Noise complaints prompt Castro’s to get innovative
A tiny little room on Queen Street East in the Beach(es) area of TO [(the weird spelling is due to a still extant controversy over what the area on the lakefront east of Woodbine should be called], Castro’s Lounge is hardly suited, it would seem at a superficial glance, to presenting live music. It’s too small and a huge table in the centre makes it look way to crowded for a live performer, even though there is a little space by the front window set aside for that.
Indeed, demonstrating how music, like grass pushing through concrete after a brutal winter will find a way to surface, this hip little watering hole at 2116A Queen (it’s so small it doesn’t even have its own address!) near Wineva St. actually offers more live music shows per week than just about any other of the area “music” clubs several times its size.
With at least eight live music shows a week (there are now two on Mondays) it’s no wonder this place is a favoured hangout of musicians and like-souled artists from the area, and a magnet to people from elsewhere. It also has a tidy —and interesting— selection of draught beers that usually includes rotating featured pints (it also hosts beer-tasting events) and specializes in vegetarian food.
Another thing that’s unique about this place of late is the time frame in which its shows take place —with only one exception they all happen around the dinner hour daily. The reason for that, and for the switch of the blueVenus duo from every Tuesday at 10:30 (as I’ve told you about before) to 9 p.m. Mondays is that someone nearby apparently finds live music disturbing and had filed complaints with the city.
Co-owner Anthony tells me that the club decided to alter its hours for all the shows except the Monday one to accommodate the unhappy neighbour and that it’s working out well. (They’ve certainly cornered the 5-9 live music market most days!)
Andrea De Boer (blueVenus’s heart and soul), with her violin and voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar, can still go on later Mondays, he said, “because she isn’t very loud, so it hasn’t been a problem.”
Several weeks ago De Boer switched from Tuesdays to Mondays at 9 (following The Cosmotones doing Rockabilly from 5-8) for unrelated reasons apparently. Whatever night you go to see her, or wherever for that matter, you’ll be rewarded with a set of her ethereal, sweet yet substantial songs delivered with passion and soul by a very talented writer and performer.
Tonight’s 5 p.m. show features a Bluegrass band I haven’t heard of before, Hometown Bluegrass. There may not be a lot of room to hoedown in the nearly claustrophobic little pub, but I’ll bet they have a way to make it work.
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
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Noon> Free lunchtime Jazz with tba @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*5-8> Piano Jazz @ Sauce, 1376 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Jazz
5> Hometown Bluegrass @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E.. TO East ~Bluegrass
5-8> Rob Davis Blues Duo @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
6> The Seasons @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> Jim Gelcer Group @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*6:30-11> The Woodshed jam with Don Niblett & Frank Zochodne @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
7> Karaoke with host Rob MacArthur @ Ajax Legion (RCL 322), 112 Hunt St., Ajax
7-9:30> Matthew Barber @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West
7> Art Lajambe @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
7:30-9:30> Clela Errington & Jocelyn Barth @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~original Roots-Pop
7:30> Collette Savard @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick St., TO
7:30-10> ‘First Tuesday’ open mic with hosts North Of Queen @ Emmanuel Howard Park United Church, 214 Wright Ave., TO West; $2
*8> David Baxter & Friends @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Rootsy Pop/Blues
8-12> Mark Crissinger @ Monarchs Pub in Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~original Pop Rock
*8> open stage with host Iain Leslie @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; $2
9> open stage with Bakes @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough
8:30> Mary Gauthier album release for Trouble and Love @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~original Rootsy Pop; $32.50/-
*8:30> Django Jam @ Dominion On Queen, 500 Queen St. E., TO ~Django Jazz
8:30> Shanika Maria; Noella Choi; Dan Rheault @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO ~songwriters; $6
*8:45> Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues
**9> open mic with host Jody Ferrer & 10 p.m. feature by tba @ Groove Bar, 1952 Danforth Ave., TO East
9> Danny Marks & Alec Fraser Blues Night @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
*9> open mic with host Nikki Lemonbeat @ Kitch, 229 Geary Ave., TO West
9> Massey/Harris @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Roots originals
9> Ababe Music presents Sarah Burton; Pastel; Ditto Head (Greatest I Hate Todd Cover Band); Histrionics @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West ~indie showcase
*9:30> karaoke with The English Rose & The Mad Scotsman @ The Fossil & Haggis, 790 Military Trail, Scarborough
*9:30> Peter Verity @ Black Swan, 154 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Folk Roots
9:30> Ms Debbie & The Don Valley Stompers @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO
*9:30-12> open stage hosted by Jennifer Brewer @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave., TO East
9:30> Dave King Trucking Co. @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~NYC Jazz
*9:30> jam with Derek Downham @ Axis, 3048 Dundas St. W., TO West ~eclectic
9:30> Moonshine Country Band @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country Rock
*10-2> The Sattalites @ Orbit Room, 580 College St., TO ~orig. & cover Reggae/Funk
10> Peripheral Vision @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick St., TO ~Jazz
10> Run With The Kittens @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
10> The Treasures @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West
*10-11> Nik Beat’s Howl radio show @ CIUT 89.5 FM, ~spoken word & music
*10-2> Marshall Dane Trio @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~New Country/Pop
10:30> tba @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
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