judith cockman


Magpie! design and creation of Wearable Art


I LERVE my Magpies! Canadian craftsmanship start to finish.

Every few years I treat myself to a Magpie garment – usually coatish. Not on purpose. I just pop into the shop on Queen West to say hi to the remarkable owner/designer Cathy and her wonderful crew.

Inevitably there’s a stunning piece glinting directly at Me from a headless mannequin. “I knew you would come” it slyly pulses. Hiding in full sight from any other would-be buyer. I climb into it’s spectacular perfection of unusualness, and the kitten is mine.

I soothe my conscience by envisioning my granddaughter burrowing into my closet one day, swooning with gratitude. Not that I have a granddaughter. In the meantime, wearing my magpie, I step into the public forum feeling delicious in my completeness. I realize that some people accomplish this by having a partner on their arm, but there you go.

Even though she’s dressed the fabulous Measha Brueggergosman and Prince by any other name, Cathy’s designs would sell for 3x the amount on a hangar in Holts. So go. I dare you to walk into Magpie and not walk out with an exquisite representation of your artistic self purring against your skin. And a ferocious neck accessory heralding your way.

 Here’s the FB fan page. Magpie Design.  Eat your heart out.


dirty dishes pic

DIRTY DISHES partied their second CD release with glorious precision on Saturday.  Theatrical abandon orchestrated into snap-tight musical desserts. Three gorgeous talents trilling fiddle, guitar, ukulele – and Harmonies to melt a bird’s heart! Original tunes by the uber talented Suzanne McKenney mixed in with gems featuring each of the women in turn. This trio, backed with the stellar Henry Heillig on upright and Jay Boehmer on percussion, lit up the packed house at The Dominion.  Chair dancing has revived! The CD “You’re Soaking In It” is Uplifting. Polished. Professional. Refreshing. Play again-and-againable. iTunes are coming – in the meantime, buy the CD from their site :    “You’re Soaking In It”


for an indie rockout, you can’t do better than hamilton’s own COWLICK – hallucinatory imagination strapped into slick musicianship.
their recent cd release walloped a packed This Ain’t Hollywood, featuring … no cd.
purchase their 3d glasses and access the code online to get on their 3D car-ride showcasing their newest hit MONEY, and download the cd. or just get online and get the tunes. just check them out. surfing their body of work is a razor blade skate across a blotter.
Cowlick. The brothers Hudecki and ned nolan
Cowlick. The brothers Hudecki and ned nolan

suzie’s alibi

Suzie McKenney’s pink guitar, sassy heels, infectious joy and radiant talent revved Cadillac Lounge on Saturday. With her songwriting partner, bass & vocalist Stu Clow, backed by guitar rocker Kevin Vienneau and percussionist Bob Vespaziani, Suzie’s Alibi once again rockabillied the Caddy. The dance floor smoked. This gal’s star wattage blinds.

(see MORE SUZIE under “I’ve got some CRAZY talented friends!”)



part one: the live SLY BLUE performance at lula lounge october 24, 2012

swingjazz sex! dance floor on fire joy exploding sweat glistening hearts flying yah. that Fabulous.

a band matured in confidence & sharpened in craft during their few months of european/north american touring.

the incomparable chris norton buttoning his mad exuberance into his jacket, ripping the seams with showman precision rather than tearing through the show. a masterful performance that elevates soul and spirit. even so, i’d pay good money to see his manic genius on display again. (see previous view posted february 8, 2012 below)

two of my favorite toronto musicians filling out the NY sly compliment: denis keldie on accordion, glen anderson on drums. (more…)

danny and the deep blue sea


tenderness strangled in a fist.

raw. cracked open the heart, shivered the skull.  reminiscent of the rich, authentic theatre work i experienced in LA during the ’90’s. a commitment to truth. the necessity to communicate. the brave john patrick shanley would be deeply satisfied by this visceral interpretation of his play. deep bows to all concerned. http://www.sterlingstudiotheatre.com. playing to september 22nd ’12

JASON WILSON! Steinway Reggae blasts The Trane Studio

Traveling in an alternate universe. One that speaks languages I’m not sure I’ve heard.

Jason himself a startling force of musicianship. With his band, pure radiation. Tilting left, rising north from his piano bench. Connecting his band with a fury of precision, muscle and melody. (more…)


alley theatre workshop

Michael Kash’s entrance onto Hughie’s stage is imprinted like a sizzling poker. The creaking, twisted-bone staggering, as fragile as a broken dish. Dean Ifill’s pained tiptoeing feet equaled the thrill. A poetic production. Verbiage thrumming against mulling, with tentacles of each awakening dormant life in the other. (more…)

from House to Home to … Brothel?

house: Allsax4tet at Dominion House

Robust. Precise.  Nuanced. The illusion of a full orchestra  … created by four musicians and 21 sax’s.
Yes. Four lads. Twenty-one saxophones.

Doug Pipher, arranger, leader, masters eight of them. His glee in playing the tiny soprillo through to the outrageously oversized contrabass (made to order in Brazil and the only one in Canada) is a baton inspiring his colleagues to giddy heights.

Three full sets incorporate jazz to opera. The unusually packed house at Dominion went ballistic with the full tilt glory of Bohemian Rhapsody. http://www.allsax.ca An act worthy of lighting votive candles in thanks for musicians who care so much to become this good. (more…)


                                                                SLY BLUE

Sly Blue! Sly Blue!!!!! I LOVE YOU! Oh. OHOHOH. Yesssssssssssss. The New York swing band swung into TO’s Dovercourt House recently and I WAS THERE!
All I could say to them was “This is a Good Day To Die!” And mean it.
A Thrill of TALENT!
Affirmation of Life.
Slams the Uber into Exuberance. (more…)