual segment even guitarist
Ron Samworth was using a bow.
began with a trio with Peggy Lee, Torsten Muller and singer Viviane Houle whose
voice was used primarily as a musical instrument. Some of the sounds of her
voice resembled that of a viola so the performance was really a string trio!
Sky Brooks was most delicate on his drum kit. We were never blasted in any way.
If anything he played his percussion instruments with much elegance.
|Sky Brooks, Lyle Hopkins & François Houle|
was suitably impressed and thanked her father (me) for bringing her to another
night of what I call the Vancouver Petit Avant-Garde. Since she is a
schoolteacher in Lillooet there is little chance such a concert would happen
Introducing Rebecca to Gary Trudeau's Sad!
Monday, January 28, 2019
|Illustration on cover - Gary Trudeau|
“We have met the enemy
and he is us"
Pogo –Walt Kelly
Ever since I can remember I was attracted to comics
particularly those of El Pato Donald and El Ratón Mickey. As I got older I
liked Captain Marvel and The Lone Ranger comic books.
But it was around 1968 when I first started reading The News
(a Mexico City daily in English) that I was exposed to political comic strips
like Pogo and Doonesbury. I was lured because I liked to read Dick Tracy, Steve
Canyon and Terry and the Pirates.
In Vancouver by the late 70s I met and became friends with
the illustrators for Vancouver Magazine. In those days their illustrations were
But because I am from that other century I have never really
bothered to read adult comic books. I despise (because I do) the fantasy
variety. Superman and Batman were fine when I was 15. Now I am too much of an adult
(an old man?) to appreciate or collect vintage comic books and run to see the
latest superhero film.
This may seem odd when I shift to the idea that the Mexican
word “metiche” usually relegated to describe an intrusive mother-in-law is
something that some in my family think of my Rosemary and her husband by
We are constantly trying to help even when some of my
friends tell me that we are only the grandparents (or that our daughters are
now adults and can lead their own lives).
Because it is the Steve Jobs Century, that villain who has
ruined it (his century) for all of us by narrowing and shortening our attention
span and as a by-product less likely to read I rarely buy books for anybody but
My Rosemary and I read our daily NY Times and the Vancouver
Sun. Many locals deprecate our city daily but I find that every once in a while
they redeem themselves if anything by re-printing stuff from other newspapers.
But this past Saturday there was a review of Gary Trudeau’s
latest book. I knew immediately that I was going to go to Chapters/Indigo on
Granville and West Broadway to buy a copy (they had two) for my granddaughter
Rebecca, 21. I know she will enjoy it. Why?
She and we have some stuff in common but in relation to the
Trudeau book, Rebecca watches (on her phone) every Stephen Colbert monologue
just as we do.
Perhaps in some near future I might introduce her to Walt
Kelly and the Okefenokee Swamp.
Anemone coronaria 'Harmony Blue' & Rosemary
Sunday, January 27, 2019
|Anemone coronaria 'Harmony Blue' 27 January 2019|
years of being married to my Rosemary, almost every day brings me a surprise about her, some
hidden quality I was not aware of.
went to Safeway to buy some food. On the way back she said, “Can we pass by
Thomas Hobbs (his nursery is called Southlands)? “ I answered, "It is 4:30 (it
would be closing by five) and I am cold.” But I felt guilty and instead of
turning right onto 49th on Marine Drive I turned left.
time there were no customers. I spotted this blue anemone and I knew I was
going to spend $13. There were others that had three or four buds. Only this
one had (only one) a wide open flower. I had all the intentions of scanning it.
did what she always does at Tom’s (it drives me crazy), she filled a paper cup
with free coffee. She brings it into the car and this means that I have to
drive carefully so she will not spill it on herself or on the centre console
telling Rosemary (today one of our toilets was stuck and she could not navigate
the pump), “What are you going to do when I am dead?”
know that my worry is a worse one and a far more selfish one:
What will I
do if Rosemary dies before me?