Saturday, March 27, 2010

A few things: Bruce Peninsula, Born Ruffians, the Acorn, Ruby Coast.

Alright, internet. So far I've managed to avoid doing much "news" writing on this blog. But now comes the time when I find myself sitting on lots of great news and free mp3s I want to give you, that I'm starting this new section: "A few things." As in "I have a few things to tell you about and share with you." Oh, and be sure to check my Twitter feed for more tidbits!

Earlier this month Toronto psych-rock choir Bruce Peninsula released a new split 7" with Kingston's Apple Crisp Records. One side features a reworking of BP's song, uh, "Shanty Song," recorded with Narratives'-favourites Muskox! The other side is a collaboration between two Kingston bands, the Gertrudes and PS I Love You ("Sailor"). Head over to Bruce Peninsula's website to stream both tracks and order the 7" or purchase a digital download. Here's a freebie from the band's album to tide you over.

Download: Bruce Peninsula, "Shanty Song" (A Mountain Is A Mouth, 2009).

We'll have to wait only a little bit longer for new releases from Born Ruffians and Ottawa's the Acorn. Both are putting out new albums on Paper Bag Records, with a shared release date of 1 June. The youngsters' disc is titled Say It, while their elders are calling theirs No Ghost. You can get yourself a free download the first single off Say It, "Sole Brother," if you want it. (You want it.) Both albums can be pre-ordered through the Paper Bag website. No doubt the blogs will comment "matured as a band" (BR) and "rockier sound" (Acorn).

Finally, Ruby Coast are putting together a full-length. This will be a follow-up to their 2008 EP Projectable Collections (which was itself a follow-up to a demo EP which included earlier versions of most of the songs included). The band is heading to the studio to record with some famous people (I'm told): Howard Bilerman and Howard Paulson. These guys have toured with the likes of Tokyo Police Club and Born Ruffians, impressed me way back when they were mostly still underage, and I'm thrilled to see what comes next for them.

As a nice treat, the band is giving away digital downloads of their EP along with a never-released-before song, "Next Season." Grab all the songs here. Awesome! Follow the band's adventures on their new blog. (Blogging is fun.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Watch this: Wavelength, the Rest, Bahamas, the Junction.

Aux TV did some interviewing and filmed a bunch at last month's Wavelength 500 festival. Great stuff.

Here's the new video for the Rest's "Apples & Allergies." I still haven't managed to see this Hamilton band perform live! Gah.

Mitch Fillion, who recently put up his 100th band on Southern Souls, offers up this one of Bahamas, one of my favourite artists.

The Junction have a new video. It's for the song "No Road" from their 2009 album Another Link In The Chain.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Indie Music 113 (25-31 Mar 2010).

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 or subscribe to this blog. Make sure to check the rest ofmy blog for show reviews and photos, giveaways, and downloads. You can get lots of other suggestions at Stillepost, Zoilus, the weeklies, and venue websites, etc.

There's some good stuff on over the next few nights. Thursday (tonight) is especially jam packed. I'm sick as a dog right now, but I'm hoping to be healthy enough to take in some shows later this weekend and early next week.

THURSDAY (25 mar)

* Building Blocks Vol. 1 Record Release Party feat. Emma McKenna, PDF Format, the Pining, the Torrent, and DJ Shadow Self @ The Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar), 9pm, free.

The Hey Now, Picturesound, and the General Staff @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm.

The Woodchoppers Association, Michael Louis Johnson & the Red Rhythm, and Karaoke (Derek Westerholm & Michelle Breslin) @ The Piston (937 Bloor St W), 9:30pm, pwyc/$5.

Adaptive Reaction, Orphan Grinder @ The Velvet Underground, 9pm, $5.

Professor Fingers, Steptone, David Papajanisz, Masaki Konagai, and Lybido @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Greenshades presents The Dildoniks and more @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

These 3 Cities, Afraid of Humans, and Jodi King @ Supermarket, 9pm, $5.

* No Shame presents the Wave Pictures, Maylee Todd & Pegwee Power, and White Suede @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, $7.

* Octoberman, the Priddle Concern, and Andrew Penner (of Sunparlour Players) @ Dakota Tavern, 9pm, $8.

* Out of this Spark presents Snailhouse (full band) w/ Evening Hymns @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8pm, $10.

Brains @11:40p, Koffin Kats @10:40p, Dreadnaughts @9:50p, and Unbelievers @9:00p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, $10.

Capitol H, Red Roses Black, Loveshot, and Jefferson Deathstar @ Lee's Palace, 9pm, $10.

* Bruce Peninsula, catl, and Pat Jordache @ The Garrison, 9pm, $10 (adv)/ $12 (door).

FRIDAY (26 mar)

BBQ (Mark Sultan), Teen Anger, and DJ Daniel Vila @ Double Double Land, 10pm, $10. Adv tix only. Sold out.

Lisa Marie Kruchak and Brooke Gray Harris @ Teasers and Pleasers, 8:30pm, pwyc.

The Crooked Brothers (2 sets) @ The Cameron House, 9:30pm.

Kate Rogers @ Southern Cross Lounge, 7:30-9:30pm, pwyc.

Chang-A-Lang, The Black Fever, & Sparkling White @ Aspetta Cafe (207 Augusta Ave), 9pm, pwyc.

Pop With Brains feat. Fantasy Defender, Cut Throat Britva, Sounds like BS, Krupke, and Volcano Playground @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5.

The Cosmic Eye and New Teeth @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, $5.

Little Jackie Wright and Stereo Goes Stellar @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5?

Eddie Orso and King Roller @ The Dakota Tavern, 9pm, $5.

The Decade Of Sleep w/ Menew, The Clearning, and 9 Yrs @ Hard Luck Bar, 8pm, $5.

Courtesy Blush and the Details @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5. Early show, done by 11:30pm. I like the Details. They are from Winnipeg. They are fun and nice and play good music. I want to have nachos with them.

Download: The Details, "Always, Always, Always, Never" (Draw A Distance, Draw A Border, 2007).

Elvyn (CD release) w/ the Champion Heartache and Bangladesh @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9:45pm, $6.

Download: Elvyn, "I Guess I Was Wrong" (The Decline, 2010).

TWM presents Jesse Dangerously, and Wordburglar & Dream Jefferson (Owel + Boe) @ Rancho Relaxo, 9:30pm, $7.

Dirty Penny, Diemonds, and Monster Truck @ Wrongbar, 10pm, $10.

* Heartbeat Hotel (7" release) w/ La Casa Muerte, Doldrums, Blood Rexdale & the Walls are Blonde @ Tiger Bar, 9pm, $10 w/ album download included. $12 gets you the 7", too.

* Jim Guthrie & the Litter Big Band, Culture Reject, and PS I Love You @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $?

Magik Markers, Rattail, and THe Guest Bedroom @ The Garrison, 9pm, $8 (adv)/$10 (door).

SATURDAY (27 mar)

The Key Frames w/ Pete Vandyk @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm.

Ultraviolence @ The Bovine, 9pm.

Swamp Ward Orchestra w/ Ian Reid @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, $5.

Guy Dallas, Chang-A-Lang, Arman's Frozen Peas, Teen Tits Wild Wives, John Milner You're So Boss, more @ 225 Sterling Ave., #23, 10:30pm, $5.

* Young Doctors in Love (EP release), the Phonemes, Charms @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Download: Young Doctors in Love, "Eloise and Her Sister Marta" (5 Golden Greats EP, 2010).

Late Night Live feat. Teenage X, Desert Owls, and the Weirdies @ The Silver Dollar Room, 10:15pm, $6.

Wild East, Worldly Savages, DJ Medicineman, DJ Gypsy Viking @ Bread & Circus, 9pm, $10.

