Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Your VINTAGE WEEKEND Roundup! May 29th-June 1st!

We are crossing our finger and toes that 
we will have sunny beautiful weather because this 
weekend is jammed with great vintage things to do...
including our own PIN UP PICNIC!

   8pm – Hell Bent Trio at Lucy Brock
   8pm – Live Blues and Dancing at Monarch Pub
   9pm – The Royal Crowns at The Garrison
   10p – Tiki Thursday at Sweaty Betty’s

   5pm - Ronnie Hayward at Castro's Lounge
   6pm - Rockabilly with DJ Catwoman, 100.3FM
   8pm – End of course party at Lindy Hop Revolution
   9pm – Friday Night Blues Lesson and Dance at The Hive
   9pm - Record Party at Castro's Lounge
   9pm – Speakeasy Friday at Rasputin
   9pm – Greezefest at El Mocambo
   9pm – Danny Duke & The Northern Stars and The Greasemarks at Cherry Colas
   9:30p – Hell Bent Rockers at Cadillac Lounge
   10pm – Shindig! At The Piston

   9am – CaftCad Movie Wardrobe Sale – Pinewood Studios
   10a – The Post Market at The Post Hub (1075 Queen E)
   11a – Artisans of the Metropolis: Junction Bazaar at Metropolis factory
   3pm - Vinyl from the Crypt 89.5FM
   3pm - Boxcar Boys at Cest What
   4pm - Whisky Bath at Duffy's Tavern
   4pm - Ronnie Hayward at Mcqueen's pub
   4pm - Happy Pals at Grossman's Tavern
   7pm – Saturday Night Swing: Heidi Lange Swing Band at Dovercourt House
   7:30p – Film Fatale-Film Noir Series: The Garment Jungle at Dominion on Queen
   8pm – Lunacy Cabaret: Festival of Clowns at Zero Gravity Circus
   10p – King Beez at The Sister
   10pm - Shake, Rattle and Roll with Bangs & Blush at Clintons
   10pm - Shake-A-Tail at Sneaky Dee's
   10pm – PANIC: Spotlight on Siouxie and The Banshees
   10pm – Mojo Workout at The Yukon

   6am - Sunday Antique Market at St Lawrence Market
   7:30a – Centennial Classic Car Show and Shine at Ashtonbee Campus
   10am – Leslieville Flea at Harbourfront Center
   10a – The Post Market at The Post Hub (1075 Queen E)
   11am – Bellwoods Blockparty (vintage vendors) at Trinity Bellwoods Park
   11am - Rockabilly Brunch with Alistair Christl at Dominion On Queen
   12p – Hookerson-Blough Auction at Mrs Huizenga
   3pm – Toronto Vintage Society’s Pin Up Picnic at Trinity Bellwoods Park
   4pm - New Orleans Connection All Stars at Grossman's Tavern
   9pm - Watch This Sound at Castro's Lounge 
   9pm - Sinful Sundays at Cherry Cola's
   9pm – Toronto Lindy Hop: Imperial Swing and Blues at Imperial Pub

Here is a link to our picnic event...

...and more great vintage picnic images!

As always...please forward on any other event information!

#myvintageTO #TorontVintageSociety #Toronto #TO #vintage #retro #midcenturymodern #antiques #40s #50s #60s #rockabilly #surf #soul #RocknRoll #mod #danceparty #swingtoronto #TLH #lindyhop #burlesque #cabaret #picnic #brunch #auction #shopping #summertime

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Beat Cave - A 1950s Beatnik Recreation hosted by Doll Factory by Damzels

The Beat Cave 
A guest post by TVS alum-Larissa of Blonde Moxie Makeup
A couple of weeks ago, a very unexpected message landed in my inbox. It was an invitation to a very secret and very small gig put on and performed by Big Rude Jake and his band The Monk Junkies and they were calling it The Beat Cave! 
Photo by Kara Dillon
In Jake's own words, a description of the evening - "We want to re-create a kind of 1950’s New York Beatnik coffee house atmosphere. Very cool, very “hip,” very arty in that classic 50’s beatnik way. The music will NOT be free jazz, bee bop or folk. Rather, it will be more like a Tom Waits concert, and the tunes will be very listenable. The selections will be all-original spoken word bits and songs that are poetic, lyrically driven, urban, gritty, and jazzy with a touch of the blues. The whole effect will be like a theatre piece." 
I've been addicted to jazz for the last little while. Not just any jazz, not that Kenny G jazz and not the crazy nonsense jazz. The kind of jazz you'd hear on a film noir soundtrack…that dark, mysterious, smoky jazz. Jazz you can drink to. Jazz you can strip to…
Keeping the where's and what's shrouded in secrecy completely added to the invitation. I found out a couple days before the gig that it was to be held at The Doll Factory by Damzels in their new west side location on Roncesvalles. Only 25 people were invited and we were told to "dress the part - open to interpretation".
How could I say no? 
So this past Wednesday I pulled out my beatnik duds, teased up my bouffant, tied my scarf and headed to Damzels. 

