FILM TIFF PRIMER
GAY & LESBIAN CITY LIVING | SEPTEMBER 2012
ELTON JOHN LOVE IS THE CURE THE STATE OF AIDS GOING OUT WITH A BANG
MUSIC LGBT POP MONTH
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CONTRIBUTORS Nicola Betts, Suzanne Carte, Michele Person Clarke, Mary Dickie, Derek Dotto, Anna von Frances, Peter Knegt, Alice Lawlor, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Michael Thorner, Andrea Zanin ON THE COVER Photography courtesy of Fashion Cares, dress by Hoax Couture
VIEWS | LIVING & DESIGN | INSIGHT | LISTINGS | ART & ENTERTAINMENT | SEX
WE STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO WALK ABOUT. JOIN US ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23.
REGISTER. DONATE. WALK. aidswalktoronto.ca a benefit for
8 16 25 28
CRAZY QUILT From patchwork to pattern with designer Matthew Simpson by Derek Dotto FIERCE GLAMOUR & FIGHTING SPIRIT Fashion Cares and 25 years of AIDS activism by Michael Pihach PURPLE CARPET Our Toronto International Film Festival primer by Peter Knegt THE WORLD ACCORDING TO IRVING Novelist John Irving’s love letter to a son by Alice Lawlor
VIEW FINDER Toronto’s ersatz LGBT pop music fest
THE STATE OF AIDS by Krishna Rau
CANCON CULTURE TREK by Suzanne Carte
YOUR FIRST THREESOME with Adam Segal
INTEREST IN PINTEREST with Michael Thorner
SEPTEMBER CALENDAR & LISTINGS
GRAND ELECTRIC’S TACOS by Anna von Frances
BRODAWKA & FRIENDS & BROGUES by Derek Dotto
JAMIE TRAVIS GOES TO HOLLYWOOD by Peter Knegt
ALT POP & COOL ROCK by Mary Dickie
LUBE TUBE with Andrea Zanin
Cineplex Media Empire Theatres enRoute Magazine Maclean’s Magazine Marketwire Rainbow Cinemas Magic Lantern Theatres The Walrus Magazine
TORONTO TALK EXCHANGE
→ ROCK ON With all the hoopla surrounding the Toronto International Film Festival (see page 25) you might miss the parade of big stars this month for the city’s ersatz LGBT pop fest. Beginning with Elton John and Scissor Sisters performing at the last-ever Fashion Cares (see page 16), September brings to town high-powered tours from Bloc Party, Grizzly Bear, Patrick Wolf and Gossip (Hannah Blilie, Beth Ditto and Brace Paine; pictured). See our calendar listings (page 20) for details and check out music writer Mary Dickie’s reviews of some of the latest alt rock and pop releases (page 30).
IN THEIR OWN WORDS ELTON JOHN
→ “I should be dead — six foot under in a wooden box. I should have contracted HIV in the 1980s and died in the 1990s, just like Freddie Mercury, just like Rock Hudson. Every day I wonder: How did I survive?”
Elton John gave an impassioned speech to the World AIDS Conference in Washington, DC in July, talking candidly about his drug and alcohol addiction and high-risk behaviour. What saved him, he says, was the care and love of those around him. He has been sober for 22 years. “The AIDS disease is caused by a virus, but the AIDS epidemic is not,” said John. “The AIDS epidemic is fuelled by stigma, violence and indifference. “Even if we had a vaccine it is not enough. Science can stop the disease, but science alone can’t end the plague.” You can see the whole speech on YouTube. John established the Elton John AIDS Foundation 20 years ago which now has offices in London and New York. Earlier this year he published a new memoir, Love Is the Cure, which details John’s friendship with Ryan White, whose struggle with hemophilia and HIV/AIDS inspired John to change his life. John headlines this year’s Fashion Cares gala in Toronto, which will raise money for the AIDS Committee of Toronto and his own foundation (see page 16).
TORONTO TALK EXCHANGE SOUND OFF THE STATE OF AIDS
LETTER OF THE MONTH ART & ENTERTAINMENT
GRAPHIC WITNESS 27 28 29.INTO.AUG.Comic.indd 28
→ This month marks the 25th and final year of Fashion Cares, the most successful and best-known fundraising event in the history of the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT). But the reality that brought Fashion Cares into being — the existence and grim toll of AIDS — still continues to plague Toronto. Here are some salient facts from ACT and comments from its director of programs and services, John Maxwell.
More than 20,000 people have tested positive for HIV in Toronto since testing began in late 1985. Men account for 87.5 percent of all positive HIV test reports in Toronto from 1985 to 2009, with 82 percent of all infections being among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Women account for 12.5 percent of all positive HIV test reports in Toronto from 1985 to 2009, with 48 percent of all infections being among women from countries with high rates of HIV. In 2010, 502 Torontonians were newly diagnosed as HIV-positive. Gay, bisexual and MSM accounted for 75 percent of all new HIV diagnoses, while women accounted for 13 percent. Injection drug users accounted for three percent, heterosexual transmission — not including people from countries with high HIV rates — accounted for 10 percent and people from countries with high rates of HIV infection accounted for 11 percent.
“We’re certainly seeing the legacy of a government that puts ideology ahead of science. Anything that seems to smell of advocacy, there’s a clear reluctance to fund, despite what the health minister might say. We saw that late last year with the call for funding proposals. They didn’t fund a request for condoms and lube. Not funding a request for condoms and lube when you’re trying to reduce the spread of HIV is sort of problematic. “There’s a huge role the government could play in reducing stigma. HIV continues to primarily affect communities that have traditionally been marginalized. It makes it difficult to even talk about treatment. And we certainly can’t discount the impact of criminalization of HIV. “Most cases of infection come from people who don’t know they’re positive.”
“One of the things that was talked about at the World AIDS Conference [in July] was an AIDSfree generation, which I think is a lofty goal. We have 33 million people living with HIV, and only a fraction of those are on treatment. Even in Canada, there are access-to-treatment issues. “We’re putting all our faith in treatment. It could be an important tool, but it’s not a magic bullet. I would argue that we haven’t even ramped up social approaches to HIV. We’ve not put in the money and resources. “We’re nowhere near a cure. But looking at the media, it was like there’ll be a pill to prevent HIV. People thought, ‘Oh, good, I just have to take a pill.’ The challenge is making sure that people understand what the reality is.”
ACT FUNDRAISERS Fashion Cares is Sun, Sep 9 (see page 16) and the AIDS Walk for Life is Sun, Sep 23 (see page 23). actoronto.org.
25/07/2012 12:25:29 PM
→ This is beautiful (Echoes of Magic, In Toronto, Aug 2012). I’m at a bit of a loss for words. It is hard to convey the emotions Eric Kostiuk Williams’ drawings have stirred in me… and if you spend more than a few seconds around me you’d understand that I am never short on conversation. Williams’ drawings are beautiful and his perception is so incredibly accurate it borders on disturbing. I would say he has grasped a great many things that my brother Will tried to build and share. Knowing the person is a wonderful feeling; understanding his drive and spirit is eternal. Thank you. Dave Munro, St John’s, NL
TRAVEL DeSIGN CAPItAL OF StOCKhOLm
COMICS the mAGIC OF WILL mUNRO
Gay & Lesbian City LivinG | auGust 2012
LgBt foSteR PAReNtS
the gift of
fAMiLy 01.INTO.Aug.Cover.indd 1
25/07/2012 12:38:36 PM
LET US HAVE IT → We want to hear what you think about In Toronto magazine and the stories we publish. Please send letters to the editor to editorial@ intorontomag.com or feel free to leave comments on our website at intorontomag.com. Snail mail? Love it. Our mailing address is: In Toronto magazine, 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6.
LIVING & DESIGN
O PE N H O U S E
FROM PATCHWORK TO PATTERN →
Bookkeeper, designer and second-hand dandy Matthew Simpson leaves no surface uncovered in his “historic” apartment in lower Cabbagetown Story Derek Dotto | Photography Nicola Betts
LIVING & DESIGN
You can sense the history as soon as you walk into this place; the building is a bit of a ruin. When would you say it was built? I think it’s around 1888. There probably would have been several families living here, sharing maybe a kitchen. My favourite part is where there was a water leak that I don’t want to paint over because it’s exposed the original wallpaper. What kind of shape was it in when you moved in? I looked at the place in August of 2005 and whoever lived here before didn’t let the landlord in for about 15 years, so there was a lot of work that needed to be done. There was a hole in the floor at the top of the stairs and the bathroom door was a saloon door. It took them three months to do the repairs. I had to come over almost every day because the landlord was bound and determined on painting these original hardwood floors and that brick wall. You also use this as a work space, creating designs including menswear, accessories and even home furnishings like pillows, many of which incorporate piecing together different fabrics from different sources. I’m really interested in quilting right now. I don’t like where quilting has gone, how you go buy fabric for quilts. This is my idea of quilts: fabric that has been used, cut up from something that you don’t use anymore. Speaking of unused things, please explain the quilt you’re constructing made entirely of old ALF dolls. I used to go to this second-hand place called By the Pound and I’d always see the same sort of things popping up. I started seeing these ALF dolls and I bought one. And then I’d go back and there would be four of them and, since the things were like 25 cents a pound, I just started buying them. I think I have 106 of them.
→ CRAZY QUILT Matthew Simpson designs menswear, like the shirt he’s wearing (following page, middle) and home furnishings, like the ALF quilt (following page, top) and decorates with an astonishing range of materials.
