We Can March If We Want To
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We Can March If We Want To

Illustration by Sasha Plotnikova/Torontoist.

After twenty-seven prolific years of defining quirky Canadiana with defunct hometown heroes the Rheostatics, Dave Bidini will be celebrating the release of his first solo album at the Horseshoe Tavern this Saturday, June 6. Not content with convention, however, he will also be celebrating in record stores, book stores, music stores, and right out in the streets earlier that evening, with guest musicians, authors, and comedians joining him along the way. Saturdays rarely look so musical (and literate and hilarious).
The Hoser March was conceived less as a sinister marketing plan for the release of The Land Is Wild and more as a way for Bidini to simply enjoy—with some of his favourite fellow artists—his beloved city. “I probably would have done it even if I wasn’t launching a record, actually,” Bidini admits. “[I thought] it’d be neat to plan a day like that…it’s really just a way to get into Kensington Market; on Saturdays, it’s so fun.” Infinitely upping the fun quotient of the neighbourhood, the march will start with a BidiniBand in-store at Soundscapes Records at 4:30 p.m. and from there will literally march, parade style, across College Street, through Kensington Market, and down to Queen Street West. Along the way, Bidini will lead the spectacle into She Said Boom (author Claudia Dey), This Ain’t the Rosedale Library (author Brian O’Dea and singer/songwriter Justin Rutledge), Paul’s Boutique (filmmaker Gregory Samsung), Graffiti’s (musicians Stephen Stanley and Ron Hawkins), and the Cameron House (The Billie Hollies and comedian Aurora Browne). All events are free, excluding BidiniBand’s performance at the Horseshoe with Laura Barrett at 9 p.m. ($10).
While this pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood seems a natural fit for the Hoser March, Bidini jokes that nostalgia may have been a deciding factor too: “In the really early days, we’d have questionable shows in Kensington Market, so it’s a little bit of knocking on walls, looking for ghosts. But really, playing in the city, you get to know those corridors really well, and this is a fun way to go through them.” More than secure in his long-term relationship with the city, Bidini even encourages its recent attraction to public acts of art. “If you tried to do this in 1980, it would have been, you know, the band and a cat maybe. People are galvanized by the idea now and into it. This march is also a celebration of that. You need life on the streets. I think it’s hugely important for a city.”