weewerk

since 2002

independent record label and art-and-music salon (collaboration with Phil Klygo)

(weewerk) is an independently owned/operated record label, artist management, and promotions company based in Toronto, Canada. (weewerk) was founded in November 2002 as a series of art-and-music salon events organized by indie-rock defender Phil Klygo (Skull Geek, teenage USA recordings, Canadian Music Week) and visual artist/curator Germaine Koh in their Toronto apartment above the noteworthy indie music store Rotate This, on Queen St. West.

The underground spirit of (weewerk)'s endeavours quickly drew a devoted and wide-ranging following. As an extension of their DIY ethos, (weewerk) helped the young alt-folk artist Great Lake Swimmers release their haunting self-titled debut album in March 2003, and were immediately heralded as a fresh new record label within the independent Canadian music world. Stepping up to that challenge, (weewerk) subsequently released records by The Barmitzvah Brothers and 2009 Polaris Nominee's Elliott Brood to resounding success in 2003/04. Since then, (weewerk) has released 30 albums with 16 artists, featuring some of the most interesting folk, roots, bluegrass, and alt-country musical acts from Canada and beyond.

Selected press about (weewerk)
“It is now tougher for Canadian artist-run co-ops and indie record labels to make it since they are on the same playing fields with Sony BMG Canada and Universal Music Canada who also have artists applying for funding from FACTOR, VideoFACT and other Canadian Funding agencies. (weewerk) is one such indie label that has been able to keep up with the Canadian majors as well as maintain their artistic integrity.” – MuchMusic Blog

“Fittingly dubbed weewerk, given the small operating space, the series attracts a mixed crowd of people who would have little or no chance of encountering each other in their regular circles[... O]ne is always aware that one is inside somebody's home; an awareness that breeds a refreshing decorum and consideration... Clearly, [they are] trying to mix passive viewing events, such as screening and performances, with activities that require more attentive participation.” – The Globe & Mail

“Between the two of 'em, [Klygo and Koh] have given an awe-inspiring number of blood transfusions to the independent rock and visual arts communities in this city. But just in case you doubted their commitment before, the dynamic duo are doing something unprecedented to prove their mettle... With their new multifaceted weewerk initiative, Koh and Klygo are opening up their home to music and art fans across the city.” – NOW Toronto

“At heart, a city is just somewhere people gather, doing stuff... Two people who do are Phil Klygo, the Mohawk-adorned head of teenage USA recordings and Canadian Music Week, and artist-curator Germaine Koh. For the past year, the young couple has been holding events in their apartment on Queen Street West under the punning title, weewerk. In these monthly salons, bands perform, artists show, and there's playfully vital conversation on themes such as uncertainty, art and morality, humour [.] or guerrilla gardening. It runs on the same resolve you find in all kinds of Toronto events now - house concerts, amateur variety shows, the mayoral race - that we stop standing on the sidelines staring into the display case, and plunge in to be part of the action. It has spun off a weewerk record label, which first released the local-landmark-littered songs of Tony Dekker as Great Lake Swimmers, and is now putting out the second CD by one of Ontario's most enchanting bands, Guelph's Barmitzvah Brothers.” – The Globe & Mail


Archive of salon events at (weewerk), 2002-04. For the record label history, visit www.weewerk.com.

weewerk01 hereweare ... 21-22 November 2002 ... winter-welcoming performance by Shannon Cochrane + Thom Sevalrud (Thursday); musical guests Great Lake Swimmers (Thursday) and The Spiders (Friday); exhibition of postcards by Stephen Andrews, Lynne Cohen, Tagny Duff, Allison Hrabluik + Zin Taylor, Robert Linsley, Jonathan Monk, Shelley Ouellet, Mitch Robertson, and Jin-me Yoon

weewerk02 a small show of uncertainty ... 13 December 2002 ... work-in-progress by Eliza Griffiths, a new video by Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, music by Bob Wiseman and the Damn Ugly Children

weewerk03 the unseen ... 17 January 2003 ... Satan Macnuggit Super 8 and 16mm film screenings, music by Grasshopper Sound Clash

weewerk04 The Ensemble Of Tops'n'Bottoms ... 24 January 2003 ... Launch of Issue #2 of The Ensemble of Tops'n'Bottoms (a collaborative project conceived by Joel Gibb and Karen Azoulay), an exhibition of work by Will Munro and Paul Butler, and music by Vzzt.

weewerk05 Art in the Dark salon ... 7 February 2003 ... salon on "Art and Morality," followed by a set by trash-punk trio Slutarded. Discussion moderated by CBC Radio's Jane Farrow, with photographer/filmmaker Bruce LaBruce, rouge publisher Sam Hiyate, activist Allyson Mitchell, and video-zinester Scott Treleaven. Art in the Dark is a series organized by Luft Gallery and Hive Projects (Selena Cristo and Pol Williams).

weewerk06 Bauhauswerk ... 7 March 2003 ... projects existing between art, architecture, craft and design by Kelly Mark, Derek Sullivan, Janis Demkiw, An Te Liu, and music by The Barcelona Pavilion

weewerk07 A Day Like Any Other Day in Beirut ... 9 March 2003 ... Media theorist Laura U. Marks presents a program of new video from the Middle East, including Nabil Kojok, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Akram Zaatari, Mahmoud Hojeij.

weewerk08 ... 22 March 2003 ... Talk by Barry Schwabsky on "Art, Poetry, Criticism"

weewerk09 TRANSGENIC<>MORPHOSIS ... 3 April 2003 ... Tosca Hidalgo y Terán, Steve Storz, Andrei Gravelle installation focused on the ethics of technology, in form of a museum of the far future picturing the 20th and 21st centuries through stereoscopic viewers and film loops encapsulated within biomechanical pods

weewerk10 The Rick White Archive ...4 April 2003... performance and exhibition by musical cult figure Rick White

weewerk11 guerrilla gardening ... 4 July 2003

weewerk12 The Flower Show ... 16 August 2003 ... artwork by Louise Noguchi, Anitra Hamilton, Ed Pien, Karen Azoulay, and Ben Oakley, music by The Blue Gardenias

weewerk13 Punchline! ... 12 September 2003 ... open-mic comedy show hosted by Nick Flanagan with "celebrity" judges including Ken Babstock, Sheila Heti and Carl Wilson. Art; video and sound works by Jason McLean, Jinhan Ko and Mark Soo; music by Elliott Brood

weewerk14 Toronto International Art Fair show at The Rivoli ... 13 April 2003 ... music by Controller.Controller, Great Lake Swimmers, The Barmitzvah Brothers (CD release set)

weewerk15 Canadian Music Week showcase ... 6 March 2004 ... music by Singing Saw Shadow Show (orchestral manoooooeeuuvers with toooools and euphooooniuuum), Elliott Brood (stomping death-country), The Two-Minute Miracles (shambling songs of ragged pop glory), Great Lake Swimmers (haunting desolation folk), The Barmitzvah Brothers (mini pop-country-polka army), Jon-Rae Fletcher and The River (gospelliptic alt-country); art by Jon Sasaki and Mathieu Beauséjour

weewerk16 Play ... 18-20 March 2004 ... alternative modes of gaming with artwork by Joe McKay, Myfanwy Ashmore, Sandy Plotnikoff; salon discussion on issues of gaming, play and hacking with indie-media proponent Jim Munroe; organized with Heather Corcoran

weewerk17 Neutrinos They Are Very Small ... 7-9 May 2004 ... workshopping of new project by Rebecca Diderichs, Sally McKay, Gordon Hicks, curated by Corinna Ghaznavi

Reviews, Articles & Essays: Catherine Osborne, Lola, Spring 2003. PDF
Reviews, Articles & Essays: R.M. Vaughan, Globe and Mail, 28 Jan 2003. PDF
Texts by Koh: Germaine Koh & Phil Klygo, salon series web archive, 2002-04. PDF

Links: http://www.weewerk.com

Germaine Koh, weewerk16 Play, with artwork by Joe McKay, Myfanwy Ashmore, Sandy Plotnikoff, co-curated by Heather Corcoran, 2004, Clockwise from top left: Joe McKay's colour-matching game, still from Sandy Plotnikoff video, installation view, discussion.