Naturally you decided to make a quilt out of them. This is a long-term project. I filet them and save all the stuffing. They form a perfect triangle and a triangle matches up with a triangle and that goes to the quilting where you have repeated patterns that fit together. It already weighs a ton. Did you know they’re planning on making an ALF movie? I’ve been getting emails about it. It’s going to be CGI, so I guess, no puppet. Well, I have all the puppets. Beyond your design work, I’m noticing an ongoing theme of patchwork even in your home decor — your study covered in clocks, a hallway mosaic of mounting boards, and a kitchen wall of paintings, photography, serving platters and more. You see patches, I see patterns. I have a thing for pattern. I hardly ever buy anything that doesn’t have a pattern on it. It calms me down. Same with excessive noise calms me down. As long as it’s my noise. I had an interesting trip to your washroom. What made you decide to cover the walls in mirrors? I was just collecting them and they always just ended up in the bathroom. That’s where you end up looking at yourself the most, I think. I guess it’s a slow evolution. My neighbour, Gentleman Reg, recorded a music video in there once. It was spectacular. It was shot at nighttime and they had all the lights on and even extra lights. The bathroom was just glowing. The only blank wall is the one above the stairs to the upper floor. That wall drives me crazy. I can’t do anything with it because of the angle. I don’t want to paint it because it will close in the space too much. So what I do is I stick things on it. I dunno, white things scare me. So a blank canvas would...? Drive me crazy! When I go through magazines and see all these stark, stainless Continued on page 10
LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 9
steel, granite counters, I look at it and
You must have had some crazy
think, “No one lives there!” No one in
nights on the town.
their right mind could ever, ever sur-
I would say the craziest night involved
vive in a room that looks like that.
two friends ending up with their pants down. That was the night we
That clearly goes for your ward-
ended up at [now closed booze can]
The Matador, which was an anomaly
I don’t know why but I like patterns.
and a really spectacular, bizarre place
I would feel uncomfortable if I was
to go. There was always an interest-
wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. It
ing way to order alcohol. I remem-
totally freaks me out. I wish I could
ber buying the mix at the counter and
but I just feel really self-conscious. To
then buying the actual booze from
tell a story: The one and only image
someone with a hockey bag. We just
I have in my mind of my grandfa-
ended up out on the street and… it
ther, my father’s father, is at a fam-
just became a sausage party with
ily picnic. He had on a pair of stars-
some straight boys I was with…. As
and-stripes, high-cut running shoes,
a friend of mine says, “When did they
Hawaiian pants with hula dancers on
make fun illegal in this town?” •
it, and he had a tank top with Mickey Mouse on it. So I think it’s genetic. How would you sum up your aesthetic? There are a few things that come to mind: maximalism, my friends refer to me as the second-hand dandy because I have some pretty spectacular outfits. I have to say I do. Can we talk about the wall of sombreros? I used to wear them every gay Pride. Speaking of Pride, not to mention the Barn recently closing, how have you seen the gay scene change since you moved here in 1985? In its heyday, as cheesy as it might sound, the Barn was a lot of fun. It was a fire trap; dark, hot, sweaty and it smelled but it was a lot of fun. When I first moved to the city the club district wasn’t there. I lived a block away from Queen and John back in 1985 and Queen Street ended at Spadina, and the only reason to go any further was to go to the Cameron House and that’s only two blocks. That was far, really. There was nothing past there. Bathurst was like no-man’s land. It’s fun to watch things pop up in the West End, you know, the Gladstone, the Beaver, the Hen House, the Garrison. But it’s sort of sad that people are staying away from Church Street. The internet has killed it. 10
The largest exhibition of contemporary Canadian art ever organized in the United States. May 26, 2012 â€“ April 1, 2013 W.L.S. Spencer Foundation, Francis J. Greenburger and Time Equities, Inc., Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, and Consulate General of Canada.
North Adams, Massachusetts massmoca.org
Gisele Amantea Democracy, 2012 Flocking
LIVING & DESIGN
A R T & T R AV E L
ANOTHER COUNTRY â†’ Discover
surreal dreamscapes, dark scenes and sensual folk legends on a journey through contemporary art and autumn colours Review Suzanne Carte
LIVING & DESIGN
→ CHIAROSCURO Daniel Barrow’s sinister projection piece The Thief of Mirrors (left) is one of more than 120 works of Canadian art showcased at MASS MoCA, set among the gorgeous scenery of Western Massachusetts.
forests and quaint villages, like
Jacob’s Pillow, is a large black mirror reflecting darkly the reality — and the fantasy — that is Canada today. Located in North Adams, Massachusetts, a nine-hour drive from
the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is the largest ever survey of Canadian art outside of Canada. For three years curator Denise Markonish travelled the entire country, with visits to more than 400 studios in every province and territory, to come up with the exhibition’s 62 artists and more than 120 works. She traversed more landscapes and cityscapes than most Canadians and, in turn, is asking Canadians to make the excursion to this remote town and delight in her findings.
nity, including some new addi-
ing the death of his partner and on
It is not the traditional landscape
tions and notorious favourites that
the other side Winnetou mourn-
and sinister turn, Sobey Award-
of Canadian art, but a terrain that
never disappoint. In Oh, Canada
ing the loss of his. Scattered at
winning Daniel Barrow throws
we know. Markonish veered off
the queer voice is that of a story-
their feet are discarded beer cans
the audience into a dark watery
well-trod paths to show us what
teller and provocateur. The nar-
hinting at a drunken lover’s quar-
we already know to be true — that
ratives are full of surreal dream-
rel turned deadly. The figures look
there is a new guard of under-
scapes, dark scenes and sensual
to the audience for sympathy and
work as an experimental moving
assistance in their most intimate
picture experience that utilizes
a complex circuit of voice, image
ists making great work in Canada.
Kent Monkman tells the story
Seeing the face of Canadian art
of Two Kindred Spirits in a newly
Across the room Monkman’s large-
making and projection. Drawing
reflected back at us, it is comfort-
commissioned work that explores
scale paintings illustrate another
his stories through images lay-
ing knowing that someone else
similarities found between ficti-
layer to this complex story. Based
ered on overhead projectors, he
“gets it.” Someone else sees what
tious buddy characters spawned in
on the works of Bierstadt, a German-
produces a series of tragic charac-
the US and Germany — Tonto and
American painter, they speak to an
ters. The immersive installation
And what is it that we see of our-
the Lone Ranger, and Winnetou
ongoing schism between American
pays homage to the popular char-
selves? Even though the exhibi-
and Old Shatterhand. Based on
and German depictions of Aboriginal
acter called the Kissing Bandit
tion does have its share of omis-
male warrior/lover relationships
culture and reality. The non-Aborig-
who simultaneously violates and
the double diorama is set a split-
inal imagination is fleshed out in
charms his victims with a single
artists), there is a favourable rep-
room log cabin where we see two
paint to uncover fears of the exotic,
resentation of the LGBT commu-
male mannequins: Tonto mourn-
the wild and unknown.
Continued on page 14
LIVING & DESIGN
Continued from page 13
in museum collections. It also
kiss or expression of affection.
asks: What is the souvenir and
The Thief of Mirrors tells of a
which is the artifact?
maniacal masked jewel thief
Oh, Canada is not a roman-
who speaks to his victims as
tic amalgamation of mementos
they sleep, burdening them
or keepsakes of a holiday spent
with nightmares of affluence.
discovering the true north, but
The piece serves as a mono-
a rigorous and concise collec-
logue and the vignettes take
tion of cultural production rep-
place between media, to cre-
resenting Canada now. Adeptly,
ate and then elaborate upon an
the show links works themati-
emotionally complicated por-
cally through a diverse range of
trait of wealth and privilege.
practices instead of compart-
Far less grim and dramatic,
mentalizing artists into slip-
but equally provocative, is the
pery categories like region, age
installation of a lackadaisical
or sexual orientation. It is a cel-
young man gazing up at the ceil-
ebration of the unexpected.
ing trapped in a geodesic dome
The works are unapologeti-
of projections. Daydreaming of
cally big allowing the viewer to
a seductive meadow romp on
be immersed in a sequence of
the shores of Lake Winnipeg, he
events that often speak to the
is impervious to the audience’s
queer body in the Canadian cul-
gaze, ignoring all else around
tural landscape. Whether it is Ed
him. Wildflowers of Manitoba,
Pien’s loud scaffolding installa-
a performative installation by
tion constructed from rear-pro-
Noam Gonick and Luis Jacob,
jected video onto paper cutouts
is one of the few pieces in the
that is reminiscent of late night
show that has been exhibited
dance clubs, or Micah Lexier’s
elsewhere. Like a wildflower
quiet coins in the corner of the
it has popped up in Montreal,
room, Canada is shown to be a
queer country. We are here.
and now in Massachusetts.
Questioning histories and sto-
MASS MoCA until April 1, 2013, but don’t wait to book your
trip. Get out of Toronto this fall
attention as it blinks in code
and enjoy a drive through the
from the window. Rhythmically
Berkshire Mountains and eat up
lit in Morse code Fernandez’
all things Canadiana south of
neon masks interrogate and
the border. Just don’t mention
problematize the colonial his-
you brought your own maple
tories and cultural appropria-
tion attached to many artifacts
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Public Eat+Drink This gastropub is a favourite with the locals for its simple but tasty lineup of American classics. A good craft beer selection makes for a lively crowd on a weekend night. publiceatanddrink.com. Jack’s Hot Dog Stand Founded in 1917, Jack’s is a must-visit local institution. You’re on vacation, so grab a seat at the counter and get the chili cheese dog and onion rings. jackshotdogstand.com. SHOP
ries of representation, Brendan work
WHEN IN NORTH ADAMS
Wild Oats Market For groceries while you’re in town, hit this natural foods market in nearby Williamstown. wildoats.coop. Hudsons The owner will bargain with you if you find that very special antique treasure that you can’t leave behind. hudsonsart.com. DO
Mount Greylock State Reservation This park surrounding the state’s highest point features more than 100km of designated trails for hiking, mountain biking, back-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. mass.gov/dcr/ parks/mtGreylock. Images Cinema If it’s raining, catch a movie at the region’s only independent movie house. imagescinema.org. Michele Pearson Clarke
YOU COULD INSTANTLY
*†At outset of contest. *No Purchase Necessary. For complete Contest details see the rules posted at participating Pizza Nova stores and at www.pizzanova.com. Contest closes May 06, 2012. Mathematical skill-testing question required. ®/MD Coca-Cola Ltd., used under license • © Toshiba of Canada Limited • ©2012 Reebok International Ltd. All rights reserved Blu ray is a registered trademark of the Blu-ray Association.
LIVING & DESIGN
HOW TWEET IT IS — with Michael Thorner
— with Adam Segal For about 30 years, for research
is huge interest from venture cap-
purposes and just for the joy of it,
italists ($37 million raised so far,
I have collected and saved thou-
$100 million is the goal), Pinterest
sands of printed photos, illustra-
has yet to turn a profit. It is still a
tions, news clippings and design
great idea in search of a sustainable
items. This analogue albatross is
now stored in several filing cabi-
Friends may invite other friends
nets, each weighing more than 100
to Pinterest, or you can visit the
pounds (Canada switched to the
pinterest.com website to request
metric system in 1973, yet I still
an invite. Once registered, you can
refer to weight measurements in
“pin” visual content from virtually
pounds; they sound heavier).
every other website on the inter-
boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for about four years in a completely monogamous arrangement and for the most part that’s worked pretty great for us, as we are very fulfilled and our sex life continues to be hot. Recently, we’ve been considering a threesome — something neither of us have done before. I know threesomes are all the rage right now and I want to make sure that I’m not treating this lightly and considering all of the ways this could mess with our “good thing.” How do we begin a useful chat about this... and ultimately find the right man to turn this fantasy into reality? Mohan
Pinterest.com, the nom de plume
net. Interestingly, you cannot yet
for a charming little start-up from
pin images directly from Facebook.
