First Look: Adaline’s “The Noise”

It’s time to admit it. Success in the music industry isn’t always based on talent — a large part also depends on image. Hell, sometimes even image alone can make you, talented or not.

Adaline, however, has plenty of both. The artist, born Shawna Beesley, has more than enough talent to go around. Her live performances and presence overflow with a cool sort of confidence, stylish and hip but not pretentious and overbearing. It’s the perfect storm and a music label’s dream.

This comes across clearly in Adaline’s new music video for “The Noise”, the latest single off her sophomore album, Modern Romantics. The storyline of the video, while a bit abstract, speaks to the context of relationships and looks at the environments where we foster emotional connection. In a city filled with noise and the buzzing of society, where’s the romance?

Of note is director JP Poliquin, who also directed Adaline’s last music video for “Whiter/Straighter.” Poliquin does a great job with “The Noise” and it’s clear he’s a director to follow in the future.

Adaline, “The Noise”
From Modern Romantics (2011)

Adaline – “The Noise”, Modern Romantics (2011)
Director:  JP Poliquin; Production Company:  The Field
Executive Producer:  Cherie Sinclair; Producer:  Jason Aita
DOP:  Todd Williams; Editor:  JP Poliquin
Choreography:  Sidney Leeder
Dancers:  Sidney Leeder, Monica Calzaretto, Milda Gecaite, Katherine Rakus, Randi MacQueen
Male Lead:  Ted Puglia
Hair and Makeup:  Luisa Duran; Stylist:  Muska Zurmati
Label:  Light Organ Records

Feature photo and screen captures by Stephanie Ip.

Feature: Live@YVR

Last week, I was assigned to spend 24 hours at YVR with Jaeger Mah, winner of the airport’s Live@YVR contest. Sure, it sounds a little ridiculous to think spending a whole day at the airport constitutes news but it’s one of those rare assignments that are just plain fun for the heck of it. Plus, news isn’t always politics and crime — sometimes, it’s just sharing something with readers that they don’t get to experience themselves.

For the majority of my 24 hours, I hung out with Jaeger and his childhood friend Dallas, running around the airport, filming different people, places and plain ol’ cool things to do at YVR. I even got to hang out in the cockpit of an Airbus A330. Not a lot of people can say they’ve done that. We saw the ins and outs of the airport, a lot of cool things going on that the public generally doesn’t get to see.

Anyway, Jaeger invited me to be in his video and I reluctantly agreed — I’m not exactly a broadcast kind of girl. Strangely enough, I enjoyed it even though I didn’t appear on camera once the whole year I was in journalism school. I usually stuck to being behind the camera. The video’s been posted and it’s a pretty fun clip. You can check it out below.

Now, a couple quick answers to some questions I’ve fielded. I’m sure Jaeger will appreciate these…

Is the guy legit?
Yes, Jaeger is legit. He’s funny, outgoing, carries himself well, is very comfortable on camera and just likes to kick back and grab a beer. A lot of people saw his original entry video and thought that he was a little too self-promoting and was trying a little too hard to sell himself. The point many miss is that the entire contest was about finding the right person to be YVR’s storyteller.

When Jaeger and I sat down for our interview, I asked him about this and he admits that the video is definitely a video resume of sorts. The thing people need to realize, however, is that Jaeger didn’t put on a persona when he appeared in his entry video. The friendly, very relaxed guy that you see is very much the same Jaeger in real life. You might wonder if I’m falling under the same spell Patrick Fugit experienced in Almost Famous. I thought maybe I was too. After all, Jaeger is quite charming — it’s how he won this contest. Later, I cracked a joke and his friend Dallas said, “You can come party with us in Port Alberni anyday.” Humour crosses boundaries and barriers and we connected over that. The fact that my type of humour seemed to be their kind of humour showed that we were operating on a different level than just the typical “media” relationship.

Did I ask Jaeger any uncomfortable questions? Some. Did we crack jokes that were “off the record?” A little. But the thing about balancing your relationships in this business is that you need to know where to draw the line. I didn’t give Jaeger any reason to mistrust me and he didn’t try to sell me any crap. It’s about straight-shootin’. I don’t doubt that having his good friend around at the same time probably helped him to feel more relaxed than if it had just been me and a him — a reporter and her interview subject.

While some of you still don’t believe me and are still convinced Jaeger probably tried to sell me a good story, you should know that he’s also wary himself. During our time together, he mentioned that his favourite people at the airport asked nothing of him, unlike others who try to slip in here and there a small detail they hope Jaeger will promote via the Live@YVR project.

Isn’t this just a promotional tool for the airport?
Yes and no. The goal of the project was to celebrate YVR’s 80th anniversary and to tell the world about all the great things YVR has to offer. That’s PR speak for promoting the airport so yes, in a way, it’s really just a promotional tactic to sell the airport. However, it’s not something the communications team is shy about. Spokeswoman Rebecca Catley told me the team loves the airport so why wouldn’t they want to show it off to the world? If businesses benefit from that, then that’s great too. The great thing is that from this one PR tactic, a whole slew of stories and an entire community has emerged to welcome the world’s prying eyes.

There are certain assignments that are arranged for Jaeger to cover (i.e. exploring the bag hall to see where your luggage goes, introducing Air China’s new businesses class cabins) and some are quite obviously promotional in nature. But through these assignments, Jaeger’s been able to dig up little stories here and there, details that give the airport character and flavour.

The night I was on assignment, Jaeger was assigned to cover Air China’s new business class cabins. While doing his interviews, he began to chat with David Solloway, Air China’s senior advisor Canada, about a ton of other things. Solloway’s whole family is in aviation, a long legacy of pilots and airline professionals. I didn’t catch the whole story but Jaeger is hoping to go back and share more of Solloway’s story. Catley, the YVR spokeswoman I mentioned earlier, shared a story with me about how her dad is able to recognize a plane’s engine just by the distant sound of rumbling. It’s histories like these that Jaeger’s been trying to share with the world.

So whether you think living at the airport for 80 days is weird, cool or just a corporate sales tactic, don’t shun Jaeger because of it. He’s a cool guy with some big dreams and an interesting way of sharing stories. I highly recommend you follow his blog over the second half of his YVR residency and see what else there is to explore at YVR.

Here’s a couple of my favourite shots from the 24-hour adventure.

Jaeger Mah looks out the window of his Fairmont YVR hotel room. Photo by Stephanie Ip.

Jaeger Mah sits in the cockpit of an Airbus A330. Photo by Stephanie Ip.

Jaeger Mah chats with Air China’s senior advisor Canada David Solloway about
the brand new business class cabins on an Airbus A330. Photo by Stephanie Ip.

Jaeger Mah steals a quick bite to eat in between shooting segments for CNN. Photo by Stephanie Ip.

Featured Photo: I caught a quick catnap in the terminal while on my 24-hour assignment. Photo by, yes, me.

Review: Live at Squamish.

If you know me, you know I love Weezer. Which is why I bought a ticket for Live at Squamish the second they announced Weezer would be a main stage headliner. Done and done.

And sure enough, the show was every bit as wonderful as they always are when I see them live. It was my fourth time in four years and for the most part, I’d expected that they’d play a lot of older songs because of the recent Memories Tour they’d been doing. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID! (Except nothing off Pinkerton… sigh.) They again had Josh Freese on the drums, freeing up Pat Wilson to shred. So radical! Anyway, I won’t go too far into details but I’ll highlight a couple of fun things.

I thought I’d end up going by myself since I couldn’t convince any of my friends to buy a ticket but! A friend of a friend saw my post on the Live at Squamish Facebook group, looking for carpools so she messaged me and here we are. Lindsey also brought a camera so all the photos here are to her credit. Cool!

It was also my first time seeing Metric live and holy smokes. Can Emily Haines ever perform! I think I developed a pretty substantial girl crush on her when she was kicking around on stage with those boots.

While the stage was being set up, Karl Koch, the band’s tech/social media guy, was putting around on stage, setting up cameras and what have you. I was, because I was so stoked and not because I’m a jerk, yelling at Karl the whole time. “Hey Karl! You’re awesome, man! Don’t let the man get you down!” Anyway, people around me had no idea who Karl was and I think I freaked out some folks with how much random Weezer knowledge I tossed out there.

Rivers, as per usual, jumped into the crowd with gusto! Except at one point, he entered the crowd from stage right and I couldn’t see where had gone. Then Lindsey started yanking on my arm and telling me to turn around. And this was what I saw. RIVERS! The closest I’ve ever been to shaking the man’s hand. Instead, I’m pretty sure I grabbed his mic and yelled, “HIP MOTHERF*CKING HIP.” Call it a spur of the moment decision. He was singing “Island in the Sun” and I guess that’s what adrenaline does to you.

(Sidenote: “Island in the Sun” had two music videos, one featuring a Mexican wedding and the other that has Rivers, Brian Bell and Pat Wilson playing with animals in a field. While I love both, I think I like the Animal Kingdom version slightly more if only because it’s cute to see grown men playing with baby animals.)

Anyway, the show was wonderful, Karl got me a setlist and I yelled into Rivers’ mic for “Island in the Sun”… I think it’s safe to say that’s a weekend well spent at Live at Squamish. Like that, my live Weezer quota of the year has been fulfilled. (But for real, I’m nervous next year will be the year where I have to fly to see Weezer play live… but ’til then!)

I’ll also leave you off with a clip of Weezer covering Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” I’d written a post about Foster The People back in March so to hear my favourite band covering one of my favourite songs of the summer live in concert? It was pretty damn wonderful. Enjoy!

All photos on this page are by Lindsey Bolivar.

EDIT (Aug. 27, 2011): It’s been requested I post a copy of the setlist so here it is!

2011-08-21 Squamish, B.C. – Live at Squamish: Surf Wax America, We Are All On Drugs, Keep Fishin’, Perfect Situation, Pumped Up Kicks (Foster The People cover), Say It Ain’t So, Dope Nose, No One Else, Undone, Beverly Hills, My Name Is Jonas, Paranoid Android (Radiohead cover), Troublemaker, Hash Pipe, I Want You To, Island in the Sun.
Encore: Buddy Holly, Pork and Beans.