Supercrawl: The 12-hour Music and Arts Festival in Hamilton’s Hippest Neighbourhood

Image via Tourism Hamilton

It may be news to you Toronto residents, but Hamilton has a pretty happenin’ art scene. Of course, by calling it “happenin”, I’ve probably decreased its coolness factor substantially.

Let’s just say that Queen West doesn’t have a monopology on kitschy craft stores, Kensington’s not the only place to score vintage finds, and Trinity-Bellwoods isn’t the only place peppered with quirky, exotic restaurants.

That’s right, Torontonians. Shift your eyes south this weekend to Hamilton’s SUPERCRAWL, a massive street festival on Saturday September 10th, 2011 from 1PM – 1AM on James St. North. The streets will be teeming with hipsters, artists, dancers, and musicians hell-bent on getting rid of Hamilton’s cultural-hellhole image.

Did I mention it’s 100% free of charge? The festival offers free admission to every art exhibit, dance performance, and open-air street concert. The only thing you’ll need are a few bones to procure some food and drink (and maybe a reclaimed-object sculpture or hand-printed calendar).

The music lineup features indie heavweights Broken Social Scene and local heroes Junior Boys. Jeremy Greenspan’s The Brain, hotbed of local kool kids, will host the Beehive Craft Collective, a group of incredibly talented printmakers, textile artists, and artisans.

After a ridiculously virtuosic performance at the What Next? festival earlier this year, Basia Bulat is reuniting with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchastra to play beautiful adaptations from her last album (as transcribed by Owen Pallett). Said The Whale and Young Rival will also be playing full sets earlier in the day.

In case you’re curious, here’s where you can find me at SUPERCRAWL. But feel free to do your own thang and check out the full schedule here.

1PM – 2PM: Haircut at Albert Snow to get the perfect hipster haircut – messy, with a side of indifference. Goes well with vintage doll dress, scuffed leather boots, or anything plaid (Cigarette and sneer not included).

2PM – 3PM: Head to the intersection of James and Main to catch a free bus ride up James Street North courtesy of the HSR. Shuttles will be running all day and into the wee hours of the night.

3PM – 4PM: Check out the art installations of the Beehive Craft Collective at The Brain.

4PM – 5PM: Nod along to the nouveau-grunge of Young Rival at the York-Wilson Stage.

5PM – 7PM: Grab dinner and drinks at Mulberry Cafe, a cafe that serves fair-trade and organic snacks, sandies, coffee, and beer in a too-cool-to-be-true setting that feels like you’re making your boho parents proud. Order the London Fog and a Vegetarian Panini, if they have any left. If not, a Savoury Southwest Muffin will suit my needs quite nicely.

7PM – 8PM: Head back to the York-Wilson Stage for Basia Bulat and the HPO. Try not to cry tears of joy when she strums her first chord on the autoharp.

8PM – 9PM: Join my pal Laurie to watch Said The Whale at the Colbourne Stage.

9PM – 10PM: Head over to Baltimore House on King William Street for a DJ set filtering onto the street to build hype for the Victorian-inspired lounge’s grand opening in the upcoming months.

10PM – 11PM: Shimmy to the Junior Boys at the Colbourne Stage. I’ll be keeping my ears open for Dull To Pause.

11PM – 12AM: Fight bony hipster elbows for a decent view of Broken Social Scene.

Throughout the day, I’ll be walking into the many art galleries on James St. North, hoping to pick up a few quirky prints for my bedroom wall. Maybe you’ll see me there! I’ll be the girl with the messy, indifferent hair.

Music For Your Friday – Junior Boys and Caribou


Here is a song from a local band, hailing from Hamilton, Junior Boys.  I have to be honest, I don’t really listen to this band on the regular.  I know less than a handful of their songs, but Banana Ripple seems like a good ‘Friday’ song because it reminds me of something you put on as you’re getting ready to go out.  Especially if it only takes you 9 minutes and 15 seconds to get ready, because that is exactly how long this song is.

Banana RippleJunior Boys

Junior Boys will be at the Phoenix accompanied by a favourite of mine Caribou on June 9th.  Now I would say Caribou is a band that I consistently listen to.  Katie and I saw them live together and I can confirm that they’re awesome. One of my personal favourites is After Hours to watch live, because the drum attack that ensues is just nuts to watch.

After Hours Caribou

And on that note, hope everyone has a great weekend.

Toronto Concert Update – April, May, June, July, Aug 2011

All this talk about concerts has whet my appetite for another round of Toronto Concert Update! Put on your pumped up kicks, come down from the mountain, and stick up for yourself son, because there’s a great concert season ahead of us.

Conversely, if you’d like to read one concert-goer’s rant about the inflating price of concert tickets, read Your Favourite Band Has a New Price Tag by Shot From Guns.

PS: Born Ruffians are playing tonight, so check them out first.

PPS: The starry owl poster is from TV On The Radio’s 2009 tour with Dirty Projectors. Isn’t it rad?


    Born Ruffians @ Opera House, All Ages
    Sat April 16, 2011
    TV On The Radio @ Sound Academy, All Ages
    Mon April 18, 2011
    Jamaica @ The Drake Hotel, 19+
    Tues April 19, 2011
    Beach Fossils @ The Shop, 19+
    Wed April 20, 2011
    The Acorn @ Horseshoe, 19+
    Thurs April 28, 2011


    Tame Impala @ Phoenix, 19+
    Sun May 1, 2011
    Low @ Mod Club, 19+
    Mon May 2, 2011
    Yacht @ Lee’s, 19+
    Mon May 2, 2011
    Of Montreal @ Phoenix, 19+
    Tues May 3, 2011
    Surfer Blood @ Lee’s, 19+
    Tues May 3, 2011
    Yelle @ Opera House, 19+
    Wed May 4, 2011
    Peter Bjorn & John @ Lee’s, 19+
    Fri May 6, 2011
    Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings @ Sound Academy, All Ages
    Thurs May 12, 2011
    Sleigh Bells @ Sound Academy, 19+
    Tues May 17, 2011
    Arctic Monkeys @ Kool Haus, All Ages
    Sat May 21, 2011
    Lykke Li @ Phoenix, All Ages
    Sun May 22, 2011
    Lissie @ Phoenix, All Ages
    Sat May 28, 2011
    Friendly Fires @ Phoenix, 19+
    Mon May 30, 2011


    Aloe Blacc @ Wrongbar, 19+
    Sun June 5, 2011
    Thao & Mirah @ Lee’s, 19+
    Sun June 5, 2011
    Yeasayer @ Phoenix, 19+
    Tues June 7, 2011
    Junior Boys w/Caribou (DJ Set) @ Phoenix, 19+
    Thurs June 9, 2011
    Chiddy Bang @ Sound Academy, All Ages
    Fri June 10, 2011
    Okkervil River @ Phoenix, 19+
    Fri June 10, 2011
    Architecture in Helsinki @ Mod Club, 19+
    Sat June 11, 2011
    Antlers @ Mod Club, 19+
    Tues June 14, 2011
    Foster the People @ Mod Club, 19+
    Sat June 18, 2011


    Broken Social Scene w/ Weezer, Hey Rosetta!, Tragically Hip @ Downsview Park, All Ages
    Fri July 1, 2011
    The Black Keys @ Molson Amphitheater, All Ages
    Thurs July 7, 2011
    Girl Talk @ Sound Academy, All Ages
    Sat July 9, 2011
    Fleet Foxes @ Massey Hall,
    Thurs July 14, 2011
    Deerhoof & The Dodos @ The Phoenix, 19+
    Sat July 16, 2011
    Death Cab For Cutie @ The Molson Amphitheater, All Ages
    Fri July 29, 2011


    Owen Pallett w/ Beirut @ The Phoenix, 19+
    Tues Aug 2, 2011
    Owen Pallett w/ Beirut @ The Phoenix, 19+
    Thurs Aug 4, 2011
    The Pains of Being Pure At Heart @ Opera House, 19+
    Tues Aug 2, 2011
    Bon Iver @ Sound Academy, All Ages
    Mon Aug 8, 2011
    Naked and Famous @ Lee’s, 19+
    Tues Aug 9, 2011
    Jeff Mangum @ Trinity St. Paul’s, All Ages
    Sat Aug 13, 2011

New Junior Boys, The Antlers, and Holy Ghost!

In June, Hamilton indie-trons Junior Boys will release their fourth studio album It’s All True on Domino Records. Fairly compact, it clocks in at only nine tracks. I’ve been looking forward to their next project since 2009’s Begone Dull Care, which is a gem and a half, but I have mixed feelings about ep.

epJunior Boys (from It’s All True due out June 13, 2011)

ep, the second-last track on It’s All True, sounds like the duo took a dip into their childhood and came out dripping in heavily-eighties synth sounds. I’m not overly fond of cheesy synth, but the sultry voice of Jeremy Greenspan makes anything sound good. I’m sure it’ll grow on me… although I might only play it when I’m in a Chromeo kind of mood.

It’s my guess that there’ll be some sort of album-release gathering at The Brain, since it’s owned by Jeremy Greenspan and happens to be a pretty chill bar; if you’ve ever seen it, you’d probably agree that it oozes eccentricity from the refurbished brickwork and reclaimed furniture. So come June, if there happens to be any sort of album hoopla at The Brain, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

ParenthesesThe Antlers (from Burst Apart due out May 10, 2011)

Next month, Brooklyn-based threepiece The Antlers will put out their fourth studio album, Burst Apart, on Frenchkiss Records. This soft-spoken trio has been doing quite well since starting as Peter Silberman’s solo project in 2006. After expanding into a three-man act, they were picked up by Frenchkiss and released Hospice in 2009. Although Hospice was a bit depressing (it told the story of the emotionally abusive relationship between a hospice worker and a terminally ill patient, so how happy could it possibly be?) Burst Apart already sounds like it’ll be a bit more of a pick-me-up.

Parentheses reminds me of an investigator walking through the ruins of an abandoned mental institution with a steaming white mug of coffee in his hand. My family and I used to take walks through the decrepit buildings of Whitby Psych when I was a kid and I always kept my eyes peeled for rogue ghosts. Speaking of ghosts:

Do It AgainHoly Ghost! (from Do It Again out on January 25, 2011)

This Holy Ghost! track was actually released earlier this year in January, but it’s new to me. Also, since Holy Ghost! are touring in Toronto this week (April 7 @ Sound Academy w/ Cut Copy), maybe this track will encourage any readers out there to check out this awesome pair live. Download Do It Again on RCRDLBL.

One Last Look (MBF Playlist)

With the fall weather we’ve been having here in Canada, it’s hard to remember what summer really felt like. I hope these songs will help conjure you back the grains of the beach, the best shady spot under your tree, the folds of your picnic blanket, and the sweaty leather of your bike seat as you pedal to the convenience store for penny candy and slushies. Take one last look at summer 2010.

Track Listing
01 Pursuit of Happiness (Kid CuDi Cover) - Barbara
02 Dull to Pause - Junior Boys
03 Runnin' (Philippians RMX) - The Pharcyde
04 Soldier On (Big City Love Affair RMX) - The Temper Trap
05 Janglin' (RAC RMX) - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
06 Boy (RAC RMX) - Ra Ra Riot
07 I Like Rain (Jean Paul Sartre Experience) - Lali Puna
08 Master of None - Young Rival
09 Fireplace - Lost in the Trees
10 Snowflake Eel Wish - Candy Claws
11 Guaranteed - Eddie Vedder
12 Crooked Legs - The Acorn 
13 Summer Special - Land of Talk
14 Summer Girl - Family of the Year
15 Gleam Leaf Green - Mean Wind

*Formatting: Sasha-style