august 16, danko jones>
Local punk rock threat Danko Jones got the thrill of a lifetime Friday opening for the Rolling Stones at their pre-tour Palais Royale warm-up gig. Group bassist John Calabrese, who took the unexpected call offering Danko Jones the gig, was still on cloud nine days later.
"We were staying at this cheap motel in Sault Ste. Marie getting ready to drive to a show in North Bay when someone from Clear Channel called to ask if we'd be interested in opening for the Rolling Stones in Toronto. Of course I said yes. But it took me about 30 minutes to find the other members of the band.
"I told them, 'We've got a show Friday in Toronto.' And they were, like, 'Oh, man, you mean we gotta drive all the way from North Bay?'
"'Yeah,' I said, 'but since we'll be opening for the Rolling Stones, I told 'em we could make it!'
"The whole experience was awesome. I mean, just watching the Stones do their sound check with 30 people in the room was amazing. Then we got to watch the show from the side of the stage, along with Kate Hudson and Dennis Quaid. Sharon Stone was standing in front of me, for god's sake. It was incredible.
"When we finished our set, Liv Tyler came up to me and said she thought we were great -- Liv Tyler! The whole thing was too surreal."
august 17, the soundtrack of our lives
After playing a brief but stellar set earlier in the day, opening for Oasis at the Molson Amphitheatre Saturday, Sweden's Soundtrack of Our Lives were well revved for their Horseshoe gig. But when guitarists Ian Person and Mattias Bärjed spied a shaded Liam Gallagher in the wings, they went into overdrive trying to outdo each other with more ridiculous back-arching and leg-thrusting guitar star poses. Yet try as they might, they couldn't get a grin out of the sullen Oasis singer.
No such trouble with brother Noel Gallagher, however, who, interestingly, appeared the moment his sibling rival vanished. The way Noel was joyously bouncing around by the side of the stage, you'd think he'd just scored an FA cup winner for Manchester City.
And to think some people laugh when Soundtrack's bearded frontman, Ebbot Lundberg, tells people the Gallaghers like his band more than their own.
august 17, blackalicious
Despite suffering from the flu Saturday night, Blackalicious rapper Gift of Gab, alongside Blackalicious beatmaster Chief Xcel and Latyrx member Lateef the Truth Speaker, fired off lyrical salvos at jaw-dropping speed before a raucous Opera House crowd. The self-styled "Rap Technician" wowed all by freestyling, rhyming off the entire alphabet and then going to work on the periodic table with Chemical Calisthenics. Now that's sick.
When two kickass chicks, Stephanie Silverman and Kiera Ormut-Fleishman, got pissed off at the lack of support for women in the local punk/ska scene, they did something about it. The result is the scene-based zine Dollfazed Industries, which has grown into a cool multimedia concept that until recently involved a cyber-radio station in addition to zines and swag. Now the rude girls are taking it to the next level with this Sunday's (August 25) Dollfest, a two-part celebratory extravaganza at Zen Lounge (526 Queen West) featuring Bedouin Soundclash, Dead Letter Dept., Maximum RNB and others, in addition to spoken-word types, DJs Action and North and a zine/record party.