Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend of intensity.

My weekends are busy. I have things to do, places to be, and people to see. This past Friday-Sunday was no different.

I met up with RM for a couple hours Friday night for tea and chatting, then took in $100 at the Horseshoe. I got there just past midnight, and missed the beginning of the band's set. But no worries, since I knew the folksters would be playing two sets that night. The place was very full when I arrived, so much so that for the first few songs I was closer to the door than I was to the stage. Boo! I was unhappy being surrounded by tall men I didn't know. I spotted Slim Twig in the crowd---the only familiar face I saw there---and made my way closer to the stage when I had a chance. It's really much better seeing than not seeing. I can't even really tell you what I thought about the band since I was do distracted by being far away and having an unobstructed view. (I am really spoiled, I realize.)

The crowd thinned out on the dance floor after the first set---beer retrieval and bathroom break---so I planted myself right up front, in the middle. Like, at Simone's feet. A much better spot from which to take things in. For this second set the band played a few covers---Dolly Parton, The Moody Blues, and a couple others---and most of the songs featured guest musicians/vocalists. It was a great night! The band didn't stop until maybe 1:50am. Considering the in-between set wasn't that long, $100 played for a long time that night. I was glad to see such a good-sized crowd out for what is essentially a folk band. Simone's voice is great. I gotta say that I found myself a wee bit bored on occasion. This could simply be because the set was so long. The highlight for me was the Moody Blues cover that Rick White led the band in. Just awesome.

Afterwards I biked over to the Boat to catch the last 45 minutes or so of Yacht Rock. This dance party is, I think, my favourite dance night at the moment. It's so much fun. KH was celebrating his birthday, so there was extra reason to go.

On Saturday . . . let's see. Oh, right. After a sushi dinner with CS, I went to an early show at WhipperSnapper. Cobras Cobras Cobras, Brides, and Colourbook were on the bill. The first two aren't my usual pop fare, but they were good. I would have been happier had Cobras not had to stop after seemingly every song to get more equipment (or whatever they were doing). It kinda killed whatever mood they were trying to create. The crowd was great, though. Young kids---I'm guessing most of them were underage (as allowed at this event)---who were actually dancing. Yes, dancing and jumping around. Without being drunk. It was great to see. Colourbook impressed me. Here again the crowd had something to do with it. Group hugs/moshing/laying on the floor/etc. This sounds weird. It wasn't, really. Some of their songs reminded me of a bit rockier Born Ruffians, while other tunes were more noise-pop. Interesting. I would see them again. And I did, the next night.

After the all-ages show I went to Sneaky Dee's, getting there as doors opened for a quadruple bill featuring three bands sharing members which each other (Adam & the Amethysts, 3/4 of whom are in Miracle Fortress, and Think About Life, which includes Graham Van Pelt from MF) plus local young yelpy-pop favourites Ruby Coast. Adam & the Amethysts played a short set, like they did when they were here for NxNE. I like them, but they don't excite me. There was already a pretty good crowd at Sneaks, though, so hopefully their set won the band some new fans.

Next up was Ruby Coast. I've seen these kids a few times, and they are great! I know some people who know more about music than I do say they aren't particularly original. I don't care if this is true. I have an excellent time dancing to their music. Oh, and first mosh pit of the night. Half way through the set I needed to remove myself. Enough being bashed around.

Miracle Fortress was next. I'd thought they would end the night, but they didn't, and this was a good thing. The two times I've seen them before, I've liked them, but they weren't memorable. Better on the record, I say, which is fantastic. ("Five Roses." Get it.) But Saturday night they put on a good show. Definitely more in line with what I expect out of this band. I'm still waiting to be blown away, but I'll take impresseive over just ok any day. So, three bands, and three at-least-good sets, and one mosh pit. Not bad for my $13.

But . . . Think About Life! Holy crap, what a band. What a live show! I'd only ever heard a couple of their electro tracks before, and didn't really get what the big deal was. Until now. I still don't know if I'll like their recorded output---maybe I will when I get around to giving some of it a proper listen---but my oh my the crowd at Sneaks exploded as soon as this band started playing. It was impossible not to get caught up in it. And, seeing as I had made by way to the front, it was equally impossible not to get bashed around an awful lot. I took as much battering as I could before chickening out of the mosh pit and retreating to safer ground. But man did the trio make me want to jump and holler and generally make a fool of myself. Speaking of which, the boys from Howl (at least three of them) were crowd surfing. One of them emerged bloody but happy. Crazy.

I have never seen a show/crowd reaction like this before. Ever. And, well, it was excellent. I got home at 2am and literally collapsed on the floor. There was nothing else for it. Damn.

My weekend wasn't over yet! Sunday I was zonked out. But by early evening I roused myself and went to have dinner with KH. And then we played Scrabble, at which I am bad. And then we went to Wavelength. This Sneaky Dee's Sunday night fixture is also becoming a real fixture in my week. I always have a good time, and last night was no exception. The two Victoria bands (Cobras Cobras Cobras and Colourbook) were back at it (with an older, larger, and more subdued crowd this time), and then local folk-tinged melodic rockers Proof of Ghosts headlined. I was happy with the first two acts . . . until Proof of Ghosts took the stage and I realized what a great band sounds like. There were brief moments where I wished for a bit more intensity, but the last song ("Genevieve," extended) was kinda amazing. Wow. So good! Unexpectedly so.

How would this be for a lineup: Proof of Ghosts, The Schomberg Fair, and The Rural Alberta Advantage? These are the three bands of related genres that have really impressed me lately.

Indie Music 45 (28 Jul - 3 Aug 2008).

Like this list? Join my Google Group to get my weekly Toronto indie music listings. Or Facebook.

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, let me know.

In reverse chronological order, I took in Proof of Ghosts (!), Colourbook, Cobras Cobras Cobras, Think About Life (!), Miracle Fortress, Ruby Coast (!), Adam & the Amethysts, Colourbook (again), Brides, Cobras Cobras Cobras (again), $100, and Beth in Battle Mode. I spent some time at Yacht Rock, too, a crazy-fun dance party at the Boat. Yay Toronto.

Lots to see this week. I'm looking forward to seeing Jane Vain & the Dark Matter and The Craft Economy Tuesday night at the Horseshoe. Friday I must dance with OPOPO (as should you), and Saturday . . . maybe a nice evening at the Tranzac. Sunday is generally reserved for Wavelength. What will you do this week?

Tyler and I will have the podcast done today. Last week we didn't do one. (Sorry.)

MONDAY (28 jul)

Angela Bower (AKA Christine Bougie and Dafydd Hughes) @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7pm, pwyc.

Tongue (poetry and spoken word) feat. Sita Black (music) @ Concord Cafe, 8:30pm, free.

* Elvis Mondays presents Das Piumas, Sadie May Crash, Cadillacs of Men, the Human Statues, Red Monkey, and the People of Canada @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, free.

Groovy Mondays feat. Ian Foster, Kim Koren, and Lucas Stagg @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, free.

Marsupial Mondays presents Isla Craig, Eiyn Sof, and Snowblink @ Tranzac (Tiki Room), 10pm, pwyc/$5.

Hungry Hyps and Bron Halpin (debut) @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $5. I will be here.

Dopplehertz & Rotten present Metronomy w/ Modele @ The Social, 10pm, $5 (b4 11pm; $10 after).

TUESDAY (29 jul)

Janet Macpherson @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

* The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Quaqmyre @ 11:40, The Craft Economy @ 10:50, The Warped 45’s @ 10:00, and & Jane Vain & The Dark Matter @ 9:10. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Europe in Colour and Hmmm @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Mitch Girio (King Kong Girio) and Taffy @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

Pink and Black presents Captain Kife and Mute @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.

Melanie O'Brien and Ian Foster (separate, then together) @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

Romi Mayes (w/ Gurf Morlix and Darcy Yates) and Mr. Rick and The Biscuits @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm. ???

Homegrown Tuesday feat. Jude Haines & the Bitter Happiness, Evan Malach, Daniel Sadowski, Ross Never Sleeps, and Trick of Disaster @ Silver Dollar, 7:30pm, $5.

Where Astronauts Go To Hide, Brett Saxon, Lily Frost, Revolution Love, and Bill Brautigan @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $tba.

WEDNESDAY (30 jul)

Emilie Mover @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

Mark Cassidy, Two Little Llamas (Ariel Brink and Mike Landoni), and Robin Peacock @ Free Times Cafe, 8:15pm, pwyc.

* PWYC Weds feat. Alistair Christl, Matt Bahen (The Schomberg Fair; solo), and Antler @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc.

Nick Rose and David Goldman @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

LAUGHstock presents The Daily Times; District; and We, The Fire Makers @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Delinquents (CD release) @ 11:00, The Toads @ 10:00, and Teenage X @ 9:00. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $5.

No Official Capacity presents The Great Collapse, The Unborn Dead, Skorched, and Heaps of Dead @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

Joshua Bartholomew & Band (10:30pm), preceeded by Songwriter's Circle featuring Joshua Bartholomew, Serena & Nick (Oliver Black), and Trevor Howard (9pm) @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5.

Awake & Dreaming and Staylefish @ Tattoo Rock Parlour, 9pm, $5.

Sarah McCully and Justin Abedin @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9:30pm, $10.

THURSDAY (31 jul)

The Harold Wartooth, Revolvers, The Big City Nights, and Reverse Mount Rushmore @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, free.

Nick Storring and John Kameel Farah (both solo, and then together) @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

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

National Tragedy Episode 3 feat. Women in Tragedy; Chris Worden; Not the Wind, Not the Flag; and Dark Bird @ The Renaissance Cafe, 9:30pm, pwyc.

Nate Daniels, Jeff Beadle, and Quincy LePalm @ Free Times Cafe, 8pm, $5.

Black Collar Thursdays feat. Sitcom and The Clearing (members of Latefallen and Jar) w/ DJ Stu Dead of Playdead @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

NO SHAME presents Receivers, Sleeping Kings of Iona, and Loitering Heroes @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Leaving Sangster @ 11:15, Lotus Theory @ 10:15, and Chasing Arcadia @ 9:15. Lee's Palace, 9pm, $5.

Hatchetmen w/ Alistair Christl & the Swingin' Chandeliers @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Monday Rose and Bobby Cameron (solo acoustic) @ C'est What, 9pm, $5.

Joanna Borromeo and tba @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $6. "Soul/R&B/Funk."

Bernadette & The North @ 11:40, Low Level Flight @ 10:50, Adder @ 10:00, and Motion Picture Ending @ 9:10. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $6.

Dreamscape presents Bellaleo w/ The Flying Museum Band, Authin Heathen, Telegram, and Buckets Of, w/ DJs Frank & Beans @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 9pm, $7 + can of food.

The Worst Pop Band Ever and The Ninja Funk Orchestra @ Clinton's, 9pm, $10 (or $8 adv).

The Beautiful Unknown (video release) w/ Paul Price and Daylight For Deadeyes @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9:30pm, $tba.

Dead Sexy Sheila and tba @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm, $tba.

Shadows in Red, tba, Second Pass, and Mandippal Jandu @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $tba.

Black, White, and Acoustic feat. Michael Shapinko, MC FÜBB, and DJ Xplisit; Simon Hirst; Ira Pettle; Brendan Beamish; Rochelle; John Tayles; Dale Luarca; Rex Baunsit; and Evan Malach @ The Savannah Room, 8:30pm, $10. "Dress code is Black & White."

Hibou and Sky Shaver w/ DJs Rod Skimmins and Andycapp @ Supermarket, 9pm, $10.

No Official Capacity presents Jucifer, Sons of Otis, Cauldron, Twisted Tower Dire, and A.F. Analog @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10.

Jeff Alan Greenway CD Fundraiser Party feat. Alistair Blaik Bundale, Jeff Alan Greenway (w/ band), Pure Finesse, and RythmLuv @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $10 (or $7 for students). "Includes raffle ticket for prizes!"

Rock the Foundation presents Basia Lyjak, The Red Light Riot, and Who's Army Band @ Tattoo Rock Parlour, 9pm, $10. Proceeds to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Teeter, Cities Between Us, The Diverse Attraction, Siberia, Hasket, Use As Directed, and Mandy K @ Reverb, 6:30pm, $10.

FRIDAY (1 aug)

Jessie Kussin (Cry Rumble) and tba @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

* Hooded Fang, Boxes & Bags, Romo Roto, and J. M. McNab (Key Witness; solo) @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc.

Luke Andrews @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 7:30pm, free.

Shaun Devlin and Cameron Becker @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

Woodward Company, Northamorica, and Mob Mentality @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $5. I saw Woodward Co. play the Horseshoe a while back, and thought they were a really promising young band.

Friends Explode presents Room Party (dance party) feat. OPOPO @ The Boat, 10pm, $5. The band plays at 11pm. I will be there!

TWM presents Clouds That Look Like Things, Skip Jensen, The Superstitions, and The Wilderness @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6. Also recommended.

Liam Titcomb and tba @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $8.

Red Rising @ Kathedral, 7pm, $5.

ZERG, War Bride (members of Bukkake Katholik) w/ DJ sets by the Darth Virgos AL911 & Billy Geek @ The Bovine, 9pm, $10.

S & S Promotions presents Charitys, Pilot Light, Emilie, Throwback, Raid For Blood Diamonds, False Idols, Cirrosis, Art Of Fakt, Cost of Creation, Fear of Romance, others @ Reverb, 6pm, $10.

Queen Takes Bishop (CD release) w/ Joel Parkes, Rev. Velvet Sheen, DJ Reverend J Tickle, "A SPECIAL Surprise Guest BAND," and Left Side Drive @ Clinton's, 9pm, $10.

SATURDAY (2 aug)

Laundry Room Squelchers present International Noise Conference @ clubZ, 9pm, free. More details here:

Alex Lukashevsky and tba @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc. (Carnival Moon had to cancel.)

Artful Vandelays, The Imports, The Revelries, and Room 204 @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

Lisa Silverman, Shira G, Liam Kearny, Alysse R, and Marianne Baker @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

* Miss Scarlett and Mandibles @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $5. Kinda different folky indie pop stuff.

Must Stash Hat, Groove Attic, and Organic Funk @ The Mansion (165 St. George St.), 9pm, $5. BYOB. This is a new series of shows.

The Raclones @ 12:30 The Existers @ 11:30, The G Rays @ 10:30, and Wayouts @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $7.

Homegrown Saturday Night feat. Joel Elliot, Alun Pigguns, the Rosie Jones Band, and the Saltcoats @ Silver Dollar, 9:30pm, $5.

Hotboxxx presents Themis, PlayDeaf, Pavlov's Dog Orchestra, Wentworth, David James Martinez, and Kasper @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $10.

Paragon presents Darwin's Bible, Impulse, Lost Innocence, Mad In Craft @ The Bovine, 9pm, $10.

Lori Yates (w/ David Baxter, Cynthia Ross, and Eric Herman) @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $10.

SUNDAY (3 aug)

Lindsay Elvie and Alicia Isoner @ Free Times Cafe, 8pm, $5/pwyc.

* Wavelength 424 feat. The Blankket & Band, Life of a Craphead, and The Hoax @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc.

Sparkling White, The Revelries, Jackfish River, and Jordan Fine @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quiet day.

Had big plans to go out Thursday night to No Shame at Rancho Relaxo. But when the time came, I felt unsociable and had no desire to leave the house. So I didn't. And I skipped out on the after(birthday)party featuring Mark Sultan/BBQ too. Boo me. But it's ok, because sometimes a person needs to stay in and get stuff done.

So here I am, getting stuff done.

I have to set an exam for the course I TA'd for this past year. A few students didn't take the final for whatever reason(s), and now I've gotta write a different exam question for them to answer. Not as hard as I thought it might be, but still required some brain work I wasn't expecting to do.

I did some dissertating too, and spent nearly another hour trying to figure out computer stuff with tech support people. Unrelated to yesterday's tech support stuff.

Tomorrow, I go out for sure. And I'm in a much better mood today than I was last night. So good.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Problems both fixed and not.

I spent three more hours with various tech support people Wednesday night. That meant I was definitely not going out.

I spent a lovely mid-day in the Annex and Kensington Market. It was raining at first, but soon cleared up and was sunny and warm (but not too warm) the rest of the afternoon and early evening. I came home with a new (used) book for my books-that-relate-to-my-dissertation collection, and a new (used) pair of Converse sneakers. It's now even less likely you will ever see me wearing anything other than Converse. What can I say? They fit, they're comfortable, and they're cute.

I am confused about life things. I'm over (mostly) my angst about school/job things. Now I'm having other kinds of angst. Not really angst, I guess, but generalized confusion about stuff. Stuff that I tend to avoid thinking about. But . . . sigh.


(I hope no one I know reads this blog.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BIBM @ the Horseshoe.

Tuesday was a frustrating day. I spent several hours attempting to get my router to work, then searching out a new one, going to buy it, and then attempting to get that one to work. It still doesn't. I'm going to try more time with tech support tomorrow and see where that gets me. Wireless internet is a necessity of life. Ok, not really. But it's definitely something me and CS really, really want to have.

Tech support ate up so much time that I was a few minutes late for Beth in Battle Mode's opening set at the Horseshoe. They performed as part of the weekly Nu Music Nite, a free Tuesday night showcase. I'd seen this band once before, and loved their music and their stage presence. They were great tonight, again. The room had lots of people in it, but most audience members were hanging back away from the dance floor and in the shadows. I still don't get why people do that. Anyways, moving on.

BIBM is awesome. Their songs are really poppy and danceable. The keyboard/synth player (Andrew) dances like he means it, and his bandmates (Ed, David) are animated as well. Fun stuff. A band I will always enjoy seeing, I should think. I look forward to seeing them perform on a better night. There's only so much one can expect from a crowd for a 9:10 set time on a rainy Tuesday in July. The next time they headline a weekend show at Rancho or Sneaks or the Boat, I'm so there. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that the three guys are, well, a good looking group. Have I mentioned before that I like my rock stars cute?

