Thursday, January 31, 2008

There's gonna be snow.

Well, it's winter in eastern Ontario, and there's snow a-coming. This is unexceptional. But I have a flight on Saturday! And it better damn take off as scheduled!! Stupid weather. Otherwise, yay, snow!

I went for a wee drive today, for the first time in many, many months. Just to the drug store to get supplies, but it was still a bit nerve-wracking. The intersection 6 minutes down the road used to be a one-lane road with a stop sign and a dirt road leading to nowhere if you turned right instead of heading straight or left. Now it's a double-lane in every direction with a full set of lights. Crazy. Stupid suburban expansion. I hate it. HATE. It's quite terrible. Houses are crammed together that all look the same with no lawns to speak of. Roads with idiotic names like "Windmere Cres." WTF? Huge parking lots and big box grocery stores open 24 hrs, all staffed by teenagers. I can't believe parents do this---move to outer suburbia---to themselves and their children. It's awful. There are no trees.

I just don't get it.

Say what you will about affordable housing, blah blah blah. So you live in an apartment downtown, or a small duplex on the outskirts of the city centre. What's wrong with that?!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Still in Navan.

The dog is fine and so I am. Today was ridiculously windy so we didn't spend too much time outside. I've been basically hibernating. Just me and the internet and my dissertation. Have been doing some work, but not enough. Meh.

I just realized that Amos The Transparent is opening for Basia Bulat at the end of March at Lee's. Uh . . . omg. I must see if I can weasel my way onto the guest list for this. I love both their albums, and love both of them live.

I have too many documents. Too many. This is the problem with being an historian of modern diplomatic history. Government officials kept everything, and the Red Cross and YMCA were little better! Yeesh. Hopefully as the months pass I'll have a better sense of what the heck I need out of my documents, and won't have to spend so long reading them and moving them around.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm at my parents' house, house- and dog-sitting for the week. It should prove uneventful, and probably not as productive dissertation-wise as it should be.

Already took Xena for a walk. And ate lots of food. And then warmed up by the fire. Excellent.

I've been listening incessantly to Amos The Transparent's album.

Indie Music 20.

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.

I've run out of time. For more happenings at Tranzac, see the club's online events calendar. And check out these sites for more of what's on at Mitzi's Sister and The Smiling Buddha. I won't be in town for most of this week. And there is good stuff on! Lots of it new stuff for me. I'll be back in time to hit up the Horseshoe for the Five Blank Pages show. That will be fun, and just what I'll need coming off a week of (what I hope will be) heavy dissertating. [I'll update with links as the week goes on.]

MONDAY (28 jan)

There's at least something to recommend all of these shows. Take a listen and pick a venue.

Elvis Monday feat. The People of Canada, Luke Sneyd, Allie Hughes, Gangrene and Blue, and K Controllers @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, free.

Shoeless Monday feat. Deep In The Ninth @ 11:30, Medellin Cartel @ 10:30, and The Murder Plans @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

The Postage Stamps @ 10:45, The Sleepless Nights @ 9:45, and Mariposa @ 8:45. Lee's Palace, $5.

TUESDAY (29 jan)

The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. The Guys @ 12:00, We Are The Take @ 11:10, Lights @ 10:20, and SLAVE to the SQUAREwave @9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Snowblower and Beatrix @ The Bovine, 9pm.

Lina Allemano Four @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

Drumheller @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

WEDNESDAY (30 jan)

Local Alternative feat. Guests @ 12:00, Keith Shiner (CD release) @ 11:10, Corey Heuvel @ 10:20, and Conor Gains Band @9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free. This sounds lovely.

Pitter Patter Nights presents Our Father w/ Dead Messenger @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Muskox and Isla Craig @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

OlaRoks ("An Intimate Acoustic Show") @ Gorilla Monsoon, 10pm, free.

Chunnel, The Bronze, and Red Roses Black @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm.

THURSDAY (31 jan)

Pitter Patter Nights presents Pants & Tie, Idle Tigers, Singleaf, and Secret Chinese Girlfriend (CD release) @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Hott Boxx presents Me'shell, Medellin Cartel, R-Mistake, Whosarmy, and Birds Of Wales @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $5. I'd have to check this one out if I could. Birds of Wales frontman is supposedly some kind of hot guy. But a friend of mine thought the band was terrible. This requires more investigation.

Audio Blood Zine presents Sprinter, Invasions, and Eight Eleven @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

The Speakeasies (CD release), Beth in Battle Mode, and Red Roses Black @ Supermarket, 9pm, $tba.

Spacecraft 7 w/ The Odysseys and The Cunninghams @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

Whale Tooth, Nightlife, and Dance Electric @ The El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $6.

Deep Dark United @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Robocopp, Young Flux, Women @ The Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $5. This intrigues me. Go and tell me what you think.

Luz Atomica (CD release) @ Cameron House (Back Room), 9 pm, $5.

Rock N Roll Blast Off! feat. Andy Butler & The 905s @ 12:00, Drunkula @ 11:10, Zuku @ 10:20, Hollerado @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6.

Splif n' Gift feat. Atherton, Junia T, DJ Metropolis Votary and and more @ El Mocambo (Second Floor), 9pm, $8 (or $6 w/ canned food donation).

