Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shout out: The Balconies and Sandman Viper Command.

I've been out and about a little less in recent weeks, trying to be more choosy with what I see, save a few $$, and get some work done. But it doesn't mean I've lost my love for live music, especially of the cheaper variety. It's awesome when I see a band that I never heard of and end up loving them, or a band I have some experience with that ends up really impressing me. It really happens more often than it rightly should, speaking to the depth of talent in this part of the world that has yet to break out elsewhere.

Last Friday that band was the Balconies, a young group originally from Ottawa but recently resident here whose debut full-length I tried to like but didn't much. When they came on---headlining Lee's Palace for their CD release after strong sets by more well-known bands---I wasn't in the best mood and pretty sure I wouldn't find them much more than ok. Wrong! I was at the front at the beginning of their set, and soon moved back behind the soundboard where the volume was less loud, and where I could be a little moody without anyone else noticing. After another song or two, though, the band had me hooked. Guitarist and lead vocalist Jacquie Neville was near-mesmerizing on stage. A strong voice and stage presence rarely matched in such a young performer (in my experience), I could hardly take my eyes off her. Great pop hooks and enough musical changeups kept my attention and forced me to admit that this band's really got something. I was less keen on the songs where Jacquie's brother and the band's bassist took over lead vocals, but it'd be hard for anyone to match her vocal chops. I went home and took another listen to their self-titled album. It's not so bad, after all. (And more proof that I usually need to see a band live in order to really "get" what they're about.) Consider me a convert and an enthusiastic booster.

The Singing Lamb's with me on this one, but she was in love with this band way before me. Note to self: pay more attention to Melody's picks. There were a bunch of photographers at the show, too. Clearly this band is on plenty of people's radars.

Download: The Balconies, "Lulu" (The Balconies, 2009).
Download: The Balconies, "The Slo" (The Balconies, 2009).

[Photo credit: Frank Yang.]


The second young band that had me enthusiastic this weekend was Sandman Viper Command. This Burlington group had impressed me back during Pitter Patter Fest in May, but though they had some good songs and great vocals, I wasn't convinced they'd found a sound all their own. I wanted to see them again and hoped they'd find themselves a niche and a larger audience when I did. Well, they did. Whether I missed it the first time or the band has honed their sound, on Sunday night at Sneaky Dee's---the last band to perform there as part of the Wavelength series---Sandman Viper Command showcased a sound that mixed old fashioned rock 'n' roll with new pop. And I loved it. Without sounding much like these other bands, they had me thinking of Ra Ra Riot, Zeus, and Two Hours Traffic, and in my books that is a good thing. I was impressed, and so too was the audience, it seemed. The guys had people paying attention and dancing, and though the crowd wasn't so large as it might have been, no doubt the word is spreading. I gotta admit I'm pretty excited about SVC.

They've got themselves on the recent Hi-Hat Recordings compilation album, and are set to play Elvis Monday next week. Check them out then if you're able.

Download: Sandman Viper Command, "Strawberry Quick" (Everybody See This, 2009).
Download: Sandman Viper Command, "Oh Yeah, It's Fusion" (Everybody See This, 2009).
There are lots of other great tunes on this record.

[Photo credit: Bryan Ulrich.]

Book Giveaway: Canuck Rock.

Last week I told you about a new book that I really enjoyed and learned a great deal from: Ryan Edwardson's Canuck Rock: A History of Canadian Popular Music. Now I've got a few copies of the book to give away! Details and a Q & A below, plus download songs by some of Ryan's favourite Canadian artists.

The book deals with rock 'n' roll, folk, and other popular (read: commercially successful) forms of music in Canada from the 1950s to the present day. Although fairly broad in scope, the book is mostly interested in exploring the development of a domestic Canadian music industry and ruminating on the relationship between national identity and popular music. The first few chapters make clear that though there was lots of popular music being performed in this country, musicians were rarely able to make a career out of doing so unless they moved, recorded, and signed a record deal elsewhere, usually the United States. The Canadian content rules for radio implemented in the early 1970s allowed for the creation of a domestic music industry. In its heyday, MuchMusic played an important role, too. The last 20 years have seen serious challenges to Cancon, and— ironically—the success of that legislation has meant that it no longer functions as it once did: to support new and emerging Canadian artists, labels, and recording studios. The book ends by discussing the impact of the internet and how much the domestic industry is embedded in the international music marketplace. See my original review for more.

I went to the book launch at Soundscapes last Tuesday, where there was a fascinating discussion about the history and current state of the music industry in this country between Edwardson, Canadian music heavy-hitter Bernie Finkelstein, and music journalist and historian Nicholas Jennings. There were some good questions from audience members afterward, which inspired me to ask a few of my own questions of Ryan the next day:

Jen: In your remarks at the book launch, you said that there was very little writing on the history of Canadian music outside Nicholas Jennings’s Before the Gold Rush and some magazine articles. What is it like researching and writing about the history of popular music?

Ryan: Well, in the case of Canada, for better or worse it meant working largely with a blank slate, and as such I let the research material guide me through it rather than coming in strongly with a set idea of how things should be written. I had encountered a bunch of anecdotal accounts, and some journalistic decrees of essentialism in describing music in Canada, and just knew that there had to be something more substantial. So, I gathered up as much material from whatever sources I could—print, archival, interview, etc.—and let that inform me and in turn provide the foundation for the book. Consequently, the book approaches the topic from a number of angles, including the experiences of musicians, broadcasters, Canadian content legislation, and fans themselves. One can't simply talk about "musicians in Canada" when it comes to understanding the evolution of "Canadian music."

Jen: One of your main arguments is that the Canadian content rules for radio allowed for—and forced the—creation of a domestic music industry. Well now we've certainly got one, even if it’s highly integrated into the international marketplace. Is Cancon still relevant today?

Ryan: That of course is the big question that continues to divide the industry. It’s all the more complicated by the proliferation of the Internet and MP3 technologies that offer alternatives to traditional broadcasters. Yet these technologies have not made Cancon obsolete; if anything, they play off of each other. Rather, it is the abundance of internationally-acclaimed, multinationally-backed acts of Canadian citizenship being used to fill the Cancon quota (and whose music is bound to be aired anyways) that have complicated the situation. The original idea behind Cancon is still sound—providing opportunities for citizens of a country to access their publicly owned airwaves—but the challenges being faced by emerging artists, composers, recording studios, etc. have evolved and significant barriers still exist.

Jen: Your book is written in a way that makes it accessible to a broad audience. Was this a deliberate choice? Why?

Ryan: Most definitely. After all, if your goal is to share ideas with people, what’s the use of jargon-filled writing that can only be read by a select few? This is especially true when it does not have to be written as such, and all the more so when it comes to popular music, a topic with a massive audience outside of the academic world.

Jen: The book jacket says you’re a music fan. Do you follow current artists? Who are your favourites these days?