I got rained on as I rode my bike home. I managed to avoid getting hit by lightening.

I'm now wired to the 'net. Funnily enough, working at the dining room table is not so bad late at night. I hate this chair, though. Wireless, come back!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bruce Peninsula.

I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon/early evening with RM. This involved ice cream, tea, Rotate This, the dog park, rain, and Vietnamese food. It rained pretty much all night, so I skipped out on my nighttime plans. Worked instead. And by work I mean I mostly finished my listings.

Sunday it was more weekend-only fun. I met up with BC and we took the ferry together with some people good people to the Toronto Islands. We avoided the puddles as best we could while walking to the church, where we were going to the Bruce Peninsula 7" release show. This one also featured Timber Timbre and Muskox, two local musical acts I have wanted to see. St.-Andrew-by-the-Lake was a great spot for this show. Every minute of it was fantastic. Bruce Peninsula was crazy-amazing to experience. It was a real treat to see/hear them in this church. What a great group. The MySpace tracks don't do justice to their indie gospel sound. At first there were 11 musicians on, err, at the front of the church, but the band was 10 for the rest of the evening. Ten, including some really fantastic performers like Maya Postepski, Katie Stelmanis, Matt Cully, Casey Mecija, Isla Craig, and Neil Haverty.

And Muskox . . . wow, I don't know how to describe their sound. They call themselves "prog Americana," which I suppose makes sense. My ignorant self would say they were unfolk-unjazz-experimental-instrumental goodness. Music you need to listen to and appreciate. Complex and interesting. But, one complaint: I dislike the saxophone. Not this particular musician (he's great). I just wish that the band had an oboe playing the sax parts instead. It would have been better, I think. I dislike the sax's metallic sound.

I got crappy pics, but they'll give you a sense of the setup.

Indie Music 44 (21-27 July 2008).

Like this list? Join my Google Group to get my weekly Toronto indie music listings.

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, let me know.

I went to a couple of shows during the week---Brad Casey, and the Schomberg Fair!! On Sunday I experienced three great sets by three totally different bands/performers at the church on the Toronto Islands. One of the bands was Muskox, who were crazy-good. See them for yourself this Saturday at Tranzac. (You don't even have to take a ferry to get there!) Catch Bruce Peninsula at WhipperSnapper on 9 August, or opening for Cuff the Duke at the Horseshoe on 22 August. Advanced tix are available for both shows . . . I recommend getting one.

I'm missing things on this list, I know. It can be difficult getting information on upcoming shows. So definitely let me know if something's amiss. I will fix it.

MONDAY (21 jul)

Angela Bower @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7pm, pwyc.

Elvis Mondays presents The People of Canada, Mamabolo, La Case Muerte, Alphabot!, and the Artful Vandelays @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, free.

Shoeless Monday feat. Cheers In Belfry @ 11:15, Perkins @ 10:15, and Sidharta @ 9:15. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Groovy Mondays feat. Joani Paige and The McDales @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

* Marsupial Mondays presents Kim Barlow (w/ Sandro Perri & Ryan Driver) and Mathias Tom (The Burning Hell) @ Tranzac (Tiki Room), 9pm, $5. I intend to be here.

Glass Tomb, Trancendental Rodeo, Ghostlight, Man Made Hill, Anamorphic Heat, Disguises, and Wolfcow @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $5. This is a benefit show for Disguises' East Coast tour. Quote: "It's like the Lollapalooza of noise!"

Miles Jones @ El Mocambo, 10pm, $5.

Moglee, Battle Creek, Ben Wood, and Look! Centaurs @ Rancho Relaxo, 6:30pm, $5.

TUESDAY (22 jul)

Mike Davidson and friends cover the music of Thelonious Monk @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

* The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Daphne Darling @ 11:40, Chasing Sam @ 10:50, Holding Sky @ 10:00, and Beth In Battle Mode @ 9:10. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free. BIBM!!

Purple Hill & Rough Skeletons @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Pink and Black presents Crookedhook and The Tragedy of Mariam @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.

Tumblin Tuesdays with Tanya Philipovich and Lucas Stagg feat. Brad Casey @ Graffiti's, 8pm, pwyc.

* Sunbear (Kate Boothman) and Julie Fader @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

Mike Butlin and Chloe Charles @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

Sarah Blackwood (The Creepshow), Sarah Skellington, Ryan Karam, and the Heart Strings @ Supermarket, 8:30pm, $5 or pwyc.

Pitter Patter Nights presents The City and Rep By Pop @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Jojeto @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, pwyc.

* Film School, Terror Lake, The Harold Wartooth, and Huckleberry Friends @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10 (or $7 adv).

It IS a Tumor feat. the Vicious Fishes, Aftermath, pbrain, and Serb Superb @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7. This is a benefit show for the Princess Margaret Hospital.

WEDNESDAY (23 jul)

* Keram, Anhai (CD release, performing w/ Nilan Perera), and Eric Chenaux @ The Rivoli, 9pm, free. This could be a very interesting experience. If not, heck, it was free and you're not far from other venues.

Kensington Hillbillys @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, free?

SCOBO presents Hump Night @ Graffiti's, 8pm, free.

Curtis MacDonald @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc. Also playing @ The Rex, 6:30pm, on Thursday.

PWYC Weds feat. La Casa Muerte, Burn Planetarium, and Kaleidoscope City @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc.

* The Speaking Tongues and The Does @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

* Pitter Patter Nights presents The Ill Outfit, Doug Hoyer, and Henri Faberge (solo) @ The Boat, 9pm, $5. I'm thinking this is where I'll be.

Revolution Love, Fire Flower Revue, Kasper, and the Drunken Trees @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $5.

New Music Night feat. Sideways, Sporadic Transit, and Gerald Rioux @ Clinton's, 7:30pm, $5.

Kate Weekes and Suzy Wilde & Ben Whiteley (& Jason Freemanfox) @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5.

May-Jun (CD release) w/ Sarah Campbell and More Than Breathing @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

Mandeverest, Secret Japanese Girlfriend, and 122 Greige @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $5. SJG is Doc Pickles's (of Wavelength fame) band.

Paul Newman's Open House w/ Evan Shaw, Michael Herring, Dave Fish, and Scott Thomson @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

We Are The Take w/ 6ixty8ights and The Darcys @ Tattoo Rock Parlour, 9pm, $8. Also recommended.

The Black Ghosts @ Wrongbar, 9pm, $10 (adv tix avail here:

THURSDAY (24 jul)

* King Khan & his Shrines (in-store) @ Sonic Boom, 7pm, free.

The Strap and Andy Butler & the 905s @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

Kyp Harness, Cleave Anderson, and Joan Bessen @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

Will the Circle @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

God's Gift to Yoda @ The Rex, 9:30pm, $5.

Collette Savard and Christine Tier @ Free Times Cafe, 8:39pm, $5/pwyc.

Chris Brown & Kate Fenner w/ Tony Scherr and guests @ Supermarket, 9pm. I'm guessing this is $5 or pwyc.

* The Musebox and Pitter Patter Nights presents Marienbad and TMDP w/ This is Picture @ Lee's Palace, 8:30pm, $5. Dance party!

Pitter Patter Nights presents The Cheap Speakers, Crosstown Rivals, and The Labour Of @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

* No Shame presents Slim Twig, Magic Weapon, and Mixylodian @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5. I need to spend more time with Slim Twig. Bizarre, but the kind of bizarre that is excellent.

Patrick Brealey, Wendy Leung, and Yukon Cigar @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9:30pm, $5.

RedToad Music presents Seven North, The Champion Heartache, Flying Eyes @ The Rivoli, 8:30pm, $5.

Allison Cameron Ensemble @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

Sickluded presents / Serving Charity Showcase feat. Blues Underdog, Revo Clik, Latin B Boyz, Sass Dance Company, and Nicole Scott, w/ DJ Shai @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 9pm, $8 (w/ canned food donation).

Bill Colgate & the Urbane Guerillas feat. Cam MacInnes w/ Denis Keldie @ The Dominion on Queen, 8:30pm, pwyc ($10 sugg.). The last time to catch Bill et al. this summer in Toronto.

Icy Demons, Put the Rifle Down, and Bocce @ Sneaky Dee's, 8pm, $10.

* Blocks Recording and Montreal Greatness presents Creeping Nobodies, Katie Stelmanis, Black Feelings, and Kickers @ Wrongbar, 8:30pm, $10 (or $8 adv).

Chris Assaad and Matt York Band @ Tattoo Rock Parlour, 9pm, $10.

The Artful Vandelays, Echo Riot, Looks Linear, Narcotized, Splitting Adam, and The Stormalongs @ The Reverb, 7pm, $10.

Paragon presents Killabliss and Second Pass @ The Bovine, 9pm, $10.

Global Rhythms Fundraiser feat. The Lesson, Summerfeldt, Death of Me, Lisa Sonshine & Brock Burford, and Elisha Alladina @ Clinton's, 8pm, $10.

