BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics.
IF I WERE YOU podcasts veterans Jake And Amir keep flying high Jake and Amir travel the world with their podcast advice, while providing lively feedback. What started as a move to make it easier for them to book theatre shows has taken podcasters Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld across the globe to more than a million listeners each month. The depth of their fan base isn’t surprising, given that their previous project, an eponymous web series for CollegeHumor, was the website’s longest running show with more than a billion views in total. When Hurwitz and Blumenfeld left CollegeHumor they began If I Were You, a podcast that looked to answer listener questions in humorous ways. The decision to start a podcast started with one fairly practical intention in mind: touring. As they put it, “We just thought it would be a cool idea to start podcasting. We heard it was an easier way to book touring dates so we thought if we had a show that we could do live that we would get to travel a bit more.” This plan would end up being quite successful, giving them the chance to tour the world, as Hurwitz puts it. “Since we started the podcast we’ve got to go to Australia, London, Dublin, even Boise, Idaho. The big four,” Blumenfeld adds. “Holler at your Boise!” BY GRAEME WIGGINS One might think a long-running advice show would struggle to overcome the problem of repetition. To some extent this is true and they do see some similar questions, but they use their ample skills at finding the funny to keep things different. As they explain, “We do our best to answer unique questions. It’s hard to avoid. Most of the questions are in the same vein. There’s a ton of relationship questions because that’s what our young fans have the most trouble with. But if you think of all of the things that have gone wrong in the relationships you’ve had, they are always pretty unique. So there’s enough room for each question to be unique. We’ve also been growing and evolving so our advice has also been doing that over the last few years.” This coupled with the fact that all of the humour comes from making the person asking the question a source of jokes helps too. “A lot of the time we just make fun of the person writing the questions and everyone has a different writing voice so we always make fun of the person. Even if the advice is the same, we can make fun of the person uniquely.” Since they started the podcast with the intention of touring with it, the live show takes the show to another level. Blumenfeld notes, “It’s the same format. But we’re feeding off the crowd’s energy so it’s much more performative. We ask the audience for help with certain things, we include them, we involve them. It’s a fun lively party atmosphere.” Some shows might consider taking questions from the audience rather than traditional submissions, but there’s a good reason they don’t. “We still answer questions that are submitted because we do our best to find the funniest ones and sometime audience questions are going to be the funniest or dumbest questions. We do take informal polls about which advice to give people.” It’s definitely worth checking out live for that energy, but be sure to check out a few episodes of the podcast first. As Hurwitz suggests, “I think you probably have to already like the show to enjoy the live show, so start with a few episodes, then check the recorded live show. Then come see a live show. If you like the podcast you’ll love the live show.” Check Out Jake and Amir: If I Were You Live Podcast March 7 at MacEwan hall and download the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. 10 | MARCH 2018 • BEATROUTE ARTS
FIVE ART & MERCHANDISE open minded gallery space puts art in everyone’s hands Julia Kansas, left, and her sister Caleigh, right. Photo: M. Grondin Five Art & Merchandise, a local studio, shop and gallery located in Calgary’s East Village, is using unconventional and fun ways to bring new art to everyone. Owned by Julia Kansas and organized with the help of her sister Caleigh, Five Art & Merchandise (or Five AM, as it’s also known) ditches the formality of many other art driven spaces, and has put a spotlight on 12 different exhibitions since it opened in 2016; with each exhibit rotating monthly and showcasing a wide variety of contemporary styles. “We wanted to create a space that emerging artists could experiment and showcase their work,” explains Julia. “We wanted to be much more approachable to people that kind of exist outside of the art world, which can be a little stuffy sometimes. We want to welcome people into a space where they can really engage with art and new projects.” Each showcase gets its own opening party, which has filled the stylish, minimal and tiny shop into intimate shoulder-to-shoulder celebrations. And, each showcasing artist gets their own limited edition merchandise to accompany their work. “It’s a hub of creativity. A place where anyone is free BY MICHAEL GRONDIN to participate, or pitch ideas, or just come and hang out,” says Caleigh. “The art we’ve had in the shop has been quite diverse, which is refreshing. We’ve had skateboarders who do drawings, we’ve had people who are still in art school show their work, tons of photographers, painters, filmmakers, sculptors…” she explains. Julia adds, “We did one group show that was a 36 person portrait show, where a bunch of artists did portraits of each other. They hope to continue to branch out to newer things, both explaining that Five Art is, in some ways, filling the gaps left by the more serious side of art shows. “I think it’s important to have spaces like this because Calgary needs more open and more inviting spaces that promotes different projects and different ideas,” says Julia. “It doesn’t always have to be art for art’s sake, when instead it can be for art for everyone and that’s the biggest thing we’re trying to do.” Five Art & Merchandise is located at 609 Confluence Way SE. For more information on the shop and their art parties, check out @fiveartandmerchandise on Instagram. CANADA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT CONCERT PROMOTER MOTIONLESS IN WHITE THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT TOUR WITH EVERY TIME I DIE, LIKE MOTHS TO A FLAME, AND ICE NINE KILLS Monday, March 19th, 2018 Union Hall, Edmonton AB Doors: 6pm All Ages Welcome Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 The Palace Theatre, Calgary AB Doors: 6pm All Ages Welcome PROTEST THE HERO 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR WITH GUESTS Friday, March 30th, 2018 The Palace Theatre Calgary, Alberta Doors: 8pm 18+ WANNABE THE SPICE GIRLS TRIBUTE BAND WITH GUESTS THE BRONX WITH NO PARENTS AND GUESTS Friday, March 30th, 2018 Marquee Beer Market + Stage, Calgary AB Doors 7pm 18+ Wednesay, April 4th, 2018 The Starlite Room, Edmonton AB Doors: 8pm 18+ Thursday, April 5th, 2018 Dickins Pub, Calgary AB Doors: 9pm 18+ TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT MRGCONCERTS.COM ARTS BEATROUTE • MARCH 2018 | 11