Weekly playlist #9: PAUSE

Hey there. Well, in case you didn’t notice, last week I didn’t upload a playlist. A few changes came up in my day-to-day life the last couple of weeks that took a much larger chunk of time than I expected, so for this week I’m presenting a longer playlist without the notes, as I have previously done. I aim to be back next week with a newly updated playlist, for now I present to you Week 9 & 10.

If you have an upcoming event that you would like included in the weekly concert list, or would like your music considered for the weekly playlist, please email me at ryan@tunesinto.ca.


2019 – Week 8 Playlist: All the Stars

Autumn 2009 was a busy time for me, and it was a time that saw me start the original version of Tunes in TO. Though the site launched in October that year, I spent much of September building up content to start the site with. One of the very first shows I shot for the site was when The Antlers played The Horseshoe Tavern, who had just released their breakthrough album, Hospice. It seems like a lifetime ago that I shot that show, and their in-store performance earlier that night at Criminal Records (RIP), but here we are ten years later. In honour of the ten year anniversary of the album, the band has announced a tour that sees them making a stop at The Opera House on April 8th. Tickets for that show cost $37.00 + fees, and can be purchased at Soundscapes and Rotate This.

The Antlers @ The Horseshoe Tavern. September 24, 2009. Shot pre-Tunes in TO v1

Speaking of ten year anniversaries, this coming April marks ten years since Stereolab manager Martin Pike announced a pause in their activities. The band released seven albums over a twenty year span, but never broke through to receive any commercial success. Last week it was announced that the band will be reissuing all seven of those albums over a year-long campaign, starting with 1993’s Transient Random Noise-Bursts With Announcements and 1994’s Mars Audiac Quintet. The two albums will be reissued on May 3rd, via Warp Records and Duophonic UHF Disks, as expanded and re-mastered editions on vinyl, compact disk and digital. Along with the reissues, the band will be hitting the road, including a stop at The Danforth Music Hall on October 2nd. Tickets for this one sold out quickly, so it appears as though people have finally caught on to them.

Another 90s UK band in the midst of a revival is Sleeper, who reunited in 2017 after an almost twenty year split. They came back with a small tour, and announcement that they’d be releasing a new album in 2019. That new album is titled The Modern Age, and it is scheduled for release March 22, via their own Gorsky Records. No North American tour dates as of yet, so keep an eye out for those.

Last week, Melbourne-based songwriter Alex Lahey announced the release of her sophomore album, The Best Of Luck Club. The album will be out May 17th, via Dead Oceans, and can be pre-ordered HERE.

Yesterday marked what fans of David Lynch have referred to as “Twin Peaks Day,” in honour of the day in which Agent Dale Cooper enters the fictional town on the cult classic television series. In honour of the show, I’ve included a couple of bands with ties to the show.

The first band is Chromatics, who announced last week that they will be hitting the road for the first time in over five years. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall for an already sold out show on May 27th. Fans of the show will remember the band being the first to appear at Bang Bang Bar in the 2017 revival of the series, with performances of their songs “Shadow” and “Saturday”. I chose their cover of “Running Up That Hill” because Kate Bush also made music news when she released the video for her cover of Elton John‘s “Rocket Man” It only felt appropriate to find a way to include both covers this week.

In other Twin Peaks news, we shift our attention to the band who share the name with the show. Last week it was announced that they’ll be playing with Pup and Charly Bliss at RBC Echo Beach on July 21st on a pretty stacked triple bill. Nothing new for Twin Peaks, as far as material, but this marks the 3rd (and largest) show for Pup in Toronto this summer. So if you missed your chance at getting tickets for their two nights at The Danforth, be sure to grab your tickets at Soundscapes/Rotate or online HERE.

In more immediate news, Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals will be at Rebel TOMORROW, which gives me an excuse to put one of my favourite songs in the last few years on the playlist. Not sure if these prices were what was originally charged, but there are still some tickets available through Ticketmaster if you’ve got some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket.

Last week Hand Habits, the solo project of Meg Duffy (who you might recognize as a long-time member of Kevin Morby‘s touring band), released the music video for their new song “what lovers do.” The song is the latest single from her album, placeholder, which will be released this Friday, via Saddle Creek. Watch the video below, or give the full album a listen at NPR.

Earlier this month, Donovan Woods dropped a new song called “Go To Her”, along with an accompanying music video. He’s hitting the road this week, with a series of sold out shows around Southwest Ontario (London, Kitchener, Sarnia & Meaford, to be exact) leading up to The Junos, where he’s nominated for two awards, including Songwriter of the Year. Go Donovan!

I’m a little late on this next one, as Helado Negro was actually just in town last week opening for Beirut. However, the release of his new album This is How You Smile is just a couple of weeks away. The album will be released March 8th, via RVNG Intl.

Weyes Blood (pronounced wizebluhd) will be releasing her new album Titanic Rising on April 5th. The album is her fourth, but first with new label Subpop. Along with the new album, a tour has been announced that includes a stop at The Horseshoe Tavern on May 24th. Tickets for that show can be purchased at Soundscapes/Rotate, while Titanic Rising can be pre-ordered online HERE.

Back on the topic of 90s revivals, Teenage Fanclub is on the road, and will be making a stop at The Phoenix on March 8th. Last week, the band released single “Everything is Falling Apart,” their first single since Gerard Love left the band, and since their last full length – 2016’s Here. Hopefully there’s more to come.

Just over a year after the release of the Polaris-shortlisted/Juno nominated In a Poem Unlimited, U.S. Girls (AKA Meg Remy) announced they’ll be playing a Toronto show on June 8th at The Opera House. Tickets cost $24.50, and can be purchased at Soundscapes/Rotate. The band has garnered a reputation for their fantastic live shows, so you might want to scoop these ones up quickly. They were named the #1 Best Live Band of 2018 by Paste and Stereogum – who called their performances “a revelation.” If that doesn’t convince you, check out the recently released video for “Time,” featuring live footage from their performance at last summer’s Sappyfest.

