Coming up in a few weeks, my blog will be co-presenting its next show with the help of Crosswires, a nice little bi-weekly showcase that is now happening at Handlebar in Toronto.
Crosswires is pretty much everything that is right with Toronto’s music scene. It’s a pay-what-you-can showcase with three bands, and all money goes right to the bands. The transparency of where the money is going is very refreshing.
Not to mention that the bands that play are usually pretty amazing. I sadly haven’t attended too many of these myself (I often work Sunday nights, when the shows happen) but those that I have gone to have been pretty intimate shows.
And the people who run it are great, all people I now know pretty well and are often involved with the stuff Wavelength puts out. There’s Brandon of Most People, who is now helping out with sound at Handlebar, there’s Dorice, planner extraordinaire, and then there’s Doc Pickles, the host with the most who makes up quite possibly the best introductions for bands ever.
The first time we (and by we I mean my fellow Grayowl Point team members and I) teamed up with Crosswires, it was a pretty fun experience from beginning to end. Booking bands, I learned, is a little harder to do than I thought, but it was worthwhile to learn. When booking bands, all kinds of things can prevent an act from playing such as too many shows in close proximity, band members out of town or if the band just plain isn’t playing shows, all of which can be expected.
The first time around we had fairly good luck, though, and had our show booked well in advance. Playing that night first was Wendy Versus, which is Wendy Leung formerly of Papermaps alongside Owen Norquay and Dean Marino. They played a fantastic set, from what I remembered, even though I was doing doors as they played.
Second up was Old English, featuring my good friends Matt Henderson and Daniel Halyburton among others. I was near the stage for this one, and the band had some exceedingly gentle banter in between awesome songs like “Farmer’s Tan” and “We’ve Been Here Before.” One of their songs had Henderson inviting people to slow dance, and it was a shame no one did.
Closing off that night was Paradise Animals who brought in a good crowd considering the day of the week. It was their first show in some time and with a revised lineup, and safe to say they absolutely killed it. They closed off the set with a psychedelic song based on a dream lead singer Mark Andrade had and it whipped everyone into a frenzy.
For this second show, booking was a hell of a lot harder, so hard, in fact, that we could probably make a pretty extensive playlist out of bands that we weren’t able to book. But we do finally have a show (mostly) and that’s what counts. We also have a plan to go into Owl Overdrive, which is something you’ll understand if you come out. It’s May 12 at Handlebar.