Though we don’t know it at the time, 2004 marks the only full year the Wavelength ‘zine is printed in glorious colour. In February, the Wavelength 200 fest — marking its fourth anniversary (Feb. 12-15) – has some wild moments including a pink balloon drop on Valentine’s Day at Rockit, the now-defunct club on Church Street that was later featured as a location in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The weekend also sees Wavelength taking an early foray into DIY venues, putting on a show at the Dovercourt House ballroom — a space that, for all its loveliness, WL would not revisit for another 18 years.
While the WL ‘zine continues to be the voice of the local music scene, the online community begins to evolve with the 20hz message board becoming a place for artists and fans to share upcoming shows and chat about music and more. In the wider world of the web, early social media sites Friendster and MySpace give us an innocent preview of what was to come. And back home, the halcyon days of Torontopia continue throughout the year, with one memorable non-Wavelength event including the release of the Toronto Is Great!!! CD compilation by Blocks Recording Club. And while Wavelength’s Sunday nights at Sneaky Dee’s keep going strong on College Street, the artsy gentrification of West Queen West begins to ramp up with the openings of the renovated Drake and Gladstone Hotels.
- California art-rock band Xiu Xiu play a rare non-Sneaky’s WL Sunday alongside Les Mouches (WL 204, March 14 @ Gladstone Hotel)
- Owen Pallett performs one of the first shows of his solo violin looping project, then called Final Fantasy, alongside UK singer/songwriter Patrick Wolf (WL 212, May 9 @ SD)
- Junior Boys show off the Hamilton, Ontario electro-pop setting the world ablaze (WL 213, May 16 @ SD)
- Toronto femcee Masia One brings hip-hop to the WL stage alongside Pony da Look (WL 219, June 27 @ SD)
- Chad VanGaalen and Falconhawk give the WL crowd a taste of the off-kilter indie-rock bubbling up out west in Calgary, as WL becomes a key touring stop for national acts (WL 223, July 25 @ SD)
- LAL bring their socially conscious downtempo soul to WL in a double bill with buzzy electronic band Holy Fuck (WL 234, Oct. 10@ SD)
- Fucked Up headline a raging Halloween party which sees the Toronto hardcore punk heroes play with actual Jack-o-Lanterns on their heads and the crowd getting pelted with pumpkin; this kicks off an annual tradition that sees FU takes and runs with to start their own Halloween festival (WL 237, Oct. 31 @ SD)