Hot Ticket for the week of September 4 - 10

Monday, Sept. 4th - Cat Power (nee Carlyn Marie Marshall) is somewhat of an enigma. The sultry Southern songstress is almost as well known for her honest, ethereal music as she is for her erratic onstage behaviour. An admitted sufferer of extreme stage fright and alcohol abuse - one or both of which may explain her sudden fits of tears, nervous chatter, and unexpected (and abrupt) termination of songs and shows when performing live - she seems to have conquered her inner demons last I saw her at Bonnaroo. A mature, confident Power delivered a sparkling, evocative set with poise and grace. Cross your fingers in hopes that she hasn't relapsed. Lee's Palace (529 Bloor W), $22.50. -- Panthea

Friday & Saturday, Sept. 8th & 9th - When The Sadies packed Lee's Palace with their friends Neko Case, Garth Hudson, Rick White, Jon Langford, Gary Louris, John Spencer, The Deadly Snakes and Blue Rodeo back in February to record their live album, it was an amazing night. And now comes the time to share the fruits of their labor. The Sadies will hold their CD release party for that live recording at the Horseshoe for 2 boot stompin nights. With The Good Brothers opening, it will be a real family affair - I'd even bet odds that Dallas & Travis will be joined onstage by their mom & dad. Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen St.W.), $15 adv./$20 door. -- Beth

Saturday, Sept. 9th - A little while back I saw The Grates open for The Go Team, and was very impressed by the raw energy that the uber-cute Patience Hodgson brought to the stage. Hodgson's interaction with her audience is infectuous and endearing. I would describe The Grates' sound as an upbeat Yeah Yeah Yeahs, so this promises to be a very fun show. The Grates are at Lee's Palace on Saturday with Rogue Wave, $12. -- Mike

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 9th & 10th - Sir Richard Branson brings Toronto's Centre Island Park one of the largest and most star-studded festivals in recent memory with next weekend's Virgin Music Festival. The musical roster packs the type of diverse high-profile performers that Toronto deserves on an annual basis, and not just for events such as Live 8 and SARS Festival. Headlining Saturday are The Flaming Lips, who put on a spectacular live show (which, if we're lucky, might include Wayne Coyne's famous audience bubble-walk!). Gnarls Barkley, Alexis On Fire, Muse, The Dears, and local favourites The Hidden Cameras are also likely to draw big crowds Saturday. Despite this, I'm more interested in the Sunday lineup, which features trip-hop legends Massive Attack, plus The Strokes, Sam Roberts, and Jack White's Raconteurs . At around $60 a day it won't be a cheap weekend, but an excellent value considering these lineups. Event information including individual artist settimes, allowable items, and Centre Island ferry schedules can be found HERE. -- Mike R.

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