La Dolt Vita

Recently in Regina, a couple or three glossy lifestyle magazines like the one pictured have popped up. It's a business model that's been popularized in larger cities, and now that Regina (and Saskatoon up north) have supposedly "arrived" as prosperous and sophisticated urban centres we too get to have our own lifestyle magazines.

Through two different avenues I've been privy to a solicitation from the editor of Fine Lifestyles Regina seeking people to write for the magazine. Here's the form the pitch takes: He's looking for two kinds of writing: features (longer stories not tied to a particular advertiser) and advertorial (typically business profiles, these are part of an advertising package purchased by a client and subject to the client's approval).

As a business model, I suppose whoring a significant portion of your "editorial" content to garner advertising revenue might work. Although you'd think Reginans would have better things to do with their time than read what amounts to a glorified advertising insert. Or maybe not. But as far as any claim these magazines might make to journalistic credibility, forget about it.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

Jackie Chan's latest dismal watered down kung fu kid's movie The Spy Next Door opened in theatres yesterday with a naturally lousy 7% on Rotten Tomatoes. So today's cartoon is the 1970's Hanna-Barbera Productions Hong Kong Phooey.

Phooey was a crime fighting dog in a world full of people. He worked as a janitor in a police station but nobody ever seemed to figure out that the only walking and talking dog in the city might be the walking and kung fu fighting dog. Voiced by Scatman Crothers, Phooey was comically incompetent and only succeeded with the help of his partner a striped cat named Spot.

Pick of the Day: Blue Rodeo

Chris Morin did a preview of this gig in our Jan. 14 issue where Blue Rodeo kind of come across as being a little full of themselves. I doubt, for instance, that they'll enjoy the same name-recognition at their upcoming Olympics gig as when they played Pariliament Hill on Canada Day 2008. For that to be true, Blue Rodeo would have to be world famous, and they're not.

That's not to say that the band doesn't rank as one of the best ever to emerge from Canada. I laboured to phrase that sentence, by the way. I originally thought about saying "best bands Canada has ever produced". But that would imply that Canada, as a country, takes credit for their existence.

To the extent that we provide reasonable levels of publicly-funded education and health-care for all our citizens, along with a smidgen of money to help nurture the arts, that's true. But for a band like Blue Rodeo to have endured as long as it has, and to have enjoyed the success that it has, is a testament primarily to their talent, dedication and drive as the lot of cultural producers in this country is difficult to say the least.

Blue Rodeo is at Conexus Arts Centre tonight. Cuff the Duke's backing them up. Here's video of them doing "The Ballad of Poor John Henry". (YouTube) And here's Blue Rodeo performing "Rain Down on Me" off their 1992 album Lost Together. (YouTube)

Also tonight, and on Jan. 23 too, Rick Harris is playing jazz at the Mediterranean Bistro from 6-9 p.m.