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MUST SEE IN THE CITY | This Week’s Toronto Concerts Not To Miss Out On

Photo Credit: Shawn Brackbill

Photo Credit: Shawn Brackbill/Matador Records

We’re getting our A game on and slowly preparing for the exciting times ahead that is NXNE. And what better way to do that than by checking out the following shows this week:

Who: Kurt Vile & The Violators with Steve Gunn
When: Wednesday, May 28
Why: Because Kurt Vile is god.
Where: Phoenix Concert Theatre

Who: Jack Johnson with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
When: Wednesday, May 28
Why: Because who doesnt want to re-live their youth? Also, probably one of the first outdoor shows of the summer and if that’s not an awesome enough excuse!
Where: Molson Amphitheatre

Who: The Courtneys
When: Friday, May 30
Why: Because Vancouver rock babes represent!
Where: Silver Dollar

Must See In The City: This Week’s Toronto Concerts Not To Miss Out On

Plenty of awesome music coming to the city this week. Here’s who:

Who: Aloe Blacc
When: Monday, August 6, 2012
Why: Most people in this world associate Aloe Blacc’s hit “I need a dollar” with Vampires, with the song being featured as True Blood theme song. My song association comes from hanging out at the raddest hotel bar in all of Europe.  It’s like I’d be satisfied going to the show just to hear this one song to bring me back to Paris.
Where: The Hoxton
Current Song on Repeat:
Who: Eternal Summers
When: Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Why: Because no band you will see will be named more appropriate than Eternal Summers as the season is starting to wind down
Where: The Garrison
Current Song on Repeat:
Who: Cold Specks, Snowblink
When: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Why:  Because it’s kind of funny that Cold Specks and Snowblink are playing a day after Eternal Summers no? And all these weather-related puns so not intended, but if Al Spx’s voice doesn’t give you goosebumps, you need to check your pulse
Where: The Great Hall
Current Song on Repeat:
Who: Sonny and the Sunsets, Magic Trick
When: Saturday, August 11, 2012
Why: Because it’s sunshine and lollipops and everything right with this world.
Where: The Silver Dollar
Current Song on Repeat:

The Strange Boys plus Deerhunter plus Spoon: Tonight in Toronto!

it's the week that keeps on giving! as if the weekend wasn't amazing enough with Thrush Hermit all but blowing off the roof off Lee's and Black Lips entrancing all of Toronto's hipster population (having even spotted people that hang out on King Street!), Tonight brings another show of epic epicness into our lovely city.

I will be trekking down to Sound Academy to catch Spoon and Deerhunter and band one of five I was sad I missed out on in Texas, The Strange Boys (!!!!!).


Reviews coming soon. promise!

xo xo


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Thrush Hermit x 3 plus Black Lips x 2 = This Weekend In Toronto

Just when I thought I'd spend the weekend all depressed, coming off my SXSW high, Toronto steps up and delivers what promises to be a relapse of awesomeness proportions.

For anyone who's lucky enough to have scored tickets/scalp some at the venue, here's where the fun will be at this weekend:

Canadian Indie Royalty and current NOW cover boys, Thrush Hermit are BACK..at least for a mini reunion tour. Holy mother, this is one show I'd probably sell my kidney for! (Lucky for me, I bought tickets in advance and won't have to worry about doing that). The boys will be playing THREE shows starting TONIGHT at Lee's Palace.

Openers for the show:
Friday – All Night Long
Saturday- Attack In Black
Sunday- Dinosaur Bones


Meanwhile Atlanta's self-proclaimed "flower-punk" handsomes Black Lips will be playing the Horseshoe Tavern this Saturday and Sunday. Holy mother, this is show two I'd probably sell my kidney for…although with the reputation that precedes their live shows, my kidney may very well end up getting kicked around, with bruises to boot.

Can't wait for BOTH. Thanks for the forecasted AH-MAZING times, Collective Concerts!





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Concert Review: The Gossip at Toronto’s Opera House

Pretty sure I became an honourary lesbian last night.


Yup, I went to see The Gossip’s Toronto gig at the Opera House.


Surrounded by a crowd of music industry types, hawt plaid lesbians you would at first glance think were hawt hipster boys, actual hawt hipster boys and hot girls who could easily swing both ways with overprotective boyfriends who were also there to make sure THAT didn’t happen, I watched every.single.person. swoon in awe when singer Beth Ditto came out, looking like a hot and sassy red-haired Medusa, opening up the show with Dimestore Diamond.


