Rock the House just a little bit more

A few more pics to accompany Gregory Beatty's
article "Rock the House" in the current issue.

Pictured are The Wooden Sky and Matt Goud

Photography by Carey Shaw

Regina Election Update

Shawn Kuster has declared his intention to run against Louis Browne in Ward 1. I'm just pulling this information off the Election Twitter feed so I've no details on who Kuster is, but I'm wondering if he's the same Shawn Kuster who's a strength and conditioning coach for the UofR Rams.

Debra Conlin has submitted nomination papers and will be running for trustee in Subdivision 6.

New Dog!

Hello hello, and how are you? Well, I hope? Enjoying the weather? Keeping healthy? I hope so. Say--what about a new issue of prairie dog? There's one out today! And as usual, it's packed with interesting things to read. Here's an overview!

THE DOCTOR WARS Last month I was sitting in a bar with good friend and prairie dog restaurant reviewer Dave Margoshes, who pointed out that some publication needed to run a story comparing the Saskatchewan doctor's strike of 1962 to the ongoing U.S. mental meltdown over health care. This was probably around the time that Arizona asshole walked around in public with an assault rifle to to imtimidate health care supporters. Well, if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself. Dave's feature, a must-read, is our cover story this issue.

ROCK MY HOUSE Gregory Beatty infiltrates a house party where the entertainment is top notch--awesome, touring band The Wooden Sky and excellent local band Libray Voices (AKA a sure-fire 2011 Polaris prize nominee, you just wait and see, buddy).

FREE THE PANHANDLERS Regina needs to stop fining beggars for begging, says the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. I agree 8000 per cent.

ALSO! An interview with Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett, CD reviews, News Quirks, Queen City Confidential, Ask Greg, an update on Regina's now-official Downtown Plan, Street Wear, several wildlyentertaining Top 6s, a look at the fabric art show at the Art Gallery of Regina, and basically a whole ton of other stuff. Pick it up free at something like 400 locations city-wide.

Six In The Morning

1 BECAUSE IT'S WORKED SO WELL FOR AMERICA The Conservatives want to convert Canada's prison system to a U.S.-style, punishment-based model. But smarter people than our angry, ideologiocally-blinkered PM say it's stupid, stupid, stupid idea. (CBC)

2 NUKE RESOLVE The United Nations talks sorta tough about countries who want nuclear weapons. They mean countries like Iran and North Korea, not countries like Russia, the United States and Britain., of course. (New York Times)

3 POLYGAMY PROTECTED Tow Canadian polygamists in British Columbia had charges against them tossed out yesterday. Which is a problem if, in fact, they're running brainwashing sex cults as some have alleged. (Wanted: legal framework to differentiate adults--who should be allowed to make make their own decisions about life, love and partnership--from exploitive cults.) (Toronto Star)

4 BIG HIV BREAKTHROUGH Go science! (Guardian)

5 UNBELIEVABLY SELF-SERVING MARKETING GIMMICK A HUGE SUCCESS Look, I support daily newspapers and all, but, ugh. (Star Phoenix)

6 PUBLIC NEEDS TO CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY City elections are important, says prof. Know what? Prof is right. (Leader-Post)

A Contender for Mayor Steps into the Ring

Just found out via the city election Twitter feed that Jim Elliott has submitted nomination papers for mayor. Elliott, as some may remember, was voted prairie dog reader's Eco-Warrior for 2008.

In other election news, the Leader Post is reporting that John Findura, a water heater technician and community organizer, will run for council in Ward 5. That's Bill Gray's ward and still no word from the veteran councillor if he will run again.

Pick of the Day: Val Halla

In the last few years, a number of stylish new coffeeshops have opened in downtown Regina. They're okay, I guess. But none of them has the character and charm that the downtown Roca Jacks had in its heyday. With its expansive second floor, far removed from the noisy espresso machine and the chatter of the coffee break crowd, and with a balcony overlooking Victoria Park, it was a perfect place for me to conduct interviews with authors, curators, artists and other creative/intellectual types that I was writing on.

I started going there in the mid-90s. And over the years, especially after I got a laptop in 2001, I did a lot of work there. People from all walks of life used to frequent the shop, and hang out there. It was uber-hip. Uber-cool. With a great summer patio. And a real arty, egalitarian vibe.

Over the years, plenty of young people worked there as baristas. Near the end, Valerie McLeod joined the staff. In the time she was there, I had occasion to chat with her about various gigs that were happening in the city. Later, she moved to Vancouver and embarked on a music career of her own. In 2006, she released a self-titled CD. In Regina last year, she collaborated with Def 3 on a track from his CD Drumbo.

While she considers herself a rock artist, Val recently spent some time in Nashville. "I went to Nashville to learn from some of the best songwriters in the industry," she says. "Not only has my writing improved, but so has my guitar playing & singing. There's nothing like being the rookie in a city of veterans to make one step up their game!"

If you check out her show at O'Hanlon's Pub tonight, here's a taste of what you'll experience. (YouTube)