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See what we saw at Winterfolk: There are over a hundred Wendy L. Rombough pics in these two galleries. 

Alphabetically, Gallery One has Angela from Dora Keogh’s to Pat Little at Terry O’s. It also includes Nashville North pics, Ron Hynes and Lynn Miles, HOTCHA!, The Julian Taylor Band, Grainne Ryan, David Bradstreet and Juno nominee, Dinah Thorpe. Gallery Two, from Peter Verity to Roger Zuraw, includes the Seneca College Independent Music Program talent, a song-writing workshop, Whisky Epiphany and Urban Gypsy. More commentary, more coverage and IndieCan Radio highlights are coming soon, including exclusives with Grainne, Ginger St. James, Ron Hines and executive director and performer, Brian Gladstone. Click the Winterfok logo to visit their site and see the program that was. Check Facebook for Joe's IndieCan-Crappy-Cam images for more.

Episode 367 continues on our Winterfolk 2014 theme with interviews with Brian Gladstone and Grainee Ryan. In order of appearance, we have:  Pigeon Park, Shaun LeBlanc, Grainne Ryan, Ginger St. James, Brain Gladstone, The Would Be’s, The Lovelocks, Tokyo Police Club, YUCA, Mother Mother and The Balconies.

Edgefest 2013 at Downsview Park draws 20,000

Edgefest Emcee, Mother Mother interview, Band of Horses, Monster Truck, monster crowd of 20,000 on a week day, July Talk and more

See what we saw at Edgefest: Random crowd and Edgefest fun, Side Stage including our interview with The Treasures, Edgefest Pics including July Talk, Dinosaur Bones, Band of Horses and crowd surfing + Edgefest Pics II with Mother Mother, Monster Truck, The Treble and more

EdgeFest 2013 captured the moody summer that courted  Torontonians all summer. The scene is Downsview Park, a familiar setting for IndieCan fans. The date was Wednesday July 31, a day that 20,000 felt way to well to go to work. All day music fans wandered in and did the edgy Edgefest things. Need cash, stand in line, pay $4 to take out whatever. Don’t leave yourself short. It will be $11 a beer. Yet the savvy fest du la edger took full advantage of all day free Dr. Pepper and water.

Nothing says, “We did better at the gate than expected,” like the wait for the port-a-potties - hope noone was waiting until the last minute. Shorter lines and cleaner stalls made the VIP a bargain for this outing.

There was haze and sun and rain. But to hell with the weather report, IndieCan fans don’t care about being wet, cold or sunburned. Get to the music MAN!

Main stage kicked off with July Talk, Dinosaur Bones, The Neighborhood, Under Mega-M’s, Mother Mother followed by Moster Truck, Band of Horses and The Lumineers for the big finale.

Side Stage action had a Winnipeg heavy line up but a very imaginative combo. The Trebles kicked off, Lucius, The Treasures, Imaginary Cities, You Won’t, Hey Marseilles, Great Bloomers, Twin Forks and Capital Cities.

Not too shabby eh? Some of the bands were mixing it up as is oft the case at Canada’s longest running music festival. You’ll notice some July Talking going on the Dino Boning pics. Also as IndieCan exclusives we have interviews with the entire Mother Mother band (except the blonde ones). Yes we talk backline with drummer Ali Siadat and a few precious words from Jeremy Page (bass). It’s always great to yak with a band that’s close to IndieCan fans.

This year we were looking forward to taking with Toronto’s alt-country/rock/folk/kitchen sink band The Treasures. We have that for you. They were back to Hillside this year so we chat a bit about Guelph’s camping, crafts, spoken word and green thumb music festival which celebrated 30 years in 2013. Pretty impressive; and it’s pretty impressive that you’re still reading. Listen to IndieCan Radio and feast your eyes on front row, back stage and random crowd pics brought to you by Brian and Wendy L. Rombough.

