Jason Collett played The Exchange with Kalle Mattson (pics/setlist)

© Chris Graham Photo 2016

© Chris Graham Photo 2016

Jason Collett kicked off his Canadian tour tonight (20/04/2016) in Regina at The Exchange. Collett recruited fellow Arts & Crafts rockers Zeus as his backing band for this tour in support of his new album, Song And Dance Man.  Ottawa singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson opened the show. More photos & Collett’s setlist after the jump.

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Weekly Reckoning: It’s Built On Bluff It’s Built On Trust Edition

weekly-reckoningThe Internet runs on faith. Millions of pages sent from servers to computers every day, each full of clickable links that may or may not be what they promise to be. With every click you run the risk of seeing GIFs of wagging genitals or, even worse, Rick Astley. Lucky for you, Prairie Dog holds to higher standards. Here are some links that – I guarantee – will consist of precisely what I promise.

1. HERE IS A LINK TO PHOTOGRAPHS OF HEAVY METAL FANS IN MID-HEADBANG Although to me they look like they’re sneezing, mostly. Who can say what’s going on in these photos? We think they’re headbanging because we’re told so, but maybe they’re being exposed to pollen. While being punched in the stomach. Whatever, they’re fun photographs.

2. HERE IS A LINK TO AN ILLUSTRATED EXPLANATION OF GENRES OF MUSIC (via @cenobyte). The additional comments detract from the illustrations, but this is my favourite bit of Internet today. I always suspected that folk music songs contained an appreciable proportion of man bun.

3. HERE IS A LINK ABOUT A WOMAN WHOSE AIRBNB ACCOUNT WAS TERMINATED THAT WILL REMIND YOU WHAT THE SHARING ECONOMY REALLY IS Hint: it’s not a decentralized and empowering networked approach to generating revenue. It’s a mysterious world where your livelihood can be taken away at whim and you will be left adrift in misery and confusion because – surprise! – the individual has no power. See also: Uber.

4. HERE IS A LINK TO A VIDEO OF A GRIZZLY BEAR ROLLING DOWN A HILL The rolling starts at about 20 seconds in. So much delighted laughter and shutter clicking as the bear rolls down and down and down towards the onlookers. Not shown: the screaming, the blood, the unanswered cries to a distant god. Take a look!

5. HERE IS A LINK THAT MAKES ME NERVOUS for all kinds of reasons, including our economic future in a resource economy and the state of our climate in a fossil-fuel hungry world, but mostly because I don’t trust any news about engergy prices and global oil reserves. Mind you, I assume that most of the news we see is a smokescreen to keep us from panicking and eating each other in an apocalyptic frenzy, so make of this what you will.

*Prairie Dog Magazine, prairiedogmag.com and all associated corporate and individual entities can not be held responsible for link rot, advertising content on other sites or Rick Astley.

Weekly Reckoning: Viral Edition

weekly-reckoningViral! Virality! Viralness…ness. It’s all the rage these days, because when you catch that viral fever, it’s a fever of rage! Rage, rage against the bloggers who abuse their doulas or whatever. Let’s look at some stories.

1. DO NOT LEAVE GROWNUPS ALONE WITH CHILDREN. CLEARLY ADULT ARE DEMENTED Well, at least the demented ones are. Here’s a horrific tale of Arkansas State Representative Justin Harris, who adopted children and kept them under surveillance because they were “possessed by demons and could communicate telepathically.” Imagine being a grown-up human being who believes that kind of nonsense and, more crucially, acts on it. Reader, are you such a person? Then you are crazy. End of story. Have this sandwich because it’s made of lithium.

2. HEY, SPEAKING OF CRAZY Benjamin Netanyahu, our friend in the Levant, has taken to describing his political opponents as part of a leftist conspiracy. Okay, he’s not crazy; he’s just facing a multitude of problems coupled with a divided right-wing, and he’s amping up the rhetoric to pull in some eyeballs and earholes and unite his base.

3. JOBS R STILL US Employment in this province isn’t what it used to be, but we’ve still got the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Pretty good for a place that was once an inland sea full of giant crocodiles.

4. LIFE IMITATES ART WHICH IS LIFE Robert Durst, the subject of the HBO true-crime documentary series The Jinx, has been arrested in connection with the 2000 murder of Susan Berman. The conclusion to the series airs tonight, which is timing you can’t buy.

