Tax Free Day downtown today

    Posted on: Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Pretty much what it says on the tin. Lots of shops participating, some even extending the sale into to tomorrow or the next day.

Here’s the full list of participating retailers, via the super swank Downtown St. John’s website:

A Good Yarn - 4 Bate’s Hill, 738-0556

Annika’s - 172 Water Street, 754-1146

Asian Variety Store (Giftware, dishes, prints, clothes, etc. only.  Excludes groceries.) TD Building 140 Water Street, 726-1698

Ballistic Skate and Snow – 181 Water Street, 726-2665

Benjamin’s Menswear – 277 Water Street, 576-1816

Britannia Teas – 199 Water Street, 579-9288

Byron’s Clothing For Men- 191 Water Street, 753-5555

Candy Bouquet – 165 Water Street, 747-9338

Cod Jigger – 245 Duckworth Street, 726-7422

Country Dreams – 200 Water Street, 753-4438

Craft Council of NL – 59 Duckworth Street, 753-2749

Crafted Treasures – 332 Water Street, 579-3993

Downhome Shoppe and Gallery – 303 Water Street, 722-2970

Downtown Comics- 141 Duckworth Street, 738-2933

East Rider – 205 New Gower Street, 738-3278

Flower Child - 100 Duckworth Street, 738-7375

First Western Boutique – TD Building, Duckworth St. 738-1628

Fred’s Records – 198 Duckworth Street, 753-9191

Freeride Mountain Sports – 153 Water Street, 722-7433

Gallery Shoes - 179 Water Street, 722-5097

Gingersnap - 202 Water Street, 722-2223

Golden Tulip – 295 Water Street, 753 4653

Grand Time – Murray Premises, 5 Beck’s Cove, 739-8444

Hempware - 98 Duckworth Street, 738-4367

Heritage Shop - 158 Duckworth St., 753-9040 & 309 Water St. 739-7994

Holiday Shoppe – 168 Water Street, 738-0722

Home on Water St. - 156 Water Street, 738-8228

House of Gifts - 152 Water Street, 726-0340

Irene’s - 324 Water Street, 579-3316

Island Designs and Elegant Pantry - 282 Water Street, 579-3655

Johnny Ruth – 166 Water Street, 722-7477

Julia’s Closet – 285 Water Street, 753-7576

Kitchen Queen (In store specials only) – 176 Water Street, 726-5587

Living Planet – 197 Water Street, 754-9300

Living Rooms - Murray Premises, 5 Beck’s Cove, 753-2099

Maverick Collectables -250 Water Street, 738-2888

Model Shop - 285 Water Street, 753-7576

Newfoundland Weavery -  177 Water Street, 753-0496

Next Clothing Company - 277 Water Street, 576-6398

NONIA - 286 Water Street, 753-8062

O’Brien’s Music - 278 Water Street, 753-8135

Outfitter’s -  220 Water Street, 579-4453

Our Pleasure – 334 Water Street, 753-5683

Posie Row - 210 Duckworth Street, 722-2544

Railway Coastal Museum – 495 Water St. 724 5929

Ropar – 277 Water Street, 576-6980

Sojourn - Murray premises, 5 Beck’s Cove, 753-6704

Sylvia’s Treasure Chest - 245 Duckworth Street, 753-2345

Tickle Trunk - 318 Water Street, 726-2535

Travel Bug - 155 Water Street, 738-8284

Twisted Sisters - 175 Water Street, 722-6004

Vogue Optical - 337 Duckworth Street, 722 4510

Whink -118 Duckworth Street, 754-7676

Wild Things - 124 Water Street, 722-3123

William L. Chafe - 330 Water Street, 754-1275

Woof Designs - 181 Water Street, 722-7555

You You Shoes – 254 Water Street, 739-5757

Mad Men

    Posted on: Thursday, November 18th, 2010

I could have sworn we’d all grown past this.

Bahamas breezed through The Ship last week

    Posted on: Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Bahamas onstage at The Ship

“This place looks like a bar, smells like a bar, I think it’s gonna work out real good.”

Ontario musician Bahamas played at The Ship twice this week on November 11th and 12th.

Bahamas, aka Afie Jurvanen, has played back-up for Feist, Great Lake Swimmers, Jason Collett, and Hayden.

He is currently embarking on his first headlining tour, playing close to 20 shows across Canada.

Why would this Ontario native with a Finnish background call himself  ‘Bahamas’?

“I just have a really weird name,” said Afie, “I didn’t want to be in a bar repeating my name two or three times… I’d rather have a name that represents the whole [band] thing. It conjures up some nice feelings for me.”

His performance at The Ship was Bahamas’ second time playing in St. John’s. He first came here in April for the 2010 JUNOS, bringing his mother along for the ride. Bahamas was nominated for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year -Solo for his debut album Pink Strat.

“There’s a lot of music fans here and if they want to see us play, I’m really happy to come out here and play for them.”

When asked to describe Pink Strat in 3 adjectives, Bahamas responded, “Brief, simple, direct.”

“They’re all love songs. I generally write about one topic, one woman for the most part. I’m not trying to rewrite the book or anything, there are a million songs about it, but for some reason it is easier to be eloquent in song than when standing in front of her.”

The Ship had a distinctly fishy aroma on Friday night, perhaps lingering from a popular order during their kitchen hours. But that scent was quickly replaced by one of anticipation by the time singer-songwriter Andrew James O’Brien took the stage with his drummer Gerald Coleman.

Andrew James O'Brien performing

O’Brien had  opened the show the previous night and left an impression on some attendees. A patron I spoke with came back on Friday solely to see O’Brien play again.

Folk quintet The Wiles played next. Their female and male vocals, sometimes accompanied a variety of  instruments, sometimes a cappella, were lovely.

The Wiles

Bahamas, accompanied by his drummer, performed many of the tracks off Pink Strat, with some audience members singing energetically along, replete with the occasional swooning girl in the front row.

Some songs were unfamiliar to the crowd, which Afie explained were from his upcoming album. He also threw in some country covers, including Tracy Byrd’s ‘Drinkin’ Bone’.

Will Bahamas return to St. John’s?

“I think generally people [in Atlantic Canada] are really grateful you’re there. A lot of bands sort of look over this part of the country because it is hard to get out to, and once you’re here, there’s also not a whole lot of shows to play on your way back… So you feel the love a bit more. I’ve always had a really good time here.”

Short answer: probably. He certainly didn’t seem to mind the smell.

Playing in the sand

    Posted on: Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Some of the hottest names in East Coast theatre (including Governor General award winner Robert Chafe) are presenting new and exciting work at the Rabbittown Theatre in the form of Five New Very Short Plays in the Sand.

There’s a preview happening tonight, with the official run taking place from Thursday to Sunday.

For tickets call 739-8220. More details on the poster, below.

The cherry pickin’ blues

    Posted on: Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Anyone know what the deal is with this thing? It’s been here for something like a week now, parked in front of the HSBC building on Water Street, just taking up space.

I know at one point I saw a guy up in the cage doing something, but I’ve passed by that machine so many times in the last week when nothing’s been happening with it whatsoever.

A Hava Java employee told me she witnessed a meter maid giving a man in a wheelchair a ticket adjacent to the machine the other day. Apparently the driver had to park in the space behind the handicapped space because the machine was blocking his way, but that space is blocking a fire exit…

Ten points to anyone who can shed some light onto what this machine is doing here. Bonus points to whoever can say when it’s leaving.