Broken Social Scene

The Informer

Culture

Comments

See, Hear, Read: April’s six can’t-miss cultural releases

See, Hear, Read: April's six can't-miss cultural releases

Rufus Wainwright chronicles a decade’s worth of drama and debauchery on his new greatest hits album, Vibrate (Images: Foley by Getty Images; Remedy courtesy of Global)

1. Vibrate by Rufus Wainwright

In June 2006, Rufus Wainwright donned silk stockings, a black tuxedo jacket and four-inch heels to recreate Judy Garland’s iconic 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. Liza Minnelli met the gimmick with scathing contempt (“What is he doing?” she scoffed), prompting a deliciously passive-aggressive celebrity feud—Wainwright told the press that Minnelli wasn’t talking to him and made catty barbs at her onstage. Wainwright’s latest track is a sly dig called “Me and Liza,” in which he begs for her ­forgiveness. “Come on, Liza, give me a try,” he croons. It’s the lead single on his new best-of album, Vibrate, which maps the songwriter’s development from waifish tweaker to campy bon vivant and, finally, to domesticated family man—he married Jorn Weisbrodt, Luminato’s handsome German artistic director, and fathered a child with Leonard Cohen’s daughter, Lorca. A deluxe edition features a second disc of bonus material, including a handful of rare live covers—songs by Noël Coward, George Gershwin and Wainwright’s father, Loudon Wainwright III.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Random Stuff

Comments

Broken Social Scene founder Kevin Drew now has his own body butter

Though we had to confirm that this wasn’t, in fact, one big joke, it looks like local indie rocker Kevin Drew actually does have his own brand of thick, heavily scented cream. In collaboration with organic skincare company Wildrose Magnolia, fans of the artist can now slather their bodies in Kevin Drew’s Tequila Lime Body Butter. Aside from the novelty appeal, it’s decent stuff: all of Wildrose Magonlia’s products are handmade in Toronto and free of toxic ingredients.

While the leap from music to body lotion may seem odd, the product appears to be a not-so-subtle promotional tactic for Drew’s soon-to-be-released album, Darlings, which comes out March 18. The first two songs on the album are called “Body Butter” and “Good Sex.” (The butter’s scent—100 per cent agave tequila and Mexican lime—may be a reference to another song on the album,Mexican After Show Party.”) For a deeper understanding of this perplexing merchandise, take a look at the infomercial above, which features both the physical body butter and the single, “Body Butter.” The product is available online for $20, but budget-conscious Drew lovers may be better off purchasing his album on iTunes for half the price.

The Informer

Culture

Comments

Current Obsession: the indie record label that launched Feist and Broken Social Scene opens up its photo album

Current Obsession: the indie record label that launched Feist and Broken Social Scene opens up its photo album

Whenever a local band or performer blows up internationally these days, it feels almost routine. For that, we can thank Arts and Crafts, the DIY label that helped make Toronto an indie-rock haven. Arts and Crafts was created a decade ago to release Broken Social Scene’s sophomore album You Forgot It in People, which turned that sprawling soap opera of a group into musical ambassadors. Mega-selling records from Stars and Feist followed, and the label soon became the home of the city’s hippest acts, plus a few rising international bands. The sudden success begat backlashes and counter-backlashes, and more than a few easily bruised egos—which just made the whole thing more fun to watch. This month, Arts and Crafts celebrates its 10th anniversary with an all-day music festival at Fort York featuring some of its biggest stars, including Feist, Cold Specks, Timber Timbre, England’s Bloc Party and a one-night-only Broken Social Scene reunion. In addition to the concert, the label is hosting an exhibition of intimate portraits by Norman Wong at a pop-up gallery on Queen West. In the photos, the musicians look cocky, confident and cool—stars of a scene that continues to break big.

ART
A&C X Norman Wong
1093 Queen St. W.
To June 15

The Goods

Shopping

Comments

The Find: t-shirts inspired by Broken Social Scene, Feist and other Canadian musicians

Just in time for the music festival season, designer Jeremy Laing has teamed up with Toronto record label Arts and Crafts and a handful of visual artists to produce a collection of t-shirts inspired by Canadian acts like Feist, Broken Social Scene and Dan Mangan. For our favourite of the bunch, Niall McClelland—who previously produced dreamy prints for Laing’s spring 2012 collection—created a moody graphic reminiscent of Timber Timbre’s haunting vocals. Meanwhile, Feist handpicked artist Sojourner Truth Parsons to riff off her music, and the resulting shirt, covered in otherworldly-looking figures, has all the cool cred of a well-worn concert tee. The tees go on sale today, with all the profits going to MusiCounts, a charity that supports musical education in schools across the country. $75.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

1 Comment

Broken Social Scene is reuniting this summer for an Arts and Crafts anniversary festival

This summer, Broken Social Scene will perform for the first time since they went on hiatus in late 2011 (a hiatus which readers may recall was accompanied by a torrid onslaught of retweets by band leader Kevin Drew). The occasion: the Field Trip Music and Arts Festival, a one-off event at Fort York and Garrison Common to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Arts and Crafts, the label Drew co-founded with Jeffrey Remedios to release BSS’s breakthrough album You Forgot It in People.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

Comments

Best of Fall 2012: the season’s top five concerts, from Dan Deacon to Leonard Cohen

Best of Fall 2012: top fall concerts
DAN DEACON
DAN DEACON
Baltimore’s Dan Deacon turns electronic music hipsterdom into an epic, all-inclusive rave. Live, he sets up his rig in the middle of the room and orchestrates dance floor antics that split the difference between summer camp singalongs and outright mass hysteria.
Nov. 9. Lee’s Palace

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

Comments

Best of Fall 2012: opera-star-in-waiting Ambur Braid keeps audiences on their toes in Die Fledermaus

Best of Fall 2012: Ambur Braid

Ambur Braid’s warm sheen of a voice, not to mention her sheer gorgeousness, have landed the young soprano a big, juicy part in the COC’s production of Die Fledermaus. Fuelled by champagne and waltzes, Johann Strauss’s comedy of mistaken identities follows the nocturnal adventures of a philandering party boy and his equally mischievous wife. Braid sings the part of the wife’s scheming chambermaid, Adele. The character is most often played as a giddy social climber, but the 29-year-old Braid has other ideas.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

Comments

Reaction roundup: Feist takes home the 2012 Polaris Music Prize

(Image: Dustin Rabin)

Yesterday at the Masonic Temple on Yonge Street, Broken Social Scene alum Feist walked home with this year’s Polaris Music Prize for Metals, her fourth studio album. She overcame the competition from a buzzy shortlist that included Japandroids, Handsome Furs, Fucked Up, Cold Specks, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Drake, Kathleen Edwards, Cadence Weapon and Grimes, the Montreal phenom behind Visions and many people’s favourite to win. The prize is awarded to the best Canadian album of the year, based solely on “artistic merit,” and a carries a purse of $30,000. Below, a roundup of who said what before, during and after the big night:

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

Comments

Toronto-area doctor speaks out against the stigma surrounding performing arts injuries

Dr. John Chong, the newly elected president of the Performing Arts Medicine Association, aims to break the taboo about disclosing performing arts injuries during his two-year stint at the organization. Chong’s years of experience helping performing artists (including Canadian notables The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo and Broken Social Scene) cope with injuries led him to the observation that THC—that is, targeted humiliating criticism—increases the likelihood of developing physical injuries. (THC is also known generally as, um, mental strain.) Artists are hesitant to speak out about mental or physical injury due to fear of losing job opportunities in an already make-it-or-break-it type industry, something Chong knows from personal experience. As he told the Toronto Star, “When you get clobbered in an audition, or you lose out in a piano competition…it’s very abusive. It just becomes anger turned inward.” [Toronto Star]

The Informer

Culture

Comments

Luminato 2012 guide: 20 must-see events at this year’s arts festival

Einstein on the Beach (Image: courtesy of Luminato)

Luminato begins this Friday, and it can be a bit of a whirlwind. Everything from a Philip Glass opera about Einstein’s life to a gigantic food festival are on the card from June 8 to June 17, so both mind and body will be nourished. There’s even a huge cast of international guests coming through Toronto, like New York artist Terence Koh and New Yorker editor Deborah Treisman. But there’s so much to do, and we couldn’t possibly see everything, so we’ve created an easy-to-use guide that lists all of Luminato’s best bets.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

