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51 minutes | Jun 30, 2018
The Last Laugh
Throughout season two of The Imposter, Aliya Pabani has explored the poetics and politics of comedy in her attempt to become a standup comedian. She's considered what makes us laugh and why, explored the implications of Improv's "yes, and" philosophy in a time of #MeToo, and asked whether comedy is worth funding as art. She's also been workshopping her jokes about racism, but the challenge of implicating her audience without losing them has her feeling unsure whether it's possible to make meaningful jokes that are actually funny. Is comedy a tool to placate the masses, or can it be used to cut deep? In this—very Imposter—final live show, Aliya takes to the Second City stage to perform her final stand-up set in this live-podcast-meets-The-Voice mashup featuring comedy and critical feedback from judges Nick Nemeroff & Brandon Ash-Mohammed, and a live score by Johnny Spence. Will Aliya bomb or solve racism with jokes? Find out in this final episode of The Imposter. This episode is sponsored by Hello Fresh and EndySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
43 minutes | Jun 20, 2018
Beverly Glenn-Copeland Comes out of the Woodwork
Born in Philadelphia, Glenn came to McGill in the 60s to study music. He fell in love with Canada, released some albums, sang alongside musicians like Bruce Cockburn, and became a regular on Mr. Dressup. Recently, his self-released album Keyboard Fantasies was rediscovered. He's since returned to the stage with a new band, pulling music from his extensive catalogue of jazzy folk, classically-influenced soundscapes and electrified negro spirituals. Now in his 70s, Beverly Glenn-Copeland reflects on some of the moments that shaped his musical path, including his love of Star Trek, a pianistic rivalry with his dad and the experience of moving through the world as a trans man. This episode is sponsored by Sonos and EndySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30 minutes | Jun 1, 2018
Is Comedy Art?
With less than a month left until her final set on the Second City stage, Aliya realizes that she's not totally sold on standup. So she talks to Sandra Battaglini, a comedian who's petitioning the government to recognize comedy as an art form that's worth funding, and the art duo Life of a Craphead who discuss the evolution of their jokes, from mixing a chemical weapon onstage to dumping a colonial sculpture into the Don River. Sign a petition to get comedy recognized as art Buy tickets to The Imposter Presents: The Last Laugh See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
48 minutes | May 24, 2018
Meet the Porn Auteurs
Montreal is home to the backend of the online porn industry, where IT gurus have been running A/B tests on desire. Stories about porn often focus on the morality and the economics of the industry, but we seldom talk about porn as a creative practice. Esther Splett was fresh out of a creative writing undergrad when she got hired as a script writer for the premium adult film brand, Brazzers. She wanted to write porn that was inspired by her favourite classic genre films, but she found herself spiralling as the high fantasy, performative world of porn permeated her everyday life. While working on the archives of feminist porn pioneer, Candida Royalle at Harvard, Allie Oops discovered a lifetime of diary entries that allowed her to see a long future in sex work. These days, she collaborates with her friends to make raw, DIY porn out of her Montreal apartment, and she pays them a living wage to do it. Learn more about Veronica Vera's School for Boys Who Want to be Girls Sound design on this episode is by Jesse PerlsteinSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | May 3, 2018
The Sun Never Sets on AbTec Island
Erin Gee created Project H.E.A.R.T; a virtual reality game that uses your emotions to power a holographic pop star, who has to sing for combat soldiers so they don't get too depressed to fight. Since the early internet, Skawennati's been trying to make sure Indigenous people are present online; from the first Cyber PowWow in a 2D graphical chat room called The Palace, to an island in Second Life where she builds movie sets to reimagine Indigenous histories—and futures. Visit AbTec Island See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
35 minutes | Apr 23, 2018
The Patron Saint of Comics
A near-fatal health condition put Annie Koyama out of commission for over a decade. One day, while taking her pain medication, she had an epiphany—someone was making a lot of money selling those meds. Soon, Annie was playing the stock market, turning her savings into a small fortune. Once she was on the mend, Annie sought out exciting emerging comic artists and gave them money to publish their first books. Her passion project became a small publishing house, and over the course of 10 years, Koyama Press became one of the most well-respected publishers in indie comics today. The concept of "no strings attached" may seem too good to be true, but so is Annie. Look at 126 different artist interpretations of Koyama Press' Kickass Annie logo. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13 minutes | Apr 6, 2018
Noise Meditation #3: Abnegation of Guilt
We consume a lot of noise, but we rarely get the opportunity to reflect on how it affects us. This is the third in a series of 5-minute immersive noise meditations by four different artists. The sonic tone Ut from the Gregorian scale is said to alleviate guilt and free the listener from anxiety and fear. In this meditation, we wallow in Ut. James Goddard makes music as Skin Tone. Meditation begins at 2:00. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31 minutes | Apr 2, 2018
An incident at the bar after improv class makes Aliya question the wisdom of upholding the "yes, and..." mantra at the core of improv, while our culture grapples with issues around consent. Aliya asks professional improvisers Kayla Lorette, Becky Johnson, Alia Rasul and Ann Pornel what they do when other players' unconscious biases take over the scene. Intimacy Director Siobhan Richardson explains how she eliminates the guesswork from onstage love scenes by choreographing them like fight sequences. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
34 minutes | Mar 23, 2018
Aliya Does Improv
Affirmation is the key to improv. It's a way to become more spontaneous, creative, and achieve true collaboration. But at a time when Keith Johnstone's foundational text, Impro is also on Peter Thiel's employee reading list, at what point does "yes, and..." become a tool for blind compliance? In this episode, Aliya examines three iterations of comedian Chris Locke's joke about going to therapy to understand why improv is the multitool of comedy. After taking an 18-hour improv intensive, Aliya hires four improvisers to improvise her improv class, and Misha Glouberman remembers the days when improv was punk. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10 minutes | Mar 9, 2018
Noise Meditation #2: Expanding Empathetic Belly
We consume a lot of noise, but we rarely get the opportunity to reflect on how it affects us. This is the second in series of 5-minute immersive noise meditations by four different artists. Let the noise from this meditation weave together with the noise in your environment; this one’s meant to seep in. Jeremy Young makes instrumental and electroacoustic composition for recording and live performance, reel-to-reel tape collage, sound-poetry and audio-visual scoring. Find more here. Noise meditation starts at about 1:40. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
33 minutes | Mar 2, 2018
Lido Pimienta's Next Baby
The last time Lido Pimienta was on the podcast, she was about to release La Papessa, and it ended up winning her the $50,000 Polaris Prize. We wanted to hear her predictions for the future, so we spoke to her again. On this episode, Lido talks about Latina pop star tropes, fat shaming, and how Steve Harvey's incredible Miss Universe gaffe inspired her next album. Music on this episode by Kaleema, Mas Aya, and Lido, remixed. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10 minutes | Feb 28, 2018
Noise Meditation #1: Mont Royal Tunnel
We consume a lot of noise, but we rarely get the opportunity to reflect on how it affects us. This is the first in a series of 5-minute immersive noise meditations by four artists exploring how noise alters our state of consciousness. Listen with with headphones for the full effect. Find more about Jen Reimer and Max Stein at reimerstein.com See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
46 minutes | Feb 20, 2018
Sexcoven.mp3 is a sound file that was uploaded to the internet on July 26, 1996. It was described as a "6-hour atonal drone". According to Slammer Magazine, listeners reported "cascading feelings of dread, fear and euphoria." The track circulated among teenagers and by 2001, "covencrawls" had become a teen trend, which resulted in several deaths and injuries. Some thought the track contained subliminal messages; others believed that it triggered the prefrontal cortex in a way that caused temporary insanity. The source of the file is still unknown. Jillian Tamaki wrote a short story about Sexcoven in her recent graphic novel, Boundless. Our exploration of the Sexcoven phenomenon leads us from the quietest place on earth to a group of Montreal sound artists who are working with a mental health practitioner to stimulate altered states of consciousness.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
35 minutes | Feb 7, 2018
Cadence Weapon and The Black Experience in Sound
Cadence Weapon was a nineteen-year-old in Edmonton, battle rapping on the internet when he released his first mixtape, Breaking Kayfabe. He wanted to make “the most fucked up rap anyone’s ever heard.” And it was. It got him a record deal with a major American label, and helped bring Canada's rap underground to light. Since then, he released two more albums, and was anointed the poet laureate of Edmonton. He just released his fourth album, the self-titled Cadence Weapon. On this episode, we talk about how Canadian radio failed Canadian hip hop artists, Cadence's legendary DJ dad, and why he's rapping about Pinot Grigio these days. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
33 minutes | Jan 12, 2018
Music for Plants and the People Who Love Them
At the height of the New Age movement, there was a lot of music for plants, but there was only one Plantasia. On this episode, we look at how a 1973 New York Times bestselling book of controversial experiments on plants inspired generations of artists to try to communicate with plants through sound. We hear about what it was like to grow up with pioneering electronic musician Mort Garson, whose early synthesizer album Plantasia went from being a free gift with a mattress purchase from Sears to a $150 dollar used CD on Amazon. Listen to Plant Material from houseplant enthusiast Castle If. Watch Amanda White's video of a plant next to a window, listening to a radio show made by the plants outside. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | Dec 29, 2017
The Man Who Scored the World
The synthesizer has become so ubiquitous that you can download them as apps, but in the mid-sixties, less than thirty people owned one. One of them was a pioneering electronic composer named Mort Garson, who used it to soundtrack the CBS live broadcast of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In this episode, we look at the electronic musicians who used early analog synthesizers to construct what the future sounds like. Listen with headphones, this one's a trip. More: canadalandshow.com/imp See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
43 minutes | Dec 8, 2017
Towards a Theory of the Hoser
In 2002, a low budget mockumentary about two headbangers from Alberta premiered at Sundance. That film was FUBAR, and it became an instant classic. But these beer-swilling simpletons weren't the only hoser characters to achieve cult status in Canadian film and TV history. In this episode, we talk to the people behind FUBAR—and their fans— to figure out what makes these kinds of characters so seductive. Watch the new Viceland series, FUBAR: Age of Computer or peruse The Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
40 minutes | Nov 24, 2017
Aliya's First Set
A vague email from a Yahoo user leads to a budding mentorship with one of Canada's most beloved comedians, Aliya performs her first 5-minute set, and the woman who helped propel Toronto's alternative comedy scene into the mainstream gives Aliya some tough love.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
42 minutes | Nov 2, 2017
Alanis Obomsawin: 85 Years of Resistance
Alanis Obomsawin is an Abenaki filmmaker who's been challenging Canada's image of itself for the last 50 years. And she got funding from the National Film Board to do it. For more information, visit: canadalandshow.com/imp See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31 minutes | Oct 4, 2017
Aliya Tries Comedy
At the end of this season, Aliya will do a live comedy set onstage at Second City. But first—she needs to learn how to tell a joke. On the first episode of this harrowing journey, Aliya recalls the 1968 comedy that ruined laughter for her, phones her dad up to talk about brownface, and goes to standup school. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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