Palo Alto, may resolve my future
I assume that, for now, Facebook
image-saving storage issues, trad-
is protecting its housed content
ing my trusty old reference cab-
within its gated, social network-
It’s good to think this through
pledom, you’ll want to prioritize
inet for a “virtual cloud” collec-
ing walls. Nevertheless, there is
thoroughly. Lots of people toss
emotional safety. This means com-
tion of interesting items, housed
a Pinterest presence on Facebook
a threesome into their relation-
ing to a clear agreement with your
somewhere in the internet ether.
(you can “like” them), and due to
ship quickly with often disastrous
guy about the limits to what you
Smells like freedom to me.
Pinterest’s audience surge, per-
results. At their best, a threesome
both will actually do during this
haps in time the two parties will
can be a great way for a monoga-
escapade and how either of you
come to an agreement.
mous couple to expand the limits
could, at any moment, pull an emer-
Pinterest, the virtual pinboardstyled social image sharing website grows in popularity every day.
Legal arguments related to intel-
of their relationship in a way that
gency break to bring things to a halt.
Pinterest functions as a repository
lectual property, copyright and
feels shared, safe and not too com-
You want to especially consider how
for photographs, videos, illustra-
fair use still need to be ironed out
promising. At their worst, three-
you will, as a couple, get it on with
tions and infographics, as opposed
because, as it stands, the current
somes can infect a relationship
your new comrade in a way that
to Twitter, where users push writ-
with strains of resentment, betrayal
doesn’t make you feel disconnected
ten articles, news reportage and
bility squarely on the user, and not
or, most insidiously, mistrust.
or resentful of each other.
so on. On Pinterest, the power is
on Pinterest. That did not work so
in how users curate and distrib-
As for the lucky gent who will join
well in the past for companies like
ing for you is that your relation-
the two of you: Choose him wisely.
ute visual content with each other,
Napster. Pinterest founder Ben
ship sounds like it’s in a good and
Do you want him to be a com-
and in how content-sharing rela-
Silbermann has already publicly
healthy place — in and out of the
plete stranger who you’ll never see
tionships are developed with other
acknowledged this challenge as
bedroom. A common mistake is
again? Or the sweet guy you both
like-minded users you follow and
one to work through.
when couples look to a ménage-
bump into at your favourite brunch
who follow you. Pinterest democ-
A curated, pinned, categorized,
a-trois as a fix-all that will magi-
spot? Feel free to be really clear with
ratizes and socializes the visual
and shared digital filing cabinet of
cally resolve complex relationship
potential candidates about your
visual treats, living in the floating
issues, like sex, that would be bet-
expectations and hopes instead of
The site garners more than 1
cloud that is the World Wide Web-
ter suited to frank conversations
just assuming that you are all on
billion page views monthly, and
O-Rama? I can’t help but think of
with a therapist.
the same page. And for this first
has already entered into the top
the Joni Mitchell lyric: “It’s cloud
Before actually making a three-
tricycle ride, consider being sober
10 most popular social networks.
illusions I recall, I really don’t
some happen, do yourself a favour
to make sure you are clear-headed
It now seems to be driving more
know clouds... at all.” But I want to
and daydream about the scenario:
enough to honour all the pre-plan-
referral traffic to consumer-driven
know them. They are lighter and
What would make you crazy hot?
ning you’ve done.
businesses than LinkedIn, YouTube
fluffier and easy to find.
What might make you lose your
and Google+. And politicos can’t
lunch? The two of you can share
resist those numbers; even Ann
your fantasies with each other and
Romney, Mitt’s wife, pins. Not bad for a company of 16 employees, just over two years old. While there
MICHAEL THORNER Tweets at twitter.com/ michaelthorner and pins at pinterest.com/ michaelthorner.
see where they line up and where they clash. To ensure that this adventure only enriches your cou-
ADAM SEGAL The writer and therapist works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at email@example.com. intorontomag.com
1 FASHION CARES Diamond Club. The original T-shirts (above); one the props that adorned the stage (below).
9 8 7
9 8 8
1 FASHION BLOOMS St Lawrence Market. Donald Robertson illustration (above); Debora Kuchme design (below).
SHEER DRAMA Terrace roller rink. Kevin Chow design illustration (below).
TO LIFE! → After
25 years battling the ravages of AIDS, Fashion Cares goes out with a glittering, star-studded bang Story Michael Pihach
hillip Ing is the Cher of gala
Distillery District that, even to this
successful comeback — an Alfred
fundraisers — his farewell
day, connotes the word “disaster”
Hitchcock-themed bash coinciding
Now, after a four-year hiatus for
tour from six years ago isn’t
among those who attended. It was
with Halloween, dubbed Fashion
the event, and with Ing still in artis-
too cold — temperatures dipped
sCares. The event returned to the
tic command, he faces what could
Ing resigned in 2006 after two
to single digits, freezing those
Metro Toronto Convention Centre,
be the biggest challenge in Fashion
decades at the helm of Fashion
fashionistas who were scantly-
entrepreneur Michael King was
Cares history — staging the event’s
Cares, Toronto’s ritziest and bold-
clad (which, if you’ve ever been to
appointed co-chair and Katy Perry,
25th anniversary, which also hap-
est AIDS fundraiser, leaving many
Fashion Cares, accounts for many).
who had just broken onto the scene,
pens to be the last Fashion Cares.
to wonder if the event would ever
Tickets were expensive and the ter-
performed her breakthrough single
be the same. The gala in 2007 —
rain was tough — the Distillery’s
“I Kissed a Girl.” The whacky cos-
“You get mixed emotions about the
only the second Fashion Cares
cobblestone roads didn’t wear well
tume party raised nearly $1 million
whole thing,” says Ing. “To have the
without Ing as artistic director —
with high heels.
was an outdoor burlesque-themed show 16
for the AIDS Committee of Toronto
opportunity to give back has been
But in 2008, with Ing again in
(ACT); to date, Fashion Cares has
incredible, so it’s fulfilling that way.
charge, Fashion Cares staged a
raised approximately $12 million
But it’s been horrifying at the same
1 9 9 0
1 CRYS TAL BALL St Lawrence Market. Comrags design (above); stylist Roslyn Griffith Hall (below).
9 9 1
RED HO T AND BLUE Masonic Temple. Model/ singer Miles Roberts in Susan Dicks (above); The Nylons (below).
RAGS T O RICHES Showline Movie Studios. Madeleine Wong design (above), show list (below).
time. A few years ago you thought
the Rocket Man is the biggest head-
Dixon, Greta Constantine, Hoax
HIV/AIDS would consume the world.”
liner they’ve ever had. “People
The MAC Viva Glam-sponsored
always thought he was going to
Aurora and DSquared2.
event, titled Fashion Cares 25:
pop out of a cake over the past
“It feels like the closing ceremo-
A Night of Glitter and Light, will
years, but this is the real thing,”
nies of the Olympics,” says Kirk
be spread across three locations,
says Michael King.
Pickersgill of Greta Constantine.
Westwood. The glamour guns are loaded. But will it work? The last time Fashion Cares changed locations, well, you know the story. “The team considered returning to
starting with a VIP dinner (for
John will play a 30-minute set
King says the show contains
the convention centre, but it didn’t
those who write the big cheques)
alongside separate performances
nudity and may generate gasps
make sense,” says King. This year’s
at the Royal York Hotel, followed
from the audience. “It’s not meant
Fashion Cares runs at the same
by an open-bar reception and
Monáe and Sky Ferreira. The two-
to shock, but live up to the tradi-
time as the Toronto International
celebrity-studded show at the Sony
and-a-half hour show will end with
tion of Fashion Cares by taking you
Film Festival, which would have
Centre. An after-party will be held
a “dazzling” grand finale featuring
to places most people don’t get to
made it difficult to rent equipment
at Maison in the Entertainment
a star-studded list of Canadian tal-
go very often.”
for a large-scale event. And, King
ent, including Billy Newton Davis,
Another highlight is the pre-show
Carole Pope, Jully Black, Kreesha
party, where 20 of Elton John’s
Turner, Diamond Rings, Keshia
most memorable outfits will be dis-
Ing, who started planning two
Toronto-born designers Dean and
Chanté, Shawn Desman and more.
played in the main and upper lob-
years ago with a team of some 100
Dan Caten of Dsquared2, will fea-
“We have a runway segment, but
bies of the Sony Centre. King calls
volunteers, agrees. “We’re in a real
ture headliner Sir Elton John (whose
it’s not on a runway, which is a
them museum-quality pieces that
theatre,” he says.
husband, Scarborough-born David
huge change for me,” says Ing. “It’s
“most would probably never get to
It’s a huge leap from where Fashion
Furnish, is also a Fashion Cares
a concert. That’s the big change.”
see.” There will also be a 25-year
Cares began — the humble settings of
The main show, hosted by supermodel
adds, the space had to be “acoustically correct” for Sir Elton’s show.
That’s not to say fashion won’t
retrospective of opulent garments
the Diamond Club (now the Phoenix
play its part. The show includes
(and models) from past events —
on Sherbourne) in 1987, a grass-
boasted celebrity icons, from Geri
an extravagant runway presen-
historical pieces donated by some
roots event that drew 400 people and
Halliwell to Pamela Anderson, but
tation of 25 dresses by 25 design-
of Fashion Cares’ longest support-
as far as organizers are concerned,
ers, including Pink Tartan, David
ers, from Susan Dicks to Vivienne
Continued on page 18
ARCOU T URE BCE Galleria. Hoax Couture designer Jim Searle (below).
9 9 3
WINGS OF LIFE Toronto Island Airport. Dave Clark in Brett Ginty (below).
9 9 4
2 0 0
GARDEN Ungaro, Lempika, Mirabel designs (above), dining hall (below).
Continued from page 17
1 9 9
PURE POLYES T ER Moss Park. Phillip Ing and the National Ballet of Canada (below).
2 0 0
2 CIRCUS CIRCUS Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
rifying enough,” says Ing.
