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  • Who, What, Where, When, Wednesdays!

    Teams of 4 or less put their random knowledge to the test as hosts Megan Griffith-Greene and Jeromy Lloyd fire off questions ranging from sporting records and celebrity scandals to geographic discoveries and culinary lingo.

    It’s only $2 to participate and the winning table gets an $80 Drake Gift Card, not to mention bragging rights! So grab a brew, enjoy a whole lot of laughs and get ready to play.

    • Venue: Lounge
    • Type: Games
    • Cover: $2
    • Time: July 23, 2014, 8 p.m.
  • In the course of several months, Run River North went from playing a handful of hometown shows in Los Angeles to performing to an audience of millions on late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! It was an explosive trajectory for the sextet, whose uplifting anthems march to the beat of drums, jangling guitars and a rapturous string section. The rapid ascent from obscurity launched a new chapter for the band (then called Monsters Calling Home), whose upcoming full-length self-titled debut ventures further into effervescent rock anchored with a down-home aesthetic.

    On the self-titled debut, the songs ebb and flow with optimism, traversing emotional and musical landscapes woven into the strings duo of Daniel Chae and Jennifer Rim, alongside the galloping rhythm section of bassist Joe Chun, keyboardist Sally Kang and drummer John Chong. Together, their voices coalesce as one, a chorus calling out with a gentle urgency. The music of Run River North explores the ever-shifting search for self, from the energetic indie-rock interludes to the lonesome guitar strums, always asking the question: Is home a place or is it the people in your life? “We’re not a posh, polished pop sound,” says Alex Hwang, Run River North’s singer/songwriter.

    “We have stories we want to tell and they take a little more time. After all, the journey to find your place is a long one, it’s an ongoing, evolving adventure.”

    The personal stories of the band members are as compelling as the songs themselves. Hwang and his band mates all came from families who moved to Southern California from Asia, and he says that the album reflects their shared search for a sense of home. “The immigrant experience is unique, but our songs also address that universal struggle for identity,” Hwang says. “We wanted to write about it and share the stories about being ‘dash American.’”

    Hwang’s lyrics often reflect the earliest folk heroes, whose narratives broach themes of hope, struggle, and the courage to carry on. “For immigrants who come here whose degrees don’t work here and they don’t speak the language, many have worked at liquor stores or Laundromats, which a lot of our families did. Then you raise kids who grow up here who look at their American friends and wonder why they don’t have those kinds of lives. The song “Monsters Calling Home” is about immigrant parents and their search to make the ‘American Dream happen.’” The bombastic chords of the song hold up Hwang’s powerful voice, relaying the hardships of “digging for worth under a foreign sun.” On “Growing Up,” acoustic strums commingle with sweeping violins, as Hwang sings about a man who realizes that “home is who you give your love to and your time to.” That somber track “Lying Beast” is a classic prodigal son story, based on a melody from an ancient Korean folk song, about unrequited love between a couple on a mountain pass. “It has message of longing for something that you think is home, but you’re not sure how to handle it when you see it,” Hwang says. The overlap of Asian and American folk is subtle, reflecting the hyphenated existence of the band members. “We didn’t want to be a K-Pop band; they do it so well, but we’d be terrible at it,” Hwang jokes.

    Like so many adventures, the troupe’s own journey began in a car. In 2012, the cash-strapped band decided that instead of expensive studio space, they would record a song entirely inside of their Hondas. “In the beginning,” says Alex Hwang, “we were recording a song every month and making a video for each song. Then we thought, ‘what would happen if we recorded an entire song in our cars?’”

    The simple experiment filmed in those cramped environs became a viral sensation, as their song “Fight to Keep” spread across the Internet. The people at Honda noticed and invited the band to perform at the executive offices. Then, the truth emerged. Instead of playing for Honda, they were booked as the musical guests on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “We had no idea,” Hwang says. “We thought that we would just play for Honda executives. It was surreal, since we were going on in two hours, we couldn’t even process how to be nervous, so we just played the best we could.”

    The surprise performance charted a new course for the band. From their gritty beginnings on tour – where Hwang says they’d sell burned CDs and crash at the homes of gracious audience members – to now selling out Los Angeles’ legendary venue, The Troubadour.

    Riding the tide of newfound notoriety, Hwang and the band recorded their self-titled debut with producer Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Built to Spill, Band of Horses), which burgeons with richly layered harmonies, dynamic instrumentation, and evocative storytelling. About working with Ek, drummer Chong says, “he thinks outside the box with all his projects. I love how he allows the artist to be really creative with structures, chord choices, metric changes, etc.” “A common thread between his records is that you come away with a strong sense of feeling,” continues bandmember Chae. Recording the album in Seattle, Hwang jokes, “so curious and excited to see how our songs and band will grow…Run River North(west).

    • Venue: Underground
    • Type: Live
    • Cover: $12.00
    • Time: July 23, 2014, 8:30 p.m.
  • 2014 Harbourfront SoundClash Finalist previews his upcoming album Chaos Theory live at the Drake Underground on July 24th. Following up on the Peephole/Beach EP last spring, Keita Juma will give fans a taste of the his new work, which promises to deliver.

    BizZarh, the burgeoning hip hop duo, will also perform a full set. DJ Bambii will be spinning dance/hip-hop/dancehall throughout the night.

    Keita Juma is a Mississauga, ON-based rapper and producer. Born in Bristol, UK, his sound is shaped by early experiences during hip-hop's golden era. His early musical influences stem from Early '00s Rap, Bristol Underground, and Dancehall. Moving to Canada at 11, He began rapping at school with friends, forming crews and performing at local events. At 17, he saved up to visit his musician uncle, who had his own home studio at the top of a mountain in Iserlohn, Germany. It was there that he first began to learn the intricacies of sculpting and refining sounds. He dropped his first solo mixtape, A Breath of Fresh Heir soon after, and followed that up with his first full length release, The Headphone with it's red-lining single, "Repeat." In 2012 he dropped the critically acclaimed LP, Water, with the much buzzed about single "Bossed Up." His latest project, Peephole/Beach, is available on iTunes with Chaos Theory slated to drop this fall.

    bizZarh are Dollar Paris and Charli Champ are the two teens who have collectively created the sing/rap duo, bizZarh. They describe bizZarh as a cosmic musical creation; a gift to them from the universe as a token of their infinite friendship. Describing their vibe as diverse and surrealist, the duo is eager to bring their dream worlds into existence through their music.

    • Venue: Underground
    • Type: DJ, Live
    • Cover: $5
    • Time: July 24, 2014, 9 p.m.
  • Dedicated to creating a new groove-based music, THE DIGS embody the unique perspective of diversity that could only come from Canada's multicultural melting pot, Toronto. To dig is to extract from the ground by breaking up earth, and The Digs are a band reaching down into the roots of American pop music and pulling up a vibrant sound that is an organically constructed embarrassment of riches.

    Ultimately, The Digs consist of close friendships built upon the love of music, and the love for one another, and it is this dedication which gives them a consistently renewed energy with each jam-packed gig, each infectious groove, each funky beat. Catch The Digs while you can!

    • Venue: Lounge
    • Type: Live
    • Cover: FREE
    • Time: July 24, 2014, 10 p.m.
  • A very special evening with Astrid Young and Victor DeLorenzo (of the Violent Femmes) as they present a performance of the new release 'One Night at Giant Rock' with a full band: psychedelic acid folk rocks the house - join us for an intimate evening, up close and in person, and experience the dynamic tour de force that is Astrid Young.

    • Venue: Underground
    • Type: Live
    • Cover: $10.00
    • Time: July 25, 2014, 7 p.m.
  • Known for getting crowds off their feet, local favourite DJ Your Boy Brian seamlessly blends all genres into a feel-good party mix. Part of the More Proof collective, DJ Your Boy Brian takes having fun very, very seriously. Check out his mix from the White Light Series before stopping by the Lounge for a night of carefree fun.

    • Venue: Lounge
    • Type: DJ
    • Cover: $10
    • Time: July 25, 2014, 10 p.m.
  • D!GGY THE DJ of the band Down With Webster hits the decks in the Drake Underground spinning all your favourite hip hop bangers.

    • Venue: Underground
    • Type: DJ
    • Cover: $10
    • Time: July 25, 2014, 11 p.m.
  • Every week Drake's art concierge Betty Ann Jordan explores the galleries and project spaces along the Queen West strip with an eye out for the best of the best. Whether you are an art aficionado or culturally curious, Betty Ann is sure to show you something a little unexpected. For updated tour information and weekly schedules please check out Art InSite.

    • Venue: Lobby
    • Type: Art
    • Cover: $25 pp/$45 for 2
    • Time: July 26, 2014, 11:45 a.m.
  • w/ Cell Memory

    Any Kind consists of four good friends who have been playing music together for a long time. Their second album, Other, is out now on Brendan Benson's Readymade Records. Vocalist/guitarist Dan Duszynski recorded both albums in his studio, Dandy Sounds (www.dandysounds.com). The band hails from Chicago, though Dan has recently moved, relocating the recording studio to a beautiful ranch in the Texas Hill Country just west of Austin.

    Between melody and discord, Cross Record’s first full-length LP Be Good forges a quiet path through a myriad of sounds. The record follows a string of self-released recordings by this enterprising 25-year-old. Strings, clarinet, flute, steel drum, bells, tape distortion, and other instrumentation, support Emily Cross’ enchanting vocals while allowing for silences to build like black holes. Cross’ lyrics conjure a dark beauty that leaves an effect long after the album has completed. Cross Record has supported Angel Olsen, Dirty Projectors and Surfer Blood to name a few. Be Good has received critical acclaim by publications such as Chicago Tribune, Tiny Mix Tapes and Brooklyn Vegan.

    • Venue: Underground
    • Type: Live
    • Cover: $10.00
    • Time: July 26, 2014, 8 p.m.