SUNDAY (28 mar)

Gather Round feat. Anna Denova and Hamilton Trading Co. @ The Boat, 9pm, pwyc.

* Black Lips (in-store) @ Sonic Boom, 4pm, free. Bring a donation for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

* Jordaan Mason & the Horse Museum, Basket of Figs, and Maggie Claire Cross, w/ screening of "Pretty Little Bits" (Maria Saroja-Ponnambalam) @ Heart Beat (960 Queen St. W.), 7pm, pwyc/$5 donation.

Muskox and Clara Engel @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

* Brasstronaut, Bass Lions, and Megan Bonnell @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $8. Exciting!

MONDAY (29 mar)

Elvis Monday feat. City Streets, Actors & Architects, the Davey Parker Radio Sound, Reno Jack, Ophelia Syndrome, Universal Moment, and the People of Canada @ The Drake Hotel (Underground, 9pm, free.

Shoeless Monday feat. Prince Caspian @11:15p, Silence In Stereo @10:15p, and Spitting Adam @9:15p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

* Teen Anger (record release), the Bitters, and more @ Rancho Relaxo, 10pm, $5.

TUESDAY (30 mar)

Pink & Black Attack presents Corporation, Skunx, and Ghetto Blaster @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.

Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Pelt @11:40p, Flatland @10:50p, Kuba Oms @10:00p, and The Ascot Royals @9:10p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

The Sure Things (3 sets) @ The Dakota Tavern, 9pm, $5. And thus ends the band's Tuesdays-in-March residency. April brings us Steamboat!

DCT, Miesha & the Spanks, The Nightmares, Black Magick Fox, and Caiiro Foster @ The Silver Dollar Room, 9, $5.

Jordan Leech, Rochelle, and more @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

* Primary Colors presents Art Is Four Ugly People feat. These Are Powers, Javelin, DJ Mark Brown, and MC @ And And And Space (530 Richmond), 9pm, $10. Adv tix avail.

Download: These Are Powers, "Easy Answers" (All Aboard Future, 2009).

WEDNESDAY (31 mar)

Marianne Turner @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm.

Wednesdays Go Pop! feat. Hunting Horns, Future History, and Theo Tams @ Supermarket, 8:30pm, pwyc.

TWM presents Little Insects, Steve Gleason, and the Heavies @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Download: Little Insects, "Losing (My Self Confidence)" (Almost Ghost, 2010).

Johnny Major w/ The Black Little Dress, Dale Luarca, and DJ Adverb @ The Rivoli, 8:30pm, $5.

* Burn Down the Capital presents Normal Love, Romo Roto, Barnyard Drama, and the Battleship Ethel @ The Boat, 9pm, $7.

Toronto Independent Music Awards Best Live Showcase feat. Soul Jah Ras, Just Gita, Michala Todd, Joel Gelynse, and the Peace Leeches @ The Central, 7pm, $7.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Indie Music 112 (18-24 Mar 2010).

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 or subscribe to this blog. Make sure to check the rest ofmy blog for show reviews and photos, giveaways, and downloads. You can get lots of other suggestions at Stillepost, Zoilus, the weeklies, and venue websites, etc.

THURSDAY (18 mar)

Kimberley Sedore & the Collect Callers w/ Jessie Kussin @ Holy Oak, 10pm, pwyc.

The Runaway Catholics w/ Winnebegos Of Death @ The Cloak & Dagger, 9:30pm, pwyc.

Jennifer LFO and Dirtfarmer @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Brett Caswell, Jean-Paul De Roover, and Nick Sherman @ C'est What, 9pm, $5.

Esprit D'escalier and Mirror @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

Diana Catherin & the Thrusty Tweeters, the Strip, and Kirby @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, $5.

The Hunting Horns, Nick Taylor & Friends, Jay Baird @ The Piston (937 Bloor St W), 9:30pm, pwyc/$5.

Burn Down the Capital presents Nutsak w/ Thrashed Genes, Frek Spek's Camp Combo, and the Soupcans @ Teranga, 9pm, $6.

SUPERSOULSOUND Funk Revue Dance Party feat. Spandex Effect, Ninja Funk Orchestra, and DJs Circle Research @ Wrongbar, 10pm, $10 (or $5 before 11pm).

Groovetastic Entertainment presents Tiger Bar Groove: More Indie Rock feat. the Effens, Cedar, Belleau Woods, and Two Zebras @ Tiger Bar, 8:30pm, $10 (or two people for $11).

Download: The Effens, "St. Vitus' Dance" (Ditch Ditch EP, 2009).

Sara Kamin, Andrew Hyatt, the Piggott @ The Rivoli, 8:30pm, $10.

FRIDAY (19 mar)

SAKS fundraiser feat. Ghost Bees @ Double Double Land, 9pm, pwyc. "There will be free desert and DJs and a silent auction of donated art."

* Mugison w/ Viviv @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8-11pm, $5.

Dance Electric, The Great Sabatini, Vilipend, and Authors @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

ESRB, One Flew West, and Macro Fiesta @ Clintons, 9pm, $5.

Awaking State and December Flood @ The Velvet Underground, 8:30pm, $5.

Jane’s Party w/ Rucksack Willies and DJ Hemingway @ The Rivoli, 9:30pm, $5.

Portrait, Madison Park, and Beekeepers Society @ Silver Dollar, 10pm, $5.

The Class Assassins (CD release), Outbred Inlaws, and the Lucky Ones @ Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Morning Fame and the Aviators @ The Central, 9pm, $5.

* catl and Snow Heel Slim @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5.

* Danger Bay, Gay, Magic Cheezies, John Milner You're So Boss, and Induced Labour @ Teranga, 9pm, $5.

Grasshopper w/ Brave/Deeds and Dutch @ The Garrison, 9pm, $6.

* Tripping Hazard, Great Dane, Flotilla, and Radius & Helena @ Bread & Circus, 9pm, $7.

* The Speaking Tongues, the Polymorphines, and Terror Lake @ Mitzis Sister, 10pm, $5.

SATURDAY (20 mar)

Mugison w/ Tundra Fun @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 8-11pm, $5.

Skull Fist (CD release), Aggressor, Sonic Shock @ The Bovine, 9pm, $5.

Loon Choir, Buffalo (debut), and Crown Land (debut) @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5. The debuting bands are projects of former members of Black Hat Brigade.

a mountain far and Soybomb present Le Kraken, the Expectorated Sequence, Creeper, and Bottomfeeder @ Soybomb HQ, 9pm, $5.

The Cautioneers, Michael Holt, and The Benefit of the Free Man @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 10pm (start), pwyc. presents Hot Shots feat. Attacships (DJ set), Commandeers, and Sports: the Band @ Tiger Bar, $7 (or $10 for two).

Stuck in the City presents Duress, Urban Blight, Purity Control, and Total Trash @ Siesta Nouveaux, 8pm, $8.

SUNDAY (21 mar)

Gather Round feat. Hamilton Trading Co., Aaron Wallace, and Daveed @ the Boat, 9pm, pwyc.

Shelby Lamb (2 sets) w/ Rhiannon Thomas / James Simpson @ The Cloak & Dagger, 8-11pm, pwyc.

Bring Back the Boombox presents Ladyboxx, Mz. Chawls, Diaz, and Nilla, w/ MC Mouthpiece @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $5.

Old Witch w/ Autovoice @ The Garrison, 9pm, $5. (Bands 10 and 11pm.) Heavy + industrial.

MONDAY (22 mar)

Shoeless Monday feat. Joyful Sinners @11:15p, the Wrong Crowd @10:15p, and the Bufords @9:15p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

* Murder Folk Night 9 feat. Marianne Girard & Kathleen McDonnell @ 2531 Dundas St. W, 7-10pm, pwyc.

