10 Ways To Black Out in Toronto
Written by: Geo Hagan Photography of DFA 1979 by: Pamela Littky

There’s a special rule of the thumb about the dopest bands in the music industry. It goes as follows: The best groups release new albums every ten years. Take the Toronto sons Death From Above 1979 for example. You can call them punk rock, dance rock, garage rock or whatever the f**k you want, but the bottom line is that this duo keeps it raw, murky, dusty and super real. The legend goes that the two members Jesse F. Keeler (bassist) and Sebastien Grainger (drums) first got together in the early aughts, and they bonded after spending several nights driving down Toronto back roads listening to Mobb Deep, Robert Johnson, the Rolling Stones and Daft Punk. Their debut album You’re A Woman, I’m a Machine was released in 2004 on Last Gang records, and the group parted ways (rather acrimoniously) in 2006. They buried the hatchet and got  back together in 2011. This past September, they released their sophomore album Physical World and their unique musical mojo is very much intact. 

At Style.No.Chaser, we’ve been hearing great stories about the numerous water holes and awesome dives in Toronto. So we thought to ourselves – “who better than Seb & Jesse of Death From Above 1979″ to put us on to the really good spots?” Without any further delay, here are “10 Ways To Black Out in Toronto” courtesy of DFA 1979. 

“Tiny bar, not lots of room, one of my favorites …”

1. Bambi’s 

Bambi’s is a dark little basement bar started by renaissance man/barkeep Mikey Apples. It hosts dance parties, gay and straight parties and everything in between. They do a karaoke night on Wednesdays and the beer is always cold.

2. Mr. Flamingo 

If you’re hungry for something nouveau, Mikey and company just opened a restaurant upstairs from Bambi’s called Mr. Flamingo. Lots of shared dishes and a cravatted sommelier curated wine-list. Boom.

3. Get Well

Get Well is a huge bar with lots of seating and standing room. The back part of the bar is part old school arcade, so if you have nothing to talk about (which I usually don’t), you can be as anti-social as you need to be by standing at the helm a pinball machine. Honorable mention goes to the huge beer selection.

4. Union

Union is a bistro style restaurant that boasts responsibly sourced local meats and ingredients. The food is incredible, the atmosphere is great and the wine is 1/2 off on mondays.

5. Bar Chef

I’ve only been here once and I was already a few drinks deep so all I remember was them making a drink with smoke. I was impressed.

6. Communist’s Daughter

Tiny bar, not lots of room, one of my favorites. Please don’t come here when I’m around. Thanks.

7. Black Dice

Japanese Rockabilly aesthetic. Pogos, Edamame and TV dinner snacks. Hai!

8.  Unlovable

Another basement bar with lots of personality. Great murals, cold beer, cool DJs. You’re welcome.

9.  Red Light

When I lived in the neighborhood I had an on-again/off-again DJ night here called Hits Kids. I would cart my records up in a grocery basket until my grocery basket exploded. Still a nice place to grab a beer.

10. Pharmacy

Run by Chris, the reluctant face of Toronto after dark for many years. It’s the kind of place where the windows fog up in the winter. Nuff said.

For more info on DFA 1979 and their new album, visit their website here

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