This week’s best parties include the Live in Bellwoods NXNE day-jam, a massive BBQ on Manning Avenue, and Boylesque T.O.‘s O MANADA!
Thursday-Sunday: Live in Bellwoods’ Great Heart Festival 2012
Various artists. Trinity Bellwoods Park. Free. Starts daily at 2:15 p.m.
It seems the only things worth doing during NXNE happen during the day. Yeah, it’s that time when Toronto gets all music-like for a week(end), and you risk ending up at some shitty venue after midnight listening to a band your friend’s friend promised would be good even though their catalogue doesn’t extend beyond MySpace. And as we get closer to Sunday’s MMVAs, you just want to avoid the weekend altogether. Anyway. So I’m picking what is/sounds the best. Introducing the Great Heart Festival (alias: Live in Bellwoods), a series of outdoor, free, all-ages concerts organized by Humble Empire and Young Lions Music Club. It’s year one of their re-branding, and it’s a fun tradition you can get behind. Until Sunday, catch five musical acts start at 2:15 p.m. performing al fresco and unplugged, with talent from Melbourne to L.A. to London, UK. And T.O, duh. Find the full line-up here, and watch a clip from last year below. Dreamz.
Friday: 4th Annual 159 Manning BBQ
Various acts. 159 Manning Avenue. $30, available at Rotate This. Doors at 1 p.m.
Apparently no one can master FOMO better than Tim McCready, the sound hancho at Parts & Labour and audience gatekeeper on Strombo’s show. He’s hosting the fourth instalment of his big (unofficial) NXNE party, and, well, if you’re not going to go big, just go home—or to McCready’s home. What makes the idea of getting day drunk so good is his secret lineup, which isn’t revealed until the morning—when it’s too late and you miss out. (Past acts have included Buck 65 and Rich Aucoin.) Look for: 10 musical acts, four DJs on three stages, two readers, two x 100lb pigs on a spit (with veg options), and one shock-jock MC courtesy of MRCH. $30 gets you in and gets you food. BYOB. Come all day, wander the grounds, or stop by post-grind. Tickets are available at Rotate This, and a limited number are at the door. Find out about the fun here.
Friday: Boylesque T.O. presents O MANADA!
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street. $20 advance tickets, $25 at the door. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m.
I’m all about trying new things during The Night Shift, so last weekend I ventured out on the town with Boylesque, Toronto’s all-male burlesque troupe. It was also a behind-the-scenes type thing, where I spent the night picking up tossed garments and cueing music and juggling general madness with general titillation. This Friday the boys are gearing up for O MANADA!, their newest stage show extravaganza, that pays tribute to our fair country and the men that reside within it. It also stars the entire seven-piece Boylesque ensemble, so that’s, like, a lot of man junk! (But all tasteful, I assure you.) Look for: “a homoerotic waltz with a log-driver, a prancing Prime Minister, and Maggie Trudeau in all the glory of her Studio 54 days.” Find out more here. True patriot lust indeed.
PRO TIP: Stay at Buddies post-show for Strip Spelling Bee: The Superhero Edition. Find out more here.
Friday: Course of Time NXNE Special
With various guests. Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue. $5 for first 100 people, more after. Doors at 11 p.m.
If stripping isn’t your thing, then why not do a little dance? Course of Time, a monthly at the Supermarket in Kensington, is “dedicated to the finest selection in contemporary and future club music.” It doesn’t get as much mainstream hype as it probably deserves, but, according to a scenester I trust dearly, the fact that it’s still “underground” makes it that much better. After all, the jam is celebrating its 12th instalment, so they must be doing something right. (This, praise, isn’t just another rock concert.) Look for sets by Kevin McPhee, John Roman, CoT resident Mr. Charlton, McNair & Clarke and, of course, Rynecologist. Find out more here. Oh, and 4 a.m. last call.
Saturday: Mansion & Yes Yes Y’All Present: VOGUE
Various performers. Black Box Theatre, 1087 Queen Street West. $12.50 advance tickets, $15 with guestlist. Doors at 10 p.m.
In a delightful pairing that goes down as smooth as sambuca, Mansion and Yes Yes Y’All are teaming up at the new-ish Black Box Theatre (below The Great Hall) for VOGUE—and it looks good. In short, it’s a celebration of the re-emerging (and, yet, never dead) “ballroom”/hip-hop/vogue culture of NYC’s underground. (I mean, you’ve seen Paris is Burning, right? Google.) If there’s one thing both these groups know how to do, it’s not only to put together a great party, but also put on a show. They’re bringing in Zebra Katz and Njena Foxxx for “their minimalist take on NYC’s hip hop and ‘ballroom’ culture,” paired with Jersey’s MikeQ, a producer-cum-ballroom DJ-cum-dance leader. And Toronto’s own Blackcat (of House of Monroe fame) will bring it all home. Find out more here.
Sunday: It’s the MMVAs, mofos.
Stay home. (But come back to The Grid on Monday for everything you probably didn’t miss.)