MC Homeless, Riddlore?, richardbenjamin, and Backburner (Wordburglar, Toolshed, and guests) @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $8.

TUESDAY (23 mar)

Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. Owl Farm @11:40p, Huron (CD release) @10:50p, Pumps @10:00p, and the Counter Point @9:10p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

Gurgling Burbles feat. Hair Gel Burrito, Parkade, and Doc Pickles @ Somewhere There, 7:30-10pm, $5/pwyc.

The Sure Things @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5.

* Innes Wilson and His Opposition w/ the Natural Shocks @ The Boat, 9pm, $5.

The AMBiENT PiNG presents "GEMiNi 3" feat. Urm, the Devil in the Design, Subduction Current, and General Chaos Visuals @ Supermarket, 8pm, $6.

WEDNESDAY (24 mar)

* The Weakerthans (in-store) @ Sonic Boom, 5pm, free. All ages. Bring a donation for the Daily Bread Food Bank. Uh... awesome!

PWYC Weds feat. Queen Licorice, Charge of Light Brigade, and the Effens @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra, Chris Warren, and Alex McLeod @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8:30pm, $5.

Gardening, Not Architecture and Crazy Diamond @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, $5.

Toronto Independent Music Awards Best Live Showcase feat. Selena Evangeline, Carly & Mark, Lynzie Kent, and Justin Plet @ The Central, 7pm, $7 (will get you into all TIMA showcases until June).


Guys and gals, let's try and do better, shall we? Exclaim! recently put up this review on its website:

All-female indie popsters Vivian Girls make no bones about what they do: low-fidelity garage rock steeped in amateurish pop. Key word? Amateurish. If these band members had penises, people would say they suck. However, they're empowered femmes who hold their instruments in that painfully awkward way only novices can, and are adored for it kind of like when the Donnas were first starting out, without the cool tunes, mind you. Their simplistic songs relayed in a pseudo-enthusiastic, trashy, loose way were amusing even if they lacked any true substance, but who needs something as unnecessary as meaning when you're that cute, right? Naturally, the crowd was raving even though this trio were clearly the least talented act on the evening's bill.

It then received a letter to the editor saying that the review was "half-assesd music 'journalism'" that was "offensive and sloppy," "chauvinistic," etc. The letter was not, I don't think, particularly on point, but there is an important point to be made here. And that point has nothing to do with personal musical taste, hype, the merits of the band in question, their adeptness with their instruments, or anything else like that. It has to do with the words Keith Carman used in his review, and how they betray his sexist attitude toward the band. But I don't mean to harp on Keith alone. I suspect few people would be able to point out where he went wrong.

Why are the words "trashy" and "loose" in this review? Both are generally gendered female---as in, they are words that are almost always used to refer to female beings and objects we think of as female. By using those words, he's very nearly called the members of the Vivian Girls sluts and whores, in addition to "amateurish," "painfully awkward," "pseudo-enthusiastic" novices with simplistic songs that lack substance.

One may certainly take issue with his non-gendered characterizations, but though they may be insulting and possibly uncalled for---I am not in a position to comment on them because I wasn't at the show---it's the gendered language that really offends. And there should be no place for this language in a review. Or anywhere.

No one's perfect, and I've surely been guilty of sexist language myself. My point is that we need to learn to recognize it when we see it, take note, a deep breath, and try not to do it the next time. But judging from the Facebook comments, people don't even see what I see. This is a real shame.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Watch this: Timber Timbre (live), Dan Mangan (live), Jason Collett / Zeus / Bahamas (live), IndieCan CMW footage.

This is why Timber Timbre's set at the Great Hall was brilliant last Thursday, and why I was SO mad at the few people who insisted on talking through it. Damnit people, pay attention! Stunning arrangements. Don't mind the bad lighting. Live, it had the right effect.

The crowd at the Great Hall was even more chatty during Dan Mangan's set, a real shame, but he got everyone involved during his last song, "Robots." Here's some live video of that song from Dan's set at Criminal Records on Saturday.

Jess over at RoundLetters captured this encore song at last Wednesday's Bonfire Ball featuring Jason Collett, Zeus, and Bahamas. All night they'd been playing their own tunes, and so this one came as a big surprise. And an awesome one! Kylie Minogue!

IndieCan Radio put together this 10-minute montage of CMW footage, featuring snippets of live performances and some of the conference events.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Watch this: Brian Borcherdt (live), Hooded Fang (live), The Magic (live), Still Life Still (live).

Here are some videos of live performances during last week's Canadian Music Fest (and related afterparties):

One of the shows I'm sad to have missed was Friday night's Music Gallery show featuring Brian Borcherdt, Julie Fader, and Postdata. Here's some of Brian's set. blogTO's Matthew McAndrew has more videos of the night on his vimeo page.

Hooded Fang performed on Thursday night at the Drake Hotel with some great bands. Justin Beach was there. The band sounds amazing! A full-length should be out later this year. Excited! Hooded Fang's songs have a tendency to get stuck in my head for hours. And that's a good thing.'s YouTube page has more videos from CMF.

Colin Medley captured this footage of the Magic performing at a Friday night afterparty last week in some "weird tomb" on Ossington. Great tune! Sorry I missed the party. (Woodhands ended at about 3am, and then I went for breakfast.)

Still Life Still performed at another afterparty on Saturday night. I also opted out of this time. In fact, I didn't make it to any afterparties this year. Oh well.

CMF 2010: Day 5 roundup.

I am surprisingly not overly tired or sore and less enraged than I was a few hours ago. I can thank the awesome Born Ruffians and food at Sneaky Dee's with friends for the latter.

The last day of the festival didn't have too much on offer, but with Born Ruffians playing the Phoenix, there was no question that's where I'd be. I arrived early, happy to get to see the first opener Parlovr, and knew there'd be lots of friends in the crowd. So, good mood. But then "mandatory coat check" signs everywhere. I tried (twice) to ignore them, but the guys at the club weren't having any of it. What the fuck, Phoenix? You want to make more money on a show, you charge more to rent out your space, and I pay more for my ticket. You don't REQUIRE me to give you $2.50 once I show up with NO advance warning. Seriously, fuck you. (Sorry, kids. I'm mad.)

Parlovr looked great and sounded pretty good up there, with appropriate banter and tons of energy. I wish I'd seen them perform in a much smaller venue this weekend, but I've seen them do that a couple times already. Next up, Young Rival, whose Beatles'-inspired rock just didn't do it for me. No hate, but no real love from me, either. But it could very well just be my foul mood.

And then Born Ruffians. Once they started---actually, before they started and once the screams from the all-ages audience began---my spirits were instantly lifted. Performing as a four-piece with the addition of Andy Lloyd on keys, tambourine, and guitar, the guys sounded great. I was so bummed about the stupid venue that I was starting to regret coming at all, but for an hour or so, all was forgotten. Luke Lalonde, Mitch DeRosier, Steve Hamelin, and Andy performed a few new songs, plus some old favourites off their 2008 album and 2006 EP. I was reminded again how good lead singer Luke is, and how important bassist Mitch is to the band, both as a musician and an on-stage presence. The girls may scream for Luke, but Mitch knows how to get the crowd revved up. The additional instrumentation blended in well with what we're used to hearing (on the recordings), and I loved-loved the 4-part vocal harmonies the band pulled out a few times. Very impressive.

I'll have a fuller review up on Sticky Magazine (with photos! Of Luke [probably]!) at some point next week. And I'll let you know some of my thoughts on this year's Canadian Music Fest in another future post, too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

CMF 2010: Day 4 roundup.

My feet hurt. But my belly is full, and my heart is dancing. Or something. Also, I'm tired.

