Thursday, 29 June 2017

Wild, Wooly, and Wonderful: tales of “pre-gentrification” Parkdale

A was for ART PARTY.
We were likely a headache to the old staff at the Dog and the Sister. Scraps of paper from collaged flyers for ill-attended concerts were inevitably strewn about their establishment floors whenever more than a few of us were congregated. We called ourselves an artists collective but maybe we were just a confetti factory.

B was for BLOB
A social grouping including everyone to whom you are related, all those with whom you have played in a band, and anyone with whom you have swapped spit

C was for CULT
This was not an art-cult. Nobody was being coerced into abandoning their family or socio-financial potential in favour of bohemian splendour and seedy grandeur. There was no mayor of IMAGINATION TOWN

An obscure and inefficient method of street promotion that appropriates real estate news boxes and the like to create dusty, ephemeral, and mostly invisible public art, whose commercial ineffectiveness is both critique of and tribute to the culture of advertising it subverts

E is for ERIN
To whom the first half of the DILLA-PLATH album was demoed and whom the second half aimed to impress

F is for FUN IS BACK

An oft employed slogan of JOHNNY AWESOME, WE ARE FRENCH, and other blob affiliates, originally c. 2008

A band whose drum chair was once abandoned for Oh Henry $, denied me, granted upon DAWN LEWIS, and for whom I implemented the first “cargo-cult” style merch table at SNEAKY DEES

H is for HIGH PARK
Across from McKENZIES PUB, the saturday afternoon open mic of which marks the first meeting of myself and Mr “Mischeif” McGoey.

Who played blues on the steps of NOT MY DOG until he came of age, who stayed up all night before his drivers test listening to Milli Vanilli on the boombox. That guy.

One quiet night at the LABYRINTH open mic, I met this convivial and powerful man. I told him I needed backbeats and he said he likes the Band. He held the RETRO RADIO drum chair hence.

Who slept on my couch and dreamed up his set list for the only ever live show by GARLIC FLAVOUR. Who proclaimed “my best friend is white” and Yank the chain, flush the bullshit down the drain”

My cousin's cousin's old band, under whose influence i have attempted to dislocate both my shoulders, and there was that time at the CADILLAC when i stripped off my outer pants while grinding to their grooves.

M is for MIP
Notwithstanding my own sister, the blobber whom i have known the longest, currently on a west coast summer tour. Loud, proud, and powerful. Esp. stoked for u to play Lop Lops.

In 2008 several Blobsters performed at the MnB Yummy Ethiopian restaurant, and held the first and only “Boxasaurus Parade”, led by person or persons wearing a paper mache dinosaur head and causing a lot of silly noise, even by NB standards

O is for OPEN MIC
A traditional gathering held by musicians, poets, and sometimes standup comediannes, a sort of musical potluck occuring usually at a local watering hole on an off night and featuring a wide range of performances, random collaborations, often birthing bands

Anna Mernieks (now with BEAMS) and Katie Plant (now married) started a two piece rock band in high school. Their dance crew was straight clowning, they killed it at Wawapalooza

Q is for QUINCEY JONES, who spoke at the memorial for Oscar Peterson at Roy Thompson hall almost ten years ago, which is a decent entryway into the whole Miles Davis sidebar...

Land of baby strollers and green grocers. Also a good place to run into Damon from the Muckabouts. Clearly above Parkdale on the social ranking because the name of the street is more easily mispronounced

One of many attempts to descibe and/or pidgeonhole the various and ferociously un-pidgeonhole-able musical offerings of Toronto's downtown westside

T is for TIA BRAZDA who, let's face it, got me as close to Drake as I'll ever get:

U is for the UNFAMOUS
The state of being well-known and easily identified only within one's own social sphere

Dan Burke`s club on Queen where one picturesquely rainy night RETRO RADIO played an all-boombox set and i burned a hole thru my cool shirt with a cigarette(the rain saved me)

W is for WAF and thereby also WARREN MCGOEY, who is an unprincipled genius and ought to be stopped, and who discovered the Garrison back before it was the Garrison.

X is for BLOB X, which, aside from the BLOBMAS XMAS 2009 offering, was the tenth and final compilation release by T. Babinski of underground Parkdale bands on compact disc

Y is for YARDWORK, a band inspired in the way of Sonic Youth and Deerhoof and featuring our pal Christine. Had a dream about you bud, where are you now?

Z is for ZE. It sounds just like he or she but denotes no specific gender and sidesteps the potential plurality of “they”. Dont be a stick in the mud. Be respectful and open-minded

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

150 degrees of pride (part one)

Fuck me canada, you dont look a day over 100

Fuck you Parkdale, you just lost the dog and mezzrows in less than a year

Fuck me Beardonce, u were amaze last wknd

Fuck you John Mayer, ur a dick and a white supremacist

Fuck me Drake, 25 simultaneous billboard hits?

Fuck you Dre, cowardly dr

Fuck me TO Loungers, u have called for the grimy rock, and we shall bring u weekly mixtapes, starting up again tuesdays in august

Fuck you Church. Unmarked children's graves in your yard are still unrepented

Fuck me Sweaterpants, nice work at TO Lounge, catch Mark Watts and the gang every Tuesday in July🍸🎶🎸🍻

Fuck you Cosby. Let's have a cypher, ill tear your weak words apart

Fuck me Trudy. U got some backbone now but still sound unsure in the house.

Fuck you Gomeshi. We won't forget.

Fuck me Brandon. Doctor Decters throwing down some solid modernist ish. B would prolly mention Malevich

Fuck you TTC. More security and worse service. “ride the rocket” i guess they never said “friendly skies”

Fuck me Pride, u sure do know how to party

Fuck you Oliver Stone, you`re not edgy, just self-centered and ignorant

Fuck me Toronto, u look beautiful this summer

Fuck u America. Choose healing, choose life. Stop clinging to an old fake copy of Time Magazine for dear life. Face truth.

Monday, 5 June 2017

The A B Cs of the Parkdale Underground

A is for Aurora Lavender, who can basically make anything and sings good too

B is for Meagan Ballantyne, who's in residency at TO Lounge with her project Authentic Imperfection, performing every Thursday night this June

C is for Chris Harrison, who may or may not be available for comment

D is for for DB Buxton, who's band rocks and will sit down for a talk on june 13

E was going to be for Everyone in Parkdale is famous (in Parkdale) but i think its better to be happy than famous

F is for Aaron Florendo, who's in for an interview on June 6th

G is for Mauve Grove, our house band June 20th, on tour through southern Ontario and Montreal this summer

H is for How can there be this much talent in one bar!?!?!

I is for I think the alcohol helps mediate all their egos

J is for Jenna Strautman, here to hype Rotary Dial`s upcoming album release at the Garrison June 9th

K is for Kylie Precepa, a cool northern breeze of song blowing our way June 13

L is for Lennox, joining us on June 20th

M is for Max, international artist and Insta feed-pleaser

N is for Nia, who will be my co-host in futurist coinage June 27

O is for not yer Open mic, every Wednesday night at the TO Lounge

P is for Peter J Ramsay, also known as the Dread Pirate Laserbeard. He has invented an alcohol and hypnosis based form of regression therapy I like to call “the butterfly effect”

Q is for June 6 DJ Q-Na (pronounced “quick sodium”)
a multimedia selection of queen west and east coast underground music

R is for Robert, our gracious host and bartender.

S is for Shelly, who is also our gracious host and bartender

T is for Teddy Syrette, a poet whom Parkdale can chew on for years

U is for will i CU there?

V is for Very fun summer nights

W is for Wait theres always more! Roslyn Dennet! Half of the Skyline brunch crew! Pamela White! MIP? Luis from Unit 102! Mercy Now (childcare schedule permitting)

X is for Xenophobia, whose cure is our goal

Y? Because they're letting us.

Z is for the Zappaesque riffery Marks gonna drop on y'all June 27