Birds Of A Feather (Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate review)

I watched American Beauty this past week, and it made me cry dear readers. It wasn’t something I was expecting, but I suspect the movie just opened me up to the experience of addressing some hard feelings I had about love, loss and hate. If you’ve seen the movie, I think you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say it was during Lester Burnham’s final monologue.

That’s the challenge with feelings though, you don’t always get what you expect in life, but that doesn’t make them any less important to work through.




Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
released July 15, 2016
********* 9/10


Michael Kiwanuka is a British singer-songwriter that makes soul music with a folk backing. Influenced by many classic acts of the 1970s, including Jimi Hendrix, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tommy Sims, Kiwanuka has now released two albums on the Communion Records label.

I think it’s safe to say that we can hear hints of those musicians in his sound, and  there are other artists which could fit the reference bill as well, like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, but that doesn’t mean because Kiwanuka has skipped the innovation party that he is an imitator by any regard.

Rather he sings about his personal experience using soul music as his platform. Black Man In A White World is an excellent example of this and a great second track to include on the album right after Cold Little Heart. At almost ten minutes long, that first track is emotionally heavy and rightly so because of the self-analysis it runs through.

This record is full of little examples of heartache and unresolved pain. You know how it goes though, life has it’s moments of joy and newfound love, but when that relationship hits the end of it’s value  you’re left without closure and unfortunate leftovers of those emotions. Falling is the third track and it describes that sense of love lost and the hindsight bias of moments that should have been red flags.

As the album works towards the middle Place I Belong, title track Love & Hate, and One More Night each do their part to keep the tempo somber and compelling in it’s deep explorations of tolerance. The title track in particular brings more of that length to the game, running at just over seven minutes in runtime.

After all Kiwanuka is narrating a story of man looking to find his place in the world, one which is confusing at best and tragic at it’s worst. But the hidden strength is definitely in the production provided by Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton; where we can feel included in this raw questioning of things and appreciate his insecurities. After all, while the record is very heavy in it’s themes, the tone isn’t so dark as to leave us out of journey.

While I have a special place in my heart for Cold Little Heart, and Love & Hate, the stand out track is probably Father’s Child, another longer song which explores the spiritual side of life and looks for both meaning and guidance.

With all of that said, Love & Hate is a solid album and definitely worthy of an inclusion in your collection, but don’t take my word for it, check out some of these music videos first. 1 2




Michael Kiwanuka is exploring some great ideas and feelings on this record, and while the saying goes, you can only hate someone you once loved, it’s in the quiet moments of reflection that we realize that those strong emotions are what allow us to enjoy and appreciate life. It might be sad to let someone go, but our lives are all the better for it, Kiwanuka just asks we spend some time with it.

But that’s just a theory.



This Click-bait Will Change Your Blog For The Better (Buzzfeed)

Click-bait. We all hate it, and we hate it because of what it makes us feel inside. We click that link hoping that the headline will deliver on what it says or that picture will open up a gallery of wonders. But it never does… It just fulfills instant gratification, without any kind of growth. In case you have absolutely no idea what I am referring to dear readers, I’ve set up some examples, which will follow below.

He thought he was safe. What happened next changed his world.

Number 9 is the most shocking one!

Marketing companies hate her.

What they learned was terrifying.

We already knew it, but she perfected the delivery.

This idea will make you a better reader.

Click-bait is without a doubt, the perfect example of a pejorative word. With sneering and everything.

We’ve all been there, surfing the internet from the safety of our homes while rocking our PJs with a litre of red wine, while scrolling through our preferred media of consumption (insert Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Google Reader or YouTube for starters) when we see it. A headline that just screams INSTANT GRATIFICATION. All you problems solved in one click. Knowledge, sex, fun, tears, power, miracles, etc.


But fuck that.

Click-bait doesn’t really solve any problems. In fact, it’s been designed by marketers to help generate revenue; quality and accuracy be damned. The goal is close the sale and get your curiosity past the point of intrigue but not sated enough that you can ignore the headline. And so you click. Because the thumbnail picture is conjuring feelings or the headline has a supposed spoiler in it. As I already mentioned, go anywhere on the internet and you are sure to find examples of click-bait in use.

It’s what made the website BuzzFeed so popular in the first place way back in 2006. It was originally founded as a hub for viral content, and it did a good job of bringing in users so that they would see content on its way up the social ladder, at the peak of its popularity, or content that was now overexposed and burning out fast.

With this traction the company was able to grow over the past decade and slowly become a source for internet media of all kinds, with a focus on digital media and tech. They’ve made great efforts to curate old content, deleting over four thousand articles at one point as they changed the face of their brand.

