Selling Your Heart Out (Dave Von Bieker, preview interview pt 2)

Do we all get to be who we decide to portray ourselves as on screen or in the media? I’d like to believe that it’s possible. But more importantly, I wonder if we can ever live up to the moral ideals we establish about our creative touch.

Making art is extremely difficult to sustain and it takes a lot of personal sacrifice if you really do hope to make it for a life time. Whether your medium is music, painting, design, fashion, photography, video, dance or any other combination of forms, it’s challenging road, filled with dues paid and money earned.

And a more common theme on everyone’s lips is the notion of burning out or fading away with time. The age old struggle of the creative professional – to be completely bohemian or a corporate sell-out. These polarizing terms exist for reason though, and I happen to believe that both are valid ways of looking at this as a career. This is where the theory comes in; if you want to truly be happy, you need to embrace both in some regard. That’s why it’s important to wrestle with the dichotomy of self versus the selfless.

Yes, you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, but relating to what those who have come before and have found success is an invaluable exercise. You might learn something by breaking apart a Kanye West song, recreating a Rembrant, or spending some time with 1927 movie classic Metropolis.

It’s a continual sacrifice. I give a lot for my art and to make it, so it seems crazy to me that I wouldn’t it to be heard by as many people as possible

Dave Von Bieker

I had so much fun talking with local music genius Von Bieker, that I decided to give another preview interview. I know, I know, I promised a full length interview, but this way you get even more content, and I can further craft his story in a meaningful way for you. Time for some more bow-tie rock to haunt your heart.

Enjoy creative cuties!

theories Summarized

Everything I do artistically is an expression of my ideals. Is this a true statement?

It’s an excellent question to ask yourself dear readers, and if you did, please like and share the video, leave me some comments and I’ll share them on social media. Maybe some new theories will unfold in the process.

Coming up next, a review on the new Young Fathers record, so please check back in tomorrow evening for more theories! You won’t be disappointed.

Tim!

The Rise Of Great Design (Alex Racine, game designer, inventor, 3D printer, entrepreneur interview)

Some people in your life just seem to click. You dig their vibe, and they dig yours. It’s very satisfying when you run into someone who thinks similarly and has a drive to match your own.

An achiever, with a command of their emotions (much like Bruce Lee), and with a great level of strategic intent behind every action.

That’s how I felt when I met Alex Racine for the first time, over a year ago. At a Halloween party, no less. Alex puts himself into everything he does. His halloween parties feature layers and layers of props, not to mention thematic food and games. He and his girlfriend are excellent hosts, and they have surrounded themselves with a dynamic and fun-loving group of friends. But that’s not all that matters to him. His deep appreciation of building things goes back into his college years. If you read the preview interview, and watched the associated video, you’ll know I’ve already mentioned his love of sport games, his carnival game events, and how he has evolved into constructing tabletop games, but it wasn’t until this past summer that Alex got serious about formally developing a game, playtesting it thoroughly, and reaching out to the internet for crowdfunding.

He even cut back his day job, so he could focus most of his time on launching this passion project with proper attention. You could say he’s a 3D printing enthusiast, but I would call him more of an inventor and a game designer.

An explorer for a digital age.

Last week, as I mentioned, the preview interview was launched to address a question about the difficulty with designing your own board games, and it was assembled by the founder of Games By AR; the one and only, Alex Racine.

You see dear readers, Alex believes that you should see a creative project all the way through on your own terms, from start to finish. Which is why I had so much fun constructing the questions for him. He’s a thinker, and a dreamer, but most importantly, he delivers. And he does it all on his own terms. We talked about his launch game Uprise! and a little bit about his follow-up game, Anchor What? But this interview is mostly about the importance of doing it yourself.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did recording with Mr. Racine.

I still can’t believe how quickly that one went up.

When all was said and done, I had over 2 hours of footage to work with this time dear readers, but I needed to keep this interview at a reasonable length… And it turned out fantastically! So if you want more of the man behind Games By AR, please, please, please check out his Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and website yourself! He’s building upon better and better ideas every day – don’t believe me? Just ask his Bibo 3D printer.

And special thanks to Alex for being awesome, amiable and adaptive. His desire to make games that people care about, have fun playing, and want to share is incredible. The fact he has the talent to back it up, even better. I foresee Uprise! as the start of something beautiful. Thus we land on the final pun.

Tim!

Leave Me Alone (Leaving Thomas, Leaving Thomas review)

Not every album review can be a winner unfortunately, and while there’s nothing wrong with the old adage of you never know unless you try, I kind of wish I hadn’t given this week’s album a second thought.

 

 

Leaving Thomas – Leaving Thomas

released January 19, 2018
***** 5/10

Leaving Thomas are a Canadian country pop duo from Calgary (a neighbouring city in my province of Alberta). Annika Odegard and Bryton Udy have finally dropped their much anticipated self-titled EP, Leaving Thomas. It’s eight tracks in length make for a pretty hefty EP, but there is enough variety in the song choices that you can sit through it without too much issue. And I can see why their are gaining momentum throughout Canada and the United States, but unfortunately it’s kind of an uneven listen for me, with a lot of filler tracks and not enough chances taken.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see a Canadian country duo getting lots of attention, but if track no. six is any indication, Best Adventure is far from it, and feels a little bit like your average middle of the summer radio jam. Which is probably why it’s one of the the first three singles released.

That said, Blame it On The Neon is where this EP really shines, it a good time for all involved and really showcases Annika’s vocals. You can easily see this song filling a stadium. And If This Is Love is a solid second runner up for best track, with all kinds of emotion, punctuated by the piano, it’s a incredibly deep ballad and something you’d expect from more seasoned performers.

The last of the singles, Waiting Kind of Girl, falls somewhere in the middle, with it’s interesting melodic structure and tempo. But man that chorus is just brutal to listen to. It’s way too on the nose, with rises and falls all over the place. And that percussion just hurts me.

I just wish the album was a bit longer, which would have made it a full-length album, and maybe there would have been some artist driven choices here, rather then the safety net of convention. You can tell this duo has a voice just waiting to break out, but musically they are playing it safe and boring. Unfortunately for us.

Pros: When they are connected, you can tell very clearly that Odegard and Udy are childhood friends that enjoy playing together and to each others strengths, and there is a sweetness to If This Is Love, which absolutely merits it’s inclusion.

Cons: I wish that Udy had a larger role in the vocal work, and that he played off of Odegard more often, because while she is the big sister to his little brother figure, sometimes youth can surprise you with energy and innovation. And I wish that Shame On Me had hit the cutting room floor. Yuck.

Runtime: 28 minutes

Points of Interest: Odegard is two years older then Udy, and they first meet as children during a biblical stage production. They reconnected at the Calgary Stampede 2012 where they were both competitors in a talent search, but it wasn’t until a rained out BBQ that they decided to play 90’s country together and then things clicked.

There is some serious potential with this pop country duo, but it won’t get them into a position of prominence playing it safe. So for now I’ll be leaving Leaving Thomas on the shelf, with hopes that it isn’t nostalgia but success that demands another listen from them.

theories Summarized

I don’t think  you should buy this album or pick up a digital copy, but I do think you should listen to a handful of the tracks and make up your mind to investigate further. Maybe you’ll be more forgiving of the EP that have been, either way Leaving Thomas won’t be leaving the scene anytime soon, and hopefully they take the feedback with a grain of salt.

That said, I am happy to announce another first for timotheories, and an excellent album for you to consider listening to. Grizzly Bear’s Painted Ruins is well worth a spin, and their democratic brand of music is refreshing. Don’t Believe me? Just watch what Brendon Greene and I have to say about the matter.

I hope you enjoyed our first ever Sound Culture video review, but if you did, can you do us a favour and subscribe, comment and like the video? We appreciate your continued support dear readers.

Tim!

An Oasis of Greenery (Muttart Conservatory)

Have you ever wanted to visit ancient Egypt? The jungles of the Amazon, maybe? How about the Netherlands or even just heading south of the border to explore more Americana? Well I can tell you that I sure have.

As a primarily visual artist, I’m inspired by the world around me.

The challenge of course is that it costs an arm and sometimes a leg too to travel the world we live in. What’s an Edmontonian to do, dear readers? Well luckily, for my local readers, I happen to have a solution nestled right in the heart of the river valley.

Something which both shapes our landscape and is separate from it – The Muttart Conservatory.

Discover the Pyramids

The last time I visited the Muttart Conservatory was back in August of 2013.

A good time was had by all of our group. It was a visit with a purpose though. We were there for wedding photos for one of my oldest and bestest friends forever, Nicholas. My friend Nicholas (often known as Nick) and his wife Coral had their hearts set on getting photos in each of the different rooms of the Conservatory. When the day of the wedding finally arrived, and after the beautiful ceremony of course, we rolled up our sleeves, got in our vehicles and headed to the downtown core for city from The Oasis Centre on the west end. As the group entered each of the rooms, our photographer gave us direction, setting each of us up in turn to get the wedding shots needed. I’ll admit, I had not been to the conservatory in ages and so it was an eye-opening experience for me.

But I felt rushed. I wonder why?

PLUS we eventually found a way onto the roof, so no big deal. Well, except for the security breach.

All in all, it was a good day.

Then a few years later I visited once more with my girlfriend-at-the-time. Under less then auspicious conditions, and mostly to see the roof and outsmart the dinosaur, I convinced my partner-in-crime to attend a nighttime scholarly debate on the conservatory rooftop. This time I did get the better of the situation by outsmarting the dino cop, but unfortunately for you dear readers, that story is for a different post.

The Law of Conservation

The Muttart Conservatory really is a gem of Edmonton.

It offers a year round escape into an active garden, curated with plants from around the world. It has been around since 1976, which means that for over forty years, we’ve been able to enjoy the four garden displays on hand.

When I went to visit with my girlfriend Mysticque last Sunday, we made sure to visit the Arid, Temperate, Feature, and Tropical pyramids with equal measures of attention.

As a lover of succulents and cacti, the Arid room was easily my favourite of the four pyramids, with the Temperate and Feature rooms following closely behind. Of particular significance was the exhibit set up in the Feature room.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of confederation, the Muttart has put on a Netherlands inspired displayed of Tulips. The reason for this being that each year since hosting the exhiled Dutch Royal Family during WWII, the Canadian government has been presented with thousands of bulbs as a show of gratitude. This year is no different, but additionally, thousands of tulip bulbs have been planted from coast to coast in celebration of Canada 150.

Not only does the Feature display rotate in this way five to seven times a year, The Muttart also hosts regular tours for visitors, and special programming for both children and adults in plant care and creativity with plants.

theories Summarized

The Conservatory is located at 9626 96 A Street. Accessible via Scona Road, Connors Road, and 98th avenue, this building is open every day of the year with the exception of Christmas. Plus it is open between 10am-5pm each day, and until 9pm on Thursdays. If you want to know more about the cost to visit, you should go here.

I highly recommend it, as there are hundreds of plants to see, and an excellent source of still life for all us creative types who are inspired by the world around them. At least, that’s my theory.

Tim!

I Know What I Know, You Know? (timotheories December 2016)

 

Everybody loves Christmas right? Something something winter wonderland.

Well, all I really know is that it has finally snowed in Edmonton and in a sizeable fashion. AND because I started a new relationship recently with a wonderful lady, literally everything is magic. It’s magic dammit!

So many feels too.

Speaking of feels, I declare it officially appropriate to do your Christmas(y) things now.

emiej

Which means that it’s also important I invest a little of my blog calendar to Christmas related activities and culture, because after all, I’m as white as the damn snow and this is what I know. Rhyme unintended, but conveniently placed for effect. Also, I’d like to give you all fair warning that I will be taking the last week of December off for Christmas and New Years, and to reflect upon the past year, potentially to also come up with some cool ideas for 2017. And maybe watch a metric ton of movies.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

*Disclaimer* As always, every week I purchase an album and movie one week ahead of the actual review release and while I have the best intentions, I don’t always get what I want… so if you follow me on instagram (@timotheories) you can actually see what’s coming.

timotheories summarized – December

Stimulating Sundays – (12/04) Georg Rockall-Schmidt, (12/11) Cross Talk Ep.14, (12/18) Cross Talk Ep. 15
Melodic Mondays – (12/05) The Weeknd, (12/12) The Rolling Stones, (12/19) Michael Buble
Theatrical Tuesdays – (12/06) Hell or High Water, (12/13) Don’t Think Twice, (12/20) Die Hard
Wisdom Wednesdays – (12/07) Jobs, (12/14) Arnold Schwarzenegger, (12/21) Good Will
Timely Thursday – (12/01) timotheories December, (12/08) Megan Warkentin exhibition, (12/15) Singing Christmas Tree, (12/22) Christmas

Can you believe it dear readers, friends, and creative cuties? The year of all killer, no filler is drawing to a close. That means I need to come up with a new theme soon, but for now, let’s look at what’s on the menu for December…

christmas-dinner-table-1442583220gac

There are some great album and film reviews lined up, and a couple of Xmas themed classics for your enjoyment too. Then the wisdom continues as I read a book by Arnold Schwarzenegger for starters, I’ll  continue my series on the OECD index about health and well-being with some thoughts on “jobs”, and then I’ll cap it off with some theories on good will. Our timely entries for the month feature my friend Megan’s graduation exhibition, a couple of Christmas events, and oddly enough, the day in particular.

I already know I’m on the naughty list for not following through with twelve unique interviews each month in 2016, but let’s be honest with ourselves folks, these interview previews have really taken off, eh? And Georg has such a wealth of information that I just HAD to give him two preview clips last month, so now we top off his entry proper with a legit full-length interview.

What about Cross Talk you say? Everyone’s always wondering about Cross Talk. Well Cross Talk isn’t going anywhere, in fact I’m gonna keep adjusting the group rotation and really aim for a weekly rotation into 2017, but for now I’ve got Episode 14 and 15 in the can, heck, we might even see about Episode 16 if I can squeeze it in somewhere… pacing, essentials, and wisdom for sure.

That’s literally all of the theories I have left in 2016, you magical makers. I want you to pat yourselves on the back for making it this far, and really enjoy this month. We’ve got some great stuff lined up, and now is the best time to give the gift of subscribing to the blog, sharing it with friends, leaving some helpful comments, and contacting me to let me know what you love, what you hate, and how you relate.

Spreading the love the only way I know how. With theories.

 

Tim!