Roxing the Swan as only Robbie can
/// What can you say about in-yer-face proto-Punk sarcastic songwriter/singer Robbie Rox that hasn’t already been said in the 40-plus years since he first burst onto the TO scene like a homegrown Frank Zappa? He’s been written about many, many times in this publication but also in major media such as the local dailies and even internationally and everyone has already commented on his provocative lyrics, naturally, and most have also noted that the charismatic, rubber-faced frontman, who also works as an actor, also has a vocal range and power that could have qualified him to sing opera had he so chosen.
Well here’s something you don’t see much about but that stands out to me: Robbie Rox is a great guy! It’s true. While his songs may relentlessly make fun of the privileged and the pretentious, and his lyrics can even be scatological in content, Robbie in person is the most unassuming and ebullient, upbeat guy you’d ever want to hang out with. He’s also a truly caring person, quite different in real life from the near-monster he portrays on stage.
But that’s not why you want to go and see him with his band The Effect tonight in the Black Swan’s upstairs lounge at 154 Danforth Ave., is it? You want to hear him do his provocative and often hilarious songs like “Rhinoceros” (inspired by the famous play of the same name by Eugene Ionesco, it’s a fantasy about what happens when everyone around you starts turning into rhinoceroses), “Jeep Creeps” (the title says it all), “The Lunch Bunch” (idem) and, of course, the classic “Beer Drinkin’ Son of A Whore”.
The above tunes all appear on one of the several cds he’s issued over the years and last year, preparatory to celebrating his 40-year career with a SongTown-organized showcase at Hugh’s Room in November, he also released a “greatest hits” collection of many of the faves.
You can pick up the Greatest Hits or one of his other discs —or even one of his classic vinyl lps!— at tonight’s 8 p.m. show, where they’ll all be on sale for special prices. Cover is $10 and you’ll want to arrive early (doors open at 7:30) to get one of the comfortable new chairs in this now quite excellent concert room.
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. 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.
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*4-6> Hogtown Syncopators @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*5-8> Kensington Kitchen Party with host Kevin Jollimore of Sin City Boys & guest musicians @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St., TO ~Pop Rock with heart
*5-7> open mic with The Foolish Things @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~original Pop
*5-7> Ronnie Hayward Trio @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E.. TO E. ~Blues/Roots
5-8> Mr. Rick’s Vintage Americana Duo @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Roots Pop
5> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
6> David Celia @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Roots Pop
6:30> Artie Roth Quartet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
7:30> Alana & Leigh Cline @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
8> Robbie Rox & The Effect @ Black Swan (upstairs), 154 Danforth Ave., TO East ~sarcastic Punk-Pop; $10
8> Patrick Brealey @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street West, TO
8-12> Chris Smith @ Ember Hot Stove, 3039 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~acoustic Pop
*8-1> karaoke @ RCL #312, 112 Hunt St., Ajax
8> Tia McGraff; David Starr @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~Roots/Country songwriters; $10
8:30> A Night With Some Cool Idiots @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO ~acoustic; $10
8:30> KC Roberts & The Live Revolution album release for Parkdale Funk 2: SIDES CD @ Mod Club, 722 College St. W., TO ~indie Funk; $25/-
8:30> Levon Helm tribute with Lance Anderson; Terry Blersch; Rob Gusevs; more @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~tribute; $35/-
9> The Rockaholics @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~exactly what it sounds like!
9-1> David Love Band @ Oscar’s Roadhouse, 1785 Queen St. E., Bramp. ~melodic vintage Pop Rock
9-1> Annie Bonsignore @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz/Pop
9-1> Wild T & The Spirit @ Monarchs Pub in Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~ Rockin’ Blues
9> The Key Frames @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO W.
*9-1> Frank Cosentino Band @ Karla’s Roadhouse, 4630 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~rockin’ Blues
9-1> Limitless @ Legends On The Queensway, 1184 The Queensway, Etobicoke South ~Rock; $5
9> Full Pocket @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd., Etobicoke South
9> David Gogo @ Music By The Bay Live, 221 Church St. S., Ajax ~Blues; $45/+
9-1> PRJ @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St., Oshawa ~Blues
9> Steven Mathews Band @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country
9:30> United Soul Nations @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etob. S. ~R&B/Soul/Funk
9:30> Tommy Rocker’s Classic Rock Show @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarb. ~classic Rock
9:30> Sonic Square @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock
9:30> Paul & Curtis @ The Harp, 55 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock/Top 40 ~Pop/Top 40
9:30> The High Rollers @ Jake’s Boathouse Brampton, 59 First Gulf Rd., Brampton ~Pop Rock
9:30> Johnny Nygen & Carlos Arevalo @ Shakers, 580 Kerr St., Oakville ~Pop
9:30> Acoustic Jukebox @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington ~Pop
9:30> Wizened @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington
9:30> Brad James @ Gladstone Tavern, 1385 Main St. E., Hamilton
9:30> Deau Dixon Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
9:45> Avi Granite Group @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~NYC Jazz
10-2> Freedom Train @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~classic Rock
10> Colleen & The Bleeding Hearts @ Harp & Crown, 300 Kingston Rd., Pickering ~Pop Rock
10> Dave Murphy Band @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~
10> Nick Teehan @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street West, TO
10-2> Chris Lord Ideal @ The Queen’s Legs, 286 Eglinton Ave. W., TO North ~original & cover Blues-Rock
10> Ryan Driver Quartet @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~Jazz
10-2> Tamin’ Thunder @ The Edge, 250 Bayly Ave. W., Ajax ~Rock/R&B/Dance
10-2> SHE+3 feat. Krista Blondin @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock
10:30> The Beggars @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
10:30> Driven @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~Pop Rock
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