Cabaret Noir started the new year off in fine style with dynamic sets from Brock Hessel, David Bateman & music by Cap & Kev. Kevin, at the Central, with zydeco then French Pop 60’s playlists created a great mood for the show.
I’d seen Brock perform recently and was eager to hear what new material he had. His first piece about a bathhouse Betty introduced us to his relentlessly pointed observations of gay and pop culture, politics and the mental health system. ‘Someone called me an asshole – how can a part of me represent the whole?’ He closed with Joanne’s Hands or is Johanda’s Hands – a no-holds-bars milking of Canadian cultural icons from Layton to Lightfoot. http://brawk-ward.tumblr.com
Next up was David Bateman. I’ve heard David several times and each time he’s had strong new pieces, so I was looking forward to his latest observations, stories and maybe a haiku or two. No haiku’s but a fine long memory piece: ‘I kissed her husband ten times, deeply,’ ‘raised by wolves in a badly furnished den,’ ‘now that I’m too old to die young.’ The piece was rich with cultural references: KFC, Dairy Queen, trailer parks and assassinations. http://batemanpoetry.blogspot.ca/
This is the first time I’ve heard musical feature Cap & Kev, as Cap & Kev – as members of I Hate Todd – I’ve heard them in various combinations with other circle of jerkers. A violin & acoustic guitar duo they treated us to a great set of mid-tempo, adult, folksy material. The violin added warm, Celtic accents that took me back to my coffee house days in Cape Breton. They mixed original material with some great covers of John Prine, The Pretenders (!!) & Death Cab. When they started Brass in The Pocket I was slightly dismayed but Cap seized that song & turned it into her own with a dynamic performance. Loved their hockey song as well – not sure what it was called but it scored.
A Noir full house made for a great start for 2014 (plus an all too brief lap dance for me from Nelson Sobral.)
(my coming attractions only list features or conferences but not reading events I’m merely attending)
January 22, Wednesday – featuring – Winter Snow Ball, 7 p.m. – urban gallery, 400 Queen East https://www.facebook.com/events/792356567447501/
January 30, Thursday – guest spot -The Dildettes, 8 p.m., Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander Street. https://www.facebook.com/events/234979810009039/
February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave.
March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium
June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words
June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville https://www.loyalistbanner.com/PROD/cewkcrss.P_IndexPage
August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada
Jess looked down at the knife. It was in her hand. She held it. Clutched it would be more accurate. It was embedded in her grip and the sight of the silver blade gripped her.
She held it at arm’s length to keep it as far from her face as possible.
“Is this a dagger before me?” She breathed the words into the cold air, her breath a cloud of frost before her. A cloud that for a brief moment hid the knife from her.
The moon reflected from the beads of her breath as they formed a frost pattern on the blade. Cold hard steel that would liberate her, free her people, if she wielded it properly.
“The Word will come to pass.” Jess held the blade over head, the tip of it grazing the low branch of the oak tree above her. Where it grazed a thin spark of blue appeared and vanished.
“The Tower of the east will no longer have the power to possess.” She turned to the east with the tip of the dagger aimed in that direction.
“The Fires of the south will no longer have the warmth to boil the life out of our souls.” She muttered as she moved the point of the dagger to the south.
“The Watch of the west will lose all grip on reality, on the word she thinks holds her intact.” The blade vibrated for a moment as it locked into true west. “You can resist but only for this moment.”
“The Desert of the north will blow across the land only one more time.” She brought the blade point to north. “We will allow it only one last time to cover all the land with the healing power of dryness. Then life will spring anew.”
She directed the blade at the rocky ground beneath her and with all her force drove the point into stone. The stone shattered and separated beneath her feet. The very planet shook for an instant.
“Earth has been moved for this moment. As has been written the Spirit of Life has been set free again. All elements will be bound together for ever.”
Jess tugged the dagger. It was solid in the stone. With all her might she pulled but it resisted. This was not the way it was to be. If all was done right the dagger would slide out easily from the stone to reach once more past the moon and to the sun as it rose.
If she did not raise the dagger high she didn’t know what the consequence might it. It would not be good.
She stopped tugging a moment and held the handle gently in her hand.
“You take what you need from the earth.” She wiped her brow and gently slid the dagger out. The silver blade was now black, with no reflection. She couldn’t tell where the blade ended and the night began.