EAR TO THE GROUND
WHO: Lauryn Hill
WHEN: Nov. 8. 8pm
WHERE: Queen Elizabeth Theatre
WHY: Despite her success, both as a member of the Fugees and as a solo performer, Lauryn Hill remains a somewhat polarizing figure. Fair or not, Hill is known as much for her music as her controversies: showing up late to concerts, going to prison for tax evasion, taking on the Catholic Church. But there can be no denying it: The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill is a classic album, full of soul and funk and mad hooks. So although she might be late, and she might be an unpredictable performer, and she might demand you call her "Ms," this is one concert you will want to check out. Click here for tickets.
WHAT: Word Vancouver
WHEN: Sept. 21 – 25
WHERE: Various Vancouver Venues
WHY: Because any celebration of the written word is a worthwhile celebration. Word Vancouver is an annual festival of words and books for all ages. Highlights include a marketplace, readings, panel discussions, workshops, a variety of entertainment options, typewriter stations, and family activities that include authors, books, magazines, comics, and literacy exhibitions. Authors featured at this year's festival include Joy Kogawa, Lynne Johnston, Bif Naked, and Wayde Compton. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the written word. And the best part: admission is free! Click here for more details.
WHAT: Vancouver Fringe Festival
WHEN: September 8-18
WHERE: Various Granvile Island and East Vancouver Venues
WHY: Always highly anticipated, the Fringe Fest has become one of Vancouver's most popular and most important cultural events. A week long celebration of independent theatre, Fringe shows are notoriously offbeat, irreverent, and thought-provoking. This year's festival features over 110 diverse preformances, with titles like "Trump: the Musical;" "Love, Lust, and Lace;" and "Advice to Love/Hate You (And Everything In Between)." This is the perfect opportunity to unleash your inner artist and experience some of the besst culture this city has to offer. Click here for tickets and info.
Photo by: Dave Delnea (cover).
Nothing brings a pair of kicks to life like a fresh shine. You can hit your trusted shoe shine kiosk and enjoy the daily newspaper as the professional skills of said shoe shiner goes about his or her business and adds a much needed luster to your footwear, or you can invest in a few products and do it all yourself. I actually balance between the two. I love sitting at home, my jars of polish and dubbin grease carefully placed on the hardwood floor, as the warmth of the fireplace coaxes them into workability. My old toothbrush awaits a thick layer of mink oil and as the 'wells' of my shoes get doused with its viscosity. I also love being out and about during the day and relaxing for a few minutes while the lotions and tinctures are applied to my shoes by the hands of a pro. As my boy Craig says, "Six of one, half a dozen of the other!"
The tools of the trade: a boar hair bristled brush (like the one pictured in the inset by Izola available at The Lastest Scoop); a shining cloth; your choice of mink oil/dubbin grease; a tin of clear/black/brown polish and an old toothbrush. I will leave it up to your personal taste to procure the brands you deem worthy. Step one, wipe away the surface dirt. Step two, apply the necessary topical solution. I have a range of shoes that vary in types of leather. Some look best with a sheen, others with a matte finish. The overall point is to protect your kicks against the elements. To quote Dres from Black Sheep, "But then again, the choice is yours." Step three, in small circular motions, apply the solution with the clothe, although I prefer to do it by hand and, allow it to sink into the leather for a few minutes, again preferably near a heat source. Dip your toothbrush in the solution and brush onto the threads that attach the sole to the upper of the shoe. This will make it a thousand times easier for your cobbler to replace the sole when the time comes; the name of the game is suppleness. Step four, if you want to spit on your shoes and go old school, be my guest. Just make sure to give one more round of small circular strokes before grabbing your handy shining clothe and 'evening' out the solution. Step five is the easiest but the most important. Take your boar hair bristled brush and, in an arcing motion, brush across the toes to the heels, apply some pressure but no need to dig in. One more buff with the clothe and you will be appreciative of the fact you can see your reflection in the gleaming mirror of your shoes.
