September 1, 2014
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August 2011

Band of the Week: Darren Eedens

08/31/11

Band of the Week: Darren Eedens

There’s dust on these songs. When Darren Eedens sings, it’s like stumbling upon an old record at your grandparents’ house, pulling it out, wiping off the years and dropping the needle in the groove; the Harry Smith Anthology comes to mind. But make no mistake: these songs are as informed by the past as they are a product of today (certain songs betray a bit of a Dave Matthews influence).

Posted at 08:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

The five most, er, intriguing elements of Doug Ford’s waterfront plan

08/30/11

The five most, er, intriguing elements of Doug Ford’s waterfront plan

When Doug Ford revealed his plan for the Port Lands, jaws dropped, people fell out of their chairs and the city suffered another mini-earthquake. Well, maybe not quite. So far, only a few details have surfaced from Ford’s “vision,” but if they’re any indication of what’s to come, our waterfront is on the fast track to becoming very, well, interesting. Below, the potential Fordifications that we’re most excited about.

Posted at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Trending in Theatre: The Price, Dreams Really Do Come True! (and other lies), Peter and the Wolf, The Winter’s Tale, The Panel Show

08/30/11

Trending in Theatre: The Price, Dreams Really Do Come True! (and other lies), Peter and the Wolf, The Winter’s Tale, The Panel Show

As the season winds down, now’s a great chance to either catch that old show you haven’t seen in a while (The Winter’s Tale) or take in a new show, like the latest one from those crazy clowns over at Second City. Because let’s face it: summer’s basically over, and there’s no better way to fight the sadness than with laughter. As Shakespeare said: “He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.”

Posted at 09:18 AM | Permalink | Comments

This Week in Sound: k-os, Peter Bjorn and John, Neil Young, Beirut

08/29/11

This Week in Sound: k-os, Peter Bjorn and John, Neil Young, Beirut

Convicted genre-transgressor k-os (September 2 @ CNE) wishes that he knew Natalie Portman. Is she in Toronto for TIFF? Can somebody make this happen for the guy? After navigating some mid-career controversy, the Torontonian crossover maestro has spent the past few years doing that other thing musicians do — you know, making songs.

Posted at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

Bloggers, unite! The first ever 24-hour blogging festival is this weekend

08/26/11

Bloggers, unite! The first ever 24-hour blogging festival is this weekend

This summer has seen festivals celebrating just about everything: beer, music, organic food, food trucks and more. While most people have been able to find an event related to their interests, one group has been left out: the bloggers. But don’t worry, they won’t be forgotten for long. Word11, the world’s first ever 24-hour blogging festival, is happening at the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) on Aug. 27.

Posted at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments

Art attack: what’s cool (and not-so-cool) about the AGO’s abstract expressionist exhibit

08/26/11

Art attack: what’s cool (and not-so-cool) about the AGO’s abstract expressionist exhibit

The AGO’s Abstract Expressionist New York exhibit is coming to an end on Sept. 4, so this is your last chance to soak up the splatter and spill of the abstract expressionist movement before the paintings return to their rightful home in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit’s got some big names: Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline — names which, if you care about art at all, you already either love or hate. Probably hate.

Posted at 09:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

Bread & Circus, Kensington Market’s tiny theatre-bar, is closing its doors

08/25/11

Bread & Circus, Kensington Market’s tiny theatre-bar, is closing its doors

Even though the dust has barely settled on Toronto’s summer of indie theatre festivals, theatre artists are already gearing up for next year (Fringe applications will be available in a month). But when it comes to next summer’s venues, there will be an obvious gaping hole in the bunch: Bread & Circus, Kensington Market’s tiny-theatre-bar-that-could, is closing its doors this weekend.

Posted at 02:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

Revenge of the nerds: four reasons your non-dweeb self wants to be at Fan Expo

08/25/11

Revenge of the nerds: four reasons your non-dweeb self wants to be at Fan Expo

Anthony Daniels, Star Wars’ man-in-the-golden-mask, was kind enough to answer our Fan Expo questions last week. Now, we’d never want to offend the legions of hard-working, hard-gaming trekkies, comic fans and anime aficionados (we’ve got a few D&D manuals in our closet as well), but it goes without saying that conventions are widely regarded as geek-only dungeons into which “normies” shall not pass.

Posted at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

How do you get Kevin Sorbo to perform in Toronto? Just tweet about his beard of bees

08/24/11

How do you get Kevin Sorbo to perform in Toronto? Just tweet about his beard of bees

When you think of Kevin Sorbo — which is bound to happen at one time or another, usually late at night while watching the Sy-Fy channel, of course — immediately one thinks: Hercules! Muscles! Mane! Whether he’s saving ancient Greece from evil warlords as Hercules or saving the galaxy in Andromeda, Sorbo is the ultimate swoon-worthy, swashbuckling hero. So why on earth would he agree to participate in something called Kevin Sorbo Garbage Weekend?

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

Band of the Week: Graydon James & The Young Novelists

08/24/11

Band of the Week: Graydon James & The Young Novelists

Making music is a lot like constructing a building. Graydon James & The Young Novelists start with the foundation of a simple acoustic guitar and construct a sturdy frame with the excellent accompanying instrumentation; the songs often build into a joyful wall of sound. But what makes the music feel like home is the beautiful vocal harmonies that James and co. craft together.

Posted at 08:18 AM | Permalink | Comments

Jason Alexander is performing in Toronto tonight. Here, five of George Costanza’s best moments

08/23/11

Jason Alexander is performing in Toronto tonight. Here, five of George Costanza’s best moments

Sure, Jason Alexander has been typecast, but he made George Costanza one of the most beloved sitcom figures of the past 30 years. Tonight, Alexander performs at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in support of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. In his honour, we’ve decided to list the top five episodes where George is at his most pathetic, conniving and erratic. No doubt there will be some fierce debate, so we’ve left the ranking up to you.

Posted at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

Trending in Theatre: Come Fly Away, White Biting Dog, 'Da Kink in my Hair, Exit The King, Kevin Sorbo

08/23/11

Trending in Theatre: Come Fly Away, White Biting Dog, 'Da Kink in my Hair, Exit The King, Kevin Sorbo

Yes, Fringe is over, and SummerWorks is too, but there's still a lot of great performances going on in Toronto right now, and, well, pretty much every week. That's why we're rounding up the top five stage shows on a weekly basis: musicals, dramas, comedies, one-man/woman shows, puppetry — whatever's trending in Toronto's theatre scene, we have you covered.

Posted at 09:10 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

This Week in Sound: Incubus, Against Me, The Weeknd and more

08/22/11

This Week in Sound: Incubus, Against Me, The Weeknd and more

Please note: Incubus (August 28 @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre) have many, many songs that are not “Drive.” Their fifteen-year career has spanned just about as many genres as music journalists have in their lexicon, and they've returned from a prolonged hiatus with this year's If Not Now, When? — yet another musical departure.

Posted at 01:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

How will Toronto’s upcoming aquarium stack up on the world stage?

08/19/11

How will Toronto’s upcoming aquarium stack up on the world stage?

After hearing about the new Ripley's Aquarium, opening in 2013 at the base of the CN Tower, it would be easy to make jokes about our esteemed mayor preferring sharks to, say, libraries, books or Margaret Atwood (alright, alright, that was his brother, but still). Yes, it would be easy, but we aren't going to do it, because let’s be honest: we like sharks too.

Posted at 01:06 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

A by-the-numbers look at the upcoming Canada’s Wonderland rollercoaster, Leviathan

08/18/11

A by-the-numbers look at the upcoming Canada’s Wonderland rollercoaster, Leviathan

Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies will be pleased to learn that Canada's Wonderland has announced it’s latest roller coaster addition, Leviathan. The new ride — bigger than any of the older ones — will cross over the park’s front gate and make just about any coaster-goer say, “Behemoth what?” Below, meet Leviathan, by the numbers.

Posted at 01:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

The five weirdest things you’ll find at the CNE this year

08/18/11

The five weirdest things you’ll find at the CNE this year

Here’s news that’s sure to be a mind-rending shock: according to the National Post, Canadians are sometimes perceived as “boring” by the international community. Little do they know that once a year, a rift in the space-time continuum opens next to a dumpster behind the food pavilion at the CNE, spilling forth all sorts of extra-dimensional weirdness. Here’s a rundown of the oddballery you can expect this year, beginning tomorrow.

Posted at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

I Robot: Q&A with Anthony Daniels, continuing C-3PO's legacy at Toronto's Fan Expo

08/18/11

I Robot: Q&A with Anthony Daniels, continuing C-3PO's legacy at Toronto's Fan Expo

Star Wars fans everywhere know the name C-3PO, the loyal golden robot with no sense of humor. The name that may be a little less familiar however, is Anthony Daniels, the man behind the droid. For those who question if there is actually a man behind the robot, head to this year's Fan Expo, where Daniels will be making a guest appearance in his human form. We caught up with him to get the pre-show low down.