Ryan: Hmmm. Although the likes of Joel Plaskett and the Weakerthans ride high on my playlist, among the lesser known (and more recent) acts that deserve much more attention, I think, are Old Man Luedecke, NQ Arbuckle, and Elliott Brood. There’s definitely some amazing talent out there, and so much of it is available to be seen at smaller venues where you can actually hear the music coming from the instruments rather than just what the P.A. system has to offer.

Want to know more? (I hope you do!) To win a copy of the book, email me your name and mailing address. Put "Canuck Rock" in the subject line of your message, and get your entry to me by Sunday, 4 Oct, at 11:59pm. I'll let you know on Monday if you're a winner, and you should get your book soon thereafter! If you don't win a copy you can pick one up at bookstores and places like Soundscapes ($21.99) or order it online.

And now for some music from Ryan's favourites (we have similar taste in music, seems like) . . . .

Download: Joel Plaskett, "Safe In Your Arms" (Three, 2009).
Download: The Weakerthans, "Sun In An Empty Room" (Reunion Tour, 2007).
Download: Old Man Luedecke, "Proof of Love" (Proof of Love, 2008).
Download: NQ Arbuckle, "I Liked You Right From The Start" (X O K, 2008).
Download: Elliott Brood, "Write It All Down for You" (Mountain Meadows, 2008).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Indie Music 98 (25-30 Sep 2009).

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto, all for $10 or less. If I'm missing something you think I should list, or you have any comments, let me know. I star (*) shows that most interest me.

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.

As promised, here's the rest of the week. Enjoy! No podcast this week, but listen to what we might have played right here on this page.

FRIDAY (25 sep)

Why? Festival feat. XI, Stranjah, Belladonnakillz, Nick Storring (Picastro), and Joda Clement @ Trembita Bar (85 Christie, north of Bloor), 10pm, free.

Mike Kosowski Quartet @ The Central, 9-11pm, pwyc.

* Tamara and Simon (from The Weather Station) @ Holy Oak, 10pm, pwyc.

Stillepost Fundraiser feat. The Pariahs, The Whole Entire Universe, and High Heels Lo Fi @ The Poor Alex Theatre (772A Dundas St. W), 9pm, pwyc.

Give us the Daggers and more @ The Silver Dollar Room, $5.

Live, Cousins of Reggae, Panopticon Eyelids, and Nuband @ Concord Cafe, 9pm, $5.

* Marienbad w/ DJ Anthony Gerace @ Rearview Mirror, 10pm, $5.

* Secret Broadcast, The Fast Romantics, The Royal Ascots, and Paint @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Download: The Fast Romantics, "Spooning the Gorilla" (The Fast Romantics, 2009).

Samantha Martin & the Haggard w/ The John Henrys @ The Dakota Tavern, $5?

* Pop with Brains 23 feat. Giragira.gif, Mamabolo, Chang-A-Lang, and Mother Murder @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5.

One Man Band spectacular w/ Shane Philip and Mississippi Grover @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, $5.

* The Balconies (CD release), Oh No Forest Fires, Fox Jaws, and Whale Tooth @ Lee's Palace, 9pm, $7.

* Make Your Exit (CD release) w/ The Paint Movement and Corduroy @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $7 (or $10 gets you the CD, too).

Download: Make Your Exit, "Kids" (Remind Me the Reason I Came, 2009).
Download: Make Your Exit, "Through the Winter" (Remind Me the Reason I Came, 2009).

Alehammer, Legion DCLXVI, Murdersquad, and Abyss @ Smiling Buddha, 9pm, $8.

Hip Hop Rock Sandwich feat. Toolshed, Cancel Winter, Us & Others, and wordPEOPLE @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 8:30pm, $10 (or $5 w/ student card).

Silver Starling w/ Final Flash @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8pm, $10 (adv, or $12 door).

SATURDAY (26 sep)

Rob Clutton (CD release) @ Holy Oak, 9pm, pwyc.

Alun Piggins & the Quitters and Chris Hart @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm.

Diemonds, Life Size Dream, and City Sweethearts, hosted by Manolis Zontanos @ Siesta Nouveaux, 9pm, $5. All ages, BYOB.

* Jacques & the Shakey Boys (CD release) @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5.

* Burn Down The Capital presents Heaven, Daiquiri, Pants & Tie, and Clan Of The Cave Bear @ Teranga, 9pm, $5.

* Ketch Harbour Wolves, Vacuity, and Final Flash @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9:30pm, $8.

Download: Ketch Harbour Wolves, "Animals" (Dead Calm Horizon, 2008).

Why? Festival feat. Enduser, Sidenote, John Kameel Farah, C64, Skeeter vs. Nwodtlem, Gorf, and ESB, and more @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 9pm, $10.

Mr. Something Something @ Silver Dollar, 9pm, $10. Afro funk!

SUNDAY (27 sep)

Sing-a-Long Sundays w/ Steve Singh, feat. Lincoln County Social Club @ The Drake Hotel (Lounge), 9pm, free.

* Wavelength 482 feat. Sandman Viper Command, The Sales Department, Let There Be Light, and Debbie Suede, hosted by Doc Pickles, w/ visuals by General Chaos @ Sneaky Dee’s, 9pm, pwyc ($5-$10 suggested). Last WL at Sneaky Dee's.

Download: Sandman Viper Command, "Oh Yeah, It's Fusion" (Everybody See This, 2009). Great young band!

* Muskox and Jessie Kussin @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Blank State Book Launch feat. music by Arietta, MJ Cyr, and more @ Bread & Circus, 8-11pm, $10 (incl. book).

MONDAY (28 sep)

* Elvis Monday feat. Whale Tooth, Spookey Ruben, Boxes & Bags, Cigarettes, The Cash Grabs, and The People of Canada @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, free.

* Rah Rah, The Rest, and more @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $5.

Download: Rah Rah, "Tentacles" (Going Steady, 2008).

* The Rifles, Young Rival, and Invasions @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $9 (adv, or $10 at the door).

TUESDAY (29 sep)

Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Volcanoless In Canada (11:40pm), Alert The Medic (10:50pm), We Were Lovers (10:00pm), and Atomic Cosmonaught (9:10pm) @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Fred Spek's Camp Combo @ The Cadillac Lounge, 9pm-midnight, pwyc.

Lizzy & the Pretty Boys w/ Mandy Mac & the Straight Shooters @ The Central, 9pm, pwyc.

* Orn, Grasshopper, and Thrashed Jeans @ The Boat, 9pm, $3. Heavy.

* TV Ghost, No No Zero, FNU Ronnies, and Ancestors @ Velvet Underground, 9pm, $7.

Travis Porter and wegotthemovement.com present Blind Witness, A Textbook Tragedy, We Came As Romans, Abandon All Ships, and more @ Kathedral, 6pm, $10 (adv).

Bri-Anne Swan (CD release) w/ Kristen Jones @ Supermarket, 8pm, $10 (adv, or $12 door).

The Soft Pack w/ Action Makes @ Silver Dollar, 9pm, $10 (adv, $12 door).

WEDNESDAY (30 sep)

The Good Lovelies @ Yonge & Dundas Square, 12:30pm, free.

