X Files Renewed for Another 10 Episodes

Everyone’s favourite alien investigating duo, The X-Files, will be coming back! Fox ordered 10 more episodes for the cult favourite show. Last season was a big success, and many people thought it would get another season, and I am very glad they were right. Chris Carter, the series creator, will also return as Executive Producer for the new episodes, which will start production this year and air during 2017 and 2018.

The original X-Files series premiered back in 1993 and ran for 9 seasons, winning multiple awards during its course.

VanCAF 2017 May 20th and 21st

On May 20th and 21st, the VanCAF 2017 will be held at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. VanCAF is a two day celebration of comics and graphic novels and the people who create them. It also will be including an exhibition and vendor fair featuring hundreds of creators from around the world. The festival has been going since 2012, attracting more than 3000 attendees along with over 90 exhibitors in their first year. The festival keeps growing, with last year having attendance being over 10000 and featuring over 200 exhibitors.

The two days will be filled with comics programming, comic creators from home and abroad, and art lessons for kids. Festival hours are 10:00 AM to 5:00PM on Saturday and Sunday. For more info: http://www.vancaf.com/.

Canadaland Comes to Vancouver

If you are a fan of Canadaland, the Canadaland Guide to Canada, will be stopping in Vancouver for a show. Jesse Brown, who is the publisher of Canadaland, will be hosting a show that will consist of a series of stories accompanied by slides, short films and highlights of Canadian film and tv from a satirical angle. Jesse will also be joined by local comics and historians.

Canadaland is an audience funded podcast hosted by Jesse Brown that focuses on media criticism as well as news, politics, and investigative reporting. The site also features text essays and articles. The podcast has had such guests as Margaret Atwood, Desmond Cole and Jay Baruchel.  Jesse has won the National Magazine Award for Humour and the Hillman Prize for Investigative Reporting.

The show will be at the Biltmore Cabaret, on May 11th. Tickets are $15 plus taxes and service charges. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets available here. 

Paramore Release New Music Video

Paramore, a band that has been through a lot, from lawsuits to band members leaving, is back with a music video for their newest song, Hard TImes. The popular emo band is back, with a very different but fun sound. The music video, along with the new song, is very reminiscent of the 80s. With backgrounds filled with bright triangles and colourful animations, the music video is worth the watch. Even though the song is stylistically not very emo, the overall message of the song is the same as the Paramore I remembered as a kid. I have been listening to this song on repeat for the last five hours, and it still hasn’t gotten old.

Paramore has been on a break for three years, and this return has a lot of fans excited. The band’s lineup changed once again after this album cycle with bassist Jeremy Davis leaving the band near the end of 2015 and former drummer Zac Farro rejoining the band in 2017. The return of Zac Farro has many fans excited for the future of Paramore’s sound, myself included.  Check out the new music video below.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

Mass Effect: Andromeda, oh how I had such high hopes for you. Andromeda is the newest game in the Mass Effect series, and boy is it a bit of a letdown. You can play as Sara and Scott Ryder, who is part of the Andromeda Initiative, a group of Milky Way galaxy citizens who are attempting to travel and settle the Andromeda galaxy. There are golden worlds that were planned to be settle, but once you arrive, you realize things aren’t what they seem. I found myself getting sucked in quite quickly, with travelling through an open world on different planets, fun combat and the occasional flirting with space aliens (nothing gets me into a game like the opportunity to date aliens).

I will say, once you get through the first two planets, which are quite boring, the game gets better. Aya, the home planet of the new alien species, the Angara, is my favourite place to visit in the game. The scenery makes travelling through the game more thrilling and more enjoyable. Now if only that excitement and enjoyment lasted. After my 30th hour into the game I found the story getting stale, the gameplay boring and the characters dull. I won’t even get started on the animations and glitches that plague the game, but in the game’s defense, it’s no more glitchy than Fallout 4.

