jane bunnett gets grammy nod
Lost in all the hype about neatly packaged skateboard pop phenom Avril Lavigne's five Grammy nominations was a Grammy nod for Toronto Cuban crusader Jane Bunnett. Bunnett's excellent Alma De Santiago disc was nominated for best Latin jazz record of the year.
Props aside, the Grammy ceremonies might be the chance to spark that Latin jazz/pop Bunnett/J.Lo collabo that everyone's been waiting for. On second thought, maybe not.
david murray, january 9
The IAJE's fortuitous scheduling of Dave Holland's jazz-artist-of-the-year coronation opposite saxophonist David Murray's Gwo-Ka Masters performance at the Metro Convention Centre worked well to keep the beard-strokers out of the John Bassett Theatre seats sought by sneaky Murray-fan conference scammers. Everyone was happy, although it didn't keep some curious conference delegates from annoyingly popping in and out during Murray's explosive hour-long set of hard-honking Guadeloupean grooves.
Clearly, some delegates were unaccustomed to the intense, percussive pummelling doled out by the three Gwo-Ka drummers and had to run for cover, hands clasped firmly over ears. Very educational.
Between the two of 'em, CMW/Teenage USA honcho Phil Klygo and his partner in crime, curator-artist Germaine Koh, have given an awe-inspiring number of blood transfusions to the independent rock and visual arts communities in this city. But just in case you doubted their commitment before, the dynamic duo are doing something unprecedented to prove their mettle.
With their new multifaceted weewerk initiative, Koh and Klygo are opening up their home to music and art fans across the city. Koh says it's no biggie; after the two were more or less homeless and shacked up in her studio for a year, they didn't know what to do with all the sprawling space of their new place.
"Weewerk is a side project for the ideas that spill over from our activities, and it also has to fit into our already busy lives. Before we had this space, Phil and I had been talking about starting a record label through which we could release arty music and experimental sound stuff. Our first release will be the Great Lake Swimmers' lovely self-titled debut album, which should be out within the month.
"Then, when we were considering moving into this great apartment above Rotate This, we realized the space would be conducive to other kinds of activities, and that's when the idea of the combined gallery, music venue and salon was born. We want it to be a place for exchange, where people will encounter interesting stuff in different disciplines, and a means for us to help make things happen within our communities."
It's things like this that make you realize what a vital undercurrent of exciting activity flows below the mainstream. Check out the launch of weewerks at Phil 'n' Germaine's pad (620A Queen West, above Rotate This) Friday (January 17). Starting at 8:30 pm, Satan McNuggit screens DIY films till 10 pm, when the Grasshopper Sound Clash play a special acoustic set. Future events include the Tops 'n' Bottoms zine launch January 24, programmed by Karen Azoulay and Joel Gibb, with art by Will Munro and Paul Butler and music by vzzt.
As Koh notes, weewerk is decidedly low-budget, so don't look for big ads in the glossies. Check out their Web site at www.weewerk.com for further info. And remember -- it's their house, for crying out loud, so be polite. And note that there's only room for about 50 people.