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LIVE IN LIMBO http://www.liveinlimbo.com Music + Film + Culture Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/cropped-logo-bw-1000x-32x32.jpg LIVE IN LIMBO http://www.liveinlimbo.com 32 32 An adventure into music, film and pop-culture. Hosted by Sean Chin and Andreas Babiolakis. LIVE IN LIMBO yes LIVE IN LIMBO sean@liveinlimbo.com sean@liveinlimbo.com (LIVE IN LIMBO) Live in Limbo Sean Chin, Mehek Seyid LIVE IN LIMBO http://www.liveinlimbo.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Capsule_logo_max.jpg http://www.liveinlimbo.com TV-14 Toronto, Canada Weekly Rick Astley at the Opera House http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/23/concert-reviews/rick-astley-at-the-opera-house.html Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:00:04 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=79052 Photos by Janine Van Oostrom. Never in a million years did I think I would be attending a Rick Astley gig but there I found...

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Photos by Janine Van Oostrom.

Never in a million years did I think I would be attending a Rick Astley gig but there I found myself queued up with hundreds of folk around my age for the second visit in two years for England’s Rick Astley.

Just over 30 years ago you couldn’t escape Rick Astley with his huge international hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” where the man with the deep and smooth voice turned out to be some ginger boy with some endearingly awkward dance moves.  He would have a few other hits but by the early 90s he was relegated to a footnote.

Fast forward 30 years and Astley is back in the public consciousness due to some Internet thing called Rick-rolling that I don’t understand.  Rick is making the most of his moment releasing his seventh album, 50, and hitting the road to support it.

I wasn’t really into Rick’s style of music back in the 80s hence my surprise at being amongst those who packed the Opera House on a soggy Friday night.  Much like the Bananarama gig I attended earlier this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect but was left surprised at how much I enjoyed the evening.

With no support act, Rick and his band along with two backup singers hit the stage after 9 kicking off the steamy night with “This Old House” off of 50.  The band was surprisingly funky and tight, almost propelling “This Old House” into an actual house tune.  Huge hit “Together Forever” followed and the room erupted into rapture dancing and singing along to every word.

Not only was the band impressive, but Astley himself was the star of the night.  He looked fantastic, had a smile on his face the entire night, played some guitar and drums and basically charmed the pants off the crowd with his sense of humor mostly to the expense of himself.  But it was obvious he was taking his moment for what it is and not taking everything too seriously.  He accepted that new songs were bathroom breaks to many and that he couldn’t in fact dance.  He played all of hits including “She Wants To Dance With Me”, “Cry for Help” and “It Would Take a Strong Strong Man” and he “butchered” (his word, not mine) Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”.

Being the first show of the tour and the year as we were informed, cobwebs are expected but the band was tight all night.  Things would come of the rails a bit with a well-intentioned collaboration with Choir! Choir! Choir!  There was talk of the Foo Fighters when Astley and the massive swell of the choir that overwhelmed the stage but it was an acapella run through “Never Gonna Give You Up” and whether they weren’t mic’d, it fell flat, although the crowd sounded great when it was their turn.  He did his biggest song again with his band to the delight of the crowd.

For the finale, Astley took to the drums to belt out a delightful romp through AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” silencing those who thought he was a studio puppet, happily banging away like a kid in a candy store much like we were for over an hour and a half.  So while I never saw myself attending one of his gigs, I now can’t wait for the next one.

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Poutine, Hockey and Game Developers: Great Canadians Making Great Games http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/22/gaming/poutine-hockey-and-game-developers-great-canadians-making-great-games.html Sun, 22 Apr 2018 16:00:12 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=79054 With Ubisoft Montreal’s name splashed across every Assassin’s Creed title and the integral role of EA Canada in some of EA Sports’ biggest titles,...

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With Ubisoft Montreal’s name splashed across every Assassin’s Creed title and the integral role of EA Canada in some of EA Sports’ biggest titles, it’s hard to forget that Canada is home to some of the best game-makers. But big developers and publishers aside, there is a wealth of small and indie game developers in Canada that is as much a part of Ubisoft and EA’s long roots in this country.

