BamBoo co-owner Patti Habib is not very happy about the way she and partner Richard O'Brien lost control of the business to club entrepreneur Charles Khabouth in last week's deal.
When the landlord informed her that she had 90 days' notice, she had already been looking for a buyer for the business and had hoped to make a little money off the sale.
"I had the business up for sale. When somebody goes in the back door so they don't have to pay anything to the existing owners, it's up to them if they can live with it."
That somebody, Khabouth, is the proprietor of high-profile Toronto clubs like the Guvernment and Kool Haus. He says he's feeling caught in the middle of a sour business deal.
"I didn't pursue the space. The building owners found me," he explains. "The first time they approached me I turned them down."
Abe Birnbaum, one of the building owners, says he's sorry if Habib is angry with his plans, but business is business.
"Patti and Richard were great tenants, and I wish them the best. She indicated a year ago that she wanted to leave, and we were willing to do whatever we could to help her sell the business. But her lease was up October 31 and she hadn't found anyone."
For his part, Khabouth doesn't think the place will change too much.
"I hope to maintain the dining and entertainment, to create a sophisticated yet casual room. I'm not coming in to disrupt things. I'm a team player, and not planning on buying up the block."
tchort break up
Midway through the recording of Tchort's new album, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Salvation, at Chemical Sound, the members of Toronto's metal maniacs decided to call it quits. According to guitarist Nick Sewell, it was a mutual agreement to stop playing together as Tchort.
"During the recording sessions with Ian Blurton, it became clear that Eric (singer Eric Coucke) wasn't happy with the direction we were moving in. Last Tuesday Eric said, 'I'm not into this new record,' and we all looked at each other and knew that was it. By Friday we reached a decision to end it.
"We're all still friends. I know Eric has been jamming with a couple of different people. The rest of us will continue as a three-piece and carry over the songs we've been working on to our new project, the Illuminatti."
Although Tchort are known for their elaborate flashpot-enhanced stage productions, Sewell says they have nothing outrageous planned for their final gig tonight (Thursday, August 29) at Lee's Palace.
"We wanted to focus on the music we've made over the years. So apart from the usual pyro effects, I don't think there'll be any giant exploding robots involved. But I'm not sure what Eric has in mind. You never know."
august 23, saukrates
K-OS was chilling in the crowd. Maestro stood backstage contemplating the situation, while the Monolith crew paced at the back of the sold-out Comfort Zone. All around, hiphop headz from across the GTA waited impatiently for the return of Saukrates.
Despite the scheduled 11 pm start, Big Socko kept 'em waiting as DJ Muziklee Inzane played cuts from the early 90s. Finally, at 12:45, Saukrates took the stage to wild roars.
The Toronto rapper appeared to be genuinely moved, shouting, "This is why T.O. is the best place to play," before breaking into new material from his forthcoming Def Jam release that indicates Saukrates is moving in a more commercial direction. Fellow circle member Choclair appeared briefly for a rendition of Let's Ride, while Mr. Roam added backing vocals to Money Or Love and Ps And Qs.
However, the big surprise was the duo of DJ Dopey and Boston drummer E3 -- serving as Saukrates's "band" -- whose impromptu battle was the highlight of the night.
august 25, mary timony
Knowing Mary Timony's fascination with faeries and spirits, you'd think the former voice of Helium would have a little luck on her side. Alas, it was all bad as poor Timony and her entourage got held up at the border mere hours before they were supposed to be onstage for Sunday night's hottest ticket in town, the sold-out Le Tigre show at the Opera House. The delayed band kept a crowd of alt-fashionista kids waiting and sweating, crammed in like sardines, for close to an hour after the planned start time. Outside, the lineup stretched all the way down the block and down a side street as bouncers turned away hundreds of disappointed Tigre fans.
When Timony finally stumbled onstage, she looked scattered and a bit frazzled while lurching haltingly through a short set of fantastical Renaissance-Fair-meets-Lollapalooza tunes, backed only by a cellist and singing in a shaky, ethereal voice. The crowd seemed bored, and Timony had to deal with the annoyance of a sound dude who couldn't understand why her cellist needed a live mike.
The sound was amazing by the time Le Tigre roared through their resplendent set. While this show lacked the freshness of last year's gig at Lee's Palace, Kathleen Hanna, Johanna Fateman and J.D. Samson didn't drop the ball for a moment, leading the crowd in choreographed routines and manic sing-alongs, providing constant commentary and kicking ass left, right and centre. Hanna entertained with witty anecdotes, although she seemed a bit distracted by the turnout. It didn't help that a few rogue fans snuck backstage post-show and "upset" the band. Damn those radical feminist groupies!