Edgefest IndieCan Radio with all of Mother Mother (except the blonde singing ones) – Jeremy Page (bass, trumpet) and Ali Siadat (drums) + we have bootleg Branko rapping with Hollerado from EdgeFest past, as well as Dinosaur Bones who launched a new record @ the Efest. Cai.ro, Ria Mae, Ben Caplain, Julie Doiron, My Man (thanks to a chance encounter at TURF, Void, Pater Lions and new Raine Maida are all part of Radio Show #340

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IndieCan Radio celebrates Hilliside Music Festival and Edgefest of Show # 341. We have The Lumineers, more Mother Mother, and I nice chat with The Treasures which we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Also this week, check out Diamond Rings, LadyHawk, New Country Rehab, The Hisses, Two Hours Traffic, Whitehorse, Wintersleep, Said the Whale and RocketRocketShip

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Rendezvous With Madness, a production of Workman Arts, rolled out the 20th edition from November 9th to 17th, 2012. It is the first and longest running film festival devoted to addiction and mental health. Mental Health professionals from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) are on hand each year along with artists, writers and community workers to talk with filmgoers about the reality of mental health and substance and process addiction which, as the saying goes, still remains weirder than fiction. For a week in Toronto Rendezvous beautifully blurs the lines between art and life, reality and fiction. This year was a vast array of films from Scandinavia and Hollywood to the cold streets of skid row Toronto. There was a theme emerging about mental health, how far it has come in the clutches of western medicine and questions still demanding answers. IndieCan has a chance to chat with film-makers and take in some flicks, so with no further ado…
Passionflower is sad and sultry, haunting and beautifully awkward. If you want a knee-slapper or action adventure movie, keep looking. If you want a story of the ages of the quiet desperation that lurks in the squeaky clean prefabricated culture of suburbia, this is the stomach churn you’re heart is looking for.
Shelagh Carter, Passionflower’s director and writer, talked to me at the Bell Light Box in Toronto during the Rendezvous With Madness festival. I loved the fact that the movie doesn’t hit the audience over the head with perfectly scripted dialogue or a black and white depiction of where the depths of the human condition end and mental illness begins. “I would hope the movie is truthful. People don’t always know what to say. But there is so much going on inside them,” Shelagh tells me. “I am primarily a visual person. I have a theatrical background and I started as an actress. I love words but hopefully the camera can read what’s not said by the actor’s behaviors between the words. We have been bombarded with fast-moving narrative in film but I am respectful of an audiences. I set the tone, as the director, so someone can come into the picture, even if it’s disturbing, they can be emotionally involved, but again, hopefully it’s the truth.”

Think Mad Men meets Little House on the Prairie, meets, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World. The sets prop and wardrobe are so 1960s big promise, poor performance suburbia, that I am sure I can hear Hair the musical playing off in a distance. Passionflower is a true story—Shelagh’s story. Her experience of her mother is 85% of what is seen on the screen. “A lot of women at the time, an era of being perfect, staying in the home, repressed their anger from not being able to express themselves. The mental health industry at the time made women the problem and treated them with electroshock therapy.” The grandmother had a history of mental illness, the story of the mother’s mental health struggles is largely told through the daughter’s eyes—asking the painful question, “Am I next? Is this what life has in store for me?” http://passionflowerfilm.com/trailer/

Titicut Follies (1967), a review by Jesse Chisholm-Beatson
Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (pictured here) takes us into the Massachusetts Correctional Institution known as Bridgewater, a facility for the ‘criminally insane’. The film rigorously maintains its fly-on-the-wall perspective throughout, never including interviews or in any way breaking the fourth wall. It’s the kind of immersive journalism that is the antithesis to Michael Moore-style exposé documentaries, exploring moral ambiguity and letting people and places tell their own stories. This unobtrusiveness gives us the sense that the events witnessed would have taken place whether or not a camera was rolling. Wiseman himself says he feels strongly that this is the case.
The experience of Titicut Follies is at turns shocking, nauseating, and unsettling, yet always eerily compelling. A dark and pervasive carnivalesque quality adheres to many of the scenes, making us feel like we’ve passed through the looking glass—it’s hard to believe what we’re seeing. Patients are taken around naked by taunting guards; a man in the yard stands on his head while reciting a religious ditty; staff members have blithesome meetings, casually deciding medication dosages and incarceration periods; a group of drugged-up-looking patients in marching band regalia sing Gershwin’s “Strike Up the Band”; a psychiatrist smokes a cigarette while shoving a feeding tube up a restrained man’s nose.
In a post-film interview with Wiseman, he mentions how it came out in a court session that the psychiatric staff at Bridgewater were actually absurdly under-qualified. The chief psychiatrist himself had no formal clinical training and admitted he had only read one book on psychiatry—an old textbook published in 1918.

