Thu, Aug 2
Bar blanket bingo
Sporting a snazzy Hawaiian shirt, I headed to the appropriately named College Street Bar to kick off my long weekend in the clubs with the surfalicious music of the Eradicators. Quentin Tarantino would love them. The Toronto-based band's rolling sounds took me back to my days in Hollywood working as an extra in Elvis Presley beach movies.... Wait, I never did that.
But these guys were so solid that while standing in the middle of an intimate crowd on this scorcher of an evening, I was convinced I'd done some background work in 1963's Fun In Acapulco, or even Clambake.
Fri, Aug 3
Hiphop hat trick
Friday night I hopped into my 2007 GL-Class Mercedez Benz SUV (with 22-inch ADR chrome rims) and headed to the Drake Underground for the third anniversary of hiphop shindig Never Forgive Action, thrown by DJ Dalia, Noel Dix and Scarberian rapper More or Les. For this edition, Les was back in town from his new base, Montreal. Apropos of an anniversary, there was a warm vibe all night while classic rap video projections played over floor-packing golden-era oldies.
You might be thinking, "Damn, son, I wish I'd known about that shit before." Well, get ready for a class 5 news storm heading directly to yo' dome, baby: tonight (Thursday, August 9), the same trusty crew presents another surefire rap-love event, HipHop Karaoke at the Boat (158 Augusta, 416-593-9218).
Again, that's happening tonight, so if you're reading this on Thursday at 8:45 pm, you'd better rush your ass to the Boat immediately with a crispy big-face Laurier bank note ($5 cover), cuz sign-up starts at 9 and showtime's at 10, word is bond. What, you don't want to witness people who shouldn't be rapping trying very hard to bust some G.O.D. Part 3 or 93 'Til Infinity?
Check HHKtoronto.com for more deets, rhymes and life.
Sun, Aug 5
After leaving work around 1 am, I zipped to the Mod Club, home to the after-party for reclusive French electronic producers Daft Punk, who'd played Arrow Hall earlier that night. A long shot, sure, but I thought I might be able to work my way in by telling them I was reviewing it, or maybe buy a ticket at the door. It was to no avail - the place was rammed to the molars, everyone craning to catch DJ sets by DP show openers the Rapture. Rumour had it Daft Punk might make cameos.
Finally accepting that there was no chance in hell of entry, I set off toward home through the alley behind the Mod Club.
Suddenly, a door at the back of the club flew open and a managerial type stepped out. Then a gaggle of 10 or so very Euro alpha hipsters rounded the corner, all speaking rapid French. Two guys appeared to be the leaders; both had long hair, and one sported a shiny yellow leather jacket while the other wore sunglasses.
"Is that them?" I quietly asked a girl at the group's fringe. She nodded. Now I was pretending to be part of Daft Punk's crew.
"Don't even think about it," the manager guy immediately snapped.
So I smiled and said, "Oh no, it's okay. This is my posse. They're here with me. It's okay, guys."
He wasn't convinced. I probably should've attempted French, but it likely wouldn't've mattered. With my bookish glasses and coffee-stained white shirt, I looked like I was there to fix the Internet connection, not hang with the band.
"Don't even think about it," he repeated.
"Who are you?" I asked politely. The question blew him away.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Jason. You?"
Long pause. "I'm Tony."
Well, now we were getting somewhere. I was about to ask Tony if I could come in to write about the event for this column when a breathless security guard burst out and corralled the manager to handle an emergency in the basement. The two ran off as the door slammed shut behind them.