Colin Caulfield has been a full-time member of DIIV since 2013, but last week shared his new funky solo track, “Get to the Point.” The song is a follow up to last years release “Looking for Revenge,” and he promises to release more new music later this year. In the meantime, you can check out his gardening show (yes, I’m serious.)

And, closing out the week, the best song nominated for the “Best Song” Oscar. Not that it really matters.

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

02/25 – MADEINTYO @ Mod Club
*02/26 – Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals @ Rebel
02/26 – Parcels w/ Penthouse Boys @ Lee’s Palace
02/26 – Julia Holter w/ Jessica Moss @ The Great Hall
02/26 – Jacob Banks @ The Danforth Music Hall
02/26 – Matt Nathanson @ Mod Club
02/26 – Alex Cameron & Roy Molloy @ The Horseshoe
02/26 – Miya Folick @ The Drake Hotel
02/26 – The Beths w/ Bad Bad Hats @ The Garrison
02/27 – James Blake @ The Sony Centre
02/27 – Bali Babi @ Hard Luck Bar
02/27 – Empress Of @ The Great Hall
02/27 – Wild Rivers @ The Opera House
02/27 – Dillon Francis @ The Danforth Music Hall
02/28 – The Barr Brothers (performing “Barr Brothers”) w/ Liz Powell (of Land of Talk) @ Mod Club
02/28 – Pkew Pkew Pkew @ The Horseshoe
02/28 – Murray Lightburn (of The Dears) @ The Burdock
02/28 – Feast in the East @ The Jam Factory
02/28 – Mother Mother @ The Phoenix
02/28 – Switchfoot @ The Danforth Music Hall
03/01 – Mother Mother @ The Phoenix
03/01 – grandson @ The Opera House
03/01 – A Bowie Celebratin @ The Danforth Music Hall
03/01 – The Barr Brothers (performing “Sleeping Operator”) w/ Jesse MacCormack @ Mod Club
03/01 – Marc Ribot @ The Jam Factory
03/01 – Eric Prydz @ Rebel
03/01 – Gavin James @ The Horseshoe
03/02 – The Barr Brothers (performing “Queens of the Breakers”) w/ Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire) @ Mod Club
03/02 – Mike Krol @ The Garrison
03/02 – Aurora @ The Danforth Music Hall
03/02 – Greyson Chance @ The Drake Hotel
03/02 – Mat Kerekes @ Hard Luck Bar
03/02 – Blackalicious @ Lee’s Palace
03/03 – State Champs @ The Phoenix
03/03 – Alice Phoebe Lou @ The Garrison
03/03 – Flogging Molly @ Danforth Music Hall
03/03 – Kamaal Williams w/ Henry Wu @ The Velvet Underground
03/03 – Rotem @ The Horseshoe

If you have an upcoming event that you would like included in the weekly concert list, or would like your music considered for the weekly playlist, please email me at ryan@tunesinto.ca.

2019 – Week 7 Playlist: Motion Sickness

Kicking off this new week is Sunflower Bean. If the name rings a bell, it could be that you remember their song “I Was a Fool” was included on my Best of 2018 playlist. It could also be the fact that just last week they were announced as the artist in the very tiny print on a large tour this summer that sees Beck and Cage the Elephant co-headlining. The tour stops at Budwieser Stage on August 11th, but If you’d like to catch a bit more than what’s likely to be a short 15-20 minute set, the good news is that you’ll have the chance to do that in May. They’ll be playing a proper set at Lee’s Palace for Canadian Music Fest. Tickets run $22.00 + fees, and can be purchased HERE. As for the Budweiser Stage show, I’ll get back to that later.

Palindromic Seattle band Tacocat has announced that they’ve signed a record deal with Sub Pop Records. Their fourth album This Mess is a Place will be released on May 3rd, and along with the announcement of the album, they’ve released first single “Grains of Salt”. The band will be doing a U.S. tour in May/June, though there are no stops north of the border at the moment. Guess we’ll just have to wait for the next leg of tour dates to be announced, but in the meantime the album can be pre-ordered HERE.

A couple of weeks ago, I included “Dylan Thomas” on my weekly playlist, off of Phoebe Bridgers‘ joint album with Conor Oberst as Better Oblivion Community Center. Early last week, Phoebe was cited in a NY Times article exposing Ryan Adams for sexual misconduct, “dangling success” in front of numerous young women, and being abusive/manipulative in his relationships (including his marriage with Mandy Moore). By now, you have likely heard the story, but if not here you go.

I wanted to include Phoebe’s song “Motion Sickness” this week because she has specifically stated the song is about Adams. I put it on the list for anyone who hasn’t heard it that might stumble on this blog, so that you might have a chance to listen to what she is saying. I have been a fan of Adams for almost 20 years, but as a person, I have no trouble putting any type of fandom aside here. What Adams did was wrong, plain and simple, and I can’t really see myself listening to any of his music anymore in light of the information that has surfaced.

As a man it’s important to listen, and to believe women because even though it feels like there has been some progress in the past few years, we are still living in a patriarchal society. It takes a lot of courage for these women to come forth and face the inevitable backlash from those that, bluntly put, hate women and want to uphold the patriarchy. That’s why I also wanted to include this statement from Phoebe’s twitter feed.

I couldn’t agree more with her statement, and as a person it is important to remember that if someone you know is saying or doing something unacceptable, it’s up to us to call them out on it. As a male, I just want to say this stuff is deeply rooted through generations of reinforcement, so just remember not to be offended if someone calls you out for something. You may not be aware you’ve said something wrong, but that doesn’t make it right, and the only way to improve is to listen, and understand, when someone calls you out for something.

Moving back to newer music, last week Rain Phoenix released a double A side called Time Gone. The Double A side features her solo debut “Time is a Killer” (featuring Michael Stipe, of R.E.M.), as well as two previously unreleased tracks from her band (with brother River): Aleka’s Attic. This year marks the 25th anniversary of River’s death, and Rain wanted to honour her brother’s joy of music by releasing the tracks.

From one child actor to another, Jenny Lewis announced recently that she’ll be opening for Death Cab for Cutie on their North American tour, including their stop at Echo Beach. Her new album On the Line will be released on March 22nd, via Warner Bros. Records, and last week she released the second single “Heads Gonna Roll”.

Bayonne‘s new album, Drastic Measures is coming out this Friday, via Mom+Pop Music. Along with the album, comes a tour which will include a stop at The Monarch Tavern. Tickets are $15 + fees, and can be purchased at Rotate/Soundscapes, or online at Ticketfly.

If you are reading this, it’s likely that you are not at The Sony Centre for tonight’s Beirut concert. The band released their new album Gallipoli a couple of weeks ago on February 1st, and are coming through town in support, so looks like I was pretty bad at getting this news to you in time. Sorry about that.

Beirut @ Toronto Urban Roots Festival 2014. Shot for Beyond the Watch & the festival. Full set not available online anymore.

To make that up, here’s some extremely advance news. Mini Mansions have released the first single, “Gummy Bear” from their forthcoming album Guy Walks Into A Bar…, which is scheduled for release July 26th, via Fiction Records. No tour dates announced here yet, so keep an eye out for that sometime later this year.

Spellling will be releasing her new album Mazy Fly this Friday, Feb. 22nd via Sacred Bones. You can file that announcement under “Just enough notice”.

Also under “enough notice”, last week the trailer for Danny Boyle’s new movie Yesterday was released. The film stars newcomer Himish Patel and puts forth the question: What would happen if you woke up one day and suddenly you were the only person with any recollection of The Beatles? The film will be released June 28th, via Universal Pictures.

I wanted to mention this movie, so I could to tie it to the collateral damage of Ryan Adams’ actions, where young female musicians have ended up quitting because of men manipulating/abusing them, and dangling success. Just think of all of the talent that could have made it, that gave up because of men abusing their position of power. In thinking about this, I almost wonder how different this movie would look/be received if it was told from the point of view of a woman. Just something to think about, and why I have decided to choose Regina Spektor‘s cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for this week’s playlist.

Lydia Ainsworth‘s new album Phantom Forest is scheduled for release May 10th. No tour at the moment, but keep an eye out for that in the near future.

Mike Krol released his album Power Chords on Merge Records last month, and his supporting tour started over the weekend. He’ll be making a stop in Toronto at The Garrison on March 2nd. Tickets can be purchased at Rotate/Soundscapes for $13.50 + fees.

Earlier in the post, I mentioned that Sunflower Bean would be opening for Cage the Elephant and Beck, but neglected to mention the fact that Spoon(!!!) will also be on that bill. I also forgot to mention that the tickets are on sale now, starting at $36.50 + fees for lawns, and can be purchased HERE. So there, now you have all of the details.

Spoon @ Dundas Square. North by Northeast 2014. Originally shot for Tunes in TO v1

Delicate Steve has a new album on the way. It’s called Till I Burn Up, and is scheduled for release on March 1st. In support of that album, he’ll be making a stop at The Baby G on April 27th.  Tickets are $15.50 + fees and can be purchased at the usual record establishments.

Finally, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of publicist Darryl Weeks. When I was first starting Tunes in TO, Darryl was one of the first publicists that I connected with. I remember wanting to cover Junior Boys and Woodhands at Lee’s Palace, and he was extremely helpful considering I was still just figuring out what I was doing. In the years following, he was always very accommodating with any requests that I had with the site, and it’s sad to see him go so suddenly. I would just like to offer my deepest condolences to Darryl’s family, close friends and colleagues.

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

02/18 – Adrianne Lenker @ Longboat Hall
02/18 – Joe Jackson @ The Danforth Music Hall
02/18 – Bob Mould @ The Phoenix
02/18 – Dropkick Murphys @ Rebel
02/19 – Beirut @ The Sony Centre
02/19 – YG @ Rebel
02/19 – Royal Trux @ Lee’s Palace
02/20 – Action Bronson @ The Danforth Music Hall
02/20 – Cherry Glazerr @ Velvet Underground
02/20 – Corrosion of Conformity @ The Opera House
02/20 – Meg Mac @ The Rivoli
02/21 – Neil Morse Band @ The Opera House
02/21 – Deerhunter @ The Danforth Music Hall
02/21 – Zaki Ibrahim @ The Great Hall
02/22 – Watsky @ The Danforth Music Hall
02/22 – Erin Costello @ The Dakota Tavern
02/22 – Le Butcherettes @ The Drake Hotel
02/23 – The Trews @ The Danforth Music Hall
02/23 – MNEK @ Velvet Underground
02/23 – Monster Truck @ The Opera House
02/23 – Wolf Eyes w/ Mark Morgan @ The Garrison
02/23 – Shallow North Dakota @ Hard Luck Bar
02/24 – Chrome Sparks @ Velvet Underground
02/24 – It Looks Sad @ Baby G
02/24 – Bhad Bhabie @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre

If you have an upcoming event that you would like included in the weekly list, please email me at ryan@tunesinto.ca.

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 5 Playlist: Born Under Punches

This week’s playlist begins with Emily King. The GRAMMY®-nominated recording artist’s new album Scenery was released this past Friday, via ATO Records, and the early word is positive. The reason she’s first up, aside from “Can’t Hold Me” being a pretty solid lead-off song, is because she will actually be playing in Toronto TONIGHT (Feb. 4th – sorry if you are reading this too late). She’ll be at The Mod Club, and as of this morning tickets are still available at Rotate/Soundscapes. If you have no luck that way, I am sure there will be tickets at the door.

The week before last, we received the sad news that Field Trip Festival has been cancelled for this summer. It’s a bummer because Field Trip always felt like the unofficial start to summer, and that, coupled with the fact that summer festivals in Toronto are pretty much non-existent now, makes it feel like even more of a blow. Last year’s version was great, notably the performance of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who headlined the Saturday evening. The YYYs currently don’t have anything in the works, but singer Karen O has announced a new joint effort with Danger Mouse. The new album, called Lux Prima, will be released in March, and features the previously released title track, as well as new song “Woman.”

Four days into the new year, Lizzo released “Juice”, the upbeat lead single to her newly announced album Cuz I Love You. The album will be released April 19th, and coincides with a spring tour that brings her to The Danforth Music Hall on May 16th. General ticket sales start this Friday, but if you pre-order the album you’ll get access to the ticket pre-sale. That starts at 10am TODAY, so get on it if you want to “beat the box office”.

Natalie Prass recently came through town with a stop at The Danforth, opening for Kacey Musgraves. This past week, both announced that they’ll be back in Toronto by year’s end. Prass will now be headlining, and makes an appearance at The Horseshoe on April 14th, with tickets available at Soundscapes/Rotate for $14.50. Kacey, on the other hand with be playing the much larger (and seated) Sony Centre. General onsale is also this coming Friday, but there are a bunch of pre-sales happening, and coming up this week. If you happen to know any of those passwords, you’ll want to get to Ticketmaster and order those ASAP because this one’s likely to sell out quickly.

Speaking of the Sony Centre, last summer I got the chance to photograph and see David Byrne. This was a big deal for me, as I am a big fan of Talking Heads. When I caught word of the setlists having a healthy mix of songs I’ve come to love, deciding to go was pretty much a no-brainer. I was especially excited to see my favourite Talking Heads song, “Born Under Punches (Heat Goes On)” was going to be played. What made the performance even more fantastic was that I version performed was closer to the amazing cover version Angelique Kidjo released early last year on her rendition of Talking Heads’ album Remain In Light.

The reason I decided to include this cover this week (aside from it being one of my favourites) is because this coming Friday, Hot Docs Cinema will be continuing their “This Film Should be Played Loud” series with a screening of Stop Making Sense. The film features footage of Talking Heads’ four-night stand at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre and is widely considered to be one of the best concert films ever made. The film is played at Hot Docs annually, and word is that there will be dancing in the aisles, so if you are a fan and have not seen it yet there could be much worse ways to spend your Friday night. Get your tickets HERE, and don’t forget for only an extra $5.31 you can get both a popcorn AND a beer. What a deal!

If the name Nilüfer Yanya rings a bell, it’s likely because I mentioned in a previous playlist that she will be opening for Sharon Van Etten at The Danforth Music Hall next Monday. What you might not know is that she’s going to be releasing her debut album, called Miss Universe and it’s scheduled for release on March 22, via ATO Records. She has been tipped as an artist to watch by The Guardian, and the first single from the the album, “In Your Head”, definitely illustrates why. There are still tickets available for the show via Ticketmaster, so if seeing Sharon alone wasn’t reason enough to pick up the tickets, there you go.

The last year and a half has been busy for Phoebe Bridgers. After releasing Stranger in the Alps in the autumn of 2017, and working with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker last year to release and tour the boygenius EP, she somehow managed to fit in some time to record and release an album with Conor Oberst. The duo call themselves Better Oblivion Community Center and they surprise released their self-titled album digitally last week, with a physical release coming Feb. 22nd, via Dead Oceans. A U.S. tour has been announced, with no dates north of the border but hopefully we’ll see a second leg after their tour ends in May.

Brooklyn’s Teen Body released the first single “Validation” from their upcoming album Dreamo, which will be released April 12th, via Broken Circles Records. The album is their eight-track follow-up to their 2016 debut Get Home Safe and marks a step forward for the band. As of right now they only have the album release show scheduled, but I’ll be sure to update if the band announce a tour.

And now for a band that has announced a tour. After years of not coming to play club shows in Canada, Guided By Voices have made good on their promise that “the club is open” by announcing a return date at Lee’s Palace for July 13th (tickets available at Rotate/Soundscapes). That show will mark their second appearance at Lee’s in eight months, having played an epic two-and-a-half hour show there in October. They’ll also have a full album’s worth of new material, as they just released their new album Zeppelin Over China this past Friday. According to their website, they’ve also got two more albums coming out this year with 2 other albums, Warp and Woof & Rise of The Ants, listed on their discography page, so if you don’t get tickets for the show in July, it probably won’t be long before you get another chance.

Guided By Voices @ Pitchfork 2011. Shot for original Tunes in T.O.

February 1st saw the release of a few new albums, but also marked the 25th anniversary of Green Day‘s Dookie. In honour of the anniversary, I decided to include the song that introduced me to them in ninth grade, “Longview”. No tour dates announced at the moment, but could we perhaps see a 25th anniversary tour? Guess we’ll have to keep an eye out for that.

HÆLOS has announced they will be releasing their sophomore effort, Any Random Kindness, on May 10th via Infectious. Along with the album comes a spring tour that includes a stop at The Garrison on March 30th. Tickets can be purchased at Soundscapes/Rotate for $15 + fees.

The Strumbellas have been riding high for the last couple of years on the success of their 2016-released album Hope and it appears as though they are ready to follow that up with a new album. Rattlesnake is due for release on March 29th, via eOne Music. They’ve got a U.S. tour plotted out at the moment, ending June 14th, so I would expect we see a Canadian tour sometime this summer in support of the new album.

Strumbellas - TURF -3
Photo of The Strumbellas when they played the 2nd of two consecutive years at TURF. Shot for the festival.

SACRED PAWS just signed a deal with Merge Records last week, and to commemorate they have released their new single “Brush Your Hair”. There is no mention of a new album quite yet, but they do expect to be announcing a tour in the spring so if you like what you hear, keep an eye out for that.

ShadowParty released a new Marigold EP, which features a single edit, live version and Daybreakers remix of the track. The track is originally taken from their self-titled 2018 debut, released on Mute Records.

Molly Sarlé may be known as being one of the three vocalists from American folk trio Mountain Man, or maybe even as a member of Feist‘s touring band, but now she’s taking the center stage with a release of her own on the way. The first single “Human” is a warm, jangly song and Sarlé’s vocals make you feel like you’ve been put in a trance that you won’t want to come out of. Produced by Sam Evian, it’s a promising debut to be sure. Her debut EP will be released sometime this year, via Partisan Records and I am very eagerly awaiting to hear what’s next.

Also releasing her debut album at some point this year is Claude Fontaine. The Los Angeles-based songwriter and singer released her debut single “Cry for Another” last week and announced she will be releasing her album later this year via Innovative Leisure. The album promises to be “a love song to classic reggae and Brazilian music, and an album honoring that feeling of finding a home away from home.” Expect announcement of a release date later this year.

Finishing off this week, Ólafur Arnalds will be at Roy Thomson Hall this Friday, performing songs from his stellar 2018 album re:member. There are still seats available, and they can be purchased online HERE.

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

02/04 – Emily King @ Mod Club
02/05 – Feeder @ Lee’s Palace
02/06 – Sister Nancy @ Radio
02/07 – The Devil Makes Three @ Mod Club
02/08 – Gryffin @ Danforth Music Hall
02/08 – Jarreau Vandal @ The Garrison
02/08 – Unearth/Darkest Hour @ Hard Luck Bar
02/09 – LP @ Danforth Music Hall
02/09 – Kalle Mattson @ The Drake Hotel
02/09 – Exmag @ The Rivoli

2019 – Week 4 Playlist: Waking Up to The Dead Of Night

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


Kicking off this week’s list is Montreal’s Sorry Girls. The group played on Saturday night, as part of Exclaim’s Class of 2019 series, and showed why they were selected with a set of dreamy, jangly pop that had the packed crowd moving. As of right now, the band doesn’t have any more shows scheduled in the area, but I’ll be sure to let you know when they’ve announced a return.

Sorry Girls @ The Monarch Tavern. To see all of the photos, along with pics of Rapport and Ellis, click the photo.

Durand Jones & The Indications released their second single, the politically-charged “Morning in America” from their upcoming album American Love Call. The album will be out March 1st via Dead Oceans/Colemine Records, and they’ll be touring through the U.S. in support. No Toronto date as of right now, but I’ll be sure to update if they make their way north of the border.

One group that will definitely be coming to Toronto in the near future is Foals. Last Monday, they premiered “Exits”, the first single from their upcoming album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part I, which comes out March 8th. They’ll be at Rebel on 4/22 in support of said album, and presumably again (though maybe in a larger venue?) toward the end of the year, when Part II comes out in the autumn. Tickets for the April show are available at Rotate This and Soundscapes, but if you don’t feel like braving through the cold, here you go.

Early last week, Embrace announced prodigy producer Hana Vu has been added to the March 7th Wet w/ Kilo Kish show at Velvet Underground. The teenager made waves last year with the release of her song “Crying on the Subway” and the subsequent release of her EP, How Many Times Have You Driven By. This is one of those chances where you won’t want to miss the opener. Tickets available at Rotate This and Soundscapes.

Later in March at Velvet Underground, you’ll also be able to catch Yves Tumor, who recently came through town as an opener for Blood Orange at the Danforth Music Hall. He’ll be headlining this time, in support of his acclaimed 2018 album, Safe in the Hands of Love. The show is on Saturday, March 23rd and the reasonably priced tickets ($15 + $5.91 fees) can be purchased HERE.

Apparat, aka Sascha Ring, announced his new album LP5 will be released on March 22, via Mute Records. No North American tour dates, but if you’re in Europe in the spring and want to check him out, tour dates can be found HERE.

Vampire Weekend @ Osheaga 2013. Shot for QRO Mag. Click photo to see full set at QRO Mag.

Vampire Weekend made headlines last summer, when they opened their Lollapalooza set with their song “A Punk” three times in a row. Maybe with that in mind, at the beginning of last week, they teased Thursdays release of two new songs “Harmony Hall” and “2021” with a two hour guitar loop aptly named “120 Minutes of Harmony Hall.” As promised, on Thursday, they released the two new songs from their upcoming album Father of the Bride, which comes out later this spring. They’ll be dropping 2 new songs next month, and the month after prior to the release.

Maggie Rogers‘ name has been popping up quite a bit lately. She just released her album Heard it in a Past Life on January 18th, and opened for Mumford and Sons at the Scotiabank Arena in December. She makes her return to Toronto with an all-ages, two-night stand at The Phoenix on March 21 & 22. Tickets are currently sold out, but the Ticketweb sale page does say “limited tickets may be available at the door.” If you like what you hear, you’ll want to keep an eye on Embrace’s twitter account for updates on that front.

Chris Cohen has announced the release of a new Self-Titled album, which will be out March 29, via Captured Tracks. He’ll be hitting the road in support, with a show at The Horseshoe Tavern on April 15th.

You might not be familiar with Pip Blom yet, but 2019 promises to be a big year for the up and coming indie rock band from Amsterdam. Last week they announced the release of their debut album, Boat, which will be released May 31st via Heavenly Recordings. Prior to that, they will make their first U.S. appearance in March at South by Southwest and based on the early buzz around the new single “Daddy Issues” a proper North American tour shouldn’t be out of the question.

Now some news on a band you most definitely are aware of. Last week Weezer surprise released an album of cover songs called The Teal Album. The album includes their 2018 cover of Toto’s “Africa”, along with other needless covers of songs by Tears for Fears, A-Ha, TLC & more. In my mind, there’s only one Weezer cover that needs to be heard, mainly because it’s from the era I love the most, and it covers the band that heavily influenced their early sound: The Pixies. That’s why I’d say if you have to listen to one Weezer cover the rest of your life, make it “Velouria”.

Weezer @ Downsview Park. July 12, 2013. Shot for Beyond the Watch. To see full set, click photo

Speaking of The Pixies, they also made new last week when they announced they have partnered with Signal Co. No1 for “Past is Prologue, Pixies” Podcast Series, which will document the making of their new album and the band’s history. The forthcoming LP is scheduled for release in the autumn and will be previewed with the 12 part podcast series that premieres June 27th. Until then, the band will be back on the road with Weezer, continuing their 2018 tour. If you didn’t catch them here last summer, the closest stops on this run are March 13th in Montreal and 14th in Albany, NY.

Another act that toured through Toronto last year was Florence + The Machine, who played the Scotiabank Arena in support of last year’s High As Hope. Last week, the band released a non-album single called “Moderation”, which has made its way into recent concert setlists. With a two month gap between the end of their current tour on March 25th, and a lone North American appearance at Governor’s Ball in NYC, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some tour dates announced in the not so distant future. Maybe a stop at Budweiser Stage to open the summer concert series?

The Black Lips & Fucked Up announced last week that they’ll be playing a concert at The Phoenix on April 25th, and they’ll be bringing along NYC’s Wooing. Last year saw the band release their debut EP Daydream Time Machine, following that up at the end of the year with two more new songs. This appears to be the first time they will make their way to Toronto, so it will be a good chance to catch the band on the rise.

Next on the list is Pavement, who don’t have any news specific to them. However, Spiral Stairs (Scott Kannberg) and Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have both announced tour dates in Toronto. Spiral Stairs play The Horseshoe Tavern on March 24th, and Malkmus plays The Great Hall on May 1st. . Tickets for both shows are available at Rotate This and Soundscapes.

Steve Malkmus, performing with Pavement at Osheaga 2010. Shot for original TunesinTO.com. No link available at the moment.

Exclaim’s Class of 2019 ended on Saturday, with the final show at The Horseshoe Tavern. Orville Peck played both of the first 2 nights in Hamilton and Toronto at the beginning of the month and since, has announced the release of his debut album, Pony, via Royal Mountain & Sub Pop. If you didn’t get a chance to catch his show at The Monarch Tavern, he also announced a new show at The Great Hall on April 13th.

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

01/28 – The Soft Moon @ Velvet Underground
01/28 – Half-Alive @ The Drake Hotel
01/30 – Dawes @ The Danforth Music Hall
01/30 – Dan Mangan @ Tiny Record Shop (in-store @ 6pm)
01/31 – Dan Mangan @ The Danforth Music Hall
01/31 – The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer @ The Horseshoe Tavern
02/01 – John Maus @ The Opera House
*02/01 – Tallies @ The Drake Hotel
02/01 – Yonatan Gat @ Lee’s Palace
02/01 – After Funk @ The Horseshoe Tavern
02/02 – Ripe @ The Mod Club
02/02 – Shane Koyczan @ The Danforth Music Hall

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.


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

2019 – Week 2 Playlist: All This Time

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


Fresh off of having the title track from Separate Rooms be selected #2 by Canadian fans, and landing in the Top 100 of 2018 by CBC Radio, Megan Bonnell has announced a spring tour, which will see her performing at The Great Hall on April 4th. Presented by MRG Concerts, tickets are $19.99 + fees, and are available HERE.

Jeff Tweedy had a busy second half of 2018, promoting the release of both his memoir Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), and its companion album WARM. 2019 doesn’t look to be slowing down, as he will be touring, with a newly announced show at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 3rd. The bad news is that tickets sold out super quick (as one would expect at this point in Mr. Tweedy’s career). The good news is that for those who did manage to snag tickets, you can request the songs you’d like him to play HERE. It doesn’t mean that he will definitely play the song, but it’s pretty cool that he gives the fans the chance to offer their input.

Jeff Tweedy from TURF 2015, when he didn’t bring out Feist to perform “You and I” despite my request. Boooooo!!

Back in 2013, Jeff’s band Wilco toured with some guy named Bob Dylan (with some other band called My Morning Jacket opening for them), making an appearance at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre Budweiser Stage. Bob Dylan is one of the subjects of a Documentary entitled, Festival. I bring this up because the film details the experience of the Newport Folk Festival in the 60s, which features live footage of Dylan’s early electric performances. That documentary is playing this coming Saturday, January 19th at the Hot Docs Cinema as part of their “This Film Should Be Played Loud” series, and you can get tickets HERE. Oh, and speaking of Newport Folk Fest, guess who’s playing this year? Some artist name Jeff Tweedy

We now turn our attention to the other side of the globe. With the recent rise of Australian talent, Stella Donnelly is a name you won’t want to sleep on. She’ll be in town on Sunday, March 24th @ The Drake Hotel. The show is brought to you by Collective Concerts, and tickets are a very reasonable $13.50 + fees. They can be picked up at Rotate This & Soundscapes. Earlier this week, she dropped the first single from her upcoming release Beware of the Dogs, entitled “Old Man”, and if the song is any indication of how good that album will be, she appears poised to follow in the footsteps of recent Australian successes Courtney Barnett and Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever. The album will be released March 8th, via Secretly Canadian, and can be pre-ordered HERE.

On April 11th, Patty Griffin will be coming to Toronto, in support of her soon to be released eponymous 10th LP. All that is known is that she’ll be performing somewhere in the city, and that she’ll be playing songs from that album, like “The River”. Stay tuned, and I’ll update with the details once they are out.

*EDIT* – A venue has been announced. Patty will be at The Danforth Music Hall on April 11th. Ticket info to be announce.

It’s been over four years since Sharon Van Etten released Are We There, but she’s got a new album on the way this Friday entitled Remind Me Tomorrow, via Jagjaguwar. Last week, she released the video for new single “Seventeen”, which can be seen below. In a Twitter post, Van Etten states: “It is with tears in my eyes that I share with you my love letter to NYC. Places I’ve lived, lost and found myself, let go of and embraced. Thank you to everyone that held me up over the years. Here is ‘Seventeen’, directed by the incredible Maureen Towey.”

It’s been a couple of years since my last visit to New York, but boy did that video make we want to go back. It also reminded me of some of the great places in Toronto that I’ve loved over the last seventeen years since I first moved here, and some of the new ones that have popped up recently. Even though some of my favourite spots are gone now, Toronto is still a city I am proud to have grown to call home. One place that was almost lost, but has successfully been revived is where Sharon will be performing next month, with a performance at The Danforth Music Hall on Monday, February 11th. Tickets are $27.50 + fees and can only be purchased at Ticketmaster. Sorry folks, the record shops sold out of these one quickly. Nilüfer Yanya will open the show.