Rendezvous on IndieCan Radio
Episode 304 (The Maze) CLICK Here to Hear
Episode 305 (Passionflower CLICK Here to Hear

Given the dismal conditions at Bridgewater, Wiseman was “amazed that they let me in to shoot there in the first place”. Not only was he allowed inside with a camera, but he was given virtually free reign by the superintendent to come into the facility for several weeks and to shoot whatever footage he wanted.
After the film was completed, the powers-that-be were decidedly less keen on the film actually getting released. Massachusetts judges at various levels of appeal upheld an injunction preventing the film’s release. In fact, chillingly resonant with the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 in which books get systematically burned by the government, a judge at the superior court level ordered all the copies—even the negatives of the film—to be destroyed. It wasn’t until 1991 that another Superior Court judge allowed the film a theatrical release.
However uncomfortable the experiencing of watching, this film is one that should be widely seen. While the poor conditions of Bridgewater have since been improved, the larger question of how our society deals with mental illness is still a highly pressing concern.

Nick and Zack young have an LA band called A.I. They also make movies and write movie scores. Their father director, Robert M Young, was a documentarian in 1969 when he was approached by Doctor James Moss, a psychology teacher at Cornell University. Moss had a slide collection of paintings that were all done in mental institutions. In that collection was “The Maze” by William Kurelek (1927 – 1977). They decided that students would learn more about psychology by looking in depth into the man who made this painting than they could learn from a general synopsis of art-therapy. That was 1969. Edward Adamson, founder of art-therapy in England where Kurelek admitted himself. William Kurelek was born in Alberta on a farm to Ukrainian immigrants. William’s father would have much rather see his son become a doctor, lawyer or even hockey player, instead of painting. The young Kurelek travelled to Mexico and to the UK to paint. It was in England that William Kurelek checked himself into a hospital for mental health issues and there he found himself under the care of Adamson.
“My father originally shot the film. It was a 47 minute film that Cornel University asked to shave down to 30 minutes for their purposes,” says Zack Young. “My dad was always disappointed because it’s a complicated story and no one got to see over a third of the story. But he made the edits and moved on to the next project. About five years ago my brother and I found the unedited 47 minute version in a film vault in New York City. We saw the film and we were both blown away.”
40 years in the making Zack and Nick, at the time of the Rendezvous With Madness screening in Toronto were working on a follow up project, Out of the Maze. Together, these two films will be available in 2013 on Blue Ray DVD. http://themazemovie.com

Charles Kiselyak brought two films to Rendezvous With Madness 2012. Asylum (2010) contrasts the hostile and judgmental world that mental health patients are discharged into against what, in many ways, is their safe haven, the asylum.
Audiences are invited to re-experience the 1962 novel by Ken Kinsey and the adapted Oscar-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) through this screening of the iconic Completely Cuckoo (1997). If you’ve read the book you know that the story of Mc Murphy is told through the eyes of the character Chief, who is insane. The story includes depictions of the main antagonist, nurse Rached performed by Louise Fletcher in the movie, as a spider in the center of steel cable web that has fellow mental hospital patients trapped. The reader is being played with until one realizes that hey, Chief’s crazy and I have a window seat into the world through his psychotic eyes. How cool is that.
Going from the novel to the way the movie is told was quite a trip. Kinsey had a crack at the screen play but he wanted to stay true to the original including scenes of nurse Rached scraping the paint off the walls with her claws as she proceeded down the halls of the hospital. At the time, producers thought, “You can’t make a movie that way.” If that was true then it isn’t now and I wonder how long a remake will take. No one can deny that producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaenth or director Milos Forman got it right. Not if you count box-office sales or the hardware collected, including five of the nine Academy Awards that it was nominated for.
Charles Kiselyak talked with Rendezvous film goers. His making-of-film was fair to the author who would have, and could have, done the movie differently. Kiselyak talked about shooting on location in an actual mental hospital and working with real staff who appear in the movie.
You may have already heard us talking about Rendezvous With Madness on Sirius/XM Chanel 151 The Verge or digging college/community radio somewhere across Canada. If not, here are a couple of highlights. Episode 304 includes a chat with The Maze co-producer Zack Young and his band A.I. Episode 305 includes a chit-chat with Winnipeg’s Shelagh Carter on the making of Passionflower. For more on Rendezvous With Madness click the colour.
 

EDGEFEST 2011

Edgefest, July 9, 2011 at Toronto's Downsview Park. IndieCan gives you a unique back-stage experience with interviews, pictures and Stage Left sound from the day that announced to the music loving T.Dot crowd, "Rock and Roll is back!"  Like-minded artists have been doing their rock-n-roll duty since the 1950s but new millennium hipsters have treated rock music as so-five-minutes-ago.  Just ask Saskatoon's The Sheep Dogs who have been playing shuffle-licks and harmonized guitar solos, just because, for three full length records.  Suddenly, the whole world has taken notice as they will be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.  Sure, you'll hear them do the odd ode to psychodelia cover but they sing about Facebook and they sing about growing pains from a 21st century voice.

