When you think Carole Pope, there’s a good chance the words icon, provocative and hard-edged and come to mind.
There’s also a good chance the song High School Confidential starts playing in your head.
Influenced by the likes of the Beatles, Everly Brothers and David Bowie, Pope rose to fame as the leather-clad dominatrix of Rough Trade, with No. 1 singles High School Confidential and All Touch.
These days, the multiple-Juno winner is touring acoustically to support her latest solo album, Landfall, which features a duet with Rufus Wainwright.
That tour includes three stops on Vancouver Island with special guest Ryan McMahon of Ladysmith this month. They’re coming to Courtenay on May 25 to perform at The Venue Formerly Known as Joe’s Garage.
Pope’s work has been recognized with three Juno Awards, multiple independent music awards and a Genie Award. She’s also added four gold, one platinum and one double-platinum album to her awards collection.
Over the years, her music has appeared in many movies and numerous television shows, including Love or Whatever, The L Word, General Idea: Art AIDS and the fin de siѐcle, The Trailer Park Boys Movie, Queer As Folk, This Revolution, Miami Vice and Cruising.
Pope has performed at Fashion Cares 25 with Elton John and at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Luminato, Joes Pub, Pop Montreal, Largo, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Winter Garden Theatre, Massey Hall, the Global Cabaret Festival and many other festivals and unique places.
As an actress, she appeared in the rock ‘n roll vampire movie Suck, along with Moby, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Henry Rollins.
The film rights for Pope’s autobiography Anti Diva, published by Random House, have been optioned, and a film is in development.
Off the stage and away from the camera, Pope is an ambassador for the Hetrick Martin Institute and is a member of the board of the Songwriters Association of Canada.
Pope is being joined at The Venue Formerly Known as Joe’s Garage by McMahon, who won three Vancouver Island Music Awards last year.
The folk/Americana singer-songwriter from Ladysmith is recording his fifth collection of songs. At the same time, he is working on a new musical collaboration with Christopher Arruda and Cory Woodward called The Lion The Bear The Fox, and they have started recording their first album together.
McMahon is taking a hands-on approach with his new album, and is working with Arruda to create an honest album that really reflects who he is at this very moment.
“In 2011, I went about recording two albums — one was a very stripped down, ‘let’s just set up some mics around the room and see what happens’-type of record; the other a full-band rock ‘n roll production that still hasn’t really seen the light of day,” he says.
“After going through that process, I made a decision to kind of meet myself in the middle the next time through … And what we’re basically going to be left with, hopefully, is a joyful-sounding, boot-stomping, story-telling record that resonates with people.”
McMahon, who just returned from a quick tour of B.C. and Alberta, is excited to share those new joyful-sounding songs.
“The biggest thing to me is that the songs have a more celebratory feel to them,” he says. “I feel like the best version of me shows up in my songs. Especially these days.”
McMahon and Pope perform May 25 at 115 Fifth St. This show is sponsored by the Society for Artistic Development Comox Valley.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and the music starts at 8:30 p.m. This is a cash-only venue, and this show is 19-plus. Advance tickets are $25 and are available at Bop City Records.