Sunday, December 30, 2007

Indie Music 16.

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto. I try to list as many shows here as I know about, though with a preference for listing those happening at venues I especially like, or featuring performers I know something about. This list is thus not comprehensive. In addition, I rarely list shows that cost $10 or more, and never ones that require advance ticket purchases. If I'm missing something or you have any comments, please do let me know.

Here's what I've got so far. I'll update throughout the week as usual. Happy New Year! And remember that the TTC is free after midnight and until 4am on 1 January.

MONDAY *NYE (31 dec.)

There's all kinds of parties, of course. Here are some of the cheaper, indie-er options:

"Your Boy Brian plays hits. St Mandrew plays crunch" @ Wrongbar (1279 Queen St. W), $1 with this flyer:

The Phonemes, By Divine Right, Drumheller, Vigilante Justice, Laura Barrett, Gentleman Reg, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Forest City Lovers, Alex Lukashevsky, No Face No Problem, DJ Glissandro 70 (Sanro Perri and Craig Dunsmuir), DJ Steve Kado @ Tranzac, 8pm, $12. The best bang for your buck, for sure. Solid indie acts; good variety, and stuff happening in three different rooms. Yes! But go early because tix may sell out fast.

Barons and Lengthy
, Mariposa, Wax Mannequin, Great Lenin's Ghost, and The People of Canada hosting @ The Boat, $5. I think the crowd will be a bit young for me, but I do quite like the bands.

Shit la Merde NYE 2008 feat. Flagrant, Supercycle, DJs La Merde, Pammmm, and Dougie Boom @ Sneaky Dees, 9:30 pm, $20 adv at RT, SS, Sneaks. I hate advance tix, and I don't wanna pay $20. Sorry.

Don't be Shy & White Hot Nights @ Tiger Bar, indie/pop/punk/new wave/electro best of 2007. Doors 9 pm, $tba, but between $5 and $10. Hmm.

Doing it to Death NYE party, feat. live performances by DD/MM/YYYY and Nifty, and DJs Wes Allen and Daniel Vila playing "obscure funk jamz, dancehall, fuzzy guitars, and Ethio/Tuareg/Afro things" @ Back Alley (188 Augusta), 9:30pm, $5 before 11; $8 after. Not for me, but perhaps for you.

TUESDAY (1 jan)

I've got nothing.


Local Alternative feat. Wank Punter @ 11:10, Sound & Fury @ 10:20, and Playmaker @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $4.

The Songs of Bruce Cockburn @ 10pm and mmiicchhaaeell plays Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" @ 11pm. Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), pwyc.

THURSDAY (jan 3)

Local Alternative feat. Free Press @ 12am, In My Coma @ 11pm, Shadows In Red @ 10:20pm, and The Framework @ 9:30pm. The Horseshoe Tavern, $4.

Nude as the News @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

The Rural Alberta Advantage w/ LLIONS, The Golden Hands Before God, and Stanley @ The Drake Hotel, 8pm, $5. Oh yes. I will be there.

Tropics, Huckleberry Friends, and The Pink Noise @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Teeth of Lions, Miss Scarlett, and Atlas Eyes @ Clinton's Tavern, 8 pm, $5.

The Unionist Ministers w/ The Stavely Project, Buckets Of, and Strawberry Jam @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9pm.

Valhalla Records presents Blacks Ships, Barn Burner, Titan, and The Endless Blockade @ Teranga, 8pm, $8.

FRIDAY (jan 4)

Rough Skeletons
w/ The Ostrich Tuning and The Puff Forbes @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

The Disraelis, Radius & Helena, and more @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9pm, $5.

Metal Kites w/ Great Bloomers @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5. (Thx to Musicologist for the heads up.)

Alt Rock N Roll/Fred Robinson's BDay Party! feat. 63 Monroe @ 12:30am, Saigon Hookers @ 11:30pm, Alpha Project @ 10:30pm, and The Stormalongs @ 9:30pm. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6.


Rollin' N' Scratchin' w/ DJ Chili Palmer feat. The Shenanigans @ The Boat, $5.

SATURDAY (jan 5)

Grand River Orchestra and Andy Swan @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Capital Grass and the No Men w/ guests @ C'est What, 10 pm, $5.

Del Asher and Kathleen Turner Overdrive @ The Bovine, $5, 9pm.

Local Rock feat. Basia Lyjak @ 12am, Frankie Whyte & The Dead Idols @ 11pm, and Sin Dealer @ 10pm. Lee's Palace, $7.

Local Alternative feat. Brain Toy @ 12:15am, Brown Brigade (Ex Sum 41) @ 11:15pm, A Fourth World @ 10:15pm, and Cancel Winter @ 9:15pm. The Horseshoe Tavern, $8.


Goin' Steady @ The Boat, 10pm, $5. This may be where I'll be.

SUNDAY (jan 6)

Wavelength 394 feat. Quest for Fire @ 12am, Tropics @ 11pm, HolyBlueGhost @ 10pm, and + DJ Delroy Lindo. Sneaky Dee's, pwyc.

Gather Round presents The Weather Station and Hamilton Trading Co. @ The Boat, 9pm, $5. This might be a must-attend for me.


I've had a low-level headache for the past day and a half. It's no good. I can't shake it. I think I just need to go back to Toronto and start eating properly again. Too much fat and salt and sugar here. And the water is horrible and I don't want to drink it. (Yeesh, you'd think I was really hard up, eh?) I'm complaining, but really it's a bit difficult being home. The bed is hard, the house is cold, everything is dusty, and my family stresses me out. Everyone is mostly awesome, of course; still. It doesn't help matters that I still haven't marked those last 10 essays. That's probably what's keeping my headache from going away. I'm going to get on that right now. Promise.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Junk and old friends.

I have a lot of stuff. But it's mostly paper stuff. Tonight I decided---in lieu of grading, of course---that I would go through some of this stuff. And I got rid of a bunch of it. There's still lots more to go through. I am a bit of a pack rat, but a pack rat that purges every once in a while. Because I am also a purger by nature.

Doing this sorting and purging reminded me of some of the people I went to undergrad with. And so of course I googled the ones whose full names I remembered to see if I could find them. I then proceeded to send messages to two of them on facebook. I hope they don't think me a stalker! I know it's potentially wrong to do what I did, but heck, either this---very noninvasive---or simply forget about them. I liked them quite a lot back then and sounds like they're doing awesome things actually related to our education. Anyways, it was something I wanted to do, and now I've done it, and will have to put up with the consequences.

Speaking of old friends, I met up with a small handful of them on Thursday evening for dinner at our former haunt. We worked together at the Chapters bookstore in Gloucester (part of Ottawa). It was lovely to see them all, and get updated on their lives. I'm sure that we'll see each other again.

But while I've been keen and happy to get in contact with some of my old Ottawa friends, I am finding myself unmotivated to meet up with a couple of the people I've been better at keeping in touch with over the years. It's just such a pain being out in the countryside. I don't like driving---especially not when it's snowing or freezing raining---and I am not confident I could park my parents' car somewhere downtown. The thought of having to do that freaks me out a bit. So I may have to just blow my friends off, explaining to them my lameness, but inviting them to come see me in Toronto any time! Being out here is kinda like not being in Ottawa at all, at least for me. It makes me antisocial, pretty much the opposite of who I am when I'm at home in downtown Toronto.

Friday, December 28, 2007

An undeserved break.

I've been home (in Ottawa, that is) for a week now. And I've done a whole lot of pretty much nothing.

- Graded 6 papers, and will get on the 10 others soon.
- Took the dog for a walk once. I've gotta take her out today.
- Had dinner with some old friends.
- Went shopping with my sister downtown. Didn't buy anything, though.
- Watched Star Treks, Seinfeld, and Corner Gas with my brother.
- Watched "Downtown" with my parents, brother, and uncle. I recommend it. (It's been a Polk family favourite for 17 years or so.)
- Watched "Seeking Salvation" with my mother. I recommend it.
- Watched "Bollywood/Hollywood." I recommend it.
- Listened to some music.
- Talked to relatives and honourary relatives.
- Took some photos.
- Ate lots of fatty, sugary foods. And felt a bit ill once probably because of it.

I think that's the extent of my time here so far. It's been laid back, which for most people I would support, but since I don't exactly work super hard when I'm supposed to be working, I don't feel it's right that I should have had this break. I gotta work harder when I get back to TO. There's no excuse not to finish the half chapter that I've been working on since the fall.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Xmas is so boring.