From that moment on, it was near impossible not to be completely captivated with Beth’s larger-than-life stage presence and energy; that pipes on that girl! With a falsetto that could rival that of Mariah’s! and those utterly charming, ridiculously cute dance moves! I swooned along with my 700 other friends, just fascinated. When she wasn’t giving us all a show worth every penny, she was gushing about the city of Toronto, even at one point quipping up and comparing the crowd’s enthusiasm to that of the crowd she was in when Obama won. Hee hee. So cute!


And Tina Turner better watch it, because The Gossip’s cover of What’s Love Got To Do With It, was one of the best covers I have ever heard a band do! And trust, I’ve seen a lot in my time. As if the whole show wasn’t memorable enough, I couldn’t help but fall.in.love when during the band’s performance of Four Letter Word, all you could see was a sea of people mimicking Beth’s dosey doish dance moves exactly in unison. Effin’ adorable! Finishing off the set with Heavy Crosses, The Gossip (with Bruce Paine on guitar and Hannah Billie on durms) knew exactly what the crowd wanted and delivered an encore out of this world with the aforementioned Tina Turner cover.


And before the show was actually, fully and completely over, Beth, a gay rights advocate made a little spiel about reclaiming queer art and lead the crowd in a sing along of Queen’s ‘We Are the Champions’. Again. So cute! Le sigh.


Needless to say, Beth Ditto, has just joined the ranks of Emily Haines and Scarlett Johansson on my totally girl-crushing worthy list.


xo xo


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Jonas Brothers – Recession Style?!

Ok for real, the website I live and breathe for, travelzoo.com, just posted a deal of the century!




$19 – $27 tickets to the Jonas Brothers concert in LA.

….Jonas Brothers!

Are they not the same devilishly handsome trio of brothers that went all Miley Cyrus on our assess and whose tickets have been scalped for like a months’ rent just so some 13 year old girl can have her Justin Timberlake circa NOW fantasy? (word of advice though; I LIVED the Justin Timberlake fantasy and for real, kiddies, you’ll never know what you missed out on because no three brothers with jerry curls can EVER compensate for the hawtness that was, still is and forever will be Justin Timberlake!)


Who’s in for a trip to LA to see the Jonas Brothers on the cheap?!


Don’t take my word for it though, take the word of Kay from Jersey who wrote the following:



By Kay from NJ on 7/28/2009


Crowd Was In To It, Engaging Stage Presence, ENTERTAINING EXCITING, Great Lighting, Great Opening Acts, Great Sound, It was absolutely amazing


Cons is none

idk, it was absolutely an amazingt show; i truely loved it.. it was said to be like the beetles shows. Also, I cried during Nick's speech its full of wisdom & knowledge:] ily<333 jbs Nick was looking particularly hot!! and kevin was awesome he really interacted with the audience as well as the others:]]]<3333


Folks, Kay from Jersey would buy these tickets over and over again!! and there was great lightning involved!! And IDK!! (whatever that means..sounds exciting!!) and Nick’s speech was full of wisdom and knowledge! Well, duh, cause he was the hottest! And the best, the best?! it was said to be like the ‘beetles’ show!!! Not to be confused with the BEATLES…but the BEETLES!


On that note, see you in LA!

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Concert Review: Santigold

Santigold, Amanda Blank, and Trouble Andrew, at Phoenix Concert Theatre (Toronto) on June 3, 2009

Toronto hipsters, scenesters, and all-around music aficionados turned out in droves to see Santigold (real name: Santi White) last night at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

I showed up at the tail end of Trouble Andrew’s set. This self-professed crunk rocker is enthusiastic, super entertaining, and just a little geeky (but in a good way). Also, he’s Santigold’s fiancé, did you know? My concert buddies and I couldn’t take our eyes off a random guy in a mask who stood on the far right of the stage. We kept wondering what his purpose was. Suddenly he started tossing fake money into the air and we were like “ahhh…I see.” Well, not really.

After Trouble Andrew, Philadelphia MC Amanda Blank (real name: Amanda Mallory) – mostly known for her collaborations with Spank Rock – took the stage. My first impression of her was that she was some rich kid from the ‘burbs who used to get drunk at high school parties and sing along to rap records and then parlayed that into a career. She got off to a shaky start (fumbling lyrics and subsequently thanking her DJs for ‘saving her ass’) but hit her groove by the third song in her set. Also, she wasn’t wearing any pants (much to the delight of the males in attendance). Signed to Downtown Records, Amanda’s infectious blend of rap-meets-pop kept me interested [particularly her opening song ‘Might Like You Better (If We Slept Together)]. That said, she lacked stage presence and seemed, at times, to be more interested in tossing her hair around and looking sexy than what she was about the singing.

And now to the main event: Santigold. She’s constantly compared to M.I.A but frankly I like Santigold better, mostly because her voice is amazing and I would pay to listen to her sing the phone book. Sadly, the volume at the show was set a bit high and it was hard to fully appreciate the range of her voice. Hailing from Philadelphia but currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, Santigold (formerly known as Santogold – she changed her name after an infomercial jeweller with the same name threatened to sue) has been collaborating with Lily Allen and GZA for years. Her hugely popular blend of indie rock, reggae and ska/pop landed her with gigs opening for Coldplay and Kanye West. My fave part of her bio? She started as a A&R representative for Sony and Epic Records, then morphed into a songwriter and producer, then started singing. Lovesit.

From the second her two backup dancers took the stage, I was hooked. Clad in gold lamé American Apparel-style jackets, MC-hammer pants and sunglasses, these girls (my concert buddy compared them to Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls) were a highlight of the show. Their combo of hip-hop moves, sexy shimmies and occasional militant-like posing had my eyes glued to them in anticipation of what they would do next.

Santigold’s set included "L.E.S. Artistes," "You'll Find a Way," "Light's Out," “I’m a Lady” (blended into a cover of LL Cool J’s ‘I Need Love’), “Say Aha,” and “Creator,” (during which she invited 5 people from the crowd onstage to dance – a mixed bag of one good dancer, three mediocre dancers and one atrocious blonde chick clad in her finest ensemble from STITCHES who proceeded to do the start-and-stop method of dancing akin to Elaine’s dancing on Seinfeld).

Not to be outdone by her stage support, Santigold wore an eye-catching ensemble consisting of a one-piece printed jumpsuit over white pants and a long-sleeved white shirt with feathered hair and huge gold earrings. Not my cup of tea, style-wise, but she pulls it off.

All in all, the set was short, tight, and energetic. Santigold has a knack for giving the crowd exactly what they want and keep them begging for more.




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Spotted in Toronto: King Khan and The Shrines

The entire band was seen grabbing a bazzilion drinks and a half at local watering hole Sweaty Bettys right after their Phoenix Concert Hall show in Toronto last night. Super fun boys; were totally into the mo-town tunes, singing and dancing along. Catch them next in Toronto during NXNE!



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Review: 2009 Indie Awards & Concert

I’m underwhelmed to be at the awards this year but I’ve packed a mickey of vodka in my purse to add to my free water that’s given out in the media/artist green room and before any work can begin I excuse myself to the washroom and make myself a stiff drink, I mean, a special water… ok. I’m ready to rock *unenthusiastic* yay!

There’s so much unwashed hair and Chuck Taylor’s I don’t feel underdressed in my dirty Vans and my own unwashed hair.

It’s still early and the media and artists are trickling in. Un-surprising no-shows were the guys in Buckcherry and Papa Roach who were supposed to present the first award. Surprising guests include a guy from Hedley – the one who always wears a hat to hide the fact that he’s balding, the chick who’s referred to as Lights, and Kelly’s ‘nice guy” from last summer – the one who called, who made plans and then disappeared without a word. He came strolling in hand in hand with his new girlfriend and sauntered right past Kelly!!

His new girlfriend is wearing a lovely dress. No really, it’s very cute if it were the August Long weekend at the cottage!


 ‘Nice guy” sees Kelly, unhands his girlfriend and walks over to say Hi and play nice. I’m standing on the outskits of the convo but it appears to go well. Only Kel can say for sure.

Here’s a list of ways it could have gone better:

  1. Kelly could have had a Publicity pass on instead of a “Saturday Volunteer” Pass
  2. She could have been on fire. I’m kidding, but she could have been talking to some super hawt indie boy. Instead she was talking to some strung out dude from Cali who wore his sunglasses indoors, all night

So unfortunately instead of snubbing Nice Guy he was a welcomed distraction from the other dude.

Here’s a list of things that went well for the ‘hi’:

  1. Kelly looked cute (and weather appropriate) in her skirt/shorts and leggings paired with a very collegiate looking cardi.
  2. it was obvious that Kelly was the ‘hot one’ in their relationship… Nice Guy just looked short, a tad gingery and definitely not the cute one of the band. Where as Kel is sporting a hot new haircut, and she’s def the hawt one of our band! ;)

I’m sipping demurely on my special water and just taking in all the sights and sounds (they were not in attendance). Hey Rosetta! take over the one corner with all their gear and band members and warm up for their opening set. I was quite impressed by them, not just the fact that all 47 members could fit on that stage, but also their music! The only band that rivals them for number of band members is Down with Webster. If you’d been at the awards and didn’t know what they looked like… they were the swarm of young looking whiteys from suburbia dressed as thugs…. One even donned a backpack that was shaped like a stuffed kaola bear.

