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"Rockin' A U-Haul in a changing Annex"

On my way home after work last Saturday night, I walked by the corner of Brunswick and Bloor where a three-man rock combo was playing out of a U-Haul parked in front of By The Way Cafe. Named the Dildoniks, they'd outfitted their U-Haul with flood lights, a drum kit and amps running through their rented truck's battery with a banner on both sides announcing their band's name. They drew a pretty substantial crowd, with the audience spilling off the sidewalk and onto the road (without, however, blocking traffic on either Brunswick or Bloor).

A relatively new band, Dildoniks member Kire Paputts told me in an email that part of what led them to do the half-hour show in a U-Haul was that it would be entirely "on our terms," as Kire put it. Now obviously the idea of an impromptu concert amplified from inside a rented truck at eleven on a Saturday night provokes a lot of questions. Add this to the fact that they played at the Brunswick/Bloor intersection, the case in point of recent debates both locally and in the press on how the neighbourhood is changing. With the closing of Dooney's Cafe and Mel's Montreal Delicatessen, and the two freak shootings that have taken place in the last two summers, many have been quick to conclude that the Annex is in a steep decline, where beligerant and occasionally violent partiers are setting the terms rather than long-time residents and middle-aged community members.

There's no denying that with Mel's and Dooney's Cafe gone, the old character of the Annex has suffered a significant blow. Yet rather than seeing their departure as the canary in the coalmine, much still remains of the old Annex, but more importantly, much has changed and will continue to change as the neighbourhood evolves with the times and the people who inhabit its spaces.

Take the bookstores, for example. On Bloor St. between Spadina and Bathurst plus one block south on either side, there are a total of eight book stores currently open (not to mention the man often seen selling used books on the sidewalk at Madison or Brunswick), making the Annex still the most concentrated hub of independent booksellers in the city. Book City and the BMV are flanked by three used book stores who've been open since who knows when; Ten Editions Bookstore on Spadina, Seekers Books at Borden St., and Willow Books over at Bathurst. As more alternative literature goes, there's A Different Booklist also on Bathurst, plus the Labyrinth Comic Book store across from the BMV. With at least five more on nearby Harbord St, for booklovers, the Annex is alive and well. - Spacing Toronto

"Shows That Rocked Toronto Last Week"

Eco-friendly promoters Greenshades put together a high-octane lineup for this edition of their new bi-weekly “Thursday Thursdays” event. What started as an earsplitting punk garage-punk show eventually morphed into a good old-fashioned dance party.

Bookended by loud, unremarkable sets by locals Potions and the Soupcans, Montreal’s Devil Eyes stood out with a short, diverse set of garage-psych/no-wave/blues. The trio showed equal proficiency in slide-guitar instrumentals and whiplash punk rock, but were best when indulging their oddball tendencies. Their final tune, for instance, began as a hardcore number sung in Japanese and devolved into guitar-abusing chaos.

The party was quite literally kicked into motion by a late-night set by Rancho fixtures Dildoniks. Best known for playing impromptu Annex shows out of rented U-Hauls, the throwback surf rock trio caused just as much of a stir indoors, whipping the small but engaged crowd into an all-out, onstage, shirtless frenzy. - Now Magazine

"Dildoniks Ride Again"

A few months ago Dildoniks, Toronto’s premier garage-surf band, rented a U-Haul and played a balls out show at the corner of Brunswick and Bloor. The band, made up of Joseph Ling, Brandon Yarrow and our very own Kire Paputts, had managed to pull it off once before, but this time things went a little different…

Chaos ensued and Mitch and I were there to capture it all.


- Made By Other People

"Dildoniks @ Silver Dollar"

Quite possibly the worst name in rock n’ roll, Dildoniks proved on Monday night that they got a hell of a live show to back it all up. Performing with a number of other great local talent and abroad, (Birthday Suits and Blind Shake from Minneapolis) Dildoniks was the band to steal the show.

Playing what could only be labeled as surf-rock, Dildoniks laid it all out on the stage giving the audience exactly what they came for – a good time. So much fun was to be had once these guys hit the stage, and you could tell instantly that this is a band that has fun in what they do no matter what. Filled with loads of energy and a sound that could make even a dead man dance, it’s hard not to like what these guys give out during a live show.

If a heavy instrumental surf-infused garage rock band is what you’re after, then look no further than Dildoniks. - GigSurfer

"Live Review: the Dildoniks @ Bovine Sex Club"

So I was at the Bovine Sex Club. Never heard of it? Well it’s a bar in downtown Toronto that doesn’t want you to know who or what it is. The front of the building is covered in bike shrapnel and other bits of scrap metal in all it’s rusted glory. And one night there, while I was enjoying my fourth bottle of Stock, I noticed there was a stage and on this stage there were three guys and they were holding instruments.

Dildonics are electronic sex toys that can be controlled by a computer. The Dildoniks, however, are a surfer punk trio from Toronto. Both will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Only difference is that you can enjoy the band in public.

Formed in 2009 by front man Joseph Ling, they’ve grown from their humble beginnings of playing out of the back of a U-Haul on a street corner to performing at big venues all around Toronto including the Silver Dollar Room, Rancho Relaxo and The El Macambo. They have created a delicate blend of fast paced punk and instrumental 60's surfer rock with a dash of lyrics thrown in every now and then.

With song’s lasting anywhere from 30-90 seconds a piece you would think you’re going to be short changed but as the show keeps going you start to wonder how they’re not catching on fire or passing out from heat exhaustion. - Off The Dial





Having known each other for over 11 years, Joseph Ling (Handsome Mandela), Kire Paputts (The Animal), and Brandon Yarrow (Brando) are long time friends who share the same vision and passion for music. Born and raised in the Beaches of Toronto, the “Dildoniks” are influenced by their surroundings and incorporate it in their unique sound. Being close to the beach, the band has a strong surf style that is mixed with punk and garage sounds that influenced them in their youth. The name “Dildoniks” came about when a friend insulted Kire by calling him a dildonik; the name stuck.

Dildoniks are unique in every way. The first 2 shows the guys ever played were out of the back of a U-Haul that they parked at the corner of Brunswick and Bloor. Running the gear and lights off of the trucks battery, they opened the back of the truck up and let it rip. Within seconds, people gathered and started dancing right in the middle of Bloor St. Having filmed these electrifying performances, word had spread and the band was even written about on U-Hauls Twitter page and various Toronto blog sites. This is what Dildoniks are all about; hit’em hard, make it fast, and get’em movin’.

Each of the guys brings different elements in order to create the rich and lively surf punk sound. The Animal brings a strong punk element to the band and is influenced by his father, Chris Haight, who was a Toronto punk pioneer and member of “The Viletones”. Brando is a funk and soul bassist and creates meaty bass lines that fill each song. Handsome Mandela brings a little dance influence to the tunes with some infectious rhythms and pop laden hooks. Together, the guys create music that is fresh, upbeat, and fun. Dildoniks not only start the party, they are the party.