Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Feature #1 - Brett McCrindle

EDDY!!!!  This is happening!!!  I'm super jazzed to be posting the first feature on What's Up Eddy. AHHHHH!  I hope you enjoy it.

Red Deer born comedian and all around awesome guy Brett McCrindle joined me, late night, to hang out and chat at Denny's.  We cover topics such as food, first performances in your basement and comedy contests.  Brett hosts the Thursday night comedy show at The Underdog at 9pm - click HERE to join the FB group.  Also, check out Brett doing his live set at The Empress Ale House (just click the video). You can find Brett going across Canada in the month of September on the Blending With the Locals Tourcation, for updates join the Facebook page HERE and follow them on Twitter #tourcation.

Have an awesome week!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Strip Malls Are Right and I am Wrong; The Beast & The Payoff

So I bitch a lot.  It is something that I've always loved doing as it is the dumping portal of my inner cynicism.  I also LOVE being right.  Doesn't everyone love being right?  How often do you hear, "Man I love being wrong."  You might hear the words, "I'm glad I was wrong."  But people only use that term when they are talking about actually being right.  "Man, I thought I had HPV - glad I was wrong."  No one ever spurts the words, "I didn't think anyone sold fake weed anymore - glad I was wrong."  Being right is something we are taught from the time we enter this world - be right, do the right thing, right and wrong, what's the right answer, right is good and wrong is bad.  I'm trying to teach myself to be comfortable in the fact that I am wrong.  Hell, even to just admit I'm wrong has become 10 times easier for me in the past 5 or so years after I became conscious of how much of an asshole I was becoming.  It is another area where comedy saved my life because in comedy you have to admit you are wrong, be okay with it and do more of that wrong thing that everyone is laughing at.  The way our brains are wired through our development though is to be right - how many people become insecure in front of others?  Seriously, how many people take a stage and stand in front of a crowd of people they don't know because they don't want to do something 'wrong'?  Tons!  Even some people don't feel comfortable admitting their own mistakes to themselves or those closest to them.  Damn!!  It's nuts, right?  Why?  Why do we do this?  Some of the greatest art and inventions in the world come on the heals of great mistakes.  And things are only 'right' because we think or say they are - it doesn't actually mean they are right.  I'm sure there is a Battlestar Galactica episode that covers this topic.  HA!  That fucking show.  I almost finished it, but it got to be too much like Lost towards the last seasons.  And if there is one show I couldn't get on board with it was Lost.

But!  I digress back to bitching and the title of this entry - Strip Malls Are Right and I am Wrong; The Beast & The Payoff.  I've been in Edmonton and surrounding area for the past four months or so now and have noticed something that is extremely profound to me - every where I go there is a strip mall - it doesn't matter if it's Edmonton North, South, East or West; if it is Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, St. Albert, Sherwood Park or Mill Woods there it is. The late 20th century piece of architecture that I think any architect with half of a taste bud left would look at and think, "Wow, that is one ugly and inefficient piece of shit."  Is that too harsh?  Am I alone with this point of view?  Can you honestly say that you find comfort in seeing the beauty and practicality of a strip mall?  You can?  Fuck you, no you can't.  They're pieces of shit and we all know it.  Only the developers love them and it isn't for any other reason than the fact that they make tons of money.  I CANT STAND HOW THEY ALL LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME WITH THE EXACT SAME STORES IN THEM. (nice segue way there am I right?)  Where is the diversity in this type of development?  I could literally be driving by the strip malls on highway 16 in Spruce Grove and not even notice the difference if I were driving by the strip malls on 138th.  There is no personality to our neighbourhoods and I completely blame not only the powers in place, but also the complacent people who do nothing to change it.  Why does no one speak up about this?  Where is the community?  Where are the elected officials to take care of this shit?

I believe that the strip mall is killing our neighbourhoods and bringing nothing but homogeny to our culture.  I hope that other people can see this as well, but if not, I'll say it to myself I guess.  Who allows these buildings to continue to be built?  Who's the guy?  Who knows the guy, who knows a guy?  Who pays the community board?  Who bribes them 'mafia style' to get them to okay these one story pieces of tasteless shit?  All they are is a massive, bland, structure surrounded by a parking lot that forces anyone outside of a block of their radius' to have to drive to them.  "Really Kelly?  What makes you so right about this?  How can you shit on our beautiful strip malls?"  I'm RIGHT!!!  Please reference paragraph 1.  HA!!

Well, look at it this way - if Edmonton developers continue to build out, rather than up, what could be arguably the best farmland in the world will be completely covered with concrete and asphalt in no time.  So rather than starving ourselves of such a wonderful natural resource maybe we should consider this, "How about we put apartments on top of the strip malls?  Every strip mall should have a five story walk up residential building on top of it."  POPULATION DENSITY.  That's right.  Bring us closer together - it is a city after all and the best cities are dense, in their population. ;).

The benefits are obvious, no?  It would benefit everyone because it creates easy access for the people to patron these businesses, it would stop the need for people to be driving to just go to the store, it would decrease the amount of urban sprawl and it would create communities because people would be out and about, interacting with each other in the public spaces.  Am I wrong here?

Tell me what you think, post a picture of your favourite strip mall, leave a comment below or tweet me @kkreye with the hashtag #stripmallssuck

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Success 5000

I was sitting at the Underdog, watching a comic from Toronto who was splitting the headlining bill with Success 5000.  I can't recall the guys name, but I do recall all of his jokes being very male-centric and the crowd not loving him that much for it.  I felt tired from working all day and being out most of the night already so I was considering leaving before Success 5000 did their show, but I didn't (and I'm happy as shit that I listened to my gut to stay).  I wanted to see them again as I had only seen them once before at Dr. Jokes about a month ago and I remembered thinking, "I like this, but it's not hitting me as hard as I wish it would."  Well, Josh and Robyn took the stage at the Underdog, this past Thursday night, and literally from their opening hellos to their final goodbyes they killed it.  They rocked the whole room; they were funny, sincere, light on their feet and completely connected with their audience.  What I realized in watching them the second time around was that their songs are not meant to be a laugh a minute, joke fueled tunes that only guys in their inner circles repeat.  Their songs are layered with fun, seriousness, self deprecation, love, thoughtfulness & a fine, refreshing touch of nihilism.  They went all out for the people in attendance and vice versa as people sang along, requested songs and bade many a happy-a-birthdays to Josh.  In between songs Josh & Robyn shared a wonderful rapport with not only themselves, but their audience as well.  I just can't say enough about the show - it was one of those fucking awesome shows that come around every once in a while that blow your mind and remind you that this is the reason that we gather, this is the reason people go out to see shows (or the reason that performers do shows); so that we can experience that once every now and again type of feeling where everything comes together and we all share in an experience that we never could have predicted and if we tried with all of our might we could never recreate.  My hats off to Success 5000 and I hope to see more of them around town, I also hope that you too go and see what these two awesomely creative gentlemen are up to.  Check out their attached video as well as their Fringe show - "A Series of Grisly Murders at Lonsdale's Record Shop."  You can check out their website for all of their vids, shows, etc.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Well, as they do say in some circles, let the good times roll.  I've had this idea in my head for a blog (a word that I don't like all that much) to communicate with others - through video, audio, stills & text - who are interested in the creative human beings who inhabit their cities.  These inhabitants/artists bring eccentric, unique, fun, moving, thought provoking, comforting experiences to share with everyone around them.  The people I will post about are essentially creative types who love to create experiences for people to gather around ie. The Musician, The Comedian, The Chef, The Actor.  You could put them all into one descriptive title "The Entertainer".  To begin with the blog will mostly be centred around Edmonton because that is where I am staying at the moment - hence the title.  And Edmonton I have to say, "There are amazing things happening in your city and you should be out experiencing them."  "Why?" You ask.  "Because Edmonton that is how you expand your mind, come together as a community and build culture."  Okay, okay, I'm done with my soap box.  Actually, I'm never really done with my soap box as I could go on about strip malls, urban design, mass transit, local consumption and a pleather of other topics for quite some time.  BUT!!  I won't, not yet anyway, not until you at least get to know me and hopefully like me enough to listen to my radical ideologies.  HA! So just to start I'm posting a picture of myself and my two sisters that was taken at my Dad's woodpile business - we all grew up here just 13km southwest of Stony Plain on a little acreage that had been in my family for 4 generations.  Catch you all in the next post.