Welcome to May… Patio season! it seems as though we have finally beat Winter. 6 months was a little overkill… but hey, that’s why they call it Climate Change. We’ve changed our world in a way that most scientists say is irreversible. The refusal of the Friedman-era economic policies to enforce controls on pollution and unsustainable growth is directing us down a tunnel towards our scorched earth and Ice Age like winters. Why? Because so many people believed it when they were told that it was ok that this was a disposable society. They believed when they were sold the idea that neighbourhoods could be built to force people to drive everywhere. They believed it was ok to treat everything like fast food… and that we could destroy good jobs in order to get the lowest prices at super box stars.
As all this time goes by, we get further away from the idea that if you live in your community, if you join with your community to grow your food, sing songs and teach your children then you have participated in the most effective political protest ever. We have this crazy notion here at the Townehouse that when we gather to sing and play music that the end of the world is delayed by another day. We have staved off self-destruction again. All we had to do was paint our own picture, write our own song. We didn’t have to buy the newest car. We didn’t have to save 50 cents by driving out to the big box stores. We didn’t have to consume and obey (yes, it’s a John Carpenter reference). We saw some music with our friends, ate some locally produced food, drank a craft beer and we saved the world a little.
This little write-up has existed for the last 213 months. The main purpose is to tell you about all the music happening at the Townehouse Tavern. We also will take care of any deals on our delicious food from our kitchen that went into full operation in March. Of course, we’ll cover anything big happening at The Laughing Buddha as well as we are partners in this little world crusade. So, enjoy… get to know the bands and the musicians. We have touring bands, the finest in local music and even the youngest emerging artists new to the scene. We are proud to book rock and roll, indie, folk, jazz, blues, folk, roots country, Reggae and Ska, a little punk, a little metal and a little hip hop.
Let’s start with the music. The first thing you see on the Calendar is our “Working Wednesdays”. To go along with our food menu and to draw you working folk in for dinner, we are going to have live music on Wednesdays from 7-10. In collaboration with Mayworks, and to celebrate Workers, the theme for the month of May is “Working Song Wednesdays”. May 1st is Paul Loewenberg, but won’t start till after 9:30 for the Mayworks kickoff will be taking place at the Moose Lodge, then people will filter over after the show.
May 8th and 15th – Tommy Fyfe’s Traveling Medicine Show – 7-10pm – no cover.
Local blues man, Tom Fyfe has been leading the Whiskey River Blues Band for over 25 years. His Medicine Show gigs are basically solo with some guests such as daughter Steph or some backing from Paul Loewenberg on bass. Tom plays a Bluesology of 100 years of history… and a lot of his own songs. Rag time numbers, blues howlers, ballads, jump blues, Texas swamp tunes, British invasion R&B, Tom’s got a long list to play on dreadnought, dobro and banjo, along with accompanying himself on a half drum kit with his feet. This is a perfect chance to bring the kids for dinner and then watch a set of music and still be home by 9pm on a midweek night.
May 22nd and 29th – Sam Cassio – 7-10pm – no cover
Sam Cassio is the recent winner of the Northern Lights Festival Boreal Meltdown competition. Although he blazes a glorious rock and roll trail on lead guitar with Coast Redwood, Sam’s solo shows will bring you to the early days of roots icons like Fred Eaglesmith and Bruce Springsteen. With the group Murder Murder, Sam has stretched his songwriting legs to carry tales of betrayal, murder and the haunting of the soul. I know… it sounds a bit dark, but like Gram Parsons, John Prine and Springsteen, Sam’s a careful delivery man who will nurse the bruises with fine voice and guitar work… so it’s not as bad as watching the evening news.
Thursday, May 2nd – Lanorme, the Sleets, MC et les Hula Hoops, Sunsetter – Rock and Roll Slider party - $7.00 at the door.
We’ll try and do this once a month where we have 4 of the best up and coming bands in the North on the bill so everyone can come out for the wide range of music that we create up here. Tonight will be a real wide range of music.