Murder City Sparrows @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

This is out of my usual price range, but I support the 'cause and the bands are great: Styrofoam Ban Aid fundraiser feat. Cuff The Duke, Sunparlour Players, Jewish Legend, and DJ Stuberman @ The Drake Underground, 8pm, $20. There will be videos and raffles. For more on the cause, see the NaturoPack site.

FRIDAY (1 feb)

Poster Show II feat. Anagram, Quest For Fire, Teenanger, D.C.T., CATL, and DJ Troubleshhh @ Tranzac, 6pm, $6. Local posters, art, and 'zines on sale, among other things.

TO Indie Rock Weekend! feat. Modernboys Moderngirls @ 12:30, The I Spies (CD release) @ 11:30, Fox Jaws @ 10:30, and Prize Fighter @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6. Nice lineup. Very nice. Read more about the making of The I Spies' disk here.

Local Rock feat. XOPG @ 12:00, The Response @ 11:00, and tba @ 10:00. Lee's Palace, $5.

Trigger Effect, Chameleonize, and Bon Voyage @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Karma Controllers (CD release), w/ LLIONS, Ben Somer, and The People of Canada @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, $7. LLIONS!! Neil Rankin (Foxfire Forest) will be DJing after the show.
WhipperSnapper Gallery fundraiser feat. The Gravity Wave (Ken and Tom performing) @ 10:00pm and Put The Rifle Down @ 11:00pm. Must be part of this event.

SATURDAY (2 feb)

Tons to do tonight. Difficult decisions will have to be made by you.

Ruby Coast @ The Drake Underground, 8:30pm, $5. Ouff. Damn conflicting shows.

TO Indie Rock Weekend! feat. Five Blank Pages @ 12:30 (accompanied by string & horn orchestra), The Junction @ 11:30, The Ghost Is @ 10:30, and The Vulcan Dub Squad @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $8. Awesome! This is where I'll be. It'll be FBP's last show for a while, and last show with bassist Rajiv Thavanathan and drummer Chelen Hilmi.

The Weakerthans @ Nathan Phillips Square, 8:30pm, free. This will be over by 9:30pm, so you can go onto other things.

Square Root Of Margaret, Fleece Elves, The Girl Guides, and The Humbles @ The Smiling Buddha. This one's also recommended.

Madrid as part of Kensington Station (and an "official MGMT CD release party") w/ DJs Lawrence and Shit La Merde @ The Neutral, 10pm, $6. Madrid and La Merde are also good.

The Airfields (CD release) w/ Love Kills, Terror Lake, and guest DJs @ Sneaky Dee's, 9:30pm, $6 (or $10 w/ CD). This one's recommended by Frank. And that man knows of what he speaks.
Andy Swan, Steven McKay, Billy Holmes @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 9pm, pwyc. There really is just so much good stuff on tonight.

SUNDAY (3 feb)

Wavelength 398 feat. BC 3000 (w/ guest Sandro Perri), Bob Wiseman, and Braketorque Trio @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc.

Grassy Knoll & The Magic Bullit w/ Invasions, and The Canons @ The Concord Cafe, 8pm, pwyc.

Gather Round presents Fraser Gielen, Hamilton Trading Co @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Non-indie weekend.

I haven't been out to a show in a week now. I've had a rather tiring week of meetings and lectures and other commitments that saw me on campus every day this past week save for Monday. I futzed around on Wednesday after my office hours because I was tired and unhappy, but otherwise just couldn't have done much work on my dissertation no matter how good my intentions. But that's what next week will be for: I'm off to Ottawa tomorrow to house- and dog-sit for my parents. And there will be very little else to do but think about my dead guys. Hopefully I will be productive.

Last night I was really not in the mood to go out. I might have gone to the show at Rancho, but decided to stay in, drink wine, make and eat banana break, have cheese and chips, and watch TV and gossip with JH and CS. It was excellent. Pyjamas are one of my favourite things in the whole wide world. Mmmm, banana bread.

This afternoon I went with CS to a rally at a nearby church in support of US war resisters and their attempts to stay in Canada as refugees. This is not something I would normally do, but we had our reasons for going, and it ended up being rather interesting and definitely a learning experience. MB would have appreciated the sociological aspect of it. Lots of old white people who remembered Vietnam, and lots of younger social-activist types. So now I've been to one of these things. I doubt I'll go again. I fully approve of this kind of event and support their political/social agendas in at least a general way, but I just can't see the world/issues in the way that activists do. So carry on but don't expect to see me again.

After the rally and mailing our letters to the House of Commons, CS and I went for a late brunch at By The Way Cafe on Bloor, and it was yummy. We then did some shopping/ran errands, and came home and did some more. A productive day non-work wise.

I'm still here.

I've just had a busy week and didn't manage to get anything done on my dissertation. So it goes.
Now the fridge is making that noise again, and this means it's gonna stop working soon. The landlord is not going to be happy, but he's got no choice but to fix it. I think at this point we just need a new fridge. Super annoying.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Indie Music 19.

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.

I've cut out the dance listings. Torontoist does a good list. Last week's is up here. Check that site later this week if you're keen on dancing. DJ Shit la Merde's putting on a party at Sneaks on Friday, for example. And you can Shake A Tail every Saturday at Clinton's. As for the music listings, the more I discover, the more I realize that I'm leaving lots of stuff out. But at least this list will get you going . . . .

A number of shows each week are pay-what-you-can. This pretty much means it costs $5.

No starred shows this week. Just go out, take it all in, enjoy yourself, and tell me about it. I might be up for some Tranzac lounge action before Friday comes around.

MONDAY (21 jan)

Shoeless Monday Revolution Love @ 11:30, In Wait & Ruin @ 10:30, and Tongue N Groove @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Elvis Monday feat. The People of Canada, Alphabot, The Royal Shots, Cory Martin, and KC Brains @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, free.

Angela Bower w/ Christine Bougie and Dafydd Hughes @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

TUESDAY (22 jan)

The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Ministry Of The Immortal @ 12:00, Ghettonuns @ 11:10, Before The Flood @ 10:20, and Bellevue @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Lina Allemano, Justin Haynes, and Nick Fraser @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

Anhai w/ Nilan Perrara and Eric Chenaux @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Alpha Galates @ Tattoo, 9 pm, $5.

The Perpetrators @ The Dakota Tavern, $5.

WEDNESDAY (23 jan)

Local Alternative feat. Timely Demise @ 12:00, Modest Cowboys @ 11:10, The Palehorses @ 10:20, and No Brigade @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Nicole Rampersaud @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

Ekira Werry w/ Polyheart, and Book Of Gnomes @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Sandro Perri, Andrew Wedman, and Alex Lukashevsky @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc. I gotta get myself to a Sandro Perri show at some point.

THURSDAY (24 jan)

Local Alternative feat. Struggle Fish @ 12:00, AfterpartY @ 11:10, Gruve @ 10:20, and Bury The Bully @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $4.

Indie Rock feat. The Hots @ 11:15, Modes Of Transport @ 10:15, and tba @ 9:15. Lee's Palace, $4.

Greg Hobbs and Andy Sheppard @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

Slow News Day w/ tba @ The El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $5.

Concerts for a Cause presents Ketch Harbour Wolves, The Miles, The Avenue, and Howl @ The El Mocambo (Second Floor), 8pm, $5. Proceeds to Journalists for Human Rights. The Miles are three 18-year-old (or thereabouts) guys. And they pretty well blew me away when I saw them last week. Very tightly-performed, interesting, dancy music.

2X the Mono, and Erika Werry and band @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

The Singing Voices, Magic, and tba @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm.

FRIDAY (25 jan)

Two Way Monologues 9 presents The Eatons, Roflcopter, and Bass Lions @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5. Like I've said before, these TWM shows are always good, occasionally sold out.

Rammer, Brutal Knights, Acid Reflux, and Libyans @ Adrift Skate Park, 9pm, pwyc.

Steam Whistle Unsigned 5 feat. Major Maker, Grand Analog, We Are The Take, and DJing by OPOPO @ Steam Whistle Brewing (255 Bremner Blvd.), 8pm, $5. Proceeds to the Artists' Health Center. I went to an earlier Unsigned show and had a good time. It's out of the way (for me), but there's beer and good bands.

Pop With Brains 13, Spookey Ruben, The Craft Economy, Eden Ants, Black Rainbows, and The Sweethearts of the Revolution @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5. This looks good. I'd consider going despite my hate for the Rivoli's back room.

Worst Pop Band Ever and Happy Apple @ The Drake Underground, 8pm, $5. This will be jazzy.

Turn Off The Stars, Norglen, and The Dress Whites @ The El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $5. (Or $7?)

Chuck Erlichman @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Local Alternative feat. North Of Hollywood @ 12:30 (CD release), King Clancy @ 11:30, Proxy Set @ 10:30, and tba @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6. I believe the tba is Six O'Clock News.

Prog Post-Punk feat. Black Hat Brigade @ 12:00, UNGDOMSKULEN @ 11:00, and 6ixty 8ights @ 10:00. Lee's Palace, $8.

The Human Statues, Run With The Kittens, and Colin Munroe @ Clinton's, 9pm, $8. You can also catch RWTK in residency at The Cameron House every week.

SATURDAY (26 jan)

Tokyo Police Club @ Nathan Phillips Square, free. Just don't freeze.

The Nathan Hiltz Trio @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 6pm, pwyc.

The Wang Dang Doodle w/ Shitt Hottt and The Speaking Tongues @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Republic of Safety (last show ever, CD release) w/ Elbow Beach Surf Club, The Blankket, and Lex Vaughn (sketch comedy) @ Sneaky Dee's, $8 (or $15 w/ CD). Read more about RofS here.

Anagram, Bush League, No No Zero, and DJ Anousheh @ The Silver Dollar.

William & Polly and Nick Rose @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Stop.Die.Resuscitate (video release) @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, $5. Followed by STA CD release party w/ VND/LSM and Nu Ravers On The Block at 10:30pm. You won't get me out to a VNDLSM show ever again, but that doesn't mean you won't have fun . . . .

Local Rock feat. Wildlife @ 12:30, In My Coma @ 11:30, Playmaker @ 10:30, and All The King's Men @ 9:30. Lee's Palace, $7.

Ra Ra Riot w/ The Coast, The Virgins @ The El Mocambo (First Floor), 8pm, $10. I wouldn't normally list a $10 show, but this is a good deal. You can get advance tix at the usual spots.

Purple Hill (CD release) w/ Timber Timbre, Bruce Peninsula, Love, Anna and Krista Hartman @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 7pm (early show), $10. Also a good deal.

SUNDAY (27 jan)

Wavelength 397 feat. The Torrent, Sleepless Nights, Soft Copy, and DJ Young Adult @ Sneaky Dee's, pwyc. It's been too long since I've been to a Wavelength show, but I'll be in Ottawa Sunday night.

Gather Round feat. The Human Statues, Hamilton Trading Co., and 68PORNOMAGS @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Work and fun.

I've been working some, and partying more. But it's the weekend, so that's ok . . . right? Friday evening I went to the Drake to catch Amos The Transparent's set. I loved them when they came to town in December, and was determined to see them again and buy their album. Mission accomplished. They are back in February, and that will be another must-attend event. I went by myself, but spotted a couple historians in the crowd, as well as a few indie regulars, so that was nice.

Lauren---she of No Shame, the best weekly (if not more often) indie showcase in town---has now moved to the Drake, so I'll be there regularly. It's kinda too bad that the audience there can be a bit uptight, but I'm sure things will improve now that the venue will host lots of good shows that will attract my kind of people.

After the early Friday show ended, the historians and I, along with a newly acquired friend, went off to the Silver Dollar to catch Cold Dead Hands and Songs From A Room. I'd seen them both before, and they were both good Friday night too. I'm not in love with either of them, but that's fully an indication of my own musical tastes than a comment on the awesomeness of the bands. CDH was especially good on that night, I must say, so that I quite enjoyed their set even though I prefer indie pop to full-on rock.

On Saturday I decided to blow off work to go to an afternoon party at a friend's house. He and his roommates hosted a handful of bands who played in their living room. It was great! I stayed for a couple hours and was really glad I went. Last night there was more partying, this time to celebrate EH's birthday. Yesterday was good.

Today I need to get back to work. It's cold outside; I'm not leaving the house.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Well that was fun.

I went to talk/lunch yesterday---needed to go because a supervisor invited me, but it wasn't interesting. And then I went shopping and came home depressed. Ugh. And then I went to wash out the beer from my Woodhands clothing. Laundry = exciting. If I sound unimpressed with my day, I am/was.

But then I went to the Drake and all was right with the world. It was a No Shame dance party, and boy was it ever fun. (No Shame's now moved to that venue, so I'll be seeing lots more of the Underground.) The Miles---1o years my junior---pretty much blew me away. Those kids are awesome. I believe the term for their performance is "killed." They are on tonight at Sneaks: you should go. Barons and Lengthy (hi!) were great and fun as usual. I've been outed as Jen the blogger. Historian BK came with me to the show because he'd been wanting to see B & L for a while now. And now he has, and he was happy. I've seen the band four times now, I think, and each time they've played in a different kind of lineup. It's interesting that they can do that, and really make it work each time. When will you have an EP/LP that I can buy?

Last up was The Primordials. I've chatted with one of the band members (Shawn Jurek) on several occasions---he used to be in Oh No Forest Fires, and played the Rock Lottery---and had heard from him about this other band, but hadn't had a chance to see them perform until last night. And, oh my, what fun! Me and the rest of th people in the audience (but not BK) danced happily and I
came home with their LP. It's quite beautiful. I don't quite know what to do with the vinyl record part of it, though.

I've got big plans for working on my dissertation today. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not much happening.

It's difficult to believe it's Wednesday already. Of course I haven't managed to do more than 30 minutes of work on my dissertation all week. But I've been busy doing other things (not including shows, which I haven't been to since Saturday). Where does the time go?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Indie Music 18.

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.

If I didn't have work to do, I could be at good shows (for me) every day this week. I'm gonna see what I can do to balance school and after-school.

MONDAY (14 jan)

Elvis Monday feat. Skunt, The Miles, Still Life Still, and The Papermakers @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, free.

Shoeless Monday feat. Deek @ 11:30, Saving Stardust @ 10:30, and Brothers Chaffey @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Romney Getty and Sean Stockholm @ Mitzi's Sister.

The David Rubel Quartet, Protocol, and Cold Gun Kid @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, $5.

TUESDAY (15 jan)

Mint, The Jessica Stewart Few, and Thom Gill @ Mitzi's Sister. I have a friend going to this.

Automatic and Legion Generals @ The Bovine, 9pm.

* The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Jim Rain and the Rebellion @ 12:00, Peter Bloom Band @ 11:10, Foxfire Forest @ 10:20, and Newton Faulker @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Pitter Patter Nights feat. Bury the Bully w/ For that Day @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Uncut and Metz @ Tattoo (567 Queen St. W), 9 pm, $5.

WEDNESDAY (jan 16)

Pitter Patter Nights feat. Intransit and Locomotive 8 @ The Boat, $5

* No Shame feat. The Primordials, Barons and Lengthy, and The Miles @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, $5. Oh wow. Yes.

Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra w/ The Ugly @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10 pm, pwyc.

Five Star Trailer Park w/ guests @ Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $5.

Daryl Lamoureux (CD release) @ The Dakota Tavern, 8pm.

Steve York Band and Monster Beach @ Supermarket, 9pm.

Magenta Lane @ The Rivoli, 7pm (early show).


I'm not thrilled about tonight's offerings, but that's because I'm not really into hard rock. Sneaks sounds good to me, though.

