Posts Tagged ‘toronto’

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Off-topic: Cross-Canada road trip #5

July 29, 2009

Day 5: Sault Ste Marie, ON to Toronto, ON

Okay, after the fourteen-hour  Kenora-Sault Ste Marie drive, I’m a bit too braindead to say anything clever about my hometown of Toronto. The video is for “Songtario,” by Henry & Clare (thanks, @kimblem!). And Broken Social Scene is a pretty good representation of the Toronto indie music scene, since the collective contains practically everyone anyway, and I imagine my choice of BSS song is pretty self-explanatory.

MP3: Broken Social Scene – Canada vs. America [buy]

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Watch: Holy Fuck on City Sonic

July 17, 2009

The most recent entry in the City Sonic video project feature Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck on Toronto, and specifically about Sneaky Dee’s, the divey Mexican restaurant and indie music venue that is probably (or about to be) most famous to non-Torontonians as the backdrop to climactic scenes in the comic book Scott Pilgrim.

More Holy Fuck on z=z.

MP3: Holy Fuck – Super Inuit

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Watch: City Sonic

June 22, 2009

The City Sonic video project is a series of short films that focus on the relationship between a band and a venue. They premiered a half-dozen or so of the films at NXNE last week, and there’s several up on YouTube. One is an interview with Barenaked Ladies drummer Tyler Stewart about the now-defunct Ultrasound on Queen Street W and their residency there.* And z=z fave director Bruce McDonald did one on punk band Cancer Bats at the Adrift Clubhouse. Check their YouTube channel for more videos.

If you happen to be an aspiring filmmaker (or know one), I would love, love, love to see something like this for all the great bands and venues in Boston or Seattle.

MP3: Barenaked Ladies – The Flag [buy]

*Outing myself as a total dork: When I was a young, geeky, music-loving engineering student (as opposed an old, geeky, music-loving prof), I saw BNL many times at the Ultrasound, frequently bringing my calculus problem sets with me to work on before or between sets. Incidentally, if you think of them as just a novelty band, check out this early and emotionally powerful track.

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Neophile: The Waking Eyes

December 4, 2008


[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t watch it, click here]

Some music from above the 49th parallel as a soundtrack to the currently-unfolding constitutional crisis. The video is of Winnipeg-based The Waking Eyes—paying homage to their fellow Manitobans The Weakerthans—busking for charity in front of the El Mo in Toronto, ON, filmed earlier this year. The band just released their second album, Holding On To Whatever It Is, along with a 3-CD set of B-sides and rarities (outtakes?), which probably explains why the album itself is a tightly-focused slice of 70s garage rock that makes for fun listening.

The Waking Eyes: website myspace

MP3: The Waking Eyes – All Empires Fall

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Read: Scott Pilgrim

October 13, 2008

If you haven’t been spending any time in your local comic book store recently, you might not have heard of this series of comic books (or graphic novels, if you must), written and drawn by Bryan Lee O’Malley. They follow the adventures of twenty-something bassist Scott Pilgrim, who’s trying to figure out his life. Enter Ramona, a sexy courier who has access to shortcuts through space and time, closely followed by her ‘seven evil exes’, whom Scott must defeat in battle. The books follow Scott as he deals with the quotidian (getting a job, finding a place to live), the fun (his band Sex Bob-Omb’s rehearsals and live shows, hanging out with Ramona), and the surreally action-packed (fighting the evil exes, who draw on an arsenal of mind-bending weaponry). The books draw from anime, from videogames, and from the great tradition of indie comics about slackers. They’re amazingly well-written, and great fun. I also get an enormous kick out of the fact that they’re set in my native Toronto – it’s fun to see my old stomping grounds translated into comic-book form. There’s also (unsurprisingly) a movie in progress, and it looks at least somewhat promising – Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) is set to direct, and Michael Cera (Juno, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) is in the lead role.

Four volumes are out, and the fifth one is scheduled for a February 2009 release (six are planned). Go check them out.

Amazon link

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Webcast: Polaris Music Prize 2008

September 28, 2008

Tomorrow (Monday) night is the announcement of the winner of Canada’s 2008 Polaris Music Prize. Modeled after the Mercury Prize, it’s given for the best Canadian album, ‘judged solely on artistic merit, without regard to genre or record sales.’ This year’s shortlist of ten albums includes StarsIn Our Bedroom After the War, Caribou‘s Andorra, Holy Fuck‘s LP, and the WeakerthansReunion Tour (a full list is here). As well as glory, the prize comes with $20 000 Canadian, which is real money these days. The awards ceremony is being held in Toronto, and will feature live or video performances by all the nominees. The whole thing is being being webcast on CBC radio 3, starting at 8 pm Eastern time. If you do happen to be in Toronto, the official after-party starts at 10 pm at the Drake Hotel, and members of nominee and z=z fave Holy Fuck will be among the DJs.

webcast link (8 pm Eastern on Monday, September 29th, 2008)

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Coverage: Ted Leo, “The Spirit of Radio”

July 17, 2008

In honour of Rush’s appearance yesterday on the Colbert Report, and Ted Leo’s appearance this morning on the soon-to-be-defunct Bryant Park Project on NPR, here’s Ted Leo’s cover of Rush’s “The Spirit of Radio.” The story is that this song was inspired by CFNY, Toronto’s independent/alternative radio station, which was a formative musical influence on me as a kid growing up in the city (it’s now 102.1 The Edge). Three things I love in one neat package.

MP3: Ted Leo – The Spirit of Radio (Rush cover; recorded live at WFMU)