I shouldn't have come home so early! There's nothing to do here! And it's not like I can work all the time---don't have a proper set-up here---or even veg properly---the TV is in the basement where it's cold. So I've been on the internet all day. Boring.

My skin is itchy. Itch.

It's windy and rainy here. The dog is nice.

I graded 2 papers left night. Which leaves me 14 more to do. Sigh.

Indie Music 15.

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto. I try to list as many shows here as I know about, though with a preference for listing those happening at venues I especially like, or featuring performers I know something about. This list is thus not comprehensive. In addition, I rarely list shows that cost $10 or more, and never ones that require advance ticket purchases. If I'm missing something or you have any comments, please do let me know.

An abbreviated list this week, seeing as it's xmas and all, and many of us aren't even in Toronto to take advantage of the goings-on. But if I was around, here are some things that I'd consider doing.

blog TO has a good rundown of the What's In The Box festival at the Drake Hotel, on between 26 and 30 December. Each night features different stuff; 5 bands for 5 bucks each night. If that doesn't appeal to you, here are more suggestions. But the Drake is where I would be on Thursday, and on Friday I'd be at Rancho Relaxo for sure.

WEDNESDAY (26 dec.)

Local Alternative featuring Hoolie Snatch @ 12am, Hawthorn @ 11:10pm, Craig Smith @ 10:20pm, and Unwritten Law @ 9:30pm. The Horseshoe Tavern, $4.

Spiral Beach, The Miles, Boxes & Bags @ Tattoo, $5. Nice!

THURSDAY (27 dec.)

* The Drake/No Shame offerings are great tonight: The Ghost is Dancing, Jetplanes of Abraham, Hexes and Ohs, an acoustic set by Five Blank Pages, Krief, Gentleman Reg (in the lounge), and DJs Pammm and Shit la Merde. Ouff!

Earlier that evening, a few doors, east you can take in Ronley Teper, joined by Christine Bougie and a couple other musicians @ The Gladstone Hotel, 6-9pm. This one's also recommended by blogTO.

Local Alternative featuring Silvercade @ 12:30am, Sycho Logic @ 11:30pm, Phillips Cable @ 10:30pm, and Three Star Seed @ 9:30pm. The Horseshoe Tavern, $4.

The MacHams @ 11:15pm, Tongue N' Groove @ 10:15pm, and guests @ 9:15pm. Lee's Palace, $5.

Camp Combo w/ The Calrizians, and others @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9pm, $6.

Audio Blood Magazine presents Now Yr Taken and Bass Lions @ Tiger Bar, 10pm, $5.

FRIDAY (28 dec.)

* Entire Cities, Barons and Lengthy, and Blue Sky Borderline @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Rock & Loud featuring Betrayer @ 12am, Purge @ 11pm, and Trigger The Tragedy @ 10pm. Lee's Palace, $6.

Thee Diet Pills, The Salarymen, and Clothes Make the Man @ Silver Dollar, 9:30pm, $5.

Gravitons (CD release for "Raw Reads") w/
Hainey/Crump and Michael Snow+ @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.


At Tiger Bar a whole bunch of DJs will be playing short (20 minute) sets. There's no cover for this. The facebook event is here.

Shake A Tail @ Sneaky Dee's, 10pm, $5.

SATURDAY (29 dec.)

Local Alternative featuring Dave Marshall Band @12:30am, The Schomberg Fair @11:30pm, The Salingers @10:30pm, and King Clancy @9:30pm. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6.

Dan Burke presents B. A. Johnson, Human Kebab, and Poisonous Glass, 9pm. B. A. Johnson is ridiculous. I have yet to experience him, but I probably should one day. When I'm up for it. Facebook here.

Nifty (CD release for "A Sparrow! A Sparrow!") w/ Expensive Shit, and guests @ Sneaky Dee's.

Local Indie Rock featuring The Harold Wartooth @ 12am, Black Hat Brigade @ 11pm and Apollos Down @ 10pm. Lee's Palace, $6.

SUNDAY (30 dec.)

The Narc Attack w/ Reuben, remainameless, and Hamilton Trading Co. @The Boat, $5.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

EC drops by for a visit.

Let's see. I can't remember when I last updated this site. I was grading---mostly not grading---and hanging out with my new roommate on Wednesday. And then on Thursday I spent most of the day cooking because I'm not sure why. JH and MB came over for dinner (homemade soup: good) and then we met up with EC, who was in town for a visit!

The four of us went to No Shame at Tiger Bar, where we had a good time, as usual. This series is on hold from now on, while the organizer takes a break, and will start up again somewhere else next year at some point. I, for one, am looking forward to it, but will miss Tiger Bar. But anyways, we got there just as Skeleton/Me was starting his set. He was great! Reminded me of Laura Barrett. I would definitely go see him---the singer from the Born Ruffians---again. Next up were some kids in high school (no joke), Ruby Coast, who put on a good show. I enjoyed their set. And then, Mariposa, a band I'd never seen before, but have heard good things about. Most people had left by the time they came on, which is too bad. They were good. I got myself their EPs at the end of the show. Mariposa is headlining the NYE's show at the Boat this year (along with one of my faves, Barons and Lengthy). It's one of the places I might hit up that evening. The last No Shame (for now) did not disappoint.

After the show, EC and I met up with CG2, and we were off to his favourite bar, Bistro 422. CG2 is an unstoppable party animal, so of course the night wasn't going to end any time soon. We dropped in at a house party in Kensington, and I was home by 4:20am or so. It was a good night, and great to hang out with EC again!

The next day I woke up late and frantically packed before boarding my train to Ottawa. This is where I am now. My parents have gone to pick up my sister. It's great to see everyone again---brother isn't around yet, though---especially (of course), my dog! She is as fat as ever, sigh, but still lovely. I'm looking forward to sampling our traditional home food---turkey with all the fixings, Lebanese take-out, and real Ottawa-style pizza. Yummm.

Wintersleep's "Welcome to the Night Sky" and Cuff the Duke's "Sidelines of the City" are damn good albums.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grading. Ugh.

The good news is that my new roommate moved in yesterday!
The bad news is that I haven't left the apartment since Monday night. I've gotta go run errands this afternoon, though.
And I'm ever so slowly making my way through the essays I have to grade. Pain.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm going to grade now. (Promise.)

Still haven't managed to do any important work today. I got up late, took a nap, and then it was nearing time for dinner. I went with EH and MB to this fantastic little Lebanese place on Yonge just north of Davisville. Tabule. Very yummy. And it ended up being inexpensive. We ate and drank (non alcoholic, thank you) and talked for hours, and it was great fun. I think that the waitress must have missed something on the bill, but we didn't really think about it until we were long gone. Ah well. I recommend going there. I'm still looking forward to Lebanese food in Ottawa, though. That, and pizza. Toronto just doesn't have good pizza. At least not in the neighbourhoods I haunt.

Ok, enough about food. (Although I love food.) I have about 30 essays to grade before I leave town. I best be getting to those.

Snow can't keep us inside.

There was a huge amount of snow on the ground (for Toronto) today. My dad says out where he is in Ottawa, they had 40cm, crazy drifts everywhere, and the power was out for 5 hours. Brrr! It wasn't like that here in the big city, but there was still enough snow to wreak all sorts of havoc. Shows were cancelled---don't want bands getting into accidents while driving in from out of town---and there sure wasn't a lot of traffic on Dupont or Bloor.

Sunday evening JH came over and we walked---trudged, really---to the grocery store so we could feed ourselves. It was nice to have company and an excuse to have a proper dinner! Complete with wine, too. The walk to Dominion took a long time, and the walk back even longer, thanks to the wind and our bangs of goodies. But it was good exercise and we built up a huge appetite for lasagna (yes, we cheated and bought something frozen) and garlic bread (homemade!). Yummy. Good times. I hadn't seen JH in a few weeks because she's been so bogged down with school and other friends. :-)

Oh, and this totally strange thing happened earlier in the day. I left the house to go buy wine at the LCBO. As I was walking down the steps of the house, I saw my landlady. I said hello, of course. She said something in Korean then . . . spat twice near where I was standing. Weird! I have no idea what that was about. Maybe she just needed to spit? But it was bizarre. Seriously, though, I am a fantastic tenant, so if she has a problem with me, she's crazy. I guess I should be thankful that she didn't spit at me??

The weekly show listings are now posted here.

"I LOVE Tin Bangs!"

So said EH. I agree, and so do the 4 people who came out on our urging to Lee's Palace Saturday night. I often go out alone, so that I was with 5 other people I know from school---and in the middle of a snow storm---is impressive. It's not me: it's Tin Bangs. The band was just great last night, as usual. They released their first LP, "Seeya in the Springtime," and were celebrating the release of their first music video, for the song "The Skinny."

EH and I arrived early, in time to catch the opening acts, playing to a near-empty house in the beginning. I saw a guy I recognized near the stage, and turns out it was Quadb (AKA Bob) from this blog. We came to realize as we talked throughout the night that we'd been at the same three shows this past week: Basia Bulat on Wednesday (he was standing right behind me talking pics); TWM showcase on Thursday (he spent a large part of the evening right beside me); and Saturday night. I finally met Frank from chromewaves on Thursday, so it's been a week of meeting music bloggers. A few weeks ago it was all photographers (him and him), and now it's (photo)bloggers. What's next?

There was a huge dump of snow this weekend, and the weather messed with the attendance at Lee's. But there was still a decent-sized crowd by the time Tin Bangs started playing. And . . . what can I say, but "wow." Seriously. The guys are just really good at what they do, and everyone around me was having a great time. I made a point of watching Robbie, which was harder to do than last time. He was in a bit of a shadow (note to Lee's: more lights on the drummer, please!) and because of the stage height and my closeness to it, I had to make a point to watch him. If no one else was worth looking at, I'd be happy. But the other guys stand out too. (All my female friends think you're cute, Phil. All the girls in the crowd are in love with Ben, I'm sure.) Ok, ok, I'm starting to sound creepy. Really, though, it was a great set in all kinds of ways. "Santa" playing the keys and dancing on stage (itself decked out in colourful fake fir trees) was appropriately xmass-y; the man with the light-up leather jacket ("Flyerman")* was perhaps appropriately drunk-old-guy-at-a-show-y. Some "elves" and audience members were summoned to dance on stage, and though I wasn't convinced this would work, the stunt actually made things more fun, if that's possible. Fun! Until next time. No doubt EH and MB will be all over your Mod Club show, and it shouldn't be hard to convince others to come out with us, too.

I liked the two openers, Songs from a Room, and The i Spies. I'd been wanting to see them each for a while. EH and I enjoyed them both. I think they'd go over well in more crowded, smaller venues. The last band to play, These Electric Lives, was one I was also looking forward to. But after the high that was Tin Bangs, I wasn't really in the mood for what they do. They do it well---attractive bunch with great vocals, etc.---but I got kinda bored. Sorry, guys. (My friend SH thought you were great and wants to pick up your album, though.) I'd be up for giving the group another chance.

In case you're wondering, my current list of bands not to miss includes (not necessarily in order) Woodhands, Tin Bangs, Barons and Lengthy, The Rural Alberta Advantage, We're Scared, Five Blank Pages, Oh No Forest Fires, The Gravity Wave, and The Vulcan Dub Squad. I'm always looking to add more bands to my favourites . . . .

* Thanks to Quadb for the reference! See his review of the show here.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Some work and more partying.

But this time I partied with historians!! I love them. It was loads of fun. (I'm still tipsy.) It was great to see everyone, and to get a wee bit dressed up, and to drink and be merry and etc. EH and I attempted to recruit people for the show at Lee's Palace Saturday night, hopefully successfully. I plan on getting some more work on my chapter done before then. We'll see. Ok, I gotta go drink more water.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Good shows all 'round.

I've been preoccupied all week with having to prepare a comment on a dissertation chapter (no, not my own) for a reading group meeting at school. It wasn't a big deal, but it kinda was, if you know what I mean. This was the first time I did anything like that, and I wanted to do a decent job. The chapter was on a topic I really didn't know anything about, though it was of general interest to me. Reading the paper and coming up with reactions to it took me a long time, with lots of procrastination and time off for other things in between. (See my previous few blog entries if you want more details.)

The reading group meeting happened Thursday afternoon, and the whole thing seemed to go really well. Yay! I think my comments were good, and the discussion afterward was quite interesting and hopefully of some use to the presenter. Afterward, a bunch of us went for dinner and beer to the Pour House. We had a good time, but had to suffer with that same surly waiter who inevitably serves us when we go there. He is such a drag. And we're so friendly and nice, it makes no sense to me. I don't really ever want to go there again, I dislike him so much. Ugh. But he wasn't able to ruin the event.

Once dinner was done I came home for a bit, then I was off again. This time to Rancho Relaxo for TWM 7. No Shame ended up being cancelled at the last minute, so I didn't have to show-hop like I'd planned. On the TWM bill was The Craft Economy, Oh No Forest Fires, and Ottawa-based Amos the Transparent. And everyone was great! They were all a little different from each other, but as a whole I think it was a fantastic lineup of indie pop rock (broadly defined). I'd recommend seeing all these bands to anyone who was interested in the genre. Rancho is a good venue; Dan is a good promoter. And a bunch of people I know were there, so it was good times all around.

The Craft Economy put on a fun, energetic show. These guys (and gals) are great on stage, and offer up infectious indie pop fare. It's a little bit edgy and appropriately dance-y, with good sound and excellent vocals. I didn't have any cash on me, so couldn't buy myself a copy of their EP. I'll just have to download their tunes and hope to see them again to give them my $5. Local newcomers and one of my "bands to see" ONFF was also super fantastic tonight. I'd seen a couple of their first shows ever, and liked them. This time they totally won me over, and I will make a point of seeing them lots more times if I can. They've added a guitarist since I saw them last, and it works. Everyone in the group is individually impressive, and they've come together nicely. Or so it seems to me. I loved all of it, and the "Footloose" cover. Nice. (Last time I heard that was . . . well, at your house, Rajiv!) I was rocking out along with them at the front, of course. (And thank you, Frank, for giving me ear plugs. I left my earloves at home!)

Last up were the out of towners. Lots of people had left my the time they started playing---it was after midnight, after all---and I always find this to be a real shame. The culture is to play late shows, I know, and I get that, but it means some people miss out because they have to go home to bed so they can wake up and go to work in a few hours. This, however, does not apply to me. I'd heard good things about Amos the Transparent, and listened to their MySpace offerings, but otherwise didn't know much about them. They play lighter indie fare, and tonight they did so very well. The band seemed to think things weren't going so great---maybe they were out of sorts after the long, snowy drive, and because they were performing as a quartet instead of as a 7-piece---but I thought they were (yes, you guessed it) fantastic. I like my performers to be nice, engaging, friendly, fun people, and these guys were. They also played some great tunes with original musical choices. I enjoyed myself immensely.

If you don't believe me, check out other reviews (and pictures) of the show here and here. It was an excellent evening.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Basia Bulat, and I go shopping.

I've recently returned from seeing Basia Bulat (pronounced "Basha") and her band perform a free show at Criminal Records. It was a CBC Radio 3 session recording. And it was fantastic! What a voice that woman has. And super talented musicians to help her out, too. Great stuff. I am now a fan. I went out of curiosity and because I was in the area and didn't feel like going home and working. I'm really glad I stuck around.

The whole event was just so lovely. Basia seemed to have a real rapport with her band, looking around at them while she played, and introducing the member to the audience as "my friends." Four of the six performers were decked out in Christmas-y sweaters, a nice touch which made the show all the warmer. When I left the store, walking by and thanking Basia, she in turned thanked me for coming, and said "we'll see you next time." Indeed. Indie musicians---the ones I go see---are always glad when people come out. It's nice to know that this up-and-comer is still a real person like the rest of us. But then, why wouldn't she be? I guess my point is that everyone involved was awesome, in all kinds of ways. Thanks for the show.

Today was a good day, all round. I had an appointment for something medical early in the afternoon---as usual, it took forever. Just so much waiting around. But I read/worked to pass the time. Then I walked down to Queen West, stopping for a bite to eat along the way. I wanted to check out some vintage shops, but I ended up also shopping in more expensive stores. At the end of the outing, I had acquired a super cute new sweater from Preloved and a dress from Fraiche. My wallet wasn't happy with me, but the pieces are great. I especially am completely in love with the sweater. And that whole store. There's great stuff in there if you can afford to splurge a bit. (Or a lot.) There having sales this month and into next, so definitely check it out.

