For its third anniversary, a.k.a. Wavelength 150 (Feb. 13-16), Wavelength gets its Winter Festival formula right: a kickass lineup combined with an intriguing mix of venues over one long weekend. Do Make Say Think headlines a stacked bill on Lee’s Palace on opening night, then things move to a recently renovated El Mocambo for a gleefully destructive set by DMST splinter group Lullabye Arkestra. On the Saturday night, Wavelength begins a long relationship with the Music Gallery, presenting their first show in the long-running experimental space’s then-new-ish digs in beautiful St. George the Martyr Church — including MG founding group CCMC alongside Toronto electronic icons Solvent vs. Lowfish — before landing back home at Sneaky Dee’s to close out the weekend with sweaty alt-country rockers Cuff the Duke. Plus an indie label fair on Sunday afternoon. Phew!
With changes behind the scenes within the WL crew, the ‘zine takes a summer hiatus before returning with full-colour covers and a brand-new logo designed by artist Tyler Clark Burke of Three Gut Records and Feist fame. And what a summer it was to be young and free in the city: 2003 marked the summer of “Torontopia” — the beginning of Toronto’s cultural renaissance, a new movement of civically-minded arts initiatives in which Wavelength gets swept up in alongside Vazaleen, Spacing, Trampoline Hall, and others. Toronto discovers itself the night of that August’s blackout and then had a cause for optimism with that fall’s election of a progressive new mayor, David Miller. Meanwhile, in the wider music world, the Internet rockets homegrown heroes Broken Social Scene, the Constantines, and the Hidden Cameras to international indie stardom.
- Electro jammers Holy Fuck play their first-ever show, opening for themselves as “Hot Carl” (WL 148, Jan. 26 @ SD)
- Owen Pallett’s band Les Mouches introduces many to their manic freak-folk (WL 174, Aug 3 @ SD)
- Hardcore/metal bands Cursed and Gesundheit show there’s a space for heavy music at Wavelength (WL 176, Aug 17 @ SD)
- Can vocalist Damo Suzuki performs two free-form sets backed up by different bands of Wavelength all-stars (WL 180, Sept. 14 @ SD)
- The ‘zine is relaunched with an epic dance-punk blowout featuring Anagram, the Sick Lipstick, controller.controller and more (Special Event, Nov 29 @ SD)
- Hidden Cameras breakaway faction the Barcelona Pavilion teach Toronto indie crowd to dance, alongside Portland, Oregon visitor the Blow (WL 194, Dec. 21 @SD)