Betty Burke

AM signals from a parallel present

Posts Tagged ‘holly andruchuk

Solo set tonight at The Gladstone

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I will be playing a solo set tonight, backed by Holly Andruchuk and her main collaborator Simon Elliot, as part of Not So Soft, presented by The Crush Project. It will be a short set, with a Q&A. Lisa Bozikovic, Vag Halen and other talented people will also be playing sets.

Vag Halen is an AMAZING new band featuring the talents of Stephanie Markowitz and the proprietors of the Hen House, as well as a guitarist who is basically a young female Marc Bolan, minus the wizard look. Wow.

Here is a link to more info about the event:

Perhaps I’ll see you later at The Gladstone (1214 Queen Street West). Prepare for a Saturnalia sing-song situation.



One more grim reminder that feminism is still relevant

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This week’s controversy over the New York Times Article “Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town” is another grim reminder of how persistent sexism is in North America. A child is gang raped, the mother is blamed, and the child’s clothing choice is blamed. Sympathy is expressed for the poor attackers, who must “live with this the rest of their lives.”

A lot of excellent blog posts have been written about the article, and there have been calls for demands for an apology from the Times. If you haven’t read the article yet, have a look. Amazing, isn’t it?

I’ve attached the above photo as a call to arms. It was a message written on the bathroom wall at the Sudbury Townhouse. When BB played there on our tour with Woodpigeon last year, Holly Andruchuk, Kenna Burima, Kathryn Aedy and I were all struck by the anonymous truths, warnings, fears, insults, secrets, and poems scrawled on the stalls and mirrors; the ladies toilet at the Townhouse is like a mini museum of girl to girl knowledge sharing. While the world is littered with articles like “Vicious Assault…” cultivating self-respect and mutual respect is a form of resistance.

Dirty Mouth of the St Lawrence River – review and release party

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Blocks Recording Club and Betty Burke are celebrating the release of our first EP, “Dirty Mouth of The St Lawrence River.” There is a great review of the release in NOW Magazine this week, which highlights the song “You Can’t Wear Suede in The Rain” (from our moviette) as the top track.

On Friday, we’ll be celebrating the release with a special show at Holy Oak Cafe in Toronto (1241 Bloor Street West.) Sylvie, Jonas and Tim will play an acoustic Evening Hymns set. BB will then take the stage with special guests Holly Andruchuk, Shaun Brodie and Jon Hynes joining us to play the songs they helped bring to life on the EP.

Last night, with the help of our friends Teresa, Lauren and Dana, the band took a time machine to 1995 to assemble and number the “Dirty Mouth” zines, and stuff the discs into silk screened vellum envelopes. The envelopes were printed by Cheryl Cheung, whom I recommend highly for your all silk screening needs.

For the curious, I will be posting some notes about the songs and the artwork shortly. Both elements are based on true and “epic true”* stories from the St Lawrence Seaway, and are part of a larger song and story cycle that will be revealed in due time, so stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting, and see you again soon!

* By “epic true” I mean ‘true’ but not necessarily factual- elements of exaggeration, myth and metaphor may be used to deliver certain kinds of knowledge, difficult knowledge, wisdom, all the stuff that’s hard to express.

We made a moviette

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We made a short film for our song “You Can’t Wear Suede in The Rain,” which will be on the forthcoming EP Dirty Mouth of The St Lawrence River. The film was written and directed by Joseph Clement and Maggie in collaboration, and the song was produced by James Bunton with BB. Have a look!

On Saturday, February 5th, Canadian Dimension Magazine is throwing a little release party for the moviette, in Toronto. We’ll do a set around 11pm. (Send us an email at bettyburkeband (at) if you’d like to come.)

“You Can’t Wear Suede in The Rain” is partly a homage to Marian Engel’s 1976 novel Bear, a forgotten feminist classic from the CanLit cannon. The film stars Shaun Brodie, John Power (in disguise), Keith Cole, Anthony Hill, Holly Andruchuk, and Maggie. On the track you’ll hear Holly Andruchuk’s guitar, Maggie singing with Holly, Shaun Brodie on the Farfisa organ (Sheila’s), and Jon Hynes on bass.

Thanks for visiting.