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Including What's In The Box fest at the Drake, Polar Bear Skate, Jerk, Nathan Micay, Brandon Ash Mohammed and a Toronto-set shape-shifting thriller
What’s In The Box
We might’ve entered a weird space-time vortex mostly consumed by binge-watching and leftover-eating, but the week between Christmas and New Year’s isn’t totally devoid of live music. The Drake’s What’s In The Box festival reliably offers strong lineups throughout the week. It starts tonight (December 27) with an excellent Yes Yes Y’all-curated lineup – featuring underground New York R&B star Ian Isiah, Queens rapper Dai Burger and Toronto artists LA Timpa and Sydanie – and then continues tomorrow (December 28) with an “art party” called Warholkids Lovehouse. Kinshasa-born Toronto MC Keynes Woods headlines on Saturday (December 29), and Sunday night is billed as “indie rock” night, but it’s closer to a punk show vibe. Local favourites Teenanger headline a lineup that also includes dark-gazers Vallens and Montreal DIY power trio Lonely Parade.
Thursday-Sunday (December 27-30) at the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen West). $5 each show, $20 festival pass. thedrake.electrostub.com
The Berlin-based Toronto DJ/producer formerly known as Bwana caps off a banner year full of strong singles (including a trance-y Gordon Lightfoot rework) with a rare hometown set.
December 28. Bambi’s. 10 pm. $10.30-$15.45. universe.com.
Director Justin McConnell’s Toronto-set shape-shifting thriller hits cinemas.
Opens December 28. See review.
NYC DJs Venus X and Uproot spin eclectic club sounds at the winter edition of Bambii’s popular party.
December 28. Velvet Underground. Doors 9:30 pm. $5-$10. Facebook.com.
Lowest of the Low
Toronto 80s indie heroes led by Ron Hawkins hit Lee’s Palace before recording album number eight.
December 29. Doors 8:30 pm. $30. ticketfly.com, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com.
Polar Bear Skate
Strip to your skivvies and skate figure eights around the Bentway.
December 30. 250 Fort York. 1:30-3 pm. Pre-register at thebentway.ca.
Brandon Ash Mohammed
One of our breakthrough stage artists of 2018 does a stand-up set at feminist comedy night Crimson Wave’s final show of the year.
December 30. Comedy Bar. 9:30-11 pm. $8. comedybar.ca.
Bed & Breakfast
The Princess And The Pea gets a feminist retelling in this family-friendly puppet play.
To December 30. Tarragon Theatre. Fri-Sun 2 pm plus Sat 7 pm. $20-$25. tarragontheatre.com.
Aurora Winter Festival
Last chance to catch the LED wonderland on Ontario Place’s East Island.
To December 30. 4-10 pm. $15-$20/family pass $60. aurorawinterfestival.com.