Monday, July 22, 2013

In an effort to let you know about fun times to be had in Toronto, here's some events going on this week. This week offers a number of great performances in perfect, unique spaces:

Tuesday, July 23rd

Oshawa rock and rollers, Cuff the Duke hits the Dakota Tavern for the first of two Tuesday night shows. Perfect pairing of venue and band, come down and feel the twangy love. Come early and grab a bite, like the Dakota's excellent fried chicken or fish tacos.

An Evening with Cuff the Duke @ The Dakota Tavern
WHEN: July 23rd & 30th, doors at 9pm, show at 10pm
WHERE: The Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Avenue (north of Dundas Street W.)
TICKETS: $15 in advance (I wouldn't chance tickets at the door for this one):
July 23rd: Cuff the Duke Night One
July 30th: Cuff the Duke Night Two

Wednesday, July 23rd

Miranda Mulholland (Great Lake Swimmers, Belle Starr, The Rattlesnake Choir) is coordinating a series of salons in Parkdale, where the joy of music, food, and drinks can be shared amongst friends. The July installment features Grapes of Wrath’s Kevin Kane, with special guest, Patrick Brealey, performing in an unconventional setting, the "vintage mecca" Mrs. Huizenga's at the south end of Roncesvalles Avenue. I had a chance to see some of Mrs. Huizenga's wears at the Junction Flea Market recently, and I'm sure this salon will be a unique show in a place of wonder.

La Belle Éparkdale #2 with Kevin Kane (Grapes of Wrath), with special guest Patrick Brealey
Concert with libations & snacks by Krysta Oben
WHEN: Wed. July 24th, Doors at 7 p.m. show at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Mrs. Huizenga, 28 Roncesvalles Avenue
TICKETS: suggested PWYC - $10

Thursday, July 25th

The Toronto Botanical Garden's series of free outdoor concerts "Gardens of Song" continues with a turn to the classical with The Annex Quartet. Shows are each Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. until the end of August. Admission is FREE, and you're welcome to bring your own chairs, with stools available with a refundable $5 deposit.

Gardens of Songs: The Annex Quartet
WHEN: 7pm to 8:30pm
WHERE: Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Avenue E. at Leslie Avenue

Friday, July 26th

Modern love is a challenge, and when you find yourself dating after a four-year relationship, you have to figure out how this whole dating thing works. Ashley Gibson did just that, and presents "I KNOW IT'S TODAY". stories and songs about a journey that found her looking for love in right and a few wrong places. This follow-up to her debut cabaret show "Life is Sweet, Even in February" promises some stories that may have you cringe, likely giggle, and smile as Ashley sings some beautiful arrangements of songs you may know and love.

Ashley Gibson: I Know It's Today: A Cabaret of Stories and Songs 
WHEN: Fri. July 26th, 7:00 pm show
WHERE: The Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament Street, Toronto
TICKETS: Tix: $15advance/$20 door
Advance tickets can be bought at the Pubaret or online here.
Facebook Event: Ashley Gibson: I Know It's Today

Saturday, July 27th

Two Hours Traffic has been a favourite band of mine for years, ever since they first caught my ear with their second album "Little Jabs". It's the kind of music that's perfect for summer, urgent pop rocks that send you biking downhill, face to the sun, breeze pulling on your bare skin. It's sort of perfect we get a summertime visit in the form of free show by Two Hours Traffic at Sonic Boom, as they celebrate their newest release "Foolish Blood". Pair it with a visit over to the bars of Mirvish Village like The Victory Cafe, I'm sure they could use some love.

Two Hours Traffic - free in-store at Sonic Boom Records
WHEN: Sat July 27th, 5:00 pm
WHERE: Sonic Boom Records, 782 Bathurst St, Toronto
Facebook Event: Two Hours Traffic - free in-store

Sunday, July 28th

One of my favourite things about a Toronto summer is the number of free movies being shown outdoors. The Christie Pits Film Festival has been presenting a great series "Hits in the Pits: Outdoor movies about the rise and fall of great bands", and this Sunday's finale is one of the best, as they present "The Last Waltz", which finds director Martin Scorscese taking us to the final performance of seminal Canadian rockers, The Band. Pack a picnic and some libations, find a grassy spot on the hill, and take in this classic concert film.

The Last Waltz - presented by the Christie Pits Film Festival
WHEN: Sun., July 28th, 9:00 pm
WHERE: Christie Pits Park, 750 Bloor St W, Toronto
Facebook Event: Christie Pits Film Festival - The Last Waltz