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#Iwanttodrawyourband does LAZERSUZAN

May 26, 2015

here are a couple drawings I made of LAZERSUZAN last month.

LAZERSUZAN plays tomorrow and every other Wednesday at The Only Cafe on Danforth.

laazersuzan

lazersuzan

#Iwanttodrawyourband does SoFar Sounds Toronto

May 15, 2015

some pencil crayon drawings I made at SoFar Sounds Toronto. this month’s edition featured music from Canadian Music Week.

SoFar Sounds put on secret shows all over the world. to get the location of the shows (which are only released the day before the event), you can sign up for their mailing list in the city of your choosing. musicians remain a secret until the day of.

Tom West

Tom West

josh savage

josh savage

midday swim

midday swim

#Iwanttodrawyourband does TRACK COULD BEND #2

May 7, 2015

Ehab made this picture, and assures me that experimental music shows are an amazing place to do live music drawings.

Track Could Bend - William Davison

Track Could Bend – William Davison

#Iwanttodrawyourband does Feast in the East’s 4thiversary

May 7, 2015

Some drawings Ehab made at Feast in the East’s 4th year anniversary last Saturday.

Feast in the East - Steve Kado

Feast in the East – Steve Kado

Feast in the East -Tasseomancy

Feast in the East -Tasseomancy

Handdrawn Interview #3 with Joe Strutt

May 5, 2015

On Saturday afternoon (which happened to be free comic book day!) Ehab and I sat down with our friend and fellow archivist behind Mechanical Forest Sound, Joe Strutt to talk about his new music series TRACK COULD BEND.The 2nd installment of this series runs TONIGHT 8 PM @ JOHNNY JACKSON.

greetingsfromtoronto: What inspired you to start the series?
JOE: It sort of had been in the back of my mind, the idea of mixing various improvised music scene stuff and rock scene stuff. This sort of happened when I got to do the Long Winter show and things like that. I had a couple of dry runs at it, but I wasn’t really going out of my way to look for it either. It just so happened that I was at Johnny Jackson’s for a gig on Sunday night I got talking to Joel French about this and that when he said “I’m the booker here now, and I’ve got all these nights to fill.” I told him I kind of had this idea of putting musically improvised stuff in bars, and he responded by saying, “Tell me more.” Joel is totally an amazing guy, and this music is totally out of his sweet spot of the sort of music he presents- but he’s been so into it and supportive right from the start. He just basically said, “You’ve got the night, run with it.”
greetingsfromtoronto: How would you describe your series?
JOE: The tagline I used was “improvised music and weird rock offshoots”. I have a mandate to mix things together. Not just styles of music, but also I think we tend to really cloister ourselves in our little scenes. I just happen to be someone who kind of wanders back and forth between a few different scenes. Sometimes you know that there are people who are doing almost identical music, but for various reasons it’s classified differently. There should be more things that brings those people together. And there should be more things that mixes older and younger people together because there’s this sort of myth that if you’re above 31 years old you’re suddenly not worth paying attention to. And there are people of all ages who are doing amazing things that should know about each other. That’s sort of what the idea is- it’s just an idea to try and mix a few things up.
greetingsfromtoronto: Ehab and I were around for your 40th bday show. Was that the first show you’d ever thrown?
JOE: It was.
greetingsfromtoronto: Can you describe the experience of deciding to throw your 1st show at 40? Because I think you’re right, that there is this myth that if you’re not 21 you can’t do anything.
JOE: It was something I was already sort of feeling by then, but I feel like I’m a lot younger now than I was 10 or 15 years ago. One of the things that I’ve thought a lot recently is that age is much less linear than we are led to believe. It was pretty easy for me to do that show because it was just me asking friends. There wasn’t a lot of worry of trying to find people to play. That came together without too much trouble at all. That was fun and easy, remarkably so.
greetingsfromtoronto: Are you still finding it fun and easy?
JOE: Yeah, mostly. Also, I’m sort of deliberately oblivious to some of the harsher realities of it all. I know that anything that I’m going to do isn’t going to be a money maker, so I can tell that to people going in.- and if that doesn’t work for people, that’s cool too. So I don’t have to worry of the hustle end of trying to pay for anything. And on the sort of institutional end- for example, the Transzac. They knew me, they were willing to work with me. Long Winter knew me and were willing to set me up. Joel was just able to say, Yes. Come to the bar and put on this show. All of the back end stuff has been remarkably easy too.
greetingsfromtoronto: Actually, you mentioned something that I wanted to touch on. Which is that you’re kind of famously an amateur. I’m wondering if you can describe what the value is for you, and why you do this.
JOE: The original impetus when I started recording was just that I wanted a recording of the shows I was going to. It was a very narrow thing that was useful to me. As a guy who used to stand at the side of the room arms crossed, standing by myself- having a means where people know me as something is just a useful social icebreaker. In terms of meeting people, it’s been great. Building from that, being part of a community nurtures me. It sounds trite, but it’s the truth.
greetingsfromtoronto: When did you start recording the shows?
JOE: Almost exactly 6 years ago.
greetingsfromtoronto: Would you say you were going to a lot of shows before then?
JOE: There had been a ramping up in the year before I started recording, and once that started there was kind of a bump up again. I started the blog before I started the recording, and the first 4 months are just field notes that I did mostly just for me to remember later. I wasn’t really trying to impress anybody. The sorts of shows that I had been going to were changing in that I was going to a larger number of smaller shows, instead of a smaller number of big shows- which is what I would do when I was younger, in my 20s. Yo La Tengo comes once every 2 years, so you see them when they come to town. I think that’s typical for a lot of people and there’s nothing wrong with that. These are bands that are worth loving and paying attention to, but I just found that I liked going to the smaller shows rather than the bigger shows. Plus you can spend an equal amount to go to 5 shows at the Transzac that you spend to go see 1 show at the Phoenix. In those sorts of terms, it was easy to shift. Once I was recording and getting into that, it definitely made me want to go to more shows.
greetingsfromtoronto: what was it that drew you to experimental music?
JOE: Part of it was simply novelty. With experimental music the novelty of it lasts longer because there’s more chance of something random or different happening. Really it was a long, slow change from not knowing anything about that kind of music to by degrees discovering- that this person does something neat. The ultimate limit of going to small shows is going to experimental music shows because they’re usually the smallest shows of all.
greetingsfromtoronto: What do you think about the Toronto experimental and eclectic music scene. Do you think there’s a good scene there?
JOE: I think so. I don’t have a lot to compare it to, I’m not a world traveler. I sort of have a historical sense that this waxes and wanes- and it’s especially dependent on there being a small number of places willing to put on shows like this. From talking to people I get the sense that 10 years ago there was kind of a peak, and then there was a bit of a trough. Now we’re moving up a bit more into a peak again. It could be Tuesday night, and you’d have your choice of improvisation shows to go to. As always, there’s more of a shortage of audience than there is a shortage of shows and talent.
greetingsfromtoronto: Besides your blog Mechanical Forest Sound which is a great resource for these small eclectic shows, do you have any recommendations for people wanting to dip their toe into the pool?
JOE: Everyone who hasn’t already should join Sound List. It’s an email list that comes out every week, and is a digest of music listings improvised, new music, and experimental, sound art music. It’s not an overwhelming number of shows because you have to submit in advance, but sometimes they list things that aren’t advertised.
greetingsfromtoronto: Do you have any advice for people looking to get into the music scene, but who aren’t musicians?
JOE: Just go and show up and talk to people, even if you feel awkward about talking to people. Go and make an investment in time and show up to the physical space and take it in.
greetingsfromtoronto: I have one last question for you. As a strong proponent of the musically unusual, are there any pop tracks or icons that you secretly admire?
JOE: Current pop trends I really have no clue about but my head is full of all the moderately crappy pop music I grew up with as a kid. I could probably blind karaoke any of the top hits from 1983.

JOE STRUTT

JOE STRUTT

unusual, are there any pop tracks or icons that you secretly admire?
JOE: Current pop trends I really have no clue about but my head is full of all the moderately crappy pop music I grew up with as a kid. I could probably blind karaoke any of the top hits from 1983.

bike porn 4 is BIKE SMUT 8

April 9, 2015

Greetings from Toronto is excited to present our flagship art show Bike Porn, in its 4th year running. The show started as an art party in a friend’s bike shop, and as the years have gone on we’ve hosted and collaborated with some interesting artists including the Naked Me Show, Boy Pussy, #BikeRackTO and Sook Yin Lee & Adam Litovitz’s band JOOJ.

This year rather than hosting our own fete, we decided it would be twice the fun to co-host Bike Smut 8 when it rolls into Toronto for a screening of their DIY erotic bicycle films, created by cyclists for cyclists. The event will take place at Soybomb HQ (156 Bathurst). Doors at 8, Films start at 9, Live Music by Mineta at 11. Greetings from Toronto Collective will be hanging an art show on the walls of the venue for one night only, and all pieces will be for sale. Cover will be $10-$15 sliding scale, but no one will be turned away at the doors for lack of funds.

You can join the event here.

Poster art by Natascha Malta

bike smut 8 poster

#Iwanttodrawyourband does SappyFest

April 1, 2015

Last August Ehab and I took a road trip out to New Brunswick for SappyFest 9. It was an exciting trip to make after listening to Ehab rave about the festival for about a year. For those of you that know, music festivals are Ehab’s #1 travel priority- and he’s traveled all over North America to go to various shows. (We actually met at Yamantaka Sonic Titan Show, although the last ALL CAPS fest was where- at least in my mind, we really solidified our friendship). Ehab’s seen so many shows he makes me look like a slacker, and yet SappyFest in little Sackville, NB seems to be the festival that comes up the most.

If I was unconvinced before leaving on our trip, I certainly came back from my first SappyFest a convert. Everything about the trip seemed idyllic. Even the drive through the foothills of Quebec seemed a treat. We rolled the the windows down, played album after album of folk music, and let the relaxing pace of vacation wash over us.

Sackville is a pretty small place, with the university accounting for much of the town. When SappyFest rolls into town, the population doubles- creating a second festival city of music fans. Since the majority of them come from out of town, it’s safe to say that the festival attracts some pretty dedicated music fans. It certainly wasn’t rare to find a fellow Torontonian in the crowd. But very unlike Toronto (or any other city existing in real rather than festival time), the crowd was very warm and people were eager to make friends even just walking down the street. And with our live music drawing routine, people seemed especially keen to meet us- including many of the bands. One of my favourite moments from the fest was getting asked to show our drawings to Aaron & Leigh from Cousins on the last night of the fest, while The Constantines played the last set on the main stage.

Ehab and I have been talking a lot about our excitement about going back for SappyFest 10 this year- and maybe even tabling some of our band drawings. Last year the fest was running in a slightly leaner form, but the big 10 will see the fest returning to a larger format to celebrate the anniversary. Tickets went on sale last week, and yesterday the festival announced their first round of line-up picks- including PUP, Doldrums, Angel Olson, Speedy Ortiz, & Frog Eyes.

Check out these drawings from last year, including some drawings of Les Breastfeeders & Muscadettes (we stopped in La Belle Province along the way for a show at Quebec City’s Le Cercle). We’ll be counting down the days til July 31.

Sappy10-Web

Muscadettes EHAB

Muscadettes EHAB

Muscadettes TASCHA

Muscadettes TASCHA

Les Breastfeeders TASCHA

Les Breastfeeders TASCHA

Les Breastfeeders EHAB

Les Breastfeeders EHAB

XXX CLVR EHAB

XXX CLVR EHAB

wet denim TASCHA

wet denim TASCHA

Weather Station TASCHA

Weather Station TASCHA

Weather Station EHAB

Weather Station EHAB

Rae Spoon TASCHA

Rae Spoon TASCHA

Rae Spoon EHAB

Rae Spoon EHAB

PS I LOVE YOU collab

PS I LOVE YOU collab

Olympic Symphonium TASCHA

Olympic Symphonium TASCHA

Olympic Symphonium EHAB

Olympic Symphonium EHAB

Motherhood TASCHA

Motherhood TASCHA

Motherhood EHAB

Motherhood EHAB

Moon collab

Moon collab

COUSINS collab

COUSINS collab

Basia Bulat TASCHA

Basia Bulat TASCHA

Basia Bulat EHAB

Basia Bulat EHAB

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