Come Up To My Room
We have no reservations in recommending an alternative-design event of public-space projects and hotel-room-set exhibitions. J an. 27 to 29. $5 to $10. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635, comeuptomyroom.com.
1955: A Group Show
The Vietnam War began, the game of Scrabble debuted and Elvis ate his first McDonald’s burger. Yes, it all happened in 1955, the year in which the era-documenting photographs of this group exhibition – including works by Larry Morris, Charles Swedlund and George S. Zimbel – were taken. To Feb. 18. Free. Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen St. W., 416-504-0575.
With her exhibition Crystal Column and Clear Shrines of Pearl, the Canadian artist Lauren Hall works humble building materials into lovely new sculptural works that reference topography as extreme as remote arctic landscapes and sunny tropical beaches. To March 3, Tuesdays to Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Free. University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo, Ont., 519-888-4567.
The hypnotic boogie-blues troupe hasn’t wowed the traditional blues crowd, which is a rather odd development given that the trio’s gutbucket style is quite rooted in the old electric traditions of Hound Dog Taylor or Junior Kimbrough. It’s rugged dance music though, which is an endearing factor to Catl’s younger, more athletic audience but a perhaps a problem with fans more sedate. Jan. 21, 10 p.m. $10. Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579.
The Way We Feel: A Celebration of the Music of Gordon Lightfoot
In the decade that Hugh’s Room has held these annual salutes to the Sundown singer, Gordon Lightfoot has released just one album, 2004’s Harmony. Not that the usual all-star cast of musicians and vocalists – this year including Rick Fines, Suzie Vinnick and Lori Cullen – are hurting for material. Jan. 21 and 22, 8:30 p.m. $36 to $38.50, 2261 Dundas St W., 416-531-6604.
JJ Grey and Mofro
Blues, funk and soul, done Florida-style, meaning there won’t be a dry shirt in the house when this crew gets done. Arrive early for opening act Monkey Junk, an Ottawa blues trio who, as you’ll surely see, roll and tumble with the best of them. Jan. 22, 9:30 p.m. $15.50 to $18. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., 1-855-985-5000.
The new album from Rae Spoon, a Calgary artist now based in Montreal, is I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets, a gentle and melodic electro-pop work that documents the loss of a friend and represents an evolving stylistic direction from a high-voiced singer-songwriter who once made a more rootsier brand of music. Jan. 27, 10 p.m. $10 to $15. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635.
TSO – Beyond the Score: The Miraculous Mandarin
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has at Bartok’s thorniest work, the one-act pantomime ballet with music that luridly expresses a sordid tale involving a prostitute, three pimps and a wealthy, desirous Chinaman. Thursday’s concert is prefaced with a presentation that explains the piece through video and narration. Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m. $23 to $76; Jan. 25 and 28, 8 p.m. (traditional concert, with The Miraculous Mandarin and Haydn and Brahms). $35 to $145. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-593-4828.
Classic Albums Live – The Beatles: Rubber Soul and Revolver
They don’t look the (mop-top) part, but that’s neither here, there or even everywhere for a rock orchestra that meticulously recreates iconic albums – in this case, a pair of pivotal mid-career Beatles records – completely live. Break out, then, the Vox amps and Rickenbackers. Jan. 27, 8 p.m. $39.50 to $49.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-593-4828.
Corin Raymond and The Sundowners are making a record, a live album that couldn’t be more “Made in Canada” if it was scented with maple syrup, shipped by beavers and came with thimbles of Stompin’ Tom Connors’ blood. The plan was originally simple, offbeat and joyful: The local folk singer-songwriter would tape a pair of performances at The Tranzac over two nights, with the hook being that he’d accept Canadian Tire money for admission to the shows. The idea was to record mostly forgotten Canadian songs by mostly forgotten Canadian songwriters– the stuff of lost troubadours, from sea to shining sea.
Mr. Raymond blogged about it – at dontspendithoney.com, taken from his co-written sing-along Don’t Spend it Honey! – and that’s when things took off, virally and nationally. “People are sending me Canadian Tire money from all over,” reports Mr. Raymond. “From Fort McMurray, from Nova Scotia and from Quebec.” According to the Manitoba-born Mr. Raymond, a charismatic and tireless champion of the folk-song tradition, packages and envelopes are arriving daily, usually stuffed with the retail tender in bundles ranging from $5 to $15.