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Why Beverly Glenn-Copeland Rules by Steven Lambke

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

There was one show at Sappyfest that every musician I spoke to wanted to see.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s 1986 album Keyboard Fantasies had made the rounds on it’s reissue, though seemingly through some secret, nearly silent process. It was heard as something almost too precious to talk about. It was music to be held close and to be cherished. Many had dug deeper, into a rich and sprawling and musically ambitious catalog of “psyche-jazz-folk-electronic” music, the product of 70+ years of life and artistic creation and personal transformation.

“What is he going to do? What is he going to play?” In truth I didn’t know. We had spoken at length, long boisterous conversations about life, and life-stories, belief, music. I understood Glenn to be easing himself back on to the stage after some time away and was honoured that Sappyfest could be part of that process.

It was only once sitting in the darkened Vogue Cinema as Glenn and his musicians set-up and sound-checked in advance of the performance that I understood: “Oh, he’s going to do it all”. There was a generosity to the performance that afternoon that was as rare as it was overwhelming. And there was a deep and rare honesty. He sang spirituals, and he sang openly of the spirit. He drummed on African hand drums and electronic pads. He sang Onward And Upward. He revealed the mischievous tenderness that made him such a beloved entertainer for children (having appeared for years on the Mr. Dressup show). He addressed us directly as a trans person while celebrating a multiplicity of heritage, and acknowledged the reality of pain and struggle by telling us how encouraged he was by the young people of today.

And he sang, in an incomparable voice:

Welcome the spring
The summer rain
Softly turned to sing again
Welcome the bud
The summer blooming flower
Welcome the child whose hand I hold
Welcome to you both young and old
We are ever new

I wept through much of Glenn’s show, and after the show was over I wept for several minutes in the alley behind the cinema. Then, slowly, I put myself back together, under a clear summer sky, but the pieces were all different and they fit together in different ways. We are ever new.

I was thrilled to learn that Beverly Glenn Copeland has begun collaborating with some of the finest and most creative young musicians working today. Nick Dourado, Jeremy Costello, Thom Gill, Bianca Palmer, and Kurt Inder will be accompanying Glenn as Indigo Rising at Kazoo Fest on Saturday April 14th at Dublin Street United Church.

Steve Lambke is the Creative Director of Sappyfest in Sackville, NB. He is also runs You’ve Changed Records and is a musician, writing and performing material under his own name and as a member of The Constantines.

 Beverley Glenn-Copeland & Indigo Rising play at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Saturday April 14th
with WHOOP-Szo at Dublin Street United Church (68 Suffolk St. W.).

Tickets for this performance are available HERE.


Why Dorothea Paas Rules by James Goddard

Dorothea Paas

I have loved Dorothea Paas’s music since the first time I heard it. I met Dorothea in Kingston, ON. Have you been to Kingston? It’s a university town, rotten with old money, renowned for its debauchery, home to the headquarters of that most colonial enterprise – Corrections Canada. The winters there are relatively mild; it has something to do with the way the air currents pass over Lake Ontario. I worked for a year at CFRC 101.9FM, Dorothea was a programmer with an unreliable co-host if I’m not mistaken. One afternoon she announced in passing that she had discovered some writing of mine on the internet – almost certainly a Weird Canada review. Not to be outdone I googled her name (mercifully uncommon) and discovered the SONGS EP.

Already on this slight collection of songs for guitar and voice, Paas’ immense talent was clear. These songs showcased Paas’ deft command of the guitar, her vocal prowess and her ear for tasteful production. A steady stream of cassette releases since then has only further demonstrated Paas’ capabilities. Eschewing a path that has seduced many Paas’ folk-inflected first foray did not become the foundation of lushly arranged indie-pop but rather, starting with “A Thirst” (2013), Paas’ arrangements have embraced economy and veered towards abrasion; pairing her classically trained voice with chunky distortion drenched guitar riffs to great effect.

These arrangements are frequently surprising – the song Precious, for example, descends into a noisy breakdown but then from the chaos emerges a voice spoken not sung. That’s an obvious example but in less dramatic ways the shifts between parts, the chords, and the esoteric grooves the band falls into all skew just outside the idioms of today’s guitar rock – every listen seems to reveal an unfamiliar moment, a shimmer, a clang, a harmony heretofore unheard.

Despite the fact that Dorothea Paas is based in Toronto, there’s something of a Kingston that might no longer exist in Paas’s music. This is perhaps most visible in her choice of collaborators. Mark Streeter (Try Harder, False Face), an erstwhile stalwart of the Kingston scene has appeared on everything since ‘A Thirst’. Lately the full band lineup has also included former Kingstoner and shredder supreme Paul Saulnier (PS I Love You). The current quartet is rounded out by Kritty Uranowski, although not from Kingston, Uranowski’s a powerhouse in her own right and contributes a great deal to the live show…and instagram suggests all four are in on the recording session for the next release.

I would be remiss not to mention the humour and pathos that clearly shine through in Paas’, often darkly nihilistic, lyrics. Soon off of ‘No Loose Ends’ (2016) starts off evoking a love song – the relief and distraction of a beloved only to close with the line from which the title is drawn repeated over a minute: “soon none of this will matter”. And…well I could go on and on – I haven’t even highlighted any of the stellar moments from ‘Calm Your Body Down’ (2015) . But I think maybe you get the point.

Why does Dorothea Paas rule? I have loved Dorothea Paas’s music since the first time I heard it and, with every new song I hear, I come to find something new to love. That’s why Dorothea Paas rules.

James Goddard plays the saxophone. He performs solo as skin tone and in the duos NYON and Platitudes. He promotes concerts in Montréal. Platitudes will be performing at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Saturday, April 14th at Heritage Hall (83 Essex St.)

Dorothea Paas plays at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Saturday April 14th with Innes Wilson at Red Brick Cafe (8 Douglas St.)


Why Luyos MC Rules by Julie Reich

Luyos MC

I first met MaryCarl in the bathroom at Kensington’s ‘The Boat’ less than a year ago. She hustled from Guelph, rushing to catch buses and so forth, and hurriedly arrived soon before she was set to perform for a show my friend was co-presenting alongside WIMA (Women in Music and Art). In the bathroom, she unloaded her Kulitang gongs and started assembling them quickly. I offered to help, she let me. While rummaging to prepare for the show in that bathroom, we chatted about many issues. Her charisma immediately captivated my attention and I was intrigued to hear her set. That night, after her performance, I wanted to collaborate with her.  I asked her if she would be interested to be featured on my upcoming album for Bile Sister, and she agreed, barely knowing me. Instant collaboration. 

Recently, MaryCarl sent me an mp3 entitled “Multiplicity of Truth” to have a listen. I don’t think it has been released yet but it is common to show each other tracks in progress now and then because completing a piece/song can take a long time and often we are isolated without much feedback. This track she sent incorporates a Moro kulintang gong set and gandingan a kayo with electronic soundscapes, a guitar and apparently, her ‘canine friend’. Her use of multi-tracked gongs in this song creates the syncopated percussive rhythms that typically more than two hands would require. The song penetrates new territory, experimenting with organic sounds and electronics while combining heartbeat rhythms and sounds of Kulitang music. I love this combination of organic sounds, recorded samples and percussive instruments, especially if they have tones to create scales and take on rhythmic, melodic and harmonic properties. The interaction of percussion that challenges compositional structure is also huge for me, and another reason why I love Luyos MC.

 The soundscapes in this track she sent remind me of another favourite, Buffalo MRI from Montreal. Do you know Dominique? You should. Luyos’ poetry is politically and emotionally charged and her words are direct and clearly deliver the content so deeply important. The spoken word creates a harmonious relationship with the sounds she creates. I love her passion and sincerity and the fact she is using her music as a medium to reach more people about real issues. Luyos MC rules, check her out.

Julie Reich is a multi-faceted musician, producer, experimental DJ, 3-D animator / music video maker, curator and community builder in Toronto, ON. Julie is also the creator, brain and operator of experimental pop project Bile Sister and involved in numerous projects including Dohn Valley, Chandra and New Positions.   

Luyos MC debuts ‘We Who Dare’ at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Wednesday April 11th alongside a  performance by Ben Grossman at Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich St.)


Why Joyful Joyful Rules by Bry Webb

Photo by Jay Shuster

Joyful Joyful

A sound is an experience.

The object is not defined
so much as the subject’s devotion to it.

There’s no record of Joyful Joyful, yet,
only the many friends that have turned to friends to say,
“you need to hear this,”
and then the watery-eyed friends
at the Joyful Joyful show
turning back to smile.

There are those of us
who might never understand
devotional music as it was intended
but who are moved by
devotional music

Who hear
in today’s good music
a call,

not to the foot
of any organized power,
but to other people
in other spaces

disorganized sometimes
but accountable to each other

A call
from an old time
in a new voice
to say to one another,
“I feel you.”

And the space we’re in
is in the song

And we hear the songs
when someone sings them

We can cry at the Joyful Joyful show
And we can turn to each other
And smile

And sing,
Bring sound.

Bry Webb is the Operations Coordinator at CFRU 93.3 FM, the lead singer of The Constantines, and writes, performs and records solo material solo material (often performed with his band, The Providers).

Joyful Joyful plays the Kazoo! Fest 2018 Pancake Breakfast on Sunday April 15th with Hymns57 and Lee Watson at The Boarding House (6 Dublin St. S.)


Why Innes Wilson Rules by Adam Sturgeon

Innes Wilson

Taking a quick minute to write about a very good friend. The prolific and often reclusive Innes Wilson.

Innes Wilson is a singer-songwriter and farmer from Guelph, ON. He cut his teeth in the mid-2000’s Cancon alt-country boom and was one of the key members of Out of Sound Records in our earliest incarnation as a DIY label. I was also lucky enough to write songs with him in his fuzz-folk band Innes Wilson & His Opposition. It was an early and perhaps disheartening stab at survival in beat up tour wagons and long icy drives across the country. It is now a great joy for me to know that Innes is hopping back in the car and hitting the old dusty once again.

A songwriter to his core, Innes’ baroque stylings mix with pop sensibilities to remain his benchmark sound. A solemn and early riser, taking time to tend his farm, Innes is sure to be found pondering the morning landscape. Just him and his birds and the faintest inspirations; shadows overwhelmed by light, lifting fog, frost and dripping ice. And such is his particular and natural way of life. Simple and to the point.

I’ve always related to Innes in that way that you can’t quite state and perhaps that is the mode of his relative obscurity. It takes time to respect the individual, happening upon each other one mosquito infested night, on a side road out of town many years ago… I didn’t quite know what to make of this fella. What I have learned, however (and I’ve learned a lot from Innes), is that hundreds of songs down the line, his connection and commitment to his work requires no comparison, no need for celebration, just the pure and simple release of his own singular realizations recorded over and over in tiny rooms in his hometown.

Adam Sturgeon is an Anishinabek artist, musician, avid screen printer, grassroots community builder and an advocate for Indigenous rights and social change. Currently based in London, Ontario, Adam fronts Whoop-SZO , founded Out of Sound Records and is a core organizer behind the Grickle Grass Festival. Whoop-SZO will be performing a special acoustic set at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Saturday April 14th at Dublin Street United Church (68 Suffolk St. W.)

Innes Wilson plays Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Saturday April 14th with Dorothea Paas at Red Brick Cafe (8 Douglas St.)