Dance Yourself to Death
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Dance Yourself to Death

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Pop Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"CBC The Hour, October 2007"

Toronto’s best kept secret! The melodies, momentum, hooks and lyrics are the classic rock and roll stand the test of time variety. If they keep honing that already indisputable raw talent, they will be unstoppable! -

"Exclaim Magazine Album Review, April 2009"

With Ready For Love, Toronto, ON's Dance Yourself To Death have created a fantastically fun debut. The album blends Pat Benatar-style '80s hard rock with the songwriting smarts of the Go-Go's, creating a sound that's slick but not overproduced, one that looks to the past without feeling retro, bridging the gap between fist-pumping rock and dance floor shenanigans. Lead single "We Are All Made of Stone" lays out the four piece's manifesto: crunchy guitars bounce along over a "Close To Me" beat before Jen Markowitz and Susan Gale belt out a Kelly Clarkson-sized chorus. But Ready For Love's most striking feature is its consistency. The band are able to maintain the energy level while delivering fresh hooks over nine tracks. Are DYTD the most original band out there? No, but neither are 95-percent of groups making music, so if you're not turning the music world on its head at least write some killer tunes. (Independent) -

"BlogTO Live Review, March 26, 2009"

Dance Yourself To Death is that girl in high school who was smart, beautiful, funny...and you always wondered why she was still single.
Since releasing their debut E.P. in 2005, the local group have appeared as themselves in an Elton John produced film, played every major music festival in the city and toured Germany to huge acclaim. Nonetheless, the scenesters in Toronto are still just learning their name.
The title of their new full-length album, 'Ready for Love', clearly states their intention of getting some hometown attention in the coming months. Their specialty is 1980's style arena pop; if Kim Wilde and Joan Jett had a love child it would grow up to be Dance Yourself to Death.
The songs themselves run the gamut of hot pop music topics: sex in alleyways, sleeping with people on the rebound and of course cases of 'teenage romanticide' (not sure what that is...)
They were live at the Rivoli last night and they did not disappoint. Lead singer Jen Markowitz, with her macho swagger and tangled black hair kicked the hits around the room. Backed up by a crack team of pop machinists, including 20-year-old guitarist Carmen Elle, DYTD took the sweaty crowd at the Riv and shook them by their neck.
There are more European dates on the horizon with a possible American tour in the fall. It would be nice to see the local kids get excited about DYTD, but you know how these things go. The band will probably have to make it somewhere else before they get really big here.


"Xtra Magazine Interview and Review, March 12 2009"

Critically acclaimed rock darlings Dance Yourself to Death (DYTD) are ready — not just for love, as the title of their full-length debut asserts — but to take 2009 by storm.

With their recently released video, We Are All Made of Stone, in circulation, the foursome kicked off the new year in Munich, Germany at the famed Queer Beats festival alongside the likes of Peaches, Stereo Total and Scott Matthew. Later that month JD Samson’s (Le Tigre, Men) killer remix of DYTD’s Sea of Love hit the airwaves. And on Jan 27 DYTD’s hotly anticipated album, Ready for Love, finally dropped.

The follow-up to their much-lauded 2007 self-titled four-track EP, Ready for Love boasts an aggressive lineup of hook-laden rock that brilliantly blends ’70s swagger with ’80s hedonism. The LP is freakishly consistent — from the yearning throb of White Bed to the climactic urgency of Midnight Affair.

“As we built our repertoire we only kept the songs that we considered worthy of a studio recording,” says Jen Markowitz (vocals, bass). “We didn’t hang on to any filler songs or B-sides. If it didn’t sound like a hit, it wasn’t making it into our set or onto an album.”

Back in March 2008 Markowitz and fellow founding member Susan Gale (vocals, drums) along with Carmen Elle (guitar) and Johnny Ryan (keys) hit the studio. With the help of coproducer and engineer Lorne Hounsell (Cuff the Duke, K-OS) the band members rolled up their sleeves and learned the art of production.

“Producing the album ourselves was a big challenge that came with great rewards,” says Gale. “Having that kind of relationship with our material gave us the ability to foresee the final product. We’ve always been a DIY band so handing off production duties to anyone wouldn’t have felt right.”

Ready for Love’s polish reflects DYTD’s commitment to mastery, and its evocative mix of brawn, vulnerability and playfulness evinces the emotional landscape that accompanies nine months of studio time. “Because we were working on the record over such a long span of time — pretty much every weekend and many weeknights — the studio became an escape for us,” says Markowitz. “Between Susan and I we had a breakup, a new relationship and a death in the family. The studio gave us an outlet where we could open ourselves up creatively as a means of coping with what was going on in our personal lives. Good things and bad things — moments of love, grief, passion, happiness, independence.”

It’s a celebratory album and the cause for jubilation is greater given the stretch of uncertainty that Markowitz and Gale experienced when cofounding member Nina Martinez departed in 2007, post-EP.

“It was a big challenge and a massive adjustment,” says Markowitz. “Rebuilding our band made Susan and I a tighter writing unit, really close friends. We proved to ourselves how much we’re willing to put into this project.”

Enter Elle and Ryan. “We meshed immediately,” says Gale.

With a CD release party just around the corner DYTD is already working on new material that sees Markowitz and Gale engaged in their signature collage-style songwriting approach: Gale belts a chorus into Markowitz’s answering machine; Markowitz responds with a pre-chorus; a few days later, when they get one another on the phone at 3am, they hum out a verse and nail the song.

Lyrics get pieced together similarly. “It’s become standard practice for me to hand Susan a sheet of paper with a song’s lyrics and a red pen so she can scratch out a ton and give the song a little more rhythm, negative space to bring out a few choice words,” says Markowitz.

“It’s possible to get a lot done as a DIY band today,” Gale says. “We’ve managed to put out an album and an EP independently through online distribution and we’ve built up a fanbase by working really hard to make sure our music is out there.

In Munich, Gale says, “We walked onto the stage to find ourselves standing in front of a fully attentive audience of 1,500 people — many of whom knew the words to some of our songs. It was the biggest, most enthusiastic crowd we’ve ever played for.”


"After Ellen, "Soundcheck" Album Review, March 20 2009"

If the demise of The Organ has left you looking for a new dance band full of gay women, you'll love Dance Yourself to Death. The Canadian band's debut LP, Ready for Love is contemporary new-wave music that's easily adapted to dance floors.

Together since 2005, Dance Yourself to Death is finally making a name for itself with this album. Featuring JD Samson's remix of the track "Sea of Love" as well as '80s-infused pop like "We Are All Made of Stone," the album is solid and reminiscent of the GoGos.

Vocalist Jen Markowitz has a distinctive sound that is more akin to modern-day dance singers like Kim Ann Foxman of Hercules and Love Affair, and growling rock women like Joan Jett. It's a happy medium that makes Dance Yourself to Death a pleasing combination of rock and dance. -

"Curve Magazine Feature, July 1 2008"

Sometimes, it seems, things just come together without a ton of effort, like in those old sandwich bag commercials--"yellow and blue make green!" Simple as that. And while your experience with baggies may not be as life-changing as it was in those ads, that simplicity seems to be pretty much the case for the Toronto-based band Dance Yourself to Death (DYD).

About three years ago, lead singer Jenny was playing a show with an earlier incarnation of the band. Guitarist Susan was going solo at the same show. Afterward, they met up, hit it off and have been playing together ever since. Recent acquisitions Carmen and Johnny complete the lineup, and the four have been playing together for a little over a year. The result is like something out of a Disney movie: The twenty somethings have't yet released a full-length album, but they have already been featured in a film--the Elton John-produced It's a Boy Girl Thing. Success, it seems, has come quickly for these rockers.

DYD is quick to recognize that the band's success comes largely from the audiences they play for (and not just the ones with connections to Sir Elton). "Queer audiences are really dedicated and passionate about music and they're smart about supporting bands that come from their own demographic. They're dedicated and loyal and that's one of the reasons we're still playing," says Jenny. "And teenagers are really ... enthusiastic."

Her assessment of teens is heartfelt. When she was younger, Jenny ran a song-writing workshop for teens at a girls' summer camp. Her experience was eye-opening. "They were writing and singing songs for each other. They even put on a show. I wished that I had done that," she recalls. So now, she is. "I ... play in the band that I wish was around for me to listen to when I was a teen."

That band's plan includes performing (but only if folks are dancing), touring (though they don't have anything planned), recording a full-length CD (which will be released on iTunes first, both because of environmental concerns and so that they can maintain their independence from a record company--DYD is DIY and they like it that way).

Which is not to say, of course, that the band doesn't take theit job seriously: In fact, they work tirelessly at making the best product possible. Fortunately, the foursome function well together as a team, and success doesn't seem to be any sort of a burden at all. "Typically, whoever brings the song idea writes the lyrics, or at least an almost-finished draft of them, and the band collaborates on the music," says Jenny, who pulls song ideas from stories people tell her about their lives, or headlines she sees in the newspaper. "Our songs aren't complete until the four of us fiddle around with them. We don't have a problem with any egos getting in the way--our egos are left out of the situation. We play musical chairs when we're rehearsing, and the best part for the song gets into the song. It took us a while to get to this stage, but it's really fun."