FRIDAY (25 jul)

The Sweet Sixteens, First Base, and The Mans w/ DJs Minus Matt and Elaine @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

Dan Tedesco and Tiger Lil @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7pm, pwyc.

Sandro Perri and The Gertrudes @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

The Mad Housewives @ Graffiti's, 9:30pm.

The Rizdales w/ Burnin' Ethyl @ The Dakota Tavern, 9pm, $5.

Karen La Rose (CD release) w/ Darin Yorstin @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8pm, $10.

Garen, Mark Ipek, and Sara Teitel @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5.

Pop With Brains 16 feat. The Vestaloynes, Bird Week, Hell Yeah Fuck Yeah (feat. Sloan's Patrick Pentland), Monsters of The Deep, and La Casa Muerte @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5. Proceeds to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Supernova presents Russian Roulette, Purge, and Bitter Candi @ Clinton's, 8pm, $10.

Splitting Adam @ The Cameron House (Back Room).

Bobnoxious (CD release) w/ Glorious Disorder @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $?.

Murder City Sparrows, NikkisTrick, and tba @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $6.

Vilipend and Maximun RNR w/ DJ sets by the Darth Virgos AL911 & Billy Geek @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

* Dinosaur Bones, Black Hat Brigade, the Steve York Band, and Leh-Lo, w/ DJs MishMosh and Dick Nasty @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5.

* $100 (CD release), Rick White, and Doug Paisley @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $8. $100 will play two sets: first, they'll play the album; second, they will be joined by the Pauls, Lullabye Arkestra, Will Kidman, the Youngest, Partytime, Mrozowski, Slick McCoy & Julie Faught, and Matt Mason. I'm planning on going to this show.

Skateboard Canada presents Jagerstock w/ Kathleen Turner Overdrive, Latefallen, and tba @ Lee's Palace, 9pm, $10.

Film Jam 10 feat. Streetllight Light, Everything That's Fly, Oriana, Automatic City, and Anonymous D, hosted by Skye Collyer & Jeremy Johnson @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 10pm, $10 (or $8 w/ canned food). "As always there will be art, video games, pop corn, films and DJs throughout the night."

SATURDAY (26 jul)

I'll be at WhipperSnapper, and then Sneaky Dee's for Miracle Fortress, Think About Life, Ruby Coast, and Adam & the Amethysts ($12)!

* The Never Ending Dance Party feat. Northamorica, Maylee, and Pink Dead Whale @ Mitzi's Sister, 9:30pm, pwyc.

Shannon Hoff & Band @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 6pm, pwyc.

* The Weather Station w/ Muskox and Anna Linda Siddall @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc. Oh my. You really need to go to this if you are at all into pretty, quiet folk, or unfolk-unjazz-experimental
-instrumental amazingness.

The Makepeace Bros. @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $?

Genetic Angry, Teenanger, School Jerks, and tba @ The Badcave (393 Margueretta), 8pm, $5. BYOB. Anyone been to a show at this house before?

* ALL CAPS! presents Colourbook, Brides, and Cobras Cobras Cobras @ WhipperSnapper, 6pm (early show), $6. I'm going to start my night here. I've been promised great music.

* The Salingers (last show ever) @ 12:30, Bellewoods @ 11:30, Jane Vain & The Dark Matter @ 10:30, and Adam Bell @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6.

(weework) presents The Priddle Concern, Krista Hartman, H-Burns, and Charlotte Cornfield @ Silver Dollar, 8pm, $8. The Priddle Concern is the new project by that guy who was in that band from before . . . treble charger.

Son of S.O.U.L. presents The Coolout w/ Son Of Soul and DJ Serious, and performance by Joni NohRita @ The Rivoli, 10pm, $5.

Hyena Dog Robbery, Splitting Adam, and The Belle Jars w/ DJ Vania @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

TWM presents Animal Clinic, Cursed Arrows, the Primordials, and tba @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6. The Primordials are infectiously fun. Infectious in a good way, I mean.

* The Framework and Ketch Harbour Wolves @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, $tba. A couple of good local bands I have yet to see. The Underground is a nice spot to see/hear music.

Wax Mannequin w/ Tripping Hazard and Richard Laviolette @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $10 or pwyc before 10:30pm.

Calicose (CD release), Permanent Bastards, and Typo @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $10 (or buy the $7 CD and get in for another $5).

The Annual Jack Daniel Get Shitfaced Party feat. Broomfiller, Rademaker, R.E.D., Lisa Smith Powerhaus, and DJ Frygirl @ Kathedral, 8pm, $10. Doubling as James Ratch's 60th birthday bash.

SUNDAY (27 jul)

Daniel Jamieson NYC Quartet (open jam session) @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 5pm, pwyc.

Pete Johnston's See Through Trio @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

Healing Power feat. Not the Wind, Not the Flag @ The Tranzac (Tiki Room), 9pm (set time), pwyc.

* Wavelength 423 feat. Proof of Ghosts, Cobras Cobras Cobras, and Colourbook @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc. I think I just need to always * WL shows. Because, really. I don't know about you, but I inevitably have a great time.

Deadbeat Dads, the People of Canada, and Carlo Atherton & pbrain (The Leathers)@ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $1. Last Deadbeat Dads' show for a while.

FABRik RECordS presents FUnhUnT 10000 Watt Head (w/ Grasshopper), Roy Lieberman Rock, and tba @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $3. "Proceeds go to FABRik for the upcoming CD Comps comin out in August!"

Olivia McLean, Alistair Bundale, and Genevieve Rainey @ Free Times Cafe, 8pm, $5.

Derek Shirley & Justin Haynes @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

Ariel Pink, Chairlift, Romo Roto, and Andre Charles Theriault @ WhipperSnapper, 7pm, $10 (or $8 adv).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Schomberg Fair made my week.

I've spent less time at shows this week. Been taking it easy, not going too crazy in this wicked heat and trying to get some work done on my chapter. So, good. Tuesday night I spent a couple hours at the Boat, saw Brad Casey and another singer-songwriter named Kirby. Weird crowd that night. Burlington-ites, I think, out for Kirby and the headliner (Blind Mule). They were making a lot of noise. Which was too bad for them.

On Thursday I decided to devote my time to the (weework) showcase happening at the Horseshoe. One of my favourite local bands, the Schomberg Fair, was headlining that night. Before them, the Unionist Ministers (good, if a little bit tame country rock) and Canteen Knockout (nice sounding foot-tapping country music, but OH MY SO BORING for that time and place. May I suggest the Dakota Tavern next time?). Sorry, but sheesh. I was not in the mood. I gave them a shot, then had to leave for a bit before the Schombergers finally hit the stage.

It was worth the wait.

Seeing them perform at the end of a long night---my patience was wearing thin, I've gotta say---really drove home to me the reality of their excellence. I see a lot of bands, and have a lot of really fun nights out at shows and dance parties. So much so that I sometimes forget just how incredible some of the bands I see really are, and how amazing it is that I get to see them again and again. Their set was a real treat. The place came alive as soon as they started playing. The dancefloor had been nearly empty all night long, but suddenly all the fans and well wishers came forward to dance and hoot and holler. Well after midnight on a Thursday, mind you.

The Schomberg Fair. Their songs are lovely and meaningful and display skillful musicianship. For me, though, it's their live shows that really make them stand out. They bring so much energy and never just play to get a show over with. Awesome. You gotta see them if you haven't already. And you'll probably like their album ("Dark Was the Night, Hard Was the Ground") too.

As I write this I'm obsessively listening to Old Man Luedecke. I especially like---apart from all of his songs---"I Quit My Job," which continues, "I'm free today." Nice. What a charmer that guy is. Another performer best seen and heard together.

Monday, July 14, 2008


My week of many shows (an all-too common thing) continued Friday at Sneaks with DD/MM/YYYY and openers the Mae-Shi (from LA) and Special Noise (Halifax, now based in Montreal). It was a good show, and my first time seeing DD/MM/YYYY ("Day Month Year"). They were great.

On Saturday I caught Coast Guard and then the Miles. I LOVE the Miles! What an amazing band. So good, those kids. Afterwards I went to the Boat for Bang the Party and got there in time for Marienbad's second set of the night. The transition from DJs to band was perfect: I almost didn't notice. Well done.

Sunday I was busy, busy with the podcast and meeting friends, and had a great time at Wavelength. (More Sneaky Dee's in one weekend is always a good thing.) I finally got to see/hear/experience Henri Faberge & the Adorables. !! So awesome. Costumed craziness and totally infectious, dance-y, happy indie pop. It really was something to be a part of. They played all new songs (except for their encore), and under a different name. (It was a secret show.) So very, very fun.

Indie Music 43 (14-20 Jul 2008).

Like this list? Join my Google Group or Facebook group to get it each week.

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, let me know.

Last week I saw some great bands: Horses, The RAA, DD/MM/YYYY, The Miles, and Henri Faberge & the Adorables. Wow. This week I'm looking forward to a bunch of things . . . I've starred shows I think will be good (depending on your tastes). Hope to see you around! But, please: wear earplugs. The Drake is the only venue I know of where they aren't an absolute necessity. The foam ones are cheap but frustrating. Get yourself ones that cost $10-15 and wear them everytime you go out. I got mine from Also available through Do it.