Now a website that once used click-bait of every kind to draw in traffic, instead produces their own daily content which consists of both articles and video, and has a staff of reporters, artists, and part-time contributors. Did I mention they also let their community contribute to the conversation?

Which means that they are more interested in traditional methods of publication now that they have traffic and want to have a good reputation too. Though they still click-bait. Man oh man do they still click-bait.


So why did you decide to write about Buzzfeed then timotheories?

Because I have this theory.

How convenient for me. And for you! You see dear readers, I think that click-bait is our generations version of hot topic marketing. It’s not that much of a stretch when you think about it, but have you thought about it?

That’s the real question.

You see, over the past couple of centuries in the western world, marketing as evolved just as much. We’ve gone from eras of trade, to production, to sales, to having marketing departments, to having marketing companies, to “relationship” marketing, and now we are in the middle of social/mobile marketing. This article goes into detail on it, but for our purposes I’ve included a handy little chart that D. Steven White put together.


As you can see, none of those marketing previous forms have died by any means, however, as they lost focus and became normative behaviours, creativity moved in new directions (as it always does) and communication had to go right along with it. Is click-bait the end-all-be-all answer in an era of social/mobile marketing? God no. But it is something to consider in the scheme of things, and it does have value.

So your task as an art maker, art shaker, and art breaker is to figure out all of the tools available, become an expert at marketing and move forward. But that’s something we can go into more detail on in a future post.

But what do you think? Am I missing notches on the marketing tool belt? Is click-bait not worth the time it took me to craft this sentence? Please leave some comments, subscribe to the blog, and share with your friends (artists, art enthusiasts, and humans apply)… I’m out of theories for today friends, I’ll catch you tomorrow with something timely.


Recipe For Hate (The Hateful Eight review)

Let’s be frank. Yes frank, not Sally, not Tommy, not Mary, or Sue, but frank.

Frankly, I have enjoyed films most of my life, and the semi-indulgent nature of earning the knowledge associated with industry names, terms, and sitting through repeated viewings of films so that I can quote them, and call up details is one of those weird things that I am very proud of.

And with the right affection, not affectation, I can use that knowledge in helpful ways and contribute to conversations or generate them from thin air. The problem with so much love is that it can turn into hate, the opposite side of love, but equally with as much passion.

That’s where today’s movie review comes in.




The Hateful Eight (2015)

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins
Director: Quentin Tarantino
released on blu-ray March 29, 2016
******** 7/10


IMDB: 7.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%, Audience Score 77%
The Guardian: ***/*****

Quentin Tarantino is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, and actor. He has directed eight films to date, in case that wasn’t clear from the movie posters, trailers or the case of movie release. Which I would like to take a moment to think upon, because he has definitely directed more films than 8, but I guess he has decided to ignore certain works as canon (My Best Friend’s Birthday and Four Rooms)

All of his previous films have been tentatively noted to be set in a particular universe and are self-referential. For instance, the 6th film Inglorious Basterds shows a world where the Americans defeat Hitler rather violently by mowing him down and blowing up a movie theatre he is located in, setting the stage for his pop-culture ridden characters of post 1940’s America.

The Hateful Eight is adventurous, entertaining, and nuanced, but is it a good film?

Taken from Wikipedia and edited,

Years after the Civil War, bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) is transporting three dead bounties to the town of Red Rock, Wyoming. He hitches a ride on a stagecoach driven by a man named O.B. Jackson. Aboard is John Ruth (Kurt Russell), a bounty hunter known for bringing in outlaws alive to see them hang, and fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh)), whom Ruth is escorting handcuffed to him to Red Rock.

Former Lost-Causer militiaman Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who claims he is travelling to Red Rock as the town’s new sheriff, persuades Ruth and Warren to let him on the stagecoach. Warren and Ruth form an alliance to protect each other’s bounties. Mannix and Warren almost come to blows over their controversial war records.

The group is forced to seek refuge from a powerful blizzard at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge. They are greeted by Bob (Demian Bichir), a Mexican who says owner Minnie is visiting her mother and left him in charge. The other lodgers are Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), a hangman; Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a quiet cowboy travelling to visit his mother; and Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern), a former Confederate general. Suspicious, Ruth disarms all but Warren.

As the group eats, Mannix surmises that Warren’s Lincoln letter is a forgery. Warren admits this, saying the letter buys him leeway with whites, outraging Ruth. Warren leaves a gun next to Smithers and provokes him into reaching for it by telling Smithers he tortured, sexually humiliated and killed Smithers’ son. Warren shoots Smithers in “self-defense”, in revenge for Smithers’ execution of black soldiers at the Battle of Baton Rouge.

