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Bloor Ossington Folk Festival preview

Posted by Chandler Levack / October 13, 2011

Bloor Ossington Folk FestivalNew this year is the mysterious Bloor Ossington Folk Festival, an initiative by the neighbourhood to promote local venues and music culture throughout a series of DIY shows performed all weekend from Shaw to Delaware. Bloorcourt residents have a little more to celebrate as every show from October 14 to 16 is PWYC. (Some shows inside local resident's houses are also BYOB!)

While I cannot say who took on the project (for I am sworn to secrecy), I urge music lovers to pick up a program schedule at local café Saving Gigi. The lineup is extremely ambitious and varied, with 45 scheduled acts that range from rock n' roll legends (Dave Bidini of the Rheostatics plays Saving Gigi Friday at 9 p.m.) to oddball hip hop (Ninja Funk Orchestra begin the fest's hip hop showcase at Ethiopian restaurant Lambadina Friday at 7 p.m.) to can't-miss-it experiences (where else are you going to see Paraguayan harp adorable Maylee Todd play a house show on a Saturday afternoon?) Just be sure to heed the advice of the flyer, which urges festival attendees to "respect the neighbourhood, don't be a dumbass."

With this in mind, here's 10 recommendations for the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival:

Julie Doiron
Julie Doiron has a sutured heart on sleeve voice that won't quit, and the opportunity to see the former Eric's Trip bassist play a subdued set at the Exclaim offices seems almost too good to be true. Saturday, Exclaim!, 849 Bloor W., 7 p.m.

As LOOM, Brooke Banning plays densely felt acoustic ballads with the sweetest voice since Juliana Hatfield. Saturday, Studio 835, 835 Bloor W., 7 p.m.

Suitcase Sam
This local band has a ragtime influence, despite the fact that the outfit is cobbled together from members of Sheezer and Young Governor. With a wicked sense of irony, their old fashioned blues plays with the conventions of the genre. Sunday, Exclaim!, 849 Bloor W., 6 p.m.

Pow Wows
Pow Wows are favourites of King Khan, and the inheritors of the Canadian "flower-punk" torch. Friday, The Theatre Of Human Health, 853 Bloor W., 8:30 p.m.

Wayne Petti
As the frontman of Cuff The Duke, Wayne Petti is known for his rich storytelling and countrified arrangements. His solo material plays with quieter acoustic songs that aim to be confessional, perfect for an outdoor concert. Friday, CL's Yard, 540 Roxton Road, 7 p.m.

These Dakota Tavern stalwarts always put on an amazing show. Dedicated to the rough-hewn blues, their stomping garage ignites a dance party. Friday, The Theatre Of Human Health, 853 Bloor W.,. 10:30 p.m.

Drity Mags
Having recently finished a tour with Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis, the Dirty Mags are out for blood. The fierce Toronto punks maintain a Queens Of The Stone Age vibe thanks to their guttural three-chord garage. Saturday, The Theatre Of Human Health, 853 Bloor W., 8:30 p.m.

The Wilderness of Manitoba
It wouldn't be a folk festival without the "chamber folk" of Toronto band The Wilderness Of Manitoba. Also slated for the fest is the solo project of WoM frontman Will Whitwham, who adds an electronica edge as Lakeforest. (Catch him at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Saving Gigi.)
Saturday, Delaware House, 340 Delaware Avenue, 10 p.m.

No Luck Club
For something completely different, check out this instrumental hip-hop project that claims to create "sonic collages." At the helm are Matt and Trevor Chan, two brothers from Vancouver who uses everything from laptop beats to video game effects to cut and paste their samples together. Friday, Lambadina, 875 Bloor W., 8:30 p.m.

Cultural Debauchery
I'm not sure exactly what it is, but here's betting that it's worth taking a chance on the "Cultural Debauchery" scheduled from 4 to 9 p.m. at The Theatre Of Human Health on Sunday.

Lead photo by Jen Ford



AV / October 13, 2011 at 10:37 am
SO SO SO glad we moved out of this hood 3 years ago... we could see the Queen W. exodus beginning to take place and made the dash before this kind of BS took root!
crap / October 13, 2011 at 10:55 am
This sounds about as exciting as a prostate exam.
minkepants / October 13, 2011 at 11:00 am
Yeah. I used to live in the neighborhood, too, AV. You're so right. It was so much better when that stretch of bloor was nothing but rubby bars, closed Ukrainian bookstores, an increasing number of boarded up storefronts and dollar stores.

Maybe you would be happier living in a shack on a piece of Canadian shield somewhere. There's plenty of space out there. Typical Torontonian. You live downtown but you hate the fact that the city osnt dead. Want a comatose city? Move to Oakville!

WOW replying to a comment from AV / October 13, 2011 at 11:05 am
You must live a very exciting life.
minkepants / October 13, 2011 at 11:07 am
Yeah, AV, it was much better a few years ago when the Bloor strip consisted of: rubby bars, boarded up storefronts, derelict Ukrainian bookstores, dollar stores and wandering crackheads.

Typical whiny Toronto twerp. You like living in a city that isnt comatose, then bitch when people actually try and do something in their neighbourhood. If you want to live in a community where you can listen to the paint peel, why not try Oakville?

Or better yet, how about living on a barren chunk of Canadian Shield somewhere? There's plenty available and no one would bother you anymore. *wah, boohoo, sob, moan*
WOW replying to a comment from minkepants / October 13, 2011 at 11:19 am
Well said
Anna / October 13, 2011 at 11:26 am
Man, the blogTO comments are filled with more anger than a YouTube one. Pretty depressing stuff folks.
Welshgrrl / October 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Torontonians - at least those of the BlogTO variety - like to complain about anything and everything.

I totally agree with minkepants - yeah, Bloorcourt was SOOO much better when it was skid row *massive eyeroll*
AV / October 13, 2011 at 01:18 pm
Nice that BlogTO didn't have the balls to publish my reply.
Todder / October 13, 2011 at 05:41 pm
Dear AV,

As an arts advocate and local resident of this lovely little neighborhood,
I'm actually SO SO SO glad you moved out too ;)
Todder replying to a comment from AV / October 13, 2011 at 05:47 pm
Dear AV,

As an arts advocate and local resident of this lovely little neighborhood,
I'm actually SO SO SO glad you moved out too ;)
Des replying to a comment from Todder / October 14, 2011 at 01:45 pm
Very much agreed. Let's actually celebrate things worth celebrating: community and music. I can't believe people would have hate for folk music. For some reason people live lives where everything is processed like food and they forget where things they hear on the radio actually come from. It's almost like he was talking about rowdy destructive punks invading an area or something. Such a piss off. I hope people like AV move to places that are more suitable for them. Toronto isn't for everyone but let's not be delusional about the beautiful things the city has and the heart a festival like this has.

Much love
This Sounds Fantastic / October 14, 2011 at 04:56 pm
And I hadn't heard about it until now - thanks. Will definitely try to check out some of the shows.
Jeff / October 15, 2011 at 02:50 pm
CATL last night were fun as always! Cant wait to see The Schomberg Fair today too! I have no idea why anyone would have anything negative to say about this. If you're not interested just dont go. The people that do go will definitely have a blast.
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