5 Toronto supergroups playing at All Toronto's Parties II

by Trevor Blumas

May 21, 2014






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On Saturday May 24th, All Toronto’s Parties—a promoters coalition, an exercise in community curation, and an experimental collective comprised of pillars of Toronto’s musical underbelly—will be celebrating its second manifestation. Consisting of foundational institutions like Wavelength, Silent Shout, Weird Canada, Pleasence Records, Burn Down the Capital / Feast in the East, ATP is now joined by Healing Power Records. The collective has curated an eclectic series of events: Starting out with daytime events across Kensington Market, ATP will then move to the darkly lit Comfort Zone, where they’llunveilfive collaborative supergroups, each drawn from members of Toronto’s most far-out, original and exciting acts.

“The main objective for us, I think, is really just to pool our interests, resources and skills in order to create the best cultural sculpture we possibly can,” says Wavelength’s Adam Bradley, a driving force behind ATP. “We all approach show promotion from different but similar angles, so these events are the nexus of our collective vision… While the inaugural ATP was pretty nutty and ambitious, we just thought ‘How can we make this one even crazier?’

“Brainstorming at the ATP roundtables is a sight to behold. We’re all on such equivocal frequencies.”

The day begins at 4 p.m. in Kensington Market with a series of pay-what-you-can afternoon performances, taking place at a number of different venues. “We have some of our favourite local artists playing at local businesses and interesting spots such as a cafe patio, a vintage shop, a barber shop and a Muay Thai boxing ring,” adds Bradley. “The notion here largely was to introduce local show-goers to some really great spaces and to help expand upon a sense of local community.”

Then, it’ll move to the Comfort Zone, where the supergroups take the stage. “Some, like Darlene Shrugg, existed prior to now, but others were arranged by the artists for this event only, which should make for some insane musical stew. This’ll truly be a one of a kind show.

“The collaborative sets were definitely a challenge to organize, but the local music community that we travel in is often really tight and connected, so the idea was an easy sell to those we thought might be interested. Any of the people or bands involved in these collaborations could easily headline a show, so it’s exciting that everyone was so stoked to participate.”

Here’s who’s part of ATP II’s stacked deck. Check out the full schedule here, or consult the map at the top of this page.



Man Made Hill, via Soundcloud.

Featuring: Members of Man Made Hill, Sexy Merlin, The Ketamines and Séance Centre

Vibe:“A wilderness of funk,” says Randy Gagne, a.k.a. Man Made Hill. “Bring your dancing shoes, and leave your chin-scratching finger at home.”

Story behind the name:“Nature seemed simple enough, the rhythm springs forth from our loins like tender blossoms of May.”

On the collaboration:“The experience was immediate synergy,” says Gagne. “We allowed lots of space for exploration before skirting the idea of ‘songs,’ it was most important to locate that sweet spot in the groove and expand from there.”


Wildlife Rodeo

Doc Dunn, via Youtube.

Featuring: Transcendental Rodeo’s Doc Dunn, Famous Wildlife Movies’ Mike Smith

Vibe:“Get high,” says Doc Dunn.

Story behind the name: “[Bongwater’s] Wolfgang Nessel came up with it. We just agreed to his great idea.”

On the collaboration: “Not even sure we’ll have time to jam before,” says Dunn. “We generally improvise anyway.”


Abra Cadaver

Bile Sister, via Bandcamp.

Featuring: Wolf Cow and Bile Sister

Vibe:“It’s gonna be a party! Five people playing instruments and two vocalists,” says Julia Reich, a.k.a. Bile Sister. “The bandleaders will be singing the songs as duets.”

Story behind the name:“Greydyn [Wolfcow] and I both come up with endless lists of weird word combos. Since we met, we have shared and developed many lists,” says Reich. “For Abra Cadaver, we had to narrow it down from a bunch. We chose our top three from each other’s suggestions and went from there.”

On the collaboration:“Initial decision-making stages seemed to take the longest, such as figuring out how to put this band together, what instruments we preferred, and who would/could participate,” says Reich. “Trying to manufacture the roles and expect it to be an instant connection is not realistic. Now that the ball is rolling, it is smooth sailing. Ultimately, this has been yet another opportunity to learn from each other.”


Frisch Kind

Fresh Snow, via Twitter.

Featuring: Members of Fresh Snow and Jamie Kidd

Vibe:“The focus has been on rhythm,” says Fresh Snow guitarist Bradley Davis. “If we can get the kids dancing and fry their brains with feedback at the same time we will have succeeded. If that fails, I take confusion as a compliment.”

Story behind the name:“Frisch Kind is a quasi-Germanic bastardization of our amalgamated names.”

On the collaboration:“Our process has been pretty hands-off so far,” says Davis. “Ideas are growing and mutating. In art, I value stress and pressure. I also have faith in magic. There has been no ego involved so far. Wait, does my needing a private dressing room count?”


Darlene Shrugg

Tropics, via Myspace.

Featuring: Members of Tropics, Slim Twig, US Girls and Ice Cream

Vibe: If you’re familiar with any of these artists, then you know not to expect anything. Oh, um, except to have your mind blown.

Story behind the name: Remains a mystery.

On the collaboration: Formed as a continuation and evolution of the musical collaboration started by Simone TB and Slim Twig—first known asTropics—the new configuration includes writing and singing fromMeg Remy (U.S. Girls). The band expands to five live with contribution fromIce Cream’s Amanda Crist and Carlyn Bezic.


Tags: Music, Cancon, Lists, News, All Toronto's Parties, World Pride






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