I Love This Band, and You Should Too : Hooded Fang

(Musical Gushings By Lauren Schreiber, SummerWorks Music Series Programmer)

Part 2: Chocolate Cake and Sunshine with Hooded Fang

First thing’s first… stream the album so you have some CONTEXT here —> http://hoodedfang.bandcamp.com/album/tosta-mista

now.

Let me just say, Hooded Fang are fast.

By the time you finish falling in love with them, they’ll have done a 180 and give you something completely different to fall just as hard for. They were faster than me… back in 2008 I blinked and almost missed them.

I consider myself to have an ear to the ground, so when suddenly everyone I trust with musical recommendations started buzzing about this rogue band of ruffians named after a Mordercai Richler kids book, my ears pricked up. How had I not heard of them before?  I took a listen to their self-titled EP and booked them, sight unseen… not something I do every day. And then, the first time I saw them live, I completely blown away… how had I not seen them first?! I put aside my jealousy at not being the one to make this fantastic discovery, and began my love affair with the fearless and fast-paced boys and girls of Hooded Fang.

HOODED FANG – Sleep Song from Mitch Fillion (southernsouls.ca) on Vimeo.

HF move fast. They write short, straight-forward pop gems and record them and release them quickly. The music is lo-fi, but surprisingly lush (they ARE a seven piece, after all), naive and playful, urgent and easy going all at once. They are always trying new things, and as such have developed like they are going through musical puberty. Zoom! They are also choc full of ‘baby’s ‘ooh’s and ‘la’s, and I LOVE Hooded Fang.

HOODED FANG – Mutant Bear from Mitch Fillion (southernsouls.ca) on Vimeo.

Hooded fang are your go-to musical chocolate cake… made with the most basic of musical ingredients, flour (basic guitar chords) eggs (chugging bass lines) butter (drums) and sugar (horns n’ harmonies), and it’s lead vocalist Daniel Lee’s pure and deep tenor that plays the part of deep, fudgey chocolate, and lyrics that leave you with a serious sugar high.

When I was given a copy of their now Polaris-prize nominated debut full-length as a wedding gift this time last year, I spent the early fall driving the highway in a red convertible with the top down to go apple picking on a sunny Sunday afternoons ( I kid you not) and wishing it had come out earlier in the summer so I would have had more sunshine time with this perfect summer album; it instantly became one of my top albums of the year… Now, somehow, HF have trumped themselves in terms of aural sunshine, their new 23-minute album, Tosta Mista (out this week!) comes a good monthnabit earlier than last year’s release, and calls for spiked lemonade, a new pair of shades, pounding pavements at festivals, hitting the beach and making the most of our short Canadian summer. So fittingly they’re opening our shindig.

I’m not saying explicitly we should all go pool hopping after their set, but I’m not saying we shouldn’t. I’ll bring the lemonade.

See Hooded Fang play SummerWorks Friday August 5th at the Lower Ossington Theater.

Also, tell your friends you’re going on the social networking site ‘FaceBook’.

http://hoodedfang.bandcamp.com/

Advertisements

SHUDDER, by Susanna Hood & hum dansoundart

 


PRESENTS

SHUDDER by Susanna Hood & hum dansoundart

 

Conception & Choreography: Susanna Hood
Direction: Ruth Madoc-Jones
Cast: Alanna Kraaijeveld, Linnea Swan, and Dan Wild
Music and Sound Design:  Nilan Perera
Original Lighting Design:  Rebecca Picherack
Original Set Design: Julie Fox
Fight Director:  Simon Fon
SummerWorks Lighting and Tech:  Gabriel Cropley
Technical & Stage Assitant: James Kendal

Award-winning Toronto choreographer Susanna Hood dreams the canvases of Francis Bacon to life. Shudder is a tour-de-force show that channels the sublime intensity of Bacon’s paintings through the fractured narrative of a family – portrayed by Hood, Danny Wild and Alanna Kraaijeveld – that is fraught with violence and shimmering sexual energy.  Three figures – witnessed and witnessing – are bound, blurred and melded together to reveal a family portrait, its pigments violently peeled away and reapplied.  Theirs is a grotesquely beautiful and disarmingly intimate encounter as the trio teeters heart-wrenchingly between love and desperation.

Shudder was nominated for a Dora for both Nilan Perera’s sound design and Dan Wild’s performance.

Shudder is a beautiful and unusual surprise that is both playful and challenging, both intense and subtle, both overflowing and to the point. It resembles nothing else. Hood’s name is definitely one to watch.”  –Catherine Lalonde, Le Devoir, Montreal

“Hood rivets the eye, and her performances are like a primal scream.”

–Paula Citron, Classical 96.3 FM

Some words from Susanna:

When I saw Francis Bacon’s work in person at the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo in August 2007, it was less of an introduction and more of a wake-up call.  It was the end of my first (much-needed) sabbatical during which I’d kept a distance from all art-making and art-viewing.  In this fallow state, such a confrontation with Bacon’s work prompted a radical artistic re-immersion.  My guts twisted in response to the violence rendered on the flesh as though the images had reached under my skin.  This was the call to somehow translate this visceral experience into the piece that you will see.

The research for Shudder has been too varied for me to sufficiently acknowledge my sources here. However, I am particularly indebted to David Sylvester’s interviews with Bacon, which informed many of my own creative choices. My biggest challenges stemmed from my desire to maintain the tension between narrative and abstraction so that physicality (in sound and movement), story, and psychology are interdependent without any aspect losing integrity.  Bacon was explicitly uninterested in narrative in his own work and had little respect for abstract painting; he may likewise disapprove of how the myth-like energies of a transgressive family emerge as the story of Shudder.  But this is not my homage to Bacon.  As much as his work may have been my provocation, this piece comes from me – my vision and my emotional trajectory – in a way that is doubly amplified through the extraordinary work of my collaborators.  It is this that I am proud to share with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon sought to inscribe violence on the bodies he represented on canvas.  It is tempting, when viewing his triptychs, for instance, to elaborate such violence into story, into characterization.  Indeed, this process rings true in terms of Bacon’s original influence on Shudder.  However, a more careful examination of Bacon’s work shows – as his own artist statements confirm ­– how he wanted to deflect such elaboration in favour of the immediate and visceral experience of the body.  As I return to the piece a year after its première, I am compelled to invest Shudder with this same brand of immediacy, one that focuses attention on the bodies of my outstanding collaborators as they so eloquently interpret this phenomenon.  Bodies tell stories – this is the lesson that Bacon has helped to show me, and one that I invite Shudder’s audience to experience.

Shudder plays at the Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington, from August 6-14th.

Saturday August 6th 2:00 PM
Sunday August 7th 7:00 PM
Monday August 8th 4:30 PM
Wednesday August 10th 7:00 PM
Thursday August 11th 4:30 PM
Friday August 12th 4:30 PM
Sunday August 14th 7:00 PM

The Trolley Car, by Amiel Gladstone

The Trolley Car

While working on the Electric Company’s No Exit, I was struck by the backstory of the character of Inez.  All three characters in that play talk about how they came to be in this place, which of course, turns out to be Sartre’s version of hell.

All of Inez’s lines about her previous life from No Exit:

There was that affair with Florence. A dead men’s tale. With three corpses to it. He to start with; then she and I. So there’s no one left. I’ve nothing to worry about; it was a clean sweep. Only that room. I see it now and then. Empty, with the doors locked….

We led him a dog’s life. As a matter of fact, he was run over by a trolley car. A silly sort of end… He was my cousin.

I crept inside her skin, she saw the world through my eyes. When she left him, I had her on my hands. We shared a bed-sitting-room at the other end of the town.

And then came the trolley car! I used to remind her every day: “Yes, my pet, we killed him between us.” I’m rather cruel, really.

When I say I’m cruel, I mean I can’t get on without making people suffer. Like a live coal. A live coal in others’ hearts. When I’m alone I flicker out. For six months I flamed away in her heart, till there was nothing but a cinder. One night she got up and turned on the gas while I was asleep. Then she crept back into bed. So now you know.

So I took that text, and starting do research into Paris at the time of German occupation.  I found quotations:

“It was only in the course of those nights that I discovered the true meaning of the word party.” 
                                              – Simone de Beauvoir

“Never were we as free as under the German occupation.”
                                              – Jean-Paul Sartre

I found some evidence of French complicity with the Germans, which was a surprise to me. I started thinking about what that meant, and how we make choices in extreme time. Choices that seem easy to judge from afar.

Solo Collective, a Vancouver company committed to new writing, commissioned and presented the show in Vancouver last year. As with all my plays it never feels finished, and working with Ruth Madoc-Jones and the TO team, we’re now presenting a new version for SummerWorks.

-Amiel Gladstone, Playwright of The Trolley Car

Solo Collective and SummerWorks present

The Trolley Car

Written by Amiel Gladstone
Directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones
Starring Monica Dottor, Rosa Laborde, Matthew Tapscott
Design by Dana Osborne
Lighting by Kimberly Purtell
Sound by Thomas Ryder Payne
Stage Manager Michelle Barker
Production Manager Charissa Wilcox
Props, Design Assistant Alex Vass

Factory Theatre Studio

Thursday August 4th 8:00pm
Saturday August 6th 5:30pm
Sunday August 7th 10:30pm
Wednesday August 10th 5:30pm
Saturday August 13th 12:30pm
Sunday August 14th 10:00pm

Perhaps in a Hundred Years, by Chad Dembski, Ame Henderson and Jacob Zimmer

PERHAPS IN A HUNDRED YEARS (Small Wooden Shoe)

I’m riding around the city listening to voices from six years ago. The voices of Chad, Ame and I performing Perhaps in a Hundred Years at Cafe Esperanza in Montreal at the end of our Eastern Canada mini-van tour in the winter of 2005.

Over the years since, we’ve talked about bringing the show back. About wanting to spend that time together again, wanting people to see this thing that meant so much to us. And now we are. Original venue, original cast.

Perhaps is so optimistic, so gentle and vulnerable. Three friends alone in a room together, stuck in a heat wave, making a play about three friends alone in a room together, stuck in outer space. There’s a lot of music. There are interviews, aliens, Linus Pauling and tricks involving fire and tea bags. There’s an earnestness that is nerve-wracking to return to. It’s a little bit Godot, a little bit Dedicated to the Revolutions, a little bit freezie induced sugar rush. It’s the beginning of something.

We’re going to play it as a period piece, where the period is 2005 and a science fiction show made by three people fighting isolation in Toronto. A time probably not so distant from now.

– Jacob Zimmer, Artistic Director of Small Wooden Shoe

Perhaps in a Hundred Years – Summerworks Trailer from Small Wooden Shoe on Vimeo.

Thursday August 4th 7:00 PM Friday August 5th 9:00 PM Saturday August 6th 5:00 PM Sunday August 7th 5:00 PM Monday August 8th 7:00 PM Wednesday August 10th 7:00 PM Thursday August 11th 9:00 PM Friday August 12th 7:00 PM Saturday August 13th 7:00 PM Sunday August 14th 3:00 PM

At Hub 14 – 14 Markham St (@Queen)

HOOKED, by Carolyn Smart

HOOKED, by Carolyn Smart

Nicky Gaudagni

 

It’s summer, 2009, and Layne Coleman has invited a dozen artists from Toronto to his rented farmhouse on Highway 2. Sandy Balcovske, director, writer and caterer serves gourmet food. The group drinks F. Scott Fitzgerald cocktails (he believed gin was the way to go), discusses women of the twentieth century, and over a twelve hour period, are entertained by Nicky Guadagni who performs the seven monologues from Carolyn Smart’s book of poetry, Hooked.

Two years later, it’s summer 2011 and, after staging “Hooked” in over 35 houses in and around Toronto, Nicky Gaudagni has brought four of the monologues – Elizabeth Smart, Unity Mitford, Jane Bowles and Carson McCullers to Theatre Passe Muraille’s Backspace for SummerWorks.

The show is a visitation with these four amazing characters, each hooked on alcohol, drugs, or love. Often all three.

“In Carolyn Smart, these women have found a deeply feeling and
deeply attentive witness.”
 -Anne Michaels

” With the spectacular Nicky Guadagni as our guide to the inner worlds of [these] formidable women, Hooked is an unforgettable evening of theatre…” – Judith Thompson

Written by: Carolyn Smart

Directed by: Layne Coleman

Performed by: Nicky Guadagni

Production Managed by: Nick Hutcheson

Learn more about the women: http://www.hookedinhouse.com/sevenwomen.php

 

 

 

Strange Mary Strange, by Evan Tsitsias

Strange Mary Strange, by Evan Tsitsias

An itch. A scratch. A moment on a plane triggers an avalanche of memories, forcing Mary Strange to confront and exorcise her former selves. A study of ritual, memory, forgiveness and hope. This piece blends physical theatre and narrative to create a visceral experience inside the mind of a woman in the elusive search for “normal” .

Cast: Catherine Rainville, Sarah McVie, Emma MacKenzie Hillier Movement Director: Trevor Copp, Producers: Lisa Baylin, Donna Marie Barratta, Music: Marko Pandza. Stage Manager: Victoria Wang

 

Thursday August 4th 7:00 PM
Saturday August 6th 9:30 PM
Sunday August 7th 11:30 AM
Wednesday August 10th 4:30 PM
Friday August 12th 2:00 PM
Saturday August 13th 4:30 PM
Sunday August 14th 7:00 PM

Venue
Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace

Middle Mary – Strange Mary Strange

Young Mary – Strange Mary Strange

Present Mary – Strange Mary Strange

I Love This Band, and You Should Too : Steven McKay

(Musical Gushings By Lauren Schreiber, SummerWorks Music Series Programmer)

Part 1: Steven McKay; It-Guy.

Tafelmusik behind the scenes-er. Bruce Peninsula drummer. Taaaall drink of water.

Steven McKay wears a lot of hats, but in my humble opinion, he is first and foremost Toronto’s most secretest gem of a front man. But there are a lot of singer-songwriters out there, so what separates Steven from the pack?

His band’s name isn’t catchy… it’s not even Steven and The McKays… just his name, straight up – What you see is what you get. Steven doesn’t need to be trendy – he’s a great songwriter, a great singer, a great player, and a great performer. Clever lyrics, lush arrangements, timeless songs, dexterous playing and a rich and gentle voice, full of 70s AM radio warmth and depth and humor.

When Steven steps out from behind his drum kit, it isn’t that he shines… rather, that he glows. But then, I’ve always been one to choose the warmth of the sun on my face over a strobe light in my eye.

Steven is like a bowl of tomato soup and a straight up grilled cheese, a walk in the fall and a flannel shirt… he’s musical comfort food.  He’s a Sunday morning and he’s every day. He’s Cat Stevens, He’s Abbey Road, he sings about his wife all the time, and his cheeks are not unlike apples. He’s a nice guy.

I LOVE Steven McKay and your Mom would too.

Steve makes me wish album inserts still came with lyrics, because his are just great. Don’t believe me? Well, here are some of my favorite Steven Lyrics.

“It would be nice to have my Emma home. I shouldn’t have to eat my breakfast all alone”. (He’s singing about his wife here… so cute.)

“ My greatest of wishes is doing the dishes with you at home, where I belong”. (wife again… oh Steve)

“You remember ‘98, the coffees purchased were always late but I could set my watch to your approval. You’d go and start the car, and think you’re snowed in where you are, but I can dig you out with this shovel ” (Steven pulls off rhyming ‘Approval’ with ‘This Shovel’ – nice)

“ELP and PS2 till 3 in the morning with Andy.” (in case you don’t know, ELP refers to Emerson Lake and Palmer which was a band in the 1970s and a PS2 is a Playstation 2, a video game console from the 2000s.. Steve both appreciates nostalgia and today’s current youth trends)

And basically all the lyrics for “It’s Gonna Be A Long Time” are the best. I couldn’t find them online, so I’m going to transcribe them myself. Here are all of them now… you’re welcome.

‘It’s Gonna to be a Long Time’ By Steven McKay

You’ve got your spandex, your neon, your owl magazine.
Can’t wait to show your Theo Fleury rookie card to the hockey team.
You scratch and sniff
You say ‘‘same diff, so sue me’’
I can’t wait till lunch
When we pulverize those French emersion jerks at kickball.
And the girls don’t know how cool it is to be tall

It’s gonna be a long time,
gonna be a long time,
until they notice me at all

You’ve got your track pants
Your headband
Your Brian Adams tape
You lack the balls to take the fall and ask out Sarah on a date
Can’t wait for cubs
Chew hubba bubba through Shel Silverstein’s gate
to a place when the sideway ends and monsters are for real
Last night I drank a sixpack
Of root beer

It’s gonna be a long time
gonna be a long time
until monsters are the least of my fears

Tonight it’s ping pong
and I’ll chase that with a game of ‘Blades of Steel’
I go to bed by 8pm
That Guy Smiley haunts me still
And in the morning it’s church for a spiritual search
When I crouch down and kneel
I pray
God give me the strength
to beat those French immersion jerks at kickball
And the girls don’t know how cool it is to be tall

It’s gonna be a long time
Gonna be a long time
Until they notice me at all.

For those who need some visual proof of Stevens’s awesomeness, here’s a video Steven made of himself flying

Here’s the same song recorded live. See how consistent he is? Just as good as the ‘official’’ video. Steven doesn’t need studio magic; it’s all Steven, baby.

Here’s  Steven  by a pool. Let’s pretend its fall now, and not 48 degrees (with the humidex).

Here’s Steven against a wall.

See Steven McKay play SummerWorks Friday August 5th at the Lower Ossington Theater.

Also, tell your friends you’re going on the social networking site ‘FaceBook’. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=156966177707880

http://www.myspace.com/stevenmckayandyou