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Toronto Hipster Events Of The Week: Burlesque, Clone High, Punk Bingo

It's been a big week on the Toronto Hipser Event Of The Week beat!

This week we bring you a smorgasbord of upcoming oddball events from the BlogTO Events Calendar, from punk bingo and burlesque murdery mysteries to Star Trek-themed improv and sexual Adam Lambert seminars. (As always, the "hipster" part of Hipster Event Of The Week has a vague, all-encompassing definition, please don't get on my case about how Webster's defines the word "hipster".)


Let's jump right in!


There were so many weird, hip events in the next couple weeks on the Toronto social calendar that I had a hard time cutting down the list, so here are a few that didn't make the cut:

  • Hip-hop karaoke,
  • An art exhibit dedicated to cuddling ("Viewers are encouraged to compare similarities within each image and make their own conclusions", what does that even mean?)
  • A hardcore metal show featuring bands called "Depths Of Hated", "Obliterate" and "Christ Complex" that promotes themselves under the promise of FREE DONUTS!,
  • A show from a Hüsker Dü cover band called Hüsker Düdes at a bar called The Bovine Sex Club,
  • And the only event listing I've ever seen that included the words "non-orgasmic women only".

Now, let's get to our top 5 hip-ass events in Toronto for the next couple weeks:


Already, this sounds like a fucking nightmare.

From the event description:

The second series, Fembots and Ascots, is set in the spying world of the 1960's. The villainous SMERSCH is out to stop people from being groovy and awesome and it's up to a top MI-6 spy to stop them. How they do it though, is completely up to the improvisers and dancers.


Oh God, you didn't tell me there'd be improv too! A combination of murder mystery-style community theatre, burlesque, dancers, and improv comedians? Why not just call it "An Evening Of People With Overexpressive Smiles Who Never Made It As Actors."

I guarantee that if I had to sit through two hours of unscripted improv performers riffing loosely on the premise of Austin Powers (the hottest comedy movie of 1997) I would roll my eyes so far back into my head that I would see only red goo. But then... midway through the "yeah baby, groovy baby" mugging of some improv rugrat born in 1995, a woman comes out and gets mostly-naked to smooth jazz music, I guess? This whole event sounds like a hot mess.


(January 30, The Social Capital Theater, Tickets $20)


This is a good event.

(February 4, The Social Capital Theatre, $8)


I'm not going to lie, this sounds fucking dope.

Once a month, we gather our daubers, get pissed, and listen to punk rock music!

Drink specials, awesome prizes, and amazing performances. A buck a card to play, and don't forget your lucky trinkets. Prizes to be won - concert tickets, swag, booze, books, CD's, DVD's, piercings, massages, hair styling, dinner vouchers, and more!


You listen to a bunch of punk music, play bingo - and if you win, there's a chance you win a piercing? I mean, sure, this is ripe for making fun of - it's punk rock bingo, after all - but I have absolutely no problems with this.

(January 28, The Beaver, $1/bingo card)


This is a University Of Toronto speaking event called "Sex Salon" featuring academics reading from their works followed by a discussion and reception. While the other couple topics sound pretty routine and interesting, I want to draw your attention to the first speaker:

Queer Transversal: Adam Lamberts Cock Rock Fever

That's the name of the talk, directly from the event description. The speaker's an associate professor of music and U of T, and... oh, boy, let's see how it's described. All quoted material is [sic]:

Fox Networks television show American Idol carefully manages its narratives. In part because dissident sexualities are not among those that the show allows, Idol packaged and commodified season eight runner-up Adam Lambert as glam rock spectacle. The media spectacle Adam Lambert, an extravagant moving and sounding visual and aural display, functioned to normalize Lamberts musical persona and performances in relationship to dominant discourses of gender and sexuality. While ubiquitous and apparently hegemonic, corporate-orchestrated spectacles do not go uncontested, and may be mobilized as sites of resistance.


"Corporate-orchestrated spectacles do not go uncontested, and may be mobilized as sites of resistance." What? We're talking about the same Adam Lambert, the guy who was on American fucking Idol a few years ago, right?

Yeah, I guess he kinda did his own thing on that reality singing show, but you're still using a lot of academic-jargony 10-cent words to describe a reality show contestant who sang a bunch of songs and lost a singing contest in 2009.

Lambert set the terms of his spectacle Adam Lambert in contradistinction to the media spectacle Adam Lambert by enthusiastically taking up a persona associated with the historical spectacular music of glam rock while simultaneously exceeding its conventions and undermining its narratives as an ethical act of Deleuzian transverse thinking.


What? That goddamn sentence is a grease fire.

This, for me, is the peak of academic writing - you can write a fucking train wreck of a half-farted-out thought about a reality show contestant from five years ago, but because you namedrop "Deleuzian transverse thinking", some fucking mope in a tweed jacket is expected to stroke his goatee and think "ah, hmm, very good."

Affirming and intensifying difference in ways that put the incommunicable in communication, Lambert asserted queerness as a Deleuzian transversal zigzagging across the spectacle Adam Lambert to construct queer subjectivities as a musical life worth living.


... what?

Having dragged failed heterosexuality the week before with his performance of Feeling Good, I argue that the spectacle Adam Lamberts trans-informed, as opposed to glam, performance of queer masculinity in Whole Lotta Love not only re-formed hegemonic rock masculinity, but foreclosed it altogether.


If you can understand what the fuck this crusty Adam Lambert fan is talking about in this sentence, you deserve a fucking U of T degree in communications. Yeah, Adam Lambert "foreclosed altogether" the idea of rock masculinity five years ago. That's the ticket.

I bet this whole lecture sounds like a rambling late-night post on the American Idol message boards, except with more Deleuzian transversal zigzagging.


(January 29, 5-8 PM, University College.)


Alright, I make fun of a lot of stuff, but this? This is good.

Okay, it's happening: on Sunday, Feb 1st, we'll be watching all 13 episodes of Clone High with a couple breaks sprinkled in for good measure.


Yes! This is actually good. I will always support anything involving the under-appreciated, cancelled-after-one-season genius of the historical cartoon comedy Clone High.

(February 1, Smiling Buddha, free)

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