Friday, May 3rd – Dany Laj, Taylor Knox, Bloody Marvelous - $7.00 at the door
DANY LAJ AND THE LOOKS (Montreal)
Songwriter Laj, (Lajeunesse) bred in Kirkland Lake, a rural mining gold camp in northern Ontario. Dany is no stranger to a small town kid growing up in a gold recession. Having toured the country and playing any stage he can find, Dany is now in the position to work out his own musical vision, and so far the results have been very exciting.
Dany’s music comes bursting out of woods with the Hooks and harmonies of Power Pops 1970's heyday.This ain't no skinny jean New Wave revival band This is pure Pop. Just Pop.
” If you dig the vintage power pop of labels like Bomp and Stiff… true songcraftsmen…” - Johnson Cummings (Cult #Mtl)
“… a budding troubadour who has “raw talent” written all over him. Laj possesses the same visceral moxie that forebearers Ted Leo, Elvis Costello, and Joel Plaskett made their respective calling cards, and just like that trifecta he makes it sound so damn effortless. Beyond quality material if you ask me, but listen for yourself.” – Wilfully Obscure
“..Laj, who looks like Elvis Costello’s nerdy cousin is the leader of the pack, but he relies heavily on his crack team rhythm section; drummer Vassil Mester and bassist Jeanette Dowling. The Looks play a variety of styles, sometimes veering into serious Westerberg territory, but always keeping it a little Power Pop.” – The Main MTL
“.. Dany is a blast and someone who has toured extensively, crafting out his honest, authentic self. What you see is what you get. He has drawn comparisons to Ted Leo, Elvis Costello and Joel Plaskett. I’d go with Nick Lowe myself (but who wouldn’t?).” – Will Mcquirk durhamregion.com
TAYLOR KNOX (Toronto)
Taylor Knox has played with almost all of your favourite Canadian bands. Seriously. It's a staggering range: power-pop stalwarts Sloan; Jason Collett's beautifully contemplative folk-rock; Luke Doucet's alt-country; Hayden's nuanced and subtle indie folk; shimmering pop duo Zeus; mad chamber pop genius Rich Aucoin as well as his side project, The Hylozoists; and sprawling, genre-hopping rock band The Golden Dogs.
After eight years, Knox has finally liberated himself from behind the drumkit to take the mic on his new, self-titled solo project. His EP, Loomings, was inspired by Moby Dick and revealed an artist with an ear for catchy melodies and evocative lyrics.
Now Knox and his band have released a new 7-inch single featuring "Fire" and "Nothing is Impossible." Both have a great, familiar '70s feel, though the former floats on a summery, guitar-driven groove and the latter steeps itself in darker tones with a harmony-filled chorus.
Listen to "Fire" and "Nothing is Impossible"
BLOODY MARVELLOUS (SUDBURY)
Local progressive rockers Bloody Marvellous will start the show off with a bang, demonstrating a range of arrangements from rhythmic melodies that will send you to space, to heavy riffs that will give you no choice but to bang your head. Fans of 60's/70's rock will NOT want to miss this!!
Saturday, May 4th – Murder Murder, The Union Dues - $7.00 at the door
Two bands tonight! Murder Murder plays hanging songs, murder ballads, songs of deceit and tales of woe. the Union Dues sing songs about work, from old labour favourites like Casey Jones, mining town heartbreakers and strange tales like Buck 65 songs.
Murder Murder is Sam, Jon, Beech, Stef and Geoff.
The Union Dues is Paul, Sam, Jon, Beech and Stef.
The month of May is Mayworks in Sudbury... a celebration of Art, Culture and Working People. presented by the Sudbury and District Labour Council, Mayworks is helping to promote events across the city that promote Labour and Art in May.
Thursday, May 9th – The Sleets, DJ Fannypack - $5.00 at the door
The Sleets take their first feature evening after a few opening spots. These young musicians have been playing together since they were in Grade 8 (well the seeds of the band were in Grade 8, the rest came together 2 years ago). These guys are riding the rails of great rock and roll… following the same train that has been ridden by everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd to The Sheepdogs. Emphasis on the riffs, great writing and great singing.
