Zev Asher

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


free download
‘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



Nimrod on bandcamp

Roughage on bandcamp

"Coupon Clipper"
by [sic] & Roughage

released in 2004 on some NYC label (anyone know?)



"Grupo de Tres"
by Roughage, [sic] and Anla Courtis




Videos and Film


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.



Nimrod with Mayuko Hino (CCCC) Live at O’Cayz Corral Madison part1

Nimrod with Mayuko Hino (CCCC) Live at O’Cayz Corral Madison part2

Nimrod with Mayuko Hino (CCCC) Live at O’Cayz Corral Madison part3

Subcultural Revolution a Tribute to Zev Asher

at the Vancouver Cinematheque January 16th 6:30 pm

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 6:30pm
Tribute to Zev Asher
Pacific CINEMATHEQUE in Vancouver
Screenings and guests
6:30 PM
What About Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band
8:00 PM
Subcultural Revolution: Shanghai
9:30 PM
Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat
STRAIGHT.COM article here

Zev editing Casuistry in our Montreal flat years ago
photos: Jen Morris

Broken Pencil Remembering Zev Asher

by Alison Lang November 2013

Click on image for article

CASUISTRY: The Art of Killing a Cat


CASUISTRY The Art of Killing a Cat

(NB: this is a documentary film please don’t send threats to my label again! Zev loved cats, so do I)

You’ll find the word "casuistry" (pronounced kazoo-istry) in most dictionaries, just above "cat." It refers to a method of ethical analysis which takes into account the unique circumstances of particular cases. The term is often used disparagingly, in reference to specious justifications. Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat scratches its way beneath the surface of an infamous Toronto animal cruelty case, deftly exploring the opaque logic surrounding this macabre act. Jesse Power, ex-vegetarian, was an art student when he conceived a new project. In May 2001, he enlisted two friends, Anthony Wennekers and Matthew Kaczorowski, to help him kill a cat. The intention was to make a video that protested the unthinking consumption of factory-slaughtered animals by killing, cooking and eating a cherished domestic pet - a feline posthumously named Kensington by animal-rights activists. Alerted by an outraged roommate, the police found the skinned and decapitated cat in the beer fridge. Kaczorowski fled and was apprehended in Vancouver two years later. All three eventually pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and mischief charges.Fair warning: this is not an easy film. Incorporating interviews with the cat killers, as well as journalists, artists, animal activists and concerned citizens, Casuistry also contains disturbing imagery - though, mercifully, not the notorious cat video. Filmmaker Zev Asher eschews rote advocacy; rather, his documentary lurks curiously in murky terrain, playing like the punk B-side of an Errol Morris film. He places us in a unique space, one which vacillates between serious reflection, horror, transgression, banality, righteousness, humour and - mostly - paradox.— Rough Age Projectiles

New York Times review

Leah Singer & Zev Asher

Montreal 1988

Leah Singer & Zev Asher
Montreal 1988

He shocked audiences around the world

THE GLOBE AND MAIL article about Zev Asher

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