Posted at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments

Q&A: John McEwen, the Toronto sculptor who’s been decorating the cityscape for two decades

08/17/11

Q&A: John McEwen, the Toronto sculptor who’s been decorating the cityscape for two decades

Toronto’s landscape is synonymous with ravines and sky-grasping condo towers juxtaposed against Victorian red-brick townhouses. Over the past two decades, Toronto artist John McEwen’s outdoor commissions — steel pieces inspired by nature and local lore — have become intrinsic to the city’s scenery. McEwen has brought a bear to life above Spadina; he’s pulled the lake further into the city by erecting a canoe on the Queensway and he’s filled a Rosedale park with northern Ontario wildlife. We caught up with him before his biennial Olga Korper Gallery show. Here’s what we learned.

Posted at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Band of the Week: Beams

08/17/11

Band of the Week: Beams

The beauty of certain bands stems from their ability to eschew what many would consider to be the trappings of their chosen genre (insofar as a band like Beams actually chooses a genre). Sure, Beams have banjos, acoustic guitars and mandolins, but the addition of the musical saw and lap steel — coupled with lead vocalist, banjo player and principal songwriter Anna Mérnieks’ often playful delivery — will cause you to throw away any notion you had of calling them a “folk” band.

Posted at 08:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

The 10 TIFF flicks we’re most excited about part II (lots of Canadian content included)

08/16/11

The 10 TIFF flicks we’re most excited about part II (lots of Canadian content included)

Fresh off last week’s maple-syrup-flavoured film announcement, TIFF unveiled the final portion of its 2011 film slate this morning, including eight galas and 18 special presentations. Oh, yeah — don’t forget the stars, because there’s going to be a lot of them (think Robert De Niro, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Hudson, to name a few). Here’s our latest rundown of the flicks you don’t want to miss.

Posted at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

This Week in Sound: The Wilderness, Blink 182, Lil Wayne and more

08/15/11

This Week in Sound: The Wilderness, Blink 182, Lil Wayne and more

This week's roundup required me to listen to a bunch of new music in order to figure out what the hell was going on. First among the gems was Toronto's own The Wilderness (August 19 @ Lee's Palace). Their press material namedrops indie-cum-mainstream juggernauts Interpol, and with good reason: their debut e.p., .272, mines the same danceable post-punk rhythms and minimalist/maximalist dichotomies that made Turn on the Bright Lights so great.

Posted at 02:12 PM | Permalink | Comments

Shirts versus skins: the debate over Toronto’s scantily-clad female sports teams heats up

08/15/11

Shirts versus skins: the debate over Toronto’s scantily-clad female sports teams heats up

It seems Toronto female athletes are showing more skin than ever these days. First, the Lingerie Football League announced its inaugural Canadian franchise, the Toronto Triumph, earlier this year. Now comes Bikini Basketball Entertainment, set to debut on pay-per-view on August 17. With the Triumph’s first game scheduled for September, Toronto will soon be inundated with ladies in their skivvies playing sports, which has left some with their undies in a bunch.

Posted at 11:18 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Q&A: Michael Chang battles Jim Courier on the courts at the Legends Cup tonight

08/12/11

Q&A: Michael Chang battles Jim Courier on the courts at the Legends Cup tonight

Michael Chang burst on to the tennis scene in 1989 with his French Open victory just one year after going pro. Competing in one of the greatest eras of men's tennis, he regularly battled other greats including Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Jim Courier. In the lead up to the Legends Cup — a round-robin match between Chang, Agassi, Courier and John McEnroe (Chang plays Courier tonight) — we spoke with the living legend about tennis past and present.

Posted at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2

Q&A: the Meligrove Band performs at the Horseshoe Tavern tonight

08/11/11

Q&A: the Meligrove Band performs at the Horseshoe Tavern tonight

The Meligrove Band goes way back. I mean, when these Mississauga natives first came together in 1997, people still bought albums — in, like, stores made of bricks and mortar and other weird corporeal stuff. Their name and their music are well known and well loved in the Toronto rock scene, yet due to a combination of bad coincidences they've never managed to penetrate the mainstream market.

Posted at 01:37 PM | Permalink | Comments

New Cirque show takes acrobatics to another level

08/11/11

New Cirque show takes acrobatics to another level

If I didn't know any better, I'd think there were some serious shenanigans going on in the row behind mine during last night's premiere of Cirque du Soleil's new show Totem in Toronto's Port Lands district. "Oh my god, oh, oh, oh, no," was such a frequent refrain it was almost comical, as was the slightly less provocative "Yes! wow, oh god, yes!" Foreheads were slapped, jaws dropped.

Posted at 11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

Q&A: Serena Williams serves up a mean return at Rogers Cup, winning match against Ukraine's Bondarenko

08/10/11

Q&A: Serena Williams serves up a mean return at Rogers Cup, winning match against Ukraine's Bondarenko

While sister Venus may be out with an injury, Serena Williams is quickly rising back to the top. Forced to take an 11-month leave after hurting her foot, the 13-time Grand Slam winner played a strong match against Alona Bondarenko Tuesday in Toronto. We caught up with the legendary tennis star to get an insider's look into her recovery, her match against Martina Hingis, and her journey back to number one.

