This week in Toronto concerts

If you’re like me, you’ll notice that local concert listings come in ebb and flows. Some weeks, there won’t be much going on, whereas other weeks leave me lacking any clean clothes and groceries, tending to dead houseplants, and applying girl goo on my permanent undereye circles (lack of sleep? or my inability to remove mascara?).

This week, there’s plenty to do! So please, stock up on Doritos from your local 7/11 so that you don’t end up impulse-buying Sweet Chili Heat. Gross!



The Wytches & Pet Sun @ The Drake (CLASSIC PSYCHEDELIC VIBES)


Facebook RSVP Tickets $11.50.

THE WYTCHES Glum but cheeky Brighton surf rock.


PET SUN Hamilton fuzz-psych darlings. This should tingle.



Jay Arner & Ketamines @ Milk Glass (VANCOUVER QT-PIE ALERT!)


Facebook RSVP

JAY ARNER Finally, I get to see Jay Arner! Somebody pinch me. He’s touring all around Canada right now, so make sure to check his schedule.

KETAMINES Everyone knows how much I love these garagepop fuckers, but rather than waxing poetic for the zillionth time, just press play. I forced Paul to become my friend (hi Paul) so that stalking him would be more convenient (I’m in your house, are those curtains new?)


BRAVE RADAR A similar vibe to Freelove Fenner, but with male vocals!


Also featuring JEANS, members of New Fries and Weaves.





Facebook RSVP Weekend pass $42

This lineup is insane !!


Running from Thursday through Sunday at various locations in Guelph, you can snag yourself a weekend pass for CHEAP – only $42 – seriously!! You probably won’t even know that money’s missing. Grab tickets here. Way more venue/lineup details are available on the Facebook page.



Ought & Freelove Fenner @ Silver Dollar (MONTREAL DOES IT RIGHT)


Facebook RSVP Tickets $10 (available online here)

OUGHT Montreal post-punk heaped with charm and affability.


FREELOVE FENNER Montreal minimalist, breezy psych pop. If you haven’t seen them before, (like me!) come belatedly celebrate their first big release in November, Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner (listen here).


BLONDE ELVIS Toronto playful guitar-pop that harkens back to the drumbeat and flutes of 70s psych.


WISH- Members of Toronto’s Beliefs, Milk Lines and Decades. Delectable, well-crafted indie rock that straddles well-known hooks with a sense of experimentation.




Man Finds Fire Summer Sesh @ Geary Lane (***COOL NEW VENUE!***)

Facebook RSVP

Let’s give a warm welcome to this cool new space at 360 Geary Lane, near the corner of Dupont & Dufferin. Music by Bile Sister, Mimico, and a k u a, art by Petra Glynt. Get drunk with Kensington Brewing Company, wake up with Detour Coffee kewt mobile coffee truck. PWYC! ($10 is a good idea for all the HQ musicianship). 12-6pm.

BILE SISTER Experimental Toronto-based avant-pop for fans of Petra Glynt.


MIMICO Dark post-apocalyptic Toronto kraut-sych.


A K U A  Sexy and slinky dark R&B from Toronto.



Alright everyone, have fun and use protection ;) (good footwear at a concert is a MUST)


Katie’s Daily NXNE 2014 Picks (this is a huge post)


Check out this handy Google map I created for all the venues in my concert picks.



FUTURE ISLANDS (Baltimore emotionally-charged 80s synth) – VICE ISLAND – 830pm


HORSE LORDS (Baltimore experimental kraut) – Adelaide Hall – 9pm


JOYWAVE (Rochester experimental beats) – Drake Underground – 9pm


TOBACCO (Pittsburg Gary Glitter on acid) – Massey Hall – 9pm


TUNE-YARDS (New York Haitian playful experimental) – Massey Hall – 10pm


SYLVAN ESSO (Durham electronic pop) – Drake Underground – 10pm


HOLYCHILD (Los Angeles brat pop) – Tattoo Rock Parlour – 11pm

Can’t catch them at NXNE? They’re coming back to Toronto on July 6th at Danforth Music Hall.

YOU’LL NEVER GET TO HEAVEN (London, ON pop dreamscapes) – Silver Dollar – 11pm


MIMICO (Toronto proggy psych) – Baltic Ave – 12am


SHANNON & THE CLAMS (Oakland garage surf) – Lee’s Palace – 12am


MADE IN HEIGHTS (New York filth pop) – Hoxton – 1am

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Indie-licious Tues June 17th 2014 – Katie’s NXNE Picks


Today’s show features 100% NXNE artists!

1. Lost Something – Michael Rault
2. Adult Diversion – Alvvays
3. Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett
4. Ode to Viceroy – Mac Demarco
5. Stay Awake – Ketamines
6. I’m No Good – King Creep
7. From Nowhere – Dan Croll
8. Seasons (Waiting On You) – Future Islands
9. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
10. Tongues (ft. KOPPS) – Joywave
11. Pube Zone – TOBACCO
12. Coffee – Sylvan Esso
13. DEATH – Made In Heights
14. Space Throws – Delta Will
15. Boring Angel – Oneohtrix Point Never


Musicians I love (and my own creative existential crisis)

Lately I’ve been struggling with creative inspiration.