Local Alternative feat. tba @ 12:00, Scorpion Chainsaw Operation Booze Orgy @ 11:10 (EP release), Julia Set Generator @ 10:20, and Stone River @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

The Raclones and Andy Butler & the 905's @ Mitzi's Sister.

The Passengers, Backwoods Justice, and Stop Drop N Skank @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm.

Pitter Patter Nights feat. Tunturia, Epigram, What Seas What Shores @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Trailing, Kilhuminzu, and Two Scoops @ Tiger Bar.

Broken Bricks, The People of Canada, and The Miles @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5. The Miles is having a busy week.

On The Verge, Slowking, and The Maevens @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm.

City Roots presents John Wort Hannam, Mr. Rick & The Biscuits, and Steve Raiken @ Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $5.

The Famous Monsters and Sycho Logic @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

The Scenario @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $7.


LOTS to do tonight. I'm doing No Shame, then maybe the Silver Dollar. But good stuff (for my tastes) on at the Dakota, the Boat, the Horseshoe, El Mocambo, Rancho.... Ouff.

No Shame feat. Amos The Transparent, Kaeru, and The Just Barelys @The Drake Underground, 7 pm (early show), $5. Awesome. No Shame is taking over my life . . .

Elliott Brood @ The Dakota Tavern. He's playing Saturday too.

The Son Roberts Band @ Mitzi's Sister.

Michael O'Connell and The Sweethearts of the Revolution @ The Smiling Buddha, free.

Local Rock feat. Claypine @ 12:00, Orange Fuzz @ 11:00, and The Labour Of... @ 10:00. Lee's Palace, $4.

Hollywood Swank w/ Terminals, Outbred Inlaws, and The Daily Times @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, $5.

Song From A Room, Cold Dead Hands, Dance Electric, and The Invasions @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5. I might head over to this after the Drake show.

Hip Hop Karaoke @ The Boat, $5. I might never go to this, but that's because I'm lame. LAME.

Hell Yeah Fuck Yeah and Automatic Dub Riot @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Local Alternative feat. Trophy @ 12:30, BIGIDEAS @ 11:30, The Hollows @ 10:30, and Hello Beautiful @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6.

How I Won The War (CD release) w/ Beth in Battle Mode, and Emotionally Unavailable Mariners @ The El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $7.

Statues, Marvelous Darlings (record release), Dead Letter Dept, and Horses @ Rancho Relaxo, 9 pm, $5.

Fitzroy Terrors w/ Street66 @ Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $8.


Not Guilty w/ DJs Shaniqua and Westeyes @ Teranga, $5 (free before 11 or with cloverfield ticket stub)


Elliott Brood w/ Sheesham and Lotus @ The Dakota Tavern.

Amber Ladd, Brandon Jones, and Grayna Ryan @ Mitzi's Sister.

F.A.I.D.S., Cedar, and Leonids @ The Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, $5.

Hardcore & Punk feat. Akroid @ 12:00, Maddison @ 11:00, and High Deaf @ 10:00. Lee's Palace, $5.

Organic Funk and The Steady Rollers (CD release) @ The El Mocambo (Second Floor), 9pm, $5.

Red Elite (video premiere/CD release) and Hyena Dog Robbery @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Kids on TV, ViVi Diamond, Fawn B.C., DVSN, and Errol @ Z (the old White Orchid) 812 Dundas St. W., $7 (or $5 with a group of 3 or more).

Giant Baby @ 10:00, The Dunes @ 11:00, and Shortwave @ 12:00. El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $7.

Arrietta, Speaker(FIRE), Dinosaur Bones (debut), and Barf, Pigeons! @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $6.

Taxi Chain @ Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm.


Goin' Steady @ The Boat, 10pm, $5. This is a Chronologic party, so a little different than usual Goin' Steadys. I went to Goin' Steady (the regular kind) earlier this month and had a super fun time.

Shake a Tail @ Clinton's, 10pm. This is now a weekly happening.


The Ory No'man Too, Ann Chaplin, and FM Hi-Lo @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, pwyc.

Wavelength 396 feat. Ken Reaume (CD release), Abbey (ex-Blinker the Star), and DJ Gypsy Viking @ Sneaky Dee's, PWYC

Gather Round feat. Hamilton Trading Co. and This Is Picture @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

On a Limb feat. Ronley Teper, Dave Clark, Michael Keith, Steve McKay, and Chris Bank @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10:30 pm.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quite the weekend.

My sleeping patterns aren't normal yet. It's crazy, but whatever. I struggled through exhaustion and kept from passing out all week.

On Friday I was up early, did laundry, and then went off to spend the day with that guy I met on the plane. I hung out with him one evening in Palo Alto, and he got in touch recently to say he would be in Toronto. Since I had such a good time with him back in August, I decided we needed to hang out again. We had lunch at one of my favourite places, Mount Everest, stopped in at Labyrinth, then took a scenic (and rain- and wind-accompanied) walk down to Queen West.

We went in search of a toque for him, and then a hat for me. And basically just had a great time. I decided to join him for dinner with his friends, and they were lovely. Spotted historians at the next table. Fun day/night. Then I was exhausted and was asleep by 11pm.