Beginning from the west coast, Vancouver’s Next Level Games started making smaller console games but quickly became focused on Nintendo hardware with popular games like Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Super Mario Strikers (by far my favourite sports game). While larger than many of the other developers featured here, Next Level continues to take a measured approach to game-making with a small team working together. Also part of Vancouver’s growing indie game developer scene is Klei Entertainment, best known for Don’t Starve and a handful of other games for PC and console, and Matt Makes Games, whose recently released Celeste has proven to be a hit on many platforms. Many watching the game development scene also recommend keeping an eye on Hinterland Games, known for The Long Dark.

A lot less indie – despite their history – is Edmonton’s BioWare. The developer has been around for more than 20 years, focusing on role-playing experiences and best known for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age trilogies. After being purchased by EA in 2007, BioWare’s output has focused on these trilogies and the upcoming Anthem. Other prairie developers include Winnipeg’s Infinite Ammo (Alec Holowka), partially responsible for Night in the Woods, and Complex Games, focusing on mobile free-to-play and licensed games.

Ontario – and specifically Toronto – is a growing hotbed for game developers working outside the larger studios. Capybara Games used to focus on mobile, branching out to other platforms with hits like Superbrothers and Super Time Force. DrinkBox Studios is best known for Guacamelee! and Severed, bringing prominence to the small Toronto outfit.  You may have also seen ads for London developer Big Blue Bubble’s mobile hit My Singing Monsters, one of many games made by the developer. Ontario also plays host to a number of small companies supporting development of bigger and smaller games, like DotBunny and Snowed In Studios.

Looking to Quebec, hosting some of the largest game studios, Montreal and Quebec City also feature subsidiary developer houses (such as Activision’s Beenox) and bigger indies Frima Studios (provider of ports, online games and original titles including Chariot). Montreal’s Compulsion Games has provided development services to other studios while also building their own hits including the upcoming We Happy Few. Other studios to look out for include Tribute Games (Mercenary Kings) and licensed-game experts Behaviour Interactive.

In the Maritimes, Other Ocean Group (with studios in St. John’s, Charlottetown and Emeryville, California) has worked on games including Rick and Morty Virtual Rick-Ality and Giant Cop: Justice Above All. Nova Scotia’s HB Studios is a powerhouse for sports games, focusing on sports other studios leave out (including rugby, and extreme snowboarding). 

The game development industry in Canada continues to grow, propped up by better funding support, more post-secondary schooling options and the annual Canadian Video Game Awards, along with many very talented developers calling Canada home. With all this growth, I can’t help but lament the loss of some of Canada’s great developers of the past: DreamCatcher Interactive, responsible for many point-and-click adventure games of my youth, Silicon Knights (hailing from St. Catharines) for their unique original games, and Artech Studios, since someone had to do the hard work of putting Q*Bert on everything. 

If you’re looking to support the Canadian game industry and help ensure the development of more home-grown games, check out any of the games I’ve talked about today and follow your favourite developer to see what they do next. Did we miss your favourite Canadian game or developer? Let us know on Twitter!

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Sigrid with Cyn at The Velvet Underground http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/21/concert-reviews/sigrid-with-cyn-at-the-velvet-underground.html Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:00:01 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=79026 Photos by Neil Van Sigrid is an enthused, sincere, confident, charming ball of energy and an absolute pleasure to see live. I’m going to...

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Photos by Neil Van

Sigrid is an enthused, sincere, confident, charming ball of energy and an absolute pleasure to see live.

I’m going to preface this review with a warning: I bloody love Scandi pop. Robyn, Lykke Li, Royksopp, Tove Lo, Abba – it’s an embarrassment of riches. So prepare yourself for a glowing review of my new favourite gift to electropop: Her name is Sigrid and she’s a welcome addition to this pantheon of Nordic pop geniuses.