I cancelled all my old plans, opting to stay in during the early part of the evening and then hit up the Drake for Grand Analog and 84.85. And good thing, too. Nothing beats Woodhands, but these guys came pretty close. GA was so much fun! At first I was a smidge wary of some early tropical beats, but I was quickly won over, and just as quickly dancing up a storm. Their set was loads of fun. Odario Williams and crew ended with their awesome "I Play My Kazoo," which brought the house down. Actually, the whole set seemed to bring the house down. Lots of love in the crowd for these guys, and rightly so. I'm so glad I finally go to see them! Plus, I got to high-five Odario twice (once on stage, and once at Poutini's after the show). He called me "hot pants," in reference to the very pink skinny jeans I was wearing. Eat your hearts out, ladies.

84.85 may not look the part, but they too brought the party. Their sparse stage set up---DJ and rapper---was soon augmented by dancing women. One woman in particular was some kind of dancing hype girl, and oh my can she ever dance. The three of them really got the crowd revved up, and all of a sudden the stage was filled with people. I recognized one hit song from the time I saw these guys a couple years back at Tiger Bar. What a ways they've come! Great set. I didn't realize I had all those moves in me . . . .

Now, the Drake isn't really a place I venture to very often. And tonight reminded me of why. No offense to y'all, but the occasional show aside, I'm happy to leave this place to the 905ers. (Wow, I'm a snob.) The heels and bare legs and cleavage was bizarre. The muscled men were equally so. Indie kids are much more clothed and much less large. But definitely a good time. I went for poutine afterward, then cabbed it home. (Still raining.) Now, to bed.

Born Ruffians and Parlovr tomorrow!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CMF 2010: Day 3 roundup.

Tonight's highlight---and the concert highlight of the past several months at the very least---was Woodhands' set at Wrongbar. My God, I love this band. They were awesome. Just fantastic.

Also, it's really late now and my brain is only partially working. I mean . . . I don't know what I mean. It's late.

Earlier it was raining, and that combined with other stuff meant I ditched my plan to go to the Music Gallery for Julie Fader, Brian Borcherdt, and Postdata. Another time. Instead, I took transit all the way out to Wrongbar, getting there to catch a nice big chunk of Jeremy Glenn's set. Slightly cheesy, maybe, but the band was totally pulling it off. The place was pretty sparsely populated, but a few people were dancing. I would not mind seeing them again.

But now it was apparent that the YYZ Records showcase was running late, since Glenn didn't end until about 11pm, when the next band was set to start. I wasn't concerned, though it did mean I would have to stay out later than I had hoped. Next up was Madrid, a group I'd been hearing good things about and had a vague notion that I should probably check out at some point. Good stuff. They had the slower bedroom electro pop thing down, and I was grooving.

Vitaminsforyou were next. This is another band---well, sometimes it's a band---that I'd been meaning to see, in part because I know Robbie Butcher is the drummer when there's a drummer. And Robbie is awesome. So very awesome. Also in the band (as the bassist) was Jordan Kern, who DJs at Yacht Rock, my favourite dance party. So, even before the band started to play, I knew I would like what was to come. And I did. I wish I was less tired and had the ability to describe the bizarreness of masks, black feather epaulette-things, lights-for-eyes, face-paint, smoke, and etc. I make it sound weird, and weird it was, but it also worked, and after a bit the crowd seemed to be really into it. I certainly was. More dancing. Fun times. Will see you again, v4u!

By now it was after 1am, when the "secret guest," ie. Woodhands, was supposed to go on. After all their equipment was set up it was about 2am and the bar must have been pretty full. It felt like it up at the front, where I had parked myself in anticipation. It's been too long since I've been at a proper Woodhands show. And by proper I mean Woodhands performing in a space and place that suits their style. Wrongbar fits that bill pretty perfectly. (They did their first CD release party there back in 2008.) I was excited, and so was everyone around me. The band performed a few songs off their 2010 album, Remorsecapade, and some hits from their first record, Heart Attack. Maylee Todd joined in on "Dissembler" and "Dancer," another rare treat these days.

There was some serious dancing and bumping happening all around the stage. From my vantage point I couldn't see much else, but I'd like to think hundreds of people were happily letting loose. I know I was.

The night wasn't over at Wrongbar, but my time there was. A couple friends and I went to grab greasy 3:30am breakfast at Mars across from Sneaky Dee's. And now it's really late. Goodnight.

More tomorrow!

Friday, March 12, 2010

CMF 2010: Day 2 roundup.

Yesterday's discovery was Jason Collett's hotness. Today's was Kidstreet's awesomeness. Kidstreet! So good! So fun! I danced!

The night started off at the Great Hall. A couple friends and I---wisely, as it turned out---arrived at about 7:30pm, a half hour before scheduled door time, and an hour before actual door time. And a good thing, too, because only a handful of pass- or wristband-holders got in after we did. (Only 30 were accepted.) Why so popular? This was an Arts & Crafts showcase featuring Timber Timbre, Dan Mangan, and Sally Seltmann, who came all the way from Australia.

Seltmann was on first, performing nice pop tunes that didn't have a huge impact on me, but that I'm sure I'd enjoy in my living room. But the Great Hall is not my living room, and that being the case, the audience wasn't really paying attention. Too bad, and damn rude, to my mind. Why come to a show just to talk through it? Why put on a show just to talk through it? Bah. The talkers didn't quiet down much during Dan Mangan, who's star has been rising since winning a bunch of money back in September. He was louder, though, and maybe his warm on-stage personality had something to do with why fewer people were talking through his set. He ended things off with a rousing rendition of "Robots," which featured a great sing-a-long. Good set; I'd like to see more. I think a show of his could well be outstanding.

Timber Timbre was clearly the night's main draw. The place was pretty packed by the time he---Taylor Kirk and his bandmates, including Mika Posen on violin and Simon Trottier behind a lap steel and synth---started playing. We were treated to a long set; it was well over an hour. The band performed a handful of songs off their fantastic self-titled album (2009), as well as a few older tunes. We got extended versions, and the arrangements were fantastic. The effect was nearly mesmerizing, certainly haunting, and only sullied by (you guessed it) a few determined talkers. Otherwise, perfect. Big cheers and a nice two-song encore.

Seeing as how TT went into the midnight hour, I had some time to kill, and slowly made my way to Sneaky Dee's, where I was looking forward to catching Kidstreet at 1am. I've heard lots of good things about this Waterloo trio, but had yet to see them play. And they were awesome! They got a record coming out soon, and I will clearly need to investigate it and them further.

I stuck around Sneaks for Times Neue Roman, and though it seemed like they had some good rhymes and tricks up their sleeves for later in the set, I bailed after 10 minutes. I wanted to show some love to Sandman Viper Command and my friends over at the Audio Blood showcase, so off I went to the El Mo. I saw most of the young Burlington band's set, and was happy I popped in to see how things were going. Neither Sneaky Dee's nor the El Mo were anywhere near capacity when I was there, but everyone seemed to be in good spirits and in a party mood. Must be what kept me awake.

Now I sleep. Tomorrow I ponder my options. Woodhands is the secret guest at Wrongbar at 1am. (Why am I telling you this!?) I must---must---be there.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Indie Music 111 (11-17 Mar 2010).

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 or subscribe to this blog. Make sure to check the rest ofmy blog for show reviews and photos, giveaways, and downloads. You can get lots of other suggestions at Stillepost, Zoilus, the weeklies, and venue websites, etc.

I am busy with Canadian Music Fest, but there's lots going on if you're shunning it or just don't have the $$ to go to any of the shows. For example . . .

THURSDAY (11 mar)

Doctor Ew (Drew from the Bicycles), Simon Borer and others from Entire Cities, and more @ Cloak & Dagger, 10pm, pwyc.

Steers & Queers presents Miss Fluffy Souffle, The Pining, and Shane McKinnon, w/ DJ's Sigourney Beaver and Joe Blow @ The Dakota Tavern, 9pm, $5.

* The Owle Bird (video release) w/ Skeletones Four, the Dead Elm Society of Canada, and Lisa Bozikovic @ Cinecycle, 8:30pm, $8.

* We Are Busy Bodies presents Japanther (performing in a fort), Boys Who Say No, Rich Aucoin, Quiet Hooves, and Doldrums (feat. members of Spiral Beach) @ Wippersnapper Gallery, 8pm, $10. All ages. (But not dry.) Tickets at the door, only, so go early because this will sell out.

Download: Japanther, "Spread So Thin" (Rock 'n' Roll Ice Cream, 2010).

FRIDAY (12 mar)

Ghostkeeper (7pm) and the Balconies (6pm) @ Criminal Records, free. All ages.

Not the Wing Not the Flag w/ Plant Songs @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

* Donlands & Mortimer, Doldrums (feat. members of Spiral Beach), Alanna J. Brown, and the People of Canada @ C'est What, 9pm, $5.

Looks Linear (CD release), Ryan Masters Band, and Ex~Po @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 9pm, $10 (incl. CD). "Please bring a canned good to the show and it will be donated to 'Serving Charity.'"

SATURDAY (13 mar)

* Hollerado (7pm), Dan Mangan (6pm), and Aidan Knight (5pm) @ Criminal Records, free. All ages.

Lovely Picnic 004 feat. Kind Heights, Cosmic Neanderthals, and Simon Frank @ Palace Flophouse (1183 Dovercourt Rd), 8pm, $5/pwyc. All ages.

The Sure Things @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5.

Matt James, MJ Cyr, and the Baymen @ The Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $5?

The Stables, the Old Youths, the Get Nuns, and Magicforce @ The Press Club, 9pm. Birthday bash for Dany Laj.

Mark Pesci presents White Wires, Sonic Avenues, First Base, and Chang-A-Lang @ Siesta Nouveaux (15 Lower Sherbourne St.), 9pm, $8. All ages, BYOB.

Alejandra Ribera, Jay Pollack, Darrelle London, and Dan Mclean Jr. @ C'est What, 9pm, $10. Fundraiser for CAMH.

SUNDAY (14 mar)

* Gather Round feat. Hamilton Trading Co., Owen Steel, and hyperpotamus (Spain) @ The Boat, 9pm, pwyc.

* The Beauties @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5. Every Sunday.

MONDAY (15 mar)

Elvis Monday feat. Drunk Hussy, Ah! La Lettre, In Plain View, Loryn Taggart, People of Canada, and Matt Holtby @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, free. Free food, too.

TUESDAY (16 mar)

* Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite feat. A Friend In London @11:40p, Dead Letter Chorus @10:50p, Southern Death Threat @10:00p, Slip Of The Tongue @9:20p, and Hellsongs @8:40p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free. Depending on how things go during CMW, I might want to go check out Hellsongs (from Sweden), and Ireland's Dead Letter Chorus, both of whom sound lovely. (I don't know the others.)

TGT Inc. presents Toonie Tuesdays feat. the Sidewalks, the Box Tiger, King Solomon, Seven Joint Ride, and more @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $2.

Adverteyes, Jon McKiel, and Jon Epworth @ The Boat, $5.

The Sure Things @ The Dakota Tavern, 9pm, $5.

OCAD fundraiser feat. Alphabot, First Rate People, The Naive, and DJs Vice and Fuck Death @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), 9pm, $5.

Kev Corbett and Shawna Caspi @ C'est What, 9pm, $6.

WEDNESDAY (17 mar)

St. Patrick's Day Party feat. The Stanfield and Alert the Medic @ The Bovine, 9pm, free.

St. Patrick's Day Party feat. The Sure Things @ The Dakota Tavern.

Kurt Russell's Birthday / St. Patrick's Day Party feat. Dysfunct, the Vaudeville Whores, the Dreamboats, and DJ Mr. Shitshow @ Rancho Relaxo, $5.

CMF 2010: Day 1 roundup.

My ass is kicked, internet friends. The Bonfire Ball at Lee's Palace did this to me. Thanks to Bahamas, Zeus, and Jason Collett, I would like this festival to be over now. I need to sleep.

My plan for the first day of Canadian Music Fest was to take it easy: go to one show, and one show only. Leave the show-hopping for later, in an effort to conserve energy. But 3 hours and 44 songs later, I am spent. The show was put together as a revue, and so other than a short intermission, the band(s) played the entire time, everyone backing up everyone else. It was great! The Bahamas tunes---including many new songs that aren't on his record---sounded awesome, especially when there were 4 guitars going at the same time! The sound set-up (at least from where I was standing) didn't benefit Zeus as much as it should have been. The organ was occasionally too high in the mix, while whoever was singing while playing the keys was usually not mixed high enough. No matter, though. It was awesome how the crowd seemed to love all the artists; Bahamas, Zeus, and Jason Collett all got big cheers. Jason Collett was in fine form . . . and I really do mean that. My goodness, that man is sexy.


This Bonfire Ball tour is heading out to lots of other cities. Go! Three hours of great music and amazing musicianship. But hope for a theatre show. It's a lot to take in.

I'll have a proper review of the show up at Sticky Magazine at some point in the future. Now I must sleep and gear up for show-hopping Thursday night.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CMF 2010: Where others will be!

I put up my tentative schedule for Canadian Music Fest yesterday. Here's where some of my bloggy colleagues are hoping to (or recommending you) be:

Sticky Magazine (including Pete Nema, Whitney Pineault, and me)
Indie Music Filter (Chris Budd)
Chromewaves (Frank Yang)
For the Records (Michael Ligon)
BlogTO (Matthew McAndrew)
The Panic Manual (Patricia)
TunesinTO (Ryan O'Shaughnessy)
Resonancity - "Dark horses": Toronto bands, non-Toronto bands (Richard Trapunski)

Who did I forget? . . .

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

CMF 2010: Where I'll Be.

Well, here's maybe where I'll be:

Note: This list does not include in-stores or after-parties or other parties and shows not really associated with CMF! See my preview posts for more details and links, and see the full festival schedule for everything else.


Wednesday: Bonfire Ball @ Lee’s Palace


Thursday: Timber Timbre (11), Dan Mangan (10), Sally Seltmann (9) @ The Great Hall

Thursday: The Rest (12) @ Painted Lady

Thursday: Times Neue Roman (2), Kidstreet (1) @ Sneaky Dee’s


Friday: Postdata (9), Brian Borcherdt (815), and Julie Fader (730)@ The Music Gallery

Friday: Balthazar (10) @ Rancho Relaxo

Friday: The Acorn (11), Plants & Animals (12) @ Lee’s Palace

Friday: Think About Life (1) @ Lee's Palace
Friday: Handsome Furs (1) @ El Mocambo

UPDATED - Music Gallery followed by . . . YYZ showcase feat. Madrid (11pm), vitamins4u (12am), Woodhands (1am) @ Wrongbar


Saturday: Joel Plaskett (730) @ The Mod Club

Saturday: CHARTattack showcase @ The Horseshoe

Saturday: Brasstronaut (1) @ Lee’s Palace


Sunday: Born Ruffians (10), Young Rival (9), Parlovr (8)@ The Phoenix

Canadian Music Fest preview: Sunday.

Canadian Music Fest (and Week) starts tomorrow, and I'm getting excited.

The last day of the festival is Sunday, and no doubt by then I will be crazy-tired. Except that I won't be because I will have cleverly paced myself. See my previews for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, too. Phew!

