My Toronto: catl.

In My Toronto, we ask local musicians to discuss the hometown artists, institutions, and phenomena that have had a profound influence on their work. In this edition, blues belters catl.—a.k.a. Jamie Fleming and Sarah Kirkpatrick—show us where one can enjoy the most down-home Toronto experience.

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Five things you missed at The National concert

Review: The National at Massey Hall, April 10

The last time I sat in this row at Massey Hall, at the back of the main floor where the balcony hangs just overhead, I was watching The National. That was back in 2010, when the Ohio band was touring its critically acclaimed High Violet. Singer Matt Berninger went weaving through the crowd for the encore, and he ended up standing on the back of the seat in front of me, grasping for the balcony above, seemingly intent on climbing up to the next level of the hall. I remember his belt buckle was exactly in my eye line, the zipper of his pants inches from my face as he sang “Mr. November.” All around me, girls who had been swooning for the past hour were struck silent, still. None of them screamed his name, or reached out to grab him. Never mind his crotch, they didn’t touch his legs, or his arms even. I remember what I thought then (besides, “this is kind of awkward”): If a band’s female fanbase is presented with a lead singer within arm’s reach and doesn’t want to touch him, is it still rock ‘n’ roll?

Fast forward to last night for the first of three sold-out shows for The National at Massey Hall, part of a world tour in support of 2013′s Trouble Will Find Me, a beautiful piece of work that has firmly established the group as the princes of the indie-rock kingdom. What has changed? Besides a few more million albums downloaded and Berninger’s beard growth? Not that much, it seems. Here are five things you missed at last night’s show.

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Ones to Watch: April 2014

Our monthly round-up of Toronto talents making big moves in the weeks ahead. Here’s a look at who’s currently creating buzz, and why.

Who: Teenage Kicks

What: After building a loyal local following over the past two years with a couple of EPs and honing their live act to arena-ready specifications, brothers Peter and Jeff van Helvoort drop their initially shelved, eventually rebooted full-length debut.

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The April guide to music

A day-by-day run-down of the month’s must-see concerts (and other amusements).

1. Spend your afternoon at Union Station’s Great Hall to hear Toronto Symphony Orchestra cellist Joseph Johnson perform Albinoni’s Adagio at 4:30 p.m. as part of a series of unexpected concerts. We’re aware this sort of sounds like an April Fools’ Day joke; it’s not.

2. Get lost in James Vincent McMorrow’s Bon Iver-like wall of sound when he plays the Danforth Music Hall with Victoria’s Aidan Knight.

3. Speaking of sound—Sweden’s The Sounds bring their high-voltage pop-rock to the Hoxton.

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The ultimate 2014 Toronto music-festival guide (so far)

Not so long ago, Toronto music enthusiasts had to haul ass to California or Chicago or Montreal or England to enjoy a proper, multi-day, fun-in-the-sun festival experience. Now, they just need a Metropass.

Ramping up the momentum of recent years, the 2014 Toronto sunny-season concert calendar is already stacked with star-studded, super-sized outdoor events. But with this embarrassment of riches comes some difficult decisions about where to direct your limited discretionary income (assuming you also need to spend money on things like rent, food, and clothing). Use this guide to help you with your choices. But act fast: Even though we’re still wearing parkas to work, some of these events are already close to selling out.

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More big changes at 102.1 the Edge

After recently relaunching its Sunday-afternoon programming block as a retro-’80s nostalgia trip, local alternative-rock outpost 102.1 the Edge is still tinkering with its line-up in the post-Blundell era.

Today, the station revealed the team that will replace the recently turfed morning man in the 5:30-10 a.m. weekday slot: Q107 exile Dominik Diamond, Edge veteran Josie Dye, and comedian Greg Beharrel (who currently works an evening shift at the station). The shake-ups continue throughout the daily schedule: Picking up midday (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) host duties will be returning Edge personality Carlos Benevides, while Fearless Fred‘s afternoon drive-time show (2-7 p.m.) will now feature sidekick Melani “Mel” Mariani. And long-time weekend man Adam Ricard will take over the 7 p.m.-midnight slot on weekdays.

The new line-up takes effect on Monday, March 31.

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5 reasons why Foundry is a party like no other in Toronto

Starting tonight, Foundry will begin its second run in Toronto as the city’s go-to underground electronic festival. For every Friday and Saturday night from now until April 5, Foundry will showcase a different electronic artist from around the world. Here are five reasons to believe Foundry will provide a different kind of party experience than what you’ll typically find in Toronto throughout the year.—Eric Stober

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Toronto gets “Happy”

Just because it’s -17°C out doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun, right? The folks behind Flip—a game show on TVO’s French affiliate, TFO—have produced this wintry Toronto version of Pharrell Williams’ L.A.-spanning video, “Happy,” with locals hotstepping their way across the CityPlace bridge, through the Distillery District, and around Casa Loma, among many other points of interest. That said, given the weather, we’re not entirely sure if these people are dancing, or just shivering violently. (Via @metromorning)

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Where’s the fire?

It’s no secret that when a band achieves massive pop success, a sea of imitators follow in its wake. Arcade Fire is no exception. We’ve assessed some of the acts who’ve put their own spin on the Montrealers’ winning formula.

 

Arcade Fire play the Air Canada Centre (40 Bay St.) on March 13.

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Ones to Watch: March 2014

Our monthly round-up of Toronto talents making big moves in the weeks ahead. Here’s a look at who’s currently creating buzz, and why.

 

Who: Weaves

What: Ex-RatTail and Sweet Thing members team up to bend genres, release debut EP.

Why: When the musical movers and shakers of Wavelength interviewed Weaves before the four-piece played last month’s FOURTEEN festival, they sonically “filed” the band next to METZ, Hooded Fang and… Rihanna? If that sounds impossible, have a listen. Toronto’s Weaves has the fuzzed-out garage-rock volume and lo-fi eccentricity of its local contemporaries and, yep, thanks to the soulfully soaring vocals of former RatTail frontwoman Jasmyn Burke (who shares songwriting duties with ex-Sweet Thing member/guitarist Morgan Waters), its fair share of R&B swagger. As their early output attests (see the groovy rocker “Motorcycle” and lethargic single “Buttercup”), the group has a knack for carving infectious melodies and searing riffs into unusual, ever-changing soundscapes. Stay tuned over the next month as more details about the band’s debut release trickle out.

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