Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
Stickin' It To The Man
Festival announcements big and small from Over The Top, Olympic Island and Pitter Patter
Autumn de WildeThere might be question marks around whether or not we’ll see 2009 editions of big Toronto events like V Fest, but for the eighth year running, the city will host Over The Top Fest in May and showcase an eclectic range of acts in clubs around the city for a weekend in May, this year the 21st through the 24th. The official website is still having the finishing touches put on it but the lineup was announced last week at Stille Post and, as expected, there’s a whole lot of acts I’ve never heard of. But considering the festival has, in years past, welcomed the likes of Of Montreal, Grizzly Bear and Matt & Kim amongst many, many others – all before they became the international superstars they are today – you ignore the unfamiliar names at your indie cred peril.
This year’s edition is somewhat smaller than past years – there’s a recession going on, dontcha know – but still pretty packed. I’ll leave you to peruse the artists yourself, but names that jump out – even if not up my particular alley – include Japanese noise experimentalist Merzbow at the Polish Combatants Hall on May 21, Arcade Fire/Unicorns alumnus Clues, whose self-titled debut is out May 19, at Sneaky Dees on May 21 and Montreal dance-punk maniacs Think About Life at the Polish Combatants Hall on the 22nd. The most interesting one to me – and probably the only show I’ll make it out to – is New York pre-teen sibling duo Tiny Masters Of Today. You might expect an act with a set up like that playing punk rock music might be pure novelty, but their sophomore album Skeletons, out June 16, is surprisingly sophisticated and really sounds good, whatever their age. They’re playing the Whippersnapper Gallery on May 23.
And in addition, there’s film and theatre components to the festival and promises of a “concert on a transit bus, BBQ and Acoustic Concert” for closing festivities on the Sunday, May 24. Tickets for many of the shows are already available on Ticketweb (see Stille Post link for links), will be available in stores this week and a limited number of festival passes will also be made available.
MP3: Tiny Masters Of Today – “K.I.D.S.”
MP3: Tiny Masters Of Today – “La La Land”
MP3: Clues – “Perfect Fit”
MP3: Clues – “Remember Severed Head”
MP3: Think About Life – “Paul Cries”
Video: Tiny Masters Of Today – “Skeletons”
Also announced yesterday was the 2009 edition of the Olympic Island show, which is an almost-annual tradition but you can never be absolutely sure when it’s going to be, who’s going to play or if it’s even going to happen. The answers to all those questions, however, are July 11, Broken Social Scene, who are playing for the fifth time out of the six the party has been held, Explosions In The Sky, Thunderheist, Beach House, Apostle Of Hustle and Rattlesnake Choir, and yes it is (obviously). With V still being a big old question mark, this could be the city’s one opportunity to rock out and piss off the islanders, and having had almost three years elapse since I last saw the Scene, I think I’m getting eager to catch them live again. Tickets are $57.50 including ferry to and from the islands, though CFNY (that’s “Edge 102” to those of you under the age of 30) has a limited number available for $39.50 – 1021 tickets, according to Chart.
The Book Is Broken, a book documenting the story of Broken Social scene, will be out May 16. Thunderheist are the cover feature on this month’s Exclaim and their self-titled debut came out at the end of March and they play The Phoenix on April 30. Apostle Of Hustle’s new album Eats Darkness is out May 19 and he plays the Music Gallery on May 29.
MP3: Broken Social Scene presents Brendan Canning – “Hit The Wall”
MP3: Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew – “TBTF”
MP3: Explosions In The Sky – “Welcome, Ghosts”
MP3: Thunderheist – “Jerk It”
MP3: Beach House – “Gila”
And also recently announced was this year’s edition of Pitter Patter Fest which, if not as big in profile or stature as either of the aforementioned events, is certainly the largest in geographical terms. Though centered in Toronto, Pitter Patter events will be happening all over southern Ontario, from London to Guelph to Peterborough to Belleville – 150 bands, 10 cities and four nights from May 28 to 31 – and feature the likes of Dog Day, The Craft Economy, The Diableros, Great Bloomers, Fjord Rowboat, Megan Hamilton and Spiral Beach to name but a very few who’ve been covered on this site in the past. All shows are pay-what-you-can and the schedule, which will probably see many of the bands playing numerous dates and cities, is still forthcoming.
Sonic Boom Records up in the Annex will celebrate Record Store Day this Saturday, April 18, with a in-store mini-fest featuring Little Girls, Steamboat, Green Go, Gentleman Reg, Sunparlour Players, Lullabye Arkestra and Slim Twig. No idea of specific set times but it starts at 4PM and the store closes at midnight. You do the math. Admission is free but donations of non-perishable food items is strongly encouraged.
Full details are still forthcoming, but Holy Fuck are one of the acts playing this year’s Beats, Breaks and Culture fest at Harbourfront Centre – they’re playing July 10, and as always, this show is free to all.
The Decemberists have announced the second leg of their North American tour in support of Hazards Of Love, and it includes an August 3 date at the Kool Haus with The Heartless Bastards as support. Tickets are $30.50 and go on sale Thursday.