Year 2000

1 WL March 2000 Poster
2 WL1 Mean Red Spiders @ Ted’s Wrecking Yard photo Michelle Breslin
3 WL1 Neck photo by Jonny Dovercourt
4 WL4 Audience by Mondo Lulu
5 WL23 The Spy @ Teds
6 WL25 GUH photo by Jonny Dovercourt
7 WLzine_2000_11 Cover by Matt Collins
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The first Wavelength show takes place on Sunday, February 13, 2000, at Ted’s Wrecking Yard, a 200-capacity second-floor club at 549 College Street, west of Bathurst in Little Italy. The first issue of the zine is also published just in time for the first night of the new weekly, and most of the format is in place right away — including a plastic piggy bank to collect the Pay What You Can (PWYC) admission. The first bands to play are Mean Red Spiders and Neck, both including members of the founding WL collective, but the programming mandate quickly expands to include a wider scope of the underground Toronto music scene. Wavelength immediately sets itself apart with a groundbreaking, curatorial approach to booking, intentionally bringing together diverse groups that might otherwise never play on the same bill.

Wavelength also gains renown for its warm, inviting, unpretentious atmosphere, which can partly be credited to its first home: Ted’s Wrecking Yard has great sound, sightlines, and secluded hangout spots. Irreverent emcee Doc Pickles and regular psychedelic projection artist General Chaos Visuals add to the unique, artsy vibe. Though there are some quiet nights here and there, Wavelength sees some packed houses by the end of its first year, and Sunday nights start to make every weekend feel like a long weekend. With indie record store Soundscapes across the street sponsoring the ‘zine — and some of the organizers working behind the counter — Little Italy starts to feel like the epicentre of an excitingly nerdy new music movement in Toronto.

Memorable shows:

  • A screening of Michael Snow’s pioneering experimental film Wavelength (1967), followed by a performance by the artist himself (WL 5, Mar. 12, 2000 @ Ted’s Wrecking Yard)
  • Electro-shock rocker Peaches’ farewell-Toronto show before moving to Berlin (WL 22, Jul. 9, 2000 @ TWY)
  • Noise artist Knurl makes music out of a toaster, much to the house tech’s chagrin (WL 28, Aug. 20, 2000 @ TWY)
  • Vancouver’s Destroyer (a.k.a. the New Pornographers’ Dan Bejar) performs a solo acoustic set while in town for TIFF (WL 31, Sept. 10, 2000 @ TWY)
  • The first public appearance of the name Broken Social Scene — a solo keyboard set by Kevin Drew as “John Tesh Jr. & the Broken Social Scene” to start a packed night also including The Russian Futurists and Raising the Fawn (WL 45, Dec. 17, 2000 @ TWY)