“Song And Dance Man”, the title track from Jason Collett’s sixth full-length album, finds the iconic singer-songwriter back at centre stage, with three-minutes-and-change and a story to sing. Featuring the bright production touch of Bahamas’ Afie Jurvanen, “Song And Dance Man” covers the trials and triumphs of the modern musician with poignant poetry:

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Song And Dance Man’s thirteen songs bear the wit and melody of classic Jason Collett: contemplative reflections on getting older, backed with an affinity for freewheeling 70s dance music. The album’s conspiring themes of love & loneliness, sun & shadows, are buoyed by its soaring sound. Each song rises into an easy, spacious groove, lead by Jason’s languid melodies and Afie’s sun-drunk bass.

“There’s a cool economy to Afie’s approach that lets the record breathe and allows it to say more with less, something I worked hard at hardly working at in writing the songs,” says Collett. “Keeping a light touch, keeping it short.”

Having spent the years since 2012’s Reckon finding himself further engaged in the growing success of his Basement Revue concert series – a cross-pollinating musical & literary mash-up of Canada’s premiere contemporary artists – the Toronto indie-troubadour describes this record as a liberating process distilled in a stretch of deep domestic reverie.

 “I like writing songs and for the first time in my life I felt no rush to hustle them or myself out the door,” says Collett. “I let some dust settle, some weeds grow, putter about at home…”

The result is a dynamic addition to a strong body of work. Song And Dance Man may be Jason Collett’s finest effort yet –  back in the spotlight, more comfortable than ever in the guise of entertainer:

 You got to do what you can when you’re a Song And Dance Man.

Song And Dance Man was recorded in spring 2015 with long-time collaborators drummer/engineer Don Kerr (at his Rooster Studio), Christine Bougie on guitar & lap steel, Zeus’ Neil Quin on backing vocals, and Afie holding it down on the bass, sometimes two.

Jason Collett’s ninth annual Basement Revue kicks off on December 1 at The Dakota Tavern and will run for five consecutive Tuesdays. Curated and hosted by Collett and poet Damian Rogers, past Basement Revues have boasted an impressive roster featuring Feist, Michael Ondaatje, A Tribe Called Red, Joseph Boyden, Margaret Atwood, The Sadies, Anne Waldman, Daniel Lanois, Naomi Klein, Gord Downie, Rufus Wainwright, Marina Abromovic, Buck 65, Shad, Bahamas, Broken Social Scene, Andy Kim, Snowblink, AroarA, Linda Spalding, Ken Babstock, Sheila Heti, Dom Flemons (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Dennis Lee, Hal Wilner, CA Conrad, Torquil Campbell (Stars), John K. Sampson (Weakerthans), K-OS and more.

 


Posted On: November 02, 2015

On December 18, 2014 at the Opera House in Toronto’s East End, Joseph Boyden, A Tribe Called Red, Jennifer Castle, Lee Maracle, Naomi Klein, Leanne Simpson, Tara Williamson, Shary Boyle, Emily Vey Duke, Cris Derkson, and special guests will come together to celebrate community. Proceeds will be donated to the Toronto organization No More Silence.

“In the Basement Revue’s seven-year history, we have always kept the line-up of these shows a secret, but we’ve decided to break tradition this year given the circumstances and what the objective of this show has become — an opportunity for the Canadian arts community to come together in solidarity and support.

Due to a fire at Adelaide Hall, we were faced with the prospect of having to do a reduced capacity show at a smaller venue, because no comparable-sized venues were available at this late date. You might say that this unfortunate fire lit a proverbial fire under our ass to make the leap to a larger venue and embrace the momentum we felt building around the shared excitement of the artists already involved. The theme resonates with us all in a profound way. So we’ve decided to make our intentions public and invite the public to be allies in this fundraiser.

Back in September, we reached out to Joseph Boyden and A Tribe Called Red to co-curate this show with us. The generous and enthusiastic spirit in which they responded was inspiring, and our conversations quickly snowballed, resulting in this incredibly talented roster. In light of the tumultuous fall we’ve had, with issues of violence against women coming to a historical head, this is a poignant moment for us all to reflect. The pieces that will be performed at this show are an artistic articulation of the many threads that run through this theme.

This show is a celebration of resilience, resistance, and survival. We hope you’ll join us.”

—Jason Collett & Damian Rogers

All previously purchased tickets for December 18 will be honoured at The Opera House and the 3 upcoming sold-out Basement Revue dates at The Dakota Tavern on December 9, 23 and 30 remain as originally announced. Tickets for Jason Collett’s Basement Revue on December 18 at The Opera House are $25 and can be purchased from Rotate This and Soundscapes, or online at Gallery AC HERE.

 


Posted On: December 09, 2014

It’s hard to truly describe what Jason Collett’s Basement Revue has become. Now in its eighth incarnation, the constant stream of friends, musicians, storytellers, and poets provides for a certain type of unpredictable excitement. One might encounter Metric’s James Shaw performing a version of Pink Floyd’s “Nobody’s Home” on the piano, or the mesmerizing FeistAriel Engle, and Daniella Gesundheit backing up a reading from Michael Ondaatje, or even Margaret Atwood stepping up to the mic in front of one of Toronto’s most celebrated bands and saying, with her characteristic deadpan wit, “hit it, Sadies.” The Basement Revue has blossomed into one of Toronto’s most interesting live residencies.

