Now that the Toronto Film Fest is over, us entertainment suckers are getting itchy for new interests. If you want to turn to the music side of things, I can help with that. Besides taking September off here because I was just so distracted (yeah, sure), I’ve also decided to re-vamp this column. For the time being, I will just be discussing what is to be expected and enjoyed from the month in full.
Now, October is probably the last month of uber-fun and hectic times before musicians start to tuck into their homes they’re never in for the winter, enjoy the holidays with people they never see and then start working on new material that none of us will hear for at least a year. So we should make that our mission as well and hike up those leg warmers or long underwear and generally feel warmer, thus more motivated to go outside for a concert. (October’s been really cold so far here, okay?)
Some really great shows will be visiting us this month:
October 16 – There are plenty of shows to choose from on this particular Saturday night. You have your tough pickings of psychedelic rockers Dr. Dog (Phoenix, $20.50), Brooklyn hipsters The Drums (Mod Club, $16), CASBY 102.1 The Edge Favourite New Artist winners Hollerado (Horseshoe, $13.50) and Californian dance party/ DJ mad man Rusko (Opera House, $22.50).
October 13 – 17 – Indie Week. So Indie that I have only heard about it once and totally forgot about it until now. However, some artists taking part in this teeny Toronto festival are worth mentioning, and most of them are male singer/songwriters (ones I don’t actually find boring, so that’s a good start): Vancouver export Joel Battle, Torontonian Dan Kosub and Andy Brown from Fredericton, NB. Other notables: rockers Colors in the Air (note: no U as they are from Buffalo and shockingly still around since my high school days but seem to have come a long way), alternative folksters Old Crowns from Ottawa and cute Kitchener emo poppers Courage My Love. Find out more about the festival at indieweek.com.
Other artists coming to town that you should look into: Hot Hot Heat, Los Campesinos, Miike Snow, Neon Indian, The Dears, Crash Test Dummies, Avi Buffalo, Deerhunter, Four Tet, Gwar, Dan Mangan, Matt & Kim.
But as concerts can only entertain us for so long, we also need motivation we can keep right in our pockets via iPods or other mp3 devices. Of course I’d take carrying a musician in my pocket over that any day, but we all need to make sacrifices. So here are some of the most anticipated albums to be released over the month and proudly from Toronto (or close-by):
PS I Love You – October 5 is finally here for what seems like a lot of really enthused music critics out there. People have been praising the Kitchener duo’s newest, Meet Me at the Muster Station for months already. It’s full of heavy, fuzzed-out guitar pushes and solos, with equally strong drumming. It’s passionate in the way that you know it means something even though you have no idea what they’re singing. There are tender moments and then there are ones that make you want to mosh. It’s a great addition to Canadian music this year, and if you want to see them play it live, you better get tickets to their October 26th show at the Garrison with Diamond Rings fast.
Hooded Fang – Come mid-month, after Thanksgiving, you’re going to need a pick-me-up, let’s face it. And I’ve already got you covered: Hooded Fang’s new self-titled album. It’s a glorious collection of soft and cheery indie rock, basking in youth and feeling. With silky boy/girl vocals, happy instruments like synths, accordions and bells. But once you get through the bountiful 12 tracks, you’ll be left with this full warmth that you’ll just want to keep playing over and over. Basically, they’re what you want out of boy/girl melodies and happy tunes in indie rock that so many bands try for but end up being too overwhelming. The group’s known for some lively concerts and will play on November 5 at the Horseshoe.
Dora Alexander – Now, let’s cap off the month moody. C’mon, let’s just do it. It will happen eventually and sometimes, if you have the right music, it’s best to just bask in the dark glow for a while. A very promising new band who is releasing a new ep, Travelers, on October 22nd, will take your mind off things with their occasional Radiohead-like aura of slow, ethereal altogether movement. They’ll leave an impact by how careful everything is set, from vocals to the use of horns to the quick switches of tempo. Plus, there’s still a lot to be discovered. The band’s EP release show will be a big one; they’ll be joined by Bravestation, First Rate People and Volcano Playground at the Piston, and last time those bands got together, that venue sold out.
That should be enough to keep you satisfied this month. For more, visit my website, RoundLetters.