This past Friday, I attended the Electric Pow Wow at Babylon on the occasion of the Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival. This special edition featured the DJs from A Tribe Called Red, creators of Pow Wow Step and the EPW, and Ryan McMahon, an Ojibway/Metis comedian who’s gaining more and more recognition amongst the Aboriginal community and the Canadian comedy scene.
It was McMahon’s second public appearance in Ottawa after having collaborated with ATRC last year for an Electric Pow Wow special that took place at Ritual nightclub and that introduced us to the Clarence Two Toes character. This time around, McMahon, who’s a graduate of the prestigious Second City Conservatory in Toronto, presented all new material and tested this fresh show on his Ottawa audience. To my greatest disappointment, he didn’t bring out Clarence Two Toes for this performance, however he did pull out some pretty funny jokes involving grocery store separators and jacuzzis. He tried something different this time and mainly presented jokes that pertained to his daily life as a comedian and father of two living out West. He did however omit to include what he’s best known for in my opinion: presenting the “Native dude” perspective on the realities of modern society. That’s what people love him for along with his Clarence Two Toes character.
Ryan McMahon is the first Aboriginal comedian to get his own hour-long standup comedy special. The show called UnReserved will air on CBC August 18.
Right after the comedy show, Deejay Shub, Deejay NDN and Bear Witness immediately jumped on the turntables to do what they do best: make the crowd dance to their irresistible beats! It didn’t take long before they had people moving to the sounds of Pow Wow Step and Reggae/Moombahton infused rhythms. The Electric Pow Wow has been a successful event since its inception in 2008 and the movemement keeps growing in Canada and abroad. The boys from A Tribe Called Red, who made the Polaris Music Prize long list, play Bluesfest on the Electro stage on July 8. Be sure to check them out and represent your city!