Skip to content

Toronto Thaw Festival via NOW Daily

May 6, 2012

A mini-preview of one band from each show of the DIY festival

The Toronto Thaw Festival emerged last May as “a hazily stoned idea rooted in the celebration of Toronto’s new crop of groundbreaking musicians.”

Assembled from mostly new and emerging local acts, the DIY festival – organized by local label Telephone Explosion Records – sidestepped sponsorship, promotion and genre to present a handful of bills presented according to flow rather than draw. That created an interesting mishmash, but the focus of this year’s No Thaw (renamed due to the lack of snow this winter) has altered its approach slightly.

“This year we tried to streamline each line up a bit more,” says Jon Schouten, co-founder of Telephone Explosion and guitarist for Teenanger. “Originally we had this idea of having folk and brutal metal acts on the same bill, and although we never achieved a bill with such extremely diversity, we still found that pairing somewhat similar artists together does create an overall better vibe.”

But though each lineup has been more thematically or generically looped, this year’s edition seems to be taking more chances on brand new or under-heard acts. To help you navigate the schedule, here is a mini-preview of one band from each show.

ABYSS with URBAN BLIGHT, S.H.I.T., DC81, DJ IPOD at Duffy’s Tavern (1238 Bloor West), tonight (May 3). $10. See listing.

Proof that No Thaw isn’t strictly an “indie rock” festival, tonight’s throwdown at Duffy’s Tavern features hardcore, punk, metal and a heavy does of brutality. Perhaps the best iteration of that is Abyss.

“We are definitely a Death Metal band in the truest sense of the term,” says the band’s David Kristiansen, citing Discharge, Napalm Death, Celtic Frost and Siege as influences. “We fully acknowledge and embrace the punk/hardcore roots of the genre.”

“This may seem like an odd bill for us, but it makes sense when you even marginally look at the lineage of real Death Metal. Not many bands in Toronto or even Canada are playing this kind of music, but it’s natural to us.”

Kristiansen sent us the below live video of Abyss playing the song Blood Urges at Hard Luck Bar as an encapsulation of where they’re coming from.

“It’s simple, ruthlessly fast and literally blood-soaked… everything this genre should be!”

YOUNG MOTHER with BLUE SAGE, SOUPCANS, LIDS, HELLALUYA at The Cave (860 College), Friday (May 4). $10. See listing.

This bill has a bit more of a psych/garage flavour to it, and Young Mother almost functions as the link. After starting as an improvisational free jazz collective, the band, led by Jesse James Laderoute, has recently streamlined its sound into a tightly-wound motor of krauty post-punk groove.

“Young mother has been around in various forms for about two years,” says Laderoute. “We’ve been a good band for 6 exactly of those months.”

Young Mother have taken their time crafting their debut record, Future Classics, but says it should be ready for release on Telephone Explosion in early June. Below is the track, entitled Motorway (Western Strip, 1915), that won the band its record deal.

“I posted this track online about six months ago and within minutes Jon [Schauten] messaged me and said he wanted to put the record out,” says Laderoute. “It’s pretty much that simple.”

UNFINISHED BUSINESS with TOTAL TRASH, MEAN BLOOD at the Garage (73 Cecil), Saturday (May 5), 7 – 9pm. $10. See listing.

A show that takes “all-ages” to its logical extreme, this early evening bill features Unfinished Business (formerly Food Fight), a trio of girls aged 11 to 13.

“We write all our own songs and we’re BFF’s,” band members Sita, Layla and Fiona write in a collective email. “We are kind of rock…but not really punk rock or pop rock…annd not pop punk either but they’ve called us that b4 we’re fine with it.”

“We love to have fun and hang out together!” they say. “And also we would like to give a shoutout to… everybody! SHOUTOUT!!!!!!”

Check out Unfinished Business playing their song Epic Fail at a performance last week. In the video, the crowd calls for an encore, but they’ve already played all their songs… so they rip into Epic Fail again.

PRINCE INNOCENCE with ELL V GORE, MAUSOLEUM, CELLPHONE, DJ VOYOYOYOYONOVICH at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina), Saturday (May 5). $10. See listing.

Likely the show with the most buzz behind it, this Silver Dollar show features the debut performance by Prince Innocence, the new “minimal synth collaboration” between Little Girls’ Josh McIntyre and his girlfriend Talvi Faustman.

Though the band shares some of Little Girls’ repetitive haze, it replaces its emphasis on lo-fi noise with dreamy pop hooks.

“It’s a bit of a change to be writing music with someone,” says McIntyre. “All of the Little Girls records were done by myself.”

“With Talvi living in Montreal and me in Toronto, we ended up working on a several songs sending files back and forth,” he explains. “However, some of the songs were recorded while we were together in Montreal, where I would bring my gear on the Megabus and set up a makeshift studio.”

The pair plans to release an EP this summer. Girls, streaming below, is the first single from that release.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: