Sunday, January 9th, 2005
To All Tomorrow's Parties
Yes, I’m all agog about going to Austin for SXSW this year, but don’t take that as meaning I’m neglecting any of the fine fests that take are taking place on my very doorstep this year. Granted, none have the same profile, international breadth of acts or barbeque supply as Austin’s grandaddy of them all (I’ve been promised barbeque, dammit!), but they are a good time and there’s almost always some good to great shows. There’s still only limited information available for most, but here’s a brief preview.
Canadian Music Week will be taking place from March 2 to 5 this year and they’ve begun naming off the artists that have been invited to perform. While the majority of acts featured are local or Canadian (obviously), there are usually some international acts who pass through town and get their shows branded with the CMW stamp. This year, we’ll hopefully have French dance-pop act Tahiti 80 in town on one of those days, at some venue – probably Lee’s.
The 2005 edition of the wonderfully eclectic and egalitarian Over The Top Fest will be taking place May 5 to 8. While still a relatively young festival – I think this is its fourth year? – it has always done a fine job of combining a wide range of disparate local and touring acts for some interesting bills. Many of the bands play both licensed evening shows and all-ages matiness, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the shows. No schedule has been announced yet, but the kick-off party happens April 23rd at the Rockit and features Of Montreal and Better Than Everyone, plus some more acts to be named. Tickets $10, on sale soon.
It’s too early to have any details, but a couple other Summer festivals in and around town include NXNE, happening June 9 to 11, and the Hillside Festival taking place in Guelph, July 22-24. And I’m sure there are other noteworthy ones happening this Summer that I’m forgetting at the moment.
Another new festival taking place in town this year is the Ear To The Ground fest. Debuting this September 16 to 18 at the Exhibition Grounds, it’s mandate is “to showcase artists between 18 and 40 years old, who fall outside of the realm of the mainstream commercial entertainment industry” and featuring artists from many disciplines including “music, theatre, dance, film and video, fashion, visual arts, and literature”. Sounds pretty good to me. They’re holding a fundraiser show at the 360 on January 21 featuring Great Lake Swimmers, Barmitzvah Brothers, Adam Cotton and Pine Music, admission $7.
Some random notes from a walkabout around town yesterday afternoon: Flash & Crash’s new arrivals section was populated by albums by My Bloody Valentine, Spiritualized, Mojave 3, Sigur Ros… it was like someone had sold my entire record collection or disavowed all my musical taste in one fell swoop. Rather disconcerting. Then at Queen Video, there was this guy who was asking the clerk for any movie starring Michael Douglas. He didn’t care what, he just wanted as much Michael Douglas as possible. At first it was funny, then weird, and then just plain creepy. I shudder to think what that copy of Don’t Tell A Soul is being used for right now. And at the supermarket, they were having a two-for-$5 sale on boxes of really bad-for-you cereal. Stuff that would have prizes in the boxes if they still did that. I managed to avoid the Nestle Quik and Resse Peanut Butter Cup cereals, but I had to bring my old friend Count Chocula home for a little re-acquainting. Don’t judge me.
24! Tonight! 8pm!
np – Godspeed You Black Emperor! / Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven!