[html]Confess, the latest album from George Lewis Jr. a.k.a. Twin Shadow, will drop July 10. That’s more of a formality now as you can hear it free and legal via the widget below. Also check out the album’s first single / video “Five Seconds” and our interview with Twin Shadow.


Some things are too awesome for words. Witness Thrill Murray, the first (and hopefully not last) Bill Murray colouring book, the perfect gift for the little Venkman in your family.

Thrill Murray, written by Mike Coley and illustrated by various artists, will no doubt add to the already rich Murray canon of Western art. The book is being printed by British publishing company and record label Belly Kids. In justifying the project, they had this to say: "[Murray] has stolen the hearts of a generation in a million and one films which have become essentials on the indie film DVD shelf."

We suspect that more dads than sons ​will be jonesing for this one.


Not all of us can have sex with Angelina Jolie on the regular, or party in the South of France with supermodels, but imagine how Doug Pitt must feel.

Meet Doug, brother of the much more famous Brad, and the new poster boy for Virgin Mobile. According to the new viral ad campaign, Virgin wants "a fair go for all," and they're showing their commitment to this belief by championing Average Joes everywhere.

“While his brother lives the life of a Hollywood A-lister, Doug’s life is a little different,” says the ad. Watch Doug make lasagna, wash his mini-van, and work on his errant jumpshot.

The video is funny, but trust us, a phone company won't rescue you from the sinking battleship of banality. TORO, on the other hand, has all the answers!


Toronto’s Great Hall, in the bumping West Queen West district, has hosted its fair share of premiere cultural events (Fucked Up’s Christmas concert, Art Battle cage matches, NXNE, etc.). Now the legendary venue is ready for it’s culinary debut.

This Thursday, July 5, the Great Hall presents the SummerWorks 2012 Summer Soirée. where guests will preview the menu of the building’s new restaurant, Samuel J. Moore. Hosted by actor Michael Healy, the event will also feature music, short performances, and lots of wine.

Named after the businessman and philanthropist who built the venue, Samuel J. Moore is the love child of Cowbell’s Mark Cutrara and Brockton General’s Alexandra Feswick. Cutrara and Feswick are two young and talented chefs that got in on Toronto’s west end early, and raised its profile as an essential dining destination. The chefs are locavore genies with French bistro sensibilities, so expect a rich menu that showcases the best of Ontario meat and produce. 

SummerWorks 2012 Summer Soirée. July 5, 2012, The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario. Tickets: $100 at


We can already imagine the tagline: “Canadian Rugby — for girls who like it rough.”

For the fourth time since 2004, Canada’s National Senior Women’s Team has released a nude calendar to raise money for the upcoming World Cup and 2016 qualifiers for Rio de Janeiro, where rugby will make its Olympic debut.

The 16-month calendar features seventeen national team members all dolled up, showing off their fit bodies in provocative positions. The photographs are sexy, and bulldoze the stereotype that female athletes are sensually deficient butches.

“We hear all the time that we don’t look like rugby players,” says Barbara Mervin, national team player and rugby clothing designer, “but having muscles is very beautiful. We are elite athletes and we are proud of our bodies.” The idea is to promote healthy living and break into the sex appeal monopoly that is women’s tennis. In the past, the NWST had tried more vanilla fundraising efforts — T-shirts, chocolate bars, etc. — but the calendar always worked best.

That the NWST had to resort to such Girl Guide tactics speaks to the lack of respect that women’s sports receive to this day. It’s puzzling because, yes, Canadian female athletes are hot, and more guys should be watching, but more importantly, Canadian female athletes dominate on the world stage, unlike their male counterparts. Canada should know better.

Besides, isn’t there something hot about a girl who can kick your ass?


[html]We’re back! We hope our fellow Canadians enjoyed the extra day of rest. Since we’ve been gone a trailer for Wu-Tang Clan producer RZA’s kung fu flick The Man With the Iron Fists had dropped. You can check out the NSFW preview below.

The movie, starring, co-written (with Eli Roth) and directed by RZA, follows a 19th-century blacksmith who comes to the aid of an embattled village. The sweet, sweet aid provided by elaborate weapons that gouge out eyeballs and fling them across the room. 

Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Jamie Chung and Pam Grier also star. Release date TBA.


Last night the Toronto Raptors drafted Terrence Ross of the University of Washington, and by all measures, the dinosaurs hit the jackpot. We don’t mean that from a basketball perspective — no one knows how the 21-year-old swingman will develop. We mean that the Raptors have actually landed a lottery pick that seems to genuinely like Toronto.

By all accounts, Ross is the real deal. He’s long, athletic, and has a high basketball IQ. And with his outside shooting ability, he fills a talent hole that comes with being the third worst offensive team in the NBA. As head coach Dwane Casey says: “One thing you can’t teach a player is how to be a pure shooter.”

But what Raptors brass are most excited about — and fans should to take note of this — is Ross’s personality. On draft night, Ross gave no frowns or hints of insincerity. Some stock answers yes, but NBA prospects are trained by their agents to talk like drones — imagine having to go through 10 job interviews every day.

He has no problems with Canada and talks about playing here with bright-eyed enthusiasm. “When I was in the sixth or seventh or grade,” says Ross, “I went up to Vancouver [from hometown Portland] and I remember it being really nice. I just went to Toronto and it was even nicer.” Regionalism — Ross is already Canadian.

Toronto has a reputation for being a bad hoops town. Fuelling this is the idea that Toronto is cold, foreign, and only really cares about hockey. There is some truth in this myth, but the real reason players avoid Toronto is this: for most of its existence, the Raptors franchise has been anything but. Since entering the league in 1995, the Raptors have been hampered by managerial incompetence and neglect, resulting in a nihilistic culture of losing. NBA players want to win, and if a team can’t offer them at least the possibility of success, they will eventually leave for a team that can. 

In his six-year tenure as general manager, Bryan Colangelo has racked up a tickle trunk of bad decisions. But with the hiring of defensive mastermind Casey, solid draft choices, and a renewed faith in trade conservatism, Colangelo seems to be righting his wrongs.

So will Terrence Ross save the Raptors? We don’t know. What we do know is this: the Toronto Raptors have a young man who says all the right things. Oh, and Ross is a snappy dresser.


It’s just been announced that French electro-pop band M83 will compose the score for Joseph Kosinki’s Oblivion, a new science fiction movie starring Tom Cruise.

With the film, M83 joins a rich tradition of pop musicians who’ve crossed over to the sounds of the silver screen (Simon and Garfunkel, Robbie Robertson, RZA, and the list goes on).

In Oblivion, Cruise plays a war veteran on a mission to destroy an alien race. The inevitable twists and turns of Hollywood soon send him on a cosmic existential journey sure to be full of violence and jacked dudes screaming.


As if Trinity Bellwoods Park wasn’t already reeking in charm, the Country General, a restaurant located in Toronto's trendy Queen West neighbourhood, is now offering its entire take-out menu in picnic form. For ten dollars, you can rent a special Bellwoods basket and blanket with your food — a perfect addition for what’s set to be a beautiful Canada Day long weekend rife with park chilling.

In case you didn’t know, the County General is a contemporary diner overrun with umami (and that’s a good thing). Like Bellwoods, their food is urban comfort. Going to the park with friends? Enjoy the General’s modern share-fare in the form of Roasted Bone Marrow and the Trio of Steamed Pork Buns. Don’t forget a side of Kim Chi to cut the heavy. On a date? the Fried Calamari Tacos are known to provoke passionate discussion.

It’s good to see that the County General has joined the park game. The restaurant enters an already robust Bellwoods economy run by a cast of ambitious Toronto players. Loose joint merchants have long been the major thrust behind the local market. And with the addition of the General’s salty snacks, the omnipresent empty can ladies are set to profit from a record third quarter. Less successful, of course are young men in fedoras selling three-dollar Freezies—the 7-Eleven is only a block away, after all. 

The County General is located at 936 Queen Street West. The basket rentals run on an honour system, and all items must be returned to the restaurant by 9 p.m.


Here’s the skinny: a new album from lo-fi R&B innovator Tom Krell / How to Dress Well is set to drop in North America September 18. It will be called Total Loss and feature the following tracks:

1. “When I Was in Trouble”
2. “Cold Nites”
3. “So Say My Name or Say Whatever”

4. “Running Back”
5. “& It Was U”
6. “World I Need You, Won’t Be Without You (Proem)”
7. “Struggle”
8. “How Many”

9. “Talking to You”
10. “Set it Right”
11. “Ocean Floor for Everything”

That’s the Closer-ish cover art above right. Hear “Ocean Floor for Everything” below. [Via Pitchfork]


A guy’s relationship with his car is complicated. Early on, it’s usually passionate, intense — even dangerous. Eventually it becomes burdensome, expensive, rusty, and full of loathsome regret. Not so with Car2go. Making its Toronto debut on June 30, the innovative car share program offers its members the transit equivalent of a one-night stand, or even a one-minute stand (shame-free), depending on how far you want to go with your vehicle.

Already popular in Vancouver, and omni-cool cities like Amsterdam and Berlin, Car2go is the only car share program in the country that allows you to pay by the minute. Members can pick up or drop off their rented vehicles anywhere, anytime, so long as they do it within the designated Car2go zone. It’s affordable too: the average thirty-minute rental comes out to just over ten dollars.

The whole Car2go mechanism in Toronto is powered by an army of 250 Smart Fortwos, those bugger-looking, low emission toy cars that finagle into parking spots once thought only available for Vespas and Tonka trucks.

The hype surrounding Car2go is fuelled by the new “I-can-do-better-than-the-TTC” attitude in Toronto. After decades of inertial policy tragedy, and the current (“subways, subways, subways”) tunnel vision from the powers that be, Torontonians, and we suspect most Canadians, are ready for a new approach to transportation — one that’s non-committal, functional, and urban. Bixis, not taxis; Zipcars, not streetcars.

Sometimes the “better way” is not the only way.


[html]In case you were wondering if the upcoming Total Recall remake will feature the one thing most people remember from Total Recall (1990) this new trailer confirms that, yes, the tri-breasted mutant woman will make an appearance. Otherwise the remake looks to have dropped the winking humour of the original for a familiar “CGI cool” aesthetic. Baloney!

In Other News: First Trailer Drops for Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer.


[html]Spike Lee returns to Brooklyn with Red Hook Summer, a coming-of-age drama that earned mixed-to-scathing reviews and controversy at this year’s Sundance. If you’re one of the lucky few who hasn’t had the movie’s divisive plot spoiled for you, you might enjoy it with fresh eyes.

Anyway, here’s the trailer. Unfortunately we only get a half-second glimpse of Lee as Mookie, the pizza delivery man he played in Do the Right Thing (1989), still his best work. Really, does anyone think otherwise?

In Other News: Ryan Reynolds Cast in Highlander Remake


[html]Folk singer/songwriter Afie Jurvanen a.k.a. Bahamas has released an interesting video. As seen below, he visits his Finnish-immigrant family in Northern Ontario, helps cook dinner, and plays some tunes from his latest album Barchords. Enjoy, and call your parents today. They miss you.  

Related: Bahamas Live @ TORO

In Other News: Boxing Promoter Promises $1 million for a Drake / Chris Brown Fight


Imagine sitting in a quiet sushi bar and seeing your best friend decapitated for committing the egregious crime of ordering a California roll — this is just one of the many violent fantasies Anthony Bourdain lives out in his new comic book, Vertigo’s Get Jiro!

Co-authored by Joel Rose and illustrated by Langdon Foss, the comic follows the exploits of Jiro (don’t confuse him with the cute old man from that recent sushi documentary), a headstrong chef-cum-samurai, cooking in a dystopian Los Angeles run by two crime lords, “each locked in a battle with the other over culinary minutiae and arcane philosophical differences.” Along the way, Jiro also battles militant vegans and frou frou restaurateurs.

 “It’s an exaggerated riff on the worst of douche culture,” says Bourdain, a vocal dissident of all things hipster and insincere. “I wanted accurate depictions of food, and lots of violence!”

Having already penned several crime novels, comics seemed like a natural progression for the former chef. Bourdain has always loved the medium, and even showcased legendary comic artist and misanthrope Harvey Pekar on his television show No Reservations.

Get Jiro! looks like a load of fun. And knowing Bourdain, the outrage won’t stop with food-related decapitations. This is a man who’s publicly called television cook Paula Deen “greedy” and “cynical,” and claims that Ronald McDonald is responsible for the “death and possible dismemberment” of small children. No reservations, indeed.


[html]Most newborn babies are ugly, we all know that. Their heads are misshapen and they haven’t quite figured out how to use all their facial muscles properly, and Photoshop for Babies isn’t a thing, yet.

But if a baby comes out of Jessica Simpson’s vagina I expect a little more. Above we see one-month-old Maxwell Drew, who’s going to need some work if she expects to be a pop star by the age of five like all of Will Smith’s kids. [Via Twitter]


Following reports two weeks ago that Drake and Chris Brown had engaged in a friendly game of bottle toss at a New York nightclub, boxing promoter Damon Feldman has offered the R&B stars and romantic rivals a $1 million charity donation to fight each other legitimately. The donation will go to a battered women’s shelter, because one time Brown punched Rihanna in the face and everyone will appreciate the ironic twist.

Neither Drake nor Brown have said much about what happened that night, though San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker has filed a lawsuit against the nightclub for $20 million for injuries sustained during ... whatever may or may not have happened, and said club just had its liquor license revoked. [Via CNN]

In Other News: Lana Del Rey and A$AP Rocky Team Up For Video


KFC’s “Streetwise” campaign has really tapped into the youth market, exposing us hungry suburbanites to the coolest trends in fried poultry giblets.

But it turns out Filipino consumers are closer to the cutting edge. Behold, their “Cheese-Top Burger,” a burger with a piece of processed cheese gently draped over the bun like a wave cresting over a quiet shore. While it may seem like an accident turned into an ad campaign, in fast food there are no accidents, only alternate combinations of “meat”, “cheese”, and bread (let’s just assume the bread is real) that morbidly obese people need pre-planned for them. [Via Buzzfeed]


“There can only be one,” and that “one” is studly Canadian swashbuckler, and former TORO cover boy Ryan Reynolds. Yes, Reynolds will appear as the eponymous Highlander in the latest adaptation of the 1986 film.

Like its previous incarnations, the new Highlander film follows the life of an immortal Scottish swordsmen (Reynolds) engaged in an eternal battle with other immortal warriors, all of them fighting for an entity known as “the Prize” — a mythical MacGuffin that gives its owner supreme power and knowledge. Spaniard Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, most famous for writing and directing the zombie romp sequel 28 Weeks Later, will direct.

The casting of Reynolds is an obvious, if not inspired choice. Reynolds has the physique and charisma necessary for a testosterone-laden film like Highlander. He’s had box-office success, not Will Smith success, but success nonetheless. And he has plenty of screen experience murdering bad guys with swords.

That Highlander is a “cult” property also seems right for Reynolds. Looking at his recent filmography, we see that Reynolds has made a name for himself playing reasonably popular fan boy favourites, not heavyweight heroes. He was Deadpool, not Wolverine; he was the Green Lantern, not the Man of Steel. In Hollywood, it seems the universally loved icons are only played by “serious” actors. 

It’s all the same to us, though. We have faith in Reynolds's ability to conjure up badass-ery, and we hope that his comedic jive will lighten a film likely to be heavy with cheese. Still, we’re not so confident our Canadian boy can pull off a Scottish accent — stick to what you know, Ryan.


[html]As you might have heard if you spend all day on the internet like me (really, the hardest part of this job is deciding what qualifies as “old news”) post-modern faux-pop icon Lana Del Rey has recruited Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky to be the JFK to her Jackie O (and Marilyn Monroe, apparently) in a music video. Here it is, the cut for “National Anthem”:

Did you make it all the way through? What did you think? A little hollow, a cultural re-appropriation that doesn’t say much about anything, despite looking cool? Though the song was pretty decent? That’s our Lana!

In Other News: Jens Lekman Shares New Video, Tour Details