While everyone is distracted by the confrontation, someone seen only by Daisy poisons the brewing coffee. Ruth and O.B. drink it, vomit blood, and collapse. The dying Ruth attacks Daisy, but she kills him with his own gun. Warren disarms Daisy, holds the men at gunpoint and leaves her cuffed to Ruth’s corpse. Warren is joined by Mannix, whom Warren trusts because he nearly drank the poisoned coffee.

Warren executes Bob, deducing that he is an impostor who killed the lodge owners. When Warren threatens to execute Daisy, Gage admits he is the poisoner. A man hiding in the cellar shoots Warren in the groin. Mobray draws a concealed gun and shoots Mannix, who returns fire, wounding Mobray and forcing Gage against the wall.


That’s a good place to set up a cliffhanger, because frankly this movie is almost 3 hours long and happens to have one.

With that all said and done, I did enjoy this movie, though it did feel a little slow going at times, and I struggled to find the surprise, because this is a Tarantino film, and he always attempts a crazy plot twist. And I’m pretty sure I ruined it for myself by reading the credits at the bottom of the movie case. So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, definitely don’t do that.

Pros: The movie is less interested in addressing issues of race and inequality, though strangely laden with opportunity for it, and would rather gift us with a western theme and combination of both subtle and no-so subtle violent emotions.

Cons: What is baffling about this film is the way it was pitched in previews and in the trailers. Shot on 70mm and presented with vistas, but it doesn’t do anything like those old westerns, it attempts to be one, but doesn’t quite reach it.

Runtime: 187 minutes

Points of Interest: According to Tarantino the major influencers for this film were The Thing and Reservoir Dogs, which makes a fair amount of sense. Though Samuel L. Jackson has been involved in six of Tarantino’s films, this is his first time as a lead actor. This has been confirmed to take place in the same universe as Django Unchained, though it is not a sequel.

My initial impression after watching this movie for the first time was that I did enjoy it. I enjoyed the set pieces, the costumes and the era appropriate characterizations. After watching the movie, and thinking upon it more, I decided that while I do enjoy this movie, and I can definitely sit through extra screenings, it’s not a movie I am going to endorse to see for it’s themes or narrative. It’s a fun movie, but not necessarily a thought provoking one.

You see, the thing about hate is that you have to have love first, and you can only ever hate something if you felt strongly enough about it in the first place to have been wounded by it. Quentin Tarantino loves film, all of its intricacies, and he is willing to take risks to create new films, while inspiring thoughts about the industry in general.

I’ve loved a number of his films in the past, but something about this one doesn’t quite sit with me. Now I don’t hate it, but I’m wondering if something far worse is setting in – indifference. Which is in fact the opposite of both love and hate. Just a theory though.


… Son of A (Catalogue Your Artwork, Please)

You know what one thing I hate more than so many other things in the world is?

The boring-ass menial labour involved in executing administration, no matter WHAT kind I am tackling and how it relates to my life.


Now hate is a strong word, and I generally don’t subscribe to hate in other areas of my life, because it’s the path to the dark side – plus it’s incredibly toxic for your mental health. But it really is a bitch to do certain types of simple and tedious planning & execution, well, for me anyway. But I know that a lot of other creative types struggle with it as well. Especially when we already know what needs to happen, and just don’t want to do it.

That’s kind of what cataloguing my art work feels like. One gigantic painful never-ending process of taking pictures, uploading files, labelling said files, and then storing them somewhere (usually an external hard drive)

Interestingly enough, I’ve already done a pretty good job of it over the years, which is the biggest hurdle, in truth. Getting a system in place – coming up with names for each piece, the dimensions, material used, and the year (sometimes even the month) the work was completed. That’s the first step to a successful inventory.

But in order for that to happen, you have to do one of two things…

  • Take photos of everything shortly after completion and then label accordingly on the file name OR
  • Make notes on the back of the work immediately (year, medium, title), for when you CAN get around to photography

Remember that post I wrote last week about the Allegory of the Collage series I’ve been working on for the past decade or so?

Well I was really good at recording those key details of the pieces in the series, especially at the beginning, but then I lost my stride for a bit, and figured “no big deal, I have a good memory, especially when it comes to my own art, I’ll be able to come back and write the year on these drawings,” which was true at the time.

But another year passed, and I was submitting new drawings in the series for art exhibitions, luckilyI had the foresight to write down those names too, and immediately take photos! But after that point in time, I totally lost track of the work completed in subsequent years, as second time. Until last last year, when I decided to start making the collages again, and began the process of marking the details directly on the back of each piece.

So I have two gaps in the work created, I think some of it was made in 2007, and the rest between 2009-2011, but I cannot be sure. Which sucks.


I can make a bunch of excuses for why this happened, but it doesn’t really matter because, whatever the excuse is, I still don’t know where to place about 25 of the pieces. And that sucks, because I don’t really want to guess, but in order to properly catalogue the work online, I need to have those details.

I mention this for two reasons.

First, I need the work digitized for a post I’ll be writing on Pinterest in coming weeks (which was supposed to be written a posted tonight, until I ran into the above issues)

Second, I’m going to show you in detail why it’s important to do an inventory of your work, and how to accomplish this exactly.

If you don’t have a studio inventory, you’ll be kicking yourself in a few years, and as painful as it is for me to workaround a problem of 25 images, imagine how much it would suck to do this with hundreds of pieces? Don’t fret though, this isn’t meant to scare you straight out of the studio. This is an education; it’ll get better, I promise.

For now, get started by taking photos of all of your work, including the title, the materials used, the dimensions of the piece, and the year it was made. I sound like a broken record, I’m sure, but trust me on those points. Then either store the images on your computer, a hard drive or find a place on the cloud.

I’m personally toying with Flickr option at the moment, but I’ll give you an update when I have an ideal solution, or two.

But what do you think? Have you already organized your work? How did you do it? Please leave some comments below and I’ll have some more theories tomorrow!



Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Space:Nunz)

In a time when loving love can be just as polarizing as hating love, it’s refreshing to see people who recognize that disparity which so often happens between star-crossed cultures, and push through it all the same – while laughing.

What the heck does that have to do with art or the going ons of your life, timotheories? 

Well, a few different things will justify this, dear readers. First and foremost, Valentines Day is just around the corner.

Second, it’s reading week in Edmonton next week, as well as the girlfriends birthday next week. And while those two things don’t have anything major to do with this week specifically, they have led me to commit to a vacation from my day job next week, which is important for this week – You’ll see, because you should now expect lots of cool updates on timotheories soon, which is foreshadowing to a minor tie-in to the first thing. AND FUTURE THINGS. Yes plural.

Last thing (read: one of the FUTURE THINGS), and the most relevant to you fine folks – a very special band has put together their first ever self-curated musical comedy show, which will be debuting this weekend on Saturday night February 13th, at Bohemia located at 10217 97 st NW, Edmonton AB.

Okay, let’s start tying all of these threads together. I’ll start by giving you a bit of background on Valentines Day first.

Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday which has totally gone off the rails.

I mention this because a lot of the symbolism and traditions stem from a Christian saint named Valentine who was martyred on February 14th. Those symbols and traditions really came into fashion in the Middle Ages via Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle of friends, a time when popular fiction was about noble knights performing services for ladies. As such by the 18th century, England had adjusted it’s social cues such that people expressed love through flowers, sweets, and giving each other handmade greeting cards called Valentines, which of course, are now largely replaced by commercial ones.

What are the symbols?

The heart shape, doves, heart keys, and Cupid.

These are all Anglicized symbols of Valentines day which have been around for centuries now. Interestingly enough, we don’t really know a lot about Valentine the man (or men, if you do a little research) other than stories that indicate he would perform unofficial weddings for soldiers that were forbidden to do so and minister to Christians as a time of great persecution. He was eventually imprisoned and executed in Rome, by Romans, but managed to heal his jailers daughter before he was executed, leaving a letter to her that ended with “your valentine.”

What all of that exposition means, and what I am trying to spell out, is that culture is weird.

I get why some people really dislike the commercial forced obligations of this holiday. But I also understand why others think it’s sweet and like to observe aspects of it, whether they understand the origins or not. As a fan to culture and a bigger fan of satire, this is why I’m excited to check out Cupid Can Suck It on Saturday night at Bohemia!

Space:Nunz will be hosting this event and coincidentally they are also this month’s featured interview. Whoa, the tie-ins are starting to happen. That’s right, I am working behind the scenes to put up an interview I recently had with them. So stay tuned for that!

As mentioned already above, Space:Nunz are a musical comedy duo who are super awesome and make music about possible futures where people are food zombies, how to make friends with spiders, and other things. Laura Stolte and Nathalie Feehan have been jamming together for about a year now and they have been hanging out with Edmonton’s local comedy crowd and also finding time to join in shows with various other musical acts too.

They recognize that Valentine’s Day is an incredibly strange holiday and are big proponents of making clever, weird and fun art. Which is why I think they are the perfect act to check out this weekend, especially when they are hosting a group of 10 other acts that night. I’m sure we’ll see awesome content that is clever and challenges typical comic conventions.

If you want to hear more about the event directly from them, check out this incredibly recent article from VueWeekly! Otherwise, leave some comments and please subscribe to keep up with my media reviews, wisdom posts, local events, and theories on the arts! See you on Sunday friends!