Bored To Death: 5 things to do in Lethbridge over the next two weeks

Pretty sure I haven’t mentioned publicly that I am now an “arts and culture” columnist at the Lethbridge Herald (specifically their re-launched/re-imagined Lethbridge Journal), where I will be doing a bi-weekly rundown of things to do in Lethbridge in order to keep from offing yourself. As I will assume (probably rightly) that most of you won’t get a copy in time to act on the events that I am so sagely curating, I’ll post my column here too.

Welcome to Bored To Death, a shortlist of things to do in Lethbridge to aid in the “there is nothing to do here” blues, because the truth is that there is mostly nothing to do here.

Bored To Death September 30 – October 13

1)   “Cereal Gen” at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery (Until October 24) FREE

University of Lethbridge Art Gallery's Cereal Gen Exhibit

The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery has been exceptionally good over the last few years, and the gallery’s latest exhibit “Cereal Gen” is no exception. Edmonton artist Lyndal Osborne’s installation Endless Forms Most Beautiful, which displays alien-like “enlarged seedpods” in the process of being genetically altered, is a must see. It’s time to change the conversation from what the University gallery doesn’t do, to what they are constantly doing so well.

 

2) Art Days (Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2) FREE

Lethbridge Art Days

Even though Art Days sounds like the least fun thing ever, there is no better time to celebrate the world-class art that happens here in our own backyard. The highlight of the weekend is Artwalk, which is an excellent opportunity to see the works-in-progress of some of our local art-stars. Plus: performances in Galt Gardens from our best local musicians and every carb-a-holic’s favourite two words: “pancake breakfast.” Remember to wash the syrup off your hands before you run your filthy paws over everyone’s artwork!

3) Ghostkeeper w/ Michael Rault at The Slice (Saturday, October 1) $10

Come for Calgary’s Ghostkeeper, one of that cities most entertaining live rock and roll bands, but show up early enough to see Edmontonian one-man-band Michael Rault, whose Buddy Holly-esque rave-ups will completely lay waste to The Slice.

4) Randy and Mr. Lahey at Average Joe’s (Thursday, October 6) $20

CHEESEBURGERS

This event sells itself: Randy and Mr. Lahey from Trailer Park Boys doing some kind of comedy routine, a Trailer Park Boys look-a-like contest (which should be fiercely competitive in Lethbridge), and a cheeseburger eating contest.

5) Uncle Bad Touch w/ Ketamines at The Owl (October 11) FREE

Montreal’s Uncle Bad Touch is the latest project from Priestess lead vocalist Mikey Heppner, and their self-released album is one of my personal favourite records this year.  Uncle Bad Touch might be one of the worst band names of all time, but their combination of 60’s arena rock and 70’s folk-rock is completely worth checking out.

Partying like its 1996

Today I did something in Downtown Lethbridge that I hadn’t done since 1996… I put up a shit load of gig posters on light-poles, in stores, and any flat surface that I could find. There I was, getting yelled at by shop owners, getting harrassed by homeless people (though, to be fair, one dude that was wasted out of his mind decided he wanted to help me, so he followed me around for 20 minutes and held them up so I could tape. This was fine, until his homeless buddies started harrassing him “Who’s the new girlfriend.”

I also went to the pub that we are playing at “Jesters” to give them posters and talk shop, and my MOM happened to drive by. I got a phone call asking if there was anything I needed to “discuss,” seeing as how I was going into a shitty dive-bar at 2 in the afternoon.

Jesters is not nearly as nice as Tongue and Groove. Just thought I would put that out there. Though I mostly had miserable experiences at the T’nG, I am thinking that this new venue will lead to nothing except heartache for everyone involved. It was so… I don’t know… hostile? We’ll see how it goes.

The Annotated Neighborhood

Seeing as how I have failed to Annotate much of anything on this blog, I thought I would annotate my neighborhood.

1) In the top corner (right by the anarchy sign), that is where I live.

2) This morning, I watched a drug deal going down in that parking lot (right behind a Boston Pizza), and then I also watched a cop car pull up and bust it up. Exciting! My favourite meal at that Boston Pizza is their Taco Salad (with spicy chicken! Yum!)