Saturday was spent attempting to sleep, then making pita pizzas with my roommate and our friends EH, JH, and MB. So good, and so much fun. JH brought wine. And then she and MB and I went to Teranga for a Woodhands show. We got there at about 10:15pm or so, and the place was PACKED. I quickly saw people I knew, historians and indie kid types.

Green Go was up first. They were good. I was in the middle of the crowd. Next up was Opopo, who I was a bit disappointed with, but only because I had high expectations. They were really just fine. By then I was up on a chair so I could actually see the musicians at the front of the restaurant. (It's a pretty small space and there's no stage.) I recommend standing on a chair if you can. Paul Banwatt spun good tunes during breaks, and JH and MB and I enjoyed ourselves. Bocce was third, and I don't have much to say about them: just fine. It was a good dance party, and continued to be rammed with people the whole night.

Then, finally, at maybe 1:30am, Woodhands started to play. MB and I fought our way to the very front, and really that's the only place to be. We danced like crazy and had an amazing time. Paul and Dan Werb were just so good. They played for a long time and endured technical problems. (Not helped by drunken idiots throwing beer on us and Dan's equipment.) Their set---maybe close to an hour?---was . . . I dunno. Crazy ridiculous and all kinds of awe-inspiring. They killed. I really liked Paul's Maylee cover and his rapping. And it was fantastic that for once he was as close to the crowd as was Dan. Drummers are usually stuck at the back of the stage. I get why, but it was nice that at this show that wasn't the case. (Photo source.)

Check out some more photos from the Woodhands show, including more of me and MB. Best show ever.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Queen West makes me love life again.

I never thought I'd think that shopping would make me feel better about life, but, well it did. Crazy. I was a complete wreck yesterday when I walked to school to lend a friend some CDs, then continued on my way to Queen St. West to get my haircut. Was starting to fade while waiting... but the stylist is nice so we chatted easily.

Afterwards I decided to walk home, so headed west toward Spadina, and then shoe stores beckoned. I was curious about rain boots, truth be told, but it's the wrong time of year to buy them (not to wear them, though). BUT then I spotted the cutest pair of sneakers ever. They were on sale, and they are awesome, and I now own them.

Oh god I sound like such a girl. Oh well.

CS and I had a lovely dinner---food saves my life, too---then we went to pub night to see historians. I managed to stay awake until midnight. Then woke up just shy of 7am, so good. GOOD.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


An American vice-consul in Russia forwarded this message received from the States, 3 November 1917:


Source: National Archives at College Park, RG 84, Consular Posts, Archangel, vol. 13.

As for me, I'm still messed up, sleep-wise. Slept 4 hours Wednesday afternoon, then 1 hour Thursday night. This is not helpful.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Still not sleeping.

Was a wreck yesterday, just like the day before, and then I slept for 4 hours. So again my body decided to nap instead of sleep at night, and this is making me upset. What the hell.

Going through telegrams and it's taking bloody forever, and I want it to be over. But it's nowhere near over. I've gotta scroll through this stuff and take notes.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Failure to sleep at night.

Well, no such luck on the attempt to break out of nocturnalism. Instead, I am even more nocturnal. Slept from ca. noon to 8pm yesterday. Ouff. So I've been awake since then. And I've been working away pretty steadily. I had to stop working on my chapter and go back to my documents. I feel much better about the project now, but of course this just means it's gonna take ever long to finish the chapter draft. Has to be this way, though. Really.

It's pretty interesting, some of the stuff I've been discovering. Nothing earth-shattering. The American ambassador to Russia was a bit pompous, and he kept meddling in YMCA and Red Cross matters, unbeknownst to the representatives of those organizations. Granted, Y and Red Cross men were known to meddle in politics themselves---it was unavoidable---but the ambassadors actions still surprise me. The Y and Red Cross men usually used the embassy and consular cable facilities (for lack of an alternative) and the ambassador read their messages. When he didn't like something, he'd send confidential messages to the men's bosses back in the US. He also cabled in support of the work they were doing. Clearly, the relief workers were not independent at all.

So what? I don't know; ask me later.

In completely unrelated news, I still don't know anything about music, but I intend to attend lots of shows in the foreseeable future. Calendar's always full of stuff to do.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Desperately seeking normalcy.

TIRED. I hardly slept yesterday and today. And I think at this point I just need to stay awake---maybe take a short nap in the afternoon to avoid death---so I will fall asleep (and stay asleep) tonight. Mercy. This is ridiculous. It's like I'm jetlagged, but I didn't get to go anywhere fun.

But, speaking of fun, I actually did have some of that last night. I went to Goin' Steady, a monthly dance party at the Boat. Oh my, why have I not gone to this before?! I will go again for sure, next time hopefully with a heap of friends in tow. I wasn't too thrilled about going out last night, in part because of exhaustion, and in part because I wasn't going to know that many people there. I am only starting to be friends with the group I went to go see. (It was a bday outing, so I wanted to be there.) On the streetcar over, though, I ran into someone I'd met before, and turns out he was going to the same event. So in the end there were three different groups of people I knew (at least a bit). I was busy the whole night dancing and talking.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Indie Music 17.

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.

