DAN BURKE BEATEN
El Mocambo, Mon, September 18
Getting into scrapes is nothing new for El Mocambo booker Dan Burke, who can be confrontational even when sober. But in the early hours of last Tuesday morning, following a Jimi Hendrix tribute night, Burke received the beating of his life, leaving him comatose.
However, it'd take more than a cracked skull and blood clot on the brain to keep the resilient Burke down. After spending three days in hospital, he's still woozy but sharp enough to at least resume partial duties at the club.
"At about 9:30 that night," recalls Burke, "a guy was standing beside my girlfriend at the bar, so I said, 'Excuse me, I'd like to stand next to my girlfriend.' But he didn't move. So I smacked him with a right hook and then laid in four or five more jabs as I dragged him outside.
"I walked out at the end of the night and the guy, who I'd thrown out, was waiting for me with five friends. They came running and knocked me to the ground.
"Maybe it was hitting the pavement that left me unconscious, but there was blood coming out of my right ear and I was out cold for the next 36 hours."
At the moment, Burke has no intention of tracking down those responsible to press charges. He's just happy to be alive.
"To tell the truth, I was out of line when I threw the guy out, and I think his response was probably a little more out of line, but no, I'm not going after him.
"So many people came to visit me when I was in the hospital -- it was nice. It made me feel really good about my community. When bad things happen, sometimes something positive can come of it and your whole outlook on life can change."
MuchMusic, Thurs, September 21
Yes, it was the hottest ticket in town, though it's an absolute fact that anyone going to the MuchMusic Video Awards isn't going to watch the show, even managers of nominated artists. That bit is taken care of by the VCR.
No, the MMVAs are all about seeing and being seen; gauging how far you can penetrate the inner sanctum of Moses' private orbit without getting turfed; finding out which celebs get hammered on cheap wine closely related to stuff that comes out of a box through a spigot; seeing how Ed the Sock thoroughly annoys everyone from Blink 182 to Moby, who gave the best performance of the night, presenting Porcelain with live strings.
While the expected cast of Canuck musicians were on hand -- multi-nominated Matthew Good, who actually looked like he showered for the occasion, Barenaked Ladies, Chantal Kreviazuk, Love Inc., Edwin, Choclair, members of Moist, Moxy Früvous, gob and Len -- Hollywood crashed the scene big-time.
Denzel Washington (who's rather small, sniff, despite his huge screen presence) arrived with equally diminutive Lenny Kravitz, who'd run up a $3,400 restaurant bill at Susur the night before and left a $1,000 tip. Also spotted were Jason Priestly, Eric Stoltz (who presented) and Anne Heche, while sightings of Steven Seagal and Chloë Sevigny were also reported.
Sadly, a highly anticipated blowout between OLP singer Raine Maida and Matthew Good, who's been slagging Maida mercilessly in the press, never came to pass. Maida was out of town, apparently.
On the flip side, a certain Universal employee sprang to the rescue of a poor young thing who evidently had something lodged in the back of her throat that only his tongue could retrieve.
Most-unseemly-makeup-of-the-night award goes to Sook-Yin Lee, whose sparkly eyes and lips looked positively creepy.
Biggest bonehead line of the evening? Kim Hughes to Anne Heche: "Hey, has anyone ever told you you look like Anne Heche?"
Wasn't that a party?
Get props from KISS
Punk rock kiddos Serial Joe put another notch in their belt last Thursday when two members of the mega-band they were playing with in Quebec City -- Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS, two guys who never miss an opportunity to camp it up for the cameras -- ambushed them backstage and presented them with a MuchMusic VideoFACT award for their clip Deep. In full regalia, natch.
"It was a total surprise to us," singer Ryan Dennis says. "We didn't know until that moment that we'd won the award or that the KISS guys were going to present it to us." The footage was aired later at the MMVAs.
Though Serial Joe played three shows with the dark knights, Dennis insists he didn't witness bad blood between the members. "And their fans were really cool to us, too," he says. "We didn't get booed once."
Ted's, Mon, September 25
You got the real feeling Monday that Supergenerous -- a duo featuring Toronto guitarist Kevin Breit and New York guerrilla percussionist and budding stand-up comedian Cyro Baptista -- fall into the category of casual collaboration rather than high-concept supergroup.
For all Breit's mellifluous tones, the twosome's local release party for their Blue Note debut had a delightfully ramshackle groove that barely hung together. Credit for that can go to Baptista's unhealthy percussion arsenal.
Last seen in these parts rattling bones as part of John Zorn's Masada Chamber Ensemble, the hilarious Baptista crammed as many different sounds into each song as possible, sampling himself for a beat and then smashing out a parallel rhythm on washboard, frame drums, bells, shakers, plastic pipes, hand drums, a mouth harp and a battered old tin box.
Celebrity assistance arrived care of Cassandra Wilson, whose voice was beamed in on a crackly tape recorder for a dusty run through Home On The Range, but they didn't really need it. The two made plenty of noise on their own.
Tears up France
In town showcasing his newest act, hotly tipped pop trio One Ton, Montreal-based band manager Sebastien Nasra apprises us of many cool developments with another of his clients, Jorane.
The elfin singer/songwriter and cellist has just signed a licensing deal with Decca/Universal for European release of her Vent Fou debut, dropping October 2 in France and coming out in other francophone territories (Switzerland, Belgium, etc) later in the year to coincide with tour dates.
But despite the big honking deal, it doesn't sound like the gloriously offbeat Jorane is going mainstream just yet. Says Nasra, "Her next album is conceptual, not unlike musical scores, with Jorane using her voice as an instrument." Translation: no lyrics, just vocal sounds set to cello and a few other select instruments. Mmm. Look for the new disc here in early February via Tacca/Select.