3) This is my gym. I worked out this morning, so that I could get “cut.” I “blasted” by pecs and ran on a treadmill listening to the new LCD Soundsystem. It was awesome.

4) That is the Ramada hotel. They have a wave pool and waterslides. Hayden and I went on Monday (before the $2200 tooth accident), and it was miserable! I have never been more dissapointed in my life! It was freezing, dirty. freezing… Unfun.

5) That huge parking lot is the Enmax centre, where right now the “Scotties Tournament of Hearts” curling championship is being held. Thus, there are lots of people in my neighborhood, making me wait Calgary-like hours for my morning coffee.

6) Suburban hell! Lots of garage sales in the summer though, so I can’t hate too much. Last summer, in this very neighborhood, I found a stack of Tom Waits records and a mint condition Casio SK-1 (for FIVE BUCKS!)

7) Hayden’s school – Ecole Agnes Davidson. He is in French immersion (gr 3), and I think he kind of hates it, but he is a smart kid and it is for his own good (damn it!)

8) This is the edge of the parking lot of the Movie Mill. When I was an undergrad, I was the manager there for a bit. It was awesome, and they still are doing my “things” six years later – in the summer they bring in “Retro Movies” – like Goonies, Top Gun, Ferris Beuller (etc), and once a month they do a midnight showing. I tried to convert one of the screens as a permantent “Art House” theatre – but that didn’t fly.

9) This is the home of Lethbridge’s “Big thing” – a giant metal ball. I think it is supposed to be funny – it is a “wind guage” – because, you know, it is really windy here!

10) McDonalds. Walking Distance.

11) Old people live here. They try to have garage sales in the summer, but man, it is nothing but JUNK!

12) Blarney Stone, a traditional Irish pub – a block away.

13) That is a new venture called… “The Shark Club.” I have never been there, but it never fails to crack me up when I drive by… “hey, wanna go to… THE SHARK CLUB???”

14) 7-11. Awesome, but not as awesome as the one in Claresholm.

15) How could I forget – this house on the corner is the fabled “House of Poo” where my band James Leroy used to practice in a loft over a mechanic-shop. Our practice space also served as a training room for local UFC wannabes, so there were lots of things to punch.

16) Random green space.

17) I got in an accident here last March. The guy gave me fake information! What a JA.

ON: Things I did (and did not) buy for $1 today

Lethy is having a “Midnight Madness” consume-a-thon downtown, and so Hayden and myself (…Hayden, btw, is my son, whom I never talk about here because I feel kind of weird about doing so, you know?) got some of these:

(THE BEST. For real, this one pawn shop had this HUGE table full of DVD’s and VHS tapes (…are dead), and when I asked how much they were being sold for, I was told that the VHS tapes were .99 and the DVDs were 3.00. This wasn’t your ghetto “dollar store DVD’s” (which are rad, btw – I own a stack of them), but, as “dude” informed me – they had been picking out “all the good shit” for the last three months and saving it for today! I picked up Bad(der) Santa (which I really like), the Dawn of the Dead remake (which I really, really like), and Hayden got the Avengers cartoon movie…

The real score was the VHS movies I got – the Kids in the Hall Brain Candy movie and the entire Planet of the Apes series box set (and, for some stupid pawn shop reason, they only charged me $1 for the WHOLE THING)

“The box sets count as one” I was told.

“Really?”

“Yeah, we had a whole pile of them, and they take up too much space, so we are basically giving them away.”

I inquired (never inquire) “What else did you have?”

“Dude” rattled off a list of things that made me want to cry… including the Wrestlemania set, the Godfather set, the James Bond sets, the Warners “Gangland” set (a collection of old mob movies that I have wanted for years), The Star Trek movies set… ugh.

I would have bought them all, and then instead of studying for Stats Hell 2: The Revenge of Mt. Statsmore (aka me), would have watched tv for a weeks straight.

The Tongue and Groove has been shuttered?

I have it on good authority that the TnG has been closed down by their landlord, because the owner is apparently in litigation with him over an insurance claim and unpaid rent.

Apparently, the landlord went there yesterday, changed the locks, and wrote on the door in black marker “Closed until further notice.”

What does this mean for the future of live music in Lethbridge? Is the closure of the TnG a good thing? Do any of you dear readers have any further information?