Monday, September 28, 2015

ANN VRIEND’S LONG ROAD (MF GALAXY 045)


SUPERB SONGWRITER-MUSICIAN ON THE CRAFT OF WRITING AND EDITING, THE TEN THOUSAND OUR RULE, AND WHY PASTRY CHEFS DON’T WANT YOU TO EAT THE DOUGH

Ann Vriend is a superb, independent songwriter-musician who’s toured the world and has created six albums including her most recent and critically-acclaimed release, For the People in the Mean Time.

Her vocals are a fusion of Dolly Parton and Aretha Franklin, and her lyrical skill is a standout for her generation. She’s the winner of the 2013 Canadian “She’s the One” contest.
http://www.patreon.com/mfgalaxy?ty=c
In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Ann Vriend discusses:


  • Her approach to the craft of songwriting, including the work of editing
  • The influence of Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen
  • The importance of endless effort and the ten thousand hour rule
  • Why pastry chefs don’t want you to eat the dough
  • Being true to one’s artistic vision, and
  • The true meaning of limitations


Throughout the show we’ll hear excerpts from the album For the People in the Mean Time, specifically “A Long Road,” “A Need So Wide,” “The Greatest Killer,” and “Wonder Why.”

I spoke with Ann Vriend in her home in the McCauley neighbourhood of Edmonton on September 20, 2015. You’ll hear ambient noise throughout our conversation, including at one point a dishwasher running, so I apologise for the below-average sound-quality of this episode. And now on MF Galaxy, my conversation with Ann Vriend.


To hear the full 80 minute, patrons-only extended edition of my conversation with Ann Vriend, click on thePatreon link to become a sponsor for a dollar or more per week. By funding MF GALAXY, you get access to all extended editions of the show, plus video excerpts from selected interviews as they become available.

This extended edition includes Ann Vriend discussing:
  • Business advice for musicians, including how to manage enthusiastic fans
  • The need for business education for musicians
  • The influence of learning French on her personal development
  • The effect on her outlook and songwriting of living in Edmonton’s McCauley neighbourhood,
  • Her reaction to her conservative upbringing, and her thoughts on art versus propaganda, and
  • The global African songwriters and novelists who’ve had the most powerful impact on her.
  • You’ll also hear an excerpt from her song, “Those Records.” And now, the extended edition content of my conversation with Ann Vriend.
UPCOMING GIGS:

Friday, October 2, 2015
Edmonton
Blue Chair Café
www.bluechair.ca

Saturday, October 3, 2015
Calgary
Nickelodeon Folk Club
www.thenick.ca/New
Crescent Heights Community Hall

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Toronto
Musideum
www.musideum.com


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Monday, September 21, 2015

YVES ENGLER ON THE TRUTH ABOUT CANADIAN WAR AND THE SINISTER GOALS OF CANADIAN “PEACE” (MF GALAXY 044)



AUTHOR OF CANADA IN AFRICA: 300 YEARS OF AID AND EXPLOITATION ON CANADA’S ILLEGAL WARS, MINING EXPLOITATION AND DESTRUCTION, AND THE SELF-SERVING LIE OF CANADA’S GOOD-TWO-SHOES SELF-IMAGE
Yves Engler is the author of eight books exploring injustice, Canadian-style. His latest is Canada in Africa: 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation. The book explores Canadian and proto-Canadian involvement in the European holocaust against Africa, support for apartheid in South Africa and Idi Amin’s coup in Uganda, support for overthrowing independence leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Patrice Lumumba of Congo, and destructive corporate exploitation across the continent today.

http://www.patreon.com/mfgalaxy?ty=c

Yves Engler will be speaking at the University of Alberta in Edmonton on October 1st at 7 pm in room 158 of the Education South building (113 Street + 87 Avenue). In advance his talk, he spoke with me by Skype from his home in Montreal on September 15, 2015. Our conversation covered numerous topics including:
  • The exploitative and destructive role of Canada as a global mining superpower, especially across the African continent
  • The appropriate role, from Engler’s perspective, of natural resource development
  • The Canadian government’s manipulative domestic reasons to fund NGOs
  • What mining would look like in Canada if foreigners did to us what our companies do to them
  • Engler’s take on the “trade versus aid” debate, and
  • The twin sinister purposes of what people call “foreign aid.”
To put foreign aid into context, here are political representatives of Canada’s most important political, economic, and military ally. As quoted by Carol Off in her book Bitter Chocolate....
US Senator Hubert Humphrey said: I have heard that people may become dependent on us for food.... If you are looking for a way to get people to lean on you and to be dependent on you, in terms of their cooperation with you, it seems to me that food dependence would be terrific.

US President John Kennedy said, “Foreign aid is a method by which the United States maintains a position of influence and control around the world.”

And US President Richard Nixon said, “Let us remember that the main purpose of aid is not to help other nations but to help ourselves.”
I’ll let Yves Engler explore how far from—or how close to—Canada is to those declarations of policy and morality.

We began by discussing the enormous political value of one Canada’s biggest lies about itself.
Readers: Turning The Tide Bookstore
Bookstores and academics: Fernwood Publishing
Bulk orders for activist fundraisers: yvesengler(at)hotmail.com



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SPECIAL ONE-HOUR LONG EXTENDED EDITION BONUS CONTENT

To hear the nearly-hour-long, patrons-only extended edition of my conversation with Yves Engler, click on the Patreon link to become a sponsor for a dollar or more per week.