WHO: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals
WHEN: Sept. 4, 7pm
WHY: Since appearing on Dr. Dre's 2015 Compton Soundtrack, Anderson .Paak has completely blown up into a bona fide star. His soulful approach to hip hop is a breath of fresh air in the sometimes stagnating world of rap music. Reminiscent of the Roots in their heyday, Paak and his backing band, the Free Nationals are a perfect blend of talent and musicianship. Having lived a pretty hard knock life himself, Paak's lyrics convey a message of possibility and overcoming the odds. His live shows are already becoming legendary. This is a perfect show for the Vogue Theatre, and your chance to see a superstar-in-the-making. Click here for tickets.
Photo borrowed from www.livescience.com
Written by AlphaSiren.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the body-mind connection; personally, I’ve always felt a very strong connection between the two but it’s only recently that I’ve been researching on how that connection parlays into sexual experience and satisfaction.
This is Your Brain on Sex
In speaking with friends (and strangers) and reading many articles on this subject, it appears many people don’t realize or think about their brain when it comes to sex, how they view it, or even how they experience it. The mind-body connection is an extremely powerful one, and when tapped into and accessed, can provide the most satisfying, holistic and, dare I say, mind-blowing sexual experiences of your life. Sounds amazing, right? And really, who wouldn’t want that?
When you spot a dime (or male equivalent) on the street and you lock eyes and feel that surge of electricity to your nether regions, it’s not actually your nethers that are feelin’ the vibe; it’s your brain. The brain is the most powerful sexual organ and whether or not you believe this really doesn’t matter – the leading researchers in the field of sexology have already determined this to be a fact. So, moving on.
When it comes to sex, the brain is the powerhouse of the operation. It controls not only hormones and the physical manifestations of attraction and arousal (via transmitting signals to your sexy bits and other body parts, letting them know that all systems are go), it also dictates how you feel about sex, what you are attracted to (and whom), and how you are influenced and respond to external factors (such as pornographic films and erotic literature, for example)
Unfortunately, because sex is, in many ways, still such a taboo topic, there is a pervasive stigma around anything which lies outside more ‘mainstream’ views, tastes and perceptions. Through my articles, I’m hoping to bust through those walls and encourage people to explore, research, experiment and unleash their sexy beast, and feel comfortable in doing so. Sex is natural and sex is fun (thanks George Michael!). It’s also integral to overall physical and mental health. And the best place to start with deepening your sexual relationship (both with yourself and with your partner) is your brain. Fear holds us back from so many things in life, not excluding our own pleasure, and once we feel more comfortable and safe exploring ourselves and our sexual desires, we will experience a far more fulfilling life (sexual or otherwise).
Taming the Monster and Unleashing the Beast: Knowledge is (Sexual) Power
As with anything in life, there is always more work to be done and more knowledge to be gained. You increase your understanding of who you are as a sexual being (and sexual partner) by self-discovery and exploration. These can come through channels such as research, meditation, breath work, yoga, fantasies, masturbation and tantra. Understanding the power of your own mind and how you choose to direct your thoughts will dictate how deep your sexual experience will be, and will be paramount in achieving great sexual health. Our brains can be our biggest foes when we allow insecurity, fear and shame to pervade our thoughts; instead we must see our minds as the hub of our desire, fantasy and comfort. Becoming educated about what we like, what turns us on (and not feeling shame about it), will allow freedom in sexual partnerships as well. Once you understand how powerful your erotic mind can be, this power can be harnessed and directed in a positive way to increase your own sexual satisfaction and fulfillment. Now, when you can successfully harness the power of your own body-mind connection and couple that with that of your partner? – well this is the stuff of (wet) dreams.
The Four-Legged Monster™
Up until a little over 4 months ago, I had been the perennial single girl who. While no stranger to long-term relationships, I had been on a bit of an extended hiatus (6+ years), so was ‘suffering’ from Solo Girl Syndrome. As such, I hadn’t really looked too closely at how a combined erotic mind could take sex Over.The.Top. Now that I’ve (very happily) cashed in my lifetime memberships to online dating sites, I am in a relationship where I’m not only re-learning old steps which had gotten a bit rusty over the years, I’ve acquired a new awareness and deeper understanding of my own sexuality which has opened up a far broader (and infinitely more satisfying) sex life than I ever knew possible.
