Pageviews last month

Search This Blog

Friday, December 24, 2010

Brunching with Big Freedia – Monday, October 4th, 2010

Brunching with Big Freedia – At Last, the Article from the Magical Lost Interview

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the Bounce Hip-Hop phenomenon was already alive and well in the Big Easy. Bounce emerged from a particular set of beats and claps in which NOLA hip-hop deejays were defining their own sound centered in an ass-shaking beat and fierce emceeing. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, the first club to open up on the West Bank of the flood-ravaged city became meeting place for one of Bounce music's emerging starlets, Big Freedia and her now collaborators DJ Rusty Lazer and Altercation, Big Freedia's dance enthusiast stage partner. Big Freedia has been put on the Montreal map and on the North American and European musical maps, both by infectious danceability and breathtaking lyrics, and by recent associations with Montreal's own Lesbians on Ecstasy, who were the trio's hostesses for this year's Pop Montreal Festival, which programmed both a Bounce dance workshop and late-night loft party show at Espace Réunion on Oct. 3rd.

An unexpected and unforgettable third venue for their 36-hour stop was a brunch appearance at the home of yours truly. Lured by promises of bacon, low-maintenance interview questions— and somewhere to while away the four hours between their checkout and flight times— Big Freedia and her collaborators shared breakfast, pink champagne and a whole lot of themselves with myself and Hochelaga Goddamn collaborator CeeTee Horné. For reasons I shall spare the reader, we do not have a transcript of the profound sharing that took place that day, and instead will try and tell you as much as we can about Freedia the performer, Freedia the poet, Freedia the queer person: Freedia the Big.

“Do you eat meat?” Rusty, Big Freedia's DJ and roadie pal asked me in reply to my breakfast invitation at the Bounce workshop; “Hell Yeah!” I said, promising more bacon than he'd know what to do with. The scruffy, wiry, cutie with the smiling eyes immediately brightened up saying that they would try and make it, especially given how rare it was to be offered a home-cooked meal on the road. Hours later, bathed in the melancholic undulations of Scout Niblett, I found myself too tired to make it to Big Freedia's 2am show, and was tersely warned by a Pop Montreal veteran that there was no chance of them accepting my brunch invitation if I failed to attend this much anticipated Bounce event. At 11:45am the next morning, a voice only slightly less groggy than my own was asking me if the breakfast invitation was still on the table. With CeeTee Horné on speed-dial and pink champagne shoved in the freezer, the bacon was frying and the danishes and cantaloupe lain out when the weary trio were deposited in my front yard by an ebullient Lynne T and the always charming Bernie, from Lezzies on X. As my guests gradually woke up, I received a short but valuable lesson on the importance of a person's chosen name sometimes being the same as their stage name, as is the case for Altercation, Big Freedia's dance partner and spiritual sister. A radiant blonde with wing tattoos on her sternum and an inspiring body/consciousness, Altercation was the undiscovered treasure of the day, as she shared ever-richer parts of her story, as the wing-woman to the reigning queen of New Orleans Bounce.

Regal and soft-spoken, Big Freedia took her time perking up with her new Montreal fans and shared gradually and humbly the reality of living as an artist in a city defined by disaster, violence and race history. Her presence was like visiting royalty to me and C T Horné, who hung on every velvet word, and relished every smile. For his part, Rusty, whose stomach was the way to my heart, told us the story of meeting Big Freedia, whose work he respected and who he ran after on one of NOLA's impromptu Bounce Days, when the Belle of Bounce was the centerpiece of a street party— no dress and crown, thank you very much— seated atop an open convertible, being driven through throngs of ass-shaking, ecstatic fans. Bounce music is such a prevalent part of NOLA culture, in an anecdote of Big Freedia's, that you'll see two people arguing on the street, and a car will come by playing bounce music, and the two will get down and start dancing until the car drives away, only to see the argument resumed. Bounce music's fan-base is 80% female according to Big Freedia, and unlike most popular hip-hop traditions, is resolutely and fabulously queer. The epithet “Sissy” was ascribed to the Bounce stars who happen to be openly gay, but is not an adjective that they use themselves.

A florist and interior designer in her beloved hometown, Big Freedia's LaDiva Creations is her mainstay but by no means just her bread and butter: it's what she loves to do. It just so happens that what queers, music lovers and all of New Orleans love to see her do most is take the mike, pop the P (as in pussy) and sing in a way that makes you dance like you've never danced before, from a place of reclaiming your space, your worth, and your ass. “The red chakra is the seat and basic chakra, and represents the verb 'to have'”, explained Altercation in the bounce workshop earlier the day before. By dancing with your ass and reclaiming your body and your space, you are reclaiming your right to feel the way you feel in your body, and to have the space you have, and ultimately, to communicate your desires, your needs and your reality. Raised by missionaries with early-twenties aspirations of being a 'nutritionary', Altercation addressed both in the workshop and over brunch the beautiful and profoundly thought-out notion of cultural reciprocation that imbues her work and art. “If someone gives you potholders, it doesn't mean you have to give them potholders in return,” by which she means the gift of Bounce music which sprung from Black-American New Orleans culture is one that has changed her life, and for which she expresses gratitude in a variety of ways, from dance classes, to food security work, to anti-poverty activism in her chosen hometown.

The questions I asked Big Freedia were about her spoken word art, which she uses with Nina-Simonesque brilliance in tracks like “I Got the Power” and “Sittin’ Home”; and she greeted them with the humility and subjectivity of a poet. “It's what I'm thinking about in the moment, what matters to me in the moment, what I feel I need to say.” Lost to the caprices of my room-mate's Sony Dictaphone are the depth and realness of what Freedia really said that afternoon. She spoke of hardship, friendship, the love of music and community. Her voice and heart were music to my ears, reaching something like holiness. She is a sound-uttering mystic of words and ass, and a real diva. She knows how good she is, but she never forgets, not for a second, where she's from and what the stakes are. She spoke of her lover for her boyfriend, and the upcoming funeral she had to attend back home. The misery of post-Katrina NOLA was met with pained eyes and a deep-breathing wisdom that it is her role as artist and queen to show help her hometown grow, by making Bounce music better know everywhere. Ass, everywhere, yes, but heart and wisdom too. I am left thinking it is a testament to what an innate poet Freedia is that I found it to hard to quote her exactly when I tried to write this article. Respect.

Big Freedia came to Montreal as an anomaly in the Pop Montreal programme, which had very little spoken word and even less of anything hip-hop related. Having met Lezzies on X at SXSW in 2009, and now having made two visits in 2010, we can only hope to make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras to experience her power and fame in their birthplace. If the devotional ass-shaking and musical influences on LoX's new single is any indication, we should all have the privilege of hearing and feeling this artist's love of community and heartfelt creativity in our private and not-so-private places sometime soon. Check out for upcoming shows and to purchase the album.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Alice In Wonderland ~ Dawn Of An Empire Ball

Alice In Wonderland ~ Dawn Of An Empire Ball
12 November at 16:00 - 13 November at 00:00
Location SPACE 128
454 W. 128th St (128th & Amsterdam)
New York, NY
Created by:
The Opulent Haus of PUCCI
More info
The Haus of Pucci Presents: Alice In Wonderland, The Dawn of an Empire Fridayn, November 12, 2010 Doors Open 4pm, LSS 6pm

I. OTA Foot & Eye "The White Rabbit" $100 Tastefully done with creative frame AND shoe, 3 Trophies, 1 cash)

II. Mini Grand OTA Switch "The Blue Caterpillar" $50 Youre known for 1 category, then switch to another, biggest gag wins! (part 2 later)
III. FF Performance "Alice" $150 Bring it like alice, soft, feminine, and dainty (1 trophy, 1 cash)

IV. Mini Grand 2: BQ Face "The Wicked Jabberwocky" $150 Wicked Beauty (1 trophy, 1 cash)

V. The Opulent Haus of Pucci Grand March


Going to NYC for Mix Festival. So excited to renew my passport!


Check out this interview on Queer Corps with hosts and former hosts of CKUT 90.3's Queer Corps, myself included ;-) We also play Margaret Cho's new song "My Pussy"

For more info on the crucial and prize-loaded funding drive, go to:

Monday, September 20, 2010


Workshop discussion with activist Jessica Yee:
24 September · 14:00 - 17:00 Shatner Building, McG

Cultural Appropriation: The term “cultural appropriation” is sometimes used to describe the act of borrowing or stealing aspects of another culture. For many people, the concept of cultural appropriation is a very charged issue, and passionate debates about cultural appropriation can be found scattered across the Internet and in many politicized spaces. in radical and activist movements and organizations Cultural Appropriation become a very hot issue, with many activists and radicals personally and politically very involved in the debate.

Registration: Limited to 15 people, so please RSVP promptly. Email: to register. We'll be contacting you with some reading a few days before.

Priority will be given to those who request to participate on behalf of a group or organization with whom they can share the learnings and doings of the workshop, not necessarily first come, first served.

24 September · 14:00 - 17:00
Shatner Building, McGill University, (3480 McTavish), Lev Bukhman, 2nd floor


Brought to you by QPIRG McGill and thedutymyth


JESSICA YEE is a self-described Indigenous feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter. 24 years old and Two-Spirited from the Mohawk Nation, Jessica is the founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, a CanAmerica wide organization by youth and for youth. She has spent more than half her life mobilizing individuals, families, and communities alike to reclaim their ancestral rights to self-determine decisions over their own bodies and spaces.

Ms. Yee's workshop will be open to 13 people from the community, to discuss and broaden our understanding of this very charged issue. Debates about cultural appropriation can be found scattered across the Internet and in many politicized spaces, and in radical and activist movements and organizations. Cultural Appropriation has become a very hot issue, with many activists and radicals personally and politically very involved in the debate. We would like to ensure that this debate is given space and allowed to empower and improve everyone's understand of being a better ally, in the context of community-based anti-oppressive work.

If you are unable to attend this workshop (which is also being given by OPIRG in Ottawa on the 20th, but it is full already), please note that some notes and discussion materials will be made available through QPIRG McGill at a later date.See more

Monday, September 6, 2010

2Fik and Alexis O'Hara on Queer Corps

Check out "queer corps" from the drop-down menu and choose the September 6th episode for sparkling interviews with SPARK artists 2Fik and Alexis O'Hara, co-hosted by me and John Custodio.
More info on Studio 303's Spark Cabaret:


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CAKE + DANCING: the Dirté Thirté Birthdé

CAKE + DANCING: the Dirté Thirté Birthdé

Where: My house, Quarante-Huit-Soixante-Trois Jeanne-Mance (functioning dishwasher!)
When: 9:30pm, Friday Sept. 3rd
How: Handlebars, shoulderpads, and dancin' shoes
After: Dancing at Up Yours, 5656 ave du Parc (11:30pm-3am)
Why: I'll only be Thirté for the rest of my gay life and I am so happy you're in it with me!
MTI (Musical Track Inspiration): "Met Some New Colours" (Pop Winds) / Memories (Kid Cudi / David Guetta Haircut)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kingston Queers Bash Back on CFRC fm

OMG this interview with Bash Back Kingston was so cute and fun!

Choose 25 August 2010, 18h and the interview starts at around the 19th
minute. PCP, PolitQ, CKUT, "We Become our own Wolves" and, natch,
Pervers/cité all get plugs. Go community radio!

Love on the airwaves,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peaches Lepage @ Cabaret Spark! Sala Rosa Sept 10

SPARK Cabaret – September 10

Artists: Alexis O’Hara,, Nathalie Claude, Dario Milard, Clara Furey, Peter James, Bob Loblaw, Marcelle Hudon, Susanna Hood, Peaches Lepage, Sasha Kleinplatz, Andréane Leclerc
Discipline: Interdisciplinary
Dates: September 10th, doors at 9:30 p.m., show+party at 10 p.m.
Venue: Sala Rossa
Cost: $12 pre-sale, students, RQD, RAIQ / $15 regular

A highly entertaining evening featuring a dozen eclectic acts by the crème de la crème of Montreal’s cabaret scene. Hosted by Alexis O’Hara.

Presented as part of SPARK.

Animation par Guizo LaNuit
Guizo LaNuit is an international playboy, part time arms dealer and has a number one hit song in the republic of Georgia. He is also Alexis O’Hara’s alter ego. He will be hosting the cabaret and will regale us with a trilingual rendition of the classic song, Quizas, Quizas.

Lapine-Moi by Nathalie Claude 

Welcome to my fairytale-dream-nightmare. Come deep into my mind to excavate and confront the worst enemy of all : MYSELF.

First World Problems by Peaches Lepage
Peaches Lepage has made 2 prior appearances in Montréal on their intergalactic meta-world tour, which has been generously funded by thedutymyth. Previous invocations at the Death Church Benefit for Will Munro and the Laura Boo MacDonald-curated Cabaret Faux Pas at Café Cléopâtre have been met with consternation, fear, guilt, and adoration.

The Greatest (excerpt) by Sasha Kleinplatz
The Greatest, named for boxing legend Mohammed Ali. The physical language of machismo and male coolness embodied in pop-cultural images of boxers, hip hop artists and mafioso, is re-set on 6 female dancers. The dancers use an aggressive muscularity and tempered cool to claim their turf and assert their status in the group. The performers are an all-girl fight club loitering, threatening, wrestlestly stalking the stage, and battling for supremacy.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Cabaret Faux Pas! // Opening Party for Pervers/Cite 2010


Location Café Cleopatra
1230 St. Laurent
Montreal, QC


Created by: Pervers/cité, Jordan Arseneault


More info Montreal’s underground cabaret phenomenon breaks the surface for one night only in a queer performance art extravaganza at the historic Cafe Cleopatra!

Hosted by the new glam rock bitch about town, Peaches Lepage, the lineup features local burlesque and drag heroes Glam Gam Productions, Connie Lingua, Douche La Douche, musical musings by Joseph Gabereau and Jef Barbara, indescribable actions by Sarah Laser and Marie...-Vierge, Vancouver’s contemporary dance executor, Mutya Macatumpag and the sensational vogue troupe from Toronto, the Kiki House of Pink Lady. The stage will glitter with the bizarre, the gaudy and the gay and then turn into a dance floor all night, care of DJ B’UGO.

Doors @ 8pm
Show @ 9pm
Cover is sliding scale $5 to $15


Le phénomène de cabaret avant-gardiste queer sort de la maison pour un rendez-vous de performances débridées sur les coulisses du Café Cléopâtre.

Maîtrisée par la nouvelle hôtesse glam rock de la scène, Tooloose Le Trick, la liste des interprètes est éblouissante: les héros de la relève burlesque Glam Gam Productions, la fabuleuse Connie Lingua, Douche La Douche, des passages musicaux de Joseph Gabereau et Jef Barbara, des interventions performatives de Sarah Laser et Marie-Vierge, sans compter la diva de la danse contemporaine de Vancouver, Mutya Macatumpag, le tout surplombé par la formidable Kiki House of Pink Lady, troupe de bal vogue de Toronto. La scène, étincelante de gaïté, devient piste de danse à 1h grâce au génie du célèbre DJ B’UGO.

Portes 20h00
Show 21h00
$5 - $15

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Dear Toraumatized lady-friends,

So sorry to hear about all the evil police brutality in your city last weekend.
But never fear, Aïda is here! I'm feeling like a little police-themed Deutschekunt/kunst-hassen-sex-sang is in order for my first ever visit during Toronto Pride! Yippee!

On the agenda:
Arriving Thurs pm, dinner w/ Moh and dessert at LAB
Friday: visit to PWA and Will Munro party at night
Sat: Trans march and Cyndi Lauper at night
Sun: something less gay
Mon 9am: au revoir!

I am still c/hell-phoneless, so the more hang-outs I can arrange in the advance the better! For the occasion, my special wing-(wo)man will be the illustriously queer Marlo Turner Ritchie, on whose c/swell-phone I may be s/textable upon request (zat ok mit zu, Mar?).

I'll be staying in Roncesvalles thurs-fri, middtown on sat, and back to Roncey for Sun night with dearest Jessums Barr. Goals this weekend include:

G etting cheap food
A ssembling en masse for a collective cry to "True Colors"
Y our hugs
S taying sober
H omophilia
I nsider parties
T aking back the Dyke

With love from bucolic Montréal,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Follow me on CKUT: Queer Corps!

I'm co-hosting the weekly Queer Corps CKUT 90.3fm, Mondays 6pm-7pm:

new affiliations

Not that I think the word is "apartheid" is so precious that it could not be replaced with something less shocking to the immoral majority, but I support sanctions against the State of Israel for their treatment of Palestinians. I also support all those who strive to prove that Pride is political, that voices of dialogue and resistance matter in the defense of social justice, and that we must stand on the side of the oppressed.
See in Toronto, queers!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Live video performance: Wed. May 26th, 6pm at the SAT

As part of my friend Audrey Samson's residency at Agence TOPO, I will be part of a live direct video performance in and around the SAT and the Quartier des Spectacles on. Come one come all: FREE!

Lancement du site internet Géoweb et performance télématique Aether9

le mercredi 26 mai 2010, 18 h 00
à la Société des arts technologiques (SAT)
1195 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal

Géoweb - Une exploration du web géographique

Le mercredi 26 mai 2010, à la Société des arts technologiques, l'Agence TOPO lance quatre projets d'art web qui explorent la thématique du web géographique. La popularité d'outils de cartographie et de visualisation terrestre se fait grandement sentir dans l'expérience du web. L'emploi de systèmes de géolocalisation se généralise et infiltre l'univers numérique. À l'aide de ces technologies, des artistes explorent la volonté de « situer ». Les ¦uvres qui en résultent questionnent cette nouvelle conscience géographique issue des pratiques en réseau.
Réunis par la commissaire Sylvie Parent, les artistes Matthew Biederman (Montréal), Grégory Chatonsky (Montréal), Zahra Poonawala (Strasbourg, France) et Cheryl Sourkes (Toronto) ont bénéficié de résidences et de soutien à la production de l'Agence TOPO pour la réalisation de leurs projets. Avec Spectrum Survey, Biederman prend la mesure des ondes électromagnétiques qui nous entourent. Dans Circulation, Chatonsky fait du trafic urbain le moteur d'un dialogue entre un homme et une femme. Poonawala nous fait découvrir le monde par la voix des haut-parleurs, dans Public Address System, et Sourkes propose GeoTag, une version web du jeu Géographie.
Ont travaillé à ce projet, en 2009 et 2010, les réalisateurs multimédias Vincent Archambault et Guy Asselin, ainsi que les stagiaires Keshia Nau-Dominique et Alex St-Gelais. Un texte de la commissaire accompagne le projet en ligne.

Aether9 - Performance télématique

Aussi au programme de la soirée figure une performance télématique avec des artistes du Québec, de Suisse, de la Colombie, de Belgique, de l'Australie et de la Finlande. Le collectif Aether9 rassemble des participants nomades et délocalisés qui utilisent l'internet comme lieu de rencontre. Aether9 est une plate-forme ouverte qui explore les possibilités de mise en scène audio/vidéo sur le web ainsi que la notion de communauté en ligne et les relations qu'entretiennent les individus qui en font partie. L'équipe de Montréal comprend Audrey Samson, accueillie ce printemps en résidence à l'Agence TOPO dans le cadre du programme Sortir de l'écran, accompagnée de Jordan Arseneault et Christiaan Cruz.
Agence TOPO est un centre d'artistes en nouveaux médias dont le mandat est de produire, de diffuser et de distribuer des ¦uvres multimédias qui explorent les nouvelles narrativités et les croisements interdisciplinaires et interculturels.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Le MUST de la saison vidéo 2010

L'exposition "Legacy" de Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay est le fun de l'art vidéo de la saison. Faut le voir avant le 15 mai!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My first time on TETU.COM

I know the photo looks like we're some kind of queer debate club, but I have to admit I'm tinkled to be on tetu for the first time. Clothed, but definitely there.

STALLE: soirée perfo queer March 11th, 2010

The next project:
Soirée Perfo-Queer

Jeudi le 11 mars, 2010

90 de la Gauchetière Est, 1 étage (Mise au jeu)
Métro Place d’Armes / St-Laurent
Doors 8:30pm, show at 9pm.

Jordan A.
John Custodio
Esther Splett
2Fik & Jef Barbara
Vincent Chevalier
Nikki MacMillan
Maxime Delisle

Stalle : Soirée Perfo-Queer is a round-up of some of the new, the personal, the social, the achingly dream-like, and the fun aspects of what queer performance can be. From classic video interaction, to self-satire, movement, and sound art, these queers will shave the hairy backside of what you expect from performance art and show us the wet, palpable, dark third eye of radical queer representation.

Stalle : la Soirée Perfo-queer est une présentation de certains poulains de l’écurie de la nouvelle performance queer. Le personnel, le social, l’onirique, et le marrant se réussissent sur scène nous montrant des créations d’interaction vidéo, de satire, de mouvement et de l’intervention sonore. Venez regarder par son troisième oeil humide le coeur palpitant de la représentation radicale queer d’aujourd’hui.

Facebook : Radical Queer Semaine 2010