October Picks: Films, Albums, and Concerts

People often ask me how I hear about things. It could be things like events in the city, upcoming movies, concerts, new albums, auditions, anything along those lines. Maybe I spend a lot more time lurking Toronto-based websites, Ticketmaster, music blogs and watching television than others, but I do make it a priority to stay in the know so that I can spend my money on experiences rather than buying the latest trend at the mall (but I’m only human, and a consumerist one at that, so I am sure you will see me out and about in some blue suede shoes soon enough).

I have decided that at the beginning of every month I will write about some of the things that I am looking forward to that month. I am not in any way promising that I will deliver “exclusive” scoop, but I will do my best to share the things that I am excited to hear, see, eat, and possibly drool over.

There are tons of movies that I am excited to check out this month, kicking off with Alfonso Cuaron’s highly anticipated Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney which releases this Friday, October 4th. I was initially turned off by the plot description of the film, but after reading several reviews that have been gushing about the visual experience, I have been patiently waiting for the film to get a wide release. I was really tempted to see it at TIFF, but I figured waiting a couple of weeks could not hurt if it meant a cheaper ticket.

Another TIFF movie that I am absolutely ecstatic about seeing is The Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the infamous Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. I think it will be important to take the contents of this film with a grain of salt as it may sensationalize the original tale a little bit, but I am interested to see it come to life. I wrote an extensive paper on Wikileaks and international law in my final semester of my undergraduate degree so there is a little bit of a personal dorky interest here as well. The Fifth Estate will be released on October 11th.

Finally, I have heard some buzz surrounding Isaiah Washington’s performance in the upcoming Blue Caprice, which is based on a true story. You can check out the trailer here and the film when it gets it’s limited release on October 11th.
UPDATE: The release date for 12 Years A Slave got moved up from December to October 18th. This movie has been getting TONS of buzz over the last few months and made a HUGE splash at TIFF this year. REALLY REALLY REALLY looking forward to this one. And yes, caps lock means everything is serious.
Other Films: CBGB, Carrie, The Counselor 

If you are on a hunt for new tunes, you are in luck. There are tons of albums already out!  Listen to Justin Timberlake’s  The 20/20 Experience Part 2, Kelela’s mixtape (free download here) and Lorde’s Pure Heroine. You can also stream Sleigh Bells’ third album, Bitter Rivals and Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz, both which will officially release on October 8th.

But there are so many bigger releases to come, the highlight of which is probably The Arcade Fire’s follow-up to 2010’s highly successful The SuburbsReflektor will be released on the 25th, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait long to hear some good music. I mean that literally. G.O.O.D. Music’s Pusha T is set to release his debut solo effort My Name Is My Name on October 8th and a week later hip-hop fans will also be treated to A$AP Mob’s currently untitled record and London, ON’s Shad’s fourth effort, Flying Colours (I am just going to say in a very uncryptic manner that you should be excited about that last record. Just saying.)

OctoberPix-2If you have been listening to Drake’s Nothing Was The Same as much as I have been,  I am sure you will find yourself just as obsessed with a certain female voice on his track From Time. Her name is Jhené Aiko, an LA songstress who has worked with Childish Gambino, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Casey Veggies, J.Cole, and Big Sean, amongst others. She will be releasing her highly anticipated mixtape Sail Out at the end of the month. I checked out her performance at the Manifesto concert at Yonge and Dundas Square a little while ago and I can say with full confidence that she is completely worth the hype. 
Other New Releases: Of Montreal’s Lousy with Sylvianbriar, Ryan Hemsworth’s Guilt Trips, Cults’ Static, Katy Perry’s Prism and Sky Ferreira’s Night Time, My Time

It is really hard to ever call any month a slow month when it comes to shows in Toronto. OctoberPix-1There are just so many to pick from, and there are a few that are particularly on my radar. Lorde (the girl who has that oh so catchy song, Royal) will be hitting up the Danforth Music Hall on October 6th. Tickets are currently sold out, but I have a feeling there will be a small handful available the day of the show. Janelle Monae will be performing at Kool Haus on October 19th in support of her sophomore record, The Electric Lady. It greatly saddens me that I will not be able to check out her show as I am already committed to Shad’s show at The Opera House that night, which is currently sold out. I urge you to go see Janelle, mainly because she is amazing, but it also does not hurt that her show is only $35.

But if you are on a hunt for some new music, you are in luck: Indie Week Canada is taking place from October 16th – 20th at various venues all over the downtown core. Tickets are on sale now and it is definitely worth checking out, especially for Rural Alberta Advantage’s headlining show on the 18th at Adelaide Hall. See you at the Rivoli?

And of course, the big musical kahuna of the month goes to Mr.Aubrey Graham’s stop in his hometown on October 24th, which is also his birthday. Although I loved attending OVO Fest over the years, I am looking forward to seeing Drake perform some of his new music from his new record on this tour stop. I am also fairly certain we will see this global ambassador bring a few friends along for the party, outside of openers Miguel and Future (I’m personally hoping for Sampha, Jhené Aiko, and a reunion with Kendrick Lamar.) I would tell you to get tickets, but you probably already have them…unless you don’t, to which I would say stalk the LiveNationON Twitter to find out when they will release more tickets.
Other Shows:  Cyhril Hahn & Ryan Hemsworth @ The Hoxton on October 4th, J.Cole & Wale @ Massey Hall on October 8th & 9th, The Weeknd @ Massey Hall on October 17th, 19th and 20th, Fiona Apple & Blake Mills @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 17th

There are just so many things to look forward to this month. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, for one. Comfy sweaters. Boots. The conclusion to Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, Allegiant. The return of all of my favourite CW teen dramas. Cooler weather. Nuit Blanche. Let me know what you are looking forward to this month! 

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