With three days of outdoors music, the Toronto Urban Roots Festival (or TURF, for short) brings a diverse selection of acts to the Garrison Common grounds, including alt-country veterans like Jeff Tweedy and Jenny Lewis, legedary bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and the Violent Femmes, and local acts like July Talk and Bidiniband. In addition to the festival lineups, there’s also a bonus Club Series associated with the festival playing for the week at the Horseshoe Tavern and Lee’s Palace that’s included in the higher-priced passes.
The first annual Toronto Festival of House Culture has come about to celebrate what’s already happening on a regular basis across Toronto: people organizing living room and backyard performances and salons for artists who are keen to connect with people in a more intimate setting. Over three days, organizers have planned music performances, screenings, storytelling, and poetry readings at a half-dozen west-end homes, kicking off with a potluck dinner and opening night show on Friday night headlined by singer Cheryl White; other highlights over the weekend include a workshop and performance by Sarah Pelzer, an evening of theatre and music by pop band Words Around the Waist, and a “troubadour” session on Sunday with Kyp Harness.
Just to make things clear, you won’t see “Weird Al” Yankovic at Weird Al Karaoke, nor will you see anyone singing his songs (or karaoke at all, for that matter). What you will see will be some of Toronto’s funniest musically inclined comedians singing their own original satirical material. Guests for the July edition, hosted by “Weird Glenn” Macaulay, include the Sufferettes, Daniel Beirne (co-star of CTV’s Space Riders webseries), and Marty Topps, who recently won the Laugh Sabbath/NXNE comedy shorts festival’s top prize for his music video for Beep Beep (Buy Me a Jeep).