Look Vibrant w/Fon Fur • Dec 1, 2018

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LOOK VIBRANT with FON FUR
Friday December 1, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $11.99 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Using unconventional arrangements and thoughtfully fashioned sonic maximalism to contrast their vulnerable lyrics and playful melodic sensibility, Look Vibrant create a cathartic listening experience reminiscent of youthful incertitude and boiling ambition. After performing together in a number of different outfits over the years, founding members, Matt Murphy and Justin Lazarus, created Look Vibrant during their journey across Western Europe where they played tunes to make ends meet. Recently Look Vibrant has performed alongside notable acts, including Anderson. Paak, Wild Nothing, Micachu and the Shapes, Alvvays, and Will Butler (Arcade Fire).

Fast Romantics • Nov 28, 2018

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FAST ROMANTICS with OH GERONIMO
Wednesday November 28, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $12 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Fast Romantics are a Toronto-based band first formed in Calgary by Matthew Angus and Jerey Lewis. The son of a piano teacher, Angus drifted in the
margins of the Calgary music scene before forming the band with Lewis in 2008. Following some early independent releases the band began work on
their first LP, Afterlife Blues (2013), shortly after moving to Toronto, with producer Howard Redekopp (New Pornographers, Teagan & Sara). The album
was in some sense a process of discovery for the band, as they grew into their sound, encompassing new influences as Angus began to refine his
songwriting. The album’s first single, “Funeral Song,” was an early culmination of this process, and rapidly garnered an audience via heavy radio play,
propelling the band into a year of consistent touring highlighted by prominent slots at Virgin Fest, SXSW and CMJ. Despite this early success the band found themselves at a crossroads as they considered their next step, and Angus began to question the band’s direction. “There was a disconnect,” says Angus, “we’d go out and make loud party music but that wasn’t what I was listening to when I got home, so there was a disparity and I wanted to figure it out.” To this end Angus began considering bringing another songwriter into the project and contacted Kirty, who at the time was focused on her own music. “Kirty was one of the first people I wrote to because I was just captivated by what she was doing,” he says, “it’s the first time I’ve ever had another songwriter in the band. I’m still writing these songs but Kirty is the counterweight to the whole thing and she’s going to call bullshit on me. She will tell me when things ring false, when the songs don’t reflect me, and I think now the songs are coming from a more genuine place.” This new approached yielded “Julia,” a track produced with Gus Van Go and Werner F (Michael Rault, Hollerado, Whitehorse) that attracted the attention of NPR, KEXP and the CBC, among others, with Angus’ deft pop songwriting drawing comparisons to Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and Bruce Springsteen.

Oh Geronimo is a project that provides its band members an escape from the daily rigours of adult life. In order to fully express ourselves, we ignore all of the distractions and free-fall into the moment. After the release of our debut 7-inch and an East Coast Canadian tour, from Toronto to Newfoundland and back, the group released its debut full-length album, Sleep Rhythms, in March 2016. Since then, Oh Geronimo was selected as one of the top 25 National Finalists in the CBC Searchlight 2016 competition. Oh Geronimo is excited to explore the many roads yet travelled.

Valley x Wyland • Nov 25, 2018

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 WYLAND
Sunday November 25, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $10.99 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Valley is a pop band from Toronto whose ambitions are even bigger than their sound. Forged from two bands who were accidentally double-booked for studio time, the born-and-raised Canadians seized the opportunity in disguise and began developing what would ultimately become one of the most refreshing, engaging, and promising new bands of the decade. The immediate Top 200 chart success of Valley’s debut EP “Car Test” catapulted the band to sold out shows, festival appearances, and nominations in the Toronto Independent Music Awards, establishing them as a worthy compatriot of influences such as The 1975, St Lucia, Arkells, and Walk The Moon. Their second EP, which dropped in June 2016, represents enormous growth for Valley in both sound and stature, seeing the band garner features on several blogs and sharing the stage with A Great Big World among others. The timeless, anthemic songcraft for which Valley has become known unequivocally marks them as the next great North American band to watch.

Wyland are a four-piece alternative rock band based in a small town outside of the Meadowlands. Their sound, a blend of atmospheric rock and indie singer-songwriter influence, has received praise for being “Coldplay-esque” and “intense and tasteful melodic rock [that] will resonate with the most endearing Lumineer fan.”

