Clyde Wray: Saint John’s Storyteller

Clyde Wray is a poet, a writer, a performer, a producer, and a storyteller. When he speaks it’s in the low rumble of thunder, the room trembles, and small mammals go scampering for the hills. Any occasion to read his words is an opportunity lost that you might have heard them aloud. Most importantly though, Clyde is alive, and he wants you to know that. It’s a relatively common condition, and thus a relatable one, but Clyde embraces it with the full of his being; waking at hours most people would consider death defying, “I don’t like sleeping. I’ve been up now since three o’clock this morning. I like being up, I like being awake, I like being able to have a thought, I like seeing the stars and the moon, I like being in the sun, I like to see the sun go down. It’s all very romantic. I like being in life.” Continue reading Clyde Wray: Saint John’s Storyteller

Penny Blacks: Bande à Part

“First of all, this is very much a surprise. In fact, I am so confident that Penny Blacks is not going to win that I am drafting this short speech for Adam to read on my behalf with the full expectation that he will never do so. That being said, I would like say thank you to the committee and jury at the Originals for this honour, and to acknowledge the great service you do our wonderful city by recognizing the individuals and organizations that foster and create art. Although I cannot be there tonight, my friends, my family, my heart, and the lion’s share of my inspiration are there with you. I look forward to seeing you all in October, and, although I cannot speak for Ali, Adam, Chris, and Clinton, I am personally REALLY looking forward to stripping down to the waist, lubing up, and having Adam push me and this lovely statue around the old Liquidation World parking lot in a shopping cart, screaming ‘I’M AN ORIGINAL!!’ at the top of my lungs. And, if anyone says different? Well, I’m sure this thing would really hurt if it hit you on the head. (How are you doing with this, Adam? Can they tell that I never expected this to actually be read in public?) Thank you again. Jessica and The Playdates, this is just as much yours as it is ours.”

The above speech was written by Penny Black’s frontman and songwriter, Jason Ogden, and delivered, verbatim, by bassist Adam Kierstead, in acceptance for Saint John’s The Originals 2014 Popular Music Award. Continue reading Penny Blacks: Bande à Part

Sarah Jones And Me Look Into The Future

In the middle of Duke Street, in the heart of Saint John’s uptown, stands a curious little building. It was constructed in 1912 to serve as the office of local contractor Edward Bates, and was later purchased by the Architect’s Association, but today it is home to the gallery studio of Sarah Jones. What makes it so curious is that the building is only eleven feet deep, and is home to a monstrous beast of a dog that gobbles up postmen by the dozen, or would if it didn’t require such a suitably enormous amount of sleep, “It is pretty crowded, but he’s good company; he doesn’t move, he just picks a spot, and then he’s done for the day.” Pip, the six-foot, double-decker, Newfoundlander, presumably bred for the purpose of riding into battle, recently curated  his own series of paintings in collaboration with Jones (human), comprising of twenty scenes found during the course of his afternoon walks. When asked about his work, Pip merely rolled over and offered a paw. Continue reading Sarah Jones And Me Look Into The Future

Uptown Saint John Gets Chopping

The wind is stiff and the leaves are changing. As we slowly slide away from summer and into the thick of autumn, it can seem easier to stay bundled up inside our homes or isolated in our offices. Thankfully, we can rely on Chop Chop, Saint John’s biannual restaurant week, to warm our insides and lift our spirits using the very best of local cuisine. Running the week of October 27th to November 2nd, Chop Chop may be exactly what you need to push away that seasonal depression. Continue reading Uptown Saint John Gets Chopping

The Saint John String Quartet Celebrate Maritime Composers

It’s not that listening to Rock & Roll was forbidden in my parent’s house, and our home bore little resemblance to the town in ‘Footloose’, but rather my parent’s taste in music had simply changed over the years, and as children we were forbidden from touching the large collection of vinyl that had been carefully tucked away in boxes under the stairs. Gone were the days of Sir Elton, Sir Paul, and Toto; their places in the stereo cabinet had been taken up by Beethoven, Mozart, and Handel. It was the forbidden quality of those basement records that drew me to music more than anything; these mysterious and somehow valuable objects that had been stacked just a foot away from my collection of Ghostbuster toys (also a valuable possession), and yet must never be played with. My father must have feared my temptation would grow too great, so he began my education on the proper care and use for the home stereo with all of its blinking lights, dials, knobs, and sliders, as complex as a space shuttle and conceivably just as expensive, and along with it came my introduction to classical music.

I can vividly remember my father taking me out on several occasions to experience Symphony New Brunswick: Continue reading The Saint John String Quartet Celebrate Maritime Composers

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