FU T URE PERFECT Moss Park Armoury. Hairstylist Brian Phillips (below).
9 9 6
CASINO Singer Sarah Brightman (above); choreographer David Connolly (below).
2 0 0
SUPERS TAR Jack Layton, Olivia Chow, The B-Girls (above); The Lady Bunny (below).
necessary to give the finger — a
in philanthropy to explain why
ACT benefitted from the start. For
glamorous finger — to death any-
massive galas are going out of fash-
“The community was amazing
two decades the organization has
more. “The disease has changed,”
ion. “The big spectacle is gone,” he
that night. Everyone cheered and
relied on Fashion Cares to fund its
says Ing. “HIV/AIDS has become
says, noting the demise of Toronto’s
went crazy,” Ing recalls.
programs and services for those
a controllable disease, it’s treated
Brazilian Ball. “The trend is to go
There was a sense of urgency
living with, and affected by, and
back to grassroots events.”
then to curb the death toll of HIV/
at risk for HIV/AIDS. As of 2008,
there was a sense of urgency. We
AIDS. “Nobody knew what it was.
Fashion Cares supported a quarter
had to recognize that the event
All you did know is that if you had
of ACT’s operating budget.
would change as well.”
raised about $40,000, says Ing.
So you might as well go out with a bang. Daniel Knox, director of develop-
sex, you could spread it through
But times and the economy have
King points to tough economic
ment at ACT, says the organization
bodily fluids. That alone was hor-
changed. Organizers feel it isn’t
times and the changing landscape
will survive, even if Fashion Cares
1 9 9
1 PHO T O BALL Moss Park Armoury. MAC Viva Glam twins (below).
BEAU T IFUL WORLD T OUR Brett Ginty designs (above); MAC cofounder Frank Toskan (below).
1 9 9
MONDO MOVIE RAMA Maurice Vellekoop illustration (above); Rommel (below).
BOLLY WOOD COWBOY The crowd reacts (above); Wayne Clark designs (below).
2 0 0
C A R E S
FLOAT ING WORLD Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Bob Mackie design (below).
P R E S E N T S
20T H ANNIVERSARY MAC Twins (above); honourary chair Jeanne Beker (below).
F A S H IO N
2 PEEP Distillery District. Dita von Teese (below).
A F T E R 7PA R T Y !
FASHION SCARES Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Co-chair David Furnish (below, right).
F E AT U R I N G D J D E R R I C K CA R T E R P L U S CHRIS LA ROQUE, JOJOFLORES, DOMAN AND PETTIGREW
SATURDAY MAY 12 2007 11:30 TIL 4AM AT KOOLHAUS - 132 QUEENS QUAY EAST TICKETS AND INFO AT
A BENEFIT FOR THE AIDS COMMITTEE OF TORONTO
folds. “It has had a great run over
per year, writes Knox.
AFTER PARTY SPONSORS:
For Ing, Fashion Cares 25 is about
the years, outlasting many other
This year ACT will share pro-
hope — “a light at the end of the
large gala fundraising events,”
ceeds from Fashion Cares with the
tunnel” — and recognition of the
writes Knox in an email.
Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF).
intense battle waged against a
Since the last Fashion Cares, ACT
The New York-based organization
disease once considered a death
has focused on increasing revenue
is “creating a special grants pro-
from its other fundraisers, such
gram that will make funds raised
“It’s a reaffirmation that, as a
as the AIDS Walk and the SNAP!
from Fashion Cares 25 available
community, we’ve come together
photography auction — efforts
to AIDS service organizations in
to support a cause,” says Ing. “You
that have translated into annual
Canada through an application
have to celebrate that.”
increases upwards of 10 percent
process,” states a press release.
FASHION CARES 25 Sun, Sep 9. Dinner. $2,500. 6pm. Royal York Hotel. 100 Front St W. $500$1,500. VIP cocktails (5:30pm), pre-party (6:30pm) and show (8pm). Sony Centre. 1 Front St E. After-party. 10:30pm. Maison Mercer. 15 Mercer St. fashioncares.com. PHOTOGRAPHS Courtesy of Phillip Ing, Jann Coppen, David Leyes, Dan Lim, Steven Lungley, Don Miller, Chris Nichols, Shun Sasabuchi, Floria Sigismondi, Malcolm Tweedy and George Whiteside.
LISTINGS & EVENTS
SEPTEMBER Laurence Labat
IN THE CITY
AMALUNA Opens in the Port Lands
EVAN PENNY AGO retrospective opens
PATRICK WOLF Plays the Music Gallery
Art & Photography ANGELL GALLERY Flames Up, new large-scale floral paintings and collages by Toronto-based artist Thrush Holmes. New Drawings/Unrolled Telescopes, an exhibition by Berlinbased artist Adrian Williams, one of the founding members of Winnipeg’s Royal Art Lodge. Noon-5pm. Wed-Sat. Until Sat, Sep 22. 12 Ossington Ave. (416) 530-0444. angellgallery.com. MOCCA Jamelie Hassan’s multi-media installations, photo-based and video work focus on issues of cultural and personal identity. Curated by Melanie Townsend, oganized by Museum London. In the Project Room is Stealing Beauty, a 2007 video by Tel Aviv-based Guy BenNer in which a father attempts to teach lessons to his children while living in an Ikea display. PWYC. 11am-6pm. TueSun. Until Oct 18. Reception. 8pm-10pm.
TAP DOGS Opens at the Royal Alex
Fri, Sep 7. Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. 952 Queen St W. (416) 395-0067. mocca.ca. ALLYSON MITCHELL Creep Lez, the craft-forward feminist’s exhibit of new sculpture, drawing and video, Noon6pm. Tue-Sat. 1pm-5pm. Sun. Thu, Sep 6-30. Katharine Mulherin Art Projects. 1086 Queen St W. (416) 993-6510. katharinemulherin.com. PAUL PETRO CONTEMPORARY Five, recent sculpture and video work stemming from artist Peter Bowyer’s research into dimensional boundaries. Plus New World, recent paintings by Toronto’s Morley Shayuk capturing the patterns and energy of nature. Opening. 7pm10pm. Fri, Sep 7. 11am-5pm. Wed-Sat. Until Oct 6. 980 Queen St W. (416) 979-7874. paulpetro.com. EVAN PENNY The Art Gallery of Ontario presents a retrospective of the Toronto artist’s hyper-realistic silicone sculp-
OBAABERIMA Tawiah M’carthy opens at Buddies
BLOC PARTY First of two nights at the Music Hall
ED DROSTE Grizzly Bear plays Massey Hall
tures. $20; free Wed evenings. Opens Thu, Sep 20. Until Jan 6. AGO. 317 Dundas St W. (416) 979-6648. ago.net. NUIT BLANCHE This year’s all-night art free-for-all finds Vancouver’s Douglas Coupland and Dana Claxton, Toronto’s Christine Davis and An Te Liu and Tania Mouraud of Paris among the featured artists in and south of Nathan Phillips Square. Andrew Kearney of London, UK, Matthew Moore of Phoenix and Alison Norlen of Saskatoon will be featured in the Entertainment District. Rhonda Weppler of San Francisco and Trevor Mahovsky of Vancouver, Peter Bowyer of Toronto and Vikky Alexander of Vancouver are featured in and around Ryerson and the Eaton Centre. The Trisha Brown Dance Company of New York, Katie Paterson of Berlin and Toronto’s Oliver Husain will be featured around Church and King streets. Curators this year are Janine Marchessault, Michael Prokopow,
JULIA SASSO DANCES SloE opens at Enwave
Christina Ritchie, Helena Reckitt and Shauna McCabe. 7pm-7am. Sat, Sep 29. scotiabanknuitblanche.ca. ARCHIVAL DIALOGUES The Ryerson Image Centre, that cool, new lit-up building on Gould, opens with an exhibition of commissions inspired by Ryerson’s Black Star Collection, from Stephen Andrews, Christina Battle, Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Stan Douglas, Vera Frenkel, Vid Ingelevics, David Rokeby and Michael Snow. Co-curated by Doina Popescu, and Peggy Gale. Also on exhibition are works by current students and recent alumni, entitled The Art of the Archive, curated by Gaëlle Morel. Free. Sat, Sep 29-Dec 16. Ryerson Image Centre. 33 Gould St. ryerson.ca/ric. Opening. 7pm-7am. Sep 29 (part of Nuit Blanche).
Dance JULIA SASSO Next Steps presents SLoE,
LISTINGS & EVENTS
OUR GUIDE TO YOUR MONTH
Allyson Mitchell’s Fifty Shades is part of Creep Lez, opening at Katherine Mulherin on Thu, Sep 6.
Walk. Donate. Volunteer. September 23, 2012
featuring celebrated pianist Eve Egoyan, in concert with Sasso’s stellar dancers, delivering a virtuosic interpretation of Ann Southam’s masterwork, Simple Lines of Enquiry. $25-$35. 8pm. Thu, Sep 27-29. 4pm. Sep 30. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. harbourfrontcentre.com/nextsteps.
Tuesday evenings). 10am-5pm. Mon, Wed-Fri. 10am-8pm. Tue. Noon-5pm. Sat & Sun. Thu, Sep 13-Dec 9. Design Exchange. 234 Bay St. (416) 363-6121. dx.org.
Fashion & Design
VERTICAL URBAN FACTORY Can factories be re-integrated into urban centres in a sustainable way? An in-depth look at 30 factories — American Apparel in Los Angeles to the VW “Transparent Factory” in Dresden — illustrated with 200 photographs, diagrams, drawings, models and archival films. Shown with Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge. $10 (PWYC
Pop & Rock
Film & Video TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Thu, Sep 6-16. See page
BLOC PARTY After a four-year hiatus, the Mercury Prize-winning British rockers release Four. The band’s Canadian tour stops in Toronto for two all-ages gigs with Ceremony opening. $40. 7pm doors; 8pm start. Mon, Sep 10 & 11. The Music Hall. 147 Danforth Ave. ticketmaster.ca. PATRICK WOLF The British singer/
song-writer celebrates 10 years of making music with the release of the double album, Sundark and Riverlight, featuring acoustic re-recordings of songs from Wolf’s entire catalogue (see page 30) out Oct 16. His world tour stops in Toronto. $31. 7pm doors. Tue, Sep 25. The Music Gallery. 197 John St. ticketmaster.ca. GRIZZLY BEAR Touring in support of its first album in three years, Shields (see page 30), the Brooklyn-based outfit fronted by Ed Droste comes to town. Unknown Mortal Orchestra opens. $29.50-$42.50. 8pm. Wed, Sep 26. Massey Hall. 178 Victoria St. (416) 872-4255. ticketmaster.ca. PAPER BAG RECORDS PBR10 is a concert series celebrating the amazing Toronto-based indie record label, running Thu, Sep 27 to 29. All proceeds to benefit MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity. Continued on page 22
® Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia.