Friday, May 10th – Tarantuela - $7.00 at the door
Peterborough’s Tarantuela return to headline their own show… after a couple barn burning opening sets with Pistol George Warren, Tarantuela comes ready to rule the stage for the night. A mix of their own songs and a few covers of garage, soul and roots rock will keep you dancing all night. Check out their official bio!...
Peterborough band Tarantuela have talent, ingenious musical timing, and presumably parents with great record collections. Lead singer Jay Swinnerton has a swagger in his voice like a young Mick Jagger. He's supported by a band centered around guitars, keys and percussion, but that's just the beginning of the story.
Good Luck-Black Cat-Bad Luck is the debut album for the young band and the third release for the burgeoning Cameron House Records. The Tarantuela album is a perfect addition for the homey label, joining Kayla Howran's solid country offering, Pistol. Co-produced by James Mckenty (Greg Keelor, The Sadies), this record is a collection of very memorable tunes, each one well-crafted to capture the spirit of such a great sound.
Cameron House Records’ third release, like its first, comes to us via Peterborough. Tarantuela— pronounced tare-an-too-la, as the press material notes—play soul-infused classic rock as if the ’80s were all just a bad dream. - The Grid TO
Saturday, May 11th – Snotown Revival - $7.00 at the door
It's a night of Motown Music!!! Don Kunto leads an ambitious bunch of music lovers through the greatest house of hits of the 20th century. In the 1960's, Motown artists had more number 1 hits than The Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley COMBINED. Berry Gordy's stable of artists is legendary... Smokey, Stevie, Diana and the Supremes, Marvin, Gladys Knight, The Jacksons, The Temptations, Jr Walker, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Mary Wells, The Four Tops... so many more. You'll hear the best of it tonight... fronted by Don, Anita Ansamaa and Danielle Mallette... A deadly band and more dancing than you ever thought you could cram into a night. Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Thursday, May 16th – Silvertongue & the Pyramid Scene, DJ Trapment, Johnny B, 1SavageBro - $10.00 at the door
After the Swollen Members show, we’ve had a lot more interest in doing some more hip-hop… so we’re going to take the once in a while thing and turn it into a little more of a once a month kind of thing. There is a lot of burgeoning talent in the city… MC’s writing protest songs and political songs… the ties between social justice movements and modern hip hop is as easy to trace as folk in the 1950’s and punk in the 1970’s. This is music borne of revolution. Some of the nickel city's finest hip-hop acts will be taking the stage.
Friday, May 17th –House of David Gang ... Reggae Party - $7.00 at the door
House of David Gang is Canada's busiest touring reggae band. Rooted in the timeless tradition of Jamaican roots reggae from the 70s and early 80s as embodied by the immortal Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer; House of David Gang adds a potent mix of jazz, funk and afrobeat to create a true global reggae orchestra.
This is their second show at the Townehouse... guaranteed brilliant show. Toronto's House of David Gang play authentic Jamaican Reggae.
Saturday, May 18th – The Almighty Rhombus, Low Animal, Echoes the Lion - $7.00 at the door
The Almighty Rhombus (http://facebook.com/theAlmightyRhombus)
Pop/rock 5-hit finishing move. Rhombus gears gears up for a summer of travel… including the Sled Island Festival in Calgary, where they are billed as a “Super Group”. True, The Almighty Rhombus did form at the combination of several other groups, but this band has evolved into it’s own life form. It’s catchy and trashy… just the right mix of pizzazz and spazz.
Low Animal (https://www.facebook.com/lowanimal)
2 giants making powerful rock music. Damien and Matt have been making music together for several years, going back to their college days in Sudbury when they ruled the instrumental music scene as Elephanta. Low Animal will also be returning this summer to perform at the Northern Lights Festival Boreal on July 5, 6, 7.
Echoes the Lion (https://www.facebook.com/echoesthelion)
4-piece rock band, first show.
