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…