Sunday, August 31, 2014

Recording: Army Girls

Artist: Army Girls

Songs: Twice + White Towel

Recorded at SummerWorks Festival – S--------- Studio Theatre ("Failure Fest"), August 9, 2014.

Army Girls - Twice

Army Girls - White Towel

Full review to follow. A slight resolution to a what might have been question, local duo Army Girls made what might have become their debut full-length album — but weren't entirely satisfied with the recording. Sometimes when you work so hard on something that doesn't work out you just have to let it go, and the album was shelved and the songs dropped from the band's repertoire.

As a final (and public) peace-making with/burial of these songs, the Andy Smith and Carmen Elle resolved to play them one last time — but to symbolize the fraught nature of their relationship with this music, they were joined by Cara Spooner, who provided "performative disruptions" that kept the musicians from easily accomplishing their tasks. This was achieved by employing the whole of the dance performance space for the show, with Spooner wheeling the guitar amp around (forcing Carmen Elle to follow behind) and, at one point, moving the entire drumkit piece by piece across the room. These feats were meticulously choreographed (while managing to feel entirely spontaneous) and created a unique — and wholly entertaining — night. There's several of these songs that I'll miss, but I'll remember this show well. One of the year's best, in fact.

Bonus! By sheer chance, one of those creative disruptions unfolded right in front of where I was standing, so here's some visual evidence:

Recording: Omhouse

Artist: Omhouse

Song: unknown*

Recorded at SummerWorks Festival – S--------- Studio Theatre ("Failure Fest"), August 9, 2014.

Omhouse - unknown

Full review to follow. Omhouse frontman Steven Foster used to play alongside Carmen Elle in Donlands + Mortimer, so it was no surprise to see him get the call to get the night started at this show. While this set wouldn't include any of the theatrics that would be incorporated into Army Girls' tour de force, it was a chance to highlight Foster's quickly-growing songbook and slightly-off-kilter pop sensibility, with sneaky hooks jabbing at you from unexpected angles — as learned from his professed influences Fred Penner and Bruce Cockburn.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Recording: Brendan Canning

Artist: Brendan Canning

Songs: [improvisation with harmonica feat. Greg Calderone] + [improvisation with violin feat. Edwin Huizinga]

Recorded at SummerWorks Festival, The Theatre Centre Mainspace ("One Night, Two Brendans"), August 8, 2014.

Brendan Canning - [improvisation with harmonica feat. Greg Calderone]

Brendan Canning - [improvisation with violin feat. Edwin Huizinga]

Full review to follow. The opening show in this year's SummerWorks Music Series didn't go as far as the others in breaking down the traditional concert format, but Brendan Canning took advantage of a patient, attentive crowd to perform a full set of entirely brand-new material. (Although there was less of a sense of artistic intervention with the music, Peter Rahul's live-engineered analog static-scapes were an excellent addition to the proceedings.)

There was a pleasingly fresh rawness as the band (a half-dozen deep behind Canning) tackled a few rockers and some lovely slower ones, but my favourite moments came when Canning went "off-script" for a couple moments of improvisation — occasions that he clearly relishes as well. After one song, he caught something that guitarist/keyboardist Greg Calderone had tossed in on harmonica, and asking him to replay it led to a quick jam. Then, the night ended with Canning calling for Edwin Huizinga (also of The Wooden Sky) to join him for a longer pastoral ramble. We'll have more chances to hear the songs, but these might have been one-of-a-kind moments.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Recording: EONS

Artist: EONS

Songs: Runaway [Del Shannon cover] + White Feather Roses

Recorded at Dufferin Grove Park, August 6, 2014.

EONS - Runaway

EONS - White Feather Roses

Full review to follow. Ending a short tour that took them to Sackville's SappyFest and back, this vanload of pals celebrated their homecoming with a casual evening in Dufferin Grove Park. There were shades of Matt Cully's Poor Pilgrim island shows here, with the modest, portable PA lifting the voices above the sounds of the city creeping in at the edges and curious passers-by occasionally pausing to listen in.

Matt Cully also had several new songs to share with the crowd. Their continued mix of classic folk forms and contemporary concerns felt perfect in this environment — lying back on the grass, looking at a star winking through the shifting branches of a tree, with mumurations of cars and bikes and pedestrians in the background.

Recording: Nick Ferrio

Artist: Nick Ferrio with Misha Bower

Song: Fall in Love

Recorded at Dufferin Grove Park, August 6, 2014.

Nick Ferrio - Fall in Love

Full review to follow. Ending a short tour that took them to Sackville's SappyFest and back, this vanload of pals celebrated their homecoming with a casual evening in Dufferin Grove Park. There were shades of Matt Cully's Poor Pilgrim island shows here, with the modest, portable PA lifting the voices above the sounds of the city creeping in at the edges and curious passers-by occasionally pausing to listen in.

A trip to Whitehorse this spring was apparently a creative tonic for Peterborough balladeer Ferrio, who (between Olympic jokes and pitches for his homemade beard oil) showed off several new songs, including this one featuring backing vocals from Misha Bower, who would do a quick reading after this set before headlining the night as half of EONS.

Recording: Spencer Burton

Artist: Spencer Burton

Song: Death Of Gold

Recorded at Dufferin Grove Park, August 6, 2014.

Spencer Burton - Death Of Gold

Full review to follow. Ending a short tour that took them to Sackville's SappyFest and back, this vanload of pals celebrated their homecoming with a casual evening in Dufferin Grove Park. There were shades of Matt Cully's Poor Pilgrim island shows here, with the modest, portable PA lifting the voices above the sounds of the city creeping in at the edges and curious passers-by occasionally pausing to listen in.

For his forthcoming album, Burton has moved himself out front, eschewing the Grey Kingdom moniker that has so far been the vehicle for his post Attack In Black solo releases. He played only an abbreviated three-song set here, but gave some glimpses into the direct songwriting that's presumably going to be in evidence on that new one.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Recording: Simcoe is Lord

Artist: Simcoe is Lord

Song: Second

Recorded at The Tranzac – Southern Cross Lounge ("Mike Smith August Residency, Week 1"), August 4, 2014.

Simcoe is Lord - Second

Full review to follow. It's forever a struggle to get crowds out for an early show, but I'm a big fan of the night's first timeslot down at The Tranzac. Start 'round 7:30, wrap up before ten, get home and in bed at a reasonable hour. So I was well-pleased to see that Mike Smith was taking over the early slot for four Mondays in August, each with different musical collaborators.

This first week found him playing guitar and overseeing some background loops while being joined by Karen Ng (sax) and D. Alex Meeks (percussion). With a Civic Holiday-inspired band name, the trio tackled a few of Smith's new compositions along the brooding/funky continuum. Very tasty stuff, even if it seemed to cause some mild concern in the early-arrivers for the following open mic jam. This is week one — more to follow! (Plus you can check out another taste from this night over at Smith's soundcloud.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Recording: Monk's Music

Artist: Monk's Music

Song: Pannonica [composer: Thelonious Monk]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), August 3, 2014.

Monk's Music - Pannonica

Full review to follow. Another of the many fluid, intriguing residencies at The Tranzac, Monk's Music was founded by Dan Gaucher and Michael Davidson to explore the compositions of Thelonious Monk. There's no fixed membership, but with a variety of players joining in for any given set, expect to see some of the city's best pass through. (You can keep up to date on their facebook group.) This particular afternoon's set saw a quartet consisting of Ryan Driver (piano), Brodie West (alto sax), Pete Johnston (double bass) and Dave Clark (drums) explore several of Monk's moods. There were plenty of chances for joyful noises, but with West's gorgeous sax tone on hand, it was the ballads that really stood out.

Bonus! Speaking of those wonderful ballads, here's the full performance of "Ruby, My Dear":

Recording: No Angels Dancing

Artist: No Angels Dancing

Song: [Second Set, First Piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), August 3, 2014.

No Angels Dancing - [Second Set, First Piece, Part I]

No Angels Dancing - [Second Set, First Piece, Part II]

No Angels Dancing - [Second Set, First Piece, Part III]

Full review to follow. The "No Angels Dancing" residency was founded by Allison Cameron as a laboratory to explore her musical ideas. Drummer D. Alex Meeks was on board right from the start, and soon guitarist Stephen Parkinson was joining in regularly as well. With Cameron out of town for the long weekend, her co-conspirators held down the fort for an afternoon of highly pleasing creations. Parkinson is an economical and crafty improviser on the guitar, while Meeks plays with a watchmaker's precision — albeit in a manner suggesting that springs might start bursting forth at any instant, kicking things into a new time signature. Together, they were captivating throughout, whether partaking of polite shredfests, neck-squeezing lockgrooves or finger-rolling folkjams. What a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. [N.B.: The next instalment of the series, with Cameron back in attendance, will be on Sunday, September 7th, from 1 to 3 p.m.]

Bonus! Here's a quick video of the proceedings:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Concert Listings Roundup #59

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gigs of the week:

Totenbaum Träger [tape release!] (Moonwood / Colin Fisher + Mike Gennaro / The Knot) / Ratio 2014-08-29 (Friday) [more info]

Man Finds Fire Presents (feat. Fresh Snow / Doomsquad / Petra Glynt / North America) / Geary Lane 2014-08-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Except for the fact that they're tempo-spatially mutually exclusive, there's not much to dislike about this pair of gigs at two wonderful new spaces. Perhaps you can let your decision depend on if you want weird-noise burrowing internally into your psyche at Ratio or some avant grooves to get your existential booty moving at Geary Lane.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Mike Smith August Residency: Battleship! (with guest Shaw-Han Liem) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-25 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Castle If (Dark Tips / Jesse Laderoute) / 8-11 2014-08-26 (Tuesday — also feat. "free astrological chart readings") [FB event]

Vera Brim [formerly Buffalo MRI] (Tarpit / Father Dust / Fleshtone Aura) / Ratio 2014-08-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-29 (Friday)

"Secret Headliner" (Secret Broadcast / Last Bullet / The Lord Almighties [feat. Myles of Cauldron & Carla Gillis of Plumtree] / Secretary City) / The Silver Dollar Room 2014-08-29 (Friday) [FB event]

No Visible Means Labour Day Weekend BBQ (feat. Blonde Elvis / Elrichman [tape release!] / Sheer Agony / Milk Lines) / 8-11 2014-08-30 (Saturday – 5:30 p.m. - 10:30p.m.) [FB event]

Ramonathon [20 bands playing 3 Ramones songs each! All Proceeds to Girls Rock Camp Toronto!] (feat. The Electric Shoes / Two Koreas / Uboat / Several Futures / HotKid / Janitors / Olboytoronto / School Damage / Teknicolor Raincoats / many more!) / The Garrison 2014-08-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Reel Cod Records presents One Little Lick... Is All You'll Ever Get (feat. The Pinecones / Village / Deciduous) / Handlebar 2014-08-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

KEN mode (Greys / Child Bite / Animal Faces / Life In Vacuum) / Soybomb HQ 2014-08-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

AGGRESSIVΛ (feat. Human Performance Lab / SΛRIN / Mystic Triangle) / The Central 2014-08-31 (Sunday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Thom Gill / The Emmet Ray 2014-09-01 (Monday – PWYC!) [more info]

The Wooden Sky / Sonic Boom (Annex) 2014-09-02 (Tuesday) [FB event]

CelloPhone presents Boats and Balloons [new music for cello and saxophone] / Heliconian Hall 2014-09-03 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ronley Teper's Lipliners / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-09-03 (Wednesday)

DJ Breezes w/ Gloctor Glock (Brigitte Bardon't) / Holy Oak Café 2014-09-04 (Thursday) [FB event]

INTERsection (feat. Toy Piano Composers Ensemble / Thin Edge New Music Collective / Kyle Brenders Quartet / junctQín keyboard collective) / The Tranzac 2014-09-05 (Friday) [FB event]

Void Vision (Votive [feat. Cam Findlay aka Kontravoid & Kat Duma] / Sahara) / Smiling Buddha 2014-09-05 (Friday) [more info]

INTERsection: New Music Marathon and Musicircus / Yonge Dundas Square 2014-09-06 (Saturday) [FB event]

See Through Trio [Tania Gill / Pete Johnston / Karen Ng] (The Imperative [Jay Hay / Karen Ng / Joe Sorbara]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-09-07 (Sunday) [FB event]

INTERsection: Terry Riley's "Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band" re-imagined (feat. Evan Ziporyn and Contact) / The Music Gallery 2014-09-07 (Sunday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 12 (feat. Bong Water / Shamanta / Hardon Collider) / Handlebar 2014-09-07 (Sunday) [FB event]

Ami Dang (Petra Glynt / Slag Ralden / Fresh Flesh) / Double Double Land 2014-09-10 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Diane Cluck (Jordaan Mason) / The Music Gallery 2014-09-16 (Tuesday) [more info]

Kid Congo & The Pink Monkeybirds (Henri Faberge & The Adorables / The Holy Gasp) / The Silver Dollar Room 2014-09-16 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Beta Frontiers (BART [members of The Elwins/Hooded Fang/Ruby Coast] / Gregory Pepper & His Problems / Uncut) / The Silver Dollar Room 2014-09-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Toy Piano Composers: Pandora's Box / The Music Gallery 2014-09-20 (Saturday) [more info]

The Queer Songbook Orchestra: Play Songs from In and Around the Closet / The Music Gallery 2014-09-21 (Sunday) [more info]

Brandee Younger (Dr. Matthew Dunn and Co.) / The Music Gallery 2014-09-26 (Friday) [FB event]

John Southworth [Niagara Record Release!] / The Music Gallery 2014-10-12 (Sunday) [more info]

Heavy Trash / The Horseshoe Tavern 2014-10-17 (Friday) [more info]

Doug Paisley / The Horseshoe Tavern 2014-11-07 (Friday) [more info]

New Music Concerts presents: Generation 2014 [with L'Ensemble contemporain de Montréal] / The Music Gallery 2014-11-16 (Sunday) [more info]

Pop Avant (feat. Still Boys / Zoo Owl / Bataille Solaire) / The Music Gallery 2014-11-22 (Saturday) [more info]

Emergents I (feat. Clarinet Panic Deluxx / Cris Derksen) / The Music Gallery 2014-12-04 (Thursday) [more info]

New Music Concerts presents: An Evening with Marco Stroppa and Benny Slucin / The Music Gallery 2014-12-11 (Thursday) [more info]

Kith & Kin's Holiday Wassail / The Music Gallery 2014-12-14 (Sunday) [more info]

Unsilent Night [an ambulatory, participatory ambient sound sculpture] / The Music Gallery (and beyond!) 2014-12-04 (Thursday — PWYC!) [more info]

Emergents II (deat. Dan Fortin / Robin Dann + Claire Harvie / The Music Gallery 2015-01-30 (Friday) [more info]

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Recording: The Saffron Sect

Artist: The Saffron Sect

Song: Pinch of Chalk

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, August 2, 2014.

The Saffron Sect - Pinch of Chalk

Full review to follow. Post-hiatus activities for this local psych all-star unit continue, even if at a languid pace. This long weekend show (complete with tasty technicolor lightshow) gave the songs a change to stretch out with some tasty extended passages; there'll be a more succinct sensibility at hand — and hopefully a release show — when the band's "long awaited long lost 2nd single", slated for an October release, makes it out into the world.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Recording: Prince Nifty

Artist: Prince Nifty with Colin Fisher

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Tibet Kitchen (Backyard Afternoon), July 27, 2014.

Prince Nifty with Colin Fisher - [excerpt]

Full review to follow. Although it hadn't been too long since I'd seen Matt Smith performing, this melow afternoon had a pretty different feel than the full-on dance party that time out. In fact, this had three distinct vibes, with Smith starting an ethereal solo piece for voice and laptop before the atmospheric guitar duo with Colin Fisher excerpted here. He finished with an experimental piece, asking many of the day's previous performers (Isla Smith, HVYWTR's Vic Cheong, Heather Segger, Fisher plus host Jonathan Adjemian) to put in earplugs and sing, following his conducting and without reference to the performers around them. A lovely ending to a wonderful day in a pretty amazing spot.

Bonus! Here's a brief video clip of that floating solo vocal piece that opened the set:

Recording: HVYWTR

Artist: HVYWTR

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Tibet Kitchen ("Backyard Afternoon"), July 27, 2014.

HVYWTR - [excerpt]

Full review to follow. Holding the rain at bay, this was a lovely afternoon in a hidden Parkdale gem, underneath the lovely trees in Tibet Kitchen's backyard patio. The music was mostly in a soothing vein, and HVYWTR brought some suitably mellow vibes. Quite a fabulous day out.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Concert Listings Roundup #58

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

Optical Sounds Presents: U.S. INVASION! (feat. The Veldt / Magic Shoppe / The Highest Order / B-17) / CineCycle 2014-08-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

An Optical Sounds party is always a special occasion, but this one even more with the long-awaited visit from a couple psych-allies from south of the border. The home side is represented by two fab units as well. This is very much the sort of thing you should willingly head down a darkened alley to investigate.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Mike Smith August Residency: Mellow Motel (with guests Michael Davidson + Matt Newton) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-18 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Burning Love (Coliseum / Nice Head) / The Silver Dollar Room 2014-08-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Harley Card Trio feat. Alex Samaras / Holy Oak Café 2014-08-21 (Thursday) [more info]

Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars / The Horseshoe Tavern 2014-08-21 (Thursday) [more info]

Zvi + Isa Christ + Cetacea + Glass Towers + Painted Faces / Ratio 2014-08-22 (Friday) [FB event]

Hellshovel (Dirty Frigs / Wicked Witches / No Aloha) / The Silver Dollar Room 2014-08-22 (Friday) [FB event]

Construction Vol. 7 (feat. Moon King / Whimm / Paradise Animals) / Double Double Land 2014-08-22 (Friday) [more info]

Vague (Flowers Of Hell / The Two Koreas) / Junction City Music Hall 2014-08-22 (Friday) [FB event]

CoexisDance 65 [dance + improvised music] / Majlis Art Garden 2014-08-23 (Saturday – outside show!) [FB event]

