The haphazardly Photoshopped posters for Return To Toronto (a new jam at the Drake Hotel Underground spearheaded by prolific spinnas Mikey Apples , Will Munro and Play De Record runner Dee Jay Nav ) looked strikingly similar to those for the long-running Return To New York party series.
Yup, last Friday's successful throwdown took a not-so-subtle shot at the decidedly more insecure AD/D -presented night -- which just last week treated the town to a set spun by Joel Madden of Maryland-based pop punks Good Charlotte . (Awesome! Who's next? Please, say Fall Out Boy!)
Upon arrival we were greeted by moderate dance-floor activity, but within minutes the crowd had doubled -- no doubt egged on by the crowd-seducing tunes ( MSTRKRFT were playing upon arrival). The Drake night's popularity could be interpreted as a city-wide reaction to R2NY's charmless and pretentious nights.
A few doors east sits the minimal and intimate Lot 16 , where Bryen Dunn of Triple-X Productions played some hot dancehall, working a bar so packed that you had to squeeze past people to move around.
Shit celebrates number two
Two years is a long time in a city of a million parties, so the unforgettably named DJ Shit La Merde should be patted on the back for banging out his eponymous scene-nucleus of an event month after month for months. An anniversary party celebrated the event Saturday night at Sneaky Dee's . The place was packed with twisted clubgoers (two girls wore shirts that read, "I Kill Bitches," and there were party hats and fuzzy pink tiaras and laughter and merriment and Daft Punk).
In the past, Shit La Merde has gone above the just-DJ format, hosting bands like Crystal Castles and Holy Fuck. Though not performing that night, quintessential scenester DFA 1979 (RIP) and MSTRKRFT producer Al-P was spotted outside. Next Shit La Merde night happens October 27 at Sneaky Dee's.
Then we spilled into the Boat for Zoi Zoi , a night of French pop music run by Montreal-spawned DJs Mimi and Soju that's been running for about a year. On October 21, it's holding its own official anniversary partay. Mimi promises guest DJs for that event, which you really can't resist, and you know it. The active DJ will also be doing a glam/bubble-gum dance party night called Va Va Va Voom at Rancho Relaxo on Friday, November 3.
Honour the Sabbath
Haven't enjoyed a quality giggle in ages? Thank heavens every Sunday there's a cure -- the sweet, creamy medicine of constant chuckles -- at the Rivoli back room's Laugh Sabbath , a hilarious pillar of Toronto's alternative comedy scene.
Organized largely by comedian Chris Locke , the night is sponsored by Sugar Mountain (read free candy) and usually features a band. On Sunday, the sweet sounds of the Patients capped a roller-coaster ride of mirth and discomfort set off by Nick Flanagan (whom you can catch at his own Drake Hotel-based Joke Club), and an interview between Graham Wagner and Mike Balazo . Awesome big-name local comedians like Levi MacDougall and Katie Crown were there just hanging out. I guess In Touch magazine is right -- stars: they are just like us!
On Sunday (October 1), Chris will be all upside your head for an edition of Laugh Sabbath subtitled Let's Get Hot! featuring an assortment of amazing comedians.
Hauled my split sides up to Wavelength at Sneaky Dee's to catch the final performers of the X Avant festival, which starred alt-jazz vanguardist Joe McPhee at the Music Gallery the night before. New York-based Dirty Projectors , who classify themselves on Myspace as "2-step/Nu-Jazz/regional Mexican," were playing a hypnotic set of mellow, syncopated indie blues.
Designer, Still Camera Video Festival co-founder and all-around troublemaker Jon McCurley broke it all down for me after: apparently Projectors singer/songwriter Dave Longstreth was doing Black Flag covers from memory.