Rae meets the Pope

Rae Spoon @ Casa Del Popolo – August 12, 2010

If you don’t have a favourite transgendered artist added to your playlist yet, start with Rae Spoon. I’ve been listening to Rae for a month straight, so when I found out he was going to be playing a show at Casa de Popolo last Thursday, I took the last five dollars to my name and went (thank god my friend had money for beer). Not to mention the Popolo’s one of my favourite venues in MTL right now.

So, here are the goods – The transgendered, Calgarian, folk/indie songster, most known for his mesmerizing female voice spun pretty webs around the crowd’s ears; I know I’m still hmming his tunes and wishing the show was on YouTube.   He successfully turned us all into a pack of wolves, while wearing a pair of vintage roller skates and streaming drum samples from his Mac book (literally, asked us to howl during the chorus of “We Become Our Own Wolves”). Rae chit-chatted with us floor-dwelling attendees and told stories about his drunken-under-the-pool-table-gay-bar adventures…which he said was the basis for the song “You Can Dance.”

Though I didn’t leave with Rae, he was mingling amongst his astounded crowd. This is what’s cool about Rae he’s just like us coffee drinking, sleeping in, cheap beer sipping people. It doesn’t seem like he has the “too cool 4 you” syndrome that I’ve seen numerous local (yes he lives here now) musicians succumb too. BUT, there is a secret, dark and emotional side of Rae that shines in his music.

A week after the show I met a new friend at Bifteck (imagine that!). My new friend and I began a nattering session about Rae’s show, his music and yes, his upbringing in Calgary. As it turns out, this new friend of mine had toured with Rae the previous year and truly, utterly got to know the wonderful singer that is Rae Spoon. During our conversation he mentioned something about Calgary and how it must have been “so fucking difficult” to have grown up there as a transgendered singer, especially one that was born female.

This made sense to me. I thought about it. I’ve never lived in Calgary or spent much time there (does the airport count?), I’ve met numerous people from the place (whom seemed pretty decent), but from what I know…it’s pretty…um, how do I say this nicely…boring, lame, oil-filled and in need of some serious culture shock. Knowing these things I formed this opinion: “Rae’s music represents everything he was forced to do and not do, the songs echo and reach this new transgendered scene (or at least new to me) and let us know, “Yea, it’s okay. Yea, shit happens. Yea and you do hear the call from the suburbs down to the Plateau.”

So, now you know the DL and if you haven’t had goose bumps in a while, Rae Spoon is your man. His music and bio are available on radio3.ca (he just got a spot on the R30!) and you can catch him on Facebook. Next time he’s got a show, cancel whatever you were gonna do and go check him out. Make sure to practice your howl and bring five dollars ahead of time.

Good ear pieces by Rae Spoon:
– “You Can Dance”
– “We Can’t Be Lovers With These Guns On Each Other”
– “Come On Forest Fire Burn The Disco Down”

Facebook Comments


  • Well well well…. Quite the review!!! I enjoy events which inspire spontaneous howling and dancin my face off… I guess next time im lucky enough to wake up in montreal ill have to find a cute date and rock a rae show!!!! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

  • ‘and yes Rae Spoon is a female’ how insulting is that!

  • Wasn’t meant to be offensive or insulting at all, just wanted to state that while Rae identifies as male, he was born female and has a beautiful feminine voice. Sorry if it came off the wrong way…

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