Upcoming, Afrofest 2004, July 10 and 11
Get your ass down to hot, hazy Queen's Park to peep Afrofest 2004. It's the 16th year Music Africa's putting it on, it's free and it boasts some real legit flavas of groups from points across the Motherland. Here, just check some of the people who are playing: Zambia's Sakala Brothers , H'Sao from Chad and Ethiopia's Neway Debebe . And this is just the tip of the cultural berg.
This year is the 10th anniversary of South African independence, so Sophiatown jazz great Thandie Klaasen performs with her daughter Lorraine . And to experience the power of an authentic griot, be there for Mali's Mansa Sissoko .
We've been at Afrofest for the last two summers, and it's an uplifting time - culturally rich with a breezy, laid-back vibe, lots of good food (emphasis on corn on the cob) and hammock action.
Upcoming, Animal Monster with Asstek, Dominik, Knifehandchop, C64, July 9
In an attempt to further align the already close youth electronic circuit, long-time future-music night Altered Beats welcomes 21-year-old electronicist Knifehandchop back to Toronto and lets respected DJs c64 and Dominik spin at the Friday (July 9) show at Thymeless . The ace in the hole, however, is Alex Snukal 's Animal Monster , a half-improvised project that the young Torontonian has concocted wherein he creates electronic tunes in minutes, layering melody upon melody utilizing a variety of noisemakers of both antique and current technologies.
He currently has a split EP with Domaine D'Or and his own CD, both out on the local blocksblocksblocks imprint.
Bush League, Dentonia Park, July 1
God had some fun recently and set all the chips in place so that bassless psych-blues quartet Bush League could play a show at an outdoor Bengali music festival in Scarborough's Dentonia Park . Guitarist Daniel Vila explained how it all went down in a missive on the 20hz message boards. "We were taking a cab ride with our gear a few months ago, and our cabbie, Mohammed, asked us if we were in a band. We said yes. We got to talking about Bengali music, and he initially presumed we were a Bengali band, although I don't know why. We then told him we were a rock band. He told us he was part of the South Asian Cultural Association , that he was organizing a concert and that we must play said concert. We couldn't say no."
Although they didn't attract a huge crowd to the performance, the band was given a lengthy, bilingual and respectful introduction before they launched into their confrontational nutty blues-rock, leaving small children covering their ears and the Bengali community nonplused overall, stonefaced even when singer Darren Pelcz jumped offstage and ran as far away as he could from the show.
The ambivalence saddened BL guitarist Zak Hanna . "They were so nice to us - they bought dinner for us and all our friends."