The Imposter

Weird art from Canada
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Mar 2, 2018

The last time Lido Pimienta was on the podcast, she was about to release La Papessa, and it ended up winning her the $50,000 Polaris Prize. 

We wanted to hear her predictions for the future, so we spoke to her again. On this episode, Lido talks about Latina pop star tropes, fat shaming, and how Steve Harvey's incredible Miss Universe gaffe inspired her next album. 

Music on this episode by Kaleema, Mas Aya, and Lido, remixed.  

Feb 28, 2018

We consume a lot of noise, but we rarely get the opportunity to reflect on how it affects us. This is the first in a series of 5-minute immersive noise meditations by four artists exploring how noise alters our state of consciousness. Listen with with headphones for the full effect.    


Find more about Jen Reimer and Max Stein at


Feb 20, 2018

Sexcoven.mp3 is a sound file that was uploaded to the internet on July 26, 1996. It was described as a "6-hour atonal drone". According to Slammer Magazine, listeners reported "cascading feelings of dread, fear and euphoria." The track circulated among teenagers and by 2001, "covencrawls" had become a teen trend, which resulted in several deaths and injuries. Some thought the track contained subliminal messages; others believed that it triggered the prefrontal cortex in a way that caused temporary insanity.

The source of the file is still unknown.

Jillian Tamaki wrote a short story about Sexcoven in her recent graphic novel, Boundless.

Our exploration of the Sexcoven phenomenon leads us from the quietest place on earth to a group of Montreal sound artists who are working with a mental health practitioner to stimulate altered states of consciousness.

Feb 7, 2018

Cadence Weapon was a nineteen-year-old in Edmonton, battle rapping on the internet when he released his first mixtape, Breaking Kayfabe. He wanted to make “the most fucked up rap anyone’s ever heard.” And it was. It got him a record deal with a major American label, and helped bring Canada's rap underground to light.     

Since then, he released two more albums, and was anointed the poet laureate of Edmonton. He just released his fourth album, the self-titled Cadence Weapon.

On this episode, we talk about how Canadian radio failed Canadian hip hop artists, Cadence's legendary DJ dad, and why he's rapping about Pinot Grigio these days.  

Jan 12, 2018

At the height of the New Age movement, there was a lot of music for plants, but there was only one Plantasia. 

On this episode, we look at how a 1973 New York Times bestselling book of controversial experiments on plants inspired generations of artists to try to communicate with plants through sound. We hear about what it was like to grow up with pioneering electronic musician Mort Garson, whose early synthesizer album Plantasia went from being a free gift with a mattress purchase from Sears to a $150 dollar used CD on Amazon.   

Listen to Plant Material from houseplant enthusiast Castle If.

Watch Amanda White's video of a plant next to a window, listening to a radio show made by the plants outside. 


Dec 29, 2017

The synthesizer has become so ubiquitous that you can download them as apps, but in the mid-sixties, less than thirty people owned one. One of them was a pioneering electronic composer named Mort Garson, who used it to soundtrack the CBS live broadcast of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

In this episode, we look at the electronic musicians who used early analog synthesizers to construct what the future sounds like.

Listen with headphones, this one's a trip.



Dec 8, 2017

In 2002, a low budget mockumentary about two headbangers from Alberta premiered at Sundance. That film was FUBAR, and it became an instant classic. But these beer-swilling simpletons weren't the only hoser characters to achieve cult status in Canadian film and TV history. 


In this episode, we talk to the people behind FUBAR—and their fans— to figure out what makes these kinds of characters so seductive.


Watch the new Viceland series, FUBAR: Age of Computer or peruse The Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles.


Nov 24, 2017

A vague email from a Yahoo user leads to a budding mentorship with one of Canada's most beloved comedians, Aliya performs her first 5-minute set, and the woman who helped propel Toronto's alternative comedy scene into the mainstream gives Aliya some tough love.

Nov 2, 2017

Alanis Obomsawin is an Abenaki filmmaker who's been challenging Canada's image of itself for the last 50 years. And she got funding from the National Film Board to do it. 

For more information, visit:   


Oct 4, 2017

At the end of this season, Aliya will do a live comedy set onstage at Second City.

But first—she needs to learn how to tell a joke.

On the first episode of this harrowing journey, Aliya recalls the 1968 comedy that ruined laughter for her, phones her dad up to talk about brownface, and goes to standup school.


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