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.