PWYC Weds feat. The Black Fever, We Are the City, and The Imaginaries @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc.

Wednesdays Go Pop! feat. Vanderpark, Arctic, and Mike Butlin @ Supermarket, 9pm, pwyc.

* Shotgun Jimmie, Dog Is Blue, and Innes Wilson & his Opposition @ The Cameron House, 10pm, $5. Nice!

* Steel Bananas 1 Year Anniversary feat. The Darcys, Jane's Party, The Body Electric, and DJ Hemingway @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

* The Sheepdogs @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5. Saskatoon band with a great classic country rock sound.

Download: The Sheepdogs, "Let it All Show" (The Sheepdogs' Big Stand, 2008).

* Chain & the Gang w/ No Gold and Slim Twig @ Trash Palace, 7:30-11pm, $?

What's on tonight.

I'll have the full list up soon... but here's tonight for the moment.

(24 sep)

* The Antlers (in-store) @ Criminal Records, 6pm, free. All ages. The band is playing later that evening at the Horshoe with openers Arietta and Holly Miranda. Tickets for that are $10.50 adv or $12 at the door.

Locomotive 8, The Black Beat @ The Central, 10pm (start), free.

* Ronley Teper's Lipliners (2 sets) @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc. Promises to be a good time.

* Isla Craig and Ivy Mairi (10pm), preceeded by Daniela Gesundheit's Tentet-Jewish Liturgical (8pm) @ Holy Oak Cafe, pwyc. Lovely voices all 'round.

Michael Holt @ Tranzac (Tiki Room), 8-10pm, pwyc.

The Strumbellas, The Sweet Peas, and Alex Leggett @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, pwyc/$5? Should be fun.

Acoustic Roots Review feat. Dan Kosub and others @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm.

* Honest I's, A Horse and His Boy, LAN Party, and Maggie Cross @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

Download: Honest I's, "Young."

* Kids on TV (release party) and Diamond Rings @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 10pm-1am, free. Wee!

The New Enemy (EP release), The Little Millionaires, and DJ MSTRkreeft @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5. Party of "Pistol Whipped Thursdays, a once a month event! For all your favourite Acoustic/Country/Cow Punk and Beard Rock."

Blacklist Manifesto, Wildlife, The Decade of Sleep, and The Championship Heartache @ Lee's Palace, 8:30pm, $5. Good bands on this bill.

* Christina Maria Group, The Jessica Stuart Few, and Eve & the Ocean @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $8.

Sugar Fight presents Foxes in Fiction, The People of Canada, Last of the Bandits, and Father Christmas @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Review: Canuck Rock by Ryan Edwardson.

Canuck Rock tells the story of rock 'n' roll, folk, and other popular styles of music in Canada; the Canadian songwriters and musicians who made it big in the U.S.; and the emergence of a domestic music industry within the multinational market. The book is mainly concerned with English-language music, but there are important sections devoted to the rather different musical happenings in Quebec. This book serves as a useful overview of the music industry in Canada that emphasizes how music came to be seen as having important nationalistic purposes when very little in its history, content, or production was particularly Canada-focused.

The book's main argument is that there was no music industry to speak of in English-speaking Canada prior to the Cancon regulations for radio in the early 1970s. The new rules meant that a significant percentage of daytime airtime had to be devoted to playing Canadian music---music that hit upon two quantitative measures of Canadianness: the music was composed by a Canadian, the lyrics were penned by a Canadian, the song was recorded in a Canadian studio, and it was performed primarily by Canadian musicians. Under the regulations, the definition of "Canadian" was not dependent upon citizenship, but referred to artists living and working in Canada: Artists who were actively part of the domestic music industry.

Commercial radio stations in this country come off as the greatest villains in Edwardson's telling. In the 1950s and 1960s they would, with rare exceptions, only play songs already charting on the American Billboard hit-list. There are anecdotes about radio programmers laughing in the face of Canadian arists, and then literally trashing local albums without even listening to them. The musicians and industry-boosters who took it upon themselves to push for Canadian content regulations for radio in the late 1960s and into the 1970s deserve the most credit for the creation of infrastructure that has allowed musicians, studios, and label owners to make a living based in Canada. The advent of MuchMusic at a time when there were few Canadian-made videos was a huge boost to the domestic industry, but only for the station's first decade, after which it changed its programming focus. By the end of the book, which rushes through the great changes in the industry since the mid-1990s, commercial radio stations are once again painted in negative terms. Even though Cancon has remained in place, changes over the years and---ironically---the strength of Canadian music in the past few decades---has meant that the regulations are much less effective than they once were in supporting new and emerging artists. With large backcatalogues of established and internationally-known Canadian artists to turn to, radio stations are once-again risk averse. The internet has changed their importance relative to other forms of media and publicity, but Edwardson's book is too broad---and perhaps too soon---to delve much into recent happenings.

Edwardson convincingly shows how popular music in Canada went from being almost completely un-national in content, influence, location, support, and intent, to being an art-form and entertainment championed as a major component of Canadian culture. The change didn't spur Cancon, he claims, but it did happen concurrently with the growing sense among music types that a domestic music industry ought to exist for reasons unrelated to nationalism.

I enjoyed this book. It is accessible yet intelligent and well-researched---Edwardson had a PhD in history, after all. Some readers may enjoy the earlier chapters that cover the story of Canadian popular music in its proper American or British contexts. Others, like myself, with find more of interest in the latter, more industry-focused, ones. Content-wise, the book is a little disjointed, with the Quebec sections not as well integrated as they might have been. (But then, the story there is so different, and Cancon had little effect because radio in that province was already playing French-Canadian artists.) Anyone interested in the history of music-making in this country, and especially of the emergence of the domestic music-making industry, will find much of interest here. Like all good books should, this one leaves me wanting to know much more.

Canuck Rock is being launched this evening (Tuesday, 22 September) with a panel discussion at Soundscapes. Ryan Edwardson will be joined by True North Records' founder Bernie Finkelstein (who figures prominently in the book as one of the heroes of the Canadian industry) and author Nicholas Jennings (Before the Gold Rush). The free event runs from 7 to 9pm.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Indie Music 97 (17-23 Sep 09).

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto, all for $10 or less. If I'm missing something you think I should list, or you have any comments, let me know. I star (*) shows that most interest me.

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.

Much happening over the next 7 days. You'll have some hard choices to make!

(17 sep)

* Brian Borcherdt, Jose Miguel Contreras (By Divine Right), and Julie Fader (in-store) @ Criminal Records, 6pm, free. All ages.

* Deerhoof w/ Serengeti and Polyphonic @ Yonge & Dundas Square, 8pm, free. All ages. Part of TIFF.

Gentlemen Husbands, Monster Trucks, and Songs From a Room @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, free.

Download: Gentlemen Husbands, “Tapanga” (Something Along the Lines of “A Lesson in Unprofessionalism”, 2008).

The Histrionics @ Graffiti's, 9pm, free.

Laura Macdonald, Griffin Epstein, and Liv Carrow @ Tranzac (Tiki Room), 7:30pm, pwyc.

* Hand Drawn Dracula presents Brian Borcherdt, By Divine Right, Off The International Radar, Julie Fader, and Josh Reichmann @ The Drake Hotel (Underground),8pm, $5 (or $10 after midnight). Later: Megasoid, and DJ Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck).

The Boogieman Jordon Daniel @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $5.

RanchaPalooza: A Tribute to Grunge w/ Recordbreaker, Protozoans, Ex~po, Santa With Muscles, The Discards, Yukon Cigar, Blood Rexdale & the Walls are Blonde, and Mondo Bizarro @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7. "Songs by bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Dinosaur JR, Stone Temple Pilots, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins & Matthew Sweet."

Stephanie Braganza w/ The Groove Suit @ Neutral, 9pm, $7.

The Organ Thieves and Orphan Choir @ The Bovine, 9pm, $7.

Heart of a Shark (CD release) w/ Ten Kens, The Sitcom, and Chun-li Fan Club @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $7.

* Black Diamond Heavies w/ The Speaking Tongues and Evelyn @ Velvet Underground, 8:30pm, $7. Adv tix avail.

Download: The Speaking Tongues, "Doctor Doctor" (Wild Sound, 2008).

Amelia Curran w/ “The Six Shooter Welcoming Committee” @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $10. Adv tix avail.

Download: Amelia Curran, "The Mistress" (Hunter, Hunter, 2009).

FRIDAY (18 sep)

Out of Order, The Bag Ladies, The Money Shots, The Rotten, and more @ Rearview Mirror, 9pm, free.

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

Emilie Mover @ Holy Oak Cafe, 10pm, pwyc.

* Pacific Trash Vortex (CD release) w/ Grasshopper, Terror Lake, and Broken Tree Fort @ Teranga, 9pm, $4 (or $6 and you get the CD too).

Madcowboys and The Pariahs w/ DJ Vania @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Spirits (CD release) @ The Hideout, 8pm, $5.

Eien Hi, Kind Heights, and 1977 @ HeartBeat 960, 8pm, $5.

North Lincoln, Junior Battles, Whiskey Trench, and The Roman Line @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Universe 326, fleeceelves, and Tin Star Orphans @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm (start), $5.

YYZ Records presents Madrid, Kidstreet, and Jeremy Glenn @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8pm, $5 (or $10 after midnight). Later: DMoney presents Edumacation 2nd Anniversary w/ DJ Fase and Bobbito. In the Lounge, DJ Lucie Tic and Dougie Boom.

* Steam Whistle Unsigned 11 feat. Machetes, Foxfire, and Little Foot Long Foot, w/ DJs The Rural Alberta Advantage @ Steam Whistle Brewing (255 Bremner Blvd), 8pm, $5. "100% of the door is donated to the Artists' Health Center Foundation. (ahcf.ca) These shows have raised over $11 000 for the AHCF to help them help local musicians and artists!" More info here.

The Boojies w/ Thee Virginia Wolfes and MC The Wolfman @ Smiling Buddha Bar, 10pm, $5.

* The Stormalongs, Styrofoam Ones, Zeroes, The Eatons, and Krupke @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9pm, $6.

Clara Engel, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, and Jaggery @ Labspace Studio, 8:30pm, $7.

* Modernboys Moderngirls (CD release) w/ Clothes Make The Man, Burn Planetarium, and Rikers @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $8 (or $10 and you get the CD too).

Fitzroy Terrors w/ Street 66 @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9:30pm, $8.

* Kazoo! & The Music Gallery present Le Cyc (a graphic novel bike opera performed live) @ The Music Gallery (197 John Street), 8pm, $10 (or $5 for members & students). All ages. The performance starts at 9pm. For more info, click here.

Stuck in the City presents Soul Control, The Endless Blockade, Haggatha, and Titan @ Siesta Nouveaux, 8pm, $10. All ages.

* No Shame 100 feat. Green Go, Ruby Coast, Pick a Piper, and The Skeletones Four @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $10. Help my favourites No Shame celebrate 100 shows!

Download: Green Go, "Brains for Breakfast" (Borders, 2009).
Download: Ruby Coast, "Neighbourhood" (Projectable Collections, 2008).
Download: Pick A Piper, "Yellowknife" (Pick A Piper, 2009).
Download: The Skeletones Four, "The Fish Rots from the Head" (live, Orangeville, 17 May 2009).

Patrick Brealey (CD release) @ St. Stephen in the Fields Church (103 Bellevue Ave), 8:30pm, $10.

Zoe Boekbinder (CD release) w/ Kay Pettigrew and Air Heart @ The Rivoli, 8pm, $10.

Explicit Fantastic (80s glam party) feat. MCs Sweatshop Hop w/ Henri Faberge & the Adorables, Kids On TV, and Melleefresh, plus DJs Vaneska and Spydabrown @ Metro Theatre (677 Bloor St. W), 9pm, $10 (before 10pm, or $15 after). Free drink ticket with admission.

SATURDAY (19 sep)

Shortwave @ The Mod Club, 11pm (showtime), $10. Get on the guestlist for free entry.

* Dwight Schenk farewell show feat. Slipper Orchestra, Basement Arms, Ronley Teper & her Lipliners, and The Slipper Orchestra @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm (start), pwyc. Drinking and dancing in the Tiki Room w/ DJ Chambers @ 8pm.

Download: Dwight Schenk, "Ready for Judgment Day" (Natural Disasters, 2008).

Cool Dad w/ The Wilderness and Tin Star Orphans @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, pwyc.

Download: Cool Dad, "Lookin' For A House" (Delaware, 2009).

Alex Grantham, Matthew's Dominion, Mitch Clark, Julian Hackquebard @ 460 Spadina, 9pm, $5 (one free beer included).

Moore and Faith of a Martyr @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

* Pop Montreal presents Hooded Fang, Silly Kissers, The Miles, and Makeout Videotape @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8pm, $5 (or $10 after midnight).

* TWM 49 feat. B.A. Johnston, Horses, and Windom Earle @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7.

* The Hoa Hoas, Elephant Stone, and Michou @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $7.

* The Bon (7" release) and Catl @ Trash Palace, 6:30pm, $8 (incl. 7"). BBQ from 6:30-8pm. Bands at 8 and 9pm.

Download: Catl, "Pickup Killed My Ford" (¿Adónde Vas? A Ningún Lado, 2009).

Mardeen (EP release) w/ All Day Driver and Nate Kreiswirth (Cancel Winter), 9pm, $8.

* Japandroids, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, and Brides @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $12 (or $10 adv tix avail.).

The Woodchoppers Association et Jah Youssouf @ The Music Gallery, 7pm, $15 (or $10 member, $5 student & senior). Performance starts at 8pm.

SUNDAY (20 sep)

Sing-a-Long Sundays w/ Steve Singh, feat. Lincoln County Social Club @ The Drake Hotel (Lounge), 9pm, free.

Santa with Muscles, Matt Bahen, Megan Hamilton & the Volunteer Canola, Boiled Weiners (sketch comedy), and The Understudies (sketch comedy) @ Rancho Relaxo, 8pm, pwyc. Megan Hamilton and Ben McLean's (Showcho) going-away party.

Wavelength 481 feat. Grand Trine, Magic Cheezies, Cousins, Rat Tail, and Popeye's Golden Theory (Cuba), hosted by Doc Pickles, and w/ visuals by General Chaos @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc ($5-$10 sugg).

The Beauties @ The Dakota Tavern, 10:30pm, $5.

* Growing, Slim Twig, and Carl Didur @ The Boat, 9pm, $10 (or $8 adv).

Download: Slim Twig, "Phantasm Inquest” (Contempt!, 2009).

Machetes, Scarlett Fever, Cadillacs & Cadavers @ Neutral, 9pm, $10/pwyc.

Benefit Concert for Kiva.org and Save Darfur feat. Ev O'Lution, The Little Black Dress, Dave Borins, Stacey Kaniuk, Logiq @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), $10.

MONDAY (21 sep)

Shoeless Monday feat. Beta Porn (11:15pm), Alter Kakers (10:15pm), and You Call Yourselves Soldiers (9:15pm) @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

This is Awesome @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 7pm, pwyc.

Burn Down The Capital presents Daniel Francis Doyle w/ Pace The Stairs, Women In Tragedy, and Cousins @ The Boat, 9pm, $7.

TUESDAY (22 sep)

Pink and Black Attack presents Maximum R'n'R and Caution Inc @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.

* Book launch for Canuck Rock by Ryan Edwardson, with guest panelists Bernie Finkelstein and others @ Soundscapes, 7pm, free. All ages. [Not music.]

Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Rosewoods (11:40pm), Vicious Guns (10:50pm), Dustin Bentall (10:00pm), and Holly Andruchuk (9:10pm) @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Fred Spek's Camp Combo @ The Cadillac Lounge, 9pm-midnight, pwyc.

Sue & Dwight (CD release) feat. Kevin Quain (bass/piano), Adam Warner (percussion), Shelley Coopersmith (strings), Kim Cole, and Michelle Rumball (background vocals) @ The Cameron House, 7pm, $10. Adv tix avail.

WEDNESDAY (23 sep)

* Sunparlour Players @ Yonge & Dundas Square, 12:30pm, free.

Elvis Monday [sic] feat. The Stormalongs, The Albertans, Heartbeat Hotel, Broken Bricks, and The People of Canada @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, free.

PWYC Weds feat. Good Citizens, Rep by Pop (CD release), and My Son My Son @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc ($5 sugg).

Cold Dead Hands, A Northern Drawl, and Elos Arma @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $4.

Clocktet @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

The Sheepdogs @ The Dakota Tavern, $5?

Urban Preacher w/ Brute Force Romeo @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm, $8.

Springsteen's 60th Birthday feat. Craig Martin & the Superchargers playing classic Springsteen @ The Cadillac Lounge, 9pm, $10.

Ticket / CD Giveaway: Make Your Exit @ Sneaky Dee's, 25 Sep.

Toronto band Make Your Exit have a new EP, Remind Me the Reason I Came, coming out on 22 September. The band's sound is indie pop-rock with the expected xylophone and the rather less expected saxophone, plus good lead and backing vocals. Their instrumentation and vocal arrangements choices remind me of a poppier Paint Movement and sometimes a rockier Fleet Foxes. I like Make Your Exit's combination of folk and rock sensibilities. The first track off the album, "Kids," has all the ingredients in it. "Through the Winter" also showcases what the band's sound is all about. Have a listen for yourself . . .

Download: Make Your Exit, "Kids" (Remind Me the Reason I Came, 2009).
Download: Make Your Exit, "Through the Winter" (Remind Me the Reason I Came, 2009).

To celebrate the release, Make Your Exit are headlining a show at one of my favourite venues, Sneaky Dee's, on Friday the 25th. Also on the bill are a couple bands that will compliment MYE: The Paint Movement and Corduroy. And I can get you in for free! Thanks to the good, fine folks at Audio Blood Media I've got a couple prize packs for you to win. Each one includes 2 tickets to the show plus a copy of the new disc. Sounds great, yeah? For your change at a prize, email me your full name. Get your entry to me by 11:59pm on September 23. This is a 19+ show.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Podcast 53 (17-23 Sep 2009).

Tyler and I gathered at Lauren Schreiber's place for a conversation with her and Jessica Tollefsen from Green Go. Lauren's celebrating 100 No Shame shows this Friday at the Horseshoe Tavern. (Details about that are here.) Featuring Deerhoof ("Spirit Ditties of No Tone"), Pick A Piper ("Yellowknife"), Ruby Coast ("Town to Province"), Green Go ("Watch Your Step"), Windom Earle ("Get On Into It"), and Hooded Fang ("Fall Leaves").

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And, because we couldn't fit it in the podcast, here's a special live track by The Skeletones Four, the band opening up Lauren's show on Friday:

Download: The Skeletones Four, "The Fish Rots from the Head" (live, Orangeville, 17 May 2009).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Indie Music 96 (10-16 Sep 09).

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto, all for $10 or less. If I'm missing something you think I should list, or you have any comments, let me know. I star (*) shows that most interest me.

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.

Lots do to, as usual. The Junction Arts Festival is happening this weekend, with music on the main stage (Junction City Square) Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Select venues have extended 4am licensing for TIFF starting tonight. The Drake, Wrongbar, etc. And speaking of the film fest, there are City Sonic screenings happening at Yonge-Dundas Square. These short films are ones you'll want to see (at some point, anyway) if you're interested in the local scene. The full schedule is here.

No podcast this week once again (sorry!), but just click that handy "play" button on the bottom left-hand of your screen and you'll hear lots of good local musics without having to sit through my annoying chatter. Cheers!

THURSDAY (10 sep)

[JAF] Paul James (9pm) and Spider Jones (7pm) @ Junction City Square, free. All ages.

* The Wilderness of Manitoba, Erin Lang, and Tisso Lake @ Heartbeat (960 Queen Street W), 8-11pm, pwyc.

Download: The Wilderness of Manitoba, "Evening" (Hymns of Love and Spirits, 2009).

The National Shield, Will Austin, Slim Pickens @ Smiling Buddha Bar, 9pm, pwyc.

* Ali Berkok & Mike Smith @ Holy Oak Cafe, 10pm, pwyc.

Magic Cheezies, Holy Cobras, Man Made Hill, and J FM, w/ DJ iPod @ Teranga, 9pm, $4.

* Alphabot!, Sick Friend, Danger! Danger!, and Heartbeat Hotel @ Rearview Mirror, 9pm, $5.

Download: Heartbeat Hotel, "TVPO" (Transbastardized Orphan under a Harvest Moon, 2008).

Julie Rains (CD release) w/ Matt Henderson and Kosmonaut @ Bread & Circus, 9:30pm, $5.

So Sick Social Club and Final Trigger @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Andy Cotter, HKMW, and Zack Salsberg @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $5.

Massy Harris, The Volunteers, and The Billie Hollies @ Mitzi's Sister, 10pm, $5.

* The Fast Romantics, Secret Broadcast, and The Ascot Royals @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5.

Download: The Fast Romantics, "Spooning the Gorilla" (The Fast Romantics, 2009).

Sugar Fight presents Owel Five & Corboe Housewarming Party feat. Toys are Just, Parkdale Crew Proper, DanceHall Free For All, and DannyT @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6.

Les Badguys and Pure Finesse @ Clinton's Tavern, 9pm, $6.

Blues In D (11:40pm), Sunriser (10:50pm), In Uniform (10:00pm), and tba (9:10pm) @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $6.

Sean Jones, Goodluck Assembly Band, and Vanessa @ Supermarket, 9pm, $8.

Jia Harlow, Coal Mine Canaries, Bitter Candi, and Life Size Dream @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), $8 (or $5 w/ canned good).

* Young Galaxy (CD release) w/ Treasure Hunt @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8pm, $10. Later: DJ Andy Rourke (The Smiths) and AC Slater.

Hunter & Cook vol. 4 Launch Party feat. Horsey Craze, Josh Reichmann Oracle Band, Wet Dirt, and DJ Mikey Apples @ Wrongbar, 9pm, $10 (incl. magazine).

Mark Pesci presents Crucifist, Slaughter Strike, Mad Men, and Molested Youth @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10.

FRIDAY (11 sep)

[JAF] Mr. Something Something (9:30pm), The Framework (8:15pm), and tba (7pm) @ Junction City Square, free. All ages.

Blue Peter (8:15pm), Burning Brides (7:15pm), and Tin Star Orphans (6:30pm) @ Yonge-Dundas Square, free. All ages.

* Gravity Wave, Sweatshop Hop, Inessa Frantowski (comedy), and Drew Smith @ Concord Cafe, 9pm, pwyc.

* Poor Pilgrim presents Ghost Bees, Alex Lukashevsky, Snowblink, Misha Bower (reading), and Jon McCurley (reading) @ The Toronto Music Garden (Queen's Quay W. b/w Bathurst and Spadina), 8-11:30pm, pwyc.

Download: Snowblink, "Rut and Nuzzle" (Hibiscus & Rosehips Compilation, 2009).

Honest I's, Absent Sound, Gordon Grdina Trio, and Buckets Of @ Imperial Pub, 10pm (start), $5.

Young Doctors in Love, Dan Bryk, and Tommy & the Tall Girls @ Bread and Circus, 9:30pm, $5.

Second Pass, Social Cyanide, Breadfan, and FrailFragment @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $10.

Scott Normandy Band w/ Sarah Burton and Canteen Knockout @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $10.

* Bradley Boy and Catl (two sets each, alternating) @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5.

The Assistants, The Davey Parker Radio Sound, Broken Bricks, and The Anderson Council @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9pm, $5.

Download: The Assistants, "Fiction" (Fiction, 2008).

Beautiful Nothing (12:30am), Live How You Live (11:30pm), Proxy Set (10:30pm), and guests (9:30pm) @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $6.

Mark Pesci presents The Box Elders, Mother's Children, Teenage X, and Mutters @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $8.

* Nadja and Picastro @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8pm, $10.

* Optical Sounds presents Back to Cool Party 2009 feat. The Hoa Hoa's, The Disraelis, Planet Creature, The Peelies, and DJs @ Rolly's Garage, 6:30pm-midnight, $10.

* An Horse w/ Rich Aucoin @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8-11pm, $10 (adv tix avail.). Later: DJ Benzi, Willy Joy, and 84.85.

Shit La Merde / Fuck Faces (DJ night) w/ DJs Dave La Merde, Dougie Boom, Andrew Ross, Syntonics, Romo Roto (live), and more @ Wrongbar, 10pm, $5 if you email Dmoney.RSVP[at]gmail.com.

SATURDAY (12 sep)

* [JAF] Justin Rutledge (9:30pm), Jason Collett (8:15pm), and The Beauties (7pm) @ Junction City Square, free. All ages.

Real Cops and Husbands @ Press Club, 9pm, pwyc.

The Key Frames w/ Jacques & The Shakey Boys @ The Cameron House, 9:30pm, $5/pwyc.

Mother Murder, Higher Rites, and Bravestation @ The Silver Dollar Room, 10:30pm (late show), $5.

Latefallen and The Nightmares @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Two Foot Falls w/ P.C. Keez and Day Time Theft @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5.

* Vitaminsforyou (live), Sports: The Band, and Boys Who Say No @ @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8pm, $5 (before midnight; $10 after). Later: More Proof DJs and CFCF.

Download: Boys Who Say No, "No I Won't" (Boys Who Say No, 2009).

TWM presents Parks & Rec, The Wind Whistles, Ryan Masters Band, and Paper Tiger @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $6.

Purple Orange (12:30pm), Cousin Dog (11:30pm), Get Down Sound (10:30pm), and The Runaway Catholics (9:30pm) @ Lee's Palace, 9pm, $7.

Friends of Yryapu Benefit Show for the Clemencia González School (Yryapu, Argentina) feat. The Stormalongs, Maylee Todd, Hugh Oliver & Michael Rosenthal, Jeannette & Dave, Ghalib & Gapski, and Tom MacCammon, w/ surprise guests @ Teranga, 7pm, $10.

Busdriver w/ Abstract Rude @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $10 (adv. tix avail.).

SUNDAY (13 sep)

* Wavelength / Burn Down the Capital present WL 480 feat. Transcendental Rodeo Mothership, Gordon Grdina Trio, and Huelepega Sound System, hosted by Doc Pickles, and visuals by General Chaos @ Sneaky Dee's, 10pm (late start), pwyc ($5-$10 sugg).

The Beauties @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5.

Grade Scool presents On Bodies w/ Tonka & Puma and DJ set by The Poors @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

The Yage Letters and The Constants @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

The Sketchersons present Sunday Night Live! (comedy), hosted by Sweatshop Hop (Maylee Todd & Will Whitwham), w/ The Wilderness of Manitoba @ Comedy Bar, 9-11pm, $8.

MONDAY (14 sep)

* Elvis Mondays (year's best) feat. La Casa Muerte, The Whole Entire Universe, Mamabolo, Christina Maria, and Gira Gira Gif @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, free. Later: DJ Your Boy Brian.

Download: La Casa Muerte, "All The Wrong Moves" (La Casa Muerte, 2009).

The Wind Whistles and Paper Tiger @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Download: The Wind Whistles, "Judo" (Animals Are People Too, 2009).

TUESDAY (15 sep)

* Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Moneen (11:30pm, CD release), The Junction (10:15pm), and Solitary Sun (9:15pm) @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Download: The Junction, "My Love Was There" (Another Link In the Chain, 2009).

Fred Spek's Camp Combo @ The Cadillac Lounge, 9pm-midnight, pwyc. (Every Tuesday in September.)

* Paperbag Records Showcase feat. Rock Plaza Central and Winter Gloves @ @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, $7.

Download: Rock Plaza Central, "(Don't You Believe the Words Of) Handsome Men" (At the Moment of Our Most Needing, 2009).

Burn Down the Capital and Mark Pesci present Ty Segall, The Mantles, City Sweethearts, and Ancestors @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $8 (adv. tix avail.).

WEDNESDAY (16 sep)

* Antlers & Anchors, The Youngest, and T H O M A S @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

* PWYC Weds feat. Ryan Shearing & the Ghost of Belle Star, Jay Sparrow, and Mint Julip @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, pwyc ($5 sugg).

Wednesdays Go Pop! feat. The Speakeasies (11pm), Jackfruit (10:15pm), and tba (9:30pm) @ Supermarket, 9pm, pwyc.

tba (11:40pm), Adder (10:50pm), Boy In December (10:00pm), and Dress Rehearsal (9:10pm) @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $4.

And, though it's not < $10, but worth mentioning... * Bearsuit Turns Two feat. The Coast, The Meligrove Band, Girl & the Machine, Brent Randall & his Pinecones, Emma-Lee @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 7:30pm, $12 (adv., $15 at the door). Listen here.

Download: The Meligrove Band, "Our Love Will Make the World Go Round" (Planets Conspire, 2005).

Friends in Bellwoods 2 Live Recordings.

One of the best shows I've been to this year was the Friends in Bellwoods release party at Lee's Palace a couple Fridays back. I told you about it earlier. You can read my fellow blogger---bloggist?---Joe's take on this event and the one that happened the next day (part 1, part 2) over at his blog, Mechanical Forest Sound. He's a great live reviewer, but his blog comes with exclusive bonus features: live song recordings! He posts tracks from the shows he goes to, the intention being to capture some of the excitement of the local scene for posterity's sake. He's put together a compilation of his own to compliment his coverage of the Friends in Bellwoods celebrations. You can download the full hour and a half of music here.

Here's the full rundown on what's in it:

Lee's Palace, Friday night:
1. Sylvie Smith, "On Our Own"
2. Evening Hymns, "Broken Record"
3. The D'Urbervilles, "Magic Arrow (Timber Timbre cover)"
4. Forest City Lovers, "Waiting by the Fence"
5. Ohbijou feat. John O'Regan, "The Otherside" (watch a video of this performance here)
6. Ohbijou & friends, "Staten Island Waltz" (watch a video of this performance here)
7. Ohbjijou feat. Nils Edenloff, "The Rest in Peace on Righteous Tides"
8. Ohbijou feat. Reg Vermue & Kelly McMichael, "Heartbeat"
9. Bocce, "Disco Juan"

Tranzac, Saturday:
10. Sebastien Grainger, "By Cover of Night"
11. Canadian Wildlife, unknown.
12. The Phonemes, "Pain Perdu"
13. Samir Khan (solo), unknown
14. The Low Notes, unknown
15. The Cutting Edge, unknown
16. The Dinghies feat. Casey Mecija, "Barkskin"
17. Kite Hill, "Gathering"
18. Bellewoods, unknown
19. Lisa Bozikovic, "Teacher"
20. Kids On TV, "New New Keith Cole"
21. Emma McKenna, unknown
22. Germans, "Sunny Weather Ahead"
23. Snowblink, "Rut and Nuzzle"
24. The Acorn, "Misplaced"

(Joe wasn't sure of all the song titles, but I've filled in some more details.)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Ticket Giveaway: No Shame 100 @ The Horseshoe, 18 Sep.

People I meet occasionally ask me how I got into music and going to local shows. An important part of the answer is Lauren Schreiber's No Shame music series. Next Friday, 18 September, No Shame celebrates 100 shows with a blow-out at the Horseshoe Tavern. Keep reading for details on the show and how you can win tickets!

I first started going to No Shame semi-regularly in the fall of 2007, when it was a weekly happening at Tiger Bar. Now largely-defunct, this basement venue holds a maximum of 70 people and one has to walk through a nearly-empty bar to get to it. It was hardly an obvious place for me to hang out. I didn't go every week, but everytime I did I was greeted by Lauren's (or her partner's) smiling face. And good thing, too, since I was there all by my lonesome. In 2008 Lauren moved to the Drake Underground, and I followed. After a few months, she started booking regular nights at Rancho Relaxo, and then took No Shame to other venues, putting on special shows here and there. It never mattered much to me which specific bands were playing; Lauren's got a knack for pulling in great touring acts and picking out the top local bands. She's got a good ear for music ranging from folk to pop-rock to electro, which, as it happens, is what I like too.

The 100th show features some of No Shame's favourite bands. Headlining are Green Go, one of my favourite live bands, featuring some of the nicest people around the local(ish) scene. Before them we'll be treated to Ruby Coast, a band I first saw back at Tiger Bar when I'm pretty sure they weren't yet old enough to be allowed to play there. Although "saw" isn't quite the right word, since my view was blocked by their exuberant young fans. Since then Ruby Coast---at one time managed by Lauren---have toured with the likes of Ra Ra Riot and Tokyo Police Club. I'm looking forward to hearing what they've been up to lately. In the second spot are one of Lauren's more recent finds, the percussion-heavy Pick A Piper. Opening the night are The Skeletones Four, a band I don't think have graced a No Shame stage before, and one that really impressed me when I saw them a few months back. It would be difficult to think of a more fitting lineup for this celebration. (How about a folk-pop evening at a beautiful, big church for the 200th, Lauren?)

Thanks to the Muse Box I've got a prizepack consisting of a pair of tickets to the show on Friday the 18th and a copy of Green Go's full-length album, Borders, to giveaway to one lucky person. Email your full name to me by 11:59 on Wednesday, 16 September to enter the giveaway. If you don't win, all the bands will have merch for sale at the show, which is only $10 at the door. I predict you'll have a brilliant time. The show's +19, of course.

Download: Green Go, "Brains for Breakfast" (Borders, 2009).
Download: Ruby Coast, "Neighbourhood" (Projectable Collections, 2008).
Download: Pick A Piper, "Yellowknife" (Pick A Piper, 2009).

Now I'm feeling all nostalgic. And in a dancing mood.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Indie Music 95 (3-9 Sep 2009).

Welcome to my weekly roundup of inexpensive indie(ish) musical happenings in downtown Toronto, all for $10 or less. If I'm missing something you think I should list, or you have any comments, let me know. I star (*) shows that most interest me.

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.

I'm headed out of town for a few days, and then it will be September for real. Sigh. Here's what's what this week.

(3 sep)

MJ Cyr @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 10pm (start), free.

* Luxury Pond w/ Tanya Davis @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Hot Soup (experiemental sound & performance monthly) feat. Robert Kingsbury, Nobuo Kubota, Maybe Not, and Free Boat Rentals @ Labspace Studio, 8pm, $5.

Cho-Tunes 2 feat. Chinese Food, The Flying Museum Band, and Jay Sparrow @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Brown Sugar, Deutsche Banks, and The Fuzz @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

Sore Loser Records Showcase feat. After The Invasion, Rusty Trombones, Brixton Robbers, and Permanent Bastards @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Arctheline, The Dregs, Zone of Resisten, and Breakaway @ Lee's Palace, 8:30pm, $5.

The Jayce w/ Fathom Ties and Slyde @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $6.

Deromantic (final show), Huron, Patrick Dorie, and The Buckshot Photography Cameron St. Revue @ The Rivoli, 8:30pm, $6.

Heart of a Shark, special guest, Ten Kens, and The Sitcom @ The Reverb, 9pm, $7.

* Lullabye Arkestra (record release) w/ METZ, Brides, and Danger Bay @ The Poor Alex Theatre, 9pm, $8.

* No Shame presents Wax Mannequin (CD release) w/ Parlovr and Sister @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $8.

Magnolius (CD release) w/ LEO37, Sunclef, Abyss, Tanika Charles, iNSiDaMiND, and Worst Pop Band Ever @ Wrongbar, 9pm, $10.

FRIDAY (4 sep)

TUMF/Just Entertainment present "Under Pressure" Rap Bash feat. D-Sisive, Camouflage, Empire, King Jus, Spesh X, Sporadic, Atherton, Sound Improvement, Angerville, and more, w/ DJ Serious and DJ Shortcut @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm, free.

Antlers & Anchors, Jaron Freeman Fox, and Yarn @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc ($5).

* Friends Explode presents Room Party (dance night) feat. DJ Hi Mom, Stop Die Resuscitate, and Vitaminsforyou (DJ set) @ The Boat, 10pm, $5.

The Heavy Hands, Great Diviners, and The Clearing @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

* Loving In the Name Of (dance party) feat. The Best (cover band)and DJs Disappointment, Product Placement, and Strictly Commercial @ The Gladstone Hotel (Ballroom), 10pm, $7. The band is playing songs by Iggy Pop, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Elton John, Tina Turner, and Procol Harum this time.

* Poster Show IV (In memory of Michal Majewski) feat. Anagram, Quest For Fire, No No Zero, Sun RaRaRa, and Ancestors @ Royal Canadian Legion #344 (1359 Lakeshore Blvd), 7pm, $7. Rock posters for sale.

* Trinket Trance presents Bella Clava, Personal Circus, Radius & Helena, and Tripping Hazard @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $7.

Poisonous Glass, The oOooh Baby Gimme Mores, Revolvers, and My October @ Lee's Palace, 9pm, $7.

Strongbone, The Apollo Effect, Honky, Bernadette, and Broken Sons @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $7.

Mark Pesci presents Lemuria, Wayfarer, Junior Battles, !Attention!, and tba @ Siesta Nouveaux, 8pm, $8. All ages, BYOB.

* Maylee & Pegwee Power, and DJs John Kong, Circle Research, and Lucie Tic @ Supermarket, 10pm, $8 (or $5 before 11pm).

* Hi-Hat 4 Launch Night One feat. Wildlife, Spookey Ruben, Black Hat Brigade, and Sandman Viper Command @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $10 (incl. CD, or $7 w/out).

The Little Black Dress (Unofficial Media Release Party) w/ Short & Curlies and DJ Renforth @ Revival, 10pm, $10 (or $7 before 11pm).

SATURDAY (5 sep)

* Dog Is Blue w/ Andrew Vincent @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm (start), pwyc.

Alex Lukashevsky and Anna Linda Siddal @ Holy Oak, pwyc.

Other People w/ Tonka and Puma and @ Duffy's Tavern, 9pm, pwyc.

Amaura, Ultimatemost High, Monserrat, and Big Stereo @ The Silver Dollar, 9pm, $5.

The Calrizians @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5.

Death Boat @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Stuck in the City presents Disaster Strikes, Prevenge, Die Brucke, Molested Youth @ Siesta Nouveaux, 8pm, $8. All ages, BYOB.

Mark Pesci presents The Intelligence, Tropics, Rat Tail, and Old Cars @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $8 (adv tix avail. from Rotate This, Soundscapes, and Hits & Misses).

Hi-Hat 4 Launch Night Two feat. Cut Throat Britva, The Job, Sitcom, and Invasions @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $10 (incl. CD, or $7 w/out).

* Bite Your Tongue 1 feat. Final Fantasy, Gowns, Huckleberry Friends, Wyrd Visions, and Carl Didur @ secret location, 6:30-11pm, $10 (adv only, avail. at Soundscapes and Rotate This). The location will be revealed to ticketholders. "You will have to travel approximately 70 minutes from downtown on the TTC to get this location but we assure you that its majesty will more than justify the trip, which is to say nothing of the music."

SUNDAY (6 sep)

* Wavelength 479 feat. Jordaan Mason & the Horse Museum, Chang-A-Lang, and The Ex (doc screening), hosted by Doc Pickles, w/ visuals by General Chaos @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, pwyc ($5-10 sugg). See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll1p_YuZXzM.

The Woodchoppers Association @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10:30pm, pwyc.

MONDAY (7 sep)

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

* The Calm Blue Sea (Austin, TX), Sleep for the Nightlife, and Reverse Mount Rushmore @ Neu+ral, 9pm, $5 or $7.

TUESDAY (8 sep)

* Cuff the Duke (CD release; in-store) @ Criminal Records, 7pm, free. All ages. Woo! New album out today.

* Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Outbred Inlaws, Tim Easton, Hot Panda, and Chris Assaad @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

The Pink & Black Attack presents Burning Love (ex-Cursed), Bastard Child Death Cult, and Kosmograd @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.

Camp Combo @ The Cadillac Lounge, 9pm-midnight, pwyc.

The Swallows and These Three Cities @ The Dakota Tavern.

Bye Horus (France), Fourstar Daydream, and Siberia @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.


Granny Boots presents Tomboyfriend, Jamieson Eakin, and Misty Rock n' Roll @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 8pm, free.

Wednesdays Go Pop! feat. Andrew F., Eve & the Ocean, and Maurice @ Supermarket, 9pm, pwyc.

Hybrid Radio, Nathan Down, Tedd, and Langden @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $4.

Wombat Wednesdays feat. Uncle Father and Brent Randall & his Pinecones @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8pm, $5.

Pop N Chips (video release) w/ More Or Les, Fresh Kils, Toolshed, and Ghettosocks @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8:30pm, $5.

Julie Fader @ The Dakota Tavern, 8pm, $5?

WreckingBall Entertainment presents The Sitcom, Chinese Food, The LowerCase, and Fresh Off the Boat @ Clinton's Tavern, 9pm, $7.

* !059 presents Arrington de Dionyso (Old Time Relijun) w/ Laura Barrett @ 1059 Bathurst (main room), 7-11pm. Cash bar.