Toronto Day 2: Everything Kevin Drew Told Us Was True
Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene was one of the first people we talked with upon arriving in Toronto for our Sense of Place visit. He told us about the traffic, the condos, the east-side/west-side divide and most importantly he told us about the bar The Communist’s Daughter. After day two his cred is high. Traffic in Toronto is, uh, an issue.
So what have we been up to? Friday ended with an eye-opening session with the band July Talk. When this visit gets on the radio, you have to hear the vocal interplay between Peter Dreimanis’ gruff Tom Waitsish voice and co-front person Leah Fay’s arty high teasing soprano. We kept thinking these two sound so different this shouldn’t work, but it does big time. Chalk up our first big discovery.
Yesterday started at one of those hipster brunch places many cities have. Here it was Lady Marmalade. We beat the line that was down the block on Queen St East when we left.
We met with Frank Yang of the Toronto-centric blog Chromewaves who talked up some of his current faves including PUP, Alvvays, The Elwins, Fresh Snow, Beliefs and Del Bel.
Why look, it’s lunch time! Time for fish tacos in the hole-in-the-wall Tacos El Asador. Cheap and muy satisfying.
We met Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene at Jimmy’s Coffee around the corner from his house at 3:30 for a two-hour tour that stretched until 1:30 AM!
His favorite place in the city: Kensington Market.
In Kensington Market – a beyond-charming rag tag mix of food stalls, restaurants and shops in the heart of the city – we stumbled on the new Poetry Jazz Cafe.
We sampled Brendan’s favorite food too. Hot-off-the-grill jerk chicken at Rasta Pasta and pupusas at Emporium Latino.
Then more music including a stop at The Rex Jazz and Blues Club for a 5 PM session with The Advocats Big Band then on to the shabby boho front room at The Cameron House for equally shambling roots rock from Rattlesnake Choir.
After dinner at Marbel it was a late night set from Marker Starling at Holy Oak. A small packed club with Marker seated at the Fender Rhodes in a tux leading a trio in vibey jazz-inflected originals.
Then it was 1 AM. we bid farewell to Brendan, who proved a charming host, and stumbled back to our hotel. End of Daylight Savings Time, we love you.