4 happenings to wind you up or down right now

xtra | July 23, 2020

What to watch:

Life is Easy

Queer digital platform Revry creates their own spin on Freaky Friday with the new body-swap comedy series, Life is Easy. The New Zealand-based web series explores the complexities of race, gender, sex and the true meaning of being “woke” in 2020.

The show follows Jamie-Li (played by Chye-Ling Huang), a straight Chinese-Kiwi woman, and Curtis (Cole Jenkins), a gay white man. (Get it? Jamie Lee Curtis played Lindsay Lohan’s mother in the 2003 version of Freaky Friday.) The pair’s friendship seemingly transcends race, gender and sex. They think they’re “woke”—that is, until they wake up in each other’s bodies, upending the way they see others, each other and themselves.

Written by Huang and Jenkins, the series of eight 15-minute episodes premieres July 19 at 5 p.m., with a repeat screening at 8 p.m. PST on Revry’s Live TV Channels; the full season is on Revry Premium on July 17.ADVERTISEMENT

What to read:

It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham

Thew book cover for It is Wood it is Stone.

Gabriella Burnham, a Brazilian-born author now living in New York City, is set to release her debut novel, It Is Wood, It Is Stone, in which romantic entanglements between women address class and colourism, sexuality and divisive histories. The novel follows an American woman named Linda who moves to São Paulo, Brazil with her husband for work. As Linda builds relationships with other women, she is pushed to reflect on both her privilege as a white, affluent woman travelling abroad and her evolving sexuality.

The novel is available for pre-order now and will be released on Amazon on July 28.

What to listen to:

“Teenage Dreamer” by Velvet Code

Toronto's Velvet Code.
Toronto’s Velvet Code.

Toronto-based electronic musician Velvet Code releases their new single, “Teenage Dreamer,” on July 24. The song is meant to be an empowering LGBTQ2 summer anthem to connect with those navigating through tough times. The song’s release will be accompanied by a music video, shot entirely while in self-isolation.

With influences like Laidback Luke, Dada Life, Avicii, David Guetta and Calvin Harris, Velvet Code’s music can be described as ’80s and ’90s-influenced EDM. The electronic artist is currently in the midst of developing an inclusive LGBTQ2 record label, which is expected to be announced later this year.

Both the “Teenage Dreamer” song and music video will be available to stream on July 24, with the latter viewable on YouTube.

What to look at:

This Crazy Show 

A still from the dance production This Crazy Show.

Canadian dancer Noam Gagnon performs his newest piece, This Crazy Show, for Vancouver’s annual Queer Arts Festival. The LGBTQ2 arts festival is entirely online this year (continuing until July 26), and is organized around the theme of revolution in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. With This Crazy Show, the contemporary dancer wants to examine how precarious and ambiguous identity can be, exploring different gender roles and how the imaginations of children shape their identities.ADVERTISEMENT

Gagnon addresses the perpetual quest for love by revisiting the worlds of childhood, real and imagined, through a bionic woman superhero metaphor.

This Crazy Show streams July 25 at 7 p.m. and July 26 at 2 p.m. PDT on the Queer Arts Festival website. Tickets for the event are by donation and people can RSVP through Eventbrite.