July 2011


Missed Beirut and Owen Pallett on Tuesday? It’s happening again tonight, and it’s a must-see

Concertgoers at the Phoenix Concert Theatre received an eclectic, intoxicating one-two punch on Tuesday night, courtesy of Beirut and Owen Pallett. If you're not much for reading concert reviews, then I humbly suggest you do yourself the favor of clicking those links, listening to the music, falling in love and clearing your evening schedule, because history is going to repeat itself tonight — same time, same venue.

Comments

Q&A: FIRExFIRE, playing at Lee’s Palace tomorrow

Coming soon (they hope) to a radio station near you is FIRExFIRE, a muscular, synth-heavy, power pop band by former members of Toronto's well-received (and now defunct) The Framework. They're determined, they're ready, and they've got plenty of experience cramming songs with hooks until they piñata-burst. And they namedrop T.S. Eliot in interviews. Not too shabby. Fans of reverb and glisten can check them out at Lee's Palace, tomorrow.

Comments

North Toronto novelist taps history

Wayne Johnston has a thing for outsiders. They seem to populate the award-winning novelist’s books, from his debut The Story of Bobby O’Malley to his best-sellers The Colony of Unrequited Dreams and The Navigator of New York. His latest, A World Elsewhere, is no exception.

Comments

Band of the Week: Rattlesnake Choir

Toronto’s Rattlesnake Choir looks like a band with more than a few stories to tell. Fortunately the band makes good on its anecdotal potential, backing it all up with a strong country music foundation that takes as much influence from Tom Waits as it does Hank Williams. Watching the group live is an experience in and of itself, with percussive slinkys and the musical saw making regular appearances throughout the band’s set.

Comments: 1

Spent puts on a limited-run show before heading abroad

Spent, a comical play about the 2008 financial crisis, made its debut two years ago to a fair bit of critical acclaim (it won a Dora award). It'll  be appearing at the Edinburg Fringe Festival next month, but a "final" series of fundraiser shows are taking place in Toronto over the next few days to raise money for festival costs. We caught up with writer and actor Ravi Jain to talk about the play.

Comments: 1

Q&A with Jann Arden: Juno Award winner, author and celebrity judge on Canada Sings

With a new live album, a new book and a weekend radio show, multiple Juno Award winner Jann Arden is having a busy year. Next month, she’ll appear on Global’s Canada Sings, a six-part series in which teams of ordinary Canadian co-workers form singing groups to compete for a $10,000 donation to their chosen charity. The judges are Pierre Bouvier of Simple Plan, Rob “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle and, of course, Jann Arden.

Comments

This Week in Sound: Death Cab for Cutie, Frightened Rabbit, The Weeknd and more

Indie flagship band Death Cab for Cutie (July 29 @ The Molson Amphitheatre) are indie only in name and don't need to be introduced. Their electronics-heavy new album Codes and Keys has bewildered critics, and, well, Narrow Stairs wasn't exactly their finest 45 minutes either — but it's easy to forget that Death Cab are still among the sturdiest acts in indie rock, with a huge stable of quality material reaching back to 1998. How much of it they'll play, mind you, is anyone's guess.

Comments

Next to Normal is next to perfect

Nearly all art forms go through constant changes and growth. Musical theatre, for instance, has gone from silly vaudeville to the gorgeous, memorable music of George and Ira Gershwin; through the uneven but hauntingly-singable works of Rodgers and Hammerstein to the occasionally high art of Stephen Sondheim, who covers such serious themes as divorce, betrayal, adultery, aging, and even operatic bloodshed (as in the great Sweeney Todd).

Comments: 1

The weird, wistful and wonderfully delirium-inducing sounds of Philip James

Philip James is all about the good vibes. Like Real Estate, his music is, in fact, for the faint of heart. Call it shoegaze, call it chillwave or post-rock, call it a pop song wrapped in a fuzzy blanket and fed helium until it floats — Philip James is a link in the new chain of bedroom-based “rock” musicians coaxing listeners into pleasant delirium instead of bludgeoning them into submission.

Comments: 1

It's official: Captain Canuck is getting his own film

Toronto’s limelight went up and then away with the creation of the world's most recognized superhero, Superman, in the 1930s. Toronto-born Joe Shuster was one of two creators of the icon, but unfortunately for us, Canadian pride was in short supply: Superman's loyalties have always resided with the U.S. However, Canada does have its own purebred comic book hero, Captain Canuck, who will be sweeping the nation once again — and this time, it’ll be on the silver screen.

Comments