Broken Pencil and NXNE Present “Sex and Death”

On Wednesday I got to town, and later that very night I performed at “Sex and Death” a variety show in an art gallery hosted by Broken Pencil. I was naive to just how accomplished and talented my fellow performers were. These are people who have massively influenced Canadian culture and art. I had a great time in the gallery/performance space/studio Creature Creations. I enjoyed everyone’s performances and got to check out the paintings in the back and overheard a funk reggae band rehearsing downstairs.

Terry and Aaron

Terry and Aaron

Terry Clement
Is a total nut and touring Scotland soon going to the Edinborough Fringe Fest. He puts on a “one man show” with lights and music and comedy.

Aaron Manczyk’s twisted comic “Cum Lung” was ridiculous and crude but he had a whimsy and charm like a little kid excited to show you his new drawings.  He definitely earned more laughs than anyone else in the night, especially when he played porn music to go along with his sex scenes. Saying his characters are eager to perform blow jobs is an understatement.

Natalie

Natalie

Natalie Zina Walschots read from her funny, cute, and dark “Poetry for Supervillains.” They didn’t require you to be super versed in the Marvel universe to understand them. She was calm, collected and a great choice to be the first reader.

These kids didn't read- I just thought they were photogenic!

These kids didn’t read- I just thought they were photogenic!

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liz worthLiz Worth is a member of the band Salt Circle and has published books about Toronto Punk culture including “Treat me like Dirt: an Oral History.”

Liz did her visceral performance poetry and splattered blood and pieces of liver around the room. The blood was sticky and she played before me so I helped clean it up. Tripping and falling in a pool of blood is not “supposed” to be part of my show.

Gregory pepper

Gregory pepper

Gregory Pepper
Played short sweet songs. Many made me smile and laugh. There is a tenderness to them that reminds me of John Vanderslice and Death Cab for Cutie. I played in a band called Kelsa with Kristian Swearingen. Peppers humorous songs performed genuinely reminded me of Kristian’s Pepper also might appeal to fans of The Fools, Jonathan Coulton, They Might be Giants or Jason Trachtenberg. His playing is tight and focused, as if all the fat has been trimmed away. I found he has dozens of songs on the internet and bandcamp but they don’t seem to be the same as the ones he played “we got married” and “I don’t want to die at the Grind Core Show” were highlights. He is from Guelph.

Joey Comeau

Joey Comeau

Joey Comeau is the writer for A Softer World! Wow! Lots of cute and dark haiku-like commentary on relationships, depression and philosophy.  Some of them are “meh,” but others are eye popping amazing and you want them on t shirts or mugs or framed on your wall. He read from his campy horror book “Bible Camp Blood Bath” the scenes featured masturbation, peeping toms and an axe murderer! I loved it!

Hal Niedzviecki  read from his story Doing God’s Work. is he the Canadian Chuck Palahniuk? would that make him cringe if he heard me say that? I must read more. He has a new book called “Look Down, This is Where it Must Have Happened.” If its all as good as “Doing God’s Work” it must be awesome. It seems he is very busy doing workshops, blogging, reading, writing and promoting the work of other talented Canadians.

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I want to thank NXNE for putting me on the bill. Hal was friendly and he and several Broken Pencil Editors encouraged me to submit cartoons. Thank you Lindsay Gibb and Alison Lang, the generous hosts of the program and thank you Creature Creations!

I play tonight and tomorrow at the Comedy Bar. I hope to catch some bands and some art galleries while I am here. Then its off to NY to see friends and play Penny’s Open Mic and Greenwich Comedy Club.

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