LISTINGS & EVENTS
Continued from page 21
Review Anna von Frances
Expect this to sell out. Sep 27: Elliott Brood, Born Ruffians, Woodhands and The Acorn. Sep 28: The Rural Alberta Advantage, Cuff the Duke, PS I Love You and Slim Twig. Sep 29: Austra, You Say Party, Young Galaxy and The Luyas. $25 per night: $60 for all three. 8pm. The Great Hall. 1087 Queen St W. paperbagrecords.com. GOSSIP The righteous rockers release their fifth studio album, A Joyful Noise, produced by Brian Higgins (with Mark Ronson). Apparently it was inspired by lead singer Beth Ditto spending the whole year listening to ABBA. World tour comes to Hogtown. $35. 8pm. Sat, Sep 29. The Phoenix. 410 Sherbourne St. ticketmaster.ca.
Classical, New & Jazz
You may have noticed Grand Electric in Parkdale on Queen just west of Dufferin. It’s the only restaurant with a daily lineup almost a block long. Or maybe you noticed it because there is a never-ending stream of gorgeous and diverse hostesses who keep the lineup in order and greet you with a smile. Or maybe, like me, you just heard of their great tacos. I assumed Grand Electric was busy because there is nothing to eat in Parkdale but fast food. Turns out their winning combination of simple affordable food and great service is keeping those lineups growing. The menu is so simple it’s almost trite: tacos. Priced at $3 to $3.50 per bite, the menu is pretty meat heavy with selections like pork, chicken, beef and even pig tail, but there are also fish tacos, tuna ceviche and of course guacamole and chips. The drinks menu is replete with Mexican beers and tasty bourbon lemonades. The meat is savoury, the guacamole is light and creamy with homemade chips. But I gotta say the lack of hot sauce options and breaded fish for the tacos was slightly disappointing. We sat on the back patio this summer, which is a must if you can handle waiting for it. Like most micro restaurants (that’s 22
→ HAPPY GAT EKEEPER The friendly, efficient staff at Grand Electric keep the lineups for tacos in good order.
what I’m calling anything with a specific and narrow menu), Grand Electric does not take reservations. You have to wait outside with the hostess babes and the rest of Parkdale like everyone else. My suggestion is to hold out for the patio. It’s not much, just a cement patio with picnic benches and a tiki-style bar, but it’s smoking and near the BBQ and has a light and airy feel against the dark and cozy interior. The food comes out at a speed rivalled only by Ginger on Yonge, and the waiters and bar staff are exceptionally friendly and easy on the eyes. The two specials were delicious: BBQ ribs and corn on the cob with cheese and mayo prepared on the BBQ on the patio. Grand Electric just might be the casual spot of the season.
GRAND ELECTRIC 1330 Queen St W. (416) 627-3459. granelectricbar.com.
INTERSECTION 2012 New music showcase continues with Bang on a Can All-Stars from New York, Contact, Jim Harley, Cam McKittrick, Edges, Rick Sacks and more in an outdoor marathon. On a separate stage is the percussion ensemble TORQ in a concert honouring gay US composer John Cage. Free. 2pm-10pm. Sat, Sep 1. Yonge-Dundas Square. Bang on a Can returns in a double bill with Ambient 2: The Music of Brian Eno, featuring Eno’s Music for Airports, a film by Frank Scheffer and Contact performing Eno’s Discreet Music accompanied by a film by Suzanne Bocanegra. $30 & $40. 7pm. Sep 2. Panasonic Theatre. 651 Yonge St. 1 (800) 461-3333. contactcontemporarymusic.ca. ASPECTS OF OSCAR The Four Seasons Centre free concert series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre presents Canadian bassist Dave Young paying tribute to his long-time friend and collaborator Oscar Peterson. Young is joined by Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Robi Botos (piano) and Terry Clarke (drums). Free. Noon-1pm. Tue, Sep 25. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. coc.ca. MOOREDALE CONCERTS Season opener features nine stars of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra including concert master Jonathan Crow, violinist Etsuko Kimura and cellist Joseph Johnson, playing two chamber music treasures: Schubert’s Octet and Nonet by Ludwig Spohr. $30. 3:15pm. Sun, Sep 30. An earlier, abridged version of the concert (at 1:15pm) is geared toward young people (6 to 15). $13. Walter Hall. 80 Queen’s Park Cres. (416) 922-3714 ext 103. mooredaleconcerts.com.
Stage AMALUNA A storm forces a group of young men to land on a mysterious island where goddesses rule in the latest fantasia from Cirque du Soleil. Directed by Diane Paulus of American Repertory Theatre fame, with set and props designed by Scott Pask and costumes by Meredith Caron. $53.50$158.50. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 4pm. Sat (& some Fridays). 1pm & 5pm. Sun. Thu, Sep 6-Oct 21. Grand Chapiteau. Port Lands. cirquedusoleil.com. THEATRE BEYOND WALLS Theatre Passe Muraille launches an ambitious and
Opéra de Marseille’s production of Il Trovatore, 2003; Christian Dresse photo.
IN SPOT GRAND ELECTRIC
intriguing fall series of site-specific theatre and guerilla performances that range from the CN Tower to the Queen streetcar. There’s a whack of productions on offer; check out various ticket/ pass options. The Queen West Project is written and directed by Deborah Pearson in consultation with members of Eva’s Phoenix. Dancers are paired with audience members and then travel down Queen West. Audience members are wearing headphones through which they hear a soundscape of text, music, and instructions. A dance takes shape that only the audience can hear. Wed, Sep 12-23. Toybox lets you play with the latest technology to create your own movies, music and art. Wed, Sep 12-15. TPM. 16 Ryerson St. Sep 19-22. City Hall Rotunda. 100 Queen St W. TPM hosts the Queen West Street Fest, as a series kick-off, with food, crafts, outdoor performers and more. 11am-5pm. Sat, Sep 15. Ryerson and Wolseley streets. The Four Corners is a site-specific radio docudrama developed by Lisa Marie DiLiberto and Charles Ketchabaw of Fixt Point Theatre examining the history of the Queen and Bathurst intersection. Free. 1pm, 4pm & 7pm. Sep 29. Watch for podcasts the following month. (416) 504-7529. passemuraille.on.ca. JULIE SITS WAITING Billed as a “dirty opera” this electro-acoustic musical from Good Hair Day Productions tells the story of a married woman and an Anglican priest who discover extraordi-
LISTINGS & EVENTS David Fox, Stephen Guy-McGrath and RH Thomson reprise their original roles; Richard Rose directs. $48-$53. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun (& some Saturdays). Sep 19-Oct 21. Tarragon Theatre Mainspace. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 531-1827. tarragontheatre.com. BETWEEN THE SHEETS Nightwood Theatre presents the world premiere of Jordi Mand’s play that pits a teacher against a mother in a tense battle of wits. Starring Susan Coyne and Christine Horne; Kelly Thornton directs. $13$40. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 1:30pm. Wed. 2pm Sat & Sun. Thu, Sep 20-Oct 7. Tarragon Theatre Extra Space. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 531-1827. nightwoodtheatre.net. TAP DOGS For those who like their rock music with tap dancing. Created and choreographed by Aussie Dein Perry, with music by Andrew Wilkie; designed and directed by Nigel Triffit. $25-$89. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. 7pm. Sun. Tue, Sep 25-30. Royal Alexandra Theatre. 260 King St W. (416) 872-1212. mirvish.com. IL TROVATORE The COC’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s terrifying thriller stars Ramón Vargas as Manrico and Canadian baritone Russell Braun as Conte di Luna, soprano Elza van den Heever as Leonora and Russian mezzo Elena Manistina as the vengeful gypsy Azucena. Marco Guidarini conducts. $12– $325 ($22 for people under 30). Sat, Sep 29, Oct 2, 5, 10, 13, 19, 21, 25, 28 & 31. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. coc.ca.
Books & print → BAD KARMA The COC season
opens with Verdi’s diabolical Il Trovatore, beginning Sat, Sep 29.
nary intimacy and colossal disaster. Featuring libretto by Tom Walmsley and music by Louis Dufort and starring Fides Krucker and Richard Armstrong. Heidi Strauss and Alex Fallis direct. $30-$40. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. PWYC. 2pm. Sun. Fri, Sep 14-23. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. 16 Ryerson Ave. (416) 504-7529. passemuraille.on.ca. OBAABERIMA Buddies’ season opens with this unique one-man show created and performed by Tawiah M’carthy. Imprisoned in Canada for committing a violent crime, a young man from Ghana tells his cellmates a story on the eve of his release. Through storytelling, dance, and music, Obaaberima chronicles a young African-Canadian’s journey across continents, genders, races and sexualities. With live music by Kobena AquaaHarrison; Evalyn Parry directs. Thu, Sep 20-Oct 7. Buddies in Bad Times main chamber. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. buddiesinbadtimes.com. NO GREAT MISCHIEF Tarragon presents a new production of David S Young’s 2004 play, adapted from the novel by Alistair MacLeod, about two brothers, haunted by the stories and songs of their Scottish ancestry. A sweeping saga of familial loss and love that journeys from a squalid Kensington Market rooming house to Cape Breton and Elliot Lake.
WORD ON THE STREET The annual festival of authors and the printed word returns to Queen’s Park on Sun, Sep 23 (11am-6pm). Kamal Al-Solaylee joins the Nothing But the Truth Tent (2pm2:30pm). Wayson Choy is at the Scribendi.com tent at noon. Dani Couture is at the Vibrant Voices of Ontario Tent at 1pm. Also look for Vivek Shraya, Karleen Pendleton Jiménez and Mariko Tamaki. thewordonthestreet.ca.
