If you had asked us when we first started Toronto Music Scene back in 2007 what we expected to get out of this music blog, we never could have predicted or imagined the adventures, exposure and access to music it would allow. We’ve had the opportunity to not only attend some of the best shows in the city, but also to put some on. Supporting the local music scene has been our mantra since the beginning and it’s been a simple one to fulfill. There is so much happening in this city and so much talent bleeding out from behind basement and venue doors that writing about it didn’t only make sense, it was actually pretty easy.
There were months when we had up to 20 people contributing to this site at one time. We’ve been fortunate to bring on people such as Myles Herod, who breathed new light into Toronto Music Scene and helped us shape our narrative of the city. We are and will forever be grateful for this help and support from people who appreciate Toronto’s music scene as much as we do. And when the time is right, we’ll be sure to call on these fantastic writers and editors again.
But for now, we are taking a break from Toronto Music Scene. Both TJ Liebgott and Sheena Lyonnais have become so busy with other endeavours it’s been hard for us to maintain the caliber and wealth of content you’re used to. We’ll be popping our heads up again here and there, likely around music festival times or when something truly magical happens, but for the most part Toronto Music Scene is going on a temporary though indefinite hiatus for the time being.
Again, thank you for your support and thanks for reading TMS over the years. We’ll still see you around town at shows, you can count on that, and we’ll be sure to keep you informed as to any future developments with TMS. For now, however, promise us you’ll continue to support as much local music as much as you possibly can and we promise we’ll do the same. To keep up to date on what we’re up to, check out tjhollywood.comand sheenalyonnais.com.
$10 or free with an Indie Week Wristband. This is a good time to remind you we’re giving away a pair of wristbands! Click here to find out the details.
We’ll be announcing the special guest later this month.
Come early! There’s a Coalition music showcase on before us so the place will already be packed.
Toronto Music Scene is an official partner of Indie Week Canada. Follow us on Twitter @TorontoMusic and Indie Week @IndieWeek. We’ll be posting Indie Week bands of the day everyday up until the festival so keep checking back.
Say good-bye to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” – radio has a new track to overplay, and ultimately kill. Arcade Fire’s latest, “Reflektor”,is not only infectiously catchy and modern, it’s also emblazoned with the vocal stylings of David Bowie and the production of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, making, if possible, the Montreal outfit cooler than one could fathom.
The trouble is, the song feels like a deliberate hit and not necessarily their own vision. Although the lyrics touch on social commentary similarly to their previous work (“We’re so connected / but are we even friends?”), the glitz of the track, as well as its accompanying video and PR campaign, seem to be at the expense of the classic Arcade Fire spirit. The full album is slated to drop on October 29th and I can’t wait to hear how the song fits into a larger collection. Will it be as amazing as their past three albums, or is it just a rejektor?
Aidan Ridgway backs solid writing with mature vocals on his debut album Simple Things For Simple Minds. The best quality of Ridgway is the insightful writing. The term “wise beyond his years” can be applied here. The first track, “Anagrams”, clocking in at 7:46, carries its weight not only through its acoustic arrangement, but its haunting backing vocal (supplied by Olivia Morton). “Another Day in Nowhere” is reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” but has a more anxious rhythm and is filled with a dirty guitar and a quiet anger. This song alone makes the album worth listening to.
A funky, fun jazz beat backs “Another Side of Loneliness” that once again makes you nod your head in time. But the song remains grounded because of his timbre. Some tracks have a repetitive coffee house feel, but it’s easy to compare him with a young Dallas Green or Gord Downie for the lyrics alone. One can only hope that Aidan Ridgway will take the best parts of his debut and continue producing.
You may not know Janey Brown by name yet, but that should change soon. In fact, you might already recognize her from TSN’s Friday Night Football intro song for the CFL, or one of her previous projects such as Marella Jane. Now, you will know her for her solo project Janey Brown and her soon-to-be-released debut album.
Check out the video for her first single “Revived,” which Brown and her writing partner/guitar player Darryl Coppins recently unveiled to a packed house at Vogue Supper Club in Liberty Village. The duo filmed the seductive video down in Brooklyn and yes, that is Brown doing her own stunts on the Aerial Silks!
In anticipation of Brendan Canning’s second solo album You Gots 2 Chill, due out October 1st, Canning has dropped his first video of the album for “Plugged In.”