There are lots of good shows on this week. Highlights include an in-store show by Brooklyn-based band Nada Surf at Sonic Boom (close by!) and Carl Wilson's book launch at the Gladstone Wednesday night. At the latter, local heroes Final Fantasy, Laura Barrett, and The Blankket will perform Celine Dion covers. OMG. (Taking a moment.) I've starred what I think will be especially good bets, but darn near everything on this list has something to recommend it. If you're up for some dancing come Saturday night, come with me to Teranga for the Woodhands show. There really is a great deal of amazing musical stuff happening in this city. And I'm not even paying attention to all the jazz, blues, and classical events, or shows that cost more than a few bucks. Wow.

MONDAY (7 jan)

Elvis Monday feat. My Psycho Ex, The Flying Museum Band, Chinawoman, GIRAGIRA.gif, Adam Faux, and The People of Canada @ The Drake Underground, 9 pm, free. I haven't been paying attention to Elvis Mondays. My bad.

Shoeless Monday feat. The Calrizians @ 11:30, NikkisTrick @ 10:30, and Mindsight @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

TUESDAY (8 jan)

The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Perpetrators @ 12:00, greedyfeedr @ 11:10, Exley @ 10:20, and Walk Off The Earth @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, free.

Pitter Patter Nights presents Key Witness, PDF Format, Alanna Brown, and The Gamines @ The Boat, $5. This is my pick for the night. I really need to see PDF Format, and Key Witness, and The Gamines. And probably Alanna Brown, too.

Hell's Belles presents Raclones (Ramones Tribute band), Chunnel @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.


* Nada Surf @ Sonic Boom, 7:15pm, free. Nice!

** Carl Wilson's book launch for Let's Talk about Love w/ Laura Barrett, The Blankket, Final Fantasy, and Laura Landauer/Gypsy Miller performing as Celine Dion @ The Gladstone, 7:30pm, free. Mark Kingwell will be interviewing Wilson. Not to be missed, except probably by me. ALL the coolest people in town will be there, and the lineup is brilliant and amazing. *sob*

U of T Battle of the Bands @ Lee's Palace, $2.

Local Alternative feat. Whale Tooth @ 12:00, Bella Clava @ 11:10, Nightlife @ 10:20, and Dammien Alexander & The Sonic Cinema @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $4.

Pitter Patter Nights presents The Craft Economy, Elbow Beach Surf Club, and Ruby Coast @ The Boat, 9pm, $5. I have seen all of these bands, and have enjoyed them. I especially like The Craft Economy: they are super fun to see live. And Ruby Coast is shockingly good considering how young the band members are. I might be at this since I likely can't make the earlier events.

THURSDAY (10 jan)

CaMp CoMbO @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10 pm, pwyc. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't see at show in this lovely spot until New Year's Eve, and it's just great, and I will go again.

Barn Owl vinyl release w/ Timber Timbre and Maggie Cross @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

Local Alternative feat. Purge @ 12:00, Wildlife @ 11:10, Living Room @ 10:20, and The Hots @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $4.

* Whatever Happened to Corduroy? (CD release) w/ The Postage Stamps, Oh No Forest Fires @ The Gladstone, 8 pm, $5. I could be here.

Winhara and The Clear @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $5. Can I just point out---and this has nothing to do with these bands---that I hate the El Mo's website. It's dreadful.

Pitter Patter Nights presents Les Kilt w/ Ten Kens and The Salarymen @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

HOTBOXXX feat. My Dim Eyes @ 11:00, Counterfit Fifty @ 10:15, Space Is For Stars @ 9:30, and House Of Commons @ 8:45. Lee's Palace, $5.

FRIDAY (11 jan)

The i Spies (CD release) feat. a whole bunch of DJs @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc. Sounds like fun! Billed as "Spy vs. Spy / ALL*Star indie DJ Showdown."

Katie Stelmanis (CD release) w/ The Luyas, The Torrent, and Emma McKenna @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5.

Mongrels and The Brown Hornets @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Local Alternative feat. Jay Spectre @ 12:30, The Ryde @ 11:30, Years Of Silence @ 10:30, and Bernadette @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6.

Two Way Monologues presents Mark Berube, qr5, and The Cheap Speakers @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7. I know nothing about these bands, but I am confident that TWM shows are always good/great.

Turn Off The Stars @ 12:00, The Dress Whites @ 11:00, The Sweethearts of the Revolution @ 10:00. Lee's Palace, $7.


Doing it to Death @ The Boat, 10pm, $5. Wes Allen's DJ dance party.

SATURDAY (12 jan)

* Woodhands w/ Bocce, Opopo, and Green Go @ Teranga, $6. This is where I will be, with friends (as usual for a Woodhands show). I am VERY much looking forward to it.

Although I really recommend Woodhands' electro indie dance party, there are, I suppose, some other things to do tonight. Actually, a few good options. I'd be happy to be at any of them, really:

Local Rock feat. Harley Quinn @ 12:30, Mississippi Kings @ 11:30, Barons & Lengthy @ 10:30, and Seymour @ 9:30. Lee's Palace, $5. Note to B & L: Stop playing shows that conflict with others shows, ok, please? I appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Thank you.

Ketch Harbour Wolves, Fox Jaws, and Bass Lions @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $5. I must see Fox Jaws. Another time.

The Weather Station w/ Isla Craig and The Shelby Lamb Band @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm. I will have to see The Weather Station at their February show.

Kensington Station presents Fire Hydrant (EP release) @ Neutral (349A College St.), $5. Yet another band I will have to see another time. Good luck with the EP!

Local Alternative Ska Punk feat. Crush Luther @ 12:30, Grand:PM @ 11:30, Summerside @ 10:30, and Police & Procedures @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $10.


Shake A Tail @ Clinton's, 10pm. This Bloor West bar is the weekly dance party's new home.

DMoney presents Fuck Faces @ Sneaky Dee's, 10pm, $5. With DJs Barbi, Cyro, Dougie Boom, and Fistfight. Popular indie dance party.

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

SUNDAY (13 jan)

Wavelength 395 feat. Whiskey Priest, Anna Linda Siddall & Colin Fisher, The Future Has A Silver Lining, and DJ Bad Boys 2 @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc.

Gather Round feat. Hamilton Trading Co. and Brad Casey @ The Boat, 9pm, $5. Gather Round is an open mic night.

Castlemusic and Alex Lukashevsky "play for the January Babies" @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc ($5).

Friday, January 04, 2008

Chuging away.

Is chuging a word? It should be if it's not. Because that's what I'm doing---slogging through documents incredibly slowly. I reached a point in my chapter when I just can't bare it anymore and so I went back to the primary sources to get re-energized about things and fill in missing bits. Good decision, but it just means this chapter is taking FOREVER. Oh well. I am working, and I don't think I'm wasting time.

On Thursday night I went to the Drake to see three great bands, two of whom I already loved: The RAA and LLIONS. Well everyone was awesome and amazing, and I had an excellent time. Thanks! The opener, The Golden Hands Before God, was very good, too. I didn't end up paying too much attention to them, though I now think every rock band needs a tambourine man in skinny jeans and a Russian fur hat. Seriously. (Openers suffer because people are still coming in and milling about, not yet ready to commit to what's on stage. Too bad, really, which is why I'm usually paying full attention; but last night I couldn't.)

I've become completely nocturnal, hence the early morning post. But my schedule is giving me a headache and I need to go to bed now. Night!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Right now in Toronto it's -16 degrees. Yup, it was pretty cold today, though I walked to the grocery store and back and was just fine. I guess growing up in Ottawa and knowing how to bundle up properly pays off. But anyways, what I'd like to point out is that it's forecasted to be +13 degrees next Tuesday. Uh, that's a difference of nearly 30 degrees in only 5 days. And that ain't normal. Can we please slow down the pace at which we destroy the planet? I would appreciate it. KTHXBAI.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I can't sleep. But my eyes are a bit heavy.

I am a geek, and either a superfan or a stalker. Let's hope the former.

My new EP won't work in my computer. Hmm.

I didn't do a wink of proper work on New Year's Day.

I should write my damn dissertation. It's 2008 for pete's sake.

First, though, I'm hungry. Yes, at 4:45am. A girl's gotta eat.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy new year.

I suppose that's the obvious post heading. So there it is.

I am now back in the big city, thankfully. Suburban life was getting to me. Too much fatty, salty, sugary food was making me ill. And sulfur-tasting water that I absolutely did not want to drink wasn't helping matters either. Ick. Took the train back yesterday afternoon, and then went out the Tranzac to celebrate the New Year in indie style. A bunch of people I know from around---ok, through PB---were there, so that was good. It was the best place to go by myself. The only place, actually. I saw three great acts, one good one, and one passable (but fun) one. I drank a big glass of wine and some champagne, bought an EP, and got home at 3:30am. All told the night cost me $25. Not bad, considering.

I've seen Laura Barrett perform on four different occasions, but never have I seen her do a proper Laura Barrett set. Last night, she did. And, holy cow, the woman is amazing. If you've seen her, I know you don't need me to tell you this. She has crazy amounts of charm and charisma, and it's all totally genuine and lovely. I think most of us in the room were totally enchanted with her. I bought an EP and look forward to another one coming out in February. She followed a great set by Gentleman Reg. His show a few weeks back got cancelled at the last minute, so I was happy to have another occasion to catch him. I had high expectations, having heard good things about him from people who know good music. And he did not disappoint. His album will come out "eventually" this year. Yipee!

On in the Southern Cross Lounge---where I spent most of my evening---before Gentleman Reg was The Rural Alberta Advantage. The trio was fantastic as usual. The setting really suited them, and they are just such an attractive, cheerful bunch that's hard not to like them. Forest City Lovers played a good set before them which I enjoyed, but the RAA was just so much better. Enthusiasm, give-it-your-all attitude, confidence, professionalism, and experience clearly pay off for these guys. They're playing at the Drake on Thursday with lovely LLIONS and The Golden Hands Before God. I will be there.

Other happenings include the countdown that speed up and slowed down, and then just stopped counting down at all. I heard told that the projected digital clock never did hit midnight. The people I was with and I gave up a few minutes past the hour and drank our (free) champaign. It was funny, and I think it must have been a technical error. Steve didn't seem overly perturbed, though. The Phonemes played a happy set in the Main Hall. I tried to ignore the young, shiny girls dancing (drunkenly) at the front, and the couple making out the entire time right in front of me. Please, people: go to the back, or, better yet, go home! Wayne Petti (of Cuff the Duke) was in the audience, but I didn't get a chance to tell him that "Sidelines of the City" is my favourite album at the moment. Once the evening was over, I spotted historian MS at the back of the lounge; we chatted amongst ourselves and with other people until it was time to go. A good way to bring in the new year.