Like this list? Join my Facebook group to get my weekly Toronto indie music listings. Subscribe to my weekly podcast (or download the episodes) here, or through iTunes. Or just listen to the latest one, and all the other ones, at Zygiella. Make sure to check the rest of my blog for show reviews and photos, giveaways, and downloads.
This weekend I took in the Over the Top Festival. From start to finish, I saw: Ghost Bees, Timber Timbre, The Ghost is Dancing, Clues, Woods (in-store), Bayonets, Tune-Yards, Think About Life, Oh No Forest Fires, Five Blank Pages, Tiny Masters of Today, The Guest Bedroom, The Budos Band, and Green Go. I could conceivably have seen a few more acts, and I suspect some people did. Still, that’s a lot of music. I’ll post a full recap and review of the festival on my blog soon.
Sunday night I was out again, this time for a special edition of Wavelength at Sneaky Dee’s, my favourite venue. Remember Toronto II featured the reunion (sort of) of four bands that owned the scene in the 1990s and early 2000s: Grasshopper, The Electric Shoes, Katrocket, and Doc Pickles’ band. All the acts were good, and different, and though Grasshopper’s Derek Madison hurled himself, his guitar, and other stuff around stage, and birthday boy Jonny Dovercourt was on-stage screaming during the closer, “Neptune,” my favourite act was Steve Heyerdahl’s Electric Shoes. The crowd was a chunk of years older than I’ve come to expect on Sunday night, and the place was pretty busy, full of nostalgia and old friends reconnecting. I didn’t know these bands back in the day, but the excitement of the evening was infectious. A fun night. And thank goodness for earplugs.
Monday night I got word that Rock Plaza Central was doing an intimate performance at midnight at the Tranzac’s front room. A few minutes into the release day of their new album, the 6-piece band played an hour-long (at least) set to no more than 25 audience members. Yawd Sylvester joined them on piano for a couple songs. Near the end of the show, the band’s drummer punk-rocked it out, bashing his cymbals to the ground, swearing at his bandmates (in jest, of course), and leaving them to play on. Quite the rousing set by what is essentially a literary folk-rock ensemble. It felt special to be there. Or “magical,” as Chris Eaton, the band’s front-man, put it.
This week I'm recommending the Pitter Patter Music Festival, happening at various venues in Toronto (and 7 other Ontario cities) Thursday through Sunday. I'll be at Rancho Relaxo on Friday night, Sneaky Dee's on Saturday, and The Rearview Mirror in Kensington Market on Sunday (running the door; come say hello!). And I will likely be other places, too. You know me: I love show-hopping when I can afford it. The PPMF is all pwyc, so it's totally affordable.
For all the details, see the festival website.
WEDNESDAY (27 may)
* Dog Day (in-store) @ Soundscapes, 6pm, free. All ages.
Wednesday Go Pop! feat. Fox Jaws, The Decade of Sleep, Stereos, and Eve & the Ocean @ Supermarket, 9pm, pwyc.
Download: Fox Jaws's "Warm Winter Coats" (Goodbye Doris, 2007).
A.M. Mayhem 1: Hall & Oates vs. Huey Lewis & the News @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5. (Bands you may know covering other bands you may know.)
* Donlands & Mortimer (CD release) w/ T H O M A S, Yuka, and Boys Who Say No @ The Boat, 9pm, $8. (Or $12 at the door gets you in + a copy of the new album.)
THURSDAY (28 may)
* Thirsty Thursday (All-Girl Edition) feat. Liz Hysen, Alejandra Ribera, Ronley Teper, The Pining, and poetry by Damian Rogers @ 61 Jefferson Ave, ground floor, 8pm, pwyc. "All proceeds go to Heels on Wheels' Ride to Conquer Cancer fundraising efforts."
Megan Hamilton w/ Rhiannon Thomas @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
Epigram, Ostrich Tuning, Hotel Hotel, and Salesman @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.
Little Foot Long Foot (CD release) w/ My Shaky Jane @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5.
The Terrible Twos, Teen Anger, The Bon, and Deutsche Bank @ The Silver Dollar Room, 10pm, $6.
* Dog Day (CD release) w/ The Burning Hell, Wildlife, and Pacific Trash Vortex @ Lee's Palace, 8:30pm, $7.
Download: Dog Day's "Rome" (Concentration, 2009).
Download: The Burning Hell's "The Berlin Conference" (Baby, 2009).
Totally Ripped, Sex Negatives, The Dead Are Those Who Have Died, and Disguises @ Smiling Buddha Bar, 9pm, $7.
FRIDAY (29 may)
* The Weather Station @ Ward's Island Association Clubhouse, 8pm, pwyc.
Download: The Weather Station's "East" (The Line, 2009).
The Ryan Driver Quartet @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
The George Casey Band, Luckyfool, The Monitors, and The Stormalongs @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9pm, $6.
Tin Star Orphans (CD release) w/ Graham Wright (Tokyo Police Club) @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $10.
* Slim Twig (CD release) feat. Slim Twig & the Young Hussies (playing covers), Slim Twig & the Mercy Mercenaries, Wyrd Visions, and others @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $10.
Download: Slim Twig's "Phantasm Inquest” (Contempt!, 2009).
Primary Colors presents Girl Sip Big Gulp (Under the Kitchen Table) feat. Videohippos, Ear Pwr, Gastric Female Reflex, and Botox Corvette @ United Steelworkers of America (25 Cecil St.), 8pm, $?
SATURDAY (30 may)
Robert Hedge @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
* The Rest @ Neutral, 11pm (set time), $6.
Download: The Rest's "Sheep In Wolves' Clothing" (Everyone All At Once, 2009).
* Still Life Still, Dinosaur Bones, and La Casa Muerte @ The Velvet Underground, 5:30pm (early show), $10 (adv). All ages.
Download: Dinosaur Bones's "N.Y.E." (Dinosaur Bones, 2008).
SUNDAY (31 may)
Wavelength 465 feat. Dwight Schenk, Bent by Elephants, and The Max Woolaver Band, w/ DJ Heavy Evie-D, visuals by General Chaos, and hosted by Doc Pickles @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc ($5-$10 sugg).
Download: Dwight Schenk's "Ready for Judgment Day" (Natural Disasters, 2008).
* Muskox and Ryan Driver @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
MONDAY (1 june)
The Michael Holt Ensemble @ Church Of The Holy Trinity, 12:15pm, $5 sugg.
TUESDAY (2 june)
Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. If Looks Could Kill, Mambolo, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, and Beth In Battle Mode @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.
Download: "A Little-Known Fact" (Hot Science, 2009).
* Octoberman (solo) and Great Aunt Ida @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.
* Mt. Royal and Proof of Ghosts @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.
GoodSoundsGood presents Marianne Turner, Robyn Dell'Unto, and Mary Simon @ Supermarket, 9pm, $6.