Causes & Events FASHION CARES The last hurrah. Sun, Sep 9. See page 16. OUT ON BAY The annual conference for students in business, law and technology returns with keynote speakers Salah Bachir and Maggie Cassella, numerous corporate and professional attendees and a case competition. Fri, Sep 7 & 8. Toronto Marriott Downtown. 525 Bay St. outonbayst.org. AIDS WALK FOR LIFE Join thousands as they take a 5km walk through the Church/Wellesley Village and downtown to raise money for the AIDS Committee of Toronto and its crucial programs and services for people living with, affected by and at risk of HIV/AIDS (actoronto.org). Sun, Sep 23. 2pm start. Community fair, beer garden and entertainment. 3pm-6pm. Wood and Church streets. aidswalkforlifetoronto.ca. •
IN SPOT BRODAWKA AND FRIENDS Story Derek Dotto
Brodawka and Friends is an unassuming storefront at Queen and Dovercourt with little in the way of decor. Rather than spend time and money on distracting accoutrements, owner Jeff Brodawka has searched the world for masters in their crafts to bring exciting new footwear to Toronto. That search led him to Leon, Mexico, where two smaller-scale factories produce his eye-catching footwear. “There’s a true handmade aspect,” he says. “The patterns are hand-cut. The shoes [hand-moulded]. There’s a lot of attention to detail.” Brodawka got his start in the shoe biz designing under John Fluevog. To his benefit, the gig wasn’t limited to drawing shoes all day. “I had the luxury of being able to draw a shoe and go all the way through to promoting it and defining it for the world and then dealing with how people responded to it.” While he doesn’t design the footwear in his store, Brodawka does customize factory patterns. His women’s collection boasts a dozen styles, ranging from multicoloured high heels to more basic flats. Brodawka’s offering for men is far more modest. He’s picky about what he’ll put on his shelf, displaying three designs in two colour options each. A star on the roster: The brogue. “There’s
→ SHOE BIZ Brogues are the shoe of the season, especially laser-etched designs from Brodawka.
a push for people to know how to dress better and I think the brogue goes hand in hand with that,” he says. “It’s a very versatile shoe. Once it breaks in, you can buff it and it can be a formal shoe or you can leave it beat up.” Admittedly, the brogues at his store break from tradition in their design. The detailing is laseretched into the leather rather than punched. “Technically the whole logic of the brogue was: You have holes in your shoe so that water would seep out of them in Northern England and Scotland. That obviously has evolved into this decorative thing,” Brodawka says. “The advantages to using laser etching is that you can do any pattern, any design you want and it won’t actually undermine the strength of the leather. And you can be as elaborate as possible.” The men’s collection for fall will remain small, but for spring Brodawka is looking to Italy and Portugal. And who knows, we may even see some of his own designs hit the shelves of Brodawka and Friends soon. BRODAWKA AND FRIENDS 1114 Queen St W. (416) 893-0173. brodawkaandfriends.com. intorontomag.com
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F I L M M A K E R S PO T L I G H T
CURRENT OBSESSION → How Toronto’s
Jamie Travis went from making dark, short Canadian films to directing a big, sweet US feature Story Peter Knegt
fter spending a decade making award-winning short films here in Canada, filmmaker Jamie Travis has graduated to the big leagues with the comedy For a Good Time, Call..., now playing in Toronto theatres. Written by Katie Ann Naylon and Lauren Miller (who also stars), the film follows two former frenemies who bond when they start doing business together via a phone sex line. It debuted to big acclaim — and big laughs — at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Let’s talk a bit about your career before For a Good Time Call…. You’ve been well-known on the Canadian film festival circuit for some time thanks to your dark and stylish short films like The Armoire and The Saddest Boy in the World. I spent the last 10 years making short films that were very personal and very darkly comedic. The first short film I made at film school sort of started off my career and played the Toronto International Film Festival. Through the years, I made a couple trilogies of shorts that were similarly successful on the film festival circuit that established my voice. This all sort of started my slow progression toward the United States and helped me get this film. Tell us about the film. What do you want people to take from it? I feel like the audiences are going to respond to the film in the same way that I first responded to the script. When my agent first sent me the script and I saw that it was a phone sex comedy I was immediately skeptical. My thinking was 24
that I didn’t want to make that type of movie and I didn’t want to watch that type of movie. But then I actually read the script and I was just floored by how original it was and how refreshingly female it was and how honest it was about female sexuality. I felt that it was truly something special and it really surprised me. It especially surprised me that it was so much more than being a raunchy sexy comedy. It was more a really sweet female friendship love story. We’ve been travelling across the US for the last two weeks showing it to audiences and the response has been pretty consistent. People walk away thinking this movie is unusually sweet. What do you hope happens for you as a filmmaker beyond this film? Do you have any projects on tap? I am pursuing other film projects right now, all American. There’s one
especially that I think may be the best script I’ve ever read. I can’t tell you about it because I don’t have the job yet [laughs]. But it really represents a nice balance between what I did in my short films — which was a much more personal style of filmmaking — and what I did with this film, which is more of a commercial comedy. I want to find a middle ground in Hollywood between the big commercial films and the more personal art house films. And thankfully this film has opened so many doors for me and the calibre of scripts I’m reading right now is very high. I’m sure there’s a lot of short filmmakers in Canada that would love to follow the career trajectory you’re having so far. Any advice for them? My advice would be to keep making short films until there’s a feature
→ FRIENDSHIP & SEXUALI T Y Toronto-born director Jamie Travis (middle) with the stars of For a Good Time, Call… Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller (who also co-wrote the feature comedy).
film you really need to make. Had I had an idea for a feature film eight years ago, I would have made it. You always need to make the thing that you’re currently obsessed with and that your mind is filled with. But for me, I had such a good experience making shorts for so long and not rushing into feature films. I really embraced making short films, and I loved that time. It gave me a relaxed period in which to develop a voice. I would never have been able to direct For a Good Time, Call… so confidently had I not done this.
FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL… Now playing in Toronto theatres.
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TOP 10 AT TIFF →A
primer on LGBT films at the Toronto International Film Festival Story Peter Knegt
A LIAR’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY: THE UNTRUE STORY OF MONTY
Filipino indie drama Bwakaw is poised to be one of the most crowd-
PYTHON’S GRAHAM CHAPMAN Monty
pleasing foreign language films at
John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry
TIFF, chronicling the story of elderly
Jones and Terry Gilliam pay trib-
gay man Rene (Eddie Garcia), who
ute to their late colleague Graham
comes out late in life. He feels there’s
Chapman in this 3-D animated (and
no time left for love and leads an iso-
hilariously fictionalized) account of
lated existence with his dog Bwakwa.
his life story. Though best known
A chance encounter gives him a con-
for his work on Python, Chapman
siderable second chance.
was also a vocal spokesman for LGBT rights who came out in the 1970s (though his sexuality was alluded to in many a Python sketch).
FREE ANGELA AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
He died of cancer in 1989.
Shola Lynch’s documentary tells a remarkable story from the life of African-American activist, scholar and author Angela Davis. Davis —
LAURENCE ANYWAYS Twenty-three-year-old
who officially came out as a lesbian
wunderkind Xavier Dolan offers up
in 1997 — was wrongfully impris-
the English Canadian premiere of his
oned in the 1970s as an alleged ter-
third feature. Spanning a decade, the
rorist and conspirator. Free Angela
drama depicts a man, Laurence (Melvil
— having its world premiere at TIFF
Poupard), who decides on his 35th
— sees Davis speak out for the first
birthday to become a woman. This
time about the event.
results in a tumultuous experience for Laurence and Laurence’s girlfriend (Suzanne Clement), who decide to stay
IN THE HOUSE Acclaimed
together. The film explores similar
François Ozon (8 Women, Swimming
themes to Dolan’s two previous features (I Killed My Mother, Heartbeats): individuality, marginalization and the pursuit of an impossible love.
Pool) returns to TIFF with In the House.
Mayorga’s play The Boy in the Last
Commemorating the 50th anniver-
Row, the film (which stars Kristin
sary of the death of gay icon Marilyn
Monroe, Liz Garbus’s film brings to
Seigner) follows a 16-year-old boy
life two boxes of Monroe’s very pri-
whose essays about a friend’s fam-
vate writings that were discovered
ily results in a series of turbulent
in the home of her former acting
coach. It does so thanks to the voices of a slew of contemporary actors and actresses, including Uma Thurman, Ellen Burstyn, Lindsay Lohan, Glenn Close, Viola Davis and Paul Giamatti.
Continued on page 27
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THE PAPERBOY For his first film since 2009’s Precious (which won the People’s Choice Award at TIFF), openly gay director Lee Daniels is taking on a fiercely campy crime drama set in the late 1960s. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron, the film had a drastically divisive response when it debuted at Cannes earlier this year. But whatever end of the Paperboy spectrum you end up on, if a film devoting a sizeable amount of screen time to Efron in only white (often rain-soaked) briefs, you won’t be disappointed either way.
PASSION Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace star in an erotic thriller from legendary filmmaker Brian DePalma (Carrie, Scarface). A remake of Alain Corneau’s French thriller Crime d’amour (which screened at TIFF in 2010), the film stars McAdams as a career woman who goes head to head with her assistant (Rapace), who is out for revenge after McAdams’ character takes credit for her idea. Details on the twisty plot are limited, but early images (including some lip-locking between the two lead actresses) suggest a wild ride.
PEACHES DOES HERSELF Queer icon and Toronto musician (though she now calls Berlin home) Peaches looks to outdo (and do) herself with this semi-autobiographical “anti-jukebox” musical featuring songs from across her career. Peaches writes, directs and stars in the film that follows a Peaches-esque musician who falls in love with a beautiful she-male. The film will be supplemented by the event Peaches Does the Drake, a building-wide performance at the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St W) on Fri, Sep 14.
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER Stephen Chobsky’s novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower became something of a Catcher In the Rye for the millennial generation when it was published back in 1999. Over a decade later, Chobsky has written and directed the book’s cinematic adaptation himself, with TIFF offering up the film’s world premiere. Following teenagers Charlie (Logan Lerman), Sam (Emma Watson) and openly queer Patrick (Ezra Miller, who recently came out himself), Perks is sure be on top of many a twentysomething’s festival to-see list.
THE SECRET DISCO REVOLUTION Toronto-based filmmaker Jamie Kastner makes clear that the disco era represented a moment of mass liberation for women, African-Americans and gay men in this extensive documentary about the musical genre so quick to be proclaimed dead. Featuring interviews with Gloria Gaynor and The Village People alongside some glorious stock footage and reenactments, disco lives at TIFF this year.
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL $20; $38 galas. Thu, Sep 6-16. (416) 599-TIFF. tiff.net. STIFF Peter Knegt and the Lost Boys host a celebration of queer and sex-positive films at TIFF. 10pm-4am. Tue, Sep 11. Wrongbar. 1279 Queen St W.
