Monday, June 26, 2006

Summer In The City

With this past weekend being the first weekend since the official start of summer, things were really hopping in Toronto. If you didn't go out and do something, well I'm really disappointed in you. Yes, really.

I was fortunate enough to check out the Toronto Roots Festival in the Distillery District on Saturday night with my friend and his wife, and a girl friend of theirs. I can't believe that was my first time in the Distillery District. I love the brick roads and brick buildings that encompass the area. Next time there, I'll have to bring my camera. We caught a round-robin set on the main stage featuring some local artists including Angie Nussey, Bob Snider & Layah Jane who all played some low-key folky-acoustic sets. I've seen Bob Snider in the past and he's a helluva funny lyricist. I was a little disappointed to miss Elliott Brood's set who were scheduled next but my companions and I ended up walking around the Distillery District to check out the buildings. [Check out a few pics over at Old Town Toronto 1793 of Elliot Brood and Angie Nussey, Bob Snider & Layah Jane.] There's a way-cool store which sells high-end home theatre gear. We also checked out Soma which sells good-quality chocolate and gelato. The group of us ended up on Queen St later on for a great sushi dinner. It wasn't quite as busy as I thought down at the Distillery District as I thought it would have been but then there were tonnes of other things happening this past weekend.

This past Friday night, The Streets and Lady Sovereign performed at the Phoenix and according to comments over at Stille Post it was a great show. chartattack was somewhat more critical. Jam! Showbiz also reviews the show[via Rock Snob]. Blacking Out The Friction checked out Lady Sovereign's own headlining set later that evening at State Theatre and says that although it was brief, Ms. Sovereign brought the goods.

Also this past Friday night, J Mascis and Broken Social Scene performed a special one-off show for charity at The Mod Club, billing themselves as Broken Mascis Scene. Chromewaves was there and has a review and photos. Watch some decent video clips of "Get Me" and "Feel The Pain" from the show. Thank God for YouTube.

Of course, there was the Olympic Island festival on Saturday featuring Broken Social Scene, Bloc Party, Feist, J Mascis and Raising The Fawn. Some photos/comments over at Rock // Paper // Pixels, suckingalemon, ribbon_in_hair, and Stille Post. chartattack has a review of the show. Jam! Showbiz was also there and reviews the show favourably[via Rock Snob].

Across the water, Nine Inch Nails, Bauhaus and Peaches invaded Molson Ampitheatre for what apparently was an awesome show. Gaboo was there and has some good things to say. chartattack calls it a 'near perfect concert.' I will say though that when my brother and I saw Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus on the first day of the 3 day Sasquatch festival at The Gorge in Washington State at the end of May, I'd say that those two bands put on the best big rock show sets of the whole festival - big sound, big light show, great atmosphere - everything a big rock show should have. That's coming from someone who isn't a big NIN or Bauhaus fan to begin with.

Mike Boon reviews one of the two Tragically Hip/The Sadies/Weakerthans shows which happened over the weekend at Old Fort York in Toronto.

And who can forget Pride Toronto? suckingalemon and Chromewaves watched the parade and have some photos. I'd hope to make it out to the Alterna Queer stage at Yonge and Alexander Sts. on Saturday night to catch Kill Rock Stars band Erase Errata, but as I mentioned above, I went to The Distillery District instead.

Anyone make it out on Saturday night to Tokyo Police Club's free set at 102.1 the edge's store front studio? How about De La Soul at Harbourfront on Friday night as part of the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival? Anyone check out Barrie, On's Doris Day's show at Horseshoe Tavern on Saturday night? I'm hoping to catch Doris Day live again sometime in the future, although in the meantime I'm totally digging some new audio streams over at their MySpace site including an untitled track as well as the harmonica-drenched "Carmonica" which I've been hoping the band would post since being bowled over by it when I heard them perform it at this year's Over The Top Fest[my review] and more recently during NXNE[my review].

I hope every weekend this summer turns out as good as this one.

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