Posts in Category: Film & Music

Feature Friday: Presenting DARKLARK’s “Gutter” [VIDEO]

Of course you’re in. What better way to start then, by sharing a brand new sound just curving its luscious hips around a release in the New Year of 2015? This is a well-crafted, live music video; the first take they filmed and the in the end…it became the chosen one. You are indeed in for a treat. That alone should make you press play, but I’m going to go ahead and prophesize that you just might FALL IN LOVE today during a climactic experience where music meets spirit…with the raw, gritty, sounds of DARKLARK.

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I first met Mel Larkin on her farm in magical Prince Edward County. (We started an up close and personal piece showcasing her amazing home, farm, orchard and vintage finds. We’ll be getting back together some-time this fall to finish. If you love home tours and candid interviews with inspiring arts educators and music professionals, then Larkin’s home tour here on ROAR will be something to look forward to!)

This is a woman who isn’t afraid of that (dirty!) word feminism and her ideas on the term definitely include loving herself, being sexual, being smart and YES…appreciating men too. I’ve had the honour of hearing rough cuts of her baby, her main musical project, DARKLARK. They released a single for the project last year, ‘SISTERS.’ A 7″ vinyl single and a one-time printing, SISTERS was the response to a challenge given to Mel by Rich Terfry (aka Buck 65). He sent her this wikipedia link and asked her to write a song from the perspective of the long-passed Papin sisters. (Incestuous lovers and maids to aristocrats in France. The sisters lost it one day, after being worked 6.5 days a week for too long and violently murdered their masters. She takes the side of the sisters in the song) so yea – that’s just how gritty, dark and fabulous DARKLARK is, if you’re into that sort of throught provoking, musically gratifying and spell-binding thing. The single includes a quirky B Side called ‘The BREAKER’ that will never likely make it onto a proper record. They are in a very creative stage of this project right now with lot’s of writing, rehearsing and tweaking going on at the moment.

So when longtime collaborators Mel Larkin and D’Ari Lisle released a live video of their freshly mastered track, ‘GUTTER’…I was stoked. This video in all of its goddess-like, fierce, sincere, passion and emotion-filled excellence moved me to tears. Perhaps because Larkin and I have found a sisterhood in each-other, we share some similar pains from the past. Although that is the intangible thing about ‘GUTTER.’ Many people can relate to the kind of pain of being in a  soul-sucking, damaging relationship without having to go into great detail. 

The video was produced in Toronto by One Take Wonders and is as visually captivating as much as it is sonically mesmerizing. Enjoy!

Women In Film and TV: On Creating Content That Represents Women In The Three Dimensional Fierceness They Deserve

It’s been a year since my first feature film, as producer, Empire of Dirt premiered at TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival). So much has happened for this little film since then, including a theatrical release in Canadian cities, play on Air Canada, iTunes and Rogers On Demand. All great platforms that I’m grateful to have been showcased on.

But, I have to say that some of the most exciting times for me and this film have taken place on the festival circuit. It has travelled around the world and I’ve accompanied it to some. (These days I don’t travel as much as I used to because I want to be with my kids as much as humanly possible.)

HELP

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Immense Pain at 40 – Both Masked & Revealed.

Turning forty took its toll on me. For whatever reason, my body, mind and spirit decided to wait until the big 4-0 to tell me to fuck off. Although I have always been health conscious and alternative in my beliefs about health and wellness, I struggled like many other people, with food and other addictions. I was a smoker since I was 15 (I quit while pregnant and breast feeding but then started right up  again as soon as I was done), I put drugs and alcohol into my body and I harboured self hatred and guilt. All things that will eventually catch up to you… I mean, me…

INSIDE MOCCASINS AND CONCRETE: THE URBAN NATIVE STORY

Invisible Minority.

That is how “we” the Native population in Toronto, are referred to. There are 80,000 of us yet we go unnoticed.

It is for this reason, that I do what I do as a filmmaker and storyteller. I believe in platforms. I believe in the power of storytelling wherever possible. When we share stories we find our common ground.

The documentary Moccasins And Concrete is a collection of stories of a few of us who would fall into that “invisible minority” category. I didn’t make this film, but I participated in the creation of it. The filmmaker, Bobby Brown, did a wonderful job in a very limited time. The first time I watched it, I bawled my eyes out. I related so deeply to the piece my sister Tamara wrote for the intro; it hit home.

I was also hit by the story that Gabrielle Skrimshaw tells. So many of the details from the personal stories highlighted just hit so close to home. I suppose I still have a lot of grieving to do. Grieving for the injustices still being committed against Indigenous people right here in Canada and grieving for those who came before me.

I suppose I believe that harnessing platforms to tell these stories will somehow bring people closer to the truth. I believe that and that is why I continue to produce and participate in telling my story whenever possible. You never know. It MIGHT just change someones mind.

Below is the promo video for the doc…now you can watch the whole film on CBC’s website!

Click for the full feature length below. I look forward to your comments!

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Know More: My Top 5 #IdleNoMore Video Picks

T-Nile’s West Coast Style

So this.

This is going to make your day. Your week. Perhaps your life. My pal Tamara Nile has floored and entertained me with this brilliance of parody, like BOOM! Like WHAM! Like POW!

I had no idea what gangnam was until tonight, and I’m still not so sure, but I do know that this shit is FUNNY and clever…

Currently Digging On…

Nick Sherman. He’s a fine cross of Ray LaMontagne meets John Mayer, except he’s Anishinaabe – so way better.

I kid.

Or do I?

I was introduced to him at ANDPVA’s last Red Revue at The Sister in Toronto. It was also on this night that I was introduced to the greatness that is Dr. James Luna. If you don’t know about this award winning, Pooyukitchum (Luiseño) and Mexican-American performance artist and multimedia installation artist – you should.

I was lucky enough to have had the Digging Roots time-warp encapsulate him on his way back home from a big tour, wherein he played all night at our neighbourhood block party. Along with DRoots. (Video after the jump!)

Rockstars That Glow

Nick Sherman With Digging Roots

The Divine Ms. M

imagineNATIVE is my most favourite of film festivals. It is an epic international Film + Media Arts Festival born of and happening in Toronto, which hits every fall. Celebrating indigenous peoples from around the world who are creating cutting edge film, video, radio, and new media. Presenting a juried selection of  the most incredible, honest, provoking and beautiful indigenous works from around the globe.

Part of their mission statement as stated on their website, ‘imagineNATIVE is committed to dispelling stereotypical notions of Indigenous peoples through diverse media presentations from within our communities, thereby contributing to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous artistic expression.’ Hells yea. And they do it more than well.

To me, imagineNATIVE  as an entity, is a visionary leader. Filling the gap of showcasing qualitative indigenous artistic content, it exhibits to the world the work of Native filmmakers and media artists. Artists who weave art into fiction, into film, into mixed media, into music; of their cultural and traditional landscapes which are generally and otherwise under or misrepresented. An excellent, prolific  example of such misrepresentations throughout cinematic history (and in affect, general history) is the

No No Keshagesh…Reconsider This

*UPDATE 2012: This post is a biggie. Leave it open on your browser. Come back to it often. Soak it up in all of it’s entirety. Please.*

In lieu of the upcoming holidays; there is much to be thankful for, much to discuss in love and unity, much to reconsider. I was in a debate recently over FB. Yea, Facebook. It happens. It was in response to this video being posted by a wise friend.

Voting: Nammy’s, APCMA’s & Toronto’s Mayor

Here’s a bit of shameless circulation. Perhaps you’ll all forgive me, this one – because you love music. It moves you. It inspires you. It makes you wanna shake your boot-ay. You respect and appreciate the hard work that goes into making a career out of art and want to support this beautiful family and their endeavors. But mostly, mostly because they are a solid, groove-alicious band deserving of the nom’s and even more so of the win. Please take a few to cast your votes!

APCMA’s: Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards

Please vote for Digging Roots in the BEST BLUES CD categetory, BEST DUO/ GROUP ✚ BEST MUSIC VIDEO!

To get a stronger appreciation of their songwriting process check it!

Now click on over here, to cast your votes with the NAMMY’s, (Native American Music Awards). The Diggers are in 4 categories: Duo/Group of the Year, Best Pop + Rock Recording, and Best Music Video.

Now that I’ve gotten that worthwhile share off my chest – I have one more thing to say.

Really Toronto??? Rrrrreaaaallllly? So things are not perfect in office. Are they ever? Can they ever be? Is this buffoon the answer? Oy. Vey. Unfortunately all the candidates are a joke, but none QUITE as bad as this loud-mouthed happy-hour. One of the worst electoral race’s I’ve been witness to yet. How we are about to get from bad to worse..

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