By funding MF GALAXY, you get access to all extended editions of the show, plus video excerpts from selected interviews as they become available. This extended edition includes Engler discussing:

  • The truth about Canadian backing of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his role in the Rwandan genocide
  • Canadian General Romeo D’Allaire’s connection to Kagame’s RPF or Rwandan Patriotic Front, and
  • The illegal Canadian war of aggression to destroy Libya, in the face multiple attempts by the African Union to broker peace, and in explicit violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions 1970 + 1973.
To put Canada’s unprovoked, illegal war against Libya into context, we turn to the Ibrahim Index for African Governance (IIAG), the world's leading multi-tiered annual examination of quality of life across Africa's 55 countries, surveying Safety + Rule of Law, Human Development, Participation + Human Rights, and Sustainable Economic Opportunity. It’s based on 40,000 raw data points which are analysed by an international team of experts.

The 2011 report for 2010 results says, “Libya is ranked in the bottom half of the Index in 2010. [Like] Egypt and Tunisia, Libya shows [extreme] imbalance in performance between Human Development and Participation and Human Rights… [and] rank[s] in the top ten for Human Development and in the bottom three for Participation and Human Rights. Libya’s performances in Safety and Rule of Law and Sustainable Economic Opportunity are also weak in relation to Human Development.”

To be clear, the IIAG for 2010 ranked Libya as fifth from the top for Human Development and as number one in 2009. 

The IIAG defines as Human Development as:

Welfare
  • Welfare Regime
  • Social Protection and Labour
  • Social Exclusion
  • Welfare Services (Health and Education)
  • Equity of Public Resource Use
  • Access to Water
  • Access to Sanitation
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Sustainability
Education
  • Education Provision and Quality
  • Ratio of Pupils to Teachers in Primary School
  • Primary School Completion
  • Progression to Secondary School
  • Tertiary Enrolment
Health
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Child Mortality
  • Immunisation (Measles and DPT)
  • Antiretroviral Treatment Provision
  • Disease (Cholera, Malaria and TB)



 





Monday, September 14, 2015

DEWAYNE COPELAND, CO-CREATOR OF SUPERHERO WEB SERIES CV NATION (MF GALAXY 043)


INDIE NEW MEDIA FILM-MAKER EXPLAINS EXCITEMENT, RESTRICTIONS + MEANING OF HIS MISSION

DeWayne Copeland is a new-media indie filmmaker who embodies the Marcus Garvey ethic of “do for self.” With co-creator and series writer-director Scott F Evans, Copeland and their agile team launched CV Nation in 2012, and have produced a first season of six episodes and a second season of four.

The CV in CV Nation means “costumed vigilantes,” because the show is about superheroes and villains fighting for dominance in a world in which paranormal powers are merely expensive but highly dangerous commodities.

The series is a breakthrough not only for its indie aesthetics and production, but because it’s largely about superheroes and villains of African descent


Copeland and Evans didn’t wait around for someone else to do what they and so many others had been craving for years—they just did it themselves.
DeWayne Copeland is a remarkable artist, and a down-to-earth human being. 

He’s a key speaker in the must-see documentary Brave New Souls by Agent Carter screenwriter Brandon Easton. I met DeWayne Copeland at Eagle Con in May 2015 held at the campus of California State University at Los Angeles. We spoke at the Con’s final moments during the tear-down, so throughout you’ll hear the sounds of lifting, loading, and even lurching.

Our conversation ranged over many topics, including:
  • How to recruit skilled artists and technicians to collaborate on indie New Media projects
  • The Africentric impulse that got him moving on CV Nation
  • How he and co-creator Scott Evans found the money to make the series
  • Why they’re forbidden to sell DVDs of CV Nation
  • His long-term artistic and financial objectives as a filmmaker, and
  • His most exciting experience in making the show
  • But we began by discussing Copeland’s own personal origin story.
(Many thanks to Patrick B. Sharp of CSULA for making all my Eagle Con interviews possible. Attend Eagle Con 2016--if Eagle Con 2015 is an indication, it'll be outstanding.)

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CV NATION trailer

CV NATION Ep 201


BRAVE NEW SOULS trailer


Monday, September 07, 2015

A LEE MARTINEZ – AWARD-WINNING NOVELIST OF GIL’S ALL FRIGHT DINER (MF GALAXY 042)



ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF TEN BOOKS SHARES STRATEGIES FOR DYNAMIC CHARACTERS AND PLOTS

A Lee Martinez has authored of ten acclaimed novels including Divine Misfortune, Helen and Troy’s Epic Road Quest, and Chasing the Moon. For his debut novel Gil’s All Fright Diner, he won the Alex Award, which is given to adult fiction that possesses special appeal to younger readers.

Martinez’s work mixes dynamic world-building with whimsical, hilarious, and touching storytelling. Martinez’s The Automatic Detective is one of my favourite books. It’s a noir crime thriller about a robot designed to destroy humanity, but he just doesn’t feel like it, so he drives a cab. But the work succeeds because it’s far more than just wacky—it’s got heart, and characters we can love.

http://www.patreon.com/mfgalaxy?ty=c

In this episode of MF GALAXY, Martinez discusses:

  • The reasons why so many fans and teachers of so-called literary fiction dismiss the importance of plot
  • His approach to characterisation on the invention versus reflection spectrum
  • The skillset required for effective revision, and the dangers of excessive revision
  • What it’s like working with an editor
  • The Dallas Fortworth writers’ workshop he frequents and why he does
  • His approach to wordplay and literary style, including the creation of dialogue, and
  • The art of world-building vs. the excesses of “world-porn,” and the world-building approach Martinez used in the robot-noir novel The Automatic Detective

We began by discussing the craft of plotting and the dangers of hewing too closely to an outline.

To download the special PATRONS-ONLY edition of this episode with A Lee Martinez, click the Patreon link below. Sponsor the show for a dollar or more per episode and access all extended edition podcasts and bonus videos. In this extended episode, Martinez discusses his business advice for writers, and the real reason to attend book signings.

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