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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 AmphitheatreBudweiser 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.
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 & Soundscapeshave 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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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 Praises‘ first 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.
Talliesreleased 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.
Rapportare 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.
Be sure to check back next week! And if you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them here, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.