This week’s top parties include the launch of Buddies in Bad Times’ new season, The Junction Music Festival, and a celebration of graffiti.
Thursday: Buddies in Bad Times Season Launch Party
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street. Free. Doors at 9:30 p.m.
There’s a lot to be said about Buddies, the country’s unparalleled guardians and advocates of queer theatre. There are also a lot of reasons to party there—yet we seldom get to fête the institution itself. To mark the official unveiling of the playhouse’s 2012-13 season, Tallulah’s Cabaret is flowering for a late night love-in of dramatic propositions. Coinciding with the opening night of Obaaberima, the one-man show I’ve heard nothing but stellar things about, there will also be music by DJ Blackcat and a performance by Ill Nana, who know how to work a stage like woah. Find out more here. (And peep the new season offerings here.)
Friday: Fender Bender Party (and stay for Goin’ Steady)
Gladstone Hotel, Second Floor, 1214 Queen Street West. Installation runs until Saturday. Free. Doors at 7 p.m.
Doesn’t a “Fender Bender” party sound like it’d be as much fun as, say, a bush party? Or something. Either way, I want to go there. The Gladstone is fender bending in celebration Special Delivery, an exhibition that remodels 18-wheeler truck interiors into site-specific, immersive installations crafted by local artists and designers. It’s part of a larger program at IIDEX, the national design and architecture exposition. For the Bender jam, a special installation by artists Robert Hengeveld and Marcia Huyer will be unveiled while the massive trucks migrate from IIDEX at the Direct Energy Centre to land on the street outside the West Queen West hotel, where the public will be able to view them until Saturday afternoon. More details here.
PROTIP: After you unwrap your Special Delivery, hit the Gladdy’s Ballroom for Goin’ Steady, the “grimy 1950s/’60s R&B dance party” that celebrated a birthday not too long ago.
Friday: VISIONS II featuring Jimmy Edgar
With various performers. Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen Street West. $15 advance tickets online right here. Doors at 10 p.m.
Ah, the Mansion kids. They’re back at it again with the second instalment of their newest series, Visions, and they’ve upgraded to a lofty gallery. On Friday, they’re importing Berlin-based pop/techno preacher Jimmy Edgar for the 416 debut of MAJENTA, his live show that blends audio-visuals “to induce synaesthesia while channelling the stripped-down vintage vibes of Motor City techno and electro from his latest EP.” Also hitting the stage: Actress hits Toronto for the first time ever in support of his third record, R.I.P. Also homecoming: XI, who spent a year in Berlin and is returning home to cement his growing reputation. And, of course, expect all the Mansion touches and wild-ass lines at the door.
Saturday: The Junction Music Festival
With various performers. Various venues. Free. Doors at noon.
Ah, The Junction. Could this ‘hood possibly get any cooler? Fresh off a super-successful/beautiful Design Crawl at the end of August, the community is coming together once again for an all-ages, day-long independent music fest. More than 20 venues along Dundas West—from local bars like 3030 and Margret to galleries and design stores—will host performers of all genres. There are also two stages for even more sounds. On Pacific Avenue, acts will run until 8 p.m., and the mainstage at the southwest corner of Dundas and Keele will host bigger names like The Junction, Bruce Peninsula, and award-winning jazz trumpet player Brownman and his ensemble Electryc Trio. Plus, there are workshops for kids and special music-inspired dishes at restaurants and…just click here for more.
Saturday: Northern Touch group graffiti show
Norman Felix Gallery, 627 Queen Street West. Runs until September 29. Free. Doors at 7 p.m.
When my smartypants curator pal Ann-Marie sends me a missive for one of her exhibitions, I make it my business to go. Her latest, Northern Touch, is a cross-country meeting of artistic minds, featuring eight of Canada’s most prolific street and graffiti artists—with one protege for good measure. Especially important in light of City Hall’s hot-and-cold relationship with street art, Northern Touch aims to help cement the genre in the city and “support emerging urban artists in further exposure and celebration within more formal gallery settings.” Look for works by Toronto’s Jeff Blackburn (who’s been everywhere lately and is seriously headed straight for the top), Montreal’s Roadsworth, and Vancouver’s Phresha. Saturday’s opening reception is set to be just as explosive as the art: food from Rose and Sons (yup, the Drake Hotel’s former head chef Anthony Rose is backing this one), and music by international prince DJ jojoflores (just press play below). The exhibition runs through Nuit Blanche, when the gallery will open at 7:03 p.m. for live painting with some of the show’s talents all night. Find out more here.