Thursday, May 23rd – The Open Mic night – 9:00pm - $5.00 at the door
We haven’t had the open mic out for awhile, but a bunch of people have asked in the last couple months so we thought we should bring back the open mic for the summer. If you are an emerging artist in our community and want to get up on our stage, here is your chance. We will set-up a bass amp and a drum kit and provide a sound engineer… so you just have to bring your guitars, guitar amps, patch cords, drum sticks and kick pedals.
We’re looking for bands, solo artists… people who are pushing the envelope and people who want to make good music. We’ll set you up and get you on the same stage that was starting point for The Trews, The Tea Party, Our Lady Peace, Alexisonfire and many more.
Friday, May 24th – Static and Snow - $7.00 at the door
Toronto-based Power Trio Static & Snow bring their own brand of Genuine, Full-Spectrum Canadian Rock & Roll to the Townehouse celebrating their new EP Static & Snow. This seems to be the band that Will Gillespie has been searching for. Of course, Will has had a Chameleon like career in music over the last ten years. The best part is that every time he hits a new evolution of music, he carts it around the province to say… look at what we’re doing now! From songwriter to crooner and cabaret man to power pop genius… Will Gillespie is always evolving his artistry. http://www.staticandsnow.com/
Saturday, May 25th – The Kensington Hillbillies – AND Nickel City Roller Derby Night - $10.00 at the door
The Kensington Hillbillies played here a few months ago to a captivated crowd… Really we had never seen anything like this before. For the most part, the band does the songs of The Clash, some of them as originally written, but many of them turned into rockabilly and country versions of the originals. The Crooked Beat (The Clash Night) was this. Steve had been writing songs since he was a teenager and was mainly influenced then by artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young & The Clash. After the untimely death of Clash frontman & lyricist, Joe Strummer, in December 2002, the Kensington Hillbillies were asked to perform three songs at a Strummer tribute night at Toronto's legendary Horseshoe Tavern. The Clash's "Straight To Hell" was included as one of those three songs and was considered by many in the audience as the highlight of the night. Shortly after this event, the song was recorded and has been part of the band's repetoire since then.
Tonight, along with this great party band, also dubbed, The Clash Billy Rockers, we have the opening home game of the new season for the Nickel City Roller Derby. The bout is at the Azilda Arena at 7pm. After the bout, the party moves to the Townehouse for dinner and the party with the Kensington Hillbillies. So get out to Azilda and see this exciting sport as the NCRD starts it’s 4th season.
Thursday, May 30th – Local bands night - $7.00 at the door
Friday, May 31st – Bandit - $7.00 at the door
With Ryan Levecque, you never know what you are going to get. He is fond of playing a full night of dance party music from Prince to Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers. He also leads us on the Stones night once a year or so. Then, of course, the Bowie Hallowe’en. Always fun. Tonight, in honour of his 72nd birthday this week, the band takes on the catalogue of Bob Dylan. Although most of the music will come from the 65-75 heyday with The Hawks through to the Rolling Thunder Revue, you never can tell what will make it into the set. All I know is that it will be a supercharged evening to celebrate the greatest songwriter of the generation and the man who reinvented rock and roll in the 1960’s.
Saturday, June 1st – The Birthday Cakes, Coast Redwood - $7.00 at the door
Thursday, June 6th – Local bands night, Rock and Roll Slider Party and CBC Radio 3 live taping with Grant Lawrence!! - $7.00 at the door
Monday, June 10th – UBT - $7.00 at the door – 8:00pm doors – Early show!
What is better than stoner rock seasoned with good doses of psychedelic, soul and pop ? The new project of Mikey Heppner (Priestess) offers a good mix between rock laziness and great experience, with catchy melodies and riffs, in the good old Led Zep’ tradition. Add on top of that a lo-fi inspired by the sixties, huge fuzz and neglected drumming: you get a real musical feast.
UBT is releasing their 3rd album this week and embarking on a trip across the country. Stay tuned for opening acts, but you know that this night will be a chunky groovefest to remember.