A soft and melancholy track, “Plugged In” continues along the vibe by following the story of a deaf beggar roaming the streets of Toronto in search of change and answers. Although the video has an incredible dark vibe to it, it’s a beautiful look into the city of Toronto and how even in a city filled with millions we can all feel lost from time to time.
Starring Kenny Hotz (Kenny Vs. Spenny) and directed by the team of Edward Fawcett Sharpe, Steve Jones and Joel Barnes, “Plugged In” delivers big results on a modest budget. Check it out.
Born Ruffians released their third album, Birthmarks, back in April and have been showing off their increasingly sleek sound all summer. The record is satisfying, affording a more mature direction for the quartet while maintaining their steadfast Ruffian spirit. The release of the video for “Needle” is timed favourably to build some hype for the last few North American stops before the band takes off for Europe in the fall.
The video features all of the obvious choices, from the quintessential Brooklyn Bridge shot to performance clips and the seemingly obligatory girls in a photobooth. Albeit visually entrancing, it’s nothing new. The consistent Instagram-esque stock effect gives the impression that the disjointed events are occurring as part of some sort of reverie. Either way it’s a blur, imaginably due to all of the rooftop champagne carousing. To directors Istoica and James Cooper’s credit, there is some connection between the video and the song. By bouncing between shots of lead singer Luke Lalonde wandering the streets and mingling with sociable twenty-somethings, an insular feeling is implied, visually complimenting the refrain “I belong with no one / You belong with me”. What’s more, New York may be the perfect setting to bring a song about being part of a larger whole to life. Sure, it’s another obvious choice, but I think this one is forgivable.
We’ve entered the Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist contest to win $500 and we need your votes! We’ve compiled our dream summer driving playlist. We intentionally chose all Canadian and local bands to help support the scene and we promise if we win this money we will use it to throw a party! We’ll book three bands and let everyone in for free. As additional incentive, each person who votes will also be entered in a draw to win $500.
That’s right, you can help us put on an epic show and maybe score five bills of your own!
This contest is through Kanetix, an online comparison site for insurance, mortgages and credit cards. They just commissioned a study on how your taste in music affects your driving. Bad news hip hop fans and metal heads, you guys are the worst! Kidding!
Anyway listen to our playlist below and go vote for TJ Liebgott’s playlist!! No registration required. Also, you can vote EVERY DAY!!
A song that clocks in at nearly eight minutes, it would be assumed that Braids would have a video with substance to accompany their song, “In Kind”.
In the first minute and a half, a montage of the sun and blurry clouds appear as if there is a story to be told. Truthfully, there are some intentions that connect, but overall it’s a shame that they used too many quick cuts. The buildup, the rise and fall of the song could have been reflected with longer cues perhaps, in return creating a mini-story or a sense of harmony.
With that said, it’s an adequate effort, and in the vein of experimental music and a reflection of the said video, the effect offers a strong attempt at aligning the “feel” for the song with the craft of the cinematography.
Short of a bullseye, “In Kind” is an admirable experiment nonetheless – one that declares itself, and Braids, to be the purveyors of Canadian indie’s off-beat psyche.
Toronto band DIANA is gearing to hit the road later this summer supporting Austra on a string of dates across North America. The tour kicks off on August 30 and eventually brings DIANA back home for a few Canadian headlining gigs, including a show in Toronto at the Great Hall on September 26 with support from Empress Of.
The tour supports the release of their debut full-length album Perpetual Surrender, which drops August 20 on Paper Bag Records in Canada and Jagjaguwar in the States.
Featuring Joseph Shabason, Kieran Adams, Carmen Elle and Paul Mathew, DIANA has been touted (including by TMS) as one of the must watch local bands.
Following a feverishly hot performance at the Garrison during NXNE, and opening for Tegan and Sara and Fun. at Downsview, DIANA has the potential to transcend walls. Their sound has the unique ability to adapt. Vocalist Carmen Elle can plan to a small room or a crowd of thousands and her voice adjusts and carries all the same. It has no boundaries. It is unstoppable.
Live, DIANA feels like the soundtrack to a druggier John Hughes film. It is truly a beautiful thing.
Check out the triply video for debut singlet “Born Again” below.