Sacred Lamp [Ayal Senior + Doc Dunn: "duo aktion with special guests"] (Doc Dunn solo set, "celebrating '3' new interweaving tape releases on Medusa Editions") / Grasshopper Records 2014-08-24 (Sunday – afternoon in-store!) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Vera Brim [formerly Buffalo MRI] (Tarpit / Father Dust / Fleshtone Aura) / Ratio 2014-08-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ramonathon [20 bands playing 3 Ramones songs each! All Proceeds to Girls Rock Camp Toronto!] / The Garrison 2014-08-30 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Muted Note [Choreography: Susanna Hood / Music: Scott Thomson / Poet: P.K. Page] / The Citadel 2014-09-05–2014-09-07 (Friday–Sunday) [more info]

Wavelength 614: WL Island Show (feat. Weaves / Fresh Snow / Most People / MATROX / "secret guests") / Artscape Gibraltar Point 2014-09-07 (Sunday – free! all ages!) [FB event]

Audiopollination #22.1 (feat. Paul Newman/Aldwyn Hogg Jr./Peter Lutek / Elliott Fienberg/Aisha Sasha John / Shahriyar Jamshidi Kamanche/Raphael Weinroth-Browne / Phookie Nijjit/Nodoubt Fersure) / Array Space 2014-09-09 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #22.2: Montreal meets Toronto (feat. Raphael Foisy-Coulture / Evan Tighe/Nicole Rampasaud/Michael Kaler / Aaron Leaney / Raphael Foisy-Coulture/Evan Tighe/ Aaron Leaney) / Array Space 2014-09-13 (Saturday) [FB event]

5th Annual Toronto Bicycle Music Festival (feat. Willow Rutherford / Rambunctious / Charlotte Cornfield / Communism / Maylee Todd + more) / Allen Gardens/Nathan Phillips Square/Christie Pits Park + bike-bourne points between! 2014-09-14 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents: The Second Sunday of September (feat. Ryan Brouwer's Improv Wind Ensemble, conducted by Christine Duncan / Margarita Night [Spencer Cole/Colin Fisher/Thom Gill]) / Array Space 2014-09-14 (Sunday) [FB event]

Wavelength 619 (feat. Wrong Hole / Lee Paradise / Several Futures [tape release!] / Shrines) / Handlebar 2014-09-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

X Avant IX (feat. Laraaji with Scott Peterson, Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia / Diely Mori Tounkara) / The Music Gallery 2014-10-16 (Thursday) [FB event]

X Avant IX (feat. Drums and Drones / Phrase Velocity) / The Music Gallery 2014-10-17 (Friday) [FB event]

X Avant IX: Jace Clayton's Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner / The Music Gallery 2014-10-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

X Avant IX (feat. DJ Ushka / Poirier) / Mojo Lounge 2014-10-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Shivas (Meanwood / B-17) / Smiling Buddha 2014-10-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

X Avant IX (feat. Lido Pimienta / Ramzi) / The Music Gallery 2014-10-19 (Sunday) [FB event]

Monday, August 11, 2014

Concert Listings Roundup #57

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

Wavelength 611: Endless Summer Mini-Festival (feat. Comet Control / Mexican Slang / Steve Shiffman & The Land Of No / JFM / New Horizzzons / Alpha Strategy / Hiawatha / Delta Will) / Vintage & Flea Outdoor Market 2014-08-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

This weekend just gone by would have been ALL CAPS if last year's festival hadn't been the final one. While there's an island-sized hole in my heart that may some day yet be filled, it's good to see that Wavelength is still celebrating the summer with an all-day outdoor show. Promised as ALL DAY / ALL AGES / 10 BANDS / 10 BUCKS, there's a promise of "not just live music, but also live video games by the Hand Eye Society, projections and art installations, plus food, drink and vintage clothing and goods for sale." Sounds like a solid way to spend a Saturday.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Mike Smith August Residency: Transcombobulation (with guest Jonathan Adjemian) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-11 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Dragon Trio [Robert Piotrowicz/Branko Dzinovic/Tomasz Krakowiak] / Ratio 2014-08-11 (Monday – PWYC!)

Healing Power Records Presents (feat. Silent Isle / Mas Aya) / Double Double Land 2014-08-11 (Monday)

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-12 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Audiopollination #21 (feat. Neil Wienrik/Michael Lynn / Dominque Banoun/Eel/Ben Bennet / Aisha Sasha John/Michael Kaler/David Grollman / Chris Adriaanse/Michael Foster / Ben Bennet/David Grollman/Michael Foster) / Array Space 2014-08-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

SummerWorks: The Secret Garden of Lido Pimienta (feat. Lido Pimienta) / Lower Ossington Theatre Mainspace 2014-08-13 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Alvvays / The Horseshoe Tavern 2014-08-13 + 2014-08-14 (Wednesday + Thursday) [FB event]

The Living Daylight Stringband / Holy Oak Café 2014-08-14 (Thursday – early!)

Lina Allemano/Peggy Lee/Ryan Driver/Dylan van der Schyff / The Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music 2014-08-14 (Thursday)

Feast In The East 40 (feat. Fiver / Wyrd Visions / Tasseomancy / Black Walls) / Jam Factory Co. 2014-08-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

SummerWorks: Do I Have To Do Everything My Fucking Self (feat. Light Fires) / Lower Ossington Theatre Cabaret 2014-08-14–2014-08-16 (Thursday–Saturday) [FB event]

SummerWorks: Young Drones (feat. The Bicycles) / Lower Ossington Theatre Mainspace 2014-08-14–2014-08-17 (Thursday–Sunday) [FB event]

Jenny Berkel [CD release] (Lisa Bozikovic) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-14 (Thursday)

Dust: The Quietest Big Band in the Known World / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-15 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

NAISA Sound Travels Festival: Instrumental Redo (feat. junctQín / Jean-François Laporte) / Wychwood Theatre 2014-08-15 (Friday) [more info]

DIΛNETICS - OT LVL 3 (feat. Mystic Triangle / Fog Spirits / Hexzuul / Lone Human / Blunt Chunks) / Mây 2014-08-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Zakary Slax And His Teenage Mutant Superstarz (The Taste / Village / Pet Sun) / Magpie Taproom 2014-08-15 (Friday) [FB event]

NAISA Sound Travels Festival: Motion Memory and Mermaids (feat. Pauline Oliveros / Anne Bourne [with sixteen channel sound diffusion!]) / Wychwood Theatre 2014-08-16 (Saturday) [more info]

Frustrations (Jay Holy / Josh Korody with Trev) / Milk Glass Co. 2014-08-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Bitter Fictions (Beard Closet / Datura Daydream / Iderdown) / Smiling Buddha [basement] 2014-08-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

By Divine Right (Language-Arts / Gay) / 3030 2014-08-16 (Saturday – free!) [FB event]

Healing Power Records Presents (feat. Lovecraft, Colonel Cinnamon, Bridgitte Bardon't) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-16 (Saturday)

Girls Rock Camp Toronto Showcase Concert #2 / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2014-08-17 (Sunday – matinée! all ages + kid-friendly!) [FB event]

Alaniaris / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-08-17 (Sunday – matinée @ 3 p.m.!)


