Coming Home through African-Canadian Literature: George Elliott Clarke’s Directions Home


Reviewed in this essay: George Elliott Clarke’s Directions Home: Approaches to African-Canadian Literature. In 2011, Toronto city councilor Doug Ford dismissed Margaret Atwood’s rally to protect some 99 library branches, adding insult to injury when he said, “I don’t even know her, if she walked by me, I wouldn’t have a clue who she is.” Assumingly then, neither of the Ford brothers could...

Never Mind the Musicians: Toronto’s Bill Wood


In this series, Trevor Abes sits down with local lights in the Toronto music scene.  Since 1986’s hit album Just In Time To Be Late, former Eye Eye vocalist Bill Wood has had a family and started a successful renovation business. Yet his dedication to music has never waned. In 2007, he released a solo record called Take It; in 2012, he formed the folk rock outfit Bill Wood and the Woodies and...

Sheet music, Sriracha, and the Harry Potter Alliance: Bookishness for Feb. 25, 2013


Pencils, penises, pigeons, goblins, Hitler, and tea cosies What will be the oddest book title of the year? An army of fans, activists, nerdfighters, teenagers, wizards and muggles: fighting with love “Did you ever wish Harry Potter was real? Well it kind of is.” Join the Harry Potter Alliance and fight for social justice.  Soooooo true On the addition of letters to text messages...

Musical hockey, the dark side of kitsch, and classic Canadian TV: Bookishness, Jan. 21, 2013


MOCCA is alright Starting Feb. 1, Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art will be showing “ARE YOU ALRIGHT? New Art From Britain.” The exhibition’s works portray “allusions tothe grotesquely beautiful and explor[e] the darker side of kitsch… reveal[ing] a trend of disillusionment with contemporary British society.” Find out what all that means with a perusal of paintings by Boo Saville, one...

Record Store Review: Play de Record


Play de Record, at 357 Yonge Street, is a paragon of adaptation. Opened in 1990, behind a convenience store and with only records and tapes for sale, it has since taken over the front of the building and gone on to become the primo destination for seasoned DJs in need of the latest equipment, as well as upstarts looking to pick up new skills at Play de Academy. Play also sells new and used...

Danger Music: On the Intimacy of Screaming


Reviewed in this Essay: Dick Higgins’s “Danger Music #17” performed by Jenn Cole and Didier Morelli for The Future of Cage: Credo conference at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto, Oct. 26, 2012 Didier Morelli said that when he plunged his head into his kitchen sink to recite Dante’s Inferno, he imagined the bodily technology of the sound...

A monthly dose of culture: Reviewing the AGO’s First Thursdays


If a regular person ever wanted the chance to feel like a cultural blue blood, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)’s First Thursdays are the time to do it. The series, which began in October and will continue the first Thursday of each month, is an after-hours gallery party complete with music, special exhibits, talks with industry professionals and more. October’s installation featured art by...

Record Store Review: Viva La Vortex


Nestled in the heart of Midtown (2309 Yonge Street, 2nd floor), Vortex Records and its owner, Bert Myers, have been supplying Torontonians with second-hand CDs and vinyl for almost 30 years. The store carries all kinds of music but specializes in rock and pop and is currently building up its jazz and country stock. They keep an ample A-Z soul section and rows of DVDs and Blu-Rays line the walls...