Ready to shake, rat­tle and roll

Winnipeg Free Press - - ARTS LIFE I ENTERTAINMENT -

ELVIS is headed for Faith Lutheran Church to rock the house on Satur­day night.

Trib­ute artist Corny Rem­pel is an award-win­ning Elvis im­i­ta­tor and also a Johnny Cash trib­ute artist and co­me­dian from Stein­bach.

“I’ll be do­ing a bit of ev­ery­thing — a full Ve­gas Elvis con­cert with big ex­plo­sive num­bers and gospel med­leys,” he says.

“I’ve done sev­eral Lutheran churches and the oth­ers hear of the suc­cess of the fundraiser, and they want me, too.”

But how about Elvis and his well­known swivel hips?

“The Lutheran churches say as long as the mu­sic is clean, they’re fine with the show.”

Some of the more con­ser­va­tive Men­non­ite churches have hired Rem­pel as well for con­certs of gospel mu­sic, which both Pres­ley and Cash recorded through­out their ca­reers.

Rem­pel’s trib­ute-artist ca­reer roars on, but he’s cho­sen to quit com­pet­ing in Elvis fests. Why?

“I com­peted in the Ul­ti­mate Elvis com­pe­ti­tion with the world’s top-20 win­ners in Mem­phis, so I have at­tained my goal,” he says.

Rem­pel still at­tends the big Elvis fes­ti­vals in Colling­wood, Ont., where he won Elvis gospel cham­pion in 2015, and Pen­tic­ton, B.C., where he won grand cham­pion in 2017.

“I’m friends with a lot of the guys in the top-20 Elvis com­peti­ti­tors,” Rem­pel says, be­fore jok­ing, “Oh, we swap tricks like what type of eye­liner doesn’t run, and where we get our hair, and what kind of bronzer to use!”

When he’s not the King or the Man in Black, Rem­pel works the week­day morn­ing gig at CILT 96.7 FM in Stein­bach, from 5 a.m. to noon. Work­ing all morn­ings and half the night can be ex­haust­ing, he says, “but it’s a high when the au­di­ence at a con­cert be­gins to en­gage and par­tic­i­pate with me. It’s like I’m feed­ing off their en­ergy, like a surfer rid­ing a wave — lots of adrenalin.”

Faith Lutheran Church is at 1311 Dakota St. Tick­ets are $20. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.

FATBIKER FUN: Tired of be­ing cooped up in the house? Fat bik­ing, where you ride a bike with spe­cial fat snow tires, is all the rage in Win­nipeg.

En­thu­si­ast Robert La­gacé, a lo­cal me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer, has cy­cled longdis­tance on nor­mal and fancy bikes for 30 years. He took up fat bik­ing in the win­ter three years ago. “I love it mostly be­cause it’s a way to get out of the house in win­ter,” he says. “And it’s fun.”

Says an­other fat biker Rick Bueck­ert: “Peo­ple are rid­ing on the Seine River now. It’s very cosy and in­ti­mate down there. And we ride with lights and ap­pear as a string of fire­flies rolling by. To­tally cool.”

He adds: “This fat bike com­mu­nity is like a sub­cul­ture in a way; rid­ers en­joy a spe­cial bond. You would never guess who rides fat bikes here. I rode in the Global Fat Bike Day Ride with over 125 fat rid­ers all to­gether.”

Wood­cock Cy­cle Works (433 St. Mary’s Rd., 204-253-5896) or­ga­nizes fat rides sev­eral times a week. Visit wood­cock­cy­ for more de­tails.

SU­PER DIN­NER AND SHOW OF­FER: Did hol­i­day shop­ping put a damper on your Jan­uary en­ter­tain­ment bud­get? Here’s a hot tip: Cel­e­bra­tions Din­ner The­atre is low­er­ing the price on the More Dirty Danc­ing show to $56.78 (in­clud­ing taxes and mul­ti­course din­ner) for week­day shows — Wed­nes­days, Thurs­days and Fri­days — to the end of their run on Jan. 27. Call 204-982-8282 for tick­ets.