Add these to your calendar:

Burning Love (Coliseum / Nice Head) / The Silver Dollar Room 2014-08-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Construction Vol. 7 (feat. Moon King / Whimm / Paradise Animals) / Double Double Land 2014-08-22 (Friday) [more info]

Man Finds Fire Presents (feat. Fresh Snow / Doomsquad / Petra Glynt / North America) / Geary Lane 2014-08-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Totenbaum Träger [tape release!] (Moonwood / Colin Fisher + Mike Gennaro / The Knot) / Ratio 2014-08-29 (Friday) [more info]

No Visible Means Labour Day Weekend BBQ (feat. Blonde Elvis / Elrichman [tape release!] / Sheer Agony / Milk Lines) / 8-11 2014-08-30 (Saturday – 5:30 p.m. - 10:30p.m.) [FB event]

Reel Cod Records presents One Little Lick... Is All You'll Ever Get (feat. The Pinecones / Village / Deciduous) / Handlebar 2014-08-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Man Finds Fire Presents: Sound Seance II (feat. Sir Richard Bishop / Tashi Dorji / Clara Engel) / Geary Lane 2014-09-04 (Thursday) [FB event]

ANAMAI (Black Walls) / The Press Club 2014-09-04 (Thursday) [FB event]

Street Reiki (feat. Nick Persons / Teen Tits Wild Wives / Bile Sister) / Mây 2014-09-05 (Friday) [FB event]

Gates (Voidfolk) / S.H.I.B.G.B.'s 2014-09-05 (Friday) [FB event]

B.A. Johnston (Strange Attractor / HotKid / Ketamines) / Smiling Buddha 2014-09-06 (Saturday) [FB event]

Pregnancy Scares (TV Freaks / Pelvic Floor / The Soupcans) / S.H.I.B.G.B.'s 2014-09-07 (Sunday) [FB event]

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Recording: Moon McMullen + David Jones

Artist: Moon McMullen + David Jones

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Geary Lane ("Summer Sesh @ Geary Lane"), July 26, 2014.

Moon McMullen + David Jones - [excerpt]

Who says we can't have nice things? Local promotion duo Man Finds Fire launched their new venue with an afternoon party, showing off a beautiful space nestled in a warehouse-like building in the industrial strip by Dufferin and Dupont. The main floor features a large (but not imposingly cavernous) open area, with a bar and couches and tall white walls that give the whole thing the feel of a modern art gallery. There's even a comfy upstairs patio with a nice view of the railway tracks and the city beyond. Recently used for film work, the room also sounds more like an intimate hall than a reverberating cave. It's a bit off the beaten track, but well-worth heading out for. Promising to specialize in more experimental sounds (their next couple shows are already announced), let's wish MFF great success and a long tenure at Geary Lane.

Throughout the day, the announced bands alternated with "surprise pop up performances", the last of which was David Jones (who had helped lead off the day as a member of Bile Sister) and the Mysterious Moon McMullen (who happened to bear more than a passing resemblance to Man Finds Fire's Justin Adam) who combined for a spirited set of glitch/noise electronic experimentation.

Recording: A K U A

Artist: A K U A

Song: One's Company

Recorded at Geary Lane ("Summer Sesh @ Geary Lane"), July 26, 2014.

A K U A - One's Company

Who says we can't have nice things? Local promotion duo Man Finds Fire launched their new venue with an afternoon party, showing off a beautiful space nestled in a warehouse-like building in the industrial strip by Dufferin and Dupont. The main floor features a large (but not imposingly cavernous) open area, with a bar and couches and tall white walls that give the whole thing the feel of a modern art gallery. There's even a comfy upstairs patio with a nice view of the railway tracks and the city beyond. Recently used for film work, the room also sounds more like an intimate hall than a reverberating cave. It's a bit off the beaten track, but well-worth heading out for. Promising to specialize in more experimental sounds (their next couple shows are already announced), let's wish MFF great success and a long tenure at Geary Lane.

Less overtly experimental than the day's other performers, Montreal (via London ON)'s Akua Carson modern soul still served as a most pleasing contrast — just right for a summer afternoon. Joined by a percussionist, she played tracks from her EP to what might have been the largest audience of the day.

Recording: Treeotica

Artist: Treeotica

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Geary Lane ("Summer Sesh @ Geary Lane"), July 26, 2014.

Treeotica - [excerpt]

Who says we can't have nice things? Local promotion duo Man Finds Fire launched their new venue with an afternoon party, showing off a beautiful space nestled in a warehouse-like building in the industrial strip by Dufferin and Dupont. The main floor features a large (but not imposingly cavernous) open area, with a bar and couches and tall white walls that give the whole thing the feel of a modern art gallery. There's even a comfy upstairs patio with a nice view of the railway tracks and the city beyond. Recently used for film work, the room also sounds more like an intimate hall than a reverberating cave. It's a bit off the beaten track, but well-worth heading out for. Promising to specialize in more experimental sounds (their next couple shows are already announced), let's wish MFF great success and a long tenure at Geary Lane.

I've encountered David Shelly before as a busker, and remember wishing I had more time to linger and listen to the strange electroacoustic sounds he wrung from a tree branch rigged with a cello string and run through a distortion pedal. Shelly brought some of that outside feeling to this set, deploying both glowing toy birds and recorded birdsong as background to humming twangs that built up into some sort of avant diddley bow percussion. Intriguing stuff, and I hope to hear him again, both on stage and on street corners.

Recording: Blunt Chunks

Artist: Blunt Chunks

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Geary Lane ("Summer Sesh @ Geary Lane"), July 26, 2014.