What really gets me, and the biggest reason I pretty much stopped playing (I currently am on a break after getting through 70% of the main plot), is the story. Dry, dull and overall just bland. Ryder is no Commander Shepard. Pass Mass Effects had you playing a likeable hero, and companions with better fleshed out personalities. Out of ten I’d probably give it a solid 6.5.

 

Master Of None Season 2 Trailer Released

Netflix has finally blessed us with a trailer for the upcoming second season of Master Of None, the hit show created by comedians Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. The trailer shows us Dev (Aziz Ansari), back in New York City after his trip to Italy.  The description of the video states “After traveling abroad, Dev returns to New York to take on challenges in his personal and family life, a new career opportunity, and a complex, developing relationship with someone very meaningful to him.”

We also see a little footage of guest star John Legend. Excited to see where this season will take Dev, and we have a lot of high hopes for it. You can watch the last season of Master of None on Netflix. The show has been a big hit and plenty of people are thankful for a second season. Aziz Ansari won in the Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy category in the Golden Globe Awards of 2016 along with a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.

The second season of Master of None will be released May 12th.

Girlpool May 27th at The Biltmore Cabaret

Coming to Vancouver is the LA punk duo, Girlpool.  On May 27th, the duo will be performing at The Biltmore Cabaret, they are on tour to support their latest release “Powerplant” (out May 12th). Girlpool is made up of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, who have been making music with each other since they were in high school. They just released a new music video for one of the singles off the album 123, sounds like you are in a dream just hanging out in the sun. The music video is directed by Nick Rattigan, that has the duo covered in green paint and walking through the streets, along with hanging with friends. 123 is a great start to an album we have yet to hear, it is aviable for pre order. 


Tickets for the show are $13 (plus service charges and fees) and available at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketfly.com. Doors 7 pm, show starts at 8 pm.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere Announced + Teaser!

The wait is over, HBO finally announced the date for the season 7 premiere of the hit TV show, Game of Thrones. For the past months, when asked when the next season would start, HBO would usually just say ‘summer’ but now a date has been solidified. On July 16th we’ll be seeing where we left the mother of dragons and Jon Snow, and HBO was kind enough to also bless us with a teaser on their Twitter. Though the teaser doesn’t have any fresh footage from the upcoming season, it does have a snippet of some new dialogue from Jon Snow: “There is only one war that matters. The Great War. And it is here.”

Horizon Zero Dawn: Fun, Different and Exhilarating

I remember seeing the trailer for Horizon Zero Dawn when it was first announced at E3 2015, and was immediately stoked. Finally after waiting, the world has been blessed with Horizon Zero Dawn, the action role playing game that takes place in the distant future where robots walk the earth and humans are hunter/gatherers. You play as Aloy, a young woman who has been an outcast in her tribe as she didn’t have a mother, something looked down in the tribe that is a matriarch. Aloy’s main mission is to find who her mother is and why she left here, throughout the story there are many twists as to who or what her mother is. Aloy uses a variety of ways to kill enemies, such as setting traps like tripwires using the Tripcaster, shooting enemies with arrows, using explosives, and melee combat. The combat is clean and fun, and often times can be very difficult, but when you finish off an enemy that took 15 minutes, you get a sense of relief and excitement.

The plot is my favourite part of this game, with such a deep and interesting plot, I found myself needing to know what happens after each quest. Finding out about the ‘old ones’ who are those who lived before the earth was overtaken by robots was fascinating (occasionally they reference things in our world, like snapchat, but I’ll let you find out why) and listening to audio files was also a fun thing added (you can find them in ruins or usually on your way to a main story quest). I felt myself getting emotional at times (I may or may have not cried) especially at the end, it just has such a gripping story and dialogue.  

