Don’t Be Weird, It’s Just Toronto’s Raina

Earlier this month, Indie 88 afternoon drive host Raina Douris was voted the best radio broadcaster in Toronto by NOW Magazine readers. For those of us in TO and who have been around the radio biz (which I have for quite a few years now), it’s a pretty awesome accolade. In my mind, it’s well-deserved. If we’re not listening to SiriusXM in our car on the ride home (and hey, we often are, since they pay the bills and satellite radio rules), we’ve got Indie 88 going. Though it’s only been broadcasting for a little over a year, the station is a fresh coat of paint on the alternative terrestrial radio format, and Raina’s a huge part of it. Plus, I like her as a person. We’ve met a handful of times, my favourite being a fun discussion about Talking Heads at a Toronto bar a few years ago. Oh, and did I mention she’s my daughter’s favourite DJ to boot.

Along with her day gig, Raina’s also a visual artist, and currently has a show going on at Fountain in downtown Toronto. I looked at her work at her website, liked what I saw, and sent her a message to see if she wanted to chat about her art, radio and more. She did, we did, and here’s what came out of our email conversation.

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So, you’re the Queen of Indie Rock broadcasting in Toronto AND a visual artist – how’d that wind up happening?

Oooh! You flatter me! Thank you! Art was my first love. I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to hold a crayon. In grade one, we had to do a project on what we wanted to be when we grew up – I said “an artist.” I drew myself in a beret, holding a paint palette. But when it came time to choose a direction after I graduated from high school, and it came down to illustration vs. radio, I chose radio… partly because I knew that I would never stop making visual art on my own. And I haven’t.

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Blue on Black: Pet Sematary (1989)

Speaking of movies that ruined my childhood, the 1989 film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novel Pet Sematary is right up there.

Pet SemataryThe Creed family – man of the house Louis (Dale Midkiff), his wife Rachel (Denise Crosby), their daughter Ellie (Blaze Berdahl), and their son Gage (Miko Hughes) – move to Ludlow, Maine from Chicago, Illinois in the hopes of enjoying a simpler life. Almost immediately upon arriving at their new home, they meet their neighbour Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne aka Herman Munster) who seems genuinely kind and helpfully knowledgable about their new surroundings. Louis is a respected doctor, his wife loves him, and his kids adore him. Life is damn near perfect for Louis Creed. Except for the fact that everything is about to turn to total shit for the poor guy.

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The GAR! Podcast: The Old Man Episode

 

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Biff Bam Pop! presents The GAR! Podcast, the Glenn Walker and Ray Cornwall weekly podcast where they talk unrehearsed about whatever happens to come to mind. It’s an audio-zine for your mind, a nerd exploration of a nerd world. This week, we’re kvetching about being old, remembering cassettes and vinyl, talking Philadelphia sports, and just generally telling kids to get off our lawn. See and hear more after the jump.

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Leiki Veskimets On…the Fight Club DVD Commentary

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favourite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on…something they love.

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DVD special features are not widely commented on in the media since DVD releases are not much of a breaking or interesting story.  Nor are the commentaries automatically included, far less so nowadays with movie streaming popularity.  To that end, it often seems like a bit of a gift to the viewer who enjoyed the film or simply wanted to know more about how it was made.  Sadly, those that do exist tend to fall into two categories.  Either they are dry and dull with huge gaps between comments or, those where too many of the cast gets together, open some beers and proceed to giggle, talk over each other, and continuously fall behind the pace of the film.  Neither option is particularly enjoyable.  But a rare few are the gems that are the “Fight Club” DVD commentary, narrated primarily by leads Brad Pitt and Edward Norton along with director David Fincher, with the addition of a few bits (recorded separately) by Helena Bonham Carter.

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The Mockingjay Will Soar – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions

Let’s be quick and to the point – we know The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is going to top the box office with oodles of cash this weekend. How much will it bring is the only question. Here’s our prediction:

newmockingjay_largeBoth of the previous installments in the Jennifer Lawrence staring series of films have done gangbusters their opening weekends and Mockingjay should no doubt do the same. Look for a first place debut with $155 million, for the biggest opening of the year.

As for the rest of the top five, Big Hero 6 will be in second place with $21 million. Interstellar will be close behind with $19 million, with Dumb and Dumber To following in fourth place with $17 million. Gone Girl will close things out in fifth with $3 million.

So, to recap, here are our predictions:

1) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – $155 million
2) Big Hero 6 – $21 million
3) Interstellar – $19 million
4) Dumb and Dumber To – $17 million
5) Gone Girl – $3 million

Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how the weekend turns our!

Steampunk Granny’s Interview with Dawn Noel, Part Two

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In part one of my interview with actress and dancer, Dawn Noel, we talked about our hometown South Philly and left off with a short film she produced and starred in with Chad Coleman… yes, my little walkers, that Chad Coleman better known to all us fans as Tyreese on “The Walking Dead.” Dawn is now working on another short film called Twenty Two Years. Does South Philly produce more than its share of talented stars? Find out after the jump.

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American Horror Story: Freak Show S04 E07: Test of Strength

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Remind me not to attend Elsa’s next birthday bash. She throws killer parties. In last week’s episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” we witnessed bad people doing bad things which left me wondering if Twisty the clown died too soon. I would have loved to introduce him to bully Del, slimy Stanley and jealous Elsa. Speaking of bullies, Del better watch his back, there’s a lynch mob of females coming for him. Read the rest of this entry

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S02 E08: The Things We Bury

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While Agent Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. team face off with Hydra in the present day for the Obelisk, that first 0-8-4 object known alternately as The Diviner, its secrets may lie in the past as Hayley Atwell playing Agent Peggy Carter of the Strategic Scientific Reserve returns in tonight’s episode. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “The Things We Bury.”

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