MONDAY (14 Jul)

Angela Bower (AKA Christine Bougie and Dafydd Hughes) @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7pm, pwyc.

Elvis Mondays presents Pavlov's Dog's Orchestra, zhowndz, 10,000 Watt Head, Oscar Brown, and the People of Canada @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, free.

Shoeless Monday feat. Hammersmith @ 11:15, Vanishers @ 10:15, and Urban Monks @ 9:15. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Groovy Mondays feat. Craig Smith and Peter Verity @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

My Psycho Ex, Lady of the Valley, Cameron Clark, and Sleep for the Nightlife @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

* Bottomless Pitt, the Kadane Brothers, and Great Bloomers @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10.

TUESDAY (15 Jul)

Edo Pelod @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Six O'Clock News @ 11:40, Del Asher @ 10:50, Egypt Central @ 10:00, and Italian Edition @ 9:10. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Ronley Teper & her Lipliners and Marco Solo @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Pink and Black presents The Roman Line, Unbelievers, and The Wish You Weres @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.

The Budgies (Helen Carlson's band) w/ Broken Telephone @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 8pm, pwyc.

Cindy Doire, Andrea Ramolo, Sean Pinchin, and Ryan Bishops @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

* Kirby & Blind Mule (tour kickoff) w/ Brad Casey @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Tribute to The Cure feat. Party Wallet, Great Lenin's Ghost, State of Things, Machetes, and Poisonous Glass @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5.

CRAK: Banks, Buckley, Wedmen, and Brenders @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.


Rex Van der Spuy (sitar) and Anita Katakkar (tabla) @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7pm, pwyc.

PWYC Weds feat. My Flea Circus, The Skirt Chasers, and Rebel Blind @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc. I have seen and rather liked the Skirt Chasers.

This Note feat. Tyler Yarema & Kat Morley @ Tranzac (Tiki Room), 9pm, pwyc.

Hobson's Choice and mmiicchhaaeell @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

The Printing Press, Metheus Bound, and Armen at the Bazaar @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, pwyc.

Alex Woodrow and Tommy & the Tall Girls @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

* Rival Gang Theatre w/ MJ Cyr @ C'est What, 9pm (start time), $5.

[apple]box, The Flat Planets, and Matthew Lee Wilson @ Clinton's, 9pm, $5.

LAUGHstock presents Terminals, Taberfucks, and Blind Cats @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

A.N.S. (Texas), School Jerks, Hazardous Waste, Genesis Climber (CA), and Endprogram @ The Badcave (393 Margueretta St.), 8pm, $5. BYOB.

Toronto Independant Music Awards Presents Best Urban Showcase! feat. Kim David, JB, Luu Breeze, General Angerville, Honee, and guests @ The Annex WreckRoom, 8pm, $5.

aUTObODiEs w/ Party Time and Ken Reaume @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $5.

Breast Cancer Fundraiser feat. Bobby Wiseman, David Payne & the Automatic City, and others @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

The AMBiENT PiNG presents Spaced on the Danforth w/ Geek Weekend and The Devil in the Design, feat. visuals by General Chaos @ The Renaissance Cafe, 8pm, $6/pwyc.

Paul Newman's Open House w/ Evan Shaw, Michael Herring, Dave Fish, and Scott Thomson @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

* Yukon, Etaoin Shrudlu, East City, and Still Life Still @ The Velvet Underground, 9:30pm, $7.

Euphonic Sound presents presents Monster America, Endsville, Jadea Kelly, and 48 Caliber @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $7.

John Moore w/ The Clear @ Supermarket, 8:30pm, $7.


The Horse You Rode In On @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

Miss Scarlett w/ Fullspeed Velocipede @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

You Handsome Devil and Marco Solo @ The Hideout, 10pm (start time), $5.

Two Roads Home @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

* Pitter Patter Nights presents Jewelry Rat, Birdweek, and The Innes Wilson Opposition @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Purple Hill with Lysa Fina and Loitering Heroes @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $5.

Murder City Sparrows, Yonder, and Anne Sutherland @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm.

Everything All the Time and Shelby Lamb @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, $5.

Brane Wave Productions presents the 4 City Face Melt Tour feat. Brane, ROA, Theory Astray, Solidarity @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5.

Lowtides, Holy Fields, and Synaesthetic @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $5.

Black Collar Thursdays feat. The Jolts and Romeo Liquor Store w/ DJ Stu Dead of Playdead @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

* No Shame presents Famous Players, Peter Project, and Rouge @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5. I believe in No Shame.

Picturesound presents Bye Bye Badman w/ Escalate and DJ Oile @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5.

* We Take Lovers (EP release) w/ Femme Generation and The Guest Bedroom @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $6 (or $10 to get the EP too).

Allison Cameron Ensemble @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

Toronto Independant Music Awards Showcase Best Live Tie-Breaker feat. Jacob Moon, Grainne, Lisa Swain, Secret Suburbia, Shobha, Corporate Saturday, Fancy Girls Market, and DAME @ The Annex WreckRoom, 8pm, $7.

* (weework) presents The Schomberg Fair @ 11:40, Canteen Knockout (CD release) @ 10:50 , The Unionist Ministers @ 10:00, and Lil Andy & Karaoke Cowboy @ 9:10. @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $8.

FRIDAY (18 Jul)

Tingouly @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

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

Burt Neilson Band (2 sets) @ The Dakota Tavern, 8pm.

* Shitt Hottt w/ The Sour Notes @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc. Really? Awesome!

* Steam Whistle Unsigned 7 presents Notes to Self, Green Go, and Run With The Kittens, w/ DJing by the Carps @ Steam Whistle Brewing (The Roundhouse, 255 Bremner Blvd), 8pm, $5. Everything taken at the door goes to the Artists' Health Centre Foundation.

Max Woolaver CD release @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

Donovan Woods, Shoot the Cameraman, and The Buffalo Builders @ Clinton's, 9pm, $5.

Ron Leary with Nick Rose, and Catherine MacLellan? @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $?.

Amber Ladd and Interplay @ C'est What, 10pm, $5.

Gnarly (dance party) feat. My!Gay!Husband! and Machetes, w/ DJ Dougie Boom, and DJ tba @ Sneaky Dee's, 10pm, $5.

Redeemer and Remain w/ DJ sets by the Darth Virgos AL911 & Billy Geek @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Young Flux (CD release), Pirate/Rock, and Gardens, w/ DJs Hi Mom and Boner Dragon @ The Press Club, 10pm, $5 (or $10 to get the CD too).

Bludwash w/ Jen Militia, Devil Eyes, Track Dirtyaz @ Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5.

* TWM 20 presents Jetset Motel, Hooded Fang, Knock Knock Ginger, and Cedar @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6.

Night Flowers, The Elephant, Adverteyes, and Confusion Fog @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $5.

Local Alternative Rock feat. Supernal @ 12:30, Hail The Villain @ 11:30, A Fourth World @ 10:30, and Cancel Winter @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $8.

The Automatic @ 12:00, ADA @ 11:00, and Delusional Manifesto @ 10:00 Lee's Palace, 9pm, $8.

* Castlemusic (CD release) w/ Nifty and Ryan Driver @ St. George the Martyr Church (courtyard), 7:30pm, $8.

No Official Capacity presents Bride Of The Monster w/ Flesh on Fridays and Necrodios @ The Annex WreckRoom, 7pm (early show), $10.

Joe D'Urso & Stone Caravan @ The Cadillac Lounge, 10pm.


The Tranzac's Open House is today. It's great, and goes to support this wonderful venue. Tickets at $10 in adv, or $12 at the door. More details at

Ancestors and Devil Eyes @ Trash Palace (89B Niagara St.), 3-6pm, $5. Also "BBQ, popcorn, cold beer."

Evil Farm Children and Mississippi Grover @ Dakota Tavern, 9pm.

* Whatever Jailer, Grim Safari, and Hamilton Trading Co. @ The Oxford Hotel (117 Oxford St.), 8pm, pwyc.

Friends of the Family @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5/pwyc.

* Bound Stems, The Miles, Black Hat Brigade, and Lacerda @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5. Oh my, good lineup.

* No Shame presents Carbon Dating Service, Oh No Forest Fires, and Ride 'til Dawn @ The Drake Underground, 7pm (early show), $5.

Mystik Motorcycles and The Roxies w/ DJ Vania @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

ElZoo presents Doppleganger Zuku, The Isosceles Project, The Harold Wartooth, and DJ Illicit @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $5 (w/ canned food donation; $7 without). There will also be live painting and an art gallery set up. Sounds cool.

Joe Sorbara's Other Foot First w/ Joe Sorbara, Evan Shaw, Nicole Rampersaud, Scott Thomson, Ken Aldcroft, Thom Gill, and Chris Willes @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

Russell Leon Band w/ The Futz, and the Flyboys @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $6.