Also coming out this week is Steve Gunn‘s new album The Unseen In Between, via Matador Records. There’s no Toronto date on his upcoming tour, but with new material I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll see him sometime before the end of the year.

Warbly Jets released their Propaganda EP earlier this month, and will be playing next month at The Drake Hotel on Wednesday, February 13th with support from Moonwalks & Keegan Powell (of Chastity). Tickets are $15.00 + fees and can be purchased at Rotate This & Soundscapes.

So, do you remember the band Guster? I saw them way back in 2000, when they opened for The Tragically Hip at Darien Lake, and was a fan of their song “Satellite” from their 2006 album Ganging Up On The Sun, but can’t say I ever kept up on them. Well, it looks like they’re still kicking around, as they’ll be playing The Mod Club on Tuesday, January 22nd, and they’re going to be playing music from a new album called Look Alive which is being released this Friday. Who knew? If you’re into checking them out, tickets are $25+ fees, and Rotate This & Soundscapes have you covered.

In birthdays this week, Dolly Parton birthday turns 73 on January 19th. Growing up in a home where my parents listened to a lot of country, I heard my fair share of Dolly’s work, and I was always a fan of her duet with Kenny Rogers: “Islands in the Stream.” So to celebrate, I’ve chosen to include the Feist & Constantines cover because, let’s face it, whenever you get a chance to throw in one of your favourite bands, you just have to do it. Neither artist has any tour dates scheduled at the moment, though I did get a chance to see the Cons in Hamilton over the holidays and they played a few of the unreleased songs they’ve been playing at their random shows over the last few years. Here’s hoping a new album comes soon, as this April marks the eleven year mark since their last album, Kensington Heights.

Can I Get a Witness?! – A photo I shot of Constantines at Lee’s Palace in 2015, for Live in Limbo. Click the pic to see the rest of the set, and read my review of that show.

Girlpool‘s new album What Chaos is Imaginary will be release on February 1st, via ANTI- Records. They’ll also be coming to town on April 20th, performing at Longboat Hall with Hatchie as the opener. Not a bad bill for $17.50 + fees (Good job, Collective!). If you’re reading this, you might want to hit Rotate or Soundscapes to grab those tickets up before they sell out.

A month before that show, in the same building, Spoons will be playing The Great Hall on March 23rd. Presented by MRG Concerts, tickets cost $29.50 + fees, and can be found HERE. Woo 80s!

February 15th marks the release of HOMESHAKE‘s new album Helium, via Royal Mountain Records. He’ll be taking the new album on the road with a quick jaunt through Europe before coming back for a tour of the northeast US/Canada, which includes a stop at The Phoenix Concert Theatre on Sunday, March 31st (with support from Yves Jarvis). Tickets can be purchased at Sonic Boom…Ha! Just kidding. Pick them up at Rotate or Soundscapes, or online HERE.

Ibibio Sound Machine have a new album, Doko Mien, being released on March 22, via Merge Records. They’ll bring their explosive live show to The Mod Club on March 23rd, and tickets can be purchased HERE (for $35 + fees).

Ryan Adams announced last week that he would be releasing 3(!) albums in 2019, the first of which will be called Big Colors (not sure if he’ll release a version called Big Colours here in Canada, but he did hint at it for the UK). For those who have followed his career, you’ll know this isn’t the first time he’s been so ambitious. 2005 saw the release of three albums, including 29, Cold Roses, and my personal favourite of his albums, Jacksonville City Nights. So far, two songs from Big Colors have surfaced. “Doylestown Girl” (video above) and “Manchester” were both premiered locally in Pittsburgh and Manchester, UK. Expect those songs to hit streaming platforms soon, as well as information about album #3. Oh yeah, realized I didn’t mention that album number two is called Wednesdays.

Closing out this week’s list is my pick for artist to watch in 2019: Ellis. She’s been steadily building buzz since the release of lead single “The Drain” last summer, and the subsequent release of The Fuzz EP in November (stream or purchase HERE). Her performance next Friday, Jan. 25th at The Monarch Tavern, as part of Exclaim’s Class of 2019 is the first show of what I’d expect to be a busy year. Tickets are $9.50 and can be purchased HERE. You won’t want to miss it.

Other concerts this week

01/15 – Martha Wainwright @ The Great Hall
01/17 – Wax Atlantic w/ Carleigh Aikans & Espanola @ The Dakota Tavern
01/18 – Wing Night (The Band) @ The Horseshoe
01/18 – Mappe Of @ The Drake Hotel
01/18 – Blue Sky Miners, w/ Olivia and the Creepy Crawlies @ Lee’s Palace
01/18 – Rusty @ Velvet Underground
01/19 – Mappe Of @ The Drake Hotel
01/19 – Biblical w/ WHOOP-Szo & Ian Blurton’s Future Now @ The Horseshoe Tavern
01/19 – Still Woozy @ The Garrison
01/19 – Iron Priest with Twisted Sista @ The Velvet Underground
01/20 – Cory Wong @ The Horseshoe
01/20 – King Princess @ The Danforth Music Hall

Be sure to check back next week! And if you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them here, or email at ryan@tunesinto.ca.

2019 – Week 1 Playlist: Failure to Some

Good morning!

I present the first playlist of the new incarnation of Tunes in TO. I’ve made some notes on each of the artists I’ve included below, so you can see why they’ve been chosen for the week. I’m looking forward to doing this on a weekly basis, and you’ll be able to find this post every Monday morning. Feel free to subscribe, or let me know what you think.

2018 was a good year for Kacey Musgraves. Though I wasn’t a big fan of her disco/country crossover hit “High Horse”, I find myself repeatedly listening to the song I’ve included here, “Slow Burn.” She’ll be at the Danforth Music Hall this coming Friday, January 11th, with support from Natalie Prass. This one’s been sold out for a long time, so if you’re looking for tickets, good luck.

Eerie Wanda‘s new album Pet Town is set for release on January 25th, via Joyful Noise Recordings.

The week before that, Deerhunter‘s new album Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? will be released, via 4AD Records. The album will be released on Friday, January 18th and they’ll be performing at the Danforth Music Hall on February 21, with support from Mary Lattimore. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster for just over $40 (incl. fees).

Over the holidays I discovered Kanopy, the free streaming service where all you need to start an account is a library card. One of the movies recommended was Hearts Beat Loud (see trailer above), which was an entertaining story about a father/daughter who gain fame when they record a song in one of their jam sessions, which ends up becoming a viral hit. It stars Nick Offerman and the track’s vocalist, Kiersey Clemons, and there is a lot more to it than I just described, but it’s worth seeing if you’re into quirky comedy.

One of the albums Nick Offerman’s character recommends in the film, as the owner of a record store, is Animal Collective‘s Merriweather Post Pavillion. That album turns 10(!) years old this week, and one of my favourite memories involving them is seeing a bunch of fans dancing to “Brother Sport” during their headlining set at Pitchfork Music Fest in 2011.

Animal collective dancers @ pitchfork 2011
People dancing in the dirt during Animal Collective’s set at Pitchfork Music Festival in 2011.

I found General Crush on the weekly new release playlist on Spotify. “Who is that?” is my first exposure to them, but it’s a pretty good first impression. Looking forward to hearing more.

Blackalicious just announced a show here in Toronto, and they’ll be at Lee’s Palace on March 2nd. We last heard from them in 2015 with Imani Vol. 1. As it was intended to be the first release in a trilogy, perhaps we’ll get to hear some of Vol. 2. Tickets are $23.50 (+ fees) and available at Ticketfly.

I’ve decided I’d like to include a cover with every playlist, and seeing as how David Bowie‘s birthday this week (January 8th), I thought I’d celebrate by including one of my favourites: Warpaint‘s cover of “Ashes to Ashes”.

Golden Daze‘s dreamy sounding new album Simpatico will be released February 15th, via Autumn Tone Records.

Though I’m not a gamer, I was pretty excited to find out that D’Angelo had a new track that appeared in Red Dead Redemption 2. Not holding my breath for a new album anytime soon, but it’s always good to know D’Angelo is still working on something. His last album, Black Messiah was fantastic, and lead single “Ain’t That Easy” was one of my favourites of 2014/2015.

One thing I decided to do last year was to finally start watching Schitt’s Creek. I can proudly say I have caught up (including the holiday episode) and I am looking forward to the new season, which starts tomorrow. One of the loveliest moments in the last season was when Patrick (Noah Reid) serenaded David (Dan Levy) with an acoustic rendition of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best.” I know I said I wanted to have one cover per week, but given the timing, for this week I’ve decided to make it two.

Beliefs‘ Jesse Crowe released her solo project Praisesfirst album In This Year: Ten of Swords at the end of 2018, via Hand Drawn Dracula. Catch her performing her dark, electronic sounds this Friday, January 11th at Baby G. Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased in advance via Ticketfly.

Tallies released a series of singles to finish off 2019, and their anticipated debut album will be released this Friday, January 11th, also via Hand Drawn Dracula. Give it a listen, or check it out live at their album release show at The Drake Underground on February 1st. Tickets are only $13.50 and they’ve still got them at Rotate This and Soundscapes.

Rapport are part of Exclaim’s Class of 2019 series and will be playing on January 25th at The Monarch Tavern. The band are made up of ex-Moon King/Spiral Beach vocalist Maddy Wilde, Kurt Marble and Mike Pereira (Most People). “Unconscious” is the only song they have on their Spotify page, so maybe they’ll just play this song over and over? Only way to find out is to hit up The Monarch to see them (and Ellis!)


After recent opening spots with Big Thief, Whitney, and an upcoming tour with Cass McCombs, Sam Evian seems poised to be on the verge of breaking out. Check them out at The Horseshoe Tavern in support of he aforementioned Cass McCombs on Monday, March 11th. Tickets are $17.50 (+fees) and according to their site, Soundscapes still has them, but Rotate This is sold out. You can also buy them through Ticketfly, and seeing as how they’re selling out you might want to scoop them up sooner, rather than later.

After postponing their gig in September, Cuff the Duke rescheduled their show at The Rivoli for this coming weekend, with not one, but two shows on Friday, Jan. 11th and Saturday, Jan. 12th. Tickets for Friday night are still available at Ticketfly for $20.00 + fees, but Saturday is sold out.

Lastly, I am a vinyl collector, and since Christmas just passed, I was gifted with a copy of TV on the Radio‘s fantastic debut Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes from my wife. I decided to put the song that hooked me on to the band in the first place. Here’s hoping we see something new from them in the coming year.

Photo I took of TV On the Radio. Phoenix Concert Theatre. July 2, 2018.

Be sure to check back next week! And if you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them here, or email at ryan@tunesinto.ca.

Welcome back & Best of 2018

Photo: David Byrne @ The Sony Center. See full set at Live in Limbo

Hello hello.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve used this space for posting anything, but with a new year upon us I’ve decided to start using this space again. I will still be using it for my music photography, but you’ll start to see some more content.

One such thing I’ve decided to add is a weekly playlist. Friends of mine are often asking me for recommendations and playlists, and I am still receiving lots of contact from new bands and publicists that have largely gone unread/listened to (sorry!). I’d like to change that this year and give those new bands/albums a listen, and help promote them in my playlists. Note: If you’re a publicist/in a band, feel free to get in touch!

The rest will be constantly evolving, and I’ll probably try some stuff that won’t work, but your feedback is definitely encouraged.

So, in speaking of playlists, I’ve decided to start the year with a wrap-up of the 30 songs I enjoyed most in 2018. Enjoy, and be sure to get in touch with any suggestions you have that I might have overlooked last year.

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