Tag Archives: Toronto

Ep. #337: Jonny Sun

Jonny Sun is an architect, designer, engineer, artist, playwright, and comedy writer who originally calls Toronto home. Sun is currently a doctoral student at MIT, a fellow at the Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard, and a creative researcher at the Harvard metaLAB, where he studies social media and online community. He’s a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture where he was awarded many prizes and fellowships and is an honours graduate of the Infrastructure program in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto. As impressive as all of those credentials are, for almost 500,000 of his followers on twitter, Jonny Sun mans a clever account and is at the forefront of new forms of sparse, effective communication, language, and terminology. His new, bestselling graphic novel is something of a meditation on the social media landscape. It’s called everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too and is available now via Harper Perennial. Jonny and I met in a streetside park in downtown Toronto to discuss his relationship with the city he once called home, the importance of Second City and improv and sketch comedy to his outlook on life and his academic pursuits, his comedic influences, the state of social media and communication, his book, and much more. Sponsored by Pizza Trokadero, the Bookshelf, Planet Bean Coffee, and Grandad’s Donuts.

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Ep. #334: Change of Heart

Change of Heart is an iconic, underground Canadian rock ‘n’ roll band based in Toronto, Ontario. Formed in 1982, Change of Heart initially consisted of singer/guitarist Ian Blurton, bassist Rob Taylor, keyboardist Bernard Maiezza, and drummer Ron Duffy. By the time Change of Heart disbanded in 1997, Blurton and Maiezza were the sole original members left. A rather different, 13-person version of Change of Heart entered Reaction Studio in early January of 1992 to record the album Smile, which would come to be regarded as a landmark effort in Toronto music history. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the record’s release, Label Obscura is reissuing a remastered, double-vinyl limited edition of Smile, which has prompted Change of Heart to re-convene for shows, including one in Toronto at the Horseshoe on July 22, 2017, dates in Waterloo, London, Kingston, and Ottawa in September, and shows in Calgary and Edmonton in October. I recently travelled to Change of Heart’s practice space in Toronto to meet with Michael Armstrong, Glenn Milchem, Rob Taylor, Bernard Maiezza, and Ian Blurton to discuss the history of their band, the album Smile, what Toronto was really like in the early 1990s, and other stuff too. Sponsored by Pizza Trokadero, the Bookshelf, Planet Bean Coffee, and Grandad’s Donuts.

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Ep. #333: Kevin McDonald

Kevin McDonald is an ingenious comedic performer and writer currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Originally from Toronto, McDonald is best known as a member of the hugely influential Canadian sketch troupe, the Kids in the Hall. This August marks the first anniversary of McDonald’s inventive variety show podcast, Kevin McDonald’s Kevin McDonald Show, a mix of sketch comedy and conversations and musical performances, which has featured guest turns from Mike Myers, Wallace Shawn, Rachel Dratch, Ted Leo, Michael Showalter, Craig Finn, Susanna Hoffs, Rob Corddry, and his fellow Kids, Scott Thompson and Dave Foley, among many others. McDonald and I had a chat recently about living in Winnipeg, his idiosyncratic approach to comedy podcasts, John Lennon’s perfect rock ‘n’ roll life, the new wave of sketch comedy, news about the Kids in the Hall and their upcoming appearance at a benefit show featuring Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, and many members of the original SCTV cast, and much more. Sponsored by Pizza Trokadero, the Bookshelf, Planet Bean Coffee, and Grandad’s Donuts.

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