 

Posted at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments: 4

Band of the Week: Samantha Martin and The Haggard

08/10/11

Band of the Week: Samantha Martin and The Haggard

Samantha Martin has soul. It's obvious from the moment the rural Ontario hometown girl opens her mouth. Whether she's belting out country-tinged blues numbers with her band The Haggard, or trading stories from behind the bar, it's apparent Martin has the music of years-gone-by coursing through her veins. Listening to her music, you can hear the dust and gravel of long, late-night road trips through nondescript towns and feel the dirt of a hard-days work under your nails. 


Posted at 09:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

Q&A: Singapore brings its strange, sweet sounds to the Horseshoe Tavern tonight

08/09/11

Q&A: Singapore brings its strange, sweet sounds to the Horseshoe Tavern tonight

The band members of Singapore are laughing at you, right now, behind your back. They're watching what you do, and as soon as you leave the room they're going to write a song making fun of you. Oh hey, just kidding, they're not like that. But they do like to have a good time, and you don't want to bring them home to Mom.

Posted at 01:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

This Week in Sound: Bon Iver, Bruce Peninsula and more

08/08/11

This Week in Sound: Bon Iver, Bruce Peninsula and more

Tickets are already sold out, but that doesn't mean you should give up on seeing Bon Iver tonight (August 8 @ Sound Academy). Prices on Craigslist are, as usual, double to triple market value ($80 to $150), but even if scalpers were demanding your firstborn child, the offer would deserve serious consideration.

Posted at 02:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

Here are the 10 TIFF flicks we’re most excited about so far

08/05/11

Here are the 10 TIFF flicks we’re most excited about so far

Last month, the Toronto International Film Festival proved it could still shock and awe its faithful festival-goers when it announced that a documentary — on rock gods U2, no less — would open its 36th edition for the first time. With the festival filling out the rest of its slate this week and the opening night only a month away, the intense process of picking your 2011 TIFF flicks has officially begun. Here’s what has us buzzing so far.

Posted at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Yes, it is 2011: Agassi joins McEnroe and other tennis greats at the Rogers Legends Cup

08/05/11

Yes, it is 2011: Agassi joins McEnroe and other tennis greats at the Rogers Legends Cup

Professional tennis returns to the city this weekend as the Rogers Cup takes over the Rexall Centre at York University from Aug. 6 to 14. In addition to the world’s top women holding court, the event marks the inaugural Rogers Legends Cup, featuring top legendary players Michael Chang, Jim Courier, John McEnroe and recent International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Andre Agassi.

Posted at 08:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

Q&A: Random Family, bringing their sonic dreamscapes to Lee’s Palace tonight

08/04/11

Q&A: Random Family, bringing their sonic dreamscapes to Lee’s Palace tonight

Random Family want to be your favourite band. It’s music by way of collage: pop meets post-rock meets indie, before a delay pedal devours the whole thing and regurgitates it in a glittery shower of sound. You can catch Marcus Retterath, Aaron Lyons and Alec Forbes filling Lee’s Palace with sonic dreamscapes tonight at 9:30 p.m. Try them on for size, wear them like a coat.

Posted at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

The show must go on: despite budget cuts, SummerWorks is back, for now

08/04/11

The show must go on: despite budget cuts, SummerWorks is back, for now

The SummerWorks Festival kicks off today. This indie theatre fest has been around since ’91, and has grown from its fringe-like beginnings to the respectable breeding ground for local artists it’s known for today (over 20 of this year’s Dora nominations came from past SummerWorks productions). But with such great responsibility also comes great controversy. We caught up with the fest’s artistic director, Michael Rubenfeld, to chat about theatre and the festival’s future.

Posted at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

Band of the Week: Hamilton Trading Co.

08/03/11

Band of the Week: Hamilton Trading Co.

On any evening in pretty much any neighborhood in the city there are dozens musicians sitting in bars strumming on acoustic guitars. And while Toronto’s Hamilton Trading Co. does, in fact, revolve around Keith Hamilton and his acoustic guitar, there is one element that makes the experience stand out: surrounding him is a soulful choir belting out harmonies and stomping out the rhythm of the songs.

Posted at 08:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

This Week in Sound: Handsome Furs, Beirut, The Sheepdogs and more

08/02/11

This Week in Sound: Handsome Furs, Beirut, The Sheepdogs and more

Wolf Parade alumni Dan Boeckner and wife Alexei Perry are Handsome Furs (August 2 @ Horseshoe Tavern), maybe my favourite live act going. I've seen them blow the doors off at least three Toronto venues with their manic, crisp, minimal indie-pop.

Posted at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments