ELLIOTT BROOD at the Dakota (249 Ossington), Wednesday and Thursday (January 30-31), doors 9 pm. $20. TB. See listing.
On December 31, when Elliott Brood should've been counting down to midnight as part of their annual New Year's celebration at Lee's Palace, singer/multi-instrumentalist Casey Laforet and his wife stumbled into the group's biggest publicity coup to date: their first child was born precisely at midnight at St. Michael's Hospital, making him Toronto's first baby of 2013.
"My band gets a certain amount of publicity, but this kid has had a lot more," says Laforet, who saw his family's picture on the front page of the Toronto Star when he stepped out of the hospital for a coffee on January 2.
"The hospital had asked if the newspaper could come in and take a picture and do an interview, and we said, ‘Of course, sure, no problem,' but it was crazy," he says. "We got whisked into this press junket, and it was like being LeBron James announcing which team he was going to or something. There was even a Chinese paper there with a translator."
Wynn Christopher Laforet is Elliott Brood's fifth band baby; singer and multi-instrumentalist Mark Sasso has two kids already, as does drummer Stephen Pitkin. "When Mark was having his first child three years ago, I thought our band was done," says Laforet, "but it only made him work harder and get better at what he does."
Being dads doesn't put an end to touring for the group, which heads to Europe in a few weeks, but it does mean more strategic planning. They're also currently working on a follow-up to their third album, 2011's Days Into Years (Paper Bag).
Meanwhile, Laforet is already trying to steer Wynn toward some of his favourite artists, like Neil Young and the Band. So far, he isn't having much luck. "He hates my music," says Laforet. "I think he might be a hip-hopper. He seems to like the beats more than lap steel.
"I like the idea of his growing up in a household of music," he adds, relating his fantasy of Wynn and the other Elliott Brood kids covering their songs Sadies-style 15 years down the road.
At their two-night Dakota stint, will the alt-country band somehow make reference to their missed NYE gig?
"You know what? That's not a bad idea. We have a New Year's countdown board, and that would be pretty funny to do."