1 Comment

Eight and a Half play a private show for hipsters and real estate developers at a soon-to-be Ossington condo

Last night, a strange brew of Queen West hipsters and condo developers packed into the transitional space at 109 Ossington for an invitation-only concert from Eight and Half, a Can-con indie music super collaboration featuring Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff and Dave Hamelin and Liam O’Neil of The Stills. While the concert, which was promoted as a “pop-up” (aren’t they all?), was ostensibly pretty much the most cartoonishly hipster event ever—exclusive affair (check), warehouse environs (check), on Ossington Avenue (check), cool new indie band (check)—the show was actually clever bait for a preview of a new condominium development from Reserve properties. The party on the ground floor, with drinks and canapes, served as a de facto showroom for the funky and surprisingly spacious suites (some of the fourth- and fifth-floor units even sport sizable terraces looking west and east), while the unfinished second floor held an intimate experience with Eight and a Half. True to form, no one was dancing (of course, no one was purchasing a pre-build condo either).

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

2 Comments

Once-beloved Kevin Drew is now just really obnoxious (we get it, your band broke up)

Tonight is the last Broken Social Scene show ever (at least until they decide to have another reunion), and Kevin Drew does not want his fans to forget it. For the last 40 minutes or so (he is currently taking a break), instead of just saying thanks once, he has chosen to prove how much he loves people by retweeting every single tweet that mentions his user name (go ahead, try it, it’s @kevinselection). This isn’t the first time Broken Social Scene has parted ways, since most members have their own solo projects and kind of just come and go, but for some reason this seems very final—and if it isn’t, we’re privy to a very dramatic cry for attention. If this is the end, it has been a long road, and we’re sorry what’s broken can’t be repaired.

The Informer

Culture

Comments

Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew talks hiatus, and the interweb goes wild

Kevin Drew (Image: Simon Schoeters)

Yesterday, independent music review site Pitchfork published a story online in which Kevin Drew, lead singer of Toronto’s Broken Social Scene, discusses the impending conclusion to the band’s relentless touring schedule. As is the nature of the Internet, Twitter and message boards erupted in a flurry of overreaction, with headlines focusing on the “indefinite” aspect of the hiatus (one columnist even took Drew’s statements so personally he blames himself for the band’s alleged breakup). Check out our—less reactionary—take on Drew’s statements, and what we can expect to see from Broken Social Scene members in the future, after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

TIFF Talk

Comments

On night three of Festival Music House, it was indie rock madness with The Arkells and Hey Rosetta!

Parlovr getting into it at Festival Music House (Image: J.J. Thompson)

Last night wrapped up the final eve of Festival Music House at TIFF, and much like the two nights before it, the booze was flowing and the bands gave it their all. Festival Music House curators Arts&Crafts (the label that brought us Broken Social Scene, The Stills, Timber Timbre and Jason Collett to name a few) did a great job creating unique lineups with different themes each night, with Monday’s performances appealing to a more mainstream crowd, Tuesday’s country and folk influence and last night’s indie rock thread with The Darcys, Parlovr, Hey Rosetta!, The Rural Alberta Advantage and headliners The Arkells. Check out who showed up and rocked out, after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

Comments

The Polaris Music Prize long list was announced yesterday at The Drake, and it contains 30 per cent Toronto bands

The crowd mingles in the Drake Sky Yard before the Polaris Prize long list is announced (Image: Caroline Aksich)

Yesterday at the Drake Hotel’s Sky Yard, the long list for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize was announced. The list, compiled by a 227-person jury composed of Canadian music media members, was a mash-up of new and familiar names, with more than a quarter of those nominated coming from Toronto. The prize, established in 2006 to recognize the best Canadian album of the year, is awarded purely on the basis of artistic merit. It now carries an impressive $30,000 purse, up from $20,000 (also new this year: all short-listed bands go home with $2,000 thanks to Slaight Music). We stopped by to watch the festivities unfold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement