Toronto Urban Roots Festival takes place Sep 18, 19 and 20 at Fort York. Its a lot of bands, its a lot of time but there are three stages as well as shows at Lee’s Palace and the Legendary Horseshoe. SLOWCITY has some suggestions for you.
Friday Sep 18 - East Main Stage - 4 p.m. to 5 p.m
The Desaparecidos are named for The Disappeared, in particular during Chile’s General Pinochet’s rule. The Omaha, Nebraska, five piece punk outfit have disappeared for some length themselves so catch them as they while you can. Frontman Conor Oberst moved on with Bright Eyes just after The Desaparecidos formed in 2001. They’ve been on and off ever since releasing an initial album, Read Music/Speak Spanish, in 2002. In June 23 2015 they released Payola. Its streaming on their website.
Its a fantastic heartfelt take on social issues wrapped up in smart as the whipped melodic hardcore this side of The Weakerthans. While the band’s name and album title recall the newsworthiness of civilians going missing seemingly randomly as well as past abuses of power (DJs taking backhanders to play certain songs) it is noteworthy that it is la Aparecida that are in the news of late. These dispossessed are visibly discontented with the status quo of protest tactics, swarming the towers of power and the government fortresses et al. They will no longer camp in the square; they will march right up to the borders and walk right on through. They will no longer just disappear from home lives or headlines; they will appear on our doorsteps. They wash up on our shores, come walking down the railroads. They are stepping off our screens onto our streets. They are on the march. The call is to build a wall but Oberst and his disenchanted band mates (Landon Hedges, Denver Dalley, Ian MacElroy, Matt Baum) are on top of it. They are ready with songs about Occupy and Anonymous, war crimes and Wall St criminals, apathy and our appetite for destruction. Payola may be the most overtly political pop-punk rock album since Green Day’s American Idiot and it is most welcome. To those with absolute power our message is don’t ignore the collective will of La Aparecida and our message to those who like their punks to protest to power is do not miss the Desaparecidos.
And whats a protest punk band with out a little shout out to The Clash.