Monday, January 30, 2012

Rae Spoon invades St. Catharines - by Amanda Roth

 Rae Spoon performs at dg/QAN's night of music and poetry on Thurs., January 26th, 2012.

One by one, guests filtered into the venue, removing hats, hoods and jackets, wiping damp strands of hair from their faces and buzzing in excitement for a night full of poetry, music and a long-anticipated performance by Rae Spoon. 

On January 26th, presenters dead gender magazine and Queer Action Niagara did not disappoint as they welcomed four incredibly talented artists to perform an all-ages show at Rise Above Restaurant & Bakery in downtown St. Catharines.

To kick the night off, poet and playwright Shannon Maguire performed a number of her works. Maguire, co-cultivator of AvantGarden, an experimental text and sound based performance series in Toronto, ON, was shortlisted for the 2011 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry for her piece “Fur(l) Parachute”. Her work has appeared in CV2, Gulch: An Assemblage of Poetry and Prose and Nightwood Theatre’s 4x4 Off Road Festival, among other places.

Maguire roused and captivated audience members especially with her performance of the highly satirical poem, “The Fruit Machine”.

After a brief break, local experimental hip-hop artist Le Stack took to the stage with an energetic performance, spitting out lyrics with extreme passion and political prowess. Le Stack’s highly charged lyrics and contagious beats roused guests in preparation for the night of dancing ahead of them.

“Let’s get homophobia and sexism the fuck out of hip hop,” Le Stack exclaimed during one memorable song, rousing a greatly enthusiastic reaction from the audience.

Next to perform was Matt Ossias, a local electronic musician and member of the band Jouissance. Matt provided the audience with an entrancing selection of electronic creations, often leaving his computer to join those dancing in the audience.

Lastly, with people packed into the small, homey venue, and some even lined up outside, the much-anticipated Rae Spoon took the stage for the final performance of the night.

Rae is a transgendered indie/electronic musician from Calgary, AB who has released five full-length solo albums, one of which (superioryouareinferior) was long listed for the Polaris Prize in 2008. They were also nominated for two CBC Radio Bucky Awards in 2010. Currently living in Montreal, Rae has just released their sixth album, I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets (2012).

Over the past ten years, Rae has gathered quite an extensive grassroots following, touring throughout Canada as well as internationally. Outside of their work as a performing/recording artist, Rae has also done work on multi-media projects and the composition of instrumental music for films such as the NFB documentary Dead Man directed by Chelsea McMullan (Toronto International Film Festival, 2009).

Rae Spoon has been an increasingly influential figure in the trans community and has brought to light the debate over the use of gendered pronouns and the right for a person to choose their own pronoun. In the spirit of this cause, Rae teamed up with fellow musician and performer Elisha Lim for the duet “Stand By Your Trans”, a love song to the trans community.

For their performance, Rae played songs from a variety of their albums, from their most recent to loveisahunter (2010); songs like “Come On Forest Fire Burn The Disco Down” and “You Can Dance” had the crowd singing along to every word.

Bringing audience members to their feet with their catchy lyrics and enthralling rhythms, Rae brought an infectious energy to the room that soon drew in all audience members. Once finished their performance, Rae was quickly called back to the microphone for an encore.

dead (g)end(er) is now accepting submissions for their third issue, Spring 2012, due February 29, 2012. Queer Action Niagara is hosting a screening of “Genderf*kation: A Gender Emancipation” at 7pm on January 30, 2012 at Brock University, Plaza 308.

it is with great thanks to Amanda Roth that dg is able to present photos from/coverage of last week's Rae Spoon night of music and poetry! please check out Amanda's contact info here if you'd like coverage of your next event! she did an amazing job :)

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