SHOW: One Sixty Lounge, Toronto, Dec 12 2004

A last-minute invite brought me to the One Sixty Lounge above Metropolis Records in Toronto. The hosts were KA’rina and Gaspare, two local New Age gurus whose parties I had attended before.
However, I was a bit freaked-out upon arrival. Going up the dark empty stairs to the gig, I heard loud and mildly distorting choir music. The choir seemed to be repeating itself with an unpleasant tune. At first I didn’t know if it was real, and mixed in with it was some other droning music. But as I reached the door at the top of the steps, I realized my musician friend Michael Moon was in fact playing on the stage inside. The blend of his music and the stairwell’s pre-recorded music was an unnerving mix. Scary!
No matter — I came in and joined the small crowd. The place was decked-out with a variety of New Age paraphenalia: an altar covered with nik-naks, video displays, a computer display, candles, incense, a bed with all sorts of things attached to it, geometric structures, some groovy lights, and paper angels.
I barely sat down before KA’rina on stage invited everybody in the place to join hands in a circle. I wanted to opt out, but I quickly realized that I would be the only person abstaining. I didn’t want to be that anti-conformist.
If you wanted to stereotype what we looked like, you might say that it was some kind of Satanic ritual. Our hand-in-hand circle surrounded an altar. There were some “Omms”, some “Ahhs”, and some deep breathing with eyes closed. Once in the circle, I went through the usual thoughts of, “Is my hand sweaty to the next person?” and so on. By the time it was over I felt pretty good — I had been a bit grumpy before. We had concentrated on our heart flames and such things. It wasn’t my usual world, but I often try to drop my prejudices and accept everything with a positive open mind, and it was a positive experience indeed.
Shortly thereafter, I set myself up on stage, fighting a bit with the line mixer to get things happening.
I got the name of the woman closest to me in the audience (Johanna) and sang my Christmas song to her. She was really taken by it, coming right up on stage and hugging me quite genuinely. I think I blushed a wee bit.
Anyhoo, I did 3 more songs and that was it. I had chosen mellow ones to go with the mellow evening.
I chatted with magician Loran, a friendly Quebecois acquaintance of mine. He subsequently did some entertaining magic on stage. I said goodbye to Laura Nashman, my excellent flutist friend who was also there hanging out. Met some dude named Alex.
I said my farewells early, I had things to do that night.

  • Anonymous at 2:22 pm

    My god u kept me entertained.