It seems with Horizon Zero Dawn’s popularity and success we have a good chance of getting a sequel, which is what I need right now. If you like the Fallout series or Tomb Raider (2013), you will definitely enjoy Horizon Zero Dawn. When you are in the ruins and discovering items and stories from the past, it felt so much like exploring a tomb or a vault. The climbing controls are just as clean as Tomb Raider (if not better). Visually it is a stunning game, the character designs have variety and the detail of the old world still lingering in the future, with old robots decaying or metal doors being covered in vegetation. The visuals add so much into the immersion of the game.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this game, it was 100% all the way through and I was hooked within the first 15 minutes. Available on the Playstation 4, Horizon Zero Dawn is a must play of 2017.

Hollerado Tour Stops in Vancouver

Canadian indie rock band, Hollerado, will be coming to town in the summer promoting their new album Born Yesterday.

Born Yesterday is also the name of the first single off the album of the same name. The band said about the music video:

The four of us have never had as much fun playing music together than we’ve been having since we made this record. Lately we’ve felt as if we are a bunch of seventeen year olds jamming together in a garage for the first time.

The song Born Yesterday tries to capture the excitement we’ve been feeling and we wanted to make a video that reflected that. We asked ourselves, “what weird places have we always wanted to play music in?”

 

Hollerado will be performing at the Commodore Ballroom on June 10th (it’s a Saturday!) and tickets are $20 (Incl. GST) + s/c. Tickets go on sale on Feb 24 at 9am here.

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

Starting on International Women’s Day, it’s the 12th annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWIFF). Running from March 8th to 12th, this year has a fantastic and impressive line up including the following:

Bombing

An SFU grad project, Sophie is an unmotivated comedian. Then her estranged daughter returns unexpected, and Sophie finds a new way forward in a movie tackling motherhood, fulfillment, and responsibility.

Lemonade Mafia

Kira’s organic lemonade dynasty is threatened when rival entrepreneur Shantel moves in on her territory. From Vancouver-born director Anya Adams, with strong performances from Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), Marsai Martin (Blackish), and Emily Procter (CSI Miami), Lemonade Mafia mixes humour with heart in this thirst quenching comedy for all ages. (It looks hilarious!)

Stingray Sisters

This is the story of the magnetic Eather sisters who, with stubborn humour, resist the fracking of indigenous territories in Australia. The work not only explores what it means to live in a mixed family, but how to unite communities despite youth who lose hope and elderly who pass away, redefining what it means to truly lead. This is an inspirational and timely documentary that manages to trace beauty in the madness.

If you want to find out more you can check out their website http://www.womeninfilm.ca/

Teen Angst Night: March 11th

We were all angsty teens at some point, and now if you have any stories you want to share about being a moody brooding teen, you can! Teen Angst Night is happening at the Fox Cabaret on March 11th. Teen Angst Night is a comedic reading series host and produced by Sara Bynoe since 2000.  Readers at this verbatim storytelling night can share anything (poetry, songs, letters, journals, diaries, essays, stories, plays, lists, etc) so long as it follows these rules:

1- The work must be your own.

2- You must have written it between the ages of 10-19.

3- You cannot be proud of the work you share; it’s best if you’re super embarrassed.

So if you feel like reliving the memories of when you sat alone in the dark, listening to My Chemical Romance while writing some sort of terrible fanfiction, this is the event for you! If you want to read your piece, you have to sign up before hand, but if you just want to sit and listen to some cringe worthy stories, tickets are Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

The Anxiety Show: F**k PTSD March 2nd

The Anxiety Show, is a new dark comedy show that was started by Megan Phillips who explores different mental health disorders each show, as told by comedians who have experienced them firsthand. The first half features stand-up, sketch, storytelling, and music and the second half is open-mic style to give audience members the chance to share their own stories.

Their very first episode was, F**k Fat Shaming, which sold out in advance, and they are pumped to offer their second show: F**k PTSD.

Comedians performing are:

Mark B. Hughes (Comedy Shocker, Sold-Out Run of Tragedy + Time Served = Comedy),

Megan Milton (Comedians and Clonazepam)

Morris Bartlett (Goddamn Millenials)

Katrina Bennett (Runner Up, BC’s Funniest Female)

Jess LR (loves puppies!)