Fresh off the heels of a UK tour, Sigrid and her band are across the pond for a series of North American shows and a spot at Coachella. Toronto was the first of these dates – and it was a doozy. The queue was 100-strong by the time doors opened and the crowd inside were enraptured from the moment Sigrid took to the stage. Whenever a recognisable song started, the front row sang along.

Sigrid’s a freshly hatched artist who flew the home nest of Norwegian success in 2017. She’s having a meteoric rise so far and already has a slew of catchy singles under her belt. We’re treated to an album-long set filled with her EP and single releases and some brand new material which I hope heralds a debut album before too long.

Opener Go To War sets the perfect tone for a show packed with tunes that make you want to never stop dancing. Plot Twist features early in the set and has a rap-like tongue roll to the line “better work on the hype” perfectly suited to that Norwegian lilt. Her voice is strong, clear, and powerful, with just the right amount of quirky high notes and a wonderful gravelly undertone that shines through in songs like Dynamite and Don’t Kill My Vibe; it helps underscore the kind of ‘dance until you heart mends’ floor fillers Sigrid is masterfully creating – and draws strong parallels with Robyn.

Sigrid looks so clean cut and young; mostly thanks to her happy disposition – she smiles so much. Her dancing is fun and energetic to match her set; bouncing around the stage with her mic, shining with swagger and punctuating beat drops with air punches. She’s a happy ball of sunshine even during self-proclaimed saddest song Dynamite, offering faux grimaces to offset the perfect sorrow of the lyrics. It’s absolutely charming.

As Sigrid introduces recent single Raw she’s taken aback by the verbatim rendition from fans. It looks like the early days of adoration still have Sigrid floored and it’s a pleasure to see her genuine reaction to her early career success. I Don’t Want To Know gets a huge whoop from the crowd, and a playful wink from Sigrid. It’s melancholy feeling even deeper when you hear her plaintive tones with your own ears. Doing You A Favour and In Vain are a spectacular demonstration of the strength and sorrow of Sigrid’s voice, and have the crowd captivated.

Sigrid’s polished stage presence oozes strength and confidence – it really feels like she’s at home up there. This could add a distance between performer and crowd, but she perfectly balances it with an earnest, relatable, cheery charm. She looks into the faces of her fans and leans into the front rows – inviting them into the performance in a way that once again reminds me of Robyn. It’s quite a thrill to have your favourite musician look you in the eye and smile.

Brand new single High Five is perfectly suited for a gig “ooh everybody loves a show/lights up they all go home”. The show is closed by two heavy hitters: Strangers is an ecstatic ode to being in love with the idea of love, and as lights go down for the distorted opening refrain of Don’t Kill My Vibe, there’s a thrill of excitement in the crowd that ends the gig with a flash and bang of joyful dancing.

Sigrid sings, not just about heartbreak, but the strength those lessons give you. Her lyrics and performances are an encouragement to speak up for yourself and be confident in who you are; “I won’t apologise for being me” is her refrain from Raw. Sigrid is a bright, shining, sharp new voice in pop – I think I’m in love.

 

Set List

  1. Go to war
  2. Schedules
  3. Plot twist
  4. I Don’t Buy It
  5. Raw
  6. Savage In Our Blood
  7. I Don’t Want To Know
  8. Fake Friends
  9. Doing You A Favour
  10. Dynamite
  11. In Vain
  12. High Five
  13. Credit
  14. Strangers
  15. Don’t Kill My Vibe

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Ty Segall with the Bed Band at Danforth Music Hall http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/20/concert-reviews/ty-segall-with-the-bed-band-at-danforth-music-hall.html Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:00:09 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=78999 Photos by Matt Forsythe Prolific Californian Ty Segall brought the Freedom Band to the Danforth Music Hall last night for a very enthusiastic and...

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Photos by Matt Forsythe

Prolific Californian Ty Segall brought the Freedom Band to the Danforth Music Hall last night for a very enthusiastic and fine looking crowd plugging their Freedom’s Goblin album released at the start of the year.

I had never seen Ty Segall before and prior to me hitting the merch table on my way out of the gig I only had 2014’s Manipulator in my library. The buzz on Segall’s live show is pretty strong and after his 75 minute set that buzz is definitely warranted.

Tucked off to the side of the stage and facing the four-piece Freedom Band, Segall kicked off the set with “Alta” and “Fanny Dog” off Freedom’s Goblin. There was barely a stop for air for most of the set while the band jammed out some interludes that were as compelling as the actual songs. I could even do with a night of those interludes.

Back to reality, Segall shook his mane of blond locks while he absolutely shredded his guitar. It’s really hard to pigeonhole Segall as he thrown in garage rock, psych rock, metal, punk and even a bit of R&B into a mix that is naturally cohesive despite being a recipe for disastrous chaos. Even a saxophone made an appearance!

Blue and purple flood lights was about it for the light show but all eyes were on Segall if they weren’t dodging the many crowd surfers that took advantage of easy stage access. The sound was quieter than I expected and that would be the only slight. And that’s not really a slight – I just expected to have to peel my ears off the floor at the end of the night.

While plugging new albums most would air most of the album hogging the entire set but Segall only played over a handful out of almost 20 tracks. Highlights were an absolutely blistering and groovy cover of Hot Chocolate’s “Every 1’s A Winner” and the entire home stretch including “Feel” off of Manipulator and set closer “Wave Goodbye”. I’m sure the sweaty throng leaving the venue afterwards could have done with at least another hour to continue shaking the week’s cobwebs out but Segall’s efficiency will definitely have them anticipating his return.

 

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Album Premiere: “For a Good Time Call” by Blackie Jackett Jr http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/20/world-premiere/album-premiere-for-a-good-time-call-by-blackie-jackett-jr.html Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=79023 Blackie Jackett Jr. was born in the back of a tour bus within the minds of Finger Eleven guitarists James Black and Rick Jackett....

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Blackie Jackett Jr. was born in the back of a tour bus within the minds of Finger Eleven guitarists James Black and Rick Jackett. After hearing Sandra Dee singing karaoke between slinging drinks at their local bar, she became the female power behind BJJR, and shortly thereafter, the addition of Jimmy Reid on guitar took Blackie Jackett Jr. from a lone traveler to a band to be reckoned with.

With the release of their debut album on Royalty Records, For A Good Time Call they are creating their own brand of old school smart-assed country rock that takes listeners through the highs and lows of a proper bender.

You can catch the band playing on May 10th during Canadian Music week at the Phoenix opening for none other than Mr. Kiefer Sutherland aka Jack Bauer himself! If you live in Thunder Bay, you can celebrate the album release with the band at Black Pirate’s Pub, with the band tonight, April 20th.

Follow Blackie Jackett Jr. on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter @BlackieJackett. Happy 4/20 y’all!

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The Neighbourhood at the Vogue Theatre http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/19/concert-reviews/the-neighbourhood-at-the-vogue-theatre.html Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:00:57 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=78978 The Neighbourhood performed at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver  

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The Neighbourhood performed at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver

 

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63: Make/Remake 1984 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/19/contrazoom/63-make-remake-1984.html Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:00:19 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=78994 In the latest edition of make/remake Dakota Arsenault and Stephanie Prior talk about George Orwell’s novel 1984 and two different cinematic adaptations of it. ...

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In the latest edition of make/remake Dakota Arsenault and Stephanie Prior talk about George Orwell’s novel 1984 and two different cinematic adaptations of it. 

In 1949, George Orwell published his landmark novel detailing what the future might look like if we allow our civil liberties to be eroded and for extreme ideologies to take hold so strongly that the very fabric of society would crumble. It only took eight years for the first film adaptation of the book to be made directed by Michael Anderson and staring Edmond O’Brien as Winston Smith. The 1984 version of 1984 directed by Michael Radford and staring John Hurt as Winston, portrays communism just as dangerous as right wing authoritarianism.

Dakota and Steph discuss what similarities both films employ to tell the same story along with what differences the filmmakers decided to diverge from each other. Both contexts are looking at the pros and cons of the director’s choices.

Follow the show @ContraZoomPod and Dakota @Dgapa on Twitter.

