Urban Planner: December 16, 2010
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Urban Planner: December 16, 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].

Lee’s Palace muralist Al Runt holds an exhibit and sale of some of his work tonight at Jet Fuel Coffee Shop.

Tonight in Toronto, an experimental-film tribute to Will Munro followed by an artist-run holiday party at the Gladstone, an art show from Lee’s Palace muralist Al Runt, a performance by the Rural Alberta Advantage, and Wintergaze, a local shoegaze festival.

FILM/PARTY: Early Monthly Segments, named after a film by Robert Beavers, began in March as a salon and screening series for Toronto’s experimental film–loving community. Tonight, they pay tribute to queer icon Will Munro, who lost his battle with brain cancer in May, by showing some of his favourite films. Titles to be screened include Jean Genet‘s Un chant d’amour, Jerry Tartaglia‘s Ecce Homo, Barbara Hammer‘s Dykedactics, and more, and proceeds will go to the Will Munro Fund for Queer + Trans People With Cancer. After the screenings, stop by the Artist-Run Centre Holiday Quickie (also at the Gladstone) for record-playing, a cookie bake-off, and a holiday sweater runway show. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West); screening: 7:30 and 10:30 p.m., party: 7 p.m.–12 a.m.; screening: $5–$10 suggested donation, party: PWYC and cans or non-perishable foods for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
ART: Al Runt first worked at Lee’s Palace as a waiter in 1987, but was fired for some on-the-job libation. Luckily, this freed up his time to paint the iconic mural that nursed so many of us through undergrad. With the arrival of Big Fat Burrito, the mural was dismantled, and Runt got a new job; the new and improved mural debuted in early October. Now, on the other side of town, at Cabbagetown’s Jet Fuel Coffee Shop, Runt will be selling some of his other pieces, giving guests the opportunity to take home their own little monsters. Jet Fuel Coffee Shop (519 Parliament Street), 8 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: Shoegaze was born in the late ’80s and early ’90s, named for musicians’ tendencies to stand still and stare at the floor while they performed. The genre—made famous by groups like My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins and continued by bands such as Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.—veers closely towards sound art, characterized by droning distortions and amorphous riffs, masking toned-down vocals and melodies. Tonight, the Wintergaze festival celebrates the best local shoegaze, headlined by Memoryhouse (releasing their latest album) and emerging artists like Foxes in Fiction, Ostrich Tuning, and Heartbeat Hotel. Twist Gallery (1100 Queen Street West); 8 p.m.; $10 advance, $12 at the door.
MUSIC: Known for their songs of “hometowns and heartbreak,” it might surprise you to learn that the Rural Alberta Advantage‘s hometown is right here in Hogtown. But although they formed in our city streets, the band’s lyrics and melodies are wistful elegies for an Alberta youth, evoking images of prairie vistas and rocky peaks. Their aptly titled debut album, Hometowns, was released to great acclaim in 2008, and it was just announced that in March, they will follow up with Departing, a new album that will focus more on the personal than the geographical. The RAA play the final show of their current tour tonight, joined by Rebekah Higgs and Gravity Wave. Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor Street West), doors 8:30 p.m., $15.