Sunday, July 29, 2007

March 2006 - Strut Magazine Toronto Launch Party

© March 2006 - Strut Magazine Toronto Launch Party By Bryen Dunn, Toronto -

On Wednesday March 8th The Berkeley Church (Queen and Parliament) was once again transformed into a concert venue/promotional showcase for a Strut Magazine event. Last year they created headlines by bringing in Juliette Lewis and the Licks. This year performances by NYC’s “Morningwood” and Montreal’s “The Stills” didn’t bring the same buzz but the bands rocked out in fine format.

Strut defines itself as “Canada’s Coolest Magazine” and “the best in Canadian fashion, photography and culture. I personally flipped through the glossy pages scanning the 50% advertising content, 30% pictures, and finally the 20% text that might of interest to readers. If you’re a fan of GQ or Vogue this is likely aimed at you, and you were likely at the launch party as well.

This year the purpose of the party was to announce their new Toronto digs over near Queen and Dufferin in the trendy west end of the city, after 3 years in their home town of Montreal. VICE Magazine recently moved into the Parkdale area as well. Strut is now claiming they are going to conquer the country one city at a time. Not sure if they know of the success/failure rate of most publications, but then again with a 50% advertising content I’m sure they will likely stay afloat longer than other upstarts.

The Launch Party itself was jam-packed, thanks to some excellent PR work. Corporate sponsorship was everywhere including Oakley, Motorola and Skyy Vodka. Morningwood came out shortly after 9 and within minutes lead singer Chantal Claret had me thinking of her as the new Patti Smyth. Tons of energy, hard-ass vocals and a no-shit attitude give her control of the stage. Their single, “Take Off Your Clothes” was inspiration for her to call up a young vixen from the crowd and then proceeded to rip her clothes off her and got into some girl-on-girl soft core.

Their self-titled debut is a hit on college, university and indie stations across the USA. It helps to have the credibility of producer Gil Norton (Echo and the Bunnymen, Pixes, Foo Fighters) behind them.

The Stills were quite tame after the explosive openers, but they did their best to keep the attention of the largely non-attentive crowd. This crowd was there after receiving complimentary invitations (and drinks if you arrived early enough), again thanks to the good PR work. After a solid 30 minute set, The Stills left the stage to make way for Carlos D, from NYC’s Interpol. Apparently he was quite late arriving, and again an uninterested crowd couldn’t care less and started filing out by 11pm.

I’m sure accomplishment was achieved by all parties involved with this party. Let’s see what they get up to next.

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