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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.
w/ Line & Circle
Streets of Laredo is a sing-a-long collision of jangling harmonies, stomping percussion, horns, guitars, and more crazy instruments than you can shake a sampler at.
Founded by close-knit family members Daniel, Dave and Sarahjane Gibson and inspired by the fervour and madness of the 70’s folk-rock circuit, the band was born out of trying to escape the mundane everyday working life. Older brother Dave tells the story, “Both Dan and I had done the hard yards in bands in New Zealand but we were worn out and a little lost by it all. And broke. I was running this t-shirt company and Dan walks in one day to tell me that he’s finished with music and he’s gonna go get a real job. All of a sudden my ‘big brother’ instinct kicks in and rather than see this young songwriter throw it all away, I gave him a job doing t-shirt orders, and we started working on demos and writing songs together, pretty much day and night from then on in.”
Refining their sound and songs one holiday weekend at a beach house on the New Zealand coast, the Gibsons started to fashion a sound that was equal parts folk storytelling and psychedelic madness. “Sonically we wanted to stay true to our long list of influences, but we wanted to screw it up as well - kinda twisty, like Paul Simon on bad acid.” With just one home-town show under their belt, a handful of demos and a whole lot of hope, they took the plunge and decided to move halfway around the world. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and Streets of Laredo in a rehearsal space in Brooklyn NY with a guitar, a drum-machine and no money, trying to figure out what comes next. And what came next was songs, lots of ‘em.
Sarahjane describes the feeling, “I’d never lived overseas before, let alone in a city like New York, so the sense of isolation and homesickness - coupled with excitement and the unknown - was hugely overwhelming. But pretty soon all of these emotions were turning into lyrics and songs that were really about being a brand new immigrant in America. I mean, the only thing we really knew was that we’d finally made it to New York, we were making music, and we sure as hell weren’t about to leave.”
Quickly adding fellow countryman Thom Darlow and local Brooklynites Sean McMahon and Andrew McGovern to the mix, this now rambling, multi-instrumental, seven-piece started to craft a dance-inducing mix of vocal hooks, beats and wild sounds that saw the New York music scene embrace them as their own - building a firm reputation in the music halls of Brooklyn and the Lower East Side for playing danceable, crazy songs that kept fans coming back for more - not to mention seeing the band feted as a must-see act at both CMJ and SXSW. Dan sums it up nicely, “It all started with the song Girlfriend. We'd started writing that song before we left New Zealand so it had idealistic hints of what we thought this place would be like - but after living in Brooklyn for a while it took on a whole other layer, kinda like a mistress that can be unfaithful and hard to deal with but also a lot of fun - and that kind of informed the writing of what would become our debut record."
A quick trip back to New Zealand saw the band record the bones of ‘Volume I & II’ - ten songs inspired by their old life in NZ and their new life in NYC - in an old converted Auckland theatre where, courtesy of friendships and favours, they locked down that distinctive Streets of Laredo sound. “An influential blog called Girlfriend a ‘twisty psychedelic take on the old folk narrative’, which seemed fairly appropriate for our sonic tastes and style, and the rest was history.”
Like Bob Dylan running late to a Ramones concert or Paul Simon getting blind drunk with Grizzly Bear, however you describe them the resulting songs and sound have had an instant effect on fans and critics alike. Streets of Laredo are proud to announce the much-anticipated release of Volume I & II, out October 7 on Dine Alone Records.
Never Forgive Action is a monthly dance party that began in 2004 to pay tribute to the golden age of hip-hop, spinning classic jams from the sweet spot of 1986 to 1994. Whether it's popular old school favourites from A Tribe Called Quest to De La Soul or obscure ditties by the Wascalz and Y'all So Stupid, NFA's resident DJs Numeric, Ted Dancin', Dalia + host More or Les are here to keep the party going, bridging together generations of hip-hop fans one Friday night at a time.