I’ve been late to reply to emails, shoddy at fulfilling writing commitments, sluggish to decide on music submissions, and absent on my own podcast. I haven’t written a song in months, my journal pages have been blank since January, my mixed media project is 75% complete, and I have a stack of unread library books by the front door. The other day, I couldn’t decide on a movie so I just watched an hour and a half worth of trailers, most of which were from the 80’s and 90’s (I came this close to watching Working Girl).

Basically, I feel mentally bankrupt and the only thing that I can muster up the energy to do is put on my blank, anonymous artist’s glaze and sketch strangers on the subway. At least in crowded café and clustered streetcars, I feel like no one is expecting anything, no one is judging, no one is watching with a critical eye.  I am finally free in an outlet all my own.

As many of you know, Sasha and I celebrated our blog’s fourth birthday this month, and with that came the realization that with much potential comes missed opportunity. I was reviewing past posts and wondering, “Could you have tried harder here? Could you have written more, explored this discography in greater depth? Could you have done a custom illustration for this feature? Could you have agreed to that interview?” A more ambitious version of myself is kicking the sandwich out of my current’s self’s hands.

Sometimes I wonder how other bloggers & journos do it. How does one wrap 1000+ neat words into a pithy post complete with a pleasantly drôle yet incisive b&w sketch? I feel like I need to learn Adobe Illustrator and a billion other complex design programs (as well as five coding languages) just to stay relevant.

What can I offer at the party? A side-scrolling verbal wrap-up of current events? A dumb and erratic dance sequence? Crumbs on my tits?

At this point, I’m looking for something to inject me with a sense of purpose. But for now, since this is a music blog, I want to clean out the inbox. That’s mainly the point of these Grab Bag Posts – it’s my effort to stay on top of things (failing miserably). One day, I will find the right balance of posting exactly what I want and honouring our obligation to undiscovered musicians. I am searching for it every day.

Sometimes I consider yanking down our blog email address, but then I wouldn’t have met the absolutely LOVELY GEMS of First Rate People, Delta Will, Walrus, Sheepman, High Diner, The Planes, The Blank Tapes, Ketamines, Jay Arner, Faux Fur, Michael Rault, The Dirty Nil, Yoofs, Lost On Purpose, Adam Torres, plus people like Leaning Trees RecordsGraveyard Orbit, Mike of My Boy The Riot Girl, Jason of Astral Travelling, ect.

So this post goes out all of you who have connected with me as a human idiot, or with Music Between Friends. I think of all the genuinely cool people that I’ve had the chance to meet, and I am glad.

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Four feisty singles from Toronto’s The Ketamines – Stay Awake 7″ out Feb 18th


Toronto’s The Ketamines might be some of the hardest working humans on the planet. Between scheduling a 2014 tour spanning across Canada and releasing four singles plus an LP in the last year, I’m surprised nobody’s died yet.

Tomorrow, the band releases their fourth 7″ entitled Stay Awake via Mint Records. Each record in the series is limited press and features collage work by Montreal artist Felix Morel. All four 7″s fit together to make a 14″ x 14″ art collage. The records have been released out of order, so read on for details on how to purchase them together.

Part 4: Stay Awake might just be the best of the series. Stay Awake is goofy, fun, & well-executed art rock. Since I’m an insomniac with a fondness for catchy guitar riffs, I will probably listen to this 7″ on repeat for the next year. Sorry, friends and family. Can’t talk to you right now, I’m getting down.

Part 2: Eleven Eleven, a six-track EP about numerology, was just made available on Saskatoon label Leaning Tree Records on February 15th. From my first listen, standouts include You Can’t Stop Time and We Are One.

When asked about the EP series by Saskatoon music & culture blog Ominocity back in May 2013, Ketamines bassist Paul Lawton had this to say:

“I had this idea for a while ago. We were working with this artist in Montreal who does this really great collage work for our tour poster. And we had this idea about doing this package where you could collect all the 7” singles and put them together to make the bigger piece of artwork. So we are working with four different labels to put out a new 45 every two months for the rest of 2013. The first one is about to come out on Pleasence Records, and they had put out the last Slim Twig record. They do a lot of really interesting avant-garde Toronto bands.”

Part 1: All The Colours Of Your Heart was released on June 6th 2013 via Pleasence Records.

Part 2: 11:11 was released on Feb 15th 2014 via Leaning Trees Records.

Part 3: So Hot! was released on Oct 8th 2013 via Hosehead Records.

Part 4: Stay Awake will be released on Feb 18th 2014 via Mint Records.

All four can be purchased from Hosehead Records in a $22 bundle (am I reading that right? Seems like a total steal). Purchase it here. Tad, if you’re reading this, I would totally go halves with you here.

On top of all this, The Ketamines also released an LP in September called You Can’t Serve Two Masters via Southpaw & Paul Lawton’s own label, Mammoth Cave. That’s a hell of a lot of songwriting and releasing to do within one calendar year. However, I am grateful. You Can’t Serve Two Masters is slinky, bouncy, and fuzzed to the extreme.

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