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Friday, August 17th, 2007

See You In The Funny Pages

Late night so this one’s gonna be short. Mainly, I want to remind everyone that this weekend is the Toronto Comics Arts Festival taking place Saturday and Sunday at various locales around town but mainly at Victoria College in the University of Toronto (where, incidentally, they’ve been shooting The Incredible Hulk). Guests of particular note this year include Paul Pope (Batman: Year 100 and cover boy of this week’s eye), Becky Cloonan (Local, American Virgin), Darwyn Cooke (The New Frontier and local boy!) and Dave Sim (Cerebus, batshit crazy).

The TCAF is fun in that it’s like a comic-con but no one dresses up in terrible costumes. Instead it’s (mostly) normal people getting together to talk and celebrate the joy of comics, primarily but not exclusively indies.
I hope to catch some of the panels if time permits but mostly I’ll likely just wander the tables and maybe make some spontaneous purchases of gewgaws I really don’t need.

And note that in the evening, Bryan Lee O’Malley – creator of Scott Pilgrim – will be demonstrating his musical talents with a performance of his one-man band Kupek at Sneaky Dee’s. There’ll also be some other performances from other comics creators who do the music thing – renaissance men and women, we call them. And exciting Scott Pilgrim news in that book four, Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (which is apparently set largely in Sneaky Dee’s) is due out this Fall. Full details will be forthcoming in September. YAY.

Torontoist, The Toronto Star, Comic Book Resources and BlogTO all have previews of the fest.

IGN talks to Rilo Kiley drummer Jason Boesel about their new record Under The Black Light, out Tuesday. I’ve already mentioned how disappointed I am with the record and that opinion seems to be the general consensus among those I’ve talked to. A shame. But hey, decide for yourself – they’re streaming the album in its entirety on their MySpace starting today (if it’s not up yet, check back later) and through the weekend. They’re also at the Phoenix on September 18.

Couple shows announced – Montag, The One AM Radio and Lymbyc Systym are at the Whipper Snapper Gallery on August 31 and Ohbijou have a show at Lee’s Palace on November 9.

eye takes stock of the rapidly diminishing number of CD stores in Toronto, noting that Penguin Music will be closing its doors at the end of November. The Annex, once a veritable flea market of used CD shops looks like it’s soon just going to be Sonic Boom (Flash & Crash and Second Spin recently closed up and CD Replay looks on life support) and only CD Exchange remains on the Queen West/Soho strip (Neurotica is still hanging on out past Bathurst). It’s really an alarming development but not a surprising one – it’s news to no one that the brick and mortar music retail industry is in dire straits. I remain optimistic that a city the size of this one can support the remaining independent shops. I would hope Rotate and Soundscapes aren’t going anywhere, nor Sonic Boom or Vortex, but the day where I’m the crazy old man down the street who refuses to give up his physical music media and go all digital may not be as far off as I’d have hoped.

By : Frank Yang at 8:30 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Adrian says:

    Hi!

    Re Rilo Kiley, I wasn’t impressed by "The Moneymaker" and comments on the blogs suggested that the overall album isn’t the best. As I’m going to see them next week in Manchester (UK) I was a bit disappointed that the new material might not be up to scratch but over here both the Independent & Mojo have given the new album ****. I still haven’t heard anything other than "The Moneymaker" but at least after Tuesday’s gig I’ll have a better idea about who I agree with..

    Cheers!

  2. stytzer says:

    Shopping with the wife is getting more and more painful. In the "old days" there were at least a few CD stores in every city. Now almost all of them are gone. But the number of shoe stores remains the same! So guess who spends most of the time during the shopping excursion outside…waiting!

  3. Gary Campbell says:

    Sad news about Penguin as it’s always been my favourite shop in the city. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll have to plan a trip over there.

  4. jnuh says:

    Criminal Records is a really nice store.

  5. Lauren says:

    Hey Frank,

    don’t know what you’re up to wednesday but I think this show would be right up your alley. Have you seen the Great Bloomers yet? fantastic.
    check out ‘Catching Up’ on their myspace… http://www.myspace.com/grea

    Great Bloomers, Knock Knock Ginger & Ryuichi
    The Drake Hotel
    Wednesday August 22nd
    Doors 830

    let me know if you want to come

  6. Thierry says:

    I always found Penguin to be overpriced and shopped there maybe twice a year, so it won’t be a huge loss. In case you miss the Bloor Street "used cd strip", Frank, BMV has now set up a music section (my friend was telling me it was going to be records and cds, but I can’t vouch for that, as I’ve not visited it yet).

    Seems like vinyl stores are having an easier time surviving these days than used cd stores, doesn’t it? I wouldn’t be surprised if before long there were more record stores left in Toronto than used cd stores (in fact, it may already be the case!).

  7. Arna says:

    FYI, here’s a link to a Flickr phot site for TCAF:

    http://www.flickr.com/group