Alexis O`Hara

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If you've seen Alexis O'Hara live then you remember the experience. It ain't just that ms.roboto headset mic and those luminous breast pads. The lady's got a waywith words. A poetess, a philosopher queen, a freestylin' and speakbeating chameleon, O'Hara draws you into her world and provokes you into marvelling at the absurdity of the human condition. She'll comment on the thoughts you had today, the flashes you had yesterday (yes, she has read your diaries) and when it's all over, she'll gallantly impress herself on the way you'll think tomorrow. It's a pitstop-filled sonic joyride with the most heartbreaking, bizarre and hilarious tangents imaginable. Smart, scary, silly and terribly sexy, we think of it as Hyper Modern Art Pop.

Alexis O'Hara is a trilingual performance artist with a penchant for experimentation: producing street theatre in Toronto, making dirty movies in Vancouver, frying her ass for the art-hungry hordes in Geneva, and singing in an myriad of musical projects from jazz combos, to all-girl punk outfits and improv electronic jam collectives.

Since moving to Montreal in 1997, she keeps one foot in the exploding spoken word scene and the other in the improv- pop-noise-whatever scene. After a spell in the weird world of competitive poetry where she tongue-whipped her way to the top ten at the 1999 National Poetry Slam, she was ready to perform with props, costumes and musical accompaniment. Spurred on by radio producer Genevieve Heistek and dj Patti Schmidt, O'Hara buys a sampler and raids the electronic section of Toys 'R Us. Her first plugged-in show at Canzine in Toronto is broadcast in its entirety on CBC's Brave New Waves. For the next three years, she performs an average of twice a month, opening for acts like Hawksley Workman, Johnny Dowd and Joseph Arthur, and honing her performance skills but maintaining an anti-virtuoso=charming approach that cements her reputation as a dynamic live act and all around freak show.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? She finds herself in the studio after winning a Canada Council grant that culminates in In Abulia, a debut album that barely hints at the complexity and curiosity that is Alexis O'Hara. Featuring appearances by Montreal notables Jon Asencio (Pest 5000, Electronic Humans Guild), Rob Stephens (The Fearless Freep, Lullaby Baxter Trio) and Rick Rigby (Shine Like Stars, Bran Van 3000), In Abulia runs the gamut from sweet electro madness to abrasive robot poetry. Add to that a disturbing snippet from a movie-in-progress (featuring the infamous Jimmy Brain and Nurse Obedia), evocative soundscapes of scavenged samples, field recordings and layers of voice and bass guitar, and a number of 'songs', In Abulia subverts, surprises and dares to speak the language the rest of us whisper inside. Comparisons to her famous aunts (Catherine and Mary Margaret) are inevitable and yes, she certainly shares their talents for comic characterization and vocal acrobatics. However, we feel strongly that Alexis is forging her very own territory with this moody, subversive performance pop.