Zev Asher was a great filmmaker, musician, and artist.
Zev was talented, charming, strong, courageous, intelligent, original, generous, but above all…hilarious. As he liked to remind me often, he opened for Jim Carrey when he was at the ripe age of 16. He would steal other people’s jokes and rephrase them, which made it all the more whimsical.
He loved to play chaotic, but always conceptual audiovisual live shows all over the world. His documentary films were personal and intense.
Zev would beam with pride when telling stories about his days in Japan. He was especially satisfied while talking about swinging his bratwurst on stage. He enjoyed challenging his audience.
Even while he was sick during these past years, there were many moments of fun. Zev loved to travel. We were able to go to Venice to visit family and we went to Quebec City for a show. His determination and courage were absolutely inspiring.
I recently spent weeks by his side. He would always find ways to entertain me with totally perverse jokes that pushed all levels of decency. He was not well, but he was still creative. We made an effort to maintain this together. He would select images to make collages with and he would order me to shot video to see how much I could take. We watched great movies and listened to tons of Zev-style playlists, which would rage anywhere from Cheap Trick to Nick Cave to screaming jazz, death metal, and of course noise…and then back to unbelievably dated pop.
Zev taught me almost everything I know, but most importantly, he taught me that absolutely unwavering and profound love can exist.
Today, I am honoured to share his amazing voice with you.
I have made his album ‘The Romance is Over’ by The Sleazy Listeners (his duo with Lasse Marhaug) available for your downloading pleasure.
Donations in Zev’s memory may be made to "The William Brock Fund for Research and Education on Blood Cancers at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital" c/o the Université de Montréal, (514) 343-6812
portraits of hope
Guest book at Legacy.com
love Jen Morris
‘The Romance is Over’ by The Sleazy Listeners
if you would like to purchase a real copy please email me at jenlmorris [at] gmail [dot] com
“Blacked Out, Again”
The Romance Is Over
by [sic] & Roughage
released in 2004 on some NYC label (anyone know?)
"Grupo de Tres"
by Roughage, [sic] and Anla Courtis
SUBCULTURAL REVOLUTION: SHANGHAI excerpt
CASUISTRY The Art of Killing a Cat
(NB: this is a documentary film please don’t send death threats! Zev loved cats)
WHAT ABOUT ME: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band
RAT ART and Aqua Alta excerpts coming soon.
What About Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm
London, Ontario’s Nihilist Spasm Band has been producing its own particular brand of noise since 1966, and its members are the first to express surprise that they are becoming international figures. Zev Asher’s loving documentary portrait of the band captures the defiant wit and the ageless passion of a group of iconoclastic reprobates and the subversive noise-music hey love so much.
Excerpt from What About Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band
Former psychotropic film center of Montreal:
Put together this trailer for their recent screening
The film is mentioned in David Novak’s book Japanoise
more info to follow on how to purchase this film.....and more links about What About Me
The ultimate flattery. Zev loved this!
Subcultural Revolution: Shanghai is a visually arresting look at modern Shanghai through the eyes and noise of the country’s most ferocious young group, Torturing Nurse.
This legendary port city has long been considered the financial capital of mainland China, but over the last decade it has also established itself as a major international centre for culture, both traditional and underground. Using the internet and a worldwide web of contacts within the “noise music” community, Torturing Nurse have firmly established themselves as major players in this most extreme of musical genres.
Over a barrage of images of their beloved hometown, the three young members of the group discuss everything from the current state of Communism in China to the changes in sexual mores within society and the role of the ever-expanding military. They are also depicted both practicing and performing their fierce brand of unbridled noise. Subcultural Revolution: Shanghai provides an insightful peek into the underbelly of one of the world’s great cities and it’s most abrasive dealers of screaming sonic mayhem.