check out this sweet t-shirt design I created for punkrock preteens, Unfinished Business.
created for 1 colour silkscreen printing.
yes, I do commissions at reasonable rates for all your rock & roll needs!
glitterbomb is a new, queer arts collective based in Toronto, Canada.
initially 2 members, we came together to help each other achieve our personal and collective artistic goals. we have different talents and areas of artistic expertise. glitterbomb is our space to come together and work on multimedia projects, art parties, & happenings that showcase our different talents. we hope to provoke discourse on issues regarding queers, women, and human beings- & to show fabulosity in the face of adversity.
These images were drawn Wednesday, October 23rd at an event called VAZA-LAUNCH- a memorial show for Will Munro & book launch for Sarah Liss’s “ARMY OF LOVERS: A COMMUNITY HISTORY OF WILL MUNRO“. The show featured musical performances by Light Fires & Peaches. The event was also a fundraiser for the Will Munro Foundation for queers living with cancer.
Lee’s Palace was already packed when Sarah Liss took to the stage to reminisce about Will Munro & Vazaleen, the night club he used to run where the queer and music communities came together. Which is exactly what’s happening here tonight. It’s my first time experiencing this, the first time I’ve partied with drag queens at Lee’s Palace- and frankly it’s amazing. As it turns out- the product of the queer party & indie rock circuits is a strangely attractive love child.
In case you haven’t seen Light Fires yet- this newcomer band is the story & vocal stylings of Regina the Gentlelady (the leggy, blonde, drag rechristening of queer indie rocker Gentleman Reg), with music by James Bunton. The energetic electronica one-girl show is a total crowd pleaser- and the experience is heightened by being able to watch Peaches in the window above the stage, taking pictures like a fan girl. I’m inclined to share her excitement. There is something really exciting about this act, which blends the fun of drag (an art in it’s own right, but where lip syncing is king), with candid & original dance music. I did like Reg while he was in the picture, but have to agree that Regina has more fun.
Before Peaches will take the stage, Peaches’ friend and collaborator DJ Bettie Ford explains that the audience will have to join in on a few choruses of their joint effort “I’m Bored of Rob Ford“. Halfway through the song, Peaches takes to the stage- dressed in a gold bodysuit & over size hair metal wig, with matching gold skulls protruding out from her shoulders. Compared to when I last saw her play at the Phoenix, this show sees Peaches pulling less stunts and costume changes- and focusing more on DJing. She plays through a set that includes favourites spanning her discography that includes “Talk To Me”, “Boys Wanna Be Her”, and “Fuck The Pain Away”. As well as several costume changes, her tickle trunk includes several bottles of Spumante Bambino, which for her finale, she pours into into the waiting mouths of her audience. I’m a little short to lean in for a sip, but my friend gets one, and it makes his night.
The night ends with a dancing penis on stage, slowly pulling a long strand of cum out of it’s tip. Between this show and Vag Halen a few days earlier, it’s been 2 really excellent, queer music events in a row- and I’m wondering how to follow these acts up. I wish I had been around for the original Vazaleen nights, but for now I’ll have to content myself with Liss’s book of stories.
usually, I’m not a model. usually, I’m that person wielding the paintbrush, or ballpoint pen- trying to convince people to take off their clothes for my art projects. (and god bless you all for doing exactly that). I’ve always considered myself more of a “behind the camera” than “in front of the camera” type, (and truth be told, I’m a little camera shy).
which is why it was really exciting to take off some clothes, and do this pin up set for fellow bicycle pornographers #BikeRackTO. mad props to them for creating a completely comfortable environment for noobie art models & aspiring nudists. check out their tumblr HERE, and follow the ongoing series of delectable local riders & their rides- in various states of undress.
(I’m thinking a collaboration for next year’s BiKe pOrN is in order).
these pictures were drawn live at the Vag Halen show @ Wrongbar Fri October 18th, 2013. it was my first time seeing the band, and I was really looking forward to the experience after missing their stellar performace at Long Winter last year.
when I was a high school freshman, my dad walked in on me jamming out to some Nirvana- and after asking me what the hell kind of noise I was listening to, he introduced me to hard rock. I became fluent in Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, & Queen- and began holding music exchanges with the various rocker kids in my high school, trading Pink Floyd cds for Jimi Hendrix box sets. getting burnt discs of Metallica or Guns & Roses from the girls in my computer class, and swapping them for Aerosmith & The Doors.
imagine my surprise when I first learnt the term “cock rock”.
incidentally, when I first heard the term I was reading the passage of Chuck Kloosterman’s “Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs”- where he was talking about ironic taste in music at industry conferences. I knew I couldn’t be the only feminist who liked cock rock, and yet- I hated how the only role for women in the genre, was as a groupie.
by appropriating & performing songs from that genre, all-girl cover band & queer feminist art rockers Vag Halen reject the model of rock & roll where women can only participate as the audience. the end result is a musical product which is as refreshingly subversive, as it is wildly entertaining.
after a couple of short sets by awesome preteen punk rockers Unfinished Business, and some noise? rock? from New Fries who are new to the Toronto music scene (this is only their 4th show, and they must be stoked to be playing such a stacked bill)- Vag Halen climb on stage. their 2 front women are in matching balaclavas and body stockings. there’s a stripper pole set up in front of stage right. lead singer Vanessa Dunn starts wailing, and the crowded venue of mostly queer women goes wild.
what proceeds is an unusually erotic, high octane rock & roll performance- covering a repertoire of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Guns & Roses, & even Nirvana. the performance leaves many audience members feeling as if they’ve had a religious experience, and here’s why:
as a band concept, Vag Halen is successful by hitting multiple targets that we look for in a great musical performance. strictly as a gimmick, it’s really easy to get behind sexy women in lingerie, gyrating while they perform seamless covers of songs we already love. it’s basically a recipe for how to create a commercially successful rock band. what’s so clever about it, is that this formula will look like a pretty par-for-the-course use of the female body to sell music. however, conceptually the performance reads less like exploitation, & more like historical revisionism in the playful manner of queer painter & jokester Kent Monkman. (In his paintings, Monkman challenges the fact that classic Canadian paintings such as the works of Paul Kane, exclude Native and queer voices- by revisiting this scene & style, but adding gay cowboys and Indians fucking each other.) this elevates their appropriation into art, and conveys a social message in a format that’s fun, not preachy.
the wrongbar show is sing along burlesque to head bang to. there’s nothing not to like here. periodically a girl from the audience will send a stream of beer flying towards the stage. right before the set, I took off my bra- which I now throw onto the stage. it seems only fitting. during a smoke break after the show, I thank the band for a fantastic performance- and I use all of my self-restraint not to go into a Wayne’s World-esque chant of “we’re not worthy!”
back into the venue. hot & bothered. we all want t-shirts, but they’re sold out of everything but they’re largest size. I decide to buy one anyways, and mutilate the basic tee into a much more revealing garment -and my own sexy tribute to a sexy band.
long live heavy flow rock and roll.