Arts & Crafts Field Trip Preview

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Arts & Crafts Records is holding its ‘Field Trip’ festival on Saturday, June 8th, at Fort York & Garrison Common in downtown Toronto....
Arts & Crafts Field Trip Preview

Arts & Crafts Field Trip Preview

In 2003, former Virgin Records executive Jeffrey Remedios teamed up with musician Kevin Drew to form the Toronto-based Arts & Crafts Records – and the rest is musical history.  The label became ground zero for the indie-rock ‘Canadian Invasion’ of 2003/2004, with Drew’s Broken Social Scene at the forefront.  You might say it was fortuitous timing – but it’s really that Arts & Crafts created the Canadian Invasion (though certainly government support for musicians through the Factor Program factors in…).  Since then it has given Canada, America, and the world a whole slew of amazing artists & albums, from home-grown locals to releasing foreign artists in Canada (not to mention expanding its reach all the way south to Mexico).

And now, to celebrate its tenth anniversary, Arts & Crafts is holding its ‘Field Trip’ festival on Saturday, June 8th, at Fort York & Garrison Common in downtown Toronto:


Broken Social Scene, 9:15 PM – 11:00 PM, Garrison Common Stage

Since being part of the indie-rock ‘Canadian Invasion’, Toronto’s Broken Social Scene (QRO live review outdoors) have also become one of the most sought-after festival bands (QRO photos at a festival) in the alternative music arena, whether indoors at industry showcases (QRO photos at a festival) – including Arts & Crafts’ own (QRO photos) or outdoors at more traditional fests (QRO photos outdoors at a festival), to the point where they’re headlining (QRO photos headlining a festival).  Fronted by singer/guitarists Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning (QRO interview), this giant collective includes The Apostle of Hustle (QRO spotlight on), Andrew Whiteman (QRO interview), musical mad scientist Charles Spearin (QRO interview) of Do Make Say Think (QRO photos at a festival), Justin Peroff of Eight and a Half (QRO live review), and a rotating female vocalist spot that’s included Emily Haines (QRO solo album review) of Metric (QRO live review), Leslie Feist (see below), Elizabeth Powell (QRO interview) of Land of Talk (QRO spotlight on), and most recently Lisa Lobsinger of Reverie Sound Revue. While the previous releases were ‘BSS Presents:’ albums focused on Drew (Spirit If.QRO review) and Canning (Something For All of Us.QRO review), 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record (QRO review) was a return to the Broken Social Scene (QRO photos outdoors at a festival), and their live show (QRO live review outdoors) has included everything from Forgiveness songs like “Meet Me In the Basement” (QRO video) Spearin’s fascinating Happiness Project (QRO review) to the old ‘hits’ like “K.C. Accidental” (QRO video) and “Fire Eyed Boy” (QRO video) – as well as numerous guest stars (QRO photos), especially as it’s a hometown festival (QRO photos outdoors at a Toronto festival).

And it will be a very special performance from BSS, as they celebrate the tenth anniversary of the record that started it all, You Forgot It In People, by playing the album in its entirety!
Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene
Feist, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM, Garrison Common Stage

When Canadian indie broke out, no one broke out more so than Leslie Feist with iPod ad tune “1,2,3,4” and The Reminder (QRO review).  Putting some bossanova into accomplished indie, she even flirted with Stephen Colbert (QRO live review of the NYC show right after that).  After all the attention, Feist (QRO photos) took some time off, but returned with a flourish in 2011 (QRO live review) thanks to the well-received follow-up Metals (QRO review), and now comes home to Canada (QRO photos at a festival).
Dan Mangan, 6:45 PM – 7:30 PM, Fort York Stage

Canada has lots of alt-country/folk singer/songwriters who bare their soul – the mix of the cold, sparse expanses of the Great White North and the state support of the Factor program has produced many artists like Dan Mangan (QRO photos at a festival), but he’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice (QRO review) – though his latest, last year’s Oh Fortune (QRO review), was a bit of a step backward, but he still brings it live (QRO photos), especially in Canada (QRO photos at a Canadian festival).
Dan Mangan
Stars, 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM, Garrison Common Stage

2008’s In Our Bedroom After The War marked a proverbial fork in the road moment for Montreal’s Stars (QRO photos).  While the band was still pumping out high quantities of admirable, very layered pop songs like “Banquet” (QRO video), their swooning ballads were a little too close to becoming overindulgent and underwhelming.  With 2010’s The Five Ghosts (QRO review) and now last year’s The North, the band took the road less traveled, proving their pop relevance and then some (QRO photos).  Known for the powerfully energetic shows (QRO live review), Stars are set to mesmerize festivalgoers (QRO photos at a Canadian festival).
Timber Timbre, 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM, Fort York Stage

Brooklin, Ontario’s Taylor Kirk goes the stripped, alt-folk sound that they seem to know better how to do in Canada than anywhere else (QRO photos at a Canadian festival), as Timber Timbre (QRO photos at a Canadian festival).  While sophomore release Creep On Creepin’ On (QRO review) came a little late in 2011, it was nonetheless instantly long-listed for the prestigious Polaris Prize.  The album subsequently moved on to the shortlist, though lost out to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs (QRO review) in the end, but this might be the perfect time to indulge in a little sinister charm (QRO photos).
Timber Timbre
Bloc Party, 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM, Garrison Common Stage

Known for their ubiquitous single, “Banquet”, Bloc Party (QRO photos) is one of the few gems to come out of the post-punk revival in the early 2000’s.  The four-piece band (QRO photos) has become a household name within the U.K. region, and gaining fans in America (QRO photos), as well as Canada (QRO photos in Canada).  They come to Field Trip (QRO photos at a Canadian festival) behind last year’s first release on Arts & Crafts, Four (QRO review), which was their follow-up to the so-so Intimacy (QRO review) & A Weekend In the City (QRO review), and the band’s first since singer Kele Okereke’s lame solo record, The Boxer (QRO review).
Bloc Party
Ra Ra Riot, 4:15 PM – 4:45 PM, Fort York Stage

Oh, how they’ve grown!  In the less than six years since their self-titled EP (QRO review) and the death of singer/drummer John Pike, this Nor’easter collective (QRO photos) has not only rebounded but exploded (QRO photos at a festival), embracing life even more on 2008’s excellent The Rhumb Line (QRO review) than early single “Dying Is Fine” (QRO video) could have predicted.  Ra Ra Riot’s live show (QRO live review) sees everyone but the new drummer running around on stage like kids on candy (especially singer Wesley Miles – QRO interview – but also guitarist Milo Bonacci – QRO interview – and bassist Mathieu Santos – QRO interview), but they’re also relative road ‘veterans’, from near-immediately after Pike’s death (QRO live review) to outdoor festivals (QRO photos outdoors at a festival) to in-stores (QRO photos) to industry showcases (QRO photos at an industry showcase) to bigger & bigger rock clubs (QRO photos) to bigger & bigger outdoor venues (QRO live review outdoors) to opera houses (QRO live review) to fashion launch parties (QRO live review) – and even the occasional basement show (QRO photos).  They’re also building in songbook, from early numbers like “Each Year” (QRO video) and “Can You Tell?” (QRO video) to Rhumb single “Ghost Under Rocks” (QRO video) and the Pike-penned “St. Peter’s Day Festival” (QRO video) to “Too Dramatic”, from 2010’s follow-up The Orchard (QRO review), and now “Dance With Me” (QRO video) & “I Shut Off” (QRO video) from this year’s new, more dancetronica, Beta Love (QRO review).

Before Beta Love the band did see the departure of cellist Alexandra Lawn (QRO interview) – so what will happen to the usual tight pack of males (QRO photos at a festival) in front of everyone’s indie-rock crush (QRO photos in 2013)?
Ra Ra Riot
Hayden, 3:45 PM – 4:15 PM, Garrison Common Stage

Paul Hayden Desser (QRO interview) is ‘just another amazing Canadian multi-instrumentalist’ (QRO spotlight on) who is very “Worthy of Your Esteem” (QRO video), who finally left his own label for Arts & Crafts with this year’s Us Alone (QRO review), his first since 2009’s The Place Where We Lived (QRO review).
Trust, 3:15 PM – 3:45 PM, Fort York Stage

Maya Postepski, drummer in Toronto’s Austra (QRO live review), teams up with Winnipeg’s Robert Alfons as synth-pop outfit Trust (QRO live review).
Zeus, 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM, Garrison Common Stage

Bringing the seventies rock is Toronto’s own Zeus (QRO photos at a Canadian festival).  They’ve previously served as backing band to Jason Collett (see aboveQRO photos with Collett at a festival) and did great work with Collett on the ‘Bonfire Ball Revue’ tour (QRO live review), but know how to do it all on their own, like on last year’s Busting Visions and 2010’s Say Us (QRO review)
Cold Specks, 2:15 PM – 2:45 PM, Fort York Stage

The London goth-soul act Cold Specks is led by Canadian singer/songwriter Al Spx.
Cold Specks
Jason Collett, 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM, Garrison Common Stage

Jason Collett (QRO spotlight on) began as an alt-country artist, before joining Broken Social Scene (see above) when the Toronto collective burst through as part of the ‘Canadian Invasion’ in 2003/2004.  Yet the following year Collett (QRO interview) left the Scene to focus on his solo work, which has consistently maintained top quality on albums like 2008’s Here’s To Being Here (QRO review), 2010’s Rat a Tat Tat (QRO review), 2011’s b-sides Pony Tricks (QRO review), and last year’s Reckon (QRO review), as Collett has drawn on Americana, folk, and even the softer sounds of the seventies for a well-worn style.  His live show ranges from solo gigs (QRO solo live review) to his fronting of the ‘Bonfire Ball Revue’ tour (QRO live review) with friends Zeus (see below) and Bahamas.  Zeus has also backed him up on occasion (QRO photos with Zeus at a festival), and Collett has himself gone back on stage with BSS (QRO photos on-stage with Broken Social Scene at the same festival), proving Collett is skilled in any environment (QRO photos at a festival overseas), with great songs like, Here‘s “Charlyn, Angel of Kensington” (QRO video), Rat a Tat Tat‘s “Lake Superior” (QRO video), the newer “Never Again” (QRO video), and even “Talkin’ Jive” (QRO video of Bee Gees cover).
Jason Collett

The Darcys, 1:15 PM – 1:45 PM  – QRO photos

Still Life Still, 12:45 PM – 1:15 PM, Garrison Common Stage QRO live review

Gold & Youth, 12:15 PM – 12:45 PM, Fort York Stage
Still Life Still


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