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POTW – Manchester Orchestra – May 19th


Who: Manchester Orchestra w/ Kevin Devine, Balance & Composure
When: Monday, May 19th, 2014
Where: The Opera House
Price: $22.50 + fees

Atlanta’s very own Manchester Orchestra will be making their only Canadian stop on their spring headlining tour this Victoria Day in support of their fourth LP ‘COPE’. The tour so far far has been praised by our friendly neighbors to the south and this show is one of the first of the tour to have officially sold out – go you guys!

‘COPE’ sees the band leave behind the wide palette of colors dashed across their previous intricately detailed album ‘Simple Math’ and replaced by an equally effective brashness and straight up rock approach that triggers a different range of emotional responses without deviating too far from what fans of the band have come to expect. Support will come from Balance & Composure and Kevin Devine who fans should know is part of their semi-side project Bad Books – let’s hope for an on stage collaboration on the night. If you were lucky enough to nab a ticket we’ll see you there!

Note: A special in store performance will take place at HMV Yonge-Dundas in the afternoon on the 19th. More details available on the bands website.



Salmon Fest line up revealed for 2014 – fans react


Salmon Fest line up revealed for 2014 – fans react online

Flo Rida at Salmon Fest 2012

Flo Rida at Salmon Fest 2012 – Cred: Ma Gusta Photography

Six weeks after the anticipated announcement for the 2014 Salmon Fest line up, SRO entertainment and the Town Of Grand Falls Windsor finally made it public at a press conference today.

Salmon Fest 2014 will include Maroon 5, Pitbull, Simple Plan, Virginia to Vegas and American Authors.   This shift from the massive classic rock headliners over the last three years to a modern line up seems to have been more necessity than planning. Line ups in previous years were always announced in March, making reports and rumors for the 2014 line up look like a last minute scramble.

Headliners in the past have included: Kiss (2011), Aerosmith (2012) and The Eagles (2014) which brought record numbers of over 20,000+ attendees to the small town located in central Newfoundland.

However, last years concert was marred with controversy (see full CBC coverage here) as the festival ran out of water by 5pm with temperatures soaring to 31 degrees C.    It was reported that over 100 people were treated for dehydration while some opportunists sold bottled water for over $20 each.  It should be noted that the festival did not run out of beer.

It is reported that the town of Grand Falls Windsor will offer free water/misting stations for concert goers this year.

People threatened with class action lawsuits and poor reviews of the concert sprung up across the internet after the Eagles threaten to stop their performance because people were filming with cell phones.

“Henley added to the already tentative vibe by threatening to end the show if people did not stop using their smartphones for pics and clips.” – said Chris LeDrew for On Stage Magazine

The date for Salmon Fest has also been rolled back to July 5 instead of the traditional second weekend in July.

“(we started working with SRO) 3 years ago to offer high quality high caliber international level entertainment. In this particular year the only way we could do that was to change to date and we changed it by rolling it back one weekend in order to deliver on our promise this was the route we had to go and the option that we selected.”  – Committee Chair Darren Finn told VOCM earlier today.

There were mixed reactions from fans on twitter to the line up that caters to the 15-20something crowd:









The Flatliners – Sneaky Dee’s – CMW 2014


The Flatliners – Sneaky Dee’s – CMW 2014

The Flatliners - Sneaky Dee's - May 8th 2014-4034

Who: The Flatliners
From: Toronto, ON
Where: Sneaky Dee’s
When: Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Total Score: 8.4/10

Style: Punk

Crowd: The Flatliners proved once again to be Toronto darlings, as the crazed fans started moshing and crowd-surfing as soon as the band hit the stage. Sneaky Dee’s was chaotic for half an hour and it felt like the floor might give in at any moment. Thankfully, it didn’t!

Image: The clean-cut image of singer/guitarist Chris Cresswell provides a striking contrast with the rest of the band and the band’s material.

Memorable Song/Moment: The Flatliners had a very strong set, with mostly songs of their  new album Dead Language. The album feels like a fresh breath of air, and hopefully will welcome a new wave of fans for the band. The Flatliners also played some fan-favourites, like “Eulogy” alongside the new tunes, which helped pump-up the audience and the crowd was happy to sing along.

Comments: It really feels like the band is growing and maturing every time they play a set. They never slow down and always push to give their all. And Toronto always greets them with open arms.

[nggallery id = 272]

Written by: Raya P Morrison
Photos by: Andrej Ivanov



Placebo comedy


I was listening to Jefferson Airplane when I titled this post so that explains that. Let’s get right into it, I’m a busy man. 

When I’m not abusing the powers of Twitter for personal gain (80% of my Tweets are carefully crafted attempts at free boxes of Grapenuts cereal and nicotine cartredges from Blu Cigs) or shouting punchlines at sports bars filled with disinterested drunks while I pretend hockey isn’t a thing that’s happening on TV – I like to get down with the youth of today.

Hey, 30 isn’t that old! It’s just the beginning of adulthoood. I’m on the cusp. I’m just now going through puberty (aka the “change of life”) I’m starting to explore my body, and yours too if you’ll let me? 

I’m young as Frick! My NAME is Young for swear sakes. Ask any college kid around, Dean Young is pretty “dope” when it comes to “being chill”. 

(Actually, most of them would probably tell you that they thought I was a 16 your old Russian girl the whole time, even after I spoke)

Anyways the point is I’m really into kids. No, NO, WHOA let me finish – HUMBER kids!

Every couple’a years Humber’s standup comedy crop sprouts a fresh-faced new harvest of young crowd killers who take the Toronto comedy scene by storm. I run shows all over this town. I’m the Jimmy Hoffa of jokes, motherchuckler! And I guest host a shitload of shows all over the city and across Upper Canada. So I’ve viddy’d most of these young devotchkas and malchicks do their filthy work along the way. I’d call a good handful of them my droogs even.

Some of them are so funny, they’ll carve up a real horrorshow smile right across your litso. You’ll be spitting out your moloko all over your platties, you would!

Well viddy this. Humber alumber PATRICK STEWART (known on the poster for this forthcoming show as “Yah Boy P-Stew”) has seductioneered some of his funniest young friends for a real horrorshow of a COMEDY show.


This Saturday’s night at PLACEBO (2877 Lakeshore Blvd W.) I’ll be guest hosting the creamiest of the young comic crop – featuring Sam Burns, Sallie Smith-Fitch, Caitlin Langelier, Cam Maltby, Lucy Gervais, Seanasea Wallen and Dean Hebscher. Yes there’s a bonus 2nd Dean on the show – you’re welcome. I cloned him from one of my knee caps and part of my left earlobe. He’s a fine boy

And a couple of special guests from out west who these kids musta taken a real spit-shinin’ to.

Marito “Dick Strong” Lopez – a half-pint of Latin fire, who spits punchlines on just about every high profile program in town. He’s also on the YUKs roster. Don’t Yuk wit it 


(Lopez on the left)


Headlined by Cowtown’s own SCOTT BELFORD (I’m pretty sure he’s from Cowtown? Cowtown is Calgary, right?) Belford is one of the funniest western exports to hit the Toronto scene yet. Just in time to wash the Harper taste out of our Ani DiFranco listening, PBR swilling, Jello Biafra quotin’ Lefty-puss mouths.


Scott Belford


(Scott Belford. Making everyone pregnant one dead wolf at a time) 

Placebo Space 

Sat May 17 @ 8:30pm.

2877 Lakeshore Blvd W PWYC.

Looking For Johnny The Legend of Johnny Thunders

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Looking For Johnny The Legend of Johnny Thunders – CMW 2014 – Film Review

Rating: A- (very good)

Next to the announcement that I’d be getting to see Television live, the most exciting thing to come from the CMW lineup for me was the premiere of the new rockumentary “Looking For Johnny: The Legend of Johnny Thunders”. I’ve always been a huge fan of Thunders, the notorious heroin-addled songsmith of The New York Dolls turned solo act, without knowing much about the man himself. That is, aside from his strung out personality and reputation for shit-faced live appearances, such as his memorable Swedish TV debacle which resulted in his banishment from the Country. I was also aware that Thunders spent most of the 80s with rumoured speculations surrounding his impending death. As early as in 1981 The Replacements had an ode of sorts to Thunders in the song, Johnny’s Gonna Die, a phenomenal early track with lyrics like, “Everybody stares and everybody hoots, Johnny always needs more than he shoots”. Thunders would eventually die from mysterious circumstances surrounding an overdose, but that wouldn’t be for another 10 years in ’91.

Until then, he spent the 80s battling with addiction passed his artistic prime, performing for crowds growing more keen on the freakshow element of his reputation than the music itself, further perpetuating the downward spiral. The most tragic aspect of his life is that his music was incredible. He melded the raunchy blues of Keith Richards with the Phil Spector pop of The Shangra-Las, all infused with a hysterically sardonic flare that was utterly 70s New York. It’s no wonder that his personality and approach to rock, as exhibited through The New York Dolls and his stint with The Heartbreakers, was such a heavy informant on the Bowery scene, which would eventually manifested itself in the CBGBs scene. But for all The Ramones and Talking Heads and Blondies, no New-Yorker ever wrote a song quite as beautifully bittersweet as You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory; an anthem of sorts to the disenchanted so achingly articulate that even wordsmith Bob Dylan was quoted as saying it’s a song he wished that he wrote. And I get that.

But of course, it isn’t Thunders who is up for review here. It is Danny Garcia’s Looking For Johnny, the rockumentary with a subject of gold. For the most part, the film does a great job filling in the gaps of publicly available information with first hand testimonies from the likes of The New York Dolls’ Sylvain Sylvain, Patti Smith Group’s Lenny Kaye, and Television’s Richard Lloyd, in addition to close friends, who offer hilarious anecdotes and valuable personal insights. The film is also extremely valuable to fans for some rare footage that I couldn’t find on YouTube once I got home. So for this reason alone, set aside the skillful editing of archival materials crosscut with priceless soundbites from the story’s insiders, the film is a big win and one welcome in the great tradition of the rockumentary canon.

Because the film is still in its early stages, and I imagine undergoing some post-production tweaks, I was forgiving of the uneven sound mix, which was occasionally distracting. What I was less forgiving of was the editor’s tendency to cut away from songs at pivotal moments, when what the audience needed more than anything was to hear the music itself. As a result, the film accidentally allows the music to take a back seat to the sensationalism of the drug story — which is ironic, considering I’m sure it was a strong goal of the film to overcome his perceived intoxicated goofiness with his very real worth. This is not to say that the film doesn’t offer an accurate portrait of Thunders for better or worse, but while he definitely shines a great deal throughout this doc, there is a sense of overshadowing with the darkness of his later years. Though one cannot change history, the film would’ve been wise to let some tracks play uninterrupted, thus providing the audience with more windows into the lost soul behind the glazed eyes. But this fault aside, I loved watching this film, and given some of the priceless footage, will surely watch it again at my next opportunity. For those looking to get into Johnny Thunders, however, I’d strongly recommend starting with the music.

Review: Zach Gayne


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