* Quest For Fire (ex-Deadly Snakes; CD release) @ 12:00, Andre Ethier @ 11:00, and Wyrd Visions @ 10:00. The Horseshoe Tavern, $7.

Rayna and Tamarack @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $8.

The Last True Gentlemen (CD release) @ 12:30, MENEW @ 11:30, Fourlines @ 10:30, and Night Flowers @ 9:30. Lee's Palace, 9pm, $10.

Shoba w/ Ray Robinson and Imaan Faith, and DJ Jason Chambers @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $10.

SUNDAY (20 Jul)

I'll be at the Bruce Peninsula 7" release tonight (it's sold out), otherwise, I'd be at Somewhere There.

Andrea Wappell @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 5pm, pwyc.

Gordon's Acoutic Living Room @ Free Times Cafe, 8pm, free.

Justin Chee and Antler @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.

Pitter Patter Nights presents Hamilton Trading Co. w/ Bill & Nat @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Wavelength 420 feat. The End Program, 68Pornomags, The Divergents, and Nagasaki @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc. Hard rock/metal bands.

Steamboat Soul Revue feat. Sandro Perri and Matler, w/ Michael Louis Johnson @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10:30pm, pwyc.

NOW presents Marcinku Kedzior (piano), Jonathan Gilbert (flute), and Paul Newman (saxophones) @ 8pm, and Simeon Abbott (prepared guitar) and Colin Fisher (Guzheng) @ 9pm. Somewhere There, $6.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boat Wednesday, Rancho Thursday.

On Wednesday night I decided to go out for an hour or two. I was tired of staring at my computer screen, working, and had nothing else to do. TW and I played a Horses song on the podcast, so I figured I'd head to the Boat to see them live. I got there in time to catch most of City Streets from Edmonton. They had a large handful of very happy, excited fans in the audience. They are on tour with the opening act, whom I did not see. I liked them, but they weren't why I was there.

Horses, who came on significantly after midnight, I liked a lot. Great vocals, and catchy, danceable pop songs. (TW told me last night that after hearing the Horses song we played that he'd been listening to them ever since! Yes: the podcast works, example 1.)

On Thursday I went to Rancho Relaxo for the second No Shame show happening there. (Read a bit about Lauren Schreiber and her series here.) Why, you ask? The Rural Alberta Advantage!! This band is so good in all kinds of ways. There was a healthy crowd, and we were sweating even before the RAA started playing and people started to dance and jump around and generally enjoy themselves immensely. It was HOT there last night. Ouff. But anyways, fantastic set.

I missed the first opening---Terra Lightfoot, filling in on not much notice---but was there for Mandibles. I dug what they were doing. Definitely a bit of a weird band, but good weird, and not too weird. If you know what I mean. Which you won't, since I'm not making sense. I liked them. Not instant favourites, but definitely a band worth seeing again. And not only for the musical antics coming from the back-up percussionist/etc.

Example 2 of the podcast working: A friend who never goes out on weeknights came last night to see the RAA because he loved the song we played ("Frank, AB"). He went away happy, and listened to the album which he purchased last night on his way to work this morning. He thinks it's "equally fantastic," of course.

Monday, July 07, 2008

No one asked me, but . . .

. . . I think the Polaris shortlist is bunk. Holy Fuck instead of Woodhands? Weakerthans instead of the Rural Alberta Advantage? No Amos the Transparent? Bah.

Ok, fine, not bunk. But I do think Woodhands is better electronica (broadly understood) than Holy Fuck, and the RAA album is a better folk-tinged indie pop-rock outing than the Weatherthans' release. But everything on the list is good---as far as I know---and if the Polaris Prize gets more people excited about home-grown musical talent, gets them out to shows and buying records and t-shirts, well, so much the better.

Good. I'm glad this exists.

Indie Music 42 (7-13 Jul 2008).

Like this list? Join my Google Group to get my weekly Toronto indie music listings.

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, let me know.

It being Canada Day and, well, summer, I was out seeing bands five days out of the last seven. And a whole lot of those bands were ones I hadn't yet seen. Highlights include the Speaking Tongues CD release show at the Boat on Saturday and Ghost Bees at Rancho Relaxo on Thursday. (I have never seen so many women or so many people sitting on the floor at Rancho Relaxo before. No Shame is back!) Oh, and Woodhands at Harbourfront Saturday afternoon. I'd be happy to see a bunch of the other bands I saw perform again, too.

I've starred a few shows in the extensive listings below. It was difficult choosing. There really is just lots of good music to take in. I'll be at Rancho Thursday night. I haven't made any decisions about the other nights of the week. See you around town!

This week's podcast should be up soon at Zygiella ( While If you're into the Toronto scene, or experimental/different stuff, you should know about Ben's podcast. Go to and follow the W.A.T.T. link at the top of the page. It's a good show! Ben's band is playing this week, Wednesday night at the Rivoli.

MONDAY (7 Jul)

CaMp CoMbO @ Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar) 8-11pm, pwyc.

Elvis Mondays presents Ministry of the Environment, Adam Faux & the Exploding Band, Lindy, La Casa Muerte, Niverse, Stone Angel, and the People Of Canada @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, free.

Shoeless Monday feat. Surfacing @ 11:15, Ethers @ 10:15, and Weeds @ 9:15. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Groovy Mondays feat. Woodland Telegraph and Capital Gross & the No Men @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, pwyc.

Purpose Promotions presents The Boogie Man (Jordon Daniel) w/ Authin Heathen, Edo, Beautiful Losers, and Dr. Beefgarden & The Shiggles, hosted by Quinn Martin @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9:30pm, $5.

Scott McKeon w/ Morning Electric @ Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5.

Monotonix, Brutal Nights, and Team Robespierre, plus art and comedians @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10 (but you should probably get adv tix).

Eyes on Toronto feat. Alan Cross (The Edge 102.1), Fraser Young (comedian), and Clothes Make the Man, w/ DJ Medley @ The Gladstone Hotel (Ballroom), 8pm, $10. This is a live talk show. CMTM is an excellent Toronto band.


Backyard House Show feat. Dibson T. Hoffweiler and Liv Carrow w/ Chris Yang and Griffin Epstein @ 887 Dovercourt, 8pm (start time). BYOB.

The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Boswalos @ 11:40, Kevin Kerr @ 10:50, Dirty Penny (CD release) @ 10:00, and Citizen Erased @ 9:10. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Pink and Black presents Bloodshot Bill, Rehab for Quitters, and Christian D & the Hangovers @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.

The Saffron Sect and Sunbear @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, free.

The Best of Free Times Cafe feat. Marcus Walker (host, opener), Rachel Robinson, Kristin Lagasse, and Shaun Mulrain @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, pwyc/$5. Marcus Walker will also be at Graffiti's Wednesday night.

HomeGrown Tuesdays feat. Trainlight, Chad Doucette, Trick of Disaster, Daniel Sadowski, Allister Bradly, and Bunmi @ The Silver Dollar, 7pm, $5/pwyc.

Tristan Avakian (guitarist for the show "We Will Rock You") @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm.

Pitter Patter Nights presents The Furr and Leah Erbe @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Revival Dear @ The Cadillac Lounge, 9pm, $tba. Playing every Tuesday in July.

Myk Freedman and Eric Chenaux @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.


Less than Jake (in-store) @ Sunrise Records, 1pm, free.

Pilgrims of Brock w/ The Billie Hollies, and Metal Kites (John Teilli w/ Julien Beillard) @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, pwyc.

Emilie Mover @ The Press Club, 9pm, pwyc.

3 Guys from the Prairies @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm.

* Pitter Patter Nights presents Horses, City Streets, and Wild Dogs @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

New Music Night feat. JohnnyExxtasy, Rough Skeletons, and Impulse (debut) @ Clinton's, 7:30pm, $5.

Drowning Girl, Recovery Child, and Goodbye Glory @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $6.

The Box: A Mixed Cultural Salon feat. performances and images, w/ musical guests including Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra, hosted by Louise Bak @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $5/pwyc. For more details, see

Dopplehertz presents Partyshank w/ Rynecologist and Johnny Hockin @ The Social, 10pm, $5 (before 11pm).

Paul Newman's Open House w/ Evan Shaw, Michael Herring, Dave Fish, and Scott Thomson @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

Lover, DCT, Teenanger, The Sour Notes @ The Velvet Underground, 9pm, $7. Promoted (by Dan Burke) as Jay Reatard's "revenge show," which I believe refers to a desire to get revenge on Jay Reatard, who performed for Burke a while back at the Silver Dollar, and things got out of hand.


Although there are several places I'd be happy to be tonight, I'm going to Rancho Relaxo for sure. If for some reason you don't dig the RAA, well, I can accept that. There are other good things to do. To wit:

Ryan Oliver @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 7-10pm, free.

The von Drats and Luau or Die @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, free.

Proof of Ghosts @ The Cloak & Dagger, 10pm, free.

Local Alternative Rock feat. Jay Manara @ 11:40, Scobo @ 10:50, The Maevens @ 10:00, and The Stormalongs @ 9:10. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $4. Broken Sons also think they are playing. I'm confused . . . maybe they are playing instead of Jay Manara?

Jessica Erlendson and Fait Dormi @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, pwyc/$5.

Brooke Gallupe (Immaculate Machine) w/ Great Aunt Ida and The Phonemes @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $6.

Allison Cameron Ensemble @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

Uhlan w/ Shay Stewart, Nathan Legare, and At Odds With Even @ Smiling Buddha, 9:30pm, $5.

Battala RockStars presents Sons & Lovers, Saigon Hookers, and Story Tellers @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

* No Shame presents The Rural Alberta Advantage, Mandibles, and Terra Lightfoot @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

First Person Shooter, The Apollo Effect, and Left of Zero (CD release) @ Lee's Palace, 9pm, $5.

Insurgentlemen, The Job, Sun Satellite, and Jesse Chase @ The Silver Dollar, 8pm, $5.

Rock for Humanity feat. P.D.H., Stop Drop N Skank, 50 Stars Anger, and Dead City Citizens @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5. All proceeds go to providing medical assistance to Toronto's homeless people.

Rich Burnett w/ guests @ C'est What, 10pm, $6.

The Break Down w/ guests @ Clinton's, 9pm, $7. The Break Down have a good funky-rock sound.

TIMA Showcase feat. Matt Humphreys, Ashley Alford, Human Kind, The Randall, and Hero from the Start @ The Annex WreckRoom, 8pm, $7.

Caledonia and The Darcys @ The Drake Underground, 8pm, $8. The east coast comes to the Drake (sort of).

Dos Mundos and Firegrooves presents Rebel Rhythm (CD release), SOPA SoundCrew and Beny Rockwell, w/ DJ sets by El Machetero, El Inca Negro, and Elman @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5 (before 10:30; $10 after).

Rock The Foundation feat. The Stars Here (12:00am) and the Red Light Riot (10:30pm) w/ comics Jo-Anna Downey, Terence Balazo, Mike Moses, Andy Boorman, Ron Sparks, Fraser Young, Gilson Lubin, Makesi Arthur, and Levi MacDougall @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $10. This is a benefit show for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society.

FRIDAY (11 Jul)

Fridays often involve last-minute show decisions on my part, because there's lots to choose from. This will be one of those nights for me.

* Everything All the Time @ Tranzac (AKA The Fringe Club), 10pm, free. This is part of the Fringe Festival. More details at

Coal Mine Canaries, Tungda Brown, and Mayfield @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, free. Pick up a free copy of the CMC's new demo disk.

Embrained, Stefan, and Chris Miller @ The Savannah Room, 8pm.

* Antler, Olenka & the Autumn Lovers, and Jessie Kussin @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.

Boxes & Bags, Clouds That Look Like Things, and Certified Healer @ The Press Club, 9pm, pwyc. Ah, B & B, those zany kids. Seriously entertaining live show.

Leslie Kirsh, Jeff Jones, and Rob Elder @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, pwyc.

Bo Green & band @ The Renaissance Cafe, 9pm.

Idle Tigers w/ Burn Planetarium and The Cheap Speakers @ The Drake Underground, 8pm (early show, done by 11pm), $5. Good bands on this bill.

You Handsome Devil, The Toads, The Shady Character Revolution, and ArchaeA @ Clinton's, 8pm, $5 (I'm guessing).

* TWM presents Black Hat Brigade, Europe in Colour, and Howl @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5. Also a good group of bands. I've heard all kinds of good things about Black Hat Brigade, and have been told that I've gotta see them.

Teenage X and The Superstitions w/ DJ sets by the Darth Virgos AL911 & Billy Geek @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

The Nameless Faceless (CD release) w/ Cucumber Slumlord @ C'est What, 10pm, $6.

The Farrell Bros. w/ The Blue Demons and The Sceamagers @ Silver Dollar, 9:30pm, $8.

Local Alternative Rock feat. The Joys @ 12:30, The Free Press (CD release) @ 11:30 , Jets To Ground @ 10:30, and The Scenario @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $8.

Mr. Flowas (CD release) w/ lots of performers @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 10pm, $8. "A night of regge n' dancehall."

* DD/MM/YYYY (tour homecoming), The Mae-Shi, The DeathSet, and Special Noise @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10.

Eclipse Eternal (CD release) w/ Empyrean Plague and Deathmarch @ The Annex WreckRoom, 6:45pm, $10.

Ryan Montbleau w/ David Martel @ The Rivoli, $10.


Too many good things happening! If you want free and Fringe-y, you want to head to the Tranzac. Feeling like dance music and then a sweaty DJ party? Go to the Boat. If you want to toast farewell to someone you don't know and listen to good bands while you're at it, then the El Mo is the place to be. If you're up for a night of good-to-awesome local indie rock with some variety, go to Rancho Relaxo. Wanna have a pint downtown and enjoy great singer-songwriters? C'est What is for you. Sneaky Dee's is the place to be to celebrate the launch of a new local label. None of that appeal to you? Then check out the bands at Silver Dollar (especially the infectiously-dance-y Green Go), hear local musicians' takes on Johnny Cash tunes at Free Times Cafe, or hang out at the the Rivoli, or the Horseshoe, or Revival . . . heck, what's not potentially (really) good tonight?

Clela Errington @ Gate 403, 5-8pm, pwyc.

Country Saturday feat. Laura Repo @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 7-10pm, free.

Ernest Lee & Cotton Traffic w/ Linda Mercer @ Grossman's Tavern, 9:30pm, free.

* Major Maker @ Tranzac (AKA The Fringe Club), 10-11pm, free. This is part of the Fringe Festival. More details at

Kraz's Farewell Bash feat. HotKid, Sunset Revue, Megan Hamilton & the Volunteer Canola, and Andrew DeVillers (The Hated, The Exchanges) @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, pwyc. Good.

Johnny Cash Tribute with Alistair Christl, Cleo Brown, Quincy LePalm, and Matt Bahen (The Schomberg Fair) @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, $5.

Bang the Party (dance party) feat. Marienbad and The Cleef @ The Boat, 10pm, $5. This should be fun.

* Zygiella VI presents The Miles, Coast Guard, The Primaries, and The Books Elusive @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5. The Miles!

Catl and Bradley Boy @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5. Each will play two sets. This also appeals to me.

The Wilderness @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $5.

The Ugly w/ DJ Vania @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Simeon Ross (Infighter), Mandippal Jundu, and Brooke Harris @ C'est What, 10pm, $5.

The Knifings (CD release) w/ Thee Empty Hours @ Smiling Buddha, 10pm, $5.

* Green Go, Slow Hand Motem,
The Music Box, and Streetlight Light @ Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5-$10 (tba). Green Go is a crazy-fun electro dance band from Guelph.

Local Alternative Rock feat. Before The Flood @ 12:30, Big Ideas @ 11:30, The Hollows @ 10:30, and The Human Statues (CD release) @ 9:30. The Horseshoe Tavern, $6.

Nilan Perera, Aaron Lumley, & Robin Buckley, and Nilan Perera & Justin Haynes @ Somewhere There, 8-10pm, $6.

Anvil w/ Blood Ceremony and Invermier @ Velvet Underground, 8pm (start time; early show), $10 (or $8 adv).

* Optical Sounds Launch & Double Release Party feat. The Disraelis (EP release) and The Hoa Hoa's (LP release) w/ DJs Pharmasound, Neptune Fizz, and the Totally Wired Gang @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $8 (or pay $12 and get both disks being released too).

Shortwave w/ The Giant Baby and SLAVE to the SQUAREwave @ The Rivoli, 8pm.

Remix: The Scream Gala feat. The Bicycles @ Revival (783 College), 8pm, $10. This is part of the Scream Literary Festival.

Serving Charity benefit show feat. Three Star Seed, Sex Butler, October Sky, Black Heart Emma, Sunday Detox, and James Harrison Copley @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 8pm, $10.

SUNDAY (13 jul)

Poor Pilgrim Island Show feat. Heavy Water, Aaron Lumley, Nick Storring Ensemble, Ryan Driver, Charles Balls, Allison Peacock, Eric Chenaux, Nadja, Maya Postepski Ensemble, Yuula Benivolski, Alex Lukashevsky, Laura McCoy, All Under Heaven, and Feuermusik Big Band @ various locations and times. More details here: An all-day musical journey! (Ha, sorry, that was super cheesy, I know.)

Wavelength 421 feat. Have Fun At The Altar, Phantastic Prayer Book, The Heart Beats, and Michelle Breslin @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc. Wavelength has something up it's sleeve here. I'll probably go to this.

Frankie Whyte & the Dead Idols @ 10:45, Shallow Palace @ 9:45, and tba @ 8:45. Lee's Palace, $5.

Burn Down the Capital presents Altamira (formerly The Future Has A Silver Lining), Bush League, Cave Dudes, and Not The Wind, Not The Flag @ The Boat, 9pm, $6. If the bands performing at Wavelength are too low-key and unexperimental for you, then you'll have a better time at this show.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Life is good, cont'd.

I saw six bands Saturday night, after having seen Woodhands earlier in the day. Let's see . . . at the Velvet Underground: a band from Spain (whose name I did not catch), the Salarymen (good-different duo with ridiculous-good banter), and the Brown Hornets (ok, but I didn't need to stay for their entire set) . . . and at the Boat: the Skirtchasers (reminded me of the Pack A.D.), Terror Lake (good, must be seen again), and the Speaking Tongues (more excellent garage-y blues rock). That's a lot of music. The first show was exceptionally sparsely attended. The second one had a much healthier turnout, and therefore was more fun. That, and I LOVE being up at the front at a busy show with other people having a blast and dancing to great music happening right in front of us.

Sunday's been a day of dim sum with YT, then meandering (with a purpose) around Little Italy, Kensington Market, and Spadina with KH. I had watermelon and ran into people I knew. It was hot and sunny and excellent.

I'm on a fruit kick these days. Can't get enough. Now time for blueberries.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I keep forgetting . . .

. . . to bring my camera when I go out. But you'll just have to take my word for it that Friday night after doing the podcast with TW, I went to a rooftop party in Kensington Market, where I (and many others) was (were) treated to performances by Jeannette Dowling, Brad Casey, Lowell Sostomi, and Hamilton Trading Co. A nice evening, music- and weather-wise. It was nice being on the roof. I am glad that I went. And I learned a few good things to know, too.

Saturday afternoon I biked down to Harbourfront to catch a free set by Woodhands as part of the Breaks, Beats, and Culture Festival. The duo was awesome, as usual. It was certainly different seeing them in a bright, sunny, outdoor, afternoon setting. A few of us in the front row were up and dancing, but the rest of the crowd was seated, enjoying the music. It was lovely. My love for Woodhands is renewed. Not that it needed to be, but an injection of Woodhands is always called for.

Afterwards I milled about, talking with friends and then went back stage for a bit while Tortured Soul was playing. They sounded pretty great: electro funk-soul, but less cheesy than that description makes it sound. Good stuff, but I wanted to get my bike adjusted and home before too late. (When I picked my freshly-fixed bike up from the shop a couple days ago, the seat was nearly a couple inches too high. Now it's good again.)

A young friend of mine who totally out-cools me in the indie scene has been convincing me all afternoon/evening to check out Salarymen at the Velvet Underground this evening. I just may do it. Maybe the Boat afterward, for the Speaking Tongues CD release.

Friday, July 04, 2008

I've been bad . . .

. . . about updating this blog lately. Oops. Things are good. I've been getting some work done on chapter 2, have been enjoying nice weather, and have seen some good performances.

On Tuesday I celebrated Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre, catching a chunk of Basia Bulat's set. She is super cute. Just really all kinds of cute. I was off to the side, and seeing as it was an outside venue and there were drunken, obnoxious men about who would not shut up, I didn't have the best concert-going experience. But it had nothing to do with Ms Bulat and her band. I am always happy to see them. Yay. (I didn't bring my camera with me to shows this week, but my blogger friends were at Harbourfront for Basia and Martha Wainwright too, and you can see their reviews and photos on their sites.)

Wednesday evening I saw for the first time the band of a friend of mine. Fire Hydrant was supposed to be opening for an American act at Sneaky Dee's, but ended up being the only band performing that night. There was a decent crowd out of well-wishers, friends, and fans, and I enjoyed what I heard, and would be happy to see them again. I don't know how exactly to describe their sound. Sometimes ambient, sometimes rock (even radio-friendly), sometimes verging on metal. The band played an extended set; I stayed for most of it then headed to the Boat . . .

. . . where Keith Hamilton was celebrating Pitter Patter Night #350. I missed Paper Lions---but heard they were "really, really good"---but came in time to catch the other two acts on the bill: The Northwest Division, a local country-flavoured band, and Aussies The Re-Mains. I especially liked the foreigners, but was impressed with both bands. Definitely a good showing for a mid-week evening. I do have one complaint, though. It was super loud at the Boat. Maybe my week off of shows has sensitized by ears, but even with my trusty earplugs in, I had move back and plug my ears with my fingers. It was just---to my ears, at least---needlessly loud in there. And of course most people don't wear earplugs. I fail to understand this. Anyways, yeah, it was LOUD.

On Thursday I was good and worked a bit, then, after retrieving my bike---I brought it to be fixed the day before (remnants of the car hitting incident of the 23rd)---and having sushi for dinner, I went back to the Boat to watch a practice session. The Postage Stamps, a local band featuring KH on bass and vocals, had not played together in six months, and I'd never seen them. I was expecting some version of Toronto indie rock music (which would have been just fine, at the very least), but instead I was treated to that rare thing, a sound unlike anything I'd been exposed to previously. What a band! I must admit that I was tearing up a little thinking about how this group had split up. Sad. It was really great sometimes-ambient, sometimes heart-felt jam rock (the good kind), and the musicians seemed to play off each other nicely. They were rusty, but I couldn't really tell. I hope I get to see them play again.

Earlier in the evening I had intended to head down to Harbourfront to see Orchestra Baobab, a Senegalese group I'd heard good things about from my roommate. The practice session at the Boat went long, though, and I had no desire to leave early. Good thing my original Thursday night plan was happening a few blocks away, at Rancho Relaxo. No Shame, Lauren Schreiber's indie music series, was having its first Rancho show, with a fantastic bill featuring Fall Horsie (whom I missed), Ghost Bees, and indie darling Laura Barrett.

I had heard from Lauren that when Ghost Bees played for her at the Drake a couple months back, the audience members had all sat on the floor in front of the stage. Last night was no different. A clump of people were seated when I arrived (during set-up), and others were bringing chairs to the dance floor. I did the chair thing too. (It was a sitting night for me; good for my healing knee.) Ghost Bees were amazing. A duo from Halifax composed of twin sisters, these young women have awesome harmonies and lovely, sweet songs. Their between-song banter was charming and hilarious.

Laura Barrett was the final performer. I've seen her a smattering of times, and she's always different. Tonight she had Ajay Mehra with her, as well as a bassonist, Jeff Burke, and Rancho's sound guy joined in on flute for a couple songs. (I think he just had the urge to do so, and so did. It was great.) Laura was endearing as usual. She played some older songs, but with the bassoon they sounded rather different than what I'm used to hearing. And she played some new stuff, which I rather liked. Her new album, a full-length due out at some point soon, I should think, will be worth getting.

The crowd last night at Rancho was a completely different one than I'd seen there before. Much more of the indie kid Kensington set, including a whole lot of young women in pretty dresses and other girlie things. I loved it, but felt a bit out of place in my skinny jeans and pretentious threadless tee! Haha. I'm so glad No Shame is back! Let's hope things go well. I'll be there next week, too.

Tonight TW and I are recording our sixth podcast and then it's back to Kensington Market for me to celebrate July 4 with a bunch of Canadians on a rooftop. Should be fun.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Picks for the week, 2-6 Jul 2008.

Just a few things from the venues I frequent to get you started.

Clearly, there are a lot more things happening.

Wednesday (2 Jul)

PWYC Weds feat. [surprise guest], Hurray For Higgsfield, St. Clair, and Ireek Sofakia (solo; Boxes & Bags, La Case Muerte) @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc.

Pitter Patter Nights 350 feat. The Re-Mains w/ The Northwest Division, Coast Guard, and Paper Lions @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Dadoo presents The Job, The Harold Wartooth, Vive Quebec Libres, Young Rival, and Wolfcow @ The Velvet Underground, 9pm, $5.

Devon Williams w/ Fire Hydrant @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

Thursday (3 Jul)

No Shame feat. Laura Barrett, Ghost Bees, and Fall Horsie @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Snailhouse (CD release) w/ Tusks and Allison Outhit @ The Drake Underground, 9pm, $5.

Friday (4 Jul)

Today is the first day of free Beats, Breaks & Culture festival at Harbourfront Centre. For details see

[BBC] Ladytron @ Sirius Stage, 9:30pm, free.

TWM 19 presents The Craft Economy, The Dress Whites, and Karma Controllers @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Saturday (5 Jul)

[BBC] Woodhands @ Sirius Stage, 2pm, free.

[BBC] Thunderheist @ Sirius Stage, 8pm, free.

[BBC] Crystal Castles @ Sirius Stage, 9:30pm, free.

The Speaking Tongues (CD release), Terror Lake, and Skirtchasers @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

No Shame presents The Superstitions, Invasions, and Bellevue @ The Drake Underground, 7pm (early show), $5.

Les Breastfeeders w/ The Mark Inside and Unbelievers @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $8.

TWM presents The Champion Heartache, Language Arts, North Amorica, and Alphabot! @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6.

Sunday (6 Jul)

[BBC] Katie Stelmanis @ Toronto Star Stage, 3:30pm, free.

Wavelength 420 feat. Spacecraft 7, Folk Festival Massacre, The Dead Are Those Who Have Died, and The People of Canada @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc.

Pitter Patter Nights presents Special Noise, HotKid, World War I, and The Re-Mains @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Dwarf Star, Allie T., Broken Tree Fort, and Sarah D. @ Oxford Hotel (117 Oxford St.), 8pm, pwyc.