\ TORONTO EAST \
Sure he’s got two Grammy Awards, was nominated for an Academy Award, is a cult hero and arguably one of the most daringly profound songwriters ever. But how, I had to wonder until a few weeks ago, could a whole night of listening to Tom Waits songs be anything but torture?
After all, the author of albums and songs with charming titles like Heartattack and Vine, “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)”, “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” and “Blue Valentines” is, as he once acknowledged himself in an interview, known primarily as a “maudlin, crying-in-your-beer” songwriter whose gravelly, mournful voice resonates with suicidal, self-destructive angst and barely bottled rage.
Not expecting much musicality and certainly not to be entertained, I nevertheless decided, in the interests of music journalism and pure curiosity, to venture to the Linsmore Tavern the evening of Monday January 25 to check out the monthly appearance there by the Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation, which, as its name suggests, is a Waits tribute band.
From the moment I walked in the door the shibboleths started shattering. For starters, the joint was packed! For a Tom Waits cover band. On a Monday night!
Secondly, the lead singer and guitarist is not a guitarist at all (at least not by reputation) but acclaimed veteran drummer/percussionist (with Goddo and Classic Albums Live among others) Marty Morin. Clearly I’d stepped through some sort of dimensional portal to an alternate universe!
It didn’t take long to see why the room was jammed to the point where I was very lucky to find a seat in the corner at the bar. A five-piece group that includes, in addition to Morin, superb saxes/clarinet and tuba along with bass and drums, performed surprisingly lively songs that actually had some people dancing while many others in the audience sang along.
While I wasn’t familiar with any of the tunes I heard, the vibe of many of the tunes reminded me of being in New York in the early 80s in a small Jazz bar off an alleyway in which Woody Allen was performing. There was gravitas to this performance as well as some highly entertaining and sharp-witted between-songs patter from Morin that went over well with a mentally savvy audience.
I have to say I was impressed not only with the lyrical power of the tunes but also with the musicality presented. The group is talented enough to faithfully capture the diverse musical streams that run through Waits’ compositions, influences including early Jazz and Blues/Tin Pan Alley, cabaret and even Baltic Folk.
The show also certainly opened my eyes to the fact that, despite his popular image as a desolate desperado, Waits is actually a fairly diverse composer who’s also authored poignant, more mainstream-accessible ballads, some of which have famously also been covered by other artists —for example “Ol’ ‘55” (The Eagles) and most famously “Jersey Girl” (Bruce Springsteen).
Tonight the group does its February show at the club steps away from the Greenwood subway station at 1298 Danforth Ave. starting at 9 and there’s no cover.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, February 08, 2022
Listings are organized by area in which the shows occur and within each area field shows are listed chronologically.
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Events preceded by question mark (?) usually take place but have not been confirmed. Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum.
Names of subscribers appear in bold, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites. Advertisers’ listings are in larger highlighted type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.
On The Air / Online
416 - Toronto Central
6> New Country Rehab @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~Country
6:30> U of T Jazz ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $
*7> Balfolk Toronto @ May Café, 876 Dundas St. W., TO ~Folk music & dance
**7:30-1 (sign-up starts at 7)> open stage with host Alex Zdravkovic @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO
7:30> Chris Banks @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
7:30> Mega City Swing Band @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Road, TO North ~R&B/Swing
8> comedy @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W., TO
8> Ukulele jam @ Tranzac Lounge (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
8:30> Alt Dot Comedy Lounge @ Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., TO; $5
8:40> Sarah Wickett; The Marlas @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., TO
**9-1:30> jam with No Band Required @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO
*9?> open mic @ Lou Dawgs Ryerson, 76 Gerrard St. E., TO
*9:30> open mic night at Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade, TO
9:30> Humber College Jazz ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $
10> Jordan John @ The Orbit Room, 580 College St., TO ~R&B/Blues
*10> jam night hosted by Phill Hood & Jon McCann @ The Cage 292, 292 College St., TO
**10> open mic (2 songs; sign-up starts 8 p.m.) with host Dave Lang and John Sladek @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
10> Alyson McNamara @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
10:30> Big Otter Creek Unplugged @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
416 - Toronto East
7-10> Django Jazz Jam @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., Toronto East
8-12> open stage with Julian Taylor @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave. TO East
9> Geoff Marshall and the Mail Order Cowboys @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Country
9> Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave. ~Tom Waits tribute
*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends @ Black Swan (ground floor), 154 Danforth Ave., TO East
416 – Toronto Etobicoke
*8-12> Al Reilly’s Catalyst also featuring Anthony Cee host Rock jam @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke
416 – Toronto Scarborough
*8-11> open stage @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarborough
9> Uke jam/workshop @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock
416 – Toronto West
5-8> Grant Lyle @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
*9-1> Hamstrung Stringband @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Bluegrass
*9-1> eclectic open stage/jam with host Nelson Sobral @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West
9-1> Chris Staig Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Rockabilly
*7> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
*8-12> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
*10> L&M Jam with host Emerson Ireland @ The Thirsty Monk, 21 Celina St., Oshawa
**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Port Credit Review @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)
*8> open mic night @ Fionn MacCool’s Burlington, 2331 Appleby Line, Burlington
*9-12> jam hosted by Redder featuring Michelle Deneault @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore E., Port Credit
*9:45-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit
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