PRODUCT Toronto

This blog aims to celebrate the awesome, the unique, the creative, the positive, and the beautiful that surrounds us. It is also very much an ode to our beloved city; no matter how far we travel and and yearn to run away and rave about cities like San Francisco and Buenos Aires, Toronto is home and number one in our hearts.

While reading the Editor’s Letter in Issue 7 of PRODUCT magazine written by Editor-in-Chief and self-titled “Cultural Curator” Kyle Kofsky it became very evident that PRODUCT and For the Love of Awesome are clearly in pursuit of similar goals. Kyle describes the magazine’s mission as profiling the lives of Torontonians who have found success while choosing to live positively and to better their own lives and the lives of those around them, whatever their backgrounds and pursuits.

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NXNE Recap and an Amazing Sandwich

First thing’s first: I’m suffering from post-NXNE depression in a big way. This year’s festival was better than ever. Once again, venues kept to their schedules (some acts even started early! Gasp!), people flowed easily between venues taking in as much music as they could resulting in my never waiting in a line or missing a planned show, and I saw some amazing new bands. From the Yonge & Dundas Square shows, to 3:00am sets with extended bar licenses, to a full afternoon of acoustic music in Trinity Bellwoods park, I had warm fuzzies all weekend. Most importantly, I am a huge fan of some new bands, including St. Lucia, Youth & Gold, Still Corners, Paper Lions and Villagers. I’ve been reading some awesome reviews of the weekend and I’m trying not to get anxious about the sets I missed because contrary to what I want to believe, I can’t do it all! Good news is that I’ve now got a list of bands to keep my eye out for. Here are some great reviews of the week that have me counting down until next year:

http://www.blogto.com/music/2013/06/20_highlights_from_nxne_2013/

http://consequenceofsound.net/2013/06/the-top-15-moments-of-nxne-2013/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/17/nxne-2013-best_n_3455738.html

A few choice shots from the weekend include Eight and a Half (L), the crowd at the Great Hall sitting and taking in Our Founders, and the Great Hearts festival put on by the Young Lions Music Club:

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Shake It: Fun Dance Parties in the City

I’ll be the first to admit that finding a place to twist & shout in Toronto can be a difficult endeavour. With the help of some friends who like to hit a dance floor on the regular,parties I’ve been to, and the ubiquitous Facebook events used by promoters, I’ve done my best to put together a decent list of dance parties in the city for you.

Lovin’ In The Name Of: My favorite party in the city happens on the 3rd Friday of every other month at the Great Hall (Queen & Dovercourt). The event attracts a great, friendly crowd of all ages and features a live (and large) band playing the hits from the past and the present, with a DJ spinning between sets. The band members rotate and often features musicians from great local bands. Cover is usually $10.

Chronologic: Labelling the night as a “Dance party through the ages”, promoters Goin’ Steady have been successfully throwing this party for some time. The night used to be at the Boat and has since been moved to The Garrison, a larger venue with more space to dance (win!). The idea? Starting in the 1890’s ’til today, DJs play hits in chronological order. Make sure you make it there for the 50’s and 60’s, always a highlight of the night! Usually ever 2 weeks, cover is $5 and the next one is on September 1st.

Shake-a-Tail: Every Saturday night at Sneaky Dee’s, the music is 60’s pop, rock, soul, funk, garage, ska, ANYTHING! Always a good time, be prepared to get hot & sweaty!

Reality Bytes: Playing the hits from the 90’s, this party has outposts on both the west-end (Augusta House) and east-end (WAYLA) of the city every first Saturday of the month. Get there early for this one, the bars hit capacity pretty early in the night. No cover before 11, $5 after.

No No Pony: At another popular 90’s party (more focused on hip hop), get ready to hear Ginuwine’s “Pony” every hour, on the hour. And no, it never gets old! The event happens in the Basement of Parts & Labour in Parkdale. Keep checking their Facebook page to find out when the next No No Party is going down.

If nostalgia isn’t your thing, I go to the Hoxton when I need a fix of newer house/electronic music. Cherry Cola’s is great for rock-leaning tunes to dance to.

The Young Lion’s Music Club is also always throwing cool parties around the city. This latest was just announced: SS Songs: a dance party on a boat with some live bands! The party is on Friday, Sept. 14th and you can get the $15 tickets at Soundscapes and RotateThis.

If you know of any other great parties/venues, please share ’em by leaving a comment!