This week’s best parties include a one-night only performance by Toronto’s Kids on TV, a celebration of redheads, a book launch starring Nina Arsenault, and more.
Thursday: The Mascot’s 2nd Anniversary
1267 Queen Street West. #PRK Free. 7:30 p.m.
When I’m feeling poor and crowded, I go to The Mascot and read copies of Bitch, GQ Style and The Walrus. And I can’t help but notice that this little Parkdale café at the corner of Queen and Elm Grove is, like, perpetually mad packed. Duh, because it’s also mad good. I’m glad it survived year two, because that means it’ll probably stick around for good. (Right?) The space is also known to stay open late and double as a nocturnal meeting point-cum-art gallery, and, if I hear correctly, an occasional music venue. They’re working overtime for this big bash, and you’re invited. The Mascot will also host a new exhibition from graffiti artist-slash-carpenter KWEST, who transformed the café like woah for its first anniversary. Find out more here.
Friday: TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault book launch
Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street. #DTN Free. 7 p.m.
I like to recommend book launches every once in a while because, really, we could all read a little more, okay? But only if it promises to be worth it! The first time I saw Nina Arsenault perform, I must have been 18, 19, 20—and this transsexual polymath was a mix of terrifying, transfixing, and titillating, kind of like trying bondage for the first time. In 2007, it was reported she had spent $150,000 perfecting her body. She’s seen it all, and (almost) done it all—and now she’s going to tell us all about it. This Thursday, head to the launch party for TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault: An Unreasonable Body of Work, a book of essays edited by Judith Rudakoff that examines beauty, image and queerness through perceptions of Arsenault’s performance art. The star of the hour will also be reading from her autobiography and, no doubt, taking questions. Find out more here.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER: Stay at Buddies for Strip Spelling Bee: Star Wars Edition. $10. 10:30 p.m.
Friday: Ranga, a party for redheads and their admirers
With DJ Joe Blow & DJ Randall. 1602 Dundas Street West. #DNW Free. 10 p.m.
Introducing the official release party for Lindsay Lohan’s new sex tape. Kidding. It’s Ranga, Toronto’s first “official” party for gingers! In all seriousness though, this is what we’d call c-r-e-a-t-i-v-e… or perhaps blatant fetishization. (There’s also a complete redhead festival in the Netherlands, FYI.) But everyone’s welcome, and it’s about celebrating these beautiful unicorns of life. I mean, did you know that gingers comprise only about two per cent of the population? Think of your favourites: Florence Welch, Ron Weasley, The Little Mermaid, Carrot Top, sometimes Rihanna, sometimes Blake Lively, and once, yours truly. Okay, those last three don’t count, but National Geographic says the gene is set for extinction in the next 100 years, so mix and mingle—and make some babies. After all, some sperm banks are ceasing collection of redhead donors, even though it totally worked out for J.Lo in The Back-Up Plan. Oh, and there’s also live performances. Find out more here. And now, check out some footage from Toronto’s Redhead Summit…
Saturday: Pantheon by Kids on TV
Studio Theatre, York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. #HAR Tickets are $15, $12 for students/seniors. 8 p.m.
Dear The Free (And Repressed) World,
The Kids on TV are back, mofos! Born out of the legendary (and before my time) Vazaleen parties (R.I.P.), the trio—John Caffery, Minus Smile and Roxanne Luchak—reunite not only to bring you new music, but also to bring you a new one-night-only performance. Since their inception in 2003, the “apocalyptically gay band” has worked with talents like Boy George, Austra and Diamond Rings. This new stage extravaganza—because, you know, the word “show” is too common for this dynasty—will combine “bouncy house music, old-school hip-hop, Liberace piano drama, mutant superhero roller-disco battles, love songs between closeted 20th-century artists and epic choral arrangements.” It’s sure to be political, yet pleasurable. How could it not be? Kids on TV are corporal, and spiritual—and take no damn prisoners. Get into it. Find out more here. Buy tix here.
P.S. There’s a Q&A and post-performance reception.
P.P.S. Here’s some new Kids on TV, featuring Diamond Rings.
Saturday: Rip It Up Presents The Mods Mayday
With DJ Davy Love. The Piston, 937 Bloor Street West. #BCT Free. 10 p.m.
Apparently, this annual Mods Mayday Dance is, like, a thing—and pretty global (according to Google). I thought it was a distress signal, but I like this idea better: where mods of all generations get together to partay. That’s why DJ Davy Love presents a very special edition of his Rip It Up party series, which touches down once again at The Piston, a bar we all don’t go to enough. (Or maybe you do. I don’t know.) With guests Ryan Rothwell and Andy Social, you can expect: Northern Soul, beat, ska, garage, ’50s and ’60s R&B, blue-eyed soul, and reggae. (Blue-eyed soul. Swoon.) And Love also says, “dress for excess.” If you go to Kids on TV—you’re already halfway there. Find out more here.
PRO TIP: Hit the Drake Hotel’s Cinco De Mayo love-in first. Look forward to: $5 tacos + a tequila cocktail menu from 4 to 11 p.m. Plus: Don Julio Tommy’s margarita + cuervo sampling at the Sky Yard from 7 to 10 p.m.