July 29, 2016
It is Caribana weekend in Toronto! To celebrate The Dark Room presents a pair of exclusive interviews with two of Jamaica's most well-known artists: Marion Hall (formerly known as Lady Saw) and Mr. Vegas.
Paul and Jordan talk to Marion about her recent decision to leave the "slackness" or lewd world of dancehall music behind and become a devoted Christian minister. Speaking on her beginnings in the genre, Marion reveals the intimate details of her life--from the tragic to heroic--that gave birth to the sexually daring Lady Saw and the extent to which that persona was more performance than reality.
Learn more about Marion at facebook.com/LadySawDancehall
July 26, 2016
Even the most liberal of societies prohibit certain sexual or "obscene" behaviours. Among them is zoophilia, or the sexual fixation on non-human animals. It is a taboo that remains against the law throughout many democratic countries.
Paul and Jordan talk with two zoophiles, from the German organization ZETA (Zoophiles Engagement für Toleranz und Aufklärung), about their strongly-held reasons for maintaining erotic relationships with fauna and why they are attempting to decriminalize such relationships throughout the world.
Provoking serious questions about the possibility (or impossibility) of consensual sex between humans and other animals, the episode challenges listeners to think about the extent to which the two groups can communicate with one another and when lawmakers should speak on behalf of animals.
July 19, 2016
Since antiquity, unicorns have been regarded with fascination and wonder, often depicted as gentle, horse-like creatures in art and fantasy. Uncommon, however, is their manifestation as human.
Paul and Jordan speak with member of this rare category, Shaft, head of a polyamorous, unicorn family, about his mission to promote peace and love, through a rave party lifestyle.
Similar to the 60s movement of "free love,” the family represents an alternative to the daily grind and competition of modern day capitalism, partaking in a life of constant fun and spiritual union.
Learn more about Shaft and his family, "The Fabulus of Unicorns," at facebook.com/FabulusOfUnicornsUnicon
July 11, 2016
Uncertain about her well-being, Paul and Jordan call former podcast guest, Lilla Bertalan. The three explore at greater length her fascination with self-harm, including her preferred or "favourite execution", and why she is inspired by some of the most violent (and deplored) criminals in recent memory.
July 4, 2016
Without words, photography has the power to reveal to us the essence of an individual. Paul and Jordan talk to world-renowned photographer, Estevan Oriol, about his passion to capture this in his work, through his compelling "street" or ethnographic photography of East Los Angeles, including the difficult realities faced by many Mexican-Americans where he grew up, and the formidable influence his father had in him picking-up a camera in the first place.
No stranger to the music world, Estevan also discusses the rewards and challenges of being a tour manager for Cypress Hill and other culturally-defining musical acts to have emerged from California, as well as how the tough lessons he learned in that capacity might be a useful guide for today's younger generations.
Learn more about and view Estevan's work at estevanoriol.com
June 28, 2016
It is regarded as both a crime and art: Graffiti. Exploring the issue, Paul and Jordan talk with Toronto-based artist, Kizmet, about his reasons for doing graffiti himself--from signing or "tagging" his name to creating elaborate murals, in various (and sometimes legally questionable) places--and how graffiti actually beautifies, rather than takes away from, the life of a city. The three discuss how graffiti has been embraced by mainstream culture, including corporations wanting to appear "hip," and the challenge this poses to the graffiti artist to not give in to lucrative offers, at the expense of artistic integrity.
See Kizmet's work and follow him on Instagram: @kizmet32
June 21, 2016
The magic of an actor's performance compels us to feel, think, and remember what it is to be human, and even inspires some to become full-fledged actors themselves.
Paul Salvatori and Jordan Randall speak with aspiring actors René Escobar Jr., Christopher Mendes Sanchez, and Rick Cordeiro about the courage necessary to realize this dream, involving the willingness to take on diverse and unfamiliar roles without fear of failure, while maintaining a positive attitude in the face of heartless competition of the entertainment industry.
Learn more about René, Christopher, and Rick’s new drama series, The Stepson, at www.facebook.com/thestepsonseries
June 19, 2016
Classically trained yet defying being labeled according to any one genre, Sielle is an alternative gospel singer and songwriter, whose melodic vocal style ranges from opera to reggae.
Having recently released her new dancehall single, Easy Mistake, featuring Sean Paul, she sits with Paul and Jordan to talk about growing up in a musically rich atmosphere, moving to Toronto from Montreal to break into the music industry, and the magic of creative collaborations with those on the same wavelength.
Check out Sielle on the web: http://www.sielle.ca/
June 18, 2016
Cassia Crawl, a "living mermaid," is a true anomaly.
Paul and Jordan talk to Cassia about how closely her mermaid aesthetic intertwines with her ambient, trip-hop infused compositions, inspired by adventures into the realm of fantasy and imagination. As a professional make-up artist, Cassia also draws interesting parallels between the creative process of music and good cosmetology, illuminating how art is guided by universal principles that transcend different media.
Follow Cassia on Facebook, listen to her music on Bandcamp, and check out her make-up work at www.crawlmakeupart.com
June 17, 2016
Organized noise? Dark orchestrations? Or simply good music?
Exploring these questions, Paul and Jordan talk to Verum’s Kyle Clyma and Chris Hawco about melodic black metal, the band's "sinister" genre. At the same time, the four unpack stereotypes surrounding the often demonized music and how the foreboding sound of the band hardly reflects a mean or disturbed audience, including Verum's own.
Check out Verum on the web: Facebook, Soundcloud, and ReverbNation
June 16, 2016
She might appear cute or "kawaii,” as she describes her Japanese-inspired look, but Clara Venice is a serious, electro-pop musician. Although a player of countless instruments, Clara's signature is the theremin, and continues to baffle her audiences with the "invisible" instrument.
Paul and Jordan talk to Clara about how she became a multi-talented musician, the philosophy behind her fashion choices, and overcoming obstacles of self-doubt and fear in the creative process.
Follow Clara on Facebook and Soundcloud.
Find more info on Clara at: www.claravenice.com
June 15, 2016
Vaughn, a northern Toronto suburb, is often associated with big shopping plazas, sprawling residential areas, and commercial warehouses. But emerging from the impersonal geography is Stuck On Planet Earth, an alternative rock trio.
On the brink of their current American tour, Paul and Jordan talk to the band about their humble beginnings, not fitting in with the dance music culture of their peers, and attracting a loyal, international following over their several years together.
Check out their music on Soundcloud, and follow on Facebook
June 14, 2016
In our second cast of our Unofficial NXNE Music Series, Paul and Jordan talk to Jon about his evolution from punk rocker to drum n' bass DJ and producer, how important changes in digital technology have made it both easier and harder for him to succeed in the music industry, and how horror movies and EDM might be more closely related than we think.
Check out more of Jon Void's work at: https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.pais
June 13, 2016
What happens when you combine daring carnival theatrics and self-described misfits?
In the first episode of our Unofficial NXNE Music Series, Paul and Jordan speak with the circus party punk band, Mineta, about their colourful and bizarre live performances, embracing their "outsider" lifestyle, and how their music is just as much about having fun creating, as it is about entertaining audiences.
Follow Mineta on Facebook, YouTube, and Soundcloud
And more info on their website: http://www.minetamusic.com/
June 7, 2016
It is remains an eternal object of fear and wonder: blindness.
For most of us, it is unimaginable what life would be like without sight, much less the possibility of knowing the world without this primary sense. But what do we actually know about the lived experience of the blind? And is it fair we regard blindness as a disability or even "curse" that would deny us the freedom, often taken-for-granted, to perform our everyday sight-based activities? Paul and Jordan speak with Mary Ellen Gabias, President of the Canadian Federation of the Blind, about her illuminating experience as a blind person, enduring misconceptions about being blind, and what the sighted can learn from that which the blind see.
May 30, 2016
What is the limit to your love?
She was in love with a convicted murderer. The relationship was a strenuous one, facing stigmatization and obstacles most couples never expect to confront. Paul and Jordan speak with award-winning author, Diane Schoemperlen, about her recent memoir, This Is Not My Life, in which she reveals the human and unfamiliar side of loving the prison inmate she calls Shane. Despite the struggles of the almost six-year relationship, Diane describes how dating a federal prisoner has made her a stronger, more compassionate person. Learn more about Diane, and purchase her book at www.dianeschoemperlen.com
May 23, 2016
How do we put an end to workplace bullying?
In their official capacity, they are regarded as health care providers, tending carefully to those vulnerable and in need, what is lesser known is the intense bullying that exists among nurses. Paul and Jordan talk with nurse and anti-bullying advocate, Kathleen Bartholomew, about this troublesome hidden reality and how it compromises the well-being of patients and nurses alike. As Kathleen reveals, when nurses suffer so do those in their care.
Learn more about Kathleen and her work on nurse bullying, including her book on the topic, Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility: Why Nurses Eat Their Young and Each Other, at www.kathleenbartholomew.com
May 17, 2016
Why get married?
Despite growing divorce rates, marriage remains a cherished institution, representing the dream of everlasting love and happiness with the perfect significant other. For some, the reality of marriage is an uneasy alliance, where the perfect significant other becomes a perfect stranger. Such is the case for Ben Emond, who, feeling stuck in a strained relationship with his wife, is ambivalent about whether his marriage makes sense at all. Paul and Jordan talk to him about his reasons for not being able to embrace the possible “freedom” of divorce, while fully aware of the toll both his marriage and a devastating betrayal he experienced therein has had on him.
May 10, 2016
Is capital punishment justifiable, and if so, when?
In this week’s episode, Paul and Jordan explore this challenging question while talking with former fighter pilot Mohammed Alam. He shares what role he played in bringing about devastating effects of war, as well as describing, in lucid detail, witnessing a public execution in Saudi Arabia that has left an "indelible" mark on him. Mohammed's troubling recollections provoke listeners to reconsider the ethics of state of power and what controls are necessary (or not) to maintain a just and secure society.
May 2, 2016
Claiming the lives of over three million combatants and civilians alike, the Vietnam War was met with intense public resistance and embodied in no less than the unyielding protests of youth, including the fallen students of the Kent State University massacre.
Commemorating this tragedy, 46 years ago this week, as well as those who lost their lives in the harrowing war itself, Paul and Jordan speak with Vietnam War veteran, Bill Lawson. Today a distinguished philosophy professor, Bill shares his experience on the war's frontlines, what it taught him about race and politics in America, and starting life again after war.
Learn more about Bill and his work in philosophy at: http://www.memphis.edu/philosophy/people/bios/bill-lawson.php