DANCE LIKE AN EGYP­TIAN: Well­known Win­nipeg belly-dance chore­og­ra­pher and teacher Nikki (Ni­cola) Tre­soor in­vites couch pota­toes and dance ath­letes alike to come out for bel­ly­danc­ing.

You can join in Thurs­day night at Ris­ing Star Acad­emy of Arts, 10-1600 Re­gent Ave. W., which they claim has “the best floor in the city” — im­por­tant when peo­ple are danc­ing in bare feet.

The 8 p.m. class, called Es­sen­tials, teaches “the most com­mon move­ments and vari­a­tions of modern and classical Egyp­tian dance.”

The 9 p.m. class is for more ad­vanced stu­dents and of­fers Raks Sharqi and a south­ern Egyp­tian folk dance called saidi. Con­tact Ris­ing Star at 204-669-2369 to reg­is­ter. ODAY’S topic for in­quir­ing minds is: ex­actly why did they cre­ate the (bad word) in­ter­net in the first place any­way?

With­out do­ing any ac­tual re­search, I would have to say there are three main rea­sons for the cre­ation of what I used to call the “In­tra-Web” un­til my kids started mak­ing fun of me, namely:

● Shar­ing pic­tures of Pamela An­der­son from the old Bay­watch TV se­ries;

● Shar­ing LOL pic­tures of cats wear­ing hats and/or climb­ing in and out of card­board boxes;

● Re­solv­ing bar bets over who won the Stan­ley Cup in 1942 (for the record, it was the Toronto Maple Leafs);

But I am start­ing to have sec­ond thoughts. Lately, I have be­gun to think the real rea­son for the birth of the in­ter­net was to spark id­i­otic, time­wast­ing de­bates over triv­ial items to en­sure our na­tional pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els fall below those of most de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

For starters, let’s think about that un­for­get­table “blue dress ver­sus gold dress” de­bate that melted the in­ter­net three years ago.

For those of you with short at­ten­tion spans — “Hello? Hello? OK, yes, that dog has a fluffy tail, but I’m try­ing to make a point here” — I am talk­ing about a pho­to­graph that be­came a vi­ral sen­sa­tion in Fe­bru­ary 2015 be­cause so­cial-me­dia users could not agree on whether the dress in the pic­ture was black and blue or white and gold.

In the first week af­ter this photo sur­faced, more than 10 mil­lion tweets men­tioned the dress — at its peak, the photo was get­ting 14,000 views ev­ery sec­ond — prov­ing peo­ple who live their lives on the in­ter­net will ar­gue about any­thing.

The other night, my wife and I stared at this iconic photo and we both agreed the dress was white and gold, which, in fact, is ab­so­lutely WRONG, be­cause it turns out the dress is, in fact, black and blue.

Neu­ro­sci­en­tists, who ap­par­ently had noth­ing bet­ter to do, told the me­dia that peo­ple saw the dress dif­fer­ently be­cause of the way the hu­man brain per­ceives colour, and chro­matic adap­ta­tion and a ten­dency “to dis­count the chro­matic bias of the day­light axis” and blah blah blah, if you catch our sci­en­tific drift.

As if that wasn’t di­vi­sive enough, the in­ter­net was frac­tured again early last year when no one could agree on whether a voice on a vi­ral au­dio clip was say­ing the word “Yanny” or “Lau­rel.”

Se­ri­ously, you could not hop on so­cial me­dia last year with­out join­ing Team Yanny or Team Lau­rel, de­pend­ing on which word you thought you heard the voice say­ing.

Nat­u­rally, sci­en­tists, who have ap­par­ently fin­ished cur­ing most ma­jor dis­eases, couldn’t wait to study this phe­nom­e­non, and they found 53 per cent of peo­ple (es­pe­cially those with older ears, such as my­self) heard the


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