Last night, I headed off to the North York Central Public Library for the Tune in to Toronto Tunes concert (TTT) celebrating the launch of the Toronto Public Library’s new 300 CD indie music collection (which you can order online and pickup at any of their 99 locations across the city). The concert was supported by Blocks Recording Club and Soundscapes. It’s not every day that there is a concert in your backyard, that’s free, and has
bands a band you want to see.
First off, we got some dinner at the new Ajisen Ramen place that opened several weeks ago around the corner. It was really busy considering we went pretty early (6:30ish). They greeted us in Cantonese, played j-pop over the stereo system, and served Korean food. The place was packed with families, the normal Korean people around the area, and a bunch of white people with asian fever (couples). The food was affordable although nothing too special, the highlight was probably the huge figurehead in the middle of the restaurant and hot pink chairs. Worth revisiting I believe.
The doors for TTT opened at 7:30, and there was a lineup outside ready to go in by the time we got there. Even though it was a library, they were still an hour late and we didn’t get in until 8:30. There was a free coat check and a couple of cops to maintain security. We entered the library auditorium (I didn’t even know they had one), and found everyone sitting around on the floor. I was surprised we didn’t break out the books.
The first act was Bob Wiseman. He showed some video clips from his iBook and played his accordian/guitar/synthesizer along with them. They were moderately funny. Next up were the Creeping Nobodies who I didn’t really like. Their key contribution for me was that they brought the amp for everyone to use.
Ninja High School were third on the bill, never heard of them but they had an interesting name (but unfortunately their website is stuck in 1998). These guys are described as positive hardcore rap, and made everyone stand up before they started. They sounded like the Beastie Boys and were really fun! The teenyboppers started pushing people around up front and two of the members actually spent half their set WITHIN the crowd. You know it’s indie when the artists run around the audience without security. Also one of their mics didn’t work, but they were screaming and it was a small room so it worked out.
I was confused about who was next up, but I just did some research and they were Hank ft the Hank Collective. I thought they said Hand Collective because it made more sense. These guys were pro as they brought in their own photographer and had roadies (I think?). Although they broke strings on two of their guitars during the performance! They were a mix of the dissonant indie sound with i-swear-i-heard-that-before pop hooks.
Finally at like midnight, Final Fantasy came on wearing a Van Halen shirt. This guy is incredibly hard to look for information for due to his name; but if you’re looking to download stuff you should seach for his album (He Poos Clouds), his real name, or append Arcade Fire to your search. By the time he went on, all the kids had to go home (or were bored by his music) so the crowd was older (and tired). Because I did not know how he actually performed his music as a one man band (there’s a lot of counterpoint), I was surprised by what was happening. Eventually I clued in that what he does is play a bit while recording it, and then loops it right on stage! Final Fantasy is definitely better live, his music seems much more interesting when you see him scrambling to do everything.
There were too funny instance, once he kicked/dropped his violin or something so he left his loop running and slowly put his equipment back together again. Another time he complained about how there was water everywhere, and so a little later while he was performing, two young asian volunteers ran up to the stage and started wiping the floor behind him with paper towels! I was thinking sweatshop, but he made a funny remark about it being erotic.