Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Toronto Streetcar Sessions

The Grim Preachers (photo: me)
I've spend a bunch of time over the last few weeks writing about the Toronto Streetcar Sessions. They happened a few months ago, so I'm going to go ahead and cheat and say that this counts as Toronto history.

The Streetcar Sessions were a series of concerts organized by a friend of mine, Milan Schramek, which took place on chartered streetcars traveling around downtown. Six bands played on three Sunday afternoons late last year and each set was recorded, with videos and free MP3s of each session later released online.

It is awesome, inspiring stuff. I've written about the Toronto music scene for years, and this was easily one of the most interesting events I've covered. The free EPs by Ivy Mairi and Parks & Rec in particular are probably among my favourite live Canadian albums ever; anyone with a bit of a TTC fetish will get a kick out listening to them if only for the way the streetcar ambiance — clanging bells, the screech of the wheels, automated stop announcements — mix with the songs.

I've written six posts about the sessions over at The Little Red Umbrella (the new arts & culture site of which I am the Editor-in-Chief), where I talk about it all in more detail and muse on the implications and possibilities for the TTC and our relationship to the city and other downtown leftist pinko elite crap like that. I, of course, think it's well-worth a read. Not to mention the free downloads and video streams.

So, yeah, you should head on over here and check it out.

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