july 11, archer prewitt
Whatever it was that got into Archer Prewitt before his return to the Horseshoe opening for Josh Rouse last Thursday, he should keep doing it. Leaving behind the overly precious happy-sappy versions of the songs from his current Three (Thrill Jockey) disc, Prewitt and company kicked up the excitement level a few notches and rocked out. By the end of his set, the terminally sedate Prewitt was actually seen wiping some perspiration from his brow. Apparently, Ripley's was called, but they must've deemed the tip too outlandish to bother following up.
july 13, legends of ska
To ska fanatics flying in from Dallas and New York for last weekend's monumental Legends of Ska summit at the Palais Royale, the decision of promoter Brad Klein to stage and film the event in Toronto over, say, London, England or Kingston, Jamaica, seemed a bit perplexing. However, when leather-clad headliner Prince Buster tore into Wash Wash, sending the whole crowd into a stomping frenzy while the cushioned floor bounced to the giddy-up beat, the choice of venue made perfect sense. Really, where else but Toronto could you pack a sweltering club with booze flowing on a Saturday night and see elderly islanders skanking alongside rambunctious young two-tone rudies and the entertainers themselves - having nothing but a good time.
upcoming, emm gryner
Tireless local über-indie supergirl and former Bowie backup singer Emm Gryner returns from Cali to launch her newest disc, Asian Blue (Dead Daisy Records). After feeling the sting of the music biz as a major-label merger casualty, Gryner's become a whiz at self-sufficiency and self-promotion - the new album is entirely self- and fan-funded. This time around, she adds a bit of edge to her usual sweet piano 'n' guitar rock sound with shuffly breakbeats and ambient Wurlitzers. Check out the intimate all-ages acoustic show Tuesday (July 23), 9 pm, at the Top o' the Senator (249 Victoria).