SUNDAY (14 mar)

Born Ruffians, Young Rival, and Parlovr @ The Phoenix.
I will be here!! But I might be in the balcony to avoid the young kids at this all-ages show.

Collective Concerts presents Real Estate and Woods @ The Horseshoe Tavern.
If I didn't love Born Ruffians and Parlovr, I would be here!

More over at the festival's schedule.

Canadian Music Fest preview: Saturday.

I picked up my Canadian Music Week media pass today . . . woot! This week should be pretty fun, though I'll have to keep my head and try not to overdo things. Rain is in the forecast, so hopefully that won't be a problem.

I've done previews for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday already. Sunday's (much shorter) post will be up soon. What are you going to go see?

SATURDAY (13 mar)

Peer Pressure DJs, 84.85, and Grand Analog @ The Drake Hotel.
I'm not usually one for dance parties (other than at the Boat) and hip hop, but 84.85 and Grand Analog are big fun. The rhymes start at 11pm.

Alright, so this is clearly the show to be at. There are no slackers on this list (at least up until the last band, whom I don't know), and some of my favourite bands, including the brilliant Two Hours Traffic, our own (by way of Ottawa) Balconies, the Wooden Sky, and Yukon Blonde, who are getting hotter by the day, at least if you read the music blogs. But since I've seen some of these bands before and don't know if I could deal with the crazy crowds at the 'shoe, I'll probably skip out. But you should go. The Balconies are also playing Friday at Criminal Records at 6pm, for free.

Catchy, soulful stuff. A friend of mine is the biggest Sweet Thing fan ever. And I've liked Brasstronaut in the past, and been told all sorts of amazing things about the first opener.

Joel Plaskett, more @ The Mod Club.
He goes on first, at 7:30pm. It'll be a short set, but no doubt a sweet one. (Sorry, that was lame.)

NeXT-at-CMW presented by Optical Sounds feat. Action Makes, Black Feelings, the Hoa Hoa's, Mutters, Revolvers, and Ostrich Tuning @ The Comfort Zone.
Might it be time to give in to the psychedelic sounds of local label Optical Sounds and friends? Bob loves some of these bands, but I just dunno. Hmm. This lineup is pretty stacked . . . .

What else?

The Thing Is, Maylee Todd & Pegwee Power, Shayne Zaid & the Catch, Elise LeGrow, and Anne-Lise Dugas @ Bread & Circus.
This showcase has a definite jazz feel. It's not the kind of lineup that's I want to stick around all night for, but if a change of pace is called for, this is a good bet. Maylee Todd and Elise LeGrow are the stand-outs here. Maylee's soulful pop tunes and infectious energy and charisma are sure to impress. Elise LeGrow fronts indie pop band Whale Tooth, but here she'll be singing jazz. The woman has a great voice, and is too sexy for words.

Two Way Monologues presents Hellsongs, Cut Throat Britva, the Speaking Tongues, Minto, That's the Spirit, more @ Rancho Relaxo.
Saturday is Rancho's rock night, but though I don't like rock, I can maybe see myself getting into locals Cut Throat Britva, the Speaking Tongues (always great), Vancouver's Minto, or the two quieter acts on the bill, Sweden's Hellsongs and Ottawa's That the Spirit. That being said, though, I'm unlikely to be seen at Rancho unless I find myself nearby with nothing else to do.

FACTOR Breakthrough Session feat. The Darcys, Artist of the Year, OPOPO, more @ Sneaky Dee's.
Solid acts in a good venue.

I love Meligrove Band so much. But I'm not so sure about the company they keep . . . you know how I feel about rock usually. However, if you're down with the rock, this seems like a great show! And in a pretty small venue. You may also like what's happening over at the Velvet Underground.

Lots more shows are listed on the main festival schedule.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Canadian Music Fest preview: Friday.

Here's my rundown of what you might want to see on the Friday of Canadian Music Fest. There's not a lot that really excites me, but certainly more than enough bands worth seeing.

I've got my Wednesday and Thursday previews up, too.

FRIDAY (12 mar)

Sirius Satellite Radio Quebec showcase feat. Artist of the Year, Handsome Furs, Winter Gloves, Parlovr, more @ El Mocambo (First Floor).
The El Mo floor isn't really the best for dancing, but audience members will hopefully suck it up and get moving. If you're going for the more well-known HF, I recommend getting there early to see Parlovr. This Montreal band has just signed to Dine Alone Records, but more importantly is a band I think is super awesome. Like, they will grab your attention and not let go of your brain until they are finished with it. The dance party gets started at 11pm.

A very different show, this one features solo artists, including Ottawa's wunderkind Giant Hand, Victoria's talented Aidan Knight, Spain's semi-bizarre but perhaps arresting hyperpotamus, New York's lovely Sydney Wayser, and Vancouver's indie popster Winston Hauschild. A night full of surprises and no doubt some beautiful, astonishing moments.

This is one of the most talked-about shows in my circles, but honestly I only love the Acorn and TAL. But they are so amazing that it's totally worth dealing with potentially less-than-amazing other bands to see them. Or maybe the other bands will impress the hell out of me, too! (They are all good, but to my mind are in the shadows of their bill-mates.) Trivia: I spoke briefly to one of the guys from Oklahoma City's the Uglysuit in Berlin. The opened a show with Shearwater and Okkervil River, but I missed their set. He gave me a sticker.

Postdata, Brian Borcherdt, and Julie Fader @ The Music Gallery.
This will sell out, and it will be very nice. You will be sitting in church pews listening to quiet, contemplative music. Postdata is a new project from one of the guys from Wintersleep. Brian Borcherdt is one half of Holy Fuck, though there's not much point in me saying so because his solo music is really very different. When she's not fronting her own band, Julie Fader performs with Great Lake Swimmers, Chad VanGaalen, and other stars of the Canadian music scene. This show is one of the few small affairs that was curated to be an entire evening, so chances are you'll be around for all the bands.

Boats, Krupke, Balthazar (Belgium), Gypsophilia, more @ Rancho Relaxo.
Rancho's got 4am last call all 5 days of the festival, so each night is crammed with bands, not all of which any one festival-goer might be interested in seeing. (Though all of which were presumably chosen so as not to suck.) The three bands on this night that appeal to me most are Winnipeg's Boats whom I've had the pleasure of seeing a couple times in the past, Halifax's Gypsophilia, and Toronto's Krupke, neither of which I've managed to catch so far. For shame, I know. Balthazar are coming all the way from Belgium! Plus, they sound fun and will totally fit with the others.

What else?

Dan Mangan (11pm), We Are the City (10pm), more @ The Courthouse.
If you missed Dan M. and WATC earlier in the festival, here's another chance to catch them. Two other BC acts are on this bill, too.

Paquin Entertainment showcase feat. Christina Martin (Halifax), Brasstronaut (Vancouver), Ladies of the Canyon, Hannah Georgas (Vancouver), Techromancer (Vancouver), and Villagers (Ireland) @ The Drake Hotel.
A nice choice to spend the night at, though the first two bands on the bill don't really go with the rest. (CMF is often for show-hopping, though, so whatever.)

One Movement presents the Aussie BBQ feat. Dead Letter Chorus, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sally Seltmann, more @ The Rivoli.
I've mentioned all these bands in earlier preview posts. These and other Australian bands share a bill.

Pop Montreal and NeXT-at-CMW present VOWLS, Parlovr, The Peelies, PS I Love You, Diamond Rings, Gemma Ray (UK), The Name(Brazil), and Girl + the Machine @ The Silver Dollar Room.
Not every band is one I'd want to see, but there are a lot of impressive acts, including Diamond Rings, PS I Love You, and Parlovr. The Name sound like fun, too. If you haven't seen these bands, I recommend checking them out. The Silver Dollar's a good place to spend at least part of CMW.

