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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 had a great show week. What did I take in? Ok, in order from first to last: Provincial Parks, Library Voices (10 people on the Bovine stage, crazy), The Rural Alberta Advantage, Ohbijou, The Acorn (holy shit!), The Danks, Boys Who Say No, and Two Hours Traffic (fantastic). I've got reviews and photos of the Saturday and Friday night shows on my blog.
There are some great shows happening this week. Monday you can catch 2008 Polaris long list nominee Justin Rutledge in an intimate performance at the Cameron House's front room, or help Elvis Monday celebrate it's 25 anniversary! On Tuesday Bad Flirt's at the Silver Dollar Room with local band Morning Electric, or head to Supermarket for a folk show, both $6. On Wednesday you have a wider choice: Sneaks, the Horseshoe, Tattoo, and the Drake are all good bets depending on what you're in the mood for, and you might enjoy Rancho Relaxo or the Annex WreckRoom's offerings too. (I'll be at a private function at the Rivoli, enjoying Hey Rosetta! and Dinosaur Bones, yay me.) On Thursday I'm recommending the house party with Maylee Todd, the Key Witness show at Sneaky Dee's, Wax Mannequin at the Boat, Clara Engel at the Tranza'c front room, the CD release party happening in the Tranzac's main hall, or Knock Knock Ginger at Smiling Buddha. Friday and Saturday... lots more, including a two-day residency by the fantastic Sunparlour Players at the Dakota Tavern. Otherwise, on Friday check out the holiday party at Rancho with Oh No Forest Fires and Bass Lions, The Two Koreas and the Hoa Hoa's at the Silver Dollar, "threesomes night" at the Bovine, or the Peter Project CD release show with Wordburglar and Masia One at Keep Six Gallery. Local favourite's The Coast are back in town Saturday at Sneaky Dee's with The Bicycles, or head to the Tranzac for a Michael Jackson tribute show featuring JM McNab (Key Witness), Geordie Gordon (The Magic), and Shelby Lamb. Yonder's at the Rivoli with Mandibles Saturday night, too. And finally, Sunday. There's a 12-hours charity event at the Boat featuring a lot of bands, a different charity event (with bake sale) in Kensington Market, and Wavelength's got an eclectic jazz/experimental/improv/hip hop bill. Phew! No reason to be bored in this city. Ever.
This week at Somewhere There a 3-day festival is happening, called the Martin Tetreault Interface. If you're into improv, experimental stuff (or think you might be), check out all the details at http://www.somewherethere.org/calendar.php. I haven't been good about listings these kind of events, so bookmark that page if you're keen on such things.
The Flying Eyes download cards are going out in the mail today. Thanks to everyone who entered! I'll draw winners for the Christine Bougie / Dafydd Hughes CD tomorrow, so let me know if you want in.
MONDAY (1 dec)
Shoeless Monday feat. Empty Chamber @ 11:15, John Shoes @ 10:15, and Big Stereo @ 9:15.The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.
Elvis Monday 24th Anniversary Show feat. Groovy Religion, Meryn Cadell, Noah Mintz (ex hHead), Bob Snider, A Neon Rome, Still Life Still, La Casa Muerte, and The People of Canada @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, free.
Jake Chisholm @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7pm, pwyc.
Panic Density feat. Adjemian/Brenders/Lumley @ Tequila Bookworm, 9pm, pwyc.
* Justin Rutledge and Bryan Arcand @ The Cameron House (Front Room), 9:30pm, pwyc.
Slowdance (Friends Explode DJs) feat. To Downcast Yours Eyes and Bozay @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, free.
Dark Tokes presents Gardenia, Glass Tomb, and Skull Bong @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $5/pwyc.
TUESDAY (2 dec)
The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. The State of Things @ 11:40, Slow Motion Explosion @ 10:50, 18th Dye @ 10:00, and Devon Williams @ 9:10. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.
