This Thursday night sees Toronto being graced with a performance at Trinity-St Paul’s Centre by one of the finest singer/songwriter/guitarists on the face of the earth, Mr Richard Thompson. Since emerging onto the scene in the 1960s with British folk revivalists Fairport Convention, Thompson has consistently turned out masterful and wholly underrated albums of dark, character-driven songwriting and inhumanly good (but never ostentatious) acoustic and electric guitar work.
Practically the very definition of a cult artist, Thompson is often the recipient of two-edged titles as “the best artist you’ve never heard of” or other such faint praise. But his fans are devoted and obsessive and it’s been said that there are no former Richard Thompson fans, only future ones, and people travel far and wide to see him perform live – no doubt people will have travelled many a mile to see his sold-out show tonight. He’s currently on tour promoting his new album Front Parlour Ballads. He also scored the new Werner Herzog film Grizzly Man.
Thompson is performing acoustically on this night accompanied by bassist Danny Thompson. Opening is Texas folksinger Eliza Gilkyson. This show is sold out. Doors are at 7 and the show begins at 8.
Rocktober is winding down but isn’t done yet – see what else is happening after the jump.
Thursday, October 20:
Multi-night stands appear to be all the rage as the Sun Ra Arkestra continues their residency at the Lula Lounge ($30) through Friday night while The English Beat play the first of two nights at the Horseshoe ($25.50). The Bellrays promise maximum rock’n’soul at Lee’s Palace ($10.50) while Ireland’s Frames bring their passionate arena-ready folk-rock to the Phoenix with Josh Ritter in tow ($15).
Friday, October 21:
Ms Kittin does the DJ thing at System Soundbar, Holy F*ck (the “*” is pronounced “u”) plays the Mod Club with No Dynamics and Beans ($10) while The Bloodhound Gang still amazingly have enough of an audience to play the Phoenix ($20). I weep.
Saturday, October 22:
Exclaim‘s “Four For Fall” tour brings Shout Out Out Out, Luke Doucet, The Fembots and Whitey Houston to Lee’s Palace ($12) while Jakalope don’t need no fancy magazine sponsor to play the Phoenix ($17.50) – they’ve got a guy from Skinny Puppy and a girl in a short skirt. Folk duo Freakwater are also in town at the El Mocambo ($12.50).
Sunday, October 23:
The Clientele and Annie Hayden are at Lee’s Palace in an all-Merge bill ($10) while indie rock poster girl-turned-whipping boy Liz Phair wants to be Somebody’s Miracle at the Phoenix with chamber-pop combo Matt Pond PA along for cred ($20). Henry Rollins walks back and forth onstage and talks really fast at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall ($25.50-$28.50) while Wavelength counters with The Vermicious Knid, Beef Terminal and Thomas & The Evil Computer at Sneaky Dee’s ($PWYC). And as a matinee, Shameless magazine celebrates the release of their Fall issue with a Hallowe’en party featuring performances by Republic Of Safety and Cougar Party ($10, $7 with a costume).
Monday, October 24:
Up-and-coming local singer-songwriters Justin Rutledge and Serena Ryder play a co-headlining show at Hugh’s Room ($18), the first of two this week.
Tuesday, October 25:
Hallowe’en arrives a little early as The Dresden Dolls play dress-up at the Mod Club with Devotchka and Faun Fables ($16.50) while Slipknot actually has an excuse to put on the masks at the Air Canada Centre. As I Lay Dying and Unearth help give out candy ($31 to $49).
Wednesday, October 26:
Justin Rutledge and Serena Ryder trade the cozy environs of Hugh’s Room for the strobe lights of the Mod Club, and this time they bring their bands along. And elsewhere, Thrice, The Bled and Veda make loud noises at The Docks ($23).