Introducing: Static Zine

static zine - cover
Things around these parts have been a bit mum from me lately. I’ve been incredibly busy putting together the first issue of Static Zine – a fun new Toronto arts and life zine. Yes that’s right, a zine. Every time I go somewhere to drop them off now and say that word, I get some pretty funny looks. But this has worked out really well so far with an amazing team of contributors, already running out at numerous locations after a few hours and we’ve already been interviewed!

Besides just launching the zine, we also put together a mixtape of 16 Toronto bands: Maylee Todd, Sister, Austra, Bravestation, Heartbeat Hotel, Dora Alexander, Sports, Matters, Action Makes, The Ruby Spirit, Allie Hughes, Nightbox, The Meligrove Band, Timber Timbre, Bruce Peninsula and The Wilderness of Manitoba.

Download the first Static mixtape.

static flyerWe’re throwing a launch party on the last day of NXNE. Here’s the Facebook event, and you can see the show poster above.  We’ll have performances by Jeans Boots, Kat Burns of Forest City Lovers, Lowell Sostomi of Great Bloomers, The Ruby Spirit, Bravestation and Sister. I am beyond excited!

Concert Review: Allie Hughes’ Prom Queen Dream at the El Mocambo, May 14

allie hughes

Like you saw in last week’s preview post, Allie Hughes decided to throw a prom themed concert. She isn’t new to the themed bit, she’s performed a wedding at least twice now. But the prom was timely and a step in a new direction.

Allie performed the same sequence of songs as she did for the wedding, although it might have been mixed up a bit, plus there was definitely a great new song or two added in there. I was curious to see how the plot would work with her songs after the wedding seemed to fit so effortlessly into her music. The prom came across just as well. Basically, the gist is that Allie is in love with a man named Chad. Chad does Allie wrong in the thick of the moment. Havoc ensues. Where the wedding had Allie left at the alter, this time around, after she’s crowned Prom Queen, Chad sings a song with her (this time it was Gentleman Reg) and then proceeds to make out with a man in a sailor costume (for what felt like a full minute!). Cue “Oh Chad!” Oh, and by the way, this prom has all been a dream, and thus with a kiss, it has turned into a nightmare.

Allie consistently shows herself off in every way: from her go-get-em approach to the media, her hard work at planning these themed concerts and then her execution of the performance and her music. She’s one of the most unique female musicians coming out of Toronto at this moment, and I hope she’ll reap more benefits for it soon. She’s dedicated to the craft and the creativity besides the normal routine. Watching her on stage is charming. My prom date — a best friend, doing it right this time — who rarely ever goes to music events, was in total awe of Allie. Her theatrical focus, smiles that would peek out throughout the songs and eccentric moments were selling points. Also impressive was that most of the concert goers actually dressed up as if they were going to prom, and even the male attendees were more into it. Some strapping young men and women, you can’t go wrong with that. Allie also surrounded herself with a strong band, such as her back-up singers (two of the ladies from Rouge, as well as in other projects Green Go, Gentleman Reg) and guitarist Thom Gill (who had pictures of Justin Bieber taped all over his guitar).

Sure, themes are not everyone’s cup of tea, even I’ve turned down my roommates requests to have ridiculously themed house parties. But if you can do it well, get that many people into the whole spiel and talking about it days later, you must run with it. And to top it all off, definitely add a cover at the end like Allie does (Britney Spears’ “Toxic”).

For a play by play, read my friend Steve Fischer’s show notes on Torontoist.

Stream four songs and watch tons of videos of Allie performing.

Allie Hughes is asking you to prom this Saturday

There are two types of proms.

1. FREAK OUT OMG IS HE GOING TO ASK ME HOW IS HE GOING TO ASK ME I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW EVERY SINGLE THING HAS TO BE PERFECT I AM SO FAT CAN WE GET A LIMO WILL THEY PLAY THE RIGHT SONGS WILL WE KISS WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER….

(let’s be honest, almost all of us have had this type of prom)

2. I LOOK REAL GOOD IN MY THRIFT STORE DRESS ALL MY FRIENDS DO WE’RE REALLY THE COOL ONES HERE I MEAN FOR REAL BUT CMON WE STILL CARE ABOUT PROM WE STILL CARE WHO WINS KING AND QUEEN WE JUST HOPE ITS ONE OF US BECAUSE WE DESERVE THIS ‘HONOUR’ MORE, EVEN THOUGH SHE WON’T ADMIT IT THIS IS WHAT SHE’S ALWAYS DREAMED OF BUT WAIT….

I’m going to re-live prom this Saturday with Queen shoe-in Allie Hughes (her new theme after conquering weddings). Come dance with me?

ALLIE HUGHES’ PROM QUEEN DREAM
w/ special guests Gentleman Reg and Dwayne Gretzky
Saturday, May 14 at the El Mocambo
$7 at the door (or less with Prom attire)

January to mid-February articles

Alright, alright. Sometimes I forget to update my portfolio on here, but if you’re a Twitter follower or a Facebook liker, then you haven’t missed a thing.

Just in case, here’s what I’ve been up to in January and February so far (there was definitely a lull in my work when I spent a few weeks recovering from tonsil surgery).

AUX:

Video interview with Badly Drawn Boy

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: Destroyer’s “Chinatown”

Mexico’s Chikita Violenta tackle international markets with Arts & Crafts

Watch the trailer for Ages and Stages, a Meligrove Band documentary

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: Katie Moore’s “Montebello”

Allie Hughes to have wedding-themed concert in Toronto

Austra announce debut album, Feel it Break

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: Hey Rosetta! – “Welcome (Live)”

EXCLAIM:

We Are the City Reveal New High School EP
(this also includes tour details and the first single, free download)

SPINNER:

Jason Collett Begins Annual ‘Basement Revue’ Series in Toronto

DORK SHELF:

February Monthly Music column

From Far and Wide New Music Challenge