Director: George Vale, 2009
The Wavelength Music Series is at the heart of Toronto’s independent music scene: its Sunday night PWYC shows have featured early performances by Broken Social Scene, Peaches, Final Fantasy and hundreds of other less-known but equally influential talents from the city and beyond.
East Coast boy Brian Borcherdt found Wavelength when he landed here and was inspired by the eclectic acts he witnessed there to create his own experimental project: the electronic improv outfit Holy Fuck. Brian takes a break from touring the world with Holy Fuck to sit down at Sneaky Dee’s and recount how his debut performance at Wavelength there had unexpected results.
A high-energy and humorous retrospective, featuring exclusive live performance footage and Brian’s hand-drawn „family tree” of Wavelength bands.
Director: George Vale, 2009
Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene has witnessed the transformation of the Drake first hand. In December, 1991, Canning played the basement of the Drake when it was still a run-down hotel in a run-down neighbourhood.
His band at the time, hHead, was opening for local indie rockers Phleg Camp as part of Elvis Mondays, a no cover new music series that continues to gives upstarts a friendly place to play. About ten years later the hotel / bar / live venue was transformed from dubious dive to chic hotspot, and saw its profile rise globally right while Canning was getting his own share of worldwide attention with his new band, Broken Social Scene.
What forces shaped these two cultural success stories? The singer/bassist checks into a suite at the Queen Street landmark and recounts his most memorable nights spent rehearsing, performing, DJing and soaking up the sounds of a city coming into its own.
BRUCE MCDONALD is one of Canada’s pre-eminent cult filmmakers.
He’s become infamous for his comment that he’d buy „a big chunk of hash” with the money he won at the Toronto International Film Festival for his debut feature Roadkill in 1989.
Anyone who’s seen one of his films knows he wasn’t joking. Two other films in his road trilogy, Hard Core Logo and Highway 61 followed. In between executive producing and directing the television series Twitch City, he’s directed episodes of Queer as Folk, Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Tournament, and This is Wonderland. McDonald also directed the films Dance Me Outside, Picture Claire, Claire’s Hat, and The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess.
In 2007 he directed The Tracey Fragments starring Ellen Page, opening the Panorama program at the Berlin Film Festival. His most recent feature Pontypool premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival in 2008.
Geddy Lee (Rush) at Massey Hall
Geddy Lee of Rush journeys back to the 1970s when all the world was a stage at Massey Hall.
Care Failure (Die Mannequin) at 102.1 The Edge
As a troubled teen Care Failure found solace in 102.1 The Edge, an alternative rock station that plays music as reckless as she is.
Cancer Bats at Adrift Clubhouse
Punk rock stars and skateboarders Cancer Bats reveal the magic DIY community behind the heavily spray-painted door of the Adrift Clubhouse.
Director: Anita Doron, 2009
Rotate This has rules. Who gets to buy that rarest vinyl from the hidden back room? Which bands get to sell their demos on consignment? As a teen punk, Damian Abraham spent whole days in the indie record shop – riffling through the bins, trading gig flyers, catching free all-ages shows by his soon-to-be favourite out-of-town bands.
Rotate’s owner Brian Taylor still schools music obsessives like Damian from the shop’s new location down the street, but there are no more gigs. For Damian this sucks. Now the singer of critically acclaimed hardcore heroes Fucked Up (who generally play anywhere they damned well please).
Damian has passed all Brian’s tests but he’s got one Rotate dream left: play a gig in the shop like the bands he grew up on. How can he convince them? Featuring a rare sighting of the infamously camera-shy Taylor and live performance that may or may not have all been a dream…
Director: Peter Lynch, 2009
Barenaked Ladies got their start on MuchMusic’s „Speaker’s Corner” booth at the corner of Queen West and John, and the UltraSound nightclub down the street. Today, those spots are both gone – the booth is in storage and the building that once housed the club is home to a high-end spa.
The Barenaked Ladies have been transformed too: into internationally known chart-stopping pop stars. Drummer Tyler Stewart takes us on a trip down memory lane and reminisces on the grassroots community that once dominated this stretch of Queen Street West – before it was gentrified into an outdoor shopping mall.
Featuring exclusive new footage of the Barenaked Ladies busking on the steps of Pages Books, another Queen Street institution now marked for closure, this tribute to a by-gone era is full of optimism for the future.