Blunt Chunks - unknown

Who says we can't have nice things? Local promotion duo Man Finds Fire launched their new venue with an afternoon party, showing off a beautiful space nestled in a warehouse-like building in the industrial strip by Dufferin and Dupont. The main floor features a large (but not imposingly cavernous) open area, with a bar and couches and tall white walls that give the whole thing the feel of a modern art gallery. There's even a comfy upstairs patio with a nice view of the railway tracks and the city beyond. Recently used for film work, the room also sounds more like an intimate hall than a reverberating cave. It's a bit off the beaten track, but well-worth heading out for. Promising to specialize in more experimental sounds (their next couple shows are already announced), let's wish MFF great success and a long tenure at Geary Lane.

I've seen Caitlin Woelfle O'Brien on stage in a support role for a few different artists, so it was a delight to see her exploring her own creative ideas. Sitting on the carpeted floor of the loosely-delineated stage area, surrounded with a sequencer, loop pedal and toy piano, she created ambient/abstract vocal dreamscapes that were far more lovely than her project's name might suggest.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Bile Sister

Artist: Bile Sister

Song: Track Your Transit

Recorded at Geary Lane ("Summer Sesh @ Geary Lane"), July 26, 2014.

Bile Sister - Track Your Transit

Who says we can't have nice things? Local promotion duo Man Finds Fire launched their new venue with an afternoon party, showing off a beautiful space nestled in a warehouse-like building in the industrial strip by Dufferin and Dupont. The main floor features a large (but not imposingly cavernous) open area, with a bar and couches and tall white walls that give the whole thing the feel of a modern art gallery. There's even a comfy upstairs patio with a nice view of the railway tracks and the city beyond. Recently used for film work, the room also sounds more like an intimate hall than a reverberating cave. It's a bit off the beaten track, but well-worth heading out for. Promising to specialize in more experimental sounds (their next couple shows are already announced), let's wish MFF great success and a long tenure at Geary Lane.

The afternoon opened with Julie Reich's squelch/funk project Bile Sister in a drummer-less trio format. The ever-evolving band continues to elongate their grooves, as demonstrated by a song that's now double the length of its recorded incarnation.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Interview: Amelia Ehrhardt

For most of us, our experience of dancing is like our experience of singing: from a very young age we do them unself-consciously and seemingly instinctively. But as we become more aware of how we are persons situated amongst other persons that changes. Dancing becomes enmeshed in a maze of subtextural meanings and codified in complicated ways. That has an effect on how we encounter dance as an art form.

I tend to see my fair share of music, so it just happens that the main way I encounter creative dance is tangentially through that. It always tends to intrigue and entice to come face-to-face with a different mode of expression, and I'm generally curious to examine it further, but maybe a little too reticent to approach something outside my boundaries.

To try and expand my conceptual horizons and question my preconceptions, I've enlisted the assistance of local dance artist Amelia Ehrhardt who has thought a lot more about these things than me and is articulate and enthusiastic. In the leadup to the SummerWorks edition of her Flowchart performance series, Amelia graciously shared her time and insight for an online conversation.

Mechanical Forest Sound: Just for starters, tell me a story about how you got involved in dance.

Amelia Ehrhardt: I was fourteen and I had always wanted to take dance class. I went to a high school for the arts and was a drama major, my best friend was a dance major and lived in the same part of the city convinced me to try. We stopped talking almost immediately after that but I became obsessed with dance class!

My informal start was as Ginger Spice in a grade six Spice Girls cover dance band.

MFS: What was the impetus behind the original Flowchart series earlier this year? How did it go, and how did it lead to you being in SummerWorks?

Amelia: The impetus was: there are too many good artists here not to show! I was working on a solo I wanted to present, and there are so many resources involved in putting on a performance, and it seemed wasteful not to have other artists involved. And I couldn't just think of like, two other people to show work with, so I put on three shows of three artists each night.

And setting up a show is setting up a machine, so when one is started... it made as much sense to do three as one, to be honest.

MFS: When I went to one of the Flowchart events, I was struck by the fact that the performances included video work and a comedic monologue. If I may throw eight syllables at you all at once, how important is interdisciplinarity in what you do?

Amelia: I guess very, but in a way where framing it as such feels less interesting than thinking about what the works have in common. Of course I think about having a diverse showing of art forms in this series (though I lean most heavily towards dance) but what's more interesting is just thinking about how things will fit together, who is doing stuff I am interested in. When I started thinking about whose work I liked it was a real split of mediums, some I know really well and others less so, so it was a real challenge to then set up appropriate circumstances for all these people to work in. Like, I know what dancers need but dealing with sound equipment for the first time was a personal nightmare.

MFS: From the department-of-there-being-no-dumb questions, for those of us outside the demimonde, what's the right terminology for your art? (I come from an indie rock background where exactingly-specific genre tags are both universally applied and roundly mocked, often by the same people.) Is "contemporary dance" still a current term? (it sounds a little bit like something from the '70s, like macramé) Do we just say "dance" now? (or "movement"?)

Amelia: I kind of want to start calling what I do '70s new macramé. No, contemporary dance is still the term. Some people who come from/present in a dance context use "performance" instead, but mostly contemporary dance is this enormous bucket term that can mean a lot of things. Like, the strangeness of the fact that that my weird shit gets the same name as Mia Michaels' is not lost on me.

Dance, at a funding structure, is obsessed with genre – like, if you practice urban, flamenco, bharatanatyam, it matters a lot how you identify at a council level. I don't know a lot about why this is. But in this context I still fit into this big bucket term, "contemporary dance".

MFS: Perhaps akin to classical music, for an outsider there's sometimes a sense you need to bring something to dance performance -- some technical knowledge that you need in order to appreciate it "properly". Do you sense this from an audience (or, moreso, from people who avoid becoming your audience)? Do you feel frustrated when audiences don't just take it at a level of intuitive appreciation?

Amelia: people feel this about dance in a huge way!! It is so interesting to me because I remember before I started taking class, being enraptured at dance performances, I never had this experience of feeling like I didn't speak the language.

So I don't feel frustrated by it, but I don't totally understand. I feel like there is an (incorrect) assumption that dancers will know what the moves mean, as though like, an arm reaching up and to the right always meant the colour blue or something. This isn't it! You don't have to be able to articulate what you saw. That's it.