My partner coined the phrase “Four-Legged Monster™” to signify our combined desire to achieve a single erotic mind, where we exist as two people, but share one sexual brain. This has come (and continues to develop) through a solid foundation of love, trust and security and much open dialogue. We are supportive of one another and communicate constantly and we share our deepest (and often, very ‘out there’) thoughts and fantasies without the fear of judgment or shaming because we share a single goal to possess a unified erotic mind. This is allowing us (and our sexual relationship) to continually evolve by evolving together.
Through studying, reading, and exploring new areas of intimacy, I’ve been able to achieve a higher level of consciousness and have been able to experience a far deeper state of arousal and intimacy with my partner. Our combined brainpower is proving to be an even greater sexual aid than anything one could find in a sex toy shop (and requires far fewer batteries!) Realizing and understanding the power of what you possess between your ears will take your sexual experience deeper than you knew possible. TRUST me, I’m preachin’ the gospel here.
WHAT: Duran Duran with Chic, featuring Nile Rodgers
WHEN: August 28
WHERE: Rogers Arena
WHY: Get out the red pants, the pointy shoes, and the Joico gel – Duran Duran is back! One of the biggest bands of the 80's, Duran Duran penned some of that decades biggest songs: "Rio," "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Say a Prayer" and a bunch more. Part new wave, part rock, part funk, part dance,these guys revolutionized the 80's sound. If that were not enough, this time around Duran Duran is touring with 70s and 80's disco funk stalwarts, Chic, featuring guitar legend and Daft Punk collaborator, Nile Rodgers. Prepare yourself for a night of pure funky awesomeness. Click here for tickets.
WHAT: West Side Story – Theatre Under the Stars
WHEN: Ongoing to August 27th
WHERE: Malkin Bowl
WHY: A modern retelling of the greatest love story ever told (Romeo and Juliet, of course), West Side Story is a classic musical if there ever was one. Set on the mean streets of 1950's New York City, West Side Story is a tale of two rival gangs, and the star-crossed lovers caught in the middle. With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, it is a fantastic romp, featuring classic songs like "I Feel Pretty" and "America." If that wasn't enough, this is an opportunity to see West Side Story amid the splendor of Stanley Park, beneath the stars. If you have not yet seen a performance of West Side Story, this is definitely the one to see! Click here for tickets and details.
WHEN: July 30 – 31
WHERE: Powell Street, Oppenheimer Park and various locations
WHY: Now in its 40th year, the Powell Street Festival is Canada's largest celebration of Japanese arts and culture. Located in and around Japantown on Powell St, the festival includes live performances, martial arts demonstrations, crafts, and a whole lotta tasty Japanese food. The eclectic lineup of performers includes Australian koto virtuoso Miyama McQueen-Tokita, Tutchone-Japanese Tlinget-Scottish folk singer Diyet, and the premiere of Chordophone, the violalooping electronica brainchild of brothers Marcus and James Takizawa. This year also features an Alexander St. street party, and an interactive section at Oppenheimer Park. So take a small break from Pride, and immerse yourself in some Japanese culture at this unique festival. Click here for more information.
WHAT: 7 – Masters of Applied Art Low Residence Graduate Exhibition
WHEN: July 22 – 30
WHERE: Charles H. Scott Gallery
WHY: Emily Carr's "low residency" program is a unique one. Geared toward professionals who are unable to participate in long-term study at Emily Carr's Vancouver campus, the program allows artists from across the country to complete their studies and their theses primarily from the home towns, along with a few weeks of intensive study in Vancouver. The result: works of art that thematically span the nation, from Victoria to St, John's. Each artist brings their own perspectives and their own media to their work. From Ravi Spivak's four channel video installation to Christopher Mcleod's refillable water bottle station, this exhibit of original, though-provoking art will challenge your perceptions of art and reality.