Article by: Max Mertens
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've noticed that the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival is underway, which brings dozens of great films, Hollywood stars and starlets and their admirers to the city for a week and a half.
What you might not know is that there's also plenty of live music at the festival. Many bars have extended liquor licenses until 4:00am for the duration of the festival, including Bovine Sex Club, The Drake Hotel, The Hoxton and Wrongbar, which also makes it easier to enjoy a pint or two while watching a local act or catching a DJ set by one of your favourite bands. If you're lucky, you might even end up rubbing elbows with someone like Drew Barrymore or Ryan Gosling.
The Drake Hotel is one of the hottest spots at TIFF and they've lined up some of the city's best bands to play. On Wednesday night, Audio Blood is throwing a showcase with The Balconies, Toronto-via-Burlington's Sandman Viper Command and Halifax's Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers (doors at 9 p.m., $10). On Friday, Last Gang presents up-and-coming quartet Modern Superstitions, Toronto electronic duo SHVRS and a "Special Secret Guest" .
Festival Music House
From Sept. 12-14, The Mod Club plays host to the second annual Festival Music House, which their website describes as "offering film industry tastemakers an amazing opportunity to experience Canada's wealth of musical talent during the height of the Toronto International Film Festival". They've established a who's who list of Canadian acts over the three days including Hooded Fang, Dinosaur Bones, Hannah Georgas, The Midway State, K'naan, The Sheepdogs, Sam Roberts Band, The Darcys, Parlovr, Hey Rosetta!, The Rural Alberta Advantage and the Arkells. Unfortunately, it looks like unless you are involved with the film industry, you won't be able to get in. Have a look at the Festival Music House website for more information.
Bands Doing DJ Sets
I've heard some pretty terrible reviews of Toronto's newest live music venue The Hoxton, located at 69 Bathurst Street, but there's no denying some of the big names they've lined up to spin records for their nightly festival parties. If you've ever wondered what a DJ set by Australian electro band Miami Horror or Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club would consist of, you can check out members of both bands at The Hoxton on Tuesday and Saturday (doors at 10 p.m., $10-$15). For something completely different, Damian Abraham from Fucked Up will be DJing at Sneaky Dee's on Friday, for the tenth edition of Toronto monthly party Songs: A Dance Party (doors at 10 p.m., $5).
Other Good Bets
Sept. 13 - Rich Aucoin + guests - Drake Underground (doors at 8 p.m., $10)
Sept. 14 - Rebekah Higgs (CD release party) w/ The Danks, Boxer The Horse - Rivoli (doors at 9 p.m., $10)
Sept. 15 - NXNE Does TIFF - Rivoli (doors at 9 p.m., free)
Sept. 16 - Vivian Girls - Parts & Labour (doors at 10 p.m., $15)