Get your hands dirty every Monday night with some artful food fun: Be a guest judge in one of our competitive cook-offs, get creative with some do-it-yourself food art or sit back and sip a pint as sharp + sassy host Ivy Knight takes your taste buds on a gastronomical mystery tour. Join the Drake Hotel and Azureau Wines & Spirits for an epic 86’d Monday celebration tonight. We're featuring the iconic vermouths of Guilio Cocchi Estate from Torino, Italy. In collaboration with Toronto’s finest bartenders, we're be highlighting the elegance and versatility of the vermouth. Azureau will be on hand pouring samples of these wonderful products neat or try them in a cocktail from our guest bartenders. Featuring; • Michael Webster, Bar Isabel • Ana Wolkowski, 416 Snack Bar • Sandy De Almeida, the Drake Hotel • Gord Hannah, the Drake Hotel
w/ Persian Rugs
"Their songs are all explosions of joy and subtle introspection and hedonism and shared experience" Everett True
Queens of the east and west unite! Join Judy Virago and Scarlett Bobo for a dirty, flirty, flithy, MILFy evening of bingo, babes and balls-out fun with a different retro theme each week. DJ Regina Gentlelady (LIGHT FIRES) keeps the balls bouncing all night long! $2 per card/$5 for 3 - first round at 8:30PM!
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.
"In a lot of ways this is a record about hope. A hope that things will get better. A hope for the future. A hope for someday. Someday, the moon will be gold.” Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold is the title of the upcoming Kalle Mattson album, an album that is as much about hope as it is about death. Written in his childhood home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold chronicles Mattson as he returned to the place where he began writing songs, and gradually came to terms with the death of his mother 5 years prior.
Recorded throughout 2012 & 2013, Kalle Mattson’s newest full-length was produced by The Wooden Sky’s Gavin Gardiner and features appearances by Juno-nominated artists The Wooden Sky, Cuff The Duke & a song co-written by Kalle & renowned singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher. Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold fully embraces the duality of hope and death, from the summery jangle of “Pick Me Up” to the opulent & euphoric “Eyes Speak”, this is a record that takes the young 22-year old songwriter to the next level both musically & lyrically.
"I had written about my mom in the past but never as honest as I was on all of these new songs” says Mattson. "I wanted to fully put down my own story. In a lot of ways I felt like all I had left was this record and finishing it. What I had put off for five years all came back to me in that house and I dealt with it by writing."
With STMWBG Kalle Mattson follows up a string of two critically acclaimed full-lengths (2009s Whisper Bee & 2011s Anchors), an EP (2012s Lives In Between), and two viral music videos for “Water Falls” (over 250,000 views) & “Thick As Thieves” (over 1,000,000 views). Anchors was mixed by Howie Beck (Feist, Jason Collett, Hayden) and saw Kalle tour in support of the album with stops at CMW, NXNE, Pop Montreal, Ottawa Bluesfest, tours with Sunparlour Players, Cuff The Duke, Jeremy Fisher and opening slots with Jim Bryson, The Rural Alberta Advantage and Blue Rodeo. The album also received a pair of Northern Ontario Music Award wins for Album of the Year (Group) & SOCAN Songwriter of the Year.
In November 2011 Kalle Mattson’s music video for “Thick As Thieves” went viral with over 1,000,000 views to date. Created for only $250 in materials, it was covered by such media outlets as Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, Yahoo and Much Music, amongst others and leading The National Post to highlight Kalle Mattson as one of five musicians poised to breakout in 2012.
In Spring 2012 Kalle released a second viral music video for “Water Falls", which depicted a camera 'slingshotting' through San Fransisco in a revolutionary new stop-motion technique. The video was premiered by NPR's All Songs Considered and was featured in The Atlantic, CBS News, Gizmodo, and led The Huffington Post to ask "Is this the coolest music video of 2012?”.
Kalle Mattson returns February 11th with his third full length album titled Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold. He will be touring Europe and Canada throughout 2014
The universe of Montrealers Jonathan Peters and David Lagacé is a profound one, thick and aspiring, where day and night coexist. A musical world made of ethereal vocal harmonies and rich instrumentation, where melodies speak and words sing. Impulsive, pure and authentic.
A work of art that confirms a sincere endeavor, tempestuous and inhabited by a folk that burns to the core. We attach ourselves to a piece, and then to the whole of it. To the autumnal and night inspired "Underneath your skin" in the album's opening, that seemingly whispers in your ear; to the flight of "The Japanees One" and "Elephants" or even the emancipating orchestrations of "Ruins Ruins", "Folklore" and "Ancestor’s Shadow".
Ultimately, Shenanigans reveals itself as a complete and powerful undertaking, like rarely heard before.