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Old schoolin' 

Woke up early (lord knows how) to go to a talk by Karen Kain and a bunch of other dance types at the new Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre. I left midway because I was too hung and I was having an out-of-body experience. If this was an art blog, I'd tell you about a show I saw at 401 Richmond, but I'll save that for Dope Show. Went over to the Holiday Inn, on my way to the press office and a well-dressed older man held the door open for me. Ah!! Hugh Cornwell! Lead singer of The Stranglers, and the man who I was going to hear speak. In another room across, Maestro Fresh Wes was interviewing Fab 5 Freddy, who is considered a hip-hop pioneer and visual artist. That packed crowd was lively, and included Mike Lobel (bad-boy Jay Hobart for Degrassi fans. Hey, I can't my celeb sightings). In The Stranglers' room, a small crowd of old punks and music wanks gathered to hear Cornwell speak to another British lad in a suit (didn't get his name). It was very Actors Studio but awesome to hear Cromwell reminisce with quiet humour about opening for Patty Smith, The Ramones and Talking Heads.

I do say old chap, that girl takes terrible photos, doesn't she?

Skipped the Vice and Six Shooter parties (this blog is no party, all music) to have afternoon pints with a friend. The night before she went to see Evan Dando, who apparently didn't flip out, as rumoured, but instead played a kagillion shortened songs with no emotion. Crowd was speculating that Dando might be partaking again. But maybe he's bored. And then more pints with other friend, and then over to see Bran Van 3000 at the free stage at Yonge-Dundas Square. Of course a free show across from the Eaton's Centre brings in all sorts of "interesting" people but it's actually an alright spot to hear music, if you can ignore the giant electronic ads that are shouting from all corners. But when they announced Montreal band, Beast instead, I thought the dude in the Bran Van t-shirt behind me was going to cry. Apparently the show was running over an hour late. We stuck around though and by the time they came on, the crowd had doubled to a decent size. BV3000 is the perfect outdoor show, if you like a lot of clapping and arm waving and singing. Totally unoffensive, commercially pallatable, which made the whole thing seem like a giant commerical. Which is sad because these are great musicians.

What the hell am I doing drinking in LA at 46?

Then back to the Horsehoe for Hey Rosetta! and judging from the heat, the sweaty crowd and the crowd hooting lovefest. these guys are indeed the darlings of the festival. There are no photos of the band because I couldn't move my arms to pick up a camera. Then we stayed for Matt Mays & El Torpedo who put on a fantastically tight show (except for when Mays had to fill some technical time with bad jokes that got good-natured boos from the crowd) and people loved, loved, loved. When he started singing "Cocaine Cowgirl" people were losing marbles. The band played songs from their new album, coming out July 8, and there's a real Springsteen-esque sound coming through. But I was tiiiiiiiired. In the photo below you can actually see the moment where I give up my will to fest.

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Vol 25, No 25
November 16, 2017

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