A while ago I had the luck to see Le Tigre play here in Toronto. It was one of those rare shows that is so life affirming, a show that really makes you believe in music and humanity. For people who don't know, Le Tigre is Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill's new band. Their music is reminiscent of the early riot grrrl days mixed with some great dance beats. They have catchy songs with smart lyrics that are the perfect blend of politics and dancing. They have keyboards, samples and even a rap song.

The night started off with Shebang!, an all female breakdance crew who tore the lid off the place. It was so great to see people breaking in the middle of a jam packed club. The energy in the air was amazing and the vibes were really great.

Tracy and Her Plastics played after Shebang! and were also a lot of fun with video projection and witty repartee between songs. It was an inspiring and clever solution to having a one person band. Tracy had her other "band members" appear as video projections behind her.

Next on the bill was Le Tigre. The three people in the band had lovely matching pink outfits with lots of sequins. They even had a few co-ordinated dance moves to go along with their set. The set culminated with Shebang! breaking on the stage while Le Tigre played. It all ended with Kathleen Hanna doing a summersault into the splits. It was sooooo dreamy! Swoon-o-rama! It was especially exciting to see them play because they talked quite a bit about their songs. It seems pretty rare these days for a band to care enough about their music and what they are saying to create a dialogue about it. Between songs the band talked a lot about art and their connections to the art world and how they fit into it, or not, with their band.

The whole show was quite overwhelming and even included about 5 carousels of slides with images ranging from drawings of people dancing, to feminist icons, to song lyrics and newspaper clippings. I danced my ass off and couldn't stop screaming. The whole time I felt like one of those screaming girls watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. I thought I was going to explode. It was one of those shows that reminds you how powerful, hopeful, moving and inspiring song and art can be. I feel like I've lost track of all the times I've gone to art galleries and felt nothing, so it's great to see art that is atypical, that can't be put into a gallery.

Le Tigre strike me as a band who don't just play music, but have the music inside them already and they are just letting it pour out, like they have no choice but to make it and make it with all the passion and sincerity in the world. I felt like I was watching the music bleed from their veins. It's bands like Le Tigre that help get me through the day. More than that they are a band who inspire me to thrive and to follow my dreams.

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Recently one of my childhood heroes, Mr. Dressup died. I didn't hear the news until about a week after he passed away. The CBC had a television special about him and his life. As it turns out there was little variance between his television persona and his real life personality. He was a generous, kind and gentle man. He always seemed so kind-hearted and caring. Mr. Dressup, or Enrie Coombs, touched many hearts over his 30 years in television, always surprising us with what was in his tickle trunk.

One of the things I remember most clearly about him was his drawing ability. I never believed anyone could draw as well as he did when I was little. I was convinced that somewhere there were outlines on the page the he drew over top of. In a way I kind of feel like Mr. Dressup was one of my baby sitters. I always welcomed his friendly smile and his unassuming nature. When I learned that Ernie Coombs was dead I cried. Mr. Dressup's warmth will hopefully live on in our hearts for decades to come. I miss you Mr. Dressup.

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Maybe by the time you read this America will be at war. Maybe it has been for some time now. The world has changed quite a bit in these days and weeks after the disaster in America. The issue of race seems to be at quite critical right now. I feel pretty removed from the goings on in New York partly because I live in Canada and partly because I've been actively avoiding the news. When I actually do pay attention I get overwhelmed with depression and fear. Maybe that's no excuse.

I keep hearing all these news stories about mosques and temples being burned down or blown up, about Islamic women being afraid to leave their houses, of kids on playgrounds being accused of terrorism. People are looking for accountability and seem to be blinded by the need for quick solutions, turning to anyone who isn't white to point a finger at. I am given the impression that this is the only way people can deal with the horror of the situation. There is comfort in having a place to direct anger. There is comfort in being able to counterattack. Suddenly all Muslims, or perceived Muslims, seem to be targets for a Nation's rage. It's incredibly painful to watch people who seem to think that this situation will be sorted out with a race war. It's sad to think people are using a bombing in America to justify hate in Canada, or any other Nation for that matter.

I can't say I feel particularly qualified to comment extensively on the situation, but it seems as though many Americans see this as a time for patriotism. I don't think this is the solution, I don't think telling everyone in the world how great and strong America is will lessen the threat of future attacks. I don't have any answers to the complexities of a nation in mourning, but I know that was is not the answer. Pride in the lines that keep us separated from one another won't help us sort through the remaining rubble.

And the world keeps turning.

Love your life.