Friday, April 8th, 2011
Off Ramp Up Ahead
This Record Store Day, buy some records and see a bunch of bands for free
sistermusic.caNext Saturday, April 16, is Record Store Day and no matter what your feelings on the event itself and its attempts to convince you that you really need those songs you already have on a coloured 7″, you can’t argue with some of the perks. Specifically, the fact that many of the local retail establishments around town like to entice you into their stores with the promise of free live music.
So far, Sonic Boom has the biggest lineup, running from day through night and pretty impressive. There’s no one quite the stature of Sloan, as they had last year, but there’s both Canadian indie rock veterans with pedigree and rookies with promise on offer this year. Things will shake down as follows:
1PM – Modern Superstitions
2PM – Teenanger
3PM – Bidniband (ex-Rheostatic Dave Bidni)
4PM – Light Fires (Gentleman Reg and Ohbijou’s James Bunton)
5PM – Ben Gunning (former Local Rabbit)
6PM – Sister (two-thirds of Scott Pilgrim-inspiring Plumtree)
8PM – Zeus
9PM – The Wooden Sky
Further downtown at Criminal Records, you’ve got a 7PM acoustic set from The Grey Kingdom, aka the solo project from Attack In Black’s Spencer Burton. They’ll also be the only ones with the vinyl edition of his debut album Eulogy Of Her And Her And Her, so if that’s your bag then that’s the place to be. And even if it’s not, the rather exhaustive list of RSD exclusives that they’ve ordered – and usually get at least some if not a lot of – should be enough to entice you.
And not associated with Record Store Day but definitely worth your time and costing you exactly zero dollars will be The Sadies at The Toronto Reference Library as part of their Make Some Noise series – there’s no advance tickets, so show up before doors at 7:30PM on April 16 – the show starts at 8 – and enjoy. The Toronto Public Library has a chat with drummer Mike Belitsky.
Ron Sexsmith will play an acoustic in-store set at Sonic Boom on April 21 at 6PM in advance of his sold-out show at Lee’s Palace that evening.
This one’s half-free – Cults’ show at Lee’s Palace on the Friday night of NXNE will be standard ticket/wristband/badge admission, but they’ll also be on whatever bill gets put together for the free shows at Yonge-Dundas Square the next day, June 18 – perfect if you’d rather, you know, go outside. Their self-titled debut will be out on June 7.
MP3: Cults – “Go Outside”
Twin Shadow is also coming to town for NXNE – he and his band are at Lee’s on June 18 – but that one will cost you unless you’ve got a wristband or badge and feel like walking into the shows just by flashing it is close enough to free for you.
Back to the gratis but on a completely different scale is the opening event for this year’s Toronto Jazz Festival – which will feature the legendary (and that’s putting it mildly) Aretha Franklin at Metro Hall on June 24, showtime 8:30. Aretha. For free. PEOPLE.
And on Canada Day, given that there doesn’t seem to be a Harbourfront Centre show for the first time in years, your best bet will be Shad – also at Metro Hall – starting at 5:30PM. Too early in the day for fireworks so we’ll have to settle for some freestyling.
MP3: Shad – “Rose Garden”
And finally, one you’ll have to pay for but should be worth it: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have added a bunch of tour dates through the Summer in support of new album Belong and their itinerary brings them back to Toronto for the first time since September 2009 – they’ll be at The Opera House on August 2. Blurt has an interview with frontman Kip Berman.
TV On The Radio is streaming the whole of their new record Nine Types Of Light at The Guardian. The album is out next Tuesday and they’re at The Sound Academy on April 18. Interview has an interview. Fancy that.