You get the $200 in travel He gets to carry the luggage
Enjoy the freedom of a TD First Class Travel Card No expiry on TD Points.1 No blackouts or seat restrictions.2 Not just for flights. Complete flexibility. Itâ€™s time to make the move to the TD First Class Travel Card. Ask us how. Visit a branch, tdcanadatrust.com/travel, or call 1-866-389-5808 to learn more. Apply by September 14th for $200 in travel upon approval.3
Banking can be this comfortable
1 TD Points do not expire as long as you are a Cardholder. 2Subject to carrier/space availability. 3Applies to new TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Accounts (Account) only. You must apply by September 14, 2012. The $200 in travel value will be awarded to the Account as a bonus of 40,000 TD Points (Bonus) upon approval. Limit of one Bonus per Account. Individuals who have an existing TD First Class Travel Account that was opened before July 23, 2012 (Existing Account) and that close the Existing Account on or after July 23, 2012 are not eligible for this Bonus offer. Other conditions apply. Offer may be changed, extended or withdrawn at any time without notice and cannot be combined with any other offer. ÂŽ / The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.
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B O O KS
NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECT → John
Irving’s loving embrace of the sexual outsider Story Alice Lawlor | Photography Jane Sobel
here aren’t many straight
tradictory nature of Billy’s sexual
authors who can write gay
identity. “I went from having these
and get away with it. There
that’s just how it is.
fight, there’s no reason for them
unmentionable crushes on this or
Shakespeare features prominently
not to take pretty fierce possession
are even fewer mainstream literary
that boy to masturbating with the
in Billy’s early life as a schoolboy
of what their sexual identity is. But
superstars who’ve actually tried.
dubious aid of one of my mother’s
actor. The grand master of gender
it’s likewise understandable why
But John Irving is special. The multi-
mail-order clothing catalogs,” he
play inspires some deep thinking
they don’t want someone conven-
writes. The story goes on to detail
in the young Billy. As he watches
iently or dismissively saying, ‘Oh
author and Oscar-winning screen-
Billy’s various loves and losses,
his grandpa (who always plays the
Frank, well, he’s a straight guy,’ or,
writer has an impressive track
from schoolboy crushes in First
record when it comes to challeng-
Sister, Vermont, to the AIDS crisis
ing sexual norms. “The subject of
in 1980s New York and beyond. It’s
the sexual outsider, or in society’s
a chronicle of Billy’s life as a “sexual
eyes, the sexual misfit, has often
suspect” — a phrase that Irving bor-
been a character of interest to me,”
rows from Garp.
he says. “In The World According to Garp, Garp’s mother Jenny Fields
So, 34 years on, is this novel a
struggle, has been a hard-earned that
‘Well, he’s bi, you know.’ As if that
“DON’T MAKE ME A CATEGORY BEFORE YOU GET TO KNOW ME!”
philosophical sequel to Garp?
word, which may speak to your sexual identity, tells us everything we need to know about you.” Irving has a personal connection to the subject. His youngest son, Everett, is gay. Everett’s mother is the Canadian literary agent Janet
has sex once with a comatose man
“Part of the reason I let this book sit
female parts in their local theatre
and stops for life. Dr Larch, the
for a while was because I thought,
productions) take on the charac-
(Irving even has a maple leaf tattoo
ether-addicted abortionist in Cider
‘Oh, god, it’s Garp again, it’s the
ter of Caliban in Twelfth Night, Billy
in her honour).
House Rules, has sex once with a
same damn subject!’” Irving says
expresses confusion at the androgy-
The choice to write this book now
prostitute and never again. Those
with a smile. “I remember think-
nous role. The director merely states
— one of several ideas that were, as
are pretty radical sexual choices.”
ing, naively, at the end of the ’70s
that “gender mattered a whole lot
Irving says, “sitting like boxcars in
And who can forget the charac-
when I wrote Garp, ‘Well at least
less to Shakespeare than it seems
the station, saying, ‘Am I the next
ter of Roberta Muldoon in Garp —
all this will go away and I’ll never
to matter to us.” It’s a theme that
novel?’” — was inspired by Everett.
so memorably played by Oscar-
write about this again.’ I thought
runs throughout the book, and
“It would be a mistake to say that I
nominated John Lithgow in the 1983
the acceptance of our sexual differ-
one that Irving himself holds dear.
wrote In One Person because I have
movie — a warm, likeable and very
ences was minutes away!”
“The acceptance of the mutabil-
a gay son, but I wanted to write it
Although there are some similari-
ity of gender… it’s ironic to me
now because I knew I had one ideal
ties in subject matter, the books are
that Shakespeare seems a lot more
reader,” he says. “I would rather
Irving’s new book, In One Person,
markedly different in their style.
at ease about it than we are,” he
Everett be able to read this book
takes on the subject of bisexual-
“Garp was a much more radically
when he is still 19 or 20 rather than
ity. It’s narrated by Billy, an almost
political novel, more broadly satiri-
Irving also has a lot to say about
to have to wait and read it when
70-year-old who traces his life from
cal,” says Irving. “It’s frankly a young
the labels we use, both for ourselves
he’s 28 and 29 and many of his
schoolboy to schoolteacher. “It’s
writer’s angry look back at the so-
and others. A phrase that echoes
struggles and demons and difficul-
a novel about a young bisexual
called decade of sexual liberation,
throughout the novel is, “Don’t put
ties will be put to rest.”
boy who falls in love with an older
saying, with all this hatred flying
a label on me — don’t make me a
And what was the verdict from
transgender woman,” says Irving.
around, what the hell was that lib-
category before you get to know
his most important critic? “It’s his
“If there is someone in the sexual
eration all about if we still bear each
me!” It becomes a kind of rallying
favourite of my books,” says Irving,
panoply of identities who might be
other these kind of animosities?”
cry for queer characters through
with a grin. “He loves it.”
less trusted than the bisexual guy,
By way of contrast, In One Person
the generations. “Our sexual identi-
it might well be the transgender.
is less about sexual extremes and
ties matter,” says Irving. “But they
And that may be a reason why Billy
more about sexual fluidity. Desire,
can’t conveniently become what
looks up to these people as heroes.”
gender, love: Billy experiences all
other people call us. [For] people
Irving perfectly captures the con-
these things as moving targets, and
whose sexual identity has been a
real transexual character that was way ahead of its time.
IN ONE PERSON John Irving. Knopf Canada. $34.95. intorontomag.com
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MEDIEVAL MINIMALISM TO BLISTERING ROCK’N’ROLL →
Fall releases from Patrick Wolf, Catherine Irwin, Stars, Grizzly Bear and Metz Reviews Mary Dickie
atrick Wolf hasn’t hit 30 yet, but he’s
Wolf’s Acoustic World Tour hits the Music
On “Do You Want to Die Together?” he sings, “I’ll
already celebrating his 10th year in
Gallery in Toronto on Tue, Sep 25 (see page 20).
love you till the day I die,” and she replies, “So
music with a double album, Sundark and
Catherine Irwin, the self-deprecating genius
don’t die today.” He moans, “What’s the point of
Riverlight (released from Bloody Chamber Music/
behind the alt-country band Freakwater, writes
life without my heart?” and she says, “You’re not
Essential Music on Oct 16), that puts a new, acous-
beautiful, twisted songs about lonesome losers,
dying now, you’ll survive somehow.”
tic spin on a number of his previously released
drunks, thieves, liars and lovesick sinners and
songs. It may seem a bit premature for a retro-
sings them with the voice of an angel, albeit a
songs rather than verses; Millan takes charge
spective, but the prolific and prodigiously tal-
disgraced, world-weary angel who’s just about
ented London singer-songwriter has done a lot
had it with humanity. Little Heater (from Thrill
“Progress,” with Campbell as a background
over those years, including collaborating with
Jockey) is her second solo album, and only her
vocalist, while he sings the title song, accompa-
Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, Marianne Faithfull,
first in 10 years, so don’t miss out if you appreci-
nied by synths and some gorgeous guitar, and
Alec Empire and The Hidden Cameras, modelling
ate raw country/folk music and dark Appalachian
“400” is mostly just him and a piano, with her
for Burberry and playing folk, dance pop and elec-
tales told with sly, understated humour.
voice a ghostly icing on the chorus. They’re all
tronic music, among other genres, with skill and
“I may rise out of valleys unscathed, but I can’t
lovely, but the best tracks are the ones that let
take the highs,” Irwin claims on the epic “The
the two of them spar it out. With the excep-
He refers to the predominant style on Sundark
Whole of the Law,” while “Dusty Groove” is an ode
tion of the stark “400,” the sound is synth-heavy
and Riverlight as “medieval minimalist,” and
to Dusty Springfield, and “Sinner Saves a Saint”
dance-pop, like New Order with great melodies
it’s apt: There’s a string quartet, wind instru-
has a chorus that goes, “When you crash upon the
and a sense of humour, and every bit as irresist-
ments and piano, but they’re all used sparsely,
stairs, I’m the answer to your prayers/No parades
ible as that sounds.
with lots of space around them to complement
and no complaints when the sinner saves the
Wolf’s beautiful melodies and his vocals, which
saint.” Tara Jane ONeil (who also produced), Will
album, Shields (from Warp/Fontana North), is
are up-front, sweet, deep and often anguished.
Oldham, Marc Orleans and members of Ida pro-
a step away from the smoothed-out sound of
The acoustic re-recordings bring new focus to the
vide exquisite backing for Irwin’s inimitable voice.
their breakthrough third release, Veckatimest:
strength of Wolf’s songwriting; on “Paris,” he peels
Stars may seem deeply, almost helplessly
less meticulous, less polished, and maybe more
off the original’s big bass and beats, stripping the
romantic in their lyrical subject matter and
appealing for that. The Brooklyn band’s yearn-
arrangement down to a delicate but still devastat-
ing vocals and psych-folk experimentation are
ing backdrop of strings. And “The Magic Position”
band’s songs are never cloying, because they
still there, but everything seems bigger, more
loses none of its effervescence with the removal
usually add tartly cynical or sarcastic lines to
dense and more willing to go out on a limb for
of the beats and handclaps; if anything, it only
counteract the sweetness. On their sixth album,
seems sweeter with just piano and strings behind
The North (from Soft Revolution), singers Amy
“Half Gate” starts out soft and fragile, with a
his voice. Bonus: There’s a new version of “Hard
Millan and Torquil Campbell take turns with
sweet, catchy melody, and builds into a tow-
Times,” co-written with none other than Buffy
the lyrical point of view, answering each other’s
ering soundscape incorporating lots of guitars,
Sainte-Marie, that sounds almost Middle Eastern.
questions and deflating each other’s delusions.
vocal harmonies and keyboards. “Yet Again”
Bear’s eagerly anticipated fourth
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takes its singalong tune from relative simplicity into a dazzling guitar freakout. “What’s Wrong” sets a mood with strings, woodwinds and delicate guitar, then the vocals get more intense along with the drums and increasing layers of keyboards before it all finally ends in a jazzy outro that’s miles away from indie rock. And “A Simple Answer” begins as a more conventionally structured pop song, dominated by piano and drums, before the vocals and arpeggiated guitars take over. Then suddenly they dissolve, leaving voices singing “No wrong or right, just do whatever you like.” And no doubt they will when they play Massey Hall on Wed, Sep 26 (see page 20). Metz, the Toronto trio known for electrifying, blistering live shows, have finally put out a full-length album after teasing us with 7-inch singles for a couple of years. And their self-titled debut (from Sub Pop/Outside Music) is, well, both electrifying and blistering. The drums are impossibly huge, the guitar is loud and intense, with feedback adding layers of sound, and the vocals are somewhere in the background, howling. It’s noisy, but a far cry from free-form noise for the sake of it; instead, it’s exhilarating and strangely joyous — a series of tightly wound rock ’n’ roll songs that make your heart beat faster and your hair swing, played with passion and a kind of supersonic energy that makes other things sound half-hearted. • intorontomag.com
A RT & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
MEDIEVAL MINIMALISM TO BLISTERING ROCK’N’ROLL →
Fall releases from Patrick Wolf, Catherine Irwin, Stars, Grizzly Bear and Metz Reviews Mary Dickie
atrick Wolf hasn’t hit 30 yet,
music, among other genres, with
of strings. And “The Magic Position”
lovesick sinners and sings them
but he’s already celebrat-
skill and apparent ease.
loses none of its effervescence with
with the voice of an angel, albeit a
ing his 10th year in music
He refers to the predominant
the removal of the beats and hand-
disgraced, world-weary angel who’s
with a double album, Sundark and
style on Sundark and Riverlight
claps; if anything, it only seems
just about had it with humanity.
Riverlight (released from Bloody
as “medieval minimalist,” and it’s
sweeter with just piano and strings
Little Heater (from Thrill Jockey) is
Chamber Music/Essential Music on
apt: There’s a string quartet, wind
behind his voice. Bonus: There’s a
her second solo album, and only her
Oct 16), that puts a new, acoustic
instruments and piano, but they’re
new version of “Hard Times,” co-
first in 10 years, so don’t miss out
spin on a number of his previously
all used sparsely, with lots of space
written with none other than Buffy
if you appreciate raw country/folk
released songs. It may seem a bit
around them to complement Wolf’s
Sainte-Marie, that sounds almost
music and dark Appalachian tales
premature for a retrospective, but
beautiful melodies and his vocals,
told with sly, understated humour.
the prolific and prodigiously talented
which are up-front, sweet, deep
Wolf’s Acoustic World Tour hits
“I may rise out of valleys unscathed,
London singer-songwriter has done
and often anguished. The acous-
the Music Gallery in Toronto on
but I can’t take the highs,” Irwin
a lot over those years, including col-
tic re-recordings bring new focus
Tue, Sep 25 (see page 20).
claims on the epic “The Whole of
laborating with Arcade Fire, Owen
to the strength of Wolf’s songwrit-
Catherine Irwin, the self-depre-
the Law,” while “Dusty Groove” is an
ing; on “Paris,” he peels off the orig-
cating genius behind the alt-coun-
ode to Dusty Springfield, and “Sinner
Empire and The Hidden Cameras,
inal’s big bass and beats, stripping
try band Freakwater, writes beauti-
Saves a Saint” has a chorus that goes,
modelling for Burberry and play-
the arrangement down to a deli-
ful, twisted songs about lonesome
“When you crash upon the stairs,
ing folk, dance pop and electronic
cate but still devastating backdrop
losers, drunks, thieves, liars and
I’m the answer to your prayers/No
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parades and no complaints when
geous guitar, and “400” is mostly
intense along with the drums and
singles for a couple of years. And
the sinner saves the saint.” Tara
just him and a piano, with her
their self-titled debut (from Sub
Jane ONeil (who also produced), Will
voice a ghostly icing on the chorus.
before it all finally ends in a jazzy
Pop/Outside Music) is, well, both
Oldham, Marc Orleans and mem-
They’re all lovely, but the best
outro that’s miles away from indie
electrifying and blistering. The
bers of Ida provide exquisite backing
tracks are the ones that let the two
rock. And “A Simple Answer”
drums are impossibly huge, the
for Irwin’s inimitable voice.
of them spar it out. With the excep-
begins as a more conventionally
guitar is loud and intense, with
Stars may seem deeply, almost
tion of the stark “400,” the sound is
structured pop song, dominated by
feedback adding layers of sound,
helplessly romantic in their lyri-
synth-heavy dance-pop, like New
piano and drums, before the vocals
and the vocals are somewhere
cal subject matter and sweeping
Order with great melodies and a
and arpeggiated guitars take over.
in the background, howling. It’s
orchestrations, but the Montreal
sense of humour, and every bit as
Then suddenly they dissolve, leav-
noisy, but a far cry from free-form
band’s songs are never cloying,
irresistible as that sounds.
ing voices singing “No wrong or
noise for the sake of it; instead, it’s
right, just do whatever you like.”
exhilarating and strangely joyous
because they usually add tartly cyn-
Grizzly Bear’s eagerly anticipated
ical or sarcastic lines to counteract
fourth album, Shields (from Warp/
And no doubt they will when they
— a series of tightly wound rock
the sweetness. On their sixth album,
Fontana North), is a step away
play Massey Hall on Wed, Sep 26
’n’ roll songs that make your heart
The North (from Soft Revolution),
from the smoothed-out sound of
(see page 20).
beat faster and your hair swing,
singers Amy Millan and Torquil
their breakthrough third release,
Metz, the Toronto trio known for
played with passion and a kind
Campbell take turns with the lyri-
Veckatimest: less meticulous, less
electrifying, blistering live shows,
of supersonic energy that makes
cal point of view, answering each
polished, and maybe more appeal-
have finally put out a full-length
other things sound half-hearted. •
ing for that. The Brooklyn band’s
album after teasing us with 7-inch
each other’s delusions. On “Do You
yearning vocals and psych-folk
Want to Die Together?” he sings,
experimentation are still there,
“I’ll love you till the day I die,” and
but everything seems bigger, more
she replies, “So don’t die today.”
dense and more willing to go out
He moans, “What’s the point of life
on a limb for emotional effect.
without my heart?” and she says,
“Half Gate” starts out soft and
“You’re not dying now, you’ll sur-
fragile, with a sweet, catchy mel-
ody, and builds into a towering
soundscape incorporating lots of
guitars, vocal harmonies and key-
boards. “Yet Again” takes its sing-
“Backlines,” “Through the Mines”
along tune from relative simplic-
ity into a dazzling guitar freakout.
as a background vocalist, while
“What’s Wrong” sets a mood with
he sings the title song, accom-
strings, woodwinds and delicate
panied by synths and some gor-
guitar, then the vocals get more
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ASK THE SEX GEEK — with Andrea Zanin
Can you make any recommendations for lubes? And can you tell me why flavoured ones are so often known, to me, as “vaginitis in a tube?” Gillian →
summer came early. maybe you will too.
12-05-25 12:14 PM
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ple prefer how thinner ones feel, a little slicker and less obvious,”
by talking to the people who sell the
says Forbes-Roberts. Cons: A lot of
stuff all day? So I called up Sarah
water-based lubes are made with
Forbes-Roberts, a long-time worker/
glycerin. “Glycerin is a cheap way
owner at Come As You Are (493
to make the lube hold together,”
Queen St W; comeasyouare.com).
she says. Glycerin is essentially
“We like to see lube as a sex toy,
sugar, and sugar feeds bacteria.
an overlooked sex toy,” she says.
So a squirt of water-based lube
“There are a million different
made with glycerin can provide
lubricants on the market, which
a feast for your naturally occur-
can be overwhelming. It’s a mat-
ring flora, and for some of us that
ter of trying a few.” Think of it as
means, presto, yeast infection.
a super-fun homework project!
Forbes-Roberts recommends try-
Buy small sizes at first, or ask for
ing organic, glycerin-free brands
a handful of little sample packs.
such as Sliquid (my personal fave)
There’s no hard and fast rule
or Hathor, which are Canadian-
about what’s best. That said, lubes
made to boot.
can be broken down into three
WE've got information and sex-positive tips to help make your choices safer and more rewarding.
InToronto-Summer Came Early.indd 1
For a question like this, what better way to get a thorough answer than
main categories that might help
“It lasts until you wash it off the
you target your testing: oil-based,
body, it has no glycerin, and it
water-based and silicone-based,
tends to be really good for peo-
each with pros and cons.
ple with allergies,” says Forbes-
“Oil-based lube is like using olive
Roberts. In addition, 100 percent
oil — luscious, non-drying and
silicone brands (like Pjur) can do
non-sticky,” says Forbes-Roberts.
triple-duty. “You can put it in your
“If you’re not using condoms, or
hair, you can fix your bike with it.
for solo sex, it can be great.” Cons:
it’s amazing!” says Forbes-Roberts
Oil breaks down latex, so it’s not
laughing. Cons: You can’t use sil-
compatible with condoms. Forbes-
icone lube with silicone toys, the
Roberts also notes, “for some peo-
molecules don’t get along, so your
ple it negatively affects vaginas
toys will start to disintegrate. Also,
because it can be hard to wash
it’s super slippery so don’t spill it
out of the body.” That doesn’t
on your hardwood floors!
just apply to vaginas. Because oil-
Beyond all that, watch for sensi-
based lube can stay in the body for
tivities to menthol (used in many
a few days, no matter what hole
warming lubes), artificial flavours,
you use it in, be extra vigilant for
scents and parabens, which can all
condom tears if you’re being pene-
trigger allergic reactions.
trated in the same orifice later that
Have fun experimenting.
week with a cock or sex toy. Next
“Thicker ones stay better in the body and on toys. But some peo-
ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at sexgeek.wordpress.com. intorontomag.com
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