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Canadian Music Week 2012 preview

Posted by Igor Bonifacic / March 20, 2012

Canadian Music WeekCanadian Music Week, the annual industry event devoted to homegrown music, gets underway Wednesday. The event brings with it a dizzying number of performances, so to help make sense of all the choices, I've put together a list of some of the highlights. Nevertheless, given all that's going on, make sure to check out the complete CMW schedule for an overview of the festival lest I miss one of your favourite acts.

As with previous years, those interested in checking out more than one show can invest in a festival wristband, which grants entry into almost all concerts — information on both tickets and wristbands can be found here. There are some limitations to these wristbands, which (when applicable) I've noted below.


Mise en Scene, Young Rival, and Jenn Grant at the Mod Club Theatre. $10.00.

One of the problems with CMW is that there's a lot of overlap. Thankfully, Jenn Grant's show at the Mod Club is an early one, making it easy to go on and see other acts later in the night. The talented songstress from Nova Scotia brings with her the fuzzed out sounds of Young Rival.


Arts and Crafts Showcase with Snowblink, Gold & Youth, Eight and a Half, The Darcys, Zeus, and a special guest at the Horseshoe Tavern. $18.50.

Last year, I failed to include The Darcys as a part of my CMW preview. Well, I'm not making that same mistake again — go see The Darcys at the Horseshoe. Of course, this is the Arts and Crafts showcase we're talking about, so the label has made sure to bring a couple of their best known acts out to perform. Zeus, in particular, has promised to play material off their forthcoming release, and the much-hyped Eight and a Half is also showcasing at the show. Word is there might be a very special guest to close out the night. Excited yet?

Voltaire Twins, Humans, ANGO, BADBADNOTGOOD, Lunice, Zodiac at Wrongbar. $15.00.

Whether they're reinterpreting a song from the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or a classic hip hop track through the lens of jazz music, the three members of BBNG infuse each song they touch with a kind of soulfulness and musicality that's missing from much of the Toronto music scene. And while they might be only playing for an hour on Friday night, the three Humber College students are sure to dazzle with their instrumental freakouts and a pig mask or two.


Artist Select Series with Brendan Canning, Husky, The Balconies, ALX, Uncle Bad Touch, Yardlets, Teenage Kicks at the Garrison. $10.00.

Starting on Thursday and continuing on through to Saturday, the Garrison, the Young Lions Music Club, and Red Bull are having three venerable Toronto musicians host and showcase some of their favourite artists. The shortlist of hosts include Shad, Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys, and Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene (currently on hiatus). The organizers of the event have even set up a tumblr account where you can hear a musical selection from each artist and read a short blurb from the curators explaining their picks.

Photo by Sara Collaton from the blogTO Flickr Pool.



Holy Molars! / March 20, 2012 at 11:12 am
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it 'Uncle Bad Touch'?
Igor replying to a comment from Holy Molars! / March 20, 2012 at 11:18 am
Yes it is! Thanks :)
Joel / March 20, 2012 at 11:54 am
This isn't a preview of CMW, it's a preview of the minimal exposure this blogger has had to music and festivals. Or even worse, just a preview of CMW artists that have an embeddable soundcloud player.

There is so much more out there. So many more genres. So many more venues. It's too easy to recommend events taking place at Mod Club, Wrongbar, The Garrison etc. Everyone and their grandma knows the music at these venues are worth seeing any night of the week. Recommend something we don't already know...
Jeff / March 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm
CMW is pathetic this year. I stopped following their social media feeds after seeing nothing but posts about shows at Sneaky Dee's. Did the CMW staff get free nachos for a month or something?? Also the amount of bands playing shows all over the city that played Toronto last month and the month before is unreal. Is this CANADIAN Music Week or what? Seems like the same old thing (have we not all seen The Balconies a million times by now?) with a couple big shows that are all sold out in advance so why bother getting a wristband?

I cant wait to see what NXNE has up their sleeves. From the amazing free shows at Yonge and Dundas to the numerous secret shows happening around town it's always a much better time. I'll pass on CMW this year.
Youth Season / March 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm
Here's a better lineup..

Parts & Labour - Army Girls, Dusted, Rituals & Little Girls (10:30PM onward)

Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music - Army Girls (2:30PM)
Horseshoe Tavern - A&C Showcase (9PM - Midnight)
Rancho Relaxo - CTZNSHP & Wild Domestic (1-3AM)

Royal York - The Indies (8:00-10:00PM)
The Garrison - ALX + more (11PM onward)

Rancho Relaxo - The Elwins & Topanga (11PM onward)
Stefan / March 20, 2012 at 03:36 pm
If you want to check out something different, try the Crosswires showcase on Sunday at The Garrison. It's PWYC - wristbands obviously accepted.

9:00 - Old Acid
10:00 - Queen Licorice
11:00 - Trematron
12:00 - Singapore (feat. members of Bahamas)

agreed replying to a comment from Jeff / March 23, 2012 at 04:35 pm
Apparently, their tweets this year are being written by these people:
So it looks like it's no coincidence most of the shows being promoted on CMW's twitter are theirs (with the majority of them at Sneaky Dee's). How obnoxious and unprofessional.
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