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 Feist, Ariel 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