The top 5 bands to see at Wavelength 14
Wavelength 14 will kick off four nights of the best independent music coming out of Canada and the US this week. Each night from February 13th to 16th, there will be main-stage concerts at specially selected venues, which will feature performers, curated visual projections and art installations. Wavelength, a Toronto institution, has booked the likes of Broken Social Scene, Feist, The Constantines, Arcade Fire, and Crystal Castles -- all in intimate settings prior to the bands breaking out.
This year's concert line-up includes Colin Stetson, Marnie Stern, DIANA, Cousins, Phèdre, TOPS, US Girls, The Wet Secrets, Odonis Odonis, among many others. Aside from these concerts, there will be free events at local indie record stores during the daytime, including the launch of Weird Canada's indie music hub Wyrd Distro (read about it here).
Here are the tops bands performing as part of Wavelength 14.
Phèdre / February 13th / The Silver Dollar / 8pm / $10-15
Wavelength and Silent Shout present Phèdre at The Silver Dollar to kick off this year's festivities. These Hooded Fang members will be playing their trippy dippy electronica, which you'll dig if you're into Washed Out, Kate Bush... or cute little indigestible squares of paper. At the moment, Mike from Beta Frontiers is DJing for them, and they plan on just jumping around stage like rappers. Phèdre will be joined by TOPS, Zoo Owl, Alden Penner (ex-The Unicorns/Clues), and You'll Never Get to Heaven. Get tickets here.
Marnie Stern / February 14th / Adelaide Hall / 8pm / $17-20
If you ask your Valentine's date to this show they won't say no (if they do, you've probably dodged a bullet). Marnie Stern aka "the lady who shreds" is headlining - you might know her from her three critically-acclaimed albums filled with her singular frenetic finger tapping and insightful lyrics. Homegrown Toronto talents DIANA, Odonis Odonis, Weaves, and MATROX will be warming up the stage beforehand. Also on tap is DJ ZOJO (Diamond Rings), projections by Live Action Fezz, and General Chaos Visuals. Get tickets here.
Colin Stetson / February 15th / Polish Combatants Hall (206 Beverley St.) / 8pm / $20-25
Recently Juno-nominated for best instrumental album, Weird Canada brings Colin Stetson to play his killer show at Wavelength 14. He is nothing short of a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and has done his fair share of collaborating, but now he's been focused on recording and performing his solo compositions. He'll be mostly on saxophones and clarinets, using his intense technical prowess to match his mesmerizing songwriting skills.
U.S. Girls / Saturday February 15 / Polish Combatants Hall / 8pm / $20
Also on the Saturday line up is unstoppable Toronto based artist Meg Remy, who's been releasing music as U.S. Girls since 2008. Fans have watched her noisy, contemporary soul sound grow with each new release. Some advice: never miss a chance to see her throw down! Remy's sets are one of the most compelling and intelligent live music experiences the contemporary underground has to offer. Other performers on the lineup include Biblical, Petra Glynt, and Gambletron. DJing by Jesse Cook and projections by Ottawa's Hard Science. Get tickets here.
Cousins / Sunday February 16th / The Garrison / 8pm / $10-15
Halifax garage rock group Cousins will close down the last night of Wavelength '14. They tip toe between melody and anarchy, in a live show that is both heavy and sweetly poetic. They are a hard working touring act, and have just announced May some concert dates in support of Chad Vangaalen. The complete lineup includes Greys, The Wet Secrets, Lido Pimienta, and Elaquent, plus DJ Slowdown (PS I Love You). Get tickets here.
Wavelength 14 runs from Feb 13-16. An all-access festival pass costs $49, or individual show tickets are available for $10 and $25 depending on the night. Check out their Wavelog for artist interviews and more.
Photo of Phedre by Jennifer Bundock