Jessica Mitchell w/Sons Of Daughters • Nov 24, 2018

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JESSICA MITCHELL with SONS OF DAUGHTERS
Saturday November 24, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $14.99 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Singer-songwriter Jessica Mitchell has been lauded as “country’s Adele” and likened to Sheryl Crow, and much like them, her genre-bending vocals and tone are universally appealing. She is, at heart, a storyteller – an open book, inspired by the raw honesty and storytelling nature of the genre. Mitchell’s much anticipated debut album Heart of Glass was released in spring 2018 to much critical acclaim, and inclusion on Hello Magazine’s Most Beautiful Issue. She has spent the last decade travelling between Toronto and Nashville, collaborating with top-notch songwriters, focusing on writing new music and crafting her richly unique sound, culminating in an a raw, relatable record that embodies powerful and soulful melodies and lyrical brilliance. Mitchell has recently toured with the likes of Kiefer Sutherland, Terri Clark, Johnny Reid, Bonnie Raitt, and was recently asked to perform at the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame to honour Neil Young. Over the course of the last two years, Mitchell has toured with iconic names across varied genres, including; Kiefer Sutherland, Royal Wood, Ron Sexsmith, Terri Clark, Bonnie Raitt. In 2018, she hit the road on a cross-country tour with Canadian icon, Johnny Reid, which is soon be book ended with tours alongside Glass Tiger and Dean Brody, on his Dirt Road Acoustic Tour. All roads have led to her first-ever solo tour which kicks-off in Calgary on November 14, and includes legendary venues such as The Great Hall in Toronto.  Mitchell’s “Workin’ on Whiskey” was the top added song to radio at the time of release. 2016 and 2017 were ground-breaking years for the rising star, which saw Mitchell snag a coveted Guild Sponsorship, take to the stage at major festivals, and honour Neil Young with a Tribute at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala at Massey Hall.  Mitchell believes that pain and loss are oftentimes at the heart of every relatable piece of music. As she puts it, “You’ll never see the light until it’s completely dark, and it got dark for a while.” After losing her mother to a long battle with cancer, Mitchell had her own epiphany about what kind of artist she wanted to become. Her hope is that by sharing grief, and other personal experiences through her music, she will forge genuine bonds with her audience. When listening to Mitchell’s music, she makes it very easy for you to latch on to her genuine, powerful lyrics – while making just anyone realize they are not alone.

Tami Neilson • Nov 23, 2018

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TAMI NEILSON
Friday November 23, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $14.99 (+SC) advance, $18 door • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

“There are singers, and then there is Tami Neilson, for whom the word singer just isn’t big enough.” -HMV

“A great big canyon of a voice..” -DOWNBEAT

SASSAFRASS! is a party in full swing, shaking its ass and shimmying across the dance floor in gold tassels, rhinestones and a 1960s hairdo, not giving a hot damn who is watching. Tami Neilson is throwing the party, her powerhouse vocals driving it along with lung capacity like a steam locomotive. When confronted with sexism and misogyny, she throws her head back and laughs, responding with tongue planted firmly in cheek, cutting it off at the knees.

“As I wrote this album, I noticed a theme emerging. It was like the combination of becoming a parent, losing a parent and clocking another decade all suddenly culminated into a very low tolerance for bullsh*t. I had never been one for confrontation or rocking the boat (or saying “bullsh*t”in an interview), but losing my father changed my life perspective, driving home the realization that our time here on earth is not forever. I also see my boys growing into young men and the realization that I am the first and most formative female influence they will have in their lives — that the way I treat people and allow myself to be treated is molding the way they view women on a daily basis — is a huge responsibility. By being a mother who works and travels and provides for them along with their father, who takes equal responsibility for their care, it becomes the norm that they too will be caring, loving and supportive parents and partners, who take equal responsibility in their relationships.  Apart from the typical pitfalls of sexism in the music industry (being told I was “only 20lbs away from being a star” when I was 19 yrs old and 120lbs with the waist circumference currently equal to one of my thighs), which you tend to brush off as being part of this business, I was taken aback at how greatly it was exacerbated once I became a mother. The double standard our society has toward working mothers is still very much alive and well, deeply ingrained in both men and women, and is one of the things I address on the album. The third verse in “Stay Outta My Business” is a true story. I had a full year of people (mostly women) coming up to me after my shows on tour, shaking their heads and commenting on my being away from my children, asking who was looking after them in my absence, eyes wide with horror. A man once asked me why my husband had to stay home and “babysit” while I was out on tour, having FUN. I gritted my teeth and said, “He’s their father… I believe the term you’re looking for is ‘parenting’, not ‘babysitting’.” Not once did anyone approach the two male musicians in my band, who I introduced as being a “Father of four” and a “Father of three” and question their parenting. SASSAFRASS! is the mouthy lovechild of the current social climate and my own experiences as a woman, mother and daughter. The obstacles I’ve faced simply because I am female. It’s also my attempt at challenging a society that doesn’t yet treat women equally in order to shape a better future for my children. I want them to know that their mother marched and was on the battlefield in 2018, that she did her part and created something she hoped would give women the solidarity and strength we all needed to invoke change.”

