Updates: April - August 2001
August 26, 2001 - New husband Moe Berg, flush (literally) from his marriage to the lovely Laura at the chapel of the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas, is back in Toronto and will soon be working his music geek vibe on young Canadian cable channel TalkTV. Moe will be among those discussing misunderstood rock lyrics on the channel's monolith multi-host six-hour talk show "The Chatroom" this Tuesday at 8:30pm eastern time. You can join in the fun via streaming (Windows Media Player), email, or their fast and simple chat system here. (Btw, for Moxy Fruvous fans, Jian Ghomeshi will be guest hosting this week, so cross your fingers he'll be in on this discussion too.)
- And in other news, the mighty Monteforte's next show will not be in September as earlier hoped. But they are totally confirmed and committed for a rock extravanganza at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern October 6th.
July 30, 2001 - Monteforte is at it again, entertaining as part of the festivities surrounding the Rogers AT&T Cup women's pro tennis tournament coming to Toronto. (Could this have something to do with Brad's sometime bandleader and Pursuit Pal Melanie Doane being an official rep for the tournament? Maaaybeeee....) The kids'll be rocking the "Tennis In the Streets" festival Wednesday August 8th and Friday the 10th between noon and 2pm at King and Bay in the heart of Toronto's financial district. Rumours abound that the boys' hockey prowess could have Anna Kournikova lurking backstage. >;-)
July 17, 2001 - So perhaps you're one of those people who live too far afield (like, about an hour out of Toronto, maybe) and have only experienced the wonder that is Monteforte from the gushing prose of this site. Suffer no longer, because everybody's favourite supergroup has joined the digital age of the MP3. The website BadMonkeyX has started posting selections from last January's show, and you can get them here.
July 11, 2001 - You may recall when it was announced in an Edmonton Journal article late last year that Moe Berg had gotten engaged to his beloved Laura. Well, now the wedding is set for Las Vegas sometime next month. While this is simply a matter of a nice guy finally finding love with a nice girl, fans can take a step back and consider the notion of the guy with the poor-shmuck persona who wrote "Hard to Laugh", "Survival", "Bored of You" and "Hate Engine" actually getting married. Surely there is hope for us all. :-) As you consider this, we here at Incompletely Conspicuous are now accepting your emails of best wishes and congratulations for the happy couple. So crank up the best Hallmark parts of your brain (50 words or less), please include your city and country, and send it here. All the emails will be compiled in some snazzy way and presented to Moe and Laura when they return to Toronto from Vegas. You have until August 20, so get going and be part of this great gift to Moe from the fans.
July 1, 2001 - And so the people without cottages came from miles around to drink, dance and romance at the Monteforte Canada Day Weekend funfest of Rock at the Rivoli. Brad From Halifax was oozing humility (which smells a little better than other things that could be oozing), even greeting folks at the door. Seems he was a little nervous about what the turnout would be on the holiday weekend, especially after hearing about the woeful take of the previous night's band. But this, of course, was Monteforte, so his fears were unfounded - by the end of the night, the place was full, women were dancing on the bar and the call went out for two encores. The "new gems" had the typical MF variety: the Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane," Spandau Ballet's "True" and Van Halen's "Dance the Night Away." Unfortunately, there was no "Voices Carry" to give Brad the chance to postulate and theorize on the band's latest exploits. But there were recently-added classics "Jesse's Girl" and "When I See You Smile"; and of course old favourites like "Our Lips Are Sealed," "I Want Your Sex," "Livin' On a Prayer," "Flashdance...What a Feeling" and "Saturday Night". And they did take time out to mark the birthday of occasional MF roadie and aspiring "Price Is Right" contestant Kevin Hilliard. No balloons or Marilyn singing telegrams this time, but a very chocolatey cake and a heartfelt rendition of "Escape (the Piña Colada Song)".
A couple extra bits of MF news to share. It seems the kids at the fabulous new webzine Bad Monkey X taped last January's Monteforte show and are working on converting it to mp3, so keep your eye out for that and pester them if need be. As for the next Monteforte show, the boys say they'll be back at the Horseshoe in September. So stay tuned...
June 26, 2001 - This just in from Monteforte Central:
By the way, over in the lower right corner of that poster over there (thanks, Bobby), it says, "Celebrate Canada Day with people like you who don't own cottages!"
The mighty Monteforte emerges for one of its all too infrequent engagements. We will be doing two shows on Saturday, June 30 at the Rivoli Casino at Spadina and Queen, conveniently located in the middle of the strip. We will be previewing some new gems as well as performing a long list of your favorite crappy songs. Opening will be glam pop superstars in waiting, Galore featuring birthday boy Kevin Hilliard. The cover charge will be a very reasonable $6 payable in Canadian funds. The place only holds 100 souls so don't bug us to get on the guest list.
Yours in rock, Monteforte
June 10, 2001 - A few tasty tidbits surfaced at North By Northeast in Toronto this past week. Charter Pursuit Pal Kevin Hilliard (Galore, Grace Babies, the brand new National Anthem) broke the big news by announcing that the almighty Monteforte is hitting the stage yet again with a rock spectacular at the Rivoli on June 30th. (You see, Galore is opening, and it'll be Kevin's birthday, so he's especially stoked, as well he should be.) Moe and Brad confirmed this at Jennifer Foster's show last night, as the boys fought off pesky colds and tight schedules to back up our favourite ukelele player. Moe's been hard at work on the first full-length album from Robin Black and the Intergalactic Rock Stars. Meanwhile, Brad's meteoric rise in radio broadcasting continues. Not only is he programming all the weekday music on Jazz.FM91, but you can now hear his dulcet tones weeknights from 7 to 9 pm eastern time. Find out more about Brad's show and listen in here.
May 29, 2001 - North By Northeast is nigh yet again in Toronto, which always means interesting rock action. Like last year, Pursuit Pal Jennifer Foster is in the festival lineup, but this time her band Fosterchild will not only feature Moe Berg, but everybody's favourite jazz radio personality / rockstar, Brad Barker. (ooo, maybe they'll let Brad read from Jen's diary this time!). They'll be at C'est What in the 9pm slot June 9th. To catch the other Pursuit Pals playing NXNE this year, you'll have to do a fair bit of running around June 8th: Galore plays Everest 11pm, Robin Black and the Intergalactic Rock Stars blow up Lee's Palace (again) at midnight, and Memory Bank (still aspiring Pals until they get that website finished!) grind it out at 1am. Earlier that day on the conference side, Pursuit Pal Blair Packham will be among those critiquing demos for artists who drop them off. These schedules can change, so stay fresh and keep checking nxne.com, which will also give you details on venues, conference registration and how to get festival wristbands.
May 17, 2001 - There's a swell documentary making the rounds called Vinyl. It examines the obsession of collecting vinyl albums - an obsession of the filmmaker Alan Zweig as well as many other lovely people he speaks to in the film...including one Moe Berg. (So that's why that guy was at Moe's book launch last fall...) Whether you can relate to these people or can merely gawk in wonder, you'll nevertheless be entertained. Folks in Ontario can see Vinyl next Wednesday at 10pm on TV Ontario, and it will likely be on other outlets soon, so keep an eye out.
May 2, 2001 - You may remember Brad Barker playing alongside his old boss Melanie Doane last January for the recording of her live album. Well, it's ready to go and it's called Melvin Live. Among the highlights are a brand new song, a duet of "Tell You Stories" with Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies and (oh, I was hoping for this one...) the encore cover of April Wine's "Oohwhatanite." The release date is May 15, and it'll be available exclusively from MapleMusic, with pre-orders being taken now. (By the way, last week, TPOH's Where's the Bone made it to MM's Top 10 sales charts - thanks to everyone for helping get it there!)
April 29, 2001 - As further reviews of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" started to tip toward the negative, yours truly ventured to the performance last Thursday and had a wonderful time. It seems the critics (particularly the bigwigs at the Star, the Globe and Mail and the National Post), while kind to Moe as music director/Angry Inch leader, were frustrated by the mongrel nature of the production: neither musical theatre nor one man/woman show nor rock concert nor cabaret, yet with strong elements of all these forms. By the same token, star Ted Dykstra's been castigated for not being male, female or even drag-queenly enough, yet that's pretty much the character Hedwig's cross to bear (and the cross that largely defines glam rock). While he took a little while to win me over, he nevertheless did and made for some compelling (dare I use the following term loosely) theatre. Moe himself doesn't say much, but wears his own leather pants and wields his axe to lead a solid band through some great songs (by turns rock, pop and a teensy bit punk with gorgeous harmonies, so they're right up his alley). He does sing lead on one song, which is key to the turning point of the piece. So, like my "objective non-critic friend," I think it's well worth your checking out.
- If you want to go and give to a good cause while you're at it, this Tuesday's performance is a special benefit for Toronto's great AIDS hospice Casey House. The slightly raised ticket price will include neat stuff like a reception with the cast. To see about that and other performances, call 416-872-1111 or order online.
- And Moe himself has some new things to say about this big-time theatre experience, including how it relates to his recent solo work and what else could be on the horizon, in a Toronto Sun feature here. You can find a smaller Q&A with an onstage photo at Now here.
April 21, 2001 - "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is now up and running, and you can read two different takes on opening night from the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star. (Btw, I have an objective non-critic friend who saw one of the previews and thought it was fast and funny.)
- Also, Brad's radio station, Jazz.FM 91, is now having its 2001 Spring Fundraising Drive (to keep the commercials down, half the budget comes from the donations of listeners). So if you dig jazz - or if you dig the Sunday morning show of our favourite rockstar/radio personality - and you wouldn't mind winning some neato prizes, find out how you can help here.
April 16, 2001 - And now the press coverage begins for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," as previews start tomorrow. Canoe Online spoke with Moe about it for an article today, and you can read it here. For the perspective from the star (and Mr. Melanie Doane) Ted Dykstra and for his impressive transformation into Hedwig, check out the article in the latest eye magazine here. [April 19: Our favourite source for all things Hedwig, the fansite Hedwig In a Box, has been tossed from Tripod (damn! no more pop-ups! whose heart's breaking?) and has its new home here. So change those bookmarks and enjoy.]
April 5, 2001 - As we get closer to Moe Berg's theatrical début as the music director of the Toronto production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (previously noted here), some changes have been made since a couple big-time sponsors signed on. The venue has been moved from Lee's Palace to around the corner at the Bathurst Street Theatre (738 Bathurst to be exact), and the run is now officially 3 weeks - though that will likely be extended (but don't sue us if it's not and you miss it). Previews start April 17th, and opening night is April 20th at 8:30pm. Everything else is fabulously intact. Now that you know all this, go get your tickets because they're now on sale at Ticketmaster. Visit the usual suspects, call 416-872-1111 or order online. For everything you would ever want to know about this production, visit the only site worth those annoying Tripod pop-ups, Hedwig In a Box.
April 1, 2001 (but no jokes, honestly) - Belated congrats to Brad Barker for combining his latest livelihood with a longtime love: radio and jazz, respectively. Brad is involved in programming, production and promotion at "Canada's Only All Jazz Radio Station", Jazz.FM 91 in Toronto. He's even gotten himself in front of the mike for commercials and, most recently, his own show Sunday mornings. You can also get the station on cable across Ontario, by satellite across Canada and all over the world streaming on Real Audio. To listen in and learn more about this great station (being not purely commercial, they're gearing up for the next fund drive later this month, so any support would be greatly appreciated), check out their website here.
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