Vancouver - ARTS & CULTURE
January 24th, 2007
“I’m more of a lover than a fighter,” claims Jay McInerney, author of “A Hedonist in the Cellar,” a collection of his essays on wine. And love wine he does.
Long-time wine columnist of House and Garden magazine, the accomplished scribe is more likely to compare a wine to Pamela Anderson (she’s more Chardonnay than Chablis) than to some rarified horticultural bouquet.
Read an essay per evening (glass of wine in hand) and you’ll not only garner valuable dinner party banter, but also be amused by the lively storytelling style.
The cover is as charming as the writing: it’s covered in red wine rings, and fairly begs you to add your own.
View cover and buy “A Hedonist in the Cellar” (from $18.90) at www.amazon.ca
January 17th, 2007
What do you get when you mix Santana’s “Oye Como Va” with Ton Loc’s “Wild Thing”?
Or Queen’s “We Will Rock You” with NWA’s “Dopeman”?
A call from your neighbours, perhaps.
But we do insist you check out Team Canada, a pair of Montreal turntable-ists who are impressing fans the world-over with their inventive mash-ups of classic rock songs and classic hip hop, with a little old skool scratching thrown in for fun.
The Beatles v. Notorious B.I.G., The Bangles meet The Jackson Fiveyou must hear it to believe it. The just-released second CD, Classic Material Volume II does amazing things with “Ooh Child (Things Are Going to Get Easier.)”
Just maybe not with the neighbours.
Read more and listen to music at www.teamcanadadjs.com
Buy Team Canada CDs, (from $15) at El Kartel, 1025 Robson St., 604-683-2171 or visit www.beatstreet.ca
January 10th, 2007
What did we get up to over the holidays you ask?
We had our nose deep into the 500 pages of Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics, a brilliant new book that’s part trip through the literary canon, part murder mystery, and all page-turning cleverness.
That she’s been called a female Nabokov by the New York Times (who named this, her first book, one of the 10 best of 2006) is your first clue.
Pessl’s own whimsical illustrations punctuate a story that follows our heroine Blue Van Meer as she struggles with being a nerdy, bright kid at a U.S. private school raised by a charismatic and controlling professor father whom she idolizes.
Though the lit-laden prose can feel sophomoric at times (as befits a 28-year-old author who graduated from Brown with honours) the refreshing and original new voice it offers far outweighs the fact.
And though Pessl is so attractive the publishers worried about including an author picture on the dust jacket, her talent has met with universal approval.
Becauseas you well knowbeauty and brains are never mutually exclusive.
Check out the equally inventive website at www.calamityphysics.com
Order Special Topics in Calamity Physics (from $22) online at Chapters.
December 29th, 2006
Yes, there were the Michael Kors boots that you cleaned out of Army & Navy in two hours flat, the Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette you put on backorder at Holts, the Rush Hour concert you sold out in minutes and the Cheap Monday jeans you created a waitlist for. And those didn't even make the top 10.
Herewith, your top 10 favourite daily doses of 2006, based on the percentage of you who clicked through to the website for more.
10. New coolhunting blog Trend Tribe
9. Free Spirit Spheres treehouses
8. Glam Vancouver jewellery by Faint
7. Etsy online store
6. vitamin v staff's favourite websites
5. Cool online furniture consigment store Revision Interiors
4. Amazing local bikinis from Cuche
3. More glam Vancouver jewellery from Sugarlime
2. Great deals on make-up at Vancouver's Bombshell Bargains
and the number 1 daily dose of 2006?
1. A joke from vitamin v's editor: Betty Beauty
December 21st, 2006
It's amazing what you discover at a borrowed Whistler cabin.
1970s National Geographics, a fluorescent pink one-piece ski outfit from 1983, and, in our case, the best board game we have ever played.
Developed in Vancouver and originally packaged in vintage cigar boxes, MooT is like a language-lover's Trivial Pursuit.
Available only through the inventor's website, it's the cleverest thing we've ever come across, perfect for your next literary salon.
Nota Bene: It's not as hard as it sounds. We won hands down even after a few hot toddies.
Then we put on the ski outfit.
Play sample questions and order game (US$39.95) at www.mootgame.com
December 13th, 2006
Got two minutes?
Craft a haiku (a Japanese poem in three lines with less than 17 syllables) in honour of Vancouver's Cherry Blossom trees and it could get its own monument unveiled at the 2007 Cherry Blossom Festival.
Last years winner of the Haiku Invitational was:
The long road
Boughs of white blossoms
Light the way
Now get writing, and when you win, please let us know.
See, that's a haiku.
Enter the 2007 Haiku Invitational (until January 11) at www.vcbf.ca
December 6th, 2006
Need a cool new CD to crank at your next dinner soiree?
Get your hot little hands on the second ever CD from actress, singer and Marc Jacobs' muse Charlotte Gainsbourg, called 5:55.
The famously jolie-laide daughter of actress Jane Birkin (the inspiration for Hermès Birkin bag) and French singer Serge Gainsbourg, she's the recipe for sultry chic.
Reminiscent of her mother's breathy stylings on Gainsbourg's classic "Je t'aime (moi non plus)" 5:55 is getting stellar reviews both here and in Europe.
Let's see who's bringing sexy back now, Justin.
Hear tracks at www.charlottegainsbourg.com
Buy the CD (from $16.99) at www.amazon.ca
November 29th, 2006
Whoops! Another glass smashed at a party.
That’s music to the ears of the gals at Broken By Design mosaic studios: They’re in the business of breaking and making.
Try a Christmas Ornament Class (2 hours, $30) where you can learn to make your own one-of-a-kind stained glass Christmas ball.
A perfect girlfriend get-together, or mother-daughter bonding night, the classes include all materials at the pretty studio space.
Just keep them away from the Baccarat.
Next Christmas Ornament class is Thursday November 30, 6-8 p.m. Read more and see the studio at www.brokenbydesign.ca
November 22nd, 2006
Your great room is just begging for a large-scale painting that will have guests oohing and aahing as they enter.
How about a 20-foot by 10-foot oil-on-canvas stunner?
Vancouver abstract artist Charles Forsberg doesn’t do things by halves, so he’s showing his newest large-scale work in a warehouse space in East Vancouver where there will be so many paintings, viewers will feel as if they are part of the works.
Check out this very unique show on opening night, Thursday November 23, 7 p.m. at 870 E. Cordova. For more information and gallery hours call 778-995-1251. View paintings at www.charlesforsberg.com
November 15th, 2006
Think you have the eye to discover the next Jackson Pollock or Basquiat? Try your luck at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design this Friday at noon, when they open the doors to their annual Student Art Sale.
Several hundred works will be on offer in every medium imaginable, from sock puppets to sculpture to large-scale paintings, with prices starting at $10.
We’re guessing that would be the sock puppets.
Sale runs Friday through Sunday at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island. For details, visit www.eciad.ca