The idea of promoting a young up and coming band is as good a deal for Rolling Stone as for the short-list bands that were given good news and anxious moments to share with their fans.  Most music fans born after 1990 have never bought a Rolling Stone magazine.  Where would they put it?  With their Psychology Today and Saturday Night Post? What Rolling Stone Magazine gets out of this is a last shot chance to establish legitimacy to a generation that doesn't wait eagerly for next month's anything.

The main stage kicked off with IndieCan friends, Dinosaur Bones, to a good size mid-day crowd.  The Reason and The Arkells followed.  The Arkells are now with Universal.  They played one new song which still had the good Steel Town blue-collar feel - a love song about enjoying music in the nose-bleed seats.  Tokyo Police Club certainly increased ticket sales.  They had fans singing songs.  The Weakerthans might not have felt like they belonged on a bill for music fans that were not all old enough to drink and they joked about songs of curling and that, although it's 34 degrees Celsius here at Downsview Park in Toronto, in Winnipeg they are only 60 days away from the next curling bonspiel.  A Perfect Circle and Rise Against were the headliner bands that got to play to at least a hint of darkness.

Meanwhile back on the side-stage, this is where IndieCan was sourcing out the new stuff and having most of our fun.  We already mentioned The Sheep Dogs who had a packed crowd to play their set to before high-tailing it downtown for a set at the Bovine Sex Club on Queen Street West.

Let's get them all in:  DirtyMags were on before noon (I wonder if they just stayed up as I don't think AM rockin' is a natural).  But they played with heart; the crowd appreciated it.  San Sebastien I have seen before and they are starting to develop some stage presence.  They said what they had to between 12:30 and 12:50.  Red Bacteria Vacuum was one of Mark Keeler's favorites, hopping around, giving him something more than a "hey I am cool" look to shoot.  Sandman Viper Command had their street-team working overtime.  The crowd was checkered with band-swag and these boys will be guests on IndieCan Radio Episode 239.  Mockingbird Wish Me Luck and Michou followed suit to an ever growing appreciative crowd. 

Harlan Pepper was a band that impressed me and we'll get some more dirt on them.  Gentlemen Husbands, always a good live show were the east-est band to play, hailing from Durham.  They too, are on IndieCan Radio as part of our Edgefest Radio.  Monster Truck rocked with a "here come's the big-hair Gibson Les Paul era back on cue," afternoon feel.  Then the already mentioned Sheep Dogs, KO who TKOed an acoustic guitar and then the highlight of my day, Hollerado. 

This band played to the most appreciative audience of the day and damn it, Jim, they've earned it.  Twice they have been to China, they keep moving (Manitick, to Ottawa, to Montreal and now Toronto) just to keep from getting complacent or having to pay that Hydro bill that keeps catching up with them.  They won "The Big Money Shot" in Ottawa and had a chance to break even, get out and get a real job but they bought another van and some guitar strings and made a cool music video.  IndieCan fans and Hollerado got this love-in, laugh-in started a band-van or two ago, outside the Silver Dollar, how many summers ago?  

The real story can only be told in picture and video - words won't cut it.  That is Meno jumping off Jake's drum kit pictured above.  Check out our pics and video or scan the Internet.  There must be lots. The boys told the story of Edgefest being their first Rock concert as music fans, when they saw Green Day in Ottawa.  There was also a story about vomit, but anyway... There should be a special prize for naming all the other musicians that came up to sing "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" (Neil Young) with them but the best bit for me was Branko of Dinosaur Bones free-styling "Here we are Edgefest Toronto, rapping to you all with Hollerado."

My goal is to be the first to bring another mood of Hollerado to you all.  They write some tongue in cheek political commentary which may provide the sound track to the nearing end of the American Empire and they are damn serious about work, although they hide it well.  They don't out-dress their audience, they don't let security guards and barriers separate them from their fans, they jump right in.  It was fun but "damn it Jim, I am a journalist, not a bobble-head doll, I have to find out what makes these gentlemen tick."  My five year mission depends on it.  Stay tuned - not that Hollerado does - OK that's the last time I end with a joke at their expense.  Boys you are a class act and you put both the Edge and the Fest in a great day at Downsview.  Best day I had at Downsview since 54-40 Canada 2007.