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In the latest edition of make/remake Dakota Arsenault and Stephanie Prior talk about George Orwell’s novel 1984 and two different cinematic adaptations of it. ... In 1949, George Orwell published his landmark novel detailing what the future might look like if we allow our civil liberties to be eroded and for extreme ideologies to take hold so strongly that the very fabric of society would crumble. It only took eight years for the first film adaptation of the book to be made directed by Michael Anderson and staring Edmond O’Brien as Winston Smith. The 1984 version of 1984 directed by Michael Radford and staring John Hurt as Winston, portrays communism just as dangerous as right wing authoritarianism.
Dakota and Steph discuss what similarities both films employ to tell the same story along with what differences the filmmakers decided to diverge from each other. Both contexts are looking at the pros and cons of the director’s choices.
Follow the show @ContraZoomPod and Dakota @Dgapa on Twitter.
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Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/18/lifestyle/beauty/cover-fx-custom-enhancer-drops.html Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:00:29 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=78528 I picked this set up in December 2017, and just had the time to start playing around with them now. I personally have never...

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I picked this set up in December 2017, and just had the time to start playing around with them now. I personally have never used any sort of highlighter before, but this was life changing. I find these liquid highlighters very easy to use and also, a very small drop of the product goes a long way.

This holiday set contains four of Cover FX’s top selling shades : Halo (iridescent blue-white base with blue and lavender shimmer), Celestial (soft pink with warm undertones), Rose Gold (dusty pink with copper), and Moonlight (medium gold with brown undertones). You might think that these bottles are not enough product but honestly that is far from the case.  The highlighters are so intense that you need only the smallest drop in each area you choose to highlight to get the coverage. I did notice that it’s best to apply these highlighters with your fingers or a damp sponge, and the texture is like a powder finish which I really liked.

As someone who was never into highlighter before, I now see what I’ve been missing out on. The full sized bottles are available at Sephora

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Song Premiere : ‘Everything Nearly Fell Apart Completely’ by Dante Matas http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2018/04/18/world-premiere/song-premiere-everything-nearly-fell-apart-completely-by-dante-matas.html Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:00:41 +0000 http://www.liveinlimbo.com/?p=78975 From The Artist : “Musically, I’ve always loved when lots of melodies collide in pleasant ways. I wanted to make a song where several...

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From The Artist : “Musically, I’ve always loved when lots of melodies collide in pleasant ways. I wanted to make a song where several different melodies introduced throughout the track end up all playing at the same time at the end. The synth break is supposed to feel like the song is about to fall apart, and then the collision of melodies and lyrics that follow are meant to tie it all together. Lyrically, the narrator of the song is projecting the future collapse of a friendship or relationship by acting as if it already happened. I wanted to write from the perspective of someone having an absurdly over the top reaction to something that’s left entirely unspecified. I think excessive emotional responses to things can sometimes make you forget why you’re feeling the way you feel in the first place, so the lyrics really focus on the effect rather than the cause.”

With an MA in Philosophy and a penchant for poetry and creative writing, Dante has combined his interests to create his own unique brand of indie-pop, folk, and experimental music. He is influenced by the likes of Radiohead, Tame Impala, Sufjan Stevens, Paul Simon, The Beatles, and Leonard Cohen among many others. Dante’s music tends to have a contemplative and introspective character to it, but never at the expense of a catchy melody.

New song ‘Everything Nearly Feel Apart Completely’ showcases Dante’s new exploration of more psych-pop leaning sounds, expanding on his previous folk-troubadour image. The song explodes with a ray of sunshine, melodies reaching out to the listener in glorious technicolour. The production shimmers with expertly crafted instrumentation and luxurious harmonies. Ambitious Pop music. Don’t forget the capital P. The track takes cues from previous generations, but never feels anything other than 2018. The accumulation of influences and talent position his new record as the perfect balancing act; past and future combined for an exquisite memorable spin around the sun.

His new LP ‘A Colourful Headache’ is out May 4th.

Connect with Dante :    facebook || twitter || instagram

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