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If you missed Arts & Crafts 10th Anniversary Celebration ‘Field Trip’ – You Missed Out!

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The CN trains bustled behind us as we sat on the hill taking in ‘Field Trip’ as part of Arts & Crafts 10th Anniversary on Saturday June 8, 2013 – it wasn’t hard for us to feel comfortable.  The event a first for A&C was reminiscent of schools day trips.  I remembered the excitement of going on a field trip with classmates and getting my backpack ready for an all-day event.  This time as an adult I was met with super sweet music, culinary treats within an authentic historic Toronto space at Fort York just under the Gardiner Expressway.

In true Arts & Crafts form the attention to detail for the one day festival was superb.  Ample port-a-potty’s for the masses, activities for kids, free popsicles and juice for all, a hula hooping spectacle under the Gardiner Expressway, fabulous organic food, drink and a contagious merriment provided an additional flavour to the tremendous A&C line up to be further indulged upon.

If you were one of 1000 people who arrived to ‘Field Trip’ before noon you could have received an Arts & Crafts: X CD.  The CD is a collection of original collaborative recordings by artist pairings from the A&C roster.  I missed out but you can check it out here http://arts-crafts.ca/x/#sthash.gM3GVLrm.dpuf  Talk about being a good host!

Arts & Crafts have carved out a beautiful brand in these last 10 years.  It is reminiscent of 4AD and how they created a recognizable design aesthetic paired up with the goods.  A definitive musical style within a proudly Canadian polished identity.

On Saturday, we milled about and bumped into the likes of Brendan Canning, Amy Millan, Hayden and various other Toronto celeb’s as they talked to their fans.  It was chilled and appreciative affair without the fuss.  We’re Canadians – we are humble folk.

The Norman Wong x Arts & Crafts exhibit also made an appearance at ‘Field Trip’ if you were unable to catch the Pop Up Shop from late last month.  The black and white photos of the likes of Dan Mangan, Feist, Cold Specks were edgy but would also make a nice addition to your living room wall.

Bloc Party, Stars, Timber Timbre to name a few were a huge draw on the two stages and were a guaranteed good time in getting people moving and shaking in the summer sun.  Feist felt a underwhelming to me.  Bloc Party killed it as they usually do giving a nice change up to the sombre sounds of Hayden before them.  Stars – really, if you don’t own any of Stars albums by now – you should.  They are a Canadian treasure.

Broken Social Scene – who let’s face it could be considered Toronto’s own version of a Unicorn who only appear in magical moments gave the crowd a powerful homecoming.  They even played their 2002 classic album ‘You Forgot It In People’ in its entirety.  There is nothing like listening to a band’s full album played live from beginning to end for your consumption.  ‘7/4 Shoreline’ and ‘Meet Me In the Basement’ – brought the house down.  Who knew 10,000 people could wiggle it at Fort York after a wonky hot then cool then hot Saturday in the summer.

Kevin Drew – although co-owner of Arts & Crafts had a few moments on stage apologizing for the hefty $90 ticket price for the day’s event but also hoping the fans had gotten their monies worth.  The response was a positive one.  An event that encouraged picnics, families with small children and a very lazy approach to enjoying your festival experience was appreciated by the audience in their cheers.  The festival organizers definitely took note of how our American counterparts run festivals with free water filling stations, a huge VIP section, an awesome line up and ambience without the ‘let’s take ourselves too seriously’ attitude.

Kevin Drew and BSS have some pretty strong views with the current political leadership in Toronto.  There were more than a few moments where Kevin mentioned ‘taking our city back’ and loving our neighbours.  Love in?  Perhaps with a rock star slant.

There was a sweet moment where Kevin encouraged the audience to clap for the absent original members of BSS Emily Haines and James Shaw from Metric who were on tour in the U.S..  As BSS played song after song, there was a solemn moment where they mentioned that they would play “Jimmy and the Photocall” in memory of James Shaw.  No sooner had the song began but there was a ‘Holy Shit, I wrote this song about this guy’ from Brendan Canning and an emotional James Shaw appeared almost magically on stage.  He had flown in from Philadelphia after his show to be part of ‘Field Trip’.  Amazing.  A true family.

After a long day as we do in Toronto – forget about grabbing a crammed streetcar.  Instead everyone walked up the ramp at Fort York and walked home satisfied.  Let’s hope there is a ‘Field Trip’ Part 2 next summer for those of you who missed out this time around.

If you are in town in August check out another Goldenvoice and Arts & Crafts event –The Grove Music Festival.  If ‘Field Trip’ was anything to go by – you are destined to have fun.  Who needs Osheaga or Lollapalooza that weekend when you can party with Arts & Crafts in Toronto?  😉



Arts & Crafts and The pleasure of buying from a Canadian Music Label

I’ve told you lovelies before about how much I dig this Canadian label.  Not only do they have lovely bands on their roster like Dan Mangan, Belle Orchestre and Timber Timbre but they have great customer service.  Customer service and a record label?  Who knew?

I was looking for the first Dan Mangan CD for a friend in the UK and found HMV’s pricing ridiculous as it usually is.  Logging onto the the A&C website I happened to find ‘Postcards and Daydreaming’ priced at considerably less than that of HMV.  http://www.arts-crafts.ca/index-ie.php

So of course I popped that DM CD into my check out bag as well as Star’s first two albums (they are no longer on A&C – boo!) http://www.galleryac.com/.  When I proceeded to the check-out I noticed I could save on the shipping by actually going to their office on Richmond Street here in Toronto and picking up the CD’s myself.  Can you imagine?  Talk about reducing my carbon footprint.

Bundles I’d like for you to peruse when you have a moment (it’s nice to get a lil extra bang for your buck) are the following:

Cold Specks

Cold Specks Deluxe Bundle

Catalog # AC070-B003

Release Date: 22 May 2012

Label: Arts & Crafts

Audio Formats: CD, LP

Release date: May 22nd, 2012


Cold Specks Bundle

Cold Specks Bundle

I Predict A Graceful Expulsion

includes the Gallery AC Exclusive track “Grave Goods”.



– I Predict A Graceful Expulsion CD or LP

– Holland 7″

– Cold Specks Unisex Tshirt

– Cold Specks cotton tote bag

– Digital Booklet

– Instant MP3 download of the album on release day

– All Pre-orders receive an instant download of “Blank Maps” and Gallery AC exclusive “Grave Goods”


Dan Mangan

Postcards and Daydreaming

Catalog # FUM001

Label: File Under Music

Audio Formats: CD, MP3-320kbps, FLAC

Dan Mangan:  Postcards and Daydreaming

Dan Mangan: Postcards and Daydreaming

Postcards and Daydreaming is the debut album from 2010 Polaris Prize shortlist nominee, Dan Mangan. This album is a collection of folk driven tunes complete with beautiful string and horn arrangements. Fans of Bon Iver and The Wooden Sky will find commonalities in the downbeat yet hopeful music of Dan Mangan.


1.Not What You Think It Is

2.Unnatural Progression

3.Above the Headlights

4.Journal of a Narcoleptic

5.Don’t Listen

6.So Much for Everyone

7.Western Wind


9.Come Down

10.Some Place to Come Home to

11.Reason to Think Aloud

12.Ash Babe


Timber Timbre

Creep On Creepin’ On

Catalog # AC061

Release Date: 5 Apr 2011

Label: Arts & Crafts

Audio Formats: CD, LP, MP3-320kbps, FLAC, Apple-Lossless

Timber Timbre:  Creep On Creepin' On

Timber Timbre: Creep On Creepin' On

The follow-up to 2009’s self-titled release, multi instrumentalists Taylor Kirk, Mika Posen and Simon Trottier come together again on heartrending compositions that engage, transport and challenge.

Creep On Creepin’ On moves forward from the band’s eponymous album towards the realization of its ability to simultaneously invoke and disguise the most essential elements of pop and rock music with chilling authenticity.

Peeps, I wish more record companies did this.  The pricing, customer service, promoting the beauty within the artists sound and just keeping it real.  It’s so nice to know that I can support Canadian bands and their label truly cares about their customer (you and I) and how they get their brand message out in a sophisticated but also down home Canadian way.

Thank you Jenna for the lovely package and being so generous!  It’s always a pleasure doing business.

Mel xo