Urban Planner: January 8, 2010
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Urban Planner: January 8, 2010

Urban Planner is Torontoist’s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected]

Detail from one of Jim Hake’s Backfire pieces. Photo courtesy of Headbones Gallery and the artist.

SCULPTURE: Jim Hake‘s joyful and compelling sculptures are well known in Italy, where he has lived for thirteen years. Now working in Canada, Hake will exhibit for the first time ever in Toronto at Headbones—a gallery specializing in drawing and contemporary work on paper, with a small component of sculpture—in Toronto’s vibrant east-end Leslieville community. “Harder Faster” toys (quite literally in some pieces) with the concepts of being, humour, and play. In his curious and ambivalent Backfire pieces, Hake questions the maturity of children and the childlike nature of adults, both of whom seem capable of blurring the lines between violence and innocent play, between real terror and the imaginary. This fascinating, thought-provoking show should not be missed, especially in such a unique gallery environment. Headbones Gallery (260 Carlaw Avenue, #102), 6–9 p.m., FREE.
ART: Committed to showcasing emerging art and design, non-profit XPACE aims to bring students and established artists together through experimental programming that gets people talking. Tonight, the centre hosts three different openings in its various gallery spaces. The whimsical work of Martin Kuchar and Andrew Macdonald comprises “Static and Loss,” an exhibit featuring tragically comical knitted sculptures alongside paper-based wall works, which together evoke a sense of instability and awkwardness. In the Joshua Barndt installation “Limbo,” tires and light sculptures engulfed in grass create a landscape that is simultaneously disturbing and beautiful. Finally, in the centre’s window space, you can contemplate Jesi the Elder‘s “Say Your Preyers,” which touches on the mystical relationship between predator and prey. XPACE Cultural Centre (58 Ossington Avenue), 7–10 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: Funny, inspiring, and a little heartwrenching at moments, Anvil! The story of Anvil tells the story of Toronto metal band Anvil, whose widely adored first albums inspired a slew of huge metal bands (think Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax) to follow. Unfortunately, Anvil’s own ventures in the music business were met with disappointment and failure at every turn. Despite their lack of mainstream success, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner (best friends and bandmates since they were teenagers) have remained optimistic (especially Lips, in his naive, zen-like—though questionably flawed—way), and their passion for pursuing their dream is infectious. Tonight, the very band that has been rocking together since 1973 takes the stage in their home city. If you can handle the “metal on metal” action, you should get out and support one of our city’s longest-running acts. And hey, if old-school hair metal isn’t your thing, you can opt to rent the movie—released on DVD near the end of 2009 and listed on numerous “best ofs”—tonight instead. It’s a gem. Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne Street), doors at 7 p.m. $25.
COMEDY: Featured in this week’s “Festival of New Formats,” presented by the Comedy Bar, “Marty Topps‘ House Party” has been running for over a year now. The brainchild of Isaac Winter, tonight’s installment of this unconventional variety show will hand over the stage to Nick Flanagan, B.A. Johnson, Steph Kaliner, The Don Valley Stompers, and Marty Simsovic. The event’s namesake, Marty Topps (alongside DJ T-Bot) will host the night, which should prove hilarious and unpredictable. Bread & Circus (299 Augusta Avenue), doors at 10 p.m., show starts at 10:30, $10.