Monday, October 16, 2006

TA&LSOW&MA IV: goodbye, cruel weather

Dearest Friends:

We are most excited to announce the final Tungsten Arts & Letters Society Outdoor Word & Music Adventure of the season. The theme will be money. There will be readings by Paul Vermeersch and Liisa Ladouceur. There will be music by Bacon of Brunswick (our long suffering house band). There will be snacks and hot apple cider. There will be a baby. There will be no charge.

Please join us on Wednesday October 18 for our bittersweet 2006 finale at the Cloud Garden on Richmond near Bay Street. It runs from 6:30pm and will finish very early, so do not come late. We will look up on the towers and shake our fists at the power structure, and curse the coming of winter, and revel in the joy of our arts. (And letters. And snacks. Where there are snacks, there can be no misery.)

Image lifted with all due reverance from photojunkie.

Monday, October 02, 2006

TA&LSOW&MA III approaches

It is our tremendous pleasure to remind or inform you of the third installment of the Tungsten Arts & Letters Society Outdoor Word & Music Adventure, taking place this Wednesday October 4, 2006 at 6:30pm at the speaker’s corner at City Hall. (Please note: it is near the statue of Winston Churchill in the southwest corner of Nathan Phillips Square – not, emphatically NOT, anywhere near CityTV.)

The theme will be politics. There will be a reading of literature by Susannah Daindow, a reading of jokes by Nick Flanagan, and a reading of a speech that the Prime Minister should deliver by host Edward Keenan. Music will be played by our house band, Bacon of Brunswick.

As always, there will be refreshments by Grandma Donna Keenan, this time including hot drinks, if the rumours prove true. Cuteness by Colum Keenan. Unwarranted hype by the Globe and Mail and Toronto Life.

Also as always: membership cards will be available.

Also also as always: there will be no sound system, there will be no booze, there will be no washrooms. And for the first time, please feel free to bring a blanket or folding chair to sit on, as there apparently will also be no seats. The adventure continues!

Also also also as always: the whole thing is free of charge.

We love you, and good night.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tungsten Arts & Letters Society Outdoor Word & Music Adventure III -- Politics

Hello everyone, and an especially warm Tungsten Arts & Letters Society welcome to those joining us from the Globe and Mail.

In the midst of a civic election, we at the TA&LS think it's a fine time to talk about Politics. And what better place to do so than at Toronto's almost completely neglected monument to free speech, the Speakers' Corner at Nathan Phillips Square.

The festivities will commence at 6:30pm on Wedenesday October 4. Two or three performers will be announced in the coming days, and as always music will be provided by Bacon of Brunswick. Grandma Donna has promised warm drinks -- perhaps hot chocolate and hot apple cider -- at the refreshment table.

You will not want to miss it.

(Photo stolen from Live with Culture.

Tungsten II -- Sarabande boogaloo

It was a cool night on the waterfront for the second installment of the TA&LSOW&MA, but the demand for lemonade remained high among those brave few who navigated the unfamiliar environs south of the Gardiner and wandered into the Sarabande section of the music garden.

An unrehearsed band was rescued by Sasha Chapin on ukelele, and reading by Damian Rogers and Emily Schultz -- who, in keeping with the Music theme, read on a rock (ROCK!) -- exceeded expectations.

Many thanks to Liz Clayton who once again provided the photo above and also suggested the title of this post.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The poet's corner in the "Sarabande" section of the Toronto Music Garden will be the picturesque site of the second installment of the Tungsten Arts & Letters Society Outdoor Word & Music Adventure. The theme, given the location, is Music. There will, of course, also be words, too, the theme notwithstanding. The words will likely be about music, though, so if you really hate music, you may want to stay home.

We will feature readings by Emily Schultz and Damian Rogers. There will, as always, be music by our house band, Bacon of Brunswick. And of course there will be refreshments by Grandma Donna Keenan, which many people will consider to be the highlight of the event. Ceremonial Mastery will be provided by TA&LS head honcho Edward Keenan.

The whole thing goes down at 6:30pm on Wendesday September, 20, 2006. As always: there is no sound system, there is no booze, there are no washrooms. My, can you stand the adventure?

Here is a map to t he Music Garden.

The photo above was stolen from lesliet.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One Done

The first installment of the Tungsten Arts & Letters Society Outdoor Word & Music Adventure went off with a small-but-cozy degree of wonderfullness. There were 35 total attendees, including three children and one grandmother. A mixture of homemade and store-bought cookies were served. And lemonade.

Joel McConvey used props, including a stubbornly un-rigid horn (we hear it could happen to anyone -- not to us mind you, but...) to bring his story narrated by the last unicorn to life. Kathrn Borel took her shoes off to read her horrifying-yet-true tale about her pre-school teacher's menacing, magical fairy tale (it involved a child snotting himself into death-by-car and Peaches eating someone's throat, though I'm sure it wasn't that Peaches (in fact I know it wasn't. It was a hamster.))

Kathryn felt it important to point out that the photo I selected of her to put into the "What do some of the performers look like?" page of this website is of someone ugly who does not look like her. Instead she asked me to direct you to these photos. Despite her announcement from the stage, she is not naked in them (she's the one in black).

The house band, whose name, at long last, was revealed to be Bacon of Brunswick, fairly stole the show with their theme song (and their theme song reprise) and their covers of popular renditions of "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs." The latter marked the rapping debut of Sasha Chapin, and featured Jonny Dovercourt as a fairly bad-ass Big Bad Wolf.

Celebrities in attendance included Carl Wilson (our new King of Hearts), Kate McGee (our, um, Two of Hearts), Caroline Lock, Liz Clayton (to whom we are thankful for the photo above), Lee Towndrow and just about everyone else you'd care to meet.

Also, the theme, location and featured performers for the next installment of the TA&LSOW&MA were revealed. But that's the subject of another post.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


We are pleased to announce that the inaugural edition of our new reading series, the Tungsten Arts & Letters Society Outdoor Word & Music Adventure (You may pronounce it TA&LSOW&MA for short), will be held on WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2006 at 6:30pm at the foot of the Baldwin Steps, just down the hill from historic Casa Loma.

In keeping with the medieval-castle-style surroundings, the theme for the evening's proceedings will be "Fairy Tales."

There will be readings sprinkled with pixie dust by Joel McConvey and Kathryn Borel, both of whom are very compelling performers.

When the readings have been read, our house band -- the name is a closely guarded secret but we are fairly certain the members include Matt Collins, Jonny Dovercourt, Jeff Wright, Sasha Chapin and Laura Barret -- will play a few numbers.

Tungsten Arts & Letters Society Socialite-in-Chief Edward Keenan will master the ceremonies. His mother, Mrs. Keenan (or Grandma Donna, if you feel you must), will be serving complimentary homemade refreshments. Colum Michael Keenan, the TA&LS Baby-in-Residence, will be providing the cuteness.

The TA&LSOW&MA will take place rain or shine. There will be no PA system. There will be no booze. There will be no washrooms. That, dear friends, is the adventure.

Find the steps on the north side of the intersection of Davenport and Spadina Road. The easiest way to get there is to walk directly north from Dupont Subway. We sincerely hope to see you there.

The photo above was taken by SimonP in April 2005. It is used under the GNU Free Documentation Licence.