The Pink & Black Attack presents Callahan and Kingdoms @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.
St. Dirt Elementary School @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.
The Human Statues Presents feat. Dave Borins, Mike Celia, Curtis Santiago, Nika Smith and Senor Kasio @ Bread & Circus, 9pm, pwyc. This is a new series.
Great Aunt Ida @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
The Calrizians @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.
The Whiners @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, pwyc.
Jon Travis, Erik Bleich, Kevin Scott, Andrew Thomas Hunter, and The Sugar Dimes @ Smiling Buddha, 8pm, $?.
* Bad Flirt, Morning Electric, and Flashlight Radio @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9pm, $6.
* GoodSoundsGood presents Folk Yeah! feat. Melissa Dalton, Wendy Leung & the Iron L(e)ungs, Lara Martin, and Shawn Jurek @ Supermarket, 9pm, $6/pwyc.
The Moxy @ 10:00 and First Person Shooter @ 9:00. Lee's Palace, 8:30pm, $8.
WEDNESDAY (3 dec)
The Annex WreckRoom & IndieCan Radio present IndieCan Wednesdays feat. Night Flowers, Sean Jones, and Dr. DFunkt @ The Annex WreckRoom, 9pm, free.
Must Be Santa Christmas/Anniversary Party feat. The Killaz @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.
Dean Lickyer @ The Cadillac Lounge, 10pm, free.
Jeff Cole, The Deficits, Jordan Leech, Alex Woodrow, Elissa Gallai, Rex Baunsit, and Jenna Steele @ Smiling Buddha, 7pm, pwyc.
Jeremy Robinson @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.
PWYC Weds feat. A Northern Drawl, The Boo, and Vedette @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc.
Brodie Dakin, Robb Mirsky, and Sarah Skellington @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
Brian Gladstone & Friends Open Jam feat. Shawn Brush @ Free Times Cafe, 8pm, pwyc.
* View Points: Inside The Musicians Studio w/ Slim Twig and Rolf Klausener (The Acorn) @ Harbourfront Centre, 7pm (start time), $5. Discussion, not music.
Dodge Fiasco @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm (start time), $5.
* The Balconies and The Little Deaths @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8pm, $5.
Carolyn T Band and Allie Hughes @ C'est What, 9:30pm, $5.
* Telephone Explosion 1st Anniversary Party feat. Human Eye, Holy Cobras, Teen Anger, and The Bang Bangs @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $8.
* Jerry Leger (CD release) @ 11:00, Andrew DeVillers @ 10:00pm, and Laura Repo @ 9:00. @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $8.
Lemuel & Emmett w/ Garden Gate, Dean McKinnon, Lizzie Laywine & Aidan Drake, and Kalila Badali @ Concord Cafe, 7pm, $10 (or $8 adv).
* People In Planes w/ Modernboys Moderngirls @ Tattoo Rock Parlour, 9pm, $10.
THURSDAY (4 dec)
Lesley Young Trio @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 8-10pm, free.
David Woodhead & friends @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7:30pm, pwyc.
* Acoustic show feat. Maylee Todd and Mikey Muscat @ 485 Clarens Ave., 9pm, pwyc. BYOB.
The Toads @ Rok Boutique, 9pm, free.
Lorraine Leckie (CD release) w/ Saint Helen @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, free.
Ancient Chinese Secret @ The Cadillac Lounge, 7:30pm, pwyc.
Live Jazz Thursdays feat. Jon Feldman Quartet @ Tequila Bookworm, 9pm, pwyc.
NUDe as the NEWs presents Party Time, Erika Werry, and Life, Love, Faith @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
Ian White @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, pwyc.
* Clara Engel and tba @ Tranzac (Tiki Room), 10pm, pwyc.
Barf Pigeons and The New Kings @ 751 Queen St. W (basement), 10:30pm (start time), $?.
HomeWreckords presents Goodbye Glory w/ Space is for Stars and Isle of Thieves @ Reverb, 9pm, $5.
Receivers, Full Speed Velocipede, and The Little Deaths @ The Velvet Underground, 8pm (start time), $5. No Shame recommended.
Squeeky & the Terribles, King Solomon, Bo Cairo, and Second the Motion @ Concord Cafe, 8pm, $5.
Treestar (EP release), Polarcare, The Market Fever, and Dog Is Blue @ Clinton's, 8:30pm, $5.
One True Faith (members of Zuku and Kill Cheerleader) and Revolution Love @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.
Taylor Knox & the Ishmaels, William Delray & the Sexy Moving Parts, and Ex~Po @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.
* Key Witness, Clouds (that look like things), and Streetlight Light @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.
Lorne Ryder Band @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, $6.
* Wax Mannequin (full band) and Rae Spoon @ The Boat, 9pm, $7.
* Heaven's Just a Kiss Away presents Don Lennon w/ Knock Knock Ginger, and HJKA DJs @ Smiling Buddha, 10pm, $6.
The Jolly Jam feat. The Shenanigans, Proxy Set, Stefi Beck Band, Don Campbell, and The Ender Brothers @ The Rivoli, 9pm, pwyc. Donations of food or money expected. Proceeds to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Roger Edwards Annual Xmas Fundraiser feat. Bunkhouse Romeo (3 sets) @ 9:15, 10:15, and 11:15. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, pwyc (donations).
* Christine Bougie & Dafydd Hughes (CD release) w/ Mantler @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8pm, $10.
Mystery Roadshow w/ The Great Orbax, Baptized in Blood, Lowdown, Bombing Neverland, and Latefallen @ Tattoo Rock Parlour, 9pm, $10.
FRIDAY (5 dec)
Chris Bottomley's Brainfudge @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 7-10pm, free.
Groovy Julia @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9:30pm, free.
Canary Mine, Newberry vs. Newberry, and Jimi Maze @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, $?.
The Uplifters @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge, 7:30pm, pwyc.
The Outlanders @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
Michael Brennan and Steve Briggs @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, pwyc.
Songwriters Unite! Monthly Showcase feat. Jude Haines, The Flyboys, Jaded, Annie Marleau, Neil Conway, Peter J. Slack & Jen Gillmor, Sam Turton, and Ellie Avisai w/ host Russell Leon and special guest Marcus Walker @ Graffiti's, 9pm (start time), pwyc.
Wapstan, Kvik, Grkgl, and tba @ 39 Huron St. ("Drone Hole"), 9pm, pwyc.
Wanda Jackson & the Rizdales @ The Cadillac Lounge, 10pm, $?.
* Peter Project (CD release) w/ The Fire Flower Revue, Wordburglar, and Masia One @ Keep Six Gallery (938 Bathurst, north of Bloor), 8pm, $5.
Minus the Royals and Shoot the Cameraman @ Clinton's, 9pm, $5.
Room Party feat. Young Flux (11pm) and DJ Pammm @ The Boat, 10pm, $5.
Lost Compound 03 feat. DJ Satta Don Dada, John Kameel Farah, This Instrument, DJ_Blndr, The First Seed, Otherpeoplesmusic, Talixen, and Traits (video set) @ Z (812 Dundas St. W), 10pm, $5. Other stuff, too.
Lunchmeat (EP release) w/ The Guest Bedroom, Ancestors, and Dead Messenger @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.
Sparkling White, The Sitwells, Coal Mine Canaries, and Mark Martyre @ Smiling Buddha, 8pm, $5 min donation to the Toronto Wildlife Centre.
* Threesomes Night feat. The Rival Boys, Dead Sexy Sheila, PURRR, and The Disraelis, w/ DJ sets by the Darth Virgos AL911 & Billy Geek @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.
* Audio Blood Media and TWM present Jingle Bell Hop feat. Oh No Forest Fires, Bass Lions, Brett Caswell & the Marquee Rose, w/ DJ Earl Grey @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7 (or $5 w/ canned food donation).
Auresia (CD release) feat. Cyborg and Jah Pong, w/ Makaya @ Harlem, $10 (CD incl), 11pm. Reggae.
* The Hoa Hoa's, The Two Koreas, The Easy Targets, Picturesound, and Dan Kosub @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9pm, $7.
* Sunparlour Players @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm (start time), $tba. Go early; this will fill up.
S & S Promotions presents Dawn Valley ,Storm The Shores, Oh The Agony, Closed For Tonight, and more @ Kathedral, 6pm, $10.
SATURDAY (6 dec)
* Quest For Fire (in-store) @ Sonic Boom, 5pm, free. All ages. Bring a donation for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Tin Roof Rusted @ Cadillac Lounge, 10pm, $?.
Al Tuck and Erika Werry @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, pwyc.
Dean Lickyer (CD release) @ Rok Boutique, 9pm.
* Michael Jackson Tribute feat. Shelby Lamb, Geordie Gordon (The Magic), and JM McNab (Key Witness) @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
Sunlit Ambush, Touch Me Airborne Plague, and Earsz, w/ DJ sets by Sinary Thread and Fez Beret @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $5.
Thief Dialect @ 12:30, Tomorrow's Glory @ 11:30, The.World.Is.Flat @ 10:30, and When Earth Sleeps @ 9:30. Lee's Palace, 9pm, $5.
Ninja Funk Orchestra, Chloe & Joelle, and God's Gift to Yoda @ Concord Cafe, 9pm, $5.
Sara Kamin, Kat Goldman, Linda M, and Amy Campbell @ C'est What, 9:30pm, $6.
TWM 30 feat. The Weathermaking Challenge, Racoon Wedding, The Primordials, and Blanc en White @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6.
Yonder w/ Mandibles @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $6.
* The Coast, The Bicycles, David Martel, and the Elwins @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10 (or $8 in adv).
Hank (LP release) w/ Nifty, and DJ The Robotic Kid @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8:30pm, $10.
Atherial, Harvard Is My Safety, Fusion, Planet4, Aberdeen @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 6pm, $10. All ages.
Louwop (CD release) @ Harlem Lounge (67 Richmond St. E) w/ Roach Uno, S.O.S., and hosted by PHatt Al, 10pm, $?.
Lucky Fool, Jetset Motel, The Northwest Division @ Silver Dollar, 11pm (late show), $tba.
The Matthews Brothers and A History of Petty Crime @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $tba.
* Sunparlour Players @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm (start time), $tba. Go early; this will fill up.
SUNDAY (7 dec)
Makita Hack & the Logrollers @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 5-8pm, free.
Dinah Thorpe and Liza Bozikovic @ St. Stephen-in-the-Fields (103 Bellevue at College), 6:30pm, pwyc. All ages. Proceeds to St-Stephen's Community Meal Programs. There's a bakesale too.
The Debonaires Family Christmas @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 5pm, pwyc.
* Wavelength 442 feat. Canaille, Theology 3, and Louwop, w/ DJ Frank's 2000 Inch TV @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc.
The Woodchoppers Association @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10:30pm, pwyc.
Women In Tragedy, Doom Tickler, Gravitons, and Almost Blue Sunshine @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $5.
Rock-a-Thon @ The Boat, noon-midnight, $5. All proceeds to SickKids Foundation. Here's the lineup:
12:00 A Man Called J (Jon Sohn; solo, doing EELS covers)
12:30 Defending Otis
1:00 Corey Morden
1:50 The Black Fever
2:40 Hamilton Trading Company
3:30 Swing You Sinners
6:00 Mackenzie King
6:50 First Noise, Then Silence
7:40 Tenth of May
9:20 Dirty Penny
10:10 Tripping Hazard
11:00 Fire Hydrant