San Aung (great with words!)

K.C. Novak (Prounounced “K.C.”!)

Chris James (Just for Laughs Montreal and Halifax comedy Festival)

Come laugh at something that we usually don’t laugh about!

Tickets: $10 in advance / $13 at the door

The Anxiety Show is dedicated to the memory of Haigan Day, and they will be collecting donations for Crisis Centre BC.

Juno Nominees Announced for 2017

The 2017 Juno nominees have been announced, with plenty of our favourites being nominated for awards. Tegan and Sara were nominated for three nominations including Songwriter of the Year, Group of the Year and Pop Album of the Year (for Love You to Death). Grimes was nominated for Alternative Album of the Year, for her album Art Angels along with Video of the Year for Kill v Maim.

This year the Junos have received some flak from the band Tegan and Sara who say this year the nominations lack women, a statement from their website reads:

“In 8 categories no women were recognized at all, and in over 12 additional categories, only 1 in 5 of the nominees included a woman. Specifically in the areas of production and engineering, it is discouraging to not see a single woman represented.”

“We write this message today in the hopes that we can all work towards balancing the scales for women, people of colour, and LGBTQIIA artists and bands in our country in the years to come,” the sisters concluded.

Spin magazine reports that in Alternative Album of the Year and Indigenous Music Album of the Year, women are well represented but in many other categories such as rock, metal, dance, electronic and Breakthrough Group of the Year are mostly men.

The artists with the most nominations this year are The Weeknd, Drake and Shawn Mendes, with five nominations each.

Chutzpah! 2017 Festival Dates

Chutzpah! The Lisa Nemetz International Jewish Performing Arts Festival is the Lower Mainland’s winter music, dance, comedy and theatre festival presenting international, national and local artists. The Chutzpah! Festival gives audiences work that is forward-looking, multi-layered, and also entertaining.

The 2017 Festival runs from February 16th to March 13th at the Norman Rothstein Theatre and along with other venues in the Lower Mainland. From comedy to dance, there will be acts from all over including The Klezmatics on their 30th Anniversary Tour, comedian Mark Schiff and a film series. With something for everyone, it’s worth checking out a night or two of Chutzpah!

First Impressions: Riverdale

We all know the Archie comics, those cute wholesome comics that you either read in line at the grocery store or on the toilet, well it’s now on Netflix & The CW, and the show Riverdale has reincarnated Archie into an edgy male model type who writes music and sleeps with his music teacher. I know it sounds bad, but so far my first impression of this series is I sort of like it?

They kept the old gang, with Betty still being her good girl self with some baggage stemming from her family and overall ‘goodness’. And then there’s Veronica, who’s still rich but also has some skeletons in her closet in the form of her father being incarcerated. Josie and the Pussycats make an appearance in the series, the group has one visible change, they are all black. They are still rad and I hope we get more of them in the series. I thought the first episode was a hit. They did a good job overall of introducing our favourite Archie characters but at the same time gave them some much needed twists and backstories.

It should be noted that this series is a CW show, so it will likely have those dramatic teen stories that would never happen in real life, but if you like shows like Pretty Little Liars, Scream, Scream Queens, well then you probably will get hooked on Riverdale pretty fast. Also this is filmed in Vancouver, and boy can you tell with all those pretty pacific northwest forest shots. I’m looking forward to the rest of the episodes, and hopefully it doesn’t get too “out there” with it’s drama like CW likes to do. It’s worth checking out the first episode.

Best Horror Game of 2017 So Far: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

If you love a good scare I highly suggest checking out the newest installment in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Unlike it’s predecessors, Resident Evil 7 focuses on more of the horror than the action in the game. You play as Ethan, a civilian who is on the search to find his wife, Mia, after she’s been missing for three years and thought to be dead when he receives video messages of her in distress. When Ethan arrives in the fictional city of Dulvey, Louisiana, he is held captive by the infected and hostile Baker family.  Ethan, unlike the characters in previous games, has no combat experience but can find and use pistols, shotguns, axes, flamethrowers, explosives and chainsaws to use at his disposal against enemies including the Baker family, and a newly introduced type of creature known as the “Molded”.