As is tradition for the Basement Revue, each night’s performers remain a surprise to the audience until they step on stage. Even the performers themselves are kept in the dark, adding an extra element of surprise to the evening. Curated by Collett, past Basement Revues have boasted an impressive roster featuring Feist, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood, Anne Waldman, Daniel Lanois, Rufus Wainwright, Marina Abromovic, Karen Solie, Buck 65, The Sadies, Bahamas, Rich Aucoin, Snowblink, Hayden, Chris Murphy (Sloan), Kevin Drew, Broken Social Scene, Andy Kim, Snowblink, AroarA, Linda Spalding, Ken Babstock, Sheila Heti, Michael Winter, Dom Flemons (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Darren O’Donnell, Fay Slift, Dennis Lee, Hal Wilner ,Lisa Gabriele, Lisa Moore, Vag Halen, Patrick Watson, Rae Spoon, Vincent Lam, CA Conrad, Rufus Wainwright, Kevin Connolly, Julie Doiron, Torquil Campbell (Stars), Doug Paisley, John K. Sampson (Weakerthans), K-OS, Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland (Whitehorse) and more

Hosted at The Dakota on December 2, 9, 23 and 30 and at the Opera House on December 18. Tickets are $25 for each night and can be purchased from Rotate This and Soundscapes, or online at Gallery AC HERE. Doors open at 8:30pm.

Praise for Jason Collett’s Basement Revue

‘“Thanks for taking a chance on us,” Collett said simply, the captivating night he had arranged now over. His hosting had been immaculate.’  —The Globe and Mail  

“Jason Collett’s shown us again that his perseverance, determination and above all, his vision, for this series, is stronger than ever.” —Blog TO

“For doubters who think such a stunt would never work, I have to report that I have been to literally hundreds of poetry readings in my life, and I have never witnessed a more attentive and responsive audience.” —Eye Weekly [The Grid] 

“An unlikely gathering of some of the city’s most prodigious indie musical and literary talents.” —National Post 

“This induced cross-pollination is, on one level, an attempt to expand the audience’s palette beyond music and into disparate art forms, but it also helps to bridge the gap between disciplines.” —Soundproof Magazine



Posted On: November 04, 2014

It’s hard to truly describe what Jason Collett’s Basement Revue has become. Now in its seventh incarnation, the constant stream of friends, musicians, storytellers, and poets provides for a certain type of unpredictable excitement. One might encounter Metric’s James Shaw performing a version of Pink Floyd’s “Nobody’s Home” on the piano, or the mesmerizing Feist, Ariel Engle, and Daniella Gesundheit backing up a reading from Michael Ondaatje.

As is tradition for the Basement Revue, each night’s performers remain a surprise to the audience until they step on stage. Even the performers themselves are kept in the dark, adding an extra element of surprise to the evening. Curated by Collett, last year boasted an impressive roster that featured Feist, Michael Ondaatje, Karen Solie, Buck 65, Bahamas, Snowblink, Hayden, Chris Murphy (Sloan), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Andy Kim, Snowblink, AroarA, and Linda Spalding. Previous guests have included Ken Babstock, Sheila Heti, Kevin Connolly, Damian Rogers, Julie Doiron, Torquil Campbell (Stars), Doug Paisley, John K. Sampson (Weakerthans), K-OS, and Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland (Whitehorse).

Hosted at The Dakota on December 5, 12, and 26, the Basement Revue will conclude at Adelaide Hall on December 19.

Tickets are $25 for each night and can be purchased from Rotate This and Soundscapes, or online at GalleryAC. Doors open at 8:30pm.

PRAISE FOR THE BASEMENT REVUE 

‘“Thanks for taking a chance on us,” Collett said simply, the captivating night he had arranged now over. His hosting had been immaculate.’  —The Globe and Mail  

“Jason Collett’s shown us again that his perseverance, determination and above all, his vision, for this series, is stronger than ever.” —Blog TO

“For doubters who think such a stunt would never work, I have to report that I have been to literally hundreds of poetry readings in my life, and I have never witnessed a more attentive and responsive audience.” —Eye Weekly [The Grid] 

“An unlikely gathering of some of the city’s most prodigious indie musical and literary talents.” —National Post 

“This induced cross-pollination is, on one level, an attempt to expand the audience’s palette beyond music and into disparate art forms, but it also helps to bridge the gap between disciplines.” —Soundproof Magazine


Posted On: October 09, 2013

Jason Collett will bring his heralded annual Basement Revue to this year’s Luminato Festival. Dubbed the Courtyard Revue, the event is The Basement Revue serving as after-party every night of Luminato.

Expect a fabulous and pedigreed roster of international and local guest performances, several A&C luminaries included! Breaking with tradition, Jason has decided to reveal a couple of the acts that will be a running thread throughout the series:

Says Collett: “Just back from the Venice Biennale’s opening night party at the Canadian pavilion, Toronto’s hottest act, VAG HALEN (an all lesbian cover band doing 80s cock rock), will provide the ass-shaking party vibes every night. Shary Boyle calls them “empowering, subversive and skilful, like something you’d find in an underground club in New York or Berlin.”

“Montreal’s AroarA are a new band comprised of Broken Social Scene’s Andrew Whiteman and Ariel Engle. Best described by Feist as “ghost science faux-folk” – vocal duets, twin guitar lines and thundercloud drum machines are their stock-in-trade. Their debut record In The Pines is a hypnotic masterpiece adapted from a 2007 book of poems by the American avant-garde writer Alice Notley.”

Enjoy The Courtyard Revue June 14-23rd at The Berkeley St. Theatre.

Shows start at 11:30pm. Tickets can be found, here.


Posted On: June 14, 2013