Eventually I made my way to the record store. I bought the new Cuff The Duke album . . . and discovered that I was buying it from Wayne Petti, the band's lead singer! An unexpected bonus. I made him sign the poster that came free with the CD. A little later I went back and got the Foxfire Forest album---I'd been wanting it for a while now. And then after Basia and co. were done, I bought her "Oh, My Darling." It couldn't be helped. She's just too cute.

Now I really do need to get some work done. But I'm in a mood to. Tomorrow, I'm commenting on a paper, and then off to another show (or two). Yipee!


I was ridiculously unproductive on Tuesday. Ugh. I just couldn't get in the mood for very much serious work. I've been putting off getting back to writing my chapter---it's so daunting. But it's mostly a mental game. I printed off more than a hundred pages of notes . . . now I just need to turn them into a chapter. Today I couldn't handle the task.

I'm also itching to get out and do something. Tomorrow I will. I used to be able to stay home all day. Now I think I need to get out every day or else go a bit crazy. Crazy is no good. Perhaps it's partly to do with the fact that I'm home alone.

But I am going to go work for a bit more now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Indie Music 14.

There's too much snow on the ground for me to think much about my upcoming show outings. But here goes anyways. I'll be out on Thursday at Tiger Bar, but that might be my last outing until the new year. I've got to hit up my hometown for a bit of family time. But I'll let you know when I'm ready to party it up indie-style once again.

I'm missing a few things; I'm tired. I'll update later in the week.

MONDAY (17 dec)

Ian Philip, Elana McMurtry w/ James Robertson, and Sean Kreamer @ Mitzi's Sister.

Broken Bricks and The Thundermonks @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm

The Three Peters @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 8pm.

TUESDAY (18 dec)

The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite featuring Oliver Black @11:30, The Brown Hornets @ 10:30, and The Reason @ 9:30pm. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Brock Zeman and Josh Cockrill @ Mitzi's Sister.

Aimee Dawn Robinson, Castlemusic, and Anna Linda Siddall @ Tranzac, 10pm, pwyc.

Local Rock featuring Playdeaf @ 10:45pm, Strawman @ 9:45pm, and Orange Fuzz @ 8:45pm. Lee's Palace, $5.

The Peter Bloom Band @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 8:30pm.

LYE w/ Inner City Surfers and Purr @ Tattoo Rock Parlour (567 Queen St. W.), 9:30pm, $7.

3rd Annual Tribute to The Jesus and Mary Chain w/ All-Star cast featuring Party Wallet (huh?), The Disraelis, Daggers, We Love, Rosebud, Hollowphonic, Fjord Battleship, Psychocandy, The Invasions, DJ Nico, and The Two Spoiled Brits (from Primal Scream) @ Silver Dollar, 9pm.

WEDNESDAY (dec 19)

* Wombat Wednesdays presented by Colin Puffer featuring The Silt, Christine Bougie Band, and N @ The Tranzac (Main Hall), 8pm. See more about Christine Bougie here.

World 9, Tripping Hazard, The Lovely Killbots (debut) @ The Boat, 9pm, free. Go help celebrate Jon's birthday. That would be Jon from Fire Hydrant. I might go if I'm in grading agony and I can't take it anymore.

Kevin Scott, Ethel and the Mermen, and The Dubterraneans @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm.

Canadian Electronic Ensemble w/ John Kameel Farah @ The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc. This could be cool.

Epigram w/ Now Yr Taken and Proeliis Fere @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm.

Holiday Rock Party featuring Danielle Duval (Montreal), Public, and Therefore Peter-John @ The Rivoli, 8:30pm, $7. I think there's another band playing too.

THURSDAY (20 dec)

Slim pickings in general this week, but Thursday delivers as usual. I'm going to Tiger Bar. Other good bets include El Mocambo and Supermarket. Or the Savannah Room for LLIONS.

Slutarted! @ Mitzi's Sister.

Christmas Charity Food Drive featuring On the Verge, Tripping Hazard, and guests @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, free.

Pitter Patter Nights presents Silent Seymour w/ Ten Kens @ The Boat, 9pm, $5. I really didn't get Ten Kens when I saw them a while back, but my friend Bob dug them. You might, too.

LLIONS, Ty Pridham, and more @ The Savannah Room, 9pm, $5. This is a fundraiser for the Hospital for Sick Children. The venue is asking for donations of new, unwrapped children's toys.

* No Shame presents Mariposa w/ Skeleton/Me and Ruby Coast @ The Tiger Bar, 9pm, $5. This is the last No Shame show for the foreseeable future. So come out. Lauren will move to another venue at some point in the new year. This being the case, and with Easy Tiger done too, I may never hit up Tiger Bar again . . . sad.

Rob Giles @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm.

The Darcys w/ Zesty @ The Supermarket, 10 pm, $5. Anni Spadafora describes Zesty as "one half former Cuff the Duke guitarist Jeff Peers and one half Free Times Cafe Open Stage songstress Sarah Gates." I'll take her word for it.

* Familiar Music Holiday Party featuring Deromantic, Megan Hamilton & The Volunteer Canola, Shelby Lamb, and Products of Better Living @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 8:30pm, $8. This is a SickKids Music Therapy Program benefit show, and it sounds great! If I didn't love No Shame I'd want to check this out.

"The Legendary Annual St. Nick Flanagan Grinchmas Party and Live Spiritual Gathering . . . which, in an effort gather many of us together to celebrate the season, more bands take the stage and play shorter sets for the evening." Bands include Devil Eyes (Montreal), Ancestors, Bludwash (feat. members of controller.controller and Track Dirtyaz), Slim Twig (with his Huckleberry Friend), The Action Mob, Burning, The Monitors, Dan Burke and the No No Zero Orchestra, 10000 Watt Head, and Pavlov's Dogs Orchestra @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5.

High Colour, Man Made Hill, Doc Dunn, Transcendental Rodeo, DJ Blasphemous Mockery, and more TBA @ The Tranzac (Tiki Room), 7pm.


Beatz and Pieces featuring OPOPO, Atherton, Mz. Revolution, Derek W. vs. Phil Atio, and Bowzer @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 9pm, $5 w/ canned food donation.

Dirty Disco presents DJs Vitaminsforyou, Dougie Boom, Egyptrixx, and Monkestra @ The Social, $5. "Disco from 1970s to Present."

FRIDAY (21 dec)

The Bougie Elvis Christmas @ Mitzi's Sister.

Addictive Remedy, By-Kneel, Symbionic, Necrodios, and RPC @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm.

Soup Kitchen Line Up w/ One Legged Step Child @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Mindbender w/ Wasun, I James Jones, and Addi Stewart @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm. Hip hop xmas party at the Cameron House, eh? That's different.

Local Indie Rock featuring The Cansecos @ 12am, The City States @ 11pm, and The Good Soldiers @ 10pm. Lee's Palace, $8. Proceeds go to Oxfam Canada.


Fuck Faces Xmas Party @ Sneaky Dee's. A popular indie dance night; I've never been.

DMoney presents DJ Fase @ The Drake Underground, 8pm, $5. "DJ Fase brings you the best in old school hip hop, funk and soul."

SATURDAY (22 dec)

The Scenic Caves, County Works Dept., and Steve York @ Mitzi's Sister.

* Cover for Cans featuring The Ghost Is Dancing (members of), The Blankket, Lipstick Machine, The G-Men, The Cutting Room Floor, The Harold Wartooth, Hyena Dog Robbery, Proof Of Ghosts, New Toy Dragons, Thee Infinint Godzillas, and Bad Robot(s), Evil Doer @ Sneaky Dee's, 7pm, $5 or 3 canned food items. Proceeds go to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Parkdale. "See these awesome bands play their 3 favourite covers!" The last all-cover night I went to at Sneaks was just great. (Really: It was fantastic.)

Wayside Ramblers, Clayton Park, and The Hello Amsterdams @ Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5 w/ canned food donation ($7 without).

Quest for Fire w/ Metz @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

TBA @ 12am, MENEW @ 11pm, and The Black Rainbows @ 10pm. Lee's Palace, $6.

People Still Gots to Eat @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm.


* Goin' Steady @ The Gladstone Ballroom, $5. I think you have to e-mail someone to get yourself on the $5 cover all night list. Ask me for details if you're interesting. If you're looking for something fun and cool to do, do this. Or you can get in the Drake Hotel (just down the street) for $5, a non perishable food item, or an article of clothing. "Join the Drake resident DJs for a massive all-access house party for Charity. All levels! All night long!"

SUNDAY (23 dec)

LAUGHstock presents: Revolution Love, Villians, Gunnar Rapido, CircuitBreaker, PSBWHTD, and Dreamboat @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, $5.

A day off work.

Stayed home and worked on Sunday. Good on me. Was quite productive despite getting up late. And even make dinner for myself. (Not as successful as the Thai curry from last week, but still edible.)

Monday was a different story. I woke up at the ungodly hour of 10:20am and went to dim sum with a new friend. SO GOOD. I love King's Noodle (Spadina, just north of Dundas, on the west side). It's amazingly good. Savory, deep friend . . . mmm. Afterward we went vintage shopping in Kensington Market. RN is a good guy to go with, I discovered. The man knows nearly EVERYONE in the market. It was much fun, and $100 later I had a new 60s coat and dress. We got in some grocery shopping too.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was when RN told me about the "cute cheese boys" who work at Magic Cheese, one of the cheese shops in the market. We went in, and sure enough: the guys working there were totally cute! Of course, I then proceeded to tell them what RN had said, and that I thought he was right. It got a bit of a smile out of the two men behind the counter. But I think it mostly just embarrassed all of them, especially RN. lol.

By 11:30 I was back downtown, this time at the Cloak & Dagger, a great little bar on College near Bathurst---so, right in the epicentre of my social life. A friend from Massey was having a get-together with his friends before taking off for the US and Argentina for many months. I had a good time, of course.

I'm now chatting with FN on MSN. (Live, from Berlin.) So I must get do that . . . .

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A different kind of show.

The house party on Friday night turned into quite the event. EH and I were there LATE and after a trip to Mel's in the wee hours I was home by 5:30am. Unlike Thursday, this time we drank. And drank some more. And danced. I wore an "outfit" and had a good time.

Saturday was semi productive. I finished the indie list (see below), did more conference errands, and spent a few hours taking useful notes for my dissertation. I'm going through some of the material I collected back in April in New York. Good stuff.

In the evening I went to Hart House for EW's last hurrah dance performance. It was great!! Whatever will Toronto be like without you? Check out what the heck I'm talking about here. I really loved the whole thing. Afterwards the historians milled about and then MB, VC, and I went for a late dinner/snack on Bloor. And I was home by 12:30, so a relatively early night for me.

And now it's 5:20am and I'm fading. I should sleep so I can get up and be productive on Sunday.

Indie Music 13.

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto. I try to list as many shows here as I know about, though with a preference for listing those happening at venues I especially like, or featuring performers I know something about. This list is thus not comprehensive. In addition, I rarely list shows that cost $10 or more, and never ones that require advance ticket purchases. If I'm missing something or you have any comments, please do let me know.

Are you wondering where I get my listings from? I take most of them from venue sites, but I also check out the listings at Zoilus and Stillepost. The latter is necessary because lots of show aren't listed, or aren't listed fully. And then there's what comes up on Facebook. There's lots of variety this week, and lots of quality shows on offer for just a few bucks (and occasionally a can of food).

I'll be out on Thursday and Saturday. Let me know if you'd like to join me for anything. I urge you to check other listings, though, because there are some fantastic shows on this week if you're willing to pay more than $10. Joel Plaskett at The Horseshoe Tavern, for example . . . .

MONDAY (10 dec)

Krista L. L. Muir @ The Dakota Tavern, 8pm (early show), $5 (or $7?).

Spooky Ruben w/ Mantler and Acousteaux @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, $5.

Nathan Gray @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm.

TUESDAY (11 dec)

* Evalyn Parry @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc. This is recommended by Toronto performing arts guru Steve Fisher. The man is super in-the-know about such things, and has good taste in music.

Hells Belles presents The Groopies and The Famous Monsters @ The Bovine Sex Club, 9pm, $5.

LAUGHstock presents Man with Target, Of The Epic, Kabula Chair, and The Metacomets (debut show) @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, $5. Contrary to what you might think, LAUGHstock is not a comedy show, but a series of harder rock shows.

WEDNESDAY (12 dec)

Basia Bulat (CBC Radio 3 recording) @ Criminal Records (493 Queen St. W.), 7pm, free. Nice!

The Chris Bryant Blues Band and Gangrene and Blue @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm.

* Pitter Patter Nights presents LLIONS, The Leonids, Zesty Caucasians, and The Cheap Speakers @ The Boat, 9pm, $5. I love those LLIONS. The Cheap Speakers should be good too, if who's in the band is any indication.

Lights and We Are The Take @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5.

Red Trakpants, Women, and Transcendental Rodeo @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

THURSDAY (13 dec)

What's not good tonight? Too many options. I will be at the Rancho, and might show-hop over to Tiger Bar. I've only stared two shows, but I'd be happy to be at pretty much any show listed here.

The Done Me Wrongs @ The Dakota Tavern, 10:30pm, free.

* No Shame presents Gentleman Reg, Michael Leviton (Brooklyn, NY), and Scary Mansion (Brooklyn, NY) @ The Tiger Bar, 9pm, $5. Good stuff, as expected.

* Two Way Monologues 7 presents Amos The Transparent (Ottawa), Oh No Forest Fires, and The Craft Economy @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7 (or $ 5 with canned good). I'm looking forward to this one. I missed The Craft Economy when they played No Shame last month, and it's been too long since I've seen ONFF.

World AIDS Day benefit concert featuring The Hidden Cameras w/ Sister Suvi and Allie Hughes @ The Great Hall, Hart House. All proceeds to The Toronto People with AIDS Foundation and Avert International. Advance tickets ($5 students/$10 general public) are available at UTSU. Tickets at the door are $10 for students, and $15 for everyone else.

Ninja High School (final show), Permanent Stains (Ottawa), and Women Are Good @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $6.

Hip-Hop Karaoke @ The Boat, 9pm, $5. Promises to be ridiculous amounts of fun.

Black Collar Thursdays presents DJ Stu Dead of Playdead, Jar, Kansas City Shuffle, and Seconds To Go @ The Bovine Sex Club, 9pm, $5.

Dave Picco, Loitering Heroes, Ruby Coast, The Books Elusive, and The Feeling United @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm. Great lineup!

FRIDAY (14 dec)

Again, lots of potentially good shows, catering to a variety of indie tastes.

Cedar (CD release) w/ The Postage Stamps and Lipstick Machine @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5 (or $10 w/ CD). Good, good, and good.

The Calrizians Christmas show @ The Dakota Tavern.

Constant Crush and Damzels present DJ sets in the front room by Nikki Awesome and Orly, and DJ sets by the Darth Virgo AL911 and Patrick Pentland (from Sloan) in the back lounge, with live performances by The Outfit and Satan's Candy @ The Bovine Sex Club, 9pm, $5. This seems like an odd mix of venue and performers, but that just makes it all the better.

* Germans, The Uncut, Love Kills, Lunchmeat, and Hollophonic @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm. Damn. Recommended if you're into harder pop rock (but not too hard).

Hits and Misses Records Christmas Party presents The King Khan & BBQ Show, Brutal Knights, The Vapids, and Ultra Violence Ray @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10. Not necessarily my scene; maybe yours, though.

* Easy Tiger (final show!) presents Born Ruffians @ Tiger Bar, 10pm, $5. If I wasn't tied up drinking with historians---wine and cheese, yay!---I'd be here for sure. At least for the band---they start playing just after 11pm. The post-band dance party isn't for me, but some of my friends love it. You might too.


Bang The Party @ The Boat, 10pm, $5.

SATURDAY (15 dec)

Another excellent lineup of inexpensive shows. If you're want something upbeat, come with me to Lee's Palace or head over with your friends to The Rivoli. For slightly calmer fare Tranzac has a couple great shows on. Phew!

Fucked Up xmas show (benefit for the Toronto Food Bank and George Herman House). Go at 3pm to get your picture taken with "Santa," and stay for the 5pm show w/ guests tba @ Sonic
Boom, free w/ donation.

Tyvek, Quest for Fire, and surprise guests @ Adrift Skateshop, 7pm, $5.

The Best of Guelph! show has been cancelled.

The Golden Dogs, In-Flight Safety @ Nathan Phillips Square, 7 pm, free.

* Key Witness (CD release) w/ Still Life Still and Andy Swan (Ottawa) @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8pm, $5. Sounds good to me. But I'll be rocking out at Lee's instead.

** Electro Indie Rock Holiday Food Drive featuring These Electric Lives @ 12:30, Tin Bangs (EP release) @ 11:30, The i Spies @ 10:30, and Songs From A Room @ 9:30. Lee's Palace, $8 (or $6 w/ canned food donation). I will be there!! I believe Tin Bangs is also releasing a video that night. (You can see it here.) Ouff, this is gonna be some party.

* My Shaky Jane (formerly Oh! The Pretty Things) w/ Barons and Lengthy and Five Hot Bitches @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5. Barons and Lengthy are one of my favourites. Excellent indie pop fare.

Super Friends Super Party (benefit for the United Way) presents Forest City Lovers, Slutty Slutty Bang Bang, Friendliness And The Small Axe, Backwoods Justice, Words Around the Waist, The Thing Is, and slowly, slowly @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc.

Sin Dealer @ The Bovine Sex Club, 9pm, $5.

* The Weather Station and Sheesham And Lotus @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc ($5 suggested). If you're into more folky fare, I recommend this for sure. Plus, everyone in The Weather Station is excellent.

The DoneFors w/ Mississippi Kings @ C'est What, 10pm, $7.

Clothes Make The Man w/ Silent Seymour and Charlemagne @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $8.

Monkey Business Christmas show (Chuck Berry tribute) @ The Dakota Tavern.

NUANCE showcase: A Live Progressive/Art Rock Festivity featuring Half Past Four (9pm), Wilton Said... (10:15pm), and greedyfeedr (11:30pm) @ The Smiling Buddha, 8:15pm, $8. "A portion of the door sales will be going towards a children's charity called Coalition for Music Education in Canada."


Back To The Future: Part 3 @ The Boat, 10pm, $5. "Music from the 1950s until the stroke of midnight, then the 1980s take over."

Loving In The Name Of @ Tiger Bar, 10pm, $5. This is the second installment. "It is a new DJ night . . . that focuses on pure hits. There is just the ultimate musical hits being played non stop." I can neither confirm nor deny this.

SUNDAY (16 dec)

Wavelength 393 featuring Loitering Heroes, Istvan Kantor and the Red Armband, Mandeverest, and DJ Major Melle @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc. This sounds interesting, to say the least.

Fox Jaws, Cain and Abel, and The Darcys @ The Tiger Bar, 9pm, $5. Nice!

The Noble Son w/ Capital Grass And The No Men @ The Savannah Room (294 College St.), 9 pm, $6.

Gather Round featuring Hamilton Trading Co. and dUTERVIL @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Two Scoops @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, $5.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Meeting new people.

House parties really can be the best things ever. And even when they aren't, they are good for so many reasons. Last night I went with historians EH and MB to hang out with some indie people we know and lots of new people we didn't. And we had a good time. I finally met CG2's new g/f. (Yes!)

It's excellent to be at a party where there are almost no grad students in attendance. I love school but---and I'm sure I've said this many times before---it's important to get away from it once in a while. School is like my workplace, with all the attendant "boss" and "co-worker" and "promotion" issues, you know? School is also an important part of my personal life, since I am very much devoted to my (dead) guys and eventually telling their story (in my dissertation). Hence it being healthy to take myself away from it on a regular basis. I think it will deter burnout, which is not uncommon in my line of work . . . .

Ok, but I do need to work now. Tonight, maybe another house party with some indie friends!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's already Thursday.

Holy geez, and I have done so little work this week.

Errands continue to take up much time. I haven't been to a show since Saturday, so that's not what's keeping me away from dissertating. But other commitments and necessities of life get in the way. Also, I went out last night for many hours of socializing. But it was good to hang out with new people. My night went something like this: Sushi on Bloor, Ronnie's, The Embassy, The Cloak & Dagger, and home by 1am. There are important parties tonight, but I may only show up at one so I can get home early(ish) to work.

I'm going to go take more notes now. It's excruciatingly boring. But it must be done before I can get back to my chapter.

I wore purple leggings today. I'm not convinced about them.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Today I made red Thai curry.

All by myself! This is an FN specialty, but there were veggies in the fridge that needed to be eaten, and I was hungry after too many hours at school. So I did it, and it turned out just fine. Some of the veggies were overcooked, but it was otherwise totally edible. I ate it by myself, and now I have leftovers.

I feeling a bit down. But I'll get over it. Fun things are on the agenda tomorrow night!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Indie Music 12.

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto. I try to list as many shows here as I know about, though with a preference for listing those happening at venues I especially like, or featuring performers I know something about. This list is thus not comprehensive. In addition, I rarely list shows that cost $10 or more, and never ones that require advance ticket purchases. If I'm missing something or you have any comments, please do let me know.

For this week's edition, I've included shows at The Smiling Buddha, a smallish bar on College, just west of Dovercourt. If you're in the area and up for catching some Toronto acts---at various stages of their careers---then I recommend checking this place out. The Horseshoe Tavern's series of celebratory concerts (for its 60th birthday) kicks off on Tuesday with a free show. And on Wednesday party it up with Henri Fabergé and The Adorables at The Embassy, the best bar in Kensington Market. The next seven days also feature a handful of CD releases, a two-night fundraiser for Punchclock Studios, a craft show with musical guests, and a couple solid lineups at my favourite venue, Tiger Bar.

MONDAY (3 dec)

Shoeless Monday featuring Urban Monks @ 11:30, Purge @ 10:30, and guests @ 9:30, The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Kate Rogers Band w/ Casey Mecija (of Ohbijou) @ Supermarket.

TUESDAY (4 dec)

Slim Twig (EP release) w/ Huckleberry Friends, Conspiracy Of Familiar Objects, and projections by Exploding Motorcar Collective @ The Tiger Bar, 9pm, $5.

The Horseshoe Tavern's 60th birthday concert celebration starts off with a special edition of The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite. Featuring Lowest of the Low @ 11:10, My Shaky Jane @ 10:20, and Songs From A Room @ 9:30, free. Sounds like a good show!

Great Aunt Ida (Vancouver) and Mantler @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc ($5 suggested).


* Henri Fabergé and The Adorables @ The Embassy, 8pm, free. Get there early because the bar is enforcing it's 60 person capacity. "Henri Faberge and The Adorables are bringing their residency at the Embassy to a close, for now. What with the amazing growth of acts like Laura Barrett and Woodhands taking off, my own side projects and an intensive writing period for the band, the Embassy shows have been here and there during 2007. So on December 5th, we are trading drums for decks and rocking the party tunes all night. Hot slut DJ Sheri Barclay (NYC/Edmonton) is promising some funky shit, we’re working on some video projections and we’re gonna sweat those windows up like it’s mid-July."

Frank Horvat, Ayton & Atherton, and Before The Flood @ Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, pwyc.

Pitter Patter Nights presents The Liras, The Knaves, Invasions, Picturesound, @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Lights and We Are The Take @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5.

THURSDAY (6 dec)

There is, as usual, too much to do on Thursday night:

Ontario Power Generation, Russell Leon Band, and Canadian Honky @ Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, pwyc.

* No Shame featuring Five Blank Pages, The Audiovisuals, and Racoon Wedding @ The Tiger Bar, 9pm, $5. FBPs are one of me faves. Go to this.

Andy Swan (CD release) @ The Dakota Tavern, 8:30pm, $tba.

Good Lovelies (1 year anniversary show) w/ Andy Sheppard and The Good Lovelies' Merry Men's Chorus @ Supermarket, 8pm, $10 (or $8 w/ canned good donation).

Punchclock Showcase featuring Final Fantasy, $100, Castlemusic, The Youngest, DJ Guvnor General @ Keep Six Gallery (938 Bathurst), music starts at 9:30pm, $5-$10. Or go early (from 6pm) to see the art. This event---and the one on Friday evening---is a fundraiser for Punchclock Print Studio.

Steamboat w/ Heidi Hazelton, Sandro Perri @ Tranzac, pwyc.

Local Rock featuring Dead But Dreaming @ 11:15, Flip Cynical @ 10:15, and Lost Innocence @ 9:15, Lee's Palace, $5.

Blood Ceremony (CD release) w/ Mäniac, Permafrown, and Old Witch @ The Boat, $5.

FRIDAY (7 dec)

All these shows should be good. Not everything is my style, but there's something for everyone on Friday night:

Jose Gonzalez (in-store performance) @ Sonic Boom, 6:30 pm, free.

Wild Honey presents Isle of Thieves, Purple Hill, and Terror Lake @ Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, pwyc.

* Easy Tiger presents Great Bloomers, Songs From A Room @ The Tiger Bar, 10pm, $5. I'll probably be here if I'm anywhere.

Revival Dear, The Unionist Ministers @ The Dakota Tavern, 9 pm, $5.

SLAVE to the SQUAREwave @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5. "Rob & Doug will be spinning your favourite tunes from the 80’s & 90’s before and after the show."

Modernboys Moderngirls w/ Mariposa, and The Speaking Tongues @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9:30pm, $6.

Statues, Horses, Orphan Choir, You're My Home @ Adrift Skateshop, 7pm, $7.

The Two-Minute Miracles w/ Proof of Ghosts, and Luckyfool @ The Silver Dollar Room, $7.

Indica Records presents Montreal prog punk featuring GrimSkunk @ 12:00, Guests @ 11:00, and Alpha Galates @ 10:00, Lee's Palace, $8.

Punchclock Showcase featuring Kids on TV, LSdoubleDcup, The Blankett, DJ Will Munro, featuring art by Will Munro, Michael Comeau, Shannon Muegge, Jesjit Gil, and more @ Keep Six Gallery (938 Bathurst), music starts at 9:30pm, $5-$10.

SATURDAY (8 dec)

Jully Black and Hayley Sales @ Nathan Phillips Square, 7 pm, free.

Nanoworld, Yuka, and Dr. Payne And The Disease @ Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, pwyc.

The Echo Hunters (Montreal, CD release) w/ Layah Jane @ Cameron House (Back Room), 9 pm, $6.

United Steel Workers of Montreal w/ The Dress Whites @ Bovine Sex Club, $6.

The Flints w/ PDF Format @ C'est What (67 Front St. E), 10pm, $6.

ALL CAPS! and No Shame craft show featuring The Youngest, Big Digits (electro dance party enthusiasts from Cambridge, MA), MYTH (formerly Alight), Kaeru (members of Ohbijou and Forest City Lovers), and City Field @ Whippersnapper Gallery (587A College). "Join us for a day of crafts and music. We've got some great local artists selling their work, and some great bands performing. The doors will open for the craft sale at 4pm and the bands will start at 7pm sharp. Cover is Pay-What-You-Can before 6pm, $7 after."


Doing It To Death @ The Boat, 10pm, $5.

SUNDAY (9 dec)

The Corporation, We Love, guests, and DJ Charleton @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5. This is a benefit show for the AIDS Committee of Toronto.

Wavelength 392 featuring Bill Bissett (poet), The Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra, northamorica, and DJ The People of Canada @ Sneaky Dee’s, 9pm, pwyc.

Gather Round featuring Hamilton Trading Co. @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

City Field (Halifax), Saffron Sect, The Hoa Hoa's, The Girl Guides @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, pwyc. I might go check this out.

My Saturday.

FN moved out on Saturday morning.

At lunchtime the other conference organizers came over with delicious food and we had a potluck meal. It was excellent. We then spent the next several hours putting together the conference programme and making other decisions. It was good to get it all done, and in less time than I think most of us anticipated it would take. Yay us. Once we were finished, KE and EH hung around and we chatted for a while, and then I went off to Sneaky Dee's for the Rock Lottery.

For this charity event, 25 indie rock (broadly defined) musicians gathered in the morning to be formed into 5 bands. They had the rest of the day to go off and create a few new songs, which they would perform that night. Neat idea, but I can imagine it was a pretty exhausting day for the people involved. The show itself actually started on time, so when I got there at 11pm, the second group was already performing! So I missed Ken Farrell's (The Gravity Wave) group. Sigh. But I saw 4 bands, including Dan Werb (Woodhands) perform with Jonny Dovercourt and David Dineen-Porter (PDF Format), and then Paul Banwatt (Woodhands, the RAA, We're Scared, etc.) with Shawn Jurek (Oh No Forest Fires, The Primordials) and Sook Yin Lee. That second group was the best of the evening. Dan's was my second favourite. The last group, which included Simon Borer from Entire Cities and The Weather Station, was also pretty entertaining. All in all, a successful event. Lots of people came out to see the musical mashups.

Today I will stay close to home. There's quite a bit of snow on the group, and the weather forecasters are saying rain is on the way. How awful. I need to clean some more and get some work done.

P.S. I go to shows twice a week. And I occasionally buy CDs while there, as well as download the occasional album from Zunior. In November, I spent less than $50 total on all these things ("entertainment" in my expenses spreadsheet). So seriously not very much. And I get a lot of bang for my entertainment buck. Plus, I rarely drink.

Friday, November 30, 2007

More favourites.

FN is busy packing her Toronto life away. She is leaving me and moving to Berlin for 9 months! This is crazy. It hasn't hit me yet . . . no more gourmet dinners!

Last night I went to Massey for a lecture. And then I went to Sneaky Dee's for Cold Dead Hands' EP release (for Novelization). SH didn't show up---what kind of friend would not cough up $5 to come to his good friend's release party? Even after he'd told me I'd better come? (Not only did I show up as promised, SH, but I bought the EP too.) But I had a great time! I met new people and got to see a couple of my favourite Toronto groups in addition to enjoying CDH's set: Barons and Lengthy, and The Vulcan Dub Squad. I thought B & L was fantastic last night. I was a bit down on B & L last time I saw them, but they've completely won me over. Could it be that they're better than Foxfire Forest? I'm thinking yes. I was even dressed like a real B & L groupie, which may have put me in the right headspace ;-). It had been too long since I last/first saw The VDS. They are just great, and a real class act. I must see them again soon.

I think I might stay in tonight to clean and get some work done. Because tomorrow the other conference organizers are coming over for an all-day panel-making party. We have about 80 proposal to sift through, and we can only take half of them. After that's done I'm going to the Rock Lottery at Sneaks. I love that place.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good days.

Tuesday was a good day. It started out with a free lunch at Trinity. The Trin One kids were doing a quiz, and friend CS invited me to be one of the judges of the international relations questions. There turned out to be no need for me, but I participated and it was fun.

The next fun thing was going to the Cameron House after my day at school, to catch Maylee Todd, Dan Werb, and Sky Shark perform short sets. And it was great! Maylee has a wonderful voice and her charming, warm personality filled the room with happiness. She played a little guitar, and then a big harp. Dan Werb, whom I've also only seen as part of Woodhands so far, did a solo piano and voice set. Wonderful stuff, really. Maylee joined him in singing a song. A couple guys from The Trews were there to hear Maylee and Dan, and Sean couldn't get over how excellent he thought they both were. He was not completely sober, but he seemed sincerely appreciative. He was a highlight of the night in and of himself! Sky Shark was entertaining, and my friends (all new-ish or completely new) ate it all up. The whole evening was just fantastic.

But it wasn't over yet! Afterward, I dashed home, grabbed a bottle of wine, and walked over to PB's house to celebrate his birthday. It was a smallish gathering for him---meaning not very small at all---but the people who were there were quite awesome. The festivities moved to the Pour House so PB's housemates could get some sleep. When the bar closed, a few stalwarts headed off in the direction of Vesta Lunch; I went home. I had to get up early (for me) the next day!

Wednesday has been a good day so far too. I had a quick meeting at school this morning, and then came home for lunch. After eating I headed down to Queen West and spent a whole lot of money on clothing and a new pair of boots. I seriously spent a lot of money on some of the pieces, but I really like all of them. I didn't buy anything boring, and I tried to mix it up a bit: blacks and bright colours! I also gave in a bought a pair of skinny jeans. We'll see how these go over. I think they're alright, but even if I don't love them after giving them a try, they were only $40 or so. Of course, I still need more clothes. ;-)

I do have one small complaint, though: the absolute worst music was being played at H&M and Zara. (Completely uninspiring music for mostly uninspired clothing. I am becoming a real snob, eh.) I was only just willing to put up with the pop-y awfulness to purpose sweatshop/child labour-made pieces. At Aritzia, a Spoon album was playing---thank goodness. I didn't notice the tunes at other places . . . no doubt a good sign.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Why I didn't make progress on my dissertation today.

I got up early to read a draft chapter for a reading group meeting. The chapter was actually fairly well done, and led to some interesting discussion later. Though during the meeting I was sitting beside a squirmy, cute 16-month-old child, I was more interested in the history being spoken about then the girl. So it's just more proof that kids are probably not in my future.

And then I came home and was tired, so I read part of a new book that will be super useful for my own work. (In a general, historiographical, kind of way.)

In the early evening I spent a couple hours putting together a "mix tape," which felt a little silly but also was fun. Massey is doing a "mix tape" exchange. For some reason I wanted to participate. Even though I mostly only listen to music at shows. And when I'm at home I mostly only listen to music I've already heard at shows. More proof that it's more about the people/experience of music for me than about the actual music. I do, however, have definite likes and dislikes, so I suppose I care about music somewhat . . . I don't know; my brain hurts.

It's now after dinner and I'm taking notes from a book. This is incredibly tedious and so not what I want to be doing right now. I think I'll go back to reading that book. Which I totally shouldn't do, but maybe it'll put me to sleep.

I'm getting a headache just thinking about working right now. Pain.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Indie Music 11.

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto. I try to list as many shows here as I know about, though with a preference for listing those happening at venues I especially like, or featuring performers I know something about. This list is thus not comprehensive. In addition, I rarely list shows that cost $10 or more, and never ones that require advance ticket purchases. If I'm missing something or you have any comments, please do let me know.

This week the holiday charity shows get started in earnest. Competing with a solid lineup at Sneaks and another promises-to-be-good No Shame production on Thursday is Maylee and Slippers' workout party at the Boat; on Friday head over to the Rancho for a TWM charity show; Saturday at Sneaks there's a special Rock Lottery with a stellar bunch of musicians participating; and a Rock-A-Thon is happening all day at the Boat on Sunday. So this week you can get your indie fix and feel extra good about it.

I haven't listed shows happening at the Bovine (Queen W near Bathurst) this week. If you're curious, see their event listings here. I went there last night and had a blast. Tranzac (Brunswick just south of Bloor) showcases all kinds interesting of jazz, folk, and experimental acts. You can find their calendar of events here. It's not my scene, but there's definitely good quality music there on a regular basis. For a good all-round selection of musical happenings, check out Carl Wilson's Zoilus guide here. And, there are always lots of other inexpensive non-indie music/dance things happening outside the entertainment district. Let me know if you want some ideas about where to find out about these.

MONDAY (nov 26)

Indie Acoustic Songwriter Series with host Zach Kellum @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5.

Shoeless Monday featuring Magillvary Brothers (classic rock cover band) @ 11:30, Later That Same Day @ 10:30, and Blurred Vision @ 9:30, The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

TUESDAY (nov 27)

A Toronto Comic Jam featuring Sky Shark w/ Maylee Todd (from Woodhands and the Adorables, and Dan Werb (from Woodhands, doing a solo accoustic set) @ The Cameron House (Front Room), 8-10pm, free, followed by Run With the Kittens. I could very well show up to this.

The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite featuring Zuku @ 12:00, Julia Set Generator @ 11:10, The Waking Eyes (Winnipeg) @ 10:20, and Bury The Bully @ 9:30, The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

WEDNESDAY (nov 28)

* Madrid (EP release and "Out to Sea" video premiere) w/ Off the International Radar, and a Vitaminsforyou DJ set @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, $5 or $10 with CD.

Pitter Patter Nights presents The Feminists @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

The Waking Eyes (Winnipeg) @ Supermarket, 9pm.

Local Hard Rock featuring Don't Church @ 11:15, Faithdown @ 10:15 and Stain On Society @ 9:15, Lee's Palace, $6.

Epigram w/ Flood, 8-Bit Revolution, and Sun Satellite @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

The Adores @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm.

THURSDAY (nov 29)

As usual, there is too much to do on Thursday night.

* The Maylee & Slippers Sweatshop Hop w/ Peter Project and DJ Darrin Scott @ The Boat, 9pm, $5. Watch the promotional video. "This Is a Workout Party . . . Maylee Todd (fitness instructor to jesus) will lead you in sweating and muscle-building, Slippers (guy who hears outer space) will be laying down the beats, and you workout in your workout clothes, and drink booze, and pick up hotties, and get sweaty with the rest of us sweaty bodies. . . . DJ Darrin Scott will pick up where we leave off. . . . After his set of boogaloo, you get to hear Peter Project. . . . Bring canned goods to use during workout, and donate to a food bank." Maylee is all kinds of cute.
Dance parties at the Boat are all kinds of fun.

* The Vulcan Dub Squad w/ Cold Dead Hands (EP release), Ryan Masters, THe WitHouts, and Barons and Lengthy @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5. I may check this out.

No Shame presents Ghost Bees, Saffron Sect, and Evening Hymns @ The Tiger Bar, 9pm, $5. I've never not had a great time at a No Shame show.

Pear Shaped (CD release) w/ Captain Caveman and Sandro Perri @ The Silver Dollar Room,
9pm, $5.

Sunshine State @ Supermarket, 9pm.

Miss Scarlett (CD release) w/ Jenny Omnichord, Entire Cities, and Cunt Art @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8pm, $5.

Sonic Unyon Indie Rock featuring A Northern Chorus, Bellewoods, Wax Mannequin, and Tusks @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $8.

MusiCan benefit show featuring The Sea Inside @ 11:15, The Racket @ 10:15, and All For Nothing @ 9:15, Lee's Palace, $8.

FRIDAY (nov 30)

Pitter Patter Nights presents Code Pie (Montreal), Street Light Light, and Flying Eyes @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Two Way Monologues' charity show featuring Golden Hands Before God, Key Witness, and Kansas City Shuffle @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7. I'll be here if I'm anywhere (unless I'm at Sneaks).

Trinket Trance presents Mariposa, Secret Public, The Good Ideas, and Donlands and Mortimer
@ Concord Cafe, 9:30 pm sharp, $6 or pwyc.

Indie Pop featuring Roflcopter @ 12:30, Wildlife @ 11:30, Black Hat Brigade @ 10:30, and Dress Whites @ 9:30, Lee's Palace, $7.

Roger Edwards Annual XMas Fundraiser featuring Bunkhouse Romeo playing 2 sets @ 10:30 and midnight, The Horseshoe Tavern, $10 minimum donation or pwyc.


DJ Shit la Merde @ Sneaky Dee's, 10pm, $5.

Goin' Steady @ The Boat, 10pm, $5.

SATURDAY (dec 1)

* Rock Lottery featuring members of Woodhands, Blood Ceremony, The River, Jewish Legend, Entire Cities, and many more @ Sneaky Dee's, $7. "25 of Toronto's Finest & Bravest Unite for 1 Night. On the morning of Dec 1st, 25 musicians will gather and draw numbers out of a hat to randomly separate into 5 bands. These 5 bands have 7 hours to write a few original songs, enough to fill a 20min set. Everyone regroups that night at Sneaky Dees to show you what they've got. Proceeds go to the Regent Park School of Music. Bands go on at 10:30pm." I'll be there!

The Northwest Division (EP release) and Kensington Station @ Neutral (349A College), 10pm,

Demon's Claws (Montreal) w/ Marvelous Darlings and Teenanger @ Tiger Bar, 9pm, $5.

Last Pogo TO Punk Rock 29th Anniversary featuring The Mods, The Existers, Screamin Sam & The Screwed, and The Raclones @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $8.

SUNDAY (dec 2)

Wavelength 391 featuring First Person Shooter, Tank Hearts, Pants and Tie, and DJ Caesarian Selection @ Sneaky Dee's 9pm, pwyc.

Graveyards (Wolf Eyes side project), Disguises, Bottom Feeder @ Teranga, 10 pm, $6.

Soundproof Magazine and Pitter Pater Nights presents Rock-A-Thon @ The Boat, noon, $5. Fundraiser for CHUM/City Christmas Wish. "There will be door prizes and raffle tickets for sale . . . . Grand prize is a Nintendo DS Lite." DJ Lawrence and DJ Shoe from Kensington Station will be spinning between sets as well as the incomparable DJ Matt Rock. Here's the lineup:
12:00 Ian Strung
12:30 Pixie Moonshine
1:00 Ontario Power Generation
1:50 Static Lab
2:40 Malfunktion
3:30 The Narc Attack
4:20 Proposterous
5:10 Curses!
6:00 Fine Motor Control
6:50 Bound
7:40 Love Kills
8:30 Fire Hydrant
9:20 Now Yr Taken
10:10 Daddy Ashes
11:00 The Postage Stamps