Now I’ve played this game on PC but it’s also available on console along with VR (which I can only imagine is a hell-like experience but also it’s great to see how far VR has come along with graphics), and I would not play this alone. You play this game in first person and you mostly play as Ethan but occasionally through the power of VHS tapes and near the end of the game, you get the opportunity play as other characters (still in first person). This game uses its environment in an incredible way, using things besides jump scares to create a disturbing and frightening atmosphere. From the mold to the bugs, there is a scare around every corner but the scare isn’t always in the game but also in your head. Yes this game plays some mind tricks on you but it’s worth it. The boss fights can be difficult and stressful, but like previous games in the series, once you complete a puzzle you feel a great sense of accomplishment along with relief.

If you are looking for a solid action-horror game that focuses more on the horror rather than the action, I would strongly recommend picking up a copy of Resident Evil 7: Bioshock.

City and Colour Announce Never Before Released Songs

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City and Colour announces two never before released songs from his 2015 album, If I Should Go Before You. “Peaceful Road” and “Rain” vinyl pre order will be available on January 27th.  The release will be available on limited edition 12” black vinyl cut at 45rpm. A City and Colour Artist Exclusive (bone colour) limited to 500 will also be available.

Credit: Alysse Gafkjen

Credit: Alysse Gafkjen

City and Colour (Dallas Green) is one of Canada’s most well known and acclaimed acts, having 3 JUNO Awards, & 7  Platinum-certified albums and 3 Gold-certified albums in Canada (City and Colour, Alexisonfire, and You+Me). City and Colour’s latest and 5th studio release, If I Should Go Before You debuted #1 on the Top 200 Soundscan, his third consecutive chart-topper in Canada.

A pre-order is available starting Friday, January 27 via the Dine Alone Store HERE (black vinyl) and City and Colour’s store HERE (colour vinyl). 

New Game Announced from Marvel and Square Enix Partnership

Marvel and Square Enix fans, gather round because the big shots just announced a game collaboration. Marvel Entertainment and Square Enix announced Thursday that they have partnered for the Avengers project. The game will feature an original story set in a universe to be filled with fan-favorite characters, environments and moments. To be developed by Crystal Dynamics (who worked on Tomb Raider) and Eidos-Montreal (Deus Ex). With the trailer just being released not much is known, but boy is it exciting! The Avenger game is the first to be announced in what the partnering called ‘multi-year, multi-game partnership’.

No Man’s Sky Vast but Empty Promises: Our Least Favourite Games of 2016

2016 brought us a lot of terrible games so just like we wrote about our favourites, here are a few of our least favourite games we wish we didn’t waste time on in 2016. No Man’s Sky, never have I been more disappointed in a game since I got my hands on Spore.

The thing about No Man’s Sky is that for many it isn’t a bad game, but when you compare it to what was expected by both gamers and journalists it was a massive disappointment. After a while, the game feels very repetitive and with a Steam rating of mostly negative reviews, it looks like even with updates, this game will probably never regain the trust of once excited gamers. There are a lot of things I liked about No Man’s Sky, it’s vast world (that you will never complete unless you are immortal because it is that large) and the adventure of landing on a new planet. If anything, the game itself wasn’t bad, it was the expectations of the game that killed it (there are many a Youtube videos about how PR promises were broken).

Along with being told it’d be impossible to run into people in the game because of the vast universe, on the first day of release it happened (with the result of not being able to see the other person because it wasn’t properly implemented in the game, another developer promise that didn’t go anywhere).  In the end, if the No Man’s Sky debacle taught us anything, it is don’t pre-order games (like so many disappointed people did).