February 18, 2007


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Last night Kerry and I saw one of our favourite performers, Idaho singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, on tour and promoting his stellar 2006 album The Animal Years. We first got a glimpse of him opening for Sarah Harmer for a show at Pantages in October 2005, and bought into his craft and style immediately. I brought my camera to the West End Cultural Centre; I've been harbouring a wish to get a smaller camera to accent my Rebel for months, to use for stuff like this, but since it's winter I figured I'd tuck the big thing under my coat. It was dark and I tried about 20-30 shots, of which I think three worked out (they're over on Flickr). It was a great show. He's a strong singer and a sublimely skilled writer, and equally fine and with the banter. I missed his band, but he's a captivating presence on his own and seemed genuinely enthused with the city – mentioning his newfound crush on Manitoba curling champ Jennifer Jones – and talked of bringing his whole crew another time. Next up for us is a show with local alt-hipsters Nathan, a CD release of their new album Key Principles.

My sister mentioned to me that she was looking here for movie recommendations, which I used to do at one time. Since the fall we've seen our fair share of good stuff, including more than a few Oscar hopefuls. For me, The Departed, Volver, Babel, Children Of Men and The Last King Of Scotland come first to mind, though they're all in their own way tough to watch and need a specific (re: serious) mood to appreciate. The Pursuit Of Happyness was what I'd call quality feelgood fluff (toss Little Miss Sunshine in that catagory also). I'd recommend wintertime successes like Borat and Casino Royale, which filled their roles admirably as exqusitely squeam-inducing and revved-up, smart action fare, respectively. Who Killed The Electric Car and The U.S. vs John Lennon were decent, though biased, documentaries. And The Queen was solid, though I felt I needed to be a few more decades older to really feel that one (it's slow-moving, but Helen Mirren is fabbo). We saw one dud that we could agree on, that being The Good Shepherd. Steer clear.


ben huff said...

holy sh!t Jeope - that Josh Ritter photo is perfect!

Jeope said...

Thanks, Ben. It was a really good show - and the close-up seat helped out, too.