Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

NO FLASH, PLEASE!: Underground Music in Toronto, 1987-92 - Anvil Press Book Launch

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Sunday, May 15, 2016 - 7:00pm


The Horseshoe Tavern
370 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
M5V 2A2


The music scene in the mid-eighties was in transition, just as the entire music business was, unaware that it was all about to change in 1991 when Nirvana’s watershed release, Nevermind would unexpectedly hit number one on the Billboard chart. But that explosion didn’t happen over night. It was the product of years of music scenes like Toronto’s developing, clubs seeking original music and communities of musicians, artists and fans supporting them.

No Flash, Please! documents an important period in Toronto’s music community. As seen and heard by two journalists covering it for a number of monthly independent magazines, not only did they experience the local bands they knew and loved becoming famous, they also witnessed soon-to-be legends come through those same clubs and concert halls. Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Henry Rollins, all played Toronto during this period and von Essen’s camera and Saunders' ears were there to witness their performances in crowds that varied in size from 20 to 500.

No Flash, Please! doesn’t just focus on the music, it also captures the crowds and the community that spawned one of the richest periods in Toronto’s music history.

Derek von Essen has created an extensive body of work while merging his own graphic art, photography, painting and mixed-media assemblage for visual communications specializing in fine arts, dance, theatre, music, film and publishing projects. His work has been widely exhibited and is held in several international collections. When not working—which isn’t often—he can found in his garden talking to trees.

Phil Saunders wrote for the music magazines Nerve, Rear Garde, Exclaim, Graffiti, ID and HMV until the mid-nineties. He also promoted concerts, was a talent buyer, booking agent, and an independent record producer. After completing a Master’s in Journalism in 1998 he worked for CBC News and produced the documentary film What About Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band.

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Tickets are $10. This event is 19 and over.
Advance tickets also available at the Horseshoe front bar.


The Horseshoe Tavern
370 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 2A2 43° 38' 57.2784" N, 79° 23' 45.5388" W

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


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