The Beaver is currently hosting Washington DC import Zack Rosen for a five-week residency on Tuesday nights. Each Tuesday night will feature the music of a different decade, 60s – 00’s, and performances by the best local talent Toronto has to offer. He represents the alt-queer spirit that embodies The Beaver!
Zach Rosen has worked at the intersection of music and queer culture since 2006. After a stint as Arts Reporter for The Washington Blade, ‘America’s gay newspaper of record,” he co-founded TheNewGay.net, an online magazine “for everyone overthe rainbow.” There he interviewed and shot music videos with bands like Yacht,Go! Team, and Hidden Cameras. As a DJ, he has shared bills with bands like Dragonette, Little Dragon, Cazwell and Jessica 6. He has also written about music and queer culture for websites like Huffington Post, Jezebel, Out, The Advocate, Refinery 29 and many others.
We’ve finally got a special for the early birds among us (we know you’re out there)! We’re offering $2 Americanos before noon, Monday through Friday.
We use i deal coffee’s espresso blend, a medium-roasted mixture of African and Indonesian beans so our espresso has a creamy body without tasting overly heavy or smoky. All of i deal’s beans are locally roasted, fairly traded, and organically grown, so you can feel good about having a second cup.
So why don’t you wake up early for once and come in for one (or two)?
On Monday, February 3rd, we’ll be introducing a new monthly event series: Netflix Trivia Night! Finally, your weekends spent at home marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer have a purpose. We asked Chris Spavin, your trivia host and master, some questions about it.
Why a Netflix trivia night, specifically?
I watch an obscene amount of TV and film on Netflix, so it’s one of the things I know the best. I also think that entertainment trivia is the most fun. If you don’t have Netflix, you’ll still do well if you are into film and TV. There are only a few questions about Netflix originals like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Do you go to a lot of trivia nights elsewhere? How do you think The Beaver’s will compare?
I’ve hosted my own private quiz night for friends but never tried any of the trivia nights in Toronto. I’ve only heard good things. I was a regular pub quizzer a few years back when I lived in London, UK. You’d find me at The Settle Inn in Archway almost every Tuesday!
How do you choose the categories?
I look for categories broad enough to give me enough material to work with, and diverse enough to give people with different interests an equal opportunity. Some of the categories are based on Netflix viewing features; for example, the genre/sub-genres it suggests, like “Action thrillers featuring a strong female lead.”
What kind of prizes will you be giving out?
We’ll hand out a 6-packs courtesy of Amsterdam to each category winning team, of which there will be four. There’ll be another prize for the team with the highest score overall, but that one’s a surprise.
What kind of questions can we expect?
I try to write questions in a way that lets everybody take a really good guess. Even if you don’t know the answer, I want you to have fun trying to work it out. I often base questions on fun facts about the content, too, to make the answers more interesting.
What do you watch on Netflix?
I watch everything on Netflix, from TV to film to documentaries to cartoons. I’m currently making my way through old episodes of Law & Order. And Justice League on weekends! The last documentary I watched was Black Fish. The last movie was Frances Ha. Actually that’s a lie, I re-watched Star Trek: First Contact the other day. Classic.
What category do you think you’d be best at, if you could play?
If there was a category dedicated to The Craft, I’d definitely win that.
Netflix Pub Quiz is happening on the first Monday of every month, starting at 7 pm. More info can be found at the event page, here. So get watching, come out, and show off your nerdiness.
We’ve just unveiled our new artwork by brothers Greg and Julian Goddard! We asked them a few questions about their art, read on…
A local boy who loves imagining worlds and people and filling them out as drawings or sculptures. Spent a spell studying art and worked on a short NFB produced stop motion animation with a couple of knuckleheads from Montreal. Now designs and builds puppets for funzies.
Toronto born artist. Drawing since the age of 2½ years. Two time dropout of the prestigious Ontario College of Art & Design (1999 & 2004, respectively). Recipient of an honours BA specializing in Philosophy and majoring in Semiotics from U of T during the hiatus from OCAD. Completed a 2½ year apprenticeship within the tattoo industry. Member of the 2013 POWERHAUS collective. Accepted as of December 2013 as a member of the Canadian Alternative Arts Collective. Specializing in painting, philosophy, semiotics and tattoos but with interests in mischief of all kinds.
What made you decide to show your work at the Beaver?
Greg: My ol’pal Joyce Lau was looking for possible candidates and asked if we’d be interested. She’s an awesome friend and a super talented artist in her own right and when someone like her gives you an opportunity like this your only answer is you betcha! As a venue the Beaver provides significant foot traffic outside the gallery system while being one of the best bars on the block. So who’d pass on that?
Julian: My brother, Greg Goddard, informed me that Joyce Lau approached him about doing a show of our work together. It offered me the opportunity to not only show my work alongside his, which I have wanted to do for some time, but also to show outside of the gallery environment, which I think is important for art.
Can you tell me about your process?
Greg: A lot of my work comes from doodles and an active (overactive?) imagination. Some sort of story will be kicking around my noggin while drawing and I’ll end up with a bunch of characters. I’ll play around with them a while until i like what i see. If I really like them they’ll get some story ideas writen out. And if I really really like them I’ll take a crack at sculpting them.
Julian: It begins with a theme or subject matter to which I want to make a contribution or inspires me. From there it is tireless research, ceaseless sketches and multiple versions until an initial line drawing has materialized. This had been my process for a long, long time prior to working in the tattoo industry. In the tattoo industry, all this work goes in ahead of time because you have one chance to get it right and it is on someone well after they are dead and in the ground. I feel this is equally important in art; my sketches are prolific but outside of trial techniques in art production, an artwork is displayed as an end and not process.
What artists have influenced you in your work?
Greg: Way too many to count, much less mention. Comics, old world masters, old-school Czech stop-motion animation… listing specific individuals would take forever and pinpointing a select few would be like trying to tell you about a painting over the phone but focusing on the green hues in the upper left corner. Julian: I am influenced by so many artists from so many different disciplines and with the immediacy of social media sharing there are some that I am only familiar with the works and not the names of the artists. I think mediums more than particular artists have an impact on my work; my early exposure to the world of graphic novels and comic books, childhood fairy tales, myths and legends, Japanese woodblock prints and my love for tattoos and tattoo culture. There is a running theme of illustration and design which can be seen in my work.
Are there any other Toronto artists you’re dying to work with? / Who you admire?
Greg: As I’ve always like collaborating with others, maybe even more than working on something alone, I would say I’m pretty open to the idea. Producing some illustrations or a comic with my brother has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while as I definitely admire his work. Also, Joyce Lau’s work is amazing and I’m pretty keen on Team Macho as a team and as individual artists.
Julian: I would like to do some collaborative works with my brother, I think the narratives he devises that give birth to his characters and images is something I wish came more naturally to myself. I would love to work in collaboration with Clint McDowell, who not only taught me how to tattoo but has been working on my body suit, as well as Luke Colavecchia, who tattooed a severed geisha head on my left foot. I have been working with them for about 4 years or so and the inspiration and camaraderie is abundant.
Do you and your brother show together often?
Greg: Nope, this is our first time showing together though I doubt it’ll be our last. Julian: This is our first time showing our work together. I hope to do so again soon and with a collaborative piece.
Both of you work with other, three-dimensional, mediums. How does your work in one medium affect your work in other mediums?
Greg: Most of my illustrative work ends up being used as preparation for sculpting. So in some ways the three-dimensional work takes precedence over the two-dimensional work – making finished images sort of far and between. Sculpting has definitely helped me to better understand shape and form which in turn has improved my illustration process. Nothing groundbreaking, but it is definitely beneficial to work in both mediums as they enrich and inform each other through their differences in approach. Julian: The medium of skin is like no other; equally as difficult as it is rewarding. The individual particularities of each client and each of their different body parts can never be predicted as every inch of skin can be different on the same client. The requirement of being absolutely present in the now, the level of focus for every line, shadow or colour, is akin to work as meditation. It is something I find I am bringing more and more to my work in more traditional art forms.
What differences do you find there are in showing your work at cafés and bars vs. gallery spaces?
Julian: It is important for art to not be confined solely to galleries and museums. There are issues surrounding the exposure art receives when it is behind the doors of a gallery or museum. There is a prevailing perception that art can be inaccessible or intimidating to the public and I think by showing in cafés and bars does work towards addressing this. There are a lot of preconceived ideas regarding art, what it is, who understands it, where it should be shown. I think that there should be as many venues as there are artists and styles.
Any final words?
Greg: … Julian: Thank you for the opportunity to show with my brother as well as in your establishment.
On the last Wednesday of each month (and the 18th of December because of Christmas) we are featuring an awesome night called Punk Rock Bingo hosted by Daddy-O and drag queen Jenna Syde. The proceeds go to charity and after the bingo (which begins at 9pm) there’s a punk party DJed by Triple-X. We talked to Daddy-O about how he managed to get punk and bingo in a room together.
So, punk rock, bingo… what do these two things have in common?
Both are still alive and kicking. Some may say punk rock is dead, or bingo is
for the dead, but that’s dead wrong. Our balls are dropping fast and furious,
just like the music you’ll be hearing.
How did you decide to make an event out of it?
I wanted do an event where people could head out earlier in the evening for a
fun night of socializing and listening to tunes they might not hear at other
bars. Also, we raise money for various charities each month, and have some
amazing prizes to give away, so it’s an all around feel good night. Then once
bingo ends we keep things going late with a punk infused dance party.
