April 29, 2011
When lead singer Chhom Nimol’s glossy lips gave way to powerful lyrics in Khmer and that strong, seductive voice I was immediately transported to another place in time. I was back in Phnom Penh. Dengue Fever’s sound and songs are so distinct, powerful and stir so many memories for me, I almost break into a sweat. It’s as if I’ve been bitten by a mosquito and infected with some form of musical virus.
Rarely in my experience has a band performed above and beyond my expectations especially when it comes to a live concert. Dengue Fever out-performed themselves on all counts at their recent show at Vancouver’s Biltmore Cabaret. This was the group’s one Canadian stop on their “Cannibal Courtship” tour. They performed classic hits such as “Mr. Orange” and “1000 Tears of a Tarantula” in addition to tracks from the new album. Starting in LA, the band quickly moved up the West Coast stopping in Vancouver for a one night only performance. They are now traveling south to San Diego before heading eastwards where the tour will eventually culminate in the UK.
The trumpet sang and I thought I had heard a flute but wasn’t sure. I swung to my left and was pleasantly surprised to confirm what my ears had been trying to tell me. David Ralicke was actually playing a flute and rocking it as I never imagined that was even possible? I flashed back and recalled the first time I heard this sixties rock inspired music. It was playing on cassette in a Land Rover outside Phnom Penh. I was on my way to a photo job with my head hanging out of the window for some natural AC, still mindful of the sun burn I’d quickly receive. I asked my friend driving what this music was? I had never heard anything like it but it seemed oddly familiar. I was hooked right away and would soon be introduced to more Khmer music from that era as sung by Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Sreysothea and Pan Ron among several others.
Dengue Fever’s music is created in a spirit tied greatly to the past but forever driving forward and pushing limits as true artists endeavor to do. A number of songs from the sixties are also covered by the band and are a soothing and nostalgic reminder of times long since past. The band’s songs and lyrics deliver me to places around the Cambodian capital and countryside where I had lived, worked and even sang my first Karaoke tunes. I imagine Phnom Penh a decade earlier where only a few streets were paved, things were rougher, grittier and somehow more romantic accentuated by colonial architecture and coconut palms swaying in the breeze from the Tonle Basaac.
A large group of local Khmer were on hand to enjoy the Vancouver performance. Several of the young and even older guys were dancing and cheering in the front row. After being stirred into a furor by Chhom’s vocals and sequins they were more than a little keen to get up on stage with her for the finale and even managed to bust out some traditional Khmer dance moves. It was wonderful to see and really brought the performance full-circle for me. I couldn’t think of a better way to end the show.
Cannibal Courtship – Favourite Track – “Uku“
Band Members: Vocals – Chhom Nimol, Guitar – Zac Holtzman, Farfisa Organ – Ethan Holtzman, Bass – Senon Williams, Drummer – Paul Smith, Brass – David Ralicke
April 19, 2011
The studio lights are dimmed. Only one remains. The music intensifies and charges the darkness. The space is transforming and becomes her domain.
Nothing is like the coquettish sound of heels striding across and converging with a concrete floor. She halts and stands before me relinquishing her silk robe. Still warm, the garment falls to the floor landing gently at her feet. Her body and soul are now revealed and on display. This is her time where everything else has been wiped away. The voyeuristic journey begins and for ninety minutes her essence is explored in detail as the camera moves over and examines every curve, bump and protrusion. She lures us into this private and seductive world. This is beauty in the purest form comprising elegance, grace and eroticism.
She teases us with this stance allowing only a view from the rear. We imagine what rests beyond those shoulders. If only she were to turn another six inches and bend down to unfasten her shoe… Seductive and alluring, she leave’s us guessing, standing with a confident posture that fuses with supple and smooth textures. She knows eyes are surveying her, moving downwards from sensual shoulders, pausing at the curves of the hips and travelling further along the back of firm thighs.
Her laser cut shoes add a prowess to an already prominent stance. The necklace with rolling quartz beads is drawn through her fingers and straightens before it is draped around the neck. We imagine how beads look draped down and between her bosom. The necklace straightens and is then carefully clasped with precision. Her fingers tease flowing dark hair. In denouement she drops both hands to her side, turns slightly and lowers her head in a subtle bow almost in acknowledgment.
Her body stands unhindered, pure, bare, sensual and strong.
The sultry, seductive temptress now awaits our move…
CLICK LINK BELOW FOR ENTIRE GALLERY
April 18, 2011
Sex With Strangers rocked the Biltmore Cabaret Thursday night for the release of their new album “Frontier Justice.” The room was filled with the aroma of sex and sweat with sultry sounds stirring the audience into hysteria.
Several months after meeting Hatch Benedict at a local Gastown bar, I was surprised to learn that he was the lead singer in a band, or so he said. I’d never heard of the group and wasn’t quite sure what type of music they were creating. I actually thought he was having me on but after checking out “New City Anthem” on YouTube, any misconceptions I’d had were quickly dispelled. I was hooked on their electro sound and haven’t missed a local Sex With Strangers performance since!
It was curious how confident Hatch was when he handled questions or compliments from patrons at how similar he looked to Jack Black. He’d even been asked flat out what he was filming here in Vancouver? He was always calm and cool in response with “Sorry, no that’s not me.” I think only someone used to being front and center could handle this attention so modestly where others would have definitely played it up. I never would have suspected that this seemingly quiet and recluse figure in the corner of the bar working on his laptop could project such an array of vocals and stir crowds into a virtual feeding frenzy.
Over time I was fortunate enough to meet the rest of the crew and learned they are all key in adding vocals to numerous songs. I’ve always wondered how hard it must be to produce, write, rehearse and perform original music on top of 9-5 jobs. These guys do it out of a sheer passion for their art and an immense respect and gratitude for one another. True artists at every turn and amazing performers.
I vaguely recall Hatch leaning down during a song and handing me his microphone at a recent Cobalt performance. I tried to swallow it and Hatch simply replied with “That’s Gross” and picked up the lyrics where he’d left off. Integral to Sex With Strangers performances is audience participation. The band members will not hesitate to manoeuver through the crowd at any chance they have, even inviting fans onto the stage for the last song of the show…inevitably leaving the crowd wanting more and more as was the case this past performance. You may occasionally hear the husky lead singer order seductively from the stage “Can I get a whiskey please.” Fans, please do your best to quench his thirst.
“Frontier Justice” tracks have even been added to my training playlist for the gym and they definitely add more than a little boost to my routines. This music gets me going. Favourite song – Track 7 Image of Lust
Couldn’t you imagine “New City Anthem” as the new song for our Vancouver Canucks?
Sex with Strangers band members: Hatch Benedict, Magnus Magnum, Wedge Beavers, Isabelle “Bobbie” Dunlop, Dallas Archangel
April 15, 2011
April 13, 2011
Rag & Bone Designers Marcus Wainwright & David Neville were on hand at Holt Renfrew, Vancouver last night. The event was well attended and had a great vibe with shaken Sake cocktails and DJ’d tunes for the launch of their Spring 2011 Collection. Great people, photos and FASHION!
April 13, 2011
April 11, 2011
April 9, 2011
Yesterday evening Homewerx hosted a well attended event for the local shoe brand “Native” at 1053 Davie St.
A variety of shapes and sizes were on display from the Spring collection.
Music by Erik Devereux added to the viber as glasses were continually topped with spiked lemonade and as usual, I couldn’t leave without buying something!
April 7, 2011
Forever the voyeur -
We were separated by droplets, steam and glass. I was able to discern the nude female figure and stood back to marvel at her prowess. Her hand began to wrap around the hard edge, perhaps towards me.
I’ve always been drawn to water and leapt at the chance to combine the body with this moist milieu.
Cascading streams manoeuvred around and through her breasts, pressed firmly against what I imagine was a cold and uncompromising lover…sensual fluidity.
April 4, 2011
Rubbing the eyes, yawning and dragging myself out of bed at 06:00 was a little unusual this Sunday morning. I’m normally only up at the crack of dawn for surfing sessions? This was however water related as I was headed out to the Fraser River for my first Sturgeon fishing session. I was scheduled to rendevous at the dock with my local fishing guide Dan Hesketh of “Screamin Reels” Guided Fishing and my crazy German counterpart. We met beneath the old and new Port Mann Bridge at 08:00 and noticed the 20 foot Jetboat already in the water and ready to go. The coffee was hot and the donuts were fresh.
After pushing off and settling in the second spot of the morning and rebaiting our hooks with Sockeye Salmon chunks and Sockeye roe, we anchored near a log boom at a depth of 50 ft and waited patiently, topping up the coffee and soaking up the morning sun. It was a calm and unusually warm morning on the river. Dan divulged the finer points of Sturgeon fishing and explained that the massive fish were just starting to emerge from a dormant state to begin feeding on smelt/oolichan that were just beginning to run through April /May. The Sturgeon species found throughout the Fraser River are in fact the largest Sturgeon species in the world and their black roe is the most expensive and sought after Caviar in the world.
The lines had been cast and it was only a few short minutes before we noticed rod #3 take a few small hits. Suddenly the rod arced downwards dramatically almost touching the water and our German flew from his seat to grasp the rod! He skillfully set the barbless hook in a powerful upwards yank and began what was to be a 10min fight to land the first Sturgeon of the day. Dan grasped the Sturgeon by the tail and smoothly and quickly pulled the 4.5 foot Sturgeon onto the back of the boat and engine housing for my first up close look at this prehistoric fish. It wasn’t at all like I’d imagined it with it’s beady little yellow eyes, smooth textured skin with colourful blue mottled patterns atop it’s head, shark white belly and sharp spiny armour that ran in rows along it’s body. As Dan released it I noticed that there was no Dorsal fin? How odd.
Shortly after arriving at our sixth spot along the river I had my first big strike and the boys yelled “Take it!” I grabbed the rod gently and then let loose with everything I had for my hook set. This beast was on and I began reeling in the biggest fish I had ever hooked! I managed to land the 4.5 footer and was in awe at the size of this magnificent animal. Dan managed to give me a brief glimpse of the Sturgeon’s mouth. It’s made of a thick cartilage that actually extends like a vacuum cleaning hose as they are bottom feeders. We gave it a gentle pat, a few close up pictures then sent it back on it’s way into the murky Fraser.