September 2005

T.O.F.U. Tons of Fun University
Presented by Gary Topp
September 21, 2005The RivoliToronto
Hip-hop Goes to College and Graduates Summa Cum Laude
by Stanley Fefferman with photos by Roger Humbert

If the Michelin Man, Gimli the Dwarf, and Meriadoc Brandybuck could stage a voice, word-and-music class act that incorporated Whitman’s long prophetic line, the metaphysical wit of Donne, Ginsberg’s in-your-ear frankness, and a whisper of Tom Waits' down-gritty street-corner-boy balladeering, well, you’d have an idea of what I’m talking about.

T.O.F.U. Last night at the Rivoli in Toronto, the happy few who came out for the trio known as Tons of Fun University (T.O.F.U.) had the kind of brilliant time that leaves you feeling more awake at midnight than you were at noon. I mean, T.O.F.U. is good for you.

Mike McGee
T.O.F.U. is C.R.Avery, Shane Koyczan, and Mike McGhee. Maybe you have never heard of them, but Tom Waits has heard of them and has said of poet/singer/instrumentalist C.R. Avery, “Seek this man out, [he] is terrific”. Maya Angelou has heard of them, and she said this:” Shane Koyczan... the future of poetry is in good hands". And Mike McGhee is the 2003 National Poetry Slam Individual Champion, so most people have heard of him. How about you!

T.O.F.U. is “Totally and Obviously Fucked Up”, but in a good way. They say, “We look like shit, but we taste like cream”. They talk with their hands. They present George W. Bush’s foreign policy by reciting the titles of Steven Seagal’s movies. They are so good, I am going to see them again this Friday, September 23, at the Gladstone Hotel. Be there. And you would love to dig the opening band, Fred Spek's Neo Swing band Camp Combo playing tunes like the theme from "Secret Agent Man", and "Animal Crackers".

C.R. Avery

Shane Koyczan
We welcome your comments and feedback
• • • • • •
Stanley Fefferman
• •
Roger Humbert

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