MFS: My theory is that people feel like they need that "higher appreciation" because dance is, at its most basic level, about bodies in space, and people can get pretty awkward about bodies.

Amelia: Truth. There are fields of scholarship about this.

MFS: Pushing that a little further, it’s a little embarrassing to ‘fess up to it, but I know there have been times where I felt like I was appreciating dance at a superficial level -- i.e. a visceral reaction to [female] bodies. Not that I'm looking to excuse the male gaze here, but how do we deal with this in forming an aesthetic reaction to dance? Perhaps restated another way: what do we do with an inherently sensuous artform in a time laden with the hypersexualization of pretty much everything?

Amelia: This is a huge topic on which I have a lot of feelings. I have gotten in arguments with people about whether or not dance is inherently sensuous. I feel strongly that it is not but that it does often gets used to communicate the sensuous, due to the mainstream popularity of the form of male-female duets to love songs.

There are sort of a few different questions to respond to within this one question that I would like to articulate: number one, the fact that dance is a sensuous form in its materials (sensation and the body) but is not inherently *about* the sensuous (so question number one is, can dance be about the non-sensuous?). Number two, that dance is sensuous in its materials and as such is often assumed to be inherently sexual as well (so, there’s your question of how do you deal with the sensual in a time of rampant hypersexalization?). Then number three, the fact that it is a form that does now and has historically involved an awful lot of male gaze issues (question there being, how do we not objectify the performers when we watch dance?).

So my sort of multiple duty response is... Do you feel that dance is inherently sensuous because it is about the body?

Going to the Doctor is also about your body but that manages not to be perceived as inherently sensuous (thank God). A lot of sport is about the body but also manages to escape this realm. I mean, the watching-sexy-bodies question is still there but people don’t assume the form is about sensuality. Other forms of performance, such as theatre or music, are not generally described as inherently sensuous, even though they employ pretty much the same tools. Dance gets a particular place in this conversation about being a site for (especially male) viewership of (especially female) bodies. There are many dance history class lessons within this that I’m not going to get into right now (but here is a google search that can lead you down one answer of that rabbit hole if you want).

With that in mind, I think that the reason dance is considered “inherently sensuous” is that the form is associated with women and is often considered a female form (and for that matter is vastly dominated by women but yet is still a field where women statistically make less than men...). Women in other forms of performance – female singers, actors – are hypersexualized as well while their male counterparts are not. Since dance is female-dominated, it is then lumped in with this category of sensuality-sexuality and presumed to be exclusively of that domain (not accusing you of doing that, just that your question points to this existing generalization).

With this in mind I personally think the best thing to do with this question is simply to interrogate why we consider it inherently sensuous. To look to dance for content within form instead of just the bodies. I think it is crucial when watching dance to remember that although it uses sensual materials, it is not exclusively about sensuality. I think dance is an important site for all of us to practice looking at other bodies without sexualizing them.

MFS: One last maybe-obvious question. Is dance taken less seriously as a cultural category because, until relatively recently, it was difficult to preserve the essence of its performance over time? (one of the few Canadian dancers I could name is Françoise Sullivan, and I mostly know of her work through its representation in another medium -- in this case, the series of photographs of her Danse dans la Neige, rather than her dance itself) Does our everyone-has-a-phone-with-a-movie-camera-now era bode well for giving dance more "presence"?

Amelia: I think certainly the issue of documentation is part of the case, although it is good to remember that in the west dance is relatively young as an art form. The realm of western stage dance has really only been around for a few centuries (dance buds reading can confirm/deny this fact) and has taken a few unfortunate turns (see above linked google search) that have led it down directions that Generally Serious Art People were not interested in. Degas is lauded as something of a hero for documenting dance, but Degas hated ballet. He painted ballerinas as a critical display of these immoral modern times. Dance occupies this weird place in western art of currently being considered one of the weirder, more obtuse, fringier fields of art, but historically being something that was a sort of popular place for the idiot general public to ogle women and maybe bone them backstage (there are multiple reasons that classical tutus are shaped the way they are). It wasn’t until the early 20th century in the west with the emergence of the Diaghilev era and the Ballet Russes that dance developed (or perhaps solidified) a voice in the dialogue of Generally Serious Art People.

So this all takes a bit of a turn to what you asked me before, but, surprise! Dance Is Taken Less Seriously because It Is of The Body and We in the West Don’t Know What To Do with That.

MFS: There's a lot to unpack there! We might have to have a follow-up conversation. But turning for now to the upcoming Flowchart, who are the dancers you're working with? What is the specific nature of your role as curator — does everyone get free rein or are you doing something to meld the parts into some sort of unified whole?

Amelia: At Flowchart I work with artists in multiple fields – in the case of the SummerWorks edition, showing work will be Amanda Acorn (dance artist), Liz Peterson (theatre performer and creator), and Bojana Stancic (artist and set designer). I am interested in how non-dance works appear when they are situated in the context of dance work – although there is usually only one dance work at a Flowchart, that I am a dancer/choreographer (and obviously very vocal about my interest in/obsession with that) colours the choices I make. The specific nature of my role is... I ask people whose work I am interested in, they make something and generally I don’t see it until the night of. I so far have only worked with artists who I know and trust, and have loved this sort of Christmas Morning experience of seeing all the works on the night of the show for the first time. I think what I do is 50% emails and 30% hustle and 20% lovely creative dreaming.

MFS: That's really fabulous. I hope you are surprised and satisfied. Thanks for your time.

[Anyone who wants in on that xmas morning feeling should come down to The Theatre Centre Incubator on Friday (August 8th) at 8:00pm]

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Preview: SummerWorks 2014

SummerWorks Performance Festival

August 7-17, 2014

Over the past few years, the Music Series at the SummerWorks Festival has truly come into its own. Instead of just offering a band on a stage, the series' specialty has become its curation of unique events, pairing musicians and artists from other disciplines to create memorable one-off events.

This year's Music Series is curated by the fine folks at Silent Shout, who have their fingers on the city's electronic pulse. It's no surprise, then, that all the Music Series shows are recommended. Here's what's coming, with some selections from my live archives to give you a hint as to what you might hear from these musicians.

