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 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

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