Recorded at The Sitting Room in Lyttelton, New Zealand, SASSAFRASS! was co-produced by Tami Neilson and Ben Edwards, who also co-produced her last two critically acclaimed albums “Dynamite!” and “Don’t Be Afraid”. She’s accompanied by her Hot Rockin’ Band of Rhythm: Joe McCallum (drums), Mike Hall (bass), Brett Adams (guitar) and Neil Watson (guitar and pedal steel) who have joined her on her extensive international touring schedule the past 3 years. For the first time, this tight unit is joined by a brass section, expanding Tami’s sound and making this album a broader soundscape, while strings add a lush, cinematic touch. Like a soundtrack curated for a Tarantino film, Neilson manages to deliver subversive lyrics wrapped up in vibrant candy-colored packages of soul, rockabilly, blues and Patsy Cline-esque country in equal measure.

The Once w/Megan Bonnell • Nov 21, 2018

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THE ONCE with MEGAN BONNELL
Wednesday November 21, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $24.99 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<
Newfoundland has a storied history of stunning songwriters, poets and players. Over the course of the last decade, The Once have writ and knit themselves into that story. Within the nine songs on their new album Time Enough, The Once offer some of the most vulnerable and honest material of their career. The up-tempo album opener, “I Can’t Live Without You,” reflects on women battling with self-image issues and offers wisened words to be the positive change in their own lives. The gritty guitar driven “Before The Fall” succumbs to the notion that we must accept our past and use those memories to grow. Riff rocker “Any Other Way” reflects the fact that true love accepts us at our worst but insists we do the work to be our best selves to keep it together. On this, their fourth studio album, the band stays true to the root strength of their harmony-driven sound, while extending the borders into fresh yet familiar territory. They craft a sonically understated, but emotionally fulsome sound that accomplishes what they’ve always done so well: stun listeners with what Amelia Curran calls “perfect vocal harmonies, thick enough to stand on.” “We approached Time Enough with an open heart and on open mind. We composed apart and came together to Once-up the new material,” says lead singer Geraldine Hollett of the band’s writing process. “We are pretty tough customers so it was scary bringing so much guts to the table, but over the years we have earned and accepted one another’s trust. This album is special because of it.” The story of The Once is one of growth, propelled by the rare chemistry that comes from a decade of writing and touring together. Their songs have been placed in international film and television, they have YouTube videos with millions of hits, and there’s a trail of trophy nominations and wins from the East Coast Music Awards, the Canadian Folk Awards, and the JUNO Awards in their wake. Since first hitting the road in 2009, The Once has earned one of the most loyal followings in the country. Ask their fans why they love the band and watch their eyes widen as the words flow. It becomes clear that The Once ain’t regular folk. They’ve built something unique within their genre, and something rare within the fan base that keeps them growing and going strong and they do not take that fan base for granted. “We give all we got to them because we know we can’t do what we want to do if they’re not with us,” says Hollett of those who have shown endless support for the group. It was this resonance with fans that launched their career and it is this deep relationship that continues to inspire the band to travel new paths, explore new territory, and create new music.
Geraldine Hollett’s voice is a large part of the band’s ethereal sound, and there is nowhere it would sit better than in between the rhythmic and supportive voices of Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale, and the lush soundscapes they build. The trio’s instrumentation and vocals meld together like gold, building something stronger together than any one songwriter could muster alone. Their harmonies grab you by the heart, and their music melts what’s left of it. Building on the wave of creative energy that defined their last album, Time Enough is a striking and subtle sea change for the band. Dive in, get lost, click repeat.
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Separate Rooms, the third full-length album from Toronto singer-songwriter Megan Bonnell, is the timely and bold statement of a self-assured woman navigating an increasingly dark and perplexing world. Bonnell has never been easily pigeon-holed into the predictable mold of the singer-songwriter and Separate Rooms embraces this edict, turning traditional musical genres on their heads. With her hallmark honesty, Bonnell effortlessly tackles such intense subject matter as mental illness, early pregnancy loss, and the dissolution of love. But, the new album is also a contradiction – it’s a lover’s appeal for space and independence and, at the same time, a desperate yearning for young and innocent love. Within its songs, Separate Rooms offers Bonnell’s raw account of some of life’s most profound moments. “Breakdown”, the upbeat album opener, embraces the blurred lines between sanity and insanity and challenges the sexist notion that emotional women are somehow unstable or crazy. “Separate Rooms”, the album’s title track and a co-write with Donovan Woods, is the mature realization that true love carries with it as much loneliness as it does companionship. Despite the personal nature of the album’s lyrics, the production of Separate Rooms was a largely collaborative process. Joining the production team of Chris Stringer and Joshua Van Tassel, Bonnell manages to meld anthemic pop appeal with the textured, layered nuances of ’70s new  wave, epic alt-rock ballads of the ’90s, and traditional folk craftsmanship. Megan Bonnell is quickly becoming one of Canada’s leading voices as a songwriter, performer, and artist. A two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee, Megan has spent the last three years touring Canada, the US, and making groundbreaking debut performances at European festivals including BIME Live Festival in Bilbao, the Barcelona Jazz Festival, and The End Festival in London.

 

Graham Van Pelt w/TTWWRRSS • Nov 16, 2018

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GRAHAM VAN PELT with TTWWRRSS
Friday November 16, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $11.99 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

“I’d like to be as un-mysterious as I possibly can,” Graham Van Pelt says. He’s about to release Time Travel, his first record in the four years since he moved from Montreal to Toronto, and he’s no longer Miracle Fortress, or Inside Touch, or any of the aliases he’s used to record over the years. He’s just Graham Van Pelt. With the perspective of leaving a longtime home, of watching old friends change and familiar places become unrecognizable, came a recommitment to an emotional honesty in Van Pelt’s songwriting. Time Travel’s eight songs are a tangle of friendships and feelings. Moving backwards and forwards in time, they occupy a space of elegant melancholy. Immersing himself in the work of house music legends like Larry Heard, Vincent Floyd and Maurizio and the fragile disco of Arthur Russell, along with contemporaries like Jessy Lanza and Kelly Lee Owens, Van Pelt built the album from the bottom up, rooting every track in the crude sequencer of the Roland SH-101 synth, a decades-old dance music totem. The result are melodies that are simple but affecting, anchored to deep, wandering basslines. Time Travels was engineered by twin brothers Mark and Matt Thibideau, whose techno roots deepened the grooves throughout the record. There’s a comfort to operating in the world of dance music, which is, in Van Pelt’s words, more of a “team sport” than the competitive atmosphere of indie rock. “I feel like one person participating in a community,” he says, “and less of a person trying to rise above.” The album is also Van Pelt’s first release on Arbutus, which he describes as his “dream outcome” for the record. “Their catalog intersects at a place that feels like home to me,” he says. “Music for late night, atmospheric music, really honest and unvarnished truthful stuff that never compromises.” Time Travel is a renewal of Van Pelt’s vows with dance music, and with the genre’s pulse of synthesized melancholy. It’s a heartrending rush, as emotionally direct as a sweaty, jaw-clenching 3am hug. -Mark Slutsky

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Sean Thompson, aka ttwwrrss (pronounced “towers”), produces the type of experimental electronic and industrial beats that belong in a world on the brink of armageddon.  Born in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and raised in the post-industrial steeltown of Hamilton, Thompson achieved Canadian college radio success with his last two albums, ttwwrrss_2 and ttwwrrss_3.  Thompson’s latest single, “No Emotion”, weaves a cryptic sonic narrative through syncopated percussive patterns in a careful exploration of electronic synth landscapes. Simultaneously ominous and hypnotic, the track hits the sweet spot for fans of melodic intelligent dance music.

Jesse Roper w/Jesse James Medicine Show • Nov 14, 2018

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JESSE ROPER with JESSE JAMES MEDICINE SHOW
Wednesday November 14, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $14.99 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<
Victoria BC’s Jesse Roper is magnetic. With an explosive live show, the genuine quality and charisma of his versatile blues rooted soul, rock and country funk is as approachable as his charm. Quickly gaining momentum, the wheels on Jesse’s faithful van keep turning, chronicling a year of extensive touring and success of becoming a major festival draw.  The nostalgic may appreciate his throw back vibe akin to Stevie Ray Vaughan and vintage Texas blues, however, Jesse Roper’s music remains current, the organic rawness of his vocals and guitar over shadowing any preconceived stereotypes made of blues musicians. His youthful energy captivates audiences while his knock out live performance blows them away. With a critically acclaimed full length album (Son of John) under his belt, Jesse Roper is releasing his highly anticipated sophomore, Red Bird, early 2015 with Blue Heron/Warner. Without losing the sentimental and vintage authenticity of blues, the new album is blazing its own path in the music scene not unlike modern yet retro influenced musicians such as the Black Keys and Jack White. Starting the guitar at six years old, Jesse soon mastered songs of heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin by ear. Battling with stage fright, he was thrown out onto the stage with sweaty palms and a queasy stomach which was quickly overshadowed by the audience’s overwhelmingly positive reaction. Incapable of holding back, Jesse always delivers the show of his life whether it be headlining at major festivals in front of thousands of fans such as Sunfest, Rifflandia and Rock the Shores, or touring across the country during his residency as a CN rail musician. Jesse has shared the stage with many great artists, awards have been won, but his musical existence is more than that; it is purely about performing, touring and loving it until the day he joins that great jam session in the sky.

Shad w/Mah Moud • Nov 10, 2018 [SOLD OUT]

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SHAD with MAH MOUD
Saturday November 10, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $20 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> SOLD OUT! <<

Shad is a Canadian rapper with four solo albums under his belt, one R&B side projects, a Master’s degree and numerous accolades. He is touring in support of his highly anticipated concept album entitled A Short Story About a War (Secret City Records).  The album tells the story of a fictional world consumed by war, with various factions and philosophies clashing, and in the middle of it all, one character who doesn’t believe in the power of bullets. The poetic storytelling weaves its way through themes of migration, environment, economics, politics, and most critically, the deepest parts of our spirit. This music was created in collaboration with dozens of musicians and engineers: From genre-less luminaries like Kaytranada, 2oolman of A Tribe Called Red, and Lido Pimienta, to crafty indie rockers Yukon Blonde, and Toronto rap vets Ian Kamau, Eternia, and DJ T Lo. Their contributions bring multiple textures and colours to the singular vision Shad created. In the end, this serious record is a joy to listen to, full as it is of pop craftsmanship that doesn’t turn a blind eye to human nature.  In addition to three of his records being nominated on the Short List of the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, TSOL won the 2011 Rap Recording of the Year at the Juno Awards. Since then, Shad has elevated his practice by emerging as a vital broadcaster. After hosting CBC Radio’s q, he went on to host the Hip-Hop Evolution docuseries, whose 2016 season on HBO Canada earned both a Peabody Award and an International Emmy Award.

Run Maggie Run w/Averages & Family Of Things • Nov 9, 2018

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RUN MAGGIE RUN with AVERAGES and FAMILY OF THINGS
Friday November 9, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $9.99 (+SC) advance • 19+
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Formed in late 2015 in Hamilton, Ontario, Run Maggie Run began as a small solo project for singer/rhythm guitarist Gavin Rees. Named for a bittersweet childhood memory, that nostalgic, rose-tinted sadness was abundantly clear in the first solo EP Rees recorded by himself in his basement, prior to the forming of the band. While the emotional feel of Run Maggie Run was all there in the initial recording, it wasn’t until Rees joined with several like-minded friends that the sound that would come to define RMR began to take shape. Musically formed from a unique medley of influences, ranging from folk to prog-metal, and lyrically influenced by old folk legends, the result is powerful music that sticks with you long after the final notes fade.

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Averages is a femme-fronted Soda Pop Rock outfit from London, Ontario dispensing infectious melodies that’ll stick to your brain like the gum on your shoes. Happy-go-lucky tunes with a nice, sharp edge.

Family of Things is an indie rock band based out of Hamilton, Ontario, whose music is a reflection of a passion to create and share quality music —energetic rhythms mixed with dynamic lines.