5. ONE LESS TOTO BASSIST TO HANG OUT AND BE COOL WITH Like it or not, everyone you know and love is going to die, including you. That’s the topper to your endless and aimless days: one day you’re standing in line at the Milky Way or driving down to Phoenix for some reason, the next you’re in a box and blissfully unaware of all the people staring down at you. Probably for the best. Famous people die too, which seems strange, but every obituary brings us into brief contact with the truth of our lives, which is that it ends. Anyway, Mike Porcaro, bass player for Toto, died at 59 of ALS.


Belle And Sebastian, “Nobody’s Empire”

Did you wake up and discover it was Wednesday again? Did you think “Ah hell it’s Wednesday again” again? Do you call it ‘Humpday’ for some reason, possibly because even the sight of the dog humping the chair leg counts as entertainment on this flooded inlet of a weekday? Okay then, here’s a tune to help you through. The song starts off twee and minor key and manages to build to a grand horn-soaked climax without ever seeming like it got out of bed. But Stuart Murdoch still manages to let those curly little lines and rhymes fall from his mouth and it leaves you strangely hopeful. Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance comes out on January 20.

Pick Of The Day: Silverstein

Based in Burlington, this post hardcore band has been around since 2000. In February, they released their seventh studio album This Is How the Wind ShiftsTonight, they’re in town to play a show at the Exchange with the Wonder Years, Short Story, Something You Whisper and A Perfect Punchline. Tickets are $25 advance and $30 door.

To give you a taste, here’s the video for Silverstein’s first single off their latest album. The tune is called “Massachusetts”:

Pick Of The Day: Saskroots

This show is being presented by Grassroots Regina. It includes performances by the Rusty Augers, Grain Report and Binder Twine & the Bailers. Tickets are $15 adv. and $20 at the door, and things should get going at the Exchange at 8 p.m.

To give you a taste, here’s video from last September of Grain Report performing a song called “Innocent Days”:

Pick Of The Day: Cannibal Corpse

In the time I’ve been doing the listings at Prairie Dog this Buffalo-based death metal band have been through town a few times. Tonight they are headlining a show at the University of Regina’s Riddell Centre that also includes Napalm Death, Immolation and Beyond Creation. It’s an all-ages show, and tickets are $32.

To get everyone primed, here’s video from 2010 of Cannibal Corpse performing “Priests of Sodom”:

Pick Of The Day: Cam Penner

According to his official bio, folk artist Cam Penner spent over 10 years in Chicago working at soup kitchens and homeless shelters helping people overcome the daily struggles of life. That experience, not surprisingly, was something that he drew on when it came to song-writing.

Tonight, Penner is in town to play a show at Artesian on 13th (show at 8 p.m., tickets $12 advance and $15 door). To close, here’s video of Penner performing “Driftwood” with guitarist John Wood:

Pick Of The Day: Structures

According to Facebook, Structures are a five-piece progressive metal band that calls Toronto home. Tonight, they’re in town to play a show at the Exchange. Also on the bill are Texas In July, Northlane and Intervals.

Doors are at 7 p.m., and tickets are $17 advance and $20 door. To get you pumped up for the show here’s  video of the band’s drummer playing along to tracks laid down by other band members for the song “In Pursuit Of”:

Pick Of The Day: The F-Holes

Based in Winnipeg, this genre-defying band has played Regina several times in the past few years. Tonight, they’re in town to play a show at  O’Hanlon’s Pub. Typically on a Tuesday, the back up band gets going around 10:30 p.m. with the headliner taking the stage around 11:30 p.m.

To give you a taste, here’s video of the band performing “Something Good” at a festival in Winnipeg in 2011:

Pick Of The Day (Tomorrow Edition): Ramses Calderon

profileBorn in San Salvador, El Salvador Ramses Calderon (pictured) began studying music when he was 11. His area of expertise is classical guitar, and he studied with several disciples of a famous Latin guitarist named Agustin Barrios (1885-1944).

Since coming to Canada in 2000, Calderon has collaborated with a number of Canadian artists in different disciplines — music, dance, visual art, and film. On March 2, in fact, he headlined a show called Latin Blend that was co-presented by the Regina Symphony Orchestra and Sakewewak Artist-Run Centre at Westminster United Church.

Thursday night, Calderon is launching a CD called Cuerdas de la Historia at Artesian on 13th at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 advance and $20 at the door.

The CD includes some original compositions by Calderon, along with a selection of historical pieces from El Salvador and Central America that date back to the 18th century. After this performance, Calderon will be playing additional concerts in Canada, Cuba and Central America as part of a nine-date tour.

Pick Of The Day: Leonard Cohen

This is a reboot of a March 9 concert that got postponed when band members came down with the flu. According to the website for the Old Ideas tour, which in addition to Cohen and his band also features the Webb Sisters, this is the last concert on the North American leg. When Cohen next takes the stage on the tour it will be in Paris on June 18.

The show goes at Brandt Centre at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $59.50-$145.50.

Pick of the Day: Jazzfest Regina Fundraiser

The line-up for JazzFest Regina 2013 hasn’t been set yet, but the dates have been announced for this annual celebration of jazz music that includes a mix of ticketed and free events that take place at indoor and outdoor venues. This year’s festival will be held June 12-16. To help the Regina Jazz Society raise some cash to put the festival on a fundraiser is being held tonight at the Casino Regina Lounge. The evening will start with a silent auction that gets going at 6 p.m., and that will be followed by a performance by Canadian jazz legend Holly Cole at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $30 for lower level seating and $25 for upper level seating. And to give you a taste of what awaits here’s video from a 2012 concert DVD that Cole released called Steal the Night: Live at the Glen Gould Studio where she performs the classic “I Can See Clearly Now”:

Six In The Morning: Guantanamo, Earth Day, The Junos And More Stuff


1 HALF OF GUANTANAMO IS ON HUNGER STRIKE Probably because they’re being held for all eternity in a concentration camp without charge. Story here. And look at this quote: “Nearly 100 of the detainees have reportedly been cleared for release but remain at the facility because of restrictions imposed by Congress and also concerns of possible mistreatment if they are sent back to their home countries.” I remember when U.S. President Barack Obama, then a candidate, said he’d close Gitmo. Apparently a different definition of “close” than the English one.

2 CENTRAL LIBRARY IS REVIEWING WHICH SERVICES IT OFFERS, AGAIN That’s what I got from this piece about the RPL’s downtown branch. Are the pack of conservatives running that institution once again looking for an excuse to shut down the Dunlop Art Gallery (last attempt: 2002) and the RPL Film Theatre (last attempt: 1998)? I wouldn’t bet against it. I don’t trust them and neither should you.

3 IF YOU WANT A COLLAPSED LUNG, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY TAKE THE CINNAMON CHALLENGE Doctors say the cinnamon challenge is very bad for you.

4 IT’S EARTH DAY! HAVE YOU RECYCLED YOUR PLASTIC BOTTLES? The Philippines has! Also, Google has an Earth Day doodle. Also, Earth Day is 43 years old. With global warming passing the tipping point any minute now (if it hasn’t already), with the over-exploitation of fish stocks rushing us towards fishery collapse, with species extinction and habit loss increasing and with  more and more toxins in the ecosystem, we’re on track for one hell of a happy 50th anniversary. Wooo, go sustainable development!

5 WE’VE BEEN JUNOED That was a fun weekend. Regina should invite Canada over to play more often. You can read James Brotheridge’s entertaining Juno Awards coverage here, and JunoFest coverage here,  herehere and here, with more to come. Also, it sounds like Paul McCartney is coming this summer. Wait, wait–yup, that’s confirmed. Are you guys going to go? Should I go? Will Stephen LaRose write about this being yet another cynical cash grab from an artist well past his prime, and then go to the show anyway? So many questions.


VIDEO! In honour of Regina’s next big concert and cats, I give you: this.

When You Wish Upon A Star

No pick of the day today. Instead, here’s advance notice of a showcase that Regina Lyric Music Theatre will be presenting later this week. It features music made famous in various Disney movies. Shows will be held at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Auditorium April 26-27 at 7:30 p.m., and April 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets for adults are $25, while for children 12 and under they are $10.

To close, here’s audio of the the show’s title track from Pinocchio:

JUNO Fest Things

Hey folks. I did things on Friday night that were intimately related to the JUNO Awards.

Here’s Rah Rah in full rock star mode at the downtown JUNO Fest tent.

eleven lights at least

marshall on guitar

rah rah at junofest

We are unbelievably lucky to have a band like Rah Rah in this city. A national awards show is nice, but I’d rather hear Rah Rah playing the living hell out of “Prairie Girl” than Michael Bublé dumping out a can of one-liners for a crowd of music industry members. Someone should send a nice appreciative card to Rah Rah. Or maybe a DVD box set of The Facts of Life.

I also managed to capture Two Hours Traffic from PEI. Are they really that small? No, they were just far away. Or were they?*

two hours traffic

Saskatoon’s Foam Lake started out the evening. I didn’t get any pictures of the band, but I can report with full confidence that they played melodic guitar-driven pop with polish, flair and heavy beards.

Also, there was someone in the crowd I called Mr. Eyeballs. I put up his picture, but then I thought that he might object, whoever he is. So I took it down. In his place I give you Molly Ringwald singing and playing ukulele from the first season of The Facts of Life.

*Two Hours Traffic are an entirely regular-size band.

Pick Of The Day: Juno Week

When it comes to hosting national events like the Grey Cup and Scotties, we’ve got it down to a science. The Junos, though, are a different kettle of fish. They fall firmly in the arts/culture category, and the area they focus on (contemporary Canadian Music) is terra incognito for more than a few people.

Without tooting our own horn too much, I think Prairie Dog does a reasonable job of covering the Canadian indie pop, rock and folk music scene. Other media outlets in the city though (cough, commercial radio, cough) not so much. The Leader-Post has its moments too, but it also covers a lot of retro cheese.

When it comes to hosting the Junos, we’ll be hard-pressed to measure up to the standard of Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and other indie music hotbeds. But hopefully everything will run smoothly, and we’ll show the rest of Canada that there’s more to us than just our obsession with watching green-clad men in tight uniforms play football. Here’s a breakdown of events that will be happening in the next few days.

Tonight, there’s a live broadcast of the CBC radio program Q With Jian Ghomeshi at Conexus Arts Centre (7 p.m. $22-$27). Guests will include Tom Cochrane, k.d. lang, Corb Lund, Bahamas and Dragonette. Also on tonight is a concert under the bigtop at City Square Plaza that will feature the Grapes of Wrath with Fly Points, Indigo Joseph and Jason Plumb & the Willing. It gets going at 5 p.m. and tickets are $15.

Friday and Saturday the feature event is JunoFest. It’s a showcase of over 100 bands (perhaps 40 per cent from Saskatchewan, the rest from across the country) that takes place at 17 venues in Regina and Moose Jaw. You can pay individual admission charges at the venues, but your best bet is to pick up a wrist band for $30 that will grant you priority access to all the venues. We’re publishing a JunoFest guide in our April 18 issue so it will give you the lowdown on everyone who will be performing. Or visit the Juno website and check the events tab.

Also on Friday, the Juno Cup, which pits a team of former NHLers against a team of Canadian musicians goes in Moose Jaw at  7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the second night of JunoFest will be held, along with Juno Fan Fare, a meet and greet between fans and musicians that goes at the Cornwall Centre from noon to 3 p.m.  Then on Sunday, there’s the Juno Songwriters’ Circle at Casino Regina from noon to 2 p.m. It’s being hosted by Tom Cochrane and will feature participation from Kathleen Edwards, Colin James, Bahamas, Danny Michel and more. It will be followed by the Juno Awards gala at Brandt Centre at 5:45 p.m. The gala, by the way, will also be simulcast at City Square Plaza.

To close, here’s Classified’s 2010 video for “Oh… Canada”. He’ll be in town for JunoFest, headlining a show at City Square Plaza on Saturday night:

Pitching A Tent

Plaza TentHere’s a shot from a few minutes ago of the tent going up on City Square Plaza in preparation for the Juno Awards which are in Regina next week. The official Juno dates are listed as April 15-21. Events that will be happening in the tent that I’m aware of include the following:

Thursday April 18 Grapes of Wrath, Fly Points, Indigo Joseph and Jason Plumb & the Willing will be playing. Start time is 5 p.m. and tickets are $15. Friday and Saturday, admission will be via a $30 wrist band that allows access to 17 venues in Regina and Moose Jaw as part of JunoFest. The line-up Friday is Rah Rah, Two Hours Traffic, Foam Lake and Slow Down, Molasses starting at 8 p.m. Saturday there’s a hip hop show with Classified, SonReal & Rich Kidd, Kayo and Quake starting at 8 p.m. Then on Sunday there will be a simulcast of the Juno Awards show from Brandt Centre (assuming it goes from there as scheduled) at 5:45 p.m..

The tent will remain in place for Saskatchewan Fashion Week which happens May 9-11. Then come Grey Cup time, I imagine the tent will be returning to the plaza. In 1995 and 2003 there was an outdoor tent on 19 block Scarth that proved to be a hit with revelers.

Pick Of The Day: Scott Holt

Born in Tennessee, with stops in Texas and Mississippi along the way, Scott Holt took up the guitar at the relatively late age of 19. Once he started playing, though, he didn’t waste any time in developing his chops, and he eventually ended up touring for 10 years with blues great Buddy Guy.

Tonight, Holt is in town to play a gig at the Exchange. The show is being sponsored by the Regina Blues Association and includes an opening set by Random Groove. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20.

To give you a taste of what Holt’s about here’s video from 2011 of him and his band performing “Dark of the Night”: