Tuesday, April 24, 2012

May 26, 1940 - April 19, 2012
Services for Levon
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Levon’s friends & fans are invited to pay their final respects 
on Thursday, April 26, 2012 
between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
at his home/studio in Woodstock.  
Personal vehicles will not be permitted 
at the studio, however. 
Parking will be available at 3 locations in Woodstock:  
The Woodstock Playhouse, 103 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, 
Cucina Woodstock, 109 Mill Hill Road 
and Andy Lee Field, Rock City Road, Woodstock. 

Buses will run continuously between 10 and 3 
from Andy Lee Field and from The Woodstock Playhouse. 

Thank you, all, for your kindness and respect for privacy 
during this very emotional time

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I will never forget coming to Woodstock for
in May 2006, having BBQ with everyone, 
attending the Midnight Ramble later that night, 
and having the absolute pleasure of meeting you! 
Thank you very much!
Bless you and your family, Levon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


My thoughts and prayers are with Levon 
and his loved ones.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Inspired by yesteryear's 
parties and nightlife, 
Salon Noir began as an evening 
to celebrate art, music, 
dance, and fashion 
with style and meaningful glamour."

I first heard of SALON NOIR 
at the beginning of the year 
when musician David J. came to town.
It wasn't just a gig 
but an entire event!
He was scheduled to perform at the 
Lula Lounge in February 
with a private performance 
taking place the following night.
I'd seen John Cale at the Lula 
three nights in a row back in 2005 
so I knew this would be a good show!
.... and it was all being organized by SALON NOIR

The line-up for the evening featured 
flapper troupe - the Sugar Shakers, 
burlesque by Beau Dayshus and Esther De Ville,
barbershop quartet - the Expressions, 
DJ's Uriel and Mistress McCutchan, 
and various vendors!

Unfortunately due to my schedule, 
I wasn't able to attend Salon Noir's Sunday night 
presentation of David J. at the Lula Lounge 
on February 19th but from all accounts, 
it was a complete success!

I was able to attend 
David J.'s Monday night performance on February 20th 
at a private location in Toronto. 
Everyone in attendance was refreshingly friendly, 
polite, considerate, and respectful.

There was an impressive sense of 
dedicated organization that I got 
from those responsible for SALON NOIR 
I introduced myself to our hosts 
Mistress Laura McCutchan 
and Steve Comeau of Hollywood Deathsquad
to thank them for resurrecting what I felt was 
a dying sense of taste and class in our city!
SALON NOIR have another event coming up!
on Sunday, May 20th.
This ALL AGES event has a 
The line-up features 
a fashion show by Ceridwen's Cauldron, 
a special reunion set by Toronto's
a very special performance by 
prizes for best dressed, 
various vendors, 
and DJ's Uriel and Mistress McCutchan!

Talking with Mistress Laura McCutchan, 
I asked her a couple of questions 
to find out more about Salon Noir.
RT = Could you tell me how SALON NOIR came about 
and who's all involved?

LM = The idea of Salon Noir came up during a discussion I was having 
with my partner, Justin, about a local event WE wanted to attend. 
We felt like all the cool, big events were happening in NYC and Europe, 
and I was certainly inspired by Dances of Vice and some of the old parties 
that used to be thrown in New York at a club called Mother. 
I thought, well, why CAN’T we do something here? 
Why couldn’t we have a dress-up party with live music, 
art, dance, and a nice dinner?
So I started researching venues, 
talked to various friends and musicians, and Salon Noir was born. 
The Salon Noir team is primarily my baby with my partner, Justin. 
Justin is the designer and printer of posters, 
the wrangler of booze sponsorship, and other miscellaneous tasks... 
and me, the producer, the manager of paperwork, 
coordinator of flights, etc... It’s very glamourous work (ha!). 
We also have a few friends who help us go postering and promote.
RT = What was the first event 
organized by SALON NOIR
and how did that develop?

LM = The first one was April 24, 2011 with Voltaire headlining. 
The support music acts were Amy’s Arms and TyLean 
and dance performances by Laura Atma, Rosanna McGuire, 
and The Serpentina North Ensemble. 
The theme was Victorian Bohemian Cabaret, 
and I’ve never seen so many top hats in one room! 
I knew that that combination would be the right kick off 
to bring people out (even on Easter Sunday) to see the show.
RT = Each Salon Noir event holds a different theme; 
where do you find your inspiration 
in selecting these themes?

LM = I love history and researching period fashion. 
I’m inspired by various time periods 
and we have a wish list of headliners we’d like to bring to Toronto. 
It’s a matter of connecting the dots 
and matching up the right artists per theme 
and what will entice the audience. 
We want to keep things fresh 
and switch up types of acts to keep things interesting. 
The goal is to go beyond putting together an event, 
but creating an experience.
on Sunday, May 20th 
will be the second event held at 
Toronto's eclectic Latin-based, Lula Lounge
How has the response been regarding that venue 
and the organizations and performers 
involved with SALON NOIR events?

LM = We love Lula! It’s a beautiful venue, has fantastic food, 
and we have a great working relationship with them. 
Eventually, I’d love to throw a party somewhere uber decadent 
like Casa Loma, but I’m concerned with keeping costs reasonable. 
A $30 ticket can prevent some people from coming 
because it’s too expensive for them and in a recession, 
people should still be able to come out 
and have fun without completely breaking the bank. 
The response so far as been great, and our headliner, 
JARBOE, is very excited to be coming! 
This is her first show in Toronto since being with Swans (back in 1997, I think). 
We’re thrilled to get tons of great sponsors for prizes for our contest 
and are looking forward to seeing what people’s medieval garb will be like!

RT = How often can we expect events 
presented by Salon Noir
What does the future hold?

LM = So far, we’ve thrown two parties a year. 
Depending on how well this one goes 
will help determine if we can throw a third Salon Noir this year, 
maybe in October for around Halloween…

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I first met the "Bruthers" a few years back while 
traveling across Ontario to see Buffy Sainte-Marie
Somewhere between August and September of 2009, 
Buffy's live backing band had completely changed 
and various members of BoDM were hired.

This was an incredibly positive move, 
reinvigorating Buffy's live performances 
with a youthful, all Native band of musicians, 
bringing about significant changes in her set-list 
and interpretation of the material.

There was a distinct connection between 
the musicians on stage 
and her live sets became that much more magical! 
I had to introduce myself to these 
wonderful musicians 
and thank them for their work! 
I later found out that these men were part of 
their own musical project, 
whose inception goes back almost a decade! 

I can honestly say that what the members of BoDM
brought to the stage while backing
Buffy Sainte-Marie, 
was enough to make me find out who these guys are 
and seek out their own material! 
Since then, I've kept in contact with the Bruthers
In September 2011, they independently released 
their debut album SPEAKERS OF TOMORROW
which received a Juno nomination earlier this year 
in February for Aboriginal Album of the Year 
and won Best Rock CD at the 
Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards 
in November 2011. 
BoDM are currently on the road promoting 
while working on material for their follow-up album. 
I caught up with lead vocalist, 
guitarist and songwriter 
Donovan Mojopin 
earlier this week, before their 
Thursday night at the Pyramid Cabaret 
in Winnipeg, MB.

RT - Could you tell me exactly how 
came about ?

DM - I moved to Vancouver in 94', a few years after Donny Ducharme 
moved there as well. We hooked up through music before 
and we thought that together we should start a band. 
At the time we didn't know what we were creating (BoDM). 
We both wrote music and had pieces of songs. 
I would show him songs and we would just "hammer" the good stuff out. 
He would do the same. It seemed so natural. 
It was a few years into it we decided to record these songs. 
It was quite the challenge! We were without a drummer; 
Donny asked me to just play drums and get the music documented, so I did. 
We recorded most of the album as two-piece and had so much fun doing it. 
We needed to find a drummer and we needed to find a name for this project. 
"Brotherz FROM Different Motherz" BFDM. 
That name was taken, so we changed "from" to "of". Yaay! (laughs)
At around this time my real blood brother (Michel Bruyere) stepped in for drums. 
We had a show in Winnipeg for NAIG (North American Indigenous Games), 
we rehearsed a few times and that's when he introduced 
one of the best songs on "Speakers" album - the title song!
So we rehearsed it a few times... let me tell you, 
the chills going through my body singing this song even to this day is amazing! 
I was sold on making this work! 
After that show, we were invited back to Winnipeg for an aboriginal day. 
So we booked time with our great friend Norbert Ducharme 
who had a studio in the north end of the city of Winnipeg. 
We did bed tracks to "Speakers Of Tomorrow", "How Long" 
and re-recorded "Bows And Arrows" on which 
I originally played the drums in previous recordings. 
Then life happened and we put the whole recording on the shelf. 
I can't say when, maybe like 04' we retired BoDM... 
but my brother never stopped. 
He kept pushing and breaking down doors with this album in hand. 
I must say I am very proud of him, all the hard work he has done 
and for not giving up on the BoDM
I have a lot of thanks to give to him and Donny!

RT - I'm also curious to know a bit about 
the BoDM's upbringing here in Canada. 
What and who were your musical influences 
growing up?

DM - Well I can tell you mine. 
My dad and his love for music was a HUGE influence on me, 
I consider myself lucky to be exposed to such an appreciation for the love of music.
From good southern rock, country music, just everything! 
I am so so lucky! A lot of our youth have not been so lucky 
to have such a great influence like this in their lifetime. 
I think that is sad but true. 
As an artist it is apparent that we not be ignorant in each others art. 
Good or bad. Bad or good. 
We have to put aside our egos and just learn how to appreciate the good. 
Of course there is some art that should just be pushed to the side 
but we as true artists know this when we see it. 
I think pop music is what it is and it's meant for a certain purpose. 
Kinda like chewing gum; once the flavor has run it's course we throw it out. 
My father played a big part in my life with music. 
He first introduced me to Led Zeppelin and oh my god! 
My life change from the moment I played that mixed tape he made for me. 
I wanted more! Then came Jimi Hendrix, the Who, 
the Beatles, Pink Floyd and then I just took it from there.
I would listen to any random album he had in his collection. 
It could be stuff from the Allman Brothers or Littlefeet 
to George Jones or Waylon Jennings. 
I was in music bliss and all this I would share with my little brother, Michel. 
He would be just as excepting to this. 
I would just watch him and smile an say to myself 
"yes! he likes it!" (smiles
So when I learned how to play my first instrument which is drums, 
John Bonham was my guy and I shared that with Michel. 
As I knew, he would be appreciative to whatever I had to share. 
He (Michel) later picked up the sticks and has never turned back since.

RT - The overall quality of the 
album is great! 
Could you describe who was involved? 

DM - We have a lot and I mean a LOT of thanks to give to guys like 
Jamie Sitar, Doug Fury and Norbert Ducharme. 
The process was a bit crazy! 
I kind of elaborated on how most of the album was recorded as a two piece, 
but in all it was just a bunch of friends who believed 
that this music should be documented and with great quality. 
It just happened to be that these guys are really good at what they do 
and we are just lucky to have our stars aligned. 
When I listen to the album, I still think of how it all came together 
and I just get the biggest smile.

RT - I wanted to ask about the lead single
and title track of the album, 
"Speakers Of Tomorrow".
Personally, I think it's a very powerful song,
posing an important question.
As a father and a musical leader, 
who do you feel will be the "Speakers of Tomorrow"?

DM - Great song! Awesome anthem for the youth 
and such an important message to our first nation youth as well. 
I'm honored to sing and perform this song my brother wrote. 
I believe in this important composition. 
Who do I believe should be our speakers?...very good question. 
I think our youth have it so tough but yet so easy, 
being aware of their responsibility as role-models 
is huge in our communities... HUGE! 
When I see certain acts that display the negative in our culture, 
I see that as a decline in our civilization. 
Everyone knows how the general population think 
of the "Indian" without even saying. 
The chorus of this song has so much meaning. I sing It with pride! 
As a father, yes, my daughter will be a speaker. 
I have belief that she will be an awesome role-model for her generation. 
As a band member I could only take that responsibility and never abuse it. 
It is so important to me to work at being 
such a positive human being for our youth. 
So much talent in our culture, our youth. 
I could only give thanks to the ones who spread a good message.

RT - With the recent Juno nomination 
and performance in Ottawa,
BoDM have certainly received 
some well deserved recognition; 
could you tell me what BoDM have planned next?

DM - Well with new members Jesse Green and Leroy Constant in the fuse,
we have new material that sends the same positive message.
Our sound is huge! We want to spread a message that says 
no matter where you are, no matter who you are, you can do this too! 
We want to collaborate with the youth, unite, stand and deliver! 
It is so important to us! 
We will never surrender to negativity in our culture when we have so much to give. 
With that, I challenge our youth to stand up and be proud of who you are! 
Stand up for someone when they need us! 
Never back down and speak up!
It is your right as a human being!