[html]This week in the TORO Playlist, Aussie singer-songwriter Kim Churchill travels through Canada, and Swedish duo Caviare Days make the sexiest garage rock video you might ever see.

Cold Specks
- "Blank Maps" (From I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, out May 22)

Caviare Days
- "You'll Qualify" (Single)

Kim Churchill
- "Seasons Grind" (From Detail of Distance, out now.) 

Related: Kim Churchill performs live @ TORO

AU - "OJ" (From Both Lights, out now.)

Kool A.D.
- "La Piñata" (From 51, out now)

Perfume Genius
- "Dark Parts" (From Put Your Back N 2 It, out now.) 

Alcoholic Faith Mission
- “Into Pieces” (From Ask Me This, out May 3.)

Related: TORO interviews AFM 


BY: Jason Parker Quinton

Like the intrepid fox or insatiable raccoon, fashion is a creature of the city that thrives under darkness. Having rinsed a “fox hunt” metaphor yesterday, cut to the fact that FAT Day 2 had a CITY theme, and like towering skyscrapers of sartorial eminence models wore clothes that - albeit alternative – could’ve been draped on actual humans out on the town, howling nocturnes to the party gods. The clothes were mostly black. One model attempted rap. It was as urban as a parking cone with puke on it, but in a good way.

Demoyo threw down a collection of conservative black clothes, with little hints of red, rocked by a stone-faced cast of models. They were like the desk staff, pilots, first class, flight attendants, and ground crew (there was a jumpsuit) of “You Can’t Even Talk To Me Airlines.” There was a fur stole type thing that could double as the most badass neck pillow this side of the animal being tame, alive, and just letting you sleep on it as the sleeping pills kick in.

Parade had some leathery mosaic patterns on booty shorts, tube tops, tummy ticklers, miniskirts and normal skirts, but the real highlight in their collection was the appearance of more pouches. Whether for makeup, tools of black magic, or contraband, the pouch is in.

Crowd favourite Victory and Vice featured more black dresses than an Italian wedding leaving a church as a goth funeral goes in.

The menswear veered towards an all black sort of “Dieter From Sprockets” cutting loose on holiday, with a redaction of the Klaus Nomi silhouette with multiple lapels and military accents, like eight epaulets on a single garment - retired generals in the war against plain tops. A model wore two ties. You boys think you’re fancy with your ties? Recognize, two ties. One dude wore a long black dress, and that was the ender. Neat clothes, definitely to be worn after dark, preferably in permissive company, black on black on black.

In Raji Auljah fresh collection of fancy and danger, one man appeared to be attacked by his own shirt as it burst up from inside his jacket and wrapped around his neck. There was a big tinfoil ascot for the lunar country club. Little jackets with sashes that seemed fit for the business matador, poised to slay a bull market stepping proudly to the floor of the Bay Street arena.

The coolest part Woudenberg’s of men’s stuff was a dude in a long coat with a Dalmatian print lining, but that looked like it could have been worn right out into the street, like J Crew-ella Deville.

Young, emerging, and radical designers made a bunch of clothes that are far more practical than what you might see in mainstream fashion collections. It was of the city, for the city-dwellers who live by night; andmost certainly helped them stay in the black.

Courtesy of Vasko Photography 


[html]The always-rebloggable Entertainment Weekly has shared a first look at Quentin Tarantino’s slave era-set Western Django Unchained. Above we see Inglourious Basterds’ giddy Nazi Christoph Waltz as a wandering bounty hunter, and Tarantino newcomer Jamie Foxx as the revenge-seeking title character. Check their full rundown to see Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, a sadistic slave owner, in full getup as well. I'm sure he's using that hammer for something productive, building a shelf maybe? The sure-to-be-controversial flick, also starring Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Don Johnson, and Sacha Baron Cohen beats a path into theaters December 25.


BY: Jason Parker Quinton

With the cancellation of Fashion Television, we can no longer marvel at the radical garb and willowy beauties of a fashion show from the comfort of our own couches. We have to take our lazy butts to the fashion. The good news is: For a week in Toronto, fashion has a clear ground zero.  

The ground and all its permutations were in play as the opening night theme at FAT (Formerly Toronto Alternative Fashion Week) was LAND, and it drilled beneath the surface to the boiling core of sartorial lava. At the risk of using a derisive term for a woman when describing a night dominated by womenswear: land ho.

Karey Shinn’s Cosmetic Green sprouted a collection of clothing and dance that featured skirts that looked like bell peppers. The pepper as crucial fruit of the land came back later in the night, during the Mitra collection in which the Asian and Indian influenced outfits were accentuated with pouches for gathering. The runway was transformed into a trade route, forget sexy, as they were bringing spicy back. Models stormed the runway in tweeds with plaid linings and cuffs.

The gear had a clear rural eminence to fit the LAND theme, yet was hung upon disinterested models looking less ready to ride horses and more like they’d spent the morning sniffing glue. The laissez faire faces in contemporary threads were the prancing prey of the urban fox hunt. Let’s call it Downtown Abbey. Then there were bored babes rocking royal blues and wonderland hues, hugging the incongruous curves of models breathing them down the runway. It looked like The Little Mermaid had decided to stay under the sea, take her evil aunt’s throne, and get Versaille decadent in the ocean floor sediment, dubbing herself Marine Antoinette.

In menswear, The Jade Sullivan Valentine collection was highlighted by a simple melding: Leather jackets with exotic prints, even going far enough to include suspenders embroidered with hieroglyphics. The useful and radical garb included a male model in a high pea coat, WEARING SWEAT PANTS.   

Let’s pause to appreciate how this is exactly what we need from an alternative fashion week. A hot coat for the cold that silences all haters with utilitarian function, paired with pocketed, flowing, comfy as a hug from Grandma, sweat pants. This is Brunch Chic, and we need more than one outfit like that. On behalf of the tasteful gentlemen of hungover stoicism and constant leisure, give us a line of it. The rest of the menswear in the collection was full of flips on the leather jacket and everyone wore boots like they were expecting trouble. Imagine a hip alterna-verse where Spank Rock usurped Sir Anthony Hopkins to star in The World’s Fastest Indian.

FAT is nice because it shows a wide range of work and models all wearing garments extending from deconstructed leather S&M to threads which could easily appear on the rack at H&M.

Photo Courtesy of Vasko Photography


[html]We keepers of the TORO blog tend to avoid just reposting every single entertainment news item you could see on a thousand other blogs, unless we feel we have something interesting to add. In this case, not really. What else is there to say? AMAZING:

Not since Bill Clinton had sax with Arsenio Hall has a presidential candidate used the musical talk show format to  ... that’s only happened twice now? Okay.


[html]Shia LaBeouf will make his first post-Transformers screen appearance in Lawless, a prohibition era-set drama about prohibition and how sucky it was. Remember prohibition? That sucked. Take a peek:

Lawless, formerly titled The Wettest County in the World (“TOO MANY WORDS!” - Hypothetical American Moviegoing Public), also sees the return of director John Hillcoat after bumming everybody out with The Road (2009). Lawless looks to retain the same tension of his earlier work (and was scripted by The Proposition scribe / rock god Nick Cave) with a wider net of great actors, including Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Mia Wasikowska and Guy Pearce. Next to them LaBeouf seems like a crippled invalid leading an all-star track team, but best of luck to him. After premiering at Cannes next month Lawless will see wide release August 31.


Today is the birthday of Gideon Sundback - the Swedish born inventor of the zipper. In honour of this potential masochist's special day, we came up with 10 ways to tell your buddy his fly is open.

In no particular order:

The train has left the station.

Your mother called, she says she needs that banana for baking.

Dude, it's too early in the morning for Al Green.

Seriously man, I'm just not that into you.

You're wasting the battery on your lightsaber.

Don't tell me you're not crazy, I can totally see your nuts.

Goddamnit, stop giving me the shaft.

I'm calling Hillary, your zipper's set to Monica.

Mr. Johnson, your wife's looking for you.

Half-mast for Dick Clark, Eh?


It's April 20th, otherwise known as "4/20,” the day everybody in the world chills out, unbuttons his suit jacket and rolls a fatty made of ganja.

Well, not everybody does this, but there's a subsection of potheads in the world who wish the earth was a collective joint-smoking peace factory. Today is also Hitler's birthday, so I excuse anyone who needs to get high in order to forget about his existence.

How important is 4/20? Very, at least to marketers of Marley, a new documentary on Bob Marley – it's being released today, perhaps in hopes that there are stoned people who will want to learn. Which is not my experience, but maybe worth a shot.

It's definitely not something I'd like to do – drug use makes me want to sleep. Unless it's an upper, in which case I immediately get the urge to varnish a floor.

I wish 8/40 were a date, because I want to see the Bob Marley movie that far away from today.

Excuse me for meandering; it is 4/20 after all. So, spark it up, take a pull of that sticky icky, and hope that you don't talk to your parents today. Because that will feel weird.


Following a call for love and prayer from his family yesterday legendary American musician and longtime member of The Band Levon Helm has died at the age of 71, after a lengthy battle with throat cancer.

Helm, born Mark Lavon Helm, began his career as a member of rockabilly artist Ronnie Hawkins’ backing band The Hawks. With Hawkins he relocated to Toronto in the early ‘60s and assembled what would eventually be called The Band, recruiting Canadian multi-instrumentalists Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson. After leaving Hawkins in 1963 they would earn recognition as the backing group for Bob Dylan’s then-controversial electric-rock tours. The Band worked many times with Dylan throughout the years, most notably on The Basement Tapes (recorded 1967, released 1975), and created memorable covers of his “I Shall Be Released” and “When I Paint My Masterpiece.”  

In 1968 the group now known as The Band released their acclaimed, highly influential debut Music From Big Pink and performed at Woodstock the next year. On that album Helm sang arguably the band’s most recognizable song, “The Weight”: 

The Band would release five more albums before officially calling it quits with a concert performance dubbed "The Last Waltz" in 1976. That plan, and the subsequent concert film, were viewed by some as products of primary songwriter Robertson’s restlessness with the group; he would not play with the band again, though Helm, Manuel, Hudson and Danko would perform and record together sporadically in subsequent years.

Helm also recorded several solo albums, most notably American Son (1980) and Dirt Farmer (2007). Last year he contributed a “cover” of Hank Williams’ “You’ll Never Again Be Mine” for a tribute album based around the country pioneer’s unreleased lyrics, The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams.

Robertson and Hudson are now the last surviving Band members, after Manuel’s 1986 suicide and Danko’s drug-induced heart failure in 1999.

Related: TORO interviews Garth Hudson


[html]We at TORO are pretty excited about anything David Cronenberg-related, and not just because a giant version of this image hangs in our office, watching our every move.

So anyway here’s a new, Cannes-endorsed trailer for the director’s upcoming Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson as a rich guy besieged by the modern world as he tries to get a haircut. I’m already terrified.

[via Allocine]


[html]I was going to drop this on you without comment, but here’s one: Mel Gibson needs to, if not cease his incoherent, profane rants (which would be like asking fire not to be so hot) at least keep them away from open microphones. The following was apparently recorded in Costa Rica last year and was directed at (and has been released by) screenwriter Joe Eszterhas.


[TRANSCRIPT, via The Wrap] 


Break out the coolers and fire up your BBQ, spring is coming and you know what that means: CANNES FILM FESTIVAL! WHAT WHAT!

Everyone’s favourite forum for movies that require too much effort to watch will go down May 16 to 27, with a jury headed by director Giovanni Moretti (The Son’s Room) and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom set to open.

The competition will pit the world’s bleakest filmmakers against each other in a battle royale of foreboding mise-en-scène and existential philosophy, featuring contributions from Michael “Everyone is Corruptible” Haneke (Funny Games, The White Ribbon), John “Let’s Go to the Desert and Kill Each Other” Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road) and Lee “Poverty Porn” Daniels (Precious). Weeee!

In competition:

Amour (Michael Haneke)

The Angels' Share (Ken Loach)

Baad el mawkeaa (Yousry Nasrallah)

Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu)

Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg) 

Holy Motors (Leos Carax)

The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg)

Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik)

In Another Country (Hong Sang-soo)

In the Fog (Sergei Loznitsa) 

Lawless (John Hillcoat) 

Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami) 

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)

Mud (Jeff Nichols) 

On the Road (Walter Salles)

The Paperboy (Lee Daniels) 

Paradies: Liebe (Ulrich Seidl)

Post tenebras lux (Carlos Reygadas)

Reality (Matteo Garrone) 

Rust and Bone (Jacques Audiard) 

Taste of Money (Im Sang-soo)

You Haven't Seen Anything Yet (Alain Resnais) 

Closing night screening:

Therese Desqueyroux (Claude Miller)

Screened out of competition:

Hemingway & Gellhorn (Philip Kaufman)
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon) ?!?!?!
Me and You (Bernardo Bertolucci)


After nearly four years in search of awesome goodness, 32-year-old Toronto native Neil Pasricha has posted what appears to be his last entry to The site, which paid tribute to the often under-appreciated awesome things in everyday life (like No. 635, picking the fastest checkout line in the grocery store), generated more than 45 million hits.

The blog also spawned a book series with the launch of The Book of Awesome in April 2010.

So on Thursday, just after midnight, he'd counted down to No. 1 with "Anything you want it to be", presumably passing the torch to anyone else.

His quest complete, Pasricha plans to spend more time with family. And that's probably a good thing, given the maudlin nature of his final awesome observations: "Today," "The far corners of your mind" and "Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now."

"The awesome movement isn't going to stop," Pasricha told the Canadian Press. "By saying it's anything you want it to be I'm implying that you get to choose, you get to take it as far as you want, you get to fill in the blank.

"Awesome goes on forever."

Yes, we're a cynical crew and we know it.

But it is awesome to start a blog, gain a global audience and score a book deal. While his list is finally counted down, you can still purchase his international best-sellers at

Awesome indeed!


Did you hear Anthony Hopkins will play Alfred Hitchcock in a movie called ... wait for it ... Hitchcock? And that it will primarily cover the making of Psycho? That’s cool, I guess. I mean, the making of Psycho probably wasn’t all that exciting. Nobody really died or anything. I read once that Janet Leigh (to be played by Scarlett Johansson) had to stand in that shower for like two days of shooting. Can’t wait for that scene.

Above you can check out the first image of “Hopcock,” and it’s pretty convincing, even if Hopkins is actually playing a guy 14 years his junior and making old people look younger is kind of difficult for movie makeup people because, really, how often are they asked to do that? Am I preemptively ragging on Hitchcock based on one picture? Sorry. On a more positive note Hitchcock will be directed by Sacha Gervasi (Anvil! The Story of Anvil) whose resume indicates the film will show the lighter, jovial side of the Hitchcock persona.

Anyway, take some time out of your day and watch this:

[via Entertainment Weekly]


Last week I talked Axl, this week it's all about Ted Nugent and his big, weird mouth.

The well-known rock musician/hunter/conservative hyperbole machine said some things at an NRA convention that led to his investigation by the secret service, thanks to Nugent's intimations that if Obama is re-elected, he will be “dead or in jail.”

I have a very distinct memory of eating some Ted Nugent brand buffalo jerky and thinking that it tasted of threatening a national leader. I don't know why musicians feel the need to threaten authority – Eminem did it in the 2000s with George Bush, and look at him now: he's clearly very depressed.

So if in a few years Nugent is collaborating with Pink and rapping over 2 Unlimited samples, you'll know he's been hit by the ‘Eminem president curse.’

Nugent hasn't backed down from his statements, calling himself "a black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally.” I'm not 100% sure that's what he is. I would say he is closer to a white guy at a Nazi-Klan rally.



The heartbreak single of the year goes to Australian indie darlings Gotye for their catchy and morose  "Somebody That I used to Know."

And even though Kimbra - the alleged ex-lover in the song - is a genuine heartbreaker, we all know that Canadians feel more scorned by hockey loss than love loss.

Here'a a pretty hilarious rendition of the hit song by some wacky Canucks and, well, Canuck fans.


[html] This week on the TORO Playlist, Drake reaffirms his faith, The Flaming Lips get weird and Death Grips offer some insane footage.

(feat. Lil Wayne) - "HYFR" (From Take Care, out now)

The Flaming Lips
(feat. New Fumes) - "Girl, You're So Weird" (NSFW) (From The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, out April 24)

Cadence Weapon
- "Conditioning" (From Hope in Dirt City, out May 29)

Patrick Krief
- "Lost in Japan" (Originally from Hundred Thousand Pieces, out now. Read our review here.)

Death Grips - "
I've Seen Footage" (From The Money Store, out April 24. Listen in full here.)

- "Bittersweet Melodies" (From Metals, out now)

Beach House - “Lazuli” (From Bloom, out May 15)


Psych-rock legends The Flaming Lips have been announced as headliners for this year’s NXNE festival, goin’ down in Toronto June 11 - 17. The Oklahoma band will play a free show Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday June 16 to a crowd of music fans, errant crack addicts and anyone else who happens to fall within their (very huge) sphere of sonic power. The performance will include “Costumes, balloons [and] puppets.” Cool!

Past Y ‘n’ D headliners have included The Stooges and Devo. More NXNE lineup announcements will be made in the coming days. See you in June!

Photo Gallery DAILY TORO

If you bought tickets to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony to see Axl Rose, you are out of luck. He's not going. And he doesn't want to be inducted.

Not while still beefing with various original members of Guns N’ Roses – most notably mop-headed guitar master Slash, who happens to be attending the festival. This is outlined in a letter Axl sent to the LA Times explaining his position in a long-winded manner.

I guess I'd prefer Slash be at the ceremony over Axl if it comes down to it, because I love Muppets, and he looks like one. Then again, whenever I hear Axl's voice I think of the credits sequence of the film Lean On Me, which is a nice childhood memory.

Just make up, boys! We need the original Guns N’ Roses back, so we can criticize and mock their every move.