This week, we encourage you to vogue, amongst other things.
Thursday: Wavelength x Silent Shout
Various acts. Wicked Club (a.k.a. Play), 1032 Queen St. W. Doors at 9 p.m. $7.
I always thought of Play, the new bar/club/whatever beside (underneath?) sex club Wicked, as this place you shouldn’t bother going because it’s all DJs you don’t care about and nights that amount to nothing. But, in a surprise programming note, Wavelength and synth concert series Silent Shout are teaming up for a night that should be worth remembering—“an evening of curvy electronic dance music and sensory stimulation.” Proof: the line-up. Look for Beta Frontiers (“pure crystal electro-pop”), Prince Innocence (“silk and diamonds”), goth dance from Blank Capsule, and Boy Bitch (“campy, pouty, catchy”). Find out more here.
Saturday: House of Nuance “Parliament is Burning”
The Winchester Kitchen, 51A Winchester St. Doors at 9 p.m. $5.
Remember when we explored the rise (and rise) of Toronto’s drag-ball culture late last year? “We’re working on becoming a ballroom house to be reckoned with,” Charmed Monroe of the House of Monroe, Toronto’s only ball house, told me. “But we want another house or two to come up in Toronto. Then it’s a battle.” Well, the time has come. On Saturday, there’s a new ball in town, from the newly minted House Of Nuance, headed by Father Titus Nuance and Mother Trouble Nuance, proverbial figureheads of the group of walkers and voguers. Categories, where participants compete for prizes (sometimes $$$), include “Runway” (“bring it in our House colours red, black or white and give us your runway walk”), “Face” (“Present your face to the judges showing your flawless skin, your white teeth, full lips, structure and winning smile”), and “Hairography” (“Whip it, dip it, swing it, flick it. We’re looking for a bitch who can werk her hair.”), among others. DJ John Caffery will spin (nu-)disco beats. (And, yes, it’s all inspired by the current cultural revival of the documentary Paris is Burning.) Find out more here.
Sunday: Music Night at Mây
Various acts. Mây, 876 Dundas St. W. Doors at 9 p.m. $5.
Presented by Tad Michalak, one-half of the boys behind Feast in the East, and Eastern Promises, comes a Sunday chill night of music. And it’s at the Mây, this old-new Vietnamese joint near Bathurst that got refurbished/rebranded a few months ago. Look for: Gay (“’60s throwback garage-rock group), The Walls are Blonde (“lo-fi psych folk collective”); Jamaican Queens (“a Detroit freak pop band”); and Andrew Heule (“local new wave, synth pop weirdo”); and CHILD BITE (also from Detroit, bringing “soul spazz punk”). Find out more here.
Wednesday: Toronto Design Offsite Festival Opening Party
Featuring DJ Joe Blow. Lightform, 267 Niagara St. Doors at 8 p.m. Free.
Now in its third year, the Toronto Design Offsite Festival [http://todesignoffsite.com/] “will show the best in Canadian design at over 40 exhibitions and events across the city, from unexpected prototypes to immersive installations.” The team held a preview jam last year to build momentum for the show, which runs from January 21 to 27, and now it’s time for the big shindig. Head to Lightform to rub shoulders with local designers and industry types that may prove to be helpful for the aspiring, and—natch—experience a selection of special installations, including work by ceramicist Grace Eunmi Lee, artist Xiaojing Yan and multimedia artist and photographer, Gwen Lim-Brydson. Find out more here.
Wednesday: Heart & Strokes
Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St. Doors at 10 p.m. Free.
Once you’re done being all cultural and stuffs, go seek some debauchery at the inaugural edition of Heart & Strokes, a new dance night where I gather nothing is (musically) off-limits. It’s headed in part by everyone’s love-to-hate-to-love Dirty 30-er Brock McLaughlin and his crooner pal, Morgan Cameron Ross (who has an EP called Bathurst + College so I automatically like him). It’s all going down at Monarch Tavern, which is usually home to the best karaoke. Look for: a photo booth, pinball, billiard tables, and $4 shots of Jack (or $8 for a beer too). And if it can’t get anymore bourgeois, car/taxi service UBER is offering new riders $20 off their first black car to or from this jam. Find out more here.