  • Brendan Canning / Brendan Healy: One Night, Two Brendans
    Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning isn't resting on his laurels; instead of just playing nostalgia festivals he's also been exploring new directions in chill. Teaming up with Buddies in Bad Times' Brendan Healy, this night promises a "psychedelic dreamscape... and spectacular video art".
    Listen! Brendan Canning - unknown
    [Friday August 8, 9:00 PM @ The Theatre Centre Main]

  • Army Girls / Cara Spooner: Failure Fest
    Anyone wondering why Army Girls haven't released more of the songs from their repertoire now has a partial answer: the band recorded a full album, but were unsatisfied with the results and ultimately scrapped it. Meditating on artistic failure (and, just perhaps, the opportunity to find gems in the trash heap) Carmen Elle and Andy Smith are going to revisit that album, with Cara Spooner creating "performative disruptions with/on/for them". Omhouse and some other will be joining in as well.
    Listen! Army Girls - unknown
    [Saturday August 9, 9:00 PM @ S--------- Studio Theatre]

  • Weaves / Allison Cummings: Weaves Through Time
    Given that Weaves' Jasmyn Burke has been transforming into one of the city's most dynamic and theatrical frontwomen, this is a nifty bit of programming. Expect somethig dramatic to happen, even if it's not on stage (the venue "will be ransformed into a multi-level space where the bands' live music will be performed with no divide between Weaves, three dancers and their audience.") Choreographer Allison Cummings and set designer Hanna Puley join forces with the band's exploration of being situated in time.
    Listen! Weaves - Know About It
    [Sunday August 10, 9:00 PM @ Lower Ossington Theatre]

  • Lido Pimienta / Natasha Greenblatt: The Secret Garden of Lido Pimienta
    Lido Pimienta delivers her electronic experimentalism with a golden voice and a no-bullshit stance that speaks truth to power. It remains to be seen if her garden (an immersive installation by Natasha Greenblatt with artwork by Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea) is a place of peaceful repose or a survivalist's den of bared fang and claw.
    Listen! Lido Pimienta - Goodbye
    [Wednesday August 13, 9:00 PM @ Lower Ossington Theatre]

  • The Bicycles / Maggie MacDonald / Amy Seigel: Young Drones: A Graphic Novel Rock Opera
    It's intriguing to think of these projects as living, growing things. Young Drones — a fantastic tale of a pair of oilpatch-guarding aerial drones that become self-aware and fall in love — made its debut at the festival last year, and after a Long Winter re-mount, it returns in a more polished form with a multi-night run. That's excellent news, as Amy Siegel's "live performance animation" is just fantastic, and the music includes some of the band's best material yet. Even better, word is that the album version of the songs will be for sale at these shows!
    Listen! The Bicycles - Requiem
    [Thursday August 14, 9:00 PM; Friday August 15,9:00 PM; Saturday August 16, 9:00 PM; Sunday August 17, 4:00 PM @ Lower Ossington Theatre]

  • Light Fires / Adam Lazarus: Do I Have To Do Everything My Fucking Self?
    Ever since showing up under mysterious circumstances, Regina The Gentlelady has been burning up local stages as the high-kicking voice of electro-pop darlings Light Fires. Now, she's sharing her wit and wisdom in a one-woman cabaret that's sure to end with the audience members feeling just a little drrrty — and maybe having learned some lessons in feeling sassy and fabulous. Not to be missed.
    Listen! Light Fires - I Like To Work
    [Thursday August 14,10:00 PM; Friday August 15,10:00 PM; Saturday August 16, 10:00 PM @ Lower Ossington Theatre Cabaret]

[Music Series shows are $15, and available through the online box office and at Soundscapes. $10 tickets for those for 25 and under will be sold, subject to availability, five minutes before doors]


The Music Series is a huge opportunity for bands to re-approach and recontextualize their art — having time, expertise and other resources at hand to do something different is a real luxury. It's also a chance for music fans to encounter new kinds of art and broaden their horizons a little. And in that vein, it's definitely worth taking the plunge into the rest of the Festival. My m.o. is simply to pick a timeslot to commit to the festival and then just go see something new! — which is feasible when performances are a reasonable $15 (or less with various package options). Go see something that'll surprise you! That said, you can also have a gander through the listings for the various offerings on-stage and off. Plus, there were a few other things that caught my eye:

  • This Is Our Last Song: A conversation featuring Jonny Dovercourt, Brendan Canning, Jasmyn Burke, Allison Cummings, Silent Shout
    A sort of adjunct to the music series, this free talk looks at the walls that separate musical and theatrical performance. (For the curious, there are also several over talks in the Conversations series.)
    [Friday, August 15, 2 PM @ Theatre Centre Café/Bar]

  • Maracatu You!
    Aline Morales played the Music series a couple years ago, scintillating with her seductive Brazilian pop. This is a different take on the culture, "the story of how an Afro-Brazilian tradition functions in our city today as a celebration of liberation in the face of oppression." Expect that celebration to be rather boisterous — "Warning: Loud Percussion," offers the program guide in what might be an additional selling point for some.

  • The Water Thief
    Amy Seigel, who's helping re-mount The Bicycles' Young Drones also has a hand in this "haunting fable set in an abandoned East Coast town", which employs "film, performance, live music, shadow puppetry and dance". The music component is under the guidance of Snowblink's Daniela Gesundheit and includes a few other noteworthy locals as well (Alex Samaras, Cheryl Okrant and Evan Cartwright).

  • Common Fate
    I'm not entirely sure what's on offer at this entry in the "Live Art" series, which promises "dance, live music and animated projections" in a "a dream-like performance round". But it's overseen by local artist Zeesy Powers and includes an all-star music crew, including Isla Craig and Brodie West under the direction of Andrew Zukerman.

  • Fathers & Sons: Kamino Family
    I've encountered dancer Benjamin Kamino as a member of Sook-Yin Lee's ensemble LLVK, and here he's attempting a marathon, dancing for six hours straight while his father and brother stage complementary art-interventions around him. A Pay-What-You-Want, drop-in/hang out/come back later event that questions time, space and family ties.

  • Flowchart
    This "series of small-scale multidisciplinary performances" continues from an earlier iteration overseen by dance artist Amelia Ehrhardt. Mixing artforms, this is a great step into the world of dance for anyone curious about the form. [I don't know much about dance myself, so I asked Amelia some questions. Keep an eye out tomorrow for our conversation.]