It was a drizzly mizzly night so it totally added to the noir atmosphere. When I got to Damzels I had to get past a door person, I'm surprised there wasn't a secret password that had to be said through a small window at first!  The shop was set up so well, a small stage at the front with curtains covering the windows behind the band. Chairs in the centre, among the beautiful clothing and a small bar in the back (beer, wine, coffee and snacks all available).
The Monk Junkies went on about 8:30 and played two 40 minute sets with a 20 minute intermission. From the get-go, I was very very pleased. Jake sang and played acoustic guitar, Jack Zorawski played upright bass, Alison Young on the red hot saxophone and Glenn Anderson hit the drums. 
 Photo by Kara Dillon 

Photo by Kara Dillon
The first set seemed more mellow than the second, easing the crowd into the experience. Everyone was loving it, no matter what. Jake told stories of how the song lyrics came to be, all of which were very interesting and usually quite hilarious. 
Photo by Kara Dillon
Two songs really stood out for me, both from the second set. The first song was "Song for Lily Christine" - a bumpy grindy ballad to a Las Vegas burlesque dancer from the 50s. Jake dedicated the song to all the "gals that take their clothes off" and "to those who paint the gals who take their clothes off" (thanks for that little shout out Jake!). Toronto burlesque dancers should look out for this tune!
The second stand out song was a tribute to the messed up and strung out we see from time to time. Jake romanticized on a story of an experience in a New York jazz bar, one of the last where being high was "legal" under the watchful eye of Giuliani. The song was full of emotion and ran the gamut of them at that. 
There were so many other great songs but I don't want to spoil any more!
I got a chance to chat with Jake at the end of the show and found out that The Beat Cave would turn into a monthly gig. All the details still have to be put together but keep your eyes peeled on the TVS weekly events as we'll be promoting it for sure! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Your VINTAGE WEEKEND Roundup! May 23-25!

The weather is finally on our side...get out and enjoy it!

  5pm - Ronnie Hayward at Castro's Lounge 
  6pm - Rockabilly with DJ Catwoman, 100.3FM 
  9pm – Friday Night Blues Lesson and Dance at The Hive 
  9pm - Record Party at Castro's Lounge 

  10am – Doors Open Toronto 
  3pm - Vinyl from the Crypt 89.5FM 
  3pm - Boxcar Boys at Cest What 
  4pm - Whisky Bath at Duffy's Tavern 
  4pm - Ronnie Hayward at Mcqueen's pub 
  4pm - Happy Pals at Grossman's Tavern 
  8pm –Toronto Celebrates Frankie 100 at Dovercourt House 
  9pm – Royal Crowns at the Dakota Tavern 
  10pm - Shake, Rattle and Roll with Bangs & Blush at Clintons 
  10pm - Shake-A-Tail at Sneaky Dee's 
  10pm – Cure/Joy Division/New Order Fest at Nocturne 
  10pm – Mojo Workout at The Yukon 

  6am - Sunday Antique Market at St Lawrence Market 
  10am – Mid-town Record Show at Greenwood College School 
  11am - Rockabilly Brunch with Alistair Christl at Dominion On Queen 
  3pm – Cuppa Tease: High Tea and Burlesque at Round Venue 
  4pm - New Orleans Connection All Stars at Grossman's Tavern 
  9pm - Watch This Sound at Castro's Lounge 
  9pm - Sinful Sundays at Cherry Cola's 

As always...please forward on any other event information! 

Next up:  Join us in Trinity Bellwoods Park on June 1st for the PIN UP PINIC!

#TorontoVintageSociety #Toronto #TO #vintage #antiques #retro #rockabilly #swing #TLH #lindyhop #cancan #burlesque #brunch#swingtoronto #jazz #blues #bigband #20s #30s #40s #50s #60s #danceparty #soul #ska #rocknroll #mod #ephemera #photography #heritage

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tim Hortons turns 50! #Tims50th

What is more Canadian than a long line up up to get your morning/afternoon/evening fix at Tim Horton's??  Nothing.

This month Tim Horton's celebrates their 50th anniversary.  The celebrations kick off this past Thursday with a pop up display in Yonge and Dundas Square...transforming it into a scene from the 1960s (along with free cake and donuts!)

A shop replica, vintage folks, old cars! Photo courtesy of

Former Maple Leaf Tim Horton opened his first shop along side former policeman Ron Joyce in Hamilton, ON in 1964. Offering only 2 donuts - the Dutchie and the Apple Fritter and a good ol' cuppa coffee. I guess it was all we needed, because Tim and Ron quickly started setting up franchises across Southern Ontario within only a few short years.

Tim Horton and Ron Joyce

The first shop in Hamilton, ON

The first "Fresh" ad

The 60s uniform

The "Roll up the Rim to Win" campaign is the most recognizable advertising campaign in...dare I say...Canadian history?

Today the company boats over $3 billion a year and 4000 restaurants across Canada and the US!  An infographic was released to celebrate their journey of being "50 Years Fresh"...

...and the rest is (and will be) history!

Here are some Tweets from this week's celebrations:

@TimHortons: Vintage coffee break! Our first restaurant in Hamilton, ON had blue & white awnings & counter seating.

@TimHortons: We're having a groovy time in @YDSquare today to celebrate our 50th Anniversary!

@YDSquare: Dancing in the streets!

@pigeonbrand: It may look like 1964 at but the coffee & donuts are fresh and free!

@MapleLeafs: Celebrating 50th anniversary at Yonge-Dundas Square with some former .

@HARBORCTR: Happy Birthday ! Tribute to the life and career of Tim Horton coming to HARBORCENTER this fall

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vintage Outlaws - The Trashy Bad Girl!

Too often we forget that vintage style is not just depicted by the June Cleaver and Donna Reed''s the darker side that often inspires parts of today's huge vintage culture and toes the line of our imagination!

To explore what inspires this rising culture we went straight to the source...2 ladies that have been creating a dark uprising in the vintage culture here in Toronto.  Between the monthly "P*ssy Whipped Wednesdays: Dances the Cramps Taught Us" night at the Bovine and the "Dumpster Rock n Roll" vintage vinyl nights...I had to ask - what the what is happening?! These are clearly very steeped in vintage culture...but there is definitely a darkness and trashiness to it!  LOVE tell me more!

We interviewed the "outlaws" themselves - Tanya Cheex (Founder and Artistic Director - Skin Tight Outta Sight) and Aviva (purveyor of plastic kitsch - Celluloid Sleaze, burlesque dancer and vinyl dj - Dumpster Rock n Roll, Tiki Thursdays).....

Q: What do you typically call this darker side of vintage?
TANYA: Trashy Bad Girl, LOL! It's an outlaw look for sure!

Q:  What eras and inspirations have most influence on this movement?

AVIVA: I have personally always been more attracted to the bad girl look of the 1950s than the June Cleaver. More juvenile delinquent than housewife. From a young age I discovered rockabilly, Russ Meyer, The Cramps and Bettie Page and everything just sort of progressed from there. 

TANYA: It starts with the teenage juvenile delinquent movement in the 1950's with the birth of rock n roll. This was the first time were teens dictated fashion and music, it was all your parents stuff. Other youth cultures such as beatnik, mod and punk may be mixed in. B-movies or cult movies also have a big influence.  Monster movies, exploitation films, stag reels all have big impact. Personally I'm most influenced by The Cramps and Russ Meyer movies such as Faster Pussycat. Kill! Kill! 

Q: Vintage aficionados seem to be drawn to the more typical 40s swing dancing, 50s housewife or 60s mod styles.  What draws their fans to what could be considered the dark and alternative side of typical vintage?

AVIVA: B-movies, grindhouses, desperate rock n roll sounds and juvenile delinquency! To me the music is very important, the desperate sounds of rock n roll are influential. Early rock n roll had a very definite growling sexuality to it all the while still being somewhat subtle. You can hear it in the first 10 seconds of "Woman Love" by Gene Vincent, hyperventilation and near convulsion on the tip of his voice. Thats the good stuff. The best rock n roll  to me is when the singer sounds like he is either on the verge of or in the midst of a nervous mental breakdown. If thats not a little dark , I don't know what is?  

TANYA: Personally, I'm not attracted to what I refer to as "good girl" culture.  I identify more with the femme fatale or the vamp- I'm nobody's housewife. I'll burn your dinner but I can whip together a fantastic stripper outfit! It is harder to find the this type of clothing in vintage. you may have to rely on reproductions.

Q: Pin up is the most widely recognized version of vintage, but it often toes the line of cute day dresses and the dark side of the vintage style.  So, historically, do they share any attributes?

AVIVA: I personally just admire the weirdos of that time, the strippers, the crossdressers, the freaks making bizarro rock n roll like Screamin Jay Hawkins and Nervous Norvus. The outsiders! Having also been an outsider myself many times in life, these types of artists on the fringe really speak to me. Like John Waters says "the people who don't even fit into their own subcultures". Everything that was shocking in the 1950s seemed even more taboo, underground and perverse because of the wholesomeness on the surface of the era. I think its interesting to lift up the rug and see the dirt, the cultural detritus of a pure and virtuous time period. 

TANYA: I think Pinup has some influenced the modern interpretation of dark vintage but it's too coy.. Nobody really tried to dress under the category Pinup back in the time.  Some key pieces you see in the darker side of vintage are leather biker jackets, tight capri pants or hysterectomy pants, halter tops or off shoulder peasant tops, lame jumpsuits, pencil skirts or wiggle dresses. You may say this look is influenced by the pink ladies in Grease or John Water's Cry Baby. It's not girl next door, it's the girl your mother warned you about!

Q: any vintage patron cringes when vintage gets lumped together with typical versions of the idea (ex 50s = marilyn monroe).  Do you feel the same way about this style getting lumped in with pinup and rockabilly...or are you OK with it?

AVIVA: I think a lot of people associate darker styles of vintage with the music and aesthetic of psychobilly. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the psychobilly movement, songs about zombie girlfriends seem to be a dime a dozen and there's nothing really spooky or interesting about it at all. If you want spooky look to the novelty music of the 1950s for the true gems of the dark side. That is what Lux and Ivy did, they looked to the trashy rock n roll of the 1950s to help form their very distinct and basically uncategorizable sound. The music of The Cramps is largely covers of trash from their personal record collection. 

TANYA: Those subcultures are too narrow for me as is the psychobilly label. I don't really mind them being lumped together really. I throw rocker slut into my mix too. I also work in vintage retail so it bothers me more when customers have a vague uneducated idea of what they're shopping for. I try to set them straight and help them. Pinup itself is soooo broad. Do you mean like an Elgren type look, a Bettie Page dominatrix look, or a greaser girl look? Something may be made in the 80's but still have the look. You can't be a purist about it. The hair and makeup tends to be of an exaggerated  version but still glamorous. Heavy eyeliner and jacked up hair - often dyed to the extreme.

Lux and Ivy (The Cramps)

Q:  I hear of the music referred to as "bump n grind" and 'titty twistin" (LOL)...what does this mean to someone who may venture in to this world?? 

TANYA: Bump n grind is the sax heavy bluesy music of strippers in the 40's and 50's. The musical punctuation is easy to hear and gave the dancer cues at where to bump n grind.   The Stripper by David Rose Orchestra is the most widely recognized piece of bump n grind.  Titty Twistin' may also refer to outlaw rockabilly such as Charlie Feathers or raunchy blues such as Andre Williams. Any number of the bands the Cramps have covered.  Some female vocalists like Wanda Jackson or Sparkle Moore may be included. Dirty novelty songs as well.

Q:  Which Toronto performers and venues typically embrace this culture?

TANYA: Well Aviva and myself, being burlesque performers often do shows in this vein and we certainly dress the part. Dolly Berlin, Laura Desiree, Roxi Dlite and any body  from Great Canadian Burlesque or Skin Tight Outta Sight Rebel Burlesque. Cherry Cola's has it's Sinful Sundays Night, anywhere Aviva is spinning from her vast record collection, and of course our Dances The Cramps Taught us monthly party at The Bovine with Laura Desiree. (May 14th)  

Toronto Event posters

Q: If someone wanted more history on the era and style...what should they listen to, watch, read??

AVIVA: Directors to watch: John Waters, Kenneth Anger, Russ Meyer, Kuchar Brothers and Juvenile Delinquency/Rock n Roll films! Reading Material: William S Burroughs. Listening: Nasty Rockabilly, Las Vegas Grind compilations are a good starting point!
TANYA: Collect old men's magazines and learn about strippers from the past- a lot of them lived the lifestyle. John Waters movies and anything he writes makes references. Pulp novels, B-movies in the JD genre and exploitation films. 

Screamin Jay Hawkins

John Waters

William S Burroughs

Pulp novels an B Movie posters

Come to our burlesque shows and DJ nights.  Come drink with us for an evening and that will definitely give you a glimpse into bad behaviour!