[html] New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton has died at the age of 61.

The son of PC MP Robert Layton and Doris Elizabeth, Layton began his political career in high school as fellow students predicted it would be his calling. He studied political science at York University before becoming a professor at Ryerson and a leading social activist in his community and for Canada at large.

Layton became leader of the NDP in 2003, and an MP for the Toronto-Danforth riding. His charisma and strong rhetoric strengthened the party and on May 2 of this year their seats skyrocketed to 103, overtaking the Liberals and granting them the title of Official Opposition.

After successfully battling prostate cancer, Layton announced on July 25 that he would be taking an official leave to battle another unspecified form of the disease. He passed away early Monday morning with family members at his side.

In his final public address, Layton told Canadians his party was committed to building "the country of our hopes, of our dreams, of our optimism, our determination, our values and our love."

Nycole Turmel remains as acting party leader.


How many New Yorkers does it take to break up a street fight? Well, none.

But one Canadian stepped in when a guy walked away with a painting without paying for it, causing a kerfuffle in the middle of 14th Street.

The casually dressed good samaritan was — apparently — none other than actor Ryan Gosling or as witnesses point out, "the guy from The Notebook."

So says the following YouTube clip and Toronto Life.

That's how we make 'em up here, yessir.



TORO Garage Band alumni Ohbijou are all set to release their first album since Beacons (2009). It’s called Metal Meets, and will drop September 27 via Last Gang. Exciting!

To celebrate, the band will play a show at Trinity St. Paul's United Church. I just saw Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) play there and oh boy does it make every other Toronto venue look like a chicken coop even though it’s technically a repurposed church so it has that advantage, but yeah. Ohbijou! Performing live! I’m done. 

More dates:

Sept 10 – Sarnia, ON @ Trinity Lounge
Sept 23 – Montreal, QC @ Pop Montreal @ O Patro Vys
Sept 27 – St. Catharines, ON @ L3 Nightclub
Sept 28 – Hamilton, ON @ This Ain’t Hollywood
Sept 30 – Toronto, ON @ Trinity St. Paul’s United Church
Oct 1 – Guelph, ON @ Dublin Street United Church
Oct 5 – Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
Oct 6 – Ottawa, ON @ Ritual
Oct 13 – London, ON @ The Aeolian Hall
Oct 14 – Peterborough, ON @ Market Hall
Oct 18 – Halifax, NS – Halifax Pop Explosion @ The Marquee Club
Oct 21 – Charlottetown, PE @ Baba’s
Oct 22 – Fredericton, NB @ The Capital

Album teasers:


Former teammates are sharing memories today of Winnipeg Jets player Rick Rypien, a day after he was found dead in his home near Coleman, Alberta. The 27-year-old's death is not considered suspicious by police.

Rypien spent parts of six NHL campaigns with the Vancouver Canucks, playing just 119 games during that time as a result of personal issues and injuries. He left the Canucks this past season to deal with an illness and returned to Winnipeg to rejuvenate his career with the AHL's Manitoba Moose.

Mike Keane, a former teammate told the Winnipeg Free Press that Rypien seemed to achieved a sense of peace.

"He seemed to be in a good place," said Keane. "We chatted off and on this summer and he was happy with the way things were going and the way he was feeling. I don't know what to say. It's a shock. His demons were stronger than anyone knew."

"We are deeply saddened to confirm Rick's passing," said the Jets in a statement released to media. "As many people are aware, he had strong ties to True North Sports & Entertainment, the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, the former Manitoba Moose Hockey Club and the Vancouver Canucks. We would like to express our sincere sympathies to the Rypien family as well as Rick's friends."

Rypien is the second active NHLer to die suddenly this off-season. Derek Boogard died in May as a result of an accidental mix of alchohol and prescription painkillers.

Rypien had just signed a one-year deal with the Jets last month worth $700,000 US.


[html] This week on the TORO Playlist, a brand new video from Lady Gaga (spoiler alert: it makes no sense), a newish clip from rap superduo The Throne, and some alt-country gold from Richard Buckner and Sparrow + the Workshop.

Lady Gaga - “Yoü And I” (From Born This Way, out now)

Kanye and Jay-Z - “Otis” (From Watch the Throne, out now - read our review!)

The War On Drugs - “Baby Missiles” (From Slave Ambient, out now - read our review!)

Sparrow and the Workshop - “Against the Grain” (From Spitting Daggers, out now)

Shotgun Jimmie - “Suzy” (From Transistor Sister, out now)

Richard Buckner - “Thief” (Live) (Originally from Our Blood, out now - read our review!)


[html] Another year, another assemblage of gas station attendants in circus costumes drunk on Miller High Life. Yes, it was the Gathering of the Juggalos, an event so cosmically preposterous I’m pretty sure scientists are studying it on an atomic level to see if it is actually occurring. 

Charlie Sheen took the stage at this year’s Gathering (held at Cave-In-Rock, Illinois), but couldn’t win the crowd over with his catch-phrases. “Winning? Anyone remember when I said that once?” *PELT*

Though the Juggalos' taste in music is fairly depressing, their taste in people to throw garbage at is surprisingly refined.


[html]We are well into Movember and my ‘stache is growing like a field of brown grass atop the sunny hill that is my lower lip. At first sight it looks pretty good, but what do the experts say?

I consulted Dr. Lawrence Oberlippenbart, Professor of Facial Hair at The University of Toronto to judge the pros and cons.

1. “Here we see one of the most common errors in advanced moustachery, the fuzz gap or absentia fuzzum. The hair follicles have not developed close enough to the top lip, resulting in an upward triangular pattern of bare skin.”

2. “Remember to keep the moustache from growing too far down in one direction, unless you want it to droop like an upside-down letter J.”

3. “Far too many stray patches of hair on the cheek and chin. You either grow a mustache or you grow a beard, don’t waste my time with indecisiveness.”

4. “Good connection between the bottom of the nose and the top lip. You’ll want to keep that road full of hair traffic. It appears to be more successful on your right side but some lack of evenness is to be expected.”

5. “There appears to be some tomato sauce residue here. Please take care of that.”

6. “Strong growth in the area between the two moustache sides. Maintaining this area will prevent what we experts call an ‘asshole ‘stache.”


[html] [via Pitchfork] Music and sound design have been an integral part of the David Lynch universe since the lady in the radiator with chipmunk cheeks sang us a song about heaven. Lynch co-wrote that one, as well as a handful of ditties over the years. Since Mulholland Dr. (2001) and the BlueBob album (a collaboration with John Neff) his interest in that particular art form seems to have increased, with his actual vocal chords haunting “The Ghost of Love” and his hands all over the Dark Night of the Soul concept album.

However, Crazy Clown Time (yeah) will be his official debut as a solo artist; Lynch wrote and produced the record by himself, as well as performing the majority of the material with engineer Dean Hurley. It’ll be something, alright. Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O will guest on “Pinky’s Dream,” and I for one am very interested to hear Lynch sing a song called “Football Game.”


01. Pinky's Dream
02. Good Day Today
03. So Glad
04. Noah's Ark
05. Football Game
06. I Know
07. Strange and Unproductive Thinking
08. The Night Bell With Lightning
09. Stone's Gone Up
10. Crazy Clown Time
11. These Are My Friends
12. Speed Roadster
13. Movin' On
14. She Rise Up


Make that 53 victories this year for Novak Djokovic, who won the men's title at the Rogers Cup on the weekend in Montreal.

The world no. 1 beat Mardy Fish 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 for his ninth title of 2011.

He is the first player to win five ATP Masters events (just below the four majors) in the same season.

He has but one loss this year and that's sparked some debate as to whether or not Djokovic ranks with greats like Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's just get through the U.S. Open at the end of the month.

On the women's side in Toronto, Serena Williams won her second Rogers Cup with a straight set victory over Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-2. It had been 10 years between those victories for Williams, who was using the tourney as a springboard as she continues to bounce back from injury.

Related: Greatest Ever Debate
Related: The New Dominator


When Keegan Bradley bogeyed the 15th hole in the final round of the PGA Championships at Atlanta Athletic Club on Sunday, it was hard not to think, 'uh oh, shades of Bridgestone.'

The previous weekend, the PGA Tour rookie lingered near the top of the leaderboard, firing a 67 in the opening round, followed by a 65 and 68 before dropping down to a tie for 15th with a 74 on Sunday.

Instead, Bradley bounced back with birdies on 16 and 17 to force a playoff with Jason Dufner, who finished regulation play with three straight bogeys.

And Bradley kept the momentum going, beating Dufner in a three-hole playoff to claim the Wanamaker Trophy, becoming the third player in at least 100 years to win a major in his first try.

It also makes it seven consecutive majors won by Grand Slam virgins, the longest streak in history.

With rising stars like Rory McIlroy and now Keegan Bradley, will more eyes be on the pro golf tour? Youth is being served.

Related: FedEx Cup standings
Related: PGA Championship leaderboard


[html] Hey, remember when Coldplay released Viva la Vida (2008) and it was actually pretty good and I don’t even mean that in a patronizing way? Perhaps hoping to retain that sense of credibility, the group has re-teamed with pop genius Brian Eno for album no. five, which at least five professional musicians have decided to call Mylo Xyloto. That’s a terrible title! It will have a song called “Charlie Brown” on it, and even Charlie Brown would be a better title. I’m gonna just go with that.

Charlie Brown will be released October 24. Check out first single “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” below.

Blog TIFF 11

Day 6 and day 7 of TIFF 11 merge into one long 48-hour event.

It’s the best way to convey a sense of the festival spirit apart from propping your eyes open with toothpicks and shining flickering lights in your eyes for 90-minute stretches. 

Are we complaining? No.

We're alert, armed and drunk on celluloid.

By day 6,  festival hangover kicks in. 
Films and titles and faces start to blur, but no excitement wanes. 

Buzz on the must-see films circulate like gossip and you realize that none of those titles are on your schedule: 

Chicken with Plums, Alpis, Sarah Palin - You Betcha!, Faust, Wuthering Heights, Pina Café de flore, Shame, Restoration.

Day 7 and you’re madly playing catch-up, revising your movie choices, scratching out one title, highlighting another and scrambling to get tickets to films your media pass will no longer get you into.

The past few days I've pretty much been striking movie gold: A diabolically funny slasher-film You're Next; a sexually frank story of female escorts, Elles; a bizarre, minimalist science fiction, Carré Blanc; a darker and broodier Wuthering Heights; a near perfect character study in Tyrannosaur; and a satirical criticism of America in the well received, but ultimately disappointing, God Bless America


Star Struck


Atom Egoyan walks out unnoticed from a screening of Mary Haron's The Moth Diaries. He was reluctant to share his opinion of a colleague’s movie — but willing to pose for a photo.

Emerging Filmmakers Meet Their Benefactor

Barry Alvrich arrives at celebrity hotspot Sassafraz. Each year Alvrich, in memory of his father, Irving Alvrich, purchases 25 industry passes to be distributed to young emerging filmmakers. Alvrich covers a lot of ground as a philanthropist, a patron of the arts, a documentary filmmaker, a published author and a marketing genius. He joins the filmmakers and TIFF representatives for a brief interview, of which I'm lucky enough to host. Alvrich fields questions about marketing skills, the link between art and commerce, and a few great stories about making a documentary on Harvey Weinstein.


The last time we caught up with harmonic Vancouver rock band Yukon Blonde they were traveling untethered and touring the hell out of their 2010 self-titled debut. They must have enjoyed being ramblers, as an even bigger North American tour is in the works for this coming autumn.

After dropping the new EP Fire//Water on September 20, Yukon Blonde will roll into the following towns on the following days at the following venues:

28 Sept - Nelson, BC @ Hume Hotel            

29 Sept - Calgary, AB @  Gateway @ SAIT     

30 Sept - Lethbridge, AB @ The Slice            

01 Oct - Saskatoon, SK @ Amigo's      

02 Oct - Winnipeg, MB @ WECC       

03 Oct - Minneapolis, MN @ Nomad Pub *       

04 Oct - Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen *    

06 Oct - Sarnia, ON @ Paddy Flaherty's         

07 Oct - London, ON @ Fanshawe College    

08 Oct - Windsor, ON @ Capital Theatre       

10 Oct - Hamilton, ON @ Casbah       

11 Oct - St Catharines, ON @ Mansion House         

13 Oct - Guelph, ON @ eBar               

14 Oct - Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace             

15 Oct - Kingston, ON @ Grad Club              

19 Oct - Corner Brook, NL @ Bar Room        

21 Oct - St. John's, NL @ The Ship      

25 Oct - Sackville, NB @ George's Roadhouse          

26 Oct - Halifax, NS @ Seahorse Tavern        

27 Oct - Charlottetown, PE @ Hunters Ale House    

28-Oct - Fredericton, NB @ The Capitol        

29 Oct - Quebec City, QC @ Le Scanner        

31 Oct - Brooklyn, NY @ Rock Shop *     

01 Nov - Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo              

02 Nov - Ottawa, ON @ Ritual          

03 Nov - Sudbury, ON @ Townehouse Tavern         

04 Nov - Sault Ste. Marie, ON @ Lop Lops               

05 Nov - Thunder Bay, ON @ Crocks           

07 Nov - Edmonton, AB @ Starlite      

10 Nov - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore               

11 Nov - Victoria, BC @  Sugar         
15 Nov - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl *        

16 Nov - Nashvile, TN @ 3rd & Lindly *           

17 Nov - St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway *       

18 Nov - Louisville, KY @ Zanza Bar *             

19 Nov - Columbus, OH @ Rumba Café *       

21 Nov - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café *            

22 Nov - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland  *           

23 Nov - East Lansing, MI @ Mac's Bar *        

25 Nov - Chicago, IL @ Panchos  *      

26 Nov - Milwaukee, WI  @ Cactus Club *        

28 Nov - Minneapolis, MN @  7th Ave Entry *             

30 Nov - Rockisland, IL @ Huckleberry Pizza *          

01 Dec - Ames, IA @ The Maintenance Shop *           

02 Dec - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown Jr *             

03 Dec - Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room *        

04 Dec - Tulsa, OK @ Cain's Ballroom - 2nd Stage *     

06 Dec - Little Rock, AR @ Juanita's Cantina *           

07 Dec - Dallas, TX @ Double Wide *    

08 Dec - Houston, TX @ Fitz Downstairs *       

09 Dec - Austin, TX @ Emo's Inside *    

11 Dec - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *       

13 Dec - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *    

14 Dec - Boise, ID @ Neurolox *              

16 Dec - Spokane, WA @ A Club *        

17 Dec - Seattle, WA @ Crocodile  *     

18 Dec - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir  *    

21 Dec - San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar *            

22 Dec - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar *               

23 Dec - Los Angeles, CA @ Echo *

* w/ The Fling

In the meantime, check out the insanely catchy new song “Fire”:

Fire by Yukon Blonde by Nevado


[html] [via The Daily What]

Lots of things to laugh at in this absurdly specific, anti-dying-like-Bon-Scott PSA. My favourite is the implication that transferring your friend onto a bed or INTO A HOSPITAL because they’ve consumed a potentially poisonous amount of alcohol and could get, ya know, RAPED ON THE FLOOR is an easily dismissible plan A. The adults who took the time to throw this thing together have given up their faith in your ability to apply independent judgement to the actions of your peer group, and because you will probably do as little as possible to help someone in distress anyway, they advise you to continue giving the minimal amount of assistance. Also, you could consider putting a sign on your friend’s face that says PLEASE DON’T STEP ON THIS if (party) time permits.


moneyballposter.jpgMoneyball, based on the Michael Lewis book, tells the true story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and his empirical, practical approach to baseball dubbed “sabermetrics.” That’s actually a great thing to make a movie about! As an adult I enjoy movies about intelligent, professional people trying to survive within their institutions, as opposed to slapstick comedy about CGI ninjas stealing a magic rock from a half-man half-iguana in a cape voiced by George Lopez or some shit.

Though sabermetrics is fairly easy to understand and holds great potential in its one-man-with-an-idea-against-everyone dramatic arc, for whoever got paid way too much to help market Moneyball the movie begins with Brad Pitt and ends with baseball, with a big patch of nothing in the middle. First there was this poster, which managed to put me to sleep in the 1.4 seconds it took my eyes to process it. Now check out the new one-sheet (above), which might as well be a photo of the designer washing his armpit for all the interest it generates.

Anyway, Moneyball drops September 23rd and it still looks great. Go see it.



Respectable Toronto indie label Dine Alone Records just got a little more respectable with the acquisition of electro-pop wunderkind Alan Palomo a.k.a. Neon Indian, who will release his sophomore album Era Extraña in Canada September 13. You can see artwork above, with tracklist, tour dates, and the video for “Terminally Chill” from Psychic Chasms (2009) below.

01. Heart Attack
02. Polish Girl
03. The Blindside Kiss
04. Hex Girlfriend
05. Heart Decay
06. Fallout
07. Era Extraña
08. Halogen
09. (I Could Be A Shadow)
10. Future Sick
11. Suns Irrupt
12. Heart: Release


09.03 – Chicago, IL – North Coast Music Festival
09.09 – Long Island, NY – Quicksilver Pro New York Music
09.15 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
09.16 – Washington, DC – Rock N Roll Hotel
09.17 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
09.19 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (Hell Stage)
09.20 – Birmingham, AL – Bottletree
09.21 – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks
09.22 – Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds
09.23 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk
09.23 – Austin, TX – Blazer Tag
09.24 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
09.26 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
09.27 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
09.30 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
10.01 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
10.03 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
10.04 – Vancouver, BC – Venue
10.05 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile Café
10.07 – Boise, ID – Reef
10.08 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10.10 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre
10.12 – Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar
10.13 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
10.14 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
10.16 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
10.18 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
10.19 – Montreal, PQ – La Sala Rossa
10.20 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
10.21 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
11.04 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest


Yesterday, we worried that shaping a marketing plan around rookie Canadian ball player Brett Lawrie might be more pressure than he could handle.

Last night, he recorded his first big-league hit on Canadian soli and it couldn't have been any bigger — a grand slam. With another 20,000 fans in attendance at Rogers Centre, Lawrie's homer off A's pitcher Henderson Alvarez in the sixth inning cleared the bases and helped the Blue Jays to an 8-4 victory.

Does the rookie have balls of steel? That remains to be seen. He definitely has pipes of steel as he high-fives his teammates. Can you say pumped?

Here it is in video:


You don't have to live in B.C. to notice a preponderance of blue and green jerseys out on the streets these days. Across the country, Vancouver Canucks jerseys are selling like mad as Canadian jump on the already crowded bandwagon under the auspices of patriotism.

So for those of you lucky to have one, put on your Canucks jersey as the series shifts to Boston tonight with Vancouver up 2-0. Alexandre "The Biter" Burrows scored in OT to lift his mates to a 3-2 victory on Saturday night. He has 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in the postseason. The OT goal was his third of the playoffs. Can you say Conn Smythe?

So yes, Canadian hockey fans, we're just two victories away from reclaiming Lord Stanley's mug. But, nothing is ever easy. Boston dropped the first two games of its opening-round series against the Canadiens before claiming the series in seven. And the first two games of this year's final have been decided by a single goal.

One thing's for certain: For the B's, tonight is a must-win game.

Puck drop is at 5 p.m. PT.



It's nice when your guy friends like your girlfriend and vice versa, but apparently there's a limit.

According to a new study from Cornell University and the University of Chicago, if a female partner gets too close to a man's friends, said man is more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction.

How likely? Study authors Benjamin Cornwell and Edward Laumann address the idea of "partner betweenness" and sexual dysfunction. Partner betweenness refers to situations when a woman becomes closer to a man's confidants than he is. Nearly 25 per cent of men in the study had experienced this phenomenon and of them, a whopping 92 per cent reported experiencing erectile dysfunction.

The authors concluded that it comes down to much more than jealousy. Instead, it has to do with the fact that men rely on close male friendships to fuel their sense of autonomy, privacy and independence — the very core of one's masculinity. A female interloper in a bromance can threaten her partner's very manhood.

But, before you get too alarmed, consider the age of the study's participants. The group included 3,005 men aged 57 to 85 years old.

Still, it is good to establish some boundaries now. So when it comes to your GF and your guy friends, it might be good to get in the habit of keeping 'em separated.


Vancouver rock duo The Pack a.d. (Maya Miller and Becky Black) are finally set to capitalize on all the blowing up they did after appearing in the TORO Garage three years ago, a performance that single-handedly launched them into superstardom.

Jokes, jokes, of course. Any and all success of The Pack a.d. is the sole ownership of the band themselves, because they’re awesome. To prove it, they’ve got a new record called Unpersons coming out with a slew (a whole slew) of tour dates. Check it:

09.10.11 - Lethbridge, AB @ University of Lethbridge
09.12.11 - Arcata, CA @ The Alibi
09.13.11 - San Jose, CA @ Streetlight Records (afternoon show, all ages)
09.13.11 - San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
09.14.11 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
09.16.11 - San Diego, CA @ Soma
09.17.11 - West Hollywood, CA @ Whisky a Go-Go (with LA Guns)
09.18.11 - Las Vegas, NV @ TBA
09.19.11 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Urban Lounge
09.20.11 - Missoula, MT @ The Badlander
09.21.11 - Spokane, WA @ Mootsy's
09.23.11 - Vancouver, BC @ OLIO Music Festival
09.24.11 - Victoria, BC @ Rifflandia Music Festival
09.26.11 - Kelowna, BC @ Habitat
09.27.11 - Calgary, AB @ Republik
09.28.11 - Edmonton, AB @ The Pawn Shop
09.29.11 - Saskatoon, SK @ Louis' Pub, University of Saskatchewan
09.30.11 - Winnipeg, MB Lo Pub
10.01.11 - Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
10.02.11 - Minneapolis, MN @ Hell's Kitchen
10.04.11 - Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
10.05.11 - Dubuque, IA @ OFF Minor
10.06.11 - Rock Island, IL @ Daytrotter
10.06.11 - Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle
10.07.11 - London, ON @ Call The Office
10.08.11 - Hamilton, ON @ Casbah
10.09.11 - Barrie, ON @ The Mansion
10.10.11 - St. Catharine's, ON @ Mansion House
10.12.11 - Peterborough, ON @ Market Hill
10.13.11 - Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
10.14.11 - Brantford, ON @ The Alexander
10.15.11 - Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
10.16.11 - Ottawa, ON @ Cafe Dekcuf
10.20.11 - Detroit, MI @ Lager House
10.29.11 - Rockville Centre, NY @ The Vibe Lounge
10.30.11 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Charleston
11.01.11 - Allston, MA @ O'Brien's Pub
11.02.11 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Hard Rock Cafe
11.03.11 - Cincinnati, OH @ Motr Pub

Las Vegas venue to be announced? Consider The Palms. I hear it’s lovely.

“Sirens”, from Unpersons (out September 13): 

  Sirens by Riot Act