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. If I'm missing something or you have any comments, please do let me know.
After last week's time crunch, I'm getting a jump on things this week. So now there's no excuse to miss a show.
There's not a lot happening early on this week in the indie scene, though see the listing at Zoilus if you want more musical options. Come Thursday there's a ton of shows to go see, all costing you under $10. And stay tuned for next week's indie update, because there are some great shows coming up. (Woodhands! A show at a brewery! And more!)
The reason I cringe when I pay more than $5 for a show is not because I don't want musicians to get paid properly, but because this way I can go out more often and support bands who perform primarily for the love of it. There's nothing worse (for me) than dishing out $25 for a big show and finding oneself stuck behind teenagers smoking up. When I go to Sneaky Dee's, the Boat, Tiger Bar, or the Horseshoe Tavern (etc.) I can stand right up at the front if I want---and I do---and not be bothered by the rest of the crowd. And, after the show, I can go talk to the performers---who invariably recognize me from the front row---and they are always happy to hear how much I liked their set.
And now about ear plugs. These really are necessary, I think. Although you can stand farther back and avoid pain, I recently dropped $15 for a pair of proper plugs and can't imagine ever going back to the foam ones (or nothing at all).
Want to go with me to a show? That can probably be arranged . . . .
Two good options tonight, for those of you who worked all weekend and now want a night-or a couple hours-off. Head over to Supermarket (on Augusta, just south of College) for We Are the Take and Lights. Doors at 9pm, $5 cover. If you miss this show, the bands are playing a few more there in the upcoming weeks, trying out new songs.
If Queen Street West and the famous Horseshoe Tavern are more your speed, this week's Shoeless Joe lineup includes Megan Hamilton & the Volunteer Canola @ 11:30, Jon McKiel (Halifax) @ 10:30, and The Eatons @ 9:30. And it's free.
My pick for tonight is the Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe Tavern. On the lineup this week are Lives of Many (Winnipeg) @ 12:00, GRAND:PM @ 11:10, Wheatmonkeys (Saskatoon) @ 10:20, and Sam Hell @ 9:30. No cover.
Over at Supermarket starting at 9:30pm, you can take in Moriarty, a French indie folk group. No word yet on what cover is, but I'm guessing $5 or so.
Rabbit Season with Fire Flower Revue, and Texas Hold'em at the Boat, 9pm, $5.
Lives of Many and Later that Same Day at the Bovine Sex Club, 9pm, $5. Many of the shows at this venue are too loud for me, but if that's your thing, check the event listings on the club's website.
Mariposa with !frankenstein @ the Renaissance Cafe, 8pm, pwyc.
* I will likely go check out what's happening at Tiger Bar tonight. No Shame presents Rebekah Higgs (Halifax) with Barons and Lengthy, The Schomberg Fair, and Marvelous Darlings. It all gets going at 9 pm and costs $5 as usual. I quite enjoyed the dance-y B and L when I saw them at the Boat a few weeks back. Rebekah Higgs is much more low-key, and much better known. (She's currently touring.) The show's probably worth seeing.
And there's lots of other options for under $10. Check it out:
B.A. Johnston, Dead Love Triangles, The Raccoon Wedding, Go Ghetto Tiger (Vancouver) at the Boat, $5, doors open at 9pm.
Ghostlight, Young Flux, and Women at Smiling Buddha, $5.
Two Hours Traffic (Charlottetown) @ 11:30, Amos the Transparent (Ottawa) @ 10:30, and 6ixty8ights @ 9:30. $8, Horseshoe Tavern.
M.a.n.d.y. (Berlin), Nasty Nav, Jonny White, Nitin at The Social, doors 10 pm, $5.
Kae Sun, Mexican Standoff, Sleep the Season at Supermarket, $7.
Dirt & Diamonds @ 11:15, Soft Copy @ 10:15, and The Dregs @ 9:15. Lee's Palace, $5 at the door.
* Femme Generation (EP release), OPOPO, We Take Lovers, DJ Shit La Merde at Sneaky Dee's, 9 pm, $6.
The Northwest Division (Charlottetown), David Picco & Jetset Motel at the Eton House Tavern (710 Danforth Ave. just east of Pape), free.
Melissa Laveaux (Ottawa) at Hart House's Arbor Room, 9 pm, free.
Constant Crush presents popular Toronto band The Disraelis with DJ Davey Love. At Supermarket.
Easy Tiger presents The Coast, Tiger Bar, 10pm, $5. After the band, stay and dance the night away with the assorted hipsters and their friends. These can be really fun parties, though they aren't completely my style.
Go dancing at the Boat: Bang the Party, 10pm, $5. Should be fun. This or Dee's? Hmm.
No Shame, the Thursday night indie show at Tiger Bar, is now putting on early Saturday night events at the Drake Underground. Same great booker, same cheap cover; fancy, new digs. This week's lineup includes Montrealers Hexes and Ohs, our own The Craft Economy, and The XYZ Affair from Brooklyn, NY. The show starts at the Drake at 7 pm, and it'll cost you $5.
And two indie dance parties for later:
Doin' it to Death at the Boat, 10pm, $5.
Fuck Faces presents DJs Dave Nada, Syntonics, Dougie Boom, and Fistfight at Sneaky Dee's. This is a popular indie dance party and will set you back $5. (Free before 11pm.) I might want to see what all the fuss is about . . . if I am in the mood for the Dee's dance crowd. Always entertaining, but occasionally too much, if you know what I mean.
** Wavelength 388: "Remember Toronto" (T.O. bands today cover all-time great T.O. songs, in celebration of the launch of GreenTOpia: Towards a Sustainable Toronto from Coach House Books, launched in the afternooon at the Gladstone) with The Bicycles, The Two Koreas, The Blankket, Laura Barrett, Etaoin Shrdlu (feat. Jonny Dovercourt), and the Hip-Hop Karaoke Crew (feat. More or Les, Abdominal) at Sneaky Dee's, doors 8:30 pm, pwyc. Nice! To include songs by:
(The) Dinner Is Ruined (Band)
Maestro Fresh Wes
Martha & the Muffins
The Pursuit of Happiness
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet
The Ugly Ducklings
And the order of bands:
1. We Take Lovers, at 9:30pm sharp
2. Laura Barrett
3. The Blankket
4. ETAOIN SHRDLU
5. Hip-Hop Karaoke
6. The Two Koreas
7. The Bicycles
iNSiDEaMiND with Hamilton Trading Co. and Shalyn Gray Project at the Boat, 9pm, $5. This is part of the Gather Round series.
The Slipper Orchestra at the Tranzac (front room). Show starts at 10:30 pm and it's pwyc.
Wednesday Night Heroes (Edmonton), Living Darkness, Reprobates, and Younger Strike at Rancho Relaxo (College at Robert), $7. I haven't been to a show at the Rancho---yet---but a friend of mine who puts on shows there regularly claims it's a good venue for such things. This particular showed is billed as a "Remembrance Day punk blowout!" Ok . . . .
See more listings---for more money---here.