2019 – Week 6 Playlist: Over Your Shoulder

Kicking off the week is UK buzz band Bad Sounds. The group released their debut album Get Better this past autumn and are making their first trip to North America, with a stop at this year’s South by Southwest Festival. They’ll also be opening for BROODS, including their stop at The Phoenix on April 12th. Tickets are $22 plus fees, and can be purchased at Rotate/Soundscapes or at Ticketweb.

Photo of Passion Pit, opening for Metric @ The Molson Amphitheatre. Originally shot for Tunes in T.O. v1.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since Passion Pit released their debut album Manners, but the album came out in 2009, and here we are. To celebrate, the band is doing a ten year anniversary tour, which includes a stop at The Danforth Music Hall. Tickets are $45 plus fees and can be purchased at Rotate/Soundscapes or Ticketmaster.

Last week, Charly Bliss announced they’ll be releasing their sophomore album Young Enough, via Barsuk Records, on May 10th. With the announcement has also come a short tour, but alas no stops in Toronto. With most of the summer, and the autumn still open I think it’s safe to assume an announcement in the not so distant future. In the meantime, you can pre-order the album HERE.

Though it’s a bummer that Field Trip has been cancelled, and the summer festival outlook for Toronto looks quite bleak, the one added side effect of this is that it will allow us to get to see some bands play more intimate gigs than we’ve gotten to over the last decade. The first example of such is Broken Social Scene, who have played exclusively larger venue/festival shows in Toronto (aside from that random Lotto Max club show in 2016 at The Phoenix). All of that changes on April 24th & 25th, when the band plays a two-night stand at The Danforth Music Hall. Advance online tickets for night one have sold out, but you can buy tickets for the 25th HERE, or go to Rotate/Soundscapes to get tickets for either night (as of Sunday, Feb. 10th). They’ll be performing in support of their new Let’s Try the After Vol. 1 EP, which will be released this Friday, Feb. 15th, via Arts and Crafts.

Fresh off of their own two-night stand at The Danforth, Blood Orange makes their return to Toronto on May 26th, opening for Florence and The Machine. They’ll be playing Budweiser Stage, with tickets starting at $49 plus fees for lawn tickets. You can find those online HERE.

Kurt Vile @ Toronto Urban Roots Festival 2013. Shot for the festival

Since we’re on the topic of two night stands at The Danforth, I’d be remissed to leave out this weekend’s fantastic double bill of Kurt Vile & local freak-folkers The Sadies. Vile is touring in support of his latest effort Bottle It In, and will be playing two sold out nights Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to keep your eyes on the Collective Concerts twitter account to see if there will be any tickets available at the door, because this promises to be a fantastic evening of music.

This week’s cover is Kyle Craft‘s cover of “Every Time the Sun Comes Up” by Sharon Van Etten. The song is from his album Girl Crazy, which is a full cover album of songs originally recorded by female artists. It also features songs by TLC, Blondie, St. Vincent & Cher, to name a few. You can find it on Spotify, or listen to the full album HERE. Kyle has no upcoming tour dates, but you might be aware that Sharon Van Etten is playing The Danforth Music Hall TONIGHT! If you didn’t listen to my previous posts, I am sorry to inform you that this one has sold out. If you want to find a way to go, same advice I gave for the KV show applies.

Los Angeles duo Foxygen have announced they’ll be releasing their new album Seeing Other People on April 26th, via Jagjaguwar. No tour has been announced as of yet, but the new album can be pre-ordered HERE.

Jessica Pratt‘s new album Quiet Signs was released on Friday and has been receiving generally positive response. Based on the early reviews, you might want to be sure to get tickets for her show at The Garrison soon, because at $15 this one is likely to sell out.

Yesterday marked the fifteenth anniversary of the release of Kanye West‘s debut album The College Dropout. It’s crazy to think that, as it feels like he’s been around forever, but regardless of what you might think of Ye now, you’d be hard pressed to find someone at the time that wasn’t excited about the new direction that he was taking hip-hop in. Make no mistake, with the influence that Kanye has had on the sound of hip-hop since its release, this album is something that should be celebrated and remembered.

2018 was a huge year for Hamilton’s Arkells. They played a massive hometown show at Tim Horton’s Field in the summer, and followed that up with the release of their album Rally Cry in October. Coinciding with the album release, they announced a cross-Canada tour for this year, which features a stop at the biggest venue they’ve yet to play in Toronto (much bigger than the show I shot 11 years ago from the photo below). They’ll be headlining a show at Scotiabank Arena this Saturday, with Lord Huron opening. There are still tickets available, and they can be purchased HERE.

Arkells @ El Mocambo. NXNE 2008. Shot for Tunes in TO v.1

This week, The Rolling Stones made some news lasst week when a couple of giant Stones logos popped up around the city (you know, the ones with the lips and the tongue), with the hashtag #stonesnofilter and the date 06/29/2019 written below them. “Stones No Filter” is the name of their current tour, and just this morning they announced they will be playing a show at Burl’s Creek. Tickets go on sale this FRIDAY at Ticketmaster. No info on pricing as of yet, but the time is listed as 2:00pm-11:00pm, so this could be quite the big festival event. Stay tuned for more info as it comes.

In my Week 3 Playlist, I mentioned that Black Belt Eagle Scout would be playing a show at The Horseshoe Tavern with Julia Jacklin on April 28th. I bring this up because Julia’s new album Crushing will be released on February 22, via Polyvinyl. Grab your tickets for $12 plus fees at Rotate/Soundscapes or online HERE.

Thursday is Valentine’s Day, so I’m sending out Richard Ashcroft‘s “A Song for the Lovers” out to everyone celebrating this year.

If you have yet to make plans for V-Day, the good news is that there is no shortage of things to do in the city (see below). However, if you were hoping to take your loved one to see Men I Trust at Lee’s Palace, the bad news is that it looks like you’re going to have to hit the second-hand market, because advanced tickets have sold out.

Ending off this week is Dinosaur Jr.‘s “Over Your Shoulder” because it’s the final song on one of my favourite albums of theirs, so why not? Also, if it can randomly show up on the Japanese billboard charts after 25 years for no reason, then that’s good enough for me.

Dinosaur Jr. @ Lee’s Palace. 2012. Shot for QRO Magazine. Click photo to see more!

Notable concerts this week
Note: * indicates a show I may be taking photos at

02/11 – Naked Giant w/ Twen @ Baby G
*02/11 – Sharon Van Etten w/ Nilüfer Yanya @ Danforth Music Hall
02/11 – As It Is w/ Point North @ Velvet Underground
02/12 – Coin @ The Opera House
02/12 – Mandolin Orange w/ Mapache @ The Phoenix
02/12 – Soulfly w/ Kataklysm, Incite & Alukah @ Mod Club
02/12 – Boy Harsher w/ NGHTCRWLR @ The Garrison
02/12 – Magic Giant w/ Castlecomer & Weathers @ Velvet Underground
02/12 – William Fitzsimmons w/ Jim and Sam @ Longboat Hall
02/13 – Warbly Jets w/ Moonwalks & Keegan Powell @ The Drake Hotel
02/13 – Max @ The Dakota Tavern
02/14 – Men I Trust w/ Michael Seyer @ Lee’s Palace
02/14 – Lebarons w/ Hamilton Trading Co, Christopher James Culgin & Flight Risk @ The Horseshoe
02/14 – David August @ Mod Club
02/14 – Dboy w/ Big School & Bike Thieves @ Bovine Sex Club
02/15 – Sate w/ Ready the Prince, The Crooked & U.N. Jefferson @ The Horseshoe
02/15 – Dr. Dog w/ The Nude Party @ The Phoenix
02/15 – Palisades w/ Savage Hands, Dorian Grey & The Ocean Cure @ Hard Luck
02/15 – Lost Cousins w/ The Pick Brothers Band @ The Great Hall
02/15 – Run with the Kittens @ The Dakota
02/15 – Chastity w/ Greys & Casper Skulls @ The Rec Room
02/15 – Walk Off the Earth @ The Sony Centre
02/15 – Communism w/ Patrick Brealey, Freeman Dre & The Kitchen Party @ The Cameron House
02/15 – WAVELENGTH Winter Fest – Melissa Laveaux @ The Garrison
*02/16 – Kurt Vile & The Violators w/ The Sadies @ Danforth Music Hall
02/16 – WAVELENGTH Winter Fest – Anemone @ The Garrison
02/16 – Arkells w/ Lord Huron @ Scotiabank Arena
02/17 – Kurt Vile & The Violators w/ The Sadies @ Danforth Music Hall
02/17 – Peter Murphy w/ David J @ The Phoenix
02/17 – Current Joys @ Mod Club
02/17 – David Keenan @ The Drake
02/17 – Antibalas @ The Horseshoe
02/17 – WAVELENGTH Winter Fest – Elisapie @ The Garrison
02/17 – WAVELENGTH Winter Fest – Nehiyawak @ The Monarch Tavern

2019 – Week 3 Playlist: Hold That Thought

Every Monday morning, you can find my weekly playlist here. Feel free to follow on Spotify, or let me know what you think. If you’d like to have your music considered, please email me at ryan@tunesinto.ca.

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Kicking off this week, I wanted to lead some good news for anyone reading who’s been unable to buy advance tickets for some of the shows I have posted about, due to them being sold out before my posts. On Friday, Collective Concerts announced that Death Cab For Cutie will be playing a show on June 20th @ Echo Beach, with support from Jenny Lewis. Tickets go on sale this coming Friday, January 25th at Ticketmaster, but if you can’t wait until then there are some pre-sales being done by Spotify, Collective Concerts and Indie88 that you could probably sign up for. Or you can always wait until Friday and go pick your ticket up at Soundscapes and Rotate This, and check out their Death Cab, Jenny Lewis or Postal Service vinyl offerings to prepare yourself for what’s sure to be a lovely evening of music.

Here’s a photo I took of Ben Gibbard, frontman of DC4C, when he played solo at The Danforth Music Hall in October 2012.

A couple of weeks ago, I showcased Sam Evian on the playlist, with his song “IDGAF”. This is just a reminder that he’ll be opening for Cass McCombs at The Horseshoe Tavern on March 11th. If hearing him didn’t convince you to pick up tickets, maybe Cass’ new song “The Great Pixley Train Robbery”, off of his forthcoming album Tip of the Sphere (out February 8th via ANTI- Records), will help. Seriously, you’re not going to get a much better double bill for $17.50.

Then again, if you’re into female-fronted, guitar-driven 90s rock sounds, Julia Jacklin and Black Belt Eagle Scout could be more up your alley. Julia will be playing songs from her upcoming album, Crushing, which will be release February 22nd, while Black Belt Eagle Scout is touring their 2018 album, Mother of My Children. They’ll be making a stop at The Horseshoe Tavern on April 28th, and this one only costs $12.00 and should be worth every penny.

Notice how the prices keep dropping! Continuing on that trend, Dan Mangan announced that he’ll be stopping in to Tiny Record Shop on January 30th for a FREE in-store performance at 6:00pm. I haven’t been to their new location yet, but can only assume they’re a little tight on space still, so you might want to get there early for that one, especially considering that his show the next night at The Danforth Music Hall is sold out.

Dan Mangan @ Field Trip Festival 2013

Speaking of sold out shows at The Danforth, Toronto’s PUP have not one, but two sold out shows there on June 7th & 8th. They’ll be playing in support of their forthcoming album Morbid Stuff, which is set for release on the band’s brand new label Little Dipper, in partnership with Rise Records/BMG on April 5.

Since the release of Gemini in 2010, Wild Nothing has been one of the artists driving the dream pop genre, and they haven’t altered the formula too much in the albums since, including last year’s release, Indigo. One song cut from the release of that album, “Blue Wings” was released last week as a new single and though it does sound like a Wild Nothing song, I also can’t help but feel like it has a bit of a Cut Copy sound to it – which I like.

Nothing new on the Cut Copy front as far as music or a tour, but their fellow countrymen POND have announced a new album, Tasmania, which will be released March 1st on Interscope Records. The album is said to act as a sister album to 2017’s The Weather, and they will be announcing tour dates later this year – likely after the summer festival dates played by Tame Impala, who the band shares some of its members with.

None of those Tame Impala festival dates are here in Toronto, but if you want a similar sounding experience in the tighter environs of The Drake Hotel, be sure to check out Blac Rabbit when they come through town on April 2nd. Growing up in the “mecca of hip-hop”, Brooklyn, NY, identical twins Amiri and Rahiem Taylor were raised with a wider variety of musical influences, including 60s, 70s and 80s pop, funk and soul. The twins started out performing Beatles covers on the subway, and gained popularity one year ago this week when New York Nico, the “Unofficial talent scout of New York City,”  posted this video of one such performance to his 120K+ followers on Instagram. The last year has seen the group’s popularity increase, including recording a cover of The Beatles’ “Michelle” for a Gucci ad campagin, and an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Look for them to play songs from their 2017 self-produced, self-titled EP, and likely some new material, as the band plans to release their debut album Interstella in the Spring. This is definitely a chance to catch this band on the rise, so make sure to pick up your tickets at Soundscapes and Rotate for $15.00ea.

Now, as Blac Rabbit’s bio noted, Brooklyn is considered by many to be the “Mecca of Hip-hop”, and touted as the home of artists such as Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, ODB, Big Daddy Kane, etc… it’s hard to argue. However, when it comes to some of the all-time greats, you can’t sleep on Queens, the home of Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Nas, Chuck D (of Public Enemy), Mobb Deep, and, the subject of Hanif Abdurraqib‘s upcoming Love Letter to a Sound, a Group, and an Era, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest. I’ve been reading his collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until they Kill Us, and cannot recommend it enough. I’m very eager to see how he tackles Tribe, and will be sure to pick it up on release next month. If you’re interested, be sure to pre-order Go Ahead in the Rain here: https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/abdurraqib-go-ahead-in-the-rain

Shad and DJ T-Lo @ SCENE Fest (RIP) 2007.

One documentary series that has been exploring the origins of hip-hop, and beyond, is the aptly named Hip-Hop Evolution. Hosted by Canadian Rap sensation Shad, the Peabody-winning series has done a thoroughly fantastic job of putting together a hip-hop historical timeline. It also does an effective job educating people not only on the music itself, but the socioeconomic factors surrounding the release of many of the genre’s staple songs. The four episodes that make up Season two were added on Netflix in the Fall, including the final two episodes that showcase New York artists, such as many of the aforementioned Brooklyn/Queens artists, and more.

Based on where the series is at, it may be some time before we get to hip-hop outside the United States, but Shad himself can definitely take some credit for consistently being one of the best MCs north of the border in the last 10+ years. Last year saw the release of his 5th studio album (Six if you count his album released under the moniker, Your Boy Tony Braxton) A Short Story About A War, and though it clocks in at a tight 39 mins, the dense album demands multiple listens. He finished off 2018 with two nights at The Great Hall, so it might be some time before he returns, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see his album pop up on the Polaris shortlist this year.

If you finish the eight Hip-Hop Evolution episodes, and are looking for something else on Netflix, Killer Mike (one half of Run the Jewels) has a new series called Trigger Warning With Killer Mike in which he aims to challenge the misconceptions of what it means to be black in America. I have only watched the first two episodes so far, with the first involving its host “living black” for three days. It showed how a positive thing like the end of segregation had a negative consequence on black businesses, and how difficult it is in society today to keep dollars circulating within the black community, where during segregation black people had to buy from their own communities. It ended with a strong message that in order to fight systemic racism and oppression, both black people and “allies” need to support black businesses, and each other. It definitely challenges the status quo, and I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the episodes.

I was introduced to Killer Mike through one of my all-time favourite artists, Outkast, and there is news on both Andre 3000 and Big Boi from this week. First, it was just announced that Big Boi was added as a performer at the upcoming Superbowl Halftime show. Performing along with the previously announced Maroon 5 & Travis Scott, it at least guarantees that Atlanta’s rich hip-hop legacy is represented, seeing as that’s where the Superbowl is being held this year. Going back to They Can’t Kill Us Until The Kill Us, do yourself a favour and read his essay “The Night Prince Walked on Water”, in which he gives his account of the greatest Superbowl Halftime show ever. Seriously, just check the book out.

In other Outkast news, Andre 3000 popped up with vocals featured on the new James Blake album Assume Form, which was released on Friday. “Where’s The Catch?” is vintage 3 Stacks, with lyrics like: “Come with me, come with me, calming me down, Be chamomile, calamine lotion. Camel motion, humpin’ on the flo’ (Yeah).” The rest of Blake’s album is quite good and showcases how far he’s come as a producer since his first album in 2011. He’ll be at The Sony Centre, likely sans musical guests, on February 27th. Tickets can be picked up HERE.

Now, as far as the biggest concert announcement last week, that would be the one made by The Who, who announced a new album and tour. They’ll be at Scotiabank Arena on June 1st, and tickets aren’t cheap. That being said, The Who were once the “loudest band alive” according to the Guinness book of records, or at least according to Sam Weir from Freaks and Geeks, in the clip from below. Though only one season long, the show did an entire episode dedicated to The Who, and it is one of the most memorable. Back to The Who, their new album is still unnamed, but will be released later in 2019.

Also announcing a new album last week was Brian Jonestown Massacre. The new album will be self-titled, and released on March 15th (via Anton Newcombe’s A Recordings), but for now “Hold That Thought” is on here because it’s one of the songs I forgot to put on my end of year playlist. What a jam!

For this week’s cover, “Bonnie” Prince Billy‘s album I See a Darkness just turned 20 years old this past Saturday. Released on January 19, 1999, the album was received very positively, with Pitchfork ranking it their ninth best album of the 1990s, and Mojo dedeclaring it the twentieth best album released during the magazine’s lifetime. The title track also caught the ear of Johnny Cash, who recorded a haunting version of the song, along with “Bonnie” Prince Billy singer Will Oldham doing backing vocals for his album American III: Solitary Man.

Rounding out the playlist this week, is Strand of Oaks (the solo indie project from Tim Showalter) who dropped an early contender for song of the year. “Weird Ways” is the lead single from his forthcoming album, Eraserland (out March 22 via Dead Oceans), and it starts out sounding like a Ryan Adams song until building into a full on sonic tour-de-force. The sound can be attributed in part to My Morning Jacket, who, unbeknownst to Showalter, booked studio time to help him record songs that he never thought would see the light of day. If the rest of the album is anywhere near as good, I’m sure we’ll see it on plenty of end of year lists. A tour has been announced through May, though there is no Toronto date as of yet. Hopefully we get the second or third leg, because this feels like something you won’t want to miss.

 


Other concerts this week
Note: * indicates a show I will be taking photos at

01/22 – Guster w/ Henry Jamison @ The Mod Club
01/22 – The End of the Ocean w/ Tides of Man @ Lee’s Palace
01/22 – The Lemon Twigs w/ Jackie Cohen @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre
01/22 – The Lil’ Smokies w/ Michigan Rattlers @ The Drake Hotel
01/23 – Mineral w/ Tancred @ Lee’s Palace
01/23 – Anika @ Velvet Underground
01/23 – MØ w/ Abra @ The Danforth Music Hall
01/23 – Juan Waters w/ Nyssa, Sunshine & The Blue Moon @ The Horseshoe Tavern
01/24 – AHI w/ Kalyna Rakel @ The Horseshoe Tavern
01/25 – Kongos @ Lee’s Palace
01/25 – The Amity Affliction w/ Senses Fail @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre
01/25 – Lee Harvey Osmond – Record Release Party @ The Horseshoe Tavern
*01/25 – Ellis w/ Sorry Girls, For Jane, Rapport & TyriqueOrDie (just added) @ The Monarch Tavern
01/26 – Little Junior w/ Good Kid @ The Horseshoe Tavern
01/26 – Daley/JMSN @ The Mod Club
01/26 – Kallitechnis w/ Do Not Push @ The Drake Hotel