Do you think bingo is making a comeback at all or are you starting a new trend?
Bingo has never really gone away, however we are kicking the closet doors wide
open by appealing to a motley crew of dabbers!
Describe what the crowd is like at ‘Punk Rock Bingo’?
Intense! These folks are serious about bingo. Things can get nasty, and a lot of
curse words yelled out by the losers, which there are many of. Also, the winners
don’t make any qualm about rubbing their prizes in the face of the
losers…literally. Here’s an insider tip…don’t forget your lucky trinkets.
What kind of prizes do you give away?
We have a shit load of fun things to giveaway, including t-shirts, piercing and
tattoo certificates, books, CD’s, dinner vouchers, and some Spearhead and Kensington Breweries beer! All our great sponsors can be found on our Facebook Page.
How sober do you have to be to win at bingo?
Umm, I don’t know as most everyone who plays shows up hammered…and if they don’t
they usually end up that way with our cheap-ass drink specials ($3.50 domestic
bottles), and our O-69 whiskey shots available every time we call our favourite
I understand bingo is a big thing in the suburbs of Toronto. Do you think any confused Ford Nationers will stop by?
Never mind his Nationers, we’ve invited his whole dysfunctional family to come
play with our balls!
What is the best thing about ‘Punk Rock Bingo’ at the Beaver?
Besides the O-69 whiskey shots? I’d have to say the sporadic drunken stupors of
Toronto’s one and only punk rock drag queen, Jenna Syde.
Punk Rock Bingo happens the last Wednesday of every month, with the exception of
December where we’ll be throwing a holiday themed soiree for all our peeps and
freaks on the 18th of the month. Bingo is played 9pm to 11pm and there’s never
a cover, only donations for the cards. Hosted by Daddy-O and Jenna Syde, and
stick around after bingo for tunes you shouldn’t be listening to, courtesy of
Fall leaves fall; die, flowers, away! Lengthen Night and shorten day. Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.
Indeed, all things must pass, and it’s worth celebrating when a new artist comes in to ignite the the front room of the Beaver with brazen colour and shimmering darkness. Come by and check out Laura-Lynn Petrick‘s photography on display now at the Beav, it is a personal documentation of the dynamic aura of individuals and the sublime qualities of nature.
Petrick’s versatile work is shot on 35 mm colour film and involves no post-production; as Laura puts it herself: “This series “In the Skies” is an intimate investigation of the powerful auras of our natural world, captured through the lens of an analogue 35 mm camera.
Mass.Queer.Aid is a special event happening at the Beaver on Friday Sept. 27th, it is a masquerade themed dance party with proceeds going towards queer charity Supporting Our Youth. We sat down with mysterious DJ The Generalist to ask about the upcoming party.
What inspired you to want to organize an event like this in the first place?
My pal Lobodotcom (Adam L) and I have DJ’d at several venues in different cities – from the basement of a soccer club to art battles to wine bars and pubs. But we’ve never played a queer positive bar before, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while. Well.. to be honest, I’ve specifically wanted to play at the Beaver for a long time – the dance parties are top notch!
Why a masquerade theme?
Because it’s fun. It can be mysterious, or fun, or scary, or sexy – you can be whoever you want for the evening and really escape your day-to-day. I admit it was my pal Lisa’s idea, but I just ran with it.
Do you think queer homelessness is an issue we don’t talk about enough?
Absolutely. Like so many others, I grew up as a queer person in a conservative environment. I felt like I was constantly checking over my shoulder and watching how I acted at home and in public. I even decided to ‘run away’ to university in another country, just to be able to be myself, as a queer person, for the first time. And I have great parents. I can’t imagine what life must be like for any young member of the LGBT community, who feels they either have to leave home because of their sexuality, or are forced to. It was actually an article in the Toronto Star that I read a few years ago that really got me thinking about it. I was happy to learn that an agency like Supporting Our Youth (SOY) is out there specifically working to help queer homeless youth.
Has it affected your life personally or someone in your life?
Not directly, but there were times when I was younger that I really thought about it. Could I make it on my own if I came out to my parents as a teenager? Where would I go if I had to leave? These kinds of things crossed my mind a lot.
How and why did you choose the charity you settled on?
It was that article in the Toronto Star that alerted me to their existence, but it was a general feeling of being able to relate to the condition that helped me decide on it.
What makes a great dance party at the Beaver?
It needs a great theme. It needs a certain style of music to stick to. It needs a certain style of attire to stick to. And it needs to be sure of who it’s audience is. The bartenders have a lot of personality too which is always fun, ask Adam Cowan about his upbringing on a pagan grapefruit orchard in Texas for instance. It also helps that the Beaver has a great patio and bar, and the perfect size dance floor – large enough to have a great time, but small enough to never lose your friends.