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The Basement Revue
28 minutes | Jan 9, 2017
In this final episode of our first season, we have a special something we call The Treatment, an idea brought to us by our friends Snowblink. It’s a collaborative exploration of the questions “Can art heal?” and “Do we tell the truth when we talk about ourselves?” In a theatrical reinterpretation of a therapy session, Torquil Campbell performs the role of “The Doctor,” with rapid-fire Proustian questions for his guest patients — novelist Tracey Lindbergh and Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew. Once a diagnosis is reached, Doc Campbell prescribes a musical treatment, which is interpreted and performed on the spot by Snowblink. Part Gestalt therapy, part Truth or Dare, and part television talk show, this performance seeks to investigate what it's like to be open in front of strangers and why it is something we fear so much. Ron Sexsmith takes it all home at the end of the episode, and the Arkells' Max Kerman and Anthony Carone kick things off at the top.
28 minutes | Jan 2, 2017
In this episode we have Broken Social Scene alums AroarA, made up of husband and wife duo Andrew Whiteman and Ariel Engle, as well as the inimitable Kevin Drew, who wrangles some special guests to join him. Leanne Simpson, from a few episodes back, performs and we get things started with drummer-come-poet Mark Goldstein.
27 minutes | Dec 19, 2016
In this episode we have a couple of songwriters who, after cutting their teeth out West, have relocated to Toronto to pay exorbitant rent while they tour the world — the super-fine Hannah Georgas, and Reuben and the Dark’s Reuben Bullock. Sandwiched in between is the self-deprecating brilliance of novelist and poet Pasha Malla, who’s abandoned Toronto for Hamilton’s more artist-friendly real estate. He joins co-hosts Damian Rogers and Jason Collett for a chat as well.
27 minutes | Dec 12, 2016
This episode is jam packed with some of the finest “musicians’ musicians” Toronto has to offer — Doug Paisley; Bernice; and a rare one from The Basement Revue vaults by Jennifer Castle, an outtake from a poignant show we did in 2014 for missing and murdered Indigenous women. Montreal’s poet extraordinaire David McGimpsey reads from his latest work as well.
28 minutes | Dec 5, 2016
In this episode we have one of our favourite Basement Revue alums, The Mississauga, Nishnaabeg poet, storyteller, academic, and musician Leanne Simpson. She performs a song off her amazing new record f(l)ight and chats with co-hosts Jason Collett, Damian Rogers and Torquil Campbell about the fascinating intersections in her work. Leanne strikes a match in the dark of our tangled up history and leaves us with a glimpse that is as devastating as it is beautiful. And speaking of beauty, the incredible Sarah Harmer sings a new song from the Al Purdy Songbook.
27 minutes | Nov 27, 2016
In this episode, we get intimate with The Arkell’s Max Kerman. He strips down a song off their new record with bandmate Anthony Carone and joins co-host Jason Collett for a chat about The Arkells new record. But we kick things off with the hilarious Drew Hayden Taylor reading from his bodice-ripping book on aboriginal sexuality.
28 minutes | Nov 20, 2016
The performance in this episode gives you a small but profound taste of a side project we’ve been working towards for a couple years now. A tribute to Canada’s most iconic poet, The Al Purdy Songbook was conceived in tandem with the hit documentary Al Purdy Was Here. A stellar array of artists have come together, most of whom are alums of The Basement Revue, to create an album of original music and spoken word inspired by the life and work of Purdy. In this episode novelist Joseph Boyden teams up with the otherworldly Tanya Tagaq, taking on one of Al’s last major poems, “Say The Names.” The uncanny incantation tailspins into the middle of the cultural crossroads of the issue of Reconciliation that Canada finds itself in at this very moment.
27 minutes | Nov 13, 2016
In this episode, we have Alex Tigchelaar, aka notorious sex columnist Sasha, sharing a provocative story about the intrepid research that went into writing her column in the ’90s. Damian Rogers chats with Alex on being a political harlot and Jason Collett gets things started with a song off his record Song and Dance Man.
25 minutes | Nov 6, 2016
In this episode, we get a double shot of East Coast talent — Newfoundland’s eminent songwriter Amelia Curran; the trifecta of Sloan’s Chris Murphy, Superfriends’ Matt Murphy, and The Inbreds Mike ONeil coming together in their new outfit TUNS — and the brilliant Lynn Crosbie shares a New Year’s story and joins Torquil Campbell and Damian Rogers to chat about her obsession with A Clockwork Orange.
27 minutes | Oct 14, 2016
In this episode, we kick things off with Ward Island’s singing family Kith and Kin. We're also joined by one of Toronto’s most prolific and best-dressed writers - Derek McCormack. He has a story for us about fake snow and he sits down with co-hosts Torquil Campbell, Damian Rogers, and Jason Collett to chat about reclaiming the word fag.
26 minutes | Oct 14, 2016
In our second episode, we have who we think is one of the more exciting young songwriters to keep an ear out for in the country — the incredible Charlotte Cornfield. Co-host Damian Rogers reads from her fantastic new book of poetry, Dear Leader, and the incomparable John Southworth shares a song, reads a little story, and commiserates with our Torquil Campbell about singing with a British accent.
27 minutes | Oct 14, 2016
Welcome to the first episode of The Basement Revue Podcast. For 9 years we’ve been throwing this wildly popular, half-literary-half-music series in a subterranean venue called The Dakota in Toronto’s west end. It’s a cross-pollinating variety show with a veritable who’s-who of contemporary Canadian fiction, music and poetry. In this episode, one of Canada’s finest poets, the wonderful Karen Solie, performs. We're also joined by multi-talented musician and musical director for the late, great Lou Reed and member of The Bare Naked Ladies, Kevin Hearn. Young upstart playwright and actor Cliff Cardinal also tells us a story.
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