Tim Perlich presents Ian Blurton's Happy Endings, Huron, Isla Craig & the Continental Drift, catl (between sets), more @ The Comfort Zone.
Four Toronto(ish) bands, beginning with the folk-jazz stylings of Isla Craig before quickly moving onto rock, rock, and more rock.

Travis Porter presents First Rate People, Corduroy, The Schomberg Fair, Arietta, Brett Caswell & the Marquee Rose, more @ Sneaky Dee's.
For me this bill isn't exciting, but there are some definite winners. Depending on where I'm at, I might drop in for Schomberg's midnight set, or Arietta's 11pm slot, or . . . you get the point.

This night includes too much rock for my liking, but other than the first openers---who sound too weird for me---I'd happily see any of these bands.

Lots more shows are listed on the big festival schedule.

Canadian Music Fest preview: Thursday.

Day two of Canadian Music Fest is Thursday, and it's a big night. Like I did for Wednesday, I'll tell you the shows that interest me and that might interest you.

THURSDAY (11 mar)

The Drake presents Hooded Fang, Forest City Lovers, Low Level Flight, and Digits @ The Drake Hotel.
This is the early portion of the night. As per the Drake's regular M.O., the electro-DJ type stuff takes over starting at midnight, so if you're keen on the indie bands, solo bedroom-electro-pop artist Digits starts the night off at 8pm. LLF seems a bit out of place on this bill, but certainly not a bad choice. Hooded Fang and FCL are two of the best lesser-known bands this city has to offer. Both should release full-length albums later this year.

One of the best lineups of the festival, featuring a whole bunch of bands that are on the up-and-up. While the harder rock of CMTM doesn't excite me, I totally approve of the others on this bill. Enough variety to keep things interesting, and enough talent in the mix that you just may end up seeing your new favourite band. Download a free preview mix here.

Timber Timbre, Dan Mangan, and Sally Seltmann @ The Great Hall.
This is one of the shows of the festival, featuring the hotter-than-hot Timber Timbre who hasn't played in Toronto for a while, the hotter-than-hot Dan Mangan, who makes audiences swoon, and the no doubt hotter-than-hot Australian singer Sally Seltmann. The night's been programmed to make sense as a whole, and in the newly-renovated Great Hall, it might be spectacular. The bands are on at 9, 10, and 11pm, leaving time to hit up other shows afterwards.

CHART mixes things up quite a bit, which I'm cool with 'cause it makes for an interesting, happy night. Nothing on this list offends me, and some of these bands are great. The lineup makes it worth camping out here all night, especially if you haven't seen these bands before.

Windish Agency showcase feat. Rich Aucoin, Little Dragon (Sweden), Neon Indian (USA), Speech Debelle (UK), and New Look @ Lee's Palace.
I just have a feeling about this one, which features a few international acts. And if you go, definitely stick around for Rich Aucoin. Why? That's why.

Carey Kurtin & Dan Burke present NeXT-at-CMW feat. The Ghost is Dancing, Nightmare Air, Still Life Still, Dinosaur Bones, Songs from a Room, and the Treasures @ The Silver Dollar Room.
Dan Burke's tastes tend to be a little harder than mine, but the man has a good ear for pop and indie rock. I probably won't go since I've seen a couple of these bands recently, but this lineup is solid and at least a little exciting, depending on your tastes.

WeGotTheMovement presents The Musebox Showcase feat. Green Go (DJ set), Times Neue Roman, Kidstreet, Parlovr, Everything All the Time, the Elwins, Language-Arts, and Hellsongs (Sweden) @ Sneaky Dee's.
My oh my, what a great list! No idea about the first band, but all the others are worth checking out. Things start off a bit quiet, twee, and cute (Hellsongs, L-A, the Elwins), but then move onto soulful (EATT) before hitting brilliant (Parlovr), and ending with a few sets of fun electro pop tunes.

What else?

Fields of Fur is a new bands from Holy Fuck's Brian Borcherdt (and it sounds nothing like HF). Diamond Rings is the solo project of John O'Regan from the D'Urbervilles, and his electro jams sound nothing like his rock band tunes. The night ends with hip hop, and begins with R&B indie rock. Kinda weird, but could work.

M for Montreal / CMF presents DJ Champion & his G-Strings, BEAST, and Misstress Barbara @ Guvernment.
Three Montreal bands come to town to make us dance. And, though I don't like the Guvernment's location, I gotta say I like the space. Might well be a fun show, but I'll likely opt for something smaller.

K-OS, Woodhands, and Saukrates @ The Opera House,
Ok, so Woodhands is my favourite live band, but I can't get into hip hop, and I can't get into the Opera House. But this might be awesome for you!

The Rest, Sydney Wayser (NY), more @ The Painted Lady.
This is a weird bill, but these two back-to-back sets ought to be lovely. If you're overwhelmed by loud rock or electro pop or whatever, and you need pretty voices and light melodies, this is where you need to be. The Rest is on at midnight, and Sydney opens at 11pm.

Lots more listed on the main festival schedule.

Canadian Music Fest preview: Wednesday.

Canadian Music Fest (part of Canadian Music Week) is nearly upon us. The first official night is Wednesday, so that's where I'll start. There are a LOT of bands playing, and most of them I've never heard of. But I do know some good Toronto (and other bands), and I'm in the process of listening to MySpaces right now in hopes of uncovering some other good bets.

So, given my own tastes (which does not include any sort of "alternative rock," for example), here's what I think might be good bets.

WEDNESDAY (10 mar)

If you missed Fucked up a couple weeks ago, or just want more. Tropics, Slim Twig's other band, is weird-good, and the others . . . well, I'm not so familiar with, but I've enjoyed L:M in the past.

Bonfire Ball feat. Zeus, Jason Collett, and Bahamas @ Lee's Palace.
This will be a top-notch show from start to finish, including two of my favourite bands, and Jason Collett, whom I am less familiar with, but whom I'm told is awesome. Plus, Lee's is a great place to see a show. Should be a good time.

Definitely the best "folk" showcase on Wednesday night, feat. the excellent WOM, a couple Australian acts who sound pretty good, and a couple more Canadian bands to round things out. If you've seen too much of the Bonfire Ball folks and you're up for a much more intimate evening, this is the show to be at.

Vivian Girls (NY), Male Bonding (UK), and Molested Youth @ Wrongbar.
Punk! These are quality bands, I'm told. Vivian Girls have been pretty buzzy for a while now. Not my scene at all, but that's ok.

EYE Weekly Opening Party feat. CFCF, Parallels, DVAS, and Styrofoam Ones @ The Roosevelt Room.
For those of you who want to get things started with an electro dance party. If this isn't great fun, I'll be astonished.

What else?

Ha! Perhaps too mainstream-rock and too nostalgic for me, but could be a lot of fun. The openers are definitely worthy of checking out, especially Kate M-H from Australia.

FACTOR Breakthrough Session feat. Eddie Orso, Tin Star Orphans, Great Diviners, Ruth Minnikin, and Ben Somer @ The Cadillac Lounge.
Country music bands, and good ones, too. But a little too low-key for me.

FACTOR Breakthrough Session feat. The O'Darling, Kyra & Tully, Kalle Mattson, more @ The Central.
The bands I've listed are the ones I have some familiarity with, and would be happy to check out. Quieter, folkier stuff. If the Central and the Painted Lady were closer to each other, I'd suggest show-hopping.

The Wilderness, Adebisi Shank (Ireland), Pick A Piper, Ace Kinkaid, and HotKid @ Rancho Relaxo.
A variety of indie rock bands, including the solid Wilderness and HotKid, the instrumental math-pop-rock of Adebisi Shank, the jammy-percussive Pick A Piper, and more.

Lots more listed on the main CMF schedule.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Watch this: Diamond Rings (live), Kidstreet, YSP! WSD!, CMW promo.

One of my favourite Toronto solo acts got help from Gentleman Reg at a recent show:

Waterloo band Kidstreet have signed to Nettwerk, and will release their album in the summer.

Vancouver's You Say Party! We Say Die! are busy-busy these days. They recently released a couple videos to go along with their 2009 album, XXXX. Here's one I like:

Finally... ugh:

BUT, there are a lot of really great bands playing next week!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Indie Music 110 (5-10 Mar 2010).

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 or subscribe to this blog. Make sure to check the rest of my blog for show reviews and photos, giveaways, and downloads. You can get lots of other suggestions at Stillepost, Zoilus, the weeklies, and venue websites, etc.

This list doesn't include any CMW events. Those are well-publicized on the festival's website. This weekend Friday (tonight!) is pretty great, with a few different should-be-awesome band nights.


* Out of This Spark presents Casey Mecija (Ohbijou), VIVIV (feat. Ken Reaume), and the Youngest @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Free Drawings #7 w/ Man Made Hill, Opera Arcana (GB Jones, Minus Smile and Bink), Karaoke, visuals by Philippe Blanchard, and DJs @ Double Double Land, 9pm, $3.

* Steam Whistle Unsigned 13 feat. Dinosaur Bones, Everything All the Time, and Make Your Exit @ Steam Whistle Brewing (the Roundhouse, 255 Bremner Bldv), 8pm, $5. All proceeds to charity.

* Unfamiliar Records 5 Year Anniversary feat. Makeout Videotape, Rat Tail, Stop Die Resuscitate, and the Two Koreas, w/ DJ Mickey Apples @ The Cryptic Canvas (8 Waterloo Terrace, near King and Bathurst), 9pm, $5.

You Handsome Devil (3 sets) @ The Hideout, 9pm, $5.

Free Kisses, Mathemagic, and Cloud Nothings @ Smiling Buddha Bar, 9pm, $5.

Darrren Eedens, Ania Ziemirska, Neth Moore, and Dress Rehearsal @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, $5.

Max Woolaver Band w/ Alistair Christl @ Free Times Cafe, 8:30pm, pwyc.

Like Animals w/ Ruckus, Esoteric Doctrine, Bloodvine, Vintage King @ Hard Luck Bar, 9pm, $5.

Sugarfoot, The Dishes, and the Jilted Lovers Club @ Cameron House (Back Room), 9pm, $5.

The Android Meme, Mary & the Black Lamb, and Myxomatosis @ The Velvet Underground, 8pm, $5.

Braincell Graveyard, The Daily Times, and No Right Turns @ Bovine, 9pm, $5.

HotBoxxx presents Andrea Gal, Michael David Wolf, Ben Kunder, Meredith Shaw, The Box Tiger, more @ Rivoli, 8pm, $5.

Sun Sattelite, Blind Race, All But Over, The Targets UK, and Official Awesome @ El Mocambo (First Floor), 9pm, $6.

The Dank, Ashley, and Cut Throat Kids @ The Silver Dollar, 10pm, $6.

* No Shame presents Language-Arts, the Pinecones, and Allie Hughes @ The Garrison, 9pm, $6.

* B.A. Johnston, the Racoon Wedding, and Andrew Vincent @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7.

Amnesia Vivace, Icarus Has Wings, Strawman, Breakaway @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 9pm, $5 w/ canned good, $7 w/o.

* United Steelworkers of Montreal @12:00p, The Warped 45’s @11:00p, and Joshua Cockerill @10:00p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $8.

This Is A Standoff, Junior Battles (7" release), the Roman Line, and Hands of the Few @ Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, $10.


Cadre @ Grafittis, 4-7pm, pwyc.

* Zeus (in-store) @ Soundscapes, 6pm, free.

* Chang-A-Lang and Terror Lake @ Hard Luck Club (downstairs, 812 dundas), 10pm, free.

At Odds With Even and Kosher Dill Spears @ Aspetta Cafe, 9pm, pwyc.

In Support of Living, Buddy Black, Jordopia @ Silver Dollar, 10pm, $5.

fleeceelves w/ Sit Down Tracy (Winnipeg) and The Great Dane @ The Poor Alex, 9pm, $5?

Permanent Bastards, Currents, and the Balance @ Bovine, 9pm, $5.

The Hot Flashes and Bryan Ransome Band @ The Drake, 8-11pm, $5.

Anniversary Party feat. Jack Breakfast and Laura Hubert @ Mitzi's Sister, 9pm, $5.

Age of the Enemy, Special Ops @ The Velvet Underground, 8pm, $5.

Repercussions w/ TerraArdor and My Hollow @ Hard Luck Bar, 9pm, $5.

Orange Fuzz, The Gospel (from Montreal), and lightsweetcrude @ Teranga, 9pm, $6.

Hi-Hat Records Compilation 5 Release Party feat. The Peace Leeches, the Rival Boys, the Archives, and the Cosmic Eye @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $7 (incl. comp. download).

Quest for Fire, Chylde, and Holy Mount @ Garrison, 9pm, $8.

Julia Set Generator (CD release) @12:30p, Daniel Wesley @11:30p, The Rosewoods @10:30p, and Cold Dead Hands @9:30p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $10.

Operation Haiti feat. Mean Tangerine, Suspect, Thundermonks, more @ El Mocambo (Upstairs), 9pm, $10.

Peter James Project (CD release) w/ Darrelle London @ Bread & Circus, 9pm, $5 (or $20 incl. CD).


Hamilton Trading Co. w/ Gloria Song & the Classy Rags @ the Boat, 9pm, pwyc.

SugarFightMusic presents The Sitcom, Heartcore, The Little Black Dress, City of Glass @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $5.

Burn Down the Capital presents Zevious and The Swyves @ Somewhere There, 8-11pm, $8.


Shoeless Monday feat. City Sirens @12:00p, The Fury @11:00p, Slocomotion @10:00p, and The Foreign Films @9:00p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.


* The Edge 102.1 Nu Music Nite feat. Medallions @12:30p, Ian Blurton's Happy Endings @11:00p, Yukon Blonde @10:00, and Sixteen Layers (Ireland) @9:00p. The Horseshoe Tavern, 8:30pm, free.

* Jordaan Mason & the Horse Museum, the Weather Station, and Lisa Conway @ Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), 10pm, pwyc.

Toonie Tuesday feat. Texas, Armed to the Teeth; Caiiro Foster; Dog Tooth Violent; and Please Stand By; w/ DJ Deadlines @ Rancho Relaxo, 9pm, $2.

* The Sure Things (every Tuesday in March) w/ The Strumbellas @ The Dakota Tavern, 10pm, $5.


* The Besnard Lakes (in-store) @ Criminal Records, 6:30pm, free.

Wonbat Wednesdays feat. The Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra, The Book of Gnomes, and Fred Spek's Camb Combo @ Tranzac (Main Hall), 8:30pm, $7.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Watch this: Still Life Still (live), Diamond Rings (live), Hamilton Trading Co. (live x 2).

A schmorgasbord of live cuts. First up, Torontonians Still Life Still perform a new song in their temporary jam space in New York City this past January:

Colin Medley captured this Diamond Rings' song, performed here with guest vocalist "Gentleman" Reg Vermue in Kensington's Double Double Land performance/art space:

Hamilton Trading Co., the project of Keith Hamilton with help from a dozen (about, at least) friends for any given performance, sang and clapped and stomped for Mitch Fillion a few weeks ago:

Hamilton Trading Co. perform a beautiful cover of Robbie Robertson's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." There's a great live video of it on their MySpace page which I haven't seen until now. The male soloist who does a spot later in the song is Brad Casey from the band Cigarettes: