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KITCH me if you can!




 Hi. Dean here, your comedy editor.

When I’m not at home in the studio, making radio love to the good people of Toronto, you can find me every Thursday night at KITCH Bar (229 Geary Ave, Duff & Dupont)

It’s a show we call “KITCH Komedy”, and also sometimes “KITCH Live!” Either one works. In fact my baaaaaad motherchucklers we have show art and genuine 100% official business cards saying BOTH! All bases are covered, Casey.  

No matter what you wanna call it, the fact is – KITCH is hands down one of the best places in Toronto to see live Pro/Am standup comedy EVERY Thursday night. In case you were wondering… are there places to yuck it up outside of big box comedy clubs?


This is serious(ly funny) stuff. Every week at KITCH (home of Toronto’s famous $5 menu, and some pretty damn good nachos if I do say so myself) West End kids flock to see some of the hottest up-coming comics, Toronto’s favorite crowd killers & touring pros from coast to coast drop by and pummel you right in the ribs with raw punchlines. We’ve had comics come by from both sides of the boarder. Comics from Comedy Central, Comedy Network, CBC & Sirius, and every festival gala and fringe stage from seaboard to seaboard. It’s a regular stop on the map for a lot of our friends passing through town.

And yes, a few new faces every week!

There’s always a brand new comedy virgin or two getting thrown to the lions. Sometimes they’re so good they’ll surprise you right out of your seat. And sometimes, whelp – comedy’s a tough racket. Ain’t for everyone.

But that’s what it’s all about.


CHRISSIE CUNNINGHAM (Flat Tire Comedy @ The ABC, Guns ‘N Syrup Comedy Showcase)

MERV HARTLEN (A Halifax favorite)




PLUS special guests + 2 TASTY lotto spots for Toronto comics

And me, your humble host Dean (Pod Almighty, MTV Canada, Comedy Bar) 

Blu Cigs


Paula Gomez – The Cameron House – CMW 2014


Paula Gomez – The Cameron House – CMW 2014

paula gomez

Who: Paula Gomez
From: Ireland
Where: Cameron House
When: Tuesday May 6, 2014

[starreviewmulti id=3 tpl=20]


The Crowd: Small early crowd of about 15 lucky fans

Style: Bluesy soulful folk

Technicalities: Paula started on time.  As a solo acoustic artist there wasn’t much to complain about, but there was an odd low hum in the P.A.

Memorable Song/Moment:  Paula stopped to tune her guitar “I just got my new tuner and I don’t really understand it.. thanks again very much everybody”

Sex Appeal/Image: A beautiful young woman with an Irish/Spanish accent, is that not the best combination of accents?

Comments: Paula Gomez has released a series of demos since 2010 with increasing production and band-mates along the way.  However, her recordings as perfect as they are do not even come close to capturing her essence.   There seems to be a dedicated team of professionals behind her who are hell bent on getting that perfect pop sound but Paula Gomez is best experienced raw and solo.   There is a Celine Dion meets Sarah Vaughn element that can’t be ignored and a silky texture to her voice that has a character all of it’s own. She doesn’t need any pop or over production, Paula raw is simply what needs to be.

After a few shout outs to the other acts of the night most notably the great Buddy Black, Paula went on to play her final song of the night ” Lies” and it was at this moment that I knew we had discovered a gem.

While mainstream media outlets report on the everyday sounds we hear on radio to increase their self perpetual business, we at The Scene try to find at-least one “diamond in the rough” at each festal that makes its all worth while.   Paula Gomez was artist one, on day one and was surprisingly that.  While I would like to hear more vocal jumping turns and falsetto and precise guitar work, Paula has a pure talent that is rarely experienced and in such a live setting dynamic, she was the diamond that we were looking for.

Paula will play the KALEIDOSCOPE JAMBOREE May 10th in Toronto, before heading back to Ireland.

Photos: Stephanie Tran
Review: Darrell Shelley



Black Lips – The Phoenix Theatre – Toronto Live Review


Black Lips – The Phoenix Theatre – Toronto Live Review

black lips promo picture

Who: Black Lips
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Where: Phoenix Concert Theatre
When: Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Total Score: 7.2/10

Georgia garage rockers Black Lips have built themselves quite a reputation. Over a fourteen year career they have become infamous for a list of stage antics that sound like a viewer advisory for a late night movie. Nudity, vandalism, sexuality, and discharge of bodily fluids. Though by their own admission, the band’s performance has matured along with them, an audience might still hope that some of the hi-jinks that had them rushing out of India would shine through. It’s one thing to be banned from a venue, but booted from a country – that is impressive!

Natural Child were the opening act that evening. They play a lo-fi version of blues rock with some psychedelic influence tossed into it. It is chill music for chill people and inspired little but appreciative head nodding in the large and eclectic crowd that had already formed. Even their faster songs had a very relaxing effect. Not that this is a bad thing, music needs variety and if every live act played high energy mosh music it would get a little old. They also served as a deep contrast to the headliner. When they finished their set with a song “Blind Owl Speaks”, a familiar aroma filled the Phoenix Concert Theatre. It was a solid good set.

Black Lips took the stage around ten thirty, they started strong and kept the energy up throughout the entire performance. From the first song to the last there was crowd surfing, even between songs people entrusted themselves to the willing hands of strangers. There was no barrier between the stage and the crowd and no security in front to keep people from climbing up. However, fans who decided to go up were not allowed to remain on stage long. For those who over-stayed their welcome there were two bouncers in the wings waiting to chuck people off the stage. Considering numerous confrontations Black Lips have had with bouncers – even a cursory web search will bring up some results – this seemed like an odd decision. Bassist Jared Swilley had his microphone knocked over by a fan, so the necessity of security was apparent. The two bouncers did their job without an incident and the integrity of the stage performance was maintained.

Black Lips fit in a good number of tracks into their hour long set. They played older songs like “Family Tree”, and “Looking In A New Direction” while mixing in new tracks off of their album Underneath The Rainbow, which was released just last week. “Boys In The Woods”, one of the singles off the new record was definitely a high point during the night. As for the stage gimmicks mentioned earlier, they were lacking. At one point the band lobbed rolls of toilet paper into the audience though this seems fairly tame when compared to stories of burning guitars and fireworks. It was amusing to see band members take breaks from playing their instruments to chuck toiletries back into the audience. The only nudity of the night came in the form of a female audience member getting on stage and mooning the audience. Perhaps a statement about the use of toilet paper as a projectile? The bouncers had the decency not to push her of stage while she was in various stages of undress.

Black Lips finished with an impressive rendition of their 2007 song “Bad Kids” then went on to do an encore of 2 songs climaxing with “Katrina”. All in all a fun night, a disappointing lack of pyrotechnics, but Black Lips more than made up for it by playing some good tunes. Guess they are focusing less on their image and more on their music nowadays. Or maybe they’re just growing up, they are in their thirties after all.

Written by: Oren Wry

Bartrick – Revival Bar – Your Shot Festival

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Bartrick — Revival Bar — Your Shot Festival

Bartrick - Revival Bar - April 13, 2014 Your Shot Fest

Who: Bartrick
From: Toronto, ON
Where: Revival Bar
When: Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Total Score: 7/10

Style: Rock with a touch of funk and groove metal

They might not look it, but these guys have some tricks up their sleeves. Bartrick started out their set very strong with groovy bass and guitars. Jonathan Rochette (vocals) might look like the nicest guy on the planet but his vocals teared Revival apart. His vocal are as deep as Ivan Moody’s (Five Finger Death Punch) and as intense as Chad Gray’s (Hellyeah). The crowd was quickly on their feet, cheering loudly after each song, and even demanding an encore!

Musically, they are a little heavier than your average rock band, but can still gain a lot of fans all across the board, which usually happens with groove metal. With a very strong and in-your-face set, Bartrick’s only downfall was a love song. It brought the energy down a lot, and the guys were not as tight during the performance.

With a little more practice and more attention to image, these guys will be able to conquer Toronto. Watch out!

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Written by: Raya P Morrison
Photos by: Alexei N Malakhov

BS101 – Revival Bar – Your Shot Festival


BS101 — Revival Bar — Your Shot Festival

BS101 - Revival Bar - April 13th, 2014 - Your Shot Fest

Who: BS101
From: Toronto, ON
Where: Revival Bar
When: Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Total Score: 8/10

Style: Comedy Rock

BS101 definitely know how to work the crowd. The audience was intrigued by them from the very start with their epic intro. The comedy aspect of the band is not only in their lyrics, which range from telling a sad story of “Nicola Tesla” (my personal favourite) to mocking “Enrique Iglesias”, but also in their costumes. Who can sit with a straight face while watching guys with fake afros in sequined vests. The singer, Dick James, even had a costume change mid-set. The second outfit saw him in a colourful mohawk wig and a bright vest, in which he looked strikingly like a parrot!

The guys would fit well with the bands of the 90’s like Mr. Bungle or Mad Caddies, and since 90’s nostalgia is in full swing right now, they are bound to become fans favourites in no time. The guys are skilled in playing many different genres as was demonstrated during their 25 song medley, which tackled hits ranging from “Wannabe” to “Blitzkrieg Bop”. The singer should work on controlling his vocals, so it doesn’t sound like a karaoke sometimes.

[nggallery id = 266]

Written by: Raya P Morrison
Photos by: Alexei N Malakhov

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