DYD has been influenced by nearly every type of music ever written, and nearly every band that's ever performed. Their name is taken from an Alice Cooper song ("not a particular favorite," Jenny clarifies, "but the name embodies the attitude we wanted to have in our music"). Recently, for inspiration they've turned to beloved bands like Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty, and relative newcomers like the New Young Pony Club, the Gossip and Spoon.

The broad-ranging influences are evident in their sound, which is amazing and impossible to sit still through. "We get compared to different bands and it's always like I'm hearing it for the first time. I'm never expecting it," says Jenny." I've heard [comparisons to] the Pretenders a bunch. And XTC. I thought that was an interesting thing because they're all guys. I'm not surprised when people compare us to bands with female front-people, but XTC caught me totally by surprise. It's unreal to me when we get compared to bands like that."

In truth, it seems almost unfair to lump DYD in with classic rockstars, when all they really want is to make it onto your next mimed tape."We're trying to make a point. We just want well-crafted songs with memorable hooks that mean something to someone. We're just trying to keep it as honest as we can," says Jenny.

Their humility and candor are refreshing, and totally in keeping with their idea of what it takes to be a rockstar."A rockstar is someone who's a passionate musician, who believes in what they're playing and what they're singing ... without the ego that would get in the way of a good song." Nonetheless, they recognize that rockstars aren't everyday people so much as they are caricatures. "You get on stage and perform as an exaggerated version of yourself and then as soon as the show's over I step off the stage and I wrap the gear and I'm a normal person ..."

A normal person, sure, if by "normal" you mean a twentysomething who sings and dances for fun and profit, who's been in a movie and who does what she loves for work. All in all, that's not too bad for a girl who was once too shy to get on stage, or for a band who's been together for less than a year. But sometimes, it seems, these things just work out. -

"EP Review, Now Magazine, Feb 22. 2007"

"4 out of 5! If this EP is any indication of the band's talent, then it's kinda strange that more people haven't caught on. Maybe now they will."
-Evan Davies - Hollett/Klein

"Cover Story, Xtra Magazine, Feb 15, 2007"

"The band has earned bragging rights, for sure, especially given that their first show was only staged in May 2005. In the meantime, Dance Yourself To Death will continue making the brawny, bluesy, hook-laden punk-pop magic that the Alice Cooper-inspired moniker suggests."
-Lisa Foad - Pink Triangle Press


Ready for Love, 2009
Self Titled EP, 2006



Momentum has never been better for Toronto's queer heroes Dance Yourself to Death. Fresh off their first European tour, and with two more on the horizon for 2010, this band is ready to explode.

Formed in 2005, Dance Yourself to Death had only played a handful of gigs before a copy of their independent EP found its way into the hands of knighted larger-than-life pop icon Elton John. Sir Elton was taken by the band’s addictive hooks and heart-tugging melodies, which seamlessly fuse elements of ‘70s rock, ‘80s synth-pop and ‘90s dance music. He cast DYTD to play in the prom scene of It’s A Boy Girl Thing, the film he was producing, and included one of their original songs on the film’s soundtrack.

DYTD went on to license songs to several other films, and watched their fan base grow as tracks from the DIY EP landed on a number of independent radio station charts and positive reviews poured in.

DYTD have shared stages with everyone from Canadian critics’ faves Mother Mother and the Hidden Cameras to international stars like Peaches, Uh Huh Her and the Indigo Girls and played their first European show in Munich, Germany, where they drew a crowd of 1500 people. Noted electronic artist JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN) was eager to work with DYTD, and delivered a remix of their original song “Sea of Love”.

When DYTD headed into the studio in the spring of 2008, they had three years’ worth of songs to choose from. The band members acted as producers, working with co-producer and engineer Lorne Hounsell (K-OS, Bedouin Soundclash) to create their full-length debut, Ready For Love. They drew inspiration from artists who spanned several musical eras, from Fleetwood Mac to the Cars, to New Young Pony Club, creating a sound that’s hook-laden, highly addictive, and ready for repeat rotation on your stereo. The final product is an instantly accessible record that will keep you holding on tight to your first kiss, your worst heartache, and all your forgotten love letters.

Dance Yourself to Death recently joined forces with the Queerbeat Agency in Germany (Gentleman Reg, Bell Orchestre, Le Tigre, The Hidden Cameras) and embarked on their first European tour in November 2009. Having "conquered Europe" (according to the prestigious FM4 Radio), DYTD has 2 more European tours in the works for 2010.