Where to celebrate the life and music of Gord Downie in Vancouver

Gord Downie. David Bastedo photo.

Even non-Canadians probably noticed a pall over the country these past couple of days.

On Oct. 17, we lost one of our greatest poets and chroniclers. Gord Downie, frontman for Kingston band the Tragically Hip, was 53 when he passed away from brain cancer.

Fans of the singer and the group he helped form over three decades ago were, and still are, bereft. There have been gatherings and impromptu musical tributes to Downie, in his hometown of Kingston and across the nation. Fans are still coming to terms with their grief. No doubt we can expect many tributes to Downie and his music in the weeks and months to come.

In the meantime, there are a couple of events in Vancouver that will allow people to grieve together, to share stories, memories and music. One is a screening of the new documentary about the Tragically’s Hip’s final tour; another is a chance to sing one of the band’s greatest songs with others.

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Where to celebrate the life and music of Gord Downie in Vancouver

Sock puppets, an octopus and more at the NSFW film fest for the open-minded adult

Short, sexy films covering workplace power dynamics, playful doggie cosplay, and a dreamy animated octopus are coming to Vancouver this weekend.

Born and bred in the great Pacific Northwest, Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival has been bringing audiences a new kind of porn since 2005.

The annual short film festival features erotic and explicit clips from amateur filmmakers. Popular syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage curates the sex-positive program, which is an all-inclusive cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colours, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes.

The annual festival premieres a new program each fall in Seattle and Portland. In the meantime, however, the touring edition of the 12th annual compilation is coming to Vancouver’s Rio Theatre this weekend, Sept. 14-16. Read about some of the NSFW entries below.

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Sock puppets, an octopus and more at the NSFW film fest for the open-minded adult

‘The most notorious show in the history of the Rio’ returns to Vancouver

Game of Thrones Live at the Rio Theatre

Game of Thrones Live at the Rio Theatre, Vancouver, March 28 2014. Patrick Rooney photo for thesnipenews.com.

With Game of Thrones mania at a fever pitch with the start of Season 7, the time is right for the return of a show that Vancouver can’t seem to get enough of: Game of Thrones Live. The show did so well in its initial 2014 run at the Rio Theatre that it came back the following year.

An NSFW melange of burlesque, comedy, music and the occasional sword fight, Game of Thrones Live is the brainchild of Tourettes Without Regrets. The performers and creators of the long-running Bay Area underground showcase have put together a brand new show for 2017: Game of Thrones: Hodor Rises. The adults-only burlesque show is coming to the Rio for two performances, Aug. 4 & 5.

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‘The most notorious show in the history of the Rio’ returns to Vancouver

Screening this Wednesday, Amber Tamblyn’s Paint It Black has a Vancouver connection

Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) stars in Paint it Black, the directorial debut from Amber Tamblyn.

Paint It Black, the directorial debut from Amber Tamblyn, makes its Canadian premiere this Wednesday (June 7) in Vancouver, at the Rio Theatre. Vancouver’s an apt choice for the premiere, since the movie has a local connection – one scene includes a performance by members of Vancouver punk rock band White Lung (since one of the members couldn’t make the shoot the musicians are listed individually in the credits).

Set in Los Angeles, Paint It Black is based on the novel of the same name by Janet Fitch (White Oleander). In its review, the Hollywood Reporter says that the movie “probes the experience of grief in a subjective, intuitive manner, and it achieves remarkable intensity in exploring this theme. The narrative dislocations convey the disorientation that can trail a sudden, senseless death… Tamblyn demonstrates impressive command of the camera in her feature debut. Mac McCaughan’s haunting, dissonant score enhances the film’s impact.”

We talked to Tamblyn, an actor, former child star and published poet (Dark Sparkler is her most recent collection), about her film. Following the screening at the Rio, the director will also take part in a Skype Q-and-A, moderated by Neil LaBute.

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Screening this Wednesday, Amber Tamblyn’s Paint It Black has a Vancouver connection

Never mind La La Land, Frankenstein Created Bikers is coming to Vancouver!

Vancouver actor Tristan Risk in Frankenstein Created Bikers.

Film fans are getting excited about February 26.

Sure, that’s the date we’ll find out by how much the musical La La Land cleans up at the 89th Academy Awards. But it’s also the day that Vancouver gets to see Frankenstein Created Bikers.

Described by screenanarchy.com as a “love letter to exploitation films carved into a bullet -and sent skyrocketing into the air after several beers on the Fourth of July at a biker rally,” the 2016 film is screening as part of the Third Annual Badass Film Festival at the Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway, near Commercial). In all, the one-day festival is screening three full-length movies as well as over 20 short films, and includes an awards ceremony, trailers and live performances.

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Never mind La La Land, Frankenstein Created Bikers is coming to Vancouver!

Hot tub anniversary machine – Vancouver’s monthly live talent show celebrates 9 years of hilarity

For nine years, Talent Time has been giving a home to stray talent. In the fine old tradition of vaudeville and the Carol Burnett Show, the monthly live variety show has hosted comedians, singers, clowns, jugglers – you name it.

For its upcoming ninth-year celebration, Thursday Feb. 2, Talent Time is doing something it hasn’t done before – bringing a hot tub onto its stage.

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Hot tub anniversary machine – Vancouver’s monthly live talent show celebrates 9 years of hilarity

JFL NorthWest comedy festival profiles – Andy Kindler

Andy Kindler hosts The Alternative Show Feb. 24 & 25 at the Rio Theatre as part of JFL Northwest 2017.

Andy Kindler might be considered a comedian’s comedian, if so many comedians wouldn’t just as soon see him retire.

Actually, “retire” might be too weak of a word. When you’re as critical of your fellow comics as Kindler is – folks like Adam Carolla, Bill Maher and Dane Cook have been recipients of his on- and off-stage barbs – then you’re bound to make some enemies.

Besides his stand-up routines, Kindler is also known for his annual state-of-the-industry address at Just for Laughs in Montreal, as well as for hosting Hulu’s stand-up series, Coming to the Stage. He’s done voicework for Bob’s Burgers and played a fictional version of himself in the series Maron. At this year’s JFL NorthWest comedy festival, Kindler will host the Alternative Show (Feb. 24 & 25) at the Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway St.), which features a lineup of favourites from the festival. Among other things, we asked the L.A.-based stand-up about how he handles awkward backstage encounters with fellow comedians.

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JFL NorthWest comedy festival profiles – Andy Kindler