The green room is filled with dirty boys with no money. Good thing there was free food. Some of these kids could use a deep fried butter sandwich, STAT. I just wanted to force feed them all!!

Anvil were among the first bands to arrive, and they still look like 1984 personified. Their publicist wins the Biggest Transformation Award from us TBSers. She’s lost about 80 lbs! If only she knew that she’s too old for pink hair….

Lights won some stupid award for something stupid and doesn’t thank her BAND! You know, the boys that make it possible for her to tour and make a living!!!

Best Set of the Evening

Jon LaJoiewww.myspace.com/jonlajoiecomedy

So funny!! He’s like Dane Cook with a guitar.

Best Dressed

Bif Naked

She was diagnosed with cancer not too long ago and she appears to be doing quite well now and looked stunning in her new short hair.

Best Look Alike

The kid with the hair from the Arkells, on stage he has a striking resemblance to our former/allusive friend A.W.


This is about all I can remember from the night…. The special water knocked me on my butt, and I needed a beer to sober up at the Library Bar in the lobby of the Royal York. Turned out that wasn’t as easy to do as you’d expect. We actually had to wait in a LINE to get into a bar called the LIBRARY Bar on a SATURDAY night. Could we be more lame?

But it was certainly worth the wait! We got fake fangs from one of the performers!!!

After that I was dunzo. I went to the Timmy’s got a bucket of tea and some cookies and went home to watch this week’s epi of Dollhouse.


yours sincerely,

the advocate for mid-day work naps




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Review: Okkervil River with Octopus Project @ Schubas, Chicago

Pictures 225Pictures 257Pictures 263Pictures 260

Warning: Major Gush-age ahead. Stop reading now if you don’t want any cavities…aka the sweet sweet amazingness that was this show! get it? hee.
k, so last week was a civic holiday and other than daydreaming about Jordan Catalano, I was wondering what the heck i could possibly do to get out of this city for a while, when, as if on cue, I was given a very coveted guest list spot to the intimate 150-person capacity Schubas Tavern in Chicago, Ilinois for to see Okkervil River’s Lollapalooza After-Show.
Not one to pass up a trip to Chicago with an added bonus of getting to see a band who just recently played to a sell out crowd of over 600 people at Lee’s Palace in Toronto in front of 150 peeps sounded like my type of gig!
So off it was to the Windy City to check Okkervil River.
With a friend, I arrived at Schubas in awe of the cuteness that was and even more so of paying $6 for two bottles of beer. We thought it was a mistake until we found a bar that served TWO DOLLAR pints. Reason #576 to love the city.
The show started around 10:30 and opening for Okkervil River was Octopus Project. Now, I scoped out their stuff on MySpace prior to the arrival and admittedly listented to one song, not quite in the mood for instrumental. BIG MISTAKE. Soooooooo entertaining and simply wonderful! The way they use to stage to move around and play; it’s blissful. And so much energy! You know that band that just makes you heart? What a way to set the tone for the rest of the night. So much fun to watch. and so, so, so talented. There was even a theremin player! Now how cool is that? Sadly, I missed their last Toronto show. I won’t be making that mistake. ever again. Fingers crossed, there may be a show October-ish. Also, crush alert: their drummer/guitarist/bass player (yep, they switch off their instruments amongts each other, another major bonus in the talent department); i’m sorry I had to.
check out their website: http://www.theoctopusproject.com/ for songs and tourdates

Next up: Okkervil River
At this point, I would have been happy if they didn’t live up to my hype. I mean, Octopus Project was so, so, so, so good times infinity that I was ready and willing to see mediocre.

Holy, was I not prepared for what came next!

Lead singer Will Sheff came out and noted that he wasn’t uber excited playing after lolla BUT after doing sound-check and hearing everything, he just knew this would be THE show.
And so it began.
Hoolyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, it began!
They opened with The War Criminal Rises and Speaks, a song I wasn’t familiar with. And usually, it takes me a while to warm up to new material. I like hearing songs beforehand so I can familiarize myself and enjoy that much more. With this band, it was instant. I fell in love.
And with every other song I didn’t know.
And with all the ones I’ve already heard.
From ‘Black’ to ‘Unless It Kicks’ to ‘A Girl in Port’ and every single other song in between, the show, which was more than an hour and a half, was ridiculously impressive. I actually forgot the last time I saw something in this calibre.
The crowd, also helped with the experience. They danced and sang along and seemed to genuinely appreciate being there. Imagine that. Toronto: please take note.
I can’t even justify Okkervil River with a bunch of silly words. It’s best to go out, buy their records, and see them live. They play Toronto October 12 at the Phoenix. I am currently scheduling my vacation not to miss this. You shouldn’t either.


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